Look Alive “Five”



one, two, three, four, five

Tired? Me too.Β 

I was thinking about the makeup products I use on days where I plan on throwing my hair up into a ponytail and just keeping it simple on my face.

And they all help a great deal in the “look less dead” department.

A shower is really key for me to feel truly awake in the morning, so if I skip that on casual days, I always make sure to soak my face in water to try to help wake everything up.

It’s as if my skin doesn’t want to wake up for the day.

Honestly I should exfoliate on days where I skip morning showers because that could go a long way in reviving me, but that never occurred to me until just now.

Anyway, above are the 5 essential products I use to look alive on days where I may not quite feel it.

Β 1. Cargo Blush in shade “Los Cabos”. When I was in NYC a few weeks ago, one of the gals from Birchbox freshened up her makeup just prior to the event and she was wearing a blush shade so beautiful that I practically stampeded some guests to go ask her what it was. She directed me over to this Cargo blush and I proceeded to remove it and take it right up to the counter. I know, I know, I sing a lot of praises for blushes, but my goodness this may have possibly replaced my all-time favorite Tarte Amazonian Clay blushes.


It’s just so stinkin’ pretty and has the perfect amount of pigment and slight/barely/almost undetectable shimmer. It’s like a waaaaaay better version than the cult favorite blush from Nars that I cannot understand the hype around.

2. My fellow pale friend Kacia and I were discussing “eyes closed” lipstick while I was in Pittsburgh recently. A lot of my (and her) lipsticks require a mirror to make sure we aren’t applying them messily or leaving too much color in the cupid’s bow. This bb lip balm by Bite is the perfect “eyes closed” lip product. It’s a nice, sheer color that you can apply in the dark, or without looking, and it’s not heavy enough to look like a real mess.

3. There is no lash curler like the Shu Uemura lash curler. No more needs to be said. If you love curly lashes and you’ve never tried it, I assure you that you won’t look back once you buy this tool.

4. I scolded many of you a few weeks ago for keeping me in the dark so long about this amazing under eye concealer, but if you need help looking alive, Bye Bye Undereye will cover everything. EVERYTHING I TELL YOU.

5. I can’t get enough of these cream shadows by Benefit. I just added “no pressure” to my tiny collection, and the shade pictured above is “birthday suit” and I’ll be picking up that one next. A little shimmer in the eyeshadow can go a long way in reflecting a bit of light, and waking up your face. Don’t be afraid to add some powder (aka not cream) shadow to the corners if you need a bit more depth.

Again, this is keeping it simple, but it’s worth it to find the small but great products to deliver major impact.

It is the small things after all, isn’t it?

Did I just officially do that for the first time on my blog?


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Comments (55)

  1. Posted October 27, 2014

    Ahhh loved that closing line. πŸ™‚ All these products sound swoon-worthy, but I honestly don’t know if I should believe you’ve changed your preference to the Cargo blush over Tarte blush! You’ve loved that Tarte blush for so dang long! Any chance you’d do a tutorial or a couple pics comparing the two?

  2. Elizabeth says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    OY, IT Cosmetics under eye concealer has been on my wish list for awhile and another positive review, particularly from a fellow fair-skinned lady …. Tempting!

  3. melissa says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I’m so excited to try the bye bye Undereye! I just traveled 21 hours and have been complaining about ‘looking half dead’ lol I really enjoy you’re blog!! I’m going to Ulta ASAP, you should get a commission. πŸ˜‰

  4. Janna C. says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    This is a great post! Thank you!! You should do a quick cream eyeshadow tutorial. I have some and it seems like I always get to much on my eyes or not enough!! A tutorial or some tips for cream eyeshadow would be great! πŸ™‚

    • Janna C. says
      Posted October 27, 2014


  5. Jackie says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    This post is exactly what I have been looking for! I am going to try out that concealer for sure!

