Saturday, January 13, 2018

Outfits of the Week: January 8 - 12

I could not wait for this weekend to come!  This week at work was one of the worst that I've had in a while.  Every single day this week, something involving the software programs that I work with was broken.  And of course, that had to happen during the week that the assessments involving that software began.  I'm glad to be leaving this work week behind me and moving on!

I'm trying out taking my photos slightly differently this week.  More on why in the coming days!  So don't mind as I play and try to find the perfect new spot to take pictures and the perfect way to edit them into a collage.  Also, this day was finally warm enough again for a dress, even if I did wear it with fleece lined tights and a scarf.  By mid-morning it was already too warm for the scarf so most of the day I went without it.

houndstooth square scarf - Amazon
black convertible dress - Target
black cami secret - Burlington
blue cardigan - Kohl's
black fleece lined tights - Vanity Fair Outlet
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I decided to bust out the old cardigan clips this week.  I'm not sure why I stopped wearing them but I guess I just sort of forgot about them.  You can't really see it with the tie neck blouse, but I know it's there.  Also, I'm trying to play around with wearing my hair straight with my new short cut.  I'm not digging it but maybe I just need to tinker more.  I still feel like I have no idea how to style this short cut in a way I like.

heather taupe cardigan - Papaya
black floral tie neck blouse - Papaya
mixed neutrals cardigan clip - made by me
black skinny belt - Walmart
moss essential chinos - Amazon
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless


Here I am rocking out the cardigan clip again!  Seriously, why did I ever stop wearing these?  They are so fun!  I also really liked this outfit.  I felt put together and classy.

white and black blouse - Papaya
pink cardigan - Kohl's
black owl cardigan clip - made by me
black skinny belt - Walmart
black essential chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats

Not much to say about this outfit.  It wasn't bad but it wasn't great.  Definitely not one of my favorites but it did the trick.

mint green blouse - Kohl's
navy cardigan - Kohl's
white cami secret - Burlington
golden snitch cardigan clip - made by me
palisade essential chinos - Amazon
skinny brown belt - Walmart
brown buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

I felt it was time to bring back maxi skirt Friday this week since it wasn't so cold.  There's just something so comfy about maxi skirts!  At least until it started raining and I had to walk everywhere with it hiked up to keep it from getting soaked at the bottom.

neon pink blouse - Papaya
gray cardigan - Papaya
silver hanging cat necklace - Christmas gift
black maxi skirt - Sears
black elastic waist belt - Amazon
black buckle flats - Rack Room Shoes

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Review: e.l.f. Perfect Face Palette in Smoky Matte

Hey friends!  Today I'm going to be reviewing the e.l.f. Perfect Face Palette in Smoky Matte.  I purchased mine from [here] for ten dollars while doing a little online Christmas shopping for hubby.

Product Claims: Directly from e.l.f.'s website [source], "Discover a range of gorgeous looks with the Perfect Face Palette. With 3 eyeshadows, 2 lipsticks, 1 highlighter, and 1 blush, each palette includes rich and blendable formulas. Mix and match shades to create a variety of looks today!"  I should point out here that the version I bought actually has a bronzer instead of a highlighter.

What I wanted this product to do: I've found myself traveling for work fairly frequently as of late and I wanted a palette that would have work appropriate eyeshadows and blush in one compact along with a decent sized mirror.  Most of the time when I'm traveling for work, I'm only gone for a day or two so variety of looks was less important to me than the compactness of the palette.

* I love the quality of all of the powder products in this palette.  The eyeshadows are smooth and easy to work with and blend really well.  The powders are pigmented without being so bold that I have to worry about everything looking crazy on my fair skin.  The blush and bronzer show up with no effort but also blend seamlessly.
* I love that the shadows and blush are neutral enough to go with just about any look you could imagine so that if you wanted to pull in any of these products along with other blushes or shadows, they could still work really well.
* I also really love the mirror, which would come in handy for traveling.  It might be a little on the small side to do a full face of makeup but I think you could make it work in a pinch.
* It's a great size!  This palette is just about the same size as my iPhone 6, but about twice as thick.  It won't take up tons of valuable real estate in your luggage.

