My Current Skincare Routine – Winter 2019

I thought I would start the New Year off by sharing with you all my current skincare routine! As someone who has a combination skin type, my skin can range from oily and acne-prone to dry. For the past couple months, this skincare routine has really worked wonders for me. My complexion has been balanced and glowy, so I thought I’d share my suggestions.

Cleanser

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I rediscovered Philosophy’s Purity Made Simple Cleanser a couple months ago after a 9-year break from it. I simply cannot get enough of this cleanser. It pairs so well with my Clarisonic.  Since it contains oils, sometimes I’ll do a little pre-cleanse to take my makeup off, and then use it with my Clarisonic as well. Don’t worry, Purity will NOT dry out your face. I love this cleanser and will not be without it!

On the days/weeks I have a couple breakouts, I’ll wash my face with the Neutrogena Oil-Free Grapefruit Cleanser. This stuff dries out breakouts like NO JOKE. I can only use it for a few days at a time, or else my face will get incredibly parched. Nonetheless, it does a really good job at keeping my breakouts at bay.

Moisturize + Mask

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The First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is mainly marketed as a body cream; they have a separate facial moisturizer. However, I LOVE using the original on my face! This lightweight cream makes my complexion so incredibly soft and smooth. I just use a dime-sized amount on my face to make sure I don’t over apply. If you’re looking for an all-in-one moisturizer, definitely give Ultra Repair Cream a try!

I’m not always consistent with wearing masks, but I am loving the L’Oreal Pure Clay Mask in Clarify + Smooth. The yellow tint my look weird on your face, but this mask is sooo good! It has exfoliating granules in it that really exfoliate my skin and get all the gunk out of my pores. Since it’s a little bit abrasive, I only use it twice a week. It works wonders!

Treat

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Image Credit: Walmart

This acne treatment gel may be ultra old school, but Zapzyt really works for me. After I cleanse my face, I put a pea-sized amount on my blemishes to clear them up. It takes a couple nights for blemishes to disappear. Nonetheless, it is an effective and affordable way to treat acne.

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I hope this routine helps you achieve clear skin! Of course, our complexions have their off days, weeks (and sometimes even months), but I have found clear and calm skin with this routine.

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Best Makeup I Discovered in 2018

As 2018 draws to a close (fastest year ever!), I thought I’d do a post on new makeup I discovered in 2018. I was so impressed with each of these items! I am usually a drugstore makeup gal, but most of these products are high-end. But don’t worry; they are worth the money! Let’s take a look…

Best Bronzer

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For the past couple years, I have been faithful to the Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer. I still love that one, but I heard such great things about the Becca Sunlit Bronzer in Capri Coast that I decided to give it a try! This powder has the prettiest sheen to it. It’s not the least bit glittery or orange; it goes on smooth and isn’t splotchy. Plus, you don’t have to use a ton! I am on my second pan, and will continue to buy! If you’re looking for a wearable, sunkissed glow that isn’t matte or flat, definitely try this bronzer out! {$38; sephora or ulta}

Best Primer

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I mentioned this primer in a recent post, but it’s so good that it’s worth another shoutout! I am LOVING the Becca Backlight Priming Filter. The gel-cream formula helps your makeup stay on all day and your complexion look fresh and healthy. It almost has a cooling feel too. The champagne-gold tint gives your face a slight glow that doesn’t overpower your makeup. Once again, a little goes a long way, so you get a lot of bang for your buck. {$38; sephora or ulta}

Best Lipstick

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I never knew I could wear a terracotta colored lip shade until I tried the Kat Von D Lolita Liquid Lipstick a couple years ago. I completely fell in love with that color; it’s still one of my favorites! However, this year I found an even more wearable terracotta shade that is truly universally flattering: the Too Faced Peach Kiss Moisture Matte Lipstick in Got Peach.

