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Acne: 3 Tips You Haven’t Tried

Some of us who suffer from acne can easily feel defeated.  Sometimes we try and try and feel that nothing is working…but today I want to offer 3 tips that you hopefully haven’t tried.  They are tips that help to conceal and diminish the appearance of your tiny friends and will make you feel more self-confident when stepping out the door.

 


 

1.) STOP TRYING TO ATTACK YOUR ACNE.

 

 

Ever so often I will come across clients who are just being too hard on their skin.  They’re frustrated with their complexion so they scrub and scrub or apply topical treatment like crazy.  Here’s the thing, less is more and skin is smarter than we think.  If you start to incorporate a few gentle, soothing products into your lineup your skin will notice a huge change.  Sometimes acne is as red as it is because we are irritating it so much!  Once you start using products to cool and calm the skin your redness will go down and so will your dislike for your skin.  This tip includes not using a strong acne cleanser every time you cleanse, not cleansing/scrubbing your face more than twice a day, and not using strong topical acne medications that burn your skin.  Give your skin a break and it will reward you.

Quick tip: look for products that contain soothing ingredients like aloe, green tea and chamomile to calm the skin.  It is best to look for these ingredients in products such as cleansers and serums.

 

2.) THINK OUTSIDE THE CIRCLE BOX.

 

 

Here’s the thing – if acne didn’t cause such discoloration we probably wouldn’t notice it so much, right?  But every time we get a new “friend” the redness and swelling (not to mention scarring caused from picking) is one of the hardest things to conceal.  This is where we bring in our special teams enforcement.  This is where the sunless tanner comes in!  The sunless tanner will do a fantastic job of covering redness and dark spots and also allows you to use less foundation/concealer in the morning, allowing your skin to breathe.  Some women like the look of their skin after applying sunless tanner, so much so that they don’t even need or want to wear foundation, and that’s perfectly ok!  If you give your skin a break from pore clogging makeup products, you might also find your culprit!

Quick tip: make sure the sunless tanner you purchase is specifically made for the face.  Our favorite brand is the St. Tropez sunless tanner and some women are ok to use the body tanners on their face but it’s all individual.  Test is out before any important events to see how your skin does with it.

 

3.) GET ICE-Y WITH IT.

 

 

Saving the best for last – this is a tip that is easy, accessible, and free!  It’s very simple, and all it takes is two medium to large sized ice cubes.  You will hold them in your hands and massage your face in the morning with them until your ice runs out or until you’re done holding cold ice cubes.  By using the ice we are reducing swelling, redness and even pain.  This is no different than icing a swollen ankle and it works well because you can do this day and night and it’s extremely gentle on the skin.  This is also a great tip for pregnant women who can’t use harsh acne products!  The best part is that the ice also tightens and closes pores, and who doesn’t want that?

Quick tip: if the ice feels so strong for you in the morning, throw a metal spoon into your freezer at night and use that the next morning instead.  The spoon is easy to hold and allows you to hold it on an acne mark while you use your other free hand to brush your teeth or apply eye makeup, etc.


 

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Well This Is Kind Of Embarrassing…

 

 

Ok I have to admit, it’s a little embarrassing what I’m posting today.  I’m 30 years old and it was only a few months ago when I tried my first extra-long curling iron.  I know it might not seem like a big deal but I pride myself in trying all of the latest and greatest…and let me tell you this iron makes a world of a difference!  I received this BioIonic curling iron as a gift for Christmas & the one I got is six inches long and 1.25 inches in diameter and for me, this is the perfect size for the type of curl that I want.

And I can’t be the only one that loves this iron since it received fifteen 5 out of 5 star reviews on Sephora.com, that’s unheard of!

