First half of pregnancy… DONE!

For the first 20 weeks of this pregnancy I’ve felt mentally and physically drained… like a fog that clouded my motivation and abilities. My main goals have been to get enough sleep, get enough water, and get enough food… growing a new life is demanding work!

But as of today… I’m exactly 20 weeks along, and coincidentally… Today I feel like the fog has lifted! I’m feeling more able to go for a walk, organize and clean the house, play with the kids, do yoga…and enjoy life!

Up until today, the only yoga I’ve been doing is a quick stretch it out session… Going with the flow of whatever comes to mind. This is always a nice way to relax the body and mind, but tonight I was feeling more energetic than usual.. so I decided to put on a long prenatal yoga video on YouTube. I can’t tell you how nice this was!! I was able to really relax my mind and let the words on the video guide me.

Towards the end of the video, I was moving into Shavasana, and the video said to put your hands on your belly rather than out to your sides. I placed my hands right where the baby was, laying on my back made it where I could feel exactly where he was, and how big he is. As soon as I placed my hands on my baby, he gave a hard kick and started moving a lot!! You know that euphoric feeling after a yoga session? Not only was I feeling that, but I was also feeling more connected to my baby than I’ve ever felt before!

Finally! I’ve been waiting for this moment!! The moment where I really feel motivated to carve some time out of each day for my yoga practice! It’s no secret that yoga is a fantastic exercise during pregnancy, and even knowing that fact I’ve only felt like doing the bare minimum… Not anymore! Time to really enjoy this pregnancy!!

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Pregnancy Brain

After 3 full term pregnancies, and now working on my 4th… I’ve noticed there is a sort of brain fog that happens. With my youngest daughter I was able to notice these effects the most. It was as if sometime during the pregnancy, it became harder to mentally come up with the answers I was looking for… I also noticed a general disinterest in learning new information, something I was previously consumed with. Then, around a year post partum, I was back! My brain seemed to be running on overdrive, I was excited to learn anything and everything I could about the topics that interested me. During this time, I created this blog, and started writing blog posts.

Currently, I’m 9 weeks pregnant, and although I haven’t hit the full on “Brain Fog” I’ve definitely noticed some of the effects coming on. I’ve been pretty consumed by nausea and fatigue… so this alone makes it hard to mentally excel. Most days I think of the fact that its been quite awhile since I’ve come up with any good blog posts!! I’ve had it in my mind to write this post, as well as a few other for more than a month!

So today, I thought I’d break the silence with a new post, as well as a bit of an explanation as to why I haven’t been writing more posts! I really enjoy laying my ideas down for others to read, so its a bit disappointing that I haven’t come up with more posts this last month or so.

I did a bit of research, and it turns out that “Pregnancy Brain” is real!! Scientists have looked at the maternal brain on an MRI and have found that the structure of the brain does go through slight changes throughout pregnancy and the first few years of the new baby’s life. Not just for the mother, but the father does experience slight changes as well! It seems like this may be a survival mechanism to produce parents that are caring and attentive to the new baby’s needs. I’ve noticed in my husband, that he has definitely become a much different person as a father, but he has never lost his drive for learning more. I’ve never met someone as intrigued by knowledge as he is, and it seems that trait is only become stronger in him, thankfully.. because its helped him to greatly advance in his career!

But for me, I’ve noticed that during pregnancy I am not nearly as driven to learn new information. I’m hoping that the second trimester of pregnancy helps me become a bit more active, both physically and mentally… and with all of my past pregnancies it most definitely has… its just this dreaded first trimester that seems to keep me in a space of just relaxing and taking as many naps as possible!

I have an entire list of new blog posts I’ve been meaning to get to! So consider this absence of posts over! I will be coming back with a couple new posts as soon as possible!!

Ring Slings

When my 3rd baby was a newborn, I found myself wrapping her up in my robe and walking around the house, back and forth, while she cried. She was colicky a lot as a newborn and walking seemed to be the only way to calm her and get her to go to sleep. My arms would grow tired from holding her for so long. I knew I had to come up with a better way to walk around with her when she got like this… after some research, I found Lillebaby’s Pomegranate ring sling. It was perfect! I could get her in and out quickly and easily, the color and overall appearance was so beautiful, I loved the pocket it came with, and it was perfect for just walking around the house!

