Sorry for the long absence – current favorite products

Hi Beauties,

As it’s been now three months (I think) since I last posted, I figured it’s time to get back into trying to post at least once a month if I can swing that!!

It’s been an very overwhelming and extremely busy past three months and I’ll explain why. Three months ago this next week, my second decided to make an early entrace into this world at 6 weeks early! He was born a mere 4 hours after my water broke on January 31st, 2017. He’s done nothing but surpass everyone’s expectations for him and he is thriving despite having been 6 weeks early and with his spina bifida.

Alright, anyway, life’s been hectic to say the least, but I’m hoping things are starting to calm down. In the meantime, I thought I’d list some of my current favorite products as I’ve done a lot of shifting in my makeup/hair routine recently including chopping off my waist length hair into an a-line mix of a bob/lob (long bob). I think I want to start up my youtube channel again, but we’ll see if that’s too ambitious for right now!

Okay, let’s start with hair!

With the shorter hair I’m finding I only need to conditioner it mmmaybe once a week. I need to get another bottle of co-wash, but for now I’m liking L’Oreal’s new clay shampoo.

L’Oreal Extraordinary Clay Rebalancing Shampoo

I’ve been using this for a few weeks now and I feel like it’s actually cleaning my hair. I haven’t noticed any build up yet, but I’ve also been (when I use conditioner) putting conditioner first then shampooing. This seems to help my hair actually get clean without stripping good oils. I find the scent refreshing and while I’m not entirely sure the “clay” is actually doing anything, I like to think that it is.

In trying to figure out my new styling needs with my new haircut, I accidentally stumbled upon what I’m using right now. Ironically it’s a product I’ve NEVER liked before with my longer hair and yet it’s the absolutely best product I’ve found so far with my shorter hair.

MOUSSE

I never liked how mousse would dry in my hair when it was to my waist. I liked cream/gels, but one of the things I specifically asked my hair stylist to do was give me as many layers as she could. I wanted, no CRAVED volume. I also knew that as soon as postpartum hair loss struck, I wanted a hair style I could get the absolute most volume I could. One day I decided to pull out my Garnier Fructis mousse and just give it a whirl. Holy cow, I got INCREDIBLE volume and my hair was SO soft. Check out the picture above, that was freshly washed and volumized hair.

Garnier Fructis Style Curl Construct Creation Mousse

The the last hair product I’ve been using this past week especially is a dry texturizing spray. I had found one by Garnier Fructis called Texture Tease last year at some point but with longer hair it was not a good product for my hair. I must have used enough of it last year because it only lasted a week! When trying to find the spray to replace my now empty bottle, I discovered that it appears to be yet another product that I’ve snatched up that is now discontinued! I then turned to the shelves of Target’s beauty section and stumbled upon a dry texturizing spray that I think is my new favorite product.

Umberto Dry Texture Spray 

I spritzed some of this on my hair after I got home this afternoon, and oh my goodness, instant revival of volume and without any crunchiness! I think I’m going to be reaching for this spray a lot.

Okay! Moving on to face products!

With having two kids now, one being an almost three month old who requires more doctors appointments than my first has had in his 3 years of life, my makeup routine has had to become very minimal. Honestly, all I’m doing right now most days is applying a BB cream after I put toner and moisturizer on my face after showering in the mornings, a little bit of eyebrow pencil, eyeliner, and mascara, and that’s my beauty routine.

Let’s start from the skin out –

Dickinson’s Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner 

I’ve started using Witch Hazel two times a day and I’m really pleased with how my skin is starting to look! Especially with my body still full of pregnancy hormones and everything still settling after my little one’s intense arrival, my skin has been a bit unhappy with me. I don’t mind the slightly alcoholic smell of this witch hazel, it goes away as soon as it dries which is about 2 seconds. I just apply it with a cottonball around around my face, neck, and chest.

Olay Fresh Effects Long Live Moisture Satin Finish Lotion

I used to use this lotion several years ago but I didn’t really know how to take care of my face so it didn’t work all that great. However, I started using it again and I really love it. It’s silky but doesn’t dry oily. I don’t break out from it and one bottle lasts for months.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – Light/Medium 

OMG, this stuff is amazing! I put this on after the lotion above and break one of my makeup rules; I apply it with my hands! I found this works best for this cream because the heat of my hands helps the cream blend into my skin a lot smoother than if I used a sponge or brush. Also, it’s quicker. I apply the witch hazel, moisturizer, and the bb cream in all less than 3 minutes.

