Operation Momshell: Lips & Brows On Fleek!

lips and brows

Yeah I said it!! Fleek, fleek fleek. And yes I’m turning 34 next month. I’ll fleek if I wanna fleek! Anyway…. Hi girls! I told you about how I’m straightening up, in my last installment of Operation: Momshell, well, now I’m brightening up.  Despite, not being “that girl” I am turning into “that woman” that will get her stuff together and look like she gives a hoot about her appearance…at least once in a while.

Ok, I’m being unfair to myself. I do take pride in my appearance, but the full face of makeup is not on my normal self-care to do list. I’m slowly adding more in though. One day I’ll be fully confident in doing my full face with ease, in a timely manner, and not just being a mascara, liner and gloss kinda chick. I’m using YouTube gurus as my teachers and trying my hand at new looks.

Two new looks I’ve tried is the bright red lipstick (Sidebar: on YouTube the beauty girls call them lippies, and I think that’s much cuter, don’t you?) and sculpted brows. I found these through Mary Kay’s site. Mary Kay is the official makeup for Project Runway this season and they sent over some cool stuff. Some of which I didn’t know existed…like brow gel. That’s a thing. (Fun Fact: Mary Kay was the first makeup I ever tried. My aunt sold it, and I’d go into it and play around.) I get my brows done every 2 weeks, but in my day to day, there is no further upkeep. Before trying the sculpted brows look, I didn’t even use a brow brush to brush them into place…. I used the ol’ lick-your-finger-and-smooth-em-down technique. You can judge me. It’s OK.

Full disclosure, my technique doesn’t really work, and it’s compounded by the fact that each hair in my eyebrow goes in different directions all together. (So glad I learned about brow gel now!) I used the tips and instructions HERE to even them out a bit and get them looking better.  I have a ways to go with my technique, but I’m learning…and I’m getting there! I like making them look a little less groucho marx and a little more Dani. (left side done, right side left alone…do you see the difference? I do.)

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For lips, my M.O. is gloss in a simple muted tone. I tried using a bright *ahem* lippie, and girls. My life is forever changed. I tried the lippie alone….. But… me being me, and wanting my lips to look larger, I glossed em up afterward. Me likey. My usual nude glossy lip and then just with the lipstick alone:

lips

 

 

My whole thing with applying makeup (outside of not being 100% sure I’m doing it “right” and disliking the feel of heavy stuff on my face) is that I didn’t want to spend so much time on it.  At least, that was the excuse I told myself. HOWEVER: Tinted moisturizer, eye liner, mascara, blush, brows done, and lip done… total time: 9 minutes.

I think a momshell can handle an extra 9 minutes of time in the morning to ensure she’s leaving the house looking better than usual. I felt so much more polished and pulled together.

What’s your makeup routine? How long does it take you?

Leave a comment below for a chance to win a Mary Kay® prize pack.

Visit Mary Kay® on their website here, the Mary Kay® Project Runway pageFacebook and YouTube for more makeup looks and tips!

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Braidouts, Purple Hair, Big Chop and Clear

clear hair post

BRAIDOUTS

I have been wearing my hair in a bun or ponytail for the last 8 months. Since I started my job when I moved to Florida, I have been pulling my hair back from Monday to Friday. Then on the weekends I’d just wear a wash n go. Now that I’m home, I’m wearing a wash n go more often, but I finally stopped being lazy and did my first braidout in a long time. My last braidout was done before I chopped all my hair off to donate. That was 2013.

So I put some coconut oil on my hair and braided it up after washing and conditioning with Clear Intense Hydration shampoo and conditioner. I rolled the ends on satin rollers since they would unravel if I didn’t. Then I let it air dry. It dried overnight. I used a satin scarf to protect it from getting messy in bed. Here are my results! Me likey!

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PURPLE HAIR & BIG CHOP

I’m dying my hair purple. Yep. I said it. I’m doing it. Now that I’ve left corporate america (for the LAST time) I am free to look how I wanna. I’m getting a tattoo that’ll be visible when clothed, and I’m getting funky hair color. Not sure if I want to do my whole head, or just the front, leaving the back black… I guess I’ll see and decide after I BC.  

As it stands My hair is about 75% natural with the rest scraggly  permed ends. I’m ready to chop the straight parts off. Not sure if I’ll go it alone or head to a stylist to cut and shape it for me. (Maybe both?) But, once I BC I’ll be heading to a stylist to get my purple on. I’ll have to take super good care of my hair once I go purple. I’ll first have to go even blonder, then put the purple on top. That’s a lot of damage.

purple hair collage  

Have you had a funky hair color before?

CLEAR 

Do you use those little samples of lotion or shampoo that come in the mail? I’ve been using CLEAR SCALP & HAIR™ Intense Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner (and have John using it too) since I got a random sample packet in the mail a few years ago.  I usually hold on to those samples for a while before trying them or tossing them out during one of my seasonal purges.  I’m glad this one made the cut. It’s all about keeping your hair and scalp healthy!  

