Where the Crawdads Sing: Review and Analysis


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

For months, I’ve been inundated with hype, both on social media and through word of mouth, surrounding the Delia Owens literary hit, Where the Crawdads Sing.

I’m usually slow to begin these “flavor of the month” novels which top the best seller list, unless I receive a glowing review from someone I deeply trust.  However, with this novel, my circle of friends was unanimous. 

Some of the responses I received: 

“One of my favorites!” 

“Loved, loved, loved!” 

“One of my favorite books!”

I finally picked up the novel and began to read in earnest.


I will admit – the beginning was slow.  The first chapter caught my attention well enough, with its description of a little girl, Catherine Danielle Clark (“Kya”), seemingly abandoned by her mother, left with her older siblings and an abusive father in a run-down home nestled deep in the North Carolina marsh outside Barkley Cove.  Who wouldn’t sympathize with her plight?  The pathos escalates from there, with her siblings leaving one by one, including her beloved brother Jodie.

However, the next few chapters slow to a snail’s pace. We are treated to a sometimes painful description of Kya’s struggle to survive, including how she learns to navigate the moods and rages of her alcoholic father. A glimmer of hope emerges when he begins to take an interest in the welfare of young Kya, particularly after she begins to cook and clean the house for him. This does not last, however, as a letter from her mother seemingly drives him back over the edge, and all was as it was before.  

Before long, Kya is completely abandoned as her father also disappears.

“Jumpin” and his kindly wife Mabel are local African-American residents who operate a local convenience store on the marsh; there, Kya sells mussels in order to survive and also purchases gas for her boat.  Mabel also teaches her about other important things, such as a woman’s cycle.

Kya attends school for one day.  She never returns due to bullying by the local children.  She is able to hide in the marsh in order to avoid the truant officers.

In the marsh, she finds Tate Walker, a local boy whom she quickly befriends.  He teaches her to read and brings her books, which open her mind and plant the seeds for her career as a celebrated, though still reclusive, naturalist.  

As she blossoms from wild child into young woman, Kya’s path crosses that of Chase Andrews, a handsome local boy, star quarterback, and the prize catch of Barkley Cove – the man every woman wants to date.  

Chase ultimately breaks Kya’s heart and weds another, despite having promised marriage to Kya for a year.

He attempts to carry on their relationship after their marriage and becomes violent to Kya when she refuses him. 

When Chase falls off the fire tower (under suspicious circumstances), all eyes turn to Kya, the mysterious Marsh Girl, as she is known in Barkley Cove. Suspicion mounts when it’s discovered that Chase’s dead body was found without a shell necklace which Kya had previously given to him. She becomes the main suspect.


When Kya is accused and charged with Chase’s murder, we quickly see how the odds are stacked against her by the prejudiced townspeople, even though she has a seemingly rock-solid alibi.  The prosecutor goes to great lengths during court proceedings to prove her guilt, bending over backwards to present highly implausible scenarios.  We have some foreshadowing, however, as to how the trial will turn out when the courthouse cat, symbolically named “Justice,” warms to Kya, even curling up in her lap in her jail cell.

Kya is ultimately acquitted after a lengthy courtroom drama. 

Following the murder trial, she and Tate do not marry but profess their love and live together in her shack, now renovated, on the edge of the marsh.  She also reunites with her brother Jodie and learns something of her mother’s story after leaving the marsh.

Just as we have a neat sense of closure, the book springs the ultimate bombshell with only a page left.  After Kya has passed away many years later, Tate discovers a poem written by Kya which strongly implies her guilt for the murder.  The shell necklace lies close by the poem.


The ending, for me, is what makes or breaks a novel, and it definitely sets “Where the Crawdads Sing” on a higher plane of literature.

The description of Chase throughout this coming-of-age story illustrates how Kya views everything through the lens of the marsh, “nature.”  Chase owns a bright blue boat, which he uses to woo women, including Kya. She likens this boat to the bright feathers a creature of the marsh would use to attract a mate. His harmonica playing is also compared to the loud noises used in animal mating rituals.

