NARS Summer 2011, Sweet Relief and Random Acts of Beauty

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup

There are few things I adore more than random acts of beauty like…

My tabby alarm clock

Most mornings I’m awakened by a chubby tabby cat set to go off about a minute before the regular alarm on my phone. It’s a very unusual alarm in that I’m actually the source of the sound, which is like a painful yelp. It works like this: Tabs, who usually sleeps in his kitty bed on the floor, climbs up onto my bladder and launches from it into the air, “Whee!”

And it even has something like a snooze button because after he does it the first time, I usually drift back to sleep, so he does it again about 10 minutes later. This repeats over and over until I finally get out of bed.

But this morning the tabby alarm clock malfunctioned in a glorious way! Instead of using my bladder as a springboard, Tabs climbed up onto the bed and gently snuggled his way into my arms like a present. :) Of course, I soaked it up as long as I could (cat ladies, you know what I’m talking about), listening to him purr and feeling the curve of his warm kitty body against mine as rays of sunlight filtered in through the windows onto his fur. It was so peaceful and calm that I almost couldn’t get out of bed!

Sweet relief

When I finally did sit up, the first word out of my mouth was “Hallelujah!” Today’s was the first morning in — I can’t even remember how long — that I’ve gotten up without pain. I’ve been PMS-ing for what feels like an eternity, and “the girls” have been uncomfortable and sore, so much so that even lying in bed hurts. Does that ever happen to you?

Sleeping in my regular bras hasn’t helped because the hooks and wires dig into my skin, and the sports bra I tried was way too binding. But last Saturday at Macy’s I stumbled upon a line of stretchy one-piece bras from Barely There and decided to give them a try.

I got the one called the ComfortFlex Fit Bandini (comes 2 for $26). It’s basically a super soft, non-binding sports bra without any hooks or wires, and it fits snugly to keep everything in place, but yet isn’t so tight that it cuts off the circulation while I’m sleeping.

Two words: sweet relief!

The best thing since…frozen waffles

After making my way downstairs this morning and fueling up on caffeine and peanut butter toast, I took a generic Zyrtec and put on Tabs’ harness to take him outside for a quick walk.

For some, taking allergy meds may not qualify as a random act of beauty, but JEEZ! — it’s so nice to be able to enjoy spring without sniffling or sneezing from allergies, or feeling sleepy or foggy-headed from meds. Back in the day, the over-the-counter stuff hardly helped at all, and I always had dreadful seasonal allergies. It may not be makeup, but Zyrtec is still beautiful to me.

May I have some eye candy?

While Tabs explored the great outdoors from the safety of his kitty harness, I snapped a bunch of pics, like this one of a blooming bush.

Don’t you just love spring?

A NARS Dogon Duo obsession is born!


NARS Dogon Duo on eyes

After Tabs got his exploration on and we both went back indoors, the best part of my morning started — the part where I put on my makeup. Today I played with NARS Dogon, a powder eyeshadow duo from the new Summer 2011 collection.

This doggone duo might be the collection’s least expected star.

I think both of its shades — the metallic taupe with the green sheen, and the charcoal black — look great on their own, but look even MORE amazing mixed together. The resulting shimmery, grayish charcoal black contains a hint of metallic green. So beautiful and complex, and probably one of my favorite goodies from the release. If you have a weakness for smokey eyes and/or taupes, don’t let this duo sneak by without taking a closer look.

Have you encountered any random acts of beauty in your neighborhood lately? Inquiring minds want to know.

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,

Karen

71 Comments

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  1. Jennifer says:

    I literally just bought dogon, looks great on you! Received my laguna body illuminator today. Cannot wait to do a test run!

  2. Futuralon says:

    Two butterflies were cavorting on my purple verbena blossoms this morning, a neighbor’s cat chased them in the sunlight.

  3. dogon really caught my eye when i first saw the photos. glad to see it looks just as gorgeous when used!

    also, you really make me want to adopt a cat! i want some kitty snuggles <3
    dani@callitbeauty recently posted … Cargo Cosmetics Blush In Tonga Is My New Favourite!

