Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Our Makeup Must-Haves

We've had some questions from readers about our makeup routines, so we figured it would be helpful to break them down with all of our favorites! We've been experimenting with all sorts of makeup, with good and bad results, since we were in high school. Luckily, all those years of practice have paid off and we can confidently share the products we love most!

Oh,  all know that a great makeup look starts with skincare, so be sure to check out Our Skincare Essentials post if you haven't yet!

Jodi's Picks

*As a base, I start with my triple threat of BB Cream, CC Cream and NYX Illuminator that you can find here!*

1. Bare Minerals Matte Foundation
As I mentioned in our skin care essentials post, I have had issues with my skin since I can remember. Nearly every liquid-based foundation I would use would make me have terrible breakouts. Luckily, in college, I tried Bare Minerals powder foundation and haven't looked back since! It it light on my skin, but easily covers up trouble spots with a concealer brush. I only have to use a little bit over my BB/CC cream so it lasts a long time too! I tend to have oily skin, so the matte version of the foundation has been the best for me, but they have other versions as well!

2. NYX Pin Up Pout Lipstick in Corset (as seen below)
I love this lipstick when I don't want to do a bold lip, but also want to have a little color on my lips. It's so velvety soft too!

3. NYX Professional Makeup Slide On Pencil
I really love NYX products. They are great quality while still being super affordable. This black eyeliner pencil is my go-to for when I want to do a bold eye. It stays all day and doesn't smudge! 

4. I.T. Brushes Airbrush Blurring Foundation Brush
These brushes are hands down THE.BEST. I have this brush for my Bare Minerals foundation, a concealer brush and a blush brush and could not be happier with them! I definitely recommend this brand for ALL of your makeup needs.

5. NARS Blush/Bronzer Duo
I used to think it didn't matter what blush or bronzer I bought, any old kind would do. I was dead wrong. I ordered a NARS sampler set in the Nordstrom Anniversary sale a couple years back and haven't used anything else since then. I use the Laguna bronzer and Orgasm blush every day without fail. The blush has an ever so slight shimmer to it, which makes your skin look gorgeous!

6. Urban Decay Primer Potion
Aside from the Bare Minerals foundation, this is the product I have used without fail for almost a decade. I have yet to find an eyeshadow primer that works as well as the Urban Decay Primer Potion. Not only does it make it so that your eyeshadow and liner won't budge (believe me, I've accidentally fallen asleep in full makeup before and woken up to eye shadow and liner that looks like I just applied it), but it also makes the pigment stand out more, giving you a bolder, cleaner look.

7. NARS Highlighter
I also tested this highlighter out in the aforementioned sampler from Nordstrom, and it's hands down my favorite highlighter! A little bit goes a long way, but it has a slight golden undertone to it that literally makes you look like a goddess.

8. Naked Eyeshadow Palette
I've used this palette so much, some of the shadows are non-existent. My favorites by far are Sin and Sidecar. I love the two of them together for a slightly understated, natural look.

9. Benefit Bad Gal Bang Mascara 
My absolute favorite mascara is Maybelline Falsies in Black Drama (which Molly will talk more about below!), but I also like to use a second mascara for a bit more of a dramatic look. I recently bought this Bad Gal Bang mascara at Ulta in a trial size and love it! It literally has space technology in it that makes your lashes longer, fuller and lifted without weighing them down. Plus, it's supposed to fuel thickness and strength! I generally swipe on one or two coats of the Falsies mascara and finish it up with a coat or two of Bad Gal Bang. 

Molly's Picks

1. Maybelline Falsies Mascara
This drugstore mascara is pretty darn amazing! We both use it daily and probably will continue to through eternity. After trying out much more expensive mascaras, we've found that this one lengthens and pumps up lashes without clumping and also has a longer shelf life, than about anything out there.  It's also less than $7!!

2. CoverGirl Clean Pressed Powder
This pressed powder is the perfect finishing touch to any look. It provides slightly more coverage than a loose powder and can be used in place of foundation for a more natural look. I also dust it over liquid foundation and it provides a light touch and doesn't look cakey.

