5 Minute Makeup

I failed at today already.

It’s 8:11 in the morning.

I slept through 3 alarms and only crawled out of bed moments before Brian’s alarm went off.

I double booked my morning. I didn’t write a blog post. I ran out of milk. I yelled at the kids.

Anxiety is a killer today.

So, here I am, pressing the reset button. Fixing the things I can, putting priorities back in order and getting back on track.

Have you ever had those days? Nothing seems to go right, but you still need to be put together and look alive when you leave the house?

Having a 5 minute makeup routine helps on days like today.

Let’s start with 3 principles to set the stage.

#1 Organize your makeup
If your makeup station is organized, it’s easier to be able to quickly find the products you want and move on.

#2 Know your favourite products
It’s a good idea to have certain products that you know you love and always seem to work for you. If you want to go one step further, throw them all in a makeup bag so that you can just grab the bag if you are in a hurry.

#3 KISS
Keep it simple, sweetheart. Simple makeup is great for everyday makeup – I mean, who glam is glam, but not necessary.

I have worked to get my makeup routine down to 5-10 minutes. This is the simple routine I have been following:

Step 1 – Moisturizer
L’Oréal Paris Hydra Genius Day & Night Moisturizer

Step 2 – Primer
Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser

Step 3 – Foundation
Estée Lauder Double Wear Foundation (2N1 Desert Beige)

Step 4 – Bronzer/Contour
Ulta Matte Bronzer (Cool)

Step 5 – Blush
Tarte Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush (Paaarty)

Step 6 – Highlighter
Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Pressed Highlighter (Opal)

Step 7 – Mascara
Lancôme Hypnôse Mascara

Step 8 – Lips
Annabelle Lip Liner
NYX Lip Lingerie (Ruffle Trim)

Step 9 – Brows
Tarte Busy Gal Brows Tinted Brow Gel (Taupe)

Step 10 – Setting Spray
Hard Candy Illuminating Setting Spray (Sheer Envy)

5minutemakeup2

Ten steps might seem like a lot, but I can barrel through these steps in a few minutes.

Slap that moisturizer on, wait a few seconds and do the same with the primer.

Throw a few dollops of foundation around your face and blend. The foundations I’ve been trying lately seem to work best with a brush, which works better for me because it’s faster to use a brush.

Once the foundation is blended, quickly blend some bronzer stripes on your cheeks, nose, forehead, under lip, and chin.

Add a few strokes of blush to the balls of your cheeks and strobe some highlighter just above and onto your temples. Don’t forget to highlight the tip of your nose and your cupid’s bow.

Mascara is where you need to take your time – no need poking your eye out with your wand. Plus, if you take your time with mascara, you can separate your lashes nicely and arrange them in a beautiful wispy formation.

Line your lips, top them with lipstick.

Brush through your brows and if needed, add some brow gel.

Now set it all with your spray.

Grab a fan, sit back and take a moment for yourself – and to air dry your face.

5minutemakeup1

That’s it! Super quick. Super easy.

Do you have a quick every day makeup routine that you follow or do you like doing full-glam every day?

How To Become A Morning Person

Ok, I know, I’m behind on my blog.

Hopefully this video makes up for it.

People always talk about how you’re either a morning person or a night owl. I used to be a morning person, but up until recently I haven’t been a morning person or a night owl – I like to go to bed early and sleep in.

In this video I am going to share with you how I’ve switched my routine to become a morning person.

Let’s start with the reason why I wanted to become a morning person.

Since the end of 2016, mornings have become a sore spot in my life. We’ve kind of gone through an extended period of time where we’ve endured waves of trials and tests in our life with little to no rest in between the waves. As time goes on in this manner, it gets more and more difficult to drag your inner Barbie out of bed each morning. So, I thought I would teach the kids how to get up and get ready on their own without needing me to be awake. Although that is good practice for life, it didn’t prepare them for school in a way that I would ultimately like. A beautiful woman recently encouraged me to cultivate a desire for God within my kids. I instantly knew I needed to start by revamping my morning routine.

Step 1 – The Night Before

Prep is key. It’s hard to get out of bed in the morning if you haven’t had a good rest the night before. I put together a night routine that would help me get adequate rest.

