5 Minute Makeover Must Haves

**Quick note: this is NOT a sponsored post. I did NOT get any of this stuff for free, and I am definitely NOT getting paid to review any of this. lol

So I love make up.

Like, luurrve it. As in, I love it so much that I am a Sephora Rouge member, which means I’ve spent an OBSCENE amount of money there, and now I get perks for it! Rouge members get free makeovers, free flash shipping with no minimum purchase requirements, a ton more extra freebie offers than the average consumer, and even a special 24 hour concierge line. It’s pretty ridiculous.

But here’s the thing:

I’ve been working from home for the last 5 years and that means that I’ve spent way more days indoors than out. Forget putting on make up, there were days I wasn’t even putting on pants! haha! Being a mom only compounded my tendency to go without make up, as I always felt there were other things I’d rather spend time on than primping up my face on a daily basis. Thus make up was usually just something that happened on special occasions.

Now that Bash is in school though, I’ve had to leave the apartment every day to pick him up, and I can’t bear the thought of rushing out without looking at least a little presentable. And yet, even now when it’s just me in the mornings, I’m finding that I am still on a time crunch since I’m rushing to get home from an early morning work out, shower, have a cup of coffee, and then start my work day. A lot of times, I get so caught up in work that I won’t even notice that 3 and a half hours have passed and I have maybe only 5 to 7 minutes to make myself decent and head to school for pick up.

Enter my Sephora addiction.

While I love make up and how it makes me look, I am not going to spend an hour trying to contour my face like a Kardashian. I don’t have the time, the patience, or the confidence to pull it off! So a lot of the money I spend there is for items that make my life easier. Sephora’s very generous sample policy and fairly reasonable return policy has allowed me to find products that I truly love that not only make me feel prettier, but does so in a record amount of time. I’m not even kidding. Mom life ain’t easy, and we don’t have a lot of time, but it doesn’t have to take a lot of time to do your make up if you want to put some on! With just these five products, I can do a simple “my face but better” look in under 5 minutes.


Ta da! What a difference 5 minutes can make!

I start first with IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream. Though IT Cosmetics first started out in infomercials, once they got picked up by Sephora, they blew up. And with good reason! Their stuff is LEGIT. The cream is nice, and while it isn’t too heavy, it does have very nice coverage. It ain’t cheap, but one tube lasts a LONG time. The best part? It is SO low maintenance. I don’t need a brush to apply this. I just slap some on around my face with my fingers and then rub it in as fast as I need to. haha If I want a more polished look, I can finish with some setting powder, but I normally don’t add the extra time and effort on a daily basis.

 IT COSMETICS, Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, $38


After a few years of resistance, I’ve gone and jumped on the I love Chrissy Tiegen bandwagon. I love this lady. She’s pretty, she’s funny, she loves food, and her make up is always on point. So of course, when she did a collaboration with Becca Cosmetics, I quickly added her Glow Face Palette to my cart. With some help from my favorite make up artist at Sephora (yes, I have one lady I always go to),  I learned to do a quick and easy application of the bronzer and highlighter. The colors in the palette are super pretty and go really well with my complexion, and I also usually swipe the rose gold highlighter on my lids to be extra efficient.

 BECCA, Becca X Chrissy Teigen Glow Face Palette, $46


One of the easiest ways to make me look a lot less tired and a lot more put together is a quick liner around my eyes. I used to spend a lot more money on eyeliner, but found that for every day use, Sephora’s 12 Hr Wear Waterproof eyeliner pencil does the job well. It glides on smooth, is very pigmented, and rarely ever smears under my eyes, which is a problem I have with other high end eye liners. It also lives up to its name, lasting all day, and sometimes, well into the next day, even if I’ve washed my face already! At a mere $10, it is an absolute steal!


SEPHORA COLLECTION, Contour Eye Pencil 12hr Wear Waterproof , $10


If I’m going to take the time and effort to put some make up on, I won’t leave without mascara. I think lashes are an underrated part of the face and nice, full lashes can make all the difference in defining your eyes. My go-to mascara is Too Faced’s Better Than Sex Mascara. I’ve tried many, many, MANY mascaras over my long history with Sephora, but this is the only one I found that lengthens and volumizes my lashes AND lasts all day. I don’t even have to use the waterproof formula!

TOO FACED, Better Than Sex Mascara, $23


The final item to complete my 5 minute make over every morning is Yves Saint Laurent’s new matte lip stain. I have several lipsticks in so many different shades that I COULD use, but lately, I find myself defaulting to this lip stain. The color I bought is a warm mauve, which is fairly close to my natural lip color but colors my lips out a little more evenly. Its got so much going for it! It smells really  nice, applies very smoothly, and feels very lightweight. The color payoff is great, and stays on for several hours without drying my lips out. The best is that there is not much transfer once it dries, which is awesome, because Bash won’t let me kiss him if I’ve got lipstick on! It’s also a little pricey, but well worth the money since I’m using it on an almost daily basis.

YVES SAINT LAURENT, Tatouage Couture Liquid Matte Lip Stain, $36


What about you? What are your go-to make up products? Comment below! I’m always looking to try new stuff! 🙂


Quick and Delicious: Mom’s Chicken Adobo With Dumplings

Between getting my work done, being at home with Bash, and taking care of the usual household stuff, things can get pretty hectic around here. This is why I generally try to plan dinners for the family that are easy to prepare and can be ready to eat within an hour.

One of our favorite dinners here in our home is my mom’s chicken adobo. Adobo is a traditional Filipino dish, usually made with chicken, braised in a soy and vinegar mixture. Filipino food is starting to gain a following here in NYC, but while I have no problem plunking down money for other Filipino deliciousness at these establishments, I will almost never pay to eat chicken adobo. This is because I truly have never found one that is as good as the kind my mom’s always made. It’s not too soupy, as the sauce is reduced and thicker than most adobos I’ve had elsewhere. I learned how to make it in the 6th grade for a home ec class, and since then, it has never steered me wrong. It’s so simple and so good that even my rice-averse son will gladly eat every last bit of chicken and rice in his bowl and then ask for seconds.

Mom’s Chicken Adobo with Dumplings 


2lbs chicken wings and drumsticks

1/4 c. oyster sauce (I usually use Lee Kum Kee, but any kind of oyster sauce will work in a pinch)

1/2 c. Kikkoman low sodium soy sauce

3/4 c. apple cider vinegar (*don’t be scared of the vinegar!)

1 1/2 c. water

2-3 bay leaves

4-5 cloves of garlic, minced

fresh ground pepper, to taste

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 package of Trader Joe’s frozen dumplings (we use chicken but pork is also fine)


  1. In a large bowl, mix oyster sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and water. Add bay leaves and a sprinkle of ground pepper, then place chicken in the mixture.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet pan over medium high heat. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Drop the chicken and sauce mixture into the pan, cover, and let it simmer. Set your timer for 15 minutes.
  3. When your timer goes off, add the dumplings to the pan, do a quick stir, and recover. Set your timer again for 15 minutes.
  4. At this point, the sauce mixture should be reduced to about half and a little bit thicker in consistency. If it is, it’s done and you can enjoy! If you’d like it a little thicker, you can simmer for another minute or two, stirring the chicken and dumplings around to ensure it’s all covered in all that deliciousness.
  5. Serve over a nice helping of sticky rice, or sautéed cauliflower rice or zucchini noodles, if you’re feeling like ditching the carbs. The sauce makes anything you put over it taste amazing! 🙂