Miss Manners

I wore full makeup to work the other day.

And most of you that know me know that I’m a very strictly BB cream and mascara type of girl. And that’s not to say that there’s anything wrong with cosmetics – I absolutely love them, however, in my job, it really doesn’t make a ton of sense to do much more than the BB and the mascara.

I spend the daytime part of my job in business casual as much as I can, and then the other part of my job, especially when I’m running or teaching classes, is spent sweating up a storm, and if you’ve ever seen someone in full makeup after a good sweat session, it looks silly.

[Disclaimer: if you feel more comfortable wearing makeup while you work out, that is completely up to you, and I totally get it. Judgement-free zone.]

So all of that to say is that I rock a pretty natural look during the day. But last week, after a night of interrupted sleep thanks to the cats, I decided that not only would I go a little more heavy-handed with the tinted BB cream, but that I would even go for my liquid eyeliner, just to wake those eyes up a little bit.


As I walked through the doors at work, someone remarked with utter shock and amazement, “Cheri’s wearing makeup!!” loudly enough for everyone on the floor to hear. She accompanied this with her mouth hanging wide open. I was really embarrassed. I get it, maybe I looked a little different. But is it absolutely necessary to point out that I look scary without makeup (evidently) and that I put in a little extra effort that day?

Two things I think Miss Manners wants me to tell you if you’ve ever been guilty of making a statement like that one…

  • Don’t comment on when you feel someone looks “tired”.  They might be tired.  They might look like shit.  But they certainly aren’t being told anything they don’t know, and are most likely hoping that no one notices how rough they’re looking/feeling.
  • There is a way to compliment someone if they put on some extra makeup and stuff.  You look really nice!  Period!  End of story!  Reminding someone that they usually come to work looking like Shrek, but today, things are different, which is a pleasant change for you, is not helpful. It’s actually rude.

So – just curious. How much, or how little makeup do you usually wear?

Beauty Buys! Plus an at-home gel mani!

So drug store cosmetics are some of my favorite purchases in the world, but with the wedding coming up, I have been focusing more of my finances on wedding things, and less on extraneous purchases.  But last week, I was out of a few things, and so I treated myself to some things I’ve been meaning to buy for a while.  Let’s look through a few of my purchases, and I’ll let you know how they worked out!

DSC_0726 DSC_0727

Okay starting from the far left.

Volum’ Express Falsies Big Eyes Mascara by Maybelline – My honest opinion is I wouldn’t buy this.  I wasn’t really impressed with what it did, and it didn’t really do much for me.  It was really a meh purchase.  Very meh.  I have had better luck with Volum’ Express Colossal…much more worth it for the money.

Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – This is definitely a good buy.  I don’t wear a ton on my skin since I’ve been using Proactiv, but this buy is definitely worth it.  A little dab kinda just smooths out what is going on, and is really really good for a day where you have a gnarly breakout.  It also contains some SPF which is really important for us ladies that are not interested in turning leathery.

RevitaLift Miracle Blur anti-aging skin care by L’Oreal Paris – This product, which was introduced to me by Amanda, is a killer purchase.  So it’s a moisturizer, which I can always use more of, it contains SPF, and it sort of just magically fixes your skin.  Prior to starting Proactiv, I kind of had a permanent breakout on my forehead, that left me with some dark marks.  Between the Proactiv, limited makeup, and this product, I feel like this is the last piece in the puzzle to fix what’s been going on with my skin.  Seriously, if you have drier skin, and you’re looking for a moisturizer with some SPF that can be worn on it’s own, this is is.  Thank you Amanda!

Okay, last but not least, the folks at A Beautiful Mess taught me how to do a gel mani at home.  HOLLA AT SAVING $50!

What you’ll need to do your own gel mani and save a bajillion dollars over the course of a year.


  • Rubbing alcohol 
  • Acetone for removal (kinda more after). 
  • Gelous Gel Nail Coat <-You can get that at Sally’s


  • Your nail color
  • A top coat – AMB recommends Seche Vite, which I have, but I went with my Orly top coat, and it seemed to work out well.

Kay, here are your steps. Nails are clean and buffed, right?

