Summertime Essentials

The products I am going to share with you are by no means a “be all, end all”, but they are (from my experience) some exceptionally great products to help cut down on time in your summer months beauty routine. I will work through these products in the order that they would generally be applied to the skin, to make it somewhat easier to follow and if you want to skip a category, this should make it easier to do so.

Each of these products have been used or are currently used in my personal summer beauty routine (not necessarily all at once – but if I am going for more than a super natural look, then I might use them all). More than anything I hope this gives you a starting point if you are looking to find products that will work for you, while still protecting you, during the beautiful – but UV-bright – summertime!


My Summertime Essentials List*:

Category: Skin

1. Loving Tan Deluxe Bronzing Mousse in Ultra Dark

Here is why I love this stuff: Over the years growing up as a teenage girl, I have tested a number of “tanning lotions”, none of which were that impressive. Also, I was never a fan of spray tans, since – to me – they still appear too unnatural. However, I am also very aware of the dangers and risks of tanning in a salon or even in the great outdoors.

In case you didn’t already know this… the sun is terrible for your skin! I know, shocker, right? It’s powerful UVA/UVB rays can do some serious damage. Don’t believe me? All you need to do is look up pictures of “too much sun exposure” or “sun poisoning” to get a glimpse of the horrors it can create for your skin. Now, the sun does benefit our health and I don’t want you to go live in a cave or anything, but just be aware that not everything about the sun is good for you – especially when you are spending more than 2 hours basking in it’s light.

So resulted my dilemma: I love a good tan, but am too health conscious (and skin conscious) to risk over-exposing either one to the elements.

Enter Loving Tan Bronzing Mousses.

I was a bit skeptical, but I read so many good reviews that I wanted to try it. Could these be the solution to my healthy tan problems? Yes. Guys, seriously this product is everything it promised to be. You know your tan looks perfectly natural when no one comments on it or mentions it, and instead probably just assumes you’ve been working in your garden a lot, or whatever. Yet, there is a noticeable enough difference that makes the product worth it and you legit LOOK TAN.

For real, this product is a great option for summer until you get that glow you’re looking for. It even fades completely naturally! I speak from experience, no splotches at all, no transfer, no gimmicks – just a perfect little tan. That you can use in the meantime until you achieve a real tan by using your SPF 30+ everyday! Each bottle gives you about 5 uses – depending on how much surface area you are covering or how much product you need to get your desired look. 

2. Paula’s Choice RESIST SPF 50 Moisturizer

Caveat: this moisturizer might not be the best one for your skin type (ex. if you have dry skin, choose a different Paula’s Choice SPF moisturizer), so use your own discretion.

I typically have combination skin (somewhat oily T-zone anyone?), but in the summer my skin can be a little more on the oily side (and in the winter it is a little more on the dry side). So this is my weapon of choice for getting all my moisturizing needs in the summer without feeling like I have a thick layer of slime all over my face.

Honestly, this moisturizer is so light and does not have a super strong SPF smell, but does boast a hefty SPF 50 in skin protection: yes, please!! It absorbs so well into the skin and leaves behind no residue (in my experience). Again, if you have dry skin, this will likely not be moisturizing enough for you as this is formulated for more combo-oily skin.

Paula’s Choice has an amazing return policy and will refund your money if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase, that’s how much they believe in their product. Find what works for you, but please find a moisturizer with SPF and protect that beautiful skin God gave you!

3. MAC Cosmetics Pink Light Strobe Cream 

Now you might be thinking, “what in the world why is strobe cream on here?!”, but I promise it’s not what it sounds like. First of all, this does not apply pink to the skin and you won’t look pink either. So please, ignore the “pink” aspect of this title.

This also says “strobe cream” but I like to refer to it as healthy glow cream (which also happens to smell amazing!). I am not one to load shimmer of any kind on my face – seriously – it freaks me out and that’s why I have only a few curated highlighters in my MUA kit. I am not a crazy glitter/glow girl!!

Speaking of, this can be applied after everything else and double-up as a cream “highlighter” <– if you can even call it that?? because that is how non-shimmery this is!

