Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

I’ve become quite the make-up lover of the years. It’s fun to wear, allows me to change up my look and give me confidence. Because I enjoy experimenting, plus I can’t handle not trying the next “new” product, trust me when I say I’ve tried A LOT of products, from drug-store brands to higher-end cult classics. (Insert my wallet crying here). One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned from my product testing is when it’s worth splurging on a product rather than saving and vice versa, let me explain.
Save on Mascara |  To this day my two favorite mascaras are Covergirl’s Clump Crusher (retails for approx. $5) and Maybelline’s Great Lash (around $4). Now I’ve tried much more expensive mascaras, like Benefit’s They’re Real! (around $24) and honestly hated it. My lashes were a clumpy mess. Overall I’ve never found a mascara I’d consider paying more than a few bucks for.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges
Save on Brushes | I’m hard on my brushes and hate cleaning them. Plus I go through stages were I’d rather apply makeup with a beauty blender or my fingers, so I’d rather save my money. Typically I rotate between ELF brushes ($1-$3 per brush at Target) or a set of Sonia Kashuk brushes (roughly $25-30 for anywhere from 6-10 brushes). I’m not to proud to say I will stalk the clearance section, my current Kashuk set I scored on clearance for $10! Since I spend less I’m not as worried about caring for the brushes, cleaning them or getting upset when they fall in the toilet (this has happened).

Save on Lip Products | I’m beginning to think it’s impossible for me to leave Target without purchasing at least one new lip stick or gloss. I’ve been loving Revlon’s ColorStay Ultimate Liquid Lip in Ultimate Orchid ($9.39), it goes on a lot like a gloss but dries quickly ensuring my color stays put for hours. Out of curiosity I  recently purchased a NARS Velvet Matte Lip Pencil ($26 at Sephora) in Roman Holiday and was extremely disappointed. It wasn’t as pigmented as my Revlon nor did it last as long. For how often I enjoy switching up colors I’m not comfortable spending that much!

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Save on Eyeshadow | Back in the day I’d purchase the Covergirl Eye Enhancers (about $3.19 at Target) and end up with a pile of them in my make-up drawer. I got tired of searching through all those tiny palettes and decided to try the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette ($54 at Sephora), which I am obsessed with. Now I know that $54 is a good chunk of change so let me explain why I believe it’s a save. Each palette holds 12 colors, which breaks down to $4.50 a piece. Although this is more than one of my Covergirl Eye Enchancers, this palette lasts a least twice as long, wears better and has more pigmentation. I’ve purchased mine on March 16th, 2014 and I have used it almost everyday since, but am not even close to using up a single color. These are well worth the initial investment and in the end really is a save.
Splurge on Eyeliner | I love a good cat-eye but had trouble finding a lower-end brand that stayed put all day. I started to experiment with pricier liners like Benefit, and Kate Von D until I came upon Stila’s Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner ($20 at Sephora). I LOVE this stuff, it sets quickly and does what it says, it stays all day, even on my oily lids. I’ve personally never found a drug-store brand that can do that so for me –  it’s completely worth the splurge.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Splurge on Primer | Primer is probably the most important piece in my make-up arsenal. It helps to hide imperfections and pores, smooths the skin and most importantly keeps your make-up on your face, making it a worth a splurge in my book. I’m a huge fan of the Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer ($18-$74 at Sephora). The price is a bit outrageous and honestly more than I typically spend (even on a splurge) but it works plain and simple and for that reason alone I will continue to purchase it. It’s important to note that a little does go a long well so one tube will last me several months. I’ve tried supposed dupes of this product like NYX’s Angel Wear Skin Perfecting Primer ($15.99 at Ulta) but at least for my skin it doesn’t come close to the original.

Sweet Catastrophe Blog - Make-Up Saves & Splurges

Splurge on Foundation | I’ve been on a foundation hunt for months now, sometimes it feels like I’ve tried every single one out there! I’m not done searching but currently I am liking Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Light in Intensity 1.0 ($37 at Sephora) and CoverFx’s Natural Finish Oil Free Foundation in N30 ($40 at Sephora). Both wear well, look natural, last about five hours without changing color or compromising my coverage. Since my skin is oily, sensitive, AND acne-prone splurging here is a no-brainer for me. I need something that won’t bother my skin and stay put. I haven’t found a lower-end foundation that can do all of this, thus this is more of a splurge out of necessity.

The rest of the items I use on the daily like blush, eyebrow pencils, concealer and setting sprays/powders I tend to go back and forth on. Sometimes I splurge to try a new product or cult classic and other times I go the drug-store route, it depends on what’s working, how much money I have to spend and what I’m in the mood for.At the end of the day people can recommend brands till their red in the face but ultimately you have to find what works for you at a price point you’re comfortable with. There’s nothing wrong with saving versus splurging if you are happy with the product and how you look, but don’t be afraid to try new products (even those you think you won’t like). Purchase items at Ulta or Sephora, both allow you to return anything you don’t like.Make-up can be intimidating but it doesn’t have to be! If you aren’t happy with a product, even if it’s a cult classic that is all the rage, return it! Find something you love. It’s your money and your face!

How To Be A Good Spouse

I have been married a really long time – 9 whole months – so I know a ton about being married and what makes a good spouse, right?

