Nordstrom Sale

NSale Item Review | Keeping vs. Returning

I may have gone a bit overboard at the Nordstrom sale. To my defense, it’s been about a year since I’ve purchased normal sized human clothing. All of my purchases have been maternity and since that chapter is closing soon, I needed to stock up on some comfy mom wear. Obviously.

Nordstrom had some great sales. I don’t typically shop there because I prefer better bargain shopping at TJ Maxx and Target, but these prices were pretty similar to what you’d get at there and the quality is much better. I may be a convert – sorry, husband.

Nordstrom thankfully has free shipping and free returns, so I bought a whole bunch and will return what doesn’t work. Unfortunately (for my wallet), I pretty much love everything. Isn’t that h0w it always works? Oy.

What I’m Keeping

Caslon Long Sleeve Denim Shirt

Caslon Long Sleeve Denim Shirt

I’ve been on the hunt for a high quality, fitted denim shirt that doesn’t pop the buttons out, and this is the one. It’s soft, fits great (yes, I can tell at 9 months pregnant), and doesn’t bow out at the buttons. I ordered a Medium and it runs true to size.

Free People Open Back Shadow Top

Free People “Shadow” Open Back Top

I didn’t think I would love this as much as I do. When I pulled it out of the box, I was underwhelmed. When I put it on, it’s gorgeous. Sleeves are long enough for my monkey arms (I ordered a size Medium), and the fabric is super nice. This will be fun for fall with leggings and booties for sure.

Treasure&Bond Winsor Booties Sand Suede

Treasure&Bond “Winsor” Booties in Sand Suede

Speaking of booties… These babies are amazing. Super comfortable and well made. I am obsessed and can’t wait to wear them. They run true to size for sure. Don’t order smaller.

Zella Dharma Hooded Sweatshirt

Zella “Dharma” Hooded Jacket in Teal Aero Heather

This is way prettier in person. The fabric is stretchy and lightweight – perfect for early morning walks, or whatever else. I ordered a size Medium and it fits snugly and nicely.

Treasure&Bond Striped Pull over sweater

Treasure&Bond Striped Pullover Sweater

This is my favorite item of the whole bunch. This sweater is so soft and high quality. I ordered a Medium and they run a bit large, as expected.

Zella Fresh Tech Tee

Zella Fresh Tech Tee

This is also super lightweight and has a mesh lining around the armpit area and mid-back. It’s thin, stretchy, and cute. I’m trying to keep it real – I don’t wear jeans and cute tops on the regular, so this will get a lot of use this fall.

Zella Live In Leggings

Zella “Live In” Leggings

I ordered these in the leggings as well as the cropped version. I am so excited to fit in normal pants, but I have no idea if these will fit. I ordered a Large because Nordstrom’s site said they run small. Who knows, I’ll exchange if not but they are thick and amazing! No underwear (or bare bums if you’re into that) will show.

BP. Geo Scarf

BP. Stripe Geo Scarf

I couldn’t resist. I love the length and shape of this scarf.

BP. stripe long sleeve tee

BP. Striped Long Sleeve Tee in Olive

This is cuter in person. It’s also way more of an olive color instead of tan. Super comfy, great with a scarf and leggings – duh.

What I’m Returning

BP Open Front Cardigan Dark Olive

BP. Open Front Cardigan in Dark Olive

I am on the fence about this one. It’s super soft and I don’t have any cardigans in this color… but the fit isn’t super flattering. Although it’s hard to tell since I’m 9 months pregnant, I guess. I’ll probably return it.

Lush Lace Up Back Top

Lush Lace Up Back Top in Madder Brown

This runs small and doesn’t fit me right. It is too short it seems. Not totally convinced = sending back.

BP Ripped Moto Leggings

BP. Ripped Moto Leggings in Burgundy

First of all, these are purple, not burgundy. Don’t be fooled. They are thick and nice to the touch, but the “ripped” areas seem to dig into the leg and make weird lumps. I’d rather just have them be denim instead. They run pretty true to size – I ordered a large and could fit in them while pregnant.

Kut from the Kloth Diana Skinny Jean

Kut from the Kloth “Diana” Skinny Jean

These are not skinny, but more of a straight leg. The quality is good, but I don’t wear many outfits with straight legged jeans – I prefer the versatility of skinny jeans so I can shove them in boots or cuff them. They run true to size, and are stretchy which is nice! It’s really about preference.

Trouve Side Slit Sweater

Trouve Side Slit Sweater in Green Wood

I am also on the fence about this one. I can’t tell how it will fit post-pregnancy. It seems to run a bit small. I ordered a Medium and the sleeves are almost too short. I will likely return but this is a beautiful, soft sweater.

