Update!

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well, I wanted to give you all a quick update about why I’ve been gone. I don’t want to bore you with excuses, but I have been busy with my family and work on my photography.  I am in the early stages of developing my photography career. I’m so excited for this new venture, and I hope you all understand. I plan to continue making beauty posts very soon, so be on the lookout! In the meantime if you would like to follow my photography blog, beckyriesingerphotography.com,  it would mean the world to me!!! Happy friday, and have a wonderful weekend! ~Becky

A walk in the park

Happy May Day and friday everyone! Hope you are all doing well, and are ready for the weekend. Today I want to share some photos I took on a beautiful day at the park.

We have been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures, so the kids and I have been spending a lot of time outdoors. Both kids have birthdays coming up in May, so we  headed to the park to take some photos to mark the kids turning 7 and 2!

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Hope you enjoyed,  have a great weekend!

~Becky

Spring beauty favorites

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I hope you are all having a lovely spring!  Today I want to share the beauty products I have been reaching for as the weather has gotten warmer and I’m feeling ready to lighten and brighten up my everyday look.

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Naked Basics Palette

First up is the Naked Basics Palette. I purchased this palette a couple of months ago and have been using it almost daily ever since. It is great for a simple look or used as a base that you can build almost any look from.

My go to look has been using one of the matte light shades all over the lid, the brown shade in the crease, and a touch of the black as a light liner.  I also highlight my brow bone with the highlight shade. It’s the perfect little palette!

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Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Eye Pencil in Smoke

I’ve been branching out with liner by trying more greys, browns and even colors like blue, to achieve a more soft and vibrant eye look for the spring time. Smoke is still dark but not as intense as black.  If the rest the look is neutral it doesn’t look crazy at all, it just adds a little something special to an everyday look.

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Great Lash Lots of Lashes in Brownish Black

Continuing with the softer eye look theme, I’ve been using my favorite mascara in the brownish black shade. I highly recommend this mascara (make sure it’s the lots of lashes formula) because of the teardrop shaped plastic brush, I can get very close to the roots of my lashes and  the inner/outer corners. It adds length and volume and really makes my lashes look amazing!

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Sole Bronzer

Too Faced Milk Chocolate Soleil Bronzer

This is the perfect contour shade. It’s a neutral matte brown that I use everyday to lightly contour my cheekbones and the rest of my face,  with the brush that came with the bronzer wardrobe ( I blogged about this set a couple months ago).

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NYX Cream Blush in Boho Chic

I shared this blush in another recent blog post, and I love it so much I just keep going back to it. It’s so natural and build-able, I think I’ll be using it til it’s gone, and I’m forced to try something new 😉

NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick in Tea Rose

NYX Extra Creamy Lipstick in Tea Rose

This lipstick from NYX is the perfect spring shade. It’s a warm muted pink that transitions nicely from the winter mauves and nudes to the brighter corals and pinks that we will be breaking out closer to summer.

Maybelline Color Show Rebel Bouquet in Beach Blossom

Maybelline Color Show Rebel Bouquet in Beach Blossom

Last but not least, is the Maybelline Color Show polish in Beach Blossom. This is the perfect nude pink polish color for spring and summer. I can never seem to find a nude polish that works with my skin tone, but this one has just enough pink. It took about 2-3 coats to be opaque, but for around $3, I highly recommend! I found it at Target in a separate display, so I’m thinking it’s limited edition maybe?

I hope you enjoyed my spring favorites, please share with me some of your current favs!

Hope you all have a great week!

~Becky

Live life to the fullest

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Today I  wanted to share something more personal going on in my life. I want to be real with you all, and sometimes things happen in life that are difficult, that maybe we don’t want to talk about, but should.  Recently tragedy struck my family when my grandmother had a massive stroke.

