1. Summer Beauty Standards

    It’s hot. Freakin’ hot. I ain’t complaining, though… I’m moving into this weather, so I better get used to it, yah? I love it. It’s wonderful. I’m not an Eskimo (yes, I’ve been asked this before)! Although I absolutely love the warm months, there are a few things I (and every other woman) worry about: 1. My rolls, cracks, and crevices are the size of the San Andreas fault, and with that comes sweating. My biggest fear is sitting for long periods of time, then standing up and having a giant sweat mark down my butt. #fatgirlproblems Yeah, you heard right. 2. Chub-rub. You know when your thighs rub together? Yup, that’s what I call it. You know that chaffing that happens? Yeah, it sucks. My solution? Vaseline! I’m not usually one to rub petroleum onto my body, but, when you come up with some natural/organic magic balm made from baby tears, you let this girl know. In the meantime, I’m going to rub that sticky Saudi-Arabian goodness in. So with all of this TMI going on, the last thing I should be worrying about is my makeup beading up and dripping/smearing off. I love me my MAC, but it has no place on me in 500,000% humidity. It’s a shame because I enjoy looking like a drag queen like the next chick, but it just doesn’t work out for me as I end up looking like Heath Ledger’s Joker after an hour. It’s taken me a long time, but I’ve finally found my go-to summer makeup regimen. 

    Before I show you my goods, here’s my bare-nekkid skin before anything was applied. Thankfully for both of us, my rosacea wasn’t all that bad the day I took these. 

    natural, no makeup, bare skin, rosacea, natural beauty.jpg

    And Now that you’ve seen what I look like in the morning, this is what I look like after my summer makeup regimen:

    minerals, bbcream, beauty balm, physicians formula, bronzer, lipstick, mascara, summer makeup, summer beauty, natural, natural makeup, natural beauty.jpg

    None of this is edited. I’m all about brightening my face and featuring my best assets: my eyes and lips. 

    Here’s what I use:

    physicians formula, bbcream, beauty balm, foundation, makeup, clean, healthy, loose minerals, minerals, bronzer, skinn pallet, mascara

    1. Physicians Formula Super BB All-In-One Beauty Balm Powder (at most major retailers and here) $13.95; This is my new favorite product I use as a foundation. It’s THE best BB anything I’ve ever used. The coverage is flawless and it doesn’t burn my skin. 

    2. Covergirl TruBlend mineral bronzer (at most major retailers; see more here)

    3. Skinn Cosmetic Palette of Perfection (purchase here) This little baby has everything you need (minus foundation). I have parts of this on my eyes and lips. 

    4. Maybelline Volum’ Express The Colossal Mascara (at most major retailers; see more here) I have a hard time wearing fake lashes because my eyes are the size of peanuts. This is the next best option. I’m always getting compliments on my lashes when I wear this. 

    So there you have it. And don’t forget that in addition to looking as beeeautiful as me, remember your confidence. It will make you stand out. 

    Talk to me, peeps! What’s going on with you? Do you suffer from chub rub, too? Comment belowwwwww.

  2. Beauty Review: Diorshow Mascara

    Most of my belongings are secondhand. I love the thought of that and am proud of it. However, there are, in fact, some things I will not go cheap on or get secondhand. Those would be products for my face, hair, and body. Yes, there are a few things I find alternatives for instead of paying an arm & leg (like here), but there are simply some products I love so much that actually work and I will thus make the investment. My face is worth the investment, right? Oh! I have also made the resolve to not go cheap on shoes anymore… but more of that in a later post. 

    I was sent (yes, sent, as in I didn’t pay for it) the Diorshow mascara recently for review. It’s marketed as “The Backstage Cult Favorite”. When I read that before trying it, I thought “yeah, yeah, whatever, yadda yadda yadda…” until I put it on. I kid you not, this is the best mascara I’ve ever blessed my lush lashes with. No clumping or runny eyes (yes, I have sensitive eyes and tear at anything) and it lasts ALL FLIPPING DAY. I’m such a believer in this mascara and the marketing couldn’t be more accurate. Ladies, I’m telling you, this a $25 cosmetic investment you will not regret!

    Me wearing Diorshow mascara. Look at those lashes!

  3. Not My Wonderland

    Have you ever heard a fat person use the expression that they’re fat because have a gland problem? Yeah? Well, that’s me. Except, I really do have a gland problem. Well, it’s more like a lack of a gland. You see, I don’t have a thyroid. No big deal, right? Wrong. Until you lose yours, you won’t realize the full effect of not having one or how traumatizing it can be. Granted, it’s not cancer, but mine could have turned out that way if I didn’t remove mine, so I was left with no choice at 16. I’ve never been skinny. I’ve always been a big, thick girl. I was a fat, adorable baby, and was a chubby, pretty little girl. All growing up, I had been made fun of for one reason or another, mostly because I had rolls and chubby red cheeks. I was a late-bloomer when it came to receiving positive attention from boys. I think 15/16 was when I really started getting attention. I was still chubby, but in really good shape, as I was deep into athletics, and just took care of myself. Insert thyroidectomy of November 2001. I gained almost 100 lbs in the first year. I changed nothing in the way I took care of myself. I was still in shape, but the weight kept stacking on. Fast-forward to the present, 11 years later, and I’m in the same situation. I’ve tried everything. I feel as if this disease (hypothyroidism) has caused me more problems than cured anything. 

