Monday, March 13, 2017

Lipstick Lovin- the inside scoop on LipSense

As a stay at home mom with an unconventional job, I know what it's like to have to hustle to make extra income on the side. These days, with the internet, social media, blogs, YouTube, etc, the possibilities are endless. If you know how to network and understand the intricate weave of website algorithms, you can make money doing just about anything. I make a modest little side income from this blog, which is good enough for me because I started this out years ago just as a fun hobby and a way to keep our spread out family and friends up to date (before they were all on Facebook). Since I know a lot of people with "unconventional" internet-type jobs as well, I'm always trying to be that supportive friend, just like my friends have always been with me in regards to my blog. They've followed along, commented, shared, and done all that kind of stuff. 

That being said, when I saw a bunch of my beauty blogging friends jumping on the latest "bandwagon" a few months ago, I have to admit, I gave some major side-eye. LipSense? What is this $50 lipstick about? Wait, it's supposed to stay on all day? Can I just buy it from a store? No? I have to buy it from you or go to your Facebook party? Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold the phone. It seemed like too much work and I didn't have time to figure out what all the hoopla was about. I did, after all, just have a baby a few months prior, so my lips could wait.

It wasn't until about a month later that I kept seeing LipSense on Instagram, and a trusted blog friend started selling and posting about it that I really started paying attention (or maybe coming out of the "baby" fog I had been in). I messaged her right away and told her I needed to try it. She helped me pick out a color- how the heck do you pick out a lip color on the internet without seeing it in person or trying it on? I took a gamble, sent her the money via PayPal, and waited.

When my the pretty, pink envelope arrived 2 days later (quick shipping- love that!) I couldn't wait to rip it open and try it on. I skimmed over the little instruction card that was enclosed and applied it to my lips, not really sure of what I was actually doing because I honestly didn't pay close attention to the detailed instructions. How hard could it be? I slapped a few coats of it on, added the clear gloss, and made a kissy face in the mirror- I loved the color! I chose a really fun, bright, Barbie pink called Fleur De Lisa. I kissed the mirror thought "Yaaaaaaay!" when I saw that my lip color didn't come off. OK, maybe this stuff was legit. 

Truth time: a couple of hours later my lips felt kinda dry and wrinkly and I wanted the LipSense off. I knew I probably did something wrong in my speedy, overly confident application, and since I was also a cheapskate and skipped the $10 remover, I had to wrangle up every bottle of makeup remover I owned to see what would work to take off this crazy lipstick. I tried everything I had and nothing worked very well. The darn stuff had some crazy staying power. After about 10 minutes of straight up scrubbing with 2 different makeup removers, I finally got the LipSense off, along with most of the skin on my lips. I immediately messaged my LipSense gal and she was like "Yeah you shouldn't have to scrub! I'll send you the remover ASAP!" What a doll. She also directed me to a video she made showing how to apply LipSense that she posted in her Facebook group (yeah- this is where I'd normally roll my eyes about the Facebook group thing) but I'M SO GLAD I JOINED THE FACEBOOK GROUP! I watched her video and realized that I had put the product on waaaaaaay too thick and didn't allow enough time for it to dry in between coats. The tube of LipSense Ooops Remover arrived 2 days later I tried another go with LipSense again, this time going a little slower and not so heavy handed with the 3 layers of color. I glossed and was immediately hooked. I wore that color all day! And when it was time to take it off, low and behold, their special remover that I insisted I didn't need wiped off all of the color without taking off my skin in the process. Magic!

Fast-forward a few weeks and a small fortune spent on LipSense later and I began asking my sweet LipSense friend some burning questions I had about becoming a distributor. In just those short weeks I'd been using it, I started to seeing LipSense all over social media. A few more bloggers that I knew were selling it and talking about how great they were doing financially, how fun it was, and how there were incentives, like trips and cars. I'm a long-time follower of one of these bloggers and I'd just seen her post about being on vacation with her husband somewhere warm and tropical...come to find out it was a PAID FOR trip from doing so well with LipSense! That's when I found out that my own LipSense girl was on track to qualify for a car. A freaking car, can you believe it? Just for selling lipstick. Craziness, right?! Sign me up!

