Life in Mascara: July 2015

Friday, July 24, 2015

Who Am I?

I know I said I would feature my favorites this month, but I wanted to try something different with this post. I thought it would be a good idea to do a simple Q&A about me so you can get a better sense of who I am. After all if I ask you to read my blog and follow along, then it is only fair that you know who I am.

Name: Mayra O. Murillo-Gardner a.k.a. Mayra O.M.G. (yes I hyphenated my name just to get those initials)

Location: San Antonio, TX

Home: Los Angeles, California (really where ever my parents are)

Status: Married, 2 babies, 3 fur babies

Education: Our Lady of the Lake University with a degree in Public Relations and English

Languages: Spanish is my first language. I learned English in school but wasn't fully bilingual until around 2nd grade.

Passions: Reading, writing, my dogs, makeup, travel, running, paper crafting.

Dislikes: Rude people, not being acknowledged if I am standing right in front of you, sloppy joes, Dasani water because it tastes like plastic.

Fav Ice Cream: Rocky Road

Fav Color: White but since technically that is the absence of color, then Navy Blue.

Earliest memory: Standing over the bushes in my parents/grandparents yard and looking for the stone in my ring that had fallen. I was 3.

Things that creep me out: old toothbrushes, butterflys (just no), hard plastic cups (grosses me out when kids chew on them), running into a spiderweb.

Allergies: Too many to list but basically bees and any of their pals. I carry a super dooper cool epi pen. 

I hope this brings some insight into who I am. Have any more questions? Tweet me @lifeinmascara. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 5 Must Read Blogs

These are the blogs that I turn to on a daily basis. All images are their own and were borrowed with the sole intent and purpose that you check out these lovely ladies and all the hard work they have done.


This #girlboss can add author and clothes designer to her long list of attributes. Her blog is all things: fashion, beauty, lifestyle, crafts, food. Anything you have ever thought of, she has probably written about it. This year she also became a mom and I may or may not have sobbed with her adorable video announcement. 


Jane was still in high school when I started reading her blog. Texas native, Paris Ball debutante, designer, model, world traveler, this young woman has a style all her own. I can see a lot of her inspiration came from her mother Judy who was a model in the 80's and who also has a style that I envy. Her blog is more mainstream now and I will say that I do miss some of her early easier posts where her and her mom would just take the camera and shoot and Jane would post some of her doodles as well. Obviously we must all grow up but I think you would enjoy reading her blog all the way to the beginning. (please read note below)


The amazing work this beautiful women does will blow you away. She is a major source of inspiration to me and is the reason I started practicing calligraphy in the first place. I am crossing my fingers to one day be able to take one of her water color calligraphy classes. Also, no one can decorate a bar cart like she can. NO ONE. I actually long to have her do a water color piece for our wedding. A girl can dream...


Posting about 5 small articles a day, The Glitter Guide is an all life points website that you can turn to. They highlight food, beauty, lifestyle, fashion, travel but what I also like is that it talks about the contributors personal life as well. We have seen some of them get engaged, get married, have children, move. All of life's normal steps and that is what makes it personal for me. I feel like I know these women and for that I value what they have to say.


Discovering this blog for me was a bit of a spiritual awakening. Lisamarie talks openly about her relationship with God and the steps she takes on a daily basis to strengthen it. This is something I have been trying to work at and I do not think that me having come across her page at the exact moment that I did was a coincidence. Of course, she is a driven person with a strong work ethic that I can admire and shares a planner passion that I know all too well.

NOTE: None of these amazing women know that I am featuring them as part of this post. I have read all of their blogs from their first post on and while we may have different beliefs, views, and tastes it does not deter me from valuing the work that the do. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Top 5 Teas

1. Bigelow Green Tea with Mint- I will preface this by saying that I do not like green tea at all but this is the only one I can really stand. I drink it on an empty stomach almost every morning because it helps with bloating and tummy troubles.

2. PG Tips- A very strong British black tea. When I first started drinking it, it was too strong for me and I would only steep it for about a minute. But it is so rich and delicious. When I want a true tea party experience, I reach for this.

3. Honey Vanilla Chamomile- This is soothing to the soul and the nerves. Drink when you need to relax or right before bed. It's like a hug in a tea cup.

4. Mighty Leaf Organic Breakfast- I like this one for an every day morning tea. Not too strong that it hurts my belly, but strong enough that it still waked me up and gets me going.

5. Twinings English Breakfast Tea- Just a true nostalgic tea for me. Will forever remind me of my first trip to the East Coast to visit my brother and he introduced my to drinking hot tea with milk and sugar. Heavenly.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Top 5 Book Series

1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling- I am not entirely sure I am over the emotional turbulence I went through reading this series. It was the first book I ever cried at (when Dumbledore dies) and it will forever remind me of my years in college. I started reading it my first semester in college and after reading the first book I went with my mom to get them all in the Spanish version for her. As school got more difficult, it became harder for me to read them AND do all my school work. Plus at the time, Rowling was still writing them so there was always about a years wait for the next one. Seven years it took me to get through them and when I finished them it left a void inside me so deep that it was well over a year before I could pick up another book. I am not being dramatic and I know there are others out there who are nodding their heads and clutching their chests murmuring "yyeeessss" at the memory.

