Thursday, January 31, 2013

New Makeup/Beauty Haul!

I hope you didn't see the title and think there would be a vlog and if you did and are bummed I apologize.  I HATE my voice when I hear it back so actually filming is not in my repertoire quite yet.  I will never say never, but just not yet.

PS-this is a super long post--but I do think I have found some great products. 
So grab a drink and relax as you read! :)

YouTube has become my second favorite thing, right behind Hulu+ of course.  Religiously I watch videos from Miss Jen FabulousTess Christine 123, and Kate from the Small Things Blog. And after compiling a WISH LIST a mile long, I have splurged in the beauty department!

So I have been way into finding new beauty products that either make me feel better or just enhance my look--either way I have a boatload of things to share with you.  Some have been in my life for a few months now while others have been with me for a week.  But I have had a chance to use everything and I want to give a good review of these products.  I was not paid for this post.  These are my honest thoughts and opinions.
Paint Pot-- in painterly

I have seen and heard so many Vloggers and Bloggers talk about the paint pots.  Once I saw Miss Jen use it as a primer for her eye shadow, I knew I had to have it.  And I LOVE IT.  My favorite part is even though it is a creamy texture, it does not stay creamy--I mean it dries so fast and yet still feels great.  I hope that makes sense. It is one of my pet peeves about cream based make up--if it stays creamy on your face, it often feels wet and creases.  This does not. It sets my eyelids for my shadow application and it is the perfect color for both primer and my skin color if I want to wear it alone.   I give this paint pot FIVE stars.  You can buy it here!

Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in blushing bride

My recent makeup love affair is with tarte products.  Have you used any? I am about to introduce you to four of my new favorites.  Starting with the Amazonian Clay blush.  Blushing bride is a plumy rose color with speckles of gold glitter (which provides the perfect pink cheek with that sparkle).  One of the things I love about this blush is how little you need to use to get the pigment present on your cheeks. I seriously only tap my brush into the palette and it applies--well simply amazingly.  A Sephora employee suggested Blushing bride to me and I am very grateful.  Again FIVE stars.  You can buy it here!

amazonian clay 12 hour full coverage foundation with SPF 15 in medium
 maracuja creaseless concealer in medium
 matte waterproof bronzer in park avenue princess matte

This foundation is long lasting, light on your skin, applies smoothly, covers fully, and matches my skin color perfectly (at least Jacque told me so, read here if you need to know who Jacque is). Again a little bit of foundation goes a long way.  I have been a little snobby about this foundation since I bought it, only using it on the weekends and not when I go to work.  I am sure this habit will change, but for now I am savoring it.

I do not know about you...but my skin is dry, red, and I battle the darkest black circles. The tarte concealer has been working wonders for me in all three departments.  One problem I have had in the past with concealer is that it would become flaky instead of covering and absorbing.  This concealer does its job.  I leave for work at 6:45am and when I come home at 3pm my circles are still hidden. Score for me!

I wear bronzer all year round, more heavily in my non tan seasons (aka now)!  The Park Avenue is a perfect color that can be layered to become darker.  I apply this in the 3-B motion on both sides of my face and it gives my face a touch of the sun while contouring it at the same time.  Again huge fan.  Jacque also taught me a trick of the trade of how to apply this to your eyelids so it just looks like you are fresh off the beach.  I really should send Jacque a thank you note. I think I heart him. Wait I know I do.

The foundation, concealer, and bronzer all get FIVE stars! You can buy the foundation here, concealer here, and bronzer here.

