current drugstore making i’m loving–featuring undone beauty, maybelline and covergirl

click photo to shop products

this post will be part one of many, i’m sure! i’ve been trying out loads of makeup from the drugstore, and while there’s been a few misses, on the whole i’m so excited about the things i’ve found! y’all know that if something doesn’t work for me that i won’t share it with you, and i pride myself on giving realistic reviews about makeup i try! so sit back, enjoy, and let me know if you are currently using anything i share or if you pick some of these things up during your next drugstore run.

bronzer + highlighter palette

undone beauty warm up 4-in-1 radiance bronzer from target, $10
vegan, paraben-free, cruelty-free
2 matte shades, 2 shimmer shades
natural coconut extract for radiant glow

swatches (no edits)-left to right
2 shimmer shades, 2 matte shades

my review: i think this gives the most beautiful color to your skin. here’s the trick though–you have to swirl your bronzer brush around and pick up all 4 shades at once before applying to your cheeks! by doing this, you will get a kissed-by-the-sun look with a hint of shimmer on the side. i usually prefer a creamier bronzer, and while the two contour colors are matte and powdery, combining with the butter shimmer shades really help create the perfect texture. plus, you can add a little more glow to the top of your cheeks if you so choose. i would highly recommend this palette for eyeshadow, too!

lip gloss with hyaluronic acid

maybelline lifter gloss with hyaluronic acid, $6.99
hyaluronic acid smooths and hydrates lips
large wand to enhance lip contour
high gloss
available in 10 shades

swatches (no edits)-left to right
ice, amber, petal, stone

my review: off the bat, i picked up this product because it looked SO similar to kylie’s lip glosses, and i was like wait, am i seeing things? lol (such a cute component for sure) when i buy a gloss, i’m looking for a product that isn’t sticky, has a high shine finish, and color that has just the right amount of opacity. after re-reading that last sentence, i sound like a lip gloss snob. anyways, i bought four of these glosses because they are REAL good. the formula glides on, your lips definitely look smoother, and the colors are noticeable enough but buildable should you want more! my only gripe is that they smell faintly of chemicals and sunscreen, but that smell goes away quickly. if you have very dry lips like me and enjoy a no-fuss lip product, add this to your must-haves list!

face products for oily-skin

covergirl clean fresh pressed power (light), $8.99
vegan, paraben, cruelty-free
light weight, non-cakey
reduced shine

maybelline dream fresh BB cream (medium), $7.49
hydrating 8-in-1 skin perfector
hydrates, brightens and protects skin
natural coverage, great for oily skin
contains SPF 30

swatches (no edits)-left to right
covergirl power + maybelline bb cream

my review: this picture doesn’t do the covergirl powder justice. the powder photographs on my arm very lighty, but in person it’s more of a neutral-medium color. i am picky with pressed powders and my bar is unreasonably high as i’ve tried a bunch but they never seem to work. i didn’t think much of this one when i purchased it, but wow, i am blown away. it kept my skin matte for 10 hours, wasn’t heavy, and didn’t enhance any texture on my face! the only con is that the shade range is a bit hard to choose your right shade from. i’m not normally able to wear a light shade of products, but that’s the one that works for me in this line. to be safe, i’d say pick the shade by the photo, not by the name. “light” looks like medium. “fair” looks like light. and this BB cream is dreamy. i love that it’s light weight, but covers well. and the fact that it has SPF 30 in it is a huge plus! we all need to be wearing SPF, gals. i used a damp blender to blend the BB cream out, and that’s definitely my preferred way to apply it. if you have oily skin like i do, this combo of powder and BB cream will be an awesome option for you! here’s what they look like on my skin–

8am makeup (no filter)
11pm makeup, no filters + no touch ups

final thoughts: if you are looking for more affordable makeup options but are a little overwhelmed with everything that’s on the shelf, i hope this blog post helped you! my intentions are to share what works for my skin-type and maybe inspire you to try something new. makeup is a fun way to get creative, and i love being able to share this passion of mine with you! please leave a comment or message me if you try any thing i recommended–i love hearing from you!

xoxo, em


quarantine pastime: mixology

some people picked up baking or sewing, and i decided to figure out how to finally make a few mixed drinks–ha! by no means am i any where close to knowing what i’m doing, but it’s been fun trying to figure it out. i’ve definitely had the help of some friends, and google along the way. side note: all of the drinks i’ve made use rum, but feel free to swap rum out for your spirit of choice! if you make any of these, let me know! xoxo

(makes one drink)


