Dress Up for Yourself!

Last night, I mentioned that one of the passions I’ve found, since being diagnosed with cancer, is to put together great outfits — from the makeup to the hat to the accessories. This morning, I’ve been up since about 6:00 (yay, steroids), so I was able to drink my coffee in bed while I got through all of my spiritual goals, use a great little essential oil blend (I’ll share in another post) I made up to help me concentrate, and get ready for the day properly.

Typically, if I am home for the day, I don’t worry too much about what I put on. Heck, I may not even shower, and I usually don’t apply makeup. Today, I am spending the majority of my day at home, but I do have to run some errands … still not always enough for me to put forth too much effort.

But today, with the abundant energy I am feeling, I decided, “What the heck?!” Let’s dress up for me! I got a shower and used my Clarisonic.

In fact, I need to sing the Clarisonic’s praises, as I assured you I would. You’ve heard me lament about the dry skin that can accompany Chemo. Plus, for some reason, one of the effects of Chemo is that my nose runs constantly. It drips. It is the bane of my existence at the moment. Since I’m always wiping my nose, my nose and upper lip are typically horribly dry, with the dead skin slowly peeling off (sorry for the details).

Here enters the Clarisonic. I use it in the morning, on the simple setting that guides me: 20 seconds for the forehead; 20 seconds for the nose, lip, and chin area; and 10 seconds for each cheek. The result: amazingly soft skin, with zero dry patches. The results for me were instantaneous, and have improved with each use. I’m noticing smaller pores on my chin and nose. Less blemishes. And lovely, smooth skin.

Anyway, back to my morning. My mom took me shopping yesterday (thanks, Mom), and I got some new tops. The one I’m wearing today is a great turquoise color which matches my Coastal Scents SocialEYES palette. So, I chose the turquoise and silvery-grey colors for the shadows, and the black color to line the eyes.

Then I finished my outfit — pretty casual actually, but still cute, donned my hat, and headed downstairs to work.

Who says You can't dress up to work from Home?

It feels good to be ready for anything that comes my way today. A lot better than Monday when I ended up pumping gas in my pajamas on my way to pick my son up from school.

Even if you don’t work from home in the secular sense, doesn’t it feel good when you’re dressed and made up, even if its to clean out your kid’s clothes or work on making his costume for a school project? (Also on my to-dos today).

Tell me, do you get dressed up every day? Does it make you feel better? More productive? Happier? Let me know in the comments!

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New Eyeshadow Palettes

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked about makeup, so I’m excited to present you with my review of a Birchbox exclusive, the Coastal Scents styleEYES Trio Palette. First of all, I need to start by saying that this trio is only $25! That’s $25 bucks for 24 different shadows. Highly pigmented, gorgeous shadows. So far, I have only used two of the three palettes, but I’m thrilled so far …

Exclusive Birchbox Palette

Overall Impression

All three of this pictures were taken at the end of the day … I’m always hurrying to get ready, so I rarely have time to post in the morning, though I do have one (with a special appearance of my latest Jamberry manicure, Little Lady. Coincidentally they match the little ladybug on my hat!) …

IMG_2367

Anyway, I apologize for the generally bad pics … lipstick worn off, a little pale from fatigue. But the eyeshadow has some serious staying power. The bottom picture is from today, after chemo. I looked better earlier. My social worker even said that I looked fabulous. And one of the staff said I looked like I had lost weight. Chemo probably isn’t the best way to lose weight, but for someone who can afford to shed some pounds, it made me feel pretty good. Wow … easily distracted AGAIN!

Back to these shadows. The palettes are socialEYES, glamourEYES, and formalEYES. I’ve used the first two. glamourEyes is my favorite at the moment. I’ve never been one to use intense colors, but here’s the thing. What better time is there to try something bold than when you have cancer? It’s not like someone is going to tell me that my eye makeup is hideous. I have cancer … people are going to tell me I look great, even if I look like a troll!

So I have used a gorgeous deep pink, bold teal, and a deep green. It has been super fun to try some bolder shades, and mix multiple colors to create a more multidimensional look. Before attempting the bold colors, I did watch several YouTube tutorials and Pinterest guides. That helped tremendously. And like I said, I can look like a troll and no one will mention it 🙂

Some Technical Notes

Brushes: I use these eyeshadow brushes from Sephora. They work really well. If you decide to purchase, read the included guide so you know which brush to use for which part of the eye and which eyeshadow color should be used on what part of your eye (generally speaking).

Technique: Like I said, YouTube videos and Pinterest tutorials really work. It has helped me refine my look and improve the quality of application. It can be difficult to find the right guides and tutorials, so you can try searching by experience: novice, beginner, intermediate, etc. Look for applications for your eye shape. You can also search by the brand of the eyeshadow you want o apply. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to watch some intense applications, either — bright colors that you would NEVER try. Because it still shows the expertise of the person who created the video.

Tips: In my experience, most eyeshadows (powder) I use have some sort of fallout (shadow lands on your face outside where it’s supposed to be). While I have known this for a long time, I am just now beginning to apply my eyeshadow before the rest of my makeup. This means that you can use a makeup remover wipe to clear up fallout without ruining the rest of your hard work. This will make it more difficult for you to apply concealer if you have dark circles, but you can manage with practice. If you use powder foundation, wait to apply  mascara until after you apply your foundation. That way you won’t get powder on perfect eyelashes.