I know you might think this iron isn’t for you if you have shorter hair but let me tell you otherwise!  I love this iron for two reasons: the extra length allows you to curl all the way up to the root, saving time if not halving it, and it gets superbly hot.  From what I can tell the added heat curls the hair quicker and it makes it last longer throughout the day.  What else could you want in life?   With this iron we’ve cut our getting ready time in half and we’ve extended the life of our hairstyle/blowout.  I would say this iron will work best for hair that is collarbone length or longer.  The iron I have allows you to pick your heat level and I always choose the hottest, which is 430 degrees.  If you’ve recently colored your hair or if it’s in a more fragile state you can pick a lower setting but I am more than pleased with how well this iron works on my platinum blonde hair.  There will be a tiny bit of a learning curve as working with a longer (hot) iron is a bit challenging, but it’s nothing that takes longer than a day or two.  I also love this specific iron because the clamp follows all the way to the end.  Some extended irons don’t have that feature and it’s just less of a headache for me to have to worry about where I’m letting it clamp shut as I’m curling it all over my head.  Quick & easy and I’m out the door!


To view similar irons click here. 

To purchase the above iron, call or text 785.393.9991.

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Your Best Wedding Day Makeup Ever

Photo by Ink Studios, LLC.

We’ve all read those timelines a million times, how and what to get done before our big day…But today’s list is going to be a little bit different in that we’re going to cover some ideas that you probably haven’t thought about.  These are points that I always discuss with my bride and they always seem to be in agreement.


1.) This is the most expensive day of your life and you need to look like it.

Am I recommending that you hire the most expensive vendors and max out your card buying the most expensive things you can find? No. But I am suggesting that you look like it with your hair and makeup.  For most people their wedding gown will be the most expensive garment they will ever purchase, so in that case in doesn’t make sense to apply tinted chapstick to complete the look.  Follow the advice of your hair and makeup team and decide on a look that pulls everything together.  A classic chignon or a full-volume blowout always looks like a million bucks and won’t break the bank.  And don’t be afraid to go heavier on the makeup and trust the pros when we add more than you would on a normal workday.  Pretty jewelry is always my favorite accessory on a bride too.  I wore my jewelry as soon as I could on my wedding day because I felt so amazing in it!

Photo by Jana Marie Photos

 

2.) Lip products are what make the look.

On the day of your wedding you’ll want to be sure that you have your back-up lip products near you or on you at all times.  You can buy a beautiful clutch to keep it in and hold, or you can give it to your Maid-of-Honor.  Lips are important because they always complete the look and it keeps you looking fresh in photos.  After your makeup fades towards the end of the night your lipstick/lip gloss will keep you looking polished and beautiful.  And 9 times out of 10 if people see photos of the reception of you and your lipstick on they’ll assume everything else has stayed on perfectly well.

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3.) Invest in your skin, get chemical with it.

I know this sounds obvious but it is so often overlooked.  If there’s ever a time to invest in your skin it is this period of your life.  Regular facials and a chemical peel here or there will do wonders for your skin (and your self-esteem.)  Here’s the kicker – you have to start as soon as you get engaged.  Most couples are engaged for a year.  This gives plenty of time to not only establish a consistent routine but also allows time if you happen to have a bad reaction with a product or treatment.  For the record, I have yet to have a bride ever do so. Setting up a peel schedule truly gives skin amazing results and it will yield a beautiful texture on your skin like nothing else.  The smoother your skin looks the better your foundation lays and stays on!  Perfect for close-ups such as this…

Photo by Jordan Alexandra Photography

 

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Smart Makeup

We are all busy.  We all need products in our life that work and that we can count on.  I recently ran out of my sunscreen and I wanted to try something with a little color this time.  I did my research because I personally don’t love spending a lot of $ on something no one even sees.  I came across the Physician’s Formula Super BB Cream and I immediately knew I would like it.  I’ve tried similar products from them before and I love how they focus on cleaner ingredients.  With this BB cream there’s no artificial smell, it’s not greasy and it doesn’t leave a white cast on my skin.