  6. Caitlin says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    My coloring is very similar to yours, except I usually keep my hair a little more dirty blonde…but I LOVE birthday suit. It’s a great purchase for us paleys ;))

    • Kate says
      Posted October 27, 2014

      it’s such a pretty color!

      • Pippin says
        Posted October 28, 2014

        But, did you read the warning?!
        This product contains chemiclas known to the state of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

  7. Posted October 27, 2014

    These products look fab, and I am in need of some new eyelash curlers and have heard so much about the shu uemura curlers, so shall definitely keep my eye out for those! x


  8. Valerie says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Can you tell me a more specific reason that the Shu curler is different than say a basic Revlon or Sephora brand one? I like splurging on beauty items, but this is one thing I’ve always passed up thinking it felt like a scam.

    • Kate says
      Posted October 27, 2014

      Well, everyone’s lashes are different but I’ve found that this crimps the closest to the base, without tugging or pinching, and gives the longest lasting curl. It’s probably the most favorite-d lash curler among beauty lovers. Worth a shot if you are curious, but also check the return policy in case you are nervous about it. I always buy mine on shuuermura.com

      • Nicky says
        Posted October 27, 2014

        Thank you for the heads up on the curler. I, too, have shied away from pricier curlers. Time to try it out!

      • Vanessa says
        Posted October 29, 2014

        I am wondering though, are the replacements for it pricey? Or is it so fabulous that you don’t really have to worry about replacing the usual black part like you do on cheaper curlers? I don’t mind dropping more for a good product, just wondering if it keeps costing a lot over time.

  9. Becca says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    While I go with the natural casual look most days and don’t use heavy lipstick often, I love Bite Beauty. Use the bb lip balm daily and have it in two colors (coral and red). I also use their Lush Lip Tint, Fruit Lip Gloss and Matte CrΓ¨me Lip Crayon. All are great.

  10. Jackie says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I have the Shu Uemera curler and while it is good, any tips on how to get a good curl on the lashes that lasts? My lashes are very puny and don’t seem to hold the curl well. Also, I’ve recently heard that it is good to replace the lash curler every so often, how often do you recommend? Thanks!!!

    • Kate says
      Posted October 27, 2014

      warming it up with a hair dryer can help but be VERY careful with the metal around your eye.

  11. Posted October 27, 2014

    My go tos on the weekends are just Dr. Jart BB Cream (which I swear by) and Mascara!
    I need to get myself an eye lash curler.


  12. Angela says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I will take any tips and tricks to look more alive, especially this time of year. I will have to try that concealer, dark circles are a constant battle for me. It is so hard to find a product that does not cake-up or fall into fine lines. Thanks.

  13. Posted October 27, 2014

    I bought Bye Bye Undereye on your recommendation. I don’t think there’s a way to express just how wonderful it is. I LOVE IT.

    • Kate says
      Posted October 27, 2014


  14. Shannon says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    You are hilarious. And this just made my Monday! LOVE Bite everything and now I must try that under eye concealer and blush! Thank you!

  15. Krista says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    As a mother, and basic human being, I will be trying that under eye concealer.


    • Kate says
      Posted October 27, 2014

      I love your clarification of “basic” before human being. haha!

  16. Posted October 27, 2014

    Great post! I want to try that benefit cream shadow- it looks perfect!

    Missmacbeauty | Missmacbeauty

  17. Sissi says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Oh I must try that Bite lipstick. The color looks just perfect to get a fresh young look. NEED this now! πŸ™‚

  18. Christina says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    My skin is usually on the dry side… If I don’t want to put on my usual liquid foundation for the day, would the blush still blend in prettily or would it most likely “sit” on my face? I’ve been trying to use benefit blush but *not* impressed :/

  19. Tyana says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    love that lipstick color

    check me out!!


  20. Jess L says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I bought the bye bye under eye last week and LOVE it but the tube seemed half empty when I opened it. Was yours that way?

