Life Update [I'm Still Here!]

Monday, November 13, 2017

Helloooooooooooo! (echo) Well, I hope I not talking to a big empty room here. I know I've been gone for pretty much an eternity in blogging time (5 months - yikes). It was a combination of many things that led to this absence. I got super busy at work, spent a lot of time hanging out with friends, have been doing improvements on my house, etc. More than anything else, though, I fell into a blogging rut. I don't get as amped up about makeup as I once did (see here). I've pretty much just bought some refills of mascara, concealer and whatnot over the past few months - nothing else really, so I wasn't sure what to talk about since this is primarily a beauty blog. I did get more active on my Instagram over the summer, trying to post daily OOTD's as much as possible. I'll be doing more fashion and lifesytle posts going forward, alongside my usual beauty topics, so I hope you are all in for a slight shift in focus. 

I have found a few beauty products that I've been using like crazy lately, though. I tried a new mascara, L'Oreal Lash Paradise. It's a fiber brush wand, which is not my usual - but I love it! A couple of coats do wonders for my sad lashes and it stays really well on my bottom lashes without smudging. Leaving that mascara to shine on its own, I've been leaving the rest of my eye bare (who am I?) and going for a warm cheek instead. I swish The Body Shop Honey Bronze mostly on the cheeks and temples and adding Laura Geller Boysenberry Blush (similar) for a warm pink-mauve semi-matte finish. If I don't do any other makeup for the day, I'll at least do my brows (since mine are barely-there), so I've been reaching for the Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer. It's not the absolute best brow product I've ever used, but it's pretty good for adding color, dimension, and slight hold and it's quick to apply which I really value. 

During my time away from the blog, I was also trying to get a little healthier. Through portion control and better food choices I've lost about 15 pounds and feel a lot better about how I look and how my clothes fit. I've bought some new clothes, including a pair of Steve Madden Breakup Booties (similar) that I can't stop wearing. They go with just about anything but I especially love wearing them with dresses. They definitely remind me of something Cameron Diaz would have worn in Bad Teacher, which I seriously love. 

Aside from being busy in my personal life over the last few months I've also been taking some time to relax and chill out and have found a few shows and movies I'd highly recommend. I just finished a quick binge of Stranger Things 2 (#bitchin) and thought it was great (and now am facing another long year until season 3). I caught the movie Mr. Right playing one day- it's from a few years ago with Anna Kendrick and Sam Rockwell and was such a good comedy with some romance and action. She's at her quirky best in it so if you're an Anna Kendrick fan you won't be disappointed. One of my friends recommended The Sinner to me and I watched the 8 episode miniseries in just a few days. It was an absolutely gripping mystery about a woman (Jessica Biel) who murders a stranger at the beach in front of everyone there (including her own husband and son) for no apparent reason at all - she can't even explain what happened. The story evolves showing the audience more of her history and what's happened to her over the past few years that led to the incident on the beach. It's amazing and I'm now recommending to everyone I can. You can find it on demand on the USA network if you have that channel. 

Thank you all for sticking with me! I'll be hosting a giveaway very soon, so keep your eyes open for that!

Summer Cheek Trio

Monday, June 5, 2017

For as long as I can remember eyeshadows have been my number one weakness. I have too many an abundance of eye palettes and can't resist browsing for more. However, lately my passion has been blush, bronzer, and highlighter! There's something about cheekbones that sing when the light hits them that has my heart right now.

While trying to spend less (the eternal struggle) I shopped my stash and put together a cheek combo that is perfect for summer. I've been wearing it all the time and love the way these three products play together. First I start with a generous swish of The Body Shop's Honey Bronzer in Shade 3 with a large brush on the back half of my cheeks and continuing it up along my temples and forehead. It's a subtle bronze that's just enough color to warm up your skin, especially if your still sporting your "winter" complexion, like I am.

I used to apply highlighter last, but I've changed it up to apply it before blush and I love how it seems to marry the products a bit better this way. I go in with a fan brush and lightly apply Becca's Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed in Opal to the apples of my cheeks, up along my cheekbones and slightly up my temples and browbone. Opal gives a less intense sheen than my typical go to, Champagne Pop and it's a little more golden in tone, which pairs beautifully with my blush of choice.

