Life in Mascara: April 2015

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Women Getting Things Done: Jess Lively

Picture provided by Jess Lively
This installment of Women Getting Things Done is very special to me. I credit Jess and her work with the reason why as a newly wed I was able to look beyond the picture perfect image of a couple and an immaculate house and learn to accept our different work schedules, the dirty floors, the endless amounts of laundry (how can two boys have so much dirty clothes?), and the three sassy dogs who all eat special (read expensive) food. But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let me tell you how it all started.

I read about Jess in an article about up and coming podcasts. She was still in her first season (Season 2 recently came on woop woop!) and simply clicked on the link which took me to her website. I'm not going to lie, I saw the page link for her shop and I went there first. I was instantly enamored with her 'Be Present' necklace. It spoke directly to the heart for me because it is something that I constantly struggle with. I am one of those people who have lists upon lists of things to do, that need to be done, that I hope one day will get done. I constantly obsess over them and at one point felt like I was collecting accomplishments rather than enjoying them. When I looked back at certain aspects of my life I couldn't really tell you how I felt at that time because I never fully enjoyed them. I raced to get there, finished the task, and moveed full speed ahead to the next one. That always makes me sad.

I delved further into the sight and started reading her previous blog entries and the resources tab which is full of lovely books and video links to things she has used herself. The theme throughout the entire website was clear 'are you leading a life with intention?'. Was I? Am I now? Honestly, I felt at that point like I was just trying to live. I have dreams and goals but I was floating throughout life and I felt like I wasn't centered. It may seem silly to some that I hadn't noticed that in me before, but sometimes you need someone to actually tell you (or read it right in front of your face) that you need to take a moment and really reassess your life. At that point I think I had been married for about 2 months. I was so happy to have found a wonderful man who I am completely in love with and was trying to settle into a home routine with him, the boys, and the dogs. I was used to cleaning up my apt once or twice a week and it would stay that way. Clean. Not our house. And really how could it? The boys are 4 and 6 and a whirlwind. Petie, the dog that came with husband, has a love/hate relationship with me and will poop on my side of the bed so I can step on it when I wake up. And then there are my dogs. Pedro hunts birds and then eats them (gross!). Bear is losing his sight due to diabetes so he goes potty all over the patio. And then of course husband and I add to the mess. But I wanted a clean house. I wanted to cook dinner and have it ready when the boys and husband came home. I wanted all the laundry done. I wanted it to be perfect. I wanted. I wanted. I wanted. 

I had husband download all of Jess' podcasts for me on my ipod and began to bing listen to them on my way to work and on the way back. I then had the brilliant idea of listening to them in the hour I had alone before I needed to start cooking dinner whilst picking up around the house. This way my chores didn't seem like chores. They seemed like 'me time' because I was still doing something I wanted to do and not had to. Life changer guys! Life changer! It was such a rewarding moment. It took me out of that mindset I get into while cleaning, tunnel vision with deep set eyebrows and a scowl that can mute a chirping bird. But more than anything it was the messages I was receiving that was being blast into my ears and straight to my head. 'How are you leading your life with intention?'. Over and over again and I just could not answer that. 

The amazing women and men that she interviewed all have these amazing stories to share but I chose to really focus on one thing so I didn't dig my grave further: they were not always like that. They were like me at one point just fluttering along. And although it may sound selfish, I appreciated hearing that. We only see the Instagram side of things like Jess has mentioned and it is what I get fixated on. Who doesn't want that Pinterest perfect life? But we never really get to see what is outside of that little square picture, do we?

Another aspect of her podcasts are the business side of things. Many of her interviewees are self employed business people who have started from the ground up. It was awesome to hear the different ways in which they got their start. They are all so different and used various avenues to get to where they are but they were all driven and had a clear goal in mind. I was so inspired by their stories, not all success stories may I add, and it was what led me to reach out to several contacts and get the ball rolling on my end. I am somebody who has something to offer and it is high time that I do something about it. 

