Pharmaca

I’m so obsessed with Pharmaca that I used to drive an hour to go to Colorado’s (then) only store which was in Boulder. I’d stock up on skincare, sunscreen, vitamins, and protein powders then wander around exploring and learning all I could about natural based formulations and how they worked on the skin from the helpful team who work there. Ever since one opened near me (next to Trader Joe’s!!) in Greenwood Village last month, I’ve already been 3 times. If you like a more natural spin on skincare, you won’t find a bigger selection anywhere else, and their vitamin prices are hard to beat as is the help you get from their staff who always point me to what I need.

This location has an especially large beauty section that spans about half the store. Today I bought an Apricot Kernel Oil that was on sale for $4, Schmidt’s natural deodorant because the packaging was so cool even though I’ve never heard of it before, these supplements that they recommended to me last time for Mike which he claims have taken away his daily pains from running for the first time in years, and the whole reason I was went in the first place- Supergoop! They carry my all time favorite sunscreen! I got the SPF 40 Mineral one today (THIS one) which I have setting out by the garage door so I can always rub some on the girls and myself before our impromptu walks outside we have throughout the day. My melasma has reemerged and I need to get serious about wearing sunscreen at all times if I really want it to go away.

If you’re here in Denver, check this one out or click HERE to see if there’s a Pharmaca near you!

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Harper Turned 2!!

We have a toddler! A two year old! A sweet little soul who is so wise and kind and intuitive. She has taught us so much that I feel like my life completely reset when she was born. Here is a look at her birthday celebration and what we did to make it special.

The decor: Pinterest is a dangerous thing. It had me believing I was someone I’m not. I knew I bit off more than I could chew when Wednesday night I wasn’t even close to being halfway done with the decorating for the party that Saturday. We still got a good amount completed and I was really happy with how it turned out. We rented the linens and outside tables which we have done in the past for parties. Did you know that the tables on the bottom of the picture with the pink and orange linens were each under $10 to rent? It’s so worth it just to rent when we need them and not worry about making the commitment to buy and store things we don’t always use. The round tables are just plastic ones we use a lot for parties, and the higher square one we pulled in from another room as well as the one holding the watermelon lemonade and food- that was from another room too. Something else I learned by having so many parties over the years- use whatever you have around the house to make it work.

Decor

Us: We actually got a few pictures as a family this year! (We’re not all looking at the same camera, but whatever!) The dress and shoes I bought for Everly had to be replaced the week before because they didn’t fit. She’s in 12 (and sometimes 18!) month clothes by the time she was 6 months which apparently I’m in denial about so I still buy things was way too small thinking they’ll fit. It’s good though because the same company we got Harper’s dress from had a variation that fit Evie and it turned out to be much cuter than what I had prior.

The dress

The activities: Last year we had a bouncy house and face painter, this year I found such a neat lady who does music, balloons, and face painting and she was so awesome and patient with the kids! She started out making balloon animals, flowers, and swords for the boys, then once everyone was ballooned out she switched to airbrushing face and body tattoos. She offered to bring interments and do songs with the kids, but we thought this would be perfect for the varying ages and both girls and boys. We now know that keeping kids happy really makes the whole party especially if it’s a kids and adults party so the adults can hang out and talk while their kids are occupied and having fun. They were also kicking around balls in the yard and playing chase. The weather was perfect so we spend the whole time outside.

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The guests: We edited our list way down this year which was really hard! We love our friends so much but last year we had 100 people (literally!) so we just cut it way down (to 50, but half were kids!!) and that was it. I still feel guilty about it but it felt really manageable and easy. A big chunk of that was family who helped us so much. They were there the day before and early the day of watching the kids and helping with whatever we needed. It was a group effort for sure. See below- the pic with the girls and me and my sister? We’ve already changed into comfy clothes by then, our party clothes were covered in cake and watermelon.

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But soon after that I had to change Harper’s clothes again. She kept filing a cup with watermelon juice and dumping it on herself over and over. She did it in her dress, then this shirt, then I moved the juice after this change of clothes because at this point I was missing too much of the party.

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The gift bags: This is my first time doing gift bags and I was so fortunate to have the Johnson’s Baby team from RF Binder send along what would become a ‘family gift bag’ which was a HUGE hit. I said it on Instagram when I received this generous package you see below, they are one of the nicest companies I’ve worked with in the 7 years I’ve blogged. They’re just really kind people who value relationships above the business. They sent everything you see in the photos with no request of a blog post, no expectation of anything, they just wanted to help make Harper’s birthday special which they did. Thank you RF Binder and Johnson’s Baby!!

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I bundled the items in these bags for each family.

