Tag Archives: Urban Decay

Because of Instagram

beauty instagram

I think avoiding the internet would be a really effective way to save money. By far my biggest enabler is Instagram. I love the camaraderie of the beauty community and appreciate the lead on makeup worth trying…but the influence is real. I thought I’d round up a few “I did it because of Instagram” purchases and share my thoughts on if they were worth it or not.

popular instagram beauty products

instagram beauty buys

I usually pay attention to drugstore mascara but Maybelline Lash Sensational flew under my radar until I noticed that pretty silvery-pink tube in every beauty-grammer’s pics on the regular. I finally snagged it on a Target run and have been using it almost exclusively for a month. It has a fan wand that is the perfect size and it makes lashes look full and fluffy. Worth it: 100% yes! The only caution is that even the non-waterproof is hard to remove so go at it with something oil-based.

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bow and Arrow was my gateway into mattes. I had seen brown nude on everyone and was majorly curious. I was fearful it would look too dark on me but it’s actually the exact 90s look I was hoping to recreate. The formula was better than I imagined so this was one of those, “why did I wait so long to try,” Insta discoveries. 100% worth it.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar

Not only does Instagram love Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow but Charlotte herself told me in person that it was a must-have in every woman’s makeup bag. Silly me, why didn’t I listen to Charlotte? A full year later at Instagram’s reminder, I shelled out the (gasp) $70 for that old school glam compact. I love it, I really do, but there are similar products out there for much less. But the aesthetics here are stunning.

I use bronzer every single day so I like variety to spice things up. Kelsey raved about Urban Decay Beached Bronzer and we have similar skin tones so I decided to give the shade Sunkissed (the lighter of the two) a go. It’s a perfect match – no orange tones in sight – and I love the beachy look of the compact. I think pulling this out in the dead of winter will be a welcome sight.

h&m blush

H&M makes makeup now, ICYMI. I saw these chic looking compacts on Instagram and was surprised to see it was H&M. I was getting Tom Ford-ish vibes from the bronzers.  I picked up that and a few cheek colors and love the quality. Tawny Peach reminds me of the limited edition (aka…nowhere to be found) NARS Douceur, for a fraction of the price. Definitely worth checking out.

So, what has Instagram led you to try?

Remedy for the Post-Summer Blues

This week was beautiful on a surface level. Perfect weather, sunshine and hints of fall wherever I turned. I saw bouquets of mums on patios and got whiffs of cinnamon and apples at the grocery store (well done West Loop Whole Foods). Yet, I can’t shake this ever present anxiety. It’s like the Sunday scaries happened to me every night this week. Turns out, post-summer blues are real. I’m linking to something below on the subject and rounding up a few other things of note. Try and really own and enjoy the weekend, all.

Urban Decay Naked Ultimate Basics


Another (sorta-ish) summer weekend, another Fest. Riot Fest is on tap for me starting today. Here’s hoping it doesn’t rain…it always does and YES, it is in the forecast. Most excited for The Flaming Lips tonight.


I’ve been patiently awaiting the launch of Urban Decay’s Naked Ultimate Basics palette. You too, right? I have zero rationality when it comes to the Naked frenzy. Of course I need it! Every shade is actually different (all exclusive to this palette) and inspired by fan feedback. That bad boy drops online next Tuesday and in stores Thursday.


ICYMI: Ivanka Trump has been making the rounds talking about her father’s maternity leave and child care policies (<<<eye roll>>>). Cosmo asked her some very reasonable questions, including one on past Trump comments about pregnant women “being inconvenient for business,” and she freaked out and cut the interview short.  Definitely read if you haven’t yet.


I’m definitely feeling the post-summer blues. Summer is fleeting and I feel like it almost “happens” to me versus me being in the driver’s seat. Note to self: change that next year. For now, I’m clinging to every bit of advice on how to reset my year (September is the new January?) and get back in control.


Most fall TV premieres happen next week and I can’t wait to get my Thursday cry on with Grey’s Anatomy again. Happy I also saw this reminder of what’s streaming on Amazon this fall – one of the most underused benefits of Prime!

Magic’s in the Makeup

Urban Decay Gwen Stefani

What was your first concert?

