Tag Archives: DIY beauty

Three Easy Steps to Date Night Eyes

date night eyesWhen you go on a date with your hubby, do you do anything special? Do you wear a dress? Put on fancy perfume? Actually bathe?

Before we had children, we rarely went on dates. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: stupid! Please go on as many dates as humanly possible before kids. Spend money. Dress up. Stay out late. Don’t wear jeans.

Now, anytime grandparents are in town visiting, we’re like, Uh…. could we go on a date!?

Of course they always say Yes!

We’re already eager just to be together and have uninterrupted conversations, but date night also makes me eager to dress up and get all fancy-schmancy for my husband. Why? So that he is reminded that I am his and he is mine.

 Your cheeks are beautiful with earrings, your neck with strings of jewels. We will make you earrings of gold, studded with silver. (Song of Solomon 1:9-10, NIV)

The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon (Song of Solomon 4:11, NIV)

You have stolen my heart, my sister, my bride; you have stolen my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. (Song of Solomon 4:9, NIV)

Now, in Song of Solomon, there is lots of gazing and describing of each others’ God-given bodies. And I’m not going to pretend the focus is on the eyes. It’s pretty much everywhere, especially underneath the clothing!

However, the lover (i.e., man) does focus on the eyes at least a couple of times:

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves. (Song of Solomon 1:15, NIV)

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes behind your veil are doves. (Song of Solomon 4:1, NIV)

In chapter 1, the lover and the beloved are getting married, and in chapter 4, they are about to consummate the marriage.

How often did you gaze into your husband’s eyes on your wedding day and soon thereafter? And how often do you gaze into them now? Yeah, it’s kind of pathetic to think about, huh?

But he wants your eyes to rest on him. And he wants his eyes to rest on you.

So back to date night – I always, always make sure to enhance my eyes for date night. After all, Brad will be looking at (mostly) them during our entire date.

There are three things that I always do to get date night eyes:

1. Touch up and darken your makeup.

Whatever makeup I put on that morning, I touch it up and darken it. I re-powder, and always put extra blush, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara. And of course lips! You know those always need work.

Darkening your eyeshadow and eyeliner will enhance your eyes and change your look from daytime to date time. Plus, sometimes it’s DARK on dates! He won’t be able to see your normal makeup anyway!

2. Use a highlighter around your eye.

This one might be new for you, but it’s my absolute favorite accidental-makeup find. I got my Benefit Highlighter pencil (get yours using that link!) as a free gift with purchase quite a while ago. I thought I would never use it, but I always pull it out on date night.

You can use a highlighter pencil in several ways. For example, you can “draw” a line under your cheekbones and smudge it in.

But I use it most often on my eyes. Here’s how:

First, focus on the inner corner of your eye – the corner by your nose. Use the pencil to trace that little corner. Don’t be shy about using too much; it’s subtle (and you can always smudge it in if it freaks you out haha!). Once the corner is nice and focused, just use softer strokes outward above and below the corner to blend the highlighter into your eyelid. You can choose to smudge it, but I never do.

The inner corner of your eye is now bright and a little bit wow!

Secondly, and I got this awesome tip from a makeup artist on an AT&T shoot I did, use your highlighter to outline your eyeliner! You may already have a darker-than-usual eyeliner on for date night. Now, use the highlighter on the edge of that line. If you’re on the bottom of your eye, trace under the eyeliner, and if you’re on the top of your eye, trace above the eyeliner.

This is a subtle hit of WOW for date night. You can choose to just do the corner of your eye, just the corner and bottom line, or all of the tips above. I hope you love it as much as I do. Look closely at the image at the top of this post, and you can see the effects.

3. Darken your eyebrows.

I already have big, bushy, dark eyebrows that I’m constantly trying to tame (case in point, the “morning” pic I took!). But that doesn’t mean they don’t need some extra ooomph.

Using just a hint of brow powder can add drama to your eyes. Plus, it’s something people won’t easily notice. They’re like, “You look great!” But they’re not sure why. 😉

Look at my date night picture to see what a difference brow powder (and wax) makes! It’s a pretty big difference. But I don’t think it looks fake or scary. That’s the goal!

You will need brow powder, brow wax, and an angled brow brush. You can buy all of these separately, but I would opt for a brow kit like this one instead if this is new to you, as long as it has the right color for you.

