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Recent Skincare Favorites

recent skincare favorites

Winter is on its way out, which means swapping out skincare routines. I thought now would be a good time to document my recent skincare favorites before I switch them out for more spring and summer friendly products!

Recent Skincare Favorites

Thayers Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera

I use this toner year-round because it’s non-irritating (thanks to the absence of alcohol) and doubles as an eye makeup remover. It doesn’t hurt the packaging and smell are sublime!

Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser

This is a cleanser I keep going back to every winter. It’s non-drying and gentle, and has kept my breakouts at bay over the past few months.

DIY Face Elixir Spray

I can’t stop spraying this stuff! If you’re looking for a Caudalie Face Elixir dupe, this is a great substitute. You won’t mind spraying it on your face, pillows, or anywhere really! Click on the link above to learn how to make your own!

Murad – Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum

I decided to try this to get rid of hyperpigmentation (thanks, birth control). So far, I haven’t seen a lot of change in my skin tone, but the texture of my skin is much better since I started using it. I guess I’ll have to be diligent and patient with the pigmentation.

Embryolisse Lait-Creme Concentre Moisturizer

When I first purchased this, I thought it would be far too thick for my already oily, sensitive skin. Boy, was I wrong! I slather this on every night after my serum, and I wake up every morning with soft, glowing skin. The French know their skincare, that’s for sure!

Freeman Facial Apple Cider Vinegar 4-In-1 Foaming Clay

I found this at my local Ulta last fall, and loved it because of the smell, mostly. However, after using it as both a mask and exfoliating scrub, I am now on my third tube! It’s a great multi-use product that smells great, and leaves my skin feeling smooth without being too irritated. I loved using it this winter because it’s not as harsh as my other exfoliants, and as a mask it’s not too drying.

4 Pretty Nail Colors for Fall

4 Pretty Nail Colors Fall

While I am painfully aware that trends exist, I don’t always follow them. So when it came time to choose some new nail colors for fall, I ignored what I read in magazines and went with colors I knew I’d actually wear. For example, I keep seeing pastel blue everywhere? It’s not a color I associate with fall, and one I probably wouldn’t wear anyway. To me, fall is about adding a little brown or gray to shades I already wear – nothing too far off my normal routine.

Since I am trying out some new colors for fall, I thought I’d go with the Sonia Kashuk line at Target. They’re only $4.79 per bottle, and they come in some on-trend shades for fall. Here are the 4 pretty nail colors for fall, whether you’re a trend-setter, trend-follower, or neither!

Mauving On Up:

I’m not a light pink polish kind of gal, but this one seems perfect for fall. It’s mauve with a grayish tone to it, which I think will look perfect with all the grays I wear in fall and winter.

Rich Girl:

I wear orange polish frequently, but the orange polishes in my collection are bright and cheery. This is a straight-up pumpkin shade that’s perfect for fall. It looks less pink in real life, and will be a great shade to add a bit of pop to my fall wardrobe. I would love to wear this on my toes instead of my usual red or pink.

Forbidden Fruit:

This is a deep magenta that I think will be a color I wear year-round! I looked for something similar for years, but most shades were too purple or red. This is a great in-between that would look great on toes too!

Gray Matter:

I have been wearing OPI’s “Metro Chic” for years, which is the perfect muddy gray-purple shade. It’s since been discontinued, but I do love the look of grey nails in fall. It’s a great alternative to black polish (which I wear a lot in winter), and this one has a slightly bluish tone.

So there you have it! Head on over to Target to check out this collection, and I hope you find a shade or two that are perfect for your fall nails!

Fall Beauty Updates

fall beauty updates

(Sorry for the crap quality photo. Sometimes things just don’t go your way!)

Fall is finally here!

I’m looking forward to updating my beauty routine to reflect the new season. Summer is easy, with little makeup and simple updos. Once the weather cools, I get excited about the new beauty trends I can try out. It must stem from my years as a teacher. Instead of stocking up on new school supplies, I’m focusing on new lip colors and some old favorites I still love.

