It’s All Over

No, not COVID. But 2020 is. And so are my weekly blog posts. I think the weekly posts have come to their natural end. I made it a goal to do one blog post a week in 2018, then I renewed that goal in 2019 and again in 2020. It was a real struggle to make that happen this year, and not just because of the pandemic. I’ve run out of advice to give, so I feel like I should shut up for a bit.

If there’s something I think would be helpful or if I feel like writing, I’ll pop back on here. But the weekly posts are not going to be a part of my 2021.

I’m a big believer that things WILL get better in 2021. I hope that’s the case for the world collectively and for you individually, dear reader.

Have a beautiful year 🙂

This Year Is Finally Almost Done: The December Wrap Up

*THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO BE POSTED ON 12/26, BUT GOT STUCK IN DRAFTS. DON’T YA HATE THAT?*

December was a quiet month for AB Beauty. All of our weddings postponed, trials were scarce and corporate shoots are still on pause. We’re getting a lot of inquiries for fall 2021 and early winter 2022 though, so I’m grateful for that.

I got to (safely) see my immediate family this month, which was the best part of December for me. I’m off to Charleston for the winter very soon, so I think about that, oh, only every five minutes. I’m very ready for warmer weather, my Lowcountry friends, and grits.

December is the time to look back, right? And although much of this year has been absolute dogshit, there was some good there in my life. My niece was born in the summer, and she is the center of my family’s world now. I met some new friends in Charleston In January and February and strengthened my friendships with some New England friends. I connected with a lot of Rhode Island wedding vendors and got my business through a year that could have crushed us.

I realize things won’t automatically get better as soon as we usher in 2021, but I do think things will improve as the year goes on. I have a good feeling about that, and I will not be swayed.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Youthful Looking Makeup Tips

There’s nothing wrong with aging, looking your age or not wearing makeup. We need to stop shaming people for that.

There’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to look older than you are, and that’s where I can help. These seven makeup tips are here for you if you’re interested in a more youthful makeup look.

Skip The Bottom-Lash-Only Liner. Applying eyeliner at the bottom lashline only gives the appearance that the eye is drooping. Using liner at both the top and bottom lashlines provides balance and definition to the eye, and can even make the eye look lifted. That being said, a thinner, diffused liner at the bottom lashline–whether it’s done with pencil or eyeshadow–is generally more flattering than a thick line.

Powder Minimally. If you have any type of texture on your skin–fine lines, wrinkles, acne scarring, large pores, etc.–product can settle into those lines and magnify them. Powder is especially good at highlighting texture, so I use it very sparingly (if at all) on those areas. If lines, pitted acne scars or large pores are a concern, you can also use a pore minimizer on those areas before applying any other face makeup. Pore minimizer temporarily fills in those areas, allowing for a smoother application of face makeup.

Add Some Blush. What’s more youthful than rosy cheeks? Many people had a natural pink or red flush on their cheeks as children and teens, and blush can be used to mimic that natural flush that may have once been there. Cream blush works especially well on those with dry skin or texture on their cheeks.

Think Twice About Contour. Contour products are made to help emphasize bone structure, or give the illusion of a different structure that some may find more flattering. A lot of people automatically contour under the cheekbones, which isn’t the most complementary look on some face shapes. As we age, we lose some of the fat and collagen in our faces, specifically from the cheeks. This will give a more naturally contoured cheekbone appearance on some, and adding a contour product on top of that can cause a face to look gaunt. If you’ve found that your face has gotten a lot thinner as you’ve aged, I’d suggest skipping cheekbone contour.

Fill In Those Brows. Eyebrows tend to thin out on a lot of people as they age, so filling in the brows can be a flattering, youthful look. I don’t suggest going for a heavy brow, but filling in your brows to make them look more like your natural shape from 10 or 15 years ago turns the clock back a little and helps frame your face.

Consider Lipliner. Lips also tend to get thinner as we age and can lose the plumpness that helps give them their shape. Lipliner can help you bring back that shape. It also helps lipstick stay put so it doesn’t feather out into any fine lines that may be visible around the lips.

Double Up The Mascara. Lashes also–you guessed it–tend to get thinner and more sparse as we age. Sure, you can fix that with lash extensions or false lashes, but those can a little too high maintenance or tricky for some. In that case, there’s always good ol’ mascara. Try an extra coat or two to see if you like how that looks.

I hope that’s helped, if any of this was a concern to you. You already look great!

