Saturday, August 30, 2014

July/August 2014 Beauty Favorites

July and August have been "slow" months in terms of trying out new makeup.  I used a lot of the same products in July and August, so I figured it was easier to combine this blog into one post rather than two.  Here are my 6 favorite beauty favorites from July & August!

Urban Decay Perversion Mascara ($22 at Sephora)
I got this as a sample from Urban Decay prior to the product being released, but I wasn't really all that excited about it.  Truth is, I own a few other high end mascara brands and I just don't find them to be that special.  I also know that what really makes a mascara awesome is the brush.  When I first used this mascara I looked at the brush and thought, "no thanks!"  I decided to use it anyway, and I was amazed at how well it lengthened my lashes and added volume.  A lot of mascaras make your lashes feel stiff, but what I love about UD Perversion is that it doesn't have that effect.  I'll definitely be purchasing the full-sized version once my sample runs out!

Bare Minerals Matte Foundation - shade: Medium Beige ($27 at Sephora)
Last month, I LOVED the Revlon Colorstay Foundation.  As it gets hotter and hotter this summer, I've found that liquid foundation just won't work for me because of how much I sweat (gross, I know).  What I love about the Bare Minerals matte foundation is that it doesn't break me out, it doesn't feel heavy and it looks natural.  I think of it as "my face but better."  Plus, a little goes a long way.  I don't wear foundation often, but this is my summer staple for the days I do.

Makeup Geek Eyeshadow ($5.99 per eyeshadow pan at MakeupGeek.com)
I've learned to do my makeup by watching YouTube videos, and Makeup Geek eyeshadows are a favorite among many beauty bloggers, including Jaclyn Hill.  From all of the reviews I've read, people say that they're similar in quality to MAC eyeshadows but at a fraction of the cost.  I don't own any MAC eyeshadows, so I can't speak to that.  However, I do know that these shadows are so pigmented, they go on smooth and they blend well.  I still plan on trying out MAC eyeshadows some day, but for now, I'm in love with my Makeup Geek shadows.

NYX Slide On Eye Pencil ($7.99 at Ulta)
I haven't been using a lot of eyeliner pencils lately, especially since it's summer.  Usually eyeliner pencils melt right off, but not this one!  It stands up to the heat and is truly waterproof.  Proof: One day at work I had a major meltdown and cried my eyes out for a few hours (sorry boss!).  I expected to go into the bathroom and see my eyeliner all over my face...but it didn't move.  All of my eyeliner (and mascara) was still there.  I couldn't believe it!

LAQA & Co. Sheer Lip Tube Pencil ($18 at Birchbox)
I got this lip pencil as a sample in my July Birchbox.  They sent me the purple shade, and at first, I was like, "Purple?! Oh hell no! They have me all wrong."  I tried it one day after work because my curiosity got the best of me, and I was in love from the moment I put it on.  The color is completely buildable and doesn't go on harsh or overwhelming.  It has a minty taste and slight tingle when you first put it on, which I loved!  I've used it a few times since then, and each time I fall in love a little more.

Urban Decay Naked Basics Palette ($29 at Sephora)
There's not much to say about these shadows except that they're matte and are great for those days when you want to wear makeup but still want it to look natural.  The shadows aren't chalky and they blend beautifully.  This palette has been a favorite of mine lately!

Are there any beauty products that you've been loving lately?  If so, let me know!  I'm always looking for new products to try!

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

don't often write about the death of a celebrity. In fact, I don't think I ever have. But tonight, my heart is heavy with the death of Robin Williams.

Depression is a very real and dark struggle. My heart aches for his family. I can't imagine the pain his family must be going through. I think about all of the unanswered questions they have and the memories that will never happen.

I think about the millions of lives that Robin Williams impacted and the joy he brought to so many people. He made people laugh and smile in ways that most people can't. Although I can't say this for sure, I can only imagine that he saved so many lives.

I don't believe that suicide is selfish. It must be one of the hardest decisions that anyone could ever make. And it breaks my heart that someone felt like their pain was too much to handle. They say that the people who bring great joy also know great pain.  For Robin Williams, this must've been true.  The world lost a talented, hilarious soul today. The world is grieving. Our hearts are heavy. 

Robin Williams' death is a reminder that people need people. No matter what you're going through, you are not alone. 


