A Happy Peach

Things that make my heart smile…


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Top 10 Beauty Favorites…

When the Lovely Eugenia of Ommorphia Beauty Bar tagged me for the Top 10 Beauty Favorite Awards, I thought, Oh fun, then I immediately thought how do I choose among my babies? She of course shared my sentiment as any fellow beauty lover would. So I spent a bit of time going through my immense stash. Going through it was some what cathartic as I found some old favorites that were in need of my re-acquaintance. I made to my lovelies the following excuse: you know I love you, it’s just that I was using so-and-so right now. I then realized that I go through brief phases, such as I want a smokey eye, I want a simple eye, and oh plum, let’s do plum. They can change daily but most last from 3 days to a couple of weeks. As I went through my make up case I rotated some products out to my make up drawer, one must be organized in their obsession. I’ve picked out the ten that are my current favorite. And without further ado here they are.

Face

1) Clinique Super City Block, this is an absolute essential in the hot Southern California sun, some days it’s all I pop on. It is slightly tinted, but doesn’t really give you much in the way of foundation coverage. What it will do is blend nicely into your skin and help to protect your skin from the sun.

Clinique's Super City Block in SPF 40, Click on image to take you to the Clinique website.

2) Guerlain Lingerie de Peau and Sonia Kushak Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush. Is this foundation expensive, oui, is it worth it, oui again. Paired with the Kushak brush it can give skin a flawless airbrushed finish. When it first came out I had a hard time finding a bottle of my shade three. But after the buzz died down or maybe because they realized how popular it was I was able to locate a bottle at Saks. I think it’s easier to find them now, the link will take you to Nordstrom, but there are tons of other department stores as well as Sephora and the brands own website where you can purchase, but it is nice to go in a try a sample. It is a light formula, with a more dewy finish and that may or may not be your cup of tea.

Guerlain Lingerie de Peau and Sonia Kushak Synthetic Flat Top Multipurpose Brush. See description below for links.

 

Eyeliner

3) I am going to cheat a bit and combine the following two Mac liners, as one is limited edition. Let’s start with the permanent one. I love this pencil, it has a tendency to bring out the amber in my brown eyes. I had never really realized it until one day I was touching up my make up and I thought hmm….there’s something going on here. In any event I really like the effect. This subtle grey creates a softer more wearable look than a harsh black might, which means easy to apply and easy to wear. Since it’s a kohl pencil I like to set it with an eyeshadow.

Mac's Phone Number Eye Kohl. Click on photo to take you to the Mac website.

3 continued….Lord it up was released last Christmas. She is such a beauty, a warm chocolate brown with gold shimmer. Being a Pearlglide she applies beautifully and wears well. You can smudge her before she sets. If it’s rereleased by Mac, you know how Mac is, you should check it out.

Mac's Lord It Up, Limited Edition from last Christmas. Sadly no link as it's not available.

4) Bobbi Brown’s Long Wear Gel Liner, I’ve included two of my favorites, Chocolate Shimmer Ink and Graphite Shimmer. Bobbi’s gel eyeliners are more expensive than Mac, but they apply better and have a better shelf life. Just remember to not leave the pot open for long and to close it back tightly, in addition, it is better to scoop out the amount you are going to use and close the pot. This keeps it sanitized longer and exposes it to air for a shorter period of time.

Bobbi Brown Long-Wear Gel Eyeliner, click on image to go to Bobbi Brown Website.

Eye Shadow

5) OK, so I am cheating again. I love these two cream eyeshadows. They both apply nicely and have great staying power. Bobbi Brown’s Long-Wear Cream Shadow in Shore is one of my favorites, I really like the matte finish on this. I can’t vouch for all of the cream shadows in this line as I’ve had a few and only one was a bit of a stinker. It was a shimmer and I had to return it, glitter everywhere and the application was terrible (it was either Glacier or Platinum). I’ve had other shimmer in the line and had no problems, so it may have just have been an off one. Now, Estee Lauder’s Double Wear Stay in Place Shadow Creme  is just fantastic and it’s cheaper. It applies well and wears well. The color shown below is Silver Leaf (which is discontinued :()and sadly it is the only one I own, but I will remedy this. In fact I am planning on getting a couple more during the Anniversary Sale (probably Mochachino and either Midnight Kohl or Smokey Plum, sick, sick, sick but I get double points, shakes head). Lastly if I had to choose I would pick the Estee Lauder over the Bobbi Brown cream shadow, and yes I know both brands are owned by the same company company, but they’re different products.

