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Beauty

Odds & Ends

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When I was in Chicago last weekend, I checked out the Birchbox pop up. With a mimosa in one hand and snapchat filming in the other, I picked out an assortment of products for my custom Birchbox. I love the box print. It’s just so pretty. I’ve been using the Kiehl’s moisturizer and the Hello fragrance a lot this week and may need to pull the trigger and buy full size versions.
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I’ve been reorganizing my closets and realized how much I miss my sweater. Another or month or so and I’ll be snuggled up in these. Some of my favorites are Soft JoieUnif and Acne Studios (out of my price range, but love.) I picked up these vintage dad jean levi’s from Rawson last week the SHUDIO in Chicago. They take my butt to another level. 
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Well, my skin is back to being a jerk again and so I’ve been incorporating some new products that are gentle and moisturizing while I still try to function with adult acne and dryness. Stemology’s cell rescue gel toner is super gentle and great for sensitive skin and I’ve been using after cleanser the last week.
Beauty, Inspiration

Travel Necessities + Tips

I’m off on a road trip with my mom and I snapped a few photos of my packing to share my process!
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Tip: Pack a clutch as a make up bag
To be most efficient, I pack a clutch as a make up bag and pack only the essentials to save on space. Essentials include tinted moisturized, bronzer/blush combo, mascara, a couple lipgloss choices and primer along with Scentbird containing a sample of perfume so I can leave my full-sized versions at home (this month it’s Tom Ford’s Black Orchid.) I’ve been using this vintage leather clutch with scalloped edges because it’s a great size and transitions well from make up bag to my evening clutch.
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Tip: Include a couple fun extras, just in case
Since they take up such little space and they can spruce up any outfit, I packed a couple extra clutches–an oversized black version and a yellow version for my evenings out and about with mom. They’ll also double as jewelry protectors, although I’ll be wearing most of what I’m packing throughout the week including Katie Dean Jewelry rings, Shinola watch and Clyde’s Rebirth necklace.
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Tip: Versatile shoes
I packed heel-free for this trip! I’ve learned the hard way that packing those special pair of heels for that one night wasn’t worth the space in my luggage or the pain I felt in my feet from spending too much time on the go wearing them. For me, I still want variety in my shoes, so versatile and comfortable flat sandals in the color that mix and match the best is what I do.
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Tip: Travel size products + customizing products for trip
Instead of lugging around full-sized products or pouring them into small containers (ain’t got no time for that), I select quality travel size products and keep them packed in a clutch so that I can grab and go easily. For this particular trip, I’m concerned with frizzy hair along the ocean and so I added leave-in conditioner with my travel size products.
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I have dozens and dozens of sunglasses and I’m bringing a few tried and true aviators along with reading material, the standard black hat and my new favorite No-Ad sunscreen stick, that has a deodorant-like packaging and I can easily glide it over my tattoo throughout the day without the mess.
Beauty, Hair

Spring Beauty with Meijer

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Spring/summer beauty translates into color for me with a bold lip color or a bright nail polish. I was on the hunt for anything coral at Meijer and I found the perfect shade of orange in Maybelline’s Color Sensational in tangy tulip. I’m wearing it in the top photo! James approves!
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My new favorite nail polish shade is e-nuf is e-nuf by Essie.
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No matter the season, I’m always on the hunt for anything to give me an even complexion. I have acne scarring and red areas on my skin and I thought I’d give elf’s tone adjusting face primer a try. It didn’t neutralize any red, but it did create a smooth even surface for my tinted moisturizer. I don’t suffer from dark circles, so a little bit of elf’s concealer was perfect and to touch up blemishes on my cheeks. I use the L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte for touch ups throughout the day. It’s replaced my MAC compact powder. It has the same impact, but much more affordable.
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I’ve never been consistent in moisturizer use. My skin is oily and I’ve always felt like I’ve had bigger concerns, but after speaking with my dermatologist and esthetician, I realized it needs to become a permanent part of my routine. Neutrogena’s hydro boost water gel is what I use each morning. It’s light and dries quickly. I also really like The Honest Company’s organic body oil. It was my wild card purchase and I love it. My legs and arms are constantly dry and scaly and this oil has been great to use after showers to soften my alligator skin.
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If you’re interested in similar products, check out Meijer’s mPerks program for special beauty savings through May 16!
Sponsored by Meijer
Beauty

Spring Clean Refresh with Meijer

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Spring cleaning and purging is something I enjoy very deeply. I get this sense of relief by letting go of the extra shit I don’t need or no longer use. Of course it’s hard to let go of things sometimes, but I remind myself of friends and family who would appreciate the beauty products, clothing and accessories I no longer use. Here are some ideas I’ve incorporated in my spring cleaning and organization!

