Monday, August 18, 2014

August's ipsy bag: Beauty Schooled


Hey, all!
Another month, another ipsy bag! Woohoo! I was actually quite pleased with this one. Only one dud! Here is my list of best to worst.

1. Urban Decay Perversion mascara - For the longest time Benefit's They're Real mascara was my holy grail. I'm thinking it now has competition. Perversion gives such beautiful volume, it lengthens, it doesn't flake or smudge, and it's easy to remove. It's ever so slightly clumpy, but in a good way. It makes my lashes look thicker, but doesn't make it look like I have just four fat, spiky lashes like a lot of other volumizing mascaras.


One coat will give you very defined, black lashes. Two coats give a very dramatic effect. The brush is a densely packed bristle brush...my favorite kind. (I tend to poke myself in the eyeball with the plastic bristle kind.) Full size value $22. Sample size value $5.50


2. Coastal Scents Forever Blush - Shades Fresh (left) and Elegant (right): These tiny pans of color pack a punch! They're so pigmented and the shades are beautiful. I tried using Fresh as a contour, but it's definitely a blush. The pigmentation is so great that you have to use a very light hand. Tip: If you go overboard with blush, just blend it out with some face powder on a big, fluffy brush. 


Fresh has a matte finish and Elegant has a slight sheen. Not too shimmery. Full size value $7.95 (currently on sale for $3.98). Sample size value $2.04.


3. Absolute New York You're The Balm in Green Apple - This balm is unbelievable. It's so smooth and moisturizing. It's yummy. I just love it. Even though it's pink in the pan, it goes on sheer. It's perfect under other lip products or just on its own. I'm able to feel it on my lips a few hours after application. While the sample I received is actually full sized, this normally comes as a duo. The other flavor in this set is Grape. Duo value $5.99. Sample value $3.


4. Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil in Black Silk: I wanted to love this pencil. I really did. But I didn't. It didn't stay in my waterline for any time at all. It's also a bit smudgy.


As you can see from the swatch below, the pigmentation isn't that great either. I'll use it because it's not the most awful liner I've ever had, but it's definitely not the best. Full size value $17 (although their site is down at the time of this post). Sample size value approximately $4.50.


5. dr. brandt pores no more pore refiner primer- And now for the dud. You thought the eyeliner was the dud, right? Nope. This one's worse. This claimed to erase pores and to mattify skin. Over makeup, it did nothing. Under makeup, it did make my pores ever so slightly less visible. It wasn't mattifying at all. I had to set it. That's all forgivable. What wasn't forgivable was the major breakout I had after using this twice. Not cool, dr. brandt. Not cool. Full size value $45. Sample size value $11.25.



The bag itself is adorable. I love the orange polka dots. It's vinyl, so will be easy to keep clean. I think I'll use it for my brushes when I travel. I seem to have misplaced my brush roll, so this will come in handy. The overall total value for this month's bag is $26.29. Not bad for $10.

ipsy is a subscription service that is totally customized to your likes and dislikes. It's $10 per month. If you're interested in joining up and don't mind giving me some points, click and subscribe.

If  you already get ipsy, what did you get in your bag this month? (Just being nosy!)

Love,

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Thoughts On Depression

It may seem that you're alone, but help is just a call away.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

I generally like to keep this blog as upbeat as possible, but with the recent suicide of the brilliant Robin Williams, I thought I'd share my experience with depression.

I've had depression as long as I can remember. When I was four years old, I spent the night at my grandparents' house. That was something I did on a regular basis. This one night, though, I had insomnia. I laid in bed for hours after everyone else was already asleep, sobbing because Grandma was going to die one day. She's still alive and well 33 years later. That's just who I was and who I still am.

When I was seven, I had my first suicide attempt. I still have the scar from that. I took a razor and sliced down my arm. Thankfully, it really hurt. I got Dad to bandage it up. When he asked how that happened, I mumbled something about playing with the razor. That was that.

After that, I tried drowning (really hurts) and starvation (that lasted three days). I thought about it often throughout junior high and high school. I had plans that never came to fruition.

When I was 25, I married the love of my life, moved to Ireland for three years, and had panic attacks every time I had to leave my apartment. I spent nearly every day in pajamas. My husband had to tell me to go shower.

For years I was fine. And then I had a baby. My postpartum depression was so severe that I had a "really good plan" that would not only get rid of me, but would get my family a new car. Because that's what's important, right? A new car. I had so many fantasies of running away. For some reason, my fantasies had me moving out west. Not to Oregon or Washington. No. To Arizona or New Mexico! Because that makes sense. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate heat. Summers are the worst. Summers in a desert? Not a hope! So clearly, I had that one planned out well. I started feeling better when my daughter was six months old.