I could go on and on about how much Jess' message has changed my life but I think I have written a novel here. I think it is time for you to see for yourselves just how much she has to offer you. I look forward to listening to many more of her podcasts, to one day enrolling in her Life With Intention online class, and to hopefully one day run into Jess in Austin which is only an hour away and thank her personally for the blessing she has been in my life. Much like her picture above, she has helped me see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Ulta Drugstore Products Haul

Went a little eyeshadow crazy at Ulta the other day. Pretty much focused on neutrals and light shimmers to take me from Spring to Summer. As always added in a new eyeliner in my quest for the perfect one.

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Sculpting Brow Mascara $7.99
NYX Infinite Shadow Stick in Silk $8.99
Revlon Highlighting Palette in Peach Glow $11.99
L'Oreal Colour Riche Ombre Quad in Treasured Bronze $9.99
Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Get Mod $9.99
NYX Sex Kitten Bimbo $4.49
L'Oreal Violet Petal $5.00
Maybelline Color Molten in Nude Rush $7.99
L'Oreal Colour Riche Ombre Quad in Perpetual Nude $9.99
Maybelline Line Stiletto $7.99

Really excited to try these NYX Baked eyeshadows. How cute is the packaging with the little bows on top? Top going clockwise:

NYX Belle, NYX Shira, NYX Ambrosia, NYX Vortex, NYX Carmella $5.99

Monday, April 27, 2015

Clean Water Changes Lives With Aveda

Recently I was invited to attend a fundraiser by Aveda at Burger Fi which helped raise funds for clean water for the Gulf of Mexico through the Gulf Restoration Network.

30% percent of our purchases was donated to this cause. I took this as an invite to not diet and eat happily away.

We were given these lovely gift bags with little hand lotions in them. The product is rich and moisturizing and perfect to carry in your purse. I love supporting companies with humanitarian efforts. Visit Aveda to see how else you can get involved. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Mother' Day Gift Ideas

With Mother's Day fast approaching, I put together some fun ideas (notice the monogrammed 'M' on the robe which is totally NOT a coincidence). Personally, I would want the 30th Anniversary Swarovski Traveler Mug. Hello glamorous every morning!

3. Deep Sleep Pillow Spray $29 (with my horrible sleeping habits I      can see husband dousing me with this at night)

Nourish Organic is offering 15% off on their best selling products for Mother's Day. Order now for delivery by May 10. 

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Disappointing Products

I try a lot of beauty products out there in the name of 'research' for the blog. Really it is because I am a product junkie and I am always on the hunt for the next best thing (eyeliner is my drug). Of course I come across products that I do not like for one reason or another and I thought I should share those with you as well.

Trader Joe's Antiplaque Toothpaste- I can't say anything about how well this product works or not. For me, it was all in the taste. It taste like black liquorice. And if there is one thing in the world I can't stand, it is that exact thing. I don't like to be wasteful so one way or another I will finish this. It is the first Trader Joe's anything that I do not like. Sad day.

Rimmel Londen Wonder'lash Mascara with Argan Oil Waterproof- I may be the only person in the beauty blog world that does not like waterproof mascara. I think I purchase one once a year, if that, for a specific reason. When I saw that Rimmel had come out with a mascara infused with Argan oil I jumped at the chance to get one since Argan oil has done wonders for my dry sensitive skin. But when I got to the drugstore, they only had it in the waterproof version. 'Fine' I thought since I didn't have one. A few weeks went by and I actually ended up needing a waterproof mascara since a cry fest was sure to come where I was headed. I got ready and applied my mascara and blinked. It got all over my eyes. 'Odd' I thought. I cleaned up and went about just to catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror with tiny mascara dots under my eyes. Here's the deal. The formula is so creamy and easy to apply. It is dark and the brush gives great separation to my lashes. But the dang thing would not dry! I don't know if it's because of the oil that makes it creamier but I finally gave up and applied a coat of my regular mascara over it to get it to dry. As far as it being waterproof, I did do a light cry not a Kim K. kinda cry and it did not run. 