4oz mango juice (i love trader joe’s brand)
2oz cream of coconut (i use coco real brand)
a shot of silver rum (fav is largo bay)
a splash of lime (barsmith lime is good)
1 cup of ice, blend well
top with coconut chips and a cherry

pineapple & jalapeno rum margarita

6oz pineapple & jalapeno mixer (i recommend carter’s if you’re in TX)
a splash of lime juice (barsmith’s)
a shot of silver rum (largo bay)
1 cup of ice, blend well
garnish with a lemon wedge

lemon elderflower rum cocktail

6oz lemon elderflower soda (i buy mine from trader joe’s)
a shot of silver rum (largo bay)
best in a copper mug, pour over ice
top with mint, lemon slice and a cherry

classic mojito

muddle 10 mint leaves + a slice of lime in a copper mug
1 shot of simple syrup (i prefer barsmith’s) or 2tbs of sugar
squeeze another lime in there and mix together
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
4oz of club soda, shake or stir
add ice
top with fresh mint and/or a lime wedge (optional)

traditional pina colada

4oz pineapple juice (i love trader joe’s or doles)
3oz coconut cream (coco real brand)
a splash of lime juice
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
1 cup of ice, blend well
garnish with coconut chips & a cherry

skinny pina

4oz pineapple juice
a few chunks of frozen pineapples
3oz coconut milk (so delicious brand is good)
a splash of lime
1 cup of ice, blend well or shake well

strawberry rhubard rum soda

1 full can of strawberry & rhubarb soda (i get these from trader joe’s)
1 shot of silver rum (largo bay)
2oz club soda
stir well, add ice, garnish with strawberries


target run, and done

click the photo to shop the direct links

i’m starting off this post in traditional target fashion….i went in for milk and eggs, and came out with everything i never knew i needed. oh, you too? gosh, we’ve got lots in common! no wonder they call it “target run, and done” because now i’ve got no more money to spend–ha! beans and rice, rice and beans.
(a little dave ramsey for ya)

upon entering my glorious target store–adorned with friendly team members, bullseye dog at the dollar spot, and bright beautiful lights that shine on things you don’t want but end up buying anyways–i stumbled upon the cutest summery items in the dollar section! think kitchen decor, outdoor items, vases, organization items, and so much more. best $3-$10 ever spent. promise.

i then moseyed over to the back to school area, even though i had no business being over there. no kids, not a teacher, but the urge was calling me, so i listened and found way too many cute things. if you’re into magnetized lamps, frames, hanging succulent decor, pretty pens and pencils, you’ve gotta check out this part of the store. i mean…i love knick-knacks and trinkets, so this was heaven.

next, as i was perusing by the bath section on my way to checkout, i stumbled upon these hair wraps, and thought that they’d be nice to have! i’ve just wrapped my hair in a towel and let that be that. but now i’m air drying my hair more, these wraps seemed super convenient. they will absorb most of the water while i’m letting my hair dry prior to using my revlon one step styler brush thing (i can never remember the name)–side note: this tool is one every human being with hair should own. it’s legit.

on my way out of the store, even though i spent way too much money, i smiled because it’s like chrismas every time you shop at target. you buy in the store, you get home and unpack it, and then you get to enjoy your awesome finds! and if you’re a target-aholic like me, let’s be friends. famous last words, “but i only needed one thing…”

dollar spot items
$7 round support pillow (came in 3 colors)-i’ll be using this to sit on outside, or sometimes i like to sit on the ground in my living room for a change of pace!

$5 faux marble organization tray (2 pack)-this says you can use it to organize your desk, but i also think this would be super cute to lay out jewelry on, or even nail polish! very versatile and super cute.

back to school items
$6.99 u-brands locker style magnetic hanging photo grid-this is going to be in my office at work so i can hang pictures and thank-you notes! it comes with clips to secure your photos, too!

$4.99 u-brands gel ink pens pastel speckle-i’m a sucker for good pens. i love the creamy gel type with a fine tip. i’m good with any color, as long as it writes super smooth! anyone else have a pen obsession? i’m super particular as just any pen won’t do.

$3.99 u-brands mechanical pencil speckled-truth be told, i don’t own a pencil and thought it might be a good idea to have at least one in the office and one around the house to use when calendar planning. i’m V guilty of using the “scratch out” method of planning, and let’s face it, that feel super unorganized!