 

I also ordered a purse and wallet, but those aren’t shipping for awhile so I can’t report on those quite yet.

YEESH. I am fully stocked up. Did you find any gems at the sale? It’s still going if you’re wanting to snag some deals. Hurry hurry!

 

 

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Pregnancy

Pros & Cons of Each Pregnancy Trimester (let’s get real)

Pregnancy

So, as I sit here 38.5 weeks pregnant and going literally CRAZY, I have been reminiscing about the past almost 10 months. In retrospect, this pregnancy has gone quickly. Based on my personal experience (and some experiences shared with me by friends & family), let’s get real about the pros and cons of each of the lonnngggg trimesters.

Maybe when I’m done writing this I will be in labor. One can hope. HELP ME.

Pros and Cons of pregnancy trimesters

First Trimester

This was the worst trimester for me personally. You’ll see why in a moment.

Pros:

  • You’re pregnant! Congratulations! So exciting. You will get to see your little bean on the ultrasound screen for the first time and get to hear the little heartbeat – a sound that can’t be beat. Except maybe by baby giggles, but your little bean isn’t giggling quite yet.
  • Your clothes still fit (until the end of the trimester), although you are probably itching to start showing like, yesterday. HELLO, YOU’RE PREGNANT! Why aren’t people commenting on your non-existent/tiny bump yet?
  • By week 12, it’s safe to share your news with friends and family and that is so much fun. Definitely more exciting than getting engaged or married. You are growing a human. You are awesome.

Cons:

  • If you were like me, you are throwing up with either morning sickness or all day sickness. I had all day sickness. Good times. Don’t worry, it goes away around week 16 (this is where you are wanting to slap me because that seems like an eternity away).
  • Your sense of smell is crazy. You can smell every nasty thing ever so you spend a lot of time mouth breathing or with your head in the toilet.
  • Your skin might be really mad at you and freak out with a bunch of acne. This was fun. Hopefully you’ll skip this one.
  • You are going to be so bloated and I’m sorry. You might think this is your bump, but likely isn’t.
  • Once again, the nausea. It hurts. You may be rethinking your pregnancy (hey, it happens) because you are so miserable. But it will get better. Hang in there, mama.
  • You’re so exhausted and can’t get enough sleep. Go to work? No. Shower? Why? Clean? Oh, hell no.
  • Food aversions. Mine was cheese. In the long run, this was good for avoiding weight gain, but pizza made me want to crawl into a hole anytime someone talked about it.

Summer maternity photos

Second Trimester

This trimester was a breeze for me. Bask in the glory of the second trimester! It’s great. Usually.

Pros:

  • No more throwing up. Hopefully. The nausea will go away and your appetite will come back slowly but surely. Try to remember that your baby is NOT big right now, so you aren’t exactly eating for two. 😉
  • You’ll start to feel baby move! It will only get stronger as time goes on and the baby grows. It’s pretty much the best part of pregnancy, in my opinion.
  • You’ll find out the gender – if you want to – during the anatomy exam at 20 weeks. This was so fun. The baby looks like an actual baby now and things are getting REAL.
  • Your sickness is gone and your energy is back. You are glowing. Things are great.
  • Baby showers! Your loved ones will shower your little nugget with the cutest, tiniest gifts and it’s more exciting than getting new bakeware at your bridal shower. Trust me.
  • Your belly is growing. You finally look pregnant instead of super bloated. Your confidence will likely increase since you aren’t just feeling fat – you’re feeling pregnant.

Cons:

  • You have to buy new clothes. Maternity clothes are overpriced and not the cutest. I got some really cute dresses from a website called Pink Blush Maternity and they have awesome sales. Check them out.
  • There’s a lot to do to get ready for a baby. You may have feelings of being overwhelmed, but don’t worry – you’ll get there.
  • You still have a lot longer to go. This may not be a con for you, but I am the most impatient human ever and I was just itching to meet her. Wait…I still am.
  • Back pain. I have struggled with AWFUL back pain the entire 2nd and 3rd trimester. I was going to the chiropractor three times a week until I got too big to get adjusted. Now I just create a pillow cocoon on my couch every day hoping that it will go away.
  • Sleeping gets reeeeealllyyyy uncomfortable. Your hips hurt, you can’t sleep on your stomach on your back, and it starts to become tough to flip over.
  • You have weird things happen to you… like growing more hair. I felt like chewacca. Hey, just keeping it real.
    • If you think pregnancy is a glamorous thing, good joke. You’ll see. 😉
  • Pregnancy brain!

Pregnancy

Third Trimester

I’m at the tail end of my third trimester now and I am SOOOOO ready to be done.

