My Biggest Makeup Update

Hi, you guys! I’ve missed this little corner of the internet lately, and I feel like I always start these posts with an apology for my lengthy absences away. I don’t have any good excuses, just that life has been particularly busy and I haven’t been spending my free time on my computer. *shrugs shoulders in defeat*

I wanted to talk about the biggest makeup change I’ve made in the past 3 weeks, and it’s a biggie.

I stopped wearing foundation 3 weeks ago. 

Makeup Free Selfie // Imperfect Chevron

Makeup Free Selfie // Imperfect Chevron

That might not sound like a big deal, but to me it really is. I started wearing foundation in early high school because I started breaking out pretty badly as a teenager. My skin has always been a sensitive topic for me, and I’ve always been too embarrassed to let people see me without makeup. And even as a 20-something, my skin isn’t the best, and it’s something I’m still a bit sensitive about. My pores seem like craters, and I spend lots of time trying different products and face masks trying to help soothe my poor skin. But the last 3 weeks, I gave up my foundation (right now I’m just using a concealer on red spots or any broken out spots), and I’m so happy with how I feel without it.

The cool thing is, my skin is actually looking better than it did when I was wearing foundation daily. I think maybe I have sensitive skin, and it doesn’t like a bunch of products on it? Not sure. But I’m feeling pretty excited about it.

I’m not going completely makeup-free, of course. I still fill my brows in (I just started using a new product that I’m kind of obsessed with now!), I still wear mascara and sometimes eyeliner. And I usually put a little blush on so I don’t look so pale. You guys, I need summer weather and to be outside more. My winter skin is PALE. I never knew how pale I could be until I started working!

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about this change. Have any of you ever tried going without foundation for a period of time?


Little Beauty Gifts

*This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own.*

I love giving gifts. It’s kind of like a sport to me, and I’m thinking about gifts for specific people all year round. I just get so excited to give the recipient the special thing that I picked out for them! As a kid, I remember accidentally blurting out the surprise to my dad on at least 2 occasions. And I still actually have to be really careful not to accidentally tell the person what I got them, even as a 25 year old. I almost always ruin it somehow, just from pure excitement.

As much as I love giving gifts, I do find that some people are challenging to come up with good ideas for. I find myself searching for the perfect gift, and often feeling like I’m coming up short. Today, I’m sharing a quick round-up of little beauty/makeup gifts that would make great gifts for friends, coworkers, or family members that love beauty products!

Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

CANMAKE Cream Cheek Blush in Coral Orange: I love this adorable cream blush. It’s made in Japan and I had to wait about a month to get it after ordering (totally worth it, by the way!). But this stuff is amazing. It gives my cheeks that dewy fresh pop of blush, and lasts several hours before fading. Plus, it comes in the most adorable little compact, and is little enough you could stash it in your purse for later.

Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

Supergoop! Defense Refresh Setting Mist with Rosemary – a finishing spray that sets your makeup with SPF 50? Sign me up. This little beauty product is great for your golden goddesses that are happiest in the sun, but don’t want to expose their skin to UV rays. Plus, the scent is refreshing. And you can just toss it in your bag or purse for the day and head out the door!

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The Beauty Crop – Fabulous Flocking Lashes Waterproof Mascara: most waterproof mascara that I’ve ever come into contact with hasn’t been all that waterproof, but this product really works well for me! I’ve swam in the ocean (and had a total Moana moment, when she tips the boat over and gets slammed by waves over and over) and this mascara stayed put all day. Plus, it’s really easy to remove with eye makeup remover at the end of the day so I don’t have to scrub my eyes so hard. And it’s a pink tube with flamingo print!

Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

Pacifica Solid Perfume – this little solid perfume is small enough to throw in your bag without worrying about it getting crushed or weighing you down. They’ve got lots of pretty scents (I have the Tahitian Gardenia scent), none of which are overbearing or strong. Plus, the packaging is simple but cute, which is honestly important when it comes to makeup. I think it’d make a great gift for anyone (pre-teens, teens, or adults).

Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

NYX Born To Glow – Liquid Illuminator: it’s no secret I love this liquid illuminator, I’ve been using it for a couple years to give my skin that natural glow you get after a yoga class. I use the Sunbeam color because it gives my fair skin a nice glow. It lasts forever, too!             Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

Almay Pen Eyeliner in Navy: blue eyeliner has been a big trend in beauty this year, and I can see why. Navy blue adds a subtle pop of color without seeming too overdone or exaggerated. Who wouldn’t appreciate a fun eyeliner for those days when you need something to wake you up and get you going? *Ahem, Mondays*

Little Beauty Gifts // ImperfectChevron

Just a few special things to treat all the amazing people in your life! I’d honestly love to receive any of these fun little beauty products, and I think most of my friends would, too. Happy gifting!



