Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Series: What's on My Vanity?

Today I'm starting a new series: "What's on My Vanity?/What's in My Bag?".  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten sucked into reading blog posts about what's inside someone else's purse, makeup bag, or carryon.  It's like legalized snooping.  I always get good ideas about products, organization, what kind of bag is best for what, etc.  I thought it would be just as much fun to see what someone has on their vanity--their go-to products for skin and/or makeup.  Plus, seeing how they organize it all is always educational.  We'll start with "What's on My Vanity?" and next time we'll get the "What's in My Bag?" series rolling.  

bathroom essentials from real women


We're kicking off the series today with a "What's on My Vanity?" entry--and it's a good one!  Ash, from The Grits Blog is here.  Ash did the blog design for me and it was so easy and fun to work with her, I shouldn't have been surprised that working with her on this post was just as easy and fun.  Let's see what kind of treasures she keeps in her arsenal:

What's on My Vanity?  The Grits Blog:

When Kristiina approached me about taking part in her "what's in my bag or vanity" series I immediately jumped at it. I was like THIS is what I have been waiting to do! I just finished getting my bathroom organized and was actually going to do a little reveal on the blog. So without further a-do! Here's what's on my vanity!

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To the right on my counter is where I keep must have at the ready beauty products - basically what I use every day for my quick 15-20 minute routine:

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1 - Victoria's Secret Bronzer

After typing all of that out I realized...I use a lot of Clinique! I went on a binger a couple of weeks ago because it was gift time. I am loving everything I purchased so far! The primer isn't anything to write home about but the foundation is amazing and gives great coverage. 

ALSO, about the beauty blender - I was having issues getting my foundation and concealer to set right on my skin and I was told to try out a beauty blender. BEST ADVICE EVER! If you haven't bought one, you need to - and you need to get the real one because the fake ones don't work as well! 

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To hold my q-tips and cotton balls I found these really pretty glass candle holders. They added a lot of color to my bathroom and really tied in all of the colors I used in all of the art and pictures I >> Chris hung up!

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To avoid cluttering my vanity I moved my perfumes and hair dish to the window sill. Yep, there's a bottle of Clinique there - what can I say, I am a fan! Also, the Caudalie beauty elixir is great for giving that final touch for makeup. It just kind of melts everything together in a pretty, creamy way.

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what's in my bag, what's in my purse, purse organization, vanity organization, purse voyeur,

So overall - this is what my vanity looks like!

(EEK - Need to clean my mirror!!)
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So that's what's on my vanity! What's on yours?

                                                       ___________________________

Thank you so much Ash, for getting this "What's on My Vanity" series started off with a bang!  I am hearing more and more good things about the Beauty Blender--after all the hype a few years ago, it's really hung in there.  I might have to give it a whirl!  I've also always wanted to try the Caudalie beauty elixir.  And I love the holders you found for the cotton products.  Pretty things in the bathroom for mundane products just makes every morning a little better :)

Go check out Ash's blog, The Grits Blog, where she talks about everything from beauty products, to her favorite fonts, to married life.

If you'd like to participate in this series, or the "What's in My Bag?" series, just drop me a note at kgcraven@yahoo.com.  I'd love to work with you.  (You don't have to be a blogger to join in the fun! Just someone who has a camera or camera phone and a bathroom or purse ;)
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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Budget Beauty: Hits and Misses 2

I'm always on the hunt for inexpensive makeup and skincare products.  Sometimes I hit on a winner, but usually I find that I swing and miss (I'm so sporty today!  Really fits with my personality.  Har Har).  Here are the results from my latest group of budget beauty buys:


Let's start with the mascara.  I have been using L'Oreal Voluminous mascara for years.  First, I was loyal to the basic voluminous, but then I fell for the L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes mascara.  I really dig it.  It makes my lashes look lush and thick.  Plus, it's cheap and is easy to remove (relatively speaking).

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So when I saw the L'Oreal Voluminous Miss Manga ($7), I thought this would also be a winner.  I was wrong. This one is a miss. I really hate this mascara.  The brush has a strange shape and it gets all globbed up with mascara--I even got a huge blob of it in my eye just under the lash line.  It was really gross and hard to remove.

The shape of the brush makes applying the mascara very awkward.  If the formula knocked my socks off, I might try to master the goofy brush, but I'm not going to waste my time.

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The Maybelline Lash Sensational ($7) is a different story!  I picked it up after listing it in my Products to Try: March post.  It's really nice--the brush doesn't get too much mascara gunked up on it and it separates and lifts my lashes quite nicely.  It has two sides--the smaller bristles are best for getting deep to the base of your lashes while the longer side is best for fanning out the length of your lashes.

