Monday, November 25, 2013

nars 'sin' blush review

The moment I receive my Ebates check, I purchase more makeup.  This time, I thought I would splurge on a NARS blush.  I already own the iconic 'Orgasm' from a Sephora sampler, but I wanted to branch out a little. 

Dad, I know you're reading this.  Yes, there is an actual blush called 'Orgasm.'  Yes, I do know what that word means.  On behalf of makeup-loving daughters everywhere, I apologize.  

NARS 'Sin' was at the top of my list, as I've been searching for my perfect plum blush.  The NARS website describes it as 'berry tone with gold shimmer.'  In the pan, it looks quite neutral:
"Mama, please take a picture of me with the blush."
On the cheeks, it's quite flushed and pretty:
 Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work to blend out this formula.  I also had to keep layering it on for some actual color, as the product in the pan was stiff and not buttery at all.  Hmph.  For me, NARS blushes don't hold a candle to Tarte Amazonian Clay blush, which is my favorite formula.  I don't find it worth the $29 price tag.

Does anyone have a plummy blush recommendation for me?  
 Also, don't tell my dad about other scandalous NARS names.  He might keel over.

UPDATE: I have given this blush an unfair shake.
Please see my updated review!

Friday, November 22, 2013

bare arms no more

Oregon hung on to summer as long as she could.  Now the we're into full-fledged fall, I thought I'd halfheartedly reminisce about those gorgeous warm fall days.  This outfit is from a gorgeous day we had a few weeks ago before the rain and frosty mornings officially began.
Blouse: Old Navy
Purse: Goodwill, no brand
Belt, skirt: Gap
Heels: Seychelles
Lipstick: Maybelline "Fuschia Flash"

Saturday, November 9, 2013

downtown abbey

Fall in Mount Angel demands frequent walk to the Abbey.  The air on the hill is chillier, the view overlooking the valley is spectacular, and it never hurts to expose my children to the beauty and solitude of monastic life. 
Coat: J. Crew via Salvation Army
Scarf: Gap
Burgundy ponte leggings: Target
 Shirt dress thing: ASOS
Shoes: Seychelles
Ever since I joined the Abbey's Renaissance choir, I've spent a lot more time here and have been able to further appreciate the fact that I live so close to this wonderful place.  Sometimes I steal some time away to read in the graveyard or sip tea in the newly refurbished bookstore.  Then once I get all that twee out of the way, I don't clean my nasty kitchen while reading crappy dystopian teen novels on the toilet.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

two of my favorite things

"I think amethysts are just sweet. They are what I used to think diamonds were like. Long ago, before I had ever seen a diamond, I read about them, and I tried to imagine what they would be like. I thought they would be lovely glimmering purple stones. When I saw a real diamond in a lady's ring one day I was so disappointed I cried. Of course, it was very lovely, but it wasn't my idea of a diamond." 
-Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery

I'm not a jewelry person.  Well, I'm not an expensive jewelry person.  My wedding ring is the most expensive piece (and most treasured, of course) until last month, when I received a gorgeous diamond eternity ring from Anjolee.  I love it.  It's a tad dainty with a touch of masculinity, just the way I like it.  

I've worn this ring almost daily since I've received it.  It's withstood hours of dishwashing, diaper-changes, showers, and workouts.  It's exceeded my expectations, and I am convinced that I need more amethysts in my life.  Anne, as usual, was right.

 If you or someone you know needs some beautiful quality jewelry, I completely recommend Anjolee.  Fast shipping, good communication, quality product, easy-to-navigate website.  Me very happy. 

My other favorite thing, you ask?  That olive-gilded confection that's constantly been on my nails this fall.  Butter London Wallis.  If you purchase one overpriced Butter London polish in your life, make it Wallis.  

Ah, the winning autumnal combination of my beloved amethyst ring and my goldeny-green nails.  Perfection. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

I Shoulda Worn Color

 Top: Forever 21
Earrings, bracelet: ShopLately
Boots: Frye via Craigslist
Lipstick: Revlon Lip Butter in Wild Watermelon
Nail polish: Orly Purple Crush
I was drunk with exhaustion today.  Gabriel has been the worst sleeper ever as of late.  To 'awaken' my eyes, I put some white eyeliner in my waterline.  Can you tell?  Normally, I would have worn an outfit with a little more oomph.  Bright top, floral dress, my red boots... all those things have a way of perking up my sleep-deprived self.  At least I could count on this adorable stitched collar.  I wonder if I will ever tire from sweet details like Peter Pan collars, scalloped hems, or embroidered rosebuds.  Frankly, I hope not.

