5.21.20 1

Life update

While this is a makeup and style blog, I wanted to share a personal update on my blog. 

If my life had a soundtrack, top of the list today would be “Coming Home” from Diddy. My husband and I are from Arkansas but have been living in Texas for five years. We’re excited to be moving back to Arkansas in July! This has been a dream of mine for some time. I will be closer to my family and my friends. My family moved to Arkansas at the end of my sixth-grade year and I couldn’t wait to grow up and move away. Isn’t it funny how those thoughts and priorities change as you grow up? 

My husband is a band director and, since being married in 2007, we’ve moved from Arkansas to Texas, back to Arkansas, back to Texas, and now back to Arkansas. My husband and I are a team always. We support each other, no matter what. We married young, but I’m proud of how we’ve grown with each other and learned that a relationship is never 50/50. You have to be willing to give 100 when your partner needs it. We will always fiercely support and protect each other, and I couldn’t be more grateful for this kind of relationship. I knew my husband was incredible, but I have had the honor of seeing that through his work with his students. If you know my husband, you know he’s someone who is content to work behind the scenes quietly. He doesn’t seek the spotlight or praise for the work he does. His focus is always on the students. He knows he couldn’t do the work he does without the hard work they do and the investment they have in band. He’s motivated and driven by their success, both inside and outside the classroom. He’s passionate about these kids using their band experience and turning that into a way to get a higher education at the lowest price possible. 

There’s an experience I had exactly two years ago this month that I will never forget and think of often. His school hosted a band banquet, and during that event, the senior band members who were graduating each spoke final words to their peers and directors. All of them spoke so highly of their experiences, but there’s one student’s story in particular that brings tears to my eyes every time I think about it. 

This particular student spoke about my husband last during his speech. He cried as he talked about John being more than just a band director to him. He was someone who let this student eat lunch in his office, who talked about life with him and supported him far beyond playing an instrument or being in band. The student said he wouldn’t have made it through high school without John. I sat at that banquet and just sobbed. I remember meeting John in college and laughing at the thought of him being a teacher. He seemed so gruff at the time and not someone who would want to be around children all day. I quickly discovered that underneath that tough exterior is someone with a heart of gold. 

Being married to a band director isn’t easy. You sign up for long stretches of time where you don’t see each other often. You sign up for evenings of never eating dinner together, of spending an hour or two together before going to bed. This especially hit me hard the year I had cancer. It put into perspective how short our time is here on earth, and I love my husband for working even harder to balance the drive and motivation he had at work with spending time with me and focusing on our relationship. 

That story about the student is what always reminds me of how important John’s work is. When we only have one day a week together, when I miss him during those long days apart, I remember the importance of working with these young people. He isn’t just teaching students how to blow air into horns. He’s giving them a safe space to build life skills and discover who they are during those tough teenage years. He’s investing in students and helping build their confidence.

It isn’t about how big the band is when you don’t have a director who doesn’t have a servant’s heart. If you don’t have a director who can build a true rapport with his students and their families, the band program won’t survive. And this is absolutely what John brought to his current school, and what he’ll bring to the next. He’s such a man of integrity and character, and has handled so many things with a grace that I don’t know that I possess. 

I’m so proud of him, my heart could explode when I think about all the good he contributes to the world. Teachers are incredibly underpaid, but I hope he always recognizes the reward in the students whose lives he has changed for the better. I am so proud to be his wife and can’t wait to see all of the incredible things he does at his new school and all of the new students he’ll get to work with and change for the better. 

Here’s to a new chapter and new adventure together as we move back home in July! 


Tutorial: How to trim your own brows

A brow tutorial to get you through quarantine

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you make a purchase through my links. Thanks for helping support my makeup habit 🙂

Who else has lost count of the days in quarantine? I know I have! I work from home, and consider myself very lucky that I get to stay home, not that I have to stay home. But, let’s be realistic–there’s something we all miss. Whether it’s walking through Target with a Starbucks in hand or getting your regular pedicure, there’s something we’re ready to resume when it’s safe. 