  • Make sure my bedroom is clean (fresh sheets/blankets/etc)
  • Make sure the kitchen is clean (waking up to dirty dishes and clutter adds stress)
  • Nightly skin care routine (wash/moisturize/lavender lip balm)
  • Utilize essential oils to set the atmosphere for sleep (Peace blend)
  • Get to bed by 10pm
  • Set my alarm (I actually have 3 alarms – 2 on my phone and the sunrise one on my bedside table)
  • Have a plan for the morning.

Step 2 – In The Morning

It took me a few tries before I figured out what would work for our family. Personalities and tendencies can all affect how mornings roll in your house. One of the key things I realized is that Violet needs food before she can function in the morning, so asking her to pray/read her Bible before breakfast will likely cause a struggle.

I’ll be real with you – it’s still very hard to drag myself out of bed each morning, but it is getting easier and easier each day because I know the atmosphere I want to cultivate and why I want to do it. That makes the struggle all the more worth it.

Mornings might not be a current strongpoint, but I would encourage you to figure out what it would take to cultivate the right atmosphere in your house each day. Then plan it out, tweak it, and when you’ve found a good groove, stick to it. Know your why – it definitely helps.

Are Gel Nails Really Better Than Acrylics?

When I was a teenager and into my early twenties, before kids, I would change my nail polish to match my outfit pretty well every single day. I’m not just talking a coat of polish, I’m talking all out designs – fingers and toes!

I’m sure if you have kids, you can deduct that that kind of time is non-existent when you’re running after those precious gems. My nails took a bit of a back seat in my beauty regime – I kept them short and rarely ever painted them.

Let’s rewind a bit…

I went to beauty school.

Well, kind of.

I went through to become a nail technician right after highschool because I spent the majority of my free time painting nails. I hated everything about those courses except the designs I could paint. I literally had every shade of nail polish you could think of – and I used every single one.

I absolutely loved painting nails.

One time, my sister and I even went to the hospital to paint a dear friend’s nails. When the other patients around heard what we were doing, they wanted theirs done too. That day was so much fun and one of the best times I’ve ever had in my nail painting career.

Now let’s fast forward to 2018.

I wanted to start getting my nails done again. I started looking for the best technician within driving distance and found John – every time I liked someone’s nails, they would always say ‘John does them.’

My nails grow fast, so unless I want broken nails, I need to go every 3-4 weeks. That can get crazy expensive, so I decided I needed to start thinking outside the box again. You know, that whole no-spend August really impacted my spending. Plus, I get so bored with having the same nail polish design on my nails for 4 straight weeks!

I checked out the price list and saw that acrylics were a good $12 cheaper than the gels that I’ve been getting. I sat and asked myself what the actual difference was between gel and acrylic.

You know what?

I didn’t know.

So, as soon as I got home, I googled it (no internet at the nail salon and the only answer I can get out of a technician is ‘gel is better for your nails’).

This is what I found out:

THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE!!!

Ugh!

So, I read article after article and watched a bunch of videos on it and they all said the same thing – same product, different method.

One video explained that it was like baking a cake – gels are like making a boxed cake and acrylics are like baking a cake from scratch. The smell difference is just because our senses can’t pick up the fumes from the gel (although they are still there and just as potent as the acrylics). The only other difference is the way they are cured – uv or led lights cure the gel, while acrylics cure without any special lights. That difference only matters to the nail technician – gels have more play time and acrylics cure (or set) quickly.

So, even though I went through school for this, I had no idea they were the same thing (in my defense, gels weren’t really a thing back then). My new plan is to get acrylics done at the salon and paint my own designs weekly at home. This will save me $15-$30 every month. Violet is really into painting nails, so it will be great bonding time for us. She came home from school the other day and told me that all her friends think it’s so cool that I’m a nail artist (she has kept all of my old practice nails safe to show them).

I think I’ve shared before that my favourite nail polish is the Sally Hansen Insta-Dri. The opacity of these polishes is stellar – you can absolutely get away with one coat. Plus, they dry so fast that sometimes I’m painting my nails on the way to church. Then, the price point on them is so reasonable! I just bought 9 new colours to try out for Violet’s birthday this weekend.

What nail design trends are your favourites? Let me know in the comments and I will try them out!

August Favourites | 2018

I’m kind of excited to write today’s blog post.

