Everyday Look – UDXGWEN

If you share similar traditions to mine, the holiday season is just about to wrap up with Three Kings Day tomorrow. I know that most of my makeup loving friends received (or could’nt wait and ran out and bought) the ultra fabulous Urban Decay UDXGWEN palette as a gift over the holiday season. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of new beauty products but often let them sit because we don’t know how to use them. Fortunately the UDXGWEN palette isn’t makeup rocket science. The palette is pretty neutral friendly. While I am normally all about simple “everday” beauty, I do like glitz and glam up my everyday looks every once in a while. I’m not going to bore you with the basics. I created a face chart for my current basic everyday look. I am going to give you tips on how to take my everyday look into the glam zone. This amplified look is perfect for running errands, lunch with the girls, a day at the office or a trip to the mall or a romantic date.

everyday beautyblog everyday glam products

Now that we have our basic everyday look to of the way let me give you some tips on how I turn this from boring everyday to “everyday glam”.

everyday beauty blog everyday glam face chart

Add Some Super Shimmer/Glitter – I know, I know glitter isn’t technically for everyday but just the tiniest amount of a light neutral glitter liner or glitter based shadow can add a slight pop to a neutral eye. My favorite place to add this is to the inner corner of the eye. It brings just the right amount of light to the eye without looking too overdone. In the face chart the lid color I used is very shimmery but you can still add more.

Switch Up the Lip Products – Swapping out your “My Lips But Better” shades for a holiday inspired red, berry or  even a brown can amp up your everyday looks without being too overdone. I want to say that switching up your lips is the easiest way to play with your everyday looks.

Plum/Mauve Blush – I love plum and mauve blushes SO much! And the winter time is one of the best seasons to wear them. Just a little bit of plum/mauve blush on the apples of your cheeks give that pretty sugar plum fairy flush.

Smoke Out Your Liner – Adding smoky liner is another easy way to make your everyday beauty look a little extra special. And it’s easy! With a brush or even a cotton swab you are going to lightly smudge some eye shadow into your upper and lower lash lines.

everyday glam everyday beauty blog everyday glam everyday beauty blog

You can use one or all of the tips above to transition your everyday beauty looks to one that is a bit more glam and a little less “natural”. Why not try to glam it up for yourself and ring in the new year feeling good on the outside.

Happy New Year!


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UDXGWEN Holiday 2015 Review

UDXGWEN main hero 1 everyday beauty blog

After a couple a months of waiting patiently for Urban Decay’s first collaboration with Gwen Stefani, UDXGWEN is finally here!!! This eyeshadow palette contains 15 shadows of varying finishes in neutral shades with a few pops of color. It retails for $58.00 USD, contains 15 x .04 OZ eyeshadows and I am not sure if it is in their permanent line up (Sephora has it listed as Limited Edition). UDXGWEN is available pretty much everywhere as of today. You can find it online and at Urban Decay retailers nationwide.

Before you run out to Ulta, Sephora, Macys, etc. let me give you my honest opinion of the UDXGWEN palette. There are 15 eyeshadows total in the palette: 12 are new and 3 are re-promotes (Blackout being the only shade available as a single). UDXGWEN screams everyday neutrals. If you own any of the Urban Decay Naked palettes and you are on a tight beauty budget, you can skip this palette. Now, that doesn’t mean that UDXGWEN is bad by any means (quite the opposite actually!). It’s just not something that we haven’t seen before from most brands.

UDXGWEN main 2 photo everyday beauty blog

The quality of the eyeshadows in the UDXGWEN palette is on par with what you would expect from a brand like Urban Decay. Two of the shadows were a little lackluster: Harajuku and Pop. But Urban Decay “lackluster” is still better than most other brands “good” eyeshadows. Some of my faves from the UDXGWEN palettes are Blonde, Steady, Baby, Danger and Blackout. UDXGWEN leans very warm in terms of overall tone. The shadows come in a variety of finishes: 5 complete mattes (Punk, Anaheim, Stark, Zone and Blackout), Satin (Blonde and Skimp), Shimmer (Bathwater, Steady, and Baby) Matte w/ Microglitter (Serious), and Shimmery/Glittery (Pop, Harajuku, Danger and 1987).

