Monday, December 30, 2013


Hello my lovelies! I thought my previous post would be the last of the year but, it turns out I had a crisis and thought it would help out any of you ladies that need a quick fix for your manicure for New Year's Eve!

First, I really hate doing my own nails. I used to all the time, but then I discovered a great salon near my home and I started treating myself to manicures and pedicures. (Oh...those massage chairs! I need one in my house!) I would usually get traditional manicures but, one day last year I decided I would try a gel manicure and see what all the fuss was about. I am now addicted! Although my own nails are relatively strong, they do tend to split and the gel manicures have solved that problem entirely. I also keep my nails short because I am always using them to mess with my camera to open battery compartments, etc. (not to mention opening that stubborn makeup packaging!) and the gel manicures keep them from breaking and chipping. The biggest problem I have with gel manicures...I always wait so long between them that I get that big gap on my fingernail where the new growth is. Here's a photo of what my nails looked like before I "fixed" my crisis.

 I had these done about a month ago, and as you can see, there is a very big gap between the polish and the new growth. I have been so busy (and a touch lazy!) and haven't been able to get back to the salon to get a new manicure for New Year's Eve. I wanted a quick and easy solution to disguise my icky looking nails so I bought some of those nail "polish" stickers. I knew that they could easily disguise the issue, I didn't have to mess with other nail polishes or creating a design or something to camouflage the regrowth and, it was inexpensive. I didn't have very many options at the drugstore, so I picked out something fun that was still my "style".
These are the Kiss brand "Nail Dress" stickers, which I found at Walgreens for about $3.50. I'd never used nail stickers before and wondered how easy it would really be. It turns out it only took me about 30 minutes to complete all of my nails and I found that the pattern was very forgiving if I had any little air bubbles. They are pretty easy to use and will fit any nails...even toenails! All I did was stick them on directly over my gel manicure, trim off some of the excess sticker with some clippers, fold them as the package directed and used the enclosed emery board to file away  the excess.This is what they look like now.

The do feel a bit strange on the ends though...not quite completely smooth and I've used another nail file to try to buff it to make it smoother. Since it's the first time I've tried these, they aren't perfect and they have a few bumps and bubbles. And, some of the sizes didn't quite fit my nail shape. But, they definitely suit my need for a temporary fix. I think they're pretty cute actually! The package claims that they last up to 10 days. They come in a variety of patterns ranging from the glittery zebra print I have on my nails, to floral and even pink leopard. These can also be trimmed into different shapes and you can create your own accents for your already polished nails. I can't speak to staying power yet.

I can't say yet whether or not I would repurchase these or not. I want to see how they perform and see how long they last on my nails. I didn't put a topcoat over these as the package directions say that you are supposed to just peel them off. I will have to give an update on how these perform. But, at least my nails look decent for New Year's Eve now!

That's it for today my lovelies! Have a wonderful New Year's! Stay safe, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! In my area, some taxi companies give free rides if you've had too much to drink. And, many tow companies in my area offer a free tow to get you and your car  home safe and sound. Check in the area where you live and see if there are taxi companies or tow companies that offer the same type of services.

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Also, check o ut my official website at and my Facebook page at

Happy New Year! See you in 2014!!! 

Friday, December 27, 2013

5 Drugstore Beauty Products I Can't Live Without!

Hello lovelies! I thought I would share my 5 must have beauty products from the drugstore. These are items I use everyday and are essential in my beauty routine. Let's get right to it!

So, as you can see...nothing fancy here! I will just quickly run through them and tell you a little about why and how I use them.