Pros:

  • You are 2/3 of the way done with your pregnancy and that is a beautiful thing.
  • Your bump is the real deal now. I bet you look so cute – although you may feel like a hippo. No way, pregnant women are beautiful.
  • If you didn’t already have your showers, you’ll have them now and you’ll be able to finish the nursery before baby comes. Woo hoo!
  • If you choose to have maternity photos, you’ll do those now. We had them done and they came out beautifully. I am so happy we did. After all, pregnancy is temporary and it’s truly amazing.
  • Again… the finish line is in sight.

Cons:

  • I suppose this applies to every trimester, but lots of people have strong opinions on pregnancy and labor. For example…
    • “Oh you’ll be late. Everyone is late with their first baby.”
    • “Are you having an epidural? LOLz, YEAH OKAY. You’ll want an epidural.”
    • “When I was pregnant, this happened…”
    • “Oh please, you have NO idea what pain is. You just wait…”
    • “You should do this…”
    • “Enjoy your sleep now because HA HA HA your world is about to change”

You may want to spit out “OK YOU HAD ONE BABY YOU ARE NOT THE END ALL BE ALL OF LABOR AND DELIVERY” or “EVERY PREGNANCY IS DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW-IT-ALL MEANIE” …and I may have said some of those things (perhaps a bit nicer). But take it with a grain of salt. They are likely just wanting to offer some sort of weird advice (if you can call it that), and you cn ignore it and listen to the doctor instead. 😉

  • You’re uncomfortable. Your belly is getting ginormous. Your back hurts. You are waddling – once baby drops. Your lungs are crowded and you can’t breathe.  Basically, you are over it.
  • Clothes are getting snug. Even maternity clothes. A lot of my maternity shirts no longer fit my belly, which is stupid. So, I am left with about four shirts until I deliver. Let’s hope that’s like, today. Can you tell I’m ready yet?
  • Swelling. Especially if it’s the summertime. Whew…
  • You go to the doctor a lot. Not really a con, but something to mention. If you are working full time still, your boss may be annoyed but it’s whatever.
  • The uncertainty of when baby will come.
    • I have all the pre-labor symptoms. I will spare you the gory details – you can Google it. But I’ve dropped, I’m nesting, I have a ton of contractions that are likely Braxton Hicks. They hurt and they are confusing.

Maternity photos

And there you have it. These are based on my personal experience of course. My first trimester was pure hell on earth and every day felt like an eternity, but like everyone told me – it got better.

Now, I was also told that the last month will feel like forever and they’re kind of right. I didn’t start feeling that way until this week (week 38).

If you are prego, congratulations! Seriously, being pregnant has been such an amazing experience. It really is crazy to love someone you’ve never met so much. Your body is doing remarkable things and you should be so proud.
If you’ve gained weight and are stressing about your post-baby body, relax. You are doing the most important thing EVER and you should focus on that. Worry about your bod later. You are beautiful and you are amazing.

I am feeling emotional. I forgot to mention that.
If you’re a mama, did you experience these pros and cons? Any others I forgot?

 

baby girl nursery

Baby Girl Nursery | Lots of DIY

Saturday marked the official start of being 38 weeks pregnant with our first baby. Every day I wake up thinking ‘Today’s the day! My water is totes going to break and we’ll meet our princess by tomorrow!” …but nope, nothing yet. Lots of Braxton Hicks and wishful thinking.

But the good news is her nursery is ready (as well as a whole bunch of baby stuff all over the house, such as changing stations, swing, bassinet, etc.). I love how it turned out. It’s so serene and adorable, although super small. I refinished a lot of the furniture pieces and my husband built some awesome industrial shelves for my excessive decorations and books.

Baby girl nursery shelves

The bookends are geode slices dyed teal. The glass container is full of headbands and bows. AH, CAN’T WAIT TO USE THOSE.  The really cute cord hanging down is the video baby monitor that’s positioned to look right into the crib.

baby girl nursery

I found those awesome letters at Michael’s – they are all mismatched and look fab. My husband laid these beautiful engineered wood floors and painted all the trim white, as well as the walls a soft, cool grey.

I refinished his childhood dresser to this slate grey/navy color and it now serves as storage and a changing table combo. I say storage because the drawers are hard to open and are super loud, so I didn’t put any clothes in them.

baby girl crib

Her sweet little crib! I made the quilt at the end. It was awful to sew, but is incredibly soft and will work great when she’s older during the colder months. So fluffy = clogging my sewing machine and breaking needles every two minutes. Worth it.

baby girl nursery organization

(Ignore the top shelf – yikes)

The closet and clothing situation was kind of a hot mess to organize. We got a ton of clothes for her (not a problem) and I want her to be able to wear everything before she outgrows them. But if you’re a mama, you know that they grow so fast and the brands differ in sizing so much that it’s probably not going to happen. I tried to organize them the best way I could. The cube with baskets helped with that, and I also got a hanging organizer where I put all of her sleepers and newborn & 0-3 month outfits/onesies.

