Life in Mascara: March 2015

Monday, March 30, 2015

Women Getting Things Done: Tina Fey

i can remember first seeing Tina Fey on SNL during her epic run as part of Weekend Update on the rare occasion that my sister and i were up late on a Saturday. even at that age i knew this woman was powerful. i looked forward to every skit with her in it. for many years i watched her and it wasn't until she left and created her next show, 30 Rock (based loosely on her life as a writer for SNL) that i realized just what a powerhouse this woman was.

i recently read her book, Bossypants, and i laughed from cover to cover. her writing style, effortless and ironic, is just what we have come to know her for and love her for it as well. obviously everyone has a beginning in their career, but i had no idea she had come up with a traveling group, alongside many other great comedians (bestie Amy Poehler). she put in work and dedication and her hard work showed and payed off. 

In 1999, Fey became the first female head writer for SNL. a great milestone for her, and an even bigger one for all women. soon her name was everywhere and Fey was unstoppable. She kept producing epic skits on SNL (who can forget her as Sarah Palin winning her the AP Entertainer of the Year Award and this was as a gust appearance after she had left the show), but it was also her ability to produce other strong projects on her own that kept her growing. in 2004, she wrote and co-stared in Mean Girls. it has been over 10 years, and it is still the cult classic it once was. i still quote it more than i care to admit. in 2010, Fey was the recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, making her the youngest ever winner of the award. Fey has received eight Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, four Writers Guild of America Awards and has been nominated for a Grammy Award for her autobiographical book Bossypants, which topped the The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks.

as if i couldn't love this woman more (and thanks for making wearing glasses cool ~pushes her own up bridge of nose~ ) her remarks on being a women and advancing in her career:
"When faced with sexism or ageism or lookism or even really aggressive Buddhism, ask yourself the following question:"Is this person in between me and what do I want to do?" If the answer is no, ignore it and move on. Your energy is better used doing your work and outpacing people that way. Then, when you're in charge, don't hire the people who were jerky to you." ~Bossypants 2011

she doesn't believe in people tearing other people down. she believes in hard work and dedication. i respect that and i hope one day, if the Baby Jesus gives me a daughter, she will look up to her as well. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Empties #2

here is some more of my empties that i have gone through in the past months:

Shea Body Butter- another lovely from The Body Shop. ok i think i can officially (maybe??) say that this one is my favorite (as of yet). it just melts straight into your skin and lasts for so long. since i started using body butters i have noticed such a change in my dry skin. no more dry painful patches.

e.l.f. Studio Makeup Mist and Set- i raved on about this product here but i will go on about it again. yes i love it! yes it is worth it! yes i use it everyday! yes i need to work for e.l.f. and be their spokeswoman!

Charity Pot- i love the concept behind this little pot of hand cream. it is definitely on the greasier side but it does absorb quickly. and a very little goes a long way. i was carrying it in my purse but i think this will be better served as a night cream applied before going to bed.

Coconut Body Butter- gggaaahhhh Trader Joe's i love you! this stuff is great! their consistency is like meringue and i want to eat it. smells amazing and it lasts too without overpowering you. the moisturizing is great, not as intense as my shea one, but does the job. will be repurchasing as the summer approaches. think of it, bronzed skin, sunny days, a light scent of coconut around you. all you need is a tropical drink...and a tropical destination. or a pool. that'll work!

Facial Oil Rose Otto- i come by products from Estelle and Thild randomly through Marshall's or TJ Max because i can't find a store that stocks them here. this oil so far has been my favorite to use and i am sad to be completely out of it. i need it back in my life! great for everyday use. i even got my Mami hooked on it.

Voluminous Miss Manga Mascara- my complete thoughts here. i guess i just feel bleh about it. it was okaaayyy but i expected more coming from the Voluminous line. 

