Aug 31, 2015

Get Sculpted and Bronzed with Mary Kay®

I’ve been given the opportunity to try out a pair of looks for Mary Kay®, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I obviously love playing with makeup and being given the chance to try two looks that will be featured on Project Runway this season is thrilling. I’ve never used Mary Kay® products before so everything about their brand was new to me. I didn’t know if their liners were soft, their colors long lasting, or if their shadows were pigmented. Because I have darker skin pigment, makeup is a huge deal for me.

I had two looks to work with as was given everything I needed to create them. I dove into the first look, the Sculpted Look, because that’s just more my style. I love playing up my eyes but have yet to get into the brow craze that’s been happening for the last few months, so it was great to be able to give that a shot. I’ve always been one to keep my brows full because it always worked for me, but I didn’t realize how much I could benefit from giving them a bit of attention as part of my makeup routine. 

Using the brow liner and brow gel really worked wonders and now I can’t believe I never tried this look. In terms of my lips, using the lip liner in dark chocolate and then the semi shimmery true dimension lipstick gave my lips a luscious look. 
When it came to the Bronze Glow, I was blown away by the colors. They were subtle when I put them on my hand just to test them out but put together gave a natural yet made up look that I can wear every day. 
Overall, I was really impressed with these products by Mary Kay® because they have all the qualities that I look for in my makeup which are: lasting colors, highly pigmented and pretty to look at in their packaging!
For more beauty looks and information on Mary Kay® products, you can visit their website, visit the Mary Kay® Project Runway page, follow them on Facebook, and watch their videos on YouTube!
Which look do you want to try for yourself? Tell me in the comments for a chance to win a Mary Kay® prize pack! Each comment will automatically be entered to win. 
Entry Instructions:
No duplicate comments.
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older (or nineteen (19) years of age or older in Alabama and Nebraska). Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. The notification email will come directly from BlogHer via the sweeps@blogher email address. You will have 2 business days to respond; otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 8/31/2015 – 9/27/2015
Be sure to visit Mary Kay’s brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ posts!

Aug 30, 2015

20 Things That Make Me Happy

I love making lists. They help me stay organized, they give me something fun to write about and they’re a cheat sheet into the life of Diane. I originally wanted to list 10 things because it’s short and sweet but I’ve never been one to make a long story short so here are 20 things that make me happy in no particular order.

  1. Waking up naturally
  2. The pop of a champagne cork
  3. Achieving goals
  4. Quoting Seinfeld 
  5. Knowing my worth
  6. Feeling a cool breeze while I’m napping
  7. The final pre-boarding drink 
  8. Doing absolutely nothing with my family
  9. Having my friends never say ‘I told you so’
  10. Fitting into an old dress
  11. Mini picnics on the Champ de Mars while the sun sets behind the Eiffel Tower 
  12. Rose macarons
  13. Making French press coffee 
  14. Singing in the shower
  15. My perfectly crafted Tears For Fears Pandora station
  16. Writing
  17. Waterproof eyeliner 
  18. Amazon Prime
  19. Personal snail mail
  20. Making lists. Did you think I was going to leave that out? I don’t think so.

Aug 12, 2015

Keep That Pout Hydrated With Help From Carmex

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Carmex. All opinions are 100% mine.

As a beauty blogger and makeup junkie I'm of the belief that looking great doesn't mean piling on makeup but taking care of your skin so that less is needed. This means proper skincare on a daily basis is needed and that includes the lips. Nothing ruins a look like dry and flaky lips. Eek! Thankfully I've been keeping my pout hydrated and moisturized with Carmex products for as long as I can remember. I was never far from their white tube with their telltale yellow top whenever the wind was a bit too much for my lips.

But the times have changed and Carmex created four Moisture Plus lip balm sticks in these really awesome designs that can match any personality and outfit which means I can always have a stylish lip balm in my makeup bag to keep my lips moisturized. I keep one, the lacy in, my the makeup bag that I use to touch up when I go out because it matches my gothy princess vibe, and the cherry blossom one goes in my every day bag to remind me of the new season coming in.
It's really easy to make sure every item in your cosmetics bag is sleek and stylish because they only retail for $2.49 so you can buy Carmex Moisture Plus at places like Walmart, Walgreens or Dollar General. Not only can you grab these four super cute designs now but Carmex is releasing more of their stylish lip balms this October for the fall/winter season.
I really love the design of these lip balms and the fact that I can use one of my favorite brands of lip balm quick and easy without going through the process of cleaning my hands before and after dipping my finger into the pot. The light vanilla flavor of them adds to the fun of using these. It's very subtle and is a change from the standard flavor.

