FRIDAY FAVORITES – EP 4

Friday favorites

Wooooo hooooo, it’s Friday; we made it! I don’t know about y’all, but it’s been a looooooong week over here in my little world. I hope this week has treated you well, and I hope you’re ready for another edition of Friday Favorites. I don’t have much so let’s just jump right in!

 * Lily Pulitzer Tumbler ($16): I recently convinced myself that if I had a cute tumbler with a straw that I would consume more water…so far so good!! My water intake has increased greatly and I look much cuter while staying hydrated! It’s a win, win!

* L’OREAL Air Dry It Line ($4.99): I decided to try this line because Kathleen Lights (on YouTube) put it in one of her favorites videos and well…I love Kathleen and will basically try anything she recommends. She nailed it. I love this stuff. I have thick, frizzy, hair and have a hard time finding something that will create that beachy, wavy look without having to use my diffuser and 354674 products. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look my diffuser creates, but I just don’t always have time for that extra step. I was looking for something that I could put in towel dried hair and just go…and well, I found it! If you’re in the market for an affordable, wind swept, beachy look in a  bottle, then you should definitely give this a try!

* Anne Klein Maya Zip Satchel ($45.60 – 95): I absolutely love Anne Klein handbags; they are incredibly durable and always look classy while still being fun! I love the shape and color (deep azure) of this bag and I think it’s great for every season. It’s currently on sale for $45.60 at Macys, and if you’re in the market for a new bag, you could definitely do worse than picking this beauty up!

* Tarte Double Duty Beauty Contour & Highlight Palette ($30): I have talked about this palette before so I won’t say too much…but I love it. It’s perfect for warmer weather and I find myself reaching for it almost everyday!

* Parenthood – I think I previously mentioned that David and I gave up on watching One Tree Hill and have since moved over to Parenthood. What a GREAT choice. Lauren Graham is great as Sarah Braverman in this funny, yet heartwarming TV dramedy! If you are looking for a new show that highlights the highs and lows of parenthood and familial relationships, then look no further, this is your show!

* Brett Young  – Brett Young – Okay, so I know county music isn’t for everyone, but if you’re someone who enjoys a nice southern voice and a swoon-worthy country song, then you should definitely check out Brett Young. His self-titled debut (studio) album is chock-full of emotional, pop-country hits. His crossover appeal is undeniable (IMO) and his voice is so buttery and smooth. Some of my favorite tracks include: “Sleep Without You,” “Olivia Mae,” “Mercy,” & “Left Side of Leavin’.”

* Chris Stapleton – From A Room: Volume 1 – I know, another country artist…but I can’t help it; this album is incredible (shocker). It’s bluesy, soulful and emotional; Stapleton stuns once again. His debut album, Traveller, received numerous accolades at the ACMs, CMAs and the Grammy awards over the last couple of years and his sophomore effort is primed to do the same! If you like country, blues, rock or anything in between, then it’s worth a listen.

* Chris Young – Losing Sleep – Okay, last country artist, I promise. The latest single by Young is catchy and well, I just love it. I’ve always loved Chris Young’s music, and this single is no exception. I’m sure when the album comes out I will be just as obsessed as I was with all the others. This certainly carries less crossover appeal than the previous 2 albums and artists I mentioned above, but if you like a true country song, then check it out!

* James Arthur – Say You Won’t Let Go – I’ll be honest, I haven’t listed to James’ full album (Back from the Edge) but I certainly love the single, Say You Won’t Let Go. It’s soulful, pop-y, and just down-right catchy!

* Bruno Mars – 24K Magic – Yes, I’m still obsessed with this song and the album. It’s chock-full of fun, spirited, pop-r&b songs that you can’t help but dance to. I’m crossing my fingers he makes an appearance at Music Midtown this year…because well, that would be lit!

What have you been loving this week? Month? Any products, TV shows or songs I should check out? Let me know below!

-B

GIVEAWAY TIME…ALMOST!

(Almost) Giveaway Time!.jpg

I always told myself that if my blog ever took off in any capacity, I would incorporate giveaways here on SouthernLights. I am happy to report that as I sit here and type this out, I am inching toward 100 lovely followers; and I plan to keep my word and do a giveaway as soon as I reach that milestone! I can’t believe that I’ve only been (consistently) blogging for 3(ish) months and that I’ve been able to make so many great connections. I absolutely love interacting with all of you and hope you stick around for the long haul! With that being said, if any of you are interested in some skincare, makeup and Kate Spade goodies, then stick around and be on the lookout for my official giveaway post! Thank you again for all of your love and support here on Southern Lights, it doesn’t go unnoticed!! You guys really are the best!

-B

MY SKINCARE ROUTINE

My Skincare Routine

Fun fact about me: I’m obsessed with skincare…like I can’t get enough. Despite absolutely loving the vast makeup selections at ULTA and Sephora, I prefer a bare face (when I can get away with it) 99% of the time. Before I get started sharing some of my go-to items with you all, I will tell you a little bit about my skin type. I have the true definition of combination skin; I get oily (not insanely oily) in t-zone and have alligator skin on the outer perimeter of my face, my cheeks and the sides of my mouth (ugh, the struggle). I have insanely sensitive skin and usually only break out around that time of the month (typically near the chin/mouth (ish) area). Yay for Mother Nature and hormonal acne! So now that you know my skin-type, let’s jump right in to my skincare must-haves!

