Beauty Dish

March 4, 2015

You guys - I can't even describe how excited I am to write this post. If any of you are as obsessed with eyelashes as I am then get ready for your world to be rocked. I have always been a lash lover…at the tender age of 10 I begged my mom to let me wear mascara. When she said no, I asked if we could compromise on letting me sport a clear formula I had found at The Body Shop. Looking back I'm sure she thought I was a wacko kid but I just loved my little eyelashes and heck, I wanted to accentuate them. Ever since then I've been really into indulging in my lashes. I've tried hundreds of mascaras (but because I'm always trying to find the perfect one that's consistently good year-round I rarely post about what I'm using), invested in many a lash curler, and splurge on monthly lash tinting (the best for blonde lashes). The last eyelash related post I did was this one over a year ago. Today I am posting two lash enhancing products that really, really work. One of them I have been using for years and one is a recent purchase that has taken my eyelashes to next-level thickness and length. Yesterday I got a facial and the esthetician asked if I had extensions. Nope. I just use these two products religiously…a much safer, healthier, cheaper, and natural way to have longggg lashes.

 

neuLASH: This stuff was put on my radar over three years ago when I worked in a buying office and was surrounded by really fab, really well maintained women. I’d ask anyone with fantastic eyelashes what their secret was and they all said, “neuLASH.” Obviously I wanted to be part of this club. I’m just going to repeat what I wrote in my post from last year because it’s still all true: Similar to Latisse but without the scary side effects, it’s a clear serum you paint along your lash lines each night that helps them grow. It does take three months of nightly application to see them take off but once they do, they just keep going. I have heard horror stories of girls getting extensions and then having their real lashes fall out when the false ones shed…neuLASH might look pricey but compared to the high cost and risk of getting extensions, it is so, so worth it. One tube will last you 6-8 months at least. If you realllly want it to work, you HAVE to use it every single night. Again, it’s worth it. P.S. neuLASH also makes neuBROW – a product for brow growth and enhancement.

Givenchy Mister Lash Booster: So I have long lashes but that didn’t stop me from doing a double take when I very randomly stumbled on this product while bopping around Sephora’s website. First of all, I am skeptical of any fashion brand that makes beauty products…many of them are great but sometimes I just think the brands are slapping their labels on items that don’t live up to their category because they like being in the beauty arena. Anyway – I see Mister Lash Booster and I am intrigued. The description of “breakthrough massage technology” and “all-in-one eyelash care, lash primer, and transparent mascara” gets my attention. What really hooked me though were the reviews…out of 166 postings, 101 gave it a full five stars. But still, I was skeptical that the product could live up to the promise of length and density. I bought it, applied it that very night and I swear to god that I woke up the next morning and noticed a difference. I wanted to post about it right away but determined that I should give it a good two weeks of testing before reporting if it was really as good as I thought it was. Two weeks later and I’m still telling every lady I know to buy it. I put it on after neuLASH before bed and then in the morning after I wash my face. You can layer mascara on top but I like the natural shine it gives (and the big curl!) so I usually just wear it naked. I wish I could say more to sell you on it but just trust me that I’m obsessed and it’s so worth trying!

I’m not sure if it’s the combination of the two products working together but my lashes are the longest and prettiest the have ever been (if I do say so myself). Both give mega length and fullness but I can say for sure the Mister Lash Booster really makes lashes more resistant to falling out – I used to have a handful come off after washing my face twice a day and I hardly ever notice any on my towel now. Now…go skedaddle and get these two babies so you can bat your gorgeous naturally long and luscious lashes at everyone you see!

P.S. I should probably mention that Sally is hooked on the same two products. After seeing me at the beach she immediately went out to get Mister Lash Booster (she has been using neuLASH just as long as I have)…girl needs to have pretty lashes for her wedding. We wouldn’t want me pulling a Pippa on her!

neuLASH (I get the 0.2 oz for $150 - also available here and here) // Givenchy Mister Lash Booster ($31 - also available here, here and here)

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Top Secret

We have a not-so-secret love affair with Top Secret bralettes. Our friends at the Alys Shoppe introduced us to them and they are so comfortable…they don’t have the same shape and support as other bras but our, um, smaller chests means that’s a-okay. We suggest trying the Double Agent style (followed by this one). It has a little lace and pretty mesh trim at the top.

