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Spring Beauty essentials challenge

One of my favorite sites to check before ever purchasing anything online is (it’s a site that gathers the current running deals and discounts from retailers all in one place for you) cause if I can get it for less I want to know about it.  So when they challenged me and a few other bloggers to create our own spring essentials kit  for under $150 (and possibly get a $500 gift certificate to Sephora if I were to win!) I was more than happy to join the party!


If you don’t live in the mid west I have good news! IT’S SPRING!!!!!!! If you do….sorry friend…stash this away for a few weeks it will still be good then!
I put together my very favorite things that give me the spark plug I need to fulfill my spring dreams and maybe even get me happy enough about life to consider some spring cleaning…maybe. When seasons and styles change you don’t need to overhaul your whole makeup bag to feel brand new. All it takes is a few key updates and hopefully a couple of multitaskers.
The first from my list is definitely one of those:


Face Spotlight

Once the heat hits I am always looking for ways to wear LESS makeup. Specifically foundation. I love this because while I’m wearing it I’m also improving my skin’s health as well as smoothing out my complexion and adding a little extra glow. Not to mention giving me protection from the sun. While It is a little pricey I always say that if I am going to splurge it’s going to be on the products that sit on my skin all day long.


Sephora Shadow Palette

I don’t always jump on the runways beauty trends because sometimes…beauty really doesn’t seem to be the goal:) Nevertheless, this year I am all about the bright colored lids they were pushing down those catwalks. This love worthy palette has all the brightness you could want. Plus it comes with some more neutral colors in case you’re feeling a little less extravagant.
HOT TIP~ To get the brights looking their brightest on your lids start with a matte white liner and layer the shadow on top.

eyes1 eyes2

Then be sure to frame the bright color with a neutral brown to add some depth to the color and contour your lid.eyes3


Redken Wool Shake

I am OBSESSED with this stuff. And guess what!? They are discontinuing it! Which is why you HAVE to get it before it’s gone.
I spray this into limp lifeless hair and it gives it the perfect amount of body, texture and hold that screams perfect beach waves.
Plus it smells like the cologne  that my first crush wore the night he asked me to dance. Which subsequently transferred on to my shirt…which I then sniffed for days. So… there’s that.


China Glaze in Lotus 

The photo pretty much says it all on this one! It’s nail polish and it’s a very pretty spring color:)


Dior Lip Maximizer

This lip gloss/plumper/collagen loaded goodness has stolen my heart. I love that it leaves my lips feeling luscious and large all day long (well until I eat at least)  and I dig that it’s a perfect pink that I can layer it over anything or just wear it alone. It will be in my bag for well into the Fall.

To check out the rest of the entries and all the other blogger’s spring finds click HERE
The Real Deal by RetailMeNot


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  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 4:58 am

    So pretty! I want to try the bright colors. Where is the white liner from?

  • Reply
    Miss Viola Swamp (@imaqt209421)
    March 24, 2014 at 5:09 am

    Thanks, I love posts like these!

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:29 am

      yay! so glad you love it gorgeous!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 5:20 am

    Cara! Can you please do a quick tutorial on how you use the Redken Wool Shake? I have two bottles but every time I use it my hair gets clumpy and greasy. 🙁 Thanks!

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

      you bet! I’m actually working on a cute curly messy hair do that I was going to use it in!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 5:46 am

    Love this post! However, the link doesn’t work 🙁

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:08 am

      sorry! fixed it!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 6:33 am

    What is the white eyeliner pencil you used? I’ve been looking for one…

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 6:47 am

    These are great. I have the Miracle Skin Transformer for body – and I have trouble with it kind of “peeling” off if that makes any sense. When I can get it to work, it looks great though.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:10 am

      that’s odd, I’e never used the body version but I have used products that peel and it’s not my favorite so I totally know what you mean!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I’d also like to know which white liner you use! I haven’t been able to find one lately that doesn’t have shimmer in it…

  • Reply
    Beth and Beauty
    March 24, 2014 at 8:05 am

    I so enjoyed your tips, I want to try a hair texturizing spray this spring and summer! Thanks for your tip on getting a more vibrant color on your eyelids. I just went to a Nordstrom Beauty Trend Show for 2014 this past weekend. It was my first one ever, I had a blast. If you would like to see it I have a blog post about my experience and lots of pictures. I also have a giveaway going right now. Here is the link to it if you or anyone else is interested: Oh! yeah! I hope some of the things I picked up for spring will get me in the mood to do some spring cleaning too……LOL!! Something needs to…..LOL

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:16 am

      Thanks beth!!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 8:16 am

    I believe the white pencil is NYX in Milk.