However, this cream does wonders for the face! As a moisturizing base it replaces the need for a primer and is not at all sparkly – whatever “strobe” particles they use in this formula are impossible to see individually. Instead, they work as a perfectly cohesive base that adds a perfect hint of beautiful, natural, glistening glow. I have not found many – actually at this point any – other creams that boast “strobe” or “glow” that do not have noticeable shimmer. So this is certainly a keeper and something that I will wear all on it’s own with maybe a hint of concealer under the eyes. Worth checking out if you’re new to this product!

4. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Perfector

Aka photogenic skin tint! This is a great summer option because it includes SPF 25 (which if you are not moisturizing your skin with SPF, this is even more important). I feel like my skin tends to cooperate better in the warmer months, so I will definitely go for this over any sort of other coverage.

It truly does create a blurred tint skin effect which helps to even out skin tone (you may (will) still need some concealer though if you have dark under eye circles or a pompous blemish).

But for every day when you don’t care as much about looking totally 100% (or for when you want to get ready in 2 minutes), a little bit of this will be just what you were looking for to create that nice evened tone in a cinch! It also does photograph nicely and has a slightly dewy effect, again enhancing that natural summer glow.


Category: Face

5. Physician’s Formula Murumuru Butter Bronzer

This stuff even smells like summer (which actually is not it’s greatest quality since fragrance isn’t good for your skin, but we can overlook that since it’s gorgeous and you only really apply a small amount to your face). I love this bronzer SO much, not only because it works but also because of it’s nice price point (not $$$).

A few swipes of this under those cheekbones, or on that forehead will leave you with a perfectly natural sun-kissed glow. Nothing sparkly, but it does have the ever-so-slightest satin finish which is great for completing the healthy glow look!

6. Make Up For Ever HD Cream Blush

When you want to look like you have a natural glow, cream or liquid-based products will be your best friend. This blush is no different! It also will leave you photo-ready with it’s HD properties. Some of my favorite shades are 225 (peachy, coraly) and 330 (rosy, pinky)!

Using a beauty blender, smudge some product on your sponge and then tap tap away until you have your desired coverage. Literally, it takes a few seconds and then you’re done! (Honestly, you could use your blender for every makeup product on here, if you are really looking to stream-line!).

It’s the perfect, naturally-blushed look – I promise! 🙂

7. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Pressed Micro-Finishing Powder

Pressed finishing powder is great to pack along in your purse for on-the-go touch-ups when the chilly 67 degree day turns into a 80 degree heat wave, and your skin is showing it. Perfect for a little dab here or dab there when you’re getting shiny in areas that you don’t want to be accentuated. Or if you are glowing too much and feel like you like you just ran at the gym (typically, yah don’t want that much glow!).

Truly a great all-around product that can be used in every season (not just summertime). The compact also include a nice size mirror for those who care about that.


Category: Eyes/Lips

8. Tarte Lid Lock Eye Base

Personally – for myself, not for my clients – I prefer this lid base (compared to MAC’s paint pot), but I appreciate MAC’s paint pots because they actually have a variety of shades to cater to a variety of skin tones (spot-on MAC!).

Any shade or brand of lid lock or a creamy eye base is a great option because it helps to brighten-up the eye area (especially great for summer!). Keeping the eye area light also creates a more “awake” type of look while evening out any discoloration. Using this also means that you don’t need to waste your concealer (often pricey) on your lids, but can keep it to concealing other areas of the face. Too, a lid base will last you a longggg time, even when used regularly.

Final reason this is great is because – again – this takes but a minute to apply for an easy-peasy bright look!

9. Tarte Volumizing Brow Powder

Since I desire to be authentic, I am featuring the brow powder I am currently using (and will probably be using for the next 6 months since this stuff lasts a long time and a little goes a long way (why I love powder!).

If nothing else, please define your brows! Your brows truly shape your face, and if you are going commando on the eyes, then your brows will add just the right amount of definition to compensate. Clean brows is the key to a clean, natural look!

They do not NOT need to be crazy, but at the least fill-out the arch and add definition to the bottom of your brow (but please avoid the inner part of your brows – unless absolutely necessary!).  If the Tarte doesn’t appeal to you or you want more shades to pick from, the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Powder Duos are a wonderful option!

