STICK AND STONES | And a Roof?!

STICKS AND STONES WILL… BUILD MY DREAM HOME! Since we last talked… the concrete jungle has become a stick palace… we’re moving up in the world people! Once the foundation cured (slowest weeks everrr), the framing FLEW up. I understand the “hurry up and wait” aspect of home building more and more each stage of … Continue reading “STICK AND STONES | And a Roof?!”

STICKS AND STONES WILL… BUILD MY DREAM HOME!
Since we last talked… the concrete jungle has become a stick palace… we’re moving up in the world people!

Once the foundation cured (slowest weeks everrr), the framing FLEW up. I understand the “hurry up and wait” aspect of home building more and more each stage of this process. First, it looked so strange… what were those weird small pieces?? (Hint: the main floor flooring/ceiling of the basement level.) After that point though, it really began to look like a house!

IMG_3218.jpg

WAIT… IT’S GREEN??
As someone who obviously has never built a home before, it was interesting (and mind boggling) to see each stage go up. Who knew the inside of a house was green?! Heyyyyyy Irish pride over here.

 

SNEAKING INTO OUR OWN HOME
Once the roof and windows/etc. were on, it felt a bit like sneaking into an abandoned house whenever we went by to check on the progress. Whereas before we just breezed right in, now we had to creep in through the garage doors… but it’s our house! Haha, it was still a funny feeling to get past.

IMG_3394

The best part was seeing the inside begin to really take shape. Walking through the “rooms” and envisioning what we were going to do with them, where we’d put furniture, etc. It’s as if the light at the end of the tunnel is now visible!

 

THE NEXT STEP… DESIGN DRAMA
Did I mention HGTV before?? Because now I know why people use design teams… HOLY HARD WORK BATMAN!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

 

WE’RE HERE FOR THE POTATOES & CAKE | Wedding Tastings!

Wait, there are how many calories in this?!  O_o Take my advice: wedding tastings are one of the most fun parts of the process. People ply you with delicious food, for free! (Granted you’re going to pay them a sh*t ton of money later…) As you guys know, I last told you about saying “Yes to … Continue reading “WE’RE HERE FOR THE POTATOES & CAKE | Wedding Tastings!”

Wait, there are how many calories in this?!  O_o

Take my advice: wedding tastings are one of the most fun parts of the process. People ply you with delicious food, for free! (Granted you’re going to pay them a sh*t ton of money later…)

As you guys know, I last told you about saying “Yes to the Dress!” and therefore I probably should get my diet back in check to fit in said dress. But with planning hitting full stride and being just over 6 months away… I have some time to taste delicious foods! ;)

YOU HAVE HOW MANY TYPES OF POTATOES?!
I never realized just how extensive catering menus are. Nor did I realize there were even this many ways to fix potatoes… and I’m 1/2 Irish! It was a bit overwhelming to try and make decisions during a tasting, but more so we just tried to take notes about things we did like and things which were a HECK NO.

NARROW DOWN THE DEETS
We found tastings easier after attending the first one… because we’d narrowed down the types of items we know we want on our menu (not having a sushi bar… darnit), and now we just have to decide within each category of protein, starch, veg, etc. I suggest you do the same! While so many foods are delish, you don’t want 4 chicken entrees… you know?

Also, you can always ask to alter a recipe but pay close attention to things that are extremely important and not exactly recipe related… the temperature of the foods, the service, the staff you’ll be working with, etc. Those will factor into the day and the last thing anyone wants is to celebrate with cold, stale food or bad service!!

DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY
One other major item we decided on was the DJ! Neither of us want to be dragged onto the floor for the Funky Chicken or any other line dance… no, not really our style. (If you start the YMCA, Jon very well may just walk out lollllllll.) To us, it was important to have a DJ that understood our personalities and the kind of shindig we want to throw.

We saw our DJ in action at another wedding and loved how professional and easy going the flow was, exactly the kind of DJ/emcee we wanted! After all, we want everyone to have fun and enjoy the day/night. Not relive their middle school dances.

IMG_3086

NEXT UP…
We still have to have our cake tasting, but we use Cameo Cakes so often that we pretty much think we know what flavors we want. (We do need to decide on cake design ideas.) We also have stationary to get out, gift registries to finish, florists to decide on… the checklist goes on!

Xoxo, Meeghan

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

HIGHLIGHTERS FOR PALE SKIN | Glow for the {Pale} Gods

Even though 2017 is starting to wind down (but whyyyy is Christmas decor in the stores already?!), highlighting is definitely not going out of style any time soon. With that being said, the coming short, cold days crush any hope I have of not being as pale as Casper the Ghost… so here are my … Continue reading “HIGHLIGHTERS FOR PALE SKIN | Glow for the {Pale} Gods”

Even though 2017 is starting to wind down (but whyyyy is Christmas decor in the stores already?!), highlighting is definitely not going out of style any time soon. With that being said, the coming short, cold days crush any hope I have of not being as pale as Casper the Ghost… so here are my favorite highlighters for pale skin with swatches (not in any particular order, including drugstore and high end).

COLLAGE.png

 

GLOW TO THE GODS! (click product name to shop)
Anastasia Beverly Hills Illuminator in Starlight: Let’s get this one out of the way because it’s technically discontinued (WHYYYYYYY!?). These compact highlighters from ABH are amazing and extremely glowy, but it seems they’ve since transitioned to only producing palettes?? If you can get your hands on this or the shade ‘So Hollywood’, I suggest you do.

OFRA Cosmetics Highlighter in Beverly Hills: I picked this up in the Ulta 21 Days of Beauty sale and it is blinding. Wear your sunnies! It’s nice that you get 5 colors in one pan or can mix for a beautiful 6th shade, but for fair skin tones, the deepest 1-2 shades of the “wheel” won’t work alone, you’ll need to mix those with another shade. Regardless, it’s stunning and a little goes a very long way.

theBalm Mary Lou Manizer Highlighter: An oldie but a goodie for me! Mary Lou is a cult classic for a reason, with a lovely pale champagne color that works on the face, eyes, collar bone, etc. I find that you can build this one up or sheer it out, a perfect formula for anyone really.

BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter in Champagne POP: This shade was originally created by Jaclyn Hill but has since become part of BECCA’s permanent line. It works well on my fair skin, but if you are a little bit more fair, then try Moonstone, and if you are extremely fair, try Pearl (which is almost a white highlight). This formula is super creamy, soft and pigmented, truly beautiful on the skin. But fair warning, being a somewhat soft pressed formula, the pans can break easily, so don’t drop it!

IMG_3824V2.jpg

Laura Geller Baked Gelato Swirl Illuminators: Everyone talks about Gilded Honey (that highlighter alone blew up the Laura Geller brand to household name), but not enough credit is given to the other shades which are better suited to fair skin (Peach Glow is my favorite!). I honestly love these, and as they’re a baked formula, you can wear them dry or wet the brush for a truly intense highlight.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian: I raved about this in my Drugstore Must Haves blog and it’s one I have to try not to reach for every day, I love it so much. (And it’s cheap!) You can apply these lightly for a more subtle glow, or pile it on to crank up the wattage. All Super Shock formula products were designed to be applied with your fingers, but I apply it with a damp beauty sponge, to make the highlight melt into my skin.

Marc Jacobs Glow Stick in Spotlight: This is the most silly looking package of all… and yet AWESOME. It looks like a mini deodorant but the shade is gorgeous for fair skin. It’s a bit more sheer than ColourPop Flexitarian for example, but oh so lovely. I don’t recommend applying directly from the stick, for some reason that always disturbs my foundation??

Benefit Watt’s Up: Everyone RAVESSSSS about this champagne gold cream highlight and it’s true, it’s super pretty! The formula is more of a cream to powder feel, so it dries down nicely if you want to avoid a wet highlight. It takes forever to get through, so I’ve never actually had to purchase it… hellooooo Sephora point perk freebies!

IMG_3826V2.jpg

Essence Pure Nude Highlighter: This is the PERFECT subtle “look at that naturally glowing skin” kind of highlighter. I can’t begin to express just how perfect this is if you’re not into megawatt highlights, or you want a natural glow. Seriously, it’s under $5 and truly reminds me of so many more expensive brands.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powders: These are less “beaming highlight” and more “subtle glow” (they do have their Strobe Powders for a bit more glow). I love these, and so many companies try to compare but just never are exactly as perfect. A must have for Bridal looks, photoshoots or even daily life. Take the time to go swatch these at a Sephora and see how they just make your skin look so healthy and luminous.

e.l.f. Baked Highlighter in Moonlight Pearls: This is a highlight that everyone in the beauty community seems to know about but doesn’t mention regularly! It truly is gorgeous and can be built up to look blinding. It looks champagne in the pan but comes across very light when built up. Another baked product so you really can make it shine even more with a wet brush.

e.l.f. Shimmer Highlighting Powder in Pearl Glow: Pearl Glow came out after the initial launch of the e.l.f. Shimmer Highlighters and for whatever reason, the formula of this particular shade is worlds above the next deepest (I only own those two lightest shades so I can’t compare otherwise). It’s sooo buttery, smooth, and a super high bling pigment that doesn’t emphasize any texture or sit awkwardly on my skin. (FYI I found the other shade I have to be more chunky/glittery?? Weird.)

Jeffree Star Skin Frost in Peach Goddess: Ok, Jeffree Star rubs me the wrong way… but darn it this is a gorgeous highlighter! I picked it up for more than 50% off or else I wouldn’t have (seriously, such a click bait YouTuber, ugh) but it’s truly super glowy. I have to use it sparingly so I don’t go overboard! The nice thing with that is seeing how huge the pan size is, I’ll have this gorgeous highlight for years.

IMG_3830V2.jpg

Tarte Amazonian Clay Highlighter in Exposed: This is the only shade of the single Tarte highlighters which I like, and let me tell you… I FRICKIN’ LOVE IT! The other shades of single highlighters are kind of mehhhh… the formula doesn’t feel the same?? Exposed though is magically perfect for my fair skin at any time of year, even when I have a bit of a tan or am more pale. (FYI, the Tarte PRO Glow To Go Palette has two gorgeous highlight shades as well.)

Wet N Wild Megaglo Highlighters: These broke the internet. Ok, the wet n wild website, but still!! I have and love Precious Petals, and these Megaglo highlighters are some of the most lux feeling drugstore highlighters around. There are also new shades out which are stunning! I need to order Blossom Glow and Golden Flower Crown for my pale self.

Kevyn Aucoin Celestial Powder in Candlelight: This is a very high end price for a gorrrrrgeous glow. There are definitely alternatives for less on the market but I just love the Kevyn Aucoin formula, subtle payoff, and ohhhh that packaging. I’m such a sucker for packaging!

Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati: This one is NOT for the faint of heart. I’ve basically saved the most shiny for last but it’s beautiful! All of the Diamond Glow Powders are intense, almost too much for an everyday look. But I’ve found that they really are lovely to have in your collection if you’re a makeup artist or lover. If not really experienced, the loose highlighter is a bit difficult and/or messy to work with, but the payoff is gorgeous.

IMG_3832V2.jpg

Ok guys, that’s it for now, although I could probably recommend glowing glittery gems for daysssss. I’d love to know your favorites too, let me know in the comments. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan 

BUDGET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD | And Other “FUN” Stuff

A continuation of the home building blogs… With this series, I’ll keep you updated as we go with insight into the process, and maybe help you make a decision if you’re on the fence about building! (Read here for the previous post in this series.) CONCRETE JUNGLE Since we last talked… the dirt hole had … Continue reading “BUDGET IS A FOUR LETTER WORD | And Other “FUN” Stuff”

A continuation of the home building blogs…

With this series, I’ll keep you updated as we go with insight into the process, and maybe help you make a decision if you’re on the fence about building!

