Lately: Books I’ve Read

It’s been a while since I’ve done an update of the books I’ve read. Like, a WHILE.

As y’all know, I love to read and can pretty much devour any book that’s put in front of me…well, maybe except like Mein Kampf, or War and Peace. But that’s neither here nor there.

Here is what I’ve read as of late:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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For awhile, I was on a kick of WW2 historical fiction which is what drew me to this book. I REALLY liked this one. The author goes between two different stories that end up weaving together. Both of the main characters begin as children and both of their stores are so fascinating. I highly recommend this book if you are into historical fiction!

Life from Scratch by Melissa Ford

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I read this because I think it was $5.99 on my Kindle and I wanted something totally mindless. I also tend to love books about food or cooking (go fig). This was kindof a romantic-comedy in book form and focused on a divorcee (another reason it resonated with me) who blogs about cooking. It was a fun, easy read.

The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty

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I love books set in the 20’s! This one is about a woman who chaperones a young actress/dancer from her hometown for the summer. It isn’t the most thrilling book of all time, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and especially loved the time period.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

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Obviously I read this. The SECOND that movie preview came out, I knew I wanted to read the book. Similar to Gone Girl, this book was thrilling and sexy (ooooh sexy) and scary. The main character was definitely someone you feel sorry for and honestly I think Emily Blunt was a bit too regal to play her in the movie. Much to my chagrin, I have not yet seen the movie! But I will. Anyway, if you want a seriously engulfing book that will keep your attention all the way through, read this!

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

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I found this book on the Barnes & Noble site after researching “books similar to Girl on the Train”. Haha I am so predictable. Anyway, this was NOTHING like Girl on the Train. It was much more slow-moving and the timeline went backwards. At first I kindof hated that it was working backwards but then I grew to like it. I ended up finding it pretty good…not great.

My Bachelorette Party and Wedding Shower

Ok first of all.

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Being the 30-year-old bachelorette that I am, meant my party was devoid of, shall I say, the trashy traditional ‘murican customs. Exhibit A: Nobody got alcohol poisoning OR puked. Exhibit B: We were all dressed on-trend, classy and all that fugly bachelorette party sh*t (i.e hot pink sashes, lifesavers tee shirts OR anything of a phallic nature) was NON existent.

And while nobody got arrested or went home with a bearded man named Buzz, us mature ladies GOT DOWN. In a cool, swanky, our-feet-hurt-and-we’re-kinda-tired way.

I arrived in Seattle on Friday night just in time to check in the hotel and grab pizza and wine at Pagliacci’s with Nan and sister Megan. We downed our food and promptly passed out at 10:30 PM after watching 15 minutes of Valentines Day on TV (such a stupid movie, if you ask me).

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Kicking off the weekend

The next day we awoke and after our ritual Starbucks, twas off to Bell Square for some shopping. My poor little Nan has three separate (yet, possibly related) foot/ankle injuries. A bone spur, a painful Morton’s Neuroma (look it up) and an ankle pain which has not yet been diagnosed. After watching her hobble around that morning, it was clear that girlfriend wasn’t going to be able to traipse about the mall, trying to keep up with the likes of Megan in hot pursuit of a J.Crew sale.

So, we went to customer service and procured ourselves a right fine WHEELCHAIR. Nan felt like the biggest fuddy-duddy ever in existence, but Meg and I insisted she sit her butt down and accept the ride.

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I pushed her about the mall, stopping to look at danskos and nearly jamming her feet into the back of the elevator, which, because it was glass, everyone saw. HEY! I was a first-timer!

Megan found some treasures at Anthropologie and J.Crew – then it was off to nowhere’s ville USA for my dress fitting. We picked up my sis Rachel and Megan bought me that caramel crunch Frappuccino at the Bux I had been dying to try!

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We arrived one hour later at the dress alterations place and wandered around picking out the best and worst of the bunch.

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My fitting went great and the dress fits like a glove. Now if only I could grow 3-4 cup sizes between now and July 5th, that’d be great.

After my fitting we went to Red Robin because, of course we did. We had fries and salads and felt healthy, yet indulgent. Rach then led me to the bar where we ordered Kamikazes and the old man next to us thought that was pretty darn funny. Oh, day drinking.

