Hey Wednesday

I'm enlisting David After Dentist to help me with this post. Why? Because when I'm really distracted or busy, I sometimes just don't feel like coming up with my own material, and he's more entertaining to listen to anyway so really, you're welcome for not subjecting you to my chugging-coffee-well-into-the-afternoon vibes today. 

If you're thinking, "Dude, Jessi, that video is so old." Well then, yeah, I mean, I get that.

But there's nothing wrong with getting old. Chevy Chase is doing it. The chia seeds in my cupboard are doing it. Those endless articles about Justin Bieber's legal woes are getting REALLY old, so I really feel like I should get a free pass for this one, guys.

I'm sorry for being MIA lately. I decided to sit the last few plays out because I did a peel and had a really unfortunate breakout as a result.

It wasn't pretty.

But I'm cleared for play again! So again, I'm sorry for the lull, but I'm excited to get back to business.

I told you guys I'd put up a review on the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit so this is my After shot. 

Verdict: Yeah, I love it. 

I've had a lot of people ask me how I like the contour kit, and so if: 

  • You were already interested in it
  • You wanted to know whether it works, and
  • You are okay with spending $40 on it

then, yep. She's a keeper.

And also, in case you didn't know, Sephora and ULTA let you return makeup even if it's used so if I've ever led you astray or if you've ever bought something you weren't totally in love with, get your money back. 


Okay, here's what the ABH Contour Kit does to your face: 


Sculpts, accentuates, and transforms.

And if you need any more convincing of the power of highlighting and contouring, I will refer you to the all-powerful HAC-King: Samer Khouzami.

No idea how to pronounce his name, no idea where he came from, no idea if this magic sorcerer is even mortal, but check out some of these unbelievable transformations.


Samer Khouzami
Samer Khouzami
Samer Khouzami




To the best of my knowledge, yeah, those are real Before-and-Afters. 


If this is your first time HAC-ing your face, don't worry—it's not as violent as it sounds. Here's one of my older posts on it if you'd like to revisit some of the details.

Basically, just use the contour shade in areas you want to recede (particularly under the cheekbones, along the jawline, in your temples, and by your hairline) and highlighter in areas you want to accentuate (particularly on top of your cheekbones and generally anywhere along your T-zone).

Helpful hint: Suck in your cheeks when you're doing your contouring. This will kind of be your guideline for where you should contour under your cheekbones. Also, if you have "parenthesis" around your mouth like I do, only contour until the smile line. If you don't have them, you can draw the line right up to the corners of your mouth if you please. :) 

Oh hey, that's perfect!  You'll need at least two to be able to grip your brushes. I'd advise using two brushes so as not to muddy up the highlighter, but if you only have one, just do your highlighting first and try to clean off the brush before you move to contouring.


Just so you know, about halfway through—actually probably all the way up until the blending step—you're probably going look in the mirror and be like . . . 


Yeah, that'll happen. It's kind of a weird process. Don't get discouraged, though. It takes practice and a whole lotta blending, but it's worth it in the end.

I'd also like to be able to say there's no right or wrong way of doing this, but then you see those "Pinstrosity" pictures on Pinterest where people get it totally wrong, and you're like, yeah, okay we took a wrong turn somewhere.  

But really, HAC-ing IS different for everyone because we all have different bone structures and face shapes. Just stick to the contour-where-I-want-to-recede-and-highlight-what-I-want-to-show-off thing and go from there.


And when you finish and you totally nailed it and you feel like a new woman and confetti is raining down around you, you might think . . .

That would be nice to have perfect lighting following you around for the rest of your life, wouldn't it? But no, that sculpting is vulnerable to soap and water. But hey, rock it till you wash it!


If this is truly the case, then don't panic, but something has gone horribly awry, and it is now out of my control.