$3.99 u-brands hex magnets (7pack)-anything with a succulent on it is a great buy in my book. i have most of my apartment accented with some sort of blush color too, as i love how greens and blush pair well together. these will be the newest addition to my fridge before we know it!

bath item
$10 room essentials bath hair wrap peach (2 pack)-too cute not to pick up. excited to use these wraps to soak up some of the water from my hair while it air dries!


affordable sunnies

anyone else lose sunglasses like it’s your job? ever said “i wish i had a dollar for every pair of glasses i’ve lost?” yes, me too. hence my affinity for buying affordable pairs only! since most of my summer is going to be spent at home (or the pool), i wanted to test drive a few different pairs of sunglasses from amazon, so i really hope you find this helpful. i’ll share the direct link, cost, fit, and my recommendation for purchasing.

classic polarized aviators

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $8.08 (prime)
fit: ideal for narrow faces, lightweight
recommend: 4.5/5
critique: limited color selection

vintage pearl frames

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $13.99 (prime)
fit: over sized, these are *not* for small faces
recommend: 2/5 (pearl detail is CUTE)
critique: just way too big for me
(it took me several tries and the right head tilt just to get this pic ha!)

round gem sunglasses

click photo to shop the direct link

shop: amazon
price: $16.99 (some colors are prime)
fit: slightly over sized, bridge is a little wide, medium weight
recommend: 3.5/5
critique: these can feel heavy after a short time of
wearing them and slide down my narrow nose

final thoughts

the aviator glasses are just my cup of tea. it’s super hard for me to find glasses that fit my narrow face, and i often have to buy kid’s styles, so it’s refreshing to shop adult sunglasses and have them fit! i absolutely love the look of the pearl framed glasses with the gradual light blue to pink tint–they’re FABULOUS if the fit is right for you. totally light weight and just real cool. lastly, the round gem sunnies are by far the most vintage pair and are super eye catching. i just wish they were a little less heavy. i can picture myself laying out in these and them being fine….until i sit up to jump in the pool, ha!


target try-on, dress edition

click pic to shop direct links to these outfits

let’s face it, target is our one stop shop for fashion, beauty, groceries and tampons. yep, target has it all. not to mention saving 5% with the red card and the occasional circle coupon….(oh, and if you’re a TM, our discount is pretty groovy too!).

rust tiered tank dress, universal thread, $24.99

100% cotton, and this dress has a nice weight to it. it’s a little heavier than your typical summer sun dress, but i’m alright with that because that means the material isn’t sheer, and that it will wash well. in terms of fit, i bought a size medium and it’s flowy and forgiving. slightly gappy under the armpits, but i’ll just wear a bra that plunges lower or is lacy, in case it’s seen. (kind of wondering if after one wash and tumble dry if this slight fit issue will be fixed). to dress this up, grab a brown leather belt and throw it on. totally think layered necklaces with this higher neck line is feminine and pretty, too. if i had to size down, i would be able to wear a small, but i’m not a huge fan of form fitting clothes! RATING: 4/5 stars.

sleeveless nit dress, a new day, $22.99

62% modal, 35% recycled polyester, 3% spandex. i’m totally smitten over this dress. you can wear it around the house to lounge in, or for a date night out (if we ever get out of quarantine–ha!) i love the midi length and the shape of this LBD–it’s so comfortable, flattering, and versatile. i purchased a medium and the fit is on point. to dress this one up, pair it with layered necklaces and a nude strappy 1 inch heel. or, make it target run friendly and throw on a ball cap and sandals! you can’t go wrong. on a side note–i do think you could layer an oversized graphic tee on top of this dress, knot it, and be out the door. you need this. RATING: 5/5 stars.

for sizing reference

size 8-10 pants, medium tops, 5’8″ tall

xoxo, em


my happy place

click the picture to shop my patio furniture and decor

when you, your husband, your cat, and your 65+ plants live in 905 square feet day in and day out, an outdoor oasis is the perfect escape. here’s a little back story–i moved to this apartment in 2018 and lived here for about 8 months alone, since i relo’d to houston for my job. wes was still in fort worth, and we were paying double for everything. naturally, i picked the apartment where i could get the most (minus square footage and closet space) for the least cost. lord knows that we had no clue we’d both be working from home 1.5 short years later due to a global pandemic! our kitchen table has turned into an office for both of us, zoom calls are the norm (we rotate where we take them as to not disturb one another), and some days our close quarters seem even closer, ha ha. (as i type this, guilt pangs because i am blessed to have a roof over my head, and a safe place to sleep at night, so don’t take my venting as me not acknowledging my privilege.)