Today, I want to talk about how you can be a good spouse.  It’s pretty easy, actually.  So why not take some of my very good advice?

How To Be A Good Spouse

Photo courtesy of Jason Hales Photography

To be a good spouse you need to:

  1. Cook all the time.  Never leave the kitchen.  Keep pumping out dinners, lunches, desserts…whatever your husband needs, you make.
  2. Clean all the time.  First of all, this will be hard since you will be cooking constantly.  But, you can find an extra hour somewhere and magically clean your entire house.  Yep – one hour for a whole house should be enough.  And do that daily.
  3. Find the time to iron your husband’s shirts perfectly.  Now, I know how to iron but I can not for the life of me iron a long sleeve button up shirt worth anything.  Jeremy actually irons them better – so he does that.
  4. Never buy yourself anything.  Don’t spend any money at all – ever.
  5. Only watch TV together.  There is no need to actually talk to each other because the TV tells us everything we ever need to know.
  6. Don’t read anything.  Who needs a fantasy land when you have the TV instead?  Isn’t it better to have something talk to you instead of having to read?  Yea, I thought so.

I think that is a pretty darn good list on how to be a good spouse.  Right?  What did I miss?

All kidding aside, I love being a spouse and I love my husband more today than the day we got married.  That’s something, right?

Also, spouse is a weird word spelled out.  Really weird.

If you can’t tell I’m joking then this might not be the post for you.

An Honest eShakti Review

eshakti-review

I love to shop.  I truly do.  I might even have an addiction that I just can’t quite shake.  But the thing about shopping is driving to a store, going through racks and racks of clothes, and hoping/praying something fits you the way you want it to.  Even if you shop online, the odds of something looking great on you aren’t necessarily the best.  More often than not, I return the majority of things that I buy online (I am now wondering why I even still shop online).

When I was contacted by eShakti, I was excited.  I had wanted to work with this company for a long time.  This company could completely change the way I felt about shopping for clothes.  No more stores.  No more lines.  No more returning because everything can be customized to you.  Not only will they take all of your measurements to make sure the dresses fit you to a tee, they let you add things like sleeves or extra length.  Completely customizable?  Yes, please!

When I was searching for my dress, I wanted something that I could wear to work or on a date.  I wanted something comfortable and something that had pockets.  I also wanted something a little bit more fit and flare instead of a sheath type of dress.

eshakti-review-2

I really wanted to love my dress.  I truly did.  But I actually hate it.  It doesn’t fit right (I look pregnant), and the bow in the front definitely does not look like the advertised picture.  The bust is too tight and I could have a good 2-3 inches taken in at the waist.  It’s way too big there.  I also think the length is a weird length.  I was thinking that I would get something slightly above the knee, but probably because of my height – I am 5’9 – they made it a bit longer.  I just think it’s awkward.

I’m also not a fan of the fabric.  It allows for any little bit of lint or cat hair (or human hair – I shed) to cling to it.  And it is all over this dress.  It also wrinkles really easily.  I was expecting a more comfortable fabric when I ordered it.

In their defense, my dress came incredibly fast.  The dress also has pockets, which is something I really wanted.  I love the pockets. Their customer service is great to work with, but I probably won’t be wearing this dress out on a date until I get some things fixed with it.

eshaki-review-1

As hard as it is to write a negative review, I have to be honest with myself and with you.  eShakti wanted an honest review, and honestly I am not in love with this dress.  I will probably order from them again – because they really do have so many cute dresses online – but I will be more intentional with what I am looking for and what dress I order (not one with a cheaply made bow).

I received these products for free in exchange for my honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Becoming Intentional With Blogging

Blogging has become such a huge part of my life.  I love it, but there are times where I feel like it’s too much work or life just gets in the way.  What I have learned is that blogging isn’t my job – it’s a hobby that I enjoy – so, if life gets in the way, it should.

Becoming Intentional With Blogging

Since I want to enjoy life and not be so consumed by my computer, I have decided to change things up a bit on this blog.  I have decided to only post 3 times a week.  I will be posting Mondays – Wednesdays – and Fridays from now on (unless there is a Between the Lines post scheduled).

Being able to cut back on the amount of posts that I am coming up with will lead to better content for you guys.

How is that possible?

Well, I won’t be scrambling to come up with a post idea the night before.  I will be scheduling everything at least a week ahead of time.  Since I will only be using up post ideas 3 times a week, I can concentrate more on the type of content that is presented.

I want to give you quality content each and every time I show up here.  There were times when I was posting 5 times a week that I knew I wasn’t giving my all to a post, but I felt pressure to post it anyways.  I am debunking the myth that we have to post 5 times a week to remain consistent.  Consistency doesn’t equal quantity.  Consistency just means showing up on the same day each week.

By scheduling my posts out a week in advance, this gives me the opportunity to have a draft ready for proofreading the night before.  I won’t have to be searching for a post idea, because it will already be there.  And I don’t have to stress about posting because I know what days I will be putting something out there.

All of this comes down to the way that I balance my blog and my full time job.  I also have a life, which I don’t feel I have been successful at right now.  Cutting back is going to help me get more energized to show up here every day.