Ok, maybe I just realized that it’s 7pm on Saturday night and I totally forgot about writing a post.

However!!! I love talking about my favourite products, so it’s all good. I’m fine.

Although August had very limited spending, it didn’t stop me from loving some new things. They weren’t all about beauty, but that doesn’t take away from the awesomeness that they all possess.

Let’s dive into it.

John Frieda
Frizz Ease Miraculous Recovery (deep conditioner)

I may have talked about this before, but this is an amazing dupe for Olaplex. My hair is long and bleached, therefore it has so much potential for damage. I throw this mask on my hair every 2-3 days and it renews my ends like no other. I’m scraping the bottom of the jar, so this will definitely be a repurchase.

Estee Lauder
Double Wear Foundation (shade 2N1)

I had been wanting to try this foundation for a long time, but I had no idea what shade to get. So, when an Estee Lauder rep was in Sephora a few weeks ago, I took her up on getting a sample of the newly stocked foundation. The finish on this is beautiful! At first I wasn’t sure, but it feels great on my skin and isn’t heavy or cakey. My only qualm with it is that it doesn’t last as long as I need it to on my beloved 19-hour Thursdays.

Finish Powerball
Quantum Max Dishwasher Detergent

I feel like this is a strange thing to add to my favourites, but it kind of left me shook. Bahahahahah!!! I did not just say that. Let’s just say, it left me speechless…and my dishes spotless. My dishwasher situation has left me in a state of contention over the years. I thought getting a new dishwasher would solve my problems, but it didn’t. Turns out, I only needed to stop buying generic dishwasher detergent. I bought this because it was on sale at Costco. In the 15 years that I’ve cared about the cleanliness of my dishes, this was the first time I was completely satisfied. They literally sparkled. Just like the commercial. Now let’s hope they go on sale more often.

Slatkin & Co
Dark Chocolate Mint Candle

This candle is not new. As a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve bought a candle in the last 2-3 years. I just happened to clean out my linen closet one day. Ta-da. First of all, this smells exactly like mint chocolate and I almost feel like I’m eating a chocolate bar without all the calories. We have been lighting the candle in the morning to help us wake up and set the mood to spend time with God. We’ve almost made it to the very end of the candle, so I may check out Bath and Body Works to see if they have any sales on their candles.

Indescribable Devotional
by Louie Giglio

I can not say enough about this book! I pre-ordered it when it was released because my kids love science. We read it every night as a devotion together as a family and the kids always want to keep reading it. The cutest thing ever was when my son comes to me with an overwhelmingly shocked look on his face, asking me if I’ve ever heard of Laminin. Before I even have the chance to tell him I’ve watched How Great is our God more times than I can count, he goes on to tell me that it’s literally God’s imprint inside our bodies and – get this! – it literally holds our bodies together! It was so cute seeing him so excited about our Creator and the miracle of Creation as seen in the human body.

Ok, I probably could go on and on with so many favourites this month, but I’m going to cut it there. August was a beautiful month that made me think outside of the box with things I needed and used. Sometimes it takes moments of simplifying life to truly think about the things that matter the most to us – and for me, they usually point back to the moments that glue our family together, moments that we spend cultivating a desire to know the one true God on a personal level. These moments are priceless.

Budget Wars | Don’t Break The Bank

August was a whirlwind of a month.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of a weekend.

C’est la vie.

Right?

September is here and with that comes everything fall, including PSL (would you know I’ve never even had one!).

So, as you know, I did a no-spend August. I thought it was going to be difficult, but surprisingly, it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, it seems to have pushed me back into the early days of our marriage – frugality. It literally made me go through and really ask myself if I needed that thing I was after.

So, although I seem to be posting a bit more on the topic of finances, I thought you might like the inside scoop on how we function financially.

Cell Phones

Let’s start with this.

I don’t have a cell phone plan.

Shocker, I know.

In our current society, wi-fi is readily available at any given place – there’s even wi-fi at the parks in our city. Really, the only place I don’t have it is while I’m driving – which would be redundant anyways. So, why do I need a cell phone plan?

I have a used cell phone and I use the MagicJack app for phone calls. I can use iMessage for anyone who has an iPhone and anyone who doesn’t, has my TextPlus number that they can text me at. All of that is free and works great! As far as emergencies go, every cell phone can dial 911.

