Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

It's more than likely I won't be back online until the New Year, so I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays! 

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When will I start to feel like a bride?

I've written and rewritten the beginning to this post (and the rest of it, really). I'm not sure how to start it or what exactly to say. I know that I might get some flack for this, but hey, you gotta write what you feel. I'm also not totally sure I captured my feelings correctly. Sometimes the "right words" just aren't there. PS - This post is looooong.

Before getting really into this, I want to add a disclaimer. I am so happy! I'm thrilled to be marrying the man of my dreams and I can't wait until we're standing in front of friends and family and officially get to become man and wife. This post has nothing to do with that. If I could marry him tomorrow, I would. (And if we hadn't yet put down so many deposits that's exactly what we'd the courthouse.)

The wedding industry is ridiculous. I think future brides buy into it looking for this idea of "the perfect wedding." I've come to the conclusion that it doesn't exist. Please hear me out. I'm sure that everyone's wedding day is special and perfect in its own way. And I really hope I feel that way about my own wedding day in just four months (holy eff, four months). I guess it's not really the actual wedding day that gives me issues, it's everything leading up to it.

I have not yet felt like a bride throughout all my wedding planning.

I'm serious.

I've fallen in and out of love with my dress about ten times, I own two pairs of shoes that go with the dress and neither one of them works (who knew that shoes would be so stressful?), I can't make a decision about what my hair should look like, and oh my goodness don't even get me started on what I'm going to do with my nails (I have no clue -- French manicure is out). Every decision I've made surrounding me I've gone back on at least once.

I did not have a problem making any decisions about the venues, decorations, bridesmaid stuff, or other details. My only difficulty has been with making decisions about myself. This is sounding really self-involved, but, eh, I guess that's exactly what it is. I mean, I'm the bride, right? Technically yes. I'm still waiting for it to feel that way, though.

I've had two dress fittings. I can stand there in front of the gigantic mirror on the pedestal and admit that I look nice in my dress, but I don't feel like a bride. So often you hear the bride say "This is my dress! I feel like a bride in it!" What does that mean? It's almost like I'm having an out-of-body experience. Oh yeah! That girl looks great in that dress, good for her! But oh...that girl is me. Does this mean that it's not the right dress? Not necessarily. I like it, and at this point I'm definitely not interested in starting from scratch. Maybe finding the right shoes will help.

I've had two hair trials (and potentially a third in the near future), and nothing is living up to my expectation of what a bride is supposed to look like. I think that's the problem -- I'm imaging some bride, not myself as a bride. My inner monologue is saying, Well, this hair is nice, but it doesn't look very bridal. It's not something I've seen in a magazine. So am I not allowing myself to see that I don't have to (and won't) look exactly like what I've seen on TV and in the magazines?

I had a makeup trial, too. I thought it went well. The makeup was a bit heavy, but shouldn't it be? I got home that night and Erich had a cow. He wasn't used to seeing me wear that much makeup and couldn't understand why our wedding should be different. He prefers me with no makeup and just can't wrap his head around the fact that I will absolutely not show up bare-faced to our wedding. So now I've decided to mostly do my own makeup (with some help on the eyeshadow because at least one thing has to be different/prettier than normal). Unfortunately -- and I wish I didn't sound like a brat here -- that just added to my insecurity about not feeling like a bride. I mean, surely brides don't do their own makeup for their wedding! (They do. It happens all the time. But not in my "perfect wedding.")

Am I just not happy with these decisions because none of them have left me with that Weeeeee! I'm getting married and I'm the briiiiiiide! feeling? Am I just one of those people who won't feel like that? (I think I just pinpointed my exact issue with being a logical creature. I am not emotional, and therefore do not subconciously care about these things, except ohmygodIcaresomuchbecauseit'smywedding.)

I guess as a child I imagined my wedding, but never imagined me in my wedding.

Normally, my advice to someone else would be to follow their heart. I can't follow that in this case because I'm not sure which direction my heart is leading me in. Actually, it's usually telling me to suck it up. I am totally aware that this is absolutely ridiculous. I know that none of this really matters in the long run, and my wedding will be perfect regarless of whether or not I finally found the perfect shoes or have the perfect hairstyle. But right now I just can't see it. I just want to feel like a bride, whatever that means.

Will I have that moment on our big day where I finally see the whole picture -- me in the dress, with my hair and makeup done, wearing the right shoes -- and feel like I'm the bride? Or maybe I'll feel like the bride when I see my groom?

I guess I'm just wondering if it was like this for any other brides. Did anyone else experience this? Is it just the stress of planning that's getting to me? Does seeing the whole picture help? Will I feel like a bride on my actual wedding day? Can I hire a stand-in so that my idea of what a wedding should look like can be fulfilled? (Just kidding on that last one. Kind of.) Please send help.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Top Tips for Beautiful Eyebrows {Sponsored Post}

*This is a sponsored post, not written by me.

Beautifully shaped and well manicured eyebrows give an overall polished look to your face and make-up. Whether you favor the fuller Brooke Shields look, which has been brought back up to date by the likes of Cara Delevingne, or something shapelier it really makes no difference – keep them in good shape and they will provide the perfect frame for the face.

