On My 3 Year Blog-iversary…

Exactly 3 years ago today on November 8, 2007 I posted my first review here on HookedOnBeauty.com by giving my 2 cents on Pangea’s Blood Orange and Calendula Cleanser (review HERE) on a mostly blank screen to an audience of zero. I wanted to start a blog so I could give my opinions a home to be be visited by friends and family whenever they were looking to buy something so they knew it was worth their money. Little did I know that this very blog would lead to write ups in Glamour Magazine and WWD, regular TV segments as a Beauty Expert, Makeup artistry for celebs, and now I’m the Beauty Expert for Walmart.com.

I blogged for months being read daily by only a dozen or so people, but continued as though I were Perez Hilton. I just knew that something would come of it, and it did.

This once little blog grew up to be big and brought opportunities I wouldn’t have had otherwise, and I’m so grateful.

Thank you so much for reading, subscribing, and sharing the site with your friends.

With gratitude,


Shades of Grey; Buying the Same Colors Over and Over Again

My day makeup routine is surprisingly sparse and muted, but for the occasional night out I like to punch it up a little. I had about 10 minutes to freshen up last night and I didn’t feel like going the distance with a smokey eye so I decided on a bold pink lip with a flushy matching cheek. I was a little surprised because when I looked for a brighter lip color (which I rarely wear) in my personal arsenal, there were very few choices. What I did have though, were many versions of neutral pink and beige. Here’s what I’m talking about.

With a few exceptions, it all basically looks the same.
Whew – I remembered that I had this Jane Iredale Lip Fixation in ‘Devotion.’ 

I paired the bright pink with a neutral beige liner to tone it a bit.

Ta da. I’m wearing very little eye makeup actually and let the lips and cheeks do create the look.  Oh – an no those aren’t false lashes (like everyone asks) I’m still using Latisse

I’ve already written about Iredale’s Lip Fixation long wearing mineral lip color/gloss but I really want to drive the point home that there isn’t another long-wearing naturally formulated solution that works this well. I only added a bit of gloss midway through the night, the color stayed on perfectly and kept its intensity so well that it needed to be removed with my other makeup before bed.

Last night yielded two thoughts: One, I’m banned form buying another pink or beige gloss – I have more than enough. Two, punching up a look isn’t just about the eyes.

The Beautiful, Blushing Bride Kassie with Photography by Studio JK

When one of my favorite brides of all time chose one of my favorite photographers of all time, I knew I was going to love the end result. This picture is by Studio JK, the excellent-as-always photography duo here in Colorado from a recent wedding where I was the Makeup Artist.

Kassie and I decided on a punched up eye using neutral brown shadows and black liner, a deeper-than-usual variation of her daily routine. Her big beautiful eyes also allowed my to use my favorite wedding lash, Ardell 120 for a dramatic, feathery lash that’s perfect for pictures.

Now this is a bride.

Nothing says ‘bride’ like rosy pink cheeks, so I swept Estée Lauder’s Pink Kiss Signature Blush across her cheeks focusing on the apples to give a blushing look that isn’t too precision.

Stila’s Long Wearing Lip Colors are still my go-to for stay-in-place color that doesn’t dry your lips out. It’s so dry here in Colorado, so chapped lips are a standard year-round event. These will stay on for hours without bleeding or fading while adding a good amount of moisture that isn’t typically present in a long-wearing formula.

I can’t wait to share more photos as they come in, but if I were you, I’d click HERE to see photos of a recent wedding shot by Studio JK. I wasn’t their Makeup Artist and I have no idea who the couple is, but the pictures are stunning (double rainbow and sunset shots, incredible!) His photography is epic, we’re lucky to have him here in Denver (and I was lucky that he photographed my recent headshots.)

When considering wedding makeup, remember to be as bold as the gown, the day, and the event itself. Don’t hold back, let that glamour flow.

Learn How to Apply the Makeup You Have! It’s Learn and Swap Time!

I hope all of you Colorado girls are coming to my beauty event this Thursday that I’m co-hosting with The Swapaholics. You don’t want to miss it!!

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A Beauty Learn and Swap where you bring in all of your makeup, skin care, hair care, nail stuff, and body lotions you no longer use to trade for things you will use.

You’ll also see makeup demonstrations from the experts at my favorite makeup store in Denver, Makeup Mania. They’ll show you how to apply a gorgeous fall look as well as how to find and apply the right concealer (which is a pretty good thing to master).

We’ll also have the amazing Carla Gray on hand to show you how to shape your brows to best flatter your features.

I’ll be there too with my brushes all ready to answer your most pressing beauty questions by showing you how to apply the makeup yourself.


Studio Wed in Denver 4500 West 38th Avenue in Denver.


Me and the lovely swap-stresses from Boston of course, but you can also look forward to yummy food from Steuben’s, delicious cupcakes from Big Fat Cupcake and cocktails (duh?).


This Thursday the 23rd at 5:30


Click HERE to RSVP for the event via Facebook.

I can’t wait to meet you all!

Come Meet Me, Learn New Beauty Tips, and Take Home Some Great New Stuff. It’s Swapping Time!

If you live in Denver come meet me and get your beauty swap on at Studio Wed Thursday September 23rd.

I’ll be co-hosting a Beauty Learn and Swap with the Boston-based super duo The Swapaholics. Bring all of your new or gently used beauty stuff that you aren’t using (makeup, skin care, hair care, nails – whatever), and trade it for something you love. You can choose as much as you’d like and we’ll have Makeup Artists and Brow Experts on hand to demonstrate application techniques, give brow shaping advice, and answer your biggest beauty questions.

We’ll also have snacks, door prizes, and much more.

Come on down and say hi, it’s only $10 when you bring along some items to swap which is a great deal for some new things and beauty tips galore.

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And for you moms, check out our Mommy’s Night Out swap Friday the 24th where you can bring by the maternity and kids wear you’ve all outgrown and swap it for what you need. I’ll be there, and so will our Makeup Artists who will be showing the quickest and best makeup tips for mommies.

Tickets are available HERE at EventBrite.com. Your name will appear once you register and I’ll be picking 2 people randomly from that list and present them with a beauty basket at the swap. I have A LOT of great stuff to give away, so sign up now!

Come on out, I can’t wait to meet you!

So… It’s My Birthday!

Yes, today is the day my mom expelled me from her uterus. It’s that one glorious day out of the year when you make a bunch of promises to yourself about changes you want to make in your life and then never go through with them. It’s like a New Year’s Eve for one.

We’re here relaxing in beautiful Santa Fe – and by ‘we’ I mean me with my hubby and our dogs, Frisco and Meatball. Here we are below in a photo that best describes us. We had the camera all balanced and set up for a perfect picture of us on the beach. Mike was having Frisco sit on the sand next to him and I would hold Meatball, but when I ran back from setting the timer on the camera it caused such a huge stir that the dogs went nuts. This was the first of 6 photos where we’re in total disarray – dogs jumping and barking, and us just trying to get it right. When we finally got that perfectly posed photo of us in front of the water, it didn’t look as good as the others. It was stiff, we weren’t smiling as brightly, and there was just something missing about it. I like this version where we’re ‘off’ – jumping and living and laughing. It’s imperfect, goofy, and fun. That’s how I like this picture, and that’s how I like my life.