Summertime – the Essentials

21st May 2014

Hi beauties! I’m so excited that summertime is just around the corner – it feels like spring has only just begun! Maybe that’s because of the ridiculously cold weather we were experiencing out in Colorado. But out here, it’s been sunny with plenty of warmth and I’m loving it!

Josie Maran Cheek Gelee, Laura Mercier Gilded Rose, Charlotte Tilbury's Bar of Gold, Charlotte Tilbury Coachella Coral, Sonia Kashuk tinted moisturizer, e.l.f. mist & set, Covergirl Ready Set Gorgeous Fresh Complexion Foundation, Essie All Tied Up, Nails Inc Wellington Square, Covergirl Colorlicious Lipgloss Plumilicious

With the summer season comes a slight change of products that I’ll be incorporating into my makeup routine. Summer is a season where you usually don’t want to go too heavy with your makeup – especially if you’re in an area where the weather can get unbearably hot and humid (east coasters, you KNOW what I mean!). Last summer, putting on makeup was about as useless as teats on a bull, seriously. I mean the second I stepped outside it would literally start melt off. I’m hoping that this year the humidity might give me a bit of a break. With that said, if at all possible, going with a light face base is key. A tinted moisturizer or a light/medium barely-there-feel foundation will benefit you the most during the hot summer months.

Polish: I’ve said before that I’m not one to follow trends, but as time goes on I’m finding myself more attracted to trend shades for each season. I’m really into peaches, corals and beachy colors right now. Nails Inc. Wellington Square is a gorgeous peachy-orange shade that goes well with all skin tones, and I also really like Essie’s All Tied Up – it’s kind of an earthy coral with gold shimmer in it that just reminds me of the beach. Oranges, corals, mints, warm neons and nude tones are all great for summer.

For cheeks, Josie Maran’s Cheek Gelee is a great pick – the formula is light and creamy and lets you decide how light/heavy you want to go with your colour. It gives your cheeks a radiant, natural glow. Natural and lighter blushers work best during the summer because you really don’t want or need to over-do it. A subtle hint of color will do, just enough that you can tell its there.

Eyes: Again, I’m loving peachy/beachy colors right now and the color shown (Laura Mercier Illuminating Eye Colour in Gilded Rosegold) is one that I actually re-discovered within my stash just a few weeks ago. The color is BEA-U-TIFUL; a true, deep, shimmery rose gold – total buttery perfection and crazy pigmented. Right now I’m really into wearing shadow without any eyeliner at all – just some color on the lids (lately, the Laura Mercier shadow, but any peachy/bronze-y shade will do), a transition shade and some mascara – it really brings a natural, brightened-up look to the eyes.

To give you a radiant, warm glow, add a highlighter or illuminator to the highest point of your cheek bones – one of my personal favorites is Charlotte Tilbury’s Bar of Gold.

Lips: Corals are always great for summer (seen above, Charlotte Tilbury’s lipstick in Coachella Coral), but I’m also liking pastel and bright pinks. Right now I’m loving CoverGirl’s new Colorlicious lipgloss in Plumilicious – it gives a bright, but not too bright tint to the lips and has enough pigmentation that it can be worn on its own, which I love.

To top everything off, with my skin being extra oily during the hot months, a setting spray is a must to keep my makeup in place as long as possible. e.l.f.’s Makeup Mist & Set is a much cheaper alternative and dupe for MAC Fix + and Urban Decay’s All Nighter Setting Spray.

So there you have it! What are your essentials and favorites for the warm months to come?

 

Wow, 100+ followers and more Liebsters!

