Review: Bobbi Brown Gel Eyeliner

When it comes to eye makeup that eyeliner on your eyelid makes the rest of your look pop; apply a little mascara and you’re set. For me, applying eyeliner on my lid is a hassle. I used to use the same pencil on my waterline on my lid and it looked faded and grey (I was using a black pencil). Then I switched to liquid eyeliner, and while I used MAC’s Liquidlast Liner, it was still difficult for me to apply, even with the tiny brush at the end.

Then Veronica recommended I try Smashbox’s Limitless Liquid Eyeliner pen and that worked better than the liquidlast liner. However, I was still having trouble. One eye would have thicker eyeliner than the other or I’d mess up one eye and have to start over again.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.47.09 PM copySince I want to practice my cat eyeliner technique, I wanted to use a product that was really forgiving. After watching countless reviews on YouTube, the common denominator amongst most of them was the Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner. So I headed to and placed my order for the gel eyeliner and the appropriate brush to apply it with.

I have to say, I am really digging how this eyeliner looks. It is highly pigmented (a little goes a long way) and with the brush, I feel like I have way more control over the application than I did with the Smashbox liner. I haven’t tried the cat eye yet, but I will be this weekend, for sure. The wonderful thing about gel eyeliner is that if you mess up, a damp q-tip goes fixes the mistake. I haven’t had to remove my eye makeup and redo everything to get that perfect shape. Tip: if you’re new to gel eyeliner, create a line of dots close to your lash line and connect them for that flawless look. If you mess up, that’s okay. Just “erase” with a q-tip. 

Here’s a photo my look today. If you like my video, be sure to follow me on Snapchat (leighleigh915) to see the video of this look and more makeup (and every day life) stuff.

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My look today:

Foundation: Too Faced Born this Way in warm nude.

Concealer:  it Cosmetics Bye Bye Undereye


Urban Decay 24/7 black eyeliner pencil (on waterline)

• Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner in black ink on lid

• No eyeshadow

Benefit They’re Real mascara


Too Faced Perfect Lips Liner in pink/neutral pink

Too Faced La Matte lipstick in Sorry, Not Sorry

Do you have a favorite gel eyeliner? I’d love to know which brand you use. Comment below.




April Ipsy Glam Bag

It has arrived. My first-ever Ipsy glam bag arrived at the office on Wednesday and I am excited to share what products I received.

Well, let me backtrack for a minute. I am normally the kind of girl that hates subscription services. The longest I ever stuck with was Rocksbox because it’s jewelry I could wear and give back if I didn’t like it (I did purchase a cute pair of earrings from them). So when I heard that I could get over $50 worth of full-size samples for $11 per month, I was a little skeptical. I read about it, took the style quiz and then busted out my debit card and signed up, and I do have to say that the products I received are pretty awesome. I have yet to really try them all, but I wanted to show you what I got.

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The theme for April’s glam bag  was “The Dreamers.” Ipsy wanted to provide products that allows people to create multiple different looks including, ultra glam, natural and high fashion. Here’s what I was given in my glam bag:

  1. Probelle Nail Lacquer in “In Or Out.” It’s not really my color for nails, but I will be sure to bring this polish to my next pedi appointment, because it’ll look fierce on my toes.
  2. Luxie Beauty Dreamcatcher Tapered Highlighter Brush #522. I have never really tried using highlighter, so there’s no time like the present to try it. Next time I go to Ulta I’ll be sure to pick some up (see what I got from my last Ulta Beauty haul).
  3. Tula Exfoliating Treatment Mask. I haven’t done a face mask in such a long time and I think with spring here and summer approaching, it’s time to exfoliate my skin so I’m really excited to try the mask over the weekend.
  4. tarte cosmetics LipSurgence lip creme in wonder. I love love LOVE tarte cosmetics. I don’t have a lot of their products, but what I do have, I consider a luxury. I am also a fan of shades of pink and red for my lips, so I’m excited to try this over the weekend, especially since I’m obsessed with matte finish lipsticks right now.
  5. Jelly Pong Pong Neapolitan Eyeshadow Palette. First off, who doesn’t love neapolitan ice cream (you know, strawberry, vanilla, chocolate combo)? Second, I love eyeshadow palettes. If you look at my makeup drawer, guaranteed you’ll find over five different palettes that I use regularly for my eyes. These three colors are some of my favorite and I can’t wait to come up with a smokey eye, natural looking and a glam look with these.
  6. You get a makeup bag every month and who doesn’t love that for travel?

