Winter Blushes

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Fall/Winter Blushes! NARS Dolce Vita (top), NARS Sin (bottom left), and Tarte’s Exposed (bottom right).

Hello!

I have a quick blog for you today featuring my three favorite blushes for Fall and Winter. These colors are beautiful, long lasting and very, very blendable. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

I will start with the one I have used the most out of the three. It is Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush in Exposed. I mentioned this one briefly in my last blog but saved all the details as to why I love it for this post. Tarte describes this color as a Nude Pink and I have to agree with that. I have to admit I was apprehensive about how much it would show up on my tan skin tone. However, after reading Divya’s blog post (multiple, actually) on this blush I was sold. She was right, my friends. It gives my cheeks that beautiful blushed from within look. It is super easy to apply and blend and it just melts on my skin. These lasts all day, too! If you are anywhere close to my skin tone, don’t be deterred to try it based on how it looks in the pan.

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(From left to right) Tarte’s Exposed, NARS Dolce Vita and NARS Sin.

NARS blushes always get rave reviews because their blushes are highly pigmented and come is wide variety of shades. Dolce Vita is no exception. This is a bright dusty rose color that just brings my face to life. No matter how gray or cold it is outside this makes me look and feel like I can take on the day.

Last but not least is NARS blush in Sin. Another unexpected color for me to pick up and try, but I am very glad I did. Sin is a mauve-y color that has a bit of shimmer to it that adds just that hint of sparkle to my cheeks. This is not the chunky, elementary school kind of glitter. It’s a soft sheen that seems to bring out your cheeks a little bit more. I don’t use highlighter when I use this blush because it give me both in one application.

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(From left to right) Tarte’s Exposed, NARS Dolce Vita and NARS Sin in bright day light.

All of these products can be purchased at your local Sephora or Nordstrom, in the case of NARS. These are on the higher price end but they will last you a very long time. I’ve had Tarte’s exposed for about a year and I can still see the surface design. I’ve had Sin for two years and I have not hit pan on this one yet.

Lulu

What are your favorite blushes for Fall/Winter?

Face du jour

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Face du jour!

Hello Lovelies!

I am sorry I have been MIA over the last couple of weeks. We had family in town and then Alex and I got sick. Boo!

Anyhow, today I want to share with you the makeup that I have been wearing as of late. It is pretty simple, with a focus on the skin. As you may know, I work in a pretty conservative environment so the look is very work appropriate.

I always start with a freshly prepped and moisturized face. You can see my morning skincare routine here. My current foundation is Estee Lauder Double Wear Stay in Place Foundation (3W2 – Cashew). This is a new foundation to me and I was very surprised to like it as much as I do. Stay tuned for a review of this puppy. All I will say for now is that I’m loving it!  This foundation sets pretty well on my combination skin so I don’t powder over top of it. Next is the eyes. I have pretty dark under-eye circles so I need to correct before applying concealer. For this I used L.A. Girl Pro Concealer in Orange Corrector and Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer (Medium Dark Warm). Try to say that three times! I do set the under-eye area using Laura Mercier’s Loose Setting Powder in Transparent.

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Foundation, corrector and concealer.

For my eyes, I use MAC’s Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Layin Low as a base and then some combination of MAC’s Sharon Osbourne quad. This quad was released in a limited edition collection some time ago but I think it has the perfect colors for Fall/Winter. I keep it very simple applying one of the two lighter shades over my lid and using the bottom left shade in my crease. If I need to amp-up the eye look I will use the darker shade as either eye liner or to darken the crease area.  My eye liner of the moment is Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner in Mad Max. This is a dark brown shade that is perfect for day time looks. For the brows, Anastasia Brow Wiz in Brunette is all I use to clean up the shape and fill is sparse areas.

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Eye makeup – perfect Fall/Winter colors!
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(From left to right) Mascara, lipstick, eyeliner and brow pencil.

The last few touches are completed with Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep. As you can see this is a sample I got from Sephora and I am very please with the color. It’s hard to explain but it’s a really good shade for me to use as bronzer/contour. I think it’s because it does not have orange-y undertones. My blush has been pretty much exclusively Tarte’s Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush is Exposed. Last but not least, I use Maybelline’s Lash Sensational mascara (black) and MAC’s Lustre lipstick in Naked Paris. I think this was limited edition as well because I can’t find it anywhere. (Oh no!)

