Life in Mascara: March 2016

Thursday, March 31, 2016

THIS MONTH'S IBOTTA INCOME- MARCH


This month's Ibotta income is slightly less than it has been in the previous month's but that was something that I expected. Earlier this month, husband and I were married. We had my family staying with us and God bless them most of them do not eat gluten. I also had one of them not eat any meat, poultry, or fish. And one of them who tries to stick to a more pescatarian diet. So needless to say our grocery shopping was very selective. We also had our rehearsal dinner at our house, a dinner after our wedding since our actual reception was a lunch, and a birthday lunch for my brother in law. So again those three events had a particular menu that I needed to stick to. Nonetheless, Ibotta pulled through for me. I still used it for staple items like milk, fruits and vegetables, butter, and tortillas to name a few. I had fun showing Mami how it works though there is no chance that she will ever use it as she still has a flip phone and refuses to change it. 

Of the money that I earned this month, $5 was from one more person joining my team. The rest, $27.00 was from rebates. That put me at $32.00 this month for a lifetime earning of $176.50. If you aren't using Ibotta you are missing out. Start earning money with me and join my team here. Let's unlock, save, and make money together. 

And since I always tell you what I did with my monthly earning, this month I decided to add it to our honeymoon fund. Husband and I received monetary donations for our honeymoon from everyone at our wedding instead of traditional gifts. This gave us a head start but we still need to save a bit more. Not only did Ibotta help pay for things for our wedding, but now it is helping me save for our trip. Imagine what it can do for you! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

WHAT ELSE DID I READ THIS MONTH: MARCH


Apparently, March is the month to read. Granted I had a lot of time off in March so this helped a lot. And to be honest, these were all quick reads.

1. B is for Burglar- These Kinsey Millhone books are just fun to read. I am sure I have mentioned before how they remind me of the Stephanie Plum novels. I do like a female heroin who isn't all fragile or battling the end of the world. Millhone is somewhere in between. She is just a strong female character and I am drawn to that. 


3. The Total Money Makeover- Hear me out on this one first. Maybe it's because I didn't read it when it first came out. Maybe because I have read so much about it indirectly in the last couple of years. Maybe it's because of my financial background. Who know, but the point of it is I didn't read anything in there that was earth shattering and life changing for me. It all seemed like common sense. That being said I do believe this book is a great starting point for many. I would even suggest that if you are in college and just starting out in life, then read this book. If you are heavily in debt and have no idea what to do, again read this book. For me, it just helped validate what we are doing at home and what we believe in. I have been heavily in debt before, twice actually, and have found a way to crawl out of my hole. My approach was different in same ways and the same as his in others. But this story is for another time. I did like the chapter on investing, mutual funds, and IRA's because husband and I are at that point in our lives. I believe it may have something for everyone and in my opinion, that is what a good book should have. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

SPRING LUMINOUS SKIN FOUNDATION ROUTINE



I tend to change a step or two (or three) when it comes to my makeup routine as the seasons change. And with Spring in full effect now, I have opted for a lighter coverage. I have been using Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation for a while now and am just as in love with it as I was when I first purchased it. It is a light foundation, almost like tinted water being dispensed. But even though it is so sheer it does wonders at covering the redness in my cheeks. I find that while sometimes I may need to add a tiny bit more there, I do not need to add concealer. The foundation is so luminous my skin just glows all day with it. It's not greasy at all and doesn't move. It's just a subtle glow. I am all about this and lately have been adding one other product to enhance the glowing effect a bit more. After all, it is Spring.

One tiny dollop of Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Moonstone is all it takes. I place this on the back of my hand along with the foundation and mix the two with my fingers. I then dot it all over my face and get to bopping with my Beauty Blender. The Beauty Blender really makes for an even and flawless application and it prevents from leaving too much product on the surface of the skin. The glow effect is evenly distributed across my face and is actually more natural than strobbing. Of course if I want to go the extra mile, I will add highlighter to my cheekbones but that is really up to you.

While you may think this is not suitable for the daytime let me tell you that it looks best at that time. The sun catches your skin just right and leaves people wondering what it is that you changed. Leave them wondering...o.k. be nice and share the beauty tip!

Friday, March 25, 2016

WHAT IS ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN FOR YOU?