Pro Foundation Brush #47
Daily Makeup Brush Cleaner

From applying foundation with a cosmetic sponge, to the beauty blender, to my fingers, to subpar brushes...I have FINALLY been introduced to an all-star foundation brush.  Yes it is a tad pricey--and I will be treating it like gold, however, it seriously changes the way the foundation covers and appears.  Foundation application used to be messy and not something that I looked forward to--but now it is as simple as 1 2 3 and I really believe it just looks nice.  Nice probably isn't the best word, but it is all I have for now.  It is made with synthetic fibers so it doesn't absorb oils or bacteria, which makes the brush super hygienic! Bonus!  The daily cleanser is just to maintain the amount of foundation that is left on the brush that I do not use.  Both products get FIVE stars from me! You can buy the brush here and the cleanser here.
blush brush

The last time I was in Sephora, the girl helping us showed us a new (or new to me) technique with how to apply blush in two different locations (apples of your cheeks and below the cheekbone).  When she did this, she did not use a full, fluffy brush.  She used a brush that was more flat in the area of the bristles.  I wanted to get the one she used on us, but it was almost $40.  So I had to decide on that or the foundation brush (for the time being).  I decided on the foundation brush so I hopped over to Target to the e.l.f. section and found a similar brush for $3.  Now it may not be as "good" or hygienic but for now it is working.  The more pricey brush is in my future, just not right now.  I give this brush THREE stars.  You can buy it here.

Sonia Kashuk
Hidden Agenda Concealer Palette

TessChristine123 showed this palette off in one of her tutorials as a palette to use for covering up blemishes.  She showed how to combine 1-2 colors to match your skin and the severity of the acne, scar, etc.  I have been using this kit for the last week every day because I after I bragged on here about only getting one zit a month, my face has been over come with FIVE! This palette works and I like how you can pick and choose between the four color choices.  I give this palette FOUR stars.  You can buy it here.

e.l.f. and Sonia Kashuk
High Definition Powder and Kabuki Brush

Shanna from Because Shanna Said So raved about this powder a few weeks ago.  I decided with the awesome price tag of $6 I would give it a shot.  I wanted to get the e.l.f. kabuki brush too, but they were sold out so I splurged on the Sonia Kashuk one instead.  Now I haven't used a high def powder before and I am not totally sure I am using it correctly.  But with that being said, I do notice a difference on the days that I remember to wear the powder and the days I do not.  I have been using it to set my foundation and concealer before moving on the addition of color.  Am I doing that right?  The brush feels so soft.  Sometimes I even use a few extra motions to keep feeling the softness.  When I use it I notice that my makeup's finish lasts longer, which I do appreciate.  The powder is a tad messy though, so I am sure a lot of them are.  I give the powder THREE AND A HALF stars and the brush gets FIVE stars.  You can buy the powder here and the brush here.

yes to blueberries, young blood, thebalm
eye firming treatment, mineral primer, balm
All three of these products made their way into my life through samples.  Yes to Blueberries was introduced to me by Birchbox (back when they treated me well and I didn't quit!).  I absolutely love their products.  I use the Blueberries because I am worried about age lines as I get older.  I use the face cleansing wipes and this cream for eye firming.  They smell amazing and I definitely recommend them. Young Blood came to me in a gift from my secret pal at work.  I have no clue where they got it, but I am glad they gifted it to me.  I have tried about 5 different primers and this one is BY far my favorite.  It seriously feels like the equivalent to rubbing a baby's bottom on your face.  Because the main source of materials are vitamins and minerals, it rubs on smoothly and lasts all day.  Not to mention it is hydrating your skin and enhancing your glow.  I use this every day and am a huge fan.  I am only about 1/4 of the way through the bottle after about two months!  But when the sample runs out, I will be buying the full sized bottle.  The Hot Mama balm also came my way via Birchbox.  It actually came in the late summer months and I shoved it off like it is wasn't important.  During my search for a new blush, I decided to give it a try and I am glad I did.  If I want a more sun kissed pink glow on my cheeks, Hot Mama is the way to go!  All three of these products get FIVE stars.  You can buy the cream here, primer here, and balm here.