  4. Jessi says:

    Aw, a cuddly Tabs! I have 3 dogs, but my two pugs are the cuddliest things on earth. They want to snuggle all the time. I know you’re supposed to wear a bra to bed, but as a large-chested woman I’m already resigned to the fact that gravity is winning. I envy you girls who can buy a bra from any store. I usually have to settle for a slightly ill-fitting one from the only store in my area that has anything close to my size. And of course it has to look like something my great grandma would wear. Girls with big chests want to look good too!
    Jessi recently posted … I Give In To Peer Pressure and Get Naked! Urban Decay Naked Palette Swatches- Review- and EOTD

  5. Vonvon says:

    It was Spring earlier here(March) but now most of the Spring blooms are almost gone, making way for the Summer flowers. Bluebells are spouting out.

    Dogon looks really gorgeous on you. Oh no…. NARS Summer will be in next week at Space NK. I told myself to get only Cap Ferrat trio….but now…. I don’t know… May be I should just go there next week with enough cash only for the trio and nothing else, or my pocket would hate me!
    Vonvon recently posted … A-Blush-A-Day- No 1- MAC Mineralize Skinfinish – By Candlelight – Swatches &amp Review

    • Karen says:

      You might need to prepare yourself, because you just might fall in love with Dogon. It’s one of the BEST NARS duos I’ve seen in a really long time.

  6. Heidi says:

    Anything taupe when it comes to shadows catches my attention, so this duo is right up my alley.

    The new neighbors have been doing lots of planting and gardening lately so I get to enjoy all the colorful blossoms without any of the work! Gotta love that.

    I spent yesterday afternoon getting to know the dog of some friends of mine. She’s an adorable chocolate-colored French bulldog named Cutie and she DEFINITELY lives up to her name! So affectionate and loving. It was very hard explaining to Missy once I got home why I had smell of dog all over me!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi,

      This one’s *really* pretty and so unusual. Next time you hit up Sephora hopefully it’ll be around so you can swatch it!

      I love the spring’s colorful blooms… my neighbor has a hibiscus plant and I can’t wait for it to start flowering again soon! We have a couple of flowers in our front yard, but nothing as vibrant as her plant.

      Aww, Missy must’ve been very confused (Tabs gets the way when I come back from my parent’s house covered in dog scent). Give her a big hug for me!

      Been meaning to ask you about your trip to Vintage Oaks a couple weeks ago. Did you end up getting anything from Sephora?

      • Heidi says:

        The trip to Vintage Oaks was fun. Had lunch at Pasta Pomodoro, the Limon Pasta to be precise. By the time I got down there it was later than planned and I was STARVING, so a creamy pasta dish really hit the spot!

        At Sephora I picked up something I’ve always wanted and never treated myself to before — a Dior eyeshadow palette. I picked up the Nude Pink Design palette and it is gorgeous! My other item was a Pacifica solid perfume set, it includes Tuscan Blood Orange, Tahitian Gardenia, Hawaiian Ruby Guava, Indian Coconut Nectar, and French Lilac. They’re all amazing! Lilac is my Mom’s favorite scent so I gave her that one for Easter.

        Oh, and at Target I got a Sonia Kashuk eyeliner palette and I’ve been using that pretty much every day. It has really pigmented powder liners in black, brown, olive, purple, and navy — so all the basics I would need. I’m loving the staying power on them.

        • Karen says:

          Oh, Limon Pasta sounds delish. I will have to make a note to myself to try that next time I get a carb craving (which I’m sure will be soon). :)

          It sounds like you had a very successful Sephora/Target trip! That Nude Pink Design palette = GORGEOUS. Don’t you just love that sparkly pink in the upper left hand corner? And don’t be surprised if you become completely obsessed with Pacifica. :D I was this close to snagging a bottle French Lilac Body Butter during Chic Week but decided that I needed to show some self restraint and finish one of the eight billion random tubes I’ve got sitting around. I ended up ordering a few skin care staples online, and I splurged on this body oil from Clarins: Clarins Body Treatment Oil.

          Tabs says hi, btw. He just got back in from a walk with El Hub!

          • Heidi says:

            Missy says “hi” back. She’s currently playing with the catnip toy that the Easter Bunny brought her, which means she should be crashing soon from the catnip high.

