DailyVenusDiva.com Rocks!

What made me literally SQUEAL with delight today? Seeing my newest article on DailyVenusDiva.com‘s website! I had my first article  (regarding my love affair with Clinique products) published with this wonderful online magazine last month, and thankfully Editor in Chief Stephanie Penn took another chance on me! I’m looking forward to doing a lot more with DailyVenusDiva. It’s not often enough that women of all sizes and color are celebrated for who they are, and this magazine is all about that appreciation. Curves definitely rule!

To read my article, “Finally – A Retailer Goes ‘Real’: Retailer Aerie Pledges To Stop Retouching Photos” click here!

I’m not quite ready to walk around in my heels, but I couldn’t resist pulling out one of my favorite pairs in anticipating of spring! The weather in the Ramstein area has been curiously mild for winter (perpetually stuck in the 40s) and not one flake of snow, but it does rain quite a bit and the days tend to be a bit starved for sunlight. Here’s hoping for more color soon!!!


Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue. Bag, Chanel. Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

Leopard trim cotton cardigan, Saks Fifth Avenue.
Bag, Chanel.
Shoes, Charlotte Russe.

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

I LOVE the detail on the Forever21 Plus leggings!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Debuting this new H&M baseball style T shirt!

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!  "Eiffel" earrings, Claire's Accessories.

Dreaming of visiting Paris again soon!
“Eiffel” earrings, Claire’s Accessories.

Chanel sitting

Thanks to Diane (my stepmom!) for the beautiful Chanel bag! I am very blessed:)

What do YOU hope to pull out of your closet for spring?

Love, laughter, and shoes!

xoxo Melanie.

Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

One of the new mantras I’ve created for myself this year is “Try Something New.” As I recover from my surgery, all I have is time on my hands so here are some New Things I Will Try (or Am Trying) This Year:

1. New colors to wear. This includes clothes and makeup. I love jewel tones (mostly blues, purples, silvers, golds, deep pinks), black and white, and grays. It’s time to switch things up, so I will include yellows, oranges, and greens. I grew up (like many of you) believing that we are “summers,” “winters,” etc., when it comes to colors we can wear. I think it’s really just a matter of finding the right shades. I took my first baby steps into orange by trying lip color!

Who knew? Clinique's "Oversized Orange" Chubby Stick actually looks good on me!

Who knew? Clinique’s “Oversized Orange” Chubby Stick actually looks good on me!

2. Work on my You Tube channel. I started this a week ago, and I uploaded two videos already! I plan on focusing on beauty, fashion, and my music. It’s always a little risky “putting yourself out there,” but I want to show that it’s not too late to pursue new interests after turning 40. I’m inspired by Michelle Phan’s channel, and hope I can eventually get my production value of my videos to match hers!

3. Embrace my arms. For as long as I can remember, I have not been a fan of my upper arms. Even when I was dancing regularly, I wished for the lithe ballerina arms. However, the women on my mother’s side have had “meatier” arms (maybe it’s a Swedish Viking trait?) and I have spent a lot of my life covering them up. Not this year. I am going to wear a lot more sleeveless dresses and not bring a shawl, jacket, sweater, etc. to hide under. My arms are strong. There is no shame in showing strength.

4. Taking artistic risks. Any performer learns over time that he or she is a “type,” and the best chance at getting cast is playing to that type (a leading lady, character actress, etc.). Singers learn that certain styles of music suit their voices and they tend to stay in that genre. I want to mix things up and show the various sides of me.

Working a "femme fatale" look, inspired by a Patrick Nagel painting.

Working a “femme fatale” look, inspired by a Patrick Nagel painting.

Patrick Nagel Black Bustier Canvas.

Patrick Nagel Black Bustier Canvas.

I don’t want to settle, ever. I hope to always be exploring, inquiring, experiencing all that life gives me!

How will YOU step out of your box this year?

The search begins for a REAL hydrating lipstick!

Right now in Germany it is unnaturally mild for January (around 40 every day), but the air is super dry and no matter how much Chap Stick I wear, my lips keep flaking. I then bought some tinted Blistex, which had a nice light berry taste and gave my lips a good coat of moisture, but alas…the Hubby told me today that when he kisses me when I wear it, it “feels goopy.” Not good.

So, I decided to try two new products. My first one is Clinique’s Chubby Stick, moisturizing lip color balm. The first color, “Bountiful Blush,” has a nice nude pink and looks natural. Then I really stepped out of my box with the “Oversized Orange.” Yes, you read that right…orange! I NEVER have bought anything orange before, only because I am pretty sure it would look horrid on me. However, this color is much more of a coral, and surprisingly looks good! Besides the colors, I like how the Chubby Stick applies like a crayon and feels moist. I haven’t worn one yet for several hours yet, so that review is yet to come.

The second product I bought is TooFaced’s La Crème Color Drenched Lip Cream in “Loganberry.” This product applies like a regular lipstick, and it feels like silk on my lips! Loganberry is a darker pink, which I like for nights out or when I’m feeling a little extra sassy. I will post a final verdict on the long lasting factor later as well.

Tomorrow I will also post pics of me wearing the products, plus some of my other beauty favs! Got a favorite lip treatment or lipstick to share? Comment and let me know!

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Yes it’s True…You Get What You Pay For

Though I’m sure there is no diagnosis for this, I am a certifiable beauty junkie. I LOVE makeup and what it can do to make me look and feel better. However, what I don’t love is the search for just the right cosmetics that won’t: A) cause break outs B) melt after a couple hours, or C) feel like a mask. I also don’t like the dollars I spend on this search, and for the longest time I kept buying drugstore priced makeup hoping to get different results.

Now, I don’t mean to bash ALL brands we find at our favorite drugstore. Every complexion is different and some brands just work best for those types. As you can see, I am Irish fair with dry skin and have a touch of rosacea on my chin and cheeks. I need the “big guns” to get the look I want!

Last August I traveled to New York City and was fortunate to take part in the Look Good…Feel Better event held at Saks Fifth Avenue. The Look Good…Feel Better Foundation helps women with cancer to find and feel their best as they are either battling or recovering from the disease. For only $30 (which goes directly to the organization) I got to have a one on one beauty consultation with the Beauty Editor At Large of Essence magazine, Mikki Taylor, at the Clinique counter! She gave me a makeover using products just for my kind of skin, including Clinique Moisture Surge CC SPF 30 cream, which gives a light and natural coverage while protecting my skin. I also decided to buy the Clinique Redness Solutions Daily Relief Cream, and it definitely tones down the ruddiness while making my skin feel soft. As a special “thank you” (no, Mikki -THANK YOU!) she gave me Clinique’s High Impact Mascara in black to try. Verdict? LOVE IT. When it ran out a couple months ago, I ran right out and bought it. It goes on thick without being clumpy, lengthens lashes, and best of all -NO SMEARS.

Clinique is more pricey, no doubt. However, when I think about all the dollars I spent on less expensive products that didn’t quite deliver, this is money well spent. Plus, I got to have fun and give to a wonderful organization at the same time! The Look Good…Feel Better events are a win-win for everyone!

Left to right- Clinique High Impact Mascara, Blush/Powder brush, CC Moisture Surge cream, Quickliner for eyes, Eyeshadow blending brush.

Left to right- Clinique High Impact Mascara, Blush/Powder brush, CC Moisture Surge cream, Quickliner for eyes, Eyeshadow blending brush.


Mel headshot 2014

Clinique products used: CC Moisture Surge cream, High Impact Mascara, Quickliner for Eyes.