Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Goodbye, 2015

It seems a little trite to say, but it's hard to believe this year has come to an end. 2015 has brought so many memories - ones that I look forward to cherishing always and others I will gladly leave behind. As I reflect back on this year, I am thankful for the adventures, the challenges, and especially thankful for the lessons I've learned - ones that have better equipped me to face 2016 and the challenges I'm sure await in the next year.




My 2015 Highlights

Let's get the most important things out of the way first... 2015 has been a good brow year.

No really, it has! I've hated my eyebrows for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to the Benefit Brow Bar for the first time early this year, and it truly changed my brow game. I highly recommend everyone visit an Arch Expert at least once (or every few weeks, as I do). I actually love my brows for the first time in my life and I look forward to doing them every morning!

2015 holds two of the most embarrassing moments of my entire life (one of which is still too embarrassing to relive). The other was that time I accidentally grabbed a client's boob. Like, full on copped a feelski and was forced to continue a normal conversation with her when I wanted to melt into the floor and die.

I got to check off a bucket list item - my first ever trip to NYC. It was as magical as I'd always dreamt it would be. I'm incredibly grateful for that adventure.

I worked harder this year than I've ever worked before. And most of the time it was worth it. I earned two promotions in 2015. I poured blood, sweat and tears into my job. I could go on and on about the lessons I learned through work this year, but the one that I will take with me is that no amount of success is worth compromising the things that are important to me.

This year also holds heartache. I felt a sorrow like I've never known when I lost my sweet Jojo. Since day one, he and I were kindred spirits. He loved me unconditionally in a way only man's best friend can. He will forever hold a special place in my heart.

2015 welcomed the newest addition to our family, Annie Kate. There are no words to express how much joy she brings. Her smile is contagious and she is so adorable that even strangers feel the need to comment. (I'm not biased or anything - just stating the facts.)

This year brought new relationships and closure to past ones. More importantly, my friendships were strengthened and deepened as those special people stood by me through all that 2015 brought our way.

In 2015, my husband became a police officer. After much thought and prayer, he decided to go after one of his life-long dreams. I became a police wife, immediately bringing me closer to God. Not only by constantly praying for his protection but also by praying the Lord would give me strength not to throat punch the idiots who feel the need to comment on his career (praise Him for the 'unfollow' option on Facebook!). In a career with frighteningly high divorce rates, his new job has only brought us closer and made us cherish what little time we are able to spend together.


This year (especially recently) has challenged my husband and I with some major life decisions, ones that we have not and do not take lightly. God has taught me this year to trust in him like never before. I'm so thankful that his ways are not my ways and that his timing is perfect.

 "In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9











Hello, 2016. I'm glad you're here!

 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 things you need to know before getting your makeup done professionally...

Paperlily Photography

I've had the privilege of working many, many weddings and special events over the last several years. I've put together for you a list of my top ten tips for getting your makeup done and making it as enjoyable as possible. I wrote this list with brides in mind, but it still applies if you're going to prom or another special event. If you're getting your makeup done, it's obviously a pretty important day in your life that will most likely involve lots of pictures, so you want to make the most of your experience. 

1. Perfect your skincare routine at least a month before the big day. 

Hopefully you have a current routine that already works for you but if not, you need to nail one down before getting your makeup done. If you're that person that rarely washes your face much less puts on any moisturizer, you probably don't know how your skin will react to new products, which is why you want to get a head start and not wait until the week of. You need to cleanse, exfoliate, and hydrate. Read my Skincare 101 for my very basic overview of skincare. Ideally, your skincare routine should be implemented about 30 minutes before your appointment, so that way your skin is still clean and well-hydrated. If your appointment is in the afternoon, reapply some moisturizer at the very least, so your skin is prepped and ready to go. Really go that extra mile while washing your face to remove all of last night's makeup, especially mascara. Your artist will love you forever!

