14 articles Articles posted in Beauty

Capsule Wardrobe

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I have a group of friends online, we are mostly babywearers (though some awesome nonwearing friends have got in on the action) and together we’ve discovered Personal Color Analysis, Kibbe style, proper bra fitting, and Curly Girl Method. It’s been fun and frivolous and frankly, I think all of us are coming out the other side feeling good about the skin we are in. One surprising side effect of all this beauty introspection has been a great simplifying of my beauty routine. Sounds counterintuitive doesn’t it? Spend lots of time obsessing but end up feeling lighter and simpler? Let me explain, now that I know what colors are right on me, I don’t waste time on the wrong colors. Now that I’ve embraced my 2B waves, I don’t waste time straightening and fighting frizz. Bras fitting better = feel better about my body. Kibbe is still a mystery to me, but my take away has been: not everything is going to look good on me, don’t waste time trying to force it.

I woke up last week to find it’s now dark in the morning. Fall is here and it’s time for a wardrobe shake up.

How’s this for a shake up?

33 items
3 months
Project 333


I read the rules and started at How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe


My needs are a little different from her needs (2 bracelets? Who wears bracelets?) so I set about personalizing my list.

5 shirts
1 jeans
2 jeans
1 leggings
1 sweatshirt
2 light sweaters
3 t shirts
2 shirts
2 cardigans
1 sweatshirt
1 Dress
1 Skirt
1 sunglasses
2 necklaces
1 purse
1 camera bag
2 scarf
1 Coat*
3 Shoes

*I need a winter coat. I’ve been wearing my ratty busted maternity coat for 4 winters now! I really need to pull the trigger this year and make it happen.

Through the course of this project I hope to dress simply and chicly, I want to identify the real staples in my wardrobe and use this opportunity to replace any shabby items with quality pieces. This isn’t really a no-shopping challenge for me, I rarely shop now, instead I want to take a cue from what I actually find myself wearing and decide where to spend wisely.




Beauty Tuesday – Vacation Packing

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I don’t normally have trouble packing light- but this trip has me stumped!

I’ve got to pack clothes for day (including a sweater because I hate that canned AC air at conventions), a few outfits for night, my new demo doll, Gus, a wrap, my camera and lenses, my iPad, and some knitting

I don’t have a ton of clothes that fit me right now that are also palette wins, so I don’t have too many options thank goodness.

The List:

  • Skinny jeans
  • A few tanks and tees
  • A couple dresses
  • Flats, flops, heels
  • Make up
  • Hair stuff

And packing tips!

What am I missing?

Beauty Tuesday- Countouring Redux

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When I found this Maskcara tutorial for 4 Minute Mom Make-up a couple of years ago, it totally revamped my Make-up routine.  However when I discovered PCA and learned that I am a Bright Winter, I had to give up brown- I was so bummed about giving up my contouring.

I talked about it in this post, and a few commenters suggested Nyx Taupe blush for contouring. It was surprisingly hard to find Nyx Taupe blush (had to get it as an Amazon add-on), so I’m just now trying it.

I was initially disappointed when I opened the package, I don’t know why I was expecting something magically brown but not brown? I don’t know. But I didn’t have high hopes.


Well contour me pleasantly surprised.

(ba dum bum)

It’s not aging, it doesn’t look muddy, in fact it looks pretty good.


You can see next to the bronzer I was previously using it’s quite a bit cooler. Certainly not harmonious with my fan, but when applied with a light hand it’s not at odds with my coloring either.

Beauty Wednesday- Pool Party Make-Up

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We had a pool party for one of Henry’s friends this weekend. when I think pool party make-up I think simple, waterproof, and most importantly I think SPF!


Except for the blush (which you won’t need if you are heading out into the sun) the make-up for this low key look can all be found at the drugstore.


L’oreal Revitalift Miracle Blur-  It goes on smoth and light almost like a primer, it really does blur out fine lines and large pores (doesn’t do anything for the not-so-fine lines of course), and best of all it’s a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen.

