Friday, September 19, 2014

theBalm How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Cream Palette

I just adore palettes, any sort of palette, eyeshadow, lipstick, blush, etc.  A bunch of colors in one spot, yes please!

So when I received this over the top cute retro packaged How 'Bout Them Apples? Cheek & Lip Palette from theBalm, $32, I couldn't WAIT to tear it open and try it out!  The first thing that struck me was how super thin this palette is.  It's like a flip book with one of the best and clearest large mirrors inside so you can see your entire face! Why do I think this is a big deal?  Have you ever gotten a mirror included in a palette that is so tiny you can only see one feature at a time?? Yeh, aggravating. This thing fits nicely in my purse without taking up a bunch of room.

Here is a looksy of the inside and all of the yummy apple themed shades that truly work on your lips and/or your cheeks!

I do have 2 favorites out of the bunch though, "Crisp" and "Caramel."  Here is a look at both.

First, is "CRISP" which reminds me almost of a cream-like Nar's "Orgasm" shade.  It's more peachy or apricot (than apple-ha!) with a slight golden shimmer to it.  It gives a glowing cheeky look to the skin and looks oh so girly.

Second is "CARAMEL" which looks very brown in the palette but once it's on, it's a beautiful warm neutral nude shade.  It made my lips look like a more healthy version of their original color (with zero shimmer) and these creams are very smooth and balm like. I absolutely LOVE the way all of them feel on the cheeks and lips, with zero stickiness and melt right into your skin.

I am so impressed with these multitasking colors of How 'Bout Them Apples?, $32, that this palette will be front and center in my makeup routine every day.  I got a few more products from this company that I cannot wait to share with you very soon!

Have you ever tried any theBalm products before? 
*These products were sent to me for consideration purposes only.  All opinions and ideas are honest and my own as usual.*

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY : Little Girl Dress Up Rack For Under $15

If you have a little girl who is over the age of 2 years old, she'll probably reeeally love you if you make her one of these...her very own DRESS UP RACK!! I struggled for a long time with what to do with the plethora of dress up clothes we owned with a very small closet and not wanting to wad up all of these costumes in a bucket or basket.  Plus, like most toys we own, if they're out of sight they're out of mind and NEVER get played with!! I didn't want this to happen with these pretty little costumes I had spent so much money on.

Now I can't take full credit for dreaming up this brilliantly inexpensive idea, I copied it from a girlfriend (thanks Ansley!!). But after seeing hers and how much fun it made it for her little girl and her friends to be able to easily access and see her dress up clothes, I had to recreate it.  Plus I've got a few tips for making it cute enough to be out in plain sight in their bedroom.

Materials Needed:
(chrome would look really cool and shiny but is a bit more $$ just FYI)

And I promise, the garment rack is super easy to put together because putting anything together is never my specialty.  If you get one that says "no tools required" on the box, you're good to go!!  I spray painted my rack after I had put it all together just to make it easy on me and so the paint would help it to slightly stick together.  **Tip - I also left off a couple of the extra tubes that usually make it tall enough for an adult, seeing as though I wanted my toddler to be able to reach it.**

TA-DA!!! The easiest (and cutest!) way to display your child's costumes. Do you have any easy DIY's for kids rooms?

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Fade Free Hair Color With Nexxus Color Assure

I have been coloring my hair from home ever since I was in high school.  Of course back then it was just for fun and experimenting purposes.  You know, bright reds and horrible eggplant purples.  But now, I dye it out of necessity because of the dreaded gray hairs popping up and the dullness that come with my 30's...and possibly my 3 children are slightly to blame, hahaha!

And one of my BIGGEST pet peeves about coloring my hair, is how OFTEN I have to touch it up.  Usually about 2.5 to 3 weeks after coloring, those grays start to become obvious again, and the brightness of my fresh color that I experience a week after usually dulls quickly.

So I jumped at the chance to try out this 4 color system from NEXXUS COLOR ASSURE which includes:

  • A pre-wash primer
  • Vibrancy retention shampoo
  • Vibrancy retention conditioner
  • Glossing tonic

 Here is a short background of this system for those of us that are not hair experts...

This system is the first oil-infused color care system by Nexxus that lock color vibrancy in by keeping water out.  This line is sulfate-free and features white orchid extract that works to seal and protect each hair strand, helping to repel water and prevent it from entering the core.  It is formulated with a blend of clear oils - almond, coconut, and argan.  This collection of oils nurtures and helps to keep color treated hair vibrant for 2X longer protection.

