Saturday, July 26, 2014

Summer Favorites 2014

Not going to lie, this summer has been pretty great. The heat hasn't been too overwhelming here in the Midwest, long walks in my neighborhood with my husband, fun hangouts and BBQ's, and there has been plenty of relaxation in between...Yay for Summer!

Seeing how we're entering the last full month of this glorious time of year, and before it completely disappears( like it always seems to )...I thought I would share with you guys some of my favorite beauty products I've been obsessing over so far. There are not that many, but I have been religiously using them all!

Photo edited with the ABeautifulMess app.

- First off, we have the Not Your Mother's Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray. Since I have not yet gotten an opportunity to go to the beach yet, I have been living my beach dreams through this spray. I love this stuff! Now that I have shorter hair, a few spritz after my shower along with a few scrunches makes my hair look like I did something to it, even though I hardly did anything at all. It gives just enough hold and grit to my hair without being sticky that it's easily styled into braids or a messy little pony. Plus, it smells like coconuts and happiness and it's not that expensive. Win.

- Next we have two self tanning lotions. As you all probably guessed, I am naturally pale like a ghost, and the Jergen's Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer( around $11 ) and the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs( around $15 ) really have been helping me look a little less white this summer. I am not one to jump into a tanning bed( so bad for you and I feel like I'm in a coffin...) and I don't really want to spend a lot of money on spray tans( cuz honestly I don't care that much about being bronzed ) so these two lotions have been really easy solutions. The Jergen's brand I have been using for a few years now, and it really does give me a gradual tan after just a few days. Just a tad bit more color on my arms and legs makes me feel not so ghostly. Now, if you want more of a instant gratification tan, I'd go for the Sally Hansen brand. This one is definitely more orange-y, but I've found that mixing this lotion with another plain moisturizer tones down the intense orange color nicely. If you know you're going to be outside in little amount of clothing, I would go for the Sally Hansen, but if you just want to build your tan throughout the rest of the summer, I would definitely apply the Jergen's brand. Don't forget to wash your hands after applying though!

- Now, I've found that applying some self tanning lotion to my face makes it look a little too Oompa Loompa, so I usually just go for some bronzer on my forehead and cheeks. I've really been liking the Rimmel London Natural Bronzer in Sunlight. Not too orange on my pale face and very blendable. It gives my face a very natural glow, just like it says in the name! Hella cheap too!

- Okay, so next is the NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee. Oh, man. Guys. This stuff is sooo creamy and it smells delicious! This color is a very neutral pink with a lot of color payoff. It's high shine and oh so beautiful with a smokey eye. I've been plastering it on my lips non-stop pretty much since I got it and I am very tempted to buy the rest of the colors!

Also, I thought I would throw in a couple non-beauty favorites just for funzies:
- Hummus and pita chips have been my summer snack obsession as of late. Along with these fruit smoothies I've been buying. The brand is Bolthouse Farms and my husband and I can't get enough of them! 
- I've been watching The Vampire Diaries in my spare time, and AGH this show is addicting! It's stupid and bad sometimes, but you know...* shrug * I really don't have an excuse lol. Vampires and werewolves? I can't resist...What hasn't helped is that I've even gotten my hubs to get in on the obsession too! Muhaha...he doesn't like to admit it though.
- I know this is way off in our future, but I have been looking all over the internet at anything home related. Home decorations, houses for sale on Zillow, House Hunters on HGTV...anything that can feed my fantasy of someday owning a house and making it exactly the way I want it...* sigh *. Grown up dreams...

I hope you guys enjoyed my Summer Favorites! Now get out there and make the most of the day!


~Grace Abigail

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Summer Sunset Makeup Look

Well, hi guys! Nice to see you again! I'm here today to show you another fun makeup look. I haven't done one in awhile, and I was feeling rather sassy this evening( one does when doing laundry, no? ) and I wanted to do something inspired by the sweet sunsets of the summer. The peaches, pinks, and corals of a sunset are probably some of the most beautiful colors to me, so I was very inspired by the late evening sky for this look.

