Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best of Beauty 2011: Favorite Products of the Year!

Looking back over 2011, I can't believe how quickly it has come and gone!  I've had so much fun with my YouTube channel this year and I'm beyond excited to see what 2012 brings...

Last year at this time, I uploaded a video recapping some of my favorite makeup and beauty-related products of the year.  I figured I would continue the tradition in my Best in Beauty 2011 video.  I really tried my hardest (and it was very difficult) to narrow down all of my top picks and must-haves.  These were the "shining stars" from the past twelve months and I would truly recommend any of these products to my friends, family and - of course - readers and subscribers.

I can't thank you all enough for tuning in to my beauty channel as well as checking out my lil' blog.  It really does mean so much to me!  On that note I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and an even better 2012!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fave Beauty Tips & Tricks: Winter Edition!

Hey everyone!  You may recall a few months back I filmed a video featuring some of my favorite makeup and beauty-related tips and tricks.  I received a lot of positive feedback after posting that one so I decided to continue it as a series!  In this winter edition, I'll be showing you some of my favorite cold weather looks as well as some other fun ideas that I've been loving recently! Enjoy!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Smokey Emerald Eyeliner: Festive Holiday Makeup

List of Products:

UDPP in Eden
Smashbox eyeshadow in Bliss
MAC eyeshadows:
Swiss Chocolate
Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Mildew
Loreal Carbon Black Extra Intense Liquid Liner Pencil (phewf!)
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
MAC Carbon e/s
Loreal False Fiber Lashes Mascara
Cargo Medium Matte Bronzer
Bobbi Brown Pot Rouge in Cabo Coral
Laura Mercier Peach Mosaic Shimmer Bloc
MAC Lipglass in Underage

Sunday, December 11, 2011

November Favorites: New Beauty Finds & Holiday Lights

Check out some of my favorite beauty products and holiday goodies for the month of November:

Laura Mercier Peach Mosaic Shimmer Bloc

Amazing Cosmetics Shimmer Blush in Cinnamon Spice

L'oreal Voluminous False Fiber Lashes Mascara

MAC Arena Eyeshadow

Cargo Medium Matte Bronzer

Laura Mercier Mineral Foundation Primer

20 bulb mini light set

Yankee Candle - Rhubarb Plum

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Video FAQ's: Camera, Lighting & Other Ramblings...

Hi everyone! A few months ago I was toying around with the idea of filming a video about...well, filming videos!  I've said this many times but the number one question I receive from my subscribers relates to making videos. So many of you have asked about my camera, lighting, editing software....the list goes on!

I'm also aware that an astounding number of my viewers have their own beauty channels as well.  You guys are always sending me your videos and tutorials on YouTube and Twitter :) Which, by the way - I LOVE to see! So keep sending them my way!!

I'm obviously not a professional, but I have discovered a lot of things over the past year (some just as recently as a few months ago) that have made my little filming hobby so much easier. Most of my tips in the video below were discovered purely through trial and error...and lots of it!!  Learning about video and film can be somewhat frustrating and time-consuming, I know this from experience!  So, hopefully I can save some of my viewers a little aggravation and a lot of time by sharing some things I've learned on my YouTube journey.  The tips in this post are by no means hi-tech (think lower-than-low tech), but nevertheless have made a huge difference in the quality of my videos.  Hope you enjoy!  Oh yeah, for everyone who takes absolutely zero percent interest in this topic, I'll be posting another video tomorrow ;)


Friday, December 2, 2011

The Perfect Nude Lip: Tips & Favorite Products

After lounging around the house for the majority of today I decided I was really in the mood to film a new video...ahhh yes, productivity! So, I decided to go with one of my favorite topics: nude lips! This is a staple wintertime look for me, especially when paired with a bold, dramatic smokey eye..the perfect combination for holiday events and get-togethers, or just a night out!

