Game Changing Beauty Products: Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

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I will be the first to tell you that I have not, (until recently anyway) had even remotely “good skin.”  I was never the girl who could just wash her face, throw on sunscreen or moisturizer and go. Like many women, my makeup routine was all about the cover up. Cover the spots with concealer, cover the pores with foundation, cover the foundation with powder. Layers upon layers of…pigmented cover. The criteria for any foundation was always a long list of musts. It must have full coverage, it must be the perfect shade, it must be matte, it must have a matching pressed powder, it must not break me out, it must last all day, it must…it must…it must…it must. new orleans dark

In the past few months, my skin has improved tremendously. This improvement is due mostly to a huge change in my skincare regimen and simply being consistent. Because of this wonderful, amazing, occurrence, for the first time in my life, I didn’t have to cover up. For the first time, I was in the market for a light to medium coverage foundation. And as the universe often does for me when I make my intentions known, it was as if the heavens opened up and dropped, what is to me, the perfect foundation into my anxiously awaiting little hands. The Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation in the color New Orleans is a serum based foundation that claims to give a 16 hour, oil free, natural-looking, medium to full coverage with one drop. All I can say is yes, yes and yes! This foundation does not disappoint. And the best part, my hubby has commented on several occasions on how it doesn’t look like I’m wearing anything and yet my skin looks so clear. *Insert Happy Dance Here*

Pros

  • All day lasting coverage
  • A little goes a long way
  • Oil free
  • Minimal transfer
  • Very natural looking
  • Warm yellow base works well for women of color

Cons

  • No sunscreen
  • A little on the pricier side
  • Color range may be limited for some
  • Can easily be overdone
  • Claims full coverage but is better suited for medium at most

Tips

  • Shake the foundation to mix ingredients well before using
  • Really only use a couple of drops at the most
  • Applying with fingertips is best

As always, I would recommend obtaining a sample of this and any other skincare, especially higher end items before taking the plunge. If you have tried this foundation or you have any questions, leave me a comment down below.

 

Watch a video review here!

 

Nars All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation can be purchased at Sephora.com $48

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Have a great day, Bella

Jo Malone Peony and Blush Suede Perfume Review

peonyandsuede3 Over the last few months I have been experimenting with fragrances. Okay, who am I kidding, I have been hoarding rollerballs and samples like they’re going extinct, trying to find my new signature scent. I used to be a hardcore Pink Sugar fan, but I have found over the years that either my body chemistry has changed or Aqoulina has done something different with their formula. When it comes to fragrances, I am more of an “If I can eat it, I can wear it” kinda girl. I have never been particularly keen on floral scents or anything “perfumey”. Until now! From the moment I caught the first whiff of the Peony and Blush Suede in my In Style magazine, I knew that this yumminess was going to become a permanent part of my rapidly growing collection. I have just never smelled any perfume like it, and although it doesn’t smell like dessert, it is intriguing without being over powering like I find most floral based scents to be on me. In addition, it is the first scent that I have ever worn that my Dude continuously compliments me on. And even my son noticed when I switched to this as well. So for what it’s worth, P&BS is quite the man magnet for sure. Full disclosure, my 21 year old daughter is not a fan, she prefers sweet scents, like Viktor and Rolf’s Flowerbomb. So I would be very cautious if purchasing this for a woman under say, the age of 25. The description according to the Jo Malone website: “The essence of charm. Peonies in voluptuous bloom, exquisitely fragile. Flirtatious with the juicy bite of red apple and the opulence of jasmine, rose and gillyflower. Mingling with the sensuality of soft, blush suede. Luxurious and seductive.” My Take: From atomizer to skin, it is definitely floral, definitely Peony. Very subtle, very likable. I don’t get too much of the rose and I have no idea what a gillyflower is… BUT, the jasmine and apple notes emerge very nicely during the initial dry down giving off a slightly mouth watering scent that makes one say “mmmm.” This fragrance lasts amazingly long on me. Long enough for that blush suede note to shine through. No lie, it is suede/leather like new car smell, but in a fresh clean sort of way. Not the faux leather that you find in some of the mid priced cars, but the actual new car smell that you get from a luxurious vehicle with real leather seats, wood paneling, and plush carpeting. Now I know you’re thinking, “Why would I want to smell like new car?” I honestly think this is the “man magnet” part. What man doesn’t love the smell of a new car? But aside from that, because clearly its not all about the guys, it is a fragrance that you can also enjoy yourself because you will catch this on your sheets in the middle of the night or every time the wind blows in your direction. Very subtle, very nice, very sophisticated and only offensive to the most sensitive of noses. Coupled with the Jo Malone quality and the fact that this mixes well with other Jo Malone scents, this will definitely be one I will repurchase for years to come. Admittedly, I am late to the Jo Malone Party. This iconic, luxury UK brand, which was founded in 1994 has enjoyed a huge surge in popularity as of late, due in no small part to its prolific presence on YouTube. In addition to unique perfumes, they are also known for body products and home scents as well. I can’t wait to purchase one of the candles to see if I will fall equally in love. From the elegant packaging, to the quality ingredients, Jo Malone epitomizes classiness. I so wish I had found (or could have afforded) items from this amazing brand sooner. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the company you can visit their beautiful website here. If you are  in the market for a fragrance, I would definitely give this a try, especially if you are not into traditional perfume. The subtle quality and complexity will be sure to win you over. It is bit of an investment. I purchased the 30ml bottle for $60 before shipping from jomalone.com. However, a little goes a long way and stays with you for hours, making this fragrance worth every single penny.