    "Where is this coming from?" You may be asking yourself. Well, it’s coming from a dark place. This is just one of those things that makes me angry about myself. It’s not something I have much control over, so I can’t help but be mad about it. Most people have body issues, and I did before I had my thyroid removed, but they’ve just been escalated ever since.

    Do I think I’m beautiful? Yes.

    Do I think I’m worth someone’s love? Yes.

    Am I confident in me? Hell yes.

    Do I make the best of what I have? I try. 

    I’m just so uncomfortable in my own skin. Clothes don’t fit right. My gut sticks out. I have to wear shapewear half the time to make a somewhat decent silhouette. My knees hurt. Don’t even get me started on what my feet and joints feel like walking in heels. You think your feet hurt from strutting your under 200lbs self around all day? Try doing it with all this.

    It’s easy for people to say “if you don’t like yourself, do something about it,” when they’ve never walked in my shoes, in my body, through my struggles, with this disease. It’s not that easy. I take care of myself and am a pretty fit fat girl, so don’t come at me with that, bro. 

    I guess I have to just keep going, trying to make appropriate changes to find what works. Until then, you and I will just have to deal with the bulge.

    Top: TJMaxx $8; Skirt: JC Penney $12; Flats: Chinese Laundry via Goodwill $5; Sunglasses: Goodwill $4; Necklace & bracelets: Goodwill $1.99 each

  4. 5 Apps For Fashionista’s/Fashionisto’s

    I have far too many apps on my iPhone. Thank goodness I have a 32gig memory capacity for all my pics, music, apps, videos, docs, etc. Some apps get more use than others, especially Instagram and my analytics app. I am constantly looking for new things to try. Whether it be style, beauty, DIY, organization, or home decor, I need a constant feed of inspiration. You should see my Bloglovin’ feed! For inspiration on the go, I have found 5 apps that constantly keep me updated. These aren’t just for bloggers, they’re for the everyday person. Take a look…

    1. Pose (FREE)

    Pose is essentially like a personalized fashion magazine, for and from REAL people. Browse and even shop what people are wearing. You can select what’s tagged and shop for that item through multiple retailers, in just one app! 

    2. Chic Feed (FREE)

    Chic feed is similar to Pose, except only pictures from top tier bloggers such as The Sartorialist and sites like Lookbook are featured. Yes, it’s limited, but this is another place to find top styles, and the app is super easy and not complicated.

    3. Closet ($2.99 for Premium)

    Closet is a (you guessed it!) closet-organizing app. Take pics of your wardrobe (yes, it takes a long time, but it’s so worth it), organize it by type, mix and match pieces, and assign them to days in your calendar. Just make sure the clothes you pick for the day aren’t in your dirty clothes pile…

    4. Glamour Fast Beauty (FREE)

    This is my go-to app for makeup how-to’s. It’s full of great tips and tricks of the trade, complete with instructional vids, too.

    5. Pinterest

    You know I couldn’t exclude Pinterest from this. The Pin boom has overtaken the internet. Next to “Like” and “Tweet” buttons, you will surely find a “Pin It” button next to them. Heck, I have the Pin tool on every single capable electronic device I own. Pinterest has, well…you know…everything. If you want ONE SINGLE go-to inspirational source, use Pinterest, hands down. 

    If I’ve excluded an app you think I should know about, let me know!

  5. Don’t Buy That, Do This

    STOP WASTING YOUR MONEY!

    I’ve fallen victim of the beauty product scam many a time. It’s difficult not to give in to promises of everlasting beauty in a bottle for the price of your firstborn. If it’s expensive, it’s gotta be good, right? WRONG! News flash: It’s all the same, made in the same factories, in the same machines, from the same batches of product. The only difference is (most of the time) packaging and labeling. Example: Coveted beauty products such as Lancome, Kiehl’s, Skinceuticals, La Roche Posay, Pureology, Redken, and Matrix (just to name a few) are owned by the L’Oreal company. You know what else L’Oreal owns? “Common” beauty products such as Garnier, Maybelline NY, The Body Shop, and Essie. This is just one small fact I discovered when I worked in the skincare industry. If I’m going to drop a lot of $$$ on a beauty product, I do my research and make sure it’s a genuine product, or else I’m not buying. There are, however, some products I refuse to spend any money on as I’ve found easy alternatives that are (almost) just as good and don’t break the bank. 

    Makeup Setter:

                                  

    Instead of dropping $29 on a setter spray, put witch hazel in a small squirt bottle and spritz after applying your makeup. Witch hazel is not only a wonderful toner, but I use it daily to set my makeup and it lasts all day.

