Cammo Style Love: December 2015

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Favorite Beauty Products From 2015





This year has been a super fun year for beauty and make-up products. I feel like I've evolved in that department. From not being afraid to try something new a different, my Julep and Ipsy and Jaclyn Hill YouTube videos, its been a red-letter year. These are not necessarily products that came out in 2015, but new to me in 2015; and are all products that I will continually use after this first purchase. I would describe myself as somewhat picky when it comes to what I put on my body and I love to try a lot of things. I'm also a loyalist when it comes to my make-up, and rarely deviate. But the last year I've had the opportunity to try things that I probably never would have tried and its led to some great new discoveries. These are some of my favorites!


1. Julep Bare Face Cleansing Oil - I know, I know, cleansing OIL!! Crazy right? I would have thought this would have gone terribly. Putting oil all over my face? And having moved to a more humid part of our country I've noticed a more oily appearance to my skin, and had to change my whole regiment. So the thought of using oil on my face would be nuts right? Wrong!! As long as this product is used correctly it is amazing! It leaves my face feeling amazing, doesn't clog up my pores and really does a marvelous job of cleansing. Make sure that your face and hands are completely dry! It will remove make-up, but not eye make-up. I've been using this for almost a whole year now and have noticed no negative side-effects of using an oil-based cleanser. It using rose-hip seed, grape and olive and is cruelty free. $28.00

2. Almay Smart Shade Products - These are recent discovery for me, and I'm a die-hard Mary Kay user, and have been for years. I had the amazing pleasure of being able to try these products for free, as they were given to me at an event. I've been using the concealer, make-up and loose finishing powder. This has been a great, light, everyday type of make-up. It goes on smoothly, doesn't feel heavy and has decent coverage. It includes an spf of 15 which is always a welcome addition. What I've loved about Almay products is that they are all formulated for sensitive skin and have a commitment to being hypo-allergenic, which is great. And from what I've seen Almay products are fairly affordable. Almay products are cruelty free. Products available at several retailers.

3. Almay One Coat Thickening mascara - Another new Almay product! This year I've tried about five different mascaras. Its been a crazy mascara year. But this one, the most recent one I've tried has been one of my favorites for the year. It doesn't get everywhere when you put it on. This can be such a problem for me because my eyelashes are fairly long, and when I go to put my lower lid mascara on the tips of my top lashes can smudge all over my eye-lid. This most frequently happens if I have a really wet mascara. Almay's mascara gives great coverage without being goopy and has done really well with having no clumps as of yet.

4. Julep Pore-minimizing blush - Another pleasant surprise in my maven box one time was this pore minimizing blush. I've received in two different colors in my monthly boxes and just absolutely adore it. It smells amazing (which I know is weird), it has the most amazing coverage and color. A little goes a long way. You barely have to tap this stuff and you get enough, which is a mistake that I made when I first used it. Currently this is available in a set with Julep's bronzer, which I haven't tried yet. Bronzer/Blush set is on sale right now for $36.00.

5. Fruit Enzyme Mask from Ladyburg - I'm going to tout a local business, because I just love to support that kind of stuff. Ladyburg is a local Virginia bath and body type shop. Products are made in store, vegan, uses amazing oils, natural for your body and they have something for everyone! I use the baby/kid stuff, my husband has tried the shaving stuff, we use their hand soap in the bathroom. Lets just say I'm a fan. For Christmas my hubby helped feed my Ladyburg addiction and purchased me something that has been on my "want" list. An enzyme mask is amazing if you've never tried one. It is cooling and soothing to your skin. It mildly exfoliates, taking away  dead skin cells to help renew and revitalize your skin. Its just amazing!! A little goes a really, really long way and this tub will last you forever! $17.95.

6. Tarte LipSurgence Skintuitive Lip Gloss - I received this product in my Ipsy bag a couple of months ago. It moisturizes and makes my lips feel amazing. It can be a very thick lip so this is another, little goes a long way, item. It is a clear lipgloss that works with the color of your own lips that creates a look that is uniquely you! It also has a flat applicator, which is something that I've never seen before. Tarte lipstick as Vitamin E, jojoba oil and flower extract. It has antioxidants that help smooth fine lines and wrinkles as well. $17.00

7. treStique lip crayon - Another product received in my Ipsy bag was this lip crayon. I'd never used this type of lipstick before and I've got to say it is a pretty cool product. It goes on super smooth and is a liner and stick in one. The crayon is meant to be paired with their lip balm, but can be used solo for sure. The product I have isn't the dual crayon/balm product but the solo crayon alone. The dual stick, with coordinating lip balm is available for $28.00.

