Sunday, December 14, 2014

Learning to Love My Stretch Marks

Lets talk about stretch marks. I had a few pre-pregnancy on my inner thighs from growing hips after high school. I used to be really self-conscious about them but after the redness faded they became less visible and I became less uncomfortable. I still preferred capri pants over shorts and wore shorts when in a bathing suit, but for the most part ignored them.
Jump ahead to my pregnancy. In the beginning I was really worried about stretch marks. Don't ask me why, I've never been a bikini girl or anything like that, but it was ingrained in my head from every mommy forum and pregnancy site to do whatever I could to avoid them with lotions, oils and creams. I lathered up with cocoa butter twice a day and used bio-oil after showering. I figured if that wasn't enough, nothing was. 

14 weeks 

For a while, it seemed like it was working and I might actually be one of the lucky ones to avoid getting any scarring. Then I woke up one morning around week 20 or so of my pregnancy and looked in the mirror and there one was, a little stretch mark creeping up my belly. Slightly irritated, but not too concerned, I continued lotioning daily and hoped that'd be it. Unfortunately that was the beginning of the end, because from then on nothing I did stopped the scars from appearing what felt like every time I looked at my body in the mirror. 
19 weeks

25 weeks

By week 30 I had more than I could count, sprawling up my underwear line and past my belly button. I gave up on lotions and enjoyed not smelling like cocoa butter 24/7. Once there were so many, I started to feel neutral about them. I just stopped giving a damn. My husband honestly was more concerned about it than I was, not for cosmetic reasons but because he'd heard they can itch and become irritated. 

39 weeks 

At one of my baby showers, my sister in law who had given birth a few months before me was complaining about a stretch mark she'd noticed after her son was born. She was in amazing shape pre-baby and was quickly bouncing back, so just to joke around I challenged her to show me hers and I'd show her mine. I honestly couldn't even see the mark she was pointing to on her side when she lifted up her shirt and was laughing inside to see what her reaction would be to my stomach. Lifting my top up, I watched her eyes bulge and mouth turn in to an "o", and she immediately started apologizing for complaining about her mark when I had so many. I told her it was fine, I was cool with it, I was just messing around, and then it occurred to me that I really DIDN'T care. I really WAS fine with the way my stomach looked. 

I'm not trying to come off as self-righteous or pretentious, but when I realized I wasn't bothered at all by my stretch marks, I was proud of myself. I figured especially postpartum, that feeling may not last so I promised to remind myself when the time came. 

2 months postpartum

Jump forward to 2 months postpartum, my beautiful daughter was born at 41 1/2 weeks and my post-baby body has taken a lot of time to heal. It's STILL healing in many ways, but one place I'm focusing on embracing and not being self-conscious about is my belly.

I wasn't in the greatest shape pre-baby but I definitely noticed my stomach was a lot softer after birth. The skin shrunk but didn't tighten and the stretch marks bunched up with nothing there to stretch them out. I can't say I haven't had moments where I didn't think "I wish I had a flat, flawless belly" but who wouldn't? It's at those times that I've tried to really look at myself and remind myself what the scars and extra pudge mean to me. They mean I'm a mother with an incredible, beautiful, delightful daughter that was a result of the wear and tear to my body, and I wouldn't take it back for anything. I'm so grateful to have her in my life and the changes to my body have been nothing compared to the joy she's brought to my life. 

I hope to anyone who reads this, that you do whatever you can to embrace your body and love it with all it's flaws. You're beautiful and your body deserves to be loved by you because it's the only one you have and it's capable of amazing things. 

That's all for today!


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lime Crime Wicked Review

I'm on the Wicked bandwagon guys! I drank the kool-aid and had to give it a go. I've never bought Lime Crime products before but was slowly falling in love with the gorgeous matte burgundy shade I'd been seeing on several beauty blogs and Youtube videos. A little digging and it turned out they were all Lime Crime's Matte Velvetines in Wicked.  

The normal retail price is $20 but I actually ended up buying it off of the Urban Outfitter website during a sale with 20% off which I was pretty pleased with. It has been sold out on the LC website for weeks so I was glad to be able to buy it elsewhere as I was hoping to try it out for holiday parties. 

When it finally came, the color was everything I'd hoped for. It's a gorgeous deep burgundy red that's very wearable and not TOO dark to come off as overly vampy. Pair it with an understated eye and your look is instantly glamified. 

