Lip Service: Part 1

Elizabeth Taylor lipstick quote
My mantra.

Lipstick: the shoes of the makeup world. Bear with me here. Adding lipstick can transform your entire makeup look, just like wearing stilettos as opposed to ballet flats changes the whole feel of an outfit. There’s a reason lipstick tubes are called “bullets.” They are an Image Weapon. (I know there’s a better line there, but that’s the best I could do.)

Many women I come across are scared to try anything other than a very sheer lip color or a tinted lip balm. And a lot of fear comes from lack of knowledge, right? So I’ve created a non-alphabetical Lipstick Dictionary for you (it makes more sense this way). It contains information about all of the lipstick terms you may have heard, and some you need to know about.

And here.we.go.

Lipstick. A wax and oil based pigmented product that comes in a tube and is designed to enhance or change lip color. Lipsticks come in a variety of textures, finishes and colors.

Lip Balm: Waxed based product intended to heal and hydrate the lips. Can come in stick, pot or tube form. If your lips are dry, even the highest quality lipstick will look bad, so you’ve got to keep your lips hydrated. I’ve found that balms that are too waxy might fill in the cracks that can happen when lips are dry, but they don’t heal past that surface level. And balms that are too oily have the similar effect of making lips feel smooth but not really healing the dryness or dehydration. Glossier Balm Dotcom, which seems to be the perfect texture of wax and oil ingredients, is my all time favorite and the only balm I recommend. Apply this lip magic first thing in the morning, so it has time (at least 15 minutes) to absorb. Whether or not you wear lip color, you should be getting balmed up every day.

Lip Gloss. A liquid/gel hybrid that is applied straight from a tube or with a wand or brush applicator to give the lips a shiny finish. Some glosses are tinted, others are highly pigmented. Glosses tend to fade quickly as the lips absorb them, but thicker glosses–you know, the sticky ones that your hair gets stuck in–have more staying power due to their consistency, which takes lips longer to absorb. Glosses were big in the late 90s up until around 2010, then matte formulations got trendy (again). Glosses are starting to make a comeback, and us 90s girls are ready for it.

Lip Stain. A water based liquid or gel that deposits color onto the lips, often for extended periods of time. Lip stain can be drying, especially if it’s a longwear formulation, so make sure to prep with lip balm first. You can also make your own lip stain by applying a lipstick (after your lip primer has absorbed) then blotting it several times on a tissue.

Lip Tint. See “lip stain.” 

Lip Primer: A lightweight product, usually in a cream formulation, that is applied prior to lip color to make it last longer. If you want to make your lipstick stay on all day, apply a lip primer like Too Faced Lip Insurance after your balm has absorbed. Give it a few minutes to dry before your next step. This is a great time to do your mascara, sculpt those cheekbones or do some other part of your makeup that takes you a minute or two. If you put your lipstick on before your primer has fully absorbed, it’s not going to work. So just do what I say!

Lip Liner: A pigmented pencil or thin crayon used to add definition to the lips and give lip color something to adhere to. If you want to add some extra staying power to your lip color and shape your lips, lip liner is the way to do it. Make sure it’s sharpened, then outline your lips. I do this in four quadrants (look at the one thing I retained from Geometry class coming through!). I start with the lower left half of the bottom lip, tracing over the bottom of the natural lipline to the center of the bottom lip. Repeat on the other side. Then on the top lip, one quadrant first followed by the other. But the work doesn’t stop there! It’s important that you then fill in your lips with the liner. That’s right, color between the lines. This gives your lip color something to adhere to so it stays on better, and it prevents the visual announcement of “Hey, I have lip liner on!” that happens when lip color fades and only the telltale outlines stay.

Lip Scrub: A physical exfoliant that removes the dead skin cells on the surface of your lips that could otherwise latch onto your lipstick and cause it to apply unevenly. If your get dry lips and lip balm doesn’t completely heal them, you should consider exfoliating your lips once a week. You can go with a homemade lip scrub or a pre-made one, but since you will definitely be ingesting some of the scrub, I suggest keeping it natural.

