Morning Skincare Routine


Welcome back everyone!  Today I want to bring you through my morning skincare routine.  We are definitely not reinventing the wheel or doing anything groundbreaking here, because I’m pretty sure every single one of us just wants to help our skin in the shortest amount of time (I am also reasonably confident that no one has time to waste in the morning).  My morning skin care routine has to be something I can easily do at the gym with a dozen other women in under three minutes (because I really tend to zone out in the shower pre-coffee and lose track of time).  Anything more than the basics gets saved for my nighttime routine (check back on Friday to see that one!)


First up, I start with my cleanser and moisturizer.  Lately I have been using Pure Plush and Bare Haven.  I’ll be 100% honest with you guys, I do not love these ones as much as I loved the old bareMinerals cleanser and moisturizer.  That gentle exfoliating cleanser is what got me into a good skin routine because the results were just impossible to ignore.  These ones have been doing the job fine, so I don’t have any complaints, they’re just not as good.


Next up, I go to my neck and eye cream.  I am super self conscious about my tech neck and under eye bags, so I hit those areas two times a day.  Without wanting to drop a ton of money on designer creams, I’ve been experimenting with all different kinds lately.  Currently I’m using the L’Oréal RevitaLift Face & Neck Day Cream and am pretty happy with the firmness I’ve been seeing and the amazing price point!  For my eyes I’ve been using Clinique’s Pep-Start Eye Cream. It’s great for de-puffing my tired eyes, but absorbs quickly so it doesn’t irritate my eyeballs or club up underneath my makeup.


Lastly a few times per week I use Sara Happ’s The Lip Scrub to exfoliate and get rid of that dead skin.  Especially in the winter, because dark lipstick does not agree with chapped lips.  After I’ll usually swipe on some of The Lip Slip to start my day off with a lip balm, but they are currently backordered and I’m all out!


If there are any products you love to use in your morning routine and think I should try let me know about them in the comments!  Hope you all have a wonderful day!

xo, C

How To Shop For Makeup


The title of this post changed quite a few times as I was writing it.  “Who’s this chick that thinks she has any authority on how I buy my makeup??”  If there’s one thing I’m incredibly good at, it’s getting the most value while shopping.  Does this mean my friends make fun of me for having coupon codes at the ready?  Absolutely.  Does it mean B rolls his eyes every time I make him go into an extra store because they have 100 kicks that day?  You betcha.  But stretching my dollars means more clothes in my closet so no shame.  This post is going to be a long one based solely on the depth of information I have to share with you, so definitely go grab a snack before diving in.

Makeup is one of those things seems to never be on sale.  It scarcely goes out of style and if they can charge full price for it, why not?  So my number one trick for affording the makeup that I want is maximizing the point systems to my benefit.  I usually only voice my positive opinions on this blog and just choose to omit the more negative ones, but I’m going to break it down for you guys and give you my real opinion so you can hopefully maximize your own hard earned cash too.

Stop Number One: Ulta Beauty.  Ulta’s point system is the. best. in the business you guys.  You get points for everything you buy, and you can redeem them on absolutely anything.  Zero exclusions.  You can redeem your points at any value, so no waiting to spend $1000 to earn a measly $20 reward.  Since they also hand out coupons like it’s going out of style, I buy 100% of my drugstore beauty needs from Ulta.  That’s everything from Burt’s Bees and Conair to NYX and OPI.  If it can be found at Ulta, you can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be buying it there.  For starters, there’s the coupon situation, but for seconds this helps me earn points towards the prestige brands.

Prestige brands, while not included in the regular coupons, frequently have other deals going on inside Ulta.  Whether it’s $10 off a bareMinerals purchase or 5x points on an Urban Decay purchase, I’ve found that patience in waiting for these deals always pans out in my favor.  In November I went on a huge Ulta shopping spree for free because I had $175 in points saved up.  That included everything from an Anastasia Beverly Hills palette to Buxom lipgloss and Urban Decay Naked foundation.  It was a good day.