In all seriousness, I do love the palette. It comes with three highlighter shades and three contour shades, and since I do a lot of makeup on other women's faces, I need some options and variation in color, but if you're looking for a more cost-effective route, then you can also: 

  • Only buy the refill swatches for $14 each, instead of the whole palette (my favorite highlight shade is Banana and my favorite contour shade is Fawn)
  • Buy the NYX Wonder Stick
  • Or wait until drugstore brands come out with their own little HAC packs because I guarantee every cosmetic brand is in the development stages of one right now. HAC-ing is a pretty new thing, and the cheaper brands tend to let the big wigs test out new ideas before they come out with their cheaper alternatives.


On an unrelated-but-still-somewhat-related note, I decided I'm going to start posting in the mornings before my day job. I absolutely love blogging, but life just gets busy, and I'm finding myself trying to carve out hours where there are none to be able to fit this in, so I'm going to try getting up earlier so I can make this more of a priority. I think it's really important to make time for the things that make you happy.

As some of you know way too well, I'm not a morning person . . . God help us all. 

Have a wonderful Wednesday, guys! See you soon! Xx

Fall Faces

This is going to be a short post because I have to hurry up and get ready for my little brother's first high school football game of his senior year, but I wanted to make good on my promise to post some fall lip trends I've been test-driving.

Just a few fall lippie ideas, as promised :) 

I used MAC's Nightmoth Lip Liner with NYC's 447 Forever Fuchsia lipstick. 

Fuchsia Lippie

On this one, I just used a taupe NYX lip liner in 857 Nude Beige with an Ecco-Bella Botanicals lip crayon (made with certified organic ingredients and containing vitamins E & A) in Malt. 

Taupe Lippie

And with this one, I used MAC's Nightmoth lip liner again (and didn't do a very good job of blending it in) with MAC's Russian Red lipstick. I usually prefer matte lips, but I decide to throw on a dab of gloss to mix it up, so for that, I used Lime Crime's Carousel Lipgloss in Cherry on Top. 

Glossy Red Fall Lip Formula


Have a lovely little Labor Day, crazy cats!

Celeb-Inspired MOTD

So I found this Priscilla-Presley-inspired makeup look on Pinterest awhile back, and I tried to recreate it yesterday evening.

Priscilla Presley-inspired look

I think it was a misfire (it most DEFINITELY was with the hair), but since I claimed on Instagram—what?! You mean you're not following me on Instagram? @prettymuchblog . . . come over to the dark side. We'll be waiting :)—that I would post my recreation on the blog, I feel the obligation to stand by my word. 

I need to preface this by saying I always try to use mostly natural light in my pictures, and as I said, I did this yesterday EVENING, which means:

  • Hello weird shadows and blue undertones
  • Hello crappy photo quality
  • I rushed through the makeup application process so I could still get some natural sunlight
  • and I basically said "screw it" when it came to the hair

I promise my lips were more coral-y orange (corange?) in real life, but like I said, the bluish lighting didn't help my efforts at all. 

Let's just call this a rough draft.

Pretty Much Makeup
Pretty Much Blog


Stay tuned. Far better things lie ahead. :)

Fall Faces

I'm seasonally bipolar right now—literally loving all things north & south, hot & cold, flip flops & knee-high boots.

I'm still kind of in denial that summer 2014 is in the books and on the shelf but simultaneously super excited for fall.

Because this is a rather glorious time of year.

 The leaves are being show-offs, pumpkin spice lattes are so high in public opinion they could run for president, and the weather is the perfect natural habitat for Husker tailgating and small-town football games . . . half autumn, half summer = all AU-SUM. Ya like that? :)

Fall Makeup Ideas


And along with the changing scenery & the discounted bikinis, autumn is ushering in new makeup looks!  

From copper-y lids, bold brows & pale complexions to berry, oxblood & plum pouts.

Oh fall; I'm loving it all.  On that note, here are some makeup looks to get you inspired. 


Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration
Fall Makeup Inspiration


When it comes to plum and oxblood lips, my favorite liner right now is Nightmoth by MAC. It's delicious and it complements so many different lip colors. Here are just a couple of the looks I've done with it.

Both are kind of faded ombre's, but this first one is paired with MAC's Saint Germain lipstick, which is a pale pink with almost lavender undertones, and then . . .  

