Thursday, October 23, 2014

Baby Broadcast: 1 Month with Belle!

Hi everyone!
Thanks for stopping by the blog! I wanted to take a minute to document some of my observations after the first month of having a newborn in my life. Can you believe Belle is already a month old?! Disclaimer: if you landed on this post looking for a parenting expert- you are not in the right place! Before Belle, I had very little experience with babies. I could probably count the amount of diapers I'd changed on one hand! So that might make some of these observations extra amusing to those of you who've been in the parenting game for a long time! I'm just sharing our experiences. I'm planning to do some vlogs on more specific topics (like breastfeeding, products we love, working at home + baby, anything else you want to see?), but for now- I thought you might find these bullet points entertaining! 

  • My most-worn hairdo: hair clipped up in a bun. Even if you see my hair down in a video, it's not usually staying that way for long. 
  • Outfit priorities: comfort & ease of breastfeeding.
  • If someone asks if the reason I look rested in pictures is because I have an "easy baby", it's not. It's makeup! My stash of concealer is plentiful and very full coverage. 
  • In addition- my "new mommy glow" is also makeup.
  • Any guesses as to what created the pregnancy glow?
  • I'm obsessed with the length/thickness of my newborn's eyelashes.
  • They say babies love studying your face, but I'm convinced that Belle is especially entertained by my funny faces when I'm wearing a bright or dark lipstick. I suppose she's able to pick up on the contrast more.  She's mesmerized!
Stuff Baby Does...
  • Baby facial expressions are both hilarious and adorable! It's hard to look away!
  • A freshly bathed baby is the best scent.
  • When a certain someone is having a tantrum, I start to feel like my cat really has her act together.
  • ALL baby bodily noises are cute. Hiccups, burps, and yes- even when she toots. It's cute!
  • Cats will enjoy a baby play mat just as much, if not more, than the baby.
  • Babies change FAST. Seriously, it seems like every couple of days I notice some little difference in her appearance.
Stuff We Do...
  • I'm always surprised by all the repetitive songs/phrases Tyler and I will come up with while soothing a crying baby. How many times have I said "she's ok!" or "she's a good girl!" Over and over and over...
  • You can tone a lot of muscles while walking around bopping a crying baby.
  • Sometimes the baby talk voice finds its way into regular, non-baby related conversations.
  • Poop (amount/color/consistency) is openly discussed without any awkwardness.
  • The same can be said for nipples.
  • I can't begin to count how many times I've kissed Belle on top of the head. 
  • When soothing a crying baby, some random thing that you do will make you believe you have the magic touch. Until the baby cries again, and it doesn't work anymore.
  • Googling "is it normal if..." happens a lot.
  • The 4th hour of the Today show (with Kathie Lee & Hoda) re-airs in the middle of the night on NBC. (At least it does in our TV market... does this happen where you live?) I LOVE KLG & HODA, so this is awesome. Say what you want about them, but I believe they have some of the best chemistry of any TV hosts I've watched. 
  • I've heard so often that breastfeeding is not painful. However, I'm convinced that there is a phase early on for some people (a.k.a. me), where the nipples are very sensitive to this new task... particularly because I have a "little snapping turtle" on my hands with a very aggressive sucking tendency. It only makes sense that there would be a period of time where the nipples have to get used to this. After a month, I'm finally starting to round a corner and am experiencing less sensitivity/pain. The initial latch might hurt a bit, but it definitely subsides.
  • Breastfeeding makes you thirsty.
  • Before you start a session of breastfeeding, have everything you might need in the near future within reach, especially if you're alone (water, burp cloth, phone, remote, etc.)
  • Make sure your nursing bra is big enough! One that's too tight is both uncomfortable, and could cause problems with plugged ducts.
  • Leakage is real. Get some Ultra Soft nursing pads from Lansinoh. The Lanolin ointment is also a must.
  • A breastfeeding app is handy for remembering what side you fed the baby on last, and to keep track of how long he/she has been feeding. I use the Baby Nursing/Breastfeeding app from American Baby. You can track tons of things on there if you want to (diapers, pumping, doc visits, etc.)
  • If you're a visual learner, this video and this video offer some great breastfeeding tips. Even after taking a breastfeeding class, I found these videos super useful. 
And one final observation... a DIY photo shoot with a newborn that involves any sort of complex outfit is about as easy as dressing your cat up for Halloween (I'll admit, I tried that once). But I really wanted to get pics of Belle in this adorable outfit that Jennifer Hickey sent from Adora Bella Boutique! The onesie says "Our Princess Belle Has Arrived" and Jennifer also sent the cute tutu and headband! The stuff is absolutely darling. We may re-try this photoshoot again at some point (and maybe consult the help of a professional!) But for now I have a couple of pictures! :) The tears started flowing pretty fast, but I promise that's when the pictures ended! Thank you, Jennifer, for the insanely cute outfit!!
Bottom line: I cannot BELIEVE how much Tyler and I have learned in the past month. Things that weren't even in our vocabulary before are now part of everyday life. There are challenges... those moments where you've tried EVERYTHING but the baby is still crying. Or you're so tired you could almost fall asleep standing up. But there's one thing that comes very easily-- and that's the love we have for this little baby. We love her with every ounce of our being. And looking into those wide eyes during a calm moment and realizing that this little life is in your hands... it's just amazing. I'm so glad I get to be Belle's momma. She's brought so much to our lives in one short month- I can't imagine what the future holds! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Tarte Kiss & Belle LipSurgence Lip Set

