Present > Perfect

What do you want be when you grow up? Surely you were asked this question at least once, in some form. Maybe it came in high school when you realized you had to make the choice of where to go to school and what to major in. Seriously, our system trusts TEENAGERS to potentially decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

At 18, I thought the High School Musical 3 soundtrack was quality and it was cool to wear sunglasses inside. And this was a year AFTER I applied to the school I would eventually attend.

Perhaps we think an 18-year-old has a good handle on his or her future because we’ve been trained to get to this point. We all know college is coming and we have to make a choice. For some, it isn’t college and they elect to do something else. For too many, it’s assumed. There isn’t another option. You go to college, hopefully major in something with a good job outlook and achieve. This was my experience.

You see, I’ve always been a smart kid. You know the problem with smart kids? They know they’re smart but haven’t developed the tact to keep it in check. Fortunately, my parents did an excellent job of downplaying my straight A’s and accomplishments to keep me humble, but they could only do so much.

I spent my entire life achieving. I wanted to be the best in every class. To this day, I’m not sure if I’ve ever lost a game of Around the World. More than just the best grades, I wanted to be first. Rarely did I look over my work or spend the available time remaining checking my answers. I thrived on the looks of other students when I finished early and still maintained my perfect A record.

I can’t imagine what the other students actually thought of me.

When it came time to decide what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, I was stumped. For so long, I focused on what I was good at without thinking what did I enjoy doing? I did well in every subject but nothing stood out to me. I once asked my art teacher for guidance, and she told me she always thought I’d make a great talk show host. I’m still not sure it was a compliment.

I was envious of my friends who knew what they wanted to do. For some, they wanted to teach and had a passion for a subject or an age group. I have a friend who dreamed of being an apologist and still writes and speaks Russian which is pretty incredible. It seems though, looking back, most of my friends were as lost as me, settling on majors that were safe.

I decided to be responsible and become a nurse like my mother with dreams of attending Pitt (main campus, obviously). I was being responsible and striving to be the best.

Obviously, if you know me, neither of these things happened. My mom’s insistence that I attend a Christian school led me to tour Waynesburg University where I instantly fell in love and said goodbye to my dreams of a diploma that read ‘University of Pittsburgh.’ Soon after, I discovered the major of public relations and realized it was kind of like student council for adults, which was cool with me.

At the time, I never considered writing, which is strange looking back. My childhood was spent creating elaborate worlds and backstories for my toys filled with drama and intrigue. I used to spend time on the computer writing stories, typically with exaggerated details like 53 broken bones in a car accident or a dog that was blind and deaf and ran into walls all the time. My imagination is hard to quiet, always crafting an alternate version of reality that I tend to get lost in, then and now.

In my own way, I was a storyteller. The problem was I HATED English class (except reading the books) and at 18, I didn’t want to go to four more years of English classes. Again, this is why you shouldn’t trust teenagers with their futures.

So I went to college, excelled and maintained a high GPA (although not a 4.0, curse you Print Journalism). I was focused on being the best – being involved, attending conferences, pushing harder, being known for the work I did, etc. All I knew was continued achievement for the sake of working hard and recognition. I thrived in this world.

Looking back, though, thrived is the wrong word. I graduated with honors and a handful of friends and no real college experience to speak of. So yes, professors knew I did well, but what was all the time I invested really for? So my resume looked good? It seems now I survived college the only way I knew how.

To my great surprise, I didn’t immediately get a job. WHAT? HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE? Do employers not realize how hard I worked for years? Here call my professors they will tell you I’m a STAR and you will be #BLESSED to have me on your team! No? Okay.

Like approximately 74 percent (made up statistic) of college grads, I ended up working in retail, probably in what we could consider the hellmouth of it all, Sears. It was here I hit a grad school dark place because I wasn’t achieving and I felt lost and I needed to fix this. I needed to be able to say I work in retail* (*but I’m getting my master’s degree).

Yes, in case you’re wondering, I had always planned to double my student loans and become a master of something. I’m an achiever, remember? Turns out, if you have a high enough GPA and some recommendations, the Integrated Marketing Communication program at WVU is pretty easy to get into.

