Current Skincare and Makeup Loves

Makeup Peek
A peek into my current skincare and makeup routine.

Last year I resolved to use up all of the skincare and makeup I had been hoarding during the last few years. Some of it went in the garbage but most of it was used up to the point where my stash got pretty lean, something the old Carla would have hated. The current Carla is pretty happy with the size of her stash, there is plenty of room for new green additions.

I worked my way through quite a few cleansers, exfoliators and moisturizers. Along the way, I developed an interest in oil cleansing. I was reading everything I could on essential oils and carrier oils until I finally started using my own blends to remove my makeup and moisturize my skin. There was a period of adjustment but I found that I really preferred oil cleansing to how I use to cleanse my skin, it was relaxing and left my skin feeling better than ever. I was hooked but more on that later…

As for makeup, there are two things I have not purchased recently: foundation and concealer. I know a lot of you can relate to this, I had so many bottles of foundation and tubes of concealer that I forbid myself from buying any more. For the most part, I stayed the course. Small samples don’t count, right? I still have some foundation to work through but I’m almost at a point where I’m ready to scoop up some products I’ve been dying to try. I’m looking at you, Gressa and Kjaer Weis!

Do you know that feeling when you’ve gone for a long walk and you realize the end is in sight? That’s how I feel about this foundation/concealer “no buy” of mine, I’m glad it’s nearly over!

Continue reading Current Skincare and Makeup Loves

Make Up For Ever Make Up Bag Remix Tour


Make Up For Ever is doing something no other make up brand has done before: they are inviting folks to bring them their make up bags and they will teach them how to use what they already own… regardless of the brand! What brand do you know doing that?

Their goal is to teach you how to actually do your own make up instead of having someone else just apply it on you. They have partnered with Christina Ricci to create a special make up bag for this tour, which will be availablefor purchase at all stops.

This Mobile Make Up School is coming to a city near you:

  • San Francisco, CA: February 9th – 10th
  • Las Vegas, NV: February 16th – 17th
  • Dallas, TX: February 23rd – 24th
  • Miami, FL: March 2nd – 3rd
  • New York, NY: March 9th – 10th
  • Boston, MA: March 23rd – 24th
  • Chicago, IL: April 6th – 7th
  • Toronto, ON: April 13th – 14th


You can book an appointment for a 30 minute one-on-one session where a professional artist will go through your bag, provide an interactive, hands-on lesson explaining how to apply your products, and show you how to supplement what you already own to create your most flattering look. You’ll walk away with a new make up bag, a custom face chart and a list of any additional products recommended by the artist. Sessions are available from 12:00pm – 8:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am – 7:00pm on Sunday.

Bonus: a professional photographer will also be on-site to capture each client’s “after” look, which will be uploaded to an album on the MAKE UP FOR EVER USA Facebook page. Nice way to spruce up that profile picture, don’t you think?

Holiday Hot List: Make Up For Ever Be Your Own Make Up Artist

Make Up For Ever Be Your Own Makeup Artist

If money was no object this holiday season, this Make Up For Ever Be Your Own Make Up Artist set would be the first thing on my shopping list. Too bad I didn’t win the big Powerball drawing last night! For $950, the set includes a limited edition train case filled with 38 of Dany Sanz’s favorite products, she filled it with all of the essentials she uses in her own kit.

This set is like having a little piece of New York Fashion Week backstage or a film set right in your own home. The train case has five compartments chocked full of products, two outlets for hair tools, retractable legs to transform the case to a vanity, and my favorite… six 40-watt bulbs so you can get ready for your close up with proper lighting.

So what products does it come with? Keep reading for a closer look… Continue reading Holiday Hot List: Make Up For Ever Be Your Own Make Up Artist

The Seven Beauty Products of Summer

As I flipped my Boston Terrier 2012 calendar to August last week, I realized that summer is kind of winding down. Can you believe it? I may have shed a tear at the thought of summer Fridays coming to an end. But then I smiled at the idea of cooler temps. And then I read that this July was the hottest Chicago’s had in 57 years and I realized that the temps likely aren’t going down anytime soon. Now? I’m in “embrace it” mode. Time to live in the moment and appreciate all of the things there is to love about summer. For us, it’s paying special homage to seven products that are so unbelievably summer.

Hawaiian Tropic SPF 30 Lotion Sunscreen is such a nostalgia product, but the “sun safe” version. It’s got a protective SPF 30 (option to go up to 50 or down to 12 in this variety) and perfectly captures the essence of the tropics. Bonus points for the moisturizing formula, which keeps your skin looking and feeling smooth while beach/pool-side.