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Setting powder, blush and bronzer.

Phew, that sounds like a lot but I can put this face in less than 20 minutes. Ta-da!

Lulu

What is your current makeup routine? Would you be interested in a blog post listing the tools I use to apply this makeup? What is your favorite part of your makeup routine?

Holiday Cheer and no more Mommy breaks

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Christmas tree shopping.

This weekend has been tons of fun! Tree is up, stockings and lights are up, Christmas music is on. Our house has been “transformed” and we are officially in the Christmas/Holiday spirit. I have enjoyed seeing Alex’s amazement and excitement for Christmas. He loves to see the lights and helped us pick some new items for the Christmas tree. It will be interesting to see if decorations have to migrate higher in the tree. We are paying extra attention to Penny, our 3 year old Golden Retriever. She still thinks any stuffed toys are hers, and I am afraid that she will gladly run off with the tree if left unsupervised.

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Penny, our Golden Retriever.
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Happy Holidays!

Among all this excitement I have also had some struggles on the mommy front. Alex has started to wake up early again, for no apparent reason. While a 5am wakeup call is not new to me – that’s when my alarm goes off on weekdays – I find it really hard to do on weekends. As hard as it is for me, I feel terrible that Alex is up so early. We try to put him back to sleep but he’s not having any of it.

To make matters a little worse, Alex has also stopped taking his midday nap. I knew this time was coming, but I am not prepared for it at all. Up until this weekend, I knew I had those 2 hours to catch up on chores, clean my Inbox, and on rare occasions take a nap. Initially I thought this would be something he would phase out slowly, like half an hour less every couple of weeks. Yeah, so naive! It went from 2-3 hours a day to nothing. It’s been a shock to my system, if you haven’t figured it out by now.

I don’t want to make this a sobby, sad blog so I am turning it around and making something positive out of the situation. I did go and cry to my mommy friends about this. After wiping the tears off my face they gave me some good advice that I want to share with you. (OK, it was more text message exchanges. There I said it!)

  1. This is a temporary thing – Alex could be going through a phase, a wonder week, and this can be disrupting his sleeping schedule. Even if it was not temporary and he will not be taking his nap anymore, he will get used to the longer days.
  2. Too much excitement – Both mommy and daddy are home and we get to do all these fun things, like grocery shopping and going to the park. Alex may just be having too much fun and doesn’t want to miss the action.
  3. You are not alone – As much as I may feel like I am the only parent in the Universe going through this, the reality is that I am not. If you are in a similar situation and have a mommy friend you can talk to, please do. It makes a big difference to hear the story from someone else, even if it’s exactly the same story as yours – down to melt-down times and not wanting to brush their teeth.
  4. We are in it together – My friends reminded me that one of my roles as a mom is to help guide Alex and teach him how to deal with his emotions. We are all adjusting to new things and learning in the process to become a good family unit. I can spend my days pitying myself or taking steps to help Alex learn that it is ok to be upset and tired, and to ask for mommy and daddy’s help when he needs it. Above all he needs to know we are there for him.

I hope this was helpful to any parents that is going through a similar situation.

Lulu

Do you go all-out with Holiday decorations? How do your kiddos handle the shiny ornaments?

What’s for dinner? Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins

I am always looking out for quick meal options for our family. Life is busy and that last thing I want to do on a weeknight is slave in the kitchen. To make things more interesting, my husband has decided that he wants to try more vegetarian options. Yay…

Don’t get me wrong, I think there are a lot of benefits to vegetarianism. My dad has been vegetarian for as long as I can remember. However, I also understand that Alex is a growing baby that can benefit from animal protein. I want to be supportive so Clay (the hubs) and I have an agreement of fixing two vegetarian meals a week. Now, this blog is not meant to be a battle of dietary lifestyles. You do what you believe is best in the meal department. And that’s as far as I am going to go in that respect.