But here’s where it becomes smart makeup…

It’s spf but it’s tinted, and it covers superbly well.  If you have to wear sunscreen you might as well wear a little tint to keep you looking fresh and polished with it.  Now every time I wear it I know I’ll look a little more put together if I have to run a quick errand.  It doubles as a face primer, which then gives you beautiful double coverage on your complexion.  Smart, smart.  And my favorite part is that the spf level is 30.  If you’re going to wear sunscreen it has to be a 30, nothing less.  I also love the price point, $13 means I don’t fret nearly as much as the $36 tinted Tarte primer that I’ve blogged about before.  Yes I would consider it a dupe for that which is a big win in my eyes considering that I named that Tarte primer that best product I’ve ever used.

The color that I purchased (light) does run a little pink on me so I am sure to blend it in well past my jawline and I’m careful to not put too much product there because of it.  If I wear it with my regular foundation the pink undertone isn’t a problem.  You can also save time by putting a drop of this on your hand along with your regular foundation and it helps with blending as well!

Let me know what you think!


For help on finding your perfect foundation, click here!

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2016 BLUSH HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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IT’S HERE!!!

Today we cover some AMAZING gift ideas at unbeatable prices. I would consider this a gift that I have, finding these deals and steals. Originally I had planned not to include anything outside of makeup but then I realized that as a mother/daughter/sister/friend, we ALL need ideas for gift giving!

I shall step up to the plate and offer my sacrifice…

Here we go!

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1.) Brushed Metal Cake Stand, H&M $17.99

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A few ideas with this one: it makes a great hostess gift (especially if you add yummy treats on top), it can hold a small vase of flowers along with making a great table setting, it’s great to keep next your sink to hold your soap bottles…

I also love the idea of this as a gift for a mom (from siblings) with a few new perfume bottles on top & and don’t forget a pretty bow!

2.) Clarisonic (Mia 1) $109 with Coupon Code

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I cannot say enough great things about my Clarisonic face brush. Hands down nothing compares to how well it cleans your face and how soft it makes your skin feel. I was able to find an amazing discount code from Clarisonic’s website. Just enter the code “SHOPANDSAVE” at your checkout and receive $20 off! That beats any other online deal!

3.) Sonia Kashuk Lipliners $7.99 at Target

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I’ve blogged about these liners before and also here, and the fact that they are only $8 each (and carry an amazing color selection) means that you should have at least 2 or 3 on hand. Also great for stocking stuffers and girlfriends! The SK liners are also a great option for your wedding day!

4.) Honest Beauty Creme Blush $22

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Between this and the Tarte BB Tinted Primer I recently blogged about, I would say these are the top 2 best makeup products I’ve EVER used. The finish that this creme blush gives is second to none. It’s the best way to keep your skin looking hydrated in the winter months and it gives a beatuiful glow in the summer months as well. I love this color shown above “Truly Thrilling” for this winter season as well as the “Truly Exciting” shade.

5.) “All Nighter” ColourPop Eyeshadow Foursome $18

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Can we just take a moment for the simple fact that a regular-sized Urban Decay single eyeshadow retails for $18 at Sephora? And this ENTIRE SET is $18!! Ahh!! These colors are gorge-us and they have pigment like nobody’s business. My favorite way to wear these are wet and while doing so they take on a 2D effect. These shadows look best on the lid with a matte shade in the crease and they also work great as a bottom eyeliner. Best part? They’re all neutral and you can combine them with any other shades you already have at home!

6.) “The Good Times” Ultra Matte Lip Kit by ColourPop $18

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Quite honestly I don’t get it. I don’t understand how ColourPop puts out amazing products at such low prices. FIVE lipsticks for $18? Is it because they know we’ll be buyers for life and never buy another brand again?

I picked this set because you get a good variety of everything, a merlot, a poppy red, a dusty rose, a cool toned pink and a flattering nude. And I think any of these shades would pair perfectly with the eyeshadows and blush above!

I also love how CP always includes 3 different shaded skin tone swatches next to their products. This helps show how the color will “fall” on our own skin tones…

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7.) Penn Light 1 Globe Mini Pendant $79.20

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Obsessed doesn’t even begin to cover it with lights like these. I could probably put one of these guys in every single room in my house and it would just “work.”

