Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Strawberries & Gratitude

Planning a wedding in less than two months kind of makes me want to pull my hair out. I only work part time and I'm not in school at the moment (going back to school this summer! .... what a time to start!) but I still feel overwhelmed when I realize I have to work one 3 hour shift! The first thing that comes to my mind is 'Oh my goodness there is SO much wedding planning I could do in those three hours instead of working for less than $20 all toll.' But the real fact of the matter is I probably wouldn't get much done in those 3 hours and it's a really good thing to step away and do something OTHER than plan my wedding all the time.

As I got up this morning and took care of my dogs and got my breakfast ready for the day I was thinking about what bits of advice or should I say what reccomendations should I offer today? My first thought it always, do not get a puppy within a year of your wedding. I love my darling Goober but hes a walking disaster. Motor skills have not kicked in and he has a tendency to crash into things, fall over, break things... you know. And his enthusiasm knows no bounds! I could be gone 5 minutes and hes just SO excited to see me that he jumps all over me and chew's on my hand. Not to mention that that SO excited also sometimes translates into running in circles around my living room WHILE peeing. Ah yes, hes such a joy. I love him to death (and he really is housebroken) but my fiance is working all the time and it's me at home trying to plan a wedding and take care of a toddler equivilant who doesn't have the handy ability to use words to tell me what he needs.

Theres my puppy and my older dog. Atlas is the puppy and Oliver is the corgi. Atlas is a golden retriever if you were wondering. Also now three times that size with a good 5-6 months of growing still left in him!

But the more important advice, it's kind of one giant piece. Take extra time to take care of yourself. This is also a bit part of advice my cousin gave me after her wedding. She was married in September in a beautiful wedding on the beach in Maryland and he new husband is just the loveliest person ever. We were chatting at the day after the wedding family brunch and I asked her for her advice for me and she said 'Whatever it is that you do for yourself, don't stop doing it right before the wedding.' For her it was running, she would run every day, but a few weeks before the wedding everything got so busy that she had to stop running to get everything done. If give the option to go back she said she wouldn't have done that. Me time is good!

For me this year I hosted Christmas so from November-New Years I did almost nothing. We had purchased an elliptical a in October which I used religiously 5/7 days a week but then when I found out my family was coming I felt so overwhelmed that I stopped. And gained a lot of weight. But for my wedding I've been making sure I take some time to run. Now don't tell me you don't have ANY time. There comes a point in your day when you simply cannot do any more planning and that you need to set work aside and take some 'me' time. For me this usually ends up being at 11 - 11:30 at night. Kind of late, I know, but thats when I find time. I hop on my elliptical, turn on my favorite tv show or just something on Netflix and go for about 20 minutes. Not running the whole time, walking is good for you too. Just do something to help your body and clear your mind. After 20 minutes I get off and make sure to stretch then go take a shower and hop into bed. Not only do I feel more beautiful after I work out (even if it is just a little) I sleep better! And this is no time to be losing sleep!

And on the subject of taking care of yourself, this is no time to cut the food budget to Ramen Noodles and bottled water just so you can have 150 guests instead of 140. No, keep your food budget in a good area, infact maybe even make it a bit larger. My sister and my cousin would support me on this I think, both of them being foodies of a sort and I'm sure if they could live in the middle of a farmers market they would! There is almost nothing you can do for your body that is better than feeding it REAL food. When I say real food I mean it. Vegetables that do not come pre-frozen or in a bag and that you cook on the stove not in the microwave or just eat raw. Fruit (organic if you can muster) or just at least fruit that is real! Take the time to fit some of these into your day! My favorite is my morning yogurt which is 5 strawberries cut into bite size pieces, 4-5 spoonfulls of plain yogurt and a bit of Great Grains Pecan Crunch cereal on top. I look forward to getting up in the morning and eating this! YUM!