Hi everyone!
Hope your week is off to a great start! I've been busy trying out lots of different 2014 holiday palettes and gift sets-- you can expect to see lots of reviews here, on my Express channel, and also on my main channel. Today I'm chatting about a set that shares a name with my daughter! :) The Kiss & Belle set from Tarte retails for $34 on Ulta's website. (This kit was sent to me by Tarte, by the way.) It seems every year Tarte comes out with a set of mini LipSurgence lip colors, and this one seems to offer the most variety that I've seen... you're getting several different finishes and textures, and I also think the overall color selection is more varied compared to kits in the past. Here's what you're getting...
  • 2 LipSurgence Matte Lip Tints (Eternal & Fancy)
  • 4 LipSurgence Lip Tints (Dreamy, Alluring, Innocent & Dainty)
  • 2 LipSurgence (Kiss & Belle)

FYI: This is a limited edition set- so these are new colors that aren't already part of Tarte's line. 
 (Click to enlarge)
Left to right: Eternal, Dreamy, Kiss, Alluring, Innocent, Belle, Dainty, Fancy
Something to be aware of with the LipSurgence line is the scent. The little twist-up sticks (both the mattes and the tints) have a very minty scent and cool feel on the lips. Personally, I enjoy it, but I know some people really aren't a fan of minty lip products. As for the glosses, they have a very sweet, almost vanilla-type scent. 
(Left: Eternal, Right: Fancy)
I LOVE Tarte's Matte LipSurgence products. They aren't the least bit drying on me, and have such full color compared to the traditional LipSurgence tints. The staying power is awesome as well. In fact, Fancy has been on my lips since this morning and now at 3:40 in the afternoon, it's still going strong! While you know I love a good berry shade, I also enjoy Eternal as well. It's such a flattering coral color! 
(Top left: Dreamy, top right: Alluring, bottom left: Innocent, bottom right: Dainty)
The regular lip tints are more like tinted lip balms. I have many of these in my collection, and I find that this format of LipSurgence can really run the gamut in terms of pigmentation. Some are quite sheer, while others are just as full color as a classic lipstick. The feeling on the lips is more lightweight and shiny compared to the matte version. While these tend to feel more moisturizing, I find they don't last as long as the mattes. I think Dreamy, the bold fuchsia, is the strongest of this bunch. I also really like Alluring- it strikes me as the kind of shade that would look good on anyone, for any occasion (FYI: for some reason the outer packaging of this one says it's matte... clearly it's a mistake, and it's not classified as a matte on Ulta's site). Innocent is a soft pinky-nude, and I found it to be pretty sheer, while Dainty is a classic pink.
(Left: Kiss, Right: Belle)
I think it was a great idea for Tarte to incorporate a couple of their LipSurgence glosses in this kit. In the past, it seems like it's one or the other-- either you're getting an entire set of LipSurgence sticks, or an entire set of glosses. Here you not only get two kinds of finishes in the sticks, but also a couple of ultra shiny glosses. Kiss is a sheer pink with golden sparkle. I really think it's showing up extra pink in this picture because my lips were somewhat stained that way after trying on the other colors. Belle (fabulous name! ;) is a creamy berry gloss with no shimmer. I think it's absolutely gorgeous. These glosses are a little tacky, but overall, I find them to be less sticky than the brand's older Maracuja formula. Frankly, I like a gloss to be just a little tacky because it improves the staying power and prevents the gloss from drifting outside my lip line. 

If you keep up with my videos, you already know I'm a fan of LipSurgence. I had a pretty good idea that I was going to enjoy this kit before I even tried it-- but I was still eager to see if the overall color selection would be better than LipSurgence kits from the past. I truly think this is one of the best yet. Brights, nude, pink, coral... there's a nice variety in this set- plus a couple of glosses to add to the mix! If you're a total lip product junkie, you know you don't REALLY need a bunch of full-size lip colors... let's face it, you just won't use them up. Here you get a nice sampling of products that are still generously sized. Well done, Tarte! And thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I really like reviewing larger lip sets on here because I think you can scroll through the pictures and easily get a sense of the color selection. 

