Recently {in pictures}

Hi Ladies!  I hope your week is off to a magnificent start!  Life is moving quickly over here as I try to get ready for a weekend family trip to Washington DC.  I'm hoping to get a packing post up before we leave, but if this doesn't happen, I will surely share it as soon as we get back home.  So, stay tuned!  I think this will be a good one, because a lot has evolved in my closet since last time I shared my packing with you all.

Today I'm sharing a bit about what I've been up to lately.  My newly discovered obsession with Levi's Wedgie icon denim, a few new in items, some healthy eats, style, and fur babies!  I hope you enjoy the photos as I continue to teach myself a thing or two about photography.

In the photo array below, you'll notice a shot of crop flares and cool booties.  I've been dying for a pair of crop flares but didn't want to splurge on them only because this is a bit of a trendy cut.  Although, as I stated on Instagram the other day, this is a silhouette I plan to take into the next couple of decades.  I love it that much!
The pair in the shot I'm referring to are actually a DIY project of mine.  I snagged a pair of Madewell flea market flares on mega sale, and cut them myself.  They came out exactly as I hoped, and I think you'll be seeing a lot of them!

Have you guys ever put a game on the big screen for your kitty cats?  Hysterical & adorable, I tell you.  The only problem is...since the evening when I snapped the shot below, Jericho thinks the TV is for her entertainment only.  Needless to say, hubby was miffed incensed when she jumped up there a whopping 6 times during the football game on Sunday.   Oops!

  shop items below

I don't know about you all, but I am thoroughly obsessed with the buddha bowl concept.  Honestly, it is what my dinners are made of at least three nights a week.   This could have something to do with my carnivorous family and the fact that I get tired of actually putting together two entirely different meals every night.  It is so easy to just cook up some quinoa ahead or pop some sweet potato slices on a baking sheet with some broccoli or cauliflower florets and some sort of squash or eggplant.  Then I can just slice up some raw veggies, toss in some greens and I am good to glow!

Next up on my list to try, is The Humble Sriracha Roasted Wild Rice Buddha Bowl {pictured below}.  This is one of the many colorful & utterly nutritious recipes from Eating Clean {written by Amie Valpone}.

What are your thoughts about Buddha Bowls?  Do you have any recommendations for concoctions or delicious sauces?

shop items below

MAC diva lipstick & MAC burgundy liner are on repeat this fall.  If you haven't had a moment to check out my tips for applying the perfect for you bold lip color, take a moment to read here


Beauty Basics VOL. 1 {wine lips}

I'm very much an advocate of natural beauty.  A focus on radiant health from the inside out so that the application of make-up is simply to enhance rather than cover up.  I love luxurious beauty products, and I'm a firm believer in spending a little extra for quality.  Also, I don't believe that a ton of items are required.  I think finding a few make-up looks that work and sticking to them is the way to balance the cost of finer items.  I like to keep it basic.  Less but better.

For everyday, I typically use a lightly pigmented gloss on my lips or a nude lipstick.  I'm all about a focus on the eyes.  Either a natural smokey eye or a polished black tight line and lots of mascara.  If I had to choose only a few items, they would be eyeliner, mascara and brow fix.  The eyes are a post for another day.  Gorgeous skin and defined eyes are near and dear to my heart!

Although my palette is predominately neutral when it comes to make-up, I am a big fan of the bold lip. I like red, wine, and something as punchy as MAC impassioned for the summer.  The bold lip is an accessory in its own right.  It can be absolutely magnificent when done properly.

The shade pictured {on me & in flat lay} above is MAC diva with MAC burgundy liner.  This one  looks great applied very dark & matte or a bit softer with a gloss over it.  The look is this post is a more casual day time situation so I softened up the bold a little.

 For the softer look pictured above, I  apply the liner and blend it in towards the center of my lips, then use my finger to really blend it in for a  more organic feel.  Next, I apply one coat of lipstick and then blend well using my finger tip again.  This finger blending works wonders for achieving that natural lived in make-up look I love.  In this photo, I also applied one coat of Burt's Bees tinted lip balm in red dhalia over the lipstick but I don't always use the gloss.  Sometimes I will apply a bit of matte balm to the tip of my finger and blend that into the center of my lips just to add a bit of moisture.  The darker pigmented lipsticks can be a bit drying, especially the matte ones.

For a bold, matte look for evening, I follow the same the steps listed above but I apply a few coats of lipstick using a lip brush then blot between each coat.  A lip brush allows more precision especially around the edges of your lip.  This is what creates that very crisp line and makes a bold lip look so glamorous!  I  still use my finger tip to blend each coat.  Finally, I apply a bit of matte lip balm to the center of my lips and, of course, blend with my finger.

1.  This one is ongoing.  Treat your skin like royalty.  I really don't think I could put a price tag on healthy glowing skin.  I'm planning a post all about my skin care, but for now...I stress the importance of eating clean, drinking a ton of water, green tea, cleansing & moisturizing with quality products, and wearing sun screen.  Glowing skin makes a bold lip captivating.

2.  Exfoliate! The last thing we want is dry, cracking lips highlighted by bold lipstick!  There are so many lip exfoliating products on the market.  Some are pretty pricey, but I found one I love that won't break the bank.   I recommend e.l.f. Lip Exfoliator

3.  Keep the rest of the face simple, let the bold lip take center stage  Dewey skin, clear complexion and defined but not statement eyes. When choosing a bolder lip, I recommend tight lining the upper lash line with black or dark brown liner.  Choosing a neutral hue to apply to the eye up the the crease and then blend out.  Finally, curl lashes and apply two coats of mascara.  At first glance, this eye formula appears almost natural...as if the eyes are wide awake and naturally gorgeous on their own.  Yet, these basic techniques work wonders for beauty.  I, for one, prefer to have my eyes done at all times...unless I'm at home or at the gym.

4.  Take the time to explore hues that work best with your skin tone and coloring.  Take a little trip over to Nordstrom or Sephora or where ever you like to shop for beauty, and test some shades out.  It is so worth the time and energy it takes to find something that make us feel our very best.  Pinterest is another fabulous resource for researching almost anything.  I've seen many tips on choosing the best lip colors for specific skin tones.

5.  Create your own beauty mood board.  You can use an online site like Pinterest, or put together a binder of pictures you tear out of mags.  I do both, and it is such a valuable tool for me.

6.  Experiment and practice.  Choose a time when you are not rushed.  Retreat to your freshly cleaned powder room, light a candle and grab a cup of tea or vino or your bev of choice.   You are an artist, your face is your canvas.  Let this truth seep in.  Now, take time to discover your go-to beauty looks.  Don't get discouraged.  This is a process.  There will be fails, but you'll get there.  I promise!

 Oh, and a kitty photobomb!  
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this post.  Please let me know what you think.  If there is any specific beauty post you would like to see here on Classy Ever After please leave your suggestion in the comment section.  You can also email me at classyeverafter@gmail.com