I think I was 13 when I saw No Doubt. Thank g*d I started out a lifelong live music passion with something other than NKOTB. Years later, I would surrender any cool girl-ness by screaming like a lovesick nut at a NSYNC show, but at least I started out with Gwen. I had to listen to Tragic Kingdom in full recently – such a great album.

UD x Gwen Stefani

UD x Gwen

I can usually breeze by a celeb-fronted makeup collab. I cannot, however, gloss past a new Naked-esque Urban Decay eyeshadow palette. Is there a magnetic force around these palettes or something? Every single time. Plus, it’s Gwen. You may think punk past and bold fashion equals crazy colors but nah. The UD x Gwen Stefani palette might be the best non-Naked Naked eyeshadow palette ever.  I’m betting that Gwen loves those Naked palettes just as much as we do. I think she just one upped the whole lot!

Details are everything here. The case looks like a collection of tiny eye shadow-sized vinyls and scripted on the mirror is a No Doubt song title, “Magic’s in the Makeup.” Gwen carefully selected the shades and the names are inspired by her life and career. I love every shade, including the lavender pink – very wearable layered with the soft brown colors or buffed out with the cream shade. But my favorite everyday combo is the rose gold Baby and deep burgundy Punk.

And, just in time to mess with your plans to shop for everyone else but yourself for the holidays, behold: it’s back in stock. Welp.

Flushed for Summer

Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette

The Urban Decay Naked takeover continues. Is it really any surprise? The neutral franchise expands far beyond eyeshadow and now has enough extensions for your whole face and even body. I think they’re giving the people what they want. I took The Glossarie’s recommendation and tried the Naked Flushed Palette for a one-stop bronze, blush and highlight. These 3-in-1 palettes almost never work for me. Most of the time something is off. Either the bronzer leans orange, the highlighter too obvious, the formula cakey, etc. If even one of the three doesn’t work it defeats the purpose of the palette. Had Lara not recommended this, even I would have been surprised to be reaching for this non-stop. It’s just so effortless. I’ve been using ‘Streak’ (you’ve got to hand it to them on consistent branding…) which has a golden bronzer, champagne highlight and peachy coral blush that is so summery. I lean more on the prescriptive side of application but a blend of all three in one fell swoop translates really balanced and beautiful on all of those areas the sun hits your face. The all-in-one house option sure does make packing the weekend bag much easier.

A Madison State of Mind

madison style

Visiting Madison in the summer time is awesome. Bringing two friends who have never been to Madison (ever…not just summer) is even better. I was such a proud hostess this weekend and a bit of a dairy pusher. Cheese curds with every meal is OK…sure…yes. I’ve been a little tightly wound and as soon as I saw that Capitol dome I felt the tension loosen. Madison has that effect on me. The carefree (a.k.a. give absolutely zero f*ks) vibes people give off are like therapy. Plus, it was a really great excuse to wear my Birkenstocks all weekend—they never stopped happening there. I’m hoping to ride out this post-Madison state of mind for as long as I can starting with a fresh set of inspired pretty picks.

Milkhaus Weekender Bag – The creator of Milkhaus Design is based in Madison and says her original designs are inspired by the details she notices going about her day. I love her aesthetic and this tote. // Free People Mercury Sunglasses – I picked these up on an impulse last month in LA and am so glad I did. Paying a lot for sunglasses is something I’ll never do since I always break them. These were such a good deal but look much splurgier. // Life NK Daily Fix Body Lotion  – This was part of one of Space NK’s recent gift with purchases and I tossed it in my travel bag for the first time. It’s a total goodie — moisturizing and fragrance-free. // Urban Decay Easy Baked – I wear less makeup in Madison and wore this soft gold nonstop with just a little bit of liquid liner. Also, could there be a more Madison appropriate shadow name? I mean… // Catchkid – We stumbled onto this band playing at a street festival near the Square (the Capitol area) and ended up watching them for an hour. The lead singer reminded me of Chris Martin in every way and the guitarist had a real John Mayer thing going on. Consider me a major fan.  // TOMS Ankle Strap Sandal Lindsay wore these all weekend and I’m probably going to copy her. We seem to have a lot of similar items in our wardrobes and are in a constant state of “bitch stole my look.”

