Ipsy and Birchbox November Unbox/bagging!

Birchbox first- because it mostly sucks. This month is all about “the finishing touch- those extra, just because details that make all the difference.”

No. I want real shit that I use all the time. I don’t want random “finishing touches.”


The box is beautiful. LIke, seriously. It will hold something out in my bathroom, because’s it’s gorgeous. All damask and blues and pinks and whites. Lovely. .

First off, the duds. It’s not really their fault that they’re duds, but this month I got two oil samples (one for hair, one a dry oil for hair or face or whatever I guess) but they both are made with argan oil. I’m allergic to argan oil. I ended up selling them on my b/s/t site, but I’m just like seriously? 2/5 of the box is shit I can’t even open and play with? Not fair. I feel like there should be an allergy thingy you can specify.

So that sucks.

The other stuff is surprisingly good! The sample I picked this month was the Chella Eyebrow pencil in Tantalizing Taupe. I’m  not super into eyebrows, because mine do not lend themselves to shaping, or so I thought. I have a pretty good system in place with the products I do use, so I wasn’t really looking for stuff, but I always like playing. This is really good. I can finish the tail and everything. It’s a little dark for me but not too bad if I don’t use a ton. I think it could work for a lot of skin tones.

The pencil is tiny, and that’s great for getting realistic brows. It’s also a really big sample. The pencil is normal sized for holding, and the product itself is like two inches. So a pretty good value.

I also got the Marcelle New Age LumiPower 3-in-1 Moisturizer. It’s a pretty small sample, but overall seems to work okay. I’m using it as an eyecream, and I can’t say I’ve noticed a huge difference, but it’s nicely plumping when I put it on.

The winner this month is the Dr. Lipp Miracle Balm. It’s also a tiny sample, but it’s a really nice almost Vaseline type balm. You’re supposed to be able to use it on your brows, cuticles, or wherever as well as lips. I’m just using it on my lips. I think I might buy this one- it’s really nice.


Ipsy was, as usual, the better of the two this month. The theme was “rockstarlet” hah see what they did there. The bag was super cute with little constellations of makeup on it.

These bags, guys. I’m in love with the bags.


I loved each and every single sample in here. I KNOW. Said no one in subscription history. BUT I DID.

I received the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, which is a lovely as it’s the actual mascara I use all the days I don’t wear falsies. So that’s super fun. I also got the Luxie Beauty Rose Gold Small Duo Fiber Brush, which is basically a small stipple brush. I’m not crazy about the way it applies cream products, but it’s great with powder.


The Hey Honey Good Morning Honey Silk Facial Serum is AMAZEBALLS. I’m using it every morning instead of my When Hope is Not Enough, and while it’s pretty much the same for my skin, this one makes makeup sit more nicely on my skin. I KNOW.

The Absolute New York Matte Stick in Dark Red was a disappointment at first. I tried it on and I couldn’t even get a good even color off of the tip. But once I wore it down for a little bit, it’s like the perfect red for me. True red with blue undertones. Deeper in color than like Ruby Woo, but not vampy. Really, really pretty.

The winner though is the Eyeko Skinny Liquid Eyeliner in Black. I’m not a huge liquid eyeliner girl since I rarely do wings. But I do wear it whenever I wear falsies to cover the band and I find myself reaching for it literally every time. It’s a smaller sample, but the consistency is not too liquid that it runs, it dries unbelievably fast and DOES. NOT. MOVE. I wore it for like fifteen hours on Thanksgiving to church, parties, and HOSTING a party, so a big sweaty day. That ish did not move. Also a teeny little applicator which makes application a breeze for those of us who aren’t totally comfy with it yet.


Look at that TINY LINE YO.

Birchbox- bye, baby. You’re done (again.)




Nancy Drew Files of Ridiculous Awesome, Part 2


Today in our trip back to the 1980s, we join Nancy and her chums Bess (who is still chubby and eating a salad) and George (who has nothing to do with this but is occasionally leaving the room so we know she’s still friends with Nancy.) The handsome Ned is nowhere to be seen nor heard, as literally all of the men in the book are describes as varying degrees of hotness.

(Seriously, the only thing that differs is the degree of sexy graying of their hair.)

The dastardly deed that has been committee this time involved Nancy’s father, sexy widower Carson Drew who may or may not be getting it on with the housekeeper.

(Side note: I’m pretty sure Carson Drew was my first in a long line of widowers I was oddly attracted to, including Maxwell Sheffield, Captain von Trapp, Mac from CSI:NY, and well, my husband.)

(Too far?)

ANYWAY. Carson is being threatened and possibly prosecuted because he allegedly suppressed evidence of his client’s guilt, which led to another person being convicted and then committing suicide- I don’t know why that’s also Carson’s fault, but it is.

