skincare

All posts in the skincare category

Published February 26, 2016 by lesleyhope

As you get older, you start to notice things that you never did before. Especially your body, skin, hair, weight, emotions, patience, etc. You get it. A lot of people say getting older sucks. I am going to take this time right now to dispute that. I’ve got a couple of reasons.

I’m going to be general about this, but the person I was inside and out about a year ago is totally different than the person I am right now. I have taken time to get to know myself physically and emotionally during the past year. I have changed my routines, incorporated different products, taken away products that don’t work and basically cut the fat from my life in all aspects.

Two pieces of fat: people that don’t do me a damn and my Clarisonic. Yes those are at opposite ends of the spectrum but I’ve noticed the most positive changes from subtracting both of them from my life.

I used to use my Clarisonic everyday (sometimes twice a day) and thought that getting all the dirt and oil and really exfoliating was good for my skin. It wasn’t. It isn’t. I got a facial about 6 months ago and the estitician was appalled that I exfoliated so much. My skin was irritated, dry, got random breakouts, uneven, red. It was just bad.

Afterwards I took her words to heart and stopped using it altogether. I bought a gentle cleansing cream, starting using Boscia Break Up Oil to remove my makeup gently, started using my hands to wash my face, incorporated Boscia Beauty Oil with my moisturizer and Peter Thomas Roth Rose Stem Cell Hydrating masks a few times a week . That’s a lot. I know. But my skin has never felt more smooth and has never looked more healthy than now. I mean, I’m talking like a DRAMATIC difference. I have a side by side picture of myself from last year and one I took last night. It’s astounding.

My skin changing along with a few life decisions (living alone, getting a cat, new job, finding myself) has made me more me.

Shoutout to the following:

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I am sorry this is rusty. It’s been too long.

xox,

Lesley

My Skin Care Routine

Published December 30, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hi friends!

As I was in the middle of my skin care routine tonight, I thought I would shed some light on what I do, what I use, what I love, what I’ve found useful, etc. I am the first to say that I did not take care of my skin as I should have when I was younger. I tanned, I didn’t put on sun screen, I got burned- what in the world was I thinking?! Well, 5-10 years later I am now kicking myself in the butt for it. I think now at 26 years old, I have caught myself early enough that I can at least SLOW the wrinkles and damage. I can’t emphasize enough to younger girls: DO NOT TAN!!!, take your makeup off at night!, put moisturizer on!, start using anti-wrinkle cream earlier than you think, and get a clarisonic.

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Anyway, let’s get into my routine because it’s pretty lengthy (but all so worth it). I’ll break down each step with what I do, what I use and what I think of my current products.

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Step 1: remove make-up. This is crucial to pre-cleansing the face. There is so much dirt, oil, make-up, sweat that builds up on your face throughout the day. I used to make the mistake of using my Clarisonic  TO take off my make-up and it was not efficient. I use a dollop of Dermablend Long Wear Makeup Remover on a cotton pad and rub it all over my face. It almost melts onto your skin and takes all the makeup (or most of it) with it on the cotton pad. Your skin will NOT feel clean afterwards, it almost feels slimy but it definitely doesn’t have as much crud on it. I really like this product- this is my second bottle of it. I tried Sephora’s Waterproof Makeup Remover Gel and that was a bust. It didn’t work nearly as good as this stuff. It’s $22 at Ulta. You can also use Makeup Remover Wipes- Target has a brand called up & up which are $4 there BUT there are only 30 of them in there. I sometimes take my makeup off twice a day or have to go through them more than that and this bottle lasts me about 6 months so it’s more feasible to buy this.

 

20141229_210930Dermalogica Clearing Skin Wash

 

Step 2: clean yo face! I’ve gone through a lot of cleansers and I like this one the most. I put a pump on my Clarisonic and turn that baby on. I like the cleanser because it fights acne and oiliness without drying out my skin. I live in the tundra of Chicago so I know all about that dry face. This feels awesome on my skin and isn’t too harsh. If you have very sensitive skin, you might want something that is a little more gentle on your skin but I like this for combination skin. If you want to know my thoughts on Clarisonic- check out this post of mine. P.S. Dermalogica is $36 for 8.4 oz and it has lasted me… for-ev-er. WORTH IT!

