chronic style

Loved & Loathed Beauty & Style Products: April 2016

Loved & Loathed Beauty & Style Products - April 2016

 

It is that time to talk about some monthly beauty and style favorites (and not so favorites) I have discovered and/or loved during the month of April! A lot of these are new products but there are one or two old faithfuls that I just have to mention because they are just that good and you need them in your life!

Without further ado, here are my loved and loathed products of April:

Loved & Loathed Beauty & Style Products: April 2016

LOVED

1- Andrea Eye Q’s Eye Makeup CorrectorsI absolutely dig a wing liner but I am the first to admit that I am not always the best at it. I often use the tape method to try to get a straight wing but sometimes that doesn’t always do the trick so I am so glad that I stumbled across these at Rite Aid. They are basically pointed cotton swabs presoaked in eye makeup remover that make cleaning up makeup mistakes a breeze and your winged liner look effortless. I happened to catch them on clearance so you can bet that I grabbed every jar I saw (and maybe checked out another store or two (or three) to make sure there weren’t anymore to be stockpiled.

2- Bumble & Bumble BB Repair*: I love rocking my purple hair but in the process of achieving and maintaining purple hair, it can be rather harsh on my locks so this has been a life saver. It helps repair and protect my hair from heat styling and leaves my hair feeling soft and shiny. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about the product so I picked up the trial size but I will definitely be investing in the full size when I run out. A little goes a long way and it is definitely worth the investment.

3- Hard Candy Hydrating Primer Mist: I have really sensitive, dry, and often irritable skin. When my butterfly rash is in full effect, this primer mist is a perfect first step for helping add in some hydration and vitamins before putting on my makeup. I still use another primer with it but it does help my skin feel more refreshed and help my makeup go on much smoother. At only $8 a bottle, it is definitely a steal.

4- Oil Essentials Revitalize, Natural Beauty Oils: This beauty oil does it all. This one specifically is Evening Primrose Oil but the line has many different types. This one helps revitalize the skin by improving your complexion and restores moisture balance as well as delivering much needed nutrients to your hands, nails, and even your hair. This oil is packed with powerful Omega 3, 6 & 9 and Vitamins A and E. What I do is apply the oil to my hands at night and rub into my skin after washing my face and then whatever is left over on my hands, I run through the ends of my hair. It smells great and leaves my skin and hair feeling (and smelling) lush and healthy. Its one of those do it all products.

5- Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty: Minnie’s World In Color Eyeshadow Palette: I am a drugstore girl all the way but every one in a while a product catches my eye that is worth saving up for. Because my heart is made of pixie dust, I knew I had to have this collection from Sephora as soon as they announced it. Lucky for me, Ebates has started a new incentive when it comes time to collect your Big Fat Payment. Instead of being mailed a check or having funds sent to your paypal account, you can apply your funds to an e-gift card to a wide variety of stores and they will add an addition 10-15% on top of your payment. Lucky for me, Sephora happened to be one of those stores so I was able to treat myself to a couple of the items from the new Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty Collection. I will be honest that I was a little hesitant about the quality of the shadows when I first received it. The packaging is to die for but so many times with special collection palettes, the eyeshadow quality can be pretty pitiful but I was very pleasantly surprised and have been able to create a variety of beautiful looks using this palette. A perk of the packaging is that when you are done with the shadows, the mirror and palette pop out and you can use it as a case or clutch. Isn’t that just adorable?

6- Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty: Minnie’s Inner Glow Luminizing Blush: This was another item included in the limited edition Sephora Collection Disney Minnie collection but unfortunately it is no longer listed on the website (sad trombone). This is a beautiful peach luminizing powder and looks beautiful on pale princesses like myself. On darker skin tones, it would make a beautiful blush topper. It isn’t the smoothest highlighter out there but it is really pretty and again the packaging is swoon worthy and if you can tell in the bottom picture, there is a Minnie head in the powder itself.