These lip balms are really great, affordable, and are worth a shot if you're in the market for a new way to keep your lips hydrated all year round and want every item in your purse to match your stylish personality! And while you're it check out their very helpful lip and skin care tips!
Visit Sponsors Site

Aug 9, 2015

Treat Yourself with a Crispy Snack

Being a fan of sweets it's been so hard for me to keep my sweet tooth in check these days while trying to be super healthy. I’ve been eating salads, making my green juices everything morning and going to the gym almost every day. Staying away from the things I love the most like chocolate, chips and carbs has been a struggle. But then I realized that I don’t have cut all of those things off. I just needed to enjoy them all in moderation along with my diet and exercise routine. Thankfully I’m able to have one of the things that I love without adding too many extra calories to my day. 

That's why I really love that M&M’S® Crispy’s are back. What I love about then is that with only 180 calories a pack I can eat half or a whole bag without feeling like I'm doing something awful and breaking my diet. I love the milk chocolate taste along with the crunch that the puff center adds to it. My favorite way of eating these is to put them in the fridge so that they get super cool and then just snack on them while I’m sitting on my balcony writing or catching up on some shows. I feel like this gives the puff center a bit of an extra bite and the smooth milk chocolate just tastes a bit better that way. 

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M&M’S® Crispy’s have really been my go-to chocolate fix ever since I was introduced to them. I never had them when they were first on the market, or maybe I just don’t remember, but now that I’m becoming a bit of a choco-holic it’s great to know that I can always grab a bag of these and eat them throughout the day when the mood strikes.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Aug 4, 2015

Izze Sparking Water-A Great Organic Beverage Alternative

Cutting boards make the best serving trays

These days, now that my balcony area is getting really decked out and pretty I've been spending more and more time out there. I recently had my friend Jess over for some girl talk and catching up after my trips to Mexico and NYC and decided to have our hangout outdoors once the sun went down.

It was already after dinner so I didn't need to make a big meal or anything heavy so I just put out some crackers, hummus and a cheese spread to munch on while we chatted. She's not a drinker of alcohol and is very into eating organic and clean as much as possible so I knew I soda was out of the question. Plus, I had to get over my habit of drinking that all the time myself. I still wanted something that was more than just water so I was so glad that Izze Sparking Water came into my life.

Enjoying some snacks as the sunsets in SoCal

I've been a sparking water drinker for some time but I've found that it could be a little too carbonated. This meant that if I didn't finish it all in one shot it would go flat and lose it's appeal. Izze Sparking Water is a really nice take on this. Not only are the new flavors that I got organic (which made Jess very happy!) but they aren't super carbonated. This meant that I was able to finish a sentence without feeling overwhelmed by the bubbles.

Of the three new flavors we enjoyed the Raspberry Watermelon and Mandarin Lime the best. The flavors in these sparkling waters were very tasty and didn't feel artificial all and that's because they aren't. I kicked the Raspberry Watermelon one up a notch by freezing some raspberries and putting them in the glass to keep our drinks cold while we savored them.

Iced Raspberries helped keep our drinks cool

Izze Sparking Waters come in 12-oz singles or 4-packs, which I recommend, because on is just not enough. For $.129 and $3.99 each they're a great alternative to water when you want to be hydrated in a healthy way but want some really good flavor. These are going to be a staple in my fridge for get-togethers and are a great way to get me off of drinking soda! Plus, being that the fruits added are organic, along with the cane sugar, this goes along with my desire to each clean for the month of August. It's a win. I totally recommend these over other carbonated beverages as a healthier alternative to any gatherings on what's left of this summer and beyond.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Aug 2, 2015

Earning Cash Back with Splender, Yes, Please!

I started using Spender a few weeks ago when I was asked to try it out and so far I love it. I do a lo of online shopping so the chance to get a rebate on what I purchase is a win-win. I've used other online rebate stores before but non have compared to Splender. This site is incredibly smooth and doesn’t bombard you with tons of ads or crazy colors. 

To start, the cash back deals are more than double at the places I shop. I buy thing from Sephora on a monthly basis and with Splender, I not only got 10% cash back, but I won't have to wait almost 90 days to receive the money. I'll have it cleared within 45 days of my purchase and not have to deal with quarterly periods. That's a total win. I normally don’t buy items on Sephora’s sale section so saving a few bucks thanks to the 10% back in the end worked out really well because I was able to buy a bit more. 

