Tuesday, February 18, 2014

i. am. a. lucky. girl.

it is not a secret around here that i love country music.  i do not listen to anything but country.  i find myself a tad obsessed when it comes to certain artists and there is nothing i like more than going to a live show.

enter my excitement when my friend, sam, and i decided to go to nashville for a brad paisley concert. i have seen brad many times, but i have never seen anyone famous in nashville.  so my excitement level was already bar none.

however today my excitement goes through the roof.  why? well that is because today cole swindell's debut album hit iTunes and stores. and that is not it.  he also took the wheel of the highway on sirius xm radio.  and that is not it.  AND I WON EXCLUSIVE TICKETS TO A MEET AND GREET AND SIRIUS XM RADIO CONCERT FOR HIS DEUBT ALUMB IN NASHVILLE TENNESSEE IN TWO DAYS!

i cannot tell you how pumped i am.  words cannot describe it.  but i do know that this is what i live for and so that 5 seconds where i stand next to him and smile and cheese it up for the camera will be the best of my life in 2014.

oh and by the way...2014 you are rocking. i like your style.  keep it up!

Monday, February 3, 2014

This Weekend I...

Hopefully everyone had a nice, relaxing weekend!  I know I did!  We went from -18 degrees on Wednesday to 52 degrees on Saturday.  Absolutely nuts considering we are now under three different watches for winter storms that could bring big potential snow and ice falls.  #crazyweather

Anywho...let's get to it... This weekend I...

...reconnected with friends! It is so weird when you become close with a group of friends you work with and as the years go by, some leave to go to different schools.  You swear everyone will stay close and get together often...but it just doesn't happen.  We got together Friday to celebrate Rachael's birthday and what a great night it was!

...went to the movies with my mom.  We went to see the new Zac Efron movie, "That Awkward Moment."  I will tell you, it wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it was good.  It was a tad more vulgar than I thought as well. But it really gives you a look into the male's mind (when it comes to dudes, drinks, and women) and even gives you hope that even the biggest of male egos can fall in love.  

...joined the Aldean Army.  Jason Aldean, FGL, and Tyler Farr are doing a professional baseball stadium tour this summer and they announced that when they come to Ohio for the Burn It Down tour MIRANDA LAMBERT is joining in the fun.  I will be at that show for sure.  So just like my thought process with Luke Bryan, I knew being in the Aldean Army will help with our seat placement!

...got three new gel nail polishes on a crazy sale at Walgreens.  Sensational shellac colors were on sale from $13 a piece to $7! I hopped right on that train and even got three pinky coral shade for my Spring collection! 

...caught up on my DVR with some Carrie Diaries, The Blacklist, Law and Order SVU, and Two Broke Girls.  It is official TV has taken over my life but I blame the weather! Hahaha, Ok...not really I just love TV problems.  

...cleaned my beauty room.  I needed some major reorganization time in there.  My new makeup items needed hones and my brushes needed cleaned and put away.  I feel better now that my surroundings are clean and neat.  I have a ton of makeup I do not want anymore.  What do you do with that? Is makeup give-away-able? Not sure on that.  

Hope your weekends were great too!  Here's to another week!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Spruce Up Your Desk!

I have been working on perfecting this space since October! And I am finally ready to share it with you all and thought what a perfect way--H54F!!  I am in absolute love with my new spruced up desk space.  So it has made my week--since because of the Polar Vortex and six inches of snow I haven't worked much this week!  I highly encourage you all do spruce up where you blog too, let me tell you I sit here on my computer SO much more now because of my beautiful surroundings.  

Let's start from the beginning... my desk space used to look like this.  DRAB. 

So I knew I wanted to spruce it up and naturally went to Pinterest for some ideas.  My brain was on overdrive which is how I work best.  I cannot have a concrete plan because the best products come from my brain when I am sporadic--to an extent.  So I turned to some of my favorite Etsy shops and even found a few new favorite shops to buy a bunch of things that I would eventually put towards my desk space.    I will show you a lot of photos so you can see it all and then I will give you the low down of where I shopped!

So let's talk where to shop! I hope you check out these shops--they truly offer unique products and who doesn't like to support small businesses!  