But, when I want to do a fuller face of makeup, I found another new favorite –

NYX BB Cream in Natural 

I ran out of my Rimmel bb cream and decided to try something a little different for my minimal makeup routine. I haven’t always liked NYX products, but have been very pleased with this cream. It blends almost matte once it warms up to my skin. And it goes on really smoothly with or without primer under it. Ha, yet another makeup rule of mine I’ve broken recently! I’ll tell you what, having two kids really makes you figure out how quickly you can do something in as little steps as possible!

So those are my current favorite products! Thanks for sticking around during my absence. Life’s been really hard and busy and intense lately, but I haven’t dropped makeup as it’s become a significant self-care thing for me. Hopefully I’ll be able to start posting with a little more regularity soon!

 

Welcoming 2017 & Goals

Hi Beauties!

Welcome to 2017! It feels weird that it’s January. 2016 was a rough year for me, but it also felt like the year flew by! Lashes & Rouge has been around for almost a year and a half now, and I’m trying to decide where I want to take the blog in the coming year. I know I have to step back because of baby #2 coming at the end of next month, but how much I’ll be stepping back is still up in the air. I haven’t stopped wearing makeup, haha, I don’t think I could now, but my focus can’t be so narrowed in on this blog.

So, what are some of the things I do want to do?

  • I want to post at least twice a month, and I have a lot of ideas, it’s merely going to be a matter of finding time and energy to put posts up.
  • I’m going to split posts up between three categories (at least for now); Fashion, Makeup/Hair, and Reviews.

I’m still trying to find my niche with being a beauty blogger, and because of that, I’m hesitant to really stick with only one or two things! I recently picked up this planner and I want to try planning out my blogging schedule instead of just doing it whenever I have a few minutes. I’ll also be using this planner to keep track of baby #2’s drs appointments and surgeries and such too because yeah, lots of information going to be coming my way soon!

I left the company I was with last September and since then have been experimenting a lot with skin care and face care. So hopefully I can get my reviews of my new favorites with skin care routines up soon! Being halfway through the third trimester means I’m struggling to keep up with day to day things, never mind about blogging with any consistency!

I hope the first week of this new year has been good for you already, and thank you for following along as I shift and adjust this blog!

Our Little Bear and the World We are Walking Into – life post

— content note: I apologize if this post is a little all over the place. I’m currently running on very little sleep and while my brain is going a million miles a minute, my body is kinda having trouble functioning. Thanks for understanding! —

Hi Beauties,

Some of you may have seen that my current pregnancy has been had its really rough spots so far, and while I just passed the 20 week mark, life just got a heck of a lot more difficult. My little bear has been diagnosed with Spina Bifida, and while this is devastating as a parent to hear this, we are surrounded with so many people caring for us, coming alongside us, and we also have access to one of the top Spina Bifida medical centers in the country. That being said, before I full jump into this post, please know I’m not entirely sure how much I’ll be able to post on this blog for the time being. Our lives are being completely and thoroughly shaken up, and who knows, I may need this spot of some normality among the chaos of drs appointments, tests, and as we prepare to bring our little bear into the world.

First off, here are two very important things I feel the need to emphasis.

  1. What is helpful? Hearing how many people are praying for, thinking about, and just supporting us through us has been immensely helpful in just easing the burden this diagnosis and the future is putting on my husband and I.

  2. What is NOT helpful? Hearing how your friend so n so has SB and they’re _____ (fill in the blank). Spina Bifida is really a one case at a time situation. There are no guarantees with this condition and each case is so specific and unique we really won’t have answers with how mobile or not our little bear will be until he is in our arms.

