Monday, December 2, 2013

Makeup Review: Rimmel London's Scandaleyes Retro Glam Mascara

I recently had the chance* to try out Rimmel's new Scandaleyes Retro Glam mascara. This mascara hit shelves last month. On Rimmel's website, it boasts:
Bold, wide-eyed false lash look.Hour-glass brush shaped to the lash line to plump lashes, fanning them up and out for bold, wide-eyed volume.Coats lashes individually for a big, false lash look in one simple stroke. No clumps!
For the most part, I think their description of the product hits the mark, though I will say upfront that I had a slight problem with clumping. It wasn't the standard problem you think of when you hear that mascara clumps (of eyelashes clumping together). Instead, there was just too much mascara on the applicator brush at times. I think this was more a problem with the mascara being new and extra wet, and I feel pretty confident that the issue will take care of itself after a few more uses.

When picking out a mascara, it's important to me that a product have a large applicator brush and that the mascara aid in enhancing the natural curl of my eyelashes, because I hate eyelash curlers. Retro Glam has both of these crucial components. I thought I'd walk you through my eye makeup process, which culminated in applying this particular mascara. It's pretty standard, and I'm sure you already take this same approach. But maybe someone reading is curious how I go about it.

For context, I begin my makeup regimen with liquid foundation followed by loose powder. Then I do my eye makeup, and I finish with bronzer/blush and lip gloss. These pictures are just of the different stages of my eye makeup.

I picked three colors for the day. I used a shimmery bronze, a nude, and a gray. I applied the bronze to the entire eyelid. Then, I applied the nude under my brow. I finished the eyeshadow by applying the gray to the crease.

I'm a big fan of eyeliner. The darker, the better, in my opinion. So after I finish eyeshadow, I line by bottom lashes, then my top, and then I apply mascara to my lower lash line. To avoid getting mascara dots under my eye, I always do one quick swipe of mascara with the applicator brush horizontal. Then I turn the brush vertical and use its tip to focus on a few lashes at a time.
 Finally, I slowly apply mascara to the top lashes. I'm sure if I would have curled my lashes before using this mascara, you'd see even more dramatic results, but like I said: not a fan of lash curling.

 And there it is! How does your eye makeup routine differ from mine? Have you tried any new mascaras lately you think I should try?

*I received this product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Makeup Review: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation

I was excited to hear I was selected to receive Influenster's Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation VoxBox.* When it arrived yesterday, I decided that unlike VoxBox products I'd received in the past, foundation was something I felt comfortable reviewing on my blog. I feel like I try new foundations all the time, and I usually have very strong opinions about them. 

This post probably should have started with a warning. I don't let anyone see me without makeup on, and I've certainly never taken a picture of myself sans makeup and posted it for all the world to see. So, brace yourself for what follows. But I decided there isn't really a good way to review foundation without showing its ability for coverage. 

The left is me, right out of the shower, not a drop of makeup. The foundation provided fantastic coverage but was still light. It blended easily and really provided a matte base for the rest of my makeup. 

The finished product. 

After 11 hours at school, I had touched up my makeup only once. Most notably, the touch-up was only taking care of smeared eyeliner, and not handling shine. This is a big deal to me, because I have oily skin. I can't go through the day without pulling out my compact a few times.

Overall, I'm so pleased with this product. Its packaging and consistency is reminiscent of a BB cream but with better coverage. Of course, it's a little heavier than a BB cream, but it's much lighter than a bottled foundation. Two thumbs up!

In case you're interested, here's a full list of the makeup I wore today: Rimmel London Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation in Light Ivory; CoverGirl Professional Loose Powder in Translucent Light; Smashbox eyeshadow in Sherbert (lid); Too Faced Eye Shadow Insurance Policy in Socialite (crease); Smashbox eyeshadow in Bliss (brow); Julep Kajal Eye Glider in Carbon Black; Too Faced Lash Injection mascara; Too Faced bronzer in Chocolate Soleil; EF Studio Pigment Powder blush in Raucous; Origins Once Upon a Shine lip gloss in Sheer Crystal.

Are you on Influenster? What do you think of their VoxBoxes? Have you discovered any new beauty products lately I should be aware of? I'm always up for trying something new!