My husband was unsure at first. “Do you even know how to use that?” He’d ask. “No, but I can learn!” So he reluctantly agreed that we could get the Ring sling. I was so excited when it arrived. I was no longer dreading the long nights with baby crying, but instead using these times as an excuse to use my new ring sling.

The Lillebaby ring sling is made of linen, which is so soft, and thermoregulating, so its perfect in any type of weather! The different colored rails are very helpful when you are first learning how to use the sling, and the zippered pocket that comes with it is so convenient!

In the “Lillebaby Love” group on Facebook, we see a lot of wearers that are looking for tips and tricks to get a comfortable fit in their new ring slings. Here are my go to tips when explaining how to use the sling.

  1. Spread the fabric across your back & onto you shoulder – Grab the rings and pull them over your shoulder, holding the tail in your other hand, and ensuring that the fabric is spread wide across your back and down your shoulder.
  2. Thread the fabric through the rings – Take the tail end and thread it through both of the rings, the sling should now look like a sash across the front of your body. Place the tail of the sling back through the middle of the rings, so that the fabric is covering one ring, and the bottom ring is exposed. Now when you pull the tail of the sling, it will tighten it, and when you pull up on the bottom ring, and pull on the seat of the sling, you will be able to loosen it.
  3. Finger Walk the fabric between the rings – This is a very important step, and can resolve a lot of common issues with the sling. Grab a bit of fabric between the rings and pull it out slightly. Then starting at one side of the fabric, use your fingers to straighten every part of the fabric in this area, all the way to the other side of the fabric. This will align the fabric so that when you tighten the sling, nothing is overlapping. If it is overlapping, you will find yourself pulling on the tail and barely able to tighten it.
  4. Place the rings on top of your shoulder – Another important step! When you tighten the sling, it will pull the rings down much further than where they started. So if you place the rings much higher than you would like them to be, they will end up around corsage level after tightening the sling. I place my rings on top of my shoulder. I find that this usually keeps them at just the right height after tightening.
  5. Create a Hammock for baby too sit in – Before you grab baby, make sure that there is plenty of slack in the sling. You want there to be enough more than enough room for baby, and some to spare. When you grab baby, hold them close and pull the fabric over baby’s feet and onto their bottom and back. Then, holding baby’s bum, reach between baby’s legs and pull the fabric in between you and your child. Pull that fabric all the way up to baby’s belly button.. making sure that the fabric goes knee to knee. When you create the little hammock for baby to sit in, it will pull baby’s legs into the ideal “M” shape.
  6. Tighten the sling one rail at a time – Now its time to tighten the sling! At this point, you’ve created a seat for baby, but you should still be holding baby’s bottom close to you. Start by removing the slack from the bottom rail of the sling, then the middle rail, and then the top. Tightening the sling this way creates a custom fit for baby, tight just where you need it to be, and loose where you need it to be too. When you pull on the tail all at once, you are left with an uncomfortably tight fit, yet other areas seem to be not tight enough.
  7. Enjoy those sweet snuggles! Now all the work is done! Make sure that the fabric is knee to knee, baby’s legs and bum are in the optimal “M” shape, and if you have a younger baby, their spine should also be slightly rounded.

Christmas in July

Christmas Day 2016 was such a mystical day, it reminds me of the type of story you would see in a movie. It was unexpected, thrilling, and everything happened so quickly!

It all started on Christmas Eve, I was 37 weeks pregnant with my 3rd baby, a little girl. My husband and I hadn’t even considered her making an appearance early… we still had a few weeks before she was due! So we did some last minute Christmas shopping, and I started having contractions. I had recently been sick, so I assumed I was just dehydrated, and that they were Braxton hicks contractions. I drank lots of water, and went to bed early, in an attempt to get some rest, but I was waking up frequently with very painful contractions. I again assumed they were just Braxton hicks… after all I wasn’t due for a few more weeks, and my first 2 babies had been born within days of their due dates.

