Category Archives: behind the blog

Makeup, skin care, and hair care empties

I have been lucky enough to write a few reviews of skin care and hair care products over the years, but I thought it would be interesting to do an “empties” review of beauty products I have actually finished, or emptied. This idea came from a series of similar empties reviews from the Franish blog, and as Fran states, “I firmly believe that initial impressions aren’t sharing the full story, but continued use lets me give a more thorough and honest review of the product.”

Please note that I get commission for affiliate links in this post. This goes toward covering my website and file storage fees, so thank you for helping support this blog!

Brow pencil

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Billion Dollar Brows pencil

First up, I received a brow pencil from Billion Dollar Brows back in Dec. 2015 — see my initial review of Billion Dollar Brows here — and I finally used up that pencil a couple of months ago. It’s a good, sturdy brow pencil that doesn’t wear off quickly, and the “taupe” color blends in well with my dark colored brows. I’ve used this brow pencil on its own, as well as in combination with the Billion Dollar Brows brow powder, also in taupe.

I noted that Billion Dollar Brows products were sold in Kohl’s stores, so I bought a new Billion Dollar Brows “micro” brow pencil, which a thinner tip, just to see if I liked the thinner tip better. Jury’s still out on that one — I’ll let you know! You can buy the original “universal brow pencil” here and the “micro brow pencil” here.

Sunscreen

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda sunscreen

I’m now on my third bottle of the Aveda Daily Light Guard Defense Fluid SPF 30, which I originally bought and wrote about in my “Getting serious about skin care” post two years ago. I put this sunscreen on over my moisturizer on a daily basis. It’s light but not greasy, and it doesn’t dry out my skin, which is already on the dry side. The slim size also works for when I’m traveling!

Moisturizer

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda moisturizer

I originally bought and wrote about the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Soft Creme moisturizer in my “Getting serious about skin care” post two years ago, and I am now on my fifth (or sixth?) container of this moisturizer. There’s a “soft creme” and a “rich creme” version, and my dry skin does better with the “soft creme” moisturizer. After washing my face in the morning, I put on this moisturizer. It sinks in while I get dressed, and then I put on the sunscreen, which I detailed above. I actually have TWO bottles of this moisturizer at any given time, one upstairs in our half-bath, and one downstairs in the medicine cabinet in the full bath, for when I take a shower in the morning.

I love this moisturizer because it feels light and non-greasy, but it’s heavy enough to take care of any dry patches on my skin. I’ve definitely noticed that I haven’t experienced hardly any dry patches on my skin since I started using this moisturizer.

Concealer

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Aveda concealer

I have just about used up this tube of Aveda concealer in “02 Balsa,” and I have already purchased another tube for when I finally empty this one. I basically use this as both a concealer and light foundation, and I put it on over the sunscreen and Aveda All Sensitive body formula oil which I use as a primer. I don’t wear concealer every day, but I do like that I save steps with this product, which is light but also heavy enough to smooth out my skin.

Deodorant

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Native deoderant

I switched to this natural deodorant about a year and a half ago, which I wrote about in this “Everyday faves | Native deodorant” post in April 2017. I’m now on my third tube of the “Lavender & Rose” scent, which is very subtle and not overpowering (I also have two tubes of this deodorant in other scents, but this scent is my favorite). I also have a mini-size of this same scent in my handbag organizer, which has definitely come in handy. I really love this deodorant, including the free and fast shipping, and especially the super-positive and funny communications from the Native brand.

If you’re also interested in trying out Native deodorant, then you can get a FREE travel-size deodorant with your next purchase by clicking this link. Plus, Native ALWAYS has free shipping and free returns. (Please note that the link above is a referral link. This means when you get a free travel-size deodorant, then I’m eligible to get one, too. #GoNative!)

Dry shampoo paste

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of dry shampoo paste

I first wrote about how I use this R+Co. Badlands dry shampoo paste here in this “Everyday faves | Dry shampoo paste” post back in November 2016. I still use this dry shampoo paste on a weekly basis, and I’m just about finished with my first pot of the paste. I will definitely be buying another one! I love how this dry shampoo paste helps shape my short hair, and it extends time in-between washings. I can use it with either damp or dry hair, and it works whether or I air-dry or blow-dry my hair. My hair is on the thin, dry side, and this dry shampoo paste helps tame any flyaways, provide structure and hold for my hair — and it smells great! Highly recommended.

Shampoo + conditioner

Librarian for Life + Style | Closeup of Finesse shampoo + conditioner

I received my first bottles of Finesse Restore + Strengthen Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner via a Brandbacker campaign back in March 2017, as detailed in my “Review of Finesse shampoo + conditioner | Restoring my hair after a long winter” post. In the pic above are my second bottles of the shampoo + conditioner, and I’m just about to purchase my third bottle of the Moisturizing Conditioner.

