My First Make Up Review

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My new obsession right now is make up. One thing I have been working on doing is making myself a priority and my time management. While working on my time management that meant finding time for myself. Applying make up has become quite therapeutic surprisingly. It gives me that quiet time that I desperately needed. I can shut the door, turn on some motivational music (for me that is usually trap) and focus on applying my make up. Who knew blending could make life seem so under control and be so relaxing. Honestly, I think that is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. The control. There is so much in life we don’t have control over but here is something that I can control. It makes me happy, it empowers me and it makes me feel motivated – so in my opinion it is not only a normal mundane task to starting my day but also a coping mechanism.

I think one of the toughest things I have dealt with is having autoimmune diseases is how much it has physically changed me. People will say, “but you still look so great!”, or “you look so young!” Or “you have a great body for having 3 kids.” Well that is all fine and dandy, but I don’t want to be defined by my ailment or the number of kids I have – I want people to look at me and know I am here to get shit done. People respect you more and take notice to you when you look like you have your life together. I am in no way diminishing the No Make Up Movement because I can see how that would also be empowering and to me some time ago it was. I have never really thought too much on my physical appearance, to be even more honest. I had my routine and habits and always took care of skin and never really even dealt with acne as a teen. As I get older though, it is becoming embarrassing to be mistaken for a child, sitter or sibling to my own children; as well as there are just days I do not want to have to see my butterfly rash or moon face.

In 2014 and 2015 with my life collapsing in on itself I became so anxious, depressed and sick that I was nearly agoraphobic. I cannot live that way, I myself am a social creature and my kids need social interaction. Whatever gets me to that point is positive, in my opinion.

So over the course of the last few months I have been rebuilding my make up kit. It has been nearly a decade since I wore make up regularly. Although Lupus, Fibromyalgia and Anklyosing Spondylitis are considered “Invisible illnesses” they are not. Autoimmune conditions come with a variety of physical changes, if not from the diseases themselves then from the medicine.  I was in awe at the amount of different products so when I began my journey, I started in Ulta. I explored all the different products and brands. There seems to be so much more available than what we had even just 10 years ago.  I was not really sure anymore what I even needed or what would use and certainly wanted to be color matched so I thought Ulta would be a great place to start. It definitely was an experience. I felt like I spent hours looking at the same stuff. I was completely overwhelmed and the sales reps had no experience all with people with patchy skin or redness, which really surprised me. I definitely needed something long-lasting and waterproof (especially living in Seattle). It was important to me that it was cruelty free and as all natural as possible. With my super sensitive Lupus skin , I needed to know exactly what was in my products. I was able to get help being color matched and from there I just wandered aimlessly. I was asked repeatedly if I needed help,  but really I just think they were annoyed at how long I was taking. I came home with several products I had never tried before and figured the best way to learn was just simply trial and error.

This where I would liked to have shown you a photo of what I got on my first trip, but after re-evaluating some choices most of it went back. That’s okay though, and you shouldn’t feel bad either. I am definitely a people pleaser so going back to a store that I was already a bit uncomfortable in was not an easy decision. Make up is an investment though! Especially these days! There are just literally so many products and so many brands, it can be so overwhelming! For me it was very important that my products be high-end or comparable. Due to being autoimmune – I really care about what is in my products and really the more knowledgeable you are,regardless of your health, knowledge is power. Control of your self is so incredibly important.


Find peace in your being. Then learn SELF control, not just self-control. Learn to let go. Put a leash on your ego and understand that not every response needs to be reactionary.

That goes for everything in life. Your self-image, most importantly, if you do not like the way YOU view yourself – then change it. The world does not revolve around you, but you live based on your perception. If you don’t feel well – take control of your health. YOU are the only one obligated to help you.

The next important thing I was looking for was that the brand is cruelty free, and that is just because I am a good person. Lol


Start with products that are multi-taskers. Especially if you are planning to drop cash on high-end brands, make sure they are products you will actually need and use. Make up and skin care products have expiration dates, so also keep in mind how often you plan to use those products.

So, I ended up making a second trip to Ulta and attempt to seek advice once more. This time I was a bit more put together, well read and had a better idea of what products I was most interested. It was a bit more positive. The only downside was they did not carry the foundation I wanted to try most. The sales associates still kind of looked at me as if I was an alien…which I don’t really get m rash isn’t even bad right now and the only reason I could think of was that it was because I was the only adult in the store without make up initially on when I came in. I’m not sure I understand the idea behind that one, why would you wear make up to try on and buy make up – but whatever. This trip I got a much better idea of my skin shade and got a few answers to questions I had.


Again, if you are looking at high-end make up this is another great tip for you…. Sign up for in store coupons and rewards. I signed up for Ulta right there and just from one shopping trip on the basics I earned $9 back, now that $21 lip color or $24 brow pencil is nearly 1/2 off! Even more than that, make sure you sign up for subscriptions and stack the email coupons. Once you have an idea of product brands you enjoy using then sign up online for their coupons and rewards.

So far, I have shopped at Ulta and Tarte online. I did sign up for the Sephora PLAY box, which I highly recommend also. The PLAY box is strictly high-end products and plenty of sephora samples with each order too. I recommend the PLAY box over ipsy (the only other subscription I have tried). I do think I will be using Sephora more often. Sephora seems to have more rewards and just overall friendlier. This could just be my area, so please let me know about your experiences below.

