What’s In My Travel Bag?

Every time I travel I play the how-much-stuff-can-I-bring-in-my-carryon bag game. Since I’ve been traveling throughout Southeast Asia, I haven’t been checking any luggage. I try to only bring essentials and multi-purpose products to save space for goodies I pick up on my travels. This little bag doesn’t include my skincare or hair items, but I usually only bring a travel size face wash and moisturizer (from this Murad kit), Simple Skin Care cleansing wipes (a lifesaver on the go), a detangling hair brush and travel size shampoo/body wash. I find that more often than not, I end up with my hair in a messy bun or half-pulled back in a hair clip. Depending on where I’m traveling, I may switch out (or add) powder or foundation to match the climate of my destination. For example, when I went to Taiwan, it was extremely humid so I brought Estee Lauder Double Wear because I knew it would hold up. But, the items below are staples that I bring along no matter the destination.






I’ve found that this is the perfect combination of versatile face products to give me a fresh-faced, but not overdone look on the go. The Complexion Rescue makes for a hydrating, healthy looking base, and it’s perfect for balancing your skin on dry flights. I spot conceal and highlight my undereyes with the concealer, and use the bronzer and shimmer palette for both my face and eyes. Depending on the size of the bottle, I’d also recommend tossing a setting spray in your bag just to keep it long-lasting. Lately, I’ve been loving the Smashbox Primer Water and Milani Make It Last Setting Spray.

You’ve probably noticed that a lot of these products are from the drugstore. Not only are these all really great products in terms of performance, they’re also affordable, which is a pro when you’re traveling and don’t want to risk losing your baggage or breaking something expensive. The makeup bag I’m using is from Vera Bradley, part of the Travel Cosmetic Set, which I highly recommend–it’s a 4-piece set that works great together for longer trips and separated for short getaways.

What’s in your travel bag? Anything I need to add to my own? Let me know in the comments below!


Disclaimer: this blog contains Amazon affiliate links.


Small Ulta/MAC Haul ♡

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! Here are some sweet treats I’ve recently picked up –

The Nyx Highlight & Contour Pro Palette // $25 // Ulta / an 8-shade kit with 6 matte, 1 frost, and 1 shimmer powder. I’m still playing around with this, but it’s super pigmented! It’s a little dark for my fair skin, so I have to be very lighthanded. I imagine that if I start self tanning again that it’ll be a little easier to work with!

Revolution Beauty Vivid Baked Highlighter in Radiant Light // $6 // Ulta / I have never seen this brand until my most recent trip to Ulta. There are a few shades, but I picked up this gorgeous one and have been loving it on my cheekbones! The powder itself is a little chalky and dry, but it’s pigmented and gives an intense glow.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Definer in Caramel // $23 // Sephora / I’ve actually already returned this product – it’s the worst ABH brow product I’ve ever tried! I was so excited to try it, but it doesn’t keep its shape (after two uses, it was a shapeless blob) and the creaminess and lack of shape don’t give a precise application. My brows weren’t crisp or defined and this is definitely an inferior product to Brow Wiz. Huge disappointment! 😦

These are some swatches of the two highlight shades in the Nyx kit and the Revolution Vivid Baked highlighter next to my two most-loved highlighters. I couldn’t get a great swatch of the Revolution one, but it really is quite pigmented.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NC-15 // $21 // MAC / I’ve wanted to try this concealer for forever. The Ulta goodies were a gift from my husband, so when I returned the Brow Definer, I took the opportunity to try this concealer instead. I use it for concealing my undereye area, and the coverage is amazing. My only complaint is that pump puts out waaay too much product! I’ve tried many times to do a half pump, but apparently it’s an all-or-nothing kind of deal.

MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Cremecup // $17 // MAC / The MAC website describes Cremecup as a “light blue pink.” It’s the cremesheen formula, so it’s creamier and glossier than the satin and matte finishes and can be built up from sheer to full coverage. This is my first cremesheen lippie, so at first I was really thrown off by how sheer it is on one swipe and was so disappointed that I contemplated returning it! Then I realized the error of my ways and just swiped it a few more times and fell in love with both the color and consistency. I’ll definitely be saving up for another cremesheen in the future!