Brow Shaping Clear Gel- i think this is the first Milani product i talk about in this space. i am a huge fan of their blushes and lipsticks. overall the brand is good with some strong pigmentation. however, this gel didn't hold up the name. i would swipe it on and after it dried, it did nothing. it was like a step i didn't need to take because absolutely nothing happened. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Shaving Game

my love for Trader Joe's everything keeps on expanding every time i go in the store. this time it is for their Moisturizing Cream Shave with honey mango. ooohhh this stuff is just amazing! first off, it is not like anything i have every tried as it is in a cream form and not a shaving gel as most are. think of it as the consistency of conditioner for point of reference. it smells delicious as the name suggests but mild as the scent is not over powering. the cream texture helps to lock in moisture so after you shave you are not left with that dry burning feel that immediately has you reaching for the baby oil or worst, witch hazel! it contains aloe vera, vitamin E, lubrication emollients, is free of parabens, and is 100% vegetarian. this rinses off clean from you skin and from the razor. i promise you, it will not disappoint. also, this is for both men and women so share with the man in your life. you may want to pop this into you buggy the next time you find yourself in Trader Joe's. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

30 Days of Yoga With Adriene

every year i give up coffee and soda for Lent. i used to give up all caffeine but apparently i was a raging bitch to everyone and was told to please have tea for everyone's safety. i can do that. this year was no different but i decided to add in a little more since i normally give up these things already several times a year when i am training for a long run. i thought this would be the perfect time to add to my commitment of working out. training for my triathlon has been very slow due to craptacular weather and sheer laziness. so i decided to make it a point to add on at least 30 minutes of working out as many days a week as i could. sometimes i think i just don't have time to do a long work out so i don't. but when i think of it as just for a little bit, just 30 minutes, then i feel like it is not a big deal. 

when looking for things to do, i decided that yoga would be something fun and low impact to add to my routine. instantly i new where to look. Yoga with Adriene. i had heard Anna from Vivianna Does Makeup rave about these videos on multiple occasions and if it comes from Anna then it must be gold. and it sure is.

i am in the middle of the 30 days of yoga series with the videos ranging in time and focus. i was in love since the first one. i will say that due to an old arthritic battle wound ( i fell from the fence when i was 5) i do have to take days in between when the particular video focuses a lot on say downward facing dog. so my 30 days may be more like 60 days but whatever. i look forward to doing them and get a real sense of accomplishment after i am done. 

Adriene has a lot more playlists going and even has live classes in Austin (may just need to pop in for one since it is just around the corner from me).  i can't wait to give this series a go to help me get my running stride back. and if i could ask Adriene for some personal help, a video to help with burts of arthritis? geez, i am such a grandma!

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Brush That Brushes Without Scalping You

my mom made me throw away the comb i used to use on my hair. till this day i suffer the loss of the pink comb. to her defense it was cheap, from the dollar store, about 10 years old, and some of the teeth had half melted from a brush with death with the flat iron. in retrospect, it was a bit gross but i loved it nonetheless. i quickly replaced it with yet another brush from the dollar store. and i was happy for many years...or so i thought.

i've always lost a lot of hair but attributed it to stress and the fact that i have long thick hair. i never really cared much until husband pointed out one day that while he was painting the wall trim, he actually removed some of my hair from way up there. i was really baffled by this and kind of impressed that my tresses had held on tight to the wall for some reason. it just really made me think why i could be shedding so much hair. among all the possibilities i came up with (vitamin deficiency, need for new shampoo and conditioner) i never thought to attribute it to my hairbrush. i just assumed they were all the same. apparently not.

i came across The Wet Brush down the aisles of a store and just kind of shrugged it off as a gimmick. another 'as seen on t.v.' product line. but i kept seeing it everywhere and my interest soon began to grow. i decided to give it a go and thought if i shed any less hair while brushing it out then maybe it's a keeper. the first time i used it i was confused. i ran it through my hair and i never felt the bristles rub against my scalp which to me meant it had gone all the way through. hhhmmm. i brushed and brushed and nothing. i finally put it down and ran my fingers through my hair to see just how tangled it really was. there were no tangles! i was baffled.