Pretty Much Lipstick Ideas


. . . here it looks totally different with a nearly-neon coral (Suedeberry Velvetine by Lime Crime)! It also looks kind of different because I was in natural lighting for one and not for the other. 


Pretty Much Lipstick Ideas

PS Tomorrow's Fancy Face Friday will be fall-ishly festive. See you then!

Anastasia Contour Kit

Hello, hot sauce! I'm working on a product review for the Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit right now. So far "all good things, all good things." :) I'm especially liking Banana for highlight (top middle) and Fawn for contour (bottom middle). 

It was sold out for the longest time, so as soon as I got the email that it was back in stock, I snatched it up on the double. Stay tuned for a pictorial and more on my review.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit
Anastasia Beverly Hills Contour Kit

Fox of the Week

Women in perfectly tailored menswear . . . perfection.

Women in perfectly tailored menswear . . . perfection.

It's WCW again, and our Fox of the Week is the ever-enchanting Emma Watson.


She's strong, confident, intelligent (she's a recent Brown University grad so I mean . . . Hermoine!), beautiful, "ladylike," and classy, and I love how she's unapologetic without being loud—it's very refreshing and endearing. She seems like an incredible role model for young girls because she's very secure and comfortable in her own skin (as she should be), and that's my wish for all women. 

Check out this BuzzFeed list of Emma Watson quotes. She's the real deal. Here are a couple of Emma gems below.

Emma Watson Quote
Emma Watson Quote


Beautiful, brainy, and blithely ignorant of the fact that she's a stone cold fox . . . yep, in love.


Emma Watson


And this photo is pure magic. #heartbreaker #1,000pointforGryffindor


Emma Watson


Eat your heart out, Weasley. 


I'm a very visual person I think.

I love (and envy) people who are very lyrical writers or speakers—mostly how they can paint these very vivid and tangible scenes just by stringing together the perfect collection of words—but there are times where images and photos just resonate with me even more. 

I used to create mood boards all the time; it's kind of a habit that's morphed quite a bit over the years, but it's something I still like to do from time to time to get inspired, and I felt like throwing some visuals together again today soooo . . . here's just a small collection of whimsical pretties that I was drawn to today.

Happy Tuesday, toots!




Morning, Gorgeous!

It's Monday, and I was going to pretend to be one of those "Yay, yay! Let's conquer the day!" sorts to give everyone a little Monday mojo, but who am I kidding . . . I'm just hoping to survive the day too.  You know when you have one of those weekends where you feel like you need another weekend right after it to catch up on the relaxation bit? That.

I realize I've been a total slacker lately on the blog, so I apologize. Things have been so busy lately, as I'm sure they've been for everybody, but I'm getting back into the swing of things so let's get right to it.  

So I got some new Eye Kandy products the other day that I'm kind of excited about, particularly these little Eye Kandy sprinkle pigment pots. It looks like the stuff cartoon fairies are made of or like something you'd find in a 10-year-old's pencil bag that they're using as a makeup bag to hold like 12 Smacker's lip balms. Don't let that scare you, though, please. Some of these pigments are very wearable. I challenged myself to the scariest-looking one to prove my point. 

Jellybean EyeKandy Sprinkles

The color I used is called Jellybean. I just wet my brush and applied it all over the lid. It's nice and sparkly in real life; I can't wait to start doing videos so you can at least see the shimmery-ness that you only get when there's movement in light. :)

EyeKandy Sprinkle Pigment Pots

EyeKandy Sprinkle Pigment Pots

There are 60 different colors, and my favorite one is a light gold one Honey Drop. The Sprinkle pots are only $7.50 each so not bad if you want to add a little va-va to your voom:) Check out all the colors here if you're interested! 


Have a good one, sweets!



This morning, I don't have any beauty tips or advice to offer. I'm sure I'm just one of the many millions who woke up heavy-hearted this morning, still processing the news of Robin Williams' death. 