The website describes it as being a matte burgundy-red and claims to be a "ground-breaking formula that goes on liquid and dries completely matte. Claims to be touch-proof, transfer-proof, long-wearing and utterly addictive."

The Pros: 
Once again, the color. It's a perfect fall/winter shade. Wear it every day with a simple eye look or glam it up by pairing it with a smoked out eye. 
It sets pretty quickly from liquid to matte and isn't too drying for your lips. 
Paired with a lip liner, is pretty long-lasting. 

The Cons: 
It's really not THAT long-wearing, especially if any liquid touches your lips after it's on. I played around with it a bit and had some trouble keeping it on my lips especially near the inner center where I got the dramatic color/no color when it rubbed off a bit between my lips. I fixed that by wearing it over a lip liner and once completely dried, wouldn't transfer, but if I took even a sip of water it would start moving around and transferring to the bottle or anything my lips touched. What worked best for me was applying it over lip liner and blotting it a tad with some tissue to make sure any excess formula was removed.  

The feeling on the lips isn't the greatest, it isn't especially drying but sort of feels like it is. It gives the grainy-don't try to move much feeling.

(wore this to Thanksgiving dinner, showing off the eye look I went with too!)

Overall I do really love the color and that alone is enough for me to continue wearing it, but it's a pretty difficult formula to get the hang of and feel comfortable in. I think if I were to wear it on a regular basis I'd get used to it, but I know I'd always be concerned about it transferring or smudging off my lips if I made any slip ups. 

I'd say comparing it to some other long-wearing formulas I've tried, I like the Make Up For Ever Aqua Rouge stains (which I made matte by blotting) more for staying power but would choose Lime Crime over the Sephora Luster Matte Long-Wear Lip Colors as it's got a better applicator making it less messy and easier to control. 

Final thoughts, is it worth buying?

Yes-ish. The color is to die for, but the Sephora lip colors mentioned above would definitely be a comparable less costly dupe if you don't mind working with the clunky applicator.

And our lovely little family all ready for Thanksgiving dinner! 

Happy Holidays everyone!!!


Monday, November 17, 2014

J.Cat Beauty Wonder Lip Paint

I was at Ulta yesterday afternoon and was bummed over not finding the NYX matte lip creams I really wanted and was just about to leave when I spotted these beauties. I've been really wanting to try out the OCC Lip Tars for the longest time but could never justify the price tag for what I considered a novelty lip product. I love the pigmentation an intensity of the swatches I've seen on other blogs but $18+ for a difficult to apply and not very forgiving lip product just seemed silly to me. 

Luckily these babies had a beautiful $4.99 price tag and all inhibitions were gone! I walked out with 3 gorgeous shades and have swatched them below. 

Shade: Much Mucher

Shade: 2nd Impossible Thing

Shade: Red Potion

Much Mucher, a very light orangy-peach-nude shade. It applied probably the best of the 3, was really opaque and I really loved how it looked. 

2nd Impossible Thing, in the tube and the swatch made it look like an electric red, but it ended up applying a bit less vibrant. It ended up on the lips as a slightly transparent berry red. Still beautiful, but not really true to the swatch. 

Red Potion is a super deep plum/berry shade that applied again a little more transparent than I was expecting, but still bold enough. It was a little patchy so I think it would do better on me if I'd exfoliated my lips first as they were a little dry. Overall I LOVE the color, but don't love the need for prepping my lips before applying it. 

While I can't compare them to the OCC Lip Tars, I can say that I really enjoyed them and was pleasantly surprised by how wearable they were. I still think they're more work than they're worth but for a night out or just for fun, they're awesome!


Blue Hair Don't Care

So no huge surprise, but my plain brunette hair didn't last too long. I colored my hair from ginger/auburn to as close to my natural shade as I could back in August to get ready for my baby. I knew I wouldn't have time to upkeep the red any longer and I can't stand it when my roots get out of control. 

After being back to brunette for a few months and finally getting a handle on being a mom, I started getting restless with my hair color (surprise surprise). I decided on the color pretty impulsively. I was in the shower one afternoon and just thought, "hey, blue would be fun!" and ran out the next day to get the color. 

I've had my hair nearly every color of the rainbow at some point or another, but the only shade I was never successful with was blue. I attempted it back in my early 20's but hadn't lightened my hair enough an it turned patchy green due to all the brassiness still left over from the bleach job. I hadn't attempted it since, but finally felt confident that I could do it right. As fun as an all over blue would be, and believe me I'd totally do it if I had the time to upkeep it, I knew I needed to do something a little more subtle. 

