Favorites: December 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Day-After-Christmas, everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I know we’re all probably feeling a bit tired and sluggish today (I know I am- and I’m back at work this morning!) but it’s officially the final countdown to New Year’s so I have shifted gears from tree lightings and gift wrapping to preparing to bid farewell to 2019 and planning for a brand new decade ahead.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to be sharing my Top 10 photos from 2019- things I’ve snapped pictures of over the past twelve months during my travels and (mis)adventures- before I summarize the year in it’s entirety early next week.

Before that, though- I thought I’d share some of my favorite things from December. It’s a small compilation this month, since I’ve been so over-the-top busy these past few weeks- but makeup lovers everywhere should enjoy it nonetheless!

Let’s take a look before I make it through my day with my eyes half closed, shall we?

Around the holidays, I only demand one simple thing from my eye makeup- be as sparkly as possible. I want my eyes to be bright and festive to match the Christmas scenery around me. This year, on a budget so I could guarantee my loved ones would have fantastic gifts to look forward to- I turned to Physician’s Formula’s “Shimmer Strips” Palettes.

There are five variations of this $12 palette to meet any holiday need- but I have been loving the simple rosy/nude version- which includes darker, smoky tones- white and gold tones for highlighting- and pretty pink/peach shades that are work/office-friendly. The shadows are buttery smooth and don’t crease or crinkle as the days wear on.

With my Dior mascara running a little low and my lashes in need of some TLC- I found a drugstore dupe that lengthens, thickens, and conditions my eyelashes for a fraction of the price. Doll Face Makeup’s Fast-Faux Extreme Volume Mascara gives me the coveted “falsies” look without the mess or the hassle. It doesn’t clump or flake off- and it’s easy enough to remove at the end of the day without a ton of tugging and struggle.

You can see the mascara in action in my recent selfies I’ve snapped over on my social media! There’s definitely a difference!

And finally, for my lips this month- I wanted to give my trademark “classic red lip” look a bit of a festive and metallic makeover. Doll Face was also able to assist me with this transition, as well- with their Matte-nificent Matte Metallic Liquid Lip Color in the shade “Mercury.”

Smooth and long-lasting, this lip gloss has quickly become one of my all-time favorites for it’s longevity and pigmentation. Best of all? It’s only $10- and the formula comes in a variety of different shades to carry me through the seasons, as well.

________________________________

And that just about does it for my final, albeit brief- Favorites breakdown of 2019. Short and sweet- much like my current holiday break! I’m off to try and get a bit of work done while it’s quiet and cozy here at my home office.

Here’s wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing day ahead- and I’ll be back tomorrow to start the annual rewind of the past year that was!

xx

– Ashley –

My Fall Makeup Routine!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it through and the weekend is just a few hours away!

It’s been a very busy few days for me this past week- and I’m really looking forward to having a couple of days where I can just relax, unwind, work my radio gig and then bundle up with a hot cup of coffee and either a good book or movie. These chilly and rainy early November days are essentially the calm before the storm- with the storm being the impending holidays- so I’m trying to rest up and ready myself!

Before I get some final things done at my office for this week and then head out with some of my co-workers for well-deserved burgers and beers- I thought I’d share my Fall 2019 makeup routine (as is tradition this time of year!) for those of you who love a good beauty/cosmetic find as much as I do!

My Autumnal makeup collection, much like my Spring one- is the transition between two vastly different seasons here in New England (Summer and Winter, and then Winter and Summer, respectively) so sometimes it can be tricky to find the right products that don’t make me look *too* overly made-up or ones that don’t sweat/run down my face the second I step outside.

It’s a trial and error in a lot of ways- but I found some great products this season that have been absolute life savers for me.

And, if you’re curious about past installments- I’ve linked them all here!

FALL – [ 2018 ]

WINTER – [ 2019 ]

SPRING – [ 2019 ]

SUMMER – [ 2019 ] [ 2018 ]

Okay, let’s get down to it!