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins- I read all 3 books in a week. I just couldn't put them down. My favorite genre is Dystopian and this is as Dystopian as it can possible get. So morbid and intense I often thought 'how is this a teen novel?' but I guess we as a society are pretty desensitized to a lot of things that for me growing up would never have crossed my mind.

3. Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Separd- I always wanted to read this series when I was younger and finally I picked them up. The last 5 books hadn't been written when I first started so I read them basically in real time. They got darker and darker as they kept going and while yes in some parts unrealistic, in others just down right cruel. Yes I watch the show but seriously read the books. They are so much better and sad to say some of the actual intense bullying really does exist. 

4. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin- Written in 1978 and taking place at the highlight of the gay movement in San Francisco, I fell in love with this series and its many characters. There are so many of them but they are all interwoven in each others lives that it is not hard to keep track of them. Over and over I fell more and more in love with story and what was happening that I began to feel them alive and a part of me. Something I hadn't experienced since Harry Potter. There are 9 books in total with the last one being published in 2014. I am glad I discovered this series when I did because I would have been in pain waiting for the next book to be published. 

5. Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich- These are just simple and fun books to read. A new one comes out every November and I read them in about a day or two. They focus around a female bounty hunter and her shenanigans as she goes about her day with her parter, ex hooker, Lula. I really look forward to them because they provide a nice little break from the otherwise dark literature I tend to gravitate towards.

If you are following along, I am doing Pop Sugar's Reading Challenge and I am trying my best to complete it before the years end. Take a look at what books I have already read here, here, here, and here

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Top 5 Eyeshados

On a daily basis I will go with either no eye shadow or a one shade does it all kind of shadow. Sometimes we just don't have the time to blend, blend, blend until our hand falls off. So I decided to pick my favorite shadows that do the trick with just a few swipes and minimal blending.

MAC Arena is my absolute favorite eye shadow. I have gone through quite a few of these and I do not see myself ever not owning it. It is a slightly yellow orange very light brown shade. When you sweep it on once it just makes your eyelids look slightly tinted but mostly covers up the redness. You can build it up to a slightly darker tone all over or just in the crease for more definition. Think Adelle and that classic monochromatic eye look she became famous for with a slightly darker crease. I have done that look countless times with this shade alone. 

e.l.f. Smudge Pot in Back to Basics is the color I reach next when I want something natural but with a bit more tint to it. Think Maybelline Color Tattoo in Bad to the Bronze marries Bold Gold and this is their love child. Slightly brown but with a good amount of gold glimmer running through it. I honestly haven't reached for any Color Tattoo's since this came into my life. Plus the price, you can't beat it.

L'oreal Violet Petal is a shade that is not normally something I would reach for (read any shade of brown). But I was instantly drawn to it because I just couldn't tell if it was lilac or gray. It is a mix of both and can be used as one sweep for a light color to the eyes or build slightly more for a more metallic look. I like it more minimal than full blown and then I go in with this purple liquid eyeliner.

Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in 13 is a light pink metallic shade. I don't wear Barbie pink tones but this is a far cry from it. It just delivers a nice metallic sheen on the eyes that makes your eyes look vibrant and awake. You can also wear it as a base and built it with cooler tones.

MAC Nylon is the only shade I go for a true vibrant highlight to any eye shadow. It is intense and opaque and will open up the eye area simply by dabbing a bit to the inner corner of the eye. 

Which is the shade that you reach for time and time again?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Top 5 Lip Balms

1. Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask $26- So thick but not at all sticky or heavy. I love this stuff during long rungs as my lips tend to get very dry. Trust me, this product will not disappoint. 

2. Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue $5.99- I keep this in my drawer at work. It is moisturizing enough for daily application and since I drink a lot of water while I am at my desk, I do not want something too heavy since I am constantly reapplying.

3. Botanics Super Balm $6.79- This to me is like an organic version of the Rose Bud Salve. Use it all over for any dryness or soreness. The consistency is mushy which I actually find fun. It is just so pure that it doesn't congeal. 

4. Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment $22.50- Another great daily balm. This actually has SPF 15 so I like to use it whilst running errands. 

5. Rosebud Perfume Co. Rosebud Perfume Co. $7.00- This is something I carry in my purse and every time I travel. It is a multiuse balm. I use it on my kids, on my dog, on my cuticles. Just perfect to have around. Has the lightest hint of color but I honestly think it just enhances your natural shade more than anything. 

Which is your favorite lip balm? I just can't seem to have enough. I identify all too well with that scene in Napoleon Dynamite where he calls his brother to bring him his chapstick. Love it!

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 Favorite YouTube Channels

Days can go by and where will I be? In bed with my dogs watching YouTube. Here are my favs:

Gabriella Lindley

She is my absolute fav! Sassy, no nonsense, realistic. Super talented singer. I have been watching her videos since she started as I first came across her on Instagram. Her vlog channel is amazing as well. 

