Life in Mascara: February 2016

Friday, February 26, 2016

PLAN WITH ME WEEK 9 IN THE HAPPY PLANNER



Keeping with my final week of love theme, I was able to use this adorable Minnie theme that @sailorscout_snow gave me. How adorable is the Minnie Girl? Other sources tagged on my Instagram @lifeinmascara. 

Thursday, February 25, 2016

THIS MONTH'S IBOTTA INCOME- FEBRUARY


Earlier this month I shared with you my story of how I started using Ibotta while grocery shopping. The additional income that came in simply by meal planning with Ibotta was enough to purchase a very special item that I needed. I have continued to share my story with many friends and co-workers and encouraged them to give it a shot. There is such a variety of items on there that people are sure to find something they use and need.

This month I had four people join my team. So far out of the four only one person has used it so $5 of my monthly gain came from there. That included, this month I made $55 in Ibotta rebates. This puts me at $144.50 lifetime earnings. This income is a tank of gas for my car, a date night, or many other things. But I will say that I used this month's money to purchase a gift card for a local restaurant to give to my friend who very graciously is lending us his vintage car to use for our wedding. Him and his wife can enjoy a date night on us!  

Have you tried Iboota yet? Join my team and lets unlock rebates and bonuses together! 

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

WHAT ELSE DID I READ THIS MONTH


Compared to January, February was a slow reading month for me. Still I was able to read three books in this short month. I consider it a win.

1. Inferno by Dan Brown. This is the last book in the Robert Langdon series and while I enjoyed it I did find that at times I had a difficult time keeping focusing on what I was reading. The story at times felt predictable. If you have read the other books you know there is always a beautiful female character that goes along the saga with Langdon, light flirtation, and humanity is saved to live another day. Still you learn to expect this same story line from the books. All in all I enjoyed the book but it wasn't my favorite from the series.

2. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. This is the second book in Life in Mascara Book Club. I will be posting a review here soon.

3. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Slight dystopian meets virtual reality? Sign me up! It is the year 2044 and Wade Watts is living his life as a member of the OASIS, the virtual reality program a multi-millionaire created and left behind as his final will and decree. Watts goes by the avatar Parzival and has devoted all his time and effort to figuring out the puzzles in the OASIS that will lead him to the fortune of its creator. The worlds and obstacles are all infused with 80's pop culture and various video games. It is a race until the end! This book is set to become a movie in 2018 with Steven Spielberg leading the project. I can't wait!

What books have you been reading lately? Leave me some recommendations below. 

Monday, February 22, 2016

THE ANSWER TO MY TIRED ALLERGY EYES | AD


The first few months of the year in Texas is intense allergy season for me. I suffer from all of the symptoms sneezing, runny nose, but the worst is my eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul and my soul is aching. 

Ever day I wake up to red, itchy, swollen eyes. They look so tired all the time and my under eye circles get very dark and puffy. No amount of concealer can cover it. 

I do it all cold eye mask, warm towel compresses, mounds and mounds of eye cream. But it just wasn't cutting it. I knew I needed something more. Something that would soothe my eyes but also help with the darkness around them and the puffiness. I felt like my eyes were aging by the second.

When it comes to skincare you know I prefer for it be as natural and organic as I can find it. But I also don't want to sacrifice quality and effectiveness. This is why I chose Oz Naturals Super Youth Gel. This eye gel is 100% natural and 75% organic. It is considered to be the most effective anti-aging eye cream treatment. Not only that put it also helps reduce dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles. They heard my cry!

The product is a lightweight gel that to me smells like cucumbers. The scents adds to the cooling effect of the gel. I take a small amount on my ring finger and press gently massaging it into my skin. This gel is so effective you can actually apply it all over your face so I take it under the eyes, around my temples, over my brow bone, and in the center of my eyebrows. It is slightly tacky but sinks into the skin rapidly and doesn't leave any flaky white residue like some gels can tend to leave. 

I have been using this morning and night as my eyes need all the help they can get right now and I can tell you that I have already noticed a difference. They aren't as dark and swollen and I look forward to indulging in its refreshing effect. This plus coffee equal my new favorite morning routine. 

*This post contains a paid for advertorial from Oz Natural.