The ‘fancy’ stuff is hanging up so I can hopefully remember to use it.

I didn’t take a photo of the left closet because it’s full of diapers and the hanging organizer. That’s it.

baby girl nersery

This is where I’ll be rocking/feeding/pumping, obviously. We have a bottle cooler/warmer there for night feedings once she takes a bottle. The lamb thing is a floor mat for little ones to lay on. So cute and fuzzy.

Also, side note – finding blush colored curtains is nearly impossible. I did not want super pink cotton candy colored curtains and that’s all I could seem to find. These are from Target and they are super nice quality. In case you were looking for something similar.

vera bradley diaper bags

What you see here is the exact same diaper bag in two different sizes. I am crazy.

They are both by Vera Bradley in the Stroll Around style, I think. The one on the left is the Large Stroll Around diaper bag and the right one is the small version.

I thought I could get away with the smaller bag based on reviews I read. However, once we got it and I packed it, we realized it’s really small. A lot of friends and family agreed so we bought the big one. I got these on eBay for super cheap. All brand new Vera Bradley items, way discounted. The front area zips down and a changing pad comes out and the inside of the bag is plastic-ish so it can be wiped out as needed. There are also stroller straps for convenience.

The small version is now going to be our in-car diaper bag. Because apparently that’s a thing.

Reading through this post, I realize this is probably super boring for non-moms. But if you’re a mommy-to-be, it’s so exciting! Thanks for reading regardless. 

Next time I post, I’ll hopefully be a mom. I am trying to follow every old wives tale possible to put myself into labor… Now, please excuse me while I eat a whole pineapple.

38 weeks pregnant

And now, a super grainy photo with horrible lighting of me 38 weeks pregnant. 

colourpop lippies

Colourpop Lippie Try-on & Review

If you are a huge KathleenLights fan, like myself (love her – she’s so cute), you know that she recently had another collab with affordable makeup brand, Colourpop Cosmetics.

I obviously had to purchase some (pretty much all) of the items she released, which did not disappoint.

colourpop cosmetics

Shipping

The products themselves are awesome. I love them all. I wasn’t super thrilled with Colourpop’s shipping system, as I see famous YouTubers getting these awesomely packaged product displays in the mail in a timely fashion.

I, however, went a WEEK after purchasing with no shipping notification. It wasn’t until I emailed them asking when my order would ship that they actually shipped it. Not cool. Then they answered me a couple days after that with my tracking info… Ummm?

Also, when they arrived they were just thrown into the box and half of the products were outside of their packaging. Weird.

But they’re here now and I love everything. My advice to the Colourpop team? Pay more attention to your paying customers instead of those who get it for free. But, I digress.

Scent

I mentioned this in my video below, but the smell on the hippie stix is horrendous. Not sure when they reformulated and added this scent, but it’s gross. It goes away in a couple of seconds after application, though. No gross scent was in the ultra satins.

colourpop cosmetics

Swatches

Taurus is a warm brown matte shade. I figured while I was placing an order, I might as well add this to my cart because I have been curious how a warm brown lip would look on me. I actually really like it and am excited to wear it this fall. It also made my teeth look white. I appreciate that, thanks.

colourpop taurus

Bound is not part of the KathleenLights collab collection, but I have wanted to try this for quite awhile. It’s also the only glossy finish I have tried from them. I like it a lot! This is a sheer-ish cool pink color. I like it best with a lip liner.

Note: I am not a fan of ColourPop’s lippie pencils as I find them difficult to sharpen (plastic, not wood). 

colourpop bound

Lumiere is one I’ve enjoyed a lot since I purchased this at the original release date. This one does not have the weird smell. The newer batches might, though. It’s a rosy mauve color with a matte finish and it’s beautiful.

colourpop lumiere

Aquarius is my perfect nude shade. It has a creme finish and is super comfortable on the lips. I think I’ll be getting a ton of use out of this one when I wear darker/colorful eye looks.

colourpop aquarius

Alyssa is a part of the newest collab with Colourpop and it’s an ultra satin lip. I love this formula. It’s a LOT like the Jouer matte lip cremes. This is a gorgeous nude pink color and does not have a bad smell. It’s super comfortable and long wearing as well.

colourpop alyssa

November is another part of the new collab and is a ultra satin lip, too. It’s a warm pink and is very flirty and fun. Can’t complain here.

colourpop november

colourpop lippies

…and here is my live swatching & review video:

I’m overall happy with the products and not-so-happy about the customer service experience. But for the price and quality, I will be a repeat customer for sure.