Normally I'd have gone with Jerome Russell's Punky Colour hair dye as I've loved it in past dye jobs, but the store I went to only carried Manic Panic. I'll admit I've never actually used Manic Panic on myself before and after finishing the amount I have leftover I honestly will probably switch back to Punky Colour. It came out gorgeous, but these pictures are from just 2 washes later and the vibrancy has already faded quite a bit. Punky Colour always went a good full month for me before fading. 

I bleached 3 panels diagonally on the right (heavier) side of my head an 2 panels on the left. I made sure none of the panels went quite up to the roots and left a good 2-3 inches untouched at my part to cut down on the need to re-bleach since it'll just keep up as peekaboo pieces. Next time I'll make sure to add heat when the blue is processing to bump up the longevity but all in all I was really pleased with the initial results. The color was GORGEOUS, just wish it lasted a little longer. 

I'm super excited to have finally been able to get the blue in my hair I've always wanted and will definitely keep up with it for a while. I love it!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

She's HERE!!!

Holy crap I have a baby.............It's been 3 weeks and I still can barely believe it. Meet our amazing daughter Clementine! She was born at 3:53 A.M. on 10.5.14 at 7lbs even! I can't even begin to describe how absolutely in love with her I am. After only 3 weeks I can hardly remember what it was like before she was here and I'm so grateful to have her. I'm sure this is what every parent feels, but she's absolute perfection. 

When I finally went in to labor I was 40 weeks 5 days and SO DONE with being pregnant. I had an appointment to discuss induction options the upcoming Monday and am so glad I didn't have to go that route. That said, I'm not going to sugar coat it, labor was an absolute BITCH. I was in labor for over 24 hours, starting right around 3 A.M. Saturday morning and didn't have her until almost 4 A.M. the following Sunday. 

My contractions basically came out of nowhere, as I'd been to the OB the Monday of that week and was 0cm dilated and still only 50% effaced, which was the same as my 39 week appt. I was NOT HAPPY to say the least. My mood about the state of things was brought on by several factors, primarily how I felt physically and the fact that my best friend was in town until the 8th before hitching a plane back to Texas and I very very badly wanted to give birth before that so she'd be able to meet the little monkey. 

Thankfully, I woke up that Friday night/Saturday morning at 3AM with sudden contractions and they quickly went from every 6-7 minutes to every 5-6. After speaking to my nurseline, I went in to the hospital after drinking a large glass of milk and waiting an hour. when I was still having contractions every 5 minutes, it was time to go!

Long story short, as I said labor was a bitch and things did NOT progress quickly at all. Even though my contractions quickly escalated to being strong and regular, it still took me forever to dilate from 1-2 cm's. I was admitted anyways as my blood pressure was a little up and down, though I had no other signs of preeclampsia, they just wanted to keep an eye on it. 

By about 1-2PM, contractions were HORRIBLE. They were still every 5 minutes but had gained in intensity and hurt something awful. By then I was still only 2-3 cms dilated so I was given pitocin to try to speed up the dilation and was still on 0 pain meds which I was NOT happy about...

By 7PM I was finally 5cm and 4min apart with contractions and FINALLY got my epidural. Then I was in heaven :) Epidurals are the shit y'all, just sayin... I couldn't feel anything below the belt and was having contractions and didn't even know it. HEAVEN. Even then, it took hours to get dilated to where it was safe to push. I think it was around 2AM when we finally started pushing and after 2 hours of that hell, she FINALLY made it out safe and sound. 

It was the longest day of my life but so worth it. 

I'm obviously posting this way after the fact as I've been getting the hang of being a mom and trying not to get overwhelmed by everything, but in the 3 weeks since she's been born, little Clem's become my best friend (even if she doesn't agree sometimes...little scream-o!). She definitely has had her good days and bad days but I couldn't ask for a more lovely little person to love to pieces and just wanted to share her birth and how happy she's made me and my husband. We're absolutely smitten! On that note, on to her photo bombs!!! She's a little ham in pictures :) 

At 5 days old, mastering the "poop smile"

6 days old, more poop smiles!

2 weeks 5 days, a pro of the "...really...?" face, just like her mom!

And today, 2 weeks 6 days, screaming after being cursed with mittens after managing to still scratch herself after a nail trim. 

And later after she zen'd out in her teddy ears hat. 