John has used this brand more than any other for the past few years. He has “normal” hair. Doesn’t dry out easily, but doesn’t get too greasy when dirty either. I envy him that. My hair gets dry just for GP. Add to that now my whole blonde coloring…. I would have some serious breakage and damage issues if I let my natural dryness + colored fragility go without taking steps to keep my scalp and hair healthy.

For me, this means…keeping my scalp clean and lots and lots of conditioning and moisturizing. The Clear shampoo is great for me because it cleanses without making my hair feel stripped or “squeaky” clean. I use the conditioner to keep my curls popping and dryness at bay. I also use the mask and keep it on for a long time, deep conditioner style under a shower cap as I go about my day.  I actually used the mask for about an hour before doing the braidout style posted up top.

clear

 

Have you tried CLEAR yet?

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

How To Procrastinate

procrastinate

Procrastination is such a dirty word, isn’t it? It means you’re lazy, dreading your to do list, irresponsible or just not a hard working professional, right?

Nah, I don’t subscribe to that BS and neither should you. Here’s why. We NEED procrastination. Really! We need to take breaks from what we’re working so hard on so we can do it even better. (trust me)  What I promote to my clients is “Planned Procrastination.” Here is how to plan to procrastinate in the best possible way.

How to procrastinate: 

Schedule It

This is my number one tip for busy, hard working folks. Schedule your break time. Put it on your planner or google calendar like you would any other important business meeting. If you have it on your calendar you’ll do three important things:

  1. Avoid burnout – and as any hard-working person knows, this can really sneak up on you
  2. Avoid the negative inner voice that berates you for “procrastinating”
  3. Remind yourself that YOU come first. Self care is everything. (What are you without your health?)

So when you’re creating your daily or weekly schedule, pop in some break time. I give myself a half an hour to an hour each day. Sometimes I don’t take all of it, but 9 times out of 10, I lay back and enjoy my planned procrastination without even one twinge of guilt. (I had to work my way up to turning off the guilt though. Trust me, you’ll get there.)

Relish It (#guiltfree)

Turn your bossy inner voice off! If you’re scheduling your time to procrastinate, do it full on! Enjoy, every delicious lazy moment of it! No apologies. Do not think about your to do list. Don’t think about what you’re going to do afterward or what you could be doing now. Just…relish in your (planned) freedom from work for a minute.  Enjoy the break. Sip a cuppa tea (or wine) and gratefully take in every bit of it. You deserve this. And even if you don’t…you scheduled it right? So basically you’re doing something you can soon check off of your to do list :) Look how productive you are!

If you’re too high strung to just chill for a bit of time during your busy day, the next two tips are for you.

Multitask It

If you’re going to be taking time out of your work day to procrastinate, why not use it wisely? Either use your work break to achieve another goal, or double up your activity to maximize your time. Binge-watching Scandal? Might as well paint your nails at the same time.  Laying down for a nap? (Lucky you!) Put on some affirmations to lull you to sleep. Use your break to start dinner or read to your kids or work out. On days when I can’t turn my brain off, I will brainstorm post ideas while I binge-watch something on Netflix or do some type of self-care item like walk or deep condition my hair.

Work It

I used to be a serious meta-worker. This is when you do something tangentially related to the work you actually should be doing, and feel busy and “productive” because of it. (Planning VS Actually Working) Organizing the spices before you make dinner. Rewriting your to-do list before actually doing something on it. Those things are procrastination disguised as work. AKA: Metawork. I would normally steer clients away from planning vs working. Metawork is usually a no no. However…..

For our planned procrastination purposes, metawork is now OK! If during your scheduled procrastination time you choose to fill it with metawork activities, you’re winning!!! Reading books or websites on a topic related to your field, brainstorming project ideas, looking through websites for blog post ideas… all OK and productive procrastination.

Have I convinced you yet? I sure hope so. Add a little free time into your schedule for tomorrow and let me know how much you enjoy it!

How do you procrastinate?

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How To Keep Your Marriage Spicy

spiceupyourmarriage

In October John and I will celebrate our 5 year wedding anniversary. It seems odd to celebrate for 5 years when we’ve been together since I was 19 years old. (yeah…we’re that couple). I don’t plan on getting rid of this guy any time soon.  Unless one of my baes come a callin’ again… so we have to do what we need to do to keep this marriage spicy! I refuse to have a boring marriage, and so should you.

Here are my tips for keeping the spice in your relationship:

Play!

