LIBBY LIVING COLORFULLY

Luxe Decor Saves and Splurges with MG+BW

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

So I've gotten a lot of questions on my recent Houzz.com apartment tour (still beaming) and I thought I would go through and note on ways that I save and splurge with home decor.  I would compare this logic to someone who has an expensive purse or shoes, but will rock them with a $12 LBD.  I save on things I know will be ruined easily, example, a couch (all of these options are less than $500) or maybe something that's trendy, like a fun $94 velvet chair. 

With this logic, I bring you my favorite more high-end products from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  I picked up a few pieces for my apartment last month to give my apartment decor a more elevated look.  I think many times, we get a little too stuck in the IKEA-decor mindset (don't get me wrong I LOVE IKEA) but then find our decor looks a little juvenile and frankly, even a little dorm-y. To avoid that, a few luxe pieces here and there can really transform a room.

Take for example, this ahhhhhmazing gold Burled Bowl. Upon seeing it at my local Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in DC (1526 14th St NW) I knew it would be a perfect piece for my living room coffee table.  It's a conversation piece for sure, and surprisingly, light-weight. 

Easy like Sunday morning 🌸 #allthefeels

A post shared by Libby Rasmussen (@libbylivingcolorfully) on

One of my favorite corners in my living room features two more MG+BW items.  This stunning Elena Table Lamp with a gold scalloped crystal base. When lit, the lamp looks like it glimmers from the gold coloring being refracted from the base. 

 

To compliment the lamp, I used this beautiful Alabaster Tray. As described, it's made from a solid piece of alabaster and trimmed in matte brass. This opulent, expansive tray makes a stunning centerpiece or a pretty and practical place to store keys and mail. A charming way to keep any surface organized, and easy to move aside when you need the extra space.

A few other elevated favorites include:
these Agate Bookends
this white table lamp (on sale)
this polished nickel floor lamp (on sale)

If you're free this Thursday, from 10am-8pm, make sure to stop by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams on 14th Street. They will have light bites and drinks. You can also come in can register to win a room make over and join their Comfort Club a discount program that is free of charge but offers 20% off all the time. Yesssss. And hey - I'll be there too! Hope to see you there! 

Yes we will have light bites and drinks. 


*This post was done in collaboration with my friends at MG+BW. As always, all of my opinions are my own.  

I Was A Bride For a Day and Here's What It Was Like

EventsLibby RasmussenComment

Candidly, I'm not super comfortable in front of the camera. Given the choice between being BTS or modeling, I will alllllways take the former.  I love all of the intricacies that go into styling an event or shoot.  However, I told myself that this year, I would push myself to say "Yes" to new opportunities and expand my horizons, in really any way.  So when Rachel, of Rachel Lyn Events and Michelle of Light and Arrow Photography reached out to me on Instagram about being a model for their wedding shoot, I bit my lip, and just said why not? And I'm so glad I did. IT WAS SO MUCH FUN!

Before the Shoot

A few weeks prior to the shoot, we stopped by Hitched Salon in Georgetown to try on a few dresses. Truthfully, I anticipated this to be awkward or surreal in a way.  Was I really going to try on wedding dresses before I actually had a wedding? "Aren't you worried about the bad juju?!" my roommate asked. But honestly, I wasn't.  It was so much fun and thinking about my own wedding is something I've put off for so long, that I still don't really know what dress will be "the one."  So, I just had a great time with it. Here are a few that I tried on. 

...and the winner was

This dreamy ethereal number by Reem Acra. I loved the OTS sleeves and the delicate details. Before the shoot, I got my nails done at my favorite, Varnish Lane and naturally picked out this Deborah Lipmann color.

The Tablescape & Cake

After I finally warmed up a little bit, I felt like I was finally getting the hang of it.  The entire set team was so great and we had a lot of laughs. 

Overall, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was such a great experience. The photos are amazing, the entire team was amazing, and I'm so excited I said "yes" (lol) 

Want to see more? Make sure to check out the feature on Virginia Bride Magazine here! 

Planning
Rachel Lyn Events
www.rachellynevents.com

Photography
Light and Arrow
www.lightandarrow.com

Venue
Rust Manor House
www.novaparks.com/weddings-catering/rust-manor-house

Floral Design
Oak + Amble
www.oakandamble.com

Rentals
Something Vintage Rentals
www.somethingvintagerentals.com

Dress
Designed by Reem Acra, available for purchase at Hitched Salon in Washington, DC
www.reemacra.comwww.hitchedsalon.com

Hair and Makeup
Makeup by Kevan
www.makeupbykevan.com

Accessories
J’Adorn Designs
www.jadorndesigns.com

Ring
Victor Barbone
www.victorbarbone.com

Shoes
Bella Belle
www.bellabelleshoes.com

Cake
Kupcakes & Co.
www.kupcakesco.com

Linens + Ribbon
Torn and Tied
www.tornandtied.com

Invitation suite + Handwritten sign
Allison Dee Calligraphy
www.allisondeecalligraphy.com

Model
Libby Rasmussen

Five (New) Things I Learned From My Dentist

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Let me preface this post with some transparency.  I LOVE the dentist.  I have never dreaded the flossing, the scraping, the prodding.  Even as a kid, all of my dentist visit polaroids feature me with a huge smile on my face.  I loved having braces. I thought getting my wisdom teeth pulled was actually kind of cool. #ThanksLaughingGas And I'm 100% the kind of dental patient who asks all the questions during my cleaning. Yes, I'm that person. Because of this, I'm always asking my dentist, Dr. Lauren Izadi and her West End Dental team alllllll the questions.  Huge plug necessary: If you're looking for a dentist in DC, check this place out. They're all absolutely wonderful. So let's talk about some of the topics I learned about at my last visit. 

1. I'm Brushing Too Hard

Hi my name is Libby, an I am an "aggressive brusher."  According to my dentist, I get a little too into brushing. I know I'm supposed to brush in light, delicate circles, but sometimes it just feels good to scrub those bad boys clean.  Well, in my case, this isn't doing my teeth any favors. I'm actually wearing down my enamel and putting a lot of pressure on my gums.  Dentist's Orders: Get a soft toothbrush, like a really soft one. And start brushing with my opposite hand.  *sighs loudly* Okayyyy fine.  

