We had a memorial service to attend this weekend. While it wasn't an event where fashion was a factor, it was an event that required me to wear something other than my usual yoga pants & a t-shirt. So, in other words I have an outfit to post that was picture worthy. I couldn't decide what shoes to wear so I just wore both.
I've always been a two-piece kind of girl but I'm not so sure my body is going to be ready for a bikini this summer. I've already returned to my post-baby weight, actually I'm 2 pounds less than my previous weight but I need to tone up my tummy. That's not my concern though, I'm pretty confident that I can tone up in time.
My concern is my linea nigra. I has definitely faded but it's still there and it bothers me. I've been using rubbing alcohol and that has really helped -A LOT. This may be TMI but when I rub an alcohol soaked cotton swab along the line and color actually comes off and transfers to the cotton swab. I've been doing this a couple of times a week and I've been noticing a difference but I think I'm at the point where my body needs to kick into action to get rid of it; if it decides to. My doctor said that it may not go away which scared the crap out of me but I'm staying hopeful. My aunt who has the same olive skinned coloring as me, had the linea nigra and hers disappeared over time so that's what is giving me hope.
I've been searching for a one-piece that won't make me feel old and frumpy but I don't want to invest in one because I'm hoping to return to a bikini eventually. Which isn't a problem because Victoria's Secret and Macy's have really disappointed me with their options. My favorite place, Target (pronounced: Tar-jay) seems to have the best selection and of course, the best prices too.
There are a ton of posts out there that list dupes for high end brand cosmetics but if you're like me, you want to know how they rate as far as quality goes too. I decided, after trying out several cheapie products recently (and being pleasantly surprised) to comprise a list of where you can save and where you should splurge.
I'm sure most of you have heard of e.l.f brand cosmetics but maybe you've been reluctant to try them because they're so friggin' cheap and so you figure they must be crap because that's just way too good to be true, right?
Wrong. I've been using e.l.f eyelid primer and liquid eyeliner for well over a year now and I've been really happy with them so I decided to try more of their cosmetics. There are a lot of really great drugstore cheapies out there that are just as good, if not better than the bank breaking higher-end brands. For example, I think Cover Girl's Lash Blast out does Benefit's They're Real mascara by a landslide. Don't get me wrong, I have some expensive cosmetics that I swear by but if I come across a cheapie that works just as well, I'm all about saving that money for a rainy day.
There are some cosmetics that you just can't skimp out on though in my book, like:
Pencil Eyeliner:I have yet to find a drugstore eyeliner that holds up and blends quite like Urban Decay's 24/7 liner or Stila's Kajal liner.
Foundation: I swear by MAC's Studio Fix for a fuller coverage and Mary Kay's Medium Coverage foundation for every day use. Personally, I think that having a flawless or semi-flawless finished face is key to looking your best. If I'm in a time crunch, I'll do my face makeup and throw on some mascara instead of doing a smokey eye with a little of under-eye concealer; but that's just my preference.
Eyeshadow:I'm a huge fan of Urban Decay's eyeshadow. Smashbox comes in for a close second. I think it's important to spend the big bucks on shadows because a lot of cheaper brands tend to crease, not blend as well, or not have the staying power of the higher end shadows.
From left to right:
Sheer Eyelid Primer, Black Liquid Eyeliner, Black Volumizing Mascara, Petal Pink Lip Stain
Now here's where you can save yourself some money:
Mascara: Cover Girl Lash Blast is my holy grail mascara. I've tried so many mascaras and nothing produces long, voluminous lashes quite like this stuff. I have so many mascaras that I've tried and that suck- I've found that the best thing to do with them is to layer them under the Lash Blast to use them up and not feel like I'm throwing money out. It creates a thicker lash usually, which I like. e.l.f's mascara is okay, it's actually pretty good considering the price. It separates and lengthens my lashes but I could stand for a little more volume, especially considering it's called "volumnous mascara," but it will make for a good layer under Lash Blast and it's a lot better than some other (more expensive) mascaras that I've tried.
Liquid Liner:When you're talking liquid liner the two most important things are the formula- lots of cheapies tend to flake off and the brush. e.l.f's liquid liner is my go-to because of it meets my standards in both of those areas. The brush is flexible but not too flexible so you have just the right amount of control when applying it and it doesn't flake off, in fact it'll last you all day and all night long.
Eyelid Primer: Urban Decay's Primer Potion is the most well known and loved one out there probably but honestly, e.l.f's primer works just as well. It glides on easily, it's the same color as Urban Decay's Sin, and it keeps your shadow in place all day and night.
Highlighter: Everyone seems to love Benefit's High Beam and I do too but guess what? e.l.f's Shimmering Facial Whip in Lilac Petal will give you the same exact look for a fraction of the price. The formula is a little more dense than it's competitor but it still blends well. That's really the only difference.
Lip Stain:I've never tried a lip stain before so I can't compare this to a high-end brand but I can tell you that e.l.f's lip stain does a great job of staying in place. I'm a lipstick and lip gloss lover but I'm also a mom on the go now too so I don't always have time to touch up my lips. This stain provides a natural looking, healthy lip color and stays put even after sipping your afternoon coffee.
