champagne & black coffee

A lifestyle and fashion blog offering personal style & beauty tips, inspiration, and glimpses into my everyday life.

Category: Beauty

Weekly Roundup 5.1.16: What I Wore

This week’s roundup, linked where possible:

This blush colored saddle bag is a great under $35 style hack imitating some of the really higher end looks right now like this Chole’ purse.  And if you’re looking for a really versatile eye palette for spring/summer I urge you to go check out the latest Naked palette from Urban Decay Cosmetics – the Naked Smoky melds the best of both neutral and smoky worlds! (plus of course they still have Nakeds 1, 2 and 3)

Shoes – Enzo Angiolini @ DSW // Purse – Old Navy // Palette – Urban Decay Naked Smoky // Lip Gloss – ULTA Butter Balm in Fiona // Jeans – Michael Kors (last season)


This pencil skirt is my personal style challenge for the week – I’ve never owned a pencil skirt that wasn’t boring ol’ black or grey, and have never had ANYTHING that hit below the knee that wasn’t a maxi.  Do yourself a favor and go to your closest Target and try on this skirt!!  Two different floral prints by WhoWhatWear for under $28 each.  So solid.


Skirt – WhoWhatWear for Target (currently Buy 1, Get 1 50% off) // Shoes – Nine West (old)  Go there now and search “peplum”.  You’ll find this top on clearance for just $12.50!, along with quite a few other great steals!


Shirt – Old Navy (clearance, just $12.50) // Jeans – Loft // Sandals – Frye (last season)


I’ve had my eye on these yellow eyelet shorts for about a month.  They can be found at Belk, but the deal I got was apparently in store only.  These guys were on the clearance rack for an additional 50% off, dropping the price to under $10.  They’re still $42 + 40% off online, so stop by your local Belk (if you’re in the South!)


Shorts – Crown & Ivy @ Belk (on clearance in store only for $9.99) // Shoes – Me Too @ TJMaxx / Tee and necklace – Target (currently Buy 2, Get 1 Free jewelry)


I can’t say enough about the Le Tote style service.  I’ve been a loyal customer for almost 1 year now and it seems like their selection and style variety expands weekly.  If you want to try them out for free for a month, send me your first and last name + email.  I have 1 free tote left I can “give” to a friend.  (no strings, and I do not personally benefit from it).  It’s a win/win!


Dress – Chelsea & Theodore from LeTote // Necklace – Target // Not shown:  Shoes – Katie & Kelly

Weekly Roundup: What I Wore

This week’s roundup, linked where possible:

Shirt – Target // Jeans – Target // Shoes – Urban Outfitters // Necklace – Target
Here is a similar shirt and here is a similar pair of shoes since they are no longer available.

Shirt – Anthropologie // Jeans – Loft // Shoes – Rocket Dog (old)

Shirt – Loft // Necklace – LeTote  // Shoes – Clarks // Lipstick – NARS Heat Wave
Here is a similar shirt.

Shoes – Cole Haan // Jeans – Target // Shirt – Nordstrom

Dress – Anthropologie // Shoes – Seychelles (last season)


My Top 6 Beauty Essentials You Should Try


I’ve mentioned before that my beauty routine is usually pretty simple and generally nets a fairly natural look.   I’ve started (just barely) to branch out and add more color and spunk to my everyday, but I still have some basics that I absolutely LOVE.  For years I was a serial drug-store skincare shopper – and still am for some products – but over the last few years I’ve really started to research the best options online and in magazines and ask for advice in stores like Ulta and Sephora.  Starting to see some signs of aging will do that to a person! 🙂

I have a ton of different products I use often and absolutely love, but I’m going to boil it down to my current top 6 favorites and why.  Enjoy!

Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser ($8.99) – you can find this one just about anywhere, even in a grocery store.  I love this cleanser because it is super gentle on your skin but it’s strong enough to remove all excess oil, dirt and makeup.  It doesn’t dry my skin out and is hypoallergenic, soap free and dye free.  It’s very well-rated on any site you visit online.  I have one of these in my shower and one by the sink!

