LipSense | Go Buy It Or Pass By It

LipSense. The must have product du jour. I have been invited to multiple LipSense parties over the past several months. I was always intrigued, but for some reason, not quite ready to take the plunge.

Honestly, despite some half assed attempts, I have never been much of a lip product girl. All the lipstick I own was a pressure purchase after having my makeup professionally done for a wedding or our annual family photography session. I always justified the purchase with the notion that I might need to reapply later. Basically, you can count the number of lipsticks I own on one hand. Lip gloss always seemed like something I wanted. In theory. I would grab a pretty, sparkly tube at the grocery store, only to hate it as soon as I put it on and my hair was stuck in it. To the bottom of the purse it would go. So lips have been au natural most of my life.

Over the last few years, however, I have been a hard core Younique girl. Pretty much my entire makeup bag is Younique products. I decided to try their lip gloss early on, and much to my surprise, I LOVE it. For the first time in my life, I had shiny, sparkly, colorful lips! I have tubes in my car, in my purse, at my desk. It’s not sticky and there is a mirror on the tube. Sold.

So perhaps it was my love affair with Younique that made me pause about trying a new brand on my lips. But when my friend (and photography and LLR client) Kate signed on as a LipSense consultant, I knew my time to jump off the fence had come. And jump I did. Head first into a pool of pretty lip color.

LipSense is the headliner product for makeup and skincare company, SeneGence. It isn’t a lipstick or even a lip stain. It is like this crazy, magic lip color. And the claim is that it is actually good for your lips! Like most commercial products, most of the stuff we put on our lips is made up of fillers and waxes and all around crap to give us the illusion that our [insert body part] are soft and supple. In reality, we just have a whole lotta buildup. So the first few weeks of using LipSense exfoliates and sheds all the crap off your lips, while the moisturizing Glossy Gloss does its thing. I must say after about 3 weeks of using LipSense, my lips do, somehow seem different.

I bought the Starter Collection to see what all the hype was about. The Starter Collection includes an Oops! Remover, a color of your choice (I picked a pretty neutral, Praline Rose) and a Gloss (I picked Glossy Gloss).

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I was a bit skeptical with the first application. It is different than just slapping on some gloss and going. I did as the instructions provided by my Lip Lady said, cleaning my lips first with the Oops! Remover. Then I applied the first layer of Praline Rose. It stung. It felt weird and when I let my lips touch in the slightest, they sort of stuck together. But. I forged ahead. Layer two stung less, but I still couldn’t let my lips touch resulting in the strangest of faces. Layer three, ohhhh, this is pretty! Shit. Don’t let your lips touch. Once I thought the color was dry, I put on the Glossy Gloss and was able to let my lips touch, smack, eat, suck (a STRAW! Get your mind outta the gutter), ANYTHING! And the color stayed put! The color was gorgeous, and,by the end of the day, still there!

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Of course, I immediately needed more. Like, give me all the colors! And glosses! Glossy Gloss is not the only option. MATTE GLOSS. Need I say more?! It’s freaking amazing. Here is perhaps my favorite color, Sheer Berry, with both Matte and Glossy Gloss.

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Ordering LipSense is a little more than just going to a site and finding your dream color. Most consultants seem to carry inventory in hand, and purchasing directly from them seems to be the method of choice. With the brand popularity growing like a wild fire, many of the colors are out of stock almost as soon as they are restocked. I have heard that consultants have the option of web ordering, but I have not experienced purchasing that way yet. I did peruse SeneGence’s website at one point, trying to see different colors but it is not what I consider user friendly and I gave up quickly. Regardless, the urgency arises when you see your girl has a color you have been crushing on to get it before it’s gone. Sound familiar?

My collection has grown to 2 glosses and 5 colors: Praline Rose, Pomegranate, Blu Red (my first Color of the Month surprise!), Sheer Berry and Kiss for a Cause (OBSESSED).

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And as if this isn’t all amazing enough, you can create different colors with COCKTAILS! You always need 3 layers of color. The first layer primes your lip. The second is the star of the show all day and the third takes the beating of whatever your day throws at you. So you can do 3 layers of one color, or start mixing it up! Simply put. 2 colors will yield you 8 different looks. Here is my Blu Red-Praline Rose-Praline Rose cocktail! For reference, the second picture is what 3 layers of Blu Red looks like on me! Seriously, look at the difference!

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CONCLUSION!!! LipSense – Go Buy It or Pass By It? I am giving it a FIRM GO BUY IT! Like. Right. Now. I have been overall impressed by this product, and NEED more. Most days, I get all day coverage. In fact, most mornings (because I terrible about washing my face at night) I wake up and still have color on my lips! I do usually try to reapply my gloss a couple of times a day to help protect and prolong the color because I have noticed that if I don’t, the color doesn’t last quite as long. But seriously, what other product is going to give you even 4-6 hours of color without any re-application? …… Exactly.

