7 Spring Must Haves

Springtime has finally arrived and it is glorious. Granted, it’s still a tad chilly here in Chicagoland, but the sun is shining and there is no snow on the ground at the moment so I will take that as a win. To me, spring means freshness and renewal, as well as a time to prepare for summer. This got me thinking about some of the products I tend to use or fashion items I tend to look for in preparation for the warmer months. Since I found (or already use) some pretty awesome things, I figured I’d share some of them with you.

Fashion

You all know I’m not huge on fashion blogging, nor am I really a fashionista in any sense of the word. I love things that are comfy and easy to move in. I consider it a bonus if they look super cute. My fashion picks are two things I recently aquired and love, and one thing I’d just love to have.

First, let’s talk about my “would love to have” item. I feel like a good looking, clean cut and flattering denim jacket is a great piece for spring. I’m really getting into the basic T with a fashion jacket over it look, and having a nice denim jacket would be the perfect addition to anyone’s spring wardrobe. This jacket from Macy’s is super cute and gives great lines and is decently affordable (and as of 4/12 it’s on sale).

I saw this amazingly bright chrome t-shirt from White House Black Market online and ever since I saw it I could not stop thinking about it. As I said before, basic tees are something I wear on the regular, and a lot of my tees are dressed up ones with a little bit of sparkle. I love all things glittering and shiny, so I needed to see this shirt in person. The other day, I went to the store and tried it on. It’s everything I ever needed in a chrome colored t-shirt! Flattering, shiny, and not see through. Epic win! Even better, WHBM was having a 40% off the entire store sale, so the shirt landed in a more reasonable price range. Needless to say I now own it and can’t wait to wear it out.

Finally, I would be doing you a disservice if I didn’t tell you about my latest purchase from Grace & Lace. I bought their super stretch zip up midi shorts and they’re basically the best pair of shorts I’ve ever owned. I had them in time for my latest trip to Florida, so I was able to give them a solid test run. They’re stretchy all over, including an elastic band in the back which helps keep things super comfy. The length is perfect: long enough to not be showing your booty, but not so long that you feel like you’re in Bermuda shorts. They come in several denim shades as well as new colored pairs as well. I currently own the olive green and the mid wash denim, and I just ordered a pair in black. I will likely acquire most, if not all colors eventually. I wear a medium, but they are clingy enough (not constricting though. They’re perfect!) where I know that if my body dropped a size, they’d still fit fine. This will be my most comfortable and stylish shorts season ever!

Beauty

My first spring beauty choice is my all time favorite spring nail polish: OPI You’re Such A Budapest. For several years now it has been my go-to springtime purple shade. It’s light and fresh, and I truly feel like it’s a purple shade that can go with almost anything spring has to offer. I wear it all the time during the spring months and I will continue to do so until OPI stops making it.

Sticking with the pretty purple theme, I have been loving Stila’s Glitter and Glow eyeshadow in the shade “Plum On.” I own several of these shadows, and while they’re all amazing, this deeper (but not too deep) purple shade is the perfect pop of color to was across my lid. It offers me my favorite color and a little bit of sparkle, which basically makes it my perfect eye shadow.

In the warmer months, I love using a lip gloss with a hint of color. I recently discovered the brand Lano and am obsessed with the two lip products I already own by them (a strawberry lip treatment and their original ointment), so when I saw they had these pigmented glosses, I knew I had to get them. While I don’t have them yet, my Ulta 20% off coupon just came the other day, which means I will own them soon. If they’re anything like the Lano products I already own, then I’m certain I’ll love these too.

Finally, I think a spring refresh means something new and awesome to your skincare routine. One of the best serums I’ve ever used in my life is the Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate. This magic potion is packed with good for the skin ingredients that make my skin soft, smooth, and I swear it even helps clear things up a bit. It’s one of my all-time favorite facial serums, and I’m pretty sure it’s perfect for all skin types, making it an ideal universal suggestion as a new step in your skincare routine. Have you tried this serum?

What are some of your spring time must-haves?

Lovely Luxuries Holiday Gift Guide

 

 

Jo Malone Perfume Collection: Jo Malone is something I have personally been dying to own, but the price is so high that I can never decide exactly which fragrance I want to commit to. Why do I want to own Jo Malone? No idea! I likely have it in my head that it’s some symbol of ultimate luxury or something, but it’s been on my wishlist for years now. This set has 5 minis in it that give a nice variety of fragrances so you can try things out and decide if there is any scent you love or you can mess around with mixing the scents to come up with your own signature scent. The scents included are Lime Basil & Mandarin, Nectarine Blossom & Honey, English Oak & Redcurrant, Wild Bluebell, and Wood Sage & Sea Salt. You end up with 1.5 oz of product total for $115, which prices it out as slightly more money per ounce ($77/oz) than buying a one-ounce bottle ($68), which is a bummer, but you would get to try 5 different scents instead of having to commit to one. Ultimately, this would be an amazing and luxurious gift for any fragrance lover in your life. 

