Monday, October 24, 2016

Makeup Monday: Lashing Out

Some of the most common makeup questions I get asked are about mascara. What mascara I use, recommend, etc.  So, tonight, we're talking lashes!

Before we start, let me clarify - I am not compensated in any way for recommending or endorsing certain products. I am also not an active representative or consultant for any specific company. Why? Because there are people who could sell ice to an eskimo and then there's me. I'm fairly certain I couldn't sell water to someone dying of thirst. It's just not my gift. However, if you're interested in purchasing Mary Kay, Younique, Limelight, etc., I know some wonderful ladies who would be more than happy to help!

Ok, moving on to mascara! I have literally tried almost every high-end, mid-range, and budget mascara out there in the search for lash perfection! I love the look of lush lashes but don't have the budget for lash extensions every 2-4 weeks and I just don't generally have the time to deal with false lash application.

That being said, I have consistently used the same mascara for as long as I can remember! My personal favorite is the Falsies by Maybelline. One coat is great, two coats is amazing! And considering I can often find it at Walmart in a pack of two for $8, you definitely can't beat the price!

A new favorite of mine is the Falsies Push Up Drama, also by Maybelline.

Last but not least, another mascara that has been popular for years is Loreal's Voluminous Original. I have a friend who swears by this mascara, and it's definitely budget-friendly at around $6!

Finally, here are a few general tips to keep in mind regardless of the mascara you choose.

1. A heated lash curler used before applying mascara can make a huge difference, especially if your lashes do not naturally curl well. Just be careful not to burn your eyelid!

2. Unless waterproof mascara is a necessity in your line of work or you just cry a lot, I would not recommend waterproof mascara for daily use. It's generally harder to remove and, in my experience, likes to take lashes with it when it goes.

3. From $5 mascara to $30 mascara, the common consensus is that your mascara should be replaced every three to four months to avoid bacterial growth. Additionally, older mascara tends to dry out and not work nearly as well.

4. If your mascara isn't old but you feel like it's just not working as well as it did in the beginning, try cleaning your mascara wand and adding a few drops of contact solution or eye drops to your mascara, closing the lid, and shaking thoroughly.

If you all have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fashion Friday

With around a month left until Hadley's due date, I broke out my old maternity clothes to take stock of what I already had. However, since my boys were spring and summer babies, most of the clothes weren't going to work well for late October and November. Up until this point, I've been able to wear my regular clothes, but I knew that would be changing soon with how quickly our little girl was growing! So, I decided a little shopping was in order, and thankfully, I had birthday money to spend!

My goal was to purchase a few key items that would get me through this last month and possibly still work even after Hadley's birth.

1. Comfy layering tank from Walmart

This tank top is super comfy, stretchy, and hits high enough in the front for me. It's also $3! So, I purchased the black stripe and a solid black, gray, and nude. They have been wonderful!

2. Skinny boyfriend jeans

I found these maternity jeans at the Navy Exchange for $15! They are very comfortable and I love that they have the comfort waistband instead of the full belly panel.

3. Striped t-shirt dress

This dress is $25 from the Liz Lange Maternity line at Target. It is so incredibly comfortable! When I got home, I played around with a few different ways to style it, and as you can see, it's extremely versatile!

For around $50, I have everything I should need for a maternity wardrobe for fall! I can't wait to meet our little girl, but until then, I'm having fun dressing the bump!

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Makeup Monday: About Face

Let's talk makeup!

Before we get started, it's important to remember that makeup preferences can vary greatly from person to person. Even if you and I have the same skin tone and skin type, a product that works wonderfully for me may not work as well for you. Just a little disclaimer!

The first step to a flawless face is skincare and prep. Proper skincare is absolutely essential, so please don't ignore this step! After cleansing and moisturizing, it's prime time! There are a ton of primers out there, but the one I currently use is NYX Studio Perfect Primer in clear. It's $12.99 at Ulta where they often run sales on their NYX products, plus you can always find an Ulta coupon to use on top of any sales.

Moving on to foundation!

For a lightweight, natural look, I have two favorites! Urban Decay's Naked Skin is amazing! It provides great coverage while looking natural and feeling like you're barely wearing any foundation.

For a similar, budget-friendly option, try Loreal True Match Lumi. This is one of my go-to foundations!

For a medium to full coverage foundation, I also have two favorites! Estee Lauder Double Wear provides amazing, buildable coverage without looking heavy or cakey.

For a budget-friendly option, try Flower's About Face Foundation. This is only available at Walmart, but has quickly become a new favorite of mine!

Finally, we'll end today with my favorite brush to use for foundation application, the Expert Face Brush by Real Techniques.