Speaking of brow powder color, you want a color that is just a smidge lighter than your brow hair. My brow hairs are very dark brown, so I go for a medium brown (not blonde) brow powder. The color I use is Taupe by Smashbox. In fact, I highly recommend the Smashbox brow kits, which are specific to hair color. For these, you have to buy the brush separately.

Now, to apply the powder, dab the angled brush in the powder, then touch it to your brow just past the edge. You’re not trying to outline your brows, just add a little powder in the middle. Without adding more brow powder to the brush, blot the brush on your brow two more ticks up and to the right.

Once both eyebrows have powder, add wax to your brush, then use the brush to “comb down” the brows at the top. The wax should help any wild hairs stick to the ones that are better behaved.

And that’s it! Three easy steps to eyes ready for gazing!

What are your must-dos for date night? Do you have any extra tips for us?


How to Dress in Modest Clothing and Modest Swimwear for Summer

Summer is coming quickly, and here in Austin, it gets H.O.T.! We pretty much wiggle between cold and hot with a very short lovely Spring.

And when it gets above 80 degrees, like it already has, it’s time to pull out the shorts and tank tops and flip flops! And don’t forget swimwear! But not the triangle bikini this summer, how about modest swimwear?

But how do you retain your modesty while still being fashionable? …Maybe I should start with the why first.

Why should I dress modestly?

Reason #1: Because it’s Biblical.

I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2:9-10, NIV)

In other words, our true beauty, even outwardly, comes from what overflows from the inside. If our focus is on the Lord and doing His will, then we are truly beautiful. There is no need for us to reveal ourselves physically in our dress.

Reason #2: Because I want to respect the men who see my daily.

Add to the above reason the fact that men are hard-wired as visual creatures, easily stimulated and tempted by what they see, and you can see the Biblical benefits for modest dress.

Is it ok, then, to dress fashionably?

Let’s look at the Proverbs 31 woman as an example:

When it snows, she has no fear for her household;    for all of them are clothed in scarlet. She makes coverings for her bed;    she is clothed in fine linen and purple. … She is clothed with strength and dignity; … Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;    but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:21-22,25,30, NIV)

The Proverbs 31 woman dresses quite finely it seems, but if you read the rest of the chapter, you see what other magnificent things she accomplishes for the Lord – her husband is praised and respected in part because of her. Her family is abundantly taken care of. She is a savvy business woman. And more!

So if her fear of the Lord is overflowing into all of this business-savviness and care of her family, do you think she’s spending the majority of her time getting dressed in the morning? Do you think she’s thinking of a way to get away with showing a little skin? I don’t think so!

Since our beauty comes from our character and love of the Lord, it’s important that our dress be modest, pleasing to our husbands, and not the top priority in our lives.

With that being said, how do you dress in a way that honors the Lord (and your husband, if applicable), but is still fun and fashionable?

Here are my tips!

Dressing well is more about fit than wearing the most expensive or in-style pieces.

If your clothes fit well, they will appear more pricey and fashionable. This means it may take some time when you’re buying something at the store. You should try your clothes on before buying them! Otherwise, you will end up with clothes that just sort of fit. And you won’t feel good in them.

You can create great style by layering.

If you feel fashionaly incompetent, like I do sometimes, then always try to layer something. In other words, try to wear clothes not just off the rack.

For summer, how do you layer but still stay cool?

  • choose the right fabrics: loose and light
  • your bottom layer should be a tank or camisole
  • your top layer should be something you can take off (with modesty) if needed
  • embellish! Add a piece of flair to your outfit. For example, you can add a flower pin or use a light scarf to tie through your belt loops
  • for the pool or waterpark – choose a tankini. They’re much easier to take off than a one-piece, and still super cute and modest.

Ask yourself if you would feel comfortable with your 10 year old daughter wearing this.

Ask yourself if you feel good.

You should be comfortable!

Ask your husband if he likes how you dress and feels respected by how you dress.

Now, here are some of my tips in action! I would have put these outfits on to show you the fit part of my tips, but I’m pregnant and don’t have many summer clothes yet!

Look at this cute tank.

On its own, it’s cute, but ho-hum. Now, layer it with a cool top layer, and add a fitted pencil skirt:

This outfit shows an example of layering plus embellishing. And yes – you can mix prints if one of them is treated like a “solid” 🙂

And my last example combines layering with tailored fit – these shorts were inexpensive but fit like they were tailored:

And bonus: half of the items above are from Target, so they’re affordable, and you won’t cry when the mac n cheese ruins them!