This brings me to the foremost character in the book.  It is not Kya, but the marsh itself.  The book states repeatedly that the marsh has become Kya’s mother; it protects, nurtures, and inspires her.  The lush descriptions of wildlife and flora leap off the page, and, swathed in mists, the marsh assumes a magical, otherworldly quality.  

She also attempts to understand her mother’s abandonment through the lens of nature as well.  She searches and finds numerous examples of how the creatures of the wild abandon their litter for the greater good, which furthers evolutionary advancement or survival of the species in some way.  In this way, Kya is finally able to find peace with her traumatic childhood.

It also leads her to murder Chase.  When he comes violent toward her, even hunting her down in the marsh and attempting sexual assault, her animal nature emerges, and she uses the lessons the marsh has taught her to meet the threat he poses.  One of those lessons is, for better or for worse, to kill or be killed.  She views Chase as a predator and treats him accordingly – without remorse.  Taking back her shell necklace represents Kya taking back her heart and soul, which is rooted in nature and the marsh, from Chase.

One of the novel’s primary themes is the discussion of prejudice.  The racist abuse suffered by Jumpin and Mabel parallels that prejudice endured by Kya, the “Marsh Girl,” throughout the book, beginning in Kya’s childhood.  Kya’s court case and trial echo that of To Kill a Mockingbird, minus the outcome.  However, what seemed like a straightforward story about prejudice, with a happy ending for Kya, is quickly exposed as something else on the final page.  

This is the story of survival, and how the natural world provides the blueprint for that survival.  Nature is not kind, just as it can lead a mother to abandon her young or lead a woman such as Kya to murder her lover.  It is not a discussion of right or wrong at all – nature is not right or wrong, it just is the way it is.  And it can be cruel. We cannot change it, only observe.

All great novels are “gray,” not black and white, serving up endless interpretations for the reader.  

This complexity and depth render “Where the Crawdads Sing” a great novel indeed.  It is a classic, and one I highly recommend.

Having read and loved the source material, I look forward to watching the film adaptation starring Daisy Edgar-Jones!

Best Christmas Gifts for your Wife in 2022 (Beauty Recommendations!)


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

I understand how it is — you want to get your wife what she wants for Christmas, a unique gift that will earn rave reviews from her this holiday season! (You know the saying – “Happy wife, happy life!”) However, you are overwhelmed by the endless rows of palettes, brushes, and hair accessories at Sephora or ULTA. In this post below, I’m going to list the best Christmas gift ideas for your amazing wife!

Of note, the best thing is that these recommendations are crafted with all skin tones in mind, so you do not have to worry about selecting the wrong shade of anything. I’m trying to make it easy for you, guys! 😉

1) Charlotte Tilbury Exaggereyes Palette – This rose gold themed palette is perfect for a special occasion, such as a wedding. It provides a classic look she can use every single day! Plus, its compact design if perfect for traveling.

2) Kat Von D Tattoo Liner – This is the perfect present for your wife. Perfecting eyeliner application is one of the most difficult makeup techniques, but one which, when mastered, changes your wife’s makeup game forever. This eyeliner literally applies itself, with a clean application to boot, making it one of the best gifts for your best friend.  You can read my full review here.

3) Charlotte Tilbury “Pillow Talk” lipstick – Another great pick from Charlotte Tilbury! The luxurious packing of this lipstick will truly thrill your wife, and she will recognize this is a special gift. This nude pink lipstick provides an ultra-sophisticated look which will prove a great addition to her lipstick collection. She will look like a queen. This shade also comes in a medium or dark version, which you can find on the Charlotte Tilbury website.  You can see my full “Pillow talk” collection review here.

4) Mac “Russian Red” lipstick – This true red Mac lipstick is iconic. This is the right gift for any woman (especially if your wife loves makeup) as it truly matches all skin tones. At fifteen dollars, the price point is pitch-perfect. I’m including a picture below of this beautiful lipstick in action:

5) Urban Decay Mini Naked 3 Eyeshadow Palette – The Urban Decay brand is a treasure trove of eyeshadow palettes – and thus offers the best Christmas gifts for your wife. Each palette is a collection of mostly neutral tones which provides plenty of different colors for everyday use. She will use any of these palettes for a very long time. You cannot go wrong with these! One of my most recent favorites is the Mini Naked 3 palette, although larger palettes are available. You can read my full review here.