7- Sephora Collection Disney Minnie Beauty: Perfect Red Lipstick*: Just as the title says, this is the perfect red lipstick. It is that perfect blue-red shade that makes your teeth look whiter and it is super creamy and oh-so-comfortable to wear. Matte lipsticks and liquid lipsticks are all the rage these days (don’t get me wrong, I love them too) but this is a refreshing shift and it is more of a creamy, satin finish. Originally, there was a little Minnie head on the top of the lipstick itself but I’ve been loving wearing it so it has started to wear away (sad face). Again, can we just say how cute the packaging is? I have since picked up two of the remaining items of the collection which is the eyeliner set and cream lip stain set so hopefully they will be as amazing as the rest of the collection and you may be seeing them in next month’s post! I know what makeup I’ll be packing for our trip to Disney in September!

8- Betsy Johnson Wing Tote Bag (similar): Betsy Johnson has always, always been one of my favorite designers. Some of her designs are pretty out there but my favorite are those classic styles with a twist. She’ll throw in a unique accent color or funky design element to give it something extra and give it some edge. I’ve recently lost a lot of weight and have been selling a lot of clothes, shoes, and accessories on Poshmark. I have been wanting a new handbag but I wanted to invest a little more into a bag that was well made and that I knew I could wear for a long time. Poshmark is a great place to shop for second hand clothes and accessories but you can also find items that are brand new and usually at a discount from what you would find in a retail store. When I spotted this purse, I knew it was the one. I saved my earnings and took the plunge and am in love. It is the perfect size. It holds everything I need without being ginormous. The colors of course are my signature colors and since the vast majority of my wardrobe is black, white, and gray, it goes with everything.

9- Viorica Studded Sandals by JustFab*: I am absolutely in love with these sandals. They are a perfect summer staple yet the studs give them that something extra. These sandals can take the most basic outfit and add that bit of edge that I am always looking for. If it has studs or spikes, I am all over it. I am that proud YPW that loves purple hair, tattoos, and spikes. And you know what, Jesus loves me anyway 🙂

10- NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk*: Spring and summer is the time to break out bright eye colors and if you really want to make them pop, NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk should be a staple in your collection. It is so unbelievably affordable especially when you count in sales and coupons. It makes a perfect eyeshadow base and since it is in pencil form, it is quick and easy to use. These eye pencils come in a variety of colors which would all work well as bases or quick all over color on their own. Of course, they can be used as liners as well. If you need your eyes to look more awake (come on, we’re spoonies – of course we need to look more awake), you can line your bottom waterline for an instant boost.

11- Physicians Formula Eye Booster 2-in-1 Lash Boosting Eyeliner + Serum, Ultra Black*: This is one of those oldies but goodies I mentioned at the beginning of the post. I am sure that I have mentioned it before but this is seriously the best eyeliner out there. If you struggle doing winged eyeliner, you need to try this. I can’t speak for the whole “lash boosting” properties, but the tip of this eyeliner makes it so easy to create a thin or thick wing and the formula is amazing. The important thing is to make sure you get the Ultra Black. The regular black is terrible. The Ultra Black is where its at. I have tried other eyeliners and always come back to this one. You can almost always find it on sale and can also stack coupons. I always, always keep a back up on hand.

12 – NYX Tinted Eyebrow Mascara*: Your girl here has some wild eyebrows and this tinted eyebrow gel from NYX has been a life saver. It works great after I’ve taken the time to fill in my eyebrows using a pencil or powder but because it is tinted, I can also use it in a pinch if I am in a hurry and need to get out of the door quickly. I may not wear a full face of makeup every time I leave the house but I almost always at least throw on a quick coat of mascara, tame the brows, and add a quick swipe of lip balm. This is super affordable and comes in a variety of colors to suit every hair color. Maybe not purple but the deep brown gets the job done 🙂

13 – L’Oreal Paris Stylist Definer Brow Liner*: This is my newly found brow pencil love. I have some wild eyebrows but of course they aren’t even and sparse in some places and this pencil makes it super easy to fill them in and look natural. No sharpie brows for me please. Many eyebrow pencils I have tried are either really dry or pull really warm/red which is definitely not a look I am going for. The pencil itself is small, creamy, and retractable (yay for no sharpening!) and I love that there is a spoolie on the end. Many have compared it to the Anastasia Brow Wiz which I have not tried because I just cannot make myself pay $22 for an eyebrow pencil. Maybe if it had Minnie Mouse on it (LOL) but I will stick with this one. I give it two thumbs up!

