In Quest of the Perfect Brow: My Microblading Experience




I’ve always had full, dark brows until recently, where I’ve been experiencing the Case of the Missing Brow. What in the world happened?  It would seem eyebrows aren’t immune to the aging process. I’ve gotten tired of penciling them in as part of my morning make-up routine so it seemed like a good time to look into microblading.

Microblading is a rather involved process which creates the look of a full brow by tattooing brow “hairs” to augment what you have naturally. If you’ve been curious about the process please join me as I share my recent experience with the amazing Emily Peare of Bombshell Beauty as she creates my new and improved eyebrows.


Above: my thinning brows, sans makeup, a few minutes before their much-anticipated transformation.

I had my microblading experience this past Tuesday. The entire process, encompassing one or more phases, can take several weeks. In the first phase most of the brow is bladed in. Healing takes six to eight weeks, after which additional sessions may be needed to fill in thin or asymmetric areas. The total process took a little over three hours. Emily spent most of that time meticulously measuring, marking, remeasuring and re-marking. Using a combination of plastic templates, calipers and dental floss (yes, really) she drew in the proposed new brow to guide her work.






Marked, measured and ready to go!

Once she comleted her measuring and marking, Emily coated the area with Lidocaine to start a numbing process which takes about 20 minutes.  While waiting, she dotted my forehead with various inks to find the best color combination.  Just as your hair is a combination of colors, the best, most natural eyebrow results will take more than one hue. Mine took two.  I’d love to tell you what they are, but I’ve completely forgotten.  They were both named for coffee drinks.  Yours will be different, matched to your hair colors and skin tones.

And the magic begins.  With ink on blade, Emily begins making small, hair-like cuts in the eyebrow field, starting from the outer edge and working toward the center.  One thing I didn’t anticipate is the effect of these little cuts as they get closer to the nose.  I needed to sneeze a lot, and my nose was alternately running and congested.  The nerves are so interconnected it’s an almost universal reaction.  Have Kleenex at the ready!

. . .and the finished product. Well, the finished Phase I product. In six to eight weeks I’ll be back for any necessary fill-in work.

So you’ve decided to try microblading. What can you expect? Honestly, even with the numbing it’s toloerable but still uncomfortable. As I mentioned, there’s the issue of the nose. I had to stop Emily several times to sneeze or blow my nose, which she assured me happens with everyone, so be prepared for that. Later that evening the remnants of the Lidocaine wore off and my brows stung, much like a skinned knee or other skin abraision.  That stinging lasted that night and the next day.  As I write this 72 hours later, I can feel the brows are there, but they don’t hurt. They feel a little heavy, probably due to the scabbing.

I was concerned they would look disgusting as they healed, but to be honest I just see the dark brow. And that dark color will fade a bit over time and look more natural. There is red around the edges, which you get some sense of in the photo above. That red was a little darker the next day, the way scabs darken. I didn’t want to wait several weeks for complete healing to show that more finished product.  Keep visiting over the next several weeks and you’ll see how they’re progressing. Once this round has healed I’ll go back to Emily for any needed touch ups.

Meanwhile, post-procedure care is crucial. This is a tattoo, and your skin has multiple tiny cuts which can become infected without proper care. Your brows are not supposed to get wet for a few days. You need to avoid having them sweat or having sweat run down your forehead and into your brows. At issue is the potential to “sweat out” some of the ink.  The day after my microblading our local tempurature was 121F. Is that crazy? And I had to avoid sweating! I also needed to avoid any blowing dust and dirt. Needless to say, I’ve avoided the outdoors as much as possible. To ensure the best brow results possible I’ve also curtailed my workouts short-term.

More to expect: you’ll have some scabbing. After all, the brows were created with little cuts. If you’re a picker, you have to resist the temptation to scratch and pick, especially during the inevitable itching-while-healing phase.

All this but I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I already love the fuller shape and darker color. I’ve received a lot of comments and compliments. Of course my hubby freaked out: “You got a tattoo???” but he’ll be okay as they heal and look more natural. It will be interesting to see how long they last. I’m told anywhere from six months to three years or more. So much of the shelf-life depends on the care immediately after the procedure. Miscare can cause the ink to fade prematurely, leading to less than optimal results. For my part, I’m following the instructions as closely as possible to extend the life of these wonderful, new brows!

