Hair Highlights

So I finally got my hair done did…it’s only been 10 months. 10 months of outgrown, frizzy and limp hair.

I went in not knowing what I really wanted, but then decided to go a bit shorter than expected, though not as short as the result. I also decided on highlights, but I think it’s too much. It’s a caramel shade on top of my dark dark brown hair.

I’m going back in tonight to get it darkened even though everyone says it’s fine.  It could be just too much for me…I’m not used to highlights anymore…Plus, the cut didn’t turn out like the picture.  So, maybe I’ll just ask her to give me an angled bob and shorten it up a bit in the back.  Having a flat head and thinning hair = oodles of volume problems!  lol  I also need to get used to bangs.  I’ve just been sweeping them to side or clipping them back…Thus totally negating the whole “bangs can cover my huge forehead” ordeal.  Ahh…hair woes.

Still, I couldn’t resist having a little fun :)

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Benefit Love

ip5 1386Amazing what switching from threading to waxing can lead to.

For a year now, I’ve been getting my eyebrows threaded. I went to 3 different places and usually, only 1 lady got it right and it was in one of those middle of the mall kiosk things. I didn’t mind it, but I always felt weird when people walking past would just stop and look. Like, um, a little privacy/space please. Which, of course, not happening when you’re getting it done in the middle of the mall.

So anyway, I decided to go to our local Ulta and just walk around. Lo and behold, we have a Benefit Brow Bar. I figured I’d give it a shot. I loved it and I love the girl who did my eyebrows (and upperlip…shh…who said that???). She was so friendly and knew all about my pains of having oily skin (which has nothing to do with waxing, but I was probably just paranoid thinking my oily skin was gushing out as she was waxing..close proximity makes me babble even moreso).

She offered to put concealer on after my waxing to hide the redness and of course, I was curious and had her make sure it matched me correctly. She swore by it and so of course, I bit the bait and got it. The concealer is called Boing by Benefit. I don’t use it all the time and really, I’m still getting used to a concealer. I never really wore one before even though everyone and their mothers knew I needed to. It might give off a bit more of a yellowish tone that I”m used to b/c when I went to wear my usual lippie, the color was off. Maybe I need to just go a smidge lighter. She pretty much matched my color instead of going lighter, but I am new to concealer so maybe that age old “go a shade lighter” doesn’t apply anymore? I guess next time I go, I will ask to try the lighter shade and see. Ulta is one of the stores where you can return a used product so long as it’s not almost all used up.

Anywho, I decided to walk around some more and discovered Benefit’s Fine One One. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! It’s a highlighter, blush and it just gives a nice warm glow and it’s buildable. Go as sheer or as bold as you want! Added bonus? You can use it on your lips too. It comes off a bit pale on me, but its good for that pale/neutral look that goes well with the smokey eye. It is creamy so I’m a bit apprehensive about using it bc of my oily skin though it seems to be ok so far. I know I’ll be wearing more of this during this spring/summer for the color (again, I hope it’s not too oily in the heat). I’m already trying not to use it too much now b/c it is still winter.

My most favorite Benefit product came 2 weeks later when I had to get my eyebrows done again. This time? Mascara. I needed a new one b/c mine are over 6 months old and that’s no bueno. Now, I’m a WAHM so I don’t need to really be buying makeup all the time, I know this…shhh…But, this mascara had me intrigued and it helped that my eyebrow girl (and 2 others working that night) kept raving about it. It’s called They’re Real Mascara. It really does build volume and lengthens all in one! The brush is designed so you can use it horizontally and vertically (that’s why the tip is curved…that’s what you use to separate and curl). That’s the only pic of me looking up where you can see my lashes in that angle and it was a rush day of applying the mascara (I didn’t wiggle it on right) so sorry if it doesn’t look great, but believe me, it really gives your lashes UUMPH AND it is waterproof AND sweatproof (already tested that out during a Pilates Reformer class and while on the elliptical for an hour)! Being that it is sweatproof and I’m trying to go to the gym more often, yes, this WAHM actually wears mascara to the gym now. lol Might as well make the most of it!