Tata Harper Jumbo Resurfacing Mask: This mask is my new love. I went and got a sample at Sephora and after that one try, I knew it was going to be a love of mine. This made me sad because it is a really pricey mask, clocking in at $62 for a 1 oz container! 😱 I know, what am I thinking? I happened to go over to Tata Harper’s website instead of Sephora, just to look around, and I stumbled across this beauty. Meet the JUMBO sized container of my new beloved mask! This is 3.55 oz of product for a whopping $125. Before you think I’m a crazy person for not only suggesting this but also buying it (because I totally did!), do the math. At that price, the mask is only $35.20 per ounce instead of the regular price of $62. That is a major discount and completely worth shelling out the extra cash for upfront. I am excited to see what using this mask regularly does for my skin, and with it being as popular as it is, I’m certain this is a great gift for the skincare lover in your life. 

Dagne Dover Midi Tote: I use this bag every single day. It’s just like my Dagne Dover Classic Tote (which I did an entire blog post on) only smaller and more convenient for everyday use. I ended up buying mine because the color was on sale, but I didn’t realize I was purchasing my new go-to handbag. All of the small details that go into a Dagne Dover bag is why I have become a brand loyalist. In the midi tote, there are pen loops, an iPad sleeve, many pockets, and (most importantly) a build in water bottle holder. This bag carries everything I could possibly need while I’m out and about. I get so many compliments when I carry a Dagne Dover, no matter what size (I own a petite one too). This is a beautiful, but fully functional gift. 

Sugarfina Holiday Gift Box: This gift box is a great gift for anyone with a sweet tooth that you want to shower with a little bit of luxury. This box contains festive, limited edition holiday flavors from Sugarfina dressed in a super fancy box to make it look and feel extra luxurious. A great gift idea for someone you want to buy an extra special treat for but don’t really know what they’re into. 

Beats Headphones: Noise canceling headphones are something actually appearing on my wishlist this year. In the age of noisy workspaces, inability to focus (my issue) and people at the gym that you just want to tune out while lifting, noise-canceling headphones are something that you might not buy for yourself, but they’d make a truly thoughtful gift for someone who loves music and quiet.

Thread & Supply Fleece Pullover: Doesn’t this pullover just look like the coziest thing you ever did see? When temperatures outside are as chilly as they’ve been lately, it’s easy to live in your favorite sweatshirt. Treating someone to a high quality, super cozy pullover is a gift that anyone is sure to enjoy this time of year. 

Dyson Hair Dryer: This is the most expensive hair dryer ever, but I’d be lying to you if I didn’t tell you it was also the best hair dryer ever. I have owned this for a year or two now, and I LOVE it. I’d go into details, but I actually have an entire blog post about it that you can read that tells you all about how awesome it is. If you know someone who regularly does their hair or someone like me, who physically struggles to blow dry their hair, this is 100% worth every penny.

Weighted Blanket: This is another product that I’ve owned for a year now (got it last Christmas) and I love, love, LOVE it. Weighted blankets are supposed to help with anxiety, insomnia, and have an overall calming effect, and I must say, it is the coziest thing I’ve ever slept under. I’ve been using it every night and it just feels so good to slip into bed and let the extra weight of my blanket take over. I only use it at night, as carrying a 20lb blanket around from my couch to my bedroom is a bit difficult for me, but I imagine it’s a joy to curl up under while watching a movie or anything you need a quick break to close your eyes and regroup.

Tata Harper Let There Be Light Gift Set: I personally purchased this gift set after falling in love with the resurfacing mask (see above), and it’s a wonderful set at a wonderful price. It contains a full size resurfacing serum ($88 value) as well as .5 oz each of the regenerating cleanser ($24 value) and the resurfacing mask ($31 value) for $92. Not too shabby. It’s a great way to try out several of the most popular Tata Harper products. Another option, if you want smaller sizes of a greater variety of products is the Tata Harper Everyday Essentials kit.

I also have to add that if you don’t already use Ebates as a part of your online shopping experience, you need to stop what you’re doing this instant and go join. All you do is click a little button when you’re shopping and you will get a percentage of your purchase back in cash! I’ve already gotten over $450 back, and that number is getting higher with Black Friday shopping. Sephora is also doing 10% back with Ebates for Black Friday, which is worth it all on its own. Ebates is totally free, and if you use my link you will get $10 credit after your first $25 purchase just for being a friend of mine 🙂

These lovely luxuries are sure to bring a smile to the face of any lucky recipient. Do you have any suggestions for items to add to this list?

