My Quest For The Perfect Nude Lipstick

Beauty

If you have followed my blog from the beginning, first of all, thank you, and secondly, you are well aware of my quest for the perfect wedding lipstick. I really should document my journey for makeup more thoroughly, but sometimes I get caught up in the quest and forget the picture taking part (which is also totally okay – not everything has to be a blog post).

One of my most sought after beauty products is the nude lipstick, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this. Partly, the struggle to find the perfect nude shade, is that we all have a different natural shade, so what is nude for me is not nude for you, which means while we can all gather information or inspiration from our online beauty communities, in the end we all must conduct some beauty experimenting. This, of course, is complicated by the fact that often our our skin tones deepen and lighten along with the changing seasons. I feel like it can be especially tough for me at times, because of my freckles, as well. And while all of this adds to our trials, if you love makeup, then you also realize that sometimes the difficulties are the best part because you always get to keep trying new products, even if you find one you like, because you can never be sure when the brand might stop producing it.

Besides dealing with the complexity of our skin tones, when looking for lipstick you must also decide what kind of “nude” you want. Do you want a nude red, pink, tan, or maybe one with a hint of gray-purple? Plus, you have to consider what kind of finish you want. Do you want a matte, gloss, semi-gloss, or something in-between? There are no easy answers when it comes to lipstick, which is probably why I own so many tubes of nude-ish shades that all are just slight variations from each other.

My go-to shades are still the same as my wedding trials: BareMinerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Heaven, Urban Decay Vice Sheer Lipstick in Liar, and MAC Lipstick Plum in Soar. These are all creamy or sheer lipsticks, so even the plum is more of a deep nude (it’s the one I ended up wearing in my wedding and I’m so glad I did because it looked perfect in the pictures). My favorite matte shade is Tarte’s Birthday Suit in their Creamy Matte Lip Paint (I’ve also covered this lip shade before in a previous post). I’ll be honest, I love the look of matte lipsticks, but I wear them rarely because of the drying effect on my lips. I probably own another three shades of true matte nudes, but I wouldn’t ever call them my favorites because of how drying they can be. However, Tarte’s line of Creamy Matte Lip Paint isn’t drying at all. I’m dependent on this line for my matte looks.

As you can see, my quest for the perfect “nude” lip is well documented, and I have found plenty of great products that I still wear today, but true to my word, I also continually look for new products. And over the weekend, I think I found another nude favorite to add to my shelf – the Josie Maran Argan Lip Sting Plumping Butter in Honey. I ordered it as a sample, it came over the weekend, where I tested it out, and I was pleasantly surprised.

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Let’s first talk about the whole “Lip Sting Plumping” thing. It worked for me. It definitely stung and it even plumped. Of course, with any lipstick, this is an effect that wears off. If you want the plumped look continually – you’ll need to reapply this often (or get fillers). While plumper lips were a nice bonus, that’s not why I was interested in this product. It was actually for the color, and I was happily surprised. It looked soo good on that even my husband complimented me, and he had no idea I was trying a new lipstick shade.

Also, I should mention that I already love a lot of products from Josie Maran’s line, and the fact that the line falls under “clean beauty” is a huge plus for me. Honestly, I usually stay away from lip plumping products because I’m afraid I’ll have another allergic reaction and have to be rushed to the emergency room – one lipstick related allergic reaction is enough to last a lifetime if you ask me. I was willing to try this line knowing that Josie Maran products fall into the clean beauty category.

Sephora’s website says the active ingredients are “100 Percent Pure Argan Oil, Volulip™ (a natural peptide and plant extract), Manuka Honey, Moringa Butter, and Konjac Root Ultra-filling spheres. These ingredients do a variety of things, and cover everything from soothing and smoothing to plumping and improving elasticity. While I personally did not find this lip butter especially hydrating, I also didn’t find it especially drying. The product is something I can use regularly, it’s a pretty “nude” color, and it does what it says it does. Overall, I think it’s a win. Plus if you like the way things look (like I do), even the casing looks super pretty.