Carson Drew makes it VERY CLEAR to his teenage daughter that she has NO BUSINESS a.) messing around with his legal affairs, b.) messing around in an ongoing criminal investigation, and c.) messing around with HIS CAREER AND HOW ARE WE GOING TO EAT NANCY IF I DON’T WORK?? HANNAH ISN’T HERE FOR FUN. (Or is she?)

Nancy, once again, proves that she understands not only nothing of what comes out of her father’s mouth, but also nothing of the criminal justice system.

But to be honest, it’s not really her fault. Because in about ten minutes, she is given access to:

1.) Records from a closed investigation.

2.) Records from an ongoing investigation.

3.) Information from the first responders at a crime scene.

4.) The actual crime scene (where she finds stuff CSI missed- duh, she’s Nancy Drew)

5.) An accounting firm

6.) Accounting records

7.) Nuclear launch codes (probably)

All of this while the various authorities (and adults) say things like, “I guess you can only help us- hope you can find something we missed!” Because goodness knows 18 year olds, especially those who have lost parents, are the most reasonable and responsible of people ever.  I mean, seasoned police chiefs have nothing on them.

BUT WAIT. The criminal(s) are not going to let Nancy just waltz in and show them up (again.) No siree. First she’s run off the road, when she jumps out of the car while it’s moving. Then she’s threatened with bringing evidence against her father (turns out she also doesn’t understand how litigation works.) Finally her father is kidnapped (because he’s as bright as she is apparently.)

None of which stops those meddling kids…sorry, I got confused for a second. Frankly, a dog would have made more sense than this book.

But never fear, because Nancy is able to confuse the criminals, get them to opine for like an HOUR on their entire plan and FINALLY the police show up to arrest the guy. (Apparently, River Heights is as big as NYC. At least given the response times.)

The book ends with Carson Drew finally admitting to Nancy how much he relies on her help because he’d be in prison without her.

I’d argue that any attorney in his fifties who relies on his 18-year-old daughter to keep him out of jail should be in a psychiatric institution anyways.

But no, Nancy lives to solve another crime- stay tuned next week when Nancy goes undercover at a college (because why would Nancy Drew need anything as pedestrian as college? Pssh.) to save the world from biological weapons.

Yeah, I literally just typed it and I don’t understand it any better than you do, trust me.


Get Ready with Me: Everyday Fall Makeup Look

I have yet to master longer video tutorials, but today you can follow along with me in pictures as I get ready for a normal day this autumn.

(I know. Get excited.)

(Screaming at children and massive amounts of caffeine are optional.)




Skin care comes first, as always. I use a variety of stuff when I’m playing around, but my everyday stash includes using 1.) epice clarifying toner, 2.) When Hope is Not Enough facial serum, 3.) Hope in a Jar day moisturizer, 4.) whatever eye cream I got that month in Birchbox, and 5.) Sunscreen if I’m going to be outside at all. Like, even going to the car.

As you can probably tell, I am a Philosophy addict and I WANT EVERYTHING THEY HAVE BECAUSE IT’S AMAZING AND SMELLS GOOD AND IS PRETTY.

(Kind of my criteria for everything. Including husbands and children.)

My everyday eye look I have down to a science, and I use Kat von D’s Shade and Light Eye Contour palette. This is pretty expensive- about $60 from Sephora or Amazon. But seriously so amazing. The shades are all matte, all neutral, and I’ve hit pan on several of them. Seriously good quality and soooo blendable.

If I want the look to last all day, I use my smashbox 24 Hour eyelid primer. Some days I change my eye look for the evening, if I have a meeting or party or something (usually meeting. It’s not like I’m partying it up a whole lot.) Then I can use a cheaper eyelid primer. But smashbox? Gold standard.


My eyes are really hooded, so I love the matte shades in here. Like I said, it’s an amazing palette and you can actually do a bunch of looks with it, but my “every day” look I have down to a science so it only takes me like two minutes.

Also? I’m not using shade names here. They’re all in Latin which would be cool if it wasn’t kind of tongue in cheek and derogatory, I feel like just because of who Kat von D is. But that’s just my total jumping-to-conclusions opinion and maybe she’s at Mass every morning. And I have enough Latin during the day trying to teach my kid.

I put the shade 1 all over my lid, from lash to browbone, with a fluffy eyeshadow brush. Using a crease brush, I put shade 2 into the crease, making sure it’s visible above the natural crease of my eyelid. (If you have hooded eyes, you have to do this. Because otherwise no one can see it and you’re wasting time.)

