Posted in MAKEUP/BEAUTY

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS



So fun to see Alice Through the Looking Glass on opening night! We picked a time that ended up being nice and not crowded, which means we were able to enjoy the film without the ear piecing shrieks of youths. #blessed 

Plus, I had an excuse to wear my Alice dress again, and well … that’s just mighty fine by me. 

Posted in MAKEUP/BEAUTY

*AIRPLANE EMOJI*

I am afraid of airplanes. Well, was. I was afraid of airplanes.

Here’s the thing about fear: contrary to popular belief, you don’t owe anyone any sort of explanation about the things that scare you. For example: I think it is silly that my mother is afraid of snakes and that Tom is afraid of horseshoe crabs, but I’m not going to ever invalidate their legitimate concerns because it is THEIR fear to wrestle with, not mine – it isn’t for me to understand. I think horseshoe crabs are hilarious and I can’t possibly imagine what could be scary about them – and that’s great! But that’s me, not Tom. I know that no matter how many times I tell Tom “horseshoe crabs aren’t going to hurt you”, it doesn’t change a thing in his mind.

I’m sure many people think it is silly that I am afraid of graphic neck-breaking scenes in movies and television shows and that the idea of boarding an airplane is like a fate worse than death, but guess what? It’s perfectly valid, because that fear is real to me. And no amount of telling me “planes are safer than cars” or “but planes are so fun!” or any other helpful but totally misplaced tagline about air travel was going to fix that.

As much as I try to avoid airplanes, sometimes convenience wins. We decided to fly to Disney World this most recent time, simply because we had so little time. We were to fly out of Greenville at 8:20 AM and connect in Atlanta, have an hour and a half layover, and then fly directly from Atlanta to Orlando. We were scheduled to arrive in Orlando around 12:45, which cut down on travel time and the exhaustion that the car would have caused – because an 8 hour and some change drive can be a real energy suck.

In the days before the trip, I totally changed. My mouth constantly tasted metallic, my heart seemed to always be racing – I couldn’t watch television without getting nauseous immediately at a commercial for an airline, or at the mention of a plane on a TV show. All I could think about was IT  – it being the lack of control. The what if? The dizzying claustrophobia of being packed in to a metal bird with hundreds of strangers. The plane malfunctioning and us all being blown to smithereens – all elements that I couldn’t control. My mind spun so much in those last few days that I couldn’t even concretely focus on the element of discomfort I was feeling the most.

Alas,the long and short of it is that I did it. I flew. I’m not even really prone to having a huge fear of death, but when I stepped foot on that plane and buckled into my seat, I never thought I would see my family or friends or cats or (most importantly) makeup collection again. I was sick all morning long, sick when I handed over my luggage to a stranger, sick while we waited to board, sick when I looked out the window and saw the plane. I cried, I begged to somehow not be forced to do it, I told Ciera & Tom that I would go home and grab my car and meet them in Orlando, I did whatever I could to not get on that plane.

But I did it. And I survived it. And marvelously, shockingly – I KIND OF LIKED IT.

Did my friends holding my hands as I wept during takeoff help squash my fears? No, but it certainly did help to comfort me. Did the klonopin I popped fix everything? Sure didn’t. In actuality, what I found that helped me the most was just giving in. Surrendering control – and boy, that’s easier said than done, especially for me. I live for control. But somehow, when your back is pressed against the seat and that bad boy is shooting upward like a rocket, there’s a certain moment where you realize, hey, it’s too late now. You don’t get to control this part anymore. You can control how you react or how you behave, but that’s really it. Whether you like it or not, you’ve committed, and there’s no turning back, getting out, or quitting. And if you die, you die. And it’s really just that simple.

Coming to peace with this notion whilst hurtling through the air was pretty life changing, actually. As I snotted into my complimentary Delta blanket, I realized that this was a pretty cool opportunity to just chill the f out on some of the fears I heap on myself and go with the flow. I believe this notion is also commonly called “it is what it is” – and really, it is, isn’t it? If the plane crashes, if a terrorist is on board, well, it always would have been that way. There’s nothing I can do about THAT, except not focus on it until it (or if) ever becomes reality.