2. Those Floss Sticks, Don't Do Sh!t

This one surprised me the most. In spite that New York TImes article that said we might not need to floss? (ew) I still stuck to my daily routine (give or take) of flossing with floss sticks.  My dentist's suggestion, toss them.  Why? Because they really don't do anything more than a toothpick would.  It doesn't hug the teeth the way dental floss does.  If anything, it almost just pushes plaque up into the gums. Gross.  Here's a great article that backs this up.  Also, why bother with wasting the plastic? Here's a great biodegradable floss option that I've started to use. 

3. ...And Neither Does Mouthwash

Unless you are gargling to rid your mouth of bad breath, few mouthwash products actually live up to their promises. Mouthwash does not actually cure dental disease, bad breath, or tooth decay. It works to promotes dental health or simply mask bad breath.  According to many dental studies, if you are brushing and flossing regularly to maintain your dental health, some dentists would say that you’re wasting your money. Unless you have gum disease, dental decay, or bad breath, you’re honestly better off spending your $5 elsewhere.

4. Guard Your Mouth

Oh you know, just another fun perk of getting older. Stress and teeth grinding. I'm not sure when I do it (when I sleep) or how bad it is, but I know it's enough that my dentist has noticed.  While I'm not really ready to commit to the pricier custom guard that my dentist can make, I did find a pretty good alternative with this Oral B Night Guard. I don't wear it religiously, but on nights I suspect I might clench or grind my teeth (when I'm stressed or drink) I'll pop it in before bed. 

5. You're Never Too Old For Fluoride

If you thought you didn't need the occasional fluoride treatment as an adult, think again. Each day, our bodies take in and lose fluoride.  The way we take it in is through foods (like shellfish, grapes, raisins) EVEN WINE (?!) and water. The way we lose it is when acids caused by plaque, bacteria, and sugars in our mouths attack our enamel. We get get that fluoride back into our enamel layer by eating the right foods, drinking fluoride water and through treatments at your dentist's office. Upon learning that, I scheduled a fluoride treatment for my next appointment. The downside: most insurance plans don't cover the treatment. The upside: its only $30. No brainer here.  

Have any of you ever tried switching up your dental routine? After going sugar free the past few weeks, I realized that a lot of the toothpastes we use have sugar in them! Here are a few organic toothpastes to try!

Beauty for Breakfast: Morning Skin Routine

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

My skin is truly at its best in the summer.  I wear less make-up, more sunscreen, and try my best to hydrate more. All good things, but occasionally I need a little recharge and reminder. I'm noticing sunspots where none used to be.  I sometimes "forget" to wash my face at night and properly remove my mascara. And, like many of us, are 100% guilty of not drinking enough water.  So here's a little reminder to myself that I thought I would share with you all. 

Skincare

Sunscreen - I've talked about this before but you guys, I really mean it. We MUST use sunscreen on our faces every. single. day.  It's so important. Not just for the obvious reasons *cough cough* wrinkles but that harmful sun damage that newsflash, your Botox or chemical peel wont be able to combat the rest of your life.  Being "naturally tan" shouldn't be your excuse anymore and I certainly wont say it anymore either.  Also, most "built-in" SPFs aren't strong enough which is why I use a liberal amount (quarter-size) or more on my face and neck every morning. Yes, it's going to be a little thick at first but this is when you can take the time to drink some tea or even better, Restorative H2O (see below) and let it absorb into your skin. This R+F sunscreen is easily my favorite. 

Lifting Youth Creme - I was given this creme as a gift from Saks in Tysons a few months ago and have been hooked. Just a little bit of this creme goes a long way, which is great considering this is quite the luxury skincare item. What is does: It's infused with the brand's exclusive Floralixir™ Dew, and promises stunningly radiant, youthful skin. Yes please. It also delivers Ultimate Lift technologies and rejuvenating nourishment.  The Floralixir Dew helps to reawaken the skin powers of visible regeneration, strength and youthful renew. I apply just a little bit on the tops of my cheeks, forehead and neck.

Vitamin C Serum – In addition to protecting my skin via sunscreen, I also use a Pure Vitamin C serum to help boost collagen production, which provides an anti-oxidant protection and exfoliates my skin and gives it a natural glow. Pure Vitamin C can penetrate faster and deeper into the skin when applied.  I typically use a few drops on my face, neck, and the tops of my hands.

Foam Cleanser – The best way for me to really rid my face of any makeup or surface impurities is with this La Prairie foam cleanser. It leaves my skin feeling calm, smooth, and purified. I’ve found in the past that some cleansers that I use tend to feel like they take off almost too much of my skins natural oils and leave it feeling dry and dehydrated.  I’ve stuck with this one for a while because it leaves my skin soothed and hydrated.

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Anti-Wrinkle Brightening Serum – I was sent this serum to try a few weeks ago and have used it nearly every day ever since. It’s essentially a two-for-one with its combined powerful collagen-stimulating peptides and advanced anti-aging properties with potent plant stem cells. The formula is really smooth and infused with rejuvenating vitamin B3 and stable time-released vitamin C to visibly diminish the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles. I’ve had some spots on my nose and cheeks for a while and this has definitely made them less noticeable, to me at least. I’ve been using a lot of it at night and a little in the morning.  I love the way it applies and feels cool on my skin after a hot shower. 

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Ice Rolling

I’ve discussed the benefits of ice rolling before numerous times, particularly in this post. But in the summertime, I feel like my skin craves it the most.  Ice rolling is a favorite morning routine of mine because it cools my face after a hot shower or de-puffs after a night of drinks or salty food.  Typically, I’ll ice roll after applying my brightening serum and sunscreen.  The roller helps to evenly disperse the products into my skin, acting almost as a paint roller.

