Monday, January 30, 2012

Jumping on the Beauty Bandwagon

It seems everywhere I look on the internet, people are chatting, tweeting and blogging about beauty. Perhaps it’s the post New Year’s resolution commitment to be better, feel better, look better. Maybe it’s the winter months dragging on and everyone wanting to look like they have some color on their skin (please tell me I’m not the only one who’s completely pale), but everyone seems to be on the beauty bandwagon. Holly first asked the important question, “What mascara do you use?” Fellow St. Louis blogger and co-author of MOM Incorporated: A Guide to Business and Baby, Danielle Smith gave the run down on her personal beauty style. Heck, even Kate Gosselin blogged her tips for a “Five Minute Face.” So, lucky readers, here are my favorite go-to items when I’m getting glammed up for a day of work or a night out on the town:


ChapStick: I don’t do drugs and I’ve never smoked a cigarette, but I would seriously hurt someone if I didn’t have ready access to a tube of ChapStick. And, I’m not talking fancy expensive balm. Give me the old fashioned ChapStick any day.

Lipstick: For years, the only lipstick I've used is Revlon Super Lustrous in Iced Amethyst. I'm no Estee Lauder, but if you have an olive skin tone, I think this is the perfect shade for any season. You can pump it up for added drama with a bit of gloss over the top or leave it as is.


Foundation: Recently, I just started using liquid foundation (as recent as two weeks ago.) I realize that I am way behind on the times when it comes to foundation, but gals I have to tell you that I love it! I bought Maybelline Fit Me in Natural Beige. I’ve found that it goes on my skin smoothly, doesn’t make me look like I’m wearing a mask and lasts nearly all day. 


Eyeliner: Another new addition to my makeup bag is eyeliner. For the first thirty years of my life, I never once wore eyeliner. Why didn't anyone tell me what I was missing? My favorite eyeliner (and in full disclosure, the only one I’ve tried) is Bare Escentuals Big and Bright Eyeliner in Midnight Moon. I have hazel eyes and I find that this gives my eyes a little somethin’ somethin’ whether I apply a fine line during the day or smudge it for night wear.

{Photo credit}
Eye Color: Ladies, if you’re looking for new shade for your eyelids look no further than Bare Escentuals eye color in Silver Lining and Smoky Diamond. I’ve been using both for at least a year and I love the way they make my eyes pop. Silver Lining is good to wear during the day or if you want a bit more sparkle for the evening. Smoky Diamond, on the other hand, is the perfect color for a hot night on the town when you want a smoky, sexy eye.

Silver Lining, pictured right
{Photo credit}

That's what's in my make-up bag, what's in yours? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fabulous Finds: The January Issue of St. Louis Magazine

I very rarely buy magazines. They clutter my nightstand, I feel guilty if I don’t recycle and they’re usually already behind on the latest gossip by the time they reach the newsstands. But when I saw the January issue of St. Louis Magazine, I knew I had to buy it. I love reading biographies and learning about where a person is from, the experiences that shaped them and the people and places that formed them into the person they are today. Isn't it interesting to find out that someone famous is from your hometown? That they bucked convention, perhaps, and left small town life for the big city?

This month’s issue of St. Louis Magazine is dedicated to “My Hometown”; celebrities who at one time called St. Louis home and their memories of growing up here. And in true St. Louis style, the infamous question “Where did you go to high school?” is answered.

Many people know that John Goodman is a proud St. Louisan and co-owner of O'Leary's Restaurant in Sunset Hills. Cornell Haynes Jr. put St. Louis on the map (and on the Billboard Top 200 chart) with his album “Country Grammar”, though his fans know him simply as ‘Nelly’.  Twitter and Square founder, Jack Dorsey and Bravo host Andy Cohen both regularly come back home to visit and usually tweet their whereabouts while in town.

But, did you know that Jon Hamm (swoon!) of Mad Men fame graduated from and later taught at the John Burroughs School?** Did you know that Miles Davis, the man behind the legendary jazz album Kind of Blue grew up just across the river from downtown St. Louis in East St. Louis, Illinois? And you might find it interesting that Yogi Berra grew up on “The Hill” across the street from his boyhood friend Joe Garagiola.  

My hometown of Granite City, Illinois (shout out to Granite City High School!) was, at one time, home to Pulitzer prize winning author Robert Olen Butler and former NFL linebacker and current outside linebackers coach for the Green Bay Packers, Kevin Green.

**Fun Fact: While teaching at John Burroughs, one of Jon Hamm's theater students was Ellie Kemper, famous for her current role as secretary Erin Hannon in The Office.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fabulous Finds: Birchbox

A few months ago, Holly at Nothing But Bonfires blogged about a beauty delivery company called Birchbox. I like to think that I stay up on the latest trends by buying my clothes at Marshall’s and reading the “I Really Love My...” section on, but somehow Birchbox escaped my radar. Not any longer, girlfriends! If you’ve never heard of Birchbox, it’s a company founded by two Harvard grads who decided to put sample sizes of their favorite perfumes, lipsticks and other beauty goodies into a gift box and ship these treats to your home. 