Eye Makeup Must-Haves


There’s a lot that changes in my makeup bag but my tried and true eye makeup staples rarely vary. I’m really particular with my eye primer and liquid liner especially. I test every shadow primer I can in the hopes of finding a good one, but I’ve yet to find one that performs as good as the original by Urban Decay. For some weird reason, I only like this in the mini tube, which honestly lasts for many months. I happily shared this and a few other tidbits on Meg Biram’s blog. I love her monthly beauty blogger q&a session! It’s fun to see what others are treasuring and it’s usually the case that I’m inspired to make a Sephora run.

Click on over here to read!

I Woke Up Like This


If I had a nickel for every time someone told me I looked tan this past month, I’d have enough to buy a latte. Which is a lot….my office isn’t that big. I always say, “oh, must be from Mexico,” but that was almost two months ago and I used so much SPF I think I got negative sun. I don’t seek out a tan, clearly, but I sure love bronzer. I’m all about the I Woke Up Like This Face, monochromatic edition. After my accidental experiment, I can guarantee these steps will have people spontaneously complimenting you on your tanned complexion. Our little secret, k?

Bronze, generously. I take it a step further than this model and bronze along my hair and jawline as well. The key is to avoid too much shimmer. Might look OK for a second but as the day goes on, it will be party at the disco. Enter the new NARS Matte Multiple in Altai. Using this product wet gives you complete control over the result. Keep the eyes minimal but defined. The light brown matte in ‘Limit’ from the Naked3 Palette in the crease with a smudge of a copper-colored liner – I love SmogIntensify the lash line. I’ve been using It Cosmetics Tightline Mascara Primer …aka WHERE has this product been all of my life…which you apply at the very base of your lashes. I’ve never mastered tightlining (the impossible technique of lining your waterline) so It Cosmetics is genius. Natural lip tint. A balm looks more natural than lipstick or gloss, so a few dabs of Kjaer Weis Lip Tint in Dream State finishes it off flawlessly.

Photo via

Neutral Eyes


Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, so it seems like the right time to tell you how much I absolutely frickin’ l-o-v-e the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette. I don’t like to pick favorites — much like a parent to their kids — but if I were to…this rosy combo would be it.



By my count, I now have 41 eye shadows from these Naked palettes and somehow this set of 12 is different than any other. And yes, I realize that I have enough eye shadow to get me through much of my adult life. Don’t worry. It’s cool. I’m majorly feeling the rose gold, bronze and matte mauve tones that are subtle and day appropriate. I love a smoky eye but my day is much more ‘Nooner’ with a side of ‘Burnout.’ As for my actual day? Only the latter.  But I digress. Even the darker shadows in here are less intimidating. The steely grey ‘Darkside’ was made to be smudged around the entire eye, close to lashes with a swipe of black liquid liner. A MUST try. The brush is an added bonus and the portable case makes it easy to tote along on travels.

How do you feel about all of these Naked shadows? Too many or never enough?

Urban Decay Naked 3 is Coming


Photo via

I didn’t need coffee to help wake me up this morning. No, I got my jolt while catching up on my blog reads as I was still lying in bed (I shamefully reach for that iPhone first thing!) My eyes literally bugged and my heart raced when I saw confirmation of an Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette.

Need a moment?  I sure did.

The rumor mill was swirling and then a French beauty blogger sent beauty junkies worldwide into a frenzy when she posted pictures of the Naked 3 that she was able to buy at Sephora, accidentally it seems. By the look at these photos, the next iteration of this cult classic is slightly rosy. The official release date is still TBD, but you can guarantee the buzz will only get louder. What do you think? Ready for more Naked?