It's indescribably heart-breaking that someone who brought so much happiness to people for so many years was holding in so much sadness and pain. I'll always remember Robin Williams—besides, of course, as Peter Pan, Euphagenia, Dale Putley, Keating, Alan Parrish, Jack, Genie, Sean, etc.—as an incredible soul with an infectious energy and . . . I think . . . a little bit of magic that lit him from the inside out. 


So today, I'm just sharing a few ideas I hold close to my heart and a few thoughts that warm it.


Be Kind
Matthew 28:20



Jeremiah 29:11


Robin Williams: Thank you for the laughs. I hope your spirit has found peace. 

Excess Baggage

Good afternoon, fairest of them all—or as I used to think it was, fairest of the mall. :) 

I'm on the last leg of the plague, I believe! In a good, I-wiill-survive kind of way! I'm over the horrid, achy, is-this-real-life, kill-me-now stretch, and now I'm entering into the just-a-regular-cold phase so with any luck, I'll wake up to just your average coughing and a runny nose situation in the morning (fingers crossed)! :) 

I apologize for my lackluster blogging performance through this sick spell, but it actually did inspire my next post: How to get rid of under-eye bags, discoloration, and puffiness (with makeup and otherwise). Definitely getting a lot of experience with that issue lately!

In other exciting news, I'm getting a new camera within the next couple of weeks, so better photos and, with any luck, video tutorials!! I'm pretty excited. 

Now off to work on this de-puffing post:)


Good morning and happy first week of August!

I apologize for neglecting my post for the past couple of days. I've been deathly ill—slightly dramatic, but by "deathly ill" I mean "coughing, sneezing, aching, and wallowing in self pity while spending most of my time unconscious on the couch, interrupted only by a few blips of consciousness to watch House Hunters and Criminal Minds."


I've been OD'ing on vitamin C and trying to get a ton of rest, though, so hopefully I'll have this "cold" turned into at LEAST a "lukewarm" in the very near future. *fingers crossed*

I'm not fishing for sympathy, I just wanted to let you all know that's why I've been dormant here on Pretty Much for the past few days. My apologies!!

And a little reminder / inspiration I stumbled upon and felt like sharing with my beauties. 

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 1.53.27 PM.png

And another theme to carry with you. 

Radiate it & have a lovely day.

Fancy Face Friday + Celeb-Inspired + Fox of the Week

We are a society of multi-taskers—a tribe of brush-your-teeth-while-you-shower, work-while-you're-eating, Pinterest-while-watching-TV, meditate-while-you're-driving (with your eyes open, please) breed.

It gets to the point for me where, when I have a day off, I don't quite know how to unplug, sit still, and just BE. 

I laughed out loud at this by myself for a minute.

I laughed out loud at this by myself for a minute.

. . . and I'm multi-tasking again right now because this very post is the stone with which I will hit three birds—my Fox of the Week look, my Celeb-Inspired look, AND my Fancy Face Friday look.

In my defense, I'm doing it so that I can get off my computer and go have a date night with my main squeeze :) So really, I'm just being resourceful, right? 


Olivia Wilde


Olivia Wilde, last week's Fox of the Week, is a makeup daredevil, and I absolutely eat it up. I was going to recreate the entire look, but since her eyes are very played down here, I didn't think that was fancy enough for Fancy Face Friday so I've come up with something that's half-celeb-inspired, half-Fox-of-the-Week-recreation, and ALL Fancy. Get you some. :)


MAC Lipstick in Candy Yum Yum 

MAC Lipstick in Candy Yum Yum 

I adore this lipstick. It's MAC's "Candy Yum Yum," and I will be posting the rest of the product details tomorrow, but for now, I think it's about time I back away from these glowing, magic boxes on my desk. :) 

Have yourself another beautiful, summer Friday night, beauties! Soak it up.

Take a Bow

We've safely arrived at another Friday!! Let us join hands and rejoice!  *confetti rain*

I will post a Fancy Face Friday look later this evening, but for now, a few wishes from the internet to usher you into another glorious, golden summer weekend. 



Get it, girl! :)