My Wedding Photos

My Wedding Photos

I know I missed Wednesday, and I’m sorry. It’s just that I’m settling back into normal life. My job is about to start and I’m trying to get in precious hang time with my family. I owe you all. I owe you so much. Thank you darling readers for sticking it out. I know some of you have patiently been waiting for more wedding photos so for all of you who aren’t family and haven’t already seen this link, here’s the link to my wedding photographer’s blog.

http://www.jessicaleephotographicart.com/wedding-photography/anna-eric-enchanted-valley-barn/

My photographer did a beautiful job. I still will do a better, more comprehensive wedding post in the future, and by then you all will be tired and done with my whole wedding (but not me, not ever!).

Her blog perfectly captures the beauty of the venue and so many of the little details of the wedding. I loved planning my wedding. I was the brain power behind it all. I had no planner, but I did have lots of help! If you have any questions, please ask and I’ll answer.

I just ordered my thank yous yesterday and I can’t wait to get them here and get them out.

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My Wedding Lipstick And How I Found My Perfect Color

My Wedding Lipstick And How I Found My Perfect Color

Hello everyone! I’m so glad to be back writing to you. Don’t get me wrong, my wedding and honeymoon were a blast, but if there was one thing I looked forward to after my wedding, it was getting back to my writing.

I owe you all an in-depth wedding post, but guys, I just got back and I am not organized enough for that right now. So instead, I’m going to talk about my wedding lipstick, plus you’ll get a sneak peek of my wedding photos.

For starters, you should know that early into planning my wedding (we had about a year and a half engagement) I decided I would do my own wedding makeup. In the wedding world this is apparently a controversial decision, but I did this because 1. I wanted good coverage, but I didn’t want my freckles to be covered and since I had a destination wedding there  couldn’t be a makeup trial. 2. I feel comfortable with makeup and have lots of experience. 3. I already buy lots of high quality, long-lasting makeup so I didn’t have to worry about buying a ton of new makeup.

As far as my decision goes, I was also nervous about a couple things: 1. I don’t wear lipstick all the time so I needed to spend some time finding the perfect lip color for my wedding day and 2. The darn false eyelashes.

Luckily, the lipstick came through, and I’ll do another post about my full wedding makeup in the future, but the false eyelashes were stressful.

So let’s dive into my lipstick journey:

About a month out from my wedding, I really wanted to start experimenting with finding the perfect color. I waited until that late in the game because my skin tone changes drastically in the summer once my freckles come into their full glory. One day, after a run with Eric, I had him drive me to Macy’s so I could try on some lip colors at the MAC counter.

I knew from spending countless hours on the web that I wanted a berry colored lip, but not too dark to fit perfectly with my mid-summer wedding. I also knew that although I love the matte look, I was something shiny for my wedding. So that’s where I started at the MAC counter. I ended up walking out with lip liner in Soar and a satin lipstick in Captive (technically a plum).

My face was a little rosy from my run still,  but I thought the color was just what I was looking for.

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Later, I did a full trial of wedding makeup with split reviews from my family when I sent pictures. A couple of sisters thought the lipstick was too dark, a couple of my sisters and my mom thought it looked good.

After that, I started looking at more wedding makeup looks and watching wedding makeup videos. A lot of ladies were rocking nude lips so I decided to experiment a little with that so I headed to Ulta. After lots of help and testing out about fifteen colors, I walked out with two more lipsticks: a BARE MINERALS Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Heaven and an Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Sheer Liar.

I couldn’t decide which of these I liked better. I kept going back between the two. I tested the Bare Minerals first and I loved the color, but it seemed so light.

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I’ve read so much on wedding makeup that I knew that you were supposed to wear a stronger color so that I would show up better in pictures (cameras take some of the color off apparently). This basically means that you need to find a color that will look good both in person and in pictures. I was convinced Heaven would show up well so I decided I’d wear Sheer Liar.

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I also realized I wanted a little more shine so I ended up purchasing Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss in Sunset Strip. When I was looking at all the colors, at first I thought Sunset Strip would be way too orange, but when I tested it out, it was perfect.

