Friday, May 1, 2015

Spring Closet Clean Out

With the warmer weather finally upon us, I've been really motivated to get things neat and organized with some spring cleaning. Living in an older home, one thing we really struggle with is storage space. Each of the bedrooms has a closet, but it's a small one. Both of the downstairs closets came with one lower shelf but no upper shelf above the closet rod. I always thought this was such a waste of space so I enlisted Mike's help to install upper shelves in the downstairs bedrooms. 





We bought two pieces of plywood and cut them to size to fit each closet. I painted them white to match the trim and then Mike installed them with heavy duty shelf brackets.





The extra downstairs bedroom is basically my bonus room. There is a bed in there but it is also where my vanity is and it's where I get ready in the morning. We use this closet as overflow storage. I store my purses in there, my bathing suit cover-ups as well as our larger sweatshirts. I found these hanging circular organizers at Bed Bath & Beyond. I believe they're actually meant to store belts but I'm using them for handbags and baseball caps. They work like a charm!





Having the extra shelf up top has been awesome. I now have a place for my camera equipment, larger hats and board games. This freed up the bottom shelf and I now use that for shipping supplies for when I occasionally sell on eBay and Poshmark.

Moving on to the Master closet:





This closet is larger than the one in the guest bedroom. I remember when we bought the house this was advertised as being a "double closet" because the space extends on each side past the door, which is nice but I still managed to fill it to the brim. Seriously, the rod was sinking in the middle and was about to break. These are just my clothes too, Mike uses the upstairs closet which is about this size. This is where most of the clean out took place. I went through everything and got rid of about a third of my clothes. I made three discard piles: to toss, to donate and to sell. I organized what was left and we installed the upper shelf and some new shoe racks.





I'm using the upper shelf to store our extra bed pillows. These are the fancier ones that I put out when I fully make the bed. Before these were kind of shoved in the back on the bottom shelf and some of them were even in another closet. My hope with having them on top shelf is that they are more easily accessible and that it will inspire me to fully make our bed more often. We'll see!




When we moved in the previous owners had made a little shoe shelf for this closet. It was made out of warped particle board and to say the thing was rough is an understatement, I really should've taken a picture. I replaced them with these shoe racks from Target. 




Lastly I wanted to share my scarf organization. I got this cute little owl scarf organizer from Bed Bath & Beyond a few years ago. I keep all my lighter fashion scarves on him. 

Cleaning and organizing is oddly therapeutic to me. Although I put it off and it's an overwhelming task to think about, once it's done I feel so much better. I love having a place for everything and it's nice to have less "stuff" to worry about. I got rid of so many items that I hadn't worn in years that were just taking up space. I hope this helped give you some ideas on how to clean out and organize your closet. Have you done any spring cleaning this year?



Friday, April 24, 2015

Glam Glow Masks, Worth the Hype?



Today I'm talking about the ever-popular Glam Glow Masks. These items are certainly a splurge. Each full size mask costs a whopping $69! Does big money yield big results? Are these worth the hype? I was lucky enough to receive these three in a holiday gift set last Christmas. I've been testing them out for a while now and wanted to share my thoughts.




Supermud Clearing Treatment

This a mud mask that Glam Glow describes as being skin-clearing. It draws out dirt and congestion from the skin with Activated-X Charcoal while brightening and softening the skin with a six-acid blend. In short, I love this stuff. I use it once a week on my whole face for about 20 minutes. As soon as I rinse it off I notice a difference. It minimizes my pores, shrinks blackheads and starts to dry up any active breakouts. My skin also feels slightly tighter after using. Not in an uncomfortable way, but it may be the pore minimizing at work. The final result is my skin is left feeling soft and smooth, which was surprising for me as I'm dry and acne treatments usually leave my skin clearer but leave behind dry patches. This one is a win-win!




Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment

This is an exfoliating mud mask that Glam Glow describes as providing gentle resurfacing exfoliation to smooth and brighten skin as well as providing tighter skin and pores for a more youthful appearance. This one is a 10 minute mask that delivers a tingling effect during application. I did notice that this mask also provided the skin tightening, pore minimizing effect that I got from the Supermud but I'm not the biggest fan of the tingling sensation. My skin is sensitive and the tingle is strong and almost feels a bit burning. My skin wasn't red or irritated when I rinsed it off so it wasn't actually burning me but it made me nervous. I did appreciate the exfoliating aspect while rinsing it off but it was a bit gritty and I prefer a more gentle exfoliant. On the whole, this mask was a miss for me.




Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment

Glam Glow describes this mask as a hydrating mud treatment that moisturizes, restores, replenishes and calms the skin, leaving is silky, soft and supple. It can be applied in a thin layer for daytime use or generously applied as an overnight mask. I like to use this as an overnight hydrating treatment. I apply it before I go to bed and then rinse off any excess in the morning. I've been using this all winter to combat dry, flaky skin. It does wonders for re-hydrating my face and leaves my skin smooth and healthy as if I've just gotten a facial. It also smells amazing with a cocoa-butter, tropical-type smell. It is one of those products that is a joy to apply and actually does what it claims.