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Mary Kay Purifying Freshener

Step 3: Tone! I’ve had this toner forever too. I use it just to get around the edges of my face and clean up any makeup or oil that I couldn’t reach with the Clarisonic like on my hairline and on my neck/ears. It’s pretty simple, it freshens the skin just as it says. I bet you can find other toners out there that are drugstore brand that do just as good of work but until I run out, I’m using this bad boy. It’s $13 the only problem is I don’t have a Mary Kay rep anymore- anyone know one in Chicago that won’t try and get me to sell makeup???

20141229_211051Step 4: remove eye makeup. Ok, this step used to be my arch nemesis. I NEVER could find a good enough eye-makeup remover that didn’t make me squirt like 5 times on the cotton ball to get off all of my makeup. Guess what, Clarins Instant Eye Make-up Remover does the JOB! It is pricey, yes. I have tried all eye-makeup removers under the sun. From Johnson and Johnson Baby Oil (cheap but makes my eyes too oily and the oil sits there) to Mary Kay (one of the better ones) to Target brand (really poor), I couldn’t find one! I went into Sephora a couple of weeks ago and asked for the best remover and this pointed me to this bad boy. It’s $28 but you need a small amount on a cotton ball then you put the cotton ball to your eye and hold it there for about 10-15 seconds, when you lift it, ABOUT all of your makeup will be gone. It absorbs all of the makeup into it, it’s great! It takes a little longer but there’s no rubbing involved and no product wasted in the process.

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Step 5: MOISTURIZE!! I have been using Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair every night and I swear to goodness it’s been working. The lines around my eyes have gotten filled in a little and my skin is all around smoother. This is $21.99 at Ulta. You could probably use any moisturizer or night cream but again, just telling you what I use. I also rub about a half a pump on my neck as well as my face.

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Step 6: Take care of the finer things! Eyes and lips! So important to your skin care routine. I use a TINY bit of Lucas Papaw Ointment and rub it on my lips. Check out the link right there. I bought this at The Makeup Show Chicago for $10 but I believe you can purchase at Beautylish or Amazon. It’s this incredible, all natural remedy that has all these uses. I have used it on sun burns, my hair, rashes, I sometimes use it under my eyes for added moisture. Really neat stuff. Then last, my beloved Shiseido Benefiance Wrinkle Resist 24. I purchased this from Sephora ONLY because I had a $20 coupon so, it made the $55 cream that much better. I know some of you are sitting there shaking your heads but skin care is SOOOO worth it!!! Also, you need such a small amount of this cream that it will probably take me 2 years to get through it. So, in reality that’s like 55 dollars divided into 730 days… 7 cents per use. Or, even if you wanted to use it in a year that’s 14 cents per use. In my mind, so worth it to keep your skin looking beautiful.

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And there I am with my skin all clean yay! Hey Grandpa! Also, big shout to my mom for always stressing the importance of skin care! I hope I learned early enough and look like her skin when I am her age!

xo, Lesley Hope

Holiday Night Out Transformation

Published December 24, 2014 by lesleyhope

Merry Christmas Eve! 

I went out last night and decided to take pictures throughout my routine. I came across a few products that I really think are essentials (at least they are for me).

I recently purchased BECCA Shimmering Skin Perfecter at Sephora- I believe this was a mini tube or something because I can’t find it on BECCA’s site or Sephora. It would make sense because it was around $19-22.

I used it as a primer last night to get that glow-y look. You can see that it DEFINITELY makes your skin shimmery. PS- Do you guys also like my teal robe? It’s super comfy and warm (Target).

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Products used: Lush Skin Drink Moisturizer (PS I am almost out! Need suggestions for another good one otherwise I’m repurchasing!) and BECCA Shimmery Skin Perfecter Cream.