If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. There's someone on the other line waiting to help. You are worth it. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

From Couch to Tough Mudder

At my heaviest weight in August 2012 right before I moved to Alabama
I'm running a Tough Mudder on November 9, 2014.

There, I said it.  I signed up for the race at the end of June.  Up until now, it's mainly been a secret to most people (minus my boyfriend, sister, best friend and coworkers).  To be honest, I've kept it a secret because I was scared that I'd fail.

For as long as I can I remember, I've been saying that I was going to lose weight and get into shape.  But it never happened.  Every time I try to lose weight, I gain it back.  Every time I try to get into shape, I quit after a month.  So this time, I thought it would be best not to say anything.  But then I told my boyfriend.  And my sister.  And my coworkers.  And when my boss asked me to set goals for myself after my 90-day review, one of them was "To complete a Tough Mudder."  This time, I will not fail.  And I have other people helping me and encouraging me to make sure that I don't.

It's been hard getting back into working out.  On most days, I don't have any motivation to go on a run or press play on Turbo Fire.  But I do it anyway.  On most days, I don't see the results of all of my hard work.  But some days, I try on clothes that haven't fit in over a year and I realize that it's working.  Most days, I feel tired and sore.  And quite frankly, I want to give up.  But I don't...because I signed up for this Tough Mudder, and I'm going to conquer this thing.

Up until this point, my training has mainly consisted of running (I'm using the Couch to 5k app).  I added in Turbo Fire a few days ago, and next month I'll be adding in strength training.  On my first day of C25K, the intervals were run 1 minute and walk 90 seconds.  I could barely get through it and my legs ached.  Tonight, the intervals were run 5 minutes and walk 3 minutes.  And you know what?  I made that workout my bitch.  I was running at a pace that felt impossible to me that first day, and I kept the same pace the entire time.  I was exhausted when I was done, but it felt incredible to complete that run.

At my lowest weight since junior year at FGCU.
Taken on August 9, 2014
With all of this training, the weight has started to come off.  It's been a slow journey, and for a few weeks, I was gaining weight instead of losing it.  Since March, I've lost 17 pounds.  However, I didn't start seeing results until a few weeks ago.  After losing 10 pounds, my clothes still fit the same, and I was starting to get frustrated.  It wasn't until I had lost 15 pounds that I started seeing results.  Now, my clothes are looser, and I'm more comfortable wearing shorts and fitted shirts.  But what's really been amazing is watching my confidence grow.  I'm still not where I want to be, but I feel amazing!  I wear compression shorts when I run, tank tops to work and shorts on the weekends - and I don't give a damn what people say about it.  When you feel amazing, nothing can stop you from working toward your goals.

This journey is far from over.  There's still 90 days until Tough Mudder, and I have so much work to do before then.  But I believe in myself, and there are other people who believe in me too.  There are days when my legs are sore, and I'm tired beyond belief.  There are days when I finish a workout and all I want to do is cry because I didn't do as well as I could've.  There are days when I think, "if I didn't give up last year, this wouldn't be so hard."  But the love and encouragement from my boyfriend, family and coworkers is what keeps me going when all I want to do is quit.  I refuse to let them down.

The best things in life aren't given.  They're earned.  
I Will What I Want - Under Armour Women

Saturday, August 9, 2014

What it REALLY Means to be an ISFJ

Yesterday at work, we all somehow got on the topic of personality types.  It made me think, "this would make an AWESOME blog post!"  So here it is.

I first took the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) personality type test back in 2011.  I was just elected as Student Government Senate Secretary, and we were getting ready to go on our annual Student Government retreat.  Before we went, we were all sent a link to the MBTI personality type test and were told to take it and email the SG coordinator a screenshot of our results.  So I took the test, and at the end it showed me my Myers-Briggs personality type: Introversion, Sensing, Judging, Feeling - otherwise known as ISFJ.

I remember seeing the word "introversion" and thinking "Oh hell no. There's no way I'm an introvert."  So I took the test again.  And you know what the result was?  The same exact thing...except this time, I my numbers leaned even more towards introversion.  So why was I so upset to see that I was an introvert?  Because my whole life, I only heard the word "introvert" used in a negative way.  I heard that introverts were shy, anti-social and cold.  I never saw "introvert" being used in a way that was positive.

