Santa Brought Inspiration for Christmas!


I’m back! I hope you all had a beautiful holiday; I know I did. Since last posting, I’ve made what’s called an “interstate move,” from Orlando to Nashville, and been busy settling down– only to plow right through Christmas.

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Santa Claus knew I had everything a girl could dream for: A loving family, a beautiful Lily Dog,  and a new winter wardrobe. However, he also knew that my beauty closet was MISTAKENLY packed away in portable storage units– including my professional brush sets– and I was suffering miserably. So, he took a trip to Ulta and got me several makeup GEMS.

Devout readers know that I’m a fan of Carbon Black Mascara, by L’oreal over expensive brands. However, Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara is my new favorite! The formula itself lengthens and thickens lashes, but the wand proved amazing as well.

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I’ve generally avoided non-traditional wand styles, but this one separates lashes like a dream and coats evenly. In addition, the egg shaped ball at the tip of the wand creates the perfect tool to lengthen lashes with vertical strokes. I really like this product and encourage everyone who is frustrated by their mascara formula to grab a tube!

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My second cosmetic introduction, of the season, was to the Australian originated line by Napoleon Perdis. I am in love with the neutral metallics shadow palette– and might have to go back for the purple one too! Sometimes, I feel like metallics look a little…funky. In a bad way. However, these finely milled pigments spread evenly and produce a glimmer suitable for a day at the office or a night on the town.

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Aside from the gifts Santa Claus brought, I would also like to mention the makeup brushes I recently picked up at Target. E.L.F. brand brushes are a must have for anyone who wants a nice brush set, but doesn’t want to pay an arm and a leg for them! In fact, I like them better than some of the “professional” brushes I’ve purchased in the past. The selection is decent, the quality is good, and the price is right as they range from $1-$5 each! I especially love the contouring brush. This is a testament, once again, that you don’t always have to pay high dollar for quality tools and cosmetics; one often finds themselves paying for the brand name as opposed to the product’s actual value.

So happy to be back blogging! What fabulous cosmetics did Santa bring you this Christmas?

Darth Vader learns to share.


Halloween is a very special time for children and is also a time I was not allowed to participate in as a child. Yes, I was the “freak” whose mother wouldn’t let her trick-or-treat, dress up, or even color worksheets related to what she called, “the devil’s holiday.” There was only one other child, in my entire elementary, whose mother was as mean as mine. Together, Larissa and I watched episodes of Reading Rainbow in the Media Center, while our classmates got to participate in the school’s hay wagon ride and play the games comprising the Fall Spooktacular. When I complained to my mother that all my classmates got candy and that Larissa and I missed out, she offered to buy a bag at the grocery store. It wasn’t the same; I hadn’t earned my candy.

Today, Halloween is one of my favorite holidays and my belief system appears inverted. I view the holiday as harmless–and fanatical parents (such as my mother, who NOW agrees that a little trick-or-treating really wouldn’t have hurt anything & if she had it to do over, she’d let me be a heathen for one night out of the year) as in cohorts with the devil. It’s a strange paradox.

When my boyfriend mentioned the trunk-or-treat event, hosted by a local school, my eyes lit up excitedly. “Do we get to dress up!?”

He said, “No, it’s for the kids only. Parents and adults don’t dress up.”

“Are you sure? I think we need costumes too.”

“No. The twins aren’t even dressing up. Just Will.” The twins, Annsley and Makayla, are thirteen. Will is seven.

“Fine.”

Twenty-five minutes before it was time to leave for the trunk-or-treat, the girls toyed with possible last-minute costumes. I suggested they put on their fleece onesies and go as big babies, but Annsley decided she couldn’t be seen in public like that. Makayla suggested that she and her sister wear matching outfits and go as twins. So they did. Mike offered to put on a pair of blue jeans and a cowboy hat to go as a shirtless cowboy, but it grossed out the kids (although I liked his idea).

When I asked Will earlier in the week what he was going to dress up as, he said, “That one guy. Luke’s dad.”

“Darth Vader?”

“Yes! That’s him.”

Darth had just chopped off my neck, so I was trying to look horrified.

I would like to point out that I am NOT wearing a costume, but rather the warmest sweater I could find in my closet. I will also mention that upon arriving at the trunk-or-treat, most of the adults WERE dressed up. Darth Vader’s costume was, by far, the most impressive of any other boy’s garb.

He made several laps around the candy circuit, but Mike and I only made it through two. During Darth’s travels, he made sure to snag a Reese’s cup for my mom and a box of Nerds for me. However, as any Star Wars fan knows, there’s a limit to Darth’s generosity.

Upon arriving home, Darth said, “One piece per person and that’s IT!” He meant it. The dark force was strong with that one– two meltdowns over the loot had proven it so; no one was up for a third challenge.

In the morning, however, Darth awoke with a certain change of heart. As I walked into the living room, to call the kids for breakfast, I noticed Miss Annsley pawing through the candy bag. I eyed the  bag nervously.

Darth had apparently gone through an overnight transformation. He said, “I told her it was OK [to go through my candy].”

I said, “Darth Vader has learned to share.”

THE MORAL OF THE STORY: Parents, please don’t turn your children into the school-wide dubbed freak over a little superstition. Although Darth stormed the galaxy for a night, he resurfaced as our sweet, little Will by morning.

Terrorizing the Low-Maintenance Boyfriend: A Lesson in Eyebrow Waxing


To hear my boyfriend tell it, I, “came at [him] with a pair of tweezers.” This statement implies two things. First, his words suggest an attack movement on my part, however the plucking was done with love and care. Second, it’s not like I didn’t warn him by saying, “Sit tight–I’ll be right back with my tweezers.”

