Life is so fucking weird.

If there is one thing I learned in 2014…it’s that. Life is weird, and what’s worse? Is it, or God, or whatever higher power you might believe in is absolutely calling the shots. You are not really in control of hardly anything.

Kind of a horrible feeling, amiright?

There is one thing, though…I feel like we have all been granted control of. Telling the people we care about…just how much we care about them while they are here, in our lives or on this planet.

I have always been an “I love you” girl. I grew up in a family that said it every time one of us exited a room. And I love that about myself. I love to tell people how much they matter, I love to make it clear to those in my life how important their presence is for my existence. But even with this sort of mentality…I forget. I forget how much a person might need to hear it. I take for granted the fact that someone should just know how much I love them.

This year I learned that you can’t predict the last time. You have absolutely no idea when the last time you talk to someone might be…people are separated every day; by death, by distance, by loss, by dreams, by goals, by choices.

So, today…tell them. All of those people that are still in your life, all of those souls that still circle your perimeter and matter….tell them so. Let them know.

Don’t play games with your significant other, don’t wait for your friend to reach out to you, don’t ignore your mom’s call while you’re on the phone with someone else…or right in the middle of your favorite TV show.

So, I guess this is my New Year’s Eve post…make your resolutions. Lose that weight, sleep more, read more, floss your teeth, but most of all…pick up the phone, take out a piece of paper, open a damn Facebook message and make it a habit to tell the important people just how important they are. It is a privilege to have them in your life…act like it.

Here’s to 2015!

Home Office Makeover

You guys…this has been like 3 years in the making. Ever since I bought this house I stared at this perfect little space that was to be my very own office.

Unfortunately, I never made the time to really fix the thing up. The walls were tan…the carpet was tan…and the furniture was old. It was the least attractive room of the house…and yet, I expected to come there and find inspiration. I didn’t. As a matter of fact, I found myself creating makeshift workspaces in literally every other room in the house…JUST so I could avoid this room. So silly!

So, earlier this fall, when my life took a dramatically different direction I decided there was no better way to embrace the change and newly found independence than by finally creating the inspirational and creative space I’ve always wanted so much.

I am pleased to say…3 months later, I’m absolutely in love with the space I’ve created. I feel comfortable here, I feel capable, indestructible and motivated. It was my first real project on my own…I painted, put together the furniture, tackled some obstacles and setbacks…but, I did it on my own.

Okay, I’ll shut up and just show you!

Home Office 6

Home Office 12

HOme Office 9

Home Office 1

Home Office 5

Home Office 7

Home Office 2

Home Office 8

Home Office 11

Home Office 10Home Office 13

Totally photo happy…but I just can’t help it, I’m obsessed!!

Hopefully you’re feeling ridiculously inspired to redo an area of your house or your life that you’ve been putting off!!

Now, tell me…what’s your favorite addition to the office?? 🙂

x,Hayley

Do you want to know what my least favorite thing about beauty and makeup is…?

There are so many “rules”.

Like, a lot of them.

Blondes should wear this….
That skin tone requires that…
You’re too pale for that color…
Your face is too round for that cut…

You guys…I could quite literally go on and on for days reciting every rule that has ever been thrown at me in regard to what I should wear & when I should wear it.

And if life has taught me anything the past year…it’s that often times, post grade school, “rules” are designed by expectations…expectations of others and sometimes just our own expectations. And sometimes the only thing to do with a rule is to break it, break it right in half!

So, I thought it would be fun to start a new little blog series/category in which I take a “beauty rule” and I break it!!

Today, I’m breaking this one:

Some say…

“There are specific colors of shadow that should be used with each eye color.” 

Erroneous!!

Obviously, certain colors compliment other colors…but I believe that the way in which you apply the shadow has much more to do with the way you compliment your eye color than the actual color of the shadow does. So go ahead and buy every version of those silly Almay eye palettes…they all look good!

I took the purplest purples (rumor has it these are reserved for green eyes) and I put that shit all over my very blue eyes and you know what….I loved it!! 

Smokey Eye Makeup Look Purple

Purple Smokey Eye

I seriously love the way it turned out. I got so many compliments while I was out and about that day!

This would be the perfect look for all of the holiday parties coming up!!

Okay, what I used:

On the eyes:

Urban Decay Vice 3 Palette:
Start with applying “Truth” on your brow bone.
Apply “Last Sin” all over eye lid, into crease and up into brow bone.
Blend “Vanity” up into the crease of the eye and apply liberally on the outer corner of lid.
Take “Bondage” and blend it tightly into crease and outer lid. Carefully smudge it onto lower lash line.
Blend the heck out of everything using a blending brush or just a clean finger!