In Other Beauty News

Mom gave me a Clarisonic Plus brush. She thought hers was broken, but it isn’t, so she had an extra. Yay me! I’ve only used it once so far, so it’s too early for a review, but look for one soon.

Given my renewed passion for essential oils, I have been doing research on different uses. I came across this tutorial to clean my makeup brushes (which desperately need it). To be honest, I am loosely following it. I’m lazy. I don’t feel like going out to buy Castile soap, so I will be using Dawn. And I am letting the brushes sit in the oil and the Dawn, Lavender, water blend for a bit before I wash the brushes out. I will let you know in my next beauty post how it worked 🙂

xoxo

My FIRST Beauty Post

I am SO excited!!! Can you tell?? Before I get started, I have to thank my longest friend (I used to say oldest, but then people started thinking she was old), whom I have known since I was six years old. She was three. I’m not sure we were actually friends at that point, because I mean … she was a toddler. But we’ve stayed friends: she was in my wedding. If she gets married, I know I will be in hers (wink, wink). She’s my sister’s sister-in-law. She gave my now husband the affectionate nickname “Stalker” when we went to Italy together in 1999. It’s been a good run, and even though we don’t talk or email much, I think we have mutual faith that we love each other and we ALWAYS have each other’s back.

And my cancer diagnosis was no exception. She gave me one of the most thoughtful gifts I received. Gifts to make me feel feminine and pretty. Nail polishes, lipstick, and a fabulous eyeshadow gift set. Plus a gift card to pick my own goodies. I have taken such an interest in my make up now, especially since I am now bald as a cue ball (you’ll see soon). So A, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I feel pretty when I go out 🙂

This post will be a little longer, because I’m going to share with you some of my basic routine. First of all, I am horrible about a cleansing and moisturizing routine. Which is bad because my skin gets very dry. So I recently signed up for BirchBox. So far, I am enjoying it. They send different samples each month, and if you like them, it is super easy for you to order from your “box.” I have ordered a serum and a moisturizer from them. Once I give it a few weeks, I may review them here (I am not being paid by BirchBox, I just want to share things with my friends that I think works).

I am a pretty loyal Bare Minerals user. I have been for years, now. It doesn’t irritate my skin at all, and I don’t feel quite so guilty when I sleep in my makeup. Although, since I’m so focused on my eye makeup, I tend to wake up looking like a, well, a person who might wake up in an alley questioning her previous night’s decisions (was that PC enough?). Not to mention my poor pillowcase. So I am focusing on washing my face at night now. How quickly I digress.

My favorite thing from Bare Minerals right now is this product, applied with the pictured brush.

It’s a tinted hydrating cream. In the summer, I sometimes wear this without their famous BareMinerals Powder Foundation. Right now, though, I start with this as a base, applying it to my face with my finger, and blending in with the brush, paying closer attention to dark or red spots, and applying specifically under my eyes (dark circles) and on my eyelids. I follow with the three-steps of the powder foundation.

Here is my look from today. I didn’t have a chance to take it until this evening, so some of the makeup has undoubtedly worn off, especially since I’m still blowing my nose a lot.

I had on one of the cute hats that my friend S knitted for me, but I was too warm when I got home, so I decided to show you my new bald head.

I wore a black and grey top today, so I decided to try out the sample I received in my December BirchBox. But, I wanted to throw some more dimension too. Here are the shadows I used:

So my inspiration for the look was the sampler in the middle. I think it is found in the set linked there. But, since I received Le Grand Chateau from Too Faced as a gift (I linked the brand site, but feel free to search your favorite makeup place, too), I felt like two shadows weren’t enough. As far as tools go, I do have a set of eye brushes that I got from Sephora (worth it, in my opinion. I have other brushes too, but I got a gift card, so I got this new set with several more brushes. Bottom line is that eye brushes — whether a few or a set — make a huge difference in application).

I started with La Marais from Too Faced as an all over color — up to the brow bone, down to the lash line. It looks very white in the case, but it actually has this gorgeous pale pink shimmer to it (upon further research, it appears that this is only available in the gift set I was given. However, I am sure that they carry a similar, if not, exact color with a different name). Then I used the left color in the Sample Pack under the brow bone, to the corner, to the lash line. Feel free to connect that all to appear as one stroke. I did this two or three times on each eye to build the color.

Next I used the Mojito in the crease (again several applications). Unfortunately, this did fade quite a bit. I’m still hoping for an eye shadow primer in one of my future BirchBoxes.

Finally, I took a liner brush to the darker Sample Color to create the look of an eye liner to the lash line. For me, the shadow ends up creeping to the lower lash line, so I just need to fill in a bit to get the bottom liner look.

I followed up with Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. I’m not being dirty, that’s actually the name of it. It was part of the gift set, and I didn’t fully realize till I looked at the picture with my eyes closed how much I like it!

I finished up with Tre Fab bronzer, which apparently is only available in Le Grand Chateau, linked above, and a swipe with my Bare Minerals finishing brush. I don’t add more powder, just use the remaining in the brush to create a seamless look. The eye shadow can spread to your temples and under eyes … just take a big fluffy brush to wipe away. If you don’t have a brush, a tissue works wonders too 🙂

OK, that’s a wrap! Please provide your critiques, suggestions, adulation, whatever, in the comments.

XOXO!