Friday, June 28, 2013

Fiddle Leaf Fig in the Foyer

Squeezing in one more post before the weekend! I'm so excited about my new Fiddle Leaf Fig tree that this one couldn't wait until Monday.

Tonight, Brad and I went to dinner and to search for a banana plant to go in the foyer. You guys may remember in my recent Foyer Re-do post (check that out here if you missed it), that I mentioned possibly picking one up this weekend.  I've been wanting a fiddle leaf fig for the longest time, but pretty much gave up on it since I've heard they're really hard to find.  So we went to Lowes and the pickins were slim. They had one really sad looking banana plant. So we went to Home Depot to hopefully find a better banana plant and lo and behold... they had 4 fiddle leaf figs! You better believe I scooped that baby up as fast as I could. Brad was cracking up at how excited I was about this "fiddly" tree.  The one we snagged is in pretty good shape. The other three were really sad looking and brown in a lot of spots.
I got the tree for $34 and picked up this beautiful pot for $45. It was a splurge, but the pot is almost as gorgeous as the tree.

I really love the look of it against the black French doors, (for more info on how I painted those, check out this post), but I'm a little worried about it being that close to the air vent. Don't want the leafy guy getting chilly. The issue with it being on the other side is that there is a closet door that would open up against it (the French doors swing into the living room/office, so that's not an issue on the side it's currently on). So I'm going to see how he does (yes, he's a "he") next to the vent for a while.  Other than that, it should be the perfect place for him because this room gets a ton of light.  We shall see...

So do any of you have a fiddle leaf fig? Any tips? Hope you guys have a fabulous weekend!!

Easy Summer Dress OOTD ...and something new underfoot

Happy Friday, Loves!
Today I wanted to share a really easy (and affordable) look with you all. Well, minus the bag. Because if you guys know me at all by now, you know that I like to invest in my handbags. I don't have a ton, but my philosophy is that I'd much rather invest in a few classic handbags that go with anything and that I can carry forever, rather than spending a lot (or a little) here and there on a huge collection of trendy bags over the years that would add up to the same amount anyway. Trust me. It works out.

But no worries, you can totally put any type of bag with a look like this. I was dying to break out my new Target wedges (you may remember from my recent Target shoe haul post here) in this gorgeous shade of coral. Pairing them with an easy dress like this in a natural tone allows you to have fun with your accessories! No matter what you put with a dress like this, you can't go wrong.

Oh, and I know...The OOTD posts have been a little few and far-between lately.  It's for good reason... Do you notice something different in the photos below?

and no, it's not the awkward between-the-legs birdhouse shot. 

I know, it's probably a bit hard to know what you're looking for unless you had a before shot to compare it to, but we totally built a patio this past weekend! Look for a post for the completed photos and how-to details of that coming up soon...
Anyway, I'm pretty much loving it. Because this is my favorite spot in our backyard to take photos,  I now don't have to worry about getting my shoes messed up in the grass and dirt.  Plus, we have an awesome spot for outdoor patio things that don't really work on our screened-in porch, like our grill and gas fire pit. 
It's still a bit muddy around the edges, but I can't wait to spruce it up with some pretty plants.

Ok, so back to the outfit details...

dress- Forever 21
shoes- Target
necklace- BCBG
earrings- Henri Bendel
bag- Louis Vuitton Neverfull GM
double ring- Henri Bendel (these are available again!) 

 Hope you all have a fabulous weekend!!
Don't miss my June Favorites video that just went up on my YouTube channel today as well!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

MAC Tropical Taboo Collection & MAC Illustrated Bags

Today I'm bringing you all my thoughts on yet another new MAC collection.  Two actually.  Is it me, or does it feel like they're spitting these babies out like crazy??

So first, Tropical Taboo....

This collection is full of Mineralized products. It's no secret by now that you all know that the Mineralize Eye Shadows are not my favorite. Unfortunately, I still feel that way after testing these from this collection. I'm still waiting on MAC to change the formula so that they come off as beautifully as they do in the packaging.  To me, they all seem to sort of blend together into shades that can look pretty drab. Sad, but true. Some of them that are more solid come off beautifully. It's mostly just the ones that appear to contain a few different colors swirled into one. Let's check 'em out.

