Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Red lipstick under eye tutorial

Red Lipstick Under Your EYES?!

Red lipstick underneath the eyes?! You be the judge! The photo above I was wearing wayyy too much makeup. I never wear it that thick but I had to keep adding more to cover all that red. I made a video with the same technique under one eye only.

Do you ladies think it's worth it? I'm on the fence. Leaning towards, "No."

Watch the tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v28sOpNiiUk

Please comment below what you think- or if you are planning on using this!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Denim Jacket and Diamond Studs

If you know me in "real life" you know that I am not an outdoorsy type of person. In fact the last time I went camping I totally cried. I am a city girl through and through. So when Mike suggested we take a short hike to capture some outdoor photos- I was hesitant and suspicious. Turns out his idea of a short hike is FOUR hours, where as mine is about 30 minutes. Needless to say - I am still sore from the hike, which was three days ago...

I have to admit, it really was worth it. The photos he took are fantastic and the scenery was beautiful. If you live in the area and have not checked out Grant Ranch- take your dog up there and go on a (little) hike.

With our backpacks full of clothes and camera equipment we took off ready for adventure!

#26. Denim Jacket

A short reminder - this blog is all of my average girl tips and tricks for beauty. I also have an ongoing segment based off of Nina Garcia's book "The One Hundred" Which is an amazing short book on how to build an adult wardrobe, and how to dress well and not be a "fashion victim."

Here are a few tips from Nina on buying and wearing the denim jacket "Be extreme. It should either be really dark or really worn out. Buy it a size too small or find a really fitted model. In general, don't wear it with another piece of blue denim."

That last one, I believe, is the most important. There is nothing worse than a denim on denim outfit, ladies! Caution!

I have two denim jackets. The lighter of the two I picked up at Crossroads Trading Co. for dirt cheap. Probably less than $20 dollars. The darker, I honestly cannot remember where it came from. It has been in my closet that long. Probably since middle school- I basically stopped growing in 7th grade so some of my clothes from then still fit me. I don't know if that is good or bad. Both jackets are originally from The Gap.

 The only thing jean jackets do not go with- are more jeans. Unless they are white. I like to wear mine with short skirts and dresses. I like mixing the masculine with the feminine. I wouldn't recommend spending more than $50 on a denim jacket. This isn't one of the items you need to buy brand new. In fact, they are kind of uncomfortable brand new. Better to buy one second hand that is already broken in. It will give you that "cool girl" vibe.

#27. Diamond Studs

"Best when large, real, and received as a gift. But large, fake, and self-purchased do the job, too (if you lose one, you won't want to kill yourself). They are a perfect everyday earring, as they add a bit of sparkle without being obnoxiously in-your-face about it. There are not many outfits that the diamond stud doesn't get along with" - Nina Garcia in "The One Hundred"

Real or fake-diamond studs are my favorite go to earring. Let me rephrase that- fake diamond studs are my favorite go to earring. I do not have real diamond earrings, nor do I plan on ever buying or receiving them- as I am fairly definitely positively sure I'd lose one and cry forever.

I have small dainty ones I purchased at Target or Nordstrom for less that $20. But the award for my favorite pair goes to Kate Spade. What girl doesn't love Kate Spade?! You tell me!!

A link for ordering the Kate Spade pair I am wearing in my photos can be found here. I throw these babies on ALL. THE. TIME. They make a casual outfit look chic, they dress up an already dressy look. They are versatile, funky, and fun. Plus super affordable!

 Squinting from the oh-so-bright sun. 

The cuff in this photo is also manufactured by the same company as Kate Spade and Tory Burch- I picked it up at Therapy in Downtown Campbell- the proceeds go to charity. 

I hope you girls are enjoying my posts! Please let me know if you would like videos or tutorials on specific things. Also keep your eyes peeled for the next free beauty giveaway! It should pop up some time next week. 

Your blushing beauty, 

Miss Ally Jean 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Full Lips and ELF Jasmine Review

Ah! Full lips are so sexy! But getting lip injections can be expensive and painful (so I hear.) I was seriously considering getting them, and decided to look at some other non semi-permanent options first.

I stumbled upon Full Lips on Amazon, which has amazing reviews! The order page can be found here, and the order came in two days despite the fact it was not an Amazon Prime option.

The packaging is adorable! I love that they made these little gadgets red- so cute and I like the little lips on the end too.

I was slightly skeptical but after using the product twice I am a believer!

