My Spring Makeup Routine!

My Spring Makeup Routine!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

I had wanted to post this past Wednesday, but after my flight was delayed on Tuesday- resulting in me getting home from Vegas much later than expected- I spent the day sleeping in and getting the last of my things packed for tomorrow’s big move. I keep trying to psyche myself up by saying I’m ready and haven’t forgotten anything- but I’m admittedly pretty nervous and I’m 99.999% sure I’m leaving something behind and won’t think of it until three or four days from now.

I digress- it’s the weekend and as busy as it’s going to be- I wanted to share something light and upbeat. I’m not talking about recipes or off-the-wall New England destinations this time- but my Spring makeup routine! These are the products I’ve been wearing non-stop since mid-March- and are going to carry me into the Summer and all the heat and humidity that comes with it!

I’ve done similar posts like this during past seasons, of course. For some quick links to check ’em out- here you go!

But enough delays. Let’s get on with it! From left to right in the image above:

Sephora Collection 10 Hour Wear Perfection Foundation: I love my Fenty foundation in the Fall and the Winter- but come Spring when my skin varies back and forth between being dry and oily and back again- I need something a little less heavy, still oil & fragrance free- and with a natural finish so I don’t look overly made up if I start to sweat.

This medium-coverage, lightweight foundation from Sephora keeps my skin looking and feeling flawless, lasts for hours- and is reasonably priced- making it my must-have this time of year when I want to look natural without breaking the bank.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Dark Circle Eraser/Concealer: On the days, like Wednesday- when I’m feeling overly tired and the dark circles under my eyes aren’t doing me any favors- I slather on this concealer to smooth my skin, brighten my complexion and hide any imperfections around my eyes and face if I’m seeing any redness or blemishes after a rough couple of nights.

I love the longevity and the lightweight feel of this concealer- which blends easily and dries to a natural, “am I wearing makeup or not?” finish. Best of all? It’s only $10.00

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Collection Matte Perfection Powder Foundation: I don’t use this powder all over my face since it would undoubtedly make me look a little too chalky- but I do apply it in the mornings after I apply my liquid makeup as a shine reducer in my T-Zone and it does wonders! The formula, much like Sephora’s liquid foundation- is lightweight and has a natural finish- so my pores never get clogged and I never look like I’m wearing a ton of makeup.

I carry this powder with me for touch-ups throughout the day, as well- and it’s a life-saver on more hot and humid days for sure!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

ModelCo Eyeshadow Trio in “Mykonos”: Last Spring, I was all about lavender liners and baby pink blush- however this year I’ve been gravitating towards deeper, darker colors for my eyes and lighter, more golden hues for my cheeks. This trio from ModelCo, which I had received in a subscription box a couple of months ago- has quickly become one of my favorites- particularly the peachy highlighter shade and the deep rosy/red color for my crease.

This trio has a subtle amount of shimmer, is easy to blend, and makes my blue eyes pop when I blend the colors together for an all-day look that’s suitable for my office or out on the town. I’ll have some swatches below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Wander Beauty “Mile High Club” Mascara: I finally took a break from my Kush mascara and have fallen in love with a light, lengthening and volumizing mascara (in pretty gold packaging!) from Wander Beauty. Cruelty and Gluten-free, this mascara glides on easily with a brush that hugs every lash- coating them with a conditioning formula that softens as it gives my eyes a fun, flake-free bit of flair.

I can also attest to it’s staying power- since I’ve been doing my fair share of crying while I’ve been packing in recent days/weeks. It stays put!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Benefit Cosmetics “Dandelion Twinkle” Powder Highlighter: I’ve been skipping rosy blushes this time of year for a more subtle, nude shimmer/shine across my cheekbones. I am in love with this pretty little powder from Benefit- which gives me a beautiful glow that really shines when the light hits it right- and fits right in my pocket!