Have questions? Please feel free to ask me here. I’ll answer as many as I can and find out answers for those I can’t. If you’re considering microblading, I hope I’ve helped cue you in as to what to expect.

Thanks for reading!




White Hot





Lace jacket • Dillard’s, others herehere, here and below | Jeans • Ann Taylor, others here and here | Hat • here and here | Shoes (old) • Options here and here

How pretty is this lace jacket?  I love the details!  I toyed with different ways to style it and decided an all-white look showed it to best advantage.  It’s like a monochromatic home design in reverse:  rather than add interest to the room by adding texture, I’m featuring the texture by giving it a single-color backdrop.

I’ve been trying to take moe photos without sunglasses, because they seem more personal that way.  My challenge is a real sensitivity to light.  I’ve talked about this before.  It’s been an issue for as long as I can remember.  I even wear sunglasses on cloudy days, although they aren’t as dark.  Avoiding squinting is a near impossibility, even standing in shade with my back to any potential sunlight.  I’ve been trying to find ways to compensate but, as you can see, if been only partially successful.  I haven’t given up though!  I’ll keep trying and hopefully figure out a method that works for me.  If you have any suggestions, please send them my way.  I’m open to just about anything!

Thanks so much for visiting!

Summer Black and White







Top • Nordstrom | Pants • Peter Nygard Slims | Hat • options here, here, here, here, and here| Bag • Rebecca Minkoff, options here and here | Shoes • VANELi | Sunglasses • Similar here, here, here and here

Do you ever go through fashion phases?  Evidently I do.  It appears I’ve really gravitated toward black and white as we head into summer.  I bought some things I liked, put them together for the blog and voila! Two-toned looks abound.  Odd, since I’m such a fan of color, but the basics are classic, and the black and white combination is as classic as it gets.  As a little girl watching classic television shows and movies I had a hard time picturing that era in color.  It seemed as though they lived in a two-toned world.  Isn’t that funny?  Am I the only one who thought that way?

I featured these pants recently here, and I must say the love affair continues.  They lift and shape in all the right places.  With so many color and style options they can easily become not just a wardrobe staple, but it’s cornerstone.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous to grab any pair of pants in your closet and know you’ll look great in them?  I know we all try to curate to that goal, but honestly, there are some days I’ll put something on and go, “Ugh.”  Not so with these pants!

I have an exciting week coming up.  Three of our four girls and three of our five grandchildren are coming to town for the week.  It’s nearly impossible to get all four together at once so I’m over the moon to have three.  I’m thinking a group pedicure is in our near future!

Do you have any plans for the weekend?  I hope it’s a great one for you.  Thank you so much for visiting!




Fancy Floral







Dress • Dillard’s, similar herehere and below | I also linked a couple of tops here and here that could be worn over a black skirt for a similar effect. | Statement Necklace options here and
here | Evening Bag options herehere and here | Shoes • Christian Louboutin  (also here and here)

I’ve been looking for special occasion dresses for summer and this one caught my eye.  I like the sophisticated take on floral found in this black and white print.  A lighter summer nod to the LBD, black and white floral can look fancy in the right fabrics.  I could have shown this dress to greater advantage with a different backdrop, but to be honest it was getting hot and I didn’t want to drive around to just the right spot.  As I sit here in the air-conditioned house that excuse sounds pretty ridiculous, but that was my state of mind this weekend.

This particular dress is essentially strapless, which can be a bit of a challenge if you want to dance or move around much.  It’s not very attractive to pull and adjust all evening long.  For that reason I’ve linked several different options in styles that will stay put.  They may not have the same dramatic appeal but they’re every bit as pretty.  I also could have gone for fancier shoes.  Something strappy might have been a better choice.  I was looking for something to elongate my legs since this particular dress was rather long.  What would you have chosen?

Finding the right evening bag can be a lot of fun.  There are so many options at every price point.  I found several over $2,500 and some 1% of that price.  I bought mine several years ago and have used it often.  It’s been perfect until recently when I switched to the iPhone 6, which is too large.  Bummer.  My option is radio silence or a larger evening bag.  Decisions, decisions.

