Archive for category Musings

This will come as no surprise…

…but my blogging days are over. I have been agonizing over writing this post for a couple months now, and putting it off, but with a to-do list a mile long that never gets shorter, it’s time to finally cross this off the list.

Though I don’t feel like I owe anyone an explanation, I always wish for one when a blogger I follow stops posting – I guess that’s my need for loose ends to be tied. So here I am. Because I find this a bit emotional, I’m going to (try to) make this short and sweet.

Though there are bloggers out there that are super women that can find time to both blog and being a mother, I personally cannot. While I was on maternity leave, it was entirely possible, and though my posting slowed down, it was more because I was barely washing my face (at first, anyway), let alone wearing makeup. And once Elena started napping well, I took those moments of downtime to do the same. But since being back to work, finding the time to do much of anything is extremely difficult. And now that Elena’s older and only needs one nap a day, on the weekends we’re pretty much flat out the entire day. In the evenings, I get about 2 hours after she goes to bed to ‘relax’ (which usually involves watching a TV show or YouTube vid while simultaneously cleaning / packing a lunch / doing minor DIY renos around the house (I’ve painted 4 rooms by myself) – OR, spending time trying to plan our wedding, which is in 3 months, eek!) before I pass out from exhaustion around 9:30pm. All this to say, blogging is the last thing on my mind – I just don’t have a slot in my day where it fits anymore.

For a while, I felt guilty about feeling this way, because I could potentially throw up a post here and there – I mean, I have time to somehow paint my nails every week, so I must have some time, right? But as any mother will know, you start getting very selective with how any free time is spent – if you get 15 minutes of every day to do what you LIKE (not have to do), you want to fill it with something that gives you the most pleasure. Unsurprisingly, for me that’s often beauty-related – I still take the time every morning to apply my makeup (there are many tricks employed to keep Elena busy, mind you!), and as mentioned I paint my nails religiously every Sunday and Thursday. That doesn’t sound all that crazy when you read it, but it’s easy for people to judge – back in April when I was at the dentist she said to me ‘Wow, your nails are painted and you have a small child, you must have a lot of time on your hands!’ (to which I replied in my head ‘FUCK YOU, LADY’). The judgement actually kind of shocked me, because here was this woman who herself had two children – doesn’t she understand what it’s like? How you take any moment you can that seems like ‘free’ time to do something for yourself so you can keep your sanity? Huh. Guess not. In any case, after that comment I stopped feeling guilty about how I spent my alone/down time (because truthfully, I just felt pissed off after that), and realized that everyone manages those moments differently. We’re all just trying to survive.

Long story short (is anyone surprised I couldn’t help myself from babbling on?), blogging no longer feels like a ‘me’ outlet anymore. PR samples only gave me stress because I felt like I needed to post about everything that was sent my way. Coming up with original content was a HUGE challenge because the blogosphere is so saturated with other blogs doing the same thing over and over (and many of them doing it SO much better than I!). Rather than feeling like I was sharing my passion for beauty (which is still going strong, as ever), I got bogged down by all of it and this wonderful outlet became just another chore for me on my never-ending list.

So here I am, and here we are. I’ve been blogging for 8 years (!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and sadly it’s time for that chapter to close. I don’t feel regretful or conflicted though; I met some fantastic, amazing, wonderful people who enriched (and still enrich) my life in so many ways. Most of those people I’ve never met in person yet I feel such a kinship with them – it’s so weird how you can connect via social media or on someone’s blog and the friendships endure even if you are the most absentee blogger around. It makes me smile, and it makes me feel like it’s OK that I won’t be blogging anymore, because I still have those connections and that’s really what it was all about for me, anyway.

If you still want to keep up with me, I’m most easily found on Instagram – though it’s often full of pictures of Elena, I still plan to post snaps of makeup and skincare stuff that’s rocking my world – I mean, I still troll Sephora.com on a daily basis, so that beauty-centric part of me is never going away! Oh, and if you tune in around September 10th, you’ll likely see photos from the wedding (and of my MOST AMAZING DRESS)!

Thank you for joining me on this journey. I appreciate every single one of you who stopped by and read and/or commented on posts – you guys are the BEST! Be sure to stay in touch, ok???❤🙂

xo Latoya

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OPI New Orleans Spring | Summer 2016 Collection – and something a little different

Well hello to those of you who still stop by my blog! It’s been quite a while, no? It’s true that a lot has gone on in the past month (Elena started at a day home and I returned back to work – eek!) but I’ve had opportunity to post, I just haven’t been feeling like it. I’m pretty much over READING beauty blogs let alone write one! It’s just the same old, you know? I’m so not interested in reading/writing reviews, and as I’m being particularly restrictive with my purchases (as usual, in an effort to reduce/streamline), I’m not too keen on reading about the new NBT (Next Big Thing) because that just creates WANT feelings and that’s not going to help my cause. But there’s always this desire to write, and to connect with people – and I’m still obsessed with beauty, as always – so even though I’m not feeling like doing the usual ‘thang’ I have been thinking a lot about writing *something*, so here I am🙂

I realized a few weeks ago that I haven’t given you guys any details on our upcoming wedding (which will be in September!). So I thought maybe I’d give you an update on that and maybe add in an update about Elena as well because hey, she’s cute! Since I happen to have the new Spring/Summer collection from OPI, the theme of which is New Orleans, I figured I’d throw in some swatches of the shades for some visual interest and to kill two birds with one stone. Multitasking: it’s the way to go!

*Note: If you have any questions about a particular shade, such as it’s formula or on possible comparisons, let me know! I will gladly accommodate🙂

OPI Take a Right on Bourbon swatchOPI Take a Right on Bourbon

Planning a wedding while on maternity leave was quite fortuitous, because I was able to get all my vendors in place without any hassle – phone calls and day meetings were a cinch, so I was able to methodically research (which, admittedly, aside from the photographer, was minimal – I am SO not a bridezilla!) and meet with each service provider to ensure it was a good fit. Also, because I started securing people early (we set the wedding date 15 months in advance from when we got engaged), I had no issues getting each vendor that I wanted, so YAY!

OPI Let Me Bayou a Drink swatchOPI Let Me Bayou a Drinkso pretty!

In August, I went wedding dress shopping with my mom, Elena and 2 of my bridesmaids (the 3rd lives in Ottawa). I though I’d found the dress at a popular shop in the valley called Tatum’s (it seems to be where the majority of my friends have purchased their dresses), but then I truly found THE dress when we spent the better part of the afternoon at Chester & Felicity, a bridal shop here in Halifax. I can’t go into detail – I want it to be a surprise! – but OMG guys. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL DRESS EVER!!!! I knew it when I first tried it on, but of course it was the most expensive dress of all of them so I held off. I came back a 2nd time with my mother and aunt to try it on again, and was instantly smitten all over again. My aunt, being like a 2nd mother to me my whole life, was gracious enough to offer to pay, so even though it’s still beyond what I think is reasonable to pay for a dress you’ll only wear once, I just had to have it. Seriously, just WAIT until you see this baby. SO. DAMN. AMAZING.

