Lichtenstein Comic Book Woman Costume

I was too cheap to buy a Halloween costume this year, so I relied solely on makeup to transform myself into a comic book woman. Out of curiosity (and questioning my ability to actually do it) I did a trial run the night before.  I ended up looking like a clown as opposed to a super hero.  Actually I grabbed a slice of pizza looking like that, and the guy behind the counter stared at me awkwardly before he finally said "I'm trying to figure out who you are". He then asked if I was some creepy woman from a scary movie.  Hopefully the below doesn't give you nightmares... Here's what I botched and learned:

Do's and Don'ts for Lichtenstein Comic Book Makeup:

botchUsing eye shadow for white dots.  This lightened up and was virtually non-existent after an hour. What a waste. Drawing in eyelashes.  These came out atrocious.  Unless you're an artist, just don't. Using liquid eyeliner for black lines.  It just doesn't have the stamina to create thick long lines... umm that sounds a little dirty (or is that just me) Draw in the face you wish you had.  I wish my face was a little narrower so I drew it that way.  While it looked fine head on, any tilt of the head looked ridiculous.

learnUse face paint.  Don't apply with a Qtip either.  Use something hard so it doesn't absorb all the paint.

Apply false eyelashes.  They'll make you look more attractive and comic book like.

Use wet eyeshadow and an eyeliner brush to draw lines.  The lines come out bolder and crisper.

Outline the face as close to the hairline as possible.  This will help you avoid any gaps.

Spray paint your hair with colored hair spray.  I only bought one can and it was not enough, get 2.  Also - you can curl it!!! woo

PS - sorry for the boings in the video. lichtenstein makeup

Bachelorette Party: New Orleans

New Orleans is a fun place to have a bachelorette party!  The city definitely has that "I don't give a f***" attitude.  We took advantage of the numerous bars, live music, and good old cajun restaurants.  This is a strange city.  I'm not sure why Austin gets the tagline "keep Austin weird" because I think New Orleans' weird factor is astronomical.  Either way though, it's super fun and you don't really need to have a plan before you go.  Just walk outside and you'll stumble upon fun. new orleans bachelorette party guide Hotel:  We stayed at Harrah's it was far enough from the chaos of Bourbon Street (a 15-20 minute walk) and close enough to delicious restaurants.  The rooms and bathrooms were big, always necessary for a bachelorette party.  The casino was actually quite large and seemed to wrap around endlessly.  I put in $20 into the slots while I waited for everyone to arrive and walked out nearly $300 richer.  Safe to say, I like this place 🙂 Must Try Drinks: There are a few drinks you must have in New Orleans.  Brace yourself for the high state of intoxication these induce and the headache to follow.  Drink plenty of water since these are ridiculously sweet.
  • Hand Grenade - a melon like drink served in a grenade shaped cup served at Tropical Isle
  • Hurricane - Pat O'Briens made these famous.  I'm not a fan since they taste like medicine... but when in NOLA you can't leave without one
  • Jester - This frozen drink also packs a mean punch.  I'd liken it to Miami's Call a Cab at Wet Willie's.
Bourbon Street:  Over the course of 4 days, we checked out most of Bourbon's streets bars.  They all blur into one another but these ones were noteworthy enough to remember the name.
  • The Beach - This was my favorite bar on Bourbon.  It's on one end of the strip.  I liked this bar because it was quiet enough in the front to have a conversation.  Then the back had quite the club scene with fabulous music and a huge stage flocked with other bachelorettes.
  • The Swamp - We ended up here one night.  The crowd wasn't really my scene but the music was great and the VJs were highly entertaining.  Avoid the bathrooms here.  They're worse than Port Authority by a landslide.
  • Bourbon Cowboy - Go here to ride the bull.
Restaurant: We went out to eat quite a bit this bachelorette party.
  • Emeril's - this was close to our hotel.  There was a lot of fish on the menu and cajun/creole food.  I ended up sharing the truffle fried chicken with my cousin.  It came with 4 sides and literally a whole chicken for $60.  Too bad I was too full for dessert because the menu made me salivate.
  • GW Fins - So cute, they printed out a custom menu for the table with the bride's name and date.  The menu changes daily, so you never know what you're going to get.  They served mainly seafood.  Everyone seemed to love their dishes.  I had the potato gnocchi with grilled chicken.
Other Stuff to Do: We also went on a swamp tour.  We're probably the only bachelorette party in history to arrive to this thing without a cooler of booze.  What on earth were we thinking?  I think that would have made it way more fun because touring through dirty water with alligators just isn't my thing.  However, the driver was entertaining and I learned a little. We also checked out the Real Drag Queens of New Orleans.  We went to a day show so we were in the front venue area.  It was just funny and some of the ladies truly looked like the celebrties they were impersonating.  And damn do those ladies have sass and confidence.  I could take a tip or two from them. You must go to Frenchmen Street to listen to live jazz.  Just a warning, don't try to walk around from bar to bar with drinks in hand.  It doesn't fly on Frenchman Street. I'm so pissed at myself because for the life of me I can't remember what bar we ended up or the name of the band that played.  They weren't a jazz band, but they were ridiculously talented and all I could think was... I need this group at my wedding someday. As my parting NOLA story, I will tell you how my mouth got me into trouble.  We were all donned in our matching bachelorette t-shrits.  A couple of guys came up, they were friendly.  They asked if we went to the strip clubs.  My response - "no, we heard the men were nasty."  Their response, "well do you think I'm nasty, because I'm a stripper..."  #embarassing     PS - we still didn't go to the strip club 🙂

