Dreaming of a White Christmas with SmileBrilliant!

Beauty, giveaway, Lifestyle

Holy cow guys…how is it NOVEMBER!? Has 2019 been the fastest year EVER for anyone else? I cannot believe it is already that crazy time of year with the holidays fast smile3approaching.  I have always loved the lead up to Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.  I love the hustle and bustle of shopping for presents, planning menus for gatherings, and of course putting together the perfect outfits for all of the holiday events.  With all the happy chaos it is so easy to forget about your most important accessory for the season; your smile! With all the pictures and photo-ops during the holidays you have to be prepared with those perfect pearly whites!

If you are like me, whitening my teeth is usually the last thing on my to-do list. I have been known to run into the drug store days (sometimes hours) before an event trying to get that last-minute white. It can be such a mess, trying to get those dang strips to stay in place while you multitask, before you know it you are drooling down your ah-dorable holiday dress….not really the look you were going for, right? Well, not this year! I have teamed up with SmileBrilliant to achieve the perfect ‘snowy’ white smile for the holiday smile1season, and into 2020!

Like I said, I have tried whitening strips and store-bought tooth whitening trays in the past. I have even dabbled in whitening toothpastes, all with okay results. The problem is that the results never last, always made my teeth hurt, and were inconvenient and messy. With all the years of bad tooth whitening experiences, I was a little skeptical to try ANOTHER whitening product.  I spoke with one of SmileBrilliant’s consultants to discuss my concerns and get my questions answered, and Sophia was great!  She spoke with me about teeth whitening myths as well as my dental and whitening history, and was so patient with me. After speaking with her we developed a plan that included the whitening product as well as a desensitizing gel. I loved this. Having a consult with someone so knowledgeable made me much more confident and comfortable. This already was so much better than the store bought brands I had tried previously–they cared about my teeth and my results!

Following my consultation I was sent a kit with trays to make my molds, yes, you read that right! They actually use molds of your own teeth to make sure you whiten properly and evenly.  The kit came with super easy-to-follow instructions and even extra “molding” materials, just in case you did make a mistake. Talk about service! Once the molds were sent it only took a couple days to get my completed trays back in the mail- then it was time to get whitening!

SmileBrilliant has made tooth whitening such an easy and personalized process.  The kitsmile5 came with step- by-step instructions with pictures…exactly what a girl like me needs! The trays fit perfectly, but I will say the first couple of rounds were a little bit painful. I grew up on well water, so I did not have fluoride in my water supply. Despite having good routine dental care, my teeth have always been sensitive due to my enamel. I followed the instructions and used the desensitizing gel after each use, which did help a little.  After a couple of consecutive days of whitening, I switched to every other day which really helped my sensitivity. Despite changing the frequency I still saw great results!  Since the trays were exact replicas of my teeth, there was no excessive drooling or mess and it made multitasking so easy. I was never worried about the trays slipping off my teeth like the strips. My favorite time to whiten is when I’m bingeing some Netflix, walking Tilly, or just getting ready for work.  I actually have worn them out running some simple errands, and it was great to whiten while getting stuff done instead of being tied to my bathroom!

I am so thrilled with SmileBrilliant, and I continue to see results and feel even more beautiful and confident in my smile!  I don’t know about you, but I am ready to take on those holiday parties and photo-ops! No? You say you are not ready for all the pictures? No worries, SmileBrilliant and I have got ya covered! We have teamed up to give you the best whitening experience.  One lucky follower will win a T3 Sensitive System kit valued at $149! Click here to get all the info and to enter the giveaway! Make sure you are also following me on Instagram @thebedazzledb!



You can also use code thebedazzledb15 for 15% off store wide at SmileBrilliant!Good luck to all who enter; I cannot wait to see your beautiful, brilliant smiles!

(The winner will be notified via email and announced on Instagram)

XOXO, Cait B.


