Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pretty for No Reason

I'd like to go ahead and confess something.... 
I do NOT at all consider myself a beauty expert. 

Beautification is still something that mystifies me, and I'm in a constant evolutionary state of "pretty." 

I still have no idea how to fix my hair {what you see above is the help of some very nice Remy clip-in extensions; my own hair is shoulder-length and super duper baby fine.} I only started filling in my eyebrows less than a year ago, in spite of the fact that I barely even have eyebrows. I also learned how to highlight and contour earlier this year, in makeup school. {What was I doing before?? I have no idea...}

So I'm about as "green" as it comes as a makeup artist, though I enjoy learning and beautifying. Though unlike many other makeup artists I know who always look perfect... I feel I do a better job making over others than I do myself.

Here's another confession: I don't look like this most days!

Most days, I'm in what I call "mommy uniform:" yoga pants, hoodie, hair in a messy bun, no makeup on, not even a stitch. I kind of avoid mirrors most days. I'm sure many other stay-at-home-moms can relate to this! My daughter loves me no matter what I look like. Even my husband doesn't seem to care if he comes home from work and I'm still in my pjs. BUT... 

What's wrong with getting pretty for no reason other than to, well, feel pretty??

I do have some very feminist ideals, though I'm a woman who does believe in some gender roles; I see the benefit and goodness of being a little bit "Stepford wife" and, I dunno, wearing a cute dress and some red lipstick even if I'm just seeing the inside of my house all day.

 It's not that I feel that's my duty to my husband, but perhaps it can be a gift to him, to remind him of why he married an adorable woman with beauty she should play up more than once a week. More importantly, it's a gift to myself.

Don't we all just feel better when we're dolled up?

I use the excuse of being homebound all day with my 2-year-old, doing dishes and laundry and watching way too much "SpongeBob SquarePants," in order to wake up and not do a thing to make myself look presentable. I honestly fear the doorbell ringing, because if I were to answer, I might scare people off. {Right at this moment, honestly, I'm still in the same thing I wore since 7pm last night, glasses on, and my hair looks like Nick Nolte's mug shot. I can't even believe my husband is okay with that.}

I very often wish that I had a 9-5 so that I'd have a reason to get up and get dressed instead of lounging all day in house clothes. 

So, I aim to change my household attire to something more darling. I will wash the dishes with red nails, kiss my daughter with pink lips, play peek-a-boo with mascara-d eyes, and prance around in almost-solitude in a cute dress, just because I want to.

Why not get pretty for no reason? 

I have far too many dresses, accessories, lipstick colors not to. So with that said, I'm about to shower and make myself look something close to the picture above so that when my husband gets home, he'll have an even bigger smile when he sees me. 

I'd like to encourage all other stay-at-homes to give yourself a gift today and go get pretty for no reason. It'll make you feel better, I promise. :)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Makeover: Bedazzled Boudoir

Since I've moved to California, I have been in transition, trying to figure out my "place" as a makeup artist here in this new world.

One day, I went to a Sally's Beauty Supply and met another makeup artist named Joe who directed me to an amazing photographer he works with named Xochitl Rodrigue. {visit her gallery here... She is the photographer for this blog post!}

It's been because of this amazing woman that I've found a "place," a home, as a California makeup artist. :)

Recently, we as a team did some incredible things for promotional material. Xochitl just opened her new studio in Santa Maria, CA, and we are all working to spread the word and show off our talents! We have 3 makeup artists, including myself, and all of us have a different style.

I myself love a boudoir look, though I hadn't done anything too avant garde since makeup school. Xochitl encouraged me this day to push the envelope! And what I came up with was something called "Bedazzled Boudoir." Take a look at the lovely Sandra, an absolutely beautiful Mexican makeup model...

Upon first look of this beautiful girl, I realized I was getting to work with someone who a) had flawless skin, not a single blemish to cover, and b) had perfect eyebrows that I didn't even need to touch up. Score!

Admittedly, since this look was somewhat atypical to what I normally accomplish in the makeup chair, I improvised and came up with a vision as I dolled  her up. I didn't really know where I was going with it until I was done! But the more I played, the more she was starting to look Cleopatra-inspired. 

I may have changed her race from Mexican to Egyptian a bit... Just saying. Skills.


CG Luxe airbrush makeup foundation
Maybelline Color Tattoo cream eyeshadow in Bad to the Bronze
BH Cosmetics 3rd Edition 120-Color Eyeshadow Palette in Smokey
{deep taupe in crease, olive green in upper inner corner, periwinkle blue right on lids for a color "pop"}
Bare Minerals eyeshadow in Azure {bottom line and inner corners}
Bare Minerals eyeshadow in Celestine {one of my staples! instant VS Sparkle; read here}
MAC Paint Pot in Carbon {blackest matte black for smokiness}
Benefit High Beam Illuminator
Maybelline Dream Lumi in Nude
Bare Minerals Well-Rested
TheBalm Bahama Mama Bronzer
MAN Lip Liner, Lipstick & Lipgloss in pale pinks and hot pinks
Rhinestones {I used eyelash glue to attach all along the bottom of eyes, inner corner, and above eyebrows}
Thick and bold Kiss Falsies

I hope you love it! I couldn't have been more amazed by how she turned out, and of course it's Xochitl who really brought it all to life. :)

Thanks so much for taking a look, and feel free to email me if you ever want to hire me.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Gamecocks & Bows

After last week's epic turnaround 
in our game against the undefeated Missouri, 
I felt that this Saturday needed something special in celebration.

A new Gameday Dress...

It's early Saturday morning, 
and I've got my coffee, my cowgirl boots, 
and my Garnet & Black... 

Kickoff is at 12:21pm 
at Williams Brice against Mississippi State.