Undertones. The subdued or secondary colors found in most shades of colors. You know your primary colors, right? Red, green and blue. But in makeup, most of the shades you come across are a mixture of colors. Undertones play a big part in lipsticks, which you might be aware of. Ever heard anyone refer to a lipstick as an “orange red” or a “pinky nude?” Sure you have. Knowing the colors that work for you in general can help you find a good lipstick match. For example, someone with blue eyes might like how they look in a pink shirt because pink and blue are complimentary and when the right colors are on or close to the face, they will bring out eye color. So if you start to be aware of lipstick undertones (they are often listed in the lipstick color description on a website), it might help you figure out what works for you.

FINISHES/TEXTURES (Because this one really calls for its own section)

Cream. The original lipstick finish of modern times that isn’t completely matte but isn’t a satin, metallic or frost either. Cream textures glide on easily but aren’t sparkly or only lightly pigmented. This texture works on everyone and is a comfortable formulation to wear. However, it is more like to bleed over the lip line, so if you encounter that problem, try using a lip primer and/or lip liner under it.

Matte. A texture and effect that is flat and contains no shimmer, glitter or other light reflecting particles. Matte lipsticks are highly pigmented, which makes them more bold/obvious. They can be drying, so make sure to stay on your lip balm and lip scrub game if you like matte lipsticks.

Satin. Halfway between a cream and a matte finish. Satin lipsticks provide a slight sheen without any shimmer of frosts or metallics or the stickiness of some lip glosses.

Frost. A finish that has highly a reflective iridescent shimmer. A frost finish gives any lipstick an icy, opalescent effect. Frost lipsticks were very popular in the 1970s, and then again in the late 1990s, as all makeup trends come back around. That’s beauty industry gospel.

Metallic. Another highly reflective finish, but with gold, silver or copper light reflecting particles that create a foiled effect. If you are going to wear a metallic lipstick, I recommend making it the focus of your look by keeping the rest of your look clean/minimal.

Hopefully I’ve helped decode some of the mysteries of lipstick and its associates. In Part 2, I’ll tell you about colors and application techniques so you can pucker up with confidence.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

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Makeup Artist Dreaming: Narrow It Down

Makeup artistry career
Is this your dream or nightmare type of makeup job?

There are many directions you can go in as a makeup artist. You can specialize in the fashion industry/runway makeup, film and/or television, red carpet/celebrity events, theatre, bridal/events, special effects, editorial, or corporate work. You will most likely work in a few fields, especially at the beginning of your career. Doing so will give you experience with different types of makeup applications, and will allow you to build your income while you are starting out.

At the same time, having some focus will give you direction and allow you to plan your next career steps more easily. Many of the fields overlap (for example, most special effects makeup is for film, and red carpet/celebrity events and bridal makeup have similarities), so even if you have a general idea of what you want to do, that will help you.

If you are interested in the fashion industry/runway, you will need to live in or near one of the major fashion centers of the world. New York, London, Milan and Paris are the four biggest cities for runway, but you will find runway on a smaller scale in any large city. But if you want to make runway your main focus, choosing one of the major fashion centers will be most beneficial to you.

To get started in the fashion industry/runway, you must first assist an artist who creates the looks for the shows. This is matter of networking, perseverance and patience! Do your research to find out which makeup artists you would like to assist, and learn as much about their style, past work and clients as you can. Keep in mind that runway shows are very fast paced, so you must learn to work quickly and, while you are assisting, be able to duplicate the look that has been created by the lead makeup artist. The fashion weeks in New York, London, Milan and Paris are one week long each, and are held twice a year. While there is prep work that goes into the shows, doing runway only will probably not provide you with enough income for the year, so you will most likely need to supplement your income with other jobs (perhaps working some of the smaller fashion weeks for other cities, or doing editorial work).

Film and/or television makeup is a popular career choice for makeup artists. While Los Angeles and New York tend to host films and television shows regularly, they are not the only areas where you can work. Because of tax breaks for the film industry, places like New Orleans, Louisiana, Atalanta, Georgia and Boston, Massachusetts have become popular places for film work.

To get in to the film/television industry, most artists start out working on small (usually unpaid) student films and independent films. This is how you learn set etiquette, script breakdowns, look continuity, how to interact with directors and different departments and how to network. After you gain experience and make the right connections—which is how you will get new jobs at first—you might want to consider joining the union for makeup artists in the area you work in. Most big films and television shows are union production, so this is something you’ll likely need to do.