Simple Everyday Eye Makeup

I love all of the wonderful ultra blended, extravagant, eyeshadow looks that I see all over the the place, but is that really realistic for everyday life? Of course not.

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In fact for me, a lot of those eye looks aren’t even realistic for special occasions. I attempted a cut crease once and ended up looking like I had been in a boxing match. So, going along with my “Simple Glamour” theme for the year, (making the attempt to simplify in every area of my life), one of the areas that I have made significant strides as far as simplicity is concerned, is with my makeup.

I created this look using a simple black eyeliner, the Lollipops Goodbye Moon Eye Pencil that I received in my last Glossybox, MAC Zoom Lash Mascara,

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…and the eyeshadow color, Urban from the Urban Decay Electric Palette.

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Urban is a beautiful, true purple which really pops on darker skin tones. I used an old MAC flat brush to apply a simple line above my eyeliner. Very subtle, yet effective.

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I sculpted my eyebrows with Anastasia’s Dipbrow in Ebony applied with my old Smashbox double ended brush that came along with the Smashbox Brow Tech kit. I love Smashbox brushes. I have had this one for years and it is still as good as new.

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I finished the look with the NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brûlée, which is not pictured above because I added the glosses as an afterthought to this post and I left the Creme Brûlée sitting on my vanity. Luckily I had these two beauties rolling around in my purse. They are Peaches and Cream and Eclair. If you haven’t tried the NYX Butter Glosses, you are sleeping. Great formula and crazy affordable.

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And this is the finished look, with foundation and a little contouring of course. If you’re feeling at all, eyeshadow challenged, give yourself a break and simplify, simplify, simplify. You’ll save time, aggravation, and even money and still look glamorous in the process.

Have a great day!

The Inkwell Press Live Well Classic Planner | A Walk Through

I must confess, I am indeed a planner addict. I am all about that planning…no treble…okay, that was totally corny…but seriously, I am obsessed with planning, sometimes too much. The planner that I am currently using is the lovely beauty in the photo above. It is the Inkwell Press Live Well Planner in the classic layout.

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This planner, my darlings is definitely the height of elegance and function when it comes to paper planners. I can’t say for sure that I have found “planner peace” with this planner because frankly, I have a couple more that I really love too, but it is by far my favorite planner to spend time with. Yes, planners are like your friends. Everybody knows that.

inkwellclassicview

As I mentioned above, this planner is in the classic layout. Inkwell Press planners come in two different layouts, flex and classic. As you can see, with the classic layout, the week on two pages is broken down by days and times and further broken down in vertical columns. The top 3/4 of the page is for the break down of your day, and the bottom 1/4 of the page is broken down for meals, fitness, and home. Of course, being a true planner addict, I use it the way that works for me. There are so many options. NO need to feel limited. As an added note and for general reference, the flex layout is a horizontal layout and isn’t broken out by time. It tends to be the most popular layout, but I find the vertical layout to be very easy to use.

