A Decade Under The Influence (On Turning 30)

I turn 30 tomorrow and I don’t have too many feelings about it. Well, I guess that isn’t true. I do have some feelings and thoughts I wanted to share, hence this blog post. What I mean to say is, I don’t have all the emotions I would expect to have.

When my husband and some of my friends turned 30, their reactions were very mixed. Anywhere from “mid-life crisis” status to those who were optimistic about the next phase in their life. I was expecting to be more mid-life-crisisy, but to my surprise I haven’t felt that way.

To sum it up, I kind of feel like “So what?” I think the only thing that bothers me is that it’s viewed as a very grown-up age. In your 20s you may no longer be a teen, but you’re generally still viewed as being part of the youth. It seems like when 30s hit it the general consensus is that you’re now an adult.

I don’t feel like a real adult though! I don’t own a home, I don’t have any children, and if you asked me how old I feel I would say somewhere around 26. All of a sudden I find myself about to turn 30 and a slight pressure to do all the adult things.

Now, don’t get me wrong…I do want to own a home, I do want to have children, but since in my mind I am only 26 it seems too early for these things.

Looking back over my 20s, I wouldn’t really say they went by quickly. While it is crazy to think 10 years have passed since I turned 20, it also doesn’t seem like yesterday by any means. A lot happened! I was able to legally drink, graduated college, got married, moved to NYC, changed careers, and faced some really hard times and struggles. Yet, overall I enjoyed my 20s.

Recently, someone told me when their father turned 90, he asked him how it felt. His response was he still felt 25. I found this interesting and also scary. When I turn 40, 50…90, will I still feel like I’m only 26?

There is that cliche saying “age is just a number” and hey, maybe that’s really true. The idea of aging can be scary for many people (myself included), but I don’t want to spend my life fearful or worried about getting old. I want to live my life to it’s fullest and one day look back and be able to say, damn, this has been an amazing ride.

All that being said, for now my plan is just to take life one day at at time and see where it leads me. I am trying to not let any sort of social pressure or listicle dictate my decisions and just trying to do what feels right and is best for myself and my husband. Which leads me to the next point…

We are about to start a new adventure and leaving NYC at the end of this month. Why we are leaving NYC could be a whole other post of it’s own, so I won’t get into that now. It’s been a fun, crazy, and sometimes hectic two years living here, but it’s been fun. I am so happy we were able to live out that dream and I don’t have to always wonder “what if we had moved to NYC?” Now, I know. :)

Before I leave you, let me address the title of this article, because I know you appreciate that Taking Back Sunday reference. At first I just wrote it when the idea of leaving the decade of my 20s behind came to mind, but then I realized it was more fitting than initially thought. In a way, your 20s are a good span of time you spend figuring yourself, others, and life out. It includes many formative years where we are often influenced by family, friends, politics, religion, and really trying to find ourselves. One thing I a proud to say is that I feel that I haven’t been too heavily influenced by outside parties and have stayed true to myself, yet, the things that did change about me, have changed for the better. I’ve learned a lot, grown a lot, and hope to continue that in my 30s.




Travel Makeup Bag: What I Actually Used!

I am someone who is always, without fail, guilty of overpacking when I travel. Even when I make an effort to not take too much, a few extra shirts always get thrown in! Then, like every other time, half my clothes go unworn. Oops.

A little over a week ago John and I went on a trip to the West Coast and spent some time in Los Angeles, San Fransico, and Napa Valley. We had a great trip!

When I was packing my travel makeup bag I set out to keep it basic, not bring too much, only take what I would use, etc. Long story short my makeup bag ended up packed full. I was debating doing a video about what I was taking with me, but I ran out of time and looking back, it would have been quite a long video!

When our trip was over and I was back home unpacking, I thought it would be fun to show you all the makeup items that actually got used. The real essential items, which no surprise, filled about an 1/8th of my bag.

Travel Makeup Bag

And to think this was packed full!

Travel Makeup Bag

iPhone for scale

I wanted to take the time to highlight the items that got the most use during my 8 days away and hopefully this will help me pack smarter for my next trip and give you some ideas for what you really need to bring if you have an upcoming trip!