Friday, February 19, 2016

HOW I JOURNAL IN MY PURPOSEFUL PLANNER / REVIEW


I have never been one to keep an ongoing journal. I can often start one and then forget and find it months later. This year I am hoping to be able to change that. See how I am using my purposeful planner to do just that. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

HOW I SAVED OVER $400 BY GIVING UP ONLY ONE THING

I can't say that I have always been great with money or that I am great with money now. But I will say that I have a heavy financial and administrative background. In fact, it has been my full time job for 11 years now. Give me a company's financials and I can break them down in no time. My own finances though, insert crazy eyed emoji.

I am not embarrassed to say that at one point I had $1 in my bank account. This was while making a very substantial salary but right after my ex and I had separated. I was rolling in debt like a pig in mud. Around every corner was more debt lurking. I knew things needed to change and they needed to change that very moment.

I began to look at my lifestyle and to look at my finances as a business. After all, it is a business. It is MY business. It's MY livelihood. I broke it all down. Medical, living, gas, car, groceries, entertainment. You name it. I had a section and a subsection for everything. It was in that subsection that I found a money pit.

Groceries: I don't even remember now how much money I was spending on my groceries at that time but what I can tell you was I was doing it wrong. I was buying items and not meals so that when it came down to cooking I would get frustrated because I couldn't come up with a meal and would just go get something instead. Then my produce would go bad and I would throw them out often times untouched. Literally money in the garbage. But there was one item bought in two's each time that started to catch my eye. On a whim I did the math and I nearly passed out. Enter the culprit...

Water bottles: I am a water snob. I admit it. I do not drink it straight out of the tap and I don't drink all brands of water (they taste different I swear). At this point I was buying about two cases of water a week and sometimes more. I would drink between four and eight bottles of water a day. So take a second and do the math with me. A 24 pack of water is about $3.98. Buying two a week would put me at $7.96. At 52 weeks a year that is a whopping $413.92! That's insane! Here I am broke as a joke yet I am throwing money away (again literally as the bottles went in the trash). Water down the drain! After my initial shock I still doubted myself. I mean I still needed to drink water so what was I supposed to do? Enter husband.

Husband was boyfriend at that time and was more than tired of lugging my cases of water up three flights of stairs every week. He did it. He didn't complain exactly. But it wasn't fun. He came home one day with a beautiful Brita pitcher and a pack of filters. Let's do the math now. The pitcher was about $20. A filter would last me for a month, bought in a three pack at $15, that puts me at $60 for a 12 month supply. I had just gone from spending $413.92 a year for water to $60 a year in turn saving me $353.92. Funny enough that is the exact amount of my car payment and car insurance a month with $3.92 to spare. I could have kicked myself for the tragic death of all those water bottles. 

If you need extra funds chances are you have it and don't even realize it. Sit down and write it all out. I mean ALL of it. That daily drink at your local coffee shop can amount to a pretty penny at the end of the year. Try it and see what you can potentially save. Then imagine what you could use that money for. It makes my heart beat a little faster for you. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

5 THINGS MY BEST FRIEND SWEARS BY


I recently wrote about how I spent some time with my best friend. It was great catching up and it was even better raiding her beauty stash. Debbie is a product and makeup junkie like me but her taste has always been so much more honed to precision than mine is. While my tastes are every color of the spectrum, she is very classic and more of a natural beauty. She splurges when it comes to skincare but can just as easily have a current favorite foundation from the drugstore. It is always so much fun for me to see what she is loving at the moment and what items have become staples in her everyday routine. Here is what she had to say:

1. Clarisonic - This beauty product came into my life about a little over a year ago as a Christmas gift from my husband. BEST GIFT EVER! I definitely felt a difference from the very first time I used it. It leaves my face with an actual clean feeling and I can honestly say that it's been a year with much fewer pimples.  And now that I actually have to start using a night cream since I'm in my 30's, ugh!, its good to have that nice clean base before applying any other products. Same to be said when applying make-up. A nice, smooth, clean face to start off with and then being able to wash it all off. 

2. Skinceuticals LHA Cleansing gel- I've been using this cleanser for the past several years. I really likes that it leaves my face with a nice clean feeling without any gunky residue. I can actually use this product several times a day and it wont over-dry my face. I have combination skin so this cleanser provides a good balance. Used together with the Clarisonic, these two are my definite MUST HAVES!!

