GOLDEN


Glitter
 

You thought I’d be away forever, didn’t you? I’m not going to lie to you, beautiful people, I wasn’t sure where I would be after writing that last post. But it has been over a month since I’ve looked at and written a post on Clumps of Mascara and one thing remains – my love and desire to keep this trainin’ a rollin’. My time here isn’t done.

Don’t get excited. This isn’t exactly my comeback. This is just a quick message letting you know that I’m here, I’ll return and that I am attracted to all things GOLDEN. That last bit is random and I can’t explain it but I have fallen for the color gold. I am designing my new office with golden details (including gold curtains. Girl…just you wait and see!) and I’ve discovered gold scotch tape and have decked out every one of my notebooks in gold.

Jill Scott’s Golden plays through the speakers in my car daily. So much so that Baby Clumps (who, by the way, is TWO YEARS OLD next month…) has learned the bridge and sings it to the top of her lungs with me.

Gold is my power color and I am instituting it in many aspects of my life, both literally and figuratively.

I’ve missed you all so much. But I’ve been enjoying and making use of our time apart. Esposo and I got bikes and we hit the bike trail by our home at least 3-4 times a week with Elle being toted behind us in at trailer. It’s 80 degrees today in Florida and I am excited at the thought of hanging icicle lights from our home while wearing shorts. I started a personal growth program today and I’m attempting to live by my  mantra of Living with Purpose, Productivity and Positivity.

Clumps will undergo a redesign and relaunch in the coming weeks and I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been working on. I may have lost some of you and I know the biggest mistake a blogger can do is not blog but….*shrugs* I am grateful to those of you who have stuck around.

 

What’s going on with you? Please tell me!

 

Talk soon,

B

It’s Time

Dear Clumps Readers, Supporters and Fans,

This letter is long overdue. I should have written it a week ago. Or maybe a month ago. I didn’t want to force my words (as I do far too often) but this morning I woke up with a message and knew that today was the day. Can I keep it real with you all? I mean, really real with no filter or fluff? This will likely be a lengthy post so brace yourself…

Blogging is hard work. Yes, I know to many of my readers it may appear that receiving beauty products, the occasional trip and fancy experiences seems like…fun! And don’t get me wrong, it can be. But it all comes with a cost. I have been blogging since July of 2007. I was a college student who would be graduating a month later and then across to country to Los Angeles. I was young and carefree. Clumps was my passenger on this journey. I didn’t make money back then. I didn’t care about money. I just wanted to write. Clumps has been apart of my life for 7 years and together we have gone through…

-cross country moves
-residency at over 8 homes in 5 cities
-working unfulfilling jobs
-loneliness
-heartbreaks
-having the courage to take a different career path
-a relationship that turned into a marriage
-pregnancy and motherhood
-trips around the world
-launching a business
-losing friendships
-gaining friendships
-sudden job layoffs
-health problems
-financial turbulence

Clumps has been there. While I blog publicly, most of what is listed up there was not shared with the world. Even as a writer, I clutch tightly to my personal life. I’ve always been this way.

A few weeks ago I went through a time where I cried every single day. Every day. One morning I was crying before I even opened my eyes. The sadness enveloped me and made it difficult to blog. I didn’t care about a new mascara or NARS new lippies. I began to resent Clumps. I was so upset that my joy of a blog started to feel like an anchor.

I’m not just a blogger, guys. I am a mother first. I am a mother to a toddler and a wife to a man who works many, many hours, some of them out of the state. I am a mother, a wife and an employee at a demanding job where the only solace I get is 1 hour during lunch. I am a mother, wife, employee and do’er. I have to do. Sometimes I feel worthless if I’m not doing something. So I volunteer, I manage social clubs, I do fun activities with my daughter, I overwhelm myself so that I feel purpose.

I have many kinks within me that need to be worked out. I have gone through a stream of self-awareness these past few months and I am realizing that hey, while I want to, I can’t do it all. Someone lied to me. Or maybe I lied to myself. Where did I get the idea that I can do it all? Who said I could a be a wife, mother, full-time working employee, business owner, volunteer, blogger and attentive friend and gym go’er? Despite being a perfectionist, I am okay with failing at the inability to do “it” all. I am scaling back in my life. It is time that I push Clumps to the side.

