Contouring 101

Anyone who is a beauty fanatic like myself, knows the magic of contouring. You can use shading to transform the look of your face, allowing to accentuate your high points and hide your flaws. Usually this is achieved by using bronzer/darker shade to contour the shape of your face and a concealer/highlighter to accentuate and draw attention to other areas of your face. Above is a fairly dramatic drawing of areas to shade and highlight. Below is my own example:

The white areas represent concealer to highlight and the brown areas represent where I use a darker bronzer to shade in. By sucking in your cheeks you can essentially thin your face and make your cheekbones a bit more exaggerated. The same goes for under your chin; by shading this area it allows your face to look thinner, especially if you have a bit of a double-chin like myself 😉 The under eye area looks amazing with the concealer underneath. It brightens the area and makes you look more wide-eyed and awake. The area underneath your brows (the brow bone) also exaggerates your eyes and helps keep your face looking extra sharp. The nose is probably the most difficult to shade, since you don’t want it to look funky. Use a gentle hand on the sides in order to slim your nose (I use a shadow brush in order to be more precise.) And don’t forget to add a but of highlighter to the bridge of your nose as well. The upper lip area is optional. I don’t see any MAJOR differences when I don’t highlight it, however if you are doing a dramatic lip it does help accentuate them. With a good primer and foundation base, contouring can really transform your face. It does take a little time, but in my opinion it’s totally worth it! The final product: (Check photo description for all products used!)



JELF – P1W1 Day 2

Greetings! Today was my second day of the LiveFit trainer. It was also my first day having class as a graduate student, so it was a learning process as to when were the best time to get my meals and workout in. Luckily, I have a few longer breaks that allow me to stay on track. Today was Back and Biceps and looked like the following:

  • Wide grip Lat Pull-Down: 3sets of 12 reps; 50#
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3sets of 12 reps; 20#
  • Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of12 reps; 100#
  • Underhand Cable Pulldown:3 sets of 12 reps; 60#
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3sets of 12 reps; 15#
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps; 15#
  • Standing Biceps Cable Curl:3 sets of 12 reps; 60#

Breakfast was on the run this morning as I was off to a late start (I’ve gotten too use to sleeping in lately) therefore it consisted of a few sips of coffee with unsweetened almond milk and NuNatural Stevia and a few bites of Raw Oatmeal. At least I got a little something in my stomach, although ideally I would have been able to have a nice meal including protein, complex carbs, and a bit of fruit.

Lunch was fairly early (11:00am) since I didn’t have breakfast and therefore wasn’t the best option. I ended up making two eggs over-easy (cooked with a few spray of EVOO) two slices of whole wheat toast and a few slices of bacon. I probably didn’t need the bacon buuuutt it was delicious and I don’t really regret it.

This afternoon (2:30PM) I had a small snack which consisted of low-fat mozzarella stick, 3 pretzel rods, and 2 rice cakes. Kind of strange and not the cleanest but I didn’t have much else on hand.

Pre-workout I drank a bunch of water, had an orange (hellooo sugar buzz) and post-workout had my ON 100% Whey Double Rich Chocolate protein shake (made with water)

Sorry for the boring post, however having a blog and writing about yourself definitely helps keep you accountable. I’ll try to post some more interesting stuff in the next upcoming days.

I will leave you with a little workout motivation for yall:


Fitness – JELF Day 1, Week 1, Phase 1

After not getting much exercise lately due to moving  (to go back to Grad school), stressing, planning, and just getting prepared for life in general, I’ve decided enough is enough. I need to get back into the swing of things and to continue my healthy habits. After some research and debating, I am planning on trying out Jamie Eason’s LifeFit Trainer. I had attempted it before, half-heartedly, and gave up after a bit. Since I currently don’t have a gym membership it will take a bit of adjusting to do all of the exercises. Most of them do have alternates, or you can look up online alternate ways and usually find multiple ways to work the same areas. If you’re interested, here is the plan: Jamie Eason’s LiveFit Trainer

The diet plan is 100% clean and a bit strict. I want to get into good habits, and honestly I don’t think it is feasible for me to follow this diet plan the rest of my life. So, instead, I plan on eating clean but modifying the diet portion a bit to be more realistic. I know I probably won’t see as drastic of a change, but it doesn’t matter if I can’t continue eating this way, and end up gaining it all back in the long run.

