My Thrifitng Adventures

My love of thrift shops came about three years ago. I was in the process of losing a lot of weight and found myself with a lot of clothes that no longer fit and a need for a new wardrobe, Thrift stores became the answer to my prayers! I donated what no longer fit and picked up great pieces for a quarter of what it would have cost in a store. Not only were the clothes extremely budget friendly, I was also able to find some really funky stuff. Just be prepared to spend sometime browsing.

Here are two of my recent finds at Impact thrift store in Feasterville, PA. This dress was $7.99 and a major hit at work. The necklace is also from Impact and with matching earnings cost $15.00


I don’t know where else I would have found $3.00 comic print heels! I was so happy they were in my size!


What I love about thrifting is it’s a two way street. That shirt that’s been sitting in the back of your closet for the past two years is someone’s treasure.

Agent Carter – 40’s Glamor that Packs a Punch

Last week ABC premiered Agent Carter, a seven week mini series to tide over fans while Agents of Shield is on mid season break. The show follows Agent Peggy Carter, played by Hayley Atwell, in post World War II New York. We were introduced to Peggy Carter in the first Captain America film. At the start of Agent Carter, World War II has ended and the boys of Strategic Scientific Reserve don’t think too highly of the female Agent Carter, who is dealing with the loss of Steve Rogers (Captain America.)

Not only is the show amazingly written, it is a visual feast. It truly captures not only the 1940’s era in costuming and set design, the bright colors take the audience back to 1940’s pulp art. I also want to personally thank the costume designers for not only dressing a woman with curves, but making her look stunning. Hayley Atwell tweeted her iconic red lips is Besame in Red Velvet lipstick. This is vintage reproduction red lipstick made by Besame to capture the 1940’s style. I’m going to have to give it a try!

Tune in to ABC tonight to watch Agent Carter!


Be Bold – How to Rock Red lipstick

The first time I met my friend, the first thing she said to me was “Oh my God, I love your lipstick.” Red lipstick has been my favorite fashion accessory since I was allowed to wear make-up. It’s the perfect quick and easy way to dress up you look.

The good news, anyone can wear red lipstick. Bad news, there are like 100 shades to pick from. How’s a woman to choose? Here are a few simple steps to finding the perfect shade of red and rocking it!

  1. Olive/darker skin tones should go for the orange or tomato reds.
    Fair skin should go for the pinky reds.
    A true red (red with no undertones) works with anyone.

  2. Moisturize your lips. Dry lips make it difficult to apply lipstick evenly and can lead to a cracked look. I like to apply a lip balm a few minutes before I put my lipstick on in the morning.

  3. Select a lip liner that closely matches the shade of your lipstick. Line and fill your lips. Not only will the lipstick stay longer, the liner helps keep the lipstick from smearing and bleeding.

  4. Apply the lipstick of your choice.

  5. Blot with a tissue and you’re ready to go!

Here’s a list of my favorite reds.

Mac – LadyBug

Mac – Ruby Woo

Loreal Infallible- Refined Ruby

Still not sure you can pull off the red lips? You can take a red lip liner; line your lips and finish with a tinted lip balm for a more subtle look. The liner should closely match the lip balm so you probably are going to go with a lighter shade as most tinted lip balms aren’t that dark. My favorite is Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer Cherry.

So now, go a head and rock the red!

Great find for Sensitive Skin – Ology at Walgreens

It’s a new year, time to blog again.  First post of 2014 address two of my biggest issues:

  • Finding products that don’t irritate my skin
  • Easy availability of said products

I hate finding that one product I love and having to run around like crazy to find it again.  The Ology line from is a fantastic find.  Available at Walgreens, Ology products are free of chemicals, dyes, artificial fragrances and are made from natural, sustainable materials.  I can also pick them at 2:00 a.m. if I need to.

The product I’ve used is the  Ology Volumizing Shampoo.  My hair looks great and my skin doesn’t hurt. Here’s what many people don’t realize.  My skin disorder is my my face, shoulder and side, so why does my shampoo matter?  Because those suds go down your body in the shower and my shampoo can affect my skin.

Ology Volumizing Shampoo Grapefruit & Eucalyptus

Ology has many other beauty products,  including a baby care line, as well as household items.  The next one I’m going to try is the laundry detergent.

The foundation of the perfect look is foundation

I have used foundation to cover my skin disorder since I was 12.  I’m so good at it that many of my friends had no idea there was anything wrong with my skin until they read this blog. So what’s my secret? I take excellent care of my skin and use make-up that provides enough coverage without looking heavy.  Here are a few basic tips anyone can use to achieve that flawless look in a few minutes. 

