Top 5 Favorite Mascaras

I could say that my lucky genetics have contributed to all of the sweet compliments in regards to my fabulously long lashes, but by golly I doubt anyone would notice them without my trusty mascara lash-kick. I’ve become a bit of a mascara snob over the years as I’ve hopped from brand to brand trying to find a mascara better than the last. I want my lashes to look long and voluminous with no clumping. So far, I’ve narrowed it down to the top 5 mascaras that I’ve had the best results with. I’m definitely a proponent to department store/higher end mascaras because of their quality, but I know some ladies are on a budget so the first two on the list are my favorite drugstore mascaras and the last three as my three favorite high end mascaras.

 


 

 NYX  :: Le Frou Frou

NYX Le Frou Frou is a little difficult to run the wand through the lashes, but there’s very little clumping and it adds incredible length. Perfect for an all natural look. One of the better drugstore mascaras I’ve used. You can find it on Amazon and stores retailing for about $6.00.


 


Maybelline :: Great Lash BIG

Maybelline Great Lash Big is the classic go to. Cheap from the drugstore and perfect to grab on the go. I used this for years. No clumping, great length. Needs quite a few coats to get volume. Very comparable to Le Frou Frou. You can find it on Amazon for $3.99 or in stores retailing closer to $5.99.

 


 

Calvin Klein :: One

I mean, of course, Calvin Klein would make a fabulous mascara. Complete with a twisty top because your lashes deserve a full coat the first time and air sure isn’t going to sneak it’s way into this tube through pump action. Precision wand for volume and length. Only available at Ulta for $18.00.

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Benefit :: They’re Real!

One of my favorite mascaras of all time is Benefit They’re Real. Not only does it have an amazing formula, but I absolutely love the wand. It gets every lash. Dark. Long. Think. Beautiful. And guess what … they’re real! ;) Can be found at Ulta and Sephora for $23.00.

 


 

Mary Kay :: Ultimate

I was blown away when I tried the Mary Kay Ultimate for the first time. I wasn’t expecting anything to beat my Benefit They’re Real mascara, but this did. It’s like Benefit’s but even more enhanced. That’s saying something. Volume, thickness, length, no clumping – perfect. If I had to make one change, I wish the wand had the same feature the Benefit wand has with the spikey looking ball on the end for getting the inner corner of the eye and more easily working with the bottom lashes. That aside, this is my absolute favorite now. You can’t beat it for the price retailing at $15.00 from your Mary Kay consultant.

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(*None of the mascaras listed are waterproof. I only use a black formula. Some may be available in other colors or have waterproof formulas. Lashes were not curled prior to mascara application.)

What is your must have mascara lash-kick?

Feeling Beautiful in Your Skin

When I was in high school, I had my dirty blonde hair teased on top and straightened on the bottom in an attempt to pull off a punk/emo hair style, forced myself to wear contacts every day because I didn’t think glasses fit my face, wore skirts and dresses that fit the only color palette I knew: black (because it was slimming and black goes with everything), and wouldn’t leave the house without a border of black liquid eyeliner on my top and bottom lash line. Although I look back now and wince a little, my style choices at the time made me happy and feel not only beautiful, but comfortable.

I remember a high school friend saying to me one day that she wanted to see me without makeup. I laughed and thought yeah right, you’ll never see me without makeup – at least not without my eyeliner. I didn’t see a reason not to wear eyeliner. It made me happy and I liked it.

Fast forward to the present and you have a girl who loves getting dressed up and wearing makeup still, but has somehow become more comfortable simply being herself. I don’t worry about the superficial thoughts that might be going through someone’s mind when they look at me. I wear colors because I want to and I don’t worry whether or not they won’t be as slimming as black. I grew my hair out and dyed it red because I’ve wanted to have hair like Ariel since I was two. You’ll probably find me sporting Ray Bans more than contacts now because not only do I want to look hipster, but, if it’s an early morning, a cup of coffee just isn’t going to make my eyes burn any less when I’m attempting to shove a contact in. I also don’t spend an eternity trying to doll myself up with a beautiful makeup look. Because I’m a beauty consultant, I won’t leave the house without looking finished, but I’m not going to do the same makeup to look finished as I would to go to a masquerade ball (well, maybe sometimes … if I’m feeling fancy). The beauty of it is though, I would be comfortable leaving my house without wearing any makeup.