udxgwen swatches line 1

This line of shadows was really hard to swatch because of how close to my skin tone the first three are. L to R: Blonde, Bathwater, Skimp, Steady and Pink

UDXGWEN Swatches line 2 everyday beauty blog

L to R: Baby, Anaheim, Stark, Zone and Serious

UDXGWEN line 3 swatches Everyday Beauty Blog

L to R: Pop, Harajuku, Danger, 1987 and Blackout

The packaging of UDXGWEN is ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! I have to say this is hands down the best designed palette urban Decay has ever produced. It’s compact and lightweight making UDXGWEN perfect for travel. Th palette comes with a large mirror to make application on the go easier. The plastic casing is pretty durable and an upgrade from the packaging on their Naked palettes. This palette is a pretty addition to any vanity. I have been in love with the design of the palette since it was teased months ago. The jaded beauty collector in me actually squealed in delight when I opened my UDXGWEN, that’s how pretty it is.

Along with the quality of the shadows and packaging, UDXGWEN is a beauty steal! A full sized Urban Decay eyeshadow comes in at .05 OZ for $19 each. The shadows in the palette come in at .04 OZ each (only .01 difference from full size) but you’re getting 15 shadows that would retail normally for $282 USD for just $54 USD. You really can’t beat the price, especially if you don’t own a really good neutral shadow palette. My UXGWEN palette came with a bonus too. I got a sample sheet of 4 shades from Gwen Stefani’s upcoming lipstick line from Urban Decay due to launch in the Spring.

UDXGWEN is the business and one of my favorite palettes to come out this year. It’s simply stunning to look at and an absolute beauty steal when you consider the price/quality! UDXGWEN is the perfect gift for the holidays if you have a beauty buff on your list or someone who is just starting to experiment with makeup. The hype train is real on this palette folks!

A few of my fellow beauty buffs and I will be giving away 4 UDXGWEN palettes. Keep an eye on my Instagram and other social media channels for more information later on today! Good luck!

UDXGWEN giveaway hero


Fall 2015 Trends With Ulta Beauty


Calling all Chicagoans! Calling all Chicagoans! Did you know that we have a brand new Ulta on the Northside in Wicker Park? It’s nestled in a shopping plaza right off of Ashland. There’s a Dunkin Donuts in the same plaza. You can grab your pumpkin spiced whatever and stop in to check out what’s new and the hottest trends for Fall 2015.  The Wicker Park Ulta is located at 1300 N. Ashland Frnt J.

I was treated to a demonstration of some of Ulta’s Hottest Fall 2015 trends by the Wicker Park Ulta Prestige Manager Marshal Click.  On his model he demonstrated the Suede Eye, Cashmere Skin and Velvet lips using some of his favorite items from Smashbox, Too Faced, Lipstick Queen, Urban Decay and Stila.

Ulta Fall 2015 Makeup Wicker Park

Products used to recreate Ulta’s Fall 2015 Makeup Trends Upper Row L to R: Stila Convertible Color Cheek +LIp in Lillium, Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water, Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water, Stila Palette in Spirit and Stila Huge Extreme Lash Mascara. Bottom Ro L to R: Lipstick Queen Cupid’s Bow in Apollo, Urban Decay 24/7 Lipliner in Blackmail and Urban Decay Primer Potion.

To create the Suede Eye Marshal started by prepping the eye with Urban Decay’s Primer Potion. The Suede Eye look was created using the Stila’s Eyes Are the Windows Palette – Spirit. He started of by Using the shade Puppy all over the lid. To create the sueding effect on the lid he used Go Lightly. For the brow highlight he used Wheat (a FAVE of mine from Stila). To spice up the look he went in with Pigalle (a burgundy shade) on the lid and crease to create what I like to call a spicy smoky.

ulta fall 2015 makeup application suede eyes

The recreate the Cashmere Skin look he used Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water to even out his model’s complexion. To add some dimension he lightly contoured her face using Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer. The blush he used was Stila’s Convertible Color Cheek + Lip in Lillium, a pretty shade of nude pink that also can double as your lip color.

ulta fall 2015 smash box BB Water

Marshal using his fingers to apply Smashbox Camera Ready BB Water to his models skin.

