Author Archive: Karen

The Day in Beauty Vol. 17: NARS Long Hot Summer Eyeshadow Palette, Smith & Cult Fauntleroy Nail Polish and Messy Dutch Braids

Published in: Just For Fun

dutch braid

It’s gonna be a long, hot summer

Happy Caturday, my darling! I hope you’re having a wonderful morning so far, and I hope you’re feeling refreshed and ready for a fun weekend.

It’s a lovely day here in Northern California. Nothing but blue sky from rolling hills to rolling hills. It looks like it’s gonna be a hot one, too, which is why I have my hair in a Dutch braid.

GURL, I’ve been all about the Dutch braid lately.

It’s basically an inverted French braid, where instead of pulling the hairs over when you braid, you pull them under so the braid kind of pops out, and you can make it, like, all poofy-looking and larger than life if you loosen up the hairs after you tie the end, which has the added benefit of not giving me a throbbing headache like some tightly braided styles can.

All about the Dutch Braids

5-minute messy Dutch braid

I love the whole messy braid trend… I rue the day if/when they go out of style, because this one here took me less than five minutes, and I was able to do it without having to look in a mirror!

WHAT?! Yes.

I also rue the day when big, bushy eyebrows go out of style because it took me forever and a day to grow mine out. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time…

Wow, it’s already getting hot here, and it’s not even 8:30. I guess it’s appropriate that I’m wearing the $45 limited edition NARS Long Hot Summer Eyeshadow Palette.

nars long hot summer palette

The NARS Long Hot Summer Palette

Isn’t it a cutie pie? Six powder eyeshadows — a beige, a taupe, two coppers, a deep brown and a beautiful light gray — and it fits in the palm of my hand. The top row has some cooler-toned neutrals, and the bottom row has warmer tones.

nars long hot summer palette

Wearing the following from the NARS Long Hot Summer Collection: Long Hot Summer Eyeshadow Palette, Laguna/Casino Bronzer, Deep Throat Blush and Salamanca Lipgloss

I’ve been wearing the palette all week long, and it gets extra points for not taking up much space in my already overloaded makeup bag. It should be a great travel companion if I take any trips this summer.

Speaking of trips, I gotta get on that. I’m thinking, though, that it might be too hard to travel with a baby. I dunno… Moms, give me your thoughts on that.

I also like that the palette has a nice mix of cool and warm tones, because you know how it goes with some neutral palettes. You either get warm or cool tones. You don’t always get both.

These shadows also start off all punchy and pigmented but fade in a beautiful way throughout the day. In the case of the shimmery shades, they glisten more toward the end of the day, getting to where you look like you’ve been dancing in the front row at a music festival for three straight hours.

It’s pretty cool.

In other news, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’m super obsessed with this freakin’ Justin Bieber video for his song Sorry.

OK, did I just say that out loud? Admittedly, I’m not the biggest JB fan, but I’m not extremely familiar with his work, and I know that he’s gotten into trouble a few times.

But whatever. I heard this song on the radio and had to look it up online. The choreography is so much fun! There’s so much booty shaking and hip swaying — I freakin’ love it! Oh, my gosh, I haven’t taken a dance class in years, but it’s making me want to dance again.

Plus, there are several girls in the video wearing those ’90s contruction boots that I rocked back in the day.

I wonder whatever happened to those boots… I think I gave them away? I wore them every day for like two years. I remember that my feet were always hella hot in them, and my arches hurt like a mother, LOL!

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Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer

Published in: Daily Photo

connor claire 3 months

Our little peanut turned three months old yesterday, and she’s just as feisty (she kicks like she has a black belt in karate!) and chatty as ever.

Her cute baby sounds have gotten more complex, too, and now, in addition to the staccato cooing and gurgling noises, she strings together longer baby “sentences” that sound like “wah-wah-wah-wah” and “maw-maw-maw-maw.”

connor claire 3 months pointed toes

connor claire 3 months side 2

connor claire 3 months side

Right now Connor Claire likes…

  • Working out at the “baby gym,” also known as the Fisher Price Rainforest Melodies & Lights Deluxe Gym. She can easily spend hours in it staring up at the flashing lights, reaching for the hanging toys (her favorite is the orange monkey) and listening to the rainforest setting’s chirping birds and croaking frogs.
  • Gnawing on her hands — particularly her left fist! She hasn’t quite figured out how to suck on her thumb yet, though… But she’s committed to working on it.
  • Going for afternoon walks. I’ll either pop her into her baby carrier or just hold her and walk around our neighborhood circle a few times. She loves looking up at the trees and the sky and listening to the wind and the rustling leaves.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,


Makeup and Beauty Blog Monday Poll, Vol. 425

Published in: Just For Fun

I found these pineapple print Vans at DSW on Saturday and now my life is complete

I found these pineapple print Vans at DSW on Saturday, and now my life is complete (the nails are Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Lemon Heaven, by the way).

You might be wondering, “So what in tarnation is this Monday Poll thing anyway!?”

Well, it isn’t exactly a poll. It’s more of a constantly evolving (devolving?), somewhat random list of questions I’ve been putting out to readers every Monday morning for the past eight (!) years. (It’s like a kickstart for your brain.) I’ve always enjoyed reading your answers in the comments, and I hope you enjoy reading mine.

  1. French nails, French kissing or French fries?
    French fries, and I’m not gonna share them with you.

    Well, maybe I will…but I’m not gonna share them with El Hub because whenever we go out for burgers and I order my regular veggie burger and French fries, he always says when he orders, “I’ll share her fries,” and I’m like, “No, you won’t,” because I want all the fries to myself.

