Tuesday, June 2, 2015

May 2015 Birchbox

I've been slacking off a bit, sorta and I miss the details on this months Birchbox
The box was curated by Emily Shuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. It's supposed to bring out our everyday elegance and I can't say that she did it wrong. The products scream deluxe to me. *squee*

Naobay Oxygenating Cream Moisturizer
W3LL PEOPLE - The Expressionist Mascara (already super duper love this)
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Water
Living Proof: Restore Shampoo, Restore Conditioner, Instant Repair Lotion
and English Laundry: Perfume- Notting Hill

I will be reviewing the individual products very very soon!

If you wanna join just click https://www.birchbox.com/invite/mockmadeup

Friday, May 1, 2015

Get Fit and Get Moving! :)

Everyone always talks about their new year's resolution is to lose weight or diet with this fad or that program. For me, the time to get moving is spring time. The flowers are blooming, the sun is shining and the wind is perfect. Here in Iowa it's about 72 degrees and I love it.

With that in mind, I decided to make a cool and fun Sport tek tee shirt. It wicks away moisture to help you have a more comfortable work out, whatever you decide to do. I am partial to chair dancing out on the back patio myself! So um, here! <3 <3 Love you lots!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Pressed Pigments = Super easy to use eyeshadows.

Home pressed pigments

Top one to press is a pink shimmer mica, I have been dragging this around since my last bout of makeup creation. Beautiful shade, light with a purple shimmer finish. I got it as a mica tester back when I was formulating my own colors and I loved it.

Second pigment to press was an indie cosmetic creator from Fairfield from a consignment shop called The Rose, called TigerEye. It is a beautiful deep copper brown with a duochrome green effect. It reminds me of MAC Club and of a pigment I pressed earlier in my pigment adventures.

Third is called Lavender Dream. which has a beautiful silvery pearl effect and fourth is a highlighter/eye shadow called Swedish winter from yourMinerals Sweden. Gorgeous finishes.

The fifth is Nyx Ultra Pearl Mania in Oro,  a gorgeous coppery brown that is simply divine. Opaque coverage,

The sixth is from The Rose, as well. A shimmery pink brown called Nude that swatches a bit more sheer than Oro. I misplaced it while photographing it and you can see it's next to the number 5 swatch. Meep!

Why press my pigments? I find loose minerals do not adhere to the skin well, and they are messy. I don't have time for that.  Adding the binder to the also powder acts as an adhering agent, much like a very expensive primer. The one I use has 3 different silicones, lending a buttery texture to the pigments.

I use a 1 to 1 ratio with drops of binder and 91% alcohol to liquefy the pigments. I mix them up using a sanitized mini spatula and then I press into a godot (also known as an empty makeup tin), using tissue and a pressing tile or coin. I let it sit overnight so the alcohol evaporates. Voila! Gorgeous eyeshadows in the morning!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Meal/Menu Plan Service - Green Chef

The first meal we tried with Green Chef was the Paprika Chicken. This was amazing, too. Green Chef is an organic meal service. There is less selection than with Plated (previous post) but they are have a lot of gluten free options. There is a special on Facebook for a code that gives you a weeks worth of meals for 9 dollar shipping. I don't have the link but if you can find it, it's a great deal to see if it's up your alley. 

The choosing is more finicky, they have 4 different meal plans with gluten free, omnivore, carnivore and herbivore with different pricing for each of them. It's harder to find ones without tree nuts or peanuts, so that's something to think about. But the meals we have gotten seem very well thought out. It's possible to recreate the menu but the printed intruction cards do not have set amounts on them. All in all, it's a great service, if your set amounts for your grocery budget aren't fluctuating.           

So, yeah, these DIY meal services- Plated

So I am trying out some of the various food service/prep delivery service. Since Mark is working so much during the day and I can't really be on my own while shopping, we've had to get creative with meal planning.

Okay, both Green Chef and Plated are both PHENOMENAL services. But I am just going to talk about Plated now. We haven't had a bad meal yet and it's expanding our culinary expertise. Instead of just eating in a restaurant, we are learning how to make gourmet for less than a trip to Applebee's and 10 times more delicious. Plated includes amounts rather than just the instructions. We add them to our kitchen recipe binder so we can reproduce it time and again. 

The first meal from Plated we opened was the Vietnamese Caramel Fish. To be frank, I am not the biggest fish fan and I loved this meal. The sauce and marinade was divine, and the flavor melded together beautifully. The bok choy and vermicelli gave it a delightful texture. It will be a repeat.

I'll let Mark take it from here: 

"You pan-sear the fish for a bit and that makes up for the non-breaded issue. I used a couple splashes of rice wine for extra caramelization. Then with the red pepper & ginger sauce, along with the lime juice, made for a really good flavor combination. All I know is I now have a way to make tilapia taste pretty damn good."