urban decay
Naked II palette
I know I am late to this party but I got this palette for Christmas this year.  I love it and do not know how I was doing my eye make up without it.  I am still learning a lot with eye shadow.  I would say this is where my weakness lies.  My eyes are small and my lower lids and upper lids are basically one, so most times you cannot even tell I have done anything to my eyes when a) my eyes are open and b) when I smile.  Despite that, I am loving the colors.  I found this pin the other night that walked you through a technique.
I have not tried this yet. But I think I will give it a try.  My eyes are like half the size of this lovely lady though.  But it is worth a shot at least.  Miss Jen Fabulous mentioned in a video that Sigma has a great performance eye brush kit for ladies who want to do more intricate work on their eyes.  But I am thinking it might work out for me because of my small lids. I will have to research that soon! The palette gets FOUR stars and you can buy it here.

container store
Large Acrylic Makeup Organizer

Lastly, I leave you with a superb make up organizer if you are in the hunt for one.  This large organizer costs $35 and really does hold a lot.  I have actually filled it even more by now, but I wanted to show you the new things inside of it.  I have seen so many bloggers talk about acrylic make up organization from Amazon and when I checked them out, I was not willing to spend $150+ dollars.  The Container Store had this and I love it.  You can get it here.

If you have hung in there until the end...THANK YOU.  Turns out filming a vlog would have taken less time.  Believe it or not it took 3 nights to write this post. Phew!  I hope you liked it.  If you try out any of the products let me know! :) I would love to hear what you have to say.  Thank you to all of you who post reviews on what you use. It is the best way to arm myself when walking in Sephora or Ulta!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Bobcats Reunite...

There is an indescribable bond made between your friends that you make while in college.  And (in my opinion) the ones that you make at Ohio University are life long friends, where you can not see each other for months and pick up right where you left off the last time.  Whether that be 3 months or 3 years.

I was lucky enough to go to OU and make friends just as I have described.  In my normal weekend life, I tend to be pretty boring.  Sleeping in, playing with Henry, catching up with my DVR, maybe out to dinner with family or friends.  But when a weekend comes that I have plans to see one of my Bobcats or Bobkittens, I get pumped. Although I tend to want to act like I am still 21...I am quickly reminded that I am indeed 31.
Anyways, last weekend was one of those weekends that I had been looking forward to.  I was meeting my Bobcat BFF, Jamie, in Columbus to stay in a hotel, go out for some fun, and shop around!  I was ready to just have a good time.  I even gave myself a new gel mani for the weekend!
Sephora by OPI in Opening Night (Gelshine)

Friday got here and I was counting down the minutes until I could leave work and then of course a huge winter storm had to come through.  I ended up getting out of work two hours early, but the roads were awful.  I had to delay by take off until the roads were better and then I am off for my weekend o' fun.
Once I got onto the highway, the roads were good to go.  We checked into the Red Roof Inn (thank you for the great deal) and began to get ready!

Finally we were ready to hit the town, go out to dinner, and find us some fun.  It was definitely freezing weather and even though we bundled up, the 10 minute walk was brutal.

We had dinner at Gordon Biersch.  We shared the best sandwich--it was so good and sharing was such a good idea.  It was definitely enough food and worth every point (non WW style).

While we were there, me met this lovely bartender.  His name has slipped me at this point.  But OMG the conversation that occurred.  I am not sure even how to describe it entirely. It was so odd, inappropriate, random, crazy,and not your typical dinner talk.  Let's just summarize his anecdotes with these three topics: shiscabob, pickle jar, and meow mix. He may or may not have been my favorite part of the night.

Next up, a dueling piano bar.  These types of places are my favorite.  I love live music. And even better when you pay for your request or to shut a song up! It was so much fun, we stayed for WAY too many hours.  But fun was had.  We made bets, which I lost...but Jamie later learned that the money should be on the table when betting... ;) The ponytailed piano player was my favorite and it happened to be his birthday. Yet again...his name has slipped my mind.

 Our song of choice? We requested Sir Mix A Lot's Big Butts.  Yes, we are from that generation and thought it was necessary to hear.  However, once the piano players invited anyone up to "dance" to the song, I think we immediately regretted the choice.  We also asked for a little Salt N Pepper Shoop but they never played, and they kept our money!

