Life With Lipstick On

What's the deal with Charcoal?

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All I hear about in the beauty biz is the hype about charcoal.  We have the charcoal masks and pills and I even came across charcoal lemonade this weekend.  So what's the deal with charcoal?  I wanted to see what the fuss was about. The thought of ingesting charcoal seemed so gross and the idea of putting on my face seemed like a big mess!  Here is what I've found! 


My investigating: 

The benefits of charcoal are actually quite amazing!  It has been mostly used in hospitals for alcohol poisoning and other poisoning.  It essentially is a filtration system for whatever it is applied to.  Chemicals attach to it and pull the toxins from your body.  It's all natural and detoxifies and reenergizes skin, hair and your gut.  

How it's being used for beauty:

So I made the mistake of going to charcoal full force without doing the full research.  And I made Erik do it too!  LOL!  He had no clue I was doing it wrong!  I'm dying now laughing but it was a mess!!  I literally put a tsp of Activated Charcoal in water and slapped it all over our faces.  Yep!  We looked like chimney sweeps!  So note....that is the wrong way!!!!  The whole point of charcoal applied to skin is that it grabs all the impurities, oil and all the gunk that sits on the skin and lives in your pores.  It doesn't leave any residue of itself behind so your skin is left squeaky clean.  It helps oily skin and  shrinks pores because they aren't holding a bunch of junk in them.  If you use an exfoliator before you even get deeper clean out!  Make note though, you aren't supposed to use charcoal daily!  Once a week is fine! 

How I was supposed to use it: 

1/2 tsp of Activated Charcoal

1/2 tsp Bentonite Clay ( this is the step I missed.  The Bentonite helps give potion an extra punch and also helps bind the mask together.  

1 1/2 tsp water

Mix in a little mixing bowl and apply to face. Wait 7-10 minutes. Wash off your face and pat dry.  Let skin breathe for a bit then apply your regular moisturizer.  Say good by to black heads!


Power of girl's weekend

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I had the most amazing weekend!  If you follow my Insta stories you know how bougie and gorgeous my weekend has been! I would hate me!!  After the holiday's I felt so in need of a break.  Not to say we didn't have a really great Christmas and New Years, I think we can all agree the holiday's are a lot of hustle bustle.  I was ready to get organized and back on track with goals and plans for an exciting 2017 but needed a little kickstart.  

My grandma lives in Washington on Bainbridge Island and every January and February she comes to So Cal to beat the winter.  We typically spend the couple months on Balboa Island at our favorite beach house that we have rented for years but this year we decided to mix it up.  This time of the year is always so special for our family.  I have a really close family whom I adore and it's so beyond reviving to be together!  We sit around and talk for hours, take little excursions, see movies we're all wanting to see etc.  Nothing really major ever is on the agenda but our time together is all we need.  We love it!  In leu of Balboa Island this year, we decided to move grammy into  Pelican Hill.  It was beyond heaven!  She moved into a three bedroom villa bigger than my house!  It is magical!  The views are incredible and we had the best time!  

I dropped off the girls with my mother in law on Friday night and high tailed it to meet my mom and grammy that night.  We had an awesome dinner then tucked in by the fire and talked until 1:00 am.  Nothing like hours of girl talk to clean the brain!  The next morning, my mom and I woke up and did some yoga and headed to Lido Village for some shopping! I had been wanting to visit there for a while now and particularly wanted to play at Serena and Lily!  Both my mom and I are obsessed with home decor and projects right now.  I am starting on the girls rooms in a couple weeks along with kitchen reno right after and mom has a bunch of rooms she is working on at her house.  We could have left Serena and Lily with every piece!  I think mom may just might!  

That night, I picked up the girls and we had another great dinner in and snuggled in for a cozy night.  We hit the pool the next day and my 86 year old grammy played with the girls in the pool for about an hour!  She was the cutest!  

Back to reality this morning as I dropped the girls off at school after our long winter break.  I am looking forward to getting back to our routine.  I have the house to put back together, projects to coordinate and dinners to plan!  I feel so lucky to have had such a great weekend to get me back in gear!  Until next weekend Pelican Hill! 

Best skin of 2017

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Skin is on the top beauty priority list this year and I want to share some tried and true products I love with you all as well as some I can't wait to try!  