For only $11 this is such a bargain. I love that Ispy chooses products that are good for you and the environment. Almost all of my products are paraben and cruelty free, so that makes me feel even better about the subscription.

Sign up today and receive fabulous products every month.




Fitness: Pure Barre Update

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It’s been a little over a month since I started Pure Barre classes in San Rafael and I have to say that I’ve noticed a change in my body already. While it’s helping kickstart my weight loss goals, it’s also allowing me to tune into my body more than I ever have. I know how each and every muscle feels and when I’m overdoing it or need to push myself more. In March they had a “March Madness” challenge where you had to complete 20 classes in 31 days. I made it to 15 classes, which is pretty great for me.

Incorporating Pure Barre classes into my work-life schedule wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I’ve committed to going at least four days a week (Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, repeat), and I’ve only canceled my reservation twice for good reasons (swollen ankle and a cold). If I miss a Wednesday or a Friday class, I push myself to make it up during the weekend, like tomorrow, for example. I skipped this Wednesday’s class because I wasn’t feeling well, so I’m going to class tomorrow morning to make up for it.

Each class I attend has a different instructor, so no one class is ever the same, and I’ve gotten to know them fairly well. I know that my instructor on Monday might focus a little more on core than my instructor on Wednesday who might focus on toning your seat and my Friday and Sunday instructors might incorporate new moves to challenge students.

Lift. Tone. Burn. That’s the motto at Pure Barre and even after a week you feel your body toning up and your flexibility getting better. I can’t forget to mention that if you do sign up for a Pure Barre class, be sure to bring or purchase a pair of sticky socks – otherwise you’ll be sliding all over the place since there are no shoes allowed in the studio.

Have you taken a Pure Barre class or a class like it? I’d love to know about your experience.



Le Creuset Dutch Oven

After waiting and waiting and waiting, I finally took the plunge. I went to Williams-Sonoma and purchased my first-ever Le Creuset Dutch oven. My grandma had given me a gift card that had a substantial amount of money on it for Williams-Sonoma, and when I walked into the store last Saturday, the 3.5 quart Le Creuset ovens were on sale. It couldn’t get any better for me in that regard. I had been wanting one of these for a while, but didn’t want to fork over upwards of $300 for the oven. I brought it home and started thinking about what I could cook in it the next day.

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Me being silly, I didn’t take a picture of what I made because it smelled so good my husband and I just devoured it, but I made balsamic Brussels sprouts with bacon. They turned out delicious and I’ll be sure to take a picture of them next time, but you can see the Le Creuset Dutch oven I purchased at the store above.

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon


  • 1 bag of Brussels sprouts (I used the pack purchased at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 small red or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-3 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

To Prepare

  1. Place Brussels sprouts in a microwave safe bowl. Fill the bowl with enough water that it’s covering the Brussels sprouts. Heat the bowl for 5 minutes (this will make the Brussels sprouts easier to cut).
  2. While the sprouts are heating, take your 2-3 strips of bacon and chop them up to your liking. I did little rectangle size bits. Place to the side.
  3. Once the Brussels sprouts are done, let it cool, then cut them in half and place in a bowl (they’ll cook better when they’re cut in half).
  4. Put the dutch oven on your burner on medium heat. Pour olive oil over the bottom of the oven and sauté your onions.
    1. Option: Cook the bacon in the dutch oven first, so the bits get super crispy then remove and begin cooking the Brussels sprouts in the bacon grease so they soak up the flavor.
  5. Once the onions have been caramelized, place your Brussels sprouts in the dutch oven and begin to sauté them, as well. Add your salt and pepper during this process to give them a little extra flavor.
  6. Add a little of the balsamic vinegar to the sprouts and onions and place the cover on the dutch oven to let cook more thoroughly, about 3-minutes.
  7. Remove cover, turn up the heat to medium-high and add the bacon bits. Make sure to mix often so they don’t stick to the bottom of dutch oven. Add the rest of the balsamic vinegar to coat the Brussels sprouts and the bacon. Once you see that the bacon is cooked and the Brussels sprouts have darkened, turn off burner and put the cover back on to let it cook a little more (another minute or two).
  8. Remove from burner (be careful as Dutch oven heat easily).
  9. Plate with chicken breast or on top of a salad.

