Style + Beauty

HIGH Performance, LOW Toxin: Makeup

 

Makeup Header 1I’m an undercover tomboy. My best friend would actually beg to differ on the “undercover” part. Or she’d take credit where credit is due and realize she caused the conversion back in our 20s. So, now that you have the background, hopefully it is less annoying to read these words: I love doing my makeup. (said no tomboy EVER, and yet here I am!)

Here’s why: my face feels so good with my makeup on. It is also sun-protected and reaping benefits of products made with essential oils and other goodies like jojoba oil and vitamin E. Trust me, this was not always the case. Doing my makeup felt like a chore and I could feel it on my skin…all day long. Sorry Bare Minerals, you were a major culprit in my weighted-face feeling and breakouts. Inspired by my aesthetician, who has a super high bar for all things natural & high performing, I decided to revamp my makeup drawer one product at a time (it is expensive to shift makeup!!). After much investigation and trial (and error) the winners are…

Julie Hewett and BeautyCounter! Here is what these brands have in common: they are high performing products that are made mindfully and without toxins. Let’s face it, I love to wander aimlessly through Whole Foods, but there’s nothing sexy about getting your makeup from the natural grocery store. I would be all about it if I’d had luck with the products! But I find them to be low toxin products that are also low- to moderate-performers. Meh. No thanks. Julie Hewett is a makeup artist first known for her work on the movie Pearl Harbor (she has the classic Hollywood lip on lock!). Obviously her makeup has to perform, but mineral makeup that you can actually smell (a hint) of the cedarwood essential oil and every lipstick formulated with organic camellia oil gives this brand a ‘beyond expectation’ mark. BeautyCounter makes it so easy to know exactly what you are getting in every product with their ingredient list highlighted right below the instructions on their website. Not a chemist in your other life? Their line is frequently listed as “Top Scoring Products” on EWG’s Skin Deep database. (I’ll hit you with more info on this amazing tool in the skin care edition post!)

So here is my honest opinion: you can’t really go wrong between these two brands. I have my favorite products between the two, which I’ll share here.

FACE

I live in California so I’ll sneak in a tip from my upcoming skincare post: after cleansing & toning I start my makeup party with a face sunblock (ain’t nobody trying to look older faster!). Then comes my absolute favorite products from each line:

FacemakeupCollageTint Skin Hydrating Foundation from BeautyCounter (I use Sand). I put it on like a face lotion. Next comes Julie Hewett’s Ora Mineral Foundation (my color is 1.5). Here are my favorite brushes to use: one for all over & one to use the powder as a concealer. Julie Hewett’s foundation has high grade zinc oxide that doubles up my SPF layer…all while keeping things very light-feeling on my face. What I love about both of these products is that they are light-weight secret weapons that pack a major punch.

BlushBronzermakeup CollageOk, here is where you can’t go wrong: bronzers & blushes. I happen to use Julie Hewett for both but have gotten my paws on the BeautyCounter counterparts and they are fantastic: Julie Hewett Ora Aphrodite Bronzer and Bud of Rose blush and BeautyCounter Color Contour Matte Bronzer & Color Sweep Blush Duo.

We never get paid for our opinions at M+M but we love to pass on a good deal: use promo code BOGO50 for 50% off Bud of Rose blush when you buy an Ora Aphrodite bronzer! Also get signed up with Julie Hewett announcements to find out when they bring back their Breathless palette (one of my best purchases of all): 4 blushes & 16 eyeshadows! BeautyCounter also has seasonal palettes, just not as many shadows & blushes in theirs. So that takes us to…

Eyesmakeup CollageEYES
Julie Hewett’s shadows really don’t “move” on your face. We all know that icky eyelid crease that forms with many shadows…not hers. I haven’t

100percent Blackberry
100% Pure Blackberry Mascara

worn BeautyCounter’s enough to testify, but I love that they come as Color Shade Eye Duo (two for one, eh!). I have an eyeliner of each: Color Outline Eye Pencil in Violet (subtle but fun!) and Julie’s Smudge Brown Eye Pencil. Both great, both do what you want: line without running. But here is what neither have to offer: mascara (technically BeautyCounter does but I am NOT a fan at all). The best performer (and I’ve tried a number of colors): 100% Pure Natural Mascara. I love their fruit pigmented lengthening formulation in Blackberry (again subtle but fun with green eyes).