"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth." 
Psalm 121:1-2

How often do we feel like we are climbing up that rocky mountain with no one to reach down and pull us up? We keep our head down and keep climbing. That is part of the problem. Your head is down. Look up. Look up to the tip of the mountain. Much like that tiny cross on the picture above, waiting for you at the top of the mountain is the Lord.

For many, Lent comes as a time defined simply by the sacrifice that you make for 40 days. For me, it is defined as the meaning behind that sacrifice. For 40 days (and often much longer after that) I offer up something to God. Something that can be difficult for me to give up or to do. And when I want to cave in and give up climbing that mountain, I lift my eyes to the mountain and look for Him. I am renewed in His faith in me and I am strong again. One sacrifice is not enough to keep my faith from wavering, from making me a model Christian. Far from it. Faith is something that you keep working on. It is rewarding in that your relationship with God will be that much stronger and you will feel fulfilled. 

What I can give Him for 40 days does not compare to what He gives me everyday. I will continue to walk up that mountain and to lift my eyes up to the Lord. What is on top of the mountain for you?

Thursday, March 24, 2016

10 ITEMS TO GET AT THE DOLLAR STORE


Picture this: little Mayra going back home to L.A. to visit her grandparents. In her greedy little 8 year old hand is her coin purse jam packed with loose change and dollar bills that she has saved from her allowance over weeks just for this particular trip. Off to the dollar store she went to get her loot. I can not tell you how many times this exact scenario happened. The exact store then was the 99 cents store and it was THE place for me to be. Among the items I bought were always a bunch of packs of AA batteries to power my Gameboy as my parents made me responsible for that expense. Good parenting at its finest. My love for dollar stores clearly stemmed from these shopping sprees and have continued through the years.

These days my obsession is with Dollar Tree. As with all dollar stores, they include a wide variety of items. Some junky things I would never buy, and some that are great finds. I normally go to mine every Friday on my way home from work to pick up a handful of things I need. 

Here is what I suggest you look for:

1. Gallon Water Bottle- I pick up a bottle of Crystal Geyser water here ever week. I drink one a day and refill it from home to cut down on waste. I toss it out on Fridays at work and then get my new one. I do not believe in paying more for "brand name water". This works for me just fine.

2. Eyeglass Cleaning Cloth- I wear my glasses almost every day these days. My eyes simply can't handle contacts that much anymore. Before I leave home I clean my glasses and head out the door. My commute to work is very early so the sun is still not out. So I don't notice how dirty my glasses manage to get in just 30 minutes until I sit at my desk and stare at my computer screen trying to figure out what that smudge is. If I tried to clean them with my blouse they would just get worse. Finally during one fateful trip to Dollar Tree I saw a bunch of cleaning cloths by the cash register. I quickly grabbed one for every vehicle, my purse, work, and for husband. Now my glasses are pretty much always clean saving me the constant wonder of 'what could that possibly be on there?' and all for $1 a piece. It is the best $6 I have spent in a long time.

3. Greeting Cards- There are two kinds of people: the ones who keep their greeting cards and the ones who toss them after the aaww moment has passed. I am the latter. I just can't fathom keeping every card and instead opt for keeping a few for sentimental reasons. I keep that in mind when it comes down to me buying cards for others. I don't expect others to keep them (only husband of course) and it won't hurt my feelings if they toss them. So I tend to pick up a handful at the dollar store for every occasion. Fun thing in they are 2 for a $1 and you simply can't beat that price. Especially when compared to some retailers selling theirs for $4.99. Pass!

4. Gift Bags- Sometimes I wonder if my kids are more excited about the character on their gift bag than the actual gift inside. I appreciate people who come to their parties and bring them a gift in the same character theme as their party. That is very thoughtful. But after the cake, my child will destroy your bag to get to the good stuff. That is just the way it is. Instead, I opt to get my bags at the dollar store. They have them in all colors, some Happy Birthday themed ones, pastels for baby events, and even some craft ones so you can go to town decorating them if that is what your heart desires. I have even found those ridiculously giant bags for big teddy bears or bicycles there. And yes all for a dollar. 

5. Glass Vases- Ever noticed that when you buy flowers at the grocery store you have to add on another $5-$7 bucks just so your loved one can have a glass vase to put the flowers in? This is just silly to me especially since I have found the exact same ones at the dollar store for, yes you guessed it, a dollar. I opt to buy simple tub like vases that can accommodate any type of flower. They look clean and elegant. I keep a few on hand at my house for my own flowers but also in case I do buy flowers for a loved one and am ready to go. 