14- Maybelline NY Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Circle Treatment Concealer, BrightenerRaise your hand if you live in a constant state of not enough sleep and circles under your eyes dark enough that it looks like you’ve been punched? *Both hands raised If you have checked out any beauty stores lately or watch any beauty youtube channels, you have already learned that the makeup industry has gone color correcting crazy. Every color of the rainbow does something different and I’m game for playing paint by number on my face if it means that I don’t look as sick as I feel. This concealer is another oldie but goodie and had the whole color correction game won for quite some time. This concealer is a light pink-peach and is perfect for correcting dark under-eye circles. I add a little of this concealer to the inner portion of my under eye and then add a fair concealer in a small triangle under my eyes and between the two, magic happens. This is another product that I always keep a back up on hand.

15- BH Cosmetics Smooth Canvas Long Wear Eye Shadow Primer: These little pots contain magic. I compare them to mixing a concealer with a traditional eyeshadow primer. They completely cover any redness or veins on the eyelids creating a perfect canvas for your eyeshadow. They remind me a lot of the MAC paint pots I have heard so much about (but have not tried). I like using my NYX Jumbo Pencil in Milk if I am doing a really colorful look but prefer to use this when I am doing a more neutral look. They help the eyeshadows apply smoothly without creasing. I will even grab one to cover my eyelids if I’m in a hurry just to cancel out any redness and appear a little more put together. They come in four different colors but my favorite is Malt. It seems to work the best with my complexion. The only bummer is that they have to be ordered online but they are almost always on sale and BH Cosmetics usually has a high cash back percentage through Ebates. Every penny counts!

 

LOATHED

I actually have a few unfavorites this month! One is a true loath, one is more of a “meh,” and the other is more of a frustration.

16- Rimmel Super Curler Mascara: I hate this mascara. Hate it. It is super thick, wet, and clumpy. It makes your lashes stick together so it looks like you have 4 thick, gooey lashes so between your two eyes, you look like a spider. Not a cute look. I have no idea why they call it Super Curler because it did nothing to curl my lashes. I even tried wiping off the wand and then trying to apply. It was a no go. Off to the trash can it goes. I don’t think I have every found a Rimmel mascara that I have actually liked. I think I’ll stick with the ones I know that work.

17- Makeup Revolution Ultra Contour Palette: I am going to preface this by saying that I am a huge fan of the Makeup Revolution brand. Their blushes are beautiful and their highlighters, oh their highlighters, are absolutely stunning. This palette, however, left much to be desired. It wasn’t horrible but it wasn’t up to par in my opinion. The pigmentation wasn’t that great and the contour colors were too warm for my complexion. This is coming from a cool toned, ultra pale princess so for those that aren’t Casper and are warm toned, you may actually like this palette. It just wasn’t for me which is why it fell into the “meh” category.

18- Bumble & Bumble BB Does It All Styling Spray: This is another Bumble & Bumble product I picked up in the trial size to try it out as I’m looking for new styling products for my hair since it is now the longest it has been in years. Like over ten years. I’ve been rocking short hair for a long time. That being said, I’m glad I picked up the trial size. Its not a bad product. It does a good job at styling my hair and keeping it in place without having that crunchy feeling that makes me want to shudder. The problem is the smell. Holy moly. It smells SO bad. Thankfully the smell fades but it gives me a headache just spraying it over my head for 10 seconds. I’m trying to decide whether to pass it along or just hold onto it for travel. Even though its just the trial size, its still definitely too much money to pitch in the trash. Why couldn’t they make it smell better?! Ugh. First world problems at its best.

 

If you are still with me, congratulations, you have made it through this edition of Loved & Loathed! You deserve a cookie and a ribbon for making it through! Next month, I’ll try to keep it down! I missed March so there were more products than usual.

Now, that I’ve showed you mine, now you need to show me yours! What beauty and style products have you been loving or loathing lately?

 

Disclosure: All links marked with an * indicate affiliate links

chronic illness

Stalemate: When Life With Chronic Illness Gets Put On Hold

Stalemate: When Life With Chronic Illness Gets Put On Hold

There comes a point in your life with chronic illness where you feel like you are going no where. There are opinions. LOTS of opinions but no where to go. No way to move forward. I’m not a huge chess player but I can’t help but think of this point in my life as a stalemate.

