What I use: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer

dlt3What I bought: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer (I use the color Radiant; this one says Ivory because I bought it by mistake – argh! I’m super pale and have pink undertones)

What I paid: $6.50ish (at Walmart; also available at Ulta, Target and other drugstores that sell Maybelline products)

I’ve tried a few under eye concealers in the past, struggling to find something that 1) didn’t look yellow, 2) didn’t look super cakey, 3) didn’t create the reverse raccoon eyes by the end of the day.

I tried Bobbi Brown’s corrector and creamy concealer. I loved the coverage and the color match. Unfortunately, it was pretty creamy (read: greasy), which resulted in a number of issues. First, I couldn’t wear sunglasses because the part that rests on the bridge of my nose would rub the concealer off, and it would look super weird. The product would also settle into my fine lines pretty badly. I tried several different kinds of setting powders, hoping that would help…but no such luck. So, I had to ban that product for extended wear and only use it when I had a minimal amount of time that I’d be out. Like a lunch or a dinner. On days that weren’t sunny. Ha, that’s really helpful.

bareMinerals well-rested was too yellow, which is the opposite of my skin tone, so it just looked awful.  Neutrogena’s 3-in-1 Concealer for Eyes was OK, but seemed to change color as the day wore on.

Bare Escentuals introduced Stroke of Light highlighter concealer last year (I think) and I liked how it looked under my eyes, but it wasn’t quite as much coverage as I’d hoped.

I’m trying to accept that I won’t be able to 100% rid my under eyes of dark circles. Whenever I have beauty things that I’m self conscious about, I wonder how much other people notice. Typically they say that you are your worst critic…but there are definitely people who I’ve looked at and thought, “Does she know she looks like that?” So maybe you are your worst critic, and then I’m your second-worst critic 🙂

After watching quite a few YouTube videos about hiding under eye circles, I decided to try Maybelline’s Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting concealer. It’s the same concept of BE’s Stroke of Light, but considerably cheaper.

I really like it. The color seems to be slightly more on the pink-ish side, which is exactly what I needed. It goes on smoothly — it’s less creamy than the Bobbi Brown; it’s not that it’s chalky, it just has a less-greasy texture. It’s super easy to blend and does a good job of reflecting light.

dlt2Initially I used my bare Minerals well rested as a setting powder, but have skipped that step lately and have no complaints. I also use the Dream Lumi Touch on a light pink birthmark I have on my forehead — it does a decent job of covering that for the first few hours of the day. By the time I get home from work, though, the coverage isn’t quite as nice.

When I do my makeup, this is the first product I use. I apply it to my light birthmark on my forehead first (just a little), then blend with my ring finger. Next, I apply it to my undereyes and blend with my ring finger again. Then I apply my bareMinerals foundation. On days when I wear liquid foundation or BB cream, I apply my liquid foundation/BB cream first, then apply this.

Here are some of the reviews that helped me decide:

  • Miss Glamorazzi reviewed it in her July Favorites video
  • Reviews on makeupalley.com
  • Reviews at Ulta (plus, Ulta regularly had offers like buy 2, get 1 free or buy 1 get one half-off)
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What I Did: Got a Haircut

What I did: Haircut!

Where I went: Cole’s salon (Eagan, MN)

What I paid: ~$60 with tip (yowza!)

So normally I get my hair cut/colored every year right before my birthday. Somehow time got away from me this year, so I went out on my birthday with scraggly split ends and nasty roots. Luckily if I curl my hair, you can’t really tell how bad of shape my hair is in.

When I got off the bus Friday afternoon, I decided I was going to get my hair cut and colored. The salon just happens to be connected to my park and ride station, so I walked right in. Unfortunately they only had an opening for a cut, no color. “That’ll do,” I said. It’s probably for the better — I have no idea what color I should do and wasn’t really in the mood to spend that much money on the color service, anyway.

While waiting for my stylist, I went through my Pinterest board to find the photo of the style I wanted my hair to resemble.

The bangs and color aren’t what I cared about (although I love them!) — just the style. I love the fullness, softness and body.

I sat down in my stylist’s chair, showed her this picture and said, “I want my hair to look like this.” She said something about how it’s quite a bit shorter than my current length, and that if I wanted to do fishtail braids, I might have some weird pieces coming out because of the layers. I told her that was fine.

So I went from this:

me-closeupTo this:

short hairThe new style doesn’t even graze my shoulders, other than the few pieces in the front (I love inverted cuts). Sorry, but the girl in the picture with the beautiful hair had a length that was nearly what I had, maybe slightly shorter. Most of her layers are at least at her shoulders.