Alright, so last Wednesday, the 26th, I went in for what I thought would be a fairly normal prenatal appointment. I was scheduled for my 20 week ultrasound, and was hoping to see that the placenta previa they saw a month ago had resolved itself. (<– which btw, it has) I wasn’t worried about little bear, because this kid moves like there is no tomorrow. He has regular dance parties, sometimes to the chagrin of mommy’s upset stomach. But as I watched the ultrasound tech go over all of his measurements and try to get him to stay still for the important ones, a sense of something not quite being right started to come over me. Before I get too far, I want to share something I wrote the day after that appointment.

~~~~~~

Yesterday morning I woke up, said goodbye to Phil, got the day started by taking a shower, got Ender up, made up breakfast. We filled the morning with books and movies and trains and waited until I could go to my 20 week prenatal appointment and ultrasound.  This morning I woke up to a traumatizing nightmare about my dad, feeling like the ground missing from under my feet, and have felt that overwhelming sense of utter helplessness.

I will never forget the look on the midwife’s face when she walked into my appointment. Her eyes were slightly red, and she looked very somber. My heart sank then, I knew then for sure something hadn’t been right on the ultrasound. I had watched the ultrasound tech pretty closely, and had noticed that she kept going over two areas in particular. She kept measuring little bear’s brain, or trying to. My little bear was so active as usual that he made her job a little harder with trying to get the measurements she needed. She kept measuring his spine and trying to get him to cooperate with trying to check blood flow. I even asked her, “do you see anything concerning?” To which she answered, “I can’t technically diagnosis anything.”

What I saw was a healthy baby boy, a very active little boy who measured exactly with my due date, even a few days to almost a week ahead on some measurements.

“We saw two areas of big concern on the ultrasound.”

The words no mother to be wants to hear. I felt everything stop around me as she explained what the tech had showed her. She flipped over the crisp white sheet of paper she had brought in and explained they were referring me to a specialist. There is extra fluid around little bear’s brain and the most concerning part was the appearance of a cystic tumor close to his tailbone. It hit me then, something was wrong with my baby. Not just something, she said the biggest concern is possible spina bifida. I asked her point blank just how concerning this was to them, “on a scale of 1-10.” She told me that if I was her sister then she would be very concerned, but as a medical professional, she would probably put level of concern between 7-10. Not the numbers I wanted to hear. I repeated this question three times, “but his legs are very strong and active, that’s a good thing right?” She had mentioned that a big concern would be nerve damage. And yes, she told me that the fact that he’s so active and growing at the rate he should, those are good signs. She said a lot of babies who present these signs don’t often even make it to 20 weeks. So that’s also in mine and little bear’s favor.

But the terror. The bewilderment. Is this really happening to my seemingly healthy active baby I just saw on the ultrasound 15 minutes ago? This can’t be happening, right?

The nurse walked me out the back exit so I didn’t have to walk through the waiting area sobbing. She gave me a box of kleenex and kept saying “I’m so sorry you had to get this news today.” I was in so much shock I really couldn’t respond. I sat in my car and just sobbed. Phil couldn’t be with me, he left Wednesday morning, 4 hours before my appointments, and wouldn’t be back until Saturday. I called him and tried to explain what the midwife had seen. I don’t think it really sunk in until several hours later when he began to realize just how big the unknowns are. I finally got home with Ender and tried to function. Thankfully the family who had watched him for my appointment had worn him out pretty efficiently. He went to bed, and I all of a sudden had an absolutely heart wrenching thought. I had forgotten, or it hadn’t even crossed my mind, to ask if little bear was suddenly at a much higher risk of miscarriage. I managed to get in touch with the on-call midwife and choked out my question through more tears. She immediately reassured me that no, there was absolutely no higher risk of miscarriage, this just means I need to go see the perinatal specialist and by seeing them I will get a lot of questions answered. I felt better after hanging up. I talked with Phil some more and we both tried to comfort each other over the phone and voiced the questions and concerns and just the HUGE unknowns we simply don’t have answers to.

The questions that just keep circling in my head seem to only be gaining momentum. To put them all into words is so very difficult. I woke up this morning to find that my entire mindset has shifted. I am no longer eagerly counting down the days to my due date, I begging that those 137 days left are enough. Are they enough to carry my child to a safe delivery? Are they enough, or will they be the last days we have with him? The practical side of me is desperate for the mental lists that have disappeared. You know, those lists where you have a running list of everything you need when preparing for the birth of a child? The lists where you mark down the preferred stroller, car seat, clothes, essential child care items? Yeah, those, will I even need those? Will I need to get that new car seat? Will we even need that new double stroller that will accommodate having two little boys?

Will my baby be okay? Will he live to be in my arms and live a healthy life?

Those are the questions that are ringing the loudest. We are facing a parent’s worst nightmare. We are sitting in the dark unsure of what’s going to happen. The range of unknowns and possible situations are too great for the mind’s comprehension. Even as I sit here and write this, I feel my little bear’s strong movements and my heart breaks all over again, “will he be okay?” All of my hopes, dreams, and plans for the rest of this pregnancy have been shot out the window. I don’t even know anymore if having a natural birth is an option. I’m afraid to look anything up, I’m scared stiff of researching. I am in limbo. I have no direction, I have no idea where things are going to go, it’s simply dark; pitch black and I’m afraid to feel my baby because I don’t want to lose him, I don’t want to have my heart ripped to absolute shreds. I don’t want to keep getting attached only to have him ripped away from us. But I can’t help but love him, cherish him, long to hold him safe in my arms. My heart is already broken, it is already being ripped to shreds. I’m afraid to hope for things to be on the lighter end of the possibilities, I’m afraid to hope.

There’s a certain amount of isolation I’m already feeling as we wait to find out what’s going on. This is a parent’s worse nightmare, this is OUR worst nightmare. This is what no parent wants to hear. This is the thing that no one knows how to respond to. How do you say to the parents struggling with this “I’m so glad it isn’t my kid?” It has meant so much to have those in my personal circle just standing by me and us as we try to process this extremely scary situation.

