Starter Makeup Kit from Sephora

Recently I have been getting a lot of messages asking which products are the best to build a basic makeup kit. Here are my favorites that will help you master a perfect look, day or night!

I’ve also included a few pro tips on how to apply products and how to get your makeup to last all night!

To make shopping easier, all of these products are available through Sephora!



Benefit Gimme Brow is the easiest, most fool-proof way to fill in your brows! I love the easy to use wand which is packed with a fiber-gel that will shape, define and fill in your brows for a natural, realistic look.


Too Faced Soleil Bronzer has been a staple in my professional kit for years. It is a gorgeous matter bronzer (no shimmer or sparkle here!) that is never orange. Plus it smells like chocolate.


If you follow my blog or my Instagram/Facebook you probably have seen me rave about this tinted moisturizer before. Years after first discovering this product I am still loving it. Laura Mercier’s lightweight, oil free tinted moisturizer is a great alternative to foundation. It feels fresh on the skin, plus it has SPF 20!


If you are searching for a new foundation I would suggest you try out Luminous Silk by Armani! This is unlike traditional “heavy” foundation formulas– it is lightweight, buildable and doesn’t crack, dry out or look chalky. The end result of a few thin layers is a gorgeous “airbrushed” dewy finish. I love applying this foundation with a damp beauty blender.


Urban Decay’s setting spray should be the last step you take when applying makeup. It will ensure that your artistry stays put even through heat and sweat. If you’re still using that old “hairspray” trick (you know who you are!!) use this instead. It is much better for your skin! This is also a staple in my pro kit– I can’t be without it!


There is nothing worse than mastering the perfect eye look… and then have your shadow creasing after just a few hours. Using an eye primer will help your shadow go on smoother, more vibrant and last much longer. I love Urban Decay’s formula because it is not drying or chalky. Whenever you apply shadow be sure to PRIME with this product FIRST.


The secret to preventing foundation from settling into fine lines is to first use a primer designed for large pores and/or fine lines (I like this one from Makeup Forever). After you prime your entire face, apply foundation and THEN SET IT with a translucent setting powder. I love the texture and finish of Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Powder. It looks white but it goes on sheer and will work on all skin tones. Apply with a fluffy brush or a powder puff.


I have purchased several of this concealers in 2015 and I am positive I will be purchasing more in the coming year! I love this creamy, easy to blend formula from NARS. It not only covers and conceals dark circles but it is wonderful for highlighting. Be sure to SET your concealer with powder (mentioned above in number seven) to prevent creasing and settling into fine lines.


Speaking of highlighting! Some days all you’ll want to wear is concealer and mascara (note- I didn’t include mascara here because I find that drugstore brands are just as wonderful as anything you can get in Sephora. Try this one and I promise you will think the same!). Other times you’ll want to be full on GLAM. That is where this product comes into play. I am obsessed with Becca highlighters but this shade in particular is so gorgeous. It is a cross between a rose gold and a moonstone. Apply a little bit top the top of your cheeks, nose, chin and cupid’s bow for a “lit from within” glow.


Blush can sometimes seem intimidating. Where to apply? Which brush to use? Is that hot pink really going to look good on me? Not to worry– NARS blush is easy to apply and the shades are super complimentary. Orgasm, Sin and Dolce Vita are some of my favorites. Apply with an angled blush brush.


I have mentioned this Tarte palette on STYLEgloss once before. Can you tell I love it?? The shades are all you need to create daytime, nighttime, natural and dramatic looks. All of the shadows are matte, which will make blending much easier. The middle row contain four of my all-time most favorite colors to use on eyes. This is the only palette you will ever need. Apply shadow in the crease with a fluffy brush and shadow on the lid with a stiffer, flat brush.


Finally, top it all off with a great lip color! I love these Sephora lip creams. They last all day, are not drying and are only $14! Numbers 5, 13 an 14 are my personal favorites.

Do you have a product from Sephora that you love? Let me know about it!


Nom: Savory-Sweet Tomato Jam Jar

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about me.

I don’t like raw tomatoes.

Seriously. Can’t eat ’em. I’ve tried tons of times, but I just can’t get past the texture and the taste.

