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Favorite Blogs + YouTube Channels

favorite blogs youtube channels(Me watching “Getting Doug with High” on YouTube…while probably high…and eating Oreos.)

After taking a long break from reading magazines and blogs, I got back into it this summer. Writing a blog makes it tough to read them sometimes. It’s that whole “knowing how the sausage is made” issue. Many blogs became a string of sponsored posts and advertisements, and I gave up on those. Others changed their content drastically after having kids, a topic I have no interest or relation to. I typically read my blogs through Bloglovin’, and after doing a “clean-out,” got rid of almost 2/3 of the blogs in my feed – and I don’t miss a single one.

I also got back into watching YouTube again, and found a few channels I really like. YouTube is another place where I kind of lost interest, but thankfully there are people out there putting out amazing new shit every day!

Here are just a few of the blogs and YouTube channels I’m digging lately. Enjoy!

Blogs I’m Loving Lately

Hello Glow

I am on a DIY-beauty kick lately, and Hello Glow has been a great resource for my newfound hobby! Stephanie has recipes for DIY sugar scrub, eye masks, rosewater, and much more. Her site also has great posts on essential oils, food recipes, and overall wellness. If you want to learn more about wellness, this is a great site to start with!

The Chalkboard Mag

If you want to dive a little deeper into the spiritual and wellness world, check out Pressed Juicery‘s blog, The Chalkboard Mag. I love reading the refrigerator tours of course – because #nutritiongoals. They also have articles like what the upcoming solar eclipse means for your wellness journey, the best organic bed sheets, and Nauli (the weirdest yoga move I’ve ever seen). The site is a little more hardcore than Hello Glow, but it has a ton of useful information!

Because Im Addicted

After Geri Hirsch left LEAFtv, she decided to revamp her blog – and I am all about it! She encourages her readers to try her Wellness Challenges, which are (usually) simple tasks aimed at making us happier and healthier. Her healthy recipes are another reason I keep coming back. They are all super healthy and easy to make! I can’t wait to see her blog grow over the coming months!

Man Repeller

Man Repeller is a blog I come back to from time to time when I need some fashun and snark in my life. They were the first to inform me that low-rise jeans are coming back (gross), and that I’m not the only one who thinks quinoa is a load of crap (also gross). I also recently read that yellow is now the new “Millennial Pink,” which is great because I might be one of the few people who can pull off bright yellow.

YouTube Channels I’m Loving Lately

The Sorry Girls

If you are a DIY fan like me, definitely check out The Sorry Girls, a Canadian duo that have some of the coolest tutorials out there. Everything they do is totally #pinterestgoals, from their midcentury plant stand to their amazing DIY Halloween costumes! I know Halloween is a couple months away, but if you’re like me and always wait until the last minute, their site is full of last-minute ideas!

The Lo Down

Yes, I used to watch Laguna Beach and The Hills obsessively when I was in college. It’s no surprise that when I heard Lo Bosworth started her own YouTube channel, called The Lo Down, I subscribed immediately. She has great videos on skincare, wellness, recipes (she went to culinary school, after all), and her battle with depression. If you’re looking for videos that sound more like you’re chatting with your best friend who has all the right answers, check her out!

Lisa Eldridge

If you don’t know how to do your makeup, or always wanted to learn how to master the illusive cat eye, go here. Seriously. She will change your whole life. I started watching her videos before my wedding 6 years ago, and I’m still watching. Lisa’s relaxing voice is mind-numbingly amazing, and her tutorials are totally do-able for most people. My makeup skills improved a ton after watching her videos – and yours will too!

LEAF

I wasn’t sure what would happen to this channel after its two founding members, Geri Hirsch and Erin Falconer, left the brand. It took them a while to find their footing, but the new LEAF channel (short for living, eating, and fashion) has become a new favorite. I’m enjoying their #WakeUpWith series, and the longer videos in general! I’m glad LEAF is living on with new creators and great new ideas!

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!

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!

10 Beauty Duds…and how to not waste them!

10 Beauty Duds

About twice a year, I go through my makeup and beauty collections to get rid of things that are old, dried out, expired, or unused. It’s pretty rare for me to have beauty “duds” in my collection, since I usually stick to the same products on a daily basis.

