Friday, February 1, 2019

Should You Get Eyelash Extensions?

Today I thought I would dive into something I've gotten a lot of questions about recently - my eyelash extensions. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you know eyelashes are kind of a big deal to me. And by kind of, I mean totally. I even have an entire blog post about how to get amazing lashes WITHOUT extensions here.

So why the switch to extensions? Well, I've got this baby in my belly and lash growth serum is one of those things you can't really be sure about using while pregnant. So rather than take any chances, I put my serum down and slowly backed away. I was able to keep them looking good for a few months by putting my favorite face oil on them each night which kept them soft and hydrated. Plus that oil is just magic. You can read more about it here. Eventually though, I was like Cinderella at midnight and my carriage turned back into a pumpkin and my lashes were real, real sad.

Image from Pinterest

I'm sure my husband was more than a little tired of me whining about my lashes because back in December I found a great special on lash extensions and he told me to snag it while it was so affordable. I told him it could be a Christmas present because let's be honest - lashes are life, but they aren't really a necessity. So I booked my spot for right after Christmas and counted down the days!

The end result was awesome. I now understand what all the fuss is about. I've had my first couple of fills and they went really well, too. Will I keep them forever? I have no idea. I'm having a baby soon and when that happens, who knows what time and money will allow for. But for now, they are so nice to have and I'm glad I decided to give it a try. Here's my before and after. Pretty incredible transformation if you ask me!


It doesn't hurt, but it does feel awkward at first.

To keep your bottom lashes from getting in the way, they are covered with pads or gauze and that is taped in place under your eyes (you can see it in the photos above). Your eyes are closed the whole time, but you're going to sense movement coming toward your eye, which may make you jumpy at first. The bottom line is you have sharp objects near your eyes, people getting in close contact with parts of your eye someone else would never usually touch, and we all have a natural tendency to want to prevent things from getting in our eyes rather than welcoming them in. So for those reasons, it feels strange at first - but it's absolutely not painful whatsoever. Don't be scared!

They are absolutely a time and money commitment

Your initial set of lashes does not last indefinitely. As your real lashes shed, so do your fake ones. That means you must continue to get them filled, just as you would with nails or getting your roots touched up. Fills are done every 2-3 weeks. If you go past a certain window of time, you're looking at potentially paying for another full set, so it's important to be ready to commit to keeping up with them. Your first visit is the longest because your lash tech is starting from scratch. Once you have them on, fills are really quick. 

You may have to change up products or how you apply them.

Lash extensions are applied with a specific kind of glue. That glue is really strong and durable, but it can't stand up to things like oil or hot steam. So my beloved face oil? It doesn't go anywhere near my eyes anymore. Your lash tech will give you specific care instructions, but just know anything with oil can't come near your eyes. And for 24 hours after a full set or fill, you can't get your face wet so don't plan to go swimming the day after a lash fill. And at this point, you might be asking yourself why people get lash extensions when it seems to come with a big list of stuff you can't do.....

Well, you wake up every morning looking like you have makeup on. You don't need a lash curler or primer or any mascara whatsoever. You can scale back your makeup routine and save time. And you know that moment when you just applied mascara and it hasn't dried yet and all of a sudden you have to sneeze like no one has ever had to sneeze before? Yeah, you know the one. You're already running late and your full face of makeup is on and you're starting to sweat and now there's a big, black smudge under your eye and you just know the universe hates your guts? There's no more of that. Ever. 

If you're local to me, I really do recommend my lash studio, Lash Addiction. It's a private suite with two awesome ladies and they take day and evening appointments which is so nice. You can check out their Facebook page here

Do you have lash extensions? Let me know what you think about them! Please also feel free to ask any additional questions and I'll tell you what I know! Thanks for reading and I'll talk to you soon!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Be Mine: The Cutest V-Day Finds!