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

 

 

Navy Peplum



The color of this close up is interesting. Funny what lighting can do. The top is actually a deep navy, as you see in the other photographs, but it looks periwinkle here. I’d have loved that color as well!







Top • Sold out. I’ve linked several options here, here, here and below. | Jeans • Ann Taylor.  Other options here, here, here, and here  | Shoes • VANELi | Sunglasses • Ann Taylor. Other options here and below

Surprise! White jeans! I know, completely unexpected. Honestly though, if there is a more versatile article of clothing for summer, I’m sure I don’t know what it is, unless it’s a variation like white shorts, capris or a skirt. You sense the underlying theme.  Added with navy, white anything makes a pretty traditional summer pairing.

I picked up this cute peplum top at the recent Nordstrom sale. I may have grabbed the last one, so I linked several others with the same general concept. One of the options is another cute Nordstrom top.  Although it doesn’t come in navy, it does come in a dusty blue and several other colors.  I ordered it in white and it’s an excellent summer weight in a soft jersey.

I’ve been admiring these nude and white slides for a while and snapped them up at the Nordstrom sale. (It was my birthday week, after all.)  I can see already they’ll be my go-to shoes all summer.  The beauty of slides is, of course, the ease of use.  Never underestimate the appeal of a shoe you can easily shed on a hot summer’s day.  The chunky heel is this season’s shoe statement, and the white and nude combination is more interesting than either color alone.  Include a combination of regular and patent leathers and you’ve got a winner.  The shoe is also available in all black, where the two types of leather finishes add visual appeal.

Thanks so much for visiting.  Have a great Monday!




Random Pieces from the Gap Sale


1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 1112 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16

I don’t usually think of Gap when I look for clothes for myself, but they’re featuring 40% off your online order so I felt it was worth a look.  I’m glad I took the time.  There are so many cute pieces at great prices!  I put together a random collection of pieces I like – no theme, no carefully selected order – just an easy curation of items that appealed to me.  You can see I like white eyelet this season, and I seem to have a slight affinity for stripes.  What I really looked for were pieces designed for comfort and style.  Crazy triple digit temperatures have hit the Southwest and will be our norm for the next four months, so I also want pieces that breathe.  I’ll make an exception for those adorable cropped, wide-leg jeans.  Although they technically aren’t part of the sale, I had to add them.  They’re so cute it’s worth being a little warm wearing them!

The Gap sale lasts through today only.  Use the appropriately named code, WARMER, to get 40% off your order.

Thanks for reading!

Keeping the Fun in Fashion and Finance








Top •  Dillard’s | Pants •  Ann Taylor | Watch • Michael Kors, similar here | Shoes •  Christian Louboutin , also here | Sunglasses •  Ray-Ban | Earrings •  Swarovski | Lip Pencil •  MAC Ruby Woo | Lipstick •  MAC Ruby Woo or try this matte version

Tomorrow I turn 56.  Such a short statement, but for me, loaded with meaning.  I’ve had family members who didn’t make it past 55, including my grandfather.  His death from acute hypertension has impacted me more than I realized.  In the back of my mind I’ve always thought if I could make it past 55 I’d have a long and happy life ahead of me.  Somehow that was the big milestone, like turning sixteen, or twenty-one or (gulp), thirty.  Funny,  how we create those, isn’t it?

We live in a world with a lot of very serious things going.  But here on Haute Business, we talk about fashion and finance. Your personal finances should be approached with a degree of seriousness, I’ll agree.  But fashion?  That should be fun!  And that’s what I hope you find here.  I hope I’ve been providing useful tips and good ideas, and I’m working to improve both the quantity and quality of both.  Above all, I hope I’m keeping it entertaining.

I appreciate your support and the kind words you’ve shared with me here and privately.  Thank you for reading and for giving me a reason to continue this little creative outlet.  It really means a lot.

Have a wonderful Monday!