Let's jump right in! Weeeee!




This look is rather simple, in the fact I only used about 3 shadow colors total. Nice and easy to create a high impact look! I always like the easy route better anyway...
First off, I covered my whole lid up to the brow bone with a shimmery peach color. I then layered up hot pink shadow and the peachy color from before onto the middle of my lid, creating various layers of pinks and corals, much like a sunset blends into the clouds...To create a little bit more depth, I dabbed a little bit more of the deeper hot pink color into my crease and then bleeeended the dickens out of it! To add a little bit more interest and femininity to the look, I smudged my trusty NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Milk onto the inner corners of my eye, and layered a soft white shimmery shadow on top of it. I also lined my lower waterline with the pencil as well. Placing the lighter color in my inner corners creates a cool effect that makes my eyes look farther apart, in turn making my eyes look very awake and bright and MAGICAL! and UNICORN LIKE....or at least I think so :)

Extreme close up! Look at all those freckles...

For the lips, I wanted a more defined pout for my lower lip. So, I applied some NYX Butter Gloss in Creme Brulee ( a light pink color ) all over the top and bottom lips, and then I applied NYX Jumbo Lip Pencil in Chaos ( a deep hot pink ) just on the center of my lower lip. Having the deeper color just on the lower center makes the lip look like it's drawing outwards, making it look larger. Cool little trick, right?

To finish off the look, I just coated my lashes with a layer of my favorite mascara. No thick cat eye for me! Keeping it simple. Other then a quick swipe of bronzer, lining my eyebrows, and some blush on the apples of my cheeks, I'm done! I think I would wear this look to a summer wedding with an all black outfit, or on a sweet evening date with my babe, walking on the beach in an all white outfit...That sounds like a pretty good summer evening...maybe add a Pina Colada in there and I'm sold.

Well, that's it for me today! I hope you guys enjoyed this look, and thank you so much for reading :)

~Grace Abigail

Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Very Important Event

Hello, friends! How have you all been? I hope everyone had a lovely Fourth of July weekend! Mine was very lovely, I spent time with my family and I got some much needed rest...My trip to Indiana was short, but I got to lay out by a pool, got to hold an adorable little baby( who very much satisfied my baby fever for a short time ), and spend time with dear family that I don't get to see very often...

This last week was pretty nerve-wracking for me. All week I was trying to prepare my nerves for the Emmie and The Secret World's first book event! My business partner and I had scheduled a book reading and signing at a local toy store. We were both freaking out about it the day before, rehearsing what we would say, how we would read the book...craziness and stomach aches and pep talks all around.
But the event went great! Kids and parents showed up to show support and we sold a few copies, as well as left some more copies for the store to sell. I don't know if it was good luck for the next event or just sheer annoying coincidence, but the morning of the event it rained LIKE THE DICKENS. Literally, driving there, waves were spraying on either side of our car. I thought we were gonna float away. It did probably put a damper( hehe ) on our traffic for the store, but whatever. It was still a great experience, people showed up, and we had fun! Besides, it was great practice for our next book reading we will soon be having.


In other news, I got my hair cut! And a good lot of it was cut, might I add. This happens to me every time I go to the salon, I feel like. I say I want a trim, then I say I want a couple inches off, and then BOOM 5 to 6 inches are gone and I'm kind of baffled. Lesson learned, always have a plan when you go in there! But it's not all bad, I'm actually really liking it. I think I might just go in later this week and have a little more chopped off. I just need to study up on how to style short hair. It really is nice to have all that weight off your shoulders in the heat of summer...


Here we are at our book event! It was so much fun! I couldn't help cheesing for this photo...my natural state as I always say...

Here is some evidence of the craziness of the rain we had on the day of the event. Yep, that's a little lake that has formed in the street, and yes, that is my husband taking a picture of it as well...lol.

It's been such a fun journey so far with the book. Doing the book reading yesterday was a great experience, and it's still crazy to know that I am a published illustrator. Seeing the kids interact with the story was amazing, and ultimately, the best part about this whole thing! 

