Holiday Gratitude Challenge & Giveaway Day 1: Life Happens In The Moment

Hello Friends!

I’m so excited for you to be here and to partake in this free gratitude challenge!


Today’s Prompt:

Where are you? What are you doing? And why is it ultimately good?


I am pulling my second late night to produce content for this challenge. My day today wasn’t great and it wasn’t terrible. I was feeling cranky, low vibe, and aggravated. I caught myself thinking mean thoughts about others over silly things that I know deep down don’t matter. I wasn’t feeling very grateful during my gratitude challenge.

But then I recorded the audio for my video today and somehow I reminded myself about what it means to be grateful each moment - to live life moment to moment. Basically, I used my own challenge to teach me my own point. The irony isn’t lost on me.


“Now, Cara, why another mug?!”

Well, for one, I like drawing random things on my face. And for two it’s my favorite way to practice mindfulness. There are few things that bring me the same amount of joy as my morning coffee or my bedtime tea. When it’s too hot I’m forced to be patient. When it’s the perfect temperature I have to force myself to pay attention to it in order to enjoy every drop before I eventually forget about it and it’s too cold to drink. There is only one moment in time it’s the perfect drinking temperature and I intend to be present for every second of it.

Giveaway Rules and Details

If you want to get on top of winning $112 worth of The Established bath, body, and skin care products you better head on over to the BackPorchPoet Instagram and start partaking in the challenge prompts. We can’t wait to see you there!

Inspired Makeup Monday: Two Parts of A Whole & Upcoming Giveaways!

Hello Friends!

Today’s Inspired Makeup Monday has a lot to do with duality. I saw an amazing art piece of the Sun kissing the Moon as a couple and I couldn’t get it out of my head.

There is a little bit of Sun and Moon in all of us, I think. We all have a little polarity within - but that’s the spice of life I guess.

The Creation:


Product List:

ColourPop x Kathleen Lights Zodiac Palette

NYX Epic Ink Liner

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

Grande Cosmetics Grande Lips HydraPlump Liquid Lip Honey Ginger

Upcoming Giveaway/Challenge

Hey there! Gratitude week is on its way here at BackPorchPoet! Be sure to follow me on my Instagram to see 5 days of #HolidayGratitude and if you participate with me, you could win an assortment of The Established Bath, Body, and Skin Care goodies including Body Cream, Luxurious Soap, and other skin care essentials!


More Inspired Makeup Mondays

Inspired Makeup Monday: Stress Relief with Yogi Honey Lavender Tea

Hello Friends!

Today’s Inspired Makeup Monday is a little different than usual. I’ve been creatively drained and not being as consistent as I should be. One could say that I’ve let daily stressors get the better of me…

When pacing around my living room yesterday, trying to think of what I was going to create, I decided to make myself a cup of tea.

Yogi Honey Lavender Stress Relief tea is one of my favorites. It’s a reminder that sometimes the simplest things bring us joy - a cup of tea, playing with makeup, and having the luxury to do boht.

With ingredients like chamomile, lemongrass, and lavender - it’s a go to before-bed treat.

What is a small part of your day that brings you joy? I’d love to hear about it!

The Creation:


Products Used:

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundation

NYX Cosmetics HD Studio Concealer

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Pressed Powder Porcelain

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz Medium Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Clear Brow Gel

Nomad Cosmetics Antilles Palette

Juvia’s Place Magic Palette

NYX Cosmetics Epic Ink Liner

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Alexis False Lashes

Too Faced Cosmetics Better Than Sex Mascara

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Sugar Liquid Lipstick

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Diamond Gloss Gypsy

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Diamond Gloss Glam

NYX Cosmetics HD Blush Taupe

Lottie London Blush Crush Justin


Inspired Makeup Monday: Grateful for Coffee


Hello, Friends!

Welcome to today’s Inspired Makeup Monday and the latest look series on BackPorchPoet.

Gratitude is Always in Style is just what it sounds like - a bunch of my favorite things interpreted into makeup looks. Thanksgiving is rolling around in North America and winter holidays after that. Sometimes it’s easy for me to get inside my own head so what better way to break out of the funk than to be thankful for the little things (and big things).


I don’t think I need to tell any caffeine addict what it feels like to have that first cup on a cold morning. Now, you might be saying, “Hey isn’t caffeine bad for anxiety and stuff?”

The answer is yes and you’re not my real dad so THERE!

All jokes aside, coffee has taken hold of my morning routine and is the most enjoyable part of my morning. If it’s an addiction, I’m ok with that. I’m thankful to have a ritual to center me and propel me into my day. Yes, the adrenaline rush to my nervous system is nice, but that morning mug has an even greater impact on my psychological well being. It’s taking the time to care for myself, to partake in something I enjoy, and to push me into my day.

No one notices the eye twitch anyway.

