Monday, October 16, 2017

5 minute 5 product "no makeup" makeup look

It's been a while since I talked about makeup over here on my little ol blog, which is kind of crazy, because makeup is a huge part of my every day life now. Back in January when I started this whole LipSense thing, I had no idea really that there was actually an entire makeup and skincare line that came along with it. I was just super excited about this magical lipstick that I'd fallen in love with. The rest of the makeup and skincare? Sure, I'd check it out eventually & see what it was all about. If only I'd known back then what I know now...which is that this brand, SeneGence, would be life-changing and totally take my makeup game to a whole new level. 

First off- let me give you the quick rundown of SeneGence and why it's so freaking amazing. LipSense is just one product in their makeup line. It's their number one seller and for good reason- this lipstick has taken the world by storm and the rest of the line is just as amazing as the lipstick, I promise! What makes it so awesome? Let's see...it's all long-wearing, water-resistant, vegan, cruelty-free (no animal testing or animal by-products), gluten-free, lead-free, wax-free, anti-aging, and is made in America! These are some huge key selling points here! We all know that LipSense basically stays on forever, right? But the foundations, eye shadows, liners, mascara, blush, etc...everything is made to last! Everything is either waterproof or water-resistant, which means it's not going to smear, run, smudge, or sweat off. When you apply it in the morning it's going to stay put and look just as good when you go to wash it all off at the end of the day. 

And on top of all of that, all of the SeneGence skincare and the cream based makeup products contain our potent anti-aging complex, SenePlex Complex. This incredible kinetic enzyme is kind of magical, and it's unique technology that is only found in SeneGence products- there's nothing else like it on the market. SenePlex Complex rushes new skin cells to the surface of your skin 23% faster than normal- a rate never before seen in the cosmetic and skincare industry! I mean, seriously, look at these statistics! When you're wearing SeneGence makeup you're also taking care of your skin at the same time...something you can't say about other makeup brands! I've completely switched to all SeneGence skincare and makeup and haven't looked back. My skin has never looked better  (plus I get everything 50% off, so that's pretty cool too. Let's chat if you want a wholesale account). 

So now that you've got the skinny on why SeneGence makeup is so amazing and why everyone in the world should be wearing it...let's talk about HOW to use it! I want to show you my quick and easy, 5 minute, 5 product makeup look without looking like you have a bunch of makeup on. You'll have gorgeous, flawless looking skin that glows from the inside out (because that SenePlex Complex is working on your skin while you're wearing it all day!) These are my top 5 must-have products for gorgeous, glowing skin and a quick and easy flawless face.


OK, so here's me, 100% makeup free. I took these photos at night, so the lack of natural light paired with my super bright ring light kind of makes my face really washed out and white when I was snapping these quick, in-progress photos. So excuse the bright lighting and ghostly skin tone:

Candlelight ShadowSense. SeneGence's cream-to-powder eye shadows are one of my favorite multi-tasking makeup products and they can be used for so much more than just eye shadow. After doing my skincare routine, I use this shade, Candlelight, first under my eyes to cover my dark circles, as a concealer for any blemishes or dark spots I have, and on my eye lids to even out any discoloration and veins on my lids. (I dot it right where I want it and blend it with my finger, or you can also use a brush with it- it's totally a personal preference! I use my fingers for certain things and then I use regular eye shadow brushes for others).  Sandstone Pearl is another great light, matte option for concealer too- it's a bit lighter & less peachy than Candlelight. ShadowSense has a primer built right in to it, so it stays right where you put it with no creasing. And again, it's loaded with SenePlex, so it's going to help ward off lines and wrinkles, moisturize your skin, and do all of that good SenePlex stuff to your skin while you're wearing it. If you're going to be using makeup on and around your eyes, it might as well be anti-aging, right?
Put a few dots of Candlelight where you want it & blend with fingers or brush!

This is me with just Candlelight around my eyes & to conceal blemishes.

Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer. Next, I use a damp beauty blender and dot this creamy CC cream all over my face and quickly blend it into my skin. I know I just gushed about ShadowSense, and this product might be tied with it as my number 1 SeneGence makeup product. I love this CCTM! Since I've been using SeneGence skincare I just don't need the coverage of a foundation anymore and our tinted moisturizer is seriously perfect! It's sheer, lightweight, and magically adapts and blends in to your skin tone, all while counteracting any redness or discoloration in your skin with it's natural mint undertone (because green cancels out red). This product can actually take the place of your daytime moisturizer and has an SPF of 15 in it, and of course it's also full of SenePlex complex too, so it's got the skincare built right into it. If you wanted fuller coverage you could follow this up with a foundation too, but I find the color correcting tinted moisturizer to be just the perfect amount of coverage I need without looking like I have anything on. I wear light, and it also comes in medium (and there is a rumor that a deep shade is coming out soon, too). I cannot say enough about this stuff- every woman needs to try it! If you wear a moisturizer, try this. If you wear foundation, try this. Just try it & you'll love it!
Before Color Correcting Tinted Moisturizer

After CCTM

Moca Java ShadowSense. Another product that is multi-tasking! Not only is this a gorgeous, matte brown eye shadow color, but I also use it for my brows and some basic contouring as well. I use a small eye liner brush to lightly fill in my brows (for darker brows try our Garnet or Onyx ShadowSense, or a mixture of these colors). Again, this stuff stays where you put it, so your brows won't just wipe off or smear- ShadowSense is long-wearing and water-resistant. I also apply just a little bit of Moca Java to my eye lid crease with a fluffy shadow brush, just for a bit of natural looking contour and definition around my eyes to help "wake them up." Then I apply two very small dots of Moca Java right under my cheekbone and blend it with a medium sized fluffy brush to contour my cheeks, around my forehead, my jawline, and sometimes I use a small shadow brush to contour my nose ever so slightly. Moca Java, along with Candlelight, are two of my must-haves for my everyday makeup routine. So versatile and quick!
Moca Java ShadowSense on brows, in crease, & to contour.

Mulberry ShadowSense. Again, with the ShadowSense! This creamy, mauve-pink shadow color is gorgeous on your eyes, but can also be used as blush for your cheek color. I use just a little dot of this right on the apples of my cheeks and blend it with a small stipple brush until it's blended. Pink Posey ShadowSense is another great color that doubles as blush, so either one is great to have in your ShadowSense aresenal if you're looking for multi-tasking products (which has really helped me cut down on the amount of products in my makeup bag!)

LashSense mascara. LashSense is SeneGence's waterproof mascara, and it's the only waterproof mascara that I can use and recommend to people. My usual complaint is that waterproof is clumpy, thick, crumbles and leaves fallout under my eyes throughout the day, and rips my lashes out when I'm trying to take it off at the end of the day, but LashSense is nothing like that! It goes on thinly- I like to apply 2-3 layers of it if I want extra volume and length, allowing it to dry between each coat. For a quick and natural look, one coat is perfect for definition and for making your eyes pop. It doesn't budge either, and it never crumbles off or leaves flaky mascara pieces under my eyes like other brands. It also hasn't caused me to lose any lashes when I remove it either, which is amazing. I don't think I can go back to "regular" mascara now, because LashSense has been with me when I cry, sweat, or swim! 
With 1 coat of LashSense in black.

Finished off with a little Sand gloss to moisturize my lips!

That's it! These five products take me no more than 5 minutes to apply and I've got all of my bases covered- flawless looking skin, under eye circles gone, brows lightly filled in, a little color on my cheeks, and my lashes are on point. It's the perfect "no makeup" makeup look that makes you feel beautiful and confident without looking like you spent a bunch of time getting ready. If I wanted to change this up and look a bit more made up I might add some more ShadowSense eye shadow colors (we've got 21 colors available), eye liner (I use our black Onyx ShadowSense as liner), and some LipSense for a little extra color. I threw on just a little bit of Sand gloss to finish up this look and still keep it light and natural, plus our glosses are super moisturizing because they are full of shea butter and vitamin E (so toss the chapstick and switch to LipSense's gloss!) I have all of these products in stock and ready to ship. Everything comes with a 100% money back guarantee, so if you don't love it you an return it or exchange it for something else!

Here's the quick 5 minute before & after:

If you're interested in these products or want to learn more about SeneGence makeup and skincare (including LipSense!) I'd love if you'd head over to my Facebook group and join me! I update it daily with makeup looks, LipSense colors, specials I'm running, games, events, etc. It's the best place to stay up to date on all things SeneGence and you can watch all kinds of how-to's and live videos! I love interacting with my group so feel free to pop in and say hi or ask a question. You can also purchase products there. Just tag me and/or message me and I'm always down to talk about makeup or skincare with you!!! 