If you work in film/television, be prepared for long days. It’s not unusual to work a 14 hour day on set. If you work in television, depending on which show you work on, you may work at one location every day. Working in the film industry typically requires more travel, both in the sense of traveling for different films and during the actual filming (it is unlikely that every single scene will be filmed at one location).

If you form a relationship with a celebrity, you may be able to break into the world of red carpet/celebrity events. It is important to really understand how to do makeup for photography and film in this industry, as your client could potentially be photographed and filmed at the same event. You have to learn to collaborate with their hair stylist and wardrobe stylist, and be ready to change direction if a hair style or outfit changes after you have planned out a look.

Doing makeup for red carpet/celebrity events requires that you are up to date on the current makeup trends. It also requires a degree of creativity, as celebrities will often debut a new look at an event. It is important that you know your client’s likes and dislikes well, but you also want to present new ideas to them.

Theatre makeup definitely requires specific training, as the type of makeup that is often used is not traditional makeup. Doing makeup for theatre requires that you understand lighting, costumes, characters and scripts. Because theatre productions often include large numbers of actors appearing onstage at the same time, usually the lead artist creates the looks for the entire cast, but they only work with one or two of the lead actors. It would be difficult (and probably not cost effective for production) to hire one makeup artist for every single actor, which is why the actors in smaller productions usually learn to do the makeup themselves.

Working in theatre is lively and fast-paced, but keep in mind that it may not be something you can do full-time at the beginning of your career. If you want to focus on theatre, you should definitely assist a makeup artist who is experienced in that field. Living in a city with a prominent theatre scene, like New York or London, is probably the best choice for you.

Weddings are a huge industry in the U.S., and the majority of brides get their makeup professionally done. You can do bridal makeup anywhere, but there are certain cities that have a lot of weddings. This changes each year, but the U.S. cities that usually make the “The Popular Wedding Destination” lists are Boston, MA, New York, NY, Las Vegas, NV, Miami, FL, Charleston, SC and Napa Valley, CA. Doing bridal makeup in these areas gives you access to more work, but also more competition.

Bridal and other event makeup requires you to work closely with the client to create a customized look for them. Along with the normal factors in any makeup application—skin type, skin tone, eye color and hair color–you have to take their dress, hair style and any cultural factors into consideration. Unless you are working for a salon or beauty services company and someone else does the administrative work, bridal makeup in particular is not just about showing up that day. You have to keep contracts, invoices, schedules and other details organized and you must be good with consistent communication and followup.

Breaking into the bridal industry is easier than breaking into runway or film, as you don’t necessarily have to assist anyone first and you don’t have to start with unpaid jobs or join a union. If you have the technical skills and business sense, you can start building your contacts from people you know. Think of how many women you know who get engaged each year—they could potentially all be clients! It takes a while to build a clientele and reputation, but it is generally a quicker process than building your career in other areas of makeup artistry.

Special effects makeup is most frequently done for films and television, but there is also some need for it in other areas. Special effects makeup is much different than beauty makeup, so you will need some training from a school, course or mentor. If you are interested in this kind of makeup, you will probably find the most work and resources—at least when you are starting out—in California. Because special effects makeup is primarily a subcategory of film and television, your way in will be the same as explained for that industry.

Editorial makeup—makeup for print work—is what many people think of when they think of makeup artists. The makeup you see in magazine spreads is typically done by experienced makeup artists who often work for an agency. The bulk of editorial work is based out of New York, but it is a job that allows for a lot of travel, as magazine shoots are done in different locations.

As with anything that is being photographed, with editorial makeup, you must understand lighting, wardrobe, hair styles and locations. For these types of shoots, it is vital that you understand the vision of the client, art director and photographer. You must be ready to make adjustments as you go, as sometimes the visions will change. If you are working with actress instead or a model, you must take their preferences into consideration as well (as long as they line up with everyone else’s).

To get started in editorial (really in any area, but especially editorial) you will need a portfolio. You can build your portfolio by doing test shoots, aka trade shoots, with a team of photographers, hair stylists and models. In these shoots, you will learn how to collaborate with your team, how to do makeup for photography and how to work with different personalities. After the shoot, you will receive images for your portfolio. Test/trades shoots are unpaid, but building a portfolio is essential and therefore valuable.

