Stacy B here! It's started already. My pants don't fit and we've had one holiday! I'm a whale and it's barely December!
OK, exaggerating a bit, but still. Doesn't it feel like that sometimes? I try really hard to stay healthy and consistent - I even went to the gym the morning of Thanksgiving and twice more over the long weekend - but it gets hard this time of year. Not to mention the external changes I have to deal with living in a cold part of the country. My hair is getting some static, my skin needs more lotion and my lips are dry as a bone.
To think, I wish for dryer, frizz-free weather half the year, and then I get it, and all I want is just a little bit of humidity so I don't wake up with my lips cracking and my eyes red and dry! We are never satisfied, are we?? My lips have been really bad lately, so bad that the skin around them is red, raised, and irritated, and my lips are cracked and painful. I have been sticking my face over a bowl of boiling water multiple times a day, slathering them with Blistex and petroleum jelly and will even admit to getting so fed up that I actually rubbed some diaper rash cream on the skin around my lips. Not the actual lips, I was too afraid I'd actually ingest it, but just around the edges. I admit a lot of crazy things to you guys...
Believe it or not, the good old Triple Paste that I rub on my baby boy's behind actually worked. I have yet to tell my husband this, I actually think this may be one of first secrets I will keep from him forever. He'd be horrified.
While my lips are on the mend, I've sworn off any sort of color, stain or stick. Too risky. Luckily I work from home now and only have meetings a few times a week so I can get away with crazy lip remedies and pale winter lips. But, I still have errands and play dates and dinners with my husband (as long as the diaper rash incident stays buried) so sometimes I want a dash of color with a ton of protection. Not being able to smile without bleeding is disgusting and not something I want to return to.
I was nervous about it, so I tried it on one morning where I had a 2 hour meeting and that was it. I figured if it didn't work, or my lips started to rebel, I had my Blistex in my bag and I wouldn't be trapped long. It was the perfect color for me (I tried Be Sweet, this amazing purple-ish/pink-ish/frosty neutral) and the perfect amount of pigment, too. Shiny, a little color and it lasted through the meeting.
Stacy B here! What a week. I don't even know where to start. It's Halloween, I started a fantastic new job for a smaller company that allows me to work from home for 25-30 hours a week so I can see my kids more, my older son turns 5 in a few more days, my husband was named Rep of the Year for his company and they gave him a 5-day vacation anywhere we want to go up to $5,000!! Anywhere! I'm thinking hot and sunny during the dead of this upcoming New England winter! Or maybe Vegas!! We'll see, but I'm very proud of him! Hard work really pays off!
Oh, and a little thing called the WORLD SERIES just happened and we won!!! Yes, I love make up and fashion and yes, I'm a huge sports fan. I stayed awake for every second of the game last night, I was so excited, I didn't even sit down until the 5th inning! What a great thing for my beloved city of Boston. No matter what you think of us Bostonians, or our scrappy little city, you can't deny that after what happened at the Boston Marathon earlier this year, this city needed something to hold on to. Thank you Red Sox, for giving us hope, reminding us that good people who work together can produce more happiness and good will than two a-holes with a homemade bomb.
Wow, I really feel like I've been walking around with a smile on my face for days! Even though I've started working from home and don't need to get dressed up every day, I still have errands to run, occasional meetings to attend, and pick up/drop off for the boys so I don't want to look like a mess every day.
I have a double whammy for you today, two great Covergirl products that I've been using lately. One is great for every day (when I'm home, or out) and one is a perfect "get me from day to night quickly and easily". My husband and I go out to dinner once a week while my kids torture the grandparents so I like to have something to transform me from work-from-home Mommy, to fun, sexy dinner date.
I am not a red lipstick person, so I look for eye products to glam me up and make me feel put together. Covergirl's "Clump Crusher by LashBlast" mascara has been great this week. It has one of those newer style flexible plastic wands that's sturdier than the traditional bristle wand. I like both and think they are good for different things. This is a great everyday mascara. It truly separates each lash and there are no clumps whatsoever. I do feel it lacks volume, and only moderately lengthens, but for being at home, running errands, or even slow days at the office, this is great. It's subtle, defines each lash, separates them all and opens up your eyes. I have noticed no clumps or bits and pieces on my face at the end of the day. And it washes off really easily so I'm not killing my delicate eye skin by scrubbing.