I don’t understand.

Now, I actually love my hair so it’s not a big deal. But seriously, my hair does not really resemble pretty-girl-in-picture’s hair. Maybe she didn’t think my hair could look like that. Sure, that girl’s hair looks super voluminous and full, but my hair could come close to that.

Anyway. The cut was the least of our issues. The stylist asked me all the regular questions stylists will ask. But it seemed like she was sort of judging all my answers. I’m a bit of an “open book,” so I probably over-share about my life, especially with strangers. I had said something about living with my boyfriend, being together six years. She asked when we were going to get married, and I said something like, “Oh, I’m not sure that’s our thing. I really only want to get married for the dress and the presents. Plus, we don’t really want kids, so doesn’t feel like we need to get married.”

“Hmm. How do your parents feel about that?”

I wasn’t sure which part she was referring to, so I covered all of it: “Well, my parents know I’m pretty selfish, so they probably think me not having kids is a good idea. As far as marriage, they’re pretty supportive of my choices, I think, so I don’t know if it bothers them that much.” Then I went and said, “My boyfriend and I aren’t that religious, so it’s just not a big deal for us.”

So she asked, “But you two have an agreement, or arrangement?” I wasn’t really sure what she meant, but I’m assuming she was suggesting that since we aren’t married, Dan probably thinks it’s OK to cheat on me every day and I just have to accept it. I responded, “Well, my boyfriend is the most committed guy I know, so I think we’re OK.”

The rest of the conversation went basically the same. “Oh, HE owns the house, huh? So you pay rent of some kind or something? Hmm.” And not like a long “hmmmm,” like, “oh, I’m really processing what you just said.” It was like, “Hm, I’ve been able to instantly judge you — negatively, of course — based on what you just said. I don’t need a second to think about it and see it from your perspective, I just know you are wrong.”

Because nothing I said would please her, I agreed to buy some sculpting gel and a tiny, tiny bottle of salt water. The two products combined were more almost more expensive than the actual haircut. As soon as the cashier told me the price, I wanted to say, “Oh, no, I didn’t get my hair colored today, it was just the cut and these two products.”

This morning I tried to read reviews for the products and watch YouTube videos, but there didn’t seem to be anything overly amazing about the products. The salt water spray had some decent reviews, but I just wasn’t convinced. So I returned the products (I never opened them). I’m sure the stylist will be even more judgmental of me now.

I’m hoping to find something comparable at Target or Walmart, maybe. Apparently Pinterest has a million “make your own sea salt spray” tutorials, so if I get ambitious I’ll try that.

Update: I did some research and found great reviews for Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray (available at Walmart for less than $5!). I bought it this morning and tried it this afternoon. I think it’ll take me some time to get used to my hair not really looking “done.”

What I Bought: bareMinerals Prime Time

prime-time1 What I bought: bareMinerals Prime Time foundation primer

What I paid: $15 — a steal! it was part of Ulta’s 21 Days of Deals (original price: $23)

So it’s no secret that I love bareMinerals foundation. Part of the reason I love it is that it lasts ALL day, which I owe mostly to this gem. Prior to 2011, I didn’t even know foundation primer existed. But when I tried bareMinerals for the first time, the sales clerk insisted that I try this.

I squirt one pump of Prime Time onto the top of my hand, then tap my middle finger into the primer once, rub on one side of my face, tap again and rub into the other side of my face, and then do little taps for my chin, nose and forehead.

hand-1(My hand looks tan here. I’m very much not tan.)

I don’t use it on my undereyes. If you use the bareMinerals Well -Rested eye brightener for undereye concealer, Prime Time might be a good option under your eyes…I’d ask as sales person. Well-Rested didn’t really work for me — too yellow and not enough coverage — so I can’t help you there.

Back to Prime Time. When you are spreading this across your face, you will claim that you’ve never felt anything smoother on your skin. It’s like silk. Maybe all foundation primers feel this way — it’s amazing.

I like to give the primer a little time to settle into my skin, so after I apply it, I’ll do something else, like floss and brush my teeth. Then I apply my undereye concealer, and THEN I apply my bareMinerals foundation and the rest of my makeup.

I’ve tried this primer using liquid foundations before — don’t do it. It’s not that it ended in total disaster, it just didn’t really do anything. I usually use Urban Decay’s De-Slick makeup setting spray. I haven’t tried this primer with any other mineral makeup — might be worth a try. If you’ve tried it, let me know!