I plan on making this again, so I’ll be sure to snap a photo next time. What’s your favorite thing to make in your Dutch oven? I’d love to know!





Beauty Haul from Ulta

It’s that time of year again. Going through my current makeup caboodle and seeing what’s old enough to toss and what I should keep. After doing just that, I realized that I need to stock up on a few things. So, I told my wonderful husband and he agreed to pay for my next beauty haul, because he’s just that amazing.

Lately, I have been obsessed with Too Faced products (specifically their Born This Way foundation) and instead of purchasing online, I googled to see which beauty store, Sephora or Ulta, had the most of their products. While it was about even, I ended up going to Ulta to purchase my latest beauty products.

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From left to right:

  1. it Cosmetics Cheek Blush Brush. The MAC blush brush that I was using was about 10 years old, so it was definitely time for a new one.
  2. it Cosmetics Concealer Brush. When I don’t have my beauty blender (or sponge) handy, this concealer brush will suffice.
  3. Too Faced Primed, Powerless, Pure (oil free). I always love a good primer and since I moisturize my face prior to putting on my primer, I needed one that’s oil free. Also, it’s good for sensitive skin, which I have, as well. I haven’t used this one yet, but I’m excited to.
  4. Too Faced Born This Way Foundation in Warm Nude. Need I say more? I love this foundation. It goes on light and still gives full coverage.
  5. Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette. I’m really excited to try this palette. While I do have more drastic eyeshadows at home, I do love an au natural palette to play with.
  6. Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. Ulta doesn’t carry the Beauty Blender, but this does the same thing. This morning, I put on my foundation flawlessly. The pointed tip allows for easy coverage on those hard-to-cover creases near your nose and laugh lines. Once I applied my concealer, I again used the complexion sponge to mix everything together and it works wonderfully. Easy to clean, too.
  7. Too Faced LA Matte Lipstick in Bachelorette. My normal lip routine consists of a non-matte lipstick, followed by a gloss of a similar color, so when Too Faced announced this matte lipstick, I had to give it a try. I bought my first color in bachelorette, which is a subtle watermelon pink, perfect for spring. So far, I have no complaints (I’m wearing it today) and it seems to be keeping my lips hydrated which is always a plus in my book.
  8. it Cosmetics Eyelift in a Tube (concealer and brightener in light/medium). I normally go for the bareMinerals powder concealer, but I decided to give this a try since I use a liquid foundation. Today was my first day using it and I have to say I love it! The coverage is great and it really eliminates the under eye puffiness that comes from lack of sleep or stress. I haven’t tried the brightener, but I’m excited to put that near my eyes, forehead, nose and chin to really give my face a little extra highlight.

Okay, I do have to say that I’m obsessed with Too Faced’s packaging… Am I right?

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What are your favorite products to get at Sephora or Ulta? Have you tried these yet? Let me know in the comments.



Fashion Show To-Go

I love fashion as much as the next girl, so when I had the opportunity to attend a fashion show, I jumped at the opportunity. Last Friday at the Marin Country Club in Novato, CA, my mom and I saw the latest spring trends at the Curbside Couture fashion show. What is Curbside Couture? Essentially it is a fashion show to-go. Leah-Marie, founder and CEO of Curbside Couture, curates a mobile fashion show right in front of your business or home, featuring local designers. While this one was indoors in a banquet room, the show normally takes place on a truck bed, but still has the glitz and glam of a traditional fashion show.

Leah-Marie had everything planned out perfectly: an “L” shaped runway, drastic lighting, catering, swag bags, vendors showcasing their goods and a solid turnout. The show started at 7 p.m., but doors opened an hour before so people could shop and nosh on some food. Some of the vendors were Carolina Boutique (Novato and Mill Valley), In Her Shoes (San Rafael), Salt Point Sparkling Cocktails (Mill Valley), Ash + Ames and others.