Final Thoughts

The standout products for me are the Supermud and Thirstymud masks. In my experience these masks actually perform as described and don't irritate my skin. The biggest drawback to these is the price. While I do love the Supermud and Thirstymud that $69/each price tag is a killer. I'd recommend getting a set like this that has 1 full sized product and two deluxe samples. This one was a holiday set where you got a full sized Thirstymud and a deluxe sample of the Supermud and Youthmud for the $69. This particular set isn't available anymore but Sephora does have a similar set available now. Also, the Youthmud and Thirstymud are sold in travel sizes which are $19 if you are looking to try them out before taking the plunge on the full size.

I hope this was helpful if you are on the fence about purchasing any of these masks. What do you think about the Glam Glow masks?

Shop this post:

Youthmud
Thirstymud
Supermud
Get Glowing Set



Monday, April 13, 2015

Sephora Beauty Before Brunch VIB Rouge Event & Haul



Yesterday I attended the "Beauty Before Brunch" Sephora VIB Rouge event. Being a VIB Rouge means you've spent a certain shameful amount of money at Sephora and they reward you with fun little perks like early access to the VIB 15% off sale.





I'd never been to one of these events before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I was greeted at the door by an employee with a clipboard who checked my name off the guest list and then directed me to the back of the store where they were serving coffee and refreshments. It was a closed-door event so it wasn't open to the public, which made it much more intimate without having to push through crowds.




Going into the event I knew I wanted to check out the skincare. My skin is getting insanely dry again and I wanted to test out some new moisturizers. While I was browsing, one of the skincare specialists approached me and let me know they were offering free mini facials, so I jumped at the chance. We discussed my skin concerns and she did a full application and tutorial for me. It was very relaxing and informative, what a treat!




Here's what I bought:




I got a backup of my beloved Rosebud Salve, as my current one is on it's last leg. I picked up another shade of YSL Rouge Volupte Lipstick in #8 Fetish Pink. The color is a bright rosy pink, perfect for spring. Lastly, I wanted to try Urban Decay's new Naked Skin Concealer. It is supposed to be a full coverage concealer that is weightless on the skin. I'll let you know what I think as I test it out.




Another perk of attending the Beauty Before Brunch event was the goody bag! They gave everyone a foldover clutch filled with samples. I was most excited about getting a full size Formula X nail polish! The color is Paramount, a sage gray. I don't have any colors like this in my collection so I'm excited to try it out. The other standout was a deluxe sample of the Buxom Full on Lip Cream in Pink Lady. I have one of these glosses in the shade White Russian, it's a nice opaque lip gloss without any shimmer so I'm excited to try another color.




The skincare specialist that did my mini facial also sent me home with a sample of First Aid Beauty's Overnight Radiance Mask. I used it last night and it is amazing! It left my skin fully quenched and my dry skin showed such an improvement this morning when I woke up. I will be purchasing the full size for sure! I also cashed in some of my points and picked up the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser. I haven't tried it yet but thought it would be great for Travel this summer and I threw it in my toiletry bag. 

Overall, I had a great experience at the Beauty Before Brunch event and came home with some great items. I didn't pull the trigger on any of the skincare items I tried because I wanted to read about them first. I do have a few in mind that I've added to my online shopping cart to purchase sometime this week. The 15% off sale is going on now for VIB Rouge Members (discount code is ROUGELOVE) through 4/21 and it starts 4/16 for VIB members. 

What's on your wish list for the spring VIB sale?


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Friday, April 10, 2015

MAC Lipstick Collection & Finish Guide

I am always on the hunt for that perfect shade of lipstick and MAC makes some of the best. The quality is amazing, the color selection can't be beat and the price is fairly reasonable for a high end lipstick at $16/tube.




I've accumulated quite a few of them over the years and wanted to share my collection as well as a guide to the nine different lipstick finishes that MAC offers:




Matte

Rich in pigment, long-wearing. No shine, shimmer or sparkle, just pure color with a velvety finish. The downside to mattes is that they don't offer any moisture, they can drag and tug during application and they can cling to dry patches on your lips. It's important to exfoliate and apply a lip balm before reaching for a Matte shade.

Colors: Charmed I'm Sure (Marilyn Monroe), Good Kisser (A Novel Romance), Strange Journey (Rocky Horror)




Retro Matte

Ultra-matte finish, pigment rich, no shine. If you want an even matter finish, enter Retro Matte. I've only tried one Retro Matte and it wasn't my favorite. This is a high-maintenance lipstick that can be very drying and uncomfortable. But, if you are up for the challenge, it can be beautiful when applied correctly.

Color: Relentlessly Red




Satin

Very pigmented with a more comfortable, soft finish. If you are looking for a matte look but don't want the sometimes uncomfortable matte finish, then satin is for you. They still pack a color and long-wear punch, but are much more wearable for everyday.

Colors: Daddy's Little Girl (Archie's Girls), MAC Red, Rebel (Heirloom Mix), Faux, Kelly Yum Yum (Osbournes), Pink Nouveau




Amplified/Amplified Creme

Medium to high pigmentation with a glossy finish. These two are so similar I grouped them together. Amplified packs a color punch while Amplified Creme is still high in pigmentation but has a more creamy finish.