Using a small flat brush I put shade 3 on the outer third of my eyelid and brush it into the crease, blending well. Using the same brush, I put shade 4 right on the inner rim of the block of shade 3 (does that make sense?) and blend it into the crease as well. It’s a little bit lighter and will brighten it up. Finally, using a larger flat brush I combine shades 5 and brush into the rest of the lid from the inner corner and highlight my browbone.

And just for reference, I use mostly all elf eye brushes. I think they’re awesome quality and really good at blending, and I can have enough that if I want to use a couple different colors I don’t have to wash them in between.

Here’s the finished look, which is nowhere near as impressive as the whole description made it sound.


Moving on to face, I use TooFaced Primed and Poreless Pure primer. I love this because I have a crap ton of wrinkles it seems like (I DON’T KNOW WHY IT’S NOT LIKE I’M STRESSED.) and it helps smooth out the foundation.


I used BareMinerals Bare Skin foundation, with the Bare Skin brush. I am in love with this foundation, it’s super light and buildable and gives me a glow that I love. I wish it was a little bit more full coverage because there are days I need that, but this is amazing 90% of the time.

I also use the Bare Skin concealer. It’s light, and again, light coverage, but once I bake that on (attractive picture on the right,) it’s awesome. I set the rest of my face with The Bare Minerals perfecting powder.

The rest of my face on a daily basis is pretty simple. I don’t do a full contour, just a little bit of shading under my cheekbones (or where my cheekbones would be if I hadn’t been born with cheek caverns instead.) Bright blushes work well on my skin tone, current favorites are this Laura Geller in Cherry Cordial, and Urban Decay’s Fetish. I use a light highlight, and the one I’m obsessed with currently is essance pureNude highlight in Be My Highlight. It’s a subtle glow, but you know it’s there. And no chunks of glitter.

To finish my eyes, I used the same shade as in my crease smudged on the lower lashline, tightlined with Smashbox Always Sharp in Nude (which I don’t have a picture of because it’s gross), and used a coat of TooFaced Better Than Sex mascara. It’s not better than sex, but it is a damn good mascara. If I’m doing lashes, I’ll use another one that’s not as intense so that the lashes don’t get clumped up. But for a normal lash-less day, they make my regular lashes look amazing.


I finish off with a coat of BareMinerals Gen Nude lipstick in Queen. I love the deep colors for fall, and this is so smooth and stays on really well for me (which is not something most lipsticks do for me.) A few spritzes of Urban Decay All Nighter setting spray, and that shiz isn’t going anywhere.


So there you have it- my current go-to everyday look for fall. Super easy, not too heavy, and stays on FOREVER.

Things I Am Not

Guys, this election. It’s over. And that’s awesome. And as a political geek the sheer upset of it all is amazing to me, and had I been able to stop gnawing at my lip and mumbling the Hail Mary for six hours Tuesday night I probably would have enjoyed watching it.

And then yesterday came. And it was very upsetting for people whose chosen candidate did not win. I get that. I was pissed in 2008 and 2012. People were scared and mad and confused because it turns out the entire world doesn’t live in New York and have Twitter. I KNOW.

And there was a lot of stuff thrown around about how if you voted for President-Elect Trump, you’re an uneducated white dude and a hateful misogynist who wants to beat Muslims to death and probably do something bad to gay people, I don’t know, I kind of stopped reading after the 18th post.

So. I voted for President-elect Trump yesterday. Here are some thing that I am not.

1.) Male.

2.) Uneducated.

3.) Misogynist.

4.) A Nazi.

5.) Xenophobic.

6.) Homophobic.

7.) In favor of making birth control illegal. (I saw that today, not sure if people are unclear, but Obama did not legalize birth control, guys.)

8.) In favor of sexual assault, or talking about sexual assault like it’s a joke.

9.) Racist or a Klansmember.

10.) Filled with hate for anyone. Seriously.


A woman in her 20s with a post-graduate degree in the humanities. I have a degree in Jewish Studies. When I was in academia, I focused on Jewish-Christian relations and ecumenical efforts since the 1960s. I know how serious it is when people invoke Nazi rhetoric. Really, I do.

I chose a candidate based on my beliefs and my priorities. As a practicing Catholic, my conscience (MINE. Not yours. I am not talking about you having to vote for someone.) makes me believe that any possibility of overturning Roe v. Wade is the road I have to take. In any election. Period. Do I think Donald Trump is a gift to the pro-life community everywhere? No. Do I believe he’s going to champion the unborn every day of his life? No. Do I think there’s a higher chance of him doing SOMETHING more than his opponent who was in favor of the legalization of partial birth abortion, and the repeal of the Hyde Amendment? Yes. Hopefully. God willing.

That is why I voted for President-elect Trump.

