Friday, December 20, 2013

Five Things Friday 12-20-13

There are five days until Christmas and between now and then I have hours and hours of wrapping, cleaning, packing and driving to go. So much for a holiday vacation, right? Having three kids is inspiring on the one hand and down right exhausting on the other. I'm not complaining, but even when we get to my in-laws for the holiday, I'm still on duty washing dishes and keeping the kids from climbing the walls. Can't catch a break. I had a crazy busy week this week, just like most of us did. So I'll cut to the short and get on with the goodies so we can all get back to prepping for Santa.

1. Sigma E35 Tapered Blending Brush
Sigma has deftly proven it's a powerhouse in the consumer-level realm of beauty brushes. Their brushes are soft, well-made and do a phenomenal job. This is my latest and greatest, and has lifted my eye makeup looks to another, better level. If you have the right tools, it shows.

2. Nicka K New Your Nail Color in Classic Taupe
This came in this month's IPSY bag (overview and review coming shortly), and I was immediately in love with the color. I have no browns or taupes in my collection. I'm not sure why, I've been meaning to buy some for a while. The color is perfect for this time of year. I tried on this polish with no top coat, and it took three days for it to chip. For me - the mother, the dishwasher, the laundress, the floor scrubber and consumate daily hiker - that's impressive. I'll look into the rest of their line before my IPSY discount code expires and probably purchase a few more colors.

3. POP Beauty Bright Up Your Life Eye Shadow Trio: Naturally Bare
This was another score from this month's IPSY bag, and I'll be honest, I didn't hold out much hope for quality shadows. The packaging, to me, looks juvenile and cheap. That, and all three shadows are shimmery. I'm not a big fan of shimmery shades in my crease or under my brow. I did a look with these shadows and used Latte from Makeup Geek in the crease and it pulled together nicely. The shadows were creamy, pigmented, blended well and they lasted the entire day. I've used then since with a few of my other pallets with no problems blending and am thinking about bringing just this trio to my in-law's house for Christmas vacation.

4. Scotch Tape for Manicures
I would like to thank DailyBeautyReviews.com for the use of their image.

I have tried tape manis before with horrible results. So I did some research into the best tapes and techniques to  make it work, and am elated with the results. Some folks might be over the whole designer nail trend. I am not one of them. My greatest joy is putting together a unique and classy artistic look on my nails. And the best way to do anything from a french mani to something more complicated and colorful is - scotch tape. The best advice for anyone interested in trying? You HAVE to let the bottom coat of polish dry completely before taping. Run the tape across the back of your hand twice before putting it on the nail. And pull it off quickly while your upper coat of polish is still wet. Nail polish designer, eye shadow and winged liner guide - what can't scotch tape do?

5. Pedometer
I'm in a nutrition and fitness program right now. It's an intensive 16-week course, and we're on week five. So far I've already lost 12 pounds and am so excited about everything I've learned. If you're curious I've been posting notes from my weekly lessons here on the blog. You can find them under the Health and Wellness label on the right hand side. This week we started easing into the fitness portion of the program, and as a result I have had my pedometer on me all day every day. I should name it. How about Buster? Buster goes where I go. My goal this week is to take more than 5,000 steps a day. And I'm doing it! I've been taking the kids hiking in the woods every day (which we all love) and it's made a huge difference not only on my step count but also on my energy level and physical endurance. A pedometer is inexpensive, and puts a whole day into perspective. Finally I'm feeling beautiful on the inside, and out.

So that's it for this week, friends. I hope you're all healthy and happy and claiming your right to be who you want to be. Nobody has the right to tell you that you have to be anything less than joyful and beautiful.

If we don't chat next week - please have the merriest of Christmas'. Stay safe, smile lots and stay beYOUtiful!

- Becky xoxox