Rosehip Seed Oil- remove make and add to moisturizers for extra moisture surge.  It's for sure my most used product in my routine and it's all natural! 

Peter Thomas Roth Firm Peeling Gel- major exfoliator!  For those who love instant gratification this one is for you!  This gel is so weird!!!  Within seconds of rubbing it on your face your dead skin literally roll and lift of your face!  It's so fantastically gross!

Skyn Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels- under eye deputing to the max!  I use these when I've drank a little to much or stayed up to late binge watching Netflix and need my eyes to depuff!  

Eminence Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster Serum- this one is a little pricey but no more brown mustache or blotchy hyper pigmented skin!  I say that is majorly worth it!  Another all natural product that helps brighten the skin and get you back to an even tone! 

PCA Skin Perfecting Neck and Decollete- Neck wrinkle wizard!  I've noticed major neck wrinkles or lines for about a year now and am soooo over it!  I've tried probably a dozen different methods and this is the only product I've found that has made any change in that area.  I am still new to this product but so far I am already seeing a softening of those lines in about 2 weeks time.  

I also just ordered this Activated Charcoal mask.  I have been doing a ton of research on Activated Charcoal and it's skin benefits and will share all I've found out soon!!

Over the knee boots

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I have been on the hunt for over the knee boots for a while now.  With my shorter frame, I find that it is hard to find flattering styles that don't make me look like a pirate.  I love that the tops of these are laced up in the back for a snug fit.  I also opted for a flat version so I could wear them more.  I plan to rock these with sundresses and leather jacket, over jeans and here I paired them with a tunic sweater and leather leggings and coat.

Farm girl life: Chicks

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If you follow my social media, you know that Santa brought baby chicks this year for the girls!  I had been wanting chicks since we moved into the new house since we have some land now yet didn't know when the time was right.  We keep a busy schedule and I wanted to make sure I wasn't biting off more than I can chew!  Because lets be real, mama is in charge of these chicks until they go outside.  I did a lot of research before committing  and asked a ton of questions!  The poor lady at the feed store should have known when I showed up with over the knee boots on!  This place was not for over the knee boots!  Anyway, here are some of the questions I had and what we have found out.  

Peyton with Flower

Peyton with Flower

1.  Which chickens lay the most eggs? 


   Rhode Island Red- about 250 brown eggs a year. ( we got two of these) 

  Leghorns: about 250 white eggs a year- eggs from the grocery store are most likely from these

  Plymouth Rock- about 200 light brown eggs a year. ( we got two of these too)

  Sussex- about 250 brown or creamy white eggs a year.

  Ancona- about 200 white eggs a year.  

  Marans- about 200 very dark brown eggs a year

  Buff Orphington- about 180 eggs a year but get " broody" or lay less in the summer. 

Also there are Easter Eggers or Ameraucana's that lay BLUE eggs!  So fun!  We want to add one to our roost as well as the ridiculous looking Silkie!

2. Which are the most friendly?

  A:   Our main purpose was raising chicks that were friendly and the girls could treat like pets.          We found that Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds,  Buff Orphingtons, Brahmas,  and Silkies amongst a couple others are great with kids and can even be trained. 

3. How many should we start out with? 

  A:   We were recommended 4-6 to start with.  We got two Rhode Island Reds and two Plymouth Rocks and plan to add two more to the bunch. We chose these two breeds because that is what was hatched at the moment as well as being friendly and good egg layers. 

4.  What sort of gear do we need to start with?

  A:  Chicks need to be incubated for 6 weeks or until they get their adult feathers.  I'll be so sad when they lose that fluff!  As soon as they have their feathers and the weather is warm enough ( 80 degrees) we can let them run around the yard a bit.  For the first 6 weeks we got:

    Nest ( we have used a plastic storage tote with tall sides. About 4 days after we got the chicks one started to jump onto feeder and onto edge!  I cut up a used Amazon box and taped it to the sides as a make shift barrier.  I think we are at the point of needing more space for them already ( about 3 weeks old) 

   Heat lamp- chicks have to be at 100 degrees at all times

   Water feeder- we got plastic on with shallow dish ( chicks are big dummies and can drown easily so make sure water isn't deep. 