OPI Suzi Nails New Orleans swatchOPI Suzi Nails New Orleans

Of course, once the dress was picked, it was time to make sure my bridesmaids looked fabulous too! I did a wedding makeup in December, and the bridesmaid dresses were STUNNING and totally unlike your usual bridesmaid offerings. When I asked where they were from, I was told David’s Bridal, so that’s where we decided to look. My maid of honour had twins in October, so of course we waited a bit before going dress shopping, but by January she was (already!) looking great and we wanted to make sure the dresses were ordered in plenty time, so off we went to David’s to look at the selection. While they had a lot of your standard bridesmaid dresses, they also had several that were much more sophisticated and stylish, and we found the perfect choice – a long, Grecian-style one-shoulder dress with a defined waist and a sultry yet tasteful slit up the side. I really wanted the girls to have different color dresses, mimicking the colors of the sunset, and we lucked out – the dress comes in gorgeous shades of fuchsia, berry and plum. SO excited – they are going to look H.O.T.!

OPI Humidi-Tea swatchOPI Humidi-Tea

One of the last vendors I hired was the florist – we just met at the end of February. The company, Barefoot Blooms, is a florist and flower farm that embraces organic and sustainable farming practices, with flowers and greenery coming from their own garden and greenhouse. I really like the idea of utilizing local flora, being someone who prefers organic and local where possible anyway, so this seemed like the perfect fit. My visual for the bouquets is unstructured and a bit wild, so I think this also works with the kind of arrangements they specialize in. The reliance on local flowers also mean that the bouquets and arrangements won’t be finalized till close to the wedding, because our unpredictable weather means that the season for a certain type of flower may be affected. So, aside from the sole flower I know I want (dahlias), the rest is a bit up to chance! Which I kind of like (because I’m haphazard like that).

OPI Crawfishin' for a Compliment swatchOPI Crawfishin’ for a Compliment

So, thus far, stress levels have been very low while planning the wedding. I’ve only recently felt a bit of pressure to get our invites out – with 6 months to go, according to etiquette I actually have plenty of time, but since we didn’t send Save the Dates, I feel like sending the invites earlier is appropriate. We’ve opted to utilize a wedding website to track RSVPs, so I had to put in some effort to get that set up (finding photos of Ryan and me is HARD! Since he’s away 2/3rd of the year, we have hardly any to account for our years together). But finally I think it’s ready to go, so once we get the last of our addresses, we can move forward and send the invites out! THEN I think things will really start to ramp up.

OPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya swatchOPI Got Myself into a Jam-balaya – love this shade!

Wait! There is one thing I’ve been dropping the ball on that it’s kind of important – the HONEYMOON! We are planning to go to Iceland for the ‘moon, right after the wedding, but aside from knowing the location I haven’t done much to plan it. This needs to get done! Once I get the invites out this will be at the top of the to do list🙂

OPI She's a Bad Muffuletta! swatchOPI She’s a Bad Muffuletta! Gorg. See it here with matching lips!

On the Elena front: she’s learning new things all the time and it’s just so fun to watch🙂 She’s not walking yet, but she’s doing a lot of standing up and peering over the coffee table at me or pulling herself up to cling to my legs lol.

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I’m in no panic, she already leaves a path of destruction wherever she goes, and I know that’ll only increase tenfold once she’s walking! I didn’t walk till 15 months myself so I can’t judge anyway. Ryan, on the other hand, walked at 9 months (!) – must have been much more motivated that Elena and me haha.

OPI Spare Me a French Quarter? swatchOPI Spare Me a French Quarter? 

As I mentioned, I started back to work, on March 1st. I wasn’t feeling stressed out about the return, but I wasn’t sure what to expect once I got back and how I’d feel. Perhaps because of that, it’s ended up being totally fine! The transition couldn’t have been easier – I started a new (acting) assignment right away, so I’ve been busy learning the ropes, and it’s been really nice to see all the old faces. I really like my colleagues and I know most of the people in our building since, as you know, I’m kind of a social butterfly, so it’s been nice to be back. Ryan happened to be home from work the first week I was back too, so that helped – he drove me to and from work and though I tried to handle the routine with Elena on my own (since I have to do it when he’s away), it was helpful in case I needed just a bit of assistance for those first few days.

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I miss Elena and spending our days together, but it just makes the time we DO have that much more precious. She’s adapted to the new routine (she goes to a day home) pretty well too, so that helps. And I think it’s a great opportunity for her to spend time around other babies/toddlers and gain a bit of independence. We have to let them grow up, even if we don’t want to sometimes!

OPI I Manicure for Beads swatchOPI I Manicure for Beads – sorry, I slept on this mani (as I wore it for a few days); the color is actually really pretty!

She’s had a doozy of a cold this week (classic kid who goes to day care), so it’s been a bit of a tiring week (Ryan went back to work Wednesday am), but she’s finally starting to get better and seem like herself again. It wasn’t all bad though – I got to get in some major snuggles, which I miss a lot!

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This kind of thing happened all the time when she was much younger, but after about 6-7 months she just always slept better in her crib. While I’m thankful for that overall, I do still wish she napped on me here and there – it’s one of my favourite things to do🙂

OPI Show Us Your Tips! swatchOPI Show Us Your Tips! – beautiful shade, but needs so many coats!

I’m not sure if you can tell in the previous photos or not, but Elena is still small – like, less than 14lbs small. She was truckin’ right along and gaining weight for quite awhile, but in the fall it slowed down to almost nothing, and she’s been hovering between the 13-15lb mark for months now.

IMG_5319That’s Elena with my friend’s 4 month old baby (!!), who is essentially the same size.

I try not to stress about it too much, because she seems like a very happy, healthy baby, and she has a great appetite, but of course as a mom you can’t help but worry a bit. So we’re seeing a paediatrician on April 1st to get her checked out to make sure there isn’t anything going on. Apparently there is a term they use for babies like Elena, called ‘Failure to Thrive’ which just means they aren’t growing as fast as your typical baby. A woman from work said her daughter (who is now 25) was only 18lbs when she was 2 years old, and I think that’ll be Elena – she’s just wee. That’s all (I hope) there is to it. It does make her extra cute!

OPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys swatchOPI Rich Girls & Po-Boys – another fave!

I think that’s the update on Elena in a nutshell – I mean she learns a new skill what feels like every day, but overall nothing major has happened lately (like learning to walk or starting to really talk). She’s just a joy, really, and I am just trying to be present with her every day and take it all in because it goes by so fast!

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I mean c’mon – how cute is this kid!!?!

OPI I'm Sooo Swamped! swatchOPI I’m Sooo Swamped!

So there you have it – a bit of a life update plus a bit of polish fun! I’ve been pretty impressed with the OPI collections lately, I will say – there’s always a few shades I end up loving, and the formula is often on point, with a lot of cream shades being that creme-jelly hybrid that is such a pleasure to apply and wear. It makes it hard to keep my polish collection in check – though I have to tell you that I managed to get the number down to 50 this week!!! I’m quite impressed with myself, especially considering that every few months I receive another 24+ bottles from OPI that I have to weed through. You should SEE the giveaway pile!