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* Josie Maran Argan Oil ($48): I use this every morning and mix the tiniest amount in with my moisturizer before priming my face for makeup. I find that it helps add that extra boost of hydration that my skin needs so that I won’t have any dry patches when I go in with my foundation. I also use this if my skin is feeling extra dry after using some of my anti-acne products…it works wonders on redness and irritation, if you haven’t, you should try it out. P.S. I don’t think it’s necessary to get the Josie Maran brand, I just got mine in a kit and haven’t used it all up yet!

* Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque ($47): I. LOVE. THIS. STUFF. This is one of my MUST-HAVE anti-acne products. I use this mask about once a week (2-3 times if my face is having a moment) and leave it on for 5-7 minutes. The instructions say that you can leave it on for up to 10 minutes and even use it as an overnight spot treatment; if I didn’t have sensitive skin you better believe I would try using it in this way, but alas, I will just stick to using it as my 5-7 minute miracle mask!

* Dermalogica Clearning Skin Wash ($37-58): I tried this face wash in the Medibac kit from the Dermalogica skincare line when my face was having a true meltdown. I like it, I don’t know if I’ll repurchase it in the full size, but it’s a good face wash none-the-less. It doesn’t dry my face out and it provides a nice deep clean!! For reference, I also use the Purity Facial Cleanser by Philosophy and really love that one!

* Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer ($9.99): I use this as my daily moisturizer and have noticed a huge difference in the amount of dry patches I have on my skin. If you have oily skin this might be a tad too heavy for your liking (although they do have a light weight moisturizer in this line that you could try), but for those of you who have normal to drier skin types, you might really like this! It’s gentle on my skin and provides a generous amount of hydration without feeling greasy!

* Fresh Rose Face Mask ($25-62): If my face is ever feeling irritated or overly dry from any of my anti-acne products (or the universe in general), I will throw this mask on my face and let it sit for about 10 minutes (sometimes more). I’m typically not the biggest fan of rose scented things, but this doesn’t really bother me once it’s on my face. It provides a soothing sensation while hydrating and calming my skin. It’s a little pricey, but I absolutely swear by it!

* Dermalogica Ultracalming Cleanser ($59): I go back and fourth between my regular cleanser (Dermalogica Clearning Cleanser or Purity) and this cleanser! I use this 2-3 times a week to help combat sensitivity and redness and I really like it!

* Dermalogica Ultracalming Mist ($37): I. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. THIS. STUFF. I got this as part of the Ultracalming kit from Dermalogica and I will definitely buy the full size once I run out. It’s so soothing and helps relieve my skin when it’s irritated and splotchy. I spray this before my moisturizer on excessively dry-skin days and think it would be PERFECT to take on a plane to ensure that your skin stays hydrated and balanced!

* Renee Rouleau Anti-Cyst Treatment ($45.50): HOLY GRAIL product. I had been on the fence about trying this because it’s a little on the pricier side and I hadn’t heard many reviews on the product/brand. But after my last skin meltdown I decided to take the plunge and try it anyways…and boy am I glad that I did. Any time I get one of those painful, under the skin blemishes, I put this on at night and by the next morning the redness and size of the cyst has decreased substantially and most of the pain is gone! It’s slightly drying (like any anti-acne product) but nothing a good moisturizer can’t cure! If you struggle with hormonal acne or cystic acne, this may be worth trying!

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* Clarisonic Mia 2 – (Sensitive Brush Head) ($169): I try and use this every time I wash my face; though I’ll be honest, it doesn’t ALWAYS happen. It gives a nice deep clean and helps my skin to be much more radiant and youthful in it’s appearance.

* First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream ($36): I am currently on the hunt for a nighttime eye cream (or an all in one) but for now I am using the FAB AM Gel Cream and I really like it. It works great under makeup and has a soothing sensation when you put it on! It calms the area around my eyes and makes the skin look more radiant and youthful. I’m not sure I would say it’s holy grail status, but I definitely enjoy it!

* It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream ($48): I typically use this as part of my nighttime skincare routine as it’s a little thicker and more rich than what I’m used to for day time. However, in the winter months this may be a great option for all day use as my skin tends to be drier and more irritated! It’s a little pricey but a little goes a long way!

What are some of your holy grail skincare products? I’d love to know! Have any of you tried an eye cream that you absolutely love and can’t live without? Let me know!

-B

SICK-DAY ESSENTIALS

Be the Light (2)

Hi guys (and gals), long time no talk! I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything over the last few days but my dreaded allergies have FINALLY caught up with me and I have been battling a gnarly sinus infection. I’m not quite 100% but I am feeling a little better and I thought I would pop on here and share some of my must-have essentials when I am feeling crummy and under the weather. And as always, I will link everything I mention down below!

