Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Favorites | EcoTools

Hey! When I sit down to blog I ask myself, "What am I passionate about right now?" and today the first thing that came to mind was "ahhh those make-up brushes!" then I tried to tell myself that was silly and that I just did a make-up post and that I really should find something else to post about.

But here I am, pumped to share with you the tools that have, oddly enough, brought me a lot of joy lately. The following are affiliate links to Amazon, but you can also find some of these at Rite-Aid or Walgreens. The above picture is one I posted to Instagram to show the products I used to create an everyday bright-eyed look.

Make-up brushes. Once upon a time I thought they were all just about equal and couldn't figure out why some were hundreds of dollars when you could get the same shaped ones at the dollar store. So, when it came time to expand my collection so I could play around with different looks, I went on Amazon, found the best value with the best reviews, and ordered 15 make-up brushes for $11, e.l.f. brand. I already had the EcoTools MINERAL 5pc Make Up Brush Travel Set that I loved, but I wanted to save some money so I bought the e.l.f. brand.

Big mistake. They are rough and shed a ton. I use maybe 3 of the 15 brushes (and hope to replace them soon) and basically wasted my money. For Christmas, I asked for all the ingredients to begin to make my own natural cosmetics, so I threw in a request for new make-up brushes as well. I evaluated my make-up needs (we've talked about that before) and chose brush sets that would work together to meet those.

First up, I needed a brush for liquid foundation:

The EcoTools Retractable Foundation Brush (Pack of 2). The shape is perfect for all-over coverage (even around the eyes) and I love that it retracts; I can throw it in my make-up bag and it won't make a mess! The foundation pictured is my first attempt at making my own-- I think I made it a little too red and the oil (almond) I used is slightly greasy, so I'm still working on the recipe.

Next, I needed a powder foundation brush:

EcoTools Large Powder Brush Mmmm... so. soft. Works very well with the loose mineral powder. Pictured is my first attempt at a homemade powder. I really like the shade and the consistency, so I'll be sharing the recipe at some point. :)

For blush, I've been using the mineral powder brush from the EcoTools MINERAL 5pc Make Up Brush Travel Set
It's a travel size, so it's perfect for hitting my cheekbones with a little color. Even if I do nothing else for make-up, I wear mascara and a little blush. Pictured is some hand-me-down blush from my great aunt. She sells BeautiControl. I plan on making my own natural blush soon, but I'm using this in the meantime. :)

Also in that travel set are two smaller brushes that I use for eyeshadow, choosing the shape depending on the look I'm going for. 

The last brush set I have is the EcoTools BAMBOO 6-pc Starter Makeup Brush Set.
The only brush I don't use regularly from that set is the big blush brush and that's just because I've gotten used to using the mini one I mentioned above. :) The Starter set has several eye shadow brushes that are great for creating pretty much any look you could want. Pictured is another BeautiControl handmedown. :)

So, to sum up, if you're looking to get started with a general full-face mineral make-up routine, here's the brushes I recommend:

(Click on the image to be taken to the Amazon page)
The approximate total for these is $30.28... a perfect high-quality, simple investment. No need for 15 different brushes to take up space in your make-up bag. 

If you feel like it, you could also pick up the EcoTools MINERAL 5pc Make Up Brush Travel Set, which has my favorite blush brush. :)

There you have it-- my rant about soft bamboo brushes. :D I hope this post was helpful to you whether you're looking for a new brand or just trying to know what types of brushes you may need for the more natural make-up looks.

Do you have a favorite brush brand? What is your most-used brush shape? 
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Monday, January 26, 2015

Announcing | Modest Fashion Guild Conference!

Hey y'all! I am super excited to finally announce a super unique, very cool opportunity I'm thrilled to be a part of in July! I'm looking forward to sharing what I've learned about Kickstarter, working with manufacturers, etc in the hopes of encouraging other girls to step out into the modest clothing industry. Let me know if you have any questions!

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Navy Blue + Gold

Hey! Brrrr it's cold here in Tennessee! 

This is what I wore a few Lord's Days ago. I took some cues from the Boyer Sisters and paired simple classics together for a more vintage-y look than I usually go for. 

 Barbie-high pony tales don't go with that look, I know. 

There are so many ways I could have made this outfit better. Nicer hair-do, navy blue shoes, belt, iron my skirt again before pictures... but there are more important things to worry about, so I let it go and put a smile on. My hope with Fresh Modesty is to encourage you to dress well with what's available in the most deliberate way possible, so that you can get on to what's more meaningful in life. 