However, I always end up with a few things that I tried and failed to like for various reasons – so I thought I’d share a few of my beauty “duds,” and some suggestions for what to do with them if you find yourself in the same boat.

10 Beauty Duds

Skincare Duds

No7’s Beautiful Skin Melting Gel Cleanser I bought this cleanser almost a year ago when my local Target was out of their cleansing water, thinking it would work just as well since it was part of the same line. Unfortunately, even though it’s a hypo-allergenic product, it irritated my face on contact and made me break out. It works well to remove stubborn makeup, but it wasn’t worth the red, burning skin it left behind.

So what do I do with it?
If you find yourself with a face cleanser that’s too harsh for your face, keep it in your shower and repurpose it as a body wash or shaving cream (if it’s not too irritating). 

Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream

A glutton for punishment, I repurchased this recently after tossing another container of it a couple years ago. Originally, I hated it because it made my skin feel greasy and broke me out. I thought that it would be a great cream to use in the winter months, when my skin needs more moisture. Turns out that even in the driest of conditions, it’s just too much for me.

So what do I do with it? 
Just like with facial cleansers, a face lotion can be repurposed for the body. Try using it as a hand lotion, or on dry patches like elbows, knees, or feet. You can sometimes use them as eye creams, but if it’s irritating in any way, avoid doing that.

Covergirl CGSmoothers BB Cream

Anyone who read my last blog knows I much prefer BB creams to foundation, but they are certainly not all created equal! I wanted to try out this one because it contains SPF, and my usual ones don’t. Sadly, this BB cream was only good as a sunscreen, and zero coverage for uneven skin tone or minor blemishes, so it sat in my stash unused for months.

So what do I do with it?
BB creams with sunscreen seem to be problematic for lots of people. If yours causes breakouts or it’s the wrong shade for you, see if you can gift it to a friend (since many of them come in tubes, cross-contamination isn’t usually a big issue). If it doesn’t make you break out, and just isn’t pigmented enough for your liking, try wearing it while outside on days you don’t need a full face of makeup. I plan to use mine on days I go hiking, since it does work well as a sunscreen…and I don’t care what I look like while sweaty and alone on the trails.

10 Beauty Duds

Makeup Duds

e.l.f. HD Blush

Look, it was only $3, and I heard great things about their cream blushes, so I gave it a try. Turns out I can’t stand cream blushes, and this one was really hard to apply and blend without looking like a clown.

So what do I do with it? 
First, try it out as a lip stain – many cream blushes can easily double as lip color. If that doesn’t work, this one can easily go to a friend, since the pump bottle prevents cross-contamination. I might give this to my niece, since she’s starting out with makeup and looks way better than I do when using blush.

NYX Rouge Cream Blush

After the e.l.f. one didn’t work, I thought I’d try this NYX cream blush since it seemed to be a better formula. Maybe I’m using these wrong, but this one was way too pigmented for me – the tiniest pat of it left me looking like a baby doll, not a grown-ass woman with a dewy flush.

So what do I do with it? 
Again, try it out as a lip stain. This one actually works for me as one, so I’ll probably keep it and repurpose it. Since this product comes in a dish you stick your fingers into, I wouldn’t try to give this one away – if it can’t be repurposed, toss it and make a note not to buy it again.

Maybelline Super Stay 24 Hour Concealer

This is another one of those “my regular concealer is out of stock and I need a new one” purchases. It’s way too thick for me, especially since I usually only wear concealer under my eyes. While it does live up to its “24 hour” promise (it’s almost impossible to remove), it also creases easily and looks way too cake-y on blemishes as the day goes on, no matter how thinly you apply it or how well you blend it.

So what do I do with it?
Try thinning it out with a moisturizer or eye cream before applying if it’s too thick or cake-y. If it’s too light to use as a concealer, consider trying it as a highlighter instead. If that doesn’t work, toss it – this is another one of those things you shouldn’t share.

Ulta Precision Liquid Eyeliner

Like every other basic bitch on the planet, I’m obsessed with finding the right products to create a winged eyeliner look. This pen was too watery, and I could never get a solid line with it. The NYX eyeliner pens are far better for this.

So what do I do with it?
If you bought a brown eyeliner pen like me, try repurposing it as a brow gel/filler. Many liquid eyeliner pens can easily provide the kind of control and precision for brows. If that doesn’t work, toss it because we never, ever, ever share eye makeup with others. Never.