Must Have Tools for Braids

Lately, I have been braid obsessed... french braids, dutch braids, fishtails, waterfall braids, etc.  Oh the possibilities are endless if you combine different types.  Man, I love braids. Okay #endrant #braidobsessed I've learned that certain tools and products are necessary for braiding.  As my lovely face below displays, if you don't have these products and you love braids, you cray.  Here's the arsenal of goods that you must have to perfect the braided look. tools and products for braids Bobby Pins:  Make sure they match your hair.  My hair is ombre, so I have blonde and brunette bobby pins to camouflage them.  I recommend placing the bobby-pins in the form of an "X" for a more secure hold.  Also the curved end should always face down.  I didn't know these tricks until like a year ago.  No wonder I left a trail of bobby pins everywhere I went. Clear Elastics: I bought a 500 pack at Target for less than $5.  They're like the size of your pinky but stretch enough to secure a whole head of hair if necessary.  Use these instead of ponytail holders to blend more naturally in your hair.  Hey, they're not just for 5 year olds! Clip-In Extensions:  We're all not blessed with luxurious, long, thick hair.  Braids shorten your hair.  When you see those Elsa-like braids, chances are there's some extensions hidden up in there. The extensions will help the braid look fuller and longer.  I'd use at least 2 wefts for most braided styles. Teasing Comb:  Use the pointy end to section off hair or even pull the braid apart.  Use the comb part to backcomb your hair and tease it.  You can do this along a section to secure extensions or at the top of the head to add volume. Volumizing Powder:  My favorite is Smart Solutions Volumizing Styling Dust.  Sprinkle a little on your roots to add weightless texture, volume, and hold.  It's perfect for most braids.  I swear, this stuff really did come from a fairy because it is a miracle worker. Aerosol Hair Spray:  I finish off a braid with a healthy dose of Tresseme Aerosol Hair Spray.  I also spritz my teasing comb and then smooth along flyaways etc for a sleeker look. braids

4 Must Have Brushes

Wow, it's been a month since my last blog post!  My bad.  Some may consider that slacking.  However, I made this video the day after my sister's wedding... Obviously hungover.  Now that's ambitious!  I truly made it because I couldn't let that $85 hairstyle go to waste.  Looking back, I should have done a post on how to keep your updo intact.  I got 4 days out of that bad boy.  Instead, I talked about brushes... when I couldn't even brush my hair.  Always botching and learning on the job. Without further adieu... the much anticipated... brush vlog. I've tried a myriad of hair brushes.  I've finally found the only 4 brushes I ever use.  With these 4 brushes, you can work hair miracles. What are they? The Tangle Teaser is perfect for getting through knotty hair without damaging. Don't let the funky shape fool you.  This works! The Wet Brush is another great detangling brush.  I use it in the shower, at the beach, whenever my hair is wet.  This can replace your comb, pick, paddle brush, etc. If you want to rock the poof, you need a teasing brush.  Back comb the roots of your hair for extra volume. I love Olivia Gardens brushes.  Talk about quality.  I discovered these beauties at a trade show.  They're the real deal.  Here's the one I use for  blow drying.