// outfit details //
Sweater: Ralph Lauren, ThredUP
Skirt: ThredUP
Shoes:, $25 (gift)
Earrings: Gift 
Necklace: Groupon, $9.99
Bracelet: c/o Gracewear Collection

Speaking of meaning, Gracewear Collection sent me this lovely bracelet to review. The design of their collection is very deliberate. This is from their website: 

The mission of Gracewear Collection is to offer a powerful and purposeful Christian lifestyle brand that represents covering women daily in God's protection, mercy, and grace. The Shield of Faith Collection is an beautiful way for women to wear and share their faith- while intentionally putting on the Armor of God for all of life's battles.  
Our vision is to share with women about the gift of God's Grace, and His promise that there is absolutely NO sin- great or small -that His Grace will not cover. God calls us to be ambassadors for Christ and to let His love and light shine through us. Gracewear Collection is based on Ephesians 6: 10-18- and is created to offer HOPE and LIGHT- through the Power of the Shield.
This bracelet is just lovely. It's lightweight, sturdy, and easy to layer. I don't like bracelets that you're constantly aware of; this one is effortless. 

Isn't Gracewear's jewelry just perfect? What jewelry do you reach for when you're going for a simple classic look? 
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Friday, January 23, 2015

Sponsors | Daughter of Destiny Giveaway!

Hey y'all! Are you looking for encouragement today? Let me share a little bit from the "About" page of Caitlin's blog, Daughter of Destiny
Many people in today's culture have forgotten or merely don't know what a Proverbs 31 or Titus 2 woman is, or looks like.
I am blessed to have had and continue to have a wise mother, and grandmother whom have taught me how to be a Daughter of Destiny.
What I mean by a Daughter of Destiny is putting yourself, and your life to have a goal. My parents taught me growing up to put God above anyone or anything, my family next, then friends, and
then me.
My Goal: To Glorify God in everything I do.
In Proverbs 31:30, it says, "Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised."...this is my goal.

It can be so refreshing to read the thoughts of a woman who has the same goal as we should all have! I hope you'll take the time to visit this blog and read Caitlin's heart on matters that... well, matter! 

Caitlin got engaged last month and I am so happy for her! She posted her courtship story if you're interested in seeing how God brought her together with her fiance. :)

As if Christian encouragement and love stories aren't enough reason to subscribe, Daughter of Destiny is also running a Starbucks gift card giveaway right now! Basically an offer you can't refuse, y'all. ;)

Have a wonderful day! 
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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Awk+Awe | Willa's Casual Look

Hey y'all! I'm so sorry it's been so long since I've been here to chat! It's been a hectic, but productive, couple weeks as I try to get some housework done before I hide away next week to start hemming the Fresh Apparel Denim Co skirts! My sister Willa looked so cute recently that I wanted to share her outfit with you. She's 16 and the one who usually takes my pictures. :) Brace yourself: I've got quite a few Awk+Awes to share since it's been so long since the last one!

  • Hiding waiting in a bathroom stall for the Panera employee to finish washing their hands so you can brush your teeth (with charcoal, which is even more awkward). 
  • The fact that it's January 22nd and the Christmas decorations aren't put away yet.
  • Sitting at a table full of guys for lunch and after about an hour chatting and smiling and laughing, you realize you had a huge black seed in your teeth for probably the majority of that time. *cringe*
  • Finding the verse "So you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing" scribbled on a moving box containing three porcelain clowns on swings from Germany. Lacking nothing is for sure. ;)
  • That my shower radio has a phone button on it so you can answer calls while lathering. 
  • When you come home to find your entire driveway and yard toilet papered. And then spend days cleaning it up with 18 ft bamboo poles.
  • Having a truck that will only make it about 3.25 miles before it overheats and you have to let it cool down. To the dump and back is 4.6 miles, so I've broken down in the same spot at least 4 weeks in a row. -_-
  • Waking up so sick from your Lymes that you throw up twice while staying at a friend's house. This makes you late for your coffee dates-- "Hey how are you!?" Actually really really awful, how about yourself? :P
  • Having wet red nails as the party guests arrive (careful hugging!) and you're supposed to be arranging crackers in bowls. 
  • Rigging a metal shelf to be a tailgate for your truck with some bailing twine so you can haul firewood. 
  • When you're in a restaurant's waiting room and it gets so crowded you stand half behind the Christmas tree and half on a bench, in the frozen window. And then y'all end up just going next door and ordering a pizza.
  • Not knowing your guest house had a deer processing room until your dad shot a deer and suggested you to come see it. :P It's got a sink, air conditioning, shelves, the whole shebang. 
  • Sitting at a really fancy dinner and fidgeting with your shoe so much that the liner comes out and gets separated too far from your toes to fix without bending down to pick it up.
  • When your really-not-musical dad gets up and sings a verse of Blue Christmas, Elvis style, for the whole church. 
  • Going hunting for ugly Christmas sweaters and not finding any from here to Georgia. 
  • When you get an email from someone asking if they saw you at a store as soon as you get in your car in the parking lot. O.o
  • When you're with a friend at Starbucks and have nothing but coffee on your stomach so you just start vibrating your leg uncontrollably because of the caffeine. "Are you cold?!" Not really... "Are you okay?!" Yeah, actually...
  • When your sister tries to make the music louder by putting her earbuds in her nose and opening her mouth.... (doesn't work, btw) ;)
  • Eating shrimp. The legs are too much. 
  • The laughing mood that my cold+ exhaustion put me in for about 36 hours. Every little thing sent me laughing uncontrollably. Especially burrito jokes or comments about ancient Rome. 
  • When your friend in med school sends you selfies from the cadaver lab. 
  • The part of doctors visits when they ask if you've been consistent taking your vitamins and medicines and you have to say not really...