6) Revlon One Step Volumizer and Styler – Probably the most useful gift on this list!  If you have the type of wife who struggles with her hair (like me!), this is a wonderful gift which will help her achieve that supermodel blowout look in a time crunch (5 minutes max). The simple design makes this a foolproof tool. Read my full review here.

7) Buxom lip gloss – For the woman in a hurry, a quality lip gloss is worth its weight in gold. This allows a woman to achieve a polished look without a lot of hard work during a long day. She can simply swipe the lip gloss on her lips, no mirror needed. This is also the perfect thing to stash in her purse. The formula of Buxom lip gloss is outstanding and second to none. It is also extremely comfortable on the lips, rendering this a great gift. My full review is here.

8) Nars Orgasm Blush – This famous blush, with its scandalous name, will be a winner in your wife’s book. This is rose gold shimmer upon the cheeks, a blush to help her achieve the height of glamour on a date night or work day.

9) Too Faced Better than Sex Mascara – Another beauty favorite with a flirty name! Your wife will love the long seductive lashes this product will give her. You can read my full review here.

10) Ipsy subscription – If you are undecided as to the perfect gift and none of the above options appeal to you, I encourage you to buy an Ipsy subscription. It is a great way to cover all your bases! It is truly the best subscription gift, and a personalized gift at that. You can purchase an Ipsy monthly subscription at $13 per month for however many months you desire. Your wife will need to enter some information in the website regarding her beauty preferences (makeup vs. skincare, etc.) and skin tone. She will receive a bag of various beauty goodies each month, allowing her to test different products, a wide range of colors of makeup, and different skincare options before making a purchase and spending a lot of money. This is the perfect Christmas gift. (And if you don’t want to get this for Christmas, it’s also a fantastic Valentine’s Day gift as well!)

Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Buxom Hot Shots Full-On Plumping Lip Gloss (Review and Swatches)


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

I’m always on the hunt for a good lip gloss!

Lip gloss is easy. The application is forgiving, the look is effortless, and you can apply without a mirror!

My favorite lip gloss formula from Buxom recently released some delicious fall shades in the Hot Shots Full-On Plumping Lip Gloss collection!

I purchased two shades – “Spiced Hot Toddy” (below Left) and “Peppermint Hot Cocoa” (below Right)!

On the Buxom website, “Spiced Hot Toddy” is described as “warm brown with a touch of pink.” It is a gorgeous fall color, warm and vibrant like the changing leaves. It is a stunning neutral pink (see below):

Likewise, “Peppermint Hot Cocoa” is described on the website as “soft rosewood pink.” I feel this is the ultimate ladylike lip gloss shade – definitely a “my-lips-but-better” shade that goes with everything. When I see this shade, I think of Kate Middleton, who often wears a lip gloss of this hue (see below):

A few thoughts…

I absolutely love these classic, neutral shades! They are neutral, go with every skin tone and outfit, and slip in your purse for easy transport. Perfect for autumn!

One thing that I absolutely love about these lip glosses is that they bestow the cool, tingling sensation so unique to Buxom lip glosses. It provides the comforting sensation one experiences when consuming a mint. This makes this lip gloss formula my favorite, and, in my opinion, the best on the market.

One downside, however…

Unlike the lip glosses in the regular Buxom lip gloss line, these have a strong scent. I personally don’t mind this at all, but, for many women, it is a major turnoff as far as lip gloss is concerned.

Overall, however, I love these lip glosses! They will be stashed in my purse for months to come!

Hospital Checklist for Birth


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

Flush with excitement about the impending hospital birth, many expectant mothers are completely bewildered by the decision of what to pack in preparation for the delivery suite. If you feel this way prior to your first baby’s arrival, just remember that you are in good company amongst other pregnant women!

In truth, many of the items you think you need, you don’t actually need. In this article, I will list the essentials and tell some raw truths about labor and postpartum care, which will hopefully help you achieve the best delivery experience possible and give you some peace of mind!