6. Glass Candle Holders- I have received many compliments on my holiday table decor. I change up the runners, the table cloths, and the candle sticks but my constant always is my candle holders. They are short stemmed glass holders with an elaborate base that I have had for years. No cut crystal in my house. These look great no matter where you put them.

7. Poster Board- Are you into arts and crafts? Have kids school projects? Or are you a blogger and need a white background for pics? Grab them here! If they dent on you over time simply toss and replace and you won't be out a pretty penny. 

8. Bingo Markers- I don't Bingo but I do dream of early retirement with 10 bingo cards layed before me as I furiously dot away closer and closer to yelling 'BINGO!' at the top of my lungs. But that is just a dream and in the mean time if you do Bingo, you can grab your markers here. I have seen them for 3 full sized markers for a dollar. 

9. Tissue Paper- Tissue paper to me equates filler and more things that I have to get through to see my surprise (yes I am a child). But they do make that gift bag look pretty and so I buy these packs that have ridiculous amounts of tissue paper in them. Seriously like 50 sheets for a dollar! Then I don't feel agony as my kids and I rip through the pretty layers in excitement. 

10. Candy Boxes- We all know candy at the theater is overpriced. It especially drives me up the wall because I can buy the same ones in the box at the dollar store. I keep this in mind especially with Easter around the corner. I grab a couple for each of my boys baskets and then a couple for husband and I for movie night. 

This list could go on and on really. It just depends what you are looking for. The next time you are running errands why not stop here first and see what you can find and save on.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

AN ESSENTIAL STEP TO SPRING SKINCARE | AD


The days of minimal to no makeup are just around the corner. I take full advantage of that letting my skin breathe and just be. Because of this, I have been prepping my skin with Valentia Royal Rose Hydrating Serum. This has been helping to moisturize my dry skin that is still recovering from the winter chill. It makes my skin feel soft and hydrated with a slight coolness once applied. My normally red and irritated cheeks appear to be evening out in skin tone and texture. It helps give my skin that glow and radiance that Spring skincare and makeup is all about. 

This serum is made with selected ingredients that work together to achieve great results. It is rich in Vitamins A, B, and C. True to the brand, it is made with natural and organic ingredients that help protect the skin from further damage and repair the skin from any outstanding imperfections. 

I like to have a leg up on the next season and start to prep for the change with ample time before the transition is done so my skin has time to adapt to the new skincare items. With this serum, my skin has no adjusting period or irritation. As an added bonus, the light rose scent is extremely pleasing and not overpowering. Start prepping your skin now so when the first late outdoor party of the summer is here, your skin is ready to shine. 

*This post contains a paid for advertorial for Valentia Skin Care.



Wednesday, March 16, 2016

HOW TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT SPRING BRIDAL LOOK

Today on Life in Mascara I have the privileged of introducing to you a guest writer, Emma Lawson. Emma is a passionate writer, fashion enthusiast, and lover of all beautiful things in life. Follow her on Twitter @EmmaLawson.

____________________________________________________________________

The happiest day of your life is finally here – your wedding. However, it tends to be the most stressful period as well, considering how many things you have to do in order for everything to be perfect. The hair, make-up, and the dress, it will be so hard to choose in the full spectrum of fabulous hairstyles, make-ups and gowns. Worry not, there are a few suggestions that can help you make the perfect decision.

The Make-up

First, make sure to have hour-long facials once a month, because they are healthy and conditioning for your skin. Second, have a peel three weeks before the wedding in case you need time to heal after a negative reaction. Last, but not least exfoliate every six-to-eight weeks before the wedding. The night before you walk down the aisle, apply a mask you normally use and leave it for 20 to 30 minutes. This will help  your makeup apply smoothly the next day.
Spring is all about the light, delicate shades and tones. If you prefer a classic look for your wedding, define your eyes with black eyeliner, and full lashes. Highlight and contour cheeks with light pink blush, and add a soft pink lipstick for this glamorous occasion.

Pink is the perfect spring colour, which is why carnation pink lips will give you the perfect delicate look. Emphasize your eyes with lilac-grey eyeshadow and blend it into a soft almond shape.  Give your eyes the ultimate dramatic touch with waterproof mascara, and eyeliner, because we all know there are going to be tears of joy at some point. 