My next item is my 'you have 10 minutes to get ready for your date' item: Covergirl's "Gel Eyeliner: Ink It! By Perfect Point Plus" eye liner in black. This is by far the blackest black liner I've ever had. It's sharp and precise. And it sticks around! I was shocked at how perfectly black it is, how versatile it is, and what a difference it made in just a few seconds. I can use it lightly for a subtle line on my lashes, or press down a little harder and thicken it up for a more dramatic look. It's so easy to use, it's a twist up tube, so no sharpeners needed, and it's thin so you can be creative and create a serious cat eye. Even if you decide to give it a smudge for a more smokey eye, it still maintains its pigment. It really is like lining your eyes with black ink without the messiness of a liquid. Which is perfect for Halloween!! Glam it up! It's so bold, I would love to check it out in other colors.
Stacy B here! Anyone out there have two kids under 5, a full-time job and a husband who has to travel occasionally for his job? No? Just me? Hopefully it’s just me, it’s a tough role to fill!
I’m sure some of you have very hectic lives, just like I do, so you know the value of quick, easy and reliable…anything. Whether it’s makeup, dish detergent, meal prep, outfits or anything else you have to manage on your own with two crazy kids running around, you know the value of a good product that actually helps you. Bonus if it fits within your budget.
I’ve had a very strong acquaintance-type relationship with ELF Cosmetics. I have kept my eye on this brand for years. I use it occasionally, I’ve never had anything bad to say about it, but it’s lower on my list of financially responsible but still high quality brands. We’re sometimes friends. You know the type, you see them every once in a while, always have a good time, but for some reason, never really latch on. You can’t quite explain it, and there’s no hard feelings or drama, it’s just an easy-going, no pressure, 4 visits a year friendship.
This week my husband was in Baltimore for 4 days. I was very focused on the boys and their activities (summer camp, Grammy’s house, daycare, swim lessons…these kids have a better social calendar than I do and they are 4 and 15 months…) As usual, I needed quick and easy products to get myself work ready and presentable while making sure my little one didn’t choke on something and my bigger one actually got dressed on his own. OK, I’ll admit it, one of the nights I was helping him get in the tub and noticed his underwear was on backwards. It was like that all day. What are you going to do. I still have to take a shower every morning. J
I found ELF’s Shimmer Lip Gloss in my drawer and started using it as I was running out the door. Or more accurately, chasing after my naked baby who has very skillfully figured out that I have to let go of him for about 5 second during diaper changes to get the new diaper ready and he can get up and start running in just that amount of time.
Stacy B here! I just got back from the happiest place on earth...DISNEY WORLD!! We took my boys and they loved it. Well, my youngest didn't seem to care too much, he's only 14 months, but he was very happy all week and did enjoy a few of the family rides. Really, his favorite thing was the shuttle bus from the hotel to the parks. Every time they pulled up he started yelling and clapping and shouting "bus, bus, bus!!!" Great, my 14-month old has about 10 words, and one of them is 'bus'.
It was REALLY hot though, like mid-90s and humid all week. We chose late June because my mom is a teacher so she's out of school, and my dad had a friend offer his time share and that was when it was available. And...it was a 2 bedroom condo with a full kitchen for FREE, on the resort! We saved SO MUCH MONEY by not having to pay for the hotel. And, I could order groceries and cook healthy breakfasts and dinners so we didn't kill ourselves on processed junk for 7 days. Best way to do it.
The heat was so bad, my makeup took a back seat, and so did my hair. Ponytails, waterproof mascara and sunblock. That was about it all week. I can't really complain though, getting ready was really easy every morning and no one looks great in 90% humidity so I just went with it. Our first morning was an early one; we had to be on a 6:45 am shuttle to make it to our character breakfast reservation. This was essential because I refused to chase Mickey Mouse around the park and wait in the picture lines in the heat. I scheduled a breakfast with a guaranteed Mickey sighting first thing on day 1 and got that overwith in the air conditioned restaurant. Not going to lie, I gave myself a nice pat on the back for that stroke of motherly genius.
My oldest practically died of happiness the first time he saw Mickey come around the corner. His face could not have smiled any wider. I thought his lips were going to crack! Good thing they didn't, although we did have one split lip incident when my youngest decided to pull the kitchen chair on top of himself and split his lip open. Sorry hotel maids, that washcloth full of blood is not what you think... Don't worry, he was fine after a few minutes!
Even if I did have some lip cracks due to excessive smiling, or burnt lips due to the opressive sun, I was ready for it. I brought some Australian Gold Lip Balm with me, with SPF in it. This stuff exceeded my expectations. I was not anticipating anything more than a standard lip balm with some sun protection. This not only protected my lips (no burns, on me, my hubby, or the boys) but it healed some weird spring chapped lips I was suffering from in early June. I have no idea why or how my lips were dry in June in New England. It's hot here, and humid so there's moisture everywhere. Plus, it rained for like a week before we left so it's not like it was desert-dry conditions.