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Mascara Tips & Tricks

We’re seeing a lot of peoples’ eyes, and not so much of the rest of their faces, in this masked up world. So it makes sense to help you with eye makeup techniques, right? And when it come to eye makeup, I think a lot of people would agree that mascara is an essential.

So let’s talk about that, shall we?

Pump Up The Volume. Thick, full lashes can really emphasize the eyes. Sure, you can get there with false lashes or lash extensions, but those aren’t doable for everyone. A good, volumizing mascara makes a big difference though, and it’s more user-friendly and wallet friendly than falsies and extensions. My go-to for years has been Dior Diorshow Mascara. To get the biggest payoff, I wiggle the wand at the lash roots to really coat the lashes with the thickening formula.

I’ll Go To Any Length. Most people benefit from the look of both full and long eyelashes, which is why I double up. I get my volume on first with Diorshow, then I use a lengthening mascara like Clinque High Impact Mascara over that. For the lengthening portion of my mascara application, I hold the wand at the midway point of my lashes and blink into it, which then coats from mid-lash to tip.

Smudge Proof. You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I use a third mascara on my bottom lashes. My bottom lashes will hit my undereye area and smudge if I use a regular mascara there, but I don’t like waterproof for everyday use (more on that next). To prevent that from happening, I use Blinc Tubing Mascara. The beauty tube technology makes the product water resistant, but also easy to remove without causing lash damage.

Say No To Waterproof. Waterproof mascara is great for an occasion that may include crying (like a wedding, funeral or when watching Queer Eye), but it’s not good for everyday use. It’s takes more work to remove waterproof mascara, causing wear and tear on the lashes. Repeated wear and tear will eventually cause lash breakage, and no one wants that.

Keep ‘Em Separated. You can use the best products with all the right techniques, but clumpy lashes will ruin your hard work. I won’t tell you what I use to separate my own lashes because it’s semi-dangerous, but I use a clean spooly on clients. Lash combs work well too.

The Three Month Rule. Mascara is no good after three months. By that point, that product has likely started to dry out, which will cause it to flake off and smudge. Also, by three months, the tube is filled with bacteria from wand-to-lash contamination, and that bacteria can cause eye irritation and infection. So after 90 days, it’s time to get rid of it.

Toss The Tissues. I know some people blot their mascara wand on a tissue to remove excess product before applying, but I can’t condone that. Tissue fibers will stick to the wand and either get painted onto your lashes, causing uneven texture, or fall into your eyes. If you must blot, use a paper towel.

I hope this has helped you with your mascara woes, if you have them.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

20 More Things About Me

Back in 2016, there was a popular “Things About Me” type of post going around for bloggers. I jumped on that because, hey, your girl basically has a PhD in Introspection.

Now it’s four years later, and it’s time for the sequel. So let’s dooooooooooooooo this!

  1. I’m quasi-ambidexterous. I write with my left hand, type with my right hand, do makeup with both hands and use whatever hand is closest to the item I want to pick up to do so. This is my superpower.
  2. I can’t parallel park. I’ve made it this far in life without that skill, so take that, driver’s license tests!
  3. I’m an HSP. Just read this.
  4. I’m a speed reader. The bothers the hell out of my father because I can read and answer the Jeopardy clues I know the answer to before he’s halfway through reading the clue, which makes me love it even more.
  5. I’ve never seen The Notebook. And I never will. Romantic movies are not my thing.
  6. I have a rare nervous system disorder. Don’t worry–I’m fine! I’ve been working on a blog post about it for a year, so maybe I’ll finally finish it in 2021.
  7. I don’t cook. Other than scrambled eggs, I don’t cook anything. Domestic goddess I am not.
  8. I never know what day it is. And this was even in the pre-COVID days! Google Calendar gets me where I need to be.
  9. I have lip balm with me at all times. Purse, nightstand, kitchen–I’m never far from some pucker hydration.
  10. I have a horrible singing voice. I was part of an Italian singing and dancing group when I was 14, but even though I learned every song in Italian, they made me lip sync because my voice was so bad.
  11. My nail beds are the size of a ten year old’s. No nail art for me!
  12. I’m bad with numbers. If we’re out to eat together, you might want to figure out the tip.
  13. I love taking silly quizzes. I’m looking at you, Buzzfeed.
  14. I’m an ambivert. I need equal parts alone time and socialization to be my best self.
  15. I like washing dishes. Weird, I know. But there’s something that I find relaxing about it, and your girl does enjoy a productive task.
  16. I have a very detailed plan for what I’d do if I won the lottery, but I rarely play. Go figure.
  17. I learned how to ride a bike and stopped riding a bike within the same six months. Unusual for a child, but I never said I was normal.
  18. If the wrong decor colors are next to each other, I get uncomfortable. I used to have an office I couldn’t work in because there were gray curtains too close to glass table that had copper legs.
  19. I’m not competitive with others. With myself and my past accomplishments, yes, but not with other people.
  20. Sometimes I write irrelevant blog posts when I’m out of content. Case in point.

