Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 464

Published in: Just For Fun

So…what is the Monday Poll?

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past 10 (!) years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine. 😊

1. So, your makeup routine — what’s the easiest part?

Of my regular routine? My brows, for sure.

But they used to give me so much grief. Now, though? Ever since I grew them out? All I do is I fill them in with a brow pencil, which is usually the amaze-balls MAC Brow Sculpt. Then I comb through them with spoolie on the back end, and end with a little bit of Benefit Ready, Set, Brow Gel.

That’s it, and it all takes less than a minute.

Granted, I’m not obsessed anymore about getting my brows to look perfectly symmetrical. I used to be a few years ago, but I don’t mind now when they look a little messy and more more naturally bushy and unkempt.

2. And what’s the hardest part?

Skin. My foundation, concealer and powder. It’s because I’m admittedly obsessed with getting my skin to look as natural as possible, and the microsecond that I start to feel like my coverage looks heavy, I just can’t take it. I’ll remove everything and start all over again.

As I’ve gotten older, my tolerance for full-coverage foundation has decreased, even though I still think it looks amazing in pics. I still wear full-coverage sometimes, but now I generally spend a lot of time blending and layering to end up with something that looks like I’m not wearing anything at all… It’s sort of a catch 22. I spend a lot of time figuring out what formulas are going to work for mu skin on any given day.

So, yeah. Skin. By far, it’s the most complex and time consuming part of my rigmarole.

3. How well do you think you’d handle super stardom/being a famous celebrity?

If we’re talking about Katy Perry-level famous, I don’t think I’d handle it well. I can’t imagine not being able to leave my house without dodging photographers in my front yard.

On the other hand, if I were indie film star famous, where I could still get a cup of coffee down the street and maybe only be recognized by a handful of people, I think I could handle that gracefully.

But anything more than that would push my ability to be polite.

4. How often do your nails break?

Almost never (knocks on wood)! That said, I have other beauty struggles. Like, my hair is hard to manage, I have a bald spot in my brow that just won’t go away (I’m talking to YOU, Raul), and I dealt with acne when I was younger, but I’ve never really had to worry about my nails breaking.

Here’s a funny thing, though: I realized that I might be pregnant when my nails started breaking! Several fingernails and one of my toenails broke over a short period of time, which had never happened before. So I knew something was up.

5. Metallic lips: yes or no?

Yes-ish. I like ’em, but I’m more of a light opalescent metallic kind of girl.

I can’t deal with full-on melted metal lips.

6. Can you share a piece of life/beauty advice?

Uh…beauty-wise, don’t hang out on Instagram too much or it’ll give you a complex.

Life-wise, here’s something that my friend Erika said to me the other day, and it really resonated. She said that some days you have to be comfortable lowering the bar for yourself — lowering your expectations, LIKE REALLY LOW. In other words, sometimes giving your best has to mean just allowing your house to be a complete mess or accepting that the baby is still in her pajamas at 3 p.m. or and making cereal for dinner. And you have to allow yourself that sometimes and be fine with it.

Happy Monday, my friend

My brushes are washed, my desk is devoid of piles of paper, and I’m excited because… Connor turns one this week!!! Yup, officially, she won’t be an infant anymore. She’ll be a toddler. Her birthday is this Thursday, but we’re going to have a little party for her with just us and the grandparents on Saturday.

I’m also starting to get spring fever, and I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am about that. I can’t wait to wear dresses and sandals again…

Oh, sandals! You know, at this point, after the winter we’ve been having, I’d even be happy with open-toed ankle booties. I’m that desperate.

Did you watch the Oscars last night?

I hope your week gets off to a brilliant start and that you feel clear-headed and strong. I also hope that whenever you need to find something in your house, office or purse, it’s right there at your fingertips when you need it, because that’s such a great feeling, isn’t it?

Have a good great one! 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


P.S. Here are the poll questions to copy/paste:

1. So, your makeup routine — what’s the easiest part?
2. And what’s the hardest part?
3. How well do you think you’d handle super stardom/being a famous celebrity?
4. How often do your nails break?
5. Metallic lips: yes or no?
6. Can you share a piece of life/beauty advice?

P.P.S. Did you watch the Oscars last night?

Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 438

Published in: Just For Fun, Tabs

Tabs is very unhappy with Ryan Gosling this year. A lot of people don’t know this, but Tabs was supposed to play the lead in La La Land, but they gave the role to Ryan. Tabs is pretty sure it was because Ryan showed an aptitude for piano and, lacking opposable thumbs, Tabs didn’t.

So tonight’s the big night! Oscar night.

While Tabs didn’t have the lead, he did still have a part in La La Land. He played Dancing Cat#3 in one of the big routines…

Tabs always looks forward to Oscar night. As you know, he has 17 Academy Awards (more than any other cat actor), but he’s only up for one award this year. He was nominated for Best Cat Actor for his emotional portrayal of a kitten who falls asleep on a milk truck and wakes to find himself in a totally different neighborhood.

There’s some confusion out there because it’s also called Lion and stars many of the same people as the other Lion starring Dev Patel, which is also up for an Academy Award.