On days when I’m in a rush, I also like to apply a little bit of this by my brow bone, down the bridge of my nose and my chin- to give me a sunkissed look without the harmful UV rays! There’s a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Sephora Lip Stories in “Oui!”: And finally, to finish off a face of Spring-inspired makeup- I swipe on some of this satin-finished dusty rose lipstick from Sephora (only $8!) that softens my lips and makes them look fuller and plumper. I’m addicted to this long-lasting formula- which doesn’t get dry or patchy as the day wears on- and requires only minimal reapplications from time to time!

And of course, I have a swatch below!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And as promised, here are the swatches!

I know that once Summer is here- I’ll be incorporating a lot more neon and bright colors into my wardrobe and makeup- since I’ve already started collecting some! I can’t wait to share it!

But that does it for me today. It’s my half day at work- and then tomorrow I am off to begin my new life in the Pioneer Valley! I’ll be back next week with some updates from the new apartment, a peek into my newly renovated closet- and maybe a recipe or two to share from my spacious kitchen that I’m excited to cook in!

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful and safe weekend ahead!

xx

– Ashley –

Notes From Slay-Cation II…

Notes From Slay-Cation II…

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

While my last update had seen me in San Diego, preparing to pack up and head out of SoCal after a fun couple of days- I’m happy to report I made it through the desert unscathed (and not sunburnt!) and am presently in Northern Las Vegas soaking up the sun, palm trees, good food and air conditioning.

I really, really love air conditioning, you guys.

I leave for home tomorrow morning to return to work and the pre-move craziness that awaits me this coming weekend- but for now I’m simply enjoying my last full day here. This trip to Vegas actually marks the first time where I haven’t been to the strip, gone gambling, or even drank alcohol (…yet.) and it’s been really relaxing and refreshing.

I’ve been spending my time locally in Henderson with Kelsey, her husband, and their little girl- going out to eat, running errands, binge-watching TV and vegging out- which is exactly what I’ve needed to give my batteries a boost since I’ve been so utterly overwhelmed and exhausted as of late.

No late nights, or forced obligations, or an over-packed schedule- just total calm and peace and good company.

Kelsey leaves for a work trip to Dallas later on today, which means I may venture out into the city for a little while just for the fun of it. I’m thinking of paying Fremont Street a visit- or maybe heading out a little further into the desert to take some more photos of the stunning scenery. It’s still early here- so we’ll see where the day takes me!

I’m off to get ready for the day, pack my suitcase for tomorrow, and rest up for the journey home- but I’ll be back on Wednesday with some more photos and updates!

Enjoy the start to your week, everyone. Here’s hoping it’s a good one!

xx

– Ashley –

Notes From Slay-Cation…

Good Morning (it’s still the A.M. where I am) and Happy Friday, everyone!

I’m updating Blondie Birdie from a broken tablet, courtesy of Logan Airport’s TSA staff who felt it was necessary to not only empty nearly all of the contents of my liquid toiletries from my checked bag all over my clean, dry clothes- but also crack the screen of one of my most important electronics, too- before they carelessly tossed it back into my suitcase.

I digress, that huge inconvenience aside- I’m enjoying the last of my time here in San Diego before I return to Las Vegas a little later on this afternoon with Kelsey. While my previous trip to Southern California last Fall had been disastrous to the point where I had debated returning here this time around for fear it would be just as awful- I’ve actually been having a wonderful time- AND I’ve been able to relax like a real, true vacation for once!

The journey here was a long one, but the view sure was nice. After picking me up in Vegas Wednesday morning- Kelsey and I made a quick stop for breakfast at our favorite spot further up the strip, Peppermill– before we packed up our bags and her daughter and started on the long, six hour drive through the desert to San Diego.

I had forgotten that this time of year is typically referred to as “Grey May” in Southern California, so as the hours ticked by on the road and the sun gradually vanished while we drove- being overtaken by clouds and fog- I knew it was going to be a chilly stay. Admittedly, the temperatures here have been considerably better than they have been back home- so I can’t say I minded much. San Diego is beautiful any time of year, really.