In a nutshell, here’s what I love about Birchbox:
  1. Priced at only $10/month, it’s easy on the budget and you can cancel at any time.
  2. Shipping is free!
  3. You can sample products and brands that you may not necessarily buy because they are out of your price range or you’re not sure if you’ll be satisfied with the end result. I’ve been wearing the same brand and color of lipstick for years simply because I hate the thought of my money going to waste.
  4. In addition to all of your samples, you’ll receive a little card that explains the products inside of your box and the full-size price.

I’ve been receiving Birchbox since November and my favorite samples so far have been:
Guerlain Shalimar Parfum
J.R. Watkins foot repair salve
Zoya nail polish in Megan
Jouer lip gloss in Birchbox Pink
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If you don’t think Birchbox is your style, I’d suggest these little beauty boxes for wedding parties, party favors, stocking stuffers or birthday gifts. And for the men in your life, have no fear, Birchbox Man is here! Friend them on Facebook, follow them on twitter or read their blog for the latest in beauty tips and trends. 

Have you tried Birchbox or do you have fashion trends that you follow?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekend Recap: Birthday Edition

Last year, when I turned The Big 3-0 I did what everyone who turns 30 does: I planned and organized for months in advance,  I hired a private chef, interviewed and selected a photographer, designed a centerpiece and chose a florist to complete my vision, rented a table, chairs and linens and sent out custom designed invitations. What’s that you say? That sounds more like a wedding? Not everyone goes to those extremes for their 30th (or any) birthday? Crazy talk!

Turning 30: The Fun, Flirty and Fabulous way

But this year was different. There were no professional photographers. No fancy linens and flowers. No chefs in my kitchen. Just good friends, good food, and plenty of laughs. And that, dear readers, made this birthday just fabulous.

Gifts Galore: The Joy of Cooking** and items to complete one phase of my living room redesign (stay tuned!) 

Celebrating my 31st birthday with dinner and drinks at Mosaic

We ended the weekend with a viewing of Meryl Streep's Golden Globe winning portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. Have you seen The Iron Lady and, if so, what did you think? Did you know much about the UK's first female Prime Minister prior to seeing the movie?  

**Fun Fact: The original author of The Joy of Cooking, Irma S. Rombauer was from St. Louis, she earned her high school diploma from the Mary Institute (MICDS) and attended Washington University. The first 3,000 copies were printed by A.C. Clayton, a St. Louis-based publishing house. You can find her star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame at 6636 Delmar (63130). 

Monday, January 09, 2012

2012 - The Year of The Wedding

2012 will be a year of changes, celebrations and anticipation the world over.

Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her Diamond Jubilee marking 60 years since her accession to the British throne in 1952. Celebrations are planned in the UK, Australia, and Canada and members of the Royal Family will be visiting all sixteen Commonwealth Realms as well as undertaking visits to Commonwealth countries, Crown Dependencies, and British Overseas Territories throughout the Jubilee Year. Prince Harry will be doing his duty as His Royal Highness visiting Belize, Jamaica, and The Bahamas. The ol’ chap planned that right, didn’t he! But, even with the pomp and pageantry surrounding Her Majesty, the eyes of the fashion world will once again be turned to her. 

The official Jubilee emblem designed by 10-year-old Katherine Dewar, from Chester, Cheshire, England 

In November 2004, I was having lunch at the Hard Rock CafĂ© in London when it was announced that the IOC had narrowed the search for the 2012 Olympic host city to five candidates: Madrid, Moscow, New York, Paris, and London. 

The streets of the city erupted in celebration and little British flags were handed out to anyone who wanted one. My friends and I joined in on the celebration and vowed that we would return to London in eight years and celebrate in grand style. Well dear readers, budget and time not allowing, I’ll be cheering on the athletes from my couch instead of at the Opening Ceremonies. 

In Chinese astrology, 2012 marks the Year of the Water Dragon. The Chinese New Year will be celebrated on January 23rd and those born under this Chinese Zodiac sign are said to be powerful, wise and demand attention and respect. Fun fact – I was born under the Year of the Rooster

In less celebratory news, 2012 is also the year that some believe will be The End of Times, Doomsday and/or the Apocalypse. December 21, 2012 is said to be the end date of the Mesoamerican Long Count, or Mayan, calendar. Many scientists have disproved the theory, yet some are hunkering down and stocking up in preparation for the end of the world as we know it.
{Credit: Dan Piraro}

Despite the predictions and celebrations expected this year, for me 2012 marks The Year of The Wedding. Four weddings, to be exact! Two of my cutest cousins and two of my closest friends will be saying sayonara to single life and getting hitched this year. There will be ceremonies on the beach and under a chuppah, receptions in Kansas and New York. Save The Dates have started to arrive and plans are being made. Get ready, friends, the first bouquet toss is a mere seven months away! 

John & Jessica
Brian & Stessie
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Andrew & Lauren
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Sara & Ben