The Dress

Spring is the perfect time to show some skin and go for off the shoulder dress. Not all of us like the fully strapless look, so a one-shoulder dress is the great alternative. Strapless dresses are great for showing off some elegant jewelry and making the wedding look even more classy and feminine.

The short wedding dress trend is becoming more popular every day. Therefore, if you choose above the knee dress, you and your bridesmaids would have the opportunity to wear dresses of matching length. The trend of matching the colour of the wedding dress with the bridesmaids’ dress is becoming more frequent. Pastel shades of candyfloss pink, baby blue, and lemon will make your girls and you look stunning. Additionally, match elegant flower girl dresses with bridesmaids’ and turn your wedding into a real fairy tale.


Hairstyle

The type of your hairstyle should be well incorporated with the neckline of your wedding dress. High neckline dresses will look fabulous and very elegant with a topknot. Whether you choose the ballerina bun, or a couple of braids to add up, this hairstyle will look amazing.

Nothing says classic and feminine the way a bateau neckline does. A simple low bun will be the perfect touch to this glamorous gown. If you prefer ponytail to bun, a high ponytail would look just as glamorous as a bun.
If you wish to elongate your body, a dress with a V-neck will complement you the best. In order to make the best of this neckline, wear your hair down, and curl it up to make the glamorous waves. For a more casual look, beach waves will be the best choice.

It is never easy to decide what look to go for on the wedding day. However, regardless of the dress, hairstyle and makeup you wear, you will look amazing without a doubt.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MY NEW LINER OBSESSION


For as long as I can remember I have been loyal to MAC Boot Black liquid liner. But then disaster struck and it seemed as though they had changed their formula. It began to flake and my the end of the day I had random black flecks and smears on my face. I was really gutted about parting ways with it as it was long wearing, matte, and as black as my soul but it just wasn't worth its price any more. Since then I have tried every drug store option available with a few strong contenders in the L'Oreal range but still none had the same lasting power and pigmentation as my previous beloved. 

And so the hunt continued until...

Enter Marc Jacob's Magic Marc'er Liquid Eyeliner Pen in Blacquer. It is described as being inspired by a calligraphy pen, waterproof, and extreme wear. Yes to all of it! It draws the finest line along the lashes allowing you to keep it that way or thickening it up little by little. And the wing that it draws, prepare to cut glass with it. So fine! So precise! And let me tell you it sets in the blink of an eye but don't be alarmed as the point is so accurate you won't be messing up with it. It dries to a semi matte with a bit of shine which I can learn to live with because the product is such a dream to use I don't mind it. I find that I don't have to press down on it to get the tip to draw on my eyelid. It simply flows. It has lasted all day, through allergy eyes, and even when I practically put my face inside a 425 degree oven to baste my Cornish Hens and literally felt the woosh of my eyelashes trying to singe off. I ran to the bathroom eyes blurry and was terrified to look in the mirror. I looked. My eyeliner was flawless! Oh and my eyelashes were fine. Funny enough they actually appeared to have been freshly curled. But I wouldn't recommend that method at all! 

As far as it coming off I have used eye makeup remover oil, makeup remover towelette, and face wash. There was no tugging and no going back in with more product. It came right off without any residue. 

Could this finally be the one for me? I will say it will definitely be tough to beat! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SPRING FINANCIAL CLEANING


Our House to Home project is still in full swing. Husband is currently tackling our bedroom and as part of that I had to really deep clean the closet. While I pulled out size 3 jeans (why?) and 5 inch stiletto heals (again why?) all I kept thinking was how oddly satisfying this spring cleaning felt. And yes slightly horrifying at some of my financial fashion choices but that is an ENTIRELY different post. Let's take a look how we can do some deep Spring Financial Cleaning:

1. Look over phone bill usage. As per my blogging job, I am connected to my phone where ever I go. Husband loves Google. A year ago we switched phone providers and upped our data plan a few months after that to avoid going over. We kept it that way and led happy camper lives. Earlier this year we revisited said data plan and looked over our usage. We really didn't need that much data. Husband has the opportunity to be linked onto WiFi all day thus eliminating data charges all together (for the most part of course) and I am literally attached to the internet at my fingertips for both jobs. We down graded and in turn added to our savings a month. I bet if you looked into your plan you could save a pretty penny as well. Also don't be afraid to switch providers once your contract is up. Phone companies are constantly battling each other to draw more customers in and you can find a plan that is right for you and your current financial needs.

