Friday Favorite

Let me tell you a funny story about this week’s favorite item. My first job out of college was for a shoe company (whose name is not important) and the CEO of that company was a pretty amazing guy who invested in a bunch of companies. He was a joy to work for, and eventually after we all ended up going our separate ways we kept in touch. One day myself and two of my former supervisors met him for lunch in the city. He was pretty jazzed about this new company he was working with and he couldn’t stop talking about the product. “It’s a brush that’ll change your life!” And we’re thinking… Ok guy… a brush is a brush. Fast forward maybe a year later and I get an e-mail from an old sorority sister of mine who was then interning for this company and she asked if she could send me a sample of this brush. I was like WHAT?! What are the chances?? I gladly accepted, and let me tell you, my life was forever changed.

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The Wet Brush

I have naturally very curly hair, my daughter has naturally VERY curly hair… and not all brushes were made for our type of mane. If you have read up on hair care, typically you are supposed to brush your hair dry to avoid damage, but the wet brush was designed to be used on, duh, wet hair. The combination of bristles gently glides through your hair, de-tangling as it goes, without any pulling. Another plus? It can also be used to massage your scalp and it feels UH-MAZ-ING. This is the only brush I can use on my girls’ hair. Literally, the only brush they will let me use. If you read my post on my hair extensions  then you have already heard me mention this brush before, and I was gifted the first brush 5 years ago. Since then I’ve purchased 4 more; two mini’s for Charlotte and Kennedy, and two more for myself. My dog’s ate my first one when they were puppies… Oh! Speaking of. They also make pet brushes! I say this all the time but I think I might have to invest in one for my boys as well. Anyway, click the link above to grab one for yourself if you haven’t already, you’ll be glad you did! This is legitimately a product I love and I think you will too.

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Wednesday Worst

I typically hate online shopping. It’s not my jam. I like to test things out before I buy them… and also, I very rarely, if ever, return anything I purchased online. I have a pair of Under Armour sneakers I received like a month ago that I wore twice that are too small for me that are just sitting on my dresser. I’m quite lazy when it comes to that. So anyway, my point is, I don’t usually buy things online… much less from a Facebook ad (insert palm over face emoji here). I’m not sure if I blacked out when I bought this or what, but it was definitely a horrible purchase.

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Activated Concealer Lifting Serum

Let me tell you WHY this was the worst purchase ever. 1. I’m stupid for buying something through a Facebook ad, as we have already established. 2. This wasn’t the product I purchased. I watched like 17 videos on Facebook about a foundation and concealer was basically like paint, and that was exactly what I was in the market for. I have skin that absorbs makeup even with the help of primer and setting spray or powder. After a few hours it looks like I have nothing on at all. I saw these videos and testimonials and I was like yes this looks like something I can really use… BUY! It took over a week to arrive in which time I had already forgotten all about it, but when it showed up at my door I was super excited! The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was that the bottle looked different. First red flag. I pumped a little bit out onto the top of my hand to blend it in to see what we were working with. It was basically tinted water. Purified water is the first ingredient. Second red flag. I gave it a go anyway and it literally just blends right into your skin………. like you’re not even wearing it. With zero coverage AT ALL. This is no paint-like foundation concealer. I don’t even know if it has a single benefit. I also tried it as just a concealer instead of foundation for a little spot treatment and it still does nothing. The product is useless. So lesson learned… stop shopping like an old lady buying the first product you see on a commercial or facebook ad and start doing a little research on the things you want. I have been using Kat Von D’s full coverage foundation and I do love it. I use No. 7 products as well for days when I’m just running errands or even if I am going to the gym and want a little coverage but don’t want to appear as though I’m wearing a full face of makeup. If you have a foundation you use that offers full coverage and is long lasting please let me know! I need recommendations!

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Wednesday Worst

Hola friends! So on Wednesdays I am most likely going to be sharing things that I am less than pleased with. They will, for the most part, be beauty related purchases. I might throw in some clothing items and whatnot, but the main focus will probably be beauty and wellness items. First off!

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EOS body lotion. Let me first start off by saying that I am a big fan of most EOS products… their shaving cream is amazing and I live for their lip balms… so I was quick to grab this off the shelf when I was in the market for a new body lotion. (I don’t typically like to buy the same product twice in a row unless I absolutely love it). 