Hopefully this overload of information is helpful!  Next time, we'll talk concealer tricks, brushes, and powder.  If you all have any questions, just let me know!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Makeup Monday

I've had a few requests for makeup tips, so I thought I would start a fun new series called Makeup Monday!

I've been doing makeup for weddings and special events for over twelve years now. I guess you could say I'm self-taught because I learned how to do makeup in the old days before YouTube tutorials and Instagram makeup videos. Basically, through a lot of practice and trial and error!

My first makeup post will be this coming Monday, so if you have any special requests for topics or specific questions, please comment and let me know!

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Dino Boys' Room

After being in our new home for almost a year now, the boys' room is nearing completion at last! I let the boys choose the theme for their room and then created an inspiration board from there.

The only project we have left is the stenciled accent wall, which I'm hoping to tackle this week or next. I'm trying to knock out as many projects as we can before little Hadley arrives in November!

Thankfully, this weekend we were able to finish the gallery wall above their dresser!

I had already purchased the stuffed dino head and T-Rex string art from Target a few months ago. The letters for the boys' names were from their rooms in our first house and just needed repainted. So, I set my hubby up with a drop cloth and some spray paint we already had on hand and he took care of that for me!

The square photo frames were also in storage, so I just had to figure out what to put in them! I debated ordering some prints from Etsy, but the in the end, decided to attempt a little dino DIY project with some dinosaur tracks and an easy-to-draw Triceratops.

The boys loved the finished product, and the stuffed dinosaur head remains their favorite part of the whole room!

By reusing items we already had and creating a little DIY artwork, I was able to save quite a bit of money! Total amount spent for the entire gallery wall: $32! Next up is the large scale geometric accent wall. I already have the huge wall stencil, and I can't wait to share pictures of their finished room!

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Saturday, October 8, 2016

A Girly Girl Nursery on a Budget

I absolutely love designing and decorating rooms for little kids! Until recently, though, I had really only done boys rooms. Now, don't get me wrong, I love decorating for my boys! However, when we found out we were having a little girl, I was ecstatic to be able to plan a girly space. Obviously, years of ideas started flowing through my head, and it was a little overwhelming narrowing down my design plan.

One of the most difficult aspects was trying to figure out how to achieve the look I wanted on a budget that worked for us. Because we were essentially starting fresh, we needed to purchase a crib, crib bedding, dresser, rocker, curtains, paint, and d├ęcor. The crib I initially fell in love with was more expensive than our budget for the entire room. I had visions of wainscoting, crown molding, and gorgeous floral wallpaper. However, the wallpaper alone was almost $500 a roll, and our budget for the entire nursery was $800. So, back to the drawing board I went! I ended up with the design board pictured below, and all within our set budget.
We are making progress, but still have a few more projects left! I can't wait to share the finished space with all of you!

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Keep Instagramming Your Life, We All Know It's Not Perfect

A while back, I read an article called Instagram's Envy Effect.  The author talked about how people present a perfect picture of their lives on social media and the negative effect this can have.  The article made some really great points, and I completely agree that we have to be very careful not to compare and envy other people's lives.  It's a wonderful article that's a great reminder to keep things in perspective.  If you haven't read it, you should check it out!
And while I completely agree with the author, I love seeing pictures of everyone'e beautiful moments.  It doesn't mean there aren't times when I feel like my life is much less exciting and glamorous than everyone else's, but that's when it's time for a reality check brought to me by one of my favorite quotes:
So, just in case social media has given you the false impression that my life is perfect, let me set the record straight now.  My life is far from perfect.  I make mistakes.  My kids throw temper tantrums.  My husband and I disagree.  My house gets messy.  And you generally won't see pictures of any of those things.  Why?  Because when my child is screaming at the top of his lungs in Walmart, I'm not thinking, "Ooh, let me take a picture of this so I can share it with everyone and make them feel better about their children."  Umm, no.  I'm dealing with the immediate problem.  But do we really think that because we don't see those behind the scenes moments that they don't happen? 
Let's not make social media a place where people feel guilty about sharing their beautfiul moments.  Coming from someone who has 90% of her loved ones and friends out of state, I love seeing everyone's adorable kids, exciting adventures, and wonderful memories.  After all, isn't that what photography's for?  To capture moments that we want to share and remember?  And, in twenty years when my babies are grown up and gone, I won't need a picture of their meltdowns to remember that they happened.  Believe me.  Some things you never forget. :) 
So, just keep capturing and sharing your life.  Period.  The good, the bad, the crazy, the beautiful.  And on the other end, when we're viewing pictures and status updates on social media, let's try to keep it all in perspective and be thankful for the life God has blessed us with! 
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  Take lots of pictures! ;)
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