Beauty & Restorative Water

This year I got verrry very into Collagen Peptides.  I add a scoop to my coffee, water, cereal, you name it. So when JRINK launched their new line of Restorative Beauty waters, I was alllll about it.  We all know that beauty comes from within (blah blah blah) but really, it truly does.  What we put into our system plays a serious role in how we look and feel.  JRINK covered four essential bases for their waters and I’m seriously hooked. The four waters include: GLOW (Pure Rose, Collagen, Lemon, Beet, Alkaline H20) for glowing skin.  RELAX (Pure Lavender, Lemon, Beet, Alkaline H20) for stress relief, and relaxation. NOURISH (Pure Blue Pea, Collagen, Lemon, Alkaline H20) for your hair. Fun fact: Blue Pea is an excellent source of Bioflavinoid. Never heard of it? Well, it boosts hair growth and health. DETOX (Chlorophyll, Mint, Probiotic Acidophilus, Alkaline H20) for a cleaner, healthier liver. 

Interested in trying out JRINK's new Resorative Waters? Do it. I love them. Make sure to use my friends + family code LIBBY10 at the checkout to save 10% on your first online order.  

Remember, wear sunscreen, get enough rest, and drink plenty of water to stay prettttty this summer.  Thanks for letting me try out these waters JRINK! *As always, all of my opinions are my own. 

Peonies 101 - Everyone's Favorite Flower

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

It's really no secret that peonies are some of the most prized flowers on the market.  All year round, we wait for those beauties to pop up in the Trader Joe's and Whole Foods for $6-13 a bouquet.  Which, as we know is a steal considering some peonies are $13-18 a stem in the off season.  But, I have to say the grocery store options pale in comparision to the beautiful arrangements that i-Fleur here in DC (and DMV) offers.  I've never seen a delivery arrangement more beautiful than these. (More details at the bottom of the post.)

Peony Facts

  • Peonies initially were grown for medicinal purposes.  They were used to treat headaches, asthma, and childbirth pain. 
     
  • Peony petals are edible. The petals can be parboiled and sweetened for use in teas, summer salads, or as a garnish for punches and lemonades.
     
  • The state flower of Indiana is the peony.
     
  • Peonies are often called “The Dolly Partons of the Garden”
     
  • Long ago, people believed that peonies protected them from demons.
     
  • Peonies are traditionally used for celebrating the 12th wedding anniversary.

Where Are Peonies Grown?

Interestingly enough, Alaska is the only place in the world that supplies fresh-cut commercial peonies in the wedding season from July into early September. Alaska? You may be asking yourself. Surprisingly, peonies could in fact be Alaska’s next big cash crop. Peonies thrive down to 60 below and require cold weather to flourish. A well cared for peony bush can live up to 100 years.

How To Keep Peonies Fresh

1. If you're buying, get the buds.  While they might not be pretty at first, you'll appreciate them more as you watch them grow and bloom
2. Keep them cool. As you would with other fresh flowers, stashing peonies in the fridge at night is a guaranteed way to help them last longer. 
3. Cut the stems at an angle and trim them every day. This will help maximize the water absorption and helps the flower get more water and nutrients. 
4. Change the water daily.  No brainer here - fresh water = fresh flowers
5. Make your own flower food. My Grandmother would mix sugar and water to feed her flowers and they always last longer. 

Where to Buy the Prettiest Arrangements

As always, I'm a huge proponent of supporting local businesses, particularly those owned and operated by women.  i-Fleur is an amazing and not to mention, a far less expensive alternative to 1800-Flowers or other floral delivery services for peonies.  The bouquet you see pictured here is the round petite option. And this stunning bouquet has lasted more than a week (far longer than the grocery store flowers mentioned above.) 

Be sure to check out i-Fleur's website for ordering as well as their social media channels.
Instagram  / Facebook / Pinterest 
Right now, they are also offering 15% off of their bouquets with the code SUMMER15

Happy Summer!

Photographer: Libby Rasmussen

Four New (Affordable) Rugs From My Apartment

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

Rugs are expennnnnsive. Everyone who has ever shopped for one knows this.  Old or new, they are a pretty penny but truthfully, worth the investment.  I never really realized how much my apartment would be transformed with the right size and amount of rugs around the floors.  While of course they're a practical way to keep the floors clean and interesting, they add a great pop of, drum roll please, color. Here are the four new (affordable) rugs in my apartment that I am loving.

Chroma CB22 Tribal Tree Of Paradise Medallion Rug (7'10"x11) $321

This rug fit my living room to a T.  And while I was a bit hesitant about getting a pink rug, I could not be more happy with my decision. The pink tones are just subtle enough and are balanced out well with the reds and blues. It's incredibly versatile and a great alternative to some of the price Turkish rugs I've seen in the past. It also compliments this navy Moroccan pouf that I have and love. (Similar here & here.)

Bavoda Moroccan Diamond Pole Rug (Runner) $99

This. Runner. I want to make it very clear that I don't typically gravitate toward pinks and purples but this runner was the absolutely welcome exception to my rule.  Featured here in this Instagram I just posted, you can see the colors are more and lavender and more subtle then in the photo below. I love it and it's the perfect size for a hallway or entryway.

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Berber Moroccan Diamond SM18 Rug (3'x5') $69

For my kitchen sink area, I knew that I needed to get something that was on the darker side. Between cooking at the stove and unloading the dishes, there’s a lot of potential for stains to show up on a rug. I love the large, more modern print on this rug and the other color options are equally as fun. The best part, this rug is less than $70. Win.

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Tuscan Fading Printed Medallion Rug (5'x8') $192

I absolutely love navy and orange together so this rug immediately caught my eye. The pale robin egg blue coupled with the subtle tones of yellow were perfect for under my dining room table. The rug lays slightly under my console (pictured below) that has two large navy garden stools and ginger jars to compliment it. I also added the luxe Hermés lacquer tray from The Kellogg Collection to tie it all together.

A special thanks to my friends over at Rugs USA for providing my home with these beautiful rugs. While this post was done in collaboration, as always, all of my selections and opinions are my own. Where's your go-to rug shop? Do you buy new or vintage? 

Either way, happy hunting! 