LIPS

Oh ladies, here is where we have fun! Both brands are very different but both have great options for the all natural look or high drama mama. I have so many favorites (and I used to NEVER wear anything on my lips!). For BeautyCounter, it’s all about their Lip Sheers for me. Twig is an Allure award winner & is pretty much the perfect summertime sheen. I use Petal as my daily lip during fall-winter-spring, and those of you who can rock a good red will love Scarlet.

Lip Sheers

JH LipsJulie Hewett is really known for her lips. And, woman to woman I have to tell you, you just need to have a tube of JH lipstick. I can’t do red (she has the most amazing array of reds!) but my wow-factor favorite is her Scarlett, a bold fuschia. I’m also the owner of Jacqueline, both Camellia balm sticks (Ruby and nude), and Posie Cheekie (for lips & cheeks). I happen to know two other M+M contributors who owe it to all of us to find their favorite Julie Hewett red (Jenelle, Emily…make it happen).

It turns out it’s pretty fun to be a girl and a tomboy – and there is a place for both! There is also a place for both mom & woman…and if you are wondering what to ask for this Mother’s Day – maybe ask your loves to treat you to something new! And then tell me all about it!

Smooch,

Amy

AM

Mini Fashion · Style + Beauty

A Fashion Collaboration with Mimic Design

Recently I was approached by Mimic Design, an online Etsy store, to do a collaboration on Polyvore. In return for the sets I created I received store credit to buy any items of my choice. Mimic Design sells custom-made clutches, handbags, shoes and jewelry.

Here are the sets I created for the collaboration with Mimic Design:

mimic7
Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove
Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove
Mimic Design Polyvore set created by: Edenslove

With the store credit I received I wanted to do something special for my daughter, Eden. I wanted to buy her a piece of jewelry as a mother-daughter gift. Eden has lots of necklaces, earrings and bracelets but I have never given her a ring. Mimic has an adorable age-appropriate Heart Stackable Ring ($20.00) that I felt was the perfect gift for my little girl. Eden was thrilled when I handed her the little teal box wrapped in a white bow (that reminded me of Tiffany’s). She loves her ring and begs me to wear it all of the time. It is 14K gold-plated and I really don’t want her to lose it, so we save it for special occasions.

Eden Mimic Ring CollageWith the remaining store credit I bought myself the Special Edition Asymmetrical Leopard Fold-Over Clutch ($130.00). When I received the clutch I was shocked by how cute and trendy it is but, most of all, by how beautifully made it is. The clutch is made out of calf hair leather, suede and a YKK Zipper. When I wore it to my birthday dinner I received numerous compliments on it. Let’s just say I am very satisfied and excited about my picks.

Mimic Clutch 1
Rocking my Clutch from Mimic Design

Rocking my Clutch from Mimic Design

I loved making the sets for Mimic Design and I also loved the items I received. The collaboration was a success and I hope to work with this Etsy shop again in the future. I am a girl who loves and appreciates fashion. And when I say I love something I mean it.

 

Ever Fashionably Yours,

-Sarah
Sara

Style + Beauty

Instagram Beauty

Instagram Collage

I love a good beauty social media account just like anyone else. Instagram has been my go-to site for a long time now. I prefer IG because it’s quick/easy and if I need to research something further the account user usually has a link that I can go to for additional details.

In my beauty journey on Instagram I have found many great users. Some people I actually know and some I wish I could look like. I wanted to share with you all my favorite beauty accounts because I’m hoping they are just as helpful to you as they have been to me.

First up I’d like to shout out a friend of Milk & Mascara’s – the beautiful and talented Beauty by Melina. Melina is an amazing makeup artist with skills that leave me in awe. She has painted the faces of friends, models and celebrities for special events like the Grammys and weddings. I highly recommend her work to anyone looking to get their makeup done for a special occasion.

