Another everyday look...

Friday, April 30, 2010

I love seeing different makeup looks. I scour websites and books looking at new ideas all of the time. I have so much makeup, I will never be able to use it all. But here's the problem. Most of the time, the looks I find are too dramatic for me to use as a daily look. As much as I might want to deny it, I'm reaching an age where I need to tone down my makeup a bit. When the texture of your skin starts to change, super-frosty or metallic eye shadows just emphasize that "crepe-iness" (and you can call that crepe-y or creepy - they both work as far as I'm concerned, LOL!) and I want to draw attention away from that. I still like satin shadows or those with a pearlescent sheen, but I try to either keep them neutral/nude or add a matte shadow so that the entire eye area isn't shimmery.

I figure there have to be other ladies out there who feel the same way. You want to see different shadow combos to get ideas for your own use - but you want something subtle, with muted colors - something that you can apply in just a few minutes. So I thought I would start posting some of the everyday looks that I do. They aren't anything spectacular - I'm certainly not a makeup artist - and you're going to see the looks on skin that is almost 49 years old (so prepare yourself!). But I think I'm okay with that because not everyone out there is 20 or 30-something - and not everyone wants dramatic makeup. I hope that someone finds the information helpful!

This is a look that I did earlier this week. I was in a hurry and just wanted something neutral with a little smudged liner. I was going to wear jeans and a navy blue sweater, so this is what I chose:

Here's a list with links to the products:
Aromaleigh Plush Romantic eye shadow
Aromaleigh Aurora eye shadow
First Blush of Spring blush (the link will take you to the recipe)
GeoGraphx Peach Pearl eye shadow
MAC Whirl lip liner
MAC Delish lipstick (this has been d/c'ed, so check eBay)
MAC Nymphette lipglass
Spell Cosmetics Hologlow Embers eye shadow
Spell Cosmetics Gold Salmon eye shadow

This was soooo easy! I patted Gold Salmon over the lid and up into the crease, patted a light layer of Peach Pearl over that, and a light layer of Aurora over that. Then I added Hologlow Embers from the top of the crease to under the brow. Next, I lined the outer 2/3 of my upper lid with Plush Romantic, and smudged a little thicker line all along the lower lashline. Because I wanted to make sure the color lasted all day, I then took a little of the Plush Romantic, mixed it with a bit of eyeliner sealant, and wetlined the upper & lower lashlines. Then I went back with a dry brush and added a little more of the Plush Romantic while the wetlining was still damp. I know it sounds like a lot - but when you have all of the brushes & shadows in front of you, it literally takes 2-3 minutes from start to mascara.

I used a blush brush to apply a little First Blush of Spring to the apples of my cheeks. For my lips, I used MAC's Whirl lip liner (it's definitely my "my lips but better" color), then MAC's Delish lipstick, and topped that with MAC's Nymphette lipglass.

So as you can see, it's just enough makeup/color to add a little life, but not enough that people say "wow, she's wearing makeup".  ;-)

Pout Instant Shimmer Tan

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Unfortunately, my favorite bronzer of all time, MAC Skinsheen, was not offered this year. In my opinion, it was the best bronzer ever. The color was great and it was soooo water-resistant. It's almost impossible to find a good water-resistant bronzer! Luckily, I have a couple of cans stockpiled, but I have to find a replacement soon!

I recently purchased 4 new bronzers - and I'll review all of them here as I try them. The first one I'll be reviewing is from Pout. It's called Sexy Sunwear Instant Shimmer Tan. I have to tell you up front that Pout Cosmetics no longer exists - I bought this product from (a discount beauty site).

This is just a bronzer - it is not a sunless tanner. It provides instant color and washes off easily with soap and water. Actually, I should say that it rinses off easily with water. Which makes me very sad because it does have nice color with a lovely sheen. No sparkle or glitter - just a nice golden pearlescent sheen.

(Can I just say that I can't believe how old my hands look? The veins are a dead give-away!)

As you can see, the bronzer is a caramel color. It spreads very easily and dries quickly. I didn't notice any stickiness at all. It has a really nice consistency that is easy to apply evenly.