Don’t fret… I did not go out looking like this. I next put L’oreal True Match Lumi Foundation in W3 (Nude Beige). I purchased this at Ulta on Black Friday and had to get a little crafty with testing the foundation on my skin without anyone seeing. Why don’t they have testers for drugstore foundation!?! Anyway, I decided on this one- it was between the N3 and C3. This color is a little darker than my skin but it’s not a heavy formula and you can really build it up so I thought I’d go for it.

20141223_185707Products used: everything I used in my last pic + L’Oreal TruMatch Lumi Foundation W3

Ok now this is where I get to TWO of my go-to products. I used MAC Pro Longwear Concealer in NW15 under my eyes and set it with Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. Let’s just talk about these two products for a quick second- I have tried DOZENS of concealers for under my eyes and it’s a different beast. You need something that is thick/matte enough to actually set and lighten, but something creamy enough you can blend out without dragging your skin and rubbing. MAC Pro Longwear is hands down the best I’ve used. I do believe that getting color matched plays a huge role so I would not suggest anyone purchase this on the fly. Go to the MAC counter and talk it over with the artists about what you’re looking for, what you’re looking to accomplish and have them match you based upon that.

Moving on to Laura Mercier… this powder. I have also tried many translucent setting powders and finishes and they all come off chalky and white looking. You don’t want that ghostly monochrome look on your face (at least I don’t). This powder has little crystals that seem to reflect light and set what you already have on. I love it! See from the pic below how it evens out my skin tone under my eye and mattes where I set on my forehead, nose and chin.

 

20141223_190016Products used: Everything in the pics before + MAC Pro Longwear Concealer & Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder.

Well now this is where I ran out of some time and had to put on the rest of my makeup without taking pictures in between. So I basically go from 0-100 but it took like an hour and I’ll try to list all of the products/colors I used. ** Note: MUG Eyeshadows were used (HOLY GRAIL).

Viola! Me! Done!

20141223_194849Products used on eyes: Ardell’s Curvy Lashes, MAC Paintpot in Soft Ochre, Anastasia Perfect Brow Pencil in Dark Brown (might not be my right color but I got it as a gift and left my Brow Wiz in Caramel in Chicago so it’s been working for me), MUG shadows in Frappe, Creme Brulee, Bitten and Corrupt (GRAILS), mascara is Urban Decay Fatty Mascara (I never use brand name mascara but Ulta had a great Black Friday deal on this baby). Face: MAC Sculpting Powder in Taupe (only available at Pro stores FYI), an unknown blush from one of my z-palettes (the only bad thing about z-palettes). Lips: MAC Blankety and MAC Chili mixed together (mixing colors is really my thing).

I hope you guys enjoyed! Leave any questions at the bottom and have a fabulous day! Let it snow!!

Xo, Lesley Hope

 

 

 

 

 

Contour and Highlight that Ish!

Published July 16, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hey guys! Wanted to walk you through the steps that I outline in my video. (I messed up on my blush step so these won’t be step for step as they are in the video…but they’re close enough and you get the point).

Okay so I didn’t know what contour and highlight meant until probably a couple of years ago. It’s amazing how much awesome stuff you can learn on the web. I learned a TON from Marlena at MakeupGeek. She is honestly the best and I have yet to buy her products but that’s next on my list! If you’re not down with highlighting and contouring and the whole shabang that is totally ok, but you can get some tips with one thing or another from the process I PROMISE!