I packed up my kids and I, and we traveled nearly 1,000 miles with my parents to be by her side. Currently she is in rehabilitation and it is uncertain what her future will hold. The stroke left her paralyzed on one side and she needs assistance to do pretty much everything. She will remain in therapy for three months. At which time the hope is she will be able to stand and walk with a single person assist (she currently needs 3 people assist).  And then she can move into a more independent living facility.

When we arrived my grandma was so filled with joy to see us, she held my hand tight and wanted the kids to sit near her on the bed. She communicated as best she could that she was so happy to see us.

Growing up my grandma lived near us and we visited her (and my grandpa) nearly every weekend. She was always baking something delicious, her chocolate chip cookies and apple bars were family favorites.

This trip not only provide us with the opportunity to offer our support and love to my grandma. But it was a time for reflection on life. Looking through old family photos and documents, I learned things about my family I never knew. Like how her mother, my great-grandma was a German who had lived in Russia for a time, and when her family was on holiday in the US, they decided not to return to Russia. But instead settled in the US. Had they not, I wouldn’t be here.

It was also a great comfort to look through photos of my grandma as a strong and beautiful young women. Of her and my grandpa on their wedding day, and then on their 50th wedding anniversary.

Prior to the stroke my nearly 88-year-old grandma was living independently, the way she wanted to live. And now she depends on others for everything, and this as been difficult for her to accept. This will most likely be a long and difficult road for her, but she has a strong faith in God, and that will get her through this.

If there is something I know my grandma would want it would be for the rest of us to go on living and enjoying life, just the way she had.

Illness and ultimately death is a part of life we often try to ignore and don’t feel comfortable talking about. But if through these difficulties we can better appreciate the life and health we have, then we can turn a negative experience into a positive one.

I made sure to take the kids on a few outings to Canal Park on Lake Superior and the Great Lakes Aquarium. My grandma loved to travel and see new places,  I know she would have been right there with us.

Sending you all my love.

~Becky

Get to know me tag <3

Today I thought I would do something a little different, and answer the get to know me tag. I wanted to let you all know a little more about myself! So here we go,

1. Do you have a middle name?
Yes, my full name is Rebecca Ellen.

2. What was your favorite subject in school?
I didn’t like or do well in high school, but college was completely different. I loved almost all my classes especially ethics, business law, and sociology.

3. What’s your favorite drink?
Coffee in the morning with coconut milk.

4. What’s your favorite song at the moment?
I’m loving James Bay, Hold Back the River…ok I’m obsessed!

5. What would you name your children?
I have two kids, Conrad John and Elsa Josephine (born before Frozen came out) 😉

6. Do you participate in any sports?
I enjoy a good yoga or palates class, when I can get there.

7. What’s your favorite book?
Ruby Red Heart in a Cold Blue Sea by Morgan Callan Rogers, beautifully written, coming of age novel, I was sad when I finished it, so it must be a favorite right?!

8. What’s your favorite color?
Blue or grey.

9. What’s your favorite animal?
I love dogs, if we are talking exotic or unusual I would say panda bears, they are so furry and cute!

10. What’s your favorite perfume?
At the moment the Elizabeth and James White

11. What’s your favorite holiday?
Independence Day, love the fireworks, bbq, and fun with family!

12. Have you graduated from High School?
Yes, also have my AS in Business, and around 20 credits away from my bachelor’s.

13. Have you been out of the country?
Yes, to Vancouver, BC (A gorgeous city!) but would love to travel more!

14. Do you speak any other languages?
Nope

15. Do you have any siblings?
Yes, I have one older sister, two younger sisters, and a younger brother!

16. What’s your favorite store?
TJ Maxx or Target

17. What’s your favorite restaurant?

Athenian (a greek restaurant!)

18. Do you like school?
Yes!

19. Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?
Alovetart, Fleurdeforce, AnnaleeandJesse, and ClaireMarshall, to name a few.

20. What’s your favorite movie?
Hmmm, this is tough, I love a good indie flick, but Atonement is up there on my list.

21. What are some of your favorite TV shows?
Currently watching Finding Carter, Fargo (the tv show), and Dancing with the Stars.