Wouldn’t be summer without self-tanner. The surprise hit for me this summer is Tarte Maracuja Self-Tanner. The applicator mitt is both handy and stylish, and the formula is top notch. About as scent-free as you can get and impossible to mess up. I couldn’t get a streak from this if I applied this half-asleep. For a really impressive (and believable) bronzy hue, I apply this as the follow-up to my beloved Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Glow Body Pad. Doubling up is the way to go, people!

Stains are a must in the melting months, lest your blush just fall off of your face in three hours. Stila Passion Fruit Lip & Cheek Stain, launched with the brand’s summer 2012 collection, is the perfect summer color. It’s a pinky coral that leans more orange, less red. With just a few clicks to lips and cheeks, it brightens up the entire face. Bonus points for the fact that the formula includes actual passion fruit extract!

Bath time and hot summers don’t quite click, but a girl still needs to relax in the bath.  My sanity needs tubby time (+ wine).  I swap my candlelight in for something fresh and summery and lower the water temperature by several degrees. The absolute perfect summer candles are from Slatkin & Co., available at Bath & Body Works for major sale right now. I’ve peppered the refreshing orange blossom and jasmine Beach Cabana scent throughout my home.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow is the best thing to happen to my eye makeup this summer. There’s 12 colors — a mix of matte, shimmer, light and dark — and each one is completely waterproof. They just do not budge. If it’s in the Aqua line, you know it’s going to last. I’m obsessed with shade 20E, a pearly taupe, that looks especially phenom on the lower lash line.

Proof that beauty bloggers know everything. Our pal Beauty Bets raved about Coola Mineral Face Tinted Rose Essence SPF 20 and I picked up a tube right away. And all I can say is WOW. The rose essence is such a nice addition and the formula makes my skin look great. On those 95 degree days, this is really all you need on your face.

I stockpile bars of LUSH Buffy come summertime. It is by far my favorite product to use in the shower in the warmer months. It is part moisturizer, part exfoliator and smells like a fresh vat of shea butter. Skin is left polished from the ground rice, almond and beans. The exfoliants are so fine, that it reminds me of sand. This product just oozes summer.

Your turn! What beauty products define the summer season for you?

The Make Up For Ever Summer Outlook is Bright

Meet the new Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams in #23, #24, #25 and #26, a.k.a. bright, brighter, brightish and brightest. And we’re guessing for some, scary and scaryish. We thought so too, at first. But let’s back up for a minute and talk about the Aqua Cream. So much more than a cream shadow, these are probably the most budgeproof — definitely waterproof — eye makeup product out there. The kind of makeup you want when you need your look to last all day. Likewise, a wise choice during a heat wave. The first rule in wearing bright, borderline neon, eye makeup is to make sure it is not going to slip off of your face and leave you looking like a clown. The second rule? Being open to wearing bright, borderline neon makeup.

Continue reading The Make Up For Ever Summer Outlook is Bright

What's in Her Makeup Bag with MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Jodi Risley

Meet Jodi, an Education and Artistry Executive for MAKE UP FOR EVER. She’s got more than   a decade in the makeup artist biz, and is pro at applying make up for on-air and for the every day woman. In fact, before she joined MUFE, she used to work for ABC News in Chicago as the show’s assistant makeup artist. Her philosophy is that make up is a necessary accessory that can help create a different mood or style. Amen, right?

I had a chance to sit down with Jodi last month and she worked her magic on me at a café! The most glamorous coffee date I’ve had in months. And informative, too. We had an extensive discussion on color matching and the brand’s HD foundation. Her advice come summer when your skin tone may darken? Add a drop of the HD Microperfecting Primer in Caramel to your HD Foundation to tint it a bit (and make it super smooth and long lasting!) 

Jodi graciously let us peek into her makeup bag. Read on to find out her must have beauty essentials!


  Continue reading What's in Her Makeup Bag with MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Jodi Risley

Coming Soon! Make Up For Ever Eye Prime

Calling all Make Up For Ever fans, primer aficiandos and women who suffer from eye makeup fading and creasing: Make Up For Ever Eye Prime is coming your way this June! You might be thinking, as I was at first glance, doesn’t Make Up For Ever already have an eye primer? No, wait, it’ s that you hardly need one when you use their eye makeup because it’s budgeproof already. True, you hardly need a primer with the Aqua Creams and the Aqua Eyes liners because they are top notch in  the “stay all day” category. But, any makeup artist will tell you that a primer is a crucial step in makeup prep. Heck, we will tell you that as well.

