A Dupe for the Tarte Lipsurgence Natural Matte Tint

Revlon Kissable Matte Balm Stain

If you love matte lips as much as I do, then you have to check out the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms. At first glance, they immediately reminded me of the Tarte Lipsurgence Natural Matte Tints that I love so much. Have you ever tried them? They come in a sort of chunky crayon form, just like Revlon’s product, and offer a true matte finish that lasts for hours upon hours on the lips. For a while, I had them on a pedestal – there was nothing else like them on the market… Until Revlon made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Literally. Where Tarte’s version is a whopping $24.00 a pop, Revlon’s is only $9.49. How could I possibly resist?

photo 1-7

Don’t you just love it when the more affordable version is the better option? That’s just the case with the Revlon Colorburst Matte Balms. Unlike the Tarte Lipsurgence Natural Matte Lip tint, Revlon’s product doesn’t cling to dry patches on the lips upon application. It glides on smoothly without sacrificing the quality of it’s matte finish or it’s pigmentation. It lasts hours on the lips, just like Tarte’s product, but is still easy to remove at the end of the night. In the photo above, I’m sporting the color 220 Showy – definitely not for the faint of heart. It’s exactly as the name would suggest: showy. If you want something similar but more on the neutral side, give 205 Elusive a try!

Revlon Colorburst Swatch

Close Up of Revlon Colorburst

Shelley Sig Updated

One of These Days, Skip the Starbucks for One of These Bad Boys

photo 2-7

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The Wet N Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Palettes are my absolute favorite drugstore/high street pick as far as eye makeup is concerned.

What’s not to like about them? Their buttery soft texture? Their amazing pigmentation? The unbelievable variety of shades on offer? If none of those attributes merits a trip to Walgreens, well what about the price? They’re dirt cheap! Wet N Wild palettes range from $3.00 for a trio to $6.00 for a set of 8 shadows. That’s my guilty trip to McDonald’s for a 20 piece McNuggets meal. That’s my happy hour margarita at Celia’s (okay, so maybe after a particularly challenging day, I wouldn’t trade my margarita for eyeshadow).

Lately, I’ve been gravitating toward a trio called Silent Treatment.

photo 2-6

I love the cool tones in this palette. The brow bone color is a pale pink, the crease color a dark brown with flecks of pink and gold glitter, and the eyelid color a beautiful taupe. Both the brow bone and eyelid shade have shimmer running through them that give an almost wet-look on the eyes.

So, whether you’re just getting started building your makeup stash or you already have an established collection, I suggest you make room for the Wet N Wild eyeshadow palettes. They’re worth every penny… All $6.00 worth of them.

Shelley Sig Updated

Face Framing Highlights and Purple Shampoo for Color-Treated Blondes


I am notorious for experimenting with DIY hair color… And failing miserably at it. You don’t even want to know what happened the last time I attempted to go blonde on my own. So when, recently, I was feeling the itch for a hair makeover, I decided to leave it to a pro. I hopped on over to UK Hair Salon in Burlingame and let Olivia work her magic. The end result is what you see above.

Just a few face framing highlights. Eventually, I plan on adding a few more here and there for a soft ombre effect. The look is quite a bit more drastic than what I was originally hoping for… But I like it! It’s perfect for the summertime. The only thing about going blonde that tends to be a bit challenging for me (and for any other girl with naturally dark tresses) is brassiness. However, I do have a solution that works pretty well for me. Purple shampoo.

John Frieda Blonde

Any color-treated blonde is going to be very familiar with this trick. Purple shampoo is famous for being able to neutralize the brassiness in dark hair that’s been bleached blonde. I personally love John Frieda’s Color Renew Tone Correcting Shampoo. It works fabulously at keeping orange tones at bay while adding shine and softness to your hair. The best part? It’s pretty affordable! At Ulta, it’s on offer for $5.99.

John Frieda Blonde Swatch

If you’re new to the world of color-treated blonde, I have a few tips for you on maintaining the health of your mane. The key point to remember is that by bleaching your hair, you’ve made it more vulnerable to external factors… So it’s going to need a little more TLC.

  1. Avoid washing your hair everyday. This will help your hair whether or not it has been dyed, but it’s particularly helpful to color-treated hair. Especially bleached hair. Constant shampooing strips your hair of it’s natural moisture. Try washing every other day. Eventually, you’ll be able to go longer without a wash. I know it sounds gross, but your hair will thank you!
  2. Aside from being damaging, heat can alter the quality of your color. If you style your hair with hot tools, invest in a good heat protectant.
  3. Bleached hair has a tendency to dry up and become quite straw-like in texture. To avoid this, deep condition your hair once a week and have a hair oil on hand to touch up on moisture. For a deep conditioner, I recommend coconut oil! It’s cheap and readily available at your local grocery store (plus it makes great fudge).
  4. Before jumping into that chlorinated pool water or saltwater, rinse your hair in the shower or sink. Your hair can only absorb so much water so, by soaking it beforehand, you give it a bit of added protection.
  5. And of course… Use a purple shampoo up to three times a week to keep brassiness at bay!

