January 31, 2012

DIY Makeup Brush Roll

I'm not very skilled in the sewing department, but I can do some basics. 
I needed a larger makeup brush roll, but I couldn't find a pattern that I liked. I perused Etsy, of course, but oftentimes the fabrics used are busy. I was looking for something plain and simple!

And then I found myself in the placemat aisle at Target. I picked up a simple placemat, that was already straight, even, and nicely finished on all the ends. And I thought to myself, "Well, this could possibly be the easiest project in the world". So I purchased this perfectly sized and prepared bit of fabric (for about $3.00), folded and sewed. 

And easy it was. 

Here was the process:

1. Fold up bottom of placemat approx. 3 1/2 inches. and pin in place.
2. Slip a 2 foot long piece of ribbon under pin to hold in place. (this will act as a "wrap" to keep the roll together) Sew a straight line along both sides to seal the edges.
 3. Measure makeup brush "pockets" depending on your needs and pin in place. I did 1/12 inch spaces for large brushes, and 1 inch spaces for small (eyeshadow, concealer, etc) brushes.
 4. And now for the hardest part, sew a straight line to the top of the folded section. Continue all the way down until you reach the other end of the placemat.
. . . and thats pretty much it!
ugly bathroom lighting. . .
See my small brush roll back there? I definitely needed more space! 
Look at this beauty! all my brushes fit! PLUS my eyeliners. I leave those 2 brushes in the middle out since they are double ended.
I was so excited about my finished product that I made TWO and I want to give one to one of YOU! (I can rhyme too!) <--nerd-alert.

Anyway, here are the details:
The brush roll is the size of a standard placemat. ( 18.5 x  9 inches )
It's kind of a minty, greeny, blue. 
There are 6 large (1.5 inch) pockets and 9 small (1 inch) pockets.

Here is how to enter the giveaway for your very own Makeup Brush Roll:

Leave a comment below telling me your favorite makeup brush. If you don't own any (which would make a brush roll an interesting win for you. . .!), tell me which brush you are planning to fill your roll with first!

The winner will be chosen Friday February 3rd at 8:00am EST via random.org. There will only be 1 winner, and that winner will be notified via e-mail.

Please include your e-mail address in each comment so I can contact you if you win!


And if you own a sewing machine, go make one for yourself! :) 
The Winner is. . . .

This is sooo cute! I've been looking for something simple also! My new favorite brush is my new foundation brush. I used to just use those sponges, I just never spend the money on a foundation brush but now that I have it I love it! I love all my brushes but its my new favorite!

Congrats Keyona! Enjoy your new brush roll!  

January 30, 2012

The Fake Half Up

If I had to choose, I would rather wear my hair down vs. up. I like a lot of "up" styles, but I probably wear my hair down 90% of the time!
So I created this simple style to jazz up "down" hair a little and make it look like it's half up! 
And the best thing about this style is that nearly everyone, with any hair length, can do this!

Refer to this post to see what products are in my hair. 

Refer to this post to see how my hair is curled. 

Shirt: Gap Winter 2012 I Necklace: Target Winter 2012 I Earrings: Elisabeth Ashlie (not available) 

January 27, 2012

House Guests

My mom and two 2nd cousins are in town for a little girls weekend! I enjoy having company, especially when my mom comes, and I really took time to think through and prepare some "comforts" for my guests. 
One of the great things about Birchbox is that I have a box full of trial size cosmetics that I can set out for my guests! I had fun digging through it finding face wash, face cream, bath oil, etc. to set out for my mom to try. (My cousins are young, so they wouldn't care too much about that sort of thing!) 

I placed some bath oil, body lotion, face serum, and fragrance in a dish for her to try.

Below that, I filled a bowl of cotton balls, left some toothpaste & floss for her, and a lint roller. There is nothing worse than going to a friends house, sitting on their couch, and being covered in animal hair. And I KNOW that our guests experience that at our house too sometimes, so I always have a lint roller available (the lint roller is from the $1.00 section at Target and came 2 to a package. I bought 3 packs. They are great to throw in your purse too.)

Extra toilet paper is a must!

I also put up her magnified mirror. She bought that specifically to leave at my house and it only goes up when she arrives. :)
Finally, I made sure I had plenty of towels and wash cloths available for her and the girls to use.

