Where I Have Been

Hey everyone.

I haven’t been blogging lately…in fact it’s been over a month, if you’ve been keeping track. I apologize for my sudden and unexplained absence! As some of you already know because we know each other either online or “in real life” (that phrase still makes me laugh, this is real too!), my grandfather passed away over Memorial Day weekend.

My grandfather truly is in a better place now. He had been suffering from cancer for a long time, which suddenly took a downward turn roughly a month ago. My grandparents’ home about 2 hours away from my house, but I spent a lot of my time the past few weeks visiting with him and my other family, as well as on the phone with my mom, who has been so strong and so centered during this whole time despite losing her father. We’re a small family, and we’re close. This is the first time I’ve lost a relative so close to me, and I’m still processing everything. My grandfather and I are alike in many ways, sharing the same interests, opinions, and talents. One of my earliest memories of time with my grandfather is drawing horses together when I was a very horse-obsessed little girl. He was a very talented artist, writer, and actor. He also wrote and directed many stage productions for his theater group that he founded, Seniors On Stage. He was a very proud, loving, and supportive presence in my life and I will miss him very much.

Understandably, I just haven’t really felt like blogging lately. However, even though I’m far from healing emotionally, I miss it. I miss my readers, and I miss blogging! This past weekend I attended Generation Beauty, the event organized by Michelle Phan and Ipsy. I found it really inspiring, and I plan to return to blogging in the next few days. To everyone I met at GB, you are amazing, great women. Thank you for  being there and being so open to share your thoughts, feelings, and hearts. This weekend made me remember why I love what I do so much.

I’m Not Dead Yet!


Hey everyone! I am dropping by to say HELLO to all of my blog readers and let you know I’m not dead! [Read more…]

…And We’re Back!

As I tweeted earlier today, sometimes you just really need to take a break from blogging. For me, I needed a little “peace out” from blogging & the beauty community in general for a few reasons, some are not really appropriate for a public setting like the blog, but some are and they’re GOOD reasons! :)

I let you all know at the beginning of August that I was no longer working on Caboodles and that my contract was ended with the agency I was working with, thus putting me out on the job market again. Well, shortly after my birthday (which was 8/22), I got a call from an agency I’d been talking to for a few weeks offering me a job! I started right away, and it has been keeping me very busy and happy. I’m no longer working on a beauty client, which some may see as a sad thing. However, I have mixed feelings about it.

Ever since I got into marketing and PR I wanted to find a way to combine my hobby/love/passion for beauty with my passion for marketing and social media. But my experience with Caboodles helped me realize there are negatives with your job being in the category you love. I found that since I was SO immersed in beauty-related stuff all day at work, I was too over-saturated to have much enthusiasm for it once I got home and had products to swatch, etc. Also, when you’re doing what you love but having to do it for someone else and subject to someone else’s approval, it gets tough! Imagine if someone took over your blog suddenly and started telling you how and what to write – that’s kind of like how it was. It’s neither a good nor bad thing; it’s just how it is. One of my favorite things about being a blogger is this blog is 100% me. It’s my brand, and it’s an extension of myself.

I’m really excited for the future. My new accounts should be familiar names to most of you – Crystal Light and Country Time. I’m working from home, which is amazing, and really enjoy doing what I do. I’m able to do social media and enjoy my career while at the same time I will still have beauty and style as my refuge for “fun time”.

This was long. If you made it all the way through, hat’s off to you! If anyone has any questions about my job or whatever feel free to comment or hit me up on the twitter. ;) xx

I Enjoy Being A Girl


I like being a girl, in general. Growing up I wasn’t all that into most “girly” things though – I was way too busy pretending to be a horse, playing with model horses, drawing horses, you get the idea. In middle school I still wasn’t quite there yet either. I was shy and awkward, not very popular, with braces and questionable fashion sense. I like to think that since then I have become a woman who is confident in her womanhood, embracing things like bras and mascara that previously intimidated and even at times mystified me. I used to just feel out of place and in the way. Now I know I’m woman. ROAR!

But let me ask you, is there anything that makes you feel less enthusiastic about being a woman than your monthly period? One of the very symbols of being female is also my least favorite part about being a girl. I got my first period when I was in 5th grade, so I’ve been dealing with it for a while but it still makes me feel like an awkward kid even at nearly 26 years of age.

