Happy Black Friday! This week’s favorite is a brush I picked up because it felt so soft and for the price, I figured I had to give it a try! It’s called the e.l.f. Flawless Concealer Brush, but rather than use it for concealer I like to use it as a fluffy blending brush. The bristles are super soft, flexible, and really hold on to pigment, honestly a great brush to add to your collection. For $3 you’ll want to put one in everyone’s stocking! Happy Shopping! XxOo Spoiled Gal


THE BEAUTY IN The little things

We all know, Thanksgiving is for showing our appreciation for what we have, while also sharing and giving to others.  That has been programmed into our brains since we we’re children, but how good are we at actually doing those things? Or even more importantly, how honest and TRULY good intended are we about our photo (3)thankfulness and giving? Last week at my son’s preschool, the teachers asked the kids what they were thankful for, then wrote their answers on a poster so the parents could read their child’s lovely, sweet and tender answer upon pick up. I stood there, looking at the poster “I AM THANKFUL FOR…”   and after my son’s name was written “My Volcano.”  My initial reaction was embarrassment, then shame, then worry-am I doing something wrong? Almost every other child was thankful for their family or a sibling and my kid is thankful for his TOY volcano. I went home and called my girlfriend, I needed someone to laugh and share the parental guilt with. Her reply was ” You know Park, he’s just an honest one!” And was she ever right. I know he is thankful for his mommy and daddy and sisters and house and family and all the wonderful blessings we have, but in that moment, he was so thankful for his toy. Volcanos just happen to be his absolute joy right now, and if that’s what makes him happy and feel thankful, who am I to second guess that? I think Parker’s honesty was an “ah ha” moment for me, being thankful for the little things, is just as important as being thankful for the big things.  So reflect with me on what’s important and how we can do better and be more authentic this Thanksgiving.

Be thankful. I don’t know about you but sometimes all I need is a genuine “thank you” (well and a hug, but i’m super affectionate person.) Have you ever felt that way? Maybe you went to three stores to get the bread you know your love likes best,  get home to have them say “oh thanks”  and find yourself feeling somehow irritated? Imagine how you would feel if they stopped what they were doing, turned to you,  and said “thank you for getting that bread you know it’s my favorite.”  What a difference right?!? That’s something I think we could all use, and also practice. Showing true appreciation and thankfulness. If you’re showing up to Thanksgiving dinner this year, and the bird is already in the oven, table set, all the fixings on the stove top.. be sure to give a REAL thank you to the person who spent so much time and effort preparing for you to be there, it will surely be appreciated. Another thing to try is being authentic this year when you go around the table saying what you’re thankful for. It will lighten up the conversation and maybe even bring some laughs.  I am thankful for my family and friends and home of course, and I try to never take that for granted, but I am also super thankful I don’t live where it snows. I don’t know how some of you do it. Like, for example, if you want to wear heels for the day to go shopping, do you wear snow boots to and from the car and keep your heels in your purse to change into? Or do you just wear snow boots? Do you have snow boots to match different outfits ????  See, it’s the little things sometimes!

Give. It’s the season of giving, and while I believe in giving all year, I think it’s so special that more people are inclined to give during the holidays. Some how, every non-profit organization has caught on to me believing in giving all year because they call, continuously, asking for donations. I used to send a check every time. Then one year, my sweet husband asked me “How many places are you writing checks to, and what is the cause?!” I had absolutely no idea. I felt like I was being rude or unkind to say no to the people calling asking for donations but I realized I was being inauthentic. I decided to stop. I choose one organization to support monthly and it was a great decision. We get mail from the organization and see how our donation is making a difference for a family far away.  I let go of the guilt in saying no to sending a check to each organization that contacts me and know in my heart that there are other ways to help people. Giving authenticallythankful is truly so easy and it’s amazing how much people are touched by kindness. There is a homeless man who looks to be maybe 25, he and his dog sit almost every day, rain or shine at the corner near the freeway where we live.  I’ve given him some extra change and bought him lunch in the past but  today I decided to make him a little care package. I looked around the house and gathered some things I thought he would appreciate: A new toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner (the free ones from hotels are awesome to save for people who are less fortunate.. I started to collect them to give) facial wipes, granola bars,  some dog food for his dog, a few protein drinks then I raided my husband’s closet and took a few warm things I knew he wouldn’t miss (sorry Kev!) but would be great for someone who was cold. My mom made the man a few homemade treats and we packed a bag and took it to him. He was so very, very appreciative. Those things meant almost nothing to us, but to Ryan (I asked his name, he was sweet) meant so much. Even if you’re only able to give a little, that’s often a lot to some one else.  Try giving authentically, it’s so much better than giving out of guilt.