Stop Number Two: Nordstrom.  While Nordstrom’s point system is not as lucrative as Ulta’s, I do spend a lot of money there on clothes so it makes sense to also use my Nordstrom card benefits towards makeup purchases.  If Ulta doesn’t carry a brand, I go straight to Nordstrom.  Brands like MAC and Bobbi Brown are frequent Nordstrom purchases for me.  They also have my favorite Sigma Beauty brushes for powder foundation and liquid foundation.  Despite the fact that I think their price points are perfect for the quality makeup you’re getting, I also love the specialized training the girls at their respective makeup counters have.  Combining the quality and knowledge with a decent points system makes these a solid double in my book.  Granted it seems to take forever for me to get a Nordstrom Note (return on investment), but it’s the best option available for sure.


(It’s important to tell you guys that I used to buy all of my NARS products at Nordstrom before they were carried at Ulta!  Ulta doesn’t have the full line yet, so I’ve still been buying the classic NARS lipstick and lip glosses at Nordstrom, but anything that Ulta carries will always be bought at Ulta!)

(Also worth noting is MAC’s Back to MAC recycling program.  You can return six empty MAC products to your MAC counter or store, and receive a free MAC lipstick as a thanks for your commitment to the environment!)


Stop Number Three: Sephora.  I know I know.  I love Sephora as much as the next girl.  But if you can get past their sleek black and white interior and the really good lighting, their rewards program is kind of garbage.  You can spend tons of money at that store and you’re still only able to redeem it on things that they say you can.  And even then, more often than not they’re only sample size products.  Don’t get me wrong, I have gotten some really great samples from them, like Urban Decay eyeshadow primer or a Sunday Riley cream I was dying to try but afraid to drop $65 on.  But when I know there’s so much more return on my investment I could be getting, it’s really hard to justify spending my money at the place with the better bag.  For this reason, I usually only buy things at Sephora that can’t be found at Ulta or Nordstrom, i.e. Bite Beauty, Marc Jacobs, or Kat Von D.  They also tend to have much, much more in the skincare department, so masks and face serums are frequent Sephora purchases for me.  In addition, Sephora’s service is 1000x better than Ulta’s, so if I really need advice on a new contour color or new facial oil, I will definitely go to Sephora and just bite the bullet on the rewards points because it’s nearly impossible to get the same friendliness or knowledge at Ulta.  But when I’m going to replace the same concealer I always use… I just have to go through the chain of command.


Moving into a slightly more shopping-neutral territory, I use ebates and shopkick religiously in my shopping escapades.  Most of my actual purchasing is done online, which you would never know if you asked B how frequently we go to the mall (about once per week).  While I love the experience of seeing things in person and am a total mall rat, I’ve found you can really maximize the bang for your buck by doing your actual purchasing online.  First step is I can add and take away things from my cart without the pressure of a sales person breathing down my neck.  I add things, think about them for a day or two, and then can decide whether or not I really need/want it without the pressure of deciding in 37 seconds (nothing flares up my indecision quite like the pressure of time). After I’ve added everything to my cart, I can wait a day or two to see if it goes on sale (this is particularly true with GAP brands.  They have always have 25-40% off, so paying full price there is just straight silly).

The other part of online shopping that gets me the most cash back in my pocket is ebates.  Since I do so much online shopping, it would be just straight silly to not use ebates.  Even if you don’t do that much online shopping, anything is better than nothing.  All you have to do is go to the ebates website, find the store you want to shop at, and then click through their link.  Then once a quarter, they will send you a Big Fat Check in the mail with all of your cashback.  Yes, seriously.  It really is that easy.  Click here to get an extra $10 when you sign up!  Last time I used my check to help ease some of the holiday season bills, but I’m thinking I might use February’s to splurge on some face masks or Too Faced’s Peach line.  My nose says buy the delicious smelling makeup, but my brain says face masks.  Skin first, makeup second.