1) Depends

Yes. Not the most glamorous item, for sure! However, whether you deliver via Cesarean delivery or a vaginal delivery, you will experience a copious amount of bleeding after the birth of your child – equivalent to a very heavy period. This bleeding will continue for several weeks post-delivery (and can be worse following a Cesarean section). The delivery nurses will provide you with a pad which is woefully inadequate for this amount of bleeding.

You will need some large, “grandma” Depends – trust me! It will make your birth experience much easier! You need to swallow your pride and get on board with this. No one else is going to tell you!

2) Pumping Bra

One thing that vanishes quickly when you have a new baby is your modesty. It is true! Even though most hospitals provide private rooms (or operating rooms) for the birthing experience, you will be seen in various states of nudity by many different people during labor and beyond, from nurses, to physicians, and even perhaps some family members. If you would like to preserve some privacy following your birth process, you will need a pumping bra. Many newborns do not latch (this may take practice, sometimes over weeks), and pumping is required to produce milk and preserve supply. A pumping bra will help preserve modesty and also enable a hands-free experience as well.

I personally used this pumping bra:

3) Nursing Nightgown

Another must-have! A nursing nightgown is essential for comfort and also to provide ready breastfeeding access for baby. He/she will need it every 2-3 hours! I highly recommend this nursing nightgown from Motherhood Maternity:

4) Camera

An essential! Members of your care team in the delivery unit will take most of the birth pictures, but you will want the right choice of camera to preserve those precious memories for posterity.

I use this camera for my blog pictures, and this is the one we took to the hospital (although ANY camera will do!):

5) Snacks

You don’t think about this automatically. The thing is – if you arrive at the hospital at 5 a.m., you are not allowed to eat until delivery. The reason for this is due to the possibility of C-section. You may not deliver until late at night when the hospital cafeteria is closed. You will be starving if you do not have snacks, as will your significant other. A simple thing, but it’s vital not to forget this!

6) Infant Car Seat

This is a big one for baby care! You must have a way to get baby home from the hospital, and holding him/her in your arms is neither safe nor legal. I highly recommend the car seat be installed prior to arriving at the hospital. Your significant other will be too busy changing diapers and helping with the baby to do this prior to discharge. Especially if it is your first child, I especially recommend that you have your local fire station inspect installation to ensure all is correct.

7) Baby Neck Pillow

You would not typically think of this one. The baby is so tiny that its head will flop from side to side on the way home without the stabilizing influence of a neck pillow.


1) Breast Pump

This is NOT essential. Most hospitals provide (hospital-grade) pumps to new mothers for the duration of their stay. However, if you would be more comfortable with your own pump, you can certainly bring it. My all-time favorite breast pump is the Baby Buddha – see full review here! As always, the lactation consultants are your friends.

2) Fancy Outfit for Baby

Again – not essential. Most people take the official newborn pic while the baby is swaddled in the wrap provided by the hospital. However, if you have a special outfit for the occasion, go ahead and bring that. I would not recommend taking more than one as you probably won’t have time to take pictures of your newest addition in multiple different outfits.

Hope this post is helpful to new parents! Until next time!


Related Posts:

Best Portable Breast Pump Review

Pumping at Work (How-to Guide Plus Must Haves!)

What to Buy for a New Baby (Part 1)

What to Buy for a New Baby (Part 2)

Best Foundation for All Skin Types


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

So many different skin types exist – oily, dry, combination, mature, sensitive – the list goes on!

Wouldn’t it be great if you could find one foundation to cover all skin needs and types?

After much research, I believe I’ve found that holy grail product.

It is Bare Minerals Original Foundation.

It is packaged in a jar, filled with loose powder.

To apply foundation, you must use a powder brush to swirl inside the jar in order to pick up product.

I’m posting a picture below, “before foundation” (Left) and “after foundation (Right):

Full Face of Makeup (Below):

This mineral foundation is gentle for sensitive skin and does contain SPF 15 (would love for this figure to be higher, but kudos to Bare Minerals for including sunscreen at all!). What I love about it is that it always looks smooth and flawless. You can also dial up coverage by applying more powder, and it will never look cakey (unlike other foundations). As you can see above, it produces an airbrushed effect in pictures. It is not drying and does not emphasize fine lines (making it ideal for mature skin). It also controls oil – amazingly! This foundation has found the sweet spot for skin – a magical combination!