But cook them up in a sauce, give me a bowl of salsa and chips, add them to a deliciously sweet and sticky jam and I’ll eat that up. Twice.

I first discovered the holiness that is tomato jam at Nordstrom’s Sixth and Pine restaurant. It was nestled delicately into a glass mason jar along with pesto and ricotta… hence the name tomato jam jar. Seriously, horns will play and angels will descend from the high heavens when you taste this recipe. It is that good. I promise you will want to make it for every birthday, holiday, payday and all the other days in between.

Plus, it is a super easy and elegant appetizer that you can impress all your foodie friends with. They will think you slaved over a hot pot and a cutting board all week.

There is no better way to use all of those home-grown tomatoes from your garden that you have right now than to make tomato jam. You can jar it and feast on your crop all winter long (how Home on the Range is that?).

Now don’t get nervous but there are a few moving parts to this recipe. You’ll need to make the jam first, which is the most time consuming part. The rest is cake!

Here is what you’ll need:

Tomato Jam Jar Ingredients:

for the jam

  • 1 ½ pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • red pepper flakes to taste
  • the juice of one lime

for the crostini

  • one loaf crusty Italian bread
  • 1/2 a stick of butter

other ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • store bought or homemade basil pesto

Here is what to do, step by step (with pictures!)

STEP ONE: Preheat your oven to 350. Core your tomatoes. I like to use a teaspoon to do this. Another great tip is to take the produce bag your tomatoes came in and insert it into a plastic mixing bowl. Core each tomato over the bag and then just toss when you are done for easy clean up. Genius.


When you have cored each tomato they should look something like this…


STEP TWO: Rough chop your tomatoes and place (or throw… no judgement here) into a pot.


STEP THREE: Add all your other ingredients to the pot and mix. Cover and cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally for about an hour or until your tomatoes begin to look glossy and the sauce thickens.


STEP FOUR: Once your tomatoes have taken on a jam-like consistency you need to make sure they are cooled before plating. Take a tray (a baking sheet will do) and line it with parchment paper. Spread your jam in a thin layer and refrigerate until cool.


STEP FIVE: Your guests (or just you— again, no judgement here) will need to spread the ricotta-basil-jam mixture on something equally as delicious, so let’s make some crostini. Cut a loaf of crusty Italian bread into thin slices and place on a baking sheet. This step is optional. Bagged crostini from the bakery or deli at your grocery store would be just a good!


STEP SIX: Melt a half of stick of butter and brush onto your slices of bread.


Bake the bread in a 350 degree over for 12 minutes. It’s done when the edges are browned, like this…


STEP SEVEN: Mix one cup of ricotta cheese with a teaspoon of sugar and “whip” with your spoon until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Now layer your ricotta on the bottom of a glass jar or small glass bowl like this one. Add a layer of basil pesto (you can make your own or you can pick up pre-made pesto from the grocery store. I used this one). Lastly, add a layer of your tomato jam! It should look something like this…


Serve with your crostini and watch your friends go crazy over this insanely delectable combination of flavors. You can also transform this into a sweet treat by replacing the pesto with a layer of almonds and the tomato jam with peach or strawberry jam. If you wanted to try your hand at a homemade fruit-based jam this is a great recipe.

Also, how gorgeous would this look on your holiday table?! It is never too early to start planning!



Fall Makeup Basics


Fall means hayrides, pumpkins and crisp air.

But more importantly, it means that you can finally wear dark colors on your lips and tips again.

That makes me happy.

I am teaching a fall makeup class this coming Thursday. As a preview I posted this pic of the look my students will be learning and it caught like wildfire. There were lots of questions so I am here to answer them for you guys!

The lip color I used in the photo is Sephora’s Cream Lip Stain in #13, “Marvelous Mauve.” It’s GORG and I can’t wait to rock it all season. I originally made the trip to Sephora to pick up Kat Von D’s liquid lipstick in “Lolita” but my store were sold out, which actually turned out to be a good thing since it led me to discover these amazing cream stains. Nonetheless, Lolita looks just like this color above and it is also super pretty, so I linked it below for you guys incase you wanted to check that one out too!

