Steal or Splurge…that is the question

Happy Makeup Monday friends!

I think that one of life’s biggest struggles [as a woman] is figuring out when to splurge or when to save on something. It could be in regards to makeup, clothes, hair products, nail polish, alcohol, a dinner out…whatever. For those of us on a budget there is a constant give and take of what to wear, where to buy, is that worth it, should I spend this, should I stay home or go out? And then there is this scenario…when you finally decide to jump in and SPLURGE you have the immediate thought after of, “that wasn’t worth it”.

I’m telling you what; I have had that thought quite often, especially when it comes to makeup! This is why I have searched high and low to find products that are worth it and have no patience for the products that cost and arm and a leg and are NOT.

I found this the other day and wanted to share with you. It came from another blog but it was worth the share. I will say that I have not tried any of the products myself but I am definitely going to now! Please leave a comment and tell me if you’ve tried any of the products and what you think about them!

Follow the link above and you will be able to read details about these products on The Unedited Mama.

❤ Jaclyn

Mally vs Maybelline Makeup Dupes

Splurge vs. Steal Beauty DupesMacadamia Hair Mask DupesYSL vs Physicians Formula Dupe

MAC vs Maybelline Dupes


Lips Like Butter

Precursor…Can we pretend it’s Monday still? Thanks! 🙂

Summer is right around the corner. For some of us, we may have even been able to enjoy some really beautiful days outside…maybe even sitting by the pool?!

In my opinion, summer is the perfect time to allow yourself a more relaxed look. That not only goes for clothes…think cute tees, converse sneakers, sun dresses, etc; but summer is also the perfect time to relax on the amount of makeup you wear! Why?! Because you’re probably spending more time outside watching your skin get a nice healthy glow, and who wants to cover that up with makeup?

Now that we are officially back, let me introduce you to the single product that brought Courage Dear Heart out of the blog fog. NYX Butter Gloss. Holy cow is this stuff amazing! It goes on even, stays better than most glosses I’ve tried, is cheap, can be found at Target, Ulta, or online and is true to the color on the outside of the bottle. I’ve been wearing the heck out of the Strawberry Parfait. I love when my face is a little more tan because I have the ability to go light on my face and eye makeup and play up my lips. These glosses are the perfect way to do that! Pink is the perfect color for spring. But I’m super excited to try the Peach Cobbler or Cherry Cheescake next!

What color are you excited to try?

❤ Jaclyn

Having a moment: Lips

Marsala, which was a huge color for fall and winter, is hear to stay for spring!! Yay!! I love when items can be versatile and used in different seasons!

As we shared in another post there are several “it” colors for spring. But, thee marsala we grew to know and love in the winter has been toned down a bit for spring. This isn’t really surprising if you think about it, right? All spring colors are a little softer…think Easter eggs!

This morning I had a revelation. While some clothing and makeup items that we purchased for winter need to stay in our winter wardrobe, others can be tweaked and transitioned into spring. This revelation leads me to my makeup Monday post…the perfect spring lip!

Two lip shades that were popular for fall and winter were the burgundy lip and the pale lip. Both trends were awesome and I enjoyed them at different times and places. Chances are you have a lip gloss, chap stick, or lip stick in both colors still laying around. While it’s fun to wear different color lipsticks, it’s hard to go through an entire container of one color. And when you have so many half used containers lying around, who wants to purchase another one just because it’s in for spring.  SO, why not combine two colors you already have and use them to create the “it” lip shade for spring…a toned down marsala…or what we can also call plum.

I applied a light coat of my burgundy lip stick and then put my pale shade on top and rubbed them together…voila! I had a new fun color that I didn’t have to go and purchase! I felt creative, resourceful, and economic AND accomplished that all on a Monday morning! Woohoo!

Here are the two colors on my hand. The top is my pale shade, the bottom is my burgundy shade, and the middle are the two mixed together.

plum hand

And here I am wearing the two…I am in love.

plum lips

Excuse the lighting. It was taken on my phone and it was pretty early. But hopefully you get the point!

Now this is good news for people who have both lip shades already. If you don’t have them, run out to your closest CVS and grab an NYX lip shade in plum. I don’t think you can ever go wrong with them! Or, as Christine wrote about in a previous post, Essence is a great brand to try new shades in as well!

For those readers who don’t care about the “it” color for spring, use this method and create a whole new shade just for you. Take two different colors, combine them together and show us what you got!!

❤ Jaclyn

Lumos Maxima

Happy Makeup Monday! One of my favorite days of the blog and now this post contains my favorite title! If you didn’t know Lumos Maxima is a spell from my favorite series of books, Harry Potter. The spell is used to create light…which is kind of what I am going to be writing about today! Ok, now that my inner geek has come out, let’s proceed to a “cooler” subject…a light catching makeup product called illuminator!