3. NYX Illuminator
Highlighters are hot hot hot right now. I love a matte finish for foundation, so highlighters are a great way to emulate a glow-y, dewey complexion that's the look in makeup right now. There are balms, liquids, sticks and powders, but I've really come to love this illuminator from NYX. You can grab it at any drugstore and it's less than $10! My challenge with highlighters is that I'm so fair skinned, some of them don't actually look like a lighter shade on my skin. #palekidprobs But, a few swipes of the color "Ritualistic" and my face is just glowing! See the pic below. All that dimension is created from this.

4. Manna Kadar Fantasy Eyeshadow
I love this eyeshadow for everyday wear. It's super pigmented, has a nice sparkle, and it lasts forever. I've seriously worn it nearly every day for 2 years and it's still got more life in it. It may be a neutral, but I've had people ask me to send them a link to buy it in person before! You can see its nice pink hue on my eyes in the photo above.

5. Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush
Liquid and cream blushes seem to be all the rage now, but I still love a good powdered blush. This blush has a great rosy tone and has a sparkle to it. It's incredibly long-lasting throughout the day and doesn't settle into fine lines. Also wearing this in the photo above.

6. Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Express
I'll be honest, I probably wouldn't have bought this on my own, but received this palette in a blogger bag at an event I went to, and I'm thrilled I did. First, it comes with eyebrow templates, which is a really fun and useful tool. It also comes with brow wax, brow powder, a brush, and the prettiest shimmer shadow for under brows and as the light point of your eyeshadow. So, it's really like getting 5 things in one! Beauty bloggers swear by this brand for brows and they seriously will not budge.

I've been switching up concealers for a few years trying to find the perfect one. Going from drugstore brands to higher end makeup is definitely a price jump, but I've finally found my holy grail and this concealer right here is worth every dang penny! The size of the tube is larger than most concealers and the absolute tiniest dot of product goes 10x further than any other concealer I've ever used, so keep that in mind when you see the price. It actually covers so well that on a number of weekdays now, I skip foundation altogether, using only BB cream (thanks for the rec, Jodi!), this concealer, and  pressed powder. It's especially great for under eye circles and stays put all day.

Lipsense really does live up to the hype! It stays on and looks fresh all day long and you don't have to constantly check a mirror, because it won't smudge. I've linked our Lipsense distrubutor, Arkansassy Lips above. If you join the Facebook group, our girl Rylee will get you hooked up with whatever lip colors you need! For our full review on Lipsense, click here.

This eyeliner has been my most tried-and-true makeup over the past decade. Every time I try another eyeliner, I feel like I look like an actual raccoon by lunchtime. Nothing stays in place the way this does and the price is most definitely right! I opt for the black-brown shade and swipe it over the top of my eyelid. It also has a built-in blender mini sponge that's great for smudging liner under your eye as well.

Get this do if you want to try winged eyeliner. That is an order. After using up this eyeliner and another eyeliner pen I got in Ipsy bags, I went to research each to see which one I should go purchase and found out that this ONLY COSTS $2.99! Yep, you read that right. It glides really well, has a super fine tip, and has serious staying power. Pro tip: when the tip is dried up or starting to fray, pull it out with a kleenex and turn it around: there's a tip on the other end! I buy these in multiples and they last at least a few months. I start out the outer edge of the winged portion and blend it up into the Revlon eyeliner on my upper lid. Pure magic, y'all. See the pic of me above for an example of it in action.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Vintage Floral Shirtdress

So, there's a ridiculously fun popup in Kansas City right now that's basically a building filled with photo backdrops and photo lights called Photo Playhouse. It's only open through March 10th and has a one time cost of $10. I obviously had to check it out and I snapped this floral shirt dress on 2 different backdrops as I found my groove. I mean, how fun is this opal-inspired tinsel backdrop? Feelin v fancy.

Jodi and I both have love affairs with everything that's a dark floral pattern and long, flowing dusters. I knew I couldn't pass up this beauty when I saw it, and I love it even more in person. The bold vintage pattern has a very classic feel, but the neck and closures have a modern kimono-inspired flair.  I will say it runs slightly small. My typical ASOS size (4) worked for me, but if you have a larger chest or broad shoulders, I'd size up, because there's not much give in the material.

