The Phone Camera Every Blogger Needs

Hi everyone! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I am beyond excited to announce that I FINALLY got a new phone! Which to me means a better camera to take pictures for Beyond the Swatch! I went into Verizon and asked for the phone that has the best camera quality, and tada! This is what I ended up with! My old phone that I LOVED (LG G4) broke about a year ago and since then I’ve been borrowing my fiance Chris’s phone to take pictures for my blog.

The other weekend I got to have a little mini getaway to my fiance’s family’s cabin. I had a great weekend relaxing, taking a break from the hectic-ness of wedding planning, and spending some quality time with my future in laws.  And guess what… it snowed!! So beautiful. This was the perfect opportunity to test out my new camera!


So far I’m loving my new camera! It’s easy to use, has great picture quality, special features (panorama, lens blur, slow motion, which I have yet to try), and all the pictures load directly to Google Drive.

Excited to take more pictures of makeup and swatches for you all!

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Life Update!

Hi everyone! I’m feeling terrible that I’ve been behind in writing blog posts! I’m excited to get back on track :). Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to lately.

  • Wedding Planning! Lately it feels like every minute of my free time goes to wedding planning, but I’m loving it! I’ve been playing around with the idea of adding a separate section to my blog focused on the wedding and documenting my planning process every step of the way. I’ve been keeping track of every planning step I’ve done and kept a solid record of the churches, venues, and vendors that we’ve looked at, hoping that my friends and family members that live here will benefit from this information for their future weddings. Maybe this information will help others too!  I’ll keep you all posted! In the meantime, here are some pictures of me popping the question to my bridesmaids! This is about the highest level of craftiness you’ll get from me. Crafts are not my strong suit haha!

  • Monterrey trip! We had a little weekend getaway a couple weeks ago to Monterrey, Ca! My best friend from high school and her family (including my two adorable nephews) drove up from So Cal for a last get together before they officially move out of state(I wish I could enter a heartbroken crying emoji here). My bff/future cousin in law and her boyfriend came with us too, and I was so glad they could all finally meet (it was like my worlds clashing and it was awesome).

Monterrey State Beach. Absolutely beautiful. We even saw a whale in the distance!

Monterrey Bay Aquarium! One of our favorites!

  • Writing. As much as I love writing about makeup, I’ve been thinking more and more about expanding what I write about. I’ve touched on other topics that I feel strongly about in previous blog posts on Beyond the Swatch, such as diversity, inclusion, self-confidence etc…and I’m thinking I’ll be weaving more of types of posts here, or maybe in a separate section, or even a separate blog. We shall see!
  • Quick preview of upcoming posts!

Thank you all for reading!! I hope you’ve all been doing well and being happy! Stay tuned for more!

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Proposal Story!

Hi everyone! I hope you all had an amazing holiday and Christmas season with your family! I know I definitely did!

I apologize it’s been a while since I posted… I’ve been a little preoccupied celebrating an exciting event in my life….

I got engaged to my best friend!!!

He popped the question right after the World of Color show (which is one of our favorites) during our 4 year anniversary trip to Disneyland.  In this same exact spot right in front of the Mickey Ferris Wheel during our first Valentine’s Day, I told Chris “I’m so lucky!!” He must of misheard me because he responded “awww, I love you too!!” And that was technically the first time we ever dropped the “L word ” to each other ? and 4 years later, this is where he proposed! I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to be his future wife.

Even though I was definitely a little preoccupied during our whole trip, I still had makeup and Beyond the Swatch on my mind! Here’s a quick shot of e.l.f. Cosmetic’s  Baked Highlighter and Blush in Rose Gold in front of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle!

I even found Minnie Mouse’s makeup in Mickey’s house!

Overall, it was a weekend that we’ll remember forever. I’m glad I get to share this will all of you! I get slightly giddy every time I get to call Chris my fiancee, or as he likes to call me lately, “Feyonce Knowles” haha. I’m unbelievably happy and excited for the next chapter in our lives! Time to start wedding planning!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful day with your families!

Between my boyfriend’s family and mine, we have 4 Thanksgiving dinners/lunches to go to! The first one starts in t-minus 45 minutes 🙂

I’m thankful for a lot this year! For my amazing family and friends all over the world, Chris, my puppy, my little turtle, my job.. the list is endless.

I’m also extremely thankful that I finally brought my vision and blog to life this year. Thank you to everyone who has shown their support for Beyond the Swatch! It’s been a great experience so far. I’ve met a lot of incredible new bloggers and fellow makeup enthusiasts and reconnected with friends & family members that I haven’t talked to in a long time by bonding through our love of makeup! This blog has also given me the chance to revisit my love for writing, not just writing about makeup but about everything and anything!

So if you’re reading this right now… THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! Have a great Thanksgiving!!




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Love, Love, Love…..