That’s all I’ve got for first impressions on this mini-haul! Have you tried any of these products? Let me know in the comments!

xx Shelbie

Weekend Look: Smoky Eyes

If you follow me on my personal Instagram, you probably saw this post last weekend. It was my sister’s 24th birthday on Sunday, so we celebrated Saturday night and went apple picking on Sunday morning before the Packer game. It was a ton of fun! My everyday eye look is pretty neutral – I tend to get the most use out of my Chocolate Bar and Naked 2 palettes, and I barely even have brush marks in most of the darker shades. I have hooded eyes, so when my eyes are open, you can’t see much of my eyelid. I’ve always thought that smoky eye looks made my eyes look smaller, so it’s rare that I smoke out a deep brown or charcoal shadow on my eyes. Also, smoky eyes toe the line between sultry and bar-fight, making them even harder to pull off.

For some reason, I was feeling ambitious and came up with this look! It was pretty simple and can easily be substituted with other shadows of similar shades. If you’re interested in knowing the details of the look, continue reading below!


ABH Dipbrow Pomade in Blonde, $18 at Sephora


Urban Decay Naked 3, $54 at Sephora

Blackheart + Factory on the lid

Blackheart under lower lash line

Darkside in the crease

Too Faced Chocolate Bar, $49 at Sephora

Salted Caramel in the upper crease

Marzipan above Salted Caramel + the inner corner

Black Forest Truffle on the outer corner

Stila Stay All Day waterproof liquid liner, $22 at Sephora

Yves Saint Laurent Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara, $32 at Sephora


IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye Concealer in Light, $24 at Ulta

IT Cosmetics Celebration Illumination Foundation in Medium, $35 at Ulta

Benefit Hoola, $28 at Sephora

Benefit Dallas, $28 at Sephora

Tarte Amazonian Clay Shimmering Powder in Champagne, available in several palettes & kits, notably Park Ave Princess Countour Palette v2, $34 at Tarte


MAC Satin Lipstick in Rebel, $17 at MAC


NuMe 19mm Classic Wand, $139 at NuMe

What’s your favorite smoky eye palette? Have you tried the new Urban Decay Naked Smoky palette? Let me know in the comments below!

Why I Did My Own Wedding Makeup & What I Used To Do It


I think most brides have dreamed about their wedding day since they were little girls. They build Pinterest boards and watch entire seasons of Say Yes to the Dress and take 13 months to plan their wedding and it. will. be. perfect. Most brides aren’t me, though, so I planned my wedding in three months, DIYed almost every part of it, never dreamed of my wedding as a child, and ~ spoiler alert ~ did my own makeup. I also may have waited until the week before my wedding to try and find a makeup artist, so that was working against me. I had originally figured that my wedding day would bring imminent floods to my eyes, so I wanted airbrush makeup. Well here’s two things about airbrush makeup: 1. it’s freakin’ expensive and 2. it’s not a very popular trade where I live. I made the executive decision that $200 spent on getting my makeup done would be better spent on an adventure with Alex instead.

I didn’t practice my makeup at all before my wedding day (because clearly that would mean I’d have to prepare in advance for something, and we all know I don’t do that), so, as with most aspects of my life, I kind of just winged it and hoped for the best. I picked up the BareMinerals I Do kit at Ulta for $50, which is actually a pretty great deal for everything that you get, and it was a hookup to have at the chapel for touchups. The only photo I have of my makeup is this really awkward selfie below (you’re welcome and I give you permission to laugh), and I took it after the floodgates had already broken, so it’s a little less than perfect in the eye area. *sniffle* But quite frankly, I felt beautiful, it saved me money, and I find applying makeup to be therapeutic, so it may have also saved me from having a few extra bridezilla breakdowns. (My mom would probably say otherwise. Sorry, Mom.)