Warning, if you use the product too much you can get bruising on your lips, which I totally did. So don't get too excited about it the first time you use it. Go SLOW! I made a video about the product and how to use it for a slightly larger lip, however when I used it last night I went all out and my lips were much bigger! The enhancement lasts about 4 hours and the Full Lips piece is small enough to carry in your bag, which is really nice because you can touch up in the bathroom if needed. (Perhaps in a stall though... you may look silly doing this in the mirror but whatever pride be damned!)

The video tutorial can be found on my YouTube channel! Click here to watch! I'm still trying to figure out how to get the best sound- but it's getting there!

Also included is a short review and tutorial on the new Disney princess Jasmine products by ELF. I love these so much but I am a huge disney fan, if you couldn't tell by my Alice in Wonderland tattoo. My brother Isaac Armas at Bizarre Tattoo in Omaha NE did this awesome piece during the summer!

Fresh Ink! 

Anyways! ELF has made several princess collections, and I have to say the lip and cheek pallet for Jasmine is by far my favorite. The lip gloss/glaze has medium pigmentation and looks great on. The blush isn't super pigmented but I have been using it on top of darker blushes almost as a highlighter or on its own for a super light day to day look. Great for work! And it is so beautiful! 

Princess Jasmine on the Packaging - so pretty! 

You can see I've used this quite a bit already! 

Pick up both of these products if you can! The ELF princess collections can be found at Walmart and for only a few dollars more, on eBay. Have fun and stay beautiful! 

Your blushing beauty, 

Miss Ally Jean 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


I am so short. Little, tiny short thick legs. Shopping for pants is a nightmare. I always end up feeling really bad about myself when I'm trying on jeans, and then I have to stop and remember most jeans are made for tall, slender humans.

Recently I discovered a store called Uniqlo, where all their jeans come in one length, and they hem them for free. FREE I tell you. It's a wondrous, beautiful thing. You pick your waist size based on inches, and then the person working in the fitting room marks your jeans exactly where you want them hemmed, and two hours later they are ready. AH! If you have not experienced this I highly recommend going. They have jeans in all colors and fades. It's fantastic.

#42. Jeans

I can't even begin to describe the frustration, the bicep workout, the pulling on the belt loops or breath holding that has occurred while trying on jeans in the dressing room. I'm getting worked up just thinking about it. In her book "The One Hundred" Nina Garcia gives great advice when it comes to trying on jeans "Do not assume that because a brand is expensive or a friend or celebrity 'swears by them' that they will be the right jeans for you. One brand does not suit all."

She goes on to advise trying on many, many pairs until you find that magical one. I don't think a woman needs more than 2 pairs of jeans. Also, you will most likely/definitely need to have them tailored. All bodies are not made alike. And that is a GOOD thing.

There are so many brands out there that cost so much money! More than $100 for a pair of jeans? I don't think so! I paid $30 dollars for mine and Uniqlo and that included hemming! I have a very mobile job- even when I come in when I am not teaching I am usually picking things up or bending down to grab this or that. I need jeans that have a bit of stretch. Unless you are just sitting all day you probably do too.

Here are a few photos of how movable the jeans I chose from Uniqlo really are.

I can literally jump, bend over and pick something up, run, everything! Which is really important to me. When I bend over to grab something I don't need the world to see my crack. And neither do you- so pick a pair of jeans that fit properly! Sit down in them in the dressing room, jump up and down, you are going to be living your life in these, not just standing perfectly.

 Uniqlo Jeans Rolled Up-  Ballet Flat Shoes  

  Shot of My Awesome Burberry Trench

They are a super dark wash, I went a size up from my normal because I don't think jeans need to squeeze your butt to look good. Sometimes less is more. Actually all the time. My next pair on my hit list are Levi's 501s which I will most likely buy next week. I won't do an entire post about them but I'll make sure they are in a photo and tag it accordingly.

Happy denim shopping, ladies!

I hope you are reading and enjoying. Feel free to follow my blog, email me, find me on facebook or follow me on Instagram @Miss_allyjean

Your blushing beauty,

Miss Ally Jean

Monday, January 12, 2015

Frye Harness Boot and Watch

Hello fellow fashionistas. It's been a little over two months since I started this journey of collecting all 100 items from Nina Garcia's "The One Hundred." Nina's book describes, in great detail, one hundred items every woman should have in her closet.

Since this journey began, I discover every single day, how much easier it is to get dressed in the morning. I have my "core" items that I know will look great on, and I bring in my own little flair by accessorizing. Every day, at least when I'm not teaching, I grab a great pear of jeans and white Hanes T-shirt. Or maybe a simple black dress that I jazz up with a big necklace. Or perhaps a leopard print dress with a big cocktail ring for date night with Mike.