Travel Makeup Bag

The essentials.

  • Urban Decay Naked Basics palette: By now you all know I love this palette and I think it’s a must have for anyone! Urban Decay recently came out with a second version of this palette so you can choose the one that best suits your skin tone!
  • Laura Mercier Radiance Foundation Primer mini: I got this mini from a Sephora VIB gift and it comes in handy for travel! I like to keep a box of my minis that I can pick from when I’m traveling to save space!
  • Missha Perfect Cover BB Cream mini: This was another sample I got from Ipsy this year. Ipsy is great because they give you generous sized samples which are perfect for travel! I am in love with this BB cream and am about to order a full size. More to come on this!
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser: This product makes it so easy to cover and brighten any darkness you have under your tired eyes. The applicator makes it super simple to apply and it blends out nicely with your finger.
  • Perricone MD No Bronzer Bronzer: This is one of my more recent purchases, but I’m in love with it. It gives you such a natural glow and as an added bonus, contains an SPF of 30.
  • Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette: I’ve mentioned this pencil as a favorite before and I am still using it a lot. It’s great for a natural looking brow and is easy to apply so you can get our the door quick!
  • Milani Blush in Luminoso: By now most of us have heard that Milani makes a great blush and I don’t disagree. Luminoso is a beautiful, natural color that doubles as a blush and highlighter without looking too shimmery or intense! I find this blush goes with almost every look!
  • NARS Larger in Life liner in Via Veneto: These pencils are no joke. If you’re looking for a good eyeliner that will not smudge or budge, these are worth the splurge.
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster liner: This is my current go-to liner for creating a wing or cat-eye. The tip/brush is very easy to use and makes it easy to be precise. It’s great for a trip when you want to take that extra step, but don’t want to add a ton of extra time.
  • L’Oreal Lash Out Butterfly mascara: I love this mascara. It’s the perfect mascara for an every day look. It lifts and separates without getting clumpy.
  • Sonia Kashuk lash curler: I use a lash curler most days as it really helps to lift and open up your eyes. I am not one for dramatic lashes and rarely wear falsies, but a good curl makes a huge difference!

I didn’t photograph a lip product because most days I wore a balm or chapstick. On the occasions I did want some color, I used my NARS lip pencil in Descanso which unfortunately, was LE, but is a nice natural peachy nude color.

I wish I had taken a photo of when my bag was crammed full of other things. I think it’s fun/funny to look back and actually take a look at what got the most use! It’s eye-opening! I am traveling again in October and I am going to remember this when I go to my makeup drawer to decide that to bring. :)


Have you traveled recently? What makeup items that you took with you proved to be the most useful?

Kim Kardashian Wedding Makeup Tutorial – Makeup by Mario – Kimye Wedding

Kim Kardashian Wedding Makeup Tutorial - Makeup by Mario - Kimye

Hello everyone! I know my blog has been silent for quite sometime. I really want to get back to regular blogging, whether it be tutorials, product reviews, or quick tips and tricks to share!

I knew it was time to get a new makeup tutorial up and since I didn’t have a model (a.k.a. friend) available, I tried to think of a tutorial that would be a good look to demonstrate on myself. While I by no means think I look like Kim Kardashian, I knew one of her recent looks would suit me. I wanted to do a Kim Kardashian wedding makeup tutorial! I thought her look which was created by Mario Dedivanovic was so beautiful on her. It was striking, but still classy and beautiful.

Kim Kardashian Wedding Makeup Tutorial - Makeup by Mario - Kimye

I went through my makeup and grabbed some items I thought would work really well to re-create her look. Mario had released a list of some of the products he used on Kim, but like most people I only had a few of them. I was so excited when I read he used the Urban Decay Naked Skin foundation as it’s been one of my favorites for a long time now! Excitement also hit me when I realized that the colors on her eyes could be perfectly achieved using the It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty palette which I think is very underrated!

In the end, I think my final look is very reminiscent of Kim’s wedding day makeup. It’s a warm smokey eye without being too dramatic and compliments brown eyes beautifully.

