Carrie Crista Health Life My Life

Weekend Recap: Roadtrips and Rain!

I haven’t done a recap in awhile, so I thought today was the perfect day to do one! Over the past few weeks, we’ve just been doing our thing here in Middle Tennessee. As I mentioned in a previous weekend recap, we are season ticket holders for the Atlanta United FC and this past weekend was another home game!

On Friday, after work, we loaded up the car and drove to Kennesaw to stay with my sister. Her and her fiancee just purchased a house and they wanted us to see it so we decided to stay with them instead of staying at my parents house in Marietta. My sister hasn’t hung out with Maddie in a little while, either, so it was the perfect opportunity for her to get some auntie time in. Once we got to Kennesaw, my sister made some gluten free cookies and we put Maddie to bed. Once she was in bed, my other sister and her boyfriend came over and we spent some time playing games and drinking wine. It was nice to be able to hang out with everyone! I have lived away from my family since I left for college so getting to be in the same place as both of my sisters isn’t very common anymore.

On Saturday, we woke up and made a big breakfast. I made bacon and hashbrowns and my sister made some gluten free pancakes that were delicious! After breakfast, we got dressed and headed to Kennesaw Mountain for a hike.

 

I had never hiked Kennesaw Mountain and it was tough! It’s a mile up and a mile down and some parts are pretty steep! I also carried Maddie on my back most of the way up so I definitely got a workout in.

After the hike, we went back to my sisters house and relaxed for a little bit until it was time to go to the soccer game. Mike and I drove to Buckhead to see some friends and then we took Marta from Buckhead to downtown Atlanta.

When we got there, it was POURING rain. Everyone was taking shelter in the Marta station and we found out that there was a game delay and the gates into the stadium were closed. Once the rain settled a bit, we decided to walk to a sports bar to get some dinner and watch the beginning of the Predators game. After we ate, we walked back to the stadium and watched the soccer game!

It was a ton of fun, even though it was a bit rainy. Atlanta won 4-1 and the Predators ended up winning game 5 of the Western Conference Finals in Anaheim which was a huge win! It was a good sports night for us!

We didn’t get back to my sisters house until almost midnight so we crashed hard and then Sunday morning we woke up and at breakfast at First Watch. It was delicious!

After breakfast, we met my parents at my sisters house. We visited with them for a little while before packing up and heading back to Tennessee. Once we got back, we unpacked, went grocery shopping, went to the gym, ate dinner, and then went to bed early! It was a busy but really fun weekend!

Questions for you:

Did you do anything fun this weekend?
What is your favorite sport to watch?

Carrie Crista Carrie Tries Life

Carrie Tries: 5 Days Without Makeup

Happy Monday, friends!

A few weeks ago, I did my very first installment of  “Carrie Tries” and I cut caffeine out of my diet for 5 days. Check out the video to see how it went here! Today, it’s time to start Carrie Tries, episode 2, which is:

5 Days Without Makeup

For some people, 5 days without makeup is no big deal. For me, 5 days without makeup is almost like the end of the world for a couple of reasons. First, I love makeup. I find the art of applying it very theraputic and I think makeup is a great way to express how I might be feeling. I like to experiment with new applications and products and try new techniques. Second, I have problem skin so concealer and foundation are things I’ve relied on to cover my blemishes up as much as I can.

The main reason I wanted to do 5 days without makeup as this episode of Carrie Tries is to try to address the second reason. Makeup does make me feel better and more confident about myself, but I really need to work on being confident without it. I don’t wear makeup around the house and I’ve definitely started wearing far less makeup than I used to, but I still rely heavily on light coverage foundations to make me comfortable and I’d like to break that a bit. I also think that wearing makeup less often will help with my breakouts as well. I think my skin very much needs a break every now and then and I’d like to be comfortable enough to give it the break that it needs.

I’ve always had problem skin, but my skin was at its worst after Maddie was born.

The worst of it was hormonal and has generally cleared up at this point, but I do have blemishes and uneven skin tone now and they do cause me to feel uncomfortable without makeup most of the time.

Anyways, with all that being said, after these 5 days, I hope to become a bit more comfortable and confident in the literal skin that I am in. Now, for the rules!

For the next 5 days, I am not allowed to wear any makeup. No mascara, no concealer, nothing. Clear lipgloss and chapstick are approved and clear brow gel is fine just to keep my brows in place. As always, I will be vlogging this week and I will post a video next week to share my experience with you guys!

I’m excited to see how this goes and hope you guys follow along with me!

Carrie Crista Life Mom Life

How to Raise a Child

As most of you know, I am a mom. I have an 18 month old daughter and learning how to navigate motherhood was a rollercoaster. There are a million articles on the best way to raise your baby. The reality of the situation is that you will learn what works for you as you go and literally no article in the world- including this one- will be able to give you a road map of the best way to raise a child. In fact, I have changed the way I’ve cared for my daughter repeatedly since she was born.

When Maddie was born 5 weeks early, she was bottle fed. I tried to breastfeed but she was too little and couldn’t latch properly. In the NICU, they gave her formula to increase her birth weight along with the small amount of milk I was able to pump. Once my milk came in, I pumped nearly exclusively until she was about 8 weeks old. When she was 8 weeks, she figured out how to latch. I still bottle fed her for the majority of her meals because she never got enough milk from me on her own, but I breastfed her for her nightly feedings since I could pull her into bed and nurse her while we both fell asleep. That’s right- she slept on her own from the beginning and slept in her crib at 3 months, but she would co-sleep with us the nights she woke up and needed to nurse.

I pumped almost exclusively until she was 6 months old. Once she turned 6 months, we started to integrate formula into her diet. Why? Because, frankly, I was tired of pumping. Maybe that sounds selfish, but I was becoming unhappy and stressed out because of my diminishing milk supply. I couldn’t be the best mom I could be if I was stressed, so I stopped pumping. We used up the milk I had stored up, I slowly stopped pulling her into bed for night feedings, and, at around 7 months, Maddie became exclusively formula fed.

She had been eating purees from the time she was 6 months, but it wasn’t substantial. Around one year, we transitioned and started feeding her more real food and less formula. She still took formula at night before bed, though. Around the time she was 15 months, we removed formula completely and started giving her milk before bed instead. We still do this, every night.

At her most recent well visit, she was measuring right on track in all areas. She is a healthy, active toddler.

So why am I telling you all of this? I’m telling you this to show you that you don’t have just pick one way of doing things to raise a thriving child. The only things I DIDN’T experiment with were cloth diapers and not vaccinating (vaccinate your kids, friends!). I have a group of mom friends and we all have raised our kids differently, but they’re all thriving and healthy. In fact, two of our biggest kiddos were fed totally different ways. One was (and still is) breastfed while the other was formula fed. One of the women has two boys who were fed totally different ways but, developmentally, they are almost identical.

At the end of the day, there are two things that absolutely need to happen, and that’s it:

  1. Make sure your baby is taken care of. Regardless of how your baby is fed or how your baby sleeps, just make sure your baby is fed, make sure diapers are changed, make sure they’re up to date on their check-ups, and make sure they are healthy and thriving.
  2. Make sure you are taken care of. YOU deserve to be taken care of as well. You are the best mother when you are happy. If that means that you decide to formula feed because breastfeeding is too stressful, then do that. If you need to co-sleep to get some sleep, do that. If you need to kick your baby out of your bed to get some sleep, do that. If you do one thing for 3 months and then need to change it up in order to be productive and happy, do that. Just make sure that you take care of yourself as much as you take care of your child.

That’s it. And if someone shames you or tells you you’re doing it wrong, ignore it. You’re doing the best that you can and that’s the only things that matters.

 

Carrie Crista Christian Life Life Mom Life My Life

Life Lessons: Things I Learned at 26

Today is my 27th birthday and it’s really the first birthday I’m feeling “older.” I know I’m not old, by any means, but it’s one of the first years where my birthday doesn’t mean I have no responsibilities. In the past, my birthday has been a day where I do whatever I want. In college, the school year always ended before my birthday so I never had to go to class. I would get up, maybe go work out, and probably work a 3 or 4 hour shift at my part time job. Aside from that, I didn’t do anything responsible at all. It was my day to just do nothing. Now, I have a full time job and a toddler. I woke up this morning, got her a waffle and put on Sesame Street, got myself ready for work, then got her dressed and took her to school.

This isn’t a bad thing. I appreciate routine and I don’t need a HUGE party and a zillion presents on my birthday to know who cares about me. And it’s not like we don’t celebrate my birthday. Last night, we went to a Predator’s game and it was historic- literally! It was game 6 of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. We won, closed out the series, and now are headed to the Western Conference Finals for the first time in franchise history. It’s very exciting! I also got a pair of shoes that I’ve NEEDED (read: really really really wanted) from my husband. Tonight, I look forward to ordering a pizza, getting in my pajamas, and spending time with my family as we hang out in the living room and play with Maddie while Monday night Raw is on in the background. We celebrate my birthday, but it’s different and it’s made me kind of reflect on life and how things have changed and the things I’ve learned over the past year.

I’ve learned that people come and go in your life and that that’s okay. In high school and early years of college, losing friends really sucks and it kind of feels like the end of the world. In reality, you move on. Not in a flippant, “I don’t care” sort of way, but in a way where you realize that they were good for you in a certain season of your life and that’s all. This doesn’t mean their friendship wasn’t valued, by any means, but not all friends will last forever, and that’s totally okay.

I’ve learned that what other people think of you really doesn’t matter at the end of the day. There are so many people in the world and a lot of them aren’t going to like you. As long as you foster the relationships with the people close to you, what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter. You know how the saying goes: You can be the sweetest peach in the bunch but there’s still gonna be someone who doesn’t like peaches. Be yourself, make sure YOU like peaches, and everything else will fall into place.

I’ve learned that a relationship with God truly changes everything. It changes your relationships, your outlook on life, your attitude- everything. I could go into a whole post about how God has worked in my life but this post isn’t it. Maybe I’ll write that one in the near future, but what I can say is that I’ve learned that God really is in all the details and that, regardless of what you’re going through, good or bad, those things are happening for a reason and are working together for your good. Again, that’s a whole separate post, but it’s such an important life lesson.

I’ve learned how to pick my battles. Not everything needs a response, not every person needs to know your opinion on every topic.

I’ve learned that there’s a difference between waiting for your turn to speak and actually listening. Listening will get you further.

I’ve learned that you can’t be all things to all people.

26 was a good year for me and I’m excited to see what my 27th year of life brings!

carrie crista

 

Food Health Life My Life

The Perfect Diet

I’m going to be 100% honest here. I have no outline for this post. I generally have some sort of outline so my posts make sense, but I didn’t really know where to start with this one so I figured I’d just go for it and write. I want to talk about the perfect diet and what I’m doing right now as far as my diet goes.

In my previous post, I mentioned how I was going to write a post dedicated to my current diet. I have recently mentioned how I read the book Intuitive Eating and how I highly recommend it. I’ve made a bit of an adjustment, though, and I want to kind of talk about what I changed, why I changed it, and why it matters to you. I will try to keep this as easy to read as possible but, stream of consciousness- you know. What I WILL tell you is that I’ll be giving you guys a little insight into my past as I go through and address the what and the why of my diet.

First- I AM counting calories right now. I log all my food in MyFitnessPal, which I’ve had for years. The first time I used MFP was in 2011 and I lost about 50 pounds in about 8 months. I started around 160 and ended up getting down to 115 pounds. That was an unreasonable amount of loss and I gained some weight back and maintained around 125-130 for a year or so. After I got my first full time career job, post-graduate school, in 2014, I gained a little more weight and ended up maintaining around 140 until I got pregnant in 2015. In the first 20 weeks of my pregnancy I gained 20 pounds. At 31 weeks I was 177 pounds and I ended up losing 5 pounds in two days (unwillingly) which was a factor in me being admitted at 34 weeks pregnant (that’s a whole different post). At my 6 week post partum appointment, I was 170 pounds. Fast forward a little bit and I was able to lose about 10 pounds of that, but wasn’t able to maintain it for long since I went about it all wrong.

Here’s the issue: what worked for me when I was 21, walking all over my college campus, and going to the gym daily because I had the time is NOT going to work for me now that I’m 26, have had a child, am working a full time job where I sit most of the day, and only get to work out on days that I have scheduled for it. When I first tried to lose weight after having Maddie, I tried to do it the way I did it before and I failed miserably so I gave up.

Earlier this year, I read the book Intuitive Eating and nearly every person they used as an example in the book was me. I could relate so closely to so many people and I read how it helped those people repair their relationship with food, so I gave it a go. 4 months later, I am much more aware of my hunger levels and why I eat when I do, but I haven’t lost any weight whatsoever and I’m still not feeling great.

I know what some of you may be thinking- the scale doesn’t matter. You are right! It doesn’t. And if you look at the timeline of pictures above, you may not see a huge difference between some of the pictures. I do know, though, that I am not feeling my best, I’m not super confident a lot of the time, and, in all honesty, at 5’3″, 165 pounds isn’t the best for me. I move slower, I’m achier, my back hurts a lot, and I know that a lot of that would change if I lost even just ten pounds. [side note: these photos really remind me to love my body for how it is right now. I remember thinking I was overweight in the photo of me running when I was 6 weeks pregnant. Now, I think I looked great! Hindsight is 20/20]

So, back to what I’m doing- I am counting calories and staying close to a macro ratio- without focusing on being perfect because I’m living my life. A HUGE difference between what I used to do and what I’m doing now, though, is that my calorie goal is set to maintenance and I use the principles of intuitive eating in my diet. No food is off limits and I eat when I want.   I, personally, just need a little more help realizing whether or not I actually want something or whether I just want it out of boredom, convenience, etc. and I use counting calories to do that. If there are donuts and I want a donut but know that it would significantly put me over my goal for the day (calorie counting), I can rationalize that I can have a donut whenever I want so I don’t need it right then (intuitive eating). There is a way to marry the two concepts and I am trying to figure out how to do that.

I wanted to address this because I KNOW I’m not the only person who is trying to navigate the waters of finding normalcy with food while getting healthy without really restricting anything. Do I want to lose 10 pounds? HECK YES I do. If I feel better, my clothes fit better, and I’m still 165 pounds will I be ok? HECK YES I will. Health is the most important thing and mental health- including being at peace with yourself and the food you put in your body- is a part of that. It is also SO important to do what works for you, where you are right now. Things change and you have to learn how to change with them. What works for me might work for you but it might not. What you read in a book may for work some people but it may not work for others. When it comes to health, there is no one size fits all diet and the perfect diet is the one that keeps you healthy and HAPPY.

Carrie Crista Health Life My Life

May Goals

It’s a new month and we are almost half way through 2017 already! How did that happen?

I think it’s really important to set goals because it’s a way to keep yourself on track and motivated throughout the year. New Years is a huge time for goal setting, but so many people stop working towards those goals by the time February starts because the inspiration of a new year has faded. Not me, my friends! I try to set goals every month so I can continue to make progress and meet or adjust the goals I made at the beginning of the year. So, let’s get into my goals for May!

 

No Credit Card Spending

I don’t have a huge credit card balance, but I had my credit card completely paid off at the beginning of the year and I want to work to get it paid off completely. I know I will be using it for a trip I’m going on in June, so I need to not use it at all this month!

Makeup No Buy!

I buy way more makeup than I should, so I’m putting myself on a strict makeup no buy for May. I have everything I need and more, so I really don’t need to spend money on makeup on a whim like I tend to do. That’s honesty my friends! I am the WORST with impulse makeup spending, so I’m grounding myself!

Pay Attention to my Meals

I’m going to be doing a whole blog post on this because there is SO much I want to talk about/hash out for myself regarding my diet (as in what I eat, not like a diet that I’m on), but this month I really want to pay attention to what I’m eating, make sure I’m eating good, whole foods, and minimize snacking out of boredom. I’m all about balance but my diet recently has been way more junk than it should be!

Run Once a Week

I mentioned this in a previous post, but now that it’s nice outside I want to start running more! I had a goal to run 1 mile straight which I met over the weekend (woohoo!) so now it’s just time to increase that mileage. I used to be in great running shape but I fell out of it. I’m excited to get back to running and I’m going to start by just making sure I run once a week. I really enjoy weight lifting and I don’t want to cut back on that, but I need to get out of the elliptical habit!

So those are my goals for May! Totally doable, I just have to make a conscious effort to stay on track!

 

Questions for you:

  1. Do you have any goals for this month?
  2. If so, what are they?
  3. If not, why not?
Carrie Crista Health Life My Life

Spring Time Fitness

 

Spring has finally sprung here in middle Tennessee and it has been GREAT. Trees are SUPER green here, which is awesome to see. In Savannah, the greenery was kind of hidden by the Spanish Moss. Spanish Moss is BEAUTIFUL, but I haven’t seen green trees like the ones in Tennessee in a long time! It’s like something out of a movie almost.

The change in the weather makes it much easier to get outside and be active. I’ve still been going to the gym on Tuesday and Thursday mornings because the sun isn’t up yet, but the sun is starting to rise earlier and earlier so I expect I’ll be able to do some morning runs soon.

Mike and I recently started a challenge that a shop in the city is having. I don’t remember the exact name of it, but the goal is to run 100 miles on the town’s Greenway in a year. We did a mile last night after we both got home from work and it was gorgeous out there! We mainly went because there’s a playground at the trailhead by our house and Maddie loves it, but we decided to do a quick walk while we were there. It’s not blazing hot yet, so I hope to be able to start substituting my night time gym sessions with an evening run. The sun doesn’t set until about 7:30 and it doesn’t get totally dark until nearly 8:00, so I’ll have plenty of time to get a run in.

That brings me to my current fitness goal- running. I used to be in awesome running shape. I’ve done 2 half marathons, more 5ks than I can count, and I could run a good distance without walking. Now? Not so much. I have been focusing more on weights and I’ve done a lot of cardio on the elliptical lately, so I know I’m not TOTALLY out of shape, but I did 2 miles the other day and it was a struggle. I’m sure my endurance will come back quickly, but now that it’s pretty outside I’m ready to get out there! I was planning on doing a half marathon at the end of the year, but I don’t think that will happen anymore. Not because I can’t do it, but I truly don’t feel like I can commit the time to training with everything I have going on. Our town hosts a ton of 5k races, though, so I will probably just train for 5ks! You don’t have to run marathons to be a runner, friends!

My first running goal is to run 1 mile without stopping now that I’m working on relearning my pace. It’s tough on the treadmill, but I think I’ll be able to hit that goal soon since running outside is more convenient now.

 

Questions for you:
1. What is your fitness goal this spring?
2. What are you going to do to work towards that goal?

Carrie Crista Carrie Tries Life My Life

Carrie Tries : 5 Days Without Caffeine

carrie crista carrie tries

So I recently took to the social media world and asked for feedback on a new series I want to try on my YouTube channel. Basically, I want to start trying more things and I thought vlogging about them would be a great way to keep myself accountable AND interact with you guys (and maybe do things so you don’t have to). I got a lot of good feedback so I decided I wanted to jump right in and start this series!

I figured I would blog about each topic I tackle as a sort of “intro” to each thing I try. I’ll let you guys know what I’m doing, why I’m doing it, and what I hope to get out of it, if anything. So, without further ado, the first installment of Carrie Tries is:

5 Days without Caffeine

This was recommended by a Facebook follower and I thought a few things when I read it:

  1. I might die and that’s crazy
  2.  That’s a perfect thing to start this series off with

See, guys, I sacrifice for you.

But in all honesty, I thought this was a great thing to start out with because I am way too hooked on caffeine, it will be a nice way to learn the learning curve of vlogging often, and it’s something anyone can do. I drink a lot of caffeine because I’m a mom of a toddler, I work full time, I’m up editing some nights, I exercise frequently, and the list goes on. While I don’t drink a ton of soda, I do drink a TON of coffee and I love myself a white Monster or sugar free Red Bull. Cutting back would be beneficial for me and probably my wallet because Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts see me way too often.

Another reason I want to cut caffeine a bit is because long term use can really mess with your adrenal glands. Long sciencey stuff short- your adrenal glands release hormones that make you energized and keep you mentally balanced. Caffeine is a stimulant that puts those glands to work. Not a big deal, but if you’re constantly working those glands, they’re going to get tired and eventually not work as well as they should- kind of like a muscle. Overwork a muscle and it probably won’t function the way it’s supposed to. Laying off caffeine is a way to give those glands a rest so they can function properly and efficiently.

I did a little bit of research and it seems like caffeine makes its way out of your system completely in about 2 days at the longest. A lot of people detox from caffeine for weeks but I’m not so sure about all that right now, so 5 days it is for me!

I’m excited to get this series started! Make sure to check out my YouTube channel in about a for the first episode of “Carrie Tries” and if you haven’t seen all the other content there already, check it out before then!

Carrie Crista Hair + Makeup

Lipstick that Lasts Up To 18 Hours?! A Review and Comprehensive Guide to LipSense

If you know anything about me, you know I love makeup- specifically, lipstick. I have far too much of it and I’m not the type of person who is shy of a lipstick color. Matte, shimmer, glitter, satin, gloss, velvet, metallic, you name the finish, I have it. I love to try all different brands from Essence to Kat Von D to Giorgio Armani. Every formula is different and they all have pros and cons.

Recently, a lipstick called LipSense has been circulating around the internet. When I first saw LipSense, I saw the video of the girl who showed all different colors and types of conditions that LipSense claims to stay on in. She was drinking wine, rubbing her lips together, getting in the pool- you get the drift. I couldn’t really believe it and decided to pass. I had just purchased a long lasting Rimmel lipstick and figured it was the same type of thing.

Fast forward a few weeks and my friend Ashley mentioned that she had a friend, Tami, who sold it and she was going to try it. She bought the starter kit (more on that below) and tested it out. She fell in LOVE with it. I went ahead and purchased a couple of colors since she recommended it so highly and I was definitely impressed. Tami sent me a few more colors recently, so I wanted to go ahead and give you guys a detailed run down on all things LipSense. This will not be your average review. I’m going to cover as much as I can- cost, colors, finishes, pros, cons, tips, and comparisons. And, of course, I will show you guys swatches of the colors I have. If you want to find out if LipSense is the right lipstick for you, grab a snack and keep reading- this may be a long one.

First things first- what the heck is LipSense?
LipSense is one of the many makeup products in the SeneGence brand. It is sold through Independent distributors, mainly through social media and websites. As for the product itself,  Basically, it’s a lipstick that bonds to your lips at a molecular level for long wear. It is applied in three or more thin layers. The first layer is to bond to your lips, the second layer protects the first layer and adds color, and the third layer protects the second layer to ensure adequate wear time. From there, you can continue to add layers until you reach a the color intensity you desire (more on this later). Once you apply the layers, seal in your color with any of their glosses. LipSense is cruelty free and vegan. Lipsense can last up to 18 hours with no reapplication, smudging- nothing. You can literally drink from a white coffee cup and there will be zero residue on the lid.

Colors and Finishes

Before going into finishes, which we’re going to talk about first, I want to point out that a color finish and a gloss finish are two different things. Remember how I said all applications have to be finished with a gloss? The gloss type will determine the real finish of your application BUT, just like a lipstick or lip gloss can have a different finish, so can LipSense colors. LipSense comes in a TON of colors and both matte (solid color) and shimmer (just what it sounds like) finish. There is also a limited edition finish call the Diamond finish that has very fine diamond dust which gives it a very subtle shimmer. There are also 11 types of glosses that are offered. The most popular is the glossy gloss. A Glossy gloss top coat will leave your lips looking glossy. So a matte color with a Glossy top coat will be a solid, glossy lip with no shimmer. A shimmer or diamond color with a Glossy top coat will be a glossy, shimmery lip. It’s like a finish beneath a finish- FINISH-CEPTION. Another popular gloss is the Matte gloss which dries matte and will make your final finish a matte finish. They also have glitter glosses, shimmer glosses, and tinted glosses.

Now, onto the colors. There are 36 colors to choose from ranging from cool toned nudes to bright pinks to corals to blue reds to warm browns. The colors I have are as follows:

Bravo (Matte)
Bombshell (mine is the Diamond finish- but this is available in a non-limited edition finish as well)
Apple Cider (Matte)
Bella (Matte)
Burnt Orange (Matte)
Cranberry (Matte)
Raisin (Shimmer)

carrie crista lipsense

One thing that makes LipSense really cool is that, because you have to use three layers and a gloss for application, you can mix colors to create different colors. You don’t have to have three layers of one color, you just need three layers. Some of my favorite combinations are:

 

  • Two Apple Cider, One Bella
  • One Bella, One Bombshell, One Bella.
  • Two Burnt Orange, One Cranberry
  • Two Raisin, One Bombshell

And you could honestly go on and on- and I only have seven colors. If you have even just 3 colors, you can make 27 different color combinations!

The last thing to mention as far as actual product goes is the Oops Remover. This is how you get the color off at the end of the day. Just use it like a lip gloss, let the remover sit for a few seconds, wipe it off and repeat until the color is no longer on your lips. I’ve also used a makeup wipe and some elbow grease. That’s not the most ideal method but it works in a pinch. A slightly painful, exfoliating pinch.  Others have used the Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bar (transparent and orange) to get it off as well. I haven’t used that yet so I can’t speak to it, but I’ve heard and seen good results.

Now, for the pros, cons, and tips.

I feel like these all intertwine so I wanted to put them together. The first pro is that, yes, LipSense does last a lot time. The con is that it takes a little bit of practice to figure out the best way to apply it. Here are my main tips.

 

  • Before applying, exfoliate your lips and apply the color onto lips that are dry to the touch. I recommend using a toothbrush to exfoliate.
  • Some people have lips that peel more than others and that’s ok. If you find that is the case for you, try using your gloss before bed to keep your lips hydrated with NON-waxy products.
  • For all colors- except dark ones- use thin layers. The thicker the layer, the more likely it’s going to flake.
    Dark colors can look patchy when applied in thin layers, so apply with thicker layers and use your hair dryer to dry these.
  • Allow enough drying time between layers. If you apply a second layer while the first is wet, the color will move. This means you can’t swipe back and forth. This was a tough habit for me to break but it makes a HUGE difference. Let the layers dry! Some people use a hair dryer on the cool setting, I just do other parts of my makeup between layer applications.
  • If you want more color, add more layers, but be aware that there is a fine line between just enough and too many. In my experience, three to four layers yields the best color and time result. Most of these colors are pretty bold after three layers, as they’re supposed to be. Some colors, though, could use an extra layer and I find that I start to lose wear time as I creep towards the five and six layer mark. I hypothesize it’s because the color is adhering to itself and not my lips at this point which make it easier to flake off.
  • Keep in mind that every color will react differently with everyone as far as true color and wear time goes. This is because the first layer is literally reacting with the pH level of your skin. My friend Ashley can wear Bravo all day long. Bravo tends to crack 5-6 hours after application for me (still not a horrible wear time), but I applied Burnt Orange 9 hours ago and it’s still flawless.
  • To maximize wear time for all colors, apply your gloss often. The glosses are moisturizing for your lips so they won’t peel (which they do daily and you may just not realize it) and they also protect the color. Prime times to gloss are before meals and every couple of hours if you remember.
  • The first layer may tingle, a bit like alcohol, and that is TOTALLY normal. This is due to the cosmetic alcohol that is in the product which gives it it’s long shelf life. It is short lived and it happens if your lips are not sufficiently moisturized. Once your gloss is on, that feeling will go away.

Now, let’s talk cost and comparisons.

When you first purchase LipSense, you have to purchase a color, a gloss, and the remover. Makes sense, since you need the color and gloss for it to work the way it needs to. This starter kit is $55. On their own, most colors are $25 (limited edition ones- like my Bombshell Diamond- are $30), most glosses are $20, and the Oops Remover is $10. There is .25 fluid ounces (7.4 ml) of product in each tube. Here are some comparisons of products that are similar in their performance and performance claims:

  • Yves Saint Laurent’s Vinyl Cream Lip Stain retails for $36 with .18 fluid ounces of product in each container.
  • Giorgio Armani Beauty’s Lip Maestro retails for $38 with .22 fluid ounces of product in each container.
  • Twoo Faced’s Melted Liquified Long Wear Lipstick retails for $21 with .4 fluid ounces of product in each container.
  • Smashbox O-GLOSS retails for $25 with .34 fluid ounces of product in each container.

One thing I am going to mention since I know it will be asked is, yes, the system over all is $45 for a color and a gloss. If you purchase ONLY one color and one gloss, the price is a bit steep. HOWEVER, it is important to note that these lip colors to not require as many re-applications throughout the course of the day, so the cost isn’t any different than any other high end, long lasting lip color. It may actually be a better deal since LipSense expires three years after it’s opened and your average lipstick will expire in 1-2 years. LipSense tubes also contain the equivalent amount of uses as 3-4 tubes of lipstick.The more colors you buy, the better of a deal it is since you can use the same gloss for each color.

Alright, now onto the burning question- what has been my experience with LipSense?

Overall, my experience has been a good one. I wish I had a comprehensive guide in one place (kind of like this one) when I started because I did a lot of searching and a lot of trial and error before I figured it out. I really like the colors I have and Tami has been incredible as far as customer service goes. After I first purchased, she asked how I liked my colors and I mentioned that one of them was giving me trouble. She offered to let me send it back and exchange it for a new color even though I’d already used it- AWESOME! I didn’t end up exchanging it because I found a way to make it work (again, trial and error), but it was so awesome of her to offer that.

My favorite gloss is the Glossy gloss. I wear it all the time. Because I wear it all the time, it does get used up much more quickly than the color. I got my first order in January and have about ¼ of the glossy tube left with every day use- usually multiple times per day. My most used color so far is Bravo and I’ve used it probably 5-6 times and honestly I can’t tell it’s been used. The colors last a long time. As far as comfort goes, it is comfortable to wear as long as you don’t over do it on the layers. You start to feel it once you get into the 5-6 layer range, as I mentioned before.

 

Overall, I would recommend LipSense to pretty much anyone and here’s why:

  • To the lipstick junkie, this offers long time wear in lots of colors. Basically a dream. Go crazy with the color selection and make those custom colors!
  • To the lipstick dabbler, it’s great for events and long days. You don’t have to continue to forget to reapply that red lipstick at your event because it won’t come off in the first place.
  • To the lipstick newbie/not so bold- the nudes are a GREAT way to get into lipstick since you have something that is low maintenance.

 

If you’re curious as to what colors to even start with, try a nude and a bold color. Apple Cider is an all around favorite and apparently the Blu Red is to die for. My personal favorites are Bella, Burnt Orange, and Bombshell!  If you want to order LipSense or have any questions that I haven’t answered, head over to Tami’s facebook page!

Carrie Crista Christian Life Life My Life

Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparison seems to be something that everyone struggles with at some point. I have been open on my channel lately about how I’ve struggled to get into a groove with filming because I feel like I’m not getting the reach I used to and it’s been really frustrating. It really all boils down to the fact that I compare myself far too often.  There’s a saying that says, “Comparison is the thief of joy,” and, boy, is that true.

I am the person who is always wondering how I can be better at things. It really starts out as a way to benchmark my progress, purely analytical. I look at followers, subscribers, interactions, content, things like that. Because of my nature, though, it snowballs into me comparing myself to the person. Maybe my content isn’t as good? Maybe I need to change myself?

HOW CRAZY DOES THAT SOUND.

It is absolutely insane and absolutely exhausting, but I have been working really hard to stop that type of thinking recently and I wanted to share some of the things I’ve learned and some of the things that have helped me when I start to compare myself to other people.

It is SO important to remember that you were created to be you. No one else. You are not meant to be like someone else. You are not meant to do the same things as someone else. You are meant to be yourself and fulfill your purpose. You don’t always have to know what that purpose is, but just know that you aren’t here to copy someone else. You can be inspired by someone without imitating them. It’s often hard to find that line, but know that when you try too much to be like someone else you will always fall short because you aren’t them. And that’s 10000% ok. 

Looking at comparison from a fitness perspective, it can seriously mess with your head! I think physical comparison is really what causes so much stress and pressure for people, especially women, in today’s world. We think that if we look a certain way that we will like ourselves and that people will respect us or treat us a certain way, when that’s not the case. We compare ourselves to people that are in the minority and often look the way they do because they are paid to do so. Not everyone is built to be a supermodel or a fitness model and that’s ok! It is ok to NOT look like a model on instagram. It is OK to look the way you look right now. Health needs to be at the forefront of your priorities. You will not take care of yourself if you are constantly putting yourself down because you don’t look like someone you think you should look like. You WILL take care of yourself when you appreciate and love yourself. You are fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.

I’m not some self-love expert. I don’t have it all together in any way, really, but I have noticed that I am much happier when I am focusing on how I can improve myself out of positivity instead of negativity and comparison.

 

Questions for you:
What steps do you take to make sure you are appreciating yourself?