8. Almay Smart Shade Butter Kiss - The smart shade lipstick line is a pretty cool concept. You choose a lip color based on your skin shade. I picked up this shade when I was given the other products based on sight alone. I really had no idea that it was a smart shade product. I own red-light, which is probably one shade lighter than I need to be in, but its a great color. I will say that this product, at least for me goes on much like a tint or a colored balm rather than a lip stick. But the smoothness of this is out of this world. I feel like I can apply it similarly to a gloss in that I don't have to be staring at myself while doing it, as I would a normal lipstick. And this is also a wetter lipstick, in that it doesn't feel cakey or dry on my lips.

9. L'Oreal Paris Iffallible Pro-Last - I love a good lipstick. I think lipstick is such a classic look and people don't wear it much. I guess in favor of a more natural look. But, I power on with my lipstick people! Lipstick and mascara are my go to when I need a refresher! The hubbs however, doesn't appreciate the wearing of lipstick on his own face, so in times of need I search out a smudge-proof lipstick. L'Oreal gets the deployment seal of approval here! I picked up this particular shade (Passionate Petal) to go with my most recent homecoming outfit. Now if you've never used a smudge-proof type liptick there are usually two parts, a lip color and a balm that goes over the top. You need them both. This is a great full-coverage color and what I particularly liked about this duo is the balm that went with it. I didn't feel the need to reapply it. That is a common problem in this type of lipstick, at least from my experience. I've been a die-hard smudge-proof user since my wedding day! And it was a L'Oreal back then too! I think in the last almost twelve years they've upped their game and improved upon their formula for this particular type. If you're looking for a kissable lipstick for homecoming, look no further! I'm headed back to actually pick me up a more red-shade, since I've got my pinks covered. $12.99 and I purchased mine at the Exchange.

10. Beach Head Sea Salt Texturizing Spray from Beyond the Zone - Watching my favorite hair style blogger, Kate from The Small Things Blog, on YouTube you learn a few things. Like, what the heck is texturizing spray and why should I be using it. This is my first product of that kind that I've used and I love it. I'm ready to check out more brands and see what else is out there, but I picked this up at my local Sally's Beauty Supply because I just had to try something! It definitely does what it says it does and it's very easy to use. If you're a newbie to texturizing spray and don't want to fork over a lot of money just to try it out, I would definitely recommend giving this spray a try. $8.49

do you have a favorite product from this past year?! I'd love to hear about it! 

Look for these products in action on Instagram, and follow me! @RheChristine
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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Christmas Recap - In Sickness and In Health

Adjusting to a Christmas alone is rough. And I realize that I'm not alone alone, and for that I'm grateful. But when you are used to have lots of family around and a busy, crazy house, having only five people around can seem so quiet. All those years of bouncing between my parents and my in-laws was just storing up for the long winter, aka: Christmases without them. It has been magical in its own right. We are a little family, doing our own traditions and having Christmas our own way. I both love it and hate it. Another big thing for Christmas this year is that my two oldest know the truth about Santa. You can read all about our "truth" of Christmas here. They were, however, very excited about making sure the magic continue. We went into the week of Christmas ready and excited, seeing that our baby Jesus' were't in their mangers, watching gifts from our family come in and wrapping. We picked out our Happy Birthday Jesus cake mix and frosting, decorated cookies and I took the littles for their first "shopping for their siblings" shopping trips. We even started a new tradition of donuts and hot chocolate at Krispy Kreme on Christmas Eve day! Quickly though the sickness swept through the house - me with strep throat, the littlest little with some sort of virus and colds all around! Although it put a slight damper on our holiday spirit we still had a magical Christmas. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

May you have many blessings into the new year! From our family to yours ~















Happy New Year! Welcome 2016!!!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dear Santa.....I Believe

It's a gloomy day here in Northern Virginia. I'm sitting here with my daughter, snuggled up watching The Polar Express. Its at the part where the little kids sing "When Christmas Comes to Town," and I'm fighting back the tears.



Dear Santa, I believe.

I believe in the joy and love you stand for. For the innocence and tradition you represent. The astonishing number of people who don't believe baffles my mind. They don't believe because they think your represent all that wrong with our world today - greed, selfishness and commercialism. You've come to represent a lie we tell our children, that you're real and that you deliver presents to them. We tell our children the words of the song we have sung for years, "You better watch out, you better not cry. You better not pout, I'm telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town." You won't come if we've been naughty. And now we've lied to our children. Telling them that only if they are good will they get presents. How can our children believe anything we say once they find out the truth?