So now – what’s new with everyone else!?

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It’s 2016! Guess it’s time for a ramble

Hello and a Happy New Year to you all! I hope that 2016 has started on the right foot for everyone so far🙂  The holidays, as usual, came and went lightning-fast and suddenly I only have 2 months left until I go back to work – yikes! I’m a bit anxious about returning to work but I feel like I fully enjoyed my maternity leave spending my days watching Elena grow and develop. She’s got such a personality now! She’s quick to smile and really just brightens my day, every day. I’m going to miss being with her 24/7 but I suppose I will just have to make sure I fully appreciate the moments I do spend with her!

Becoming a mom has obviously changed my life in a lot of ways. Whereas before my time was essentially my own to do as I please, it’s now dedicated to Elena and fulfilling her needs. I was and still am surprised at how easily I adapted to this change; being an only child I’ve come to fiercely love my alone time, but I haven’t minded having much (MUCH) less of it since she was born. Having said that, it does change how I spend those small windows of down time, and one of the first things to suffer has been this blog. It’s not that it isn’t important, or that I don’t love beauty as much as I used to (despite the fact that I wear much less makeup these days, I still obsess about beauty constantly)…but blogging requires effort, and I’m already at maximum output when Elena is up and about, bootin’ around the house. Mindless tasks are where it’s at when I have a moment to myself.

Clearly, I am at a crossroads. I can’t maintain a level of involvement with the blog anywhere near what I have in the past, but I’m also not ready to give up blogging yet either. I think what makes it difficult is when you’re blogging at a level in which you’ve got a bit of a reader base, you’ve made connections with people and other bloggers, and on top of it you’re receiving products from PR companies and brands, you feel like you have to maintain a certain output of posts, that you should be aiming for some level of success. But for me, I don’t blog to be ‘successful.’ I don’t blog to receive free product. I blog because I effing LOVE beauty and when I discovered there were other smart, badass people out there who also love beauty like I do, it opened up a whole new world for me. And that’s why I can’t let go, not just yet.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is that just because I haven’t posted in a few weeks, doesn’t mean I’m gone or that I’ll never post again. I realize that some readers aren’t ‘here for the ride’, they’re here just to read about new product and see swatches etc., and that my lack of posting might mean I’ll lose readers. It sucks, but the reality is that I just can’t keep up with that kind of demand. Ultimately, I just want to write, and talk about beauty, or even life if I’m feeling so inclined. All I can offer is me. If you’re reading because you like what I have to say, you like my obsessive list making, you like that I always ramble on longer than necessary – SWEET. Stick around, I’m not going anywhere. If you need more than that from me – I’m sorry, truly I am. I wish I could give everyone what they want, but that would mean I’d miss out on my OWN life; watching my little girl grow and enjoying being a mother. I can’t get that time back once it’s gone. At least I can rest assured that there are SO many other blogs out there that do what I do (did?), only MUCH BETTER.

OK, ramble over. Just needed to get that out there. I hope everyone is doing well and loving life in the present. I do have a couple of posts percolating in my mind so you may see something else from me soon. Or not. Depends on what life brings this week😉

HUGS TO ALL XX

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Writing and wine: My two favourite ‘W’s’

*Warning: This post will contain no pretty photos and a whole lot of rambling. Continue at your own risk.*

I’ve been drinking a bit of wine. And by a bit I mean…like a small glass. HEY – I’m a lightweight now, what can I say? Every so often I have a glass of wine after Elena goes to bed as a nice wind-down after a long day of being a mom, but tonight after a supper of chips and dip (I had a craving!) I’m feeling it more than usual. And I’m feeling chatty after reading a couple good blogs (here and here) and I’ve been meaning to post some deeper thoughts on the whole ‘declutter’ thing for awhile now. What better time to be forthcoming and rambly than after some wine? YES.

I’m sure the topic of decluttering/simplifying is a polarizing subject – either you’re all about it or you’re sick of hearing about it. If you fall in the latter camp, I’m sorry dude…but I gotta do what I gotta do. For me, decluttering isn’t a fad or a way to keep relevant in the blogging world (as it IS quite prevalent lately), but a necessity for a mind that gets anxious easily with too much ‘noise’ – whether it be literally (I DO hate noise), figuratively (clutter and excess stress me out) or mentally (my brain is going 160 km/hr at all times so I try to minimize that constant buzz as much as possible). It’s a paradox particularly when it comes to beauty because I ADORE makeup and skincare and all things cosmetic (HEY my blog is called Beauty Obsessed, whaddya know), but then I get oversaturated with product and the fun starts to sour a bit. It’s a never-ending loop I can’t seem to fully break out of, no matter how hard I try. I’ll be calm for a time and feel like I’ve got a handle on things, and then Sephora goes and has a DAMN SALE and I’m all discombobulated again. Though I have great willpower for many things, a sale on cosmetics gets me EVERY FREAKIN’ TIME.

Though I’ve been slowly purging makeup here and there for what feels like forever, I still have a substantial collection, 80% which doesn’t get used on a regular basis (some items probably haven’t even been worn in the last 6 months). It would be easy to say ‘Well heck, anything you haven’t worn in a while get rid of!’ but quite honestly, I LIKE that stuff and I don’t want to ~petulant voice~. I know the fact that I haven’t used it in awhile may indicate otherwise, but there are various reason I haven’t worn shades that I DO in fact, glean ‘joy’ from – the biggest reason being that I now have a KID and that means I barely wear makeup as it is, let alone most of my 74 eyeshadows (or whatever the number was that I quoted in my post last week). And the shades I still have? They make me HAPPY, even if they just sit there unloved most of the time.

It wasn’t until I read Liz’s goodbye post that I really recognized it’s my thought processes that need changing, not the actual amount of product. I think I’ve reach the point where I like what I have and I don’t see value in getting rid of items just to get rid of them, but the volume of product still stresses me out. Tonight I had an AHA moment (THANK YOU, WolfTrap Syrah) when I realized that the reason I keep wanting to decrease the amount of makeup I have smaller and smaller, even though I now like all the products I have, has been in order to BUY MORE STUFF. I’ve wanted to decrease my collection only for the terrible reason that I want to buy newer, shinier things.

OH SHIT.

And also – AHA!

And so I’m strapping my ass down and not buying anything new unless I’m really feeling it – that means, no seeing something on someone else’s blog and thinking I NEED it because it’s the new fun fabulous beautiful thing everyone wants; if I perchance happen to see said product IN PERSON and I fall in love, OKAY, but if I just get it in my head I need XYZ because it looks pretty and hence it will look pretty on me, no – just, NO. I want need my purchasing to go old school, back when I bought things organically because I saw them, I loved them, I brought them home. Quite honestly, I am much more susceptible to impulse and needless purchasing online because I can justify it more easily, whereas almost every time if I look at something in store I end up passing on it because it just doesn’t WOW me.

