Bridles & Baubles

Beauty and The Beast: Perfectly Groomed

A well-groomed horse is paramount to success in the show pen and well-groomed eyebrows on you are paramount to an overall polished look. This edition of Beauty and The Beast focuses on how to achieve both.

My sister-in-law (who is also makeup obsessed) introduced me to the Anastasia Beauty Express Kit for Brows and Eyes. And let me tell you, it is amazing! If you prefer to do your own eyebrows at home as opposed to getting them waxed (which I hate) then you must have this kit. It comes with 5 plastic eyebrow stencils, of varying arch heights and shapes, that you place over your eyebrows and then apply eyebrow wax and powder to the open area of the stencil. You pull the stencil away and tweeze everything that is not in the powdered area. Voila, perfectly groomed and arched eyebrows! It comes with great instructions and Sephora created a video showing exactly how it works. The kit is available online at Sephora.

Every show horse knows the pre-show clip routine of having their noses, eyes, ears, bridle path and legs trimmed. Over the years I have used a lot of clipper but now exclusively use cordless clippers because it's just easier to maneuver and clip without the cord getting in the way. When my old clipper finally kicked the bucket and wouldn't hold a charge I decided to buy Wahl's Moser Arco Clipper. It is super lightweight, 6 1/2 inches long making it easy to hold on to, and very quiet. It also comes with two re-chargeable batteries that seem to hold a charge forever. It is pretty powerful for it's size, it can easily take down a thick bridle path or fuzzy ears and legs, although I wouldn't use if for body clipping or booting up a whole leg. Plus, the blade and clipper always run cool so no worries about burning your horse or having to use Cool Lube. Available at SmartPak.

Woody (before he was retired) clipped and braided for a show:

Spring Top To Bottom

It's officially spring, but March can be tricky to navigate sartorially-speaking. Winter is not always ready to release it's icy grip and it just feels off to be wearing dark, heavy colors and thick fabrics in late March. In order to combat this I always try to add some great spring-like jackets to my arsenal. I look for bright colors in timeless silhouettes, (think longer day coats and the ever timeless trench), that can easily be thrown over lightweight spring tops and ankle length pants. They still provide warmth but don't look so winter-ish. 

This cheery yellow coat from Zara ticks all the boxes for the perfect spring topper. It's simple yet sharp styling adds structure and polish while delivering a bright punch of color. I would wear it with everything from boyfriend jeans to skinny ankle pants layered over a simple white long-sleeve tee.

Another great piece to help combat spring's fickle weather is a leather jacket in white, cream or tan. A leather jacket can easily add warmth by being thrown over lightweight spring tanks and dresses. It's inherent edgy style also toughens up sweet spring pastels and florals that look out of place on a cold, gray day. Invest in a really good one and you will wear it for years to come. I have white butter-soft leather jacket from Banana Republic that I have owned for 7 plus years and wore it over a flowy Clover Canyon tank and skinny black ankle pants this weekend when the temps dipped down.

I am absolutely in love with this nude leather Muubaa jacket. Can you just see it thrown over a white tank and white jeans?

This cream leather June jacket with the fold-over or fold-up collar would also be the perfect timeless piece that you can wear all spring, fall or winter.

What to wear on your feet can also be a bit tricky in early spring. It seems too early to wear full-blown sandals and flip flops and knee-high boots can look too heavy. I stick with ballet flats in fun colors and bust out my my wedges. If the weather is really bad and you need boots to combat the cold and wet, switch out your winter boots for a pair of rubber wellies in a bright color (Hunter and Joules are my faves).

I am in love with the Stuart Weitzman Corkswoon Wedge. It comes in a dark navy suede and a woven metallic pyrite gold/gray color. Both colors will work wonderfully with all shades of denim including white. They instantly add polish and look springy but the closed toe still looks appropriate for cooler days. Did I mention they are also extremely comfortable and a favorite of the Duchess of Cambridge?

When To Toss

This is a great Makeup Expiration Guide that lets you know how long to keep certain beauty products around. 

How Many Riders Does It Take To Change A Lightbulb?