Facing Foundation


It seems as though I have been searching for a good foundation for years. I’ll start using one then switch to another in the hope of finding something better.  It’s kind of a vicious cycle! If you have been keeping up with my blog and posts you already know that I have very dry and sensitive skin, so finding a good foundation can be very challenging. I have to find a good balance between coverage, one that isn’t too oily so that my skin doesn’t break out, and one that is not too drying that will emphasize the dryness I already have. Plus it cannot be too pricey. I know, I’m needy!

I recently decided to take a trip to Ulta to try to find something that checks all of my boxes. I love Ulta for this experiment because you can generally get free samples or cheaper sample sizes to try before you buy.  Their beauty advisors will also color match you for free, which makes this process so much easier. I specifically asked the beauty advisor to direct me to some foundation options for very dry skin.

I decided to try six foundations for this experiment. Before using I performed my normal skincare routine that includes exfoliating 2-3 times a week and using a rich moisturizer each night. I also used the same face primer (bareMinerals Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer) with each of the foundation products to provide a similar base and equal playing field. 

First up is Clinique Even Better foundation. I have never really used Clinique products, but have always heard good things so I was excited to try it. I was color matched to the shade “CN 0.75 Custard.” When I got home I was a little sad to find that this shade was still a little too yellow for my skin, but it was the lightest color they had that wasn’t white (#gingerproblems).  I applied the foundation and frankly, I was foundation7pretty disappointed. I found it to be quite greasy and it did not go onto my skin very smoothly. I attempted applying with a sponge, a silicone applicator, and clean fingers and just could not get it right. I tried wearing it anyways, but was disappointed to find that what I did manage to apply did not last long. For these reasons I personally am not a fan of this foundation. ($29.00 at Ulta)

Next up is bareMinerals Complexion Rescue tinted moisturizer-hydrating gel in shade “Opal.” This is also the lightest color you can purchase from the bareMinerals line.  Incidentally, this “foundation” is what actually started me on this quest for the perfect foundation. I have always had good results with bareMinerals products, but this one had to be the exception.  Originally, I was pointed to this product because it is supposed to contain moisturizer, is light-weight, AND long lasting. No, no, foundation10and NO. This foundation did not cover well at all and was not very buildable. It seemed to just sit on top of my skin which emphasized my dry and flaky spots even more. This foundation actually seemed to dry my skin out!  The color was also a little too orange for me. Although I really like many other bareMinerals products, I’m going to have to do a hard-pass on this particular product.  ($32.00 at Ulta)

 Since this was the only bad experience I have had with bareMinerals, I decided to give their barePRO Performance Wear Liquid Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 20 in shade “Fair 01” a chance. This one is MUCH better. I would not say that it has been great for my dry skin, but it definitely has not made it foundation6worse. This foundation does provide more coverage and is a little bit heavier.  For this reason I would not use it as a daily foundation but I think this would be great for a night out or special occasion. I noted that by the end of the day the product did settle into the pores and creases on my face.  A full size bottle of this foundation at Ulta is $34.00.

The next product I tried is Benefit’s Hello Happy Soft Blur Foundation SPF 15 in Shade “1- Fair Cool.” It is the winner! I purchased the sample (travel size version) of this foundation at Ulta for $10. I found that this product is lightweight, but also super buildable. It contains shea extract which helps to smooth and protect skin. It is more matte, and offers medium coverage. I applied this foundation4foundation with clean fingers, as I found it got a little streaky with other applicators. I didn’t need to use a whole lot of this make up; the travel size has (so far) lasted me over a month! The full size bottle at Ulta is $29.00.

I really wanted to try Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation because I have heard such good things about it, but my Ulta store did not have this product in my shade. I hope to try it soon, and I will let y’all know what I think of it when I do! If you are interested in giving it a go, it is $39.00 at Ulta.