I like this solution a lot particularly because it’s not restrictive [me and restrictions = bad {expensive} times] but I know with absolute certainty that I will buy less if I pick something up only because it caught my eye while I was shopping, and not because I researched the heck out of it, looked at a billion swatches, read all the rave reviews, and then rushed out to buy it because I HAD TO HAVE IT. Of COURSE I had to have it after all that, jesus, who’d be able to resist something after pretty much ensuring it’d feel like the second coming? WAY TO PUT SOMETHING ON A DAMN PEDESTAL, sheesh.

Alright. So that’s where I stand now. Back to basics. I feel good about this, you guys! Gummy summed up the feeling really well when she said she felt ‘frenzied’ at times to buy new things. That’s exactly what’s been happening to me off and on for years – pretty much since I started reading beauty blogs. Information is Power, but also – Information Drains the Shit out of your Wallet. I don’t want to feel frenzied anymore. I want to feel at peace while still wholehearted having fun in the beauty world. I feel like this is possible.

ESPECIALLY after wine. YES.

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect [More Makeup]: An Update

Well, things sure have been busy ’round these here parts….but what else is new? Remember when I was pregnant and I kept saying I needed to slow down, but didn’t? Ha. Maybe I should just accept the fact that I’m always going to be busy doing something, it’s just my nature! Right now, it’s been particularly chaotic – we bought a house (finally!) and moved in October 15th. That it was a quick turnaround from putting in our offer to moving in, and it was made even more intense by the fact that we found a renter for my condo (b/c the market is CRAP and the damn place just wasn’t selling!) and she moved in at the end of September! To get everything packed and cleaned in a super-short time frame was stressful enough, and on top of that I had to do this alone, as Ryan had to go back to work, and I had a wee one to look after and amuse on a 24/7 basis. Wowza! I think I managed to pack one box every 3 days lol. Thank goodness my family came over a couple evenings to help me out, otherwise I would have been completed SOL. Ah well, that part is in the past now! Now I just spend my days unpacking a box here and there and trying to get organized, but at least it’s on my own timeline. For now, let’s talk about makeup, shall we?

IMG_4399Move-in day!🙂

As regular readers will know, I’ve been on a streamlining/downsizing kick for the better part of the year (with only a semi-minor regression after Elena was born – new mom retail therapy lol). I’ve always used moving as a great excuse to purge and reduce clutter and this time was no exception. I did a major declutter of my closet back in the spring which was a great move as I’ve found it really easy to get dressed every day with less to choose from, as what’s left are all pieces I love. I replaced some old, ratty items with new, better quality clothing and got rid of anything that didn’t suit my current aesthetic or lifestyle. I’m still working on it but it feels SO good when I open my closet door and see a bunch of items that make me happy. This is what I’ve been working toward with my makeup/beauty hoard and I’m making great headway!

It helps when the new closet is like this one!🙂

I’ve been bouncing around ideas in my head of how to approach streamlining my makeup & polish collection in a way that feels good to me. At first I was all about getting rid of anything that didn’t ‘bring me joy’ (a la Marie Kondo), which was easy enough – I let go of those shades that I liked in theory but that didn’t work on my skintone or fit my lifestyle (aka ‘downtown’ makeup that I no longer wear b/c…how long has it been since I went out clubbing!?). Then I purged anything that had outlived it’s place in my life – something I used to frequently wear but fell out of love with. Even after those moves however, I still have a fair amount of makeup, enough that everything would never get used in a lifetime.

So where do I go from here? I’ve considered eliminating even more items, weeding through color stories and keeping only my absolute favourites (check out Liz’s Lipstick Survivor posts for an idea on what I mean), but quite honestly? At this point I really only have shades and products I love. Sure, there are some I love more than others, but for the past couple years, most of the purchases I’ve made have been after much consideration and thought, and I really like these items! It seems wasteful and rash to just eliminate things to achieve some sort of ‘ideal beauty collection’ I have in my mind.

Oh, the CONUNDRUM.

I also don’t want to do a formal ‘no buy’ or restrict myself in some way b/c I’ve tried that too and I know how well I respond to restrictions – by going off the deep-end after a time and buying everything in sight. That’s essentially what happened when Elena arrived, I had been so good for so long and then BAM! I fell off the wagon. Rather than make a strict plan of action, I’m just going to exercise plain old willpower as much and often as I can, but if I feel like buying something or something catches my eye, I’ll get it! I’m pretty good at restraint these days and something that I’ve found particularly effective is rifling through my stash every few days and taking mental stock of what’s there. Then if I’m out and about, I have a much harder time justifying a purchase I clearly don’t “need.”

So here we come to the *good* part (if ‘good’ in your books means making lists, like it is in mine😉

Tally (pre-declutter [before July 2015] / present):

  1. Primers/Setting Sprays: 6 / 3
  2. Foundations: 6 / 8
  3. Concealers: 7 / 5
  4. Powders: 3 / 3
  5. Bronzers: 5 / 4
  6. Blush: 33 / 18
  7. Highlighters: 6 / 4
  8. Brows: 3 /5
  9. Eyeliner: 22 / 16
  10. Eyeshadow (shades): 72 + 5 palettes (61 shades total) = 133 shades / 72 + 2 palettes (17 shades total) = 89 shades
  11. Lip Liners: 3 / 5
  12. Lip Colors: 56 / 35

As you can see, I’ve done a bit of reducing overall (though – OOPS, I bought MORE lipliners!) and in some cases did a pretty sweet job in bringing those numbers down to a more reasonable level (blush, shadows and lip colors), if I do say so myself. Note that I didn’t include mascaras because I go through them regularly and don’t keep a stock of them around (and right now I only have 1, so that’s kinda boring). Overall I’m pleased with my progress, and just like the pride at seeing a savings account grow, I feel good about seeing these numbers get smaller and smaller and it is a huge incentive to keep up the good work.

So you can probably guess that I’ve held fairly strong with respect to my previous commitments to not incur more of specific categories within my beauty stash. Below I’ve noted my current progress:

1) Base products: I’m really keen to try the Urban Decay Naked Concealer, but I absolutely am holding out until I can get that number down by half first. Despite the fact that I felt like I had A TON of foundation, I was toying with the idea of buying a new one when I was sent the new Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Foundation (liquid & stick). Thankfully, it’s fulfilled my lemming completely and I won’t be in the market for one for quite a while now. I’m currently on a mission to finish up a few that are nearing completion to get that number back down a bit. As for the rest (primers/powders), I’m not really enticed to buy new ones, though I think I might pick up the Becca Backlighting Primer before the wedding next fall, if there isn’t some fabulous new option out by then (likely).

IMG_2757

2) Antiperspirants: none bought (but of course, this is the easy one). Had the bright idea to leave one in the car, because I forget to put it on A LOT these days.

3) Nail polish: The number of polishes I own is staying strong at 83 shades. Still more than I’d like, but I can’t seem to let any go – I did in fact get rid of a few more, but then I bought two holiday shades, so… oops. Every few days I go through them again and try and release my death grip on a few more bottles. All I can do is keep trying!