I barely got any rest that night, but I was able to sleep in between contractions. In the morning, Christmas Day, I tried to join the holiday festivities with my family. The kids excitedly opened all their presents, and I laid on the couch in a fetal position trying to stay awake when there were no contractions, and wrenching in pain when there were. My dad was staying over from out of state, and he made us all pancakes for breakfasts. The kids ate them happily, but I continued to lay on the couch. It was like I had no control over what was happening to my body. A part of me knew that it was time to have the baby, but I really wanted the kids to have a nice Christmas, because I wasn’t absolutely sure that it was time yet!

Around 12pm we decided to start packing our bags for the hospital. It was obvious that the contractions were getting worse, and that the baby would be born soon. I always cut my husbands hair for him, and he was long overdue for a cut. So, between contractions I got the buzzers out and started cutting his hair. I had to take frequent breaks, and by this time there was a lot of pressure down there… so I sat down on the toilet while I had contractions. It was the only place I could sit comfortably! I finished up his hair cut, and we got our things out to the car. I placed a pillow in the passenger seat, and reclined it all the way back. The pressure in my pelvic area was very uncomfortable at this point.

My dad took the kids with him, and we started our trek to the hospital. We were living in Washington state, right near the Columbia river. The house was nestled deep in a forest of old growth pines, I used to call it the “deep dark woods,” the moment you turned off the highway into the forest you lost all cell reception, and the shade of the trees made it much darker, even in broad daylight. It took us a good 15 minutes to get from our house to the main highway, and another 30 minutes to get to the town from the highway. It had recently snowed, so it was very icy and the roads were slick.. I am so thankful that my husband is such a careful and attentive driver.

The contractions were getting so painful that I was screaming out in pain every time I had one, and at this point they were less than 5 minutes apart. About 25 minutes into the drive, with 20 more to go… and I heard a loud “POP” noise… and then warm fluid.. MY WATER BROKE. I was so shocked! This is when the contractions got even worse, and were happening much quicker! We called the hospital at this point to let them know we were coming, I’m so glad we did this… as it made everything much easier when we finally got there. My husband pulled some wild maneuvers to attempt to get to the hospital quicker, at this point we were afraid the baby might be born in the car!! I was in so much pain, that I said “maybe I will take the epidural after all!” Something I had previously thought I would avoid.

We finally made it to the hospital, and my husband pulls up… leaves the car running, and says “Wait here, I will get you checked in!” I waited in the car for what seemed like forever. Contractions seemed like there was barely any time between them at this point. I thought there was no time left… the baby was going to be born NOW. So I started to slowly get out of the car, I quickly found out that I could hardly walk.. and as I was attempting to do so.. my husband ran out the hospital doors, he looked like he had just ran a marathon and said “Theres no one in this hospital, we have to go to the emergency room entrance, you HAVE to get back in the car!” I said “I don’t think I can!!” And he said “You have to!!” It was extremely difficult and painful, but I got back in the car.

We drove to the emergency room entrance where my husband quickly ran in and got a wheel chair, he told the staff I was having a baby NOW. He wheeled me towards the front desk and had some paperwork for me to sign. I must have looked crazy, everyone was staring at me… My pants were soaked with amniotic fluid, and I was screaming at the top of my lungs. The contractions seemed to have no time in between them. The paperwork that they tried to hand me to sign… I squiggled a couple lines and pushed it away.

Finally my husband started wheeling me to the birthing area, and when we got there, the nurses were ready for us… THANK GOD. One of the nurses, and older lady, showed us to our room, and helped me get out of my soaked clothes and into a gown. My husband said to her, “I left the car at the entrance, is now a good time to move it into a parking spot?” She said “yes,” and my husband ran out of the room. The nurse got me into the hospital bed and checked my cervix, she confirmed that the baby was coming NOW, and she said “I’m going to prepare to catch her…. I know you may feel the urge to push, but DON’T. The doctor isn’t here yet, but he’s on his way!”

At this point, my husband got back from parking the car, and held my hand. I was so happy to have him back in the room with me. The nurse said that we should have come to the hospital much sooner, and she was so happy that we made it in time! Then she said that the baby was crowning, and it looked like she had Daddy’s black hair. This melted our hearts and also eased our anxiety. We were so excited to meet our little girl.