Affordable Makeup

Affordable Makeup   While I love Sephora, the majority of my makeup staples are drug store and Avon!  Because they're so cheap, I've gotten to experiment with dozens and here's the handful that pass the Botch and Learn test.  They're high quality at low prices! 1.  Mark On The Edge Liquid Eye Liner - I have this in blackest black and it is the bomb.  It's waterproof and doesn't smudge.  Plus the applicator is thin and firm so it's so easy to apply!  If you're a liquid eye liner newbie I recommend starting with this one.  The application is easy! 2.  Avon Mineral Foundation in Bronze - I use this as my regular bronzer.  The container is mess proof. While that's a huge plus and convenience the real win is the actual color.  It's highly pigmented.  The texture is light and it's just phenomenal. 3.  Avon Glimmerstick Eyeliner - I used to always avoid putting eyeliner on my lower lash line since it would bleed into my under eye circles and enhance them.  Not anymore!  I like this retractable pencil.  It stays exactly where I put it. 4.  Maybelline Dream Bouncy Blush - Gotta love anything with the word bouncy in it's name.  This is a mousse blush with a fun consistency.  They have a great color palette.  I like that it leaves the cheeks a little dewy and livens up the face. 5.  Neutrogena Healthy Skin Pressed Powder - Your welcome Neutrogena for this free advertising.  This stuff is a MUST have.  It's the only product I've stuck to religiously for years.  It's affordable, sets my makeup, removes shine and is just A-mazing.  Get it!!!  

Bachelorette Party: Austin Texas

Hot off my sister's bachelorette party in Austin Texas.  Austin is the place to have a bachelorette party if you're looking for no judgement, ratched fun, a variety of things to do, affordable nightlife, and a damn good time. austin bachelorette party Ultimate Austin Bachelorette Party Hotel:  Omni Downtown We stayed at the Omni downtown.  It was the perfect choice.  Originally, I was scared to choose this location. Many of the reviews talked about their no noise tolerance.  Our group of friends is about as quiet as a rocket launching.  Luckily, we didn't run into any problems with hotel security. We took advantage of their rooftop pool with downtown views.  The lunch there was extremely affordable, the drinks - not so much. The hotel was in a convenient location - walkable to a liquor store and dirty sixth street.  The two most important things for an Austin bachelorette party. Dinner: When in Texas with picky eaters, what do you eat?! Tex-Mex! We ate plenty of that. Hula Hut:  The Hula Hut is about a 15 minute cab from downtown.  It's Hawaiian themed Mexican food.  The atmosphere is so adorable - it's on a lake, features a tiki bar, and colorful decor.  The chips are A-Mazing.  I ate like a whole basket on my own. The rest of the food... mediocre. Iron Cactus:  They don't take reservations, but arrive before 8 PM and you should be fine.  Our group of 9 had enough time to grab a drink at the bar before we were promptly seated.  The food is much better than Hula Hut.  They make the guacamole tableside, which is always a sign of a good Mexican place.  Iron Cactus is conveniently located on 6th Street, so we ate here and went straight out.  Word on the street is their jalapeno margarita is a must try. Boat: Lakeway Marina to Party Cove Prior to heading to the marina for the best day of the bachelorette party, we stopped  at Whole Foods.  We picked up lunch, snacks, and more than enough booze for our party of 9 - (4) 15 Packs of beer, (2) bottles of champs, (2) bottles of vodka, and (1) Liter of wine.  I am sad to say it all went except for a half bottle of vodka and the wine... whoops, but we shared at least! Anyway it was about a 40 minute uber from downtown.  Once there, they were super sweet.  Angel, the best captain ever, helped us load our coolers, blow up rafts, and get the party started! We took a leisurely 30 minute ride on our pontoon to Party Cove, a lake where boats go just to party. After a minor heart attack when we nearly capsized as we pulled into the cove, we linked boats with another bachelor party. We spent the next few hours shotgunning beers, hopping from boat to boat, floating around on noodles, and having the time of our lives. Nightlife: Most of Austin's downtown nightlife is on 6th street.  There's an East side (dirty sixth) and a west side, which is more late 20s / early 30s.  Additionally, there's Rainey Street, and the Warehouse District.  Our preference was dirty 6th. Thursday: We went out around 10 PM.  6th Street was virtually empty so many of the bars lured us in with free drinks for the whole group.  This was typically super sweet drinks.  Eventually we learned to say no to them.  We bar hopped a little and ultimately settled on the roofdeck of Blind Pig. We walked into a live band that swiftly brought our bachelorette on stage for their last song.  A DJ came on shortly after and he rocked.  This was by far the best night of the bachelorette party.  Mainly because we had no expectations.  We started dozens of dance circles, completed plenty of dares, and our bachelorette even had a "Hair-off". Friday:  This was supposed to be our big night out.  Although I think people were hesitant to rage knowing we had the boat the next day.  We started off at Kung Foo on West 6th Street.  This bar had giant Jenga and Connect 4, ski ball, and plenty of other arcade games.  I guess it's an appropriate low-key way to start.  The DJ played some old school hip hop which I enjoyed. We then went to the Ranch.  I thought this was a good idea since I saw many bachelorette parties there during a prior visit.  However, the place was a total taco fest - which really isn't that fun for a bachelorette party.  It started to fill up, but we weren't impressed.  So we ended up at our favorite place once again - The Blind Pig Pub!!!  Shakespeare across the street wasn't bad either. Saturday:  We were all drunk from the boat.  In fact the ground was rocking a little.  We grabbed dinner and drinks at BB Reillys then hit up Bat Bar.  They had a fabulous live band.  The kind you'd want playing at your wedding.  The crowd wasn't our scene so we headed to Library Bar.  This bar is extremely chill.  We busted in like we owned the place quickly starting the limbo with our caution tape, daring people, and participating in a game of shoulders.  Beer was $3 a bottle - seriously can't beat those prices.  Had a few, then ultimately ended up at our favorite spot The Blind Pig Pub! And now for a few things I didn't touch on, but helpful to know... Boch and Learn - Avoid a Botch-lorette in Austin Texas:
  • Don't try to re-enter a bar after 2 PM, they don't let you
  • Uber is cheaper than cabs
  • The restaurant at The Driskill has an AMAZING breakfast
  • Dirty Sixth street shuts down to traffic at 9:30 PM
  • Drink beers - it's so much cheaper
  • Go shopping on South Congress Street (right over the bridge).  Make sure to check out Texas National Outfitters.  They have a "special" bachelorette party hat, serve free booze, and play live music.  Plus I'm told they sometimes bring in a horse for bachelorette parties.
austin bachelotrette