I think what makes this color so flattering is it has so many dimensions to it. Not only does it have terracotta in it; it is also a little bit coral, a little bit peach and a little bit pink. The formula is smooth and has just the right finish; not too matte or shiny. Plus, it smells like peach ice cream! The packaging is so classy and durable. I love this entire line of lipsticks and can’t wait to try more shades! (Another good color is Sunday Funday–a classic nude peach.) {$21; sephora}

Best Eyeliner + Brow Gel

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Every girl needs a good, classic liquid black eyeliner that applies easily and doesn’t smudge. My favorite this year has been the Physicians Formula Eye Booster in Ultra Black. The felt tip pen is nice and fine, so you can get a sharp cat eye with no effort! I do wish the formula was a bit more rich in color, but I don’t mind going over my line a couple times. This eyeliner also contains serum that helps your lashes grow. A nice bonus! {$11; drugstores}

I am a huge fan of the Lime Crime Bushy Brow Gel in Brownie. I received it for free as part of an Influenster campaign, but I’d definitely buy it with my own money! The formula holds my brows in place without being heavy or sticky. The wand is a very fined-toothed comb that allows you to be precise when applying. If you’re looking for an effective new brow gel to try, I suggest this one! {$18; online only at ulta}

Best All-In-One Product

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Got chapped lips? Dry hands or dry cuticles? The Josie Maran Argan Infinity Intensive Creamy Oil takes care of it all. I bought a tube a couple weeks ago, and I cannot say enough good things! This balm has the lightest texture but is SUPER moisturizing. I even use this balm as a nighttime treatment for my lashes. I loove it. It’s not overly scented; just has a natural, earthy, slightly lemony scent to it. I only wish it had a flip top so I wouldn’t have to worry about losing the small screw-on top. Nonetheless, I would buy this balm again and again. Give it a try! {$28; Sephora}

Also don’t miss: My Top 5 Books of 2018 and My Lifestyle Favorites of the Year!

 

Top FIVE Books I Read in 2018

Today I’m continuing my Best Of + Favorites Posts of 2018 with the TOP FIVE books I read this year! Most of you know that I’ve been an avid reader since childhood. There is nothing more relaxing than reading a good book! I’ve mentioned all of the following books on my blog before, but now they are compiled into a neat list. Let’s get started!

The BEST book I read this year was…

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The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles simply blew me away. Everything about this novel is absolutely perfect. Before reading this book, I’d never read anything that took place in Brazil. The way Peebles told the story made you really feel like you were right with the characters without being overwhelmed with wordy descriptions. I could easily visualize the landscapes and feel all emotions. The following summery is what I wrote initially on my blog…

Air tells the story of two best friends in 1930s Brazil, Graca and Dores. The book opens as Dores is an old woman looking back on her life. Graca has since passed, and Dores is telling their story.  Graca and Dores meet as children on a sugarcane farm in Brazil.

The two girls come from two different worlds–Dores is an orphan working in the kitchen of the plantation that Graca’s father owns. Graca obviously comes from a wealthy background. Nonetheless, the two girls hit it off and form a strong bond.

Soon, Graca and Dores develop a love for music and have dreams of becoming famous samba singers. They run away to pursue their passion…but only one girl can be a star. Eventually, Graca becomes an international sensation under the name Sofia Salvador, while Dores is behind the scenes, writing songs for her.

I SO ENJOYED THIS BOOK. You have to read it! It explores a friendship (which turns into a bit of a rivalry) through the ups and downs of life and fame. Something about it was so captivating; I had to make myself put this novel down each night. The descriptions and the story itself was so lush and entertaining.

I loved these books, too….

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The Woman In The Window by A.J. Finn was the only thriller that I read this year, and also the very first book I read in 2018. That being said, I loved it! The plot was unpredictable and kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s even going to be a film sometime in the future. Can’t wait to see!

When the novel begins, we meet Dr. Anna Fox. She is a recluse, trapped inside her home with a fear of the outside world. She fills her days watching black-and-white suspense films and is heavy handed in the wine department. One night, she witnesses a neighbor’s murder through her window. This sends Anna into a frenzy; she becomes determined to solve the murder.