The other thing that really helped me was thinking about all of the many, many, many, many, many, MANY things that I have been afraid of in the past that I did and somehow survived – and how I eventually got past the fear. I YODELED IN FRONT OF JEWEL, for God’s sake. That alone should convince me that I could climb Everest. Before I started embalming, my greatest fear, the one thing that I swore that I would never be able to handle or do or participate in was embalming an autopsied body. It was too visceral, too much, a flayed man/woman on the table in front of me like a disgusting puzzle that I had no way of knowing how to put back together. From the moment I started back at the funeral home, I sat in terrified wait every time we got a death call, just willing it to not be an autopsy.

However, in line with God’s sense of humor (because when God says you are ready, you realize it just about the time that he has already pushed you off the cliff) – the first autopsied body I embalmed was a child. A very young child. And in that moment, that body was no longer a big meat puzzle that I didn’t want a part of – it was someone to help RIGHT NOW. It (pronouns removed for privacy) was someone who needed something I could give, and it just became the way it was. It was what it was. It wasn’t a question or a choice or even something I thought twice about. And that was how I got over my fear of autopsied bodies. (Trivia moment: I now even prefer to embalm autopsied bodies).

Fear is the worst, but it is important, too. I think it says a lot about us on a spiritual and personal level, and listening to your fears is vital – but so is overcoming them. I never thought I would embalm an autopsy. I never thought I would ride a roller coaster. I never thought I would yodel in front of my favorite singers of all time. I never thought I would fly again – but I did. I did all of those things. And now I’m glad – because I’ve experienced them on both sides of the spectrum. The fear, and the relief.

I guess in the end, what helped me get over my horrific and lifelong fear of airplanes was realizing that I could die at any time and it might as well be now, with a Malibu & Diet Coke in hand (though I’d prefer to go to glory with a Pepsi, just saying), partnered with the nightmarish reality of my everyday life. Yikes, that doesn’t seem so uplifting, now that I think about it. But I promise you, at 10,000 feet in the air – it totally was. And you know what? I can’t wait to fly again.

Who the hell would have ever thought I’d say that!

IMG_2383

IMG_3948

IMG_2457

IMG_2522IMG_2444

Posted in MAKEUP/BEAUTY

JANUARY BEAUTY FAVES

Hidey ho, readers! Welcome to the January beauty faves blog. Sorry that I am posting this on the second of February, but to be honest, my nails are so long right now that I can barely gather the strength to type. Anyways, lets just get right into it! If you missed the December beauty faves post, you can click HERE to find it.

So, to start with, a December follow up – my skin has continued to be an absolute wreck into the new year (joy), but I’ve continued to be (mostly) diligent with the Murad Acne Starter Kit that I recommended in December. I have upped my usage to twice a day, and I can tell a DEFINITE difference in my skin texture/oil production when I skip it. So, I’m still standing behind ole Murad. On particularly oily days, I have added Biore’s “Free Your Pores” blemish fighting astringent, which works very well, and very quickly – if I apply it on skin that I can feel is getting aggravated or is forming a blemish, it will have dried it up by morning.

My first recommendation for the month of January is directly related to my skin problems (and then we will move on from talking about my nasty ass pizza face) – I have been using NYX’s Angel Veil primer for awhile now (it is a serum and is wonderful for dryer or normal skin) – but since the last thing I need is to add more oil to my face, I switched to NYX’s “First Base Primer Spray”, and I LOVE it. Unknown-2

 

I really don’t want to ever switch back. The spray application feels fantastic and refreshing at the start of my makeup routine, and I just take my fingers and lightly work it into my skin if I feel like one area didn’t get coverage. What I also love about this product is that it doesn’t cause my foundation/concealer to crease or separate, like a lot of serum primers do. The last thing I want is my under eye area to look like a crisis, and this product definitely helps me avoid that. My makeup stays locked and loaded all day long. $7.99 at ULTA!

Next, lets jump into some lipsticks. So great is my love and affinity for NYX Cosmetics, I really just want to have a big fluffy princess wedding with them so that we can be together till death do us part. They are by far the best “drugstore” range line, and I haunt the NYX aisle at ULTA like a sea hag. NYX has recently released a lot of neIMG_7393w lipsticks, but what interested me the most were the Ombre lip duos ($11.99 at ULTA) –

I love the idea of ombre lips, but they can be really hard to maintain – not with these babies! You can go as hard or as soft with your ombre as you want – and they last FOREVER.