After my shadow was just where I wanted it I used a Revlon ColorBurst Matte Lip Balm to further smudge and blend under my eyes. I originally bought this in the color Shameless to wear on my lips…but when I found the color to be a bit off for me I discovered it works perfect to help create a purple smokey eye!

Next, I lined with Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide on Pencil in “Delinquent”

I blended the liner out using liner brush and “Blackheart” from the Naked 3 Palette. 

And of course I finished up with Benefit’s They’re Real! Mascara – You all can just go ahead and assume that it the mascara I’m always wearing unless told otherwise. Mostly because it’s freaking amazing!

On my face:

This is much more simple!

Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer Illuminating in Warm Radiance.
Nars Contour Blush for a quick highlight and contour.
Nars Blush in Orgasm – universally flattering! Everyone should have it!

I hope you love it and please email me with any other ideas for “beauty rules” you would like me to go ahead and break!! 

Well, it’s cold out. Like, really cold..and windy….and bedtime feels like 6 o’clock because the sun abandoned us at five.

What I’m trying to say is I’m already dreading winter.

On the bright side…a new season and new weather means a change in my beauty routine. Which means…an excuse to shop! 😉

So, if you’re wondering what to buy to make the transition into winter just a bit easier on your skin and look then you’re going to love this edition of “On My List.”

Fall Winter Beauty Must Haves

1. Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil
Preferably in one of their shades of dark red! It’s officially time to transition from glossed lips and pink shimmer to a much more bold lip. The Nars lip pencil doubles as a liner and lipstick but is moisturizing enough to keep lips healthy through the colder months!

2. Dior Cleansing Water
I’m a firm believed in washing my face both in the morning and at night. Unfortunately, with the dry, frigid air that accompanies this time of year scrubbing twice a day can cause dry, unhealthy skin. So, a few nights a week I like to swap out my nightly scrub with Dior Cleansing Water. A little bit on a kleenex gently removes the day’s makeup and grime and leaves your skin feeling soft and clean!

3. Nest Hand Lotion
It’s officially “wash your hands every chance you get so you don’t catch that nasty cold from your co-workers” season. If you’re going to be washing them all day and following up with lotion it might as well be a lotion that smells as divine as this one does. I love to carry one around in my purse!

4. Dry Bar Detox Dry Shampoo
Unless you want a dry, frizzy mess it is impossible to wash your hair every day. Which is why I try to skip a day by freshening up with my favorite dry shampoo!

5. Pursonic Humidifier
Unless you live in the jungle…I absolutely advise that you do not sleep without a humidifier this time of year. This one gives you plenty of control over your settings and offers both warm and cold moisture.

6. Josie Maran Argan Oil Serum
No matter how many days between washes your hair will always need a little extra moisture. This Argan oil is my favorite – just seems more workable than the others!

7. Philosophy Hope in a Jar
I’m going on year four of using this face moisturizer. I have been absolutely unable to find another one that moisturizes as well as this does…without feeling too heavy. I use it both morning at night this time of year!

8. Clinique Chubby Stick Baby Tint
The perfect balm to freshen up those bold lip colors throughout the day as well as adding some much needed moisturizer.

9. Hempz Original Moisturizer
For all over moisture this is my absolutely favorite. Smells like heaven! Repairs and moisturizes! Feels light and airy!

10. Julep Cuticle Oil
Even if you are one who gets regular manicures I would recommend dabbing on cuticle oil nightly! Again, with all of the hand washing we do during this season the cuticles get completely dried out and the hand lotion can only do so much!

What did I miss? What’s on your list?!

xo.
Hayley

The most common comment I get on my smokey eye makeup is…”I try and do something like that and I just look silly!”

I bet you don’t! We all spend so much time looking at ourselves in the mirror that sometimes when we try something a bit different than our usual look we think we look ridiculous…when someone else thinks you look great!

There are so many tutorials and tips on achieving the perfect smoky eye look! But…if you keep trying and you keep finding yourself less than impressed with the outcome…I’ve put together a list of the 5 most common ways we manage to ruin our smokey eye look! These come from personal experience!

Smokey Eye

1. Your brows are pulling a disappearing act.

Some of us have naturally dark, rich and perfectly shaped brows. Most of us don’t…which means…for all of you fair haired girls out there…you need to fill them in! I’m an outrageous believer of filling in the brows anytime (even when I am going out sans makeup I at least stop to give my brows a little color) but it is ridiculously important if you want to pull off a smokey eye. If you don’t fill those things in they will take a back seat to the heavy makeup look on your eye. That’s not good – we need our brows….I know I’m still having bad dreams about Kendall Jenner’s bleached brows.

