L’Oreal Elvive Damage Erasing Balm Review

One of the perks of my job, as I’ve written before, is that I am sent product to try and test in exchange for honest reviews!  I’ve had the pleasure of trying L’Oreal’s Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm for about a month thanks to the amazing people at Influenster.


Their slogan states, “proof in one use,” of which, I was extremely skeptical.  I hold beauty products to a high standard, and to claim noticeably stronger hair in one use felt “gimmicky.”  I WAS PROVED WRONG.

  1. I am a natural blonde who’s hair has deepened as I’ve become older, so I highlight it= damage
  2. Natural blondes either have THICK hair, or a lot of FINE hair.  I was gifted with FINE hair.  This means my ends break easier than other hair types, and the ends also become wispy without regular cuts.
  3. I thought my hair was beyond repair.


Because of these reasons, I was blown away by the efficacy of the product.  Fine hair has a tendency to get weighed down by product, especially heavy balms.  MY HAIR IS NOT WEIGHED DOWN WITH THIS PRODUCT.  It is noticeably healthier after (one use) as well as continued use.



Things I like: the smell, the efficacy, and how it seems to lock in my hair cuticle with an over all improved look for my hair root to tip.  I usually purchase high end products for my hair from my hair salon (which do also help), however, the price point of this one ($6!!) and how well it works have me feeling all kinds of excited.

Things I did not love: the packaging- I found the double line at the top of the lid confusing, and tried to pry open the balm vs twisting off the cap.  I’m not sure if my lid was defective, as the top had actually popped a little upon arrival which led me to think this was how it opened.  (Probably just mine!)

I also don’t love reaching into jars in the shower as inevitably water gets inside (unless you turn off your shower before application which is lightly annoying).  I would lOVE this product even more if it came in a tub with indicator markings of how much you should be using.

I anticipate continuing to use this product once it’s finished, and even want to purchase it for my family as I saw such a large difference in my own hair! Wheee!

What do you swear by for your hair?  What products took you by surprise based off their price point to efficacy ratio!?

I hope you’re having a brilliant 2018 thus far, and I look forward to writing my next review!  Thank you for stopping by!

Love & B


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Best Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


One of my favorite parts of the season are roasting whole pumpkins for my own puree, and then making the yummiest pumpkin seeds for munching on and enjoying!

You will need:

One pumpkin

Kosher Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

2 T Grape seed or Olive oil (any oil of your choosing that can withstand 350 degrees)

Glass shallow pan for baking large enough to hold a pumpkin

Put the whole pumpkin on a glass shallow pan and roast for 30- 45 minutes at 350 degrees

Once a fork can easily poke into the pumpkin, it is done.

Let rest for 30 minutes

Cut in half, and remove the pumpkin skin, and stringy insides while putting the seeds to the side

Put face down in the glass and add 1/3 cup water and continue to bake at 350 degrees until soft if your pumpkin is still a little hard.

Let rest again to avoid burning yourself for about a half hour. 

Add skinned pumpkin to a blender and puree.  You may also can the puree, and save for another time, or make delicious homemade soups or pumpkin pie!


Rinse the seeds, and set to the side to dry.  The drier the seeds, the crunchier they will be!

Add two tablespoons olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper together.

Coat the seeds in the olive oil mixture, and put into your glass baking tray.

Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, flipping them every five minutes to prevent burning.

When they are golden brown, they’re done!

Let cool and ENJOY!


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Sparkle VOX BOX from Influenster!

Influenster’s Sparkle Vox Box!

Part of my life I absolutely love is receiving product in exchange for honest reviews.  I get to try product I might not otherwise have known about, and show you all the hits and the misses!

Influenster is my favorite company who sends me amazing new products, and some that I’ve already loved.  It’s fun to see what they curate for each season.  This October and November, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying my #voxbox from them with all the Autumnal  cheer of a pumpkin spice latte product style!