And one of the perks of this trip is that it has been all about food. Kelsey and I have been trying new places around Downtown San Diego- including a French Toast sampler from Breakfast Republic and a blondie mocha latte from Spill The Beans Coffee.

We have a few foodie places we’re going to be hitting up once we return to Vegas, as well- so I’m sure I’ll be taking more photos along the way.

Of course, our main reason for this little pilgrimage to and from the desert was to see White Lies last night at The Music Box. We love the band so, so much- but their Boston show had sold out and the San Diego one was the closest to Kelsey- so I opted to fly out to see it with her and get away from work for a few days!

The show was incredible, and the band sound just as fantastic live as they do on their albums- which is a rarity these days. We had the perfect setup from a balcony above the stage where we could see and hear everything crystal clear. It was AWESOME.

Post-show, we made a quick stop at Gaslamp Pizza (the best pizza you’ll ever have in SoCal- and right around the corner from the hotel we’ve been staying) before we passed out. I think it’s safe to say we’re officially in our thirties now. There’s no after-parties anymore. At least not any I can stay awake for!

But we’re getting ready to head out for brunch/lunch and pack up the last of our things for our drive this afternoon. I’ll be updating through the weekend on my INSTAGRAM, as usual- and then I’ll be back on Monday with some more recaps from the journey before I return home Tuesday evening.

Here’s wishing you all a wonderful weekend ahead! Have fun!

xx

– Ashley –

“Vacation, all I ever wanted…”

Good Morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone!

By the time you read this, I’ll be up in the air and en route to fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada for a week away with my West Coast Wife, Kelsey! We’re grabbing lunch at our favorite spot on the strip before we make our way even further West to San Diego for a couple of days to catch a White Lies show and relax by the beach.

It’s a few days of sunshine, rest and relaxation that are long overdue for me given how busy I’ve been lately with my job(s) and my upcoming move to the Valley within the next week. I just need a little bit of time to unwind and not worry about things at the office, packing my things, replacing furniture, etc. I’m so excited!

I’m always packed early, and people have asked me how I’m able to prepare for a trip so efficiently given how busy I am most of the time- and I always say it’s because of a three-day, pre-travel packing/preparation plan I developed after years and years of waiting until the last minute and frantically throwing whatever I could grab into a suitcase the morning of a cross-country trip.

I just couldn’t keep doing it like that anymore- especially since I would almost always forget something important- so the system I developed (with plenty of practice) has been a life-saver! I thought I’d share it here, as well- in case anyone else has ever found themselves in the procrastination boat.

72 Hours Before Your Trip:
  1. Check the forecast where you’re going to keep track of any last minute changes in the temperatures, impending storms, weather advisories, etc.
  2. Begin planning your wardrobe/accessories (if possible, on a day-by-day basis) with consideration to the weather and start doing laundry to make sure everything is clean, dry, ironed or folded by the time it comes to pack!
  3. Make a checklist of toiletries, makeup or skin/hair care that you might be running low on and make an effort to replenish those items within the next 48 hours!
48 Hours Before Your Trip:
  1. Begin packing your shoes, clothes and accessories so you’ll be aware of how much space you have in your suitcase- as well as how much it weights- since some airlines will charge extra for oversize/heavier luggage.
  2. Prepare a travel itinerary to forward to a family member/loved one- just in case of an emergency or if you find yourself stranded during a layover or at your destination for whatever reason. It’s always a good idea to let someone know where you’ll be/where you’re supposed to be in case you need help!
  3. Notify your bank/credit card companies that you’re traveling so you’ll be able to access your funds without issue. The sooner, the better- since it may take a bank/financial institution 24-48 hours to place a notice on your account(s.)
24 Hours Before Your Trip:
  1. If possible, check into your flight to save yourself wait time at the airport/gate. It may also help you secure priority boarding, or in some instances- a better seat!
  2. Pack up your toiletries, skin/hair care in a waterproof bag (just in case!) to put into your suitcase with your previously packed clothes, shoes and accessories. By the way- don’t forget any chargers for your devices!
  3. Lay out the COMFORTABLE outfit you intend to wear to the airport the day of travel- that way you’re not stuck tearing apart your suitcase filled with freshly folded clothing!
  4. Be sure to take a little cash to carry with you while you’re en route to your destination. It doesn’t have to be an obscene, extravagant amount- but enough to cover a cup of coffee or some chap stick so you don’t have to use your credit/debit card at layovers. These sorts of purchases can trigger a security alert on your account and cause issues moving forward.
  5. Pack your carry-on with the essentials- moisturizer, earbuds, sunglasses, a phone charger, a good book/magazine and some gum. All TSA-approved!
  6. Get some sleep! There’s nothing worse than having to go to the airport when you’ve pulled an all-nighter and the exhaustion is creeping up on you while you’re waiting to have your shoes screened by security.