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Sissy purses!

After lunch we made a stop at Nordstrom Rack where I very nearly dropped $140 on a discounted pair of Tory Burch pumps that were srsly made for me. But I was a good girl and remembered the fact that, oh yeah, I’m unemployed :).

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We battled traffic back to Bellevue and finally arrived at our hotel around 5:30. Holly, Carey and Jaclyn arrived shortly thereafter and of course the shenanigans sky-rocketed. We sipped drinks of mojito, cosmo, champagne and yes, just straight vodka as we got ready and danced around the hotel room listening to hits of the early 2000’s and smearing makeup all over our mugs.

I opened some prezies and got some seriously beautiful lingerie in addition to silver butterfly pasties c/o Mizz Johnson. I can always count on Rachel to bring da funk.

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We slipped into our outfits and quickly realized we were all in black and white because we are SO darn classy.

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Then it was off to Palamino to meet up with Bryan’s mom and have a little din-din before hitting the town. Dinner was a BLAST. I consumed an entire pizza, 1 vodka gimlet and 2 vodka sodies.

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After dinner, we decided to head over to the Parlor, per a recommendation from our server.

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Immediately we found a large booth we could all sink into and order up some white gummy bear shots. If you have not tried this, just do it. I don’t care if you are 47 with 8 kids and two Pomeranians – go out and get yerself one a’these. SO GOOD.

Then we met a tabe of random men-folk and they tried to get us to take these 4 drinks off their hands which the bartender had mistakenly made them. They were fireball + pineapple juice. DRY-HEAVE. God bless Rach though, she took a small sip and proclaimed, “Tastes like apple sauce!”.

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We danced. We shouted. Laughed and made random friends in the bathroom. We also went to the Lucky Strike where we danced on the stages and they blast icy air in your face, which really, is genius. I asked a tabe of young gentlemen how old they thought I was and the consensus was 22. 22!?

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I love that Holly’s just throwing rap fingers

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Clearly Megan loved the shots of Patron

THEY MADE MY NIGHT. And I told them so.

2:00 came and went. Rachel fell in some bushes and we stumbled back. Meg and I unsuccessfully ordered a pizza and I chomped down on a half-eaten Clif bar in my purse before 3 glasses of water and bed.

The next day we all woke up a little worse for the wear, but nothing a huge breakfast, Gatorade and venti Starbucks couldn’t cure.

We headed into Redmond at 11 am for my second wedding shower at a friend of Bryan’s families house. Her house was GORGEOUS and the food was perfectly delectable. We had 2 kinds of quiche, muffins, fresh fruit and delicious peach fizzy drinks. I got to see so many of my great friends in Seattle and also meet some ladies who are very close to Bryan’s mom.

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Adorable lawn shower decorations!

I opened all my gifts and was blown away at everyone’s generosity. Again, I felt totally undeserving and weird, as I did at my previous shower. I mean, all these people gathered around me, celebrating me, buying stuff for me. Really?! It’s all so fabulous and heart-warming.

The drive home was long and BRUTAL. I stopped for a redbull and it did absolutely nothing for my sagging eyelids. So, I did what your supposed to do in that situation. I pulled over and took a nap. At a gas station. Parked next to a bunch of other cars who saw me sleeping prolly with my mouth wide open and snoring like a banshee. SAFTEY FIRST you guys!

I made it home safely to my man, who is also now done with taking the CFA III. We don’t get the results until early September, but at least his hours of studying each day are OVER and we can focus on being a normal couple again :).

All in all, a successful weekend full of love, vodka and edible bras.

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The group!

It’s real.

Mini Collective Haul

Hey Y’all!

For starters, I am obsessed with the show Girls on HBO. It’s reminiscent of Sex and the City, except they’re younger, not as glamorous and the topics more…raw? Interesting? Unbelievable, yet totally relatable. On one hand, I feel sympathy for these four young ladies and on the other, fortuitous, having lived through a seemingly mild (in every sense of the word) decade. No 2-week marriages, awful self-inflicted baby bangs or absent hippie parents for me – THANK GOD.

I digress. Now, for the reason we’re all here today. THE SH*T I BOUGHT.

