MAKE UP MONDAY: My Best Beauty Tips!

Hello! First Make Up Monday of the New Year, so it only makes sense that I give out my best beauty tips. They are a little untraditional, since my way of feeling beautiful is not just about products. Let’s dive in!

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TIP 1: GET A FACIAL EACH MONTH AS SOON AS YOU CAN AFFORD IT.

This includes waxing and extractions to keep your face really clean. Facials have a cumulative result that work like a mini face lift over time.

TIP 2: WORK OUT

This makes a huge difference in the clarity of your eyes, and your skin. Working out helps you with looking more traditionally beautiful, as well as just body toning. I know you might be expecting a traditional tip like curl your eyelashes, but I don’t think any of those tips matter if you aren’t also doing this one.

TIP 3: EAT WELL

Your eyelashes grow, your hair is healthy, your nails are long. What better beauty trick is there than effortless beauty?

TIP 4: BUY PRODUCTS AT THE TOP OF YOUR PRICE RANGE EACH TIME.

Buy the best cleansers, moisturizers, eyeshadows, make up brushes, and all the rest whenever it’s time for a new one. Instead of three mid-prized lipsticks that cost the same as one amazing one, buy the better one that you’ll have for longer. With higher end products, there’s less worry. Lipsticks don’t flake or cling to any dryness in your lips, foundations protect better; there’s better camouflaging, hydration, and use value.

TIP 5: FRESHEN YOUR LOOK OFTEN.

Don’t get stale! I would recommend getting a haircut by someone new who has a good reputation (like I just did! And man, what a brand new haircut by someone with a fresh eye can do!). Really try new make up, since the same stuff doesn’t work as skin changes. Wear different things on different days, and get new highlights. Go to beauty counters and ask them to put new products on you! Feeling new in your own skin can help you feel extra beautiful.

What are your best beauty tips? Have you ever had a facial?

Do share!

-Rose

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SPIRITUAL FRIDAY: Change… & The Kitchen Stool

I’ve been thinking about change, of course– most of us are– as this New Year begins.

Who can resist the fresh start, the clean slate? 

So appealing….

Yet, I’ve also been thinking about the changes  that I don’t welcome.  For me those changes come mostly with age. And yes, I can complain about the wrinkles and having to color my hair more often but those aren’t the changes that I’m really talking about.

I’m talking about the things that always were, that are now starting to fade away.

Like the kitchen stool in Trish’s kitchen.

I have spent countless hours on that stool, watching my best friend’s mom Trish cook, talking things over– sometimes alone, sometimes with the other women collected in that kitchen for the same comfort I sought.

And Trish delivered that comfort, my whole life.  She was always a source of wisdom and perspective. She’s 81 now and lives on her own.  She lost both her husband and daughter to cancer. And I visit her in her rambling house in Vermont whenever I can. I say it’s to help her. Really, though, it’s to help me. 

During my last visit, Trish wound up in the emergency room.  She found herself suddenly unable to walk.  Now she faces a slow recovery and uses a walker.  It is harder for her to stand in the kitchen.

So our kitchen stool days have changed.  I wonder, are they gone?

It has occurred to me that perhaps it’s my turn to set up a kitchen stool.

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I think it may be my time to be what Trish was to me, to others…. After all, I was taught by the best.

What rituals have comforted you?  What people taught you well?  Share Please.

Have a great weekend,

-Rose

WEEKLY FAVORITE: TV Guilty Pleasures

I am a recent Netflix addict.

I installed Netflix onto my ipad mini, and little did I know it would take over my life.

So, since I spend far too much time marathoning shows lately, I figured this TV-centric post was in order!

Here are my top five favorite TV shows right now.

5. DA VINCI’S DEMONS

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This is set in Florence, and I got hooked on it on the tails of my trip to Italy. It has a great cast, and the plot is great. It’s all about old world Italy- the Medici’s in power, Da Vinci the genius, and the mystery of Florence’s brilliant population for centuries. There is a lot of gratuitous sex- to the point where I want more plot and less sex! But overall, this is a show I love to sink my teeth into.

4. NASHVILLE

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I know. It’s just ridiculous. It is pure eye candy, entertaining, soap opera awesome. Why I love it? Sit down with your bowl of ice cream (either some almond milk low-fat vanilla for a good day, or Ben & Jerry’s Americone dream when you’re going all out) and turn on Nashville and enjoy your Wednesday night. I even know some of the songs at this point!

3. SCANDAL

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Intense. Crazy story, but somehow hangs together. Good job Shondra Rhimes, the writer, for always keeping it going. I always wonder, Could this really happen? It’s about a secret, intriguing world that has me fascinated. And hey, my mom watches it, too!

2. THE GOOD WIFE

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It’s topical, and they really make use of what is going on. I’ve been watching for years now, and I absolutely love Julianna Margulies. Although I hate Christopher Noth as Peter- even though I adored him as Mr. Big! Man, he is not an easy man to like. If you’re a woman who’s ever been married, especially to a man like that, you really understand The Good Wife’s point of view. It’s funny and poignant, and a total must-watch!

…AND MY NUMBER ONE:

1. HOMELAND

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I watch this on Showtime that night, or ASAP so there are no spoilers for me out in the real world. There is moral ambiguity, politics, mystery, and GREAT acting. I love the cast, love the writing, and it keeps me both entertained and in suspense. It’s just so flippin good. Nobody is all good or all bad, and I love that complexity.

What are your favorite shows? Do share!

I loved House of Cards, too- don’t ask how quickly I watched the first season!

Happy watching.

-Rose

Weekly Favorite: Gold Jewelry

I have three pieces of jewelry that I just adore. I’m sure you know what I mean- every time you reach into your jewelry box to slip on your favorites, you can’t help but smile. I try and make outfits work around them, instead of the other way around.