  1. Swab your nails with alcohol to get any excess oils off.
  2. Do a thin coat of Gelous, let it dry for a minutes.
  3. Do a coat of the color, let it dry for three minutes.
  4. Another coat of Gelous, let it dry for a minute.
  5. ANOTHER coat of color, three minutes dry time.
  6. Your top coat, dry it for one minute.
  7. And FINALLY do one last coat of Gelous, seal the top of your nails, and let it dry for a million years.  Seriously, as long as possible


At. Home. Gel. Mani.

Saved ya money!

What do you have planned for this weekend?

@Ultabeauty, what’s with the bad customer service?

In addition to working out, eating, and running, there’s almost nothing I love more than beauty products.

Something about the way they smell, they way they fit into my little cosmetic bag, and they way they can take you from sweaty and gross to feeling like a super model.

So Thursday, between teaching a class and making my way home, I’d become convinced that I needed a classic red nail lacquer upon discovering that I only had a wine.

And then, while I was there, may as well pick up this beautiful blue-green I’d seen when I was there last week, right?

So off to Ulta I headed.

I approached the professional nail care section, and spotted a product that I’d seen Demi Lovato, my Latin lady lover, plugging on E!  I asked the nail tech about it, and she seemed irritated that I was bothering her as she filed her nails.

“Is this Demi Lovato’s line?”

[sigh} “I have no idea.”

I chirped a thanks, and it was clear that I’d be helping myself for the remainder of the trip.

I grabbed these…

photo…and headed to the check out, where I waited for 100 years before someone could help me check out with my two items.

I don’t know if I’m more sensitive to customer service, because I work for Fleet Feet, and we bend over any ways our customers want, but it’s nice to get the same treatment when I go shopping for whatever it is I want.  And it’s really really challenging to shop for cosmetics online.  You can’t smell them, you can’t see what the colors really look like, and it just makes more sense to shop for them online.

But when you shop at a place where you’re not sure if they even want you there, what’s a girl to do?

I wrote a letter to Ulta corporate, and I received a call from the manager today.  I will call him back, and we can discuss how gross my experience at Ulta was.

Now, I don’t want you guys to just think that I complain all day – I write letters when I have excellent customer service as well, and always have.

Whats the best customer service you guys have ever had?

Mine would have to be from Amazon.  Any dealings I’ve had with Amazon have been absolutely stellar, and one time, when I broke my Kindle, they apologized profusely, and asked what they could do to fix it?

What’s the worst?

Mine would probably be at Ulta the other day.  I hate to feel like anywhere I’m giving my money doesn’t want me.

What about you?


Seriously, Maxim?

I don’t hate men.  I quite like them really.  And it’s not my intention to turn my blog into a constant man-hating rant.  But the men responsible for the Maxim Hot 100 list should be appalled at themselves.

It’s that time of year again.  The time when People reveals it’s most beautiful people in the world (a title I find a little more acceptable because they actually list accomplishments, and reasons that the person may be actually beautiful inside, fancy that!), and the time when Maxim lists its Hot 100.  Gah.  Drives me bananas.  So I wake up, a few weeks ago, to some Twitter apocalypse where Miley Cyrus, the baby that was in those Hannah Montana movies I like so well (Hoedown Throwdown ladies!), is Maxim’s hottest woman?!  Look, I think she’s great, but this sort of sick feeling starting to bubble up.  And I nearly wrote one of my famous letters-to-the-editor right then and there.  But I knew it’d fall on deaf ears.  So fans of my prodigious musings, I give you:

Reasons Why Those Fools Down at Maxim Need a Slap.

1.  We (women) are not cows.  This is not a country fair.  Therefore, scan the room, and have several seats, because ranking women is so pre-voting rights.  Boys do that in middle school.  We’re adults.  We don’t do that any more.  It’s gross.

2.  Miley Cyrus is 20.  She is a child.  I am 25 and I recognize this.  And putting that poor girl in a bikini for a bunch of pervs to ogle is just wrong.  Would you like people to look at your 20-year-old that way?  No?  Then Why would you do this?  Billy Rae can’t make her do anything he says anymore cause she’s an adult, but you don’t have to go putting kids in your mag looking like that.