Step 1: Pick a contour color that you are comfortable as a bronzer color- this is pretty important in terms of shades. You want something that is about 2-3 shades deeper than your foundation made skin AND a tint (warm, neutral or cool) that goes with your eye/hair/skin tone. For example, I generally don’t ever put anything on to contour that is too taupey or too golden as I’m pretty neutral toned. OK, anyways. After you’ve done that- apply the contour to the following places with a smaller, dense bronzer blush: under the cheekbones, on the jawline, on the temples, along the outer edge of your forehead and **optional** on the sides of your nose. (If you’re opting to use cream which intensifies the contour, then you can use your fingers for each one of these places).
Step 2: Use a cream concealer as a highlighter to lighten the following places: under your eyes, bridge of your nose spanning to your mid forehead, cupid’s bow (just above your top lip), and chin. I prefer to use a concealer that comes with a wand as the product is usually creamier and easier to blend out.
Step 3: Use a dense, dome brush to pad the concealer into your skin. Do not rub it!!! Some people like to use a stippling brush or a small fluffy brush which you can do so as well but it creates a weird pattern for me, so I like to just use my Stila foundation brush for this.
Step 4: Finish the highlight with a lighter matte powder. Like I mentioned previously, I like to match a color to my skin tone in terms of warmth/coolness. I usually chose a color that is 2 shades lighter than my skin tone with similar undertones. Use a small fluffy blush to blend over the concealer and blend out the powder into your contour. Use this same brush to blend out the powder over the rest of your concealer to soften.
Step 5: Use a bigger, round brush to soften the contour by buffing where you have the contour OR pick up a little more powder bronzer and intensify the lines. I would suggest a kabuki brush as it’s large and since you already have product down, you don’t need any perfect lines. Use this brush to go over the contour and again, soften any harsh lines/edges.
Step 6: BLUSH! This is the step I forgot in my video. I like to use an angled blush brush to pick up whatever color I’m feeling that day (and really… I mean whatever color- lavender, coral, dusty pink, berry pink, purple, burgundy). I apply the blush to right on the top of my cheekbones which should be above your bronzer slightly but you can blend into it and a small amount on the apples of my cheeks. Like I said in my video, do not apply much product inside the invisible line that ends at the outer corners of your eye.
Step 7: Powder highlight! I use a flat foundation brush or a small contour brush for this just to apply a small amount of shimmer right above the blush. If you need to, you can use a fluffy brush to blend them into each other a tad. I really wouldn’t recommend applying shimmer to your forehead or nose as the highlight draws attention and can make you look shiny. So just on the tops of your cheeks to appear fresh.
Step 8: Use the biggest brush you can find and a finishing powder to set. Just a little. You can also use the brush to buff any lines you aren’t feeling.

THAT’S IT! Any questions let me know- my video has more steps because I consolidated on here but that is the jist. Ya’ll got questions? Holla!

Happy contouring and highlighting!
Xo, Lesley

Color Crazy And My Hatred For Yellow

Published March 1, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hi guys! I started this post on Tuesday. And now it’s Friday. Sooo… yeah! I have been a sucky blogger this week. My apologies. I’ve got some great ideas for next week AND I’m taking my beautiful Canon back to Chicago (I’m in Michigan tonight) so I can start taking some good pictures and some videos.

Before I start I want everyone to think about one thing: your favorite color to wear on your eyes (as in eye liner)  and WHY. If anyone picks yellow, please leave a comment I’m dying to have any witnesses back up this ruthless, unforgiving, primary color that I despise so much.

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Tonight we’re talking about some colors. Eyeliner colors. YUM!!! Everyone has their favorite (black being the most common) and everyone has their least favorite (yellow anyone?). I’m going to preach my practice again in this post- not all colors work well alone BUT all colors can absolutely be worn and mixed together to create fabulous finishes (I still have yet to find a fit for yellow).

I swatched my Sephora 12 Hour Wear Waterproof Eye Pencils for you here:

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*Two things I learned about this picture- I need to greatly improve my swatching abilities and colors appear very differently with a flash in photos.*

Colors from left to right:

01- black lace (matte)- Blackest black. Comparable to UD’s Perversion.

35- romantic comedy (glitter)- Fun, bright pink. Great for a pop on a night out over a black liner.

31- purple stilettos (matte)- True violet. Looks crazier than it is. LOVE this color. I did a look below.

33- love affair (shimmer)- Dark plum with some pizzaz.

19- go for a ride (shimmer)- Forest green.

25- galaxy girl (glitter)- Deep bluish blackish teal.