A strappy tank, black cropped jeans and gold mule slides add to the pajama-chic vibe of the ensemble, but red lipstick and statement earrings dress the look up and make it perfect for daytime or a date night look alike. 

I love that the top can be left open for a flowy, casual effect or buttoned up for a more formal fitted look. 

And now, just because I needed to check out the fur background as well... (I sort of feel like a 1920s hunting lodge heiress here, but I don't hate it?) Stay tuned for more fun backdrops for blog outfits coming up soon!


Floral Shirt Dress
Pink Earrings (just out of stock but very similar for $12!)
Cropped Black Jeans (similar)
Gold Mules (similar)

Friday, February 23, 2018

Wear it Two Ways: Workout Wear

Working out and staying physically active is a big priority for both of us. Our 9 Tips for Forming Healthy Habits post last month was really well-received, so we thought, why not tie health and wellness into what this blog is mostly about: having fun with fashion! Enter today's sporty Wear it Two Ways.

We've each styled a workout outfit, because we believe working out is about 642% easier when you're looking sharp. (Personal experience, not scientific.) In all seriousness, when you feel comfortable and confident, we believe it can give you that extra boost to push through your workout and crush your goals!


Last year, I spoke about my workout routine that was a mixture of cardio and weight training. A few months ago, I found myself really struggling to get through my workouts because I was bored beyond belief! I decided to switch things up and found 30 minute HIIT workouts that I can do online. It's still a mixture of cardio and weight training, but I have found that it's made a huge difference! It's super high intensity, but short and sweet, which fits into my schedule better. 

I am all about feeling comfortable in my workout wear. For me, there is nothing more distracting than worrying about your pants riding up, or your tank top straps not staying in place. I tend to lean more toward high waist leggings because they are super flattering, plus I don't have to worry about yanking my pants up every time I do a burpee! 

I do enjoy colorful workout pieces, however, I also really love an all black ensemble. Especially in the winter. It's slimming and easy to put together when sometimes the last thing you want to do is venture out to exercise. 

I really love the mesh cutouts and thumb holes on this crop top. It also pairs really well with high waisted workout leggings! 

Between my new workouts, and making an effort to eat low-carb, low-sugar meals (most of the time ;) ) , I am feeling better than ever! Of course, cute workout clothes also help with that feeling. :)

Crop top (also really love this top!)
Sports bra (similar)
Leggings (similar)


Last year around this time, I was really getting into the groove of Bar Method here in KC, which worked my upper body strength (and also every other muscle) like nothing I'd ever experienced before. Since that time, I've stuck with it and worked my way up to taking a lot more of the challenge options, typically doing all (60 or so) pushups per class up on the balls of my feet, (no more girl pushups for this girl!) and going to at least 3 classes a week. 

Like Jodi, I can 100% get behind an all-black ensemble for my workouts. I mean, you'll always match! Lately though, I've really been working to spice up my workout wardrobe and I've been adding a lot more fun colors, patterns and cuts into the mix. I'm loving midi bras, which are sports bras that are longer and can also function as a top! They work extra well with high waisted pants.

One thing that's really helped me up my workout wear game is Fabletics. I mentioned it in our Five Friday Faves post, but it's obviously worth mentioning here as well. It's the athletic wear company started by Kate Hudson, which has a VIP membership program with new ensembles coming out every month. Kind of like Blue Apron or other subscription services, you do have to cancel if you don't want to get charged for the month, but you can easily cancel before the 5th of the month if that's the case. I've been really impressed with the quality of their leggings and their fun tops, like the midi bra I'm wearing. 

I do know I was tentative to join Fabletics until I'd personally talked to a few people who had signed up, so let me know if you have any questions at all and I can answer them!