I used a lot of makeup, so I won’t go too into detail on the ins and outs of each product like I usually do, but below is a list of the products I used to create this look. Almost everything can be found at Ulta (which is where I primarily shop), and some of these products will actually be featured in more detail in upcoming blogs. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send me an email and I’d be happy to help!

Products used:

  1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place makeup in 2W1 Dawn – $38 at Nordstrom
    • If you never want your foundation to come off, buy this (exaggeration).
  2. it Cosmetics Celebration Illumination powder foundation in Medium – $35 at Ulta
    • This made my skin look flawless, and added a healthy glow since the Double Wear is so matte – this is especially beneficial if you don’t want to look flat in photos.
    • Note: this foundation is medium/full buildable coverage, so if you are one of those magical fairies with already beautiful skin, I recommend using this alone, rather than on top of a liquid foundation like I did.
  3. Benefit Hoola bronzer – $28 at Ulta
    • Y’all already know I love this stuff.
  4. Tarte Parke Ave Princess Contour Palette v2 – $34 at Ulta
    • This is a recent purchase and I dig it – I only used the highlighter on my wedding day. More to come on this in the future!
  5. BareMinerals Ready blush in I Do (from the I Do kit – $50)
    • If you have fair/light to medium skin, this pink flush will look universally gorgeous on you.
  6. Urban Decay Naked 3 palette – $54 at Sephora & Naked 2, also $54 at Sephora
    • From Naked 3 I used: Nooner, Liar, & Darkside
    • From Naked 2 I used: Booty Call, Tease, Busted
  7. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Soft Brown – $21 at Sephora
    • My personal favorite brow product.
  8. Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara – $23 at Ulta
    • I used this pre-falsies to darken my natural lashes.
  9. BareMinerals Lasting Line eyeliner in Absolute Black – $16 at Ulta
    • I used this on my tightline and outer 2/3 of my bottom lashline.
  10. Stila Stay all Day liquid liner in Intense Black – $22 at Sephora
    • This is amazing, and if you plan on crying, you need to buy it. Now.
  11. L’Oreal Collection Privee lipstick in Julianne’s Nude – $8 at Ulta
    • My holy grail nude-pink! I topped this with Urban Decay Naked lip gloss in Nooner, $20 at Sephora (borrowed that from a friend, but I really liked it!)
  12. Benefit Porefessional primer – $31 at Ulta
    • Not my favorite primer, but I think it held up well throughout the day!
  13. BareMinerals Flawless Definition waterproof mascara in Black (from the I Do kit – $50)
    • I used this to blend my falsies and natural lashes together, and on my bottom lashes. It’s definitely waterproof! It lasted through more tears than I think I’ve ever cried before.
  14. Ardell Natural Lash 110 – $3.99 @ Ulta
    • These are gorgeous and definitely more natural looking than other false lashes. They were also pretty comfortable. I didn’t feel like I had wings on my eyelids, so that was a positive.

I think that concludes the long list of products that I used for the day! I also used the Fake Bake Flawless Darker self tanner (per usual), which you can learn more about here. All in all, I am pleased with my handiwork, and it photographed beautifully! DIYing your wedding makeup isn’t for everyone, but it worked out well for me and allowed me to take control over something on my wedding day. I love makeup, and as much as I would have enjoyed getting it done professionally, it was something unique and special that I did for myself. To all of my brides-to-be, congratulations, and to all of my readers, have a fantasmical day!

Photography courtesy of Jordan Snyder Photography
Photography courtesy of our dear friend and talented photographer Jordan Snyder. Check out Jordan here and on Facebook!

May 2015 Favorites!

It feels like I wrote my April favorites yesterday…I guess time really does fly when you’re having fun! (read: unemployed and in a Netflix coma) The weather is FINALLY warming up here, and I’m getting a head start on my *gasp* wedding plans! You heard it here first, peeps. I’m getting married this August, and I can’t wait! Now, onto the things you actually care about:

1. Essie Haute in the Heat (7.64 on SALE! now at Target) – I am loving this punchy red-raspberry color for summer! Okay…”almost summer.” I don’t usually like Essie polishes (I know, I know) because I think they chip very easily and I don’t like the brush. I think if I’m paying $8-9 for a bottle of nail polish, you’d think they could at least update the brush from like, 1997. This gets minor chipping in 1-2 days on me, which is obnoxious and reminds me why I don’t ever buy Essie polishes, but the color is why this one made the list. Maybe I’ll try it on my toes instead and see if I can get longer wear out of it!

