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CrissCross Top

With crisscross tops being all the rage now, I had to get my hands on one. I found this wine colored crisscross top, and thought I'd give it a shot. I got a medium thinking it would shrink, but it stayed true to size. It is a little big for me, as I usually fit an XS or S in Target & Wal-Mart sizes.

That being said, it is a beautiful wine/burgundy color. The fabric is stretchy and pretty nice. Since the top is a little baggy, I like to wear it with leggings or skinny capris.

The top can be worn with the crisscross in the front or the back. I prefer it with the crisscross on the front, since my hair tends to cover my back.

There are many other different colors that this top comes in. I think I'll get the brown in a size small next time.

Sleeveless Denim Dress

Sleeveless Denim DressSleeveless Denim DressI first saw this sleeveless denim dress at a local clothing boutique. It immediately caught my eye. I had been looking for a casual denim dress for a while. I liked the sort of western look of it. They didn't have my size at the boutique, but I came across it on Amazon. And it was a lot cheaper than what the boutique was selling it for. So I put it on my wish list and my hubby got it for my birthday.

I got a size Small, which was the smallest size they had at the time. I am 5ft and 105lbs. I washed it, thinking it would shrink, but it didn't really seem to shrink much. The size Small fits me a little loose, I would have liked it a little more snug. But I still like the dress.

I love how it has a little fading in the front. It adds interest and gives it  character. The belt that comes with it is very cute, too. It is a lightweight tan pu thin braided belt.

I think this dress is cute with sandals, heels, espadrilles, wedges, ankle boots, and even Keds. It is a cool, casual summer dress. But I think it could even work for fall with a light jacket and ankle boots.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation

Maybelline Dream Velvet FoundationI've gotten many compliments on my skin. Mostly because it is relatively smooth with very few bumps (acne). But for me, smooth skin does not come naturally, or without careful TLC. I have found that eradicating the facial enemies is half, if not 80% of the battle. The other part is keeping the intruders out.. So what does this all mean?

The true enemies of the skin are things that we are "allergic" to. By allergic, I mean things that cause bad skin reactions, like acne. I have found that most facial creams/lotions, foundations, sunscreens, blushes, and bronzers have things in them that cause acne for me. A few of them are some type of oil, talc, chemical sunscreens, and even zinc oxide. My skin is so sensitive, that the list of "allergens" goes on.

Once I discovered and eliminated those allergens from my facial applications, I found much clearer skin. I can't help but wonder if doing so would help many others who suffer from adult acne.

After trying so many foundations of so many brands, drugstore as well as prestige, I finally settled on one simple foundation that seems to do trick for me. It has a short list of ingredients and contains no facial enemies for me. In addition, it wards off intruders.

Facial intruders for me are mostly just dust and dirt in the air. This foundation seems to seal my skin nicely and protect it from those acne-causing dirt particles. The reason I know it is the foundation is because on the days I wear the foundation, my skin has much less bumps at the end of the night, when I wash my face.

In case you are wondering what this simple foundation is, it is Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation. It usually runs $9.99 or so at the store, but I have found it cheapest on Amazon. This foundation is medium coverage. It contains sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin. I have found it to be a little incompatible with some facial moisturizers I use. It tends to form a solid paste that sloughs off my face and prevents proper blending of the foundation. So I just use the foundation by itself, and it goes on smooth and keeps my skin sufficiently hydrated.

There is a blending sponge-on-a-stick tool Maybelline created especially for the Dream Velvet Foundation. But I get great results just blending with my fingers. The formula is dries quickly, so you have to blend quickly.

I do use a little bit of powder around my oily areas. The foundation goes on matte-looking. But after some time, it melds into my skin and looks very natural and a bit dewy. The formula contains synthetic fluorographite, which adds a subtle glow and highlight to cheekbones, forehead, etc. I think it is really pretty and have had a hard time finding a foundation that has that effect without being too glisteny.

I have also had a hard time finding a foundation that is as good for my skin as the Dream Velvet. Many other foundations contain an oily chemical or natural oil to help make the foundation more spreadable. Those things give me acne. Dream Velvet Foundation is not as spreadable, but it is worth the trade-off for healthy skin.

Speaking of healthy skin, on the mornings after using the Dream Velvet Foundation, my skin is so healthy-looking. My pores are smaller, my skin is more evenly hydrated, without dry patches that I would normally have had, and just smoother and more rejuvinated. Believe me, I have occasionally switched to a different foundation, just to try, or used a higher SPF makeup, and found my skin paying for it the next morning.

But with Dream Velvet, my skin is rewarded for using it. I think of it as a skin care item now, and I even use it on stay home days, just to continue taking care of my skin.

