Behind the Scenes: Meet My Gear

Behind the Scenes: Meet My Gear

Tutorials and Tips, Videos
I've gotten quite a few questions about the gear I use to film and edit videos, so today I'm taking you backstage. In this video, I show you the gear I use most to produce high-quality videos and blog photos.  Disclaimers: I'm not posting this to brag or show off what I have. I've collected these items over the past few years and poured hours of research into each purchase. These are the items that work for me. I can't guarantee that these will all work for you. Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means that if you purchase something using my link, I get a small kickback at no cost to you.Please only buy gear that you think you'll use. If you're just starting out, I…
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4 Steps to Instantly Elevate Your Blog Photos

4 Steps to Instantly Elevate Your Blog Photos

Tutorials and Tips
One of the key things that sets new bloggers apart from the hundreds of similar sites out in the blogosphere is clean, high-quality photos. Yet, a top piece of advice that’s often given to new bloggers is: “Don’t invest in expensive equipment until you’re in the swing of things.” Conflicting advice like this is always frustrating, especially when you’re starting out and every decision feels like a make-or-break moment for the future of your blog. Here’s the thing. You do need high-quality photos when your blog requires visuals. And it is smart to be savvy with your money until you know that a) your blog proves its worth with decent traffic and maybe a little income, and b) you actually enjoy blogging and have enough to say about the subject…
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My Updated Skincare Routine (With Actives)

My Updated Skincare Routine (With Actives)

Product reviews, Skin, Tutorials and Tips, Videos
OK, no more safety talk. I hope that if you choose to experiment in skincare, you’ll do your own research and find what seems realistic for your skin and lifestyle. I’ve found that there’s a lot of experimentation involved, sometimes at the expense of your wallet. Here’s an overview of my routine now. https://youtu.be/J2h36yQgKLQ Monday/Wednesday/Friday Morning: Rinse with water and pat dry Vitamin C serum (Optional) Hydrating serum Moisturizer SPF Night: Oil cleanser and/or makeup wipe Mild face cleanser Retinol - wait 30-40 minutes Hydrating serum Moisturizer Eye cream (Optional) Spot treatment Tuesday/Thursday Morning: Rinse with water and pat dry BHA - at least wait for it to dry, but aim for a 15-25 minute wait Hydrating serum Moisturizer SPF Night: Oil cleanser and/or makeup wipe Mild face cleanser AHA…
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How to Use Skincare Actives

How to Use Skincare Actives

Tutorials and Tips
Howdy! In my last post, we talked about the importance of SPF and moisturizing, different types of skincare actives, and why the pH of your skincare products is important. Before we jump into part 2, I want to remind you that I’m not a dermatologist or esthetician, and you should talk to your doctor or a skincare expert if you have specific questions about your skin. Adding actives to my skincare routine was time-consuming and full of learning experiences, but my new routine has made my skin extremely stable. I get fewer breakouts, my skin feels more comfortable and moisturized, and I’m much more comfortable wearing light or no foundation. My skin glows. My skin just after applying retinol I can’t promise that your skin will be perfect if you…
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Skincare Actives 101

Skincare Actives 101

Skin, Tutorials and Tips
This post has been in the works for a long time. I posted a few months ago about my new skincare addiction, and I’ve since been putting together a routine that seems to have done a lot of good for my skin. But before I show you my routine, I want to talk about safety. Chemical exfoliation is no joke. In this post, you’ll learn: The importance of SPF and moisturizing What actives are Some types of actives available, including chemical exfoliation Why pH matters to your skin In my next post, I’ll talk about how to incorporate actives into your routine safely and walk you through the steps I took to start using them. And of course, I’ll cover my actual routine then, too. SPF: Your New BFF If…
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Testing Beauty Hacks: Deep Cleaning Pores

Testing Beauty Hacks: Deep Cleaning Pores

Tutorials and Tips
Hi! I had a great vacation last weekend and have recovered from LASIK really well. The only downside is that I haven't been able to use skincare in about two weeks. Because I knew I wouldn't be able to use any skincare for a few days to a week after LASIK, I weaned off about two weeks ago. My skincare makes my skin sensitive to light, and I didn't want to get sunburned on vacation without my SPF, so it was best to put it all on hold. Now that I've gotten the green light on skincare from my eye doctor, I wanted to start by getting all the gunk out of my pores. I use chemical exfoliation a couple times per week, so before jumping right back into my old routine,…
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Testing Beauty Hacks: Re-Pressing Broken Powders