This is where most people would include some information about the packaging, but to be honest I don’t give a shit. Here is a picture though, I think it’s very pretty and it fits in my drawer and that’s what matters to me.


The top image in the collage is my drawer after my first haul. The other two are a mini haul I got at Walgreens and Ulta. My drawer is getting full though, so I might be posting an organization video soon… Very excited to try it all!

Here are a few looks I have tried starting my day will be on the left and ending my day on the right.

Morning face is the best isn’t it?

No before shot here, but this was after about 9 hours of wear, errand running, Mommy duties and Seattle rain so I think it’s worth noting!

This is how I start most mornings. Frizzy hair and lots of redness. From here I usually shower and start my hair and skin routine. Which looks like this…

I start by pineappling my hair in a tee shirt and begin my face. I am working on the lighting, my studio equipment is in storage so I apologize and most of these are on my iPad because I am working on so many weddings right now. So I apologize for any quality issues and am working on fixing that. My favorite parts of this look is the highlight down my nose (I went a little heavier than normal which I will address in the video) and my lips! I feel so sexy when my lips look lie this!

Final look before leaving the house…

I loved this look, I love keeping things pretty natural and really using the parts of my face I already love, like my cheek bones and eye shape or my freckles!

After 2 bus trips and grocery shopping, cleaning the house and making dinner I looked like this…

I am working on these selfies I swear. I much prefer photographing other people. Thanks, Erich for the photobomb. My fault for interrupting his man time. Make up held up really well and I actually got rained on pretty good this day also. These shots do not do my curls justice, they were perfect.

My absolute favorite buys were:

  • Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation
  • Tarte Radiance Drops
  • Tartist Contour and highlight
  • Too Faced Peachy Pallate
  • Tarte Make You Believe Pallate

Products I am less than satisfied about:

  • B&H cosmetic brushes
  • Just about anything Ulta brand that I tried
  • Urban Decay color corrector

I absolutely want to start with the Tarte foundation. This is my absolute favorite buy! I was most nervous about choosing a foundation. My butterfly rash definitely affects my self image and aside from that I have a ton of freckles so matching me is not always the easiest. With freckles like these I always feel like I only have two options – Full coverage, no freckles or very lite coverage because anything in between just look like we have coated my face and my freckles look lightly painted over. I LOVE my freckles! Like, really love. I was taught from a very young age to love my freckles and I think that really helped me with a positive self image and amount of self confidence., This coverage is perfect! My shade light-fair neutral , if you get the chance you should check it out and see if they have your shade too. It’s the perfect amount of everyday coverage. It feels like I am wearing nothing at all but is also still very buildable. I tried it today for the first time without any concealer at all and it really covered things pretty well for me.

I had a few lines, red spots and acne blemishes visible but this was just fine for a rainy day full of yoga! The only downside I have noticed is that there is some transfer and if you don’t set it well you will melt in high heat. Still held up very well in 90 plus degree weather shooting a wedding in the sun, so I really feel bad even mentioning it. I actually add my radiance drops directly to my foundation and then dab my brush in that for the areas that I plan to also highlight. It looks great in every lighting so far, you can wear it during the day or night, very subtle glow but it feels very moisturizing. I’m probably going to spend way too much money on this particular product but I use it so much and LOVE it!

The other thing I really want to mention are these eyeshadow palates! My absolute favorite is the Too Faced Peachy palate. There’s seriously not one thing I do not love about this product. The colors are beautiful and super pigmented ,it actually took me a few tries to pick up the right amount of product just because I am not used to using such a well-pigmented eyeshadow.  It’s phenomenal and has every transition color you could need . I am also really digging the Make You Believe Palate by tarte. The white center highlighter is my absolute favorite for my inner eye and to highlight my lips. Like it completely transforms my lips and makes eyes appear wider and perfect.


Use a highlighter to shape your upper lip. I have a thinner upper lip and instead of plumping I decided to embrace it and really highlight that Cupid’s bow area of the upper lip and they appear much cleaner, sharper and sexier. Don’t stop there though, I also apply a tiny bit right under the center of my bottom lip.

I have actually not had to use much eyeliner if at all. I line my upper lash with a darker shade from the Peachy collection or Urban Decay’s smokey palette and that little bit is enough for me. I know a lot of people like to line their water line but I really only do that for nighttime. I take that time to focus on my lashes for day wear.

Please do not forget that a good make up routine starts with a good skincare routine. Keeping your skin healthy should always be a priority. My current skin care routine is very simple: Cleanse/exfoliate & moisturizer during the day and at night, make up remover,  Tarte rainforest of the sea cleansing gel, moisturize. It is important to remember not to stop with the face though! I always make sure to wear sunscreen and even moved to a ‘less sunny’ area of the country so that I can enjoy the outdoors a bit more. As I have been told many times I am the only person to move to Seattle for the weather.

I will talk further on my video about specifics and may even show you some of my routine. We’ll see. I am hoping to upload the video late tonight. Feel free to leave your thoughts below.

I will link the video [here] once it is up! Disclaimer: these are my personal opinions and thoughts I have not been approached or paid by any fore mentioned product brands.


After a few weeks now of using the Rainforest of the Sea Tarte foundation  I now realize how buildable and how much coverage it really has. For a water based foundation it is phenomenal, I will be repurchasing this after I try the Fenty Beauty Line!



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