  • Q-Tips - I prefer the pointed precision tips because they make working in small areas easier. I use these for everything from removing mascara that has gotten on my skin to sharpening up the lines of my liquid eyeliner. I also use them to blot my undereye area if I see that my concealer has settled into my fine lines. They are always in my makeup drawer or purse and readily available!
  • Carmex lip balm - My holy grail lip balm! My lips are always dry and I find that Carmex is the only lip balm that can combat this problem. I have one stashed in my purse, the end table next to the couch, in my makeup area...even my camera bag! I don't use this under lipstick because it is way to thick, but I use this constantly at home to combat my dry lips.
  • NYX Dewy Finish Makeup Setting Spray - (Ulta stores or $7.99. You may be able to find in select Target stores.) If you all have been reading my blog for awhile, you know that I love my long wearing foundations. Whether it be my Estée Lauder Double Wear, my Covergirl Outlast 3 in 1 or my Revlon Colorstay. If I feel that my makeup is looking a bit "cakey" and or want a little more natural finish to my makeup...I use a couple spritzes of this spray. It takes away the look of a powdery finish some matte foundations may leave, or I will use in the middle of the day just to refresh my face and makeup. It doesn't leave an overly dewy look to the just brings it back to a more natural skin like finish.
  •  Eyelash curler - (The one shown is from elf and it cost me $1.00 at Target) - This is a no brainer for many ladies with straight lashes! I'm not partial to any brand or type of eyelash curler...but I MUST have one! I always curl my lashes before applying mascara. 
  • Waterproof Mascara - The one shown is L'Oreal's Voluminous Million Lashes, but I also use Maybelline's "The Rocket". Pretty much any black waterproof mascara, I just happen to prefer those two. I use a waterproof mascara as my first coat because it holds the curl in my lashes. My lashes are so straight that without a waterproof mascara as a base, other mascaras just take the curl right out of my lashes. 

  1. Don't try to fix any mascara "boo-boos" while the product is still wet. Let it dry before trying to remove it with a Q-Tip.
  2. To get the most natural looking curl to your lashes, start curling at the very base of your lashes. Move the lash curler to the center of your lashes and then one last curl towards the tips. This will keep you from having a harsh "bent" look to your lashes.
  3. Make sure your eyelash curler has no product build up on it. Your lashes will just stick to it and you risk pulling out your lashes.

There you have it! Very simple, very inexpensive and all must haves for me! Leave me a comment down below and tell me what YOUR makeup must haves are! I would love to hear the different things that you all have in your beauty routine that you can't live without.

I just want to give a thank you to all of my lovely blog followers. Whether you've been with me from the start or are a new follower...thank you for your support, your kind words and encouragement! I appreciate each and every one of you. You can also follow me on Instagram @reneebruch and on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. Check out my official website at and my Facebook page at

I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year and may 2014 be a fantastic year for all of you!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The "I can't wear cute shoes" dilemma...

Hello lovelies! This is a post about a little problem I have known as: "I CAN'T WEAR CUTE SHOES!" syndrome. So, as women we (well most of us) love shoes! Especially high heels! I know I do...or did. That was until I could no longer wear them. Without going into too much gory detail, I'll tell you why and some options that I've been able to find over the years to help me deal with this issue. I know that many women check out what other women are wearing on their feet, and it happens to me too...quite a bit. And, I get snickered at, or the old "what happened?"comment. But the worst for me is when it comes time to get dressed up for a night out, or a party or event such as a wedding. What am I going to wear on my feet?

So, to start off, a little background. Back in my early 30s I had to have surgery on my left foot. I won't go into any of the icky details, let's just say it was a long process and took a long time of prep before and alot of therapy after to get "back on my feet" so to speak. After the surgery, I was good as new! I could wear any type of shoe I wanted, including stiletto heels. Oh...was I happy! Then...this happened...