Well, not quite. I sat on the fence debating whether or not to become a distributor for about a month. I bombarded my poor friend with SO many messages asking everything I could possibly think of about LipSense and the company. I wanted the skinny and I knew she'd give me the truth. She's a mom of 3 little ones, a blogger, and has a lot going on too, and she's been pretty darn successful selling LipSense. She was so sweet and answered all of my questions and agreed that with my experience and people I knew I could be successful as a distributor too.

Fast-forward another 2 months and here I am, a LipSense distributor! I officially joined at the end of January and I'm so glad I did. I paid just $55 to become a distributor and I've already made my money back, like more than tenfold! I feel like it totally helped me come out of that crazy postpartum phase and has done wonders for my self-esteem again. Selling LipSense forces me to shower, get dressed, and put on makeup- something I was rarely doing just a few months ago because I was home most days with a baby and a toddler. What was the point? Nowadays I'm up, LipSense is on, and I'm taking a selfie if it's a new color I'm trying because I have to show my friends and customers what it looks like if I want to sell it. I feel like it's really helped me reignite that passion I've always had for the beauty industry that had kind of been repressed lately, because, well...hashtag momlife. After four kids, I finally truly understand the struggle! 

OK, so with all this talk of this magical LipSense stuff, some of you might be wonder what the heck it is and why it's so awesome. Here's the 411 on LipSense.

What is LipSense?

Lipsense is a long wearing, waterproof, kiss-proof, smudge-proof lip color that wears for up to 18 hours. It's lead-free, wax-free, gluten-free, GMO-free, cruelty-free, and is made in the United States! LipSense is not a lip stain. It molecularly bonds to the lip and is worn with a shea butter gloss that permeates through the color to hydrate your lips while keeping the color on

Why do I need a kit? 

LipSense has 3 products that work together, so first time users will need to purchase a lip kit for their initial purchase. A lip kit comes with a color, the gloss, and the remover. You choose your color and apply it in 3 thin layers, allowing each one to dry for a few seconds in between. Then you seal the color with the Glossy gloss, which is also what hydrates your lips. Finally, to take off LipSense at the end of the day (or touch up any mistakes) you use the Ooops remover. 

Here's a video I made showing how to apply LipSense. There is a slight learning curve to applying it but the video will help a lot. It seems like a process because I'm slowing down and explaining things in the video, but I promise, it only takes about a minute in real life. Once or twice and you'll be a pro. 

Here's why I absolutely love LipSense:

1. It stays put. Duh, that's an obvious one, but it's HUGE! I can put on my LipSense before I head out the door and know that it's going to look just as perfect at the end of the day as it did when I first applied it. No lie! I just throw my Glossy gloss in my purse (or diaper bag- #momlife) and regloss when I need a little moisture on my lips, but my color doesn't budge. It survives baby kisses and slobber, endless cups of coffee, eating, touching my face and lips, and everything else motherhood throws my way...all with zero color transfer. Ahhhhmazing! 
video

2. I can wear so many different colors. One of the best things about LipSense is I can break out of my comfort zone and wear bold, bright colors that I'd usually shy away from. Normally, I'm a pale pink/nude gloss kind of girl. I have puny lips and lipstick always looks like crap on me after about an hour. Now I can throw on a bold pink or a dark red and rock it with major confidence because I know it's not getting on my teeth or smudging all over my face. Plus, no touch ups! (besides Glossy, but you don't have to look in the mirror for that). 

3. Layering. One of the greatest things about LipSense, besides it's staying power, is the fact that you can make so many different shades from just 2 colors! You can customize and mix and match depending on how you layer the colors. Two tubes of LipSense equals 8 different colors! 

4. LipSense makes my dry lips feel better. Seriously you guys, I'm one of those people who always has to have something on her lips or they feel extremely dry and I can't stop obsessing over it. I was a chapstick/EOS lip balm freak, and it's no wonder. Those lip products are full of wax, which doesn't actually moisturize your lips- it just makes you feel like you are because you have something on them. But the moisture wasn't really soaking in, so no matter how much I applied that chapstick like a crazy person, it wasn't doing much for my parched lips. LipSense's Glossy gloss drenches your lips in shea butter and vitamin E. Just say no to waxy lip products.