Speaking of mascara…Here are tips from Allure… wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-wiggle-yeah!

http://www.allure.com/makeup-looks/2013/most-common-mascara-mistakes?s_cid=facebook__20130306_6222174#slide=1

January’s Ipsy Glam Bag

As always, the myglam/ipsy team didn’t disappoint.  To think, they’ve only been around about a year, but they have just gotten better and better each month. Sure, they had a rough start in the beginning, but as of late, I can’t say enough good things.  I got my sister into myglam/ipsy and she also subscribed to another monthly program and says ipsy is definitely much better.

Anyway, here are this month’s bag contents:

ipsy_january2013

I can’t wait to get that red nail polish on.  It’s Bloody Mary by Nailtini.  It actually opened/leaked a little, but I think it’s because it was below freezing out and sitting in our mailbox all day…real feel of 14 degrees anyone?  In addition, it has Body Butter by Pacifica in Tuscan Blood Orange,  trial/travel size of Big Sexy Hair – hairspray – which I actually have been wanting to try out.  It also has an ergonomic eyeliner brush by SoHo and the big surprise was Josie Maran’s Argan Oil.  All I hear is good things about that and I actually bought it last year, but couldn’t get into it.  They say it’s a good moisturizer, but I have oily skin.  They say it is still good b/c it will balance oil production.  I guess I can try again.  I just need to get used to it’s scent.  It’s rather “earthy”.  I’m not sure what term to use, but that’s the closest and I’m not a big fan of scents in that realm, but I guess that means it doesn’t have a whole lot of other junk added to it to make it smell pretty so that’s always good.

For $10 a month, this is beyond excellent.  If you’re not a member, what are you waiting for?  Sign Up!  I’m not sure if there’s a waiting list, but you can try.  If not, you can still be part of the ipsy community without the bag subscription.  www.ipsy.com  I’m on there as “bzmomma”, of course.

*no, I was not paid to tell you about ipsy…they don’t even have a referral program, but I just love them to pieces.*

**I don’t know why I never posted about my bags before…better late than never.  I always took pics of the products, just never had the time to post, I guess.**

I [heart] TJ Maxx

I have a love / hate relationship with this store…you see, even if I can’t find what I’m looking for, I’ll still walk out with something.  I can’t ever leave this store empty handed! This is true for TJ’s sister store: Marshalls. I used to shop there in NJ a lot, but I’ve only seen TJ Maxx around here. Regardless of the store, there are always AWESOME deals.

My latest score?  Essie nail polish for $3.99.  These are usually almost $8, if not more than $8.  So, essentially, I got them 50% off!  2 for 1!  AND, I’ve been looking for an orange-y red that wasn’t too orange-y, but not fire engine red either.  This is now my fave summer color: “Dramatic Drachmas”.  The pale pink is a bit tooooo pale, but I’m sure I’ll figure something out with it.  That one is called “Petal Pink”.

1st pic is w/an Instagram filter so it may not show the true color so I added the “regular” photo next to it.

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Blessing and a Curse – Part 1

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how great I had back when I was younger…or even just in my 20s…you know, before I hit my 30s and everything caught up to me.   I feel like I have a lot to talk about w/my blessings/curses so we’ll make Part 1 – Skin, Part 2 – Hair, Part 3 – Weight.   Maybe I should have renamed this series:  Yearning for the Fountain of Youth.

Anyway, I’ve posted before how I’m a late bloomer – especially when it comes to my skin.  I had porcelain skin in high school.  While my friends were learning how to apply make-up and learning how to hide their flaws with said make-up, being BFFs w/Oxy,  and trying every “zit-zapper” drug store brand under the sun, I would bask in my extra minutes of sleep because I wouldn’t have to do any of the above.  I would just shower and go.  At night, I never really washed my face either (don’t judge!).  If I did, it would just be water.