But I believe and I want my children to. Sure, my oldest two know that its only the magic of you that exists, that mommy and daddy put the presents out. But they have joy and happiness, and the benefit they get from keeping that magic alive, and the magic alive in their little brother.

There is so little joy and innocence left in this world. True and pure joy is hard to come by. Our world is tough, and so much hate and sadness exists. One by one our children are being stripped of all that makes them children. Imagination and play isn't flourishing as it once was. And Santa I think you represent all those things. Some may argue that my faith should stop me from the 'lie' that you are. But I don't think that you are that far removed from faith. Its true that St. Nicholas was a real person, and that he left coins and small gifts for the children of believers who left their shoes out. Each country and generation has added more to their Legend of Santa, and what Bishop Nicholas was is probably so far removed from what you become. But everything about you is a model of what we should be to our families, to our community and to the world.

In recent years I could feel myself become ashamed to say we believed. In a moment that has still stuck with me I was publicly teased by an adult, subtle as it was, for the use of you during Christmas. My belief in you is calling into question my faith in God, simply by the overwhelming amount of Christians I know that have made a choice to include you in the festivities. I never once judged someone for not including you, but every year I feel judged. I am conflicted. Is what I'm doing wrong? Will I get to heaven and be put to task for including you in our lives? I don't know.

But I do know that like that little boy in The Polar Express that lived his whole life hearing that bell. I never want to stop hearing it. And I hope my children never do either. That bell, to me, symbolizes more than just you, flying with reindeer bring me presents. It symbolizes love, joy, innocence, peace, thankfulness, giving and sharing.

I hope I always hear it.
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Monday, December 14, 2015

A Homecoming

I'll take any opportunity to give a shout out to a veteran-owned/military spouse owned business. I just will. Its something that a lot of us do, and it really sets our community apart from so many others. I am so blessed in return by our community. Our amazing photographers are also dear friends who donated their time to us. If you are in the Maryland, Virginia, DC area and are looking for a photographer check out Gronde Photography!






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Saturday, December 5, 2015

MilSpouse Stories: How We Do Reintegration {In 5 Easy Steps}

While we all know reintegration can sometimes be the opposite of easy, there are things that you can mentally prepare for that will make the transition as easy as possible. We recently had what felt like our one-millionth reintegration and this time around I've had several people ask me how we do it when he comes home. Fortunately for us Mr. Air Force and I have had a ton of experience at this, but we weren't always this awesome at it. And while most of my advice in this particular post centers around family, reintegration without kids can be tricky in its own right. A lot of the stories and advice work for both situations.



Reintegration is tough, ask any MilSpouse. I've found myself struggling with making sure I find the balance between letting them feel like they are a part of the family directly and not putting too much pressure on them. For the spouse that has been at home, me, I've gotten into a routine. I've filled the role of both parents, of house fixer, boo boo kisser, bedtime story reader and all that other stuff that is usually split up between two people. I find myself taking over and doing things that he would normally do...or doing nothing in the hopes that he will step in and do it. Neither of which is probably fair for either one of us. I am a lucky girl though. I have a spouse who comes home and realizes that we've been going on without him, that I've been doing a lot, that the kids have chores and routines that he might have forgotten or not realized. He always asks how things are going, and what their chores and routines are. This is something that has evolved over our the years in our marriage, something we've really worked on. We've learned a lot over the last fourteen years and hopefully what we've experienced can help someone who reads this.

1. Don't Rush It

We've done it both ways, rushed and not rushed, and taking it slow when you need to is the way the to go. There are times that we've really needed it, and times that we've picked up right where we've  we left off without so much as a hiccup.  Leaving the next day for a family vacation, even if its just the a quiet one, might not be the greatest of ideas. And while having a Welcome Home party is a fun idea, overwhelming your service member with a large group of people directly after they arrive home, might be best saved for a couple days down the line. But just like everyone does deployment different, everyone does reintegration different.
"Give yourself time to readjust as a family/couple BEFORE inviting extended family and friends for an extended visit or long weekend stay. Having additional moving wheels in your new dynamic can really set things back. I would include parents and siblings in this guideline.  The deployed parent is playing catch-up with childhood milestones, the kids are trying to navigate the new normal while keeping up in school, and the non-deployed parent is just trying to hold it all together."
Don't rush things. You all have changed and experienced different emotions, joys and challenges and it will take time to find your new normal. Just make sure that your expectations are realistic, and most of all be patient with each other. Things may not be like before and that's ok.
Judy - The Direction Diva




