Arch Apothecary: Teaching this Old(ish) Gal Some New Makeup Tricks


I haven’t changed my makeup ‘style’ in over 20 years. It was time.

I’m getting older and my skin texture and appearance are changing so I figured I would give myself a little feel better boost.

I went to see my friends at Arch Apothecary, Downtown Madison in the Capitol Square, for some help. My husband bought me a beautiful new set of Jenny Patankin brushes and a Kevin Aucoin makeup palette for Christmas, but I was clueless how to use them.

I booked a makeup lesson with Cera, one of the owner/operators of Arch. Before we started she asked me about my style preferences and lifestyle. I told her I wanted to look refreshed and natural without looking too made up. From there we gathered the tools, and as she applied my makeup she walked me through what she was doing step by step. By the way, I would be delighted to be helped by any of the knowledgeable, talented and kind staff as everyone there is a joy to be around.

I am so happy with the results. It was exactly what I wanted. Cera opted for a nude lip today, but we also filled my lipstick wardrobe to include a range of shades into the plums, browns, and dark bordeaux.

If you are in Madison (or Rockford or Chicago), be kind to yourself and check out this amazing beauty product and services business.  They sell a full range of products from coveted lines like R + CO, NARS, Kevin Aucoin, Sunday Riley, Natura Bisse, Chantecaille & Lipstick Queen. They have favorite gifts like candles and cards, and products for men as well. Of course they also offer services such as blowouts, braids and brows, Many of their products are available to purchase online too. 

On Valentine’s (Saturday, February 13th) they are offering $14 brow waxes. It’s a great deal if you need a reason  to try them out for a first time. If you’re already a regular it’s a great promotion excuse to go in again and treat yourself.

Let me know what you think of my updated look. Thanks so much, and thanks gals at Arch 🙂

If you’ve read this far thank you, you deserve a prize so read a little further as I have a great contest giveaway!

best makeup

Finished look


Pdub & Cera


Eyeliner is happening


1. Before 2. Concealer & Foundation 3. Blush 4. Bronzer, Highlight, Powder 5. Eyes & Brows 6. Lips

after 2

Another ‘After’. I’m pretty happy


Some of my new bounty:  From top left clockwise Sunday Riley ‘Start Over’ Active Eye Gel Cream, Eve Lom Age Defying Smoothing Treatment pods, Terry Cover Expert Perfecting Fluid Foundation, Sunday Riley Translucent Loose Powder, RMS Beauty Concealer,  Kevin Aucoin Naturala Blush


Kevin Aucoin ‘The Legacy Palette’



My new lipsticks from left to right: Terry 103 plum, NARS Carnage, NARS  Anna, NARS Rosecliff, Terry Terribly Nude

Below are some other gorgeous things in the boutique for sale:


Gorgeous colors at RMS Beauty


nars 2



beautiful soaps, bath and body products

candle collage

Sublime scented candles and home infusers

bags collage

Gorgeous makeup bags hand made in Salt Lake City by Anne B. Can you figure out which one is my favorite that I purchased? The first person to guess correctly receives one of these gorgeous bags of your choice. Email me at with your guess, and I’ll let you know if you are the winner.


Very pretty cards for all occasions


Remember I had Rosebud Salve at iona? Now you can get a bunch of the Rosebud products here at Arch.


The blowout stations


I love this oil. Sunday Riley Juno Oil. Must have. And it smells good too.

arch window

Looking out to the Capitol as I leave. Hate to say goodbye.

Thanks for making me feel beautiful today, gals at Arch, and thanks for putting a smile on my face.

xo Pdub

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    • Natasha
    • February 5, 2016

    Most of all loved the huge smile on your face and you look beautiful…you introduced me to the store and I can’t get enough of it…the products are great and the staff talented and delightful…I also love having my hair done…a perk up every time…my heart goes with the orange bag but I’m going with the one on the lower bottom right with that wonderful green…
    Loved all the photos…

      • Pamela
      • February 5, 2016

      Ah shoot! You should have gone with your gut! You know me 🙂

  1. Reply

    Hello Pamela,

    Thanks for the guided tour and for your luminous presence.
    I think you might have gone for the beautiful teal with white & brown on bottom left.

    i’d love to invite you over to see the clothes I have for sale in my home. Soon I’ll have a rack of my finds at Barry Chic.

    Be well,
    Virginia Rose

      • Pamela
      • February 5, 2016

      Ah thanks for the kind words, I would live to see your collections. Reach out to me email direct and we will coordinate. Thanks for the guess but not… Quite… Xo Pamela

    • heidi
    • February 5, 2016

    I’ve been wanting to visit arch and now I will! it’s really hard to pick one of the bags as I like them all- but since you are more of a neutral girl maybe you chose the black triangle one? 🙂

    • Bonnie
    • February 5, 2016

    Beige geometric! I’m looking forward to a trip to Arch.

      • Pamela
      • February 5, 2016

      A lot of people guessed that. It would have been my second choice :)thanks for guessing. I hope you have a great time at Arch xo Pamela

    • Pamela
    • February 5, 2016

    Hey Everyone! Cait from AOC Blog guessed correctly lighting fast. She emailed me correctly with the orange/ camel one. Thanks for guessing and reading xo Pdub (Pamela)

      • Cait
      • February 5, 2016

      So excited for this win, Pamela! Made my day! I’m realizing I have good luck with email-related contests because I practically live on my email #seflemployedlife – Wish I’d known about this fabulous beauty destination when I lived in Madison – will have to check it out when I come back for a visit sometime XXOO – Cait

        • Cait
        • February 5, 2016

        Correction: #selfemployedlife 😉

    • Mary Claire
    • February 6, 2016

    You look lovely Pamela …. your smiles are so good to see. Have to check out this beautiful shop soon.

      • Pamela
      • February 18, 2016

      Thank you Mary Claire ???? Great to hear from you. Hope you are well

  2. Reply

    I have always wanted to visit Arch and never gotten around to it. Am inspired and plan to make an appointment. You looked lovely!!!! And very, very healthy,too.
    I would have picked the black bag with the white crosses for you: classic, sophisticated, simple but with an edge!
    Haven’t made it to Barry Chi for awhile either. Am looking for spring things, but have not seen anything that screamed,”Buy me!”, yet. Am hoping that your blog will get me off my tush and into some serious action.
    Mary E.

      • Pamela
      • February 18, 2016

      Hi Mary thanks for the very kind comments! I’ll be posting 3 spring trends posts, first one tomorrow. So hopefully I can help inspire a bit. I have picked a big range of looks. Hope you are well

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