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1. As Elsa sings, let it gooooo. Is it old as shit? Is it unopened and forgotten? Does it smell funny and you hate it but you spend $30 on it and feel like you need to keep it? Let it gooo! My first step is the de-clutter phase. My office/getting ready area gets worse before it gets better because I go through every nook and cranny to pull out anything I no longer use. It’s tossed into a pile and then sorted by a. things I can sell on Poshmark b. things that my niece, mom or aunt would like c. things my friend Ashley would appreciate d. items for donation e. actual garbage that needs to go in the trash. After I identify what I’m going to keep, I clean everything off. Dust accumulates in my apartment and if I wash out the containers and dust products, I can continue with the real fun.
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2. Find everything a home. To properly store and organize your items, you might need to make a trip to a retail store or thrift containers for storage. I like the acrylic make up organizers from Target or Homegoods, but I also use cheap pencil holders or old mugs to hold brushes and lipsticks. You could also take it a step further and find cool pieces like my rustic lipstick holder from Citizen Home Decor. Whatever method you choose, if you take a thoughtful approach to spring cleaning, it’s easier to maintain organization and a clean, presentable space where you can find everything you’re looking for.
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3. Organize like products. Perhaps most of you get that, but the concept is relatively new to me. I used to keep hair products in the bathroom, in my closet, bedroom and in the linen closet, the more used products mixed among the rarely used. Now, I’ve created a system of keeping like products that are used the most in my office where I get ready so I can easily locate it. Hair products, beauty and fragrance are now arranged this way and it makes my life much easier each morning.
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4. Move things around. Keep things fresh by rearranging everything from furniture to make up organizers. This is especially hard for me to do, almost impossible, but it creates this sense of excitement and this excitement keeps me motivated to keep it clean and organized. Got any tips on spring cleaning and organization? Please share with me!
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*Post sponsored by Meijer. Thank you for supporting collaborations such as this!
Beauty, Inspiration

Product Review: Curls & Brows!

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I’ve decided to start sharing my thoughts on beauty/hair products more often since I can’t stop buying them and can’t say no to free products (that are relevant to my type of hair.) I want to try them all! I bought this little kitchen cart from Ikea to use to hold haircare product overflow and each hair washing day is like Christmas, with new products addressing quality of curl, moisture and blonde correcting. I’ve been using NYX’s brow pen since it’s so easy and looks natural, but I decided to give Essence’s version a try.
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Essence sent me their How To Make Brows Wow make up box and I love that it has mini tweezers and a shimmery highligher. I tested out the Love Blondes color on the left and the Love Em All next to it with the conclusion that the Love Blondes, though lighter, looks more natural and blends better with my naturally light eyebrows. I also love the highlighter–it created more definition with my brows, especially since they’re a bit overgrown at the moment.
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I’m very loyal to Matrix Biolage Gelee, but I find Deva Curl’s Light Defining Gel just as amazing. It doesn’t make my hair all stiff and weighed down, but it’s also heavy enough to actually control my hair. It’s a tough balance with thick, dense, curly hair. I switch between these two gels now.
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Dove sent me the Quench Absolute Intense Restoration Mask. It’s a more budget friendly option compared to Ouidad’s 12 minute deep conditioner. Directions say to leave on 3-5 minutes, but I left on for 10 and my hair felt soft and less hay-like. Speaking of soft, nice hair, I need a shine serum post shower. I float through different types because most seem to work for me, but Toni and Guy’s classic shine gloss serum smells SO GOOD. Even Kyle complimented me on how great my hair smelled and I owe it to this tiny little product fighting to keep the frizz at bay.
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As always, open to product suggestions! Any hair product that I should try that you recommend?!
And here’s my original step by step hair routine

Beauty, Hair