Just before sitting down to write this post, I stood silently in the bathroom corner for a good 4 minutes while John finished showering just so I could scare the crap out of him when he turned around and saw me. Random scaring, and other silly games is a constant in our household. Remembering to play keeps your relationship from getting stale and boring. This can be playing card games or drinking games with each other, or cultivating little games that are “just for you” like John and my scaring game…or hey, have a tickle fight. … those often lead to something much more… pleasurable… #justsayin.
Dates

I don’t care if you have a weekly date night where you go out dressed to the nines, or just wait for the kids to fall asleep and snuggle on the couch with some wine and netflix. Whatever your style, whatever your date night looks like… just be sure you make time at least once a week to have one. Schedule it like you would an important business meeting. There’s no more important business than your family. Having a steady date night whether big deal or small affair gives you something to look forward to, encourages feelings of comfort and connection, and feelings of partnership. All crucial things in a relationship…especially if you’re trying to keep it spiced up.

NOTE: If you’re not already having date nights, just starting the weekly practice should be your goal. If you are, try spicing them up by doing something new, taking turns planning them, adding in some naughty fun, or otherwise taking them away from the norm.
Spontaneity

This tip was inspired by a friend who posted about her Daycation. She and her spouse dropped the kids at school, spontaneously took a day off from work, and had a free day-date-staycation with each other. (They’re now expecting their third child) When you are busy with work, kids, business, school etc.. sometimes you have to be spontaneous and creative to keep the spice in your marriage. I encourage you to take a day together, child-free, and enjoy each other (take that any way you want.) No work, no chores, no errands or to-dos. Just full on quality time together as a unit.
Be Naughty

Hey, we’re all grown folks here. We all know the sexless marriage stereotype. I refuse for us to go down like that. Staying physically connected is essential for a happy, spicy marriage. Some folks say schedule naughty nights, some folks say that ruins the “mood.” I say, do whatever works for you two, but be sure you DO IT. (and do it well!) Keep things fresh by using toys, cute (or slutty) outfits, games, lubricants, roleplay or even just a blind fold. Go 50 shades of gray on your partner if you wanna, hell, try new things together in the bedroom (or other rooms)….just make sure you are gettin’ it in…so to speak.
Stay Healthy/Sexy

You know what happens. You get married, you have kids. You have a million and one responsibilities, and you start to let your self go. Your waistline expands, your energy level drops, and you feel blah about yourself and less of a physical connection with your partner. Don’t let it happen!! Keep it together folks! Get regular exercise, eat healthily, keep your self care on point. And be sure your partner does the same. You don’t want the attraction to fade so you both need to hold up your end of the fit n sexy bargain. You can do a “two-fer” by making exercise a joint venture, one of your date nights could be a lil gym time, or a jog together with your spouse.

What do you do to keep the spice in your relationship?

This post was inspired by K-Y and they have a spicy giveaway for you! Leave a comment below about how you keep the spice alive in your relationship to win a K-Y Yours and Mine Kit! (winner will be chosen randomly using random.org)

  kyyoursandmine

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Good Reads

books

This week, recovering from surgery I spent a LOT of time laying in bed trolling the internet to occupy my time. Here are some of the fruits of my labor:

Afrobella’s Droppin’ Knowledge

Check her out giving the top things she’s learned 9 years deep in this blogging biz.  My fave gem is #6 and second fave is #10  (What’s yours?) So excited for and proud of her, even though I don’t know her know her… You know?

This chick makes me sick.

Every time I visit this chick’s blog I learn a million things I need to do to get my blogging life. I almost dread reading there because I know it’ll add to my already-too-long list of to-dos with this bloggy business of mine. Seriously, Regina is the ish, and I’m stoked I found her blog when I did. This post….::sigh:: just bookmark it cuz you’re gunna have to go back fiftyeleven times. (I hope I don’t stan out when I see her at Blogalicious. – Are you going?)

I’m Famous….

Ok, not exactly, but QuirkyBrownLove blog included me in their list of 200 Amazing Black Bloggers you should know. Super psyched to be on the list. And seriously… you need to go check out this resource. I wasted spent half a day just reading through lots of new blogs thanks to this list. She has it broken down by category to make it easy.

Grey’s Okay!

So I’m cutting my hair and dying itpurple. In searching the interwebz for inspiration pics and cuts, I fell down the rabbit hole… you know how that happens when you hop from blog to blog from random links in the prior blog. Somehow I ended up at Ty Alexander’s blog Gorgeous in Grey and saw this piece full of heads that were looking…gorgeous…in…grey. #imcreative. I’m still going purple, but I do like the look of this… For some reason it reminded me of this meme:

But, No, Really….I’m Famous!

Good Housekeeping Magazine shared a list of great tips from “Super Organized Moms” Somebody tricked them into including my tip :) Of course, my tip is basically saying “be lazy, and enjoy it” So ummm yeah…  Check out the post for some tips to get your life together. The laundry tip is one that I’ve been doing for years, it makes life SO much more bearable.

You read anything good on these innanets lately?

Share the link in the comments!

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