Thanks all for reading, feel free to share your own stories or ask any questions about mine!


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Our Little Girl's Bat Cave

The Kid's Bat Cave

So our little monkey is almost here. I'm 39 weeks 2 days and SO ready to not be pregnant any more... hint hint baby, you can come any time now!!

I've been busy as hell this summer and had absolutely 0 time to film. My makeup room is in our attic that currently has no A/C, so I wasn't in the position to do tutorials and all my weekends were filled with baby showers, birthday parties, holiday parties and more. Aaaaaaaaaand all this on top of starting a new job in June left me M.I.A from this blog and I do apologize. Last you heard from me I'd just announced the sex of our baby and showed off my blonde hair. 

Well, since then I've gone ginger again, then auburn/brown and now I've finished my hair with the typical "mom" color. I went back to as close to my natural shade as I could get it (with all the red undertones) to avoid the need to color it after our girl is born. I just know if I've been this busy without the kid here, I can't imagine how hectic things are going to get in just a matter of days....

My main project over the summer has been compiling things to get our nursery together. We painted it last June and decided to go with a bright turquoise for the walls. Early on I'd made the decision to avoid anything TOO girly for her room. I'm fine with pink and ponies and all that jazz, but the way I see it, the kid has 0 opinion at this point and since I'm putting my time/money in to this room, I'm going to decorate it how I like for now! If she wants to cover the walls in barbies and fairies someday, that's cool but for now, our theme was superhero!

My husband and I found several matching superhero posters at our Target and I love how they're more vintage-esque rather than the newer style of the cartoons/comics that are out there. Super lucky we were shopping when such convenient posters were out there! 

Most of my ideas came from Pinterest. I saw several adorable mini superhero posters/paintings/whatever they were and that's where I got the idea to do mini-paintings of vinyl Pop style superheroes. 

Steve and I picked our favorite heroes and I used acrylic paints to bring them to life! I plan on using ribbon on the outer borders eventually but just had no energy left to do it atm...

The pom poms and rope hanging on the walls and from the window came compliments of my mother. I found the idea for those off Pinterest also and set her to it and I think she did an amazing job! LOVE THEM!!!

Did a WHAM! Spiderman and Batgirl. 

Nightgrawler and Rorschach. 

Ms. Captain America, Wolverine and POW!

I also Pinterested the crap out of this lamp. I saw a pin of a lamp that looked plain turned off but had a bat signal turned on, so I cut out a pizza pocket box in the shape of a bat and taped it on the inside of the lampshade... I'm pretty proud *sniff*

We decided to put the dresser in the closet to save space and I love it. We will take the doors off the closet eventually to open it up more. 

And that's my nursery! Now all it needs is a baby <3

Hoping next time I post it'll be with newborn pics :) 


Friday, May 30, 2014

It's a GIRL!!! (and other news)

Once again, I return from an extremely long hiatus. Many things have been up, but first and foremost, the biggest news of all, I'm having a baby girl!!!!!!!!! We actually found out the sex about 6 weeks ago, but my computer's been out of commission for most of that time so I haven't been able to update.

We paid to go to an imaging place at 16.5 weeks and I was pleased as punch to find out we were going to be having a girl. We've had 2 more ultrasounds since then and she's still a girl haha (I only emphasize this because I honestly had a nightmare of the birth and being handed a boy...silly I know, but I apparently REALLY want a girl...)

I've got my computer back up and running, and am now able to show off a few of the other things that have changed in the last 2 months! I got a new camera and sold my old one. I finally caved and bought a Canon Rebel T3i after a bidding war on ebay. WIN!

I ALSO had a short stint as a blonde in that time. Mid April I was desperate for a change and went about going blonde. Overall it went well and what I did caused minimal damage to my hair, surprising considering I ended up bleaching and toning it twice. More on that later.

Being me though, as soon as my roots started coming in, I was over it. I knew there was no way I could deal with touch ups especially while pregnant and my hair is growing insane fast, so I'm back to being a ginger. I also cut my hair in to a bob for summer. Turns out being preggers makes you hot as HELL, so I knew the last thing I needed was my thick hair long against my neck all summer.


Super fancy pics taken of my blonde self with my new camera. I'll take some of my ginger ninja hair soon. It's brighter than before since I had to color over the bleach but overall I love it!

That's all I have for now... I'm sure plenty of other things have happened but that's all I can deal with going over for now. 

Until next time!!