Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mascara Made Easy

If I could only have one type of makeup in my kit, it would be mascara. My natural lashes are light brown, short, and underwhelming.

Before - no makeup

I'm going to let you in on a little beauty secret of mine. A couple of years ago, I discovered eyelash tinting. Not many people know about it, but it is the best thing ever. You may need to call around a bit to find a place that offers it (try day spa salons). The procedure lasts about 15-20 minutes. The esthetician applies the dye while you relax. Full disclosure: sometimes it stings. The more experienced someone is the better. In my city, you will pay between $18-$30 and the tint lasts approximately 3 weeks. It's like having naturally dark lashes. No runny, clumpy mascara and waking up with already-done lashes is such a treat.

Today I took it up a notch and tried a new product at my salon called Cry Baby mascara. It's applied by an esthetician, and makes lashes darker, fuller, and longer. It looks like I have mascara on, plus a couple of extensions.

After Cry Baby application (with no other makeup)
Cry Baby only lasts two weeks, and I'm not geared up about going back to the salon a couple times a month for it. It would be great for a week or weekend of activities, such as a wedding or reunion. The cost at my salon was $30.

The other product I'm excited to try is called Rapid Lash, which is a liquid liner you put on your lash line each night for four weeks that results in fuller, longer lashes. I believe it is $50 for the tube. I'll be posting about it once I give it a try.

Until then, I'll be enjoying my lush lashes for the next 14 days. Lisa Vanderpump, eat your heart out.

Two weeks later, most of the Cry Baby mascara started wearing off as expected. I couldn't get used to that fully-coated feeling. I just wanted to rub, rub, rub my eyes at the end of the day. I looked forward to getting my uncoated lashes back. Still, a decent product for two weeks of not worrying about mascara...maybe a camping trip or vacation filled with water sports. No raccoon eyes was also nice.

The Fab Five - Makeup in a Hurry

I'm all about an easy makeup routine. Concealer, powder, blush, liner, and mascara about do it for me on an everyday basis. Five items, five minutes (or less), and I'm out the door.
These are my fab five
Concealer - I'm not a makeup snob, any drugstore brand will do. I prefer the stick because it does a better job of covering up. I put it under my eyes, starting at the corners of my eyes and working outwards. I also dab some just above the inside corners of my eyes and sometimes even on the lid. I'll also put some on either side of my nose between my nostril and cheek to cover the redness there.

Powder - Clinique Superpowder Double Face ($23). I like this powder because it conceals, evens out my skin tone, and doesn't cause breakouts. I pat it on with the spongy pad then gently brush it with a big brush. I also put some on my eyelids. I rely on the ladies at the Clinique counter help me match my skin color because I never get it right on my own. I love to time my purchase with bonus gift time to feel like I'm getting more bang for my buck (yeah, those tiny containers of moisturizer are so worth it).

Blush - NARS in Orgasm ($30). This is the color that is supposed to complement every skin tone. It's a little pricey but I like the feeling of splurging on myself here. The color really does look great and I find that with any pressed powder powder, eyeshadow, or blush, it is worth it to go with a department store brand. Less-expensive ones have that shimmer that you should only wear if you are under 25 and don't wear as long or go on as smoothly.

Liner - Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint ($17). I discovered this during the last Clinique bonus time. I went out of my safety zone and went with the green, which really helps my hazel eyes stand out. I like that it's a nice thick line and takes the place of eyeshadow. To help it wear longer in the heat and humidity in Florida, I sometimes pat a little green or grey shadow on it to help it set.

Mascara - Maybelline Full 'n Soft ($8). I've found that drugstore mascara can't be beat. This mascara is my favorite for long-wearing and is waterproof. It usually stays on from morning through night and washes off with soap and water. I only use this in between eyelash tinting appointments or to add extra fullness for a night out.

Obviously, for a night out I take more time and add more shadow or liner, but this routine gets me out the door in a hurry giving me a natural, light look. What tips do you have?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

How to Get Great Wall Art for Cheap

Oh how I wish I had an unlimited budget for home decorating.

But, I don't. So I come up with creative ways to Do-It-Yourself Decorate. Actually, I can't claim this idea as my own, my talented interior decorator cousin gave me this one.

