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April 19, 2014


Summer time is all about sunshine, bare arms and legs, and light and fresh clothing and makeup choices. A fresh face look is so summery and youthful, pairs perfectly with all your lightweight clothing, and makes it look like you're wearing nothing. So here's a little step by step to show how I achieve that flawless fresh faced look, without any cakey or heavy makeup -- in fact, everything I use is super light so I don't even feel like I'm wearing makeup!

Plus, since there are only a few steps, it takes just about 5 minutes from start to finish so you can be out the door to your sunny summery activities in no time, and looking fabulous and fresh!

Step 1. 
Start with a clean, dry face. The key to the fresh face look is no dry or rough patches, so I use Neutrogena Blackhead eliminating scrub every few days to keep my pores super clean and to slough off any dry skin. It works wonders and I highly recommend it. Moisturize well after using it, then let your skin completely dry before applying foundation.

Step 2.
A super even and smooth base is the first step, and I use bareSkin foundation from bareMinerals (I wrote more about this product here) and buff it gently all over my face. Make sure you blend it nicely on your jawline and neck. 

like this: 

Step 3. 
With a big fluffy brush, apply a loose powder to set your foundation. Since I've started using the bareSkin foundation, I've used my old bareMinerals mineral veil foundation as my loose powder, which gives me a little extra coverage where I need it, and helps the liquid foundation really stay in place all day. But before that I used a CoverGirl loose translucent powder and it worked great. In fact, I still use it in the next step.

Step 4. 
(optional) fill in your brows. With the light fresh face look, a defined brow is flattering since it adds a little bit of contrast and definition to an otherwise smooth and soft look. I use Anastasia brow powder duo and an angled brush from Ulta. After filling them in, go back with the fluffy brush and CoverGirl translucent powder and brush over them gently to set the makeup and give it a less harsh and more realistic look.  I'll do a full brow tutorial soon! 

Step 5. 
Next let's add a little bit of color to that newly evened out skin tone. First up is bronzer. Don't go heavy on this -- the idea is that you want to look glowy and sunkissed, so no harsh lines. I use a fluffy brush to get a more natural look, and use "warmth" All-Over Face Color from bareMinerals. I apply it just below my cheekbones (where you can see the brush in the photo below), along my hairline on my forehead, along my jawline, and down my neck. I also occasionally squish the brush a bit with my fingers to make in narrower, and then apply down the sides of my nose (but not on the bridge).

[tip: When you put your brush in your bronzer color, always do a brush on the back of your hand to make sure you get an even application when you put it on your face].

Step 6. 
Now add a little color to those cheeks with a bit of blush. I love "beauty" by bareMinerals because it's a very natural pink. Use the same brush-first-on-the-back-of-your-hand tip that I mentioned above when applying blush, and smile when you do this so you can put it right on the apples of your cheeks. 

Step 7.
Next up, add a bit of definition to those eyes with a dark gray or black eyeliner pencil. I like bareMinerals lasting line long-wearing eyeliner in charcoal. I use liquid liner for evening makeup, but during the day the pencil achieves a softer look while still giving the illusion of a thicker lash line and defining your eyes. Skip the eyeliner on your lower lid for this look. 

Step 8.
Finish off your eyes with some mascara (curl your lashes first if you need to). I usually do two coats to ensure a nice black last line and thick full lashes. I currently use both bareMinerals Lash Domination Volumizing Mascara and Flawless Definition Curl and Lengthen Mascara.

Step 9.
The way to finish this look is with some neutral lip color. I like bareMinerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in pink mauve for a super neutral and shimmery lip, but if I'm looking for a little more color, I use Forever 21's High Pigment Gloss in Hot Pink

And you're done! A flawless, super lightweight, super natural fresh face for summer! 

This is not a sponsored post. I get asked all the time about my makeup routine, so hopefully this answers your questions. I've been wearing bareMinerals for three years now, and, as you can tell, I really love it :) 

April 18, 2014


Now that we're approaching the summer months, it's time to perfect your summer fresh face makeup routine! During the winter many people wear heavier makeup, but in summer when the layers come off and you're sporting bare arms and legs, it's only right to have a fresh faced makeup routine to match. Since many of us are not blessed with absolutely flawless skin, we need something to achieve that smooth, fresh, dewy, and naturally flawless base that is essential for the fresh faced look.

I had the exciting opportunity to partner with bareMinerals this month to try out their brand new, first ever liquid foundation, bareSkin, that will hit the shelves May 1st! I've been a bareMinerals customer for over three years now (and absolutely love it), and have been slowly replacing everything in my makeup bag with every product they sell. So I was beyond thrilled to be able to try out their newest innovative product. And you guys, it's awesome.

The foundation has the bare minimum ingredients, all of which are natural and renewing (vitamin c, coconut and lilac plant), so it won't clog your pores or make you breakout, both of which I can attest to. In fact, my pores look clearer since I've started using it. You guys, I've tried so many liquid foundations, all of which I haven't loved for one reason or another, so I'm thrilled to finally a liquid foundation that I love and can feel good about wearing!