Living For The WEEKEND

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Tassels, acrylic lettering, and bright colors. Say no more. When I got this sweater I was hooked and immediately put it on, on a Wednesday.  Because, let's be real, we could all use a little weekend fun during the week.  The sweater is from Rails and can be found at Bloomies, Nordstrom, and Shopbop

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Shop My Favorites from Rails 

What puts you in the weekend mode?
Special thanks to Kara Schab at Right Foot Creative for the photos!

 

 

I Got My Eyebrows Microbladed & Have Zero Regrets

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Can I just say, I am VERY happy that brows are on trend, and have remained on trend.  Growing up, my brows were always dark.  I had bright blonde hair and dark, bushy brows.  Sadly, like most  high school girls, I got a little overzealous with the tweezers and made some pretty poor brow mistakes.  Thankfully, the brows have since recovered and I’ve been embracing my long, dark brows by getting them threaded every two months or so. 

Lately however, I noticed that they weren't as full as they used to be.  Maybe I’m just watching wayyyy too many brow Instagram videos, or maybe my mid-twenties brows are just peace-ing out slowly.  Either way, when I stumbled upon this brow company, @Dollistic on Instagram, I was hooked.  Photo after photo of amazing before and after photos of brows that were either non-existent or poorly shaped, transformed into beautifully symmetrical and sculpted works of art.

I had heard of Microblading before, but I really didn’t consider the process. Was it a brow transplant? Was it a tattoo? I didn’t really know, but I knew I really wanted to do it.

So, what is Microblading?

According to the experts at Dollistic, microblading, also referred to as Microstroking, Eyebrow Embroidery, Feather Stroke Brows, 3D Brows, or micro pigmentation, etc. is the process of manually implanting color pigment beneath the surface of the skin by means of tiny, sterile, disposable needles to produce the appearance of hair strokes. 

Was I really going to do this? Was I really going to get my first what is more or less a tattoo, on my face?  Granted my brows are were pretty good shape to begin with, but hey why not strive for improvement, right?

In preparation for my “procedure” I had to grow my brows out which, admittedly, wasn’t easy because when my brows grow, they grow long.  But I stayed strong and avoided my threading place for 2 months prior to my appointment. (Hence, the reason my brows in the "before" shot below look so beastly.) The day leading up to my appointment, I made sure to avoid caffeine, alcohol, direct sun exposure #sunscreenforlife.

After applying the numbing cream, Christina filled in my brows and made sure they were symmetrical

After applying the numbing cream, Christina filled in my brows and made sure they were symmetrical

The day of, I strolled down 14th Street to Dollistic (1409 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC) which is conveniently less than a mile away from my apartment. I was greeted by the adorable Christina, my brow artist and new favorite person. Christina was incredibly professional and knowledgeable and I instantly trusted her.  We went over some of the ground rules and procedures while she spread a nice thick layer of pre-procedure topical numbing creme to “take off the edge.” Girrrl, thanks. Then Christina spent the majority of the process, drawing her art on my canvas (face lol) using this eyebrow ruler to ensure that I was symmetrical and that I would like the shape of my new brows. 

But before I go into too much detail about the experience, let’s cover some ground with the questions I had, and probably you do too.

What's the Microblading process?

In spite looking like real hairs, microblading doesn’t involve any sort of hair transplanting.  It is merely a series of small tears in the skin in the shape of hairs and filled with pigment.  As Christina explained, it’s not really a blade; it’s a row of sterile needles (one time use) that are used to scratch the very surface of the skin with the pen dipped in pigment in the pattern of hair strokes.

Does it Hurt?

As someone with a pretty high pain tolerance, I went into this thinking it would be pretty painless. I’ve also never had a tattoo so I can’t compare the two sensations. I will say however, yes, it does hurt. Did my eyes water? No.  Were my palms a little clammy, yes, definitely.  Truthfully, the worst part for me, was the sound. It really does sound like the scraping of skin, which made me a little queasy.  Serious props/sidenote though: I was LOVING Dollistic’s Spotify playlist that had all of my relaxing favorites on it.  I honestly loved every song they played.

Okay, back to the pain.  Everyone has a different pain tolerance right? And for me, knowing how good my brows were going to look after, toughened me up.  Candidly, if you’re afraid of needles or blades, maybe this isn’t for you. The numbing solution does help, but not until the second round of cuts did I not feel anything. 

There are two types of anesthetic used during the procedure.  As mentioned above, one is the "Pre-Procedure Topical Numbing Creme" which is used before the procedure starts to take the edge of the first few hairstrokes.  The second one is a gel like anesthetic made of lidocane that sinks in once the skin has been broken to fully numb you and keep you comfortable during the duration of the procedure. (similar to the dentist, you have to feel a little pinch before becoming fully comfortable and numb!)

My brows 2 days after the procedure - still dark and a little sore but pretty on fleek if I must say

My brows 2 days after the procedure - still dark and a little sore but pretty on fleek if I must say

Post procedure, I was pretty tender. Not enough to go running for the Advil, but enough to feel like, oh yeah, someone just made 100+ little cuts on my face. It really just feels like you have a bad sunburn on your eyebrows. 

Am I a good candidate for microblading?

Dollistic made it easy with this FAQ on who can and cannot have the procedure as well as this Pre & Post Care guide.

Before & After - You can really see the difference in the shape and fullness here

Before & After - You can really see the difference in the shape and fullness here

How much is it?

Getting your brows microbladed isn’t cheap, especially if you are going to the best of the best. And really think about it here, you’re essentially getting a tattoo on your face – you deserve going to the best.  This isn’t something you want to cut corners with and run the risk of infection or even worse, bad brows.  The price typically depends on the skill level and experience of the technician.  The rates at Dollistic are $650-1150 for new clients and this includes two sessions (each 8-ish weeks apart.)  Nationwide the rates vary from $250-2500 depending on location and artists' experience and reputation/demand.

How long does it last?