  1. Kari Gran Lip Buff ($16): I don’t know about y’all but when I’m sick, my lips are INCREDIBLY dry…like alligator skin dry. I used to use the Tarte Lip Scrub in the pot (and I loved it) but this Kari Gran Lip Buff is soooooo much better. The sugar granules are larger and really help to get the dead skin off of your lips, while the oils in the scrub leave your lips feeling soft and moisturized!
  2. Rosebud Salve Lip Balm ($6): I know, I know…I’ve talked about this lip balm 434645255 times on my blog; but y’all honestly, it’s the best! It’s inexpensive and does a WONDERFUL job moisturizing your lips. It’s the perfect compliment to the lip scrub I mentioned above and bonus: you can use it on your cuticles, elbows, knees AND for all you moms out there, I hear it works wonders for diaper rash too!
  3. Johnson’s Soothing Vapor Bath ($4.99): I know this is marketed for all the beautiful babies in the world, but they are just gonna have to share. When I’m feeling stuffed up and under the weather I love to draw a nice, hot bath and add a generous amount of this to my bath water. I feel like it helps me to relax and helps to open up and clear out my sinuses.
  4. Fresh Rose Face Mask ($25-62): Sticking with the alligator skin theme, I love using a hydrating face mask when I’m feeling under the weather. Oftentimes my skin will look dry, flakey and dull when I’m sick and I just think this is a nice step to combat some of those issues. It’s gentle on the skin does a good job of making me feel refreshed and awake!
  5. Urban Decay Naked Skin One & Done Complexion Perfector ($34): For those days when I’m feeling crummy but still have to go to work and look semi-presentable, I slap this stuff on my face. It has light coverage and evens out my skin tone like a dream! With a little concealer (which I’ll get to next) and some mascara, I can look like a real functioning human! It’s a miracle!
  6. Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer ($28) & Urban Decay Naked Skin Color Correcting Fluid ($28): I’ll be honest, I don’t use the Urban Decay concealers on a day-to-day basis (they are a bit pricey for my liking), but when I’m sick that’s typically what I reach for. I use the color correcting fluid in both the peach and the green shades and then go in with a little bit of the Naked Skin concealer in Light Fair. I think it pairs nicely with the Urban Decay One & Done perfection corrector and does a nice job covering any under eye circles or redness that I may have…and let’s be honest, there is A LOT of that happening on my face when I’m sick (and even when I’m not)!
  7. Kleenex Facial Tissues with Lotion ($5.49): These. Things. Are. Amazing! These are some of the best tissues I have ever used! I know that sounds dramatic, but there is nothing worse than having a cold and having to blow your nose so many times that you rub it completely raw (#amirite). I can honestly say that when I use these my nose never gets raw; red: yes, raw: no!
  8. Muxinex Sinus Max ($20): This stuff saves me EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I have used a variety of products within the Mucinex line and have never been let down. I will say that I go through these bottles pretty quickly, as they aren’t as big as the Dayquil/Nyquil bottles; but I think it works the best so I spend the extra few dollars and buy it more than once if I have to (…like this last time).
  9. Yogi Chamomile Tea ($6.48): No sick-day essential list is complete without hot tea. I’ll be honest, I’m not a HUGE tea drinker, but I do keep chamomile tea in the cabinets for occasions like this! I add lemon and honey (probably way too much honey) and it really helps coat and soothe my throat! My co-worker Ameera also turned me on to hot water with lemon and honey…it does the exact same thing, so if you don’t have any tea on hand, just get you a nice cup of hot water and drown it with lemon and honey and you’ll be good to go!
  10. SOUP!!!! I usually go for the good ol’ classic chicken noodle, but just about anything (as long as it’ not spicy) will do!

So those are just a few things that get me through the days when my allergies strike and my sinuses go bananas. What are some of your sick-day essentials, anything I should try?!

-B

MOTHER’S DAY GIFT GUIDE

Mother's Day Gift Guide (1)

With Mother’s Day right around the corner (May 14th) I thought I would share some of my favorite foolproof gift ideas for that special lady in your life!

FLOWERS

Flowers

Flowers are an oldie but a goodie. There is a reason that people have been gifting flowers for hundreds of years; it’s just a beautiful way to say I love you! So if your mom is a flower guru, then pick out her favorite blooms and surprise her with a stunning bouquet for Mother’s Day, I promise she will love it!

JEWELRY

* Alex & Ani Mom and Daughter Infinite Collection – Set of 2 ($48): I love Alex & Ani bracelets; they are fun and trendy but still allow you to showcase what is important to you! I think they have a young feel while remaining classy and tasteful! I think these bracelets are great for any age and I especially love the Mother’s Day collection! Bonus: they also have bracelets that cater to grandparents, sisters, aunts, etc.!

* Effy Collection Cultured Freshwater Pearl Bracelet ($87.75 – 260): I don’t know about you, but I love pearls. I think they are timeless & classic and I think that every girl should have a pair…and that includes moms! This bracelet is beautiful and dainty and is currently on sale at Macys for $87.75!!