* I didn't care for the lipsticks in this palette at all.  The shades are both really pretty and work well with the colors of the rest of the palette but I just really didn't like the texture and consistency of the lipsticks.  They applied streaky with a lip brush so I tried using my finger, which did help them to apply better, perhaps because the warmth of my fingers helped the product.  However, they are both quite bold colors that really benefit from precision so then I felt like I had to line my lips first.  Once I had a shade on, I found the texture to be quite drying and uncomfortable.  When I tried adding a bit of balm on top, it made the lipsticks really streaky and messy.
* Also, this format of lipstick is quite impractical.  If I want to touch up my lip color, I don't want to have to bring the entire palette with me.  And this is not a long lasting lip color so you will need to touch up.  I would have preferred that they just put a mini tube lipstick in the palette instead so you could store it within the palette or take it with you by itself if you wanted.  Or leave the lip color out completely and give us a highight, another blush, or two more eyeshadows.

Would I buy it Again/recommend it?
Definitely!  Despite the lipsticks, I think this is an overall great palette and I see myself using this frequently for short work trips.

If you'd like to see more details on how I used this palette to achieve the Face of the Day look above, I've linked to that blog post here.  I really enjoyed how this look turned out just using the palette in the traditional way along with a lipliner and the darkest lip color.

Additionally, I tried a different look using the lightest eyeshadow all over from the lid to the brow and then adding just a bit of depth to the crease using the matte bronzer.  For my lips, I used a soft reddish berry lipliner (essence lipliner in red blush) and then topped it with the more red toned lip color in the palette.  Still pretty but I like using all three eyeshadows together better, as you just get more contrast.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Outfits of the Week: January 2 - 5

This was an incredibly weird first week of work for 2018.  We had Monday off for New Year's, then worked on Tuesday.  We ended up getting Wednesday day off due to inclimate weather that caused freezing rain on the roads for the morning commute.  Then we worked Thursday and Friday.  The on again off again schedule made getting back into the routine of work difficult.  Here's hoping that next week is more routine and the weather gets back to normal as well.  Were any of you impacted by winter storm Grayson?  I hope you all stayed safe and warm!

This day was my first day back to work after a lovely twelve day break for the holidays.  Let me tell you how excited I was!  🙄  It was so cold and I did not want to get out of my nice warm bed!  But I like having money and I really needed to get away from my pantry and all the snacks that I've been nibbling on lately.  At least it was a comfy, easy outfit, even if my feet were freezing most of the day.  Next time I'll wear socks that actually cover my feet instead of the no shows.

maroon sweater - Kohl's
hobbit door necklace - Christmas gift from hubby ❤️
moss essential chinos - Amazon
taupe pointed toe flats - Payless

It was so cold going back to work today that I had to bust out the actual foot covering socks.  But then I made the mistake of standing in the long, frosty grass in them while I scraped and scraped and scraped the ice off of my car so another foot warmth fail.  Guess who just ordered some fleece rain boot liners for next time I have to scrape ice off my car?  🙋ðŸŧ‍♀️  At least the double layers on top were keeping me warm from the legs up.

pink striped button down - Goodwill
black polar fleece - Target
boulder gray chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

Another cold day and another warm outfit.  I bundled up with the same formula from the day before: long sleeve button down, polar fleece, and chinos.  Besides the outfit, I'm still struggling on how to style this short hair.  I don't particularly like the way it looks straight and it takes so little time to add some texture to it each day.  However, I haven't really found a style of wave that I love yet.  Any suggestions are most welcome!

chambray button down - Kohl's
olive polar fleece - Target
black chinos - Amazon
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Last Empties of 2017!

The last day of the year just seemed like the right time to clear out my empties bin and start the year with a clean slate.  Here are all of the empties from November and December of 2017.  Somehow I finished a lot of makeup in those two months!

* Covergirl Outlast Foundation in Classic Ivory
* Covergirl Outlast Foundation in Ivory
* Hard Candy Sheer Envy Hydrating Face Primer Spray
* Wet N Wild Max Volume Plus Waterproof Mascara
* L'Oreal Lash Paradise Waterproof Mascara in Blackest Black
* e.l.f. Instant Lift Brow Pencil in Neutral Brown
* Carmex Classic Lip Balm X3
* perfume sample (old)
* Covergirl Lash Blast Mascara (mini)
* e.l.f. HD Lifting Concealer in Fair

Hair Care Products
* Not Your Mother's Clean Freak Dry Shampoo
* Garnier Fructis Root Amp
* Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo (travel size)

Skin Care Products
* Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion
* Treatment
* Cleanser
* Cerave Eye Repair Cream
* Olay Complete Sensative Skin Moisturizer with SPF 15
* Olay Daily Facials
* Feel Brilliant Bamboo Charcoal Facial Sheet Mask
* Equate Original Clean Makeup Remover Wipes

