Beauty Dish

February 29, 2016

If pairing food and makeup together is wrong, I don't want to be right. Donuts and lashes happen to be two of my favorite things and I figured they needed to be together in this post - at least in the photography sense. No, I don't usually make a habit of eating donuts while tending to my eyelashes. But I do enjoy eating donuts of all varieties almost as much as I love answering the questions I frequently get about my lashes. All of the products in this post are ones that I am genuinely obsessed with - some of which I have been using for 5+ years - and they have all featured on the blog at one time or another. But the lash questions keep coming and thus, I wanted to bring all my favorites together today and go over again what makes them so great in my opinion.


neuLASH ($95-150): as much as I love (love, love, love) thick, long, luscious eyelashes, I have yet to try getting lash extensions. I’m sure someday I will succumb to the expensive habit that yields the best transformative results – but till then I’ll continue to use neuLASH. I’ve been using this growth serum since 2011 and continue to see results without any weird side effects (like discoloration or irritation). Yes: if you stop using it consistently the length and fullness will gradually subside. But if you are diligent about using it every night (especially for the first three months) you will see amazing results that will have people asking you if your lashes are extensions. Using it is super easy…just use the small brush applicator to glide the clear formula to the base of your upper eyelashes. It dries fairly quickly and then you go to bed and forget about it. Repeat. The price tag seems hefty but the larger size tube will last several months and when you compare the cost to that of extensions there is no contest in the savings!

Givenchy Mister Lash Booster ($32): I’ve been using Mister Lash Booster for almost exactly a year and it’s been a game-changer (especially when used in conjunction with neuLASH). It’s described as the three-in-one formula that nourishes and strengthens lashes, acts as a primer, and can stand alone as a clear mascara. After reading tons of the reviews on it’s growth, thickening, and strengthening results I started using it at night right after neuLASH and saw nearly immediate (think next morning) payoff. The application is different in that the specialized applicator is flat with small rubber bristles – a twist of the bottom of the tube sends the formula through the top of the applicator and you massage the small bristles from root to tip along the upper lash line and then along the bottom lashes. It sounds much more complicated than it is (I promise that if Sally and I can figure it out, you can too). The massage action is suppose to be the key to the product’s results but I think it’s consistent use that will have you seeing thicker, stronger, longer lashes. One tube should last you about two months – at least that’s what I’ve seen with mine – but less if you use during the day along with at night.

Maybelline Mega Plush Mascara ($5.69): truthfully, mascara and I have a love/hate relationship. I love that it makes my lashes look longer and thicker but I hate that it gets on my upper eyelid and sometimes on my under-eye area. Try to and minimize the amount of transfer that happens (those dumb black smudges I was just talking about) I strictly use waterproof mascara formulas. I love less smudging but I hate that I have to use remover to take it off before washing my face. After trying tons and tons of various waterproof formulas, Maybelline’s Mega Plush has remained my very favorite. As Maybelline’s first gel-mousse formula it has almost half the amount of hard waxes of typical mascaras so lashes don’t have a stiff, brittle look or feel. I love how it glides on without clumping and can have a light/natural feel or be built up with multiple coats for a thicker, fuller look. I use it on my top lashes and although I sometimes see transfer (usually if I’m applying in a humid spot) I never, ever have an issue with flaking. The price makes it such that I replace as soon as I notice dryness – which is about every 4-5 weeks depending on how much I am using it (I try not to wear mascara every day!).

Estée Lauder Little Black Primer ($24): after years of putting mascara on my top and bottom lashes, I took a long break from putting anything on my lower lashes because it was starting to look like too much with how long both my upper and lower lashes were getting. But I was starting to miss the added dimension I got from the bit of tint and thickness on my bottom fringe. On a whim, I tried putting Estée Lauder Little Black Primer on my lower lashes because the formula is so nice and light I figured it wouldn’t be too overpowering. I was right! The product is designed to be a tinted, waterproof primer that can be used on its own, layered under a favorite mascara for added volume, or on top of a mascara for a waterproof seal. I typically only put it on my bottom lashes (the teeny tiny brush makes it ideal for getting right up to the root) and love what it’s done for my lash game. And of course, I wouldn’t be using it if it caused any smudges or flaking. The only downside is that like my other waterproof formulas, it has to be removed with…remover. For that job my favorites are this and this.

Maybelline Falsies Push Up Drama Mascara ($7.49): so I love my Mega Plush – it really is the best – but when I want BAM! lashes instantly and don’t want to spend the time applying coat, after coat, after coat I use Maybelline’s Falsies Push Up Drama. A few wiggles across the upper lash line from root to tip and it looks like I have on a strip of false lashes. I guess that’s where they got the name from? Just a fair warning if you decide to try Falsies: it is a thick formula so applying slowly and carefully is best if you want to avoid getting it everywhere or having your lashes clump. The brush helps with separation but I sometimes follow behind with a safety pin to get the best look possible (I know, I know – this is absurd but I’m very careful and vain and I just don’t mind the extra effort). This is the stuff I wear when I shoot blog photos and for nights out.