Stacy B here! I cut almost 6 inches of hair off this week. Just throwing that out there. A lot of people would have a tough time with that but my hair grows so fast, I'm sure by fall I'll be able to cut another 6 inches off and not even bat an eye. It's been long for so long, I needed a change!
It's actually been a pretty significant week of change for me. All good, too! Spring is really here, it's been warm, sunny, happy and colorful around here. People are in good moods, work has been less stressful, and my hair is much easier to manage now. I had a very good shopping day with my husband on our 7th anniversary at an outlet mall near us and have been wearing new clothes every day since. And, I lost another pound! Must be all those walks we've been taking with our kids after dinner now that it's still warm and light later in to the evening. I live on a huge hill, so this is not an easy walk!
Let's see....new clothes, new hair, new weight, new accessories...what's left? Of course...new makeup! Why not? I have to round out the look, right? It's spring, so I'm into light, shimmery, easy to apply makeup. What better than a fun new gloss shade that I can easily toss in my new bag as I slip on my cute new wedges and head out the door...without a coat!!
I stuck with a trusted drug store brand that fit easily into the last bit of my 'new spring look' budget, NYX. I have always had decent luck with them and their prices are so good, I can't pass up the opportunity to try something new. This week I've been into their Mega Shine Lip Gloss. My go to color has been Vanilla, a 'shimmering midtone beige'. The name is odd to me, it's not vanilla flavored and it's not off-white or a vanilla color. But I guess that doesn't really matter since it's a great color for me!
It's a hint pink, a bit peach, and a tad brown. My wheelhouse. Nothing red in there, nothing orange, or anything that would make me look like I kissed a pumpkin. It's not very sticky or tacky, although I still try hard not to let the wind blow my hair into my mouth, it would still get stuck if that happened. It's not the best brand for sticking around through a meal, but it does stay put for the first few hours I'm at my office. Usually I just have to reapply after lunch and I'm covered for the day.
I love layering glosses, it's like multiple colors in one. I can layer it over a darker shade for more dramatic sparkle, or a lighter peach for more of a sunkissed look. Wearing it alone makes my natural lip color shine. I have not noticed any drying out of my lips but I do always put some balm on in the morning before I apply any lipstick or gloss. It goes on really smoothly and is easy to apply if you don't have a mirror because the color is not too heavily pigmented.
Stacy B here! I'm still wary of this whole 'spring' thing. New Englanders out there, you know what I mean. Spring happens in odd fashion around here so it takes a few weeks for you to really let go of that 'but it really COULD snow one more time!' feeling and actually do spring stuff, like change over your closet.
I did that this week and it was equally exciting and depressing. I love having new clothes in my closet, even if they are already mine. It's nice to have something else to look at, another choice to ponder and more brightly colored options. However, I was VERY pregnant, and very post-partum last spring so I didn't really wear any of my spring/summer stuff until about July when I went back to work. Even then, I was still losing the baby weight so I stuck to my more flow-y shirts and dresses and kept it neutral with some fun new accessories. Now, I'm seeing all these clothes that I can fit into (yay!) and they are 2 years old!! Luckily my style is fairly classic and I don't overindulge in trends unless I see long-term potential, but still, it was a lot of outdated stuff!
And with two kids, my clothing budget is nearly zero! Spring panic! Luckily, I got a nice first quarter bonus from work and have been promised an outlet shopping and dinner date this weekend for my 7th wedding anniversary. I can't wait to restock my closet. And the best thing is, **bragging alert** ....I feel pretty good this year since I am officially 4 pounds below my pre-baby weight. And not my younger son, my OLDER son! That's right, with hard work, low calories, healthy recipes, and pinterest workouts I can do at home, I am under both pre-baby weights and only 3 pounds over my WEDDING weight. Let's get shopping!!!
Another thing that inspires spring panic? Besides bathing suits in a month (let's just skip right over that. I look good, but not THAT good!) is open toed shoes!! It's been a long, cold winter and my piggies are in rough shape. Neglected, dry, wintery and bare toes. I can't get a pair of peep-toes to even look my way. For Mother's Day last Sunday, I'm got a nice spa pedicure at a place in town but my toes are so bad, I had to start prepping them at least a week before!
