Makeup Primer: Worth it Or Skip it?


Happy Monday, loves!

This week makes me a little nostalgic every year. It’s the week three of our four babies have birthdays. Miss Ava turns 7 on St. Patrick’s Day, and our sweet, sweet babies turn 4 on the 15th. We’ve never had a “youngest” child turn 4 before. Our babies are all three years apart – except, obviously, for the twins – and the fact that they are our youngest and turning four this week is just heartbreaking. Time, slow down!

Also, just a quick note to point out I dislike daylight savings time. I like the shorter days, the darker evenings, and the lighter mornings. I recognize I’m the minority, but I really dislike this time of year when it’s daylight all the time. It just feels hotter and less like my favorite time of year.

But on a much happier note, I posted an Instagram story a few weeks ago with my new primer, and I had so many questions and comments about it. Not only did people want to know if I loved it, but so many women wanted to know why use primer, is it worth it, and what’s the point.

Primer – Can’t live without.

Primer is simple. It’s a base for your foundation. It goes on before your makeup, and it helps your makeup spread evenly (and it helps it stay put a lot longer than it does without). I’m very particular about my primer due to the fact I have pores the size of Texas.

I love primer, I always recommend it to anyone who asks what the one thing is I can’t live without (I can’t live with more than one thing, to be very honest), and I have four favorites I alternate between for different reasons – and they all make my pores look non-existent.

  1. Origins Original Skin Pore-Perfecting Cooling Primer

This is my newest primer, and it’s amazing. It’s spectacular when it goes on not only because it’s so light, but because it’s so cold and refreshing. I love this one when I’m doing my makeup early in the morning and need a quick wakeup call. It’s light, it lasts all day, and it makes my pores shrink instantly.

  1. Laura Mercier Foundation Primer Radiance

If you’re going out at night and want to look perfectly dewy and fresh, this primer is the answer to all your life problems. It’s my favorite for looking glam at night, but I don’t typically wear it during the day. It’s perfect for night because it’s just a little shimmery and provides my skin a perfect glow, but it’s sometimes too much during the day.

  1. Dr. Brandt Pores No More

If you want my favorite primer of all time, it’s this one. It’s my go-to most of the year. It’s perfect in the summer when the weather is hot and my face is a little oilier than usual. It doesn’t dry me out, and it leaves my pores looking non-existent.

  1. Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

Anytime my skin is too oily, this is my go-to. It’s oil-free and amazing, and it’s my favorite primer when I want my skin to look as flawless as possible. I just can’t use it when my skin is a little drier in the winter/spring here in Florida because it doesn’t offer as much moisture.

I love a good primer, and I swear by it. I can always tell if I accidentally forget my primer when I do my makeup because it looks less than ideal after an hour or so. I can put on primer and look fresh and amazing all day long. Without, I’m good for a few hours.

If you’re on the fence, I’d start with the Smashbox. It’s my favorite, and it’s so good on so many skin types. It’s totally worth it to add an additional step to your morning routine.

Summer Beauty Round-Up: New Favorites from Sephora


August has me doing my happy dance (complete with zero rhythm and not a care). August, to me, is the almost-but-not-quite-but-so-close to the beginning of all the best things in life.

  • The kids go back to school next week (Hallelujah!)
  • It’s almost September – my birth month
  • Gator football is just a few weeks away
  • The kids go back to school next week
  • It’s almost fall (is it ironic I love fall the most considering we Floridians haven’t one, ever?)

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Beginning September 1st I lovingly decorate our home for fall and begin celebrating the four most spectacular months of the year – the months I live for. The other 8 are basically pointless black holes of time in which there is no pumpkin anything anywhere.


Anyway, this year is (as always) flying by. And that means I’m checking myself and my goals for the New Year…which is so long ago now! I’m impressed with myself and how well I’ve managed to do the things I said I was going to do this year. Specifically, I’m proud of how well I’ve adapted to trying new things. Going outside my comfort zone, if you will.

As a creature of intense habit – my weekdays are basically Groundhog Day the reality…and I LOVE it – I tend to pick my favorite beauty products and stick with them. Being that I’m turning 34 next month, my skincare needs are changing. And I was forced to adapt.

Do you see how I gave myself credit there for totally going outside my comfort zone and trying new things when in reality I had zero choice because my skin kicked me in the ass and gave me no other option? I’m still taking the credit, mmmkay?

