color combo crush: mint + pink

I've really been into the color-blocking trend this season.Whether its soft pastels or bright neons, I feel like you can look put togetherin an effortless way by just pairing the right two (or three) colors together in an outfit. What colors are you loving lately? 

top: shopstyle{similar}
shorts: h&m
necklace:forever 21
bangles:forever 21
ring:forever 21
nail polish: butter london in "teddy girl" 


diy: makeup brush holder

Maybe I’m the minority, but I have quite the candle collection from Bath& Body Works. Their 3-wick Slatkin & Co candles are my favorite. The glass jars are a good size, and I knew there had to be a way to use them again rather than just throw away once I finish burning them. A little Google searching, and I found a way to re-use these empty candles. 

What you need: your used candle, a freezer, small sharp knife, soap & water

Here’s how I did it:  

1. Place your candle in the freezer for at least an hour. I leave mine overnight.

 2. Now that the wax has shrunk, take your candle out of the freezer and start literally stabbing the wax randomly. It should easily crack and crumble to pieces.

3. Once you’ve stabbed it a lot and have it down to just small pieces of wax, dump it in the trash. Remove any extra wax that is just sticking around the jar.

4. You’re left with 3 wicks. Some will just pop right off with the knife. If they don’t come off that easy, soak them in extremely hot water for 10 minutes to melt the glue. Peel them off using your nails. 

5. Now peel off those two stickers. The front label should peel off easily. The bottom label will just require using your nails and scraping off any excess stickiness. I do this part under the water. 

6. Now just give it a good hand wash with soap and water. Voila! 

I use mine to hold my brushes, but you could use these for virtually anything you want -- nail polishes, bobby pins or other hair accessories, or any nick knacks. 

Let me know if you try this one out!


summer skin care

I’ve finally gotten into a skincare routine for the summertime. One thing I put on my new year’s resolution list (yes, I made one) was to be better about taking my makeup off every single night. If I’ve failed at everything else on that list, removing my makeup and sticking to a routine hasn’t been one of them. Whew! Hopefully, I don’t fall out of the routine. My products switch up from time to time, but I tend to stick to the stuff I really love.
And, here they are…

Pond’s Cold Cream: I really like this for removing eye makeup. It’s super affordable, and even the small container feels like it could last forever. Classic affordable makeup remover that you can find anywhere.  

Neutrogena Naturals Makeup Remover Face Wash: This is my new favorite face wash specifically for removing makeup when I’m in the shower. I even prefer this one over the high end Philosophy Purity face wash, which is very similar. This one truly removes every trace of makeup that other removers may leave behind.

Neutrogena Daily Scrub: I switch up the scrubs I use, but it’s usually a Neutrogena or St. Ive’s product. They’re gentle scrubs that exfoliate really well. I exfoliate almost everyday because it’s important to get the dead skin off of your face at the end of the day. Gentle daily scrubs are the way to go!

Clinique Acne Solutions Clarifying Lotion: Toners are important to use to restore the pH balance on your skin after you wash it. This one is part of the Clinique 3-step acne solutions system. Love this and highly recommend it.

Juice Beauty Blemish Clearing Serum: I discovered this product in a Birchbox a few months ago, and it’s the only “blemish clearing serum” that’s worked for me. I dab this on any pimples I have and they are usually gone within 1-2 days.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray: I just started using this spray, but can already tell I’ll repurchase this many times. I was on the hunt for a facial spray with rosewater and am so glad I settled on this one. It contains rosewater, aloe, and herbs, which are all really good for your skin. It’s $7 at Ulta for the 4 oz. (aka a steal!)

Mary Kay Timewise Anti-Aging Moisturizer: Oh moisturizer. If I could only bring 3 things on a deserted island, moisturizer would be it. No matter if you have dry, combination, or oily skin, moisturizer is the single most important step in skincare (after washing, of course). Your skin needs a moisturizer to help balance the oils it produces. I use this one twice a day (morning and night). I’ve repurchased this many times and have yet to find another that comes close to this one. 

