Thursday, June 30, 2016

What's in my Makeup Bag: Part 2

While my first installment of What's in my Makeup Bag included the staples I pretty much wear daily, these items I'm more flexible about and tend to change from time to time. I'd love to hear your must-have products because I am always excited about new finds!

1. Eyeliner

I've always been a pencil eyeliner person, liquid is not my thing. Neither is black, so you'll often find me wearing brown, purple and steel. I discovered a new trick that I love after buying this Sephora brush set that came with an angled brush. I now use that and some eyeshadow to serve as my eyeliner. I like it because it doesn't pull on my eyelash extensions when I apply it, it's easy to remove and gives a natural look. I've found eyeshadows with shimmer tend to work better. You can also dip the brush in water for a bolder look, or you can use a gel liner specifically designed to be used with a brush. But I say why buy an extra product when you can use a shadow you already have?

2. Eyeshadow & Primer

When I put on my undereye concealer, I put it on my eyelids as well and dab it with my powder foundation. So basically my eyelids are primed, but if I'm looking for extra credit I'll use Lancome Aquatique Waterproof Eyecolor Base or MAC Pro Longwear Paint Pot in Painterly. Both have a tacky, matte finish. And as far as eyeshadows, I'm all over the place. I use what comes in free gifts and Birchbox, so I rarely have to buy any. However I did recently purchase some Mary Kay mineral eyeshadows, and I must say I was very pleasantly surprised. The colors are gorgeous and the quality is great. I think everyone needs a shade like Rosegold in their repertoire. And as far as other staple colors, I love purples, especially the darker shades; if you haven't tried them, I highly recommend. Sounds clownish, but I promise it's not.

3. Mascara 

I don't wear mascara on my upper lashes because of my extensions, so I'm not as picky these days. I most often use Lancome Definicils on my lower lashes and find most of Lancome mascaras to be stellar. In my previous quest to find the best mascara on the market, I may have been the only person to ever return Diorshow. The employee at the Dior counter at Bloomingdale's looked at my like I was crazy when I brought it back, but even with its cult classic status, it didn't work for me. However, I really had success with Loreal Voluminous - can't beat the drugstore price and I've seen many professional makeup artists using it. I'm also really intrigued by Too Faced Better Than Sex; I see a lot of bloggers recommending it. (By the way, a great tip is to heat up your eyelash curler with your blowdryer or curling iron before curling your lashes. It works wonders; just make sure it's not too hot!)

4. Lipcolor 

This is the product I struggle with the most because it's difficult to find the right color and consistency. Believe it or not, the wrong lipstick or gloss can screw me up on the anchor desk because it's quite hard to enunciate when you lips are sticking together. These are some of my favorites:

Don't be intimidated by what the Black Honey shade looks like in the tube; it is somewhat sheer and designed to work on everyone. It looks a little different on each person depending on their coloring. And I can't recommend the Neutrogena gloss enough. I've been searching high and low for the perfect strawberry pink and this is the closest I can find. It's beautiful and not super sticky!

5. Highlighter

Highlighter is not something I use every day, but when I do, I can really tell a difference. I don't get into contouring, but I love using Chella Ivory Lace Highlighter Pencil under my eyes for brightening. I love that it's not shimmery! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Note About My Mom

I was invited to speak last week at the Muffins for Moms breakfast at Bay Haven School of Basics Plus in Sarasota. I talked about how my mom has been my role model and what moms mean to us. Since my mom wasn't there to hear it and she's one of my most loyal readers, I decided to share it here on the blog.

Photos: Cliff Roles

Growing up, my mom wasn't the typical 1980s or 90s mom. She didn't really cook, which I inherited; she wasn't much into decorating, or craft projects, other than some iron-on t-shirts. In other words, if she was raising young kids now, she would not be a Pinterest Mom.

Instead she was the Cool Mom. She has always dressed stylish, played tennis, stayed current on pop culture, and listened to rap and hip hop music. She even made up a dance to a Lil Jon song that she had all of my sister's friends doing. My mom has always been the life of the party and is probably a lot more fun than I am.

She is a working mom who somehow managed to make it to all of our activities. Throughout the years, between my younger sister and me, there was a combination of ballet, pointe, tap and jazz, and dance *team, swimming, which often meant two practices a day, the first being at 5:30 a.m., water polo, Odyssey of the Mind, Optimist Club speaking competitions, debate, Girl Scouts, gymnastics, diving, cheerleading, newspaper, and various honor societies and school clubs.

Even though she wasn't the mom who brought homemade cupcakes, she always volunteered at our school and with our swim team. But now that I'm older and looking back, one of the most important things to me is that she never lost her own identity. She wasn't just Mom. She's a Registered Nurse and Certified Diabetes Educator who earned her master's degree while raising two kids, with the help of my dad, of course. She worked as a nurse in the hospital, counseled diabetic patients and taught college nursing. Many times she brought me and my sister to campus at Houston Baptist University and with her in the car as she drove all over Houston to supervise her students on their clinical rotations. She also took us to health fairs in under-served communities, which allowed to see how we can help those who need it most.

My mom never directly said to me,"go to college, go to graduate school, get good grades, and have a career." Nor did she try to force me to take one path or another. But since she and my dad are both very accomplished academically and in their careers, I learned by example. And I did all of those things with their support.

Although my mom has no experience in my field of broadcast journalism, my job aspirations began very early in life with a love of writing, which I inherited from her. She has always encouraged me through the toughest days of the demanding television news business and is my most loyal viewer. Even though my parents live in Atlanta, she watches the news every night via online streaming.

I am lucky to have my mom as my role model and cheerleader. Mothers come in many different forms, not all are biological. Some are foster mothers, step mothers, mothers-in-law, grandmothers, even mentors, teachers and friends who are like mothers to us. Almost all moms are alike in the way that that they accomplish amazing feats, yet they are unique and special in their own way. Everyone I know, including myself, says they have the best mom in the world. And they're all right.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

What's in My Makeup Bag: Part I

If I had my choice, I would spend at least 75 percent of my life wearing workout clothes and no makeup. If you see me at TJ Maxx on a Saturday, I can guarantee you I will not be wearing any makeup, and I don't care if anyone is judging me. 

But working in television, I have to do my makeup every single day with touch ups throughout the day. I have to admit, some days I wear less than others, which is a total reflection of how much time I have. If you tune in to the newscast and think I look tired, that's probably because I didn't have a chance to put on eyeshadow, or I'm actually just tired haha.

All of the products I'm showing you in these posts are what I would wear if I had enough time to do my full routine. Some days I switch things up, especially when I have some Birchbox or Sephora samples I want to try.

And speaking of samples, about a year ago