Other than exercising and trying to move when I can, I've also moved to eating at least a few vegetarian meals a week and incorporating tons of veggies and filling grains like bulgur, quinoa and brown rice with my protein (extra loving lentils lately!) I've said it before and I'll say it again, how insane is it that what you fuel your body with makes a difference?! It seems so simple, but I am from the Show-Me state, so sometimes I just have to see the change in myself to believe it works! ;)

Outfit Details:
Floral Leggings: in hot pink here, similar here and here
Sneakers (similar)


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Glitter Nail Tutorial

After posting a poll to see if anyone would be interested in a tutorial for glitter nails on Instagram stories, about a dozen of you said you'd like to see one! (Be sure to follow us on Instagram for more polls.) This is our first ever video, and if you like it, we just may have to do more. Let us know in the comments what you think and be sure to give any suggestions of videos you'd like to see on Mod Circus!

Now, drumroll...find out how to get glitter nails that aren't wimpy with any glitter nail polish!

PS- I totally didn't mean to sing a little. I almost edited it out, but, hey, it's who I am (insert shrug emoji).


Get the nail polish I used here and see other fun glitter options below.


Monday, February 19, 2018

Stripes Overall

Overalls are something that I have worn ever since I was a little kid. Since they came back into popularity though, I've been hesitant to wear them. Mostly because there are so many styles out there and I wasn't sure which would look best for my frame. I slowly started to come around by experimenting with various jumpsuits, and figured out that I enjoy a wide leg, retro style best. 

I can't decide if this look is more 90's or 70's, but either way, I am digging it! I've also become a huge fan of adding a belt to just about anything to cinch in my waist. It's a small, simple trick to instantly make an outfit look pulled together and chic. 

This outfit will take me from winter right on into spring, and I can't wait to try it out with warm weather accessories and different tops! Are you a fan of overalls? If so, which style do you prefer? 

Overalls (similar, similar)
Stripe sweater tee (love this and this)


Friday, February 16, 2018

Five Friday Faves

Welcome to Five Friday Faves, where we shoutout things we're loving that don't exactly fit into the structure of our usual posts. From podcasts to skincare, TV shows to restaurants, and everything in between, see what we're loving lately and let us know what you're obsessed with at the moment in the comments too!


Schitt's Creek
If you have Netflix, you have to check this comedy out! It's about a wealthy family who loses everything and has no choice but to move to "Schitt's Creek," a rundown town they bought as a birthday joke years before. My husband and I started watching it after my parents recommended it and, though we don't always have the same taste in shows, we also thought this was a winner. It was created by Eugene Levy and his son Dan, and also stars Catherine O'Hara, so it has a very "Best of Show" or "Waiting for Guffman" vibe to it, though it isn't a mockumentary. Also, the character Moira Rose is basically my new fashion icon.

Dry Brushing
Have you heard of dry brushing? It's a homeopathic immune-supporting practice that I've been trying to work into my routine and have really been enjoying. It's just what it sounds like: you brush your body with a special body brush before showering. Working in motions towards your heart, you stimulate your lymphatic system, and essentially help your body to detox. Not to mention, you get a good exfoliation, and the practice has also be attributed to reducing cellulite. It naturally invigorates you as well, so it's a great way to start your morning routine. Want to try it out? Pick up your own dry brush here.

You've probably seen Facebook ads of Kate Hudson in adorable workout gear in your newsfeed wearing her line, Fabletics. The way you had to sign up for the program to see much of anything kind of turned me off, but after hearing how their leggings really are great, I decided to sign up and give it a try. I've only received three orders, but I've been impressed so far and I'm so excited to fill my wardrobe with fun new workout wear. I'd also be happy to answer any questions you have about it!

You are a Badass
This book by Jen Sincero is a great intro to self-improvement books, with a dash of humor and a side of sarcasm. Maybe it's because I'm staring down the barrel of turning 30, but I'm in the process of trying to get motivated about my life, and keeping her principles in mind have really started to turn my outlook around. I'm also excited to check out a lot of books she's referenced!

Who What Wear spring collection
Who What Wear's winter collection at Target had some great wintry pieces, from lots of velvet to sheer party dress looks, but I'm venturing to say I'm even more in love with the spring collection. Filled with florals, feminine details, and trending yet sophisticated cuts, it basically contains all my favorite style elements. I'm ready to get my hands on all of it (especially giving heart eyes to the shoes!).