Why I Started Getting Highlights

Today’s post is something I’ve been wanting to write for a little while, and while it may sound silly, it’s about a subject that’s been pretty sensitive and difficult for me to approach. I have a confession to make: I started getting highlights in my hair! *crowd gasps*

Ok, I know that sounds over-dramatic. I mean, who doesn’t color their hair anymore, right? But this is actually a pretty big step for me. I was always really blonde as a kiddo, and because I was a lifeguard at an outdoor pool in the summers, I kept my locks crazy blonde naturally all through undergrad. Observe:

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

And you guys, having that naturally blonde hair was kind of a source of pride for me. I’d get compliments, people would say “you have the prettiest hair color!” and I could casually reply “thank you, it’s just my natural color.” I had this dumb sense of pride that my hair had never been touched by highlights or hair dye for the longest time.

But once I stopped lifeguarding and started grad school (read: spending all of my free time indoors studying), my hair started to darken. Don’t get me wrong, it still had some blonde hues. But it was more of a dirty blond, and I started to get really bummed out about it. I’ve always seen myself as a blonde, as silly as it sounds, that’s always been a part of my identity. I started to not feel so much like myself, and have some self-deprecating thoughts.

I finally decided to do something about it this year! I wanted to go back to blonde, back to the color I was used to seeing on myself. I considered dying my hair, but decided against it because of the maintenance it requires (I didn’t want to have to go get my roots dyed every couple months because I’m lazy). So I went for highlights, to add some light and bright blended color. And I love it, you guys!

Here’s the “before:”

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

And here’s the “after:”

Hair Refresh // Imperfect Chevron

My stylist recommended a full highlight instead of a partial, so the color would go all the way to the nape of my neck and work to lighten all of my hair, creating a blended and natural look (rather than the stripey tiger look I was so hoping to avoid). I’m so happy with the resulting color.

In the end, I just realized that I wasn’t happy with my natural color anymore, so I decided to make a change. I’m so glad I took the plunge.


Golden Girl: 3 Products for Beach Vibes

*This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own*

I’ve always been drawn to the golden, glowing, natural beauty look of the “California beach girl.” It’s sort of an effortless, just-swam-in-the-ocean, free spirited look that gives you instant beach vibes.

Glowing Makeup Look via Imperfect ChevronGlowing Makeup Look via Imperfect Chevron

(I know it’s hard to tell from the poor quality of these photos…my iPhone 4s is kind of pooping out, I’ve had it almost 5 years! So I’m starting to look into getting a fancy shmancy camera, any recommendations?)

I recently picked up 3 products that I have been loving this summer to create the perfect beachy, golden girl, effortless look. The cool thing about them is they’re all pretty affordable, which is always a huge perk!

Glowing Makeup Look via Imperfect Chevron

  1. NYX Born to Glow liquid illuminator in Gleam: After applying my foundation (I mix a touch of foundation into my moisturizer), I gently pat in a little of this illuminator on my cheeks. It gives my skin just the right amount of glow, like you just finished a yoga class. I’ve been drawn to makeup that doesn’t make my skin matte, because it feels so flat and a little boring. This definitely gives you that perfect subtle glow!
  2. Maybelline Fit Me! Bronzer in Medium Bronze: The perfect amount of bronzer comes up on the brush, so you won’t be prone to over-doing it. I sweep a small amount under my cheekbones toward my temples and blend. I love how just a little bit of bronzer goes a long way!
  3. Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray: Any day where I don’t have to waste my time blow-drying and styling my hair is a good day in my book. My hair has a natural wave, but this salt spray kicks it up a notch. After I shower, I towel-dry my hair gently, comb out the knots,and spray this salt spray in my hair before scrunching and twirling individual pieces. Then I let my hair air-dry and end up with messy, natural hair. I love it because the spray bottle has an amazing nozzle, so the spray isn’t just concentrated to a tiny area. Plus, my hair is soft and natural after using it–no crunchiness!