Maybelline Full and Soft Waterproof Mascara- I don’t wear waterproof mascara very often, but when I do I like this formulation. It’s soft and understated.

Revlon Just Bitten Lipstain + Balm- I bought up a bunch of this becasue I think they discontinued it. I’m going to cry when I run out, it’s so easy, it’s long lasting, and it doesn’t rub off on anything.


P.S. I’m guest posting today over on Simply Stavish about self portraits and our 365 project!


Beauty Tuesday- Q&A with Cate Linden Chromatics

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As promised last week, I’m happy to bring you a Q&A with Cate Linden of Cate Linden Chromatics. Cate is the analyst I saw last weekend in Louisville for my PCA, she’s also a friend. I asked for questions online in one of the facebook seasonal color analysis groups, and added a couple of my own for good measure.


How did you discover color? What made you pursue a career in PCA? Tell us about your color journey.

I don’t remember specifically discovering color. I’ve always been interested in it. When I was eight or nine my mom started redecorating our house. We made endless trips to Home Depot and I amused myself by collecting my favorite paint chips. I’m an avid reader and I’ve always thrilled by passages involving color (you’d be hard-pressed to avoid them) because they are so evocative.Here’s a Nabokov line that I’ve always loved: “a portion of pale blue sky – mild infantile shade of blue – taste of milk in my mouth because I had a mug of that colour thirty-five years ago.”

As for the career, it just seemed like a natural progression. I was already running a color-related business as a dye artist. The more I learned about PCA, the more I realized I knew nothing and that I wanted to know more. Additionally, even when I was actually living in the wrong season, it was a great process of self-discovery and self-acceptance.

Have you seen any correlation between eye patterns/colors and season?

Yes, but I’m still learning. There are patterns that are often indicative of certain seasons, but there aren’t hard and fast rules. Many Winters have a lot of warmth to their eyes, for example, even orange.

Are there any seasons that are easier or harder to diagnose than the others, or is ease of diagnosis only dependent on how strongly a person exhibits seasonal characteristics?

Mostly dependent on the person, in my experience. PCA can be very unpredictable!

I’m really curious about how sun (tan) affects PCA. I know it’s not supposed to, but it seems that it should.

Tanning will not affect your real season, and neither will a sunburn or rosacea; none of those things alter the colors that are inherent to your body. They are part of your overtone. What you LOOK like is not necessarily what you ARE.

Also how skin might change color with age – does that impact PCA?

The general consensus among analysts is no, but of course, we don’t have enough information (people draped when young and then again when older) to answer definitively. We do lose pigmentation as we age, so it’s possible that your season will change, most likely one season cooler. But you’d never start out as a Bright Winter in your twenties and become a Soft Summer in your sixties or anything drastic like that.

I’m curious about how graying hair affects season. I know it’s not supposed to, but before my hair got lighter, I wore black much better than I do now.

Black isn’t most people’s color, but maybe your dark hair made some connection with it. Sometimes during an analysis, I’ll like a color on a client because it connects with their eye color. That’s all fine and good, but what does it do for the rest of the face?

I was told my gray hair was a bit confusing for my online PCA because it influenced the analyst to think cool season until she disregarded it.

I’ll talk about online analysis in one of the next questions, but that’s part of why we cover the hair during a draping. I don’t want to be visually influenced by your grey, brown, red, blonde, or purple hair, because it doesn’t mean anything in terms of determining your Sci\ART season. That said, grey is not automatically cool. There are warm greys and cool greys.

I want to know are there any universal colors?

Nope. There isn’t a single color on earth that every single person can wear and look their absolute best in. PCA just doesn’t work that way. If this color exists, I haven’t seen any evidence! I see teal brought up sometimes. Everyone has a version of teal, but they will all be different.

Also, how do you feel about the “counterpoint season” idea? I feel like I’m better in my neighbor season than my counterpoint.