No matter the occasion, I feel armed and ready to go to any event, at ANY moment. All of this I must credit to the lovely and brilliant Nina Garcia.

Today, I wore several of the items from the book into work. Jeans, trench, cable knit, watch, and Frye boots. Once I came home, I realized I had only mentioned one of these so far- so I pulled out the camera and took some shots of today's look for you ladies!

#33. Frye Harness Boot

I truly enjoyed reading this entry from Nina. Here is a short introduction about the Frye Boot:

"In the 60's, women began to wear Frye boots in clear and bold defiance of restrictive 1950s femininity. They were a boot that meant strength and power, which women were intent on claiming at the time.  High heels took a backseat to these clunky, chunky boots." -Nina Garcia 

Nina goes on to tell how a pair of Frye's even lives in the Smithsonian Institution. How cool is that?!

I am 100% on board for clothing and accessories that support an androgynous feel. It may surprise you that until my early twenties, I hated shopping. HATED. I wanted to be comfortable in my stretchy pants and plain white T-shirts until college came along and I had to learn how to present myself in a professional way, while still maintaining my individuality. I love the look of boots and jeans, a mens watch, and a flirty pony tail with soft makeup. That is what inspired today. 

There are many, many options when choosing a Frye Harness Boot. I recommend trying several pairs on in different styles and colors. It's worth noting that I went a size down from my standard. This pair set me back about $300 at Bloomingdales on Boxing Day. However, I've worn them at least 5 or 6 times since then, and I plan on wearing them very frequently. Take some time reading over this part of Nina's book. The history behind these boots is fascinating and empowering. 

Frye Harness Boot

#94. Watch 

There is something romantic about wearing a watch. Not relying on your cellphone for the time but actually taking a look at your wrist. Who would have thought?? 

I actually own three watches. One is a beautiful Kate Spade watch my Mother gave to me on Christmas several years ago. Second is my work watch, used only for timing exercise, its blue and somewhat ghastly. The last I picked up recently at a going out of business sale in the Men's section. 

Today I was already going for that "masculine" feel so I opted to wear my new men's gold Nixon watch. Here is Nina's take on men's watches, "...Or you can opt for a man's watch. I personally love the look of a man's watch on a woman's wrist. The big, bold masculinity of the design draws the eye to the wrist, one of most feminine parts of a woman's body." 

Plus its ahem SEXY! Dressing with a masculine edge is fricken' sexy. It makes you feel empowered and kind of bossy. I love it. Here is a close up photo of the Nixon I wore this morning. 

Gold Nixon Watch 

I paid 40% less than face value for this watch at the sale, but I believe it retails for around $225. I get compliments on this watch any time I wear it out. It's just fabulous! I recommend having one feminine and one masculine watch in your jewelry box. They make great statement pieces and act as jewelry. Two birds.

I hope you are enjoying my entries for each of these 100 items! It really is changing my life, the way I see myself, how I spend my money, and how I get dressed every morning. My eyes have been opened to an endless world of possibilities! Ladies- take inventory of your closet. Sell what you don't wear or need and start collecting the things that will make you feel beautiful, and stand the test of time. 

Your blushing beauty, 

Miss Ally Jean 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Trench Coat

#86. Trench

The trench coat entry deserves to stand on its own. This will be only about the trench and nothing else.

Breakfast at Tiffany's, Audrey Hepburn. Her in that gorgeous trench coat. So chic, so simple, so alluring. Who didn't want to be Holly Golightly after watching that film? (Minus the smoking)

The Burberry trench coat is something I have wanted to add to my wardrobe for years. YEARS! I purposefully have never purchased a coat in order to truly appreciate the trench when, if ever, it came into my life.

Lucky for me, that day was today! Never mind that I will be paying it off for the next year... my husband agreed to buy it for me if I made a payment plan so currently we have a little trench payment thermometer on the fridge that will take some time to fill up!

I think this part of Nina Garcia's "The One Hundred" was my favorite section of the book. That and the little black dress. She explains the importance of having a great trench coat, and how it can save any outfit. However my favorite part was the history of the trench.

Here is a short excerpt by Nina about the trench;

"Every aspect of the trench coat is purely functional, since it was originally created as a coat for British soldiers to wear during WWI. It is made of tightly woven gabardine, for water resistance. It is long enough to keep the rain out of a soldier's boots. It has a double-breasted closure and straps on the cuffs to tighten when it rains. (...) The coat became a British institution, a film-noir mainstay, and a style staple for both men and women." (p.245)

Did it ever! So many companies make a variation of this original trench coat but the first were in fact made by Burberry and in my opinion, they are the best. They are waterproof, handmade, the buttons are made of horn, the list goes on. 