IMG_2739The line on the left are drugstore/shades of which I only own one.

4) Color cosmetics: Bought – Lancome Shine Lover (June), Urban Decay Sheer Revolution Lipstick in Walk of Shame (July), Urban Decay 24/7 Lip Liner in Naked (August), Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Champagne Pop (August – I caved!), MAC Pro Longwear Lip Liner in Ms Diva (September), and NARS Lip Gloss in Chelsea Girls (September), Burberry Wet & Dry Shadow in Antique Blue (October). As usual, lippies dominated HARD. I don’t feel bad about these purchases though, they all make me happy and will get good use (though guiltily I wear so little makeup lately they haven’t yet!). However, I do want to ease up on the lip-heavy purchasing.

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5) I’m adding one other category to the list: BROW PRODZ. I bought a Milani clear brow gel and a Stila brow pen in July/August so now I have way more brow products than I personally need or want (a total of 5, which is about 3 more than I think is necessary). Absolutely must use most of these up before I will be inclined to buy more.

IMG_2744Oops, I just realized the Maybelline Brow Drama was in my pre-move empties post, but yet I still have it…probably should toss that now!

Phew! That was a long post. I wish I could just dictate what I want to say to someone and they could do all the other blog work for me – I have so many things I want to write about but so little time to actually write it / take and edit photos / etc. I honestly don’t know how some bloggers with young children do it. I guess most of them have their baby daddy’s around to watch the little one(s) so the momma can do other things. I don’t have that luxury very often, unfortunately😦

Anyway, I hope that even just the act of getting a post out will serve as an incentive to do more posting, I really miss it and I have so much to say on the top of beauty lately! If you follow me on Instagram I try to get a lot of those thoughts out there as they’re a quick snapshot of what’s going on in my beauty life – if you don’t follow me, you should, as I’m much more active there these days!

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From the draft pile: A query for all the Beauty Obsessed out there

[This is one in a series of posts I wrote years ago and never published for some reason. They still feel relevant to me so I thought I’d let them see the light of day, finally!]

If ever asked why I started blogging about beauty, my response is that it gave me an awesome outlet for my obsession and allowed me to connect with others who feel the same.  Being a curious person about the inner workings of people’s minds, I turned that question outward: why are YOU here? If you’re a blog reader, what brings you back again and again (to any blog, not just mine), seeking and absorbing more and more knowledge about the newest products, the best techniques, and the most-loved beauty items out there at our disposal?  Why do you love beauty??  What is it about beauty products that make you swoon?  If you write a blog, what got you started?  What pushed you to stop being an observer and start taking an active part in the blogging community?

blogging-communityImage courtesy – images.google.com

I’m often trying to understand why it is that I can spend $50 [EDIT: this was the value I used back in 2012…seems low now, which is SCARY] $100+ on cosmetics without batting an eye, and yet rarely seem to (or want to) plunk down the same amount on a (necessary) pair of shoes.  I’m not sure I’ll ever truly figure that out, but I do know that there is something so fun, so artistic, and transformative about makeup that I absolutely adore.  I suppose if I were fashion-minded, I could say the same about clothing.  However, since I don’t have the same skill with fashion as I do with makeup, I can get why I would lean toward something of which I have an innate understanding of versus something that seems to always elude me.  So OK, my eye just works with the face and all it’s nuances – shape, tone, features – versus the body, with its curves and angles.  Got it.  I guess I just love the way you can add a touch of color, and shading, and light to the face and it can look so beautiful and entrancing – and it’s generally the first thing people notice about one another.  Ahh…honestly, I can’t seem to put my love into words, but you know what I mean!!

IMG_1634Doing a friend’s makeup for the wedding we were in a couple years ago.

Now, as for deciding to blog.  Honestly, I truly can’t recall what spurred me on to start writing instead of just reading, it seems so long ago [EDIT: And it was! I started blogging in July 2009, if you can believe it!!].  I guess I just had this strong desire to start talking to someone about all these awesome products I was buying, and since I don’t have many friends (if any) who share this consuming passion, I thought perhaps I’d be more successful sharing my thoughts on the world wide web.  Even though my current community is fairly modest, I’ve found some astoundingly wonderful people who ‘get it’ and who have given me such comfort – instead of driving my friends crazy with my beauty antics (1 hour shopping trip to Sephora, anyone?), I have fellow readers and bloggers to whom I can relay all my excitement to without fear of being over the top.  And this, beyond anything else, will keep me blogging away, rambling on about the newest NARS launch or best new skincare ingredient, because I can share freely without judgement, and also see through others eyes what’s out there, broadening my beauty scope.  Which is trouble, of course, but also very wonderful at the same time🙂

So now, please, I’d love to hear your own stories!!  What entices you about the beauty world, and if you blog, why do you continue to do it?

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200 (or more makeup)

I was inspired by Liz’s post on the type of products she no longer uses, to do a sort of spin-off post in which I detail the products I won’t be buying for awhile – not because I no longer have use for them, but because I really want to try and use up what I’ve got. I’m still aiming for that lofty goal in which my collection is modest enough that I can purchase new items guilt-free, because owning less will inevitably enable me to use up what I have more regularly. Probably an impossibility, but I want to at least put more effort into enjoying what I already have instead of being madly in love for about 3 days, then promptly moving on to lust after the next hot new item. END THE CONSUMERISM CYCLE, dammit.

So, having given you my usual long-winded explanation as to why I do what I do, let’s get to the good stuff. A LIST (of products that are on a purchasing hiatus):

1) Base products (includes primers/concealers/tinted moisturizers/foundations/powders)

IMG_1406All 5 of my concealers, my liquid foundations/tinted moisturizers, and a few of my primers (the rest plus my powders are in my makeup drawer).

I have enough of all of these things; not an overly excessive amount (IMO), but enough that adding any more will just probably mean that some of them will go bad before I finish them all. I don’t usually go crazy over these kinds of items anyway (all but one of my primers and most of my foundations are PR samples or gratis items) except for concealers…still trying to find the holy grail of under eye concealers, but I need to give it a rest for now, as I currently have 5 on rotation, and for me that’s too much. I’ve also been on a mini powder kick, and I have 2 loose and 1 pressed, so I feel I am set for quite a while.

2) Antiperspirant

IMG_1407Clearly I have no allegiance to one brand…

Would you be disgusted to know that I’ve been using the same antiperspirant since Elena was in the NICU? Sooo that’s like…5 months? And haven’t had to replace it yet (eeks!)? I swear I use it {most days} but it seems to be lasting forever. I thought it was near the end so I bought a new one to replace it – twice – and then I discovered I already had ANOTHER backup waiting in the wings already. Plus another oldie that’s been kicking around for ages that I stopped using for whatever reason. So now I have 5 kicking around, which is making me feel far too much like my mother (who used to have hoards of them all around the house; I think she bought a new one every time she went to the drugstore – always finding a new scent or brand that she liked). So yea. I think I’m set for a while.