Fast forward a few years and I'm complaining to my doctor that I'm exhausted. I was thinking that I had a vitamin deficiency or something. Blood work all came back normal. He began to ask me a few questions. And then some more questions. And then finally, after a lot more discussion, he said he thought he knew why I was having problems staying awake and keeping focused. (I hadn't even mentioned the panic attacks at that point.) He thought that I had depression.

He was the first to diagnose my problem in, at that time, 34 years.

It all made so much sense.

I went through several medications before I found one that sort of helped. I have another appointment coming up soon. I really don't know how that one is going to go. I've had a lot happening in the last year or so and have been down again. My idea of a perfect day right now is to spend it alone in bed. But, I get up, put on a happy face and keep trudging through.

I have a lot to live for. My daughter is amazing. My husband has been so supportive through everything. I have a lot of family and friends who love me.

At 37, I know now that I never really wanted to die. I just wanted the pain and sadness to stop. It was more than I could handle and I didn't know how to cope with it. Life can be overwhelming at times. Help is out there.

I recently read a quote that said something like, "Suicide isn't an act of a selfish person. It's the act of a broken person." (If I can find the exact quote and who said it, I'll update this.)

If you or anyone you know are thinking about suicide, please, please, please get help. It may not seem like it now, but the future you will be so glad you did. It really does get better.

In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

Love,

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 2014's Ipsy Bag

July's goodies

Hey, all!

It's that time again! This month's bag left me a bit underwhelmed, to say the least. The bag itself is adorable. I love the ultra-girliness of it, but the contents...meh.

Here's my list of products in order of favorites.

1. bareMinerals 5-in-1 cream eyeshadow in Barely Nude: The formula is amazing. It's creamy, blends out beautifully, and doesn't crease. I just really wish that this color wasn't my exact skin color. I'll be using this as a base for other eye shadows. (Full Size $18. Sample Size Value $5.40)

2. Pur~lisse pur~protect essential daily moisturizer spf 30: Fans of the moisturizer without the sunscreen should like this, too. It has the same light texture that absorbs quickly into skin. The sunscreen scent is very light, but is detectable. This works well under makeup. (Full Size $55. Sample Size Value $16.50)

Models Own in Red Sea. This is two coats over a nude polish.

3. Models Own nail polish in Red Sea (Splash Collection): This is a bright red jelly polish with iridescent/holographic glitters of varying sizes. It's definitely a statement polish. Even though this has great coverage for a jelly, I would still apply it over a red just so I wouldn't have to apply so many layers. (Full Size £5 = $8.53)

4. Pixi Tinted Brilliance Balm in Unique Pink: I have no idea why they bothered naming this color anything but "Mostly Clear". It's soooooo sheer that I couldn't get a swatch to show up on my hand. There is a bit of a sheen that is pretty, but, really, not what I want in a tinted lip balm. Pixi's website calls it "your own personal, pH reactive pink", so I must not have any pH. The balm itself is nice. It feels creamy, sticks around for a while, and has a light minty scent. The lack of pigmentation just seriously bummed me out. (Full Size $14. Sample Size Value $8.40)*

5. Clear Clinic Laboratories Vanished Clear Spot Treatment: The only reason this is at the bottom of the list is that I haven't had a chance to try it out. I have no active problems at the moment (thank goodness) so I can't really give an opinion on this other than it smells potent and I love the idea of a treatment that you can carry with you and reapply throughout the day. (Full Size $35. Sample Size Value $9.33)

My bag came to a total of $48.16 for $10. Not too shabby. I'll be giving that spot treatment a try next time face demons show up.

Ipsy is a subscription service that costs $10 a month. You get four or five products, some full sized, and a reusable bag. Each bag is customized to the subscriber via a quiz that you take when signing up. You can retake the quiz at any point and as many times as you like. Anyway, if you're interested in ipsy and would like to earn me some points, click and subscribe.

If you subscribe, what did you get in your bag this month?

Love,



*edit July 28, 2014 - Gave this to my daughter to play with and it turned a bright, pretty pink. Guess I really don't have pH. lol


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Short Rant On Why I Hate Summers

Z hanging out on the river bank. Photo by Sean O'Donoghue.


Hey, all!

Did you ever have one of those days when you rush around, get the kid dressed and waiting by the door when all of a sudden, she has to go change her clothes (three times), you have to mop the floor, a then you have to measure out more allergy medicine because the previous tablespoon ended up all over your kid and the floor? Yeah...

Reasons I Hate Summer (the season, not the cat)

1. My morning schedule is shot. There's no way we're getting anywhere on time. Ever. Definitely not in a good mood.

2. Sweat.

3. Bugs. We've been fighting infected bug bites on the kiddo. She swears she's not scratching them. I beg to differ.

4. Heat. (see also: Sweat). I can't handle heat. I get dizzy. I can't breathe. I sweat. Sometimes it even messes with my tummy. I'm not going into details. You're welcome.