Saturday was spent at the mall, my home away from home.  We were on a hunt for beauty products, some of which I will be reviewing this week as I am in love with so many new products lately. :)

Sunday was my lazy day...just check out Henry to know how lazy we were :)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Happy 2nd Birthday My Henry Liu!

Happy 2nd birthday to my dear, sweet, chubby, hyper baby! :) I cannot believe he turned two today. I remember when I received my first photo of him and thought he was the cutest, wrinkly pup I have ever seen.  And now 56 pounds later, he is my entire world.  

I never was a dog person before.  I liked dogs and even thought they were cute.  But never did I think that I would be a doggy mom who posts a picture of him every day on to social media.  But hey, that is what has happened and I am happy to have one boy I can count on in my life!

Despite his constant fur shedding and slobber covered beard...I am so happy to have him around.  Happy birthday Henry Liu! :)

Friday, January 25, 2013

My Cartoon Theme Song!

Do you ever envision yourself inside a cartoon? I know it sounds a tad strange. But I do.  The other night I was patiently waiting for some Friends reruns to come on Nick @ Nite and had to watch an episode of The Nanny. Have you ever paid attention to her opening show theme song? If not, here it is.

Amidst the song and dance I all of a sudden was a cartoon version of me...dancing down the sidewalks of NYC just like Fran Drescher.

Just imagine this little cartoon figurine with sandy blonde hair, a side swooping bang, a cardi, skinnies, and riding boots...and POW you will have The Jessi cartoon figurine! :) I wish I could draw. Because if I would not have to imagine would see it. But you can see it as I now have my own avatar.  How cool is that? I have an avatar!  The lovely and talented Kirsten Peters McGrath drew me! So just imagine this cute little face in my theme song video!

If you like my avatar check out Kirsten's Etsy shop here.  She has awesome, totally fun clip art packages.  I have several that I use in my classroom.  And now I have my avatar too.  Next, I hope she will draw Henry.  Don't you think a cartoon version of him would be adorbs? I do! Anyways...back to my point.

Why have a theme song? Certainly when I arrive at work, the song would play.  While sitting in traffic and people look over at me...the song would play. When I walk into a store, the song would play.  You get the drift? OK great.  Everyone would stop and hear my song and watch my skinny realistic cartoon dance through Ohio! :)

So The Nanny's song goes like this...

She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens, 
Til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes. 
What was she to do, where was she to go 
She was out on her fanny. 

So over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffield's door, 
She was there to sell make up but the father saw more, 
She had style, she had flair, she was there, 
That's how she became the Nanny. 

Who would have guessed that the girl we described 
was just exactly what the doctor prescribed? 

Now, the father finds her beguiling, watch out C.C., 
The kids are actually smiling, such joie de vivre 
She's the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan. 
The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran


My version...

She was studying in college at Ohio University
Til her graduation came and she joined the working scene.
Three years of teaching 8th grade, and she needed a change for thee
Where was she to go, but to Washington DC.

So through the mountains and to the city, she arrived
There she would teach and her social life would thrive.
Four years of cultural bliss,
Would lead her to realize home is what she missed.

Loading up a U-haul and traveling the highway was next
All of her family and friends she would text.
She has style, she has taste, she got a job
She decided to share her world by writing a blog.

She's the lady in a VW bug who smiles to anyone passing through...
check in with her to see...Just What Jess is Up To!

What do you think? I am not a self proclaimed rapper. But I think I should definitely have my own theme song!  What theme song would fit you?

And speaking of have GOT to listen to this MASH UP. It is like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Listen. Download. Love it.

Weight Watchers Chronicles...#3 & #4

I am doing a combo chronicle today. I didn't celebrate my week #3 achievement with you all last week as I took my hiatus.  So today you get weigh in #3 and #4 of my Weight Watchers journey.
Coming off of the ski trip weekend, I was not feeling positive about this lifestyle change and my lack of will power when I am off with friends.  You can read about that here.