One thing I did notice is that this product didn't have a very pleasant scent. I'm sure that it's because it's an older product. I checked reviews at, and some people said it had a tropical scent. Mine definitely didn't. I also checked to see what everyone said about the water-resistance of the product - no one mentioned water-resistance - they just said it was easily removed.

I only tried the product on my hands, but I would imagine that it isn't going to hold up to heat/sweating. It definitely doesn't hold up to hand-washing. Since it was only on my hands, I can't attest to whether or not there would be any rub-off either. As I mentioned above, I'm disappointed. If it had some water-resistance, it would be a real contender as a replacement for my beloved Skinsheen. But even that is probably moot, since the company is now defunct. Sigh. On to the next bronzer.

Don't miss these deals!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It’s time for the 30% Off Sale at Old Navy!! From 4/30 through 5/2, the WHOLE store will be on sale: take 30% off your entire purchase. Valid in-store only.

Stuff & Save 20% off ends tomorrow, 4/29. Use your Old Navy, Gap, or Banana Republic card and save 20% off your purchase. Online use code ONSTUFF20. Also free shipping on orders $75 and over.

Macy's Friends & Family 25% off event! Plus take an extra 10% off electrics, personal care, floor care, electronics, furniture, mattresses and rugs. From 4/28 through 5/3. Use code MACYSFRIEND. Also free shipping for orders over $99. You can print a friends & family coupon to use in-store, too. (this is a pdf file) There are some restrictions on the discount, so be sure to read the fine print on the site.

Suicide prevention

Two years ago today, a woman who was a daughter, sister, mother, and friend committed suicide. Her death left an empty place in many lives. Family & friends struggled with unanswered questions. Why did she do this? Was there something I could have said or done to prevent this? How could I not have seen the signs? How could I not sense her pain? 

I think the questions are part of the 5 stages of grief. First, there's denial - disbelief that this has happened. We say, "No! Not her! It can't be true!". We're in shock. Then there's anger. We wonder how the person can just leave everyone behind to pick up the pieces. We accuse them of taking the coward's way out. Then we feel guilty for thinking those things because surely it's "wrong" to have those thoughts. It's not wrong - it's normal - it's human. So we move on to bargaining - although in this instance, I think it's more of a rationalization. We start to come to grips with the fact that this person was in tremendous pain. We think that maybe they felt they had no other option. Maybe they just couldn't stand the pain any longer. And now, the sadness, the depression sets in. We realize they're gone and they're not coming back. How will we ever learn to go on without them? And finally, over time, comes acceptance. I'm not sure I like the term acceptance applied here. I'm not sure we can ever really "accept" what has happened. But we manage to come to terms with it - somehow, some way. We have no other choice. It's either that or allow it to consume us.

In memory of Laurie, I want to post some information about suicide and suicide prevention, with the hope that it will help prevent someone else from feeling they have no other option left.

In 2006, suicide was the 11th leading cause of death in the United States. That year, 33,000 people committed suicide. Now get this - there are an estimated 10-25 suicide attempts for every suicide death. Mind boggling, isn't it?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

What should I do if I think someone is suicidal?
If you think someone is suicidal, do not leave him or her alone. Try to get the person to seek immediate help from his or her doctor or the nearest hospital emergency room, or call 911. Eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for suicide, including unsupervised access to medications.

If you are in a crisis and need help right away:Call this toll-free number, available 24 hours a day, every day: 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You will reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a service available to anyone. You may call for yourself or for someone you care about. All calls are confidential.

Why should I call 1-800-273-TALK (8255)?
The Lifeline Network answers thousands of calls from people in emotional distress. There are many reasons for their calls. Please call for any of the following reasons:
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Information on suicide
  • Information on mental health/illness
  • Substance abuse/addiction
  • To help a friend or loved one
  • Relationship problems
  • Abuse/violence
  • Economic problems
  • Sexual orientation issues
  • Physical illness
  • Loneliness
  • Family problems

Who should call? 
  • Anyone who feels sad, hopeless, or suicidal.
  • Family and friends who are concerned about a loved one.
  • Anyone interested in mental health treatment and service referrals
There is more information available on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline's website.

Again, the number to call for help is:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

Please, please, please, seek help if you or someone you know is depressed and/or having suicidal thoughts. Someone out there loves you - and they want to help.