I am the daughter of a dentist, so with the Halloween and thanksgiving theme, I was super happy to see Crest whitening toothpaste alongside Welches Fruit Rolls.  Good balance!  I’m not a huge sweets fan, so the fruit rolls were a bit of a miss, but for someone who does have a sweet tooth, they are a healthier alternative to a candy bar.  The Crest toothpaste did wonders for my teeth, as I am a coffee and tea drinker, and often forget how staining those are!

The Family that tests Crest together… 

Sinful Colors Glow in the Dark Nail Polish was a huge hit for Halloween, however, I wish I could have sampled a color that showed up all the time!  I was Barb for Halloween, so it added a fun spooky twist to my costume.  The brush glides easily and does the trick for even application.  The only downside was seeing it only in the dark!  I’d be open to try another nail polish to see how it works on day to day!

The Garnier Gentle Sulfate Free Cleanser  was a hit, although I did rate it 4 out of 5 stars, only because it took my sensitive skin about a week to acclimate.  I did note on my review that this is my own experience, and now that my skin has adjusted, I’ve really enjoyed the smoothness the product makes my skin feel. Also, other people’s skin will have different reactions, so it’s important to try for oneself.  I appreciate the amount of product for price, and find the ability to remove waterproof eyeliner gently and quickly amazing!  My eyes usually puff up with product removers, and I have been impressed that this is not the case with the Garnier Cleanser.

Another highlight of the VoxBox was the Numi Tea care package! It is COLD in the Pacific Northwest right now, and tea is a great addition to my life! ha!  The Numi brand is amazing as it is fair trade and organic.  They boast an impressive collection of “HOLISTIC HERBAL TEASANS, a botanical alchemy of indigenous herbs, flowers, and spices blended to help #SteepUp your inner well-being.”  I will tell you, I felt calm, relaxed, and warm after drinking the teas.  I especially enjoyed their “Gratitude” flavor. If you are a subscriber of Thrive Market you can find Numi teas here.

As a beauty junkie, my excitement level for this VOX increased by 100% when I saw the Kiss Lash Couture Faux Mink Collection lashes in “Little Black Dress.”  I found a great deal for a three pack on Amazon here. I used Duo Waterproof Glue in Black from my kit, and my lashes did not budge.  I felt so beautiful, and was impressed by how light weight these lashes are.

Kiss Lashes are so GLAM!

There’s nothing quite like opening a package in the mail with a bunch of fun products.  Try one or all of these for yourself. They also make great stocking stuffer ideas if you celebrate Christmas!

I’ve had the best time with this VOX, and am thankful to #influenster for having me on your team!  More reviews to come!  Send me a line if you have questions or have tried any of these before!?

As a disclaimer: I am not paid for my reviews through Influenster.  I am gifted the Voxes in exchange for honest and thoughtful reviews.

Love and Beauty,


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Have you missed me? I certainly did….




What a crazy year it’s been.  My husband and I relocated to the Pacific Northwest to follow his dream of running a third generation family business, and our combined dream to be closer to family and work on making one of our own.  It’s not been an easy transition, although we are finally able to catch out breath and realize the beautiful life we’ve made out here.  I still travel to Los Angeles and all over the world to work with some of my favorite clients, and feel healthily connected to the industry, while also maintaining a personal life and balance.

Balance has never been my strong suit as I am described (flatteringly) by my husband as “tenacious.”  He told me the other night, “when you want something, you go for it no holds barred.”  This is great if you know limitations, however, I am a workaholic, and was so incredibly unhealthy in Los Angeles. I felt if I passed on any gig, it would be my last.  And so from a place of fear, I accepted every gig or project, collaboration or campaign that came my way, without realizing the need to breathe! I lost the fun part of myself, and slipped into a deep depression.


Leaving Los Angeles



The love of my life and I at a wedding on Alki

I have a history of depression and anxiety as a result of a sexual attack I survived almost twelve years ago.  I was diagnosed with PTSD eight years ago, and have done a lot of work to identify triggers and coping mechanisms.  If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please be gentle.  Please listen, and please know there are so many outlets.  If you need to speak to someone, for healing, or to gain insight on how to support someone who is hurting, call the National Hotline for Sexual Abuse at 1(800) 656 4673.  If typing is easier for you vs speaking out loud, contact them here. 