Obviously, my tips are not exhaustive.  I could cover things like, Don’t wear words on your rear and  Watch out for your bra straps. What tips would you add?

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DIY Date Night Nails – Tips for Sally Hansen Salon Effects

date night nails
Spring Break means that Samuel’s Naunie, who’s a teacher, is available to babysit for me. Which means a 3-day sleepover for Samuel. Which means a date night for mommy and daddy! :):):)

I know, I know. We should be having three date nights, but alas, Brad ended up with meetings on 2 of the nights we were free. (It’s just comes with the job!)

After dropping Sammy off with Naunie, I treated myself to a trip to Ulta – one of the great DIY beauty meccas! And if you know me personally, you know I’m all about DIY beauty. I do my own pedicures; I highlight my own hair; I even wax my own bikini – yup!!!

But mommyhood sometimes gets in the way of momma’s beauty. And I’m OK with that. For a time. But then it’s time to rev it back up – I want to look good for my man! He knows I do it primarily for him, so when I try a new lipstick or get a new blouse or wash my hair, he seems pleased. What man wouldn’t stand taller for a woman who wants to be a feast for his eyes only?

It’s definitely been awhile since I was able to take care of myself, so I had to stock up at Ulta. New pedicure tools, new waxing and shaving supplies (my razor was YEARS old and had mold on it – yeah). And I decided to try something new:

Sally Hansen Salon Effects. Have you heard of these? I know they’ve been out for awhile now, but I rarely paint my fingernails, so I’m kinda late to the game. They’re basically like nail polish stickers.

And I’m in love with them!

Everything you need is in the little kit, except for a swipe of nail polish remover. You do a little prep to your nails (with the kit tools), then you apply the stickers one by one. The kit comes with several sizes, including extras, and each sticker has a squarish edge and a curvy edge so you can choose which is right for your cuticle area.

I would say the whole process took me about 30 minutes. I’m a little fastidious (i.e., anal), so I spent a little extra time making sure everything was just so. After you’ve done it once, I bet you could cut 5-10 minutes off the process.

This is definitely a project you could do while relaxing in front of the TV, too. It’s not super messy (no wet nail polish, just stickers and sticker pieces).

The prices of the kits vary from about $2.50 – $9.99 for new/popular patterns. Mine cost about $5 at Ulta. A steal for a fun little manicure!

Are you ready to try it? Here are my tips:

  • Read the instructions through once before you get started. They’re very simple, but this will help you feel confident as you move forward.
  • Sit somewhere with good lighting! I did this in my dimly lit bedroom, which was a mistake.
  • Choose and line up which stickers will go on which nails before starting. I just lined them up from left to right, pinky to thumb for the left hand and thumb to pinky for the right hand.
  • When choosing the stickers, consider the fact that your nail beds curve down on the left and right. One sticker I chose was a little skinny because I didn’t factor that in – but it still ended up looking good!
  • If this is your first time, choose a pattern or glitter kit, rather than solid. If you make some minor mistakes, you won’t be able to tell.
  • When you put the sticker on, line it up in your cuticle, and then press in the middle of your cuticle. Keeping your finger on the cuticle, press up from there. In other words, stick down the center of the nail first. Then, move from the center to the sides.
  • After using the wood stick to smooth the edges, check if you got a little bit of overlap off the side of your nail. If you did, you can use the pointed side to get rid of it. Simply “outline” the edge of your nail with the pointed end, like you’re drawing over it. Don’t be too rough or you can damage the sticker. Just be firm and go over it a few times. The excess piece will start to disconnect, and you can take it off.
  • Make sure to crease the sticker over the front of your nail and rub it down. Then, use the file as instructed to get the excess to come away. You want to put the file on top of the sticker rather than underneath so that it stays connected to the rest of the nail. With light filing, once the excess starts to separate, you can gently pull it away or continue filing until it’s completely removed.
  • Do both of your thumbs last. You’ll see why. 😉
  • Enjoy!!

Oh! I also painted my toenails for date night using crackle polish (I was in a hurry so don’t mind the bad polish job):

date night nails

How much do you like DIY beauty? Could you use some more help with it? Let me know in the comments!

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