Life in Mascara: February 2015

Friday, February 27, 2015

Women Getting Things Done: Emma Watson

when i hear the name 'Emma Watson" i instantly think Hermione Granger and smile at the warm feeling the Harry Potter series brings me. i was always partial to her character: strong willed, determined, and very intelligent. i remember thinking what a great female protagonist model this character was and Watson played it flawlessly. now grown Watson has become a beautiful woman with deep roots in activism. i happily sat and watched her speech for the United Nations promoting gender equality and the #heforshe campaign and did a slow clap from home. then i sat in horror the next day as so many people dug and tore her apart for it. ignorance is not bliss. ignorance is ignorance.

whether you are a fan of her or not is not the question, but rather focus on the message. gender equality is something this nation has struggled with since its foundation. we are not the delicate flowers that society continues to picture us as. we are strong individuals who deserve the same opportunities and respect just like anyone else. 

#heforshe campaign is helping to get the voice out and encouraging men to pledge for gender equality. one gender helping another. i like the concept of this because i know my husband, my father, and my brother, the three men in my life, would do anything for me and would not stand for my being put down simply because i am a woman. they believe in me, and sadly to say, sometimes they believe in me more than i believe in myself. my own personal demons aside, i wish more men would stand proudly by the women they love and not only pledge in this campaign, but also to lead a life promoting gender equality. 

and finally for women. do not tear each other down, but rather, be happy for those around you. you will get nothing from being angry and resentful at others success. often, it is not even something that you personally want. it is just ugliness festering inside of you. we do not need more negativity in our lives. become the woman you strive to be each and everyday and be proud of yourself. do not apologize for who you are (i have made a conscious effort at how i use the word 'sorry') and surround yourself by positive people who help you grow. don't be afraid.

Emma, i personally thank you. from a women who came out from under an oppressive thumb that held me down far too long, i appreciate you and support your message. and on a final note, this tweet you sent to one of your followers, GOLD! spot on!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Set It!

i live in Texas and what that means in terms of makeup is expect it to run down your face most of the year. my makeup more often than not requires a little something extra to keep from constantly reapplying. since i spend my working hours indoors, i didn't want anything too strong like bondo or anything like that. i just wanted something that i would feel comfortable with spraying on my face everyday. 

because i am a big fan of e.l.f. in general, i decided to give their Makeup Mist and Set spray a whirl. as far as drugstore brands go, i had yet to see any brand come out with a makeup setting spray. e.l.f. is so diverse to me in that they dapple in a little bit of everything. makeup, mineral makeup, brushes, skincare, you name it, they have it. plus you can't beat the price at $3.00! but what really sold me were their ingredients: aloe, green tea, cucumbers, and vitamins A, C, and E. there was no mention of silicone, bondo, or any other weird ingredient with a bunch of letters that i can't pronounce. also, it is alcohol free. this is perfect for everyday wear. i am on my third bottle. it will always be in my makeup bag as i notice my makeup does not last a full day when i forget to use it. i will say that if you are looking for something heavy duty that will last through bought's of sweat or at the beach, you will need something else or constant reapplying. or really, just go without makeup if you are going to be sweating all day!

***sidenote*** recently husband came home and showed me a picture he had taken at the gas station. it was an e.l.f. makeup stand at Exxon. bravo e.l.f.! bravo! no one else has done this! major marketing skill points here. the geek in me wishes there was a report to see how much they gross in sales from these. then the other day i saw the same thing but at Old Navy. e.l.f.'s marketing team sure is on it!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Best Drugstore Concealers

when i first started wearing makeup, my two essentials were mascara and concealer. the mascara was for my vanity. the concealer was a necessity. i had such bad acne growing up that i was embarrassed by it. i also scar really easily so even if my skin was o.k.-ish the spots were still there. i would buy whatever i could with whatever little money i had so it wasn't like i was getting something good. more often that not, it would further irritate my skin. but there i was every morning gooping on that concealer. 

drugstore makeup has come such a long way from my growing up that i find myself gravitating towards it more and more. i rounded up some of my favs ranging from a light coverage to a more full one.

Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller- this is a two in one product. it is a caffeine based gel that helps correct the appearance of dark circles while the sheer concealer blends easily while covering and brightening the area. it has a roller ball applicator that is so cool to the touch. it feels so good rolling it over my tired eyes in the morning that i often apply a bit too much as my eyes roll towards the back of my head and i groan in delight. but the thing is, you really can't over apply this product. the formula is thin and sheer and i use this brush to blend it out.

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Eraser- i was late to the game on this concealer. the formula is thin but provides excellent coverage. it also brightens the area and makes me look more awake. i tend to go for this product on 'how is it not Friday yet?' days. 