I found this great peppermint foot scrub from Kiss My Face and have been using it every other day for the past week or so. It's been a big help! It smells SO good, which is not surprising. I've tried a few other Kiss My Face products to mixed reviews but the one thing I've always said is how good they all smell. This is a true peppermint smell and it fills the bathroom up and makes it smell like a really nice spa.
Stacy B here! Bangers and Mash! Fish and Chips! Jolly good time! Throwing out some British phrases because I just got back from London! What a city, and what a trip we had. Girls only, so my husband and boys stayed home. I had 5 days of quiet, making my own decisions, peeing by myself, waking up naturally and not by sticky hands touching my face, and carrying a small bag with ONLY my stuff in it! It was great. But I did miss those little buggers.
It was a rough week, we were there to watch my cousin run the London Marathon, and after what we went through with Boston, we were nervous and emotional. We wanted to unplug the day we got there and just enjoy, but with the lockdown and the manhunt and news happening so fast, were glued to our TV or iPad for a lot of the day. We did our best to get out during the days and walk, shop, sightsee and wander but as soon as we got home, it was BBC and iPad time.
We tried to enjoy while keeping our thoughts on those left at home in Boston. I think we succeeded, we had a great time and met a lot of locals that had so much support for their neighbors across the pond. And my cousin ran a very emotional PR in the marathon (personal record for those not in the running world) and funished in 3:53. Her fastest time by more than 10 minutes. WOW!
I was proud of myself for being able to fit all my stuff for 5 whole days in a small suitcase and carry-on that was pretty easy to manage while taking the Tube all over the place. I'm a great packer and I love to find small products in the drugstore that don't take up much room but still pack a punch. I hate packing shaving cream because I am always afraid the can is going to explode in the plane and get shaving cream all over my stuff. Which has happened to me once. Not fun. I had it in a plastic travel bag, but it still leaked all over everything.
This trip, I went with a shave cream that came in a tube, not a can. I brought Kiss My Face Moisture Shave in Key Lime. Yes, it smells that good. This is in a tube that's like a lotion containter, not a steal can that can't bend or move in the suitcase. I got there, unpacked, and no product explosion incidents!
Plus, it was not a big tube, so it didn't take up as much room or weigh as much. The formula is so good for you, no parabens, gluten free, no animal testing, all essential, natural oils, ingredients I recognize and can pronounce and nothing artificial. Good for my suitcase, good for me. And it really does smell so yummy.
It moisturizes, so I didn't have to pack a huge tub of lotion. I wouldn't completely stop moisturizing, but at least for my trip, I didn't have to worry too much. It held enough skin essentials in it that for the few days I was there, I didn't need to layer on multiple products.
Stacy B here! I'm not sure how to start off this post right now. Yet again, we have an unspeakable tragedy hanging over us, and makeup posts seem insignificant. But we must move on with our lives in order to restore some normalcy while dealing with tragedies.
Marathon Monday is ingrained in a Bostonian's brain from a very young age and is hard to really explain to those who have never experienced it. It's the start of spring, happier days, warmer weather, no more threats of snow, leaves budding, flowers blooming, people emerging from their winter caves, the Red Sox, school's out, BBQs, parties, friends, beers, sports on all day, runners, wheelchair racers, pace cars, legendary athletes, TV coverage, and for 26 miles, the best the human mind and body can offer.
And for those of us that live along the race route (I'm at mile 3!) the above is magnified a million times. There's a buzz in the air that only a true New Englander who's survived yet another long, cold, winter can truly understand. It's the season of optimism, hope and pride. And warm sun! And now, that day will be forever tainted.
I will not go into details, I'm sure you know them all. But I can tell you this. Boston will not crumble. This day will return in all its glory next year, with more pride, passion and love than ever. And we will get the person that shattered our perfect day. My husband worked through college at the store where the first bomb went off, and watched the marathon from that spot many times. I can't begin to express how grateful I am that we have not gone into the city for years, thanks to my two little boys. They give us an excuse to stay in the calmer suburbs! The hunny has vowed to run next year in support, and defiance. I am scared, but I want him to do it. I want everyone to do it to prove that this city will not back down!
I have no good transition here, so I'm going to jump right in to less important topics. My hair! Last week I told you about Tresemme's Keratin Smoothing Treatment and said I'd be trying the shampoo and conditioner from the same line. Well, I did. And it's not bad.