Estee Lauder's Double Wear Stay-In-Place Shadow Creme in Silver Leaf on left and Bobbi Brown's Long-Wear Eye Cream Shadow in Shore on Right. See description for links.

6) I literally cannot tell you how many eye shadows I own, so it was hard picking one, I thought of picking a palette, but decided a work around for this dilemma. I fell in love with the Estee Lauder’s new version of their pressed powder shadows last year. They are beautifully pigmented and blend like a dream. I had purchased Smokey Ember and Mischievous Mulberry first, but I had really wanted Provocative Plum, which was sold out, and not Mischievous Mulberry. Picky picky, but I ended up with all three. They look really similar, and my intention is to create some fab smokey plum eyes. But one must work carefully to make sure you do not end up looking like you just got out of a bar brawl.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow in natural light. Colors: Smokey Ember (left), Provocative Plum (Center), Mischievous Mulberry (right). Click on picture to take you to Estee Lauder site.

Estee Lauder Pure Color Eyeshadow with Flash. Colors: Smokey Ember (left), Provocative Plum (Center), Mischievous Mulberry (right). Click on picture to take you to Estee Lauder site.

Tools

7) To me half the battle of gorgeous application is the tools one has. I love good brushes, I admit to being a snob sometimes. If I think it’s a poorly made brush I don’t keep it. But good brushes I do treasure and treat well. One of my favorite brushes is the now discontinued Smashbox #3. Why do I love it? Well because of its multiple personalities. It can apply shadows to smaller areas like the crease with its pointed tip, and it can blend adeptly with its full rounded tip and not so densely packed head, and it can pack on color since it has a broad flat brush head. I think usage will take practice, but that’s true for any brush. Since it’s discontinued you can choose to purchase Mac’s 219, 217 and 239. Honestly they do their own specific jobs really well. But a pointed tip rounded brush like this is good for travel, you only have to bring one brush, but blending can be a pain since you may have clean it while using it. In that situation spray brush cleaner is your best friend. I have two sets of brushes for more complicated work (again, seriously, I sound like a nut case when I read this back). But if you want a similar brush, you may want to try Hakuhodo (they manufacture brushes for other labels and are known for high quality products), however I haven’t tried it, so I can’t vouch for them.

Smashbox #3 is discontinued but as an alternative try Mac 219, 217 and 239, click on image to take you to Mac Website

8) I love palettes, and have a ton. My two favorites are UNNI because they are pretty durable and give you a lot of room to maneuver. They’ve got a decent lock and have a rubber seal around the inside, so if your powder product(s) should break while you are traveling, it won’t mess up the contents of your bag. I love the Japonesque paper palettes as they provide more shock absorption. Your eyeshadows are more secure, and the magnetic closure is pretty good.

UNNI Palettes, click on picture to go to UNNI palette website

Japonesque 10 well palette. Click on picture to go to Japonesque Website

Blush

9) I know the Nars cult favorite for blush is Orgasm, but for me, I love Deep Throat. Leave it to Françios Nars to get me to write an awkward sentence as the preceding. Moving on. Deep throat is has a deeper peach tone than Orgasm, which was developed to have a more pink quality to it. In any event, Deep Throat is great for summer when our tan is up and running. It’s an easy go-to color, who doesn’t love that?

Nars Powder Blush in Deep Throat, click to go to Nars Website

10) Last and certainly not least is Estee Lauder’s Pure Color Gloss Stick in Nude Almond (wow, there’s a lot of Lauder on here I’m noticing, totally not intentional). I love a good nudey lip product and I have quite a few, but this product applies well and is completely flattering, totally fool proof, wears well, smells like fruit, and has when applied is pretty opaque for a gloss. It’s a my lips but better and will complement any smokey eye but can flatter a simple eye also. It’s a staple for me. The only drawback is that Lauder just raised the price to $20 USD. If you are looking for some similar shades you can try Mac’s Freckletone, it’s another go to of mine but it wears off very quickly, as does Nars’ Barbarella.