The one downside is the application. It does tend to make a mess on your vanity, as the loose powder does scatter. If they could package this in a compact, it would be a miracle foundation indeed!

Nevertheless, the final product is impossible to deny! Results speak for themselves!

5 STARS!!!

See Products Used Below:

Foundation: Bare Minerals Original Foundation

Concealer: Benefit Boi-ing Cakeless Concealer in Shade 2 “Best Life / Fair Warm”

Bronzer: Benefit “Hoola” Bronzer

Blush: Chanel Le Blush Creme in “Chamade”

Eyes: Urban Decay Naked 3 Mini Eyeshadow Palette

Brows: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade in “Medium Brown”

Mascara: Benefit Roller Lash Curling Mascara

Lipstick: Mac “Russian Red”

Hope you’ve enjoyed this review!

Related Posts:

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review

Urban Decay Naked 3 Mini (Looks Plus Review!)

Top 5 Foundations for Acne-Prone Skin

Top 5 Foundations for Oily Skin

Top 5 Foundations for Dry Skin

Best Books for Halloween


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

As Halloween approaches, you might be curious as to the best reading material suitable to the season!

Below I have compiled a favorites list of my top 5 spooky classics!

1) Dracula

This is the ultimate Halloween read, correct? For many years, I was frightened to pick up this one. One has a general expectation of blood and gore with Dracula. In reality, it is more akin to a gripping Victorian mystery. Except for one scene in particular, it is not graphic. The description of Transylvania at the beginning is atmospheric – brooding and sinister. I was particularly shocked to learn that the author, Bram Stoker, never traveled to Transylvania! He had a vivid imagination indeed.

2) Rebecca

Set in early twentieth century England, it follows a young woman who marries a wealthy older man. It is her first marriage, but his second. Once she travels to his estate, Manderley, she is constantly reminded, either by staff, her husband’s family, or by the estate itself, of his first wife Rebecca. Although this is not your typical ghost story, Rebecca’s menacing presence is felt throughout the novel and influences events at every turn. On a side note, the prose by Daphne du Maurier is gorgeous!

3) The Picture of Dorian Gray

This short novel by Oscar Wilde begins with an interesting premise. An innocent young man falls in love with his own portrait. He speculates how life would be different if he remained youthful forever, but his portrait aged instead? The results and implications are straight out of a horror movie. This book is for mature audiences only.

4) The Woman in White

This Victorian mystery novel, despite its length, is well worth the effort! It begins with a haunting image – a mysterious tragic woman dressed in white, in seeming distress, who follows the protagonist. Who is she, and who is hunting her? This tale of forced marriage, double identity, and murderous intent is a masterclass in suspense! Wilkie Collins, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, was much underrated in my opinion.

5) Jamaica Inn

Another English classic by Daphne du Maurier, Jamaica Inn presents the tale of Mary Yellan, an orphaned girl who comes to live with her aunt and uncle at Jamaica Inn. She is thrust into a world of mystery, for Jamaica Inn, she soon discovers, holds many dark and deadly secrets. The ending of this novel was quite satisfying, but it holds you on the edge of your seat from start to finish!

Related Post:

Lois the Witch Summary and Review

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara Review


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

I’m always on the hunt for a good mascara. It is the one makeup item which is completely essential as it frames the eyes, the one part of the face that other people see first and most often.

Although I adore my Maybelline Lash Stiletto mascara, I believe I may have found a new favorite!

I recently picked up Benefit’s Roller Lash mascara.

It comes in an adorable black and pink tube – very feminine! The packaging is sturdy and compact, which is always good for tucking it into your purse.

The wand is curved, a shape I personally prefer as it helps to more evenly and deeply distribute the mascara to the lashes.

Now for the before and after:

As you can see – this mascara coats the lashes evenly and fully, leading to beautiful long lashes. I was pleased with the result. I did not notice any flaking throughout the day, and the lashes looked as good in the evening as when I applied it in the morning.