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I included a Baby Oil (which I use right after the shower), Baby Oil Gel (my go-to for shaving), Intense Moisture Cream (my fave lotion of theirs), Neosporin’s Neo to Go! (which one kid used when she fell at the party), Monsters Band-Aids, and Baby Bedtime Washcloths. Even though Everly was the youngest baby there, the parents were thrilled to have this kit. They told me later that they keep the Neo To Go! and Band-Aids in their cars along with the bedtime washcloths for random clean ups and spills. I’ve also used them for quick makeup removal/ washing my face at night too when I’m too tired for anything else. I also heard loud and clear from parents that they were happy to have a goody bag that was useful and not filled with cheap junk toys that would clutter their house with stuff their kids didn’t need. It’s something It was a great lesson and something I’ll do for the girls’ parties going forward.

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Every single day for a whole week before the party it rained. But not this day. This was the sky while the last lingering souls threw a football in the yard after everyone else had gone home. Dark and crazy, but no rain.

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It’s so surreal watching your kids get older. I was really emotional for weeks leading up to Harper’s birthday knowing that we have to say goodbye to this little version of her that I just want to bottle up and keep forever. Mostly though, I think about what it takes to get her to this point and how hard Mike and I work every single day to do our very best for these girls and I’m proud of that. I’m proud of us.

Happy Birthday Harper! I hope you look back on this day and know that you were loved.

Before and After: When the Bride is Your Future Sister In Law!

Thank God my brother Chad had the good sense to marry Lori, an adorable Canadian-born girl who he met on a cruise a few years ago. Before they headed out for their wedding (also a cruise- duh), she stopped over to see me for a makeup lesson and to create a special look for their wedding (that we would sadly miss.) I sat her in front of a mirror and had her mimic what I applied to one side of her face on the other. You can’t tell which side was mine and which was hers can you? She nailed it! She also remembered everything so she looked gorgeous for the wedding too. Here are the highlights for what I used.

Foundation: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Moisture Foundation
Powder: Koh Gen Do Maifanshi Face Powder
Concealer: Laura Mericer High Coverage 

Lashes: Ardell #120

Lips: Tarte Park Avenue Princess over a nude liner

Much of the other makeup was her own so she could duplicate the look without buying anything new.

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Tarte is one of my go-to lines that I’ll actually buy whenever I’m out of something because I’ve never been let down by anything I’ve tried. Their new LipSurgence gloss in Park Ave Princess is THE color for summer- a shimmering nude that you have to have! It’s that perfect not-pink, not-brown, not-orange perfectly balanced kinda nude with some light shimmer that flatters all. I’ve been using these LipSurgence glosses every day for a light glaze of color with the right amount of shine. Other than Park Ave Princess, I’ve been wearing Tipsy a lot (second from right), a coral that doesn’t look orange on. A coral gloss is the perfect antidote to the pink routine I’ve gotten into when it comes to my lip wear. Such a cool shade.

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That’s Park Ave Princess on the far right- an instant classic!

The other new thing I used was Laura Mercier’s new concealer- high coverage which definitely lives up to its name. The tiniest amount goes a very long way to disguise dark circles and brighten the eye area. Don’t expect a creamy texture like with their Secret Concealer, this is on the drier side so make sure your skin is well moisturized before laying it down. I’ve used it on clients with really dark circles and it covers so well every single time. I would recommend it for someone in their 20′s and 30′s so it won’t settle into fine lines- a common issue with thicker concealers in general.

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My Life Lately: Spring 2014

This year so far has been a total whirlwind – selling houses, building a house (more on that to come), getting ready to move, and really just perfecting a rhythm to our daily lives so there’s both happiness and efficiency.  While we’re thriving as a foursome, I’m falling down on everything else it seems. Emails unanswered, blog posts desperately late, a site re-design that has dragged on for months because I’m too tired at the end of a long day to jump on my computer and give the project real thought. The list goes on as you can imagine. While I’m trying to sneak a little more balance into my days, the one thing I’m getting better at is filling time with my family. Everly is old enough to take everywhere we go (7 months) without worry, and Harper who just turned 2 (more on that later too!) is happiest when she’s outside looking for birds and bunnies, she’s such an outdoors girl (she must get that from Mike.)  Anyway, I wanted to share a few of our adventures we’ve had here in beautiful Colorado. Happy spring!

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Mike roped me into a run by presenting it as just a hike. We did a loop in this beautiful park
which was short of 3 miles I believe. It’s all he wanted for his birthday, he even surprised me with new shoes the day before to make sure I was prepared.