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A closer look at this current week (week of March 16).

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The coolest part of the Inkwell Press Live Well planner has to be, hands down the monthly mission board pages. I have never seen this in a planner before. Not that I have seen every planner, of course, but this seems to be such a unique and unexpected feature. I decided to design my mission board in more of a vision board style because the honeycomb spaces provided kept throwing me off every time I tried to right in them. Also, I am a very visual person, so seeing the photos as opposed to words resonates with me.

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I like planning so much, I make my own task flags, quote stickers and other fun stickers. I really just make them for myself, but I am thinking about making them available to the public. Leave me a comment and tell me what you think about that.

The Inkwell Press Planner can be purchased for the base price of $54. There are 5 cover choices, two layout options, and Inkwell Press will periodically personalize the cover depending on the time of year. And right now, You can also receive 20% off your Inkwell Press purchase. Inkwell Press 20% Referral

If you’re interested in seeing more details of my Live Well planner, check out the video below.

Thanks so much for stopping by and have a great week.

Outfit of the Day: The Slow Transition to Spring

ootd315It is officially Sprinter, (Spring/Winter)!!! It is too cold to be a Spring day, but not quite cold enough to be considered a Winter day either. This type of transitional weather calls for an “in-between” outfit. Not quite time to bring out the midriffs and daisy dukes, (not that I ever would in public at my age..and weight…and…well…level of common sense) but I wouldn’t consider it to be scarf, hat, glove kind of weather either.

ootd3153The sun is out, but not warm, the ice has melted and things are relatively dry. A perfect day to pair a high heeled bootie with a rolled boyfriend jean and a thinner, more fitted v neck sweater, with long  sleeves, of course. After all, the temps haven’t crept above 60 just yet.

ootd3156 It is that kind of day where you wouldn’t necessarily opt for flip flops, but a cold frosty drink ending in “ccinno” from that favorite coffee place is not completely out of the question, especially if you’re all extra hot Pumpkin Spiced or Caramel White Chocolate Latted out.

ootd3157 …and did I mention the booties in all their 3.5″ wonderful patent leather, iridescent yumminess? I wouldn’t dare bring these babies out in the wet, cold, yucky snow, even though they are patent leather. BUT, they are absolutely perfect for Sprinter!! No mud or salt to dull the magnificent shine. And you know how we fashionistas luuuurve our shiny things. ;)

ootd3152This is the perfect transition weather to leave the coats and scarves in the car, let a little bit of skin peek out and rock a sexy shiny bootie, if for no other reason than…well…you can. The weather is fabulous today, no reason you shouldn’t be too!

Happy Sprinter!!

Shopping Details below:

  1. Charcoal Gray Henley Sweater – Venus.com $34
  2. Gap Boyfriend Jeans – Gap.com
  3. Stuart Weitzman Carltone Bootie Stuartweitzman.com $249

Face of the Day Featuring Melt Cosmetics Darkroom Lipstick

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Face of the Day

FACE

  1. Primer: Becca Ever Matte Poreless Priming Perfector $36 Sephora.com
  2. Foundation: Becca Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in Mink $44 Sephora.com
  3. Finishing Powder: Makeup Forever Duo Mat Powder Foundation in 203 $34 Sephora
  4. Contour Color: MAC Matte Blush in Blunt $22 maccosmetics.com

face2

EYES

  1. Eyeliner: Lollipops Eye Pencil in Goodbye Moon $17.70 Glossybox.com
  2. Eyebrows: e.l.f. Studio Eyebrow Kit in Dark $3.00 Target
  3. Mascara: MAC Studio Fix Lash Mascara Black $17 Maccosmetics.com

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LIPS

  1. Base: Maybelline Baby Lips Dr. Rescue Lip Balm Too Cool $3.49 Target
  2. Lipstick: Melt Cosmetics Lipstick in Darkroom $19 meltcosmetics.com
  3. Liner: MAC Lip Pencil in Nightmoth $16 Maccosmetics.com

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Thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!!!

