Thursday, December 31, 2015

Manicure: All Access Pass & Diamond Texture

I got a couple of new nail polishes for Christmas (Thanks hubby!) and I was just itching to try them out.  The first one I went for is the blurple color you see here.  The shade is from Essie and it is called All Access Pass.  In my photo above, it's looking a little more blue than it does in real life.  It was a difficult color to photograph accurately.  The other shade you see on my ring finger is Revlon's Diamond Texture, which is a really pretty silver glitter polish that I already had.

On my ring finger, I used an Elmer's glue base coat and the rest of my nails got a base of Sally Hansen Insta Dri Base Coat.  Two coats of polish went on each nail and then I followed it up on all of them with NYC In a New York Minute polish in Grand Central Station as a top coat.

I think this manicure turned out really pretty!  All Access Pass is a color that I never would have picked out on my own but it was a really unique shade and I ended up liking it more than I thought I would.  I already knew I loved the silver glitter.  Isn't silver supposed to mean prosperity in the New Year?  My mother-in-law always put a piece of silver in her windowsill in New Year's Eve so I'm putting silver on my nails.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas Haul Video Details

Hello!  Here you'll find a comprehensive list of all the items I mentioned in my Christmas Haul video, as well as links to many of the items I discussed.  Thanks for stopping by!

List of Items Mentioned in the Video
1. HOSL 10 piece face brush set, $9.99 at
2. Dokument Pencil Cup, $2.99/2 pack at Ikea
3. Real Techniques Limited Edition Duo Fiber Collection Brush Set, $20 at Kohl's
4. Real Techniques Setting Brush, $8 at Kohl's
5. Redken Hot Sets 22, $17 at (can be found for less at other retail stores)
6. Airless Pump Bottle Silver Matte, $5.99 at
7. Salon Emery Boards, $1.25 at Publix
8. Bath Loofah, $1.59 at Target
9. Essie Nail Polish in Stones N Roses, $8.50 on
10. Essie Nail Polish in All Access Pass, $8.50 on
11. Maybelline Eyeshadow Quad in Mocha Motion, $4.99 at
12. NYC Smooth Skin Loose Face Powder in Translucent, $3.62 at
13. Jordana Blush in Blushing Rose, $2.49 at
14. e.l.f. Blush with Brush in Shy, $2 at
15. NYC Smooth Skin BB Cream Instant Matte in Light, $3.62 at
16. L'Oreal Infallible Pro Matte Foundation in Classic Ivory, $11.99 at
17. Cover Girl Ready, Set Gorgeous Foundation in Classic Ivory, $6.99 at
18. Cover Girl Ready, Set Gorgeous Concealer in Fair, $5.29 at
19. Wet N Wild Fergie Take On the Day Eye Shadow Primer, $4.69 at (50% at CVS stores)
20. e.l.f. Makeup Remover Pen, $3 at
21. e.l.f. Eye Primer & Liner Sealer, $3 at
22. Essence Longlasting Lipstick in Natural Beauty, $2.99 at
23. Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Matte Lipstick in 107, $5.59 at
24. e.l.f. Moisturizing Lipstick in Red Carpet, $3 at
25. Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in In The Flesh, $1.99 at
26. Wet N Wild Megalast Lipstick in Rose Bud, $1.99 at
27. e.l.f. Essential Lip Stain in Crimson Crush, $2 at
28. Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Cranberry Crush, $2.99 at
29. Alex 5 Drawer Unit in Black Brown, $79 at

Monday, December 28, 2015

Kohl's Gift Card Haul

For Christmas, I received multiple Kohl's gift cards.  I guess my loved ones really know my favorite place to shop!  I really wasn't in need of clothes and I didn't find much in my size anyway, but I did need some new shoes!  Here's what I bought.

I bought a pair of Keds Fuse Women's Comfort Sneakers.  I really hate the look and feel of sneakers but Brian and I are going to be doing some traveling this summer and I need a pair of shoes that are comfortable for lots of walking.  I hate spending my own money on sneakers because I dislike them and never wear them but these were much cuter than most athletic shoes in my opinion.  We'll see how I like the fit of them, as I usually find sneakers to be too narrow.

I also picked up this petite Croft & Barrow Essential Crew Neck Tee in Blue Moon.  I thought this was another basic piece that would be good for casual wear and it was the only color they had in my size.  My Kohl's petite clothing section was completely picked over.