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:29 am


  • Reply
    Jenny R
    March 24, 2014 at 9:59 am

    So the Sarah McNamara spotlight is new and only in one color? I can’t find any reviews about it online anywhere. But it blends well? I get nervous about only one shade. Now do you put primer under that our not? Fit the price nothing else compares to it?

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:28 am

      It is very light coverage I would say it just evens out the skin tone slightly and adds glow, so it does blend very well but if you are looking for much by way of coverage I would say skip it! For me it’s perfect for really low maintenance days when you want to look pretty but not done up:)

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 10:11 am

    La-la-love all of this!! Can’t wait to try the texturizer and lip plumper. Hello, Spring! <3

    • Reply
      March 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

      you will love them !

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Love this post – can’t wait to try these all! x

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 1:10 pm

    Great list!! May need to add some of these to my wish list!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 2:06 pm

    I love purple and I am SO ready for Spring!

  • Reply
    Liz Tea Bee (@LizzTeaBee)
    March 24, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    It’s not spring in the northeast, either. I’m so ready for spring. I’d love to see a tutorial those bright eyeshadows!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Great tips, can’t wait to go to the store!!!

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 7:46 pm

    Tried the Skin Miracle in Ulta the other day and it was GREAT!!
    xox Logan

  • Reply
    March 24, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    It’s definitely spring where I am and these tips are great!! 🙂 I’m going to try and hunt down the Skin Miracle right now.

    – Sarah

  • Reply
    March 25, 2014 at 8:11 am

    I need to try that Redken product! I can still “smell” the scent my first crush used to wear.

  • Reply
    March 25, 2014 at 11:49 am

    I really love the Miracle Skin Transformer and was sad when Sephora stopped carrying it. Then I found it at Costco a few weeks ago for WAY cheaper! (It’s not the ‘Spotlight’ version though) I live in southern california so this might not apply to most people, but it’s definitely worth a look if you want to find it cheaper. And I agree – it’s good for days that you want to go light on the foundation. If you put too much on it can ‘roll’ or kind of clump up because it has silicone. It also makes a great primer and has SPF. I often use it under my regular foundation for times I want a flawless face.

  • Reply
    Lisa Heiner
    March 25, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Your eyebrows look phenom Cara! Do you have them managed? Or do you shape them yourself?

  • Reply
    March 26, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Have been reading your blog for a while now thanks to Pinterest! I’ve learned so much and love your product recommendations…especially the drugstore versions :). I’ve had great luck with most but still working on the HAC :). Can you maybe do a summary of products you have recommended? Especially since the medium HAC pack is not available yet. Do you still recommend the Bahama bronzer or the NYC taupe shadow for HAC? Thanks for helping us feel beautiful!!

  • Reply
    May 1, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Have you come up with any good alternative to the Redken Wool Shake? I have been a long time fan but don’t know what to use now that they’ve discontinued it. 🙁

    • Reply
      May 19, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      I would like to find a comparable product to wool shake as well! Im going crazy without it. =(

    • Reply
      November 26, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Any updates on a good alternative? Mine is almost out and I’m so sad! Has anyone tried “aerate 08 all-over bodifying cream-mousse”? (Redken’s recommended replacement…)

      • Reply
        Samantha Wojo
        January 1, 2015 at 6:01 pm

        ive tried the bodifying cream mousse, it sucks a big one in comparison. Too much leaves my hair with a greasy spot in the roots, seems like the product does next to nothing for me except collect dust.

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