[Not disrespect to the IMC program – I had a great experience]

To condense the next few years, I quit my job in retail and planned to move to Buffalo with my family only to get a surprise job in communications in Pittsburgh where I stayed for two years while I became a Master of Science and worked with the local chapter of a national public relations society before getting a surprise job that allowed me to move to Buffalo with my family.

As I approached 26, I was exhausted. My life was a giant to do list and I kept checking boxes that I assumed would lead to happiness. Get a bachelor’s degree. Get a job. Get involved in the field. Get a master’s degree. Get involved at church. Have a group of friends. Get a dog. Start your life.

“What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?” Mark 8:36 MSG

At a time when I thought I was gaining myself, I was actually losing so much.

Right after I moved to Buffalo, I preordered Shauna Niequist’s new book, Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living. It sounded interesting, but I really didn’t think I was all that frantic and I really didn’t think I would get anything out of it. Why did I buy it then? Because God gave me the gift of reckless spending.

What I learned from reading this book is I was wrong. So wrong. Everything I had built in my life began to crumble in my mind as I examined motivations and the should and the whys. It made me realize I’m here in my life because I felt the expectations to be here. I should be involved with my small group, I should have more education, I should stay in this field. I’m not saying everything associated with a ‘should’ is bad, but if it’s your reason, it’s bad.

At some point, I became a cyborg as I lost my soul to the world. It didn’t look like people might think and I’m sure from the outside, most people probably didn’t notice. But I felt it. I made excuses for why I didn’t make real connections and justified where I was.

“I did what ‘people’ thought would be good for me. I did what ‘should’ have been done. I became what I was ‘expected’ to become. And it did not get me where I wanted to be.” (pg. 201).

I literally said YAS QUEEN when I read this out loud. It never occurred to me I’m not where I want to be because I’ve never asked me, Chelsea, where that place was. Sure, I’ve grown a lot and become more accepting of who I am, but I still haven’t really examined why I’m here.

[Sidebar: I don’t write this because I think everyone is settling and you need to quit your job. We are all different, beautiful little butterflies who need to flutter our own way]

If you’re reading this and you’re like me, ask yourself why you’re here and what do you really want. Not what you mother expects or your father wants. Not what society tells you is the right path. Not what you know is safe. Figure out that answer and do something about it. People will always expect things and tell you why you should do something, but those people aren’t you.

This life is your call.

Dirty Dancing: A painful recap

I am late to the party for this one, and I apologize. I just wasn’t sure if I wanted to actually watch this remake. All it took was the poster and the apparent lack of chemistry to be like


And then I saw the first trailer and switched my reaction to


And then Twitter confirmed all of my suspicions when it previewed last week, Wanting to witness the train wreck for myself, I forced myself to watch it. Boy, what a disaster.

There are two important points to start with: first, Dirty Dancing is one of my all time favorite movies. Second, I am not someone who cannot appreciate different versions of the same thing. For example, I can like books and the movie adaptations because they are two separate interpretations. This review isn’t because I’m a purist. It’s because this is garbage.

This is going to be all spoilers because most people know the basic plot of Dirty Dancing and I can’t be responsible for ruining a story that is decades old. Let’s start with what I liked.

  1. Lisa. I think Sarah Hyland was one of the only good things about this. Not only did I enjoy her performance and growth throughout the movie, this version of Lisa was for more enjoyable than the original. When she told Robbie to stay away from her and meant it – get. it. girl.
  2. Dr. Houseman telling Robbie he had to apologize and pay Penny back after what he did and threatening to sabotage his career if he did not. Classic, and nothing less than the creep deserved.
  3. Dr. Houseman being vulnerable in the boat. I HATED the divorce storyline, but I love a man who expresses his feelings.
  4. When Baby is yelling at Johnny through the door about how she sees him and knows he cares and suddenly he’s out of the door in passion and kissing her like the world is going to end and I was ALL IN