Testing Beauty Hacks: Re-Pressing Broken Powders

Tutorials and Tips, Videos
I had a lot of fun testing whether or not you can remove the sticky residue from NARS packaging, so tonight I wanted to try another makeup hack: repressing broken powders. Word on the street is that you just have to empty out the pan, crush the powder, mix it with rubbing alcohol to a clay-like consistency, and repress it with a paper towel. Once it dries (usually after a couple days) you can reuse it, good as new. Now, I know that this hack works because I've seen lots of YouTube videos having to do with repotting makeup. The question I'm trying to answer is how viable this solution is. Does it make a decent final product? Do you compromise pigmentation, texture, blendability? I've seen this done successfully, and I've…
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My New Skincare Addiction

Musings, Skin, Tutorials and Tips
I have a confession to make. I fell into an internet rabbit hole. I enjoy finding random blogs and scrolling through Tumblr and Reddit. Somehow, I found the subreddit Skincare Addiction, and let me tell you, it is certainly an addiction. It started innocently: I started reading the information in the sidebar. A month ago, I considered myself to be mildly interested and educated in the world of skincare. Ha. The more I read, the more I realized I knew nothing. Skincare is truly a science, and companies hide it behind words like "brightening," "deep-cleansing," and "renewing." It turns out these words often mean much more than they seem. Chemical exfoliation is a huge topic in the subreddit, and I'd somehow never looked into it despite having used Stridex and…
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Testing Beauty Hacks: Removing NARS Sticky Coating

Testing Beauty Hacks: Removing NARS Sticky Coating

Tutorials and Tips
I was reorganizing my makeup the other day and noticed that some of my NARS compacts had gotten sticky. Like, covered-in-glue sticky. That's what I get for storing them on top of my makeup storage instead of in it. A quick search online told me that this happens with compacts that have a matte coating. While the smooth, rubberized finish looks and feels great when you buy it, it gets dirty fast and over time the coating begins to break down. Leaving you with a sticky mess. Through this research, I found a hack: Wipe the compact down with rubbing alcohol. It removes the worn coating, which leaves your compact shiny, but removes the sticky problem. The blog posts discussing this hack showed some convincing before-and-after photos, but these were all…
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Easy Flirty Eye Look for Valentine's Day

Seasonal, Tutorials and Tips, Videos, Winter
Hi! I got a request to do a Valentine's Day look, so I grabbed my reds and pinks and came up with this super easy eye look that looks like it took twice as long to put on as it did. Plus, it uses a few different tones of pink and red, so you can take your pick of just about any pink or red lipstick you have on hand, or go for a classic mauve or nude. I know pink eyeshadows can be scary, because you don't want to look like you have pink eye! But done right, pinks look so soft and fun without straying too far from neutrals. Check out this look, and see how it pairs with different lip colors: https://youtu.be/2Q5GLDpOPQ0 For this look, I used…
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2MT: Fall Colors

2MT: Fall Colors

Fall, Seasonal, Tutorials and Tips, Videos
It's been a long time since I've done a two-minute transformation, so I thought it would be fun to do another one with fall colors. By coincidence, I ended up using all matte eyeshadows. Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zKJhPuHlJd0 The music in this video is by an awesome independent artist named Jasper Sawyer. Check out his YouTube page for all his music! I've linked to his channel in the video description. As for the products, well, I used quite a few: Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector Estee Lauder Doublewear Foundation in Ivory Nude NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Light 2 Vanilla beautyblender Anastasia Brow Pomade in Soft Brown Hourglass Ambient Lightning Powder in Dim Light Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer Milani Coming Up Roses Blush in Awakening Rose Becca Highlighter in…
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Cheap + Easy Glitter Lips for Halloween

Cheap + Easy Glitter Lips for Halloween

Fall, Lips, Product reviews, Seasonal, Tutorials and Tips, Videos
Wow, Colleen's doing a Halloween post? Well, kinda... I've never really gotten into Halloween, except for the candy when I was a kid. Now, I supposed I'd be excited for a costume party just for the fun makeup. So today's post and video are about getting awesome glittery lips without the mess and expense of glitter glue and loose glitter. Does it look exactly the same as if you went through all that trouble? Not completely. But does it still look cool? Yep. I got these glitter singles from Wet 'n Wild a while ago and used them on my eyes a couple times (including in my first 2-minute transformation video). But being the lipstick-lover I am, I naturally began to wonder how these would work on the lips. The…
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