so what’s all of this got to do with my patio? e v e r y t h i n g. back in march, this ol’ slab of concrete housed our extra trash can, charlie’s pet carrier, and about an inch of dust. when covid shifted our world, i knew i needed to find a healthy place to decompress, detach, de-stress and that was not going to be possible IN-side my apartment. i remember shifting around some furniture to bring out here, and making a list of must-have’s from home depot. before i knew it, my happy place was built, from the ground up. i have to tell you–in this moment, the warm texas breeze is brushing against my shoulders, the sound of the fountain down below trickling calms me, and my patio lights make this feel like a dreamy vacation.

for the first time in a while i had a spot to relax in, to drink a glass of wine in, and to literally lay under the starts in. (i want to let you in on a little secret, and that’s this chaise lounger pillow that literally longer than i am tall. you need it–i’m sitting on it now, and i’ve even laid in the sun with it catching some rays. click pic to shop.) little did i know that i’d be happy trading our evening outings exploring our local food and drink scene for a home cooked meal, and a beverage on my patio!

click on the picture to shop the lounger pillow

and if you’re like me, you are on the go most waking hours of the day, and slowing down is almost painful. more often than not, you come to a halting stop because of your own hard hardheadedness. i’m learning and trying to teach myself that it’s OK to just be. giving myself permission to rest, to be present with loved ones, and to feel my feelings is something i’m working on….and i’ve practiced these things out here often over the past 4 months. still a work in progress, but i’m slowly laying my armor down…

“crazy-busy” is a great armor, it’s a great way for numbing. what a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.” –brene brown

i owe a lot of thanks to target, trader joe’s, and home depot for bringing my outdoor oasis dream to reality. even during this wild time, i felt safe shopping there and now i feel safe, secure and at ease in my happy place. šŸ™‚ what started as a “get-away” during quarantine, has evolved into a reflection of everything i love–wes, charlie, plants, houston, outdoors, wine, pretty patio lights.

xoxo, em


Greetings, from 2020.

I’m not sure where 5 years went, but man, I’m super rusty at this blogging thing. It’s literally taken me an hour just to figure out how to write this post. (Someone send help!) Since the last time I posted on here, Wes and I have moved a couple times, started new jobs, and yep–still no kids (haha). I think I’ve tried writing this paragraph about 10x now, but have deleted every sentence because truthfully, I didn’t know I was going to revive this blog today. I feel like 2020 has been a huge cluster, and my emotions have taken me on a really bumpy roller coaster ride. I’m somewhere in between “this isn’t so bad” to “OMG I JUST CAN’T” and I go back and forth many times a day. Maybe in my heart of hearts, that’s why I’m sitting here writing to you–because I need an outlet. Trust me when I say that this blog is going to be corona-free, drama-free, and perfection-free (there WILL be many typos, grammar faux pas, and the like). Join me on this imperfectly authentic shit-show of a ride. I can’t wait to see where this goes!


matte lippie varietiesĀ 

Infallible pro matte gloss in Fuschia Amnesia, $7.99

  • Glossy matte finish
  • Smooth formula that doesn’t dry out–stays glossy
  • Larger doefoot applicator that is a little big for my small lips
  • 4 out of 5

Vivid matte liquid in Rebel Red, $7.99

  • High gloss matte finish
  • Smooth formula that is very moisturizing 
  • Doesn’t dry so it can seem slick at times
  • Nice sized doefoot applicator 
  • 3.5 out of 5

Ultra HD matte lip color in Devotion, $7.99

  • Semi-matte formula that is very comfortable on the lips
  • The longer it’s worn the more matte it becomes
  • Easy application and longevity is good
  • 4 out of 5

NYX soft matte lip cream in Cannes, $5.99

  • Semi-matte formula that isn’t very pigmented
  • Looks nice at first, but a ring develops in your inner lips after a while 
  • Not a huge fan
  • 2 out of 3

Colourpop ultra matte lip in Stingraye, $6.99

  • Bold matte lip formula
  • More drying than the others, but it’s a true matte lip product 
  • I can get 2-3 hours of wear before I need to dust off any “crust” and reapply
  • Best formula at a drug store price
  • 4.5 out of 5

battle of the lipstains

lip stains are all the rave right now in the cosmetics world, and they sparked my interest, too! i wanted to test out a few different formulations, shades and brands to really see whatĀ the makeup companies were producing. i found two AMAZING stains, and two not-so amazing stain that i want to share with y’all. enjoy!