2. Make sure your moisturizer doesn't ball up. 

This probably sounds strange if you have no idea what I'm talking about but this happens more often than you'd think. There is nothing worse than you or your artist buffing on foundation and it looks like dead skin falling off your face. Yes, this has actually happened with clients in the past and it's even happened to me. How embarrassing! It could be that the moisturizer is not a good fit for you - most likely it's not absorbing and just sitting on top of the skin. It could be that the moisturizer is expired. Or it could be the moisturizer has exfoliating properties, much like Philosophy's Renewed Hope in a Jar, in which case the gross particles falling off your face actually is dead skin.

3. Use a good lip scrub and balm.

If you have dry, cracked lips, it is extremely difficult for your artist to apply lip liner and lipstick. But more importantly, your lip products will not look as good if your lips aren't in good condition! I really like the Jack Black Intense Therapy lip balms. I often apply on my client at the beginning of the session and blot off just before applying the lip products. At the very least, slap on some Bert's Bees to make sure your lips are hydrated.

4. Don't get waxed the day of your event.

I feel like this tip should go without saying, but you'd be surprised how many times I've had this happen. If you've never gotten your brows shaped by a professional esthetician, I highly recommend it! The Benefit Brow Bars at Ulta are amazing - that's where I get my brows done every few weeks. If you are a brow newbie, I would recommend getting waxed at least once about a month out from your big day just to see how your skin reacts. Some people are more sensitive than others, but on average I would say to get waxed two to three days before your event.

5. Communicate with your artist.

Tell your artist what ideas you have for your overall look. Do your research and pair down a few pictures that really capture what you want. (Don't give your artist 12 pictures of completely different looks. Seriously... Been there.) Be specific - don't tell your artist, "You're the professional, do whatever you want!" only to tell them later that you want something completely different. (Again, been there.) Tell him/her about your skin type (dry, oily, combination, normal) so they can select the right products for you. If possible, request a trial run so the two of you can work through any kinks and perfect the look you want. I always recommend trial runs, especially for bridal makeup! Be honest about what you do and don't like. Your artist won't take it personally. But be polite about it... Nobody likes a Bridezilla! ;)

*If you are planning on tanning (self tan, spray tan, or tanning bed) try to do so before your trial run, so you know what tone your skin will be on the big day. This is not a must, but just makes it easier when finding your perfect foundation shade.

6. Sometimes more is more.

I love a good 'no makeup' makeup look as much as the next gal, but you want to wear a little more than usual for your special occasion. You would be surprised at how much photography can wash out the details of your makeup, so what may feel like a lot of makeup to you, can show up as very natural in your pictures and simply define your features. Again, communicate with your artist and be open to his/her advice. I will emphasize again the importance of trial runs!

7. Limit the mimosas.

While alcohol may take the edge off of the nerves you are experiencing, it also brings out the redness in your skin. If possible, save the alcohol for after your appointment. And probably after pictures!

8. Give yourself plenty of time.

When putting together your timeline for the big day, always leave yourself extra time. You never know what can happen, so it's always nice to have a little wiggle room. Things can get extremely stressful when pressed for time, which puts more stress on both you and your artist. Communicate with your artist on how much time you should allot for your appointment. Although it usually doesn't take the full time, I typically recommend pencilling in 45 minutes to an hour in your schedule.

9. Save the makeup for last.

I don't care how amazing your artist is, your makeup will not outlast that updo. Make sure you save your makeup appointment for very last. Get your hair done, nails done, and anything else that needs to be done first so your makeup will stay looking fresh and flawless all day.

10. You get what you pay for.

Depending on which route you take in booking your makeup artist, some avenues are more expensive than others. Freelance artists are typically more expensive because they are coming to you (usually for a trial run and the big day) and they also build and maintain their own makeup kit. If you book an appointment at a counter, your artist is most likely paid hourly from the company he/she works for and is able to use the makeup testers in store. I would advise you to do a little research and weigh your options. For instance, if you book at a retailer, your 'makeup artist' may not actually be an artist at all but a salesperson who is simply there to get you to buy everything applied to your face. If you go to a salon, the person may be very well trained in hair but may be lacking skills and training in the makeup department. Of course, you could always hire your best friend's sister who enjoys makeup as a hobby and looked up a bridal makeup tutorial on Pinterest. But remember, you get what you pay for. ;) Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask how experienced the artist is in special event makeup. Ask to see a portfolio. Ask what is included in the price: trial run? false lashes? And in my opinion, false lashes are a must for any special occasion makeup!