Prime Time comes in several varieties. There’s the Original, which is what I use. There’s also Oil Control. This one DOES NOT make your skin feel silky smooth — it’s a totally different texture. I didn’t notice any magical oil-stopping properties, so I went back to the original. I’ve also tried their Neutralizing primer. This one is yellowish and is supposed to help even out your skin tone. Did not work one bit for me. But I have pink undertones, so this was probably never meant for me anyway. The final variation is the Brightening primer. I haven’t tried that. Since I tend to have oilier skin, I feel like brightening would be a bad idea.

prime-time2I highly recommend the Original. The great thing about bareMinerals is that if you live near a boutique (or an Ulta or Sephora), they can easily give you a small sample of anything that you can take home and try for a week or so. You have nothing to lose! Other than gas money to drive there.

Birthday Week Extravaganza: Style Evolution

Much like a bottle of wine, I’m getting better with age. I’ve figured out how to wear makeup; I know how to curl my hair; I don’t wear Umbro shorts for all major occasions. I think of it as a style evolution.

If you watched the show Scrubs, you might remember Sarah Chalke’s character Elliot. In the beginning of the series, Elliot was normal looking, but pretty basic.

sarah-2Her hair was always straight or in a basic ponytail and her makeup was either natural or nonexistent. She rarely wore anything other than scrubs. She didn’t look bad — I don’t think she could! — but just not attention-grabbing or overly flattering.

sarah-4Maybe that makes me sound materialistic and judgmental (but if you read this blog, you already know that’s what I am, so I guess I don’t need to say anything).

Anyway.

By the end of the show, Elliot looked absolutely AMAZING.

sarah-3Hair? Perfection. Makeup? Perfection. You can’t see her clothes here, but in the final seasons, her clothes were the perfect amount of professional and flattering.

sarah-5Gorgeous!

I like to compare my style evolution to Elliot’s.

bandI’ve got a lot of something going on in both of these pics. Rocking the very large, circular glasses. My bangs have a lot of curling action going on. bballThings started out slightly less than awesome. But I learned how to do the things I wanted to improve and found people (and YouTube tutorials) that could help me get better. I wouldn’t say that I’m quite to the last-season Elliot status, but I do think my hair is on-par with hers!

Birthday Week Extravaganza: Work lessons

All week I’m sharing the most important lessons I’ve learned the last 30 years. Some are materialistic, some are possibly offensive and some are decent.

There are a few things I’d like to go back in time and tell early-20s Lindsey when it comes to her career. Probably the biggest would be to learn as much as possible about everything possible, even if you don’t think it’s interesting or valuable.

In one of my first jobs out of college, I worked on a small communications team at a haircare company. That meant I could have done anything related to communications that I wanted to do. Unfortunately I was very short-sighted at the time. When my super-awesome boss asked if I wanted to be involved in the company’s social media strategy, I vehemently refused. At the time, I felt very strongly against companies infiltrating my Facebook account and any other aspect of my online life. I wanted my Facebook account to be the place where I saw updates from friends and family, not notices about coupons from Macy’s. It didn’t seem right to be one of the companies doing the infiltrating.

Fast forward to today: social media experience is THE most sought after skill in many communications roles. Dang! Huge missed opportunity.

I also could have played a bigger part in the company’s public relations (PR) work. For whatever reason, PR stuff scared the crap out of me, so again, I wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole. Today, I’m kicking myself for not getting that experience so I could at least say I’d tried it. Maybe I would have loved it.

There are plenty of other learning experiences I’ve missed out on due to my short-sightedness. Some even recently. But I hope that since I’m aware of this fault now, I can make an attempt to be open-minded about everything that comes my way and find the positives in it.

If you’re looking to ramp up your career (or just need some specific advice on a question you have), here are a couple awesome resources:

Bithday Week Extravaganza: Relationship advice

book

All week I’m sharing the most important lessons I’ve learned the last 30 years. Some are materialistic, some are possibly offensive and some are decent.

I really want to write a post about relationships and what I’ve learned, but it’ll be really judgmental, and some of you might be in relationships that are similar to what I’d call “dysfunctional,” so as not to offend too many people, I’ll recommend the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

I wish I could have read that book before going to college. Then I would have advised college (and let’s be honest, post-college) Lindsey to read it every year, ensuring that the messages and examples from the book were ingrained in her head. I wouldn’t say that every chapter in the book applied to me, but most of them applied to at least one friend or another. Although I think I was probably pretty quick to tell my friends that they were wasting their time in their relationships…but I didn’t always see it so clearly in my own life.

