The Story Of The NARS Lip Pencil That I Wore For 2 Weeks Straight

My morning schedule is absolute madness. It isn’t even funny. Going back to work after maternity leave has had its challenges and Esposo and I are still trying to handle them efficiently, but dude…how do people do it? Getting myself and a baby ready for the day is tough enough but add in getting breakfast, lunch, washing bottles, pumping and trying not to forget anything and it’s like…whoa. By 7am I feel like I’ve already done enough for the day.

That said, when it comes to beautifying, I have a good 5-7 minutes to get it together. And even that’s pushing it. We all know how much I love a good lip and usually achieve one by pullin’ out a lipliner and lipstick but come on, y’all…ain’t nobody got time for all that. Fo reals.

Instead, I’ve been having a love affair with 2 of these new NARS Satin lip pencils.

NARS Satin Lip Pencils

Oh my, are they heavenly. I mean, my gooooodness…

And I know what you’re thinking, “B, it’s just ANOTHER lip pencil to hit the market. What’s the big deal?” Yah. I said the same thing. I don’t know, y’all. Except for the fact that these aren’t self-sharpening (ugh, hate that), these are actually better than many of the pencils that I’ve tried. And I’ve tried a lot.

NARS Satin Lip pencils swatches

For one these babies are nice and hydrating. I still like to put down a base of a balm before application but it’s great that I don’t have to worry about my lips being drier than the Sahara. And the color intensity is just well, intense!

Luxembourg is described as a watermelon and it’s just beautiful! ‘Scuse my imperfect application. Please don’t let it overshadow the awesome that is Luxembourg.

NARS Luxembourg

I could seriously wear this lipstick daily. Oh wait. I did wear it 2 weeks in a row. Womp.

NARS Luxembourg on lips

And then there’s Palais Royal, a stunning Sangria…

NARS Palais Royal

I know, right?

NARS Palais Royal on lips

I’m pretty much obsessed with these and I love how they leave a bit of stain behind. So yes, they will fade over time but not for a very long time. And since it’s a pencil, I’m able to line my lips, apply and then toss in my purse all under 2 minutes.

You done well, NARSy. You done well.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $25/pencil
Availability: At Sephora.com, NARS.com and at Sephora counters 
Limited Edition?: Nope
Do I recommend?: Hecks yah! I mean, they aren’t cheap but c’mon, when has NARS ever been cheap? If you’re okay with splurging, I think you’ll really like these. They are nice and as hydrating as lip pencils can be. Plus, the color selection is just really nice. You’ll definitely find something that suits you.
 
 

 

Are you a lover of lip pencils or do you find them to be pretty gimmicky?

3 Reasons Why Using Natural Skin Care Products Can Transform Your Skin

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As a beauty blogger, I like to review allll kinds of products; from the indie brands to the huge well known brands and everyone in between. But can I be honest? I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to the products that I use daily. If you check my medicine cabinet, you’ll probably see me usin’ some natural brand or all natural product. It’s just how I roll and how I’ve been rollin’ for years. Of course, I’m not above resorting to non-natural products either. I am of the belief that you have to use what works for YOU. And honey, I’ve come to find out that natural just works. And here’s why.

Sometimes less is more. I’ve come across some amazing moisturizers that contain all kinds of ingredients that promise to transform my skin. But you know what I also find transforming? Coconut oil. It’s cheap, easy to find and doesn’t make all of these promises about what it’ll do to my skin. It’s simple and sometimes simplifying our skincare routines without a ton of added ingredients is what we need.

Natural ingredients have healing properties. Don’t believe me? Buy yourself a bottle of tea tree oil and dab a bit of it on a pimple. I’ve tried my fair share of pimple poppin’ creams, gels and masks and nothing works as well as tea tree oil. I can say the same thing about baking soda, lavender oil and jojoba oil. I’ve never come across a commercial product that not only feels good on my skin but treats it gently too.

