The August Ipsy Bag Revealed!

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Ipsy is like playing a monthly round of White Elephant.  You never know what you’re going to get–it could be something you can’t live without, or it could be a total dud.  And after it’s over, you end up trading stuff with your mom.

This month, I unwrapped my bag and wound up with a whole lotta useless.  And the one thing I did like…well, I’ll tell you about it below:

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IT Hair Care 12-in-One Amazing Leave-in Treatment

I got excited about this stuff because it promises so much: it gets rid of frizz and tangles, it repairs damaged hair (ooh that’s me!), it adds body and shine, the list goes on.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past the greasy, thick feeling it had on my hair.  I made sure to use the recommended amount, but still, my hair just felt like I hadn’t washed it in a few days.  No bueno.

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Formula X Nail Polish in Dollface

Okay, I really, really liked this one!  I prefer very pale nail polish colors, and this one fit the bill exactly.  It went on smoothly and still hasn’t chipped (after three days, for reference).  Sadly, I accidentally left my sample at the nail salon.  I’m going to take that as a sign from above that I should go ahead and buy a full-size bottle.

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Pacifica Sundreams Lotus Infused Bronzer in Sunkissed

REALLY, IPSY?  I’m about as pale as they come, and they sent me a bronzer that’s about ten shades too dark.  I tried to make it work.  I applied it like a “3” on my forehead, the hollows of my cheeks, and my jawline, but I looked absolutely ridiculous.  No amount of blending was gonna make this work.

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Beau Gachis Paris Pro Series Applicator Sponge

NYX Professional Makeup Born to Glow Liquid Illuminator in Sunbeam

Well, I at least liked the applicator sponge.  It soaked up the illuminator really well and allowed me to dab on just the right amount–no drips, no mess, nada.  The illuminator, though, didn’t work for me.  I have fairly oily skin, so my face gets shiny on its own.  It doesn’t need the help.

Do you get Ipsy bags?  If you do, what did you think of this month’s bag?

By the way, do you like my background?  It’s just a sheet of wallpaper that I got from Paper Source!

Outfit: Off With Her Sleeves

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Last weekend during a Tudors marathon with one of my friends, we spent about half the time drooling over Jonathan Rhys Meyers and the other half over all the insanely gorgeous costumes.  They were all so ornate, with rich colors and sharp angles and you-can-practically-feel-it textures.  That’s why I desperately wanted to put on this dress.  It may not look like anything in Anne Boleyn’s wardrobe, but there is something about it that calls back to those times.  The fabric is so heavy and full, and the paisley print almost looks like it could have been hundreds of years old.

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Dress: old, ModCloth

Shoes: old, Seychelles

Ring: ModCloth

Bracelet: c/o Bead Artistry by Marian

Outfit: Lovin’ in the Sun

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Remember how last time, I went out to take pictures really early in the morning so I wouldn’t be disturbed and ended up being photobombed by a bunch of Tai Chi-ers?  Well, the day after that, I thought I’d try taking some good sunrise pics again.

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Once more, I woke up at 5:30 a.m., got ready, and was on the road by 6.  I drove all the way out to Naperville, which is a good 30-40 minute drive.  I wanted to shoot at this pretty covered bridge over the DuPage River, and I knew I’d never have a chance at getting a good shot at any other time of day.  The river has a walking path beside it, and it’s not long after sunrise that it gets packed with people strolling the shoreline.  When I pulled into a spot near the riverbank, I scanned the horizon and spent a few moments taking in the sight of the sun slowly making its way above my head.  The colors were so striking–saturated oranges and yellows, muted purples and blues all stacked atop each other.  I couldn’t wait to hop out of the car and get cracking.  I turned to pick up my camera, and…

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It was gone.  I left it at home.

After I laughed at myself a little, I hit the road again, picked up my camera, and went to one of my favorite forest preserves nearby to see if I could still get some good sunshine in these pictures.  Happily, the lighting was wonderful and I was even able to finally get some good sunflare shots!  I’m really excited about how these turned out, and while I don’t believe in signs, man, I think it turned out to be a great thing that I ended up shooting here.

Top: thrifted

Shorts: ModCloth

Shoes: old, Urban Outfitters

Necklace: Bristol Renaissance Faire

Bag: old, ModCloth

3 Ways I Dress to Look Taller

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I’ve always loved being on the short side.  Shortness automagically makes you cute, and it’s something a little unique, especially when you’re hardly over 5′.  As much as I love my height, though, I don’t want to make myself look any shorter than I actually am.  Ever since I started blogging, I’ve picked up a few style rules for myself.  I don’t always follow them–and I don’t think you should, either!–but they’re great guidelines for picking out outfits that make me feel confident and get away with rounding up my height to 5’1″!