L'Oreal True Match Super Blendable Concealer- as the name states, this formula is super blendable. you really cant beat the color match of this product. you can use it under your eyes, on spots, or to cover redness. it's an all in one product and quite possibly my favorite one. it does not crease or flake and has a lasting quality. this is a medium to full coverage concealer.

L'Oreal True Match Crayon Concealer- this guy! oh man he and i are besties. the formula is very similar to Benefit Boi-ing Concealer, which was my savior for my bad skin as an adult. it is thicker so think medium to full coverage. it blends out beautifully. i normally use my fingers for this. it stays put and doesn't crease. i have used this under my eyes and i did not have an issue with it either.

which drugstore concealers are your must haves?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Special Saturday: Training Again and Failing

a few weeks ago i was lent a bike to try out and see if it would be a fit for me for my upcoming triathlon. i was really excited to get out there and ride since i used to enjoy it so much when i was younger. armed with my new obsession, iPod streaming The Lively Show, i got on and set my goal to be the duration of one podcast (around 40 minutes). i was back home in 6 minutes struggling to even pull up to my driveway. that was a real shot to the ego because as i mentioned before i run half marathons and basically if you have ever done one i am sure you will agree that you feel invincible afterwards and from then on. and yet this bike kicked me while i was already down. 

here is the thing, in April 2014 husband and i flew to San Francisco where i ran Rock 'n' Rock. it has been one of the most amazing and fulfilling experiences of my life and i still can't believe i did it. i went into it with a year of intense training and participation in running events. the last 5 months leading up to it i ran 4 half marathons to help me with the change in elevation and hills. when i was done i hugged a light pole and cried and waited for husband to claim me. i called my parents and my dad asked me what was next 'L.A., San Diego, a triathlon?' 'Brunch' i said. running was the last thing on my mind. i needed to heal. i was drained. and so i did. i signed up to run Rock n' Roll in December here in San Antonio. i started training in September and it felt good to slowly start that progress again. and then the pedicure from hell happened and i had to have a procedure done on my toe two weeks before our wedding in November. needless to say come December i power walked 13.1 miles because the toe was still being a pain.

ego shattered, weight gain, and endurance gone i texted my sister and told her what had happened. she replied 'Good job! Day 1 done!'. wwwhhhhaaaatttt?!?!? damn it she was right! i didn't start running all of a sudden. i started by walking two blocks and i thought i was going to die. and that too was coming off of a surgery. i was worried that i would basically have to start from zero but i believe muscle has memory and i can bounce back. i took yet another week (plus 3 days) off and once again armed with iPod in hand i got back on that bike and pushed off. my time? hahahahahahaha but i am still getting out there. i am still trying to get to where i was and with God before me, angel wings behind me, and iPod safely strapped to my arm i will!     

Friday, February 20, 2015

Miss Manga Review

when i first saw the commercials for this product i was stoked! i love anything anime and manga. and i thought surely i will look just like Sailor Moon once i apply this to my lashes (true story). i didn't pick it up right away as i was still moving through my stash of my favorite mascara but when that slowly dwindled i decided to give it a go. 

i was very excited to try this so i thought it was my excitement that had led me to mess it up in the first sweep. let me further explain. the mascara wand has a 360 flexor that is supposed to allow you to created 15 times the volume. what it means to the rest of the world is that the indentation above the brush is flexible and makes it unstable. so i swipe my eyelashes and it gets tangled separating them and then springs into action and i end up mascaraing my eyebrows. 'oh! that's a cute look' i thought. i tried again. same thing happened. once i got my act together and did this slowly the mascara was indeed build-able and did good at creating thick lashes. however, i found the formula to dry rather quickly so i recommend working with one eye at a time or else it can clump in between coats.

overall the mascara is quite good. the wand of course is gimmicky to me but others who have a better sense of control over their limbs may enjoy it. would i buy it again? probably not. only if they were sold out of what i really wanted. and to end on a more tragic note, i did not look in the least like Sailor Moon. sad story.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Keep or Return

i used to get so embarrassed returning anything to the store that was not broken or defective. simply telling the person 'i don't like it' or 'i changed my mind' was not a good excuse. so i ended up with an arsenal of stuff that would never get used and would eventually be given away or thrown away. wasteful! i would take the same approach with makeup. especially drugstore makeup as testing it prior to purchase is virtually impossible. but one day a lady who worked at the grocery store no less saw me contemplating a shade. she said, 'i love that color but it is not for everyone. you can always return it'. i looked at her like she was stupid. how gross to return a used lipstick. she read my mind and said 'even if it is used. you can bring it back and we will give you your money back no questions asked'. she had me at 'no questions asked'. 

upon looking further into it you really can return just about anything. vendors and manufacturers have the 'satisfaction guaranteed' clause. this applies both to drugstore and makeup counters. there is no need for you to keep a product in the back of your junk drawer if you are not happy with it. make those pennies count! return it and reinvest your money into that something that really works for you!