Definion of Stalemate (per Merriam Webster):

: a contest, dispute, competition, etc., in which neither side can gain an advantage or win

: a situation in chess in which a player cannot successfully move any of the pieces and neither player can win

This is honestly where I feel like I am in my life. I have a team of doctors (neurologist, rheumatologist, gynecologist, gastroenterologist, pain management specialist, and general surgeon) and at this point it feels like they are all just pointing fingers at who should be in charge of what. Honestly, it feels like they are just pointing fingers at whose fault it is. The one thing they all agree on is that I am in need of surgery but I am considered too high risk to go in preemptively so they just want to wait until something goes wrong (another total bowel obstruction is the most likely).

There is nothing worse than waiting.

I am currently waiting for our Disney vacation (123 days to go!) which is gut wrenching because I love Disney so much but at least I know at the end of 123 days, I will be on a plane headed south to visit The Mouse and have a week full of fun and family.

When you are waiting for something to go wrong, there is nothing exciting about that. My first total bowel obstruction experience was scary enough without knowing that it was coming and of course, the life changing experience I had in February, I never want to go through again. So right now, I have no idea what to expect.

We are at a stalemate. I feel like there is no win in this situation.

We have known for sometime that adhesions have been affecting my bowel but recently, I have been having a lot of issues with my bladder. The pain can take my breath away. I did see my PCP and I do not have a bladder infection or UTI so those are two causes crossed off this list. Two of concerns at the top of my list are bladder prolapse (which is common post-hysterectomy and I have a family history) or the adhesions have spread and now my bladder is involved. I’m not sure which one would be better.

I see my endo doctor June 8th and part of me wants to get on my knees and beg that she does surgery. Risks be darned but I need my life back. I know I will always have a life with chronic illness but there needs to also be a quality of life.

I NEED A LIFE.

MY LIFE.

Am I absolutely crazy to beg for a surgery? I know the risks. There are a lot of them. I am not going to play that down. But at what point do the possible benefits from surgery outweigh the risks?

The last general surgery I saw said that the chances of anyone ever being able to do anything laparoscopically are slime because of scar tissue. She said that by just by feeling my scar from my vertical obstruction incision (which honestly feels like a rope) that any adhesions would likely be dense. When I have my gallbladder removed last summer, they could not even use my belly button for the laparoscope because it has been used too many times. My poor belly button.

Maybe we’ll get lucky. Miracles happen right?

All I know is that something has to give. Something has to change. We know there is a problem and I’m tired of feeling like a ticking time bomb. I’m tired of constantly being at a stalemate. Its time to make a move.

Have you ever felt like you were at a stalemate? Who made the first move?

bloggingchronic illness

Regrouping: A Quick Life & Blog Update

A Quick Life & Blog Update

Before I give you a few blog updates, I just wanted to share a quick story I posted on my personal Facebook wall yesterday:

I had an interesting experience of Walmart of all places today. As many of you know, I spend the majority of my day house-bound if not bed-bound. This has been a little better week so today, I was able to leave the house for the second time this week (look out world!). As I was getting ready to check out, I noticed an older lady behind me with her cane in her cart and she just looked tired. I told her to go ahead of me and she just looked so relieved. As she unloaded her cart of TV dinners and various types of juice, she proceeded to tell me that she had finally had someone come over to sit with her husband who has severe Alzheimer’s and dementia but only had a short amount of time. As she unloaded her cart, she said that she was no longer able to cook full meals like she would like because she’s afraid of leaving the stove plugged in as she’s afraid her husband would turn it on and cause damage. She was constantly worried about him running off or getting himself hurt. You could tell that it had been quite some time since she had had any time for herself. It broke my heart. As she was checking out, I overheard her talking to the cashier. She told a little bit of what was going on and how she was so thankful that I had allowed her to go ahead of me in line and how much it helped her. She said there were so few nice and courteous people left in the world any more and how thankful, blessed, and overcome with gratitude she was. All because I let her go in front of me in line at Walmart. My hips were throbbing and I was in so much pain but something in my heart told me that she needed to go before me. Once she told me her story, it took everything I had not to break down. The most simple thing can make the biggest impact in someone else’s day. I’m not sharing this as a pat on the back to me but as a reminder to myself to do it more often. You never know how much a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day (or life).