(Read here for the previous post in this series.)

CONCRETE JUNGLE
Since we last talked… the dirt hole had quickly become a concrete jungle of sorts! What you see in the photos below are the plotters used to form our concrete foundation. Think like a jello mold… but luckily more sturdy in the end.

They place the plotters where the foundation walls will go, and then pour in the concrete. Now is the “wait” period of the phrase “hurry up and wait”. Unknown to me before this moment… while you only need to keep the concrete protected for the first week or so while it cures, it actually takes about 28 days to reach its full strength and hardness. So be prepared to stare at your concrete for a few weeks, and not much else.

IMG_2811

After the plotters come off, the build progress speeds up considerably. So use this time wisely to make your selections, and not feel rushed later!

REDLINE THE PLAN, REDLINE THE BUDGET…
When we had our ‘Redline’ meeting with the builder (see previous post for info on that) we also were presented with the breakdown of our home’s budget and based on that, the allowances for our design selections. By selections, I mean all of the fun stuff… the decorative items like flooring, lighting, paint, etc. that make the house, YOUR home! This selection guide is paramount to staying within (or close to) the price you determined and anticipate the house to be at closing.

Now that we’ve established that… burn your budget. Welcome to the joy of home building!!

We quickly found out that we have expensive taste. So the most stressful part of the selection process was seeing the deadlines approaching while trying to find out when to go over budget and when to stay on track. You think you’ll come in under budget? Hah. No. That’s like saying you’ll lose weight but cutting off your leg.

CURB APPEAL… AND HOA APPROVAL?
Our first deadline, and a VERY QUICK one at that, was to select our exterior paint colors, brick and stone. This is no small feat, not only because one of your homes most valuable resale points is it’s curb appeal… but also because we had to have our selections pre-approved by the Development and HOA (read this post about why and how and wtf the HOA has to do with it). We were lucky that our preferred exterior look was one that was doable with our plans and that the HOA/Development approved.

THE NEXT STEP
Sticks and stones and framing, PLUS: lights, appliances, paint, floors, granite, color schemes and cat nooks… oh my!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

IMG_7213

I SAID YES | To The Dress!

Here comes the Briiiiiide! Since we last spoke about wedding planning, you guys… I SAID YES TO TO THE DRESS!!! Planning is ramping up and, while we’re still 7-ish months away, there are so many more exciting boxes to check off the list. To catch up on what’s happened prior to this point, visit the … Continue reading “I SAID YES | To The Dress!”

Here comes the Briiiiiide!

Since we last spoke about wedding planning, you guys… I SAID YES TO TO THE DRESS!!! Planning is ramping up and, while we’re still 7-ish months away, there are so many more exciting boxes to check off the list.

To catch up on what’s happened prior to this point, visit the previous blog post in our wedding series. Also, we’re building a home at the same time (cue insanity). Read here for the latest on that!

WHAT SHADE OF WHITE COMPLIMENTS YOUR PALENESS MY DEAR?
Guys, I’m terrifically pale by nature. 1/2 English, 1/2 Irish… Casper the Ghost has nothing on me! When I was Pinterest-ing to my heart’s content, I could tell already that I’d have to stay away from certain shades or else I’d look ghostly. Also, certain trendy looks don’t seem to flatter the palest of brides (personally not a big fan of “too trendy” on such a big day).

Of course I’ll have a bit of a spray tan (the photographers don’t need me to throw off the white balance), but there’s only so far you can fake it until you’re in Oompa Loompa territory. I also have a weeeeeee bit of experience trying on wedding gowns (putting it mildly) so I kind of knew what bridal tones would look especially horrific on me.

IT WON’T BE SPECIAL…
That’s what everyone told me!! (Can you say buzzkill?) Back to the “I have a wee bit of experience”. I’ve modeled more bridal gowns than I can possibly count. We’re talking dozens. I’ve been put in dozens more through fittings, rehearsals, etc. etc. etc.

After getting engaged, all of the industry gals warned me that it wouldn’t feel special to search for my own gown. That they too had difficulty achieving the “ohmygoditstheone” feeling when it came to their wedding gowns. It makes sense, after all I’d been in a so many gowns but thinking about it, none of those gowns felt 100% like ME. All of my bookings did help me to determine things I liked and plenty of things I didn’t like… but as for finding “the one” at a job? Nope.

HA! YOU WERE (KIND OF) WRONG!
Appointment day and my bridal squad was ready to help me in finding “the one”. I was hopeful that it would be different than backstage bridal gowns, that I’d cry the ugly bridal cry of joy! Well, the industry gals were kind of right, but also kind of wrong.

Whereas I didn’t cry (I’m not really emotional about any garment to be honest, I’m too busy analyzing if I can sit/dance/eat/what the heck is that itchy part)… for the first time in a gazillion gowns I felt like a bride. Something clicked when I put it on. The gown just made sense with our wedding style, with my style, with my preferences and how I wanted something to fit on my body (and my mum looked a little teary, that’ll do it!). Believe me, I tried on plenty, in every style and trend imaginable and something about this one just felt perfect. (Heyyyyy it’s like finding a husband! Jk jk.)

I’m obviously not going to show any photos, it’s under wraps to everyone until The Big Day, but I’ll give you a hint… it’s none of the gowns shown in this post. ;)

IMG_2985

NEXT UP…
We have catering tastings to decide between… so here’s hoping they understand how much Jon likes bread, wish me luck!