Anyway, the one with Tabs is the one we’re rooting for. 🙂

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,

Karen and Tabs

Saturday Surfing: February 25, 2017

Published in: Just For Fun

Good mornin’ and happy Caturday! 🐱

How cute are these flowers?? Aren’t they sweet? See the kitties? My friend Marisol sent them to me for the blog’s 10th birthday, and they’ve been brightening my days all week. 🙂

I hope your coffee is hot and breakfast is on. Just out of culinary curiosity…are there any delicious pancakes involved? I could really go for some pancakes right now… Maybe I’ll make some.

Please tell that me your to-do list is mercifully short today. It’s Saturday, after all. You deserve a day of rest!

My list is relatively short…for now. I’m embarking upon a very daunting eight-week spring cleaning project, so I got some large plastic bins from The Container Store for camera doo-dads and beauty products in my office.

They aren’t fancy, but hopefully they help.

As for choosing to do it for eight weeks — where did I get that number? Well, I started this thing back in January where I try to focus on one personal project at a time for eight weeks. In January, I decided to eat healthy for eight weeks, and I did it! So that’s the rationale.

Sure, I fell off the wagon a few times and had, like, a cupcake or a bite of ice cream, but I managed to meet my goal.

Doing the eight-week-blocks thing just seem to make big projects easier for me to handle.

In other news…

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Unsung Makeup Heroes: Benefit Ready Set Brow 24-Hr Setting Gel

Published in: Benefit, Makeup, Ulta, Unsung Heroes

benefit ready set brow

Benefit Ready, Set, Brow!

The long-running Unsung Heroes series here on Makeup and Beauty Blog features some of our all-time favorite permanent collection products.

Desert island brow gel right here!

OK, if I were a castaway stranded on a desert island, I would very likely be more concerned about finding enough food and water and getting the hell off said island than I would be my brows, but assuming there was a sheltered fresh water lagoon and all of the mangoes and papayas I could eat, and I had the luxury of worrying about keeping my brows from moving while I bathed under the waterfall or dove into the lagoon, I’d be all about $24 Benefit Ready Set Brow 24-Hr Setting Gel.

Girl! I’ve been using this for almost a year, and I’m about to finish my first tube. Squee! And for sure, I’m getting another.

You might be thinking, “Yeah, right, how exciting can a clear brow gel be?” Well, I think this one is really, really exciting, and I feel like with some makeup basics, like brow gel, if you’re going to go through the trouble to use them, they should be really, really good. And this one is.

To put it in context, I think it’s better than the Anastasia Clear Brow gel, which was my gold standard for years. This one has a stronger hold, and the brush combs through my individual brow hairs better, which makes brows look more defined and fuller, yay! It mellows out whatever brow powder or brow pencil you happen to be using to fill in your brows, too, without lifting away the product.

That’s the thing about the Anastasia Brow Gel… If I fill in my brows first, then run that gel through them, it tends to remove about half of my pencil/powder/whatever I use. Then I have to go back in and refill the empty spots.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know why I was so in love with that brow gel, but I digress…

tom ford shade illuminate cheeks sublimate k

Wearing Benefit Ready, Set, Brow! in my brows with MAC Brow Sculpt Pencil

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MAC Work It Out Chromagraphic Pencils in Primary Yellow, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta, Rich Purple, Marine Ultra and Landscape Green

Published in: MAC Makeup, Makeup, Product Reviews

mac work it out chromagraphic pencil

The new MAC Chromagraphic Pencils from the MAC Work It Out collection from the left: Primary Yellow, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta, Rich Purple, Marine Ultra and Landscape Green ($17 each)

What the heck do you do with these things? Are they eyeliners? Are they eyeliners that also double as lip liners? Can I wear them on the water line? WHY YOU SO COMPLICATED, SON?!

The $17 Chromagraphic Pencils from the upcoming MAC Work It Out collection come with an insert that basically tells you how *not* to wear them.


mac chromagraphic pencil insert

MAC suggests not using several of the six shades from Work It Out in the lip area, along the water line and, in some cases, avoiding the eye area completely.


I’m guessing that people will do what they will, and use them however they want, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some intrepid makeup artists out there do some off-label business with them.


mac work it out chromagraphic pencil swatches

Swatches of the MAC Chromagraphic Pencils from the top in Primary Yellow, Genuine Orange, Process Magenta, Rich Purple, Marine Ultra and Landscape Green

Even though I love the nude Studio Chromagraphic pencils, I’m going to avoid the colorful ones from Work It Out because, yes, on the one hand they’re hella vibrant, but they also like to scoot all over my skin and transfer up into my crease, and when they touch my water line, my sensitive eyes water.

mac marine ultra

Wearing Marine Ultra on my upper and lower lash lines

If you’re still intrigued, all six Chromagraphic Pencils arrive with the rest of the MAC Work It Out collection at counters, stores and online on March 2nd.

Finding motivation…

You guys, I’ve been going to that high intensity interval training class at night for going on three weeks now, and I love it! I still miss the camaraderie I had with the people in the daytime class, but the nighttimers are freakin’ hardcore.

I like to find someone near me who’s really pushing it, and I try to keep up with them. It’s so much fun going to a class where people push you, not to say that that never happened in the daytime class, but it’s fun trying to push myself and do things I’m not sure I can do.

And when I go to sleep at night, I’m so tired that I conk out when I fall into bed. Zzz…

I know I talk about HIIT all the time, but it’s been wonderful! It’s very hard for me, but it’s also a lot of fun. If you ever get a chance to try it, go for it! There are a bunch of HIIT workouts on YouTube that you can try to see if you like it.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


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