I'll be sharing more makeup looks and some of my favorite makeup and skincare products here on the blog too! 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Opening up about infant feeding



I loved breastfeeding. Is that a weird thing to say? As a mom of four who's nursed all four babies, I can honestly say that breastfeeding was one of my highlights with each baby and it's one of the things I looked forward to most after each subsequent birth. Maybe it was because it always just came easy to me. My milk came in quickly I had an abundant supply, I could switch back & forth from nursing to pumping with no issues, I always had a freezer stocked full of extra milk by the time my kids were all 3 months old...it was one of the best feelings in the world! My body was doing exactly what it was intended for and I was feeding my baby liquid gold- the most nutritious, natural thing I could give them. I had plump, chubby, healthy babies at the top of the growth charts and I shrunk back down to my pre-pregnancy size in no time...with all four kids. Win win for everyone, right? 

With each pregnancy I knew I would be breastfeeding. I didn't even pause to think about it when asked at the OBGYN for my prenatal check ups. Of course I'd be nursing! Why wouldn't I? After the baby was born I always declined help from the lactation specialists. I've got this, I'd think. Each baby latched right on from day one and we never had any major issues after that (besides the occasional clogged milk duct). If only I'd known that baby number four would throw a wrench in my feeding plan. 

When Josiah 5 or 6 months old my milk supply plummeted. I had to break into my frozen milk stash in the freezer because he was becoming so impatient at my breast that he was having a hard time nursing. Once he got the  bottle of milk that was it- he didn't have the patience to nurse from that day forward. I quickly blew through the frozen milk and was pumping just an ounce or so at a time. I couldn't keep up. I was so distraught and depressed. My baby was going to starve because I couldn't make enough milk. My husband suggested getting some formula and I think I almost bit his head right off! Formula was not an option in my mind! But why was that? I had already tried everything to bring my supply back up nothing was working. I felt ashamed when I finally agreed to try some formula. All of the websites and forums I read said not to give up, and here I was doing just that.

I hate to admit, but I look back on my breastfeeding journey now and I realize how naive I was, and also how unknowingly judgmental I was towards formula feeding moms. I guess I always secretly thought they just weren't trying hard enough or something. I felt absolutely sick when I realized that I'd been silently thinking these kinds of things about my friends and was quietly judging them when I'd hear they had stopped nursing. But now the tables had been turned- I was the one struggling. I had tried everything I could! I really, truly did. I agonized over it, and literally put my blood, sweat, and tears into feeding my baby the best I could. I could now sympathize with all of those moms out there who chose to end their breastfeeding journey, for whatever their reason. All of my frustration, guilt, and shame melted away as soon as my baby boy drank that first bottle of formula. Josiah was happy, fed, and perfectly healthy, and I felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders! The day he switched to formula was truly one of the happiest moments I'd had in a while. 
He just turned 1! Look at that milky grin :) 

Open conversations about infant feeding is so important. I look back on that very stressful time in our lives when I was struggling with the decision to continue breastfeeding or supplement with formula and wish I'd had more support. The Happy Family's Infant Feeding Resource Center offers new parents direct and free access to Cornell-Certified nutritionists and lactation consultants, the Happy Mama Milk Mentors, as well as educational materials on a variety of feeding topics. It's a great place to get support for your feeding decision and have all of your questions answered when it comes to feeding your baby. I'm definitely passing this on to all of my expectant mom friends! 

Happy Family is a brand I already know and trust because they make the Happy Baby Stage 2 Organic formula that I feed Josiah now. This is a great formula option for babies over 6 months old and supports their changing nutritional needs. It's modeled after breast milk too and includes premium, organic & Non-GMO ingredients so I can feel confident about what I'm feeding my baby boy. It also contains key vitamins and minerals found in breast milk, as well as DHA/ARA, Folic Acid, and a prebiotic mix to help support digestive health. 

Wherever your feeding journey takes you, know that I'm with you in solidarity! It's hard being a mama. We try to make all of the right choices, but really, whatever the choice you end up making- that IS the right choice for you and your family. Every baby is different, every pregnancy is different, and every feeding journey is different. I want every new mom out there to open up and reach out if you need support, and know that you are not alone in this. Happy Family has you covered with their free resource center and amazing line of organic formula for you and your baby, should you need them! 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

My next kid-friendly vacation destination






Vacations are something that don't seem to happen often enough in this household for many reasons. We've had a couple of crazy hectic years, what with adding two new babies to the family, and a family vacation wasn't really an option for the longest time. It's just been chaos, really. Now that the toddler is potty trained and the baby is walking, and both can tolerate longer car rides and do alright with overnight trips out of the house, a vacation might be doable in the near future. 