  21. Maura says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I was looking at the Benefits eye shadow online and noticed this warning:
    “This product contains chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.”
    Yikes! : (

  22. Emily says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Bite beauty is my favorite brand of lipsticks right now. They are so buttery and beautiful. http://meowemily.blogspot.com

  23. Stacey says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Totally agree with you on the Shu Uemura eyelash curler. It is everything. I need to try this under eye concealer tho. That is my new problem area still dealing with a sleepless infant;)

  24. Jessica Fahey says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I’ve been using the Bye Bye UnderEye concealer for a few months now, and I love the coverage and no more dark circles, but I can’t get it to not crease. I’m thinking about only using it near the corners of my eyes where my dark circles are, and sticking to my Nars for the rest of my under eye…

  25. summer coxe says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    How does the undereye concealer above compare to the Bobby Brown corrector?

    • Wendy says
      Posted October 27, 2014

      I would like to know too! And I am kind of worried about the creasing I read about in another comment ( Jessica). Too many undereye wrinkles already..:-)!

  26. Meagan says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Great post! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Breahna says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I have also been on the lookout for an “eyes closed” go-to lip color. If anyone is looking for a drug store option, I just purchased two Loreal Nude Balm lipsticks that I love! Gives just enough color and hydration and can easily be applied as I run from the car to the office. The color I have on today is called Rose Elixir, and I also purchased Heavenly Berry. Very similar shades, but I know I’ll use them constantly. The coverage reminds me of my Clinique Almost Lipstick that I got every last bit out of with a lip brush. My only complaint is that I wish the packaging were a little sleeker, but for 40% off at Rite Aid, you literally cannot beat the price. I wish I would have bought 2 more!

  28. Chloe says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I really need to try that concealer, and the Cargo blush looks super pretty x

  29. Melissa G says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    Hi Kate! I have been wanting to ask you this, but never seemed like the right time! But now I see it on this page…

    Ok so in the last year I have lost 149lbs…still have 28 lbs to go to my goal weight. I am feeling so good about myself now, that I have tried a lot of your makeup tips…and I also have a ton of Bare Minerals stuff I use. Anyway, to my point…I recently bought the IT Bye Bye concealor. I didn’t use one prior. I feel like it’s accentuating my fine lines. I am 44 with 5 kids, so there are some fine lines on this face!!

    What are your thoughts?

  30. Kristin says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    oh lordy! it cosmetics is one of my all-time favorite lines. the under eye concealer really is the end-all, be-all for super fair skinned girls. also, their brow filler/pencil/thing is basically the best invention ever. seriously. that stuff doesn’t come off until you wash it off. i’ve gone swimming in it before and it held up like a champ. it will also withstand a nap, unlike others that melt/rub off the second you touch them. also, i have about the wimpiest eyebrows on earth (aka not much hair up there for product to hold on to), so believe me when i say i’ve given it a thorough test. you should try their celebration foundation too. it feels like you have nothing on but it actually gives pretty good coverage. i’ll stop ranting now.

  31. Posted October 27, 2014

    Could you possibly do a tutorial sometime on how to use an eyelash curler?? My mom has tried to teach me so many times and I can never do it right!! I don’t know if it’s fear of poking my eyes out or just not knowing the exact method or what.

  32. Jami C. says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I definitely could have used all these products today. Thanks for the tips!

  33. Kacie says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I am SO HAPPY to see that you’re still blogging! I typically only read blogs through my feedly and the last post that I saw was the one way back in august when you said you were taking a break… I don’t know why feedly hasn’t posted any of your posts since then!! I just happened to hit up your website today and I’m glad I did!

  34. Natasha says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    You mentioned in the video that the Bye Bye Undereye was very thick and you really had to work it, so how does it do with creasing in fine lines?

  35. Traci says
    Posted October 27, 2014

    I hear you in the “tired” department. I’ve got two weeks to go with baby #4 (he’ll be just 18 mo. younger than his brother), and I’m still working full time for another four days. I wear makeup because I don’t want to scare the children (I’m a teacher), but I’m going even more basic than what you posted here. Doin’ the best I can these days!