    1.  Moisturizer:  Apply a light moisturizer a few minutes before putting on makeup.  This preps the skin and helps the make-up blend.  I swear by Imperialis by Lush.  It soothes my skin and is not greasy.  Find one that works for you.  The more natural the ingredients the better.  The better condition your skin is in the less noticeable any imperfections will be with and without make-up. (not that you’re not already perfect!) You were born with one face – take care of it.
    2. Apply Foundation:  I use Studio Sculpt by Mac Cosmetics – perfect amount of coverage and still looks “natural.”
      • Put a small amount on a wedge make-up sponge and apply dots of foundation to the areas you want to cover. 
      • Blend the dots together.  Don’t forget to blend under your chin so the make-up just doesn’t “stop.”  Remember, applying make-up is like cooking.  It’s easier to add than take away.  If one area needs more coverage, add a little more foundation. That’s the other reason I love Studio Sculpt.  It’s “buildable” so you add more to areas that need more coverage without looking like the make-up was caked on.
    3. Set with powder:  I prefer a pressed compact powder to a loose powder. Less messy and easier to throw in your purse for touch ups during the day.  My favorite is Studio Fix by Mac Cosmetics. This can also be used by itself if you want light coverage.
      • Using powder puff gently pat powder over face.
    4. Wipe off excess: With a tissue, gently wipe over face to remove any excess make-up.    I find this also give one final blend to the make-up for any spots I may have missed.

So there are my tips for foundation.  Let me know if they work for you! Have any tips of your own or a favorite product, please share!

The United States and Guns

Like everyone else I watched in horror on Friday December 14 at the events in Newtown Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School. My thoughts and prayers are with those families involved in this tragedy. I can’t even imagine what they are going through right now.

 There is a problem in this country. Many people over the past few days have given their opinion on how to solve it. Everyone wants to feel safe and protect their loved ones, but we now live in a world where arming teachers was a suggested solution. Let’s step back and think about that for a second. Our country is so screwed up kindergarten teachers need to be packing? If a dystopian future movie came out in 1980 with armed teachers, people would have thought it was going too far. Now while I totally disagree, I understand the sentiment behind it. I am the daughter and sister of teachers and I know they would both do anything to protect their students.

 President Obama said it perfectly last night at the Sandy Hook vigil. “No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society. But that can’t be an excuse for inaction.” He was right on all counts. We need gun control reform. We also need to take a look at our society and ask ourselves why are so many people becoming broken and violent that many of us feel the need to own guns to protect ourselves.  

How Inner Beauty Leads to Outer Beauty

I planned my next post to be about make-up tips  but I needed to write this first.

Here’s a list of comment made to me over the years in regards to my skin:

  • “What’s wrong with your hand/face/shoulder?”
  • “Is that poison ivy? If it is,  don’t touch me because I am allergic.”
  • “Is that contagious?”
  • From elementary school, “Ew, you have Cate germs! Don’t touch her or you’ll get them!”

Here are some other things that have been said to me:

  • “You are the most beautiful woman in the world.”
  • “You light up a room.”
  • “I wish I had your eyes.”
  • “You always look perfect.”

Being teased and bullied as child taught one very important thing.  I really don’t care what other people think about me.  Now it would be wrong of me to say my feelings never get hurt.  Anyone that’s been picked on knows that. Instead of letting the hurt control me, I learned to control the hurt.  I get a nasty comment, I gently (or not so gently) correct the person, let myself be upset for about ten minutes and go about my day.  That person’s opinion of me has no power.  It’s alright to be hurt, we’re all human.  What’s not alright is letting that hurt define you.  I learned very quickly to be myself.  I dress how I want to dress, raise my hand in meetings and say what’s on my mind.

I wear make-up for myself.  If I go the gym after work and have make-up on, so be it.  I go to the gym first thing in the morning with a bare face, I don’t care.  I am more than happy to share my tips because every woman deserves to look like the diva she is, not because there is something that needs to be hidden.

Dreamwash and Dream Cream – My Favorite Combination

About a year ago my friend suggested we have a girl’s night in the city.  We’d go to dinner and then go to Lush Cosmetics.  I had never been to a Lush store, but I never turn down a girl’s night so off we went.  When we got to Lush I explained to the woman at the store that I had a skin condition and asked if she had any suggestions on what would be the best products to use.  She quickly suggested Dreamwash for a body wash and Dream Cream for a body cream.  Not ready to invest a lot of money before trying the products, I took samples home.

I put the cream on before I went to bed that night and all I could say is wow! This was the only body cream I could put on my bad skin.  Not only did it not burn, it actually soothed the itching.  The only other creams that has done that were zinc-based baby ointments.  The Dreamwash was just as great in the shower.  I now had a body wash I didn’t have to worry about getting on my bad skin and stinging.   I also found they are both fantastic for sunburn.   If anyone else has used them let me know what you think!

Why I started this blog

This is a picture of me.  Pretty cute, right?

This is also a picture of me.  Still pretty cute, but something’s different.

I was born with a skin condition called epidermal nevus.  It causes parts of my skin to grow faster than the rest.  The result is red, itchy patches on my face, hand, shoulder, scalp and side.

I was teased all through school, told I had “Cate Germs.”  As I got older not only did I become skilled in the art of the witty comeback,  I became an expert at applying make-up.  Today unless someone notices my hand, they can’t tell there is anything wrong with me.

My biggest challenge has been finding make-up that covers my skin without looking like I baked a cake on my face.  I also have a hard time finding cleansers and moisturizers that don’t irritate or burn my skin.

I started this blog to share what make-up and products have worked for me over the years. I also want to let anyone with a similar condition know that you are beautiful with or without make-up.