How do you stay awake?
Seriously, I'm in need of advice; my son may be out to destroy me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

O my Luve

Dress: c/o Surfdome
Tights: c/o We Love Colors
Necklace, earrings: Shop Lately
Shoes: Bandolino
Say hello to my favorite dress.  Everything about this frock is perfect to me; the pleating, split sleeves, relaxed waist, fluttery hem, and chain belt (surprisingly!) I love.  Also, I claim red as My Color.  This is my only red dress and I really couldn't imagine a better option.  Welcome, pretty thing!

Surfdome is a UK-based website with a ridiculous amount of clothing.  At first glance, it looks like it sells mainly surfwear, but no!  There are some lovely dressy options, as well.  My favorite brands from the site are Joules and French Connection.  It's hard to find tea-length dresses, and Surfdome has several styles available.

I am ecstatic to finally have a red dress in my closet.  
Seriously, what took me so long?

Disclaimer: Surfdome sent me the dress with no strings attached. (Thank you!)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Beginner Parenting: Gratitude

When I was twelve, I wouldn't eat the Hamburger Helper.  I hated it, and for good reason.  When I told my mom that I refused to eat the gloopy brown noodles, she promptly placed a large photo of a starving African child in front of me.  I sat there stubbornly for over two hours before she sent me to bed without dinner.  My dinner made a truly disgusting breakfast the next morning.  My mother's 'extreme' emphasis on gratitude has influenced my own parenting style.  Case in point:

A few weeks ago, I picked Rowena up from her first day of kindergarten.  Her mood was positively effervescent after the long day.  In the car, she opened her lunchbox to feast on the leftovers: two cherry tomatoes, a maple cookie, and string cheese.  

"Rowena, eat one of the tomatoes before you eat anything else, okay?"

"But I don't like tomatoes."

"I know you don't. Eat it anyway, please."

"But it's yuckyyyyyyy!"

Cue the crying, gagging, slouching, and passive-aggressively pressing her feet against the back of the driver's seat.  This behavior is not typical of Rowena.  I knew that the combination of hunger and exhaustion brought out the vinegar from my special snowflake of a daughter, so I tried not to freak out.  

As my car sped through the country roads past farms and fields, a familiar dairy-scent filled my nostrils.  (There's really nothing like rotting cow feces on a hot September day.)  I stopped the car.  In the middle of the road.  It is important to note that Rowena is extremely sensitive to smell.  She loves to smell everything, from her food to flowers to clean laundry to crayons.  You name it, she sniffs it.  With my eye on my rear view mirror, (which remained clear during the duration of this adventure) I gave Rowena a look of doom and said in my most powerful Mom-God voice, "Do you smell that?  We will sit here until you eat that tomato!"  After another mini-freakout, Rowena saw that I was serious.  She stuffed the tomato in her mouth and chewed vigorously with minimal heaving.  "Swallow it," I said mercilessly.  She swallowed the offending fruit and gave a sigh of relief.  I moved the car forward, past the Pit of Eternal Stench, not without a feeling of Did I Just Do That?  

"Thanks for eating the tomato, Ro!  Here's your cookie and cheese."  After that, it was over.  Rowena chatted happily about her lovely teacher and classmates for the rest of the ten-minute drive.  She's a good egg.
My friend Joanna took this photo right before Rowena's first class.  
Little did we know of the stinky adventure that awaited us that afternoon. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fruit Salad

 Dress: Forever 21
Belt: Gap
Navy tights: Hue
Gold oxfords: Seychelles
Glasses: Warby Parker (Marshall)
Earrings: Shoplately
If you are in need of cute dresses on a budget and are size 8 and up, I highly recommend Forever 21's Plus Size section.  I find that the dresses in that section are better quality than their regular line, with some added length and ability to actually move and play in!  I plan on wearing this obnoxiously bright dress throughout the entire year, and I think navy tights and oxfords autumn it up nicely.  Ah, late summer.  This may just be my favorite time of year.  Oktoberfest is just around the corner, Rowena begins kindergarten, choir practices start, Bath & Body Works pumpkin candles are back in season, and hot chocolate is definitely in my near future.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Summer Wedding Blues

I just liked the title.  No blues were had.  Perhaps the only disappointment was that my camera completely ignored the metallic stars on my dress.
Dress: Forever 21
Cami: Shade Clothing (RIP)
Belt: Gap
Sandals: Miz Mooz
Earrings: Glint & Gleam

My friends got married outside, and it was beautiful.  Amy, the bride, can be described as Pinterest in a mini mason jar.  It was an adorable wedding, complete with a bluegrass band welcoming us as we entered the lawn.  I brought along a strange man:
And met some dear friends:
We admired the decor of white with scatterings of hops and wildflowers:
And then the wine took over.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dickinson's Pore Perfecting Toner Review

My skin hasn't been the same since I had (gave birth to? Pushed out? Idk.) Gabriel last year.  Gone was my foundation-free life and no-makeup days.  My skin became redder, bumpier, and prone to breakouts, my cheeks flaky and croissant-like.  Ah, what poetry!  Don't you feel like you're reading Oscar Wilde?  