Bonus Product:

Glowing Makeup Look via Imperfect Chevron

Batiste Dry Shampoo in Tropical: In between washing my hair, I’ve been using this dry shampoo to keep my hair from getting oily and flat. The best part? It smells like pineapple. This dry shampoo keeps my hair from falling flat and getting oily. Sometimes I even use it before I go to bed to keep my hair from getting flat while I sleep.

Glowing Makeup Look via Imperfect Chevron

Now go get your glow on (:


Daily Makeup Routine

My relationship with makeup started a little later than some; I was one of those girls who really didn’t touch the stuff until 9th grade. And oh, man, did I ever need somebody to teach me how to use it well back then. Over the years, I’ve worn various amounts of makeup and tried out different products and “beauty trends,” and I feel like I’ve finally found the right blend at the ripe old age of 23. Hey, I had to get there some time, right? (:

Daily Makeup Routine via Imperfect Chevron

I thought today I would share my daily makeup routine with all of you! I prefer a more natural look, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving the house bare-faced, either. Here’s what my beauty process looks like:

One: Wash, Tone, Moisturize

Daily Makeup Routine via Imperfect Chevron

I have sensitive skin, so I love this Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser to wash my face when I first get up. I follow that up with a swipe of Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner on my face and neck.

My daily moisturizer is this Olay Complete “All Day Moisturizer” with SPF 15. It doesn’t make my skin oily, and it’s very smooth and silky. You only need a teeny dab to get the job done. If I know that I’m going to be out in the sun for more than half an hour, I put on some sunscreen meant for faces with a higher SPF value (at least 30). I really believe in the power of sunscreen–not only does it prevent sunburn, but it can protect your skin against early aging. I sound like I’m giving a lecture, but please please wear sunscreen! Your skin will thank you down the road.

Two: The Typical Day

Daily Makeup Routine via Imperfect Chevron

  1. Maybelline Coverstick Concealer in Light Beige – I pretty much always have a blemish or uneven spot to cover up. This coverup stick is effective and doesn’t seem to inflame or anger the blemishes, which is good!
  2. Pur Minerals 4-in-1 Pressed Mineral Powder in Light – I’ve been faithfully using this foundation for years, and while I’ve really loved this product, I’m going to be looking for a new foundation once I run out of my powder. My skin is much clearer than it used to be in high school and undergrad, and I’m ready to move on to a liquid foundation that makes my skin more dewy than matte. But I would highly recommend Pur Minerals–great coverage, very light feeling on your skin.
  3. L’Oreal Visible Lift Blur Blush in Soft Peach – This blush is amazing. Cream blush all the way!
  4. Almay Intense I-Color liquid eyeliner in Brown Topaz – I recently started using this eyeliner and I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s easy to apply, lasts all day without smearing, and the brown topaz color isn’t so intense or dark. I love it.
  5. Anastasia Beverly Hills eyebrow powder in Dark Brown and Clear Brow Gel – Filling in my brows is one of the most important steps of my makeup routine. Without it, I feel like my eyebrows look uneven and splotchy.

Three: The Occasional Products

Daily Makeup Routine via Imperfect Chevron

  1. Model Cosmetics bronzing powder in Shimmer – Some days I feel really pale and like I have a very flat complexion (hello, winter!), so I like to dust a *tiny* bit of bronze under my cheekbones to add depth. Helpful hint: after putting bronzer on the brush, give it a good tap to shake off excess powder.
  2. Clinique High Impact Mascara in Black – Recently I’ve moved away from wearing mascara every day. My lashes are really long, and I feel like they look too intense when I wear mascara during the day. When I first started wearing mascara in high school, people actually asked me if I was wearing falsies. Yikes. But anyway, I really like this mascara on occasion.

So that’s my basic day-t0-day makeup routine! It works well for me, only takes me about 10 minutes to complete. If I ever woke up really, really late and didn’t have time for all of it, I’d make sure to use coverup, a little pressed powder, and fill in my eyebrows. Those three are a must for me.


Beauty Buys: Winter Treat

One of my favorite ways to “treat yo’ self” a la Parks and Recreation is to head to the nearest Ulta and pick up some new beauty products. For whatever reason, buying new makeup feels like the ultimate treat after a hard week!

