Monday, December 31, 2012

Hope and a Future

a few of my favorite moments. from my instagram account: thelavenderfield

Since this is the end of what most of us see as the holiday season, I thought I'd stray from my usual beauty/lifestyle posts today, and wish you all a Happy New Year(!!), and share some thoughts...

As I peruse my various social networking apps, I see a lot of people reflecting on the past year and hoping for the coming year. Most people had a great year and a few hope for a better one than the one they had.

As I look at these posts I don't feel the same excitement that many people express. I don't find myself sharing in their excitement. I don't find myself making resolutions. I don't feel like it's the beginning of a new season. I don't mean that I'm not excited for the days to come, I definitely am! My life thus far, has been a series of surprises, sweet moments, and unexpected blessings. At this time in my life, I am at a place I never dreamed I'd be, and I feel so incredibly fortunate. 

What I mean is, I don't see the traditional New Year as the beginning of anything really. I think it has to do with something that used to scare me a lot as a child. I remember being a very young and hearing on the radio, news, etc., about doomsday predictions. So-called religious leaders, mystics, psychics, whatever, would predict the world's end at midnight of the new year. I would get so frightened, I would start crying and tell my parents that I was terrified of losing them and my brother. I was so young that even though I had been taught that when I die, I would be with Jesus, I couldn't really grasp the idea of eternity. I was terrified.

My dad would comfort my young mind by saying, "The way we count our days, months, and years, is just something humans have created to help us keep track of time. They're just numbers, God is beyond them." That always did it for me. Even though I was too young to really understand that even when I died, my life wasn't over, I could understand that time was a human construct. Go figure! Lol. 

To this day, I've held onto that thought. Instead of feeling like the tradition New Years holiday is the end of one stage of life, and the beginning of another, I've seen it as just another day. Another day to thank God I've woken up, another day to pray for strength and wisdom, another day to laugh with my husband, another day to begin a new adventure. 

For me, the beginning of a new season has always been marked by events in my life that have really touched my heart, whether they've been good or bad. Times that I have found myself crying out to God, "Catch me here. Catch my heart. I can't keep myself up right now."

New seasons have been marked by beautiful moments where I find myself saying, "I can't believe this is happening. How absolutely beautiful and unexpected. I can't wait to start this adventure with you."

I might be a New Years Scrooge (bah humbug! :P), but I still thankful for all that has happened in 2012, and I look forward to what is to come in the new year. 
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. -Jeremiah 29:11
Happy New Year to you and your family!!

Next post: how I fill in my brows!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

New Beauty Favorites

What a busy few weeks it's been! I'm sure I'm not alone in my rush to buy gifts, visit family, wrap gifts, etc. As always in the midst of the rush, I have to constantly remind myself what this season is all about, and what is REALLY important.

Anyhow, as I've been building my collection and learning makeup application, I've come across a lot of new favorites that I want to share with you! I have a few more products I've recently acquired that I'm testing at the moment, and I'll share those soon.

I hope everyone's Christmas plans are going along smoothly and I will be back soon with another update!

1. Wet n Wild palettes: I ADORE these palettes! They are fabulous shadows at a great price. They have great color payoff--as you can see from the swatch on my fingers--and I believe they cost about $5 at drugstores. I definitely think they can compete with a lot of high end shadow palettes.

2. Tarte blush compacts: If you read beauty blogs, watch beauty videos online, etc., I'm sure you've heard great things about Tarte's Amazonian Clay blushes. Let me tell you, they're definitely worth all the hype. They have fabulous color pay off and there is a wide range of shades, including some matte, shimmer, and even a few glittery ones. I am just waiting for the holidays to be over so I can pick some more of these up!

3. Physician's Formula Tinted Moisturizer: I have been pleasantly surprised by this product. I came across it while looking for more natural beauty products. I had heard a few positive things about it, so I picked it up when the drugstore was having a buy-one-get-one sale a few weeks ago. It is definitely sheer coverage and isn't going to mask anything really noticeable but I think it's perfect for a day when I might just be running errands and I don't necessarily want to put on a full face of makeup. It's 100% natural and 80% organic. Lately I've been trying to find products that don't contain so many synthetic ingredients since I know they can accumulate in the system, and may cause problems over time. I read a lot of reviews complaining about the smell, but I love it! It smells like lavender, which happens to be my favorite scent!

4. Maybelline Mineral Power Concealer: This is a fantastic concealer! It is perfect for my dry under-eye skin, and doesn't settle into any creases or fine lines. It definitely isn't a full coverage concealer but it's great for highlighting the under-eye area. Just an FYI: I haven't been able to find this in stores. I purchased mine online.

5. My other Tarte blush! Read review above ^^

6. Stila liquid eyeliner: This has been a great buy! I hadn't heard/read any reviews about this eyeliner, when I decided to pick it up one day at Ulta. I'd been searching for a really good high end eyeliner and just came across this one. It really does stay all day and doesn't come off until I use my coconut oil to remove it. The only issue I have is that it is a bit pricey. I remember using a Wet n Wild liquid eyeliner years ago when I was in high school and it was the BEST. I ALWAYS had people asking me which brand of eyeliner I was wearing. I used it so much the name rubbed off and I eventually forgot who made it (hence, why I never repurchased). After using this, I'm glad I finally tried a high end liquid liner, but I may just repurchase Wet n Wild's, now that I was able to recall who makes my original favorite!

7. Benefit's Boi-ing concealer: This concealer has really impressed me! I didn't think it would cover the dark under-eye circles I sometimes get, but it did the trick! It does especially well in covering blemishes and any discoloration I may have. FYI: build it up slowly. At first, I thought that if I picked up a lot with my finger, it would cover my dark circles better, but it only starts to look cakey. Grab a little with your finger to warm it up and help it melt a bit, and pat on a very thin layer at a time.

8. The other Wet n Wild palette I LOVE! Review above ^^

9. I don't know how I left out 9. Oops!! :P

10. Tarte's Amazonian Clay 12-hour Full Coverage Foundation: This is another product I knew nothing about before purchasing. Again, I just really wanted something with more natural products and no preservatives. Let me tell you, this has been one of the BEST beauty purchases I've made. It provides fantastic full coverage that lasts me all day (I have combo/dry skin). I apply mine with a Beauty Blender and it looks like my own skin. I've heard that the coverage is also amazing when you use Tarte's foundation brush, which I do not own, but am tempted to buy when I can. I'm almost certain I will be repurchasing this foundation when it runs out. Great, great product!

There you have my current favorites. :) Please don't hesitate to ask questions or let me know about your own favorite products!

*all products purchased by moi!