1 – Choose the shape you want to achieve.  You need to decide which look you are going for before you pick up your tweezers. Do you want slender, arched eyebrows or something thicker?  Take a look at some of your favorite celebs online or in a magazine and decide which eyebrows you want to copy. The thing to pay particular attention to is the height of the arch and the distance to which the eyebrows extend.

2 – Before you start plucking take a few minutes to soak your eyebrows – it will make the job much easier and less painful. Take a clean washcloth and soak it in warm water then gently lay it over your eyebrows and leave it there for a few minutes. This will help to open up your pores and loosen the hairs a little so that it they are much easier to tweeze.  Pat them dry before you start.

3 – You do need to have your equipment at the ready.  Some pointed tip tweezers, some angle tip tweezers, good lighting, a mirror, and an eyebrow comb. Make sure that your tweezers are clean – you don’t have to use a UV sterilizer or anything, but pop them into some boiling water to give them a clean before you start.  Brush your brows in an upwards/outwards direction and you’re ready to get cracking.

4 – You should only ever pluck your eyebrows in three areas – between your eyebrows, under your eyebrows and a tiny bit above your eyebrows if necessary – just to catch any strays. Start between your eyebrows but don’t get carried away, the brows should start just above the corner of your eyes so make sure that you don’t go in any further.  Keep going from one side to the other to keep them even and carry on until you have achieved the arch of your dreams.  The arch will preferably peak above the iris of your eye and continue outwards at a 45 degree angle from the outer edge of your eye.

5 – Be careful not to get too carried away or you could end up with bald patches or uneven brows. Switch from eyebrow to eyebrow and take a break every couple of minutes; step back and admire your handiwork and decide whether you really need to tweeze any more.

6 – If some of your eyebrow hairs are longer than the rest and have a tendency to stick out then trim them. Comb them out/up with your eyebrow comb and trim with a clean pair of nail scissors. Be careful not to trim them too short or they will just stick up even more.

7 – After you’ve finished and you have perfectly shaped eyebrows giving a beautiful frame to your eyes and your face, you should remember to rinse your tweezers and dry them off. Wash your face once more with your clean wash cloth and warm water before patting gently dry. Applying a little moisturizer to your eyebrows can help to soothe any minor irritation but do be careful not to get any in your eyes. 

For many more great beauty tips and ideas take a look at The Salon Outlet – they’ve got some great ideas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

(More) Favorite Beauty Products

I'm constantly changing up my makeup routine. I have a few favorites that I'll never go without (hello Dr. Pepper chapstick), but for the most part I'm not attached to any one product. I've rounded up my new current favorites for you, and let me just warn you -- this post is going to be a serious rave. I cannot get enough of these.

1. Neutrogena MoistureSmooth Color Stick - I have this in three colors. I grabbed the first one on a whim in the checkout line at ULTA. Obsessed. So smooth and perfect. The colors last a good while, but you'll definitely need to bring it with you for touch-ups during the day. They're a little on the pricey side for what they are, but it's worth it.

2. it Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil - I don't know how I lived without this. I've only recently started filling in my eyebrows (I also don't know how I lived for so long without doing that, but that's another story), so I've been experimenting with powders, pencils, and whatever else. I actually saw this on an infomercial one day and thought it seemed weird, but then by the end I was totally convinced. They made it seem like even a novice could handle this, and boy were they right. Now instead of never leaving the house without mascara, it's mascara and eyebrows.

3. Tarte Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation & Brush - Guys. Er, ladies. I just...I can't even. Pure perfection. I came across this months ago and didn't want to try it because I used to be a Bare Minerals snob, but recently stopped using it because I wasn't getting the coverage I needed. Plus, the brushes always hurt my face. Anyway. I finally took the plunge and bought this on Black Friday. I will never go back to any other powder foundation. And I chose to get the brush as well and I'm in love. It doesn't make my face red and it provides amazing coverage. I ordered Fair-Light Honey and when I got it I thought it wouldn't match, but once it was on the color was perfect. It really does last all day. I put it on at 6:00 a.m. and wore it to work. At 9:00 that night before I washed my face it was still perfectly in place. *Side note: my face gets oily throughout the day, but that was no problem with this stuff. Well, now that I've written you a book about how wonderful it is, you should probably try it for yourself. Whew. Oh, and one more thing. It doesn't look super powdery when it's on, and that's really important. (PS - Right now Tarte is having their Friends and Family sale and everything is 30% off until 12/11.)

4. Benefit They're Real Mascara - Again, why did it take so long for me to hop on this bandwagon? I'll be on a They're Real kick for at least a year. I put it on without having curled my eyelashes and I immediately noticed how much longer, curlier, and fuller they looked. I bought the sample size because I couldn't justify spending that much on mascara, but I guarantee I will be buying the full size when that runs out.

5. ULTA Super Blender Sponge - Cheap. Works like a charm. I have one liquid foundation that I wear for special occasions or when I really have time to perfect my makeup, and this is what I use to put it on with. I won't pay a bajillion dollars for a sponge, so I opted for the ULTA brand one and I love it. I've already bought a second one. I also use it to even out my powder blush when I accidentally put on too much. Just a couple dabs and it fixes everything. I've had my first one for a few months now and I've washed it multiple times and it's still holding up great. But at $5, who really cares if it falls apart in a month? (But it won't.)

If you want any more details of these products, just let me know. I'd be happy to write another novel about how great they are.

What products have you tried lately that you don't think you can live without?