  • Safe travels. I have another long drive coming Monday (12 hours round trip to pick up skirts!) and I'm really hoping our car makes it. :P
  • Attending a formal Christmas party and the evening ending with everyone throwing card stock airplanes from the third story stairwell in their suits and formal dresses. 
  • Homemade dairy-free ranch dressing that takes less than 2 minutes to make. Have I shared that recipe here? We based it off of The Pioneer Woman's super fancy recipe, but here's mine:
    • 8 oz plain coconut milk yogurt (we get the SO Delicious brand at Whole Foods)
    • 8 oz mayonnaise (we get the 365 organic brand at Whole Foods)
    • 1-3 Tablespoons dried oregano (we buy ours from Mountain Rose Herbs)
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic granules 
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • plain coconut milk to desired consistency
      • Mix together and store in the fridge! Keeps for a long time. 
  • Our dog having 8 puppies. New experience for everyone. :D
  • Having the stamina to work 45+ hours last week cleaning/organizing/purging/caulking our basement. I posted one of my work outfits on Instagram
  • CallieRashida, and Meadow singing me a customized version of Taylor Swift's "22" for my birthday back in October! 
  • When your wifi automatically connects at the gas station.
  • Having a sauna 8 ft from your bedroom. Being able to be completely warm (130* warm) at least once a day during the winter is SO nice. 
  • Getting all my emails sorted out... for real this time. Took my inbox from about 1,000 to 4 emails. 
  • Taking care of business paperwork (read: taxes and bills) on the porch because it was 60* and sunny outside!
  • Finding 39 pieces of glasswear at the thriftstore for $10! 
  • Midnight snacks.
  • An awesome Christmas trip with my family to my grandparent's house.
  • The post office in Frostburg, Maryland. Absolutely gorgeous old building with fancy P.O. boxes, double wooden doors, and ornate carvings everywhere. I've spent a long time in post offices lately so I appreciated the unique beauty of that one. 
  • The Lord providing even when His children are... well, stupid. 
  • A french press and organic coffee. 
  • My Elvis Presley personal checks. I figured if there was ever an acceptable time in my life to have them, it would be now. (plus now I get mail order offers for The King figurines and who doesn't want those!?)
  • Everyone who is being so patient about getting their Errand #17 skirt! The plan is to start hemming Tuesday. 

// Willa's outfit details //
Shirt: Ann Taylor : ThredUP
Jacket: ThredUP
Skirt: ThredUP
Tank: Forever21 $1.80
Shoes: Converse: $35 on sale

I hope you all have been well! Please, fill me in! What's been awkward or awesome with you lately?
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Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Study Your Face { + a free printable!}

Hello! Today we start a new series: How To Transition To Natural Cosmetics! I'm excited to share with you what I'm doing as I make this change myself and I hope you come along for the ride! There is SO MUCH out there on makeup/products/brushes/skin-care routines/what's good and what's not/miracle cures, etc. I know I'm not the only one who finds the world of "beauty" overwhelming and I would like to suggest that it doesn't have to be complicated if we don't want it to be. Make-up is fun to play with, but when it comes down to the daily grind, we want a routine that is simple, effective, and good for us. 

Before you can make a change, you have to assess the current situation. So, today, let's study our faces! One very appealing benefit of homemade, natural make-up + skincare is the ability to work into the products ingredients that are beneficial to you specifically. By including healing components in your concoctions, you can treat skin conditions instead of just mask them.