There are opportunities for corporate work in any area that has businesses. Real estate companies, insurance companies, universities, hospitals and other organizations sometimes hire makeup artists to work on company commercials, promotional photoshoots, business card photos and events. Corporate work can  consist of doing makeup for 50 employees being filmed for short segments, or for the owners of a company being photographed for their website, or for instructional videos to be seen by company employees. As a makeup artist doing corporate work, you will usually be responsible for hair grooming too. This doesn’t mean cutting, coloring or even full hair styling, but just making sure that the person’s hair looks presentable on camera.

Doing corporate work sometimes means that you have to work quickly to get through large numbers of people. It also means that you have to style and dress yourself in a way that is business-appropriate. Makeup artists are creative people, and this is often also reflected in hair styles and clothing choices. At a runway show or editorial shoot, you can let your individuality show through, but when you are with corporate clients, it is to go with more of a conservative look.

Corporate jobs are usually 8 hours or less, and tend to happen more on weekdays than weekends. It can take 30-60 days to get paid for corporate work, which is something you will want to take into account when doing your budgeting. Once they find a makeup artist they like, corporate clients will often use the same person every time, so it is important to form and maintain good relationships.

You don’t have to decide right away what you want to do, but hopefully this overview has helped you narrow down your interests a bit. You will have to do research, make connections and build a portfolio for any of these fields, but focusing on two or three areas that interest you will help you while you are starting out in your career.

Have a beautiful day 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Personal

I’m happy to tell you what’s in my personal makeup bag! You don’t have to be a creeper about it.

It’s been a minute since I’ve told you what I have in my personal makeup bag, so I think it’s time. Most of these products are in my pro kit too, with a few exceptions. You want a little look into what this makeup artist uses on the daily? I got you, Nosy.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture SPF35. This has been my go-to moisturizer for years. It’s not too thick, it doesn’t feel drying or sticky, and it interacts well with both foundation and undereye concealer. It’s not heavily fragranced, which is essential for me (and the reason I couldn’t stick with an Aveeno moisturizer I tried recently). It’s got the all important SPF too, which means one less product to layer on. I do not use this on clients who will be photographed, as the SPF can cause flashback (making the skin look lighter than it is), but I recommend it for everyday use for anyone with combination skin.

Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture

MAC Oil Control Lotion. Since I have combination skin, I only use this during the warmer months when my skin gets more oily. It’s mattifies like nobody’s business, which is why it’s also a staple in my pro kit. If they ever discontinue this product, I’m going straight to the MAC headquarters to protest.

MAC Oil Control Lotion

MAC Studio Face and Body Foundation. This foundation might be my soulmate. I have used it for years, both on myself and on many of my clients, and it never disappoints.  It’s a sheer coverage foundation that turns into medium coverage the more you work it into the skin. It absorbs beautifully and leaves a little glow. It feels lightweight, looks natural, and if you use a primer under it, it lasts all day.

MAC Face and Body Foundation

Benefit POREfessional. I’m lucky enough to have both large pores and fine lines, but POREfessional helps me keep that a secret. It temporarily fills in my lines and pores, preventing my foundation and powder from settling into those areas and highlighting them. I also use this on almost all of my clients. It’s a real gem.

Benefit Porefessional

Too Faced Shadow Insurance. Eye primer is a game changer, and this player is the MVP. (Now accepting props for that accurate sports analogy.) If you wear eyeshadow or eyeliner, you must prime so your eye makeup can last. I’ve tried a million other eye primers, but in an eye-to-eye comparison challenge, Shadow Insurance always wins.

Too Faced Shadow

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer. I’ve got deep set eyes, Italian genes and light skin, so of course my undereyes are going to look dark. My circles (usually) aren’t dark enough to require a color corrector first, so this thin but pigmented concealer covers them right up. It stays on well and doesn’t cake up like cream undereye concealers do. It’s pretty much perfect.

MAC Prolongwear Concealer

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #3 Tansoleil/Bettina. I’ve been using this cream blush (usually the coral one on the left) for the past few months. It blends nicely, has good pigment and lasts as long as you can expect a cream blush to. She’s a keeper.

Kevyn Aucoin

MAC Eyeshadow in Brule. This shadow is a few shades lighter than my skin, so it’s a great lid color for a contoured eye. It has a satin finish, so it’s easier to blend than other similar colors in matte formulations (I’m looking at you, Blanc Type.) Like all MAC shadows, it’s pigmented so you don’t need to apply 12 layers for color payoff. It’s a good basic shade for those with fair to light skin.

