Mar 29, 2013

Review: L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara

Oh, mascara, I love thee. I could seriously write a sonnet on mascara, and it would be full of passion and feeling. That's how much I adore a good mascara!

Let's face it, a mascara that lengthens and adds volume without clumping is hard to come by. And when it does, companies seem to get a kick out of discontinuing it just when you swore you found your "soul mate" mascara. Very annoying.

But, like the saying goes: good things come to those who wait.....and wait.....and wait. And in my "waiting" I finally came across a mascara that was worthy of repurchasing in the course of 2 years (and there is no sign of it being discontinued in the near future, at least not to my knowledge). So, I'd like to share with you my favorite drugstore mascara (thus far): L'oreal Voluminous Carbon Black (not to be mistaken with the regular L'oreal Voluminous. Carbon Black is not only the color but part of the name).

Here it is in all its glory, minus me, the wannabe model:

Why do I adore this mascara so much that I would repurchase it over and over for at least 2 years, you may ask?
1. It lengthens my lashes dramatically without giving me the spidery, unnatural effect.
2. It's build-able: you can apply one coat and have a very natural effect or apply 3 coats for more dramat. *My tip, however, is to not let the mascara dry between coats. I find I have a better outcome when doing my coats back to back.

3. Adds very nice volume to my lashes and makes it appear that I have more lashes than I actually do:

4. Is applied with little to no clumps and it doesn't flake on me (my biggest pet peeve in mascaras!)

5. It separates and defines my lashes quite nicely:

6.. The wand is the old school type brush, not the new rubber bristles some makeup companies have come out with. In my opinion, this type of mascara brush is best for volumizing. I also appreciate that the wand comes out with just the perfect amount of product and isn't overloaded with goob:

I will be repurchasing this mascara so long it's on the shelves!
That's all folks!

You can find this mascara at pretty much any drugstore and is usually under $6, depending on where you live.

If you have a mascara (drugstore or high-end) that you are really into, I'd love to hear about it!


Mar 28, 2013

Follow Me On Bloglovin!!

Hi Everyone! Just wanted to do a quick post to announce that you can now follow me on Bloglovin! You can see the button to follow on the right side of this blog....and it's so easy too!

I'm sure you already know that Google Reader will be dead as of July 1st...but that's no reason to panic!!! There are so many other choices available to follow and read all your favorite blogs in.

I already transported all the blogs I was following through Google Friend Connect to Bloglovin (an easy and fast procedure) so that I don't miss a post from my favorite bloggers. And you can do the same!

If you are currently following me through Google Friend Connect, I encourage you to also follow me on Bloglovin as well, that way we can still stay connected past July 1st when Google is done away with.

Do the same for all the other blogs you follow through GFC (Google Friend Connect)! If you set up an account with Bloglovin they will instruct you how to do it all in one step, so you don't have to manually transport one blog at a time! Ahhh.....the power of convenience!

To follow now, click* here*, or go to the button on the right side of my blog that says "Follow This Blog With Bloglovin."

Thank you so much for following my blog! I appreciate every single one of you and don't want to lose you!

Mar 27, 2013

A Living Room's Progress

Today is the first time I will share a part of my home with you! And why not start in the living room? It's the first thing you see when you enter our home, so I thought it appropriate.

This isn't the main reveal since there are still some things left to be checked off on my to do list for this room, but rather a post about it's progress. And you will have to excuse my before pictures; I wasn't blogging at the time so I had to find any pictures that showed my home. As you can see, the one's I found happened to show the messy side of my home!

So, welcome to my home! Relax and enjoy the progress!

This is pretty much what the house looked like for almost 3 years: white walls, no wall art and failed to translate any sense of style or who we are as a family.

Finally, we got around to painting the walls a light blue color, Behr's River Rock in Satin to be exact:

This is the rug we had for the past year or so. It's very pretty but wasn't working with the fresh, light and relaxed style I was slowly starting to develop.

So we got rid of the rug, changed some of the decor, added a little wall art (still have a long way to go with that) and this is what the living room looked like while waiting for the new rug to arrive:

The grey pillows are from my No Sew Pillow Covers tutorial, you can check that out here.

And then....the rug finally arrived! It was perfect! Just what this room needed!

You could barely tell from these photos, but I spray painted cream stripes on my wheat colored curtains to lighten them up and add a bit of interest to them.