My skin tone is uneven with redness on my cheeks and chin, so I used their special applicator brush to buff on the bareSkin foundation to achieve a smooth and even complexion. They recommend two drops for a light coverage, and up to six drops for complete coverage, and I found that six was just about perfect coverage for my skin situation. Also after a little trial and error, I found that it really stayed on absolutely all day long if I followed with a light coverage of loose powder over my whole face and neck to set the foundation (and then proceeded with the rest of my makeup) -- I just used my bareMinerals powder foundation with a big fluffy makeup brush and it worked perfectly!

After applying my bareSkin foundation, I added bronzer, blush, a swipe of eyeliner pencil, and mascara, and filled in my eyebrows, then finished the look with a shimmery pale pink gloss (I'll share all the details, products, and a step by step tomorrow)!

This fresh and natural makeup look was just begging for a summery look to go with it, so I threw a summery dress and vest over my lace top, and paired it with some wedge sandals and aviators for a sunny afternoon downtown!

photos by sara walk
h&m dress
old navy wedges (similar, similar)
lulu*s bag, c/o (similar)
old navy aviators (similar)

bareSkin will be available May 1st at bareminerals.com, bareMinerals boutiques, QVC, Sephora, ULTA, Macy's, and Dillard's! Go grab yourself some and get ready to get your fresh face on for summer with me!

This post is sponsored by bareMinerals. All opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the companies that make this blog possible!

April 17, 2014


A few weeks ago I had a really fun opportunity to spend the day in Santa Monica with Shop Hers. They're a luxury marketplace where you can buy and sell used designer merchandise at an obviously discounted price, and as a major bargain shopper this is a super appealing idea for me. Amazing designers at a much more affordable price? Almost too good to be true (happily it's not). I only own a small handful of designer pieces, because I just can't justify the price, but when you can find used designer pieces for a fraction of the cost then you're definitely talking my language.

They let me try out the whole process, creating an account and creating a style profile with my sizing information that matched me up with girls my size who were selling their things. I picked out a few items, and then spent the day up at their showroom, digging through racks of their amazing designer pieces, and then creating an outfit.

If you have some unworn or unwanted designer pieces, anyone can sign up to sell on Shop Hers. They also have a VIP program where you send them your pieces and they price, photograph, list, and ship all your merchandise for you -- so easy if you have no extra time to do it yourself (like me).

Or if you're looking for some designer pieces to add to your closet, but don't want to pay full price, they're a great place to look. And to help you out with your first purchase, they're offering a $50 site-wide credit, available for 24 hours after you register...so hop on over and treat yourself to something fabulous!

April 15, 2014


Back in the Fall I posted some photos of my office. In the months since then, things have gotten a little more crowded and cluttered. I'm in the early stages of a fabric hoarding problem, so I needed more fabric storage space, I wanted more space for displayed and easily accessible visual inspiration, and I really wanted specific bins and storage for all my little random project tools. So I teamed up with Makr, a gorgeous design app (that's free for download!), to help organize my workspace. I'm a label junky (you better believe all the containers in my pantry are labeled), so using their super easy app to create this pretty little labels for my shelves and boxes was a dream.

I tackled only one corner of my office, but having a spot and a label for everything, and being able to see all my fabric at once is a huge improvement. Now I want to label all the things!

obviously those aren't buttons in that "button" jar...somehow I've misplaced my button stash. So my tiny collection of washi tape is taking it's place until the button stash is found :)

pin board: made by me (easy tutorial coming soon!)
labels c/o Makr
gray boxes: the container store
wire basket: the container store (not online)
wooden box: ikea
glass jar: ikea 

I love that everything has a place, I have a lot more storage, and everything is so organized. I absolutely love how it turned out. Next up in the office revamp is a big pegboard and shelving...my organization loving self cannot wait!

Makr is generously providing 20% off a print order for my readers! Just register with the referral code MERRICKART and enter same code at checkout, so go make yourself some invitations, cards, stickers, or even try out their new capability of designing your own logo!  (Code expires May 31st!)

this post was sponsored by Makr. They provided the credit for me to order my labels, but the designs and opinions are my own.


A few months ago my sisters and I posted about wardrobe workhorses.  Pieces that you wear constantly, that go with everything, etc. Today is part two -- a second wardrobe workhorse in our closet! Mine is this striped blazer from Old Navy. I bought it a few months ago, on a total whim, planning to try it on with a few things at home and then promptly returning it. Instead, I got home and realized just how versatile it was, and then figured out a bunch of ways I could wear it. Here are five:

1. Try it with a solid colored dress to add a splash of pattern
2. Wear it with distressed jeans to create a nice balance of casual and sophisticated
3. Pattern mix with florals, wider stripes, or polka dots
4. Throw it on over a t-shirt to instantly dress up your outfit
5. Try it with a loose or flowy top or dress to add structure

Here I applied #2 and #3 by pairing it with a floral print for some easy pattern mixing, and combining it with distressed jeans for a sophisticated casual look.

photos by sara walk

old navy blazer (similar options below)
sole society boots, c/o (similar)
jewelmint necklace, c/o (similar)

Now hop over to my sister's blogs to see their wardrobe workhorses! 


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