this brush really goes through your hair without snagging and pulling. i hardly loose any hair while brushing it wet either. i can't even believe i have fallen for a wet brush for my hair. it's such a unique feeling i can't even describe it but i strongly encourage you to try it out for yourself. especially you long thick haired beauties. i picked up the mini version for my travel bag as well. how dinky and cute is it?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Facial Oil is the Name of the Game

my love for face oils continues and now my heart beats for Botanics Facial Oil. my sister is a fanatic of anything from Boots and she mentioned this to me. i wasn't aware that Boots had created an organic line and as i had previously mentioned, am making a conscious effort towards a more organic lifestyle. to begin with, you can't beat the price at $8.99. plus the bottle is bigger than any face oil i have seen. and then the dispenser. i know i will receive eye rolls over this but hear me out. i have used other oils where the dropper has a sort of limit as to how much you can load in it. since i use the oil on my face, neck, chest, and boobies, i can't really be bothered to reload that sucker over and over again. that is not the case here as it allows to me fill it up to the top so one full dropper is what i use.

this is an 8 hour formula and it is intended to lock in moisture for dry skin. it contains active plant extract, rosehip, and it is rich in Omega oils. it claims to help keep skin soft and healthy looking and improve suppleness. i agree to all of it. it is one of the best oils i have used. it is not greasy and absorbs quickly. i also enjoy the scent which is a plus for me as anything with rose can sometimes smell 'granny' to me. since i have been using it i have noticed a change in my skin. it makes it so soft even hours after i have applied it when i go makeup free. this will definitely be kept in constant rotation at my house.   

Monday, March 16, 2015

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush Review

it seems you can't read a single beauty blog without them mentioning Tarte blushes. they are everywhere. as i am new to this brand and only started out with this item and then added this i knew that the blushes were the next i wanted to try out. but with so many beautiful choices i didn't know which to get so i waited. come December so many brands release their gift sets and Tarte was no exception. they had some goodies. they released two different blush gift sets: one with several of their blushes in smaller pots and one in a pallet. i opted for the smaller pot ones. while i like pallets i somehow prefer loose items. i like to pick the item i like and toss it in my bag instead of lugging the pallet. seams logical to me.

i got my pallet home and put it in my drawer. then Christmas happened. then New Years happened. and somehow i had forgotten to even open my gift set. finally as the paleness of my skin hit an all time high, i went over to my makeup collection to swap out my current blush. and there they were. nestled in their box still in a corner. these beauties were waiting for me.

o.k. so when they say they are highly pigmented they mean HIGHLY pigmented. i managed to draw two pink circles on my cheeks the first time i used them. i am very heavy handed when it comes to blush. i can't seem to find the perfect balance. either i have too much (most days) or not enough (pale sad face). but regardless these blushes have found their way into a daily rotation. i am really having fun experimenting with a different shade everyday. so far i have fallen hard for Prim, which pairs greatly with a red lip to avoid 'red face' which is red eyes from contacts, bright coral blush (my norm), and red lips. and again while they are slightly smaller than the regular pots that is more than o.k. with me. that just means that i will hit pan faster thus bringing on a sense of accomplishment making me throw my hands up in the air in some kind of Rocky reaches the top of the stairs moment. please tell me i am not alone in this. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Starting the Morning off Fresh

recently i ran out of my beloved Lush Superbalm to cleanse my face. since my skin has been so dry, i was worried about starting my routine with something else. but as it was 5:30 a.m., there seemed no other choice. half asleep, i reached for my Soy Face Cleanser by Fresh. i had never used it before but got it during Christmas in a holiday package. i started to slowly rub it on my cheeks, eyes closed, and worked my way over my chin and my nose. then the nasal senses kicked in. hhheeeelllloooo cucumber! oh my goodness!!! you know when you cut into a cucumber and exposes the seeds and the aroma is just so clean and pleasant? ok well imagine taking all of those seeds and flesh and rubbing it into your skin. talk about a wake up call! 