The doctor finally showed up, and when he did he said “Now you can push!” And I did! And literally just 1 push and my baby girl was born. Looking back on it, it seems that the doctor showed up, caught the baby… and then left as suddenly as he had arrived!

Our baby girl was born! Roselina Briar, born on Christmas Day at 2pm. It truly was a Christmas miracle, to have made it to the hospital on time, and to have birthed such a healthy baby girl. The nurse who helped us through the entire process seemed like a saint, and the next day she was gone… we never saw her again. I would have liked to say thank you to her, I don’t know how we could have done it without her support.

We went home from the hospital a few days later, and although normal life resumed, our family was forever changed.

Greens for the whole Family.

Green Smoothies are a main staple in my family’s diet. It’s a nutrient powerhouse that we try our best to take in daily!

When we first started our Plant Based Journey, my husband and I binge watched every food documentary out there. “Fat, sick and nearly dead” along with its sequel, talked about juicing fruits and vegetables for optimal health. But we couldn’t help but feel like that wasn’t the most optimal way to take in fruits & veggies… there was so much of the plant that was being removed! Nature is perfect.. so it just didn’t make a lot of sense to me, throwing half of the food in the compost.

So we continued our research… and eventually came across the book “Green for Life” by Victoria Boutenko. This book absolutely changed my eating habits forever! The book examines the diet of Chimpanzees, whom we share 99.4% of our DNA with. They mostly eat green leaves, bark, blossoms and fruit. When looking at the standard American diet, full of cooked carbs & animal foods… its obvious to see that there is a major difference in the diet of Chimps and humans…. Victoria Boutenko suggests that the major food group lacking in our diets is leafy green vegetables.


Pie Charts from Victoria Boutenko’s book Green For Life

Many people have promoted juicing fruits and vegetables, but only a few have promoted smoothies. Victoria Boutenko outlines why both soluble & insoluble fiber is absolutely necessary in the digestive process. She states that “Without fiber, complete elimination is nearly impossible, if it is possible at all.” She also says that a large amount of toxins accumulate in our colon, and that insoluble fiber, found in greens, can absorb many times more toxins than its own volume… allowing our bodies to rid itself of these toxins naturally, through digestion. So as you can see, it is best to consume this insoluble fiber, rather than throwing it out in the juicing process.

The chapter in Victoria Boutenko’s book called “The Healing Powers of Chlorophyll” is one of my absolute favorites. She explains that Chlorophyll is like liquid sunshine for your insides. Chlorophyll oxygenates our bodies, and allows the good bacteria to colonize in our intestines. There is a list within this chapter that outlines the endless benefits of Chlorophyll. Recently, I’ve noticed that I no longer need to use deodorant! Drinking my daily dose of Chlorophyll has eliminated my body odor! It can also “prevent cancer, eliminate bad breath, relieves sore throat, makes the body more alkaline, helps sores heal faster, resists bacteria in wounds, reduces pain caused by inflammation, and improves vision” (Pg 87 Boutenko)

The entire book is a game changer… it was a quick read that I couldn’t put down.

Ever since I first read that book, I decided that to try my best to take in a green smoothie every day. The effects were drastic, and hard to ignore! Immediately I noticed an increase in energy, and I seemed to be able to recall information more quickly and easily. The days where I skipped my smoothie, I felt more foggy headed, and just not as sharp mentally.

I also notice that my body craves more greens than I ever did before green smoothies.
I’ve never been a huge fan of greens, but the fruit in the smoothies covers up their flavor, so don’t let the color of the smoothie fool you, they are very fruity! Now that I drink green smoothies frequently, I’ve found that I now enjoy their flavor a lot!

My kids were a little hesitant when they first saw me drinking green smoothies… and I was able to get them to try them a few times. They said they liked them, but they definitely weren’t as excited as I was to drink them daily.

So I bought popsicle trays, and started pouring smoothies in and freezing them. The results were phenomenal! Now my kids are excited for their daily green smoothie pops! They also really enjoy when I add a “surprise inside” by placing a small piece of fruit in the middle of the popsicle before freezing.

Below I will outline the basics for my green smoothies. They are very quick and easy to make… and totally customizable!

Greens – Kale, spinach, chard, collards etc, rotate through different types often.

Juice or Water – make sure the juice is all natural and doesn’t contain any added sugar.