14th May 2014

Bonjour, beauties and happy hump day! I hope you all are having a great week! Time has really been flying and I almost didn’t realize that I had hit 100+ followers! For that, I want to give a HUMONGOUS hug *hugs!* and a BIG thank you to all of you! Only just a few months ago I started to get my blog going, so 100 followers is a HUGE milestone. It may not be many to some, but to me it’s such a big accomplishment. I never thought I would get here! I get so excited every time I have a new follower or visitor, it seriously makes my day, so again THANK YOU.. it makes me feel like just maybe I’m doing something right! I’m still new to blogging though, as it’s only been a few months so any constructive criticism you have, I’d love to hear it! If there’s anything you would like to see specifically, please let me know. I do this because I want to help you beauties make decisions or even enable you to try something new! I’m so thankful for you all. xo

Fleur de Liebster

With that said, over the past month I’ve been nominated for a few more Liebster awards which I’m also grateful for, because it means that I’m not going unnoticed :) Since I have been nominated before (see here), I’m going to skip the random facts and answer the questions from these lovely girls!

 

The first nomination is from Lisa Sherin (thanks, Lisa!)

Her questions for me were:

1. What 5 items would you take to a desert island? (Not restricted to beauty items)
Chapstick, lotion, razors, a comb and conditioner

2. What is the last beauty product you purchased?
Some Sigma Brushes

3. Liquid, gel or pencil eyeliner?
Gel seems to be easiest for me to apply, but I like pencils a lot too!

4. If you could pick anyone, living or dead, to have dinner with, who would it be?
Jesus, hands down :)

5. When doing your makeup which feature do you prefer to emphasize, eyes or lips?
My eyes! My lips are so large, they don’t need much emphasizing lol.

6. What is your favourite Spring trend?
I’m definitely loving all of the floral print this season! On clothing and nails :)

7. When did you start blogging and why?
I started blogging a few months ago because I wanted to give helpful input on makeup and beauty products to possibly help others make decisions.

8. What is the most interesting thing you have eaten today?
The only thing I’ve eaten so far is a toaster strudel – cream cheese & strawberry, of course.

9. What would you do now if you had the day to yourself?
I do have most of the day to myself, and I’ll be working out and possibly heading to Ikea!

10. What is the nicest thing you have done for a stranger lately?
Held the door for someone

 

The next nomination was given to me by Melissa at Your Beauty Stars (thanks, Melissa!)

Her questions for me were:

1. How do you create an easy Smokey Eye?
Well, I don’t lol. I can’t seem to make it work on me yet so I’ve never worn a smokey eye out in public!

2. How Often do you shop for Makeup?
TOO often. I end up shopping for it when I’m supposed to be shopping for other things.

3. What article of Clothing do you love wearing the most?
Hoodies! They just make me feel more comfortable than anything else in the world

4. Should you wash your hair everyday?
I used to, but don’t anymore – I know it’s not the best for your hair. I wash every few days – I co-wash often – rinse and condition. Conditioner is my BFF with these unruly curls

5. What Skin products do you use in the morning?
In the morning I use just a Target-brand face wash I picked up recently, my Pixi Glow Tonic, and Laura Mercier Tone Perfecting Creme moisturizer.

6. what’s your morning beauty routine?
^ see above – if I’m going somewhere, I’ll throw on some makeup too.

7. Every Woman should own the following beauty product..
A lipstick

8. When was the last time you cut you hair?
About 2 months ago

9. Favorite Clothing brand and why?
I’m not too big on clothes right now because my shape isn’t where I want it to be.. I kind of just shop anywhere, I guess Target would be my favorite at the moment.

10. Which hair color would you prefer… Brunette, Blonde or Red Head?
I would like to try out a red – exactly like Amy Childs’ color!

 

My next nomination was from Lala at thelittlelipstick (thank you, Lala!)

Her questions for me were:

1. What is your favourite season and trademark go-to beauty look for it?
Hmm, I think spring would be my favorite season.. I don’t really have a beauty look for it, but I do like pastel nails

2. List your top 3 makeup brands?
Hmmm, if I had to choose I guess I’d say Charlotte Tilbury, Laura Mercier and Sonia Kashuk

3. What do you believe is the most important step in your skincare routine?
I’d say it would be washing your face.. you can’t moisturize, use toner or serum until that’s done!