Future touch ups vary from person to person. Some people come every 6-9 months because they always want their brows to be bold and defined.  Others might not want or need a touch up for 1-2 years. Those who follow aftercare directions definitely have the best and longest retention. Dollistic recommends touch ups annually for best maintained and beautiful brows. Which if you think about it, is a great and cost efficient maintenance plan if you are someone who already spends $20-25 on brow make-up per month ($300+ per year) and $30-55+ on threading or waxing ($660+ per year) plus, lets be real the extra 10-15 minutes every morning filling in your brows (time = $$)

Day 6 Post Microblading - Brows are more subtle and natural 

Day 6 Post Microblading - Brows are more subtle and natural 

Is it worth it?

Yes yes yes, omg YAAAAAS. As someone who already had pretty full brows, you would think that my answer to this would be the opposite.  But truthfully, it really transformed my brows and even a little bit of my face. I never realized what having fuller, but more importantly, symmetrical brows could do for my face.  Not to mention, my arches are now more pronounced, making me look more refreshed.  If you are even considering microblading, you should one, make sure it's something that's right for you and two, set up an appointment with Dollistic. You can see all of their amazing before and after photos on their Instagram.

Overall, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.  In spite the slight discomfort with the healing process, it was entirely worth it.  Huge thanks to Christina and Dollistic for having me and for my beautiful brows. I can't recommend this enough. More questions? Feel free to ask me on Instagram

I Finally Tried a Subscription Box & It Wasn't Filled with Junk

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

One of the best parts of blogging for me, is getting to know other small businesses, especially those owned and operated by women. So when my good friend Kara (also owner of a small biz) told me about her friend's company, Luxor Box, I knew I wanted to hear more about it and get on board! 

For the longest time, I couldn't really get behind the whole subscription box thing.  My friends that have tried Birchbox seem to really like it, but I was hesitant. To me, most of those boxes seemed like well junk. Tiny samples of small lipsticks that didn't match my skin tone or obnoxious colored nail polishes that companies were clearly trying to get rid of - it just felt like something that would immediately go in my bathroom "junk drawer" in my bathroom (we all have them.)

In my opinion, what makes Luxor Box different from other subscription box companies is the quality. Take this Ciro Cell Daily Hydration sunscreen - it typically sells for $50 and is sold out on its own site.  I loved getting this sunscreen in the box because, one, sunscreen is life. #teamnowrinkles and two, it's clearly an item that people love, not some junky free sample that I could pick up from CVS. 

Overall, I genuinely enjoyed and wanted the products in the Luxor Box. They were so well packaged and curated and would make a perfect gift for a bride-to-be, mother, or friend. 
Special thanks to Kara Schab @rightfootcreative_ for the intro to Luxor Box and for these beautiful photos.  Make sure you check out Luxor Box and their insta for more info!

Whimsical Decor I'm Loving Right Now

Shopping, InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

It's no secret that I have an affinity for colorful, and sometimes pretty cooky things. I'm no stranger to neon signs, or wearing clementines as necklaces. So when I decorate, I want it to be anything but plain and simple. Who doesn't want a little FUN now and then? Here are my current favorite cooky decor items. 

Scroll to Shop My Favorites 

What whimsey do you decorate with?

Photos and products via Waiting On Martha 

Better Blonder with The Shop Salon

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

“Where do you get your balayage done?” While this question was completely harmless and with good intent, I was horrified to hear that my roots where so dark that someone actually thought I had paid to have my hair look that way.  For those who don’t know, this is a balayage – a technique for highlighting the hair in which the dye is painted on in such a way as to create a graduated, natural-looking effect. Beautiful for some, but certainly not the look I was going for.

I knew I needed to get my hair highlighted immediately.  When looking for a salon in the DC area, I’m always a bit hesitant for two reasons. One, it literally costs an arm and a leg to get your hair highlighted in the district.  Two, my best friend’s Mom has been one of the few people to color my hair ever, and since the 6th grade at that.  Any blonde who gets highlights knows that there is a lot of trust involved when someone colors your hair and that it can go TERRRRRRIBLY wrong. 

When I connected with AC at The Shop Salon in Bethesda, my fears were immediately put to rest.  We had a great consultation over the phone, discussing my hair texture and thickness and what color I was going for.  We decided that Bruna, one of the amazing stylists at the salon would be the best match for me. Just a short walk from the Bethesda metro station, the salon is conveniently located downtown. It’s bright, with amazing natural sunlight and the walls lined with some of my favorites from Bumble and Bumble.

Bruna and I chatted about what color and the thickness of the highlights we thought would be best and off we were! She used so many new products I had yet to try but now love - particularly this Kevin Murphy UN.TANGLED leave-in conditioner, which smells amazing.  I also love love love Redken’s Anti-Snap for a leave-in treatment – I’ve been using it since the 4th grade. 

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After a few short hours, I was blow-dried and curled to the nines.  My hair has honestly never looked better.  I loved the soft, beachy curls the team showed me how to replicate with my new favorite line from Bumble and Bumble, called Surf. This line is a saltwater-based styling spray that adds texture and volume that gives my hair a fresh-off-the-beach look.  The Surf line even has seaweed and kelp extracts for enhanced moisture.  The foaming mousse also has a beach protective blend with coconut water that protects hair from the drying and damaging effects of the sun’s UVA and UVB ray. See, even your hair needs sun protection. #wearsunscreen #seriouslyladies

Anywho, the whole team at The Shop Salon was incredible and super attentive, which I truly appreciate.  I give my highest recommendation for blondes or really, anyone in the DC area to visit The Shop Salon.  I can’t wait to go back! Gone are the days I’ll go that long without highlighting my hair.  Buh-bye balayage.  

Make sure to check out The Shop Salon and tell them that Libby sent you! A special thank you to AC and my new friends at The Shop Salon and Bumble and Bumble for partnering with me. As always, all of my opinions are 100% my own.

Cinco de Weekend

FoodLibby RasmussenComment

Is there really anything better than limes, salt, tacos, margs, birght colored earrings, and tassel off the shoulder tops? It's almost if someone took all of my favorite things and put them into one day. 