Go now. Find a friend who sells. And if by some miracle nobody in your friend list is a Lip Lady, shoot me a message and I will connect you with my girl. Cause, yeah, I’ve got a girl.

 

 

 

I’ve Got a Girl | Keepin’ It Real

The other day, I was thinking while in the shower … my best place for thinking. I try to take my showers while Maddie Jane is at Pre-K so that the house is completely quiet and I can think (and cleanse) without interruption. Or without yelling STOP! at the top of my lungs, in my “I mean it voice,” only to have to do it again 5 seconds later. Rinse and repeat.

So as I washed my face with my Mary Kay facial cleanser, followed by using some of my Lemongrass Body Polish on my dry, itchy, almost done with winter skin and then stepping out onto my Norwex Bath Mat, I started thinking about HOW MANY of the products I use and consume every. single. day. are from a kick ass direct sales consultant.

I make Wildtree dinners regularly, using almost exclusively Pampered Chef tools. I put the leftovers in my Tupperware, clean the kitchen with my Norwex products, while clothed in LuLaRoe with Younique products on my face, LipSense on my lips and Jamberry lacquer on my nails. All while a relaxing blend of Young Living essential oils being diffused.

There are days when everything touching my body except my underwear and shoes is a direct sales product (if you know an underwear girl, give me her info stat!). I can make an entire meal using direct sales products from the measuring cups to the chopper to the pots and pans. Hell. I just recently bought SHEETS for my bed from a direct sales consultant! And they are SOFT!

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I try to buy as much as I can from direct sales consultants for several reasons. For one, I really, genuinely love all of the products that I use. Some of the best, top of the line, long lasting products I have are from direct sales consultants. It is some good stuff! Trust me, I wouldn’t use them if I didn’t love them. And I certainly wouldn’t give them the shout outs that I do if I didn’t love them. Of course, I also love the convenience of shopping online. Seriously, what is better than shopping at home in your pajamas? Not the mall. But quite possibly shopping at a friend’s home filled with good company and tasty treats (bonus points for wine). But what I love even more than good shit and convenient shopping is that I am actually helping and supporting women hustling and working their tails off to make a difference in their family’s lives. Whether it is as a side business to supplement her full time job or her way to stay home with her kiddos and still contribute, I want to support her. For putting herself out there, for taking a risk, for being a freakin’ rock star boss lady, I want to support her. So when I say, “I’ve got a girl.” I mean it. I’ve got a girl, and she is freakin’ awesome. And so is the stuff she is slinging. Make a real difference and get your makeup, your clothes, your meal solutions, your cleaning products, your nail art, your bath products, your kitchen gadgets, and for the love of all things holy, your SHEETS, from a kick ass woman and make a difference in her world!

It Takes a Village | Keepin’ It Real

We have all heard it before. It takes a village to raise a child. And it should. Community, love, support, encouragement, unity, inclusion. These are all basic things needed to raise hardworking, empathetic, productive adults. But. I fear it is slipping away. Being replaced by the modern day Wild West, social media.

There should be a great fear, a common fear, among us all when children become the target of hateful, disgusting, and inappropriate posts by adults. When a child, a 10 year old child, is the victim of social media attacks. Barron Trump did not ask to be put in the spotlight, in the public eye. He did not ask to have a businessman turned celebrity turned President of the United States as his father. He is just a child.

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And then there is this gem of a tweet. Posted by Saturday Night Live writer, Katie Rich.

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I can only imagine the outrage I would see if the SNL writer made a post attacking someone’s race or national origin. Lives and careers would be destroyed in a blaze of fire across the interwebs. Over the last several days and months, we have seen a massive movement form. We have heard their voices, their concerns for the future. We have heard their cries.

But a hateful attack on an innocent child?!  Silence. 

Silence is tolerance. Tolerance becomes acceptance. We cannot accept attacks on our children. We cannot tolerate this type of behavior by adults. We cannot be silent when it comes to protecting our children.

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Where are the battle cries for our children? The uproar, the passion? Where is the call of action to Saturday Night Live to acknowledge the wrong done by one of its staffers? Looking through Saturday Night Live’s Facebook page, not a mention of Katie Rich’s tweet. No apology. Just silence … Tolerance … Acceptance. Most major news outlets have remained just as silent. Scrolling through my newsfeed, there are very few posts about the attack by adults on Barron Trump. It does not matter who his father is, or how much you dislike his father. Barron is a child. We must protect our children.