I made an executive decision to change my weigh in day.  Some of you even commented about how crazy it was to weigh in on a Monday morning at 5:45am!  I knew it was. It was just the day that WW picked for me.  But I figured if this program is supposed to work for me in the real world, then I should be able to change my day!  And I did.  I now weigh in on Friday mornings, still at 5:45am before my shower.

Last Friday, I felt nervous, what if I still had that extra weight I brought home with me from the mountains? I would just be crushed.  BUT I didn't! I had lost the added weight plus two more! Whoop!  So since the beginning of this journey, I have lost a total of SIX pounds.  Not bad in my opinoin.  Now I am not feeling different and clothes still fit the exact same way. But it is six pounds.

Today, I find myself feeling a little nervous again.  My week has been chaotic.  I went to Cincinnati for the weekend and didn't exactly stay on track.  I had Monday off for MLK and used some bonus points. I had two hour delays for school on Tuesday and Wednesday and then no school Thursday.  That equaled a lot of down time for me to sit and eat.  I did pretty good, but I wouldn't say I was perfect at all.  When I got on the scale I discovered...I lost another pound!  That brings my total weight loss to 7 pounds since January 1st!

I will say I am proud of myself that for a second week in a row I earned activity points.  I earned points by going on a hike, walking, and Zumba class. Go me.  I am going to stick to earning those bonus points as it made me feel better about myself and of course I know it is the right thing to do.  I will be Zumba-ing on most Tuesday and Thursday evenings and possibly Pilates on Monday evenings. I will be happy with myself if I keep to that schedule.  I am guilty of getting into my sweats as soon as I get home from work--bad habit.

Well that is the update for now.  I am off to Columbus to stay in a hotel with my bff Jamie and act fancy.  I really do not think we will act fancy, but I bet we take pictures pretending that we are! :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Triple Threat

I don't know about you, but I am obsessed with my iPhone.  And even more so, I become obsessed with certain apps.  I typically learn about apps through friends and family, or random finds.  And this one I am going to share with you today, is a MUST HAVE if you like pictures, fun, and more of yourself!!!

I introduce to your SPLIT PIC- Clone Yourself!
Split Pic is a free app that provides an interface where you can take a picture of one setting in different split pictures.  What do I mean? You can take a picture of you in your living room, in three takes, and you will appear in three different spots. Like this...

The trick of the picture taking process is that you need to hold the camera still (so you need a photographer) in order to keep each shot lined up!  When you open the app you have the choices of splitting the picture into two frames vertically or horizontally OR three frames vertically or horizontally.  You can upgrade to have four frames in your window by paying $0.99!

The only thing that would make the app better would be if the iPhone had a self timer! :)

I mean seriously doesn't it look like so much fun? The best part is coming up with the different stances you can try out! I absolutely love this app and think you should give it a whirl too.  Clone yourself. Clone your family. Clone your dog! Get your clone on!

*I was not compensated in any way for this post.  Split Pic is just a cool app and these are my thoughts!

Exploring Cincinnati with Chris!

It is like totally normal to update my bloggy friends about my previous weekend the day before the next one begins right? Oh totes? Great. Here I go!

Last weekend, I had 3 days off due to MLK Day so I took the opportunity to go to Cincinnati to visit my bff Chris.  It was such a great weekend :) I had a blast and took so many pictures for this here Internet space I have been neglecting.  You know you are a blogger when you take 138 pictures of a 3 day span just to have choices for the blog!

I drove down immediately after work on Friday. Traffic was great until I hit King's Island, which is where I typically get caught.  Once the car world decided to move, I met Chris at the hospital to drop off his car (he is a doctor) and we went to his place.  We weren't sure what we were going to get into when his friend texted him to go out to dinner.  We walked to Nicholson's (the restaurant) and enjoyed a smooth bottle of wine and a delicious meal.
After dinner we headed to a restaurant (Metropole at 21C Museum Hotel) where you could take your drink and go visit a three-story art gallery.  It was fun to meander around and check out some more than interesting art pieces.  Some were interactive and one even had us lay down on these GIANT bean bags! Fun!