I was the girl who called all the time, made excuses for guys who didn’t call me back (“Well, he’s just super busy with work right now and has a lot on his plate. I’m sure he WANTS to call me, he just can’t”). No, if he wanted to call you, he could have called you. Then, once it hit me that he probably wasn’t going to call, I’d start with the passive aggressive comments (“Well, apparently you are just SOOOO busy that you can’t call me. I guess I’ll just have to stop calling you so I don’t look desperate. OK, well, I’m probably going to go do something fun with friends now…call me”). Ick, makes me shudder.

So, my advice (if you’re looking for it): read “He’s Just Not That Into You.”

Birthday Week Extravaganza: Style thru the ages

All week I’m sharing the most important lessons I’ve learned the last 30 years. Some are materialistic, some are possibly offensive and some are decent.

Today I’m sharing what I’ve learned regarding clothes.

Apparently I’m a slow learner.

I can tell what looks good/bad on others, but I’m not as gifted at identifying the good/bad on myself. My hope for my 30s and beyond is that I will be more conscientious of what I buy and wear.

One bad habit is that I’m a bulk shopper — if I find something I like, I buy it in every color.

Loving a style and then sticking to it is something I’ve done since elementary. Here are three first-day-of-school photos that show my fashion trend (‘trend’ as in ‘what has happened,’ not as in ‘popular/attractive’).

picture4There are so many things making me laugh here. My brother and his amazing color-blocking skills, my brother’s super skinny legs and massively wide shoes and, probably the best, my brother’s facial expression and clasped hands. He’s either an evil doctor or a welcoming doctor, like, “Hello, so good to see you, so happy you could stop in today.” You can say that in either an evil doctor voice or a friendly, welcoming doctor voice — it works both ways.

OK, on to me.

So I’m clearly loving my Umbro shorts and sleeveless tee. I kept the color combo simple and classic. I stuck with a clean look and perfectly tied bow in front.

New year, new Lindsey style — somewhat.

picture5Here, I’ve decided to stick with the Umbros — seriously, who doesn’t love a forgiving elastic waist?! But I went a little bold with the color combo, and I’m a little sloppier (over-sized tee, not tucked in, bow not tied). My brother has apparently kicked his sporty side to the curb and has decided to sport a menagerie on his shirt.

Now things have really taken a turn.

picture6I stuck with all the wrong things (over-sized tee), and added hideous pieces (gold chain necklace that I’m pretty sure was a ‘mood ring’ style charm in the shape of a cat; acid wash jeans — ick!; and black Nikes). My brother has clearly given up on life and is wearing geranimals-like clothing that you can mix and match. He’s also had his eyes closed for the last two pictures — I would too!

Notice the identical bangs and ponytail preferences every year.

My problem is the time it takes me to pinpoint what isn’t right about an outfit. Sometimes I’ve purchased things because they were popular with a particular crowd I was trying to fit into. For example:

etnies

Punk/alternative: Etnies sweatshirt that definitely wasn’t flattering and a DC beanie. Nothing was attractive about this, yet I wore it three times a week my freshman year of college. Oh, and I really liked beanies:

jimmy-fallonTechnically this was part of a costume where my roommate and I performed Jimmy Fallon’s “Idiot Boyfriend” during some kind of lip syncing competition freshman year, but that white Nike beanie was something I wore at least four days a week. Minimum.

thrift-store

Thrift store: I bought this yellow baseball jersey and, again, probably wore it at least once a week, every week, my sophomore year of college. As you can see, still rocking the horrific bangs and ponytail look. My brother’s style has also changed — ha! That hair styling is my handiwork, but the way.

So, if I recreated my first-day-of-school photos with my styles from the last few years:

  • We could make a few minor updates to my hair: side-swept bangs and either loose curls or poorly scrunched hair that’s trying to look like beachy waves. Someday I’ll figure that out.
  • In the first photo, I’d probably wear something too tight that I bought because I thought I’d lost weight and looked OK on me when I was standing up straight.
  • The next year, I’d probably overcompensate for the too-tight look of the last year and wear fitted pants but a relaxed, slightly-oversized button-down shirt.
  • This year, I’d wear white chino shorts (from Express!) and a slightly-fitted but relaxed button-down chambray shirt (I’m seriously in love with Gap’s boyfriend shirts right now) and my favorite bubble necklace from Ily Couture.

I’m trying to pay attention to the fit of things, but again, I seem to be a slow learner and usually realize something doesn’t flatter me after I’ve worn it 10 times. But I’m sure all that changes after you turn 30, right?