March 30, 2015

The Chai Latte You Need to Make Now

Chai Coffee Latte recipe

Can I let you in on a little secret? Don't start with the hate mail, but I'm not the biggest fan of a certain super-popular (rhymes with 'tarbucks') chain's coffee, so I've been experimenting with different coffees and lattes at home. A few weeks ago I was watching Giada At Home and she made an amazing looking (let's be real, all her recipes look amazing) chai latte... with coffee! I have had chai tea lattes before, but never with coffee so I just had to try it out. As in, I went out and bought a French press that day.

The spicy sweet flavor, the aromatic espresso, the foamy milk; trust me, it was as delicious as it looked! The perfect afternoon pick-me-up and treat.

If you don't have a French press or espresso maker, you can just as easily make this using a standard coffee maker by adding the coffee and spices to a filter.

1 cup coarsely ground Coffee (I use French roast, darker roasts are best)
1 tbsp. Cardamom
1 tbsp. Cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. Ginger
1 tsp. Allspice
1/2 tsp. Freshly Grated Ginger
1/4 tsp. ground Black Pepper
1/8 tsp. ground Cloves
1/8 tsp. Salt
4 cups Hot Water
1/2 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk
1 1/2 cups Non-fat Milk (or full fat if you prefer... I won't tell)

In your French press, combine the coffee with the next 8 ingredients and then add the water. Place the lid on (plunger up!) and let the coffee brew for 4 minutes. Note: Set a timer to help you know when time is up. Press the plunger slowly down.

In a saucepan, heat the non-fat milk on medium-high heat, whisking or using a milk frother (those are the best!) to make it thick and foamy.

Pour the coffee into another saucepan over medium heat to rewarm, stirring in the sweetened condensed milk. Divide the chai coffee into coffee cups and spoon the frothy milk over the top. Garnish with cinnamon sugar and enjoy!

March 29, 2015

The Must-Have, Under $15 Nude Eye Shadow Palette You Need In Your Makeup Bag

Nude Shadow Palette

I was browsing the beauty section at Target a couple weeks ago and fell in love with the gorgeous shades in the Sonia Kashuk Eye Palette. At under $15, this one is a budget must for your spring makeup bag!

This palette contains 6 pretty, neutral shades (2 matte, 4 shimmer) that are perfectly coordinated with each other, including a taupe grey and dusty rose shades that I have pretty much been wearing all week. The pigmentation is on point, they apply easily and if pink neutrals aren't your thing, there are two others-- one that is more basic nudes and one that is more whites.

If you're on the hunt for an inexpensive nude palette, this is one you won't be disappointed with. Are you a fan of nude eye shadow palettes?


March 25, 2015

Keeping It Classic & Casual

This week has felt long. Too long. I've had to take one of our cats to the vet because she wasn't eating since Sunday. She finally started eating again today and is acting more like herself, but I'll be taking her back next week to see if she has diabetes or if it's just stress. Poor kitty!

Okay, enough of the downers. This week I threw together a quick look with some closet favorites-- this hat that I can't stop wearing, my new favorite heels, and those perfectly comfortable pair of jeans, along with some new bling from Rocksbox*. Casual, classic, win.

The good part about today? The weekend is right around the corner! How's your week going?

* Love jewelry? Become a Shine Insider with Rocksbox! Sign up using my code amandaxoxo1 and your first month is FREE! Plus, you'll get $10 each month to spend towards any pieces you purchase :)

Linking up with Throwback Thursday,  Look What I GotWhat I Wore To Work#WIWTSpotlight Weekly,  Labour of Fashion, Treat Yo' Self Thursday, Favorite Fashion FridayFriday's Fab FavoritesCasual FridayThe Style Files,  Let It ShineStyle To InspireManic MondayWatch What I'm Wearing Mix It MondayStyle Sessions, Trend SpinConfident TwosdayTremendous TuesdayLife & Style, Random Wednesday,  Tucker Up I Feel Pretty,  What I Wore The Stylish Housewife

March 24, 2015

Good HUES-Day: (Fake a) Spring Break

Staycation essentials

I'm not in school and I don't have kids so no spring break for me, but if I did, I would definitely be spending a few days at the beach, or maybe head to Palm Springs to lay out by a pool. If you're staying local for spring break, or still stuck indoors trying to stay warm, there's no shame in faking your spring break. Splurge on a super cute suit for summer, pick out your beach bag and get a head start on glowing, tan skin. You can even give your hair those sun-lightened strands for the ultimate fakeout!