It was definitely a very powerful and moving experience. One of those types of experiences where you feel like you need to take your shoes off because you are standing on sacred ground. God gave me such a powerful reminder today that life is so much bigger than me and even when I feel like I am drowning in my own problems, there are always people suffering more than I am. My husband came sympathize with her more than I can on the struggles of being a caregiver but before she left the store, I just wanted to chase her down and give her a huge hug. Then I realized she may have thought I was some kind of major creepo. Maybe I should have done it anyway. Sometimes its the most simple things that are the most important.

With that being said, I wanted to post a quick life and blog update. I really want to get back to the roots of A New Kind of Normal. I thought last year was hard but this year has proved to be even worse and I have felt so lost. I felt like I have just wandered in circles. I’ve tried to come back to posting but each time I’ve done so without a plan in mind so in all of my posts, its apparent that I am just wandering in circles and that is SO not what I want for this space. I want A New Kind of Normal to be a place of inspiration, encouragement, support, and most of all empowerment but in order for that to happen, I first need to feel inspired, encouraged, and empowered.

I am going to take the next week and a half off from blogging in order to get myself organized and my content structured so that this blog can go back to being what it was made to be. I am going to be reading, researching, and finally putting all those blogging boards on Pinterest to good use! I am also in the process of renovating our office/guest room/beauty room so I will have a space where I can truly feel inspired so that also has me really excited! There will definitely be a big reveal when everything is ready!

Things here at A New Kind of Normal will kick back up in May. Sharing Our Spoons will be starting up again so May 3rd will be the first post where we can share our goals for the month. Check-ins will take place the first Tuesday of every month as a way that we can support one another to be the healthiest versions of ourselves possible on all fronts. I am also restarting sharing the stories of our fellow spoonie warriors as a part of Sharing Our Spoons which will be featured once a month so if you are interested in being interviewed and sharing your story, please shoot me an email!

My goals are to post four times a week with Tuesdays being directly chronic illness/health related; Wednesdays will be Chronic Style days; Thursdays will be geared more towards home and family life; and Fridays will be focused on faith and emotional health. As you can see, I really want to hone in on this idea of holistic health and taking care of ourselves as a whole. When you are chronically ill, so many times there is always the bulk of focus placed on our physical health when there is so much more to us than that. I want A New Kind of Normal to become a thriving community of the most bold and vivacious spoonies anyone have ever met.

I am excited and already feeling empowered just by writing this post and I am hoping that you understand and that you too will feel excited and empowered about what is coming ahead. While I will not be posting here until the first of May, I can still be found on social media (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).

I am now also on Snapchat (@anewjamee) but I am still trying to get that one figured out! If you have any tips on getting the hang of it, please let me know! And friend me:

Snapcode for ANewJamee - Snapchat

 

I hope this post finds you all doing well! In the next few weeks, if there is anything that I can be praying for  you about or helping you with, please let me know! We can become stronger, inspired, and empowered together! I love you all and I truly mean that!

chronic style

Spring Style Look Book

Disclaimer: This post is done in collaboration with Firmoo.com. I have worked with them before and I adore their products. I received a coupon code for a free pair of frames but I purchased the lens as well as the addition two pair of glasses featured in this look book with my own money. As someone who wears glasses regularly, I want comfortable and stylish glasses but I don’t want to pay a fortune so Firmoo is the answer. As you know, transparency is my highest priority and I would never support and write about a brand that I was not 100% in love with. Now that that is out of the way, on to the fun stuff!

Spring Style Look Book 2016

Spring is here finally and warm weather is upon us! Thank the Lord! It is getting warmer but there is still some cooler temps. You know where is cool in the morning, hot in the afternoon, and then cool again so layers are a must around my area so I tried to incorporate that into a lot of these looks.

