Beauty Chat with The Lauren Elizabeth

Did you catch last week’s beauty chat with Cara of Maskcara? She’s got me itching for the Glam Glow Mask based on what she said about it!

This week I’ll be chatting with this girl I’ve known for a long time.

Her whole life actually.

We happen to be blood relatives. And pretty close ones at that.


It’s Lauren of Lauren Elizabeth, formerly “From My Grey Desk” formerly “Free Bird Journal”. We both share quite the history with blog names.

Anyway, she’s developed an interest in beauty over the years and happens to have some really great picks! Let’s get right into the good stuff.

1. What is the most loved item in your makeup bag?

At the current moment, I’m really loving the brow powder duo by Anastasia Beverly Hills. I like having a lighter shade for outlining, and a darker shade for filling in my brows. It goes on super smooth, and lasts all day even through heat and humidity! *brow tutorial here!

2. You find a $50 gift card to Sephora on the street, what do you buy?

That’s a tough one! Truthfully, I’d probably pick up a couple of those small samples they have in the checkout line. Those samples always suck me in! I like that they are a small size to I can try out several products and possibly go back for the full-size. I’d probably pick up some sort of face mask, a lip product, and a foundation or finishing powder.

3. What is your go-to hairstyle?

I’m a classic “down and curled” kinda gal. I like to use a 1 inch curling wand for a relaxed and messy look. Those curls are great for second-day hair too!

4. What is your biggest hair regret?

I asked my sister for a trim when I was in high school and she managed to chop my hair way shorter than I wanted it to be so I was mad at her for 8 years.

Kate: IN MY DEFENSE, the “long hair” she had prior to the hair chop she just mentioned was about 27 pieces of frizz and broken ends. They had to go.

5. What is one beauty trend you would love to see die?

You know what I’m not a big fan of? Long, pointed nails. Whether they’re real or fake, they freak me out. They look kind of evil and remind me of Cruella-Deville. Not to mention it has to be nearly impossible to do anything with them.

6. Is there a makeup trick you would like to master?

I’d like to learn how to highlight and contour like a pro. Whenever I try it, it ends up being very subtle because I don’t’ want to be featured on one of those “Pinterest Fails” memes or something. In the before and after photos I’ve seen of contouring and highlighting, it’s really amazing what it can do to your face!

7. Do you like drugstore or high end products?

I believe in a healthy mix. I use drugstore BB cream, mascara, concealer, and some eyeshadows. For foundation, bronzer, blush, highlighter, eye liner, and some other eyeshadows, I’ve found high end to be more reliable and work better for my skin.

8. What do you never leave the house without?

Under-eye concealer. It makes such a huge difference, even if I don’t’ put any other makeup on. It helps brighten up my eyes and makes me look less. . .terrible.

9. What is your favorite skin care product?

I’ve been using the Origins Charcoal Masks recently and absolutely love them! My skin is so soft, bright and clean after using one. I try to do one every week or so.

10. What is one hair technique you’d like to master?

Probably some sort of half up braid situation. I’m not the best at braiding, so I think if I could master that, I could surely figure out how to do two braids going back into a half-up hairstyle.

Kate: May I suggest this tutorial, sweet sister of mine?

Well thanks again for the interview Lauren! I gotta try those masks you mentioned. I guess I’m on a bit of a mask kick lately.

Check back next friday for the next interview in the beauty chat series!

style inspiration: white denim


white denim

Brunch: striped blazer, tank, heels, bag

Saturday: top, watch, ring, shoes

Casual + Cute: stripe top, sandals, necklace, earrings

First of all, let the records show that I know I used this shirt in the lace shorts post from last month. I actually didn’t realize it until I was nearly finished creating the image you see above and I thought to myself, “well that makes it even more realistic because I’m showing how to wear the same item with a different outfit.”

Also it happens to be on sale, so that was an extra plus.

Let the records also show that I’m featuring white denim. This coming from the girl with so much extra junk in her trunk that she never thought she would wear anything white on the bottom. Well I bought some the other day, at Gap, and have quite enjoyed wearing them.

But here’s the thing. White pants, specifically denim, are kind of everywhere right now. I like anything white (or grey) and sometimes I don’t really care if my rear looks extra large. I mean, is there all that much difference between large and extra large*? I didn’t think so.

So, for the Saturday outfit selection, I’d suggest cuffing the denim a little bit. It’s a simple way to “soften” your outfit for a more casual look. It says, “I’m just running errands and looking adorable at the same time”, you know?

I made a conscious decision to NOT add a “chambray shirt” option because that seems like an obvious one. Search “white denim” on Pinterest and you’ll find 4,000 women wearing white denim with chambray. I like the look, but since it’s a little over done right now, I tried to come up with some different options!

Let me take a moment and point out the earrings for the Casual + Cute selection. I discovered the online shop Moorea Seal thanks to Kacia’s pinterest page and I now browse the items on a weekly basis. If you like simple and delicate jewelry, you must check it out. A lot of the prices are fantastic as well. Those earrings are only $12.00! AND Moorea Seal is offering free shipping for the month of July with code “Birthday”. This is not a sponsored post, I just have to tell you to go check it out!

