Laura Mercier Glow

June 30, 2015

My skin has been in less than perfect condition lately. Somehow I made it all the way to my wedding in April without any breakouts or awful blemishes and then my face went nuts right after I said "I do." I don't know about you guys but even the smallest breakout can make me crumble and feel like I look terrible. Molly assures me that it's not that bad and only noticeable to me but the summer is a time when I like to wear less makeup - not more - and I don't like feeling like I've been wearing a lot of products to conceal issues.

So I started over. I went to great dermatologist, was given some products I think will finally (!) take care of my breakouts, and reworked my current makeup routine to involve less products but ones that make my eyes pop and make me feel great.

Aside from adding concealer on my “spots” and adding a bit of bronzer and blush, the below Laura Mercier products are what I’ve been using and loving.

Foundation Primer in Radiance: Laura Mercier is famous for her tinted moisturizer but this foundation primer is meant to go on after regular moisturizer to act as an invisible barrier between skin and makeup. I started using it because the “pearl tint” and hint of color is great for minimizing imperfections and it has a really nice iridescent finish gives a subtle glow. Kind of the perfect thing for my “blah” feeling skin!

Caviar Stick Eye Colour (Rosegold, Amethyst, Sugar Frost): If you haven’t tried Caviar Sticks before, you must. Eyeshadows typically scare me…I always tend to drop and break pressed powders and never know the right shades to use or how to apply them. Then I met these guys and everything changed. The creamy formula goes on really easily, can be built up for more color, and depending on what hues you go with they can easily be blend together. I use the Rosegold over my whole lid and then line my lash line with the Amethyst, lightly smudging the two with one of my fingers so they blend a little. I finish by adding a bit of the Sugar Frost as a highlighter in the center of my lower lid (which somehow makes my eyes look larger than adding it to the inner corners). If you wanted to get really crazy you could do more of smokey eye with the Amethyst but I’m still working up to that level of expertise 😉

Extra Lash Sculpting Mascara: I joke that I look like a fool when I apply any kind of mascara…my lashes are so long that I have to do this really dramatic tilt with my chin up and eyes practically closed so I don’t get the brush all over my eyelids. It’s not cute to watch me do it, but when you’re using a super lengthening formula like the Extra Lash Sculpting Mascara it just has to be done. I swap mascaras frequently but really like how this one is water resistant but not clumpy at all – double bonus that it all comes off with my regular face wash at the end of the day! What makes it extra special is the “built in memory control” formula that makes for awesome control applying and styling the lashes.

I don’t feel like I’m reinventing the wheel with my look but I do feel like I have a much better glow with the foundation primer and caviar sticks…the sculpting mascara is just the icing on the cake to helping me feel confident and pretty!

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Sunset Crusin’ with Motorboatin’ 30a

June 29, 2015

Friday was our last night in 30A. Usually we spend our final evening at the beach pouting and packing, sometimes strategizing ways to stay longer. But this last night we spent it with Matt and Michaelanne of Motorboatin' 30a - taking in the most amazing sunset on the pontoon boat. We used to think, "If you've seen one sunset, you've seen them all," but now we are completely eating our words. In our defense we will say that sometimes it is hard to realize and appreciate the full beauty of something that occurs everyday...but no sunset is every exactly the same, and the ones along the beach (especially on 30A) are something to marvel at.

Michaelanne and Matt knew from the beginning stages of creating their business that they wanted to offer a sunset cruise trip. Both of them love happy hour (people after our own hearts!) and once they got started the evening trips captained by Matt around Lake Powell were easily the most popular trips on their pontoon. After experiencing it for ourselves it's not hard to understand what makes the golden hours on the boat so special.

 

 

The two of us came prepared – we stopped by Cowgirl Kitchen’s Feed & Supply store in Rosemary Beach to grab local Grayton Beer, wine, and some of our favorite sweet and savory treats (the spinach artichoke dip and cheese salsa are unreal). Matt had a cooler of ice ready for us on the boat so once we met up with him and Michaelanne there was nothing left to do but sit back and relax while enjoying our provisions.

Experiencing Lake Powell in the evening versus when we were first on it for our morning pontoon paddle board trip is totally different. It’s still very quite and secluded but everything is so bright and golden the hour before the sun starts to go down. Matt took us along the surrounding golf courses that hug the lake while we tried to spot alligators (no success) before taking us right up to the sand dunes that separate the lake from the gulf water. Being the best captain that he is, he jumped out of the boat to pull the pontoon the last leg up to the sand (the water gets too shallow for the motor to run).

