November Lip Challenge – Week 4 & December Mini Lip Challenge — Week 1

Life has been crazy busy with the end of my school semester, various work obligations, the holidays and of course, my personal life.  Because I have fallen behind on sharing the progress of my lip challenges, I have decided to combine the last week of my November Lip Challenge with the first week of my December Mini Lip Challenge (I participated in #7lippies7days on instagram).  Get ready for a serious lip diary!

Monday, November 23, 2015

I woke up this morning and knew I needed to wear something bright.  I remembered picking up Mac Pickled Plum recently and decided to put it on.  I always think that’s a silly name for this color.  Colors with “plum” in the name should be purple shades, not pink.  I also tried out my new T3 Single Pass Flat Iron, thoughts?

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Last year, I was discussing my love of red lipstick with a friend of mine.  She told me her holy grail is Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil, Dragon Girl (she also told me that this is the red Taylor Swift swears by).  The combination of red lipstick and Taylor Swift was too much for me to avoid.  Later that day, I went to Sephora and picked it up.  For some reason this color has never looked the same on me twice, and often looks extremely pink.  Luckily I love it either way.  FYI, this is by far the reddest this color has ever looked on me.

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Saturday, November 28, 2015

I haven’t left my house in days, but needed to run some errands. I wasn’t interested in putting on any makeup, but at the last minute decided to apply some lipstick.  I was really excited to receive some Nars Velvet Matte lip pencils from Sephora for my birthday, but always forget about them.  I decided today was the perfect day to put on Cruella!

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Monday, November 30, 2015

i can’t believe today is the last day of November.  I have decided to participate in an additional lip challenge this week, the #7lippies7days ,so I am double counting this picture.  The first prompt for the 7 Lippies challenge is “nude”.  I actually don’t have any nudes, and this is the closest I get: Nars Rikugien Satin Lip Pencil.  Rikugien was the second part of the Sephora birthday gift and I actually like it much more than I thought I would!

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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Today’s #7lippies7days prompt was “orange”.  While I love the color orange, I do not love wearing orange makeup.  After scouring my lip drawer I came across “Barbecue” from Mac’s Toledo collection and thought it was the perfect choice.  I don’t know why this collection wasn’t more popular, I love a lot of the colors. 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Today’s prompt, “pink”, was a no brainer for me.  I have been looking for an excuse to pull out Mac’s Girl About Town lipstick and lipglass.  I have a serious soft spot for bright pinks, and although it may not be the most seasonably appropriate color, it is truly one of my favorites. 

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

I love berry lips so I was thrilled with today’s “berry/purple” prompt.  I went back and forth between a few colors before landing on Too Faced Melted Berry.  This was one of my first liquid lipsticks and I think the color is gorgeous.  I had a bit of a feathering issue today, which had never happened before, but I still love how it looked!

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Friday, December 4, 2015

As you can imagine, I couldn’t wait for today’s prompt: “red”.  Obviously, red lipsticks are my true love and I had a tough choice on my hands.  Luckily, I had just received a new one the day before, and I couldn’t wait to try it out: Mary Kay’s True Dimensions Lipstick in Firecracker.  This is the first time I have worn any Mary Kay lipsticks.  I loved the color, it was a great shade and not one I have.  The finish is pretty shiny, which I like, but because of it’s soft texture, it does spread a little bit.  The best part about this lipstick is just how moisturizing it is.  I love lipsticks that also make my lips feel great. 

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

I had been thinking about this prompt all week “gloss”.  I really don’t like to wear glosses on their own, plus I knew I had some holiday infused festivities planned for today, so I didn’t know what to wear.  In the end I decided to layer Mac Tenor Voice lipstick and lipglass.  I know I say this a  lot, but this really is one of my favorite colors.  Anytime I want a real standout lip, this is what I go with.  Additionally, it is a perfect holiday red!  I sort of broke the rules, but oh well, I’m a rebel.

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This completes the November Lip Challenge and transitions me into my December Mini Lip Challenge where I will wear different shades each day for the first few weeks of the month!  Follow my challenge on my Instagram page @Jessicasgoneviral.

