July 31, 2010

"Black Out" Day For My Hair And Eyelashes

With all of my pending expenses with a third child coming into our life in less than a month, money is TIGHT to say the least. And it's a baby GIRL, so of course there is a lot that goes into prepping for a tiny female with her girly decorated room, wardrobe, and many accessories. My two boys don't even require a brush to their hair sometimes, so this is going to be a big change for me!!
So even though we are pinching pennies and not spending above our means, I am trying to find new, less expensive ways to keep up with my beauty routine. "Just because I'm pregnant and broke doesn't mean I can't look fabulous;-)"

One of my major beauty musts is to color my hair. The grays are quickly popping up all over my head, and it's way too early in my opinion to let mother nature rear her gray head. I've been doing my own color at home since high school- that's over 15 years ago- and typically buy the more expensive and newest hair colors on the market in the same soft black to brown black shades.

I was grocery shopping the other day, and browsing through the color aisle, and found Revlon Colorsilk Permanent hair color, and it was only $3.50!! Could this really work or take the place of my more pricey color?? I picked color #20, Brown/Black, and decided to give it a shot. It was cheaper than my Edy's Ice Cream I can't live without!! HA!!

Lo and behold, my new cheapo hair color got the job done, and it's super shiny (check out the close up picture up top of the side view) and exactly the color I was striving for. Granted these pictures are from the first day of application, so I can't vouch for how long it will stay or how it will wear, but I'm really pleased with the outcome so far.

Now that I got my new cheap hair color covered, it was time to find a way to darken my lashes. Sephora is offering a mascara duo of Dior's two top mascara favorites called Dior Best In Show ($18), which has two small tubes of Diorshow and Diorshow Black Out. They're basically half the size of the regular tubes, which run $24 and $28 dollars each. I've taken some before and after photos of my lashes for you to see how the Black Out formula works.

Obviously my lash line before mascara.
One eye done with two coats of mascara.
Both eyes finished with three coats of mascara- the more the merrier right?!

Even though I have a very limited budget these days, it doesn't mean I have to look like it. It just takes a little searching and some willingness to try out new products to see what works for you. Experimenting with beauty products is fun and you might just find a diamond in the rough!

July 28, 2010

How To Improve Your Complexion

We all strive for that flawless photo-shopped perfect complexion, as shown above for a makeup ad. Unfortunately, photo shopping is not an everyday option for us to get that unrealistic flawless face unless you live your life as a still photograph! Ha. Good news is, there are all sorts of tricks of the trade and products you can layer on in order to improve the look of your skin, but there is one trick that can immediately make an overall difference.

One product is necessary for this trick: CONCEALER. I will be using Olay's Simply Ageless Concealer in color Corrector ($10).

There are 4 places you need to apply that concealer in order to get a prettier complexion.

  • the inner corners of your eyes near your tear ducts
  • the outer corners of your eyes
  • both sides of your nostrils (everyone has a bit of redness/darkness here)
  • either side of your mouth (go light in your application here)

1. I am showing you my before picture with all of my makeup applied BEFORE the concealer trick.

2. This is showing you the placement of that concealer before it's rubbed in.

3. This is my AFTER picture of how it takes my complexion up a notch and seem smoother.

Just a few simple steps to get a brighter more even complexion with only one product.

I also just had to show off my earrings that I designed myself at a cute little jewelry boutique in Columbus, GA called the "Bead Cage." It was so much fun picking out each little bead and piece to make my very own unique accessories! This place was seriously bead and bauble overload, but a blast to find my creative side in.

I made these butterfly earrings because, well, I love the look of butterflies (really the only insect I can handle;-)) and I liked that each one was slightly different in where the colors were placed so they both weren't exactly alike. I've heard the saying, "Butterflies fly where they please, and please everywhere they fly." Don't have any idea who said that, but I dig it!! It's so true, because every time I see a butterfly, I slightly pause and smile. Hope you have a reason to pause and smile today!!

July 26, 2010

I Have a Pregnancy Glow In My Maternity Shoot!!

So now at 34 weeks pregnant, I don't feel like I have an ounce of pregnancy glow no matter how much Too Faced Snow Bunny Bronzer ($27) I apply to my face!!

But, much to my excitement and astonishment, I just got a preview of my maternity photo shoot and I actually DO have a happy pregnancy glow!! My extremely talented friend and photographer Abbey of Dylan Blue Photography captured this hard to come by glow at 32 weeks pregnant. Click on the above link to check out the shots she took of me and my family and my baby girl bun in the oven!!