 

 

Makeup has the ability to make a woman feel powerful and confident in a newly created persona, but having a naked face allows you to embrace your true beauty and in doing so conjure an inner confidence that is just as empowering. Sometimes feeling truly comfortable with yourself and who are is a gradual process that develops over time.

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I have a bit of a fun experiment for you to try. If you don’t wear makeup, I want you to journal your thoughts as to why you don’t. Then I want you to make a consistent effort for an entire week to wear makeup and journal how each day makes you feel, what your thoughts are, and how people respond to you. Then the following week switch back to not wearing makeup and journal it. Compare your entries and comment your thoughts. If you do wear makeup, it’s the same process in reverse. If you’re in the middle of the spectrum and wear makeup on and off then do your first journal, then for the first week don’t wear any makeup and the following week doll yourself up. Journal, compare, comment. I’d be curious to hear what you have to say and how or if your thoughts have changed.

True beauty comes from within and is revealed through our words and actions, but a huge aspect of inner beauty deals with confidence and self-esteem that is often reflected in our outward appearance. Sometimes we need to break barriers of comfortability in order to allow ourselves the ability to have options and a choice.

How to Make a Vision Board

A couple weeks ago, I talked about the power of positivity when it comes down to dreaming, setting goals, and visualizing the reality of your dream future. I’m going to introduce to you a powerful tool that can help you not only visualize your future, but also visualize your future self. Who do you want to be in 5-10 years from now? … Wife, mother, doctor, healthy, tattooed, published, time traveler … Every adjective and description that pops into your head, write down on paper. We are going to create a vision board with those words.

What is a vision board?

A vision board is a collage of words and pictures that visually represent, reflect, remind, and put into perspective a goal that you have. It’s kind of like taking all the thoughts and ideas spiraling on in your head and harnessing them into a cohesive, tangible road map. You can use a vision board to reflect your entire life or just the next year. There is no limit to how short or long term the vision board is created for.

How do you make a vision board?

Gather your supplies

You’ll need:

  • an X-acto blade or scissors
  • a cutting mat if you’re going to be using an X-acto blade
  • a glue stick
  • a large stack of magazines
  • Bristol board, canvas, or cardboard (something that isn’t flimsy that can be your background)

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

Start flipping through your magazines searching for words and pictures that jump out at you and fit with your vision list of adjectives. Maybe you find a picture of the Eiffel tower and on your list it says “traveler” or “go to Paris” then the Eiffel toward is going to be what represents that goal. You’ll cut it out and add it to your collage. For my tech savvy gurus out there, you can create your vision board with online graphics and photos in Photoshop or other editing program.

The secret behind the vision board is a reminder not only of the life you want to live or who you want to be, but it’s a reflection of who you are. It’s a reminder to live life everyday as if that’s already what your life looks like.

DEVO Day: Walking into the Unknown

The subject I’m going to breach has caused me to have a lot of anxiety in my own life so for some of you this subject may do the same, but I think it’s one that at the same times helps to counteract the anxiety.

My biggest fear: the fear of the unknown. I don’t like not knowing what’s going to happen next especially when that could be anything. Maybe it’s the control freak in me or maybe it’s just human nature.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

Jeremiah 29:11

Life would go by so much smoother and worry-free to just be able to surrender the future to God and accept that we are in His hands and whatever happens will happen. We have to trust that God will get the glory in the end. It makes the hard, almost unbearable circumstances seem hopeful because you know everything will be okay and work out in the end. The beauty is God will never leave your side. You can have peace.

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Romans 8:31

The Best Albums to Listen to On Vinyl

When it comes to music, I’m a bit of a gypsy. I can’t stick to listening to the same artist, song, or album for too long. However, I do have my favorites that I keep coming back to. I’ve been learning a lot of new things about vinyl since I got a Crosley record player for my birthday. It’s not as easy to find the track you want to listen to on a record as opposed to a CD (let alone an iPod). Albums on vinyl are intended to be listened to from start to finish. Another thing I learned, there’s joy in the treasure hunt of searching for a particular LP and finding it at a great deal. Although I love a lot of the classic bands, I also have a lot of contemporary favorites so it could be years down the road before I find them second hand, but here’s a brain dump of some of my favorite albums that I enjoy listening to in their entirety and will eventually be collecting on vinyl.

