Life in Mascara: May 2015

Friday, May 29, 2015

Women Getting Things Done: Taylor Sterling

Image from Glitter Guide
One of the blogs I started reading early on was Sterling Style. I felt a connection with it because the feel of it felt so approachable and not overdone. It felt like a blog and not a website trying to push something on me. Taylor's voice came clear across in every post and I identified with it. She was my age, she was in the same profession I was (finance at that time), and she was running her blog on the side (as was I the first time Life in Mascara was up). It made me feel like what I was doing in the blog world was something worth while, something someone out there might want to read.

I read on as her style began to evolve, her pictures more crisp, her audience growing. As a faithful reader my heart swelled at her engagement and then her wedding. Everything about her was beautiful, the epitome of a girly girl. And then my life changed. And away went all the blogs (hello couldn't afford internet) and all the dreams. I wouldn't even allow myself to read magazines because I couldn't allow myself to want. It would just push me further into my hole. It is a time of my life that is still difficult for me to accept.

When things began to perk up for me I found myself one day browsing and came across a link to Glitter Guide. Instantly propelled into a memory of Taylor talking about wanting to launch a website by this name encompassing all things girly, fun, and glittery. Because I had been living under a rock I had no idea this had actually launched. I clicked into it and was taken to a world of all things beautiful. It was exactly as she had envisioned it if not better. I binged read from that day forward all the way back to their first post. I fell in love and it is still something I read on a daily basis.

I admire Taylor having accomplished her dream of launching this website with a wonderful base of women working along side her. She fuels my creativity daily and I love seeing how she does this while also being a mother, a wife, and all the other million roles we women have. She has built a wonderful community following her and sharing among themselves ways to achieve those sparkly dreams we all have. If you want a more in depth account of her life coming from Taylor herself listen to her appearance on The Lively Show. Plus you get to hear her adorable daughter cooing in the background.  

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

New York Makeup Haul


New York is truly what dreams are made of! I don't think I will ever tire of going there. Each trip is different and fills me with so much excitement. It is a world of luxury and beauty and with a vast story to tell.

In preparation for my trip I had done a New York Wish List to really focus on the items that I wanted to bring back. I honestly save up for months so that when I am there I do not feel wallet guilt when I splurge on some lovelies. 

First stop was Duane Reade where I purchased the oh so pretty Mary Lou Manizer by The Balm. A cult favorite and impossible to fund where I live. This stuff does not disappoint. If you want a true bright highlight that blends effortlessly into the skin and beams like a ray of sunlight then this is the one for you. No subtlety here. 

Next stop was Bergdorf Goodman where I stopped at the Charlotte Tilbury counter and bee-lined for the Filmstar Bronze and Glow Face and Sculpt Highlight. A true gray toned bronze to chizzle out those cheekbones. I have been enjoying using it with this e.l.f. brush. I even used it down the sides of my nose and the brush fits like a dream! The highlight is subtle and buildable to achieve a more dramatic look. Well worth the price guys. The packaging itself make me feel so lux. Right as I was debating picking up something else from the beautiful line, the sales associate mentions he still had a makeup bag from the Christmas release. SOLD!

Around the corner I ran into a Ricky's NYC store. I love that place because you can find that one random thing you can never get. Enter in Dr. Lipp Original Nipple Balm for Lips. It is 100% natural and all I have to say is if it is good for the nips, surely it is good for the lips. Plus the image on the box is hilarious! I also picked up Ben Nye Banana Powder. I want to try a harsh contour and highlight look for pictures and needed this for baking. For everyday it does look lovely under the eyes. But make sure to do it lightly or you will just look jaundiced instead and that is not cute. I also grabbed an L.A. Girl Pro Conceal which are always sold out here and an L.A. Girl Lip Glaze which are very similar to the Too Faced Melted Lipstick.

Have any of you tried Dr. Lipp before? I am curious to hear your thoughts.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Triathlon Haul



On May 9, 2015 I participated in my first triathlon event. It was to a much smaller scale but to me it was an Iron Man. The event consisted of a 400 meter swim, a 10 mike bike ride, and a 2 mile run. I came in at 1:49:43 and I couldn't be happier. I was mentally ready to do it and only feared getting jelly legs at the transition. I am so proud of my body for not once having felt it. My lungs weren't very jazzed after the swim and I did need to use my shiny red inhaler but two pumps and I was ready to get on my bike. 

The feeling I get after completing an event like this is basically like I can do anything. I am the She Hulk and indestructible. Until after I eat and need to be put down for a nap. But still. It is such an ego and moral booster. I felt great. I honestly crossed the finish line and met husband and within about 5 minutes I was ready to go home. I didn't feel drained or anything. I was just freaking happy!