OMG!!! I obviously hurt my already sensitive left foot in an injury at my job soon after I got married, and because of THAT, it caused me to severely injure my right foot because I was trying to "baby" my left! That caused a Lis Franc dislocation of 4 bones in my right foot and I was required to wear a cast. (Lucky I had just recently painted my toenails, huh?) While they wanted to put me in a cast for my left foot as well, it wasn't feasible because I needed to have some sort of mobility. I was living in an apartment with my husband and navigating a wheelchair in the small space wasn't working so well. I was pretty much confined to a recliner for three months. My husband was exceptionally sweet and would fill a cooler with drinks and snacks and lunch for me and put it within arms reach so he could go to work and know I wasn't having to move around too much. (Aww.....) I eventually healed, went through a TON of physical therapy but then realized that my left foot was just not feeling "right", so I headed to a foot specialist and I ended up with this...
Meet "Ritchie" constant companion for at least 6 years. (Also known as my "robo-boot") It is a "ritchie brace" and, it is a device that goes the entire length of my foot, up to the back of my heel, to what you can see in the photo; which is a stabilization method for my ankle and a plastic calf piece that is held in place by velcro all around my calf and shin. Lovely...isn't he? So..."Ritchie" only fits in athletic shoes and only boot cut jeans hide him. FANTASTIC! It was incredibly uncomfortable at first because learning to walk with it was difficult and painful. Now I don't even notice it. (Except when I cross my legs and bang my other ankle with it!) So, this is what I am required to wear on a daily basis. No running, no jumping and NO extended time on my feet. (Upside to having "Ritchie"? I have to use a wheelchair at theme parks and I get to jump the lines. Small comfort...I'd rather have my "normal" foot back thank you!) The doctor told me that "for very short periods of time, you can wear other types of shoes and heels, but no higher than 3 inches!" Uh...great! So, over the years and experimenting I've been able to come up with some options for "a cuter" shoe that I can wear when it's time for a night out or an event. (Keep in mind...this is my experience only and if you have any type of issues with your feet or require special foot devices, please consult your physician.)

The "Tall Boot" option. I found 2 pairs of boots (one flat, and one with a slight heel) that I am able to tolerate for awhile on my feet. I use both of these with skinny jeans, leggings, skirts, etc. when I want a more fashionable look. (I'm not saying that these are my ideal...I would love high heels, etc. but my health comes first!)
Franco Sarto flat leather riding boots. (Ironically...these pinch my feet and become uncomfortable themselves. I need to stretch them with a shoe stretcher...which I've yet to do because I wear them so infrequently.)
Steve Madden leather scrunch round toe boots with 3" heel. These are INCREDIBLY comfortable...most Steve Madden shoes I own have been comfortable from the get go! Because there is a padded footbed in these boots, I am able to tolerate them longer than pretty much any other shoe I wear that isn't "Ritchie".

For those times when I don't want to wear boots, or it's summertime, I go with the "flats" option. I have a couple of pairs of flats that I can wear with almost anything and it will work. However, because they are flat and have no arch...these will bother my feet after a short time. So, I will only wear them for a dinner or something.
No Boundaries suede ballet flats. I always go for a round toe whenever possible to give my feet some added room. Due to the simplicity of these shoes I find that NO attention is drawn to my feet. (These are not my favorite shoes to wear and I'm not too fond of the style's just necessity.)

And for a fancier flats option:
Steve Madden sparkly gold and studded flats. While I actually really like these shoes, they are the only pair of Steve Madden shoes I have that were uncomfortable from the get go. They are not a soft pliable leather, so they require some breaking in, which is not an option for me because I can't really wear shoes long enough to "break them in". So, these I've only used once...for New Year's last year. These are a great option if you have time to break them in because I do really love the style and they're very festive. I don't mind people noticing these!

Now, for those really special occasions...a heel option I found that worked for me quite well for my sister-in-law's wedding in Brazil a few years ago.
Caparros silver satin and sequined open toe kitten heels with ankle strap. I find that these were very comfortable. They were wide enough and open enough at the front to NOT pinch my toes and the ankle strap helps to keep my ankle where it belongs. No slipping and sliding from side to side. I was a bridesmaid and, if you're Brazilian, things work a little bit differently. If I remember correctly she had 15 bridesmaids! And, all of the bridesmaids are not required to dress alike. I was told that I just had to buy a dress and show up! I wore these all night (and when you go to a Brazilian wedding...there is NO time limit...the reception ends when the people leave...hers lasted until almost dawn!). And, maybe it was because of the incredible champagne, I felt no pain at all with these shoes. That was until my husband happened to notice my feet. They had swollen very badly and become very red. My husband got so worried, he took them off and made me sit with my feet in his lap for awhile. (He also carried me if I wanted to go outside, or to the ladies room. Such gallantry! But, he's also a worrier and hates to see me in pain so he'll do just about anything to keep me comfortable.) I did bring my athletic shoes and "Ritchie" with me to the reception thankfully, so there was my sneaker peeking out from under my fancy dress after the swelling had gone down a bit! It made my sister-in-law laugh and it made me feel better because I felt incredibly conspicuous.