My quest for THE perfect nude lip color has led me to try many a pale lipstick.  Some good, some not so good, some downright horrifying.  However, in this post I'll show you some of my tried-and-true lip products for achieving this striking look and some quick tips for easy application! Now go and get your nude on! ;)


Products Mentioned:

Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening Gel
Softlips Vanilla lip balm

Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee
Revlon Lipstick in 070 Soft Nude
MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme d'Nude
MAC Studio Finish Concealer NC20
Pur Minerals Lipstick in Iced Topaz
YSL Rouge Volupte 1 Nude Beige

Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Pencil in Natural

MAC C-Thru Lipglass
MAC Underage Lipglass
Benefit Ultra Shines gloss in Life on the A-List
Benefit Ultra Shines gloss in Nudie-Tude

The Swatches:

Lip Color L to R: Pur Minerals Lipstick in Iced Topaz,
YSL Rouge Volupte #1 Nude Beige, Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee,
Revlon Lipstick in Soft Nude, MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme d'Nude,
MAC Studio Finish Concealer in NC20 (swatch barely shows)

Liner & Glosses L to R:
Rimmel Lasting Finish 1000 Kisses Lip Liner in Natural
MAC C-Thru Lipglass, MAC Underage Lipglass,
Benefit Ultra Shines gloss in Life on the A-List,
Benefit Ultra Shines gloss in Nudie-Tude

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Winter Glow: My Essentials for Warm, Radiant Skin

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing and enjoyable Thanksgiving with your families! I just returned home from all of my holiday traveling, feeling pretty weary but eager to share some of my most recent must-haves of the moment! Hence my super late-night upload, not a surprise if you've been subscribed to my YouTube channel for a while (I'm a night-owl what can I say)...

Lately I've been filming videos about whatever trend or look I'm really loving at the moment. As the weather gets colder I've been skipping my usual pale, cool pink blushes and swapping them out for a warm, spiced cheek color. My new fave blush (Amazing Cosmetics blush in Cinnamon Spice) actually changes from a toasty apricot color, to a rich cranberry shade depending on how you apply it! In the video below I'll also be showing you my favorite cold-weather products to keep my skin warm and glowing all year round! Hope you enjoy!


Featured Products:
Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Cleansing Pads
MAC Cream Color Base in Fawntastic
-applied with a Sigmax F84 brush (all brushes from Sigma)
Amazing Cosmetics Shimmer Blush in Cinnamon Spice
-applied with F40 
-blended with F30
NARS The Multiple in Copacabana

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holiday Makeup! Maroon Cat Eye Tutorial

Products Used:

MAC Abstract Paint Pot
MAC Sketch e/s
MAC Arena e/s
Benefit Eye Bright Pencil
MAC Mylar e/s
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
MAC Carbon e/s
Bobbi Brown Long Wear Gel Eyeliner in Chocolate Shimmer Ink
Loreal False Fiber Lash Mascara
Cargo Medium Matte Bronzer
Amazing Cosmetics Cinnamon Spice Blush
Laura Mercier Peach Mosaic Shimmer Bloc
Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Creme Brulee
Benefit Ultra Shines lipgloss in Nudie-Tudie

Friday, November 11, 2011

Wearable Glam Eyeliner Tutorial

Product List:
MAC Painterly Paint Pot
Covergirl Liquiline Blast in Silver Spark
MAC eyeshadows:
L'oreal Carbon Black Extra Intense Eyeliner Pencil
Loreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow
L'oreal Extra Volume Collagen Mascara
MAC Fawntastic Cream Color Base
Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights in Baked Starburst
NARS The Multiple in Copacabana
Benefit Ultra Shines Gloss in Life on the A-List

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

DIY Butterfly Decor For Your Bedroom or Vanity!

Hey everyone! Including DIY home decor projects isn't something I normally do on my blog or YouTube channel. But since I'm currently in the process of decorating our guest room (my makeup room) from scratch, I've had so many ideas that I've wanted to share with you all.

On a recent rainy day I conjured up this "butterfly" shadowbox - it's not a real butterfly because I would feel too much guilt. Michael's actually has a nice little selection of faux butterflies, which is where I found this one, the shadowbox and glue. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how I engineered this since most of it was pre-assembled...hehe. However, below I've included a breakdown of the steps.

Scroll down for a quick, easy and inexpensive way to spice up a bedroom or makeup area...

What You'll Need:

-Shadowbox or Empty Frame
(I actually had one laying around I found at Michaels
a few months ago and of course had no idea what to do with)

-Faux Butterfly
(no bug killing poeple, I found my
Ashland brand replica at an affordable $1.99...
much easier than running around a field with a net)

(I used WeldBond because it
dries in an hour and works on pretty
much any material)

I removed the cardboard backing from my shadowbox, which conveniently came with a nice cut-out in the matting that was the perfect, butterfly-framing size! You could also frame a grouping of butterflies or pretty much any found object to create a piece of personalized home decor.

