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don’t waste the pretty

Lammily & Me

By beauty, cool things i found on the internet, don't waste the pretty, hazards to my well-being, how did i just realize this?, you might learn something No Comments

Lammily & Me
Over the last few days, I’ve  been doing a little shopping in preparation for my upcoming trip to Hawaii (one week from tomorrow!). To be honest, these last few months curled up in a chair working long hours at the office, sitting in front of the computer, and eating lots of delicious lunches has taken a bit of a toll, and searching for the perfect swimsuit wasn’t quite as enjoyable as it could have been. It’s okay, though. A person can only have so many priorities at a time, and I know I wouldn’t trade managing this project for the world — not even to be a few pounds lighter. I’ll take care of that when I’m done with this.

Cue Lammily — this adorable little Barbie alternative designed by Nickolay Lamm. My cousin Grace posted a link to an article about this doll, and I thought it was really cool. I clicked through to the photos, and what happened next caught me somewhat by surprise. As a fairly rational, successful, 32-year-old human being, I can honestly tell you that seeing three pictures of this doll made me feel better about myself. Better than when people compliment my outfits. Better than when my boyfriend tells me I look beautiful. Better than when I’m having the most amazing hair day ever. That’s completely and utterly ridiculous if you think about it. I didn’t even know that I cared about not resembling a Barbie until I saw this doll. The world makes women think really strange things sometimes, I think.

And while I agree with these sentiments that Lammily isn’t any more ‘normal’ than Barbie (and labeling her as such would completely defeat the purpose), she’s a little closer to my five-foot-tall version of ‘normal’, and apparently, that means the world to me. =)

I was too lazy to wash my face before bed last night.

By beauty, don't waste the pretty, hazards to my well-being, not ruling at life, you might learn something One Comment


I know sleeping in my makeup is so bad for my skin, which is why I haven’t done it in almost two years. But, slipping up on good habits is often one of the best ways for me to stay motivated because it reminds my why I shouldn’t do whatever I did when I slipped up.

Because then here’s what happened when I woke up this morning:

Once I got over the initial annoyance that I couldn’t fully open my eyes to read the six text messages on my phone, I got a little cocky, Ke$sha style (is she still cool?). I thought, Oh man! I went to bed wearing all my eye makeup. I’m such a rock star. And see? I’m not too old to be stupid! Then I began to wonder what happened last night. High heels, cute top, birthday party…oh, yeah. I drank a measly two gluten-free beers, got tired, came home, and fell asleep around 10:30 with my iPhone in my hand because I was brainstorming up ways to improve my LinkedIn profile. So much for that. I rolled out of bed, trudged into the bathroom, and took a peek in the mirror, hoping to see tousled bed-head and sexy, smudgy eyes, but as I cringed at my actual reflection, I remembered this is real life, not some page out of Cosmopolitan magazine. (See above. Does anyone even read that anymore? Their website is awful.) I reached for my Clarisonic and re-pledged my undying commitment to scrubbing my face squeaky clean twice a day from now until forever…or at least the next time I drink six mojitos at dinner. No, even then.

Now I’m going to go wash my face again and reapply my makeup. Normally I wouldn’t even wear makeup on a Sunday, but thanks to last night’s laziness and lots of long hours at work this week, it’s the least I can do to look presentable before I go back to the office for the afternoon.

In other news, this is my first post from my new desk in my new home office (aka my former roommate’s former room). Due to a recent series of events, I’ve decided I don’t share nearly as many random embarrassing stories on this blog as I used to, and as a result, writing in it isn’t very fun anymore. I’m hoping this desk will inspire me to sit down and write about whatever pops into my head a little more in the coming months. That’s the plan anyway.

