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Beauty Musings & Rogue Ramblings


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Holiday Gift Guide: Easy Gifts Under $50 for Her ♥

The holiday shopping season is in full force – seriously, I almost died 4 times driving to the area of the city one of the major malls is located in.

Anyways, I survived the chaos, and I know sometimes its easy to get stuck shopping for someone, so I came up with a quick list of easy (and nearly fool proof) gift options – all under $50!

ArtsyArchitette Holiday Gift Guide

1. For the Book Lover 

If you know she loves books and you can’t afford to buy her a new Kindle, then opt for a couple she doesn’t have yet; and when in doubt cross reference the NY Times, Amazon and Barnes & Noble Bestsellers lists for some that just her style.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble gift cards work too, especially if she already has an e-reader!

Featured Books Above: Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins and The Millenium (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) Series by Stieg Larsson.

2. A Little Luxury Gloss

MAC has some genius little holiday sets out, with lovely packaging, for the make-up lover. I don’t think I know a make-up lover that would be disappointed!

Featured Set Above:  MAC Guilty Passions Lavish Rose Lip Gloss Set.

3. Pamper your lips

One of the best products I have come across for all day lip love is the Korres Lip Butter. They smell great, feel great, look gorgeous with just great flushes of color, and keep your lips healthy all day.

Sephora offers two sets – perfect for the holidays and a non-lipstick/lip gloss girl!

Featured Sets Above: Korres The Lip Blockbuster Volume II and Lip Butter Collection.

4. Something to keep her warm

It’s December!! Almost every girl I know loves a new pair of cozy socks, or a cute beanie and scarf, and of course – don’t forget the gloves!

Featured Items Above: Scarf and beanie from Banana Republic. Socks and Gloves from Gap.

5. For the body

A little sexy, a little sensual, but oh so amazing! The Victoria’s Secret Love My Body collections of body lotions, creams, sprays and oils. Perfect for a winter bath.

Featured Set Above: Jasmine & Water Lily (in my opinion the best fragrance of all the LMB scents) Lotion, Oil and Body Mist.

6. For the body… again 😉

For the girl that prefers the fresh and clean scent over the sexy and sensual. Soap & Glory body and hand products are some of the best out there and Sephora offers some awesome Soap & Glory sets – complete with travel totes!

Featured Set Above: The Best Things In Life Are Three Set.

7. Great for the home, great for the hostess

If she loves her place to smell lovely and inviting, Bath & Body Works 3-wick candles are great options. They offer some warm and fun scents for winter and they often have 2 for $20 sales – just make sure you smell them in-store. It is always best to avoid online ordering of candles, in  my opinion.

If you’re not sure what scents she prefers – gift card!

Featured Candles Above: Hot Buttered Rum, Spiced Apple Toddy and Frosted Cranberry.

8. Something a bit more personal

As many of you may know, I sell Chloe + Isabel, and we released some gorgeous holiday pieces – one of the most popular being the Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces! I have picked up a few myself for me and as gifts – so pretty in person!

Featured Initials Above: Pave Inital Disc Charm Necklaces in Gold-plated “M” and Silver-plated “S” (available in the 12 most popular letters).

9. For the true fashion and art lover

Coffee table books are awesome, but most people don’t buy them for themselves – they tend to be a bit pricey. Fashion and Art books are often beautifully put together and contain some very interesting/exclusive behind-the-scenes type content.

Perfect for fashion and art nerds!

Featured Book Above: Vogue: The Editor’s Eye.

10. Foolproof jewelry

Seriously, C+I’s Petite Rhinestone Open Bangles Sets are some of they most popular pieces selling as gifts for the holidays!

Four flexible rhinestone covered bangles, available in four different sets. I can wait to order mine!

Featured Sets Above: Deep Sea, Starry Night and Cha Cha Cha.

11. Something sweet

Fine chocolate and good wine! Need I say more.

Featured Items Above: Chuao Chocolatier Chunky Honeycomb Bark and Risata Moscato d’Asti.

12. For the TV addict 

Sometimes my life is run by my favorite TV shows schedules and I’m not the only one, so why not give her a season or two of her favorite show! Perfect to hold her over for the winter show hiatuses 😉

Featured Sets Above: The Walking Dead Seasons 1 and 2!!

There you have it Hopefully this inspired a few gifts for you – after doing this I think I’ll be back with a Gift Guide for Him in a few days!