I hope everyone has a great week! Can you believe that summer is pretty much half over? Enjoy that heat, people!

~Grace Abigail

Friday, July 4, 2014

Links of Awesome #10

Hello my dearies! Happy America Day! I hadn't done a Links of Awesome post in quite a while, so I thought I would leave you something fun for the long weekend!

I'm super excited for this weekend, because I am traveling to Indiana with my Dad to see my aunt and uncle. We're the only ones going, and I can't remember the last time I took a trip anywhere with just my Dad and I. I'm hoping this weekend will be relaxing, maybe a little nostalgic, and full of fun times with my family. There is also going to be boating involved, and I am BEYOND excited for that because I have not been able to be in the water yet this summer. That's what makes summer so amazing to us midwesterners, right? You get to be in the sunshine and water? That's always been the most important part to me...

Well, without further ado, here are ya links!


This shirt from ASOS pretty much sums it up. source

UGH, there's just so much great lighting in that room! I want! source

OH MY GOOOOD! This is so amazing! I'm not exactly sure who it's by, so if anyone knows, please let me know! CUZ IT'S AMAZING.


- This Jon Snow art print is so beautiful. I will forever want art prints of my TV obsessions...

- OH LAWD, this person's art tumblr is so gorgeous. It's so my style and current obsession and I think everyone should check out these mystical images!

- Excuse me, but...this dress from Modcloth is the perfect uniform for summer! Also, this swimsuit will forever be my dream swimsuit. * Swoooon. *

- Looking for something fancy to take to a summer shindig? This soba salad from Martha Stewart looks delicious and will probably impress everyone at your BBQ.

- I absolutely love essiebutton's beauty videos. She has these little " trilogy " videos themed around the seasons of the year, and the most recent one she posted was about summer outfits. She's just so genuine, fun, and hilarious. I also watch her vlog channel, which features her boyfriend. They are just so adorable together I can't help but be obsessed!

- If you adore Jimmy Fallon and Jennifer Lawrence, then this clip from the Tonight Show is just for you. I don't really watch late night talk shows, but some of these clips are truly entertaining...

That's it for today! I hope everyone has a lovely weekend full of sunshine, fireworks, hotdogs, family time...anything that makes you happy! :) Hopefully I will remember to take a few pics of my adventures this weekend...



~Grace Abigail



Sunday, June 29, 2014

An Inexcusable Break

OH JEEZ. Where did that month go?!

Hey guys! I haven't updated in sooooo long. Why? I don't know. I really don't have a very good excuse just besides being tired a lot and not having a lot of inspiration to write on here. You get the feeling sometimes too, right? You get obsessed with something and then all of a sudden, blaaah, nothing. Anyway, I truly am sorry for the lack of posts, but I am here to show you what I have been doing in this past month besides blogging...


I'm thinking my inspiration for the blog swiftly transferred over to my drawing creativity this month. I just couldn't stop doodling and sketching, which was a very welcome past time! I hadn't been this excited to draw in awhile! The above drawing was inspired by my ever growing committed relationship with caffeine, and how I usually feel in the morning while sipping my cup of coffee. Groggy and sad to be awake so early...minus the crazy Merida hair...


This doodle is of a lady that is in a little story I've been writing. She's an older woman who is the care taker to the heroine of the story...


I'm pretty proud of this one! I'm not sure it's done yet, but hopefully you can tell it's a Snow White drawing. I love that the only color in this piece is a blood red. I think it gives a creepy feel to it. Something that I've been thinking about starting recently is a series of fairy tale drawings that have a darkness and mystery to them...Hopefully I will be able to truly finish this one quickly, cuz I'm thinking about posting it on my Etsy shop to sell!

Also, I have been running a lot of errands with my business partner recently because the children's book that we created together has finally been released for purchase! We have been going all over town promoting to local businesses as well as talking to big companies! Our book, Emmie and the Secret World, is available on Amazon and at Barnes&Noble.com now! It truly has been a surreal experience so far. In two weeks we will be having our first book signing event at a local toy store. I am WAY TOO EXCITED to express my feelings on this correctly, but I am so grateful to everyone who has bought the book already and all the kind words I have received on my illustrations so far! If you would like to check it out, please visit the Emmie and the Secret World website! It has all of the businesses listed there that sell our book, as well as games and puzzles to play, and a little bit of info on us! 