Nordstrom Sale Picks

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

Nordstrom Sale Picks

I’m sure you’ve heard, but it’s the Nordstrom Anniversary Sales Event right now! Early access is going on now through the 21st, and the sale opens to the public on Friday, the 22nd. However, if you’re not a card holder, you’re able to scope out the sweet deals ahead of time. And maybe you’ll get suckered into the Nordstrom credit card like so many others… cough cough.

I placed a rather large order already (whoops), so here are some of my top pics and purchases – all priced affordably. I am not about paying $200 for a shirt. Nope.

Sigma Power Pair Set

This baby comes with the famous F80 foundation brush and their cleaning mat that goes in the sink for convenience.

Price: $34.50

Sigma Power Pair Set

Kate Spade Live Colorfully Perfume Set

AHHH I have been lusting after this for years now. Why haven’t I bought it already? Who knows. It smells so good. Of course, there are tons of other awesome perfume and cologne picks available.

Price: $95.00

Kate spade live colorfully

Zella “Fresh Tech” Tee

I envision myself being a super active mama, walking the baby around the neighborhood, etc. Hey, I do live in suburbia. Anyway, I don’t have many long sleeve “workout” type tops, so I figured I’d give this cute one a shot. I’m all about the cute active wear look. Did I just work out? Or did I just roll out of bed? You’ll never know.

Price: $37.90

Zella tee

Sole Society “Ellie” Backpack

I have had my eye on a black leather Kate Spade backpack purse for awhile now, unable to click the trigger, AKA the ‘buy’ button. This one is similar, but you know… about $200 less. 😉 I think it’s super cute and definitely convenient.

Price: $29.90

backpack

Free People Oversize Open Back Sweater

This will look super cute with leggings and boots this fall and it’s at a pretty good price point for Free People. I am excited to see if actually looks cute on my unknown post-baby body.

Price: $44.90

Free people sweater

Zella “Live In” Leggings

Well, these have been on my bookmarks bar for about a year and I finally purchased them! I can’t wait to wear them every day of my life once I can fit into normal people clothing again.

Price: $33.90

Zella Live In Leggings

KUT from the Kloth “Diana” Stretch Skinny Jeans

I have heard good things about this brand and I am always on a search for the perfect pair of skinnies. Fingers crossed that these are them!

Price: $59.90

kut from the kloth

Treasure&Bond Slub Knit Boot Socks

So I pretty much can’t wear anything I purchased until fall, but that’s ok. Can’t wait to pair these with some leggings (or jeans, I guess) and some cute boots!

Price: $9.90

boot socks

Treasure&Bond Striped Pull Over Sweater

It was too pretty. I had to. Longer in the back so it covers your tush when you wear.. you guessed it.. leggings.

Price: $49.90

striped sweater

BP Scarf

I love the bland colors in this scarf because I wear so many neutrals. I am boring, what can I say? But this scarf is not boring! Right? Right.

Price: $18.90

bp scarf

So, there are some of my wish list items/ purchases. Obviously these are all super appropriate for the 100 degree weather right now. Whoops!

As you can tell, I am not a designer kind of girl. It’s just not me. Probably never will be. where are my other bargain shoppers at?

XOXO

Boxycharm

July 2016 Boxycharm Review

Another month of Boxycharm for the win! If you don’t know what Boxycharm is, it’s a monthly subscription box where you pay $21 each month and receive over $100 worth of full sized beauty products – typically 4 to 6 items. I have been super happy with this box and will continue to receive it until I feel it’s not worth it anymore (unlikely).

This month was probably my favorite month so far. Here’s what came inside:

July 2016 Boxycharm

So, 4 items this month (but really one of the items was 7 items in one – the palette).

PYT Argan Hair Oil

Value: $30.00

I’m excited to try this on day 2 or 3 of unwashed hair (no judgments – I use dry shampoo). It starts to feel a little dry on those days so I think this will be useful!

Mally Beauty Rounded Blender Brush

Value: $15.00

I tried this out this morning and love it! It blends flawlessly and it’s super cute, too. I like it better than my Sigma E40 because it’s a bit more dense and a little smaller in diameter.

NOYAH Lip Gloss

Value: $16.00

This is really pretty! It’s actually a gloss, not a lip cream, which is refreshing. Also, the packaging is made of recycled goods and the product is composed of good ingredients. Not sticky at all and a pretty color, too.

OFRA Professional Magnetic Palette + 6 Shadows

Value: $59.00

Although this palette isn’t as high quality as a Z Palette (this one is made of cardboard), it’s still awesome to have on hand! My other Z palettes are overly crowded so I’m excited to break up my warm and cool toned eyeshadows.

Also, the 6 shadows that came with it – not sure of the names – are fabulous! I wasn’t impressed when I swatched them, but when I applied them to my eyes over a primer, they are GREAT. I am super impressed and was happy to receive some cool toned colors!