What are your spring break plans?

March 23, 2015

At-Home Spa Day

Spa Day at Home

The Laundress NO. 247 Scented Candle | Essie Nail Polish: Just Stitched and Blossom Dandy | Zara Home Linen Detail Bathrobe | Uncommon Goods Spa In A Bag | Dermovia Lace Your Face Mask | Spa Water

Sometimes you just need to take a day for yourself but an expensive spa may not be a viable option. Instead, grab out your comfiest bathrobe and give yourself a DIY spa day-- complete with detoxing spa water (mix lemon and cucumber slices in water overnight-- add some mint to kick it up!), soak in the tube, give yourself a mani/pedi, and relax with a face mask (I highly recommend the above lace face mask-- not only is it made with lace but it really helps tighten pores and leaves skin so soft-- love!

Have you ever had a DIY spa day? What are your spa day must-haves?

March 20, 2015

Weekend Sales + $800 Cash Giveaway

Happy first day of spring! Kick off the first spring weekend with some great deals and sale finds from some of your favorite shops:

Kate Spade Saturday: Score 50% off EVERYTHING with code HALFOFF

Tory Burch: Private sale up to 70% off. Ends 3/23

Anthropologie: It's Anthro Day! Get 15% off site-wide all day Saturday 3/21

Saks Fifth Avenue: 3 Days, Online Only—Saks has taken an extra 20% OFF sale items for a total savings up to 70% OFF. Ends 3/22.

PacSun: free shipping on any order with code SHIPIT. Ends 3/24

BaubleBar: Get 30% off full priced items on with code SPRING30. Ends 3/22

JOIE: Friends & Family Sale! Shop 25% Off Everything Site-Wide. Ends 3/23

Shopping is always fun but I've also teamed up with some awesome bloggers this week to offer an AMAZING $800 Ultimate Cash Giveaway! No, that's not a typo, that's $8-0-0... 8 big ones... 8 C-notes... 8 Benjamins... See why it's called 'ultimate'? You definitely don't want to miss this one! Find out how to enter below & be sure to go check out a few other blogs:

Prize: $800 Cash (via Paypal)
Giveaway organized by: Oh My Gosh Beck!
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 4/17 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
Good luck!

March 18, 2015

Top 10 Photo & Wedding Makeup Tips

Makeup Tips for Wedding Photos

As a bridesmaid this past weekend, I not only had to make sure my makeup was on point for wedding photos but I had the added stress of applying my friend's bridal makeup. Even though she is extremely easy-going and not very picky, I still wanted to make sure she looked gorgeous, especially in her photos. Seriously, I would wake up at 4 a.m. with makeup related thoughts going through my head:"Should I use this shade or that shade? This product or that product?" Luckily I figured it out and the look came together beautifully!

Here's a few tips I follow when applying makeup for photos, whether it's wedding photos, outfit photos for my blog, or even if it's just to capture the perfect selfie:

1. Start with a smooth surface by prepping the skin with moisturizer (especially if dry) and with a primer, which will also help the makeup last all day.

2. I'm usually all about using products with SPF as they help protect the skin from the sun throughout the day but for photos using flash you want to stay clear of SPF. The titanium & zinc oxides in these products will make skin look washed out and ashy on camera. If you're going to be taking photos outside in the sun where flash isn't needed, I recommend playing it safe and using a low level SPF.

3. Aim for perfected skin but let your natural beauty shine through with a light layer of foundation (make sure it's the right shade; department stores, Sephora, and Ulta will offer shade matching), concealer to cover blemishes, topped with powder to reduce shine. For today's technology, HD-friendly products are preferred as they will not make the skin look thick and cakey. Not a good look on anyone!

4. You don't have to go all out Kim K. or drag queen style, but light contouring and highlighting will help define your face and bring out your features. I recommend using a shimmer-free bronzer and not going too crazy with the highlighter. A little brush of highlighter on the tops of the cheeks and on the brow bone can really make cheekbones and eyes standout.

5. While we're on the subject of definition, make sure brows are groomed and filled-in if needed-- perfect brows are the key to making making the face pop!

6. Play up your best features but don't go overboard! Choose either bold lips or smoky eyes to make a statement, but not both. Balance glam eyes with a muted lip. Before applying any lip product, use a sugar lip scrub to help soften lips and a balm to help moisturize and hydrate lips.