(Note: I’m currently switching between using the Finesse shampoo and the Shiny Leaf Argan Oil shampoo, which I reviewed earlier this year here, which explains why I’m replacing the conditioner faster than the shampoo.)


So that’s my first “empties” review of beauty, skin care, and hair care products I’ve emptied. Do you like this kind of review? Would you like me to revisit my empties from time to time? Please leave a comment and share — I appreciate your feedback!


Linkups: Visible Monday | #iwillwearwhatilike | Shoe and Tell | Weekly Fashion Link up | Mix It Mondays | Start the Week Stylish | #HowISummer | Confident Twosdays | Turning Heads | Style With a Smile | The Style File | Style Swap Tuesdays | Style Sessions | Trend Spin | Who’s Wearing What Wednesdays | I Feel Pretty Wednesdays | Style Perspectives | Fashion Linkup | Weekly Wednesday Fashion linkup | Style on the Daily | Oh, Hey Girl! | Thursday Fashion Files | Top of the World | Thursday Moda | Fashion Friday | Fun Fashion Friday | Fabulous Friday | Fancy Friday | Friday Favorites | Weekend Wear Link Up | #SaturdayShareLinkUp

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Name necklaces in two languages

Last Christmas, I won a name necklace giveaway via Nancy’s Fashion Style blog, all the way from the Netherlands. I highlighted the necklace in December 2017’s budget post. Although I have worn the necklace quite a few times in the thee-quarters-of-a-year, I realized that I hadn’t yet featured it on the blog. Time to correct that! 🙂

Silver name necklace

The necklace spells out my first name in full, Jennifer. I especially like the extra swoop on the “J.”
Librarian for Life + Style | Name necklace giveaway

Librarian for Life + Style | Silver name necklace

The silver name necklace also pairs up nicely with my other name necklace, which is in gold and has my name spelled out in Arabic, reading from right to left. (That’s the main reason I entered the giveaway, actually, to have coordinating name necklaces, in both Arabic and English as well as in silver and gold.)

I have found that when wearing these name necklaces, and because my full first name is a longer one, I pay more attention to the neckline shape of whatever I’m wearing. For example, the square neckline of my dress seen above is a perfect shape to help showcase the name necklace.

Gold name necklace

Librarian for Life + Style | Name necklaces

My Arabic name necklace, also seen here in this post, is one of the most special items in my possession and was made in the UAE, at the world-famous Gold Souk in Dubai. The gold necklace is almost as old as I am! My parents bought this necklace for me right before we came back to the U.S., back when I was a baby. (I’m an American born abroad — the technical term is “native born,” which is used to distinguish from “foreign born” or naturalized American citizens.) When I travelled back to the UAE in the late 2000s to live and work for a few years, I took my Arabic name necklace with me — and my Arab colleagues let me know that it does indeed spell out my name correctly, thank goodness! 😀

Librarian for Life + Style | Arabic name necklace

Do you have a name necklace of your own, or one featuring your initials? Please leave a comment — and/or with an accompanying photo! — and share. I’d love to see it!


Linkups:  Visible Monday | #iwillwearwhatilike | Shoe and Tell | Weekly Fashion Link up | Mix It Mondays | Start the Week Stylish | #HowISummer | Confident Twosdays | Turning Heads | Style With a Smile | The Style File | Style Swap Tuesdays | Style Sessions | Trend SpinWho’s Wearing What Wednesdays | I Feel Pretty Wednesdays | Style Perspectives | Fashion Linkup | Weekly Wednesday Fashion linkup | Style on the Daily | Oh, Hey Girl! | Thursday Fashion Files | Top of the World | Thursday Moda | Fashion Friday | Fun Fashion Friday | Fabulous Friday | Fancy Friday | Friday Favorites | Weekend Wear Link Up | #SaturdayShareLinkUp

What’s in my (weekender) bag? | Packing for a weekend trip

I’ve done a couple of “What’s in my bag?” kind of posts, including my original handbag post and a more recent evening bag post. When my mom sent me a weekender bag — in time for me to try it out for a Memorial Day weekend visit to my friend Stephanie in Portland! — I thought it would be fun to highlight how I pack for a weekend visit.

Weekender bag

First up, closeups of the weekender bag my mom recently gifted me. It’s striped and on wheels, with a collapsible handle. It also has a zippered bit on the bottom to expand the bag if needed. There are also pockets lining both sides of the bag’s interior.

