Looking Luminous

Every day I have the pleasure of applying makeup to lots of different women. It’s always fun to hear what they’ve been using and to see how they respond to their finished looks. As a longtime beauty junkie, it’s super interesting for me to get a peek into the primping routines of other ladies, and to offer up a few tips of my own.

Last week I met this lady (whose name I regretfully have forgotten!) while she was passing through town on her way home from a business trip. She was traveling with a coworker, who was a good sport about sitting in the shop while I applied her “five minute face” (he was a total hoot too! I was about to give him a job right then and there!). I had a terrific time visiting with both of them while we did this quick makeover. For the full step-by-step, read on…

Makeover Monday1 Continue reading

No time like the present.

So here we are in September. It’s been quite a while since my last post. I’ve really been wanting to write, but simultaneously dreading it. (Weird, right? Kind of like when you skipped a class in college and then knew you had to go to the next one, but your instructor knew you skipped, so you were nervous to go back even though skipping again would just make things worse… Was that just me?) Anyway, the past few months have been a little strange but mostly good for me. So here we are, back on the blogging horse. (Is that a thing? Can it be?)


I suppose the biggest, most important thing I should write about is a pretty significant career change I’ve recently…experienced? Experienced isn’t really the right word, as it doesn’t convey any sense of agency, but anyway… Two days ago (!) I opened a shop of my very own. So, there’s a partial explanation for my truancy from the blogosphere. A few months ago a little storefront became available down the street from my mom’s two shops and after talking it over with some of my support team (mainly my parents, a few close friends, and of course Becker the dog), I decided to seize the moment and go for it. It’s something I’ve been quietly thinking about for a few years. I signed the lease and I haven’t looked back once. I know it’s only two days into the real grind of small business ownership for me, and it would be foolhardy to assume that just because I’ve now gotten my dang receipt printer to work that the rest of this experience is going to be smooth sailing, but I’ve had the strangest sensation for the past couple of days. It’s a sort of calm confidence I haven’t experienced in a long, long time. This is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing right now. Anyway, the shop is a clean beauty boutique called Everfield. I feel like somehow I’ve managed to trick someone and combine almost all of my passions into one sustainable career. Even when I’ve been exhausted and SO sick of researching cosmetics and chemicals and brands and thinking about packaging and shipping and potential future growth (play to win, I always say), I’ve loved it. I feel very lucky.


So there’s that. You can expect to hear a lot more about it here. You can also (hopefully!) expect much more consistent posts, as it’s my intention to use this blog as an outlet for tutorials and beauty hacks, which isn’t really all that far off from what I originally had planned for it anyway. I’ll probably still write about food too, because food is awesome.


Anyway, I think sometimes you just need to jump into seemingly impulsive and/or terrifying things head-first before logic and reasoning catch up with your heart and convince you that now is not the time. Because why wouldn’t now be the time?



Lovely Lips

If you know me at all, you know I’m pretty passionate about lip products. In my opinion, there isn’t much worse beauty-wise than dry, cracked lips. I would like to share with you now my current obsession: Smith’s Minted Rose lip balm. I’ve tried all of the products in this cult classic line and this is by far my favorite. It’s not as saccharine as the strawberry and the mint is a nice addition to the original rose salve and at $7 a pop, it’s the perfect mid-week treat.

Anyway, also in heavy rotation in my beauty game lately is Cargo Cosmetics Essential Lip Color (Bombay is my shade of choice) topped off with a good ol’ Revlon Super Lustrous lipgloss in Super Natural. The colors are just a little brighter than my natural lip color and are the perfect way to perk up a windblown winter complexion without saying to the world “I AM WEARING LIPSTICK TODAY LOOK AT MY MOUTH IT IS A COLOR NOT FOUND IN NATURE” (there’s a time and a place for that, to be sure, but sometimes I’m just not in the mood). I’m looking forward to trying the rest of the colors in Cargo’s line, as I haven’t found something so moisturizing with such staying power in a long time. (By the way, the product description on Ulta’s site claims that it’s also a subtly plumping lipstick, but I haven’t really noticed that effect, which, if that’s what you’re looking for, might be the ONLY downside to this product.) Give ’em a try and let me know what you think!