There were also TONS of questions about my foundation. I have on L’Oreal Pro Matte in #102. This is a pretty thick, full coverage formula. Some days I apply with a damp Beauty Blender if I want less coverage. Other times, like in this photo, I apply with a stippling brush.  As far as drugstore foundations go, this one has been a constant favorite.

One of the most important steps is to prime your skin before you apply foundation. I love Hourglass’ primer because it feels so smooth and it is not sticky like many silicone-based primers.

Check out all the products I used to create this look. If you have any beauty related questions feel free to get in touch on Facebook or Instagram!

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Nom: Stuffed Garlic Bread

It’s not too much of a secret that cooking isn’t my favorite thing to do. I don’t dislike cooking. I just hate doing the dishes afterwards. 

But when I do cook, I usually bring it. I put my game face on and aim to impress. I pretty much accomplished that tonight with this recipie. 

You can totally impress your friends and family too. This super simple garlic bread requires little skill to prepare and the finished product is delicious. Make it for yourself and see… 

You’ll need: 

– 1 loaf of soft Italian bread (fresh is best) 

– 1 stick of butter 

– 5 slices of mozzarella cheese (you can also use shredded but I find that sliced is easier to work with in this case) 

-2 Tbs. garlic bread seasoning (I used this one) 

So this recipie starts out with a pretty innocent cast of characters. My trusty knife, cutting mat and a fluffy loaf of fresh bread.

Oh, and with you preheating your oven to 350.

I start by slicing my loaf on a diagonal. Don’t slice it all the way… More like 3/4 of the way. You want to keep the loaf intact. 

Once you have sliced down the loaf turn your knife and slice the opposite way so that you create a criss-cross design. 


Now take a rest. I know all the slicing really hurt my hand, so much so that I needed my husband to take over. He then pointed out that I was using the wrong kind of knife, so I guess disregard my first photo and use this bread knife instead. Oops! 

Now that you are well rested open up your stick of butter and add it and your 2 Tbs. of garlic bread seasoning to a bowl. Microwave for 60 seconds or until your butter looks like this… 

Now it’s about to get serious. Hold on to your seats, kiddos! 

Mix up that butter until it is mostly melted and it looks dark green. Spoon the mixture into the cuts of the bread. You’ll have to use your fingers to separate the bread, like this: 


Fill up each cut with the butter. By the time you are finished it should look something like this… 

Try not to lick the screen. 

It’s time to add the cheese! I pretty much rip my slices up into small pieces with my hands and stuff then into my cuts as I go. Fill up your bread to the max. Cheese makes everything taste better. 

You are nearly ready to eat this delicious masterpiece. But not yet. We still need to cook it! 

Wrap the loaf in aluminum foil (cover the top) and bake for 15 mins. Remove the tin foil and bake for an additional 5 mins, or until the top is golden brown. If you are really adventurous you can add a little shredded cheese to the top just before taking it out of the oven. 

All finished! I served mine with tortellini but this could be just find as an appetizer or with pizza and beer. You don’t need to be so fancy. Besides, it probably won’t last more than a few seconds. 

Be prepared for your family to oooh and ahhhh over this culinary work of art. They will think you are so amazing and will start to believe that you are qualified to be a contestant on Master Chef. You’ll have to remind them that it’s just the cheese talking. 

Seriously. Make it for yourself and see how addicting it is! 

DIY: Floral Wreath

It’s true what they say…

Why buy it for $20 online when you can drive to the craft store, search through dozens of aslies, stock up on everything you need for a project and make it yourself for $100? 

I’ve fallen into that trap many times. But there is something so satisfying when you DIY a project yourself. 

I love making these easy floral wreaths. I made one for spring/summer that I am about to retire so I figured I would cash in on some of the Labor Day Sales and craft one for fall. 

Trust me, it looks more complicated than it actually is! Anyone can make a wreath like this, even if you are not so artistically inclined. I promise! 

Here is what you’ll need: 

– 1 styrofoam wreath (I am working on a medium sized one buy pick the size that will fit your door the best). 

– a variety of stems (pick your favorite color palette. I did creams, oranges and purples, but deep reds, yellows, greens and blues are all beautiful this time of year). 

**note- you’ll have to estimate the number of stems you will need for the size wreath you pick. Try to eyeball it but save your receipts incase you have anything you don’t use. 