This summer I’ve tried a few new products (note: new to my beauty routine; not new products) and I’ve fallen in love with some, tossed a few others to the side, and let my kids have all the fun in the world with others, and I thought I’d share a few of the new things I tried every time I placed a Sephora order – which, contrary to what my husband believes, is not every other day – and fell in love with this summer in a beauty round-up.


1. Boscia Sponge – It’s the perfect daily exfoliant without actually harming my skin and making it seem dry or irritated. I use it with my Clinque Pep Start 2-1 exfoliating cleanser for just a little extra, and it’s perfect!

2. Belif Aqua Bomb – Dry skin is such a summer problem for me, and this is the perfect moisturizer to use overnight. I apply it after my evening shower and my skin is so much smoother and better moisturized immediately.

3. Clinique Pep Start Sampler Kit – I use the regular size at home, but this is the PERFECT travel set! I keep it in my travel bag so my skin is always happy when we aren’t home.

4. Dior Diorshow Maximizer – I’ve been a strict Diorshow mascara user for more than a decade now, but I’d never tried this. Let me just say – LOVE. I love the way my lashes look!

5. IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores – Pores. Yuck. Mine are huge, and this has been a lifesaver this summer as I swear they grow with the humidity!

Do you ladies have any must-have recommendations for me to try before summer is over – or leading into fall?

Beauty Must-Have: Hard Candy Pro Palette

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Florida weather is no joke for anyone, but it’s especially brutal on those of us who don’t leave the house without makeup. There’s a fine line between achieving that dewy, fresh look and looking as if my face is melting off. I try for the former, but often feel more like the latter.

The moment I open my garage door, the heat and humidity attack. I can feel my sunglasses begin to slide down my nose and if I’m not in my SUV in under 10 seconds flat, I feel the urge to take another shower. It’s hot, sticky, and not at all sweet. It’s also why I’ve spent the better part of my 33 years searching for the best makeup products imaginable. I have just a *few* requirements when it comes to my makeup.

  • It must be long-lasting
  • It can’t feel as though it’s sliding down my face when I walk to my mailbox
  • It can’t be cakey, gross, or feel heavy
  • It has to make me look exactly like Kate Middleton

That’s not too much to ask, right?

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Since three out of four isn’t bad, I sometimes let one of my requirements slide when my makeup meets the rest of my minor demands. I’ll leave it up to you to figure out which one I tend to let go the most. My husband likes to make jokes about how many Sephora boxes show up on our doorstep every week, and I like to tell him I liked it better when he worked outside the home and didn’t see all the boxes that arrive regularly (all lies…I love that we work from home together, but I could do without his raised eyebrow when my friends UPS man and Mr. Fedex show up to chat and leave me boxes). We call it even since makeup makes me happy, and he gets to be married to a woman who at least looks like she’s got her stuff together (I so absolutely do not).

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When Hard Candy sent over the Look Pro Palette for me to try after it was newly launched this spring, I was excited to try it out and see how it worked for me and my active lifestyle. I was a little skeptical considering I struggle most with finding eyeshadow that doesn’t fade throughout the day, and I was certain an entire palette for only $10 would never work. After all, most of the palettes I have that cost five times that don’t last all day long as hard as I go.

After trying the look a few times, my feelings changed. I’m a fan. The shadow is so light I barely feel it on my eyes. It goes on easily without caking my brushes with powder for very little result. And the best part – it lasts. I deliberately chose a hardcore day to try it out the first time  – because if it can last through the most dedicated of my days, it can last through anything. After applying my makeup at 6 am, imagine my surprise when it was still amazing at 8 pm after a 90-minute workout, an al fresco lunch date, and all the things I do as a mother of four all day. All those kisses and cuddles from my 3-year-old twins, and my makeup still looked fresh 14 hours later.

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The best part is the Hard Candy Look Pro Palette absolutely lives up to its name. I felt good all day in it, and I love how long it lasted without creasing, caking, or running. And for only $10, you bet I’ll be adding this to my list of stocking-stuffers and gift bags throughout the year. With 15 different colors in one palette, you can mix, match, and take your look from daytime professional to nighttime glam. The palette comes with four pro brushes for easy application, and the hard outer casing makes it easy to pack. So far my palette has been with me on three trips, and it’s ready to go on a fourth to kick off the beginning of summer vacation.

The Hard Candy Look Pro Palette is available exclusively at Walmart as well as and

*All opinions expressed are my own