Because it makes me crazy. Like legitimately batsh*t crazy. Mood swings barely begins to cover it. More like multiple personality disorder. And all of them are completely nuts. I mean yes there’s the cramps, the headaches, the general feeling of “blah”, the bloating, hormonal acne, body aches, and all that jazz…but it’s the dang moods that really send me over the edge. Do you know what it’s like to feel completely out of control but be conscious of it at the same time? It makes me want to just lock myself on an island for a week so I don’t alienate my entire family.

First, there’s The Hungry Thing. The Hungry Thing gets violent food cravings, and wickedly territorial about food. My family has been warned to stay the hell away from whatever is that month’s snack of choice. Unlike most girls I tend not to crave chocolate. I’m much more into salty snacks. Pickles, cheetohs, popcorn, and cucumber are all favorites, but it varies. I have no way of predicting it. For a long time it was pumpkin seeds. Another month, sharp cheddar cheese. And it’s not just “oh that sounds good”. It’s like… I need this. And if I don’t get it I am going to be very, very angry. Sometimes I crave foods I don’t even typically like or care much for! One time I just had to have an egg salad sandwich. I hate egg salad. I read once somewhere that food cravings are your body’s way of telling you what nutrients it lacks, but after the egg salad incident I think it’s just screwing with me. I mean once I finally got the damn sandwich I hated it. DUH. But as if The Hungry Thing weren’t enough to deal with, I also have…

Angersharks. Angersharks is angry. At everything and everybody. A good way to meet Angersharks is to take cheetohs or pickles away from The Hungry Thing. Then it all gets very frightening. Angersharks is unpredictable, and mean. But I mean come on, is it that hard to remember that the pickles are mine and to leave them alone? No. However, you can also get me angry with things like…being a red light that hasn’t turned green yet, an electronic device that isn’t working perfectly (probably due to my own error), a neighbor making normal “living my life” noise, or it being trash night. Luckily once I get super period-angry, it doesn’t last long. Then it dissolves into…

I’m sorry. I’m so so sorry. Then the water works. I cry and cry, and then it becomes impossible to stop. Once I get going it’s like I cry about everything bad that ever happened. Your fish died? *BAWL* There was traffic on the way home? *WAIL* And yes, I also get into the weepy conversations with my boyfriend that go something like this:

Me: *sniff* “Why do you love me?” *sniiiiifffff*
Boyfriend: “…uh what?”
Me: *sobs* “WHY DO YOU LOVE MEEEE? I’M A MESS…” *bawls*
Boyfriend: *resolutely places arm around me and lets me drip mascara all over his shirt as I cry all over him*

Poor guy is probably terrified of me, but I gave him “disaster training” – I told him if I get hormonal-crazy to just hug me until I exhaust myself or get over it. It works.

So how do I deal with this every month? The truth is often I don’t deal with it well at all. But I try my best. The best thing I’ve done has been to just accept that a week or so out of every month is probably going to completely suck. If you just accept that it will help you move on. Or at least that’s what they say, so I’m waiting for that whole “zen” “at peace with my period” thing to kick in.

I also started tracking my monthly cycle with the help of an iphone app. Then at least I know when it’s coming, and I can make neat little charts with my moods and symptoms over the months. There are cute little emoticons involved, so I’m down. I’m also on the pill, which helps to some degree but I still get pretty nutty most months. It does help to always be as prepared as possible with all the feminine hygiene products I could possibly need well-stocked at any given time, too. Whenever my favorites (come on, we all have our favorites) go on sale, I grab a box. Better to be prepared.

And finally, I have a personal policy to not make any major life decisions during that time. It’s just safer that way. Just knowing that I often get crazy really helps too. If I’m freaking OUT about something I can often just kind of step back and ask myself “is this really a big deal, or is this period brain?”.

Do I still get really bummed about how much it sucks to be crampy, muffin top-y, and grouchy? Yes. But then I go play with my makeup or snuggle with my cats and try to remind myself of all the awesome things about being a girl. Like boobs!

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Disclosure: Compensation was provided by Always via Glam Media.  The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Always.

New Hair!