Hi everyone! First off, thank you from the bottom of my heart to all the Veterans out there for your service and sacrifice! We will be forever grateful. Happy Veteran’s day!!! Secondly, I’ll be logging off for the weekend to let the events of this week sink in and give myself some time to process everything. A central theme of my blog is embracing diversity in the makeup industry. But outside of my blog- diversity, inclusion, and showing compassion for everyone regardless of their background is something that I take very seriously and that I’m extremely passionate about every day. I’m taking the weekend off to spend some much needed quality time with people that I love. ?
Be kind, show empathy, spread some love and have a great weekend!”

I wrote this last Friday while my boyfriend and I were on our way to visit my little sister. At that moment, I was feeling a little down and I’ll admit that I let myself drown in my thoughts, sadness, and anger for a couple days.  Sometimes all it takes to ease a burdened mind and a heavy heart is some quality time with your loved ones, fresh beach air, California sunshine, and a break from reading posts on social media. Oh yeah, and wine… can’t forget the wine! All these things don’t solve everything, but it definitely helps to feel and give a little love and light.

Here are some suggestions on how to spread some happiness today!

  • Hold the door open for a stranger
  • Smile at anyone and everyone
  • Leave positive comments on someone’s blog or Instagram
  • Compliment someone!
  • Text/reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while
  • Assume positive intent in people… this one is harder said than done
  • If you see someone who seems sad or having a hard time with something, offer some support
  • Do something to make yourself happy too! Go shopping, treat yourself, relax, write, sing, dance, laugh… whatever makes you feel good!


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What I’ve Learned from Being a Big Sister

This post is very near and dear to my heart because it’s about my one and only BABY sister, Marci, who just turned 21 years old on Halloween this year. Ok ok, 21 is hardly baby age, but she’ll always be a baby to me!


I felt like one minute I was giving my little baby sister makeovers (like this dalmatian look you see right here), and then I blinked and all the sudden she turned into this gorgeous, smart, hilarious, witty GROWN UP who I go to for literally everything..whether it be advice about my career, personal life, my blog, ANYTHING. Somehow, my younger sister has taken the role of older sister and taken care of me in more ways than she’ll ever know.


Not only has she been one of the very most important people in my life since I was six years old, she has been an incredible influence on this blog. She is my social media adviser… almost all pictures and posts get her approval first! She keeps me up to date on young people lingo… for example when she had to explain to me what “on fleek” meant.


3 out of the many things I’ve learned while being her big sister….

How to truly care about someone else. I can definitely relate to Katniss Everdeen when she volunteered herself as tribute in place of her little sister- because there is no doubt in my mind that I would do the same for Marci. We’re 6 years apart so our age gap has been significant for most of our lives and that has always made me protective of her. I constantly worry about her well-being, get nervous for her during her first day of school, always hope that she makes the right decisions in life, etc. And every time I’ve been nervous about her, she’s proven she can totally handle it and that I had nothing to worry about!

Patience.  My sister and I are 6 years apart. I grew up watching my friends with their siblings who were super close in age laugh and play with each other and I remember being so excited to finally have a relationship like that with my baby sister. I quickly found out at 6 years old that new born babies don’t really do much at all. I remember one time, I literally sat around next to her crib and told myself that I would “sit right here and wait until she’s old enough to actually play with me”.  Hence- patience!

How to be a grown up. Marci gives me the best advice and has no problem telling me how it is. Her most recent gem of advice that has super stuck with me was “stop wearing yoga pants and Hello Kitty shirts everyday and get your life together!”

Overall…. She is a constant reminder that family always comes first and how amazing it is to have someone to love and care about you as much as you love and care about them.

What I can promise her as her big sister: I will always be there for her no matter what.  No matter how much we bicker or fight like sisters tend to do! Anytime she needs me, I will literally drop ANYTHING for her!!


I will always love and care for her (this includes being extra protective-can’t help it sorry!!)


Marci-pie, I love you with all my heart, always have, always will!!!



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The Struggle with Confidence and Makeup

Let me share with you an excerpt from my journal from 5th grade….

“A boy in my class didn’t want me to sign his yearbook today because he said I was too ugly.”  Jump to a year later during Christmas time, and I was writing about another boy who said he hated that he got stuck with me for Secret Santa because “why do the good guys always get stuck with the ugly girls“.

This was over 16 years ago and I can still remember exactly how 11 year old me felt when I wrote it.

So when I read that Sephora was launching Classes for Confidence to help instill confidence in people through specialized beauty training, it made me reflect on what confidence and makeup has meant to me personally. You can read about these classes here!

When I first started wearing makeup, I had this vision that it would transform me into some super confident person and I would never have to feel the way that I did all those times someone called me ugly.  Here was my makeup plan I came up with, my first #faceoftheday if you will, for what I was going to start wearing in 6th grade. Apparently at 11 years old, I thought my solution involved vanilla bean lipstick, shiny lip gloss, silver lipstick, mascara, eyeliner and maybe eye shadow- haha!


