Eyelash Game : {My Fails, Tips & Tricks}

I like many a ladies out there have always desired for long gorgeous eyelashes.  If i was on a deserted island and could only bring one item of makeup, it would be mascara no question!  I have always wanted to be the girl who could just wake up, wash her face, and run out the door looking flawless and having her gorgeous lashes leading the way.

Last year, I decided to try eyelash extensions (Thanks Groupon) in order to make my fantasies and dreams come true.  They looked great and I was hooked right away….but eventually they had their downsides:

1.  I hated the fact that I couldn’t rub my eyes like a normal person without fear of ripping a falsey…or worse my own lashes out with it.  2.  They tell you not to apply mascara…but if you want to do dramatic makeup occasionally for special events….they just don’t look dark enough without the mascara, and mascara makes them fall out quicker.  3.  It can look like something is floating just above your eyes all the time!  4.  They can turn weird directions after a while and sometimes poke you in the eye.  Something about the growing out process I think.  5.  The upkeep is pricey ($45-$100 a fill usually).  6.  When they start to fall out, it can look patchy between fills.

**This picture was when I had extensions on.  You can see once they start falling out, they don’t look very full.

After removing the extensions, my eyelashes looked so tiny!  I am not sure if some fell out, or if I was just used to how long they were before…but it was not good!  In the past I had tried Latisse and it was ok, but my friend Angel was selling Rodan + Fields and told me about Lashboost and I tried it.  After about 2 months of using it, there was a huge difference!  They are longer, stronger, and thicker!  I am obsessed with this stuff and will never go back to falseys.  It’s what I wanted, but with a more natural look.  The cons are that it is pricey ($150 a bottle), and you HAVE to use it every night to get there and maintain.  But the bottle lasts a really long time so it is way cheaper than extensions and I like the look better.  (Plus I put it on my eyebrows too haha)….we will see how that improves in a later post.

The mascara I love to pair with my new eyelashes is L’oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara.  I used to only use Mac Zoom Lash Mascara, but found this one and I love how the primer and mascara work together to really separate and lengthen the lashes and not clump up too much.  Prior to using LashBoost, I used to curl my lashes, apply 3 coats of mascara, let it dry, and curl again.  After Lashboost, I just apply this L’oreal mascara once, and there is no need to curl my lashes because they are so long now.

You would think I had found the solution and that I was satisfied with my lashes…..but I was still chasing the “Roll out of bed without putting on makeup look.”  I loved the length and thickness of my lashes, but now I wanted them to stay curled permanently.  The solution?  I tried a “Lash Lift.”  Basically….they perm your natural lashes up so that it looks like you have mascara on all the time.  It is supposed to last 8 weeks.  Here were the results:

I have now had them “lifted” for 3 solid weeks and there are pros and cons to this too.  Pro:  I never wear mascara and my lashes basically are always curled up.  I just roll out of bed, and my natural lashes lead the way! Cons:  1.  One of my eye’s lashes was “Lifted” more than the other and it was almost too straight-up…it ran into my eyelid.  If someone looks closely at me in person…it looks a little abnormal.  2.  I can’t wear mascara when I want a more dramatic look…it doesn’t brush through smoothly because the lashes are so bent in one direction.  Here is what they look like now, 3 weeks later, no mascara (ignore the pj’s in bed haha):

You can see here when I close my eyes how they stay lifted (in most spots).                                                   What I have learned:  

Once this wears off, I am not going to do it again.  Although it saves me a lot of time because I don’t put mascara on, I just don’t like the feeling of the lift, the upkeep, that I can’t wear mascara, and that one of the eyes looks abnormally straight up.  I’ll stick to my Rodan + Fields lash boost, and just good old fashioned mascara in the morning….even if it takes me a few minutes to apply it.

Birthdays & Brows : {Perfect Brows Aren’t All They Are Cracked Up To Be}

Do you ever go down the rabbit trail on Instagram?  You know, go to the discover section, search a hashtag, stalk celebrities, or lookup friends your friends have tagged?  Well I do all the time…usually at night when I am laying in bed.

