‘beauty’ Category

29 September 2011

Things I’m loving right now

By: Jessica B.

Yep I’ve been a bad girl lately, buying things (without peer pressure) and sampling things that I end up falling in love with. Some things are more tangible than others and some aren’t that healthy for me either, but sh*t happens.

Let’s take a look at some stuff I’m loving this fall, non-weather wise.

Truffle honey butter – Was served this at a new Chicago restaurant, Morso, in Lincoln Park as part of my meal and nearly licked the mason jar it came in clean. Sadly, service at the restaurant wasn’t great that night so to make up for it, my waitress gave me a hunk of it to take home. It’s delicious, I would eat it with a spoon. I want more right now.

Suri’s Burn Book – A coworker shared this Tumblr and Twitter feed with me and I’m 100% obsessed. I literally check it daily for Suri’s new bitchy, mean girl commentary of celeb children and it has made me cry laughing several times. Let’s just say, she’s not a huge fan of the Jolie-Pitts and Garner-Affleck kids. She also has a huge ego, I love it.

The Real Milania G – As a Real Housewives of New Jersey fan, this is pretty much the best Twitter feed ever. The faux Twitter profile, written from the point of Teresa’s devil child Milania is really damn funny, especially during the RHONJ airings. I highly recommend it.

Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery – I’m pretty much a Kiehl’s addict already but I finally started using my samples of this product at night and my face feels like butter. I have really dry/oily/sensitive skin and this feels really soothing and hydrating on it. Literally, I love the way my skin feels with this. It’s a little pricey so I’ll stick to samples for now but LOVE.

Fresh Sugar Lip Treatment – Friends have been using Fresh products for a while and preaching about their awesomeness but after my regular lip balm ran out (goodbye Burt’s Bees!), I picked this up at Sephora and cannot imagine living without it. Yes, it’s a little pricey too but I love how soft it makes my lips and gives them a little tint too (without being tarty). I will have to see if others agree they’re kissably soft one day.

Riding Boots - Two years ago I got my first pair of flat riding boots from¬† Banana Republic and have almost destroyed them from use. They’re super comfortable and perfect for wearing in snow and winter weather. Now I’m on the hunt for a new pair and finally found some similar ones at Nordstrom. They’re a little pricier than I wanted to pay but since I know I’ll wear them out, I’m okay with it. It’s almost boot season!!

What are you loving right now? Big weekend plans?

26 October 2010

Bad haircut club

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: beauty, Random

I’ve had plenty of bad haircuts in my past. Note: there are no photos of this because a) I’ve hidden them and b) I don’t have a scanner, so ha, no photos can even be shared!

Anyhow, bad haircuts.

I’ve had many bad haircuts in my past. Many that have reduced me to a teary mess, pulling on my hair (as if it will make it grow longer) or looking at myself in the mirror wailing, WHY GOD WHY DID I TELL HER TO TAKE ANOTHER INCH OFF??? HOW DID ONE INCH BECOME FIVE??? (TWSS)

Yes, I’ve been there.

I’ve even threatened to and actually worn a bag on my head (with breathing hole cut out) to hide the bad haircut. This sh*t is traumatic for women.

The last really awful haircut I had was when I went to college. I had shorter hair already and wanted something different for college, to debut a new me and feel more confident. What I came out with was a bowl-like haircut with a shaved back of my head. No joke, I looked like a boy. It was awful and traumatic and I sobbed (not cried) the entire way home. I had a good six months of hating my entire head because it wasn’t until then that it grew out enough to look feminine again. Ever since then, I have kept my hair shoulder-length and never shorter.

Lately, some friends and I were talking about haircuts and I stated that I think most women hate their haircut for the first week they have it, even if it’s exactly what they want. For some reason, the hair always looks different once you get home and start styling it. Not necessarily in a bad way, but you’re so used to how you styled it before that suddenly a trim and newly cut layers takes a semi-new routine and you find yourself missing how it looked before.

I’m not saying it makes any sense but that’s exactly how I feel most times. But this month, I’m delaying the haircut for a week so I may be tempted to say “cut it off,” but I don’t mean it!

What about you? What’s your bad haircut history?

11 August 2009

The naked truth

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: beauty

No, no, I’m not talking about getting naked. Even if I do like to walk around the apartment semi-nude. Hey, it’s a benefit to living alone. Consider it…a rite of passage!

Anyhow, along with my late blooming that I’ve mentioned before, another rite of passage I was delayed on was wearing makeup. Actually, I rarely wore it at all until after college. Sure I’d slap some mascara on my eyes but foundation, concealer, etc. that was all foreign to me. I still don’t even know how to apply liquid eyeliner!

Now, I wear a lot of make up. Primers and tints and brushes line my bathroom sink, each with it’s proper place in my routine. It’s sad but I even have a “workweek face” whichrequires the most prep and a “weekend face” that also has a routine but minus a few of the “workweek” products. I rarely let people see me completely makeup free.

Why? Because I’m insecure. For a long time I was embarrassed by how I looked, with rosacea on both cheeks, uneven skin tone and dark undereye circles. But I just figured make up was evil and this is how I was made so it was fine.

But now that I have this weekday and weekend routine and I notice that people compliment me on my skin and features so I’m rarely seen without it.

And while I was on vacation, due to mostly laziness, I barely wore makeup at all, giving my parents a bit of a shock for the first two days. I think my stepmom was holding out hope I’d come around. Yeah, I didn’t.