5. Speaking of ingredients.  LipSense is made with really great quality ingredients, while leaving out things the bad stuff, like lead and wax. Some people are quick to point out that it contains alcohol, which you'd think would dry out your lips. This isn't just rubbing alcohol folks. It's SD40 cosmetic grade alcohol, and it's used to help deposit the color molecules on your lips. It also keeps the yucky bacteria out of your tube of LipSense, which is great because 1 tube lasts 4-6 months. Imagine how much is crawling in your lead-filled, waxy lipstick that wears off after an hour. LipSense for the win!

6. Don't forget the gloss options. There are different gloss finishes to go over any LipSense color, which is a total game-changer in itself! Glosses include traditional, matte, pearl, glitter, diamond, and more. Gloss options are such a fun way to change up any LipSense color! Go for sparkly one day and matte the next. Everything can mix and match so you have soooooo many options.

7. SeneGence rules. SeneGence is the company that owns LipSense, and they have so much more than just magical lipstick that stays on forever. Did you know there is a whole skincare and makeup line as well? All are long-wearing and are made with great quality ingredients, that aren't tested on animals, that and are manufactured in the United States. Plus, this company is great to work for. Their compensation is incredible- so much higher than any other MLM type business I've ever seen. SeneGence is all about helping women start their own business and change their lives. I know so many women out there who have been financially blessed thanks to this company and their products. From paying off debt, to getting cars paid for, to creating a second income in a struggling finacial situation, and to working hard and winning fun trips. It really is a sisterhood too. Everyone is super helpful, encouraging, and genuinely wants the women around them to succeed in this business too. It's crazy but so awesome. I can't even stop gushing you guys. It's seriously fun. 

So pretty much what I'm saying is LipSense is awesome and you should try it. I've tried and reviewed a lot of lipsticks and glosses out there, and this one takes the cake- as in you could literally eat an entire cake and your lipstick would still be on point. If you're hesitant about trying it let me put your mind at ease- LipSense comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. So if you try it and you don't love it I'll refund your purchase (or trade it for something else if you'd like). So skeptics, fret not, I've got your back. I was you just a few months ago! I totally didn't buy the hype. But there's a reason this product is blowing up- it does what it says it's going to do and people are telling their friends. I'm telling everyone I know because I believe in the product that much and I want to share it with everyone. I love getting messages saying "OMG! I love this stuff! Thank you!" It makes my day.

If you're still a skeptic, I'm here to answer your questions about LipSense and help you choose a color that will look amazing on you. The easiest way to do this is to join my Facebook group. In there you'll find tons of informative stuff on all things LipSense- what it is, how to apply it, different colors, pricing, etc. I'm always posting my updated stock on hand (what I have ready to ship immediately), as well as new colors coming in that are available to pre-order. If you're not on Facebook I'm also on Instagram and post updates on there too- feel free to comment on a post or DM me and I can usually respond fairly quickly. Or you can also shoot me an email at m.swenson@hotmail.com, or just leave a comment here on the blog. 

If you have any questions at all on how to become a distributor, please comment, message me, or shoot me an email anytime and I'd be happy to give you some information on how it all works and answer any questions you have about it. It's just $55 to become a distributor and have access to the 20-50% wholesale discount. There's no monthly minimums, no auto ship, and you only sell what you want to sell. Some girls even sign up just for the personal discount and buy for themselves and a few friends or family members. Or you can hustle and sell to everyone you know and build a team of girls with SeneGence and make some major commission, group bonuses, earn trips, get cars paid for, and much more. The income I'm making selling LipSense is contributing to my family's finances. I paid our car payment the last 2 months in a row, and that's no small feat. We just moved so money is a little tight, and this extra income is helping ease some of the burden from my husband, as he has a lot on his plate besides working overtime to pay for the new bigger house and everything else. I'm able to do this at home with 4 kids! I'm telling you, this is the best decision I've made in a while. Anyone who is interested can sign up now at Senegence.com and use my distributor number 266314 to register. I've already got a few girls on my team and they are doing so well! I'd be happy to help you get started and answer all of your questions.