Monday, February 16, 2015

London Calling

a few weeks ago a packaged arrived from Tech Style News. he recently came back from a trip to London and picked up some goodies for me. dogs around the neighborhood howled at my high pitched shriek of joy! i have been dying to get my greedy little hands on these Bourjois Rouge Velvet Lipsticks and since they are not sold in the U.S. he was kind enough to think of me in his travels. i can't wait to give these a go! and can we talk about the cute tea tins? they double as piggy banks as well. now if that isn't motivation to save up for my own trip to London i don't know what is!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Moving Towards an Organic Life

buying organic has always been something of a fad to me. it all seemed so expensive and really i just couldn't afford it. i also didn't see a need for it. it was just me and my dogs. they ate overly priced diabetic dog food and i ate everything else under the sun. but my life changed. enter husband, the boys, and yet another dog. life in the kitchen now meant i cooked more and really thought about the meals. still i really didn't go the organic route except when it came to bananas and berries as i noticed their shelf life were longer than regular produce. 

some weeks back, we had dinner at a friends house as a family. while our husbands and kids were outside at the camp fire, we were inside with their beautiful baby girl. in conversation she mentioned to me that they were fully organic now and had done so over the course of a year so they wouldn't feel it in their budget. she didn't say and i didn't ask if it was for health reasons but i thought wow that was smart. slowly easing the family into it. days later and that conversation hadn't left my mind. i began to put further thought into it. if i had consciously put effort into changing my skincare to more pure and organic items and had seen the drastic changes in my skin, what would happen if i did the same to what i actually put in my body? i thought about how the redness on my cheeks had almost disappeared during a 3 month span where i was training for a run and was eating mainly fruits and vegetables with some lean protein. and also how quickly it had come back when i went back to my regular eating. all of us have allergies in our home, even the dogs, and i wondered could this help us as well?

i know our family will probably never be 100% organic because let's face it, Rico's nacho cheese is not organic and i cannot live without this, but can i actually gear my family towards a more organic life and see some positive change? i will say that i ran out of some staples in our pantry and while i went grocery shopping i replaced them with their organic version. it wasn't much, but it was a start. i'm curious to know, how high on the organic scale are you?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Empties #1

been wanting to do this post for a while and now that i have some empty products laying around (such a weird feeling not throwing your trash away including one incident where i did and i dove right back into that trashcan to retrieve it!)i will give it a go.

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Body Butter- this stuff saved my dry skin this past December. it has an interesting consistency which reminds me of lard, but not in a bad way. it's just thicker and applies so nicely to your skin. it literally melts in. i am not wild about the scent at all though. it is a bit old lady to me but i can deal with it. i would repurchase this item again but only during the winter.

The Body Shop Almond Body Butter- loved this product! it is very hydrating, but not as intense as the Wild Argan Oil Body Butter, but it did help keep my skin hydrated. the scent is great. it's not too overpowering but leaves the skin smelling nice. i would definitely purchase this again. also, if you live in hotter climates like i do, i do think you could use this year round.

The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Shower Gel- this in combo with the body butter was a God send. i normally have a reaction to shower gel that has too much scent in it and while this gel did have some kick to it, it wasn't overpowering. it left my skin feeling soft and smooth after i had dried off. of course then i slathered on the body butter. again, i would repurchase this item but only until next winter.

Lush Celestial Moisturizer- i have previously raved about this product here and i have to say this product alone changed my skin care. i have NEVER been able to use moisturizer on my face. everything broke me out. but as i got older i knew i needed something. this stuff not only solved my dry skin issues but made those hard bumps under my skin come to the surface and then completely disappear. seriously a skin savor! it is constantly sold out at my Lush store so that means something. as soon as they have it again, i will be getting it!

Chapstick- i mentioned in this post how i normally have the mint version of this in my makeup bag but for as long as i can remember (i mean childhood guys. i used to think this was lipstick) i have always had a tube of this laying around. and when i mean 'a' i mean like 5. i don't see anything wow about this product mainly i just wanted to finish it and get some kind of medal. will i buy it again? i mean i can't say i wont but i want to make a conscious effort not to and to invest in something a little bit more moisturizing. 

L'Oreal The Super Slim Liquid Eyeliner- i mentioned this in my favorite eyeliner post and i continue to love this product. so easy to use. very pigmented and lasts as long as your makeup is on! i will be buying this again. 

Jordana Best Lash Extreme- this is interesting for me. i had used a tube of this mascara this past summer and absolutely loved it! i mean to the point of i had seriously thought about replacing my one and only true love L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Carbon Black. so i finished it off and went through about 3 tubes of my regular mascara and then picked another one of these up. they are a bit hard to find where i live so i was pretty excited when i found a random store that had a counter. i promptly began to use it and the results were less than desirable. my eyelashes looked like i had stuck my finger in a electric socket. i mean they literally bent at the ends in odd angels. i continued to use it not wanting to be wasteful and the formula did not get any better. finally i just gave up. i think eventually i will pick up a tube and see if maybe the one i got was old but i am in no rush to do so.