I was only going to include the above picture/graphic in this post, but as I was asking my sisters which image I should use, they suggested I use each one to illustrate a different area. :D

Look at your clean skin. Do you have redness? Acne? Dry areas? Oily areas? Dark circles? Each of these have a cause and with some research, you should be able to figure out some solutions. Acne can be caused by a food sensitivity or over-enthusiastic oil glands, among other things. When I get pimples, I look up a face acne map (like this one) to see if there might be an internal issue my body is dealing with that I need to address. Dry skin could mean you need to drink more water. Dark circles or puffy eyes might suggest you ate too many tortilla chips before bed (salt causes puffy eyes). Or, maybe you have fairly clear skin, eat a healthy diet, and drink enough water, but your skin is just thin and veins show through (like my case is). Google the layers of the skin and discover natural sources of retinol (some retinol products come from aborted baby cells-- yikes!) to plump up and encourage a more even complexion. My point is, do some research! There is so much information available at our fingertips. 

There are all kinds of natural ingredients that you can add to your make-up to help with acne, redness, etc., so you should research those as well. For example, tea tree oil helps calm over-productive oil glands and carrot seed oil helps clear up age spots. There are also different types of actual oils that might help different issues, like almond oil, castor oil, or vitamin E oil.

 Complexion Continued:
While you're thinking about your complexion, identify the make-up products that will help you achieve your desired look. So, dark circles = concealer, redness = foundation, healthy look = blush.

 Do you have thick, healthy lashes or could they use some bolstering? Maybe you could wear a serum at night that encourages lash growth. Are you getting wrinkles? (I know I have some older readers here) Research natural ways to plump those and consider ways to apply make-up that don't stretch your skin further. Just as with complexion, write down some cosmetics that may enhance your features. Mascara, eyeshadow, non-clumping concealer, etc.

Does their shape compliment your face shape? I think proper eyebrow grooming can be one of the most effective ways to bring out your natural beauty. Are they too thin or too thick? Identify ways to improve that. Maybe add brow powder to your list of cosmetics.

 Dry lips, yellow teeth, and unwanted "mustache" hairs may be issues to identify here. Maybe it's time for a weekly lip exfoliate. Do you need to brush your teeth after your morning coffee? Research effective hair-removal methods that you're comfortable with, whether that's sugaring or iodine + babyoil.

What is your daily skincare routine? Are you using unnatural products? Purpose to find and switch them out for natural/organic ones. Make-up remover, cleansers, lotions, deodorant, and even toothpaste is subject to scrutiny! :)

As we are examining our faces, let's remember that while it is good and right to continually make God's world more beautiful outwardly, it's primarily our hearts and minds that bring Him glory. :)

To make this exercise easier, I've created a free printable for you to use! Click HERE to download the pdf and fill it out to help identify your cosmetic product "needs"!

In the next post in this series I'll be sharing how I did some research and started buying all the ingredients I need to make my own cosmetics/products, based off of the issues I identified I wanted to address. I hope this post was helpful and that you decide to transition your cosmetic stash, too!

Have a wonderful day! 
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Thursday, January 1, 2015

2014 Appearance Goals | How I Did

Hey y'all! Happy New Year! As is becoming tradition here on Fresh Modesty, it's time to review how I did in the previous year accomplishing my "appearance" goals. Frankly, by about May I've forgotten completely about them, but the new habits formed in the first few months of the year sometimes continue and progress towards these ends is made. So let's see how I did! 
(Caution: embarrassing honesty ahead)

Here's a link to the full post, "2014 Appearance Goals".
And if you're really curious, here's "2013 Appearance Goals

"I didn't (don't?) know how to say, 'I have enough' when I see cute clothes!"
All year, it seemed like I was saying "no" and curbing my clothing/shoes spending a lot, but I still managed to spend about $470 over the whole year, $120 more than I was hoping. Granted, I made some big purchases like cowboy boots ($162) and rainboots ($40) and forgot to cancel my JustFab membership several months ($39.99/month) which really added up. In general, I feel like at least when it came to clothes, I made fewer impulse buys. I did hardly any thrift-store shopping, though, due to time constraints and just not needing any more clothes. I never did start paying in cash like I was hoping to. :P I'd say I made a little progress towards my goal, but not enough.

One reason I felt like I needed to buy so new many clothes this past year [2013] was that most of the clothes I already had were starting to look worn and old. I'm afraid I sped that aging process up by leaving clothes wadded in baskets and laying on the floor most of the time. 