– hot glue gun 

– spray paint (optional) 

Here is my set up! All of my stems and my wreath. Before you get started you can opt to spray paint your wreath to disguise any spots that may end up a little bare at the end. Today I skipped this step but if I had more time I would have painted the wreath gold. 

First thing you’ll have to do is remove the flowers from the stems. In most cases they will just pop right off but if they don’t you can just cut them. 

Keep taking them all off until you have enough to complete your wreath. I used up all of my flowers and taupe leaves in this case. 

Once you are all set with your flowers you can begin to lay our your wreath. The easiest way to do this is to stick the ends of each flower into the wreath where you want to glue them down. If you decide to change the position of any flower you can do it before actually gluing them down. 

Keep going until your entire wreath is full. Once you have added all the flowers it’s time to glue them down! I like to pick a starting point and work my way around the wreath, taking out each flower individually, applying glue to the end and then inserting the flower stem back into the hole you created when you initially pushed it into the styrofoam. 

After you have glued everything down it’s time to add the leaves! Insert and glue down leaves and fillers any place you think needs a little extra something! 

Check to make sure every flower and leaf is secure (don’t worry— the hot glue will withstand wind, rain and even snow!! Your wreath will be just fine on your door all season long, although you may think it seems a little flimsy). 

You can add a pretty bow or glue down other pieces like glittered pumpkins or acorns. I kept mine simple this time but a burlap bow would be super cute! 

All finished! How easy was that?! 


Let me know if you decide to make your own! I purchased all my supplies at Michaels today because stems were 40% off and I had an additional 20% off coupon. The stems and the wreath cost me $35. I had the hot glue gun already so total cost was only $35! 

And just for some more inspiration here is the spring version I made back in April! 


REVIEW: COVERGIRL Bombshell Mascara

If you still believe that you NEED to spend $20+ on a department store mascara for you to have amazing lashes, let me convince you otherwise.

I change my mascara weekly. This is not because I want to– I just haven’t found a formula that wows me. It seems as though every mascara that has a cult following just doesn’t impress me. I never understood the hype behind Dior Show and Givenchy’s little ball wand. I do however, really like Benefit’s They’re Real (I use this on almost all my clients because it literally will take even the smallest lashes and magnify them, like 400%!). That is the ONLY mascara that I will pay over $10 for because as a makeup artist it sames me time (I usually only need 2 coats and only have about 2 seconds to apply– so it works). But I don’t even use They’re Real on myself everyday because my lashes are already pretty dark and long. I just don’t have super thick lashes. That being said, I often end up trying drugstore mascaras whenever I see a new one out.

I just discovered COVERGIRL’s new Bombshell Mascara and I LOVE it. Seriously, we are in a full-on committed relationship right now and I am addicted. Here’s why:

As good as They’re Real is in the lengthening department, it can’t even hold a candle to Bombshell in all other respects.

  • COVERGIRL’s formula is SUPER buildable (meaning you can literally apply TEN COATS and it will NOT get clumpy)
  • The two sided wand helps you achieve perfect coverage
  • The shorter wand length allows you to get those TINY lashes in the corner of your eyes to really OPEN them up and make you look WIDE awake!
  • Add lots of volume and makes you look like you have tons of lashes.
  • Oh, and it lasts all day. No running.


The major selling point of this mascara for me personally is that you can build it. Maybe one day I just want a natural look and then the next I want to go all out with diva lashes. You can do both with this one mascara. This makes it great for traveling and saves room in your makeup bag. Also, the tube is purple. And I love purple.

Here are my lashes after applying Bombshell in this configuration: 3 coats of side one, 5 coats of side 2 on each lash.



As a makeup artist I highly recommend you check this mascara out! As your average makeup lover I really think that this is one of the best drugstore finds for 2013!!! It is super affordable and it WORKS! No false promises here– just the look of false lashes!

You can buy Bombshell Mascara at Walgreens here. Use the code NEWYOU14 for 14% off!

Disclaimer: This is my own opinion and I purchased this mascara with my own funds. I was not paid to review this product.

One more thing before I go…

Just because something is super expensive doesn’t necessarily means it is “the best.”

Just because something is super inexpensive doesn’t mean it wont work well.

Think about it!