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A long absence, and a long post

Well it’s been a while.

I have several ongoing projects that are currently on hold either due to upcoming plans, budget restrictions or,  the weather (and by weather I mean 95+ temperatures)

But I might as well do an update on my accutane experiences. So it’s been about 7weeks since I started and so far relatively good. 

My skin feels amazing by comparison to how it used to. No inflammation. No pain. Very few cysts, and the ones I do have are small and pretty painless. 

It’s taking a bit of getting used to. I’ve always had combination skin verging on oily, particularly in the summer. This summer it’s nothing but dry. All of my usual products which generally have some kind of gentle resurfacing acid in them (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, ascorbic) absolutely burn my skin. 

I’ve had to completely overhaul my skin care routine. It’s actually kind of fun considering I do this for a living yet I am generally stuck in my ways and will only ever change out one thing in my routine at a time, and rarely at that. So here are some things I’ve found particularly helpful.  

First The Essentials


Even if I don’t put anything else on after washing I mist my skin with Jurlique’s rose water balancing skin mist, and put on generous amounts of First Aid Beauty’s (F.A.B.) Ultra Repair Cream. Even before I started accutane I adored the rose water mist for its soothing quality, but now it’s an absolute essential. Ultra repair cream which I have recomended to countless people with dry and irritated skin has been a life saver for both my face and body. 

The Cleansing Essentials


Now that my skin is dry not only do I have to hydrate it more but I have to be more meticulous with exfoliation. Unfortunately because it’s sensitive on top of that I can’t go my usual route of chemical exfoliation. For my face I’ve been using a gentle powder exfoliate from Farmacy it’s a combination of enzyme exfoliate with gentle physical exfoliation. Gentle enough to use weekly without any irritation to my newly sensitive skin. For every day makeup cleansing I’ve been using F.A.B.’s Milk oil cleanser. 

The skin on my body has always been a bit on the dry side it’s just a bit dryer now, but I’ve not had the sensitivity I’ve experienced on my face. So I don’t have to worry as much about over exfoliation. I’ve been using a scrub from target. It isn’t foamy but does have little exfoliation grains in it, and in conjunction with an exfoliating glove from eco tools it works great for everyday cleansing. If I need an extra scrub I’ll use (not pictured) Peter Thomas  Roth’s Irish Moor Mud cleanser. I can’t use it for my face anymore but it gives an excellent chemical exfoliation to the body when used in conjunction with the glove. 

As noted by the presence of Dry Bar’s Sake Bomb nourishing shampoo and conditioner even my hair and scalp have been dry. This is the first set of hair products I’ve tried so the verdict is still out on it.

Pampering


 I might have a slight mask addiction. I always liked sheet masks. But as you can probably tell I am now obsessed. My all time favorites are Farmacy, Dr.Jart water replenishment as well as Sephora’s lip masks. They are all made of this hydrogel material that is absolutely amazing. 

The Splurge


Tatcha is hella expensive. But oh my gosh does my skin love it now. Their luminous dewy skin mist is something I never thought I would like. Dewy was like a dirty word when I had oily skin. Now spraying that on my face feels like taking a dunk in a pool. It feels absolutely marvelous. And their Indigo soothing triple  Recovery cream I can’t say enough about it… 

Anyway… Sorry I took a long absence… Then I wrote a really long post, I’m actually going to be out of town this coming weekend so I likely won’t get a post up then either… But I’ll give you a hint where I’ll be 


I’ve got a train to catch…


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Jumping the gun

I was going to do a post on our coffee table but it’s in the process of drying in the garage so In anticipation of 100 followers on WordPress and in celebration of having hit 100+  likes on my Facebook this week, not to mention swiftly approaching 100 posts and two years with what started out as a little experiment, I thought I would round up some of my favorite posts. PS if you haven’t liked my Facebook page you totally should, I sneak in extra posts and updates there, so you should definitely click here. The hyperlinks are included in the text and pictures if you feel like checking out each post.