Natural ingredients can be gentler to use on problematic skin. Of course this isn’t the case for everyone but as an acne sufferer and with me constantly battling ezcema, I’ve found more success with products that contain natural ingredients than anything else. Coincidence? I think not. Sometimes nature knows best.

Are you a fan of natural skincare products or are you open to using anything? Check out http://www.betterskintoday.com for a wide range of all natural skincare products.

 

*Disclosure: This sponsored post is brought to you by Better Skin Today. 

Zoya PixieDust nail polishes – summer edition!

I know I JUST reviewed Zoya’s PixieDust nail polishes but I was beyond excited about this collection and couldn’t wait to share it with you. Zoya is giving us more of those awesome PixieDust nail polishes in 6 new and beautiful shades. I received them for review and I am beyoooond in love with these little ladies. They have the same formula as the previous PixieDust nail polishes, of course.

Zoya Pixie Dust-Summer Edition

And they are just as fine!

Zoya Miranda

Miranda is a rose sparkle with a ton of magenta POW. This is my favorite shade out of the bunch. I just love juicy fruit punch-y shades like this.

Zoya Beatrix

Zoya Beatrix nail polish

Beatrix is a tangerine that fits in nicely with her sisters.

Zoya Destiny

Zoya Destiny nail polish

Destiny is a bright orange coral that will look stunning on all complexions.

Zoya Solange

Solange is a gold metal sparkle and I should love this one but it’s just okay to me. Maybe she’ll have to grow on me a bit…

Zoya Liberty

Liberty is a goooorgeous bright blue. And of course she’ll give you stained fingers if you don’t you a base coat.

Zoya Stevie

Stevie is a sweet lavender. She’s the safest of the bunch.

The Beauty Basics

Price: $9/bottle or $54 for the collection
Availability: At Zoya.com.
Limited Edition?: No
Favorites in collection: Miranda, Destiny, Liberty 
 
 

See any that you like?

Beauty in Mommyhood – Elle is 3 Months Old!

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Dear Elle,

You are 3 months old. I type that with tears in my eyes because I remember being 3 months pregnant with you. Technically you have existed for well over a year and I’m just amazed at how perfectly you fit in my life and in this world. It’s true what they say. It does get easier. The first few months of newborn-ing is hard. Sleep deprivation is painful. It’s a physical and emotional kind of pain that I can’t begin to explain. But we are slowly getting past that. I mean, yeah….I am still sleep deprived but I think my body can handle it a lot better. I spend so many days wondering if I am doing everything right. Are these the right bottles? Should I really allow you to sleep on your tummy? Is going back to work the best decision?

There were so many challenges this month but you, me, your daddy…we got through them. Pumping became easier. I stopped crying over the fact that I couldn’t nurse you. I began feeling grateful for being able to have an abundant supply that has not only fed you but has fed 4 other babies up and down the East coast. I knew that financially we couldn’t afford for me to stay home with you so I did the most difficult thing I ever had to do. I put you in someone else’s care.

Oh, but what a blessing she is. Your sitter adores you. She hugs you and kisses you, snuggles you and sings to you. She’s patient and gives you the attention that I would want you to have. She engages you and plays with you. She’s a gift and she made returning to work so much easier for me.

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And you? Well you’re no longer my sleep all day and night newborn. Your personality is here and I’m lovin’ it! You are such a morning person. Within seconds of waking up, you get to smiling. You give me these huge smiles that warm my heart. You like music and sounds. Every morning when I’m getting ready, I let you watch a few minutes of Nick Jr on the iPad and you seem so engaged. As if you really know what’s going on. You babble and coo. I love when I talk to you and you coo back at me. Your mouth makes this adorable little O.

You learned how to roll over and hold onto your toys. You enjoy looking at yourself in the mirror and you lift that neck alllll the way up during tummy time. It’s been rough but we’ve been working on a schedule. We try to create routine events so that you know what to expect. You don’t sleep through the night and many people are telling me that just a little formula or rice in your milk will help. I’m avoiding both because I think it’s okay that you aren’t sleeping through the night yet. You’re still young. And it’s okay. Plus, I don’t know what I’d do if you slept 8 hours straight. I’d be freaking out.