* Danori Silver-Tone Oval Crystal Drop Earrings (9$90-63): These are for the lady in your life that likes a dramatic but classic look! The Danori Crysyal Drop Earrings are a modestly priced option ($63 on sale at Macys) that allow you to get something beautiful without breaking the bank! I have ordered countless numbers of earrings from Macys and have always been more than pleased with my purchase!

PERSONALIZED GIFTS

* World’s Best Mom Mug – Mugsby ($14.99): I absolutely love mugs like this, and I love ordering them from Etsy! This shop (Mugsby) has a plethora of personalized options that would work for any holiday or loved one in your life!

* Long Distance Family Map – NearAndDearDesigns ($28+): This is the perfect gift for the mom that lives far away! Show her how much you miss her with this personalized family map and let her know that however far apart, she’s always in your heart!

* Birthstone Bar Necklace – TomDesign ($38+): I absolutely love bar necklaces; they are simple, dainty and classic. The personalized birthstone option is great for those moms who want to keep their precious babies (no matter how young or old) close to their heart!

* Personalized Cutting Board – JoyfulMoose ($28+): Does your mom/grandma/sister like to cook? If so, this could be the perfect gift for them! Show that special lady in your life how much you care by getting her a personalized cutting board to display in her kitchen! Every time she gets it out, I promise she’ll think of you!

* Home Sweet Home Personalized Ceramic Tile – Shutterfly ($39.99): I have created numerous ceramic tiles for those special people in my life and have NEVER been disappointed. There are a plethora of options and they are completely customizable! So find your favorite pictures of you and your mom and create something she’ll absolutely fall in love with!

* Handmade for Mom Photobook – Shutterfly ($39.99+): This is another thing that I have done more than once! Photobooks are for the moms that love and cherish the pictures they take! You can create a stroll down memory lane or a scrapbook that outlines your favorite family trip…either way, your mom will certainly love the abundant thought and effort that went in to creating this one of a kind piece!

** Shutterfly is currently offering free shipping on all orders over $39 (SHIP39) and up to 50% off of photobooks, premium gifts & cards (BESTMOM) until tonight, May 2nd! If you miss out, don’t fret, Shutterfly ALWAYS has some sort of discount available **

MISCELLANEOUS/BEAUTY

* Kate Spade Cameron Street Stacy Wallet ($110.00): Us ladies should always have a nice wallet, and our moms are no exception! This is for the mom who likes a little bit of color while still being classic and timeless! Kate Spade delivers clean lines and simple designs that are sure to turn heads and make your mom feel like the queen that she is!

* Dooney & Bourke Saffiano Large Zip Wallet ($96.90-138): This pick is a tiny bit more understated than the Kate Spade option I linked above! It is a black (though I think they have it in other colors as well) full zip wallet and would be great for anyone who has a lot of stuff to carry! It’s a little pricey, but is currently on sale at Macys for $96.90 and I definitely think it’s worth every penny!!!

* Natori ‘Nirvana’ Midi Robe ($59): Sometimes our moms just need to sit back and relax; and what better way to do that than in a nice, comfy robe! This is perfect for those mornings where she just wants to curl up on the couch with her coffee and read a book or catch up on her favorite shows!

* Michael Kors Mercer Medium Duffel ($298): I know, I know, this one is a WEE BIT more expensive, however, if you’re looking to splurge on mom, this would make for a beautiful gift! I have a couple of Michael Kors Satchels and I L-O-V-E them and I know she would too!

* Gucci Bamboo Perfume ($94-117) & YSL Mon Paris ($29-122): Is your mom into perfume and all things beauty?! If so, maybe you could get her a nice perfume that she wouldn’t ordinarily buy for herself. Gucci Bamboo & YSL’s Mon Paris make for great gifts that any mom would surely love!

I hope this Mother’s Day Gift Guide was helpful and that I was able to provide you with some gift ideas that your mother would love!

-B

APRIL FAVORITES!

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Holy cow, it’s already MAY!! Can you believe that?!?! I know I have done a number of “favorites” posts lately and I promise I’ll do less of those in the coming days, but I still wanted to pop on here and share some products that I have been loving in the month of April!

MAKEUP

* Tarte Double Duty Beauty Contour & Highlight Palette ($30): This palette is just the best! The contour shade is perfect for lighter skin tones and the highlighter is absolutely stunning! Bonus: it smells like milk chocolate!!! I know I’ve mentioned this product on the blog before but since I’ve been using it non-stop the last month, I just HAD to include it! If you have a lighter skin tone and are in the market for a contour powder that isn’t too dark or too light, this might really work for you!

* Bare Minerals Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick – Queen & Mantra ($20): I’ll admit, I’m not a HUGE lipstick person. I often find them to be annoying and too much work. I feel like they never look good on my skin-tone, or they’re too drying, or they fade weird and make me look like a crazy person at work…(not a good look), but I absolutely LOVE these! They are creamy & hydrating and have a nude shade that would suit a variety of different skin tones. They are relatively long wearing and perfect for everyday!

* Too Faced Born This Way Foundation – Vanilla ($39): When I’m looking for a more full-coverage makeup look, this is the foundation that I reach for. I find that I can get full coverage without looking too cakey. It doesn’t break me out or irritate my skin and looks great in pictures!

