What are serums & how do you use them? This is a common question that I get about skincare and I am here to tell you all about it today! Serums are light, fast absorbing liquids with a potent mix of antioxidants and other active ingredients that target specific skin care conditions. Serums are to be used underneath eye or face creams and can help with many skin issues. Aging, dehydration, acne, excessive oil, and hyperpigmention are just a few of the conditions that can be thwarted with the proper use of serums.

Here’s some of our favorites:

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iS Clinical Active Serum: this is the serum that sparked my desire to write this post! after using this my skin has never looked or felt better. it has ingredients that work for both fast acting & long term results. the botanicals in the serum don’t dry the skin, and the active ingredients produce a cool tingling sensation upon contact. this serum is excellent for acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, uneven texture and large pores. basically it’s the end-all be-all of serums! has been featured in Allure, Marie Claire & Lucky magazines (beauty Bibles.)

Dr. Brandt Overnight Resurfacing Serum: if you’re looking for a product to renew your skin overnight, look no further. this serum has a retinol complex that is time released to help with short & long term results such as improving texture & tone as well as minimizing wrinkles & large pores.

Kate Sommerville Quench: provides deep moisture for radiant skin. helps regenerate tissue to increase firmness & elasticity in skin.

Philosophy Time in a Bottle Eye Serum: we should never neglect our eye area when it comes to serums. this serum supports skin’s natural health & turnover with its breakthrough complex. it also boasts vitamin c8 which  protects from further environmental damage. the result: bright, smooth & firm eyes that will never divulge your real age.

Neutrogena Ageless Intensives Deep Wrinkle Serum: even if this wasn’t a drugstore product, it would still have all the ingredients you would look for to minimize fine lines and wrinkles. with concentrated antioxidants, retinol & skin conditioners, this serum will get results without breaking the bank!

Phyto-C Icy Blue: this serum has Hyaluronic acid, which holds 1,000 times its weight in water, therefore binding moisture to the skin. it enhances skin elasticity, calms & restores the skin while diminishing the appearance of fine lines & wrinkles.



always be sure you are exfoliating 2-3 times a week. if you put a serum on skin that has layers & layers of dead skin cells built up the serums will not penetrate & you might as well just be pouring that liquid gold down the drain!

try layering serums (a serum cocktail, if you will) for an even more potent punch to our ever-aging skin!

use a pea sized amount and press the serum onto your skin with your fingertips.

shop these products:

Katya - I can’t imagine my life without serums! Those skin care products really make the difference!!!

what’s in our shopping bag

we are hosting a valentines giveaway this week!  oh how i love valentines day.  it’s been increasingly more fun (as is every holiday) with kids in tow.  we usually make homemade heart shaped pizzas and i’ll do a red themed breakfast.  one of my clients suggested we do a shish kabob stick with powdered donuts and strawberries and and put “donut you know how much I love you?” on a tag.  So darling.  My other favorite part about valentines day is having an excuse to go out with my valentine.  which gives me another excuse to shop for a valentines day outfit!


this cardigan makes a great casual ensemble for valentines day:



Outfit details :  Ruffled Sleeve Sweater  I’m Not Fancy Tee   Favorite Pants   Leopard Loafers (similar)


C found the perfect earrings to add to her perfectly pink makeup and nails:




Pretty in Pink Earrings   Baby Wrap   And don’t you just want to squeeze that little baby?  Drooling.



One luck winner will receive

 the Don’t Forget Knot Ring, Box of Chocolates Lip Glosses Set, and a $25 Gift Card to The Shopping Bag.


Giveaway will run Feb 9-13th

The Shopping Bag Valentine’s Giveaway with The Beauty Mark Girls

Good luck beauties!

Aimee Kerby - I love giveaways! I’m excited and crossing my fingers!!

Jess - I would love to receive the Mod Red Trench Coat!

amour bows

i have to tell you about my most favorite accessories.  ever.

i’m not trying to dramatic when i say these are seriously  my all time.  my girls wear them almost daily.  these aren’t your neighbor’s etsy shop bows, either.  (not knockin’ our etsy friends- you’re amazing too!)  But these are the real deal.  the whole enchilada. the bee’s knees.  you get the point.  they add so much style to any little girls’ outfit.   and boys too (wink face emoji).



well we had to knock it out of the park for these favorite accessories of mine.  so obviously our go-to photog was the lovely Heather from Plainly Taken Photography.  I love it when magic happens.






And yes, that is a real-life proposal.  All Dean’s idea, too.  Aren’t this little models just tdf?  We think so too.  Check out other looks and start shopping Amour Bows here.

Nicolette - What?! Sooo gosh darn cute!!!! I cannot get over how adorable the models are! The little blonde with brown eyes?! Adorable!!!!! The big bows are just darling!

Chloe Kepner - Okay let’s be serious, these are the cutest children on this Earth. Good genes, H & C. ;) xo

2015// Marsala

Happy New Year! What better way to start our year at TBM than to talk about the color of the moment: Marsala. Every year, Pantone chooses a color that they predict will be universally worn and bought that year. They describe this year’s choice as “a naturally robust and earthy wine red” that can be incorporated into makeup, fashion, and home decor.

I gotta be honest. The actual color that Pantone came up with is a little…90’s (think the color that Kendell Jenner has been sporting on her overdrawn lips for months). I prefer to work with shades and tones of this burgundy knockoff in order to fit the bill for this trendy color of 2015.Pantone_Color_of_the_Year_Marsala_Story_One_Top_Imagephoto cred

Here’s my picks for incorporating this color into your life this year.

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Not Your Typical Smoothie

My all-time favorite.  My go-to.  This smoothie is everything.


Oh the green smoothie..  Before I had it for the first time I struggled thinking that the ingredients wouldn’t blend well and that it would taste weird.  Nothing worse then spending a fortune on fresh veggies only to be dumped down the sink when no one will drink them.  So nervously I whipped up this green smoothie that I found on Pinterest and it was…good (not great) but had great potential.  Over the years I tweaked the recipe and found what would best accommodate my family’s taste buds and let me tell you…SO dang good.  And getting my kids to drink veggies is an accomplishment in itself.  It’s creamy, filling, and delicious.  I will have it for breakfast or lunch at least once a week and the whole fam loves it.


Since it’s Christmas time we will call this little green smoothie…

Grinch Juice





Grinch Juice //  ( I don’t measure when I make this so it’s just kind of thrown together but it’s always delicious!)


Vanilla Almond Milk  1 cup

1-2 diced frozen bananas

Handfuls of Spinach leaves (you can’t have too much)

Peanut Butter 1 Tablespoon  (or PB2 if you’re feeling healthy)

Ice to your liking

Once this has blended I like to add the secret ingredient (thanks to C)  –  Cocoa Nibs.  They give it a little crunch and they are SO good.  My kids think there are chocolate chips in their drink.  It’s practically a chocolate peanut butter smoothie that’s healthy!


There you have it.  Get blending!   My favorite purchase this year has been our Blendtech Blender.  Need to welcome a blender into your kitchen?  Williams-Sonoma has a great collection and free shipping!  Find them here.

M o r e   i n f o