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MAC Stereo Rose: Is it worth the hype?

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As you well may know, MAC’s beloved, cult-favorite mineralize skinfinish Stereo Rose is being repromoted yet again with the Fantasy of Flowers collection (releasing online January 30th, in store January 6 U.S.).  There is so much hype surrounding this product (yes, I have a penchant for stating the obvious).  But is the hype well-deserved?

I picked this beauty up last go-round.  At my most pale I’m an NW 22ish, so I use SR as a blush rather than a highlight. It’s described as a “coral with golden bronze and a high frost, metallic finish.” Basically it’s a warm peachy color with gold shimmer and a very slight hint of pinky-rose tones (depending on the veining). The shimmer is definitely there but not disco. What’s great is that it will suit multiple skintones because the pigmentation is there. Due to the shimmer factor, you may want to avoid applying it on the apples of your cheeks if you have large pores. I think both warm and cool people can pull this off, although I think it flatters warm skintones better. But do I think it’s worth the hype? Not necessarily.

Perhaps it’s because I have a very cool skintone, but for me Stereo Rose is just okay. I like it. I’m glad I own it, and I use it with a fair amount of regularity. But I don’t love it, nor do I consider it holy grail. I gravitate more toward peachy-pink blushers than peachy-orangey ones. I prefer either matte or sheertone shimmer finishes to the metallic finish.  Milani’s baked blush in Rose D’Oro is similar but not a dead on dupe (and it’s not as smooth).  Stereo Rose can be a must-have for warmer or deeper skin, but I certainly wouldn’t overpay for it as some eBay sellers would have you do (I’ve seen this product listed for $100 USD!). Overall, I think there are many other fish in the proverbial sea; if you miss it, it’s not worth stressing about.

What do you think? Am I way off base? Or do you agree? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading. p.s. it’s available and in stock right now on the Macy’s website if you want to get it early bird 🙂 click here

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.” Isaiah 26:3

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month! Basic info and what you can do

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

With January being human trafficking awareness month, I thought I would start a new series spotlighting different causes.  I will outline some key points regarding what human trafficking is, as well as ideas on what you can do about it.  There are many additional resources listed below that are absolutely fantastic and I strongly urge you to check them out.  Principally, what is human trafficking in a nutshell?

The United Nations defines human trafficking as follows:

“‘Trafficking in persons’ shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs;”

That is a lot of words.  What is boils down to is that human trafficking, or modern slavery as it is also called, is the exploitation of another using force, fraud, coercion, or deception.  Human trafficking can take on myriad forms, such as: sexual slavery or commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, forced labor, child soldiers, begging rings, organ trafficking, and forced marriage (this is different than arranged marriage).  It is not uncommon for multiple forms of slavery to occur in one place; for example, in a labor camp there may also be sexual exploitation transpiring.  A slave or trafficked victim also has many faces, and this crime can occur anywhere.

Anyone can be a victim of human trafficking: male, female, adult or child (though most are women and children).  And while it can and likely does happen everywhere, popular trafficking destinations are Italy, Turkey, Japan, and the United States.  Prevalent regions people are trafficked from include Eastern Europe, countries of the former Soviet Union, and Africa.  Solid statistics in relation to modern slavery can be difficult to come by.

Since it is humanly impossible to know the existence of every basement brothel or home with involuntary servitude, current statistics on human trafficking must be taken with a grain of salt.  Generally, modern slavery is estimated to be the third largest and fastest growing crime in the world, behind (and often tied in with) the sale of drugs and arms.  Human trafficking is roughly a $32 billion industry, earning more than Google, Starbucks, and Nike combined.  The U.S. State Department estimates of the number of slaves in the world today is 20.9 million.  It’s no wonder why it is believed to be so profitable and prevalent; while a drug can be sold once and then consumed, a person can be sold and abused many times over.  Though it can be nearly impossible to imagine this degree of human rights violation, we must understand the root causes of the problem before we can begin to look at a solution.