SKINCARE

* Rosebud Salve ($6): This stuff is AMAZING. I absolutely LOVE it. I have terribly dry lips (mostly in the winter months) and this salve has saved me on more than one occasion. I use it on everything from dry lips to dry elbows, it’s something I literally can’t live without.

* Tarte Drink of H2O Hydrating Moisturizer ($39): If you have dry skin, please try this out. I typically use this after applying my PTR Therapeutic Sulfur Masque (linked below). Sometimes that mask can irritate my skin (if I leave it on too long) and leave it feeling much drier than I would like. Tarte’s lightweight gel moisturizer has a fresh, citrusy scent that helps calm my skin and allows me to maintain the proper amount of moisture!

* Peter Thomas Roth Therapeutic Sulfur Masque ($47): I have been using this mask for over 3 years now and I absolutely love it. I have sensitive skin so I don’t leave it on as long as most and I typically don’t use it as an overnight spot treatment (even though you totally could!) but I love it all the same. I generally try and incorporate this into my skincare routine 1-2 times a week depending on how angry my face is at the time. It has really helped with my hormonal breakouts and I wouldn’t be caught dead without it. I will say, If you have sensitive skin I would recommend leaving it on for no more than 5-7 minutes to see how your skin responds and then go from there! Make sure you go in with a nice, gentle moisturizer after to ensure your skin is soothed and hydrated. After all, it is an acne product and can be a little drying if you’re not careful!

* Philosophy Purity Facial Cleanser ($24-44): This was recommended to me after having an allergic reaction to my previous face wash. The consultant at ULTA told me this was gentle and good for all skin types so I decided to give it a try. I find that it does a nice job of really cleansing my face and getting rid of all the dirt, oil and makeup from the day. It’s gentle enough to not irritate my eyes and hasn’t caused any skin irritation (YAY!!!); so if you are looking for a new face wash, I think you might like this one!

FASHION

* Converse Chuck Taylor “Shoreline” Sneakers ($49.95): David bought these for me a couple of years ago and I am obsessed! I love, love, love them and actually find them to be quite comfortable. They are fitted and have hidden elastic around the tongue area to keep them snug on the foot. I find that they are true to size and really create a nice look with jeans, shorts, dresses, etc.!

* Old Navy Luxe Curved -Hem Tank ($15-17): I adore these tank tops! I wear them to work with a blazer or a cardigan and it is the epitome of comfort, let me tell ya! They are pretty inexpensive and are constantly on sale! I will say, hanging them to dry is the best bet; they will definitely shrink a bit if you put them in the dryer! I have them in multiple colors and think they are a must for any wardrobe/closet!

* Adidas Women’s Superlite Climate Socks – 6 Pack ($19.99): I absolutely HATE when you can see my socks peeking out of my sneakers, it’s a true pet-peeve for me. With that being said, I have to have socks, especially when I’m working out, so I’m constantly on the hunt for a good no-show option. I have really enjoyed the Adidas Superlite socks; they stay up when I’m working out and you can’t see them peeking out of my shoes. They might not be the best of the best, but for now, they are just fine!

* Hollywood Fashion Secrets Silicone Coverups – Light ($12.99): With summertime right around the corner, it’s time for those backless dresses and low-cut shirts (not that I really wear either, but you catch my drift). Bras are a pain (#amirite) and they can ruin an outfit in 2 seconds flat. Of course going braless (with no coverage at all) isn’t really my thing, so I typically reach for these silicone coverups in times where I need a little less than a bra and slightly more than just mother nature. They are reusable and do a good job of staying put, so if you have a dress/top that just doesn’t work with your bra, try these out!

* Coach Cassidy Buckle Sandals – Platinum ($79): I love these sandals. They are cute, comfortable and perfect for summer!

* OPI Fiji Nail Lacquer Collection – Getting Nadi On My Honeymoon ($10): What a great pink shade for the summer! I have been wearing this on my toes and just can’t get enough.

What have you guys been loving this month? Anything I should try out?! Let me know below!

-B

THURSDAY THOUGHTS!

Be the Light (1)

Happy Friday Eve friends! We’ve almost made it to the weekend; just one more day, we can do it! I don’t know what the weather is like in other parts of the world but It’s a gloomy day here in Georgia; lots of clouds and lots of rain. I thought I’d jump on here and share my thoughts about a few products (and a TV show) that I have been testing out for few weeks!

* L’Oréal Infallible Blend Artist Foundation Sponge ($7.99):  I really, really love this sponge! It’s soft, blends foundation & concealer seamlessly, and doesn’t soak up too much product! I have read some reviews that complain of tears in the sponge after 1-3 washes, but so far I haven’t had that experience. Either way, for the $7.99 price point, I certainly think this is worth a try!