At the tippy top of the list will probably always be my series about my antique desk. I actually have another desk that will get a refinish this summer. I’m  beyond excited for that. 


If you want to see the whole series start here but here are the individual links 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
 

And bittersweetly to accompany my desk is the post about my mother in laws chair


Thanks to being in a new house I’ve had lots of great projects recently, my particular favorites being the hallway full of frames. 

And of course our new/old entertainment center soon to be joined by a mid century table which you may have seen a sneak peak of in one of my recent posts

Let’s not forget about remodeling that bathroom, that was pretty awesome. 


I’ve also got to give love to my Halloween makeup posts 

Of which this past fall’s look went a wee bit viral on Pinterest… Oh right did I mention I’m on Pinterest…. I’m on it a lot  my username is ItsybitsyBows… Cause TinyBows was taken 

And last but not least an early favorite is my clock turned lantern.

 

If you guys have any projects  you want to see drop me a line in the comments. 

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Greenery

I found a present from one of my cats earlier this month. I’m not going to show it to you because it happened to be a pile of puke filled with leaves. Leaves from a flower arrangement  Mr. Smith got me. 

Needless to say I will not be getting any flowers anytime soon. Nor will I have any plants in the house. Which is a tragedy since I love plants, though a boon for the plants themselves since I tend to kill them (My black thumb skills even extend to cacti ) 

  
On the plus side they make some pretty amazing fake plants these days and you can find them pretty cheap this time of year. I recently got an orchid for our library

  
And one for the living room alcove, I’m debating painting the back wall of that alcove the same dark blue the dresser come entertainment center is soon to be. What do you think? 

  
I also found some succulent pieces. This one is perfect for a centerpiece in the dining room, not to tall to obstruct conversation and not to wide to obstruct eating. And if it does need to be moved for a large dinner it’s rather cute on the window sill as well

  

One of my friends used to work at a nursery and I managed to snag this awesome bulb (as in flower bulbs) crate from her.

  
 I gave it a nice wash of milk paint ( you can see another post on milk paint here)

  
I put a little four dollar strip of fake grass in the bottom and screwed it to the wall making sure to anchor it in the studs. 

  
Add to that my stained monogram from a while back and a succulent container and my office finally has some “artwork”. The Beemer approves 

  
I even snuck in some greenery on one of my office bookshelves (“gasp” a bookshelf with no books)

  
Not to mention the cutest desk lamp. And those blades of grass are pens 

 ” Hooray!” for a bunch of plants that the cats have no interest in and that I can’t kill!  It’s a win-win-win

Oh and I’ve also managed to sneak some greens into my diet. It’s a good thing too, all this new found energy has got me on a roll. 

  

Seriously I’m addicted to this stuff. It’s like thin mints in liquid form when you mix it with soy milk, one 8oz cup a day and I legitimately feel more energized. I have never taken “supliments” or vitamins and I avoid caffeine like the plague because I’m a naturally anxious person and it just seems to make my anxiety worse.  But after I had the chance to try this for three days I could feel the difference in my energy levels despite it being caffeine free. I had improved digestion and didn’t crave sweets since this gave me a daily chocolate fix. I was sold and ran out and got a full size. Ok I’m done trying to sell you on this I’m not normally one to do that, I just really like it and thought I would share. 

I’ve got a quick paint update for later this month as well as finishing up my entertainment center and what should be a very interesting frame arrangement for our oh-so-empty hall way. I’ll catch you later. 

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Lemon aid 

When life gives me lemons…. I remind myself how much I love lemonade, seriously it’s an addiction. Know what else I love 

Put it this way, when life gives me scraps, I make bows.

  
When we were visiting Mr. Smith’s Aunt she kindly gave me a ton of amazing (adorable, wonderful, darling, “OMG I need this in my life!”) scrap material 

One stipulation… I had to make bow ties for her new yorkie… 

  
Oh what a hassle that would be (can I just inform anyone unfamiliar with tinybows that statement was dripping with sarcasm) 

I got started right away

  
Just use the same template found on this blog post for my felt hair bows and cut two pieces of the bow loop part of the template. 

