Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2016 Favorites: Beauty and Beyond

Ah 2016, I am so happy you are over!  Besides the obvious celebrity deaths and political turmoil throughout the world, it was a year of transitions within my life.  I started taking my career with my current company much more seriously with the thought of next steps, etc.  For the family, our nanny moved to So Cal in May so we decided to go without and rely on the kids to care for themselves after school.  Most days I am home, working when they get home.  However, I do travel a few times per month ranging from 1 to 5 days gone, so they have had to step it up in terms of responsibilities: schoolwork, feeding (both themselves and the dogs), and chores.  Thankfully it has worked out so far and the "mommy guilt" has not been overwhelming.

For my 2016 favorites, I broke it up into two categories: Beauty and Lifestyle.  This seemed the most clean-cut way to present it and I have provided links to check them out if you would like. 

For beauty, I have listed items that I would buy again (or already have...), bought multiples, and would really recommend to friends & family.  As a reminder for the skincare items, I have dry skin with some sunspots and a few minor wrinkles (AKA aging skin.....)

- Beauty Blender - best application method for foundations, concealer, cream blush. Beauty Blender
- Sephora solid brush soap - love this cleaner for the blender and brushes Sephora Solid Brush Soap
- Japonesque spray brush cleaner - for everyday cleaning, very quick to spray on, swipe on a clean cloth and DONE! Japonesque Spray Brush Cleaner

- L'Oreal Pro-Glow Foundation - again, I have dry skin, so looking for something that will provide coverage and dewy glow L'Oreal Pro-Glow Foundation
- Tarte Shape Tape concealer - this is pretty heavy-duty stuff, so use sparingly and for my dry skin, I do not have to set with powder Tarte Shape-Tape Concealer
- Becca Mineral blush in Wild Honey - very natural, wear with anything blush.  Almost a bronzer, with a bit more warmth Becca Mineral Blush
- rms beauty Living Luminizer - so dewy and natural, love this with just a BB/light coverage face. rms Living Luminizer

- Clarins Instant Light Lip Perfectors - always a fave, see previous post on this wonderful lippie  Clarins Instant Lip Perfector
- Charlotte Tilbury Lip Cheat Lip Liners - so creamy and long lasting.  Fave colors are Iconic Nude and Pillow Talk. Charlotte Tilbury Lip Liner

- Rapidlash serum - I have definitely seen growth in length and thickness since using this serum. You can get it at Ulta but check HauteLook periodically for deals.  RapidLash Serum
- Sephora Waterproof Brow pencil - fave for my brows, and I use it alone for a more natural look and with colored powder for more definition. The comb-thing at the end sucks though so use it with a spooly/clean mascara wand. Sephora Eyebrow Pencil
- LORAC Pro-Matte eyeshadow palette - love this for basic eyes especially if I am wearing any type of shine on my face.  Just creates good balance, and colors are both warm and cool. LORAC Pro-Matte Palette
- Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Liner - all-time best liquid liner for me (both black and brown) Stila Liquid Liner

- Josie Maran Argan Oil - I mix this with a little bit of spray toner/herbal spray and rub all over my face at night, feels so good  Josie Maran Argan Oil
- Clinique take the day off cleansing balm - scoop, rub together in hands, smoosh all over face, and wipe of with a warm water wash cloth.  Clinique Cleansing Balm
- Origins Vita-Zing moisturizer - I think I have been using this for at least 4 years.  Love the spf and feel of it on my face.  Perfect right before make-up. Origins Vita-Zing Moisturizer

- Madison Reed Root Touch-up - gotta keep the skunk strip hidden! My hair grows very fast, so I usually have to start using it with 1-2 weeks after my last color appt.  Madison Reed Root Touch-up
- Living Proof Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo - really good matte finish dry shampoo.  The only one I have found (so far) that does not make my hair feel dirtier the next day!  Living Proof Dry Shampoo
- Klorane Mango Oil Spray - perfect for hair ends, and the smell is delish! Klorane Mango Hair Oil

For lifestyle, these are items that I have really enjoyed and appreciated throughout the year.  They may also be things that have made my life easier, helped me organize, or are simply delightful!