Some tips for house guests:
1. Make items visible or very easy to find. I'm sure you've seen towels folded on guests beds--that way they don't need to search through bathroom cabinets to find them.
2. Add some *nice* items for your guests to enjoy like sample-size fragrance, a pitcher of cold water with a few glasses, slippers, wonderful smelling hand lotion, etc.
3. Always provide plenty of towels, toilet paper, kleenex and maybe a flashlight if they are unfamiliar with your home.

Ironically, my moms luggage didn't arrive on time so it worked out perfectly that I had all these cleansers and lotions for her use until her bag gets here!  (Notice I'm not using the word "if". I'm pretending to be completely confident that it will, in fact, arrive.)

Enjoy your weekend! I'm sure we'll be busy busy busy running around town all weekend! 

January 26, 2012

Under Eye Routine

My under eyes are dark. And no matter how much eye cream I would saturate them with the night before, they would always look dry after I applied makeup.  
I have had the hardest time finding an under eye concealer that I love too. Mostly because it turns to a "cakey" mess no matter what consistency, application method, or "priming" products that I use. And there is little worse than dry, cakey under eye makeup, am I right?

The reason why the under eye area can be such a problem is because there aren't many/any oil glands in that area. So there isn't really a natural production of moisture to keep that delicate skin in good condition. It's also one of the most fragile parts of your skin, and should be treated that way so you don't get extra wrinkles!

However, my world has been changed. I found a product that revolutionized the way my under eye concealer goes ON and stays put. I know it sounds like I'm being dramatic here, but I'm serious--I checked the mirror about 50 times that day (which is easy because I stand behind a mirror all day) to make sure it didn't turn on me. And there it was, perfectly placed and non-cakey under eye concealer.

The product is by Sephora and it's called Immediate Wrinkle Filler. It's difficult to explain, but it's a white, spongey product in a small tub (pictured above in grey) and you either place your finger or a brush in the pod to get a tiny bit of product, and gently rub it into your under eye area. It's silky smooth, and thick enough to really fill in some wrinkles! It will also fill in some small creases that you may have from smiling and prevent the makeup from settling into those as well. And finally, it keeps your under eye concealer "moisturized" without shine, and it won't budge. 

I love it.

And the Mark. product is an eye cream that I've been using before I apply the Immediate Wrinkle Filler. It's not as much as a necessity for daily makeup application as the latter, but it's a great non-greasy eye cream. If you are interested in Mark. products, click here.

The concealer I use on a daily basis is Mac Pro Longwear concealer in NW 15. I really like it! Especially now that it goes on beautifully and looks great all day!

If you are interested in my full makeup routine, click here

January 25, 2012

One Striped Shirt, Two Ways

If you have been out and about lately I'm sure you've seen that stripes are everywhere! Nautical is big for spring. And I'm happy about it. I love stripes and navy. 

I picked up this boatneck striped shirt at Gap (it is The Gap, or just Gap?) and paired it with different accessories for a different look. 

Here it is with a dark navy/grey (grevy?) jacket and a chunky necklace: 

Striped shirt: Gap, Jacket: H&M 2009, Necklace: Nordstroms 2012, Jeans: very old Gap jeans, Shoes: Ninewest

And here it is with a pop of color:

See that orange/bright coral scarf up there? It is my favorite scarf from Target. 

I know--shocking. It's bursting with color. AND pattern. 

I learned a lesson recently: Don't be afraid to mix patterns and textures with stripes. I'm now considering stripes a "neutral".

So pile on the scarves.
Layer with a jacket or vest.
Add a chunky necklace. . .like this one:

Also from Target.

I seriously have a problem.  

January 24, 2012

Three Bird Nest Giveaway

Today's giveaway is for a grey knitted ear warmer from Three Bird Nest

You can wear it like I did (above) OR like this: 

image from Three Bird Nest

Or you can get creative and come up with your own way to wear it! 

A little bit about the designer and the shop:
three bird nest is a collection of eclectic landing of handmade treasures. 

From Alicia: I have three little ones (hence three bird nest) and am always creating new items, designing new accessories. Ive always loved design and creating new things. I'm going to be launching a website soon that will include romantic jewelry and additional sweet accessories that compliment my handmade headbands so that's my next step.

I want everyone to LOVE what they get from me so I get so excited when people post pics, feedback on my Facebook page/ etsy shop!

Enter to win a grey knitted ear warmer from Three Bird Nest

1. Leave a comment below answering this question: Would you rather have a mild winter with barely any snow, or a cold winter with tons of snow? 
(your answer will not determine whether or not you will win.)

2. Become a Fan of Three Bird Nest on Facebook, and leave a separate comment here telling me you did! 

The winner will be chosen at 8:00am on Friday January 27th, 2012 via Random.Org and notified via e-mail.