Food

One of the things Brian and I have lived by (more so Brian than me) is not spending money frivolously on fast food. I have splurged a bit more over the years since our budget isn’t so strict, but we definitely keep it to once or twice in a month.

Shopping

Ok, this is something that can be broken up into a few different categories, but for the sake of this post, I’m going to lump them all into shopping.

Two words.

Price. Match.

I used to go through the flyers and bring them to the store to price match. Now I can just pull up the flyers on the Flipp app and price match through there.

As far as clothes shopping goes, I buy a few key things at outlets, but otherwise, I’ll head to the nearest thrift store.

I have a closet full of furs and leather jackets – all from the thrift store. The most I paid for any of that was $35 for the mink fur.

One of my favourite pieces of furniture in my house is my beloved mint green swivel rocking chair. I found it at the local thrift store and it was in pristine condition. It was being sold for $14, but they were having a flash sale on the day I went and I got the chair for $7. For real. You can’t beat that. Except maybe if your mom sits in it and it flips her backward – sorry Mom.

Now, you’re probably all wondering if I spend all my savings on makeup from Sephora. The answer? No. I usually redeem my credit card points on Sephora gift cards, thus creating the ability to purchase some higher end makeup products.

Which brings me back to the whole reason for this post.

Last weekend was the Sephora VIB appreciation sale and I redeemed some credit card points for a Sephora gift card. I had fully planned on ordering everything in my cart.

Except.

I got home and opened my cart, analyzed if I really needed all of those high-end products and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn’t want to waste that money – even if it was a gift card. Every day of the sale I went back to my cart and asked myself if I really needed those items. You know what? I couldn’t answer. I just kept walking away from it.

So, the sale is over. My gift card is still sitting on my desk. My cart is still full. My life still carried on.

Sometimes we think that we need things to make us happy. When, although some things can make life easier, they won’t ever make you truly happy. I want to leave a legacy for my kids and grandkids…not a bunch of things attached to debt.

There are many other little tidbits like banking with no service fees, waiting for sales, etc. that we live by in our budget, but I think these are the main ones.

FabFitFun | Is It Worth It?

Disclaimer: I’m a #fabfitfunaffiliate with @fabfitfun, which means I make a small commission if you sign up through my link (it doesn’t cost you anything extra). All the opinions in this post are my own.

* long post warning*

Back in October of 2016 I stumbled upon fabfitfun. I instantly had this grand idea that it would be the perfect Christmas gift – since you get surprises all year!

I tried to get my peeps on board, but skepticism was real.

Am I paying a bunch of money for junk?

Will it even be delivered?

Are there hidden fees?

I agree, there was literally no concrete info on the subscription box at that time, but if it was everything it claimed to be, it would be the ultimate gift – a landmine of treasures.

I decided I would try it for myself when I saw one of my favourite YouTubers talk about it.

First things first, what is fabfitfun?

It is a subscription box that sends full-size products every season (4x/year). The boxes are always valued over $200 U.S.

It costs $49.99 U.S. per box if you renew your subscription seasonally (use code PUMPKINSPICE here for $10 off your first box) or you can pay $179.99 U.S. per year if you renew annually.

Side note for Canadians: You will also be charged 13% HST. As far as Duty is concerned, I’ve never had to pay any duties on my shipments (including the time I bought 2 boxes together). Also, I’ve never noticed this before, but it appears that you will be charged $8.00 shipping. All prices are in U.S. dollars.

Here is my review/summary of all the boxes I’ve received:

Editor’s Box Winter 2016
Valued at $247.98

065A9956-610x610

Love $123.99 | OK $63.00 | Pass $60.99

  • Modcloth Loch and Key Scarf – $34.99
  • Jook & Nona Tag Necklace – $65.00
  • Marrakesh Argan & Hemp Hair Oil – $22.99
  • Manna Kadar Liplocked Gloss Stain – $24.00
  • Anderson Lilley Beach Butter Body Cream – $24.00
  • Zoya Nail Polish – $10.00
  • O.R.G. Skincare – $44.00
  • The Created Co. Coffee Mug – $19.00
  • Fabfitfun Coloring Book & Pencils – $14.00

Overall, I loved this box. My favourite items were the blanket scarf, the Jook & Nona necklace and the Anderson Lilley cream.