3) Nail polish

IMG_1422My ‘snazzy’ nail polish, displayed on my bedroom dresser.

IMG_1415The rest of my nail polish collection, housed in a shoebox in Ryan’s closet (there’s no room in mine! lol).

I have been doggedly riffling through my nail polish collection weekly in an effort to pare it down to a more manageable level; to me, if I can’t wear every shade I own more than once a year, then there is a problem. I’m hovering just slightly above 80 shades, and I’d like to cull it down more still to about 75 (in an ideal world, I’d have no more than 50, but there are too many shades I like to reach that goal). So, to keep things in check, I’m adhering strictly to a one in, one out policy. Though I love polish, I find this fairly easy to do, as I feel like I have every shade imaginable anyway. The hardest part is receiving shades for review – I’ve been getting most of the OPI collections lately, and I have to be really ruthless about which ones I keep. I give the ones I don’t absolutely love away shortly after I’ve done my swatches and post so I can’t change my mind, and that’s been working pretty well.

4) Color cosmetics

IMG_1409These are all the color cosmetics in my collection now (save for a Z palette with about 20 eyeshadows in it) – streamlined down to just one drawer, not bad eh?

Ok, this one is going to be a toughie, and I know if I get too serious in limiting myself it’ll only end in disaster (remember this?), so I am giving myself permission to buy color cosmetics that are Limited Edition – but only once a month. Additional exceptions (aren’t there always?): a) I am allowing myself to buy one non-LE item per month as well, b) the Sephora VIB sale is free game (if there is anything left at Sephora, after all the craziness – and also, in keeping with my previous guidelines which dictate that I only pick up one of each type of product), and c) all bets are off during our trip to Cali at the end of December.

After that last rule, it’s clear that basically nothing about my collection will change. LOL!

IMG_3402OH MOM.

My name is Latoya and I’m a makeup-aholic.

Are you on any sort of no- or low-buy? How do you justify your purchasing habits (or do you even bother)?

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So…I had a baby!

Cutting right to the chase, eh?😉 Well, if you haven’t been following me on Instagram, as the title suggests my sweet little babe has been born (which is why I’ve been MIA for the past few weeks)! If you’re doing the math, you may realize that she (yes, it’s a girl!) was born much earlier than her anticipated due date of March 20th. My impatient little girl arrived on February 6th, exactly 6 weeks before she was ‘scheduled.’ The story is long and convoluted, but to give you a brief synopsis – I was having some serious pelvic pressure/pain earlier in the week, which turned into what I thought *might* be contractions – but of course not having had them before, I wasn’t sure what they would really feel like! I had Ryan bring me to the hospital in the early hours of the 4th, to discover that YES, I was having contractions; but the doctors were keen to get baby girl to 34 weeks, so they gave me Adalat, a drug that stops contractions, and two rounds of steroid injections over a 48 hour period to boost her lung development. After her heart rate dropped several times over the course of the next couple days, they decided that the first day of her 34 week, February 6th, was going to be her birthday. Initially they were going to schedule a C-section for later in the morning, but her heart rate dropped again and it was suddenly game time. At 9:24am, at 4lbs even, Elena Bell Monminie was born🙂

IMG_1495I get a lot of comments about the fact that I was wearing nail polish lol…it wasn’t like I painted them in preparation for her birth! Obviously they just happened to be painted🙂

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Because she’s a pre-term baby (she’s not technically a ‘preemie’ at 34 weeks), she’s been in the NICU since she was born. Once I was discharged, three days after the birth (standard for C-section births), Ryan and I spent the next two days at the hospital, from 8am to midnight, and slept at home for a few hours. Unfortunately, Ryan had to then return back to work out West, so from then on I stayed at the hospital in a parent room – which is where I still am (and where I’m currently writing this post!). It’s not glamorous, and it’s easy to go a little stir-crazy in a dimly lit room with nothing to do and no one really to talk to, but I’m managing! The nice part is getting to spend my days with Elena and enjoy watching her do mundane things like stretch, frown, stick out her tongue…pretty much everything she does is amazing lol. I hit a bit of a wall yesterday and was quite ill, with chills and sweats and a massive headache – I was majorly sleep-deprived and my diet hasn’t been terrific (though my family is doing pretty well at keeping me fed) – but I see the light at the end of the tunnel, as I suspect she’ll be discharged within the week. She’s a rockstar – she’s had nothing wrong with her except for her small size and a bit of jaundice, so at this point she’s off the monitors, being breastfed exclusively (she was originally being fed through an NG tube), and she’s sleeping in the room with me🙂 Once she gets her weight up a little bit, we’ll be able to break free of this joint!

And now, a photo-palooza!

IMG_1514So glad that NG tube is out now!

IMG_1565She had to wear a little mask while under the phototherapy lights to protect her eyes – made it look like she was in a tanning bed ;P

IMG_1541Alert and awake!

IMG_1519This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. She does this all the time!

IMG_1604Peek-a-boo!

IMG_1616You can really get an idea of how small she is in this photo (and how cute!).

IMG_1635They have these awesome tube tops you can stick your baby in while you wear them to get skin-to-skin contact, which is super-great for mom and baby. Love this so much.

IMG_1648Her ‘superman’ pose after a good feed lol

IMG_1680Here’s a clearer face shot…it’s still hard to capture her cute though!

So I just heard today from my nurse that it could be that baby girl is discharged today or tomorrow! This is very exciting news🙂  It will be much easier to get back to posting once I’m in my own space again – and unsurprisingly, my cosmetic routine has been next to nothing, so I’m lucky if I wash my face once a day and shower every three (scandalous, I know!). I’ve left the hospital only twice – both times to go to baby showers that friends and co-workers so graciously changed around to suit my schedule – so I’ve only worn makeup twice in the past 19 days. That is most definitely a record for me! The only thing I’m religious about using is lip balm and hand cream – it is DRY up in here, my friends, and you’re required in the NICU to wash wash wash your hands constantly; needless to say, my hands are a MESS. Ah well, soon enough we’ll be out of here. Everyone keep your fingers and toes crossed for us, will you? It’s time to go home.

IMG_1688Just took this one yesterday…I’ve never taken so many photos of the same thing in my life! (oh wait, I write a beauty blog…erm, still think I’ve taken more photos of her than I ever have for any one post!)

 

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Pregnancy Update: 2 months to go!

Lately it seems that a fair number of us bloggers, as well as blog readers, are getting a little worn out with the same old thing; the same old beauty reviews just don’t seem to cut it: we want something to inspire us and to pique our interest. At least, I know I do! I love all things beauty just as much as ever, but reading about it is starting to get a bit boring, and writing about it can sometimes fall into a routine. While I do have a few ideas I’m hoping to post on over the next couple months, I’m also interested in posting more personal things as well – especially with everything going on, it’s near impossible to keep this as a beauty-only space, and once the baby comes I suspect that will only increase. I still intend to focus on beauty primarily, but I’m going to start injecting a good dose of *life* into my writing, too. ‘Write what you want to read about’, is the motto I’ve always used to generate blog content, so nothing’s really changing, I guess!