Melina

Instagram: https://instagram.com/beautybymelina/

Website: http://beautybymelina.com/

Another favorite Instagram beauty user of mine is Andreschoice. Not only is she drop dead gorgeous but her makeup skills are on point. A few favorite things I love about her everyday looks is how dramatic she makes her lips and how perfect her brows are. She has a large following on YouTube as well where she gives really awesome makeup tutorials.

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Something you may not know about Andrea is she has an identical twin sister who is just as gorgeous as she is. Her twin sister Brittany’s Instgram is under Brittanyschoice.

beautyInstaset

Instagram: https://instagram.com/andreaschoice/

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AndreasChoice

Here are a few other amazing beauty users to look up on Instagram: 

258s

SWEETFUSS  

BeautyIsBoring_ImageLogo-1

beautyisboring_ 
11247530_1641493212752279_1031605713_n

dilokritbarose 

kim-kardashian-makeup-artist-451833_w650

 scottbarnes68

And last but not least Jordan Bone, an IG beauty who inspires you beyond beauty tips & tricks.

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jbone89

Have fun scrolling through pictures and getting inspired for fall.

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Ever Fashionably Yours,

Sarah

Motherhood · Style + Beauty

A Petite Girl’s Guide to Maternity Friendly Dresses

Bump Friendly at F21

From left to right: Maxi Wrap Dress // French Terry Shift Dress // Colorblock Shift Dress // Striped Contrast Trim Dress // Pleated Trapeze Dress //  Contrast Trimmed Dress //  Cutout Back Shift Dress // Twisted Front Sweatshirt Dress //  Tribal Print Caged-Back Dress //

I learned a thing or two about maternity dressing from my first pregnancy. When you’re petite like me (hey, I am almost 5’1) you will quickly find that maternity clothing in petite sizes hardly exist. I also don’t like spending money on something I will only wear for a short period – and would most likely want to burn afterwards anyway. I find that I like to dress up more when I am pregnant. It’s one of the things I can do to feel more like myself. I also grew up with a mother who prescribes to the mantra: look good, feel good. I’m lucky enough to not suffer from hard pregnancy symptoms but I do go through a 9 month spell where I just don’t feel like myself or very attractive. But slipping into a new dress or outfit always does the trick!

I found a few affordable and trendy maternity-friendly dresses at Forever 21 that I have been living in lately! They are perfect for dressing up when needed or for throwing on for a day of errands. Here are some tips for my petite girls when shopping maternity dresses at non-maternity places.

1) Embrace your bump! When you’re petite the loose, trapeze-like dresses and shirts that maternity wear is known for is NOT flattering. Look for something more form fitting. I find that anything that shows off your bump is sure to elicit compliments.

2) Dresses are the easiest go-to pieces and are heat friendly. You still look like you’re in the 2nd trimester a couple of months after birth so dresses work well during this stage too.

3) Find dresses that are a cotton/rayon/spandex blend because they have more stretch in them. More stretch = more comfort.

4) Stay away from fabrics made predominantly of chiffon and polyester. They do not have a lot of stretch and they are not comfortable to wear on a hot day.

5) Shift dresses are awesome for pregnancies! Not only are they on trend but they are form-fitting and gradually get looser towards the bottom. The perfect silhouette for the mom-to-be.

6) Another great style is the empire dress. The higher waistline will elongate your figure. For petite women anything that elongates is a winner!

6) Be mindful of the height of the hem. As your belly grows the hem gets higher. If the dress is too short in the beginning you won’t get a lot of use out of it.

7) A lot of maternity dresses are strapless maxi dresses. For me, starting around the 5th month, strapless bras become very uncomfortable. The bottom of the bra seems to be sitting right on top of my stomach. Also, not wearing a bra is not really an option because they feel so heavy. So I prefer tank dresses. I love to throw on a tank dress with a cardigan or blazer.