But wait…are things really what they seem? Or was all those suspenseful films playing with her mind? As the story unfolds, we begin to learn about Anna’s past, leading up to that murder. What really happened?

The Woman In The Window kept me interested till the very last page. There are multiple twists that kept me guessing. I highly recommend!

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If I had to choose a single book that was most talked-about this year, it would be Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. But seriously, if you haven’t read this one yet, head to the nearest Target or download it on your Kindle. It’s a coming-of-age story, murder mystery and love story all wrapped into one. I have my mom reading it right now and she is loving it too…

Crawdads tells the story of Kya, a young girl who grows up in a broken home. When she is seven or eight, she is eventually abandoned by her entire family, who leave her to fend for herself. Kya quickly adjusts to living on her own in the North Carolina swamp. As Kya grows older, she befriends Tate, and they quickly fall in love. He teaches her to read, and she becomes educated, highly knowledgeable about the swamp.

Like all good love stories, this one tapers off. Tate eventually goes off to college and Kya is left alone in the swamp again. In comes Chase Andrews.

Kya falls in love with Chase. But there’s a twist in the story. The novel switches back and forth between Kya’s story and a murder mystery. Several years down the road, Chase is found dead near the swamp. Did Kya commit murder? Or is her community simply accusing The Swamp Girl for a crime she didn’t commit?

Crawdads kept me entertained from the first page.

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I’m a sucker for a good historical novel; Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah did not disappoint! So many emotions! It’s one of those novels that stays with you for awhile.

Winter Garden tells the story of two daughters, Meredith and Nina, and their Russian mother, Anya. For years, Anya has been extremely cold and reclusive to her two daughters. When Anya’s husband passes away, his dying wish is for the three women to become close, something they have never achieved.

Slowly but surely, Anya begins to open up about her mysterious past by telling Nina and Meredith a fairy tale–with a twist. The women begin to learn and understand their mother’s harrowing past.

Without giving too much away, Winter Garden takes place in the early 2000s and during World War II-torn-Russia. It took me about 120 pages to get into this story, but once I did, it was so worth it. Parts of this book is tough to read, but the ending is triumphant. Definitely recommend!

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Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and Where The Crawdads Sing have similar settings, but they are completely different stories!

If you’re ready for a poignant, thought-provoking read, look no further.

Back in the 1920s to the 1950s, there was a child trafficking ring in Memphis called the Tennessee Children’s Home. Georgia Tann and her assistants kidnapped poor children and newborns from their families, claiming that they were helping children find a better home by selling them to wealthy, upper-crust families. Sometimes, the parents would unknowingly sign their children over to “adoption” or they’d be kidnapped in broad daylight. How scary is that?

Anyway, this novel focuses around five siblings in the 1930’s who got kidnapped by the Tennessee Children’s home. The story also has a present-day story line where a prosecutor is trying to piece together her aunt’s mysterious secret past.

Yours is only around 350 pages; I thought it would be a quick read. However, it is on the heavy, emotional side. I got so caught up in these poor children’s situations. So many emotions! It is just bizarre to me how something like this could actually happen. My attention was kept the entire time. Definitely worth the read.

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Catch up on my November + December Favorites as well as my Lifestyle Favorites of the year!

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I want to know….what was YOUR favorite read of 2018? Please share!!

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LIFESTYLE FAVORITES of 2018

A couple days ago, I published my November + December Favorite Things. I had so much fun writing it that I thought I would follow up with my Lifestyle Favorites of the year. Instead of just being primarily focused on beauty, I thought I would talk about everything from my favorite snacks to podcasts. Let’s get started!

 FAVORITE ACCESSORY

 

sunglasses

One little fashion trend that I really enjoyed this year was cat-eye cutout sunglasses. I usually just reach for an aviator-type style, but I found these on sale at a Free People Boutique for $10 over the summer. If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know that I love a good cat-eye liner look. My love for that carried on into my sunglasses as well! I love how modern the cutout style is, too. These sunglasses are fun and quirky, yet stylish too. I couldn’t find the exact pair, but here is a similar style. 