Oldies but Goodies

 

FMacRumours

Fleetwood Mac | Rumours


The Beatles | Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band


Pink Floyd | Dark Side of the Moon

Rock

 

Jimmy Eat World | Chase This Light

Dropkick Murphys | The Meanest of Times

Paramore | Brand New Eyes

Dr. Dog | Fate


Imagine Dragons | Night Visions

Indie

 

Florence and the Machine | Lungs

The Decemberists | Picaresque

The Shins | Chutes Too Narrow

 

Musicals

 

Singin’ In The Rain

Chicago

The Phantom Of The Opera

What are your favorite albums? Which ones would you buy on vinyl?

Caring for Your Skin Type

Everyone’s skin is different. It’s important to develop a skin care regimen that best fits your particular skin type.

Normal

What we all wish we had: the perfect balance.

  • Small pores
  • Good complexion
  • Few imperfections

You pretty much can take your pick for products, but make sure one isn’t specifically designed for another skin type.

Dry

  • Red and flakey skin.
  • Lines are more visible
  • Small Pores

Moisturizing is essential. Use a heavier moisturizer for extra dry areas.

Use a non-foaming cleanser so it doesn’t dry out your skin more.

Retinol for anti-aging is good for dry skin that isn’t overly sensitive.

Oily

  • Shiny skin
  • Large Pores
  • Acne

Cleanse your skin, but don’t skip out on a moisturizer (oil free). By not moisturizing your skin at all, it will over compensate by producing more oil.

Use a foaming cleanser to minimize the oil.

Retinol for anti aging also cuts down on oil production and minimizes large pores.

Combination

  • Oily T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin)
  • Dryness elsewhere
  • Blackheads
  • Larger Pores
  • Shiny Skin

You will find yourself having to spot treat by combining care for oily and dry skin in different problem areas.

 

Every skin type should have a gentle cleanser, moisturizer, and an exfoliation treatment 1-2 times a week. Use extreme care when exfoliating dry and sensitive skin.

 

 

Instant Headache Relief

Headaches are caused by a lot of different things such as food allergies, stress, dehydration, sickness etc. Identifying the cause and fixing it is the only way that you will get them to go away for good, but if you’re looking for something that will help relieve that thought obliterating throb then you should try using Peppermint essential oil.

Peppermint has many benefits, but it’s minty aroma and cooling sensation helps to sort of numb the head ache and clear your sinuses to give you a sense of clarity again. You can dilute it with olive oil if you have skin sensitivities, but you’ll want to close your eyes so the fumes don’t affect them and take a deep breath. Then apply it topically to your temples, forehead, and back of your head – wherever your head ache feels the worst. You should start feeling relief in no time.

DEVO Day: Leading the Blind

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“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”

Philippians 2:4

I heard about this new app called “Be My Eyes” which allows those who are vision-impaired to connect with a volunteer through a live video chat where they can ask for assistance requiring sight to make their everyday lives easier. Based on my understanding, it sounds like a phenomenal app to help people, but it got me thinking …

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”

Acts 20:35

I’ve been blessed with sight. I’ve been blessed with a lot of things, however it is more blessed to give than to receive. Our talents and abilities are gifts God has given us to bless others with. That is one of the ways in which we can show our thanks. It’s not just our physical abilities, but also our spiritual abilities. Being raised in a home that loved and worshipped God, where I went to church every Sunday, provided me with varying spiritual insight that can allow me to help others. My parents grabbed my hand and raised me up, teaching me the ways of the Lord and how to love like Christ loves. We can still learn things from our spiritual mentors, but there comes a time when we have to look behind us and see who else is around who might need a guide and reach out our hands to them. We have the world to offer someone who has nothing. We are called to be leaders so we can raise leaders up.

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”

Matthew 25:35-40

I’m Loving It: Nicole by OPI GelStyle Kit

One of my Christmas gifts was the Nicole by OPI gel style kit. Let me tell you a little bit about this snazzy product…

What is it?

Okay so it’s basically a fancier form of painting your nails that looks better and lasts longer. You get this gel nail lacquer in a sparkly red and sparkly transparent pink, a remover, cleansing pads, nail file/buffer, cuticle pusher, and a UV light. You clean your nails first making sure they are clear of oils and old polish. Then file, buffer, and make sure your cuticles are pushed back. Paint your nails with the base coat and stick them under the UV drying light for 30 seconds. Then choose your color, paint your nails, and dry for 30 seconds. Repeat the process with a second coat of the color, and the top coat. When you’re finally done, take the cleanser pad and wipe any stickiness on the top off.