3. Shea Sugar Scrub- I like to use this scrub in the shower as it deeply exfoliates my skin and hydrates at the same time. I use it at least 2-3 times a week, especially before shaving. It helps to give me nice smooth soft skin. 

4. Johnson's Intense Moisture Cream- I have to admit, I stole this product from my growing baby. I loved the way it smells and it reminds me of him. Especially during the winter months. The humidity here in Houston takes a toll on my skin. It really dries it out and this lotion has been the most hydrating to my skin. It also helps that while I'm lathering him up, I can get some on me as well.   
 

5. Lancome Gloss In Love- I fell in love with this lip gloss because not only does it give you just enough shine without the stickiness but the brush has a curved tip. It's like a hug for your lips. My days are so crazy running after a toddler that sometimes I don't even get to put on make up, but I always make sure to have at least some kind of lip gloss on. And some days you just need a hug.

And don't we all just sometimes need a hug?

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

THE ONE MAKEUP TOOL THAT HAS REPLACED 3 BRUSHES


A few weeks ago I was preparing for a girls weekend in Houston with my best friend. Normally when I go to her house I take only the bare essentials because truth be told, I like to raid her beauty stash (and openly steal all her hair clips). I mean how else do we beauty junkies find out about what else is out there in the beauty world than by our besties? 

As I was paring down my makeup I was having a difficult time closing (read shoving) my makeup bag with all my brushes in it. Without really thinking about it I grabbed my Beauty Blender and tossed it in the bag and took out my flat top kabuki brush. I peered in the bag and then took out my concealer brush since the Beauty Blender can do that too. I took a closer look and thought 'well if I pack a liquid highlight then the highlight brush can go too'. And so it did. You could basically hear the sigh of relief my makeup bag gave out as I zipped it closed.

Upon arriving in Houston I decided to have a full on allergy attack complete with hot sessions of me making out with my inhaler. My skin was instantly dehydrated and blotchy. Luckily we had a spa day scheduled for Saturday so I didn't have to look put together (human) that day. But come Sunday we had a lovely brunch scheduled and I was still look rough that morning. I sat before the mirror willing it to tell me I was still the fairest one of them all (I didn't) and I went to work on my flushed face. Out popped the Beauty Blender and within a few bops my base was done. And I was flawless. As in I woke up this way without allergies. It was a beauty miracle! I was using the Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation which gives such a lovely luminous effect that my skin clearly needed but never before had I seen it go on so evenly and with such great even coverage. I had the Beauty Blender to thank for that! Without pause I busted out the concealer which I was in desperate need of and then this glorious Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone and bopped that all over. Trust me when I say I needed the glow. 

Within minutes my face was transformed and I had only one beauty tool to thank! What took me so long to get on this bandwagon?  I may never go back. My brushes may just get a deep cleaning and be put away for the time being. Just maybe...

Monday, February 15, 2016

PLAN WITH ME WEEK 8 IN MY HAPPY PLANNER



Valentine's Day isn't just a day, it is a state of mind. Therefore, the entire month of February has been decorated in this theme. Plus I needed an excuse to use all of my Valentine's Sticker Kits from Two Lil' Bees and The Planner Society. I could honestly keep this theme going for weeks and weeks.

Friday, February 12, 2016

LIM BOOKCLUB: GANDHI


Finally Life In Mascara Book Club video is live! It took me FOREVER to get over this sinus infection and I still looked bleh in this video but it needed to be done. Be sure to let me know if you read the book and what you thought of it.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

KISS PROOF LIPS FOR VALENTINES DAY



Love is in the air...everywhere I look around...

As every man out there cringes with Valentine's Day looming around the corner, I walk around with a pep in my step. It's not because I am expecting a lavish display of love and gifts from husband. Appreciated yes, but not necessary. Really is it is just because I love the idea of taking the time out to reach out to those you care about and really just tell them 'Hey! I love your face!'. Appreciated and necessary.

That being said I am a sucker for a theme and when it comes to Valentine's Day all I hear is 'break out the liquid lipsticks'. Whether you plan on making out with your loved one or with that slice of chocolate cake (or both) you want your lipstick to stay put and not be worrying about it. Behold my current favs!