SO anyway. The lotion started off pretty good, nothing too magical about it… however I guess I expected more from an eos product. AND THEN after like a week or two of using it, it just stopped coming out. Maybe I got a faulty bottle?… but the pump mechanism on this particular lotion blows. It just stopped pumping. I was like…. there is no way I went through an entire bottle of lotion THAT quickly… and sure enough, I did not (obviously). The bottle is completely full. And you can’t even pop the top off to dump out the rest of the lotion if you had to, because once the pump comes off there is no opening to the rest of the bottle, it has to come through the faulty pumper. WHAT THE EFF. The lotion itself also felt like it was basically water. Maybe it’s supposed to be suuuuper hydrating, but it didn’t feel like it was settling into my skin at all. Overall, I would not recommend this product to anyone, for the sheer fact that the bottle is terrible, lol, but also the lotion isn’t that great either.

My mom had purchased a bottle of O’Keeffe’s Skin Repair Body Lotion and holy hell, that stuff works. I am quite a fan! I’ve used their hand lotion before at work since being a server and a bar tender your hands are always in water and lookin kinda scary and I loved the stuff. I was unaware they made actual body lotion until last week, but it gets my vote!

Friday Favorites

HAPPY FRIDAY! We made it! Give yourself a pat on the back for making it through the week. Gold star for you! I used to do this thing on the blog called ‘Wednesday Worst’ and ‘Friday Favorites.’ This was waaaaay before I blogged my own personal style.. I used to follow red carpet trends and post my least favorite celeb looks and then looks I loved. It was exhausting, haha. I’m still going to post my Wednesday Worsts and my Friday Favorites, but now I’m going to focus more on fashion and beauty related items that I have personal experience with. STARTING WITH…

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VII code oxygen under eye masks. GUYS. This is the stuff dreams are made of. I promise you the skin under my eyes has never felt softer or looked more energized. I’m a shit sleeper. I work until 3am sometimes and wake up at the butt crack of dawn with the girls, and when I’m not working until 3am I’m still awake until at least after midnight every single night. By law, my under eye circles should be out of control, however, I’ve been using these beauties recently and the difference is noticeable. I felt softer skin immediately after the first use and I can see the skin under my eyes brightening after 5 uses. I have 3 sets left and I’m torn between wanting to use them all the next 3 nights or space it out and save them so they last, hah. These are great because they are made to be slept in. You stick them right under your eyes, push a little bit to keep them in place, and slumber away. I will say the first time I used these I woke up and one was missing. I have no idea how long it stayed in place for, but my under eye did feel soft and smooth, so long enough I suppose. It does not say on the package how often to use these, but after a little searching on the website I found it says to use them 2 to 3 times a week. So one box of 8 should last you at least a month. OH MY GOD I just realized I only have one set left while counting how many came in a box!!! Oh man… this is sad news guys. SAD SAD news. Click the link above to get more details on these little life changers and of course, to buy a box of your own. You will love the results! Image-1 (2)

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All About My Hair Extensions

It’s no secret that my hair has died and gone to blonder pastures. I’ve put my hair through some shit the past few years, and no amount of biotin can save it fast enough for me. So when a friend of mine approached me about being a test model for one the girls in her salon to put Great Lengths Hair Extensions in my hair, I didn’t hesitate to say YUP.

I had Great Lengths hair extensions once before while I was in college and I was obsessed! As far as extensions go it doesn’t get any better than bonded ones… in my personal opinion. While I do enjoy clip-in’s, they give me an awful headache if I wear them for too long. They sit really heavy on your temples, so it’s easy to feel the weight sooner rather than later. If I wore them into the city while I was working, I’d be clawing them out of my hair on the train ride home… while popping advil at the same time. The whole process of putting in the extensions takes a long time. I arrived at the salon a little bit before 10am, and I didn’t leave until after 5, only taking a quick lunch break. So if you’re planning on taking this step, make sure you have a full day to dedicate to the process. Your stylist will most likely have you come in ahead of time to color match extensions to your current hair color to get the most natural look possible. Just a heads up, if you weren’t already aware, they are expensive.  The hair itself is costly because it is real human hair, and the longer the length the higher the bill. The installation process is obviously quite lengthy, so that time will run you up a high tab as well. You’re looking to spend anywhere from $800-$1500, depending on how many bundles of hair you need and how long the hair is. Yeah… start saving your pennies. Like I said, this was a worthy investment for me because I can’t wear the clip-in extensions anymore. I am way too prone to migraines and bonded extensions do not sit as heavy on your head at all. If you take care of your extensions they should last you about 5 months.