These are just my experiences and my struggles with the "I can't wear cute shoes" dilemma. Honestly...if it's not a really fancy affair, or I know I'm going to be on my feet or moving alot...I just wear jeans and "Ritchie". It's not worth messing up my feet to show off my shoes. Let those who scoff or laugh at my footwear or choice of clothing be darned! If they had to endure it...they would understand better my struggles.

So...don't worry if you can't wear cute shoes anymore because of foot troubles! You can find a solution! If you see a physician, speak with him about what you can and cannot wear...and follow it! You're feet are with you for the rest of your life! Keep them healthy! Or, if it's just you can't wear some of the shoes you would like to because of discomfort...just keep'll find an option that works for you!

That's it for today's post my lovelies! I thought that this time of year would be a great time to talk about the cute shoe dilemma since everyone is getting dressed to the nines, looking gorgeous, breaking out their sky high heels and making me jealous... :)  I hope this gave you a few ideas and now you know why I don't post OOTD!  And...don't despair! Being able to wear cute shoes really doesn't matter in the grand scheme of life. Have fun, enjoy yourself!

Random tips:
  • If you don't want to draw attention to your feet, keep all of your outfit's interest up top! Seems simple, but an interesting pattern, color or some sparkle will draw the eye upward.
  • Play up your makeup a bit! Add some false lashes, or sparkle to your lids. Wear some screaming red lipstick! This will also keep everyone's interest up above your feet!
  • Do something completely different with your hair! An updo, an unexpected hair accessory, or even just a different style for the night will keep everyone's attention away from your feet. 
Keep up with me on my social media! Instagram @reneebruch or Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto. You can visit my official website at and my Facebook page at

Bye lovelies!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

REVIEW! Just Be Cosmetics!

Hi my lovelies! Today is going to be a review of some products from a small cosmetics company located not far from me! Just Be Cosmetics is a line of handmade cosmetics and bath products. It is a 100% vegan friendly line that is also gluten and paraben free. They do not add any harsh chemicals to any of their products and as their site says: "...just good stuff and a lot of love." I happened across Just Be Cosmetics through Instagram and checked out their store. You can find their store at and you'll see that they have quite an extensive line of products. Everything from body scrubs, detergent free soaps, as well as mineral pigments. Everything is very reasonably priced and, you can purchase samples of the pigments. If you aren't familiar with, it is a site where many small businesses sell their products. The Just Be Costmetics etsy store site is well laid out, the ordering process is very easy and, if you should have any questions or need to contact the owner, you can do that through the site as well. They are very quick to respond. And, if you should have any custom requests, just contact them and they will be happy to help you! I have dealt exclusively with Marta and have found her to be an absolute dream to deal with when it came to my order. I had questions and concerns, and she always promptly responded to my emails and my order arrived very quickly. (Please keep in mind that this line only ships to the U.S.) Now, let's talk about the products I tried out!

This is their 4 oz. body scrub which costs $5.00. They also have a 16 oz. size for $12.00. The packaging is simple and whimsical, which I think speaks to their whole philosophy when it comes to their products. I love that this comes with a little spatula so you can reach down to get the product out of the jar. Simple, functional, without even the smallest detail of "how do I get the product out" being overlooked! I bought this in the scent vanilla/cinnamon. The cinnamon scent is quite strong in this particular batch however, I don't mind that at all because I LOVE cinnamon. These scrubs come in many different scents: Vanilla, Cinnamon, Cranberry Fig, Peppermint, Hot Cocoa, Orange, Lemon, Grapefruit and Eucalyptus. They will also do custom scents. All you need to do is contact them with your request and they will be happy to assist you!  The scrub is a very coarse texture and is a works wonderfully as an exfoliant. Perfect for you ladies out there that self-tan! I find that it rinses off very clean and doesn't leave any residue on my skin as some scrubs I have tried do. Also, the scent does not hang around very long on the skin which is perfect, because it will not interfere with any fragrance you happen to wear that day. I can only speak for this scent, I don't know if the other scents may have a lingering fragrance.