Lifestyle - Cormoran Strike book series - written by the fab JK Rowling (as Robert Gallbraith), first third of the first book (The Cuckoo's Calling) is a bit tough to get through, but so wonderful going beyond that! The Cuckoo's Calling
Diptyque Baies Candle - oh how I love and cherish you! The smell is divine, but the cost is shiver-inducing.  This is what I buy when I get the $25 off $100 purchase from Space NK! Diptyque Baies Candle
- Kindle app - I cannot go anywhere without knowing that I have a book handy to read if needed.
- WizGear cell phone magnetic car holder - I love this holder for my car! I am in my car a ton for work and need to be able to see Google Maps and play my podcasts as needed.  Of course no texting, but need to have this within my view and this mounted to the vents is ideal. WizGear Magnetic Cell Phone Car Holder
- Amazon series - Good Girls Revolt and Goliath: I am not a big TV watcher, but I traveled recently to Singapore (hello 17 hour flight) and downloaded these shows on my phone and iPad.  Thankfully, Amazon now let's you download shows and you have 48 hours to watch once you open them up on your device.  These shows kept me entertained and distracted from the fact that I could not fall asleep! 

Good Girls Revolt is about women writers at a Newsweek-like publication in the 60s (believe based on a true story) and how they finally revolted on the men that were taking credit for their work.  Amazon - Good Girls Revolt
Goliath stars Billy Bob Thornton as a down and out (sleazy?) lawyer that takes on his old firm and frankly, kicks-ass!  I am not the biggest BBT fan, but I really liked him in this. Amazon - Goliath

Cheers all!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2017 Color Cosmetics Inventory

Back in January 2015, I started an inventory of my color cosmetics to keep track of the number of items that I had.  There is no real purpose to it, I just wanted to have some type of data that was generated from all of the hoarding and to help quantify my obsession (not to mention practice my mad Excel skillz).  I do not keep track of dollars spent, though my Sephora Rouge and Ulta Platinum statuses may indicate waaayyyyy toooooo much money spent.  And I only track color cosmetics, not skincare or hair care which I could justify purchasing in that it is helping keep my skin and hair healthy.

I have updated the inventory for January 2017 and compared it to Jan 2016:
Cosmetics Inventory
Lip Glosses/stains351420-6
Lip Crayons/Sticks1520119
Lip Liners1419163
Face primers81118-7
Face Powders912120
Face palettes3981
Lash primers6752
Mixed (eye/face) palettes 413
Eyeshadow - singles19332112
Eyeshadow - creams1317710
Eyeshadow sticks111468
Eye duos 826
Eye trios 211
Eye quads 15105
Eye quints 532
Eye palettes 29245
Eyeliners - pencil43332310
Eyeliners - gel/ink pot5716
Eyeliners - liquid7770

You may notice the different colors in the last column, red or green.  Green means that my "number" of those items has decreased.  I have either used them up or purged them out of my stash.  Red means that I increased the number and need to NEVER buy any more of them EVER!  Of course this does not reflect the items that I may have gotten rid of/used up and then REPLACED like the sneaky cheat that I am.

Success! Wait, what? Is having less than 400 color cosmetic items rated as a success? Well, relative to any normal 45 year old, working mother and wife, probably not.  BUT, for ME....yes this is a success.  Though I have not been blogging and communicating my thoughts (read: stress) about this, I have been completely aware that this is too much. 

I love variety and color and packaging, and scents, and all of the senses that are triggered by the perfect lipstick or blush.  I feel better when I think I look better.  We all want to feel great about how we look and frankly, cosmetics are what I use to make me feel not so dowdy, middle-aged mom-ish. Others may use fashion, art, food, drugs, or exercise to achieve the same and there are definitely arguments to be made that those may be better options (well except for the drugs.......), but for me, this is what I enjoy.

So where do I go from here, with the idea that 398 is still too much.  What is the "right" or "enough" number? Does this magic number even exist? Hell if I know, but I am going to try to figure it out.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Re-launch and redo

Well hello there strangers!  Oh wait I think I am the stranger.......

I have decided to re-launch this blog, really just as record of what I have been up to, thoughts, vents and general blah, blah, blah.  Focus will still be primarily beauty-related, with some finance, family, health, and very limited fashion-y items.  My interest in beauty has not waned, but it had definitely taken a backseat to other things going on with my life in 2016.

Family is still present (yay!) and I now have a teenaged daughter since A turned 13 in November.  R is 10 and still a bit of a handful, and Hub is thankfully still hanging with me.  Work was chaotic in December, with me traveling quite a bit within the US and over to Singapore.  I am so grateful that my work has given me the opportunity to visit other places that I would not necessarily have traveled to on my own.  Work may also be escalating over the next few months as I have been nominated for partner and will be working toward that goal over the next year or so.

For 2017, I am thinking that posts will initially cover resolutions (hahahahaha), beauty, finance, health, books, and family, though all will likely be intertwined and overlap at times.  The posts will also be random, rambly, and likely full of drivel (been reading way too many Brit blogs and books, can you tell??).

To start it off, I am actually going to go back and read a few of my past posts, cringe, discover typos and generally regard them with fear and loathing.

Cheers and Happy New Year!