The dark wine Vekvet Lip look is hands down my favorite of the season. Marshal created this look using the Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in Blackmail to line her lips and to slightly fill them in. He then placed Lipstick Queen Cupid’s Bow in Apollo on the center of her lip and blending the colors together creating a beautiful multidimensional velvet lip.

ulta fall 2015 velvet lip demo

It always makes me happy to meet others who are as passionate about makeup as I am. Marshal and his staff are all very knowledgable and eager to assist their customers with all their beauty needs. They have converted this longtime South Side gal to make the quick trek up north for all her Ulta Beauty needs!

ulta fall 2015 makeup before after

Next time you’re in the Wicker Park area I highly recommend you stop in and check out our newest Chi-Town Ulta. Tell them Ashley from Everyday Beauty Blog sent you!  Looking for a fresh start for Fall? You can book with their Salon at the Wicker Park Ulta to recreate any of their Fall 2015 Makeup & Hair Trends by contacting them at 773-227-7615. Have you tried any of the Ulta Fall 2015 Makeup & Hair Trends yet? If so let me know which in the comments below.




September 2015 Favorites

DISCLAIMER: Some of the products mentioned in this post were provided for consideration. Please note that all opinions are my own and I have not been monetarily compensated for any product placement, mentions, etc. To see my full Disclosure Policy please click here.

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Heeeeeey! Long time no post right? I took an over extended break for personal reasons. Happy to report that I should be back and ready to lend my voice to all things beauty. It’s been an odd month weather wise here in Chicago because we haven’t really begun to transition to the fall yet. We actually still have some very summer like weather here so I haven’t had to break out my usual “transition to fall” beauty goodies, had a pumpkin spiced anything or put my crock pot stew recipes to the test yet. With our unusual weather I have found that my September 2015 Favorites really reflect what I have been using for most of the summer.

ebblog sept 2015 makeup faves

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencil in Twice Baked – I’ve always been advocate of using “color” (meaning not black!) eyeliner. While Urban Decay’s line of pencil eyeliners boasts an impressive array of shades, it’s Twice Baked that’s been my jam! Twice Baked is the perfect shade of dark brown with just a hint of shimmer and slightly coppery micro glitter. I reeeeeeally wish this wasn’t a limited edition item that is no longer available but there are plenty of brown liners on the market at all price points.

Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow in Saddle – An oldie but goodie! Saddle is my everything: brows, liner, crease, sheer wash of smokey color on my eyes. It’s so important to have a good selection of “basic” shadows that can be used in a variety of ways. Saddle is just my makeup “bae”. I can’t live without it and it’s lasted me FOREVER.

INGLOT YSM Cream Foundation – When I came back from Mexico last month I had actually tanned quite a bit and I found myself needing a foundation that was just a little bit darker. Thankfully I had makeup ESP and brought this little powerhouse with me to Mexico. INGLOT’s YSM Cream Foundation is amazing! The coverage on it’s own is medium to full but what I have been doing with it is mixing it with other products to sheer it out some since I do not need that kind of coverage everyday. YSM wears for hours, looks like skin and just photographs beautifully! It’s also not as expensive as some of it’s higher end cousins.

MAC Cinderella Stroke of Midnight Palette – A MAC Palette full of best selling neutrals and a blackened purple? Toss in really cute packaging and how could this not be a favorite? I’m admittedly not one who buys into the MAC Limited Edition collections that are released weekly (or it seems that way!) but I actually stayed up all night to order this palette because I loved everything about the Stroke of Midnight palette. All of the shades in this palette are perfect: blend well, pigmented and long lasting. . If you missed out on the palette five of the six shades are permanent. Stroke of Midnight is the lone limited edition shade.

Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation – I use Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation on the days when I want to head out the door and I only have 5 minutes to get my face together OR to set my foundation/concealer. This powder when applied alone with a powder brush is enough to really just pull my face together. Over a foundation and concealer it works to set everything in place and to slightly color correct. Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation also adjusted to my recently tanned skin very well. For all my dry skinned ladies out there, this powder does NOT cling to your dry patches. There are a variety of ways to use the Smashbox Photo Filter Creamy Powder Foundation (it comes with a double sided sponge, can be used wet or dry, etc) and several marketing claims I have yet to test so I may do a full review on this product in the future.