photo credit: Gronde Photography

2. Routine
In my own personal life this has been key. The excitement of having a parent home when they've been gone a lot for the kids, and myself too. And while sticking with the standard routine can be complicated sometimes when you are introducing a parent in who hasn't been a part of the routine or doesn't know the changes in routine well, its a good thing for kids. Resilient as MilKids are, the structure that is found in a routine is so important for them. This is why I have learned how important it is to keep the deployed service member aware of the routine through your normal conversations. It keeps them connected and feeling involved while they are gone, and can only help with the reintegration process when they return.
 I've (slowly) learned that the key for our family is routine. It's bewildering for my husband to come home and be dumped into the routine we figured out. His unfamiliarity with daily activities makes him uncomfortable, frustrates and confuses our son, and puts me on edge (often unreasonably). Our last deployment I had the surprising effective idea to put a small dry erase board on the fridge with our daily schedule Every morning, if there was anything different or unusual going on, I would write it at the bottom. I also emailed that schedule to him before he came home. It wasn't a hard and fast rule - just an outline of how our day normally ran. What time munchkin needed to be in the bathtub in order to get to bed on time, etc. It totally changed reintegration for us. There will always be adjustment, but keeping communication open (especially non-confrontational channels is always a good idea. This time, I also insisted on taking some time for myself, and setting aside some time just for our son and I, even right after he came home.


3. Expectation
Expectations can be all over the place and it is important to talk about them and acknowledge them. What are you excited about, what are you worried about, what do they want and what do you want. If there are children involved, sometimes they aren't as excited for the return of their parent as much as you might hope. This is something I've experienced myself. My husband was so incredibly sweet and patient with our littlest one. Its important that they know it isn't them and don't take it personally.
The hardest thing for us is my husband and the kids. {My husband} was gone six of my son's first year (2 three month deps) and also away for his birth so they've had a lot of trouble connecting. Basically {he} wanted nothing to do with him and it broke his heart. So we eased into him being home, accepting that it would take time for {our son} to fully accept him. I've had to really reassure my husband that it will take some time and they'll be best friends before he knows it. Fortunately our daughter adores him so it's never an issue for her when he returns.
~ Anonymous MilSpouse~

4. Time as a couple
Especially important, and almost always forced to the back burner when you have children, is the importance reconnecting as a couple. I've noticed as the kids get older and become more aware of the realities when Daddy is gone, the focus switches almost entirely to them. It is sometimes a good thing because I am so focused on helping them through this that I don't have time to dwell on my sadness. The flipside of that is if I ignore myself entirely for too long I end of freaking out over something tiny. So inevitably when they come home the kids want to command all of the attention, which is understandable. Date nights are important all the time, but after a long separation they should be a priority. Even if its a stay at home date night, setting apart time to do something special is so key to a successful reintegration.
Take time to spend time together but also take time to spend time apart. Jumping from being apart all the time to being together all the time can be challenging at times. Scheduling some alone time can help. I also find that scheduling things for us to look forward to doing together is helpful. It helps if we get out and do things instead of simply staying around the house all the time. They're kind of like "dates" to help us reconnect.



5. Help them play catch up
Especially when your service member is gone for a year, there is so much they can feel like they missed. And sometimes a themed care-package doesn't quite cut it. I've seen people delay taking down Christmas if the arrival of their service member is close to Christmas, or wait altogether. Back in the day when you used VHS to record things, I recorded all sorts of silly and ridiculous things that my husband missed during a year long stint. That was a commitment! To this day I record tons of things and we have almost nightly date nights playing catch up on all that he missed. To involve your kids, have them keep a deployment journal with pictures or written entries if they are older. It will be so much fun to look through with their parent.
 I also keep a folder of random things from during his deployment he can look through when he gets a chance (or when he can't sleep). It has notes I made, or cards that came in the mail, funny things I read and thought of him, etc. Last deployment he was gone over Christmas so I had a big pile of Christmas cards for him. I think it helps make him feel "caught up" on what he missed while he was away.
Tara ~ An Aiming High Wife



photo credit: Gronde Photography

learn about reintegration tips and more in this new book!
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