Benefit Roller Lash Mascara ($24) – This mascara is awesome!  I actually purchased it for the first time in an airport at one of those self-serve kiosks when I forgot my mascara.  Little did I know it was one of the most-high rated mascaras out there.  You don’t even need an eyelash curler if you have long lashes like mine.  The formula actually shrinks as it dries, causing your lashes to lift, curl and hold.  It also dries really quickly, which I personally love because I am notorious for blinking and smudging my upper eye before mascaras dry.  If you don’t love your current mascara or are a serial drugstore makeup buyer like I used to be years ago – make this your first upgrade!!

Benefit High Beam Liquid Highlighter ($26) – This is a fairly recent purchase for me.  I really like the dewy, glowing look that some women seem to have (in real life and in photos), so I had been reading up on different face/cheek highlighters for awhile.  The whole dramatic contouring thing just isn’t for me, but the highlighting option sounded good.  I thought I had decided on a pressed cream powder highlighter (Becca x Jaclyn Hill Shimmering Skin Perfector), but after talking to an in-store beauty consultant I ended up going with the liquid product from Benefit.  The selling point for me was that the application of the Benefit liquid happens BEFORE foundation/concealer/powder and shines through in a more natural format, vs the powder highlighter that is applied last and typically has a more shimmery/glittery look vs a glow.  The other part is that a liquid cannot crack, the powder can – this is important for me with all of the travel I do for work.  Now.  I’m not knocking that option (neither are the 3,000 people who have collectively rated it a 4.6 out of 5 stars on, and in fact may eventually purchase it anyway, but I really love the product I did buy.  Here is a mini version for just $9.99.

Living Proof Dry Shampoo ($22, 4oz) – Let me start by saying that I could not and would not survive life while not looking like a hobo without dry shampoo.  As a baby/toddler mom who sometimes extends myself just a little too far, I find myself rushing to get ready and being short on time quite often.  Dry shampoo is a life saver for me!!  I swear I think I’ve tried almost every dry shampoo on the market and so far exactly NONE of the spray options have worked for me.  Many of them even make my hair look greasier – how is that even possible?!  My go-to (and only dry shampoo that has ever worked for me) for years has been Oscar Blandi’s ($21) powder formula.  I always sing this product’s praises, still do.  But the convenience factor and application format of a spray is just so much simpler.  And on 2 occasions in the last 2 years, the Oscar Blandi (powder only) has been out of stock indefinitely at every store on every site period.  It’s a manufacturer’s or ingredient supplier’s issue…but it sucks when something you NEED is nowhere to be found.  Ok. Living Proof.  I was turned on to this option from an article on  That link will supply you with all the dirty details on how it works…I can just promise you that IT DOES. [Sidebar:  The Oscar Blandi link will take you to  Any time I find a product that I will consistently purchase, I buy it there if I they have the brand.  They almost always have a 20 or 30% off sale or something similar + free shipping]

philosophy anti-wrinkle miracle worker eye ($68) – The first thing you’ll notice about this one is the price tag.  Yea, so did I.  But when you’re starting to notice some additional lines and wrinkles on your face, especially around the eyes, and you are only open to skin care regimens (versus surgery or botox, etc), then you want to find out what the best products are and try them out.  At least I did.  After reading TONS of reviews online about a multitude of products, I settled in on this one.   Hundreds and thousands of people were saying that the product did what it claimed:  reduces fine lines/wrinkles around the eye as well as dramatically improving the look of discoloration and dark circles.  I bought this product about 4 months ago and I have become a HUGE fan.  I’m still on my initial tube, although I’m getting towards the end of it.  (do the math and you’re looking at around $15 a month, maybe less)  I can see a big difference in my skin and have received compliments from close friends/family members as well.  I bought the Renewed Hope In a Jar ($47, 2oz) to go along with it and love it as well, although I’ve recently upgraded to the same formula with an added SPF30 for when my jar runs out.