* Mario Badescu Anti Acne Serum ($20): I have been using this product for a week or so now and I absolutely LOVE it! It’s gentle, soothing, and doesn’t dry out my skin AT ALL (which is a miracle)! This serum claims to not irritate already erupted skin…and guess what…THAT CLAIM IS TRUE!!! Besides not drying out or irritating my skin, it really has helped to calm everything down and eliminate blemishes and the redness associated with them. It’s truly the most gentle acne product I have ever used and I definitely think it’s worth the money. I will absolutely, without a doubt repurchase this once I run out!

* Benefit Cosmetics – It’s Potent! Eye Cream ($34): Unfortunately this product just didn’t work for me. It dried out and burned my under eyes, and caused a pretty little rash that lasted for a couple of days. To be fair, I have incredibly sensitive skin and think that those of you who don’t would probably really enjoy this product. I had my boyfriend test it out and he really liked it. He said it was soothing and he didn’t have any trouble with it irritating his skin…it’s not Benefit, it’s me (shocker).

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* 21 Day Fix: I mentioned a few posts back that I had recently cancelled my Sweat With Kayla membership and started using BeachBody on Demand. I’m currently in my second week of the 21 Day Fix and I love it. If you’re thinking of trying out this workout program, just know that the Total Body Cardio Fix is the WORST. I literally felt like I was having a heart attack….don’t worry, I survived. So if you’re on this journey with me and you get discouraged after day 1 (regardless of the program you’re doing); just stick with it, it will get easier, I promise! And of course I will keep you posted as I progress further through the program!

* One Tree Hill: David and I just finished season 1 and the only feeling that I have surrounding the show is frustration. The first half of the season was great while the second half made me want to rip my hair out. Let me be clear, I don’t dislike the show, I’m just someone who needs at least ONE person/couple to be functioning at a semi-high level so that I don’t end up hating every single character. I don’t know if you feel the same, but it’s hard for me to root for characters that are ALL messing up at the same time. In any case, I will take a couple of days off and jump back in after I have time to deal with my feelings! I mean honestly, how did Nathan & Haley get married after the basketball game? Who signed off on this? I need answers. Ugh. Lol.

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While I have you all here I just want to say Thank You and that I appreciate all of the love and support you guys have shown me here on the blog! I love interacting with all of you and hope to connect even more in the near future! I hope all of you are having a wonderful Friday Eve and have a lovely weekend planned wherever you are!

-B

THIS OR THAT TAG!

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Hello everyone! I am really dragging on this Wednesday morning but I wanted to get something up for you guys anyway! I have received a number of requests to do a recovery update post and I will get to that, I promise. But for now, given the current state of my brain I thought I would do something a little lighter! Yesterday I was scrolling through published posts and came across a This or That Tag written by BeaFree and thought it looked fun…so let’s just jump right in! P.S. I might have added a few extra questions at the end to keep the fun going! 🙂

MAKEUP

  1. Blush or Bronzer: Bronzer for sure! I’m terribly pale and need a little help!
  2. Lip Gloss or Lipstick: Lip Gloss, really more like lip balm! As much as I try to dive into lipsticks (liquid lips, mattes, satins, etc.), I just always end up feeling annoyed and wiping it off.
  3. Eyeliner or Mascara: Mascara, hands down. I only wear eyeliner on SPECIAL occasions, but mascara is an absolute MUST for me.
  4. Foundation or Concealer: Ooo, tough call. Probably concealer because I can get by with using it as a pseudo-foundation if I had too!
  5. Neutral Eyeshadow or Colorful Eyeshadow: Neutrals all the way. I’m not cool enough to pull off colorful shadows. Lol.
  6. Pressed Eyeshadow or Loose Eyeshadow: Pressed for sure. I’m such a klutz, I can’t even manage to handle a loose setting powder, I would destroy loose eyeshadows for sure.
  7. Brushes or Sponges: I mean, can I say both?! I use a blending sponge for foundation and concealer, but I use a brush for bronzer/blush/highlight…I can’t choose!

NAILS

  1. Long or Short: Relatively speaking, I like them on the shorter side. I think long(ish) nails are pretty but I feel weird and have trouble doing everyday tasks when my nails are long. I mean come on…how do you button your pants and pick up change off of a table when your nails are long? If you have the answers, please teach me your ways.
  2. Acrylic or Natural: If it’s a special occasion I might spring for acrylics, but 99% of the time I just go natural. Acrylics are beautiful, but they absolutely wreck my nails and oftentimes I don’t think they’re worth the hassle.
  3. Bright Colors or Dark Colors: I like both, it just depends on my mood. In the fall and winter I typically stick to darker colors; but in the spring and summer I’m willing to play with some brighter shades!
  4. Flower or No Flower: Ummm, I don’t even really know what this means. I’m guessing it’s asking if I like a flower design on my nails…(correct me if I’m wrong)…so I would say NO flower!