10. Shiseido Eyelash Curler

This is my favorite eyelash curler and it’s worth the price! For real, you will get a gorgeous curl to your lash using this (but make sure you remember to pump the curler while your lashes are inside). The key to making – dare I say it – any mascara work for you is this curler!!

A staple item at any time of year, but especially in summer when you’re going for a quick natural look. This curler will majorly create length by giving your lashes the lift they need.

11. L’Oreal Hydrofuge Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

A lot of people love this mascara, and I must admit, that is one of my favorites too! Mascara is a personal preference kind of product, but this mascara works for most people & it’s waterproof – a must for summertime!

Also, I will always tell you to wear black mascara – to those of you who lean towards brown – I promise black won’t bite you 😉 (exceptions being those with the fairest of fair complexions, you have my permission to rock brown)!

12. Sun Bum Lip Balm SPF 30

Confession: I am not huge into lips. I love picking colors for my clients, but I do not go crazy with lips on myself, especially in the summer when I’m in my “less is more” phase of beauty. I totally appreciate a good lip, so I’m sorry to disappoint those lip-lovers out there! However, some great companies that carry awesome lip colors are: Make Up For Ever, MAC Cosmetics, Tarte Cosmetics, & ELF (to name a few).

In light of my simple lips, even those lip-lovers can use this as a base before applying their lip color & please do because your lips are also made-up of sensitive skin! They, too, need protection from those harmful UVA/UVB rays. Sun Bum makes my favorite lip balm for summer because not only does it contain SPF 30 but it also smells/tastes good (bonus!).

For the rest of you who are like me, you can just apply this throughout the day as needed. I personally, love my natural pigmented lip color and am planning on rocking my natural lips as long as I can :). I feel like this balm nicely adds a slight shine that enhances whatever color your lips are already (but maybe I am biased because of the other good qualities).


The End.

Well folks, that’s all I have for you! Hope that’s a good starting point for your summertime essentials shopping. I will be enjoying these products on my upcoming vacation to the beach 

Feel free to comment below any of your own summertime favorites for a gorgeous summer glow in a cinch! I’d love to hear from yah! 🙂

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*I receive NO compensation or benefits from any of these brands for sharing about these products. I am simply speaking to the quality of products that I personally like. 

12.10.17 – Huber Wedding

I will warn you right now that I am going to be sharing a million pictures from this gorgeous lady’s wedding. One because Kelly’s wedding day look & feel was absolutely breathtaking! Two because her photographer, Damien Weidner Photography, takes the most deep & moody photos ever (how can you not want to share them all?!).

For Kelly’s wedding, I was able to only focus on one area: makeup! I love both makeup and hair, but I appreciate the weddings where I am able to narrow my focus to one of these areas. Kelly has one of the most easy-going & bubbly personalities ever. These sweet qualities shined out of her when we did her bridal trial where she had me laughing and smiling literally the whole time (a true gem!).

Kelly gave me a lot of free reign for her look, which always makes me super excited and has me “geeking out” a little bit because the true creativity can flow! I love this kind of a bride because it means she truly trusts me to bring out her best and most natural beauty! For Kelly’s wedding, it looked like me trying something and then her confirming that she thought it looked great – which made her trial a breeze!

On her wedding day, she was radiant! One of my favorite parts of a bride’s wedding day is seeing their “look” completed with their dress and accessories. The whole picture is truly a priceless image! Included below are a few of Damien’s shots when Kelly got to first see herself as BRIDE.

Here are some more gorgeous bridals that Damien took of Kelly before she saw her groom!

After their first look, Kelly snuck off to find her groom and grace him with her beauty! Here are some gorgeous shots of them together! I LOVED Kelly’s inclusion of a faux fur wrap. If you are a winter bride, I highly recommend this accessory! It will not only make your pictures look that much more enchanting and elegant, but it will also help to keep you warm for those cold picture moments!

I had the privilege of doing Kelly’s makeup, but I also got to do her mother’s, sister’s and one of her bridesmaid’s makeup (who happens to be one of my dearest childhood friends)! A few pictures of their finished looks are included here:

Kelly’s look was so much fun to create! I loved how the warm contour with the orangey browns complimented her complexion perfectly! This is a wedding look that I will be saving in my memory for years to come in the hopes of someday being able to replicate it for another bride! *fingers crossed*

Kelly’s makeup lasted well into the night after lots of dancing and celebrating! A very important factor when it comes to wedding day makeup and I love when photographers snag a shot of a bride’s look, even at the end of their day! Here she is still looking awesome (even with flash)!