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My Favorite Make-up Brushes

I am a make-up brush fiend and I love it! To say I have quite a few brushes would be a gross understatement; but there are some I love much more than others – so I decided to share 🙂

I have 3 favorite brands/lines of make-up brushes and the following applies to all three brands…

Why I love them:

  • Affordable
  • High Quality
  • Quality is worth the cost of every brush (at least the ones I own so far)
  • Wide range of brushes for many applications
  • Have NEVER SHED bristles -ever! (Though, I do properly care for my make-up brushes)
  • Extremely soft and gentle on the skin
  • Great multipurpose brushes

First up… Sephora Collection “Airbrush” Line

My favorite brush in the collection:

Pro Air Brush #55

What I use it for: BRONZER! This is my dedicated powder bronzer brush, I will use nothing else to get my bronzed glow!

Next… Sonia Kashuk “Kashuk Tools” Line

My favorite brush in the collection:


Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush

What I use it for: Stippling and blending liquid foundation and cream blushes! Just amazing!!

And finally… Real Techniques by Samantha Chapman

My favorite brush in the collection:


Buffing Brush (part of the “Core Collection”)

What I use it for: Buffing in liquid foundation and cream products. Also great for powder products. Talk about flawless!


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CleanUp Time: Make-Up Brushes & Sponges

Is your skin looking not-so-hot? Do you use make-up brushes or sponges? Did you know that they may be why your skin is in a funk?

Well, it is true, if you are not cleaning your make-up tools often enough or properly. Brushes and sponges not only accumulate product residue, but also bacteria, which without proper cleaning, means that you are spreading that days old product residue and bacteria onto your face. Eeek!

Based on how much and how often you apply make-up, brushes should be cleaned thoroughly once a week to once a month. I would also recommend using a daily anti-bacterial brush cleaner in between proper cleanings.

The exception to this would be if you have enough brushes to use some for a limited time and move onto using more clean brushes.  The only issue with this – when you run out of clean brushes, you will have A LOT to clean at once! Not fun – I know 😦

So onto how to clean your brushes (according to me and what I have learned)…

Cleaning make-up brushes:

Step 1: Gather your brushes and take them to a flat surface with plenty of space, either on a bathroom/kitchen counter or table.

Step 2: Grab a medium size bowl (or partially fill your bathroom sink) with warm water.  Doing this wastes less water.

  • Depending on how dirty your brushes are and how many, you may have to empty and refill the water once or twice.

Step 3: Wet the bristles of the brush, doing your best to avoid wetting the brush handle.

  • Wetting the brush handles, especially if wood, can damage them – as water makes the wood expand, when it dries, the handle can crack.

Step 4: Add a small amount of brush cleaner/soap to your palm and swirl the brush into your palm, sweeping back and forth.

  • Do not push the bristles down – the forcible spreading of the bristles outward can/will damage the brush density and form.

Step 5: Rinse under clean cool water and repeat Step 4, in the bowl of water, until the brush is clean of make-up.

Step 6: Gently squeeze the bristles, ridding the brush of as much water as possible, and re-form the brush to its smallest density.

  • When squeezing the brush, do so downward – from the brush handle towards the end of the bristles.

Step 7: Dry the brush handle with a clean towel, if necessary, and allow the brush to dry – brush head end down.

  • If the brush is not dense enough to support the weight of the brush, meaning the bristles bend when placing the brush bristle end down, then lay the brush down on a clean towel to dry overnight.

The brush shampoo I currently use:

Sephora Purifying Brush Shampoo 

The daily brush cleaner I currently use:

Sephora Daily Brush Cleaner

(spray after use and allow to dry – no rinsing required)

When I don’t have my Sephora brush shampoo:

I use a 2:1 ratio of Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and Dial Gold Antibaterial soap. Works just as well.

I have mentioned this in a previous post, but to those new readers or in cased you missed that post, make-up sponges should be cleaned after each use. Since sponges absorb more product and absorb the product deeper than brushes do after one use, proper daily cleaning is important.

Cleaning make-up sponges:

Step 1: Take the sponge(s) to your bathroom/kitchen sink.

Step 2: Do NOT wet the sponge

Step 3: Grab some oil (yeah – I did just said oil, grape seed or olive, or even baby oil)

Step 4: Pour the oil on the more stained areas and work the oil into the sponge well.

  • The oil breaks down the cosmetic ingredients and separates the makeup from the sponge better than regular soap.

Step 5: Squeeze the dirty out! Then squeeze some more.

  • Repeat Step 4 until the stains are gone.

Step 6: Grab some of your brush cleaner, gentle facial cleanser or some baby shampoo/antibacterial hand soap and wash out the oil.

Step 7: Squeeze all the water out using a clean paper towel and check for any oil residue.