Thank you for reading today's post. Best wishes on your upcoming event!
 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Monday, July 13, 2015

Rocksbox | MakeupByAundi


Hello, lovely!

I wanted to share with you guys a fabulous new monthly subscription box, Rocksbox.

Rocksbox gives you unlimited access to rent from an ever-rotating closet of designer jewelry. You have the opportunity to borrow, buy, or swap whenever you like! First, you sign up to be a Shine Insider and complete a short style survey. You receive three pieces of jewelry that were hand-picked for you based on your style preferences. You can return your box at anytime to receive three new pieces! You can also earn credit (Shine Spend) to use toward purchasing pieces that you absolutely love.

You can also login to your account and rate the pieces you received as well as leave any feedback about the jewelry. That way, Rocksbox can customize your next box even more perfectly!

Each box includes an estimated $200 worth of designer jewelry that you receive for only $19 a month!

You can try a FREE month of Rocksbox by entering the code 'makeupbyaundixoxo' at checkout. 

Find out more at www.rocksbox.com!

House of Harlow 1960

I received my first set a couple weeks ago, and I've been wearing these three pieces nonstop. I think they pieced together a beautiful collection that represents my style so well. I love that there is a perfect balance of edginess and femininity. 

Slate
My favorite piece of the bunch is hands down this infinity gold ring. I've worn it both on my ring finger and as a midi ring on my middle ringer. I've gotten so many compliments on it, which is probably why I've rarely taken it off my finger. I even had to get a new manicure to pair with the ring. (I know it's a bit much, but you feel me.)

Wanderlust + Co
Each box is customized with you in mind, and the personal touches are what makes Rocksbox my all-time favorite subscription box. 

I'm thinking I should bring back Fashion Friday for my next box... What do you think?



If you haven't tried it, you are missing out! Sign up here and receive your first month FREE with the code 'makeupbyaundixoxo'!

 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

FTC: This is not a sponsored post.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Urban Decay Must Haves



I have been a huge Urban fan for years, so I thought I would put together a list of my personal faves from the line!


*If you love also love Urban (or share the same affinity for cosmetics that I do) and you live in the Atlanta area, I have the opportunity to work with Urban Decay in hosting a huge event in Kennesaw on June 13th! If you are interested in attending and working with National Urban Decay Makeup Artists, message me for details! 


 All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray

All Nighter is the OG setting spray. I have tried more setting sprays than I can count, but none hold a candle to All Nighter! This guy is always in my kit and used on every client. I also keep a travel size in my on-the-go makeup bag so that it's always on hand. Urban also makes setting sprays based on skin type - Deslick for you oily gals and Chill for you dry gals like me. I love those as well, but All Nighter is hands down my fave. 




Eyeshadow Primer Potion in Enigma

This new, limited-edition of Urban's primer potion is absolutely a must have! This primer has the same formula as the cult-classic original primer potion, but has the perfect pigment that color corrects and primes the eye. The color reminds me of MAC's Painterly, which you guys know I'm obsessed with. Not only is it an awesome product, all proceeds of Enigma go to the Ultraviolet Edge, a women's empowerment initiative. How awesome is that?!



Subversion Primer & Perversion Mascara


I feel like this must have goes without saying, but if you're new to my blog you are probably unaware of my obsession with Subversion + Perversion. (Check out a before and after here!) I love each of these on their own (meaning the primer paired with any mascara - not on it's own. Just to clarify.) but there is something so magical about the two of these together. I get so many compliments when I wear this mascara that it makes me never want to purchase another mascara again! The only complaint I can find about it is that I wish it came in waterproof. If it did, I would use it on all my brides!