Work Look:

Edgy Work Look For Spring

Outfit Details:

Pantsuit – Cato Fashions

Heels – Poshmark

Blazer – Forever 21 (similar)

Necklace – Cato Fashions

Clutch – Bongo Clutch from Kmart

Sunglasses – Firmoo

 

Date Night:

Edgy Date Night Look for Spring 2016

Outfit details:

Jacket – Bongo Moto Jacket from Kmart

Tank: Mossimo Swing Fit Tank from Target

Skinny Jeans – Old Navy Rockstar Jeggings

Shoes – Poshmark

Handbag – Aliexpress

Glasses – Firmoo

Casual Weekend Looks:

Casual Weekend Look for Lipstick Lovers

Lipstick Lovers Unite

Outfit Details:

Top: Lipstick Addict Top from Jane.com

Jeans: Old Navy Rockstar Skinny Jeans

Shoes: JustFab Carmella Sneakers

Glasses: Firmoo

Necklace: Made just for me by FFJ Creations! I am so in love it says “Live Boldly”

Lipstick & Compact: Sephora Disney Minnie Mouse Collection

Spring Weekend Look 2016

Outfit Details:

Top: Marshalls (similar)

Shorts: Old Navy Boyfriend Shorts

Sandals: Boss Sandals by Blowfish

Necklace: FJJCreations

Casual Weekend Outfit for Spring 2016

Outfit Details:

Top: Old Navy Layered Tank

Short: Old Navy Boyfriend Shorts

Sandals: Viorica Sandals by JustFab

I have to say that I am in love with all of these outfits! They are all so comfortable and most importantly I feel like they are all very ME. I finally feel like I’m coming into my own and figuring out my own style. My husband just shook his head at the “Black Is My Happy Color” tank but its so true! I love the color black and that doesn’t mean I’m a creepo. Black lovers unite! The most important thing I learned by putting together these outfits is that accessories make all the difference in the world! You can take a super comfy and basic outfit but add a few accessories and BAM! You’ve got the perfect outfit! Jeans and t-shirts are my style default but I’m learning to use that foundation and take it up a notch. For example, the last outfit: those studded sandals are everything. I could easily throw on flip flops and be completely beach ready but by adding the studded sandals and some spiky bracelets, it gives it a much different vibe. I am totally digging all of the shoes in these outfits. The white sneakers from JustFab* with the silver sequins on the heels are life!

I am also learning I can use my glasses to add spunk to my outfits as well (both regular eyeglasses and sunglasses). Normally I wear contacts the majority of the time but since discovering Firmoo*, I’ve been able to find stylish glasses that add spunk to my outfits and because their glasses are ridiculously affordable, I can own more than one pair so I can mix and match with my outfits.

So here are my quick spring shopping tips:

1- If you are shopping online, always, ALWAYS use Ebates*. You are crazy if you don’t. You get cash back just from shopping online and there is now a browser plugin so you can earn cash without even thinking about it. Hello?! Who doesn’t want free money? Almost all of my favorite stores use Ebates and since being a spoonie means a lot of online shopping, I figure I might as well earn some cash back while I’m at it.

2- Basic pieces are important to every wardrobe but its important to find certain pieces that really speak t you. Whether you stick to basic clothing items and focus on unique accessories such as shoes and jewelry, that’s awesome but its important to really feel like you and feel confident and spunky when you get dressed. Affordable ways to find these unique pieces include shopping stores like Marshalls or Ross where you can find higher end pieces at a lower price, hitting up thrift stores, or shopping sites like Poshmark. I adore Poshmark. You can find a lot of NWT items but there are a lot of second hand listings as well so it is a great place to find some great deals on second hand items (I sell on there as well! You can find my closet here!)

There are a few of my favorite looks for spring and a few quick shopping tips! What are yours? What are your must have items for spring?

Disclaimer: Again, this post was a collaboration with Firmoo.com and while I received one pair of frames free to facilitate a review, I purchased all other glasses on my own (as others that are not featured in this post) and all opinions are 100% my own. Thanks to the generosity of Firmoo, they have provided a discount code “ANEWKIND2” which will cover a complete pair of eyeglasses from this selection of glasses for the first 10 users and is valid through April 20, 2016! Shipping and handling are extra and you must be a first time customer but that is amazing and thank you so, so much Firmoo! As another side note, any link marked with an * throughout this post indicates an affiliate link. All about transparency here y’all. 

chronic style

Loved & Loathed Beauty Products: March 2016

Loved & Loathed Beauty Products: What I've Been Loving (& Loathing) in March 2016

It is so hard to believe that the month of March is already over which means its beauty favorites time! This month seemed to have flown by! Of course, when you’re bed-bound 80% of the time as I have been the last several months, its easy to lose track of time. Lately, doctors appointments are what have helped me keep track of days. So, so sad. Hopefully that is changing soon. Fingers crossed. Power of positive thinking. Game on!

