Monthly Archives: July 2012

I Love Putting On A New Face

I got a box from Sephora today, and inside was the illusive Boscia Bright White Mask.

I say illusive, because last month when I was visiting an actual brick and mortal Sephora, I asked an associate if they had it, and she wasn’t even familiar with the product. It was that new, and apparently not all stores are carrying it.

I’ve been wanting to try this product for weeks. I fell in love with Boscia’s Luminizing Black Mask back in April when I tried it for the first time.

It is like a giant Biore Strip for your face. I was amazed at how many blackheads it removed, and how soft my skin felt after. I know the term “Soft as a baby’s bottom” is cliche, but it’s so true after using the Luminizing Black Mask.

The reason I decided to try the Bright White Mask is because it is designed to help with hyper-pigmentation. You know; sunspots, acne scars, freckles. All I could think of was “Is this the 21 Century equivalent of Mammy’s buttermilk?” Just scroll along to 48 seconds into the video, and you’ll hear Mammy say: “Keep your shawl on your shoulders, I ain’t aiming for you to get freckled after the buttermilk I done put on you all this winter.”


So here I sit, typing this blog, with Boscia’s Bright White Mask on. I have high hopes for it. I normally don’t show pictures of myself cosmetically vulnerable, but I will for you.

The Lipstick Gal with Boscia’s Bright White Mask

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I loved this break down on what the colors might mean. I love them all, and would wear them all. I hope this reblog makes you laugh.

The CHICago Life

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DIY Necklace Organizer

I have a large jewelry armoire, but it’s so full, I’m having a hard time seeing all my jewelry. I saw a great do it yourself project on Pinterest, and decided to ask my husband to make me one. If I can see my necklaces, there’s a better chance I’ll wear them more often. This is a fairly easy project, and I’m sure you could pull this off if you wanted to.

Here’s what he used:

1. An old wood frame I picked up from Goodwill. ($5.00 including a terrible print I removed from the frame)

2. Spray paint to paint the frame with

3. Clear plastic drawer pulls from IKEA ($1.99 for 6)

4. Peg board from Home Depot

5. Left over primer and wall paint from painting our master bedroom.

6. Staple Gun

Remove the print/painting from the frame and spray paint the frame. While waiting for it to dry, cut your peg board to to fit the back of your frame. You can leave the peg board white if you want, but I wanted mine to be the same color as our walls.  I wanted the necklaces to stand out, not the peg board. Prime and paint the pegboard with a smooth roller and let it dry.

After the frame and peg board have dried, you’re ready to staple the pegboard to the frame. This is why you need a wooden frame. When you’re done, you’re ready to attach your drawer pulls. My husband discovered that the pulls from IKEA had screws that were too long for this project, so he trimmed them using a Dremmel tool.

The frame we got at Goodwill had a wire hanger on it and we left it intact during the entire project for easy wall mounting. Here’s the finished project.

Homemade framed necklace organizer

Close up of peg board and draw pulls with necklaces on them

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How a Bullfighter Scarred Me for Life at 14

Hand autographed postcard from “El Cesar” I got back in 1989 in Madrid, Spain.

First of all I should tell you I lived in Spain as a child from 1977 – 1979. My dad was studying Spanish classical guitar. Both my parents speak Spanish, and my brother and I grew up speaking it while we lived there. (but a 2 and 3-year-old’s vocabulary didn’t get me far.)

I’ve told you this so you know I have a deep abiding love for most things Spanish. This postcard was hard to come by. When this postcard came into my possession, I was 14-years-old and very shy. I spoke very little Spanish, and was awkward. I was never the self-confident teen. I was the one tripping over my own arms and legs. I was a mess.

My family had returned to Spain for a 5 week vacation to visit family friends in July 1989, and we were staying in a hotel in Madrid. One evening as we were leaving to go to dinner, the hotel owner’s wife motioned for me to come to the desk. There was lots of winking, smiling, and cajoling. I didn’t understand half of what she was saying. Thankfully my parents were there to translate for me. This kind old lady pressed this postcard in my hand, and shoved me into an enormous crown of people. I had no idea what was going on. My mom told me that the old lady wanted me to have a “real” toreador’s autograph. It wouldn’t be a complete visit to Spain for me as an American without meeting one.

The lobby was crowded with locals and tourists waiting to talk to El Cesar and get his autograph. In Spain, toreadors are a bit like rock stars. They’re famous, usually good-looking, and always play to the adoring crowd. The group surrounding him was mostly women, but there were also a good number of grown men wanting to talk strategy, or get a photo taken with him. The old lady who handed me the post card kept shooing me with her hand and saying “go on, go on.”

Somehow, as the crowd pressed in around this good-looking man, I was also shoved in from behind. I don’t know if it was by the hotel owner’s wife, my mom, or the locals, but somehow I ended up right in front of El Cesar with the postcard and a simpleton’s smile.

I’m not sure what charmed him the most. My blush, my stammer in broken Spanish, or the look of complete horror in my eyes. He chucked me under the chin and said I was lovely. Ever the charming Spaniard.

When I got home, I couldn’t keep the postcard. It reminded me of how embarrassed I was asking for his autograph, so I sent it as a souvenir to my best friend. Early last month (and 23 years later) she emailed me this picture for a laugh. It dredged up lots of memories. I was embarrassed again, I also laughed and remember how good-looking Spanish men can be in tight pants, pink silk socks, and sequins.