The Creation:



ELF Cosmetics: Gel Liner: Black

Jouer Cosmetics: Skinny Dip Palette

Nomad Cosmetics: Berlin Underground Palette

Gourmande Girls Cosmetics: Pour Notre Reina Palette

Shop Miss A: AOA Studio: Fat Lash Mascara

Kleancolor: Sculpt and Glow Palette

Physicians Formula: Butter Bronzer: Light

Ofra Cosmetics: Rodeo Drive Highlighter

Urban Decay: All Nighter Foundation

Urban Decay: All Nighter Concealer

ELF Cosmetics: Liquid Lipstick: Praline

What is your favorite part of your morning routine?

Halloween Bonus! Lizard Queen Vibes with Grande Cosmetics

Hello Friends!

Grande Cosmetics and I spoke during IPSY Generation Beauty NYC a few weeks ago - gushing about their Grande Lips Hydra Plump liquid lipsticks.

If you’ve been following any of the Swatch Parties here at BackPorchPoet, you already know I’m a little bit of a fan.

Together with these refreshing, pigmented, uniquely formulated lipsticks - a Queen was born!


Products Used:

Grande Cosmetics HydraPlump Liquid Lipstick - River Clay

Grande Cosmetics Hydra Plump Liquid Lipstick - Smoked Sherry

Urban Decay All Nighter Foundaton

Urban Decay All Nighter Concealer

Tarte Pro Glow Palette

Maybelline City Mini Palette Urban Jungle

Tarte Maneater Liquid Liner

Smolder Cosmetics Dazzle Dust Jade

ELF Cosmetics Gel Liner Black

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Medium Brown

Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette

Shop Miss A AOA Studio Lashes Chloe

Elf Cosmetics Glitter Liner Sea Foam

Urban Decay 24-7 Glide on Pencil Zero

Microglia : Inspired Makeup Monday

Good Morning, Friends! Welcome to today’s Inspired Makeup Monday and the latest look series on BackPorchPoet.

 Your Brain on Makeup

Your Brain on Makeup is going to take inspiration from the cells in our bodies. These looks will take both literal and figurative cues from the tiny powerhouses that help fuel all our makeup addictions. Today is the final installment to this makeup series.

The Creation


The Process:

            I started out filling my brows with my Dip Brow before mapping out the center of my face with concealer. Once I was divided in half I took my Urban Decay foundation and used it as a base on one side of my face. I worked one side at a time so I would fill in the second half once the first half was complete.

            For the clouds, I began with the dark blues from both palettes to create a gradient between the night sky and the setting sun. I then began blending down the peach, red, orange, and yellow colors to create the sunset effect. Using my concealer and a flat stiff brush I stamped the cloud shapes in as much of an organic shape as I could. To eliminate harsh lines, I would blend down the bottoms of the cloud shapes using the same brush and no additional products. I also used what was left on my brush to create loose, striated cloud shapes in the dark blue area. I filled in the clouds using a combination of yellow, pink, white, and brown from both palettes. I highlighted the high points using the Blacklight Palette and the yellow shift color. I contoured using a deep red color achieved by mixing colors from both palettes.

            For the neuron side I used a combination of bright blue, navy blue, black, and purple from both palettes, using the navy shade to contour my face and nose and a matte white to highlight. I first mapped out the Microglia with black eyeliner but then filled them in with the Kleancolor liquid eyeliner. I went back into the gel liner to add details to the cells and to line both eyes. I used the same BH cosmetics highlight palette to highlight my brow bones and cupids bow. Throw on some mascara and lashes and the look is complete.

The Inspiration:

            In opposition to what one might think, the green blobs on my face are not a flesh eating alien or a sneeze gone wrong – but are meant to represent Microglia (our nervous system’s first line of defense). Whenever there is any trauma to the central nervous system, they clear out the dead neurons to promote the creation and healing of new cells. However, there is a darker side to these cells. They have been linked to “harmful roles in neurodegenerative diseases and brain injuries, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, ischemic injury, and traumatic brain injuries.”

            I didn’t set out to touch on this topic when beginning Your Brian on Makeup, however, it seems to have found me in the midst of my makeup mayhem. I have had family members experience traumatic injuries where they are unable to walk. I lost a grandparent to dementia.

            This look is multifaceted to me. The clouds and the atmosphere provide the first layer of defense between the earth and harmful rays emitting from the sun. They are also a representation of soft daydreaming in physical form. They can create life-giving rain or they can cause a tsunami. They mean well but sometimes they hurt us. That’s what I like to think our Microglia are doing. Maybe I’m putting too much significance on a cell. But who knows, maybe we’ll live in a world that’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and maybe we’ll live in a world where we can correct when Microglia go wrong and encourage them to continue to benefit us and our makeup-crazy minds.

The Products:  

            Due to the nature of the look – the products will not be separated into the usual eyes, lips, and face categories since most products were used most places.


            Urban Decay: All Nighter Concealer

            Urban Decay: All Nighter Foundation

            Anastasia Beverly Hills: Dip Brow: Medium Brown  

            ELF Cosmetics: Gel Eyeliner: Black

            Morphe Brushes: 35B Palette

            BH Cosmetics: Modern Mattes Palette

            BH Cosmetics: Blacklight Highlight Palette

            Kleancolor: ALONG THE LINES-LIQUID EYELINER: Green Apple

            L’oreal: Lash Paradise Mascara

            House of Lashes: Noir Fairy