I got my hurr did! :) I wanted to share it with you because I’m in love with it. The cut/length is the same (minus a bang trim since my bangs were pretty much fully grown out) but I have awesome new color! :)
My new color is a dark brunette w/ some caramelly highlights framing my face. I absolutely love the way it turned out. The base is just a hair darker than my natural color, but much warmer. It was created using a level 4 with a squirt of level 5 and came out soooo rich and lovely! I was inspired by the color combo on the lovely Mila Kunis, but we made some adjustments to the color to make it work better for me.
Oh yes, who’s we? My colorist is Stephanie Gledhill of Salon Victoria in Irvine, CA. If you’re in the OC area you should definitely go see her. She’s super sweet and easy to talk to (great if you’re getting lengthy processes done!) and fabulous at what she does. Okay, I’ll admit I’m slightly biased since I’ve known Steph since we were 4 years old (*hee*) BUT even if she weren’t a good friend of mine, she is a wonderful stylist who really knows what she is doing! She taught me a lot of what I know about hair. ;)

My Daily Makeup Routine

Daily Makeup

This is pretty much what I’ve been wearing lately. Sometimes something will change because I want to test a product, but these are what I’ve been reaching for the most. My brow powder from Billion Dollar Brows isn’t on Polyvore and I couldn’t get their clipper thing to work so sorry, brow powder, you don’t get to be in the picture. :|

Face: Tarte Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum all over, applied with fingers. Then ELF Complexion Perfection powder (from the ELF Studio line) applied all over with a fluffy brush. Mine’s a Sigma knockoff of the MAC 138. The brush sheds (ALL OF THEM DO GRRRR) but it’s the best fluffy brush I have for this purpose right now. After I’m done with the powder I use TheBalm Time Balm concealer on any spots that I’d like to.

Face/Color: Once my skin tone is all evened out and imperfections covered, I grab NARS Laguna bronzer and do an eensy bit of contouring, and also dust it over my eyelids to add a little warmth and color. I like to wear both NARS Dolce Vita and Sex Appeal blushes. Dolce Vita looks like a scary red in the picture but it’s more of a dusty rose, and I apply it on the bottom edge of my cheekbones, with Sex Appeal on the apples of my cheeks. 

Eyes: I go around my dark eye shadows with Benefit Eye Bright, which I love. I don’t have a whole lot of darkness issues so this pink brightener is pretty much enough. It’s great for the redness I get at the outer corners of my eyes, too. Usually I don’t need an actual concealer in that area but for the times I do, I use some more of TheBalm Time Balm. Then it’s time to curl my lashes (I use a Shu Uemura curler, which is fine but I don’t love it) and load up with L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes in carbon black.

Lips: I’ve been obsessing over Rimmel’s Stay Glossy lipgloss in Captivate Me lately. It’s sort of a berry color but it’s not very dark. It’s very flattering, and the Stay Glossy formula is SO nice. It’s moisturizing, only slightly sticky, and lasts a long time. I keep this gloss in my purse and wear it almost every day.

Buy My Face – If you want to get these products, here’s where you can go:
Shu Uemura eyelash curler – Shu Uemura
Tarte Smooth Operator Illuminating Serum – Sephora
NARS Blushes in Sex Appeal & Dolce Vita – Sephora
NARS Bronzer in Laguna – Sephora
Benefit Eye Bright – Sephora
ELF Complexion Perfection – Target
L’Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes mascara – Target
Rimmel Stay Glossy Lip Gloss – Ulta
TheBalm Time Balm concealer – TheBalm

Life, Dreams, Etc.

Oh hello!

Remember me? I’m Alyson, and I used to blog here. Well, a lot has changed over the past few months, and my blogging has been sporadic at best. So, let me run down things quickly for those of you who don’t follow me on Twitter (or just in case you missed some tweets that might have been meaningful amid the endless stream of thought-vomit).
November was spent mostly preparing for The Holidays, but also working. I was blogging furiously for Stylebell, which is a wonderful site you should definitely check out if you’re going to do any hair product purchasing, or looking for information about hair. At the beginning of December, Mr. Boyfriend and I hit a very rough patch. I don’t think it’s really all that appropriate for me to get into the personal inner workings of our 4-year+ relationship on the blog, so I won’t, but needless to say I place my personal issues with him before The Gloss Menagerie. I just wasn’t feeling much like blogging about makeup when I didn’t even think about it most of the time since I was so distracted with other stuff. He and I are working on things and they’re moving in a positive direction, though. :) A lot of you have said very nice things to me about it on Facebook and Twitter etc. and thank you so much.
Then The Holidays happened. And I got sick. It hit me like a ton of bricks on xmas eve– bronchitis. Woo! I am fairly severely asthmatic, so any sort of respiratory anything is always a concern. I was pretty sick and even had to visit urgent care (yeehaw) a few days after xmas. Luckily I was well enough by New Years to hang out with my bestest friend in the world a few times. She lives in Jerusalem and was visiting. Since she lives so far away I hardly ever get to see her or even talk to her in real time. Hanging out with her was super fun and amazing and I miss her so much already. (*waves* hi Sydney!)
There’s a lot of stuff in the universe, but there’s only one Sydney.