And that’s my guide for a relatively stress-free pre-travel prep! I hope it helps any of you the way it’s helped me over these past couple of years!

I’ll be sure to check in a little later on this week during some downtime from my, well- other downtime- and I’ll have plenty of photos to share here and on my social media (like my Instagram!) so be sure to check back!

Enjoy the rest of your “Hump Day”, everyone! See you all soon!

xx

– Ashley –

Brunch Bites: Mini Quiches with Hash Brown Crusts

Good Morning and Happy Monday, everyone!

While I don’t leave for vacation until Wednesday morning- I’m pretty much already there mentally at this point. Although I have a longtime fear of flying- I’ve reached such a point of emotional and physical exhaustion that I know I’m going to sleep like a baby the second the plane takes off and will hopefully wake up feeling refreshed and ready to soak up the sunshine when I land in Vegas!

I digress. My perpetual feeling of sleepiness is the result of being a bit overworked and overwhelmed with my move right now (as well as all the rain we’ve been getting!) and thankfully has nothing to do with poor diet- as made evident by this positively exquisite dish I prepared for brunch over this past weekend.

With just a few ingredients and under an hour of your time- you can make these little and totally customizable quiches, too!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

FOR THE CRUST

  • 3 cups frozen hash browns, thawed and drained well
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

FOR THE FILLING

  • 6 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled into bits
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 7 eggs
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup white cheddar cheese, grated

READY? HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

  1. MAKE THE CRUST: Preheat the oven to 425°. Lightly grease a standard-size muffin tin. In a medium bowl, toss the hash browns with the butter and salt until well combined.
  2. Place 2 tablespoons hash browns into each cup of the muffin tin. Press gently into the base to form a crust. It’s OK if the potatoes come up slightly around the edge of the cup.
  3. Bake the hash-brown crust until it’s golden and crisp, about 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool slightly. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.
  4. MAKE THE FILLING: Place about 1 tablespoon bacon into each crust, then top with a few pieces of tomato.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and season with salt and pepper. Pour the custard into each cup, stopping about ¼ inch below the top rim. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake until the quiches are puffed up and golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from the tin. Serve warm.

Honestly, I could probably eat an entire dozen of these on my own in one sitting- because they were delicious and one or two didn’t feel like nearly enough for me by the time I was finished. Between the hash brown crust and the fluffy egg loaded with bacon and tomato- I was on Cloud Nine during my entire brunch get-together.

I know I’ll be whipping these up again after I’m moved into the new apartment and I finally have a chance to go grocery shopping!

I’m off to do some last minute crunching at my office to get things done before I take off to the West Coast- but I’ll be back on Wednesday morning with a pre-flight recap of my weekend!

Enjoy your Monday, everyone! Here’s hoping it’s easy and stress-free for all of you!

xx

– Ashley –