That being said, I don’t have a HUGE amount of products to share with you this month and there are ZERO loathes but I just hauled a bunch of new products so the April installment may be completely different! I did want to share with you a few amazing beauty favorites that have totally rocked my socks off this month.

Loved & Loathed Beauty Products: What I've been loving (& loathing) in March 2016

1. Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Cream Bronzer

I have heard tons about this product on YouTube and finally bit the bullet and gave it a try. I was a little leery as I’m not too great with cream bronzer/contour products but this one was so easy to use! I got it in the shade Rich Bronze which is the darker of the two shades which may seem surprising considering I’m an uber pale princess but the Rick Bronze shade was more cool toned so it made for a more natural contour and went along better with my skin tone. I picked it up at Target for $10.99 and supposedly it is a dupe for the Chanel Soleil Tan De Chanel Bronzing Makeup with a whopping $50 price tag. I think I’ll stick with Sonia Kashuk!

2. L’Oreal Infallible Makeup Extending Setting Spray

When  you deal with hot flashes, makeup setting spray is a must. Not only are setting sprays supposed to help keep your makeup in place, they often help bring a nice, finished look to the face by mattifying the skin or giving it a dewy or radiant finish. I have tried many different setting sprays and this is most definitely one of my favorites. It is $16.99 which seems pricey for the drugstore but you can catch it on sale (especially at Ulta where they often run BOGO 50% Off sales plus a store coupon for $3.50 off a $10 purchase and if you shop online, you can also earn cash back through Ebates*). Definitely recommend checking it out as warm weather starts to move in (yay!)

3. NYX Color Correcting Liquid Primer (Blue)

I have tried a lot of primers (A LOT) of all varieties and this one definitely tops my list. This line of primers has different shades to do different color correcting tasks. The blue shade helps to add radiance to fair/light skin. Because I have been so sick and lost so much weight, my skin has been looking extra pasty and dull and this primer helps to even out my skin tone and give a beautiful, healthy glow to my skin. It makes my skin feel so smooth and helps my foundation go on like a dream. Definitely worth the $13.99 but again, be sure to shop the sales!

4. Make Up For Ever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Stick (115)

This is the only non-drugstore item (plus the matching powder) that you will find on this list. I am a drugstore girl through and through but I had heard so many amazing things about this foundation that I saved up and gave it a whirl. They were not lying. It is the best foundation I have ever tried. It goes on so easy and evens out my skin like a dream. The coverage is perfect and it feels like you are wearing nothing. I apply this with my oval face brush (#11) and I can have my face done in less than a minute. Plus it is actually light enough and pink enough to match my skin tone perfectly which is so easy feat. At $43, it is definitely an investment but worth it in my opinion. My best advice is to shop Sephora through Ebates* so you can earn cash back (and its even better when its a double cash back day!)

5. Make Up For Ever Pro Finish Multi-Use Powder (110 Pink Porclain)

This is my perfect finishing powder. It sets my foundation and adds a touch of coverage without becoming too cakey or powdery. I also love that it is so cool toned and pink. I have a problem with a lot of foundations and powders oxidizing on my skin so I end up orange looking by the end of the day but this powder is perfect and the perfect match to the MUFE Cover Stick. Definitely a match made in heaven!

6. Z Palettes (Large)

I have absolutely fallen in love with Z Palettes. They make storing your makeup so much easier! You de-pot your product from its original packaging and using magnets, store your products in a palette. You can use these for eyeshadows, blushes, bronzers, highlights, etc. It makes everything much more streamline. You can store like items in each palette or you can create a custom palette for when you travel of specific blushes, shadows, etc that you want to take. I happened to pick up two of the limited edition lipstick prints before they went out of stock but they have a lot of different color and size options. If you hate having to dig to find specific products, you may want to check these out!

7. Wet N Wild Color Icon Ombre Blushes

When it comes to looking for affordable (and quality) makeup, Wet N Wild is a great place to start. You would think because of the prices that the products would be terrible but while I’ll be honest, there are a few duds here and there, there are tons of hidden gems. These blushes are gems. They are beautifully pigmented, especially if you are fair skinned. If you have a deep skin tone, these may or may not show up well on your skin. They bring a radiance to your skin without being glittery. I have all three shades – top row: In A Purple Haze, Mai Tai Buy You A Drink; bottom row: The Princess Daiquiris. These blushes are well worth $4.99!

