Thursday, December 8, 2016

Kendra Scott necklaces here & here

This is going to be another post where I don't talk about the outfit I'm wearing above. I understand if it's too much for some, and it won't hurt my feelings if you skip it. I've decided to start a series called real talk, where I discuss things that are relevant to me and how I'm feeling. I'm sure you've noticed it over the last few months but now it's got a name! So here we go...

This is supposed to be the most wonderful time of the year. So why do so many people struggle with it? For a long time I assumed it was just me being a grinch, but after working with foster children and at-risk youth, I came to know that many of us experience the holiday blues. Sadly it's not just adults either. It's children who aren't with their families, or young adults who have lost their parents to drug addictions and the law. That's the part that really breaks me. My friend lost her father a few years ago to an aggressive form of cancer. He was her rock, and in an instant, he was gone. Other friends of mine have lost their families to infidelity, divorce, and misunderstandings. Even more have lost loved ones to terminal illness or inevitable old age.

My story is somewhere in the muck. My parents are divorced, and I haven't spent a single Christmas with my dad since I was 18. He calls each year to say hi, but the conversation is short. I'm lucky that I have Nate's family to spend Christmas with. They are incredibly generous and kind-hearted, and there's no doubt in my mind that even if I wasn't married to their son, I would still be invited over because that's who they are. My sister-in-law is a hair stylist, and she invites one of her older clients over every year because she doesn't have family here in America (she's from Germany). 

But the blues creep in despite the kindness of my "adopted" family. I thought it would go away when I married, but if anything, it's gotten worse and I have no idea why. My friends tell me this will change once I have little ones running around, and I really hope they're right. I guess it boils down to feeling a lack of control. I can't control that my parents don't get together anymore. My mom isn't in the kitchen cooking, my grandma's booming laughter isn't reverberating throughout my house, my dad doesn't get to wrap his arms around me. And conversely, Nate and I haven't yet established our own traditions so it doesn't feel as special as it should. I'm 32 and I should be over these things by now, but the wounds haven't quite healed yet. Nate and I plan on going to midnight mass this year because I think that faith is a huge part in being at peace with the past, present, and future.  

I hope faith will propel me into being grateful for what I do have, not what I have lost. The past is best left behind, and the future hopefully holds better things. I just ask for two simple things this season that no doubt make the holidays easier for those of us that don't really enjoy them: 

1) Don't be a jerk on the road. I know everywhere is crowded with shoppers trying to check off their lists. But please don't flip me off on the way to the mall because you need to get your presents like yesterday. That's not the point. If you think that is the point, I feel sorry for you.

2) When you do get to the mall, or a restaurant to celebrate, don't be so hasty. Open doors for people, say thank you. I'm observant to a fault while I'm out in my community and am sometimes disturbed by people's lack of manners and general politeness towards others. On the other hand, I feel restored when I witness acts of simple kindness. More of that!

I hope reading this didn't give you the blues! This isn't my intention. I just want to point out that amidst all the twinkling lights, hot cocoa, and Christmas carols... that some people are hurting. If you love this time of year then that's great! I wish everyone did.

I just prefer the Summer. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Wearing //
Moto jacket, check Target
Express dress, similar
Banana Republic bag, love this one!
Vince Camuto pumps, similar
Gifted ring from Carylee
Beauty //
Nails by Essie "It's Genius"

I love a good moto jacket. Being that motocross is the one sport I get positively giddy over (I mean have you seen those boys? Hello gorgeous) and being that Nate is involved in building bikes as well, I feel totally justified in my continuous quest to find the perfect one. Admittedly I don't know how to ride a dirt bike, but I love getting in on the action and living vicariously through my friends. I can at least try and look the part! Express used to make my favorite moto jackets, but I was shocked when I walked into Target and found this one by the WhoWhatWear collection. The color is a stunning shade of green - not quite emerald but deeper than olive. And the fit is just slouchy enough to appear casually polished. Now that it's chilly enough to wear some layers, I have reached for this quite a bit. If you get the chance to try this on in-store, I hope you will! Can we also talk about my Kendra Scott necklace? It's adjustable with a pull tab so you can wear it long or short. Designers take note. The versatility is genius, and I love that it doesn't have a clasp. 

This week is extremely busy for me. I have two final projects for school, I need to buy supplies for my very first Stella & Dot trunk show, I'm trying to perfect and send out my resume, two Christmas parties to attend...I could go on but will save you the trouble. I hope you all are doing well and enjoying the holidays. They stress me out, but I'm trying to tackle one thing at a time. It's called being an adult 😉

Wednesday, November 30, 2016


I love Instagram, I really do. What's not to love? You can find pretty much everything you could possibly want in one swipe of your finger. Interested in losing weight and getting fit? There's an account for that. Looking for recipes to spice up your daily meals? You'll find plenty. I follow accounts dedicated to animals, positive body image, food, wineries, professional dirt bike riders, Hawaii, even I Love Lucy and Leonardo DiCaprio (because I have an unwavering love for both). And of course, I follow fellow bloggers and friends. In theory, it's the perfect social media platform. When I first discovered it, I had just finished deleting my Facebook, so it was a natural transition. Less drama, more inspiration. Less talk, more pictures. Less commitment...I got behind it right away.