Afterwards we walked home and went to one last stop that just opened in Over the Rhine (OTR) where Chris lives.  After sleeping in and catching up on Big Bang and Grey's Anatomy, we decided it was a perfect day for a hike! It was 50 degrees in the middle of January so we knew we needed to be outside. However, we had to eat first and I requested a hot dog lunch.  In October when I went to visit, we had eaten dinner at Senate where they have the most FABU hot dog selections.  We had truffle fries and I once again went with the Lindsey Lohan dog.  So delish.
Next, we drove to Ault Park, where they posted signs about deer hunting and the park being closed.  In fear of our safety we left.  We are smart peeps here. We then went to French Park and embarked on a little less than 2 mile hike in the mud covered woods.  We had a blast.  We both adopted walking sticks to help with the mud hills and of course I named mine Theodore.  We played on bridges, hills, trees, and even a creek.  We spent a lot of time using this new app that I will post in a little bit.  We had way too much fun with the app and you will too so be sure to check back in!

Eventually after following 3 different trails, we came out of the woods and realized it was not where we had parked.  Worried that we were lost, I had to pull out my GPS on my phone to try to find our way back.  That little blue dot down there shows us where we were...but what we didn't know was where we entered the woods.  Haha, dorks.  We found a elderly couple who helped us locate the parking lot that we indeed did park in. :)
What do you deserve after a long, nice hike? Shopping of course.  We headed to Ulta.  Well I headed to Ulta, Chris went to the book store.  I met a man named Jacque (pronounced Jack Kay) and he was iron clad in blue and green glitter eye liner.  It was love at first sparkle.  He did my make up and convinced me to spend way too much money.  I wish I could have bought him as my personal makeup artist. I believe he could live in my pocket.

Dinner on Saturday night was at a restaurant called Keystone where mac n cheese is their specialty.  I ordered the Fleetwood Mac and it was a pasta with fresh mozzarella, tomato, and pesto. Yum Yum!  You probably can see WW went out the window for this weekend visit. Ooops.

Sunday was much colder than the 50 degrees we experienced hiking.  But we still wanted to get out and do something.  After a lot of debating between the aquarium and the zoo, we went to the zoo! It was 30 degrees and it was freezing, but we saw so many animals. It rocked! I actually saw more animals in 30 degree weather than I did over the summer. The only down side was...we donated to the save the gorilla fund and didn't get to see a single gorilla, boo!
This tiger was my favorite.  They are so pretty.  I see those eyes and just...well...swoon!
 The manatee's name was Betty and she weighed over 2,000 pounds!
 I found a gorilla to pose with since I was giving my effort to save them, lol.

Lastly we headed into an Urban Outfitters to look around while we waited for the restaurant to open.  It was Dewey's Pizza, and it was DELISH.  The food for the weekend was beyond great. And if it made me gain some weight back, then so be it. Lol.
 This is the Greek Salad with a Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette.  I seriously could have eaten three of these salads, it was that good.
Until this pizza came out...the seasonal special meatball pizza. I wish I could put into words how good this pizza was. You will have to trust me or drive to Cincy to get it yourself!

I leave you with my new purse.  I am in love.  It is a soft grey leather with mustard yellow accents.  My favorite part? The whole cross body strap zips! :) Whoop.

So there you have weekend!  This weekend (tomorrow) I am heading to Columbus for a Girls Night with my bff Jamie! I will try to post that recap on time so I can link up with Sami's Shenanigans and Join the Gossip! I was late to a few too many parties this week.  Blog funks are hard to get out of.  Luckily I had a snow day today to get my groove back.

Don't forget, I have an awesome app for you to get...Look for the post with the title Triple Threat a little  later to learn more!