Mary Kay TimeWise Matte 3D Foundation: In the Fall, I want decent matte coverage that won’t make me look too chalky if my skin gets a little on the dry side when the temperatures start to drop. To ensure my complexion looks natural while simultaneously keeping any excess oil in check in and around my T-Zone- I turned to this lightweight foundation from Mary Kay since the color matched my post-Summer glow perfectly.

Infused with their “TimeWise” skin care formula to prevent signs of aging and repair damaged skin cells- my face looks healthy, smooth, and shine-free for hours and hours when I wear this super breathable foundation.

At $25 a tube- and with a little going a long way (I can cover my whole face with just a couple of small drops)– I have a feeling this foundation will come with me into the Winter, too.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

e.l.f. cosmetics Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Finishing Powder: To lock in my base and give my foundation an extra boost of shine-free protection- I swear by this super light, super silky finishing powder from e.l.f. It goes on super smooth and doesn’t budge all day.

Best of all? The formula is cruelty-free and doesn’t clog my pores- even after a grueling day!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Tarte Cosmetics’ “Tarteist” PRO Glow-To-Go Highlight Contour Palette: In lieu of pink or plummy blushes this Fall- I opted to keep things simple with a well-designed contour and a touch of sheen along my cheekbones and nose for a “almost natural” no-makeup look.

To assist with this process- which can be daunting in the early a.m. hours when I’m getting ready for work- I adore this compact kit from Tarte (that smells like candy!) that features a flattering contour matte shade and two gorgeous highlighters- one pearl and one golden. Even on days where I’m utterly exhausted- this kit makes me look radiant!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Revlon PhotoReady Eye Art Lid + Line + Lash in “Burnished Bling”: I love my brown and golden hues in the fall- which mirror the changing leaves here in Massachusetts. This year, I wanted to keep my eye look simple- a swipe of long-lasting color that could be taken from day to night without a fuss.

Revlon has me covered with this duel-ended wand. One side, a creamy shadow that dries to a crease-proof finish- and the other side- a glittery, golden top coat that can be used to accentuate the shadow, line the lids, or make your lashes pop! I’ve been having so much fun creating fun looks with both shades- which are super pretty and easy to blend/work with!

And for $9.99, how can you go wrong?

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Maybelline New York – EyeStudio Lasting Drama Gel Liner: I am LOYAL to gel liners- which are the only ones I can wear that don’t irritate my eyes or wind up all over me by the end of the day. Liquids are messy, pencils can be downright painful- but gels go on smooth and stay on strong.

In keeping up with the brown/golden eye look I covet so much this time of year- I am really enjoying this matte brown liner from Maybelinne (that comes with a fine brush to ensure a flawless application.) I’ve kept my look subtle *and* I’ve pulled off some impressive cat-eyes with this stuff- and one jar of these will last you literally forever- so just grab one and enjoy it well into 2020.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Diorshow Mascara: While a lot of my Fall makeup collection consists of drug store finds/steals- I like to splurge a little bit on my mascara and lipstick. This season, I turned to Dior’s award winning mascara to boost my lashes with length, thickness and color. I love this formula- because it enhances my lashes in such a way where I look like I had extensions done- and yet there’s no clumping, flaking or discomfort you tend to get from other brands who boast the same results.

At $29.50- it’s a little pricier than most mascaras- but oh so worth it!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

NARS Precision Lip Liner in “Holy Red”: Ah, yes- Fall- when I can finally bring back my trademark look of a bold red matte lip that I make sure NEVER disappears until I’m ready for it to. Every photo taken of me from September through March in the past 10+ years has featured that lip look- and I have been proudly carrying on the tradition in Autumn of 2019, too.

Of course, no lip look can be successfully pulled off without a reliable liner to seal the deal- and I have trusted NARS for a very long time with that task since their liners go on smooth and last forever. This red is by far my favorite.

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

NARS Lipstick in “Inappropriate Red”: I’ve tried many red lipsticks in my lifetime- some good, some bad- and some just plain dreadful. But I always end up returning to NARS for their creamy, soft formulas and bold shades.

This Fall I’ve been absolutely obsessed with “Inappropriate Red”- which is a bright cherry red that brings out my eyes and makes my teeth look even whiter than usual.