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

Xoxo, Meeghan

ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices. If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are … Continue reading “ULTA 21 DAYS OF BEAUTY | It’s Back! What To Buy & What To Avoid”

The holy grail of Ulta beauty sales is coming back! Their “21 Days of Beauty” is here for the Fall 2017 edition and this is always the sale to find high end makeup at ridiculously discounted prices.

If you’ve never heard of this sale before… either break out or hide your wallet, because the deals are FIRE! The sale starts Sunday September 3rd, with different items heavily discounted each day and ends on Saturday September 23rd.

The daily “Beauty Steals” are available for that specific day only, both in-store and online (some items are online only or Platinum Members only). FYI, Ulta’s Platinum Members receive free shipping on all online orders containing a Beauty Steal item, no minimum purchase required.

I’ll give you guys my suggestions for what to get and what to forget! I’ve also linked the items for your convenience (because, I too am an impatient online shopper), but note: until the day they’re on sale, the prices will be shown as the regular retail amount.

(Also keep in mind… YOU CAN RETURN THINGS TO ULTA. You don’t love the item you purchased? Take it back!!! People don’t take advantage of this and are often stuck with a beauty item that doesn’t work for them.)

ulta 21 days

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 3
IT Cosmetics Brow Power Super Skinny – $12 (reg $24)
Murad Resurgence Retinol Youth Renewal Serum – $44 (reg $88)
Estée Lauder Pure Color Love Lipstick – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: The It Cosmetics brow pencil is on par with my favorites, but has slightly different colors and undertones, worth a look at! I have this and the Estée Lauder lipsticks on my list, that packaging is to die for.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 4
bareMinerals Mineral Veil Finishing Powder – $11.50 (reg $23)
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner – $8.50 (reg $17)
Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick Extra – $12.50 (reg $25) – Online Only
Philospohy Renewed Hope in a Jar or Hope in a Jar – $19.50 (reg $39) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you love bareMinerals this is a killer deal for their finishing powder. I am a huge fan of Philosophy and their Renewed Hope in a Jar is lovely (I personally like this formula more than the original Hope in a Jar, but both are on sale).

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 5
Mario Badescu Enzyme Cleansing Gel – $7 (reg $14)
PÜR All Primers – $16.50 (reg $33)
Butter London Sheer Wisdom Lip Oil – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m obsessed with a few other Mario Badescu items, and the Enzyme Cleansing Gel is one I’ve tried a sample of before and loved. 

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 6
Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels 4ct – $7.50 (reg $15)
Tarte Double Duty Beauty Lip Sculptor Double Ended Lipstick & Gloss – $10 (reg $24)
First Aid Beauty Ready. Set. Hydrate! Kit – $22 (reg $44) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Skyn Iceland Eye Gels are super nice (keep them in the fridge for an extra cooling pamper session) and the Tarte Lip Sculptor is a lip product I adore!!!! I love the convenience of these for my purse or on the go. The formula is super moisturizing and long lasting for that. I love them and have gifted quite a few.

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 7
Exuviance Age Reverse Introductory Collection – $40 (reg $80)
Too Faced Sketch Marker Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
Cargo Mascaras – $10-11 (reg $20-22) – Online Only

My recommendation: All of these can be skipped honestly… the Too Faced Sketch Markers, while awesome at first, dry out sooooo quickly!! Bummer.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 8
Perricone MD Select Cold Plasma (excludes travel and kits) – $55-81 (reg $110-162)
Urban Decay Naked Flushed Palette – $17 (reg $34)
OFRA Select Highlighters – $14.50-16 (reg $29-32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay palette is perfect for travel and comes in a few shade options, I own the shade ‘Naked’ and again have gifted a few. Something I’m pretty excited about however… I’m using this sale as a time to finally try the OFRA highlighters! I just can’t see why they are $29-32 each normally. But at half off? Heck yes, I’ll try these then OFRA. 

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 9
Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Facial Wash – $14 (reg $28)
Benefit Roller Lash Lifting Mascara – $12 (reg $24)
Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder – $17.50 (reg $35) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Philosophy facial cleanser is lovely to toss in a few days a week and not too harsh (I wouldn’t use it every day personally). Also, I have tried a baaaaaby sample of the Cover FX Perfect Setting Powder and it was awesome!! I personally am stoked to score it for such a deal, I predict this one sells out FAST!

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 10
StriVectin Power Starters Tightening Trio – $44.50 (reg $89)
Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes Precision Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $10 (reg $20)
NARS NARSissist Cheek Studio Palette – $27.50 (reg $55) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: The Tarte liquid eyeliner is really nice, but not normally worth $20… for $10 though? Yep! As for the NARS cheek palette, it looks like it may not work on my fair skin but I soooo want to try it out. This palette contains a full sized Laguna Bronzing Powder, which is $40 on it’s own. 

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 11 (MY BIRTHDAY!!)
proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief or Makeup Cleansing Wipes – $10 (reg $20)
Too Faced Shadow Insurance Anti-Crease Eyeshadow Primer – $10 (reg $20)
Clinique Quickliner for Eyes Intense – $8.75 (reg $17.50) – Online Only

My recommendation: FYI, the proactive Blemish Relief contains benzoyl peroxide which can be extremely drying and damaging to sensitive skin. I’d avoid it if you have never tried this ingredient! The Too Faced Shadow Insurance is a great eye primer, but honestly any good concealer can do the same. My birthday’s sales are kind of a miss!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 12
stila MATTE’ificent Lipstick – $11 (reg $22)
Peter Thomas Roth Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel – $19 (reg $38)
DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device (blue only) – $94.50 (reg $189) – Online only

My recommendation: The Peter Thomas Cleansing Gel reminds me of a few drugstore alternatives, but I have to admit it does work better. It’s just soooo pricey normally! One thing I am SUUUUPER intrigued by is the DERMAFLASH Facial Exfoliating Device. I’ve obviously discussed how much I love dermaplaning on the blog before, but to try it at home… I may not be ready y’all, but that’s one heck of a deal!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 13
Dermablend Loose Setting Powder (Colorless only) – $13.50 (reg $27)
Smashbox X-Rated Mascara & Photo Finish Lash Primer – $10 (reg $23)
Origins Plantscription Anti-Aging Power Serum 1oz – $29.50 (reg $59) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you like Dermablend then this Loose Setting Powder is a good one to get. However, note that you can only get the colorless one at the sale price, even though it comes in 3 shades. Lately I’ve been loving Origins, but have not tried the Plantscription Serum… have any of you guys??