Modern slavery has numerous causes, such as but not limited to: poverty, beliefs about sex, the societal roles and value of women, men and children, disease, lack of education, broken families, greed, political and police corruption, supply and demand, and the bottom line is pure evil.  Faced with such enormous numbers and factors feeding into this monster, we can feel completely overwhelmed and despair that nothing can be done to stop it.  But in fact we who are free must do something, even if it is one small step toward change.  The following are some suggestions.

-You can pick one of the root causes of slavery and work to effect change.  For instance, if you are passionate about increasing the quality and availability of education, that will help prevent human trafficking.

-Tell someone about it.  Raising awareness mobilizes other people to get involved.  Not sure how to get the conversation started?  You can wear clothing with end slavery slogans (some can be found here or at many of the websites listed below) and even jewelry made by survivors (you can find some here).  This leads me to my next suggestion.

-Be a smart consumer.  Websites like http://www.chainstorereaction.com/ provide information on which companies have signed a pact to avoid using slave labor in the production of their merchandise.  They also have a form letter you can sign and send to companies who have yet to sign the pledge and urge them to make this a priority.  The Good Guide website also provides ratings for companies’ social responsibility (as well as their environmental and health policies) found at www.goodguide.com

-Have people over to your house to view movies and documentaries on the subject and discussion.  International Justice Mission has a phenomenal documentary called At the End of Slavery, as well as a list of other movies on their website which can be found here.  You can also host jewelry parties with products made by survivors (resources listed below).

-Support local and international abolitionist organizations with your time, money, and talents (many listed below).  If you are unable to find an organization in your area, start one!  Or encourage your church and city leaders to pioneer one.  If we make it known that it is important to us, it will become important to lawmakers and leaders.

-Learn the signs of trafficking and keep your eyes open.  A list of signs can be found at http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-the-signs .  If you suspect trafficking is happening, report it to the (U.S.) National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-3737-888 or text BeFree (233733).

Whatever your expertise or calling, it can help.  You don’t have to storm a brothel to make a difference.  If you have a diseased tomato plant, you can cut off the tomatoes but they will continue to grow back.  It needs to be plucked up by the root.  Any step you take can cause a shift in the paradigm.  And if we can enact change in our sphere of influence, it will spread to those around us.

Thanks for reading.  Leave a comment below with any suggestions of causes you would like to see highlighted.

Links for more information:

Organizations and Websites-

www.ijm.org

www.polarisproject.org

www.love146.org

www.faastinternational.org

www.notforsalecampaign.org

http://warinternational.org/

http://crossculturalconnections.org/

www.iteams.org

Books-

Not for Sale by David Batstone

The Slave Across the Street by Theresa Flores

The Road of Lost Innocence by Somaly Mam

Disposable People by Kevin Bales

Child Soldiers: From violence to protection by Michael Wessells

Good News About Injustice by Gary Haugen

Movies & Videos-

Call and Response trailer http://youtu.be/mS-0CHXfyIk

At the End of Slavery trailer http://youtu.be/RyqMsrr1OjE

International Justice Mission Movie Suggestions http://www.ijm.org/files/get-involved/student-ministries/Movie-List.pdf

Apparel, jewelry, & other products- can be found at most of the websites listed above.  The t-shirt I’m wearing from my corresponding youtube video is from www.notforsalecampaign.org but it is a few yrs old, I don’t see it on the website currently but they have many others. The bracelet I showed in the video is from http://crossculturalconnections.org/ but I also love http://warinternational.org/

Recognize the signs of human trafficking- http://www.polarisproject.org/human-trafficking/recognizing-the-signs U.S. National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline 1-888-3737-888 or text BeFree (233733) or report to your local authorities or International Customs Enforcement