Naked Palette


I clearly can't have a UD must haves list without mentioning the ever-popular Naked Palette! This palette truly revolutionized the cosmetic industry. It (along with the Naked 2 & 3) are still the most popular shadow palettes around. While all three palettes are beautiful, the original has always been my favorite. I think the warm tones look so flattering on everyone. It's super versatile, giving the options of both natural and dramatic looks. I also love that it contains different finishes, including matte, satin, and shimmer. If you prefer matte shades, you can't go wrong with the Naked Basics palettes, 1 or 2. 



24/7 Velvet Liner in Black Velvet

This eyeliner is hands down my favorite pencil liner. It is intensely black, super creamy, and is literally the only black pencil liner I own that does not smudge on me. If you have the same issue with liners, give this one a try. I am sure you'll love it as much as I do!



Revolution High-Color Lipgloss in Bittersweet

The Revolution Lipglosses are part of Urban's newest launch, and this guy is the newest addition to my Urban collection. This gloss is beautiful on its own or layered over another lippy. It's slightly on the sticky side, but it's not unbearable and actually helps the gloss to wear longer. It also has a staining quality that is great for those days when you don't have time to touch up! I love this gloss and can't wait to add more colors to my collection!


I've got my eye on these beauties...



... brand new Afterglow blushes!

Come see me at the event on June 13th so we can try the new blushes together! I would love to see you there!


Until then, what are your Urban Decay must haves?!
 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Monday, April 20, 2015

Fresh, Spring Makeup | MakeupByAundi

Happy Spring! The old adage "April showers bring May flowers" is definitely ringing true this year. I am currently typing this while under a tornado watch and I've officially lost count on how many days in a row it's been raining. I'm not one to complain (much) about the weather, but I'm so ready for some sunshine!

I just wanted to share with you guys today my go-to look for spring. It's really fresh and natural, even though I'm using several products. 

The lighting is terrible with it being so darn cloudy out, but hopefully you get the idea!


Products Used:

Face 

Smashbox Pore Minimizing Primer
MAC Mineralize Moisture Liquid Foundation 
Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 
Rimmel Stay Matte Powder in Translucent
Benefit Hoola Bronzer
Makeup Geek Blush in Spellbound
BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Rose Gold
Benefit Watts Up



Eyes

Tartelette Palette (force of nature in crease, wanderer in lower crease, super mom on lid and brow bone)
Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer
Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Brows

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Medium Brown
Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Soft Brown
Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel


Lips

MAC Lipstick in Blankety
Smashbox Lip Laquer in Flushed



I also finished off the look with MAC's Fix+ to give me even more of a glow!


What are your spring beauty must haves? 
 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

whim. Nail Lacquer | Review


If you follow me on any social media networks, you probably know that I've recently been on a huge nail kick. I love doing my own nails at home -  I can't even tell you the last time I got my nails done at a salon. I am partial to Essie nail polishes, which is typically the only brand I use (although I do throw in an OPI color on occasion, which usually ends up in chip city after a couple days!). 

I decided a couple months back to start experimenting with different brands of polish to see what truly gives the best result in terms of color payoff, quality, staying power and durability. I scored some Deborah Lippman polishes for crazy cheap, which normally run $18-20, and I must say that I wasn't overly impressed. They were okay, but if I'm going to pay $20 a pop it better be magic in a bottle. I also tried the Sally Hansen Gel Polish, which was again, just okay. For some reason I have a hard time forking over $10 for a bottle of Sally Hansen. Is that just me? 



As if the nail polish gods somehow knew my journey, Ulta released a brand new line of gel-like polish. Perfect timing!

Whim polish is an Ulta exclusive that is a "high-shine, gel-like lacquer whose unique patented three step system goes on like a polish but wears like a gel for long lasting color and superior shine." The line is also 5 free, meaning free of DPB, toluene, formaldehyde, camphor, and formaldehyde resin. The line includes 58 colors, so there is a shade for everyone!


I first purchased the shade 'Sheer Nightie' along with the base and top coat. I never use base coats because I've never found one that actually made a huge difference, but I wanted to give this one a chance. I applied all three with two coats of the color. The consistency is a bit thicker and slightly more difficult to work with than other polishes. The first time I used it, it was a mess. The best way I can describe the texture is gummy. With all the layers, it was extremely thick and actually started peeling off within two days. I was incredibly disappointed. I decided to remove the polish on night two and the base coat had dried my nails out. Ugh. 


