Lip Service

I have a confession.

I've fallen back in love with lipstick.

For years, I've been a lip balm or lip gloss girl. Lipstick was for moms and old ladies. Well, I'm now a mom and old by college student standards so it's time to join the club.

Lipstick is my new favorite addition to my grown up makeup bag. It's the easiest way for me to add color and interest to my makeup routine with the least amount of effort. I can do it in the car! I still love to play with dramatic eye makeup but that takes more time than I have on a daily basis.

Look at me all grown up. Crazy how the little splash of pink makes my skin tone look warmer and less dead.
What's your go to product to look-like-you-put-in-more-effort-today?

Mascara | The Long and Thick of It

Mascara is one of the top products I recommend for every makeup routine. It can open up the eyes with just enough definition to hide the fact that I-got-5-hours-of-sleep-last-night. Mascara has super powers!

There are 2 main factors to consider when shopping around to find your favorite: the formula and the wand. Both carry equal weight in determining which one will work best for your lashes.

Go take a look in the mirror then come back to find your best combo.


Long and Thin - grab a thickening/volumizing mascara with a large, full brush and densely-packed bristles. Add extra fullness at the base of your lashes by wiggling the brush back and forth then coating all the way to the tips.

Long and Thick - a comb-shaped wand will help to separate and define full lashes. Use a curler and/or a curved brush for straight lashes to help open up the eye.

Short and Thick - look for a lengthening mascara with a long, comb-like brush. Lengthening formulas have fibers that "build" on themselves to make lashes appear long. Be sparing applying at the base of your lashes. Then apply a second coat focusing on the tips.

Short and Thin - find a lengthening formula with a stubby wand that packs a lot of bristles. Wiggle the wand back and forth at the base of your lashes to add fullness. Then apply a second coat focusing on the whole lash.

A few more tips...

For a Natural Lash Look, find a formula with a rubber wand and moderately spaced bristles. They hold less product and will not focus on adding length or volume.

Bottom Lashes - Yea or Nay? I think it's always a good idea to help define eyes without closing them in. The one exception would be for mature eyes that need a lifting effect by only applying mascara to top lashes.

If you have Super Straight Lashes (like me!) a curved brush and lash curler can help. I heat up my lash curler first under warm running water or with my hair dryer. A warm curl holds better than a cold one. (ALWAYS touch it with your fingers first to make sure you don't burn your eyelids!) Then I follow up with a curved brush mascara. It helps my lashes hold the curl better than a straight brush.

Lash Primer - Primers are designed to create a base for mascara to add drama and keep it from smudging.

Now, go grab a couple different formulas to get an idea of what works best for your lashes and the look you want. Total Beauty has a short quiz that gives you 2-3 recommendations to start with. I've also been testing out several mascara formulas so stay tuned for part 1 of the Great Mascara Review. Should help narrow it down a bit!

What's your magic combo?