Estee Lauder's Pure Color Lip Gloss in Nude Almond

Wow, that took a lot of time and effort. If any one has any questions let me know. I love chatting about make-up. And now we come to the next part of this game, who to tag next. I don’t know of too many fellow beauty-holics, but I’m hoping some of the gorgeous gals I’ve met blogging will want to play along. If it makes it easier, maybe we should extend this to favorite things that make you feel beautiful. I think we can all think of 10 something, even in the most abstract method, that make us feel oh so pretty. I even thought of tagging some boys, but maybe they’d feel uncomfortable and retracted the thought. So here are my list of lovely ladies:

  1. Tabitha at BourbonAndPearls
  2. Vix at LittleMissEverything
  3. Lucy at TipsyLucy
  4. Mindy at FindingSilverLinings
  5. Maggie at MaggieMaeDay
  6. Pervisha at KhanumSays
  7. Chelsea and Liz at Cookiebytes
  8. Tien (if you’re still with us…hmm….) at TienUnscripted 
  9. Sarah at ThoughtToHaveABlog
I know that’s only nine, but I thought I would leave that slot open for anyone to tag themselves. I hope everyone has fun playing.


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Nordstrom Anniversary Wish List…

It happens but once a year and has been a tradition with me for a very long time. Towards the end of June I start chomping waiting for the mailman to bring me THE NORDSTROM ANNIVERSARY SALES CATALOG!!!!!!!!  And today my friends, today was the day I received the catalog along with my access code. So I dutifully went through the hardcopy and then went to work on the online catalog, oh and in store is a whole other animal, you see the buyers pick items that may not be in any of the catalogs. Oh and I love a good presale, they’ve curtained off the area and you just pick your items before and your personal shopper will have them ready for you on the day of the sale or a few days ahead of time. My favorite thing to do is to go to South Coast Plaza first thing in the morning and get my items (they open at 8 for sale day). Oh this is all giving me a good case of the HAPPIES. Yes, yes, I know I’m supposed to stop my evil ways and not spend, and in all likelihood this year will be a light year, but I like to go through the motions nonetheless.

First for me are the handbags/pocketbooks/purses and other assorted goods (normally I allow myself at least one, but the one my heart truly desires is a bit out of reach for now).

Oh how I want her, she is so pretty.

I could go for the baby Marc Jacobs

I thought this Cholé satchel was cute

I don't really know who Olivia Harris is, but I do like this ecru colored bag.

 

 

Next I always turn my head towards shoes.

Super Comfortable and an easy shoe to pair with your outfit.

I'm not sure why, but this thing calls to me. But it's sort of borderline ugly, so I am not sure.

Oh oh oh, this Kate Spade reminded me of that shirt from that J. Crew collaboration last season.

I do need a bootie, did I just say that? It just sounds wrong....but I really like this Vince Camuto and the nude color is nice.

Perhaps this Vince Camuto in black flannel?

Or this classic Via Spiga in black leather....hmm....

I could mix it up with this Via Spiga bootie wedge. Thoughts?

 

Now we leave the land of shoeporn, that was a quickie wasn’t it? On to Make-up….oh how I love make up.

Do I really need more Mac lip products?

I don't think I've even used my Dior Christmas palette more than once. Sigh...

But it's so pretty and blue....sigh...again...

I love sparkles, but in practice it's harder than it seems, I always end up with a giant glitter sticking out when I use Across the Universe. But I am strangely mesmerized.

Oh and if I buy another one in addition to Wallis I get a free Yummy Mummy, which I already have....sigh again, the sighs are getting repetitive.

 

And lastly to clothes. To be honest I have so much in way of clothes, that I wasn’t feeling to buy anything. I am really glad that the seventies are back this Fall, I can use a change of pace. Maybe I need to go through my wardrobe and do a bit of a cleaning. Hmm….

I have been in a sweater mood lately. On the hunt for a yummy soft but pretty and interesting one. Could this BCBG be it?

Or maybe this little BCBG number...

Oh I love Sunglasses (I refuse to cutely refer to them as sunnies).