References: https://na4.salesforce.com/sfc/p/300000006E4s/a/600000004Scf/A.Lg9ppZ70L7.h7qoirCR.dad967bDo6ewESpdX_07w=

www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=32521&Cr=&Cr1=

www.thea21campaign.org/files/a21/a21prayerguide2010.pdf

FAAST “Hands that Heal” curriculum

also many of the books and websites listed above

“The LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners;” Isaiah 61:1

My corresponding YouTube video:

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Decluttering My Vanity…and My Life

Decluttering My Vanity…and My Life

So I thought I would kick off the new year by getting rid of things I have lying around that are seldom used and gathering dust. Makeup, clothes, home decor, and toys were making their way into the “donate” pile. This quickly became an exercise in self reflection.

At first I felt the urge to justify keeping things, thinking, “Oh I’m sure I’ll use this soon.”  But as my stack began to grow, the buzz of having more space and simplifying my home began to kick in.  Before I knew it, I was happily tossing things in. I began to feel more energized, and it occurred to me just how long it had been since I felt that way.

I realized that not only did I need to declutter my house, I needed to declutter my life.  It wasn’t just about “things” zapping my energy.  Unhealthy habits, relationships, and priorities can throw everything off kilter. They steal our time, energy, and quality of life. And just like justifying the keeping of unnecessary things, we legitimize those habits by saying, “It’s not that big of a deal.” We defend unhealthy relationships with family, friends, and partners, thinking, “It will get better.” We excuse skewed priorities with, “I’ll get to it later.” But later never comes.  Not that way.

Later is now. This moment is what we have to work with.  Maybe “it” is that big of a deal.  And how can things get better without correction?  Ask yourself honestly what (or who) needs to go, needs to change. Even if the one who needs to change is you. Change is scary, but what scares you more? Changing…or staying the same?

What will you “declutter?” Leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

Top 10 Overly Used Words & Phrases of 2013

I took a poll on Facebook this week of the most overly used words and phrases of 2013. The response was overwhelming…and hilarious. Here is the top 10 list, along with some honorable mentions.

10. Bestie
9. Totes
8. Seriously?
7. Selfie
6. Literally
5. I know, right? (okay, I’m guilty of this one)
4. Really?
3. Just sayin (this was my vote for #1)
2. Let’s be honest… (or any derivative, such as “honestly,” “I’m going to be honest,” or “to be honest”
1. It is what it is

Some honorable mentions include:
-Cray cray
-That’s what’s up
-twerk
-Let’s keep it 100
-COB (crack only better)
-I’m all in
-At the end if the day…

And some that are still going strong from years past:
-Swag
-YOLO
-Hashtag (as in the use of it verbally in a sentence. Ex. “Let’s do it! Hashtag:yolo!”)
-OMG (oh my God/gosh
-STFD (shut the front door)
-LOL (laugh out loud)
-ROFL (rolling in floor laughing)

Do you agree with this list or did we miss one? Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful, safe, and blessed New Year.

MAC Magnetic Nudes Collection: Review, Pics, & Swatches

MAC Magnetic Nudes Collection: Review, Pics, & Swatches

MAC has been busy lately, launching multiple collections the day after Christmas.  My favorite is the Magnetic Nudes collection.  This collection is all about looking very natural and glowy.  My favorite!

This extra dimension collection consists of 3 mineralize skinfinishes, 3 blushes, 5 eyeshadows, 3 fluidlines, 4 lipsticks, and 5 lip glasses.  I love the extra dimension formula as it gives a beautiful sheen without being glittery, chunky, or emphasizing skin texture to the extreme.  I didn’t grab any glosses (I need a new gloss like I need a hole in the head, you know?), although steel kiss looked very unique.  Overall I love this versatile collection.  I get so much use out of these everyday, wearable colors.  Below are descriptions and pictures of what I picked up (for reference, I am currently an NW22).  If you are more into a bold look then you may want to check out Punk Couture which released the same day.   It has dramatic, vampy lippies and bright, 80’s style pigments.