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You’re a stylish somethin’. You’ve got so many adorable clothes and you look just as sweet as pie in them. Your hair is growing and your eczema is slowly clearing up. You are so beautiful. So so beautiful. I can’t stop looking at you. Your eyes glow. They are losing some of the gray that they once had and are becoming a sparkling and rich brown. Your eyes are captivating. Your dimples are deep. Your skin is soft and my heart is yours.

Mommy is so excited about all of these milestones, but please…take your time. I am enjoying this stage with you but I don’t want it to fly by too quickly.

Oh and as for me? I’m not losing any weight. I’m not gaining either. I’m not as ravenous so now I’m being a bit more conscious about what I eat – more greens and lean meats. It’s a challenge. Now that I’m back at work I walk a mile a day and go up and down the flights of stairs 3 times a day. I’m trying. I miss the gym but for now I’ll do what I can. Once we get in more of a routine, I’ll see if I can do the gym thing.

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Daddy and I are trying. I hope you know that. And we’re so proud of you.

This month you…

-Sucked your thumb
-Sat upright in a Bumbo chair
-Went to work with Mommy and was on your best behavior
-Stopped the startle reflex (we called it the “Help me!”)
-Began singing and coo-ing
-Reached out for your toys

You are a rockstar.

Love you,

Mommy

St. Ives Pear Nectar & Soy Body Wash – so fruity!

Welp. Spring time is here. And that means it’s time to switch up the body products. Yes, darlings. As the seasons change, so do my body preferences. I prefer thicker butters, creams and soaps in the winter time but now that it’s warmer, it’s time for somethin’ a little different.

Like this kid I got sent to review!

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Okay, so we all know how I feel about fragranced products. Yeah, I just can’t get down with too many of them but whatever – I know I’m in the minority and it just so happens that St. Ives’ products aren’t insanely fragrant. Yes, this smells like pears but not in an overwhelming OMG, I’m going to throw up this smells so bad kind of way. Which is awesome!

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Like all St. Ives products, this baby is free of parabens and all of that yucky stuff. I asked Esposo what he thought of the fragrance and in typical male fashion, he was totally off. “It smells like bubblegum,” he says. Okay no. It smells nothing like bubblegum. It smells like a fresh pear. Really!

It’s a body wash that is probably best for those with oily skin. It’s a bit on the clear side so if you have super dry skin, it may lack some of the moisture that you may need.

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Somehow my eczema didn’t flare up too badly with this so I’m doing cartwheels. St. Ives always does a grand job with um, everything. Yes. This is a nice addition to their skincare line. I love!

 

The Beauty Basics

Price: $3.99
Availability: Target, Target.co, and drugstores nationwide
Would I Repurchase?: Why not? Cheap, cleanses well and smells yummy!
 

Whatcha think, St. Ives fans? Would you get down with a pear smellin’ body wash?

Mascara Monday Weekly Instagram Contest

Guess whaaaat? In attempts to be more active on Instagram (because I really do suck at it), I’ve decided to host a weekly contest. And it’s really simple. Look…

MascaraMondaysFlyer

Pretty cool, uh? Each week, I will choose one lucky person and I will buy their next mascara. Yep!

Additional details:

-Winners will be selected every Saturday.
-Winners must be 18 years old or older.
-Only entries posted on Mondays will be valid. The first week’s giveaway is an exception. Only entries posted Monday, April 22nd through Wednesday, April 24th will be valid.
-Contest will be following the rules and regulations here.
-Winners will be selected using random.org.
-Prize value will not exceed $25.
-Winner can decide between receiving a Sephora e-gift card, Visa gift card or $25 via PayPal.
-Winner must EMAIL me at brittany@clumpsofmascara after being messaged! Keep in mind that if your account is private, I will not be able to reach out to you.

Get a head start and follow me on Instagram. See ya there!

