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Funny, sassy, and sometimes enlightening opinions expressed as facts.

Oscars 2014 Recap: Beauty Edition

The Oscars – film, fashion, the pinnacle of awards season. I don’t usually cover the Oscars on my blog, but this year, I feel compelled. But not for the red carpet fashion, because let’s face it, last night was kind of a snooze fest. (Except for Lupita Nyong’o who has won every red carpet of 2014.) However, there were some outstanding beauty looks last night. Here are my picks. Continue reading

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GUEST POST: Hair After Chemo by Mary Beth

EDITOR’S NOTE: Beautypendence brings you the final installment in this three-part series about growing back hair after chemo. (See first post about my mom’s experience here, and second post from Sarah, a firsthand account here.) 

Mary Beth is best friends with one of my college roommates, Leslie. I’ve always known MB as fun-loving, witty and beautiful. Cancer hasn’t changed that one bit. She and I share a love of film, but Mary Beth actually gets to work in the biz. However, her healthcare coverage isn’t ideal for cancer treatments. Last weekend her friends hosted a benefit in Austin in her honor that I was unfortunately out of town for. However, we can all still help her out by making a donation! I asked Mary Beth if I could share this Paypal link with my readers. I know any amount you contribute will be greatly appreciated. And now, her story, in her words.

Mary Beth with long hair, pre-chemoIn May 2012 at the age of 36, I was diagnosed with Stage IIIe Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. My first thought was: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phillipians 4:13). It was a scripture I would repeat many, many times over the next year. And with that, my battle with cancer began.

Ever since I can remember I’ve been known as “the girl with the pretty, long blonde hair.” I’ve spent many nights as a child, squirming in my chair while my mother painstakingly rolled my hair in pink spongy rollers, in hopes that I would wake up with a head of curls like my fellow cheerleaders.

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GUEST POST: Hair After Chemo by Sarah

EDITOR’S NOTE: Beautypendence is proud to bring you this three-part series about growing back hair after chemo. (See first post about my mom’s experience here.) Sarah and I were in the same arts administration graduate program at the University of Oregon from 2003-2005. Not only is Sarah an outstanding museum professional, she’s a wife and mother of two super cool kids. Plus, we have Sarah to thank for this brilliant blog series idea! I know you’ll enjoy reading her story below, written in her own beautiful words.

The idea of me writing a post for a beauty blog is sure to have anyone who knows me rolling in the aisles. I’m about the last person on earth anyone would expect to do such a thing!! I’m renowned for telling my hairstylist “Give me something easy,” and it took cancer to really give me an appreciation for makeup. A few months ago I wrote to Jenn, goddess of all things beauty related, and encouraged her to write a post about growing-out hair. Staying true to her desire to keep this blog very first hand, she asked me to do so instead. So here it goes…

University of Oregon Arts Administration Masters Class of 2005

University of Oregon Arts Administration Masters Class of 2005 – Sarah is in the back row with glasses

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Hair After Chemo: A Trifecta of Triumph

A couple of months ago, my friend Sarah from grad school contacted me. It’s been eight years since we graduated, and we live several states apart, but thanks to the magic of social media, Sarah knew that I had this little beauty blog. She asked if I could write a post about growing out hair after chemo treatments. I was saddened to hear that Sarah had gone through this since we had last seen each other but flattered that she thought me worthy to give this important topic the due it deserved.

With my parents, May 1998 graduation from UT Austin - my mom was 48 and has only faint hints of gray

With my parents, graduation from UT Austin in May 1998 – my mom was 48 and has only faint hints of gray

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Golden Globes 2013 Recap

One of my favorite pastimes is watching the red carpet. I am a fanatic for haute couture gowns. But, alas, I no longer have cable, and hence, I don’t get to watch E!’s pre-awards show coverage like the good ole days of yore. However, my recap of last year’s Golden Globes was one of the most fun to write, so I decided I wouldn’t deny myself the pleasure of (nit)picking last night’s fashion. But I must add the disclaimer that without having seen the fashion in action, waltzing down the carpet, my analysis is based solely on still photos.

BEST RISKIEST CHOICE: Lucy Liu

This dress is one that a lot of people won’t like, but I totally love it. Yes, it’s reminiscent of wallpaper you’d find hung in the family dining room of a 19th century house, but somehow Lucy Liu is pulling off this dress. The shape is classic ball gown as done by Carolina Herrera, but the bold, floral print is unexpected and gorgeous. Lucy’s long, fishtail braid brings a modern touch to the look. And with so much going on in the dress, it was smart to select simple, diamond drop earrings as her only jewelry.