Try: Anastasia Brow Genius Kit

2. Your lashes lack drama.

If you have long lashes…awesome. Curl those things and use a mascara like Benefit! They’re Real to give those things some life! If you don’t have the lash length…then apply some falsies. Your lashes are an extremely important aspect of the smokey eye – they add dimension and add texture to the look…dramatic, full eye lashes are key!

Try: Benefit, They’re Real! Mascara
Try: Urban Decay – Urban Lash

3. Your lip color is fighting to steal the show.

Very few people successfully pull off a bold eye and a bold lip simultaneously. I think I’ve successfully done this once (and I was never able to do it again!) If you’ve decided to give your eyes some smoky attention then its best to keep the lips subtle and glossy. This goes for blush as well – keep it soft!

Try: Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian
Try: Nars Blus in Orgasm

4. You’ve left a mess. 

It is almost impossible to apply a smokey eye without ending up with a little debris under the eye and on the face. If this isn’t properly cleaned up then you’ll be left with a dark circle, sunken eye look that reminisces the morning after a realllly long night. It’s best to do the eyes first, clean up the mess and then apply foundation and concealer on the face. Finish with the setting spray to make sure everything stays where it should!

Try: Urban Decay All Nighter Setting Spray

5. You’re holding back.

People have the misconception that they can’t pull off a smoky eye. This isn’t true. Everyone can pull off a smokey eye of some sort. Don’t hold back when applying the look…if you do, you’ll end up with a smokey eye which actually isn’t a smokey eye! And you won’t love it!!

Try: Too Faced Chocolate Bar Eye Palette

For those of you who hadn’t heard…2014 hasn’t been my easiest year. Like, at all.

Unfortunately, this blog suffered because of it. I spent a lot of time writing for myself…instead of everyone else…and I just never found much inspiration to post here.

I’ve missed it immensely. I’ve missed the chance to interact with my readers and my followers. I’ve missed reading your comments and your emails and your advice. This space makes me happy. So I want to come back to it. Permanently.

Everyone waits for January 1st to “start over”. I think that’s silly. I believe in starting over any damn time you want! 😉 So, I will.

I’m going to have a “blog relaunch” of sorts. I want this blog to be something different…maybe “different” is the wrong word…I want it to be something “more”. I want to share more of myself…not just the things I love (oh heyyy…all things makeup!). I want to write, really write – I want to affect people with my words. 

I won’t blab any longer…just expect a “new” blog and a “new” post October 6th!

Untitled

I’ve spent my entire life doing exactly what I am supposed to. Always what was expected of me.

My life was perfectly molded around the people I loved. My days began and ended with this thought: “what can I do today to make everyone around me as happy as possible?”

I’m hoping that most of you can see how unhealthy that sort of behavior is…I hope you can identify what was missing.

I never once asked myself:
“what can I do today to make sure I am as happy as possible?”

The day I started asking myself that question. Well, everything changed.

If you asked me exactly a year ago what my life would be like on this day – I would have been full of ideas and wishes and dreams. But, I can say with certainty, not one word of what that girl would have told you would have any relevance to what is actually happening, now, a year later.

For better or for worse I have changed more in the past year than in the previous 26 years combined.

Transition and growth and risk.

That has been my life as I know it.

And now – 1,000 miles away from a year ago I find myself feeling simultaneously full and broken. Scared and confident. Excited and hesitant. Loved and abandoned.

Found and yet, so completely lost. 

“It sounds like you’re finally living.” That was her response when I poured this all at her feet. “It sounds like you are finally taking charge of your life. This is healthy.”

It doesn’t feel healthy. Sitting here – hair wet and face clean – legs crossed for so long at this point I don’t think I can feel my feet. I sat down at this keyboard, hoping, that I could find solace in the one thing that has always been able to comfort me. Words. Black and white and tangible on a bright white screen. But, still, comfort and familiarity evade me.

I think that’s the point. I think that’s what she meant when she called this living.

I guess the reason for this post…the reason I felt compelled to put these thoughts into writing…is because maybe you’re scared too. Maybe you’re looking for the sort of bravery to really be in charge of your life. And maybe you’ll read this and you’ll believe in it – in living for yourself and for your dreams and for your wishes.

As summer slowly slips from our grasps we are getting ready to say goodbye (for now) to one of America’s most beloved traditions: Baseball.