  
Cut them at the same time with right sides facing towards one another and take into account seam allowance

   
Sew the two pieces together (still with outsides facing towards one another)

  
Then turn the piece right side out and flatten your seams. If needed (or wanted) you can iron it to get the seams to cooperate, I didn’t because the bows tend to be a little fluffier if you don’t flatten the seams with an iron.

  
Then cut a small rectangle of fabric about 1 inch by 2 inches and sew the long sides together with right sides facing together and again turn right side out

As a tip I had to use a pencil or sometimes a crochet hook to turn the pieces.

  
Then sew the two ends of the bow loop together.

  
Sew the center piece to the side of the back seam of the bow loop.

(Optional if you plan on attaching it to a collar) Sew a small strip of elastic on top of the  center piece

  
Wrap the center piece around the bow loop and sew it on the same seam as it started

  
Here comes the hard part, you have to stretch the elastic and sew it to the remaining centerpiece so that it rouches the fabric and allows the elastic to stretch

  
Trim any excess fabric and elastic and sew the end to the opposite side of the back of the bow 

  
You can of course adjust the size of the pattern based on how big you want the bow for your fur baby but the elastic allows it to easily stretch over the latch of a collar.

  

  

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How Bittersweet it is

Everything is coming up purple! And by that I mean Bittersweet. Urban Decay’s “signature” color. Why? Because look at that gorgeousness!!!

  

  That is the color of happiness…. Or possibly Barney the dinosaur, which is the exact opposite of happiness… I suppose that makes the name bittersweet appropriate. 

Ok on to a quick review the Revolution gloss is very long wearing. I’ve worn it a few times now including shifts at work where I don’t get the chance to touch up and it’s lasted great. The pigmentation is… Well it’s ok, by ok I mean it is super purple but because I have naturally very bright lips it just looks like a cool tone pink 

  
Yup those are my stupid bright naked lips.

  
This is Bittersweet all by its lonesome

I could A. Prime/conceal my lips (yuck) B. Pair it with a nude gloss or C. Manage to find an epically purple lip liner. I’ve just been pairing it over a Marc Jacobs Enamoured Hi-shine lip lacquer  in Moonglow that tones down my lips and eventually mixes with the Bittersweet to make a strange lilac color

  
I suppose that is exhibit B1 with Marc Jacobs gloss. It also works well over nude lipstick like Lancome Rouge in Love in 124M (a great dupe for which is Rimmel London’s Lasting Finish by Kate in 113)

  
I think this was my favorite iteration of any of them because it was the truest purple. 

Oh and not to forget the Afterglow Blush, it is … Epic! I had been on the hunt for a purple blush for a while anyway because every “cool tone” (or for that matter warm tone) blush just ends up looking a generic pink on my lovely pink skin. So I figured the only way I would get a true cool tone was to go all out. (I solved the warm tone a while back with Luminous  Peach from Too Faced, which is just straight up orange) 

  
Bittersweet delivered. I was worried at first it would just look bruise-like on my fair skin, But being light handed and making sure everything was blended it looked just dandy. You may be able to notice above the swatch I blended what was left on my finger.

I might do a tutorial for an all purple look later on so you can see everything in action along with a purple smokey eye. Let me know if you want to see something like that. 

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Meta Bows

Guess who can actually see what they are doing now?

  
Yeah I broke down and got glasses. I knew I needed them when cross stitching was getting hard, but with one of my new jobs it was actually getting to the point where I would have to stop what I was doing just to let my eyes rest.

So enter my new glasses with bows on the bows. 

   That’s right, there are so many bows at this point it’s getting a little meta. 

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Friday (Kinda) Favorites

This has been one of the most chaotic weeks of my life… (Said the woman with no kids) So instead of some fancy tutorial or renovation blog I’m just going to show you what things have been making my crazy life a little easier and more relaxing of late.