7. To help open eyes, especially small eyes, use a light shade on the lids. Use eye liner (liquid or kohl is best for photos) along with mascara to makes the eyes stand out. If using fake lashes, use softer, natural-looking lashes.

8. Matte shades for face and eyes look best. Makeup with shimmer can end up look too sheen or greasy on camera.

9. Blend, blend, blend! Use products that blend easily to keep the look soft and to remove any harsh lines. On your face, you should not be able to see where your foundation ends and begins and be sure to bring it down onto your neck and d├ęcolletage.

10. Natural light is the best for applying makeup, especially if the photos are going to be taken outdoors in natural light. Find a spot near a window, or use really good indoor lighting.

Finally, have fun and don't be afraid to be creative... and there's always PhotoShop if something needs a little extra help ;)

Weding Photo Makeup Tips

March 17, 2015

God HUES-Day: Spring Green

Happy St. Patrick's Day! To celebrate, (and to get in a spring-y mood!) I'm rounding up some top spring green favorites spotted across the Interwebs. I'm on set all day for a video shoot for work so I won't be doing much drinking or any celebrating at all today. How about you?

March 12, 2015

Outfit: Make Me Brunch

While wearing this cute tee I had an epiphany: I really need more brunch in my life. This epiphany lead to another epiphany: I'm having epiphanies about brunch.Wow, I seriously need to get out more. With the winter blahs heading out, I'm planning to do just that. My weekends are starting to fill up with fun activities, events and trips-- See, I really do have a life!

Tell me, do you have any spring plans in the works? 

March 10, 2015

Good HUES-Day: Eye-Love

If you're looking to update your everyday look, or just try something new, eyeliner is the perfect way to do so. There's so many different ways to wear liner, it can totally add some oomph to your look! Forget regular ol' pencil-lined lids, here's a few of my favorite ways: 

Smoky: Kohl liners make or the best smoky eyes! I recommend using MAC Eye Kohl

Cat-Eye: The classic cat-eye is easy to create with an ultra-black precision felt-tip liner. Use Physician Formula Sexy Booster Cat Eye Collection Liquid Liner

Defined: Go for ultimate definition using a cream liner. My pick? tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner (Check out my review!)

Graphic: Dare to be different and take your liner game to a whole new artsy level. Try Benefit Cosmetics They're Real! Push-up Liner

What is your go-to type of eyeliner look?

March 9, 2015

Review: tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner

tarte Eyeliner Review

I’ll admit it, sometimes I buy new beauty products based on the primary packaging—whether it’s super cute or just super innovative. Inspired by an artist’s palette and paint tubes, The new tarte Tarteist Clay Paint Liner, the latest in their Amazonian Clay line offering is definitely the latter—in the form of a cream liner in a squeezable tube. I have never seen a liner in a squeezable tube so this had to be mine!

The liner itself is waterproof and claims 12-hour wear, which I find to be true. It can smudge when you first apply so be careful, I have read other reviews where the liner has transferred but I have not experienced that issue. If you rub your eye later after it has dried it will smudge, but why would you do that anyway?  The angled brush that comes with the liner makes it easy to apply and define eyes, however if you are a beginner with this type of brush it will take a few tries to get the hang of it. Once you do, you can easily and effortlessly get that perfect cat-eye swoosh.

The liner itself is creamy and smooth, giving a matte black finish. Like other products in tarte’s clay line, this product contain Amazonian Clay, which yes, comes from the banks of the Amazon River. According to tarte, the clay has natural nourishing and hydration properties and has a high nutrient content from the local plants and fruits found in the area.  It also includes vitamin E, which acts as a natural preservative and also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, along with mineral pigments. My biggest tip with this liner is to make sure to shake and squeeze the tube before opening and applying as it first came out extremely watery and grey. Also, don’t put too much product on the brush or it will apply uneven and clumpy.

Tarte Eye Liner Review

The tube features a slanted tip with a flat stage that allows for easy pick-up by the brush. . While I love the innovative tube, but I feel that a lot of product could go to waste from getting stuck inside the tube. With gel and cream pot liners, you can get out all the product.

For me, the product did last all day (unless I absentmindedly scratched my eyelid- whoops!) and was easily removed with eye makeup remover cream. All in all, I am happy with this liner and give this guy a 4 out of 5! Want to experience this cool liner for yourself, get it here.