MUFE Eye Prime is formulated with a mix of waxes and polymers and, in addition to making shadows budgeproof, also helps intensify their colors. The primer itself is a nude pink color that blends in clear and with a special brightening effect. The doe foot wand packaging is useful and reminiscent of another eye primer we like very much, NARS Smudgeproof. At $22, Make Up For Ever Eye Prime is a few bucks cheaper than the NARS. While still a pretty penny to shell out, we consider eye primer to be like the preventative medicine of makeup. If you’re diligent, there are less problems (smudging) down the road (at the end of the day).

Also, you may notice another new (but available now at Sephora!) product in our photo: Make Up For Ever Aqua Shadow! More thoughts to come on those. But early testing is indicating another home run for MUFE and its family of Aqua products.


Is it a Balm or a Lipstick? Or Both? MAKE UP FOR EVER Rouge Artist Natural

I think the phrase “go big or go home” applies to Make Up For Ever. When they create something new, they really do it. The brand spanking new MUFE Rouge Artist Natural lipsticks, for example, in 50 shades. That’s right. FIFTY. Sephora currently carries 18 of them. You may recall the Rouge Artist Intense Lipsticks, full of intense color and pigment. Well, the Rouge Artist Natural is a more subdued version. Almost like a balm. The texture is lightweight and shiny. I usually think color intensity when I think Make Up For Ever, so this is a really nice surprise.

What else do these balmy lipsticks boast? Cuapacu Butter, which is rich in essential fatty acids, and Candelilla and Beeswax. Three finishes in total: satin, iridescent and diamond with colors ranging from the palest nude to the deepest berry. I tested the lightest and the darkest, plus a few in-between. And I’ve got to be real… I totally love them. They are the perfect marriage of balm and lipstick.

#50, #9, #1, #31, #34

#N50, Aubergine: The deepest shade in the line. In the tube it looks like a chocolate berry but it doesn’t translate that dark on the lips.

#N9, Copper Pink: Because of the brown hues, this one looks a tad 90s in the tube but reads current on the lips. It’s a total “my lips but better” shade.

#N1, Iridescent Nude: The lightest shade in the spectrum, this goes on very sheer. It’s got a healthy dose of shine, too!

#N31, Soft Fuchsia: Bright but not scary. If you want to wear the bright lips but fear them (it’s OK if you do!), this is what you should be trying.

#N34, Candy Pink: I think this is my favorite. It’s brightening but subtle. I can’t get enough of the texture.

Available now. $19 apiece.

Beauty VIP of the Week: Make Up For Ever 5N Eye Shadow Brush

The right tools make all the difference, and Make Up For Ever’s Eye Shadow Brush “5N” is proof of that. After some less than stellar finger applications with cream shadows, I randomly picked up this brush from my bin because I liked the shape. The nylon bristles and slightly tapered tip make this brush ideal for blending in small areas. It is absolutely the BEST brush ever for applying cream eye shadows. It’s firm but flexible, and the bristles are the right density so you don’t lay down too much color in one place. And because it’s flexible, you can use this to blend out color in the crease.

I used this with a few different eye shadows and fomulations this week, and said to myself every day, why did I now just start using this brush? Now that I’ve discovered it, it’s my go-to. It’s great with the Make Up For Ever Aqua Creams, naturally, and I find that it worked really well with the new MAC In Extra Dimension eyeshadows which have a unique creamy powder formula (more on that later!)

You can snag the 5N here for $22.

Hunger Games COUNTDOWN + Make Up For Ever HG Appearance

The anticipation of the Hunger Games movie is almost too much to take. It’s finally here. Almost, anyway. We cannot wait to see this movie. Tickets have already been purchased and plans have been made. I first read the series about a year and a half ago, and feel so attached to the characters. Can’t wait to see the Rue scene…hoping to keep it together!

The head of makeup for the film, Ve Neill, used quite a bit of MAKE UP FOR EVER on set.  Here’s what we know:

  • Cinna’s gold eyeliner is courtesy of MUFE Metal Powder #1
  • Katinss wore a mix of MUFE HD Foundation throughout the flick. Ve mixed different shades to give her skin different color effects throughout the movie.
  • MUFE HD Blush #9 was used to highlight Katniss’ cheeks

In other exciting news, have you heard Taylor Swift’s song for the movie yet? Check it out here if you haven’t…curious which scene it will be played! And while you’re at it, read this article with Jennifer Lawrence on her favorite scenes.