But the title of my post today is 'Strawberries & Gratitude' and you see the strawberries now but I haven't finished explaining things. As I was cutting my strawberries this morning it occured to me, I have been really stressed out about planning this wedding on short notice because it could have been so much easier if my job wasn't as it was, if I wasn't just 20 years old. Then I stopped. I complain about the wedding all the time just because it's the easiest way to relieve stress. But I haven't taken enough time (not to say that I haven't taken any) to just be grateful! So many girls can't afford a wedding at all, so many girls never find a guy half as wonderful as mine, so many girls don't have a dad like my dad who is doing anything and everything he can muster to give me an extra $100 here or $200 so I can have the wedding I want AND trying to help me plan it at the same time. I have an incredible family, and an incredible man, I have a beautiful life and though sometimes it's a lot for me to handle at age 20 I am so overwhelmingly thankful for every single day.

So take some time to appreciate your Three Bees Ladies! Your boy, your body, and your beginning together!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Makeup Mishap Doesn't Mean Meltdown!

Much like an expectant mommy packs an overnight bag for the hospital I am packing an emergency makeup backup kit.

My wedding is 53 days away and I'm preparing already! I've been practicing how I am going to do my makeup (budget wedding? do it yourself!) and testing how photogenic it is. I'm normally not photogenic but I want nice wedding pictures to show my kids some day and to look back through the rest of my life! The most important thing to think about it you want to look like you!

I got my makeup done professionally for my high school prom by a nice makeup counter of one of my favorite makeup places. Granted I didn't get a trial run because it was expensive enough for prom and it wasn't my wedding day, but looking back on my pictures I look like a drag queen and nothing like me. My favorite pictures of myself are ones that look like ME so I really remember being there and in the moment and I'm not distracted thinking 'oh wow my makeup looks bad!' For that sake it is best to do your makeup very similar to what you do every day! (maybe just a little bit bigger)

Practice doing your makeup and if you have a bridesmaid/maid of honor/best friend/fiance handy give him a camera and have her/him snap a few picture of you taking care not to fix the light in the room or pose too much. Snapshots are some of the most memorable and you want to make sure you look radiant without trying!

Review the pictures and see what you want to fix! My everyday makeup consists of concealer, foundation, chapstick, black liquid liner, and mascara. My wedding makeup will be that + Sephora's Nude Beach eyeshadow!

Everyday Snapshot:

Wedding Makeup Test Run:

Obviously there are some KEY differences in lighting, camera, and angle but you get the point.

Wedding Makeup = Stage Makeup - 50% + Awesome Foundation.

So practice is important! For me a big part of it was finding the right combination of products. I'm not there yet but this is what I've been using.

You may notice from the picture I'm like half a shade darker than my white t-shirt. This is the ONLY concealer I've ever found to be light enough for my skin. Other Mac concealers in this color are too dark. It's something about the mixture of this one that is perfect for me. If you can go to a Mac makeup counter, do it! Try them on! I have to buy online which can be expensive trial and error. I reccomend this concealer if you have dark circles under your eyes, spider veins in your lids (I do!) or have a tendency to be shiny in pictures where you don't want to be.
The powder foundation is light enough for me it's just the concealers that are darker. This one helps to block shine on my skin. I only dab on a very light layer with a sponge or dust ever so gently with my kabuki brush!
You can apply this with the brush from the bottle BUT it does take a lot of skill. If you're not so comfortable with liquid liner brushes (this one is really like a tiny long bristled paint brush) I reccomend getting a seperate brush with tight bristles and using that. I use the brush from the bottle to get some of the liquid around the top of the bottle and then transfer it to another small brush. I'll list my favorite deals on brushes a bit further down!
On the website this looked almost like a taupe color but when I got it it was much lighter. On my skin it offered a little bit of a pink sheen with the hint of glitter in it. It helped to camoflauge my spider veins (yeay!). I literally just slathered this all over my eyes because my eye are deep set (tucking far beneath my brow bone) and this color helped to bring them forward a bit more and brighten them. Also a nice highlight under my brow.
I usually use just the Lash Blast Volume but this one is new and it intrigued me. It was about $2 more than the others but I thought it was worth a try. I have long eyelashes anyway but I curled them and put this on and they were impressive. I had to comb them a few times (I'll show you the brush I used later) but then they looked fantastic. Only problem was they kept poking me in the eyelid (I remember why I don't usually curl them any more!)
Any chapstick will do. My fair skin has a tendency to bleed color and if I put on any sort of lipstick it just highlights the pink in my skin and it looks like I smeared it all down my face (clown effect... but more subtle). So never underestimate the use of chapstick! I put it on then rub it off (helps to remove any foundation that might be stuck on your lips and get some color back into them) then press down a bit while I put it on again. Help exfoliate your lips and bring out your natural beautiful color! Also not using lipstick makes your teeth less likey to look yellow. In that first picture I'm wearing a very faint but pink lipstick. Second picture no lipstick... but I also use whitening toothpaste and mouthwash!