And, unrelated- but it matches my Fall flannels perfectly!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

Milk Makeup KUSH Lip Balm in “Plushberry”: On the days where my lips might be in need of some extra hydration and/or I want to have a more subtle look for work or a special occasion- I turn to this berry-toned moisturizing balm.

Infused with- you guessed it: CBD- this balm repairs lips, hydrates for all-day comfort and smoothness, and gives my mouth a pop of beautiful color and shine that is perfect for these chillier months!

[ MORE INFO HERE ]

And of course, I wouldn’t leave you all hanging without some swatches! Everything is labeled below!

And I think that just about does it for my personal Fall 2019 cosmetics collection- one I’m going to enjoy until long after the Holidays wrap up, I’m sure!

If you’d like to share your own Fall/Autumn 2019 makeup collections and must-haves- feel free to drop me a line! I’d love to hear about them and potentially be introduced to some amazing new products!

And, in the meantime- I’m going to go get some work done and prepare for the days off ahead! Next week is going to be a blast- and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Enjoy your Friday and your weekend, y’all!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: September 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

It goes without saying that I’m thrilled the weekend is here. After a particularly busy few days at work- I’m looking forward to some downtime back home in Central Massachusetts with my family and friends over the next couple of days before we bid farewell to September (!!!) and welcome in my favorite month of the year- October!

As always, I’ll have my review and recap of this past month up and running first thing on Monday morning since it’s the last day of September- but my blogging tradition is to share my favorite finds/products/random odds and ends, first. Today seemed like just as good a day as any with it being a casual Friday- and I’ve got a lot of things I’ve been obsessing over these past few weeks!

I’ll start off with the things I was able to photograph, first- before I dive into the random things that made September so memorable this year.

Let’s take a look!

In the Fall, my makeup looks take a fun and daring direction. I like to play up the neutral shades that frequent my wardrobe this time of year with rich golds, deep berry tones- and bright reds. This past month, I kept my nails shimmering with this shimmery polish (“What’s Gold Is New”) by essie. The shade is long-lasting and super flattering with pretty much anything I wear- and should carry me right through the holiday season!

For my lips, I pregame before applying any color with this exfoliating brown sugar scrub by e.l.f. cosmetics (which tastes delicious, too!) to buff away any dead or dry patches before I either go with a moisturizing berry-toned balm by Milk Makeup (Kush Lip Balm in “Plushberry.”) or get a little more extreme with a bright red matte lip with my NARS duo of¬† “Holy Red” lip liner and “Inappropriate Red” lipstick.

I’ve been loving these shades and how head-turning they are whenever I wear them out and about!

Of course, I can’t update my Fall makeup collection and not give my bath & fragrance choices a bit of a seasonal makeover, too! For my shower gel, body lotion and lightweight spray-on fragrance- I turned to Bath & Body Works‘ Autumn line and picked up the “Champagne Apple & Honey” trio earlier this month instead of the usual pumpkin or cinnamon scents I reach for this time of year. I figured it was time to try something a little different!

What I’ve always loved about Bath & Body Works products- apart from their awesome prices and sales- is that the fragrances are pretty much spot-on in relation to their name/description and are never overwhelming or nauseating.

This trio makes me smell like I’ve spent a day at the orchard- it’s sweet and seasonal without being overpowering. I love it!

Finally, I have been in full-blown Fall decor mode at my new apartment- eager to cover and fill in spaces with rustic and cute decorations inspired by my favorite season. In recent weeks I’ve found a *lot* of gems at my local Big Lots and HomeGoods– including but not limited to these fun wooden pumpkins and “Happy Harvest” sign that is displayed prominently on my center console at the front of my living room and around my bedroom.

Not pictured is my “Hello Autumn” wreath and multiple strings of maple leaf and pumpkin lights- which I’m still arranging to my liking. You can check out my INSTAGRAM for the final look when it’s done!

And I think that’s it for the photogenic favorites- but a few more things made the list, too!

– MUSIC/MOVIES/TELEVISION –

“It: Chapter 2” – I was pretty much at the front of the line of people who were excited about the long-anticipated sequel to the 2017 reboot- and it didn’t disappoint. “It: Chapter 2” had everything I loved about the first one- plenty of scares, poignant moments, and a believable cast that you truly thought had known each other their whole lives.