A list of some of the products I was wearing during this photo shoot if you're interested:

1. cheek highligher: Too Faced Snow Bunny Bronzer
2. eyeshadow: Estee Lauder eyeshadow in "mink"
3. blush: Nars blush in "mata hari"
4. mascara: L'oreal Paris Collagen Injection in black
5. lips: Palladio lip stain in "nude" and lipgloss by Becca in "ciapirnha"

Thank you thank you thank you Abbey for capturing this super special time in my life. I will forever cherish these images and can't wait until my daughter can see these beautiful photos of how much she was loved by her brothers, daddy and mommy, before she was even here!

July 24, 2010

My Vacation Is Over, But Wet 'n' Wild's H20 Liquid Eyeliner Stays Forever

All good things must come to an end apparently, and so has my beach vacation. I had a wonderfully relaxing time getting away from the same old hum drum of everyday life, but honestly, there is no place like home, and now I'm back and ready to prepare for another good thing to pop up- the arrival of my daughter next month!

But while I was on my vacation, I put a new liquid eyeliner to the test to see if its label description and what it touted was true. I picked up a tiny bottle of Wet 'n' Wild's H20 Proof Liquid eyeliner in black ($3) at my local CVS before I left. I love the look of liquid liner, but can't stand how it disappears so quickly and smudges all over my face if I get the slightest bit sweaty...and I was at the beach, so the likelihood of getting sweaty was imminent.

My verdict: This stuff stays on!!

I unfortunately didn't think to take a picture of my eyes once I applied my new liner for you all (I was on vacation ladies and not really thinking about blogging at the time, sorry). But this shell I found on the beach, pic above, really reminded me of a perfectly (liquid) lined eyeball! Isn't that crazy looking??

If you're not a liquid liner connoisseur, then this probably isn't the best product to start off with because it dries quickly, is rather thick, and leaves no room for error. The pen tip is also not very forgiving and pretty stiff, so it's more for the experienced liquid liner lady! But with all of that being said, I put this stuff on around 3pm and when I went to remove it around 10pm the same night, it was still literally a most perfect line. And this was through the 105 degree heat index on the beach!! Amazing. I definitely recommend this to anyone that wants a budge proof liquid liner- 9 out of 10 in terms of staying power.

I also had to include a picture of my anniversary present my sweet and thoughtful hubby gave me while we were at the beach. Remember one of my more recent blogs about my "wish list" for the beach and how I wanted the old school Ray Bans like Nicole Richie/Tom Cruise a la Top Gun?? Well whatdaya know, I got hooked up with my very own pair! We don't usually do anniversary gifts, but this year he surprised me and made me feel a little bit cooler while walking around the beach. Since I'm rather pregnant right now, anything to feel "cool" is truly helpful and appreciated!! Thanks honey.

So even though all good things eventually come to an end, it doesn't mean another good thing isn't just right around the corner to look forward to!!

July 19, 2010

Vacationing With Children - Is It Truly A Vacation Or A Business Trip??

So I wasn't going to blog while away at the beach with my family, it is supposed to be a vacation, NOT a "business trip." But I felt compelled to post a brief something about what I am experiencing while away, on what will be one of my last vacations for awhile since my third child will be born next month, which = NO VACATION ANYTIME SOON after she is here. My hubby and I find it slightly comical when describing going away to a place other than our home for a "vacation" which typically implies "relaxing and getting away from the everyday humdrum" of daily life.

However, if you take your kids along with you, are you truly getting away?? You still have to wake up when they do, answer their demands for whatever drinks and foods they want 3 meals a day, change diapers, dress them, deal with their issues/tantrums and troubleshoot constantly, and overall, try as hard as you can to make them as happy as possible so that your day is as enjoyable as possible. So my question again, "Is it really a vacation when you take the kids, or are you really just on a business trip?" You are working just as hard as you do at home to achieve the ultimate goal of keeping everyone happy/alive, yet you've just traveled out of the office(home) to reach your goal that the boss (or bosses-your children) has asked you to.

Well I think I might have stumbled upon a goldmine in terms of how to actually achieve a vacation-like atmosphere while also having my beautiful and precious children along with me...