Whole Flaxseeds – Flaxseeds perish quickly once ground, so whole is preferred.

Bananas – They make the smoothie creamy and delicious.

Frozen Fruit – Mix and match for delicious flavors! My favorites are pineapple with mango. Berry smoothies are delicious too!

The amount of greens you will use depends on your experience. When you first start out, maybe 1 or 2 handfuls is enough, but the idea is to work up to as much greens as possible. 1lbs per person, per day is the goal.

I pack the blender full of greens, add the flax seed (start with 1-2 Tablespoons and work up from there) then add the juice or water and blend until smooth. You will notice the greens compact down and you can fit a lot more in your blender when you blend the greens first.

Now add a banana, and your frozen fruit. This is the part you get to really have fun with! Make these any flavor you’d like! I’ve added avocados to mine, which makes them ultra creamy. I like tossing in any fruit I have on hand.. and of course the frozen fruit. You can always substitute this with Ice, but you definitely need something to make the smoothie cold. The amount of fruit you add is totally up to you, and depends on how much room you have left in your blender!

As you can see, my smoothie recipe is not an exact science! I never measure my ingredients, mostly I just pour in the amount I’d like for the day. I encourage you to have fun with this, and make it your own!

Thanks for reading, and let me know if you decide to try a Green Smoothie of your own!!

Lillebaby Woven Complete Baby Carrier

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I’ve tried a few different baby carrier brands, and Lillebaby has proven to be my favorite by far. They have so many different fabrics to choose from, and the many features are amazing! Lumbar support, neck support, a zippered front pocket.. and so much more!

The first Lillebaby carrier I tried was their Ring Sling. It’s a single layer of linen, and is so breathable, lightweight, and comfortable! We have one in Pomegranate, and its been my most used carrier! I started wearing baby Rose in the ring sling when she was a newborn, and I absolutely loved it around the house, on the go, and especially at restaurants. I loved that the sling came with the little pocket, and getting baby in and out of the carrier was so easy and fast! Also, because there isn’t a waistband on this carrier, sitting down is very comfortable while wearing, this is crucial with a newborn, since they sleep so often.

My little one is 18 months old now, and we still love the ring sling! In this photo, I sat in the back seat and got my baby girl into the carrier while she was sleeping! She stayed asleep at first, but then when we got into the restaurant, she woke up to look around.

After falling in love with Lillebaby’ s Ring Sling, I really wanted to try their complete line of carriers! But I was overwhelmed with the options, which would be best for me? Did I need an Airflow to keep cool in the warmer months? Or maybe an All-Seasons for optional breathability and fun patterns? Eventually I settled on the Emerald Embossed. Its a beautiful green carrier that has a very upscale, and luxury look. This was a carrier that both my husband and I would be happy wearing, and would be perfect for any occasion.

I loved this carrier so much, that I decided I REALLY wanted another, but this time in a different material. Thanks to the “Lillebaby Love” group on Facebook, I found out that the Woven carrier was a fan favorite. I was drawn to the beautiful sand dollar pattern, and the teal color of the “Sleep Dust” is absolutely gorgeous. I decided to go for it… and when it came in the mail, it was absolute love. Its so soft, snuggly and beautiful! I tried it out in the heat and found it to be surprisingly breathable, and light weight compared to my embossed.

Not long after getting the sleep dust woven, I started doing baby wearing yoga. I quickly fell in love, holding my little one close while getting some exercise and clearing my mental cache is fun and addictive. I quickly noticed that the woven seemed to be more comfortable than my embossed for doing yoga. After a bit of research, I found out that the woven is made from a cotton tencel blend. Tencel is the same material that the Lillebaby stretchy wraps are made out of. It’s a very stretchy and ultra soft material. Its no wonder the woven carriers are so comfortable and soft!! This also explains why the Woven is the perfect carrier for exercise and yoga.. Much like your favorite yoga pants, the woven fits like a glove, and has a slight stretch to it.

A ways down the road, and a few new Lillebaby carriers later… I fell in love with a new carrier… The Candy Shop woven.

