My Life

Love Letters

I’ve wanted to be a makeup artist since I was pretty little.
The only time a ever questioned it was a little while after I graduated high school. (a time for questioning EVERYTHING)
I started wondering if makeup and beauty are just shallow and stupid and maybe I should do something that would actually make a difference in people’s lives. I entertained some other ideas that seemed more important.
After a while I decided to stick to makeup because:
A. It’s what I am best at
B. It’s what I love to do
C. It doesn’t matter what you do, if you do it with love, you can make a difference in someone’s life.
Here is a letter I received recently. This and many others have confirmed that I might have been right:)

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. - Melody Beattie

I found your blog via Pinterest, and  I couldn’t be more blessed to have stumbled upon it when I did!
The past year of my life has been filled with many unexpected trials and some minor health challenges. I was just having trouble getting motivated, and seeing both my inner and outer beauty. Seeing your video about doing “mommy” make up in a few minutes was exactly what I needed. Though I am not a mommy, I like to keep things simple and emphasize natural beauty which I think is something you do naturally in your videos and blog posts. I was hooked after the first view of the video, though it wouldn’t be my last.  I started reading any and every post on your blog, and exploring! I copied your list of drug store buys from the Mommy make up video and set out to get them. This was almost backwards for me, I almost strictly shop at Sephora, so heading to Target was refreshing. I guess I forgot you can still find good “drug store” products. I got everything you said and watched your video countless times! I started to get the hang of it and felt up to finally wearing this new look out in public, the very first day I did I had 2 compliments at work! I was floored! I have since received more compliments, and its not about the compliments, but the way it makes me feel, knowing I can do it! I have a rounder face so I have always struggled with applying my makeup in a flattering manner. It was like all I needed was that little boost, and my confidence started to snowball- I started working out again, I got on (Oh dear… ) I am eating right, and I jump started my weight loss again. I am down 22lbs from my heaviest last October! Still have plenty of weight to go! I just needed to stop and take a second to express my thanks, sorry it was so scattered!  Please keep doing what you are doing, because I am sure my life isn’t the only one you have changed!

With Love,

I am so grateful to Reily and all of the beautiful women who send me messages, letters and comments of encouragement and gratitude.
The only problem is, I don’t know how to fully express my gratitude for going out of your way to make me feel like what I do is worthwhile.

When I entered the Allure contest I wrote this: I think the best part of the blog is my readers. They are so sweet, funny and smart and always have a lot of great information to share. The comment thread is truly uplifting and informative, often better than the post itself.
Man, I hope I am not boring you with all of my blubbering, I just have to gush about you guys from time to time:)
Like I said, You’re the best.

Beautiful quote by Melody Beattie

-Melody Beattie

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  • Reply
    Stephanie Ledet
    May 2, 2013 at 5:40 am

    I to found your blog via Pinterest and your highlight and contour videos reminded me of the time I used to put into my make-up routine. Once I watched your Mommy make-up video I had no excuses for not taking the time. I started getting compliments on how great I looked but no one could put their finger on what was different, it was great! I shared my new routine with my girl friend and she could not believe the difference a little highlight and contour makes, now she is doing it and loving the results. Thank you for being and inspiration.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 6:06 am

    That quote is great 🙂
    By the way, I check my email first thing hoping to see a new post on Maskcara and have to admit to feeling little sad when there isn’t one. But I know you have a life and a little one (who’s stinking cute I might add!) so no worries! Keep up the great work girl – you are definitely making a difference!!

  • Reply
    Maddy Cane
    May 2, 2013 at 6:17 am

    I agree so much with her letter, you have really helped me in learning how to apply makeup better and giving me more confidence! You are making an amazing difference to people’s lives! xxx

    Maddy from

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    May 2, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Cara, Hey Girl! I emailed you last month wondering if next time you’re in St George if you could possibly help me with some new makeup tips. Kamie peterson and I are headed down to Vegas the weekend of May 18th and would really love to meet up with you and get a makeover so that we can buy new makeup for the new season, (we need a new fresh look)you could come to our hotel and bring your goodies, or we can come to your house,because like you told me last month you are now living in Vegas. Or we could even meet up at the mall makeup counter. Whatever works for you or if you can even do this at all. Please let me know 801 830 7270, xo Tiana