When I read more about my personality type, I realized that it wasn't bad to be an introvert and that there was a reason behind who I was.  It all started to make sense.  Suddenly, I didn't feel so different or weird.  I had a deeper understanding of myself, and in turn, I felt like I had a purpose.

Here's a breakdown of what each part means:

Introversion: Get energy from within, quiet, reserved, humble, thoughtful and calm 
Sensing: Concrete information rather than abstract theories, practical, traditional, observant and factual
Feeling: Devoted, caring, kind and principled 
Judging: Organized, methodical, dedicate and persistant 


Being an ISFJ

Being an ISFJ is unique.  Our qualities often defy what it means to be each individual trait.  Although we're introverts (I), we have well-developed people skills.  Although we have the Feeling (F) trait, we're also highly analytical.  We're Judgers (J), but we're also receptive to new ideas and change.  We're more than the sum of our parts, and it's part of what makes us so unique.

ISFJs are kind, sometimes to a fault.  We're enthusiastic about the things we love.  ISFJ's are humble, and we hate being the center of attention.  We'd rather be rewarded by seeing the true impact of our work.  Sometimes we underplay our accomplishments because of this.  

We are perfectionists but sometimes procrastinators.  However, you can always rely on us to get the job done on time.  We take pride in our work and take our responsibilities seriously - we go above and beyond what's expected of us to make other happy.  

ISFJs have a crazy good memory - not to retain data, but to remember people and details about their lives.  We remember things like birthdays, what you like, your hobbies and specific events that impacted us.  Some people think it's weird how we can remember so many little details, but that's part of being an ISFJ.

We are very aware of our feelings as well as the feelings of others.  However, we don't usually express our feelings, especially if they're negative.  ISFJs tend to bottle up their feelings instead of telling people how they feel.

We take pride in our work, but home is where the heart is for us.  We love being around people we care about, and we love being able to care for people and spoiling them.  We're selfless and rarely take time to think about our wants and needs.


Famous ISFJs

  • Rosa Parks
  • Robert E. Lee
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Mother Teresa 
  • Kate Middleton
  • Laura Bush
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Tiger Woods
  • Kim Kardashian
  • Mitt Romney
  • Halle Berry
  • Jimmy Carter
  • Nancy Reagan 
  • Naomi Watts
  • Bruce Willis
  • Christopher Walken
  • Jessica Simpson
  • Christopher Walken
It's been over 3 years since I took the MBTI test, and I've taken it several times since then.  My result is always the same: I'm an ISFJ.  It took me some time to come to terms with what all of it meant, and for awhile I tried to hide the fact that I'm an introvert.  Only recently have I realized that it's not something to be embarassed about and that I should be proud of who I am.  Now, when I tell people that I'm an ISFJ, I say it with confidence.  I'm no longer ashamed of being an introvert, and I've truly learned to love who I am.

Monday, July 28, 2014

#MCM

In the world of social media, today is #mcm (otherwise known as "Man Crush Monday").  I try to avoid posting pictures of my #mcm in order to avoid being sappy and cliche, but today, I couldn't help myself.  And for some reason, I want to extend my overly mushy love on my blog.  But it's my blog, and I can do whatever I want.

You're my best friend, but you're more than that.  You're my best friend, partner in crime and court-appointed friend (inside joke!).  You make me laugh until I cry or almost pee my pants.  You laugh at me when I deserve it, you encourage me through all of my crazy endeavors and you're my number one fan through it all.  You support me in everything I do - trying to lose weight, signing up for a Tough Mudder, switching jobs and finding my passion.  You push me to be better, even when I don't appreciate it.  You cuddle with me even when you'd rather lay alone, you let me be the big spoon sometimes and you always tell me I look beautiful in the morning.  You're honest in a way that no one else is.  I don't always like to hear it, but just know that I appreciate it.  You're the cheese to my macaroni, the peanut butter to my jelly (in an uncrustable), the Crown to my coke.  You're the icing on my cupcake, the chocolate chips in my cookie and you make everything in life so much better.  You don't complete me - you complement me.  You make me better.  You're everything I'm not and everything I aspire to be.  Baby, you're my better half.  You're the love of my life, and I'd be so lost without you.  Thanks for a truly incredible two and a half years.