But going a week without make up was kind of liberating. No one stared at me like I was a monster, or pointed out the flaws on my skin out loud. That kind of judgement is all in my own head.

So here’s a picture of me au natural on the face. It’s something I definitely need to do more often. Because despite all the scars or uneven tone or redness, I still like what was originally there :)

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Do you have a make up routine? Or do you find that the number of make up products you use has increased as you’ve gotten older?

Note: As a follow up to yesterday’s online dating FAILs, yes, I did hear from Phil and after another whiny e-mail, he’s been cut loose. I need a man, not a boy. But his reaction to my “coddling” e-mail was hilarious. He apparently like a sassy woman :) And I didn’t reply to the guy who gave me options but maybe I should! It’s just the word, “heart throbber” that throws me :)

26 May 2009

The importance of a mani/pedi

By: Jessica B.

Whoa it’s been a while since I’ve posted one of these, but here is another thing I recommend: getting mani/pedis. Especially for the ladies.

I’m awful at regularly getting them (especially on the toesies) but I do try because I always feel better whenever I go. It’s like therapy in a non-retail sense.
And this weekend, I got my inaugural manicure of the summer season and it was like heaven. My finger nails are buffed and perfectly polished in OPI’s color – Feeling Hot-Hot-Hot. It’s a perfect hot pink. Subtle yet loud, just like me!
I used to never get manicures and pedicures because it was “too girly” but those doubts melted away the minute I got a leg/hand massage during my first visit. I was total mush because it felt so nice. The ladies had me at “cuticle.” Speaking of cuticles, I have the worst ones ever. They grow like trees and are notoriously uncomfortable to trim. But it needs to be done so rather than have me butcher them, I’ll leave it to the professionals.
My first manicure was about three years ago (yes, I know, so tragic that I waited that long), same with a pedicure too. And the pedicure reminded me how ticklish I am on my feet, especially because I nearly kicked the woman in the face. Oops. Fortunately, that only happened once…or twice. Now, to curb the need to squirm and giggle, I bite on a stick or leather strap (kidding!)
And when I’m between appointments, I do try to keep up the polish on my toes. Unfortunately, it usually comes out looking like this:
Yes, that’s polish on my foot. I have no idea how that happened.
I even bought some new colors for spring to keep at home for my own touch ups. I just hope my Cirque du Soleil bathroom moves for that “professional-looking polish” don’t turn out like the above paint job. I’m not very talented at applying my own nail polish.
But while I love the mani/pedi, if the girl nicks me or makes me bleed, that tip disappears. Only fair.
Is anyone else a big mani/pedi fan? Do you go regularly, even in winter? A few friends have said this ritual is “recession proof” but I don’t know if it’s like that for everyone else.

08 February 2009

Key Learnings, Sephora temptation and Oscar movies

By: Jessica B.

I hate to say it, but I love global warming. After a painfully long January and cool February start, Saturday was by far the best day in awhile. Temps in the 50s? In February? In Chicago?

Whatever is causing it, I’ll take it. I love opening up the windows to air out my apartment. I also sleep a lot better with fresh air too. And now the weather is more mild this week? Holy cow, I’m not complaining. I love it!¬†
So now let’s close the weekend with some key learnings.
Key Learnings:
  • Quitting drinking during the week is tougher than starting to drink during the week
  • Before going on a wild goose hunt, always call stores ahead of time to make sure they stock the item you’re searching for
  • Man furs, especially man fur vests, will always draw looks from a crowd (and giggles)
  • Just because it’s 50, doesn’t mean you should be out in shorts and leggings with T-shirts. Let’s not get too crazy
  • A real gentleman will carry your obnoxiously large Crate & Barrel bags for you while walking through a crowd
  • Low-key Friday and Saturday nights are a nice change of pace once in awhile
  • Couches have a magical healing power to help you relax and feel better if you’re sick
  • Scalp massages always feel nice when getting your hair done
  • All salons should provide wine to customers. It makes paying much easier
  • The best mimosa’s are 10 percent OJ and 90 percent champagne
  • It’s okay to be afraid of pigeons. They do get uncomfortably close in the city
Sephora love
Although I’m watching my spending, I decided to budget a little money for a treat and headed to Sephora on Saturday. My goal was get something practical and economical, not crazy. Trust me, I would love to roll around in eyeshadow and blush shades, but I need to keep it real too. Sephora is a girl’s playground. Rows of make-up with a generous return policy, it’s a win-win.
My only complaint is that there is never enough staff around to help. I end up having to track people down or wait for them to finish helping another customer, which ends up taking forever. Saturday, I had to answer my own questions, which left me with two hands full of foundation and concealer tests. I now have makeup all of my jacket too thanks to the tests.
In the end, I left with two items: Smashbox Under Eye Brightener and Clinique “All About Eyes” concealer. The only one I’m not 100 percent sure about is the concealer but I look forward to playing with both!

The Oscars
The Oscars are about two weeks away and I’m back to my one-movie-every-weekend routine. This weekend, a friend and I saw Gran Torino. It was shut out from the Oscars, but it was still good. I don’t know if I’ll get to see the Reader or Benjamin Button before the big show, but I don’t think that will change up my pool too much.
How was everyone else’s weekend? What movies do you still need to see before the Oscars? Or what one do you refuse to see until it’s on DVD/Netflix?