And now you can continue your day knowing that if you ever had to take a trivia quiz about me, you’d probably ace it.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

The End of The 2020 Wedding Season: The November Recap

Keeping with the spirit of gratitude that I associate with Thanksgiving, I’ll start by saying I’m grateful for the awesome–if shortened–wedding season we had this year. There was a point early on when I was afraid we wouldn’t get to do any 2020 weddings from March on, but that luckily wasn’t the case.

We had a few weddings this month, as well as several trials, new 2021 wedding bookings and 2022 wedding inquiries. I hired a new hair stylist, LuWayne DeMoranville, and I’m so excited to have her on the team.

Personally, I’ve been laying low socially, but am very much looking forward to my Charleston winter, which starts after Christmas. I’ll be ringing in the new year in my favorite city. (Not that I’ll be going out, but at least I’ll be in a place where grits and Southern accents are never too far away.)

I don’t love November in Rhode Island, with its bare trees, cooler temps and short ass days. But at least I have my family, my business and my Newport/Charleston life. For that, I am truly grateful.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Maasai Jewelry

This is my cousin Brooke (pictured below with two of the jewelry makers). We’re more like sisters than cousins. She is extremely intelligent, caring and generous.

This is Brooke’s husband, Sam (pictured below with Brooke). He’s like my brother. Everyone who meets Sam loves him. He was born in Kenya and is part of the Maasai tribe.

Sam and Brooke took a trip to Kenya in 2019 and had an amazing time. That was Brooke’s first time there, and she fell in love with Kenya.

Sam and Brooke brought back a bunch of jewelry handmade by Maasai women. They gave me this bracelet, which I love and wear all the time. Whenever Brooke, Sam and I wear our Maasai jewelry, we get compliments on it.

Several months ago, I told Brooke and Sam that I bet other people would be interested in buying the jewelry, and they said they’d been thinking the same thing. They decided they’d like to sell it and give all of the profits to the jewelry makers in Kenya.

So, that’s what they’re doing. I’m helping by posting photos of this gorgeous jewelry. It’s a great way to support Kenyan artisans and also own or gift something with a cool story. Enough with Amazon and big businesses! I’d personally rather give my money to hardworking, talented people who actually need it than multi-millionaires and billionaires who don’t.

The new WordPress format that I hate is not letting me insert photos where I want to, so they’re all below.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

PRICING

Bangles

$15 for one bangle

$24 for two bangles

$10 each when you buy three or more bangles

Earrings

$10 each

Suggestions Welcome

In 2018, I committed to publishing one blog post each week for the entire year. I met my goal that year, then thought, Why not continue it for 2019? I repeated that thought process for 2020, too. This is not an unusual way of thinking for me, and is how I made Dean’s List every semester in college. That’s not a brag! It’s an example of how my mind likes things to be categorized and consistent and how I figure if I can achieve a goal one time, I can do it again.

But when it comes to blog post ideas, the well has run dry. Starting in 2021, I’m either going to write one post a month, or maybe even bring it back to the pre-2018 days when I posted sporadically.

So you tell me, what do you want to read more of? Skincare tips? Makeup tips? Product reviews? Business stuff? Let ya girl know!

Thanks in advance.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

Fall Is In Full Swing: The October Recap

A week ago, I was wearing sandals. Today, my heat is on. If that isn’t fall in New England, I don’t know what is!

October has been as good of a month as a month can be in a pandemic world. We had seven weddings, which is less than half of what we would have done, but better than nothing! Our October brides were all lovely, beautiful and fun to work with, so we lucked out there.

We had a lot of trials this month for 2021 brides, and it’s been great to meet everyone. We think 2021 is going to bring us a much more normal wedding season, so we’re very happy about that.

Personally, I got to (safely) see some of my family and friends, which was great. I secured my Charleston winter apartment, and you know I have a countdown going. I bought (some would say too much) decor for my Newport home, started re-watching Community and voted. A good mix of productivity and socialization, right?

And now, time to schedule trials for my August 2021 brides. If you’re an AB Beauty bride who hasn’t done or scheduled a trial yet and your wedding is before August 2021, let’s connect.

Have a beautiful day 🙂