 

 

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August 2018 Favorites

Another month come and gone and it’s time for my monthly favorites. Every month I curate a list of things that I’ve been using and loving all month long from all different areas of life. This month we have some food and beauty favorites, as well as some media favorites that I was particularly impressed by. Without taking too much time, let’s jump right into my favorites for the month of August. 

Beauty

It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC Powder: I purchased this powder foundation a few months ago when I was trying to find face products formulated without talc, bismuth oxide, or silicones. This proved to be more difficult than I thought it would be. When I went to replace my old favorite powder foundation (which had talc as the first ingredient…sad day), and this powder was one of only a few options I could find. Since I know and trust the It Cosmetics brand, I decided to give it a try. While it took me a few months to appreciate it, this powder is now one of the only products I use every day.

The coverage is sheer to full, and it does, in fact, build up to a full coverage foundation, which is something I look for to cover the acne issues I have along my jawline. I apply it with my favorite flat powder foundation brush, and in less than a minute, I am out the door. There is SPF 50 build right into the powder, so when I’m out and about I don’t necessarily have to take the extra step to apply a sunscreen. I find that the IT Cosmetics powder lasts a long time, and I don’t just mean in the compact. When I apply it in the morning, I notice there is still a significant amount of product to be removed at the end of the day, whereas with other products seem to melt into the skin and be barely there at the end of the day. While some of the coverage does fade ever so slightly (and reapplication is a breeze), my skin goes all day and into the evening with a coverage that leaves me feeling good about my face. On my more recent videos, people have been complimenting my skin and make up a ton. It’s all this powder, my friends. Quick, easy, and flawless! Read more

My No-Makeup Makeup Routine (Actually Using As Little Product As Possible)

Ah, the “no-makeup” makeup look. Where we strive to look like we’re flawless whilst looking like we’re not wearing a stitch of makeup. Have you ever noticed that most of the no-makeup tutorials out there actually use a ton of products and take a lot of time, even though the goal is to look like we’re not wearing anything at all? In my opinion, this is not the way the no makeup look should go. When the goal is to achieve a natural, no-makeup look, don’t you think we should be using as little product as we can?

Don’t get me wrong, I have plenty of full face, full coverage days when I’m filming for my channel or going out for the evening, but on a normal weekday, I can be found with nothing on my face except a little lip balm. 

I’ll be honest, I wish I could say that my no-makeup look actually involved wearing absolutely zero makeup, but sadly this is not the case. The truth is, my skin is something that shakes my self-confidence because I have adult acne. I feel very self-conscious about going out in public without at least trying to tone down some of my skin’s imperfections.  While I often throw on a little bit of something, I have managed to create a no-makeup look that actually involves only a few products. The goal of my look is not to make my skin look totally flawless, but simply to help me blur the imperfections that make me most uncomfortable.  Some days, this doesn’t involve any makeup at all, but on days where I’m feeling particularly broken out, there are few products that are quick and easy to use that make me feel like I can go out in public and not worry about my skin’s appearance.  Read more

8 Winter Skin Must-Haves to Combat the Harshest Cold

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel like it is the coldest winter we’ve had in a long time.  I’ve heard that even parts of Florida are getting snow, which means only the most bitter cold for those of us in the North. With temperatures that barely reach double digits, it’s frigidly cold and insanely dry in the Chicagoland area. Wearing a cozy sweater is nice until you do something that ends up giving you enough of a static charge that you see sparks the next time you touch something. Guys, this isn’t even an exaggeration.  There have been several instances in the last few weeks where I’ve shocked myself so hard that I saw sparks and felt significant pain from it. Bottom line: it’s dryer than a desert right now, and everything on my body is reminding me of this regularly. 

Hydration for your skin is so important all the time, but in the winter it seems that dry skin symptoms end up 10 times worse than they’ve ever been.  Even this oily skinned, acne-prone 31-year-old has had to change her skincare game to focus less on getting shine and blemish free and more on getting my skin adequately hydrated to avoid cracked alligator skin. We’re talking there are days where I don’t bother putting makeup on because my dry skin would look worse with a layer of foundation than it would with some exposed pimples. It’s awful. So, I started looking for solutions. Read more

Cozy Home Gift Guide 2017

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, my friends, and that means it’s time for us to forget that Thanksgiving is even a holiday and skip ahead to Christmas shopping.  This year I’m actually trying to get a few gift guides on the blog, and here’s my first one.

As a housewife, blogger, and certified homebody, I spend 90% of my time at home, so I feel that I have the expertise to create a gift guide perfect for the woman (or man) that spends a lot of time in her cozy little part of the world.  I love having things around that make my home feel warm and cozy, and I think this list covers several different bases and price points.  Let’s jump right in.