And, that's it! Hope you found this helpful. Do you use any of the same products? What are your favorites? 


favorite summer nail polish

Before I get into this particular post, let me just tell you a major side effect of reading fashion and beauty blogs. I think every blogger (or blog reader) has that one item that they never seemed to “need” for the first 20 years of their life… but, now all a sudden, they find themselves obsessing over. For me, it’s definitely nail polish. Something about those bright shades of colors all in a row on display staring me down when I walk in a store. It just sucks me in. Anyways. Now for my favorite colors for the summertime! For me it’s all about the pastels (shocker!) and neons. I’ve somehow narrowed it down to nine colors, so here they are: 

1. Gargantuan Green Grape by OPI: I wanted to start with this polish because it is my absolute favorite right now. This is a bright mint green color. It’s the perfect mint without being too much on the nails. You really only need one coat for complete opacity. Love love love. Did I mention this is my favorite? 

2. Shocking Pink by China Glaze: If you want that perfect neon pink for summer, this is it. It looks so good on tan skin. The name hits the nail on the head. It’s definitely BRIGHT, so I have only worn this on my toes. Great consistency and opaque in one coat. I highly recommend this one!

3. Coastal Surf by Revlon: I’m not big on blue nail polish. I bought this one on a whim at Target when I had a coupon and didn’t really see any other colors I wanted. So I guess I decided to buy blue (even though I’m not a fan of blue polish)..? See what I mean by buying things you never “needed” before? Anyway, I love this one. It’s a nice summertime blue color without looking tacky.

4. Play Date by Essie: It’s hard to describe the exact color of this polish. To me, it’s a bright-kind-of-pastel purple. I really love this one because it’s super opaque in just one coat.

5. Fear or Desire by Essie: Pantone says that Tangerine Tango is the 2012 Color of the Year. I don’t think I own any true orange colors other than this one. This is a GREAT tangerine tango color. Looks great on the toes and is very opaque in one coat.

6. Cute as a Button by Essie: I admit that sometimes I buy polishes because they have cute names. Luckily, this is a cute name AND an awesome "coral pink" polish. It’s opaque and looks so pretty on the nails.

7. Van D’ Go by Essie: There’s something about the pale peachy-pink colors that get me. I have way too many. But this is my favorite! … for now J

8. A Cut Above by Essie: I honestly do not like glitter nail polishes. They can look nice, but I find them very difficult to remove. This one is an exception. I LOVE this glitter polish. It’s great for layering over a pale pink or gold color. I usually wear this on just one nail as an “accent.” Saves the headache of removing the glitter and it looks really nice as just an accent!

9. Alpine Snow by OPI: Every girl needs a good red and pink polish in their collection. But, what about a white? I don’t really wear just white polish, even though it's a trend right now. But it’s a good idea to keep a white in your collection. Use white as a base coat, then layer one of those sheer polishes you have (but hardly wear because you thought it was too sheer). The white polish will help any polish appear true to color. 

What polishes do you wear most in the summer? Let me know!


summer hair care

1.    Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray: My hair grows probably faster than the average, and I truly believe it’s because I do my best to protect it from heat damage. If you regularly use straighteners or curling irons, now would be a good time to start using heat protecting spray, if you don’t already. There are all kinds to choose from, but I’ve re-purchased this Tresemme spray because it is perfection. It distributes an even mist onto your hair, is lightweight, and… it’s a grand total of $3.99! If that doesn’t say “buy me!” then I don’t know what does. Keep a bottle in your beach bag and spray in your hair throughout the day. You have to protect those delicate strands from the sun’s heat, also!

2.    John Freida Leave-In Conditioning Spray: Leave-in conditioner is so effortless. After a wash, I spray this on the ends of my hair, wrap it up in a turbie twist, and let it sit for about 10 minutes before I blow dry. I spray this every time I wash my hair. It leaves the ends feeling silky smooth and has made my ends much healthier over time.

3.    Moroccan Oil: Okay, this may be God’s gift to hair, seriously. I use Moroccan oil for taming flyaways after straightening or curling. It adds the “good oils” to your hair without making it look greasy; and it’s packed with nutrients. You can purchase this on Amazon or find similar brands at Ulta.

4.    Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo: I love this shampoo for weeks when I went crazy with the hair spray or scrunching spray. Using too many hair products can leave build up that makes it harder to style your hair, even on good hair days. This shampoo is meant to be used once a week, and it’s fabulous!