MSF’s

Superb (a repromote) is described as a peachy nude with multidimensional shimmer.  To me it looks like a gorgeous champagne color that would suit just about anyone.  It is very pigmented and long lasting.  One swipe on the cheekbone with a fan brush and you’ll be glowing all day as if you just stepped off Mount Olympus.  It’s beautiful, and if you like highlighters you will enjoy this product.

Fairly Precious is described as a peach with green pearl.  It’s a true, warm peach highlight.  This would best suit lighter skin tones in my opinion.  Like Superb, it has a smooth texture.  There was also Magnetic Appeal, which is a warm coppery color that would look beautiful on deeper skin tones.

MAC MSF Fairly Precious. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC MSF Fairly Precious. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Blushes

Autoerotique is described as a dirty coral rose.  This is a warm, easy to blend blush.  As with all extra dimension blushers, the color payoff is subtle but can be built up.  This is a very pretty and unique color.

MAC Autoerotique Blush. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC Autoerotique Blush. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

At Dusk (repromote) is a stunning blush described as a dirty cool pink but does not look grey on the cheek.  This is very flattering on lighter skin tones.  Again, it gives a light wash of color but can be built up.

MAC At Dusk Blush. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC At Dusk Blush. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Left to right: Superb, Fairly Precious, At Dusk, Autoerotique. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Left to right: Superb, Fairly Precious, At Dusk, Autoerotique. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Eyeshadow

Amorous Alloy is described as a deep terracotta copper color with a metallic finish.  I had not intended on purchasing any extra dimension eyeshadow from this collection, but the girl at the counter sold me on this unique color.  It’s warm but not so warm that cool people can’t pull it off.  This is another product that will look great on an array of skin tones and eye colors.  The other eyeshadow colors were very pretty but seemed quite dupable to me.

MAC Amorous Alloy eyeshadow. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC Amorous Alloy eyeshadow. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Fluidline

It’s Physical is described as a brown with purple pearl.  This has a lot of purple shimmer in it, more than you can see in the pot.  I prefer using this all over the lid rather than as a liner.  It’s a really lovely color that would suit many eye colors.  The other fluidline that caught my eye was Our Secret, a metallic brown with red pearl.  This is another beautiful color that I had set out to purchase, but once swatched it reminded me of Constructivist paint pot.  I swatched them side by side at the counter and they looked identical on my arm so I did not buy it.

MAC It's Physical Fluidline. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC It’s Physical Fluidline. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Lipstick

Morning Rose is described as a soft, cool rose creamsheen.  This is a very wearable, everyday dusty rose shade (again, suitable for multiple skin tones).  The rest of the lipsticks were mostly nudes, and since I don’t need any more nude lipsticks I did not purchase any.

MAC Morning Rose Lipstick. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

MAC Morning Rose Lipstick. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

From Left to Right: Fairly Precious, At Dusk, Autoerotique, Amorous Alloy, It's Physical, Morning Rose. Photo by www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

From Left to Right: Fairly Precious, At Dusk, Autoerotique, Amorous Alloy, It’s Physical, Morning Rose. Photo by http://www.somethingtoconsiderblog.com

Did you pick anything up from this collection?  Or is this not your style?  Leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

My video on this collection with live swatches:

On Assaulting Bell Ringers…

Holiday Greetings

Holiday Greetings (Photo credit: Anemone Letterpress)

Hello Friends!

As Christmas draws near, I start to feel extra warm fuzzies in the air.  People seem friendlier, children are more respectful, and the season of giving is in full swing.  That is, until I hear on the radio the story about the Salvation Army bell ringer who was assaulted for saying, “Happy holidays.”