I think the shadows retail for $10-12 a piece normally, which is pretty high considering MAC and Makeup Geek shadows are at a $6 price point.

OFRA professional palette

Boxycharm july 2016

Here are all of the swatches.

Overall, this box was a hit with me. I think it was well worth the $21.

Click here to check out Boxycharm!

 

Oily skin must-haves

Beauty Must-Haves For Oily Skin

Oily skin must-haves

Being a victim of oily skin, I’ve tried a LOT of products to help control it. Whether that be throughout a long work day, spending the day outside, or needing heat-resistant products so your makeup doesn’t slide all over your face.

I’ve learned to tame it through trial and error and am here to share my wealth of knowledge (kidding, but really though). My routine is a combination of makeup and skincare, and here are my top suggestions.

Makeup for Oily Skin

Mattifying primer

Try out the Makeup Forever Step 1 Mattifying Primer. This product is awesome once you understand how to use it. Don’t rub it onto the face all over, but rather press it into the oily areas only – it dries quickly so if you rub it in it will ball up. Just FYI. I put a super small amount in my t-zone areas and it holds up well throughout the day. Another benefit is this stuff will last a long time because you barely need any.

Makeup forever mattifying primer

 

Note: I’ve seen some newer (and much less expensive) options at the drugstore recently but haven’t tried any yet. 

Oil controlling foundations

Oh boy, I could go on and on here because I have tried out dozens of foundations that claim to control oil. These are the two I will continue to recommend to my fellow oily skin gals.

Estee Lauder Double Wear – this is a thicker consistency, so I recommend using a beauty sponge for this one. However, it blends great, it’s matte, and is full coverage. I wear the color 1W1.

Tip: Purchase a Mac foundation pump for this – it works great and is a lot cleaner.

estee lauder double wear

Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless – This stuff is amazing and it’s super affordable! I like it applied with either a brush or sponge and it blends beautifully. It’s not AS matte as Estee Lauder Double Wear, but it controls oil well for me. I wear the color #220 right now and am about a Mac NC 20-25 with a “tan”.

Maybelline Matte and Poreless

Crease-proof concealer

I like several different concealers, but Mac’s Pro Longwear Concealer has been the best in my opinion. You don’t need much, it’s full coverage, and it sets quickly with no creasing or melting off throughout the day. The point is, don’t use a concealer that’s too creamy – especially for spot concealing.

Mac pro longwear concealer

Oil controlling powder

Specifically, a loose powder. These babies will soak up that oil right away and will continue throughout the day. Gross? Maybe. But necessary.

I have found that the Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder works the best for me, although it’s pricey. You could experiment with some drugstore versions like the Nyx HD loose powder, etc., but I find this controls it best, especially when you “bake” your oily areas.

Laura mercier translucent loose setting powder

Also, I would avoid cream products as much as possible if you’re oily (cream blushes and bronzers) unless you intend to set them with a powder version. Creams and oil just don’t play nicely, especially in the summer months.

Skincare Regimen for Oily Skin

Cleanse

I cleanse my skin with two main facial cleansers: Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser and Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser. Although I am not opposed to trying others.

Whether I wear makeup that day or not, I cleanse my face morning and night. This is super important since you sweat and smash your face in a pillow each night. Get that face clean, girl.

At night, I will remove my makeup using an oil-based makeup remover, then I will wash my face in the shower with the Pixi Glow Mud Cleanser, which does a good job getting all the gunk off in a very gentle way. It doesn’t foam so it’s very mild.

pixi glow mud cleanser

The Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is serious stuff. This stuff burns your eyes, so do NOT use it to remove eye makeup. Use this ever other day, max. I use this on a Clarisonic once or twice a week for deep cleaning and it does an awesome job. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to see if you can find something a little more gentle. But I like my products to beat my face up and get them squeaky clean.

Mario Badescu glycolic cleanser

Tone

This is a super important step that I do morning and night. I put some of the Mario Badescu Cucumber Cleansing Lotion (for combo and oily skin) onto a cotton pad and apply to my face after cleansing. It will remove any excess dirt and even out your skin’s pH. Also, this is not a lotion – it’s liquid toner. Not sure why they call it a lotion…?

Mario Badescu Cucumber cleansing lotion

Moisturize

You may be thinking that since you’re oily, moisturizing is counter productive. Wrong. Your skin is still thirsty, but you just need to use a different form of moisturizer. Specifically an oil-free gel form, such as the Body Shop Seaweed Mattifying Day Cream.

The body shop Seaweed oil control day cream

At night, I use a richer, thicker moisturizer. My favorite is Origins Night-a-mins, but I am using the Simple brand’s rich moisturizer right now because it’s inexpensive and gets the job done.