Mineralize Eye Shadow: $21. 

Bossa Blue

Dare to Bare


top-bottom: Bossa Blue, Dare to Bare, Caribbean

Next, the Mineralize Skinfinish...
I've always been a fan of these. The two shades I have from this collection are actually really warm and beautiful. The shimmer is nice too... Not too glittery or chunky.  Just a beautiful shimmer.  I would wear these dusted lightly over blush or even as blush alone if you don't mind the shimmer on your cheeks.  I was impressed with the actual color payoff of these.

Mineralize Skinfinish: $30.



Rio (left), Lust (right)

Next, the Mineralize Blush.  Generally, I find that these are more on the darker side and more perfectly suited for darker skin tones. For me, I can definitely make them work by applying them with a lighter hand. This is the one I have from this collection...

Mineralize Blush: $25.


I've always been a fan of the Kohl Power Eye Pencils. This collection has two.  I'm LOVING this shade. It's a beautiful blackened gold with beautiful shimmer. The other shade is Feline which is one of my favorite black liners ever.

Kohl Power Eye Pencil: $16.


Now on to the lip products! This collection has 5 Mineralize Rich Lipsticks. I have one, which I definitely think is one of the prettiest shades in the collection (I checked out the others in the product description photos I received with the collection which are GORGEOUS... I definitely need to check them out in person!).  I love how these feel on the lips. Really rich, creamy, and a bit sheer, but perfectly pigmented enough.

Mineralize Rich Lipstick: $22.

Lady at Play

Cremesheen Glass: $20.
 top-bottom: Japanese Spring, Fever Isle, Narcissus

How GORGEOUS is Fever Isle?? I love the pigmentation and subtle sparkle.

Lip Pencil: $15.
 Ablaze (top), Have To Have It (bottom)

These are both great lip liner shades. The Ablaze would pair perfectly with the Lady at Play lipstick above.  While the Have To Have It appears as a great nude, it's much more of an orange-toned brown. So don't expect to pair this with your really nude lip colors. It will pair much better if you're wearing a more brown shade.

I decided to combine the MAC Illustrated Bag collection with this one as well since there's just a few.  I really like these!  Some of you may know that the MAC Softsacs are some of my absolute favorite little cosmetic bags. These remind me of them... but a lot more fun. They're a great size too.
These are the ones I have (there are 4).

Illustrated Bag 1 by Indie 184, $36

Illustrated Bag 1 by Anja Kroenke, $36

So what are your thoughts? Any products that catch your eye??

Products sent for consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no obligations or agreements to feature or review.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

New Foyer Progress! And Black French Doors...

So you guys may remember in my recent post about redo-ing our powder room, me mentioning that a foyer re-do was in the works.  Since the rest of our house is painted in pretty tones that I actually really love, I was dreaming of a foyer that was light, bright, and a bit modern, tying in with our more traditional house design. I knew I wanted to go with white so that the decor could really stand out. Our foyer is such a large and pretty space, that I didn't want it to be defined by a specific color. I wanted the architecture and decor to really stand out. These inspiration photos on Pinterest had me drooling...
  • I LOVE how the white walls in this space works with the dark flooring and moulding.
  • The layout of this foyer is crazy similar to ours. Just reversed. I'm loving the open feeling the lighter walls create. The lighter shade also works well with the "glam" feeling of this space.
  • This foyer is really fun.  I love how they used accessories and actual decor, rather than just slapping a fun color on the walls. The white gives you so much more possibilities!
  • This foyer is just classy and glamorous. Again, I love how the white works with all the moulding and accentuates the gorgeous rich flooring.

This is what I was working with....

Don't get me wrong... it's TOTALLY not bad. However, after living here for a few months, the gold and brown faux-finished walls began to make me itch. I actually tried to will myself to like them. But I couldn't shake the feeling I had from the first moment we walked into this house.... They looked a little dirty to me. Seriously, they don't look that bad from a distance. But up close, they looked a little smeared....and brown and gold. Not a good combo. I'll let you use your imagination.