Back to easy dinners! While we were checking out at the grocery store the other day, a particularly delicious looking frittata caught my eye. The attractive cover happened to be from Vegetarian Times. What a coincidence. I decided to buy it as some of the items featured inside also looked interesting, in particular this Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins. The best part was that it looked super easy. Win!

I’m not going to repeat the recipe, as it is not my own. But I will point you in the right direction if you want to give it a go. So, go here for the recipe. The ingredients are easy to find and you probably have most of them at home anyway.

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Only a few ingredients needed to fix this yummy stew.

So, is it any good? I think it was good but had some room for improvement. If you look at the recipe, it calls for pre-made lentil soup. This is sort of the base for the stew, so your stew will be as good as the lentil soup you decide to purchase. I did tweak my recipe and added some tofu but that doesn’t really add any flavor. This was a new flavor profile that Alex had not had before so we decided to keep it simple and pair it with some steamed white rice. He tried it and had a few bites, which is all I was expecting.

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Moroccan Lentil Stew with Raisins and steamed white rice. Yum!

I do like the idea of a stew, especially during the cold Winter months, so I will be fixing this again. However, I am going to make the lentil soup from scratch.

Lulu

Have you tried any new flavor profiles recently? How do your kids do when introduced to new foods? Any vegetarian recipes you would like to share with me?

My Morning Skin Care Routine

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My skin care routine, minus the eye cream.

Skin care is at the crux of all your makeup problems! Ok, maybe not all of them, but some of them could be greatly improved with a good skin care regime.

I still remember my first “makeup” product – the Clinique Mild Face Soap (with Dish!). I grew up in an old school household and my mom would not allow me and my sister to use makeup until we were older. Turns out that older was around 18. Anyways, I was so excited to just have something makeup related! That face soup made me feel special, like my face was somehow different – better.

Lots of Springs have gone by since that time but that face soap, although now in an improved liquid formula, is still part of my skin care routine. My combination skin responds really well to this and the rest of the items I will be sharing with you today. The biggest thing about this routine is that it is easy to follow. I am on autopilot when I do these steps, even after multiple sleepless nights with Alex.

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Clinique’s Face Wash and Lancome’s Genifique Serum.

My AM routine starts in the shower. Yep, you may have guessed that Clinique’s Liquid Facial Soap (Mild) is the first step. The mild formula is great for combination skin but they have options for oily and sensitive skin types as well. After the shower I use a serum. The one that I have been enjoying lately is Lancome’s Advance Genifique Youth Activating Concentrate. This is a new step in my routine but so far it seems to be working well. My skin feel smoother and I think it has improved my fine lines, especially around my forehead.

I follow the serum step with a sun block. This step has been tricky to figure out because all of the products I tried would break me out. But this beauty (seriously, how cute is that bottle!) is amazing! I’m talking about Tarte’s Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This lotion is extremely light, smells really nice, my skin absorbs it quickly, and it dries up to a matte-like finish that works perfectly as a base for makeup. The perfect sunscreen for moi!

Next I use a face moisturizer. I have two options: one for makeup days and one for non-makeup days. If I will be going to work or to some place that requires me to “put my face on” then I will use Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizer. The gel formula provides just the right amount of moisture underneath my makeup. The rest of the time I will use Murad’s Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF+30|PA +++. This is like a cup of OJ for your face, scent and all. Again, it’s a light enough that it won’t leave my face looking greasy, plus it has the added benefit of including SPF. This one is particularly good for days where I am just running errands and I don’t have a lot of time to get out the door. It helps me bypass the sunscreen step.

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Murad’s Moisturizer, Clinique’s Gel Moisturizer and Tarte’s sunscreen lotion.

The last step is use an eye cream. For this I use Bobbi Brown’s Hydrating Eye Cream. Yet another moisturizing product that keeps my under-eye area hydrated without being greasy. This eye cream also comes with a built in primer so it’s excellent to help keep your concealer in place.

After I complete these easy 4 or 5 steps my face is ready for whatever the day brings, including taking care of Alex which today decided to get up promptly at 5:45am. Here we go! Catch you later.

Lulu

I am curious. What is your skin care routine? Have you tried any of these products?