Style

Arm Adornment

Three words can make us go crazy with excitement: J.Crew New Arrivals. It can be a bit overwhelming to go through all the newness and narrow down favorites but we always welcome the challenge, especially when it comes to spring pieces! Although this sweatshirt and these shorts are on the list, this sweet sweater with sequin floral detailing on the sleeve that has us seriously in love.

Lifestyle

@APIECEOFTOAST

Toast Talk

March 3, 2015

It may have gone unnoticed to many of you, but I've been playing blog hooky. Big time. Last week Sally and I got back from our frigid Florida beach trip and then I left 24 hours later to go to Santa Monica. Three days in Cali and then I was back in Dallas for a few hours before driving to Houston to spend a long weekend in the country. Sally sweetly took over for me at the beginning of the week and despite my best intentions to keep up with posts, I decided to just say, "Meh." and let things slide. My lack of gung-ho is a combo of feeling scattered (three suitcases in a week can do that do a girl), feeling tired (I've determined that low iron must be the culprit of this), and feeling like I'd rather focus my love and energy on Blue, my friends, helping Sal with wedding stuffs (especially the Bachelorette Weekend next week!), and finishing my needlepoint project. The best way I know how to fix a slump in my productivity is to take a break and do something creative. So...the timing could not be better for my "creative sabbatical" to kick off this week!

 

The last time I caught y’all up to speed on my 2015 resolutions was last month (here). This week the most exciting “to-do” on my list is happening. Leslee Mitchell is coming to visit me starting on Thursday and we’ll be spending five days of one-on-one shooting and learning together. We are going to be visiting some of my favorite cities in Texas and both of us are maybe a little too excited about all the time we’re going to be spending together. I’m not sure if I’ll be saying “Meh” again and stepping out on posts while we are doing our creative thing, but if I do it just means that I’m hitting “pause” so that the content I put after the sabbatical is better than ever before.

Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t think that timing for this project could have come at a better time. There are so many ideas I have in the pipeline for the blog that I’ve held off on doing because I think it’s critical to feel more confident in my photography skills. This is also a time in my life when I have never felt more inspired – particularly by creative, badass women – to elevate the work that I do. I’ve been feeling so much love and encouragement and it really makes me want to challenge myself (in a good way) to stretch myself in different directions. I don’t know…that sounds really cryptic but I think it will make more sense as I reveal plans in the coming months (muahahhaha).

Leslee was shooting the interiors of a house last week and she started texting me words of wisdom that the home owner had been telling her. The words were awesome but I loved that Leslee followed them up with saying, “The people this job has put in my life is the part of this job I never expected, always needed.” She so perfectly put into words the exact vibe I’ve been feeling recently. I like what I get to do but I love the people who have come into my life because of it. Those friendships are what inspire me and impact what I do the most. Girl power.

And as if I wasn’t already feeling a silly amount of girly love for the smart women in my life, VOGUE had to go an put Taylor Swift and Karlie Kloss on this month’s cover. I mean…the photos are gorgeous and they basically look like twins but I got such a mushy heart after reading the article about their friendship, and all Taylor’s friendships. Girl is a great advocate for women lifting one another up and I’d happily give up every single Housewives show if we could exchange them for a reality show that followed T and her crew around.

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Lifestyle

Pretty Pet Bowls

When Mary posted some good looking doggie food and drink bowls it got us thinking about what our pups use. Blue Moonbeam needs an upgrade. Mark & Graham has two sizes of these Wooden Acacia Pet Bowls and we love the sleek look that keeps the bowls from scooting around. Also love the font choices for free personalization…just wish we could do more than 9 characters!