I love it for a little boy or girl’s room and I also love it for kitchen lighting. It would look adorable with 2 or 3 in a row above an island or above your kitchen sink! See also: bathrooms.

8.) Viv + Rae Lily Cloudy Rug, $85 and up

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Ok so I just love this rug for a playroom. To me it embodies the magic of kids and it helps entice daydreaming. And you’ll be happy to hear it also comes in pink for us girlie girls!

9.) Star-Patterened Throw $24.99, H&M

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A few ideas for this blankie: it makes a great newborn gift (who says you can’t pre-buy?), it would look adorable hanging over a bench in the mudroom or, you can include it in the Christmas Eve pajama present for your kids along with a good book or movie to use it with.

10.) Pottery Barn Silver German Glitter Letter Ornaments, $2

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Man-oh-man are these a great gift idea! PERFECT for teachers or that someone who is hard to buy for. They look great on the tree and they also look magical hanging over your mantle. You can also use them to spell out a special word if you wish. Here is another initial ornament that’s similar as well…

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11.) “Bambi” Choker $33.50 @ Nordstrom

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If we’re going 90’s style it better be in solid gold. Case in point, this metallic choker. It’s neutral, it goes with everything and it’s a more stylish version of the ones you’ve already seen.

12.) H&M V-Neck Camisole Top, $12.99

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I think I need about 12 of these, for $13 bucks are you kidding me?? I love it for work (you better believe I’ll be sporting this in the facial room) and I love it for play of course. It’s great for date night and the shine makes it holiday appropriate…which brings me to gift #13.

13.) Leith Floppy Felt Hat, $12.98 (50% off) @ Nordstrom’s

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I got this hat for my birthday and have no fear, it’s as fabulous as it looks. At first I didn’t realize how stylish I would feel until I actually put it on and realized that I needed a better coat to accentuate it. Don’t you worry, I pulled through and found the CUTEST coats for it…

14.) Free People Midnight Bomber Jacket, $54.60

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At first I thought, “that gray hat has to be worn with a trenchcoat.” And then I nixed that idea because it was too predictable, I needed something a little more modern than that. I was lucky enough to stumble upon this bomber jacket and the fact that it comes in 3 colors!

I love all the colors but I think the red paired with the gray hat is very “Christmasy” but in a good way. Red is so festive and the gray hat keeps it toned down.

15.) H&M Mauve Faux Fur Jacket, $49.90

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I have to admit, I also love the idea of wearing that gray hat with this adorable dusted rose faux fur jacket. This would look so, SO cute with the previous metallic v-neck cami and gold choker! I’m daydreaming about it now…#addtocart.

16.) ASOS Chiffon Satin Pajama Set, $28

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Last but not least…

Listen, when I turned 30 (yesterday, literally) one of the first thoughts that honestly came to mind was how I needed a few pairs of nice satin pajamas and let me tell you why:

Nice pajamas make you feel extravagant, they are cozy, they help create a beautiful 24/7 wardrobe, they look beautiful no matter where they reside – in a closet or on a hanger, they hold value in that you strive for quality in all areas of your life.

How many of you watch a good movie with someone beautiful like Michelle Pfeiffer in it, and do you notice what she wears to bed? Sorry but it’s not your 2007 Turkey Trot 5K t-shirt. It’s often something in silk or chiffon and it assists in creating a relaxed and serene atmosphere before you fall asleep. These soft colors and silky fabrics help relax your mind and promote your way to more rejuvenating rest…and what’s better than rejuvenating rest?

All these gifts.

Just kidding.

Happy Shopping…


I hope you enjoyed this 2016 gift guide and comment below on what you plan to purchase for yourself or loved ones!

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BLUSHing Bride :: Miss Bethany

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Oh Happy Day! 

Bethany & Stephen are married!!

