FriYAY feels!

at the rally for teachers and students in downtown raleigh this week! #redfored

Friyay! This week, I joined 20,000+ teachers, parents, students, and supporters in the march downtown to demand more funding for students and classrooms, more resources for mental health, class size changes, and better working conditions. It was cool to be part of something bigger than me, and to come together with thousands towards one common goal.

This weekend, my sister is having a graduation party and I can’t wait! I’m so proud of her for busting her butt the last 3 years to become a Nurse Practitioner. She’s going to be amazing! Andrew and I also have an end of the year party at one of our friend’s houses from school, so it will be really fun to kick back and celebrate!

I said I would report back on my Tula skincare purchase. I ordered the discovery kit to see what I thought – and once it was empty, I re-ordered the full size face wash, this exfoliating mask to try, and the pro-glycolic resurfacing gel toner. In hindsight, I would swap out the face mask for the probiotic day &  night cream next time – the moisturizer is amazing, but I didn’t order it because I still have my Murad moisturizer from my Spring FabFitFun box that I love! The face wash goes a long way and it cleans my makeup off really well without a lot of scrubbing or effort on my part. I can’t say that my breakouts have cleared up 100% because that’s just my luck in life, but I do love the way it makes my skin look and feel. We’ll see how it continues to go!

Still loving these slides and wearing them at least twice a week. SO comfortable.

This week I got to the gym as many times as I said I would! Huge feat for me. I feel great, sore, and ready to keep this up! My wedding dress should be here soon, so I want to feel my best when I get it on!

New favorite affordable mascara (still holding onto this one as my other all time favorite) and the lip I’ve been rocking constantly (in the color Baci). I’ve loved the Stila stay all day liquid lipsticks since my college years, but this color is so good.

I’ve been stacking this necklace stamped with our wedding date lately, with this “A” necklace that I always wear (Andrew got me the “J” necklace for Christmas last year, and it broke one morning at school. I ordered the A thinking I could slide on the J charm with it, and I couldn’t get the J back on due to the clasps…so now I wear his initial instead!).

my necklaces!

I got to meet my friend Kelly’s little man Jacob last Sunday. He is only a week and a half old and he is perfect! He came a few weeks early but he is healthy and doing great. I am so happy to have another friend with a baby – my other friend Kelly had her baby Kate in December. So many baby snuggles in my future!

Two things I’ve been practicing with for wedding events and the actual wedding day after INTENSE research and review reading:  This sunless tanner (use the application mitt!) and some hair extensions so my thin hair can be on fleek. No shame. My legs are white, white, white and until I can lay by the pool (with SPF, of course), I’m trying to look a little bronzed in my white dresses for showers and events surrounding the wedding. I don’t think I’ll use it for the big day because I would hate to risk being streaky and I would never forgive myself if I stained my dress! But it has been working really well so far! The extensions are real hair, high quality, and matched my  hair really well. They are just a few inches longer than my real hair. They just give it some life and fullness, and whatever I decide for my wedding hair, my hair stylist suggested them to just give me a little more oomph! I ordered them from Bellami Hair in the ash blonde color.

I ordered this tote way back in April (it was a definite splurge, a treat yoself item I bought when I finally got approved for my Master’s degree extra pay!). It was on backorder because I got the petal pink color – I guess it’s all the rage this season! I have had my eye on this bag since about a year ago, but couldn’t bite the bullet. My best friend Whitney got one for Christmas and I decided I just had to have it. I haven’t gotten a purse since this bad boy last summer which I’m still carrying, and I haven’t gotten myself a NICE purse in……..ever? So it arrived yesterday and I’m just delighted.

That’s it for me! Everyone enjoy the weekend 🙂

Eyeliner that can CUT YOU

 

My general daily makeup routine is pretty simple; I use the exact same products on a daily basis and if I want to make it more dramatic, I’ll use a full coverage foundation or add a subtle smoky eye. But my “thing” is a bold lip and winged eyeliner, with plenty of mascara. I’ve done it for years, and I just love the simplicity and classic look of a cat eye and pop of lipstick. Classic with a twist, if you will (I explained that in my last post).