2. Look at your cable package. I didn't grow up having cable. It was something I never experienced until I started going over to friends' houses in middle school. What is this magical box with the many shows living in it? When I got to college and lived in the dorms they actually provided basic cable. I didn't leave my room for weeks! Once I lived on my own I had cable installed immediately. I was hooked! As my life has changed I no longer watch live t.v. Neither does husband unless Game of Thrones is on. The kids only watch Netflix. Yet we still had a cable package. At the beginning of the year we had our cable lowered to the basic package and increased our internet speed (it is wicked fast now!). The faster internet allows us to stream Netflix on more than one t.v. at a time without buffering and allows me to upload my YouTube videos quicker. We also don't have any premium channels. Instead we only add them when Game of Thrones is on and then cancel it as soon as it ends. That way we aren't paying for something we aren't using. 

3. Resale clothes after each season. Clothes hoarders of the world unite! As I mentioned before, I had (let's face it still have) items in my closet that have no business being there. Culprits include clothes that don't fit, have tears, have seen better days, or simply don't wear any more. I have started to implement two simple guidelines to help me with this. The first being if I am wearing a piece of clothing and I find it to have a tear beyond repair I toss it out at the end of the day. That prevents me from washing it and re-wearing it or washing it and living forever in my closet. The second is after each season I look at my clothes. For example winter has pretty much ended here in Texas. I have gone into my sweater drawer and taken a really good look at them. Again items that are not in good condition anymore have been taken out but then I take a good look at the rest and see when was the last time I wore them. I had a few pieces I hadn't worn since last year and one I can't even remember when. Off they went. I would rather have a condensed closet of good pieces than a closet full of items that I can't or don't wear. What I then do is take the clothes that are in good shape to the resale store. While I may not get a lot of money for them I still get something and it is better than them collecting dust in my closet. 

4. A/C Maintenance. Even if you feel like your unit is working properly and don't suspect that anything is wrong with it experts recommend it be cleaned once a year, ideally in the spring, to ensure it operate at peak energy efficiency and is ready to cool your house during the months you need it most. We had an old unit in our house and our bedroom was a sauna. It was on its last leg and husband had it replaced. That first night was glorious. I didn't wake up in the middle of the night proclaiming I was burning up. When our electric bill came around it had decreased, as husband put it, BIGTIME! Financial savings and happy wife. Win, win!

5. Prep that freezer. Before all the frozen treats come in for the warmer months, thaw and clean your freezer out (hi mystery meat). No need for it to work harder than it needs to to keep your ice cream treat frozen. Also how many times has it been full to the brim that when you close the door it actually kicks back a bit and you didn't notice it until the morning when everything in it has a light layer of ice over it? You better believe that freezer worked overtime to compensate for that change in temperature. 

Add these items to your to-do list and bask in the satisfaction as you tick each one off and be assured that your bank account isn't taken a hit that it doesn't need to. 


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

SCUFF AWAY THAT DRY SKIN


The days of wearing shorts is just around the corner. Can you feel it? I sure can! Until I look at the winter white wonderland state of my legs. Yikes! I can get past that. But before I can bare them for all the world to see I need to get my skin ready to shine. And not just my legs either. All of me. I must scuff away that dry skin!

Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Exfoliate. Let's go top to bottom here.

Exfoliate your scalp. Dry winter hair is a thing people. You can deep condition all you want but if your scalp isn't healthy chances are the natural oil in your hair isn't distributing properly. That and it's probably not growing. Try using Superbalm from Lush. Apply a small amount to the scalp 20 minutes prior to washing and then wash as normal. This will help loosen and remove any build up you might have while moisturizing your scalp.

Exfoliate your face. Now don't go crazy here or you could really hurt yourself. Remember the skin on your face is very delicate and thinner than the rest. Plus if you are too aggressive you can cause premature wrinkls and NOBODY wants that! Instead I opt for a gentle face exfoliator like THIS ONE or the Aloe Gentle Exfoliator from The Body Shop. This is so mild that you can use it various times in a week but as my skin is very sensitive I only use it once a week. Both of them smell great and I really like how my skin feels soft and moisturized after I use them and not stripped and raw. This is due to their creamy texture and pure ingredients. 