Fall Beauty Update

L’Oreal Preference Hair Dye in Medium Chestnut Brown (5CB)

For many reasons I should probably write about in another post, I chose to stop dying my hair around Christmas last year. It turns out that while I don’t really have any grey hair yet to cover (yay genetics!), my natural hair color is boring the shit out of me. So I’m excited to mix it up for fall with a deeper, warmer hue.

Not Your Mother’s “Love for Hue” Shampoo & Conditioner

Since I haven’t dyed my hair in almost a year, I want to make sure what I do sticks. I used other products from them in the past and they were all great, so I look forward to using these too!

Maybelline Fit Me! Matte + Poreless Foundation (Classic Ivory 120)

I have been using the “Dewy + Smooth” version of this all summer and loved it. For fall, I wanted to switch it up and go with the matte version, which is just as great. My skin gets stupid oily in the winter, so this should help.

NYX Butter Gloss in Red Wine Truffle

Okay, this was a total impulse buy. I don’t own a dark red lipgloss, and this shade is perfect for fall. The best part of the butter gloss is that you can really customize the look. I usually wear a little of it more like a stain, but it also looks amazing piled on too!

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Mascara in Black Brown

This is my all-time favorite mascara. Nothing new – just bought a new one after I got pink eye and had to throw mine out.

NYX Slim Eye Pencils in Charcoal and Light Brown

I have these in black and dark brown, but I like going a bit lighter on the eyes if I’m going darker on the lips. These are a great because I don’t have to be super precise when applying them, and on lazy fall days that’s just perfect.

Earth Therapeutic’s Triple Butter Intensive Foot Balm

I’ll gladly admit that my feet get absolutely wrecked in the fall/winter months. Changing out sandals for boots leaves them pretty dry and gross. So this year, I’m hoping to keep on top of it with a nightly ritual of foot balm and cozy socks. This one smells and feels amazing, and not at all greasy.

What are you planning to stock up on this fall? I’m still looking for a good hand lotion, so if you have any good suggestions, let me know in the comments!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

Summer is coming to a close, and our September magazines are already telling us what to buy for fall. As seasons change, it’s always a good idea to do a summer beauty cleanout. This is a great time to go through our beauty arsenal, noting what we’d love to keep, what needs to go, and what to stock up on for the future.

My beauty stash isn’t nearly as large as others, but I still need to take stock to make sure the products I have are safe, loved, and useful. It also keeps me from buying things I don’t need, which is a huge bonus!

Here are 5 tips I use to do my own summer beauty cleanout each year. Whether you have a small stash like me, or a giant one, this should be easy to do in an afternoon!

Summer Beauty Cleanout

summer beauty cleanout

1: Get it all out

I find that when cleaning, it’s best to just get it all in one place to start. This helps you see what you have and take note of how you feel about it. Do you feel okay with how much you have? Overwhelmed? Underwhelmed? If you are overwhelmed with how much you have, it’s a good sign that it’s time to pare down.

Before you begin, grab a notepad and pen to take notes of what to buy/replace when you’re done. I never remember what I tossed out, so I always do this!

My beauty products were stored in my bathroom, office and bedroom. Once I got it all out and looked at it, I realized I shouldn’t have it divided among 3 rooms. There isn’t that much, and I don’t know why it was spread out all over the apartment.

My goal for this project became simple – try to get everything in one room!

summer beauty cleanout

2: Check expiration dates

The first thing you should do to start your summer beauty cleanout is to grab everything with an expiration date and check that it’s still good. It’s also good to go through your medicine cabinet and travel kits too. Anything that’s past it’s prime, toss it – no excuses – and jot down anything that needs replaced!

For anything without an expiration date, you can check out this handy guide for how long to keep common beauty and makeup products.

summer beauty cleanout

3: Be brutal with makeup

Many women I know agree that makeup is tough to pare down. We keep things well beyond their shelf life, buy duplicates of products over and over, and keep things we don’t like. Being ruthless with your makeup stash will ensure your products are safe, effective, and will actually get used.

My biggest issue with makeup is that I buy duplicates. Do I need two bronzers that are basically the same? No – especially since I know the Sephora one is at least 4 years old. I also got rid of all the nubs of eyeliner I was holding on to. I bought new ones months ago, but never replaced them because the nubs still had product in them. It felt wasteful to just throw them out – until I noticed I kept stabbing my eyes every time I tried to use them.