4. Dark or light nail polish shades?
Depends on my mood, but I own more light colors

5. Describe your perfect weekend.
My perfect weekend would be to have a family outing – just going out to a new city/town perhaps and discovering new things, just having fun together :)

6. What is your current perfume?
Elizabeth & James black – I got some samples of it from Sephora, but it’s my new favorite! Sandalwood heaven :)

7. Who was your first celebrity crush?
Haha, I think maybe Robin from the old Batman series that used to come on TV with Adam West. I was probably like 5!

8. What product is the highest on your wish list right now?
If I had to choose something it would be a new foundation, but I don’t have any particular one in mind

9. What colour will your bridesmaid’s dresses be or what colour were they?
Well, I’m already married and we didn’t have a big wedding, it was just us so no bridesmaids!

10. Favourite type of cuisine?
Italian!

11. What is your ultimate holiday destination?
MY ultimate holiday would not be your typical sunny, tropical destination I could care less about all that.. it would be in EUROPE, of course!

 

My last nomination was from Fatima at Lipsticks and Coffee (thanks, Fatima!)

Her questions for me were:

1. Describe the place that you usually blog from
I usually blog either on my couch or in bed

2. Do your friends/family know about your blog?
Honestly, no.. I haven’t mentioned it to anyone but my husband. I don’t know why, I just feel very shy about having people I really KNOW know..

3. Tell us a little about your blog title!
It’s one of several I’ve chosen because I’m so indecisive, but I wanted to come up with something nobody had of course, and wanted to incorporate something European in it since I’m obsessed with Europe, so I came up with this!

4. Would you rather read a book or watch a TV show/movie?
Watch a TV show

5. What is the last thing you purchased?
A chicken! haha

6. What’s the longest you can go without the internet?
Not very long at all.. I’m a little more addicted than I would like to be.

7. Are you a morning person?
No! I hate mornings! Just kidding, but I would prefer to wake up on my own time :)

8. How often do you take selfies?
Very rarely – maybe once every couple of months or so, if we’re talking about outside of my blog

9. What product is high on your wish list?
Hmmmm… not sure, I don’t have anything in specific at the moment that I’m lusting over, I would like to try a new high-end foundation though since the weather out here is pretty humid.

10. Do you know the difference between elicit and illicit?
Actually, no. I’m not the brightest bulb lol. I know illicit, but not elicit, so I looked it up:

elicit – to draw or bring out or forth; educe; evoke

illicit – not legally permitted or authorized; unlawful

11. What are some things that you are passionate about?
I’m passionate about my love for my family, lately I’ve been very passionate about U.S. and world news/politics, and I’m passionate about my LOVE, obsession and YEARNING desire to visit Europe – daydreaming all the time of peering out on the Bonnie Hills of Scotland and the sights and cities of Wales, England, Austria… ugh.. I could go on forever!

So there you have it, thank you girls again so much for nominating me, and thank you to all my readers! Until next time… Toodles! xo

Getting healthy: The struggle is real.

11th May 2014

Bonjour, beauties! I hope all of you are doing well and wonderful, and I want to wish a very happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there! It’s not an easy job, but somebody has to do it! I hope your little ones (or grown ones) have managed to put a smile on your face today. :)

It’s been a while since my last *real* post and I’ve been sort of struggling with what to write about since the majority of my makeup still has yet to be unpacked and I still don’t have my vanity set up for photos (yeah, pure laziness). But today, I’m going to talk about a topic that’s been bothering me for some time now, something I’ve been struggling with for a couple of years – my weight gain and the struggle to get healthy.

I’ve been wanting to write about this for a while, but I guess I just wasn’t ready yet. It’s still not something I’m completely comfortable talking about, but the fact is it’s a problem in my life and I can’t ignore it. I figured I could share this with all of you.