Exfoliate your lips. I am a mouth breather (poor husband) and my lips get dry a lot. I like to go in often with Fresh Sugar Lip Polish and then lock in the moisture with Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment. The scrub actually has grapeseed and shea oils so it leaves your lips feeling moisturized after you scrub them but a little extra help from the lip balm never hurt anyone. 

Exfoliate your body. And now for the grande finale. Your entire body. Everyone sheds skin. It's just how it is. Help your skin look the best that it can by exfoliating away those dry patches and revealing smooth moisturized skin. Try using this body scrub that my best friend recommended, Tree Hut Shea Sugar Scrub. It leaves your skin refreshed, moisturized, and with a light delicious scent.

Now you are ready to bare it all my friend. Let's all sing it together, "We wear short shorts!...".  


Thursday, March 3, 2016

HOW I AFFORD TO BUY SO MANY BOOKS



My first trip to New York involved me staying at my love David Wolfe's house. At that time, David actually lived in Connecticut and took me around to the most adorable little shops. They were local boutiques filled with precious trinkets and I wanted all of them. I carefully selected a pair of gold leaf earnings that I still wear to this day and always makes me send David a hug via the force. Then he took me to a cute little cottage that was actually a used book store. I could feel my heart skip a beat and I wanted to spin and dance a la Sound of Music style but decided best not to and instead evoked a high pitched squeal audible only to dogs and hyenas alike. 

I walked around in a daze touching all the lovely books that were in absolutely no order. Just piles upon piles. Treasures begging to be found. After mentally selecting a bunch of books I wanted to take with me I realized there was no way I was going to be able to take them in my suitcase back home. Plus when I say I had selected a bunch of books, I mean that I would have payed a pretty penny for the mounds I had selected. Sadly I walked away with none.

Money spent on books is money well spent but if you are a voracious reader like I am, then it can add up to quite a sum at the end of the year. While books don't give me guilt, I don't necessarily want to own ALL of the books (yes I do). Building our home library is a process that will probably never end as I fall in love with more and more books. But buying books doesn't necessarily have to break the bank. This is how I do it:

1. Friends: My friends know how passionate I am about reading. I have a great circle of them who often give me their books after they are done reading them. I have even had a coworkers wife send me a book she had loved. While they may not all be my genre of choice, I gladly accept them.

2. The Dollar Tree: This is my secret gem! If there is a Dollar Tree nearby you better believe I will be stopping by. Out of town? Dollar Tree in sight? I am going! I can't tell you how many deals I have found there. Recent purchases found include The Butler and Cross Roads

3. Library Book Sales: Our local library does a book sale around once a year. Books are marked down pennies to a dollar here and I came home last year with a box brimming with books for $14. This was a lot of fun as they had so many different genres and I came home with this fun book.

4. School District Book Sale: Our school district does a massive book sale once a year. Books are marked down to a quarter. And as an employee of said district I get to go in a day before it is open to the public and dive right in. The hills are alive with the sound of music...

5. Half Price Books: I have an educator discount card here but I am also signed up to their newsletter. They often email you coupons ranging from 20%-50% off. I can't double dip but the coupons are more than my educator discount. You can save a pretty penny by using them on their already marked down books. Plus they always have a clearance section that is teaming with revolving goodies that I wouldn't necessarily have looked for to begin with. Prices here are typically $1.

So you see you have options here without breaking the bank. While yes you have to be patient be assured it will literally pay off in the end. Book lovers of the world unite!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NEW IN SKINCARE FOR HUSBAND



In my continuous attempt to get husband to love and care for his skin I like to buy him (read practically shove in his face) little bits of skincare here and there for him to try. I took full advantage of that last month during his birthday week celebration. I give husband a gift every day for a week leading up to his birthday where I give him his main present. It just so happens that two of his gifts this year revolved around skincare featured in books. Let me explain.