Illuminator is one of those products I always wanted to try but never really took the time to do it. That is until I saw that NYX carried it for $7.50 and I thought, “hey why not. I’ll try it and see what happens”. Well now, I’m totally sold!

I am going to give you my top 10 reasons you should wear an illuminator.

1)  If you want glowing and younger looking skin, it’s for you!

2) If you wear make up or don’t wear any makeup, it’s for you!

3) Think of it like a highlighter. You use a highlighter to emphasize a sentence or word in a paragraph right? Well illuminator does the same thing for your face!  It emphasizes eyes, brows, cheek bones, and so much more!

4) It comes in cream or powder. Both are easy to apply but are good for different complexions. Use the cream if you have dryer to more combination type skin, and powder if you have oily skin.

5) Illuminator comes in a pinky shade for those who have a fairer complexion as well as a gold tone for those who have olive or darker skin.

6) It can be found as cheap or as expensive as you want/need. Try a cheaper brand like NYX that will still get the job done. Then decide if you like it and go from there. I now have this one from Benefit and love it too! If you don’t like Benefit or NYX products; NARS, Clinque, Stila, Smashbox, Revlon, and so many more lines sell illuminators as well.

7) An illuminator is used to catch the sun, or any light for that matter, to create the illusion of a contoured face. It can be worn alone or partnered with a bronzer to get you the full contoured look…a.k.a. a femininely chiseled face. Kim Kardashian is famous for contouring her face. (don’t freak out if you follow this link…you don’t have to be this intense to use an illuminator) 

8) You can use it on your cheek bones to create the illusion of high cheek bones or emphasize the high cheek bones you already have; as well as using it on the middle of your nose to make your nose look slim and straight.

9) You can put it above and below your lips to give you fuller looking lips. Pair it with a pale lip color and BAMB baby you got it a nice, full, juicy looking lip!!

10) And lastly, you don’t need a lot of product to give your skin the pop it deserves!

Here is an awesome diagram of how to apply illuminator and what it does for your different areas.


If you are a little hesitant to dive in 100%, start small. Find a cheap illuminator and dab a little on your cheek bones. Start by wearing it only for special occasions and see how you like it. You can always start small and add in the future!

Comment with any other tips you have! And don’t forget to follow couragedearheartlife on Instagram to see me wearing my favorite Illuminator!

❤ Jaclyn

Balm-to-oil, why I am in love!

Happy Monday everyone! So I have fallen for a new product, and let me warn you…you will want to buy this, I promise!

Does anyone else have a love-hate relationship with their face cleansers? I do. Cleansing your face is at the top of the list of important things we MUST do (especially at night) and the cleanser has to be just right to make you want to use it each and every evening! It’s needs to clean with irritating or drying out my skin. It can’t sting my eyes and I want to feel refreshed after I have used it! I want it to take off all my makeup including my mascara and I don’t want to double wash.

I already have a few cleansers that fit my needs but I was running low and was in the market for a newbie. I went to my local drug store and happened upon a balm-to-oil cleanser. This specific one I purchased is by Biotherm;


This is a balm texture (almost like a really soft lip chap) and it basically melts into your skin turning into a soft oil. Most of us know how well other oils (like olive oil) work as makeup removers and this also does the trick in that department. You apply this on your dry face and massage it into your skin. Instantly you can feel your skin soften and your makeup starts to disappear. Take a few minutes to massage this into your face and then wash off with water. I use it on my eyes and lips too!

Do you know that tight feeling we sometimes get after washing our face? Well that’s bad! It means you have stripped all of your essential oils out of your skin. This products leaves your skin soft and hydrated keeping all the good you want and removing all the bad you don’t want.

This cleanser is at the top of my most loved products! If you don’t know where to find Biotherm try another balm cleanser and feel the benefits for your self. This cleanser is great for all skin types and will be a super star in your skin care routine!

Let me know if you guys have tried any balm cleansers and what you think!

Thanks and love to everyone,

Eye Primer for the Win!

Fun on makeup monday

If you are anything like me than you feel and look the best first thing in the morning. I’m talking clean and styled hair and a fresh face of makeup. I get ready in the morning not because I have to (well maybe that’s a small part) but because I like too! There is something about having freshly styled hair and a new face of makeup that really gets me going. But, if I’m honest, halfway through the day I’m looking at myself in the mirror and wondering, “how did I lose it that fast?”. My hair is getting flat and my makeup is starting to look less ‘vibrant’.

Now we can talk about the hair issue in another blog post, but let’s tackle the makeup issue first. Specifically our eyes….they aaaarrreeee the window to the soul right?