I grew up smack dab in the middle of America…which meant that I had several MLB teams within driving distant to cheer on all summer. Unfortunately, I never truly embraced the tradition of baseball…so, I found my fandom dependent on whoever I was dating at the time. For some reason, the one team that seemed to stick with me was the Atlanta Braves.

So, as a way of honoring the end of baseball season I have put together my idea of the perfect game day ensemble. Beginning with my favorite team hat from Fanatics!!

braves hat look

Fanatics MLB Hat Style Challenge - Atlanta Braves
Hope you love it!

Type Logo BW

I’m coming out of blog hibernation to let my readers know something really exciting! One of my favorite beauty stores is opening a new store in Papillion, NE!

The Beauty Brands shopping experience is like none other! It’s aisles are filled with over 10,000 salon quality hair, nail and bath & body products as well as a huge selection of prestigious makeup products. To top it all off the store features a full service salon!

The store, located at 8920 S. 71st Plaza, will be celebrating with a Grand Opening this weekend May 30th-June 1st.

The weekend will feature several events and appearances, and offers shoppers chances to

win gift cards and take advantage of limited time gift-with-purchase offers and special savings.

Throughout the three day celebration, ambassadors from brands including Smashbox, Butter

London, Clarisonic, Essie, Laura Geller Beauty and more will be on hand for one-on-one

consultations, previews of new colors straight off the catwalks, demos of new techniques, trends

and treatments, and customized makeovers. Each day, the first 100 customers to visit Beauty

Brands will receive a $25 gift certificate. All who register for a Beauty Brands “Take 10

Rewards” card will receive a free 10 oz. Redken Pillow Proof Blowdry Spray, while supplies

last. Customers can also enjoy special savings of up to 70% on selected products, and 50% off

on any haircut in the salon.

I will be stopping by on Friday to check out the ultimate shopping experience and I can’t wait to share it with all of you.

After almost six years together…I still get outrageously excited for “date night”. Maybe it is because Andrew and I spend most nights apart (due to work schedules) or maybe it is because we have so much freaking fun together…all I know, is…I can’t get enough of that guy!

I think some of the fun of having a date night is the anticipation and the ritual of getting all dolled up! I make it my mission…after this many years together…to try and take his breath away every time I breeze down the stairs and announce, “I’m ready!”

I discovered a few years ago…that the “perfect” date night look…required a certain amount of balance and skill. Enough makeup to accentuate his favorite features…but not so much he had trouble recognizing me. Something cute and a little bit sexy….but not so trendy that it left him confused and not so sexy that it left him feeling protective and jealous. And finally, a few details that prove you actually listen to your significant other when he says he really likes that dress or that hairstyle.

It took a minute, but I finally have the “perfect date night look” ready to execute whenever Andrew and I make plans!

4  Quick Rules I Always Follow When Primping for Date Night:

1. Relaxed hair. Andrew loves when I curl my hair, he’s told me…but I have also paid attention to what he seems a little less fond of. Intricate up-do’s, stiff & hair-sprayed hair and tight pony tails usually don’t get much of a response out of him. Loose curls, messy pony tails and disheveled braids he can’t get enough off! 😉

2. Cute, flirty & comfortable. The fact of the matter is…your love most likely already thinks you’re adorable. There is no need to pull out ridiculous heels, tight skirts and uncomfortable dresses. As a matter of fact…nothing will put a damper on the night like wincing every time your shoes cut into your big toe (trust me, I’ve been there). So, your best bet is to wear something flattering, comfortable and a little bit flirty!

3. Just Say No To Lip Gloss. Listen, put the lipstick and the lip gloss away and save it for girls’ night out. When I’m heading out on a date night with Andrew I stick to chap-sticks, lip balm and usually just Vaseline! A guy wants to be able to lean in for an impromptu kiss without leaving with a sticky sweet mess of lip plumbing gloss all over his mouth.

4. Make An Entrance. Don’t let them watch you get ready!! Date night is sacred, you want to be able to “wow!” the love of your life. Even if you live together, kick their cute butt out of your bathroom and don’t let them see you again until you’re ready for the big reveal! It makes things so much more fun…and it helps keep those butterflies around as long as possible! 😉

Just in case you need a little outfit and makeup inspiration…this is my finished date night look! The best part about this post…Andrew did the photography. Which means lots of laughs and smiles!

The Absolutely Perfect Date Night Look

Spring Date Night

Summer Date Night

Summer Dress Date Night

Date Night Look 4