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 – Part 2

My previous gift guide (click here if you missed it) included the perfect gifts for all of the hair, skincare and makeup enthusiasts in your life, but what about everyone else? Below are my top ten gift ideas that (almost) anyone would love to receive!

  1. Hunter Boot Socks — I love my Hunter boots, but what i love even more are the socks that you can buy to wear with them. They are made specifically to wear with your boots, fit comfortably inside and keep your feet perfectly toasty! They come in a variety of colors and styles. I love pairing my cream sweater socks with my red boots!Hunter Socks
  1. Lulu Guinness Umbrella — This is one of those items that I never wanted to purchase for myself, but once I finally did I loved it. It is adorable, easily fits two people and doesn’t turn inside out when it’s windy. These umbrellas are such conversation pieces, people always ask where I found it and how they can get their hands on one! If you don’t find one you like on their website, head to Amazon and Ebay for even more choices!lulu guiness
  1. Ugg Slippers — I was slow to jump on the Ugg slipper bandwagon. There were two main reasons for this: 1. As their name implies, they are ugly and 2. I really like slippers that cover my ankle (due to various ankle injuries, I am basically a robot and have various bits of metal in there that don’t respond well to the cold). I finally gave in and purchased some this Fall and realized what an idiot I was, these things are incredibly comfortable and super warm. There so many styles, there is certainly a pair for everyone on your list! ugg slippers
  1. Starbucks Tumblers/Mugs — Earlier this fall, I became obsessed with the new Starbucks Dot Collection tumblers. I rarely drink hot coffee, and somehow ended up with 5 tumblers and a coffee cup. They are super cute and selling out fast. dot collection
  1. Novelty Flash Drive — I am a firm believer in making even the most boring items (i.e. flash drives) exciting. Last year I needed a new flash drive for school, so while avoiding some homework I had to finish I decided to do some online shopping. It was at this time that I came across a USB that looked like a piece of sushi. I obviously had to have it. If sushi isn’t your thing, Amazon and Ebay have tons of options more your style! Flash
  1. Hulu Subscription — If you read my Thanksgiving post (if you didn’t, click here), you know that I am thankful for Hulu. Let’s be honest, Hulu is Netflix’s redheaded step child, but it is awesome. With Hulu, you are able to catch up, commercial free, on current seasons of your favorite shows. It’s one of those gifts that you can totally live without, but why would you want to? Hulu-Plus
  1. Touchscreen Gloves — One of my favorite Winter fashion accessories are gloves. For some reason, they make me feel as though I am in a snowy wonderland, rather than Texas. Like most people, I have a smart phone which makes gloves a burden. Last year I finally purchased some tech gloves, which allow you to use your phone while also keeping your hands warm! These are a must for anyone with smart phone!touchscreen-gloves-91-624x624
  1. Cashmere Throw — My mom is an incredible gift giver (and an even better stocking stuffer). Many years ago, she saw on the Today show that cashmere blankets are an incredible gift for the travelers in your life, so she purchased some for our family members. The Today Show was right, they do make fantastic presents and wayfair.com has a bunch on sale right now! cashmere
  1. Kendra Scott Earrings — Much like the Ugg slippers, I was slow to jump on the Kendra Scott bandwagon. The main reason was that I didn’t want to have accessories that everyone else had, but I have found some seriously cute items that not many other people have. My current faves are these ear cuffs, which come in multiple colors! caralyn-earring-gold-jewel
  1. Why Not Me? by Mindy Kaling — I have a not so secret obsession with Mindy Kaling. Not only is The Mindy Project one of my favorite shows, I loved her last book (Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?) and couldn’t wait for her latest to be released. As expected, I loved it. Personally, I purchased the audiobook and listened while driving to and from work and school. This book actually made me look forward to my commute, rather than dread it like most days! mindy-kaling-why-not-me

That completes my 2015 Gift Guide. Stay tuned for my personal wish list. Happy Holidays (shopping)!