Also, don’t skip out on the serums or oil treatments just because you’re oily. It won’t make you more oily unless you use it during the day. I’ve been enjoying the Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair oil recently. I use it underneath my eye cream and moisturizer every night.

Estee lauder advanced night repair

Masks

At least once a week I like to use a mask on my face. Mostly I go for deep pore cleansing masks like mud masks. I also enjoy a good brightening or peel-off mask if I’m feelin crazy.

The Pixi Glow Mud Mask is a great drugstore option (although pricier than other drugstore masks). It’s so good!

Pixi glow mud mask

Best Practices

  • Don’t go to sleep without removing your makeup and washing your face.
  • Keep blotting sheets on hand, especially for hot days.
  • Don’t forget to moisturize day and night.
  • Set all cream makeup products with powder.
  • Avoid “luminous” finishes in Makeup unless they are powder blushes and highlights.
  • Stay hydrated and eat well.

oil absorbing sheets

It has taken me a long time to get to a point where I almost never break out anymore. I have some super pretty scars and dark spots on my face unfortunately, but they’ll fade over time. Keeping my skin balanced while also not breaking the bank is the goal here.

If you have oily skin, what products are your go-tos?

 

 

 

 

 

 

curling short hair

Curling Short Hair | Quick & Easy

curling short hair

Having shorter hair is both a blessing and a curse. It’s light weight and lovely, but you pretty much always have to style it because putting it into a bun (without 5947549 bobby pins) doesn’t work.

However, styling it doesn’t have to be a hassle or a time sucker. For me, curling my hair is quicker than flat ironing and I think it looks better on my face shape – and more put together!

Here’s an easy to follow “tutorial” to curl your short hair in 15 minutes or less. It takes me about 10 minutes and I have a ton of hair, although it’s very fine. There is some natural wave to it, but it’s mainly pretty straight.

I wash my hair at night, sleep on it wet, and tackle the beast in the morning. This removes the dreaded blowdrying nightmare as well as reduces the amount of heat that I put on my hair since it’s color treated. It also adds a lot of volume at the top versus just blowdrying.

I typically only use two products to curl my hair (unless I need stronger hold for a long day, etc.)

A 1-inch Conair Infiniti Pro curling iron with a clamp. I love this one. I’ve had more expensive brands but this is the best. I love it so much that I bought a bigger barrel version and the flat iron in the same line.

You could use a wand but that takes longer.

I also use a heat protectant/hair spray combo – yes, they exist – called Hot Off the Press by Paul Mitchell. I spray this on each section of my hair, generously. You can really use any heat protectant you like, though. Just use something.

I set mine to the second heat setting (330 degrees).

curling iron temperature

Tip: when you clamp your hair, start toward the root and pulse it down toward the ends. This allows the heat to reach all of the hair and avoids having the curl just at the ends.

Step 1: Bottom Layer

I section my hair into 3 parts, but you may only need 2 – or maybe 4. Brush or comb out the section, spray your protectant and curl.

The bottom section is the shortest length, so I alternate the directions I curl – toward the face and away from the face. Don’t worry if you can’t get to each piece of hair. It blends.

comb your hair

heat protectant

bottom layer

See, alternating sections.

finger comb

When I’m done with the bottom layer, I finger comb through the curls so they aren’t ringlets.

Moving onto the next section…

Step 2: Middle Layer

Repeat the same steps, but being a bit more careful to get most of the pieces of hair – especially if you have naturally straight hair like me. I take pretty large sections, and I alternate the directions of curls here, too.

Why do I alternate the directions? Because then the curls won’t get stuck together into one giant curl. This adds more movement and texture.

I leave about 1/2 inch to an inch of hair out at the bottom, too. This helps it look more effortless and beachy.

Tip: start from the back of your head and work forward on each side of your head. It makes it easier to see what you’re doing when the curls aren’t in your way. 

second layer

middle layer

Leaving a little bit of hair out at the ends.

ringlet curls

When you’re done with that section you’ll be left with some pretty hot ringlet curls. OH YEAH! Just kidding, comb them out with your fingers – if you want.

finger combing

Step 3: Top Layer

Almost done! Repeat the same steps on this section. However, I do NOT alternate the directions of the curls on the top layer. That’s about the only difference.

When you get to your bangs/front sections, start your curling iron down lower on that piece and pulse down. You don’t want to start too high there or you will look like Shirley Temple.

Top layer

top layer curls

curled short hair

curling short hair

See? Quick and easy. If you are new to curling your hair, just practice to see which way to turn the barrel so you won’t get kinks. With practice, it’ll be super quick and easy.

Again, I can do this in 10 minutes. Perfect for when the baby comes so I won’t look like a hot mess ALL the time.

Thanks for reading!