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 14
Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid – $14.50 (reg $29)
Juice Beauty Kits – $19.50-25 (reg $39-50)
Lorac TANtalizer Buildable Bronzing Powder – $16 (reg $32) – Online Only

My recommendation: The Urban Decay Naked Skin line is AMAZING (I love the concealers!) and if you’ve wanted to try your hand at color correcting, these make it super easy. They also allow you to get the exact corrector shades you need vs. other mega palettes which have more correctors than you need and will ever use… waste of money and space! Lorac is such a lovely brand that seems to get far less attention than it deserves (they have had some weird misses lately though). Their bronzers are really nice, natural looking on the skin, and certainly worth a look at.

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 15
Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duos – $11.50 (reg $23)
Clarisonic Single Cleansing Brush Heads (Excludes Sonic Foundation Brush) – BUY ONE GET ONE FREE (reg $27-32)
Eyeko Mascaras – $9.50- $15 (reg $19-30) – Online Only

My recommendation: By far, my favorite brow powders ever are the Anastasia Beverly Hills powder duos. They are perfect for travel, and with the two complementary shades in one little duo, allow you to use powders to create a more natural brow. (FYI, you use the lighter shade toward the center of your face and the darker shade goes on the arch to brow tail… mimicking where your hairs are thicker naturally!) Also, if you use a Clarisonic, this is a great time to stock up on brush heads. I don’t, but know plenty of people who SWEAR by them!

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 16
IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation – $17.50 (reg $35)
IT Brushes For Ulta Airbrush Complexion Brush #115 – $12 (reg $24)
Benefit Brow Service – Free brow wax with any $50 Benefit purchase ($21 value)
Dose of Colors Matte Liquid Lipstick – $9 (reg $18) – Online Only

My recommendation: The IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation sits beautifully on the skin. It’s supposed to have anti-aging ingredients, but I always question that… since it goes on top of everything else you’ve prepped the skin with already (moisturizers, primers, etc.). Either way, lovely powder! I’d say skip on the Benefit Brow Service… there is zero point in this, since it’s something they regularly offer for free with purchase throughout the year and no Benefit items are on sale this day. Now, you all know I’m not a liquid lipstick kind of gal, but if you are, Dose of Colors are some of the best in the biz. They also rarely go on sale, so I predict these shades sell out quickly. 

SUNDAY SEPTEMBER 17
Philosophy Time in a Bottle Serum – $38 (reg $76)
Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector – $15 (reg $30)
Urban Decay Razor Sharp Longwear Liquid Eyeliner – $11 (reg $22) – Online Only, Platinum Perk Only

My recommendation: Looove me some Philosophy, that’s all I have to say at this point! As for the Becca Under Eye Brightening Corrector? HATE IT. All shouty caps. This just sits on the skin like a wet, shiny layer and does nothing to actually correct or brighten. Stick to a color corrector or a full coverage concealer (try the Tarte Shape Tape).

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 18
Lancôme Auda[City] Palettes – $34.50 (reg $69)
Shiseido Triple Task Mask – $19 (reg $38)
Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara – $11.50 (reg $23)
NIA Not Into Aging Start Up Kit – $10 (reg $20) – Online Only

My recommendation: Shiseido is one of my favorite luxury skincare brands, which also rarely has amazing sales. I’ll be picking up the Triple Task Mask set for myself!! I’m not a huge fan of any Stila, so I’d say pass on this and get the L’Oreal Lash Paradise which I mentioned in my latest favorites blog!

TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 19
Lorac Front of Line PRO Liquid Eyeliners or Eye Pencils – $10 (reg $20-$23)
Algenist Retinol Firming & Lifting Serum – $51 (reg $102)
Japonesque Makeup Setting Spray – $14.50 (reg $29) – Online Only

My recommendation: I’m curious about the Japonesque setting spray, it’s one of very few aerosol setting sprays on the market (everyone lost their mindsssss over the Morphe one, which never seemed to go back in stock) and I love the idea of a constant fine mist when finding great setting spray nozzles is hard these days. Hmmm… worth a try!

WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 20
Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover – $9.50 (reg $19)
MAC Russian Red & Velvet Teddy Lipsticks– $8.75 (reg $17.50)
Woosh Beauty Spin-On Lipgloss – $8 (reg $16) – Online Only

My recommendation: This Clinique Take The Day Off Makeup Remover is not the Cleansing Balm version that is majorly hyped, but I like this one more. I prefer liquids for eye makeup removal, get those gooey balms away from me! Also, if you’ve never tried a MAC Lipstick, now is the time people! These are two of MAC’s most popular colors. I personally own and LOVE Velvet Teddy. It’s a lovely warm nude which actually works on my pale self. (Side note: if you didn’t know, MAC offers the Back-to-M·A·C Program where you can recycle your used MAC containers and get freebies! Take a look at my FAQ video on that here.)

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 21
Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation – $16.50 (reg $33)
Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser – $7.50 (reg $15)
Meaningful Beauty Ultra Deluxe System – $39.50 (reg $79) – Online Only

My recommendation: A lot of people swear by the Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten, but I just find it’s kind of ‘meh’ for me. However, Clarins is an amazing brand that rarely gets much hype, but it should. I’ll be picking up the cleanser!

FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 22
Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara – $10 (reg $23)
Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant – $9 (reg $18)
Dermadoctor KP Duty (Excludes Travel Size and Body Peel) – $19-35 (reg $38-70) – Online Only

My recommendation: If you’ve tried the Tarte Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara and liked it… who are you??! I just can’t get that to work for me. It smudges and transfers everywhere and I look ridiculous within an hour. The Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant however, I looove this as a dry powder to foaming cleanser, especially for travel (no liquids to break in my toiletries case!). However, fair warning: it’s not good at makeup removal or to be used in scratchy form on the eyes.

SATURDAY SEPTEMBER 23
Benefit ka-BROW! Cream-Gel Eyebrow Color With Brush – $12 (reg $24)
Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum – $22.50 (reg $45)
Butter London Glazen Eye Gloss – $12 (reg $24)

My recommendation: Mayyyybe the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum. I do love MB, but some vitamin C serums react badly with my skin… that’s just me though so we’ll see! Otherwise this day is a miss. The Benefit ka-BROW is extremely lackluster in it’s product and packaging and the Butter London Eye Gloss are just not my favorite for performance and wear.

Ok guys, I hope this list helps you plan your method of attack :) I’d love to hear what you’re thinking about purchasing!

Xoxo, Meeghan

Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post! Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel too: Meeghan Dunleavy

MASKCARA BEAUTY | IIID Foundation Palette Review

I was recently sent the Maskcara IIID Foundation Palette and 30 Second HAC Brush to try out and it promises to deliver time-friendly makeup application as an all-in-one palette with almost everything you need for a full face. In essence, the highlight and contour (where “HAC” comes from) are your foundation, then the blush and … Continue reading “MASKCARA BEAUTY | IIID Foundation Palette Review”

I was recently sent the Maskcara IIID Foundation Palette and 30 Second HAC Brush to try out and it promises to deliver time-friendly makeup application as an all-in-one palette with almost everything you need for a full face. In essence, the highlight and contour (where “HAC” comes from) are your foundation, then the blush and illuminator pair on top seamlessly. Hmm… let’s test it out shall we!

THAT PRESENTATION THOUGH!
When you first open the box, all of the items are separate and super carefully packaged. I was so pleased with the care that everything arrived in!

You slide off the (adorable) tin lids to each item and place them in the (GORGEOUSSSSSS) magnetic palette (which has a generous sized mirror, super convenient for travel). Can you tell I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the packaging and design of everything?? It all feels luxurious and looks so beautifully on trend, a vanity friendly piece for sure.

WHICH CAME FIRST, THE HIGHLIGHT OR THE CONTOUR?
On to the IIID Foundation itself… ok, I’ll admit, this took me a few times to really get the hang of it. It’s easy to get too muddy of an appearance or to just look imperfect. I’m much more used to the “multiple step, multiple layer” kind of base makeup. Once I got a better hang of it though, this palette made a quick makeup look just that, quick. Fair warning, this is targeted toward those who want a more natural look. If you’re going for full coverage or a contour that could cut glass, this isn’t the product for you.

Again, both the contour and highlight are meant to be your foundation, so they are pretty thick formulas, even though they will blend out (for best results use a small amount of product at first). I found it easiest when I applied the contour first, then the highlight (which was helpful if I needed to clean up the contour at all). I applied both with the 30 Second HAC Brush and then followed with a dampened beauty sponge to blend everything even further into my skin.

I personally like cream blushes and illuminators best when applied with such a sponge, so I went in next with that application method, but you can always use your fingers or the brush, if you want to carry only the palette/brush with you. (Maskcara also sells the ‘IIID Perfector Sponge‘, their own sponge dupe for the more expensive and widely known beautyblender).

IMG_2855

BUT WHAT ABOUT THE PRODUCT?
The products are super natural when blended out, without looking oily or greasy on my skin at all. (I did set a light amount of translucent powder on my T-Zone, but I do that regardless, as I always get shiny there throughout the day.) Maskcara says this can be up to medium coverage, but I’d say it’s more of a light to medium at best, it’s very natural. I’d caution you against applying too much as the formula of the highlight and contour, while they do blend out, can be thick and cakey if you try to layer too much. I honestly wish these were a bit thinner of a formula, with the ability to build up on the face instead, which may lend itself to an easier and more seamless application. I found that if I had any areas which needed spot concealing (hello evil little blemish), or if my dark under eye circles were making themselves particularly well known that day, then this wouldn’t do the trick on its own.

The blush and illuminator are much thinner in consistency, in fact the blush has almost a dewy wet feel. I found that the illuminator shade I tried seemed to have a sheer glow to it, instead of a beaming shine (natural look guys, natural). I’m curious to see what some of the other shades are like or if any have a higher intensity, because you all know I love a good highlight!

The shades below in L-R swatch order:
Contour – ‘Olive’
Blush – ‘Desert Sunset’
Highlight – ‘Moonlit’
Illuminator – ‘Pearl’
Highlight – ‘White Peach’

(Left Photo: Swatched. Right Photo: Slightly Blended Out.)

Here’s a video from Cara, the creator of Maskcara Beauty, explaining a bit more about the IIID Foundation.

BUT IS IT WORTH IT? (LET ME WORK IT)…
Long story short… I think it’s an awesome concept for a minimal makeup lover, someone wanting to dip their toe into easy contouring, or someone needing the most out of their on-the-go lifestyle. If you’re a makeup enthusiast, love the multiple step joy of makeup application or even want to see the products before you buy (Maskcara is online only as of now), then you may want to pass on this. I’m also wondering how well this would work on someone with dry skin?? I predict it wouldn’t blend out as well as on my normal to combo skin.

Let me know if you guys would like me to film a video tutorial using these. Also be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

Disclaimer: Maskcara Beauty and Stacy King were lovely enough to send me these items, but all opinions are my own. I wasn’t compensated in any way to write this review nor under any obligation to do so.