And THEN! I got a new job. It all happened very quickly; the company found me on LinkedIn and a week after I first called them back I started working for them! The interview/hiring process went by so fast if I blinked I probably would’ve missed it, but I’m glad I didn’t! I really love my new job, working a marketing and production co. The coolest part is the account I manage is Caboodles. Yes, those Caboodles. The cosmetic organizers you remember from the 80s. They’re still around and they make train cases, makeup bags, and those nifty acrylic organizer trays us makeup junkies love. So I’m fully immersed in beauty & fashion related goodness all day at work. I’m very busy, and still not 100% better (still coughing and sniffling every so often *joy*), but I love it.
Which brings us to today. Or rather, tonight. Since it’s almost bed time. I’m no longer blogging for Stylebell, which I am kind of sad about, but it was a matter of being stretched too thin having a part time job in addition to my new full time job. A girl’s gotta eat (and keep herself in lip gloss), and the new opportunity is one I just could not pass up. 
I’m still here; I’m still going to be blogging on The Gloss Menagerie in addition to my new gig (and another project I haven’t even told anyone about yet, ha!). I have some fun reviews coming up soon too, so be on the look out for those. 
But the point of this blog post is to say…
Since last summer I’ve been able to realize one very important dream: I can honestly say I’m a professional beauty blogger. I’ve reached a milestone goal, to be in a position to support myself doing what I am passionate about. There really is no greater joy, career-wise. I owe much of that to the amazing people I’ve met since I started blogging. The connections I’ve made and relationships I’ve formed have made my dreams possible. Thank you from the very bottom of my heart for reading, tweeting, commenting, and supporting me & my little blog that has become so much more than something fun to pass time. 

Coming Soon

Hey everyone… it’s been ages since I’ve updated this and I apologize!! I’ve been blogging like crazy for Stylebell though, so you should subscribe over there too! ;)

As you may have read on Twitter, the house is being remodeled. I’m switching bedrooms and the room I work in (since I work from home) is also being completely re-arranged! It’s a lot of work but it’s coming along nicely. It’s been really crazy around the house between boxing everything to carry it upstairs, going through boxes that were in storage, painting, cleaning, and more trips to Home Depot than any girly girl should have to take in this short amount of time. And it’s not done yet, haha.

My makeup/work area is mostly done being arranged but still needs a lot of organizing. I’m thinking when it’s all done I will do a quick tour of my storage and the general “makeup area” (it’s not a makeup room like some bloggers have since I share it with the boyfriend, hehe). I don’t know about you guys but I love room tours. Storage and organization is like porn to me practically, so those types of videos/posts are some of my favorites. Hopefully you’ll enjoy my video when I have that up and running.

And now…I have to go run and move a bookcase. A really. Heavy. Bookcase. Sigh. 

Please Excuse Me…

Sorry for the lack of new posts, but I’m going through something really personal right now. We had to put one of our much beloved family cats to sleep yesterday after she suddenly became very ill, and I haven’t really been feeling too inspired to write for the blog.

Many thanks for everyone’s kind words on Twitter. <3

House: Moved

Hi all!

I finished moving house! Oy vey. For those who missed it, I now live in my parents’ house again. It’s very strange since I’ll be 24 this year and I moved out of this house when I was 18, but so far not so bad. It has been a major adjustment, but it’ll be good in the long run to get back on my feet after getting laid off.

Speaking of getting back on my feet…if you’ve been following me on Twitter you already know, but I’ve been going to interviews like crazy! I had three on Thursday. So I hope something pans out soon. :)

One issue with moving house though is that a huge amount of my stuff is staying boxed up. And I’m still figuring out where all my various stash items are, including the box of things I have to review! I’ll get that all going again as soon as possible.

Now that I’m more settled, I also want to start delving into doing videos finally! Anyone have any requests/suggestions for a video they want to see? I have a few ideas but these videos would be for you guys, so I want to know what you think too.

Sorry for the lame post, but just wanted to drop by and say hi to everyone so you don’t think I died, lol. I’m going to take some time this weekend to check out some of the latest collections as well as unpack and re-organize my stash. Whoa boy that’ll be interesting…I have a lot of stuff. =X I did pack a bag up to give to my mom though, which made her very happy. :D

I know I promised some reviews of some of my goodies from The Makeup Show LA, too. I haven’t forgotten! I will get that going asap!