I don't know about you, but when Ohio works its magic and the temps go from forty degrees to eighty-five (with a million percent humidity, naturally), my skin goes a little crazy if I'm not careful. Let's be honest, my skin is a little crazy without the help of Ohio's bipolar weather tendencies so I'm always on the lookout for products that feel light but still do the trick. These are a few of my summer makeup bag staples favorites.
Trader Joes Jojoba Oil: The ultimate in natural products for pore-cleansing, makeup removal, and moisturizing. My face is ultra sensative so I can't use anything with fancy perfumes OR ELSE. This does the trick on it's own without anything extra. It's awesome for traveling light too.
Simple Revitalizing Eye Roll-On: I don't like to wear concealer (at least during the day) in the summer. It feels heavy and looks bad after a few hours so I am loving this sensative skin friendly eye revitalizing roll-on. Fast, easy, effective. Love it. Birchbox introduced me to this gem.
Supergoop CC Cream (SPF 35): Most days I'll go naked faced during the day, but if I want or need a little extra coverage I love this stuff. It's lightweight, has better coverage than other BB creams/tinted moisturizers that's I've tried and the color is self-adjusting. It also has a matte finish for shine control.
Fresh Sugar Rose Tinted Lip Treatment (SPF 15): This stuff is looks amazing, feels amazing and smells amazing which I know is an odd thing to mention about lip balm, but it's true so I'm telling you.
Benefit High Beam Luminizer: This stuff is great for adding a little highlight here and there. It doesn't leave your face feeling too sparkley or oily.
Cover Girl Eyeshadow Shimmering Sands: A friend my freshman year of high school introduced me to this eye shadow and I have used it ever since. That means it's been in my makeup bag for close to twenty years (oh dear, I'm old). I am forever trying newer fancier shadows, but I always come back to good old Cover Girl. This color pallate in particular is lovely and works on most if not all skin colors. I spent the whole of my twenties as a professional bridesmaid and I can't tell you how many friends wore this on their walk down the aisle. It's lovely and natural looking.
The Balm Hot Mama Blush/Shadow: This blush has a really nice golden pink color to it that adds a little pop to your cheeks without too much color.
Cover Girl Lash Blast Volume Mascara: I love this mascara for both how it looks and it's price tag. It's been my go-to ever since Cover Girl released it.
Urban Decay Naked Eyeshadow Pallette: I photograph weddings for a living and this has been a staple in nearly every makeup artist's bag I have ever met. It's super versitile and you can acheive so many beautiful looks with all the different combinations. It's also $50. That's the down side. But if you want to stay with a natural palette, it's awesome. If I want a smokier eye for going out, this is my go to.
Dior Maximizer Lash Primer/Plumping Serum: A professional drag queen in the NYC Sephora sold this to me for the first time and I wish I could go back and give him a hug. It. Is. AWESOME. I have really light and thin eyelashes so mascara alone often doesn't do the trick, but I am WAY too low maitence for any kind of regular false eyelash application. It just isn't going to happen. This + a good mascara (like The're Real below) is the closest you will get to false eyelashes without any glue. Goes on white, extends lashes, promotes natural growth of lashes. Try it. You will love it.
Benefit They're Real! Mascara: This mascara has fantastic coverage, extends lashes, and goes on super smooth. It only comes in black and I wear brown during the day, so I leave this for night or special occasions. It's all the rage with most beauty editors so I have no doubt you can find a million people to confirm the virtues of this mascara.
Nars Semi-Matte Lipstick: This stuff is so great. It goes on smooth (unlike A LOT of other matte lipsticks), and stays on for a long time. Color Pictured = Red Lizard. It's a full on Betty Draper shade of red.
Stila Liquid Eyeliner/Nars Pencil Liners are my favorites when I want to add a little edge to my night look, but most of the time I line my eyes with the lightest shadow from the CG Shimmering Sands shadow.
Jouer Perfume Oil: This technically isn't for your face, but I'm loving this little rollerball scent I got as a bonus with a full-sized product purchase from Birchbox. I
So what's in your bag?
Last night was the first time you tried to run away from home. You were very upset with your mama and I because it was almost bed time, and we wouldn't let you use your finger paints. You gave out a short little anguished cry -- but only the length of a second or two. Then you marched with clear purpose to the front door and tried to push it open. I asked you where you were going and you replied with a succint-but-emphatic "out!" So I unlocked the door for you.
You made it about one step onto the porch when you turned back and said, very quietly to yourself, "But it's cold," and then "Papa, sweatshirt!" So I helped you put on your sweatshirt.
Once that second arm was through the final sleeve, your resolve returned and you strode back to the door. As your tiny hand pressed against it to start out on your own, I heard you mutter "Might get wet... better button up." I helped you get the zipper on your sweatshirt pulled up so that, in the event your journeys took you to wetter climates, your Yo Gabba Gabba Foofa shirt would stay dry.