I’m not going to go in-depth about obesity rates and unhealthy living because I’m not an expert. All I know (as I think we all do) is that it’s a widespread problem that people everywhere are struggling with. I’ve struggled with my weight before, this isn’t the first time. I’ve never been a super *skinny* girl, except during my early childhood years. Never had a high metabolism. I need to keep a very close eye on what I eat if I want to maintain my weight. During the ages of 17-19 I gained quite a lot of weight and then ended up losing it all and then some – 40 pounds, to be exact. That was the thinnest I had every been in my adult-life. I would give anything to be back to that weight again. I was healthy, at least weight-wise. Since then, my weight has fluctuated up and down, mostly up, but not to an unhealthy level – and not enough to where I was super bothered by it. I was comfortable with myself.

Fast forward to a couple of years ago, where soon after getting married, I started to balloon. I became quite comfortable with marriage quite quickly and had no motivation to work out. Well, every little (or large in my case) bit of food adds up and I’m now 70 pounds overweight, the largest I’ve ever been in my entire life. I feel so many feelings; ashamed, embarrassed, disgusted… I can’t stand looking at myself in the mirror because it’s a constant reminder of what I’ve let myself become. When I say this, I mean it. I am not comfortable in any way with my weight, I don’t feel like I could live the rest of my life like this, it’s just not worth it to me to feel this way. And it’s not good for my health. Yet after every attempt to start working out and eating healthy, I’ve failed. Every. Single. Attempt. There have been several failed attempts to lose weight over the past couple of years. I would think that with being so disappointed and disgusted with my looks and my health, thinking about it constantly, I’d finally make a change once and for all, but I don’t. When someone is unhappy with something in their life, they fix it. I feel like I can’t. I cannot push myself, I cannot get motivated enough, I ALWAYS give up. No matter how much I hate my body, I couldn’t be more unmotivated. I fail every single time. Why? It doesn’t make any sense.

I know I’ve mainly been talking about my weight, but what concerns me even more this time around is my health. I had a serious health issue last year (completely unrelated to my weight struggle, but somehow I feel like it contributed to it) and even though it’s resolved now, because of it, I really need to stay as healthy as possible. I’ve been doing the complete opposite. I can’t tell you why. No matter how concerned I am that the issue could come back, no matter how many days I’ve said to myself, “I really need to exercise today” I just don’t do it. And then I get upset that I wasted time NOT doing it, so I eat… and eat… and eat. I tell myself, “I’ll start tomorrow, so this will be my last “binge”. But then I do it all over again the next day. I don’t feel sorry for myself, because I know I got myself here. I am, however, extremely disappointed in myself. I wish there were a simple answer, a simple solution, a simple way to MAKE me do what I need to do.

I’m once again attempting to start a workout routine and start some healthy eating habits. I actually just started yesterday! A couple of months ago, one of my girlfriends told me about the Bikini Body Mommy Challenge (if you’re interested in checking that out, you can learn more about it here). It’s a 90 day challenge created by a gal who wanted to get back into shape after having her last child. The entire series of videos can be found on YouTube, so it’s completely free, which is pretty amazing. I believe she also has a book and meal plans of some sort, but I haven’t really checked all of that out. My friend is a bit past day 30 and has already lost 13 inches and around 8-9 pounds, so I know if I keep at this that I will see results. Actually, I always know I’ll see results, but I never continue working out long enough to see them. They never come fast enough, do they? I’m really hoping and praying that I will be able to hop on the bandwagon and actually stay on it this time. My health is really at stake here. I thought about posting photos on my blog to track my progress, but I just don’t have the guts to do it. Although I think if I actually did, I would feel extreme pressure to keep going because there’s no escaping that once it’s up there. I would have to keep at it because if not, not only would I see my failure, but everyone else would see it as well. Still, with all that said, I don’t think I’m ready to do that. Maybe once I get further along if I actually stick to it and make visible progress, I’ll post pictures from the beginning and then continue to post pictures of my on-going progress, but right now I’m honestly just way too self conscious about it.