  • Reply
    Des Dana :)
    May 2, 2013 at 6:41 am

    Oh, I love you! Not only did you make a difference in my life, but I have been able to share it with people in my life who also needed a boost of confidence. It has just been a huge chain reaction! And I can’t tell you how many compliments I get on my makeup daily. And I feel like I’m cheating the makeup “system” because I’m wearing HALF the amount of makeup and putting it on in HALF the amount of time than I used to! You are definitely important in my life!!!! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Hope Howland (@HHDesigns)
    May 2, 2013 at 6:41 am

    It makes all the difference in the world… just knowing you are making a difference…

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 6:51 am

    Cara, you definitely impacted my world. I really enjoy your personality and how down to earth you are.Your sense of humor makes you endearing. Your makeup tutorials are my favorite because they are easy to do. In addition, I appreciate that you,ve tested out the products before we buy them. My pennies are valuable so its nice that you sort of guarantee it. Lastly, I love the celebrity look a likes.Your version is almost exactly to the real one! I have been doing the Angelina Jolie makeup for so long! Before that it was the smokey eye one and I bought eye primer because of you! So thank you for sticking to your guns. You have definitely changed me.

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    May 2, 2013 at 7:02 am


  • Reply
    Reilly Faith
    May 2, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Cara! You are so sweet! Keep changing lives! And let’s just say that I have some follow up blogging to do. I have gone out on a few dates with someone from and for the time being I have taken my profile down from! I can’t say thanks enough! Follow the fun,!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 7:20 am

    You are amazing! I too am a mommy and your mommy makeover has helped me get of of my frump feeling! You have not only been inspirational with makeup but with your life experiences. You email back or Instagram back when asked questions and that is appreciated by many!! I think some of us feel like you are a long lost friend!!! So thank you for all you do and the time you spend to make us feel good and be pretty:)

  • Reply
    Lauren Jasper
    May 2, 2013 at 7:25 am

    Love you n ur blog maskcara! I don’t even know you and feel like we’re bffs ha that’s a great talent you have 🙂 thanks for everything!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 7:32 am

    You truly are an amazingly beautiful person inside and out! I too found your post via Pinterest and am totally hooked. I watch your videos over and over, trying to get the hang of things and read up on what works – I just used ‘dry shampoo’ for the first time this morning after reading your earlier post for greasy hair – just didn’t have the time to wash after my grueling workout this morning. This stuff is going to be a lifesaver for me! But anyway, you have definitely made a difference in my life as well as I am struggling with coming up on my 40th birthday this summer. I’m afraid to lose my youth and am seeing the signs of too much sun and too many late nights creeping up on me freaks me out! Your blog keeps me inspired to find the true beauty within me and enhance it daily.
    Thanks so much for being you and sharing with us through your blog! 🙂 Hugs!

  • Reply
    amanda frey
    May 2, 2013 at 8:09 am

    I LOOOOVE this blog! You are really the warmest & nicest blogger I’ve had the pleasure of reading! Way to go MaskCara!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 8:23 am

    You love it, you’re good at it, and it DOES help people! I’ve totally revamped my look since I started reading Maskcara and watching your tutorials, and not only do I look better but I FEEL better and more confident. Keep it up! And now I’m off to read Reilly’s blog.

  • Reply
    Ashley Grissom
    May 2, 2013 at 8:48 am

    This literally made me cry in such a good way! So happy for Reilly, I love a good motivational story! You are an amazing gal, I might not know you but you really make us readers feel like your friends. Thank you sharing and for your helping in making our confidence soar!! XXOO

  • Reply
    Mrs. W
    May 2, 2013 at 8:52 am


    You are definitely making a difference in people’s lives! Mine included! I found your blog through another blogger who posted the HAC video as one of her monthly favorites and I have been hooked ever since! I have a 6 month old daughter and as a new mommy I had completely forgotten about myself. So much, that my relationship with my husband started suffering. When you posted the love story about your current husband it gave me hope for a better life. Thankfully, things have gotten a lot better and I realized that I need to make an effort to look my best, just so that I have confidence in myself. I think it has helped a lot. I am slowly learning how to HAC (if you have any pointers for Latinas specifically, I’d totally appreciate it) and quickly do my hair every morning. Instead of going to sleep at a decent hour, I stay up and watch your videos and practice my HAC-ing, lol. Keep doing what you’re doing, you’re a sincere person who deserves everything that you have going for you and more! Oh and don’t be surprised if you keep winning the Allure challenges, your talent blows the other bloggers out of the water! I vote every day, doing my part in helping you win because you deserve it!