I know that was a shameless self-promotion...but you'll just have to forgive me. I'm too excited about it to not share it. This is probably the coolest thing I've ever done, and I would really appreciate it if you checked it out, friends!

Anyway, lots of love to you guys, and hopefully I will have more posts up for you soon. Don't give up on me yet haha.

~Grace Abigail

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Afternoon Exploring


Oh you know, just chillin...

Hello friends! I hope your days are going by slowly, and your nights are inching by dreamily. It's been nothing but hot hot hot this past week, and I couldn't have asked for anything better. Even through the sweaty days and sometimes annoying mugginess of my apartment, I still prefer being hot to being cold.

Summer is the season I feel like everyone waits in anticipation for, and once it's finally here, BOOM it's Fall again. It goes by so fast, that I really want to make the most of my days this season. I thought I would share some pictures from a particularly lovely afternoon with my husband, exploring around the downtown area of my quiet little town. The above photo is from a very late lunch we had together. It was just nice enough to eat outside! I remember I had the most amazing cobb salad, and Kyle had a black bean burger. Pure deliciousness.

I loved this view...


My husband was driving around earlier in the week, and he saw this adorably decorated tree! So, he tracked it down again so I could see it, because he knew I'd think it was the BEST THING EVER. I mean, look at it! A little fairy door! Bahhh! I know when I have my own yard, I will definitely have crap like this all over my yard. Haha yeah, I'm gonna be that neighbor....


Just look at that greenery!

We then wandered around town, and we decided to walk around a park. This was a very special park, because I remembered going there as a little kid. In the above photo with the pavilion, my sister and I used to climb up it( it has since been blocked off, booo! ) and we would pretend it was Rapunzel's tower. Mind you, it looked much bigger when I was little haha. But I just walked around it and remembered those fun times with my sister. As I traipsed around that park, I remembered those sweet childhood memories. Pure happiness and nostalgia. It was a great afternoon....

I am currently watching sophisticated BBC shows, eating Cheetos for dinner, and sprucing up some old paintings that I've been meaning to put in my Etsy shop! It's been a great day off, and I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their day! Let these long summer days be even longer, please!

~Grace Abigail

Monday, May 26, 2014

Copper Smokey Eye and Coral Lip Look

Hello friends! I hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day weekend! Long weekends are the sweetest of treats.
It FINALLY feels like summer now. The sunshine has been blazing down on all of us this week, and I am praising daily the heavens for stopping winter. I have done my celebrating right with Strawberry Ale, eating lots of cupcakes, spending time with family, and catching up on art projects. I had some extra time on Sunday...no laundry to do, no errands to run...and so I figured I'd do a makeup look :)
I have been really trying to work on my smokey eye skills lately, but I didn't want to do a super dark one. Sometimes I think if the colors are too cool toned or just way too dark around my eyes, I start to look old and harsh. Some women can make it look fabulous, but I've never mastered it. I also wanted the influence of the warm sun making it's glorious appearance this week to be a part of this look. So a copper eye with a coral lip seemed like a nice compromise between the warm tones of the sun and a regular dark eye. Sun and smoke? Those don't normally go together...Eh, we make our own rules here! That's one of the amazing things about makeup. You can do so many variations of looks, the possibilities are endless.