I ran across this joke on a fellow equestrian's facebook page and just had to share. It is pretty funny and scarily accurate. What do you think? Do you see yourself in any of these riders?

HOW MANY RIDERS DOES IT TAKE TO CHANGE A LIGHT BULB? 

HUNTER RIDER: Well, I’m waiting for my trainer to tell me exactly how but he’s changing light bulbs somewhere else right now. 

DRESSAGE QUEEN: Change a light bulb? Are you joking? I couldn’t possibly be expected to subject myself to such a menial task. Change it yourself. Oh, wash your hands when you are finished. The very thought! 

CLASSICAL DRESSAGE QUEEN: These things cannot be rushed, but must be approached slowly, with great patience, and adherence to the principles laid down by the classical masters, otherwise the light bulb will not attain its true potential, but will forever just be a shadow of its true self. Never, ever use any type of gadget when changing the light bulb. That is an offence to the principles of classical light bulb changing. 

EVENTER: Wuss! As soon as my arm is out of this sling, broken after falling off at that large stone wall while riding Hell Bent for Leather cross-country, I’ll change it. Until then, deal with the dark. It’ll put hair on your chest. Only dressage riders require lights, anyway. 

SHOW JUMPER: Why on earth would I need to change a light bulb when the whole world knows that the sun shines out of my x*&%!? Why, when I release over a jump, the spectators are practically blinded. 

WESTERN PLEASURE RIDER: Oh, my God, someone fix that bulb, I have to have light so that my silver and spangles all glow their best and so that all the highlighter on Old Peanut Head makes his nose look so smooth and sparkly, and oh, my diamond studs have to flash in the light, you know, so oh, someone has to fix it—oh, maybe you without all the silver on your saddle, obviously you can’t ride, you can do it. 

ENDURANCE RIDER: Light bulb? Do you mind, I’m trying to get my horses pulse/respiration/hydration levels down to respectable levels. Once that is done, I have another 50 miles to go before I can even think about changing a light bulb. And besides, this neon green spandex is bright enough to see by. 

NATURAL HORSEMAN: You must instill respect in the light bulb, so that it sees you as the Alpha light bulb, using “light bulb dynamics” (video available at $179.99 on my website). Once you have done this, you will find that there is really no need to change the light bulb at all, but that the light bulb will, with very little coaxing from you (using “light bulb coaxer” $99.95 each, plus for extra $49.99 you get an intro video thrown in) behave, as all good light bulbs should.


Say What

Suffice it to say horse people have their own language that often leaves non-horse people baffled when they hear us talk "shop". Here is a hilarious collection of horse sayings that can really only be said in a barn unless you want a few strange looks from non-horse people. Have you said any of these?

Get Naked

You can look great naked, with a little help from Urban Decay. Urban Decay's wildly popular Naked Eyeshadow Palettes certainly live up to the hype and are stripped down, must-have essential neutrals that you will wear everyday. 

The three original Naked palettes are each filled with 12 gorgeous eyeshadow neutrals, shades range from warm creams to dusky taupes to delicate champagne to gritty gunmetal.There are a variety of textures, including glitter, shimmer, and matte to ensure that you'll never get bored. Each palette has their own color range, making them all different but necessary. Unlike other eyeshadow palettes you won't find any wild colors (hello, hot pink doesn't look good on anyone), only true neutrals that can be the building blocks to your everyday look as well as a night-on-the town smokey eyes.

The original Naked Palette is full of bronze-hued neutrals and will become the true workhorse of your beauty arsenal.

Naked 2 is full of rich-taupe and gray-beige neutrals (slightly cooler colors). This is the palette I bought first and works well with my fair complexion. It is also perpetually sold out from time to time, but worth the wait.

Naked 3 is full of beautiful rose-hued neutrals and is perfect for creating fresh-faced spring looks.

The smaller, but still mighty, Naked Basics has six multipurpose matte neutrals that you will wear every single day. I got this for Christmas and have worn it literally every day since. Totally in love!!