This past weekend I spent HOURS working on the baby room. I hesitate to call it a ‘nursery’ because that sounds much more formal than I’d like, and more put-together than it’s ever going to be. As we’ve STILL got the condo on the market (since June – GAH!), we’re still holding out hope that we will sell in the next couple months – but it would be a damn near miracle if we sold and were moved into a new place before the baby comes. So, it seemed a good idea to at least set *something* up for the baby, and since we had this empty spare room, well…it wasn’t a big deal to do so.

Back in November, I painted the spare room – which was a hideous honeydew melon shade left over from the last owner (since we never used the room, I hadn’t bothered re-painting it) – to the same neutral tone that’s throughout the rest of the condo. It was partly strategic, as I hoped it would help sell the place, and partly in tentative preparation for the baby.

IMG_1306Green walls, pre-paint – I know it may LOOK like a nice shade in these photos, but trust: it was NOT.

IMG_1305Gettin’ er done! 

IMG_1311 IMG_1310Et voila! Hooray for normal-colored walls🙂

Shortly thereafter, we bought the crib and dresser, but the room was still completely undone, with boxes and piles of other baby bits and bobs taking up space.

IMG_1326All we had at this point were these items plus the car seat.

A couple weekends ago, a friend of mine came over to shoot a few photos of Ryan and I and ‘the bump.’ When she arrived, she suggested that we take a few photos in the baby room first before heading outside to take photos of he and I. Of course, having NOTHING done in the room at all, that idea went by the wayside – but it was an excellent catalyst to get me moving and get started on making the room more baby-friendly (and cute!).

IMG_1349This was the only decorative non-furniture item in the room when she arrived…

IMG_3562…nonetheless, she still made it work!

I am by no means a creative or stylish person when it comes to home decor. While I know what I like (and don’t like), and I think I have good taste, putting things together is definitely out of my comfort zone – I find it very challenging to imagine what might look good without seeing it already complete in front of me. I often defer to either my mother, or my interior designer friend – both extremely talented in this arena – and rarely buy much for the home because I’m too scared to take a chance and make a bad decision. However, with encouragement from my mom, I went ahead and took a few ‘risks’ (which weren’t, in fact, that risky, but hey – gotta start somewhere).

First, I had to begin with a color scheme. Preferring to not know the gender didn’t make a difference in my choice, as I’m not one who would go for an all-blue or all-pink room anyway. I know yellow is often the default for gender neutral rooms, and some people balk at the shade for that reason, but I like the bright and sunny nature of yellow. I decided to pair it with gray because the two shades go so well together, and I plan to add some splashes of aqua in there as well for fun.

IMG_0217My first purchase (with my mom’s help) – a yellow lamp🙂  The stuffed rabbit was a gift from my mom early on in the pregnancy.

IMG_0214First solo risk-taking was purchasing these curtains – I wasn’t sure, but they were affordably priced, and I quite like them! They’re fun and playful. The shelving below was also a economical purchase – I had to put it together myself, which took some time. Once I can find the right shade of storage containers, I’ll stick those in 3 of these squares.

Then, I needed a theme. Several months ago, I had seen a nursery that had prints of baby animals on the wall, and I absolutely loved the way it looked. While perusing Etsy, I found a seller who had prints of all different types of animals – barn animals, forest animals, ocean ones, etc. – that were so darn cute (and affordable!) that I had to put in an order. The prints are electronic, so once you’ve paid, you receive a PDF & JPEG copy of each print you’ve purchased, which you can then get printed off like a photograph. I opted for 6 prints, which I put into white frames – 4 small frames, which I picked up from the Dollar Store, and 2 large frames which I bought from Target. After measuring and checking and measuring for what seemed like AGES (and in fact, it was ages…it’s hard doing that stuff with only one set of eyeballs!), I managed to get them up, and DAMN if they don’t look great! EXACTLY what I was aiming for🙂

IMG_0220GAHHH so freakin’ cute! We went with all safari-type animals – I particularly love the monkey🙂

The Dollar Store frames were designed only to sit on tabletops, so I had to do a little DYI with hanging apparatuses, another time-consuming endeavour. Well worth the effort though; I’m really pleased with the way this turned out! I purchased two framed canvas prints from Target as well, which had NO hanging mechanism at all, so the hanging process for all was a bit cumbersome. Still – decorating success!

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Once I cleaned out and/or found a home for most of the straggling bits kicking around the room, things started to look a lot better. Once we have a mattress and sheets etc. for the crib and a rocking chair, I think we’ll really be in business! I’d also like to have a floating shelf above the dresser for a couple last decorative items.

IMG_0212Still untidy and unfinished-looking without a mattress, but it’s coming along!

IMG_0215 IMG_0224

Overall, it was a fun way to spend my weekend. Despite some of the extra work I had to put in, even though there’s not much going on in the room, it is still satisfying to see it coming along, and to have finally made some solid decisions on decor by myself. It’s something I do very rarely, but I feel just a wee bit more inclined to do this more often – I always wish my home looked a bit more put-together, so…baby steps! (pun not intended, ha)

Aside from the baby room, things are well. I’m in the single-digit week countdown now, and I’m still feeling pretty good – my energy hasn’t waned yet (clearly, if this post is any indication!), I’m sleeping fairly well most nights, and no major aches or pains. The only thing I’m struggling with is some pelvic pain, which happens when I walk – it’s manageable for short distances, but anything longer than 15 minutes and I’m left with residual pain and major stiffness, which is a bummer. I’ve upped my prenatal yoga to twice a week, but I’m going to have to figure out some other kind of cardio I can do aside from walking – perhaps the recumbent bike? I’ve been thinking about going swimming, but that would require me to a) buy a maternity swimsuit, and b) get wet and then go outside in the cold. Also, chlorine and my eczema are MAJOR ENEMIES so it might not be the best choice. I’m sure I’ll figure something out!

One last thing – it is CRAZY how fast you start growing once the baby starts to put on fat in preparation for the birth. Here’s a shot of me at 29 weeks…

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…and then again at 31 weeks (this pic was just taken a couple days ago):

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DUDES. That is frickin’ NUTS!! I feel like every day the baby gets exponentially bigger. I’m getting more slow-moving by the day as a result, too. I find it quite humorous most days, though I’m still not used to having to slow down so much. You should SEE the process I go through to get out of bed. Sad state of affairs LOL.

Here’s a shot I took today (which is far cuter than these bare belly shots) – just for good measure:

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My mom hooked me up with a TON of maternity clothes for Christmas, this dress being one of them. It makes it SO much easier in the mornings to get ready when you have a handful of things that fit!

So that’s the full update! Sorry for the novel, I guess I had more to say that I realized😉 All this baby stuff is so fun, and the reality of everything gets closer every day, so it takes up more and more brain space the closer we get to the big day. It’s become more real – and SURREAL – each day that passes. I’m feeling a bit of nerves with the excitement, but I also know that everything will be just fine – it will be hard at times, and exhausting, and I’m certain there will be tears and frustration, but I’m just as sure that there will also be some of the most joyous moments of our lives. BRING IT ON.