What didn’t I like? Basically everything else about this movie

  1. All the unnecessary exposition. Ever heard of show, don’t tell? This movie was like, ‘oh, you liked the way you weren’t spoon fed details in the original? too bad here’s everything obvious explained for the audience.” Like we knew Baby was the smart one based on her interactions, and we knew Lisa wanted the more ‘traditional’ things by her behavior.
  2. The divorce story. Dr. Houseman is a SAINT and I hate any retelling where he isn’t happy to spend time mindlessly dancing with his family.
  3. The music. How dare you disrespect the iconic classic ‘She’s Like the Wind’
  4. Abigail Breslin. Look, I really like Abigail Breslin. I love all that she stands for, but I’m not convinced this was the role for her.
  5. “Next time, carry your own watermelon.” what does that even mean, Johnny?
  6. The lack of good dancing. It’s a movie about dancing, yet the dancing is mediocre at best.
  7. Penny is too nice. Listen, Nicole S(can’t spell her last name) was a great Penny and highly enjoyable to watch. But I missed her harder edge in the original.
  8. Baby wasn’t even in a corner. I’m sure it’s a metaphor, but at least in the original she was in a real corner.
  9. Patrick Swayze made you believe in his insecurities, especially around classy women wanting him. I felt none of this from this actor.
  10. I’m going to stop at this one because it might be my biggest pet peeve and also I could blast this movie all night but I’m tired and it isn’t worth my energy. They don’t end up together. Yeah I know, this is an improbable romance. In real life they don’t las, but then again I don’t see movies because they’re like my life. We want to believe that Baby and Johnny stay together against all odds and I’m fairly certain that was the creator’s vision as well. If nothing else, they should’ve met at the show and she still be single or newly divorced or whatever and they hit it off again. He just looked sad.

Ok so actually one more bonus. The characterization of Baby was weird. You didn’t see her passion or spunk shine through at all. I missed her yelling at him. They made her seem so timid and quiet and I think that was a bad call, because the passion makes her character.

Save yourself the time and don’t see this. Please.


Vacation Must Haves

I live for vacation. My everyday life only exists so I can have money to go on vacation. And pay my credit cards and student loans, but whatever. I was raised to travel and see different places so nothing restores my soul quite like getting away.

Part of the fun of vacation is preparing for vacation.

Sure, you have the actual scheduling and planning and packing, but I’m talking about the shopping. When I go on vacation, I want to be my best self and typically that involves spending even more money to achieve the aforementioned best self.

Recently I spent five days in Mexico to celebrate my sister’s wedding. This meant countless hours in the sun and by the pool which meant countless beatings on my skin from the sun and water. Fortunately, I was prepared. Below are the items I decided I needed for my jaunt south of the border.

Verb Sea Spray

I’m going to be honest with this one – I don’t know how to use it and didn’t take it to Mexico. I tried once before I left, but it didn’t add any texture or waves to my hair and yes, I followed the instructions. It has great reviews so I’m not going to return it yet, because life is all about second chances.

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof Mascara

This now comes in a travel size which is ideal. The downside is waterproof only goes so far in the ocean and then it’s really hard to get off your lashes. I will say the waterproof formula is lighter than regular Better Than Sex, which was a welcome surprise.

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

This landed in Sephora right before I started working there, and like everyone else I was intoxicated by the scent. Unwilling to spend either $20 or $45, I never purchased it for myself. Until now. I bought the travel size and man oh man is it incredible. My skin has never felt better (or smelled better) and I love the soft shimmer it leaves behind. You need this in your life for summer.

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist Broad Spectrum SPF 50

As a pasty ghost, SPF has always been my best friend. Well, maybe when I was younger it was annoying, but now I relish finding any product designed to help my skin from my favorite enemy, the sun. This setting spray is nice because not only does it set your makeup, it adds SPF 50 to your face for long-lasting protection from the sun to keep you safe. My only suggestion is maybe use your regular setting spray before applying this. It didn’t melt the powder done as well as I like, but my makeup still lasted which is key.

Drybar Detox Dry Shampoo

Essential for vacation because who wants to waste their time washing their hair? Drybar works the best for my hair and leaves it smelling so so good. What else can I say? It’s dry shampoo.