For this look, I reached for my Revlon Colorstay Palette in Brazen. I hadn't used this little guy in awhile, but I knew it would be perfect for the look I was going for. After I applied my B.B. Cream, I started in on the shadow. Now the best makeup looks are usually the easiest, and what's easier then using your fingers?( It's also easier using your fingers than washing all of your shadow brushes, right? Hey, I'm only human. ) Dabbing my middle finger into the upper right side color first, I padded on the coppery color all over my lid, making sure not to go too far into my crease. I then dabbed the lighter champagne color in the lower left over the coppery color. I also lined it underneath my lower lashes. It gave the whole look an all around shimmer effect! Then, using a blending brush, I took the darkest brown color in the palette in the lower right, and I blended that into my crease and in the outer corners. I did quite a bit of blending for this color, because I didn't want there to be any harsh lines or muddiness going on. 
After I got the blending of the shadows to where I wanted it, I lined my upper and lower lash lines with a black coal pencil from Avon. You can use any smudgey black liner that you want, just as long as you blend it out a little bit. I think this really helped define the shape of my eyes and further enhance the " smokiness ". Finishing the eyes up, I hit the brow bone and the inner corners with my favorite highlight shadow. I also used my favorite mascara ever, Maybelline Full 'N Soft Mascara. This has a rather wet consistency to it, which works really well for my eyes.


I wanted a pop of color on my lips to accent the copper eye nicely, so I paired up Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter in Tutti Frutti, and Rimmel London Show Off Lip Lacquer in Luna to create a fun coral lip. I really loved these two together. The textures of these lip products or so dreamy! I wrote a little review of the Rimmel Lip Lacquers here!


That's the finished look! I think it's perfect for a hot night out seeing an awesome band, going salsa dancing, or maaaaybe a wedding anniversary dinner out? I know whenever I have a bold, sexy eye look, my husband usually appreciates the beauty of it ;).

I hope you guys have a lovely day off! Don't forget to enjoy the ever loving dickens out of that sunshine!

~Grace Abigail

*Some photos edited with A Beautiful Mess photo app.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Sassy & Bold Pink Prom Look

Hello, darlings! As luck would have it, I woke up this morning and I found myself with lots of energy( thanks, coffee ), lots of creativity, and an urge to look utterly glamorous! Since it is Prom season, I thought I would take this lovely burst of energy to create a really fun and fabulous Prom look for you guys!

Woohoo, let's get it going!


I started with freshly exfoliated skin, and after moisturizing, I started in with the Maybelline Baby Skin pore eraser. Think of this stuff as a fine layer of airbrush over your skin. It smooths it out and prepares it for the next layer of foundation. I use the L'OREAL Magic Skin Beautifier B.B. Cream in Fair. I'm sure some girls would prefer having a fuller coverage foundation for Prom night, but this cream does me well to even my skin tone. After I apply that, I go in with the Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer. I use this to cover my dark circles, and whatever discoloration and breakouts I have going on, which is usually around my chin, sides of my nose, and a little bit on the center of my forehead. To set my makeup and to prevent it from creasing, I apply a little bit of the Covergirl TruBlend Minerals in translucent fair, on my under eye area and forehead. If you are at Prom breaking it down on that dance floor all night, I would suggest taking a powder along in your bag to apply a little bit more on your face if you have been sweating.


Now for the fun part, COLOR! I wanted to do a purpley pink eye, so I thought my Naked 3 palette would be perfect for that. I used the shimmery purple color, Buzz, on the corners and crease of my eyelid. Then, I applied the shimmer pink color, Dust, to the center and inner corners of my lid. To highlight below my brow, I used the lightest color in the palette, Strange. After I blended those colors together, I decided to add a little bit of a darker purple hue to the corners of my eye. Searching around my makeup bag, I found my little Ulta Baked Eyeshadow, and I blended in the dark purple color until I got the density that I wanted.

I wanted to make really full lashes, so I applied my( very cheap and awesome )Jordana Best Lash Extreme mascara first for fullness, and then I put on a layer of Benefit's They're Real! Mascara on my upper and lower lashes, for some extra length. Using my favorite liner, Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liner, I made a little winged line, keeping it fairly skinny and close to my lashline.


To finish the look off, I applied my Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso. Let me just say, I absolutely freaking love this blush. It gives me so much glow, I wear it pretty much everyday! Now, this is where the extra sassy glam part comes in...BAM! It's another Revlon Colorburst Lip Butter,( not really a surprise how much I love these things...) and this is the color Sorbet. Ooooh, isn't this color so sassy and awesome? I mean, I'm definitely too old for Prom, but I would rock this all night if I could! It's just the perfect hot pink shade to make you feel confident and gorgeous all night.