22. PC or Mac?
Mac

23. What phone do you have?

I have the iPhone 5s

24. How tall are you?
I’m 5’5″

25. Any pets?
Two goldfish bronzy and goldie, named by my son 🙂

I hope you enjoyed getting to know me a little better! Leave a link if you have done this tag I would love to read it. Hope you have a great day!

~Becky

Sephora Haul

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Today I want to share some items I recently picked up at Sephora.

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Naked Basics Palette

I had originally planned to pick up the new palette from Stella, but it was sold out (sad face). I had never planned on purchasing the Naked Basics palette, it just look unappealing and honestly kind of boring. But turns out is exactly what I have been missing in my collection! I have used up almost all of the light neutral colors in my other palettes so this is a perfect palette to replace those shades I use almost daily.

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Fresh Hesperides Grapefruit show gel

I needed new shower gel and thought I would give this one from Fresh a try. I love their lip treatments and this shower gel has such a refreshing citrus scent.

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Boscia Makeup-Breakup Cool Cleansing Oil

I have seen this makeup remover on blogs for a long time, with mostly rave reviews, so of course I needed to try it out for myself. I purchased the smaller 1.7 fl oz./ 50 mL size. It is quite expensive and didn’t want to commit to the full size without trying it first.

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 Sugar Rose Shine Lip Treatment.

I absolutely love the balm version of these lip treatments, and decided to give this a try. The packaging alone sold me,  I am always a sucker for nice packaging!

The fresh mask was a free sample I received, and can’t wait to try it. What are some of your new purchases from Sephora? Have a great week ❤

Becky

Feb Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! Today I want to share the makeup products I discovered and have been loving in February.

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NYX Cream Blush in Boho Chic (customized by my daughter) 😉

This is the second NYX cream blush I have tried, and love this just as much as my other, maybe more. It is such a wearable muted pink, that lasts all day and looks natural, yet is buildable. It blends easily with my fingers, and is a must for anyone with dry/combination skin as it also adds a bit of glow without being glittery or shiny.

Too Faced bronzer in Endless Summer, is a bronzer I recently did a blog post on (I will link it below), and I have been reaching for it everyday. I take a large fluffy brush and sweep it over the high points of my face. It adds a hint of color without looking fake or orange.

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Pixi Shea Butter Lip Balm in Natural Rose

On a whim I picked up this Pixi lip balm at Target, and absolutely love it! It’s actually the first product from Pixi I’ve tried, and now I am curious to try other of their products! This balm is so smoothing and creamy and is also quite pigmented. I can wear it out on a day I don’t want to bother with lipstick, or am having a minimal makeup day.

Accure day cream: as you may have guessed, I picked this face cream up at Target, and love the light texture and scent. It has a pleasant citrus scent, that is not overpowering. It also wears very well under my makeup.

Covergirl Full Lash Bloom Mascara: When I first tried this mascara several weeks ago I wasn’t overly impressed, but after working with it I have really started to like it. It adds a good amount of length and volume, holds a curl, and doesn’t flake. I’ve noticed with a lot of mascaras I like them more after they have been open for a while, not to the point of being old, but they almost get better with age, anyone else have this experience?!

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Concealer: I was blown away with the amount of coverage this concealer provides!  It is the best coverage I have found in a drugstore concealer in as long as I can remember! But use only a little as it will begin to look cakey if you apply too much or don’t blend soon enough, it sets up quickly too!

Hope you enjoyed this months makeup favorites! February was a great month for new makeup, but I am sooo looking forward to Spring and the warmer months ahead! Have a great weekend everyone!

~Becky

Link to previous Too Faced Bronzer Wardrobe post: http://elsadarling.com/2015/02/19/review-two-faced-bronzer-wardrobe/

Review: Jamberry Nail Wraps

Hope you are all having a great week! A friend recently contacted me to see if I was interested in trying out Jamberry nail wraps. I agreed and thought it would be fun to share my experience with you.