Based on comments that Secretary Clinton made about deep seated religious beliefs needing to change, I was concerned that she would implement policies that made it more difficult for me to practice my religion in every aspect of my life. I felt like there was a higher probability of my being able to continue to have my faith a part of my life, even my public life, with another candidate.

That is why I voted for President-elect Trump.

I am Catholic. I am opposed to using artificial contraception within marriage. (And out of it too I guess, but that’s a whole different sin.) That is a religious belief. I do not require you to believe it as well. Go get your pills and IUDs and whatever, that’s totally fine. All I’m asking for is that the government does not force religious employers to pay for services that violate their religious beliefs. I felt like I had a better chance of that happening if more conservative judges were appointed.

(Oh, and by the way, the ACA has never covered any variation of my method of family planning, which is insulting. Aren’t we all equal?)

That is why I voted for President-elect Trump.

I am a homeschooling mother. My daughter still has seven and a half years of primary school left and four years of high school. That’s a lot of time for more restrictions on homeschooling to be put in place. Secretary Clinton has stated that she’s in favor of universal preschool, more district oversight for homeschooling curriculum, and has supported various legislation that is also opposed to free and open homeschooling rights. All of that is even disregarding her “it takes a village” philosophy, which I don’t agree with and do not plan on raising my children in accordance with. I felt I had a better chance of my freedom to make decisions for my children’s education being supported if I did not vote for her.

That is why I voted for President-elect Trump.

I did not vote for him to be racist or mean or as a support for his seriously lacking moral character. I sincerely pray that he can overcome those personal failings and be an effective leader.

I have read stories of the KKK celebrating and people writing horrible things on buildings in support of him. That’s disgusting. I did not vote for that.

I have read stories of children taunting other children with “build a wall” or other hateful things. That’s disgusting, and if my children ever do anything like that to anyone I will have failed as a parent. I did not vote for that.

I made a conscious decision as a free American to vote for what I felt was the only choice I had based on the issues that were the most important to me and my family.

Just like we all do, each and every election.

That’s not hateful. That’s exercising representative democracy.

This is not a triumphal day. This is a day to pray or wish or hope or do whatever you do that we can move forward as a nation and that this man whom we elected (because we did elect him) can become a better person than the one we saw in the campaign.


Photo Catch Up

Ugh guys. I was so good with the blogging. I was like on top of it, and doing a schedule, and planning out getting my own domain and using it more like a job and…then shit hit the fan.

My car was hit, my kid had to have surgery, I had a minor breakdown because my kid had to have surgery and I can BARELY keep it together for everyday life much less stressful life, and I was just generally busy and cranky and in a bad mood and BUSY and…ugh, whatever.

I’m back at it, I promise. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I have a “get ready with me”-type post coming, which is basically a tutorial for a simple everyday makeup look that I use most days, a Butterfly crown-filter tutorial (yaaaay Halloween two weeks late!), a review of the Kat von D Metal Matte palette, and my Birchbox just came and I have SO MANY OPINIONS ON IT ALREADY AND I BARELY EVEN OPENED THE RIDICULOUS OUTER PACKAGING.

Oh, and depending on how tonight goes, I can talk about the downfall of this experiment in democracy.

In the meantime, here’s some crap that happened of the last few weeks.

My car was hit, and while it was getting repaired I had a rental minivan and it was the most amazing thing int he world and now my transition to middle aged sexually repressed soccer mom is ALMOST COMPLETE. I just need a few more pairs of yoga pants. And some kids in soccer.

(I’m kidding. My kids are NEVER doing soccer.)

Buddy had hernia surgery, and is just fine now. As you can tell from the progression of pictures, he did not appear to be in too much pain (or indeed any pain) and mostly thought it was cool that he got to watch Curious George in the hospital, as well as the construction guys across the street. If you ever want to show a three-year-old a good time, have them come off of anesthesia while watching construction. They’ll think they’re in a episode of Bob the Builder.

Halloween came, and after much consternation Buddy decided to go as CatBoy from PJ Masks. Squeaks was always Owlette, and that made sense to me in a purely aesthetic fashion, so that was lovely.


My sister and I were not going to let the kids have all the fun.

I joined a book club online with my almost new sister and then I started an in person one with my in town friends because I don’t feel like I drink enough.


Michael and Rachel discussed adopting American Girls.


We visited the Shrine to Our Lady of Good Help in Green Bay. It was a gorgeous day and a beautiful place for devotion.


Buddy had such a devotion that he didn’t want to leave. Or he just wanted to play. Probably that. A mother can hope.


I bought an awesome mug.


We spent an awesome day caravanning with my parents in Door County.


Aaaand…witnessed the downfall of civilization.

Not bad for a few weeks of not blogging.