    Mrs. W

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Sweet Bella Cara, I, too, first came across your blog via Pinterest, and got sucked in with the mommy makeup video also. I have been exhausted after having 3 babies back to back, just 18 months apart each, and was desperately trying to get my groove back. Well wouldn’t you know I went to Walgreens with a stack of coupons and purchased your suggestions and came home to try the 5 minute smokey mommy makeup – the compliments I received boosted my confidence. I watched your hair tutorials on twist curls and gypsy hair and what a difference it made – again, the compliments…yes, you have been a blessing to me in every way. Thank you for shining your light so brightly my way.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:28 am

    I want to echo the sentiments in that letter. I also found you through Pinterest. It was a makeover picture of your sister that caught my attention. It was YOU that keeps me coming back. Your sweetness, modesty, humor and skill make your blog my favorite. I have tried following other beauty blogs but they used product I couldn’t afford. Or did looks so outrageous I could never wear them. Your tutorials are amazing, yet practical. The looks are beautiful, but still something a working mom could wear. Thank you Cara for giving me confidence in myself and my appearance. Thank you for helping me look and feel prettier than I ever have in my life.
    The only thing you need to do to say thank you to me is to keep doing what you do. Keep being yourself and keep making your great blog.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

    Wow … such awesome posts here today. 🙂 Add me to the list of finding you on Pinterest, Cara. I stumbled upon your page as I googled hair tutorials for an upcoming wedding and, just like many other followers, I found myself looking through ALL of your older to most recent posts. Now, here we are, rooting for our favorite blogger to get her to New York!! (I can’t vote until 10am so I’ll vote shortly after my post here.) I’ve been highlighting my hair for about 18 years non-stop. I saw your pics with your beautiful brown (kind of ombre) hair and yup, decided to go to the salon this past Sunday and go with a color closer to my dark brown roots(!) It took a little getting used to, but thanks to your make-up tutorials, I’ve grown to LOVE this color on me and, so has my husband (he always preferred the lighter look). I FEEL AMAZING!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You really deserve this trip and we’ll do our absolute best by voting each and every day to get you there! MUAH!!! xoxo!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Dido to all! You’re such an awesome blogger! All of your followers are great, too. I have so much fun reading all of the comments and seeing how positive of an influence all of these women have on each other. I am so glad I found this!



  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Id say making women feel more beautiful is definitely a great service and talent! Love keeping up with all your beauty tips!!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Thank you, Cara, for sharing your work with us! I too have found a new “me” since seeing your blog. I feel years younger and look forward to putting on my make-up, something that I skipped much of the time before you came into my life!.

  • Reply
    Brittany Mokry
    May 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I think you really have no idea how much you inspire others. I found your blog via pintrest and it was like finding a secret treasure. Your tutorials are so easy just by watching you and trying it myself has given me such a confidence booster. I feel pretty now not just ok pretty but PRETTY! Thanks so much for what you do and keep on changing the world one make-up tutorial at a time 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    This makes me happy. You are great. I can’t say I’ve tried any of your tutorials, but when I’m jonesin for a tan, I’m going to do the self tanner. I’ve also bookmarked pretty much all the products you’ve recommended on Amazon because I trust your judgement. You aren’t like other bloggers constantly hawking products from sponsors.

    I actually came to your blog today to see if you have any eye cream recommendations & I couldn’t find any. Sooo if you use one and love it could you let me know? 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashley F.
    May 2, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    A well deserving compliment to such a wonderfully beautiful woman… inside and out. Your children will be proud to look back on how impact full their mom was on others search for beauty- and the right kind at that. You can only take people as far as you are willing to go and what a wonderful ‘tour guide’ you have become for so many. Keep up the good work!

    God Bless!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I’m only 14, I’m not very good at makeup and most days when I get off the bus I look more like I got hit by a bus. I’m taking the cosmetology program at my school and its great 🙂 I know I’m just a teenager and you probably think in just being silly but your blog helped me deal with some emotional problems and i know already I’m going to work in a hair salon of some type once I get my license. Thank you so much for everything you do and never stop 🙂

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    You do make a difference, and in my case it had less to do with boosting confidence in my appearance per se, so I thought I’d share. I used to forego make up, because I am generally happy with my “natural” looks and I vaguely resent much of the “beauty industry” (fashion, magazines, pricey brands) for too often feeding women’s insecurities and encouraging snobbery and consumerism.