If you read all of that then thank you for letting me share one of my new favorite things! 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Life Lately

Well hey there...it's been a hot minute since I've updated the ol' blog. Truth be told- it's been a hot mess over here the last few weeks, I'm not going to lie. Between packing, moving, cleaning, unpacking, and switching schools, as well as the everyday life craziness like running errands, dropping off and picking up, cooking, housework, homework, babies, nursing, pumping, diapers, and about a bajillion other things in between,  you can see that it's just insanity all the time. It never ends you guys...ever! I haven't sat down in like a month. Seriously. Besides stopping to nurse or pump, rock an upset toddler, or grab a quick bite to eat, I'm pretty much constantly running around like a chicken with its head cut off all day long. It's like all of a sudden life got really, really busy and there aren't enough hours in the day. Hashtag, momlife.

Moving sucks. I think we can all agree here. I've done my fair share of it! I'm like a professional mover now, I swear, what with all of our house-swapping we've done as we've outgrown each of our previous rentals or relocated. This last move was a doozy though. We thought we were prepared, but we had no idea how much crap we had accumulated with four kids, even after calling a junk removal to haul away a truckload said junk from the basement. Even after cleaning out each of the kids' rooms and getting rid of bags of old clothes, bedding, broken toys, and donating boxes upon boxes of unwanted toys, books, and personal items. We thought we downsized. Packing with four kids was pretty much impossible too, so the day before we moved we played a fun game called "let's throw everything in random boxes and garbage bags and call it good." Turns out, it wasn't a very fun game, but it got the job done. Thankfully, my sister in law took the little ones on moving day, but good grief, that was a very long day! We are hoping for this new house to be the last rental house and want to be ready to buy a home when the lease is up. Fingers crossed there's only 1 more move in my future now that we know for sure where we want to be, permanently. 

Now that the moving part is over and done with and we are relatively unpacked, it feels great to be in our new home! There's still a few random boxes sitting around and the walls are still pretty bare at this point, but it's starting to feel more like home every day. The house we were in before was really cute and had tons of charm, but it wasn't very family-friendly. It had virtually no bedroom storage space (IE- tiny bedrooms with teeny closets) with absolutely no linen closets or coat closets, and no storage in the bathrooms or even the laundry room. I felt like our crap was everywhere. Stuff just piled and stacked everywhere instead of being tucked away in a closet, cupboard, or drawer somewhere. I felt suffocated in there after Josiah was born because he didn't have his own bedroom and there just wasn't any extra space to put anything! 

The new house is 5 bedrooms with 3 bathrooms, and it has a really great layout for a big family like mine with lots of closet space and tons of room for everyone and everything. Oh, and it has a garage...a huge plus, because the prior house didn't even have a driveway- it was street parking only. Do you know how hard it is to load a baby and a toddler into a minivan with a 2 foot berm of iced over snow you have to climb over? Anyway, the new house is amazing- everyone has their own bedroom and I have a gorgeous master bathroom (and finally a decent closet). Did I also mention it has a 6 person hot tub?! Right off of my bedroom on a private little deck in the backyard. Plus we're in a great little neighborhood and we are really close to friends, family, church, and school. 

While we're on the subject of school, moving put us into a different school district (and technically a new city- we're in the suburbs now), so the kids started their new schools. I say schools with an "s" because Ayden just got bumped into middle school, so he and Lily no longer go to school together. This is huge, you guys! He's a 6th grader, and before, our elementary schools were K-6 and Jr High was 7-8. Well the new school district's elementary is K-5 and middle school is 6-8, so my baby jumped into middle school overnight! I was so not ready for that! When I realized that I think I started to panic a little...I wasn't expecting him to be a big kid until next year. I asked the kids if they wanted me to drive them to their old school every day for the rest of the year, and they both said no and were kind of excited to start over at new schools in their new neighborhood and make some new friends. Ayden was actually excited to start middle school, so I think once I saw his calmness and readiness for it, I calmed down a little bit too. We had quite a few conversations about how school was going to change and his new school did a great job of helping prepare him for his first week. Thankfully, he took to his new school really quickly and he loves it so far. I think he was totally ready for middle school and he likes the little bit of "freedom" it might give him, like not having to walk to & from school with his little sister. Lily loves her new school as well and of course, she's already made a ton of friends being the little social butterfly that she is. Both kids have completely different start and end times for school, and while Ayden can ride a bus, Lily can't (we live too close) so I have to do the dreaded drop-off and pick-up routine again. I haven't had to do that in years!