04- starry sky (glitter)-  Darker silvery grey.
03- 5th Avenue (matte)- True matte grey. *one of my favorites*
13- tiramisu (matte)- Dark, chocolate brown.
14- taupe- just that, taupe.
11- Cookie Crunch (shimmer)- Goldish, amber brown.
06- Blonde Ambition (shimmer)- Very light golden beige
02 Flashy Silver- Very light and sheer silvery white.
I like these a lot, especially for their price point of $10. I was going to compare them to Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils ($20) but I have to put my snobby pants on and say the two brands are at two different levels. UD’s are just a step above Sephora’s even though I LOVE both. Sephora’s are super creamy which I generally like in an eyeliner but when it comes to some of the lighter colors, I have to use A LOT to get any sort of color base going on. UD’s  last a little longer and come in more matte finishes which I prefer when it comes to eyeliner but for half the price, I’ll get my fun colors from Sephora.

Now, another trick to eye liners that I like to live by- lining your waterline in a white or beige to make your eyes pop. The ONLY white and beige matte finishes I have found are OCC’s new eye liners and Rimmel London’s (*DRUGSTORE ALERT) waterproof eye pencils. Putting a light color in your waterline, and especially for people like myself that have smaller eyes, makes them pop and brightens them up.

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That’s OCC’s Feathered in my waterline and Sephora’s Purple Stilettos below. Not too crazy huh?

In conclusion, I hope everyone has seen a little piece of my heaven that I look at everyday (those colors!) And I also hope that everyone has contemplated why yellow exists. Ok I’m getting out of hand, I just seriously don’t understand the color yellow. Is it because I never really liked Big Bird or that my beloved Spartan’s rival is Michigan? I don’t know, but I don’t care at this point. I am a color pheen but I believe everyone has the right to dislike one color out of all the colors.

Teaser to my next post…. (and now you know what I do on a Friday night)

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Super good pic, I know. My face has been bearing this bitter cold and it’s starting to wear on my skin. I’ve been experimenting with a few different face products including moisturizer, cleanser, masks, spot treatment, primer, foundation & even concealer. I’m trying to get the perfect combo but haven’t found it yet… TBD.

I’ll leave you with two beautiful nail colors by OPI and ESSIE

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Tickle my Francey on the left. Such a beautiful, classy mauve. One of my favorites I would say.

Mint Candy Apple on the right. It has more blue in person but it’s a light, fun springy teal.

Goodnight pretty people. XO Lesley Hope

No Makeup Monday

Published February 18, 2014 by lesleyhope

Hello beauties! BIG POST TONIGHT! Finally right? I fell quite hard tonight on my tush running to the bus. How embarrassing! Not that that has anything at all to do with this post but I thought I would share because I needed to get it off my chest. Okay. There’s my post secret for the night.

I was thinking on something I could do this entire week and share it with you guys… I decided on a no-makeup week. Now, let’s just clarify what this means. It’s the no makeup, makeup look. It’s popular right now with all the metallic and “naked” colors out there (maybe we should be thanking Urban Decay for started the Naked trend). I’ve always been one to love the nude tones. A nude lip, a nude-ish eye, muted barely there blush. Then I thought… I’ve never worn all together. I’ve always gone with one and not the others. So I took the challenge upon myself to go this entire week wearing makeup- but nude makeup for a no-makeup look.

It’s harder than you would think! Especially for me, someone who loves her radiant orchid! You do still have to use products, but just be more aware of the finishes, the shades and the tones to ensure they all are very natural. I also mixed it up with a couple drugstore products that you can pick up at Walgreens.