            I’ve got a couple of roll-ons before from Pacifica, the Tuscan Blood Orange and the Mediterranean Fig, which I don’t think Sephora carries anymore, but I LOVE! I’m loving the solids, so portable, so I can keep reapplying easily. Next splurge will probably be one of the body butters.

          • Karen says:

            Aww, lucky Missy! The Easter Bunny brought Tabs some “Temptations” crunchy treats. :)

            The roll-ons are really nice. I have the Malibu Lemon Blossom one, which smells like summer to me.

            Oh! If you’re thinking about trying the body butters, I know Sephora usually has a few small travel tubes of select scents in the bins near the cash register. They’re a nice into to the product… that way you can test if you like the texture, moisture level, scent, etc. (I picked up a small tube of the coconut scent on a whim a while back ad totally fell in love with it).

  7. Holly says:

    Costco has a generic Zyrtec called Aller-Tec that works really great. I live in North Carolina and I have to start taking it in February when the first trees start to bud. I was proactive about it this year and this year’s the first one where I haven’t gotten a 2-week-long cold.

    I have the same PMS problem and I use a crappy sport bra or the camis with the built in bras.

    Glad you got kitty cuddles instead of being a kitty bounce house! Maybe he could sense your pain…

    • Karen says:

      Thanks for the heads up on the allergy meds, Holly. That’s a good idea to start taking it when the trees first start blooming. I’ll have to remember that for next year.

      LOL, there seems to be no reasoning behind Tabs’ mysterious sweet behavior. Maybe he was just too lazy to torture me today. :)

      Anywho, did you have a good Tuesday? I hope so!

      • Holly says:

        Tuesday was pretty good! I keep wishing it was the weekend and I feel like I’m not even giving this week a chance!

        Hope your Wednesday brings on some more blooms. :)

        • Karen says:

          I’m looking forward to the weekend too. Have you made any plans yet? So far I have dinner on Saturday with an old work buddy who I haven’t seen in ages, so I’m really looking forward to that.

          You have a great Wednesday!

  8. Tiffany says:

    I love your random acts of beauty posts! Mine include my little one sleeping on me and making cute faces in her sleep, yummy petit fours, this awesome minty spray for the shower that wakes me right up, and my new smashbox lip stain – perfect for spring!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Tiffany!

      Awww, babies make the sweetest faces when they’re sleeping. :) I love it when you see their little fingers move…

      So, tell me about this minty spray! I need something like that in my life because it takes me forever and a day to wake up.

      • Tiffany says:

        Hay Karen! It’s the peppermint shower mist by a company called Jane. It will help clear your sinuses too if you have allergies or a cold! Def takes my shower to the next level and I love it!

        ttp://www.janeincproducts.com/p-2038-peppermint.aspx

  9. Tracy says:

    Love that blooming bush! Do you know what it is? Nothing is really blooming yet around here. Spring is just so late this year for us.
    The Dogon Duo looks fab on you! i can hardly wait to get it.

  10. Beatrice says:

    you look great in that pictire! very pretty! I have to say that my random act of beauty today was finally picking the college I’m going to in the fall! five days before the deadline too :’D thank god for small favors
    Beatrice recently posted … Mabeliene One By One Volum Express Waterproof Mascara Review

    • Karen says:

      Congrats, Beatrice! What do you plan on studying (totally okay if you don’t know yet… it took me a while to figure it out!).

      • Beatrice says:

        English with a concentration in creative writing, possibly teaching high school english lol (watch it change 10 times before I finally graduate) but thank you so much :) I’m super excited lol
        Beatrice recently posted … Mabeliene One By One Volum Express Waterproof Mascara Review

        • Karen says:

          You’re welcome! This is a very exciting time in your life, so cherish and enjoy every minute of it. :)

          And yay for English majors (I was one!). Let me tell you — by the time you finish, you’ll be able to find symbolism in EVERYTHING. Shoot, you’ll hear a toilet flushing in the other room and be like, “The water stands for renewal and rebirth…”

  11. Amber says:

    Those bras look so cute and comfy!

    Your makeup looks fab. I must admit I am drawn to that duo.
    Amber recently posted … Happy Easter!