I never realized anyone thought anything of it; I certainly did not invent the winged eyeliner look. But when I went back to teaching, my high school students would comment on how they loved my eyeliner and wanted to know what kind I used. I always write my students individual goodbye notes at the end of every semester, and sometimes they write me notes back. One of my students wrote in her goodbye letter last spring, “I’m going to really miss Miss Weaver. Her eyeliner could CUT YOU.” I died laughing – best compliment ever! My friends and Andrew now make jokes all the time about how “sharp” my winged eyeliner is when I do a more dramatic eye.

Here are my tips for eyeliner that could CUT YOU:

1. I start by filling in my eyebrows to frame everything. I don’t love the eyebrow pencil I’m using in these pictures, but this one by NYX is super easy to apply and comes with a spooly brush! I use the color Taupe.
2. Use a smooth, thick liquid eyeliner. I swear by this one and have used it for years. It lasts forever and is worth the splurge!
3. Draw a thin line starting at the inside corner of your eyelid, and when you get about halfway across the eyelid, stop the line.
4. From the natural outside corner of your eyelid, make a slight line outward at an angle, length depending on how dramatic you want your wing (angle towards the end of your eyebrow, as shown). This is about as dramatic as I get! I know they say it causes wrinkles, but I simply can’t do this without pulling out the corner of my eyelid. Just don’t tug! If you can do it without pulling on your skin, PROPS TO YOU.
5. Go back to the middle of your eye where you stopped the line before. Thicken the line at a slight angle toward the outside angled line you just drew until the lines meet at a point (your ‘wing!’). I think the angle from the center really makes a visual difference and adds a subtle bit of glam.
6. Once the lines meet up, fill in any gaps in your eyeliner between the two lines. Get as close to your lash line as possible! That will make your lashes look fuller and more dramatic when you add mascara.

Here is everything step-by-step with pictures! PLEASE bear with me; it is so very weird to take this many pictures this close up of yourself. Also, I took these pictures on my floor next to the window, and Oliver is making a cameo appearance in one of these! Such a ham, that guy.

no makeup flyaways
middle stop point
before filling gaps
eyebrows oliver
angle to eyebrow
q-tip eraser
starting line
filling in
mascara

Don’t forget to go back with a wet q-tip to “erase” any mistakes and sharpen your lines. Finish with black mascara and a fun lip color (here I’m using Too Faced’s La Matte lipstick in “Pitch Perfect”)! I frequently get asked what mascara I use, and the truth is I stand pretty regularly by my Covergirl Full Lash Bloom in very black. I do have naturally long lashes, so this one keeps them looking nice without breaking the bank, but this one and this one are my ‘splurge’ mascaras and have great reviews for shorter-lashed gals if you’re looking for something higher-end.

Here’s the final look!

Please let me know if you try it out! Like I said, I didn’t invent the look, but this is how I do it and maybe you’ll find some new products to try. Life is tough enough without trying to decide on all the makeup products, you know?

 

What’s in My Bag

Hello!  Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  I am currently trying so hard to make it to summer break and juggle side jobs and projects at the same time, in addition to moving!  Hopefully some pictures of the new place will be available as soon as I can wrangle my best friend Whitney into a photo shoot 🙂

Anyway, if you don’t know already, I am always ballin’ on a budget.  

No doubt you’ve heard that they don’t pay teachers billions to educate the youth of America.  So, I have to be crafty with my spending and really pick my splurges.  I have tons of Target bargain buys for makeup, clothes, shoes, hair products, and more, but I also like to spend here and there on my non-negotiables.  I usually carry the same purse around for a while, so generally it gets weighed down with a bunch of useless and heavy junk (I am guilty of the mom purse problem and I’m not even a mom yet!). However, if I emptied my bag on any given occasion, you’d be likely to find certain items time and time again.

Here’s what is currently in my bag!  (I know it’s a little busted up – it’s an old Target bag from years ago and I just love bringing it out in the spring…I can’t be bothered to worry about fraying and fading.)