Colors: Impassioned, Oblivion (Rocky Horror), Chatterbox




Lustre

Glossy finish with a wet-look, medium opacity. I find that the color payoff in these is more sheer and they are not very moisturizing, but they aren't drying either. They also contain a decent amount of shimmer. Sometimes the color will wear down and you are left with just sparkles on your lips.

Colors: Spice it up!, Sweetie, Woodrose (Proenza Schouler), Lovelorn, Viva Glam V, Syrup




Cremesheen - Creamy finish with a slight shine, medium opacity. They provide a luminous sheen to the lips and are so creamy and comfortable on the lips. My favorite shade right now is Mystical from the Alluring Aquatics collection. It's a great Rose color that is appropriate year-round.

Colors: Mystical (Alluring Aquatics), Japanese Maple




Frost

Frosted, shimmery finish, medium to sheer opacity. The only frost I own is Angel. This shade has a cult following. It contains micro-shimmer that shows up ever so slightly when applied. Its a great neutral medium to light pink.

Color: Angel




Glaze 

Sheer opacity, low color impact, glossy finish. These are similar to the balm or butter lipsticks that you see a lot of on the market today. They are quick to apply, comfortable to wear and very low maintenance. These are nice for daytime but be ready to reapply often as they don't wear for long.

Color: Hue





Lipsticks are one of those makeup items that I just love to collect. MAC, especially the limited edition items, are almost considered collectors items in the world of makeup. Their limited edition items are often hyped up and then extremely hard to come by when released (well played MAC!) It's become almost like a sport to get your hands them. This can be frustrating at times so I try not get too consumed by this and just curb my limited edition quests to the collections that most interest me.

I hope this post was helpful in breaking down the different lipstick finishes that MAC offers. It can sometimes be intimidating to go to counter and be greeted with endless shades and lipstick finishes to choose from. Knowing a bit more of what MAC has to offer can help you make the right choice.

Shop this post:

MAC Lipstick (Nordstrom)
MAC Lipstick (MAC Store)


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Be Our Guest

Today's post is all about our Guest Bedroom. This room has gone through a lot of styling changes over the years. However, over the past year it had become a catch-all for some of our camping stuff as well as items we had to move out of the attic when the roof was leaking this winter. With warmer weather on the horizon, it gave me a surge of motivation to clean it out and pretty it up for spring.

Here's a peek inside:




Our house is a cape-style with three bedrooms. Two on the first floor and one upstairs. When we first moved in, our first thought was to use this upstairs bedroom as the master. I ended up nixing that idea in the end because one of the bedrooms downstairs is actually larger and there is no bathroom on the second floor. We initially used the extra downstairs bedroom as the guest room and used this upstairs bedroom as an office. Over the years we found that we just weren't using the office so we decided to convert this bedroom into the guest room and moved our desk area into an alcove in the upstairs hallway. I really love the way it turned out. It makes more sense for the guest room to be upstairs, that way guests will have their own little quiet area away from the rest of the house.







On the left side of the room I have an antique dresser that was in my parent's house that I use as extra storage. I styled the top of it with some fresh flowers as well as some framed photos. I recently found a box of old photographs in the attic and framed that gem of my sister and I at my aunt's summer house when we were little. Glamorous!




In the corner I have an antique parlor chair that came from my great aunt's house. The upholstery is original and my intent is to have it reupholstered at some point but I think it actually looks great for it's age. I added a pillow with one of my favorite Audrey quotes. I love all things French and this room has a bit of a Paris feel.






I added a little welcome tray to the bed with some water, greenery and a note card containing the wifi password. 






This luggage rack came from my grandparent's house. I've always thought it was so cute, but I just couldn't figure out what to do with it. When I stumbled upon it in the attic it dawned on me the perfect place would be in the guest room. I put out some fresh towels and soap on top.





One of my favorite things about this room is the built in bookshelves. They're a great bonus element to the room and I had so much fun styling them.




My favorite piece on the bookshelf is this glass pedestal stand. It is actually meant to hold a cupcake. I filled it up with some of our wedding items: the handkerchief I carried, my headpiece and one of the sand dollars we used as our escort cards. It's such a fun way to display some of our wedding details.




This vintage nightstand is one of my most treasured yard sale finds. Better yet, it was a steal for only $10! As soon as I laid eyes on it I had the guest room in mind. The shabby cream and gold details match this room so well, I only wish there were two of them!





I hope you enjoyed this peek inside my guest bedroom! It is eclectic, with the mismatched furniture and colorful details, but that's what I love about it. Strangely, I think it all works together to give the room a homey feel. I love mixing antiques with modern pieces.


Reference:

Paint: Olympic, Secret Passage
Bedding: Amy Butler, Lace Work
Eiffel Tower: Pier 1
Sunburst Mirror: Target
Fish Bowl Vase: Home Goods
Tray: Target
Mason Jug: Bed Bath & Beyond
Tea Lights: Crate & Barrel (similar)
Terrarium: West Elm
Alarm Clock: Casa.com
Pedestal Cupcake Stand: Pottery Barn