8) Wrap dresses are awesome! They are also nursing friendly.

10) For Forever 21 dresses I mostly shop the contemporary section because they run a half size larger and they are geared towards an older demographic. I also shop the plus size section. I wore the maxi wrap dress to a birthday dinner and it was perfect!

This is dress #4, the Striped Contrast Trim Dress. I purchased it in a size small. It is unbelievably comfortable and a steal at $15.90. I would wear it every day if I could.The fabric is soft, breathable and has a lot of stretch to it because of the 4% spandex. It also looks super cute with a pair of Converse! I’m so happy they came out with a solid version – Contrast Trimmed Dress.

Jenelle Mod Dress

They are sold out of this dress but it is very similar to the Colorblock Shift Dress. The hem is getting short on this one though so I probably only have a few weeks of wear left. I am pictured in this dress at 25 weeks.

What stores or styles are your favorite for maternity fashion?

Here’s to rocking our bumps!

Jenelle

Jenelle

Style + Beauty

My Summer Style

Since spring has sprung and summer is about to bring the heat, I want to share with all of my fashionably dressed friends what I will be rocking this summer!

Shopping for a new look can become really expensive and, since I know my husband won’t buy the excuse that all my shopping is research-related, I had to create a look without burning a hole in my wallet. Since I already love the maxi skirt and tee trend so much I figured…why not make this my summer style?! It’s cute, comfy and super easy (and fun!) to shop for the necessities to perfect this look.

I did use more expensive items in my Polyvore set below but I’ll show you some cheaper options as well.

Maxi Summer Polyvore Set
Maxi Summer Polyvore Set

Here are a few looks from my Pinterest board dedicated to my maxi skirt obsession. These looks are my favorite and are perfect for any summer event.

graphicteemaxi glittermaxi redmaxi

So now that you are just as obsessed as I am with this look let’s get shopping. I recently bought three really amazing maxi skirts from Charlotte Russe. Check them out below.

These run between $24.99- $39.99

blackCR
Crochet-Waist Chiffon Maxi Skirt
creamCR
CROCHET-WAIST CHIFFON MAXI SKIRT
CRMAXI1
High-Waisted Tie-Dye Maxi Skirt

The easiest part of shopping for this look is buying the tees. You can buy cheap tees anywhere in any color of the rainbow. You may want to look for deals: Target and Old Navy almost always have great deals going on. I buy my tees from both because they are cheap and made well. Another place for great tees is Forever 21. If you want to rock this look with a graphic tee I would try Cotton On or H&M. And I would bank on the fact that many of you already have white or black tees, so don’t forget to shop your own closet!

Here are a few of my favorite tees to style with the maxi skirt.

H&M Jersey Top
H&M Jersey Top
Target Boyfriend V Tee
Target Boyfriend V Tee
Cotton On DISTRESSED MICKEY
Cotton On DISTRESSED MICKEY
Forever 21 Spatter Print Pocket Tee
Forever 21 Spatter Print Pocket Tee

Now that you have some styling ideas and shopping tips, it’s your turn to be inspired and figure out what your Summer Style will be. Please make sure to comment below and tell me about any stores I may have missed or any styles you’d like to see featured here for summer. Happy Shopping!!

Ever Fashionably Yours,

Sarah

Sara

Style + Beauty

Mommy Up-Do

Mommy Up-Do

You know you are a mom if you can answer yes to any of these:

a) you are in the phase where long hair and jewelry fall victim to grabby baby hands
b) having your hair down is pretty much reserved for date night or girls night out
c) your long locks don’t typically survive a day filled with work, school, kids activities, dinner, chores & cleaning

I’ve been cruising magazines and Pinterest for cute and easy ways to sweep my long hair up and keep it there: all. day. long. I do not have time for a redo so I need it to stay put (let’s be real – I don’t really have time to do it in the first place, but I like to believe the one big, long-lasting effort in the morning saves me time through the day).  I know the easy answer would be to cut my hair.  But, you know what? I don’t want to.  I like my long hair, it makes me feel youthful and pretty, and, for whatever reason, when I have cut my hair short it has always seemed to look like a “mom bob”, even long before I had kids.  And here is a secret I have discovered about mommy hairdos:

We get points just by looking like we tried!!!