Let me tell you a little about Mike: Ex-Marine. Quarterback. Basketball shorts. Despite a successful career in toughness, Mike’s kind heart affords him the tolerance to withstand my “torturous” whims– which brings us back to brow maintenance.

I combed and trimmed his brows with ease and marveled at how this step makes such an amazing difference every time–especially on men. Aestheticians, including myself, do this before plucking or waxing; combing brows upward and trimming offers instant results and low risk to ruining their shape. However, the tweezers pushed Mike over the edge.

“Just let me wax them,” I offered.

He retorted, “Hell no!”

“But this is my job. I do this for a living- waxing is way easier than tweezing.”

“No.”

“But you get pedicures…”

He growled, “That’s for the [leg] massage! No.”

Boyfriends and beaus past always accepted my brow maintenance attempts with quiet reserve and surrender. Mike’s resistance presented a new challenge and I silently vowed I’d get to wax those brows. Later, I casually mentioned the football coach who is a body waxing client. “No.” I told him I wouldn’t do a complete brow design, but would only clean them up. “No.”

He called his mother to say hello and tattle about how wicked I was for daring to tweeze three eyebrow hairs. She told him, flatly, that her husband waxed regularly. Although Mike raised a bushy brow in consideration, he maintained the “devil wax” wouldn’t leave the Honee pot.

A few hours later, I was offered the deal of a lifetime when Mike bartered information for brows. My eyes lit up. “So, if I tell you, you’ll really let me wax them?”

“Yes.”

High levels of testosterone, as found in males, generally indicate a surplus in hair growth. The hair is often thick, coarse, and dark. Unless you’re a Doctor, an Aesthetician, or work for Animal Control, don’t look at the next photo if you’re eating. One, lower-brow swipe did a world of good in the low-maintenance man’s brow routine:

When I swiped the wax across his lower brow bone, he commented that the warm wax was soothing. When I pulled the strip, Mike said the pain was nowhere near what he anticipated. In fact, it really didn’t hurt. We might go for a full-fledged brow design next time, but I considered our session a success:

WINNING!!!!

Let’s Talk Robberies: Cars, Designer Bags & Missing Makeup/ Lash Kits.


Recently, upon completing an especially sweaty cardio routine, I left the gym to find my driver’s side window smashed. I watch television, and believed the cops might want to dust for fingerprints, so I refrained from touching the vehicle or tampering with the evidence/surfaces. The notion proved founded when the police arrived fifteen minutes later; they dusted for fingerprints–their boots crackled amongst the shattered glass.

I’ll skip the long montage of bursting into tears in front of my gym friend, hysterically requesting my Zumba teacher to dial 911, and the harsh realization that my main makeup & lash kit was stolen (worth over $1,000.00). As a small [mobile] business owner, I was devastated.

Also disillusioned and crushed was my inner-fashionista. My brand new, patent leather Coach tote was stolen and an array of assorted contents: my wallet along with everything you need when you’re leaving on a road trip within five hours. That was a double personal slam with all professional aspects aside; I was forced to postpone a trip to see my Mother and family and the precious bag my best friend purchased to commemorate my college graduation was gone for good.

The point of this post isn’t really a boo-boo session for Ms. Ashley Evelyn, although I’m starting to question the validity of this statement the more I re-read the last paragraph. Accidents like this really do come out of nowhere–and no countdown- to- vacation high can prevent such occurrences.

You can prevent this, or at least lower your risk, by learning from my blunders. Below is a mis-matched list containing afterthoughts & investigator tips.

Here are some things that I have learned:

-The “Towel Covering Technique” no longer works. In fact, tossing a towel over anything in your car probably automatically signals a green light to thieves.

-Always remove your purses, computer bags, wallets, and valuable items from the car. Not even once. I directly ignored my instinct and kicked myself repeatedly later.

-If you can’t take things with you, all important items belong in the trunk. Then again, maybe they belong in the garage? The house? Then again, what if the house is broken in to? Whatever. The thieves didn’t steal my treatment bed, resting in the trunk, but they took what they could see and steal quickly.

-If someone makes off with you credit cards, ID’s, and/or check book, it’s not enough to simply close accounts and reissue them under a new account number. Individuals looking to steal your identity are merely detained by switching accounts because all the information they need remains in the bank’s files. It sucks, but changing banks is the best way to keep your assets safe.

-Lake Mary PD is incredibly helpful, kind, and competent.

Beauty Runs in the Bloodline.


I was obsessed with lavender, peel-off nail polish as a child. I willed the lacquer dry so that I could “jazz hands” my way around the house– and do my nails again. As an adult, I probably paint my nails 2-3 times/wk. To me, there’s something therapeutic in dragging glossy pigment across my nail bed.

Apparently, this is a familial trait. My second cousin, Baby Lyla, challenges my status as “Girliest Girl” in the family. I’m not passing the torch yet, but I try to be a good example to my younger family by impressing on them what’s most important in life– at least in relation to boys & beauty.

When I really care for someone, I beg, “Please don’t over pluck your eyebrows! Let a professional [such as myself] do them for you.”

Lyla’s eyebrows  still qualify as “baby brow fuzz,” so that advice can be postponed until a later date. However, the simplest advice I can offer a little girl with wet nails–or a woman of any age– is, “Keep your fingers out straight, sit still, and don’t touch anything.” I looked her in the eye and repeated, “Lyla, don’t touch anything until your nails dry.”

Her mommy (my delightful cousin, Jane) invoked the genius “kitten claws method” to while away the time. Somehow, a toddler, who wouldn’t move up to her big girl bed for four more days, managed to relax and let her nails dry. I thought about all the times I’d fudged a manicure or a pedicure due to impatience. A child understood the bain of the nail tech’s existence…she listened and her nails looked fabulous for it!

P.S. Her favorite color is purple– can you tell?