I dotted a pea-size amount of Weldbond on the center of my little bug's body and carefully placed it on the cardboard backing. In order to mimic a real mounted butterfly, I propped the wing up with some of the remaining packaging so it would dry upright - gotta improvise!

I let this dry for an hour and it was good to go. I love the end result
and it literally took me 5 minutes aside from drying time.

I think my shadowbox fits in amazingly well with the other goodies from HomeGoods that I recently featured in my Fall Haul! Just goes to show that decorating your space doesn't have to be stressful or break the bank!

Hope you enjoyed this little tidbit!

Much Love,

October 2011 Faves: Pumpkin Hair Care, Concealers, Jewelry & Essie!

It's that time again, and I have some really cool stuff to show you in my October Favorites!
What better way to kick off autumn than with pumpkin hair products? My favorite "cleansing conditioner", WEN, is now back in my life and I LOVE their limited edition fall formula, Fall Ginger Pumpkin. Look for a video coming up allll about WEN products because I'm long overdue for a that discussion. Until then, I hope you enjoy the rest of my favorites for this month!

Much Love,
-Alli <3

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Everyday MAC Palette Organization & Faves

I've always been asked a lot of questions about great basic MAC eyeshadows to start off or add to your makeup collection. I thought it might be fun to take a look inside my everyday MAC palette which contains all of my essential eyeshadows that I use day to day. The cool thing that I've noticed is a few of these shades were the very first MAC eyeshadows I had ever tried, and I still use them now...ALL the time! There are tons of great brands out there besides MAC, and even dupes for the colors I'll be showing you within the MAC eyeshadow line itself...but hopefully this will give you an idea of general color groups that can be helpful for you when trying to put everyday eye looks together. Enjoy!

(from left to right)

First Row: Gesso, Mylar, Yogurt, Phloof!, Wedge, Mystery, Brun
Second Row: Dazzlelight, Ricepaper, Retrospeck, Patina, Tempting, Woodwinked, Espresso
Third Row: Soft Brown, Antiqued, Swiss Chocolate, Embark, Print
Fourth Row: Star Violet, Twinks, Satin Taupe, Sketch, Silver Ring, Carbon

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fall Haul: Clothing, Vanity Decor on a Budget!

In an attempt to get my hands on some stylish fall/winter decor to deck the halls of my house, I made a trip to my local Marshall's & HomeGoods stores (thanks to my peeps on Twitter who suggested it)! Although they definitely had some great seasonal decorative items (at amazing prices), somehow I never even made it out of the housewares department!! I was definitely overwhelmed (drooling) at all of the awesome finds at both places so I derailed my mission and decided to take the opportunity to breath some new life into my guestroom/vanity room!

Since we've moved into our new place, most of our household decor as been dispersed around the rest of the house leaving my "film" room pretty bare bones...not the cutest. Until now! I can't wait to show you all the final result!

For now, enjoy a little preview of the goodies I picked up! ...Oh yeah, and I got some clothes too ;)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Purple & Yellow Halloween Makeup Tutorial

Products Used:

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencils in Milk & Purple Velvet
MAC Carbon Eyeshadow
Stila Eye Kajal in Onyx
MAC Blacktrack Fluidline
Ardell 110 Black False Lashes
Duo Lash Adhesive
Benefit They're Real Mascara
Laura Mercier Dune Bronzing Powder
MAC blush in Prism
Smashbox Sheer Lipgloss in Afterglow

Sigma Giveaway & Make Me Up Brush Kit Review

It's Giveaway Time!! I'm beyond excited to announce the first-ever Sigma giveaway for the subscribers of my YouTube Channel! It's definitely long overdue so I'm really excited that I've got some great prizes for 2 lucky subscribers..To enter for your chance to win a Sigma Make Me Up Brush kit of your color choice OR a Sigma E20 short shader brush (the PERFECT smokey eye brush), follow the simple steps below:

1. Subscribe to my channel by clicking the little yellow button on my YouTube channel page if you haven't already :) - follow this link to subscribe