Heading into my wedding, I thought I had everything figured out. I’d wear my Soar lip liner with my Sheer Liar lipstick and my Sunset Strip lipgloss. However, that all changed the day of my wedding.

When the time came to start getting ready, I started on my makeup while the hairstylists did my bridesmaids’ hair (Southern Belle Beauty, they’re fabulous). Then, right before I put on my final makeup touches, it was my turn for hair. The hairstylist put in my flower crown when she finished and I went back to finish my makeup. It was time to do my lips and staring in the mirror at the purple flowers paired with the peach ones, I knew I needed to go with that original light berry. So I lined my lips, patted on the MAC Captive and finished my lips off with the gloss.

The finished product was perfect. It was a long journey, but in the end, I found the perfect fit, and surprisingly it was all in the flowers.

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I learned a few things on my lipstick journey. 1. Inspiration pictures are great but lipstick looks different on each individual so sometimes you just have to experiment. 2. My lipstick didn’t just need to go with my skin tone and in the end, my flowers helped me make my final decision. 3. Doing your wedding makeup can be stressful so keep that in mind when making your decision (my decision was the right one for me).

PS- the amazing wedding photos are by Jessica Lee McIntosh ❤️

Kauai Is A Dream

Kauai Is A Dream

So our wedding was amazing (like seriously all of my dreams). Everyone loved it and we all had a blast. Oh, and all of my vendors were amazing, literally worth their weight in gold. Now we’re on our honeymoon on the lovely island of Kauai and I wanted to take a few minutes to share some pictures. Once we get home, I will try to update you with a more fully detailed post!

The first few pictures are the view from our hotel room. The hotel staff was sweet enough to upgrade our room to a pool/ocean view as a honeymoon gift. The next image is of a yogurt parfait that I ate for breakfast. It was so big and delicious. The last picture is of Eric on a boat cruise we took to get an up close look at the Na Pali Coast.

Since arriving, I’ve realized two things: 1. It’s perfect here and I never want to leave and 2. There’s no way I’m going to have taken as many pictures as I should/would like to. I know I’m going to get home and be like “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe I didn’t get a picture of that!”

 

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8 Things to Watch The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale For (aka What I’ll Be Doing On My Honeymoon)

8 Things to Watch The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale For (aka What I’ll Be Doing On My Honeymoon)

I’m so excited for my honeymoon. Thrilled. But there is one little hiccup. The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is happening during it. So what’s one thing I can guarantee you that I’ll be doing on my honeymoon? Well, online shopping one of my favorite annual sales of course.

The sale is technically going on now for card holders, but since I am not one, I will be patiently waiting. Until then, here’s some of the items from the sale that I’m currently loving:

ME’s Bright Eye Illuminating Device

BLANKNYC’s Embroidered Faux Leather Moto Jacket

BRUNETTE’s Fries Before Guys Sweatshirt

Puma’s Leadcat Logo Slide Sandal

Adidas’s Original 3-Stripes Dress

Loren Hope’s Crystal Choker Necklace

Philosophy’s Vanilla Coconut Shampoo, Shower Gel & Bubble Bath Duo

Kate Spade’s Metro Novelty Leather Strap Watch

 

Don’t forget, I’ll be updating Instagram with wedding and honeymoon photos so check in there!

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Wedding Dress Update

Wedding Dress Update

Ok everyone, here is my formal wedding dress update.

A few posts back, I talked about how a seamstress botched my wedding dress. I was a mess. I found a seamstress near my new home who could get me in, but couldn’t until this past Monday, which was exactly one week out from my wedding (I know, I’m getting married on a Monday and it’s weird).

I brought it into this new seamstress after teaching summer school. I was hot and tired, and I was so worried that things wouldn’t work out with my dress. My new seamstress, Cheryl, was the sweetest woman on earth. When I tried on the ill-fitting dress, she assured me that it was a beautiful dress and that I made a great choice (and let me tell you dress regret is real and that was lovely to hear).