5.    Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Deeeeep Conditioner: A deep conditioner is also good to use during your shower once a week. The 3 Minute Miracle is a great option and very affordable. On Sunday nights, I shampoo with the Neutrogena Residue Shampoo, and then apply this as my conditioner. The only negative side to this product is its smell. To me, it smells like buttered popcorn. While I do love me some popcorn, not exactly what I want my hair to smell like. The good thing as that I don’t find that the smell remains on my hair once I rinse it out.

6.    Aussie Catch the Wave Scrunch Spray: If you are lucky enough to have hair that doesn’t always require a straightener a curling iron, and can leave those natural waves flowing, then go for it! I do this on days when I don’t feel like breaking out the straightener, AKA just plain lazy. I just started using this one after reading rave reviews, and so far so good!

7.    Macadamia Deep Repair Hair Masque: Hair masks are great for anyone with dry or damaged hair. It’s enriched with macadamia and argan oils, and helps reconstruct hair by “ultra-conditioning” it. I’ll do a hair mask every 2 or 3 weeks, or just whenever I can remember. You can leave it in for 15 minutes or even an hour or two, depending on the time you have.

8.    Wide tooth comb: One thing I preach, but don’t always practice, is using a wide tooth comb on wet hair. You should really never use a dense brush on wet hair. Any wide tooth comb will do—one from CVS, Target, wherever. I keep an extra one in my beach bag, of course J

What do you use the most during the summer to keep it healthy and protected from the sun? Leave me some comments and let me know. :)


june birchbox

My June Birchbox arrived in my mailbox on Monday. Birchbox is a monthly beauty box subscription. You pay $10.00 a month (can unsubscribe at any time) for “4-5 deluxe sample size” beauty products. I’ve been with Birchbox for 8 months, and I really look forward to each month’s box. Through Birchbox, I have discovered new brands and products that work for me that I never would have picked out myself. 

What I love most about Birchbox: After you receive your box, you can go on their website and give feedback about your products. You earn 10 points per feedback and you can use those points toward the purchase of full-size products in the Birchbox shop.

The packaging: The box you receive is cardboard with the Birchbox logo. They’re super cute and reusable. Right now I use them to store receipts and organize my nail polish in drawers. Everything is wrapped in pink tissue paper, which I also reuse. Each box also comes with a card with a list of the products, their full-size price, and a description.

The Theme: Each box has a theme. This month is “Jet Set.” Products included brands from around the world and travel friendly essentials.
(Side note: Sometimes Birchbox will team up with a company and create a “special theme box.” The most recent boxes were Gossip Girl and Teen Vogue. Those boxes have been my favorite so far, which I received a full-size Essie nail polish and full-size Tarte Lipsurgence balm stain.)

What I got in my June Birchbox:

Comodynes Self-Tanning Towlettes: full-size pack of 8 is $14.99
o   I don’t use much self-tanner, but I’m trying to get into it more. I’ll probably try this out at the end of summer to keep the tan up.  
      - Eyeko Fat Eye Stick in black: full-size is $15
o   While this looks like a full-size product (woohoo!), I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of this. Shadow sticks don’t last too long on my oily eyelids. But, I might get a wild hair and give it a try. Love a good matte black shadow.
      - Likewise Facial Moisturizer: full-size is $44
o   I have a pretty set face routine, and rarely decide to incorporate new moisturizers for fear of breaking out. But again, maybe I’ll get a wild hair.      
      -  theBalm Stainiac cheek/lip stain: full-size is $17
o   I’m most excited to try this product. I don’t own any cheek stains and have heard this is comparable to Benefit’s Benetint.

Each box contains a “lifestyle extra.” So, you are technically not paying for it. It’s just thrown in as an extra. This month was a “Tili Bag.” The card says to use the bag to store travel essentials when going through airport security. To me, it just looks like a fancy Ziploc bag! I’ll probably keep it in my beach bag and use it to put a wet bathing suit in or something. 

Well, that’s it for this month’s Birchbox. If you’re interested in signing up, click here! Don’t forget to comment and subscribe to my blog! Let me know how I’m doing. :) 


summer makeup

For my first official blog post, what better way to start than with some seasonal tips? Summer has not “officially” begun yet, but according to Louisiana, summer began about 2 months ago. Usually in the summer, my makeup routine gets lighter and I prefer to use fewer products. Less is definitely more this time of year. I need medium coverage to help conceal scars and redness, but I don’t want it to melt away in the first few minutes of being in the sun. These are a few products I depend on daily to help my makeup last all day without going overboard on the application. Check back soon to see my recommendations for skincare and hair care!

