Rise and Line

Truth time: I’m tired. Pretty much all the time. Combine long work hours, wedding planning, training for my first-ever 5K and a fairly severe case of insomnia, and you’ve got one tired lady. While my raging caffeine addiction keeps me functioning (most of the time), it’s damn near impossible to hide my tired eyes when they’ve only had four hours of sleep. My trusted Mineralogie Ultimate Cream Concealer can only do so much; sure, it covers dark circles like a champ, but exhausted eyes are made up of more than dark circles. On really sluggish days, my eyes just don’t twinkle the way I want them to. They look dull.

Amazingly, an impulse purchase I made while picking up cleaning supplies at my local Rite Aid last weekend has changed all that. I happened by a display of Almay Wake Up Eyeliners, a collection of double-ended eye brightening sticks. On one end is a smooth, crayon-like liner; on the other, a silky highlighter in a coordinating shade. Both are laced with energizing caffeine to wake up – you guessed it – tired eyes. It comes in three flattering combinations. I grabbed the Sapphire Diamond duo, a navy blue liner paired with a creamy white highlighter. I am so glad that I did.

The highlighter is cool and smooth and truly brightens the eyes. Dab some in the inner corners of your eyes and smudge some along the brow bone and suddenly you forget that you didn’t sleep last night. The liner is incredibly easy to apply – a subtle swipe along the upper lash line is all it takes to put the twinkle back in your eyes. Together they are a winning combination that I don’t think I can ever do without. Bonus: the duo is gentle on sensitive eyes. This is an instant favorite.

Pretty in Pink

Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make you feel transformed from an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan. Sometimes all it takes is the right eye shadow.

Over the course of the past couple of months, I’ve kind of felt like life has gotten in the way of me taking care of myself. It’s no secret that grooming myself is one of my favorite pastimes (vain, but true). Yet when other, more pressing matters arise, my grooming time is the first thing to go. This, of course, has the spiraling-out-of-control effect of making me feel worse and worse about myself, the situation at hand, and my ability to cope with stress.

Not good.

Last week I woke up one morning and realized that my head of hair had actually turned into a wild, frizzy mane. I desperately needed a cut. I went to work, cringing every time I passed a mirror or caught a glimpse of my reflection in a computer screen.  I checked my email, where a spam message urged me to get a great haircut. That settles it, I thought, and called my beloved hairdresser. She could fit me in that afternoon. God bless her.

So, after lopping a good six inches off my hair, I started to remember what it’s like to feel pretty! I continuously ran my fingers through my hair, admiring my new look in the mirrors at home. But my transformation from duckling to swan was not complete. I decided it was time for new eyeshadow.

While perusing the shelves at my local Rite Aid, I remembered an article I had read a few months back about Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow. It’s made with 98.2% natural ingredients, and is packaged in 58% recycled materials. (I must be on a going green kick lately; I recently became obsessed with the new BIC ECOlutions ReAction Ball Pens, which are made with 74% recycled materials and write SO smoothly.) So I headed to the Almay section, where my eyes immediately locked onto the Pure Blends shadow, in a lovely pale pink shade.

Almay Pure Blends Eyeshadow in Petal is my new favorite thing. It’s subtle and light, and doesn’t irritate my eyes at all. The light color helps brighten up tired eyes and helps to put a sparkle back into mine. And it’s cute little recycled package is adorable and eco-friendly.

What more could a beautiful swan ask for?