Aaaand that's the finished look! I would pair it with big sparkly earrings, big sparkly pink shoes, and a dress that any Prom queen would be jealous of.

If I had known more about makeup when I was in high school, I would have definitely tried a bolder lip look for Prom night. I went with a big group of friends for my Prom, and I think it's perfect for a night of fun and glam with the girls. Just wearing this bright berry shade makes me want to bust a move! Who's ready to dance to some Justin Timberlake? I'm totally bringing sexy back....No? Mmm, I tried. It's probably all dubstep nowadays at dances...

Hope you guys enjoyed! I certainly had fun :) I think I'm off to listen to some nostalgic music of my yester years....Backstreet's Back, ALRIGHT!

~Grace Abigail

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Time for You


I love the glow of that window in the morning...

As I sit here typing, my mother in law sleeps on my couch after running the half marathon( wooooo, GO MARINA! ) and my husband sleeps in our bedroom because well...he seems to be always sleeping when I'm awake bahaha. It's absolutely gorgeous outside today. My cats, Gus and Caprica, are lounging around the house. Caprica constantly chirping and purring and doing circles around the apartment and Gus sitting in the windowsill, looking out into the afternoon. There's a load of laundry in the laundry room downstairs, and Food Network( one of my addictions ) is aggessively telling me I need to learn how to cook salmon properly in the background. I sit here, sipping my iced coffee, and completely enjoying my day off.

Days like this, where you can completely let your mind wander, are precious to me. Especially as I get older, I realize my time is stretched in every which direction five days a week, and it seems like there is never any time for any of it. Work, meetings, grocery shopping, bills, schedules, laundry...They are always there, always needing your attention. However, Saturday's and Sunday's are meant for dreaming. They are meant for " you time. " Thank God for weekends. The Lord really knew what he was doing when he made that day of rest, because he knew how crazy life could get.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. Don't be afraid to unplug, unwind, and do something that you've been meaning to do for yourself today! You could learn to curl your hair with a curling wand, take a bath, go for a walk in the spring weather, learn to cook a new dish, go shopping, read a book, spend time with friends, find new music to listen to...whatever you want to do. You deserve it. :)


~Grace Abigail


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Life Update for the Win

Holy crap! Long time no talk! How have you guys been? I feel kinda guilty for not writing on here lately...but I have a semi-good( but not really ) excuse for why I haven't been updating...I got a promotion at my job early this month! I was a part-time bank teller, and now I am full-time. For the first time in my adult( haha, yeah right, adult ) life, I finally have a real life grown up job that includes benefits. This is such great news for my husband and I, because it will really help us save up for when we move to Florida in a year or so...
The biggest adjustment that came with this job is the hours. I have to get up veeerrry early in the morning 5 days a week, and this really drains my energy in the afternoons. It is nice to get off work earlier than I used to, and I think I can get all these things done, but as soon as I get home I just want to hit the couch, fling off that bra, and eat all the food....
Needless to say, I have been feeling pretty drained and uninspired creatively this past month. I think it was the constant cold and NOT SPRING weather that was just so depressing...However, the 70 degree weather has hit this little Midwest town, and I am feeling alive again. I've taken a couple walks, done a few paintings, and I have even been writing my own little fantasy story. Things are getting back on track, and I can't wait to start creating crazy makeup looks for you guys again!

Here are a few pictures from this last month:

My friend hosted an " 80's Glamour Shot " party. Do you like my fantastic blue eyeshadow? It was actually a really fun look to pull off.

One of my new paintings...

My beatiful neighborhood...

Here is the adorable lumpy Gus enjoying the spring air. Look at the satisfaction on his face!

Just a little peek into my little life. I've missed updating you guys! Plus, I know you guys love seeing pictures of my cats, right? Duh. For real though, I'm excited to start writing in here again, and I really am sorry for the absence. How has your April been?

~Grace Abigail