For a warm wash of color, my hero blush has been Benefit Coralista. (Now that's really shopping my stash, since that was the first non-drugstore makeup purchase I ever made!) I concentrate it on the apples of my cheeks and blend it back to diffuse the color slightly. It's a wearable coral with a hint of sheen that when paired with Opal reminds me of a sunrise on a warm summer morning.

This trio is definitely my go to right now. I love how the three products work so well together. Let me know what makeup combos you're loving, especially with the weather getting warmer. Something about spring changing to summer always makes me want to shake up my makeup and get out of the repetitive rut I inevitably end up in!

Brows: topshelf picks & one epic fail

Monday, May 22, 2017

I have a rocky history with my brows. Like many others who lived through the 90's, I overplucked them in my teens, which took many years to grow back and fix as an adult. I also have naturally light brown brows that are sparse in areas. All of this makes doing my brows a top priority in my makeup routine to make me feel more complete and pulled together.

Each morning I equip myself with a brow pencil, tinted gel, or a combo of both to get the job done. If I'm going for a quick fix, then Benefit's Gimme Brow is perfect. It's a tinted gel with fibers in it, so it adds a little oomph to my brows while still keeping them natural.

If I'm going for a little bit more definition I'll fill in the sparse areas with NYX Micro Brow Pencil in Ash Brown (a great dupe for Anastasia Brow Wiz!) and then set it with NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Blonde. This combo makes them more defined than it would just with Gimme Brow, but it's still soft and not too perfect.

For more full on makeup looks, I'll reach for a similar but slightly darker combo of Anastasia Brow Wiz in Dark Brown and the NYX Tinted Brow Mascara in Brunette. Making them it a bit darker helps to balance out heavier makeup looks, especially smoky eyes.

Ok...onto the fail. As you can tell from the above I'm a huge fan of NYX brow products. Buuuuut, I tried the Auto Eyebrow Pencil in Medium Brown and within 30 seconds of applying it, the color changed from brown to orange. I'm not exaggerating - it was like clown brows. At least I wiped it off and re-did them that day with a different pencil so I didn't end up leaving the house looking insane. I haven't been that disappointed with a product in a long time.

Let me know what your favorite products are for improving your brows! Are you more of a natural or perfected brow person? I go more natural 90% of the time, but I always like how it looks when they're more perfected, too. 

Spring Refresh

Monday, April 24, 2017

With the weather warming up and the days getting sunnier, I'm getting inspired to spruce up my closet. A few new pieces go a long way to make everything feels refreshed and ready for spring and summer.

A new watch is one of my favorite things to treat myself to. I'm a collector of Fossil watches and this lovely Fossil watch (on sale!) caught my eye. The pairing of the gray leather band and mother of pearl geometric face make for a unique accessory that goes with just about anything.

A couple pairs of versatile shoes are always a welcome addition as the season blooms. These Steve Madden sandals in Rosy Suede caught my eye as a chic take on the slide trend. They could be dressed up or down easily and I could see myself wearing them to death this summer. For a slightly dressier option, I love the look of these suede Nine West slides. The light purple (bordering on heather gray) is so fresh, especially with the subtle metallic strip peeking out of the block heel.

Like many others I was (overly) excited about the Victoria Beckham for Target collection. I may or may not have woken up at 3 a.m. to order it order it online for fear of it selling out. No shame. I've been a fan of hers forever (since childhood and the Spice Girls years, really). Having bought a few pieces from this collection, I thought a few of them would be great recommendations for spring. The blush dress with the Alice in Wonderland-inspired white rabbit touch on the collar has my heart. Looking for something with more a punch? The orange drop waist dress is the ticket. The quality of these pieces was impressive, too - the materials and attention to detail did not disappoint.

Colorful, fun makeup has been calling my name recently, so it's no surprise that the tarte Make Believe in Yourself palette is at the top of my shopping list right now. Some of those magical colors make me happy just looking at them and would definitely push me out of my comfort zone. Hydrated lips are a necessity year round, so for spring it's a nice treat to pick up this Burt's Bees Lip Balm in Pink Grapefruit. The scent is a refreshing take on a classic moisturizing balm.

My busy time at work just ended so I actually have free time again (best.feeling.ever.). I started taking the dogs for walks and I'm looking forward to working on the house again. We've started painting all the doors and trim so I can't wait to finish that and see the house transformed. One change can definitely make a big difference!

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