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Apparently it’s been a lash kinda phase for me.

Maybelline One by One Mascara

I think the brand is getting rid of this formula, hence it was on sale for $3.99. I can get away with using a rubberized wand as long as I pair it with a bristley one to build up the volume. I figured $4 was a heck of a deal so I grabbed it!

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L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara

A cult favorite, this mascara will pair beautifully with the Maybelline one (like a fine wine). The wand has bristles, is thick-ish and the formula is on the wet side which will create some gorgeous lashes!

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Covergirl Bombshell Liquid Liner

I bought this on a whim because my L’Oreal Carbon Black dried out and I felt like branching out. I gave it a try and it was pretty easy to use and I was able to construct a nice winged liner. Plus, the size is SO cute!

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Ardell Demi Lashes in 120

These were only $3.49 at the Rack and I loooove them. I find the lashes with a bit of separation between the clumps look a bit more natural.

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Ardell Short Individuals

For the wedding, I plan on wearing a set of top lashes and adding in some individuals where I need. Then, I am going to spruce up my bottom lashes with a few as well.

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Kardashian Beauty Ombre Blush

This blush was $10 and 50% off and I wanted it really bad for a while so yes, I had to have it. It is the lightest shade in the line and a really cute babydoll pink. I found out about it from Sam Schuerman, who rocks btw.

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My bachelorette party (if we’re calling it that) is this weekend. So stay tuned for THAT.

Rockin’ Moroccan

Moroccan. OIL.

I started using this preciousness over 3 years ago, based on a recommendation from a stylist who came into the coffee shop I worked at. She had long, GORGEOUS locks and said she owed much of her mane’s success to Moroccan Oil. So, as a poor barista I walked down to the salon and forked over the $25 for a .85 oz bottle.

Weeks later, the state of my tired, broken hair had improved ions and I was also completely addicted to the smell of the stuff. Like liquid diamonds, I treated it as such. Savored every drop until the bottle was empty and off to the salon I’d go, happily exchanging my hard-earned tips for not even an ounce of this oil I quickly realized, I could not live without.

Like Lassie, Moroccan Oil has remained a tried and true, dependable, and loyal friend. There for me when other products failed. A shoulder to cry on after bad highlight jobs, split ends and one too many bottles of crappy shampoo.

Recently, sister Amy gifted me this set made in heaven. Three blissful products in LARGE sizes just for me. I am truly blessed. Here are the goods!

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When just the color of the bag makes me giggle like a school girl, YOU KNOW the stuff inside is worthy of heroic introduction.

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::cues Hallelujah chorus::

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Of the three, I must admit I am the least excited about this, only because frizz isn’t something I suffer with. Perhaps I can bring ‘er on humid vacay?

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Cannot WAIT to try this stuff you guys. A Moroccan Oil heat protectant? You had me at Moroccan.

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Annnnnd the money shot. This is what I have used and loved these past years but in a, get ready for it– 3.4 ounce sized bottle of righteousness. The majesty will be unleashed very soon, as the last 1/4 of my mini bottle is slowly dissipating. Perhaps I’ll throw a party when I delve into this perfectly mastered bottle? I can see it now! Turquoise and orange streamers, maybe a firework or two?

And of course, the All-American Chocolate Cake from Costco. But that my friends, is another post ;).

Girls Weekend in Leavenworth

One of the best things about playing volleyball for the majority of my life has undoubtedly been the friends I have made.

Ladies who will be my lifelong buddies. My posse. My PICs, yo.

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THROWBACK

Three of those ladies, I got to meet up with last weekend – for a delightful 2 night stay in Leavenworth, the little Bavarian mountain town right smack dab in the middle of the state.

My pal Carey was kind enough to organize a short stay at the wonderful Sleeping Lady Resort, a small and completely charming little cluster of cabins nestled comfortably in the trees. Carey is SO good at these kinds of things. Nails it ‘err time.

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From the website

I arrived on Friday night, after a two hour drive through the snow. Bryan drove me because he is nice and because I am the worst driver ever my driving skills need work.

We had dinner at Kingfisher restaurant and it felt SO great to be back with my girls. We had wine, great food(albeit, expensive) and ended up closing the place down.