~~~~~~

Yesterday, October 31st 2016, we saw the specialist and I’ll have to say we both really really liked him. The ultrasound tech who did the ultrasound before we saw the actual specialist was amazing too. She definitely knew more about what she was doing and explained things as she went along. Of course, little bear made things difficult with his active little self, but she was able to get all of the important pictures and measurements she needed. As soon as the specialist came in, he very candidly explained everything they saw on the ultrasound, what that means, and what the next steps are. He seemed slightly surprised at the questions my husband and I were asking, and even said that we’re on the right track, we’re asking ALL the right questions. Which is reassuring still because it helps me feel like I can, maybe somehow, better understand and process what’s coming. The next steps are to see an entire team of specialists at Children’s here in Denver and along with that, I will have an entire day of tests, MRI’s, blood work, ultrasounds, and who knows what else. At the end of that day, we will sit down and have what they called a family session with all of the specialists and go over everything that day brings up. It is overwhelming, it is mind boggling to try to even take in the little bit we know now, but I am grateful we have so many specialists available to us and little bear, and for so many people who are standing up alongside us.

My words feel feel fuzzy today after yesterday’s appointment, and at the same time, I know the amount of information we’re going to be exposed to over the next 6-12 months is going to be even more overwhelming. As my hubby put it, we’re preparing for a fire hose of information and let’s hope we actually retain some. For the practical side of things, my entire birth plan preferences (I never expect things would go to plan) has completely shifted. I will be having a scheduled c-section between 37-38 weeks as long as nothing else comes up or changes over the next 15 weeks. Little bear will be having surgery 24-72 hours after being born, will be in the NICU, and we just won’t know how long or how any of that will go until he’s here. Meanwhile, we’ve got the answers we needed after Wednesday’s appointment, but those answers have only brought up more questions. I feel like those first two days after getting the news that something was wrong with my baby were the days I spent grieving. I cried my tears, I allowed myself the time to feel the fear and worry and acknowledge that everything was changing. And during the 5 days between the first ultrasound and our appointment yesterday, both my husband and I mentally prepared for worst case scenario. The scenario we were given is a best worst case scenario and it’s something we are approaching with a logical and calm mindset.

This is hard, please don’t get me wrong, but I know we’ll be okay, we’re going to make it, and without a doubt in my mind, both of our children matter with equal importance and we love them with all that we are.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and support. I will not be putting blogging at the top of my list of priorities, so thank you for understanding if I disappear for awhile.

Giveaway!! 3 FREE Le Tote boxes are up for grabs!!

Hi Babes!

Happy hump day! To brighten your Wednesday and to help you get through the end of the week, I have 3 free totes to give away from Le Tote. I have mentioned Le Tote before in a review and compare I did on Le Tote versus Stitch Fix. Le Tote is a decent program, however, it is pricey, so I’d highly highly recommend jumping on this!!

The first three people to COMMENT below get the totes!

Get moving! These won’t last for long!

Projects I’m Working On – call for guest posts!

Hi Babes!

How’s your Monday going so far? Ender and I had a play-date this morning with a few other moms and he thoroughly enjoyed playing with his buddies. And I always think of Minions when I use that term. Anyway, here’s a video detailing some of the things I’ve been working on and the things that I will have coming to the blog in the coming weeks and month. April has kind of gotten away from me, but even while I haven’t had time to post, I have been doing a lot of research. Like I’ve said before, my Pinterest boards are overflowing with charts, how-tos, and lists of things that I am planning on implementing on this blog.