I believe my sisters and I have made leaps and bounds in this area, but only in the last few months. We had so many clothes that we physically could not fit them all tidily into the closet, which made it hard to take care of them. After half a dozen or more "deep cleanings" we fiiiiinally have a manageable amount and are doing much better at keeping things hung up instead of wadded up. I did dry clean several dresses this year and was glad I did since they've continued to last.

"I have decided it's a good way to be purposeful about the clothing I buy and not just going for the Pantone color of the year or what catches my eye."

I pretty much failed miserably at trying to follow my color season. I did try to buy more of colors I know look good on me (blue, mustard, black, teal, etc) but didn't follow my season at all. I don't know enough about it to have the system memorized and I don't think it's quite as simple as websites make it out to be. I still think it would be good to have this knowledge, I'm just not sure how to go about committing it all to memory so I can practice it. 

"I want to diversify my wardrobe by mixing different elements of texture in it. Sequins, leathers, denims, knits, furs, cottons, silks, tweeds. etc. " 

Honestly, I forgot about this goal. I didn't wear knit with knit at all, but other than that I never made a deliberate effort to experiment with textures. I finally obtained a cashmere sweater which was a bucket-lister for me, though. Since I'd never tried out the genre of athletic-wear before, you might consider my introduction to that world an experiment in textures since it definitely has it's own "feel", but otherwise nope, didn't happen. :P

"Proper nail grooming is something that no matter how the rest of you looks, it always raises your level of class."

I did amazing (for me) at this! I don't know what changed, whether it was my extreme consumption of spinach or my deliberate effort to drink more water and rub more coconut oil on my skin, but my nails were strong and nice looking for a good portion of the year! In November I did some outside work and my nails are still recovering from that, but otherwise I've been pleased with their state. I painted my fingernails a bit more often in 2014 than I did in 2013 (just because it's fun), so that may have helped with their strength, too. Having struggled with ugly nails ever since I can remember, it's brought me a lot of cheer to have that little bit of me feel really nice. :) 

All in all, I made some progress in refining some areas of my appearance + habits. Seeing the ways I failed is getting me motivated to try harder in 2015 to be responsible and deliberate. I'll share this year's goals when I have them ironed out, but for now, I'd love to know-- how did you do with your appearance goals in 2014?

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Sunday, December 28, 2014

eShakti Dresses

Hey y'all! You've probably seen the ad on my sidebar for eShakti, a custom dress company with a ton of styles. (Affiliate links ahead, fyi) I have several of their dresses and love that they can be customized. I wanted to highlight a few of my current favorite for you because they are having a sale right now that ends tomorrow (sorry I'm not mentioning it sooner-- I just learned about it!) and a special for new customers to get $35 off their first order. Um, major savings alert.

Starting off with one that I just love the name of... The Olivia Dress:

You can add 7 different styles of sleeves to this dress! Currently on sale for $38.99. Pretty sure the $35 off coupon would work on that purchase. :)

I have this Faux Leather Trim Poplin Dress in Navy and it's one of my sister's favorites to borrow. ;) 

FREE Customization on ALL first time orders. Your size, your style, your choice!

Rich Beetroot Dress... just imagine this for spring!

Ahh these are gorgeous. Love this color:

And with the customization, you can be sure it's long enough!

Alright, one last one that I just ran across... how about an adorable tunic?!

I really really love that tunic. Well, the pizza just arrived here at my grandparent's so I'm going to say tootles, but I'm glad I got a chance to pop in and share some deals. eSkakti is a favorite among my friends and me and I hope you love them as well! Have a blessed day!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, y'all! My life has been hectic lately, but when is it not? I was really hoping to have posted more in December, especially with some holiday-themed posts, but that just didn't happen. So, I'm here today to share my Christmas outfit from this past Sunday and call that sufficient (for my own sanity). 

 // outfit details //
Cardigan: Forever21
Flats: ThredUP
Hat: Target
Pearl set: Gift
Super sparkly ring: Charming Charlies

 The busier I get, the more I appreciate reliable clothing pieces. I got completely ready to go (hair curling, make-up, choosing outfit) in under 20 minutes thanks to these tried and true staples in my closet.

 I went out a little while ago and finished my Christmas shopping... I should probably do some wrapping today too. In preparation for the picture-taking tomorrow, I'll also paint my nails and curl my hair before bedtime tonight.  I'm going to make myself mentally sign-out of the blog for the next two days or so, jsyk. :)

How are you spending this Christmas? Excited to spend time with family? What festive ensembles are you wearing? :)
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