I’ll start with what helped me out a bit with my (thank goodness it’s over) bathroom remodel

This marvelous triangular brush is Ah-May-Zing. I (and my cat strangely) have a thing for brushes. If you have the right one it does most of the work for you. This is true with makeup and painting, and this brush was excellent for getting tight edges around tile work and molding.

Can I just say “Why didn’t I think of this?” These shower curtain hooks are genius. I love the little metal hooks with the rolling cylinders at the top but I hate the way they pinch shut. I also hate trying to get a liner and a curtain on them, especially when the curtain doesn’t have grommets. Enter a sturdy metal double hook. One side for the liner one side for the fabric shower curtain.

Ok on to pampering awesomeness, I’ve needed this as stressed out as my week has been.

I’ve been trying out some new cleansers, and new cleansing methods, I’ve used a Clarisonic and purity face wash as my evening cleanse for the last year and a half but with everything in my bathroom being packed away in boxes I downsized to these little sample sizes and a Konjac sponge. The sponge has been absolutely amazing, especially in the morning for a quick cleanse/rinse and the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is wonderful once you get used to the somewhat odd smell. Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion is absolutely wonderful as well. I generally steer clear of microderm partly because my skin is very sensitive and because with a Clairisonic I’m getting manual exfoliation on a regular basis already. Unlike most microdermabrasion washes this has a very creamy and hydrating effect and is not at all drying or irritating even on very sensitive skin like mine.

My everyday makeup drawer (which you may have seen here) got an overhaul as well. I managed to weed out some product and find room for my everyday skin care, which is nice because it gets used even on days when I don’t use makeup.

First off is my Mario Badescu Rosewater spray, I use that after every wash simply because it’s very soothing. Then in the mornings I just pop on some Renewed Hope in a Jar from Philosophy and call it good. It works great as a standalone moisturizer and works wonderfully under makeup. As you can tell by the amount of product in there, my night time routine is a little more extensive. After my rosewater spray I go in with Clinique Smart Serum… I’m not a big fan of Clinique skin care, it’s always been very harsh on my skin but I absolutely adore this serum. Then I go in with my all-time favorite night cream Korres Wild Rose Night time Brightening Sleeping Facial (Believe it or not that name used to be longer). Those two things have been really great at helping my acne scars to fade, helping minimize pore size and improve tone and texture. Just as a testament this is about my 5th jar of Korres and my 2nd bottle of smart serum. They are definitely repurchasing products.

I do have a couple of new things in there one is Dr Brandts Needles No More… OMG!… It works… It possible works to well. I put it on my smile lines a couple nights in a row I went to work and low and behold, I had no little makeup creases in my smile lines anymore. So maybe it doesn’t work to well, but frankly I like my smile lines, those are the good kind of wrinkles. It shows that I don’t always have resting bitch face.

I’ve also been trying out Nars latest foundation … this is supposed to be a post about favorites… so I’m not going to talk about Nars latest foundation

A few new things in the makeup department too, Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed in Native. I know I’ve bashed UD before… and I stand by not liking their eye shadow pallets. But this face trio is actually pretty wonderful. As is the wonderful Stila Window to the soul pallet that my bf got me (because he is just that amazing)

And if you were wondering The necklace in my featured image is from Etsy Shop owner VintageWonderlandGA who makes custom jewelry from vintage pieces. And of course the display piece was made by me a couple of weeks ago for this post here. 

Let’s move on to my favorite things that I don’t have. Like for example ….

this ENTIRE ISLE at target… I mean really, have you been there lately? They have chalk paint!!!! Target needs to pay me (in product) for marketing… OMG pillow forms, seriously I just noticed that, I legitimately need those. Going grocery shopping is so hazardous to my wallet now.

Also my new bathroom needs a mascot and I think it shall be this little guy

He can be found at ModCloth if you were wondering.

Ok thank you for reading my random ramblings, I’m hoping to have something closer to my usual up some time next week (an excuse to go to target?) since I’ll have a more manageable schedule.