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Back in the room we sat around in the AMAZINGLY soft beds, sipping wine, eating chocolate and talking about issues such as full-bottomed underwear and the best wrinkle cremes. I realized, yeah – we’re definitely not 20 anymore. We are women. W-O-M-E-N. We have husbands (and fiances). We have children. And mortgages and our backs hurt.

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Although so much has changed within the four of us, our friendships have remained the same. Conversations pick up right where they left off. We wish we could be at every birthday party, job promotion celebration, or major life event for one another. But we can’t. So we text and we call. And sometimes we don’t even do that. But we all know that no matter what happens, we’re still there.

OMG you guys this is sooooooooo sappy. Okay. On to the rest of the weekend before I puke.

The next morning I awoke to the musical stylings of Bekah, who will NEVER disappoint me with her half made up/half real songs and little jigs. What a gem, she is! Getting out the door is challenging with us, it’s like herding cats. Everything takes 1,000 more minutes than it should. In this case, it was totally my fault, but eyeliner application will do that to ya.

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SORRY

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Nature’s fridge

We headed into the town for lunch at Munchen Haus for brats and a round of pints. The place was buzzing despite the low temps and so we quickly grabbed a table and clinked our steins.

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After lunch, we wandered into a few stores. Our favorite by far was Paprika the”Sophisticated Hippie”.

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Bek found a friend!

Then we were off to beer garden no. 2 – Leavenworth Sausage Garten. How much do you love that it’s Garten, not Garden?

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So Normal

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The local beer went down real nice and then we all bought chocolates. Oh lawd – SO bavarian.

Then we decided it was time to head back to the hotel to warm our buns in the hot tub. We rang for plastic cups, popped the champagne and headed down the path to the outdoor hot tub lookin DAMN SEXY.

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Holly with the presentation

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Check out them boots

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The four of us alone in the hot tub with champagne- you can guess what went down. A FULL ON Kelly Kapowski style swimsuit competition, where each of us pulled the sides of our bottoms up past our hip bones and slooowly walked up the steps out of the hot tub. So. Hot.

After hot tubbing, we headed back to our room to change for our dinner at The Grotto. The interior was quite cozy, with a fully stocked bar and  a menu offering a modest selection of small plates, pizzas and calzones.

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Little Pink Unicorn!?!? OMGGG

My calzone was decent. Nothing great. I may a bit biased however, because Bryan happens to make the best pizza ever and his dough is particularly scrumptious.

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After dinner, we skipped dessert in lieu of wine and chocolate back in our little cabin. The highlight of the evening had to be Holly re-living her childhood dream of starring in the “Hold On”  music video by Wilson Philips. She acted out the whole thing, complete with serious/sad faces and it was AWESOME. After, we all huddled around Carey’s cell phone (the ONLY one of us who had reception) and watched the real music video, and I must say…Holly nailed it.

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The next morning we woke up to falling snow and the sadness that our weekend was coming to a close. We group hugged for a solid 5 minutes (which isn’t weird to us, or anyone who has played volleyball, btw) and said our goodbyes. It was truly a weekend of love, deep conversation and large sausages.

It was sad, but in the paramount words of Wilson Phillips…

Hold on for one more day….

The Liebster Award: Take 2

What appropriate timing!

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Oscar Sunday coming up and I get nominated for another Liebster Award? Move over Meryl. Take a seat, Ms. Bullock. There’s an up-and-comer and she’s taking the world by storm!

ME

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Big thanks to the lovely Brandi of That Saucy Mama for the nomination.

If you care to read more about the specifics of the Liebster Award, see this post.

Here are the 11 questions I was asked to answer:

1. What made you want to start a blog?

Originally it was to document my fiance Bryan and I’s life together in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. I wanted to write about our adventures in the mountains, my learning to ski, recipes and everything in between.

2. If you were given a shopping spree, in what store would you choose to use it?

OMG What a great question! So many schools of thought here. I suppose at this prudent, nesting stage in my life, it would be Restoration Hardware. BUT. The other sides of me would scream “SEPHORA!”, “BERGDORFS!” or “TAAAARRRGET!”.

