15 February 2017

Cheap Thrills: Beauty Under $10

Essie Nail Polish, Affordable beauty, Beauty Products Under $10

Life is expensive, but your beauty favorites don't have to be.  Since I'm cheap thrifty, I've gotten pretty good at finding inexpensive products that also perform well.  There are some products I'll go a bit more high end on, but a lot of my favorite are less than $10.  Here are some of my most used affordable products!

Smith's Rosebud Salve ($6).  Rosebud Salve and I are going on 10 years as my go to treatment for chapped lips, dry spots, and sporadic eczema.  It helps to moisturize, soften, and protect the skin.  It's very lightly scented.  I also like a thin coat underneath matte lipsticks or pencils.  

Revlon Colorstay Creme Eye Shadow in Caramel ($8).  A warm gold creme shadow that imparts a sheen across the eyelids.  This has been my go to for days when I want to do something quick and simple on the eyes.  The staying power is okay; I'd say the Maybelline Color Tattoos last longer, but this shadow is creamier.

Life-flo Pure Rosehip Seed Oil ($8).  Oils are a skincare staple for me.  When I'm not using my DIY facial oil mix, I'm using straight rosehip seed oil on my skin.  I put a few drops on my fingers and spread this over toned skin.  Top with moisturizer and sunscreen.  Voila, glowing skin all day. 

Essie Nail Polish ($9).  Once upon a time, I used to buy nail polish from Chanel.  Then I was like, "LOL, girl, that's too expensive.  Check yoself."  Nowadays, all my nail polish comes from the drugstore.  My favorite brand is Essie; they have a lot of colors and a decent formula.  My current favorites are Sugar Daddy (pale, nude pink), Angora Cardi (mauve), and Pret-A-Porter (that periwinkle blue)!  

What are your cheap thrills?  Anything you'd recommend for a tenner?

12 February 2017

Sunday #35: Almost Halfway

Lumière & Lens Sunday Post

Valentine's Day is coming up this Tuesday which marks the halfway point of February!  For some reason, those three less days at the end of this month make it seem much shorter.  I've never been one for the holiday.  The most Valentine's Day thing I did (and will do) was seeing 50 Shades Darker this evening with the girls.  It was pretty awful, but we went to see it for laughs so no regrets.


Speaking of entertainment, I finished Westworld this past month.  If you haven't seen it, I highly recommend it.  Every part of this show is pure masterful artistry.  Aside from its entertainment value, Westworld is introspective and incredibly layered.  I like it even more than Game of Thrones and I'm a person who doesn't really watch TV.  I'd also recommend the Westworld score by composer Ramin Djawad; I've been listening to it nonstop and it's extremely soothing to the ears. 


Things have been a little quieter on the blog front lately, largely due to my lifestyle.  I am pretty much within the same 10 block radius all the time which isn't exciting to write about (or for you to read).  I have post ideas jotted down, but also suffer from some writer's block.  Ah!  In other blog news, I installed Disqus and then removed it.  I have issues from syncing to no comment link showing up on new posts.  Awful. 


In line with my resolutions, I've managed to make it to the gym 4 times this week.  I squatted 135 lbs, which is a personal record for me!  I can't extol the virtues of resistance training enough: I'm stronger, bigger, and more muscular.  I love working on getting stronger and seeing what my body can do.  Definitely starting this Monday off with a workout!


•  Improve your communication by removing these words from your vocabulary.
•  Scarphelia's Final Act exposes the darker under belly of blogging.

07 February 2017

5 Personal Lessons From Blogging

Because it is what it is, you know?

While Lumière & Lens is just a few months over a year old, I'm a veteran blogger from the blogging days of yore.  You know, the days when we took outfit photos in our bedrooms, photographed products on flowered bedsheets, and created our internet spaces before blogging as a career was an option.  In other words, I'm old I've been around a bit and there's a few lessons I've learned along the way that I'd like to share!

1.  Growing a thicker skin is essential.

I am very accepting of constructive criticism, but not hating for the sake of hating.  Fact: I will not be everyone's cup of tea.  While I get mostly positive feedback about blogging, I've also been on the receiving end of derision, disinterest, or outright judgment.  I've held back in the past, but now I do my own thing because I can't let the fear of judgement hold me back from pursuing what I love.  In the immortal words of Kevin Gnapoor, "Don't let the haters stop you from doing your thang."  If you've dealt with the same, here's an interesting article my friend sent me on dealing with negativity.

2.  Be authentic and write from a real place.

In my opinion, writing shines most when it's written from the heart.  When I took the leap and wrote vulnerably (1, 2, 3), you responded with your own stories.  I try to write the blog I want to read and that's usually real stories from people.  I think vulnerability and authenticity are often equated with weakness, but it takes courage to let ourselves be seen at our most human of moments.   

3.  Rules don't need to be followed.

Blogging can now be a lucrative career and there are a lot of blog trends/cliches that trickle down from the top.  I've seen myriad posts with rules on how to run a blog, keeping your blog from being "all over the place," curating the perfect Instagram, etc., that I now largely ignore.  My life isn't about one thing so I won't write within a single genre.  I think hyper-curation removes realness and spontaneity.  I'm a multifaceted human being and I want Lumière & Lens to reflect that.  I've been followed/unfollowed a lot (see #1), but I deeply appreciate the ones who stick around. 

4.  There is room for everyone.

Unlike the entertainment industry, blogging has representation from all walks of life (though that's not necessarily reflected at the top tier).  I enjoy having a platform that lets me interact with people of different ethnicities from far flung areas of the globe.  In a time where Asian stories are just starting to come into mainstream entertainment, I'm thrilled to find a platform with so many people who look like me as well as people who do not. 

5.  Inspiration is everywhere. 

A diverse blogosphere means viewpoints from all points of life.  I'm always learning something new from my fellow bloggers whether it's their culture, photography techniques, or talking points on intersectional feminism.  I very often come across a post and think, "Well, why haven't I thought of that before?"  Sometimes, all it takes is seeing life through fresh eyes to inspire you to push yourself to grow!

What are some lessons you've taken away from blogging?