My older kids have been helping me brainstorm different destinations we'd like to visit, and ideas vary from California (where our extended family lives), to Japan (my son's idea), or Paris (my daughter loves the Eiffel Tower). I'd like to try somewhere we've never been, but that's within the continental US (because the idea of a long, international flight with a baby and toddler still seems daunting to me, and I hate to fly). We finally settled on the Southwest- it's relatively "close" to us, still being on the west coast, and it's a huge difference from where we live right now (a cold, wet, wooded landscape compared to a hot, dry, desert). This place seemed like the perfect spot! 

I've been to Arizona a couple of times when I was a kid and I've always wanted to go back. I do have some family that lives there, and my memory of visiting Arizona was mostly to soak up as much family time as we could with our loved ones (since we'd often go years in between visits). We didn't focus much on exploring the area itself. I'd love to take my husband and kids to Tucson because it has so much to offer for family entertainment and exploration. Here's just a few of the things I'd love to put on our family-friendly vacation itinerary:

Children's Museum Tucson. This is an interactive museum for kids of all ages and provides fun, play-based, hands-on learning experiences for children and families. It features over a dozen exhibits like a butterfly garden, an imaginarium art studio, a pet vet, an investigation station, techtopia, and more. The museum is open six days a week and admission is very affordable for the entire family, and you can check their calendar for discounted days and special classes they offer, so planning your trip is easy and so fun. 

Colossal Cave Mountain Park. Caves have always fascinated me and I know my kids would love this one, plus it's a great way to beat the heat in Arizona (since the cave is always a cool 70 degrees). This 2400 acre park features crystal-filled Colossal Cave and the historic La Posta Quemada Ranch and offers fun stuff like guided cave tours, trail rides, camping, and picnicking. The guided cave tour itself is only a half mile long and takes about 40-50 minutes, so very doable for groups with kids. I know my kids would love to walk around and explore all of the stalactites and stalagmites in the caverns. 

Reid Park Zoo. My kids are huge animal lovers, so they would absolutely love visiting the Reid Park Zoo. Visitors can explore naturalistic habitats housing exotic animals from around the world, including up-close views of tigers, lions, grizzly bears, anteater, & more. When planning your trip, make sure to check out their calendar for special events, feeding schedules, and special activities for kids. They even do birthday parties and special events, so if you're traveling a celebrating something wouldn't this be a fun treat? 

Funtasticks Family Fun Park. My kids would absolutely love to go to this one-stop adventure destination! It's got Tucson's largest indoor laser tag arena (my older two recently played for the first time and are dying to go again), miniature golf, go-karts, bumper boats, Kiddie Land, arcade, and batting cages. This would be a fun "break" from some of the tourist-y stuff you might be doing on your Tucson visit and a way for the kids to burn off some energy. 

The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food. While researching things to do in Tucson, I knew one of my favorite things to experience would be the food. I absolutely love Mexican food and I had a pretty good idea that Tucson would have some great places to eat. But then I heard about this:
What is The Best 23 Miles of Mexican Food? It’s an adventure of incredible food and a wide array of dining options, from fine to funky. It’s a line drawn in the sand of the Sonoran desert: you won’t find better Mexican food anywhere north of the border. We’re happy to try out the competitors, but we stand by the claim. If you love Mexican food and you haven’t eaten in Tucson, you haven’t tasted the whole story. 

Apparently Tucson is the best place to get authentic Mexican food north of the border! I can't wait to try a fresh, handmade corn tortilla, tacos, pico de gallo, carne esada, guacamole, and basically everything on the menu at every restaurant in Tucson. I'm going to stuff myself as much as I can when I visit. 

Visiting Tucson is definitely on my family's vacation bucket list. If you've ever been before I'd love some inside tips on what to see, where to go, and most importantly what to eat! I'd even love to try to sneak away on a little date with the husband, so let me know if you're up for babysitting ;) Learn more about visiting Tuscon here. Tell me what you'd love to do if you were to visit!  


A big thank you to Visit Tucson for sponsoring this post! And thank you to all of my readers for supporting the partners that make this little blog possible.

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