A couple weeks ago, here’s what I picked out:

Beauty Buys via Imperfect Chevron

  1. Formula 10.0.6 Deep Down Detox Ultra-Cleansing Mud Mask: I’ve never really been in the habit of using a mud mask, but I love this one. The smell is fresh and subtle, and my skin definitely feels softer after I use it. I have sensitive skin, and I love that this mask doesn’t irritate it. I’ve been using it 3 times a week, before I go to bed, and it makes me feel just a little more relaxed, even if just for 10 minutes. And it’s only $5.99–even a broke grad student like me can afford that!
  2. Nyx Cosmetics Round Case Lipstick in Tea Rose: I’ve tried a few of Nyx Cosmetics’ products, and I have to say that overall I’ve been really pleased with them. This lipstick is a pretty pink color that adds a natural looking punch to my makeup. It doesn’t last all day long, but it goes on smooth and it lasts 2-3 hours for me, which is a big deal because I’m sipping coffee and water all morning long.
  3. L’Oreal Visible Lift Blur Blush in Soft Peach: Over the past couple of years, I’ve found that I feel much brighter-eyed and dewier when I wear a touch of blush, and cream blushes are hands down my favorite. This blush is amazing. The color is perfect–it looks really natural on my skin. Plus, it lasts for the majority of my busy day (which includes helping people shower, lifting people in and out of their wheelchairs, exercising with people, etc. In other words, I sweat hard). And you just need the teensiest little drop.

Those are my most recent beauty buys! What do you like to treat yourself with after a loooong week?


What’s in Her Bag?

Today I want to share the contents of my “emergency” bag that I take with me to my internship every day.


I love the adorable print on this Clinique makeup bag. My grandma uses their products and often gives me the free gift she gets, which I always love!


What’s inside?

  1. Hair ties: I’ve learned from numerous experiences to always have a spare hair tie with you. You never know when you’ll need them!
  2. Mini hand-sanitizer: I’m sort of a germaphobe, and while I try to refrain from over-using my hand-sanitizer, I like to use it after I sneeze or cough to protect others, and I also like to use it before I eat. Someone sick may have touched the doorknob just before you!
  3. Medicine: I don’t take much medicine in my life, but the day I don’t bring ibuprofen I have a massive headache. I like to keep a few ibuprofen and some rolaids in my bag, just in case.
  4. Bandaids: I’m pretty clumsy. Once, I cut my finger trying to get through security in the airport, and I didn’t have a bandaid–I was bleeding all over myself and my stuff! So I like to keep a few bandaids in my bag.
  5. Tampon: for obvious reasons (:
  6. Pen: while I typically just use black ball point pens, I’m loving these Staedtler felt tip ink pens. They come in all different colors, and they make me feel special when I use them.
  7. Chapstick: I go through lots of different types of chapstick. Right now at work, I just use the grocery store brand (I know, I know, but it seems to work pretty dang well!). I also love Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Peach Kiss.
  8. Gum: After lunch or coffee break, I like to pop some gum. Extra is always refreshingly minty, and helps take care of any lingering coffee breath.
  9. *Contact solution: I’m trying to always have contact solution with me, because my eyes tend to get really dry in the afternoon.

*not pictured

So, those are all the contents I keep in my “emergency” bag! I’m always trying to keep it well-stocked and efficient. If you have any suggestions about what else I should toss in there, let me know on Twitter @kellytraut.


Big Summer Haircut


After a long 5 months without a haircut, my hair was starting to look pretty grungy and stringy. Gross. So when I got back home for the summer, one of the first things I did was head to Master Cuts (they actually do an amazing job, and a cut + style is only $25!). I’ve pretty much always had short hair, except back in 2012 when I sported this (disgustingly dry, chlorine-damaged) hairdo:

Lifeguard Group (2)

Yuck. Anyway, short hair is kind of my thing. I’ve had lots of different types of bobs and lobs, and this summer I wanted something really different. I have been hemming and hawing about getting bangs for a couple of years, and it just always seemed like a bad idea. But this summer, I finally did it!


I asked my stylist to cut long, choppy bangs that could be worn to the front, or pushed across to the side. I was basically adding a safety net in case I hated how I looked with straight-across bangs. And I’m so happy with these bangs!


I always bring in photos when I get my hair cut, because I have a hard time verbalizing what I want, and I always thing it helps to have a visual to refer to. I had my stylist cut a rounded edge so that my hair kind of curls under, giving me a little volume. It’s really a pretty low-maintenance cut–I just have to blow dry it and go (I use a round brush).

There’s just something about short hair and summer that seem to go together. I think I’ll try to get the same cut in August before I go back to school, so I can keep this cut a little longer!


And a black-and-white, just because. 😉