I’m filing this one under “Possibly Useless Posts” because it seems kind of silly to share, but you just never know when a simple beauty hack could be your Oprah “ah-ha!” moment. So here we go!
Benefit Hoola is one of my favorite everyday bronzers, and one of my top picks for light complexions. It’s a universally-flattering shade — not to orange, not too gray — that looks like a natural tan when you lightly sweep it onto the high points of your face.*
My only gripe: I don’t like the packaging.
Like all Benefit face powders, Hoola is housed in a square pan in the bottom of a little cardboard box with an attached lid. While it’s cute and unique to the brand, it’s not ideal for the big ol’ fluffy brushes I prefer to use for bronzing.
It’s been over a year since my last Taking Stock update, so I’m doing a grrreat job of keeping up with this “monthly” series. (*Palm to forehead*) I always enjoy looking back on these posts as little snapshots in time, so let’s bring it back!
Making : a mess in the kitchen as I try to get back into making healthy, home-cooked meals. Sometimes I forget how much I love to cook, and after months of surviving on burritos and takeout, it feels good to get reacquainted with my oven. Drinking : iced tea by the bucketful because it is H-O-T down here, y’all. Watching : all the old seasons of Homeland with C. Nashville is my current binge-watching guilty pleasure, and my other Hulu favorites of the moment are The Goldbergs, The Mindy Project and Community when I want something light and fun to unwind with in the evenings. Reading : Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. I bought a 20th anniversary edition on my last trip to the bookstore and I’m just diving in, but I’m excited to take on the challenge of this 1000+ page “famously difficult” novel. (I’m sure I’ll put it down and pick it back up a dozen times before I finish it.) I’m also really into audiobooks right now, and I’m currently listening to The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff, which makes me want to go back and read/listen to all of A.A. Milne’s works with a new appreciation. Loving : Benefit Roller Lash. I was on a hunt for a great brown mascara — I’m really into the laid-back, subtle definition it gives for natural makeup looks — and this was one of the only brown formulas I could find at Ulta. It ended up being an awesome purchase, because it curls and lengthens my lashes and holds up to the summer heat and humidity without flaking or smudging. It’s my new everyday favorite! Bookmarking : Lo Bosworth’s blog, thelowdown.com. It’s a treasure trove of sophisticated style, clean beauty, mental health discussion and wellness inspiration, with lots of honesty and positivity. It’s the kind of “real life” blog I just can’t get enough of. Enjoying :as many afternoons off as I can manage before the shop kicks back into our busy season. Smelling : doTERRA Balance Grounding Blend in my oil diffuser. It’s a warm, woody blend that makes my house smell like a spa, and I’m all about it. Listening : to Marconi Union’s “Weightless” since I read it’s proven to reduce anxiety by up to 65% by slowing the listener’s heart rate, reducing blood pressure, and lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol. I love playing it on our sound system on busy, stressful days at the shop, or listening to it with headphones when I need some quiet time. On the other end of the spectrum, Spotify’s “Workout Twerkout” playlist is my cardio go-to for walks and jogs. Feeling : Optimistic. The last several months really kicked me around: in March, my family was blind-sided by a breast cancer diagnosis for my mom, and at the same time, I was dealing with an ongoing legal battle from a minor car accident six years ago that was hurtling toward a possible trial. Meanwhile, it seemed like things were breaking left and right at the flower shop, requiring expensive and unexpected repairs, and I felt like I was dodging new blows every week. Everything felt out of control, but the shop was busier than ever, so I threw myself into work and internalized all the stress. By June, my mom was recovering from a successful surgery (she’s cancer-free now!) and my lawsuit was settled, but my mind was still in a unstoppable stress spiral that I couldn’t get a handle on, and I found myself in the worst anxiety cycle I’ve experienced in years. It was like a delayed reaction: as soon as the situations were resolved and I let my guard down, all the emotions and frustration I ignored for months boiled over and all my old physical anxiety symptoms came home to roost. Racing thoughts, racing heart, racing breathing, racing, racing… For the last month, I’ve made managing stress and taking care of my mind and body a top priority — while reminding myself every day that this too shall pass — and I’m feeling much better. I know it’s a work in progress, and I can’t magically undo months of prolonged anxiety with a snap of my fingers, but I’m looking forward to putting this season of struggle behind me, learning from it, and finishing out the year in a calmer, happier headspace.
I think my brain short-fused when I turned the flower shop calendar over last week… I stared blankly at the new month’s page for a good 20 seconds before I could accept that it is, in fact, August. I saw a meme on Instagram that said, “June and July lasted 4 seconds,” and it gave me some comfort; maybe I’m not the only one who feels like we just celebrated the new year, yet somehow we’re halfway through the summer.
I always make big plans at the start of the season, filled with barbecues, DIY home projects and weekend beach trips, but in reality, the last two months were a blur of work, humidity, brutal summer allergies, and heat-induced lethargy that resulted in a lot of Netflix and Chill In The AC.
Fortunately, we still have plenty of the season ahead of us — don’t even talk to me about pumpkin spice anything until October — so I have some time for a summer redemption.
Maybe I’ll drag myself down to the community pool for 5 minutes this weekend. ;)
Now onto this week’s highlight reel! (Truth: some of these are from last week, too; I started this post last Friday and then forgot to finish it. #summerbrain)
Since my current casual/minimal style feels like I transported back to the 90s — high-rise jeans, lots of easy tees, every oversized button-down I can get my hands on, all the denim — it’s only fitting that I’m on totally on board the mule trend. The slide-on shoes made a big comeback this year, with iterations in every color, fabrication, and heel-style. I’ll take mine in a colorful suede or neutral leather with a little block heel, please and thank you.
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