For my wedding I wore MAC Studio Fix foundation in shade “NC10″ (which can be found at Sephora or a MAC counter/store. (Mac Artists will also color match you free of charge!) It worked really well for me foundation11and had great long lasting coverage. I made it through pictures, the ceremony, and all of the dancing without it fading. I will say it was not wonderful for my dry skin, but it did hide imperfections very well. This would be another good alternative for a long lasting, full coverage foundation. It is $30.00 at the MAC store. 

As for drug store finds, in the past I have been very satisfied with L’Oréal True Match Super -Blendable Foundation. I wear the shade “N1”. I used to only wear this foundation, and I loved it until my skin started getting super dry. Although it is said to be a hydrating formula, my skin needed some more TLC. foundation9This would work well for anyone who classified their skin as normal, oily, or (kinda) dry, just not like the Sahara Desert dry, like me. It does provide medium coverage and is buildable. I also really like it because it is free of oil and fragrance, which can irritate my skin. It also come in 45 shades, and uses warm, neutral and cool descriptors to better match your skin’s natural undertone. If you are looking for a less expensive option, I definitely recommend this one. Runs $10.99 at Ulta, but can also be found at virtually any drug store. 

If you are not really into liquid foundations, I have two options for powders that I really like. I rarely use powders in the winter, as they just don’t set well on my dehydrated skin, but I love these products in the foundation5summer as light-weight options. My all-time favorite powder is bareMinerals Original Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 15 in “Fair 01.” This make-up is now available in 30 shades and is super blendable and buildable. A little of this loose powder definitely goes a long way! Of all the powders that I have ever used, this one is the best for dry skin. Although it may not go on as smoothly as a liquid foundation, it does not highlight the dryness. It is of course, mineral based too, so it never bothers my skin, but makes it look more healthy and luminous. It is $31.00 at Ulta.

My favorite drugstore powder is Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Powder in “Fair Ivory.” This is a pressed powder that works exactly as the name says. It definitely reduces the look of pores and makes foundation8redness and shine more matte. It is pretty light, but can definitely be buildable if you are needing more coverage. The best part about this product is that it is only $7.99! It also comes in a translucent powder that would work great as a setting powder.

As a side note, I avoid really creamy, stick foundations because I literally grew up plastering my face with grease-paint and cream ‘pancake’ foundations for dance and theater. They ALWAYS made me break out. They are another option, especially if you are looking for fuller coverage that will last all day and night, and probably through the next morning. 

SO here’s the catch:  Everyone’s skin is different. You might have oily skin, normal skin, or dry skin like me, or even combination skin, so there is a good chance that you will have a different experience with products than I did. You may love Clinique and absolutely loath Benefit…the real point is that you can try these different products without shelling out too much cash by testing samples and shades. To me, finding the right foundation is key for a successful make-up look because, duh, it is the foundation, the base for all of your make-up. Yes, you might end up “trying on” every formula there is, but when you find it, you will know and it will be SO worth it! 


What are your favorite foundations and dupes? Do you have a foundation that you use year round, or a different one for winter and summer? Let me know if you try any of these and what you think, good and bad!  🙂

XOXO, Cait B.

Lash Extension Love


I originally started getting eyelash extensions right before my wedding. I was used to wearing false eyelash strips for both dance and theatre growing up, but I didn’t want to have to deal with them peeling off on my big day, or have to worry about my mascara running with all the happy tears and snow (yes, it snowed on my wedding day!) My sister had gotten lash extensions before and I loved the way they looked, so I thought I would give them a go! I have continued to get them done ever since.

I love my eyelash extensions because they make my life so much easier. Because my lashes are so blonde, I always felt like I had to wear mascara or I would look 12 and boyish. I would need to coat my lashes multiple times, plus add in eyeliner, which would take up some time each morning. Getting lash extensions has made my morning routine on work days much faster, as I wear very minimal makeup on the job. I have been getting lash extensions for about 1-1/2 years now, and I am very happy with the results. Lashes are my one beauty splurge and I think they are totally worth it. That said, there are a few things you need to know before you get lash extensions applied.