Truthfully, this breaks my heart. Clumps is my first child. My first business. My partner in crime. My career. Clumps is my longest relationship. Clumps has given me confidence. Yes, I may work for others but Clumps showed me that my true talents and passions are within the written word, helping others and entrepreneurial ventures. But Clumps has also robbed me of something so precious. Something that I can’t get back.

Time.

Clumps is a full time job with very little pay. Yes, you may see the sponsored posts and ads on the site, but please do not be confused. These do not pay my bills and if they do, only just a small portion. A reader left a comment a few weeks ago and she said, “I miss when all of your posts weren’t sponsored posts.” That hurt my feelings. It wasn’t a mean comment. It was a true comment and it made me feel bad. My voice means everything to me. I don’t want you, my readers, to feel like I’ve lost it for a dime. I looked through my past few posts and yep, most of them were sponsored posts. I tried to justify it.

“Well,” I said…“Clumps is a job. Don’t we get paid for jobs?”

Yes. We do.

“So screw this reader. It’s not my fault that she can’t understand that. She doesn’t know the time and energy I put into this blog. She doesn’t know that even after working 8 hours a day, I go BACK to computer and work again. She doesn’t know how demanding toddlers can be? She doesn’t know how hard it is to run a household without any help because your family is all scattered about. She doesn’t know how hard it is to put so much into a craft and still feel like you aren’t making any steps ahead. She doesn’t know me. She doesn’t know my life.”

I became angry. That anger has subsided but what hasn’t is…time. I spend a great deal of it on Clumps. Time that could be spend on being a more hands-on mother. Time that could be spend on be’ing instead of do’ing. I haven’t read a book in months because well, I don’t have the time. When my husband comes home at 10pm, I barely give him a kiss and hello because I’m writing a blog post that needs to be up in time. I only get a 5-6 hours of sleep because I just don’t have enough time in the day.

Do you see this? I do. I want more time. I don’t want my blog to be an anchor with crazy demands. I don’t want to keep being undervalued, ignored or harassed by PR people that want me to write long and elaborate posts on their $20 product. I don’t want to apologize for not tweeting, or Instagram’ing my life or disappearing from Facebook. I don’t want the pressure. I don’t want deadlines.

I just want to write. But somehow, the ease of that has been lost.

And so I feel like I need to back away for awhile. I need this. It’s time. I never truly went on maternity leave. I’ve never really stepped away from Clumps. But I need to.

A blogger friend said to me, “This is such a scary thought, B. What happens if you don’t gain monument when you get back?”

I shrugged my shoulders and said, “Then I will do something else.”

I want Clumps to push through this 7 year itch. But I also want there to be purpose in what I do. Right now I am struggling to find the purpose. What is my mission? What are my goals? I don’t know. And I haven’t known for years. Stepping away for a few months, I believe, will grant me clarity. Maybe I will come back with a fresher look for Clumps. And maybe I won’t.

If I don’t, I will be sad but I will be proud of myself. At almost 30 years old, I have held down a 7-year old job that I created. I launched a business. I branded myself. College didn’t teach me this. I learned this all on my own and I could not be more proud of myself. But right now…life needs me. My family needs me. I need me.

And the money that I make with this blog? I’m turning a lot of it down. Which is a risk but this is why I have never believed in ONE money source. I believe in multiple sources of income. Financially, I will miss some things. But the holidays are coming up and I am so excited about doing Pinterest activities with my girl in our new home. That excites me more than the new holiday beauty collections. My life is shifting. I am okay with this.

This isn’t goodbye forever post. I really think I’ll be back. I’ll be around on social media (sometimes), I’ll be tossing up a post for the Makeup Wars in a few weeks and I’m thinking I’ll do a post a month. Just to say hi.

I love you all. I really do. Thanks for standing by me. Thanks for the encouragement.