I didn't want to give up on the polish just yet, so I actually reapplied that night - this time without the base coat. I could already tell a difference. I received numerous compliments on my nails while wearing the polish; two people even asked where I got them done! The top coat maintained its shine the entire time I wore it. I was very pleased with the finish, considering so many top coats start to look dull after a couple days. I wore the polish for nine days before I got my first chip! NINE DAYS! 


I returned the base coat to Ulta and purchased two more shades from the line. I hope the two new colors wear as well as the first one did. I just applied the purple shade and will be keeping you guys updated on Instagram with pictures on how it wears and when it starts chipping, so make sure you are following me! 

Overall, I am beyond impressed with this nail polish. I am trying to refrain myself from purchasing all 58 colors! Don't forget to find me on Instagram @makeupbyaundi to see if the new shade lasts as long as the first one did!


 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Pretty & Sweet | Date Night Makeup


Happy (almost) Valentine's Day! 

I wanted to create a soft look for a romantic date night, perfect for Valentine's day! I love a good red or hot pink lip, but it's not always the most practical look for date night (especially if you want the night to end in a kiss!). I wanted to keep it sweet and not too over the top - a look that makes me feel pretty. :)




Products used:

MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation - NW20
MAC Pro Longwear Concealer - NW20 (used as concealer & shadow primer)
NARS Laguna Bronzer
Coastal Scents 10 Color Blush Palette
MAC MSF - Soft & Gentle
Tartelette Palette by Tarte (force of nature - crease, best friend - all over lid, heartfelt - liner, super mom - brow bone)
Stila Shadow - Kitten (inner corner)
Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer & Perversion Mascara
Anastasia of Beverly Hills Brow Wiz - Medium Brown
NYX Control Freak Brow Gel
MAC Lipstick - Blankety
Milani Brilliant Shine Lipgloss - Pink Lady
Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray


I hope you guys love this look as much as I do! I've also mentioned the Tartelette palette on Insta, but I freaking love it. I've been using it non-stop for the past month. Would you be interested in seeing more looks from the palette? Let me know!





 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Friday, February 6, 2015

'No Makeup' Makeup




Sometimes being a grown-up sucks. Instead of spending my day off vegging on the couch watching (at least) an entire season of Friends, my day off is often spent doing grown-up things. Today it was getting emissions done on my car and spending the afternoon in line at the tag office. Yuck.

I didn't feel like getting dolled up today. Let's face it... I didn't even feel like washing my hair today. So today was a no makeup makeup kind of day. Not the kind of no makeup makeup that requires at least half an hour's worth of effort to look effortless. No, friends, today was a legit no makeup makeup day.

After having a horrible reaction to a new foundation (leaving my skin looking like that of a pubescent teen's), I'm still not quite confident enough to leave the house with no makeup on. So if you also want to trick people into thinking you have perfect skin, this is my super easy routine!


1. Mix a little concealer with your eye cream (a new mind-blowing trick I recently learned from Tati at GlamLifeGuru)

2. Throw on some tinted moisturizer. I've been using Bare Mineral's new Complexion Rescue in shade Vanilla 02. Feel free to apply as many layers as you want if your looking for more coverage.

3. Sweep on a coat (or four if that's your thing) of mascara

4. Apply your favorite lip balm!

Done and done.



Also, check out my Instagram if you're curious which products cleared up my skin!

Talk to you soon!
 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Best of Beauty | 2014 Favorites



I realize I'm a little late to the Best Of 2014 game, but better late than never... right? I plan on making this post short and sweet (I make no promises, though) because I've been rambling on about most of these products for a year now. 

Some bloggers use different parameters for their Best Of products, but I wanted to keep mine simple. I'm sharing with you the products that were consistently part of my makeup routine throughout the year of 2014. Some are fairly new items and others I've been using for years. I try a lot, I mean a lot of makeup so when I constantly come back to something, I know it's a stand out product.

So without further ado, here are my favorites from 2014! 