I also tried their detergent free soap in the scent vanilla/oatmeal. That just smelled yummy from the get go! It comes simply packaged in some waxed paper. Since it is a handmade product you will notice that it has a softer texture than bar soap you buy from the store. Just Be Cosmetics also does not add type of detergent or chemicals to their soaps. I like the whole oats distributed throughout the bar, as they act as a gentle exfoliant. Definitely not uncomfortable to use and I think this would be particularly good for a guest bath since it doesn't contain any harsh ingredients and is very gentle. These soaps also come in a variety of fragrances: Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Vanilla and seasonal scents. Just contact Just Be Cosmetics to inquire about their seasonal offerings.

Now, my favorite stuff! The pigments! Just Be Cosmetics offers a line of mineral pigments as well. As stated on their website, the pigments do not contain talc, bismuth, FD&C dyes or any other added colorants including carmine. They are synthetic free and chemical free. You can use the pigments as eyeshadows, eyeliners, nail polishes, and some colors can be used as lip stains. (Please refer to Just Be Cosmetics' site when choosing a color for lips as some are not suitable for lip use.) They come in a wide variety of colors and I picked out a few samples to use on my eyes. (Please refer to their etsy shop to view the entire selection of colors. Samples cost $1.00 each and come in a small plastic bag. A full size is 5 grams, costs $8.00 and comes packaged in a small plastic jar.) I purchased quite a few samples of their shades to try and was extremely pleased with the results. I did two completely different eye looks with the colors I purchased. In the first look I used the pigments wet, and in the second I used them dry. Unlike some other pigments I've tried that tend to have less color payoff if used dry, I find that the shades I used dry from Just Be Cosmetics had just as much pigmentation and were equally easy to work with wet or dry. (Obviously when used dry, you will experience fallout due to the nature of them being a loose mineral.)

For this look, I used the mineral pigments wet and used just plain water as my medium. I used a combination of golds, green and brown. (These are not the shade names, Just Be Cosmetics' site has names for their shades.)  The photographs of the pigments on their website are very good quality and you can tell whether or not a color is matte or will have a shimmery or metallic look. The pigments went on smoothly, with full color and were super easy to blend and work with. They have a super fine texture and the color range is quite good. I like that not all of the minerals are metallic or shimmery and that they do offer matte shades in colors other than black and brown.

For this look, I used the mineral pigments dry. I used some purples, a mauve shade and a deep blue shade. (I am also wearing blue mascara in case you were wondering!) Even using the minerals dry, I found that they still had excellent color payoff and were just as easy to work with as when used wet. I did experience fallout, but they are loose pigments and it is unavoidable. Knowing that with loose pigments or shadows that I would have fallout, all I did was use a layer of translucent powder across my cheekbones. When I was done with the pigments, I just flicked the powder away with a fan brush and all fallout went with it. I like the way these particular colors worked together and I was very happy with the pigments in general. The selection of colors is very unique while remaining quite wearable, which is sometimes an issue for me when looking for pigments. Many lines may have only a few colors that aren't very bright or overwhelming, while I feel that Just Be Cosmetics' colors walk the fine line of having a variety of fun, vibrant colors while still offering a number of basic neutrals and some interesting shade choices that you may not expect! If you've never used pigments before, I assure you, they are nothing to be afraid of! Purchase a few samples from their color range and try them out. You'll be glad you did!

I encourage you to check out Just Be Cosmetics' etsy shop and browse around and check out all of the wonderful things they have to offer. Please contact them if you have any questions! Marta answered all of my questions quickly and was very helpful. And, don't be afraid to ask about custom orders either! 'Tis the season! They are offering a variety of seasonal scents at the moment, along with their regular line for their bath products, so if you don't see a scent and you're wondering if they may have it...just click the link to either contact the shop owner Marta, or the button that says "Request Custom Order". 

I hope that you all found this informative and will check out Just Be Cosmetics. Although it may be a small company, with a small store on etsy...they are big on quality and big on customer service. You won't be disappointed!