I tried exfoliating more, exfoliating less, an expensive LUSH face wash, a paraben-riddled moisturizer, and a several other tactics.  One fateful day at Walgreens one month ago, I spotted a clear bottle of Dickinson's Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner.  I used Dickinson's original witch hazel and Thayer's Rose Witch Hazel Toner before, both of which I still have half full in the medicine cabinet.  I decided to plunk down the $5 and purchase the dang thing.   I began to use the toner in the morning and evening with a cotton ball and swipe it gently all over my face.  Three days later, my skin improved drastically. 

Before- note the moisturizer in the hairline:
 After- note the glob of moisturizer on my nose-crevice:
 I'm swear I'm not trying to pose-- I just wanted to pull back my bangs!
(Sidenote- Darin always teases me because of my moisturizing skills. 
 I always, always fail to rub it in thoroughly.)

I hope that these pictures show how much my skin has improved.  I still have some redness, but the texture of my skin is so much smoother.  You can't see it in the Before photo, but I have serious flaky patches on my upper and lower cheeks.  They're gone now!  My skin has become more luminous, too.  I have been using this toner for a month and I am oh-so-happy with the results.  

Get thee to the drugstore and buy this!  I bought a back-up bottle yesterday because Walgreens had a special display in which you can fill out the attached rebate and get a full refund!  It's FREEE!  Well, as long as you remember to fill it out and send it in.  Oh rebates, you fickle demons.
Let me know if you have tried this!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Matchy Matchy Red Squared

Top: Gap
Necklace: Shoplately
Skirt: Gift from Sartorialist
Shoes: BC Footwear
Eyes: Urban Decay Naked 2 palette, Rimmel eyeliner in navy
Cheeks: TheBalm Cabana Boy, Bare Minerals Faux Tan
Lips: Revlon Lip Butter in Peach Parfait
Hair: courtesy of bed
 I must admit, I didn't have the guts to wear this skirt (especially without tights!) in public.  I do, however, think it was good for my psyche to wear it around the house and in the backyard.  I keep saying to myself, "You can wear *insert item of pre-Gabriel clothing here* when you lose ten pounds" and "I will start hardcore blogging when I lose a little more weight."  Whatever.  Loving myself is an ongoing process.  Why wait?  Also, I always feel sartorially inspired late summer and fall!  I can't wait to break out my sweaters, tights, hats, and dark lipsticks.

Have a loverly weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pardon My Dust

I have convinced Darin to revamp my blog!  I need something fresher, cleaner, and more fun funner.  Don't worry if the blog looks crazy-- give it a week or so.  I am itching to get some new outfits posts up for you, but in the meantime, enjoy this resemblance of Gabriel to an obscure Arrested Development character.
Much love!
(Do you follow me on Instagram yet?)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Julep DD Creme & Concealer: 1st Impressions and Review

Hi everyone!  I received my June Julep Maven box yesterday and I couldn't wait to show you the brand spankin' new paraben-free DD Creme and Concealer within it.  The box costs $19.99 each month with the option to skip, which I haven't done as much as I'd like to admit.  Sigh.  Considering that Julep sells both products for about $30 each, I wanted to jump on this limited time offer.  (Julep sells primarily 5-free nail polish, but I have placed myself on a temporary ban from that addictive stuff.)

On to the (untouched) photos! Bare face:
 With DD Creme in the color medium, which has a great consistency.
Thick with some tack to it, moisturizing, and comfortable on the skin.

With DD Creme and Concealer in the color light:
I LIKE IT!  It calms down my hyper-pigmentation, evens my skin tone, and gives me a nice glow.  But... and this is a BIG butt... both tubes seem to be about half-full, especially the already teensy tube of concealer.  It seriously feels like I might have five more uses out of that dinky thing.  I would consider purchasing the DD Creme again, but not the concealer, as its lasting power was not impressive on my bigger blemishes.  Also, $30?  No frank you.  

Here's the three photos together so that you can get the full effect.  The only room for text was on my glorious five-head. 
What say you?  

If you would like to try Julep and get addicted to pretty mail and beauty products, use my link and enter in the code 6053817 to get your first box gratis.  Have an awesome day, everyone!
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