P.S. I did see a bull-fight when I was 21-years-old and studying in Spain while in University, but it made me sick. I guess all I can say is I was young and dumb. The only thing I still enjoy about that part of Spanish culture are the costumes, and the way the men look in them.

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Birchbox July 2012 Unboxing Video and Easy Summer Makeup

My Birchbox finally arrived today. I know, I know. You might have already received yours, or don’t care about all this unboxing business. I hope you’ll watch it anyway, because I use the contents of my Birchbox to create an easy/fast summer makeup look.

I hope you’ll realize that it’s hard to apply makeup without a mirror . . . while recording a video and talking off the cuff. It wasn’t easy, but I hope it’s at least entertaining.

I’m always looking for suggestions about specific things to blog about. If you have any ideas or comments, even criticisms, just let me know. I want this to be a blog that’s helpful to you, and fun to check out.

I hope your summer is going well, and you haven’t lost your favorite lipstick to the heat yet. I’m still waiting for my first lipstick casualty. It happens at least once every summer.

Until next time,


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I’m A Copy Cat

Word Cloud from based on a previous post

My friend Freya from Furnished Souls created a super cool Word Cloud from Tagxedo, and I had to try it out. I loved it. There’s a good chance I’ll be doing more of this, and might need some art like this for my house. I just thought I’d share it with you.

What shape could be more perfect for my blog entry “Bedazzling, Guilty Pleasures, and Male Virility” than a rooster? Maybe I should call it a cock? Either way, it’s struts around just like a 16th century English Courtier with a bejeweled codpiece. It just made me laugh.

You should try making a Word Cloud. It’s easy and so much fun!

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Under Eye Concealer Review

After searching for 24 months for the perfect concealer, I think I found it. I’ve been wearing it non-stop for the past 2 weeks in 100 degree weather, and I still love it. It’s holding up better than the rest of my make up. I hope you like the video.

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Easy Summer Makeup

Every time I hear the word summertime I immediately think of the song by George Gershwin called “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess. It starts out: “Summer time and the livin’ is easy“. After that phrase is where I stop thinking about the song. It’s really a lullaby, and is from an opera written back in the 1930’s.

When it comes to beauty, it can still be easy living in the summertime. It’s all about simplifying.

Several years ago our lives were revolutionized by tinted moisturizer. Now, if you haven’t already, check out a BB cream. BB Cream is short for Beauty Balm. Take a moisturizer, serum, SPF, and a light tint, and roll it all into one product. I’m partial to the one from Too Faced.

Too Faced BB Cream

If you’re looking to spend a little less, I picked one up from the drugstore and found that L’Oreal makes a good one too. It’s called Youth Code BB Cream Illuminator. I got mine for $12.99 at Walgreens.

For a regular day at work and running errands, I tightline my eyes, and swipe on some mascara. It makes my eyes pop. If you’re not sure what tightlining is, check out this link to Everyday Beauty. I was going to take the time to explain it all, and take pictures, but when I found this blog about it, I thought I’d let you check it out. It’s a fun read, and explains everything so well. Basically, you’re making your lashes look fuller, and it brings your eyes to the forefront. They just stand out in a beautful, natural way.

Image credit – Everyday Beauty

For tightlining, I use Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner in Cafe.

Lancome Le Stylo Waterproof Eyeliner in Cafe

Since it’s $25.50, I thought I’d try a drugstore brand too. (I try and find a drugstore brand for all of my Sephora favorites. That way, you have options if you ever want to try these ideas out without spending too much.) My drugstore favorite is L’Oreal’s Infallible Never Fail eyeliner in Black Brown. It’s waterproof, and last as long, and wears as well as the more expensive Lancome product. They both come with a smudger. By the way, I don’t use the smudger when I tightline. I’m already perilously close to poking myself in the eye with the pencil.

I like to use a pencil for tighlining because it’s one less step than using a brush, water/activator and cake liner. I’m just lazy that way, and it works for me.

A swipe of your favorite mascara and some brow gel, and your eyes are done.

Blush is something I can go without in summertime. If you can’t live without color on your cheeks, think about using a stain. I love The Balm’s The Stainiac. It looks like a lot of color, but it’s sheer and pretty. Just the right flush. They also sell 3 different shades. Did I mention it has great staying power?

The Balm’s The Stainiac cheek and lip tint

At this point your entire face is made up simply. BB Cream, eyes, brows, cheeks, and all you need is the perfect lip. Lots of women opt for lip gloss in summer. I can understand why, but consider a tinted lip balm, or a sheer lipstick. Something that will give you a hint of color without overpowering your very natural summer face. I’ve been a huge fan of Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments for quite some time. I just picked up the coral shade last week. Amazing! It looks so pretty on so many people. It’s all I want to wear, and my lips are so soft.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment in Coral

If $22.50 is too much for a glorified chapstick (I promise it’s amazing!) check out the Revlon Lip Butters. They’re sheer, pretty and moisturizing.

And there you have it. Easy beauty for summer time. Since it only takes you 5 minutes to get this makeup on, you’ll have more time to decided what to wear, and how to accessorize it.

With natural makeup, let your accessories do the talking. Bright, sparkly summer sandals, turquoise beads, Neon jewelry, chunky rings, your options are endless.

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