When I first got the Sleep Dust woven, I was drawn to the beautiful shade of blue, it’s one of my favorite colors, and its also the color of my little ones birth stone. I absolutely loved the Sleep Dust, so I was a bit surprised by the fact that the bright pink Candy Shop Woven could so easily become my favorite carrier.

Its such a beautiful pop of color! I absolutely love how bright it is, perfect for summer!

It quickly proved that it was just as perfect for yoga as my other woven carrier! And when you have a girl… why not indulge in the girliest colors?!

There are rumors that the wovens are not going to be made anymore! I am so happy to have 2 of them, as they are my absolute favorite carriers!! But I’m also sad that there won’t be any more anytime soon!

So if you’ve been debating whether or not to buy one of these gorgeous woven carriers…. I highly recommend getting one before they all sell out!!

Natural Makeup Look

I try to stick to a simplistic lifestyle. For example, the only soap I use for hair, body, face & hands is Dr Bronners Pure Castile Soap. I even use that same soap for brushing my teeth!!

I basically try to limit any potential toxins, after all… they say your skin is your largest organ. No need in slathering it with toxic products, as it will be absorbed into the bloodstream! But I do have one guilty pleasure that I just won’t give up!!!

Makeup! I absolutely love it! To me, it’s an art form that I get to wear. I love taking my time and trying different looks.

I’ve been obsessed with makeup since I was a teen, and I can’t even tell you how many embarrassing makeup fazes I’ve gone through! There was even a time I used sharpie on my eyebrows! I wish I could say that was a joke!!

So I’d like to share the makeup look that I’m loving the most right now. Its a natural glam, with winged liner and a nude lip.

I start by making sure my face is clean, exfoliated and moisturized. I use a wash cloth in the shower with a small amount of Lavender Dr Bronners. I gently apply the soap with the wash cloth using circular motions. I also pay special attention to my lips, making sure they are exfoliated is the key to the perfect matte lip!

After my face is all clean, I moisturize heavily! I have combination skin, and live in a dry climate, so I use 2 types of moisturizers. First I use a Cocoa Butter stick as a deep moisturizer on my dry patches, and I use it as a lip balm, the smell is so delicious and chocolatey!

Then I use Pure Aloe Vera Gel all over my entire face. I’ve used this stuff for years and can’t say enough good things about it! Its a light weight moisturizer that never looks greasy. It provides a barrier on the skin to protect from the elements, and it locks in moisture!

As a primer, I use MAC Fix+ Spray, I spray a generous amount all over my face. I love that this stuff is like 2 products in one! Both a primer, and a setting spray! Plus, if you have a product that has dried out… spray a little of this in it, and it’s as good as new!

Now its time for eyebrows! I’ve been obsessed with the perfect brow for a long time! I’ve gone through a lot of struggles with mine, but I’m happy to say I’ve finally got the brows I’ve always wanted! I’m working on letting them grow in as much as possible, and only plucking minimally.

I use Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow in Taupe, and I grab a small amount of product with the ABH Brow Brush. I start with the arch and tail of my brow, then I work through the rest. I try to only use a small amount on the beginning of the brow to give it that “gradient” effect that makes the brows look more natural. Then I use the spoolie side of the brush to comb through the brows.

Every time I do my eyebrows they end up a little differently.. they were a bit on the heavy side in the above pic, so heres an image that shows what I am going for when I do my eyebrows.

After my eyebrows are filled in, I use ABH Flesh Toned Pencil to “carve out” my brows.
I love using this pencil because its very simple to conceal all around the brows without using a brush. I then use my Beauty Blender to blend the concealer in.

After my eyebrows are all finished, I get started on my eyes! I used to do my foundation before my eyes, but I always got fall out shadow all over my face, and would have to go back in with more foundation to fix it… which resulted in a cakey look. So now, I do my eyes before my foundation, that way I can easily wipe away any fall out shadow.. and won’t have to go back over it with more foundation.

First I apply Urban Decay Primer Potion on my eyelids. Then I get out my beloved Urban Decay Naked Heat Palette and use the lightest color (ounce) all over my entire lid. The eyeshadow primer leaves eyelids slightly sticky, which is great if you want your eyeshadow to last a long time.. but it can make blending your shadow a little challenging. I’ve found that using a flesh toned color all over the lid first eliminates this issue, and makes blending my eyeshadow a breeze. Now I go for the color “sauced” and apply it to my crease generously using the eyeshadow brush that comes with the palette. Then I use “low blow” in the crease over a smaller area.