MAC Brule eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Wedge. This soft, matte light brown is my go-to crease color. It blends well, which is key for any crease color, and gives light definition when applied to the bottom lashline. I also sometime use it all over my lid for the base of a brown smokey eye. It works on fair, light and medium skintones.

MAC Wedge Eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Brun. I use this muted blackish brown for lining my upper lashline and to fill in my eyebrows. Brun + an angled brush = a perfect duo.

MAC Eyeshadow in Brun

MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon. This matte black shadow is makeup artist favorite. I use it on a thin eyeliner brush to get real close to the lashline. Because it’s highly pigmented–unlike a lot of matte black eyeshadows–I’ll also use it to draw a full winged eyeliner, and it looks like a pencil or crayon liner in terms of intensity.

MAC Eyeshadow in Carbon

MAC Eyeshadow in Espresso. This muted warm golden brown is perfect for my brown smokey eye. I also use it to add definition to my bottom lashline. Espresso can also be used as a crease color on dark skintones, so it has a place in every makeup bag.

MAC Eyeshadow in Embark. This reddish brown shade brings out the green in my hazel eyes, so I use it as a liner or on the whole lid when I want to do a darker brown smokey eye. This a great shade for hazel and green eyes.

MAC Embark eyeshadow

MAC Eyeshadow in Scene. When I want to do a light gray smokey eye–also a great color choice for hazel eyes–I reach for this muted blue-gray shade.

MAC Scene eyeshadow

Rimmel Stay Matte Powder. I use the Transparent 001 shade to set my foundation and undereye concealer and  to absorb oil. It is lightweight and doesn’t cake up. I use a different, more pigmented powder on clients but I like a more lightweight one myself for every day makeup.

Rimmel Stay Matte

MAC Powder Blush in Pink Swoon. This soft coral peach powder blush is highly pigmented and blends well. It’s the perfect pop of color on my skin and really helps me look more awake. This works on any light to medium skin, although it’s a little too pink for those with roseacea.

MAC Pink Swoon blush

MAC Prolongwear Fluidline in Blacktrack. I use black gel liner when I want to make my eyes more dramatic and defined. This liner can be smudged before it sets, but once it’s set, it doesn’t budge. Some gel liners have a thin consistency so you have to apply several layers to achieve a strong black color, but with Blacktrack, you get the color payoff right away. This liner works on all skintone and eye colors.

MAC Blacktrack

Dior Diorshow Mascara. If I were to rap a song to this mascara–and don’t put it past me–it would be “You Make Me Better” by Fabolous.  I’ve tried dozens of mascaras in my decade as a makeup artist and when it comes to volume, Diorshow one always wins out.

Dior Diorshow

Clinique High Impact Mascara. For inky black color and length, I use this mascara on top of Diorshow. I also apply it to my bottom lashes because I find it stays on the bottom lashes better than Diorshow (which stays on fine on my top lashes).

Clinique High Impact Mascara

MAC Eye Kohl in Smoulder. I use this intense black pencil in my lower waterline if I want to make my eye makeup more dramatic without adding shadow. Black eyeliner on the waterline intensifies eye color, as it’s a contrast to every eye color, but it does make eyes look smaller so I stay away from it if I’m going to be photographed. (In which case, I’ll use an off-white liner in the waterline.)

MAC Smoulder

I can’t tell you about my contour powder because it’s been discontinued, as have the ones I have stockpiled in my kit. But I sometimes use Benefit Hoola for soft sculpting, as long as I have some color (aka self tanner) on. It can look a little orange on very fair skin and not dark enough on dark skin, so it’s not a universal shade.

I’ve been using some of these products for year, but it’s not that I don’t try others. It’s just that there are certain products that I find can’t be beat. I will forever try new products and I will change things up if I find something better, but I’ll never change to a lesser quality product solely because it’s trendy or other people I know like it. I hold my ground, man.

I have my lip products their own makeup bag (unnecessary), but I’ll discuss those in a separate post. My favorite brushes will go in another post too. Oh, the suspense…

Would love to hear some of your tried and true products, as well as anything new you are loving. Comment away.