Thankful Thursday 2015

Thanksgiving

During November my social media is constantly inundated with daily adorations.  People share each day one thing they are thankful for.  I always think this is lame because by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, they have run out of things they are truly thankful for and share really weird things, I mean who cares?  So instead of participating in this tired ritual I channeled my inner David Letterman and came up with my Top 10 Reasons I am Thankful — 2015!  This may get a little long and mushy, but I will only do it once a year so whatever.

My parents — Okay I know a lot of people start with their parents because everyone’s parents do so much for them.  Mine do as well, they are the best and I couldn’t imagine getting through this thing called life without them.  That’s not why I am thankful though.  My parents are the type of people everyone needs in their life.  They are my loudest cheerleaders, staunchest supporters and always have my back (even the few times I may have been in the wrong).  Nobody could ask for better squad members than Plano John and Kit Kat.  My mom has this insane quality of reprimanding me while at the same time plotting the demise of those who wronged me; she still harbors resentment towards a girl who was mean to me in high school (15 years ago). My dad, who most of the time I think tunes me out, shocks me with what all he knows about me.  After telling him that a friend wants to dress up as Taylor Swift for Halloween, he shows up four days later with “the perfect gun holster” for her costume.  All in all, they are awesome. 

My Brother — While many people would lump “family” into one, my brother totally deserves a special shout out.  Red is by far the most influential person in my life, which is not easy for someone who only speaks 5 words.  Every major decision I have made can some how be traced back to this guy.  Without him I would not have the heart, patience or compassion that I do.  Sure, I have to lock up my toilet paper, but every sibling relationship has their issues.  (Of note: my brother has autism which explains the lack of conversation skills and my need to walk around my house with a key around my neck).

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Jaime — Everyone needs a ride or die chick in their life, not just rappers, and Jaime is mine.  Jaime is one of those people that always has a plan for a good time.  While almost everyone loves going to a movie, she finds ways to make even the most boring movie an “event” with wardrobes, props and tons of pictures.  She is more than just a fun time though, she is an incredible listener, finds ways to fix the unfixable and is truly one of the strongest people I know; just don’t cross her.  Just for the record, she is completely exhausting but I suppose in the long run, she is totally worth it. 

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A PROPer Valentine’s Day 2015

The H Team — One of the highlights of my job (more to come on that) is the fact that I get to meet and know so many amazing people.  While I have become close with many people at the ECEC, nobody is more special to me than my favorite 5 year old, Harper.  First off, Harper is awesome.  She is clever, exuberant, seriously funny and has the sweetest soul you can ever have the privilege of getting to know.  When I met Harper  she was 18 months old and walking across a table like it was her personal catwalk.  I knew I loved her instantly.  Little did I know, more than three years later I would be picking her up from kindergarten and listening to her read to me.  She loves life and makes everything fun and exciting.  While she loves all things girly, she is also creative and loves building and learning.  Although I would love to take credit for this (I was an amazing Mini Tot teacher after all), Harper has an incredible family.  Her parents have infused her life with love, encouragement and opportunities to learn, explore and create.  Sure, they are busy (we are talking serious power couple here), but they ensure she is surrounded by people who love and support her.  They have allowed me to become such an integral part of her life, simply because she loves me.  They always include me in her special events (birthdays, graduations, random Valentine soirées) because they recognize she would want me there.  While this may not seem like that big of a deal, it really is. Simply put, Harper (and her family) are awesome.

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Harper drew us BFF necklaces

ECEC — Before I worked at the ECEC I was homeschooling a girl with autism and I was miserable.  One day while venting to a friend of mine over sushi, she mentioned the school she was working at was looking for a few staff members.  I applied instantly and was fortunate enough to be hired a few weeks later.  I know many people claim to love their job, but I REALLY do.  Not only did the ECEC lead me to Harper, it is a genuinely great place to work.  Everyday I get to come to work, see some of my best friends, play and snuggle with young children and help families find ways to best meet the various needs of their children.  I can’t really ask for more than that.

