By Jessica Pigza
Welcome to Favorite Finds – Glamour Edition – brought to you by an amazing date night with the hubby! It is not very often I have a reason to get really dressed up, but once a year, my husband and I attend the Air Force Ball in celebration of the birthday of the Air Force. I decided that since this was probably our last ball, I wanted to do it up right! I’ve only been to a handful in my husband’s career, and sadly, little effort had gone into my look. I had either just had a baby, or going was a last minute decision. Either way, I did not have the time or energy to go that extra mile.
Although I wanted to go out with a bang this year, I still did not want to spend a ton of money. Deciding what was important and what I could do myself was the first step in not breaking the bank. After thinking of all the elements for the evening: dress, hair, nails, shoes and makeup, I decided I wanted to put the bulk of my budget towards my dress. I wanted to treat myself since I had not bought a formal dress in years. We moved so much that I could get away with wearing the same dress year after year. No one in Texas knew I was wearing the same dress I had worn the previous year in Washington. This year though, I wanted something different for me. I decided everything else I could do myself. I watched hair and makeup tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube and I painted my own nails. While on this journey to pull off my glam look myself, I found a few products that are really amazing. Without further ado, I present my Favorite Finds – Glamour Edition!
1. Rent The Runway
I was hesitant to rent a dress but after using Rent the Runway, I am sold on this concept. It allowed me to wear a dress that normally would be way out of my price range and I did not have to sacrifice any closet space. The process was very easy and there were so many dresses and styles to choose from. Their filtering options made looking for a dress super easy, but it was the reviews that helped me make my final decision. I could filter the reviews for each dress by women who had a build similar to my own. I could then read their comments and see pictures of the reviewer in the actual dress. Did the dress run small? Was it tight in the bust? Was it forgiving around the waistline? The reviews also helped me to determine the size I would order, plus RTR lets you order a backup size at no extra cost. I finally decided on a navy blue sequin, one shoulder dress. As promised, it arrived two days before the event in a carefully folded garment bag. The dress looked just as pretty in person. After trying on both sizes, I picked the one that felt the best and enjoyed our evening out! I felt very glamorous and my husband thought I looked absolutely gorgeous. My confidence soared and I was on cloud nine that night. After the event was over, I simply put both dresses back in the bag, used the preprinted return label and dropped it off at the UPS Store the next business day. It could not have been easier!
2. L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Mascara
Word of mouth is still one of the best ways to find out about new products and that is exactly how I found L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Mascara. I couldn’t help but notice my friend’s eyelashes always looked insanely good. It didn’t matter what time of day I saw her, her eyes always looked fresh! Finally, I asked her what she used and she told me about this amazing product. It’s a two-step mascara. The first step conditions lashes while the second step creates a tube-like effect coating and lengthening each lash. The difference between this mascara and others I have tried is that it creates almost a silicone coating on my lashes. I’m not sure I’m even doing this product justice in describing it. All I know is that is doesn’t flake off and give me dark circles under my eyes or irritate my sensitive eyes. Amazingly enough, even though it does have all-day staying power, it is surprisingly easy to take off in the evening with just some warm water. Wearing this mascara ensured that all through dinner and dancing, my eyes still looked fresh and by the end of the night, I did not look like a raccoon.
3. EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set
One thing I wanted to focus on while getting glammed up for my night out was my makeup, specifically my eyes. I wanted to learn how to create a polished evening look so I began watching eye makeup tutorials to get some ideas. I learned some really great tips and techniques but I also realized that I did not have the proper makeup brushes to achieve the look I wanted. After perusing the makeup aisle I found the EcoTools Eye Enhancing Duo Brush Set. I thought to get a good makeup brush you had to pay a lot, but these were exactly what I needed and extremely affordable. The brushes were soft and held up very well after washing them. I also loved the two in one concept. With these two brushes, I was able to get four different brush head types. They were everything I needed to help me attempt to create the looks I was learning to do.
4. MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer
My skin gets very oily and I am not a big fan of foundation, but on this night I wanted my personality to shine and not my face. I discovered MAKE UP FOR EVER Step 1 Skin Equalizer Primer thanks to the wonderful ladies at Sephora. I put a thin layer all over my face. Then I finished it off with a light dusting of loose powder and some blush. My skin felt great all night, not tight or cakey, and it truly helped to control my oil. An added bonus is that if your skin is prone to breaking out like mine is, this product does not contain Dimethicone (also known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS) which can make breakouts even worse.
5. Chloe + Isabel Swept Away Bracelet
No evening of glamour is complete without a little bling. I found my bling in the Chloe + Isabel Swept Away Bracelet! It was simple but had loads of sparkle and it rounded out my look perfectly. The best part is that it looked and felt expensive but it really wasn’t. The clasp was also very sturdy, so I wasn’t worried about the bracelet falling off. Best of all, Chloe + Isabel offers a Lifetime Jewelry Replacement Guarantee. Meaning that if anything happens, a stone falls off, the clasp does break or you daughter accidentally breaks it while trying it on, just call them up. They will send you a prepaid shipping label to send it back then mail you out a replacement.
It was a fantastic night out with my husband and I think we both appreciated how confident and radiant I felt that evening!
Jessica is a military wife, married to her husband Nate of 14 years, and stay at home mother to three energetic and fearless children, Sophia, Brandon and Rachel. Originally from Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the military life has given her a chance to live all over the United States and meet many amazing people along the way.