Since the clothing section was so pitiful, I decided to pick up some Real Techniques makeup brushes.  I thought about getting this set but I felt like I already had a lot of brushes just like those that I didn't really use.  Instead, I opted for the Duo-Fiber Collection and also the Setting Brush.  I saw that Kohl's also had the Limited Edition white ferrule version of the Duo-Fiber Collection but I like the traditional packaging so I went for that instead.  I'm really excited to try these brushes out!  They are really soft and I think I'm going to love them.  I already have the Expert Face Brush and I use it pretty much every day for my foundation.  Do you have any Real Techniques brushes?  How do you feel about them?

Monday, December 21, 2015

FOTD & YouTube Video

Check out this video if you're curious what makeup I'm packing for my Christmas trip back to Pittsburgh.  Below I have listed all of the makeup I was wearing in the video.  I hope you all have a great holiday!  I'll be trying my best to post while I'm gone.

rimmel fix and perfect pro primer
revlon colorstay whipped creme foundation in 110 ivory
rimmel match perfection 2-in-1 concealer & highlighter in 230 fair/light
benefit erase paste in no. 1 fair
l’oreal true match super bendable powder in n2 classic ivory
physicians formula healthy wear spf 50 bronzer in fair (all over face)
elf studio blush in tickled pink
sonia kashuk tinted brow gel
elf makeup mist & set

wet n wild fergie take on the day eyeshadow primer in for my primas
wet n wild color icon eyeshadow single in brûlée (highlight)
nyx eye shadow single in sahara (lid)
nyx eye shadow single in happy hour (transition crease shade)
nyx eye shadow single in dark brown (outer corner, lower liner, dampened as upper liner)
maybelline unstoppable eyeliner in espresso (upper lash liner, over shadow)
rimmel scandal eyes eyeliner in nude (lower waterline)
maybelline colossal volum’ express waterproof mascara in classic black

jordana easy liner for lips in plush plum
wet n wild megalast lipstick in sugar plum fairy
carmex lip balm

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sally Hansen Insta Dri Grease Lightening

This weekend I decided I wanted to actually make use of my nail polishes, now that I had gone through and decluttered.  I wanted something quick and easy so that narrowed it down to my collection of Sally Hansen Insta Dri polishes because I knew they would dry quickly and I could get away with only one coat of color.  Then I decided I wanted something neutral and this was a bit of a different take on neutral and also a polish I hadn't used many time before.

For this manicure, I used a coat of Sally Hansen Insta Dri base coat, followed by one coat of Sally Hansen Insta Dri in Grease Lightening and one coat of NYC Grand Central Station as a top coat.  In real life, I feel like the color looks a bit darker on my nails than in the bottle but in these photos, they look quite similar.

I like the way this turned out and I love how quick the manicure was to do, since these Sally Hansen Insta Dri polishes are usually pretty opaque at only one coat.  We'll see how long it lasts on my nails.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sonia Kashuk Tinted Brow Gel Review Video Details

Wondering what makeup I was wearing in my Sonia Kashuk Tinted Brow Gel Review Video?  If so, you can find the complete list of products below.

rimmel fix and perfect pro primer
revlon colorstay whipped creme foundation in ivory
benefit erase paste in No. 1 fair
rimmel stay matte powder in transparent
wet n wild color icon blush in mellow wine
e.l.f. makeup mist & set
sonia kashuk tinted brow gel

milani eyeshadow primer in nude
maybelline expert wear eyeshadow quad in natural smokes
(#1 all over lid, #4 in crease and smudged across outer half of lower lash line)
sonia kashuk eye on neutral matte eyeshadow palette
(black shade applied with a dampened brush as upper lash liner)
maybelline unstoppable eyeliner in onyx (over black shadow)
rimmel scandal eyes waterproof kohl kajal liner in nude (lower waterline)
maybelline colossal volum’ express waterproof mascara in classic black

jordana easy liner for lips retractable pencil in tawny

maybelline color sensational matte lipstick in touch of spice

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Nail Polish Declutter

I spent some time this weekend rearranging and decluttering my makeup and this time I got down to the nitty gritty of sorting through my nail polishes as well.  I started by grabbing some boxes and moving all of my polishes away from the place where they live.  I find this helps me eliminate that "but I have room for it" idea.  After I counted, I was a little embarrassed to admit that I started out with 140 nail polishes... and I haven't painted my nails in over six months.  I was determined to cut that number in half.  I have a friend whose daughter will be receiving all my cast aways so I wasn't feeling bad about giving them to someone who would love them.

Gather polishes away from where they are stored.
Next, I moved all of the polishes onto my coffee table where I could easily see them all and sort them.

Place the polishes where you can easily see and sort them.