Once I pared down my makeup, I took notes on what needed replaced, and some ideas of things to freshen up my makeup routine for fall.

summer beauty cleanout

4: Toss / Keep (and what to do with each)

Once you’ve gone through everything, now you have to deal with the “toss” pile. Do you throw it all out? Give some of it away? Sell it? Here are some simple rules for how to get rid of things:

  • Throw away anything that’s past its expiration date – no exceptions!
  • Throw away any used makeup that didn’t make the cut. I know it’s tempting to give it away to friends or family, but it’s too risky – especially if the product is old and/or used.
  • If you have any makeup that was never (and I mean never ever) used, and it’s still relatively new, see if you have a friend you can give it to. If not, toss it.
  • Don’t sell makeup online. I know some people do that, but it just seems…shady to me.
  • For those almost-empty bottles of lotion, shampoo, soap, etc.: Decant them into travel-sized bottles and toss into your travel kit! Why spend money on a travel-sized bottle of shampoo when you have 2 ounces of it sitting in a bottle in the back of your bathroom sink?

After doing my summer beauty cleanout, I was also left with a small box of “things to use later.” It’s a great place to keep things that I haven’t used in a while, but should work on finishing before buying new stuff. Keep it under the sink so you don’t forget about it!

summer beauty cleanout

5: Stock up on essentials

The last thing to do is easy – go shopping! Take your notes of what to replace or stock up on, and head on out! Fall is a great time to stock up on essentials like cotton pads, cotton swabs, sunscreen (lots of end-of-summer sales!), and other basics. With everyone heading back to school, or moving off to college, stores are having crazy sales right now. I hit up my local Target and grabbed a few things I knew I’d need soon, and a few things just for fun!

I met my goal of getting all my beauty products in one room, and feel more confident that nothing left will go to waste. I’m also looking forward to stocking up on some new fall makeup soon too, whenever it’s not 90 degrees out anymore!

Spring Ready Hands & Nails

spring ready hands & nails

I don’t know about you, but winter is absolute hell on my hands. The dry air and constant hand-washing (no cold/flu germs here!) leave my hands and nails in bad shape come springtime. I also have the most sensitive skin on my hands – I suffer from contact dermatitis, which means I’ll get rashes/blisters from almost anything (soaps, moisture, my wedding ring, etc).

Once spring comes around, and my skin finally clears up, I make sure to treat myself to some new skincare for my hands and nails. Here is what I’ve been loving this past winter, and continuing to use well into spring!

Spring Ready Hands & Nails:

Vaseline Intensive Care Essential Healing Lotion

I’m a huge fan of Vaseline’s hand lotions, which I use before bed to make sure my hands are baby soft in the morning. I also like that they’re pretty inexpensive, so I don’t feel bad slathering my hands in tons of it each night!

Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream

Before bedtime, I also add some of the Burt’s Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream to my cuticles and any other parts that are extra dry (like my knuckles) to soothe the dry, cracked skin and keep my nails healthy. I’ve had the same tin for, like, two years and it’s still going strong!

Que Bella Moisturizing Hand Mask

As an extra treat, I’ll occasionally use masks like the Que Bella Moisturizing Hand Mask before painting my nails a nice, happy color. Que Bella makes these amazing glove masks that you just put on and chill out – and you can find them for only a couple bucks at Target!

OPI Nail Lacquer in My Chihuahua Bites

I’ve been hooked on OPI’s nail polishes for years because they don’t contain formaldehyde – an ingredient that commonly irritates people with sensitive skin. It’s the perfect cheerful color to throw on any time of year!

My regimen is something I try to keep up with year-round, and while it doesn’t totally fix my issues with irritation, it has kept me from breaking out in blisters like I did in the past. If you suffer from sensitive skin like me, these products are all definitely worth checking out!