Miley3.  The lack of color is blinding.  From the quick, nauseated scan I did of the 100, I saw like 4 black women on the list.  You’re trying to tell me that black women aren’t pretty?  Actually, I’m fairly certain that’s exactly what you want the world to think.  And it’s not just black women that are underrepresented.  Can we get some Latinas, some Asians, some color up on that list? (Seriously, that’s why I stopped watching the Bachelor/Bachelorette years ago.  When “Flava of Love” is the best thing that folks have in their minds to represent women and men of color dating?  We’ve got a serious prob, Bob.)

And finally…

4.  If you insist on listing, or ranking women, can you at least do it for their achievements?  I’ll admit that I liked Hannah Montana as much as the next girl.  But Michelle Obama is a lawyer, mother of 2, gardens, and has arms like a goddess.  Shakira is a mother, an international superstar and a humanitarian.  Angelina Jolie has a million kids and is speaking on behalf of those women who don’t have a voice (kudos on your latest, hon).  Oprah has paved the way for the next black female billionaire.  Doesn’t that count for something?

Rant. Over.  ::drops mic::

So I tried this new thing yesterday…

So I have my new car, and since I’m saddled with a teeny car payment (it’s big for me!), I’ve been budgeting a looot more tightly.  Brown-bagging the lunch, seeking out more free/less expensive group x options, and running (which is free) a ton!  Which I must say, it’s kind of a nice feeling to actually have a sense of awareness about where my money is going.  But I digress.

I live about 2-3 miles from my job.  And I’ve started to become a little tired of watching my gas dwindle away from these little back and forth trips I’m making to my job.  It’s unnecessary.  And I’m not helping the earth.  So while I save up a little cash for a bike (and lord help, this means I’m going to need to learn to put a helmet over my huge hair), I decided to try running to work.  Get a little exercise in, run to work, and run home.  So how’d it go.

So Raleigh is hilly.  I had to plan a route that was a little more roundabout in order to avoid a gnarly hill.  It was pretty unavoidable. 3/4ths of the way in and I was cursing my decision, and running about 6 minutes late for work.  Dang.  I should’ve left a little earlier.

I’m going to challenge myself to run to work a few more times, see how much gas I can save, and build a few more miles into my day.

Challenges with this plan.

  • Packing.  I had to stow my keys, $5, and a few chews for my low blood sugar in a belt.  On days when I need a little more, this may become challenging.
  • Time.  I didn’t build enough time.  But for incidentals, I need to block off at least 30 minutes for me to get to work with enough time.
  • Clothing.  I need to waterproof some makeup or something.  I looked heinous at work yesterday.  I could feel judgment piercing me from people’s eyes.  I felt the need to caveat each time someone looked at me with “It’s not my fault, I ran to work today”.
  • Stench.  Oh my god.  Like.  I cannot with the way I was smelling yesterday.  To be fair to myself, the funk was two-pronged.  I’d taught a Zumba class earlier, so the Zumba sweat, layered with the budget sweat, added to me smelling like a horse.  I smelled like a horse.  I really sincerely apologize to all my co-workers, and I commend them for not making any comments to me.  Any comments would have been deserved though.  I need to figure out a way to leave some wet ones, some baby wipes, and some touch-up makeup at work.
Before...you don't want to see the after...
Before…you don’t want to see the after…

So I challenge you, if you can do this safely at any point this week, to build a few extra miles into your week by running to work.  Oh, and Happy Memorial Day, guys!  Werk!

No Makeup Monday!

Ladies, today we celebrate the beauty that a little sweat brings.  Generally, I don’t like to leave the darn house without some eyeliner on, but some time spent on the elliptical has a way of perking you up even better than some liquid liner and a kohl pot.

First up?

Whitney Makeup
Whitney Saulsberry

Whitney is a camp friend, and if you’ve worked at camp, or you’ve been a camper, you know you never forget or lose touch with a camp friend.  Whitney inspired the whole thing with this stunning photo she posted of herself last week.

Carly Swanson
Carly Swanson

Hey look who it is! We know her! It’s the super famous Carly Swanson! Carly’s still kicking some butt, and has signed up for yet another half marathon this weekend, so we’ll be expecting for her to share some prize monies with us.