Next, I did just a quick sort, pulling out any polishes that I knew I was easily ready to give away without having to give any real thought to it.  I was able to eliminate 36 polishes during my quick sort.  Halfway to my goal already!
Quickly sort through items that you know you are ready to part with.
With the remaining polishes, I sorted them on my coffee table by color family or texture (metallics, glitters, etc) so I could easily see where I had multiple items that were really similar.

Sort remaining items by color family and texture.
Then I was able to eliminate items where I had several polishes that were extremely similar in color.  I also tried to think about if I really enjoyed the formula and the size/shape of the brush for application.  After some careful thought, I was able to reach my goal of cutting my collection in half!  It's also a little easier when you know the items you are getting rid of are going to go to someone else who will give them more love and will appreciate them.  I feel like what I have left is still enough for when I want to do nail art but it's way less overwhelming and pretty much everything I'm left with are items that I love and get excited about using.  Now if I can find someone to donate my clothes to... I've got to clean out my closet after the holidays!

Friday, December 11, 2015

Late November Empties

I have some late November empties to share with you today.  Somehow I finished off quite a few things in the last two weeks of November and I wanted to clear out the old before I started out December.

First of all, I'll discuss the makeup items.
Cover Girl Cheekers Blush in Pretty Peach - I love this blush!  It's the perfect shade of peach and it's really flattering on lots of skin tones.  I've already repurchased this and depotted it so I can take it with me on trips but right now it lives in my blush Z palette.
Revlon Colorstay Whipped Creme Foundation in Buff - I love this foundation!  It's just so easy to apply and always looks good!  I've already repurchased this as well... in two different shades to see which one I feel like works better for me.  I haven't come to a conclusion yet but the two shades I currently have are Ivory and Buff.
Sonia Kashuk Brush and Sponge Cleanser - At first, I thought this stuff was just okay but after using it for months, I love it and definitely recommend it.  It just makes hard to clean things like foundation melt out of your brushes.  I've already repurchased this as well.
e.l.f. Makeup Mist & Set - I love the way this takes away some of the powdery look after first applying my makeup.  I have a backup of this to use up still but I'm not sure if I want to repurchase this same item when I finish that bottle or if I want to try something else.  We'll see.
Carmex Lip Balm - I love this lip balm!  It's great on its own or over lipstick when your lips start to get dry.  I've used this balm since I was a teenager and I keep tubes of it everywhere, including back ups for when I use up one.

Let's move on now to hair care.
So Gorgeous Volumizing Root Mousse - This is great to give your roots some body.  I bought this at Sally Beauty Supply.  I think this product is great and I like to stock up when they have sales.  I got this one during a buy two, get one free sale so I already had one waiting in the wings.
Salon Grafix Invisible Dry Spray Shampoo - Best dry shampoo ever!  I love that it doesn't leave a white cast in my hair or a gross texture.  I've already repurchased this one as well.

And last but not least, we have some skin care items.
Kuddles Unscented Baby Wipes - I believe these are the store brand of baby wipes from Winn-Dixie, which is where we do most of our grocery shopping.  These are just awesome for removing swatches from my hands or product from my lips.  They are plenty moist enough to get the job done easily.  They're gentle on my sensitive skin and they are inexpensive.  I've already bought another pack.
Top Care Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes - This is another store brand item from Winn-Dixie.  I've talked about these wipes in numerous empties before.  They are inexpensive, gentle, and get the job done.  I have a pack of these waiting for me as well.

So I'm pretty sure every product shared in this empties post is something I've purchased more than once.  Weird that it worked out that way but I guess it means I'm honing in on what I like.  Do you have any products that you've purchased multiple times?

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Loving Right Now Video Details

Welcome!  I have lots more information to share about what makeup I was wearing in my Loving Right Now video and about the products I mentioned.  I hope you enjoy!

rimmel fix and perfect pro primer
rimmel lasting finish foundation in light ivory
maybelline better skin concealer in ivory
benefit erase paste in fair
rimmel stay matte powder in transparent
milani rose blush in romantic rose
sonia kashuk tinted brow gel
elf makeup mist & set

milani eyeshadow primer in 01 nude
hard candy baked eye shadow duo in high maintenance (dark shade on outer lid, light shade on inner lid)
wet n wild color icon single in brûlée (highlight)
rue beauté natural eye kit (boardwalk shade as liner)
rimmel scandaleyes waterproof kohl kajal liner 005 nude
maybelline unstoppable eyeliner in espresso (over boardwalk)
maybelline colossal volum’ express waterproof mascara in classic black 

revlon matte balm stain in sultry

carmex lip balm

Products/Methods Mentioned:
revlon colorstay whipped creme foundation
double liner: line with dampened eyeshadow, then layer with pencil liner
     products mentioned for that method: angled liner brush.  rue beaute natural eye kit shade, boardwalk.  maybelline unstoppable liner in espresso.
redken hot sets 22
scunci thick fabric headwrap
rimmel stay matte powder
lip layering: lipstick with lip balm on top
     products mentioned for that method: revlon matte balm stain in sultry.  carmex lip balm.

