Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Makeup for Middle Schoolers

Next April, I will not only be a wife, but I will officially be acquiring two nieces, although they've long since been calling me "Aunt Michelle" (which melts my hearts every time, by the way. YES I WILL GIVE YOU ALL THE CANDY IN THE WORLD!).

The eldest, Isabel, will be entering middle school shortly and already loves everything girly. Her parents, as is expected, are hesitant to let her start wearing makeup. She is only allowed to wear certain products and they must receive approval prior to public wear.

So I decided to put together my suggestions for an appropriate middle school makeup kit.

  • Middle school is when those pesky hormones start raging and many kids experience their first acne breakouts. They're not fun and can really make girls AND boys feel very self-concise. A good concealer is key. I suggest the Maybelline Fit Me concealer
    • Remember that finding your perfect shade, especially when you first start to wear makeup, can be tough, so don't forget you can always RETURN your makeup (with light wear and a receipt) to the drugstore/ulta/target/etc...
  • A good cream blush will give a nice dewy flush to the cheeks while maintaining a more natural appearance than a powder. Also, no brush is needed, as this can easily be blended in with fingers.  
    • A truly great product is the Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush, and my favorite natural shade is "Peach Satin."
  • Eye shadow is one of the most exciting parts of wearing makeup for young girls, but making it look natural is the key. I have two palettes that I believe are suitable for middle school
    • First is the Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette. This retails for $27 and can be found online or at Ulta and Sephora. It has all matte shades and provides 6 neutrals that are PERFECT for just polishing up the look of your lid and crease. It also includes a matte black which can be smudged along the lashline for added thickness rather than a harsh eyeliner (that many girls don't know how to use properly yet)
    • Now, if you either don't want to shell out $27 or you want a few more color options, another fantastic palette is the It's Judy Time palette from BH Cosmetics. This one can only be purchased online and retails for around $15. It is available only for a limited time, but who knows exactly how long that will be. It is great quality and I use it very often. 
      • This palette comes with 12 shadows and is really well rounded out. It includes a mix of shimmers and mattes, but stays mostly in the neutral family with a few fun pops of purple/blue for the girls to have fun with. 
  • With these shadows, they're going to need some brushes, and for the love of God, don't let them use those terrible sponge tip applicators. We can keep it cheap while also giving them something to work with.
    • This BH Cosmetics set contains 7 brushes that I think are are the eye essentials including a blending brush which is necessary for making any look appear less harsh. It comes in a hard case so they can easily travel and store it, which is ideal for slumber parties! The best part? It's only $12.95 (always look for deals on retailmenot.com). 
  • Mascara is the next item, and we can keep this pretty simple. The Covergirl Clump Crusher is a favorite that is perfect for beginners because it really lives up to its name and doesn't clump. This mascara will give a middle schooler some definition to the lashes and bit of volume without creating spider leg lashes.
    • For even more of a natural look, opt for the brown shade rather than black.
  • And lastly we can finish off this beginner kit with a nice natural gloss. You can't really go wrong here, but even something as simple as this Neutrogena MoistureShine Lip Soother would work. If they really want some color, The Maybelline Color Whisper line is great because they start off sheer and you can build to the intensity desired. 

Throw it all in a cute little makeup bag, and she's set! How fun is that? I don't really think foundation is needed until a bit older, but if they insist, maybe opt for a BB Cream or Tinted Moisturizer instead. 

Thanks for reading!
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Say "Bye Bye Redness"

Check out my first impression review on Bye Bye Redness from It Cosmetics.

Seriously, this stuff is amazing and has completely helped my redness issues. You can find this product on QVC or at Ulta! Check out my photos below for before application, after application, and after full makeup.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day At Home

As little girls, we grow up with vision of Prince Charming and Prince Eric  in our heads. The hunky, handsome hero who is never void of a romantic gesture and enticing line. As we enter our teen and college years, the prince is replaced by the beloved rom-com as the sultry stares and humorous quips of George Clooney, Ryan Gosling and Matthew McConaughey make our lady parts flutter.

We are trained to believe from early on that this is how men act when they are courting a woman. Then you meet a man and fall head over heels. Before you know it, the world's most romantic holiday is just around the bend and you anxiously wait to see what magical surprises your sweetie has in store, what memorable adventure he has planned, and let's not forget the thoughtful gift he most certainly has up his perfectly pressed and tailored sleeve.

Then the day arrives and reality hits.

Now yes, there are those select few men out there who indeed take their cues from the "Say Anything" and "Love Actually" realm (And yes, I envy and loathe the women who found them). However, I know I am not the only one out there whose significant other finds gift-giving and pressure-filled holidays a burden. My shnookums prefers naps on the couch while claiming to be watching Breaking Bad over in bed, roses and candle-lit meals.

For those of us in this certain situation, Valentine's Day can be frustrating. We simply cannot understand why the men in our lives don't want to shower us with love and gifts. How is that so hard?!

Then, as the relationship continues, a funny thing happens...you learn to adapt. Valentine's Day becomes less about being swept off your feet and flown at the drop of a dime to Paris for a designer shopping spree and more about intentionally taking the time to be together and enjoy your common interests. In our situation, it's also a good excuse to have a date night.

For T and myself, we also have to consider finances. We are saving for a wedding and a house, so things like gifts and date nights have been kind of put on the back burner for awhile. However, I don't want the day (which is also our anniversary) to go unnoticed. This year, we will be planning a night in.

The deal we have in our house is that I cook, he washes the dishes. The boy can hardly boil pasta and this girl LOATHES doing dishes, so it's a compromise that has been working for us for the past 6 years. He hates cooking so much that even on days when I ask him to help me shred cheese or chop a few veggies so I can get dinner ready faster, I am met with sighs and pursed lips.

But this year, we will start off by hiking Stone Mountain (something I've been wanting to do since we moved to Atlanta, and something he would enjoy because it involves physical activity). Then, we decided to cook a fancy meal TOGETHER. I plan on lighting some candles and turning on some sweet music. Afterwards, we will buy a new Blu-Ray (cheaper than going to the movies) and cozy in on the couch with some 98 cent boxed candies from WalMart and a 2-liter.

So it may not be a story worthy of a Ryan Reynolds hit, but it's the reality of real relationships, people! Real men. And as you grow with a real relationship, him offering to cook dinner with you becomes just as special as a shopping spree in Paris.
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