Oh, Valentine's Day. One 24 hour window comes with a lot of emotional baggage sometimes, doesn't it? I honestly don't even think about it that much anymore, but that's because I've been married almost 8 years and in a relationship more than 10. My husband and I intentionally avoid going out on the actual day because our undying love for one another is united in our dislike for crowds at restaurants. (See? We're soulmates.) He usually brings home flowers for me and for our daughter, and I would bet when this next little lady comes along, she'll get flowers, too. But, I can remember a time when the day made me roll my eyes and want to barf. If that's you now, I completely respect your stance. 

However, I love that single gals everywhere have flipped the script on all the V-Day shenanigans and started celebrating with Galentine's Day parties and embracing the fact that they are perfectly perfect with or without someone else! And, because I'm a mom, I enjoy sending cute treats to school for my kiddo and getting her something fun just to remind her she's loved. I think that's the most important thing to remember about Valentine's Day - it's about love. And love is for everyone. It comes in many forms and it has the power to heal, redeem, and change us all if we let it. 

On a lighter note, I think we can all agree no matter our relationship status or view on the day, it's just kind of fun to wear hearts and happy colors like red and pink, right? I love a holiday, I love a theme, and any excuse to wear something fun is kind of my jam. I rounded up some of my favorite finds that you can wear on February 14th - but I think they'd be pretty cute any time! The best part? All of these clothing items are the exact same, but come in regular AND plus sizes! I love when that happens! Just scroll through the lookbook down below and click on any image to be taken directly to it! (Links are affiliate - I may make a small commission on purchases but there is no additional cost to you!)

Do you have any fun Valentine's Day traditions or do you just go on about your business like it's any other day? I'd love to hear your take on this holiday! And, be sure to click here and follow me over on Instagram to see some of my Valentine's Day looks coming soon! 

Thursday, January 10, 2019

3 Tips to Plan Perfect Outfits

Getting dressed is something we all do. No matter who you are or where you're from (unless it's a nudist colony - heyyyyyy!) we share the universal task of finding something to wear before we head out the door. For some of us, choosing an outfit is a creative outlet and the process is downright enjoyable. For others, it's just something you have to do and the end result doesn't matter. And in between, there are my gals who want to put some thought into their outfit and they're totally on board with looking and feeling put together, they just don't know where to start. Sis, if that's you, let's talk. 

Putting together outfits is something I just do on autopilot. The part of my brain that thrives on creativity is WAAAAY bigger than the part of my brain that can do equations or science-y stuff. When I decided to tackle this topic, I tried to think about the most basic steps I repeat over and over again when building an outfit. If you are someone who struggles with putting outfits together, complicated advice is a waste of your time. So I narrowed it down to just 3 things you can do to build the perfect outfit and feel completely put together every time you walk out the door. Let's get into it!

This post contains affiliate links. While I may make a small commission, there's no additional cost to you.

I bet if you stepped back and looked at your closet as a whole, you would start to notice you tend to buy more of certain colors. For many of us, black is our safety net. In my closet you would see a lot of black and white prints, leopard, solid black, camel, olive, and a few pops of color. In someone else's closet you might see tons of white, taupe, or gray. We all have a comfort zone with color and tend to gravitate towards a few we love over and over. When you're putting an outfit together, try choosing just 2-3 colors and staying in that color palette. You can also choose to stick with 1 color and go completely monochromatic. As you become more confident, you can mix patterns, colors, and prints all day long - but when you're just getting started, there is absolutely nothing wrong with planning an outfit that is only black and white if that's what keeps it from being stressful. 

Easy colors to build an outfit with:
  • Black, white, beige, gray, olive, blush, cream, navy

This is where it starts to get fun. Or if you hate planning outfits, this might be where your anxiety starts to kick in. Don't stress out. This can be as simple as wearing head to toe black but choosing a top that's velvet or sheer, or adding a textured scarf. One of my personal favorite textures to add to an outfit? Leather. A classic black leather jacket or vest instantly adds interest, breaks up the outfit, and looks elevated. And please know when I talk about patterns, I know animal print and bright floral are not for everyone. Try tiny dots, super thin stripes,or simple windowpane plaid. 