I have a love/hate relationship with Chadwick's. I always see a few cute things in their catalogs, but I know from experience that I'm probably going to be disappointed if I order them. The quality of their items just isn't up to par, in my opinion. I also think their shipping prices are a little high - but then, I think that of most places.

I saw this beach cover-up in one of their catalogs and thought it was really cute. The price was reasonable ($16.99) - but there wasn't anything else I wanted, and I didn't want to pay $7 for shipping one little cotton dress that weighed about 8 ounces. So I didn't buy it.

(photo courtesy of

Until tonight. I found a coupon code (CHFREE1) that is good for one free item!! Yep, that's right. You purchase any item, and you get another item of equal or lesser value for free! And the cover-up is on sale for $12.99! I bought one in black and one in Aegean - total price, with tax & shipping was $19.98!! Woo hoo! I think I might even be able to get away with wearing these around the house as a casual summer dress - but we'll see how the fabric is once they arrive.

The code expires 5/2/10, so hurry over to Chadwick's and see if you can find any good deals!

Spell Cosmetics

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Update 5/28/10: I can no longer recommend doing business with Spell Cosmetics; read about my experience with them here.

After reading the Spell Cosmetics review on the Eclectic Musings blog, I decided to place an order. You can send a picture along with an email to Elle, telling her any colors you prefer to avoid, and what type of look you're trying to achieve, and she will give you a complimentary "makeover" - suggesting Spell Cosmetics colors. For 48 hours after the makeover, if you are registered at the Spell Cosmetics site, you can get 25% off your order, too!

I basically asked for a nude/neutral casual daytime look. Something simple that would be easy to do - no cool colors, no pink/orange/red shadows, no high glitter/shimmery/frosted shadows (although satin luster is okay).

Elle recommended Hologlow Embers for highlighting the brow, Gold Salmon for the lid, and Sepia for the crease.

I'm really pleased with the suggestions Elle made - it's a look I can do in just a few minutes and it works for any daytime function. And I can just add a little more Sepia and more dramatic liner to make it work for evening.

The lipgloss Elle suggested was Bona Fide - but she was worried I might be a little scared by it. I ordered it anyway because her second suggestion (Ingenue) looked a little too light. My lips have a lot of natural pigment, so glosses that are very sheer or light in color tend to look like clear gloss on me.

I admit - when I got it, I was scared, LOL! It looked much darker than it did on the website. But - it happens to be very sheer - a sheer bronze/brown nude. I applied  Christian Dior lip liner in Linen, powdered lightly, then applied MAC lip liner in Whirl, and powdered lightly. Next, I applied just a touch of Korres Mango Lipstick in Pink 14 (vibrant rose), and topped that with the Bona Fide gloss from Spell Cosmetics.

You can see that it really is a sheer product! So don't let the colors scare you! The consistency is very creamy without any stickiness. Of course that translates into needing to be applied a little more frequently, but I'm happy to make that trade-off to avoid stickiness.

My order also contained some generous free samples - Under My Spell face primer, Bronze eye shadow, and Filter Translucent Perfecting Powder.

And I have to tell you that the customer service is absolutely incredible! The Delicate Harmony foundation that I got was way too light for me, so I emailed asking if it was possible to exchange it (the seal was still intact) and maybe get color samples before purchasing another color. They emailed back saying that they would ship out the Medium Harmony foundation to me, along with a sample of the Rich Harmony foundation - and that they wouldn't allow me to incur return shipping costs, so to please keep the other foundation and give it to family or friends! How amazing is that?

I was so impressed that I immediately sent a "thank you" and went to the site to place a second order. I took advantage of their current special (through May 16) - buy 5 eye shadows, get 5 eye shadows free - 10 eye shadows for $30! I also ordered a tube of the Obvious Gloss in Tea Rose, and the new Liner le Creme in Blackest. I will receive a free full-size Illuminade Illuminator with my order, too (that offer is good through May 1)! Yay! I can't wait to see everything!

(In case you were wondering, I ordered these eye shadows: Driftwood, Taupe, Aubergine, Mocha, Camille, Promenade, Whisper to Me, Faint, Corset, & Echoes. I'll do swatches and a review when I get them!)

Check them out and take advantage of their generous free online makeover!