Friday, December 29, 2017

My 2018 New Year's Resolution

Last year I set a new year's resolution of sorts to get my health on track so I could lose the weight that I had gained since leaving the classroom as a teacher.  I had done really well from summer of 2016 until about Thanksgiving and then I got off track after getting sick.  I got back on track at the new year, wrote weekly detailed blog posts about my progress, and did really well in 2017 until about September when Hurricane Irma hit us and I just never really devoted myself to living a healthy lifestyle again after that.  The weekly blog posts took me hours to do and was starting to feel more like a chore than an enjoyable hobby.  Then without making the effort to monitor my progress for the blog, I stopped trying altogether.  As 2017 comes to a close and I realize that I am now about eighteen months into a failed attempt to lose weight and keep it off, I started really trying to analyze where I keep going wrong.  My thoughts led me to two conclusions: #1 I can't focus only on weight because once I reach goal, I give up, and #2 I need an easier, faster way to hold myself accountable.  My new year's resolution for 2018 is to use a planner to keep track of several different metrics to encourage me to stay on track for good overall health.  While I probably won't write an entire blog post about my weekly updates, I might just share something on my Instagram page or maybe in an Insta story.  (I gave a sneak peek of this planner on my Insta Story if you want to check it out!)

I picked up this 5" X 8" weekly and monthly planner at Walmart for $7.88 [exact].  I wanted something that had both weekly and monthly pages.  I also wanted something that wasn't specifically set up to be a fitness planner so that I could decide what I wanted to track and what I didn't.  For example, while meal tracking is probably a great way to stay focused, I just know that I won't take the time to write down what I ate every day.  I wanted something that could motivate me, help me keep track and think about my activity, but could be quick enough that I would actually stick with it.

To decorate my planner, I bought these stickers from The Happy Planner on [exact].  The front sheet is cute little sayings but each of the five sheets is different and some of them have stickers to track calories burned, heart rate, time and distance, and more.  I thought they would be a fun way to add a little additional information on days where I do some different exercises.  I really like The Happy Planner brand of stickers and I have several other books that I use for different things and I plan to pull some of the appropriate phrases into this planner.

And even though the new year doesn't start for a couple more days, I've started using the monthly planner for December to keep track of some of the statistics I want to monitor.  Here's an example of what I plan on using my planner to track.

* number of steps
* quick notes on the length and type of exercise
* daily weight (blacked out because the whole world doesn't need to know what I weigh ðŸĪŠ)
* bed time on work nights

* total number of steps with a goal of 70,000
* total minutes of exercise with a goal of 2 hours and 30 minutes
* average weight
* average weeknight bed time with a goal of 9:30 or earlier

* tallies of days of 10,000 steps
* tallies of days of exercise
* beginning of month weight
* end of month weight

I'm not sure yet if I will use the weekly to do section for some small goals to accomplish that week or if I'll need that whole section for my weekly break down.  I'm leaning more towards using it for my weekly analysis, since those things are already sort of to dos.  Then I'll have room for some fun stickers or something too.  Either way, I like that this planner has room for keeping track of things for the day, week, or month.

How do you ensure that your new year's resolutions or goals last?  To be honest, my 2017 resolution lasted for over nine months and I think that is pretty good for me!  But there's always room for improvement and I'm really looking forward to all the great things that 2018 will bring.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christmas Beauty Haul

Happy Holidays!  I hope that everyone has/had a lovely Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or whatever holiday you and your family celebrate.  We had a great Christmas here and I have to say, my hubby hit it out of the park with presents this year.  He alleges that I made it fairly easy to shop for me this year by keeping up to date with my Amazon wish list.  And he was apparently listening in on quite a few YouTube videos that I watched as well.  He's a keeper for sure!  I thought I would share just the items that he got me that are beauty related.

Profusion Cosmetics
the Treasure Box
This large palette comes with:
* large mirror
* 35 eyeshadows
* 10 lipglosses
* 2 blushes
* 1 bronzer
* 1 highlight
* 1 eyeliner pencil
* and a bunch of useless little applicators that I already threw away.

He's gone Profusion cosmetics hunting with me several times now and he figured this large palette would be fun to use and review for the blog, especially since it's still available (but in different outer packaging) now.

Simply Me Beauty
Eye Makeup Remover Pad, BB Cream in Light, Hi-Def Concealer in Light, and Radiant Highlighter
When I first heard through Safiya Nygaard's YouTube video that 7-Eleven was coming out with its own line of makeup, all under $4.99, I told my husband (who uses 7-Eleven as "his" gas station) to feel free to pick me up anything but the face products for stocking stuffers.  I guess he got confused about what I said but it will still be fun to try these out.