I’d take a picture of all of these things on my face, but I’m in the middle of Starbucks and I’m not sure my selfie game is quite up to par. Also, sorry for the terrible quality; there’s a dust speck in my iPhone camera lens… (ugh.)

Resolution: Reading

So, one of my (super cheesy!) New Year’s resolutions is to read more. In college, I did so much reading and studying for school that I didn’t make as much time for leisurely reading as I would have liked. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m making it a goal to read more this year. I’m starting slow- as that’s the best way to bring about real change- and shooting for one book per month. Right now I’m working on compiling a list of all of the things I want to read this year (which, I’m sure is far more than twelve books) but the first one in the lineup is Continue reading

OK, 2014. Let’s Do This.

I’ve always thought that New Year’s resolutions were kind of weird. Like, if you think something is worth changing or resolving to do, you should probably feel strongly enough that you will act on it immediately, regardless of what time of the year it is. In any case, the new year presents a convenient deadline for starting new goals and it just so happens that I have quite a few of them right now. Goal one is to get back into blogging, so here I am (ta-da!). I won’t bore you with a laundry list of things I want to change about myself and/or my life this year, but the overarching theme is that I want to make myself a priority in my own life and make time for things I enjoy. Anyway, that’s the Spark Notes version of my trite list, which actually contains just about every New Year’s resolution cliché you can probably think of.

So, friends, here’s to a dazzling year of health and happiness for everyone. Let’s make 2014 our best year yet. 


An Old Favorite…

A couple of months ago I wrote about my summer beauty must-haves. If you recall, I was love/hating Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. Well, it finally came time to retire that stuff (according to Good Housekeeping, opened mascara has about a three-month shelf life) and I knew I wasn’t going to buy it again. Rather than just going back to my usual Lancôme Hypnose though, I decided to throw it way back and buy my high school favorite, Diorshow. I first used it when I was seventeen and ladies and gents, I think I just fell back in love. I may never return to my Hypnose again. Diorshow has won countless awards from beauty mags with good reason. Its buildable formula and gigantic brush make for lush, dramatic lashes that perfectly complete any eye makeup look. Weird bonus: it’s lightly perfumed, so it smells nice when you open it and put it on! Hooray!photo (49) unedited

Adventures in Dinner Prep…

Last Thursday I had my wisdom teeth removed. It was not a super pleasant experience and I can be a little bit of a whiner, so as a thank-you to my lovely parents and brother, who have been incredibly kind and shockingly patient with me for the past week, I decided to make a little surprise feast for dinner the other night. Feeling inspired by the new (and evidently fleeting?) fall weather, I wanted to serve up comforting and autumnal flavors for their enjoyment. We had a[n absurdly huge] meal consisting of baked brie with fig jam and apples, spaghetti squash “mac and cheese”, pork chops with peaches and bourbon sauce, a sautéed kale concoction, and pumpkin spice cake for dessert.  Hungry yet?IMG_3948

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Earring Storage Extravaganza!

So, if you know me in real life, you know that my mom and I own a couple of stores together. One of them is a kitchen and gourmet shop called The Fig Tree, which has been opened for just over two months (!) and the other is a women’s boutique called Vignettes, which we opened in November of 2007. We recently moved to a bigger, much nicer location down the street from our old store, and we’ve been having a fantastic time decorating our new space and making it feel like home. One of the elements we get compliments on ALL THE TIME is our earring display:


We have two of them hanging in the store and they were a simple DIY project that we completed in one afternoon. (Full disclosure: we had a little help from our contractor when we made them, but the process is really simple and easy to re-create.) Read on for the step-by-step instructions! Continue reading