I'm no stranger to painting rooms. Big rooms. At our old house, I completely re-finished and re-painted our kitchen cabinets by myself and repainted a lot of rooms in that house (Brad is super handy, but he's no painter, so that's my job).  I strangely enjoy it and find it therapeutic. So I guess this room just really upset me because I knew there was no way I could do it myself. There was no way I was going to risk my life painting this two-story foyer while trying to cover the faux-finish because something told me it wasn't going to be easy.  It wasn't just the foyer, it extended into an adjacent hallway and a bit of the upstairs hallway as well.
So I bit the bullet and hired out. 
Brad was convinced it was going to be thousands...  I was thinking maybe $700.  So when we got an estimate from a local painter who had repaired some outside wood when we moved in and he said $500, we immediately said "YES, WHEN CAN YOU START!?" 

Before I go on, have you guys ever actually tried to pick out the perfect shade of white paint?? Not for moulding, but for actual walls? Most difficult thing I've probably ever had to pick out. I should've taken a photo of my swatch action on the walls. At one point, I had 5 different shades painted on the walls in 3 different areas of the foyer. SO glad I did that. I wanted a true white that wasn't going to have too much contrast with the moulding. Why? Because we have a lot of moulding and trim in the foyer that is white white. So if you choose a slightly warmer, cream white, the walls will look yellow. A slightly warmer fleshy white? Looks pink. You can imagine what some of the cooler whites looked like. One white I tested looked like a true white on the swatch, but turned purple-y gray at night. No lie.
So after a lot of deciding, I went with White Truffle by Behr which is actually a shade I used at the old house in my filming/makeup room. I used that shade on the stripes below the chair rail and always loved it.  Brad loved this shade the best out of all the others we had tested too, so we went with it.
SO glad we did.  It's not too warm and not too cool and sterile looking. It's perfect.

For the painters, it was a bit of a process. Long story short, they primed and STILL had to do 4 coats in some areas to cover the faux finish. That's using a really high-quality paint and primer in one formula as well. But when they finished, it was like a big breath of fresh air.

*Technically, these were taken when it was a few coats shy of being finished in some areas.

 You can really tell it needs a few more coats in this picture below...  But it was already looking SO much better!

I think going with a white on white actually made the trim and moulding stand out more and look prettier than it did before.

I was LOVING the fresh white walls, but felt like when I looked down toward the front door and the area of French doors that lead to the living room, something was missing.

Which leads me to the next big thing I painted in the foyer which really brought it all together...  Can you guess from the Pinterest inspiration photos at the top? ...or the title of this post? haha

Black French doors, baby.
Now this could've went terribly wrong. Sometimes, I'm impulsive. I chose and bought my paint at Home Depot just from looking at paint swatches. No testing at home, no scouring Pinterest for photos of the actual paint color used in rooms. I just went with it.... and I'm SO glad I did!
I chose Black Suede by Behr which is a really soft, warm, grayed black (I went with a satin formula to help it look even softer).  I knew I didn't want a really black black because I didn't want it to look too stark against the white walls.
To me, it is THE perfect black for painting doors.

Much better huh? Such a huge difference black doors make!
Another reason this could've went terribly wrong is because at first, I was considering painting the ENTIRE door casing... Trim, transom window above, everything.  I've seen that done before and it can look awesome, but for this space, I'm glad I skipped it. I just painted the doors only.  The more I thought about it, I didn't want the transom window above the French doors to compete with the one above the front door. So I kept them both white. Glad I thought that through...  Most photos I was finding on Pinterest had done it the way I decided to (doors only) and I think for most spaces, that's the best bet.

The only thing I WISH I had for this post (I was impatient and had to share), is a pretty big green fiddle-leaf fig or banana plant to go next to the front door (or maybe one on each side?).  My goal is to pick up one (or two) of those babies this weekend.

Here's a shot of it from upstairs...

I love how it really grounded the space without looking to stark. I've actually toyed with the idea of painting the back of the front door black, but something is telling me not to. 

Here's a few shots from the other side- In the front living room/my office.  Sorry about the dark photos. This room is so hard to photograph for me.

