Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Best of 2014: Makeup

My name is Kylee and I'm absolutely not a professional makeup artist. (ha.) Instead, I thought I'd just share what works for me... right now.

Meet: my makeup.

These are the products that I currently love. Sure, the product lineup is as consistently rotating as a collegiate football team (That's a shout out to the dudes who have actually read up to this point. You have my permission to tap out now.)

So let's begin, shall we?

This is the order in which the magic... happens. Er, this is the order in which the age spots are covered and the makeup is layered.

Remember, the products are constantly changing. (Hence my Sephora VIB Rouge status). This is just a snapshot of a moving target. :) And I'll be honest, I'm at a point in my life where I have far more time than what I had a short while back when my girls were babies -- at that point, I was lucky if I remembered to put mascara on both eyes. Today, the girls are taken to school by their Daddy around 7:45 a.m. each morning and I try to be in my office around 9. So, I've got some time to layer up.

Another disclaimer: I'm am not good at makeup. I'm not one of those women who can just pull off what I consider a legitimate smokey eye. I read the tutorials and watch youtube videos and I STILL DON'T GET IT. I'm just a normal person who's trying to not look exhausted and pale. And, this is what I do*,

*Note: this is not including my skincare routine. This is just makeup.

1. Neutrogena Ultrasheer Liquid Daily Sunscreen SPF 70

I start off with this. I live on the sun and I've seen its wretched effects. This liquid sunscreen acts as a semi-moisturizer. I've tried so many sunscreens and they all leave a white film on my skin. I've found that this one leaves the lightest white film. Think: lesser of evils, kind of like voting. Before I'd also use the Laura Mercier primer in conjunction with this, but I found that it was just far too many layers. I like this stuff. And when I don't use it everyday here in Cabo, I notice my nemesis: brown spots.

See it here.


2. Laura Mercier Secret Concealer - 1.5

After the sunscreen, I cover my issues: brown spots, red spots, etc. I use this under my eyes and on the sides of my nose, which are strangely and unusally rather pink. It covers well, and I just need a bit. I don't use a brush, I use a clean dedo. (finger.)

See it here.


3. Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 20 - nude

I love this stuff. I've never been a traditional "foundation" girl. The "your-face-is-a-different-color-than-your-neck" thing really throws me. You can control the coverage with this light tinted moisturizer. Apply it on very lightly for sheer coverage, add more for more concealing coverage. I use the Neutrogena sunscreen because obviously the SPF 20 that's included in this tinted moisturizer just doesn't cut it. There's also an oil-free version too, but I need the oil. I have dry skin.

See it here.


4. Laura Mercier Undercover Pot - Nude

I bought this in the Laura Mercier Flawless Face Kit (see here) and I love it. The darker color is the product above -- the secret concealer. The lighter color is a camouflage that I use with a really fine-pointed brush. If I have tiny red spots, I dab this on and it's amazing. Redness = gone. Under the pot is a finishing powder that I use sometimes, sometimes not. It's a great little travel set.

See it here or here.


5. Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade (ridiculous name) - light brown

Here's the thing: I over-plucked my eyebrows in high school (Approximately 19 years ago) and my eyebrows have.never.been.the.same. I refuse to draw my eyebrows on with a pencil, that's why I love this gel/powder stuff. I literally barely tap my angled brush into the jar and then I lightly fill in my brows with short strokes. (I use the brush included at right.) It makes a difference. I can't explain it. It just makes a difference. Before this gel I used the Anastasia powder, but it would flake off late in the day or in hot weather. This pomade totally stays and doesn't make me look Cruella Deville-creepy.

See it here.


6. NARS Laguna Bronzer

A little bronzer goes a long and I mean a long way. I swear lighting in your bathroom is key. I'll get ready and think I look great, then I hop in the car, pull down the visor-mirror in the light of day and I'm aghast. I look like my 3-year-old did my makeup. One or two strokes of the 'ole bronzing brush in a 3-formation from forehead to cheek to chin... and then you're done. PUT THE BRUSH DOWN.

See it here.


7. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion - Anti-aging
You guys. If you wear eyeshadow and you are not using an eyeshadow primer, you are wasting your time. IT IS UNBELIEVABLE how well this stuff works. I tried this as a sample and lo and behold my eyeshadow was still on my eyes at bedtime. It hadn't moved at all. Buy this. And there's another version of this that's not anti-aging, but seriously? Why would you buy that versus the anti-aging one? It doesn't compute.

I put this lightly on one eye, then put on my shadow. Then I put it on the other and put on my shadow. I don't know, it's just the way I do it.
See it here.


8. Urban Decay Naked 2. (eyeshadows)

Have you seen this palette? At this point there are 3 different full Naked palettes and an even smaller, "Naked on the Run" palette. I love this set. The colors are so neutral and they go from day to night. They aren't too pinky or too peachy - which is a pre-req for me. The set comes with a great blending brush and a more snub-nosed defining brush. I love this. I buy it as gifts for people. It's fantastic. And I even travel with it. It's big, but it's worth it.