  36. Lana says
    Posted October 28, 2014

    Those eyeshadows are truly amazing! I am very curious about the lip balm though, I have never heard of the brand. I am struggling so much with my dark berry red lipsticks at the moment because of unclean lines and fixing the lines turning to smudges and ugh… I will definitely be checking it out.
    This is great post, so useful πŸ™‚

    – Lana (lana-sultana.blogspot.com)

  37. ash says
    Posted October 28, 2014

    The Bye Bye Under Eye is hands down, the best Concealing product I have ever tried. I’ve been using this brand for almost a year now and I always get comments from my girlfriends/family members on what concealer I use and if they are at my house they ask to try it out! I don’t live near a major beauty store so I had to do my research online for the best concealers. I found their website, read that it was created with the help of plastic surgeons, and saw the great reviews. I was still a little skeptic so I remembered having some Birchbox points hoarded up and ordered it from BB! This stuff is worth every penny and a little goes a long way! A tube will last forever! It is moisturizing and also waterproof. Since it is so moisture rich, I always apply a light dusting of powder over it (Bare Minerals Mineral Veil is my pick right now). As for the comments above– I don’t find this product hard to work with~ I just apply a small amount with my ring finger in a tapping motion, and I do not find that this product creases on me. I hope that you all try it out and love it as much as I do!

  38. Jamie says
    Posted October 28, 2014

    I have the same problem in the mornings when I don’t shower… it’s like my skin/face/eyes just won’t wake up! I just recently got a new exfoliating scrub in my Birchbox (still look forward to it every month) and I LOVE it. It’s called Suki Skincare Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser. It looks like it’s going to be really harsh in the jar but when combined with warm water it turns into this wonderful exfoliating scrub. Best of all, it smells like citrus (mostly orange), so it wakes me right up in the morning! I haven’t found anything I’ve liked better than this to really get me going, especially since I normally shower at night to save time. They actually have it on Hautelook right now – it’s like $12 marked down from $32! I just ordered some… I would very highly recommend it!

  39. Susan says
    Posted October 29, 2014

    LOVE your blog. Just discovered it tonight! Wonderful and useful information. I am regular now. πŸ™‚

  40. Meg says
    Posted October 31, 2014

    I went out and bought the Bye Bye Undereye after reading this today and, wow! I’ve battled undereye circles since I was young (thanks genetics) and never found anything that works this well. I went to Ulta barefaced and tried this out (also the Bye Bye Mineral Finish powder), and it’s awesome! Didn’t really need any makeup after that. And having celebrated 36 last week, I’m happy to say I can still do that! πŸ™‚

  41. Jennifer says
    Posted November 1, 2014

    Kate, my go-to lip color to apply with no lipstick is Clinique’s Almost Lipstick in Black Honey. It’s a universally flattering color that looks nice and keeps my lips moisturized. I keep one at my desk, one in my purse, one in my pocket…you get the idea. When one gets low I can use it another month by keeping it on my vanity and using a lip brush to get out the last little bit. Highly recommended!

    • Erin says
      Posted November 2, 2014

      Me, too!!! πŸ™‚
      I’ve been using it for years, and seriously have one stashed everywhere I might use it!

  42. Jackie says
    Posted November 1, 2014

    Kate, thank you for this concealer recommendation. I went to Ulta this afternoon, and actually bought the it corrector concentrate cream which has caffeine in it! I highly recommend giving it a shot. I looked like more a person after applying it; it helped with the post-Halloween makeup eyes.

  43. Joanna says
    Posted November 7, 2014

    Kate, I have the concealer and am loving it, but what powder, if any, are you using to set it? Thanks!

  44. Stephanie says
    Posted November 21, 2014

    Hi Kate!! Which shade of the Bye Bye Under Eye did you choose?