FAVORITE FOOD DISCOVERIES

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Image Credit: Hoff & Pepper

Hot sauce is probably the most random thing I’ve written about on my blog thus far! I’m not a fan of extremely spicy food, but I love a little kick added every now and then. A couple months ago I discovered Hoff Sauce Mean Green in my favorite Cuban Restaurant. In fact, it is made in the same building where I work. Chattanooga people, check this brand out!

Anyway, I love this Mean Green sauce so much. I would describe the taste as “fresh heat.” It doesn’t have a bold, tomato-like taste like other hot sauces. It’s very light, and not too peppery. Something is just so unique and fresh about it. Plus, it’s really cool to support a local Chattanooga business. If you’re looking to add a little kick of heat to your food without having to call 911, try Mean Green sauce. Did I mention it makes a great stocking stuffer? For those of you who don’t live in the Chattanooga area, they have a website.

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I’ve spoken about LaraBars before on here, but they are worth another mention. They are one of my favorite snack foods I’ve discovered this year. I try my very best to stay away from a ton of added sugar. These are great because they are literally just dates, fruits and nuts mashed together into a bar. No fillers or a ton of sneaky extra sugar. They are filling, too. Cherry Pie is one of my favorite flavors. Honorable mentions? Coconut Cream Pie and Blueberry Muffin. So yummy!

FAVORITE CANDLE

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Image Credit: The Rustic House/Nathalie DuPre

About a year ago, I started working for a candle company here in town called The Rustic House. I know I’m bias, but these are the BEST candles out there, for real. There are so many different scents, and they honestly smell throughout an entire room–not just next to the candle. My favorite scent that we have is Milk + Honey, which has coconut cream and honey notes. It’s so comforting; a little bit sweet (but not too much) and a little bit beachy too. I love to put it on a candle warmer for a couple hours at a time. It’s so fresh and relaxing. These soy-based candles make a great gift as well! For a 15% off discount, enter code LOCKE15 at checkout.

FAVORITE PODCASTS

 

I’ve really had fun listening to different podcasts this year–two of my favorites are George Ezra & Friends and Second Life. 

If you remember, British musician had a hit song a couple years ago, Budapest. I can’t remember how I heard about his podcast, but I’m enjoying it so far! Basically, he interviews his fellow musician friends about their careers. The Niall Horan and Ed Sheeran episodes are really good. I love getting a behind-the-scenes look at the music business. If that interests you too, give this podcast a shot.

Second Life is also interesting. This podcast centers around women who started with one career and decided to do a little switch-a-roo into another, hence beginning their second life! I love to listen to all of the career advice they give. Plus, it’s also interesting to hear how they built empires from the ground up. Truly inspiring.

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Hope you all enjoyed this mish-mash of lifestyle favorites! If you’ve discovered a new favorite snack, accessory, podcast, or other neat thing, please let me know!

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My Favorite Things | November + December 2018

New Years Resolution: Try to blog more consistently!

This month I’ve decided to combine my November and December favorites since these last weeks have blown by, and we are already halfway through the month! Can you believe it? Anyway, you know the drill. Here are the items that struck my fancy in the past couple months!

SKINCARE

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Purity Made Simple is probably one of the most iconic facial cleansers of all time. If you wear makeup regularly, it is a one-stop shop for removing makeup and cleansing your face gently. I used this stuff eight years ago, but put it down. A few weeks ago, my face got incredibly dried out from using an acne-fighting cleanser twice a day. I needed something to revive my skin! So I went to Sephora and bought Purity! I was instantly reminded on why everyone loves this cleanser!

The consistency is very luxe and creamy. It contains oils, so it melts makeup right off your face with no effort. That being said, since it contains oil I still have to use my acne-fighting cleanser in the morning to keep breakouts at bay. If you have combo-to-dry skin, definitely give Purity a try. The scent is so comforting, and you won’t have to make a mad dash for your moisturizer. Skin is perfectly clean and balanced. {$24 for 8oz bottle; sephora, ulta or qvc}

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I’ve always been curious to see if lash growing serums work, but less enthused to fork over over $100. I was cruising around Ulta one day and came upon the RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum. After about two and a half months of usage, I can say that this stuff does work!