Some Sales + Steals

February 25, 2015

Is it obvious that neutrals, specifically black and white, have been on the mind as of late? I even wore white jeans to work today. Mainly because I was still upset over not wearing them in the cold Florida weather last week that I made it happen with a cashmere sweater and boots. As far as steals go, The Outnet has kind of been killing me with their new arrivals. Every time I check the site (which is often due to the many upcoming wedding festivities!) there are countless things that I am drawn to. I encourage you to become a regular checker of The Outnet - you won't be sorry. I am really eying these sandals at the moment! Other good steals - the lemlem items (this and this) at J.Crew. I can't get enough. I know I'm not the only one with warm weather on my mind with all of the snow/ice/younameit throughout the country! (read on to get the sales + steals)

 

Some Sales:

  • Ann Taylor: Today only, get 40% off your entire purchase before 5pm with code POWER40! (obsessing over this two-in-one top)
  • Bauble BarSample Sale! 50-70% off through 2/27
  • GAP: 30% off your purchase today only! Use code TREAT. And, the Get Intimates event is happening right now – bras on sale starting at $20 and undies starting at $4 till 2/27!
  • J.Crew: Extra 40-50% off final sale items with code SWEETSALE (these aren’t on sale but I finally ordered them because I couldn’t resist the color combination – or the thought of them selling out!)
  • J.Crew Factory: Get an extra 30% off everything with code HURRYSPRING. (make sure you check out the new arrivalsthis lobster sweater and this scallop drop hem dress are too good)
  • Kate Spade SATURDAY: 40% off everything!! Code EXTRA40 (I love the shape of this dress)
  • Matches Fashion: 50% off ski sale! (This has to be the best time ever to stock up on a warm coat. I love how this one is two-tone.)
  • Old Navy: TODAY ONLY, get 35% off till 3pm and then 25% off from 3pm-midnight with code AMPM. (adore this checked shirt and this dot-trim tunic Molly got in white already!)
  • Piperlime: Up to 50% off sale with code SALEONSALE (this is such a pretty take on a white blouse and the price is unreal! $34?!)
  • Saks Fifth Avenue: Take $75 off orders of $300 or more. (these are so beyond gorgeous in the nude)

Some Steals:

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Rip + Repair

It’s not too early to start thinking about the perfect pair of jorts (jean + shorts) you’ll need for sprummer (spring + summer). We suggest the Denim Boyshorts: Rip + Repair Edition from Madewell. Molly bought last year’s version and the new ones are even better. They’ve got the perfect baggy feel and look like you’ve had ‘em forever but they’re not falling apart. We know you’ll heart them.

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Clare V. Pom Pom

There are certain people and brands that we think write the rules of cool. Clare Vivier is one of them. If she says hand-dyed pom poms are the best new way to put a personal spin on a CV clutch, tote, or satchel we believe her. And really, how could we not get behind these whimsical and fluffy little accessories? Available in large and small, we like the idea of doing both sizes together.

Mara Hoffman Second Bridal Offering

February 24, 2015

I got so much good advice after I fist got engaged and before I really dove into planning and decision making. One pearl of wisdom was, "When you find your dress, stop looking at others." So smart. I spent a good amount of time on Pinterest adding dresses that I thought looked like me or fit the vision I was going for to a secret board before going to try on gowns. Unlike some of the brides on Say Yes to the Dress, I didn't try on 100+ dresses or spend and exhaustive amount of time going to as many bridal salons as possible. My dress was at the third place I went to and even though I didn't have a huge emotional moment over it I just knew it was perfect - both for my body and for the venue...

 

So – I felt like I had to preface this post with saying that I’m not going back on my dress decision! I did stop looking (and pinning, and researching) other dresses and designers once I “said yes to the dress” and after my first fitting a few weeks ago I feel even more sure about my choice. But, Mara Hoffman recently launched her second collection of wedding gowns and it felt wrong not to share the stunning images of the gorgeous dresses. Mara “Devotional Collection” of bridal pieces are only available through her site.

True to her aesthetic, the collection has a boho feel that pulls inspiration from nature. Each piece is named after a goddess (I’m particularly loving the Feya Beaded Gown) and prices range from $550 and $2,200. Pretty “affordable” when you compare them to the bridal collections from other designers. I’m not a boho girl myself (I just consider myself a hippie wannabe during music festival season) but if I was at the beginning of my wedding dress search I think there are a few of the Mara styles I’d want to try…the flowy silhouettes and intricate but unfussy detailing is definitely my style.

Maybe some of you future brides-to-be or recently engaged gals out there can test drive some of the pieces in the Devotional Collection and tell us how they look and feel in person. I have a feeling that they are just as etherial and goddess like on as they look online and in the campaign images…

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