ABH Modern Renaissance Palette Tutorial & Review

Modern Renaissance palette

I recently purchased the drool-worthy Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette – now, if that isn’t a mouthful…

And the answer is yes, it is worth the hype and the price tag. This is palette is a DREAM. The colors appear to all be warm, berry tones, but there are a couple of cooler tones and the majority lean neutral. So, this baby will work for neutral lovers who are itching to get our of their comfort zone. Also, most of the colors are matte shades which I appreciate because I can get a little carried away with shimmers.

ABH Modern Renaissance palette

Blend-ability is fantastic (seriously, SO easy), pigmentation is unreal, and the only “con” I can think of is that the shades are so pigmented that they are a bit powdery and can have some fallout. I don’t mind at all, though. I also really enjoy the brush that comes with it!

The price of this palette is $42.00 and you get 14 shades. The price is much less than the Urban Decay Naked palettes and the quality is just as great, if not better.

Here’s a tutorial I filmed on a neutral, matte look with a cut crease. I intended for the look to be super simple and quick, but alas, a cut crease look was born. 😉

Hope you enjoy & thanks for reading/watching! xo

Must have makeup products

Keeping only ONE makeup product per category

It’s no secret that my makeup collection is excessive. I’ve spent a lot of dollars on makeup products (much to my husband’s dismay), but I’m obsessed and can’t think of a good excuse right now.

I’ve been thinking about what I would pack into one small makeup bag if I was forced to get rid of everything else. Meaning, what are my must-haves out of my entire collection?

I don’t know how some women wear the same products each day, but I am jealous of their savvyness and self control.

After much consideration, here are my picks.

Must have makeup products

Primer

I’d have to say Smashbox Primer Water for this one. I like that it gives hydration and thins out thicker foundations, but also seems to prolong the wear of my foundation. I also don’t seem to have much luck with silicon/slippery primers on my oily skin.

Foundation

UGH, TOUGH ONE. I am a foundation junkie. Especially being so fair-skinned. My obsession with finding the perfect foundation for fair, oily skin in real.

This answer really depends on the season, to be honest. So I am going to cheat.

For the colder months: Estee Lauder Double Wear. Ah, what a beauty. Full coverage and a matte finish.

estee lauder double wear

For the warmer months: Maybelline Fit Me Matte & Poreless.

Maybelline Matte and Poreless

I could really just wear this one all year-round, but I just really love my Double Wear. And MAC Studio Fix. Sigh, moving on…

Concealer

I have fallen in love with Younique’s Touch Mineral concealer. Full coverage, super creamy, blendable, etc. For more info on this product, see this blog post all about Younique products (I even have a demo video there).

Powder

I am not married to any specific powder, honestly. Whatever will set my cake face works for me. So, for now, let’s go with Laura Mercier’s translucent loose setting powder.

Bronzer/Contour Powder

MAC Sculpt shaping powder offers a nice shadow for contour and is warm enough to add a bronzed look (for my skin tone, anyway). I also thoroughly enjoy Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer in Light – not orange at all and works well on fair skin.

Blush

I will probably change my mind in 5 seconds, but Benefit Rockateur. This is a beauty. It has sheen but no sparkles and has a beautiful mauve color without being too pigmented.

Highlight

Laura Mercier’s Matte Radiance Baked Powder in 01. If you want to glow from within, this is good. If you’re more of a disco ball glow kind of gal, MAC Soft & Gentle is a fave of mine, especially when you wet your brush first. Whew!

Eyeshadow Primer

Nars smudge proof eyeshadow primer is the best of the best. I have very oily eyelids and this holds up great. Only use a little bit on each lid, though!

Eyeshadow

Based on my recent obsession and newest member of my crowded eyeshadow palette family, I have to say the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette. I know, I am predictable.

The warm tones are gorgeous, there are so many fabulous matte shades, you can create a subtle or dramatic eye, and the shadows blend beautifully. The hype is real – I highly recommend this. Love.

Anastasia Modern Renaissance

Eyeliner

NYX matte black liquid liner. The brush makes it super easy to get a sharp wing when you want, but also a thin enough line if you prefer no wing.

Mascara

My eyelashes suck, but I’ve had good experience with Benefit’s Roller Lash. No clumps and it provides good lift/curl.

Brows

I haven’t tried anything that I absolutely love, but I am enjoying my using my NYX brow “gel” (it’s a pomade, really) in Blonde. You don’t even need to set your brows when you use this, but I still do because I’m crazy.

Lip Product

Right now, Jouer liquid lipstick in Dulce de Leche. It’s comfortable, wears a long time, and doesn’t flake off. It’s also a super subtle and wearable color for every day.

Jouer dulce de leche

 

What are your must-haves? I need to know.