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What to Wear

What to Make: Hosting a little backyard fiesta? Here's an idea to spice up some of your appetizers.  Remember when I made these darling little DIY Decorative Party toothpicks for my mini chicken and waffles?  They are so easy to make and perfect for the weekend celebrations!  
Another crowd-pleaser, my jalapeño poppers recipe! More importantly, this tie-dye piñata cake: I made.

Where to Eat: If you're in the DC area, Mission Dupont will be hosting the largest party in D.C. on May 5 for Cinco de Mayo. The party starts at 11am with a special lunch menu offered featuring a mix of Mexican brunch and lunch items. I HIGHLY recommend the spicy pineapple margs. And if you're playing hooky from work, (which you should) Mission's legendary bottomless brunch option is also available- two hours of bottomless margaritas, mimosas, beer, bloodies, guacamole, salsa (+ a shot of tequila!) Guys, there will even be mariachi band.  What more fun could you need than enjoying this amazing day on the patio?

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And if you're playing hooky from work, (which you should) Mission's legendary bottomless brunch option is also available- two hours of bottomless margaritas, mimosas, beer, bloodies, guacamole, salsa (+ a shot of tequila!) Guys, there will even be mariachi band.  What more fun could you need than enjoying this amazing day on the patio?

Happy Cinco!

Gifts for Her - A Few Ideas for Mother's Day

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Mother's Day is less than 2 weeks away which means you have juuuuust enough time to get the amazing woman in your life something special.  While I'm a big proponent of sending some quality snail-mail, a little somethin' somethin' for, THE AMAZING PERSON who raised you (shout out to my very own, M-O-M) is always a good idea.  And, I made it easy for you by featuring some of my favorite items from Amara, which essentially screams "all the things I want my kid to get me for Mother's Day." You're welcome. 

Let's Talk Lashes - More than Just Mascara (But that too)

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

Let's Talk Lashes

I’m pretty over articles that simply tell me which mascaras to buy.  Or in a more recent case, as the Man Repeller discussed, not wearing mascara at all, a la “I (Actually) Woke Up Like This: Bare Eyelashes Are Trending.” Yeah, okay. For many, especially us blondes, this trend isn’t something we’re ready for, or particularly care for.  Ever since I can remember, I’ve loved and embraced a tastefully chunky lash.  Coating my top lashes in layers of thick, black, Lancôme mascara was, and still is a daily ritual I look forward to.  A sign of the “finishing touches” before long day of work, or a girl’s night out, a lash-obsessed gal knows, knows, that there is such a thing as having a Good Lash Day.  And it can make or break your hour of previous grooming antics. 

While make up artist Dick Page has written off thick mascara as one of our “little beauty crutches”, I’m fully willing embrace my mascara “crutch” over rocking a nude lash. The trend  does have me thinking however, what does all that mascara wear and tear do to the longevity of these precious little hairs on our lids? Let’s discuss different methods, products, and then, best practices for keeping your lashes long, and strong – because we all want that, no? Let’s start with the method I tried most recently, lash tinting.


Lash Tinting

I’ve thought about getting my lashes tinting for a few years now.  My lashes aren’t super faint, but they have almost an ombre to them (dark at the root, light at the ends.) I love the idea of not wear so much mascara during the day or at all while swimming.  I started using a semi-permanent lash tint at night sent to me by Rimmel London.  It’s proven to darken bare lashes in two weeks and give the appearance of instantly fuller and longer lashes.  I loved this product for nightly use (before bed), but as my everyday mascara, it didn’t quite do what I wanted.  So then I consulted the professionals at Elle Lash Bar here in Washington, DC and scheduled an appointment.

The lash tinting process was surprisingly quick and easy thanks to Paula at Elle Lash Bar.  We started by removing my mascara and eye makeup.  Paula then put Vasaline on my eyelids and under eyes to prevent the lash dye from staining my skin. She then put thin cotton pads under my eyes and tinted my lashes gently with a small brush and let the dye sit for six or so minutes. After, the dye was removed Paula give me some cooling eyedrops to help with the small burn from the tinting.  

Overall, I highly recommend getting your lashes tinted, especially if they are blonde like mine. My  lashes look so much longer now that they are darker and I love the results. Lash tinting typically costs around $35 - $60 depending on where you live and lasts about 4-6 weeks.
 

 Lash Extensions

Lash extensions fascinate me. Every time I see them on a stranger or a friend, I feel like I want to ask them 100 rapid fire questions. Can I touch them? Do they itch? Are they like, suuuper expensive or just kinda expensive? Can you put mascara on them?  What about showers and washing your face? Are they worth it? Are you forever addicted? So finally, thanks to this post, I asked a friend with lash extensions these exact questions.  Here's what she said:

Tell me about your lashes. I won't ask to touch them but, I will probably stare at them this entire time. 

Friend: "I got my lash extensions a long time ago - about two years to be exact. The process is actually really calming. I go to my lash lady, lay on the bed with chill music playing, close my eyes, and let the beautifying begin."

Can you explain the process? 

Friend: "Each lash gets its own individual lash put over the top. My lash lady dips each individual extension in glue and bonds it to my natural lash. At the end, she goes through and feathers my lashes and checks for spots she missed. I like it because they're custom to me, and I can pick how long or thick I want them depending on my mood."

How long are you laying there for?

Friend: "Typically about an hour and a half give or take. She's pretty fast."

How long do they last?

Friend: 
"It depends on the month. In summer when I'm at the pool or working out more often, I need to get them filled in or redone more often. On average though about 5-6 weeks.  I've learned not to touch or play with them.  The first set I had done didn't last that long because I was constantly touching them. They also itched more. I'm better about that now."

So do they itch a lot? Is that the most annoying part about them?

Friend:
"No, the price is the most annoying part! [laughs] I'd say, it's more mind over matter. But yes, they do itch sometimes."

You mentioned price. We all know they're expensive.  If you don't mind me asking, how much do you pay for yours?

Friend: 
"Oh gosh. Well, my first set was around $300 with tip and my refills are typically around $40-$50 a visit. I know that's a steep price but look, I never buy mascara anymore. When I was, I was paying about $45 a tube and going through 14-16 of those a year, so you do the math. I also stopped coloring my hair when I started getting the lashes. It's all about budgeting your beauty."