You also need to invest in a boars hair bristle brush (I think that’s what it is?? hah) so you can brush through the bonds to prevent knotting without pulling on the extension and ripping it out. You should also be brushing your hair at least twice a day. I wash my hair about twice a week, as usual, and blow dry it with the extension brush rather than a round brush. I might go over the very top layer with a flat iron just to smooth it out, but other than that it dries very straight overall. My favorite way to style it right now is with a curling iron, the curls come out bouncy and smooth. Sleep with your extensions in a loose braid to keep them from getting tangled up.

I think I covered all the bases but if you have any more questions feel free to leave a comment below!

Northern Lights Salon

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Let’s Split

I look for pretty much any excuse to wear these split leg pants. Last year I wore them with a flowy off-white crop top, but I opted for a black bodysuit this time around. My favorite part of these pants is that they are easy to pair pretty much any shirt with, so duh, tons of wearability!

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SHEIN PANTS c/o || ME TO WE BODYSUIT || TARGET HEELS || MOLLY & ZOEY BAG || CHANEL SHADES (similar) || ROMAN LUXE BRACELET c/o

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One thing I forgot about these pants but remembered as soon as I put them on… they make yo ass look ridiiiiiiiiiiduclous, hah. For all my ladies with the tiny lil booties out there, you might want to snag yourself a pair of these. I can only imagine they would make everyone’s back side look amaze. And for all of my big booty hoes (myself included) definitely get a pair, cause I mean… hi.

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So I have been using Luxy Hair extensions since I started the process of going lighter again. I noticed pretty much every other girl I was following on Instagram posting about these particular extensions, and found a 10% off coupon (not really that worth it in the long run) and decided to try them out. I don’t know if I’m just challenged or they are too long or what but I feel like they always look terrible on me! I cannot get them to blend for the life of me. I wish they had a few other options as far as length goes… although I wanted way longer hair, I think it makes it look way obvious that I have them in when they are this long. Anyway, that’s my rant about my hair! The ombre option matched pretty well with my current color, though, so no complaints there!

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Revive Your Hair with Vanity Planet

It is no secret that my hair has taken an absolute beating over the past few years. I’ve gone from mousy brown hair, to blonde, to thinking I wanted dark hair again… to going BACK to blonde. My hair needs some serious TLC, and just taking twice the daily recommended dose of biotin was not cutting it anymore. Enter: Vanity Planet’s Moisturizing and Restorative hair treatment. Full disclosure: this product was gifted to me, and all of the below opinions are 100% my own. Let’s get into it!

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Before using this mask my hair was absolutely fried (see photo above). I began the journey of going back to blonde a couple months ago and it was already taking a toll on my strands. After just one use of this mask I am already feeling an intense difference. I would actually compare the results to what my hair felt like when I stopped shampooing it for a while. Which is supposed to be amazing for your hair, right? SO if I got the same results after just ONE use, I can already tell I’m going to reaaaaallllly like this stuff!

So a few things about this mask… you apply it to your hair when it is DRY. Not wet, or damp, or towel dried…. DRY. And a little goes a looooong way. You’re going to feel like you don’t have enough on your hair, or at least I did… and I kept adding more, but trust me, less is more. It comes out sort of sold, almost exactly the same as coconut oil (which happens to be the #1 ingredient, so, duh) and turns into a liquid as you rub your hands together. And let me just tell you guys, it smells freaking amazing! There is some sort of citrus oil in it which gives off the most amazing aroma. I could have left it on my hair all day just to smell it. BUT, you wash it out after 30-45 minutes, then shampoo and condition as usual. After I blow dried my hair I could already tell it was starting to come back to life. Once a week is all you need with this amazing hair mask and you will start to see real results in no time!

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ALSO WORTH MENTIONING! It came with a little battery operated head massager that you can use to give yourself a scalp massage and work in your shampoo and conditioner in the shower! My boyfriend is obsessed with getting his head scratched or rubbed so I immediately used him as a guinea pig for this little massager thing to see if it passed the test! He loved it (obviously, who wouldn’t?) and I’m excited to use it next time!