2. Comment on my "Sigma Giveaway & Make Me Up Brush Kit Review" video on the YouTube video page - follow this link to comment on that video

- leave any comment, doesn't matter what it is
-no need to comment more than once
-comment anytime from the day the video goes live until Monday, October 31st at 5PM EST (Halloween!!) - at that time I'll be closing the giveaway for entries and contacting the winners via YouTube messages

Good luck to everyone entering the giveaway and a HUGE thank you to all of my amazing subscribers! You all rock! <3

*Make Me Up Brush Kits and E20 brush for review and giveaway provided by Sigma

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bouncy Hair Tutorial (Using Velcro Rollers)

I recently rekindled a little romance with my trusty velcro rollers that I purchased at the drugstore ages ago! I love throwing my hair up into these large, oversized rollers because it's quick and adds lots of bounce and body to my hair. Check out how I achieve this easy, everyday style in the video below!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Flawless Foundation Routine

When the leaves start turning I always like to switch up my foundation routine to include a more fall/winter friendly look. I normally opt for a hyper-flawless look to compliment the dark, dramatic looks of the season, but full coverage doesn't mean that your makeup has to look cakey and feel heavy. My new absolute fave foundation (Laura Mercier Silk Cream Foundation in Cream Ivory) not only does double duty by perfecting all of my...imperfections, but it also looks incredibly natural and airbrushed! And even better, it feels just as light and natural as it looks!

Scroll down to watch my updated foundation routine!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Glowing Amber Fall Makeup Tutorial

List of Products:
UDPP in Eden
UD 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil in Lit
MAC eyeshadows:
Amber Lights
Star Violet
Soft Brown
Loreal Carbon Black Extra Intense Eyeliner
MAC Carbon eyeshadow
Loreal Extra Volume Collagen Macara
MAC Melba blush
Revlon Soft Nude Lipstick
MAC Lipglass in Underage

Friday, October 7, 2011

September Favorites

Check out all of my favorite beauty/lifestyle objects for the month of September!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Products I Regret Buying: Hair Disaster & Other Flops!

Hey guys! This is the first time I've devoted an entire video to products that I don't like...however I have a few duds laying around so I thought I'd take this chance to show you some of my beauty misses... and detail a recent beauty crisis involving my hair, tears, and baking soda. Enjoy!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Daytime Smokey Eye: Soft, Blended & Neutral

List of Products:

-Covergirl Brown Blaze Liquiline Blast (deep brown)

MAC Eyeshadows in:
-Satin Taupe (grayish-purple)
-Mystery (cool brown)
-Phloof! (pink with shimmer)
-Texture (orange-brown)

-Loreal Carbon Black Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner (Mouthful but AMAZING!)

-Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Pencil in Rockstar (deep plum)

-Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! Mascara

-Laura Mercier Second Skin Cheek Color in Lotus Pink

-YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick in No. 1 Nude beige

-MAC Dazzleglass in Rags to Riches

So I'm proud to say I'm now an admirer of MAC's Satin Taupe eyeshadow! This is big - I've always wanted to like this shade because I thought it looked gorgeous on other people! But, it always seemed to come across a bit muddy against my own fair skin tone. To lighten it up and sheer it out I've started applying it with a fluffy blending brush (any brush will do but I like Sigma's E40 brush) all over my lid and it creates a perfect, neutral smokey eye! I like it because it's still wearable for daytime but easily transitions to night with the help of a little black eyeliner. The look featured in the video below has been my fall go-to, so I thought I'd share it with you all :)


Monday, September 19, 2011

Navy & Gold Fall Makeup Tutorial


UDPP in Eden

Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeshadow Pencil in Lit

Maybelline Perfect Pastels Eyeshadow Duo in 45D Shocking Seas

MAC Retrospeck e/s

Laura Mercier Dune Bronzing Powder

Loreal Carbon Black Extra-Intense Pencil Eyeliner

Maybelline MasterDrama Eyeliner
in Sapphire Strength

Benefit They're Real Mascara

MAC blush in Prism

Revlon Coloburst Lipstick in Soft Nude

MAC Cremesheen Glass in Boy Bait

Jewel-tone eyeshadow is a dramatic and unique makeup trend for Fall 2011!
In the video below I'll show you how I got this gold and sapphire blue eye look...Enjoy!