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The only thing that bugs me about it is it flakes when removing it.  I remove it and then wash my face and there are little flakes of black mascara all around my eyes.  It's kind of annoying.  I love the formula, but hate removing it.  I still think the Maybelline Lash Sensational is a hit, but I'll probably stick with my L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes once I finish this tube (waste not want not!).

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Next I tried some budget concealers.  I like the velvety formula of the Revlon Colorstay Concealer ($9) I got it in the color #02 Light Pale, but the color isn't right for me.  It was definitely light enough, but it seemed too brown or gray on my skin.  I liked it at first, but then I noticed that I could see exactly where it was sitting on my face--not something you want from your concealer!  Since this is the lightest color, I don't think I'll be able to find a better match.  So this Revlon Colorstay Concealer was a miss for me.  I wish drugstores would offer testers of the different shades so we didn't have to waste money!

The Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer ($4.50) is a very nice, lightweight, yet creamy concealer.  I have it in "Very Fair".  It's similar to the NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer, but it's not as thick as the NARS version.  It's incredibly easy to work with.  I've been applying this in an inverted triangle right at the base of my under eye concealer, at my temples, around the base of my nose and if I have any "spots" (as the Brits say ;).  I use a small brush to buff it in and it blends in so well.  It has scent, but that fades once you apply it. Rimmel's Wake Me Up Concealer is definitely a winner.  I just wish it was easier to find!  Wal-Mart carries it, but it's not always in stock.

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Look, more Maybelline products!  And I declare this Maybelline Define-A-Brow pencil ($6) a hit. I use the Dark Blonde color.  It reminds me so much of the Sephora Collection Retractible Brow Pencil (I use Honey Blonde).  They are both a waxy pencil with a super small "nib" so you can apply a little bit of color in small, light strokes which makes for a natural look.  They are both waterproof and they both have very lame, pretty much useless "brushes/combs" on the end.  The difference between the two is that the Maybelline Define-A-Brow pencil is more than half the cost!  I'm not sure if the Maybelline version has as much product in it, just yet.  I've been using it for a few weeks and it's still going strong, but I find myself twisting the end to get more product multiple times each morning.  We'll see how many more twists I can get out of it!

Rounding out this latest group of Budget Beauty Hits and Misses is yet another Maybelline product.  This Maybelline Face Studio Master Hi-Light Bronzer ($8) caught my eye at Target recently (probably while I was picking up the Lash Sensational) and the multi-colored palette really intrigued me.  I've been using the NARS Laguna bronzer for years (I bought into the hype), but it's just okay on me. I use a very light hand and make it work.

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But this Maybelline offering (in "Light Bronze") has a little bit of blush and highlighter mixed in with the bronzer.  I really like it--I've been using it every day since I got it.  I use a big powder brush and swirl it around all of the colors before lightly applying it where I would apply bronzer (the big "3" on each side of my face: brow bone to cheek to jawline, the top of my nose and a bit on my chin and neck).  Basically I apply it where the sun usually hits my face.  Sometimes I just wear this and no blush (like in the picture above).  I know!  I never leave the house without blush these days.  But this is kind of a bronzer/blush/highlighter all in one.  It's another hit for Maybelline with this Face Studio Master Hi-Light Bronzer!

So that's my latest roundup of budget beauty hits and misses.  I had more hits than misses this time compared with last time! Have you had any budget beauty hits at the drugstore lately?

I joined the link up over at The Grits Blog with this post!

The Grits Blog - Little Friday Linkup
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Sunday, March 22, 2015

More Ways to Waste Time

We are busy doing boring house stuff today--painting more trim, changing out electrical outlets, staining cabinets and prepping rooms for the painters who come next week.  (Whoot!)  So here's a short and sweet list of links for your perusal:


1. I'm well-versed in dry shampoo, but dry conditioner?  That is new to me.  Beauty High writes about Dry Conditioners to Try.  I'm intrigued!

2. Five Simple Things Super Productive People Do on Monday.  I'm working on number two every day so that I can apply the rest of the ideas on Mondays.

3. Time has an interesting article on how many friends you really need in  your life.

(via House Beautiful)
4. Price is usually the main deciding factor in choosing a sofa for us, but House Beautiful has Tips on Buying a Sofa That Will Last Forever that we should bring with us the next time we're in the market. 

5. Joe and I have been catching up on The Jinx (we have one episode left).  Here's Everything We Know About Robert Durst's Second Wife, Debrah Lee Charatan from Vulture.  Ruthless.

6. I love Ron Riggle and I love a good back story.  Fast Company has an article on How Rob Riggle Went From The Marines to "SNL", "The Daily Show", and Films.  Good stuff.
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