Spring 2017
Valued at $374.00

2017spring

Love $229.00 | OK $78.00 | Pass $67.00

  • Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator ($79.00)
  • RealHer Lip Kit in Deep Red ($48.00)
  • Gypsy 05 Roundie ($50.00)
  • Briogeo Rosarco Milk Leave-In Conditioner Spray ($20.00)
  • Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish Set ($19.00)
  • Karuna Hydrating Face Masks ($28.00)
  • Milly Zip Pouch ($45.00)
  • Luv AJ Diamond Kite Crawler Earring Set ($85.00)

I also loved this box. My favs in this box were Dr. Brandt exfoliator, Milly zip pouch and the Luv AJ earrings.

Summer 2017
Valued at $281.50

2017summer

Love $35.00 | OK $137.00 | Pass $109.5

  • Michael Stars Ruana ($54.00)
  • Kris Nations Mystic Gemstone Bar Necklace ($58.00)
  • bkr Water Bottle ($35.00)
  • Eau Thermale Avene Ultra-Light Hydrating Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+ ($24.00)
  • Cargo_HD Picture Perfect Highlighter in Bronze ($30.00)
  • Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate ($29.00)
  • Way of Will 03 Soothe and Cool Post-Training Massage Oil ($29.50)
  • Amy Tangerine “Ready, Set, Create” Art Kit (canvas, paints, stencil) ($22.00)

This box was ho-hum for me. The only thing I loved in it was the bkr water bottle – which I would never spend that much on a water bottle if I bought it outside of this subscription.

Fall 2017
Valued at $386.45

2017fall

Love $267.00 | OK $119.45 | Pass $0

  • Mer-Sea & Co. Cozy Wrap ($98.00)
  • Trestique Matte Color & Shiny Balm Lip Crayon ($28.00)
  • Whish Beauty Renewing Mud Mask ($48.00)
  • Molr C + C Teeth Whitener ($43.95)
  • Deco Miami Lavender Cuticle Oil ($12.50)
  • IMM Living Wire Heart Ceramic Jewelry Holder ($33.00)
  • The Jetset Diaries Cable Knit Beanie ($49.00)
  • My Tagalongs Hot & Cold Gel Pack ($15.00)
  • Private Party Gym Bag ($59.00)
  • Cottonelle FreshCare Flushable Cleansing Cloths (sample)

This was a good box. The Mer-Sea & Co. wrap is draped over my chair and it serves so many purposes. I also get great use out of the gym bag and the beanie.

Winter 2017
Valued at $393.00

2017winter

Love $35 | OK $143.00 | Pass $215

  • Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment ($75.00)
  • 8 Other Reasons Nine Lives Choker ($58.00)
  • Homemade by Ayesha Curry Ceramic Mug ($16.00)
  • Point Studio Aloe Infused Cozy Socks ($19.00)
  • DOUCEE Freematic Eyeshadow Pro Palette ($70.00)
  • This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray ($29.00)
  • Nelson Moisture Healing Hair Mask ($23.00)
  • AHAVA Mineral Hand Cream ($33.00)
  • BB Dakota Poncho ($70.00)

Ugh, this box was a definite pass for me. The mug and socks were cool, but I gave the poncho away and my skin is way too sensitive for the choker – hello antihistamine!

Spring 2018
Valued at $354.00

2018spring

Love $105.00 | OK $231.00 | Pass $18.00

  • Maya Brenner Designs Love Bracelet ($65.00)
  • Murad Skin Perfecting Lotion ($40.00)
  • ISH Lip Statement Palette ($42.00)
  • Rachel Pally Clutch ($60.00)
  • Anderson Lilley Candle ($45.00)
  • Free People Eye Mask ($40.00)
  • Physique 57 Massage Roller ($20.00)
  • Dermalect Ridge Filler ($18.00)
  • Korres Guava Body Butter ($24.00)

The Spring box was another one that was just ok for me. The lip palette was cool and the Anderson Lilley candle was beautiful, but nothing else really stood out.