It’s true.  Run around town with your kiddo(s) sporting anything other than a sloppy ponytail or down-but-haggard hair and I promise you are getting props without even knowing it!  Practice on others: check out the moms that look like they made an effort and I bet you are drawn to the overall look but aren’t even all that focused on the specific glory of the hair-do intricacies.  So, without further ado, here are some mom-tested and approved up-dos:

High Bun: Ever trendy and always practical, the high bun gets hair off the back of your neck and is even out of the way for drive-time (it should just barely miss the headrest).  Whether you are rocking the messy high bun or making it polished, the key is bobby pins (or my personal favorite, the Spin Pin by Goody).  Choose either clear rubber bands or a color that matches your hair (same goes for the bobby/spin pins).

Instructions:

  1. Messy Bun: Start with your hair in a very high ponytail and get creative with your pinning
  2. Smooth Bun: Start with your hair in a very high ponytail (secured in a rubber band); twist hair as you wrap it in a circle (think cinnamon roll); help secure the bun in place by placing a rubber band around the bun; use bobby pins or spin pins to pin the bun in place, making sure the rubber band is covered underneath.  Voila – ballerina beautiful!

Bubble Ponytail: It doesn’t get any easier than this…and it’s cute!
Instructions: pull your hair up into a high ponytail (secured in a rubber band); add as many rubber bands and as far apart as you prefer down the length of the ponytail; pull the hair gently between each rubber band to “bubble” out to the degree that you like best.  Done – and took approximately 1 minute longer than just a plain old ponytail!

Upside Down French Braid Bun: This is my current fave because it’s so pretty and stays so secure. It’s the most time-consuming of the three and is a little tricky to do yourself, but I’ve found I have become more efficient and proficient every time I do it.  If you have a friend who can do it for you then this is a cinch! (I have farfetched dreams of teaching my husband to french braid under the premise that it will come in handy when our daughter is older & that I can be sworn to supreme secrecy of his new-found talent…oh, guess blogging about it won’t help my cause much!)

Instructions:
Part I: Flip your head upside down and start a french braid at the nape of your neck (*note: if you let your fingers braid the way that feels most natural the braid will be inside out (a cornrow style braid), so maneuvering in the opposite way will create a true french braid); french braid all the way up to the top of the back of the head and then regular braid the rest of the hair to the ends.
Part II: The front portion of you hair should not be included in the braid so you can either french braid or regular braid it all the way to the ends.
Part III: Now take the two braids and twist them into a bun; use bobby pins or spin pins to secure into place, just like you would with the high bun above.
Magic complete!  I like to pair my braided masterpiece with an intentionally casual outfit (torn denim, yoga pants, etc) so that I don’t look like I’m trying to go to the prom.

So, my longhaired beauties, try some of these on for size, share your favorite up-dos, and flaunt those long manes fiercely!

-Amy

AM

Motherhood · Style + Beauty

Nailing the Family Photo Shoot

Ahhh. Fall is finally here. The air feels a bit crisper, pumpkin is making its way into everything, and this “Mamarazzi” is in full family photo shoot planning. Every year I am determined that this is the year I will NAIL the Christmas card! I wish I had been given a little guidance during my early years of holiday card sending (a mere 4 years ago).  So let’s start with those and then I will show you the evolution of one family’s photo shoot history.