All About Those Layers

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The weather is all over the place this Winter. Some days, its colder than a witches boob in a brass bra, and other days it looks like Spring may come early. The best way to combat these crazy erratic temperatures, remain warm and cozy when its freezing outside and cool and comfortable when its toasty inside, is to dress in easily removable, coordinating layers. Here, I layer Black, White, animal print and cashmere. Hopefully I’ll be keeping warm, without looking too much like the Michelin Man. I hope you’ll give this look a try.

Keep in mind that this look can always be achieved at a fraction of the cost. Take this idea, and modify it to fit your clothing tastes and your budget.

  1. Black Cashmere Scarf – $98 – Nordstrom.com
  2. Black  Cardigan Sweater – $22.99 – Target.com
  3. White Fitted T-Shirt – forever21.com
  4. Hue Corduroy Leggings – $42 Nordstrom.com
  5. I purchased my animal print vest from C Wonder before they closed, but both guess.com and whitehouseblackmarket.com sell similar vest.
  6. Doc Marten 1460 Boots in gray – $125 – Nordstrom.com or Zappos.com

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Stay warm and be safe out there!!

How to Design a Temporary Guest Room

This Summer I had quite a few guest come to my home and because my dedicated guest room is already in use, I needed to create a temporary retreat where multiple guests could stay at one time comfortably. I decided to go with twin beds in the room when my Mother in Law and husband’s Aunt came to visit. It was the perfect solution to accommodate the two ladies in a comfortable cozy room, providing both the needed personal space, i.e. separate beds, while allowing them to “hang out” and spend time with each other. In the event that a couple came to visit, all I had to do was push the two twin beds together to create a King sized bed. All bedding was purchased from the Target Room Essentials Collection.

Adjacent to the guest room/office is a powder room and family room area for watching tv with couch, mini fridge and access to the kitchen just upstairs on the next floor and shower one more level up. Everyone that stayed this past Summer commented on how comfortable and peaceful it was down in the Basement Retreat. I was a little worried that they would feel confined or isolated down there, but it turns out, it is probably one of the coziest places in our home.

Midway through the Summer I had a chance to experience it for myself when our air conditioning on the upper levels went on the fritz for a few days. Hubby and I slept in the Basement Retreat for 3 nights and it was extremely comfortable. It was actually the coolest (temperature wise) spot in the house. It also reminded me that when I do set up the permanent guest room again, or any other guest rooms in our future homes, it is a great idea to sleep there yourself overnight. You always want your guests to have a great experience. If there is any discomfort, or issue, you will work it out before your guests arrive ensuring that they have an optimal stay at your home and that they would like to come visit again. Keep in mind though, you may not want to make it too comfy, they may not want to leave. ;)

Curvy Chic Outfit of the Day: Cool Summer Layers

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Dressing cuves in cool layers for Summer is super easy. All you need is a couple of basic pieces made from cool breathable fabrics, a little pattern, light colors and you have a casual, stylish,  comfortable outfit for those hot days that turn into cool nights.

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A white, racerback tank, made from cool cotton is perfect for wearing alone or layering under button downs, sweaters or other tanks any time of the year. I purchased this one with the cool burnout pattern on the back from the Gap Outlet for only $6.99.

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I purchased this long sleeved sweater made of 90% viscose, 10% silk from Nordstrom Rack. I know you’re thinking, “A sweater in August?” But the cutout pattern and light weight makes this one perfect for layering on cool Summer mornings or nights or for those of us who may or may not be comfortable showing off our arms. It also makes for a great piece to tie around the waist when we want to change up the look.

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These cute patterned 4″ shorts from New York & Co have become a staple in my Summer wardrobe. I have them in a few different colors and patterns and I grab them again and again to create cool and easy Summer looks. They are a cotton spandex blend and they flare out at the bottom so they don’t grab around the thighs. This is a great thing for those of us who are a tad bit more blessed in that area. You can wear these comfortably, dress them up or down without worrying about all your fabulous goodies hanging out. BONUS!!

converse

And of course, no Summer is complete without a pair (or 5) of Converse All Stars. These have actually been my go to casual sneaker forever. The great thing about this particular pair, they have elastic on the back so they slip on. Clearly they were thinking of me when they made these babies.

I hope you enjoyed this easy breezy outfit of the day and I hope you will continue to check back often for more Curvy Chic Outfit ideas. Remember, girls with curves can look great and stay cool too.

Take care!