Thank you all so much for reading!  I hope this is helpful as you go about building those stellar makeup collections!

xo, C

Sonia Kashuk

As I mentioned in a recent post, Target is my ultimate weakness.  I love that I can find clothing, groceries, food, and office supplies all in the same place.  I’ve recently begun to find more and more products in the beauty department that I love as well- and many of them work just as well (if not better) than their expensive counterparts.

Sonia Kashuk Makeup Brushes Sonia Kashuk Eyebrow Brush Sonia Kashuk Breast Cancer Eyebrow and Lashes Set Sonia Kashuk Kabuki Brush

My introduction to Sonia Kashuk’s affordable beauty line began last Christmas when my sister gave me this dreamy Gatsby-inspired brush set.  I totally fell in love with it, not only because it’s visually appealing, but also because the brushes are so soft and effective.  This particular one is sold out, but I love this year’s gold holiday set, the Istanbul-inspired Grand Bazaar set and this travel brush set.  You can also shop all the Sonia Kashuk brushes a la carte here– I love the black and white ones!

After having so much success with the brush set, I started to experiment with more of Sonia Kashuk’s tools.  As a sucker for pretty packaging, I love the pretty pink detail of the Breast Cancer eyelash kit I bought. Sadly it has since become unavailable online, but the good news is that the world class eyelash curler and tweezers are still available!

I love the quality of all my Sonia Kashuk tools, and the best part is that none of them break the bank, while feeling like a total indulgence.  True to the brand’s motto, luxury doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure!

These beautifully attentive and detailed brush sets make a perfect gift for yourself or any beauty lover this holiday season- and there really is a set for everyone!  The gold ones are festive and glamorous year round, plaid makes a perfect preppy present, pink is always a feminine favorite, and the ombré is totally on trend for your favorite fashionista!

What are your favorite makeup brushes?  Have you ever tried any of Sonia Kashuk’s before?  Sound off in the comments below!

xo, Caitlin

Quarter Life Skin Crisis

Quarter Life Skin Crisis - The Sol Compass

Quarter Life Crises are all too real among millennials (sorry for using so many buzzwords in such a short sentence).  With so many factors stressing us out from every direction, silly things like ‘sleep’ tend to get pushed to the back burner.  Luckily for us, Origins realized that the twenty-somethings needed a skincare line directed specifically towards our stressed out, tired, and dull skin.

I’m not easily persuaded away from my bareMinerals cleanser and moisturizer duo, so I chose to try out two products that I wasn’t using at all: the United State balancing tonic and the Original Skin renewal serum.


I never thought I needed a balancing tonic until this summer, when being outside and active for long periods of time started to clog up my pores.  This balancing tonic really helped clear up my face and reduce some of the shine, while removing the oils and dirt that back up throughout the day.  I anticipate it will dry out my combination skin a bit too much during the colder months, but it has worked fantastically for me so far this summer!

Renewal serum

The renewal serum is such a game changer for tired skin.  It really brings the glow right back to stressed out skin.  I found that, even on weeks where I had no sleep, my skin was bright and fresh.  My pores have been smaller and my skin has been firmer ever since I started implementing this serum into my ritual.  My initial reaction was that $40 was too much to spend on a product I didn’t really need, but I’m so glad I did.  The serum lasts for a while (I haven’t run out yet!) and really does bring my skin to a whole new level.
The last product I was able to try was the GinZing eye cream, thanks to a free sample that came with my order!  My tired eyes came right back to life after using it, the dark circles faded and the puffiness visibly decreased.  While definitely effective, the GinZing eye cream was a little bit thicker than some others I’ve tried, which makes me a little hesitant to go out and purchase it again, because I wasn’t crazy about the feeling of heavy cream on my eyelids as I was trying to unwind and get ready for bed.  On the other hand, it was unquestionably effective and if you have less tactile issues than I do I would certainly recommend trying it out!