You MUST do your research.

Know your Technician: As with any beauty treatment, you need to make sure you are going to a reputable lash technician since they will be working on a sensitive area of your body and using different chemicals. You must make sure that your lash tech is certified. Many states also require lash technicians to hold cosmetologist or esthetician licenses. Bottom line: Be aware of the laws in your state. Before scheduling your appointment, be sure to ask if your tech is certified, and at your appointment you can also ask to see their certification if it is not already displayed. This is not insulting to your tech; if they do seem hesitant to show you their credentials or become defensive that could be a big red flag.

Make sure the area is clean. My salon puts paper down on the table, just like a doctor’s office to ensure cleanliness between patients/clients. My tech always washes her hands in front of me, and wears a mask so she is not breathing on my face during my session.

Know Your Lash Options: Once you have established trust with a technician, you will need to know your options for your lashes. First, lashes are made from three different materials: Synthetic fibers, silk, and mink. I would recommend sticking with either silk or mink, as synthetic lashes are exactly that. Made of synthetic (processed) materials that could more easily irritate your eyes. Mink lashes are the highest quality and the most natural looking, however they are also the most expensive. I get silk lashes. They are still great quality but are more cost effective.

Lashes come in different lengths as well, ranging from 6mm to 17mm (this could vary depending on where you get your lashes done.) They also come in different curls, like C or J. C shaped lashes curl into a shape like a C, just as J curls are less curved and look more like a J. You will also get to choose the overall shape of your lashes. Salons may have different names for each style, and they should go over all of your options with you as well as recommending the length and curl that they think will be best to achieve the look you desire. I tend to get a “cat-eye” where the lashes gradually get longer as you move to the outer edge of the eye. I tend to get a mix of 10mm, 11mm and 12mm, C shape extensions as I like my lashes to look a little more natural. For my wedding I opted for longer, volumizing lashes for more drama. You can talk to your technician to see if they offer this option. Some lash salons also offer different colored lashes as well. Prior to your first appointment, your lash tech should consult with you to discuss what you are looking for. Prior to every follow-up, your tech should ask how you like your lashes and if you want to ‘tweak’ anything.


Know The Types of Glue: Eyelash extensions are adhered to lashes using lash glue. You need to verify the type of glue that your technician will be using. This glue needs to be medical grade glue and safe to use on the body and near the eyes. You might have heard in the news about severe reactions to eyelash glue– this glue IS NOT medical grade, and often contains formaldehyde, which releases fumes and causes burning and redness. If your tech is using medical grade glue, this is much less likely to happen. Although irritation is less likely with the correct glue, reactions still do happen. If you have very sensitive skin, or have had reactions to adhesive in the past, you should first ask to put a sample of the glue on the inside of your wrist to see if you develop any kind of reaction. During your session, if you develop any kind of burning, irritation, or start tearing, you need to inform your lash tech. They might need to switch to a “sensitive” version of the glue. This type of glue generally does not hold as well, but is an option if you have sensitive skin/eyes. Be aware that you can also develop a sensitivity. This happened to my sister. The first few times she got extensions she was fine, but after a couple more sessions, she had a reaction to the glue and could no longer have her lashes done at her original salon. Do not lose hope; not all salons use the same glue, so you might be able to go elsewhere. Pro tip: if you are unable to brush through your lashes easily, your tech used too much glue, or glued one lash extension to multiple natural lashes, instead of an individual one. This can cause clumping and discomfort as your lashes grow out. If this happens to you, talk with your tech or see someone else with more experience!

*IMPORTANT: Know the difference between an infection and an allergic reaction. A licensed and experienced lash technician will not let an infection occur, but some symptoms could include swelling, redness, warmth around the eye, discoloration of the whites of the eye and a thick discharge. If this occurs seek medical attention. Unfortunately, if you’re allergic to the glue, you’re still going to be allergic, hygiene will not change this fact.