Pictures of all the Burberry coats can be found here and the specific one I purchased can be found here in the color Stone. I made an "unboxing" video for the coat but I will tell you a bit more. 

I originally purchased this coat in Honey. But after a night of sleep I realized that the Stone was really the color that would stand the test of time. For me at least. The Honey was beautiful too! I will say this is the MOST I have ever spent on a single item of clothing. So take your time picking one out. Ask the person helping you at the store to bring out all the colors, lengths and styles that you are considering. You do NOT want to drop two grand on something you can't see yourself wearing in 30 years. Unless your a wealthy celebrity and maybe not even then.

I hope, with fingers crossed, that you consider investing in a trench coat. It does not even need to be from Burberry. There are tons of different options, styles, and brands to choose from! One quick google search will offer endless choices. I feel very strongly that a good trench coat is an essential part of every woman's wardrobe. That and a good pair of heels, and you are ready to rule the world. 

I have to thank Nina Garcia for finally giving me that extra push towards making the investment. I'm sure you will be seeing many future posts with me wearing the coat! 

In other news I have now entered spending hibernation. A: Because I need to pay off my coat. B: Because there are other things on my "one hundred list" that need saving up for. I do have a lot of the items on the list, because I owned them before I read Nina's book. I will be making future posts on my preowned items and nothing brand new out of the box. But they will be FABULOUS none the less. 

Cheers, darlings! 

Miss Ally Jean 

PS: Here is a link to the video! Yes my hair is messy, whatever!  

Monday, December 29, 2014

Driving Shoes and Hoop Earrings

Words cannot describe how happy I am that Christmas is finally over. Nothing is as over as Christmas. 

I will say that my family and friends are so generous, and I do love giving gifts as well. This year considering I am writing this blog about Nina Garcia's "The One Hundred" I definitely had a list of items I wanted, and ideas how to use any money I received as a gift. 

#28. Driving Shoe 

I asked my husband, Mike, for a pair of metallic driving shoes. 

Here is a little information from Nina;

"Also called the car shoe, it is a light shoe with its roots in the loafer. The car shoe is differentiated by the tiny rubber gussets on the soles, which were intended for traction when driving."

She describes how the driving shoe was originally worn by men on the way to black tie affairs before changing into a dress shoe. Such a concept! Nina also suggests Tod's which is an Italian company known for their driving shoes. 

Nina encourages one to buy the driving shoe in a fun color, keeping the hardware to a minimum, and stepping outside the box with prints. So many possibilities! I have always been a big fan of Sperry Top Siders, who are known for their boating shoe, but I feel as though my petite frame cannot accommodate such a shoe. They always look too thick on my feet, like I am trying to compensate for my height. But a sleek driving shoe?! Why had I not thought of this before?

The pair I asked Santa (Mike) to bring me is the pair seen here:

I've been playing around with different ways to wear these. So far my favorite is with the white pants, and a fun preppy top. Examples include: Cashmere sweater, polo shirt, striped boat neck shirt. 

 Under different lighting these shoes either look gold or silver, which I love. 

They are extremely comfortable and can be worn with almost any casual outfit. I would definitely recommend them with pants, maybe not skirts or dresses but who knows. With the right accessories I'm sure you could make it work! 

# 39. Hoop Earrings

Nina keeps her advice about hoop earrings short and sweet. "They can be bought at any price point and in an array of styles and sizes. But stick with silver or gold. In general, the thinner, the better." 

She also advises to stick to hoops that are in proportion with your face, hair and neckline. Again as a shorter person this can be challenging. Big hoops would probably end up looking silly on me. You know what they say, "The bigger the hoop..." Just kidding. Kind of. 

After some research and hunting I came across a pair of Michael Kors thin silver hoops. (This man can do no wrong I tell you!) And instantly these were on my Christmas list. A link to the earrings here

My dear friends April and Nelson were kind enough to give them to me as a present! So awesome! Here is an up close photo of the jewelry. 

They are thin and delicate, dainty and perfect! 

Here is a photo of the entire outfit.  

Easy white pants, a boat neck striped shirt, driving shoes, and hoop earrings. 

Today's post is shorter than usual but I am getting back into the game after the holidays. Learning how to use all of my photo equipment- great things are happening. 

Your blushing beauty, 

Miss Ally Jean