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I recently got a hair cut and cut off about an inch, plus the use of this mask, my hair is feeling positively amazing lately! Check out vanityplanet.com to grab yourself some goodies! They have so much more than just stuff for your hair too… makeup, skin care, nail treatments. It is your one stop shop to wake up your body!

 

 

A Fit Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with Charlotte everyone thought I was so small and tiny and “all baby.” When you compare pictures of my pregnancy with her to my pregnancy with Kennedy, I somewhat resemble a beached whale. It’s actually scary to look back at those pictures. I did not take care of myself AT ALL. I was totally embracing “being pregnant,” aka, indulging in every single craving and sitting on my ass like a slob all day. I wasn’t working, I didn’t have any other kids to chase after, I gained weight pretty quickly. This time around I decided I was going to take better care of myself, and thank god I did! Just one week after having Kennedy I already fit into my jeans. SUCCESS! Here’s a few tips on how I stayed fit during my pregnancy.

image-74SPORTS BRA: TARGET || LEGGINGS: VICTORIA’S SECRET

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If you haven’t guessed yet my secret is… prenatal yoga! I love yoga in general. It helps relax me and to be honest, it’s an easy but effective workout which I love. I am so not the kind of person who looks forward to going to the gym. I hate/cannot run, I never know what to do when I go by myself, it’s a waste of time really. (I did do Crossfit for a while a couple years ago, which I really loved. Perhaps I’ll have to get back to that). SO, sitting in the privacy of my own bedroom is a good place to do some yoga. I tried to partake in this workout at least 2-3 times a week. I was watching these workouts on Youtube. I have a super busy schedule so the fact that each segment is only about 10 minutes long is perfect for me. There are SO many benefits of doing prenatal yoga as you prepare for your labor and delivery. Personally it helped me figure out how to “breathe through the pain.” Pushing a kid out of your…….self(?) is no joke, and I never took a birthing class for either child. I noticed when I feel pain I tense up and stop breathing, so in the middle of pushing I remembered my yoga breath and out came Kennedy 2 pushes later! image-76 image-77 image-78

In addition to trying to be more active I stopped indulging in my cravings. Actually, to be honest, during this pregnancy I didn’t crave as many crappy foods as I did last time… score! HOWEVER, it still happened occasionally, but there are some super quick and easy alternatives to the usuals! For example, when I craved a milkshake, I opted for a homemade smoothie instead. When I wanted ice cream (which was almost every night), I’d grab some yogurt and throw in trail mix (and M&M’s and Reese’s Pieces, don’t judge me). Last time I’d have french toast and a side of sausage about 2-3 times a week, no joke. This time I vowed to stay home more and forced myself to have Special K cereal. When I did venture out for breakfast I opted for egg white omelets. I have a huge sweet tooth so sticking to healthier foods was quite a challenge for me, but totally worth it.

Here are a few comparison shots from both pregnancies so you can get a better idea of what I’m talking about…

 

If you’re in the middle of a pregnancy now, take it from me, treat yourself well! When all is said and done you will really love and appreciate yourself for it!

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My Beauty Routine & Hydroxatone Giveaway!

I get a lot of questions about my beauty routine and the products I use, so I thought I’d put together a little post on my everyday beauty routine, complete with a giveaway from Hydroxatone! (One of my favorite beauty lines, duh). Behold: the terrifying blank canvas!

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Step one:always start with a Primer! They smooth out your skin and fill in a the little lines and wrinkles so you have a smooth, clean blank canvas to work with when applying the rest of your makeup. I’ve been known to switch around, but my go-to right now is Arbonne primer.

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Step 2: My beauty routine has changed recently. It used to be: Primer, then a thick coat of foundation to cover up everything else on my face. That’s before I was introduced to Hydroxatone! Now I use their BB cream, and a thin layer of it, to cover up all of my imperfections. I pump a little bit onto the top of my hand, use my finger to dab it onto various spots on my face, then use a flat brush to blend.

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Step 3: Powder foundation. Since this BB cream is so amazing, I only swipe on a very small amount of Arbonne’s powder foundation to smooth out any areas that were overlooked before. I generally apply to my forehead, nose, and chin, since I’ll be applying bronzer, blush, and highlighter to my cheeks later and I don’t want to cake on too much product. (I’ll also add a little bit of concealer under my eyes or around my nose if necessary!)

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Step 4: Bronzer! I am a huge fan of Arbonne’s bronzer. It only comes in one shade but seems to morph itself to match whatever shade my skin is at the time… ha. I swipe this on with an angled brush UNDER my cheek bones. I also apply a light dusting along my hairline and jawline, but not as much as my cheeks.