Wedding Embarassments

Wedding fever has consumed me.  Does that make it sound like I want to get married?  That's not what I mean.  I mean, I'm at the ripe age of 29 and I have several weddings to attend a year. As y'all know by now, I am a klutz.  So I managed to do a few things at the last wedding that were slightly embarrassing.  I don't exactly have a solution for this, other than to be more cautious but none the less, they make for an interesting story. For starters, all the guests enjoyed specialty cocktails in champagne flutes during the ceremony.  Most people finished and set their glasses down.  Then, at the end of the ceremony we were supposed to throw rose petals as the bride walked up the aisle.  Oh, I got the memo to throw the petals (kudos to me).  But in addition to throwing the petals, my clutch opened up and I threw the contents of my purse (tampons everywhere) and smashed a champagne flute along the way.  Luckily, no one but my immediate friends near me noticed.  But holy you can't take me anywhere.  At this point, I was sober too... So I saunter into cocktail hour and I manage not to embarrass myself there (at least I think...) At some point, I walk into the reception area and completely wipe out on nothing.  Totally blame my 6" heels for that one.  Who do I think I am?! It didn't help that I spent most of the time earlier that evening complaining I was going to twist my ankle in those heels.  So definitely put that in the atmosphere.  Next time I'm wearing 3" heels and having confidence that I'm not going to fall. Needless to say, I switched into my flip flops.  That didn't save my reckless self though.  Wiped out again while dancing.  Maybe I need to stop jumping while I dance.  Twisted my ankle that time and decided I had enough dancing for the evening. So the moral of the story kids.  Think positive thoughts, learn to walk in heels before wearing them in public, actually zipper your clutch and always bring a pair of flip flops to a wedding ... although even those can't save a drunken klutz fall