Years ago I read the entire Gossip Girl series in a month. I wasn't working. I was actually recuperating from surgery and just devoured them. I'm a funny reader. If a phrase is repeated time and time again in a book it will be all that I remember from them. And from here all I remember is how Blair kept saying that Nate smelled like Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Toner. Mind you this was around 7 years ago and that has still stayed in my mind. Recently husband has been working a lot on our house and most of it is outside in the sun or in the shop. So of course aside from me wanting to baste him like a turkey in SPF 2000 I want to make sure his pores don't get clogged (he has a beard and ingrown hairs are painful) and that his skin is squeaky clean. It smells so crisp and refreshing. I can see why Blair was obsessed with smelling it on his skin. Yes I know I am talking about her like she isn't a fictional character because she isn't. Book lovers know what I mean...

A couple of days later I gave husband Bvlgari Green shower gel. Technically it is called Bvalgari The Vert but when it is referenced in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich, she calls it Bvlgari Green. Ranger, who is the epitome of male testosterone and sexiness, uses this in the shower and she often says it lingers when he leaves a room. Obviously husband, who wears Bvlgari cologne, needed to have this. When I searched high and low for it I kept finding The Vert. So I did what any book crazed fan who has a question on one of her favorite characters/books does, I tweeted Evanovich. And she answered me within a few minutes. I threw my arms up and claimed that clearly I was famous if this renowned author answered little old me and was apt to start filling out my TRS retirement forms until I was brought back to reality by my bank account. Regardless, she made my day. She also verified that they were the same think. Click! Purchased! It smells like a dream. It made me deeply in-hail as I stuck the bottle practically up my nose and roll my eyes back. Husband stared. 

Both times I had to explain to him why I chose those products further revealing to him just how book obsessed and nerdy I am. He thought it was adorable. He didn't say it outright but I just know (creeper!). He actually laughed. And I am sure you know as well as he did at that moment that I will be trying out both these products. What kind of beauty blogger would I be if I wasn't thorough on my research? I'll take one for the team!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

SWITCHING TOWARD A SPRING LOOK



This blog post is in collaboration with the lovely Chloe from A Girl's View. Make sure you go and check out her blog and her Spring suggestions!

With Spring fast approaching we are experiencing warmer weather and lighter layers. I often find a desire to be outside more. Open the door, stand outside, come back inside. Desire gone. But in all honestly it's the lighter feeling that is in the air that I like. I find that I no longer have to apply a ton of moisturizer to my parched skin as it starts to look more alive on its own. My base also can start looking a bit much during the day as I no longer have to cover dry and red patches. So I take the Spring Cleaning approach and apply it to my makeup. Here is what gets pitched:

1. Heavy Foundations/Concealers: If you aren't all about that glow all year round then at least adopt it in Spring. It makes you look so youthful and alive. Opt more for a BB Cream, a tinted moisturizer, or a light coverage foundation. Apply it with a stippling brush for an even more sheer application. 

2. Eyeliner: Who else gasped at me even mentioning this? I know, I know. I am a daily jet black eyeliner girl and I don't quite feel like myself when I don't wear it. So I have two options here for you. You can either go sans eyeliner and really focus on your lashes or you can switch it out for a brown eyeliner. Marc Jacobs Magic Marc'er in Cocoa Lacquer is wonderful (full review coming soon). You can also go for more copper or burnt tones with a pencil liner as well. Still feel like your eyes won't pop if you don't use liner? Then line your inner rims with Tarte's Inner Rim Brightener. It will instantly make you look more awake and alive.

3. Dark Lipstick: Notice I said "dark" and note "red" lipstick as we all know I believe red lipstick is appropriate year round. But it is at this point that I ditch all my dark berry tones and move on to more nudes and glosses. I especially love all of the shades from Marc Jacobs New Nudes collection. You simply can't go wrong with them. 

4. Silver/Dark Eyeshadow: I don't naturally gravitate towards these colors to begin with but for my everyday Spring look there is no other for me that M.A.C. Arena. It is like 'your eyelids but better' if that were actually a thing (is it?). It is about a shade or two darker than my eyelids and just brings in a bit of dimension and evens out my skin color. 

5. Harsh Contour: I often like to forgo contouring all together and just use a light bronzer on my cheeks, temples, and forehead. My favorite is Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder in Golden Light. And if you want to amp up that glow then apply e.l.f. Sunkissed Glow Bronzer instead. At $2 you really can't beat it. It has a fine milled sparkle to it that catches the light and gives you that glowing from within look. 

Now that we have our makeup spring cleaning list, shall we tackle the actual house spring cleaning? Mmmm...

Don't forget to stop by A Girl's View for more fun Spring ideas!