- Chantez et vous trouverez votre chanson -

Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.
     -George Bernard Shaw

It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves- in finding themselves.
      -Andre Gide

Monday, January 24, 2011

I'm a Stainiac!

The weather in NY has been brutal since Christmas, so I'm stuck in that winter mindset that feels as if there is NO END IN SIGHT. I'm always cold, my skin is pale, my lips are chapped, my hands are dry...blech.

However, what's the one nice beauty benefit to cold weather?? Rosy cheeks and just-bitten lips!

And on that note, I've found my new favorite cheek and lip stain to enhance what Mother Nature gave ya - Stainiac in Beauty Queen (a deep raspberry pink) by TheBalm Cosmetics. It's a water-based gel, so it glides on really smooth, blends well and doesn't "set" til you're ready (aka no leftover streaks!). I love the lip gloss applicator wand - it makes it so quick and easy to use.

I especially love how it looks on my cheeks - the color is subtle, but it stays put, too. I dabbed it on my cheeks at 8:30am this morning, and my cheeks still have rosy definition now, past 10pm. Amazing!

It works a couple ways on lips, too - I've been dabbing on a quick hint of Stainiac in the morning before work to boost life back into my chapped, weather-worn lips. Topped with a thick coat of Vaseline and Chapstick, it still guards against the blistery weather. The effect is probably only noticeable to me, but it gives that extra little something to my lips and keeps me from feeling too washed out.

When I layer the Stainiac on more, it takes on an near-lipstick look that's great for nights out. I hate feeling like I have gunk on my lips, so I'm not a huge fan of lipsticks and colored glosses, but a stain like this layered under lip balm and/or a clear gloss looks really nice. And on the plus side, you don't have to reapply...this sucker stays on for the long haul. Here's a little pic of me out with friends wearing it on my lips and cheeks. Love it!

I've tried 2 other cheek and lip stains in the past - Tarte Flush and Benefit Posietint, and so far I like this one better than both others. Posietint is a really pretty pale pink and leaves a great sheen on summer skin, but if it's not rubbed in quick enough, I notice faint blotches on my cheeks. And Tarte blends really well and has a cute color, but I feel it fades fairly quickly.

I'm so glad I discovered TheBalm! I spotted it recently at Sephora and the kitschy cute packaging and flirty product names (similar to Benefit) called my name. Ironically enough, both brands are based out of San Francisco, but TheBalm has one major point of difference - they love pugs just as much as I do!! The company site lists bios for three pug mascots in the office - Wheezie, Buddy and Guinevere...all almost as adorable as my Marlon. Not only that, they have a product called TheBalm to the Rescue, a vegan lip treatment (great for this time of year!) whose proceeds go a pug rescue organization in the Bay Area. That's next on my shopping list for sure.

So if the cold winter weather has got you down, perk up your mood and your lips and cheeks with a fun new stain!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New Year reviews and resolutions

The New Year is here and I have to say, I have high hopes for 2011.

I do make resolutions, but I really attempt for doable things - last year my goal was to run a 5k (and I did it...4 times!). This year, my physical goals are to run a 10k and get my finances back in shape. My loftier (read: mental) goals that I hope to tackle this year are finding the clarity within all my daydreams and putting some direction in my life. And further than that, having the courage to take action and make the changes I'm seeking. I have some things in mind, but I won't go into detail here just yet...

This year seems like a promising year for me to make significant changes. Back in San Francisco when I visited the psychic, she told me that in the coming year, my life would come together and I would be happy. I also recently figured out my numerology chart for 2011, and out of the 9 year cycles our lives go through, this is my year 1 - my banner year! Here's the sum-up of what a personal year one denotes:

Personal Year 1...A New Beginning In Your Life
The current year is the beginning of a new nine year cycle for you. It holds the promise of being an exciting new adventure, with life taking on new challenges that pave the way for the next cycle of nine years in your life. This is a time to clarify your goals and it is a time to act on them. Hard work may be necessary to get a new venture moving. Your physical strength will be up during this year, perhaps higher than it has been for some time, as you have some special needs for this extra energy. If you are unable or unwilling to answer the call to change and make the move in your life the appears necessary now, your prospects may be delayed until the next cycle begins in nine years. Because of this, you feel like an adventure, a major change in your life, something new. New goals should be clearly set and worked toward, as this is really a new beginning of a nine year cycle and it is best not to dwell on the past at this time. This will be fairly easy for you to do because most of the problems and disappointments of the past will tend to disappear, leaving the way open for these new challenges. This is a great time; use it to its full advantage.

Please don't take me for a gimicky weirdo that reads too much into the zodiac, but sometimes, I really do feel like there's something to it. Not that I rule my life by horoscopes...it's just another way to understand your personality and where you stand in the world; another perspective to look at and measure your life and experiences against. And you know what, the psychic, the numerology chart, and even my fortune cookies on New Year's Day this year (a pleasant surprise is in store for me, and my existence has a positive contribution to mankind!) excited me. They give me hope and mirror what I've been feeling inside for the past several months - that I am figuring it out and that the sky is clearing up ahead for me.

Aside from resolutions, packed bars with expensive cover charges and crowded gyms, the New Year for me mostly signifies a passage of time. My birthday does the same. Each year on these memorable days, I find myself reminiscing about previous years and how much I've grown (or not...) in the past year. Sometimes it causes a few tears, but normally it's nice to take some time to reflect on the previous year and the highs and lows, and where am I am now compared to where I was before. I found a really helpful tool for this in the December issue of Whole Living magazine - check it out below (the print is a little small - my apologies).

I just did my "Year-End Review" last night, and I really liked the thinking and free-flowing writing it allowed me to do. Even though I enjoy writing and do it often for work and for this blog, I'm a perfectionist and typically re-read and fix things many times before sending or publishing. It was nice to not think about grammar or proper sentences and just let my mind and pen wander for once. Now I just have to figure out a place to store it so I don't lose it before the next New Year! I definitely think this is something I want to put into practice for each year.

Happy New Year, and may all your resolutions, hopes and dreams for the coming year come true!