I have raved on and on about Studio Mucci before here.  This tassel garland is called the Mini Golden Grey and it is perfect.  I set my ideas around decorating with this garland, just like I did with my bedding.  So it set the tone with gold, peach, shades of white, grey, and I decided to throw in pops of aqua.  

WFT is such a beautiful and unique shop.  I discovered them through Aubrey Kinch from The Kinch Life and I am so happy that I did because bringing in the mini Alfred into my life and my desk space was such a great decision.  Here is an example of the mini Alfred which is similar to mine.  Mine just has solid gold glitter antlers.  Little ole Alfred is actually my favorite piece on my wall and I hope to buy something else from WFT again someday when I am sprucing up another space.

three and four:  Pearls and Pastries 
All of the prints and sequin hangers come from Pearls and Pastries and are made by Miss Lauren.  To say I am obsessed with her shop is an understatement. The small sequin hangers are actually ornaments and so when I took down my Christmas tree, on my wall they went!  I ordered five prints to go on the wall and one photo frame.  Her print collection grows almost daily and she often has sales, so check her out for sure

*just to let you know the frames are from the dollar store and I just painted them with different paints from Hob Lob!*

five: Cuptakes
Cuptakes is not an Etsy store, rather than an app on iTunes.  Each month they release new backgrounds for your computer and phone.  This background came with the January update and I thought was a perfect match with my color palette.  It is gold and it is glitter. Yes and yes.

Unfortunately Tilly Maison has closed down for the time being.  Luckily for me, I was able to grab on of her lucite trays.  The tray was bought to be a home for my keyboard when I am not using it.  You know to be pretty on display.  But in reality, it has become a catch all for things in my pockets, cords, business cards, and even my tweezers!  Either way, it is a blush color with metallic gold polka dots so it fits the scene perfectly whether it is just for prettiness or for pretend organization.

seven: Threshold
This is actually a hurricane candle holder from Target.  However, I liked the size and the gold appeal that I am using it as my pen/pencil/scissors/cords container.  It is not online anymore but here are some similar products by Threshold.

Well that is it! There are a few other things sitting on my desk that I didn't talk about and if you want to know where any of them came from, do ask!  I will be happy to tell you.  What did you think?  The space really has changed my attitude towards sitting down and blogging.  I just look around and feel happier.  

Illamasqua's Bright Cheeks

Are you sick of make up recommendations by me yet? Haha, I am back and again with products I ordered because of a Jaclyn Hill video!

Illamasque was a brand I had heard of but had never seen in any of the make up stores I shop in.  I actually had to order them from Sephora's online shop.  Seriously these two blushes are amazing.  When you swatch them, it feels like you are running your hand over the softest material ever made.

I love love love love Lover.  The shade looks crazy orange I know but when applied to your face, it gives a beautiful glow that is a tad peachy.  Hussy is a lot brighter when applied and trust me a little goes a long long way here.  I can see Hussy being a summer time favorite once I have some more color to my skin.  Despite their high price tag, I must say these two blushes have quickly replaced my MAC go to blushes on a daily basis.  Another great find fore sure.  Thanks Jaclyn!

Do you have any perfect blush shades that you love! Do tell!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Perfect Neutral Eye

One of my favorite pastimes is watching beauty gurus on YouTube. Jaclyn Hill is by far my favorite.  She is fun to watch because she is real. She knows her stuff, gives it to her viewers straight up, and is funny.  She has a way of posting a video and and talking about a product and before the video is over, I have already ordered the products to try!  Call me crazy, I know!

These three eyeshadows are definite HITS.  They are so smooth--like butter--and last well over all day long.  The color pay off is exactly what it looks like in the pan and simply glides on without effort.

I use Champagne Quartz on my lid, Camel in my crease as my transition color, and then Toast (which is BY FAR my favorite) in the lower V of my crease.  Champagne Quartz gives a shimmery glow to your lid that is very pretty.  Camel is a close match to MAC's Soft Brown (which is my go to transition shade).  And of course, Toast is a deep carmel meets dirt brown shade that may not look like the most beautiful in the pan, but ooooooh it is so pretty on.  