Monday's Meal

Monday, April 26, 2010

The other day I decided to make salmon patties for lunch, but I wanted to do something a little different with them. So I decided to experiment - and I really liked the results!

Asian Salmon Patties
(makes 2 patties)
1 6 oz. can salmon
1/2 c. panko bread crumbs
1 TBSP. hoisin sauce
1 shallot (more or less to taste), minced
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine ingredients and shape into patties. Fry in  a little melted butter over medium heat until heated through and golden brown.

I ate mine with sweet baby lettuces and Litehouse Pomegranate Blueberry vinaigrette. Yum! I wish I could find (or make) a vinaigrette that tasted like this dressing but wasn't as "gel-like". Anyone have any recommendations or recipes?

Yesterday, we ate lunch at The Pub. We haven't been there for awhile, so it was a treat. Luckily, it wasn't crowded at all, so we were seated right away. I really hate it when I have to wait more than 10-15 minutes to be seated. I had the grilled salmon on herbed flatbread with a pint of Strongbow Cider. Gus had the Pub Cuban with a pint of Harp lager. Yummy!

Another magazine deal!

Publication Station is offering a one year subscription to Budget Travel magazine for $2.50! This offer is for a new subscription or a renewal. It says it's "for a limited time only", but doesn't give an end date.

What a great deal!!

I miss the beach...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I've been drooling over some of my favorite pictures of Destin. They bring back some wonderful memories, but they make me miss the beach. It's been almost 2 years since we've been there. What happened to days when we took the kids to the beach for one vacation, and Gus & I would go to the beach alone for a second vacation??

Sigh. I seriously need a vacation.

It's the weekend!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Today I'm heading for a blast from the past. A get-together for the class of '79. Yes, that's 1979 - and I've been out of high school for 31 years. Wow. It's kinda hurts to say that. Ouch.

A few of us got together back in November and it was a lot of fun. This time we're expecting even more people. And we have another get-together planned for July! We owe it all to Facebook! LOL!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend - stay safe and have fun!

Blood Orange

Friday, April 23, 2010

My introduction to blood orange as a fragrance was with a sample of Bliss' Blood Orange + White Pepper Body Butter. I fell in love with it and bought a full-size tube, even though it was a bit pricey. The white pepper gives it such an interesting fragrance. It's hard to describe - but the pepper gives the blood orange a little "kick". It sounds like such an unlikely combination, but it's wonderful. The body butter has a thick, creamy consistency and absorbs well.

(photo courtesy of

I recently added the blood orange + white pepper bath & shower gel to my collection. I love how it makes the whole bathroom smell so good! The gel has a thick consistency and lathers well with a shower pouf. I do find the bottle a little hard to squeeze - but I think there is a larger version with a pump top, so I'm sure that would work better.

(photo courtesy of

So when I saw that Sephora had Pacifica's Tuscan Blood Orange Body Butter for just $5, I had to try it! Oh. My. Goodness. This stuff is pure heaven!! It smells like oranges, raspberries, and strawberries. Yum. It contains shea butter, mango butter, safflower oil, sweet almond oil, and rose hip seed oil. But I'm very picky - I cannot stand a product that leaves my skin feeling greasy - especially in the summer. This one absorbs completely and doesn't leave any greasy feeling on the skin. I find this body butter easier to apply than the Bliss product. A winner!

As much as I love the scent of the Bliss body butter, I have to say that overall, I prefer the Pacifica product - especially the price! Now I want to try the body wash, lotion, & perfume! And of course, the candle! If you love fruit scents, definitely give this one a try!

Now I want to figure out how to make a summer drink that tastes like the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange body butter smells!

Thursday's Blog

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Cancer sucks. I think just about everyone has had cancer touch their lives in one way or another. And it sucks.

My Papa (grandfather) died of prostate cancer in 2006 and my dad died of stomach cancer in 2008. I have a dear friend who had melanoma and cervical cancer - thank God she is a cancer survivor.

My blog pick for this week is i kicked cancer's @ss. The blog's author is Meaghan, a 32 year old cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with end-stage cervical cancer at age 28. Her story is incredible.

On her blog, you can read stories from people who are fighting cancer and from those who have kicked cancer's ass. You can also find information resources as well as links to sites that donate part of their proceeds to various cancer organizations.