Summer 2018
Valued at $338.99

Summer-Ad-Lifestyle-ACQ-SU18-RL-Edited-Select-127_preview

Love $170.00 | OK $100.99 | Pass $68.00

  • Pier 1 Marble Ring Dish ($14.99) was  the day we   
  • Foreo Luna Fofo ($89.00)
  • Jaborneria Marianella Body Caviar ($48.00)
  • Tarte Pro To Go Eyeshadow Palette ($23.00)
  • Tarte Sex Kitten Eyeliner ($20.00)
  • Minor History Postscript Wallet ($20.00)
  • Orlando Pita Play Atmos-Shield Hair Protectant Treatment Spray ($34.00
  • Coola Classic Face SPF 50 White Tea Moisturizer ($32.00)
  • Wildlife Conservation Society Straw
  • Yumi Kim Makeup Train Case ($58.00)

Ok, the Foreo Luna fofo was worth this entire box. The eyeshadow palette was great and the makeup case was perfect. The body caviar scrub was terrible – it left everything it touched with a thick, sticky film that didn’t wash off with soap. Blah.

Bottom Line
All in all, out of the 7 boxes I have received, I have loved 4, 2 are ok and 1 was a definite fail for me.

Do I think it’s worth it? For the most part, I would say yes. Most of these products I wouldn’t have tried if it were not for fabfitfun. The products I absolutely love make the money I paid for the subscription worth it.

However, would I really have spent the money on any of those products I loved? Probably not. For instance, although I loved the gym bag, I would never have spent the money on it – I have one that is better quality and I paid less for it.

Will I continue to subscribe?

I originally thought yes. Happy Birthday to me! However, after my no-spend August, I’m rethinking my need for random things. I am on the fence about this, but I’m starting to lean toward not renewing in November.

Sephora Foundation Finder

You all know that I’m in the market for a new bottle of foundation. You may also know that my shade changes drastically throughout the year.

When I was researching the Sephora VIB appreciation sale, I stumbled upon the foundation finder and decided to try it out.

I thought it would be fun to do a video on it. I planned on going to Sephora and getting samples of the suggested foundations, trying them and then posting my reviews.

Guess what.

I tried that.

Didn’t work.

You know why? Out of the 8 foundations they suggested, I only found 3 of them in the store. One of those was a foundation I had already tried and didn’t love. So then I was down to 2.

  • Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15
  • Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint

I opted to only get a sample of the Clinique because the Hourglass one seemed a bit thick on the back of my hand. Maybe I’m wrong about it, but either way, I didn’t get a sample of it. I also wasn’t hyped up on the fact that there was SPF in the Clinique one, but I thought I’d try it anyway.

So, my main problem was that the app suggested all the high-end foundations that they didn’t even carry in my store. So, my choices were slim.

Here are the suggestions:

  • Giorgio Armani Beauty Luminous Silk Foundation
  • IT Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+
  • Guerlain Lingerie de Peau Fluide
  • Hourglass Illusion Hyaluronic Skin Tint
  • Stellar Limitless Foundation
  • Clinique Even Better Makeup SPF 15
  • Smashbox Studio Skin 15 Hour Hydrating Foundation
  • Kevyn Aucoin The Sensual Skin Fluid Foundation

Maybe I started off skeptical because they didn’t even suggest my absolute favourite – TF Born This Way. Regardless, I didn’t find it very helpful.

My second problem really had nothing to do with the app, but everything to do with the fact that the girls who worked at Sephora had an extremely hard time matching my skin tone to a foundation. I could tell they were getting frustrated because nothing seemed to match me. One of the girls (a YSL rep) finally asked me how I match my face, noting that my neck was a completely different tone than my face. I told her I prefer to match my neck as I’m not necessarily interested in bringing my foundation all the way down to my decolletage.

To top things off, I haven’t even tried the Clinique foundation because she didn’t write down the name of the foundation and put it in a baggie. Due to my super amazing memory, I forgot which foundation was Clinique (I got a few other non-suggested samples). I have since narrowed it down and will probably try it soon.

In conclusion (that’s my I’m official statement), I’ll probably continue to do things the way I’ve always done them – trying samples I’m interested in and not purchasing the products I can’t try first.

Have you tried the Foundation Finder? Did it work well for you? I’d love to know about your experience with it.

Hair Removal

Did you hair about the newest trend?!

I don’t know. That was the best joke about hair removal I’ve got.