The show itself was amazing. Half an hour of completely different looks (clothes from Carolina Boutique, shoes from In Her Shoes and jewelry from Ash + Ames) and good music. It was fun to see the new trends for spring, then being able to shop them afterwards. Here are a few snaps I took during the fashion show.

If you like the idea of having a fashion show come to you, reach out to Curbside Couture. Be sure to let me know which look is your favorite in the comments!



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Recipe: Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Now, I know today is St. Patrick’s Day, and while I don’t have a St. Patty’s Day-themed post, I do have a great foodie one. A majority of my food posts consist of soups or crockpot recipes, but little do people know, I truly enjoy baking. Come spring and summer it’s time to bust out my KitchenAid mixer and get to baking. Even though I love double fudge brownies, I try and opt for healthier baking options. While exploring the amazingness that is Pinterest a few years ago, I discovered these banana oatmeal breakfast muffins that were deemed healthy. Usually that means a Sucralose substitute, however, this recipe is a flourless, granulated sugarless, oil-free recipe. Super easy to prepare and bake, this is a perfect on-the-go snack. So when you’re running late and need a quick breakfast – or that mid-morning sweet treat – grab one of these. Note: these muffins are highly perishable, so be sure to eat them within a week or they will go bad. (Here’s the original recipe).

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins



  • 2.5 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • Optional: unsweetened dark chocolate chips
  • Optional: walnuts, sliced almonds

To Prepare

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grab a cupcake baking tin and spray with non-stick cooking spray or line with 12 muffin tins (with silicone or foil liners).
  2. Place your 2.5 cups of old fashioned oats in the food processor (or blender) and pulse for about 10-15 seconds. Add the 2 eggs, 1 cup low fat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup honey, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla and the bananas into the food processor.
  3. Process until everything is mixed together and oats are smooth.
  4. At this step, you can either add unsweetened dark chocolate chips (which is what I did), walnuts, toasted almonds or any other nut or chocolate you’d like in the batter.
  5. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Now if your bananas are getting too ripe, you can peel them and put them in a freezer bag and store until your next batch of muffins. These taste great with a warm cup of coffee. They are not high in caloric intake, so perfect for any bride-to-be or person wanting to curb that sweet tooth while trying to stay healthy with their diet.

Planning on making these? I’d love to see how yours turned out, so leave a comment below!



Ballerina (or Coffin) Style Nails

When it comes to my nails, I’m pretty picky. I have been getting acrylic nails since my banking days (we’re talking 2009) and while I give my natural nails time to breathe yearly, I always go back to acrylics and never really branch out of my comfort zone: square nails, pink and white powder with a bit of glitter. It takes a lot for me to work up the courage to try something new. Even though I know it’s not permanent (if I hate it, I can always go back and ask my nail tech to fix it), I research extensively before finally branching out and changing up my nail look.

After perusing Instagram (I follow a lot of nail techs, but my favorites are ElectaArt and LindseyDivaNails) and searching “nail art” on Pinterest, I discovered the new hot trend of ballerina (or coffin) nails showing up in my search. Think of it as an oval shape with the ends squared off. I saw wonderful designs and beautiful gel colors (shiny and matte) being used on this style of nail and I felt like it was time for a change.

I waited a few weeks, asked around for people’s opinion on the style of nail, headed to my local nail salon (NJ Nails Spa in Novato) and finally changed it up this last weekend. I went from my normal pink and whites to ballerina style, pastely purple nails. At first, when my nail tech started shaping my nails differently, I was a little apprehensive, but when the final look came to fruition, I was ecstatic. I think I have found a new nail style that I’ll stick with for years on end.

Here’s a side-by-side of the two nail shapes. Which do you think is better? Leave your comment below.




Oscar de la Renta Exhibition in San Francisco

Earlier this morning, I had the pleasure of attending the press event for Oscar de la Renta: The Retrospective exhibition at the de Young museum in San Francisco. When I got there, let’s just say I channeled my inner Carrie Bradshaw when she was rummaging through her closet in the first Sex and the City movie (or in the wedding dress scene of the same movie) and appreciated every de la Renta piece that I saw there.

If you are able to recognize de la Renta on the red carpet, but don’t know a lot about the late designer and how and why certain things influenced his work, do make your way to the de Young museum to check it out (exhibit opens March 12).

