Stila "In The Light"

Confession time, remember how I said in a previous post that I often fill my shopping cart with items that I never actually purchase? Well I did that with the Stila In The Light Palette... * for two years. Yep, it took me two years to pull the trigger on this palette.
So pretty....

My Favorite Drugstore Mascaras

I happen to be a firm believer that the drugstore is where it's at when it comes to mascara. I buy a new one more frequently than I should and truth be told, I'm not even sorry! Here are my top picks...
This makes me want to go put on some mascara, brb!

My Favorite Essie Nail Polish

Fun fact, I wasn't really into nail polish until about six months ago. I'm not really sure why, it just wasn't really on my radar. My nails are really terrible too, they are brittle and they peel often. It takes a lot of work to get them to grow out even a little past my fingertips. However, now that I'm in nursing school and were constantly all washing our hands (which is great!) my nails got even worse. I decided I needed to care for them more and so I purchased "Mademoiselle" by Essie. Our guidelines are to wear only light pink or nude nail polishes in clinical so most of the time I wear those colors.

"Mademoiselle" is a nice color but I find it too frustrating to use regularly. It takes me about 3 coats to get any color and since I am terribly impatient, I never wait long enough for the coats to dry, effectively, essentially ruining my manicure 10 minutes after it's applied.

Enter Essie's "Ladylike". I don't know what it is about this color but I think it's just so classy! It gives me color, but is not so obvious that my professors yell at me ;) It's also perfect coverage with two coats and I find it very long lasting with a top coat.

On the topic of top coats, I used Seche Vite Dry Fast Top Coat * for a while but I have a terrible habit of picking at my nails and this fused everything into one layer which I could too easily peel off.... I know it's not really a problem with the top coat but I switched to Sally Hansen's Insta-Dri *, which I find just a little more long lasting and difficult to peel off whenever I'm bored or nervous.

Am I the only one with this awful habit!?



(this post contains affiliate links, designated with an *, all product were purchased by me and opinions are 100% my own)

My most used makeup brushes

When I first started really getting into makeup, it felt overwhelming to pick a makeup brush... I know it sounds crazy but I watch a lot of YouTube tutorials and everyone kept recommending really expensive brushes. As previously stated, I'm a student and so if I can save some money on brushes but still achieve a flawless look, I will! First off, organizing your brushes can be a real pain.... after much trial and error I found that the easiest way to store them was upright in some cute mugs.
These mugs are from T.J. Maxx and Ross- cheap and cute!

As you can see, I have quite a few brushes but considering how much makeup I have, I think it's shocking that I don't have more! Now onto a breakdown of what I work with...

It goes without saying that just about everyone knows now that Real Techniques brushes are the best bang for your buck. Designed by Sam and Nic Chapman (Pixiwoo on YouTube), they are without a doubt the most professional-looking brushes for a drugstore price point.  I personally use at least three of these brushes every single day and whenever I use them on my friends, they always comment on how soft they are. An extra bonus for me is how easy they are to clean, the metal carries so far up the shaft that I don't have to worry about water getting into the seal and breaking down the glue! Score! I have the Real Techniques core collection set * and the starter set. * 
Look how cute!

And may I throw in my latest love from Real Techniques, their * miracle complexion sponge! I have never owned or used a beauty blender but this little guy is wonderful!

so cute right??
After Real Techniques, I get the most use out of my Sonia Kashuk brushes from Target. I usually wait until one of the brush collectionsgoes on sale. They usually release these around holidays or seasonally and if you're very patient, you can get anywhere from 6-10 brushes for around $15.00 or even less! A few of my favorites are below...

This random guy is a Mirabella brush that I got in an Ipsy bag and I use it every day for adding color to my crease and outer V! I want to get some more but these brushes are super expensive, at least to me....* crying inside*
So sleek right?!

I have some E.L.F. brushes too and those are nice but I honestly don't use them enough to justify posting about them, HOWEVER if you are on a very, very tight budget, go get them! They are actually pretty amazing and no brand can match that price point. I used them without any issues until I purchased these and if they do fall apart a little sooner, it's not such a big deal as they are so inexpensive to replace. You literally cannot go wrong here.