I felt like I had to start taking care of my skin though (???  I don’t know why, I thought I was missing out on something).  So, I started the Clinique 3 step program.  However, I was not consistent at all.  I remember throwing out cleansers and such over a year later.  I never learned how to pick the right foundation or concealer shade and therefore, never learned how to apply it either. All I would wear was powder.  I wore other make-up, eventually, like eyeliner and lipstick/gloss/balm/etc., but nothing to hide flaws or even my skin tone with.  I had it good…REAL good.  I was blessed with porcelain skin.

Fast forward to when I was 19.  A friend of the family, who was pretty much my Aunt, commented on how beautiful my skin was.  At this time, I went back to Clinique and even added a scrub as my skin was starting to get obviously oily.  I told her what I was doing (although still not consistently) and she said to keep up with it.  I don’t know why I didn’t listen.  Always listen to those old family friend/aunts who give you advice when they have a right too (she was in her 50s and not a pore in sight!).

Fast forward again to when I was 25.  I finally moved out of my parents’ house (I stayed home for college…wasn’t allowed to dorm b/c I was a girl – that’s a whole other story).  I moved to downtown Jersey City to a BEAUTIFUL luxury 3 bedroom apartment w/2 of my friends.  My skin had a hard time adjusting to the water (I guess it was hard water?), my stress level went up because of being on “my own” (with roommates, but still), more bills than usual (I paid some when living at home w/parents to help them out) and stress at work and I had my first bought of breakouts.  I mean, serious HUGE pimples popped all over my face.

I had no idea what to do or how to handle it. I didn’t even want to go out w/my friends at times.  I didn’t want to go to work.  I didn’t want to go anywhere, but stay in my room.  I didn’t know how to fix it or hide it.  I didn’t want to see a dermatologist because I didn’t want them to put me on something that would bring all the dirt and what have to the surface (I heard horror stories of how people broke out more, at first, before they got better).  I was in mid-20s and finally coming / blooming into my own.  I didn’t realize being a late-bloomer also applied to my skin.  I felt like a kid going through puberty.  At least when you’re in high school, you have others to commiserate with.  I had no one.  The curse of having beautiful skin while everyone else suffered – I never took care of it or learned how to.

Eventually, my skin cleared up, but I now had battlewounds (aka acne scars) to show what I went through.  Fast forward again to 27 when I was pregnant with my first, Beans.  After the shock of it all, I took motherhood to the extreme where everything was about her.  I don’t regret that at all.  I do regret not taking care of myself.  I couldn’t find that balance.  I didn’t know how to make everything about her, but not forget about me either.   This happened for ALL of my girls.

Fast forward again to 3 years ago – early 30s.  I finally started to stare at myself when I looked in the mirror.  Before that, I would do everything so quickly just to make sure my hair wasn’t all over the place, my clothes weren’t inside out and my eyeliner wasn’t smeared/smearing.  What I found, scared (vain) me.  My pores had gotten big and visible.  There is no reversing that.

Starting last spring, I have tried to really take care of my skin.  I can’t undo the damage, but I can try to hinder anymore damage from happening or at least slow it down.  I’ve gotten good with washing my face 2x /day.  I’ve been trying different cleanser lines, but haven’t quite found one that works well – all the time.  Clinique still works for me, but I’m trying to find something that will control my crazy oily producing face.  I swear sometimes I feel like I can fry an egg on my face (sorry for that visual).  It doesn’t help that I now sweat easily (happened after pregnancy weight gain than I never lost).  I finally went to see a dermatologist and she happens to also have oily skin so she understands my woes.  She’s got me on some retinoid and trying Cetaphil’s new line for acne prone skin (wash and moisturizer).  I ran out of my Clinique Acne Solutions line (lower your volume if you’re going to click on that Clinique link) so it was good timing.  So far, so good, but the weather has also started to cooperate (read as:  not 100 degree hot) so we’ll have to see.

Just an FYI though, I did like the Clinique line.  Right before I started using it again, I was breaking out around my jawline and cheek area…heat related?  I don’t know, but it cleared pretty much within a few days.  Cetaphil is looking like it’s working for me too, so far.  Maybe even comparable to Clinique or maybe it’s because I’m also using a retinoid.

I wish I had my old skin back, but at least now, I’m teaching my girls that it’s important to wash up every night – for now, I’m letting them just use a washcloth and water everynight…just to let them get into the habit of it.