February on Instagram

february on instagram

February was a great month for hiking! The weather was sunny and warm most days, and even if it wasn’t, I managed to get out anyway. It has been amazing to see things starting to sprout, even if it does mean allergy season is fast approaching! Hopefully I’ll be able to get out even more in March!

february on instagram

I didn’t write much about food this past month on the blog, and I probably won’t much next month – but I instagrammed about it a lot. February was all about getting back to normal after the holidays, and I’m looking to keep up the good work in March. Fat Tuesday, or as I know it Paczki Day, was obviously an important day for me (holla to my fellow Poles out there), but after spending the month behaving myself, I could indulge without feeling guilty. I’m finding a balance between eating healthy while still eating well, so of course I make sure not to cut out anything too crazy. I still love a glass of wine…but now, I stop at one (otherwise I’ll be eyeballs deep in junk food later). 

february on instagram

Finally, this past month was big for stocking up on things for spring. I updated my skincare routine after a nasty breakout, renewed my love of print magazines, and did some serious thrift shopping. I can’t wait to share more of what I scored while thrifting this past month – so stay tuned to find out what I came home with!

March is going to be a busy month, with moving into a new place, more job hunting, and some of my favorite shows coming back to TV (is anyone else excited for House of Cards?). I’m also planning to kick up the posts to 4-5 days per week, if I can manage to work that around packing, unpacking, and spring cleaning (which should be easy in a new space, I hope)!

If you want to catch up with what I’ve been ‘gramming, make sure to
click here to follow my Instagram feed!

Simple_Beauty_Organization

Simple Beauty Organization

Simple Beauty Organization

As I explained on Monday, I’ve started off 2016 on a bit of an organizational rampage. One area of my life (and I’m sure many of yours, too) I wanted to organize better was my makeup and beauty products. So one afternoon, I made a quick trip to TJ Maxx for some simple solutions to keep things in top shape. Here is what I came up with, and hopefully it will inspire you to get your beauty junk drawer(s) in top shape!

Simple Beauty Organization

Makeup

One area I really wanted to change was the makeup situation on my bathroom counter. For years, it has been a mix of thrift shop bowls, cups, and vases that kept my makeup organized. While it’s a nice idea, and definitely a pretty one, it takes up a ton of space – and it’s too easy to just leave things on the counter that don’t fit, which takes up even more space. I also never found a way to keep out my lip products, which means I also rarely used them (out of sight, out of mind).

I’ve always loved the look of those clear, acrylic makeup organizers, so I hunted down this small one for only $5! It’s the perfect size for all my everyday makeup, brushes, and even a few lip products (finally)! It also takes up a fraction of the counter space, which is a bonus. It’s nice to have only the products I really love on display, and it keeps my clutter in check!

Simple Beauty Organization

Beauty Storage

Another area I needed to deal with was my under-sink storage container. It has three large drawers which are great for storing extra makeup, beauty products, and tools I don’t use often. However, they have become a bit more like junk drawers than organized storage:

Simple Beauty Organization

After going through my makeup and getting rid of things that were expired or gross, which wasn’t much, I set out to find some drawer dividers. TJ Maxx had this set of interlocking plastic containers for $5 that worked perfectly to keep my extra makeup and beauty products wrangled! 

For the makeup storage, I improvised a little and added dividers made of card stock that I taped in to better hold my lip products and eyeliner containers. But other than that, everything else fit into the drawers perfectly. I even had room for some things in there that I had stored in other parts of the house!

Simple Beauty Organization

I’m so happy how both mini-projects turned out, and it’s great to know that I can find everything much more quickly now! It makes getting ready in the morning easier, and it will (hopefully) keep me from over-stocking things I forgot I already had.

So for $10 and about an hour of my time, I finally got my beauty products in order! Now, let’s hope I can keep it looking this nice!

2015 Year in Review: Style

2015 Year in Review: Style

Winter Style Inspiration / Thrifty Fall Updates / What’s in my bag?: Fall Edition / Style Confession: I’m Basic

After going through my style posts for 2015, I realized that I wrote a lot more about other people and their style more than my own. I guess it’s because I have taken a while to really nail down my personal style, especially now that I no longer have to dress like a teacher.

While I hate taking photos of myself, I want to get better at it in the next year, so stay tuned for posts of my own outfits (and a few Pinterest-heavy posts too).