Vivianna Does Makeup

This woman is so cheery and smiley. I love that. She incorporates beauty, travel, fitness, and food into her very well made videos. She also does weekly vlogs where we get a glimpse of Mark, her boyfriend, who is down right adorable and together they make an adorable couple. 

Lily Pebbles

You can't watch Anna's videos and not know who Lily is. Together they do monthly Beauty Chat videos which is basically like a bunch of girl friends (technically two and then there is me pretending to be with them...not creepy) talking about all things beauty related. Her style is similar to Anna's which means she incorporates beauty, lifestyle, fashion, travel, and food. She also vlogs and with her we get Rich who is also very handsome. Lily puts a lot of effort into the techy side of her videos and it shows. She produces high quality videos.

Jaclyn Hill

Loud, fun, and silly. A true makeup artist. If you are a lover of warm toned eye shadow and really want a makeup tutorial that will be all things glam, then Jaclyn Hill is for you!

Amelia Liana

Her dog, her obsession with chocolate, her late night tea drinks. More so than her beauty videos, I love her vlogs. I have some serious closet envy for her but with a body like that, well I would too!

Let me know who your favorite YouTubers are. I am always on the lookout for more!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Top 5 Highlighters

1. MAC Soft and Gentle

2. e.l. Moonlight Pearls

3. Hard Candy Tiki

4. The Balm Mary Loumanizer

5. Wet 'n' Wild Reserve Your Cabana

Monday, July 6, 2015

Top 5 Red Lipsticks

1. MAC Ruby Woo $16 A true powdery vintage red. Be sure to exfoliate lips and use lip balm prior to use. This is the color I reach for when I want to channel a true bombshell look.

2. MAC Russian Red $16 Slightly more blue toned and less matte than Ruby Woo. Still this shade is vibrant and pairs well with just a hint of bronzer.

3. L'Oreal Collection Exclusive Blake's Red $8.99 My newest addition to my red lipstick collection. This is my favorite shade of the Collection Exclusive in Red Tones. I tend to lean towards more blue tones reds that orange toned ones and this one does not disappoint.

4. L'Oreal Redefined Ruby $9.99 This is my all time everyday red. It is deeper, more berry, and blue. This is the lipstick that I receive the most compliments on. If I ever had to choose one red lipstick, it would be this one hands down. It glides on well and has a lovely sheen to it.

5. e.l.f. Matte Lip Color Rich Red $3.00 While this line is matte, it is not overly matte. It still feels smooth on the lips and lasts a very long time. Bonus points for the tiny sharpener embedded in the end of the stick.

Friday, July 3, 2015

5 Favorite Foods

1. Sushi. Any and all. Cooked or raw. Just put it in my belly.

2. Chicken Piccata. It's the sauce here that gets me. Lemony and with capers. Salty and sour deliciousness. 

3. Arroz Con Pollo. Just my mom's though. Or my sisters because she makes it the same.

4. Baby Clams. Let me explain. I make this into a cocktail. So I chop up onion, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes, cilantro and mix it in with some lime and Clamato and eat it. It's not like I eat it straight out of the can (yes, I do). 

5. Fish Tacos. I can eat these every day. I feel like they are healthy enough for me and don't give me any guilt factor. 

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Birthday Month

Phote Credit
Today is my birthday. Yyyaaaaayyyyy!!!! Whether it be mine or that of my loved ones, I simply just love birthdays. I believe they are meant to be celebrated and be thankful for one more year the baby Jesus has given us. Since my last birthday I have relaunched my blog, moved, got married, did my first triathlon, and so much more. I am thankful! I am blessed!

During this month I will be doing things a bit differently. Since it is my birthday month I wanted to focus on my favorite everything. So during this time I will be posting 5 of my favorite (fill in the blank) each post. Some will be pictures I take, some will be collages. I will be traveling a lot and this will give me some free time to enjoy my family and rest.

I hope you enjoy this further look into my world, into what is Life in Mascara. I thank you so much for coming here and reading what I have to say. And HAPPY BIRTHDAY to any of you July babies! Much love and blessings your way.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Reading Challenge Update #5

Heaven Changes Everything by Todd and Sonja Burpo- I am really glad I came across this book. I had no idea it had been written, or others there after the original book of Heaven is For Real. That book really touched my heart and my faith. And this book in turn, really helped me appreciate the first book that much more. This book really talks about what Todd and Sonja Burpo learned from their son and how they have taken those lessons and lived sharing it with others. It is broken down into small chapters and is considered a devotional, but I read it in 3 days.

Crossed by Ally Condie- I liked this book more than the first part. I feel like this is where the action really begins and in Matched we just got the set up. In this book we see the protagonist Cassia really take on the role as the lead and guide us through her journey to find Ky and the Rebellion. I feel like with all dystopian novels you have to keep your mind open to what can and can't be. Some aspects are left rather vague and things always seem to fall into place for the sake of the novel but it doesn't bother me. Also, I liked that the chapters alternated between her point of view and then Ky's. 

What are you reading these days? Anyone else just want to own all the books and stay in bed for days with your dogs and read on?