   Electrolyte powder and Probiotic powder- we add this to water. 

   Food feeder- Ours is plastic and has a dispenser with small holes.  Again the dummies poop in their food sometimes and its best to not waste a bunch of food. 

   Food- the feed store recommended chick starter which is made of grain and milling.  Its super fine and the chicks seem to love it.  We will switch most likely to organic as soon as we get into their coop. 

   Shavings- A big bundle of shavings is put at bottom of your nest to keep sanitary and for them to be comfy.  

5.  How much maintenance do they need?  

    A:  Chicks need very little maintenance!  I clean the nest and replace the shavings once a week and keep an eye on their water and food.  They do have a tendency to poop in their food as well as kick up shavings that land in it.  I change their water it seems like about once a day or as needed.  Their food dispenses as they eat it and I refill that maybe once a week.  They also tend to poop their too so make sure to keep that clean so they don't get sick.  


6.  What's the coop situation like?  

A:  We are super excited about this Boomer and George coop .  As soon as the weather is warmer and the chicks have their adult feathers they can go into their coop. It's recommended to keep coop in shady place and avoid a wind draft.  Chickens like a little run so some space is good if you aren't going to keep them free range ( on the loose) all the time.  6 chickens will be just happy in a 4 box coop.  They like to be together so some bunk up with another to lay eggs or keep warm.  

Hay Hay needing to chill 

Hay Hay needing to chill 


Overall, we are having so much fun with them!  They scurry around, eat like piggies, sleep and cheep!  Ours are super curious and love shiny things.  We have named them Hay Hay, Little Red, Bixby and Flower!  


2017 Goals

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Happy 2017!!!  Man , 2016 flew by!  We had a wonderful year last year and I pray for more of the same!  I love making goals and plans and so resolution time makes my heart happy!  Here are some of the plans I have for 2017! 

                                        This just makes me laugh!!!  via

                                        This just makes me laugh!!!  via


Learn photography ( I signed up for an course yesterday and am so fired up to dust off my DSLF and make my brain work! ) 

Time block -ie crush my days more efficiently

Spend at least 30 minutes each day on house cleaning ( not excited about this one but know it will be worth it! )

Drink more water

Create a personal savings account ( get intentional with my spending) 

Enjoy the process - I can get so into planning mode than I forget to enjoy and savor where I am currently. 

Be mindful of what brings me the most joy

Pen in time with friends twice a month

Take more adventures with my family

Plan and stick to date nights

Read one educational and one fluffy book each month

Educate myself on more holistic methods for my home and family



Plaid wrap skirt

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We have been having so much fun decorating the house, planning school parties and holiday dance shows this last week!  I have fully embraced my inner "dance mom" at this point!  She has been waiting patiently to come out and it's go time! Both of the girls are in jazz right now while Capri still does ballet at a separate studio.  The jazz girls are performing at the Mission Inn's Festival of Lights this year and I'm dying!  I live for this stuff!  Us moms have gotten together for full sequin domination on the girl's performance shirts.  We have gloves, leg warmers and bows that rival the size of a bowling ball in the works!  Going to be the cutest thing I've ever seen!  

I also need to brag for a second and say I have crushed my shopping list this year!  Granted, I only have like 5 gifts to buy but still worth noting!  We don't go overboard at all on the girl's gifts.  Growing up we got about 4-5 gifts and it was just perfect.  

My Black Friday and Cyber Monday picks are rolling in and I am so giddy!  We have plaid top, velvet top, this adorable wrap skirt, super chic booties and some over the knee boots!  Winning!!!!  Do you girls get anything fabulous for yourself? Share! Share!

Elf inspired movie night

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Elf inspired movie night

We are gearing up like crazy for Christmas in our house and I had so much fun setting up for our annual Christmas movie night!  I love giving the girls their Christmas pjs and slippers and we cozy in by the fire for a family movie night to kick off the season.  We've done Polar Express before ( see our fun here) and this year we  chose the movie  Elf so I thought it would be fun to decorate with all things Elf inspired.  Hot cocoa and candy galore!  I found the cutest Elf quote mugs and wrapped up their glittery slippers and pjs with bright red ribbons.  I adore this tradition!  