More Urban Decay Neutral Eyeshadows to Love


My world has been all sorts of crazy lately. Work is really busy, in an exciting yet completely exhausting way, and it’s totally wiping me out. In these moments, my beauty routine goes on auto pilot. Which is totally OK by me because I’m pretty fixated on my Kjaer Weis mascara (99.8% organic and majorly impressive/effective!) and these two Urban Decay eyeshadows. Easy Baked is the lighter gold sister of the brassy Half Baked, which is in both Urban Decay Naked palettes. I didn’t realize that shade could be improved on, but Easy Baked is major. Bronzy lids are a favorite look of mine during the summer and it just doesn’t get any easier than using this eyeshadow. As for the smoky grey Desperation, a shade previously only available in the Urban Decay Vice Palette, it is proving to be a perfect alternative to black liner. It brings out the blue in my eyes.  I’ve been using it as a soft liner smudged along my lash line and to kick it up, I smoke it out onto the lids. When used with Easy Baked, there’s a cool mixed metal effect.  One thing is for sure, Urban Decay is at its best with these shadows. They quietly launched this summer but are now part of the permanent collection. Just when you think you have your neutral bases covered with the Naked palettes, right?

Urban Decay Naked2 Eyeshadow Palette


The Urban Decay Naked eyeshadow palettes are a beloved bunch. I get so much mileage from my Naked neutrals — they’re some of my favorite shadows ever. I’m partial to the color mix in Urban Decay Naked2 and wanted to break down the shades and combos I gravitate towards most. There are 12 shadows in total and probably an infinite number of ways to work them.

I use the first color, Foxy, a pale buttery cream, for an all-over color and for blending out a smokey finish. It neutralizes redness and makes for a great base. Sometimes I mix it with Bootycall to soften the shimmer, and together the two make a great highlight color.

Half-Baked, which is also in the first Naked palette, is a copper gold that lights up eyes when blended above the crease. I learned this trick a few years ago to use a softer gold color just under the brow bone to make my eyes look more alert and brightened. It totally works and the shade is soft enough to look natural.

The inclusion of the matte mauve-brown Tease is genius in a palette of warm and shimmery tones. I blend this in the crease, as I tend to avoid too shimmery of colors in that area, to balance out the warm hues.

If you weren’t convinced this is the most versatile neutral palette ever, Pistol and Verve show you it is. Pistol is one of my favorite grey colors and can be used all over the lid or in the crease. I like to cut it with a sweep of Verve, a nearly white silver, on the lid.

One of my other go-to lid shades is YDK. It’s a brown with a rosy gold undertone, which it makes for an interesting lid color. I like to pat it on damp with a flat brush. Blending it out loses the magic a bit, so I almost always pat on a few layers over a primer to give it more intensity.

Worth noting, the double-ended brush in this palette is quite handy. The flat edge works well for patting on colors, like YDK, and the fluffy blends flawlessly. So often the brushes in these sets are forgotten, so it’s nice when they actually work!

If you have this palette, how do you use it? Please share in the comments – I love trying new combinations!

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner Vault


 Photo credit: via Urban Decay on Facebook

Urban Decay released an OMG amount of its 24/7 Eyeliners this week with the launch of the Urban Decay Eyeliner Vault. We’re talking all the colors in the world…so much eyeliner in one place your eyes can’t focus. I think this is definitely something every girl dreams of, right? In just a day or so, Urban Decay sold out of this online (at $295 a set…though, valued at nearly $800!) There are 40 of Urban Decay’s 24/7 Eyeliners in total, including 13 new shades and 15 existing shades that were previously not available as singles. I am a huge fan of the 24/7 Eyeliner. Their staying power is strong and the color options are endless, which is why it’s totally acceptable to stockpile even 40 of them at once.


My personal stockpile of Urban Decay 24/7 neutrals

My favorite easy smoky eye (see here), on days when I don’t have time or energy to use eyeshadow, I take one of the many neutrals (Stray Dog, Uzi, and Underground are my favs) and apply on the upper and lower lash line. A thicker application and you can even smudge it a bit with a brush or your finger before it sets. Then I take a black liquid eyeliner and apply directly in the upper lashline. It makes the eyes look bigger and lashes longer and gives more definition. Tons of mascara on the bottom and top lashes to complete the look.

Now that there are so many new colors, I can’t wait to paint my eyes with a few of them! In particular, the shocking matte cobalt Chaos, Smoke (deepest grey matte) and Desperation (deep matte taupe). You can never have enough neutrals, right?