Since I had so much success with Origins Quarter Life Skin Crisis products, I have been eyeing some others to try in the future!  This cooling roll on, face mask, and night oil are high on my wishlist right now!

Have any of you used Origins before? I would love to hear your experience in the comments below!

Thanks for reading!
xo, Caitlin


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Cinderella has been on my mind consistently lately with the new live-action movie just released this weekend!  My younger brother was in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella this past weekend, and I went to see the Disney movie for a fun girls’ night last night with my mom and sister!  The entire movie was absolutely transcendent, from the set and screenplay to casting and acting, but I had a particular soft spot for the breathtaking costumes and majestic makeup!  With so much Cinderella on my brain, I’ve been noticing shades of pale blue everywhere I go!  It’s definitely been popping up a lot this spring, so I felt inspired to whip out this peasant blouse from Francesca’s that I’ve had for about two years now!  The color is right on trend with pastels for this spring, and perfect to wear to the movie tonight!

Outfit Details- Blouse: Francesca’s | Jeans: Lucky Brand | Earrings: Bauble Bar | Purse: Urban Outfitters | Boots: Urban Outfitters

I also love this bucket bagbauble necklace, striped skirt, scalloped dress, pleated skirt, lace top, leather pencil skirt, and lace sheath dress!

As a certifiable Lauren Conrad fanatic, I’m personally obligated to tell you how much I adore her Cinderella collection for Kohl’s.  The tulle skirt and feminine dresses (in pale blue hues, of course!) are just to die for.

In other Cinderella-related news, you are probably all too aware of the fact that MAC released their own take on “the most iconic Disney princess of all”- a limited edition Cinderella colour collection!  It comes in the prettiest pearlized lavender blue packaging and gold lined boxes! The magical and sparkling collection has sold out pretty much everywhere- I called about a dozen MAC/Macy’s stores trying to hunt down the “Royal Ball” lipstick with no success.  However I was able to snag the other lipstick “Free as a Butterfly“, a lipglass “Happily Ever After“, and a gel liner “Little Black Bow“.  I walked into the store not even thinking about the liner, as I had my mind dead set on the lipstick, but the saleswoman convinced me to try it on and I fell in love with it on the spot!  I have always shied away from liquid and gel liners in the past, but this one has convinced me to give more of them a try in the future!  MAC’s “Fluidline” can even double as an eyeshadow just by switching up your brush, which creates a really cool monochrome look.  The “Free as a Butterfly” lipstick was much lighter than I’m used to wearing, but with some persuasion (and a strategic lip liner pencil) I think we managed to create a really cool look with just the right amount of princess shimmer on top!

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Have a wonderful weekend!

xo, Caitlin



Images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10


Lately I have been inspired by any and everything soft and romantic.  For starters, I’ve been listening to Love Me Like You Do by Ellie Goulding for about two straight weeks and can’t get enough of it (definitely check out the full Fifty Shades of Grey Soundtrack if you have a spare minute!)

In my quest for hair inspiration, I fell in love with Cara Delevingne’s elegant low french twist and Emma Watson’s chic ponytail, both of which would look perfectly romantic paired with the Naked3 Palette.

I’ve been binge-watching Scandal lately, and feeling so inspired by Olivia Pope’s flawless professional wardrobe.  When it comes to workwear, I always gravitate towards skirts and dresses, which are just not practical below thirty degrees.  Olivia’s detailed jackets and textured layers in delicate fabrics and silhouettes make wearing work pants as feminine and powerful as possible.

Wanderlust stricken as I am at the moment, I am completely enamored with the gorgeous canals of Venice and Julia’s Tuscany post. They both look like the perfect backdrop for any and everything soft, romantic, and feminine; and hopefully future vacation spots for me!


What has been inspiring you lately? Please share them with me in the comments!

xo, C

Bargain Beauty Buys

It is so easy to overspend on beauty and wellness products.  Once I find something that works, I can be hesitant (nay, petrified) to try something new- especially if that something doesn’t come from a highly esteemed company.  Little by little, through some brave trial moments and lots of references through friends, I have been able to replace a large amount of my overpriced designer products for drugstore equivalents, which has been such a relief on my wallet and hasn’t had any negative effects on my hair or skin yet!


My number one money saver is definitely my shampoo and conditioner.  I have a lot of very long hair, so I go through hair products at an alarming rate.  I always get my Pantene shampoo and conditioner at Target.  I adore the way it makes my hair look, feel, and smell!  They have a great selection of hair types and treatments, I personally use the Smooth + Sleek line!


If you haven’t heard of YES TO yet, then you are missing out big time.  YES TO is a remarkable beauty product line for an abundance of reasons.  1) They don’t use any harsh chemicals in their products.  2) All of their products are cruelty free.  3) They consistently give back, donating a portion of every sale towards meals for kids around the globe.  4) They are all affordable! Yipee!  5) They also have a line of products for every different skin type.  Or, if you’re like me, a line of products for every need.  Because why not?

My personal picks: Coconut Protecting Hand and Cuticle Cream (my hands get so dry and cracked during the winter, this is a lifesaver!) Cucumbers Calming Night Cream (the best feeling is waking up and feeling my face after putting this on- so calm and soft!) And the Tomatoes Roller Ball Spot Stick (I don’t have as many full-face breakouts anymore (hooray for turning 23!), but when a pesky zit appears I always zap it with this right away!) Of course, different products work for different people and their various needs, so definitely check out the full line online here or the next time you’re in a Target store!


I know everyone is familiar with Essie, but you may not be as familiar with their Apricot Cuticle Oil.  It’s 100% a must have.  It keeps your cuticles soft, strong, and under control without ever having to set foot in a nail salon!  Seriously.  If you’ve ever worried about your cuticles before, pick this up.


I have a bottle of this Neutrogena hand cream in my purse at all times.  All times!  It is a miracle wrapped in a $4 bottle and I’m not even exaggerating.  I never thought I would love a Neutrogena product this much, but I really do.  (Only available in Target stores, but you can buy it online here).


Makeup brushes can be really ridiculously expensive at conventional makeup stores.  Lucky for us, there is Sonia Kashuk’s brilliant line of affordable brushes at Target!  My amazing sister got me this super jazzy collection for Christmas (sold out online, but I’ve seen them in stores recently!)  Her brushes are so fun and effective that I never feel like I’m using a “bargain brush”.  She also makes great makeup bags, if you’re in the market!


At any given time, I have about five tubes of Burt’s Bees lip balm in use.  One in my purse, one in my car, one at my desk, one next to my bed, and one in my pocket (which has made for some messy laundry loads, for sure!)  Lip balm application is definitely an addiction for me, but I can never stop and Burt’s Bees is by far my favorite every day product.


This last one is a little bit of a cheat, since it’s only 50% a “drugstore” buy, but the two items I use go hand in hand so I feel it would be wrong not to include both of them.  On my nightstand, I have two bottles of lotion.  One of them is Aveeno’s Energizing Body Lotion, and the other is Bath and Body Works Aromatherapy Sleep Body Lotion.  I’m very sensitive to scents, so I usually veer away from scented lotions during the day, as they can mix horribly with natural scents that surround me, but I adore these two products.  I use the Aveeno lotion in the morning to feel energized by the grapefruit and pomegranate scents, and the Bath and Body Works one at night, when the lavender and vanilla lure me into the sweetest and calmest of sleeps.  Admittedly, this is one of my sillier habits; but I stand by its effectiveness and definitely won’t be stopping anytime soon!

With the exception of the Bath and Body Works lotion, I have bought all of these at Target, but most of them are available at a majority of drugstores and grocery stores!  All images are linked back to where I got them from.

Do you have any reliable drugstore beauty products? Let me know! I’m always looking for new ones that come highly recommended!

xo, C