Rimmel Londen Thick and Thin Eyeliner- The issue I had here was not with the formula of the product, the pigmentation, or the lasting quality but rather the nib. Designed to be like a calligraphy pen in that depending how you turn the tip you can get a thin line or a thicker line. You are supposed to be able to get the flick done easily too. Um no. Just no. I made a mess of my eyes is what I did. I wonder if it is just something you need to get used to? Anyone else out there have a hard time with it? I will continue to try and report back if anything changes. Liquid liner is hard enough with out this gimmick.

Josie Maran Pure Argan Milk Intensive Hydrating Treatment- This product was a God send. Not what you thought I was going to say right? I developed a dry patch right over my right eyebrow. It was red and itchy. Nothing and I mean nothing would make it go away. Until this mother's milk product came along. A couple drops every night and within a week it was almost gone. Within a week as well, this product dried out. I went to use it one night and the pippet would not pick anything up. I finally looked into the bottle and the product was thick and adhered to the sides of the bottle. Because I refuse to let this go to waste, I jammed a cotton swab in there and got it out. But it just felt like such a chore and I was disappointed I had to work for it. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

New York Wishlist

The first time I went to New York to visit TechStyleNews I was released upon New York in the middle of Times Square (right in front of the Sanrio store to be exact). I spread my arms out and spun around imagining Alicia Keys "Empire State of Mind" was playing just for me and I was being filmed for an episode of Gossip Girl. Once I had made myself thoroughly sick from the spinning I realized the song was coming from the near by museum and the camera crew was actually a family of tourist filming their adventures. Hhmm, I guess I wasn't spotted.

Husband and I will soon be returning to the city and I have put together a wish list of items I want to come home with: 

Not featured are the copious amounts of cupcakes and macaroons I plan on consuming. Who would like a haul post when we come back?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Lilly Pulitzer for Target

Every time I walk by the Lilly Pulitzer store I wonder why I don't live in a resort and have a bronzed goddess tan. Then I remember I live in Texas and it is hot enough. Womp, womp, wwooommmppp! At least Target has now offered a solution with their cute Lilly Pulitzer resort capsule releasing today. As in go now before they sell out (remember the Missoni for Target collection *sheds a tear*)! Above are some of my picks. Even L'oreal got on with it by releasing their limited edition colour riche lipstick in fun Lilly inspired packaging. Fingers crossed I have luck with the romper. I am tall and have long legs and rompers always make me look like an oversized toddler. Happy shopping!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Special Saturday: What Have You Done For You Lately

Close enough to take a look at this video just for funsies. Enjoy!

With the come and go of our everyday lives, most of us wear different hats. Mom, Wife, Sister, Employee. Name it we do it all. And we do it day after day after day. We end up tired, worn out, cynical even. You give, and you do, and you wait wanting someone to do something for you. And often we wait for nothing because everyone else is just as tied up as you are. 

Learning to focus on yourself can be somewhat difficult I have found. I can get rather worked up in all the things that need to get done and then I find myself in a really bad mood for no apparent reason. When I actually stop to wonder why I am like this, I realize it is because I have been going for days. No one is going to take better care of you than you.

Even if it is just for a few minutes, you need to stop and assess yourself. How are you today? No really, how are you? Are you really fine, or is it your go to response? For me right now my wrists and hands are starting to ache. Oh these old bones of mine! I have an old injury on my right wrist and arm that acts up more often these days. I also work on the computer all day at work and also for this blog. How can I help myself? Some therapeutic stretches should do the trick. Repeat a few times and the muscles that have gotten tight should stretch out and feel more comfortable. I can be proactive and address the issue now instead of ignoring it, it getting worse, me being in pain and upset, having to take pills, waiting for them to kick in whilst mood getting grayer. But most of the time that is what I would do. It is easier to ignore myself that to help myself. If any of my boys or husband came to me and said 'this hurts', you better believe I would snap into action and get them what they needed. How many of us are guilty of doing that?