One of the things I know people are missing are those regular brow appointments! I live just far enough from a major city to make it cost prohibitive to always get to a good place to get my brows waxed. I also have the bushiest brows, so just plucking them won’t work. I liked getting them professionally done for the trimming. Trimming my brows helps make it easier to fill them in.

Back in January, I committed to plucking and trimming my own brows at home. After a good bit of practice, I have been able to successfully trim my own and I’m sharing my tips and tricks with you in this brow tutorial: 


For this brow tutorial, you’ll need:

  • A good pair of tweezers. These are my favorite ones! And the pack comes with 3 pairs of tweezers, so it’s a great deal. 
  • A pair of brow scissors. I have these from Ulta and I think they are great quality.
  • A spoolie. This is a cheap pack.
  • A magnifying mirror. This makes a HUGE difference in being able to actually see what you are doing! There are tons of options out there. Here are some suggested ones: mirror 1, mirror 2, mirror 3 (this one includes a set of tweezers!) 

Brow tutorial: How I groom my brows at home

  • I typically do this right out of the shower so that my pores are open. That will make this hurt less!
  • I pluck around my brow shape. I don’t pluck ANYTHING from inside my brows. I finally figured out that when I was over plucking my brows in the late 90s, I plucking hairs that actually needed to be trimmed (more on that below). 
  • Next I pluck in between my brows. Be careful of how far in you pluck. You don’t want to over-pluck the front of your brow. I like to use an eyebrow pencil to line the front of my brow with the inner corner of my eye and make a mark there so I don’t pluck past it. 
  • Now it’s time to trim. I brush my brows up with the spoolie, then I trim from the corner of my arch and work my way slowly to the front of the brow. I trim a little at a time. Similar to how a hair dresser uses a guide when they cut hair, I use what I’ve trimmed first as a guide to what I trim off as I move down the top of the brow. 
  • I periodically will brush my brow back up with the spoolie to check my work and go back in and trim anything I missed.
  • Remember, trim a small amount. You can always trim off more! Once you trim your brows a couple of times, you’ll get a feel for how much to take off. 
  • Now that you’ve finished trimming them, go back around the top and side of the brow to pluck off any hairs outside the shape that didn’t get trimmed. Trimming makes it easier to see those short hairs hiding behind those long ones! 

I hope this helps you keep your own brows in shape while you’re at home. If this helped you, comment and let me know! Have anything else you need some advice on? Let me know in the comments! 



Hey Y’all!

Get ready for makeup tutorials, recommendations and more! 

Hey ya’ll and welcome to my blog, Dear Dani!

I can remember the first two makeup items I owned– bright blue eyeliner and a pressed powder compact that came no where close to matching my pale face in 7th grade. I have always loved makeup because the face is a canvas and you can create whatever sort of masterpiece you want. It took me a long time to figure out find what products and tools I needed, and what worked best for my canvas. I struggled through years of unblended foundation on my jawline and harsh eyeliner before I discovered makeup tutorials.

After years of educating myself by combing through tons of makeup tutorials, taking classes and learning more about makeup products and skin care, now I get asked frequently how I take care of my skin, what makeup I use and more. I love sharing that information with others and decided to turn my passion into a blog. That’s how Dear Dani was born! Makeup shouldn’t be difficult. It can often be intimidating and many people don’t know where to start. I’m here to change that! I want my tutorials to be easy to follow and not complicated. 
I am also passionate about sharing fashion recommendations and tips. I can remember being a teenager and feeling like there was no where I could shop and find cute, plus-size clothes. While there are more options now, I want other women to feel like they have a place where they can receive great clothing recommendations. I have so appreciated the other plus-size bloggers who have come before me who have paved the way to provide more plus-size representation. I hope I can provide that representation for other girls out there who don’t always see themselves represented in society.

If you have any questions, need a tutorial or a product recommendation, reach out to me here or on social media and let me know what you’re looking for! 

-Love, Dani