However, don’t expect overnight results. Although growth doesn’t happen too quickly, I have noticed some. Mascara applies more smoothly, and my lashes look healthier too. I think I will keep testing this serum out a few more months just to see what happens. At $50 a tube, it doesn’t break the bank too bad. You just have to be consistent with applying. {$50; ulta}

BEAUTY

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Dry shampoo is pretty much a staple in every girl’s routine. A true lifesaver! Batiste is one of the top (and favorite) dry shampoo brands, but they have one big drawback. Batiste always has the thickest, most dense white cast. My brown hair always turns a whitish-gray color when I use it, and it takes a while to soak in.

With their Divine Dark Dry Shampoo, we brunette gals no longer have to worry about that heavy white cast. This one is actually tinted brown. How clever is that?! You can still see a little bit of the powdery-ness, but it’s not nearly as heavy. I will continue to repurchase! {$7; drugstores}

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Priming is one of the most essential steps of makeup application. It truly helps smooth out your complexion and helps makeup stay on longer. This month, I found my new favorite — the Becca BackLight Priming Filter.

This primer has a gel-cream texture with a very soft golden tint to it. Don’t worry; it is not shimmery at all! Rather, it gives your skin the most natural, lit-from within glow. I am LOVING it! There is something cooling about it too, and it has a unique, fresh scent. Like an Instagram Filter, it makes your skin look so glowy and healthy. {$38; sephora or ulta}

A GOOD READ

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Back in August, I devoured Frances de Pontes Peebles’ second novel, The Air You Breathe. I know it sounds cheesy, but it was one of those books that truly transported you to another place–in this case, Brazil. I was feeling stuck on what to read in November, so I decided to read her first novel, The Seamstress. This one also did not disappoint!

Like Air You Breathe, The Seamstress takes place in 1920s and 30s Brazil. It tells the story of two sisters, Lucia and Emilia. They are orphaned as young children, so their aunt takes care of them. However, when she passes, both sisters are basically left to fend for themselves. Lucia is shunned by society because she has a crippled arm. One night, she is kidnapped by cangaceiros, who are rebel Brazillian cowboys. Lucia is known for being a skilled seamstress, so they recruit her to make their clothes. As time goes by, Lucia gains more respect and authority by marrying the head cangaceiro. She learns the savage ways of being involved with this notorious band of rebels. The newspapers give her the nickname The Seamstress.

Meanwhile, Emilia grows up and marries into Brazilian high society. However, her life is anything but fancy, shiny and happy. Her marriage is a loveless one, but she goes through the motions.

What I loved about this novel is it had no concrete storyline, yet it meandered along nicely.  Throughout the years, Emilia and Lucia keep track with each other’s lives through the newspapers. At over 600 pages, it’s a hefty read, but I never felt bored. The descriptions are just detailed enough where you feel like you are right with the characters. I highly recommend!

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Makeup + Beauty Stocking Stuffers | A Gift Guide!

Within the past few years, makeup brands have really stepped up their game when it comes to fun-sized beauty and gift sets. You really don’t have to pay a ton of money to try a lot of great, high-end products. Obviously, Christmas is a great time to try new products because so many brands release specials. So today, I’m sharing with you all some of my favorite fun-sized beauty items that fit perfectly in a stocking!

SKINCARE

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First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream is one of my favorite ride or die products. I honestly can’t be without it! I have this product in its original large size, as well as this Minis Set. It comes with a mini size plain Ultra Repair Cream as well as a lightly scented Grapefruit scent.