From my journal, July 16th 2000

When I was younger, I thought  that one of the most hurtful and self-confidence crushing things a person could hear is that they were ugly. And as I grew up, I learned there were many other ways people could crush your confidence- physical appearances being just the tip of the iceberg. So please keep in mind with this post that I’m writing, that I fully understand all the painful struggles and different aspects of dealing with self-confidence and self-worth, and for this article, I’m only focusing on confidence and how it relates to makeup and the makeup industry.

I find it ironic that even though makeup is a tool that can help us feel more confident about ourselves, that confidence can easily be torn down by the cruelty we see in the makeup community. Whether it be mean comments on beauty blogs, Youtube videos, Instagram posts criticizing the way someone’s makeup looks or even meme’s like these ones below that are meant to be funny.  Trust me, I’m a huge fan of silly hilarious memes, but seeing ones like these give me an uncomfy feeling in my belly and make my heart ache a little bit. I know personally when I memes like these, I immediately think about all the times that my eyes shadow isn’t perfectly blended or all of the different shapes & sizes my eyebrows have been over the years that probably placed me in someone’s perspective of the “bad brows”.

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This way of thinking drives me nuts because memes like this and all the hurtful comments we see can take away all the power that makeup has to make someone feel good about themselves. I think that sometimes people don’t fully realize how hurtful and discouraging some of their posts can be, whether they intended to be mean or not. We’re not all professional makeup artists and we’re all constantly learning. I personally believe that we shouldn’t bring each other down based on someone’s level of makeup expertise or makeup preferences (this includes people who choose to not wear makeup at all)!  Using makeup as a way to criticize or judge each other encourages everyone to only care about surface or physical appearances, and there is soooo much more to a person than that!
I see so many ridiculously adorable videos of little girls filming themselves putting makeup on, like this one below! This is the next generation of makeup enthusiasts and beauty bloggers- wouldn’t it be great if we brought them into a makeup community that emphasizes how beauty comes in all different forms, that we should build each other up, instill confidence in one another, treat each other with respect, and and also look at the deeper parts of a person besides physical appearances.

Yes, the confidence classes that Sephora is offering is a fantastic idea, but it ultimately starts with us!
  • Tell someone that they look beautiful/pretty/nice today!
  • Compliment how someone’s lipstick, eye shadow, etc looks on them!
  • Leave a positive comment on someone’s Instagram or FB post!
  • Compliment more than just physical appearance- appreciate each other’s intelligence, talents, kindness, friendliness, points of view, etc!
  • This includes being nice to yourself too!  You are beautiful, don’t ever forget it!

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ColourPop Ultra Satin Lip in Alyssa!

Colour Pop Ultra Satin Lip in shade Alyssa

For this week’s Sunday Swatches, I’m giving you a little combo platter: a product review of a favorite makeup product, plus a personal story, AND a swatch comparison!

This shade is part of Kathleen Light’s most recent collaboration with ColourPop. This is one of my favorite cosmetic brands working with one of my favorite makeup gurus!

The biggest reason I wanted this shade was because we’re name twinsies! Alyssa

One of my best friends came to visit me a couple weekends ago with her little family (including my adorable baby nephew!) It only felt right to wait for her to swatch this lip color because her name is Alyssa as well! Yup, we are two best friends both named Alyssa. If we had a dollar for every time a bartender checked both of our ID’s and said “hey both of your names are Alyssa??” we’d have…a lot of dollars. 😉

Product Review:
The product feels like a light and wet formula when you first apply it, with a little bit of shine. After about 2-3 minutes, the formula starts to dry out and becomes a flat matte shade. Like most matte liquid lipsticks, the formula feels a little dry on your lips, but I found that this lipstick wasn’t overly drying and didn’t made your lips feel tight. So that’s a definite plus for me personally. This product is super pigmented, so you only need to apply a thin layer, which makes it feel light on your lips, although a little dry. I have tried using a base layer of chap stick with no tint which makes the formula feel a little more moisturizing but unfortunately, this makes the lip color much easier to smudge and wipe off.  The website recommends using Lippie Primer ($5.00) as a base.

Swatch Comparison: 2 different skin tones!

Here are swatches of the product that my best friend and I took at our favorite Wine Bar in San Francisco on both of our skin tones! This shade is described on ColourPop’s website as a “neutral dusty pink”. I found that this shade was slightly darker in person than the picture on the website.

When swatched on our wrists, the shade looked slightly different on our skin tones. The shade looked like a lighter, neutral pink on the lighter skin tone, and a slightly darker mauve shade on the tanner skin tone.

Alyssa D (my bff) on the left, and Alyssa P on the right (me!)