My recent bride Bethany was such a joy to work with as she is an absolute beam of light.  She is one of the happiest girls I’ve ever met and her enthusiasm is electric, it radiates around her. Bethany’s family could not have been more gracious or welcoming into their home, which was a relief with our massive setup (2 makeup artists and 2 hairstylists all in the kitchen!)

I adore meeting new families every weekend while seeing a glimpse of who they are and where they come from.  As wedding professionals we choose to spend our Saturdays away from our families, even if it might be our only day off together as a whole family, and it can be quite the sacrifice if you don’t 100% love what you do.  My heart is full because of clients like Bethany.

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“Today was a fairytale…”

Password for video is “BeauVaughn”

Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Loosbrock!! You have an amazing future ahead of you!!!


Makeup: Blush Spa & Eye Kandi Cosmetics

Hair: Julie Strohm & Kristy Shelton for Buffalo Mane

Photography: Beau Vaughn Photography

Video: Beau Vaughn Videography


 

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BLUSHing Bride :: Erica

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All throughout my makeup artistry career I have been beyond blessed with the clients I have worked with.  Every single bride I meet makes me want to go out and have coffee with her the next week.  Every single bride I meet is generously kind and she radiates from inside out.

Meet Erica.

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I. Just. Adore. Erica.  I am currently trying to figure out which Disney Princess category she falls under. Erica has beautiful taste and she was such a dear to work with.  She also earned bonus points from me because she remembered to purchase the lip products we used at her trial to have for touch-ups on her big day.  This is vital girlfriends!

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Like always, we played up Erica’s best features.  For her skin, we kept it a dewy glow with the Tarte Amazonian Clay Tinted Moisturizer.  I have blogged about this TM before and y’all should know by now how much I love this foundation.  Technically it’s a tinted moisturizer but it covers like a foundation and because it’s such a lightweight formula, it photographs beautifully.

For her eyes, we kept them soft and smoky and added false lashes.  Lashes always elevate your look and they are what makes a bride look like a bride.

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For her cheeks, I used a stain by Lorac called Rosy Glow.  It’s a powder stain and and it’s the perfect amount of rose and shimmer for someone who is more olive-toned or who has a darker skin tone.

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For lips, we stuck with a neutral shade and we used a combination of Makeup Forever lipliner, lipstick, and NYX gloss.  And as if Erica couldn’t be any more adorable, her hubby does in fact have a man-bun. Hashtag YES. #moderndayjohnnyandjune

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Congratulations to the happy & beautiful couple!

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Credits

 

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Lipliner :: The Natural Way

I love me a good lipliner.  How else are you supposed to “turn that frown upside down?” Women who use lipliner are women who have it together.  Much like a picture frame shapes a picture, so does liner to the lips and face.

Today I want to give you a few easy steps for making lipliner look natural but also believable. More than half the battle is finding a good color so that it doesn’t look too obvious.

In the picture above I used Sonia Kashuk’s liner in “Pink Whisper.”  I also frequently use Makeup Forever lipliners in “2C” and “3C.”

Here are my top tips!

  1. Line lips but do so at your discretion.  You can line the outer rim of your lips if you really want to go for it (this is called cheating the line) or you can just trace the shape directly onto the perimeter.  If you are “cheating the line” the liner will be more on your skin than the lips itself.
  2. Make sure you really define the bottom of your lower lip, just above the center of the chin.  Don’t be afraid to make this area a little extra dark with the liner.
  3. Blend and diffuse the line gently with your ring finger.
  4. Apply lip balm and diffuse anywhere that needs a little softness.
  5. (Optional) Apply a shimmery ivory eyeshadow onto the cupid’s bow for extra dimension.

And that’s it!

It sounds so simple but by doing these few easy steps your lips will resemble that of Rosie Huntington Whiteley’s!  *A little birdie told me this is actually how she does her lips too, and when I say “little birdie” I mean stalking RHW’s makeup artist on YouTube.  You’re welcome.