Well guys, that’s my story for today. Like I said, this is something that weighs very heavy on my mind so I’d really like to talk about it with any of you who may be struggling as well. Maybe you were struggling with it before, maybe you have a success story to share. What works for you? What didn’t work for you? I would really love to hear your input and feedback.

I’m going to leave off with a quote I saw the other day, on Instagram I believe… These words are truly inspiring and couldn’t be more true.

A year from now you will wish you had started today Karen Lamb

Woo, finally home!

5th May 2014

Hello everybody! I’ve finally made it safe and sound. I hope all of you are doing great! We finally got our internet and cable hooked up yesterday and it feels gooood!

I have to say, so far this place is a beauty. GREEN everywhere! So many lakes, flowers and trees, it’s already such a huge change from where we were living before. I actually didn’t get a chance to take as many pictures along the way as I wanted to, but here are a couple that I did take:

The Palouse, Washington The Palouse, Washington

This is the Palouse, located on the Idaho/Washington border. This place is truly amazing. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love beautiful scenery and this place has views that I’ve never seen before. I was just in awe. These pictures don’t do it justice at all, there are far better ones out there, but I’ve never seen so many green rolling hills all in one place. It just doesn’t look real! When you’re standing there viewing it, you’ll be speechless. I saw photos of Palouse quite a while before we moved and when I saw it, I immediately knew I HAD to see it in person since we’d be passing through, so I did! I really wish I would’ve had time to stay a bit longer and get some better shots but we were on a time crunch since we were actually en route to our new place, so it was kind of rushed. I spent most of my time lost and looking for the best places to take the pictures than actually taking them :/ hmph.

Well, I’m really excited to be back on here and I’m slowly trying to catch up on what you all have been up to and what I’ve been missing out on. Toodles, loves!

Packing Progress!

25th April 2014

Hi guys! I just wanted to do a quick update, I feel so odd not writing or checking in to see what you all are up to! Over here, we’ve been packing like mad. Today I packed up all the makeup that I know I won’t be using before we move. And it’s alllll staying in the car with me, because there is WAYYYYY too much risk putting such precious cargo in the moving truck. No way!

Hopefully within the next week and a half we’ll be completely settled into our new place. I’m so excited for what’s to come! New sights, new scenery, new experiences, new everything! I plan on taking photos along the way too! I can’t wait! I hope you all are doing lovely and I can’t wait to be blogging again! Miss you all! xoxo

Too Faced Natural Eyes Neutral Eye Palette (new version)

17th April 2014

Bonjour, beauties! :P This is going to be a lazy post today, as all the energy I have is draining from me as we speak. I won’t be posting as much during the next few weeks because we really do have to get packing, Easter is coming up and before I know it, we’ll be on the road to our new home!

Today I’m going to show you swatches of the Too Faced Natural Eyes Neutral Eye palette. I picked this up during Sephora’s 15% off sale a couple of weeks ago with a gift card I had (the palette retails for $36). I was debating between this and the Naked 2 which I already owned before, but sold in a blog sale (which I sort of started to regret). But since the Naked 2 is quite a bit higher in price (and on top of that, got hiked up YET AGAIN another $2), I said pooh-pooh to that and decided on the Too Faced palette.

I haven’t worn it yet so I can’t comment on wear/longevity, but most of these colors are complete buttery softness, and I have no worries as I know Too Faced delivers on their quality for the most part.

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection

The new version of the palette contains 3 new shades: Cashmere Bunny, Nudie and Chocolate Martini which replace Velvet Revolver, Nude Beach and Cocoa Puff from the older palette. I’m not familiar with the old palette, but from photos I have seen, Cashmere Bunny/Velvet Revolver and Chocolate Martini/Cocoa Puff look almost identical.

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Palette
For comparison – (photo borrowed from Laura at French Vanilla Cheeks, thank you again!) – This is the older version of the Natural Eyes palette

Now, onto the swatches!