It also had Bill Hader- who stole every single scene he was in. Absolute Oscar-contender right there!

“Back To Autumn: A Fall 2019 Playlist” – So, a little shameless self-promotion here- but earlier this week I launched my playlist for the season and I’m really quite pleased with it. The 16-track soundtrack for pumpkin picking features some newer tracks from a few of my favorite artists- as well as some treasured older songs thrown in there, too.

Feel free to give it a listen and tell me what you think!

– MISCELLANEOUS¬†–

“My Dad Wrote a Porno…” – A friend recently recommended this podcast to me, and after listening to the first few episodes- I was hooked and ended up binging the entire thing in a matter of weeks. Now in it’s fifth season, MDWAP follows Jamie and his two friends- Alice and James- as they struggle to read through a series of erotic novels Jamie’s dad wrote over the course of a few weeks a couple of years ago.

Hilarious, insane, and at times- really, really gross- I end up laughing to the point of crying whenever I tune in. I’m excited to see the Podcast’s live show when it comes to Boston next year!

Pumpkin Pie Chai – A Fall staple at Shelburne Falls Coffee Roasters– this has become my go-to beverage here in the Valley since it tastes like a liquid dessert (without the calorie count.) A hot version is comforting on a chilly day- and an iced version is beyond refreshing when the temperatures tiptoe back into the mid-80s as they’ve done in recent days. I’m hooked!

And that just about does it for my September favorites, y’all! A pretty good early-Autumnal list if I do say so myself!

Of course, if you’d like to share your favorite things from this past month- feel free to get in contact or leave a comment! I’d love to hear all about them!

I’ll be back on Monday to say goodbye to September- but here’s wishing you all a lovely weekend ahead before I sneak back into to work for the morning!

xx

– Ashley –

Favorites: August 2019!

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone!

The end (of August and the Summer!) is nigh- but I’m ready for sweaters, leaf peeping, scary movies and pumpkin patches- especially now that I’m living in one of the most picturesque, straight-out-of-a-postcard areas in New England! It’s going to be my first Fall in the Pioneer Valley- and there are so many things I want to do!

But respects must be paid to August and really the entire Summer of 2019, first- which I fully intend to do tomorrow morning for my monthly “In a Nutshell” post where I recap the weeks that were and talk about what I have planned for the weeks ahead. There’s a lot of ground to cover- but it’s going to be a fun trip down (recent) Memory Lane!

Before that, though- I wanted to share some of my favorite things from August 2019. From beauty products, to jewelry, to silly sentimental pieces- all the way to movies, music, television, etc.

This is my usual months-end “Favorites” post- and as always- I’ll be starting with the things I was able to photograph, first!

Starting with the silly, sentimental pieces- I had picked up this pair of silver, glittery sandals for about $8 at Primark a couple of years ago when I was strapped for footwear just hours before I was headed to a beach bonfire- but these have become my default Summer shoe choice ever since. This past August was no different, as I wore these trusty, surprisingly durable beauties during road trips, ice cream pit stops, lazier days at the office- and lounging lake-side.

I’m going to store them in the back of my closet until next Summer- where I’m sure they’ll see more adventures.

Exfoliation is key year-round, but especially in the Summer when I’m all about exposed legs, arms, and the occasional exposed midriff. I want my skin glowing and smooth- so I try to find scrubs that both buff away the dead skin but also conditions without drying me out.¬† I’m partial to sugar scrubs, and this whipped one from LALICIOUS does the job just right.

Not only does this scrub smell incredible, like a candy shop- but it leaves my skin touchable, soft, and glowing.

The scrub is $35, but a little goes a long way- so one tub of this will last you well over the course of a season!

Of course, I can’t exfoliate my body without making sure my face is super smooth, too- but being that it’s far more sensitive than say, my knees or my elbows- I rely on this gentle microdermabrasion scrub from Mary Kay that a friend turned me onto earlier this month.

