Steal or Splurge: Lip Liner

collage-2016-11-16-1 {I’m wearing Urban Decay on the left, Palladio on the right}

We are 100% in love with lip liner lately. We realized if you cover your entire lip with liner and then either – a) leave it plain b) put gloss over top or c) apply lipstick over – it lasts all day long! It just stays on really well and defines the lip. So, after trying lots and lots of different kinds – we wanted to compare cheap vs. expensive.

We tried out very similar lip liner – the only difference is the price.

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide on Pencil $20

Palladio Waterproof Lip Liner $4.99 (certain colors are $2.99)

Our final takeaway – they work the same! Both stayed on all day and held their color. So for this one, we say definitely go for the steal!

You can watch the video below for the full story – just click expand to make it full screen.

10 things you can only do in Japan

Parker and I just returned from a 9 day trip to Japan. Our main reason for going was to visit our brother and sister in law and their adorable 1 yr old baby. They are currently living in the center of Tokyo and were incredible hosts and tour guides! I had heard great things about Japan but prepared for how much I would love it. The city is spotless, no graffiti or trash anywhere. The people are kind and considerate, even when the subway is jam packed there is no yelling or shoving. I felt very safe the entire trip. The women have incredible style, always looking feminine and demure. And the food is incredible! I loved absolutely everything that we did, but to simplify things I decided to put together a list of my favorite 10 things that we did that you can only find in Japan.

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  1. ONSEN or JAPANESE BATH HOUSE: Being naked with strangers may sound terrifying but it was actually very spa-like and relaxing. I was hesitant when I first arrived at the bathhouse but after the initial shock wore off it was great. Men and women are split up into different bath areas. It was surprising to see moms and daughters together as well as little babies enjoying the water. At the onsen we enjoyed sushi and also got crazy fish foot massages – I was absolutely dying because my feet are so ticklish! Definitely a fun, cultural experience.
  2. CONVEYOR BELT SUSHI: The sushi in Japan did not disappoint! If you find a restaurant with a conveyor belt it makes it really easy to pick and choose what you want to try. I personally loved the salmon and tuna rolls.
  3. DISNEY SEA: We made a last minute decision to go to Disney Sea. I had no idea what to expect. The park is built on the coast and incorporates water into everything, even to the extent of building a Meditteranean looking village with gondola’s! I loved it and would definitely go again.
  4. RAMEN: The only ramen I had ever eaten before Japan was the 50 cent version. We were lucky enough to try quite a few different variations with udon noodles and different meats. All of them just made you want to cozy up in a sweater and relax. Although I am still working on my chopsticks skills…
  5. HARAJUKU: This is a fun little shopping district in Tokyo where you see some of the anime fashion. Bright colored hair, big platform shoes and a lot of My Little Pony. They also have photo booths that photoshop you to look like Barbie, not the best look for Parker :)
  6. GYOZA: Better known here as pot stickers, gyoza is very popular in Japan. We went to a restaurant entirely dedicated to different forms of gyoza. Then on our trek into the mountains of Hakone we happened upon a tiny little hillside restaurant with a Japanese grandma at the head of the kitchen that made gyoza from scratch. They were heavenly!
  7. TOKYO DOME: This is where all of the baseball games happen, but there is also an amusement park outside of the dome that is a blast! If you go after 5 pm it is around $25 for a pass to go on all the rides as many times as you would like. My favorite happened to be the roller coaster called Thunder Dolphin that took you high above all the skyscrapers and then dropped you straight down, even zooming through a building at one point.
  8. SHIBUYA: This is one of the busiest crosswalks in the world. Insider tip – go to the 2nd floor of the Starbucks on the corner so that you can get an overhead view of the chaos. Perfect location to record a time-lapse. You can see my husband’s here.
  9. HAKONE: They call this the Switzerland of Japan. It took a couple of hours by train to get there. In Hakone we saw an active volcano, a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains, and a shrine that was in the water.
  10. HIGH TECH TOILETS: The toilet seats are heated and spotless – even in places like 7-11! The Japanese people are so clean and tidy that I never once came across a bathroom resembling what you would find in America. The toilets are capable of doing so many crazy things (i.e. bidet?!). I now feel like I need to buy one for my house. In the winter time a warm toilet seat can’t be beat!