Holiday Cocktail dresses

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It's "fancy" dress season!  (insert happy dance) With all the festivities coming, there is nothing more fun than taking it up a notch!  I've rounded up my favorite holiday worthy dresses for you today!!  Cheers to looking fabulous!

Photos: Corey Morgan

Black Friday Sales

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Amazon major deals including 60% off apparel and toys

J.Crew 40% off with code HOLIDAY

Target daily deals all week

Sephora stocking stuffers and holiday kits as low as $10

Nordstrom 40% off items this week and more to come

Gap 50% off everything with code TGIF50

Old Navy 50% off everything

Serena and Lily 20 % off everything with code THANKYOU

ASOS 20% off with code GOGOGOHOME

Yosemite family trip 2016

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Erik had a random week off from work  and we decided to take a last minute to getaway for some family time.  We always love our camping trips but thought we would maximize our time and head to Yosemite. We had never been and only heard incredible things about it.  We rented a last minute Airbnb and packed up the car.  We landed in Oakhurst, which is about 40 minutes from the gates of Yosemite.  Everywhere we went it we were overwhelmed by nature's beauty.  Just unreal colors!  Our cabin was about 1 mile from Bass Lake.  We made our way into town for some groceries and essentials.  Everything was so easy! I am the queen of getting us into "great" locations and it not being what we hoped for.  I botch more travel plans than I get right! And we have learned over the years to never give me the map!  We were pleasantly surprised that mommy got it right this time!  Our cabin was nothing fancy but had more than we needed and was so well equipped! And had a hot tub!  Sold!!!

On our first morning, we drove into Yosemite to visit some of the hotspots.  We started with Half Dome and Glacier Point.  The views were spectacular!  We could see views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, and Yosemite’s high country, 

Don't miss our video recap at the bottom!!

After Half Dome, we headed down to the valley to check out Vernal Falls.  The trees looked like they had been painted bright red and yellow!  We stopped in the valley to see more waterfalls and check out the river.  Beyond dreamy!  

We didn't really know what what we were in for with hiking Vernal Falls.  We knew it was 1 mile at 1000 ft climb which was a little rough.  I really wanted to take advantage of us being there so we tried it.  I thought Capri and daddy would beat us lazy girls me and Peyton  but I was so wrong!  I was totally left in the dust but Peyton and daddy flew past me and Capri.  Peyton literally ran up the hill half of the time.  We made it to the top and the view was beautiful!  I loved seeing the bright yellow  trees amongst the lower parts of the hike.  So gorgeous and totally worth the workout!  

After our hike we all were starving and thought we'd splurge on Mexican food in the local Bass Lake town.  So yummy after a long day.  

On our last day we visited Sugar Pine Railroad and learned all about the steam train locomotives and history of the railroad.  The railroad was opened in 1874 to transport lumber to the bottom of the mountain.  Due to the Great Depression and lack of trees it was closed in 193.  The kids had a great time and we learned a lot about the trains history.  

Erik loves to fish and so we really wanted to make a point of getting some fishing in on this trip. I've grown up around fishing and really like to fly fish myself so it was fun to teach the girls.  We found a great little spot on the river next to the Wawona Golf Course and tried our luck.  Erik caught one right off the bat but no luck for us girls.  It was such a gorgeous setting we could have tried all day.  We fished until the rain came in and then headed back to play board games and watch movies for the rest of the day while it rained.  

We can't wait to head back in another season.  We hear that summer and spring are breathtaking as well. We can't imagine anything prettier than the fall colors though at the time we were there.  

I put together a fun video from our Snapchat ( @LifewLipstick)  of the trip!  

Fall plaid skirt

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We just got home last night from our cruise and are adjusting to land legs again.  We had the best time!!! It's our annual Disney cruise that we make into a "girls trip" with my mom, myself and the kidlets.  We got to fly first class this year which was a real treat!  Hello, ice-cream sundae and champagne!!!  Not to mention, I sat across from Henry Cavill for the 5 hour flight!  Not sad at all! I'm sure he is seeking a restraining order at the moment!  We typically stay in Miami the night before embarking the ship so so we have plenty of time.  We boarded Wednesday and partied our booties off until Sunday! I will do a full recap post on it next week!  