Shelley Sig Updated

How Do You Like to Have Your Makeup Done? #ThrowbackThursday #FlashbackFriday

Monica Go To Makeup

This morning, as I tried snapping a few photos of my breakfast for the Instagram, a notification popped up on my phone telling me that my storage was full and, therefore, no more pictures or videos could be taken. I hate when that happens because that means I have to go through all my captured memories and decide which ones I’m alright with deleting. #FirstWorldStruggles, I know.

While browsing, however, I discovered the photo above, which was taken when I was practicing doing makeup on my sister one night. It made me laugh because every time I do my sister’s makeup for any event, she asks for this exact type of look. It’s always a Free People model inspired, soft and carefree look. It suits her well! It’s like her sense of style and personality in makeup form. It made me realize that I do the exact same thing when I’m the one in the makeup artist’s chair – I ask for the same old hollywood style makeup every time.

How do you like having your makeup done? Do you like a more natural look, like my sister? A more classically glamorous look like the ones that I, personally, adore? Perhaps something edgier or more experimental?

It’s amazing how much makeup can be an expression of your personality.

Shelley Sig Updated

My Favorite Cheek Products for a Glowing Summer Look

Glowing Cheeks

Who doesn’t love the look of glowing skin? I know I’m a fan. It’s during the summertime, in particular, that my makeup has a tendency to be a little heavy on the bronzer and highlighter… I just can’t help myself. After all, if there’s ever a time of the year that you can get away with being too luminous, it’s in the summer. Right? Right.

That having been said, there are a few products that I find I’ve been using so much, recently, that they’ve become key pieces in my everyday makeup routine for this season.

Cheek Products

These are the Sonia Kashuk Chic Luminosity Bronzer/Blush Duo in Glimmer ($12.99 at Target.com), The Balm Mary Loumanizer ($24.00 at Nordstrom.com), and NYX Blush in Taupe ($5.00 on Drugstore.com).

Both The Balm Mary Loumanizer and NYX Blush are two products that need no introduction. They are cult favorites in the beauty community and are famous as a brilliant, white-gold highlighter and matte contour powder, respectively. The Sonia Kashuk Bronzer/Blush Duo, on the other hand, is a product that I personally think is completely underrated. There are a few reviews circulating through blogosphere, but not enough to do this beautiful cheek product justice.

The bronzer has a gorgeous, metallic finish that gives the skin a remarkably bright and healthy glow. It’s unlike any other bronzer I’ve ever encountered! The blush is a coral shade that pairs beautifully with a slight tan. Worn separately or blended together, this duo creates a look that screams summer. Just be careful when applying… A little goes a very long way.

Shelley Sig Updated

Why You Should Never Leave Home Without Your Sunglasses


Did you wear sunscreen today? Yes? Well, what about your sunglasses? Did you bring them with you? I hope you did! Aside from aiding in more comfortable vision under the bright, squint-inducing sunlight, sunglasses can protect your eyes from UV rays that can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

My two favorites are the pair of Tiffany’s ($182.00 at Amazon.com) to the left and Anthropologie (Similar for here and here on Anthropologie.com) to the right. I like to have one really solid pair for every day use and one more affordable pair to take to the beach or some place where I know I risk losing them. Be careful with cheap sunglasses, though! That cute, five dollar pair you found at Forever 21 may do your eyes more harm than good.

Dim lenses cause our pupils dilate, which means that a pair of sunglasses that is not designed to block very much UV light will actually allow more damaging rays to enter your eye area.

Shelley Sig Updated



The Lazy Girl’s Skin-Care Routine

Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil

This might sound just a little bit sad, but getting ready in the morning is probably my favorite part of the day. Can anyone relate to that? I love starting my day with a hot shower and all my little shower things, bundling up in my bathrobe, and deciding how I’m going to do my makeup for the day. My boyfriend, Brett, thinks its sheer and utter lunacy, but it really is the most relaxing part of my day that I have to myself. Sound sad?

What you might find a little bit sadder is that I hate getting ready for bed. At the end of a long day, all I want to do is plop into bed and sleep. If I could have it my way, I’d forgo taking off my makeup and washing my face every night… But I can’t. So what can a lazy girl do to make the process of getting ready for bed a little bit quicker?

My solution is by using a cleansing oil. In the past, I’ve tried the Josie Maran Cleansing Oil, which is amazing for my skin but a nightmare for my wallet (it’s $32.00 for a 6oz bottle at Sephora). Recently, I took a trip to my local Walgreens and noticed that Garnier had released their own version for only $7.99 (and if you go to Walmart, it’s only $5.97), so I decided to give it a try.

I have to say, I think I like it better than it’s high end alternative! Although the Garnier Nourishing Cleansing Oil is more lightweight than the Josie Maran Cleansing Oil, it dissolves makeup like no other. This stuff melts away my smokey, waterproof product-laden eye makeup so well that when I go in with my toner after cleansing, I find only faint traces of residue on my cotton pad.

If you’re a lazy girl like me, this item will be your skin-care routine savior!