I switched the old lamp for this fun and modern one (I bought the lampshade on sale at Target for $7 and used a lamp stand I already had!) It looks so much better than the gold lampshade that was previously there! It's also better displayed now that it stands on top of a few books, rather than behind them (small changes really do make a big difference!)

You can see how I created the wall art next to the television here.

Oh, and I should totally get Blogger of the Year Award for not taking the time to hide all those cords under the T.V. stand or behind the basket.
 Things left on to do list for the living room:
1. Build 2 ledges for a gallery wall behind the loveseat
2. Figure out what to do with the wall behind the T.V., any suggestions?
3. Add a throw to the sofa's to lighten them up a bit
4. Paint the entry door either grey or black to add more interest
5. Paint the tile around the fireplace white..right now it just sorta blends in with the curtains.
6. Update a few decor items
7. Incorporate more yellow (my accent color) to some of my pillows.
8. Add crown molding (which will be tricky since we have angled ceilings)
9. Coffee table/Ottoman
10. I'm sure I will think up more things to add in the process of finishing things up!

This space has sure come a long way and I'm very satisfied with the overall feel it is taking! A home should reflect who lives in it and this one is slowly beginning to reflect this little family!

Will be linking to these fun parties:

Mar 25, 2013

FOTD: Soft Makeup for Spring

Spring is finally here! Yay! What does that mean in makeup land? It's time to swap the dramatic smokey eye for a soft effortless eye look and the deep berry lips for barely there pinks! Time to take it down a notch on the foundation (maybe make your own *tinted moisturizer* for a more natural coverage?) and go easy on the blush. All in all, spring is the time to incorporate "less is more" into your makeup routine.

Of course you don't have to swap anything for anything if you don't want to. And you definitely don't have to follow makeup trends by season (who does that?). I most certainly don't! Just Saturday, I was still rocking my berry lips at the Zoo even though it was a warm spring day. I got a few strange looks from the monkeys and giraffes...but I don't think it had anything to do with my makeup as much as it had to do with my attempting to communicate with them. 

But on Sunday morning, I got the irresistible urge to go easy with my makeup and created this soft lilac eye look with light pink lips.

I used the lilac and purple eyeshadows in my Smashbox Muse Artist Eye Palette (that actually came out in Spring a few years back). This palette is perfect for spring! It has a light version and darker version of each color so you can easily customize your eye looks. You can get your here if interested: 

I simply applied the light lilac all over my lid and then lightly applied the purple eyeshadow to my crease and outer V area. I used the same color combination on my lower lash line, used a brown eyeshadow as eyeliner (for a softer look) and applied a little bit of mascara and whoala! 

For my cheeks, I used the first pink color on the bottom row in this palette (another favorite since it has 10 blushes in one palette!):

And for my lips, I used this MAC lipstick in Angel:
   I topped the lipstick with a little gloss to add a bit of shine!

It was like a breath of fresh air to lighten up my makeup! And fun, too!

What is your favorite way to wear your makeup for spring?

Mar 22, 2013

DIY Wooden Drawer Organizing Dividers

Hi Everyone! Today I will be showing you how I went from having a messy miscellaneous utensils drawer to a tidy organized drawer by making my very own wooden drawer dividers!

Ever since I started re-organizing my kitchen, I've been shopping around for wooden drawer dividers for quite some while but they all retail anywhere from $20-$30, depending on the design or amount in each set. Sure $20 isn't much but if I want to do this to all my drawers (which I eventually do), it would add up very quickly. I have 9 drawers in my kitchen so that would be at least $180! Yeah....that price just doesn't make me do the happy dance.

Do you want to know what it cost me for the dividers you see in the above picture? Of course ya do! I'm proud to say that everything came under $10! Now, that price makes me do the happy dance! Especially since it left me with scraps just big enough to make some for the bathroom...eventually.

I bought three 2 ft Alder hobby boards from Home Depot (each board was under $3) and we already had this glue on hand. But good ol' Gorilla Wood Glue would work just as fab! I just wanted to use up what we already had.

The first thing you want to do (that I didn't photograph) is measure the width and length of your drawers, decide on the board placement that will best suit your needs and measure your boards according to the board placement (design) you came up with.

I went with one board going horizontally and 2 boards going vertically on top of the first board. This gave me 4 compartments to organize my utensils in. Also take into consideration the sizes of your utensils. You don't want to have everything all glued in only to find out something doesn't fit in any of the compartments.