My sweet mom bought me a Kate Spade bag from one of the Surprise Sale’s for my birthday last month, so that last thing I need is another one. But IF I was in the market for one, I’d definitely aim for that beauty in the Brunch ensemble

Alright, get to work on adding some white denim to your wardrobe for what remains of summer. If you are a rule follower, you have until Labor Day to wear those bad boys out.

*I hope you read my light-hearted self-depricating jokes as they are intended: for humor! I mean, it’s all true, but I’m totally okay with it.


DSC_0003 - Version 2

I had an entirely different post planned for today but I was scrolling through my photos and came across this one.

It got me thinking.

David is already 7 months old. He’s sitting up, rolling over, giggling, and eating puffs and purees.

Before I know it he’ll be crawling. And then he’ll be walking. And then he’ll be leaving for college practically.

I’m not sad that he’s getting older, because each new stage is so enjoyable, but it’s very emotional to look back on photos of him when he was just a tiny little baby.

In a way I miss that time, but in another way I don’t. I love current David. He’s a complete joy! Don’t get me wrong, I felt the same way back then. I try to enjoy the current stage as much as possible without wishing it away.

My mom is coming to visit today, and then my dad is joining us for the weekend. When Justin, David and I traveled to Wisconsin a few weeks ago, it was wonderful to see family, but my mom was busy hosting the entire weekend. She knew she was coming down to visit later in the month, but I couldn’t help but notice she barely got any David time!

I’m looking very forward to her visit and am so grateful to have such a wonderful mother. It’s very sweet to see how tender she is with him, and it’s a little glimpse into how she likely was with my siblings and I when we were infants.

Despite living half way across the country, I get to see her (and the rest of my family!) fairly often. I am really grateful for that as I want David to know his aunts, uncle, and grandparents really well.

This week will be spent just the three of us, hanging out, with no plan or agenda or anything. I may even give them some quality alone time and sneak off for a pedicure.


p.s. I’ve enjoyed rounding up my favorite stylish moms + products over on this Pinterest board, check it out here!

Skincare Routine



one, two, three, four, five, six

Wow, brand favoritism much?

What can I say, when I find something I like, I go for it all the way.

I try to “KISS” when it comes to my skin care routine. I like trying new beauty products, but I’m always a little leery to change up my skin care routine too much. My skin stays calm and clear when I use these products, so I find that sticking with them is the safest route to go.

My favorite face cream of all time is the fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream with Super 7 Complex. Man it’s good. Hydrating with absolutely no greasy residue, and makes my skin glow. Highly, highly recommend if you are in the market for a new one.

When I was in NYC recently I stumbled upon a stand alone Caudalie store. I heard an angel chorus, approached the front door, and realized it didn’t open for a few more minutes. I stood outside like it was black friday at Best Buy and waited for the doors to open. I shoved my way past the air and sunshine to get inside when it finally opened. I picked up this lip balm and it’s been sitting on my nightstand ever since.

I’ve mentioned this exfoliator TWICE in favorites videos because I love it so much. It has a bit more grit than the Philosophy Microdelivery Exfoliation Wash I was using prior to buying this one, but still feels gentle on my skin.

Eye cream is a daily-must-use-product for me. If I don’t use it, my under eyes not only look dry, but my makeup settles into fine lines too.  This gel formula is light, fresh, but super hydrating.

I like to soak two cotton pads with this eye makeup remover and set them on my eyes to really loosen up my eye makeup. It’s great for the entire face too because it doesn’t sting, and doesn’t leave my skin screaming for moisture afterwards.

To take off every last bit of my makeup at the end of the night, I use these Pond’s wet cleansing cloths. I’ve been using them for years, and they are simply fantastic.

You may notice that I didn’t feature a particular daily cleanser on the mix. I go back and forth between using one regularly because sometimes my skin does great without one. In the past I’ve loved this one, and I really like this one too.

So that’s it. Every once in awhile I’ll throw a face mask in there (lately I’ve been loving this one) but it wasn’t regular enough to include in the “routine”.

Like I said before, simple is best for me when it comes to skin care. Do you change up your products a lot, or stick to what you know works?

Navy eyeliner + soft brown eye makeup tutorial


I can’t remember what exactly propelled me to go buy navy eyeliner but I saw some at Sephora and grabbed it immediately. I usually stick to black or grey, so the navy was a nice change up from the norm.

It’s been roughly 1,000 degrees where I live on a daily basis so I find that I’m keeping my makeup a little lighter, and trying to exclusively wear dresses and other breathable clothing.

The navy eyeliner, and a subtle brown lid, is perfect for a little something new and fresh, without going overboard on color.


I mentioned on Instagram over the weekend that I have also discovered the most amazing lash fibers in the history of lash fibers. Tarte’s Best in Faux Lash Extending Fibers are absolutely incredible for adding length and curl to my lashes. I’ve tried other fiber mascaras before (namely Younique Moonstruck 3D Fiber Lashes) that leave my lashes spidery and stiff. Tarte’s fibers, though, are amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever had lashes that look this good. You must try them if you have wimpy lashes like I do.

Watch the tutorial here!