I am not an expert, but I can certainly lend an ear if you need someone to communicate with, who has “been there.”  So many of us are finding our voices, and it doesn’t feel nearly as lonesome or scary as it once was.  My husband has been a champion through my ups and downs.  I am so thankful he has been my angel on this Earth.  We truly balance one another, but there are things you must do as an individual to thrive.  And sometimes that means bonding together, and supporting another through their journey.

This is a long around way of saying that I am back.  And I think for good?  When you’re monitoring an illness, it has a way of saying, “I’m gone,” only to show up in your guest room, then move into your room without you knowing it.  All of a sudden, it’s as though it over takes your home, and you have no space for yourself.  For those who do not experience these realities, I am so thankful for you.  Please know that sometimes, a good cry, or a hug is all that’s needed.  I can tell retrospectively when I’ve been in a deep dark place because I stop writing, I stop posting, I just stop.  I lose my voice.  It is so sad to see my last post was almost a year ago, and to know that I was so “gone.”  Importantly, we cannot beat ourselves up for these lapses in communication, but understand it is an indicator of where we are, and better identify when to move forward into a healthy life.

Accountability friends are key. I have my husband, and I also have one friend I trust implicitly, who can tell when I’m slipping and keep my awareness level of my illness on point.  Keeping tabs on one another is a great way to show support and love.

If you’re still reading, please know this is my most vulnerable post yet. Yet, it is one of the easiest posts I have ever written.  Now if it makes sense or not, that’s for the reader to decide.  But on my end, things are looking pretty good. Better than good- they’re looking beautiful.  And I am so thankful.


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Valentine’s Gift Guide 2017 With Amara Living!


This year, I was thrilled to partner with Amara Living for my Valentine’s Gift Guide!  I am absolutely in love with their team, as well as the variety of product.  What I enjoy is that Amara Living  has varying price points for a modest or extravagant budget! The packaging is so beautiful I almost didn’t want to open the gifts!!!  Something practical I appreciated was Amara’s tracking system, which made it extremely easy to know when my gift would arrive.


Once I opened the boxes, I was so thrilled with the quality and beauty of the products.  Of course, the brands are recognizable, so you also know what you’re getting ahead of time.


“The Just Slate Company” bottle stopper is perfect for anyone!  Whether you enjoy wine or apple cider, this is a great conversation starter, as well as a cute and thoughtful gift for Valentine’s Day.  Definitely a keeper (literally!) Designed in Scotland, and traditionally hand made, this stopper definitely made my heart….SKIP a beat!


Anyone who has ever smelled Voluspa knows what kind of a candle this is!  Extremely long burning, and blended with coconut wax, this champagne flavored candle is a total hit! Why not give a champagne candle and strawberries for a romantic night in? Hand poured in Irvine CA, the Blanc De Blancs will give you something to celebrate in style!


Ted Baker is a very reputable brand, and they do not disappoint in the beauty department!  This manicure set has me wanting to hold hands all day!


Tinted in rose gold, these manicure tools are STUNNING.  I love the organization, as well as the variety of tools for practical yet beautiful at home or “on the go” manicuring.



Do yourself a favor, and check out Amara Living on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram!

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!! 

As a disclosure: I was gifted the items I chose for my Valentine’s Gift Guide from Amara Living, and these are products I would definitely purchase for myself, loved ones or family.  Be sure to check out their website for the above products, as well as other gift ideas! 

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Sandy: My Woman Crush Bride


When Sandy reached out to me and let me know that I was her dream wedding make up artist, I totally blushed.  She and I had gone to school together years ago, and been amazing social media “friends.” Although, with her, I knew something deeper existed.