That's all for now my lovelies! I hope all of you are having a wonderful holiday season and I will see you again soon! Don't forget to follow me on Instagram @reneebruch, on Twitter @ReneeBruchPhoto and to check out my official website at and my Facebook page at

Sunday, December 15, 2013


Hello Lovelies! If you have chosen to take advantage of the "Optional Entry" for my year end IG giveaway, thank you very much! So glad to have you here!  This post will re-state ALL of the rules for Instagram entry and the rules for the OPTIONAL entry you will receive by following my blog! This post also contains a detailed list of every item included in each of the prize bundles. Thank you for entering my giveaway and best of luck to everyone!!

(This is NOT a blog is an Instagram giveaway. It is mandatory to enter by Instagram!)

HAPPY NEW YEAR GIVEAWAY 2 prize bundles!!!! (Open to U.S. only – Must be 18 to enter)
1.       Follow @reneebruch; repost & like this photo; tag @reneebruch and hashtag: #reneebnewyeargiveaway
2.        Tag 2 friends
3.       NO SPAM OR GIVEAWAY ACCOUNTS! If you follow then unfollow , you will be blocked and ineligible for future giveaways.
*OPTIONAL: You may obtain 1 additional entry by following my blog on GOOGLE+ 
a. Follow my blog: on GOOGLE+  
b. Comment (privately or publicly) your Instragram @ ACCOUNT name & “Optional entry” under my IG YEAR END GIVEAWAY post. (I must have your IG name in the comment to know who to credit the entry to.)
1.       Void where prohibited.
2.       Account must be public prior to end of giveaway.
3.       Giveaway ends on December 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.
4.       Winner(s) chosen at random via
5.       Winner(s) to be announced January 2, 2014.
6.       Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond or new winner will be randomly selected.
7.       Odds of winning dependent on number of valid entries. Winner of 1st prize ineligible for 2nd prize.

*Your e-mail address, personal information, etc. will not be made public, sold, or used for promotional or spamming purposes.

1.       Urban Decay Naked3 palette
2.       Tarte “Thoughtful Treasures” gift set
3.       Stila Lip Glaze (4) – “holly”, “sugar plum”, “jingle” & “black cherry”
4.       Smashbox Wondervision Duo (deluxe samples of Photo Finish Primer & Photo Op Eye brightening mascara)
5.       Red Cherry #43 false lashes (1 pair)
6.       NYX blushes (2) – Mocha and Rose Garden
7.       NYX makeup setting sprays – (1) Dewy Finish (1) Matte Finish
8.       Maybelline “The Rocket” waterproof mascara
9.       Essence gel eyeliner (Midnight in Paris)
10.   Essence Effect Nails nail art 3D silver pearls
11.   (2) Wet n Wild Megalast Nail Polishes - “Bite the Bullet” and “under Your Spell”
12.   NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil – “Milk”
13.   Revlon Lip Butter – “Red Velvet”
14.   Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick – “Plum Velour”
15.   (2) Jordana Easy Liner for Lips – “Plush Plum” and “Tawny”
16.   Bulgari Jasmin Noir perfume – .05 fl oz (sample)
17.   Betsey Johnson Too Too Pretty perfume – .06 fl oz. (sample)

Approximate value of 1st prize: $250

2nd Prize: “”MICHAEL KORS BUNDLE”(Winner of 1st prize is not eligible for 2nd prize drawing.)

1.       Michael Kors Holiday Lip Luster lipgloss set
2.       Smashbox Wondervision Duo (deluxe samples of Photo Finish Primer & Photo Op Eye brightening mascara)
3.       (2) Jordana Made to Last 12 Hour Eyeshadow pencil – “Pink Evermore” and “Continuous Almond
4.       Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer – “Watermelon”
5.       elf cosmetics 2 piece body shimmer set’
6.       Bulgari Jasmin Noir perfume – .05 fl oz (sample)
7.       Betsey Johnson Too Too Pretty perfume – .06 fl oz. (sample)
8.       Just Be Cosmetics Body Scrub – 4 oz. – Vanilla/Cinnamon scent
9.       (2) Jordana Twist and Shine Balm Stains ‘”Honey Love” and “Cranberry Crush”
10.   eos lip balm and hand lotion set

Approximate value of 2nd prize: $120