I like to plan events/trips for myself. They are like little rewards that I wait for no one to get me. They don't have to be BIG or expensive. After all, it is the little things that count. Stop and do for you what you need done. And always remember that you are worth it.  

Here are some things that have brought me some happiness lately:

These lovely containers found at TJMaxx and Marshalls. They sit on my counter next to my coffee maker with the hot water dispenser. Makes my 5:30 a.m. wake up time more pleasant by having my tea right in front of me instead of walking to the other side of the kitchen to get them. #firstworldproblems #cantbebothered

The first spring manicure of the season featuring my fave drugstore gel polishes from Revlon. Also, look at that lovely ring husband got me for our anniversary (3 years of us being together). He also got me the necklace. What a babe!

That treat I had been craving all week because I deserve it.

A breast cancer walk next to one of my besties honoring the women we love and the ones we have lost.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Bronzer That Started it All

When I look back at my time in college I don't have the memories of wild nights out partying. I was very much a grandma complete with floor length silk nightgown and eye mask (don't judge). I honestly didn't leave my dorm room for the first 2 weeks because it was the first time in my life that I had cable. We grew up without it (an unnecessary expense) and there were always all these shows my friends would watch that I had never seen but really wanted to. That was when Laguna Beach first came on and I along with every other girl wanted to be Lauren Conrad. It was around this time that Teen Vogue actually launched and they did a feature on her and what products she used. She happened to mention this Neutrogena bronzer and I was out the door navigating the backways to get to Target and avoid traffic. This baby was mine. I then had to learn how to use it as my makeup those days consisted of an overly matte powered face with little to no blush. I was fab!

It has been longer than I care to admit (10 years die!) since those days and I keep returning back to this bad boy. I have gone through countless pots even though you get a pretty nice generous portion in there. It has about 3 shades mixed into the pan so when you swirl your brush in there (I use the e.l.f. complexion brush) you pick up a nice slightly grayer than bronzy color. I use it to contour and to apply a slight bronze on my giant forehead (you can land a Boeing 747 on it). It is really effortless and find that it matches my pale skin well. I do need to use something different when I am deeply bronzed so darker toned skin may not take to this product. But I am so pale these days that we are getting along just fine. Bring on summer!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

L'oreal Collection Exclusive

Finally, they are all mine!!!! I have been waiting months for these beauties to be released in the U.S. and now they have! Many of you may be fans of their nude collection exclusive release done a few years back and now they have come back on the opposite side of the color spectrum. I have been trolling the drugstores and came across them just the other day. I will say that CVS had them for almost $10. I bought Blake Lively's version there and walked away with a broken heart. That weekend I went to Wal-Mart and they had them there for less than $6. They all came home with me. This collection includes a fun shade of red titled with the companies motto 'Because You're Worth It'. I can't wait to start wearing these lovelies in all my summer adventures. Tell me or tweet me which one is your fav. I am partial to Blake. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Tiny Jewelry

Recently I have been more into simpler tiny jewelry verses my chunky statement necklaces (with the exception of a few favs of course). There is something about a dainty piece that speaks volumes. So elegant! Here are a few pieces i am lusting after at the moment:

1. Pandora Light As A Feather ($120)- check out the matching ring too.

2. Kate Spade One In A Million Initial Pendant ($43.50 on sale)- I have a similar one but mine doesn't say 'one in a million' on the back and I may need that to justify this purchase. 

3. Monica Vinader Riva Diamond Hoop Ring ($250)- really loving this ring for my pointer finger. Available in silver, gold, and rose gold.