With all of this craziness going on, I decided to add to it and started selling LipSense. If you haven't heard of LipSense, it's this amazing long-wearing, waterproof, kiss-proof, smudge-proof lipstick that wears for up to 18 hours! I'd seen it all over Instagram and finally decided to try it for myself when a friend of mine started selling it. Long story short, I spent a small fortune on LipSense and quickly realized the potential of selling the product myself! I personally know a few girls who are making a killing and are getting free trips, cars (yes, cars!), and tons of product all while playing around and posting selfies on Facebook and Instagram and selling magical lipstick on the internet. No, seriously! I'm planning on writing a blog post dedicated to all things LipSense very soon, so stay tuned for that. If you want to check it out, learn more, or buy some you can join my Facebook group or message me on Facebook or Instagram! If you're interested in selling LipSense I can help you with that as well! 


On Wednesday we celebrated Lily's 9th birthday and Josiah turned 6 months old! We picked up dinner to go, because babies, and enjoyed a yummy cheesecake assortment- Lily's choice for her birthday cake. She's so grown up looking now and is really turning into a beautifully sweet girl, inside and out. Josiah's cuteness almost makes up for that cry that still wakes me up 3-4+ times a night. Josiah, I love you dearly, sweet boy, but I wish you'd figure out the sleep thing.


And with that, baby boy's cries bring naptime to a crashing halt, so I better wrap up this "little" update. I'll try not to let so much time go by before the next one! 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How supplementing with formula saved my mom sanity



I'm no stranger to fussy babies. My two girls were both colicky, gassy, and overall pretty unhappy babies until they eventually grew out of it around six months of age. Of course, there were tricks to soothing them, like baby wearing, swaddling, burping, and letting them sleep in a swing, but it was still a pretty unpleasant experience for the entire family when one of our babies went through the colicky newborn stage. I didn't realize it could get worse.

Baby number four took fussiness to a whole new level. From the second night at home, I knew he was going to be an extremely difficult baby boy. I couldn't even sleep in the same room as him because he was so loud- constantly grunting, squirming, crying, and waking to snack all night and all day. The grunting...oh the grunting! Josiah was and still is the gassiest baby I've ever been around, so his loud grunts would drive me insane. It would wake me up at night from the other room. He needed to be burped so frequently and forcefully or he'd wail in agony from trapped gas in his tummy. He was a snacker, only wanting to nurse for a few minutes and then wake up after an hour or two around the clock with no regard for whether it was day or night. It was maddening!

After months of constant crying and fussing, the extreme fatigue was wearing on me. My stress level was through the roof and my milk supply was dwindling. I had a bit of postpartum anxiety going on too and I'm sure my raging hormones weren't helping the situation either. After weeks of trying everything I could to increase my milk supply, I realized that I was going to need to supplement my breast milk with some formula too. Luckily for Josiah, I knew which one I was going to use: GERBER® Good Start® Soothe.


GERBER® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula contains L. reuteri, a probiotic that is naturally found in breast milk, and is specially designed to ease excessive crying, colic, and fussiness while providing complete nutrition. 

GERBER® Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops also contain L. reuteri. Research indicates that the type of bacteria in an infant's intestine may determine whether a child is colicky, and probiotics can support a balance of good bacteria in their digestive tract. While it's not intended to cure or treat any disease, it has been clinically shown to reduce crying time in colicky breastfed infants! I received a free sample of GERBER® Soothe probiotic Colic Drops from Gerber. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fast forward one month and we are now inching closer and closer to Josiah being six months old (which is crazy!), and he's getting out of that difficult "newborn" stage. He's a much happier baby now that he's grown out of the colic and his digestive system is a little more mature (though he is still pretty gassy- I guess he's just a stinker). I'm still supplementing my milk with GERBER® Good Start® Soothe and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I mean, look at those chubby cheeks! We're all much happier and we're finally sleeping (a little) at night now too. 


Have you had a colicky baby before? What's your formula for happiness? Just know that you are not alone and that there is hope out there. Consider a probiotic like GERBER® Soothe Probiotic Colic Drops or GERBER® Good Start® Soothe Infant Formula. Gerber also has some great experts available (registered dietitians, certified lactation consultants, and certified baby sleep consultants) to answer any of your questions! You can find out more about excessive crying, colic, and fussiness here.

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