March 2, 2013

Tortoise Shell

I have been on a bit of a tortoise shell kick lately. Tortoise shell accessories match everything, and much like denim, add texture and a casual edge. Using this tutorial I tried tortoise shell nails and I am really enjoying how they turned out!
I did not have any of the nail polish colors reccomended in the tutorial but I was able to mix what I already had to acheive the colors I wanted. I used Finger Paints lemon sour for the base, and mixed lemon sour with Essie Glamour Purse for the textured second layer. For the sienna layer I used Essie Very Structured, and mixed Essie Licorice with Very Structured to create the dark brown top layer. An acrylic paintbrush and a bent bobby pin acted as my nail art brush and dotting tool. This manicure is very flexible and any variety of browns can work--just look at all the variations of tortoise shell!

February 26, 2013

Signs of Spring

Yesterday, we went for a walk on the BeltLine after lunch at Fritti, one of our favorite restaurants we have found so far in Atlanta. It was the perfect day to enjoy a patio lunch and a walk between Sunday chores. I love this time of year when the first signs of spring emerge as the weather warms, but the crisp air lingers, and the trees start to blossom again. I found that this white on white outfit with a bit of casual denim was the perfect nod to spring's arrival.

February 12, 2013

With Love

This year I made homemade Valentine's tea bags and layered heart cards as gifts for family and friends. I love that these are easily customizable with each person's favorite tea and sweet sayings!
I used this tutorial as a guide for my tea bags but used embroidery thread I had on hand instead of twine, stitched the corners down rather than using any staples, and used a single heart tag with a hole punch rather than gluing the thread between two tags. The cards are simply layered hearts, hand-drawn and cut from cardstock in various shades of pink.

February 11, 2013

Makeup Basics

{Ecotools Brush Set, Clinique Lash Doubling Mascara & Almost Makeup (Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer), Maybeline Sunlit Eyeshadow Quad & Line Stiletto Liquid Eyeliner, and Covergirl Mink Eye Enhancer Eyeshadow}

I love to mix up my makeup between a natural look, dark smokey eyes, and bright red lips. I have a few basic makeup favorites that I'm often using as part of all of these looks.

Clinique's Almost Makeup evens out my skin tone and provides a light base all day.  Clinique recently retired Almost Makeup in favor of their newer formula, Moisture Surge Tinted Moisturizer, which has the same lightweight feel with added moisturizing! I use this large, fluffy brush for any powder, bronzer, or blush I'm wearing. It adds just enough powder without caking on and helps blend for a more natural look.

 I have been through about four Maybeline eye shadow quads in Sunlit since my sister gave me the first! The red-bronzey tones in the quad and in Covergirl's Mink eyeshadow help to bring out the green in my eyes. Picking an eyeshadow color that is complementary, opposite on the color wheel, to your eye color will make your eyes pop with every makeup look! I also use the lightest color in the quad for contouring. I put it just beneath my brow, at the inside corners of my eyes, along my cheekbone, and in the V of my top lip.

For days when I want my eyes to stand out even more, I use Line Stiletto along my top lid. I am usually terrible at drawing an even line with liquid eyeliners but the felt tip on Line Stiletto makes this much easier. If a mistake happens, it is also easily removed with a q-tip and redrawn until it drys. Although I mix mascaras often, (don't be afraid to use one for length and another for thickness or volume) my favorite is Cliniques' Lash Doubling Mascara. This mascara lengthens my lashes more than any other I have found and doesn't clump, even at the end of the bottle.

I have mentioned a couple of Clinique products I love lately so I also wanted to point out that I always find deals at the Cosmetics Company Outlet as well as wait to purchase until Clinique Bonus Time (which starts in departments stores soon for spring!). The quality justifies the additional cost, which evens out anyway when you're getting free lipsticks, eyeshadows, and samples!