*Things to be aware of based on my experience:

  • Make sure that your layers are thin. The thicker they are the easier they will peel off and they won’t last as long after dried.
  • Make sure that the polish is not on you cuticle or skin around your nail AT ALL. If it is, it will peel off.
  • Steam from hot water seems to make the gel peel when it gets on the cuticle.

Why I’m Lovin’ It…

I absolutely love both of the colors. They are beautiful and I’m a huge fan of pale transparent pinks because they aren’t as noticeable when they chip. I’m wearing the pink above ^^ and as you can tell it looks very natural, but in the right light it has a really pretty glitter. After a week of wear, the only change is a little chipping at the very tip of my nail and it’s not much at all – hardly visible. AND they are completely dry when you’re finished. I’m super impressed. The whole process takes about 30 minutes to make sure everything is done properly which for me is a bit of a time investment especially when it comes to nails, but I do love when my nails look nice and the pay off is worth it for how long they last and how nice they look. I’m the girl that usually has the really gross looking, paint-chipped nails or nails with no polish on them at all because I never have time to deal with the upkeep. Not to mention, I’m not a very good nail tech so when I do paint my nails, they look like a sloppy mess. Partly because I’m impatient and don’t wait for them to dry and partly because I just can’t color in the lines. Let’s just say, this gel style kit is a heaven send.

 

How to Find the Perfect Foundation Shade

Welcome to Foundation Basics 101

Having trouble finding the perfect match? Do you want your cosmetic cemetery to finally rest in peace? Do you find you can’t escape from your foundation looking cakey or feeling oily? Want to put an end to the madness? You’re in the right place. In this two part series, you’ll learn what the best type of foundation is for your skin type and how to find the perfect color match.

How to Find the Perfect Shade

Ladies, I need to have a heart to heart with you. I’m all for rocking what makes you feel beautiful because in the end that’s most important. However, the general consensus behind everyday makeup wear is to enhance and conceal certain features. The ultimate goal is make it look like you aren’t wearing any. Can we all come to an agreement that it is actually possible to abuse the use of makeup? There is a time and place for the bronzer, self tanner, and foundation. But if you’re looking like an oompa loompa on any day other than October 31st then this is the moment I want to be the one to lovingly point out that you have “a piece of broccoli in your teeth”. If that piece of broccoli makes you feel beautiful and confident then by all means you smile proudly and disregard my advice, but if you didn’t know it was there, please, let me help you. And just so we are all on the same page, by piece of broccoli, I mean if your foundation is making you look like a ghost or a Dorrito. So as we are talking about foundation, this will help you to find a shade that will blend in with the natural pigment of your skin to make it look like you’re not wearing any while covering up imperfections and evening skin tone.

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1. Identify Your Skin Pigment

Foundation usually comes in three classifications: Ivory, Beige, and Bronze, which are just fancier words for Light, Medium, and Dark. Of course there’s a bit of overlapping, but for the most part you can just look in the mirror to have a good idea of which classification you fall into. *For example: generally Caucasian and European women tend to fall under ivory, Middle Eastern and Spanish – beige, and Indian and African American – bronze.

2. Determine Your Undertone

Determining your skin’s undertone is the key to finding the right shade to match your skin. Undertones will either be cool, warm, or olive. Any skin pigment can have any undertone.

3. Stripe Test

In part one we talked about the best type of foundation for your skin and I gave you homework to research a brand that fits your particular needs. Every brand is going to label things differently, but now that you’ve narrowed down your skin pigment classification and you know your undertone, you can go back to your chosen brand and look at how their foundation shades are labeled. Pick out the ones that fit the criteria of your pigment and undertone and get in front of them. Use samples found at Sephora, Ulta or contact your beauty consultant. You need to be able to try the shades on your skin by doing a stripe test. Avoid matching it to your hand. Your hand has a different pigment than your face. Instead, stripe the foundation where the jawline and neck meet closest to your ear. You’re going to want to stripe at least three different shades closest in range with one being lighter, one in the middle, and the other being darker so you have a comparison and can see which one blends in with your skin best. If available, take advantage of a foundation shade finder tool to help narrow down the selection as much as possible.

Tips and Tricks

  • Wait to decide if it’s the right color because the foundation may need time to adapt to your skin.
  • Color can look different when blended.
  • Can’t choose between two shades? Mix the two together or go with the darker one.
  • Match in natural light.

I hope this series was able to help guide you to understanding your skin better so you can find the perfect foundation type and shade for your skin. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.