Commodity, Mimosa

Kathleen Lights, YouTube Makeup Favorite Person, discussed how she bought different fragrances for every trip so every time she smelled that scent, it would remind her of her trip. Like the true basic I am, I decided to copy this and bought a travel size bottle of Mimosa by Commodity. It’s definitely a brunch/beach scent. Very light and citrus-y but not too on the nose. I love it and wore it the whole trip, but I couldn’t really smell it on myself, which is strange because other Commodity scents hang on well to my skin. Maybe the Bum Bum cream overpowered it or maybe the resort smelled too much like the beach already, I don’t know. No ragrets.

Marc Jacobs Beauty O!Mega Bronzer Coconut Perfect Tan, 104 Tan-Tastic!

Ok, so this was an impulse purchase. I never used to wear bronzer because I couldn’t find any I actually liked. Or wanted to spend money on. Which is even stranger because this might be one of the most expensive. When it launched, I didn’t want to need it, even though it smelled delicious. A friend at work used it on me during a makeover and it looked so pretty on my pale skin. I thought the fact that it was out of stock was a blessing, until it wasn’t anymore. It blends so well and warms up my skin perfectly. Plus, you can justify spending so much because it’s a giant pan.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s available online anymore 😦

Clinique Pep-Start Hydro Rush Moisturizer Broad Spectrum 20

I researched several different moisturizers and settled on this one because it was a 100 point perk which meant I didn’t actually have to spend money. I actually really love it. I wasn’t sure how it would make my skin feel because I don’t really need a super hydrating moisturizer because I rarely get dry, if ever. To my surprise, it made my skin feel so soft. I even used it at night because it was the only one I brought with me, and in the morning I didn’t feel over moisturized at all. BIG SUCCESS

Sephora Collection Rouge Balm SPF 20, 04 Sweet Fuschia

This is the product I arguably used the least on my trip, but I still love it. It’s a nice pop of color that isn’t too dramatic and provides protection for your lips, which is ideal. It’s a great way to get color but not sacrifice safety.

Beauty on the Fly Bag

This was free because of all the small items I bought, but it’s perfect for traveling. At an airport approved sized, you can safely and stylishly secure all your liquids in your carry on.

Now on top of this, I brought most of my other makeup with me as well because I helped with wedding makeup. This included my e.l.f. BB Cream packed with that SPF. I tried to wear as little makeup as possible mainly because I was in the water so much or just sweating profusely in the sun.

I’ve been back for two days, and just writing this makes me want to go back. Granted, I’ve wanted to go back since I woke up and realized I had to leave, but the point remains.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, or the superhero movie that gave me all the laughs and tears

[Fair warning: I didn’t really think about spoilers while writing this, so spoilers below!]

I know at some point we’re going to hit superhero fatigue. I have friends who are already there. What once was a random occurrence in theater now feels like a monthly routine, with Marvel, Fox and DC all trying to compete with connected universes and bigger stars.

Fox is releasing three X-Men films next year and a whole slew of mutant tv shows. Netflix has four superhero shows plus a fifth that combines them all. The CW is home to Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Riverdale which yeah isn’t a superhero show but it’s based on comics so it gets included. This year in theaters we’re seeing Wolverine, Wonder Woman, the Guardians and Spider-Man.

Those are just what I could remember off the top of my head.

In a world full of superheroes on the screen, most fall in the middle as far as quality. We’ve seen enough blue beams into the sky to last us a lifetime, not to mention mindless alien robot monsters we can see destroyed without mercy. You have some that exceed expectation, like Logan, and then others like Suicide Squad which is possibly the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

All of this to say, it takes a lot to stand out, which brings us to Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

As a Parks and Recreation fan, I was stoked when Chris Pratt was brought into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Obviously his incredible transformation made it even better (plus the joke on Parks and Rec when Ben asked him how he got so fit and Andy replied he stopped drinking beer). I enjoyed his first turn as Star-Lord/Peter Quill and overall really enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy. I couldn’t get over how real Rocket appeared (for real though, is he actually real??) or how funny Dave Bautista was or how much I loved a tree.

For the most part, Marvel does sequels well. Captain America just keeps getting better, which is insane. Iron Man 2 is pretty good, but let’s ignore Iron Man 3. Sure, Thor: The Dark World wasn’t as high of a note, but Ragnarok looks incredible. I know there are faults to Age of Ultron, but I still really enjoy it as a film. We care and enjoy these sequels because of the character development established by the MCU.