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  1. Bright colored lipstick (generally several at a time; you never know) – I like to keep at least two bright colors at all times, in addition to at least one moisturizing chapstick or tinted lip balm, and one neutral color (either a nude or a neutral pretty pink…or both!).
  2. Notepad and many, many writing utensils – in a meeting, I’m always the person who has several pens to pass around, and I’m also the person who will remember to collect them all back!  I love school supplies and always have.  I like to have a notepad with me in case I get inspired to write, or need to take notes somewhere, or for reminders and to-do lists.  I’m old school.
  3. Travel sized Roller Perfume (Kate Spade, Walk on Air scent) – pretty self-explanatory…I like smellin’ fresh.
  4. Lorac POREfection Baked Pressed Powder – for touch-ups throughout the day or for when you have something in your eye/teeth/nose or your hair is ridiculous and no one told you about it and you realize you can only count on yourself in this world.
  5. Wallet – I wish I knew who made this wallet so I could link it out.  I have two wallets from this person, a local shop in Raleigh that I do not know the name of.  I got it at a boutique trunk show through a Yelp event I went to with a friend.  There’s no stitching or tags or initials inside the wallet anywhere and I have been asked several times where it (or the other one I have) is from.  I would love to promote this local shop!  If anyone has an idea, let me know and I’ll link it.  I love this little guy – perfect to use as a wallet or even a clutch!  Holds all my cards, cash, change, and checkbook and usually also my keys and a lipstick.
  6. Gum – I feel like there are two types of people in this world:  gum people and mint people.  I have never been a mint person.  You can usually find me chewing on peppermint or spearmint gum.
  7. Headphones – for those occasions that pop up and you’re like, “Dang, I wish I had some headphones right now.”  Perfect for Netflix-watching, discreet Snapchat and Instagram checking, and music listening.
  8. Hair tie and a few bobby pins – so you’re always ready for an updo or a messy bun when you need it.

I also mentioned some of my favorite lipsticks, the Lorac Porefection Pressed Powder and the Kate Spade Walk on Air perfume in my favorite products post here.  I tend to be a creature of extreme habit, especially when it comes to products that make me feel confident and put together!

I’m sure soon this bag will get full of extras and things that I end up throwing away or recycling to other parts of my home (most likely lipsticks and gum wrappers), but for now, these are the things I carry.

Bags I’m currently crushin’ on:

Structured Crossbody bag from Target, Double Zip Crossbody bag and Faux-Leather Foldover Crossbody bag from Old Navy, Street Level Leather Crossbody bag and OMG Tassel Crossbody bag ($14!!!!!) from Nordstrom

Everyone enjoy the (hopefully long) Memorial Day Weekend!

A few of my favorite things.

And just like that, Spring is here!  I know that soon the sun will be here to stay for a while…and it makes me so happy.  (Remind me of this when I’m complaining about my makeup melting down my face in the July Raleigh humidity).  When the new seasons come, I always feel like a little bit of a change – a new nail polish, scarf, or a new pair of sandals to use through the warm months.  Still, there are always a few items I keep around no matter what the season.

There are so many products out there, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to decide what to splurge on or save on.  I’m no expert, but when you find something that works, you want to tell everything you know!  Here are some of my favorite tried and true items.

Face

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Rimmel Lasting Finish primer – keeps me feeling put together and hydrated, but not oily.  I know some people swear by fancy primers and how important they are…but for my everyday rush to teach the youth of America, I don’t always have time to be fancy.  This one does the trick for me, and my teacher wallet can afford it!

Bare Minerals concealer and brush – unfortunately, in my 28th year of life, I am dealing with the double-edged sword of under eye circles and the very occasional pretty frequent ‘random’ hormonal breakout.  I have read rave reviews about different under-eye concealers like Visible Lift Eye Concealer or Bye Bye Under Eye, and I’d love to try them (I’d actually love to try a lot of the It Cosmetics brand products…), but for now, until I win the lottery, I’ll stick to this Bare Minerals concealer.  The brush does a really good job of lightly layering and covering whatever you’re dealing with.  It’s not going to cover up a tattoo or a black eye, but luckily I don’t think I need to worry about that.  For everyday use, I love it.

Bare Minerals matte foundation powder and brush – no matter what foundations I hop around to, I always seem to come back home to Bare Minerals.  It’s natural-looking, and you can build coverage really easily without looking like a cake face.  I love that I don’t feel like it is clogging my pores throughout the day or in the summer heat.  The matte version of the foundation powder does a great job of giving a velvety finish.

Lorac POREfection baked pressed powder – the ultimate smooth, velvet powder finish with a good amount of coverage!  I love to keep this in my purse for long days/nights and touch ups.