The texture of this cream is just unbeatable–light and whipped, and it absorbs so quickly while being hydrating. It is even light enough to use on your face, without breakouts! I will seriously have this stuff on my nightstand and beside my sink for years to come. Best of all, the grapefruit scent smells very juicy and fresh, not cloying and artificial. Need I say more?! {$20 for Minis Set; Sephora or Ulta}

BEAUTY

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Who knew mega lashes could come in such a tiny tube? If you’re looking for major volume, give Benefit Cosmetics BadGal BANG! Mascara a try. This stuff is no joke. The formula is very thick and creamy, and doesn’t budge or flake all day.

The wand is cone-shaped, so you can reach every lash. Plus, it doesn’t take long to layer and build up thickness. It also gives you pretty good length too! The end result is thick, lush lashes. People may start asking if you’re wearing falsies. {$13 for mini size; Sephora or Ulta}

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Real talk: I’ve had this palette for two days. But let me tell ya, I KNOW it will be a staple in my palette collection. Can we just talk about how adorable and functional the Too Faced Tickled Peach Palette is? If you’re a fan of the original Peach Palette from Too Faced, you have to give this one a try. It’s a more compact, spring-like version. Aren’t the shades just gorgeous?

You have the creamy, peachy colors for base, then some pinkier ones for all over the lid and crease, brown for transition, and the purple works great for a liner. Gone are the days of packing a bulky palette for travel. This has all you need! Each shadow is creamy and blends easily; with little kick-up. Plus, it is in the $20 range. It comes in a small, durable tin that is the perfect size to fit in a stocking. {$26; Sephora}

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Setting Spray is truly the unsung hero of the makeup world. While it may sound like a gimmick, this stuff really works and is suitable for everyone, no matter your skin type. Not only does it make your makeup stay put; you can also use it to foil powder eyeshadows.

There are a ton of setting sprays out there at different price points. But I have used the NYX Matte Finish Setting Spray for years, and it’s only $8 a bottle. The mist is so fine and light. And, it’s super effective! Truly a staple in my beauty routine every day. There’s really not much to say about this spray. An effective, affordable and necessary product! {$8; Drugstores}

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Hope this gift guide has given you ideas for some great stocking stuffers! Each product is so practical and effective. If you’re not stuffing stockings this holiday season, just buy these treats for yourself. I won’t tell anyone! 😉

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Three High-End Lip Balms That Are WORTH THE MONEY

There are few things I love more than a good lip balm. Something about it is so so comforting, don’t you think? We all have our trusty lip balms from the drugstore, but sometimes you want to try something a little more luxurious. The thing is, it can seem like a rip-off to spend more than $5 or so. Well friends, you’re in luck–I’ve done the work for you!

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Here are three of my favorite high-end lip balms that I think are worth every penny. Let’s get started!

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The Kiehl’s ButterMask For Lips is the perfect little treat for the holidays. For one, the texture is true to its name; a butter-like paste. When you apply it to your lips, it feels like it forms a barrier, which has nice staying power. The best part is, it smells and tastes like sugar cookie dough! This balm melts down on your lips nicely, and has the richest texture. {$24; Sephora}

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If you’re looking for some serious hydration, the Laneige Special Care Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry is the way to go! This thick and glossy lip balm comes in a pretty hefty pot, so a little goes a long way. I am on my second container; the first one lasted me a year and a half. This balm packs your lips with so much moisture, and leaves a glossy finish. It’s the first thing I reach for when my lips are super dry! This balm is a must-have during the winter. Has anyone tried anything else from this line? {$20; Sephora}

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I just recently bought the Jouer Conditioning Lip Treatment, but I have quickly become a fan. It reminds me a lot of the Laneige Lip Balm, but in a tube. It has a simple, light and powdery fragrance. The texture is thick and glossy. A little does go a long way, but I like to be a little more generous and coat my lips in a glossy finish. I have a feeling this tube will last me months and months. It is also travel friendly! The tube also claims that it has lip plumping benefits, but I have yet to see much of a change. Nonetheless, this is a really good lip balm. {$16; Sephora}

What is your favorite lip balm to break out in the fall + winter? I am a lip balm junkie and am always looking for another good one! Let me know! 🙂

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How to Decorate Your Table for Fall

There is something just so cozy about fall; you get to break out your favorite sweaters, shamelessly eat/drink everything pumpkin spice flavored, spend time with friends and family, and most importantly, fill your home with lots of fall decorations!