I have of course heard of this brand but never tried their product before. My only experience with nail wraps/stickers was with the Essie ones, and those did not go well, at least for a first timer like myself. I will tell you right away these are much better. They are thinner and have a much better seal on the nail.

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You will need:

Nail Wraps

Alcohol wipes

Heat Source

Scissors

Nail File

Cuticle pusher

I closely followed the application instructions included with the wraps as well as watched a video tutorial on Youtube, and the entire process took about 30 minutes. Here is my result:

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After three days I noticed the edges were beginning to lift a little, so I reheated them with the hair dryer and applied pressure and that seemed to help.

Here is how they looked after a week:

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Pros:

Fun and unique designs you can’t get with polish (at least for us who aren’t talented with nail art!)

No chipping, they do show wear, but for me nail polish always chips after only a day or two.

No dry time, if you have kids or are busy, it’s a huge benefit to not have to wait for nails to dry.

Cons:

Learning curve, it does usually take a couple of times to learn how to apply to get a good seal.

Cost, they cost about $15 per sheet (2 or 3 applications) which compared to say an Essie polish for $8.50 that lasts for a year or more they are a bit pricey. But compared to a trip to the nail salon they are reasonable.

Overall, I would recommend the Jamberry nail wraps, anything that lasts more than a couple of days is a success for me, will they replace polish forever? No, but they are definitely a fun alternative to try if you want a unique look for a special event or holiday, or just because :).

~Becky

You can check out all the current designs on my friend Jennifer’s site: jennifersitas.jamberrynails.net

***disclaimer*** all opinions are my own, I did receive the product to review, but was not asked and am not being paid to review them.

Too Faced Bronzer Wardrobe

Today I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the new Too Faced Bronzer Wardrobe available at Ulta (and on their website).

New bronzer has been on my list for a while and when I saw this set in the impulse section at Ulta, for only $22, I had to grab it.

This set includes four bronzers, their best-selling Chocolate Soleil, Milk-Chocolate Soleil (a lighter version of the original) (these two both smell like chocolate), Sun Bunny, and Endless Summer.

The set also includes the Flatbuki Brush. Considering one of the full size bronzers is $30, this is an amazing deal! And for a person like me who goes through bronzer very slow, I don’t mind they are only a quarter the size.

The only down side is the packaging is quite flimsy, but they could be depotted and put in a Z palette.

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Chocolate Soleil (matte)

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Milk Chocolate Soleil (light matte)

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Sun Bunny (golden natural shimmer)

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Endless Summer (long-wear natural shimmer)

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left to right Endless Summer, Sun Bunny, Chocolate Soleil, Milk Chocolate Soleil

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left to right Sun Bunny, Endless Summer, Chocolate Soleil, Milk Chocolate Soleil

I have used all of them except the Chocolate Soleil ( I will be trying it out for contouring in the summer, when I have a bit more color). The Milk Chocolate Soleil is excellent for contouring on light/fair skin, and the Sun Bunny and Endless Summer both provide a natural bronze glow when applied to the high points of the face.

The brush is also extremely soft and great quality, it is perfect for contouring or highlighting.

Overall, this set is a great deal, and would highly recommend if you have been wanting to try Too Faced Bronzers!

Hope you are all doing well!

~Becky

Valentine’s photo shoot with the kiddos <3

Lets be honest, everyday is a photo shoot in our house. However, I thought it would be fun to take some more formal shots and make them into a fun card to send out to grandparents for Valentine’s Day.

It didn’t quite turn out as I would like, but with a 6 year old and almost 2 year old, it almost never does.

Bribes of sticky gummie snacks were used, and this was the best I could get. Grandparents, aren’t the most critical of photos of their grandkids, so I think we will be ok 🙂

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Elsa is such a diva, she will under no condition smile on demand!

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This pose was all him, he really knows how to work the camera 😉

Hope you are having a wonderful week!

~Becky