2. Healthy Sexy Hair Soya Want It All Leave in Treatment ($20 at Ulta) – I actually have been using a deluxe sample of this product, but I’ve been considering buying the full size! This is a 22-in-1 product (who actually uses 22 hair products?), and claims to penetrate hair with soy, cocoa, and argan oil to fortify strands. I’ve noticed that it leaves my hair soft, and I like the coconut-y scent it leaves behind in my hair. The consistency reminds me a little of It’s A 10 leave in treatment, as do the results. I actually noticed that my hair seemed and felt healthier, which is a rare experience for me with leave in conditioners.

3. Anastasia Beverly Hills Bold Brows Kit in Dark Brown ($36 at Ulta) – RAVE OF THE MONTH! I cannot say enough good things about this kit from Ulta. First of all, it’s a steal, because you get the brow duo powder, the no. 7 brush, and a full-size brow gel for $36. The brow powder alone is $23. I have Dip Brow and have previously raved about the Brow Wiz, but the powder do is definitely my new staple. The powders are so pigmented and smooth, and the two shades allow you to go for a natural, bold, or ombre look. The brush is amazing – it’s super stiff, so you get clean lines, and the spoolie helps blend the product. The brow gel keeps any stray hairs in place all day without making them crusty. I will definitely be repurchasing this!

4. Benefit Dallas ($28 at Sephora) – This is my absolute holy grail blush for summer. It’s a warm, plum-bronze, with a satin sheen. It’s lightly fragranced, which I didn’t like at first, although it’s starting to grow on me. It comes with the standard goat hair brush, as with all other Benefit boxed powders. The packaging is adorable as usual, and I would imagine that this blush is flattering on all skin tones. It gives the perfect natural beachy glow. I highly recommend this, especially for summer!

5. Revlon Just Bitten Kissable Balm Stain in Romantic ($9.49 at Ulta) – I’ve had this product for a looong time, and it’s actually almost empty! If you like lip crayons, semi-sheer color, and a slightly glossy finish, this is the lip product for you! The reason it made my favorites this month is that I love a bright red lip on summer nights, and this is super easy to toss in a bag and apply without a mirror. I would repurchase this to keep in my bag for when I need to look put together on the go! I  wouldn’t call this product a stain, but it is definitely a dupe of the Clinique Chubby Sticks lip crayons (I have two).

6. Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Cleanser ($8.49 at Ulta) – After years of using cleansers with salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide, I decided to try out cleansers without any acne-fighting ingredients for a change. My first dabble was the Clean & Clear Morning Burst Moisturizing Cleanser ($5.49 at Target), which was nothing special. I picked this Neutrogena cleanser up on a whim, and so far, I am super impressed! It smells so yummy – fresh and clean, and leaves my skin super soft. I haven’t had any issues with this cleanser drying my skin out. Since I started using this cleanser at night and my acne-fighting cleanser in the morning, I’ve actually noticed an improvement in my skin from was using an acne cleanser twice a day. Never saw that coming!

7. Aussie 7n1 Dry Shampoo ($3.50 at Walmart) – I actually bought this from a local grocery store in a rush. I was on my way to a party and hadn’t had the time to wash and style my hair. I always buy the Suave dry shampoo, but the grocery store didn’t carry it and I despise the Tresemme dry shampoo, so this was my only option. I’m in love! It smells amazing, completely gets rid of any oily sheen, and adds a significant amount of volume. If you don’t work it into your hair, it can look a little white, but that’s to be expected. I will definitely be repurchasing this!

That’s a wrap for my May favorites. Let me know if there are any products you’ve been loving so that I can try them out in June!