6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Being A First Time Parent

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It’s been a minute since I’ve done a baby post. I was inspired by the blog Baby Sideburns. If you haven’t read that blog, pleeeeease check it out. I love this lady’s approach to parenthood. She keeps it real and doesn’t care what you think about it. I’d much rather read parenting blogs like hers versus the ones that are all like, “I want to raise balanced children and practice attachment parenting, blah blah blah.” Whatever. I like when parents delve into the positives AND negatives of parenting.

So here we go: 6 Things I Wish I Would Have Known About Being A First Time Parent

 

You really WILL miss being pregnant.

FACT: I didn’t enjoy pregnancy that much. I was practically dying the first 4 months and while 2nd trimester was fun, it flew by. And then 3rd trimester came along and brought back pains, heartburn and anxiety. Don’t listen to those women who are all like, “Pregnancy is soooo wonderful.” They’re lying. They didn’t tell you about the hemorrhoids, spontaneous diarrhea, random rashes, sciatic or insomnia. But the crazy thing is, even after the physical pains of pregnancy and labor/delivery, I actually MISSED being pregnant. It’s as if I forgot about the morning sickness. I missed the lovely things like feeling Elle’s kicks and watching my tummy grow. I missed how powerful I felt. But I really do like my body 1,000x better when I’m not with child because pregnancy will wear your body ouuuuut. Yeah. So while I do want more children (in like 10 years…okay, maybe 5), I want to enjoy my body a bit more before it gets wrecked again.

 

Showers and baths are luxuries.

Actually someone did tell me there would be days when I wouldn’t have time to bathe and I didn’t believe them. But it’s so true! Judge me all you want but my longest stretch without bathing was 4 days. I smelled like fresh breast milk and regurgitated breast milk. And defeat. Yes, defeat has a smell. Sexy, uh? Who really has time for a shower when you’ve got a baby who gets up every hour or two? And when they aren’t sleeping, you’re either trying to stuff your face or you’re standing over their crib watching them breathe. So yeah. For all of you folx without kids and want to know what to get that new mom in your life – save the onesies and burp cloths. Come to her house and watch the baby while she showers. Oh, and bring food. In fact, if you were coming to visit me and Elle during the early weeks, you weren’t allowed in my house without food.

 

A new baby will alter your marriage a bit.

A baby is a new and hard adjustment for a couple. I was physically tired and overwhelmed and while Esposo went to work a week after Elle was born, he was dealing with the guilt of not being around enough WHILE trying to provide for his family. Neither one of us have any family in the area so we had very little help with Elle. Our communication halted because I was an emotional wreck and couldn’t always vocalize when I needed help. In fact, things didn’t get better until months later. So yes, be prepared for what a new baby will do to your marriage.

Falling Elle

 

 You will adapt to having little to no sleep.

I never thought I could do it. I’ve never been one to function without less than 6 hours of sleep. But honey….I am a pro at sleep deprivation now. I will forever toot my own horn because I not only catered to a newborn around the clock but I pumped every 2 hours, maintained a blog, kept the house decent AND had dinner cooked every night. I’m lying about that last part. Y’all know I married Esposo for his cookin’. :cool: But seriously, your body will adapt to the no sleep thing. Oh, and you’ll never sleep in again. Maybe when the kid is 5 or something but yeahhhh….those days of sleeping until 10am are over. Yeah. I cried about it too.

You officially become one of them: A person with a child.

Parenthood is a club. And it really doesn’t feel like that until you become one. Before kids, I was just a person without kids. But now that I’m a parent, my social life is baby based. When friends are all like, “Ooooh, let’s do dinner at 6pm.” I’m all like, “Um no! Elle has to get picked up from the sitter.” Everything I want to do is surrounded around the bebe. And only friends with kids get this. They understand if I’m running 15 minutes behind because even though I was ready to leave Elle had poop seeping out of her diaper and then spewed milk all over her dress. Friends with kids get it. Friends without kids aren’t always so understanding and I get it because I too used to be like “OMG…do your kids control your life?” Actually they do.

If you’re breastfeeding, you’ll want to eat all the time.