If true reds are what you want then these are for you:

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Outlaw $20

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Always Red $14

Bourjois Velvet Lipstick in Hot Pepper $15.95

Now if you want something with a bit of pink in it then try these:

Kat Von D Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Bachelorette $20

Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain in Strawberry Kissed $14

Bourjois Velvet Lipstick in Ole Flamingo $15.50

Now pucker up!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

PWM: VALENTINE'S DAY WEEK 7/ THE PLANNER SOCIETY KIT



Oh Valentine's Day...you have given me an excuse to you The Planner Society Kit that I have been drooling over for weeks now. I hope you enjoy this video. And don't forget about the giveaway I have going on until Friday. Subscribe! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

GIVEAWAY/ CLOSED


As promised, I hit 100 subscribers on YouTube so here is your giveaway!!!!

First let me start off by saying THANK YOU to everyone who has stopped by and watched my videos. It started as an idea years ago and then finally I thought why not? They are as fun for me to make as they are for me to watch. Thank you for your support!

Now for the giveaway...

Want to win a $25 gift card to Etsy? Think of all the planner goodies you could buy! Or anything really. I can't tell you how many things I purchased from Etsy for my upcoming wedding. Want it? Got to have it? Then this is what you need to do:

1. Subscribe to my YouTube

2. Subscribe to my Instagram @lifeinmascara 

3. Comment down below 'DONE' when you are good to go!

I will announce the winner on Friday, February 12.

Thanks again for following along!

*RAFFLECOPTER IS NOT LOADING ON MY PAGE BUT CONGRATS TO HILLARY HARRISON FOR WINNING!

Friday, February 5, 2016

VALENTINE'S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Need some ideas for your lady love or gal Valentine? Try any of these! They are sure to love them.






6. See's Candies Strawberry Truffles $7.15

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

HOW I SAVE AND MAKE MONEY WHILE SHOPPING


I consider myself to be a savvy shopper. I do a bit of research, compare prices, and always, ALWAYS look for a coupon. I even ask my girlfriends if I can't find one. And chances are, one of them might just have what I am looking for. 

While it is nice to see the total discounted price at the bottom of the receipt, wouldn't it be nice to actually have that money in your hand?

Enter Ibotta.

Ibotta is a free app that takes only minutes to set up and get you to saving. You basically log into your app and select the store you are going to (it not only includes grocery stores but Target, Sephora, Macy's, and even Best Buy). You take a quick look at what the rebates are out there and select the ones you want to get. It even has a great selection on non brand items so you can profit right away from there. Next, go to the store and shop away using any kind of coupons you have or don't have. It doesn't matter. Once you get home you simply load up your app again, verify your purchases by scanning in the barcodes, and then uploading a picture of the receipt. That's it!

Now what happens to the rebate money you ask? Well that's the best part, isn't it? You can withdraw it for $25.00 gift cards to places such as Amazon and Starbucks among others, or you can transfer the funds straight into your Paypal account ($20.00 minimum). So you see? It does pay to shop!

Ibotta also offers ways for you to save and gain even more! There are bonus offers that you can unlock as you go and get extra rebates there. But the best way is to grow your team! If you join my team and redeem your first rebate, you instantly get $10. And in full disclosure, I would get $5 as well. It's a win win! Join my team here!

This is not a paid advertisement nor do I have any affiliation with Ibotta. I simply have been using this app for about a month now and have already made $94.50. So don't wait any more, and join my team! And if you are wondering what I did with the money, I bought my wedding shoes and had money to spare. Download it now!

Monday, February 1, 2016

PLAN WITH ME WEEK 6 AND MONTH VIEW




Guys, I just can't shake this sinus infection! Yesterday I couldn't catch my breath and I had to use my inhaler which I dislike intensely but there was nothing I could do about it. I am walking around all breathy like Marilyn Monroe a la Happy Birthday Mr. President but with a hacking mating call cough at the end. It's horrible! That being said my picture lighting technique was a fail this weekend but in the end nothing is perfect and I wanted to show you my spread for the week. As you can tell my Planner Society Kit Club came in as well as the Valentine's Day kit and I could not be more in love! Can we all take a moment for that floral washi from the kit? Gah!!!

Washi, blue notebook, floral envelope, floral page flag, floral notepad, happy mail life sticker, floral typewriter, and dinner life sticker are all from The Planner Society Kit. Guys, this is my first month subscribed to it and I am already hooked!

Planner love girls, heart banners, pot of ink, and bow are from JuJu All Over. I think you can tell this is one of my favorite Etsy sticker shops.