  1. My skirts are usually cut above the knee. Nothing makes your legs look longer than showing them off!  I’m always at the tailor getting skirts taken up a few inches to land in just the right place. While I do love midi skirts, I have short, muscular legs, so I tend to wear them a little less frequently.DSC_2126
  2. All my pants, shorts, and skirts are high-waisted. Defining your waist is an easy way to make your legs look longer.  Better yet?  Tuck in or knot your shirts or wear a belt for even more definition!dress with dalmatian dog print 

  3. Most of my clothes are fitted. I seldom wear things that don’t have definition–nearly all my dresses have nipped-in waists, my pants are all skinny, and almost every one of my tops is cut close to my body.  The less fabric, the better.  Of course, I have exceptions, like my huge, fuzzy cardigans for winter!

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What about you?  Do you have your own personal style rules?

Outfit: Dawn’s Early Light

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One of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is get up early and take pictures in the morning.  Not only is the lighting prettttty nice, but chances are, no one else is up and about at the crack of dawn.  Which should mean that no one will disturb your masterful dawn self-photography sessions.  Right?

mox and socks modcloth dog dress (9)mox and socks modcloth dog dress (3)mox and socks modcloth dog dress (6)Nope!  I forgot to take into account Oak Park’s resident tai chi practitioners.  While I was taking some cute photos near the flowerbeds in front of this mansion, they slipped up the stairs behind me to start their session on the porch.  There are a few outtakes with them–all you can see is an outstretched arm or two!

At first, I was a little annoyed–how dare they ruin my pictures?!–but I realized that it was probably the other way around.  was the one interrupting their tai chi practice with my scampering heels and clicking camera!  I’m sure these people get up early every Saturday to go do their Standing White Cranes at the Pleasant Mansion porch, and one day, there’s this weirdo taking pictures of herself.

Luckily, the tai chi session didn’t last long, and I made sure to stay out of their way while they meditated.  Once the were gone, though, I had fun posing all over that sweet Prairie School porch!

Dress: old, ModCloth

Necklace: old, ModCloth

Shoes: old, ModCloth

Bracelet: Bead Artistry by Marian

Teach Me: Double Rope Buns

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A few posts back, I was rocking a hairstyle that can best be described as “two cinnamon rolls stuck to the back of my head.”  I’ve since refined it and given it a little extra oomph by coiling some thick rope braids.  There’s something about it that seems more fall than summer, so I have a feeling I’ll be doing my hair like this a lot more often when it comes time to wind some woolly scarves around my neck!

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First, split your hair into two ponytails.  I’d suggest using small hair ties, because that’ll make it easier to pin the braids later on.

Now for a little transfiguration: you’re gonna turn those ponies into ropes!  To make a rope braid, split each ponytail in half.  Twist both strands in the same direction until you get to the bottom.  Then twist them together in the opposite direction.  Secure with another small elastic.

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Take each rope and coil it around itself.  Tuck the ends underneath and pin in place.  I like to use about four or six pins to make sure it really stays.  And I’d suggest you use U-shaped pins instead of Bobby pins for better hold.

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And that’s it!  I love making the rope braids first–the buns come out looking so thick.  I would imagine you could try this style with regular braids as well.  In fact, I might go and do that next!

Outfit: Stories We Tell Ourselves

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Once upon a time, I made the trip out to the Fabyan forest preserve to see what I could see.  Apart from the magnificent Japanese gardens, the 19th century windmill, and the FLW manor house, I came across some forgotten pockets of beauty here and there.  On the grounds just down the hill from the manor, there’s an abandoned Victorian home that’s half-hidden in the weeds.  I’m planning on shooting there in the autumn months.  And downstream from the creek running through the garden, there was this dried up grotto.  No one bothered to come near it, so it felt almost like a magical haven–almost like a fairytale.DSC_1204DSC_1222

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This could have been the ruins of the stone cottage, or a lion’s den, or a hundred other things.  Who knew what was spying on me while I wandered through the rocky pillars and climbed up on the crags?  Was that a sprite that made me bump my head on the rafters?  And who was that invisible photographer taking pictures all the time?

 

Necklace: old, ModCloth

Dress: old, Target (from the kids’ section!)

Shoes: ModCloth