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Step 5: Blush. I usually apply blush to the apples of my cheeks with a sliiiiiight swipe upwards. Typically I switch between a few shades between NARS and Smashbox, depending on my look for the day.

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Step 6: Highlighter. I use Laura Mercier’s powder highlighter. I’ve had it since the summer and it shows no sign of running out any time soon, it’s amazing! I apply this above my cheekbones, along the bridge of my nose, and in the center of my forehead.

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Step 7: BLEND, BLEND, BLEND!!! This is the most important step you could possibly do while applying your makeup. Without blending, you may walk around looking like a drag queen. I use the same big brush I apply my powder foundation with and blend from my cheeks upwards towards my hairline in big circular motions.

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Step 8: Eyeliner. I either use a liquid eyeliner or a pencil depending on the rest of my look for the day. When I’m going for something more casual, without any eyeshadow, I’ll usually apply liquid liner. I generally use Arbonne’s liquid liner as it’s amazing for sensitive eyes, which mine 100% are! However, when that runs out and I wait for my new liner to arrive, I’ll use this liner pen from NYC. It’s about $2 and super easy to apply.

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Step 9: Eyebrows. If there is one thing you take away from my post today it is this: GROOM YOUR DAMN EYEBROWS! That doesn’t just mean plucking or getting waxed, it means groom them, mold them, shape them! Your waxing or plucking means nothing if they’re crazy and all over the place. Use a clear eyebrow gel, it basically looks like clear mascara.

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Step 10: Mascara. I pull my look together with mascara. I’m prone to using drugstore brands, actually. I think you generally get the same results as if you splurged on a super expensive brand. Normally I’ll buy Maybelline’s Falsies mascara. I’m addicted to it. Mascara tends to dry out so quickly, so I’m not fond of spending an arm and a leg on it. However, I’ve been gifted Benefit’s ‘They’re Real’ mascara about three times in a row, so that’s what I’ve been using lately, ha.

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And voila! This is the completed look of my casual, everyday beauty routine.

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For a little extra ‘flare’ I’ll add a pop of color to my lips. Depending on my mood I’ll either throw on a sheer pink gloss or a lipstick. Here I’m wearing LAQA & CO’s fat lip pencil in Lambchop. It’s like a more subtle version of NARS Schiap (which I love).

AND NOW FOR MY GIVEAWAY!

As I said earlier, I was anti BB creams. Every single one I ever tried did absolutely nothing, and I have tried them all! BB creams are basically supposed to be a foundation, concealer, primer, whatever else, all in one. I’ve always found that I had to apply a thick, thick coat to get the coverage I desired from this kind of product. So I gave up on them all together. Until one day, about a month or two ago, during Beauty Chat on Twitter, I was introduced to Hydroxatone. Someone asked about BB creams & I voiced my opinion on how they’re useless when they tweeted to me & asked if I had ever tried theirs, which I had not. They were kind enough to send me a sample and all I can say is, it’s life changing! THIS is the BB cream I have been looking for! It covers so well, I only need to apply the smallest amount, which means I don’t waste a ton of product, which then means it will last me much longer, yay!

NOW you can win your very own bottle of Hydroxatone’s  Anti-Aging BB Cream AND their anti-acne CC cream! All you have to do is follow the very easy steps below!

1. Follow me on Twitter here.

2. Follow Hydroxatone on Twitter here.

3. Follow me on Instagram here.

4. Follow Hydroxatone on Instagram here.

5. ‘LIKE’ Hydroxatone’s Facebook page here.

Once you have completed these 5 easy steps, feel free to leave a comment below! The more steps you take the more entries you get, so follow, follow, follow! This giveaway will end on Tuesday the 8th and I will announce the winner on Wednesday the 9th. Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor! ;]

*Hydroxatone’s products can be found at Ulta & Khols, in stores or online.

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DIY No Sew Turban Headband

I posted this video a few months ago, but I figured since it’s summer and these headbands are huge right now, I’d repost it for you guys. This is the eeeeeeaaaasiest DIY headband tutorial out there! And trust me, I’ve watched a ton just to compare, hah! Side note… this video makes me miss my dark hair. & that sweater! It was my favorite until my husband shrunk it :[ womp womp. Anyway… Enjoy! xo