Bronzer: I tried e.l.f's Contouring Blush and Bronzer duo in "Blushed/Bronzed" because I didn't want to shell out the money for the Nars Orgasm/South Beach duo and I was pleasantly surprised. The bronzer is a great dupe for South Beach and it blends nicely too. The blush is pretty good too but the color isn't an exact dupe for Orgasm. I prefer the blend-ability and color pay off of my Nars Orgasm blush too. Another great cheapie bronzer is Rimmel's Natural Bronzer; I've used that one for years now and I've re-purchased it several times now.
From top to bottom: e.l.f lip stain, e.l.f volumizing mascara, e.l.f eyelid primer
Top: e.l.f liquid liner
Bottom from left to right: e.l.f Shimmering Facial Whip, e.l.f Blusher/Bronzer duo
What cheapie cosmetics are your favorites?
What cosmetics do you think are worth splurging on?
I wasn't sure if I wanted to do monthly "check-ins" documenting Aubrey's development and I didn't know if my readers would be interested in these types of posts either. I mulled it over and then I got to thinking about how most of my favorite bloggers are either pregnant or new mommies so I decided to go for it. By the way, has anyone else noticed this BBB (blogger baby boom)? Aubrey is now three and a half months old so I have some catching up to do but once I'm caught up, here's how I'm going to work this little feature: at the end of every month I'll post a "Monthly Milestones" post for the previous month. For example, she will turn 4 months at the end of May so I'll post her 3 month stats at the end of May so I can include all of the happenings of her third month.
Weight & Length: 9lbs. 13 oz., 21.5 inches
Clothing Size: Newborn & 0-3 months
Diaper Size: Newborn
Sleep: Waking up every 2-3 hours
Feeding: Strictly breastfed. Lots of cluster feeding, and snacking in between "meals"
Hair Color: Medium brown with a golden hue
Eye Color: Grayish Blue
Milestones: She found her thumb but she's not a thumb-sucker just yet. She started picking up her head and holding it up for a little bit. Becoming more alert, smiling, and making little noises.
Nicknames: Aubster, Aubs, Aubster the Lobster, Freshles, Milk Puff, Gummy Bear, Kickels, Bonks Adventure
*I know, we have a lot of crazy names for her- it's amazing how silly babies/kids can make you. The sleep deprivation may also play a part too.
Weight & Length: 11lbs. 12 oz., 22.75 inches
Clothing Size: 0-3 months
Diaper Size: Size 1
Sleep: Started sleeping 4 1/2 - 51/2 hour stretches at night, wake to eat and then right back to sleep
Feeding: Strictly breastfed. Nursing,3 1/2 - 4 oz. bottles every 2-3 hours, cluster feeding during a growth spurt for a week
Hair Color: Medium brown with a golden hue
Eye Color: Grayish blue with a speckle of brown starting to mix in
Milestones: She started following things with her eyes, holding up her head for a longer period of time, grabbing her rattle, holding her head up on her own. She also started laughing and making lots of new noises.
April was technically my month because it's my birthday month but May, May is a pretty exciting month for me this year. This May I'll be celebrating my very first Mother's Day as a mother. We're hosting our annual Mother's Day BBQ at our home again. I don't have as much time this year to spend on decorating as I did in years past but I'll be sure to share all of the details of the day with you. This month we will also be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary! Very exciting stuff going on here...
Question of the month from Skylette: "What is blogging etiquette to you? For example, do you comment on
everyone's blog that comments on yours? Do you follow everyone with a
blog that reaches out to you?"
Great question, Sky! I've always wondered this about other bloggers so I encourage all of you to respond in the comments below about what your blogging etiquette is.
I try to respond to everyone's comments. Usually, I reply through email but some users aren't set up so that I can reply that way. Sometimes I'll respond in the comments section if I can't email you back but I prefer to email because I know that most of the time I don't end up referring back to the original post to see if the blogger replied to my comment. That being said, if I get a comment that is soliciting me to check out your blog, enter your contest, or things along those lines, I will not respond. There's nothing that bothers me more than the blogger who is advertising their blog through the comments section on my blog.
Speaking of things that bother me, I just love when I start following a blog that I really love, the blogger starts promoting an online store that they created, and they almost completely stop blogging after that. I feel so cheated when that happens, like they lured you in because they were seeking customers and left you hanging. Which brings me the the topic of following, I only follow blogs that I love. I don't have time to read the blogs of every single person who comments on my blog. I do check out everyone's blog who comments on my posts and if I like what I see, I follow back. I've actually come across quite a few blogs that way that I really love.
When I started this little blog I had no idea what I was doing and I really didn't know what to expect either. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many "friends"- so many women who I can relate to and who provide me with inspiration, and insight every day. Part of my daily routine is waking up each morning with my coffee, well lately it's a cup of tea and reading through your posts. That's my "me" time that I have each morning, well most mornings- things have changed a bit now that I have a little one. Anyway, what I'm getting at is I am so thankful for all of the love, support, recognition, and guidance that the blogging community has given me and I'm so thankful for my "friends."
So what's your blogging etiquette?
Beautygirl24 - Noelle has a serious sweet tooth this Spring. See what jewelry she likes to call her rock candy!