We don’t see these people as isolated characters in one movie. Their presence is felt everywhere and we care because so much effort is taken to make sure we know and understand the motivations and relationships and there are so many movies at this point we have evidence of the bonds created.

This is what made Guardians 2 so dang good.

I went into this film expecting to giggle at some points and care, but I didn’t realize how many emotions I would feel. I laughed. Out loud. I cried. Real tears. Even though I knew it would be okay because the Guardians are definitely in Infinity War, I still worried for their safety and wondered how it would all work out in the end.

It starts on a really high note, with Baby Groot dancing around like the angel he is, trying to wave to his team members while they battled a giant monster. I was instantly hooked. A fear I think I shared with many would be the reliance on Baby Groot given how cute he is, kind of like how the minions took off, but he never felt overused. His baby-ness definitely played into several plot points, but it never felt like ‘NOT AGAIN!’

The concept of family is a big deal as well, with every character dealing with some aspect of the idea. Nebula is angry at Gamora because she just wanted a sister and only received an enemy. Peter’s found his father, but is blood really the most important family? Rocket is an a-hole to everyone because of personal issues about deserving love. Drax opens up about his family more, but is much more at peace because he knows he’s found a new one in the Guardians. Baby Groot just clings to them all for love and care and they’re all there for him. It’s all pretty powerful and I definitely cried in several of these moments.

Basically the plot is the Guardians fight this interdimensional  squid creature who wants batteries from the Sovereign’s planet. The Sovereign being gold people who breed people specifically who are perfect, so naturally they’re a very proud race. Rocket steals some of the batteries to sell which isn’t just a one gag thing. As a result, the Sovereign are offended and begin showing up trying to kill the Guardians. One fight leads to the Guardians crashing their jet on a planet, but only after a mysterious tiny man on a spaceship blows up the remaining ships chasing them.

Turns out, he was only tiny from a distance and is actually Ego, Peter Quill’s father. He invites him back to his planet to teach him about his heritage, and Peter goes with Gamora’s encouragement. Side note: but I love how we actually address the Gamora-Peter relationship, even if it isn’t happening. The movie doesn’t pretend like there aren’t real feelings). The team splits up, with Groot and Rocket plus some friends getting captured by Ravengers.

After some really great scenes, the team reunites to take down the real bad guy and there is a death, which is really sad. The movie doesn’t end with a jump back into adventures, but a real moment where the team is feeling the loss and Baby Groot is cuddling with all of them. At first I was a little bummed because I didn’t want to leave feeling down, but the credits fixed everything. There are like five end credit scenes and then there are random little clips of the characters dancing and honestly it’s worth staying through to watch. Plus some of the words are changed to ‘Groot.’ You have to love the attention to detail.

Mostly, I think this movie succeeds because it’s not as formulaic as others in the MCU. I mean maybe in the pacing and how we have the opening battle, the splitting of the team, the final come together to destroy the enemy moment. But it feels refreshing and not so focused on boosting up infinity stones. It’s a different world filled with endless color. Plus, imagine how great it will be when the team meets the Avengers. Basically anytime Drax interacts with people I’m all in, and I think he’ll have a good time with Tony Stark’s sarcasm. I’m also hoping Teenage Groot will bond with Spider-Man.

Overall, I think the MCU will continue to be better than DC because we actually care about the team. It spent years carefully crafting everything and building these stories, whereas DC made Superman and thought it could achieve the same thing with Justice League after Batman v. Superman and Wonder Woman.

I know it sounds like I’m a Marvel fanboy and whatever, it’s your opinion. Some of my oldest memories are watching Batman VHS’ with my dad so I want to love what DC does. Not to mention they’re doing the first solo female superhero film. But they just haven’t got it right yet, and I’m worried Wonder Woman will be the same, even if the trailers are good. All the trailers are good. The movies are garbage.

Like Suicide Squad. I’m not sure if a trailer has ever made me more hyped than the one with Bohemian Rhapsody, but the movie was basically too many intros, terrible musical cues, poorly constructed conflict and Cara Delevigne awkwardly waving and creating a machine that does ????