Nicki Minaj — Okay this might seem kind of random, but bear with me.  This summer I my Uncle Bill passed away.  I am not going to pretend that we had the relationship where we talked everyday, we didn’t.  We had the type of relationship where every time Apple released it’s new line of iPhones, we would text back and forth about whether or not we just HAD to have it (we almost always did).  It worked for us and I always loved him.  He passed away suddenly in July and my dad and I went to Chicago to start the never ending task of dealing with his estate.  “Hey Mama” by Nicki Minaj and David Guetta was the song of the summer and each time it came on the radio, I would turn it up and tell my dad how much I loved it (again, my dad is awesome for simply letting this happen over and over again).  On my last night in Chicago, I was looking through his computer and realized that he had purchased “Hey Mama”.  Hidden in the various 80’s country songs he had in his library was this little gem.  I wish I knew what lead him to buy this and I think about it a lot.  Now, every time I hear this song, I get an instant smile on my face.  For that reason, I will forever be thankful to Nicki Minaj.

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Hulu Commercial Free Plan — I am an incredibly busy person.  I have a full time job, hang out with Harper at least two nights a week, and I am enrolled in a full time Ph.D program.  Because of this, I love mindless TV.  I love just vegging out in bed with shows I don’t need to think about, which is why I was devastated this summer when my favorite show, The Mindy Project was cancelled.  I was nearly inconsolable for the 48 hours it took for Hulu to announce they had picked it up.  I quickly subscribed and discovered that they air commercials (I hate commercials with a passion).  This was made even worse when I realized I couldn’t even fast forward through them.  I was miserable watching these shows, unable to fast forward and worried that I was going to have to cancel my subscription and lose Mindy.  Shortly after subscribing Hulu announced a  commercial free plan and it is amazing.  It allows me to catch up on so many of my favorite shows (including General Hospital) without being interrupted with pesky commercials to fast forward through.  It is the best $3 I spend each month.

My Competitive Spirit — As I mentioned, I am working on my Ph.D.  I am, without a doubt, the worst doctoral student.  I really hate going to class, and would always rather read about new eyeshadow pallets and Korean skin care than evidence based teaching practices.  The only thing that keeps me going down this Ph.D path is the fact that I am incredibly competitive and want to be the first one of my (real world) friends with this degree.  My competitiveness also makes it nearly impossible for me to quit things, no matter how hard they are!

Ulta Rewards  — Obviously, I write a beauty blog and I can not let Thanksgiving go by without being thankful for something cosmetics related.  I am obsessed with Ulta’s Rewards program.  If I’m totally honest, Sephora carries way more brands and items that I love, but I rarely shop there.  Instead, I shop almost exclusively at Ulta, checking my app each day to see if there are bonus offers to activate and hoard points so that I can purchase big ticket items like my Clarisonic Opal and T3 Interchangeable Styling Wands at hugely discounted prices.  Seriously, start investing in the Ulta Rewards program!

This #Basic Life — I can’t lie, I have an awesome life.  Sure, I have my problems, everyone does but I am also blessed with incredible people and opportunities.  My family is wonderful and make my life better in more ways than I will ever share with them.  I have fantastic friends who like to do lame things, such as seasonally appropriate  photo shoots in pumpkin patches, tulip farms and bluebonnet fields (just to name a few).  I have an awesome job (or two, or three) and actually get paid to hang out with some of my favorite people and do fun things!  I don’t think I could ask for any more than that!!!

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**Bonus thank you to my friend Jennifer who is the biggest supporter of my blog.  She is the one who hounded me until I finally resumed writing and proof reads each and every blog I publish (except this one).  She never gets the thank you she deserves, but I am truly grateful!

Helluva Heel

I have always had a soft spot for super high heels. Unfortunately, bad feet and terrible balance make wearing heels a bad idea but that doesn’t stop me from wearing unsensible shoes most weekends. In order to survive a big night out, I have developed a routine (shocking I know) to prepare both my shoes and my feet!

Prepare your shoes

 I have been cursed with a wide foot, which makes most heels feel incredibly tight and uncomfortable. When I know I am going to have a long night on my feet ahead of me I prep my shoes by stretching them out a bit. To do so, I put on some thick socks and wear the shoes for about thirty minutes. Typically I do this before I’m really getting ready because I like to see if there are any red spots on my feet so I can prep my feet for the tightest spots. You can walk around in your socks and heels or just kick back and watch a show (which is what I like to do do)!