Cream Liner Review

March 6, 2015

Not-Your-Average-Strawberry-Banana-Smoothie Smoothie

Spinach Smoothie

It's been awhile since I've posted a smoothie recipe, mainly because it's been just too chilly to drink them! With it warming up here in Southern California, I've gotten back to my morning smoothie breakfasts. Currently I've been enjoying this twist on a strawberry banana. That traditional flavor we all love has received a healthy dose of veggies. It may not look the prettiest but it's damn good and damn good for you. 

Not-Your-Average-Strawberry-Banana-Smoothie Smoothie
1 Banana, peeled
½ cup Strawberries (frozen or fresh)
1/4 - 1/2 cup Carrots (I use matchstick cut carrots, they blend up well)
Handful of Spinach (like, a really big handful!)
½ cup Greek Yogurt
1 cup Water
1 tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 tbsp. Flax Seeds

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend away. Drink up!

March 5, 2015

White + Blush

Blog style

Blush heels

Mini 5 Zip Bag

A Good Hue

Amanda Goodhue

Does it ever happen to you, where, you find the perfect top, jeans or in my case, heels, and the store doesn't have your size? Total heartbreak. That happened with this pretty blush pair of heels that I found at Kohl's (on sale for $35!) but luckily, my mom was able to find them at her store and picked them up for me. Thanks, mom!


March 4, 2015

5 Tips for Healthy Skin

Perfect skin

Can you believe I’ll be turning 30 next month? Ugh, I don’t even want to deal with “getting older” kinds of things, most especially, *dun dun DUN* wrinkles… I want to keep my youthful complexion! For the past few years I’ve made my skin care routine a bigger priority; just because I am getting older doesn't mean I have to look it. Here’s my 5 tips on keeping skin healthy:

1. Wipe Down
Confession: For years I would wear my makeup to bed all the while knowing it wasn’t good for my skin. Luckily I smartened up and started washing my face every single night and my skin has been oh-so-grateful. Use a gentle cleanser or at the very least, makeup remover wipes, to take off makeup and remove any dirt and oils from the day.

2. Make SPF Your BFF
After having a mole on my back several years ago that could have potentially become cancerous I have become a SPF nut. Sun exposure is not only the leading cause of skin cancer but UVA rays and constant tanning can actually cause premature aging. When I know I’m going to be spending most of my day outdoors, no matter if it’s summer or winter, I make sure to put on products with SPF whether it’s a broad-spectrum sunscreen, moisturizer with SPF or even makeup with SPF-- powders, BB Cream, Bronzers, I have SPF everywhere in my beauty arsenal!

3. Simple as 1-2-3
With so many products available for so many skin ‘issues—there’s a serum for this, a cleanser for that— it can be hard to figure out what to use. For me, I like to keep my skin care routine super simple—cleanser, exfoliate once a week, and moisturize. During the day I use a moisturizer formulated for dry skin (SPF if I’m going to be outdoors!) and an eye cream. At night, after washing or wiping my face I will follow up by applying moisturizing argan oil to my face, letting the oil work it’s magic while I sleep.

4. Beauty Sleep
I jokingly tell people I go to bed early because I need my beauty sleep but it’s actually half true. While you sleep, skin has a chance to recover, repair and rejuvenate. Not enough sleep can worsen skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and more, not to mention it can accelerate the aging process. 

5. Drinking and Smoking, Smoking and Drinking
I’ve never been a smoker but I do have friends who smoke and sadly their skin just isn’t great; those who are in early 30’s or even under 30’s look a lot older and not in a good way. Sorry ladies!  If the threat of lung cancer and the myriad of other health-related issues aren’t scary enough to get smokers to quit, maybe the thought of premature wrinkles. Here is a good article with some additional information on how smoking affects the skin.

Going hand in hand with smoking is drinking, which I am guilty of and can be equally as damaging to skin. Sugary sweet drinks are the worst offenders as the sugars lead to increased skin aging. On the other hand, red wine in moderation can actually be good for you as it contains antioxidants that counteract aging. Here’s a guide on how different drinks affect the skin.

Tell me, how do you take care of your skin?

March 3, 2015

Good HUES-Day: Ready For Spring

I'm sure you non-California folks are more than ready for some spring sunshine and NO MORE SNOW! Here's a little roundup inspired by spring-- pretty pastels, gorgeous florals and no coats ;)

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