Tarte Amazonian Clay matte waterproof bronzer and brush – I LOVE this bronzer.  It is subtle and does a great job of easily and naturally contouring your cheekbones.  I put it in a 3 shape from the sides of my forehead, going in at the cheekbones, and around again under my jawline for a nice and easy glow, then down my  nose.  This brush is awesome for contouring, but I don’t spend a lot of time doing that, and to be honest, my favorite bronzing brush is the black and silver drugstore one pictured above – I got it years ago at CVS – I think it was Cover Girl…similar brush here.

Smashbox Full Exposure mascara – I’ve been using this one since I got it as a birthday sample from Ulta back in November.  It doesn’t clump, and I have gotten a lot of compliments on my eyelashes since wearing it.  I am also a fan of most drugstore mascaras – L’Oreal Voluminous Butterfly mascara, many from Maybelline and Cover Girl.  Also, Tarte, whose products I am a big fan of, has an amazing mascara called Lights, Camera, Lashes  and it is everything.  If you’re not willing to spend the extra money on mascara, do what I do and keep a nice list of ‘wants’ for all of your fancy makeup needs.  Then, ask for them at birthdays and Christmas!

Stila stay all day liquid eyeliner – there is no other liquid eyeliner.  Plain and simple.  I would never want to do a winged eye with any other makeup item.  It never budges throughout the day, but it’s easy to correct with a wet q-tip if you mess up during application.  So worth the price.

 

Hair

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I am a pretty simple gal when it comes to my hair.  It’s thin, fine, and naturally stick straight.  Most days, I blow dry it with a round brush for volume and run a flat iron through the ends to keep them bouncy and turned under, and on those days, I stick to my volumizing products.  My two favorites are Aquage Uplifting Foam, which I read about for years from the small things blog, and Bumble and Bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse, which my friend and hair stylist suggested.

A couple of years ago, I finally trained my hair (or damaged it enough?) to hold a curl, so I love my Remington curling wand for big loose curls – I bought it when my hair was much longer, but still like it for my shorter ‘do, too.  I love that it tells me how hot it gets up to so I don’t have to guess.  After burning my fingers a few…dozen…times, I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of it.

This Dove dry shampoo is probably my favorite and most vital hair product…yes, people.  I said vital.  When you don’t feel like washing your hair every day or you just need some boost or texture, this stuff is it.  It smells amazing, and for me, the white spray is great because as my roots start to grow out, it keeps my hair super light and fresh-looking.  I use it even when I’ve just washed and dried my hair for a little extra volume and texture.  My best friend and the photographer behind the lens of all of my photos introduced me to it.  We both buy it two (or three) at a time!

Body

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Marc Jacobs Daisy Dream and Kate Spade Walk on Air are my two favorite scents to carry me through all of the seasons.  I have a handful of favorite scents, but these are my two all-time faves.  I got them both as gifts from my ‘wants’ list and it’s about time for both of them to be replenished!  My boyfriend Andrew loves the Walk on Air and that’s one of the many ongoing compliments that he has given me since we started dating – better keep it on hand!

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel nail polish – I am the type of girl who likes to keep my nails painted at all times.  I have an alarming amount of nail polish under my bathroom sink.  The most annoying thing is finding one that will last past a few good days without chipping.  If you ask me, there is no nail polish that will last you a full 14 days unless it’s a gel manicure from the salon, which is what this nail polish claims to do…but it does usually last me a solid week if I’m careful applying and drying.

This Spring, try something new.  Pick up a bright, bold color of lipstick (you know I’m all about that), jazz up your makeup bag, or start using a new scent.  It really is the little things, my friends.  Treat yoself.

All photo credits go to J Parker Photography

Lipstick lust

I can’t help myself:  I am in a small love affair with lip color.  I guess it probably started about 4.5 years ago when I began teaching and realized I needed a quick way to set myself apart from the students (not that it’s fail-proof; I still sometimes get mistaken for a high school-er).  I did not ease in; I did not fear color.  All of the pinks, the reds, the corals, even the deep plums…I needed them.  I probably wear red most often, but like my shoes, I try to give all of my lipsticks some love.

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All of them.

I recently posted an Instagram selfie with Oliver, one of my two main men, and I got a lot of comments on my lipstick specifically.