**PLEASE don't forget to include your e-mail address in your comment! I want to tell you if you won! :) 

Good Luck! 

The Winners are:
Amanda Faith and Megan!

 Amanda said: I'm torn. In Atlanta, we only get ice but I know that I will at least be iced in with the hub's. I would have to say COLD and SNOWY/ICEY!! LOL

Megan said: Jan 24, 2012 06:42 AM
I just liked Three Bird Nest on Facebook

Congrats! and thanks to all who entered! 

January 23, 2012

How to Wear a Knitted Ear Warmer

One of the great things about winter is that there is nearly 0% humid in the air---which is a drastic change from a North Carolina summer. And that means that your hairstyle usually lasts a long longer because it isn't melting in the summer sun! 
But what if you are going on a date. . .and it's a walk around downtown with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand. . .and it's freezing. . .but you still want to style your hair?

Enter: adorable knitted ear warmers.

These can be worn with a ponytail too, which looks really pretty on long hair, but I wanted to share another option for wearing a functional, yet stylish ear warmer. 

Refer to this post to see my daily products! 
*I'm wearing my Red Lipstick again! 

My lovely ear warmer came from Three Bird Nest

Striped top: J. Crew outlet, Necklace: Nordstroms, Jacket: Banana Republic Outlet, Jeans: J.Crew, Ear warmer: Three Bird Nest 


Click here to visit her shop! 

January 20, 2012

My Closet Makeover

Finally, slipped the hamper right under my hanging clothes! That was a perfect little spot for it! 

By nature, I'm a slob. In all seriousness--I'm naturally a messy person. This is not news to my mother, husband, or any other person who knows me well. I usually work in chaos in my office. And my closet.

But I had had enough. It was time to force a change upon myself. And maybe have access to clothes that I couldn't get to through the madness. 

So I spent about 4 hours one Saturday sorting through and donating clothes & other accessories in my closet & my drawers. And it felt really good to purge. 

The whole idea came to me when I saw these hangers at Costco. 
So here is what I began with: 

Yes, it's true. My poor husband only uses 1/4 of the closet. I'm so generous with space. 
He's so lucky to have me. 

The first thing I did was transfer all the hanging clothes to the new hangers, and in the process I filtered through what I wanted to keep and what I should donate. 
The following photo is a perfect example of how I am naturally a messy person. Wouldn't it have made sense to just keep the old hangers on the bar, instead of throwing them into a hanger pile of tangled disaster? Yes. What did I do? I threw them over my head from the closet and let them fall into a mess.
Work out clothes and bathing suits were removed from the hanging storage next to the hanging shoe storage. 
Shoes and a pair of slippers went to the donation pile.
I believe I donated approximately 15 pairs of pants/jeans. Some I have had for 4+ years.
And then the rearranging began. We don't have a linen closet, so we keep a few toiletries in our closet. I had to keep that wire storage in there for those. Plus, we have a darks, lights and "special" hamper. The "special" hamper is for my clothes that need to be washed and hung, or washed a certain way. *Lights/Darks Hamper came from Target

Mainly, my goal was to be able to see the hanging clothes that I have. So I wanted those to be placed first.

 Can I point out how small the color section is? And how large the grey section is? :) I used baskets that I already owned to sort smaller items above the clothes.
I moved shoe storage down and gave my husband some space.

Placed the purses that I'm not using in an "out of the way" place.

And slipped the hamper in right under the hanging clothes. A perfect space! 

Are you proud of me? I'm so thrilled with the result. I really believe it has taken some element of stress away from me in the morning since it isn't a battle to try to find a shirt! 

I mentioned earlier this week on Facebook that I discovered something profound about myself. Here is how it happened.

I had coffee with a friend, and brought her a bag of clothes to see if she wanted to snag anything before it was donated. As we were rifling through it (in the trunk of my station wagon in the rain--how about that visual?), she pointed something out to me.

All of my clothes were inside out. These were clothes taken directly from my drawers, and placed into the donation bag. So that means, they were folded and put away inside out. And I had absolutely no idea that I did that. I mean, it's a sickness people! Who doesn't turn their clothes right side out?

We were laughing so hard at the fact that I just learned this fact about myself.

So my second goal, along with the one about keeping my new closet orderly, is to turn my clothes right side IN when I put them away! Like a normal person!
*So I meant "right side out". . .but there is a right side that goes in too, right? 

Wish me luck.