Archive for April 2015

What to bring? What to bring? Hostess Gifts!

It seems to be the time of year for a party!  Housewarmings, BBQs (or as we say here in Wisconsin “fryouts”), dinner parties, birthday parties, baptisms, weddings, graduations…the list goes on and on.

What to bring the host and hostess?  Some of the best hostess gifts that I have received are things that are not necessarily something I would buy myself (fabulous crystal salt and pepper shakers) have an essence of scarcity (candle from Anthropologie which is an hour away from where I live) or have become a life changing item in my life (Pampered Chef Mini Spatula).

While some of these require a little planning ahead, here are some fabulous gifts that you will love so much you just may have to buy two- one to keep and one to give away! What about you? What are some of your favorite things that you have received? Or do you have a few standard gifts that you like to give? Let me know in the comment section below!

Gifts for the Host/Hostess

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And for your wildly inappropriate, laugh-at-anything friend:

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One, two, three step…Make me up!

Makeup is something that I started getting interested in later than most women I suppose, and by the time it became somewhat of an emergency (due to major dark circles under my eyes from sleep deprivation of a growing family) I had no idea where to start. I also had no time to learn. Cue YouTube videos- The perfect companion to those middle of the night feedings! These handy clips gave me lots of tips on skin care and makeup application, and most importantly gave me confidence to try some new things.

Over the years I have ramped up my makeup routine and am able to complete it in 5 minutes feeling complete and pulled together. But there are some days when I don’t even have 5 minutes- and that got me to thinking: If I have a minimal amount of time what are the three things that I would put on my face? We all have different things that we like to conceal or accentuate. For me I have absolutely no lips so I have shied away from lipstick my entire life. However, I have seen women looking great with just a dab of lipstick, a touch of bronzer or a swipe of mascara. After giving this some thought, here are my three things:

1.) Concealer– I have tried a number of different ones over the years with varying results but am currently using Estee Lauder Smoothing Cream Concealer. To give you an idea of the gravity of my dark circles, the woman who sold it too me sang its praises by indicating that people even use it to cover up tattoos. Now that’s an endorsement!

2.) Mascara– For many years I swore by the classic Maybelline Great Lash in brown/black. It’s inexpensive, you can find it anywhere, and it does give you pretty good results. Recently I was introduced to a wonderful three step fiber lash system from Younique, and it yields wonderful results. But since this post is about being speedy, try Estee Lauder Sumptuous Infinite.  In the event that you do have an extra moment, try a lash primer with it- I use Estee Lauder Lash Primer.

3.) Highlighter/Illuminator– I am a huge Carmindy fan from TLC’s no longer running show “What Not To Wear”.  One of her makeup staples is to use a strategically placed highlighter or illuminator on the faces of her makeover clients. This trick alone will make you look (or at least feel) 21 again. One of my favorite standbys is Smashbox’s Halo Highlighting Wand. I use this product down the bridge of my nose, in the cupid’s bow of my lip, in a “C” around the outer edges of my eyes and again pressed into the inner corners. This is such a good tool I can’t believe I am listing it third on my list!

I can accomplish those three things in a minute and a half. And that’s just the amount of time I have before someone starts to yell “Mom!“. And yes I admit, on occasion I have walked out of the house with mascara on one eye only. Hey, a girl’s gotta try, right?

What do you think? What are your three things? Sound off in the comment section below!