Monday, December 7, 2015

What Do You Actually Do Now?

A few people have inquired about what I actually do now that I am no longer a classroom teacher.  I still work in public education for the same school district but now I am district office personnel.  My official title is Title I Specialist.  Title I is a federal program that provides additional funding to schools that have high populations of economically disadvantaged students.  In the school district where I work, there are eight schools that receive Title I funding.  All of them are elementary schools and one of those eight was where I taught before taking this position.  Those eight Title I schools receive funding for additional staff, as well as technology.  Some of the technology capital was used to purchase iPads for students and teachers.  Currently our Title I schools have about 2,600 iPads in use.  The technology money was also used to purchase software that can help the students practice their reading and math standards with the same format as their state standardized testing.  My role comes in to assist with all of this amazing technology.  I work with the schools to ensure that their iPads are functional and used to increase the effectiveness of their instruction.  I also am the point of contact for our standards practice software.  So what does all that mean?  What sort of things do I actually do in a typical week?

  • I maintain the mobile device management software that helps control our iPads.  Using the software, I can push apps out to the devices without touching the device or even leaving my office.  I can limit what students are able to do with the iPads, and restrict the content that is available to them on the device.  
  • I also train teachers and school staff members on how to use the mobile device management software as well as how to use the iPads in instruction.
  • I coordinate trainings on our standards practice software so that teachers know how to assign lessons and run reports.
  • I teach model lessons with students so the teachers and students can get ideas about how to use iPads in their classroom.
  • I do site visits at the schools to check in and see how everything is going and what I can do to make things easier for them.
  • Perhaps most importantly, I am the liaison between the schools and Information and Technology Services.  I am essentially the voice for the schools.  I answer the call for help that often comes to me from schools when they have an iPad problem.  Sometimes I can solve the problem and help them myself but every now and then, the problem is something that I can’t solve on my own.  In those cases, I advocate for the school and explain to the Information and Technology Services group about what is going on at the school so that the problems can get fixed and the schools get the needed attention to resolve their issue and have their technology work as seamlessly as possible.
I hope that sheds a bit of light on my new career.  I just absolutely love my job and I think it’s so fun.  I can’t really explain what a typical day is like for me because every day is really very different, depending on whether I’m in my office preparing for a training, managing our software, or gathering information to solve a school’s problem or whether I’m out in the field doing a site visit, teaching a model lesson, or just configuring iPads or Apple TVs.  The best part is that I have the freedom to decide each day what I do.  Of course, big problems take priority over minor tasks, but I love that I have control over it all.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

47 Days

Forty-seven days.  That's how much longer I'll be wearing braces.  Trying to contain my excitement here but wow!  It's been such a long journey and I'm just thrilled to finally have an end date in sight.  My teeth still aren't perfect because of what I ended up having to have done but the orthodontist assured me yesterday that the small gap remaining on the right side of my smile will be filled in with a composite because I had to have my right canine removed on that side and now my top and bottom teeth are not quite the same size.  He also assured me that because my right lateral incisor is smaller than the left lateral incisor, this will make my smile look more symmetrical and no one will be the wiser unless I tell them like I just told you.  As of right now, although it has been an incredibly long process and not the most fun thing I've ever done, I'm still really glad I did it.  I just feel so much more confident in my smile now.  My smile used to be one of my biggest insecurities and now I just want to show it off to everyone.  That being said... anyone have a recommendation for a great inexpensive red lipstick from the drugstore?  I plan on wearing the most beautiful bright red lip on January 22nd!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Random Haul Video Details

Today's post is all about my random haul.  Below you'll find all the makeup I'm wearing in the video as well as the products I mentioned.  Thanks for watching!

rimmel fix and perfect pro primer
rimmel lasting finish foundation in light ivory
pixi brightening peach correction concentrate
maybelline better skin concealer in ivory
rimmel stay matte pressed powder in transparent
cover girl cheekers blush in rose silk
sonia kashuk tinted brow gel
elf makeup mist and set

rimmel exaggerate undercover shadow primer
rimmel glam eyes quad shadow in smokey brun
milani shadow eyez champagne toast (inner corner)
rimmel scandaleyes liner in nude
maybelline colossal volum express waterproof mascara in classic black

maybelline color sensational matte lipstick in touch of spice

Shopping My Stash Drawer Video

List of items mentioned in haul video:
rimmel lasting finish foundation in light ivory
rimmel stay matte powder in transparent
cover girl cheekers blush in rose silk
maybelline better skin concealer in ivory
sonia kashuk tinted brow gel
rimmel exaggerate undercover shadow primer
rimmel glam eyes quad shadow in smokey brun
maybelline color sensational matte lipstick in touch of spice