Interchangeable Letter Board 

This is a less expensive gift on the list, but it’s a great addition to the home, especially for the blogger or Instagram addict in your life.  If I had one, you had better believe it would make a regular appearance in photos.  It’s a great place to put your favorite inspirational quote or Bible verse, or even a little note to your husband.  They come in a bunch of colors and you can find letters for them in all kinds of places.   Read more

September 2017 Favorites

It’s hard to believe that September has come and gone already!  I actually sent an email out to my family telling them they need to start thinking about (and sending me) their Christmas lists.  Christmas!!  It’s crazy how fast this year is flying by.  

September was a busy month, as most months for the rest of 2017 promise to be.  While I was spending a lot of time running around like a mad woman, I did have enough time to discover and fall in love with some new products.  This month we’ve got some beauty stuff right alongside a few food and health related items.  Every single product is something I’ve been using and loving constantly throughout the month, and I feel the need to share so you can enjoy them too!

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Sephora Play! | August 2017

 

This month’s Sephora Play! box is themed “The Innovators.” I love the word innovation because it means there are new and exciting things on the horizon, and hopefully, they make things easier and better.    The first thing I pulled out of the box is the paper that talks all about the different products I will find inside, which is nothing new.  On the other side is an “Elements of Beauty” periodic table (so appropriate for the back to school season) which briefly explains many ingredients found in various beauty products, what they’re for, and what they’re found in.  What a cool little educational tool to add to a beauty box.  I will actually read this before tossing it in the recycling bin!  

The drawstring bag is labeled “Makeup Geek,” still sticking with the back to school theme.  As per usual, there is a play pass that will get you 50 extra points when you take it into Sephora stores.  

Okay, moving on to the products. I’m actually pretty pleased with everything in my box this month. All of the products are practical, basic, and things I will actually use.   Scroll down to see what I got in my box, then comment and let me know what you got in yours.  

 

 

An Online Dermatologist Changed My Skin! | Dermacare Review

 

If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you are well aware of many of my life struggles.  One major struggle I’ve been having in my late 20’s is adult acne.  Quite frankly, I find this to be incredibly unfair, as I didn’t struggle with acne anywhere near as bad in my teenage years (you know, when we’re supposed to be having acne issues) as I do as a grown woman.  By the time my 30th birthday rolled around and I was still having major acne issues (especially along my jaw line), I’d had enough.  No 30 year old should have to worry about having the skin problems of a 15-year-old. While I’m a huge fan of makeup, I was truly tired of not being comfortable enough in my own skin to leave my home without foundation and concealer on.  

With my husband’s blessing, I decided to start researching dermatologists in my area, because clearly everything I had tried in the past wasn’t enough.  The list of products I’ve tried could probably fill an entire short novel, and while some products helped (most didn’t), there was nothing that made me feel like my problem was actually being solved. So, the hunt for local dermatologists began.  

Well, as I was doing the “good blogger” thing of making an effort to read and support other bloggers, a post by Jess from The Golden Girl blog came up on my feed about an online dermatologist. Online dermatology?!  That can’t possibly be legit…can it?  I decided to reach out to the company, Dermacare, and see if we could work a little something out, because basically, I was the perfect candidate to prove whether or not this service of theirs actually worked. Thankfully, they agreed to work with me (and yes, they’re sponsoring this post, but before you leave thinking “oh great, she was paid to talk about this,” just hear me out. Seriously.) 

Back in January (yes, 8 months ago!) I got hooked up with an account and my journey to see if Dermacare would actually work began.  The first thing you do is create a skin care profile talking about your skin care goals, and then (are you ready for this?) you upload selfies to the site for the doctor to look at.  Using the photos and the information they’re given, the dermatologists at Dermacare create a custom prescription product mixed just for you with your goals in mind. Ready for some crazy honesty?  Here are my “before” photos.  These are what I sent in when I created my account.

Ick. I can’t stand looking at them.  No 30 year old should have to deal with that kind of acne situation.  

After a few days, I got a package with my custom acne treatment inside.  I couldn’t contain my excitement.  If getting quality dermatology is as time-saving saving as snapping a few selfies, this is the greatest idea ever!   Read more

Sephora Play! Unboxing | July 2017

It’s the middle of summer and Sephora knows that we have vacation on our minds, so they decided to help us out with a little beauty R & R by theming this month’s box as “Beauty Staycation.”  Everything in my July box focuses on quick summer beauty fixes that will have me ready to travel or ready to sip iced tea in my recliner at home.  My July box makes summer beauty effortless, natural, and oh so glorious.  Let’s see what was inside. 

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