It’s an oversimplification. Every person and every draping is different. I’m a Dark Autumn. My “counterpoint season” is Bright Spring. The Bright drapes, and Spring in general, were my absolute worst colors during my draping. I’d be better off in one of my neighbors than my counterpoint. But sometimes it happens, sure. I draped a friend who is a Dark Winter, but at the end we were choosing between Dark Winter and Soft Summer, which are counterpoint seasons. Whether you’re looking at your counterpoint or neighbor, your “runner-up” season will still lack the magic of your actual season.

What are your views on the accuracy of online analysis?

Take them with a grain of salt. My main issue with online analysis is that the client doesn’t see the changes. It’s very important to me that my clients see exactly why they are what they are. Getting an email with “Congratulations, you’re a Light Summer!” doesn’t give the client any information to work with except someone’s opinion. It’s like an invitation to doubt. Sometimes online analysis is right, particularly if you look like your season’s stereotypes. But more frequently, an in-person draping reveals something entirely different. It’s just impossible to ignore the other colors going on in photographs, not to mention changes in lighting, cameras, computer monitors, etc.

Will all the colors in my palette look good on me? When I first thought I might be BW, I tried Girl About Town and thought it did not look good, even though the other BW lips looked great. I need to try it again, now that I’m used to the color and palette, but is it possible it just won’t look good on me?

Makeup, no. Absolutely not. Your individual pigmentation and overtone will play a role here, because you’re applying colors to your face. One lipstick applied to the lips of four Soft Summer women will probably look a little different on all of them. Where you fall in the seasonal spectrum matters, too. The vast majority of clothing in your palette will look fantastic on you, but you will still have preferences. For example, I know a lot of people avoid colors in their palette that look too much like their skin color.


Thanks Cate, it was great chatting about color with you!

Beauty Tuesday- PCA

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On Saturday I went down to Louisville for a Personal Color Analysis by Cate Linden of Cate Linden Chromatics.


Cate’s studio is a completely neutral grey, and the first thing you see when you walk in is the wall of drapes.


We started our session by talking about color- hue, value, and chroma, and how the seasons relate to each other.


Then we moved on to hand boards, where Cate had me hover my hand over 4 different colors of cardstock to see if any of the colors changed the appearance of my hands- none of the colors elongated or shortened the look of  my fingers, or made prominent my veins, but some of the colors made my knuckles look darker and more shadowed.


Next I put on a grey cap and cloak, the same color as the room to obscure hair and clothing that might influence my analysis.


Cate also wore a grey coat, the chair, mirror frame, walls, everything visible in our line of sight was grey except for my skin.


As Cate proceeded to drape me with a particular order of colors, I took notes per her directions. It was apparent early on that I am not an Autumn, the browns, creams, and warm tones were obviously not doing me any favors.

It also became clear that I likely wasn’t a summer, the summer colors were maybe ok, but lacked the saturation and depth I needed. They just looked a little lackluster and boring.


We eliminated all Autumn and Summer seasons. We also eliminated Light Spring and the remaining True seasons- True Spring and True Winter.  Based on the first series of drapes done with true colors, none of them impressed us, and were I a true season, we’d have been wowed.


Next we were able to eliminate Dark Winter, this was one of the most interesting drapes of the day for me, the dark winter proof (the make-it-or-break-it color for a particular season) instantly aged me in a very specific way.  As soon as Cate draped the dark winter proof across my shoulders  my smile lines and wrinkles deepened and darkened. It was the most dramatic moment of the day for me, it really brought what we were doing here into focus.

At the end of the session it became a showdown between Bright Spring and Bright Winter. I’d shown a stronger affinity for winter colors all day, but there were a couple of Bright Spring colors that had us second guessing Bright Winter.

I was also concerned that my expectation and perhaps my preference for the Bright Winter palette that I’ve been living in was influencing my perception as well.  We called in our husbands for a second opinion and something really interesting happened. Under the watchful eyes of two people who really, truly couldn’t have cared less (but proffered helpful opinions anyway) we were both able to see the obvious winner was…


Bright Winter!