Next I use the lightest shade again, “ounce” on my inner corners and under my brow bone. I like to use this lightest shade to clean up the look, in case I blended the colors a little too far out. Now I grab an Angled Eyeshadow Brush and use the dark purple color “ashes” to create a small wing on the outer corner of my eye. After the wing is created, I line the top lash line ever so slightly with this same color.

Much like eyebrows, the winged liner comes out a little different every time. I have always used black liquid liner to achieve the winged look, but as of the last few years I’ve stopped using it, and switched to just using eyeshadow! I find the look to be much softer, more natural.. and not as dramatic. Perfect for anytime of day, and any occasion.

The last step for eyeshadow is to use a Flat Eyeshadow Brush and pick up the color “Low Blow” and apply a small amount to the lower lash line, being careful not to bring the shadow in too far. You want it to be just at the outer corner of the lower lashes. I use my finger to gently blend this part out to make it look seamless and natural.

Time to move on to foundation! I’ve fallen in love with Lancome 24 hr Foundation, this stuff is amazing!! It gives my skin an airbrushed finish that really does last 24 hours! I’ve fallen asleep with my makeup on a few times, and I’m always surprised at how flawless my makeup still looks the next day!! I highly recommend going in to Sephora or Ulta to get this foundation matched to your skin, there are tons of shades.. and after I had an associate match my skin tone, it was a game changer!! I’ve never loved a foundation as much as I love this one!!

I apply this foundation by adding a few pumps to my finger and dotting it on the areas I need it most. Then I grab my Beauty Blender and blend the foundation out using a dabbing motion. I used to just smear the foundation around, but I’ve found that patting it in provides a more natural finish.

After the foundation is perfectly blended, I use one of my new favorite products… Becca Creme Highlighter in Moonstone. I didn’t understand what all the hype was when it comes to highlighter, until I got this one a few months back. I chose this creme formula because I was going for a dewy look.. but after using it a few times I realized that the creme is perfect if you’re going for a more natural daytime look! The powder version tends to go on a lot heavier, while the creme is more sheer.

I use my fingers (making sure they are freshly washed so there is no makeup on my hands,) to apply this to the top of my cheekbones, slightly on my temples, under my brow bone, and in the inner corners of my eyes. Highlighter is now my number one must have makeup item!! Even when I’m going makeup free, I like to add a little of this for a radiant glow!

After highlighter I apply bronzer. Golden Bronzer by MAC has been my favorite for years. I use it as subtle contour, by picking up some of the product with an Angled Blush Brush and applying it just slightly under my cheekbones.. blending it up onto my temples, and on the top of the forehead. I also add a bit on each side of my nose for a sun kissed look.

Lipstick has become one of my favorite things lately! I start with MAC Lip Liner in Spice, lining my lips carefully.. and filling in most of my lips with the liner. I rub my lips together to spread the color evenly… patting them with my finger to ensure the color is even. I originally bought this lip liner because I was looking for a color that would perfectly match my all-time favorite shade, Velvet Teddy by MAC. But after using this liner a few times, I tried it with my Stila Liquid Lipstick in Bellissima, which is a light pink shade. I apply the lipstick only to the center of the lips, and I’ve found that this is my new favorite combo! Naturally, lips tend to be darker on the edges and lighter towards the center… so this dark lip liner and the light lipstick create a natural and beautiful look!

There are SO many mascaras out there, and I’ve tried a lot of them! A few years ago, for Christmas, my husband got me Benefit Roller Lash Mascara, and it quickly became my favorite! It applies well, and isn’t clumpy. My eyelashes gain a lot of volume and length, and my favorite part is that it doesn’t transfer to my brow bone! I usually apply one coat, and if I’m looking for a little extra drama, I will go in for a second coat after the first has dried.

The final step with my makeup is to apply MAC Fix+ as a setting spray. I spray a pretty generous amount all over my face, and allow it to air dry. This step is really important, as it helps me makeup stay in place all day!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my current favorite makeup look! If you found this post helpful, I would love to hear about it in the comments!!

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