Decorating your dining room table can be an intimidating task, but it doesn’t have to be tricky. So today I thought I’d give some easy table decorating tips. Zola is a wedding registry website that makes it easy to look for your new favorite home decorations. Here are my picks…

 

As you can see, I’m a fan of the whole rustic vibe. There is something so laid-back and easy about it. I love the look of cream and copper dinnerware. It’s a more updated look rather than just white or silver! I also love how the plates and bowls have that texture to them. The copper knives, spoons and forks contrast nicely against the cream!

Instead of just covering the table with a traditional table cloth, I think adding a table runner would look nice too. This woven one goes nicely with the dinnerware.

 

To add a pop of color against all the neutrals, I chose a simple, paprika napkin with a copper-colored napkin ring. These rings are actually made from recycled brass! I love the up-cycled look of them. You could really use these for every occasion. Too add some texture to the tabletop, I love these wooden candle holders. The geometric look is clean and modern.

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You have to have a good serving tray around, no matter the season. I love the classic look of this wooden one. It makes it easy to display cheeses, fruit, candles or whatever! Plus, it’s sturdy and easy to clean.

FallTable

Here’s a quick infographic with more tips on how to decorate your table for the upcoming holidays. Like I said, Zola is a great tool to use; it truly is a one-stop shop for all of your home decor needs. Happy decorating!

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Four natural, non-pink blushes that I LOVE

Pink is the quintessential blush shade that is in everyone’s collection. It flatters every skin tone! For the longest, a good pink blush was the only color that I wore. However, within recent years I branched out of my baby-pink blush comfort zone and experimented with more natural shades. So today, I thought I’d share with you all a few of my favorite non-pink, natural-hued blushes!

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Earlier this month, I featured MAC Powder Blush in Gingerly as part of my fall makeup kit. MAC’s blushes may be a little old school, but they carry some really gorgeous colors! I would describe Gingerly as a toasted apricot shade. It has a tawniness to it that really flatters my medium skin tone. This blush is pigmented, so it’ll last forever. Gingerly is a great everyday blush. With no glitter or sheen, it’s just a basic, classic shade. {$24; ulta or department stores}

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The Milani Color Harmony Blush Palette in Coral Beams could just about serve as a dupe for MAC Gingerly. It has the same natural tawniness to it, but with a bright pop of coral. What’s great about this palette is it’s three blush shades in one, plus a bronze highlighter. I like to gently sweep my blush over all of the colors and apply to the apples of my cheeks to temples. You get a nice pop of coral on your cheeks, plus a nice sunkissed bronziness. The perfect little pick me up for cold months. Plus, these powders are nicely pigmented; not too over-the-top! {$13; ulta or cvs}

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The Milani Baked Blush in Berry Amore was one of the first non-pink blushes I ever tried; I’m on my second pan! Seriously, Milani knows how to do blush. They have the best at the drugstore. I would describe Berry Amore as a warm berry-rose shade with a golden, shimmery undertone. So gorgeous! This blush warms up your complexion in the prettiest way. Berry Amore also blends nicely; the pigments don’t just sit on your skin. If you have a medium skin tone, this blush will look stunning! I will continue to purchase. {$7; cvs or target}

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If powder blush makes you feel timid, try a liquid one! Glossier’s Cloud Paints are a great beginner blush. These are weightless and are absolutely seamless. I have the shades Puff (a classic pink) and this one, Dusk–a nice, sunset peach. You can apply with a brush or fingertips. They aren’t creamy or greasy, and they are impossible to over-apply. If you’re looking for an effortless, natural flush, definitely give Dusk a go. Again, all of the cloud paints are gorgeous! {$18; glossier.com}

What’s your favorite non-pink blush to use for Fall? I’m always looking for new shades and formulas to try. Let me know!!