6” X 12” X 2” drawer organizer
garnier fructis texture tease dry touch finishing spray
salon graft invisible dry spray shampoo
equate 2-in-1 daily facial cloths
st johns bay secretly slender petite classic fit straight leg jeans in rinse
LED light up Christmas tree
Merry Christmas ribbon
mixed media paper pad

sharpie markers

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Concealer Conundrum

I've had a bit of a concealer conundrum lately.  I have super dark circles under my eyes all the time.  I guess I just have very thin skin in that area and you really see my very dark blueish toned circles there all the time.  Lately, I haven't been sleeping so hot (getting back into a routine after being off for a week) so they've been even more noticeable.  While my Pixi Brightening Peach Correction Concentrate does an okay job of masking them, I just notice that it doesn't have the best staying power and now that I'm getting to be a little older, it seems to be looking a little more cakey and heavy after setting it with powder, which is necessary because without powder it looks tacky and draws attention.  I've been thinking of trying Benefit Erase Paste for awhile now but held off because of how expensive it is.  Seriously, I am so cheap.  But after my concealer wore off this morning in only two hours and I looked like I had two black eyes, I decided to take the plunge, knowing that if don't feel it's worth the price, I can return it to Ulta.  For twenty-six dollars, it better work a miracle.

On first impressions, I was quite impressed with the pigmentation.  Having experience with two drug store products that are very similar to this, Erase Paste definitely packs more punch in a smaller dose.  In addition to the Pixi corrector, I also have the Nyx Dark Circle Concealer, which I have not been impressed with at all.  I find that for me, it doesn't have enough coverage and it feels too greasy.  The Erase Paste is incredibly emollient, while not feeling greasy.  However, I did notice after applying it in the car that it seemed to pull very orange looking on me in natural light but I didn't have a powder with me to set it.  I also had Benefit's Boi-Ing Industrial Strength Concealer at one point in time (I've since finished it up and not repurchased it) but while it was a good concealer, it wasn't the miracle worker I had hoped it would be.

I'm really looking forward to testing this out and I hope it works!  Even though it's way more expensive than any product I've ever purchased for myself, if it works and has good lasting power, I think I would be happy.

PS: If you notice that the quality of these photos is greatly improved, it's because we bought Brian a nice digital camera on Black Friday and I used it for these photos.  We just got it in the mail today so I haven't gotten to play with it much but I think the photos look better already.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Traveling with Unii Palette

As the holiday travel season nears, I'm starting to think about what clothes and makeup I'll be packing for our road trip back home.  However, this year is a lot easier than previous ones.  This summer I spent three weeks traveling and the only color cosmetics I brought with me were what I had in my Unii Palette.  I didn't really have a lot of time to plan out what I brought and just ended up grabbing my Unii with whatever was already in there but it ended up working out really well for me and the palette took up very little space.  I'm definitely going to be bringing it again and I highly recommend investing in one if you travel often.  I love that it packs a lot of items while taking up very little space and it seals incredibly well so you don't have to worry about it opening up and spilling your stuff everywhere.  Below is what I packed for my summer trips.  I'll probably change up a few things like the bronzer and blush for my holiday travels but most of what I have in here will remain the same.

1. Physician's Formula Organic Wear 2-in-1 Bronzer & Blush in Light Bronzer/Soft Ginger
2. Mary Kay Mineral Cheek Color in Citrus Bloom
3. Cover Girl Cheekers Bronzer in Golden Tan
4. & 5. Physician's Formula Matte Eyeshadow Quad in Canyon Classics (lightest and darkest shades)
6. Savvy Satin Eyeshadw Trio in Vintage Wines (wine shade)
7. Sally Girl Eyeshadow Single in Champagne
8. Wet N Wild Eyeshadow Single in Nutty
9. Mary Kay Mineral Eye Color in Amber Blaze
10. Cover Girl Eyeshadow Single in Brown Smolder 

With two blushes, two bronzers, and seven eyeshadows with a variety of matte, satin and shimmer textures, I felt like I had plenty of options for three weeks to not get bored.  And the Unii Palette was durable and kept my products in great shape without worrying about them.  I definitely am glad that I purchased it, even though I was kind of apprehensive because it is a bit on the pricier side, but I think it was worth every penny for me because it's so convenient.