4. Roberto Coin 18k Rose Gold Diamond Cross Necklace ($660)- well a girl can dream, right?

5. Jess Lively Be Present Necklace ($48)- because I need another reason to be obsessed with Jess Lively and her podcast! Plus the message is something that I struggle with and goes in line with my happiness project

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April Drops

Surely I am not the only one out there who as soon as they feel a hint in the air of Spring bust out all the coral colored makeup they have, right? I have been trying (failing) not to shop so much since husband and I are about to take off to New York soon and I plan to let loose whilst there. I have a few items on that wish list that I want to tick off since I can't find them here. But these beauties are available right now and I desperately want (need) them in my life. Especially the Perricone MD kit because the Christmas version fell through my fingers. 

3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Golden Opal Pearl

Monday, April 13, 2015

Nighttime Face Washes

As promised, here are the facial cleansers that I am using right now and the routine. I know I am about to sound real high maintenance but I promise you that I am not and it is actually really easy.

So I normally shower at night and if that is the case I jump in the shower makeup and all. I will reach for my Neutrogena Fresh Foaming Cleanser since I always keep a bottle of this in the shower. I have been using this gem since college. I do obviously use and try different ones but this is one that I will always keep around. I find it so effortless to use. Even removes waterproof mascara without leaving residue. The formula is creamy and leaves yous skin soft and not dry at all. 

Next I will cleanse my skin with Cetaphil Gentle Cleansing Bar Soap. Now believe it or not, this product has been in my life since high school (gasp!). I had the blessing of going to a wonderful dermatologist who was the nicest and so caring (not to mention dreamy think a young Harrison Ford). He had me use it since my first consultation and I will continue to keep a bar of this in my shower forever. Husband even reaches for it (that's right guys...slowly starting to get him involved in skincare). I did not include a picture of it because it is grubby from living in a soap box in my shower. 

Now if I am going to remove my makeup at night without showering or during the day, I reach for either one of these cleansers from The Body Shop. The Camomile Sumptuous Cleaning Butter is literally like grabbing some butter (because of the texture) and watching it melt into your skin and you massage it in. Melt the makeup right off. Now I do find that it can leave a bit of my mascara behind only because I wear so much of it. But if I take my time and really work it in, it will do the trick. Normally I reach for the Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil which apparently you are supposed to shake prior to use. Who knew? For some reason I glanced at the directions the other day and was mind blown. This stuff is incredible! I like starting on my cheeks just so I can see my makeup melt into the oil and just float above my skin. Does wonders removing all of my mascara as well. The only thing is that I find I sometimes get some in my eyes and my vision will get blurrier than normal for a bit. So make sure you rinse your eyes well. 

At this point (or a random refreshing face wash during the day) I reach for my Aloe Calming Facial Cleanser. Make sure that you always cleanse your skin after you remove all of your makeup. Removing your makeup is not enough. There may be some residue left that you can not see (and in my case I can't see because I have horrible eyesight), but also it will help bring balance to your skin. I was drawn to this face wash because it said 'calming' on it. I have a lot of redness in my face and I turn into a tomato after my runs so this stuff is great to help bring it back down to its pale state. 

What are some cleaners you are loving at the moment?

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Nighttime Skincare Routine

With lighter temperatures came a change in my skincare. Here is what I am loving for nighttime. Yes, my face wash is missing. Here is the thing. I use many different ones at night depending and the situation. I will have a separate post for that coming soon. Promise. But let's focus on the after washing parts, shall we?

Once my skin is free of makeup and grime, I like to tone it with Lush Tea Tree Water. It is not harsh on the skin and great for everyday use. I decided to move all my acne products to night as I no longer need them as much as I used to. Using this toner once a day is good enough to keep the spots at bay. Next I go in with a 'heavier oil', Josie Maran Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil. OK, the name was a bit misleading for me as I thought this was in a cream form but instead is just a thicker oil. But when I looked into it, it is supposed to be a cream. I wonder, do I need to shake it? Is it too hot in Texas that the oil can't keep its consistency? Weird. So I shook it and it did get thicker but was still loose like (do I make any sense these days?). Regardless, it works great for me and provides the right amount of moisture needed. I use this over my lips as well and in the morning my lips are so much softer and ready for lipstick. 