Whatever. Tangent. Sorry.

In a nutshell, Guardians 2 was great. People I know who don’t even like movies like this enjoyed it. James Gunn, you are a master. You plus the Russo brothers give me hope for the MCU’s future.

You and the shadows

I’m afraid of the dark. In the dark my fears multiply, creating impossible situations in my brain. As a child, I used to sleep on my parent’s floor when the fear began to consume me. I was sure a landslide would strike and kill me in my sleep, or maybe an unidentified volcano. Strange lights became alien invasions and every sound was an intruder waiting to break into my room.

This fear often seeps into my dreams, making the shadows come alive. Last night felt real. And for the first time, I dreamt about you.

Who you are doesn’t matter; you are simply the latest in a long line of boys I’ve momentarily latched onto because I need the idea that maybe there’s hope out there. You showed up, like the most casual thing, and quite unlike me, I approached you.

It was a dream so time is a strange concept, but it was like suddenly we were friends and you were stopping by. The whole dream seemed to take place in my grandma’s house and driveway. I remember noticing movement in the field across the road and feeling the hair raise on my spine. Being my dream, on some level I knew what I had created.

We were talking and I asked if you had ever noticed anything strange across the road. You look, and notice the benches were gone. In real life, there are no benches, but in my dream it was like they’d also been there. Just as suddenly, they reappeared attached to a monster and came hurling at us. The sky began to rage and darkness consumed everything.

I found you lying a few feet from me, and instantly cradled your neck, muttering some cheesy movie dialogue about how important you were to me. And then we kissed, and it was a moment I’ve always dreamed about.

But then in the next scene you were there, trying to teach someone about love. I heard you saying such wonderful things about the person you loved, and I was sure it was me. Eyes gleaming, I touched your shoulder and expected another grand romantic moment. Instead, you told me you had to go find someone else. I wasn’t the person you loved.

I woke up feeling all of these emotions at once. Fear over the monsters I think live in the shadows. Joy over my kiss with you. Loss when once again I wasn’t the one someone wanted.

It’s silly, isn’t it? One moment in a dream knocked me back down to thinking that I will never be enough for anyone. I think about you and my immediately thoughts are all the reasons you wouldn’t want me. Then I tell myself it’s all nonsense, but I don’t really believe me.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore, but I don’t know how.


Sometimes with makeup you have a vision of how it will turn out and then sometimes you realize the eyeshadow was way more pigmented than you realized and suddenly everything changed. The latter is my life today.

My first encounter with Hourglass came from my best friend’s obsession with the blush. At the time, I only recognized it for the marbled appearance and price tag that told me I would probably just stay away. Since then, I’ve tried the most famous primer, Mineral Veil, and the highlighter and enjoyed them both. But I still don’t like the price tag.

Brand History

Back in 2004, before we really understood the importance of eyebrows, Carisa Jones saw potential in the world of beauty. An industry veteran herself, she wanted bring back luxury cosmetics that were revolutionary, combining beauty, luxury and science. Cool.



Products Used


The Look


As previously mentioned, everything started a-okay with this look. The primer felt nice and actually seemed to blur out some of my unsavory spots and the foundation stick + hidden corrective concealer just wowed me into submission and it was like this is how my skin  should always look.


The brows went okay and all the powders were nice and soft. These are good if you’re looking for natural, not heavy finishes. They’re buildable to achieve the look you want but remain so soft and pretty. I used Ethereal Light to set and create a glowy finish and then Dim Light and Radiant Bronze Light to bring life into my face, with Mood Exposure to bring the much needed color to my cheeks. Euphoric Strobe Light gave me just enough highlight that I resembled the angel I actually am inside lol

This is when things took a turn.


As you can see, this is a very interesting design for an eye palette. At first I had no idea what to do, but then I saw some separation between colors and thought I would be okay. Now, my standard look is a neutral color to define the crease, lighter shade on the lid and then finishing with a darker corner in the outer corner into the crease (plus color below the lower lash line). Again, everything was all well and good until the pigment of the dark green was way more intense than I wanted and suddenly things got dramatic and smoky.