28 Things I have learned at 28 {Brooke}

  1. albionbasin Reminisce about falling in love with your significant other. To find your forever partner in life is the greatest and best adventure you will ever have. I still think back to those nervous/excited moments when Parker and I went on our first few dates. It’s always fun to talk about the sweet moments at the beginning of your relationship.
  2. Always have cookie dough or ice cream in the freezer. More times than not it comes in handy. Personal favorites? Ruby Snap and Halo Top Icecream (only 250 calories in a pint!!)
  3. Don’t let anyone else make you feel insecure. That includes crappy boyfriends or people that tear others down.
  4. It is okay to be nervous. It usually means that we are jumping out of our comfort zone and attempting something new.
  5. Death is hard. In my opinion, the death of a loved one is the biggest trial that we will face in life. Time, prayer, and love can help.
  6. Babies always make things better. The cuddles, coos, and smiles can’t be beat.
  7. Laughter can save a lot of situations from getting too serious.
  8. Everyone relaxes in a different way, find what works best for you. Exercise is my time to relax my mind and focus on strengthening my body.
  9. Ask people about themselves, you will usually find out something interesting.
  10. Find some female role models to look up to. Read their stories and experiences. Learn about their pitfalls and achievements. Every story can teach you something. Here are a few different articles that feature women I think are fascinating: Joy, Megyn, Oprah, and Mindy.
  11. You will always need your mom, to talk, laugh, and cry with.
  12. Fill up the car with gas BEFORE the gas light comes on.
  13. RSVP to events. When you become the party planner you realize how helpful it can be.
  14. If you find yourself in a bad mood and it is past 10 pm you probably just need to go to sleep.
  15. Get a grill so that your husband can wow you with his cooking skills.
  16. Remodeling a house will be much more work than you expect, but the results will be very rewarding.
  17. You can make new friends in your late twenties and thirties! This includes couple friends, gym friends, cooking friends, running friends, etc. Embrace new relationships!
  18. Don’t waste your time at a nail salon, just buy the at-home kit (this is the one I have been using for 3 years) and save hours and hours of time and $$$.
  19. Find your “hair lady” and stick with them. Someone you trust that won’t leave you crying in disappointment after a haircut that went 6 inches too short or a dye job that left you with purple hair instead of brown.
  20. Buy yourself some “nice” sweats. You know that you will get enough wear out of them.
  21. Be assertive. Learning how to say what you mean takes practice. It is obviously something that I strive to improve every day. {especially when my words are broadcast on TV every day}
  22. Find a job you look forward to going to every day. Being in the news business can be tough at the beginning. However, I have happily found my niche in the lifestyle genre and look forward to interacting with our shows varied guests every day.
  23. Social media free Sunday’s are a good thing that I need to try to stick with!
  24. Dinner parties are fun! Your guests will not be mad if you do not serve them on your best china. They will most likely remember the conversation and how you made them feel.
  25. Your family is not perfect, no one is, so you shouldn’t expect them to be. Love them for all of their quirks, but mostly because they are yours forever.
  26. Listen more than you talk.
  27. Ask for advice. On anything. From your morning routine to your marriage, it is always refreshing to hear someone else’s perspective.
  28. I have so much to learn. Thank goodness we are able to gain wisdom through experience every day!

A Fill-in-the-blank Travel Guide to Big Sur, California

Q: The very best part of Big Sur is the ________     

A: The very best part of Big Sur is the coastline! Every visitor feels like a professional photographer because the scenery is so beautiful. No matter where you stop along the coast – you will get a beautiful photo! (All the pictures on this post were taken with an iPhone #nofilter)

Q: The ___________ surprised me the most.

A: The quaint atmosphere of the town surprised me the most. I expected a bustling tourist town with shops, crowds, and lines. Sort of like Carmel or Monterrey. Instead, we were greeted with a beautiful campsite (surrounded by dozens of ancient redwood trees!) and a few small gas stations and hotels. I would encourage anyone planning to visit the area to come prepared with your own food and supplies. The “shops” in town are more like convenience stations with higher priced items.

Q: My favorite memory from Big Sur is ________.

A: The conversation and smores at our nightly campfire chats. Our campground was surrounded by the most beautiful redwood trees and had a stream running alongside us. We were able to visit Big Sur due to the fact that our friends, Erin and Cole who live in Palo Alto, reserved a campsite 6 months in advance! They were really the brains and organization behind the entire trip. We just love their little family and had so much fun chasing around their hilarious toddler! Roasting marshmallows while chatting with good friends is a great way to end each travel day.