  • Check for oil residue by pressing the sponge onto your clean, dry hand – you will be able to feel/see on your hand if there is still oil.
  • Repeat Step 6 until you have rid the sponge of the oil.

Step 8: Allow the sponge to dry or use it right away – if you prefer using your sponge damp.

Side Tip: Wash your pillow cases often too.

  • Why? 1. Sebum (Face “Oil/Grease”) 2. Sweat 3. Product Residue 4. Bacteria

Have fun cleaning your way to good skin!

P.S. Don’t forget to check out my Chloe + Isabel boutique and spread the word! You’ll love it and I’ll love you for it! 


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Whoo hoo it’s Friday! HAUL

I shop too much! Eeek… someone save my bank account please! It’s Friday and I went on a mini spree through multiple stores today, but I LOVE everything I picked up. So here we go…

Final day of ChicWeek – SEPHORA:

So, in case you don’t know, I happen to LOVE the Benefit High Beam and Sun Beam liquid enhancer-highlighters, so I decided to pick up the third offering in their “beam” collection- Moon Beam.

Check out the un-blended swatches below:

HIGH BEAM: A luminescent complexion enhancer

SUN BEAM: A golden bronze complexion highlighter

MOON BEAM: An iridescent complexion enhancer

I am a brush fiend and I couldn’t resist picking this set up, especially since the Sephora “Airbrush” brushes are my favorite line of Sephora brushes. Plus this set was a total steal for what you get!

What brushes are included (as numbered in the photo above):

  1. Airbrush Powder
  2. Airbrush Precision Foundation
  3. Airbrush Concealer
  4. Airbrush Crease
  5. Airbrush Shadow

As mentioned in my March Favorites, I am basically obsessed with the Korres Lip Butters and picked up their Wild Rose shade to round off my Korres lip butter collection.

I Love MAC:

So I swung by MAC, as I usually always do when I’m out shopping, and took home quite a few products, some from their newest collections.

From the MAC “In Extra Dimension” Collection:

A little info on the line from MAC:

Introducing a new liquid-powder formula with prismatic reflections that sculpts, highlights and models the face.

Not quite a cream, certainly not a liquid, but unlike any other powder product, plus it has a cooling feeling on the skin. Plus, they look so pretty in the pan – almost don’t want to use them 😀

Extra Dimension Highlighter in “Whisper of Gilt” – a white-gold liquid-powder highlighter that leaves a gorgeous golden sheen.

What MAC says: A liquid-powder highlighter with prismatic reflections that sculpts, highlights and models the face. The cool, creamy near-fluid formula creates a luminous, well-defined finish. Wears 10 hours.

Extra Dimension Eyeshadow in “Sweet Heat” – a pinky peach champagne

What MAC says: A liquid-powder Eye Shadow with prismatic reflections in ten shimmering tints. Impact ranges from sheer crystallized light to a highly polished metallic effect. Lasts up to 6 hours.

From the MAC “Reel Sexy” Collection:

A little info on the line from MAC:

Our main feature – a cinematic drama starring Ms. Kristen McMenamy, supported by an entire cast of limited edition Dynamic Duo Eye Shadows, Nail Lacquers, Cremesheen Glass and Mineralize Skinfinish – sublime! Rave reviews all around!

Cremesheen Glass in “Star Quality” – a bright pink-orange coral

More MAC…

I was also in need of a brighter lip pencil and thanks to the amazing girl at MAC, I came home with the Pro Long Wear Lip Pencil in “What a Blast!” – a bright orange-coral that really does last!

What MAC says: A new generation of longwearing lip pencil technology. Glides on fluidly and adheres instantly. Defines the lips with an instant release of rich, saturated colour. Pro-longs the hours between re-application. Transfer proof.

I also picked up a deep blue-violet paint pot from one of their past collections – Posh Paradise.

Paint Pot in “Imaginary” – from the Posh Paradise collection

Other MAC stuff I picked up…

Some more Fix+ and a couple mascara samples.

Ray-Ban Wayfarers – check!

Now, I must say, these were not an impulse buy whatsoever – I have actually been lusting after these forever and waiting to buy these for the past 6 months plus I got them $70 off! So happy!!

Model: Ray-Ban RB2140 901/58 ORIGINAL WAYFARER (Polarized)

Fun fact: Audrey Hepburn wore 2140 Wayfarers in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Accessorizing on the cheap -thanks Old Navy:

Three pairs of uber-cute earrings for $14 – and perfect for Spring and Summer!

Oh my… that haul tired me out!  Time to go pass out in my new Ray-Banz…..zzzzzzz