Jordana Best Lash Extreme Volumizing Mascara



This was my everyday go-to for the first half of 2014. As I was looking back on my most used products, I was reminded of how amazing this mascara is and that I need to pick up a new tube. I dedicated an entire video to this drugstore fave, so I won't ramble on about it, but it's an outstanding mascara and happens to be $3. 




Nars Laguna Bronzer



I went through nearly an entire pan of Laguna last year. I rarely hit pan on a makeup product, so it's a big deal when I do. I used this bronzer nearly everyday, whether to give a slight contour or warm up my complexion. I definitely see myself repurchasing when I run out in the next couple months. 

More on this bronzer here.



MAC Cosmetics Lipstick in Creme Cup

Mac Lipstick, 0.1 oz - Creme Cup


You guys know that pinky-nudes are my favorite and last year was no exception. I used Creme Cup like it was going out of style! I told someone recently on Instagram that I could wear this lipstick everyday and never tire of it. Ever.



MAC Mineralize Moisture SPF 15 Foundation 

 

This was my holy grail foundation for the last half of 2014. It gives great coverage with a gorgeous glowy finish. I'm wearing it still and am curious to see how it wears during the warmer months.

Read more on this dewy magic in a bottle.



Benefit They're Real Mascara




This was my go-to mascara during the warmer months. Although it's not marketed as a waterproof mascara, it pretty much is. The formula and rubber wand gives me the most beautifully clean, separated lashes. It's amazing for lengthening my lashes. It's still in my rotation of mascaras along with my next favorite.



Anastasia Brow Wiz


Anastasia of Beverly Hills is the queen of brow products. Her Brow Wiz is without a doubt my favorite brow product of all time. It's got a super fine tip so it's easy to mimic the look of natural hairs. I literally use this every single day. 

 

 NYX Butter Glosses


These glosses made my Top 5 for $5 last year, and they're so great they made my Best of Beauty! The fact that they're only $5 is a bonus. The smooth formula glides right over any lipstick but is pigmented enough to be worn on its own. My two favorites for the year were Creme Brulee and Eclair.

Check out my Top 5 for $5 action here.



Laura Geller Spackle Hydrating Primer


My favorite primer of life and the only primer that I've ever sworn by. I love that it doesn't have that thick, silicone feeling that most do. The hydrating formula is perfect for my dry skin. The last time I posted about this primer, it was available only on QVC but this week it launched at Ulta!

More thoughts on this spackley goodness.



MAC Painterly Paintpot


I went on a search for a new favorite eyeshadow base this year but it was a complete fail. I'm still on the lookout but starting to think I'll never find anything better than my beloved Painterly. I realize this base may not be for everyone, but if you have oily eyelids like me, Painterly is your new best friend!

Painterly - my ride or die.



Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser



If you've followed my blog for any period of time, you're probably sick of me raving about this drugstore gem. I would be remiss if I posted my Best of Beauty and didn't mention this guy. He never lets me down! I've gone through more tubes than I can count.

I can't live without it! ;)



Stila Eyeshadow in Kitten


I used Kitten all the time throughout 2014. On its own, over another shadow, or in the inner corner.... you just can't go wrong with Kitten. I not only love it on myself, but I often use it on the brides I work on to give the most beautiful glow. 

Meow.



Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray


I featured this guy in my Beat the Heat video, but he is a must for any special occasion in any season. I go back and forth between the All Nighter and Chill setting sprays, but the all nighter will lock in your makeup so it lasts, well... all night.



Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Powder Foundation


2014 was the year of powder foundations for me. My world is forever changed. This foundation is so beautiful. I can wear it on its own or over top a hydrating liquid foundation. I have used it nonstop since September. I've already hit pan but it's still going strong.

Read more about Pur and my other recent faves!




Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

Holy moly. I have been highly impressed with UD's Perversion and Subversion Primer. This wand is very different for me but it helps to give length, volume, and lots of drama. I've actually had multiple people ask if I'm wearing falsies when wearing this mascara. Don't believe me? 





Are there any amazing products I missed out on last year? Let me know if there's something I need to try!

Talk to you soon!

 photo signature2_zpseb111f2f.jpg