Throughout the entire process Cheryl kept reminding me that she would get my dress fixed and that my wedding would be perfect. Oh boy, that afternoon I really needed to hear those things.

After an initial inspection, Cheryl said she knew she could undo the botched alterations. What a relief! Then even better, Cheryl said that after seeing what she would need to do that if I wanted I could hang around and she could finish up my dress and let me take it home that day. Of course I decided to stay.

Taking out the previous work was simple but delicate work. Cheryl worked carefully as I sat nearby watching Property Brothers. Once Cheryl finished, I tried back on my dress and we both came to the same conclusion: given the time constraint, the dress fit best as it sat now. There wasn’t much left to be done in the remaining time.

But Cheryl didn’t stop there. No, since the top now sits a little loosely, she gave me a bunch of double sided tape so that I can secure my dress if I feel the need. It was such a sweet gesture, something completely extra and unnecessary for her to do.

So in the end, my dress isn’t perfect, but it looks beautiful on me again and I’m happy with it (which is what matters). I’m so thankful for Cheryl’s sweet soul. She was just who I needed.

I ordered some more items to help secure the dress if necessary, but I’m not worried about it, and I think it sits nicely enough already.

And in case you were wondering about my dear groom’s wardrobe, I spent the night pressing his suit since he decided the best thing to do with it while moving was to stuff it in the trunk of his car. Oh, how I love his sweet, silly spirit (but come on, right?).

As the end of my wedding week closely approaches and I go into my wedding and honeymoon, my blog might be a little more absent, but I will be updating my instagram so feel free to go follow me @imannaphillips to stay up-to-date with all my wedding activities.

A Moisturizer And Serum Combo That’s Good, But Not For Me

A Moisturizer And Serum Combo That’s Good, But Not For Me

So, as I told you all in my last post, I’ve been putting my skin through boot camp, and let me tell you, it’s been working. While it’s great that my skin is seeing results, it’s also great that I’m getting to see what products work best with my skin.

For the longest time, I didn’t pay attention to what kind of skin I had. I would consider it normal because I didn’t know what else it could be. Now that I’ve gotten older, it’s become clearer what kind of skin I have. It’s definitely dry to normal (and I definitely get an oily t-zone from time to time). And, of course, I have sensitive skin.

Recently, I’ve been testing out the Caudalie birthday sample from Sephora. The birthday sample comes with Caudalie’s Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet and Caudalie’s Vinoperfect Radiance Serum. I love testing out new skincare products so I was excited to get this sample. And what makes this birthday set extra sweet? The fact that Eric got it for his birthday since he has a Sephora account for when he gets me gifts.

Let’s break down the products: The full size Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet costs $39. The product claims that it is good for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It claims to be a solution for drying, dullness and uneven texture, and fine lines and wrinkles. The texture is that of a cream, but as you apply it to your face, it quickly turns to a gel. Sephora’s site also notes, “Caudalie’s organic grape water and patented grape-seed polyphenols, this cream not only provides hydration, but it also protects the skin from free-radicals, which causes wrinkles. This formula is rich in Vinolevure® to strengthen skin to become less sensitive and more resilient over time.”

Unsurprisingly, the Vinoperfect Radiance Serum costs quite a bit more than the Sorbet, coming in at $79 (those darn serums!). This product, of course, also says that it’s for all skin types. It’s an oil-free serum that helps to even out skin tone and encourage radiance. This product comes out of the package with a droplet cap. The actual product is a milky color and consistency (but thinner, more watered down). Want to know more? Well, Sephora’s site says, “This cult product is highly concentrated with naturally powerful viniferine, an ingredient from the grape vine sap that is clinically proven to be 62 times more effective than vitamin C. The lightweight formula allows for immediate penetration and works well under makeup for flawless-looking skin.” And that last part really does seem to be the emphasis of this product. It can be used any time, in the morning or at night, and under any product like foundation or sunscreen.