I'm soaking in all the luxuries of vacationing with not just ONE set of grandparents, but TWO sets of grandparents! This is a priceless luxury that I would pay oodles of money for if I needed to. It's like traveling with two nannies without having to pay for the nannies, and the nannies actually have some vested interest in the kids because they're blood related!! Let me do the simple math for you: I have two children, one husband, and two sets of grandparents (and the g-parents/in-laws get along swimmingly, how lucky am I??). So if each set of grandparents takes one child, then basically my husband and I are free to relax and carry on almost, not completely,(let's not get carried away here, I am still in the room/on the beach with the kids and want to be somewhat present in their beach experience as well) as if we are on a honeymoon vacation as newlyweds. Brilliant huh??

I love my children with all my heart and every ounce of my body, even my 33 week old baby in the oven, but yet it is nice to have some outside entertainment(grandparents) for them to play with so I can somewhat relax. My anniversary with my hubby is coming up and I know that when we discussed having children years ago that I said I didn't want it to change us or our ability to go and do things...yeah right, hello la la land! I think a lot of new couples have that pipe dream before they actually have that sweet little infant bundle in their arms or that raging toddler in the buggy at that grocery store that makes you wonder why you decided to procreate??!! But I know after these past couple days with our mini people, we have decided vacations are just more fun and exciting with them than without.

I rarely read books (cannot believe I'm admitting that), but my best friend let me borrow Tori Spelling's newest book, "Mommywood", for this beach trip since last year I read StoriTelling in like two days. And I must say, once again Tori has a way of writing and she is completely engaging to me in her own mommy life and she's right on point with how us everyday moms (not the celebrity type) feel and handle life with children/husbands/work. I absolutely love one of the last paragraphs in her book that sums up exactly how I feel while vacationing with my two children, anxiously awaiting the arrival of number three child, and my 9th wedding anniversary coming up:

"If you don't let it get to you, figuring out the details of a life that keeps changing is the fun part. I'm not worried about the future. Whatever happens, Dean and I (insert Scott and I!) will find our balance. We love our children. We love each other. Time, vacations, adventures-they're all secondary to love."

Keep writing Tori, I'm listening, AND reading! You've gotten me to do something most of my college professors at UGA failed at. I need a new book by next years beach trip;-)

July 14, 2010

My Summer Beach Wish List

Well it's countdown time until my family and I head out of town for our annual beach trip to South Carolina! I am in DESPERATE need of a VACATION ladies and gentlemen. It cannot come soon enough.

The only thing I don't enjoy about vacation, is the pre-packing and preparation in order to get out of town. It's difficult enough to pack myself and all my products and clothing options (however, they are few and far between at 32 weeks pregnant), but I also have to pack two small children and ALL the STUFF that goes along with keeping them happy at the beach.

So since the whole packing idea has been a bit daunting, I'm going to go into fantasy land for a bit.

With all the new fantastic summer products out on the market right now, here is my list of the beach worthy products I WISH I had traveling with me next week:

1. Classic Ray Ban Aviators ($180). I know these have been a staple pair of sunglasses that most stylish people (like Miss Nicole Richie) have owned once in their lifetime, but I never have, and still wish for a pair. Think Tom Cruise in Top Gun- ultra cool. I will keep on wishing.

2. Bath & Body Works Deep Aqua Cooling Body Souffle ($12). This sounds like heaven on earth for dried out post beach skin. It's an aloe based cream that is super light and has an instant cooling effect on the skin. This photo below is of me from last years beach trip and shows that I could've really used something like this on my lobster colored skin! Man does that look irresponsible of me.

3. Fresh Sugar Plum Tinted Lip Treatment w/SPF 15 ($23). This stuff has been so hyped, I can't believe I haven't fallen into the trap and bought it yet. But I'm having to spend 2o bucks on swim diapers and water guns instead of lip balm. Priorities priorities. But if I had the extra dough, I'd be snatching this stuff up quickly. Its sugary-lemon scent, SPF included, and sheer shade of plum makes it the perfect lip look without trying too hard.

4. YSL Aquaresistant Mascara in color Blue Lagoon ($30). This bright turquoise waterproof mascara in the gold and glamorous tube seems like it would be a fun face addition while it protects the lashes against the sun, salt and chlorine. Since eyeshadow on the beach is kinda ridiculous, a bright flashy mascara would be just the touch of color I'd like to have.

5. Fekkai Marine Summer Hair Beach Waves Spray($23). This spray has sea kelp as an ingredient that helps hydrate and block moisture loss from hair while enjoying your beach time. It also is supposed to create that sexy, salty, beach-like tousled hair, which makes me think I will end up with hair like ESPN persona Erin Andrews. But that might be pushing it at just $23 a can!