Ta ta for now,
B

The Beauty Blogger And Her Intel 2n1 Device

Remember that time I told you lovely people that I got the opportunity to join the Intel Smart Squad and that I would be receiving a 2n1 from Intel to play around with? Well honey…I got it. And it has been loooooove.

Dell Venue 11 Pro keyboard shot

I think the universe was telling me that it was time to convert to PCs because shortly after my entry into the Intel Smart Squad, my MacBook decided to give up the ghost on me. It was a bittersweet end and after cleaning her up and giving her to my sister, I started showing a lot of love to my Dell Venue 11 Pro.

Dell Venue 11 Pro

Beautiful, isn’t she? This tablet (or computer…or both?) is really about 10.8 inches but size wise I found it to be extremely practical for both every day use and while traveling. I am going to break my review up into categories that I think most people would be interested in if they were looking for a reliable and moderately pried 2n1 device. Keep in mind that I am a blogger so my need to ALWAYS BE CONNECTED may be a little different than yours. That said, I think if this device can satisfy my need for speed and portability, chances are it can satisfy yours.

The Outer Feels + Outer Specs

This lightweight 2n1 feels incredibly…lightweight. It is only 1.56 lbs. I preferred this a thousand times over my 13′ MacBook and I appreciated how easy this was to whip out of my bag during TSA’s glorious security checks. The front panel of the tablet felt nice and smooth and dare I say it…slightly toddler-proof. You’ve got a USB port (hellloooo wireless mouse!) and power and volume buttons are easy to press.

Dell Venue 11 Pro ports

Dell Venue 11 Pro keyboard

And uh… every laptop and desktop should have a touch screen. I find myself randomly going from touching the mousepad to touching the screen…just because I can. Did I use the 2n1 without the keyboard? Not very often. Holding the tablet in my hands was a bit cumbersome and I really only found it useful for when Elle and I snuggled up to watch a movie.  I do wish this baby had a charger cord that was longer. It’s about 3 feet long which I think is about the same length as an average cell phone charger. Womp.

Dell Venue 11 Pro charger

This charger was painfully short and made plugging in public areas (hotels, bookstores, coffee shops) almost impossible. But the good news is the battery life is pretty fantastic. I found it lasted an entire day off of one charge. The optional keyboard also has a built-in battery, which was definitely useful!

Windows 8

Okay, so I know this is a review about the computer, not the operating system but this is my first time using Windows 8 on a tablet and while I know many aren’t a fan of how it works on a desktop, I think it does beautifully on a tablet. With the Venue’s 1080p display, colors are sharp and bright and browsing is niiiiice.

Dell Venue 11 Pro screen

Productivity

As a blogger and social media manager, I spend a ton of time emailing, using Microsoft Word, Photoshop and web browsing. I do occasional downloading but really I don’t need a ton of memory as this isn’t my primary computer. While the system runs well, it isn’t made for hardcore jobs. In fact, I noticed things got bogged down a bit while opening too many windows of Chrome. Opps. My web designers, graphic designers, musicians and other creatives may need a device that accommodate their workloads. However, for bloggers, casual web browsers and students, I think this device is more than perfect.

Do I need the optional keyboard?

Well hmmm, let’s see…YES! Dell sells this keyboard for about $150 but you need it. While about 1.7 lbs, this keyboard weighs more than the tablet but it takes your productivity to the next level. After all, while the Venue is considered a tablet, I’m thinking that if you would spend this amount of money on it, you would want to use it like traditional computer. The screen is responsive, but the keyboard is a dream and really makes using the Venue that much more pleasurable.

Dell Venue 11 Pro keys

Plus, the built-in battery in the keyboard gives you an extra 50% of battery life. I do wish the keyboard had a backlit display because I know I’m not the only one who likes to browse makeup videos do work in the middle of the night.

Overall

I love this computer/tablet/2n1 so so much. I never got the appeal of these smaller devices but they are so practical for the lifestyle of busy folx. I guess you could argue that after spending $499 on this and then another $150 on the keyboard, you could have just purchased a regular sized laptop, and actually…you would be correct. But if you’re looking for something impactful that won’t take up too much space and can play nicely with your other gadgets, the Venue 11 Pro is it. This and my iPad mini are the perfect travel companions.