Jess Makeup
Jessica Adams

This cutie is an NFL Widow with me. No, our husbands don’t play, but each Sunday last year during NFL season, Jess would knit or read a book, and I would do my nails, while the boys stared intently at the television in general silence for hours. Also, I think Jess is running her first 5k soon, so we may have to go out there and hoot and holler while she crosses that finish line!

Kimmy Makeup
Kimmy Armour

Ugh. Kimmy is one of those irritating freaks of nature who has good skin and looks like she has makeup on, even when she doesn’t. Now if you’ll remember correctly, Kimmy is my sister, and has made a few appearances on the blog. Kimmy is wrapping up her senior year at Auburn, and has lost a few lbs eating healthy, and heading down to Campus Rec to take classes a few times a week.

Mollie Workout
Mollie Cavanaugh

Mollie attended Elon with me for a year, and she rocks. I mean, total package, and we get each other. Mollie love doing nails, she’s hysterical (like comedian hysterical), and has perfect skin. I hope she doesn’t murder me for this, but one of my favorite Mollie moments was when Mollie was dancing in the hallway outside of our rooms, and she attempted to do a split. It didn’t work out and she goes, “Dammit, I forgot how un-flexible I am!”

Jenny DeVanna
Jenny DeVanna

Jenny is like my work sister. We run together, we complain about it, and we have a blast doing it. We’re also polar opposites but we sort of get each other. Jenny’s moving to San Antonio this summer, so the blog may be going on tour next year for a bit 😉

Erica Smith
Erica Smith

Erica is a peach. She’s also a camp friend, and she’s just a sweet girl, through and through. I think we took this photo after a Zumba class, and as you can see, the air conditioning was in tip-top shape that day 🙂

Alexa Terry (Soon-to-Be Wilde)
Alexa Terry (Soon-to-Be Wilde)

This chick needs no intro. She’s beautiful, she’s sweet, she’s got this tiny little speaking voice, and then she sings like Aretha. She’s cool, and guess what? I’m gonna be in her wedding! Here’s Alexa after a little yoga therapy last week!

Cheri Makeup

And finally, this beauty hails from my living room. This is actually challenging for me. I’m one of those folks who like to throw on a teeny bit of eyeliner, some gloss, and mascara for a race, so to be photographed without it is nuts to me! I look about 12, but you know what, that’s what I look like darn it!

So if you’re one of those ladies like me who doesn’t like to go to the gym with at least something of a mask on, next time, skip the extra step, and just hit it fresh-faced. There’s nothing offensive about a bare face, and quite honestly, it doesn’t make a whole lotta sense to be hitting the treadmill with Amy Winenouse (<3) eyeliner and Baby Lips on. Celebrate the beauty that we were born with!

Essie – Butler Please

Essie - Butler Please

You guys know by now that for a person who spends like 90% of life in workout clothes, that I’m impossibly addicted to cosmetics, right? Perfume, eyeliner, and nail polish are the biggies.

Do I recognize this makes no sense? Yes. But polish, in particular makes me feel like I run faster. And just cause you work out and want to save the world at the same time doesn’t mean you can’t look pretty, right?

At any rate, for you polish junkies out there, this is Essie, Butler Please that I’m wearing. Give it two coats and a top coat, and you’ll be looking great!

My dirty secret…

My dirty secret...

I don’t consider myself supremely girly. I like to shower and burn candles. But working at the gym, it’s almost counter intuitive to apply makeup and perfume.

So here’s my dirty filthy secret. I friggin love cosmetics. Namely nail polish, eyeliner, and perfumes. The other stuff, I could take or leave. I don’t care if I’m running 5k or a full marathon, the thought of being photographed without at least one coat of colorful nail polish and just a spritz of the parfum du jour makes me want to throw up.

So before every race (and sometimes before I teach), I get up a little earlier, throw some eyeliner on, and make sure my nails aren’t chipped, as I’m convinced that my decent racing times are not due to my training, but rather, my choice of nail color. At least if I’m going to be sweating buckets, my nails will be looking fly, right?

(If you find yourself shocked or offended by the sheer volume of polish and perfume I have, consider this. I lost my original collection a few years ago in a tornado that destroyed mine and my roommate’s home. So this collection is what I’ve managed to build back, and not nearly as glorious as the original).