The color I’m wearing in this photo is “Poppy and Lily”. I also have “Ginger & Nutmeg” & “Bonnie & Clyde”. If you are someone who is afraid or unsure of how to use lipliner, let these be your loving introduction to getting it right – because there is literally no wrong way to work with these. I’ve had a lot of fun using them.

Another thing that I’ve been really digging this month are the On-the-Go Fragrance Sprays (ULTA brand) – I love anything that I can toss in my purse, and these smell fantastic. 1325957_1371008127
I got Freshwater Mist and Lavender Woods on sale (regular price is $7.50, they are currently buy 2, get 2 free!), and I’ve been using the crap out of them. The older I get, the more I become one of those little old biddies that can’t take the smell of certain kinds of perfumes because they give me headaches, so the fact that they smell good and don’t make me feel like I have a brain tumor is the biggest selling point to me. So if you guys could all start wearing these too, that would be great. NO MORE PERFUME HEADACHES 2016!

Next on the list is a new favorite that I can’t take credit for – and that would be Urban Decay’s Minor Sin Eye Shadow Primer Potion. gateway_redirect.php During our December makeup swap, my makeup bestie, Stephanie, gave me a gaggle of goodies, and this was one of them. I didn’t really think that I would find a use for it, but I surprised myself – I love it! I typically use just my foundation or a NYX white eye shadow base to prime my eyes for shadow, so I wasn’t really sure what I would do with this, but love always finds a way, doesn’t it? My favorite ways to use this gorgeous champagne tinted primer are on days where I am not going to wear eye makeup, but just want a little sparkle on my lid, or when I’m wearing a lot of neutral tones that have a lot of shine to them and I want to amp them up. You can find this product at ULTA for $20.00, which I do feel like is a lot for an eye shadow primer, but not really if you take into account the fact that you can find several different uses for it. And a little goes a LONG way. Thanks, Stephanie!

Last but certainly not least, I leave you with another new favorite that I can’t take the credit for, because my mom introduced it to me. The Sigma Spa Express Blush Cleaning Mat ($25.00 at the Sigma website). My typical take on brush cleaning is never do it because I hate it and am lazy. I would literally rather buy a new brush than clean an old one, because I am tragic and wasteful. My mom ordered me one of these mats (I think she was 02956784-ea8c-45f2-a107-d71d6661420ftrying to politely tell me that my makeup table looked like a holy terror), and I let it sit around untouched for a few days until I finally opened it. I toted about 10 brushes to the sink, not expecting to feel any sort of way about the experience – but then it began. I WAS CHANGED. Holy moly. Dare I say this made brush cleaning … fun? You stick it (it has suction cups on the bottom of the mat) in your sink, squirt brush cleaner on to it, and basically paint your brushes clean. It takes NO time at all, seriously. I am begging you all to buy this. If this is the one thing I recommend that you ever listen to, it is this – it has honestly turned a chore that I dreaded SO much into the easiest, breeziest thing. Thanks, Sigma! And thanks, Mom!

So that is it for January. Next month, I’ll let you know how I felt about some recent purchases – the Too Faced “Born This Way” foundation, my first order that I placed at ColourPop Cosmetics (currently sitting by the mailbox like a crazed woman waiting in antici……PATION for its arrival), and the new “Lip Lingerie” matte liquid lipsticks by NYX.

If you decide to try any of these products, please let me know – I’ve really loved talking to those of you that reached out and told me they followed some of my suggestions. You guys are the raddest. Okay, BYEEEEEE!

Posted in MAKEUP/BEAUTY

DECEMBER BEAUTY FAVES

Hello there, pals! I wanted to share with you all some of my favorite beauty/makeup products that I have been digging for the month of December. Upon compiling my list, I realized that I got nearly every one of these things at ULTA, and that is when I realized that I really need to stay away from ULTA for my wallet’s sake. Anyway, let’s get on with it!

First on the list is the Murad Acne Starter Kit

s1602861-main-hero

Down here in my part of the world (lovely Greenville, South Carolina), we typically have chilly and very dry winters that are super harsh on my skin. I am usually pretty lucky for the majority of the year, skin-wise, and have very few to no breakouts – but from late November through February, I look like a hormonal teenager.

