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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Maya Brooke 3/4 Sleeve Jacket Dress – Trendy or Trash?

Dresses are still sort of a new style for me, since I spent almost half of my life as a “tomboy” type of girl. My current job, however, convinced me to incorporate more dresses into my wardrobe and fewer baggy band shirts and sweatpants. I want my look to project the professional I perceive myself as to others. (Not to mention looking good always helps you feel good in general.)

A trip to JCPenney surprised me, though, when I saw this Maya Brooke dress. Patterns usually fail to catch my interest; I think the red jacket drew me in the most, though. I’ve been missing a sharp, business-like dress, and it just screamed that to me. I totally bought it.

But is it trendy, or is it just trash? Let’s break it down.

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Modeling, Makeup, and Mental Health Awareness Month

Though a shroud of stigmas surround them, mental illnesses are probably some of the most difficult disorders to try and deal with. It’s sad when people who don’t understand try to make it sound so easy to handle. On the other end, it’s also a bit exaggerated when people who suffer from disorders like depression and anxiety swear they are unable to at least try to keep it from ruining their life in any way.

Despite what people may think, things really do get better eventually.

I lack the need to lay my whole life out on the table, but I dealt with some tough events in the past up until this point. (Hell, some days the littlest things will still flare me up for a few minutes.) People died, a parent said goodbye (not forever, but had to leave the house), and I wrestled self-loathing the size of a brontosaurus. And I also admit that, up until almost two years, I failed to get myself the sufficient help I needed; it felt easier to sit in bed, mope, and live in ignorance. However, it’s never too late, and I have put in the work necessary ever since on a daily basis, and makeup and fashion were part of that work. Continue reading “Modeling, Makeup, and Mental Health Awareness Month”

Wet N Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick – Does it ‘MegaLast’?

People familiar with the beauty world know how liquid lipsticks blew up over the past year or two. Not only is there competition in the mid- to high-range brands, but even drugstore formulas are competing with the best. (This tends to make shopping for one much harder than it needs to be, at times.) So, how do they all measure up to each other?

This week, let’s break it down and take a look at Wet n Wild’s newest launch, their MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick.

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Oh My Dolly with NYX Lip Lingerie in “Corset” ombre

Continue reading “Wet N Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipstick – Does it ‘MegaLast’?”

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!

Teenage Makeup Days…The Horror

Saying that I “did my makeup” growing up is a loose statement; I pretty much only had a three-step process that REALLY didn’t look great. (That is also a very loose statement right there.) Not to mention that I had an extremely experimental period (albeit very brief) in junior high with way-too-chunky Egyptian eyeliner. Even once I got better, though I never reached the point of looking cracked out, my look took absolute zero skill.

A while back, I decided to recreate my look in high school and even my early days of college the same way I used to it back then. That meant no brushes, no eyeliner tricks, no foundation, no mascara…pretty much nothing except for three items. Ready for the big process reveal?

  1. Slab on some random purple eyeshadow with one of those tiny sponge tip applicators without any primer or other type of base underneath.
  2. Drag whatever eyeliner pencil I had around my eye like a ring whilst mostly avoiding the raccoon eye look.
  3. Slather on some really red (and really uncomfortable) drugstore red lip stain without liner or any foundation base.

I told you it was short. And the results of my little throwback were laughable. It’s easy to get down on yourself when you think you aren’t progressing in a craft you love, which is how I tend to get when it comes to makeup skills. But little exercises like this one help remind me just how far I’ve come, and hopefully something similar will serve the same purpose for at least one of you guys.

Feel free to share your old-school makeup horror stories in the comments below. Love you guys, and I’ll see you on Wednesday!

Retail Affliction and How to Overcome It

Regardless of your body shape or size, one thing most, if not all, of us women deal with is the difficulty that comes with shopping for clothes and shoes. With the minuscule irritations that come with the process, other than a temporary sense of frustration (or blind rage, if you’re me), we all also tend to develop negative images of ourselves which affect more aspects of our lives than maybe we ever realized. My insecure thoughts as a preteen and teenager due to my inability to connect with others my age mutated into the way I viewed myself overall, which then linked into my fashion (or lack thereof) all the way until college.

When I tried clothing on in a store and things didn’t fit, I shut down and gave up after one store. I hated myself to the point where I would have rathered worn my baggy cargo shorts until they looked like Tarzan’s loincloth than keep trying to look for new clothes and wear my shoes until the soles burned out rather than get new pairs. Clothes shopping literally enraged me, which shouldn’t be the case.

With that said, here are some tips that I’ve found helpful in my own journey over the past year and that I hope you find useful as well.

  1. Don’t be afraid to browse other stores if nothing fits at one store. Like I mentioned before, the lack of universal sizing standards is absolutely ridiculous, and several department stores like JCPenney and Boscovs sell several different brands for you to explore. You’re bound to find at least find one item that will work as long as you keep trying things on and searching with an open mind.
  2. Challenge yourself to browse items outside of your fashion comfort zone. Believe me, I know this one is difficult. We all find that one pant cut we know will fit or that one color that acts as our go-to, so it’s much easier to grab those at the store and go instead of explore new options. If you have the ample time to spend in a clothing store, grab a little bit of every style that catches your eye even for a second and bring it in the dressing room. You never know which looks you’ll slay until you try!
  3. Spend a minute or two taking in the view you see in the mirror and experiencing your thoughts/feelings in those moments. Whether it’s a piece that works on you or doesn’t, look in the mirror and acknwledge the thoughts and feelings that come with that reflection. If your shirt makes you look wider than you’d like, what about it makes you feel that way (cut, rouching, color, etc.)? If your pants fit perfectly, how are they cut to make you look and feel so good? Stand and look at yourself in just that new bra and your jeans and take in your half-bare self so you can finally look at that and say, “This is pretty nice.” Be in the shopping experience rather than just trying to grab something quickly.
  4. Make it fun! This sounds cliche, but it really does help if you can manage to make it fun. When I’m in a dressing room and trying on pants, sometimes I’ll start wiggling my butt if I think the pants fit well. Even if something is too big or small, I’ll take a silly mirror selfie and laugh at how silly it looks. If you have a friend with you, make your own fashion show and strut to that 360* mirror like you’re owning New York Fashion Week (even at a Forever21). I always get a good laugh this way.

There are obviously other ways you guys cope with difficult shopping trips, so leave them in the comments!