These Michael Kors are so 70s, I love them. They remind me of Annie Hall, Diane Keaton was so delightful.

This may sound like an odd thing, but this sale means fall is just around the corner. This is the time when I think of wearing a leather skirt. Not the hooker walk the street leather skirt, but the below the knee leather skirt which requires the above the knee  boot. You know the quintessential fall look.

Hmm…there are so many things listed and I’m not really sure what I want to do, or if I really want any of those things. I only know that I probably don’t need them. So I may just be torturing myself here. I should probably consider the fact that I have other things I want to do, and this may be more of a distraction. But then again, it may be time to overhaul my closet….sigh, the last sigh of this post….

 


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The Road Not Taken…

Crossroads, pathways, and choices, perhaps best to take the one with the prettiest flowers...

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost (1916)

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I remember this poem from high school. Our English teacher passed out photocopies and asked us to interpret the poem. Of course we all decided it was speaking about choices and which path to choose, take the easy well trodden route or take the risk to venture on a new unknown path. Although at some point we all started talking about a dark woods where the narrator got lost and never got out, yes very active imaginations. When I think of it, it was a perfect prose to give children who are about to graduate from High School. But in a less cliché move I am reconsidering it. Why you ask, well because I looked it up on Wikipedia and read this interpretive tale. That in fact Robert Frost may have written it as a friendly response to his friend Edward Thomas who would complain at the end of their walks together that they should have taken a different path. When asked about the sigh in the last stanza he responded: “It was my rather private jest at the expense of those who might think I would yet live to be sorry for the way I had taken in life.”

Now that I reread it as a grown woman, who has taken many paths, seen quite a few crossroads, at times changed her mind to double back or cut across the brush and start on another path completely, I see this poem differently. Perhaps it is the steps that I have taken in life that have made all the difference. Because it is with these steps, whether I stumbled and fell or skipped along happily, that I came to the place that I am. If I stumbled and fell, I picked myself up. If I didn’t like where I was heading, I took a new path. If I thought I was lost, I kept looking till I realized I wasn’t really lost. If he meant for it to be a way of teasing to those who choose to regret, it makes you realize that any path you choose if you decide to have regret in your heart then it doesn’t matter and you can never allow yourself to be happy with your decision. In the end I think it is best to take the path that you feel to take and don’t worry too much about the one you left behind, because here’s the secret: life is filled with choices and the only certainty is that you are going to have to make a choice but nothing else is guaranteed. The best thing for us to do is enjoy the journey.


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If Your Monday Isn’t Going As Planned…

Monday mornings can be daunting. You wake up to that horrible little machine, just be thankful he doesn’t run away. Cute idea when you saw it on the internet, so evil when you’re half drunk with sleep.

No seriously he throws himself down off your nightstand and rolls aways so you have to chase after him to turn him off!!!

You then struggle to dress yourself and get some caffeine in you.

So you get into work and you’re the first one there, but why would you put a trash can on your head?

Your day is going along fine enough until you meet up with the copier…

Some days you just need a little Awwww…..thank goodness the internet is here to provide you with an array of cute cat videos. Sometimes I think that’s what it’s there for.

And others days I just laugh and think…how did this guy get to be Governor of California?

But most days, I can’t wait to get home and get cozy.

Reaffirming the idea that the internet was designed to distribute cute kitty videos.

I hope this added a wee bit of brightness to your day 😀


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Ladies Why Do We Do It?

I was just tooling around on youtube when I saw this video and thought, why are we torturing ourselves? Here are these three, let’s call them guys, telling us not be so fussy. They seem to want us with minimal make up whilst wearing wife-beaters (tank tops, vests, undershirts).

