Favorite Beauty Products of 2019

You guys… 2019 came and went.  And she took no prisoners.  But she did leave me with all this beauty loot.  Today I am rounding up my favorite products of 2019 (in no particular order) and because I believe in balance… I am also throwing out some much needed shade on a few products.  Some will surprise you.

Lets take it from the top…

Best of 2019

Anything from The ordinary

A friend of mine sent me a text late one night asking if I had heard of ‘The Ordinary.’  So I quickly opened iMusic and searched and replied- nope, never heard of them.  After she laughed at me, she told me that The Ordinary was a skincare company that was unbelievably affordable and ‘legit.’  Sold.  I added about 6 items to my cart for about $35 and waited for my package.  I loved all of it.  Peels, retinol, eye serum.  All of it.  And I especially loved the price.

Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

I will be the first to admit my skin is not great.  It needs a lot of TLC.  One area that I have had the most problems with is my peach.  I’ll spare the details here.  But this cream has changed the game.  Not only does it smooth everything (I mean everything) but it tightens and smells like a DREAM.  The is something I will be repurchasing for years.

Dry Bar Dry Shampoo

New baby means no time to wash.  Enter dry shampoo.  I tried a lot in 2019, and not a lot worked.  One left me with sticky hair (ew) and one left me with a non-removable white cast.  Dry Bar won me out by far.  I don’t need to use a lot, the spray is powerful, and it dries clear.  It’s a perfect match.

Tarte Cheek Wardrobe

I have loved all Amazonian Clay blushes since pre-babies.  Yearly, Tarth releases holiday cheek palettes, and some a fine, while others are duds.  This past holiday season they hit it out of the park.  9 shades of blush, bronzers, and highlight and they made them compact enough to fit in your daily makeup bag.

Clinique Almost Lipstick

I hate wearing lipstick.  I also love wearing lip color.  It’s a conundrum.  This lippie is a sheer wash of color and feels like a hydrating balm on.  No chapping!

Becca First Light Priming Filter

Primers are hard.  I have dry, oily skin and need my makeup to last.  Primers made for oily skin are very drying, and hydrating primers might as well be re-named to Makeup Slip n Slide.  I grabbed this as a sample to try in August and liked it enough to buy a bigger size.  I picked it back up in November and haven’t put it down since.  I love that it gives a lit from within glow while also helping my makeup last longer.

Beaky Blenders

I changed my daily sponges from the expensive $20 a head sponges to these.  I lie these so much better.  Not only are they cheaper, but they have a better texture.  I apply my foundation, concealer, and liquids all with these.

MAC Shape and Shade Brow Tint

Microblading in a pen.  This dual brow pen and powder is amazing.  I use the pen to draw on tiny hairs throughout my brow.  I use the powder to fill in.  I love that the combo of these two makes for a more natural fuller brow.

Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

Oh 2019… the year or hormonal acne.  My favorite part of postpartum was all the breakouts.  Everywhere.  I tried a lot of things and this was the only treatment that was fast and effective.  I dip a Q-Tip in to the pink substance (is it clay or???) and dab it on any blemishes before bed.  And when I wake up they are gone.  it’s a miracle worker.

Isle of Paradise Tanning Drops

I love self-tanner in the warmer months.  Ok I love it in colder months too.  But I don’t love adding it to my face.  Enter these drops.  I add a drop or two to my night cream every few days and I am left with a more subtle tan than if I had used a mousse.  You can use this all over too!

Aveeno Positively Radiant Moisture

I used to use this before I had Brandon and then decided to switch it up.  Every other moisturizer I tried left something to be desired OR left my skin greasy.  I picked this back up in Fall and have been loving it (Again) ever since.  My skin feels more supple and it is less red.  Winner.

 

Worst of 2019

You know how when everyone loves something, you think you need to as well?  That’s me with these products.  I trued a lot of duds, but these take the cake of being the most WHAT?! items of 2019.

NeuLash Serum

During the Anniversary sale I sale this hyped up just as much as a Madewell cardigan. You know how LashBoost basically tuns anyone’s lashes into the most beautiful things you’ve seen?  This is not that.  This is nothing in a bottle.  It might as well have been water.  Or glue.  I am just baffled.  Pss on this.  Find a friend who sells LashBoost and order from her.

Dr Jartt Beauty Balm

I love most Dr jar products.  Cicapair was a favorite of 2018.  The Ceramidin cream is amazing.  This is just awful.  The color is purple.  I thought at first that this was some sort of color changing BB cream.  No… after about an hour I looked in the mirror and was still some god-awful shade of blue/purple that made me look like a Star Trek character.  And if that wasn’t bad enough, it falls off my face.  Just falls.