 

Your lips will look so natural but also have a beautiful shape to them. Cheers to looking like a natural goddess!

 

 

 

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BLUSHing Bride :: Alli

I recently had the pleasure of doing makeup for Miss Alli’s wedding and let me tell you, Alli is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met.  Nothing makes my job more joyful than laughing all day and this girl had me in stitches.

Alli has beautiful, beautiful eyes and skin and it makes me wonder if she even needed makeup that day.  But let’s get real, wedding days are for full-on glam and Miss A brought that! I thought her dress and hair were SO perfect and they blended together seamlessly.

As always, we focused on the eye makeup with big lashes.  Alli’s dark hair is a statement all it’s own and provides its own amount of flair.  The cheeks are dusted a pretty warm rose color while the lips are complimented with a nude + pink gloss combination.

Enjoy these snapshots below by Jason Domingues Photography.  You can also follow them on Insta @kansascityphotography.

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Current Necessities

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So I decided to compile a list of my current favorite products and once I was finished, I looked it over and realized how obsessed I actually was with this list.

I love these current 5 things so much that I could’ve made this the “Top 5 Products for 2016.” Folks, this post is that good.  And because of it, they are not current favorites, they are current necessities.

Enjoy.

1.) Sally Hansen “Miracle Gel” Nail Polish in Pinky Promisecurrent necessities (1)I have been on a recent mission to find the perfect brand of nail polish that fits my lifestyle.  I know it sounds silly but I NEED a polish that lasts more than a day and doesn’t take forever to dry.  This Sally Hansen brand has been a lifesaver because it coats the nail so well in two coats that there’s no need for a base or a top coat, seriously!

*Make sure you let the first coat fully dry before you apply the second.

 

2.) Makeup Forever Lipstick in “N4”N4Guys, this lipstick….ohhhh this lipstick.  I adore it!  It has looked fabulous on a countless # of my makeup clients.  It is the perfect pinky beige and it pairs so well with a gloss too!  Refer back to my post on the NYX lip glosses to see what you could wear it with!  And let me tell you why you shouldn’t buy a “nude lipstick” from a drugstore brand…because 9 times out of 10 it’s either too frosty or too sheer.  Save your wallet the heartache.

 

3.) “5 Habits of a Woman Who Doesn’t Quit” by Nicki Koziarz5habits

Truly, I have never read a better book than this one right here.  I’m still debating on whether or not I want I should dedicate an entire post to this book.  It’s life-changing, it’s mind-opening, and it’s the kind where you will highlight the entire book.  After I read this book I could not believe all the things I quit without even realizing it.  This book has changed me from the inside out and I want to share one of my favorite snippets from the book:

“She is able to look into the future with confidence because she is determined to become the vessel for what she has been created to do.  She’s not tossing pennies into the wishing well of life.  Her focus is contagious, and she has the ability to stick with things long enough to master them.  She understands that the days, weeks, months, and years aren’t here forever.  And the passions within her have the ability to become forgotten daydreams.”

 

4.) Stella & Dot “Geometric Crosby Bag” on sale for $75Crosby

My mom bought this bag when it first came out and I have been so in love with it ever since.  I love how clean and simple it looks but nevermind the fact that it’s still just sooo cute!  I think it’s a great bag to transition with between summer and fall and I love the idea of pairing it with skinny jeans, camel booties, and an ivory silk blouse for fall.  (I’m not the only one who plans out an entire outfit from a bag, am I?)

My sister is a Stella & Dot stylist so please contact me to order if you’re interested!

 

5.) Gold Decor Accentsbunbun

For Easter this year my mom bought me, herself and my sister this adorable gold bunny as a gift.  Even though we got it in the spring, all 3 of us still have it out for display in our homes.  I love the idea of meaningful (and beautiful) gifts in your home and there’s nothing more fabulous than little pops of bling if you ask me!

The little bun bun from above is from Hobby Lobby.  I’m not 100% sure if it’s still in stock but you’re bound to find something similar!