Q: The worst part of the trip was the ________.

A: Traffic. I will never understand California traffic. We are so lucky to be able to travel so quickly to our destinations here in Utah that I usually take it for granted. That being said, the traffic was only backed up on our way to and from Big Sur. While we were there things were very smooth.

Q: My 3 favorite spots on the trip were _______.

A: McWay Falls, Pfeiffer Beach(for the purple sand!), and Bixby Bridge.

Q: ______ was the moment when I audibly squealed because I was so blown away by the view.

A: When we were driving into Big Sur and stopped off on the side of the road to look at Bixby Bridge. It was our first glimpse at the crystal clear water and breathtaking cliffs after a long trip in the car.

We loved our time in California!

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Twin Tested: 3 Minute Gel Manicure

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Britt and I have been rambling on for years about our love for Red Carpet Manicure. Instead of spending hours at the nail salon we have been able to whip out a professional looking manicure in under an hour at home. Well, there is a new product on the market that is a GAME CHANGER! We seriously cannot contain our excitement about this, therefore, we are telling everyone! The geniuses behind Red Carpet Manicure have combined the base coat, color, and top coat into ONE BOTTLE! You now paint on one coat, cure it for 45 seconds under the LED light, and voila a perfect gel manicure. And lucky for all of us they have the same awesome colors to choose from, our current favorite is Creme de la Creme. Run, don’t walk to your nearest Ulta Beauty store to check out the new product. (Right now all the coral hues are on sale for $7.99!

As a side note, we want to mention that we have tried the other “gel” nail polish products on the market like Sally Hansen, etc. and Red Carpet is a much more durable, long-lasting product. We only share the products with you that we regularly use and love.

What it’s like to meet a Backstreet Boy when you’re 27

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Our 13-year-old selves would’ve died had we known that one day we would meet our absolute FAVORITE Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter. The opportunity came up because of FanX, which is part of Salt Lake ComiCon. As teenagers, Britt and I did not just like the Backstreet Boys – we were obsessed with them! We had their posters plastered all over our bedrooms, learned the dance to every music video, and attended every single concert. Nick was invited to SLC ComiCon because he is working on a new movie about zombies and 90’s boy bands…? We hear there are even members of N’SYNC in the movie. Anyway… before we met Nick for our photo-op a few questions raced through my mind:

  • What do you say to a Backstreet Boy when you are 27 years old?
  • Do you fan-girl or act like a polished professional?
  • Small talk or just smile and nod?
  • What exactly are you supposed to wear while meeting a member of a 90’s boy band?!

Well, here is the conversation. In all it’s 90 seconds of glory:

Nick: “You must be sisters?”

Brooke: “Twins”

Nick: “Well you both are beautiful.” (as he wraps his arms around our waists)

Brooke: *Cheeks start turning red* “We are doing the picture together so that we can put it on our show Monday.”

Nick: “Oh, really?”

Britt: “Yes, we host a lifestyle show here in Salt Lake.”

Nick: “That’s great, thanks for coming, you both are beautiful.” and wave

Quite eventful, right?! No, but really, the experience was really fun. We were lucky to skip most of the line thanks to our press passes. The line must have gone on for hours! Nick was really gracious and kind to all of the fans that we saw him meet with. Life is crazy, you never know who you are going to meet. Now, I am off to go listen to some BSB!

We bought a house!

new house Sam and I just bought our first home together. No one tells you that you literally go through every emotion when going through the home buying process: excitement, fear, dread, regret, happiness, fear, excitement and on and on and on. We are finally moved in and are so content to finally be living in the home. I have to say, the two things I am most pleased with are the garage and no longer having to share a bathroom with my husband! I was telling Sam that I know I shouldn’t base my happiness on material things, but having more space has definitely put a pep in my step. I can’t wait to make it our own and decorate, but I seriously need your help! I am the type of person who loves a lot of different styles, but really has a very difficult time picking just one. I want our home to be comfortable and inviting, but also classic and structured. I know, I’m a mess, huh? Well, our most daunting project is decorating the living room, which currently houses one teeny side table. I need advice on everything: paint color, couches, coffee table, etc.  Here are a couple things I love, but please send me your favorite places to shop for furniture! home ideas

(Is it that obvious that I’m obsessed with blue and gray?)