See it here.


9. Rimmel Exaggerate Waterproof Eye Definer - Noir 261 & Rich Brown

I have tried copious amounts of Sephora eyeliners and I keep going back to my drugstore Rimmel eyeliner. It glides on, it doesn't require a sharpener, and it doesn't smear down my face mid-day. (A plus.) It's the best. Stop using what you're using. It doesn't compare. I wear black and brown, usually. Sometimes I line my lower lid, sometimes just my upper, sometimes both, sometimes half. I don't know, eyeliner isn't my jam.

See it here.


10. Urban Decay Subversion Lash Primer

Now let's be honest, it's all about the lashes for me. I love, love, love thick, lady-of-the-night lashes. I just do. I collect mascaras and I have some consistent favorites, but I have to tell you - if you love lashes and you're not using a primer, you're missing out. It's like eating nutella without peanut butter; toast with out butter; cookies without milk! Prime one eye, then put on your mascara. Prime the other eye, then put a coat of mascara on that eye. Then repeat, repeat, repeat mascara. (Well, maybe not on a work day.) (And yes, I'm aware of the Younique mascara set - it's fun.) I've tried several lash primers, specifically Dior and Lancome, and this Urban Decay one is my absolute favorite. It's not clumpy and it is voluminous.
See it here.


11. Lancome Hypnose Custom Volume

So this is my everyday mascara. For years I swore by Diorshow and Buxom and so many others, but I keep coming back to Lancome. It never clumps. It glides on. It stays on. And it reacts well to multiple layers. I adore Lancome.

See it here.


12. Lancome Grandiose Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara

I'm literally laughing as I type this. I'm such a sucker. I tried this mascara and the wonky-shaped mascara application wand is apparently worth $32 to me. Tee hee. But, seriously I do enjoy this mascara. It's better, for me, than the others. Would I buy it everyday? No. But would I buy it again? Yes. Absolutely. Never any flaking, lashes stick out, all good.

See it here.


13. NARS Orgasm Blush

So if you don't have this, it's time. The shade of pink is well... perfect. Blush is tough for me. I'm apt to be super-heavy-handed. I have to do the visor thing for blush, too. For some reason I just.apply.too.much. So, I've been trying to slow it down. I love this one - it's the perfect peachy-pink. It looks perfectly delightful and not like too much. (I know, right? I should totally be a professional makeup writer. So helpfully descriptive.)

See it here.


14. Benefit Cosmetics Benetint

For some reason I feel like I'm too old for Benefit products, but I do enjoy them. Benetint is fun because if I'm not using powder blush (above), I use this. It's a cheek stain. It also works well on lips for those of us who don't regularly wear lipstick. It stays on, doesn't melt off and well, it smells like roses. (No, really... it does.)

See it here.


15. Great Lash Clear Mascara - clear

Don't laugh, but I use this clear mascara to keep my eyebrows in place. Remember, I told you that I over-plucked my eyebrows in high school so as they grow, I refuse to cut or trim them. (Is that a thing?) Therefore a quick swipe of this gel makes certain I don't have any errant strays. (Gasp.)

See it here.

16. Lancome Bi-facil - Double Action Eye Makeup Remover

And BAM! You use this to take it all off. This is by far the BEST eye makeup remover on the market. There is no reason why you should be using anything else. One cotton ball or square, a bit of this - and it' And, it smells refreshing and lovely. This is a fantastic product and it doesn't bother my slightly sensitive contact-wearing eyes. (I remove my contacts before I use this; but it doesn't bother my eyes.)  I always have a backup makeup remover - even though this one lasts me six months.

See it here.


So there you have it, my favorite products. Do I do this routing everyday? Usually. Except for no-makeup/pajama days. If you have products that you adore, TELL ME! I always want to learn about what works for real people.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Our 2014 Christmas Card

It's annual Christmas Card time! (I love driving to my mailbox (yay Cabo) at this time of year!)

For our 2014 card I was so excited to use the photos that my dear, dear friend Summer of Summer K Photography took this past summer in Ohio. (Check out her newly designed website and follow her on facebook - you won't be disappointed. Incredible photography.) 

Merry, Merry Christmas, dear friends!

I had to take a look back at our cards of 'yore.







Monday, December 15, 2014

What they Say. Volume IV.

1. (This one was pre-Hurricane, last July at her old school.) Valentina had a birthday party at school and her parents brought Cajita Felizes (Happy Meals) for all of the kids. Vivi apparently got a cheeseburger.

Me: What did you have for lunch, Vivi?

Her: I had a cheeseburger

Me: Was it good?

Her: No. It had a tomato on it...

(Obviously this is a big deal when you're 3.)

Her: ...and GLUE!

Me: Your cheeseburger had glue on it?

Her: Yes, and it was dee-scusting. I threw it in the trash.


Glue = mayo

Future note: Don't put mayo on Vivi's cheeseburgers.

2. When she needs to do math, Lila chooses to her use her "CONKulator."

"Mom, can I use that CONKulator."