Products used:

  • Hourglass Mineral Primer
  • Urban Decay Naked Skin Foundation
  • Laura Mercier Secret Concealer #3
  • Maybelline Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser
  • Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Dim Light
  • Hourglass Arch Brow Pencil in Dark Brunette
  • Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade in Dark Brown
  • MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in So Ceylon
  • NARS Blush in Deep Throat
  • theBalm Mary-Loumainzer Highlighter
  • Maybelline Color Tattoo in Caramel Cool
  • It Cosmetics Naturally Pretty Palette shades in: Warmth, Sunrise, Java, Love, Sheer Joy
  • L’Oreal Infallible Eyeshadow in Eternal Sunshine
  • NARS Larger Than Life Eyeliner in Via Veneto
  • Physicians Formula Eye Booster Eyeliner
  • L’Oreal Butterfly Effect Mascara
  • Kardashian Beauty Lashes in Glimmer
  • Jordana Lip Liner in Tawny
  • Milani Lipstick in Nude Pink
  • NYX Butter Lipstick in Snow Cap

Kim Kardashian Wedding Makeup Tutorial - Makeup by Mario - Kimye

Be sure to watch my video for all the details on how to re-create this look!

Mad Men Joan Holloway Makeup Tutorial

Madmen Makeup

Channeling my inner Joanie.

Hi everyone! Can you believe that the final season of Mad Men starts this Sunday? I am excited and sad at the same time. It’s always (usually) satisfying to see a great series wrap up and have that closure, but you always miss tuning in each week to see what your favorite characters are getting up to. I do have to say though, with the long gaps between Mad Men seasons, I think it will be a little less painful than other series I was very attached to!

One thing I think all fans of the show can agree on is how amazing the fashion, sets, styling, makeup, and hair were throughout the series. In fact, it was what inspired my Halloween costume a few years ago! I went with my husband and two best friends as Mad Men-esque characters. It’s been one of my best Halloween costumes to date!

Mad Men Costume

Halloween 2010

Over the years, Joan Holloway (played by Christina Hendricks) has become one of those iconic characters that will always be remembered as one of televisions strongest woman. I know many women not only look up to her character, but to Christina herself. I see Joan as a strong woman who does what she needs to do achieve her goals. Speaking of goals, that just reminded me of one of my favorite lines in the show where Joan bluntly told Peggy, “Sometimes when people get what they want they realize how limited their goals were.” Joan is beautiful, sexy, smart, and savvy.

Mad Men Makeup

Queen Joan

I knew I had to do a Joan Holloway makeup tutorial before the series ended. It has been an idea that for whatever reason has been on the back burner for a while and now it’s time! I wanted to create Joan’s classic office makeup look. It’s super wearable and easy to replicate!

I hope you all enjoy this video and Joan Holloway makeup tutorial! I can’t wait to tune in Sunday for the season 7 premier while kicking back with an a martini or old fashioned! Who has been your favorite character on Mad Men?


Everyday Hogwarts House Makeup

Harry Potter Makeup

Fandom can be an interesting thing. It can turn some people into over-the-top creatures while some of us prefer to harness our love and keep it more to ourselves. I tend to fall somewhere in-between (depending on the subject). There isn’t a right or wrong way to be a fan if you ask me, but in my mid-to-late 20’s, I often want to go on the more subtle side of things.

This week marks the start of the Pottermore’s House Pride Week (March 20-23rd)! According to Pottermore Insider, “During house pride week there will be a day dedicated to each of the four houses, giving their members a chance to show their house pride (even more than usual).”

I’ve always loved to express my love for something through my makeup. Whether it’s a sports team, a holiday, or anything else. I’m a proud Hufflepuff and when things like this come along, my first thought is always to how I can best fly my colors through my makeup, but without being too in-your-face about it. So here I am with my take on Hogwarts House makeup looks!

I’ve created 4 very wearable looks that will be easy for any Harry Potter fan, no matter what house, to recreate! I love finding understated ways to show my pride or appreciation for things. So let’s get to it!


Gryffindor values bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry. Their house colors are scarlet and gold, so I immediately knew I’d have to do a deep red lip to display their bold and courageous traits.