Charlotte Tillbury Magic Away

Let me set the record straight.  This formula is amazing. I love it.  What is the disappointment here is the packaging.  For starters, I have the HARDEST time getting the cap off every. single. time I use it.  Second, the applicator is a sponge and you can’t clean it without damaging the product.  Dear Charlotte…. please change the packaging.

St Moritz Self Tanning Mousse

The alternate name for this mousse should be Zebra. Guys, I tried everything to make this work.  I used a mitt,, I used my hands, I tried exfoliating, not exfoliation, and I even tried washing it off after 3 hours.  Every time I ended up with streaks…. and I don’t even rub in tanner in a line!  I don’t get it.  Maybe it’s me?

Milk Hydro Grip Primer

I had some very high hopes for this.  I love Milk foundation.  It sit on the skin and looks so natural while still covering.  I imagined this primer would be just like that, if not better.  It’s a slip n slide for your face.  After about an hour I noticed shine, ok not a big deal…. Three hours and I noticed all the makeup near my nostrils was… gone?  And then by lunchtime… All the foundation was melting away.  Not a good look.

Tarte Shape Tape

If you need to send me hate mail, I UNDERSTAND…. But hear me out.  This is NOT the kid of concealer you want under your eyes.  It is drying, thick, and has a LOT of alcohol in it.  I used an entire tube (which lasted a long time) and found my under eye became red, dry, and showed more signs of aging.  I stopped using this and started using a more hydrating formula, and wouldn’t ya know.. all my eye issues vanished.  VANISHED.  I changed nothing else.  So I get that people are throwing this in your face left and right… but it not good guys.  it’s not.

 

Phew!  We made it through.  I would love to know your favorite products too!

Shop it all here!

Watch it all here:

 

This Changes Everything?

Friends, we’ve managed to make it to a new decade somehow and I am not quite sure how I feel about it yet.  You see, I really likes the ‘teens.  I had a ton of fun and I grew up… A LOT.  So now that we roll into a new decade, what happens next?  Everything changed when that clock struck midnight, right?  Hopefully not.

Read moreThis Changes Everything?

Holiday Look Book Part 2 – Plaid!

I am always late to the party (whether I want to be or not), and this post is no exception!

This season I am RUNNING towards all things plaid.  Plaid on my tree, on my table, and on my body.    You can always guarantee a slew of red plaids makes its way to the forefront this time of year. There are plenty of events before Christmas, but all the ones that we look forward to over here happen between Christmas and New Years.

These looks are perfect for any holiday gathering.  Best part-you can wear them through winter; not just the holiday!

PS – You can shop all these looks below!

Look 1 – Accent Piece

If you’re looking to add a little dimension to your outfit, just add a scarf.  It seems simple enough, but they always make a big impact.  Swap out a tonal scarf for winter if the red plaid screams Christmas too much.

Look 2 – Weekend Cozy

Anyone else over the moon that cozy winter boots have been everywhere?  It used to be that a cozy winter boot was considered clunky and a hassle.  Keep this look feminine by adding a braid.

Look 3 – Dressed Up Casual

Perfect if you’re headed to a happy hour or a casual evening function.  Add a velvet layer and a statement necklace to soften the casual vibe.

Look 4 – Mixed Up Patterns

Not for the faint of heart.  Kick up the drama by adding a sequin cami and mixing in an animal print.  I chose to pair mine with a faux leather skirt, but any grounding bottom piece will work.  Quick tip- wear what you love.  I love this skirt.  It photographs terribly, but I FEEL like a million bucks in it!

Look 5 – Elegant Statement

Heading to a dressier party?  Pair your favorite flannel with a pleated skirt and some glitter heels.  Pleated skirts are timeless and add sophistication to anything they are paired with.  If I wanted to add even more to this look, I would add a velvet or even sequined jacket.

Look 6 – Preppy Chic

Let’s flip it around.  I always shy away from patterns on the bottom, but have also been wanting to rock plaid pants since the Delias catalog first made its way to my door step in 1996.  23 years later, here we are.  I chose to keep the pants the focal with a grounding top here.  I would also pair a plaid pant with a graphic tee, statement necklace, and a jacket.

Look 7 – Dressy Hipster

Just kidding about the hipster, sort of.  This outfit formula will work with ANY plaid and it’s perfect for a nigh out with your girlfriends.  Shift skirt, plaid button up, boots.  Trust me-I have been wearing this formula for years and guys, it’s a head turner.