I’m really happy. I was a bit reluctant to do PCA because a part  of me was worried that I’d discover that I was a different season, and I’ve grown to love this palette that was so out of my comfort zone when I first discovered it.

Next week I’m going to have an interview with Cate right here on Beauty Tuesday.  If you have any questions for her about Personal Color Analysis leave them here in the comments.

Beauty Tuesday- The One Minute Beauty Trick

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Beauty wasn’t really a priority this week, so I was feeling a little hard up for a post, until I started reading through last week’s reader comments and I came to one left by Rosemarie:

“After I had my son I remembered your post about sunglasses and bright lipstick helps on the days you get no sleep! So true, that is a great way to look like a rockstar when you’ve been up with a baby all night.”

 Rosemarie must have been reading a long time (and I thank you for that Rosemarie) because it’s been a while since we talked about my favorite make-up tip.

 The One Minute Beauty Trick 


No tricks, this is really what I look like at the end (and usually the beginning) of my day. Exhausted is an understatement. Sometimes I don’t have the time, energy, inclination or motivation to get cute. So I fake it with the one minute beauty trick.

I wear bright lipstick because I’m a bright winter, but this shade won’t look good on everyone, pick a color that looks good on you, a handy pair of shades (these are from the gas station, very chic) and voila. Nobody needs to know I was up at 4 am with the baby, just worked an 11 hour day in a steel mill and haven’t showered since Saturday.

Ditch the Dump- Week 1

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It’s pretty funny that I’m posting this link up in sweats! I’m slathered in Vicks vaporub and wearing one of Josh’s old t shirts to keep it off my sheets. I’m sick as a dog. But I ditched the dumpy sweats this weekend!



Join the link up by clicking the blue link up box below, or join me on Facebook and share your pics there!

Lorac Pro Palette

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Well look at this little birthday surprise that showed up on my doorstep! My great friend Suz is super thoughtful and better than anyone I know at remembering occasions and choosing gifts that people actually love.


I have been adding the Lorac Pro Palette (not sponsored, just having fun) to my cart and taking it out for months. On one hand, what a perfect palette, the whole range of neutrals, matte and shimmer all in one place.


On the other hand, I knew it would not be a palette match, so I just couldn’t pull the trigger. Now that I have it in my hot little hands, I can see quite a few shades that will work, and the warmer shades will be fun to play around with.

Best part; I’ve been looking for a better color to use as brow fill for months; I’ve been using MAC Brun which is close, but too warm, Espresso, the dark matte brown on the palette is a perfect cool brown.

Time to play! When I was a single gal living alone I used to “play” make-up- on a night in I’d play around trying new looks, this little gift inspired me to play again.


Of course the first place I looked for a tutorial to make the best use of my new palette is my favorite make-up blog Maskcara. Although I use her tips less and less the more I embrace my bright winter palette, she’s definitely my first stop for all thinks make-up.

“Natural” Make-up look tutorial– I put natural in quotes because this looks nothing like natural me, but I suppose that’s the point right? If I wanted lo look totally natural I’d skip the make-up all together- and most days I do.


I took my search to YouTube for this next look. I’ve never been able to do a smoky eye without looking like I got beat up, so I’m pretty happy with the results here. It’s definitely a look better suited for a night on the town than a night on the couch, but hey, that’s my life!

Tutorial for a smoky eye

(Forgive the weird lighting in these pics, the first is very early morning, the second is late at night)

Have you tried this palette? Have any great tutorial recommendations for me?

How To Be More Photogenic

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This is the question Josh and I were asking when we were preparing for a little project that I’m looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Josh took his question to Google, and Google took him to photographer Peter Hurley’s tips on YouTube; It’s All About The Jaw and It’s All About The Squinch. We watched, we practiced, then we put our practice in practice.



What do you think?  Does it work? Is it baloney? Do we need more practice?