My Experience: Well first, I loved the feeling of the products on my skin. They went on so smoothly. I’ll be honest, as far as serums go, this one is not my favorite. I definitely like it; I just have other serums that I like more, and I won’t be purchasing something for $79 if I don’t love it. I think my skin craves the feel of more oily serums. But, guys, oh my goodness the Sorbet was soothing. I loved it. Except, I didn’t love the results.

When I stopped using my regular moisturizer and switched to this serum and sorbet instead, in a couple days my skin was visibly dry. It really wouldn’t bother me that much except for the fact that I’m getting married in a week and my skin needs to be flawless. So last week sometime, I put this product on hold. I’ll finish it off sometime after my honeymoon.

So what’s my overall take on this product? I think it’s great, and it’s not a surprise to me that so many people love it. However, it really didn’t work with my skin. It says it is for all skin types, but it’s not for mine. I would recommend this product to someone with combination or oily skin because it doesn’t seem moisturizing enough for dry to normal skin.

One last thing: I took the Sorbet to be a moisturizer, but once I looked up the products, the serum is actually supposed to go with a different moisturizer. So perhaps, if I had used the recommended moisturizer with the serum, the effects would have ended more in my favor. However, I simply used the products provided in the birthday gift sample.

 

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A Face Cream That Actually Does What It Says

A Face Cream That Actually Does What It Says

OK, ya’ll, my wedding is quickly approaching and I’m so excited. I’m also a complete basket of nerves about getting everything done on time (Oh my gosh, why haven’t I finished the petal cones yet?!). And my skin, unsurprisingly has been acting up a little.

I’m lucky that my skin is typically pretty easy to take care of. I rarely get acne, but my skin does react when I skip washing my face. My skin and I have a delicate routine. We don’t mess with it and it behaves. However, between stress, hormones, and everything else, my skin is having a bad go of it, and I just want it all sorted before the big day. That means I’ve been putting my face through skin boot camp.

I’ve been using my best products. That moisturizer that’s OK, but leaves me a little dry? Not finishing it off until after the wedding! I’ve been digging through moving boxes to find my best masks. I’m not wearing makeup to give my pores a break. I’m using serums every morning and night! I’m here to tell you that my skin will be clear and glowing if I have any say in the matter (but unfortunately I probably don’t have much of a say).

During searches through my boxes, I’ve also been digging for all my best samples. When I pulled out this one, I became fervently happy. I love Dior’s makeup and skincare products. I was going to wear Dior foundation for my wedding, but discovered it has SPF, which doesn’t mix with wedding photography. So I found some other foundation.

But, guyyysss, I found this sample of face cream, and I’m in love. I finally broke it open this morning and it’s truly wonderful.

Let’s go through the basics:

What is it? Dior Capture Totale Multi-Perfection Creme

What does it do? Well, it’s age-defying (and it’s never too early to start fighting those wrinkles, right?). It firms your skin by adding density. It also plumps, smooths, and illuminates.

How do you use it? The package said you could use it by itself or after your daily skincare routine.

My experience? I wasn’t going to abandon the rest of my skincare routine just for this product, and figured it would work better if I also went through the rest of my process. So I started by washing my face. Then I applied my serum, and then I applied my moisturizer. Finally, I got to the Dior face cream.

I tore open the package and squeezed. I think I was expecting the product to be white, like a moisturizer, but it’s actually a nude color, like a primer. It also has the consistency of a primer. It went on super easily and I didn’t notice a strong smell. The smell was light and lovely.

As the day has continued. I keep wanting to touch my face because my skin is soft and smooth. It’s been one day and I can already see and feel the effects.

I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed with Dior, and after sampling this product I feel like I’ve got to get my hands on more. The only downside? The price. It retails at $165.

Other reviewers (via Sephora) seem to agree with me. The product is great. The price is scary. And some say the full-size packaging doesn’t match the quality of the product.

Will I buy it? Yes, probably in the future. But first, I’m interested in this eye cream from the same line of Dior. I’d definitely want a sample first as it still retails at $105, but I’ve been looking for a good eye cream because this girl has wrinkles, dark circles, and puffy big eyes.

If you’ve got any skincare suggestions, especially eye creams please let me know!

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