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender tote, top view

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender tote bag side view

Librarian for Life + Style | Interior pockets of the weekender tote

What I packed in my weekender bag

Below is what went into my weekender bag. I like to roll up undergarments inside each outfit, so every outfit is bundled together. Then I just stack the bundles up in my bag or suitcase, and everything is nice and tidy. There are lots of different ways to pack — and I looooooove reading all about different packing tips! — but I have found that this way works for me! 🙂

Librarian for Life + Style | Packing for the weekend

Details:

  1. Outfit for the trip back (floral shirtdress + black leggings, exact outfit previously seen here)
  2. Black sandals
  3. Metallic sandals
  4. Bronze shawl (to layer when cold, particularly on the train)
  5. Toiletries bag
  6. Pajamas
  7. Optional casual outfit (black & white striped tee + red shorts, to wear with black sandals — I didn’t end up wearing this outfit, but I always like to have an extra outfit on hand, just in case)
  8. Casual outfit (grey tee + tan shorts, to wear with metallic sandals)
  9. Travel pillow for my back or neck

And below is how everything fit into the bag, with room to spare:

Librarian for Life + Style | Packing for the weekend

My traveling outfit

Below are details of my traveling outfit, which I wore on the train down to Portland. I wore a grey scoop-neck tunic that my mom also recently sent me, and it’s so soft and comfy — perfect for traveling! I layered the tunic over leggings and my metallic sandals. A fabric belt helped give some shape to the tunic (which is a bit oversized on me) but didn’t feel restrictive.

Below is also a closeup of my accessories. When I travel, I don’t like to wear any jewelry except for one pair of earrings that go with every outfit. These topaz drop earrings are one of my go-to choices when traveling, because they’re so light, and the color is a nice neutral.

When I came downstairs, Sam remarked that it was a perfect traveling outfit, because, as he put it, “It’s cute and pulled together for traveling, and it looks comfy — but when you take the belt off, you’re ready to lounge!” Yep. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit closeup

On the day of travel

And finally, a couple of pics snapped on the day that I travelled down to Portland by train on Memorial Day weekend. (Mom, I knew you’d especially like to see how I’m wearing the items you’ve gifted me — thank you for knowing my style! Love you, Mom ♥ )

And yes, my black + tan + white purse also coordinated with every outfit that I packed. Because OF COURSE. 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Weekender bag and purse

Librarian for Life + Style | Travel outfit and weekender bag

What do you include in a weekender bag? Please share!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

6th blog anniversary | Outtakes

Quick reminder that the favorite outfit poll is up for March — thanks in advance!


Happy 6th blog anniversary to me! Hard to believe it’s been six years since I started this style blog. And it’s become tradition for me to highlight outtakes + bloopers on my blog anniversary (I also do special outtakes posts for my birthday in August and for New Year’s), so here are 6 special sets of outtakes. ‘Cause it’s good not to take yourself too seriously. 😀 Enjoy my awkwardness and goofy side shining through!


This is what happens when the elements (gusts of wind, flowers, branches, etc.) work against me! 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
SIA interpretation: Dido Belle portrait


This is what happens when I see someone I know in the middle of taking pictures!

Librarian for Life + Style | Oscar outtake

Link to original post:  
What we wore to the Oscars | Viewing party + style recap


This is what happens when I do a little awkward dance in the middle of taking photos. (And one major reason why Sam just keeps taking photos, no matter what.) Seriously, it’s a minor miracle that we get any photos that I can actually use for outfit posts.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
White Christmas style inspiration, take 2


This is what happens when I stretch one leg out. Twice. (Why?!?) I am just naturally awkward, y’all.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
Teal coat + all black outfit + new earrings


This is what happens when I stretch my arms and legs and laugh at the same time.

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtake

Link to original post:
SIA interpretation: Dogs playing poker


And last, but not least, this is what happens when I take photos of Sam. What’s good for the goose… 😉

Librarian for Life + Style | Outtakes collage

Link to original post:
Sam’s SIA interpretation: Dogs playing poker


Can’t get enough outtakes and bloopers? No worries, there are many more outtakes posts to enjoy!


Linkups:  Hello MondayVisible Monday#iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellConfident TwosdaysTurning HeadsStyle With a SmileWho’s Wearing What WednesdaysTrendy WednesdayWhat I Wore WednesdayI Feel Pretty WednesdaysWeekly Wednesday Fashion LinkupTop of the WorldThursday ModaFashion FridayPassion for FashionFun Fashion FridayFabulous FridayFriday FavoritesFancy FridayFine-Whatever LinkupWeekend Wear Link Up#SaturdayShareLinkUp

Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I did a previous “day in the life of an academic librarian” post a couple of years ago, when I was working in my previous job and college. That day was a particularly heavy teaching day, so you got a glimpse of the kind of teaching that librarians do.

Today’s “day in the life” post is one of my current job, which focuses heavily on supporting my fellow faculty find and use open educational resources (an educational movement to help bring down student costs by using or creating free and high-quality texts and resources instead of expensive textbooks). But I still get to do all the regular and varied things an academic librarian does — teaching and answering questions on our reference desk and purchasing materials for our library collections — so it’s the best of both worlds! Also in my current job, I have to do lots more outreach and presentations. Every day is like juggling about ten different plates, but it’s a very fulfilling job.