  12. Megan says:

    As my kitty is curled up on my lap right now, I am joining you in the cat lady love. :)

    My random act of beauty was the ENTIRE day in Cleveland, Ohio. Yesterday we got monsooned on–I’m talking yards, roads, basements flooded across the whole Cleveland area. It was windy, stormy, and generally ugly and not safe to be outside. And for late April…sucky.

    But today! Today was supposed to be more of the same and instead Mother Nature turned out 75, sunny, and a warm wind! For the whole day! We got a sunset! Heck, we got to see the sun!

    Clevelanders get excited over the little things. :)

    Oo…kitty wants tummy rubs!

    • Karen says:

      Aww, how sweet! Does your kitty like to make biscuits before she/he settles down in your lap?

      Sounds like you guys have had some amazing weather. After a week of clouds and drizzle we’ve finally got some sun here too. It’s glorious!

  13. Elisabeth says:

    Those bras look cute and comfortable, but I’m not sure how much I’d use them. I guess the one upside of my 32Bs is that there’s not enough there to get sore.

    Don’t think I’ve ever obsessed over a collection as much as I am with NARS’ summer 2011. I spent far too much money at Sephora during the VIB sale, but this spring clearly is just not a time for self-restraint. If I say it’s a college graduation gift for myself, is that justification enough? ;)

  14. Elisabeth says:

    Oh, and my random act of beauty was going about my day with no foundation on, just moisturizer and mascara. I’d say it’s a testament to the enduring power of natural beauty, but it’s really a testament to my Clarisonic, without which my skin would never have looked this presentable. I’ll be posting before and after pictures on my blog in the next couple of days, if any of you are interested!

  15. Jeni says:

    I would love to be able to take my cats out for a walk on a harness! The one and only time I put a harness on my cat, I almost ended up in the hospital and he managed to get out of it in 3 seconds, faster than Houdini. My other cats just lay on the floor and refuse to move when I put the harness on them.
    Jeni recently posted … DHC Deep Cleansing Oil Review

    • Karen says:

      It took a while to get Tabs acclimated to his. At first he refused to move. He’d plop down on the floor and just roll around.

      I think it helps to get them to associate the harness with something pleasant. I rubbed his harness with fresh catnip before putting it on him, and every he allowed me to get it on without a fuss he got treats.

      Eventually he started to look forward to wearing it. Now he practically goes nuts the second I pick it up because he knows once it’s on him he gets to play outside.

  16. Kate & Zena says:

    Tabs is so nice to let you take photos. Zena literally goes ZOOOOOOOOOOOOM! WALK WALK WALK WALK WALK!!!!! LET’S GO KATIE! YOU’RE GOING SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO SLOW!!!! *jerks* WHAT’S THAT?!?! MUST SNIFF!!! *jerks in another direction* THAT SMELLS AWESOME! when we go on walks. I’m lucky I get to breathe. I’ve finally reined in some of that craziness (she MUST heel now), but she still does not allow me to breathe much. She’s just not the dog that allows me to take pictures when we take walks. If I take photos, I have to take them walking sans puppy! She may be seven, but don’t let the age and constant napping fool you.

    My random act of beauty was when my teacher gave me a statue of the cashier area with Jiji lying on it from Kiki’s Delivery Service for helping her out with her class. I wasn’t even expecting a gift, but it was touching since we both love Miyazaki. I officially have a black cat…of sorts. :)

    • Karen says:

      Haha, my dog Shauna is like that too. I need to fiddle with the camera in all sorts of ways to get a good snapshot of her.

      You could always try bribery, LOL! When in doubt, dog treats.

      • Kate & Zena says:

        Oh no, not Zena. This is one time treats don’t work, ironically. This dog has one thing on her mind and one thing only–WALK.

  17. Alka says:

    My random act of beauty for Tuesday….while my 3yo boy was napping I laid down on my bed to text the hubs and when I was done I found my sweet kitty boy, Wally, curled up in a ball with his paw over his eyes next to me and diagonally across the bed my daughter’s monster kitty, Colby, in a mirror image. Of course, I snapped a photo of the tabby yin/yang with my iphone, LOL! Cat ladies unite.