Tarte Eyelash Curler ($16): mascara is nothing if it’s not used on already-curled lashes. I never believe formulas that promise curl without the help of a tool – I just don’t get how that could be possible and have never seen it happen myself – so prepping with a curler is the easiest way to get an eye-opening that will stay put once you follow with mascara. I haven’t tried every lash curler out there but I have tried several that promise to be the best and have found that Tarte’s Eyelash Curler actually is the best. Why you ask? It gives an actual curl – not an “L” shaped crimp – with just one or two light pumps. It’s great quality – meaning you can travel with it, use it everyday, and generally do your best to use and abuse it and it will stand up to wear and tear. I’ve replaced mine once in three years and have no complaints.

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Troubadour Neutra Maxi in St. Barts

February 26, 2016

My husband and I have been experiencing what we like to call "Post-St. Barts Blues." The pictures in today's post were taken there and they don't rightfully do the place justice - it was truly the most beautiful place both of us had ever been to. The water was so clear and gorgeous - it faded from a pale aqua to a blue gatorade hue - and all the beaches felt like their own mini oasis. The hilly and lush landscape looked like something out of Jurassic Park, save for the villas, homes, and small buildings that dot the hills and hug some of the coast. The only way we've found to recover from #poststbartsblues is to plan another getaway...our one year anniversary is coming up in April and we're narrowing down tropical destinations to celebrate. We ended up not taking a traditional honeymoon after the wedding due to our work schedules and lack of time off so this will act as a honeymoon/anniversary trip in one.

Will I be packing the Troubadour maxi you see here? Yes, yes I will be.


As Molly mentioned in her post yesterday, we are big fans of Troubadour. Lindsey’s pieces are among favorites in our closet and we’ve even gotten our younger sisters hooked on her designs. Each season brings fresh prints and patterns but the styles she produces are always classic and I’ve been able to wear mine year after year. There are more than a few items I have my eye on from the current Spring/Summer collection – some of which will be released in the months ahead – but I was so thrilled to get this Neutra Maxi Dress in the Dessert Stripe print in time to bring to St. Barts.

Maxi dresses are something I always feel comfortable in and the high-neck halter style of this one makes it even more wearable…I’m covered (which always makes me feel free to move around without the fear of exposing something on accident) but the bare shoulders and exposed back make the dress from wearing into the “too-covered” category. The dessert stripe print literally looks like Lindsey hand-painted watercolor directly on the silk – it’s that gorgeous in person. Aside from planning on packing it for my upcoming honeymoon/anniversary trip, I also know I’ll be wearing the maxi to some weddings I have on the calendar this spring and summer and I’ll probably loan it to a few friends (you’re never too old to still share clothes!).

And hey, if the maxi style isn’t your thing, Troubadour used the same desert stripe print in for the gorgeous Helena Dress. I loved seeing how my sweet friend Grace styled it in her post yesterday!

Pieces From The Post

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Troubadour Sedgewick in St. Barts

February 25, 2016

If you haven't seen the new  Troubadour site, you need to head there now...if only to check out the about page and see a photo of designer Lindsey Carter with one of her adorable twins. As a long-time lover of the prints and pieces Lindsey creates, I look forward to seeing what she comes up with each season. Last season (Fall/Winter 2015) I didn't think things could get much better - with dresses and separates featuring a horizontal stripe done in the coolest color combination and a black and white abstract print done in collaboration with artist Brian Coleman. You can see how I styled two of my favorite pieces from that collection here and here.

Along with launching a newly re-designed site, Troubadour also just introduced the latest collection of pieces. To celebrate the newness, Sally and I were invited to each style a piece from the collection...lucky for us, we received them in time to bring with us to St. Barts. Today I'm sharing my look (Sally's will be posted tomorrow) and I can't get over how perfect this dress looks with the outdoor beauty of St. Bs.


It comes as no surprise that Troubadour’s offerings for Spring/Summer 2016 are wonderful. Lindsey was inspired by the historic Korakia Pensione hotel, built in the 1920s and the artful prints take cues from the tropical, leafy palms and hot pink bougainvilleas that line the walkway of the Moroccan-style villa; the deep aqua of the pool twinkles in the desert sunset and complements the majorelle blue chairs in the cabana-lined courtyard. Lindsey noted that through this collection, she imagines a weekend getaway to this Palm Springs hotel, as relevant and exotic today as it was in its early twentieth-century heyday.

The Sedgewick Dress I’m wearing is everything Korakia Pensione evokes: both cool and classic with a little bit of an island attitude. I love how the palm print has a photo-realistic look but is a little overexposed – making it more artistic than literal (which helps it from going into “overly beachy” territory). The shirt-dress shape is super comfortable, especially with the elastic waist, and the collar keeps the overall fit from becoming too casual. I paired it with flat sandals for one of the more casual nights out on our trip but plan on wearing it with a pair of wedges (eyeing these) once the Texas warmth creeps in and stays.

Pieces From The Post
Troubadour Sedgewick Dress (c/o) // Zara Sandals (old, similar, similar, similar)

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