Bottom line, will you ever go back to your natural lashes?

Friend: "Not likely, well, I'm not sure.  Right now I see it as a small luxury that I like to do for myself. It makes me feel great and I love the compliments I get from them. And when people ask me if they're extensions, I tell them the truth. But if they just say, "Wow you have great lashes" I thank them and move on." 

Still curious about lash extensions? Check out this article. And I've heard amazing things about the extension services at Elle Lash Bar, here in DC. 

Lash Conditioning

Castor Oil There’s been a lot of hype about castor oil on brows, cuticles, lashes, you name it. But with trend comes skepticism.  "Is Castor oil just the new oil pulling? Where it’s probably bullshit but does it really hurt to try it and see?” Valid.  However, there have been some great testimonials here and here on its benefits.  Castor oil is full of nutrients that can help to nourish the lashes and keep them from breaking. 

Coconut Oil -  Similar to castor oil, many have raved about the benefits of coconut oil for lash conditioning and strengthening. No surprise here, considering coconut oil filled with a wide range of natural fatty acids, like lauric, caprylic, myristic, and capric acid, which are all medium fatty acids and are critical for good cell growth in the body.  

Here's a great eyelash growth serum that we found that combines the two: 

 1 teaspoon castor oil
1 teaspoon emu oil (optional, can use extra castor oil instead)
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
2 capsules Vitamin E oil (optional)

 

Lash Perming

Lash perming is a great solution for those who spend countless minutes curling their lashes to get that uplifted look.  Why do this? Well, uplifted lashes look longer than straight ones, giving you the large doe-eyed look so many women love.   Eyelash perming curls and lifts your lashes and typically lasts about a month and half.  Of course, the tricky part about lashes is, they fall out. Therefore, as the permed lashes fall out and are replaced by straighter ones, the effect of the perms disappears and requires additional treatments. This could turn into an expensive regimen, but hey, what isn’t?  We’ve also heard rave reviews and have seen amazing before and after before and after photos from clients at Elle Lash Bar.  If you’re looking for something less permanent, we’ve heard rave reviews about this Shu Uemura eyelash curler, which has been around since 1931. 

 

Lash Growth Enhancers

Think of these growth serums and enhancers as eyelash steroids. Not everyone's doing it, but if they are, they probably aren't telling you. Here are a few that I've heard great things about and are using myself. 

Revitalash - Revitalash is sold at Nordstrom and is dermatologist reviewed.  Those who use it say its non-irritating and easy to apply.  Results are typically seen by week 4-6. Revitalash has been called the "training wheels" for anyone who is considering Latisse. 

Amalie Beauty Wink Lash Oil - This Wink lash oil is packed with those great fatty acids that may stimulate lash growth.  In spite of it being an oil, it's light and thin in texture and won't clog up your lids. One user said that she noticed results in just 2 weeks and that her lashes appeared to be darker as well. 

Rapidlash Enhancing Serum - There are a lot of really great reviews of Rapidlash out there, especially on youtube. It needs to be applied just once a day and has been proven to show results in as little as 4 weeks.  

So here's what I'm using....

Rodan + Fields Lash Boost - So you may have remembered my post on starting to use Rodan  + Fields products recently, and yep, I'm still loving it.  Something my skincare godmother, Mary Utsey recommended was Lash Boost for stronger, longer lashes.  I suppose I could file this under the "Lash Conditioning" category as well, but I've seen such great results that it feels more like an enhancement really.  Lash Boost launched in October and I've been using it ever since. Have I noticed a difference? Yes, 100% and others around me have too.  I can't tell you how many times I get asked where I get my lash extensions done and I LOVE being able to say, "Nope, these puppies are mine!"  At $150 a tube, it may seem like a bit of a splurge, but if you're anything like me, and clearly you are if you're reading this post, you want to invest in your lashes and see them grow heathy and strong.  Bonus: Mention Libby Living Colorfully with any Rodan + Fields purchase through Mary and receive $20 off your order! 

Mascara

Primer - Before discussing mascara we need to address the importance of lash primers. Just like painting a room, a primer for your lashes is essential to build up the best shape, length, and thickness before applying your mascara.  The best part - using a primer can actually save you money.  Why? Think about it. You spend around $12 on a primer, use 3-4 coats before your (typically) more expensive mascara.  Rather than loading up on mascara, the primer is used as a less expensive base for the main event. Bonus: A lot of primers have conditioners in them, so it's a lash win/win. Here are a few favorites. Some people even use baby powder applied with a cotton swab before mascara application for a fuller look. THIS is the primer I cannot live without (pictured above!) 

Mascara - Ask most women what cosmetic item they can't leave the house without and most will say mascara. The lash-defining product was first named after Eugene Rimmel, a French cosmetics inventor and was created first in the 1830's.  Here are some other fun facts and tips you might have not known about mascara. 

1. Ever wonder why you instinctively open your mouth when applying mascara? It's because it's actually easier not to blink when your mouth is open. 

2. The FDA reports that the most common makeup related injury is gouging your eye with the mascara wand.  Day ruined. 

3. Mascara on your lashes overnight dries them out and can lead to breakage. Make sure to take it all off before bed to keep those lashes strong! This is easily my favorite oil cleanser and makeup remover

4. Of all the makeup on the market, mascara has the shortest lifespan (about 3-5 months.) 

5. To keep your mascara lasting longer and prevent it from drying out, place a few drops of contact or eye drop solution in the tube every so often to thin out the texture and prevent clumps. 

A very special thanks to Paula at Elle Lash Bar for answering all of my lash questions and for the complimentary lash tinting.  If you're in Washington, DC and are looking for lash extensions, lash perming or tinting, make sure to call the experts at Elle Lash Bar. 