1: Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer: Foundation primer is key to helping a liquid foundation last all day, especially if you have combination/oily skin. The right primer will smooth out any lines in your face, and create a nice texture for your foundation to “stick” to. Smashbox Photo Finish Color Correcting is my all-time favorite, but it can be expensive. I use the color correcting green bottle as the green cancels my redness from acne scars. If this isn’t the case for you, I recommend the original clear bottle. I’ve used it and love it also!

2: Revlon ColorStay Foundation (for Combination/Oily Skin): Okay, before I start confessing my love affair with this product, I’ll just say: Go get this now! The Revlon ColorStay line itself is one of my favorite drugstore lines. Here’s a few reasons why this is my go-to foundation for everyday: long wearing, easy to blend (must work fast), medium-full coverage, lightweight, wide color selection, and has SPF 15. You can find it at any drugstore, Target, or Ulta. (If you only need light coverage with some color, I recommend a good tinted moisturizer, like this one or this one.)

3: Laura Mercier translucent powder: Setting your foundation with a loose translucent powder is optional. Us oily skin girls sometimes see it as a must. I bought this one at Sephora over a year ago, use it almost everyday, and I still have a ton of product left. As a mineral powder, it’s superfine and sheer, so it will really help set a liquid foundation and prolong the wear of your makeup.

4: Tarte Park Ave Princess Bronzer: As you probably already know, it’s best to use bronzer where the light will naturally hit your face: cheekbones (forego the blush), bridge of nose, temples and up to the forehead, and the chin. This Tarte bronzer is matte, blends well, and gives a natural finish. Tarte is one of my favorite high-end brands. Their products are formulated without parabens, phthalates or synthetic fragrances. Seriously love this stuff!

5: Urban Decay Eye Shadow Primer in Eden: I swear by eye primer. I have extremely oily eyelids as the day goes on. You may not be the same. But, eye primer can be just as important as foundation primer. Because of oil that builds up during the day, my eye shadow used to last 4 hours at best. This Urban Decay primer is the best I've found so far. Now my shadows last 12+ hours. 

6: Urban Decay 24/7 Eyeliner: Eyeliner is certainly not a “must” for everyday. But I love me some eyeliner on most days. I use this Urban Decay pencil liner because it’s quick and easy to apply on the waterline, and it does not smudge, even after about 8 hours.

7: L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Mascara: The L’oreal Voluminous Carbon Black mascara is my “Holy Grail” mascara. No matter how many others I try, I always go back to this one, even over the high-end brands. The waterproof version is no different. I like the waterproof usually just on the weekends or for days at the pool.

8: Urban Decay All Nighter or De-Slick setting spray: A setting spray is optional. I recommend using one when you’ll be out all day and night, and don’t want to touch up or even think about your makeup. This Urban Decay spray is formulated without parabens, sulfates, and synthetic dyes. Gotta love that.

9: EOS lip balm: Those check out lines get me every time. Ever since spotting this “egg looking thing” at Ulta, the EOS lip balm has easily become my preferred lip balm for the summer. I love the lemon drop scent because it is super moisturizing, has SPF 15, and it smells amazing. Ulta, drugstores, and Target carry these balms.

10: NYX Green Tea blotting paper: Gone are the days of touching up with a powder. I suggest keeping blotting sheets in your purse instead. Once during the day, I’ll use a sheet to soak up excess oils and keep my makeup looking fresh. I use the NYX Green Tea sheets, which you can buy at Ulta.

So, that’s it for my makeup essentials for the summer. I’ll share some skincare and haircare products next. What would you add? Leave me some comments! I love seeing what kind of products other people use and trust.

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the start of something new.

Hey everyone!

First, I want to say THANK YOU for checking out my blog. I’ve been reading so many different beauty, fashion, and home decor blogs for so long, and have become addicted and inspired. I decided to start my own and see where it goes. I’m always finding such great things that I feel every girl should know about. I’m definitely an amateur blogger, so this site may change daily until I get it just right. I’ll be learning as I go, so any feedback you can give me is appreciated! Is there anything you want to see me write about? Any special requests or tips you want me to share? Please subscribe (see left side bar), comment, and don’t be afraid to spread the word! :)

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