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Speaking My Mind

Frequently I've said that I admire when people can speak their mind. However, lately I am beginning to feel the opposite. To give you some context, my family isn't the kind that speaks our minds. Don't get me wrong, we're opinionated, stubborn, and often argumentative. But we rarely speak up when we feel someone is doing something wrong. This includes when someone is hurting our feelings, doing something that upsets us, or doing something that we fear might hurt them. We've often viewed this as a negative about our family. When something bothers us, we let it fester until it blows up. But then, we typically make up quickly and move on with our lives. I've often used my family's approach to problems as a contrast to those people that seem to be able to say whatever is on their mind whenever it comes to their mind. I've often looked at the way our family does things as somehow lesser. But lately, I've been thinking about how admirable it is when people can show restraint. Maybe it's because that's just my nature, but I'm starting to think that there are often times when it's better to remain quiet. It's okay to not point out every little flaw that someone has. It's okay to not give every piece of criticism we think might help someone. It's okay to sometimes assume that people are aware of their own shortcomings, are working on improving them, and don't need the input of others – particularly outsiders – reminding them of the very areas they're working so hard to improve. Life is hard. Why make it even harder for those around us, those we should care about? Maybe some of us should reserve speaking our minds for those moments when what's on our mind is how great someone is, how much we admire them, how much we appreciate them. And let them figure out the rest.

Friday, July 26, 2013

"I got to Kansas City on a Friday"

A week ago, Zipsie and I packed up a rental car and made the drive down to Kansas City for the weekend. Good food, great friends, and a fantastic 48 hours.

For dinner on Friday, we went to Grinders. The conversational highlight of the evening was a discussion about the possibility of roadtripping made easier by traveling with a catheter. I suppose that's what you get when you have dinner with a med student.

Saturday was more eating and shopping. We tried out Potbelly for lunch and were all very impressed. Matt and Toby left after lunch while Jen and I hit up the Plaza. My biggest score of the day was at Barnes and Noble. I hadn't been for months (stupid Law School), and they had some of their BARGAIN BOOKS for an additional 75% off! Yes, I bought a brand new book for $1.99.

Saturday night Jen and Matt were off to a dinner for Jen's work, so Zipsie and I relaxed with one of the new books I picked up. (To hear more about that, visit my newly resurrected Book Blog.)
We were all a little disappointed that Jen's dinner ended too late for us to make it to the drive-in as planned, but we made do with just hanging out, enjoying one another's company. 
Sunday we met up with some more friends for brunch at this delightful little creperie, Chez Elle. It was actually my first time having crepes, and I must say--I'm a fan. 

After eating, Jen, Matt, and I drove up to Liberty Jail. It was neat to see something I've heard about my whole life. 

 If anyone knows cute Sister Jacobs from Cedar Hills (I think?), UT, she's doing great!

 Wouldn't it be cool if this wasn't just a replica? ;)

Sunday night, Matt made hamburgers on the grill for dinner while Jen and I caught up on Once Upon a Time. After Matt left, Jen and I watched a few episodes of Psych (to make sure she was hooked) and then I made the drive back up. Because I got into Omaha so late (er...early?), I was unsure how to get my rental car back to the location and find a way back to my apartment. I thought about walking, but I was a little nervous to do so in the middle of the night. I ended up arranging for a taxi to pick me up (Jen's genius idea). I don't know if this will speak more to my LDS, alcohol-free lifestyle or the fact that, lamentably, I've never lived in a big city, but I've actually never taken a taxi outside of my vacation to NYC in high school. It was quick, not too expensive, and I didn't have to wake a friend up in the middle of the night! 

When it comes to having awesome weekends away, I pretty much win.

Friday, July 12, 2013

My Friend, Courteney Cox

In my experience, finding a new tv show to love is as unenjoyable as making new friends. Of course, when I find a new show--or a new friend--I'm all in. I watch every episode. I start to talk like the characters. I tell everyone how great the show is. But those pilots, the initial hangouts, are all but entirely insufferable. You can't really judge a show on its first episode. But do you want to invest the time to watch a second episode if it's not going to go anywhere? It just takes so much energy that I'd rather spend on something I know I'll re-watching Season 6 of Friends for the 18th time.