Know The Time Frame: Your first set of eyelash extensions could take anywhere from 90 minutes to 2 hours, depending on how many lashes you have and the condition of your lashes, as they are gluing on the individual lashes one at a time. After your initial visit you will need to return to have your lashes filled. Our natural lashes are always growing and eventually fall out, so your extensions will also grow out, or soon fall out. I have my lashes retouched about every three weeks. This takes about 60 to 90 minutes depending on how well my lashes held up over the prior couple of weeks.

Know what you can and cannot do:
Water: After each session you cannot get your lashes wet for 48 hours. This includes steam, so no showering, unless it is cold or quick! This is to allow the glue to dry and adhere properly. After this 48 hour period, you are free to shower, just do not scrub your lashes or submerge them in water for too long, as it will eventually loosen the lashes or make them fall out.
Makeup: Do not use any oil-based makeup or lotion around your lashes as this will degrade the glue prematurely. I would also recommend NOT using mascara on your lashes (not that you will need it); especially water proof mascara as it will cause the lashes to clump in unnatural ways, and you will not be able to wash it off.
Caring for your lashes: Your lash tech should provide you with a clean spoolie brush to groom your new lashes with. Most techs instruct you to brush your lashes when you wake up, after you shower, and before you go to bed. You can do this if your lashes become out of line too. Make sure you never pull on your lashes to ‘rearrange them.’ This is what causes damage and breakage to your natural lashes. If you do get tired of having lash extensions, I recommend having a professional remove them for you, as removing them yourself can result in painfully ripping out your lashes, or damaging them.
Common questions I get about extensions:
Q: Aren’t you worried about getting glue in your eyes?
A: No! Your eyes are closed during your entire session, so no glue will ever get into your eye.

Q: Does it hurt?
A: Not at all! I find having my eyelashes done to be very relaxing and have even fallen asleep during sessions. The only discomfort you may have is from the glue (which you need to speak up about!) or when they remove the tape from your face (many techs use medical tape to hold your skin as they work so they can better see your lashes.) My eyes do tend to water when they first turn on their bright light, as my eyes are inherently sensitive to light, but they soon adjust and I am quite comfortable.

Q: Could it cause blindness?
A: No. Again, if you are working with a credible lash tech, you will be in good hands. Your lash professional should be trained and competent in applying glue and lashes in a way that is harmless to you and your anatomy. Your eyes are closed for the procedure. No matter how bad an allergic reaction may get, you will not go blind- you just may need some medicated eye drops.

Q: Will they ruin your natural lashes
A: This is easily the most asked question I get and the biggest myth regarding lash extensions. Extensions will not destroy your natural lashes if they are applied correctly and taken care of properly. Again, be sure not to rub your eyes or tug or pull on the extensions because this WILL cause lash damage and loss.

I love my lash extensions, but they do require maintenance. There is also a cost associated with getting your lashes done and keeping them filled which has to be factored into the “splurge” budget. I have been able to find a very reputable, yet more affordable location near me, but many lash salons charge a hefty price. For me, this is one splurge that I find completely worth it for my lifestyle, but if the price is a problem, you can always try high-quality false eyelash strips. Let me know if you are interested in a tutorial on how to apply these falsies by commenting on this post!

XOXO, Cait B.


**Disclaimer- this information is from my personal experience. I do not consider myself an expert on this topic. If you have specific questions regarding your lashes and if extensions are safe for you, talk with your optometrist or with a professional lash technician.**

Skincare Products I’m Loving!



As the holidays roll around I’m sure your shopping list is growing. If you are like me, this time of year I focus more on my loved ones and less on myself. Although, I am all about giving, it is important to take care of yourself and your skin as winter rolls around. I have made a list of a couple of beauty product I am currently loving that will not cut into the holiday budget! All of these can be found at Ulta or Target!