One of the things I would love to do with this blog is start featuring guest posts! Email me with post ideas at lashes.rouge at gmail.com.

 

Little Updates

This past week has been crazy for me. I had my company’s big conference last weekend, and all of last week was catching up on life and spending time with my little guy who really missed me last week. During this past week, I spent awhile planning my future goals and figuring out what I want to do with my life. So, one of the big things I’ll be working towards for the rest of the year is figuring out how to become a Makeup Artist. I’ll be looking up information about classes and doing lots of research. This blog will be my testing ground and anyone who has any suggestions, please contact me! This is going to be my learning year for sure.

Some of the things I’ll be posting about in the coming weeks include applying foundation correctly (I’m going to be testing a new e.l.f. foundation!), hot curler tips (hot curlers versus curling iron), and my pinterest boards are overflowing with ideas!

So hang in there, I’m trying to get my crazy wild life back in order! I’ll be posting regularly again shortly. My plan is to do some playing around with hair styles for my sister in law’s wedding next month as well as makeup. Thanks for following and keeping up with my sporadic posting!

Giveaway winner announced and new product announcement!

Hi all,

It was a crazy crazy week for me last week! Thank you for all who entered in the giveaway. Would Shannon please message me? I will send out your package out tomorrow!

Okay, so I spent all weekend in St. Louis freezing my butt of between the hotel and the conference center. You all in St. Louis, is your weather always that bone chilling cold in April?? Anyway, I am so very excited about the conference I attended, the new product that was announced, and the new absolutely incredible deals that were given to us in Nerium and to those who purchase Nerium as a customer. I was blown away at how much our CEO and all of those at the top of the company care about every person in Nerium. I don’t know of any other company who does that. I am so lucky to be a part of such an awesome company.

Now, want to know what the new product is???  It’s an incredible eye serum. This is the first product that provides instant results as well as long term. Half of its ingredients provide those instant results people look for, and the other half are focused on restoring skin and repairing for long term results.

This WILL sell out very quickly, so anyone interested message me over at the contact page!!! Nerium has been known to sell out very fast any time a new product as been released.

Happy Monday to everyone and keep your eyes out for another tutorial post this coming week! I just got a hot roller set for my birthday and I’m so excited to give tips and tricks for that!

Deal Alerts!

Happy Friday!

It’s been a long week for me and my little family. Colorado got a bunch of snow on Wednesday and my almost two year old and I have been quite stir crazy! Anyway, here’s a list of the big deals happening right now!

Ulta is just over half way through a 21 days of beauty deals. Tomorrow is a steal of a deal for Tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes mascara (it’s 50% off!!) and I’m keeping my eye on the 31st for a Juice Beauty deal as well as Lipstick Queen lipstick (this deal is online only).

Here’s the link for the Ulta deals – 21 Days of Deals!

Also, check out Hautelook’s deals this weekend as well! Juice beauty is one of the brands, as well as Lorac, Doucce Cosmetics – Hautelook Deals

Keep an eye out for a post this weekend on how to clean your beauty blender/makeup sponges, as well as brushes! I’m planning a post next week for making your own makeup remover pads as well.

Have an awesome weekend, all!

More Announcements!!

Before I dive into today’s announcements, I had recorded a video yesterday detailing how I do my makeup for the videos. But, the video needs some serious edits (more needing length cut back than anything else) so bear with me! I hope to get that up by tomorrow.

Okay, first big announcement! I am now officially affiliated with Amazon. When Lashes & Rouge was first created last year, I had tried to sign up for Amazon’s affiliate program but it wasn’t available in Colorado. Something changed because now it is! I’m so excited and will be using Amazon links for most of the hair products and some makeup products I review and use. Hop over to my favorite and recommended product page and you can take a look at the updated list! Now being affiliated with Amazon means that the links I post to various products will give me a small commission from anything anyone buys through those links.

Second, I am also working on becoming an affiliate of Ulta AND Sephora. I will hopefully hear something about both of those by the end of the week. So keep an eye out for another announcement post about that!

Next, I have updated the Pick The Topics page. Seriously, people, I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you want to see posted on this blog! I am planning out a posting schedule for April and with how much I have going on in April, I want to be able to cover as many things as I can!

Thanks for all of your support and following and subscribing to this blog! If you have time, go check out Online Beauty Finds! I have gotten several great suggestions for products from their blog and I love their reviews.