Certainly. Ok. Now what is that exactly?

3. Lila uses the word "great" instead of "good".

If something is worrisome, "That's not great..."

If you ask her how she's doing, "I'm great."

If she wants you to praise her, "I'm doing a great job, right?"


randomly singing at lunch

4. Vivi calls air conditioners, "hair conditioners" and I refuse to correct her. She also calls humidifiers, 'Who-ni-fiers" and I love that, too.

5. We were shopping at a consignment furniture store down here in Cabo pre-hurricane and Lila saw a vibrant tapestry table runner, she immediately said "Oh that is beautiful, Mama. I bet God made it."

6. Both of my children refer to Hurricane Odile as the, "HurN-ih-cane."


7. Lila and Vivienne call "capes" "caps." So, when they're playing Elsa and Anna from Frozen, they say, "Can you tie this towel on me so that it's my cap?"

We've told them "cape" a million times.


8. The other day I was trying to get something out of a cooler filled with ice. I was looking and looking but couldn't find it. My hands were FREEZING. What does Lila do? Runs and gets me a little basket and says, "Here, put the ice in here. It will help you."

I said, "Thanks!"

Then she responded with, "I like to help my grown-ups."


Grown-ups, I learned, means "parents".

Proudly wearing a dress that belonged to her cousin, Aubrey. (Lila *adores* hand-me-downs)

9. Vivienne calls buttons "buddums."


10. And my favorite:

Me: How'd you sleep? What did you dream about?"

[no pause, no hesitations...]

Lila: Unicorns.


Have a wonderful week.


What they Say. Volume III.  ::  click here.
What they Say. Volume II  ::  click here.
What they Say. Volume I :: click here.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Time in Mexico - when it's only about 80 degrees.

So the girls' Christmas program was yesterday. Amazing. So easy! They're both in the same "pre-school" part of the school; Vivi is in Kinder I and Lila is in Kinder III/Preprimaria/Kindergarten so the program started at the same time for both of them. Fantastic.

Vivi had to dress like a pastorsita (Mexican shepherd) and Lila had to wear a plaid skirt. Like Britney Spears.

This is Lila's gangsta-rap pose. She's all, "...laid back... with her mind on her elf and her elf on her shelf..."

Vivi really gets into this skirt whenever she wears it.

I asked Lila to pose... and... well... Oops, she did it again.

This child is beautiful. I'll say it. She's mine, so I can. I can't believe she was once my NEWBORN BABY. WHERE DID MY BABY GO?


This is the choke-your-sister-'cause-it's-Christmas pose! Ho, ho, ho!

And this one SHOULD have been our 2014 Christmas card picture.

Hands down.

Wish I hadn't chopped off part of the Pickle's head. But I think I still got the dramatic, "I'll-shoot-you-eyes" in focus, no?

Because, yes, I still take on-the-way-to-the-festival pictures.

Walking into her school.

Yes, that's the ocean in the background. (Hurricane Odile brought about unobstructed views of the ocean from everywhere. Who needs trees or greenery!?)

Lila waiting patiently for the program to start. I didn't find a red hat, so... she refused to wear the pink one I bought. (You can't win 'em all.)

She put the hat on for approximately 4 seconds and refused to let it cover her ears BECAUSE. (Because why? No idea.) But in her defense, it was at least 88 degrees in there.

There's Vivi, second from right. That's her boyfriend 4th from the left. She calls him her, "Handsome Prince."

(I'm not making that up.)


Vivienne, second from left. (bottom row)
Lila, second from right. (back row)

This is proof that Vivienne participated this year! Last year she just stood there, totem-pole style. This year, she swayed and did a few motions and my heart overflowed with pride.

Lila performed like the seasoned pro that she is.

And then Vivi was SHOCKED.

(She gets the "Most Expressive Child" award.)

My sweeties and I.

Each year the kids roll up their Christmas lists and send them to Santa via helium balloon. I'm against this whole thing. I mean, Santa lives at the North Pole, not in heaven. So a.) that's obviously a mistruth and b.) all of those balloons do fall at some point. And then an animal eats them? Or they just lay there forever? Santa litter? Not green, ya'll. Not eco-friendly. Merry Christmas, little hungry animal - I'm damaging the eco-system.

Vivi's down with it, though.

Away Vivi's balloon went.

Lila held on to her globo (balloon) until the last minute and then refused to roll up her list for Santa and send it away. She felt she could trust Sparklepaint the Elf with the handing-off-of-the-list-to-Santa rather than a balloon.

I couldn't argue with that.

Vivi was just so happy. I mean, LOOK at that smile.

Here she stands with her Cutie Daddy.

So it was lovely and sweet and the school and the teachers did such a nice job.

As we were leaving there was this.


Vivi asked if Nana made it.

Lila told her, "No. God did. But she probably told him to."

Little does Lila know that she comes from a long-line of demanding women. I'll learn her.

>>STAY TUNED FOR VIDEOS. I shall post on Friday 12/11.

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