I remember the first time I seriously thought about getting rid of the peach fuzz that I dared to call leg hair. I asked my mother if I could shave. No. I was too young. I decided she didn’t know best and waltzed into the bathroom, grabbed the nearest razor and went to town. By the time she found me, I was half-way done.

Since that day about a quarter-century ago, I have tried many different hair removal options. Here are my findings and the methods I swear by.

Shaving

Good ‘ole shaving. You lather up with some shaving cream and let the razor do it’s thing as it glides along your curves of your epidermis.

I hate it.

I mean, I loathe shaving. I actually use this as an absolute last resort.

However, if I must, I only use Schick Intuition (it has a built-in moisture bar so you don’t need shaving cream).

Here is the method that I find leaves my legs at the ultimate smooth-fest:

Step 1 – Dry Brush
Step 2 – Shave
Step 3 – Exfoliate
Step 4 – Shave Again

Waxing

I grew up watching my mom wax her legs. She would tell me that waxing was the best because it pulled the hair out by the root. After my initial start with a razor, I asked my mom to start waxing my legs.

I loved it.

Call me weird or whatever, but there’s just something about waxing that I love. You only have to do it every few weeks. Eventually, your hair gets sparse and thin, which is a beautiful thing.

After I got married, I bought my own wax warmer and began waxing on my own. The downside of it was that it was messy, sticky and took about an hour for a full wax.

However, I soon found a wax roller that was super clean and easy to use. It was so quick and easy that I could whip it out and do a full leg/bikini/underarm wax in under 20 minutes. This is the process I use:

Step 1 – Dry Brush
Step 2 – Warm up my legs – waxing and goosebumps don’t go well together
Step 3 – Wax (roll wax on/rip strips off)
Step 4 – Massage coconut oil over waxed area

Epilating

One day my aunt came over and showed us this contraption she bought – an epilator. She tried convincing us this was the next best thing and was easier than waxing.

She didn’t convince us.

Fast forward twenty something years later and her leg hair was null. Genius. I went out and bought one for myself.

Ok, it might hurt a bit, but not for me. One of my weird quirks is that I love the feeling of hair being ripped out from the roots. Everyone thinks I’m crazy, but in 20 years when I don’t have hair on my legs anymore, they’ll all be jealous. Unless the trend is hairy freedom.

I’ve been using the epilator for just over a year and I’ve already noticed a considerable difference – especially my underarms. I really only need to use it every 2 weeks or so. The downside is that it takes a long time and the thinner my hair gets, the harder it is for the tweezers to grip the hair – thus making the process even longer. Lately I’ve had to go over the peach fuzz with my razor – although if I was smart, I would just use my wax roller to supplement.

Here is the process I use:

Step 1 – Dry Brush
Step 2 – Epilate
Step 3 – Supplement if needed
Step 4 – Moisturize

In the end, I still stand by epilating because I’ve noticed the most difference in the shortest amount of time. I’ve had my epilator for a year and I’m looking into buying a heavier-duty one.

One of these days I might use some of that pocket change and see if there’s anything to that laser hair removal. Have you tried it? Let me know if you think it’s worth it in the comments below.

Sephora VIB Appreciation Sale | 2018

Ack! Sure, as soon as I make it official to the world that I’m going on a month-long spending hiatus, Sephora has to announce that they are having a sale.

Good news is that it doesn’t end until September 3rd, so I guess that means that ‘no-spend August‘ will be followed up by ‘prodigal September‘.

Sephora thought it would be a great idea to celebrate Beauty Insiders and the changes to the Beauty Insider program.

Here is the low-down on the sale:

VIB Rouge
20% off
Fri 8/24 – Mon 9/3
Use Code: YESROUGE

VIB
15% off
Thurs 8/30 – Mon 9/3
Use Code: YESVIB

Insider
10% off
Thurs 8/30 – Mon 9/3
Use Code: YESINSIDER

So, my account states that my VIB status will expire in December 2018. If I want to keep it, I need to spend $180 before the end of the year. If I would like to jump up to VIB Rouge, I would need to spend $830 before the end of the year.

I’m pretty sure spending that much money would be frivolous, but it’s fun to dream about being so rich that spending $830 on makeup is pocket change.

So with that, here are my potential lists for the sale.