She is encouraging, hopeful, kind, and uplifts others to the maximum degree.  I knew I wanted to help her out immediately.  Luckily, I was going to be in Seattle for her December 30th wedding, and jumped on board.  I am so glad I did.


Sandy’s support group is just incredible.  From her mother, to her NOW mother in law, and bridesmaids, the room was buzzing with positivity, which is every bridal make up artist’s dream! You can see in the photos how much fun we had! I wish we could do it all over again!


See more from their gorgeous wedding here! Photos by: Travis Lawton Photography.

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Jenita Hill MUA in the Spotlight


unnamed-2One of the best parts of my job is collaborating with amazing artists.  This week, I will focus on Seattle based make up artist, Jenita Hill, or as I know her from instagram as Jaysweets .


Jenita’s gorgeous work…

I was introduced to Jenita through our power friend, gal pal, Chelsey Richardson, spoken word artist and activist.  Do yourself a favor, and go check out Chelsey.

I have been so thankful to the make up artists who have highlighted me, and I love showcasing kind, driven and professional talent.  Jenita is the real deal.  She is humble, caring, and gives 200% effort in everything she does.

We sat down for a an amazing afternoon full of conversations, beauty obsessions and current affairs.  What was supposed to be a few hours meeting turned effortlessly into an afternoon of kindred spirit connection.  I want to share with you a little more about Jenita.


E: What does passion mean to you?

J: Passion means to me, to have an excitement for something. An excitement that fuels an internal flame. A flame that can never go out because your passion for what you love is forever burning. 

E: Give back or get? Or are they one in the same? 

J: I think these two go hand in hand.  Giving has a boomerang effect. When you’re selfless in your acts of giving, you…seem to get back what you’ve given. (I told you, she’s amazing).

E: Favorite beauty products? 

J: I have to say as of right now, it would be my rose water facial spray. The anti-inflammatory goodies it contains are great for my skin, (and) helps maintain my skin’s pH. Plus it smells good. I like to pair it with my rose hip seed oil, which I love because it’s light and moisturizes my skin just the way I like it without feeling oily. I could go on and on but I’ll end it with my favorite eyeliner by NXY. Their liquid matte eyeliner is the best $7.99 I’ve ever spent. It dries to the perfect matte finish and lasts all day. 


E: What’s a goofy memory that keeps you laughing?

J: A couple of months ago, a group of my girlfriends and I were strolling through Nordstrom looking for dresses for a friend’s upcoming wedding. Well, at some point, “Remember The Time,” *by Michael Jackson* came on over the speakers.  My girlfriends and I clearly were thinking the same thing, because in unison, we started singing along… coupled with doing what we knew of the routine from the video. It makes me laugh playing this memory in my head because not only did we all laugh hysterically, I’m sure the employees and other customers thought we were crazy and I can only imagine how we looked on the security cameras. Good time! 

E: Message you would tell an 8 year old version of yourself?

J: “You’re beautifully and wonderfully made. An imperfect human being who’ll be dealt some good and bad cards on your life journey but don’t allow those bad hands (to) define you. You’re capable of accomplishing  anything you set your mind to because despite challenges; life is truly what you make of it, so why not make it a great life for you and those you’ll encounter.”

I’m legit crying right now…Together we lift one another up and celebrate those joyous connections that motivate us to keep going, and enjoy life! Thank you, Jenita, for a much needed, and fabulous afternoon together.  Here’s to many more!

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Thoughts on FALL


Photo by moi: Hiawatha Park in West Seattle, WA

October morphs into November, leaves on trees turn yellow and red, masking their green health with a little death.  People often say that the opposite of life is death.  In fact, the opposite of death is birth- life is what you do in-between.  This seasonal “death,” bears a cold emotion, full of fear and anxiety.   Will it ever return to the way it was before?  When will the green come back, and the blossoms burst with joy raising their faces to the sun?

Perhaps that’s the point…Each chapter, or season, as it feels in life is churning, changing, forever morphing.  And with each season, new leaves, bigger blossoms, stronger vines emerge, leaving the little death behind.


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