Post-Wedding Rehab & Self Care

While my best friend’s wedding gave me a taste of just how stressful being in the wedding party can be, the day itself was incredibly beautiful. Not only was the venue beautiful, but all of us friends celebrating had a great time, too. The top photo is practically everyone’s new Facebook cover photo, since it captures the happiness and goofiness we all emit when we are together. But so much fun (and my niece getting a pretty owwie boo boo the other day from the dog) also calls for some personal R&R. And I’m more than happy to share some steps with you.

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Practice Makes Perfect: Eyeshadow Application

This week’s “Practice Makes Perfect” post is kind of going hand-in-hand with Monday’s post about my teenage makeup routine. Since I primarily focused on my eyes then, I had more eye makeup than anything else in my little (at the time) makeup carrier. Did I really know how to apply the makeup with tact, though? Absolutely not. As I also mentioned in my last post, I had no tools other than my trashy little foam applicators to use before I finally invested in some brushes.

Have a comparison:

Then: Nothing. Just the foam applicator rubbed over my eyelids. (They were, obviously, never rubbed far enough up or out now that I can barely see a hint of eyeshadow in the older photo from 2010.)

Now: While this photo on the right is from this past June, it’s still a recent example of a much better eyeshadow job, which also happens to be a super well-blended smoky eye look! Color schemes always vary, but I always use the same brushes and techniques…

  1. My finger to blend out my eyeshadow primers
  2. L.A.B. Squared “Just Blending In” Brush for base shades and most transition shades
  3. Makeup Academy #315 Crease Brush for deeper crease and outer edge shades as well as finer blending
  4. e.l.f. Cosmetics Eyeshadow “C” Brush for lid shades
  5. Makeup Academy #311 Smudger/Detailer Brush to apply thin lines of shadow on lashlines (about 1/2 to 3/4 of the bottom line)
  6. e.l.f. Cosmetics Concealer Brush for any loose pigments such as glitter/shimmer
  7. Sonia Kashuk #31 Precision Pencil Brush to apply inner corner color/highlight (though it can also be used to smudge liner and lower lashline shades)

Shitty foam applicator vs. six brushes that I use most of (if not all of) the time. Sure, it takes a lot more time, but it is so worth it.

What should my next “Practice Makes Perfect” be for you guys? Let me know in the comments below, and I’ll see you for some music on Friday!

My 4 Toughest Struggles With Thick Hair

“I would kill for your hair!”

“Your hair is so pretty. You’re so lucky!”

Thank you, but try actually having it on your head! I can tell you that it is a pain in the neck (both metaphorically and literally). Don’t get me wrong; I, too, love my hair and how healthy it is. However, I still notice its downsides on a daily basis. So here are my four personal biggest struggles of having a lion’s mane on my head.

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My Makeup Evolution

As I mentioned in a previous post, I played with makeup at an early age just as many other little girls do, and then I grew out of it. For years I thought I would be the last person who would have any interest in beauty. Now look at me; I’m running my own fashion and beauty blog, and I’m even contemplating going to cosmetology school. Since I recognized this shift, I wanted to explore just how I transitioned into a makeup geek over the years.

My earliest recollection is that picture of little me my has where I’m applying a tiny lipstick with a hat and big sunglasses on. (I was a really cute kid. Just saying.) Then there was this roll-on eyeshadow that was shimmery gold I found in my house that I’d put on and then put my glasses on. (I think there was a time when I took my glasses off and walked around blind for the sake of looking good, too.) Otherwise, I mainly used those old-school Lip Smackers balms.

As I got older, I turned into a frumpy, tough tomboy. It would have taken a miracle to get me to do something to my hair other than brush it or pull it back into a messy ponytail, so it’s easy to assume that makeup didn’t exist in my world anymore until early in high school. But, even then, it wasn’t like I really had any application skills.

15 years old vs. 22 years old

The way I applied my eyeliner was, pretty much, draw around the shape of my eye and pray I didn’t look like a raccoon when I finished. (I also remember trying some terrible “Egyptian” look, which was an absolute failure.) Eyeshadow got slapped on with the crappy little sponge applicator that came with it. I didn’t know about primer, so my purple shadow was very faint. And, for whatever reason, the first lip color I ever worked with was red (the Revlon Colorstay Overtime “Stay Currant” stuff that takes a jackhammer to remove, at that).

As time went on, my eyeliner looked a little better, and my red lips looked less wobbly than before. But college was when my makeup started getting serious. I splurged on Kat Von D’s “Chrysalis” eyeshadow palette and got some small brushes for better application. My lipstick shades expanded to nudes, purples, and even black. I found eyeshadow primer and liquid liner. Putting on makeup became an art more than a laborious task.

My makeup skills and interests, today, are even better than only two months ago, and I feel proud about that. I’ve started exploring the world of face makeup (foundation, concealer, blush, and bronzer) and different techniques in which to apply them. I’ve come pretty close to mastering winged eyeliner and want to practice a gel liner cat eye. I finally bought a blending brush a couple weeks ago for my eyeshadow. And I never knew the importance of lip liner until I finally got one…and four more after that. When I’m not doing my makeup, I’m always learning by watching YouTube videos or reading.

Makeup has not only boosted my belief in myself, but it’s also been saving my life, in a way. Whenever I start feeling worthless or useless, I can do my makeup and realize the talents I have to make myself feel beautiful. It brings up passion inside of me, giving me a vague sense of direction and also igniting my passion for writing that I lost. I get that feeling of worth back and maybe, just maybe, feel hopeful for my future.