Tweetermen Slant Tweezers – Who doesn’t love a hot pink tweezer? Whenever I get asked: What is one beauty routine you do daily? My answer is ALWAYS: brows! Brows can seriously make or break your ENTIRE face. Yes, your brows are THAT serious! To keep your brows in tip top shape I recommend a great pair of tweezers and you can never go wrong with Tweezerman. Free sharpening for life? Yes please! I actually have two pairs so when I do send them away to get sharpened, I always have a spare at home with me.

ebblog sept 2015 hair favorites

Redken Color Extend Magentics Shampoo – I have a love/hate relationship with sulfate free shampoos. I love that they don’t dry my fragile tresses out but I hate that my hair never feels or looks clean after using them. That all changed this past summer when I purchased Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo. This sulfate free, color safe shampoo just really, really works! It cleanses my hair, gives my hair body and doesn’t dry my hair out. I would use this shampoo even if I wasn’t coloring my hair that’s how good it is.

Simon & Tom Moroccan Treatment – I don’t know why but my hair cannot handle straight up oil of any kind. Believe me, I have tried them all. It’s almost like my hair needs that dose of silicone to make a difference and I am fine with that. Enter Simon & Tom Moroccan treatment which has seriously saved my ends as of late. Now, I do not use this serum all over my hair. I apply this serum on the ends of my hair before I go to sleep and when I get up in the morning my hair just looks and feel better.

Those were my favorite makeup and hair products for September 2015. What were you enjoying this month and made your September 2015 Favorites? let me know in the comments section below.



DISCLAIMER: Some of the products mentioned in this post were provided for consideration. Please note that all opinions are my own and I have not been monetarily compensated for any product placement, mentions, etc. To see my full Disclosure Policy please click here.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer

urban decay naked skin concealer

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is the newest concealer to hit their “Naked” line. Each tube of concealer contains .16 fl oz and retails for $28.00. The Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (what a mouthful!) is available in 8 shades. Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is part of their Spring 2015 line and is permanent to their line. You can find the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer here or at your nearest Urban Decay retailer.

Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer comes packaged in a sturdy tube. The cap unscrews to reveal a flocked applicator. The formula of Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer is very thin, ALMOST water like. The thinner consistency of the formula means that initial coverage can be quite sheer.  Obtaining complete coverage with this concealer does require some layering. The good news is that Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer layers fabulously without ever appearing cakey, settling into lines or cracking. It appears to mimic skin much in the same way that Urban Decays Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup does.

urban decay naked skin concealer

Urban Decay NAKED SKIN Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer in Light|Warm

Where this product shines is not in the coverage but the formula. There’s a certain soothing feeling to applying Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer on the skin that I can’t quite explain. It is apparently loaded with good for you skin care benefits including  sodium hyaluronate which helps your skin retain moisture. It is so lightweight that it feels like nothing is on your skin.

swatch urban decay naked skin concealer

It’s not all unicorns and glitter with Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. If you have severe darkness/circles under your eyes I suggest picking up another concealer as this one no matter how you build it up will never really cover them. And what is with the ridiculously long name?!?!? How about a simple one like: Naked Skin Concealer.

Given its rather thin consistency, it’s SO easy to over blend/spread this concealer resulting in rather lackluster coverage. Here is how I apply  Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer.  I apply it directly to my skin using the flocked applicator to my skin. Using a fluffy domed shadow brush (MAC 217 – You need several of these in your life!) I gently blend the product out. Repeat if necessary. I avoid using my fingers because body heat does make this concealer even thinner, which in turn will make the coverage sheerer, requiring more product depending on the coverage you’re looking to achieve.

I will admit I was not a huge fan of Urban Decay’s Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer at first. It took me time to figure out how to apply this concealer. Now that I have the hand of it, I love it!  If you are looking for a lightweight, moisturizing (wha-what?!?!) concealer I suggest grabbing a tube of the Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer. Have you tried Urban Decay’s newest concealer? Let me know in the comments below.

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