Walking through this world premiere exhibition of de la Renta’s work is truly an experience one should partake in. It includes more than 130 pieces produced over five decades and is divided into sections: his early work, including Spanish, Eastern and Russian influences; day-wear and evening-wear influenced by gardens; and ball gowns and red carpet gowns.


During this press event, I listened to a Q&A with former American Vogue editor at large, André Leon Talley, who was a close friend of de la Renta’s over the years.

Here are a few things I learned about Oscar de la Renta while walking through the exhibition:

  • De la Renta was born in the Dominican Reublic in 1932 and after training in Spain at Balenciaga and working for Lanvin-Castillo in Paris, he moved to the United States to work for Elizabeth Arden.
  • De la Renta took part in a fashion show that pitted American designers against their French counterparts and his show, different than what most had seen until that time, granted de la Renta a standing ovation. Side note: he played Barry White’s “Love’s Theme” as the runway song.
  • De la Renta’s designs reflect his dedication to making every woman “feel wonderful about herself” at any shape and size.
  • He drew influence from European history (18th century France), the Golden Age of Spain, Chinese embroideries, Indian textiles, Japanese woodblock prints, traditional Russian fabrics and more.
  • De la Renta was an avid gardener in both his Dominican Republic and Conneticut homes leading to him to have botanical themes in his work, including: floral-printed silk taffetas, appliquéd flowers and soft ruffles.


Who knows when this exhibition will make its way back around to San Francisco again, so if you have the time to see it, do.

If You Go:

When: March 12 – May 30, Tuesday through Friday, times vary

Where: de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr in San Francisco

Cost: Prices vary (click here) $30–$50

Do let me know if you end up attending the show and tell me how you like it!




In-flight Essentials

My husband and I are leaving for New Zealand soon (eeeee so excited!) and have an almost 16 hour flight ahead of us. Though I’m super pumped for the trip, the impending long flight ahead always looms over me.

After our trip to Greece last year, I picked up some helpful tricks for making a long flight bearable. Beyond the typical comforts like wearing loose clothing (my go-to outfit is: yoga pants, t-shirt, cardigan, scarf, tennis shoes, and compression socks – yes I totally rock these), there are several small personal care items you can pack that make a world of a difference. I just throw the below items into a small ziploc baggie, put it in the seat pocket during the flight, and can instantly find anything I might need in flight.

in flight essentials

  1. Make-up remover wipes – On long flights I usually fly makeup-free, but even so, I like to “wash” my face at least once or twice during a flight. These easy to use towelettes remove travel grime and just makes it feel less yucky to not have showered in so long.
  2. Facial mist – It’s like pressing an instant refresh button with every spray. I can’t get enough of this Evian facial mist on flights and spray it whenever I’m feeling dry.
  3. Moisture-rich hand lotion – As you’ve seen from previous posts, I love Palmer’s Cocoa Butter. But what makes it great for flights is the barely-there scent (so you don’t overpower seat mates) and it’s rich formula that will keep you moisturized for hours.
  4. Disposable tooth brushes – I don’t think anyone should go 16+ hours without brushing their teeth, and these disposable brushes make it easy to do in-flight – no sink or water required.
  5. Luxurious face lotion – Travel is the perfect time to break out those samples you have squirreled away. I love Caudalie’s Premier Cru The Cream, and this tiny sample is perfect for one or two lotion applications.
  6. Lip balm – Another favorite, this Vaseline lip therapy is ideal for dry climates and will keep you lips moisturized for hours.
  7. Earplugs – Seal out the sound of crying babies or snoring neighbors and get some shut-eye.
  8. Zinc lozenges – Zinc is said to help prevent and shorten colds. Who knows if that’s actually true, but at least if your mouth feels dry it’s something to suck on, and can possibly help keep you healthy amid a plane full of germs.
  9. An extra hair rubber band – An obvious one, but no one likes to get stuck without a hair tie when you want to throw your hair up in a ponytail or bun.
  10. Advil – I take one to reduce swelling on flights, and also good to have on hand for headaches or any other aches you might develop from sitting for so long.
  11. Hand sanitizer – Kind of a no-brainer, but definitely keep this on hand and apply liberally whenever you may have come in contact with germs.

What do you bring on long flights to make the experience more comfortable? Did I miss any of your must-pack items?