    The Dogon duo looks incredible. I haven’t tried any Nars shadows before but I will definitely check this one out.

    • Karen says:

      How sweet, Alka! Any time the kitties decide to visit the bed is precious. Awww!

      LOL, could that statement have been any more cat lady? :)

      If you decide to give Dogon a try (and I hope you do), know that you may become addicted to NARS. It happens fast, too!

  18. Kim says:

    That duo looks fabulous on you! I accidentally read it as “Dragon”, which shows I’ve been reading too much Song of Ice and Fire series! :)

    I love your random acts of beauty in general. Mine was more power-of-nature beauty yesterday. It’s been very rainy and stormy, and our lake is the highest I’ve ever seen it. It’s wreaking some havoc but I’m just fascinated about how high the water line is. It totally amazes me.

    • Karen says:

      I know what you mean about the power of nature and water. Last time I was in Hawaii I got to see some big waves on the North Shore. They were so beautiful and frightening at the same time! The ocean looked like a scary brew, and I couldn’t believe surfers were actually going into it.

      • Kim says:

        That’s right – you guys had some serious flood scares, too. We have a flood warning right now but it’s just a lake so it’s nothing like living near the ocean. I totally agree – I think it would be amazing and terrifying at the same time. And I don’t think I’d be brave enough to surf (even if I knew how!). :)

  19. Nina says:

    i think i want Dogon. badly. you look so cute using it ….

    and that bra — ill have to find it. we’re doing a lot of walking lately and my current set of sports bras are too hot and constricting (i use them at the gym and figured they would work for walking too). i need something light and cool otherwise ill melt in our 90degree weather.

  20. Millie says:

    Wow, Karen, such a beautiful FOTD photo. Pretty everything! (hair, makeup, earrings and your top too!) ! I am now lemming the NARS dogon e/s duo! Do tell us what foundation, powder, lippie, blush you are wearing for the pic.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Millie,

      Thanks so much! I’ve been trying a few different things…

      Foundation — MAC Studio Sculpt
      Powder — MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural and MAC Studio Careblend Pressed
      Lipstick — NARS Mayflower (from summer 2011)
      Blush — Chanel Bronze Rose (from summer 2011)

      Let me know if you have any other questions. :)

  21. Stef says:

    Oh, I think I might die if I don’t get Dogon! It looks stunning on you.

  22. Jackers says:

    Karen, I’ve been having the EXACT same issues with my own girls, and you’re right; it’s hard to find the right kind of bra to help out. I’ve been using some awesome sports bras that I picked up by Champion at Target and also some good ones without underwire from Victoria’s Secret. I’m glad you found what works for you, too. At least I know that I’m not the only one that’s uncomfortable right now (not that I’m happy you’re having pain), but it gets frustrating and hearing how others deal with it helps. Hope that doesn’t sound too weird, feel better!

  23. kiwikiwidragon says:

    Try the Bandini by Hanes, Wally World has them 2 for $10.00, they look just like the ones you have pictured but way less $$

  24. lexi says:

    Can’t wait to pick up Dogon this weekend – I know this unlikely Summer duo will be my new jam!

    I spotted sidewalk tulip planters along the street walking back from the gym – I love pretty flower gardens amid the urban jungle!
    lexi recently posted … Turning a Chanel Loss into a Big Win!

  25. Stef Smith says:

    Just a quick thought on the sore ta-tas, are you sure you’re not knocked up? Both times I was pregnant, the girls were so sore I couldn’t sleep without a bra either. That was the first sign that I was pregnant. I’m just putting it out there, since no one else seems to be thinking that!

  26. Jenn says:

    Awwww, your azaleas are so pretty! I didn’t know they grew on the west coast, too. They are such a Southern flower to me. Ours are in bloom and in our yard they are a gorgeous coral color! But, like you Karen, I need my Zyrtec to enjoy them! We also have a wren’s nest on our front door in our wreath. Can’t wait to hear the tiny peeps of baby birds! Spring has definitely sprung here in Florida. :)

  27. Masi says:

    Omg Karen I can relate!! When my Paxie cuddles with me in the morning I never want to get out of bed ;)

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