We all must rise together to say it is NOT alright to attack a child. That it is NOT alright to bully a 10 year old. That the children are off limits. Because the moment it becomes acceptable to publicly treat children like this is the moment we destroy this country, this society. If our children are raised in a world where it is accepted for adults to bully, degrade and attack children, then our children’s future is a scary place.

It takes a village to raise and protect our children, our future. It takes a village to stand up against those who hurt our children. We must treat and protect all children as if they are our own. Barron Trump is my son. And I will not silently accept or tolerate any attack on him. It takes a village.

 

Ohhhh Baby I Love … Jamberry Nails Lacquer

It has literally been months since I have painted my nails. We have been plagued with every virus out there since Christmas, and, damn, sick kids are demanding! I am behind on my work, behind on the house, and just, well, behind.

Funny thing happened today. I was browsing my Facebook memories, as I like to do each day, and a year ago I tried the Jamberry lacquer for the first time. As I was looking at this, I was actually painting my nails (with Jamberry lacquer, of course)! I love how this crazy world works sometimes.

So why is this all significant? Because I suck at painting my nails. The last time I probably painted my nails before last year was like a decade ago. Seriously, a 5 year old could paint my nails better that I do. But I had a small stock pile of Jamberry lacquer that I had never used when I decided to try it a year ago. And I wish I had done it sooner because This. Stuff. Rocks. Since then, I have at least doubled my stash, and I usually try to keep my nails painted. Until #sickinitin2016 started.

It goes on ridiculously smooth and fills in the streaks and crevasses I somehow make with a miniature brush. It has a lovely shine to it. And after I clean up a few spots on my right hand, it looks almost like I had an actual manicure. As if I actually left the house and treated myself to such a thing! Really. I am not kidding.

It also holds up better than any polish I have used. Not that I am by any means a nail polish connoisseur. But lasts a million times longer than Sally Hanson. Henson? You know what I mean.

So many amazing colors to choose from. I am partial to the neutrals, but also have so many bright colors that I think next time I need to use one. Spring is in the air, right? Jamberry also offers a selection of base coats and top coats that can add different effects (matte, glitter, sparkle, shine). I also have their gel nail system and use it as my clear top coat for the lacquers. So easy. And it doesn’t take long at all.

Really, Jamberry is more than just nail wraps. Give a lacquer (or three) a try. They are amazing! One of my good friends, Kim Locastro, is a consultant! Check out her site at www.aandkjams.jamberry.com and drop her an email if you have any questions!

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Yes, yes, that is a stain on my shirt. Apparently, I totally dripped some of my Black Bean Soup on myself at lunch. I do, however, totally recommend it. I make it every week for my lunches. Just made a fresh batch today!

Now go, #treatyourself and get some Jamberry lacquer!

Pepper Soup | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

The hubs came home a few weeks requesting that I make Pepper Soup. This was an odd request to me. It involved peppers and soup, two things the hubs doesn’t eat much of. Plus, I had never heard of such a soup. But I was up for the challenge, found a couple of recipes, added my own twist and this batch is pretty dang good! So here it is, Pepper Soup.

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Pepper Soup

  • Time: 6hr 30mins to 8hr 30mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:
2 pounds of lean ground beef (I used 90-10)
4 to 6 cloves of garlic, pressed
Worcestershire sauce, to taste
Soy sauce, to taste
2 green peppers, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
32 ounces of beef broth
1 cup water
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can of stewed tomatoes
2 heaping tablespoons of packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Starch of choice (rice, pastina, oyster crackers), optional

Instructions:
1. Brown beef and garlic over medium-high heat. Shake some Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce on there while it’s cooking. I know, I know. I hate it when recipes fail to give proper guidance on the amount to use but I just poured a little on and didn’t measure it. After beef is browned, drain and pat dry with paper towels. This is kind of gross, but it makes the soup better.

2. Dump everything except your starch of choice in the crock pot. I like to cut up the stewed tomatoes a little when I put them in. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

3. If you want to add a starch, prepare as directed (rice or pastina) and add  to the soup about 20 minutes before removing from the crock pot. DO NOT let rice sit in a turned on crock pot for longer because you won’t have soup. You will have super expanded rice with beef and peppers. In our family, I like to eat it without a starch to reduce calories and carbs. The hubs likes oyster crackers. So if you have a starch, you can always add it, if desired, before each serving.

 

 

Quick Quip

Me (to the hubs arguing I need a smoothie blender): I just hate washing blenders. It’s a pain in the ass.

Hubs: You hate cleaning anything.

Me: (blank stare as I swallow the taste of defeat)