To help with our eye makeup issue, I introduce to you eye primer. Now you may have heard of eye primer before but if not, here are a few details for you.

What is eye primer? It is makeup that you put on your eye lid before applying your eye shadow…think of it like foundation for your face.

What is the purpose of eye primer? It helps to prevent smudging and creasing of eye shadow on your lids, helps with the “staying power” of your eye shadow for all day wear, and increases the color and vibrancy of your eye color.

Now that we are all on the same page I’ll go on. I’m sure you’ve been in my position sometime in your life. You’ve worked hard on your eye makeup, you love the look, and a few hours later you go back and it’s either disappeared or is smudging on your face. This what I call a major boooooooo moment! But, have no fear friends, eye primer can help with this situation. I am going to present to you four products that I have used and really like. They all vary in price so choose what fits best with your budget.


Photo credit: ELF

E.L.F. eyelid primer comes in four different colors. I personally like the sheer option. This product is easy to apply, can be found at any Target, and it $1.00. One Christmas I got every single one of my girl friends this product as a gift I was so sold!

nyx eye primer

Photo credit: NYX products

NYX HD eye shadow base is honestly my current favorite. A little more expensive than the E.L.F. product but it seriously gives you a great all-day wear, is only $7.00, and one tube will truly last you a few months. I’ve been using mine everyday for 2 months and haven’t found the bottom yet. CVS drugstores and Targets sell NYX products.

two faced eye primer

Photo Credit: Too Faced

Too Faced shadow insurance can be found at any Sephora or Ulta. It is applied as a cream and promises to keep your eye shadow from creasing for 24 hours. I like this product because it is yellow in color and really just intensifies your eye shadow as opposed to altering/intensifying it in color or shine. This product is priced around $20.00.

chanel eye primer

Photo Credit: Chanel

Chanel Professional eyeshadow base is seriously phenomenal…but would you expect anything different from Chanel? I am giving this to you as an option because not everyone is on a makeup budget like myself. My mother uses this product and every time I’m over at her house and can do my eye makeup I take the opportunity to do it! And every time, without fail, I get a compliment on my eye makeup. This product is $32.00 and does everything it promises i.e. intensifies color, gives you an all day wear, and prevents creasing and smudging for 24+ hours. Seriously I’ve gone to bed without washing it off (sshhhh don’t tell Christine) and I wake up the next day thinking, “hmmm, I kinda look good”.

Ok, there they are. My four favorite eye primers to use. No matter your budget I promise you won’t be disappointed if you try one! Happy priming!!

❤ Jaclyn

Toners- Yay or Nay?

Welcome back to makeup mondays! This is technically a skin care post but I won’t tell if you don’t! In my skin care quest I have come across the ‘Great Debate’ of toners. Some people like them, and some people don’t. I my self have used, and not used toners. My skin is less than perfect. I am combination leaning towards the dry side and although I do not suffer from acne I do always seem to have some sort of break out on my face. Skin care to me is so important because it keeps my skin at its possible best!

So have toners made a difference in my skin? 100% yes! Toners to me are an integral part of my routine. They tip the balance of my skin in my favour, and lets face it -I need all the help I can get. I thought I would share with you three toners that have worked wonders for me and they all do different things!

Blue Green Algae Toner by Michael Todd- True Organics


This toner is antibacterial (without Alcohol) and helps prevent break outs.  It feels fresh and helps give your skin that extra clean feel.  If you have occasional breakouts and want to maintain a state of clear skin try this toner.  I may not use this every day, but depending on how my skin is I will use it less or more frequently.

Radiance Toner -Burt’s Bees

Burts bees

This toner is amazing!  Helps my skin to look bright and at its best!  Its a radiance toner so it will help with your overall complexion and hopefully brighten up your skin a bit.  I find I do get results with this toner and I always seem to look really healthy when I am using it.  Unfortunately, depending where you live, this may be harder to find.  Just click on my Radiance Toner link and you can purchase it online.

Concentrated Rose Water– Any brand you like


This is by far my favourite.  Concentrated rosewater is amazing for all sorts of things!  It cleans, moisturizes and restores your skins ph balance.  Check out these amazing benefits of concentrated rose water.  I got my bottle from my local drug store and mixed it with distilled water to make a toner.  I found a cute bottle from a thrift store and there you have it!  This toner does wonders for me in the winter months especially.  Follow the instructions on whatever bottle you have to see how much you need to dilute it with the distilled water.

There you have it folks-My three favourite toners! In my world of skin happiness I can not live with out my toning.  Let me know if you guys are for or against toners and if you have any you recommend!

Thanks for visiting and stay tuned for Top pick Tuesday coming tomorrow 😉