Hope whoever is reading this is having a lovely weekend. Thanks for stopping by. =)

Primer 101

By beauty, don't waste the pretty, product reviews 3 Comments


Ten years ago, I created this blog to keep in touch with my friends and family right before I moved to Las Vegas for a few months. Since then, the entire world of blogging has morphed into something entirely different, but every once in awhile my blog reminds me what it was meant for by putting me in touch (or back in touch!) with someone I probably wouldn’t have talked to otherwise. A perfect example? A few weeks ago one of my sorority sisters reached out to me on Facebook, and we had a lovely phone conversation. I found out she’s an Arbonne consultant, and she found out I wasn’t using a makeup primer. The next thing I knew, a neatly addressed envelope containing some Arbonne samples showed up in my mailbox. Sweet!

I tried the Arbonne makeup primer this past weekend. I layered it between my Eminence Lavender Age Corrective Night Concentrate (which I’ve been wearing 24/7) and Dr. Jart+ BB cream. I’ve got to tell you — I’ve been using this BB cream for about two months, and as much as I loved it before, it looked even better on top of this primer. Who knew? I figured makeup primer was just some extra layer of gunk that was going to make my face look weird. Turns out I was wrong. This stuff went on as smooth as silk. I couldn’t even tell I was wearing anything additional — just that my makeup looked flawless when I put it on, and still looked pretty flawless when I got home at the end of the day. I used up my little sample in only two days, and I’m missing it already.

There are two reasons I’ve steered clear of primers in the past. First, I thought primers were for walls, and I’m not a huge fan of painting, so I stay away from anything that reminds me of that particular activity. Second, this stuff. Now I hate to do this because I love most of Benefit’s cosmetics, and most of the reason I hate this one is my own fault. I can’t really remember why I didn’t like it at first — I think it was a little sticky and a little shimmery — it just didn’t do much for me, so I let it sit on a shelf for way too long. And then I tried it again. And it was too old. And it was horrible. It made my face all splotchy. Fail. And it made me break out. Fail, fail, fail. =) Oops.

Anyway, after I finished up my Arbonne sample, I didn’t want to go primerless, so I started digging around to see if I had any more primer samples in my possession. Bingo. I found this bareMinerals foundation primer in the bottom of my makeup bag, so I tested it out today. It was decent, but I found it to be a little greasier than the Arbonne primer. Very lightweight, but not quite as effective. Given the choice, I’d choose the Arbonne primer over this one any day.

My instinct was to call up Laura and immediately order the Arbonne makeup primer this morning, but I’m kind of a crazy when it comes to shopping, so I knew I had to do just a little more research before I bought it. After a little Googling, I found that named Arbonne as their #1 makeup primer in 2011, and I also found that the Arbonne primer had lots of positive reviews on online. The verdict? Sold. I’ll be adding this one to my stash very soon.

I’d love to know…do you use any Arbonne products? I have a hand lotion of theirs that I love and a shampoo from Laura I still need to try, but I haven’t tried many others. Also, this post was in no way sponsored by Arbonne or Laura, but Laura’s an old college friend of mine, and if you’re interested in hosting an Arbonne party or purchasing any products, I would love it if you would support her! Leave me a comment, and I’ll get you her contact info. =)

In My Makeup Bag: Everyday Essentials

By beauty, don't waste the pretty, lists, makeup, skin care 2 Comments

makeup bag everyday essentials

You know those days when your hair looks amazing? You know, the good hair days? Well, lately I’ve been having good face days. I can attribute it partly to my skincare routine and partly to my recent experiment with a gluten-free diet, but I’ll admit, it probably has less to do with my actual face and more to do with what’s in my makeup bag.

You know I’m not a morning person. Most days I’m lucky if I have five minutes to put makeup on. (Actually, most days I bring my makeup bag to work and spend five minutes putting it on when I arrive.) Therefore, my carefully curated collection of everyday cosmetics is minimal and distinctly inspired by The Daily Connoisseur‘s Le No Makeup Look. These are the products that (for me) make any day a good face day.

1. NARS Blush in Orgasm. This peachy tint of this cult classic seems to flatter everyone. Careful, though — don’t get it confused with it’s too glittery sister, Super Orgasm.

2. Urban Decay Naked Basics Eye Palette. This neutral palette is a new addition. Trading in my shimmery shadows for something a little more practical…at least until summer. =)

3. Dior Diorshow Mascara in 090 Black.
Only mascara I’ve used since 2004. Don’t plan on switching anytime soon. My favorite reaction? “Are you wearing fake lashes?!?”