How to Throw a Kick A** Bridal Shower

My gorgeous twin sister is getting married in a month!!!!  So, let's talk about her kick a** Bridal Shower.  I must admit, I was completely worried with how this would turn out. My mother and I asked dozens of people for help and I was concerned it would turn into a hodge podge, chaotic, pot luck that you'd see at a Senior Citizen home...  Luckily, it came together nicely. The Food My mother rented out the clubhouse in her development.  At $300 this was a decent chunk of change.  However, with a bridal shower of roughly 60 people, we'd be looking at 10x the cost for food and drink alone if we held it at a restaurant.  She asked all of her friends and family to bring something.  So, you can see why I was concerned.   But the secret to being a fab host is always in the presentation.  We set up catering trays which made it look much more uniform.  Shout out to my aunt too for making the cutest desserts that fit the pink and purple theme. I had each of the bridesmaids bring 2 bottles of champagne for the mimosas and my aunt made her famous sangria!  We had a cute mimosa bar which consisted of berries and pink champagne flutes rimmed with purple sugar.  I set up a crate and placed mason jars atop for the sangria.  My mom painted them all with chalk paint and guests wrote their names with a silver paint marker.  They were a huge hit, especially with the purple straws. Bridal Shower bar The Decorations While mom took care of leading the food brigade, I managed the decorations.  I worked with the bridesmaids to make this a smashing success.  I started with a list of tasks that needed to be completed.  Rather than asking all of the bridesmaids for money, I had them sign up for tasks.  We're all in different financial places so I thought this would let them take on what they could.  None of them disappointed! We had the most beautiful paper flower centerpieces flanked by pictures of the bride and groom to be.  We hung personalized banners and designed signs.  One of the girls bought the most gorgeous wine container to hold the "stock the bar" items.  She also made tags so people could leave a note.  Lets not forget about the beautiful candy bar too.  I was so impressed with what a few of the bridesmaids pulled together.  They filled candy dishes spelling "love" with purple M&Ms and flanked it with glass jars filled with purple, pink, and gold candy.  They picked good candy too!  None of that tootsie roll dum dum pop BS.  They also found the cutest bags on Etsy!! bridal shower candy bar The Flow As for the flow, we got a lot of great feedback.  We kept this show moving!! Bridal showers can really drag out but we wrapped everything up within two hours.  However, everyone still lingered since were having such a great time! Here's the trick.  Once everyone arrived, I kicked it off with a slideshow featuring the bride and groom.  By the time that was over, the food was ready.  We let everyone eat, drink, and chat it up.  Then mom and my sister made a little speech followed by Dana (my sister) opening presents.  DAMN, that girl got a lot of presents. We played gift bingo.  I always feels like that helps with the monotony of opening gifts. We also had a system in place just for opening them!  Half way through we broke it up with the newlywed game.  Then we let her continue opening gifts.  Once that was a wrap, we had dessert. Yay for a fab bridal shower!! married

Botch and Learn from Holly Madison

I spent the rainy weekend reading Holly Madison's  Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny It was a page turner filled with juicy gossip, but also the opportunity to botch and learn from Holly's mistakes.  Throughout the book we learn you are not defined by the situations you have gotten yourself into.  At the end of the day, you can overcome anything as long as you truly love yourself!!  

How to Enjoy The Beach

I love staring at a vast ocean and getting tan but the pleasantries of beaching it stop there for me.  The wind whips my hair in every direction and throws sand all over my towel.  That sand then sticks to EVERY piece of my body.  I walk on sand hotter than fire to rinse off.   Then, I get to the ocean and it's unbearably cold, the seashells cut up my feet, and there's critters and seaweed floating around.  I return to my sanctuary that is my beach chair to sip my water (or cocktail) and discover it's piss warm and rendered undrinkable.  I attempt to read my kindle for 10 minutes before it overheats and I sit there bored, hot, sweaty, tired, and looking like a dog attacked me. BUT, a day at the beach doesn't need to be that miserable. how to enjoy the beach

Dos and Don'ts to Actually Enjoy the Beach

botch

Getting brown spots: One bad day at the beach and I've got a cluster of brown spots gracing my forehead for eternity.

Walking barefoot down the beach: I hop like a rabbit down the beach screaming "ahhh, I'm walking on fire!"

Leaving hair down:  At the end of the day my hair looks like I brushed it with a grenade and it's going to take me 3 hours to comb out.

Reading on a Kindle:  I get through 10 minutes of Girl on the Train before it shuts down from over heating or loss of battery.

Sipping out of a water bottle:  It starts boiling after 15 minutes (well almost).  So much for refreshing.

Bringing a towel to sit on:  Within minutes of laying my towel down, it's covered in sand and curling over.  

Sunglass Tan:  I love my sunnies so my nose always burns and there's a white border around my eyes.  Can we also talk about that time I lost my Guccis to a battle with the Atlantic. That was a sad day for me #RIPGucci

learn

Wear a hat: Hats are not my thang.  But, I now wear it to the beach every time.  It protects against 2 botches - brown spots & grenade hair.  I got a cute baseball cap from Pacific Sun.

 Move faster: I really have no idea how to avoid that hot sand.  I try to walk in flip flops but that just throws sand all over me.  My advice... RUN.  I guess that's my cue to get to the gym.

Detangler is your friend:  This serves 2 purposes.  It protects your hair from the sun and also stops that grenade hair.

Read a real book:  This is the only time I buy a paperback.  You could probably borrow from the library too.  #oldfashioned

Wear sunnies with caution: Wear these only when you're moving around and remove while tanning or frolicking in the ocean.

Look stylish while ensuring no loss of sunnies Buy from Sintillia a sunglass strap that resembles body jewelry as opposed to clunky grandma straps.

Buy a bubba mug:  The bubba mug  promises to keep cold stuff cold for up to 12 hours!  And size does matter here - no need to run across that hot sand for a refill!

                                                      MAN AM I A DIVA.  I can't believe I just wrote a whole post about hating the beach.  These tips and tricks make it much more bearable.  Now can someone find me a pool to jump into? enjoy the beach