Swatch Comparison: Swatched on wrist vs on the lips & indoor lighting vs outdoor lighting!

The shade looked different after applying it on my lips than it did when swatched on my wrist. When I applied this shade on my lips, the shade looks more of a nude with a hint of light pink under indoor lighting, and more of a mauvey, dusty light pink in natural light.


Overall Impression:

Overall, I love this shade! This does go to show that the true shade of a makeup product can change from how it looks on the website, in the package, swatched on your wrist, applied on your lips, under different light sources, and on different skin tones. I highly recommend ColourPop’s Ultra Satin lipsticks!! Good quality, amazing range of shades, and for only $6!

Check out more Ultra Satin lip colors here.

Check out more from Kathleen Lights Collection here.

Now I want to hear from you!

Have your tried ColourPop’s Ultra Satin Lip Colors? Which one is your favorite?

Send me swatches of you wearing Alyssa! I’d love to see!

Do you wear chap stick as a base when using liquid lipstick?

Bonus story!

Fun fact- my bff featured in this article and I are both named after Alyssa Milano! A few years ago on a magical day in Los Angeles, we both got to meet the one and only Alyssa Milano and tell her that we are a couple of best friends both named Alyssa because of her!! This will always be one of the biggest highlights of my life. 🙂

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1 picture,12 Guilty Pleasures


I spy with my little eye… all of my guilty pleasures!

  • Cute notebooks and notepads – my fave are the ones from the dollar section at Target, I pick up 1-2 during every Target run
  • Pop Figures – my boyfriend and I counted 54 in our collection so far…dunno how that happened!
  • Walking Dead – is it October 23rd yet? Can’t wait for the Season 7 premiere!
  • Mean Girls – my all time favorite movie since ’04
  • Friends – my all time favorite show since… as long as I can remember!
  • Pictures of my family, friends and puppy
  • Fancy lookin books and fancy tea cups
  • Turtles! I have a pet baby tortoise and since then I’ve collected and been gifted anything with turtles on them
  • SF Niners and SF Giants
  • Hello Kitty – I’ll never outgrow this!
  • PINK – is it obvious this is my favorite color? 😉
  • And of course, your favorite and mine – MAKEUP!!

Now I want to hear from you!!

What do you like to collect?

What are some of your guilty pleasures?

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Make time to do what you love…

Hi everyone!

There are many reasons why I haven’t had time to write articles as often as I want to, some of the main reasons being the following:

1) Working full time

2) Spending a LOT of time with family! (the best reason to be distracted so no shame with this one!)

3)Getting wrapped up in reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (almost finished)!  I feel like I haven’t read a book for pleasure in a very, very long time!

4)Shamelessly binge-watching Orange is the New Black with my boyfriend, Chris. Yes we’re super late to the party and just started this series a few weeks ago! We’re on Season 3 now- woo hoo!

5)Normal adulting and trying to get through my late 20’s crisis.I feel like I haven’t even gotten over my mid-20’s crisis and then BAM, my late 20s snuck up on me!

Ok ok… some of those reasons are definitely more valid than others. But a friend of mine at work told me something that really resonated with me:

If you love and care about something, you’ll find time for it. 

And he is absolutely right. I love this blog, I love writing, I love make up, and I NEED to make the commitment to write more! If I had it my way, I’d be writing and swatching makeup all day. But of course, that dream can’t come true at the moment.

So in order to fix this, I’ve developed a writing plan/calendar for my posts! 🙂

Sunday Swatches– On Sundays I’ll be posting swatches and swatch comparisons! This will include “Swatch with Me” articles where I’ll swatch make up with friends, family members, bloggers, and other makeup enthusiasts. I’ll also continue to post swatch comparisons of make up on different skin tones, under different light sources, etc!




Friday Features and Friday Favorites- Friday posts will be focused featuring a brand, makeup artist, blogger, Instagram or Yoube account focused on diversity and also sharing industry news! I’ll also be sharing some of my newest or oldest makeup favorites!


Wednesdays-  (I have yet to come up with an alliteration for Wednesday, so for now, it’s simply “Wednesdays” 😉

On Wednesdays, I’ll write quick personal posts to help everyone get to know the voice behind the blog and give myself a chance to get to know all of you better as well! This will include fun facts, stories about my makeup/blogging journey, random blurbs, etc!

Any other posts such as product reviews, lists, or any other topics I come up with or any that you suggest or request for  me to write about, will be mixed in throughout the week!

I’m super excited to get started and stick with this blogging calendar! I may tweak the calendar after trying it out for a little bit, but in the meantime, thank you very much for being here and reading my posts! That means the world to me!

Before I end this post, I wanted to take a moment to reflect and remember all of the lives that were tragically lost on September 11th 2001. It’s been 15 years and we will never forget….



Image credit here

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