Have a beautiful day!

Things I Love: The Spring 2018 Edition

Heart eyes emoji, cinnamon in coffee

It’s Spring! I just got back from living in Charleston, SC for three months, so the recent 30 and 40 degree temperatures in RI don’t feel like spring. Surprisingly, I’m okay with that. (More on that later.)

In honor of the fresh start vibes of a new(ish) season, I want to tell you about my recent favorite things, both beauty related and non-beauty related. Let’s get to it then, shall we?

BEAUTY

Bobbi Brown Eye Opening Mascara. It’s thickening, dark black and I love a big mascara wand, so I am feelin’ this one. I’ve been layering it over my Diorshow for crazy volume. It doesn’t get smudgy on me (in fact, they claim that it is a “no smudge” mascara), but I know there is always someone out there who finds every mascara to be smudgy. This is the first Bobbi Brown mascara I’ve ever used, and I am impressed.

I like big wands and I can not lie.

Moroccan Oil. I used Moroccan Oil years ago when I wore my hair curly, but stopped for a reason I can’t remember. (“Being broke” was my main reason for a lot of my decisions in my 20s, so that was probably it.) The South Carolina humidity–which is nothing in March compared to August–made my hair frizz this winter, and since I try to only get Brazilian Blowouts twice a year (for the summer in New England), I asked around for the best anti-frizz hair products. AB Beauty hair stylist, Emily, suggested Moroccan Oil and it has made a big difference. (Thank you, Hair Magician!) Now I put it in my hair pre-blowout, and apply the tiniest bit on my dry hair when it’s humid, and I’ve been frizz-free.

Moroccan Oil, frizzy hair
My anti-frizz weapon for medium level humidity.

Savannah Bee Company Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter. I had been on the hunt for a good body moisturizer that also has a scent I like and doesn’t irritate my skin for a longgggg time. That’s a tall order, but I found my holy grail moisturizer at the Savannah Bee Company store in Charleston. The Tupelo Honey Royal Jelly Body Butter smells amazing, makes my skin feel soft, absorbs quickly, doesn’t feel heavy or sticky and comes in the cutest little jar. What’s not to love?

Savannah Bee Company
It’s cute and works well!

Clean & Clear Persa-Gel 10. Don’t hate me, but I don’t get a lot of blemishes. It’s part genetics, part skincare. But when I do get a zit, I always go after it with a spot treatment. The spot treatment I’ve used forever is a Clinique salicylic acid spot treatment, and it usually works well. But I recently grew a second head, I mean cystic acne spot, out of my neck, and it was not responding to the sal. So I went to CVS in search of a benzoyl peroxide spot treatment. BP kills bacteria (while SA removes dead skin cells that are clogging pores), so I consider it the stronger of the spot treatment options. I tried this BP for the first time one night last week and woke up to see a blemish that had shrunk by at least 50%. That’s a spring time miracle! Persa-Gel 10 is effective, easy to use and under $10. A win-win-win.

Persa gel, acne
The zit destroyer.

Kevyn Aucoin The Creamy Glow Duo in #3 Tansoleil/Bettina. I love a good cream blush. I got this one as a gift, and the shade on the left (which looks coral in person–both shades appear darker in this pic) has been my new go-to blush. It blends well so I use it both after foundation and as a final touch after I powder my skin. The shade on the right doesn’t pop on my skin as a blush, so I often layer it over lip balm. It is a peachy, light nude on my lips (might look different on other lip undertones), so a great compliment to a heavy eye makeup look. It’s also a small compact, so I appreciate that it doesn’t take up a lot of space in my jam-packed personal makeup bag.

Kevyn Aucoin cream blush
A dynamic duo.

THE OTHER STUFF

Cinnamon in My Coffee. I believe it was my mother who suggested putting cinnamon in my coffee this year (and if it wasn’t, she’ll still take the credit) and I’ve been doing so on the reg since. It’s supposedly got a lot of health benefits–click the link to read all about it–but I really just like the taste. Do I get mad at myself when I forget to sprinkle that magic in even though I purposely leave it next to my coffee maker so I’ll see it? Damn right I do. But during my “on top of my shit days,” I use it and I love it.

Male tears mug
I don’t drink my coffee out of this, but I do own this mug.