    Because when you order a veggie burger, you’re still hungry. So I want to eat all the fries. I don’t want to share my fries. They’re my fries, so if you want your own fries, you order your own fries.

    As for French nails and French kissing…I have nothing to say about either one at the moment.

  2. Favorite Britney Spears song?
    Toxic, which I consider to be the height of Britney — the pinnacle of Britney-ness.

    The video’s just so glossy and sassy. Britney plays all of these different characters, like a sexy flight attendant, and then she’s a girl on a bike who looks like a secret agent with her long hair whipping behind her.

    And I like the song, too.

    Full disclosure: I went to a Britney Spears concert once and really liked it.

  3. Favorite pair of sunglasses?
    I have a pair of beige Tory Burch cat eye sunglasses, which are close to my favorite, but they’re not my favorite because I’ve tried to wear them when I run, and they always slip down my nose.

    So my favorite pair right now might be my new Ray-Bans. They’re just classic Aviators, but they fit my face and don’t slip down my nose when I get sweaty.

  4. In what job did you have the most fun?
    I don’t know if “fun” and “job” always go together in the same sentence, haha. But I try to have as much fun as I can at every job, I guess.

    My friend Jen and I worked retail together at The Limited once over the holidays, and all I had to do all day was stand there, greet people, fold t-shirts and talk all day. And sell the occasional purse or jacket. I also got a sweet employee discount.

    I also had a good time working with the foreign language students in the language lab in college. It was fun because I got to meet people from all over the world, and I really liked my coworkers, too.

  5. Backstage or front of house?
    I’ll go with front of house, because I’m pretty outgoing. I think I’d like interacting with everyone, taking tickets and showing people to their seats. To me that would be fun.


Your turn. 🙂 Just copy and paste the following questions into a comment with your answers. I look forward to reading ’em!

1. French nails, French kissing or French fries?
2. Favorite Britney Spears song?
3. Favorite pair of sunglasses?
4. In what job did you have the most fun?
5. Backstage or front of house?

Hi, friend. I hope you’re enjoying the Memorial Day holiday so far. I’m just getting ready to go have coffee with my friend Marisol. She’s breaking me out of baby jail temporarily, and we’re gonna go to Home Goods and Bath & Body Works.

Connor will stay home and have a talk with her dad, because her new favorite thing is chatting.

She talks A LOT and makes the cutest noises now. I wish I could get a baby translator…

Here’s what she had to say this morning:

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Sundays With Tabs the Cat, Makeup and Beauty Blog Mascot, Vol. 400!

Published in: Just For Fun, Tabs, Video


That’s the magic number. How many years is that…? Four hundred Sundays with Tabs. I’m no mathematician, but I know that’s a lot of years.

Four hundred Sundays where Tabs has made us laugh and cry with joy, and 400 Sundays where he’s bossed us around in his own special kitty way.

I hope you enjoy this very special edition of Sundays with Tabs. 🙂 Here’s to 400 more.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addicts,

Karen, Tabs and Connor Claire

The Day in Beauty Vol. 16: Checking In

Published in: Just For Fun


Connor Claire turns three months old in a few days, and seriously, that time has flown by faster than three snaps in a Z formation. I don’t know how this fast-forward button got pushed, but somewhere, somehow, it did, and now it’s almost June. YOWZA!

So. If you’re a regular here in the MBB fam, you’re probably wondering where the weekly Saturday giveaway is, seeing as how I’ve been doing it every Saturday for years.

Well…I’ve decided I need to put it on temporary hold.

Just for a bit.

With a new baby up in the mix, I need to save as much as I can right now, because man! — those diapers are expensive, guys! I hope you understand.

Anywho, if you’re still here…hi! 🙂 Hellooooooo again! *gives you a big hug* I’m happy to see you. What have you been up to lately?

Me? It’s been all about routines. Diaper changes, feedings, sterilizing bottles, feedings, washing burp cloths and blankets, feedings, bath time, feedings, play time, feedings, tummy time…and did I say feedings?

But now that Connor more or less sleeps through the night, life has been less chaotic.

Of course, I’m shaking my head as I type this, because everyone I know who has kids says that once you get settled into a routine, something will come along to shake everything up — like the start of teething, a change in feeding or sleeping habits, a runny nose from a cold — something.

So I guess it’s just a matter of time before the sh*t hits the fan again! — but at least for now I’m trying to get back into my metaphorical groove.

Photo May 27, 12 48 28 PM

One of the things I’m trying to get back into the habit of doing regularly is running, and yesterday I went for my first run in a really long time. And it was really freakin’ hard.

I think the last time I went for a run was, gosh…last July. Or was it August? It was shortly after I found out that Connor had taken up temporary residency in my tum.

Anyway, it’s been a loooong time.

But yesterday I jogged three slow miles. It took me nearly 50 minutes, give or take.

Yup, that’s slow, and even though a geriatric tortoise could have outrun me, I did it! And it felt good. I’m starting to feel like my body belongs to me again.

The birth in March took a lot out of me, both physically and mentally (I had an emergency C section in the middle of the night after about 40 hours of labor). For a while there (and, truthfully, still now), I couldn’t even think about it without falling apart.

But now that I’m able to do what had been one of my favorite things to do before I got pregnant — running — I’m starting to feel more normal again.


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