Around my eyes I apply a light layer of Lush Enchanted Eye Cream. I really do love this product and if you don't suffer from intense dark circles, puffiness, fine lines then this is the product for you. It is all natural and light. It provides moisture without stickiness or tint. Finally, I apply a generous amount of Estelle and Thild Night Cream Rose Otto and take it down my neck as well. Love, love, love this stuff and anything from this brand. Why can't I find a local store that stocks them? Provides great moisture without feeling heavy on the skin. 

Anyone else out there a huge fan of Estelle and Thild? Where do you buy it?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spring Morning Skincare Routine

With the change in weather came a change in my skin. I noticed it wasn't as dry and dehydrated as it had been and my heavier oils and creams seemed to be too much for it so I decided to change things up.

Fell in love with this Fresh Soy Face Cleanser a while ago. The strong cucumber scent sure makes waking up at 5:30 a.m. more pleasant. Check out my full review here. To tone my face and prepare it for moisturizing, I give it a few quick sprays with The Body Shop Vitamin E face mist. It smells so light and like baby lotion. It seeps into the skin quickly and leaves it feeling refreshed. I especially like the actual sprayer. It delivers a really fine mist. 

Next I apply a a few drops of Botanics Facial Oil all over my face and carry it down towards the front and back of my neck. This oil is great. It is not too heavy and can be used all over the body. It absorbs rather quickly too. I am going through this bottle at a rapid pace. Check out the details here. Around my eyes I have been using Estelle and Thild Eye Balm. As I have mentioned before, I still can't find a store that sells Estelle and Thild products where I live but have come across a few of them at TJ Max and Marshall's. I stock up when I find them. This eye cream states that it will help decrease puffiness and tighten the eye area. I am not sure about the puffiness just yet, but it is a 'hell yes' on the tightening. You feel it as soon as the lotion dries. Not in the 'I just got a bad botox job' but in the 'I am young and fabulous' category. And really, who doesn't want that? Finally I finish it all off with a dab of Estelle and Thild Face Cream Rose Otto. I also apply this down my neck. 

Let me know what products you are loving now that temperatures are slightly warmer. I'd love to hear about them. And make sure to come back on Friday for my Spring Nighttime Skincare Routine. 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Classic Beauty Look

If you caught my post on Friday, you would have seen some shots I took for husband. I didn't want to go all crazy on my makeup as I didn't think it would go with the theme I was trying to follow. Flawless skin, winged eyeliner, and a matte red lip. Here are the products I used to achieve this look:

Friday, April 3, 2015

For the Love of You

Early on in our dating days, husband read my bucket list. That first year alone, he made more of those dreams realities than I can even count. He is an amazing man, a wonderful father, and the best friend any heart can desire. Sometimes I fear he will think that he bit off more than he can chew with all my craziness coming at him, but he is always so calm and collected and there with open arms when I crash at the end of each day. There has not been one idea that I have come up with that he has met with negativity but always with a supportive 'do it!'. 

I wanted him to see how much his love and support has made me grow as a person and I want so much to see myself the way he sees me. As our anniversary approached I thought this would be the perfect time to give him something more on a personal level. I teamed up with a great photographer, Larry from Jars Creative Imaging, and shared my image with him. He did the rest and made magic happen.

I gave my husband the gift of my self-confidence by posing in front of a camera in a gorgeous dress and heels. The fact that I was cold or unhappy about my weight at the time didn't matter. It was for him and for him I have no pause. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Reading Challenge Update #3

another month has passed. April now! can you believe it? and where has my reading time gone? i got through one book and it was a doozy! i am a really big fan of The Wizard of Oz and anything pertaining to it or along the story line (hello, Wicked?) so when i saw yet another spin off, i dove right in. man, it is dark. like DARK! i stopped a few times and rubbed my heart a bit. the saga continues and i can't wait to read the rest. where are you on your reading challenge?