Meaghan also founded Spirit Jump, "a grassroots nonprofit organization with a mission to provide hope and comfort to the many men, women and children battling cancer. Spirit Jump accomplishes this by providing uplifting cards and inspirational gifts during this most difficult time." 

If you have time, check out Meaghan's blog - and make sure you have some tissues handy. The stories are very moving, and you'll see incredible strength of spirit.

Earth Day 2010


Today is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and I believe that we each have a responsibility to do our best to protect and preserve our environment.

The EPA is asking everyone to "Pick 5 for the Environment". Choose at least 5 actions you’ll commit to - use less water and electricity, commute without polluting, reuse and recycle, and more. It can be as simple as not running the water while you brush your teeth - putting your computer into sleep mode when you're not using it - using a reusable water bottle instead of buying bottled water - recycling your used cans.

You can become a fan of Pick 5 on Facebook (oops, I mean you can "like" it!) and join them on Flickr

Did you know?
  • recycling 1 soft drink can could save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours
  • by switching to cold-water washing, you can save up to 90% of the energy used in each load of laundry 
  • you can save up to $100 per year by putting your computer into sleep/standby mode rather than using a screen saver 
  • laptops use 15 to 25 watts during regular use, as compared to the 150 watts used by a conventional desktop computer and monitor. Plus, laptops also draw just a fraction of a watt when in sleep mode. 
  • if you switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, they pay for themselves in energy savings in about 6 months. (We've noticed about a $20 per month difference in the electric bill by changing all of our bulbs to CFLs.)
  • for every degree you raise your thermostat in the summer, you reduce your cooling costs between 7 and 10 percent; so use stationary, ceiling and whole-house fans to help cool your home - the energy you use to run the fans is minimal compared to the savings you reap by turning your thermostat up a degree or two.
(information from The Daily Green & Mother Earth News)

What will you do to celebrate Earth Day?

Family heirlooms

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm one of those people who feels a strong tie to the past. I love to see old pictures of my ancestors - hear stories about their lives - anything that gives me a clearer sense of the past.

I have a dining room table, chairs, and buffet that belonged to my great-grandparents. No, it's not fancy - and it's certainly not worth anything to anyone other than me - but I treasure it. My great-grandfather worked in the coal mines in Athens County, Ohio back in the late 1920's - early 1930's. Back then, the miners were paid in script, which they then used to buy whatever they needed from the company store. That is where the furniture was purchased around 80 years ago.

As I said, they're not fancy - but they are well-made. The table has two leaves - each one attached at opposite ends of the table - and they can be hidden under the table or popped up and locked into place to make the table larger. Pretty clever.

My great-grandfather refinished the entire set every few years - so over 80 years, that's a lot of refinishing. LOL! The style is more of what you'd see in a small eat-in kitchen or in the dining room of a smaller house or apartment. But we decided to put it in our dining room, since the room is on the small size and we rarely eat in there.

Gus and Buddy worked for what must have seemed like forever to them - they removed the old finish and sanded each piece until it was smooth - no easy task.

I had a really difficult time choosing the upholstery fabric. The carpet in our dining room is sort of a mulberry/rose color. Ick. It was there when we bought the house. Trust me, I would never have chosen that color. It's custom wall-to-wall carpet with a rose carved into the center. Yeah, that's right. A rose. WTF?? The draperies in that room were also there when we moved in. They're $400 (for two panels!) drapes from Pottery Barn - and they're dark olive green. Just goes to show you - it doesn't matter how expensive things are - if you don't like them, you don't like them. Eventually, we'll change the carpet and drapes, but for now, we decided to work with what we had...

We painted the walls with Behr Cliff Rock - love that color! It's amazing, but I was able to find some upholstery fabric at Jo-Ann's that coordinated with the walls, carpet, and drapes. So I stained the furniture and recovered the chair seats & backs. I didn't want a shiny finish on the furniture, so I finished it with two coats of Tung oil.

So it's not fancy, but it looks nice and there is a lot of history in that room. It's pretty cool to think that my great-grandparents used this furniture - and that my Grammy ate at it when she was a little girl. Hopefully, one of my kids will inherit my love of the past and want to keep the furniture in the family.