Sadly, the final picture doesn’t really do it justice. Also I took it off quickly so I’m not sure how anything would’ve actually worked on my face because I hated the eyes that much. The liner was okay, not the best liquid liner but not the worst. The tip was longer than I like so not as easy to control. The mascara was another shrug. There are better ones in store.

Finally, the GIRL Lip Stylo. I love the packaging on these and all the names, plus the formula felt really nice. I probably wouldn’t gravitate toward it every day because I like something a little more long lasting, but it wasn’t bad.

Also sorry, I don’t have strong opinions toward using or not using any of these products again so I probably wouldn’t buy anything, but I would try it again.

Laura Mercier

Laura Mercier is so hot right now thanks to the brand’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder. Because we’re in the YouTube age, a few influencers began supporting this product and suddenly it’s flying off the shelves almost as fast as Champagne Pop highlighters or Better than Sex mascara. Another frequently purchased items are the tinted moisturizers, which are pretty nice.

I don’t frequently gravitate toward Laura Mercier, but I have used the setting powder because I’m a slave to the hype (but you know that). I like it just fine, but I’ve never been wowed like other people. Sometimes it looks too cakey on my skin, but it’s just as likely I can’t use it properly.

Brand History

Laura Mercier is basically the all-star of fashion you’ve probably never heard from. At 17, she attended school for painting in Paris before deciding to take her talents to the face instead of canvas. It was then she attended the very prestigious Carita Beauty School and later became an artist, teacher and pupil of Thibault Vabre, some important and very good makeup artist.

More than just an artist, Mercier also has a hand in the editorial side. In 1985, she left for France for the US and founded American Elle while also assisting other magazines such as Glamour, Allure and Vanity Fair. She continued to grow in popularity, both for her roles in magazines and being a celebrity makeup artist to some little known personalities like Madonna, Julia Roberts and Celine Dion, among others.

With the desire to create a naturally flawless complexion, Mercier launched her cosmetics line in 1996. Her goal was to have products to fit every age and skin type. Products from the line, like the tinted moisturizer and setting powder, continue to win best beauty awards from Glamour, Allure and InStyle. Her philosophy remains ‘what make you unique, makes you beautiful.’



The Look

I was nervous almost as soon as this process began. While LM has several foundations and tinted moisturizers, I wasn’t sure if any of the colors would work very well with my skin. Because when I started swatching none of them looked very good on my skin.

Finally, one seemed to match ok, and I got ready to start by priming my face. Next of course is foundation so I dove right in. That’s when I noticed the horrible change that had happened on my hand.


As you can see, the color oxidized and suddenly became very different than what I had intended. Fear began to set in as I realized I was too deep in the cover to back out now, so all I could was pray I wouldn’t look like an Oompa Loompa.

Next comes the concealer and Secret Camouflage and while both worked, I wasn’t instantly blown away. Because I’m familiar with the iconic less setting powder, I selected the pressed version instead, It seemed to do a nice job.

Actually, I really liked most if not all the products I tried today. The rest of complexion went smoothly and each product seemed to do okay on the skin. My favorite of the blush/bronzer/highlighter combination was the blush. I definitely looked flushed and natural.

The brows. I chose brunette, assuming it would the reddish tones to add some warmth to my brows and always match my warm hair. Oh no no. It was almost black and as soon as I got one done, I just shrugged and thought it’s Monday who care.


Then comes the eyes, arguably my weakest knowledge spot in the brain. The Eye Artist’s Palette was beautiful and pretty easy to work with, especially if you like a natural look. The mascara, however, wasn’t so impressive. It only has about a 2.5 rating on and I have to agree. It wasn’t bad, but it didn’t really do anything for me.

The lip products were both nice and long lasting, and went on smooth which is always the dream. Overall, this was a very natural and simple look, but I really liked how it turned out.

Probable Purchase

  • Eye Basics – so I didn’t mention this in the review and while I could’ve easily gone back and edited, I didn’t. You know I’m an Urban Decay kind of girl, but this was so light on the eye and really held the shadow so I would consider
  • The foundation was so nice and oil free, which is a major plus.

Never Again

  • The brow pencil. Sure I could consider a different color, but all I can picture are my Ernie brows