Gameday Dress with Back Bow 
is from the Twang Boutique 
in Anderson, SC

Sterling Silver South Carolina Pendant Necklace
is also from Twang Boutique

High Heeled Cowgirl Boots
are from Forever 21

Let us pray today
that our Gamecocks 
are not hungover
from their raw, emotional victory
against Missouri last week
and will conquer this game
against Mississippi
with the same 
determination and spirit.


Friday, November 1, 2013

Dia De Los Muertos

Halloween 2013

Clearly, the outfit itself isn't as abstract as the makeup, but I couldn't wait to wear this autumn ensemble...

The black open-toe ankle boots are by Payless...
Black sweater and chestnut brown tights are by Forever 21...
The black, beige and leopard-print flower clips are by Forever 21...
The over-sized tangerine orange bauble necklace- I literally just searched Ebay for "orange bauble necklace" and found it!

Hope you had a great Halloween!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Birthday Dress

Today was my 30th birthday, and to celebrate I got all dolled up and went out with the girls. 

Of course, dolling up and wearing pretty dresses is something I do on a regular basis, but I'd been waiting to wear this dress especially.

And out of my 62 dresses (no lie, I own 62 dresses), I think that this one-shoulder, mint chevron shift dress little number is my favorite!

The dress is from Twang Boutique, the shoes are from Forever 21, and the earrings and bracelet are from Premier Jewelry.

Have a lovely day, sweets.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Big Three O.

I decided a couple of days ago that I should acknowledge my birthday this year on my blog, since it is the “big 3-0.” At first, I was going to title this “30 Is Still the New 20, right?” or something to the effect of trying to emotionally coddle myself into believing that my 20s were the time of my life (and that from a beauty standpoint, I’ll never look as good as I did when I was 20-years-old.)

But then I realized that my 20s honestly were hell, for at least 8 out of those 10 years.

During my 20s, I battled depression, dropped in and out of college, drank myself silly, got 2 DUIs, invested in a relationship that caused me nothing but heartache and time wasted, and although I did have some jobs that could brighten up my resume, I mainly worked in various bars and Applebee’s. My ambition wasn’t necessarily low, but for every year I wasted doing things to make me feel better rather than be better, I became all too aware that my “moment” was passing right by me, one rapid, head-spinning year at a time.

Many of those years are a blur. I tried riffling through some of my old pictures (most of which are packed away on my external hard drive, because I honestly don’t want to remember them), and I had a hard time figuring out how old I might’ve been in some of them, or what order things happened in… Maybe that’s just my old age now! But piecing together the haze that is my 20s is an ordeal that sends a numbing pain through me. Those years are nothing but a motley crew of regrets.

I did however find some relevant pictures. And instead of being overwhelmed by bad memories, something interesting happened: I realized that I may have just gotten better looking with age.

The first photograph is of me when I was maybe 19, though I can’t exactly remember. The sepia tone of the photo I’m sure helped to hide some of the acne I was struggling with. I was also most assuredly intoxicated when the picture was taken, as was the norm for me back then. The second photograph was taken only a couple of months ago. I’m sure that today, I have a few more lines on my face, but they are lines that I’m learning to love. And maybe it’s just that I now know how to fill in my eyebrows, but… I much prefer the 30-year-old me.

This “before” photo is of me and my friend Jen on our birthdays; I was turning 25…? I think it’s 25. As you can tell we had been living it up that night, and I recall that it was in the wee hours of the morning when that photo was taken of us. Though I did always enjoy my time out with my lovely friend, I wish someone had told us how haggard we were starting to look! We look like we need to just go home and get some beauty sleep, am I right? This is probably one of the least flattering photos of me that I have of myself. And I remember as I was throwing back shots of tequila that night with her that I justified all of it and my “quarter-life crisis,” as John Mayer once put it.

The second photo is of me on my 28th birthday, blissfully pregnant and as happy as I could be. Perhaps it’s the pregnancy glow or the glow of new sobriety, but this photo is one of my favorite photos of myself and is framed and hanging on our wall in our home.

A popular adage today is that “30 is the New 20.” I read in Psychology Today that this idea has helped breed an entire generation of youth who believe that their 20s are now a time to live it up, make mistakes and squelch their ambitions, and then at 30 finally get down to business. And so now we have a plethora of 30-somethings who are just now learning how to build their careers, have meaningful relationships, and discover who they really are.

Though I agree, I have to say here that there are plenty of people my age who didn’t waste those 10 years like I did. I am a somewhat special case and don’t for a second think that everyone who chose to drink and party and work in restaurants when they were in their 20s made even half the mistakes that I did. This post isn’t a judgement towards anyone. I’m reminiscing about my own time not well spent…

I am a big believer that things happen with a reason in mind. Six days after my 26th birthday, I met the man who would change my life, my husband Christopher. And at 28, I had our daughter, Julia, who has changed the person I aim to be. I know that if many of those past mistakes and regrets and bad choices hadn’t happened, it would’ve changed the trajectory of my life, and I wouldn’t have these two wonderful people here with me.

Now I’m 30. And yes, I look back all the time and kick myself for not having done all the things I believed I would’ve done- finished college, started a legitmate writing career, etcetera etcetera. But I’m just now understanding that 30 isn’t some magical cut-off point for dreams or careers or education or beauty (especially!) I look forward to my 30s like you wouldn’t believe! I feel like the next ten years are going to be the real “time of my life” when I actually claim that life back and decide to treat it and myself better.

And so, at the risk of this post turning into a highly-validated Bridget Jones moment, I’m going to go munch on some of my homemade paleo peaches and cream cake and then doll myself up for my girls’ outing tonight. J

Stay lovely.

P.S. For all things Housewifey, visit my other blog The Domestic Muse