this is really a treat for the senses as well as the skin. the formula is not exactly a gel and not exactly a balm. kind of in between. it does not dry out your skin at all! i wouldn't say it is ulta moisturizing either, more of like a balancing effect. my skin feels so clean and invigorated afterwards with none of the tightness you may experience with a gel like substance. i have been using it for about a month now with no irritations or breakouts. 

this products helps remove makeup and impurities from the skin and is safe around the eyes as well. i will say i have not used it as a makeup remover but it has removed the morning left over mascara without leaving behind a trace. it is paraben, sulfate, and soap free. it is rich in amino acids, soy proteins, and contains rosewater and of course cucumber. will be sure to keep this as part of my spring time morning routine. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

#housetohome 3

i keep meaning to post these beauties. for Valentine's Day husband and my boys came home each carrying a lovely plant for me and a very puckered up kiss as well (my boys give the best ones!). i was so excited to get these plants as you guys know i love cacti and the orchids, well, they come with a funny story. 

on our first Valentine's Day i cooked dinner and husband came home and told me that he was going to buy me an orchid. i was so excited and told him how long i had been wanting one. the man went pale. he said as he went to go pay, one of his employees told him that it was a lame gift. 'fire her' i responded. oh man, he has been hearing it ever since. now, 3 years later, i get not 1, but 2 beautiful plants filled with love as the little hands of my boys reached out and gave them to me. they make a great addition to our home. you'd be surprised how something organic really brings life to a home.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Quick Tips on How to Relax

learning how to relax is one of the hardest things for me to do. normally i am wound up and will loose it completely if things don't go according to my mental plan. and while a good cry about things can help me calm down, it isn't always a good plan. plus the puffy face/red eyes combo isn't very flattering. so i put together a little list (aahhh soothing) of things i do that help me relax:

1. quiet is key. we are constantly surrounded by noise. music in the car. co-workers/machinery at work. the constant dialogue we have in our heads (and let's face it that can be the most draining as we are our worst critics and it isn't always positive). so what i like to do is go to my room and shut the door. i like to be by myself. no dogs. no t.v. no new obsession of an iPod for podcasts. nothing. just me. i work on slowing my breathing and calming my thoughts. when i catch my mind wandering i bring it back to the here and now.

2. turn on a candle. we are drawn more to scent than we even know. scent can trigger memories. but they also go a long way on how they make us feel. i prefer scents that are clean and crisp. which in turn makes me believe that my house is immaculate which makes me happy. sad, i know. but again the purpose here is my happiness not my stress over a clean house.

3. decompression clothing. when i run, i wear compression clothing. i am packed in tight like a sausage and go. when i want to relax i bust out 'my blue pants'. they are lovely. i can, and often do, live in them all day. but the point is we all have a set of 'blue pants'. the piece of clothing you reach for when you literally just want to melt into the couch. got it? go get them and put them on!

4. pick a treat. the idea here is not to mask feelings with food but rather to increase your happiness and help you relax. for me it works best with a warm beverage. hot chocolate, a nice latte, or a cup of tea with that extra spoonful of sugar that i love but never let myself have. it soothes me and goes miles at lowering my heart rate.

5. what do you never have time for- do that! as i have mentioned many times i am an extremely organized person. it boarders on an intervention. i map out times for reading, podcast listening, picture blog taking, and on and on. yet there is one thing that i love to do but never get around to it. coloring. there is nothing like opening a fresh box of crayons, inhaling (see? scent again!) that intoxicating crayon order, and starting on page 1 of a coloring book and going in order (i told you!). it brings me such pleasure and reminds me of my childhood. it is so therapeutic to me. words can not even describe. i can get lost in this honestly for hours.

normally after this i can face plant right on the floor for a nappy nap. but regardless of whether this happens or not, i have spent some me time in my happy place and i am ready to reintegrate myself into the real world. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

Literally e.l.f.

i think i have stated before what a HUGE fan of e.l.f. i am and have been more and more pleased with their constant product development. they are predominately an internet based makeup line but it seems like everyday a new e.l.f. stand is popping up at my local grocery store, the gas station ( GENIOUS!), and Old Navy. i was instantly lured in when i saw that my grocery store finally was carrying e.l.f. (which stands for eyes, lips, and face and as you can see i picked up something from each of these categories hence my clever post title). 

