Summer Beauty Looks That I Love

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Bronzed Skin & Bold Lip

Bronzed Skin & Bold Lips: I think this is perfect for a weekend BBQ or pool party. The coverage is super sheer; pick a lightly tinted sunscreen, like COOLA Mineral Face SPF 30. I love Revlon’s COLORBURST Matte Balm lip crayons for bold lips that are easy to apply and stay put.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Glow

Glowing Skin: Illuminators can be tricky; I want to look fresh and dewy, not glitteryBenefit’s Watt’s Up is my favorite: the stick makes application really easy, and the cream-to-powder formula blends into your skin and leaves behind a luminous champagne glow.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Bright Eyeliner

Bright Eyeliner: This is really fun for a night out. You can create it with a bright eyeliner — Makeup Forever makes a great range of colors in their Aqua Eyes liner collection — or turn any bright eyeshadow into a long-lasting eyeliner by adding a couple drops of saline solution (the kind you use to clean your contact lenses) to a clean liner brush before dipping it in the shadow and applying.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Liquid Liner

Classic Cat Eye: A good swipe of black eyeliner is great year-round, but in the summer you can tone it down with sheer foundation, a hint of blush, and a light pink or peach lip. The trick is finding a liner that can survive the heat and humidity; my girlfriend who’s a professional makeup artist swears by Maybelline Eye Studio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner.

A Pretty Penny | Summer Beauty Golden Eyes

Barely There: This “no-makeup makeup” look is my favorite for every day: a simple golden eye paired with a nude lip and tinted moisturizer. I love Clinique Long Last Glosswear in Tenderheart and LORAC’s Little Black Eyeshadow Palette for recreating this easy natural face.

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two years later…

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Flashback to last week, when I pretended my lifestyle is conducive to white jeans on a weekday (hint: it isn’t; not shown: the big lily pollen stain just to the side of the rip on my knee).

It’s summertime and the livin’ is [relatively] easy. I’m forcing myself to work shorter days, take a few afternoons off, and make time for the creative projects that collected dust on my to-do list.

It’s taken C and I years to adjust to the seasonal swing of our business. We used to spend the summer months in a panic, biting our nails and stressing over the drop in sales as if each July marked the floral industry end times. Now that we’re old pros (ha – who am I kidding?) we let ourselves take advantage of the downtime to recharge our batteries and prep for the upswing.

At the start of this month, we celebrated our second anniversary of officially owning the family flower shop. I remember how excited — and nervous — we were to move into our current space and start this adventure together. In some ways it feels like yesterday, but at the same time, my life before entrepreneurship feels like another existence.

C and I were chatting recently about how far we’ve come in the last couple of years, and I confessed to him that I truly believe our business saved me. I casually throw around the term Quarter Life Crisis when describing my mid-20s, but truthfully, I was in a dark place. The flower shop gave me a fresh start: a chance to flex my creative muscles, put my business degree to use, and stay too busy to think about my anxieties and self-doubt. And in the daily grind of the last two years, I bloomed (forgive the cheese) into a strong and capable, albeit exhausted, B-O-S-S.

Of course, I’m still learning. In fact, just today, I finally figured out how to do my own bank reconciliations in Quickbooks. My accountants are so proud; I know because I called to tell them.

Quick Tip: How to Clean Brass Jewelry

A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets C started an Alex & Ani collection for me about a year ago, and every now and then he surprises me with a new one. I love that each bracelet comes with a special meaning; everyone’s stack tells a little story about who they are. After several months of daily wear, my brass Alex & Ani bracelets started to tarnish and leave black marks on my wrist. I was super bummed and thought they were ruined, until I learned this simple trick from a friend on Facebook. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets You’re going to need some ketchup. If you don’t have any in the fridge, take this opportunity to make a trip to Chik-fil-A for waffle fries and pick up a pack or twoI mean, any excuse for waffle fries is a good excuse, amiright? A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets - BEFORE Cover each brass bracelet in a thin layer of ketchup, and let them sit for a minute or two on a clean cloth. Then, using another clean cloth, carefully wipe it all off. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets Quickly run the bracelets under warm water to remove any remaining ketchup and dry them completely, and voilá! Good as new. A Pretty Penny - How to Clean Brass Alex & Ani Bracelets - AFTER Update: Use this trick sparingly and pay close attention to your pieces as you clean them. While ketchup is an effective brass polisher, Alex & Ani sent me a friendly tweet to warn that it could damage the finish. So exercise a little caution. :)

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