L'Oreal Voluminous Mascara in Purple- i think this was a limited release for the summer as i have yet to see them again. the formula wasn't as thick as the original but gave a good separation and of course volume to my lashes. the color was subtle but did bring out the undertones in my eyes and just made them look a little more present. no one noticed that i was wearing colored mascara during that time just to give you an idea of how vivid the color was. 

Maybelline Dream Matte Mouse- if you have been reading my blog you will know that i already repurchased this item. it is great. it gives such a natural matte finish without seeming cakey or dry. plus this photographs wonderfully with no 'white face'. the color matches me perfectly as well. seriously try it out if you haven't already. it is more of a medium to full coverage foundation. perfect for a night out on the town.

i hope these 'after use' reviews help you guys out and as always i would love to hear from you. comment below or tweet me @lifeinmascara and tell me what you are loving right now!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentine's Day for the Kids

this has been one of my favorite gift guides to write (secretly because i want all of these gifts). but really because my Mami made sure to celebrate every holiday with us. i remember coming home from school, bag laden with all my cards and candy, and running up to my bedroom. nothing mattered more than finding a Valentine's Day gift from my Mami. she never missed one. and i am not ashamed to say that as an adult i sometimes still receive a gift from her on this day in the mail.

you learn your behavior from your parents, in my opinion, especially on traditions and celebrations. it is an unwritten form of communication. however, written communication between a parent and a child is also important (and down right cute). these Valentine Day cards from Only Printable Art are so adorable. plus you can print them on the spot. when i saw these awesome conversation heart crayons by Ivy Lane Designs, i knew they would be perfect for any kid (and i love conversation heart candy!). what kid doesn't love a fresh set of crayons? next, bake some sugar cookies with your babies and decorate them together. baking and bonding is always a great experience. make sure to snap some pics while doing so and don't mind the mess. it's worth it. now sit down with your babies, enjoy those cookies, and take in Be My Valentine Charlie Brown. perfect!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Valentine's Day for Him

when it comes down to buying gifts for husband, it is really easy for me. in true manly form, he is not a fan of Valentine's Day so i like to get him things that are practical and fun and not too saturated in hearts. here are some suggestions for the man in your life that can go along these lines.

let's start with the card. i picked this fun one from Sugar Paper. it states love but without actually saying it. next get him some face products. this Jack Black The Power Pack comes with a face wash, a moisturizer, and a beard lube to tame those whiskers. screams 'i love your face now let's take care of it!'. now present him with some sweet and salty yummies by See's Candy. this peanut brittle is a fun break away from the traditional chocolates. finally, enrich his brain with Things Come Apart. i actually got this for husband during Christmas and it was my favorite gift to give him and his to receive. trust me, you will enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentines Day for Her

i love Valentine's Day. even when i didn't have anyone to share it with, all my girlfriends would get together and go out to dinner or a movie. it's not about the romance of it all but mainly for me it's a 'stop your busy life for a moment and remember to tell those that matter to you hey, i freaking LOVE YOU!' type of thing. 

that being said i know it can be really stressful for guys not knowing what to get their ladies, so i put together this guide to help take the guess work out of it.

start by getting this Valentines Day card from my ever favorite Sugar Paper. let her know how you feel about her. writers block? then use a classic, 'roses are red, violets are blue...'. now hand over the yummies! getting the box of chocolate dipped strawberries and apples from Edible Arrangements will be a big hit. to continue with the chocolate theme, present her with the new eye shadow palette by Too Faced in Semi Sweet Chocolate Bar. let's all take a minute to step back and admire the smooth chocolaty inspired shades. drool! last but not least stay in and avoid the crowds while eating those treats and lighting this delectable candle. ahhh! you can just smell the romance. happy valentine's day and remember to tell everyone in your life that you love them all the time.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Book Challenge Update

i debated whether or not to do this blog post. my intention was to update you on where i was with my book challenge and be able to share about 4 or 5 books with you. but i got through one. and man was it a life changer! life happened. this month we had some illness, being there for family members going though some serious issues, and coming together to celebrate 3 birthdays in our family. and you know what? i am perfectly o.k. with that.

yes the inner type A planner in me is shrieking going 'but your list!!!!'. but i just want to give her some English Breakfast tea and tell her to calm down! my life isn't perfect and i never want to give the illusion that it is. more than anything i want to learn to accept the curve balls life throws at me and throw them right back at life whilst throwing my head back and doing my evil laugh (no?)

so i will take the 1 book i read and count it as 'A book by a female author'. check! for those of you following this challenge, where are you at?