Thank you, Kelly, for a truly great experience completing the makeup for your big day!

fearfully & wonderfully, 

DIY – Sugar Body Scrub

Welcome to the blog!

I have always been fond of anything that I can do myself at home (especially if it is means that it’s cheaper than purchasing it pre-made from a store somewhere: guilty!).

In case this resonates with you too, I have decided to occasionally share an easy Do-It-Yourself (DIY) beauty recipe! I love these recipes not only because they are convenient and easy to do at home, but also because they are better for your body (& often just as effective) than purchasing the often chemical-ridden store alternatives.

The only thing to watch out for with any DIY that uses natural ingredients is: spoilage. If you use preservatives like lemon juice or witch hazel in your products they will likely last long enough for you to use them entirely or at least use them well. Longevity is also added if you store your homemade products in the refrigerator as this slows down spoilage time (just like it does in our food). Two things to keep in mind when making natural beauty products at home :).

This is a great mixture to have on hand for those days when you have tired hands, tired feet, or need a rejuvenating & relaxing scrub! I love this stuff so much that I have even gotten my husband hooked on its softening effects! I mean really though, who doesn’t love the feel of softer skin?!

I highly recommend this easy at-home pampering recipe and frequently keep it on hand. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Without further adieu, here we go!

Recipe: DIY Sugar Scrub*

1. Gather Your Ingredients & Tools

You will need the following tools:

  • Glass mixing bowl
  • Metal or wooden mixing spoon
  • Glass storage container

You will need the following ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup of Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Tablespoon of a Preservative (such as lemon juice or witch hazel)
  • 1-3 Drops of an Essential Oil (Peppermint or Lavender are great options!)
  • OPTIONAL: 1-3 Drops of Vitamin E Oil (for added skin benefits)

2. Combine Sugar & Coconut Oil

The consistency should look similar to the crumbly consistency below:

3. Add Preservative & Other Oils

Now add your lemon juice (or witch hazel) to the mixture and stir to combine. Once combined, add your essential oil drops and combine. If you are adding the vitamin E oil drops, add those now too, and mix to combine.

The mixture should look similar to the slightly goopy consistency that is pictured below:

4. Move Mixture to Container

Once everything is combined, transfer the mixture to a non-reactive glass container (preferably one that seals tightly, to enhance preservation).

I got the container pictured here from Walmart’s Home Goods section.

For best shelf-life & usable consistency, store in refrigerator until ready to use and between uses (especially in the summer, as coconut oil melts in warmer temperatures).

5. Pamper, Use & Enjoy!

Directions for use: Scoop out and apply a liberal amount to skin and massage in circular motions (avoiding obvious sensitive areas like eyes, etc. I would not recommend this for facial use as coconut oil tends to be very thick, but that is entirely your own preference). Rinse off with warm water. Enjoy your fresh, soft skin!*

*This recipe and directions are not to be taken as medical advice or health advice. Talk to your doctor before use.

fearfully & wonderfully,

10.7.17 – Villafane Wedding

Marybeth was a dear friend from college and it was a complete honor enhancing her natural radiance on her wedding day! She had an outdoor Autumn wedding with emerald green accents everywhere. Her color palette was truly so dreamy and full of depth.



For Marybeth, I completed her makeup look only. However, I did have the pleasure of creating two of her bridemaids’ hairstyles. One bridesmaid wanted long curls all over and the other wanted a trendy side style with some loose curls hanging out at the ends. They were both lovely and a joy to create.



Marybeth went with a soft, natural look for her wedding day. She wanted no liner on the bottom, with just a hint of thin liner on the top. She had the most gorgeous natural eyelashes! Dream length! We went with a soft blush, to enhance and give her some color (but only a hint). When we were finished, she was truly so breathtaking. I can only imagine what a treasure she is to her groom!



Thank you for choosing me as your MU artist Marybeth!

fearfully & wonderfully,

3 Reasons Why You Should Hire a Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist

Whether it be your wedding day or a photoshoot, you will want to look your best – obvious, right?