Taylor by Taylor Swift Eau de Parfum Sample
This was a free sample from another purchase at Sephora but hubby knows I love Taylor Swift so he picked out this one.

Broadway Colors
Waterproof Curling Mascara
The story on this was that he was killing time one day and the only store around was Dollar General so he picked me up a couple of items, including the profusion palettes.

Define-A-Line Eyeliner in Soft Black
Another item from Dollar General.

Profusion Cosmetics
Face Palette
This is another item that was picked up at Dollar General but I had thought about buying this same item at Burlington so many times and I just kept putting it back down.  It will be a fun one to use to do a whole face, since all the color items you need are here in one place.  In this palette you get:
* 1 mirror
* 24 eyeshadows
* 3 blushes
* 1 highlight
* 2 bronzers
* 1 brow wax
* 2 brow powders
* 3 lip colors
* 1 mini eyeliner
* and a bunch of useless applicators and brushes.  The blush brush shed everywhere and the little hairs are stuck in all the cream products.  

City Color Cosmetics
Sprinkle Palette
How fun does this eyeshadow palette look?  I had this one on my Amazon wishlist for a while because it looked like a really fun palette where you could mix and match lots of colors but you also don't have to be all that creative either.  If you just think of the palette as five duos with a light shade and a dark shade, it becomes a really easy colorful palette.

Beauty Treats
04 Smoky Palette
I didn't have this exact Beauty Treats palette on my Amazon wish list, but I had a few similar ones.  This one could be divided into a few different layouts to make it easier to use.  First, you could divide into six pans, left with cooler tones and right with warmer tones.  Or you could divide it into columns and have four trios that would work pretty well too.  And of course you could mix and match any which way you want if you're feeling creative.

Mixology Eyeshadow Palette in Sweet & Warm
Hubby picked this one out all on his own and I don't think I could have done a better job if I tried.  This will be a fantastic palette for work because everything is neutral without being downright boring.  It has a good mix of matte and shimmer, and I love that if I don't feel like being creative in the morning, I can just pick a trio and go from there or I can pull from different parts of the palette to create my own unique look.  I see myself getting a lot of use out of this for work.

Storybook Cosmetics
Wand Makeup Brushes
I had seen these Harry Potter inspired makeup brush wands on Pinterest months ago and squealed to my husband about how cool they were and at the time he encouraged me to buy them but I talked myself out of it, because I just really didn't need them but he must have tucked that information away.  And I might not have needed them but they are soooo cool!  They are the perfect gift for anyone who loves both makeup and Harry Potter.  These brushes are not licensed by Warner Brothers so they are not identical to the ones from the movies, but they appear to be inspired by them.  They are so pretty and cool that I almost don't want to use them.  I might just buy a little glass container to display them in my makeup area.  Although it would be cool to banish dark circles with a spell instead of concealer.

All in all, it was a fantastic Christmas for me and I now have weeks worth of fun products to try out!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Outfits of the Week: December 18 - 20

For this week, I have just three outfits to share with you.  It's impossible for me to pick a favorite, as I loved every single one of these outfits!

I really enjoyed this outfit, even though it's really simple and basic.  Maybe I'm just a simple and basic girl.  One of the things I really like is that everything is neutral so I could have some fun with a peachy eye look.  I posted about it on Instagram, if you're curious.

black ruffle blouse - Papaya
deathly hallows necklace - gift
heather gray cardigan - Papaya
skinny black belt - Bealls Outlet
moss essential chinos - Amazon
gray faux snakeskin and suede pointed toe flats - Payless

Today was my Information and Technology holiday party.  It was an ugly Christmas sweater party but with the temperature here in Florida reaching over 80 degrees Fahrenheit today, it was way too hot for a sweater and I didn't even really want to wear pants.  Enter a baseball tee and a skirt instead.  Less festive, perhaps, but everyone really enjoyed the Santa bopper though.  That was one dollar well spent!

Santa headband bopper - Dollar Tree (last year)
Christmas baseball T-shirt - Walmart (last year)
black skirt - Walmart
black tights - Walmart
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless

I realize now that this outfit was almost the exact opposite of Tuesday's.  When I find a formula that works, I stick with it!  But really I just couldn't resist pairing this Christmas T-shirt with the red skirt for a super festive outfit.

black Christmas T-shirt - Walmart
black 3/4 sleeve cardigan - Boscov's
black skinny belt - Bealls Outlet
red skirt - Kohl's
black tights - Walmart
black captoe pointed toe flats - Payless