Not loving the paint color in there. It looks a bit too yellow. It will be changing soon... I already purchased the paint! I'll keep you updated on that...

So I'm sure you have some questions on HOW I painted the French doors. It was VERY time consuming. I started off by thinking it would be easier to tape off the windows so I wouldn't have as much paint to scrape off the glass at the end. Yeah, applying the painter's tape took longer than actually painting so I gave that up about halfway through one side of one door. I NEVER use painter's tape anyway, so it was already on my last nerve. I just used a small paint tray and my little angled brush I always use to go around trim and ceilings with (I use a little brush called a Wooster Shortcut which is my fav), and started on the wood framings between the windows. I wasn't too careful around the glass because I knew I could scrape it off with a small blade made especially for scraping paint off windows for a cleaner look. I used the brush to go precisely around the doorknobs (which I didn't remove) and the hinges on the inside edge. Then I took a small foam paint roller (about 4" across) and painted the large areas of the door.
It only took two coats! I did have to go back with the brush in some areas between the windows where the brush didn't coat as well as a roller, but no biggie. To get the inside edges of the door (that are covered when closed), I just swung the doors open all the way into the living room and painted them with the brush. I made sure not to close them back until it was dry, just in case.
I didn't remove them either. I know some people make a big deal about removing the doors when painting, but for these, it would've been a waste of time since it went perfectly anyway.
If you're nervous about dripping paint, you could also spread some newspaper out below the doors to catch any drips or smears.

So that's it! It's definitely not absolutely complete, so I'll keep you all updated as it comes along! What about you guys? Any big projects you've been working on lately? Isn't it funny how a bit (or a lot) of paint can totally change things??

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Colorful Summer Smoky Eye

So this week I wanted to share with you all one of my favorite colorful makeup looks right now.  My version of the "smoky eye" for Summer. It has just the perfect amount of color and natural dark shades to keep the look flattering and to actually accentuate your eyes. Remember, a "smoky" look can be made up of any shades! It just needs to fade out from your dark liner. So be sure to lighten the colors as you blend out. 
So for this look, I changed up the typical brown smoky eye, adding a bit of coral and aqua shades to make it pop.  I hope you guys love it!

Don't miss the full video tutorial at the bottom of the post!

Products Used:
MAC eye shadow in Folie
MAC eye shadow in Mystery
MAC eye shadow in Paradisco
MAC eye shadow in Shroom
MAC eye shadow in Parrot
Urban Decay 24/7 eye liner pencil in Perversion
Loreal Carbon Black Lineur Intense 
Chanel Le Volume De Chanel mascara
Tarte Amazonian Clay blush in Blissful
Hourglass Ambient Light Powder in Luminous Light
Hourglass Waterproof Bronzer in Mirage
MAC lipstick in Ravishing

not shown:
Make Up For Ever Mat Velvet Plus foundation in 25
MAC Mineralize Skinfinish Natural in Light Plus

*Save 10% on all Sigma Beauty products mentioned in this post using the current promo code in the right sidebar of this blog!

*Post contains affiliate links

Monday, June 24, 2013

RiRi Loves MAC Summer Collection

Starting the week off with my thoughts on one more MAC collection for you guys... Check out my previous post on the MAC Veluxe Pearlfusion Shadows if you missed it HERE.
So first of all, this collection has been out since last week. Because of that, I would have loved to have posted this sooner, but I just received this collection to share with you all. So I figured I'd at least post the swatches and share my thoughts with you all because hopefully you can still get your hands on some of them!

Lipsticks $15
 left-right: Heaux, RiRi Boy, RiRi Woo

Powder Blush Duo, $26
Hibiscus Kiss

Lustre Drops, $20.
Barbados Girl

Such a small but pretty collection. I'm still loving RiRi Woo. It's definitely one of my favorite reds. The Hibiscus Kiss Powder Blush Duo is my other favorite in this collection. It's actually very softly pigmented and wearable. I think it would work best on lighter skin tones. 

What are your picks from this collection? Have you purchased anything?

Products sent for consideration by MAC Cosmetics with no agreements or obligations to feature or review.