What might be not-as-obvious is hiring a makeup artist or hair stylist to help you achieve your best look.

“I do my makeup and hair every day, why would I need someone else to do it for me for __insert event here__?”

This post shares with you three reasons you will want to scratch the popular “DIY” mode and entrust yourself to an experienced hair and makeup artist (HMUA).

Here we go!

1. Perspective

HMUA are trained professionals (whether self-taught or learned from an academy) who live and breathe face shapes, contours, color theory, skin care, etc. We have an eye for beauty that can provide a unique perspective to your “usual” hair or makeup routine.

I am a strong believer that most things are better when done in a community of people – it’s how we are made. We need each other. Hiring a HMUA gives you the benefit of a new perspective on your uniquely beautiful hair and face. A professional perspective that may be different than what you’re used to, and may impact how you choose to treat your skin/hair in the future.

Instead of trying to copy something you’ve seen somewhere else online or wherever, let your HMUA create a special look for you. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how beautiful you are in your own right! HMUA’s love creating unique looks for every client. Since God made us all different, the same makeup on a different face will still look totally unique. That is truly amazing! Essentially, a HMUA can provide you with a signature look that is 100% you because they have a gifted or trained perspective that is outside of your own.

2. Flawless

Let’s be honest. Most of us, when we wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, tend to see a few things that we’d rather not – does this strike a cord? It’s sad, but we have very flawed perspectives of ourselves and often focus on our “imperfections” rather than our exquisitely God-designed qualities.

Instead of a flaw-covering perspective, a HMUA provides you an unveiling perspective. I’m pretty sure I speak for the masses when I say that a HMUA seeks to unveil the beauty you already have instead of masking things you don’t like. In fact, I haven’t met any HMUA “maskers” yet (they might be out there) but they probably aren’t too popular.

HMUA’s generally have a “flawless” perspective and in my experience, the things clients tend to see as “flawed” are often practically imperceptible to an artist’s eye. Reason? Artists rally in the unique characteristics: unique is beautiful, not something to be covered up. However, don’t fear! Even though they don’t have a cover-all perspective, HMUA’s are trained to blend out those unnatural occurrences which exist from environmental stressors (dark circles anyone? stress blemishes? You bet I’m raising my hand!).

The key here is to realize that those annoying circles or spontaneous pimples are frustrating occurrences from environmental things and it’s okay to be a little bummed by them because – honestly – they can take away from your gorgeous natural face! BUT – a major but – your face shape, eye shape, lip size, skin tone, cheekbone height, hair part, hair color, hair length, etc. are all beautiful aspects of who you are! These things should not be hidden but rather celebrated, and HMUA’s love celebrating every single client’s beauty.

3. Stress-Free

I don’t think it’s any surprise that big events like weddings or parties can be stressful with all their decisions and butterflies. Yet, even a family photoshoot provides it’s fair share of tantrums and tears. Why put the added stress on yourself of deciding how to make yourself (and possibly those with you) look their best?

Enter HMUA. This kind of trained artist/stylist will take all the stress out of your day or event. Most HMUA’s offer a variety of packages depending on your needs, which can also make smaller events a more affordable price point. There are countless reviews everywhere which attest that hiring a HMUA is well worth the investment to have a more enjoyable time with family and friends.

A HMUA takes care of all “the look” details and, if they’re fairly dedicated, will write things down and/or take pictures at a trial to remember the products and colors that best fit you. Not only is this great for your scheduled event, but they also will keep this on record should you decide to come back for more stress-free pampering in the future!

Not to mention, what if you – doing it yourself – make a mistake day-of or are running late? A HMUA will keep you on schedule and work hard to have you ready by your scheduled time. Not to mention that they almost never make mistakes. You are their canvas and they are your artist. When you hire a HMUA, you can say goodbye to messy “mascara ridden eyelids” that require you to start your look over (dreadful to even think about!) and say hello to pretty eyes that are blended to perfection.


These are not all of the reasons you should hire a HMUA, but they are three major reasons to consider it! A new perspective, a flawless face, and a stress-free environment make hiring a HMUA practically essential. Who doesn’t want a personalized, perfected, and care-free experience?!

Fearfully & Wonderfully,