Okay, gotta be honest here. The measurements and designing is pretty much all this gal did. I left the sawing and gluing to my hubby. I am in desperate need of learning how to be more hands on with the tools!

After my honey cut the pieces according to the measurements I gave him, I made sure that it was just perfect. You want it to slide in with a little resistance and not have any space on either side. As you can see ours was perfect! If it wasn't I'm sure I would have blamed his sawing and listening skills and he would have blamed my measuring skills! We were both off the hook!

Simply apply glue to the bottom of your divider and slide it into place. Do the same to all your other boards (dividers).

Here's what it looked like after the first divider was inserted:

And this is what it looked like when it was all done! I thanked and kissed my honey for a job well done and then waited for the glue to dry. The glue packaging says to wait 24 hours...yeah right! Do they know how impatient I am when it comes to these things? I only waited, maybe 2! I figured it was okay since they felt sturdy and I wasn't going to be putting any pressure or weight on them.

Then have fun organizing your former scrambled utensils!

Okay, let's have a little fun....
Quick quiz that is non relevant to this post:
What is Lily doing in this picture, while her Daddy glues in the dividers?
a.) her latest "pop it and lock it" dance
b. attempting to take the camera from me so she can snap some pictures of her own

If you answered b, then you are correct!!!!! If you were the kind that sucked at quizzes at school, you should feel pretty good about yourself cause you just scored on this one!

Will be partying it up here:


Mar 20, 2013

15 Minute Vanity Stool Makeover

A couple week's back I shared with you my Makeup Organization post, where I decided to ditch my vanity for good ol' makeup application in the bathroom. Well, that vanity has now been re-purposed as my desk, and since I haven't bought a chair for it, the vanity stool that came with it is all I have for my bum to rest on. 

But as you can see, it was in desperate need of a makeover!You can't really tell from the picture below, but the ivory colored fabric was all worn and stained guessed it, makeup. Even if it was in perfect condition, the fabric wasn't doing it for me anymore. I wanted to give it a fresh modern feel and reupholstering it was an easy way to accomplish that.

I've only reupholstered two chairs before this and let me tell you, it really is so easy. Especially when working with simple shapes like this squared stool.

Here is what I did:

1. First I had to remove all the screws that connected the vanity seat from the frame. There were only 8 of them so this went by fairly quickly...

Here is the seat next to the fabric I chose to use...and yes, it's the same "fabric" (actually a napkin) I used on my No Sew Pillow Covers. I had two napkins left and since I am so loving the design, I decided to use what I had instead of waiting to visit the fabric store (which I live 1 hour away from!)

2. I laid my fabric right side down and the vanity seat centered on top of it (right side up, too). As you can see the size of this napkin (20 X 20) is just enough to get the job done!

3. I always start by stapling the middle section of one side first..

4. Then I pulled in a corner tightly like so...

5. And I simply staple that corner I just pulled inward.

6. Next, I pulled in and stapled the loose fabric next to the corner I just stapled..

7. And I did the same to the other side (I must have stapled the other side first without taking the picture so it looks like I am still working on the same side as pictured above..but you get the picture.)

8. I repeated these steps to the other three sides and I was all done!

Here's what the back looks like:

Then I just attached it back to the frame and it was ready to be admired! Here it is by my desk waiting for me to get some work done.

Although, Lily has claimed it as her own!

The before & after one more time...

Such a huge difference for a 15 minute project that cost me $0 since I used what I had on hand!
I'm so happy my vanity stool is now up to date and hip! Awesome and resourceful!

Will be partying it up here:


Mar 17, 2013

How To: Winged Liner

Do you crave the classic winged liner but stray away from it for fear of failure? I don't blame you; the winged liner can be very intimidating. It's like every time you see it, it's sitting on it's high horse (with it's end going perfectly upward), saying, "I dare you to even try me!" 

For a long time my winged liner looked more like a teeter-totter, with one side way up higher than the other, than the classic black "gradually going upwards line" that I was attempting. That is, until I came across these 4 simple steps (yeah, another great makeup technique that I can't take credit for!) But who cares, right? My winged liner is now (for the most part) in tip top shape and I get to share the same steps that helped me with you! To me, that's what beauty tips/techniques are all about: sharing them! Okay, I just sounded like Barney (which I'm not very fond of) so I'm gonna move on...