I won't deny that I do have a very nice and very expensive set of Clinique makeup brushes that were a Christmas gift to me several years ago (still in great condition! I clean them and take great care of them) but for some things I refuse to use them. I'm not about to put my waterproof liquid liner on a $50 brush because what if it doesn't come out! For things like that I've found my favorite set of backup brushes! And you can bet I'm buying 3 sets of these for my wedding day. 1 for my car, 1 for my purse, and 1 for my wedding accessory bag so there is no chance of losing them!

Not kidding. $1. I have 5. I use one for my eyeliner, one for my concealer. One for occasional undereye shadow application and then I have backups. The uses for this brush are ENDLESS. It's a tiny brush but the bristles are tight packed enough that as soon as you put it against your face it doesn't mush in 30 directions but it's still gentle enough to not hurt your skin. Also! It gives you GREAT accuracy! They tend to break after a while so never buy just 1.

Again $1. I use the comb for my lashes to declump after putting on mascara then I use them to first comb out my eyebrows to make them flat then I use the brush to shape them how I want them and brush any foundation out of them that may have dispersed itself in there. This will help bring out the natural color of your brow and make them easier to fill. To me NOTHING is worst than when it looks like your eyebrows are too light for your hair. It makes your eyes look awful.

These are just 2 of my favorites. But they also have every other brush imaginable in 3 different levels of cost. I like the Studio Brushes when I need something sturdy. The C-Brush is very good and they hold up well. Best brushes to get without breaking the bank! Also you can go to and search for all of these companies to find great coupons to use online. For most of them you can find free shipping so it's ALMOST as good as going to the store.

But Now! To The Real Point Of My Post Today!!!
If there is one thing you ABSOLUTELY MUST HAVE in your wedding day makeup arsenal, it is this!

These are the 5th or 6th brand I've tried recently and they work the best. If you accidentally poke yourself in the nose with your mascara wand you do not want a hint of a gray freckle on your face all day. These are gentle and super effective without having to scrub hard! For example, my wedding day makeup above, I fell asleep with that on and this morning I just used these makeup remover pads and not only did it easily take off my usually stubborn liner and mascara but it actually brightened my eyes and made me look wonderfully awake!

These I have not tried yet. They are in the mail on their way to me right now but I will let you know how they turn out. If they are decent I'd reccomend grabbing a few of these. Nothing is a sweeter gift to give to your bridesmaids than everything they probably forgot and will really want. For less than $20 you can make a basket of makeup remover cloths, lip gloss, brushes, shadow, and mascara for your girls that you can leave in your ready area so you know they won't be taking your stuff and walking off with it. Let them look pretty... but it's your day!

Hope all of this helps ladies! Good luck with your big day and happy shopping!
What is your favorite makeup product/remover? Leave me a comment and let me know so I can try it out too!!

Three Bee, Bride's Best Bet!

As I count down the few days until my wedding I've realized that I wish I had someone to pass on all these little tricks I'm coming up with so this is my blog dedicated to all you future brides in hopes of shedding a bit of comfort on your upcoming day!

I'll be sharing my best ideas, best products, and favorite inspirations for our wedding day with you here! I hope you all enjoy and best of luck on your big day and your Happily Ever Afters!