Believe it or not, until about two years ago, I didn't really watch tv. There were two main exceptions: 24 and So You Think You Can Dance. One went off the air and the other invited Comfort to be an All Star. Tragedies on both counts. But then I came to Law School and I was sucked into the ease of being a tv junkie. Reading used to be my outlet, my escape. But at school and work, all I do is read. Literally. All day long. Read, then write a little about what I read, then read what I wrote, then read more so I can write more. I'm essentially married to Times New Roman, and by the end of the day I'm sick of him.

Most days I come home with a headache, eyes tired of moving across a computer screen, brain strained from searching for the answer to some unanswerable question. So I shut down. I kick up my feet, pet Zipsie, and watch a show. This summer has mainly been about Psych. I fell in love with Shawn and Gus and their ridiculous but wonderful friendship. Most recently, Suzzanne introduced me to Cougar Town. I had heard about the show, but I never had the slightest desire to see it. I'd catch portions of it while flipping through channels and I was annoyed by this weird group of adults playing ridiculous games or just sitting around drinking wine. However, I promised Suzzanne I'd give it a real chance, and four seasons later I desperately want a cul-de-sac crew of my own.  I want to be Ellie, a former attorney turned stay-at-home mom who talks openly about how boring babies are to play with. I want a marriage like Jules, where I can be honest about my need to argue and have my husband accept that. In so many ways, that show is ridiculously over-the-top. Yet in so many ways, it's exactly where I want to be when I'm 40.

I hadn't actually intended to discuss my obsession with Cougar Town in this post. The point was merely to say: I'm out of episodes and I don't know what to do with my Friday night. Any suggestions?

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I couldn't think of a title for this post, so I decided to list the states I've been to so far this summer.

It's been a great couple of months! Spring term finished well for me, and I've made the most of my time since finals ended.

I roadtripped to West Virgina, where I was able to see my cousin, Kristine graduate from med school. On the same trip, I drove up to Akron, Ohio, and saw Matt wrestle and take third at the University Nationals for freestyle, where I was also able to spend some much-needed time with my mom.

I melted in visited Las Vegas while spending time with Jamie and her family during the weekend of her brother's graduation.

I spent a week with my family (minus Matt and Lauren) watching movies, enjoying Ashley and Jenny's new houses, watching baseball, and just soaking in the happiness that is family.

I was fortunate enough to see a friend sealed in the Bountiful Temple, whereafter *DOUBLE BONUS* I was able to see and spend a little time with Adiel, who I hadn't seen in far too long.

I'm working at a firm I love, and on Tuesday I take my final for the class I've been in Summer term. 

 Just wanted to give a quick update and let everyone know I'm alive and well!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Semester Re-cap

I don't currently have the internet at my apartment; money is tight and it seemed like a good way to save costs. In actuality, it just makes me depressed when I get home because I feel cut off from the world :) But I have a few minutes before my next class starts, and I thought I'd try and give you some updates.

It's been a crazy semester. Over Spring Break I elected not to go home and instead drove to Champaign, Illinois, for the Big Ten Wrestling Championships. What a trip! Matt won first, and Penn State walked away with the team title.

It was a great weekend spent with my parents, aunt and uncle, and Matt and Lauren.

I got home from Illinois and immediately started a new job at a local civil litigation firm. I can't say enough good things about that place. I feel wanted, appreciated, and (perhaps most importantly) challenged. I've started working every morning before my first class. That's only ten hours a week, but I sure feel the addition to my already-full schedule. Nevertheless, I'm grateful for the new path my career has taken.

After Spring Break, Law School Jen and I got to work on the 2L trial competition. Preparation for this overlapped with grading the 1L Law Review submissions. Again, things were crazy, but they were also great. Our second round was on a Wednesday night--March 20. That happened to be the night my parents flew into Omaha (flights to Des Moines were a bit pricey). I was go grateful they were able to attend our round and watch me flounder through figuring out this whole trial thing. Dad gave me a lot of good feedback to apply to future rounds.

The next day began the experience of a lifetime: attending NCAA Wrestling Nationals. I drove to Des Moines early in the morning and picked up Lauren from the airport. After three days of quality wrestling, I was fortunate enough to see Matt compete in the 174 lb championship match and to see Penn State win its third straight national title.