Tips from a Photo Snob:

  • The less skin the better. Flesh is distracting, even if you’re not a 17-year-old boy. Eyes up people! Focus on the face. I prefer long pants and shirts at least to the elbows. Especially in group pictures.
  • We can’t all wear patterns. I think its safe to say 2/3rds of your picture should be solids. So in a family like mine (there are six of us), two of us get to wear a print. Maximum.
  • When planning the shoot lay all the clothes out on the bed and start mixing and matching for the perfect formula. Visually seeing everything next to each other really helps!
  • If you are out of ideas, press on [example: everyone wearing the same thing jeans and a white shirt…is NOT a good one]. You’ll come up with something.
  • Borrow clothes for the shoot. For me, I’m only going to wear the top for about an hour – surely I have a friend with something that will work just perfectly!
  • Outdoors makes the best pictures. You can see my poor husband struggling to keep eyes open for the flash in both of our indoor shots. Natural light just makes us look better too!
  • Hire someone. You don’t have to guess which of my pictures a friend or family did and which was by a professional. Often times you can find people just starting out that will do your pictures for less than $200, edited and all. Your future self will thank you!

When I start planning my annual family photo shoot, I start by considering two things. The first is location, are we doing a field, a city shot, the ocean – these things matter (your trendy moto boots look awesome in the city, even in the field, but are just plain weird at the beach). The second, does anyone already own anything I absolutely LOVE? Or is there anything I’ve been wanting to buy that the family photo provides a good excuse for a purchase? Last year I really wanted a new denim jacket…voila! A theme was born…and a jacket was purchased. 😉

I used to use a very simple formula for choosing wardrobe: choosing colors that complement one another and don’t compete, and trying to match up 2 or more of us for cohesiveness. As my family has grown, so has my styling formula. Let’s take last year’s Christmas card photos for example. It started with denim jacket envy, and I had just bought a denim dress for the baby…done: baby Cruz and I are wearing denim on top and black pants on bottom.  What about the other 4? Whoever has the most clothes (in our case, my husband) is the last one “dressed” so to speak, because whatever I’m looking for, he probably has. Since my base layer was black and denim, I could go virtually anywhere from there. My oldest son had a great plaid button down. It was a tan/neutral base with plaid of purple, blue and red.  I chose to put my younger son in a tan sweater and jeans, because he had a really cute one from The Gap.  This freed me up to put my princess eldest daughter in purple, blue or red, depending on what she had or what I found while shopping. I found an amazing royal blue top for her at Target! I raided hubby’s closet and found a neutral/tan button down (merges the males outfits – 2 of them in the same color, 2 of them in the same style). Hey – pretty good, eh?!  So, yes, while it is still the simple formula of choosing colors that complement and don’t compete while matching up 2 or more of us…you can see that I have become comfortable making things more complex.  Which is good, since more people in the photo inevitably means a little extra challenge.

Photo Credit: Memories By Chelsea Photography

We did a cousins photo shoot with my brothers kids the same year. I was in charge of dressing kids and picking colors. I came up with: red, blue, white, and black.  When combining families are going into the extended family realm, it really becomes just a matter of raiding closets for anything within the chosen color palette. But, again, use the bed to lay everything out to make sure it does, in fact, work! I think the results were pretty amazing. Shout out to the photographer for getting seven kids all in a good shot!

Photo Credit: Memories By Chelsea Photography

I am still planning this year’s wardrobe, but I just bought both my daughters chambray dresses and I’m certain they will make the photo cut!  It is my opinion that denim by the face is super fresh and always makes girls look pretty! Obviously that’s just an opinion…but, hey, it’s free of charge. 🙂

Below is a sample of my style (and resulting family photo) evolution:

Year 1: There was no plan. Using a professional probably would’ve helped. “We can’t see your daughters face” would’ve been nice.

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Year 2: Bless our sweet hearts for putting them in the matching sweatshirts.

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Year 3. Playing it safe with the color palette: navy, hunter green and creams.

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Year 4. I based the whole shoot off of my boys’ sweaters. I had bought them and loved them…and all I had to insert was the purples for my husband and daughter.

Photo Credit: Memories By Chelsea Photography

Year 5. This year I knew I was good.

Photo Credit: Memories By Chelsea Photography

Year 6…it’s in the works, people! Wish me luck and get to scheduling and styling yours too! TIS the season!

-Kelly, with a sincere thanks to Memories By Chelsea Photography for capturing all of the beautiful professional shots in this post.  For all you lucky peeps in the Portland area, look her up!

KC