Today I will be starting Day 1, which is Chest and Triceps. Looks like this:

  • Wide Pushup 3×12
  • Dumbbell Bench Press, 3×12
  • Flat Bench Cable Fly, 3×12
  • Narrow Pushups, 3×12
  • Standing Dumbbell Tricep Extension, 3×12
  • Tricep Pushdown, 3×12

While supplements aren’t necesary, I will be taking the following:

  • Fish Oil (2x am+pm)
  • Biotin (1x am)
  • Optinum Nutrition 100% Gold Standard Whey Protein (protein shakes + recipes)
  • CLA (2x with meal, max 6 p/day)
  • Multivitamin

Best of luck to anyone else out there on their own fitness journey. We got this 🙂


ROTD – Balsamic Pork Chops + Cheddar Bay Biscuits

So..not only am I a beauty obsessed girly girl, I also LOVE to cook. If I wasn’t a microbiologist, I would totally be a chef or do some foodie type of thing. Anyways, this is what I am cooking up tonight.

Balsamic Pork Chops (altered, via BigRedKitchen)


  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
  • 1/8 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 T Honey
  • 3 Garlic Cloves or garlic powder
  • 1 T chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 T Dijon Mustard
  • 1.5 lbs of thin, boneless pork chops

Mix all ingredients together, pour over chops. Let marinade overnight if possible (I only marinated for about 40 minutes, due to poor planning. Discard marinade and sear all sides of the pork in a med-high skillet. Bake in oven set at 350 degrees, for about 25-30 minutes. (Depending on thinness of pork chops, check after about 20 mins, internal temp of 160 degrees)

Top: Marinading; Bottom: Cooking in the oven

Gravy/Sauce (optional)

  • Keep same pan from searing (above)
  • 3 T wine, cooking wine, a nice red, whatever you have on hand
  • 2C chicken broth
  • Salt + Pepper to taste
  • 2T corn starch + 1T very cold water

This was my FAVORITE part of this recipe. It was to die for. But if you enjoy sauces/gravy, this tastes delicious and compliments the meat great. After searing the pork chops, keep the pan on med-high heat and add some wine to remove the brown stuck on meat parts, I used about 3T but I didn’t measure it out. All of the flavors from the meat and marinade magically combine with the wine. Then add about 1-2C of chicken broth. I only had chicken bouillon on hand, so it wasn’t the best quality of chicken broth but it worked out just fine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer, and just before you are ready to serve add  the corn starch and water together and combine thoroughly, then slowly pour mixture into sauce, stirring constantly, until desire thickness. I served this over brown rice, pouring the gravy over both the pork chops and rice. Mmmmmm…

Now, if anyone has every been to Red Lobster, you would probably agree that the best part is the cheddar bay biscuits. Well you would also be glad to know that these are EXTREMELY easy to make, and taste just as good, if not better, than the real ones. I altered this recipe from various recipes I have found online. You’re welcome 😉

Cheddar Bay Biscuits (batter)

  • 3 Cups of Bisquick or alternate baking/biscuit mix
  • 3oz cheddar cheese (Parmesan cheese works wonderful as well!)
  • 1+1/3 Cups of water
  • 1T garlic powder, onion powder, parsley flakes
  • 1/2T salt, Old Bay seasoning

Butter + Seasoning Topping

  • 1/2 Cup butter
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 Tablespoon onion powder, parsley, Old Bay seasoning
  • Salt (sprinkled over the tops; use sparingly if added to batter)

Mix together batter. I incorporate seasonings into the batter, unlike many other versions. I think it adds a ton of flavor and tastes better this way. Form “blobs” (see above) onto a greased non-stick baking sheet*. Combine butter with seasonings and spoon over each biscuit. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Spoon butter mixture over top one more time. Cool and devour!

*For easy clean-up, cover baking sheet in tinfoil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. This gets a bit messy with the butter mixture, and this way you can remove the foil and you’re good to go!



Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ – Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15

Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ – Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15 in #7, Lingerie Pink. This is it. This is THE most amazing, gorgeous, lovely pinky nude lipstick. Ever. I have read rave reviews about the YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick, and finally decided to treat myself to one of these beauties (Yes, treat, because one little tube is $34.00!) But thankfully, I couldn’t be more in love with this lipstick. If I was rich, I would buy every shade in the collection.

This lipstick is as smooth as butter. It glides onto your lips effortlessly. It has the most beautiful glossy finish. You honestly do not need a gloss, however I do occasionally like to pair this with NARS Turkish Delight (see here).

I also LOVE that is has SPF15 in it. Not only will it look gorgeous, it will keep your lips hydrated and protected from the sun. The scent is a bit fruity. The taste is the same; however I find it rather pleasant for such a thick creamy coverage.

I cannot say enough good things about this stuff. I will be saving up to buy a few more shades. If you are looking for a splurge, this it it!

If you’re interested, you can get this bad boy at Sephora.


Hello world!

Welcome to my new blog, “alis volat propis.” As the subheader reads, this means “she flies with her own wings.” I have recently enjoyed reading a ton of beauty blogs and decided why not start my own. While I plan on focusing on beauty products, I also enjoy health and fitness, fun recipes, and the occasional DIY project so don’t be surprised to see them here as well. For now, check out my “Current Obsession” and check back soon for new posts 🙂 xox