I enthusiastically recommend this product – a fantastic addition to your mascara collection!

You can purchase this mascara here for $27.

How to Create a Fall Capsule Wardrobe in 2022


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

When I travelled to Paris almost ten years ago, I was captivated by the French way of selecting and purchasing clothes.

The French have a good reason for doing this! Because most citizens of Paris live in apartments, their closets are small. They focus on buying a few classic pieces (such as Chanel, etc.) which they can then mix and match in different ways, creating a variety of outfits.

This has always inspired me and establishes the concept of a CAPSULE WARDROBE.

In this blog post, I’m going to show you, step-by-step, how to create the ultimate fall capsule wardrobe in 2022.

I want to first describe the benefits of the capsule wardrobe:

1) Overall, it saves money! You are buying a few good quality clothing items, which you can then pair for a large assortment of looks for everyday wear. This wardrobe will last for a long time, and you won’t have to constantly purchase new clothes.

2) It increases your closet space! More room for your husband’s clothes – he will be very happy! I’m including a picture of my capsule wardrobe in my closet (below), which demonstrates what a tiny amount of space this occupies.

3) It is classic style – it is the Parisian fashion!

4) It’s amazingly portable – fewer clothes to pack for vacation – always a great thing!

Now, I’m going to show you – step by step – how to create this capsule wardrobe, using a few versatile pieces.

Step 1 – Choose your base color.

This base color is a neutral color upon which your entire palette is built and grounded. It is usually black or navy. I personally prefer black as it offers more versatility. More colors compliment black than navy, but you could use either.

Step 2 – Choose your accent color(s).

You will need to select 1-2 bold colors (non-neutral) to serve as your accent color(s). I personally chose red, but you could choose green, blue, etc. – the list is endless. This will serve as a “pop” in your wardrobe and will stand out.

Step 3 – Choose your tops.

Now that you have chosen your base color and your accent color, you will need to select 2-3 tops. Ideally, you should have some neutral colored tops (such as black, cream, etc.) as well as at least 1 top the same color as your accent shade (red, green, blue, etc.). It is also an advantage if you purchase a basic top which can serve as a casual top and a dressy top. Of note, I consider a white tee and a black tee as essential, timeless pieces. You can dress up these tops with jewelry, a scarf, etc., and can dress down the blouse with blue jeans.

Step 4 – Choose your pants.

I usually advise sticking to neutral colors (black, cream, navy, denim) for the pants, but it’s not wrong to choose a pop of color for your pants as well. A pair of jeans is essential to “dressing down” a look, or rendering it more casual. Whether you choose skinny jeans or mom jeans, it does not matter. Black jeans would also work. A capsule wardrobe should reflect your personal style and is truly your best friend.

Step 5 – Choose your dresses.

Like the tops, it is a good idea to select 2-3 flowy dresses to serve as a base garment. I do recommend that at least one of these feature the accent color. In particular, I love a little black dress. Plus – if there’s anything that is better than a little black dress, it’s a little red dress! Both are stunning and so versatile.

Step 6 – Choose your layers.

Layers are essential for fall fashion. In many places around the country, the temperature may be 30 degrees (F) in the morning and 70 degrees in the afternoon during the fall months. With layers, you can strip off or wrap up, as the situation requires. The ideal layers include pieces with long sleeves, such as a cardigan, bolero, long coat, chunky sweater, denim jacket, leather jacket, or trench coat. You can also “dial up” a look by layering with an oversized blazer – a fall staple. Of note, layers will allow you the perfect option to create a winter capsule wardrobe as well.

Step 7 – Choose your accessories.

Adding accessories is one of the easiest ways to dial a look up or down, rendering it more sophisticated or more casual. Scarves and jewelry (such as pearls) tend to glamorize an outfit. A belt would also take a look to the next level – another great staple.

I’m going to show you my own capsule collection below, including all the different outfits I’ve created. You will shocked to see how many outfits you can create using this method.