In the past, I have splurged on Proactiv, which works very well, but is also very expensive. I have heard good things about the Murad acne line, and decided to pick up the starter kit. It includes a clarifying cleanser, an acne spot fast fix, an oil-control mattifier (this I have admittedly not used, as I don’t have a tendency to have oily skin), and an acne clearing solution.

Overall, I have been very impressed with this kit, and would definitely purchase it again. I noticed a difference in my skin within about a week (my break outs cleared right up and my skin regained some brightness). You really get a lot of bang for your buck, product wise, and truthfully, it really isn’t much different from Proactiv. They are similar skincaIMG_5056re systems and work pretty much the same way – but buying Murad through ULTA means that I get rewards points, and that absolutely is enough of a perk to make me lean towards Murad in the future. I also like that these products are small enough that I can toss them into a tiny Cinderella mug that I had literally no use for when I bought it. Thanks for making adult acne fun, Cinderella!

 

Next in skincare, I have the VITABATH Lavender Chamomile Body Wash

2242315

OH.MY.GAWWW. This smells so amazing – and the scent really carries after your shower throughout the day. As far as the actual shower process, the body wash itself is so gentle, you immediately relax as soon as it is applied to your skin.

Because I loved the body wash so much, I also picked up the VITABATH Lavender Chamomile Lotion –

2271460

and #NOREGRETS. Both are $7.99 at ULTA, and are currently on a buy 1, get 1 half off sale. You get a TON of product here – each bottle is 12 delicious ounces. Bonus: there is a travel size of the body wash that you can find at ULTA, too. YAAAAS!

 

Onwards to haircare!

My largest complaint with my hair is that I have a lot of it, but that it doesn’t have any body. I’ve used tons of products that promise luscious and thick hair in the past, and have always been disappointed – so when I ran into NOT YOUR MOTHER’S Plump For Joy Thickening Hair Lifter

2270347

and saw the low price point ($5.99 at, you guessed it, ULTA), I was willing to try to find love again. And boy howdy, is this one a keeper! I use two pumps of this product in my hair – applied when it has been towel dried after a shower – and I’ve let it both air dry naturally and have also dried it with a hair dryer, and I’ve found that either way, my hair becomes an actual small creature that I think has a pulse and most definitely a zip code. It makes me feel like Priscilla Presley, and for that alone, I’m tickled. Definitely recommend.

Another haircare item – I love curling my hair, but am lazy and usually cannot be bothered. I also find that, because I have a finer hair texture, my hair does not respond as well to curling wands or irons. So I decided to give the Conair Flexible Rollers

17371219

a try, and I’ve been dazzled! They are VERY easy to use and produce a gorgeous curl that really lasts throughout the day (I tested this in Florida humidity, so I feel like I’ve done God’s work). One note: I personally like to wear mine to bed at night with a satin cap over them to keep them in place, but if you are very sensitive to something annoying you while you sleep, I wouldn’t recommend going that route, because they are not the most comfortable things in the world to wear to bed. These can be found at ULTA for $14.99.

Lastly, a gift that I have fallen in love with – Stephanie & I did a makeup exchange, which is pretty much like Christmas for makeup lovers – I boxed up a lot of stuff that I was getting rid of, and she did the same, and then we swapped and went at the offerings like vultures – one of her giveaways that I kept is Maybelline’s Color Sensational Creamy Matte Lip Color in “Ravishing Rose”

IMG_6991

 

This is definitely a holy grail color for me, I have pretty much worn it every day since she so kindly gave it to me. Drugstore lipsticks can always be very hit or miss, but this is a definite hit – I LOVE the color, love the texture, and love the payoff and pigmentation. It also doesn’t have that gross smell that some drugstore lip colors can have. Literally no complaints here, just many, many grateful thanks to Stephanie for a new favorite! $7.99 for a tube at ULTA!

That’s it for this month! I accidentally went to ULTA again last night (I’ve really gotta stay out of there) and bought a few new things, so I’ll return at the end of next month with more faves to share. Please let me know if there is anything you think that I would love that I can check out! xx

Posted in MAKEUP/BEAUTY

4

We all have our Christmas traditions … collecting the yearly Urban Decay Vice palettes is one of mine. Combine this snazzy new baby with the new camera that Santa brought me, and I forsee (FINALLY) making some makeup tutorials for you guys! I can’t wait. Let me know what kind of stuff you’d like to see!