    At the time I found you through Pinterest I was struggling with work (academic research) — my experiments were failing, the job market is abysmal, and I was resenting academia for scamming us into wasting our 20s and earning potential on getting PhDs for jobs that don’t exist. Plus, research is a weird line of work. It’s very abstract and hardly anything is ever “finished” or tangible, answers just lead to more questions, there are always more papers to read and studies to do, and rejection of your work is common. All this was making me feel soooo demotivated, pessimistic, and resentful.

    Then I found your blog and just LOVED your positive, down-to-earth, multitasking & DIY approach. Your humble yet empowering attitude gave me inspiration and an escape routine that are more therapeutic than I’d ever guessed. I now put on makeup almost every day (just for myself, since I mostly work from home) and I feel like I get to be creative and actually complete a tangible project. When my face is “done” or when I master a new technique, I get this sense of accomplishment and feel good about myself. I feel rejuvenated and more motivated and it actually helps me work better. Im sure I’m more fun to hang out too, because now instead of complaining and throwing myself a pity party I’m feeding my girlfriends beauty tips. I know this probably sounds totally random and silly. But I wanted to share because I think it shows that when you are genuine and love what you do and share that love and yourself with others, you end up affecting them in ways that are indirect and non-obvious and may have nothing to do with “shallow” appearances. Thank you so much for that! Voting religiously and I totally think you should and will win. You’ve already won our gratitude and love.

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 6:28 pm

    i concur with her sweet words Cara! i don’t believe in coincidence and i believe you have sole handily attracted all the sweet words b/c that is what you put out, what you project out. i heard that when you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out. you just let your love squeeze on out LOL i was beginning to think that age had finally “got me” at 31. i don’t know where bags & dark circles snuck up on me & on top of that, concealer seemed to only accentuate what i was trying to mask! this was something that i NEVER dealt with before! on top of that, i kept spending more and more money on products that weren’t working! i was able to cut corners in other budget aspects of my life, i knew there had to be the same principle when it came to makeup too. AND THEN…. somehow, i was poking around on the internet and came across your blog titled, “BAGGAGE.” i tried the trick the next day along with another makeup tutorial and the next day my co-worker’s were complimenting me left and right, “hey! you look great!!”, “something looks different? keep it up girl!”, etc. that same night, i also read your hair tutorial on tips to grow your hair and i was actually ALREADY doing all but one of the tips you shared! i’ve also been questioned by co-workers on how i got my hair to grow so fast and i shared the same tips with them. now, when they compliment my makeup, i lead them to your site. i’ve also written down your makeup drug store lists and will occasionally ‘splurge’ on my periodic trips to walmart LOL most of all, i’ve learned that it was ‘stupid’ of me to think that ‘it was downhill from here’. you’ve sparked excitement in minimalism, inspiration, creativity, and self acceptance. it is just lovely what you do because it clearly comes from that big heart of yours. mahalo, i’m off to vote for you again!! =)

    • Reply
      May 2, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      :). love your story erika and couldn’t agree more (at 31 i know exactly what you mean… “where did these fine lines come from? and why is this $50 eye cream not working at all?”). but have you seen her mom’s makeover? it’s crazy amazing and so loving, i’m pretty sure i got teary:

      I already got the Porefessional for my mommy :).

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    how do i find the mommy makeup post???

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:11 pm

    I was always skeptical of wanting a career doing hair and make up as well. Now that I’ve grown older I’ve realized that it’s just what I love most and what comes naturally to me and what I like to think I’m somewhat gifted at so I should just run free with it and believe and I’m sure good things will come my way.

    On a side note I want you to know finding your blog has inspired me. I have faced many trials and tribulations in the past year to include the passing of my mom… in the past few months I’ve gotten better and I’ve started blogging myself. I am becoming happier every day and really finding out the person I want to be. So thank you for being you and being so beautiful and sharing your blessings and gifts with this world to inspire us all. Any advice you’d have to the time to give me as a fresh face in the beauty blogging world I’d love to pick your brain!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:36 pm

    Cara, you should check out this video if you haven’t seen it floating around already. Talk about bringing tears to your eyes and celebrating beauty!