Here is a list of the super hot outfit (not) I wore. I found that purchasing separates was the best option for me because I have a booty and proud of it. And then there is the fact that the one piece suits are so small and compact I couldn't get it to go over my knees (ego and moral crusher).

Pearl Izumi Elite In-R-Cool Tri Singlet $56.73

Zoot Active 8" Tri Shorts $55.00

TYR Long Hair Swim Cap $11.00

TYR Tracer Swim Goggles $16.00 

Friday, May 22, 2015

Some Inspiration To Take You Into The Weekend


Nightmares all week, constant migraine, crabby puppies, sick baby. I could go on but instead let me slap myself in the face with some positivity and regroup. Have a great weekend long weekend everybody!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

L'Oreal Does Nude


Surely I am not the only person who wants to purchase all the nude palettes as soon as they launch, right? On Monday I talked about the nude palettes from Maybelline and my love for them. Now I have the L'Oreal option.

I had first seen these in all the blogs and Youtube videos from the UK. I weekly stalked my drug stores until one day I was rewarded not with the palette, but with the sign that the palette was coming! And upon that, it was not 1 but 2 palettes! That was a surprise as my UK loves had only shown one.

Finally the day came and they do not disappoint. They are of same quality as the rest of the L'Oreal shadows. Creamy, pigmented, blendable. The colors are beautiful and not too glittery which is a plus for me. The first palette is more of the standard nudes which of course I gravitate more towards. The only thing with this particular palette is some of the shades are very similar to the Colour Riche Quad mentioned here. So I would say if you can't afford this particular pallet (around $12) then I would stick with the quad and be ok. The second palette features more cool tones and deep plums. Again great pigmentation but these cooler tones are not generally what I go for. I do see myself getting more use out of this palette come fall/winter. 

So now that you have two separate drugstore option, OK well really 4 options and 2 brands, which one will you be seeking out?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Maybelline Does Nude




Ever since Urban Decay created their Nude Palette, it seems like it was only a matter a time before every other makeup brand started to come out with their own version. Drugstore makeup seemed to take its time but brands like L'Oreal and Maybelline finally caught up. The Nudes by Maybelline was released last year but recently they released their The Blushed Nudes palette which is very similar to the third installment by Urban Decay. 

Now I am not a pink colored person. In fact, I think I may own about 3 tops that are pink and 2 have something to do with breast cancer. I just don't gravitate towards that color. Same goes with makeup. I don't favor pink eye shadow generally because I fear looking like I have allergy eyes (which I do almost every day so why add to it?). However, when this palette started making it's appearance on Instagram I was drawn to it because the colors while yes slightly pink, incorporated more cool tones. Grays, mauve's, purples, and some browns even make an appearance. It seemed to be like it was a palette I could get on with.

This palette does not disappoint. Much like the first nude version and all the Maybelline products, these eye shadows are very pigmented and extremely creamy. They come off thickly with one dip of the brush and blend like a dream, almost like a cream eye shadow. I have been enjoying creating different looks with this palette. Perfect for soft romantic looks for a Spring night out. 

Let me know which Maybelline Nude palette is your favorite and stay tuned for Wednesdays post where I will be reviewing the L'Oreal nudes palettes. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Special Saturday: Have I Forgiven You? Have I Forgiven Myself?


I am not proud of the fact that I can be a very angry person. It happens so quick that by the time I notice I am in a foul mood and have been plotting the person I am mad at stepping on a Lego. Again not proud but I am very good at shutting people out. Trust me, it is safer for you this way. Or so I believe. If left alone, I can work through my anger myself and move on with life...at some point. But it is when we struggle to let go that things can get a bit dark.

Harboring anger and resentment for years for someone who caused me a lot of pain both physical and emotional took its toll on me. Everything that could possibly remind me of this person could cause an instant change in my mood and that dark thunderous cloud would come and hover over me. Painful ugly memories are so good at being hot pokers in the fire. I just wanted to move on. I just wanted to forget. But you really can't until you forgive can you? And a few years back, I still couldn't forgive.

During one my my sisters visits she told me she too holds on to old anger, sometimes not even remembering what the root issue was. I apologized to her if any of her anger was cause by something I did or said. She in turn reminded me of something so sweet that I had forgotten. My sister and I, like many out there, fought. We have a 6 year age difference so I am sure she didn't want a baby hanging around her. But when we fought we each would go into our rooms and close the door. As we calmed down we would write "I'm sorry" letters to each other laden with stickers and colorful jelly pens. We would slide it under each others closed doors until we could calm down and come out. I can't believe I had forgotten that but as she told me I could see a little me taking out my Lisa Frank sticker box and going to town on her letter.