And don't forget that the cheapest and most reliable/versatile tools are attached to your hands! So if all else fails or you forget a brush, use your fingers! *might be tricky with eyeliners...



(may contain affiliate links, indicated by a *, all opinions are 100% my own always!)

Items I Would Buy First If My Bank Account Was Bottomless

I swear, I only fill the online shopping carts with items, I rarely check them out! I can't be the only one who does this, you go to your favorite websites and just click away, adding things to your cart like you can afford them! Except you never check out. Of course then you remember your poor lonely cart and if the company is smart, they send you sad emails like, "your cart is still waiting for you!" or, "Don't you still want this magical unicorn pillow?!"

In a perfect world I think I would 1. never gain weight regardless of what I ate and 2. have endless amounts of money, which is incredibly vain but still....

In recent events, here are is a compilations of the things I have recently been fake shopping for! Links are below! Not affiliate!)

Upper Left Corner: Besame Brightening Vanilla Face Powder- Let's be honest, I am a sucker for packaging so... I really just want this because it's so pretty! But according to Sephora this is "a velvety soft powder for all skin types that features a yellow tint that works to control redness." I have very fair skin and I am prone to redness so this seems like a fun thing to try!

Bottom Left Corner: Becca Shimmering Skin Perfecter in Moonstone- Every single beauty blogger and YouTuber is talking about this so... I want it now too naturally! Who doesn't love a highlighter??

Middle: Tartelette Palette-  Ditto to everyone and their sister is talking about this but... again I want it. I do have Tarte's Rainforest After Dark palette and I love their shadows and it is pretty difficult to find a matte shadow palette. It seems like I can't go wrong with this palette.

Upper Right Corner: Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara- I am not even going to pretend to be mature about this one... I actually only want to try this because of the name. I mean the packaging looks pretty dang adorable too but.... yeah, that's the only reasons this mascara is on my wishlist! I can't be alone on that right?

Bottom Right Corner: Chloe Eau de Parfum-  I never wear scents, one because my fiance is pretty picky about them and two, I'm in nursing school and in general we are advised not to wear scents that might irritate our patients. However, sometimes a girl just wants to use a really amazing perfume and feel all dolled up, just for herself. I feel like this perfume is my "I'm a classy lady" wishlist item. It just looks so chic. Confession time: I've never even smelled it! Again, this is one of those things all the girls I trust on YouTube talk about and so I want it. Plus, even if I did hate it, I would still get classy bonus points because of how fancy it is!

What are you all lusting for??



My Morning Skincare Routine

A little bit about my skin... When i was a teenager, I fought the good fight that I think 90% of us do... acne. I remember that I was so self conscious about my pimples and they felt like all anyone would ever be able to see on my face. (Lookning back it really wasn't that severe) I basically tried to murder the acne with really harsh face washes and scrubs. I remember thinking that if I could feel my skin burning a little, then it must be working. I know, I know, it's truly awful and I cringe remembering this.

My skin is much happier now and I have a few things to credit:
1. I started becoming obsessed with makeup which led me to beauty blogs which led me to skincare blogs which led me to....

Caroline Hirons - Words are not sufficient to say how influential this amazing woman has been in my lack of funds.... she recommends something and everyone is scrambling to get their hands on it! However, this is all for a very good reason. She has so much knowledge about skincare and some really sounds principles on how to get the best from your skin's appearance. Caroline is also the one who taught me to be gentle on my skin and give it hydration and TLC whenever possible. Because of her I use an exfoliating toner, moisturizing toner, and hydraluron serum( for which she has an amazing review here). All of these have caused my skin to improve tenfold!