To say that we nerded out over the sunset is an understatement. Both of us alternated between staring, snapping pictures on the camera and iPhones, whispering “this is so beautiful,” and thanking Matt and Michaelanne for introducing us to the unreal view. This was not our first 30A sunset, but it was the first 30A sunset we really (really, really) took the time to take in. The combination of: watching the orange sun sink into our favorite white sand, jumping out to put our feet in the dunes and wave goodbye to the beach, followed by riding back to the dock with a pink/orange/blue sky with streaks of clouds made for the most perfect way to end our already amazing trip.

Both of us feel like we started a new tradition…we already know that once we set the dates for our next visit to 30A that we’ll be ringing up our friends at Motorboatin’ 30a to book the sunset cruise for the last night of the trip. Of course, we don’t think our experiences on the Coastal Dune Lakes would have been much to speak of had Michaelanne and Matt not been involved. They are truly the most loving and fun couple – the kind of magnetic people that you just want to be around – and we feel so lucky that we can now call them friends.

We are slightly sad that it’s Monday and that we had to leave the bliss of the beach, but we felt like we needed to end this post with Matt’s dad’s toast (the one on the back of all the Motorboatin’ 30a koozies): To good ships and wood ships and ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are relationships forever may they be. Thank you again for the making our trip so memorable, M + M!!!!

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Pontoon Paddle Boarding with Motorboatin’ 30a

June 26, 2015

SUP. We're not just saying "hi," SUP actually stands for Stand Up Paddle Boards/Boarding. Who knew? Just add the acronym to the list of things we learned on our Wednesday pontoon and paddle boarding adventure with Motorboatin' 30a. If you didn't see the post where we introduced the company you can take a look at it here. If we could have spent the whole day with Michaelanne and Matt we would have - they are just that laid back, fun, and easy - but we settled for a few hours with them on the boat and some pontoon paddle boarding around Lake Powell.

 

So, the two of us are not the most athletic birds around. Sally had tried paddle boarding once but it was in the ocean and as soon as she saw a stingray under her board she sat down and rode the waves in, which was fine because she couldn’t balance well anyway. Molly had never tried paddle boarding, mostly because she’s terrified of the ocean and most open bodies of water and the idea of wobbling on a board while trying to “row” sounded less than fun. The aforementioned sister woes are our way of telling you that we were pretty new to this water activity and while we were very excited, we were slightly hesitant, too.

As Matt mentioned during the Q+A in our earlier Motorboatin’ 30a post, pontoon paddle boarding is much different than SUP in the ocean. Unlike the ocean, the water on Lake Powell has calm water that’s shallow – balancing is still a factor but it is much (much) easier to achieve on the lake. The boards Motorboatin’ 30a uses are by YOLO and called YAK boards. Being the nerds we are, we looked up the different kind of stand up paddle boards to get an idea of what made the ones we use different than what we had seen while down on the beach. We learned that the YAK boards are designed to be super sturdy, with stability in shallow water, and able to handle more weight. Matt told us that people often attach coolers to the board or even have smaller kids (in life vests) or dog sit on the front or back of the board. Like other paddle boards, once you are in a kneeling or standing position on the board you use a paddle to propel yourself forward.

We both started out kneeling on our boards before feeling ready to stand. Matt instructed us how to hold the paddles and advised us to do 3-4 full strokes on one side of the board before switching to the next. We learned that it’s better to keep the paddle as close to the board as possible and that you want almost the entire head of the paddle to be in the water when you’re moving it front to back to get the correct speed. Once we got the hang of paddling, Matt gave us more tips on how to hold the paddle and position/move our bodies so that the motions engaged our cores and became more of a work out.

The best activity to compare pontoon paddle boarding to would be riding a bike. They are completely different (obviously) but both activities involve using your body and additional objects to propel yourself in motion, you can make the activity more challenging depending on speed and resistance, and you’re doing something active while being able to fully take in your surroundings. And the surroundings on Lake Powell are beautiful…we paddled right up to the edge of the lake, to where the sand dunes separate it from the gulf water. It was the first time we had ever experienced the are unique area in person and it really is so amazing.

And there you have it – Motorboatin’ 30a took two non-athletic girls and turned them into pontoon paddle boarding pros! We haven’t planned our next trip to 30A but we’ve already told all our family and friends that come to the area to book their boat and paddle boarding trips with Matt and Michaelanne. The morning pontoon SUP adventure was the perfect morning activity and we still spent hours at the beach afterward!

P.S. thank you to Molly and Shawn for being with us for the day and making things even more fun (:

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