Photos via: Kara Schab of Right Foot Creative 



 

 

 



My Favorite Statement Earrings At The Moment

ShoppingLibby RasmussenComment

Saks Beauty Week Tyson's Galleria

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

This past year I've made beauty regimens a serious priority of mine. While I'm still guilty of "forgetting" to wash my face after a night out from time to time, I'm working on improving my overall skincare and beauty routine.  For me, this was starting with better quality products. Less drugstore, more department store.  Saks Tyson's Galleria truly has it all so when I found out about their beauty week, I was thrilled.  

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If you follow along on my Instagram stories, you saw that I stopped by Saks last week for the dreamist La Prairie facial.  I also had a chance to check out some of their latest and greatest products for beauty week. 

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You can find so many of my favorites from the store in The Spring Beauty Book.  My overall favs would have to be the Estee Lauder Ultimate Lift Regenerating Youth Creme for Face and Eyes and Hydrating Creme Cleanser. Another goodie was this Bobbi Brown Eye Shadow Palette, which I desperately needed for everyday use.  In addition, thenSaks Beauty Dept includes offerings from Kilian, La Prairie, Chanel, La Mer, Dior, YSL, Clinique, Lancome, Kiehl’s, Trish McEvoy, Laura Mercier, Jo Malone, SKII, Cle De Peau, Sisley, Tom Ford and more.


I also love the beauty ritual guides that Saks is offering for Beauty Week.  We have our eyes set on the Trish McEvoy 'Power of Brows' tutorials on Thursday 2/23. 

Make sure to shop soon. Saks is offering this complimentary tote bag (in stores and online) with any $150 or more purchase. Even better, at $300, you'll get an adorable wristlet to match. Say hello to my new beach bag!  Saks Fifth Avenue in the Tysons Galleria is located at 2051 International Drive, McLean, VA 22102.

7 New Nail Colors for Winter

BeautyLibby RasmussenComment

1. Vintage on Vine

One of Lauren B Beauty's prettiest nail colors of the season, this true, creamy mauve warms up even the palest skin tones and has a lovely, chameleon-like quality: Depending on the light, the effect wavers between dusky purple and a gorgeous, Instagram-vintage-filter taupe.

2. Rose Quartz

Consider this your new favorite neutral. Rose Quartz polish is at once warm, romantic and charming. Make sure to check out some of the other amazing new Kendra Scott nail lacquers

3. Noot

Noot by Zoya can be best described as a very dark grey cream with strong blue-green undertones. Smoky, smoldering dark grey nails with a twist from the addition of green tones.

4. Slate Grey

This is the grey polish you've been looking high and low for. Thanks again Kendra Scott!  A clean, crisp slate hue with eye-catching shine, this gray nail lacquer is anything but neutral.

5. Departing LAX

For those looking for a little bit of fun, Lauren B Beauty has got you. Glints of silver and lavender illuminate this shimmery gray-brown enamel, lending it the shiny iridescence of a jet-plane. It’s an unexpected neutral that soars.

6. Miley

Eeeeee! This is my favorite polish for fall by far!  I discovered this Zoya color when getting a regular mani at my favorite DC nail salon, Varnish Lane. Miley by Zoya can be best described as a pale, delicate lilac creme with light blue undertones. A lovely botanical shade with high-fashion edge.

7. PCH

This Lauren B Beauty polish will take you places this fall. Imagine a cruise down the Pacific Coast Highway on a cool, clear fall afternoon. That’s the stunning freshness of this opaque cobalt blue. Tinged with purple undertones, it’s festive and on-trend and instantly lifts your mood. 

How perfect are these shelves at Varnish Lane? If you're in DC, you can find Zoya and Lauren B Beauty polishes there! Also, special shout out to Kendra Scott in Bethesda where you can find the latest nail lacquers at the store! 

Which colors and brands do you prefer for winter?
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Redecorating? Here's Where You Should Shop

InteriorsLibby RasmussenComment

One Kings Lane

What could quite possibly be my favorite furniture/lifestyle store, One Kings Lane never lets me down.  There's something for everyone here and many times, the items are one of a kind and get snagged pretty quickly. Whether you're looking for a tufted floral headboard, a Gray Malin print and yes, even a Birkin, OKL has it all. Their shopping features set them apart from the rest. I personally love the Shop By Style option. 

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CB2

What did we do before CB2? That is the real question. Created in 2000, and formed from Crate and Barrel, CB2 specifically caters to the young and the bold.  The company is my go-to when looking for anything and everything brass. And don't get me started on the infinite acrylic options this store offers.  Last Saturday, I spent a good 2 hours wandering the Georgetown store...

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West Elm

West Elm is an affordable classic that I feel really caters well to couples who are looking to combine their decorating styles for their new place.  It has sleek yet comfortable elements with the perfect blend of masculine and feminine elements.  I personally love the lighting at West Elm, particularly, this Mobile Chandelier and this Glass Flushmount

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Serena & Lily 

I have a theory that we all just really need a fully decorated summer home. Anyone else? Serena & Lily's designs keep that damn dream alive with its whimsical hanging Rattan chairs and blue and white decor elements. P.S. did you catch our latest post on Gray Malin's Bedroom Makeover? Well he teamed up with Serena & Lily and it's adorable. 

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Studio McGee

If you haven't heard about Studio McGee yet, you're truly missing out. I've been a big fan of this husband & wife design duo for years and have loved seeing them work their way to the top. Any really, they have worked and it's paid off.  Now they're more than just literally the most sought-after design studio, they have a SHOP

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Watercolor Floral Pillow / Nina Tapered Lamp / Batik Bench / Florence Sketch / Gold Bookends

Lulu & Georgia

As best described on the Lulu & Georgia site, "Lulu & Georgia is for the next generation of trend-seekers. It's for the modern woman: the 9-5er, the housewife, the artist, the executive, and the one who's all four. Glamorous, bohemian chic, vintage eclectic or cutting edge, Lulu & Georgia offers a bit of shine for every personality." I personally love the price points at Lulu & Georgia and the well curated selection of interior decor. It's a must when looking for the latest and greatest designs. 

Another great resource I use is Furniture.com which is a great resource and online directory for local furniture deals and sale events!

Where do you like to shop for your decorating needs? 
Let me know! I'm working on a fun master list!