5. Humidity. My hair does its best impression of Ronald McDonald during the summer. It's even less cute on me than it is on a creep clown.

6. Pools/Swimsuits. No. Just no.

7. Fewer clothes in general. So much upkeep! Constant pedicures, nearly daily leg shaving, faux tanning...it never ends (until winter).

8. Breakouts. Even my skin hates summer. I can't find a sunscreen higher than SPF 15 that doesn't break me out, but 15 does nothing for the super pale. Nothing. It's fine if I'm just heading straight for the car, but if I have to spend any time at all outside...freckles and burning. Again, not cute. Or healthy. (Just to be clear, I wear sunscreen all year round, I just seem to spend more time outside in summer.) Also, my skin goes from dry/normal combo in the winter to oily/normal combo in the summer. That's fun.

Just to end this on a positive note, here's a few things I love about summer.

1. Food. Fried green tomatoes, ice cream, lemonade, grilled everything, all sorts of yumminess that for some reason tastes better in summer.

2. Longer days. The shorter days of winter makes me want to sleep constantly. I really do hibernate in the winter.

3. Sandals. They're just so cute and easy (even with the required pedicures).

4. Kids playing outside. Mine comes home after spending all day at her Mimi's exhausted, filthy, and happy. She loves running around the countryside barefoot.

What are some of your loves and hates for summer?

Have a fabulous day!


Monday, June 16, 2014

June Ipsy Bag Review

It's like Christmas every month! lol


Hi, all!

I've been a subscriber to ipsy for a while now and thought I'd share what I got this month. In case you haven't heard of it, ipsy is a beauty product subscription service that's only $10 per month. And you always get your money's worth. This month's bag had four full-sized products and one deluxe sample-sized product.

First up, my favorite thing out of this bag is a full-sized NYX's Butter Gloss in Éclair. This gloss really stays around, hydrating my lips for hours. The pigmentation is good. The color is a beautiful, everyday, go-with-anything pink. It's not sticky at all. It retails for $5.

My next favorite thing is a full-sized Jessie's Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Black. It comes with a calligraphy-style brush applicator, is soooooo easy to use, and really is waterproof, but comes off easily with eye makeup remover. The pigmentation is amazing. It truly is black and not a washed-out grey. This retails for $6.99.

Next up is a ten pack of OLEHENRIKSEN truth to go wipes. They have a yummy orangey scent, are packed with vitamins and all sorts of benefits for the skin, and are missing bad things like parabens and sulfates. They retail for $9 for a 10 pack and $15 for a 30 pack.

I also loved the deluxe sample size of Marc Anthony True Professional Dream Waves Beach Spray. It really did give my natural waves an extra bump and it smells amazing. It's really like a day at the beach. I'm going to save the rest of it for when my hair is longer. The sample is 45ml, while the full size bottle is 125ml. The full size retails for $8.79, but is on sale for $6.99 currently. The sample I received would be $3.16 full retail price.

Now on to my least favorite: Be A Bombshell Lash Out Mascara in Intense Black. It really doesn't do it for me. If you like a natural look to your eyelashes, this would totally work for you. I like eyelashes that you can see from miles away. I have to work at this forever to get it to show up on my lashes. (Ain't nobody got time for that! lol) On the positive side, it doesn't flake or smudge, and it's easily removed with eye makeup remover. I've received other Be A Bombshell products from ipsy and they've all been great, but mascara is so personal. What works wonderfully for one person won't always work for someone else. It retails for $15.

So, if you've been counting, my $10 bag (and, yes, you get a reusable bag every time) totaled up to $39.15. Good deal, right?

If you subscribe, let me know what you got in your bag. And if you'd like to subscribe, click here. (Full disclosure, if you use my code to subscribe, I get points. When I've collected so many points, I get free stuff.)

Have a fabulous day!


Monday, February 24, 2014

Makeover Monday: TV Stand to Art Cart

Z's new Art Cart
My darling daughter is quite the artist...and has a ton of supplies to prove it. I needed to corral her art supplies and had limited space. My husband and I searched many stores for a shelf that would fit, but couldn't find a single option. That's when the epiphany hit. I remembered that our house's previous owners had left a TV stand out in the shed. (Yay for free stuff!) 

Soooo not staged!

 After giving it a cleaning, Summer and Berkeley inspected the TV stand. They thought it would do nicely.

"It's ok. Kinda ugly." Berkeley can be quite harsh.

I gave it a quick whitewash. Better.

Cuter, right?

I edged it with lace washi tape. Lots better.

Close-up of the washi tape. So pretty!

 The table and chairs were moved out to the playroom for tea parties and picnics.



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