Dell Venue 11 Pro iPad comparison

I also went and purchased a little case for this baby because while it is incredibly durable I’m just clumsy and oh yeah, I live with a toddler. Have you ever tried an Intel 2 in 1 device? What kind of computer are you using these days?


 

#spon: I’m required to disclose a relationship between our site and Intel This could include Intel providing us w/content, product, access or other forms of payment.

My Experience With Warby Parker

So I’ve changed my hair…again. I blame almost 30-hood. Don’t worry. I’m not one of those women who freaks out over getting older. I am excited to kick rocks to my 20’s because I feel like 20’s has just been one big dress rehersal for my life. 30+ is where it’s really at. But wait, where was I?

Oh yeah. My hair. I chopped it off (again) and got a blonde taper. Which I’m lovin’. I’m also thinking of going jet black at some point, doing purple tips and maybe a gray streak. Just because. Gotta keep it cool, ya know? I hate when my hair is boring and for the past few months, it has been just that. I’ve also been wanting some new eyeglasses. A ton of my fellow beauty bloggin’ gals recommended Warby Parker and so I looked them up.

Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 137

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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!

My Beauty Bunny – Carry groceries, office supplies or your latest beauty haul in true style. Enter to win a gorgeous Thursday Friday Tote Bag from their Nautical Collection!

Nouveau Cheap – Have you seen the Halloween 2014 Limited Edition glitters from Sinful Colors yet? If not, click right here.

Prime Beauty – shares 6 Beauty Problem Solvers that will curl your lashes, remove deodorant stains, untangle your tresses and get every last drop of product out of the tube!

Phyrra – has the Best Mascaras You Seriously Need to Try Now! Don’t buy another mascara until you read this!

we heart this – Would you like to see swatches of all 30 new Milani Bella gel powder eyeshadows? (Hint: you would!)

Beauty Junkies Unite – Amber confides in us what one of her personal vulnerabilities is, and also one of her biggest beauty regrets in life.

Clumps of Mascara – puts away the beauty blogger hat for a second and gets real about some thangs.

EauMG – was curious about the Korean beauty box service, Memebox. Victoria shares her impressions of Memebox and the three Scentboxes (yes, boxes with a fragrance focus!) she ordered.

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage – Glitter.Gloss.Garbage unveils September’s hottest Glossybox ever! Plus you can win one!

Gouldylox Reviews – Need a new fall lippie to switch it up without the commitment? Makeup Wars has you covered!

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Question of the Week:

Quick: name three makeup products that you’ve
repurchased multiple times.

B says, “Sephora’s waterproof eye makeup remover, Urban Decay’s Zero eyeliner pencil and MAC’s Vino lipliner. Those are three of my staple beauty products.”

What about you?

See you next week!

I’m Hosting A Prestige Cosmetics Twitter Party Again! #BackToBlack

Girls.

I had the worst headache everrrrrr last night. It was unreal. Luckily one of my gal pals was visiting and helped me Elle (because you know…Esposo has been traveling for work for 2 weeks now) and I could not have been more grateful. I’m thinking that my life as a new mother is scaring her. Truthfully, it scares me, too. My friend is shocked at how much goes into just getting these tiny (crazy toddler) humans fed and in bed. Yes, it’s unreal. And scary. It is indeed birth control for both her and myself. None of this has anything to do with this Twitter party that I’m hosting but I thought I’d give some insight into my life. HAAAA!!!!

This party, though…

promo_38089_photo

I’m excited about it. This is my second time hosting a Twitter party with Prestige Cosmetics and the first one was explosive! They brought me on board again and this time I’ll be co-hosting with my good friend and homie Erin of Scandalous Beauty and I am excitedddddd! We’re going to rap about Prestige Cosmetics’ newest collection and one lucky participant will snag a door prize. Be sure to RSVP to qualify for this door prize and join us as we chat about Prestige’s 18 new basic black products.