My hope for all my Spoiled Gal’s (and guys, secret’s out…I know I have a couple!) is that you are able to connect and appreciate every person you get to spend time with this Thanksgiving. That you can laugh and reminisce about years past, that you can enjoy all the children who will be big sooner than we can believe, that you will embrace the craziness that sometimes comes with family gatherings and let the stress fade, that you will miss the people who aren’t at your table anymore but be thankful for the years you had them sitting next to you, that you can look at all the little things and know they all add up to big, big things and lastly that you trade in your everyday, “safe lipstick” and spice it up for the holiday! XxOo Spoiled Gal



I’ve decided to share some of my favorite things, each week i’ll post something i’m loving that I think you would love love love too! Happy Friday Gals!

carcoatcarcoat carcoatcarcoatI bought this coat last weekend and have already worn it twice…it’s so so soft, the perfect weight and I’ve gotten countless compliments! What’s super fun is that this cozy lil dream is under $30 but don’t be turned off by the the super inexpensive price, it like a little slice of heaven- looks and feels super luxurious in person! I’m 5’4 and ordered a S, it runs true to size. Happy shopping and have the best Friday! XxOo Spoiled Gal carcoat

THE BEAUTY IN Christmas Cards

I know , I know it’s only the middle of November and while I do appreciate all things Christmas,  I also appreciate celebrating all that we are thankful for this month.  So, that being said, don’t think I skipped a holiday; I promise you this post is relevant to November! Like many people, myself included, November is the month we prepare for holiday cards.  Next to my husband and my children, one of the great joys of my life is sending and receiving mail. At Christmastime I am  truly excited to check my mail box everyday to see what cards come, and now that photo cards are so popular, I get even more excited to see the wonderful family pictures.  Family photos for Christmas cards have been a tradition of ours since my husband Kevin and I have been together.  christmas2006Our family dogs we’re in the place that our children now occupy and what was once a simple picture in front of our Christmas tree (more than a decade ago) is now a well planned out, on-location photo shoot that becomes our family photo of the year.  Over the years, with my make up and hair business, I have worked with lots and lots of photographers  and learned tons of tips and tricks that can help you look great in pictures. Whether you do a gorgeous, classic picture in front of the Christmas tree or like me, a larger scale professional photo shoot , here are my do’s and don’ts for your holiday family photos. *For fun I added in some of our past Christmas pictures.
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If you don’t know what baking, strobing, contouring, setting powder, illuminator or graphic liner are, don’t fret, stick with me and let’s ease into the wonderful world of makeup together. Last week I broke skincare down to the basics, now make up is in the hot seat! So many of my clients, and friends, tell me that they love make up and like a lot of looks but aren’t sure what to buy to achieve the look they’re going for. I hear “I have so much make up I don’t use” regularly, so here we go, my tips and tricks to getting down exactly what it is you actually need in your make up bag. Consider this “list” a baseline, go-to, basics, that you can build upon with confidence and may no more products go into the make up-drawer graveyard.

photo (1)  First step, inventory. What do you have? I am a list kind of girl, so for me I would make an actual list of what I have, but if you’re less Type A than I am, pulling everything out of your drawers or make up bag would work just fine. Next, grab your trash can, time to purge. I think it’s important to get rid of things that are just taking up space and fooling your eye to think you have more than you actually use. I promise you, this step will help you every morning when you get ready, BUT you have to be ready to toss – regardless of how much you spent, or how new it seems. Cut your losses and embrace the process. If you have products that smell,toss them. Usually lipsticks and glosses and liquid products will fall into this category. Toss anything that you bought thinking you would use, and it has sat in your bag for over a year untouched. Toss anything you have guilt over. You know what I mean- your best friend bought you a lipstick that you don’t love and will never wear but you feel bad to get rid of it…the lipstick has to go. And finally anything that just looks yucky or broken. We all have that one eyeshadow quad that has only one color we really like but it’s completely at the pan and the rest of the colors are dusty and gross. Toss.
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I have loved skin care since I can remember. My first, and best “client” was my dad. I regularly made concoctions in our kitchen as a child and my dad happily let me test them out on his face. Tightening facial? Oh definitely honey and maybe some lemon. Hydrating facial? Bananas, in the blender, with oatmeal (sometimes it was the instant flavored oatmeal, he didn’t seem to notice the difference.) . I would always cleanse his skin (with whatever cleanser my mom had- or a bar of ivory) then tone- with nothing other than Sea Breeze of course, sometimes I’d add in a homemade sugar scrub then mask. Masking was my favorite. While the mask dried I would give my dad a manicure or a shoulder rub. He truly loved to be pampered! This was all pre-Pintrest and probably started at age 8, and lasted until I moved from my parent’s home. Thinking back to my facials, I’m pretty impressed at younger self, and I really was a budding esthetician.

Since then, I have been professionally trained as an esthetician/skincare specialist, and I still love learning new recipes, and trying out new products. During my days working the spa industry I learned how many women (and men) just don’t know the proper way to care for their skin, or face in particular. For some of my clients, the skin care aisle was intimidating for them. The endless amount of products all promising to do the same thing, or at a make up counter, feeling the pressure to buy a product you didn’t want and wouldn’t use. These frustrations led to staying with the same products for years and years. There is nothing wrong with using the same products for long periods of time, however our skin changes, and there might be better alternatives to care for new concerns. Another frustration is that there is always new information flooding us. This is good for your skin, this is bad for your skin, do this, do that and all the while promising to help you age like Cindy Crawford and rarely giving real results. Here are some truths, and tips about skincare.

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