So once again Jaclyn was right, gave perfect advice and this is now my go to look.  If you like neutral shades and don't mind high end products, check out these three by Bobbi Brown today!  

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Perfect Concealer Hunt

For over a year now, I have been trying to find the perfect concealer.  Oh you know, one that covers my dark circles, doesn't settle into my lines, doesn't cake up, and looks natural.  I have tried everything from drug store brands to moderately high end concealers to always coming back tot he store to try to find something else, something that works better.

Today I will share with you my hunt.  My under eye areas are a dark purple/black no matter how much sleep I get, my varying stress levels, and the amount of water I drink.  I just can't seem to win in that department. So wearing concealer is mega important for my face when wearing make up.

I first started with Sonia Kashuk's hidden agenda II concealer palette.  This palette comes with four sections (two concealer shades, one neutralizer, and one translucent powder).  As you can see from the picture above, I went to town with lighter of the two concealer shades.  However, this palette is not for your under eye.  It will cake up and appears too thick when applied to that area.  I found this palette to great for covering up spots (i.e. acne, dark spots, scars, and blemishes).  I will repurchase this palette for the latter purpose.  You can find this palette at Target for $10.49.

On hunt then continued to NYX.  I decided to give the HD Photogenic Concealer in Glow a try.  This concealer again was not the answer for me.  It did cover, but it settled into fine lines and seemed to flake off with wear.  I did find a purpose for it though! I use this as my eyelid primer before applying MAC's Painterly Paint Pot.  On my eyelids the concealer provides even coverage and truly enhances my eyeshadow's staying power.  I have already repurchased this concealer.  You cant in this wand at Target and Ulta for $4.99.

At this point in time, I had fallen in love with MAC Cosmetics for blush and eyeshadow colors.  So I decided to give their concealers a go.  I had heard Jaclyn Hill and Nicole Guerriero go on and on about the Pro Longwear concealer so off to the makeup counter I went.  The MAC makeup artist there said that Pro Longwear was not the way to go so I listened and purchased the Mineralize Concealer in NW25.  Summer was upon me at this time and I instantly was sold on this coverage.  My face was tan and it did its job covering what was left of my black cirlces.  It was light and from what I could tell just what I wanted.  Then fall and winter came back into my life, my tan quickly went away, and my black circles came back with a vengeance.  It was then that I knew the Mineralize is just a summer time concealer for me.  You can get this at any MAC counter for $24.

After this discovery, I went back to MAC and again asked for the Pro Longwear.  But again the artist told me how bad it was and that it wasn't for me.  This time she talked me into the Studio Finish Concealer in NW25. I. Hate. This. Concealer.  It is in a pot and you have to apply it with your finder or a brush. I can't describe the feeling it gave my skin, but I didn't like it at all.  And this is the only purchase that I have not been able to find a secondary job for--so it just sits in my drawer.  You can get this at any MAC counter for $22.

All of this lead me to the newest rave of Jaclyn and Nicole, and I ordered the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Custard.  Please let me rave for a second.  This stuff is magical.  It provides flawless coverage, it is truly creamy, smooths on like a dream, and is the perfect highlighting concealer.  I apply it with my angled flat top kabuki from Sigma.  I cannot say enough a bout this little gal! You can pick it up at Sephora for $28.

My last stop was back to MAC because I had watched one more of Jaclyn's videos and I decided I was going to own the Pro Longwear concealer.  So now I do! Boom!  I may have wasted a ton of money in the process, but I got what I wanted originally.  Not only is it perfect, but it is also a great pair with the NARS radiant creamy concealer.  I apply the Pro Longwear underneath my eye and the NARS under that.  They provide a nice gradient into one another and when used with the kabuki brush, I feel like I am at least five years younger. Actually I was at a store the other day and the girl asked if I was at least 21! I laughed and then of course told her she rocked because I am 32! She said my skin was flawless and I have these make up items to thank.  You can get the Pro Longwear at the MAC counter for $23.  Oh and if the makeup artist tells you no, say YES!

What concealers do you use and love? Do share with me!