Matt was also honored with the Elite 89 award. I've been proud of Matt for a lot of things he's accomplished, but this might have topped the list. I know my siblings were sad to miss the tournament, and I feel very lucky that NCAAs were so close. (Des Moines is only about two hours from me.)

I got back from Nationals and jumped right back into the trial competition. Round-by-round, we advanced, and I found myself enjoying what I was doing quite a bit.

A second break from the competition came in the form of Easter Break. I drove home for Abby's baptism. It was a short but fun-filled weekend. We topped things off with Easter dinner and an Easter egg hunt for the nieces and nephews.

Last Tuesday Law School Jen and I competed in the final round of the trial competition and came in second. It was a tough loss, but I'm grateful we made it as far as we did.

Just two days later, we left for Kansas City for the UMKC Show Me Challenge, a national voir dire competition. We hadn't prepared for the competition as much as we would have liked (at all, really), but we were told by our coach to scope things out and get a feel for the tournament so we could decide if we should spend some time on it and go back next year. We were pleasantly surprised when we advanced to the semi-final round. We lost to Texas Tech by a 9-6 decision, so we left relatively pleased with our performance.

So, now I'm back in Omaha with no traveling plans in the near future. Finals start in a week and a half, and I can't believe how the semester has flown by.

I hope you all are doing well! Life is crazy, but as always, life is good.

Monday, February 4, 2013


I've always had a slight obsession with surprise parties. I think it started with my favorite children's book--Panda Bear's Secret--where Panda plans a surprise party for his Grandma. (I also credit that book for my love of Panda bears, so I guess be careful what books your kids read; apparently they'll be influenced for life.) 

So when Kate's bf told me he wanted to do a surprise party for Kate's birthday, I kind of freaked out. I'm sure my ideas and orders suggestions got to be a bit much at times, but he was a trooper. He suggested a Mexican theme, because Kate likes Mexican food. I came up with so many ideas--too many really--from a few quick online searches. I really loved this collection of ideas from Martha Stewart. I even had alcoholic drinks planned! But Oliver vetoed me on most things, apparently wanting to keep it simple. 

He did, however, let me get streamers featuring sombreros, chilis, and maracas.

He also let me do a very basic version of this paper tissue wall hang found on Hostess with the Mostess.

I couldn't find a tutorial, so I made it up as I went. It took some time, but it was relatively easy. I mean, I did it. And I'm the least crafty person on  the planet :) In case you're interested, I took pictures to walk you through the process.

What you'll need:

Tissue paper (I used 10 sheets of each color)
String of some sort (Curling ribbon worked fine for me)
Stapler and staples
Tape (Sticky enough to hang on the wall, not so sticky it will damage the wall)

1. Take the tissue paper out of its package and fold in half. It's probably already done for you, just crease the fold.

2. Cut the paper into a fringe, leaving a two inch margin at the top, by the fold.

3. Repeat with all colors, obviously

 4. Separate the sheets of paper, laying one on top of another.

5. Measure a length of string the width of the area of wall you'll be using. Decide how many rows of paper you'll be using, and cut that many lengths of string.

6. Loop the string through the fold. Leave enough string at the left end to attach to the wall.

 7. I used a stapler to make sure the paper stayed spaced correctly on the string. I'm still not sure if this was necessary, but better safe than sorry.

8. When I placed the second sheet of paper, I originally lined it up right next to the first. This caused a weird gap, so I fixed it with a staple and some tape. But for the rest, I overlapped sheets of paper by about one inch.

9. When you get to the end of your string, hang it up, starting with the bottom row.

10. Repeat!

And voila! The finished project: 

The other must-have decoration for me was the "Sleeping Mexican," as spotted on Top Party Ideas.

Oliver took the lead on this one, stuffing his clothes with newspaper. 

We didn't want to spend the money to buy a poncho, so we took an old sheet, measured to Oliver, and cut.

 We named our friend Miguel.

The day of the party led to an always-scary experience: cooking.

 My family makes very Americanized chicken enchiladas, which I've made in the past and feel comfortable with:

But I also found a recipe for stuffed jalapenos that looked good and easy enough for me to make. 

More decorations the day of the party: 

Waiting for Kate to arrive...


The surprise was a success!

Happy Birthday, Kate!