The process was simple: I logged into my Slender account, searched Sephora, and when it redirected me to the site I made the purchase like I normally would have. Splender gets a kick back from Sephora for sending me there and then they share a portion of that with me. It’s an extra discount

Their site is really easy to navigate and I liked that they have my staple store: Sephora, Famous Footwear and Frederick's of Hollywood. I was able to purchase some of my favorite items from Sephora and not get a rebate but also got a great deal on a fragrance sample pack. It was great to have everything in one site instead of going back and forth between sites to find great coupons. 

So nice to earn some cash back when I purchase my staples

The goods in their new home

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Aug 1, 2015

Going Back to the Gym: One Step at a Time

Oh the gym. My ultimate enemy! I'm part of that group of people that can gain a pound just by looking at food but can't lose one if even if I cut off a limb. Not unless I'm super serious about it. About five years ago I was at my prime thanks to spending 1.5 hours on the elliptical 7 days a weeks (yes, it was a bit excessive) and relying on a diet of vodka and baby fist fulls of food. It was extremely unhealthy but it worked, as does any diet when you're in your 20's.

Now, my body is singing a different tune. I got so used to eating heavy meals that I'm actually hungry for breakfast because I started to cut back on how much I eat for dinner and I get so tired doing laundry in my apt. I live in a 3 story condo with the washer/dryer on the bottom level and my bedroom on the 3rd so I do a lot of walking up and down stairs. But I shouldn't get tired doing that. A all! So I'm getting back to the gym and really trying to push myself into creating and sticking to a routine that I can handle.

I recently re-joined 24 Hour Fitness because it's walking distance from my apartment and already started going last week. I'm trying to work my way up to a few spin classes a week, pending my work schedule, and doing 60 minutes on the elliptical in on shot at least 5 times a week. I've gotta say, these first few days have been tough. Just using the elliptical for 30 minutes make the walk up to my bedroom dreadful. But I can't stop and I won't. I also know not to push myself.

I do plan on doing some form of exercise everyday even if it just means taking the long way to get coffee on a weekend day or attempting to do yoga--which would be good for my mind as well as my body. I've been lucky enough to finally have a steady schedule so I'm going to keep going to the gym before work on the days that I can't spin, and then force myself to work a bit late and then head on over there on the days that I can take a 7 or 8pm spin class.  I can already predict my reaction to it all: pure dread. But it's gotta be done. It all starts with one day that will turn into a week, month, and so on.

So let's see how it goes. I'm feel like I'm going to have every minute accounted for between working out regularly and spending time in the kitchen prepping my meals but it'll be all worth it and will totally make my 100 days of finding happiness so much easier when I can do laundry without wanting to collapse on my bed and fitting into my super cute clothes again.

Having a Dedicated Writing Workspace

I've been working on this site for almost three years now and it's finally starting to pick up. My readership is going up and companies are starting to take notice and area reaching out for collaborative opportunities. That's all really really cool but it does add a bit of pressure. I'm eager to write great content with more frequency and want to make sure everything flows really well. My photos have to be on point, the writing stellar and I need to get into the habit of writing constantly instead of going really hard for a few weeks and then disappearing for a month or so.

I realized that I'm the kind of person that doesn't thrive in chaos and I need tons of structure to get anything done. Be it having a pretty kitchen to cook in, an easy routine for the gym, or a great space for writing. Sitting on my bed is really comfy but I tend to have Netflix playing on my iPad as I write and then everything goes out the window. Did I also mention that I can be easily distracted sometimes?

I don't want to buy a desk for my apartment because I haven't found an affordable one that I can commit to but I do have an amazing balcony with the more perfect view that I've been using as my writing area here and there and I'm thinking of making it my permanent station. It used to be a very boring space and the weather in SoCal wasn't the best for the last couple of months so sitting out there wasn't at all inspiring. Now that the weather has warmed up and I've decorated it a bit it's become my little corner of serenity after a long day at work or thinking too hard about things that bother me. Sitting out there, in this beautiful area that I'm slowing filling up with pretty and peaceful things, not only gives me a great place to sit and do my affirmations but it also reminds me that I would love to write for a living and it inspires me to get to work!

When I'm out there with my laptop I use the iPad to pull up my editorial calendar, I have the notebook that I use to write down ideas while I'm at work on hand and I listen to non distracting music like Air or Zero 7. It's been working really well for me and I'm pretty sure every successful blogger has started off in a similar fashion in order to create good writing habits.

So what do you guys think? Do you have a special area dedicated to writing or are you able to do it anywhere with wifi and a place to sit down? Do tell!