I used the following today:

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L’oreal Magic Nude Liquid Powder for my primer. I have the shade 318 Natural Buff. I use it as a foundation on days where I’m just looking for the bare minimum coverage (like on a Sunday when I have to leave just to go to the grocery store and I want to even out my skintone without getting dolled up). This stuff is great. It really is a liquid that is SO smooth and light when you rub it on it feels like a powder. Non greasy and very quick drying. $10

Lush Colour Supplement for my foundation in Light Yellow. A new product for me. I read a little about Lush’s skin care products and so I popped into Macy’s to see for myself. All natural ingredients (smells great as well). It looks a little scary when you first put it on your skin but it is so blendable which is always a plus when I’m looking for a foundation. The great thing about this is, you can use it as a concealer, foundation, and pair it with moisturizer for a tint. This is $16.95 and comes in 4 different colors. When the specialist helped me, she told me I could use either Light Yellow or Light Pink with my skin. I chose this one as it would probably be easier to transition into summer with. FYI… 12 + hours later and even after I have worked out, this is the best foundation I’ve used by far. It doesn’t run, it doesn’t make my skin feel gross or greasy now. I’m supremely impressed.

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Benefit Bronzer/Blush Dallas on my cheekbones. This is fairly new. I had been looking at all my bronzers thinking about how much I needed a tan- none of them transitioned with my fair skin into the winter abyss! I haven’t been a big user of Benefit but wanted to try it out, and this color was perfect for a winter look. It’s a natural dusty, plum color which I love because it serves as a great bronzer for winter OR a little pop of color once you have a tan going in the summer. It isn’t matte but it’s not quite “shimmery” either.  It’s also one of Benefit’s most popular selling product and I know why! $28 so… definitely another splurge.

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Hourglass Ambient Lighting Powder in Diffused Light. This is a pricey item but I love this product. There’s 6 shades, this is the lightest one. I use it on my t zone to give my skin a beautiful finish and highlight a little bit. This powder gives skin another dimension. I was going to call it a finishing powder but it’s so much more. It perfects the way light bounces on the skin almost- really amazing, love it. Splurge but worth it! ($45 at Sephora).

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Darkside. This is the Naked 3 version (each Naked palette has a version of the double ended pencil). The other color on this pencil is Blackheart which I have also swatched for reference. If you don’t already know, I am OBSESSED with Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Eye Pencils. They’re my FAVORITE. They are so pigmented, so creamy, long lasting and come in a rainbow array of colors. This one is $16 but normally they are $19. Darkside is the color on the top. I used this lightly under my bottom eyelash for just enough definition. Darkside is a deep mauve, taupe. Blackheart is a dark burgundy brown with specs of red in it. Both are beautiful, I think Blackheart is a little more unique but it was a little bold for my look.

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Maybelline Great Lash Mascera on my eyes in Blackest Black. I have never spent the big bucks on mascera. Why? Because I can buy this little hott pink baby for $6 and I have ever since highschool. Goes on thick, love the deep pigmented black, doesn’t clump.

L’OREAL Colour Rich Lipstick in 760 Silverstone. I’ve been trying to think how I want to describe this color. It’s a silvery tan with gold tones. Can something be silver AND gold? It has a little shade of each in it, which is why it can look good on anyone. It also goes on very sheer so you do need a few coats to create more color. It’s buff enough to make the cut for “no makeup Monday”. Oh and it’s $8.

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Dun dun dun…. the final look is……….

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This! Day 1 of my challenge. I’ll try something new each day and let you guys know about it 🙂 Oh and I completely forgot I used two colors in the Naked 3 palette on my eyes. But as I’m almost done with this post… I will swatch that entire palette later this week because it’s SO PRETTY!

I survived the first day of no makeup week. And I liked it! And I don’t think I looked like a zombie that woke up on the wrong side of the bed 🙂 To conclude for tonight… I’ll leave you guys with one nail swatch:

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Coney Island Cotten Candy by none other than OPI. It’s a light peachy light pink. Reminds me a little of Bubble Bath but slightly more warm tones. Pretty huh?

Okay I hope you all enjoyed tonight. I’ll let you know how my butt feels tomorrow (I think I have a bruise).

If you guys have suggestions on what I should blog about let me know! I won’t be blogging much this week because I am booked solid… with dates! Imagine that! I am getting back into the game and this week starts it all. But I never kiss and tell.

Kisses,

Lesley Hope