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To me it was just another day with my regular red, nothing special, and I thought, these people need to know!   There are certain questions that I get asked over and over again, from friends, family, students, colleagues, literally even strangers at the store or in the check out line:  What color is that?  How do you get it to stay on so long?  How do you put it on?  What brand is it?  I don’t say this to brag, but merely to prove that a n y o n e can wear the lipstick I wear, use the ‘tricks’ I use, and feel sassy and classy.  I think most of us are just sometimes afraid to take that leap into unfamiliar territory.  But today, my friends, I am here to answer your questions.  I am here to help you go boldly into the lipstick life.

There is no secret.  I will tell you everything I know.  I have known women who will not respond to questions about their clothes, shoes, purses, makeup, or even nail polish color.  As if the world would end if someone else had the same look as them.  Spread the joy, people!  We all deserve to feel lovely.  This is just a quick little post of my favorite brands and colors of lipsticks, as well as some important tips for making sure your lipstick stays put, which is key (no promises on it not coming off in a smooch situation – us single gals don’t have to worry about that too much).

Tips

  1. DO NOT LICK YOUR LIPS.  EVER.  And certainly, certainly not before you apply.
  2. DO NOT RUB YOUR LIPS TOGETHER.  EVER.

These are literally the only two “rules” I ever tell anyone and time and time again, they have a huge AHA moment because they realize they always do one or both of these things.  Just.  Don’t.  Do.  It.  If your lips are chapped, either take a couple of days off to moisturize, or you can exfoliate.  There are all kinds of scrubs out there for your lips, but I am a little bit of a plain Jane…I use a spare toothbrush and warm water and gently scrub my lips.  Gross?  Maybe it sounds gross to say it out loud, but in real life, it works like a charm and doesn’t seem like a big deal.  Plus, a toothbrush is free from the dentist and lip scrubs can get pricey.  Give it a whirl and then tell me I’m wrong.

Application Techniques

  1. Apply the lipstick to your lips.
  2. Stay in the lines.

Seriously.  I do not have time to do some of the things I have watched in makeup tutorials.  Who on earth does?!  I put my lipstick on my bare lips and I move on to my other true love, mascara.  I might use one of my three lip liners if I have a special occasion I need to look extra fly for.  In that case, I line the outside of my lips and do a little bit of messy coloring in on my lips, then apply as usual.  That’s it.  No blotting, no licking, no extra rubbing together.  Call me crazy.

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Favorites

Brands:  I have a few trusty rusty brands when it comes to lipsticks.  Some of my favorites include MAC (they never let me down), the Maybelline Vivids collection, the Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain, and Tarte.

My go-to red is a matte color by MAC called Ruby Woo (That’s the one I’m applying in the previous pictures).  I recently bought a matte Pink Pigeon by MAC as well – it is a bright pink perfect for when you need a pop of color or just because, and I also got a color I have coveted and gone back and forth on since last fall, Heroine.  Even I have my limits; it is pretty purple.  But…paired with all black everything and a nice chunky scarf, I think it has turned out to be a solid choice.

View More: http://jparkerphotography.pass.us/lipstick-blog Left to right:  Pink Pigeon, Ruby Woo, Heroine.

Another great matte red if you’re on a budget (who isn’t) is Pure Red by NYX (I’m glad I don’t have to say that out loud because I never know if it’s N.Y.X. or ‘nix’).  It’s a really close second to my Ruby Woo.

Other colors that I reach for over and over again are my nice vampy dark red Revlon Moisture Stain in Parisian Passion and the hot pink in Barcelona Nights.  They give a lot of shine at first, but when they dry they just have a hint of gloss.  On days when I feel like I have a lot going on and need to keep it simple, I go for a nice nude like MAC’s Creme D’nude or Tarte’s Angelic Nude and Sweet Peach.  The Tarte lipsticks are really moisturizing and go on so smooth.  Plus, they come in a beautiful little tube!  And finally, on days when I feel extra sassy, I’ll hit myself with my Maybelline Vivids in Hot Plum.  It’s bold and I love it.

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For those of you who are still not convinced you can pull it off, #1 – you can, and #2 – you can always start small.  They make tons of tinted lip balms out there.  NYX has a great one called butter balm (I have it in Lady Fingers, which is a nice neutral pink, and Red Velvet).  Obviously I am not the only one who knows the power of a bold lip – Pinterest has loads of proof:

pinterestquotes

Be bold.  Live out loud.  With anything you do, it is better to leap than to tiptoe.