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What To Do At The Start Of Spring

Home, Lifestyle

We all know the saying – March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb. So far, March is definitely on track to live up to that old adage. While temperatures hit the 50 degree range last week, this week has started off with a winter weather advisory. I’m missing the sun already.

Instead of bemoaning what could be, my husband and I took advantage of the great weather we had this weekend, and we made the best of the warm weather while we had it. So what should you do with your time at the start of spring? Here’s my suggestions:

  • Get Outside – Growing up in the Midwest and being a spring sport athlete all through college taught me to have thick skin, especially when it comes to fickle weather. I’ve played softball while it was snowing, and while that’s never too fun, it does make you appreciate those first days of spring when things are first thawing and you can finally feel the sun on your skin again. Since my husband and I both love the outdoors, we made sure to get outside this weekend, first, on a trip duck watching, and then taking our cute little dog out for an extended playtime.

 

  • Embrace the color green – As the temperatures begin to drop again, I’m remembering that I can look to my little seedlings that I started indoors a couple weeks ago even if the grass outside is still far from green. I also bought more flowers this weekend because they brighten up any space and it’s a nice reminder that nature is near even when the low temperatures keep you from otherwise enjoying it.

 

  • Smile (everything has it’s season) – Sometimes when you get a taste of better weather, it feels especially bitter to have the sunshine disappear. It’s important to remember that there is a time and season for everything, in life and in nature. It’s easy to want to rush through the days to get to what’s ahead, but there are great things happening right where you are right now – even if the weather isn’t the greatest. Gloomy, cold gray days give us the perfect excuse to curl up inside with a warm beverage and catch up with our favorite book. I don’t know about you, but I can always use more time to read. It’s days like today that remind me to be thankful where I’m at each and every single moment. We just have to smile and look for the good in the situation we are currently in.

 

It’s March (That Means It’s Officially Spring)

Home, Lifestyle

It’s officially March, and I’ve been itching for some sunshine. The thought of spring is so near I can hardly stand it. I’m about two seconds away from taking an irrational weekend trip to somewhere with a warm beach.

If you’re worried about me, don’t worry. You don’t need to be. I’ve been channeling my desire for warmer weather and brighter days into my gardening, and oh boy, those little seedlings have been taking off.

Growing up, my mom always had gardens at home. I always got to help her plant the vegetables and flowers, and it became a regular part of my life. After growing up, getting married, and moving away I felt a strong desire to continue gardening, so I started my journey this spring (Okay, it was still winter, but I was dreaming of spring) by visiting a local gardening store and picking up a few seed starter trays and a few packets of seeds.

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My husband and I started that batch of seeds a few weeks ago and out of my jalapenos, sweet peppers, and tomatoes, we’ve started to see a handful of tomato seeds sprout. Then, last weekend, I convinced my husband to drive me around town to a handful of other gardening stores where I picked up some bulbs, seed packets, and a few of those nice greenhouse seed starter kits.

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Holy moly, those greenhouse kits are worth the money you spend on them! Almost all my seeds have already started to sprout in about a week’s time. Now I’m looking at my poor little greenhouse-less seed starting trays and they look so sad in comparison, and so many poor little seeds aren’t getting the love they need.

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I showed our by-chance gardening experiment to my husband last night, and I convinced him it that it would ultimately be wise to go get another greenhouse kit and plant more peppers and tomatoes. He’s the sweetest, and I’m lucky he loves growing things as much as I do because our cozy little apartment has been taken over by my gardening habit. Though, he has asked me on multiple occasions what I plan to do with all the plants once they’re full grown because they surely won’t all fit on our balcony!

While I’m waiting for my little seeds to sprout and grow, I’m filling my love of flowers with with beauties that I can buy and arrange myself. I truly feel like Claude Monet when he said, “I must have flowers, always, and always.” And my husband would agree. He’ll never forget how big our floral budget was for our wedding, but hello, flowers and greenery totally build the atmosphere! Most recently, I truly channeled spring when I picked up some daffodils, tulips, and ranunculus.

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I’m glad it’s March and warmer days are on their way, but I still can’t wait for a nice dose of sunshine! Until then (and if we’re being honest, even then), I will fill my days and windowsills with pretty flowers!