I used it to post things that I love, and I tied it into my blog. I thought I was being clever, until I realized that most people use it for that reason too. I'm not as clever as I thought. I didn't want people to know that I had a blog, so I was careful to only use "Beautygirl24" and not my actual name. I only tried posting a handful of times per week, promising myself that I wouldn't let this app become a new obsession. Damn was I wrong. "The road to Hell is often paved with good intentions."

Okay, I'm being melodramatic. Let me explain.

I have a bad case of the Instagram effect. Or is it affect? I'm clearly being affected.

It's easy to get caught up and sort of lose yourself in social media. As a relatively quiet person, social media allows me the freedom to be who I am without fear of having "real life" conversations. I can put whatever I want out there into the ether, and if someone criticizes me, it doesn't feel as painful because it isn't a face to face exchange. That's not to say I don't get disappointed when I see my follower numbers going down, or when I'm not getting as many likes as some of my friends are. I hate that I feel like I need validation from perfect strangers. I constantly teeter between wanting to post more often, and wanting to post less. The worst part is feeling like it's one giant distraction. I check Instagram several times per day, almost aimlessly as though I'm looking for something but don't quite know what that something is. I follow about 300 accounts, a reasonable number I suppose. If I haven't checked it in a couple hours, I fear that I'm missing out on something important. I check it as soon as my eyes open every morning, a handful of times before and after lunch, in the evening, while watching television, and before I go to sleep. That's a problem isn't it? If I did this with anything else in my life, I'd probably be taken to rehab or institutionalized. Or I'd be super successful because I'd be using that time to actually get shit done rather than wasting time.

Then there's the comparison factor. Here's an actual conversation I've had with Nate:
Me: Ugh she's in Europe again! I want to go to Europe babe.
Nate: Have you figured out how we're going to get there, how we can afford it?
Me: Um, no not quite.
Nate: How can she afford to travel so much? Does she have a job 'cuz there's no way I'd get that much time off work to go travel every other month.
Me: I think she blogs full-time.
Nate: Why don't you try that?
Me: I dunno. I don't think I want to. I wouldn't be good at it.
Nate: Well, quit complaining then.
Me: Okay (keep scrolling through said blogger's feed, feeling like a sore loser).

This happens a lot. Not just with seeing others traveling the globe, but seeing people doing mundane things. Average, everyday things! How is that possible? So yes, the comparison factor is very very real and I know everyone must feel it at some point. As much as I root for people being happy and successful, it's difficult when you feel like you're not living up to your own potential. It's easy to get down on yourself.

So I'm trying to take mini breaks from social media, even if just for a day. Hell even if it's just for a few hours! I still love Instagram, I really do. But there's life outside of it. Thank God.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

I was sent these products by Glo Minerals a couple of months ago, but as with any beauty post, I like to really take my time on reviewing them so I can fully test how they will wear. It seems disingenuous when I read beauty blogs and I can tell they have only used the product once. Major eye roll!

Anyway, cream eye shadow products have never been a staple for me. I have fairly oily eyelids so cream products don't exactly make much sense. However, Glo is such a great brand with a heavy leaning towards skincare so I kept an open mind and wore these in several ways.

First, I tried them all over the lid on top of my favorite primer. The formula felt sticky for a few seconds and I worried about creasing. However, after going to dinner and a movie one night, my eyes still looked nice six hours later. Admittedly I was surprised because I was certain the color would wear off. There was a bit of creasing, but nothing a little light blending couldn't fix.

Next, I tried layering a similar powdered shadow on top. This is probably my favorite way to use these, as the powder provides an extra barrier and there was zero creasing. Plus, the cream stick underneath made the look more intense in color. The lasting power would be perfect for a long day at work or evening out.

Lastly, I have used these as liners smudged into my lashline. The black is perfect for a smokey eye, but I also love the browns and plums for a sultry yet still natural wash of color. They are super easy to blend.

From left to right: 
Beam, Gold Blush, Keepsake, Metro, Concord, Pitch

Beam is hands-down my favorite because it can be used to highlight anywhere! I use it in the inner corners of my eyes, underneath my eyes, and on my brow bones. It's such a beautiful champagne shade that I don't plan on buying any similar products anytime soon.

Gold Blush and Keepsake are the shadows I have been wearing the most on my eyes out of the six. The brown/bronze is the most flattering and easiest to wear on a daily basis. I just sweep them on and go, especially when I'm extra lazy about wearing makeup. They blend together perfectly and should really be made as a set.

As you can see, some have shimmer and some don't. The shimmer is more of a subtle gleam. You can barely see Beam on my hand, which is why I love using it to highlight. It translates to a bright, wide-eyed look on my fair skin. The rest swatch very true to how they appear on the eyes. The pigmentation is rich and goes on smoothly. It dries down to a powder, but still looks more glossy than regular eye shadow.

Out of the six, I recommend Beam (as a highlight), Gold Blush, Keepsake, and Pitch (as a liner). Metro and Concord are gorgeous, but I don't gravitate towards smokey eyes so I haven't had much use for them.

If you have any questions, let me know! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend 😊