SLIMS – How I Make My Backside Look Better in about 10 Seconds







Top • Karen Kane (also here ) | Capri Pants • Peter Nygard | Crossbody Bag • Rebecca Minkoff | Shoes • Sam Edelman also here and another option here | Sunglasses • Ray-Ban and here | Watch •
Michael Kors (with a silicone band!) or the classic metal band style here

When you find a really flattering pair of pants, don’t you want to share the news with all of your friends?  I hope you do!  I just discovered these amazing SLIMS.  I’m not keeping them a secret, so they’re the subject of today’s post.

Like many of you, I switch my workouts around a lot to keep things interesting.  It’s called muscle confusion, and it’s one of the best ways to keep in shape and to keep getting results.  Weight training was always the foundation for me but I enjoyed running, dancing, aerobics, yoga. . . Wait.  This is supposed to be about pants, not workouts!

Long story short, somewhere in there weightlifting went by the wayside, to the detriment of my backside.  I’ve renewed my relationship with weights but in the meantime these amazing pants have come to my rescue.  They have a slight amount of compression (they’re called SLIMS after all) and to my delight they appear to have a fabulous lift and shape feature for the derriere.  I’ll take 20 pair, please!

Seriously though.  I’ve changed things up a bit to show you several options for these amazing pants.  Besides the linked photos I normally include with all the components of whatever look I’m showing (aka, the outfit widget), I’ve included another group with several SLIMS options.  That’s what you do for your friends! I didn’t realize SLIMS were available in white but you can bet I’m getting a pair now that I know it.  Like maybe the minute the store opens.

I’m still relying on squats and lunges for a more permanent solution to the “back story” but I’ll gladly accept a little temporary support.  How about you?

Thanks so much for visiting!


Memorial Day 2017 – Thank You to Our Service Men and Women









Top • Dillard’s | Jeans •  PAIGE Denim ( also here, some on sale with limited sizing  herehere and here ) | Hat • Similar here (under $10!!), here and here | Sunglasses •  Ray-Ban  | Bag •  Rebecca Minkoff  (larger version here | Shoes • here, lower heel versions here and here | Watch • Michael Kors  | Earrings • Similar here and here | Lip Pencil • M·A·C  Ruby Woo (also here ) |  Pencil and Lipstick combo • M·A·C  | Lipstick • M·A·C  | Red Lip Set • M·A·C

Memorial Day – it means so much more than weekend sales and this little red, white and blue outfit I put together to mark the day.  I didn’t serve in the military, but I was raised in a military family.  As a result, I have a tremendous respect for the men and women who serve our country.  Most of us will never know the extent of their hard work and sacrifice.  In fact, most of us really don’t understand the purpose of today’s holiday.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, has been recognized in the United States since the civil war and became a national holiday in 1971.  Because it lands on the last Monday of May it also marks the unofficial start of summer.  The true purpose, however, is to remember those armed service men and women who have fallen in service of the United States of America.  So many men and women have paid the ultimate price, or have had their lives changed forever, fighting for the freedom and the ideals that make America what it is.

While you’re enjoying your extra day off, please take a moment to remember our fallen armed forces members and their families.  Thank a service person when you see one.  For the work they’ve done and the sarifices they’ve made, they deserve it.

Thank you for reading,

Peplum










Top • Dillard’s (in store only), other options herehere , and below | Jeans • Ann Taylor  | Bag • Michael Kors  (also here  ) | Sunglasses • Ann Taylor  | Watch • Michael Kors  (also here) | Shoes • Similar Gianvito Rossi , other options here and here

Some women look amazing in peplum tops and dresses.  Me?  Not so much.  With my thicker waist it’s a little tougher to find the right style for my shape.  Although the theory behind the style is to create the illusion of a small waist when one doesn’t exist, I haven’t always found that to be the case.  I think I got it right with this cute top.  The trick appears to be the looser fit.  Rather than trying to cinch in my waist, which is uncomfortable and really doesn’t work, a top that flows a bit looks much better.

In another vein, I’m finding myself living in white jeans lately.  I have to be careful because I’m not the neatest girl on the block and white shows dirt so quickly.  Still, these have been such an easy choice lately, as you’ve been seeing in my recent posts.  They go with just about everything.

I’m so excited for the long weekend.  How about you?  Any great plans?

Thanks so much for visiting!