A girl can dream though... this is a wish list.

July 11, 2010

It's All Smoke And Mirrors

I can't believe I'm really going to do this...but I am going to post a reeaalll BEFORE (makeup) picture and an AFTER. Very rarely do I ever walk out of the house without atleast mascara, lip gloss, and my eyebrows filled in. It's a routine that must happen for me to be able to function outside of my house. Yes, you might even categorize it as a slight sickness. And the only medicine for it is Bobbi Brown and Revlon!! So this is a big deal that I'm willing to put my bare face out there with no spackle.

Sometimes when I see women that read my blog or clients out and about when I'm with my family or running errands, they constantly apologize for not having their full makeup on! Ladies, I don't judge anyone else that doesn't wear full makeup when they go to pick up a prescription at their local drugstore!! I just do it for myself kind of like other women brush their teeth before walking out of the door, it's just that natural and routine. However I just want to be clear to all, that JennySue doesn't roll out of bed looking flawless, it's all smoke and mirrors...aka, lotsa makeup! That's why I thought it was necessary to show all my fans how much time (atleast 30- 45 minutes) and effort goes into making up my face.

I recently had maternity photos made of myself by my talented friend/photographer Abbey, of Dylan Blue Photography (I will let you all know when I get a sneak peak of my baby mama photos!). I decided to have this done since this is the 3rd time I've been pregnant and have never professionally captured my growing baby bump. I am so excited to see how they turned out because I also got to include my two sons and my husband in the maternity shots,

so it got to be a whole family affair!! My boys looove to smile for the camera (see right;-)).

So this done up (after) look was for my maternity shoot and was a bit more glamorous than my everyday face since I added false lashes with Revlon's Fantasy Lengths self adhesive lashes in style "intensifying" ($5). I love these because they require NO glue and push right on, and pull off easily.

Of course hair and makeup make a huge difference in how a woman can transform herself, just take a look at my before and after! So there's my personal smoke and mirrors example. You see these examples in some of those trashy celeb mags, that yes I read, of stars caught without their makeup. I find it really interesting how plain Jane most female celebs look without makeup and also find it slightly refreshing how normal these women really are!! I mean check out Miss Kim K. with and without- she's a beautiful lady no doubt, but the makeup and self tanner certainly don't hurt her cause huh?!

If dog is man's best friend, I think for women the equivalent is makeup!!

July 8, 2010

Sugar And Spice And Everything Nice, That's What GIRLS Are Made Of!!

So the old saying goes, "sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of." Well I have found that BIG GIRLS also are made of everything nice!!

Some of my dearest friends threw me a super surprise dinner/baby shower at one of my favorite Japanese & sushi restaurants here in Athens (Shokitini for you that live in this area-it's fantastic, but they have no website, so I couldn't link it). I was just under the impression I was going for a casual dinner when I showed up with pink balloons and baby girl gifts galore at the table! I can't tell you how much of a sweet and kind gesture this type of thing is, especially since this is my third go around at the whole baby thing. Yet the friends keep making each baby feel very special.

This is a picture of a dress my friend Christen actually made from scratch on her own sewing machine! Hello, sooo talented. And she is also about two months behind me in delivering her babies-yes twins, double the fun! That's us below with our baby belly's. I also got tons of compliments on my t-shirt dress, which is actually NOT maternity (I've been anti-maternity clothes this go around if I can help it). It's from LA Made, (which actually has a maternity line),which is an affordable knit basic line but they are always on trend. It's also nice to get ANY sort of compliment when you're 7 months pregnant. So if you see a prego walking around, pay her a compliment...anything...it'll make her day;-)

Most of the pictures of me opening my baby girls presents are pretty funny and I have hilarious looks on my face, so it was hard to find many normal pics! Example below. But the baby clothes nowadays for little girls are amazingly small versions of things I would put in my own closet! Check out this cute purple embroidered dress??

I am soooo thankful for my girlfriends, those that are mothers and those that aren't to that place in their lives yet, they all inspire me in different and unique ways. I only hope that my little girl is blessed with great girlfriends in her life like I have been, because they are priceless!!

Thanks ladies for the wonderful night out- this mama needed it!!!

July 5, 2010

I am Thankful For...

My July 4th weekend was really wonderful. I had a full weekend plus an extra day of having my husband at home with me and my kids plus PERFECT summer weather to top it all off!! What more can you ask for on a holiday weekend?!! That's all 4 of us showing our #4 in appreciation of the big day!