  • Reply
    May 2, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I also Loooove your blog and love what Kim of person you seem to be. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us!
    I do have a question… I have searched all over your blog to see what type of liquid foundation you recommend and I can’t seem to find it. Can you please respond to what your overall favorite foundation is? Thank you!

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    May 3, 2013 at 6:43 am

    This is her foundation post: Nars sheer glow was her newest fave: But then she got Armani Luminous Silk Foundation for her birthday, so we are staying tuned to see if it is all that and a bag of chips:

    • Reply
      May 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

      Thanks for the round up Viola. I thought her skin in the Rosie post looked like a million bucks (not that she doesn’t have great skin anyway). Unfortunately, that’s abt how much that foundation costs :(.

  • Reply
    May 3, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Thank you!

  • Reply
    Kate Luna
    May 4, 2013 at 12:21 am

    Hi Cara! I sent you an email a few weeks ago, from [email protected] “inspired fan.” I’d love to send my more and thank you notes as well if you give me your mailing address! You’re blog is actually what inspired me to begin my own beauty blog. 🙂 It will be launching next week! And when it does, I’d be honored if you take a look. 🙂 And oh! My family is moving to the LA area in July. I definitely plan on doing some traveling in the west since I’ve always just been a Carolina Girl! If I make it out to Las Vegas, I would sacrifice myself to a Makeover Monday. I’d love to see a more experienced MUA in action! Anyway, thanks for saying hi in my previous email. It meant a lot to me. 🙂 Take care.

  • Reply
    May 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Cara – Your blog is awesome and the amount of people you’ve touched, the ripple effect it creates, is hard to imagine. All that positive energy will come back to you, as you already know. I also have been inspired by your tutorials and have never felt as good about myself thanks to your makeup tips and tricks. You do a great job, and are so very “relateable”. While your blogs are filled with fabulous makeup artistry, I think the heart of your message resides with the beauty inside that you exude. Not everyone can fearlessly show make-up free videos and pictures of themselves out for everyone to review! But, you do…and it makes the rest of us feel better when we see our naked faces in the mirror too. This message is one that you have continued to push….I hope you are able to incorporate it into the Allure challenge in some way, as I think this is the key to your authentic message. Good Luck and thank you again for sharing your gifts!

  • Reply
    May 4, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    You are so sweet! It seems we have a few things in common. I went to beauty school during my senior year of highschool, but after I graduated I decided to not finish what I started at that time(which I now regret). I absolutely LOVE doing makeup and hair for people, but like you, I was wondering if it would be the best choice as a career for the same reasons you mentioned. But now I am 25, married, and have two little boys, and I can’t wait to get back to beauty school and start my career. I have tried thinking of things I could do to make a difference in other people’s lives with this job. ANYWAY, I just wanted to let you know how much you inspire me with your blogs and videos and your words. I can’t tell you how excited I was when I came across you on pinterest! You are amazing! You are making a huge difference! Keep it up! I so admire what you do! Oh, and by the way, the mommy makeup tutorial rocks! Just what I needed! Thanks, Cara <3

  • Reply
    May 18, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Just discovered your blog (via besotted I think). Clearly from all the comments you are already making a difference in many people’s lives. I was thinking though that if you wanted to amplify that periodically, you might want to volunteer your services at a women’s shelter or one of the nonprofits that help women find jobs (I’ve donated suits to some of those and how great would it be to offer them a makeover too). The women in those places have been beaten down by life so much they often lack self confidence. Your skills could really give them a self esteem boost. And since you use drug store cosmetics they could even afford to keep it up. Just a thought

  • Reply
    May 22, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Good for you girl!

  • Reply
    May 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Makeup can be shallow, it depends on how you see/use it. When I was younger it was definitely pure shallowness (that’s just my case, I’m not saying that all young girls use makeup for shallow purposes). Today its different. After spending my 30s with not makeup at all, I’m relearning to use it and to take care of myself so I feel great for my own pleasure, so I feel confident to go somewhere, so I feel not depressed. It is really uplifting! I found your blog through Allure’s website and I’ve already learnt a lot. THANK YOU!!! And cheers from Brazil… 😉

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