FLOOR PLAN PARTY! | Can You Make It Cat Friendly?

A continuation of the home building blogs! (Read here for the previous post in this series.) HOW MANY CLOSETS ARE TOO MANY? ASKING FOR A FRIEND… As previously discussed, once we’d decided on our lot, and knew the floor plan we liked, it was time to make sure that plan would be approved for our … Continue reading “FLOOR PLAN PARTY! | Can You Make It Cat Friendly?”

A continuation of the home building blogs!

(Read here for the previous post in this series.)

HOW MANY CLOSETS ARE TOO MANY? ASKING FOR A FRIEND…
As previously discussed, once we’d decided on our lot, and knew the floor plan we liked, it was time to make sure that plan would be approved for our lot. (Yes, there are many hoops to jump through with building, be prepared!)

We submitted the plans to the Development Office and (woohoo!) were approved within a couple of days. Then, we were finally able to meet with the builder to discuss the plans. (Yes, we hadn’t even met the builder yet! There’s really no need to do so until you know you’ll be able to build with them. Otherwise it’s just a waste of everyone’s time.)

Sitting down with the builder to discuss what you envision from their plans, if some of your ideas are even possible, and to see if you’ll even like working with that builder is a very important first step. This company is building your HOME! Make sure you like them, you like how they respond to correspondence, that they have plenty of example builds you can refer to go see in person, and that you can’t dig up any negative reviews on their business. (Don’t confuse this meeting with the “Redline” meeting, that happens later on.)

BUT REALLY… ABOUT THOSE CLOSETS?
After all the necessary paperwork for the builder and the bank is set to proceed (aka the hoop titled: “heyooo you’re actually allowed to build!”) NOW it’s time for the Redline meeting. You literally sit down with the Builder and room by room, go through the plans, “red line”/mark up the blue prints, and discuss any changes you want. EVERY. LITTLE. THING. Of course, you can still make small changes later, but you should have the big picture idea of what you want in your plans at this meeting (this is not about the decorating, think major items like moving walls or adding structural features that may have lengthy supply times.)

Among our many changes to customize our build were making sure the garage space would work best for a project car paradise and… having wide window ledges for our cat to enjoy lounging on. Seriously! We had quite a few other changes and completely redid the basement but that’s the best part of building. The world {plans} are your oyster!

BREAKING GROUND
The day we broke ground was much more exciting than we could’ve thought a dirt hole to be, it was becoming real!! (When we went out there, they were in the process of digging, so we came back later on to see it at dusk. Something about staring at the poor guy operating the digger seemed creepy of us…) The entire building process goes in “hurry up and wait” waves, but that first dig was such a monumental step. Adulting at it’s finest!

THE NEXT STEP
Breaking ground meant narrowing our many design ideas down to one fluid look (harder than you think)… hello HGTV?? It’s Meeghan calling.

Xoxo, Meeghan 

VENUES AND VISION | We’re Planning A Wedding!

Since we last spoke about wedding planning… a lot has happened! To recap, Jon and I were engaged in Hawaii on October 28, 2016 and spent the immediate time after that basking in our newfound use of the fiancé title. We honestly didn’t do much planning at all for a few months, because we knew … Continue reading “VENUES AND VISION | We’re Planning A Wedding!”

Since we last spoke about wedding planning… a lot has happened!

To recap, Jon and I were engaged in Hawaii on October 28, 2016 and spent the immediate time after that basking in our newfound use of the fiancé title. We honestly didn’t do much planning at all for a few months, because we knew our wedding wouldn’t be until early 2018. (Jon’s sister’s wedding was June 2017 and we not only wanted her year to shine, but didn’t want to ask family members to come back from near and far, for two events so close together. Hey, just spacing out the family reunions!)

So, as we’ve finally taken the leap into the wedding planning process, let’s catch you up to speed!

WHERE TO DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY?
We began venue hunting first. We approached this by first looking online and through personal recommendations rather than just traversing all over town for in-person tours, when a venue may have been ruled out with a simple photo tour. We both had ideas of things we hoped for and things we didn’t want (for example, I didn’t want a hotel ballroom as to me that feels like a work conference).

In the end, we formally toured only one venue… and that was it! We selected Noah’s Event Venue on a recommendation (I’d never heard of it before) and we fell in love with the flow and look of the building as well as all of the available options to make the day our own kind of perfect. From there, we simply asked for their available dates and selected ours. Neither of us were partial to a certain date, so we merely chose the Saturday that worked best for everyone involved.


VENUE ADVICE
If you’re planning your own “big day”, my advice on venue hunting is to know approximately how many guests you are anticipating and what budget you have for your overall wedding. I say the overall wedding because traditionally the reception will account for 50% of the entire wedding budget, to include: venue, rentals, food, cake and beverages. Again, “traditionally” is a loose term to use with wedding planning, but know that your dream venue could be pricey, so don’t spend all of your budget there and not be left with enough later on!

MAKE SURE YOU GET MY GOOD SIDE
With a date officially set, the next item we really wanted to secure was our photographer. To both of us, the photos of our wedding and our families will be a very precious piece of the day that we plan on having in our home. Luckily, we know so many amazingly talented photographers! Unluckily, we had to somehow choose just one?! I left this decision up to Jon (hey, I didn’t want the pressure!) and we went with Clewell Photography. We had previously shot with Kris and Jes, and not only do we love them as friends, we LOVE their wedding photography style.

clewell.jpg

LET THEM EAT CAKE
Now this is a very important part… the food! We haven’t narrowed it down yet, but we’re looking between a few catering options. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of bread and mashed potatoes, at the insistence of the groom. But we have selected our cake baker, which was a no brainer, we use Cameo Cakes for everything!