Textures and patterns to try:
  • Leather, faux fur, linen, velvet, suede, distressed denim, lace
  • Polka dots, stripes, plaid, floral, animal print

I view these as the icing on a super fun cake. But you know what they really are? They are the superstars that bring an outfit together. When you see someone and think their outfit is so cute or they look so put together, I'd be willing to bet it's because you're seeing layers, textures, patterns, and colors all working together in a way that make you stop and take notice. There's nothing wrong with jeans and a white tee. It's classic and will never go out of style, but it's the way you wear it that counts. Dark denim skinny jeans with a cuff, a white tee, leopard flats, a leather belt with a gold buckle, simple gold jewelry, polished makeup, a fabulous handbag and sunglasses - THAT IS AN OUTFIT. Something as simple as a cardigan and a pair of earrings can make an outfit feel complete. Layers and accessories are also the pieces where we most commonly see pattern and texture come into play, so don't be scared of them. They're like the Golden Girls - thank them for being your friends. 

Layers and accessories I love:
  • Cardigans, long duster sweaters, ALL the vests, jackets, scarves
  • Statement earrings, delicate necklaces, chunky link bracelets, hats, handbags

I love shoes. I always have. Admittedly, I'm no longer willing to be in pain for them, but you don't have to wear heels to wear a statement shoe. I can also appreciate that a good nude ballet flat is worth its weight in gold because of its versatility. Shoes can absolutely be the centerpiece of an outfit. If you're wearing all black and do a pink or red shoe, there's nothing more chic. Shoes, in my opinion, are really personal because fit matters. What works for one person's foot may not work for another. Just know you can absolutely apply the principles of patter, texture, color, and fun details to your feet. Shoes are another great way to have fun with your outfit and bring in an unexpected element or pop of color!

*In each of these photos I'm either wearing jeans or black pants on the bottom*
When I say there's nothing wrong with sticking to simple black and white, I'm being serious! This black poncho brings in a chunky knit texture and my earrings add some visual interest while still staying in a two-tone color family. (Matching lips and nails are just a fun bonus!) I have been living for ponchos and turtlenecks while pregnant in the winter and this one is from a local boutique called Hello Rae. My friend Jess is the owner and she puts so much care and attention into finding pieces that work for EVERY body - I have been able to wear several things while still pregnant and they will continue to work after the baby is born. You can shop online with her anytime over on her website! Earrings are available here.

This is a great example of a simple, neutral color palette, adding plenty of texture through the knit of the sweater and the metal and wood accessories, and topping it off with a hat to keep things interesting and fun. Both the sweater and hat are past Walmart purchases which is proof positive you don't have to spend a ton of money to feel like a million bucks!

Do you see a pattern emerging? I definitely love fun colors and prints and I'm not scared of anything bold but the majority of the time, I'm operating with a pretty neutral color palette and I use patterns, textures, layers, and accessories to bring it all together. This leopard beanie from Nordstrom is their BP brand (currently sold out) and it usually comes back every fall and winter. I got it on major sale this year for just $7.50 - again, a small accessory for a great price can make a huge impact on how an outfit comes together. Linking a similar option that's just as affordable here. The quilted vest is classic and adds another layer of texture. It's available here.

This is a really recent outfit and it combines a few of my classic favorites and new obsessions! A chambray shirt (this one is maternity) is a must-have closet staple. You can pair it with any color or pattern and it always works. I added a fur vest which is one of my absolute favorite layering pieces for any outfit. It's the easiest way to make basics like a chambray top and black pants look more dressed up and special. What I don't usually wear? Hair accessories. But I'm here to tell y'all, bows and scrunchies and headbands are back in a BIG way. This polka dot one is less than $4 and I just love how cute it looks when I want to pull my hair out of my face. 

And now you know my secrets! Except, it's not really a secret at all. These are just very basic strategies that can help take the guesswork out of getting dressed. The main rule in fashion is there are no rules. You can and should wear whatever makes you feel your best, but it doesn't hurt to have some tried and true steps for deciding what to wear. I hope this helps you and if you have outfit planning tips, I'd love to hear them! What are your closet staples and no-fail strategies? Share away! Thanks so much for reading, and I'll talk to you soon.