 Me again! <3 I think you'll love it, if you really love food. There are veggie, land and sea options, and you can select your menus when you want them. And with the first few meals paid for, it's a pretty safe thing to see if it's up your alley. I like the ability to personalize them and skip weeks if I so choose. I can click and pay and they'll send it out the next shipping date.

Here's a link to some meals free with the purchase of 2 of them, I think. It might be something else, but it's still a great deal to try it out.

Plated Meal Delivery Service up $30 dollars off referral link

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feel the Burn- Beauty Without Cruelty - Aromatherapy Skin Care AHA Facial Cleanser

Ow, ow.. ow ow ow. OWWIE! 

I wish I could say that this cleanser was good for my sensitive skin, but that would be a gravely misguided.  My skin turns bright red and I now have irritant dermatitis forming around my mouth and chin area and my skin feels tight. Very depressing.

I was hoping that it would be an AHA product that I could use. Not happening. I discovered the warning on the website that I should perform a patch test before using it on my skin, and I KNOW that I should do that with my rosacea, but I wasn't thinking. I was hoping for a cleanser to use as a chemical exfoliant. Big.fudging.fail. I think I may have mixed up Beauty Without Cruelty and Juice Beauty in my head. Not my best moment.

AND IT HAS LAVENDER in it for the love of pete!  I must give this to someone else or bury it in the backyard. :( Please learn from my mistakes and toss this out if you get it or someone gifts you this in an attempt to help your skin 'clear up'. It will not help you.

Ingredients that were too tiny to read on the package:
Purified water, Aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, sodium C14-16 olefin
cocamidopropyl betaine, sodium lauryl glucosides hydroxypropyl sulfonate,
hybrida (lavandin) oil*, Pelargonium roseum (geranium rose) oil, Citrus sinensis
(sweet orange) oil*, Cananga odorata (ylang ylang) oil*, Lavandula angustifolia
(lavender) extract*, Calendula officinalis (calendula)
extract*, Anthemis nobilis (chamomile) extract*, Lonicera fragrantissima
(honeysuckle) extract*, Cucumis sativus (cucumber) extract*, panthenol,
allantoin, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate,
glycerin, glycolic acid, malic acid, citric acid, tocopherol, sodium benzoate,
potassium sorbate
10% Organic Content

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Makeup brush recommendations, in a quickly thrown together format.

Brush companies mentioned:
and not shown but I like is www.crownbrush.us

When starting in makeup I suggest 5 basic brushes to get you going on this awesome vanity filled adventure!

First off is your Eyeliner Brush. Now most people stick with pencils but nothing can top a bit of drama with a flat definer brush pushing a bit of a dark color into the lash line.  It's a look that can still be wearable by day but with that pop of "Wow, you look great today!" ishness. I also like to use flat definer brushes to smudge out liner that is too harsh for a more demure effect!

Second is your powder application brush for eyes.Some brushes that I suggest are the flat shader from Sigma, the Up & Up Smudge brush from Target or any other brush that has a flat stiff brush that can pack color on. Dense bristles will pick up more of the product and patting it will lay that color on exactly where you want it to go.

Third, you need a blending brush. Never forget blending unless you are going for a cut crease, and if you are doing that... you don't need this Brush Primer (psst and email me because I never get it right!). Select a brush with fluffier bristles to impart a more diffused look with your shadows. I use a pointed blending brush for my deep set eyes, but most people can get away with a wider and thicker dome shaped head. If the head is a bit flatter but still fluffy, you can apply shadow and it will look a lot more diffused that if you would have used an application brush.

Four...th..uh ly?, You need a blush brush. I recommend a fluffy blush brush with a dome for people who are doing their makeup and aren't too experienced with them. It leaves a diffused finish and is great for the apples of your cheeks. Real Techniques makes an amazing couple of blush brushes and the price point is great. Sigma is pretty fantastic, too, if you prefer natural bristles but that's a personal choice.

and Fif...fth..screw it, and number 5, I recommend a big fluffity powder brush and powder puff for application of a setting powder. You apply the setting powder with a puff and then dust off the excess. I really love the Sigma line and the Real Techniques lines, again for those.

Cleanup, currently is Isopropol Alcohol 91% and a mesh puff to knock off the color, and then a conditioning spray for my natural brushes. I get mine from The Honest Company. When I wash them with shampoo, I use The Honest Company Shampoo and Body Wash. It's cleansing without being overly drying. The alcohol already dries them out enough!

There are more advanced brushes, if you want to know more about those, but I don't want to overwhelm anyone! Basically if you get 5 brushes, you will be golden, and can only go more expert from there.

If you are getting brushes, CONGRATULATIONS! I am so proud of you! This is a huge step! Great job! And thanks for sticking with me!