Photo sources from L to R: Joss & Main here, Target,   Studio McGee , couch, Rug, pillows, chair, living room

It also helps when you have adorable neighbors that drop off a basket of cookies that are shaped like little houses. We love our neighborhood and feel so lucky to be there!

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5 Best Beauty Finds of 2015

 

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As you know, we love trying all the latest and greatest products when it comes to beauty. This is called “Twin Tested” after all. This year we have been pleasantly surprised by a few products. Here is a list of our top 5 favorite finds:

1. Ulta Contouring Powder Kit: We jumped on the contouring band wagon this year and there is no turning back now. This kit is super affordable from Ulta Beauty and comes with a guide that makes the application fail proof.

2. NAKED Eye Palette: Matte, matte, matte! We will never go back to using anything other than this eye palette.

3. Unite Expanda Volume Root Booster: Our genius, hair painter Aubrey gave us this product. It has now become a necessity every single day. It works as a dry shampoo/root booster/hairspray all in one. AMAZING.

4. Eyelash Extensions: What a blessing! We found a new friend that is able to keep our lashes on point while at the same time acting as our therapist. Score! No, but really we are so thankful for the time these save us every single day.

5. Red Carpet Manicure: We have said it once and we will say it again. If you are looking to save money in 2016 – do your nails at home! We love this kit and our nails look great for 2+ weeks at a time.

Hope this list helps!

xo

 

Girl’s Gift Guide

We pride ourselves on providing a realistic and fun gift guide each year. These are all products that we have personally used and LOVE.

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1. For your white elephant party: Lip Freak Buzzing Balm. This is not your mom’s lip venom. This innocent looking chapstick makes your lips feel like they are VIBRATING for up to 30 minutes. Perfect for a white elephant or to give to your one and only :)

2. For the fitness junkie: RowX class at XCEL Fitness. They just launched a new rowing class. We love that it is something different that we would definitely not do on our own for 60 minutes. It is a mixture of interval training and boot camp style energy bursts. (Plus, Kate Middleton is a rower and who doesn’t want to have her arms?)

3. For the active wear queen: Albion Pace-setter leggings Hands down the most comfortable pants you will ever put on. They can also pass as cute pants when you layer them up with boots and a sweater.

4. For the friend/acquaintance that is hard to shop for: LORAC lip gloss. It will last forever and is super high quality. Much better than your Bonne Bell lipsmacker’s in 5th grade.

5. For the beauty guru: Naked Eye Palette. It looks good on every skin tone and is used by every professional makeup artist we know. We use ours every.single.day!

6. For your mom: Ulta Beauty Chi Hair Flat Iron. Our mom has finally been converted to the world of Chi! And yes, we did get her the “glitz and glam” version because it is more fun. Chi flat irons last for years and our hands down our favorite.

7. For your neighbor: Dark Chocolate Covered Candy Cane Jo Jo’s. Trader Joe’s. Everyone’s favorite treat. Go early, they sell out every year.

8. Reality TV junkie: Kardashian Beauty Au Naturale Lip Set. If your friend is after the ultimate nude Kardashian lip then this is the set for them. The sisters themselves created it from their famous look. Yes, we’ve used it and we hate to say it but we like it.

9. For yourself: Deer jewelry holder. Cuter than cute and only $10! Our friend Kristin is selling it at her new shop called Glass House in SLC.

Hope you are all having a fabulous holiday season!

 

Eyebrows: Before & After

We are strong believers in the power of the brow. Cheleste is one of those people you meet who is so warm and bubbly you just cannot help but love her. Plus she has amazing brows. She has been doing brows for 10 years and gets you in and out fast. What we love about Lunch Box is that they tint AND wax. Doing the two together creates a really nice finished look! If you’re not familiar with eyebrow tinting, it is basically just dyeing you eyebrow hairs. It is semi permanent and lasts about 6 weeks. A few brave souls are opting for permanent makeup on their brows, we are not quite ready to commit to such a permanent look (or large bill) so waxing and tinting it is!

A few things to know before getting your brows done:

– Let them grow out for at least 2 weeks before going in

– Be clear about the color and shape you want for your brows before the process gets started

– Don’t worry about it being painful, it is over in seconds!

Here are some before and after pics so that you can see the difference that it makes!

**sidenote** We also got our nostrils waxed, don’t ask questions just try it 😉

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wax3 DSC_0029 We got to go to the brand new South Jordan location! You can get more information here.

 

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