Theo Von This Past Weekend Podcast. I watch some kind of comedy–standup, video podcasts, interviews with comics I like–every day. And when I discover a new (to me) comic I like, I’m psyched. I got into Theo’s podcasts in January, and I laugh my ass off whenever I watch an episode. My favorite is when he talks about people from his hometown of Covington, Lousiana. He’s quickly made it onto my Top Ten List of Comics, which is good because I had to knock a few off after the crap that came to light recently.

 

Theo Von
Worth the laugh lines.

Grits. Grits aren’t new to me, but I don’t think I’ve talked about them in my any of my Things I Love posts. Which is strange, because I really love them. I have to impose a weekly “grits limit” on myself when I’m in Charleston, because without one, that is all I would eat. I haven’t tried grits at every restaurant in Charleston–I would have to live there for six months straight to have the time to do that–but I have two favorite places to get them: Eli’s Table and Poogan’s Smokehouse. If you think I would consider ordering grits anywhere in New England, you trippin’. I have to (impatiently) wait until I’m back in Charleston to have my favorite food again.

Grits, I love grits
And now here’s a mug I don’t have, but should.

Hatch Tribe Members Circle. Owning a business is one of my favorite things. I’m really lucky that my brother and father own businesses, because they know what it’s like. But other than them, for most of my career, I didn’t have many other people in my life who own businesses. And that can be a very lonely feeling. Last winter, my Charleston friend, Mairin, told me about Hatch Tribe. They are a group for women entrepreneurs, but not just for networking. They offer classes, events, resources and a supportive community–something I was really missing before. Hatch Tribe created the Members Circle this year, and it is the bomb. There’s so much to it that I’m going to do a whole separate post about it, but if you are a female entrepreneur, you should really check it out. The Members Circle has a new theme each month featuring experts in different fields, and so far those themes have helped me up my social media and content game and improve the way I talk about my business (even down to body language and movement). The support and advice you get in the Members Circle is unbelievable. I’ve posted tons of questions about things I was stuck on, looking into, needed referrals for or just wanted input on. Every time, I’ve gotten super helpful responses. I’ve also made a lot of new friendships with like-minded women, which is awesome. (I think it’s hard to make new friends in your 30s, especially when you spend most of your day working from home, solo.) The Hatch Tribe Members Circle has improved my business and given me the opportunity to make a bunch of new friends. So, you know, only two of the most important areas of my life…

Hatch Tribe, women entrepreneur group
Some Hatch Tribe truth.

Charleston Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix. If you had told me three years ago that a Bloody Maria (that’s a Bloody Mary with tequila) would be my go-to drink, I would have told you had the wrong chick. At that time, I was a Three-Olives-Cherry-Vodka-With-Club-And-A-Splash-Of-Cran-Girl, with the occasional Stoli Doli or glass of prosecco if I wanted to mix it up. Now I’m a Ryde-Or-Die-Tequila-Girl, and my tequila drink of choice is a Bloody Maria. My favorite pre-made mix, which they use at a lot of bars and restaurants in Charleston, is Charleston Mix. Other mixes pale in comparison, so I’m psyched that I can buy this stuff online. I always had a bottle of it in my fridge while I was in SC, and I’ll continue that trend in RI.

Charleston Bloody Mary mix
Looks like a month’s worth to me.

Being Back In My Apartment. I can’t say that I love Charleston, because that would be an understatement. It’s more like a part who I am now, and snowbirding there is the realization of a dream I had when I opened my business a decade ago. Charleston is where I live for part of each year, and it feels like home to me. What didn’t feel like home this year was my actual home. All I wanted was a small, quiet space in a safe neighborhood where I could work from home and be in walking distance of downtown. I nailed the neighborhood part (or my Realtor did) but the “quiet” part was ruined by three months of loud, lacquer fume-laced months of renovations on the unit below mine. I didn’t take it well at all. But now I’m back in my RI apartment and it’s so quiet I could cry tears of joy. I feel like a giant weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and even though the weather is crap–which would normally really bother me–I’m so happy to be out of the construction zone that I don’t even care. I will never take a peaceful work and home situation for granted again.

Renovations meme
Me, every weekday for three months.

I hope you have lot of things you’re loving this spring. And if you are being affected by renovations, I feel your pain. I found that numbing it with a Bloody Maria works well.

Have a beautiful day 🙂