First, let me explain that my goal is to have a comfortable home that reflects our family. I'm not striving for a show house by any means. We live in the Sunshine State and I love the "Old Florida" motif - roadside orange stands, scrub pine and cabbage palm forests, herons, egrets, and alligators. My grandmother, who is 99 (Yes, really!), collected postcards. I acquired a nice little collection of her vintage Florida postcards that I think are so cool.

I wanted to use them in my house, but didn't know how to display them. Enter interior decorator cousin who had the amazing idea to get the postcard images blown up and framed! So I took my two favorites to Office Depot and had them color copied to 24"x36" paper for $19.99 each. I originally wanted to have them done on canvas, but they couldn't do them in that size.

The image quality came out surprisingly well. I bought a ready-made poster frame at Micheals ($41.99 each on "sale") and plopped in my photocopies.

For approximately $125, I had two large, finished pieces of art to hang on my bare living room wall that I love. You could do this with any image really, a picture, calendar photo, book cover, whatever. So easy!

Monday, May 5, 2014

My First Stich Fix! (April 2014)

I love new clothes and, although it's no bargain, Stitch Fix makes getting new clothes so fun. Stitch Fix is an online personal shopping service for the regular person. You go online to fill out a profile with your tastes, fit, and likes and dislikes. When you schedule a "fix" you get charged $20 (which also credits toward a purchase from that fix) and a personal stylist hand-selects clothing for you based on your profile. You receive a box with five items that you get to try on at home, along with a style guide on what to pair them with. You keep the items you like and send back the ones that don't work.
After researching online and through blogs (search Stitch Fix review) I decided to sign up. Filling out the profile was fun! It was like someone cared about my shopping dilemmas. Then I had to wait about 3-4 weeks to get my box. I was like a kid waiting for Christmas morning. I faithfully tracked my package to my doorstep until it arrived.
Once I opened the box, the first thing I noticed were the colors. I have a bad habit of shopping too "safe" (black, white, navy) and requested color. My stylist (I love how that sounds) delivered. The style card helped me visualize what to pair with each item, including accessories, an area that I struggle with.

So here's what I got. The first item was the LA Made spearmint green cowlneck jersey top for $68. I requested colors that would complement my fair skin and blonde hair and this hit the mark. I also think it will go with a lot in my closet (all the black, denim, khaki, and white)!
Please excuse my lame attempts at modeling. My 10-year old son was so not enthusiastic about taking my pictures that day, but was a good sport.

The next item I loved when I saw it in the box and thought it would be my favorite, the Papermoon chevron tank for $48.
I really wanted to like it, but it was actually very full and blousey. I requested tops to hide my tummy, but this one looked like a maternity top when my arms were down. Not the look I wanted.

The 31 Bits necklace was also in the box for $44. At first I felt like it was too chunky for my small, conservative self, but then I started to get used to it.
The cool thing about it was that its made in Uganda from recycled paper by women as a means of income to combat poverty. I struggled with keeping this one. But, since I don't dress up too much, I didn't think I'd get a lot of wear out of it. I did bookmark the website though, because I think it'd make a great gift item for a mom or girlfriend.

The next items were the $44 Pomelo cotton tank and the Just Black light blue skinny jeans for $78.
Again, loved the loose fit of the tank and the jeans were so comfortable and fit like a glove. I am 5'2" and have such a hard time finding things that aren't too long. Amazingly my stylist got the sizing just right. Because I live in Florida, and it's already getting into the 90s, another pair of jeans was the last thing I needed, especially at that price.

So what did I keep? After giving my patient husband a fashion show and much deliberation, I decided that, instead of keeping it all, I would go with the coral tank and green top. If you keep the entire box, you get a 25% discount on everything, so it's like everything is on "sale," which is always hard for me to pass up! But practicality won out, along with the fact that I've been on a shopping tear lately in real stores.

I signed up for my next fix when I checked out online, and already I'm looking forward to the day it ships. I think it's a great way to get things you wouldn't normally pick out for yourself that are different from what's in the stores. Yes, it's more than your TJ Maxx or Old Navy purchases, but it seems to be good quality and more unique, so it's worth it. 

If you are interested in giving it a try, please use the link below to sign up. It will get me a referral credit when your first fix ships! And then you will get your own referral link to pass on to friends as well.


Stitch Fix Logo