    Moisturizing Mask:

                              

    Sure, Z. Bigatti’s Restoration Dew Hydrating Mask soothes and makes your skin dewy-fresh, but so does a mask of raw, organic, clover honey. You literally wash your hands and face, slather on the honey, and leave it on for 15 minutes to 1 hour. 

                                         

    My skin is always dry, no matter the season, but lotion has always seems to be too much on hot, humid days. Instead I use extra virgin olive oil in my shower. I slather it on and rinse the excess off. My skin glows and stays perfectly moisturized throughout the day.

    Oil Blotters:

                 

    You think I’m kidding? The only so-called oil-blotters I’ve found to work without taking my makeup off are the really expensive kind. Until I discovered Keelex Viva paper towels. These bad boys are amazing. They pick up oil and sweat without sucking up my makeup. 

    Rough Skin Smoother:

                                  

    Rough elbows, knees, and/or heels? Rub a sliced lemon on it! It will soften the skin and lighten dark areas. You don’t need a whole bag, but you could make lemonade with the rest!

    BB Cream:

        

    I love me some Smashbox, but I can’t do their prices on a regular basis. BB cream is one of the best inventions for skin. You can buy a cheap BB cream at the drugstore, but that’s exactly what you’ll get… cheap. Make your own BB cream with products you already know and trust. Blend your go-to foundation, SPF moisturizer, and primer to make the perfect formula for your skin.

    There you have it! 

    PS- If you have a beauty alternative challenge, send it my way!


    {Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form discrediting L’Oréal, Urban Decay, Z. Biggati, Clinque, Glytone, or Smashbox products. By all means, buy them!}

  6. And A Happy Weekend To You!

    It’s going to be a scorcher! I have so much planned this and next weekend that I will try to post as much as I can. Terry and I have posted more to the Summer Wardrobe & Beauty Essentials Pinterest board to help you in your weekend adventures. 

    Click the photo. You know you want to. Do it. Doooo iiiiiit. Seriously, click the photo. 

    PLEAAAAASE be happy & safe!

  7. A Pinterest Board

    I’ve been a busy girl! I haven’t forgot about my peeps, though. I’m working on some DiY projects I hope to be posting shortly. 

    In the meantime, fellow blogger and confidant, Terry’s Two Cents, and I have been pinning away on the Summer Wardrobe & Beauty Essentials Pinterest board for all of you! Take a gander to aid in your quest to look and live fabulously this summer!

    Here’s a snippet: 

  8. Adventures On A Ferry Boat

    This weekend my Grandfather was released from the nursing home he’s been in since he suffered two heart attacks a little while back. I went to NY to celebrate and got a chance to snap some outfit pics while we were on the lake. 

    My hair is always all over the place!

    I just bought these lace-up Colin Stuart boots valued at $100 for $7.99 at (you guessed it!) Goodwill.

    Military chain top: Lane Bryant $10; Brown blazer: Borrowed; Jeggings: Target $15; Colin Stuart Boots: Goodwill $7.99; Wayfarer sunglasses: $3.98 Goodwill; Brass Charm Necklace: Goodwill $3.99; Earrings: Goodwill $1.00

    I LOVE the scuff marks on the inner part of the boots as they add to the ruggedness… as if I actually accomplished something in them ;-)

    Wait a sec…. I did accomplish something in them: Looking foxy as heck!

  9. {Why I Carry Red w Me at All Times}

Last-minute drinks with the girls? End of the workday and need to look a little more fresh to step out in the public arena? Emergency meeting?

Wear red lipstick! I carry Loréal’s Sunset Red with me at all times, because you just never know. I also carry a plethora of lip glosses with me to add shine. My fav is Mentha Lip Shine by CO Bigelow as its made with peppermint oil and is a quick breath-freshener. 

What effect does wearing red lipstick create? 
To others and yourself, it signals that you’re a true woman, proud of your femininity and confident. 

Okay, Aimée, does wearing red lipstick really make a difference? Look at my before and after pictures. Enough said.
    High Res

    {Why I Carry Red w Me at All Times}

    Last-minute drinks with the girls? End of the workday and need to look a little more fresh to step out in the public arena? Emergency meeting?

    Wear red lipstick! I carry Loréal’s Sunset Red with me at all times, because you just never know. I also carry a plethora of lip glosses with me to add shine. My fav is Mentha Lip Shine by CO Bigelow as its made with peppermint oil and is a quick breath-freshener.

    What effect does wearing red lipstick create?
    To others and yourself, it signals that you’re a true woman, proud of your femininity and confident.

    Okay, Aimée, does wearing red lipstick really make a difference? Look at my before and after pictures. Enough said.

  10. Comparison: Plus-Size vs. Runway

    OPINION: This is a subject matter that will always be debated. I’m not against a size 0 nor am I against a size 26. I’m more into what aesthetically pleasing. No matter what your size, you can look good in anything-you simply have to make adjustments because no body is the same. Work with what you’ve got! Every BODY is beautiful.

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