4. Laura Mercier Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer in Nude.
I fell in love with this product after trying a sample a few years ago. It took me a little while to figure out how to use it best on my skin, though. The oil free version provides more coverage than the normal version, but it doesn’t quite provide enough moisture for my dry skin, so I layer this over my everyday moisturizer. Sometimes I’ll use the normal version instead, especially during the winter or if I’m ever wearing it alone. I love how dramatically it evens out my skin tone without washing me out. Plus, it’s super lightweight because it is, after all, a moisturizer and not a foundation.

5. bareMinerals Well-Rested Face & Eye Brightener. This brightener is a new product I’ve been trying out. I use it to cover up dark circles and illuminate just under my brows. I like it so far, but it’s too soon to say whether it will earn a permanent spot in my collection.

6. Chanel Stylo Yeux Waterproof Long Lasting Eyeliner in Noir Intense.
Believe it or not, this eyeliner pencil was the only souvenir I brought back from my trip to Chicago. I normally steer clear of waterproof makeup because it’s impossible to remove. But eyeliner looks ridiculous unless it stays put, which is exactly what this incredible product does best.

7. Anastasia Brow Powder Duo in Medium Ash. Even though I only use the lighter side of this duo, it’s a staple. I love using a powder to fill in brows because the effect is much less harsh than a pencil, in my opinion.

8. Laura Mercier Eye Basics in Linen.
I’m pretty loyal when it comes to beauty products. I find something I like and stick with it for years. But lately, I’ve noticed that some of the favorites I adopted in high school aren’t pulling their weight anymore on my 31-year-old skin — particularly products I use on and around my eyes. I recently traded out an old favorite for this product, and I’m so happy with it! I’m not sure if this was meant to be just an eyeshadow base, but for me, it’s been pulling double duty as an under-eye concealer/primer. I’ve been applying it before my tinted moisturizer and just kind of blending the two together under my eyes. It’s amazing. The consistency is unlike any product I’ve ever used around my eyes before. It doesn’t crease, clump, wear off, or change appearance all day.

9. bareMinerals Original SPF25 Mineral Veil. Mineral Veil is still my favorite finishing powder. I think it reduces the appearance of pores and keeps my makeup looking fresh all day. Sometimes I’ll skip this if I’ve used the bareMinerals foundation powder (because layering powder upon powder upon powder makes my face look weird), but lately I’ve been skipping the foundation because my skin looks pretty good!

My last essential is a lip gloss or lipstick, but I tend to switch colors up quite a bit. I love corals and reds, but lately I’ve been drawn to berry tones and bright pinks.

I’d love to know what your daily makeup essentials are. Do you use any of these products? Suggest any additions? Let me know in the comments! =)

Pucker Up!

By beauty, don't waste the pretty, lists, makeup, shopping One Comment


I know everyone is all excited about the beginning of a new year, but honestly? These cold, gray, dreary winter days are a little bit of a drag after all those holidays. I need a little pick-me-up, and I hear hot pink is the new “it” shade for lips this season. I suppose it makes sense — it’s past the time for red, but too early for coral, so a bright pop of hot pink might be just what I need to get me through the winter. Well, that or a three-month vacation to a tropical island. 😉

I’ve already got #2 and #7 my arsenal, but maybe I’ll add just one more shade of pink to my (already ridiculous) collection this season. Here are a few other lip colors I’ll be testing out this weekend:

1. YSL Rouge Pur Couture – 7: Le Fuchsia, $32
2. Maybelline Colorsensational Lipcolor in Fifth Ave. Fuchsia, $5
3. Guerlain Rouge Automatique Lipcolor in Champs Elysees, $35
4. Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet Luminous Matte Lip Color in L’exuberante, $34
5. Dior Addict Lipstick in Show 778, $30
6. NARS Lipstick in Schiap, $24
7. Dior Rouge Dior Lip Color in Pink Caprice 475, $32 — This one is my favorite at the moment. 🙂