I only use this lightweight exfoliant about 2 times a week if that- but the results are instant- and my serums and moisturizers sink into my skin with so much more ease whenever I apply them after gently cleansing my skin with this scrub. Throughout August, my complexion has been clear, smooth, and even.

Finally, my go-to jewelry for August was simple and consisted of two things. One, a moonstone statement ring I had picked up a couple of weekends ago during the annual Massachusetts Tax-Free Weekend.

The other? A throwback to my pre-teen and early teenage years with the return of the cowrie shell craze. While I couldn’t bring myself to wear a choker of these like the guys I grew up with used to do all. the. time.– I thought the anklet was a nice, more subtle choice.

I wore this all during the Summer, but it really made a splash in August when more people noticed and seemed to get on board with the trend making a comeback! Now we just need to bring back those glittery butterfly-shaped hair clips and I’ll be thrilled.

And that, my friends- just about does it for the photogenic favorites. But, as always- a one or two more things made the list this month, too!

– MISCELLANEOUS –

All Things Seafood – I had said that my Summer 2019 bucket list consisted of eating as much lobster, crab and scallops as possible, and in August I rose to the challenge since many of my favorite seaside shacks close up after Labor Day.

With stops at some of my longtime favorite locations and some new finds here in the Valley (including a delicious chowder house- which I’ll be revisiting soon!) I’m pretty sure I don’t even want to look at anything from the ocean again until next May/June at least.

Clowns, Baby! – With “It: Chapter 2” coming out in theaters next week, a new trailer for “The Joker” dropping earlier this week (the movie premieres in October) and a new teaser poster for the next Harley Quinn movie making the rounds recently- Summer 2019 is all about clownery and I am here for it. My apologies for anyone with a clown phobia- but I am so, so excited for all of it!

Aaaaand now I’m finished! Although it’s the end of the work-week, I’ve still got some things to do around the office before I break for the long weekend- so I’ve got to get going!

As always, if you’d like to share your own favorite things from this past August- feel free to drop me a line!

Enjoy your Friday, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –

Brunette Birdie?

Good Morning and Happy Friday, everyone! We made it yet again!

It’s funny and fascinating what changes in your life- big or small- can do to you. They can completely turn your world upside down, or have you re-examining and reevaluating your priorities and your goals- or rejuvenate you, refresh you and set you on a new path you may not have even known existed.

There have been a lot of changes in my life in recent months. A new apartment, a new community, new neighbors and friends. There have been changes in my job(s), changes in my personal relationships- and I’ve been attempting to navigate those changes as gracefully as possible while simultaneously reassessing so many of my wants/needs and clumsily preparing for whatever is going to happen next.

Not all of the changes have been good ones. Some have been heartbreaking. Some have been infuriating- but they’ve all shaped the person I am becoming in this new chapter of my life. It’s a scary thing sometimes, but it’s also exciting in a way- because I’m learning so much about myself, what’s truly important to me, and my resilience in the face of the unknown and uncertain.

And lifestyle/personal changes affect you physically, too. While the first month or so after my move was sluggish and had me feeling tired with daily commutes to work, waiting for the arrival of much-needed furniture, not exactly eating or sleeping the best due to long hours- I’ve since got a handle on things and have been actively and regularly working out, preparing better-for-me-meals and sleeping through the night undisturbed (especially now that I’m no longer living near the city!)

And this past Wednesday, when it came time for me to update my blonde curls yet again with help from my stylist- I decided to go bold, try something new- and ditch the golden hues for a more chocolate-inspired look, instead.

That’s right- I’m a brunette again!

I’m still getting used to the new look, which has been well-received by friends, family and co-workers- and it feels like a fitting way to wrap up Summer 2019 and prepare for impending Autumn and the next chapter of my life I’m preparing to write.

And no, I will not be changing the title of my blog from “Blondie Birdie” to “Brunette Birdie” or any variation anytime soon. I’ve grown quite accustomed to my nickname and my little corner of the internet- and I intend to stay here!

Next week I’m going to be visiting one of my favorite coastal towns here in New England, sharing my favorite things from this past month- and getting ready to leap into September after taking a look back at all the highs and lows of August!

Until then- enjoy your weekend, everyone!

xx

– Ashley –