2015 Year in Review: Style

Spa Night / Fall Nail Polish Update / 10 Beauty Duds…and how not to waste them! / Summer Skincare: (Mostly) Drugstore Edition

One topic I did talk about a lot this year was beauty products! I’d say that if I had to choose one topic for my blog, I’d have the most fun with beauty-related posts. I love trying new things, and sharing my old favorites. Each season in WA is different than the last, so it has been fun trying to find the right products to get me through spring, summer, fall, and winter!

Right now, I’m piling on as much lotion and lipgloss as I can (thanks cold, dry air), but I’m also looking at self-tanners, BB creams, and other fun things I want to try out next year!

Overall, I assumed my style posts would be the worst out of all the topics this year, but they weren’t so bad after all. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thrift store steals, drugstore beauty buys, and my process to figure out my own personal style. I hope the coming year has more of the same, and maybe a few more career-friendly fashion posts too!

Spa Night

Spa Night

“Spa Night” is something I wish that I did more often…and I doubt I’m alone! There is something nice about lounging around on a Sunday night after a long, hot shower, with a mask drying away on my face, and painting my nails while watching the latest episode of Downton Abbey (though lately it has been True Detective). Here are some of my go-to products for a nice, relaxing evening of treating myself!

Lush “Ro’s Argan” Body Conditioner

I love anything rose scented, and I’m a huge fan of argan oil, so this is a perfect spa night essential for me. You put it on all over your body while in the shower, then rinse it off – just like you would conditioner for your hair! It leaves my skin lightly moisturized and smelling sweet. I bought it last fall, and though it’s expensive, I still have a lot left – and I used it a LOT this past winter!

Que Bella’s Pore Minimizing Mud Mask

A mud mask is a requirement for my spa nights, and at $2 each, these are a great way to switch up my mask routine. These masks are the perfect amount for one person, and are gentle enough for sensitive skin!

Que Bella’s Purifying Mud Mask

This mask I’ve used before, and if my local Target ever gets them back in stock, I want to buy the larger tube version! This mask is a great dupe for many other tea tree oil-based masks out there (which I find can be really expensive), and it’s perfect whenever I’m dealing with a breakout. It leaves my face feeling tingly and super clean.

OPI Nail Lacquer in Big Apple Red

Okay, so the nail lacquer I photographed isn’t the one I linked to above – I get that. However, Sephora no longer sells OPI, so I found a decent substitute for the old “And A Cherry on Top” that I still have lying around. It’s a great, classic red shade that’s perfect for fingers and toes. When in doubt, just go with red everywhere!

Yardley London Soap Bath Bar in English Lavender

I’m a bar soap kinda gal, but you’ll never see that yellow bar of Dial in my bathroom (unless my husband is sharing with me, then I guess you might find it in there). I’ve been using this bar soap for years, and have no plans to change anytime soon! It has the perfect amount of lavender scent that isn’t too strong, but lingers a bit after the shower.

Now, I’m off to dream of the next night I’ll have free to buff and shine my way to bliss!

Friday Favorites: Holiday Hangover

Friday Favorites: Holiday Hangover

 

Watching an amazing sunset before fireworks on the 4th. It’s the only decent picture I got on my phone!

Now that we’re all back into the swing of things after a long holiday weekend, and my husband’s back home after being away for a couple weeks, it’s time to spend this weekend relaxing at the beach, sleeping in late, and trying not to eat all the cupcakes I have left over from our anniversary celebration yesterday.

While we all prepare for a less hectic weekend (hopefully), here are some links to check out if you get bored this weekend!

Makeup artists are letting us in on their favorite makeup brush cleaner – and it’s only $2!

A Parisian outfit I would straight up copy if I could!

I don’t wear glasses, but for those who do, Lisa Eldridge has some great pointers for doing your makeup to best enhance your eyes based on whether you’re near or far-sighted! 

Pulled Pork Pierogies sound like the most dangerous food on the planet. Anything that helps me carry around pulled pork without making a mess is probably a bad (and by bad, I mean amazing) idea!

Ellen Pao, CEO of the popular website Reddit, recently fired Victoria Taylor, the main moderator of the site’s popular “Ask Me Anything” page. People of the internet responded by shutting down large portions of Reddit, and gaining over 200,000 petition signatures, asking Pao to step down. It is one of the largest online protests I’ve ever seen, and it will be interesting to see how things shake out in the near future.

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