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Prepare your feet

 About a year ago I was reading somewhere that applying liquid bandage to your feet will prevent blisters when you wear new shoes. I kind of laughed it off but decided to try it out, and it really does work. 30 minutes before I leave, I spread the concoction on the back bone of my foot, the bones along the front sides of each foot, across the back of my toes and then at the knuckle of my toes. If I notice a red spot after stretching my shoes, I apply an extra coat to that spot. I apply a final coat right before I put my shoes on for the night.

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These simple tricks have helped me go one year blister free!  Follow my Instagram @Jessicasgoneviral for additional tips and tricks!

Halloween 2015

Halloween has always been a mixed bag of treats for me.  I love seeing kiddos all dressed up in their costumes, watching scary movies and making spooky inspired snacks but dressing up as an adult has never been something I got into.  When conversations about Halloween start coming up, I enthusiastically nod my head and pretend to get excited, knowing there is no way I will participate.  Not only is my creativity extremely stunted, Halloween is one of the few times my typically sky high self esteem leaves me.  For some unknown reason, I changed my attitude this year and decided to embrace the holiday!

Friday was crazy busy, but I still wanted to look my Halloween best!  I started the day in a subtle ensemble because the school I work at doesn’t celebrate Halloween.  I wore a simple “This is my Costume” graphic tee that I picked up at Target with some black jeggings and my sugar skull Converse sneakers.  I love these shoes and was excited that it was finally a seasonally appropriate time to wear them.

Friday Outfit #1
Friday Outfit #1

In the middle of the day, I broke away for a little while to visit my favorite 5 year old for her school’s Pumpkin Day Picnic.  Unfortunately it was raining, but I was prepared.  I changed into an off the shoulder sweatshirt that had a witch on a broom stick and said “Frequent Flyer” and my red Hunter rain boots.  I was excited to see how happy she was to show off the Hello Kitty inspired pumpkin we had decorated together!

Friday Outfit #2/Hello Kitty Pumpkin
Friday Outfit #2/Hello Kitty Pumpkin

Finally it was time the night’s big festivity, a Ludacris concert with my bestie!  I changed into a sweater I bought on tipsyelves.com with a break dancing skeleton on it, black leggings and (because it was still raining) I stuck with my Hunter rainboots!  Jaime and I both love taking pictures with props so we brought fun spider light up glasses and masks with us.

Friday Outfit #3 with Jaime
Friday Outfit #3 with Jaime

On Saturday, I started getting ready with a blow out from Dry Bar.  This wasn’t my very favorite blow out (I usually like my curls a little tighter for the staying power), but it still looked nice.  Afterwards I came home and made some little ghost cookies to bring to a pre-party I was attending that evening before going to The W with my friends!

One of these things is not like the others
One of these things is not like the others

I was so excited to bring my Dia de Los Muertos concept to life with the help of my friend Nicole.  She was so nervous to mess up my face (and we did have a few snafus in the middle) but it turned out great!  With my makeup done it was finally time to throw on my dress and flower crown before heading out (and what a fun night it was)!Dia de Los Muertos

As much fun as I had, taking all that makeup off was a bit of a chore, but not nearly as terrible as I had feared.  I started with Julep Bareface Cleansing Oil to break down the makeup.  Next, I washed my face with my Clarisonic.  I finished up with a Neutrogena makeup remover wipe.  While my face was erased of all signs of makeup, my Clarisonic Deep Pore head is unsalvageable! Totally worth it!

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There is no coming back for this one!
There is no coming back for this one!

Bonus Content:

My dog Ollie getting in on the Halloween action!
My dog Ollie getting in on the Halloween action!

For extra beauty ramblings follow my Instagram @jessicasgoneviral

*I have linked each product for purchase.  Each product mentioned I purchased for myself based solely on word of mouth and intuition.  I have linked each product to an online retailer but do not receive any compensation if you choose to purchase from them.