BODY

  1. Perfume or Body Splash: I guess it depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing, but I typically prefer a perfume.
  2. Lotion or Body Butter: Body butter for sure. I think I’ve mentioned before how I have skin that resembles that of an alligator; I need all the help and hydration I can get. I find that a body butter does a better job of keeping my skin hydrated for a longer period of time than a traditional lotion does!
  3. Body Wash or Soap: Body wash. Am I the only person who feels like soap leaves their skin feeling tight and dry?!?!
  4. Lush or Another Company: Eh, I guess I use Bath & Body Works the most of any company; I don’t really use products from Lush, I’ve tried a couple of things and liked them fine, but it was never enough to keep me going back for more. To be honest, I have a really sensitive stomach and the smell of the Lush store actually makes me nauseated. It’s kind of like Yankee Candle, I think there’s just too much (scent wise) in one place! With that being said, I would like to try some of their fun bath bombs. 🙂

FASHION

  1. Jeans or Sweats: Sweats…100% of the time.
  2. Long Sleeve or Short Sleeve: It really just depends on the circumstances (weather, event, etc.)!
  3. Long Dresses or Skirts: Neither…but if I HAD to choose, probably long dresses!
  4. Stripes or Plaid: I like both but I own more plaid!
  5. Flip Flops or Sandals: Sandals for sure!
  6. Scarves or Hats: I am the scarf queen!
  7. Studs or Dangly Earrings: I don’t really wear earrings because one of my holes closed up…but I would choose studs.
  8. Necklace or Bracelet: Bracelets!
  9. Heels or Flats: I like both, but for sheer comfort reasons, I’ll go with flats!
  10. Cowboy Boots or Riding Boots: I like both, but I wear riding boots far more often.
  11. Jackets or Hoodies: Hoodies! They’re just so cozy!

HAIR

  1. Curly or Straight: Both, but I wear it straight more often.
  2. Bun or Ponytail: Bun. Ponytails frustrate me.
  3. Bobby Pins or Butterfly Clips: Definitely bobby pins!
  4. Hair Spray or Gel: Hair spray!
  5. Long or Short: Long!
  6. Light or Dark: Dark!
  7. Side Swept Bangs or Full Bangs: I’m not really a bang person, they don’t flatter my face at all; but if I had to have them, I’d go with side swept!
  8. Up or Down: Up, usually in a low side bun. As much as I like my hair down, I have too much hair to keep it that way for long.

RANDOM

  1. Rain or Shine: Shine…unless I really need a day to catch up on sleep, then I’ll welcome the rain!
  2. Summer or Winter: Summer…duh!
  3. Spring or Fall: Fall, it’s my favorite season!
  4. Chocolate or Vanilla: DEFINITELY chocolate!!
  5. Backstreet Boys or *NSYNC: BSB for LIFE!!
  6. Coca-Cola or Pepsi: Coca-Cola duh! FILA
  7. Cake or Pie: I like them both equally. I like my moms chocolate cake and I like a slice of pie every now and then, but I think I like cupcakes the most. They’re smaller and less of a commitment. Is that weird? Probably.
  8. Sephora or ULTA: Well, I love them both, obviously; but if I had to choose one, I’d go with ULTA.
  9. Being Hot or Cold: I HATE being cold, so I’d definitely say hot. I live in the south so hot weather and excessive humidity doesn’t bother me at all.
  10. Apple or Android: Apple! Not sure I could ever leave my iPhone/iPad behind.
  11. East Coast or West Coast: East Coast for sure.
  12. North or South: South…more specifically, the Southeast!
  13. Books or Magazines: Magazines!
  14. Hot Fudge or Caramel: Hot Fudge!
  15. Sunrise or Sunset: Sunset…swoon.
  16. Apples or Bananas: Bananas.
  17. Baseball or Basketball: Baseball (but I still love my Hawks)! Go Braves!
  18. Football or Hockey: Football! Go Falcons! WarDamn!

Thank you so much for reading and playing along, I know this was kind of long! What are some of your preferences, I’d love to know!

-B

 

MINI DRUGSTORE HAUL!

Good morning friends! I had to make a (sometimes) dreaded trip to Wal-Mart this weekend for groceries but found myself in the beauty department to help ease the pain and thought I would share a little mini haul with you guys!

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* Dr. Teal’s Foaming Bath – Coconut Oil ($4.87): I’m a sucker for a nice bath (especially after working out) and I absolutely love the Dr. Teal’s line. It makes for a luxurious soak while also helping my sore muscles. It’s win win!

* Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish – Smartease ($9.99): I have been on the hunt for a good pink nail polish for the upcoming spring and summer months and decided to give the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Smartease a try. I like the brush that comes with these polishes and while it doesn’t stay on my nails SUPER long, I still enjoy the color payoff and continue to buy them anyway!

* Maybelline Lasting Drama Waterproof Gel Pencil – Glazed Toffee ($7.99): I have been on the hunt for a good brown eyeliner for months and have been unable to find one that I like. All of the ones I have tried have been too difficult to work with and they NEVER stay on my waterline. I decided to give this one a try; fingers crossed I have better luck…I’ll keep you posted!

* Maybelline Lipstudio Color Jolt – Stripped Down ($9.99): I absolutely LOVE this lip product; it’s a divine mauvey-pinky nude and the color payoff is simply amazing. I think this shade suits and flatters my skin tone nicely, and while it’s not the most long-wearing lip product on the market, it’s insanely comfortable on the lips; and for me, that’s the most important thing!