When I looked at my particular situation at that point I really had to think did I honestly still care to be mad? Or was I just carrying it with me because that is how it had been for so long? I looked at the alternative. I could forgive and soon learn to forget. And in this I learned that what was actually next was learning to forgive myself. In this I do not necessarily mean that I brought on those many incidents of hurt, not at all. I know now that I did not. But I made the choice to get angry. I made the choice to hurt back. And I made the choice to let it bother me for so many years. I allowed myself to hurt my own heart. I took a deep breath and literally pulled my hair. It was so much for me and so frustrating to realize how much power our own minds have over us. I was ready to forgive, forgive again, and move on. And here I am, still moving, still looking forward. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Spring Scents


I am really funny when it comes to scents. I have such a hard time switching perfumes that I generally stay within the same 'safe notes'. I like clean, fresh, lightly floral scents. Here are the perfumes that I generally stick to with the new addition:

Vanilla Sky by Victoria Secret- I don't think they make this anymore but this bottle has lasted me a lifetime. It has heavy vanilla notes in it so normally one spritz is enough for me. I like to use it when I go out at night as it is on the heavier side and especially in the summer. Vanilla screams summer and tanned skin to me. 

Heavenly Flowers by Victoria Secret- I swear they still sell this but I can't find it on the website. This scent is very similar to all the light floral scents a la Marc Jacobs. I like to use this on my days off and during summer break when I don't have to go to work but still want to smell nice. 

Chanel Chance Eau Tendre- I have been using this perfume for years now. It's my 'I want to feel special' perfume. The scent is young and crisp with slight notes of grapefruit and sheer white musk. Innocent would be the word that comes to mind. I absolutely love it. I often find myself complimenting other people on their perfume and they tell me it is this they are wearing. I generally purchase the 5 oz bottle at around $122 and it generally lasts me the entire year.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh- This is the scent that is perfect for traveling. I generally buy it in the spray or roll on pen for around $24. Every time I smell it, it reminds me of all the places I have traveled to and evokes these wonderful memories and just makes me smile. It is very similar to Daisy which I love as well, but with more of a kick. It is just brighter and has a stronger flowery scent. I find that the notes warm up well on my skin and becomes more pronounced as I am walking around on my vacation. 

Stella Eau de Toilette- I had been looking for a more 'grown up' scent for a while now but still wanted the same notes as all my regular ones. When Stella came out I was instantly drawn to it and new right away it was the scent I had been looking for. The scents are fruity and floral with a bit of green notes in it. Still very fresh and young but bold. I was worried that the stronger scent would give me hard time getting used to but Stella and I are teaming out to be great pals. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Natural Way to Sweat


I am not one of those people who are blessed to sweat odorless. I sweat and I smell. Simple enough. I was a bit worried of switching from my normal strong deodorant to a more natural one thinking things would start to get a bit musty by mid morning. Still I decided to give it a whirl and picked up these from Crystal essence. I was drawn in by the little pink breast cancer ribbon on the top because it is one of the causes I am very passionate about. Now I have heard, like many of you, that certain ingredients in deodorants can cause breast cancer. I am not a scientists or any kind of professional in that field but if I can avoid certain things that may or may not cause cancer then why wouldn't I at least try it? These products contain no aluminum chlorohydrate, aluminum zirconium, no parabens,and no phthalates. 

I apply it at night after I shower because I am a sweaty sleeper. Fun! And again in the morning when I get ready to start my day. I have been using them for about 4 months now and I am very pleased with them. They hold up to a regular day in my life with temperatures no higher than the mid 80's. We haven't hit higher temperatures in Texas just yet and I assume that will be the true test but again I am happy with these. They don't stain my clothes or my underarms and the scent is very light and pleasant. One thing they do not hold up to my long runs but really what does? That is what I consider an extreme and let's be honest I don't run marathons on a daily basis although some days it sure feels like it. 

Friday, May 8, 2015

Protect Those Eyes


Texas. Allergy central. And now that it is full on Spring we have cedar fever. I can no longer wear contacts on a daily basis like I used to just years back. I think in part my eyes are just tired. I have been wearing contacts for 20 years now and I am also always on the computer. My eyes are often red and irritated. I look like a rabid rabbit. 