I have really really dry skin. It’s bad and it only gets worse as the weather gets cooler. Along with dry skin, I have sensitive skin that breaks out easily. It is a vicious cycle of using a toner to help with acne, only to have is suck out the remaining moisture, then using a moisturizer that causes me to break out. MEH. SO frustrating! I have been searching for products that will help not only with the flakiness but also be sensitive enough to not break me out. Let me tell you- it has been rough, but I have found some options!

The first product I’m digging can be found at Target. It is Up&Up brand Exfoliating Wet Cleansing Towelette. So many sugar scrubs and exfoliates I have tried have been very harsh on my skin, or have a very strong fragrance which irritates it. I like these towelettes because they have a very mild cucumber scent and they are not too rough. I will say, I am not the biggest fan of the packaging, it is sealed with an adhesive sticker, which after a few uses loses its ‘stickiness’ making the wipes quite dry. You can combat this by sticking the package in a Ziploc or, be lazy like me, and flip the package over so the sticker is on the bottom and is forced closed. This comes in at $1.99 for 30 towelettes!

The next product I am loving is bareMinerals Good Hydrations Silky Face Primer. I just started using this product and have been very satisfied! I have used other bareMinerals primers (Prime Time) in the past and found the products to be very greasy. This primer goes on like a very thin lotion. My skin is instantly re-hydrated when I use this and has definitely help my foundation go on more smoothly. It really does make your face silky! This product can be found at Ulta for $26, but is sold by many retailers. Bonus! bareMinerals is a cruelty-free brand!

When I do have breakouts, I turn to Thayer’s Witch Hazel Alcohol Free Toner in Rose Petal. I love this stuff because as a toner, it is so gentle on the skin but effective. As someone who used to put rubbing alcohol directly on my face, this is a much more effective (and safer!) alternative for adult acne. I also really enjoy the use of rose petal which is a natural anti-inflammatory, plus it smells like you have been frolicking in a rose garden. This stuff is great as a daily facial cleanser as well and can be found at Target for $8.99 for a 12oz. bottle. Thayer’s is also all natural and cruelty-free!

The final product I want to share with you is a 3-in-1 steal! While Black Friday shopping I picked up the b.Right! Start Skin Kit by Benefit and I am in love with these products! It comes with 3 ‘fun size’ products including the Moisture Facial Cream Hydra-Concentrated Facial Cream (0.3 oz), It’s Potent! Eye Cream Brightening Eye Cream to fade dark circles (0.3 oz) and the Triple Performing Facial Emulsion Sheer Oil-Free Broad Spectrum SPF 15 Facial Lotion (0.3 oz.) My absolute favorite product has to be the moisture facial cream. It works miricales! After just one night of applying it before bed my skin was visibly transformed from dry and flaky to smooth and moisturized. It is a very rich and creamy product but it does not leave my skin oily and it has not caused any break-outs! Hallelujah! I will say the portion size is quite small, but a little of this stuff goes a long way, and it’s a great size to start off with if you are trying to figure out if this product is right for you. I also like the eye cream, it is great to use if you work early in the morning like me. I like to put mine in the fridge so it is cool when I put it on! To be honest I have yet to try the facial emulsion, but if it works like the other two products I will not be disappointed. I know what you are thinking- three products in one, how much is this going to cost me? This is the best part! It is only $15 at Ulta! This product is not only affordable but great quality! It would make for an adorable “friend-gift” or stocking stuffer, or might just need to end up under the tree with your name on it (;

GUEST_3bd99bdb-99aa-4cfb-b080-b0b6f486607e        8737551_fpx.tif  GUEST_779f7248-1034-48da-8e71-75f8133e24dd     b.right_-start-skincare-set-box_1

Thank you for reading, I hope this gives you some ideas for your own skincare! The best skincare tip I can give is to stay hydrated and use products with SPF, even as the days become more cloudy!

If you go out and try these products let me know what you think! What are your favorite skincare products for dry winter skin?

XOXO, Cait B.