younique stiff upper lip stain

  • very liquid-like consistency
  • applies wet, and dries to a matte finish
  • lays comfortably on the lips, as if you can’t feel that it’s there. more specifically, when you smile it doesn’t crack or feel tight.
  • ultra light weight
  • if you don’t exfoliate your lips prior to applying, you might experience patchiness in color
  • lasts 5+ hours, fading a little
  • you have 7 shades to chose from


revlon ultra hd matte lipcolor

  • creamy smooth consistency
  • applies like a gloss would, but gives you a matte finish
  • sits well on the lips–it’s lightweight bu doesn’t dry down 100% so you still have a creamy feeling of the product on your lips
  • doesn’t smudge
  • super pigmented and applies evenly
  • lasts 3-4 hours and fades out nicely
  • 6 different shades to pick



rimmel provocalips 16hr kiss proof lip colour

this lip product comes with two ends: lip stain on one end, gloss on the other. rimmel claims this stain lasts 16+ hours and is kiss proof. i had high hopes for this guy because it was a great price point and i loved the range of colors–specifically this nude. for one, this doesn’t apply nude it applies brown and this is the stickiest formula known to man. you can’t wear the stain alone because it’s cracky and stiff on your lips so if you’re trying to go for a matte look, this product won’t deliver that. it’s also the most uncomfortable formula on your lips because it’s tacky and doesn’t dry down. all in all, not worth it.

lipstail loreal

l’oreal infallible pro-last lipcolor

first off, i love l’oreal and their infallible line of cosmetics and nail polish so i had high hopes for this lipcolor, too! there’s something crazy like 24 different shades which was so exciting, and the price point was around $10. like rimmel, you apply the stain first and use the gloss provided to moisturize your lips. my experience with other infallible products is that they last for-ev-er, so i thought this would be a dream come true. unfortunately, i quickly returned this item after using it once. i applied one coat and it felt like my lips were in a cast, and i couldn’t move them for fear of cracking. or maybe a better description is that i felt like a mummy with this on. it was so stiff and drying that it was uncomfortable to wear. i didn’t bother with the gloss since i knew this lipcolor formula wasn’t for me.


saturday night fav’s

these products were the two most memorable things i used this week, so naturally i had to share them with you! they are polar opposite from each other in terms of use, but hey, they’re FAB! enjoy! ps. i usually post photos that i personally own, but i do not own this oneĀ and i credited their source at the bottom.

image1 (36)

ooh la lift!

this is my go-to under eye cream for when i need some serious cosmetic rescue! think no sleep, late-night to early-morning kind of time. whenever those fun times happen, i depend on this stuff to wake my face up in the morning and to camouflage my tiredness. this product is from benefit cosmetics and it runs for $22. ooh la lift is a pink-ish cream that comes in a tube with a wand applicator. it is very creamy and easy to smooth on under your eyes to give you an instant eye lift, like really. it has light reflecting pigments that help diffuse any blue or purple tones your dark circles might have. you can use this before or after your makeup, but i prefer to use it on freshly cleansed and moisturized skin. i use the wand to apply a small amount under each eye, and then i pat it in gently. do not tug your skin! this will cause wrinkles, and those aren’t permitted. i will caution you–be careful with the amount that you apply because it does not build on itself, and it can crumble if you applied too much. in a nut shell, this stuff is a girl’s best friend if you’re having a rough, tired, i want to stay in bed morning!!

infallible nail polish

i believe this nail polish is the newest creation from l’oreal paris, and holy moly it’s RAD!! i am sure that all of us ladies know how frustrating it is when we get a chipped nail from nail polish that has only been there for a day or two. especially when it’s so time consuming to paint “within the lines” and wait for it to dry. anyone else have trouble painting with their “other” hand? i do!! i was intrigued by this product since it has two steps: 1st is the nail color, 2nd is the top coat–but it’s not clear, it’s a color too. i bought mine at target for like $7.99, and there were quite a few different shade options to choose from. i purchased “908 always a lady” which is a gorgeous deep merlot color with a fuchsia top coat. after using this, i will say the top coat does not change the color of the nail polish, even though it’s not clear. from my understanding, the top coat is really what makes this formula stick to your nails. LET ME TELL YOU, i am impressed. so impressed that i’m going to probably buy all the rest of the shades. i work in retail and use my fingernails all throughout the day opening boxes, putting up marketing signs, peeling off labels and this is the first, yest the first, nail polish that hasn’t chipped or peeled up. i am going on day 3 and have NO CHIPS or peeling so far. there is a little bit of wear and tear evident on the tips of my nails, but other than that they are in tact. it’s amazing. this stuff is as it’s name says infallible and you should give it a try!!!