Let’s be honest girls, we get all gussied up for ourselves, because it makes us feel pretty. But we also do it for other women, because you know they’re judging you (men are judging you too, for example those three guys). You know how it is, women can be horrible to each other, so catty checking each other out and deciding if the other women passes muster or not. Maybe you don’t do that, but I think that most women have done it from time to time. I think we’re trained to do it from the time we’re small children and it can be a hard habit to break. From this we develop what I like to call survival skills. We begin with your fatigues, you have outfits you wear to the mall and ones you wear to go to the market and the comfy ones you wear in your house. You may love your comfy sweats, but you would not go to a wedding in them (unless it’s some weird P.E. themed wedding, and when is that going to happen?).  Add to this survival conditioning the fact that most people are self conscious about something, and if  you’re not, you probably haven’t figured it out yet (oh that was catty, sorry but I had some momentum going). And it’s always the dumbest smallest thing, like one eyebrow is higher than the other (it could also be that one is lower than the other, whatever floats your boat), or you don’t like the shape of your lips. And if we were to be logical about it, it’s so insignificant that we’re probably the only ones who notice it. Trust me, no one is staring at your one eyebrow that is half a centimeter higher than the other. This hyper-awareness of our looks has one byproduct, we tend to develop this paranoia by the time we’re 21 of never leaving the house without this one item, maybe earrings or lipgloss. Something about not having it makes us feel naked, maybe even vulnerable. It’s all psychological, and I think as we grow older and more confident we lose those bizarre neurotic fears, although I think some women choose to be haunted forever (scary).

As for attracting men, I think simple is better. From my experience the less made up you are, the more approachable  you appear. It makes sense, most men don’t want overly complicated women who are high maintenance. Unless he’s a metrosexual, do they still have those? And you’d be fighting over mirror time anyway (I apologize if any metrosexuals read this and also comment and let us know that you aren’t extent we can build a sanctuary for you in an Apple store) . So I guess the theorem is majority of men prefer simple while some men like a lot of glam. But when men say they want natural, they have no idea what they’re saying. Most women don’t roll out of bed looking their best, some do, but most don’t. You need to take care of your skin and apply some “freshening” make-up. You know what I’m talking about, if you have anything to conceal or didn’t get enough rest and need to um…”brighten” your look, maybe add a bit of flush or contour, and perhaps curl your lashes. The finishing touch is that natural perfect, my lips but better lipstick (the MLBBL is the holy grail by the way). They call this tactic the “no make-up make-up”, sound nuts, check out Lisa Eldridge. She’s just going to pick up her kid, but she still wants to look puuuurrrrrdeeee!!!!!

Lastly, even is a man tells you he doesn’t want you to be overly glam I don’t think he wants you to be a slob, in general they want us to look pretty and fabulous without trying to hard (good luck with that). Whether or not men realize it, they are assessing how we present ourselves. They want us to look attractive, but attainable. A gal running around in Gucci from head to toe (is sort of tacky in my taste, but to each their own) is sending a message, she’s saying I am expensive and I think I am worth it, you’re going to have to spend a lot to make me happy, I don’t want a grilled cheese sandwich. He may also decide, yes without having a conversation, that she will be too difficult to deal with, he really wants her to have that grilled cheese sandwich. Unless he’s wearing Gucci from head to toe, and then well, they were made for each other. And I say good, leave the rest of humanity alone. Now I am off, I think I’m going to make a grilled cheese sandwich (it’s always food with me, isn’t it :D)

P.S. I guess I lied when I said lastly. If I were to do the same thing those three guys did and judge basically on appearance, I would not want to be with them. They look a little to into their looks, who’s looking at them, and looks in general. It’s all a little too boring in my opinion. Although I am with them on that headband thing. What is that about? And yes I this was supposed to be read in a humorous way, no one is supposed to have hurt feelings, for those of you with hurt feelings, sorry, just form a line for hugs at the back of the theater.


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A Day With Flowers…

Hello Friends,

We always have a choice, we can choose to see the beauty of each moment of our lives or we can choose to wallow in misery. If you are a curmudgeon and desire to reform yourself, then yours is an achievable goal. You need only to make that decision to make it your personal mission to see the good in everything. If this work is new to you, then maybe it’s best to start small. Start with something easy, say flowers. Take one day to spend the entire day noticing their beauty. All flowers are beautiful, as that is their sole purpose in life to look and smell beautiful, and will not disappoint you. For inspiration I present the following, it is a bit of a photographic journey of some of the flowers I encountered during my day.  I hope this bouquet of friends brightens your day, and why not listen to the aria Flower Duet?

Enjoy,

Danielle

 



Don't they just smile and wave to you, wishing that you will have a great day?