You returned to the front door one more time, noticably slower than the first two times, and turned to me to ask "Boots?" I pointed out that you already had sneakers on. You contemplated this for a good ten or fifteen seconds, looked at me, cocked your head slightly to the side and said "Color? Crayons?" That seemed like a reasonable compromise, so I helped you out of your sneakers and sweatshirt and took you to your drawing table.
I can't believe how big you've gotten, especially compared to the last time I wrote one of these letters. A lot has happened in nine months. Nine months ago you were just beginning to master walking, now you've got a pretty good handle on running. "Hurry hurry hurry! Quick quick quick!" That's what you yell as you're running down the aisles of the grocery story with us at full-tilt.
As funny and energetic and outgoing as you can be, I still get really happy to see little bits and pieces of your introvert papa shining through in you. Every now and then you just get a little overwhelmed with it all. A few weeks ago, we were shopping and you had clearly had enough of us. You got up off of the bench that you and your mama were sharing, walked the ten feet to another bench, and just sat by yourself with your head hung down. Every now and then a stranger would come and sit by you, trying to make small talk, and you would high tail it back to your mama. But as soon as that bench was empty again, you went right back for it.
I really can't believe how much fun you are these days. You're just a little sponge, soaking up all the little things we do and things we say only to spring them back on us after a few days of thinking about them in that tiny little head of yours. Several times a day, one of us will catch you contemplating a drawing you're working on saying something very adult like "Let's see here," or you'll greet one of our friends who has come to visit by saying "Oh hi, I missed you!" It's very sweet. And I know that someday you will learn to actually read, but I'm just enjoying the pretend "reading" you're doing now.
If there's one thing you really need to work on, little girl, it's your negotiating skills. I'm not sure what your strategy is by asking me for "colate" (chocolate). "One colate, please? One?" You'll insist. "One colate? Two?? Two colate please, thank you?" Sadly, though, this form of negotiation has proved effective more than once. So well done on that count.
Little Lu, I'm excited to see what this next year holds for you. I'm sure your vocabulary is going to continue to explode, you'll continue to push your boundaries and our buttons, and I have every reason to believe there will be at least one more attempt to run away from home. Your mama and I will be there when it happens, ready to help you on with your sweatshirt and make sure you've got some string cheese in your pocket, and maybe try to convince you to just stay the night instead. You know, so you can get a fresh start in the morning.
Or maybe just draw instead.
I don't email as much as I used to. After college, email was a great, easy way to keep up with my closest friends, now scattered across the midwest. Sometimes it was a quick, one-off comment about whatever was going on, but at least once a week you could count on someone sending a moderately lengthly update about what was happening at their new job in their new city. With the rise of Twitter and Facebook, I think we've lost the art of the email.
I do, of course, recognize the irony of this. Ten years ago, when all this email writing was going on, the generation before us was decrying the loss of the art of the written letter. "Young people don't know how to properly write a letter anymore," we were told, as we rolled our collective eyes. A decade later, though, our decline in quality of communication has taken the next step.
There's nothing wrong with social media; Facebook and Twitter are great ways of keeping updated on the daily goings on of friends we might otherwise lose complete touch with. But I think the fact that we see these daily updates gives us a false sense of closeness. That, because I saw what you ate for breakfast on Instagram, I have an undestanding of what's going on in the lives of my friends who live several states away is a lie that prevents us from really keeping each other informed of what we've been up to. And so the months go by knowing more about our friends dietary and nail polish choices than how they're feeling and what they're really going through.
And so I'm trying to renew in myself the lost art of the written email that is longer than a sentence or two, and learn a bit more about what my friends are really up to in 2013. If you have any interest in knowing more about my life than what book I'm reading or what local restaurant I've dined at recently, I'd love an email to start the conversation. It doesn't require a big time investment to write more than 140 characters, just 5 minutes and a little bit of thought.
I typically love the fresh start feeling that the new year brings with it. I love making lists and goals and planning for the future. I have journal pages full of plans. Some things I actually accomplish, some things live continuously on my Big Picture List, some attempts are met with failure, and some things I have to let go.
If I were to measure life by my lists, 2012 brought more in the failure and letting go department than accomplishment.
Letting go is hard. Even if the thing you are letting go of isn't something you particularly love and isn't treating you well, it's still a struggle. The relinquishing of control and moving forward into the foggy unknown requires patience, hope and faith that everything will ultimately be ok. I am going to be honest, I'm scared and anxious and my head feels like its full of nothing but question marks. I am struggling to find the energy to put toward a new beginning.
Over the last few weeks I've been writing my new journal entries, making my new plans, writing my new lists. It's been slow going and there have been a lot of moments I just want to go back to what I know and where I'm comfortable. I don't want to be brave. I don't want to embrace change. I don't want to move on.
I ran across this quote somewhere on the internets and I scribbled it down on a piece of scrap paper that I find myself pulling out daily. It brings me a lot of comfort and inspires me to put one foot in front of the other on the days when I can't quite figure out where I'm going and I want to hide out on my couch and watch a never ending string of Gilmore Girls episodes.
Here's to a new year (a month and some change late) and starting where you are.