Possible Outfits – White Top

Possible Outfits – Black Top

Possible Outfits – Red Top

Possible Outfits – Black Dress

Possible Outfits – Red Dress


White/Cream Blouse:

***Please note: These blouses run large.

Black Blouse:

Red Blouse:

Little Black Dress:

Little Red Dress:

Blue Jeans:

Black Pants:

Khaki Pants:

White/Cream Cardigan:

Black Cardigan:

Black Shoes:

Money Saving Makeup Hacks


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

With fears of recession looming, every penny counts

Makeup is no exception!

I’m going to list 5 quick money-saving makeup hacks:

1) You can use lipstick as blush.

Yes, you can!

In fact, in the early history of makeup, this was often done. It was called rouge, which doubled as both lipstick and blush. You simply dot a speck of lipstick onto your cheek, and pat it in the skin gently.

2) You can use brown or black eyeshadow as eyeliner.

This works beautifully, especially if you like a smudged look. Brown and black eyeliner is so versatile; this color is in almost every eyeshadow palette. In contrast, you can sharpen the eyeliner look by adding water to the eyeliner brush.

3) You can use concealer as eyeshadow base/primer.

This is one of the most amazing money-saving makeup hacks of all. Concealer, like the eyeshadow base, not only cancels out the purple or red undertones to the eyelid, providing a neutral canvas for the eyeshadow, but it also provides an actual substrate (like concealer) to which eyeshadow can bind. You can get 2 products for the price of one!

4) Drugstore foundation is your friend.

Drugstore foundation is wonderful and often underrated. It’s hard to beat L’Oreal True Match foundation or Revlon Colorstay foundation. No one will ever know.

5) Brown or black eyeshadow can double as a brow color.

Another fabulous use for black or brown eyeshadow! Truly a versatile product, as it can double as brow color or as eyeliner. You simply use a thin-tipped brush to draw in your brows.


Makeup Items to Splurge/Save on

Il Makiage Foundation Review


NOTE: This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I love. Please read my full disclosure here for more information.

We’ve seen them everywhere – glowing ads on Youtube and Facebook for Il Makiage foundation, showing young women squealing with delight as the foundation disappears into their skin.

Is it worth the hype?

I actually purchased it a few months ago, in shade 020 (the lightest shade)!

The packaging of the Il Makiage “Woke Up Like This” foundation is superb and fancy, complete with a pump, which nearly always renders application less messy:

The foundation is of a thicker consistency – not creamy at all. This is personal preference, but I do usually gravitate toward creamy foundations as they are easier to apply.

I have assembled 3 photos below (before foundation, after foundation, and full face of makeup):

So far, so good, right?

You have to examine the close-ups to see the true story!

The problem is the consistency of this foundation. It is thick and applies unevenly. It forms unsightly patches on the skin and oxidizes, forming splotches of yellow and orange (see below):

This foundation, unfortunately, is not worth the hype. It is, in fact, one of the worst foundations I have ever used.

For a product breakdown of my makeup look, see below:

Foundation – Il Makiage “Woke Up Like This” in Shade 020

Powder Charlotte Tilbury Airbrush Flawless Finish Powder in 1-Fair/Pale

Concealer Anastasia Beverly Hills Magic Touch Concealer in 1


Benefit Cosmetics Brightening Finishing Powder in “Dandelion” icon


Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Bronzer icon


Buxom Full-On Plumping Lip Polish Gloss in “Dolly” icon

Eye Look (see below)

Eye Look (products used):

Eyeliner Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in “Trooper”

Eyeshadow BaseMac Painterly Paint Pot and NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in “Milk”

Lid CenterColourpop Stone Cold Fox Eyeshadow Palette in “Magnetic Moon”

Inner + Outer LidColourpop Stone Cold Fox Eyeshadow Palette in “Fickle Fate”

Crease Colourpop Stone Cold Fox Eyeshadow Palette in “Enigma” + “Play it Coal”

Brow BoneColourpop Stone Cold Fox Eyeshadow Palette in “Dreamful”

Inner CornerColourpop Stone Cold Fox Eyeshadow Palette in “Dreamful”

Eyebrow Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in “Medium Brown”


Colourpop Stone Cold Fox Palette Review and Swatches