My mom actually recommended this contact solution. She said it was really silky and worth the price. Bio true claims to keep your contacts lubricated for up to 20 hours. Now I can't make that claim as I normally come home and take them out right away but I will say that I did notice the difference. And yes like my mom said the formula is silkier than most. Think almost like a watery baby oil. It goes on smoothly into the eyes and I do feel the moisturizing side of it when I first put them on. I find that hours into my day my eyes still feel good. I do still have to go in sometimes with drops as my day goes on but again that is mainly in part to my insane allergies and the computer. 

I guess the old saying still applies even to this: Mother is always right. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

What's In My Travel Bag



When I was in college I spent most weekends driving back home. I always had a toiletries bag ready to go. I had it down to a science. Many a mini bottle of products were jam packed into this clear plastic briefcase looking thing that zipped closed into one and when open had two different compartments. Though I don't travel almost every weekend like I did before, husband and I do take a few trips during the year so I like to keep my travel bag well stocked just in case we need to jam at a moments notice.

All of these goodies can be found at the drugstore with the exception of the little goodies from my Sephora Mini Haul. I also picked up the travel bag from Marshall's and it came with a bunch of little bottles and containers to depot some of my skincare items. Plus it came with these tiny little labels so I know exactly what I was reaching for. 

I always pack a bath sponge and a new toothbrush. I am funny about products that get wet and don't get a chance to dry properly before they get put away so I normally end up tossing these out. This toothbrush from Trader Joe's is made out of recycled yogurt cups so the guilt factor is reduced. 

Not pictured is the tiny bottle of baby powder I like to douse myself in before heading out the door for a long walk. Helps keep areas dry that need to stay dry for long periods of time.  

You can ready my morning Spring skin routine here and my nighttime Spring skin routing here

Monday, May 4, 2015

Sephora VIB Sale: The Mini Edition


Nothing makes me run faster than a Sephora VIB coupon in my hands...well, maybe the promise of pizza after a half marathon but that is a whole other story. It came in the mail and I eagerly sat at my computer looking over what would soon be mine. There were definitely the April drops that I had been gawking over for days now but there were actually somethings I had on my list from before that were calling my name. 

The Perricone MD gift set fell through my fingers during Christmas so I jumped at the chance when they repacked it with a few other products in it in their Perfectly Polished No Makeup Skincare Essentials Kit. I absolutely love the way my skin looks in their No Foundation Foundation Serum. I have been wearing it everyday since it came in the mail. 

Next I picked up the new Stella McCartney perfume in the 1 oz bottle. I am so funny about scent. I can't change my perfume much and I normally gravitate towards the same notes in them. I have been using the same ones for years. I have a hard time adjusting to changes in perfume/cologne in people who I spend a lot of time with as well. Husband basically is stuck using the same one or else I feel like I am with a stranger. Seriously, scent is so powerful for me. I accidentally bought him the wrong deodorant and I couldn't handle it. Even my detergent has to be the same. Anyways, so far so good with this lovely scent. It is not very different from my traditional scents (basically all of Marc Jacobs fragrances) but slightly stronger in the notes. It's exactly what I was looking for as I wanted a more 'statement scent'.

As I have been making a conscious effort to go towards more natural skincare I picked up this Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant in Pure Vanilla. It's the tiny one that normally would get you in the aisle of doom as you stand in line at Sephora. I thought it was perfect to add to my travel bag for an upcoming trip.

I did have some (a bunch) of rewards points to redeem so I picked up a tiny version of my facewash and this texturizing spray. Without even planning it, my Sephora haul all came in mini's. I must admit when trying new products I do like to go for the mini version when available so I can see if I can get on with them. Plus their dinky packaging is irresistible. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Reading Challenge Update #4


Here are the books I read during the month of April:

Matched by Ally Condie

The Witch Must Burn by Danielle Paige 

Barrel Fever by David Sedaris 

Matched is a dystopian series that I was excited to read. Normally all dystopian books have similar themes in them but it is still fun to see how each story adds their own twist to it. Excited to read the entire trilogy.

I am beyond obsessed with Danielle Paige and her spin on the traditional Wizard of Oz. Husband is now reading them too which is very exciting for me because I like to discuss them with him. It's like a book club of 2. I have always wanted to be in a book club. I have always wanted to create a book club and actually have people want to participate. I just like books, o.k.?

I must say I didn't like Barrel Fever very much. Written in his traditional sarcastic tone, this one just lost my interest. I can't exactly say what it was. I think it is because I enjoy his books based on his life more so than his short stories or essays. 

Let me know what books are on your reading list below and as always you can tweet me @lifeinmascara.