I love Lush. Their products are great. When you go into a Lush store, there is a spunky energy that makes you want to fill your whole world with Lush. I never leave without picking up a few things.
A few months ago, I gave their mascara a try. It's a simple ingredient list, and the wheatgrass is supposed to help condition your lashes. It's a cute package with a tiny brush. I tried it for a week and gave up. The brush was hard to use, and I just wasn't getting the volume I needed....
Then on another trip to Lush, I was chatting with one of the Lush girls. She told me to give it some time and hated it at first too. She was really happy with the build of the mascara and she was able to really beef up her lashes with it. And since they had been out of their liner, she was using it for that too with an eyeliner brush. So I gave it another chance....
I still hate the little brush it comes with and I dip my own mascara wand in the bottle. You can get good build out of it after a few coats and it still feels lightweight. And it is surprisingly smudge (not water) proof. It does makes a cool liquid liner.
So, would I buy this again? Possibly, so if you're looking for a lightweight, healthy, vegan mascara, this is it. It's a jeans and t-shirt mascara, It's also a great value. The little bottle contains a ton of product.
The Original Beauty Blender
A while back I was hearing tons of hype about the Beauty Blender Sponge. It's main claim is that it has no edges. No edges = no lines. For years, I have sworn by my foundation brushes and I have never been a big fan of sponges. Seeing all the posts about how amazing Beauty Blender was, when I saw a Daily Deal for them on Alcone, I picked up a few. They really changed my mind. They are soft and really give me a lot of flexibility, no matter what I use on the skin. Since you wet them first, it also helps diffuse your product a bit. I love the finish you get from using these, So easy! I use them all the time now.
$20 is a bit pricey for a sponge and I am always on the look out for comparable products. Here's 2 that won't disappoint!
Real Techniques (made by the PixiWoo sisters)
I discovered this one in Kohl's too. I am so impressed. I really like the shape of it. The flat head really helps for coverage. The 2 pack is only $11.
This sponge is a close second to the Beauty Blender. The texture is a little softer, so you don't get the same performance, but it's pretty darn close. And for $6 you can't beat it. They have the double pack on sale at Kohl's for $7.50!!!
If you are a 2015 bride, now is the perfect time to start growing out those brows. I know it's hard, but if you're unhappy with your brow shape, growing them back in now will only help you to achieve the perfect shape for your wedding day. Every few years I do it. Trends come and go and each year there's something new in the way of brows. Growing them back will only give you more options. Here's a few coping strategies....
1. They are sisters, not twins
This gem has gotten me to put the tweezers down on more than one occasion. They don't have to be perfect. They don't have to be exactly symmetrical.
2. No one sees your brows the way you do
When you are getting ready chances are there's less than a foot between you and the mirror. Does anyone really get that close? You will always have the most critical eye. Take a step back, finish getting dressed. If it still bothers you, then you can go back and deal with it.
3. You don't have to give up the tweezers completely
Tweeze the lowest most offending hairs. Leave the rest. Fill in with powder.
4. When you're ready, find a good brow professional
Another person has an objective perspective when it comes to the shape of your brows. They see many face shapes and hair textures. Whenever I like anyone's brows I ALWAYS ask what they do. More often then not, they get them threaded. Threading allows you to take hairs out and see the progress as you go. Waxing is a one shot deal. Ask your friends, ask strangers, you will eventually find your own brow guru!
Here are some of my favorite brow products:
A stiff, angled brow brush will help comb product through your brows and get a better shape
Shapes your brows and also will comb out excess product when you finish
Colored Brow wax
Color and shape in one product. Use with the angled brush to fill in. The wax will hold them in place.
My brides are always asking for skincare tips. Sometimes lips are overlooked. Everyone wants bright sparkling eyes and glowing skin. But did you know that taking care of you lips not only helps your lip products wear better and stay on longer, but also reduces fine lines?
Now that winter is here, it's important to keep your lips protected and hydrated. Here's a few of my recommendations....
Hydrate & Protect
Every jacket pocket and every drawer (at home and work) should have something to hydrate your lips. Going for a run? Sitting inside? Going to bed? Getting ready to go out? Put something on your lips. When you're outside, it's the cold dry wind. When you're inside it's the dry heat.
I keep it simple, I stock up at Whole Foods or my local health food store. They have a great selection of inexpensive and effective lip moisturizers. My favorite continues to be the original Burt's Bees. Coconut Oil is another perfect option. Scoop some into a small container and keep it in your night table. There's also a lot of high end treatment products out there specifically targeted for pluming and reducing lines. Dermalogica makes a nice one.
Getting the dead skin off your lips helps your moisturizer work better. It also provides a smooth surface for your lip color.
I love fancy sugar scrubs. They come in all flavors and are so much fun. Lush has a lot of really fun ones. If you're feeling crafty, here's a recipe for a DIY:
DIY Lip Scrub
1 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1 tsp oil - use whatever you have - Olive oil, coconut oil and grapeseed oil all work well
1/2 tsp honey (optional)
You can also add a few drops of mint oil if you choose
It took me years to get over the anxiety leftover from working Black Friday behind the counter. I still will never set foot in a store on this day. I have slowly recovered, and now Black Friday is one of my favorite online shopping times.
The internet is magic, filled with unbelievable sales the whole weekend. This is when I do a good amount of restocking for the year. Most sites offer free shipping and some of the best discounts of the year!
Here's some to watch:
Check this link for frugal finds from Drugstores and the like
A mix of stores, Seventeen would never steer you wrong
I purchase all my mascaras for the year here
Makeup For Life has some great links
Refinery 29 lists some great picks
Basically, keep an eye for any of your favorite brands and stores, they will all have some type of deal. As we get closer, more lists pop up in your Black Friday/Cyber Monday searches. I will update as I catch them.
It's been a very busy year and my wedding season is finally winding down. I never really think I am that busy until I have a minute to sit back and review the paper trail of 2014.
This year I ...
Was published in Chronogram Magazine, Borrowed and Blue and The Knot
Worked Trashion Fashion show Hartford. My first show in years!
Met so many amazing Brides, Photographers, Stylists and other vendors
Rented a summer studio
Hit 130,000 miles on my car
Did my first international wedding
Started a new blog
Opened an Instagram
Next year I...
Will try and blog more
Will shop more
Will create more
Will travel more
Will take more classes
In addition to all the hours of travel, makeup. cleaning, prepping, breaking down and shopping, I forget how much paperwork there is. Tracking expenses, updating my portfolio, following up with clients is all very time consuming. My home office days are very limited. Today I have gotten so much done. Sifting through the story of this year.