Lucy Liu in Carolina Herrera ball gown at 2013 Golden Globes

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GUEST POST: Mistletoe Mayhem: How To Create It Beautifully This Year

Editor’s Note: It’s another guest post from Austin-based professional matchmaker and relationship expert Julia McCurley. Here she shares her tips for creating some magic under the mistletoe. For more information on how to transform your love life, please visit her website: www.trysomethingmore.com. All opinions shared below are her own.

Mistletoe, Julia McCurleySanta Claus is coming to town. Will you be ready for what he brings you?  At this time of year emotions run very high. If you are attached, it can be the most romantic time of the year. If you are unattached, it can seem like “The Nightmare Before Christmas”.

Going solo to all those events, answering all those questions like, “Why are you single?” And, of course, there may be no one to stand with under the mistletoe.  This is where my experience in offline personalized matchmaking services comes to the rescue. I specialize in helping people find the love of their life. Continue reading

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Tips for Surviving and Conquering Gala Season

You may think of September as the harbinger of the school year, cooler weather and football season. That may all be true, except for the cooler weather in Texas, but in my life, fall is better known as gala season. Because of my day job (yep, I have one, and it’s not blogging!), I go to lots of events. And styling myself appropriately for each event is like an Olympic sport for me. Just this weekend I attended one brunch, one cocktail, and one black tie event. I thought I’d share my trade secrets, in no particular order.

Charlize Theron best red carpet looks

My red carpet wearing idol, Charlize Theron

PLAN EACH OUTFIT WITH A PROPER RUN-THROUGH
Don’t just pull a dress out of your closet two hours before the event and slap it on with some shoes. Yes, sometimes I’m working off a last minute invite, but typically I’m doing my dress selection at least a week in advance. I’ll try the dress on, decide on shoes and accessories – jewelry, handbag, and, if needed, a coat or wrap. And don’t forget to carefully select your undergarments (see my True Story below). The advance planning allows for adequate time to fill in any missing items. Continue reading

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What Do You Know About Ovarian Cancer?

I don’t usually discuss the personal aspects of my life with the whole world wide web, but this is just too important, so listen up. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and it’s time to Break the Silence.  If you are a woman or have women in your life that you care about, please read and share this post.

In early 2007, my mom was diagnosed with primary peritoneal carcinoma, a cancer mostly commonly classified in the same category as ovarian cancer due to the similar prognosis and treatment. Fairly soon after her diagnosis, she had a tumor removed from her peritoneum (a membrane that forms the lining of the abdominal cavity) the size of a grapefruit and immediately began first line chemotherapy. During the chemo, she stopped working, lost a lot of weight and her hair. She was probably more sick than she let on, but she stayed positive. Six months later, she began to feel better, gained her strength back, and went back to work. Everything was great. And then in mid-2008, the cancer showed signs of its return. She went through several different second line chemotherapy drugs, but nothing seemed to help. On May 9, 2009, my mom passed away at the age of 59. Three years later, I still think about her and miss her everyday.

Jenn and mom, Christmas 2007

Me and my mom, Christmas 2007. And yes, she was one of those women who looked beautiful even without hair.

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Beautypendence Turns One: 10 Favorite Posts

It’s hard to believe it was a year ago that Wendy and I were launching a new beauty blog. Lots has happened in the past year, and I couldn’t be more proud of Beautypendence. The most wonderful, unexpected outcome has been the new community created in my world around beauty. There’s a long list of generous beauty-based businesses and professionals I’ve worked with in this first year, but mostly, I send a big virtual hug to you, the readers!

To celebrate, I thought I’d share 10 favorite posts, in no particular order, from Beautypendence’s inaugural year. It was tough to narrow it down from the 91 total posts on the blog (what? wow!), but I think you’ll find some gems here.

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These are a few of my favorite things… in Austin Monthly

Don’t know about you, but I always love reading magazine features where people talk about their top picks or favorite items. That’s why I’m tickled pink to be included in this month’s issue of Austin Monthly sharing some of my “Favorite Things”. My list covers eight items I can’t live without, including products you’ve seen me talk about on the blog, Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil and Dior Diorshow Iconic Mascara. And If you’re needing incentive to pick up a copy, might I mention that this is Austin Monthly’s annual most eligible Bachelors Issue? Jump to it, ladies!

excerpt of Austin Monthly article of Jenn's Favorite Things

Click the image to see the full article

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