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Heaven, Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso
From L to R: Heaven, Cashmere Bunny, Sexpresso

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Silk Teddy, Push-Up, Erotica
From L to R: Silk Teddy, Push-Up, Erotica

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Nudie, Honey Pot, Chocolate Martini
From L to R: Nudie, Honey Pot, Chocolate Martini

Too Faced Natural Eye Neutral Eye Shadow Collection Card

So there you have it! Again, I haven’t worn these out all day yet, but I know I won’t have any regrets with this purchase and I have no doubts that the quality will be up to par! I’ll try do a look with it soon. What are your thoughts on this palette?

L’Oreal Paris Collection Privée

13th April 2014

Hello everybody! I hope everyone had a great weekend! It’s snowing here… 70+ degrees one day and snowing the next. Just one of the many reasons why I can’t wait to leave this place! I’ve pretty much been lounging around and putting off packing which I totally need to get on ASAP, as we’re moving in about two weeks. I’m tellin’ ya, as many times as I’ve moved, you’d think it would get easier but that just isn’t the case. If anything, I’m getting lazier! Oooh, I just cannot wait until it’s all over!

Today I have some swatches of this spring’s new L’Oreal Paris Collection Privée. This collection was created by L’Oreal with the goal of having a match for women of every skin tone. Inspired by seven beautiful actresses/entertainers, the women who make up the faces of this line are J-Lo, Julianne Moore, Eva Longoria, Freida Pinto, Doutzen Kroes, Liya Kebede and Cheryl Cole (which I believe is only available in the UK if I’m not mistaken). I think there may be a few other shades, but these are the only ones I’ve actually seen or heard of. Each line is geared towards women whose skin complexion resembles their own – Julianne’s would be most fitting for those with light complexions, Freida’s is most fitting for those with darker tones, but of course we aren’t confined to those shades only. As you can see, I’ve chosen a couple that were out of my “range”. I purchased Freida, Julianne & Doutzen’s polishes and Freida and Liya’s lippies. The lipsticks actually look somewhat high-end and if you’re familiar with NARS products, they’re that same rubbery sort of packaging.

L'Oreal Collection Privee
From L to R: Freida’s polish, Freida’s lipstick, Julianne’s polish, Liya’s lipstick, Doutzen’s polish

L'Oreal Paris Collection Privee Doutzen

L'Oreal Paris Collection Privee Freida

L'Oreal Paris Collection Privee Julianne

L'Oreal Paris Collection Privee Julianne, Laura Mercier Nude Silk dupe
Left – no flash, Right – with flash

I also unintentionally discovered a dupe! The reason I bought Julianne was because I didn’t think I had any polishes that resembled that color. As soon as I started applying it, something clicked in my head. I went and grabbed a Laura Mercier polish (in the color Nude Silk) I bought a while ago and sure enough, it looked like an exact match! It took three coats to get Laura’s to full opacity, Julianne’s was only two. It’s soo hard to tell, but Julianne’s is just a smidgen more pink toned than Nude Silk, but on camera, it’s nearly undetectable. So if anyone owns & loves Nude Silk and is looking for a similar color, Julianne is it!

L'Oreal Collection Privee Freida
L’Oreal Collection Privée Lipstick – Freida’s Nude

L'Oreal Collection Privee Liya
L’Oreal Collection Privee Lipstick – Liya’s Nude

The lipsticks are really moisturizing and glossy-like (like a Laura Mercier Stick Gloss, but with a bit more color). You do have to layer them a bit to get the full color out of ‘em, but I don’t mind because what I’m more concerned about is the formula & texture. They’re very smooth and easy to apply!

I have to say, the celeb endorsements got me. I don’t think I would’ve purchased any of these if it weren’t for them, but I’m happy I did! The lipsticks and polishes retail for around $6 each, depending on where you get them. If you hit up Walgreens when they have a L’Oreal sale, they’re usually BOGO 50% off, plus I always ask the beauty advisor if they have coupons behind the makeup counter to make it even more worth while! More often than not, they’re happy to look for me! What do you think of this collection? Are there any of them that you’d like to try?