What a blessing it was to have porcelain skin, but also a curse because I took it for granted and never took care of it and so never knew how to take care of it until later on in life… #firstworldproblems,Iknow

Rouge in Love #2 – Roses in Love

When I first went to check out Lancome’s Rouge in Love line, I was still on a hunt for a perfect pale / nude pink. I don’t know if it was the lighting or what, but it seems like all of the ones I tried just seemed to wash me out. By suggestion of the nice Lancome gal, I tried this on. I thought it was too bright of a pink (I don’t really wear bright), but maybe needed a change for Spring…Pop of Pink, why not?

Lancome: Rouge in Love -

When I finally got my package (it was out of stock), I wasn’t sure I liked it anymore (though I did love the Cocoa Couture shade – still do :) ). In fact, I’ve only worn it 3x (this day being the 3rd). Why? I don’t know. Maybe it’s the clothes color choices that don’t go with it? But this time, it seemed to work! Maybe it’s because of my bright pink shirt too? I wore it on Mother’s Day, but mixed in with a whole bunch of others b/c I didn’t initially wear it. The color I initially wore was a pale pink, but I wanted more pink so added this and a gloss, etc.

Anyway, this day? I was LOVIN’ this color:
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Don’t know why the pink doesn’t pop as much as it does on my phone…but here, I tried to use Instagram captures it’s PINK-NESS :) Still not as bright as it is in person…
rouge in love - roses in love

So this picture was altered to show the pop of pinkness…The original pic is under this one.
green & pink - edited for brightness

First time I wore it back in March (ugh…HATE my pores :(please ignore them!!!) Anyway, big difference right? But I swear, it’s not this pale and looks more like above..or maybe I’m just seeing things…hehehe.
green & pink

Spring Nails…

I was never good with nail polish. Heck, I still have a problem w/putting nail polish on lefty, but I have 3 girls…2 who are old enough to know what nail polish is and want it all! the! time! So, while Beans was on Spring Break last week, we all had orange-ish nails using Sally Hansen’s XTreme Wear in “Crushed”:
Orange "Crush(ed)" - Sally Hansen
Then, we hit the local Walgreens and got more colors that weren’t going to break the bank…mint green, lavender, gray, sparkles and then I picked up yellow and blue at Target too. What’s all that equate to?

Fun springy nails!

Spring  / Easter Nails

I couldn’t decide which I wanted so I tried different colors on all of my nails and then busted out the white nail art skinny brushed polish and off I went…then I stared down and realized they look very Easter Egg-ish :) Must’ve been on the same wavelength as Ms. Phan since she actually posted an Easter Nail Art tutorial yesterday as I was drafting this up :) I saw the pics, but haven’t viewed the vid yet. Of course, hers look a lot better than mine, but mine were more by accident. I plan on doing them over before Sunday, but let’s just see if that happens.

Anyway, here are the cast of characters…not pictured are Essie’s Fiji and Sally Hansen’s Sun Kissed (on my thumb) and the yellow and blue (on my other hand), but just trust me that yellow doesn’t do anything for my skin tone right now and blue is ok, but not the blue I was thinking of…

Colors
L-R: Wet n’ Wild Wild Shine in “Sparked” (which I used over Razz’ nails to make them sparkle and over the mint green on mine, Sally Hansen XTreme Wear in “Mint Sorbet”, “Lacey Lilac” and “Gunmetal” (couldn’t find link on Walgreens site). The white I used is from LA Colors Art Deco in “White” which I got at a local dollar store in NJ. Beans called the gray one w/white “Tic-Tac-Toe” while pDaddy and I thought more of waffles. I was trying to make polka-dots on the lavendar one, but my hands aren’t very steady so I tried for hearts instead…um, clouds ended up winning :) My thumb has Essie’s Fiji with Sparked on top. Then, Shrimpie smeared the top left corner so I put on a new orange – Sun Kissed (also by Sally Hansen).

Here’s to hoping I’ll have some time to make them nice and pretty for Easter Sunday :)