Shelley Sig Updated

A Lip Liner That’s So Incredibly Ingenious

NoBleedingLips Demo

I’ve made it no secret that I love my lip products. Lipstick is definitely my favorite type of beauty product and I don’t discriminate against any variety of color! In a recent post, I mentioned that a good lip liner is key to long lasting color. However, I also mentioned that purchasing lip liner can be somewhat of a hassle, one of the biggest reasons being that if you like to wear a diverse variety of lip colors, finding coordinating lip liner shades is just a pain in the butt!

On a recent trip to Sephora, I found the solution to this problem. Behold, the No Bleeding Lips ($15.00, Sephora.com) clear lip liner.

No Bleeding Lips Lip Liner

Yes, folks, it is a clear lip liner. I’d swatch it for you, but that would literally be completely useless. Instead, let me describe the product’s texture. Do you remember those Elmer’s Glue Sticks you used to use for school projects? That’s pretty much exactly what this feels like, but in lip liner form. I know that probably doesn’t sound particularly appealing but, I promise you, it makes a huge difference in the lasting power of your lip color. And just as the name suggests, whatever lip liner you use over the top will not bleed!

The only con is it’s price. For $15.00, I could technically buy five of the Jordana lip liners I love so much. However, I have to say that the thick, sticky texture of the No Bleeding Lips lip liner makes it so that a very small amount goes a very long way.

So go ahead and have that slice of pizza, girl. The grease won’t stand a chance against your bold lip, today.

Shelley Sig Updated

Inside My Sister’s Toiletry Cabinet: Skin Care for Acne Prone Skin

Monica's Skin Care Favorites

If you’re wondering what that black, cylindrical object is, it’s my sister’s college diploma. Congratulations to the class of 2014!

Fun fact: My sister, Monica, and I shared a room all our lives, just up until she moved out and got her own place last year. If you take our ages into consideration, that means we spent about 20 solid years living all up in each other’s business. So you can’t blame us for having withdrawals, sometimes! This weekend, I felt the need for some quality time with sissy, so I decided to spend the night at her apartment.

While getting ready for bed last night, I took myself on a tour of her toiletry cabinet. Monica has sensitive, acne prone skin, so her stash is full of skin care goodies that are specifically geared toward treating and preventing acne and, let me tell you, she uses some seriously good stuff.

Monica's Skin Care Favorites Up Close

It can be a real challenge finding brands that work effectively for your specific skin chemistry. In Monica’s case, she’s found that the brands Mario Badescu and Murad work best for her.

Murad products treat acne with 0.5% Salicylic Acid. This particular line also has anti-aging properties, which Monica has just started getting into. Experts say that using anti-aging products starting in your 20′s is the most effective way to prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. My personal favorite from the range is the eye cream. The brand is a bit pricey, so I recommend purchasing the starter kits they have available on their website, which include miniature versions of popular products, if you want to dabble in the range without breaking the bank.

Time Release Acne Cleanser
($30.00 for 6.75 fl.oz. on Murad.com)

Acne and Wrinkle Reducer
($58.00 for 2.00 fl.oz. on Murad.com)

Anti-Aging Moisturizer
($47.00 for 1.70 fl.oz. on Murad.com)

Renewing Eye Cream
($75.00 for 0.50 fl.oz. on Murad.com)

Monica's Skin Care Favorites Closer

This brand is a personal favorite of mine, as well. The products are medicated but are also infused with natural ingredients like rosewater, almonds, and honey. If you try one thing from the range, make sure it’s their Drying Lotion, which combines Salicylic Acid and Calamine lotion among other acne fighting ingredients to really take the life out of even the worst breakouts!

Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater
($7.00 for 4.00 fl.oz. on MarioBadescu.com)

Drying Lotion
($17.00 for 1.00 fl.oz. on MarioBadescu.com)

Almond and Honey Non-Abrasive Face Scrub
($15.00 for 118ml on MarioBadescu.com)

Shelley Sig Updated

My Mane’s Main Man is the L’Oreal OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil Essence

Loreal Oleo Therapy

I have taken on the challenge of growing my hair long and, let me tell you, it isn’t easy. I’ll have you know that I actually started out with a long, healthy mane. Several hair experiments later (I’m talking at-home perms, bleaching, dyeing, cutting, the whole enchilada), growing my hair has turned into growing split ends and split ends are not cute.

I’ve never really been the girl to spend money on hair care products. I’d rather spend my time in the morning indulging in a good skin care routine and doing my makeup than taking care of my hair. So when I did embark on my journey to long, nourished locks, my first task was to find an everyday serum or oil that I could slap on and be done for the day. Currently, there are several products I’m really enjoying, but my absolute favorite has to be the L’Oreal OleoTherapy Perfecting Oil Essence ($12.99, Drugstore.com). It’s absolute perfection!

The product is basically a light-weight oil, rich in six different floral oils that give your hair amazing shine without weighing it down or looking greasy. Several blogs call this a dupe for the Kerastase Elixer Ultime. I just call it awesome.

Shelley Sig Updated