Me and Baby, Jan 10 2015

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I’m Resolute: My goals for 2015

So.  Resolutions.  I got ’em.  Somehow I missed sharing them with you the past couple years (or at least I’m just stunned and can’t find the posts – it’s possible), but this year I’m on the ball and excited to share them with you!

There seems to be two camps when it comes to resolutions – those who do them religiously, and those who never do.  I totally get the school of thought that one just strives to improve themselves throughout the year and hence has no need to set goals specifically after the New Year.  However, when you are someone who loves lists as much as I do, any excuse to make a new one is always welcome!🙂  I am always working toward the best version of myself, but I also love the idea of starting fresh, so these factors are why every year I look forward to laying down my goals as a way to start the year off on the best foot.  This year, as an extra incentive to stay on track, I plan on writing an update post each month to share with you my progress (or any setbacks).

IMG_0179My fab new notebook in my fave shade🙂

And so.  Witness my top resolutions for 2015!!


1. Streamline and reduce makeup collection.

But of course this is a goal. As per my cosmetics tally noted on ‘My Beauty Stash’ page, I am above my comfort level in several areas of my makeup and nail polish collections.  The ‘max’ quota numbers are somewhat arbitrary, but I wanted to choose within each category an ideal number of products to which I can aim toward and feel at ease with what I own, instead of stressed out that I’ll never use it all (which will still undoubtably happen, but I can dream!).  In some cases, I just felt like a larger number of products in a category seemed just plain silly (how many foundations do you really NEED?); in other areas, I felt like I would never make good use out of the shades I DO love if I have more than I can reasonably wear regularly (i.e. lipsticks/lipgloss/nail polish).  In truth, I just really want to feel excited and guilt-free about buying a new pretty now and again!

IMG_0181Just a small portion of my current collection – my current rotation🙂

You’ll notice below I didn’t give a goal number for eyeshadow……..dudes, I have like a billion, and I’m never gonna use ’em all up ever in life, so there’s no point setting an impossible standard! Mainly I just want to ensure that the shades I’m keeping are getting used, so that’s my true goal there. Blush is a similar conundrum – if I ever finished one I think I would call myself the ULTIMATE BLUSH CHAMPION – but I think 30 is a reasonable number (in makeup fiend terms, anyway) and I still have a couple spots left!!  Also, I hope to continuously weed them out as I determine shades or formulas not well-suited to my skin tone / type.  To make way for new ones.  OF COURSE.

And so, here are my goals in the makeup reduction effort:

– Primers: 3 + 1 sample, 1 eye primer / Goal: 2 + 1 eye primer
– Concealers: 5 / Goal: 2
– Foundation: 4 + 1 travel size / Goal: 2
– Highlighters: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Bronzers: 3 + 1 deluxe sample / Goal: 2
– Mascara: 4 / Goal: 2
– Eyeliner: 24 / Goal: 15
– Lip Color: 51 / Goal: 30
– Nail Polish: 103 / Goal: 75

I’ve actually made considerable headway with most of these categories since last year…the tough ones are going to be eyeliners, lippies and nail polish. Erm…wish me luck??

2. Spend more time enjoying things I own and less time seeking out newer, ‘better’ things.

I think we all come up against this challenge one time or another, especially as beauty bloggers. I’ve been improving with this over the past year, but sometimes I still get caught up in the trap of needing something new just because it’s NEW, and not because I need to have it. It’s like our attention spans keep getting shorter and shorter…and it can get quite ridiculous, really. My biggest saving grace is that I hate clutter and I get anxious with too much STUFF kicking around, so I purge relatively often. But I still own items that I felt like I just HAD to have, but yet I haven’t even used all that much, and that’s a damn shame. This year, I vow to give things I acquire a fair shake before rushing off to buy something else that catches my eye.

3. On that note…spend less time thinking and more time doing.

Oh man, I’m really bad for this. And not in the way you might think – I don’t get too wrapped up in thinking about doing something but never getting around to doing it; moreso, I just spend a lot of time thinking, period. That’s all well and good, but sometimes I need to get out of my own head (it can betray me sometimes), and just enjoy a moment, or let things go and stop analyzing every damn thing. This is the reason I did my degree in Psychology – I love to understand how people’s brain’s work, and why we do what we do…I want to understand so that I can continuously open my mind, refrain from judgement and be as accepting of people as possible. Probably I do this too because I want that behaviour and thought process to be reciprocated to me; everyone wants to be understood, I think on some level. But DANG if I don’t do it a bit too much, is what I’m sayin’ lol. So, this year, I’m going to try and be accepting without overthinking it too much…it’s like thought OCD, I keep thinking the same things over and over and it’s just kind of silly at times {now maybe ya’ll can see why I ramble so damn much all the time lol}.

4. Take at least 30 minutes a day to do something good for my body.

Since I’ve still got around 3 months left of the pregnancy, and I don’t know what things will be like once the baby comes, I don’t want to give myself a seriously structured fitness and health regime (I don’t really do that, anyway – I’m too into moderation for that) – but I do always like striving to be my healthiest self. I wanted to get out for a walk every single day since becoming pregnant, but that hasn’t happened and I don’t want to set myself up for failure – sometimes I’m honestly just too busy/tired/whatever to get it done. But I DO have 30 minutes every day to do SOMETHING good for myself – be it a walk, taking the time to make a healthy meal, or sitting down and writing in my journal for 30 minutes. So I’m committing to that and I know I will stick to it. There’s just no room for excuses!

IMG_0176Two books I received at Christmas….my family knows me well.

5. Relax with uncertainty. 

This is something else I struggle with a lot. It’s funny, because in many ways I’m very cavalier and unconcerned with the future – I haven’t been reading countless books on how to raise a child (in fact, I haven’t read any), and my general outlook on life is that things usually work out for the best, so why worry? My issues with uncertainty aren’t situational, but rather interpersonal – I’m always wondering if I’m doing the ‘best’ thing in my relationships (romantic, friendly and familial) and worrying that if they aren’t perfect, they’ll fail. I’m always thinking about how we can improve, how we can relate better and be better to one another. This all sounds well and good, but it tends to leave little room for error – any perceived failures on my part or the person involved and I start to question our relationship and it’s tenacity. You start to see the problem now…it’s like I want to control every interaction so that it only involves positivity – differences in opinion, disagreements, and conflicting behaviours leave me feeling unsure about the relationship as a whole. An unrealistic view, yes, but a hard habit to break. This year, I am determined to relax in my relationships and see any difficulties (within reason) as an opportunity for growth. I’ve only recently come to this realization, so it’s definitely going to be a challenge, but one that I think will benefit me significantly.


And that, my friends, is my resolution list for 2015! I feel quite good about it, and like these goals are both challenging yet achievable. I always love a fresh start, so I’m keen to get cracking!

Have you made any goals/resolutions for the New Year? Can you relate to any of mine?

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