Four Steps To The Perfect Winged Liner
1. Draw an upward line from your upper lid's outer corner to as far as you desire for it to go- the longer the line, the more dramatic the result will be.
*Tip: you can use an imaginary line from your eye's outer corner to the end of your brows as a guide. Just don't draw the line all the way to your eyebrow! Unless you're going for a "look at me everybody, I'm a weirdo" kinda look.
2. From the tip of where the previous line ended, draw your second line gradually going downward. Stop it at the center of your lid.
3. Line your eyes from the inner corner to where the second line stopped (the center of your lid).
4. Now just fill it in and you will have yourself one awesome winged line!!

Things To Consider
* The size of your eyes: if you have big eyes, consider yourself blessed! You can go as thick as you want! But those with smaller eyes will want to avoid overly dramatic (thick) results...they will make your eyes look smaller and cover most of your lid space.
* To avoid the "droopy liner look", use the area where your eyeshadow ends as your point of where to start your first line (step 1). This of course means you will have to make sure you aren't achieving a "droopy eyeshadow look" first.
* Play around with the technique may take a while to get it down (at least it did for me), but then becomes second nature and you won't feel like you have to be so careful.

If you have a different technique that you use, feel free to let me know about it in the comment section below!
Happy lining!


Mar 15, 2013

Just a test: Not an actual blog post

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No Sew Pillow Cover Made From Napkins

Hi everyone! Today I'm going to show you how to whip up your very own removable pillow covers without the aid of a sewing machine! These are great to hide any old/ugly pillows or just update your color scheme in a zip!

I actually have a sewing machine (a good friend gave me hers about a month ago, thanks Naomi!) but I haven't had the time to sit down and figure it out yet. I learned how to use a sewing machine in Home Economics during High School, but come on, that 14 years ago and I can't remember anything but having to hold down the foot thing... petal... whatever that thing is called (please don't judge me.)

I've read several tutorials on the "no sew pillow covers", so when I cam across these go-geous clearance priced napkins at Target, I decided to just skip the machine and let hem tape do its thang. I figured I could always go over it with the sewing machine when I figure the thing out...right?

It's hard to see, but this set of 4 napkins was on sale for $2.98!!! So I bought two packages!!
Each napkin is 20" X 20" which is perfect for 14" to 16" pillows.

Are you ready to see how to go:


First, you will need an iron, ironing board, hem tape, 2 napkins (makes 1 pillow), a pair of scissors and a moistened towel (this is going to help the hem tape bind the pieces of fabric together).

After you iron your fabric (which I did, but I must have taken the following 2 pictures in the pre-iron stage since you can still see the creases--I'm still getting used to the sequence of picture taking) Cut one of your napkins in 1/2

Lay these two pieces right side up, with on of your pieces overlapping the other by 2 inches (this is going to be the fold where you insert your pillow)
Note: use the sides of the napkins that are already sowed to make this fold (that way you don't have to hem the sides you cut. Saves work and time!
At this time you can choose to hem these pieces together with your tape on the sides to keep them in place during the process, I didn't. (But only hem the 2" of each side, not the whole thing or you won't have an opening!

Next, lay your other napkin right side down on top of your two cut pieces, like so:
(I moved to the floor for this step)
You can see that you have 2" extra on the bottom due to the 2" you overlapped to create the fold. Cut that extra fabric.

Then, starting with one side, lay your hem tape in between your napkins, making sure that it lays straight.

Now, place your moistened towel on top of your napkin that's is holding the hem tape and iron away. 
I let my iron sit for a while and then ironed back and forth. It takes a good 30-45 seconds for the tape to adhere both napkins together. 

Do the same to all four sides and you will have one awesome pillow cover! Then, simply insert your pillow and admire your fabulous work like I did!
 Here's what mine looked like:

And its backside:

You can see I barely made it on this one. If your pillow happens to make the fold open and show the backside of your old pillow (like my other 2 did) simply take a safety pin to it, not a big deal.

Let's take a look the before and after one more time!

My old pillow wasn't so bad, it's just that I'm in the process of changing the pillow colors to grey and yellow so the colors were no longer working for me. That's the cool thing about these removable pillow can always change your mind in the future! And trust me, I do that quite a lot!

*I just started playing around with PicMonkey (thanks Jenna from Rain On A Tin Roof for mentioning it on a post!) That explains the inconsistency with the picture labeling! Not to worry, I'll get the hang of it!

Will be partying it up here: