Thursday, January 30, 2014

Sensing a theme this week?  I've been really digging this playlist I made on my iPod featuring powerful women and inspirational songs.  Sometimes I need a little pick me up ya know?  A good old fashioned dose of girl power.  So crank it up ladies and dance like no one is watching...or like they are...who cares anyway.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All About Lipstick

I love that quote....I feel like those are the only 3 things I have a way with too....besides having a way with drinking a 12 pack of Diet Coke in less than a week.
So as you may have guessed....because I may have mentioned it a thousand time or two...I LOVE lipstick. You could even say I'm slightly obsessed.  This is a fairly recent obsession.  About 5 years ago I wouldn't even wear lipgloss (I know....hard to imagine right?) then when I started working in make up I would wear lipgloss sometimes....but in the last year or so it's been all about the lipstick. So I thought I would share some of my current favorite lipstick colors for winter.  In the winter I like deeper, richer colors. However...that's not to say I don't like to change it up and go for a nice nude/pink/coral.  So let's get on with it then!

Deep Colors

L to R: Very Currant- Clinique, Shade 01- Kate Moss for Rimmel, #12 Forbidden Burgundy- YSL, Roundest Raspberry- Clinique, Hot Lava- Estee Lauder, After Party- Clinique, Mightiest Maraschino- Clinique, #11 Rose Culte- YSL

Light Colors

L to R: Cherry On Top- Maybelline Color Whisper, Silvery Moon- Clinique, Corail In Love- Lancome, Snob- MAC, Runway Coral- Clinique, #13 Peach Passion- YSL, Urban Ballet- Lancome

When I think of lipstick in the winter I think deep reds, burgundys, violets but I love switching it up with a coral or pink every now and then just so I don't get stuck in a rut.  Winter is hard enough as it is. 

Any lipstick favorites of yours???  Please share!!! 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Top 10 Favorite Clinique Products

So as you know.....I work for Clinique....and I ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT.  I mean....working for the #1 brand in the world is pretty easy to love.  There are so many reasons why I love Clinique.  First and foremost being that their skin care is the BEST skin care around.  There is nothing better outside of a dermatologist office for the skin.  Not only is their skin care the best but everything they make is....the best.  I decided to share with you my Top 10 all time favorite products from Clinique.  Just to serve as a little guide for some things that I feel are must-haves.
*Bonus points to the person who finds the misplaced Doctor Who reference in this post....

1. Clarifying Lotion "The Difference Maker"
I've mentioned Clarifying Lotion before and how much I love it.  We call it the difference maker and it really is.  It's custom fit, twice a day exfoliation that ANYONE and EVERYONE should use.  It fits perfectly into every skin care routine and makes your skin softer, clearer, more radiant.  Can't live without!

If you are concerned with dark spots, acne scarring, or even just an overall uneven skin tone...this is the product for you.  I have noticed such a difference in my skin since I started using this.  It's evened out my skin tone so much.  This is a product I immediately have to replace when I run out.

I love this eye cream.  It's super lightweight which I love.  It also reflects light which gives a brightening effect to the under-eye area.  I'm super picky about my eye creams so trust me when I say this is the best one I've ever used.

 I talked about this in one of my videos but it's my all time favorite make up remover.  It starts out as a balm that melts into this oil that removes all your face and eye makeup.  It leaves your skin feeling so nice and soft.

5. CC Cream
Clinique was the first to offer a CC Cream and might I say....they did it the best.  I am in love with CC cream.  Normally I'm a very moderate-full coverage foundation gal.  With this CC cream...even though it's a sheer coverage, it color corrects the skin tone so well you don't need a full coverage.  I love how lightweight it feels and....bonus!  SPF 30!  Brilliant.

6. Moisture Surge
 Such a nice moisturizer....especially if your skin is like mine and is combo/oily but still needs a healthy dose of hydration.  My skin gets dehydrated very easily (probably because I live in this dry wasteland) but I can't add too much oil to my skin otherwise I'll break out.  Well.....Allons-y!  This stuff works wonders!  It seriously feels like a delicious, velvety, drink for the skin.

7. All About Eyes Serum
This is a rollerball serum that you can pair with any eye cream you use.  It helps de-puff the eye area and feels like a nice cool massage under your eyes.  *Bonus tip! Pop this baby into the refrigerator and then use....ohhhhh my.  Delightfully refreshing.

8. Acne Solutions Spot Healing Gel
 Or...."the miracle worker" as I like to call it.  Have a little spot pop up?  Don't worry...just dab a little spot healing gel on it and literally overnight it's half the size.  Can't live without this for when a little spot likes to try and surprise me.

9. Take The Day Off Make Up Remover
 I usually use my balm to take my eye make up off (because I'm lazy) however when the occasion strikes I do use this make up remover for my eyes (especially if my liquid liner decides to have a complete mind of its own...which is 98% of the time).  It's the best make up remover for eyes I've ever used.  I've used ones that were literally twice as much money but because they add so much fragrance to them....they started irritating my eyes.  This one never does.  Love it!

10. Acne Solutions Cleansing Foam
I don't break out so often anymore (thanks to my 3 step skin care) however during that special and beautiful time each month when all the hormones in my body are screaming at each other like cast members of the Real Housewives, I will break out a little bit.  I just add this into my skin care routine and seriously.....guys.....I can't stress enough how well this works or how nice it is.  It's a foam and just makes your skin feel so clean!  PLUS it works!!!  Love.

Bonus product
If you use make up brushes....stop what you're doing....head to your local Clinique counter, and buy this make up brush cleanser.  It works so well!  I'll use it to spot clean my brushes or mix it with some warm water to give them a deep clean.  Again....fragrance free so your brushes are so clean, don't smell like flowers or anything weird, and don't leave your brushes with any sort of weird residue.  

So there you have it.  My Top 10, can't live without, Clinique products!  If you have any other questions on any other Clinique products....let me know!  I'd love to answer them!
And if you use any of these....let me know!  We can squeal over how awesome they are together!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Weekend Collage

my weekend

my weekend by vanessanelson featuring a gray eyeshadow

Oh hello!  I sure hope you had a great weekend because I sure did.  Some things I was obsessed with this weekend:
YSL Rouge Volupte in "Rose Culte".....I saw this and HAD to buy it on the spot.  It's amazing!
Philosopy "Falling In Love"'s such a pretty scent
Taylor Swift "Sweeter Than Fiction" just....a great jam
Doctor Who....I literally watched it all weekend.  I stopped on Sunday however because the 10th Doctor regenerated and whoever invented regeneration is the WORST.  I need like 3 days to get over every single one.

My friend Karyn and I decided to try our hand at getting into a screening at the Sundance Film Festival.  So we chose Zach Braff's movie and then added ourselves to the wait list hoping we'd get in.  Not only did we get in BUT Zach Braff himself showed up to do a Q&A after and it was the BEST THING EVER.

And on a more serious note.....I'm overwhelmed by the love and support my friend Rebecca and her family have received.  I had to raise the goal for them 4 times because people kept giving.  I finally raised it to $23,000 yesterday morning hoping for the best.  We were a bit shy tonight and then I went and checked and some man who doesn't even know them, donated the remaining amount.  Amazing.  I love people so much. 

I hope you had an amazing weekend where you got to witness tiny miracles like I did.  If you have any to share....please do so! 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Defending the Selfie

*Disclaimer* I wrote this post awhile back but couldn't seem to get all my thoughts in order so I just saved it for another day.  Today a video popped up on Facebook that completed my thoughts for me so.....I'm posting it now!

I've heard a lot of people complain about or make fun of the "selfie".  When you are scrolling through your Instagram and there's the same girl taking a picture of herself in different places: bathroom, in her car, at the gym, etc... and we all kind of roll our eyes and think "ugh".
I've heard some people say that selfies are an example of how self-absorbed the world has gotten.  How we're obsessed with how we look and then we share our self-obsession.  The thing is.....I disagree.
I take selfies because I'm having a really good hair day or I love the lipstick color I'm wearing.  Sometimes....HEAVEN FORBID....I like the way I look. So why do we shame people who also like how they look and want to share it.  I can go back on the days where I'm not having a great hair day and I'm feeling kinda "blah" and think....."but look've got some great eyes girlfriend".  And I don't think there's anything wrong with that.  I don't think there is anything wrong with liking the way we look!  It's good!  It's healthy!  I would much rather listen to a girl who loved her eyes, nose, hair, arms etc... than a girl who hated everything about herself.
There may be some who would say:
"But girls only do it to get likes"
Well....I don't know that that is the case all the time but to them I say "so what?"  What is wrong with us complimenting each other.  Telling each other how beautiful we are.  Pointing out the things on someone else that we find beautiful.  I don't think everyone takes selfies for attention.  I certainly don't.  I'm pretty ok with myself....I don't really need the attention of others to make me feel good...but boy is it nice to hear a compliment!  I wouldn't object to a compliment any day of the week.  I don't think any of us would...and that's ok!
I've heard girls say about other girls who take selfies "ugh she's so in love with herself".....and I'm sorry...what exactly is wrong with that???  We should love ourselves most of all!  So to all the girls posting selfies I go girl.

(selfie heaven right there)

I will say that I don't think that us posting selfies and the comments/likes we get should define the way we feel about ourselves.  If I posted a selfie and no one "liked" who cares?  I like it and that's all that matters.  We do need to be careful with letting others define our beauty.....
which is where this video I just watched comes into play.  It's by Dove (don't you just love their beauty campaigns???)  and I think it's an awesome video for mothers and daughters alike.  So before you go and criticize someone's selfie or re-consider taking one yourself....just think about this for a minute......and then for heaven's that selfie!!!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Life vs. Blogging

I had a lot of plans for my blog this week.  I was going to make a list of all my favorite Clinique products.  I was going to do a post on my favorite winter lipsticks.  I was going to film a video.  And happened.  Isn't it funny that even though blogs are supposed to be about our lives....I find it most difficult to blog about my "life life"...does that make sense? I am a very real person.  What you see is what you get but...I like that my blog is "happy land".  It's make up and sparkle, and laughter.  But unfortunately that is not the reality of life.  On Tuesday my dear friend Rebecca (who I used to work at the hospital with) posted on her Facebook that her son Jacob was being taken to the hospital with bleeding in his brain and was asking for prayers.  When things like this happen to the people around automatically assume that everything will be alright.  Rebecca is a nurse and an amazing mother...things will be ok.
As the day and night progressed it became clear that was not how this story was going to end.  The swelling in sweet Jacob's brain was too severe and today that beautiful, kind, gentle boy was pronounced brain dead.  Rebecca and her husband made the courageous decision on behalf of Jacob to donate his organs so that even in death he could help people.  As the updates on Jacob came through over Facebook, my heart broke more and more.  I cried and laid in bed...and cried some more.
As most of you know....I know what losing a child does to a family.  Not only are you trying to sort through the enormous pain and grief...but you have realities that you face such Funerals, medical expenses, time off one has that kind of money.  Rebecca is such a hard worker.  Not only does she go above and beyond for her family, friends, and patients, but she's also kind, loving, and would do anything she could for someone.  I found myself again (as I have so many times in my own life) asking why.  Why would this happen to her.  I just found myself aching, wishing I could take some of her hurt away.
Rebecca and I used to drive to and from work together.  A lot of times she had her kids with her and as we all got to know each other better, I started babysitting for her kids.  They are some of the most wonderful people you'd ever hope to meet.  Jacob and his older brother Tyler and their 2 baby sisters Natalie and Emily.  You just hurt for everyone.  My friend Jamie posted something that I think perfectly put into words how I've been feeling.....
"We all prayed so hard for a miracle, and when I learned of Jacob's test results, I was at first so so sad, and angry, and disheartened.  But when I had a moment to sit in silence, I think God may have whispered to me, because it dawned on me that SEVERAL miracles are happening.  People are coming together to support a family in need, to lessen their burdens, to lift them up.  Some of them complete strangers. Selflessly offering whatever they can- including Robert and Rebecca Planck- offering their precious child, to be someone else's miracle.  People realizing it's time to straighten out their priorities in life.  And my own little miracle, if I allow it, and I let go of my OWN expectations, and stop trying to "understand" everything, I can hear Him saying, "There truly is a Plan here; there truly is a Purpose for each and every life"
Rebecca and her family still need help.  Rebecca only gets 3 paid days of bereavement from work and she is the major source of income for her family.  I set up a page in memory of Jacob where people can donate money for funeral/medical/and time off for Rebecca and have linked it below.  If you find that you feel the urge....please consider donating even just $5.00.  You can even do so anonymously.  Anything helps.
I must say I have been overwhelmed with the love that has been shown to their family by friends and strangers alike.  I set up the page last's been less than 24 hours and already $12,000 has been donated.  It's just a drop in the bucket though as far as I'm concerned.
Thank you for taking the time to read.  Thanks for sticking with me through the sticky stuff too.  And if you come across any funny cat videos....send them my way.  I could use a little cheering up.
Lot's of love

Monday, January 20, 2014

Weekend Collage

My Weekend

My Weekend by vanessanelson featuring Clarins

Hello!  I had a very lazy weekend!  I was off work on Friday and Saturday and just hung around with friends....I know....super exciting!  Some things I LOVED this weekend....
Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser: OMG LOVE.  It removes all your make up and then you use a muslin cloth to gentle wash it off and your skin feels so nice and soft and clean!  
Origins Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Lotion: LOVE for my redness/irritation prone skin
Bright orange nail polish like "Silly Billy" from Butter London
The music from "Nashville" is always a favorite go-to of mine
My best friend Jack got me the ONE DIRECTION MOVIE for Christmas which was verrrrryyy exciting!!!
Ohhhh yes.  Very good indeed.
I hope you all had a splendid weekend!  Tell me anything particularly wonderful in the comments! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Happy Friday!!!

In honor of it being the freakin weekend.....I present you with a new video!!!!

You can watch it HERE

Have a good weekend and thanks for being awesome!  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Weekend Collage Returns!

weekend collage

weekend collage by vanessanelson featuring a high heels stilettos

Hey it's been awhile since I've done this!  Are you excited???  Yeah I know.
Military Tab shirt from ASOS: OMG LOVE LOVE LOVE
Dark nail polish like "Chimney Sweep" by Butter London
Boot shoes = the best
MAC lipstick in Rebel 
Benefit "Watts Up" highlighter....seriously the best highlighter I've ever used.
Beyonce.  I mean....she's everything.  I love EVERY song on the album but I would have to say the ones I listen to most are: "Pretty Hurts" "XO" "Flawless" and "Partition" .....if you don't own this record already....what is wrong with you??? Listen to it and let's cry about how perfect it is together.

I'm also thinking about doing a blog post on the Golden Globes...they were amazing.  While you wait for that you can check out my previous posts on award shows {HERE} You can go back and see all the times I referred to Jennifer Lawrence as "obscure girl" or "I don't know your name" *face palm*

How was your weekend?  I'd love to hear some happy weekend stories.  Share them below! 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My Every Day Make Up

So I thought I'd do a little video just showing you my every day make up routine.  It's pretty simple....nothing special but nonetheless there ya go!

(maybe the best picture of me....of all time)

Watch it HERE

Hope you are all staying warm wherever you are.  If you have any ideas or tutorials or anything you'd like to see....let me know!  I'm working on a post on my favorite lipsticks at the moment but currently one of those lipsticks has gone I'll be Sherlock-ing that tomorrow and hopefully have that up soon!
Thanks for watching/reading!


Any new music you've been obsessing over lately???  Leave me a comment! :)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I'm a terrible friend/blogger/person

And here's the reason why.
I was recently reading through old comments on my blog and realized that there were some that I either never saw (I blame Obama and NyQuil) or never commented back to (also...thanks a lot Obama! And probably Diet Coke deprivation)......I wanted to mention 2 specifically.  One specifically was Amanda who tagged me in an award last year.....and it included questions!  And I never responded so....I'm responding now.  You should also go check out her blog because I like it very much.  So without any further delay (I mean....a year is enough don't you think?) are the answers to her questions!
P.S. Amanda if you still read....I'm deeply sorry! Forgive me!

11 Facts About Me

  1. I'm a Scorpio 
  2. My favorite colors are mint and peach (also my favorite flavors)
  3. My addiction to Candy Crush is definitely going to be putting me in some sort of rehab facility
  4. I love glitter
  5. I LOVE grape soda
  6. I hate bananas
  7. I never put on lotion because I think it takes too much time
  8. I get grumpy when I'm cold
  9. I love earrings.  
  10. I love lipstick.
  11. I hate flossing
My Questions from Amanda
1. If you could pick one superpower to live with for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I would have to be like a really hard core fighter.  Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Black I could just beat people up.  Super strength!

2. You are awarded the honor of naming the world's most tasty and popular cocktail ever made - what will you call it?
I would call it "I Cut My Own Bangs" because I feel like that's something I would do after drinking it.

3. What is one thing you feel you absolutely HAVE to achieve in your lifetime?
I think I need to actually sit down and watch every single season of "Friends" in a row.
(lofty aspirations....I know)

4. If you were forced to sing karaoke, what would your song choice be?
First of one would have to force me.  Second of all it would definitely be some cheesy 80's power ballad.  Think anything by Journey, Heart, or REO Speedwagon

5. If you could be cast in a TV show (past or present) which show would it be and which character? 
Definitely "One Tree Hill" and definitely anybody that got to touch James Lafferty.

6. What is your most favorite line from a movie ever?
This is super difficult but 4 come to mind immediately....

"I don't want sunburts or marble halls...I just" - Anne of Green Gables

"Headlines don't sell papes...Newsies sell papes!" - Newsies (duh)

"And WHY is the carpet all wet, Todd?" - Christmas vacation

"Locksley!  I'll cut your heart out with a spoon!"
"Why a spoon cousin?  Why not an axe...."
"Because it's dull you twit it will hurt more" - Robin Hood, King of Thieves

7. You can either be an amazing writer, or an amazing singer - which do you pick?
Singer.  For sure.

8. Doctor Who picks you up in his Tardis - where, or when, in the universe/history/the future do you ask him to take you?
THIS IS GREAT because I literally JUST started watching Doctor Who so I TOTES understand this reference!  That being said....I would definitely pick Paris in the 1920's.  

9. If your life could be set in a book genre, which would it be?
Umm....I feel like I will perpetually be a teen fiction novel or a terrible self help book.

10.  If you could live inside a book, which one would it be?
Anne of Green Gables series

11. What do you wish you were better at?
Whistling.  I'm a terrible whistler.  
Also updating my blog because.....I mean....yeah.

And that is that.  Thank you Amanda for the honor and again....sorry I suck at everything.  

Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Few Words About Beauty

Blonder hair, flat chest
TV says "Bigger is better"
South Beach, sugar free
Vogue says "thinner is better" 
Pretty hurts
Perfection is a disease of a nation 
We're trying to fix something but you can't fix what you can't see
it's the soul that needs the surgery

The immortal words of Ms. Beyonce Knowles Carter.  

I've been thinking a lot recently about beauty.  Maybe it's because I work in the "beauty industry".  Maybe it's because growing up, I hated the way I looked.  I always wished something about myself was different. 
Working in skin care and make up I meet all kinds of women on all different walks of life.  When I meet someone who is looking to purchase something I usually ask a lot of questions "what concerns do you have?" "what type of foundation are you looking for?" "what colors do you want to try on?"
The answers sound like this:
"I just want to look younger"
"I hate these wrinkles around my eyes"
"I just don't want to be ugly"
"Anything to hide this disgusting dark spot"
"I wish some of the fat around my thighs could be transferred to my face to make it look young and full again"
"I hate my _________"
It's so sad to me that women talk this way about themselves.  Especially because I doubt men do this.  I know men have body insecurities but I really don't think in the same way women do.  We have high standards for ourselves.  Completely unrealistic standards for ourselves. I was teased about the way I looked starting in elementary school....and the words of others when you're 9-10 years old really play a role in how you feel about yourself.  I went through all of jr. high and high school hating the way I looked.  I wished I was blonder, thinner, had straighter teeth, better hair, better skin, better everything.  I was never good enough.
 (working those glasses)

(dreaming I was Britney Spears)

 I missed out on so many opportunities because I never felt good enough.  When I was about 20 years old I had a friend who just loved everything about me.  She thought I was so cool and was amazed at the stupid little talents I had.  I finally started to feel like...."hey....I'm kind of cool" still took me awhile to be ok with the way I looked and there's still days when I feel like I look like a potato (at least my Instagram selfie game is hella on point)
I just wish women would stand together and say " I don't care what the media tells me is beauty.....I have dark circles, my hair is a mess, and I'm not a size 4 and I'm HOT".  We can't really totally blame the media for this focus on perfection.  We are the ones who give it power.  We give it power every time we criticize ourselves.  Every time we criticize another woman.
I by no means am saying that those with seemingly "perfect" features shouldn't flaunt what they have.....because they totally should....but so should people without seemingly "perfect" features because there is no such thing as perfection.  
I obviously love skin care and make up.  That will never change.  And yes a lot of products I use to help me with a certain concern I have about myself.  But lipstick just makes me feel good!  
(pretending I've got it all figured out now)

My point what makes you happy.  If you want to be a healthier it!  Don't do it because you are trying to get that "gap" between your it because you want to live longer.  Do what is going to make you happy....just don't do it because someone is telling you that's the only way you'll be beautiful.  When you feel your beauty...everyone else does too.  It literally shines through you....the love and confidence you have in yourself.
Just love yourselves, love others, and the world will love you back.

Now I'm going to go do what I love and that is binge watching "Teen Wolf" like the beautiful adult I am.  
xoxo, V

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


I saw this picture from the Clinique page and loved it so much I had to share it.  I ended the new year on a couple of exciting notes.....
first of all being....I WON OUR FANTASY FOOTBALL LEAGUE.  For the first year EVER.  I won!  Ohhhh yes.
Also this....

which was very exciting!

In true Vanessa form I was sick for new years but I still stayed up until midnight, put on some hot pink lipstick to try and trick myself into feeling better (for the most worked) and drank that Martinelli's at the stroke of midnight.  

Little brother was my New Years date for the third year in a row.  As in previous years we spent the time leading up to midnight laying on the sofa watching Adventure Time.
After he went to bed I spent the rest of the night with these two.....

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe are my ultimate power couple.
Wild night...I know.
How did you ring in the New Year!?

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