Maybelline Great Lash Waterproof Mascara

I was so disappointed in this mascara that it became the inspiration for this post! Maybelline’s mascaras are known the world over for being just as good (or even better) than high-end mascaras, and they are a cult favorite of makeup artists, beauty blogger, and grandmothers everywhere. However, the waterproof version was clumpy and messy right after purchase. I don’t know if it was just the bottle, or they’ve changed their formula, but this mascara sucked. I used it for a couple weeks before breaking down and going back to my Clump Crusher.

So what do I do with it?
If you have the kind of brows that can take mascara as a brow gel substitute, then try that. Also consider using it with a brush as a liquid eyeliner, maybe? If those ideas don’t work, toss it. Never try to dilute mascara – adding anything to mascara creates a risk of bacteria developing…and no one wants pink eye.

NYX Brow Kit

I’m more of a brow gel person, so I wanted to see if I could get a more natural brow using powder instead. It works just fine, but the color is all wrong for me (it’s too reddish). The brow gel also wasn’t great.

So what do I do with it?
If it’s a powder kit, reuse the powders as eyeshadow. If it’s a gel kit, try it as a liquid liner (though in most cases, it won’t be pigmented enough). There is no reason to toss this if you can easily reuse it!

NYX Eyebrow Pencil

Again, this product worked just fine – but it’s too red for me. Someday I’ll suck it up and go to the Benefit counter to have them match my brows with what I should be using.

So what do I do with it?
Eyebrow pencils are just eyeliner pencils that are rebranded – so try it out as an eyeliner instead! Luckily for me, reddish eyeliner pencils look great with my blue eyes and penchant for wearing gold or copper eyeshadow, so I’m keeping this one around for a different purpose.

Summer Makeup Staples

Summer Makeup Staples

When I was younger, the thought of wearing makeup in the summer months seemed insane to me. Summers were for swimming (or working) at the pool, softball games, and going to the movies with friends.

I still try to avoid wearing makeup every day in the summer, mostly because it just sweats off anyway. However, when I do make the effort, I stick with simple, light makeup that only takes me 5 minutes tops!

Summer 2015 Makeup

Clinique Stay-Matte Oil Free Makeup in 05-Fair

Back in January, I went to my local Sephora to try out their foundation matching service, and came home with this. After trying it out at home, I realized that it was way too dark for my winter skin! I blame the terrible lighting in my Sephora for making it look better in the store, but held onto it because, well, it wasn’t cheap! Now that I have a bit more of a tan, it matches well, and it’s a nice, light, easily buildable foundation for summer.

NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil in Iced Mocha

When it comes to eye makeup in summer, I’m very, very lazy. This is the perfect, coppery gold shade to make my blue eyes stand out – and it’s simple to apply! Just draw it on, and blend with your fingers. It’s a great way to look put together without having to deal with eyeliner in the morning!

Benefit’s BeneBalm

This isn’t a summer-specific product. I’m not a big lipstick person, so this is perfect for when I’m in a hurry and need a little color boost!

Covergirl Clump Crusher Water Resistant Mascara By Lashblast in Black Brown

Waterproof mascara is a must in the summer, especially if you plan to get sweaty or jump into a pool/lake/ocean. It holds up all day, and adds just enough color to help define my eyes. It’s great with or without eyeliner, and it lives up to its name – no clumps!

NYX Dark Circle Concealer in 02 Light

As I said above, I suffer from dark eye circles during allergy season, so I rarely leave the house without at least some concealer. To conceal them, it’s important to find a concealer that is on the opposite side of the color wheel from whatever color your under-eye circles are (use yellow concealer if they’re purple, orange concealer if they’re blue, green concealer if they’re red, etc.).

Since my bags are mostly blue, I went with this orange-based concealer. It’s a heavy coverage formula, so you won’t need a lot, and it blends really well. Since it’s more moisturizing than my regular concealer, it’s perfect for baggy, swollen eyes.

Tweezerman ProCurl Eyelash Curler in Rose Gold

This is another product that isn’t summer-only, but I use it every day. Curling your lashes is a great trick to look more awake whether you have time for mascara or not! This one is comfortable, effective, and looks great on my bathroom counter!

What are your summer makeup staples? Or do you avoid it like I used to when I was younger and much, much more tan?