My little patriot who also showed his love for the Atlanta Falcons!

I am so thankful for times like these that allow us to get together with friends and family members to celebrate a truly important holiday to all of us who are so lucky to live in this country. Not to bore anyone with history stats, but after some searching, I found an interesting bit of info that John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail 2 days before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence was official- and yes, he predicted the date to be on July 2nd, just a bit early but close enough! In a nutshell, the D.O.I. allowed the thirteen colonies to be legally separated from Great Britain in 1776:

"The second day of July, 1776, will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward forever more."

Well I think ole John Adams hit the nail on the head with the pomp and games and illuminations. We were in sparkler heaven this July 4th, check out the pic of my two sweet boys loooving their tiny fireworks...before my littlest one grabbed the hot end of the sparkler after it finished "sparkling!!" Oops. Adams also made a good point to his wife that we should basically be thankful and grateful to God for all that we have been given.

Me and my girls with 2 of our 8 little people between us!

We got to hang out with some of our greatest friends at their new home (thankful for) with all of our beautiful children (thankful for) and enjoy yummy food (thankful for) and just plain old togetherness (thankful for!). Our July 4th parties have definitely calmed down a bit since my college days and pre-baby days, but I must say I love celebrating with all of our little people and my little one growing in my belly (she gave me a great reason to chow down on

EVERYTHING we all made- can't you tell by my profile?!).

There has been so much goodness in my life lately and I think holidays just give us great reason to pause and really be grateful for all things big and small that give us joy. A little hint, most of the things you think about, probably have nothing to do with money or tangible things. And if there is anything that is bothering you, or you feel like nothing is going right in your life that you could be thankful for, just remember this quote I got from Oprah-yes her again!

"It's not easy being grateful all the time. But it's when you feel least thankful

that you are most in need of what gratitude can give you. Perspective."

July 2, 2010

My Megan Fox Face

Let me first start this blog by saying, "I, JennySue, of sound mind and pregnant body, know full well that I do not resemble Megan Fox in any way shape or form except for the fact that we both have dark blackish brown hair and dark eyebrows." Okay, now that it has been established that I am not demented or vain enough to think that I look like the sexy actress, we can move on with this blog.

Congratulations are in order to this beautiful lady as she just got hitched to her long time love Brian Austin Green (yes, David Silver from Bev. Hills 90210, got Megan Fox to marry him). I guess this is a great thing seeing as though one of her 9 tattoos is his name on her hip that she got almost 5 years ago. Typically a guys name on your body is the kiss of death right?? Hopefully this will not be the case for her. She also just booted Victoria Beckham from the Emporio Armani ad campaign for their lingerie and women's wear. She's a busy lady! Okay enough with the Megan trivia.

Moving on, her most recent stint in Allure Magazine inspired my next makeup look. It is pretty minimal and is accomplished with about 4 key elements. Now again, I do not have piercing blue eyes or pouty lips, but I've done the best I can with what God gave me and what cosmetic manufacturers gave me to choose from in terms of products.

So here are the 4 Products that gave me my Megan Fox face:

1. Charcoal/taupe eyeshadow. I used an old MAC palette (6 mystic cool eye shadows) but you can apply any charcoal color from the lash line to a little higher than my crease and way to the inside of almost my nose to create a smokier eye. I also used this same color along my lower lash line with lots of lower mascara.

2. Lots of melon colored blush. I used Sonia Kashuk's Beautifying Blush in color melon-09, and used a lot of it. In this photo of Megan, the blush is applied higher on the cheek bones than I normally do and more towards the ear rather than right on the apples of her cheek.

3. Sheer peachy pink lips. I used one of those 99 cent mini lip glosses in color Sassy

from Sally Beauty Supply that you get right as you approach the counter to check out. It's tiny, but such a pretty sheer color that packs a good peach punch, and it looks really similar to the Chanel lip color (Ruban Rose) used on her in the above photo.

4. Benefit's High Beam. This liquid luminizer was to highlight the inner corners of my eyes as well as the bow of my mouth to make my lips appear a bit more pouty than they are. This product ($24) gives the illusion of brighter eyes and a fuller upper lip when applied sparingly. I also painted a little bit down the bridge of my nose.

Now you know how to become one of the sexiest women on the planet with just 4 makeup products. But if you have blonde hair, let me suggest maybe adding a 5th product to your regime called hair dye. Because you cannot pull off Megan Fox with anything but raven dark hair!!!