3. Do you wear makeup everyday, or just on special occasions?

Errday my friends.

4. Who is your favorite band/singer/musician?

DUDE. These questions! Toughie. Dead or alive I am assuming? Honestly, my favorite music to listen to is all from Musicals and/or Disney. Does Ariel count as a musician?

5. What is the one thing, no matter how crap your day was, that can make you smile?

Several things. A cocktail. Ellen DeGeneres. My fiance. Talking to any member of my family. Sandwiches. Texting my friends ugly pictures of myself with “the claw”. Serial killer literature. Or of course, baby monkey.

6. Are you a tech junkie, or just a tech user?

USER all the way. And while we’re on the subject, let’s bring back the rotary dial!

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7. If you were a lip product, what product and color would you be? (lipstick, gloss, balm…)

MAC Saint Germain lipstick. All. The. Way.

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8. What is your favorite type of blog post to read/write?

I love reading mommy blogs because one day I will be a mom and I will need all the help I can get. My favorite posts to write are probably vacation re-caps, because hey, I just got back from vaca b*itches!

9. What is your go to type of outfit?

Well, this is obviously seasonal. However, right now I would have to say, Gap skinny jeans, a slightly baggy sweater, boots, a scarf and my new Tory Burch purse :). But of course, you’re never fully dressed without a smile diamonds.

10. Do you have a favorite meal to cook?

I get more of a kick outta baking. Namely cupcakes. I make a mean salad dressing, I suppose. And these are also a favorite of mine to make.

11. Are you a glass half full, or glass half empty person?

Half full forever. Nay, brimming! OVERFLOWING.

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Dance with life, people. Dance with life!

The Lipstick Tag

FINALLY!

I tag devoted solely to lipstick, which is SUCH an important part of my life 🙂

lipstick-tagI was tagged by the lovely and talented Heather, of Coconut and Cotton. She does great makeup reviews, OOTDs and lots more – thanks Heather!

Here are the questions:

1. How many lipsticks do you own?

Errr…ummm….probably close to 30. AND I NEED MORE.

2. What was the first lipstick you owned?

Well, the first lip product I owned dates back allll the way to 6th grade. Where I kept a menagerie of the latest from Bonne Bell stored comfortably in my pencil pouch. Favorites:

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The first actual lipstick was a from a Clinque Bonus Time that my mom got, in Sweet Honey.

3. What is your favorite lipstick brand?

High end would be MAC for sure. Drugstore would be the Wet’n’Wild ones for $1.99.

4. What is your most worn lipstick?

Definitely Mac Creme Cup and Mac Viva Glam Gaga 1.

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Creme Cup

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Viva Glam Gaga 1

5. What is your favorite finish?

In terms of MAC, I would say Cremesheens are my go-to. Otherwise, I like a satin finish.

6. What was the last lipstick you bought?

I just bought the MAC lipsticks, from the Fantasy of Flowers collection. Check them out here.

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7. How many lip products do you currently have in your bag?

Surprisingly, only seven. Here we have:photo (23)

Wet’n’Wild lipstick in Think Pink, Mac Viva Glam Gaga 1, Mac Fleur D’Coral, Maybelline Color Sensational  Lip Gloss in Fuchsia Sparks, Too Faced Glamour Glass in Sex Pot, Em Cosmetics Lipstick in Posh and Lancome Juicy Tubes in Simmer.

8. What is your favorite red lip color?

I usually stick to red tinted lips, because I usually end up looking like a hot mess with a true red lip. Here are my faves:

Revlon Lip Butter in Red Velvet (easy to wear)

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Wet’n’Wild Lipstick in 24 Carrot Gold (more orangey-red)

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9. How do you store your lipsticks?

I have a couple acrylic holders, as seen here:

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But mostly they are just everywhere. In the car, in my coat pockets, coming out my ears, etc.

10. Which lipsticks are you currently lusting after?

SEVERAL.

Nars Schiap

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YSL Rouge Volupte in No. 7 Lingerie Pink

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MAC Lipstick in Pink Noveau

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Lime Crime Lipstick in Coquette & Babette

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And that’s it folks! I tag anyone who is reading and luuurves lipstick.