new in was their Matte Lip Colors and i picked this up in the shade Rich Red. oh guys, this product is heavenly. so rich and creamy and yet matte. not as matte as per say MAC Ruby Woo, but matte enough. the pigmentation is to die for. and can we all focus on the fact that it is only $3? yyyeeeessss!!!

next i picked up two of their Essential Smudge Pot which can be used as both an eyeshadow and an eyeliner. they are pigmented, they are creamy, they are so blendable. i used my finger to apply the lightest shade which was Crusin Chic and did the same when i applied Brownie Points but used a MAC 216 brush to smoke out the edges on this one. they are very similar to Maybelline Color Tattoos but again at only $3. i. want. them. all. 

finally i picked up a Studio Contouring Blush and Bronzing powder in the shade St. Lucia. now we have seen the blush and bronzer combo reproduced over and over again since NARS basically created it but none like this. available in 4 different shades, these blushes are very highly pigmented. a little goes a long way and they last all day. also this bronzer is wonderful. rich, blendable, and buildable. i used it one day to contour and another day as a sheer bronzer on the cheeks. and yes, you guessed it $3 again.

e.l.f if you are listening, i freaking love you! i think you need me as your spokesperson because i am already doing the work for you. but in true honesty, keep up the good work and the amazing products. and find out whoever is responsible for putting your items at a gas station and give them a raise!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New In Face Masks

this winter i have seen my skin look luminous thanks to all the beauty oil i have slathered on it, spotty thanks to overindulgence in baked yummies, and new in a dry patch on my forehead. this by far is my favorite look. it is itchy and because i am constantly scratching it now has a cute spot right in the center of it. because my skin is so sensitive, i don't exfoliate it and just use masks as needed. but this spot, it just won't go away no matter how much oil i put on it. i came across these new face scrubs/masks from St. Ives. nothing says soothing and hydrating like St. Ives. i quickly popped the Green Tea Blackhead Clearing Scrub (because anything with green tea in it makes my face happy) and the Oatmeal Scrub + Mask which as the name clearly states is a 2 in 1 product.

both are oil free and very gentle on the face. they have 100% natural exfoliates, sulfate free, hypoallergenic, and paraben free. i used the oatmeal as a mask first and then used warm water to work it into a lather and scrubbed my forehead. i then went in with the green tea scrub on my nose. my face was not irritated at all and still felt hydrated. the dry patch was noticeably calmer. they do have a delicious scent to them and i was worried about that but i am assuming they smell naturally of their ingredients. give these a go and let me know what you think @lifeinmascara

Monday, March 2, 2015

Book Challenge Update #2

well February seemed to come and go...just me? surely not! but i can honestly say that i enjoyed it more than January. we had various family events going, started training again, and have had overall more 'me' time (no it is not selfish. i am a priority). this month i managed to get through these three books and all of them were high on my 'to read' list. 

with Vicious ended a series i have been reading for years! Shepard has dragged me up and down and all around with these books and she finally gave me closure. while they are geared towards a younger demographic (ugh feeling my age!), i never got around to reading them when i was younger and i am glad i waited because there was no way i could have waited years for this series to end! suspenseful!

then there is 'a book based entirely on its cover', Love Life with a giant picture of Rob Lowe on it. need i say more? but honestly this book was great, and so was his other one. i like his style of writing and how he describes a person and his interaction with them but doesn't say their actual name until he drives it home with a final line and you're left like wtf? love it!

and finally Four. i read the Divergent series last spring break so i thought it appropriate that about a year later to the date i pick up this compilation of short stories to fill in the gaps. i'm glad Roth further developed the character because at times his sensitivity really got to me.

now in a week i will be on vacation for Spring Break and hope to get some good reading time in. i am still aiming for 52 books this year and am very behind, but i will not apologize to myself for actually having a life that i love.