My hair is not one to be messed with (much like my fellow Bostonians) so I hesitate to jump into new things. This was surprisingly good. My hair has been smooth, frizz-free and manageable for the last week or so. That's something to be said! It's getting really long and hard to deal with again, despite a cut a few weeks ago. It just grows so fast, especially as the weather gets warmer. This set has kept me from that awful sticky, thick feeling. It's been fairly easy to dry and style and my style holds all day. I'm not sure I want to permanently switch from my previous brand, but I would say this was just about equally as successful. So since I have a lot of thick hair, the build up happens every few months. I'd be comfortable enough with Tresemme to swtich back and forth.
Stacy B here! It's spring! Well, sort of. I still have to bundle the kids in hats and mittens in the mornings, but the afternoons are starting to warm up! I swear I heard birds this morning.
I really want to be able to turn my heat off soon, it's been a few months of processed heat and dry air and it's taken a toll. My hair was acting up big time a few weeks ago, and I knew it was time for a change. My hair is very thick and wavy so when it feels sticky after drying it straight in no humidity, I know it's time for something new. If you have thick hair, you know what I mean by sticky...that feeling that your hair is clumping together and getting heavier and heavier. No matter how much you straighten it, brush it, blow it out, it just feels weighted down and stuck together.
When I get that feeling, it's one of two things. I need a cut (which I knew I was due) or my product has built up and I need to do some sort of cleanse or switch up my products. So, since I love my products now, I went for the cut option. In theory, it was a great cut. Long layers, thinned out, a little weight taken out of it...but the next day, I still had that heavy, flat feeling. Off to try some new product!
I've been hearing a lot about Keratin treatments (anyone who's had one, fill me in! Did you like it, hate it, love it??) so I thought I'd try a product that advertised itself as "infused with keratin" so I could test the waters. I didn't want to totally change my whole routine, so I stuck with my normal shampoo and subbed out my normal straightening serum for Tresemme's Keratin Infusing Smoothing Serum.
It took almost 3 pumps of this stuff to get through all my thick hair, but it smoothed in very nicely. The serum was more liquid than I thought it would be, so I had to be careful not to let it run between my fingers and onto the floor. But I liked that, because it didn't feel like I was adding any weight to my hair and it felt like it blended in well and got to every piece of hair. This didn't add to my drying time (which I found some heavier products can do), and definitely made a difference.
My hair was less sticky and heavy, and moved a bit more. It felt a little smoother than normal, although I didn't notice any extra shine at all. And since it's still very low humidity out here in the Northeast, I can't tell you if it passed the frizz test. But, it accomplished what I wanted it to, my hair feels light, swishy, manageable and it held my style all day. While I'm sad to see my old product get moved to the back of the shelf, this is a good replacement. And knowing my hair, in a few months, this will become built up and I'll have to switch back. But I've been doing that my whole life, so my products know to just wait for their turn in the rotation!
Stacy B here! Happy Valentine's Day! What a weird, poloarized and kind of pointless holiday. I get the 'you should tell your loved one you love them everyday, not just today' argument, but I also get the 'it's such a nice reminder to do something special in a world that's totally busy and overwhelming" argument.
Yes, you SHOULD appreciate your loved ones everyday, but life is hectic and DOES get in the way. So yeah, this day is a good reminder for us all to slow down for a bit, hug your special someone, call your mother, support a local business by buying overpriced flowers or chocolates and enjoy it. Single or paired, there are people in your life you should show love for, and today's a great day to do it.
Thankfully, it's only one day. Red is not my color. I am wearing a nice red sweater with an adorable white button down shirt with black polka dots underneath it but I feel pale and washed out. Red just really gets me! No bold, sexy, red lips for me today! Or ever!
I hear over and over that "anyone can wear a red lip" but I just can't. I look terrible. No matter what shade I try, my skin looks pale and yellow against it. And they always start to look orange on me after a while. Once, I found a burgundy shade that almost worked, but it was just too bold for me. I like to play with my eye makeup, not lips. I've always been an eye girl, not a lip girl.
But, in the spirit of St. Valentine, I decided to try a red gloss from Wet n Wild. Of course, Wet n Wild because it's cheap, fun and a great brand to experiment with. Their quality has really improved but their prices have stayed the same so what better brand to try something new for less than $5.
Today, I'm wearing Wet n Wild's Mega Slick's Lip Gloss in Red Sensation. It's not bad. It's still red, but it's a gloss so the pigment is not all that strong. I layered it over a nice gold/nude color I have and that dulled the orange that always seems to come out when I try on a red. I still feel a bit self-conscious, it's redder than anything I'd wear normally, but so far no one's given me any crazy looks.