I’ll post a link to the story below, but the gist is that the female bell ringer (who, might I remind you, is a volunteer) reportedly said “Happy holidays.” to a woman entering Wal-Mart.  The woman turned to her and said, “You’re supposed to say ‘Merry Christmas’!” and hit her in the arm.  Now this floors me.  I am not sure of the aggressor’s religious affiliation, but it stands to reason that she may consider herself a Christian.  As a Christian myself, I consider this behavior to be up there on my list of non-Christian conduct.  Jesus is all about love, forgiveness, and righteousness.  As far as I can tell, hitting a volunteer who stands out in the cold for hours to raise money for needy families seems incongruous.  Perhaps the bell ringer was referring to Christmas and New Year’s.  Perhaps not.  I have not read reports that the volunteer was grievously injured, but that isn’t really the point.

When exactly did this season’s salutations become “Christians vs. Non-Christians?”  I do not find it offensive when people say “Happy Holidays.”  Simultaneously, I also do not agree with those who think “Merry Christmas” shouldn’t be uttered.  If a person celebrates Hanukkah or any other religious celebration, they should feel free to use that term.  This should include Christmas as well.

Whatever you may or may not be celebrating, I suggest a humble attitude.  Remember that Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace.  That is so much more attractive than hostility.

“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for ALL the people.'” Luke 2:10 (emphasis mine).

What do you think?  Are people overly sensitive about the use of the terms “Happy Holidays” and “Merry Christmas?” Or do you also take that stance?  Leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading.

References:

http://www.christianpost.com/news/salvation-army-bell-ringer-assaulted-for-saying-happy-holidays-instead-of-merry-christmas-110923/

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/bell-ringer-allegedly-assaulted-happy-holidays-21237319

When Good Friends Move Away

English: Start of a long road

English: Start of a long road (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s official: the Smiths don’t live here anymore.  They drove off into the nightwith Fat Lucy in the backseat, signaling the end of this chapter.  Today is a sad day.

I’m talking about our neighbors; Fat Lucy is their cat.  We bought our houses the same year and became fast friends.  While this move is exciting for them, we, of course, are mourning the loss.  No more will their house be a second home to our kids. They fed us, gave to us of their time and talents.   They watched out for our kids while they played.  They babysat, fed, and loved our kids.  They let them pick flowers from their garden.  They caught Titus (our beastly Great Dane) countless times he got outside without a leash.  If we ever needed anything and they were able to help, the answer was always yes (even when I’m sure they didn’t want to).  House sitting, pet sitting, helping with projects, and truly sharing life.  In our eyes they were everything a neighbor could be.  Every member of our familes are close.  So many things in common, so many differences; yet somehow we all clicked.  This seems like a rarity in this day and age of hiding behind privacy fences.   We’ll miss their kids telling us, “You guys are the best family!”  And our countless long talks of hilarity or depth about joys and sorrows, our kids, extended families, friends (and sometimes spouses :p).  They are very gracious, genuine people.  People who let you see their house (and their very lives) messy. There is a trust there…an understanding.  They are people we can be completely real with who do not judge us.  I value that so much, and it is a quality that seems scarce.  How do you tell someone that?  That they mean all these things and more which words cannot express? I hope you who may be reading this have someone like that in your lives.  The street seems so different now.  And time marches on.

Hopefully we’ll keep in touch.  There’s e-mail, phone, Skype, planes, and cars to aid in that.  Yet life happens, and sometimes things we hold dear get forgotten…foggy.  As trivial as it might sound, we are grieving this loss.  My prayer is not only for their safe adjustment, but also that we would stay connected.  That perhaps we could sail together once again; let the kids have a sleepover again.  May we travel together someday like we always talked about.  May life be good to us all; not because we deserve it, but because God is so very good and abundant.  And that they would be blessed.  They are so giving, Lord please give to them; and please fill this hole with yourself and your love.  I hope the roads of our lives continue to lead us in parallel, though separate, directions.  Who knows, maybe they won’t be separate forever.

Have you had a close friend move away?  Or perhaps you were the one who had to move?  I’d love to read about it in the comments below.  Thanks for reading.

“We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.” 1Thessalonians 1:2

*”Smith” is not their real name but a generic one used for their privacy