Another thing that is so great about these palettes is that due to their insane popularity you can find tons of makeup tutorials online and on Pinterest, that will teach you exactly how to use the colors to create amazing looking eyes. Search "urban decay Naked tutorials" on Google and Pinterest. Here is a great site that compiled the 5 best video tutorials.

For the Naked Basic Palette:

Naked 1 Tutorial:

Naked 2 Tutorial:

Naked 3 Tutorial:

Micro-Trend: Skinnies and Sneakers

Thru my addiction to fashion blogs and pinterest as well as a keen eye honed for spotting trends while owning my clothing store, I tend to notice small patterns or micro trends among the posts and pins.

 One that has caught my attention recently and am so excited about is the mixing of skinny (usually ankle length) pants/jeans paired with flat sneakers. I love this look first and foremost because it is comfortable. Plus, it looks fresh and chic with a sporty twist. The key to getting this look right is to make sure your pants are very skinny and fitted at the ankles and you show a little skin (you can roll full length pants to get the right length needed). Your sneakers also need to be more of a flat, casual sneaker as opposed to a sneaker you would work out in; they need to have a fashion vibe. Look for brands like Superga, Converse, Vans and New Balance.  In order to keep this look from veering from cute to sloppy, you must wear dressier pieces on top (no baggy printed tees or hoodies or workout looking tops). Keep the outfit very similar to what you would normally wear with flats or boots but instead add sneakers.


Tie One On

I love wearing scarves this time of year. They add interest to my basic tops and sweaters which seem a bit boring after being worn all winter. Plus, they help keep you warm and toasty. These super-soft, cotton jersey scarves are made even cuter embellished with horse prints. They are available in a variety of colors and seem to be extra long in length. Available for $21.95 from Zazzle.

Luscious Locks

This has been a very cold winter and if the cold dry air outside and the warm dry air inside has left your hair a frizzy, dried-out mess (like mine), I have a few tried and true solutions that will bring back shine and softness. 

I am a huge fan of Moroccan Oil (I use it daily on my horses manes and tails) and if you have never tried this amazing smelling, super moisturizing oil then I suggest starting with it for you and your horse. My mare Scout gets dandruff in her mane and when it is too cold to wash and condition her mane I use Moroccan Oil on it to keep it in tip top shape. Did I mention that is smells amazing??

I also like to experiment with new products and ingredients and I think my hair does better when I switch it up. I am currently loving It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product and Drybar's 100 Proof Treatment Oil. 

It's A 10 Miracle Leave-In Product, which boasts 10 different benefits, eliminates frizz, restores shine with a few quick sprays, protects hair from heated styling products and prevents split ends. I spray it on my ends before blow-drying and it detangles my hair while leaving it super soft and shiny. It's way more than a 10!

I discovered the wonders of Drybar's 100 Proof Treatment Oil when I got it as a sample from Sephora. With fine hair I am always a little skeptical of oil treatments but this stuff is truly amazing. It is super light-weight and never weighed my hair down but instead cleared up split-ends and brought my dry, dull hair back to life. And it has light fresh scent that is intoxicating.

I have also been using Pantene's Advanced Keratin Repair Conditioner in the shower every morning and have immediately noticed a difference in my hair. It has actually begun to repair the damage I do to it on a daily basis with my blow dryer and curling iron. My hair is softer and bouncier than ever and really delivers intense moisture. I will definitely be adding this to the wash rack in the barn come spring to keep my horses tail soft and moisturized. Plus, it's inexpensive and really works!

On another, slightly related note. If this cold weather and the horse show off-season has you a little bored or restless in the barn, this is a great article on how to overcome that. It gives you great ideas on new goals and challenges you can work on that will keep you and your horse engaged while also strengthening your partnership. The Chronicle Of The Horse, Why Waste Winter?

Cheers

Wishing all my readers a very Happy New Year! Thank you for your continued patronage even though my blogging has been sporadic. I promise to get back at it on a regular basis sharing my favorite fashion and beauty finds and all things horses!



Give your champagne toast a kick with vanilla ice cream and raspberries! Cheers!