NEXT UP…
We have a few more items in the works, but there are many more boxes to check along the way, wish us luck!

Xoxo, Meeghan 

DRUGSTORE MUST HAVES | THE TOP 10 {CHEAP BUT BRILLIANT} ITEMS YOU NEED

It’s no secret I love a killer beauty deal, even more so when it’s cheap AND amazing. Beauty doesn’t have to break the bank, and while I do have splurge items I can’t live without, there are brilliant beauty items in the world for any budget. Speaking of… all of the items I’ll discuss below are … Continue reading “DRUGSTORE MUST HAVES | THE TOP 10 {CHEAP BUT BRILLIANT} ITEMS YOU NEED”

It’s no secret I love a killer beauty deal, even more so when it’s cheap AND amazing. Beauty doesn’t have to break the bank, and while I do have splurge items I can’t live without, there are brilliant beauty items in the world for any budget. Speaking of… all of the items I’ll discuss below are under $10 and from the drugstore. Yes, you read that correctly… UNDER $10. I’m not kidding. Stop hyperventilating.

Without further ado, when it comes to must have drugstore products, these 10 products are always in my daily rotation.

BeFunky Collage

FABULOUS DRUGSTORE PRODUCTS: (click product name to shop)
Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation: A fabulous drugstore foundation that will leave you looking natural and smooth all day. (If the matte look isn’t your thing, they have a dewy formula also.) This is versatile enough to wear with minimal other makeup, or as a great base for a more dramatic look. The coverage is medium, slightly buildable, and will last all day on your face.

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer: This concealer gives a very natural finish, and is best suited to even out the complexion vs hardcore blemish coverage (it’s not very buildable or suited to that). It doesn’t crease on me and doesn’t disappear from my face as the day goes on. (FYI: my personal preference is to set any concealer with either the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder or the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder).

Wet n Wild Photo Focus Pressed Powder: This is a gorgeous powder for setting down your foundation and/or concealer without adding too much coverage. Again, perfect for my more natural days, when I just want to fight shine and cover minor imperfections. I use a light dusting of this daily!

Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer: Ok, to be fair this is over $10 but buy it on sale! I bought mine for about $8. This bronzer is seriously like summer in a compact, it warms up your face with a very slight sheen, and is perfect to bronze or sculpt with. It also smells like a summer tropical vacation! A very buttery smooth formula which is easy to blend, and (for good reason) took the beauty community by storm.

Wet N Wild Color Icon Blush: I love blush. REALLY, REALLY LOVE IT. I own far too may to be honest, but the Wet n Wild blushes are so affordable (seriously, $2.99), come in multiple shades and have huge pans of product, how do you say no to that?! These blushes go on, and stay on, like a more expensive high end product, but will save you so much money. The two shades which are my fair skin favorites are: ‘Apri-Cot in the Middle’ and ‘Rosé Champagne’.

Wet n Wild MegaGlo Highlighting Powder: These highlighters broke the internet, literally… they crashed the Wet n Wild website and sold out everywhere! Lucky for us, they’re back and with more shades than before. These highlighters are extremely smooth, creamy and give off a crazy amazing glow for only $5. If you’re looking for a blinding highlight, these are by far one of the most amazing you can find, regardless of price.

NYX Butter Gloss: If you wear glosses and haven’t discovered these yet… GO NOW! These are about $5 and the shade range is so vast, everyone is guaranteed to find a few they love. I find these to be super comfortable on the lips, not sticky or gloopy. They also provide a nice wash of pigment. My favorites are ‘Crème Brulee’ and ‘Apple Strudel’, worn over a pinky nude lipliner or lipstick.

Rimmel London Exaggerate Lip Liner: I prefer twist up lip liners, as I never seem to have traditional pencil liners sharpened when I want them (I’m all about convenience here) and the Rimmel ones are some of my favorites. They’re pigmented, creamy and don’t skip on the lips when I’m going for a precise application. My favorite shade is ‘Addiction’, which is more of a “my lips but deeper” shade. Top that with a NYX Butter Gloss and I’m good to go!

elf Eyeshadow Palette: These palettes seem to be overlooked by many, but they shouldn’t be! If you’re looking for an every day, wearable palette then look no further than the ‘Need it Nude’ or multiple ‘Mad for Matte’ palettes! I haven’t tried it yet, but the ‘Nude Rose Gold’ palette reminds me of the Urban Decay Naked 3 palette and the ‘Mad for Matte Summer Breeze’ is a great dupe for the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette… but all for a much lower price. These are middle ground when it comes to pigmentation, but you can build up the colors.

L’Oreal Lash Paradise Mascara: This has quickly become my every day mascara. Seriously, I haven’t used anything else since ripping open the package in delight! If you’re obsessed with high end favorites like the Too Faced Better Than Sex, Marc Jacobs Velvet Noir, and more… try this L’Oreal mascara. You won’t be disappointed. It doesn’t transfer or flake on me and my lashes look bombdotcom.

ColourPop Super Shock Highlighter: (I threw this in as a #11 bonus, because while ColourPop is super affordable, it’s currently an online-only brand.) I’ve been vocal before at not loving the Super Shock Blushes, but the Highlighters… WHERE WERE YOU MY PRECIOUS!? I love ‘Glazed’ for a more subtle glow, or if I’m feeling daring I turn to ‘Flexitarian’ and crank up the wattage. For me, these are best applied with a damp beauty sponge, to make the highlight effortlessly melt into my skin. All Super Shock formula products were designed to be applied with your fingers, but I find sponges an easier way to diffuse and blend the highlighters.

BeFunky Collage2.jpg

What are some of your must have drugstore products? Do tell, I’m always on the hunt for a good deal! Also, let me know if you want more drugstore favorites, or even a list of best drugstore tools/application items. Be sure to subscribe and follow all of my fun social links around here, and please share if you loved this post!

Xoxo, Meeghan