Daily Nuggets...
  • First- Hi Tyler! (He tells me he'll click on my blog, look at the pictures, and scroll to the nuggets :) 
  • Belle is being awfully sweet today. I swore she said "ma" while on the play mat earlier. Could just be a fluke. Or maybe she's a genius!! :)
  • So much sun shining through the windows... Cupcake is in sunbeam heaven.
  • Why couldn't the Cardinals make it to the World Series??
  • We went to the mall over the weekend- momma needed to get out of the house. While Belle was definitely behaving, I couldn't help but feel like she could start wailing at any moment. It was a VERY efficient trip to Ulta & Payless. I found a pair of light brown flats in record time! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Quick & Simple FOTD- Brightening Tired Eyes!

Hi everyone!!
It feels great to be blogging again! I'm in the process of slowly getting back into all my beauty "stuff", while also enjoying all the fun and challenges that motherhood brings! It really brings tears to my eyes as I look at this picture of me holding Belle in my makeup chair. Technically, she's been my little makeup companion for 9 months... but now this little nugget is in my lap! Still doesn't quite seem real. I love her so much, I can't even explain. What an incredible gift to our lives! 

After feeding Belle in the mornings, she tends to take a good long nap, and I have a Pack-n-Play up in the makeup room where she can sleep as I do my makeup! Some people have asked me how or why I'm doing my makeup with this new little baby in my life. My answer is-- I love doing makeup! It never feels like a chore to me. While all things Beauty Broadcast have become my "job", I actually STILL find the act of doing makeup to be quite fun, and frankly, relaxing and therapeutic as well. Having a baby brings SO MANY changes to a person's life. When possible, keeping a little chunk of my morning routine alive makes me feel renewed and refreshed (even when I don't look it!) So yeah... I am blessed to truly love what I do. Thank you for enjoying it along with me! 
Today's look was quick, basic, and pretty natural... while still covering up some dark circles and brightening my tired eyes! So I decided to set aside the products I used and snap a few pics for this "Face of the Day" blog post! The face products act to mattify and even out my skin, as well as correct my dark circles, and the eye products come together to create a VERY quick, no-brainer look!
  • Cover Girl Ready, Set Gorgeous Foundation #210 Medium Beige
  • It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under eye Corrector in Medium (yet another great salmon-toned solution for dark spots/dark under eyes!)
  • Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Oh So Radiant! Powder in Creamy Natural
  • Flower Beauty Blush/Bronzer Duo in Gloriously Golden

  • Mally Evercolor Shadow Stick in Dusk (blended all over the lid/crease with Real Techniques Base Shadow Brush)
  • Rimmel ScandalEyes Liner in Nude (to brighten lower inner rim)
  • NYX Two Timer liquid/pencil liner (liquid on top, pencil smudged on outer part of lower lash line)
  • Mally Volumizing Mascara (I was reminded how amazing this mascara is- especially after 2/3 weeks of use!!)
  • Milani Easybrow in Natural Taupe
  • Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara in Deep Brown

  •  Hard Candy Plumping Serum Lipstick in Infamous (something new I'm trying... not so sure that it plumps, but it does look pretty & has good staying power)

The biggest keys to looking awake? A couple of the little details that I think absolutely can't be skipped are the salmon-toned concealer to correct your circles, and a nude liner on your lower inner rim. These things might seem like small details, but they make a world of difference. I think those are the can't-miss steps, but adding some color to the face with blush and lipstick definitely polishes up the look! :) Hope this was helpful to anyone running low on sleep and/or time in the mornings!

Daily Nuggets...
  • Belle makes the CUTEST faces/squirmy movements when she wakes up from naps! omg. Somebody should've warned me about the cuteness of that moment. 
  • Another random observation... the act of breastfeeding makes me SO THIRSTY. I can't believe how much water I've been taking down lately! 
  • Tyler and I shot our "Birth Story" vlog yesterday! It was 45 minutes!!! So when I have a decent chunk of time to sit down and edit, I'll do that! :) 
  • Tomorrow there will be a new review on my Express channel! Meanwhile, today I posted a new video on my main channel that I shot a couple weeks ago when I was waiting on Belle! :) 
  • Wipe warmer... the kind of item that might seem like an unnecessary luxury where baby stuff is concerned, but it TOTALLY makes a difference when changing a baby! I'm a believer.
  • Warning: If you start eating chewy Sprees, you will have a hard time stopping.