IT Cosmetics CC Cream with SPF50 ($38) – This is another recent purchase.  I was looking for a good product to provide better coverage for dark under eye circles.  I use bareMinerals loose mineral powder concealer and foundation (I’ve never used a liquid foundation – assumed it wouldn’t work well with all my peach fuzz!), so on my most recent trip to Ulta, was looking at their Well-Rested CC Eye Primer.  I was approached by the bareMinerals beauty consultant and told her what I was looking for, asking about her recommendation between the CC Eye Primer or one of the similar options with color added.  She is the one who actually recommended the IT Cosmetics option and now I understand why.  This stuff is fantastic – hides my dark circles, doesn’t crease or crack, and requires very little liquid so it should last for a very long time.   Plus SPF50!  This is the perfect product for anyone looking for a non-cakey, natural way to conceal those dark circles we all have from time to time (or if you’re me) 🙂

Challenge Your Comfort Zone!!

Part of the reason I started this blog, as well as my champagneandblackcoffee Instagram account, was to motivate myself to step outside of the lazy little style box I had created over time.  I wanted to stop falling back on the standard excuses as to why I don’t make time for me or put effort into the way I look and present myself every day.  // I’m super busy. I’m a Mom.  Things are different now. I have other priorities.  I need sleep.  I’m not trying to impress anyone anyway. //  I have a way of always defaulting to my handful of “favorite” outfits and comfort-first shoes (meaning, the ones I always grabbed in a hurry because, They’ll do.) and naturally find reasons to rationalize wearing yoga pants and tights for any and every occasion… Not that there’s anything wrong with any of those things. 🙂  But for me it’s bigger than these little superficial gripes about myself.  For me it’s more about loving myself as I am, taking style risks and feeling confident about them, and getting out of the life slump I didn’t even really know I was in at first.  I needed to create a spark and this is my version of it.

In publicizing and socializing my personal style choices and reasons behind them, I am, in a way, holding myself accountable for getting up and getting dressed every day, not just putting on some clothes and rushing out the door.  I’m motivating myself to plan and create and try new things while still staying true to my personal style and what I’m attracted to in others.  I’m creating an opportunity for myself to get out of my own head and live outside of this indifferent (i.e. miserable and critical) little box I live in some days.  Fashion and makeup and hair – all of those things are very surface and superficial, I know that.  But they can affect deeper components of your life and your well-being and even relationships.  Think about it:  If you’ve spent a long, lazy (amazing!) weekend lounging around in your yoga pants and a big t-shirt, not showering and doing absolutely nothing, but then you get up Monday morning and put on a really cute outfit and fix yourself up, do you not feel AMAZING?  Every time I do this I wonder why I didn’t pull myself together sooner.  I wonder what I could’ve accomplished instead of nothing!

I can tell you that after about 3 weeks of this new — accountability, we’ll call it — I love it.  Not only do I feel more confident in myself, I’m also reading about different topics and following all sorts of interesting real bloggers. 🙂  I’m getting inspiration from all over the place and am working on putting some structure around all the crazy ideas in my head that keep me up at night.  (those ideas are another story for another time!)  I’m digging through all of my boxed up pre-pregnancy clothes and pulling together all sorts of styles from my existing closet, plus I’m making more interesting purchase decisions when I do shop.   It’s a win win win, honestly.

Yesterday, kind of on a whim, I decided I wanted to challenge myself even further.  I decided that I wanted to make sure that I do something each week that is clearly outside of my comfort zone.  It can be a style choice, an activity, anything really, but do something that makes me feel a tad uncomfortable, but in a good way.   A few hours after I made this unspoken decision, I was in the Houston Hobby airport and had about an hour before catching my flight home.  I waltzed right into the MAC Cosmetics store and worked with one of the makeup artists to “find the perfect bold lip color”.  I’m a serial Chapstick user and may even, every once in awhile, wear a pink or nude lip gloss, but rarely anything other than that and definitely never anything BOLD.  So after covering my entire hand in about 15 different colors and trying out 5 or 6 of them, I walked out of there with a bold red lip and a brand new lip color unlike any I’ve ever owned or worn.  And it’s not just hiding in my bag, never to be seen again – I’m wearing it at work today, in real life. 🙂  Go ahead, create a challenge for yourself today.  I think you’ll like the outcome!

MAC Cosmetics Velvetease Lip Pencil in Reddy To Go

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