See you thurr!

Lipstick League: Weekly Links, Volume 136

Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick

 

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!

Gouldylox Reviews – Need dark circle help? Want to look well rested? This may be just what your looking for.

Lipglossiping – All the shine without any of the removal issues! Revlon debuts their take on the latest drugstore “gel-a-like” nail polishes!

My Beauty Bunny – Looking for a dark, vampy red polish for fall? You must check out my new favorite, Mrs Mia Wallace, from the Urban Decay Pulp Fiction collection!

Prime Beauty – has fallen for NARS Night Caller Collection, especially Unlawful Blush: it definitely doesn’t play by the rules!

Phyrra – You demanded it! I’m bringing you the Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette!

we heart this – We’ve got swatches of the limited edition MAKE UP FOR EVER Artist Shadow palette. 30 of ‘em. You may want to grab your wallet…

Beauty Junkies Unite – See the differences between the Urban Decay NAKED Basics palette, and the brand new NAKED2 Basics eyeshadow palette! Amber has the breakdown.

Clumps of Mascara – is holding on to summer with this sizzling summer look!

EauMG – shares her August 2014 Empties. She also proves that she can’t go more than two months without buying cosmetics…

Glitter.Gloss.Garbage – Does the Wet n Wild High Waisted Jeans palette live up to it’s value of $3.99? You decide.

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here).

Guest Post of the Week, as chosen by Gouldylox ReviewsHarshleen at Beauty Tidbits is always so sweet and her blog has great advice. Check out this recent post about affordable shadow palettes!

(Wondering what the Lipstick League is? Find out here.)

Question of the Week:

When a beauty product is labeled “Limited Edition” (LE), are you more inclined to purchase it?

B says, “Of course not. I’m not a sucker. Those brands won’t get me like that. You do know that I’m playin’ right? Haaaa!!”

What about you?

See you next week!

Ideal Image Makes Hair Removal…ideal!

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This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Ideal Image and Social Spark. All opinions are 100% mine. So girls…let’s talk about something I’ve mentioned a thousand times here on Clumps of Mascara. Hair removal! I’ve done the waxing, threading and tweezing but if you’ve found those methods to be time consuming and pointless (considering the hair grows back in like…days), laser hair removal may be for you. Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal is located around the country and they have a few spots here in the Greater Orlando area. I am forever hearing the commercials on the radio and I’m like “Ugh. I wish I could go!” Their treatments and services sound some kind of amazing and they always have a special going on. Even during the summer! And speaking of summer, I’m a bit bummed out that it’s on its way out of the door. The kids are back to school and while the weather isn’t getting any cooler, I am often caught daydreaming about hangin’ out on one of South Florida’s beaches. Just me and about 3-4 girlfriends wake up on rented condo on the beach and after sleeping a full 7-8 hours, we wake up to cook breakfast and toss on our swimsuits and head to the beach. And we stay there until sunset. Now THAT is my idea of summer fun.

Sunset

We’ve got our books in tow, our resuable bottles of water, sunscreen and we are all set to lounge on the beach for hours at a time. Sounds glorious, right? Especially if you’ve already gone to Ideal Image to handle that hair “situation”. You wouldn’t have to worry about any last minute shaving on your trip and trust me when I say, every second counts.

Beach

Laser hair removal just makes sense. Especially if you’re looking for a more convenient option that will give you confidence. Ideal Image Laser Hair Removal  is a more permanent to getting rid of unwanted hair forever. For a limited time, Ideal Image is offering up to 70% off laser hair removal services. Um, WOW! What an amazing deal. I’m a girl who doesn’t make much fuss over if she has a bit of stubble but I would looooove to rock a bod that is virtually free of hair under my arms and on that upper lip. Just sayin’.

My Mom and so many of my friends have done nothing but brag about the awesomeness that is laser hair removal so if it’s something you’ve thought about, scoot on over to Ideal Image, request more information, learn more about the treatments, ands schedule your first visit! And you better tell me alllll about it.

 


Ideal Image
 

Social Spark Sponsor Site