Happy holidays friends!  Can’t wait to rock these looks with you!

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XOXO

Makeup Monday: 4-in-1 Holiday Looks

Nothing says ‘festive’ more than a red lip.  I searched out the perfect red lip for YEARS until I found this one.  it is everything I have been looking for:

-Matte without being drying

-Neutral in tone (can wear with warm or cool tones)

-Universally flattering (this looks good on any skin tone; trust me I have tested it)

-Easily removable

 

I am so thankful to be alive when a daily matte pigment on the lips is not mandatory.  Deep down, I am a balm/chapstick girl.  I do wear a hint of tint on the reg, but the holiday season brings out the bold lip in me.

 

I created 4 easy looks using one eye pallet and 2 lip colors that can get you from brunch to a night out in no time!

 

 

Look 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I like to keep it fresh faced during the holidays. This is my go-to for any daytime holiday gathering (or mall trip).  It’s as close to a totally natural look as I get.  The eyes have a hint of shimmer, the cheeks are subtle, and the gloss helps amplify.

Look 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my favorite way to wear a red lip. I like to keep the eyes subtle to not overwhelm my face.  When wearing a red lip, your last step should be blush.  You may find you don’t even need it!

Look 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be real with you.  It’s so hard for me to wear statement eyes AND lips at the same time.  A lot of it reminds me of terrible stage makeup I have worn.  To keep it more holiday and less broadway show, darken your eyes using deep cool brown shadows rather than black.

Look 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is my go to for a night out.  Full. On. Glam.  Darken the smokey eye with a warm cranberry (seasonal!) and add a lash to bump up the drama.  I prefer a lighter lip with this eye look, but because this palette is so complimentary to red lips, you can keep the red!

Watch the whole video here:

Shop the look here:

Holiday Gift Guide for All

I am back with another round up of tried and true gifts anyone on your list is sure to love.  I, or someone in my family who I trust, have each of these and can recommend them for literally ANYONE.

  1. My husband can’t find his keys and wallet anywhere from 1-6 times a day.  He has even called me while at work to see if I remember were I saw them (and I usually do!).  I have tried adding a basket by the door, putting hooks up, EVERYTHING, he still can’t find them!  I gifted these to him a few years ago and he loved them.  This set has 2 types; one for a key chain and one for a wallet.
  2. Last year I set up an audible account for my daughter.  She loves being able to listen to her favorite books during car trips while also knitting.  She does not love all the other noises, baby included, that also go along with car trips, and her headphones don’t work with her device!  Enter these.  They work as a transmitter between your device or tv and wireless headphones.  Amazing!
  3. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t recommend a Yeti.  I was not convinced it would live up to the hype, after all, I already had a Hydroflask and that worked well!  I was wrong.  It kept my coffee hot for HOURS!
  4. If you like to keep your house tidy but don’t like to vacuum, this is for you.  I love my robot, we call her Rosey, and so will you.  There are a few big names in the robot realm.  This one has a large bin, learns your room, and doesn’t get help up by a sock or toy in its way.
  5. I don’t normally gravitate towards gloves, unless I am skiing.  In order to answer a call, I have to take them off.  Need to look up directions on a phone, take them off.  These are not only universally stylish for all, but they also have special tech so you don’t have to remove them to use tech!
  6. Back to vacuums for a minute.  I was so thrilled to get one of these.  They are light, have amazing suction, and they hide on a wall.
  7. I am always looking for a way to make dinner EASIER.  I love my crock-pot, but it’s HUGE.  This has a smaller profile and it doubles as a pressure cooker (And steamer/rice cooker/you name it) all while saving space.
  8. I am very conscious about the amount of paper I use. AND I also NEED to write everything down with a pen.  This notebook is reusable and sends your notes directly to your email.  I love it!
  9. This is not for the faint of heart.  I have dealt with back and hip pain for years.  One thing that has always helped me is pressure point release.  My husband got this for me a few years back and it has helped with everything from migraines to back pain.
  10. Vans are a classic shoes that anyone can wear.  They come in multiple styles for all.  These are fully customizable so you can have a monochromatic look or a full pop of color.
  11. I finally did this a year ago and I have loved learning so much about my family and where we came from.
  12. These are the ultimate gift.  They do not fall out at any point, including during a run, and they don’t overpower your ears with sound.  Already have these?  Grab the a case so they can tell theirs apart!