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I didn’t get a lot of pics because my phone died and I didn’t have my real camera, but my girlfriend Chris and I went to the seriously amazing Cher & Cyndi Lauper D2K concert. It was literally one of the best concerts/shows/entertainment acts I’ve ever seen. We stayed to the bitter end and wondered how much our families would miss us if we just took off and followed her around the country. (The photo was posted to Instagram- follow me if you’re not a weirdo- I’m HookedOnBeauty of course.)

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We took the girls to the Butterfly Pavilion which was perfect for Harper. They call it a ‘little zoo’ with most of the insects and fish in small cages or tanks. At the end though, you walk through this big greenhouse type thing with a pond, trees, flowers, and even turtles and of course butterflies everywhere. She had a blast.

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We finally gave in and bought a BOB double stroller. We love our City Select and I’m so glad we bought a stroller that converts into a double right from the start, but the BOB is so light it basically pushes itself. Mike jogs with the girls and I can easily take them to the park and push them around our neighborhood. Little Everly is happy to sit up and see out like a big girl. We take family walks several times a day so we feel like we’re really getting some use out of it.

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I surprised Mike on his birthday weekend with a dinner with friends and an overnight stay in Denver. Not too far away, but our first as parents leaving the girls. My parents were thrilled, I was nervous and guilty, Mike was drunk.

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We checked out the new Butterflies at Chatfield thinking it would be as impressive as the Butterfly Pavilion, but it wasn’t. It’s a greenhouse with literally 10 butterflies in it roughly the size of my living room. Not a total bust though, the grounds are huge with goats, ponies, chickens, ducks, and a really cool treehouse. We were there for quite a while chasing Harper and looking around. A total must see especially for little ones who want to see some animals but without the time commitment and cost of the zoo (just $5 a car.)

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More of the grounds at Chatfield and a look at the treehouse.

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Then last weekend something amazing happened. We had a date night (technically ‘date day’ since the sun was up the whole time and we sat down to eat at 5, but whatever!) For I think the 4th time in 2 years we left the girls with my parents and met friends for some wine, fun, and (mostly) adult conversation save for a few impromptu Frozen sing-alongs which is an oddly quotable movie.

I see a little light at the end of the tunnel as the girls get bigger and I learn that not everything I have to do can fit into a single day. It might take me a little longer than before, but I’ll get there. Eventually.

How to Wear a Pink Primer

Koh Gen Do is a pro line beloved by Makeup Artists that has crept its way into the mainstream because of its everyday wearability. Their foundation is still a go-to in my kit, but now their primers are slowly replacing the silicone ones that were once the only pre-foundation option. Theirs come in 4 shades depending on what your skin’s needs are, I use this Lavender Pink one a ton to perk up otherwise dull skin. You can wear it under foundation of course but I like to use it on top of it, right under the eyes to add brightness and light.

Below you’ll see a before and after along with how much I use. There isn’t a pinky appearance at all, just a brighter look. It’s especially helpful for tired eyes to look more awake without piling on dark makeup. It’s a trick I’ve been using a lot lately on myself given how tired I’ve been and it really makes me look less haggard and a little more put together.

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Before, how much primer I used under my eyes, then after.

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What to Use For Crow’s Feet and Dry Eyes; Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment

Maybe it’s all the smiling I do, or maybe it’s all the tanning I used to do.. either way my crow’s feet are horrible. I used to Botox the hell outta that whole area, but then I look dull when I smile and then I can’t squint so when I went outside I’d be all dramatic like a vampire in the sunshine covering my eyes while they’d water in reaction to the brightness. Terrible right? So now I just up my hydration around my eyes which helps a ton with the wrinkles. Think about it- when your hands are dry they literally crack and look all old lady-ish. Same goes for the skin around your eyes. Getting a good dose of moisture not only lessens the look of lines, but it gives a vibrancy and glow – it erases that dullness that dehydration causes. This is why for years I’ve paid way too much for eye creams. Some $60 some $100, the thicker the better but I’m so beyond thrilled with the new Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado Kiehl’s sent me recently so now my eye cream will set me back less than $30.

Forget the complicated buzz-words surrounding products that claim to turn back time using unpronounceable ingredients, anti-aging is all about protection (SPF & antioxidants), and hydration. Period. Even if you have oily skin, you should be slathering on a thick eye cream to keep that delicate area as moist as possible. Creamy Eye Treatment has a very unique texture, the thickest I’ve used. It’s strange at first because I’m used to formulas that are less weighty and rub right in. This formula needs to be patted on and given a few seconds to absorb but once it does, there isn’t a greasy after-feel and makeup will smooth right over. I love it so much that I’ll put a few thick layers on at night because my skin just drinks it up. It’s not fussy, or heavily scented, or in some fancy gold jar- but it works and I will certainly buy it when I’m out. And then more when I’m out of that one too.

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