8. Makeup Revolution Beyond Radiance Palette

Makeup Revolution is a UK brand that has recently made its way into the US at Ulta and they have some amazing face products. Their highlights are to die for so when I found out that they had them in palette form, I jumped on it quick. These three highlight shades are gorgeous, the packaging is nice and sturdy, and it comes with a large mirror which is perfect for travel. This is definitely a prized piece in my makeup collection! The palette is $15 but like the rest of the drugstore beauty brands, sales at Ulta are frequent and you can always use the coupon!

9. ELF Total Face Palette

This is such a handy (and beautiful!) palette to have in your collection, especially for travel. It contains two blushes, a bronzer, and a highlight shade in a beautiful, silver compact. For only $8, its a no brainer. If you see it, grab it!

10. BH Cosmetics Studio Pro Beauty Sponge

I love using makeup sponges to apply foundation and concealer. Up to now, I have been faithful to my Real Techniques Miracle Sponge (which is still absolutely amazing) but I recently discovered the BH Cosmetics Sponge and oh my goodness, it is amazing. It works flawlessly to blend in concealer underneath my eyes with no creasing or getting cakey. It becomes so super soft when damp that it can make the heaviness foundation buff in like a dream. I still have my RT sponge but I’m not sure I’ll be going back. Shhhh! Don’t tell!

11. Oval Face Foundation Brush

If you watch any YouTube beauty videos, you may have seen a new brush start to make an appearance. Its a large oval face brush and the original brush is by the brand Artis and comes with a $65 price tag. OUCH. I feel faint just thinking about paying that much for ONE brush. I will admit that I was intrigued by the look of the brush but a certain hot place would have to freeze over before I would ever, EVER consider spending that kind of money on a makeup brush so when I came across a similar style brush on Aliexpress for $10, I jumped on it and I am so glad I did. It makes blending in foundation easy and quick. This brush + my MUFE Cover Stick = my foundation dream team.

Those are all of my favorite beauty products for the month! Like I mentioned earlier, I have recently hauled a lot of new products from some brands I’m just discovering so hopefully I will have a lot more products to share in April! Some may be loves and some may not turn out so well! I also hope that along with April showers, comes a more consistent posting schedule and a lot more fun! As far as the Chronic Style series goes, I will start sharing more product review, highlight affordable makeup brands that you may not know about, and hopefully add in some tutorials as well! I am beyond ready to get myself put back together and regain some sense of structure so I am excited for a new month which means lots of new opportunities! Yay!

What are some of your beauty favorites or style favorites lately? What should I be checking out?

 

Disclaimer: All of these products were purchased with my own money and all opinions are 100% my own. Links marked with an * indicate a referral link

chronic illness

Putting Myself Back Together: My Journey To Becoming Whole Again With Chronic Illness

Putting Myself Back Together: My Journey To Becoming Whole Again

My apologies from being absent from . . . well . . . everywhere. Since my last trip to the hospital, I have struggled. I feel like I have been treading water just to stay afloat. I’ve wanted to move forward but found myself stuck in the same place.

I’m still really struggling health-wise. I’m still losing weight and not able to eat. My rheumatologist is really worried because I’ve lost a lot of muscle. My joints are ok for the time being but my muscles are in rough shape. I am starting back on Savella so hopefully that will help bring my pain down enough to at least being able to do some exercise to bring back some muscle tone. Fingers crossed that I will have as good of luck this time around on Savella as I did before.

I am also in the process of looking for a counselor to work on my anxiety. Before my last trip to the hospital, I lived in fear of another bowel obstruction but now I also worry about having a repeat performance. I got lucky last time with John coming in when he did but what if next time I’m not as lucky? I know that I can’t live like this. Its not good for me and its not good for my family.

I want to feel whole again so instead of focusing on just my physical health, I want to work on my holistic health. Body, mind, and spirit. I am going back to setting goals like we did for Sharing Our Spoons and sharing them monthly. I would love to have some of you join me and we can walk this journey together!

Thank you so much for all of your continued support and encouragement. It means more than words can explain!