Let’s get started!


5:45 a.m. First alarm goes off, snooze, snooze, snooze.

6:00 a.m. Second alarm goes off at 6:00, snooze, snooze, snooze. (I’m not a morning person.)

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

The daily alarms set on my phone

6:15 a.m. Finally drag myself out of bed, wash face, put on moisturizer in our half-bath upstairs. Save time by putting on outfit I had set out the night before. I had also set out the night before my corresponding undergarments — socks, underwear, tights, etc. — in a (repurposed shoe) bag on my dresser.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I set out my outfit the night before

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

I set out undergarments and jewelry the night before

6:30 a.m. Go downstairs to pour myself a cup of coffee. Kiss Sam goodbye, before he drives off to start his daily teaching schedule on two different campuses. In our main bathroom downstairs, put on sunscreen, fill in eyebrows, do rest of makeup, decide on which lipstick to put on. Put lipstick in my little lipstick case to take to work, to reapply after lunch in time for a big presentation I have that afternoon.

7:00 a.m. Feed cats and do style blog linkups while cats are eating.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

But first, coffee

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Packing lipstick for the rest of the day, Revlon’s Super Lustrous lipstick in “Cherry Blossom”

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Feeding the cats in the morning

7:15 a.m. Put on coat, gloves, hat, and make sure everything’s in my tote bag, including my keys, cell phone, chapstick, bus pass, and a book to read.

7:20 a.m. Head out of the house to grab the bus to work. Read my book on the bus.

8:30 a.m. Arrive at work and walk across campus. Greet colleagues and chat on the way to my office in the library.

8:45 a.m. Check Outlook schedule for the rest of the day. If it’s not on my Outlook calendar, it doesn’t exist! Start on tasks for the morning:

  • library instruction prep for a class later that week
  • backup for Reference Desk questions
  • chatting with a colleague from our assessment department who drops by my office to catch up
  • emails emails emails
  • researching survey instruments for college counseling needs assessment and emailing those to our counseling faculty before their planned department retreat the next day
  • updating my tenure e-portfolio to include recent presentations and newsletter write-ups
  • emailing tenure committee members about upcoming observation opportunities
Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

That day’s schedule in my Outlook calendar

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Where’s Jen? Check my door!

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

The view from my desktop monitor stand, which I can raise or lower to sit or stand

12:30 p.m. Lunch. Read book after eating lunch.

1:30 p.m. Brush teeth after lunch and touch up lipstick using magnetic mirror on the inside of my file cabinet.

1:40 p.m. Make copies of handouts for my presentation. Gather up handouts and notes.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Magnetic mirror in my office, for flossing and lipstick touch-ups

2:10 p.m. Head out to first meeting of the afternoon, a monthly faculty forum. I’m first on the agenda, and I’m there to share updates and statistics about OER efforts on campus. I arrive a bit early to set up the computer podium and projector in the room. Upon my arrival, a colleague compliments my outfit and starts clapping for me to go into “runway” mode. I oblige. Hah! 😉

2:35 p.m. Meeting begins. Start my presentation to my fellow faculty, distribute handouts. Answer a few questions. Good vibes all around. One of my tenure committee members also there to observe my presentation, which means one observation down for the term. So efficient! 🙂

3:30 p.m. Sneak in a bathroom break before the second meeting, our monthly Instructional Council meeting. I’m there to distribute handouts while my OER colleague presents to the Council and, if needed, to help answer any questions.

4:30 p.m. Second and final meeting ends. Sam texts me that he’s there to pick me up. Text him back that I’ll be a few minutes because I need to answer a couple of emails that came in while I was out at meetings. See a new email, sent after the faculty forum meeting, inviting me to a faculty chairs meeting to share more info about OER. Print out a couple of documents to work on the next day while I’m working a half-day from home. Gather up my stuff to head home.

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Office still life portrait, with my bag of daily odds and ends, keys, folder of documents, and coffee mug (which I refill with water throughout the day)

5:15 p.m. Arrive home. Pause on way into house to take recycles out for trash pickup the next morning.

5:30 p.m. Cook dinner with Sam; we get weekly meals from Blue Apron. Tonight’s menu is a flatbread pizza. Yum!

Librarian for Life + Style | Another day in the life of an academic librarian

Blue Apron meal recipe

7:00 p.m. Sam feeds cats dinner while I head upstairs to unwind and and catch up on blog and social media stuff. Jot down notes about my day for this post. 😉

7:30 p.m. Sam brings me (decaf) tea and a couple of chocolates for dessert.

10 p.m. Make sure alarm is set for next morning. Sleep!


Did you enjoy this additional peek into a “day in the life” of an academic librarian? Please leave a comment and share! 🙂