We are back to rainy, cozy weather today at home which this mama is soaking up!  I plan on lighting every candle in the house, firing up the fire place for the first time since in the new house and padding around in my robe all day!  I may even destroy a couple online sales popping up before Black Friday and Cyber Monday!  Speaking of sales, this jacket is on major sale right now!  I'm so glad I snatched it up in early fall because I've been wearing it on repeat.  I styled it here with a cozy camel colored sweater, skinny jeans and my favorite leather booties.   I also used it to top off a clean navy blue blouse and white culottes here.  It's so versatile and the heavy collar gives it such a chic look. 

I paired the coat today with a  winter look over a wine colored v-neck sweater and festive plaid skirt.  Both the sweater and skirt are on sale now too!!  This look would be perfect for Thanksgiving dinner or brunch this Christmas season!   

Stay tuned for lots of goodies being added to the SHOP tab at the top of my site as well as the rest of my specially curated gift guides rolling out this week! Never miss a beat and get updates early by subscribing to Life with Lipstick On  too! 

Coat, Earrings older similar here and here, Sweater, Skirt, Booties similar here and here

Holiday party dresses for girls

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We took our Christmas pictures last week and I am so giddy share our glittery, wintery fun with you!  I have so much fun shopping with the girls this time of year for new party dresses and outfits for all of our holiday fun.  I'm so lucky that both of the girls are around the same size so we mix and mingle our frocks throughout our events.  What is a dress on Peyton can be a top for Capri.  It works great!  There is nothing sweeter than seeing the little ones all decked out!  Here are some of our favorite looks for little ladies! 


Everyday makeup shopping trip

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The other day I took you makeup shopping with me on Snapchat to pick up some of my tried and true makeup staples ( I explain why in the video) .  I am super simple with my everyday makeup and love products that check off a lot of boxes and save time.  I headed to Ulta for my favorite foundation from It Cosmetics.  I love this one because it offers full coverage but also gives SPF 50!  I've used it for years now and would highly recommend!  . 

I chose Ulta because they carry my foundation but there are other products I swear by from other shops.  

I love DiorShow mascara for fluffy lashes.  

RubyWoo lipstick is my ultimate favorite red lip. 

For eyeshadow that doesn't move, I use Lorac Pro eyeshadow primer

For the look of airbrushed skin I love Artis Elite Mirror brush


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For the last couple years we have been traveling for Thanksgiving.  This past year my mom and I headed out to our annual Disney cruise while my dad and hubby work or travel themselves ( they can only take so much Mickey ) Last year we decided it was sad to not be together on Thanksgiving so we bumped up our trip to this week.  Problem solved!  We hit the Bahamas and make it back in plenty of time for turkey and time with loved ones.  

For family holiday's I feel like I hit the jackpot when I claimed hosting Easter!  My sis in law is a great hostess and always tackles Thanksgiving.  She is a great cook and we always have something delicious and unique additions to our feast.  I always aim for to bring something super yummy and fabulous. Any of you girls have a killer recipe for this year?  I've done stuffing a couple years back and mac n cheese 2 years ago.  So I need a really good one to up the ante on my mac n cheese!   It was LEGIT!

That being said, I am planning my most turkey dinner friendly outfit so I can do some major work on all yumminess! This turtleneck is perfect!  It's nice and blousy but still has cute little peak a boo cut outs in the back to add a little interest.  Top it with a festive scarf and you are ready to all the food!  

Photos: Corey Morgan

Floral Wrap dress

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I'm on this major "clean up my life" kick right now and really trying to tighten up our routine with the kids to help them be less messy! The messes are on another level!! We are tackling the deep cleaning and the projects that have been shuffled to the side.   I decided to break our chores down so I didn't lose my mind cleaning and the girls can tackle each day's task quickly.  We are three days in and it's going well!  No my house isn't all clutter free but we are making some major breakthroughs with my little piggies!  Any clean up tricks you mama's have had success with?  

In other news, this bomber jacket is getting so much play with fall!  I paired it here with a purple shift dress and today with a floral wrap dress.  I also wore it over the weekend with distressed jeans, flats and a tee. Favorite peice in my closet right now! Why wear black when you can mix it up with olive green?

Photos: Corey Morgan