^^Showing the pre-wash primer oil on my hand and how it repels water off my skin.  This is the same idea as it keeping water out of the core of your hair strands, which keeps the color in.^^

*I used this system exclusively for 4 weeks and 4 days exactly.  Here is my personal experience*

The pre-wash primer is the real game changer here in keeping your color fresh as the day it was dyed.  However there was a learning process that went on with the pre-wash primer.  After using the suggested 5 pumps on my dry hair before showering the first time, I chose to do 5 pumps and my hair turned out really greasy after washing.  So then I went down to 3, still being greasy, then 1 big one seemed to be the magic number.  I focused on rubbing it in between my hands and evenly pulling it from root to tips.  I wash my hair every 3 days and I don't think I could have used this primer more often than that or it would have stayed slightly oily feeling. 

The shampoo and conditioner smell great - seriously fresh and the white orchid addition really stands out.  I'm a sucker for good smelling hair that isn't extremely powerful and perfume-y, so this was a bonus.  I found I needed very little of the conditioner so as not to add any extra weight to my hair so it didn't feel heavy in addition to the pre-wash primer.   

The glossing tonic was probably my favorite of all the 4 products because I live and die for shiny strands which this delivers!  It is extremely lightweight and was I used it every time on my towel dried wet hair before I blow dried it. 

^^My color 4 weeks and 4 days AFTER original dye job!^^

Overall, I did find that my color stayed longer and faded less than with my usual 2 step shampoo and conditioner.  It wasn't the exact same as the day it was done (as you can tell from my before and after pics) but was significantly better, brighter, and the gray hairs are MUCH less which is a big bonus!  

You can find this Nexxus Color Assure pre-wash primer for $17.99 and the other products mentioned at mass retailers and pharmacies. 

*This is a sponsored post for Nexxus through Conde Nast.  However my experience and opinions of these products are honest and my always!*

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Nude Nails

Just got my latest Marie Claire September issue with the crazy gorgeous Blake Lively on the cover.  And I knew after looking through the first half of the magazine, what my next manicure was going to look like...NUDE.  

I ALWAYS wear obnoxious bright colored nail polish, it's my favorite, from hot reds to purples and corals, or even bold blues.  It's my thing.  But after seeing her nude mani on the front (yes, I am a professed copycat) and the ads from Marc Jacobs, Dior, and Chloe, with ALL of the models sporting flesh colored nails, I knew I had to try it.  Contrary to my usual thinking that it's a "boring" shade, I now have a new found appreciation for it and find it to look fresh, clean, and matches everything I wear!!  Not to mention super chic and grown up looking.

And since I had to try this look right then and there, I scoured through my polish bags (I have 2 of them) and found a Revlon shade I've had forever (Revlon Colorstay Trade Winds, $5) but never actually used until now!  Don't you just love discovering a product you bought but haven't used yet?? I do love the way it has turned out and so far, zero chipping.  The good news about nude nails, I bet even when it does chip, it will hardly be as tacky and noticeable as my usual bright polishes are!! Bonus.
Shop the NUDES :

How do you feel about the nude nail look?  Boring or Beautiful?

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Never Forget

Image via Huffington Post

"At this moment 13 years ago, millions of Americans went to bed quietly, with no thought that the next morning their world would change forever.  
That night hundreds packed flight bags they would not live to open.  
Thousands slept with loved ones for the last time. 
One never knows what a new day has in store.  Let us live each day to the fullest, and never miss a chance to let those dearest to us know of our love for them.  
So TONIGHT if you have someone in your life that you love, tell them..."
author unknown.

I have a pretty terrible memory when it comes to when historic events happen or what I was doing when they did.  However, even after all of these 13 years since the day of 9/11/01,  I will never forget EXACTLY what I was doing, where I was, and the way I felt (in the car on my way to work, about 2 miles away, when my favorite radio station broke into a song that was playing - I swear it was a Britney Spears one - and informing their listeners about the first plane that had hit, and I was in disbelief).  

Once I got to my place of work, word had already spread and the second tower had been hit.  Unbelievable. People were starting to worry about what and who had done this, and if they had targeted the big city of NYC, were other big cities and buildings going to be next?? I worked in a large building in downtown Atlanta at the time as did my husband, and I was calling him to see what we should do.  We were basically newlyweds and had been married for only 2 months.  My boss immediately suggested we leave and go back home.  So we did. Which honestly, her making me go home scared me.  Then I heard about the Pentagon, when was it going to stop??  It was terrifying to tune into the news on that day and wait on pins and needles to figure out who did this to so many innocent people on those planes and in the buildings that were hit.  