A rabbit trail I became obsessed with a while back was looking at professional brow artists and how they transformed eyebrows.  Having a strong brow game has become all the rage and I was in need of some serious help. I made the mistake of over-plucking and my brows got too thin.  So I began growing them out and decided to go to one of the popular brow places in LA as a birthday treat.  Luckily, my amazing friend Claire decided to treat me for my birthday and we headed to Venice Beach for a girls day and brow upgrade!

Unfortunately, my dreams of being one of those Instagram girls with the picture perfect brows wasn’t exactly what I ended up with.  Why am I not surprised?  No matter how hard I have tried at times, perfection just isn’t for me!  Check out the pics and read below for what the end result was 😐

Here are my brows before I got them done:
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And after…..IMG_5184IMG_5183IMG_5182Sure the brow shape is more precise, but it felt so fake.  Most of the “perfect shape” they achieved was from filling it in with a brow pencil and powder.  I don’t mind filling my brows in a little, but I don’t like the idea of totally drawing them on…and this is how I felt after.  I def had a chola look going on haha.  What they do is brush all your eyebrow hairs up, then cut them short, and fill in the gaps with pencils and powder.  The hope is that your eyebrows eventually fill in the gaps in the direction they brushed.  My brows took months to recover and I went back to shaping them myself!

 

 

Birchbox : {June}

This month Birchbox was another “Style Me Pretty” box that was a collection of happily ever after must-haves.  I love saving these pretty boxes for wrapping gifts and my desk organization!IMG_6910 Not sure what Birchbox is?  See my original post here.

OR want to join Birchbox click here: Sweetly Lemon Birchbox Invite

Now for the products:
IMG_6917BONUS:

Included was this gorgeous hair tie from Deepa Gurnani

IMG_6918Vasanti Brighten Up Exfoliating Cleanser

This customer fave mimics the effects of microdermabrasion for glowing skin.

My Review:  I have gotten this sample before and I love it.  I am a sucker for exfoliaters!  I still cleanse with my regular cleanser to ensure I remove all my makeup, and then I use the Vasanti cleanser to exfoliate.

IMG_6919Kerastase Elixir Ultime

Lightweight, nutrient-rich oil that leaves hair glossy, manageable, and photo-perfect.

IMG_6920LA FRESH Waterproof Makeup Remover

Antioxidant-packed, biodegradable wipes that cleanse and nourish skin.

My Review:  I loved these!  They are soft, leave the skin/eye area soft, and the smell is a spa-like lavender smell.

IMG_6922Marcelle BB Cream Golden Glow

Rich in antioxidants and aloe, this multitasker gives skin a dewy finish.

IMG_6923Laura Geller Beauty Baked Color True Blush

Baked from liquid pigments, this tint delivers a flattering, natural-looking flush.

My Review:  No joke, I was just wishing I had a new pink blush and kept meaning to go and buy one, but life’s craziness got in the way…..and then this box showed up and there was a pink blush in it! So awesome!

IMG_6925This girl stole my hair tie and now its a bracelet haha. 

Birchbox : {April}

This month Birchbox’s theme was April Showers and they included a cute note that went with that theme.  They had “52 Bright Ideas For A Rainy Day” and I received tip #8.  (See the card below).
IMG_4147

Not sure what Birchbox is?  See my original post here.

OR want to join Birchbox click here: Sweetly Lemon Birchbox Invite

Now for the products:

IMG_4148Beauty Protector

Best-selling elixir that locks in color, protects from heat damage, and adds silkiness.

My Review:  I love hair elixir’s and leave in treatments and I was excited about this one.  It works well, smells fun and flirty, but my bottle was broken!  So I have to poor it into my hand and rub it onto my hair…not really sure if I am getting the same effect that way.

IMG_4152 Color Club Aquamarine Azulino Nail Polish

Birchbox and Gala Gonzalez teamed up to create this exclusive shimmery shade.

My Review:  This is a pretty color and looks perfect for spring but I honestly won’t wear it because I don’t like shimmery nail polishes.  #regift

IMG_4153 Supergoop! Daily Correct SPF 35 CC Cream

Next-generation SPF 35 CC cream that triple protects against UVA, UVB, and infrared-A rays.