I love you, Alex.  You're my #mcm, today and forever.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

June 2014 Beauty Favorites

Let me start out by saying this: I'm not a makeup artist.  Or a beauty blogger.  But I do love beauty products, and I'm sure there are many of you out there who feel the same.  Lately, I've been trying out tons of new beauty products, and I figured it may be fun to add beauty favorites to my blog every month.  Some of these products were suggestions from beauty bloggers on YouTube, and others are products I heard a lot about and wanted to try.  Each month, I'll feature 5-7 products from the previous month that I loved, and I'll include pictures, links and all that fun stuff.  So here we go!

Urban Decay Naked Palette ($54 at Sephora)
I bought this palette a year ago, and it was my first real high-end beauty brand purchase. At the time, I had only been buying drugstore brand products, so this was a whole new world for me.  Over time, I developed a huge love for this product, and I used it like crazy last month.  Some of my favorites are virgin, sin, sidecar and toasted.  These eyeshadows are so pigmented and easy to blend, and they go on so smooth. If you're looking for a new palette to buy, I'd definitely recommend it!

Maybelline Pumped Up Colossal Mascara ($7.99 at Ulta)
Jaclyn Hill, my absolute favorite beauty blogger on YouTube, mentioned this product in a couple of her videos, and I trusted her opinion enough to try it out.  I've been using Maybelline Falsies mascara for YEARS, and I was super reluctant to try a new mascara.  I'm glad I did because this one is amazing!  It really adds volume a
nd length to my lashes.  It doesn't clump, and it's easy to add on more layers.  The wand makes it so easy to get every lash, including those stubborn bottom lashes.  Yeah, this stuff rocks.

Maybelline Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer ($8.99 at Ulta)
Another recommendation from Jaclyn Hill!  I've been using the Maybelline fit me concealer for about a year, and I was so in love I thought I'd never try anything else.  I decided to pick this one up in a shade lighter than my skin tone so I could use it as a highlighter.  What a great decision!  The weird ball sponge at the top can be annoying at times since I don't always feel like enough product comes out.  But after a little bit of patience (and twisting), I always get it to work.  I don't really have under eye circles, so I can't say if it works well for that.  I do use it as an eye primer sometimes, and I will say that it works really well.  This is definitely a great drugstore concealer!

Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray ($30 at Sephora for the 4oz. bottle)
Are you noticing a trend here?  I obviously love Maybelline and Urban Decay!  At first, I was hesitant to spend $30 on a makeup setting spray, but living in Florida, I figured it was a necessity.  Holy moly this product is incredible!  I mist it on my face after I've applied all of my makeup, and even in the Florida heat, my makeup lasts all day and doesn't move.  This has just become a staple in my makeup collection.

Revlon Colorstay Foundation for Combination/Oily Skin ($12.99 at Ulta)
I have oily skin, and living in Florida doesn't make it any better.  I usually don't wear liquid foundation because of this since everything just seems to crease or melt off my skin.  I bought this foundation back in April, and I recently bought another bottle in a darker shade.  Paired with a primer and setting powder, this foundation doesn't budge on me!  I also use Urban Decay's makeup setting spray afterwards to give it some extra hold.  I usually apply it with a Real Techniques sponge (a dupe for the Beauty Blender) or a Sigma F80 brush.  I love that the coverage is buildable, so I can have as little or as much coverage as I'd like.

What products did you try last month that you absolutely loved?  I'm always looking for new products, so if you have any suggestions, let me know!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

New job, new outlook

It's hard to believe that it's been two months since I started my new job at Impulse Creative (wait, did I ever mention this new job?!)

Hold on.  Let's back up a second  After I left my job at ITVantage/T3, I spent a week in Minnesota with my family.  When I got back, I started my new job at a marketing and branding agency in Southwest Florida called Impulse Creative.  I work as an inbound marketing consultant to create remarkable content (blogs, social media, emails, website content, etc) for a set of clients.  My job is pretty sweet...I'm not going to lie.

The best part of my job is that even on the worst days, I still love going into work.  The worst part is that I have to go home at night.  I love what I do, and I'm proud of the work that I produce for my clients.  It's not always perfect, and sometimes it doesn't always work the way I had hoped - but that's how you learn.

Three months ago, when people told me that their job didn't feel like work, I thought they were full of shit (excuse my language).  But now, I get it.  I have a job that doesn't feel like a job, and it certainly doesn't feel like work.  It feels like I'm learning while doing something that I love.  I'm so thankful I was given this opportunity, and I can't wait to see where this takes me.