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My Favorite Things | October 2018

And just like that, it’s time for another Favorite Things Post! I only have a few items on the list this month, but each of them made a HUGE impression on me. Without further ado, let’s go ahead and get started…

B e a u t y

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Brow gel is one of those products where it seems like it’s one in the same. In a way, that’s a little bit true. A few months ago I spoke about Glossier Boy Brow. I loved that product; and it’s quite popular in the beauty community. But recently I was sent the Lime Crime Bushy Brow Strong Hold Gel in Brownie for FREE as part of my Influenster VoxBox. I didn’t expect to like it as much as Boy Brow, but I stand corrected!

Lime Crime is one of those indie beauty brands that is really popular on YouTube. Because I love their brow gel so much, I am really looking forward to buying more products. What I love most about Bushy Brow is the slender, precise wand. I find that most brow gels come with a large wand and it’s hard to get a mess-free application. With Bushy Brow, it’s quick and easy. Pigmentation is perfect; it adds color and fullness to my brows without going overboard.

The formula is the slightest bit tacky, but I don’t mind it; my brows can get long and unruly so they need a little strength to hold them in place. Bottom line–this brow gel ROCKS! I will absolutely repurchase. {$18; ulta}

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Too Faced

I have a NEW favorite Eyeshadow Palette in my life–the Too Faced GingerBread Spice. If you’re a fan of warm shadows with a light sheen, you NEED this in your life! I first fell in love with Too Faced Eyeshadows via the Peach Palette, which is still one of my go-to’s for spring and summer. However, GingerBread Spice is the PERFECT fall and winter palette.

You have everything you need: golds, bronzes, browns, oranges, pinks, purples and soft neutrals. Best of all, just about every shadow blends like a dream–even the shimmery ones. This is just an all-around, well-made palette. It smells like vanilla and has minimal fall out. I will definitely be enjoying this eyeshadow palette in the months to come. I’ve put it to use nearly every day since I bought it. {$49; sephora or ulta}

A  G o o d  R e a d

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Amazon

Right after finishing The Air You Breathe (which I mentioned in last month’s favorites), I jumped right into another compelling novel, Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Let me tell ya, this book has a little something for everyone.

Crawdads tells the story of Kya, a young girl who grows up in a broken home. When she was seven or eight, she is eventually abandoned by her entire family, who leave her to fend for herself. Kya quickly adjusts to living on her own in the North Carolina swamp. As Kya grows older, she befriends Tate, and they quickly fall in love. He teaches her to read, and she becomes educated, highly knowledgeable about the swamp.

Like all good love stories, this one tapers off. Tate eventually goes off to college and Kya is left alone in the swamp again. In comes Chase Andrews.

Kya falls in love with Chase. But there’s a twist in the story. The novel switches back and forth between Kya’s story and a murder mystery. Several years down the road, Chase is found dead near the swamp. Did Kya commit murder? Or is her community simply accusing The Swamp Girl for a crime she didn’t commit?

Crawdads kept me entertained from the first page. It is a coming-of-age, whodunnit and love story in one. I highly recommend!

T o  w a t c h  /  l i s t e n

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Google

I’m gonna cut to the chase and say that A Star Is Born is the best movie I’ve seen all year. Having not seen any of the previous versions, I wasn’t too familiar with the storyline. However, I was blown away with the entire film AND soundtrack.

The chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga is just something to see. The dialogue is so seamless and natural that it doesn’t even seem like they are acting. Cooper plays a struggling but successful country-rock musician, Jackson Maine, who falls in love with an aspiring singer, Ally. He helps launch her career, which quickly escalates–leaving him less popular. He begins to struggle even more with drugs and alcohol.

The best part of the film is the AMAZING soundtrack. Both Cooper and Gaga wrote songs for it. And EVERY song is GOOD. You can tell that a lot of care and heart was poured into this project. I’ve seen it twice and will for sure purchase it when it comes out on DVD.

The story and performances, both acting and musical, are out of this world. I can’t recommend it enough.

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