So here they are: my stand-outs!

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This long chain cross necklace makes me feel elegant, hip, and stylish. I love the aesthetic. I bought it in Austin at the Physical Fit in Westlake to wear over sweaters and plain black dresses. It isn’t in your face, and I think a long necklace works well for me since I have a long torso. I love the long chain necklace with circles for the same reason. It works well on my shape, and it’s easy to pull off since I’m a tall lady.

My hoop earrings are an absolute essential, and if you don’t own hoops, go get some! You can never go wrong. These are a light pair, and they feel very me. I have big eyes and a lot of hair, so hoops work well on me. They’re fun, nice, and go with anything. I’m even wearing these in my LinkedIn picture, so they can be professional!

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This Cladagh ring is the second one I’ve had in my lifetime. I actually wore out the gold on the first one! I bought this 10 years ago at James Avery in Austin. It is a symbol of Irish heritage, and it can be worn to remember someone. It means love, loyalty, and friendship. These can be engagement or wedding rings, and there is a certain way to wear this ring. If you wear the heart on your left hand, with the heart pointing down (pointing down like pictured), it means you’re married. If you wear it on your right hand with the heart up, that means your heart is open, and you’re ready to find love. Heart down on the right hand means you’re seeing someone.

What are your favorite jewelry pieces?

Jewelry is a great gift, and a good piece can last a lifetime. I am wearing my Cladagh ring right now!

Have a great week,

-Rose

MAKE UP MONDAY: Brazilian Blow Out

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Here they are- the newest products that I am trying out!

I am always open for suggestions, from you guys, friends, and the lovely women who work in the shops that I frequent. These Brazilian Blow Out products are a personal favorite of the sales girl in the Beauty Shop in Austin. These two are also a big seller, and although they weren’t cheap, I already see why!

These products are for non-washing days. And although I hate when I have dirty hair, I have a few non-washing days a week.

The Instant Volume Body Booster (whew, what a name) has a bit of grit that really helps give body to my super straight hair. On days that I work out but don’t wash my hair, my locks can fall rather flat. And if dry shampoo isn’t cutting it for giving my hair a boost, this new powder is my friend. However, I’m not sure I’ll buy it again, since it was $20 and makes it so I have to wash my hair the night I use it, since it’s just way too much grit for me to sleep in.

I only need a little of the Volume Boost spray on the left, and this lifts my hair up while I blow dry. I recently learned that you are not supposed to touch your hair with a brush while you blow dry, especially if you blow dry hair wet from the shower. It can damage the cuticle. So I have to figure out how to get a nice lift without constant brushing and touching my fragile wet hair, and this shining & lifting product is great.

What hair products have you tried lately? Let me know!

Have a great day,

-Rose

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: For You!

The last day of the gift guide is arguably the most important…

GIFTS FOR YOU!

I curated a list of gifts that I think are perfect to pick up for yourself while you’re shopping this holiday season.

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Armani Makeup: As you have probably noticed, I am a huge fan of Armani make up. It’s a good counter to visit- and these pink products look so fresh, healthy, and glowy. I love to apply new make up this time of year, for a real pick me up.

Necklaces & Rings: Lately I am crazy about necklaces, and am on a total fun jewelry kick. I found the one pictured in Bryant Park via a jeweler in Brooklyn. I wear it with sweaters or dresses. Rings are also fun and really important- accessorize, people!

Decorative Trays: I love this color, and it is great in my red themed kitchen. I put my spoon on it after stirring my hazelnut flavored coconut creamer into my coffee in the morning. It’s not too big, so it’s not hogging the kitchen counter. A happy gift!

Sunglasses: Italian brands are the way to go with sunglasses. I love sunglasses, and can’t have enough pairs. They’re fun, full of style, and can really elevate an outfit. You even need them in the winter!

Scented Lotion: I love this Chanel No. 5 scented lotion, and in the holidays, you can buy a smaller version, which isn’t too expensive. It smells so nice all day!

What gifts have you picked up for yourself while holiday shopping? Or are you a perfect angel and only buy for others?

Let me know!!

Take care of yourself,

-Rose

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE: Friend Who Has Everything!

There are certain people on your list this year that are just impossible to buy for. They buy themselves everything they want, or they’re picky, or they’re your boss! Any way you slice it, they’re hard to give a gift to.

So here are MY tips for the friend who has everything!

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For my hard to buy for friends, I scoured Austin and went to tons of different boutiques and shops. I found a great assortment of unique yet useful presents. I suggest you give…

Ornaments: Aren’t these macaron ornaments just the cutest? They’re fun, sweet, and traditional. Ornaments are great gifts because you’re giving a story. They’ll remember you every year when they pull out their ornament from you.

Truffles: If they don’t like truffles or sweets, have no fear! They are still a great gift since your friend can put them out for company. These make a great neighbor or host gifts if you go to a holiday party.

Cookie Cutter & Sugar Cookie Sugar: This fluer de lis cookie cutter is beautiful, unique, and great for a Saint’s fan! Your friend can make holiday cookies or just display it in their kitchen this holiday season. The red crunchy sugar is a great gift, too.DSC_0101

Paper Goods: I know that I would love to get this, so I’m happy to give it! This is a large paper menu set for your kitchen, and a gorgeous notepad of spoons, with a little teaspoon attached. You can put these in your house to write phone messages or display them, and it is usable, recyclable, thoughtful, and special.

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Wine & Wine Sweater: This is SO fun! What a great way to dress up the simple gift of a wine bottle, in a different direction than a paper wine bag. This is a great gift to give all around.

What do you buy for the friend who has everything?

How is holiday shopping going for you? Come back tomorrow for the best day of all. It’s a surprise!

-Rose