If I want to keep VIB:

Too Faced
Born This Way Super Coverage Multi-Use Sculpting Concealer
$36

Dr. Jart+
Water Fuse Ultimate Hydro Gel
$48

Bite Beauty
Agave Lip Mask
$30

Too Faced
Born This Way Foundation
$49

VIB Sale 1Pictures

If I convince Brian that beauty is priceless, I will add:

Iluminage
Touch Permanent Hair Reduction + Epilator Cartridge and Precision Adapter
$556

Anastasia Beverly Hills
Brow Wiz
$27

Benefit Cosmetics
Hoola Matte Bronzer
$38

Dr. Jart+
Water Fuse Hydro Sleep Mask
$60

Atelier Cologne
Collection Azur – Cedre Atlas (100ml)
$160

 

Chances of reaching VIB Rouge in 2018 is extremely thin. However, seeing as I’m low on (or have already run out of) foundation, concealer and face cream, it’s highly probable that I will at least keep my VIB status through 2019.

Are you shopping the sale? What’s on your list? Let me know in the comments below.

Budget Wars | August 2018

One of the most common things I heard after we paid off our mortgage was about how rich we now were.

I realized that people didn’t really get it.

Now, maybe it isn’t like this for everyone, but the few people I know that paid off their mortgage were all in the same boat…

Recovery.

Yes, recovering from paying off your mortgage. For us, we put aside things for a long time (like decorating our house) so that we could focus on getting out of debt. So once that mortgage payment was null, it wasn’t like we all of a sudden had $380,000 in the bank. I mean, that would be great if it worked that way! However, it doesn’t – unless we sold the house and became homeless.

Now we are at the place where we still have all of these things that we need to do to the house, so we are saving that mortgage payment until we have enough to get ‘er done.

So, that leads me to August.

Budget life.

August budget life.

No spending August budget life.

Yes, that’s right. I’ve decided I’m going to go the whole month of August without spending extra.

Guess what that means.

Bare minimum groceries

When Brian and I were first married and actually had no money, I spent $50 every other week on groceries. We survived. I’m sure we can do it again. Right?

Passing up amazing deals

I am one of those people who has an extremely hard time passing up a deal. I’ve recently run out of a few staple products that I use and they were available to add-on to my FabFitFun order for a fraction of the price – like I mean $7 instead of $30 and $20 instead of $100. Then I thought about it. I can live without these products. AAACCKK!! Yes, it’s true. Luxury is just that, luxury. Not necessity. I’m sure I can deal without these products for a bit.

Putting makeup on the shelf

Ok, I don’t actually mean giving up makeup. I do mean putting it back on the store shelves – not buying it. This one is a bit hard for me because I’m running low on lots of makeup products. For instance, I ran out of my foundation and I’m extremely low on my face cream. However, I have samples kicking around and will use those until September.

Funny story – I used a sample of foundation the other day that was a few shades too dark for me. No biggie. I just blended it well, wore clothes that helped and made it work. A friend saw me in the hall at Church and commented about how tan I was. I chuckled to myself and graciously said my thanks. Little did he know that all that tan would be washed down the drain later that day.

No take-out

This one is a stretch – especially because yesterday I took a nap and while I was sleeping Brian ordered a pizza. I mean, I wasn’t mad at the decision. Cheese Wheelz pizza is only the best pizza around! Plus, I didn’t have to cook. Wow, I’m totally distracted. Let’s move on.

Brian and I have Fridays off together, so we typically go out for breakfast for a cute little morning date/debrief from the night before. It’s one of my most treasured dates with him. However, this summer we have set aside our breakfast place to save that little bit.

We also used to order pizza or Chinese food or something once a week. That’s also something we’ve limited over the summer.

The great thing about this decision is that it’s forcing me to learn some mad cooking skills. I mean, I need my kids to like more than just my grilled cheese and chicken nuggets.

There are a few other things that I’m doing to save money, but all in all, I really just ask myself if it’s a necessity or if there’s a more efficient way to get it done. If it’s a necessity, I will buy it; if it’s not, I will pass it up.

Are you a spender or a saver? Is it hard for you to go a month without extra spending? Do you classify makeup and takeout as necessities? Am I crazy for doing this or do you think any little bit will help? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below.