Over the next few days, weeks, and months, footage of the wreckage and stories of loved ones lost due to this malicious attack made me realize something, don't ever miss an opportunity to tell those that mean a lot to you that you love them and are thankful for them.  God bless all of those lost on this day and the heroes that responded so quickly during the aftermath.  We will honor your memory by trying to be better people each and every day and never taking for granted this wonderful place called America.

Do you remember what you were doing on 9/11/01?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

5 New Ways To Shake Up Your Eye Makeup

I'm all about trying new ways to approach my makeup, especially with my eyes since they're always front and center!  The eyes have endless options of ways to be played up, so I wanted to share with you a few new fun strategies.  Plus how to use a product in your makeup routine that you've probably got in your home or office right now!!

 1. Let your CONCEALER double as an eyelid primer.

  Rub all over lid.

 2.  Use a BROW PENCIL 1 to 2 shades LIGHTER than your natural brow hair.

3. Use a POST IT NOTE as a shadow guideline.

 4. Line your LOWER LASH LINE & fill in your EYE CREASE with an ACCENT COLOR.

5.  Use TWO SHADES OF MASCARA. Black on top and Brown on bottom.

Look Details:

1.  Don't have an eyelid primer, or just don't want to buy one? Let your concealer double as your primer! Not only will it help brighten you eye bed but it will help your shadow stay longer! This Make Up For Ever waterproof camouflage cream has mad staying power. 

2.  Choose a brow product that is 1 to 2 shades lighter for a more youthful look.  Too dark brows can actually look a bit aging.   I used the dark blonde shade of this Femme Couture brow pencil.

3.  Want perfectly placed eyeshadow?  Use a simple post it note to lightly stick to your skin while creating a beautiful straight line and it keeps your shadow from running all over your face! I line up my straight edge from my last lash to my last brow hair.

4.  Instead of the usual upper lash liner, switch things up and just line your lower lash line and fill in your crease with an accent color, like I did with the purple. (I used 2 shades of shimmery taupes from lash to crease just FYI, MAC "all that glitters" and "sable").  My liner in the waterline is Make Up For Ever in Shimmering Plum and the purple shadow along those lower lashes and in the crease is  from the MAC Pro line "Indian Ink"but a similar shade is "Nocturnelle."

5.  Don't like the harshness of black mascara on all of your lashes?  Use two shades of mascara, black on the uppers and brown on the lowers to accentuate instead of keeping them bare. 

There you go - new eye makeup tips, so shake it up, shake it up...*to the tune of "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift, which I currently cannot get out of my head!!!*

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Meet Taco

One month ago yesterday, we lost our precious and beloved 12 year old dog, Sophie.  I couldn't believe the outpouring of sweet comments via my blog, Instagram, Facebook, and cards that I got after I posted about it here.  It was one of the toughest moments in my life to date and hearing from others with similar stories of losing a dog or just the uplifting words we got helped, a lot.  After she passed away, I seriously didn't think that getting another dog would help with my grief or that I could even handle bringing another animal into our lives.

But then my husband completely shocked all of us, when he delivered this little nugget to us on Saturday...
Meet our newest furry family member, TACO.

What's in a name?  Taco isn't a random name. Our 8 year old Jack called this name for our future dog after we sat down at dinners discussing our favorite Sophie memories.  My husband used to hold Sophie and move her arms (ok paws) around like she was singing this song he made up called, "I am a Taco." It always made our entire family laugh so we figured it would be paying homage to our old dog if our new one had the name Taco. (if we had gotten a girl dog, it would have been Taco Belle, ha!)

How old?  He will be one year old on October 17, 2014.  I got some great advice from a friend that said we shouldn't get a puppy bc I already had so much on my plate with my business and my 3 kids - had I seriously forgotten how much effort goes into a new puppy??  Yes I had, Sophie was a puppy back in 2002, I remember very little from back then!  Best advice ever - Taco was already housebroken when we got him and did zero whining from the get go after being removed from his litter mates.  

What breed? A Papillon.  Papillon is french for "butterfly" hence the butterfly wing-like big ears!  This is what our Sophie was and we just love this breed.

Likes to...prance around, sit in Vivian's leopard chair, and sniff everything!!  He is very very energetic! 

We are all so excited to finally have an animal in the house again.  The best thing is the past two mornings the kids have been so excited to get up and play with him instead of watching TV!  Only issue is all 3 kids fight over who gets to walk him or who gets to hold him! 
Welcome Taco, we are over the moon in love with you.

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