Queer Eye
I have very fond memories of the first installment of Queer Eye, so I was a little skeptical that this new version wouldn't deliver. Let me tell you, it is The.Best.Show.Ever! We had an ice day last weekend and may or may not have binged the entire new season (we totally did). It's touching, genuine and hilarious, plus it tackles a lot of issues that are hot topics right now without being controversial or alienating. Bonus: we got a lot of great ideas for decorating our home and for recipes to try too! 

Jade Rolling
I saw a lot of bloggers that I follow using a jade roller and thought to myself, what's the big deal? I decided to read up on it and found a cheaper one on Amazon here, so figured I'd give it a try. Well, I am so glad that I did because I've been using it every day since! It has many benefits, but the thing that hooked me was that it's a great way to rid your body of toxins by promoting lymphatic drainage, increases blood circulation, and reduces puffiness. I could actually feel things starting to move around and drain in my sinuses, plus the cooling properties help with puffiness around my eyes. There are a ton of other benefits though and you can read about them here

Bitch Sesh: A Real Housewives Breakdown
This isn't necessarily a new fav of mine, but I talk about it to whoever will listen, whenever I can. If you're a fan of The Real Housewives franchises or anything Bravo, you NEED to listen to this podcast! It is hosted by Casey Wilson and Danielle Schneider, with tons of celebrity guests. I literally laugh out loud throughout every episode. It's also a great way to not feel SO terrible about watching trash TV.


This isn't a new concept by any means, and you've probably heard about it by now, but Hygge (pronounced HOO-ga) is Danish for being "cozy" more or less. It's the art of creating moments throughout your day where you slow down and revel in small pleasures. Give yourself a treat. Be kind to yourself and others. Take a break from your routine. Live in the moment and take pleasure in the little things. Winter is the perfect time to get into the groove of hygge, so I am embracing it wholeheartedly right now!

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
I was just at an event and someone mentioned that May 19th was the date of their wedding. I thought to myself, hmm I think I have something planned that day, then realized I totally do because it's the ROYAL WEDDING! I am loving Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's love story. I am here for every single moment of it. Her style is flawless and I can't wait to soak in every detail of their wedding in just a few short months! In the meantime, I will be over here pinning all of her outfits and stalking their every move. 


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vintage Love Tour 2018

If you followed us last year, you might remember that I did a post about a fun day I had with my mom visiting all of the vintage shops in Springfield. Well, my mom and I had so much fun last year, we invited my aunt to join us and we embarked on this year's Vintage Love Tour! We didn't get to all of the places on the list last year, so we made a huge effort to complete the whole tour this time around. We got pretty close too! 

We started the tour at Springfield Vintage. I absolutely love this store! It's full of fun, funky, retro and kitschy items that are perfect for your home, wardrobe or gifts! I scored a set of vintage palm print curtains and a sparkly gold caftan. 

Next, we stopped at Urban Sassafras, which is quickly becoming my go-to spot for unique gifts for family and friends (and myself). They never disappoint! I even picked up my husband's Valentine's gift while I was there. 

After that, we stopped for lunch at Long Nine Junction. I've been dying to try this spot and am so glad I was finally able to. The food was some of the best I have had in a while and I will certainly be taking my husband back for more. We got there just in time too, there was soon a line out the door of hungry shoppers looking for lunch. Can you blame them? Check out our scrumptious looking lunches below! 

Having fueled up, we headed to Shimmy Shack Vintage Style. I was very excited to visit this shop as I had not been yet, but I follow them on Instagram and am always intrigued by the styles they post! I will definitely be going back here to score one-of-a-kind vintage pieces. 

Next on our list was Shabby Shack. This shop is full of refurbished vintage furniture and unique items for your home, as well as gifts! I got major home inspo in here and can't wait to go back for more!

We popped in Recycled Cottage on our way to Flea Market 2 Fabulous. Both of these places had great furniture and knick knacks. Again, I was getting major inspiration for decorating my house, so I will definitely be visiting again! 

We finished up our day of vintage shopping with a visit to Bunn Gourmet! You already know how much we love this place, so I will just leave you with a drool-worthy picture of our treats. :) 

All in all, a perfect way to spend a Saturday with my Galentines! What are your favorite vintage shops in Central Illinois? 

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