I know everyone's skin is different. But if you can't seem to calm that acne down, then it might be worth a try. My skin, like most, changes shades from summer to winter. So I buy two colors of the Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation and mix them together to achieve the perfect shade all year long. My skin tone is on the yellow or golden side. So I use Natural Beige 75 (a light-medium golden) and Caramel 92 (a deeply tanned golden).

In the winter, I squeeze a small amount of the Natural Beige onto my finger and a tiny smidgen of Caramel. I rub the two together onto my face, and the color fits me perfectly. In the summer, I go a little heavier on the Carmel, and I get a combination that matches my summer tan nicely.

Updated 7/24/2017

Here are before makeup and after makeup pics:

Bare Face

Bare face without foundation

Dream Velvet Foundation

Dream Velvet Foundation

This makeup has evened out and smoothed the skin, matted out some shine, and covered some dark spots / freckles.

The long term skincare effects of this foundation make it priceless.

Baseball Shirt Dress

Baseball Shirt DressKissky Women's Color Block Long Sleeve Bodycon Tshirt DressI got this Kissky Women's Color Block Long Sleeve Bodycon Tshirt Dress on Amazon. It was advertised as a bodycon dress. But since reviewers said that the dress runs short, I opted for a size larger than what I normally get. I am 5ft and 103lbs, and I got the Medium size. It fit fine. Not really a bodycon dress on me. But it fit the bill for what I wanted in a baseball shirt dress.

I wanted a casual dress that I could wear with sneakers so I could run around shuttling my kids to their after-school activities. And maybe even run around the park with them a little.

I washed the dress, and it shrunk a little and fit fine for what I was looking for. A little loose fitting but not too much. Just right, and not too over-the-top for everyday wear.

But then I gained a few pounds, and the dress started riding up. I noticed how short it now was, and I could feel my backside exposed as I bent over (at home, of course). So I threw on a pair of leggings underneath, and problem solved.

The dress is much cuter without the leggings, but I also got compliments on it with the leggings. So I'd say it's a buy if you want a unique casual dress to romp around in. If you buy your regular size, and it actually ended up being a bodycon, you could wear cute lacy short leggings underneath.

Also, the color I ordered was burgundy. However, the color I received was a little brighter than the photo shown on Amazon. I would say it was a cool dark red. Nonetheless, I like the color. It is a pretty red, and stands out nicely against the gray of the rest of the dress.

The sleeves reach down to my wrists and are a little loose. So I often wear it with the sleeves pushed up to 3/4 length. The fabric is a ribbed knit and pretty comfortable to wear.

Blue Chandelier Earrings

Blue Chandelier EarringsBlue Chandelier EarringsThere was a time, pre-babies, when I used to make jewelry. Chandelier earrings were especially fun to make. But lately, time gets away from me, so I put jewelry on my wish lists and hope for nice surprises on holidays.

These pretty blue chandelier earrings were one such gift from my husband. With hearts, rhinestones, and baby blue teardrop beads, how can you go wrong?

They are relatively compact for chandelier earrings, so they work fine for moms taking their little ones out and about. They don't dangle too low or jingle-jangle every time your head moves. These earrings are also very lightweight, so you don't even notice them being on.

I wear them with jeans because I figure the blue will always match blue jeans. But you could also wear them with a pretty blue dress.

No Makeup Makeup

Balance-n-Brighten FoundationBalance-n-Brighten FoundationThere are different levels of applying makeup. Makeup for plenty of time, a little time, rush, and ultra rush. Ultra rush is the absolute bare minimum. Basically just putting a little layer of sun protection over my face to prevent UV damage. I break out when I wear most normal sunscreens that contain chemical sunscreens or zinc. So I use Titanium Dioxide sunscreen. Most makeup has some Titanium Dioxide in it. So makeup is usually the best I can do for sunscreen.

On an ultra rush day, a "no-makeup day", i.e. "sunscreen" only day, I dust on some light powder foundation over some concealer, and I wear lip balm with SPF. My favorite powder foundation is Laura Geller's Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correcting Foundation. It contains jojoba oil to keep the skin moisturized. Dimethicone to protect the skin. And green tea and gotu kola to help the skin stay youthful.

This powder foundation comes in a round compact, with a pretty swirled baked powder dome. I use a large powder brush to apply it.  It smooths out the skin and blurs some skin imperfections. It gives the skin a nice healthy glow without being shiny. Here is a picture of me with only some lip balm, under-eye concealer, and the Laura Geller Balance-n-Brighten Foundation. I use the color Golden Medium.


Featured Beauty Blog Articles

How to Make Mineral Powder Foundation with Cocoa Powder  - 3/27/2014
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No Makeup Makeup  - 3/13/2017
The Casual Little Black Dress  - 7/19/2017

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