 

Holiday Gift Guide for the Ladies

Who here thinks that buying gifts for the women in our lives is difficult? My hand probably went up faster than yours.  Ladies, we are a challenge!  But isn’t that because we would be happy with a gift card to have our kitchens cleaned daily for a year?  While I have no idea where to find that, and trust me I am still searching for that, I did manage to find a smattering of presents that is sure to please.

A quick note.  There are no cookware or kitchen gadgets on this.  In my family we had rules about gifting those specifically to the women, so check back for a gift guide specific to those!

 

These are all products I have and love and are perfect for any woman!

  1. Who doesn’t love a pair of these?  I know they are pricey, but they last FURever!  this style is my personal favorite.  Easy on and off!
  2. Hands down the best curling iron out there.  I know there are several competitors that everyone loves, but for me, these work the best and are universal for all hair types.
  3. This is perfect for the outdoor and wine lover.  Carry everything you need PLUS the wine all in one.  No leaks!
  4. These are on everyone’s list for a reason.  They are the BEST faux leather leggings out there.  No plastic feel and go with everything!
  5. This razor is perfect for the traveller.  The cartridges come in their own holder (no gunk) and have a charcoal strip to help keep you clear of bumps!
  6. I can’t say enough about these bracelets!  I wear one daily.  They are perfect for any gal on your list!
  7. Robes were on my list until I found this one.  I have it in a deep purple.  It’s so cozy and soft and keeps you warm!
  8. This hair dryer is AMAZING!  I use this on blow dry days for volume and shine.  And it dries super quickly!
  9. This makeup organizer is a life saver.  The compartments are height adjustable to fit any product and it spins so you can see everything you need.
  10. This is the perfect tote!  I have been using this for a year with the insert and it really is great quality.  The handles are soft and don’t cut into your shoulders.  Plus it fits a lap top and water bottle.  And you can have it monogrammed!
  11. THE BEST SLIPPERS!  I love these ones.  They release them every year.  I have had mine for a few years and they wear exceptionally well.  They are cushioned and soft too.  If glitter isn’t your thing, these are equally as comfortable and cozy!
  12. This pillowcase is a life saver.  Wake up with smoother skin and hair.  I was hesitant to jump on this bandwagon, but I am amazed and won’t be going back to my regular pillowcases.
  13. How many times have you heard about someone dropping their phone or tablet in the tub?  Yep, a lot over here too.  I love my bath holder, plus this one holds a wine glass!  Gift this with a candle and a book (or two) for the perfect relaxation gift!

 

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Holiday Look Book

The holidays are here!  Ok, fine, they have been here for a bit-but now that it’s December, nobody is going to side-eye you for wearing sequins on the daily.  I am joining up with some of my blogger friends to share our Holiday Look Books!  Today I am bringing you Part I!

 

I love sequins.  If I had been even a remotely good dancer, I could have been a dancer on the Vegas strip. Flashy and over the top just calls my name. But for real wear, I like to tone down my sequins.

In this Part I, I’m showcasing 5 looks that can be taken from day to night to any holiday function! Sequin, rich hues, and velvet are where it’s at!

 

Tone down the flash by pairing a denim jacket and some sneakers with an otherwise flashy skirt!  Print mixing can also add some quirk to settle the sequins down; keep on holiday theme by adding a plaid scarf!


If daytime sequins has you running for your sled, satin is a great choice! Slip skirts can be found everywhere and in so many patterns and colors. Since it’s the holidays, red is calling my name!  Want to know how to fit your bulky sweaters in your thinner skirts?  Tuck them into some Spanx!

Heading out for an outdoor event?  Sequined leggings are going to be your friend!  Not only are they comfortable, but they pair well with just about anything.  Layer them with a coat and dressed up top OR with combat boots and an ugly sweater!  I like to go middle ground by keeping my top half preppy and casual and my bottom half dressed up.


Oh hello velvet!  I fell in love with velvet a couple years ago and now it takes up about 25% of my holiday wardrobe. These pants have a tuxedo stripe to dress them up even more.  To keep the pants the star, I went with a matte sequined top and a complimentary snake print pump.  This outfit is a great canvas for any occasion- swap the shoes for sneakers or a patent red pump!



Remember the casual sequined skirt from look one? It’s back! For the full on glam, grab a jewel tone velvet top and add in some statement jewels, ok A LOT of statement jewels.  If you can’t go overboard during the holidays when can you?

 

 

Check back next week for Part II and don’t forget to click the link below to see everyone else’s looks!

 

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