My Review: I LOVE THIS!  It has officially replaced my BB cream and I wear it instead of makeup on my days off.  I have already ordered the full size from Birchbox!

IMG_4171KIND Snacks Healthy Grains Maple Pumpkin Seed with Sea Salt Bar

The perfect combo of salty and sweet, these delicious treats pack a whole-grain punch. 

My Review:  I keep almond butter packs, lara bars and KIND bars in my daughter’s diaper bag in case we are out for the day and I don’t have time to eat.  But I usually get just the fruit and nut KIND bars so I was excited to try a new one…but the “Gluten Free” labeling worried me a bit since I imagine it wouldn’t taste as good as their normal bars.  It was good but not great.  The sea salt was a little too much, and the texture was a little chewy…but I enjoyed the pumpkin seeds.

 Sumita Color Contrast Jamun Eyeliner (Deep Purple) (NOT PICTURED)

This soft wax pencil delivers rich, long-lasting color that won’t irritate eyes.

My Review:  I like using a dark purple eyeliner from time to time and this is a great option.  But I usually use Mac’s Prunella for this and don’t see the need to switch at the moment.

Breakouts? {5 Easy Prevention Tips}

When I was a teenager I remember thinking, “I can’t wait until I am old and don’t have zits and blackheads!”……well, I am still waiting.  I have come to realize that my oily skin, if not cared for properly, will always break out.  When I was younger the go to was to cover-up and camouflage the acne with tons of makeup and concealer.  But now I have learned it is more important to know how to take care of your skin in order to prevent these breakouts from happening (as best you can…thanks hormones).
5 Easy Tips To Help Prevent Breakouts

BB Cream Love : {Quick Makeup Tip}

On a “A few of my favorite things” last week I featured Garnier Fructis BB Cream as my fave product.   BB Cream (Beauty Balm/Blemish Balm) is all the rage right now when it comes to makeup/skin care products and it’s something I have to talk about.   The reason they are so popular is because they combine a ton of things into one cream to simplify your morning “beautifying” process….and for a new mom I need simple and quick!

What is BB Cream:  To say specifically what a BB cream is and contains is difficult because they are all different.  But most are a combination of a primer, moisturizer, foundation/concealer, and sunscreen.  Some also help with smoothing out the skin tone, appearance of blemishes, and anti aging.  It really is an amazing product!

So which one is right for you?  dailymakeover.com has a perfect summary of all the most popular BB creams and what skin type they are best used on.  Check it out here:  Part 1 & Part 2

For me it was the Garnier Fructis Skin Renew in Medium/Deep ($12) because I love the coverage, that it has sunscreen, and how moisturized and soft my skin feels after using it….and feeling really moisturized is important for me now that my skin is noticeably aging.    I love makeup and prior to the BB Cream I would take all the “proper makeup steps” in the morning when getting ready.  But by using this I have compacted my routine of moisturize, sunscreen, prime, and foundation/powder into one.  Some days I want a little more coverage so I will mix some of my foundation into the BB cream prior to application and it blends perfectly!  If you want a lot more coverage you can top with your normal powder or routine.

Here are some pictures as an example of what my skin looks like before and after application…just in case you don’t believe me.   Good luck finding a BB Cream that is right for you!

No makeup except mascara:IMG_1004For application I use this brush or my fingertips when in a pinch.IMG_1018 Squeeze a dime size onto back of hand, use brush to apply in a circular motion onto face. IMG_1021IMG_1026This is the coverage I received after one quick application of just the BB cream.  IMG_1031This is the coverage I received after mixing the BB Cream with a little bit of my foundation (Mac Studio Fix Fluid NC40)IMG_1032To help with shiny-ness I apply HD Translucent Powder on the T-Zone to mattify my face and set the BB Cream.  *Note: You can get a fairly comparable translucent powder for cheaper here.  But a little of these powders goes a long way so one jar will last a long time. IMG_1035IMG_1045My face after adding a minimal amount of makeup. (Bronzer, blush, lip gloss, under eye concealer, eyebrow powder).  The whole application (including BB Cream) took less than 6 minutes!  IMG_1062 IMG_1063 IMG_1064*No pictures were altered

(I wish I could have airbrushed that zit, but gotta keep it real!)