I wasn’t the typical pregnant woman. I never had cravings, gained 9 lbs during pregnancy and lost 12 lbs shortly after giving birth. And although I exclusively pump for Elle, I didn’t think I’d deal with the normal breastfeeding woes. Like the ravenous appetite. That appetite is unreal y’all. It’s like, “Feed me now! Feed me everything in sight.” And I get it – pumping/breastfeeding burns a lot of calories but dang, I never expected to eat insane amounts of food. And the crazy thing is, you don’t even care. Like normally I’d be embarrassed about eating so much. Pfft. Whatever. The first time I went to brunch with a gal pal I ordered TWO meals to eat there and then a meal to eat on the way home. Because the 15 minutes it took to get home, I just knew I’d be starving again. True story.

Bonus: Baby blues are real.

I like to consider myself emotionally stable. Haha. Just kidding. I’m a woman. But seriously, I’ve never dealt with depression so I just knew I wouldn’t have an issue with the baby blues. Please. I was an emotional, hot and cold, crying mess for 3 weeks straight. It felt unreal. I’ll never forget the day Esposo and I were chatting and I just burst out into tears. He’s all like, “What’s wrong?” “I don’t knowwwww.” I’m telling him. I was literally crying for no reason. None. This happened frequently. In fact, when I noticed that I hadn’t cried for an entire 3 days, I felt like throwing myself a party. Being a new mom is haaaaard. It just is. You are physically and emotionally overwhelmed ALL the time. You adore your baby but you kinda miss the free life too. You want more help but you want to do everything yourself. You want to be the perfect mom but baby won’t stop crying. You want to poop but that whole “just had a baby” thing makes it difficult. Too much information? Whatever. These things are important to know and I wish someone would have told me. I was glad to know that several other girlfriends also dealt with baby blues and got over it. And those that didn’t went and got professional help.

But through it all, being a Mom is awesome. And fun. Any first time parents out there?

The Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 85

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Yay for another post from the The Lipstick League! We are a group of beauty bloggers, bound together by the desire to save the world with beauty, one post at a time!

Clumps of Mascara – is in looooooove (yes, that much) with OPI’s Liquid Sand nail polishes. Trendy? But who cares…textured nail polish is some kind of cool!

EauMG – Here are Victoria’s perfume picks to wear this spring!

Gouldylox Reviews – I’m loving Angie Miller‘s look on American Idol. Instead of spending hundreds, get her full face for less than $75!

Lipglossiping – explores the curious world of the girl crush and invites you to talk about the women who inspire you.

My Beauty Bunny – is thrilled to announce the site has received a make-over! Come check out the new digs and while you are there see what Peter Dinklage from ‘Game of Thrones’ has to say about animal testing!

Nouveau Cheap – reviews the brand new Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner (inspired by Japanese calligraphy brushes)and gives you a chance to win your very own–and more!

Pink Sith – takes you to an imaginary land of pink and glitter and unicorns when she tells you about Etude House Juicy Cocktail Gradation Nails in #3 Lovely Violet.

Prime Beauty – tests out Aveda’s Petal Essence Collection for spring; a wonderful mix of pastels as well as vibrant colors!

Phyrra – raves about the Jesse’s Girl Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner! There’s also a great giveaway to enter.

Vampy Varnish – Thinks some of the new Zoya PixieDust shades for Summer 2013 rock!

Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber breaks down eight very affordable BB creams for every need, and offers you a chance to win a $50 CVS/pharmacy gift card in the process, so that you can go buy your own fave BB!

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Clumps of Mascara – The Gorgeous Gleam is a fabuuuulous beauty blog by NYC’s Erica. Her makeup skills always leave my mouth wide open. And she always has me wanting things I don’t even really need. Like these darling little lip balms.

Question of the Week:

Quick, what’s the one beauty product you want most right now?

B says, “I still reallllly want a Clarisonic Aria. And in the non-beauty world I want a Vitamix and a rainbow baby wrap that costs like $100. Since all of the above cost over a hundred each, I’m not getting them. Womp.”

What are you lusting after?