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* L’oreal Infalliable Foundation Blender ($7.99): I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me and ask my thoughts on the L’oreal foundation sponge so I thought I would pick it up and give it a try. I have used the Beautyblender as well as the Real Techniques sponge and love them both so I am interested to see how this compares! As soon as I break it out and give it a go, I will let you know my thoughts! Stay tuned!

* Simple Replenishing Rich Moisture Lotion ($9.99): This is one of my all-time favorite facial moisturizers. It’s gentle and doesn’t break me out…which for me, is a miracle! I find that it gives me ample moisture without leaving me looking like a greaseball. I will say, If you have oily skin, this might make you a little too dewy, but if you have normal to dry skin, I think this would work nicely for you!

* Maybelline Fit Me Concealer – Fair ($6.99): This is my everyday concealer; It’s affordable and does a good job of hiding those pesky under eye circles. It’s not extremely thick so it never leaves me feeling cakey. With that being said, it’s not the most full-coverage concealer I’ve ever used, so if you’re looking for a legitimate full coverage product, I would recommend Tarte’s Shape Tape Concealer; it’s not drugstore, but it’s worth the splurge for sure!

Have you guys purchased any new or holy-grail products recently, I’d love to know!

-B

MY SEPHORA WISHLIST!

In the spirt of Sephora’s VIB/VIB Rouge Sale that’s going on until April 24th, I thought I would share some of the things that are on my wishlist!

MAKEUP/PRIMERS

* Benefit Cosmetics Cheek Parade ($58): I’m all for a palette that includes multiple products, and this certainly appears to fit the criteria. It includes their famous Hoola Bronzer and Dandelion Blush and looks perfect for the upcoming summer months!

* Diorskin Nude BB Crème ($45): In the summer I enjoy wearing tinted moisturizers and BB/CC Creams more than a full foundation. I’ve heard great reviews about this product and thought now would be a good time to give it a try!

* Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder ($23-38): I’m probably the ONLY person in the world that hasn’t tried this powder. I typically use pressed powder as I tend to get loose powders everywhere…and I mean EVERYWHERE. I’m always knocking them off of my vanity and the sight of that beautiful expensive powder all over my floor infuriates me to no end. However, I think it’s time for me to give this “holy grail” product a try!

* Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer ($19-75): I received a sample of this primer in a recent Sephora order and I LOVED it. It was so smooth and luxurious and now I feel like I NEED to give it a try!

* Cane + Austin Prime & Protect Mattifying Primer ($56): With the summer months right around the corner, I am in the market for a more mattifying primer. I tend to get really oily in the t-zone (especially in the summer) and have (what I consider) alligator-like skin around the perimeter of my face (neat). I have heard that this does a good job of keeping the oil under control so I thought I might give it a try!

* Huda Beauty Rose Gold Eyeshadow Palette ($65): Ugh, this palette is STILL sold out. Every time I go on Sephora to peruse, it’s NEVER in stock…oh well. I get it. Look at those colors. The shimmer shades are S-T-U-N-N-I-N-G, I just can’t resist.

* Sephora Collection Cream Lip Stain ($14): I’ve seen a few YouTubers review these cream lip stains and they look beautiful on the lips. I think shades #13 (Marvelous Mauve) & 41 (Vintage Rosewood) will be the first 2 that I try out!

SKINCARE

* Rosebud Perfume Co. Tropical Ambrosia Lip Balm ($7): I have the Rosebud Salve in the pot and I absolutely love it, so I figured why not give the Tropical Ambrosia lip balm a try. I mean come on, who wouldn’t want their lips to smell like mangos and coconuts?!?! I know I sure would!

* Fresh Rose Face Mask ($25-62): I received this as my birthday gift from Sephora last year and let me just say, I L-O-V-E it. I have extremely sensitive skin and oftentimes have trouble finding face masks that work for me. This does a great job of hydrating and soothing angry, irritated skin and I would HIGHLY recommend this product to just about everyone!

* Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask – Hydrating & Detoxifying Treatment ($48): I love the Josie Maran line and use the Argan Oil when my face needs a little extra hydration so I thought this mask might be a winner! As I mentioned above, I have trouble finding face masks that don’t irritate my skin but this is said to be gentle and nourishing, I guess we’ll see.

FRAGRANCE

* Chanel Coco Mademoiselle ($72-124): This is my all-time favorite scent. It is  truly DIVINE. I’ve gotten this every year on my birthday for the past 3 years (thanks to Ameera and my mama!) and it’s about that time yet again. I can’t really explain it, it’s sexy, luxurious, and sweet (but not too sweet) and I urge you to go smell it if you haven’t! Swoon.

* Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris ($29-122): I purchased this for my mom for Christmas and I have since fallen in love with it! It’s a modern floral (but not too floral) scent that is laced with creamy white musk and patchouli. I’m hoping to add this gem to my collection ASAP!

So those are all of the products I’ve been eyeing for the last few months; I will probably bite the bullet and pick up a few of them while the VIB/VIB Rouge sale is still going on. What’s on your Sephora wishlist? Have you tried any of the products mentioned above? Did you love them? Hate them? I’d love to know!

-B