Gryffindor Makeup

“You might belong in Gryffindor, where dwell the brave at heart. Their daring, nerve and chivalry set Gryffindors apart.”

I used a light wash of Urban Decay Half-Baked eyeshadow all over my lids with Urban Decay Naked 2 through the crease. I smudged MAC Teddy Kohl across my lashline and on my lower waterline. Then I finished off the eyes with my favorite mascara, L’Oreal Butterfly Effect Mascara. For the lips I used Rimmel for Kate Moss lipstick in 107, which I felt was the perfect bold statement for any Gryffindor.


Next is my own humble house, Hufflepuff. We value hard work, patience, loyalty, and fair play. Our colors are black and yellow which can be a little tricky to pull of if you aren’t careful, but fear not, I got you covered.

Hufflepuff Makeup

“You might belong in Hufflepuff, where they are just and loyal. Those patient Hufflepuffs are true and unafraid of toil.”

I won’t lie, for this look I imagined myself wanting to glam it up to impress Cedric Diggory, so I went for a more dramatic smokey eye. The trick here is to use a yellow gold, and not a true yellow. I used a mix of MAC Sunshine and Urban Decay Half-Baked all over my lid with Urban Decay Naked 2 as a mid-tone in my crease to help transition the darker color I’d use next. I blended MAC Black Tied into my inner and outer corners to really intensify the look. I then lined my eyes with Jordana Fabuliner in black and created a little flick at the ends. I put some black liner in my waterline and smudged it out along my lowerlash line with Urban Day Naked 2 eyeshadow before applying mascara. To finish off the lips I used NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brule.


Next we have Ravenclaw, who value intelligence, knowledge, and wit. The colors of Ravenclaw are blue and bronze per the books, but are often shown as blue and silver in the films and on merchandise. I decided to go with bronze since it’s their official color and that those ’Claws would probably appreciate my knowledge on the matter.

Ravenclaw Makeup

“Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw, if you’ve a ready mind. Where those of wit and learning, will always find their kind.”

Now, for some reason I see the Ravenclaw girl not wanting too much of a fuss with their makeup, but wanting to look polished. In fact, I wore this look out to a business meeting later in the day! That being said, I used MAC Blanc Type eyeshadow all over my lid and blended a small amount of Urban Decay Dark Horse crease to create depth and used the same color along my lower lash line. I lined my upper lashline with a Eyeko Skinny Liner in Navy Blue. I apologize that the blue did not pick up much in the photos, but I promise this is a gorgeous navy blue liquid liner. I did the slightest flick at the outer corner to life the eyes and used Rimmel Kohl Kahjal in Blue on my waterline, which was another nice subtle way to include the blue in the look, but not be over the top. I finished off the look with Buxom’s lipstick in Hooligan.


Last but not least we have Slytherin, the house that values cunning, ambition, and resourcefulness. Slytherin also just happens to be my secondary house (rumor has it I’m about 75% Hufflepuff and 25% Slytherin, but this has yet to be confirmed by the Sorting Hat). Slytherin’s house colors are green and silver and if I’m being completely honest, this was one of the looks I was most excited to create.

Slytherin Makeup

“Or perhaps in Slytherin you’ll make your real friends. Those cunning folks use any means to achieve their ends.”

The word that came to mind when coming up with the look was “sharp.” I wanted it to be simple, yet strong. I kept the eyes fairly neutral by using Urban Decay WOS on the lid and Naked 2 through the crease. To create a dramatic green cat-eye, I scraped off some of my MAC Humid eye shadow and dampened my eyeliner brush in Fix+(you can also use eye drops) to create a custom color liquid liner. I lined my upper waterline with a black liner and used a white liner on my lower waterline. Using MAC Electra and a small detailer brush, I applied the silver shade on top of the white on my waterline and smudged it out along my lower lash line. After finishing off the eyes with mascara, I deepened the contour on my face and added some NYX Butter Gloss in Crème Brule to keep the lips simple.

So there we have it! Wearable makeup to represent all of the Hogwarts Houses. I hope you’ve found this helpful and enjoyed it. Now we are all prepared to represent our houses not only this week for Pottermore House Pride Week, but for any other day in life!

Hogwarts Makeup