2. I started reading some natural skincare blogs as well and while I definitely don't have the greenest makeup routine, I do credit them with giving me the confidence to mix my own facial serum, which  use in the mornings!
Check out:
No More Dirty Looks

Genuine Glow

Crunchy Betty

These are just a few of the blogs and I will go more in-depth on my serum in a moment

3. I make a conscious effort to drink more water. It's so bland and everyone always harps on it but there it is, I said it!

So in the morning I go through my entire skincare routine before I eat breakfast. I use oil on my face morning and evening so this gives everything a chance to soak in before I do my makeup! I start of washing my face with a mild cleanser, I used to use african black soap but this time of year it's so cold and dry that the soap is simply too harsh. I recently purchased the Neutrogena Naturals Purifyng Cream Cleanser * and this has been really nice on my skin, it feels refreshing but not stripping.
I already made it gross:(

Then I go in with my Body Shop Vitamin E toner *, which I like because it starts to return some moisture to my sleepy skin. I follow it with a spritz of Rosewater * with Glycerin. Roses are great for skin texture and appearance and the glycerin is, again, good for locking in moisture! (Notice a theme?)

After that I like to apply my serum and an eye cream. I love Acure and their eyecream is pretty legit. Do I need an eyecream yet? I think it's debatable so I use one. The worst thing that can happen is I prevent some wrinkles right?

The next step is my serum, which I mix in this very fancy Aura Cacia argan oil bottle. I like the pump and since the largest component is the argan oil anyways, it makes sense to put it all in here. I use two pumps in the morning.

 Here's my serum: (Please note: if you have very sensitive skin you would definitely want to test these products and probably reduce the ratios! My skin is not terribly sensitive so I use more than most when it comes to the essential oils)
  •  1/2 bottle argan oil (this is very moisturizing and all around great for your skin)
  • 10-15 drops of lavender (soothes redness and helps with acne)
  • 20 drops rosehip (this is really great for scarring, which I do typically have since I pick at my spots)
  • 10-15 drops carrot seed oil (this really boosts hydration)
  • 10 drops seabuckthorn oil (good for hydration and boosting texture/evenness of the skin)
  • 10-15 drops rosemary (good for acne)
  • 10-15 drops eucalyptus (good for acne)
  • 10 drops citrus oil (good for brightening)
Be sure to store the oils and the serum somewhere cool. I order all my oils off of Vitacost! 

I follow up with this Simple moisturizer and then I let everything soak into my skin for at least ten minutes!


(may contain affiliate links, indicated by a *, all opinions are 100% my own and I purchased all the products myself!)

The Naked Palette.... My smartest makeup investment

I wish I could just jump through the screen and tell you in person... the Urban Decay Naked palette is still the number one best beauty product I ever invested in.
Here it is, very well-loved!

Hello gorgeous!
As you can probably tell, this palette has received some love over the past two years that I've owned it. I honestly can't believe that I still haven't hit pan on some of these incredible colors. I know this palette has been swatched and talked about for several years now but I feel like I wouldn't be doing it justice if I didn't make it my first legitimate beauty post. This post by Temptalia has much better swatches than I can currently manage and so I do refer you there for an in-depth analysis of the shades and quality however, I can vouch for this being a truly worthy investment.

Urban Decay palettes are expensive, there's no two ways around that. As a full-time student and newly engaged (eek!!), I don't have a lot of cash lying around. However, I don't hesitate to invest in any of the naked palettes. I love the texture of these shadows and while I do have the Naked 3 and Naked Basics, I think this is still the best investment. The shadows are so pretty and I can easily do a more casual every-day look, or a more glamorous and intense look. The shades "Half Baked' and "Gunmetal" are also ones that I wouldn't usually reach for so it's nice to have them in here, it forces me to become more comfortable with using different colors. 

I am not a trained makeup artist but I play with a lot of makeup and I have to say that my beauty addiction has landed me a few gigs putting makeup on brides and their wedding party members. This palette always goes with me no matter what.... I know I can find a shade in here that works for everyone and will stay in put all day with some primer! If you're just starting to venture into more high-end makeup and don't know where to begin, may I humbly suggest with this palette? 



All products were purchased with my own money and all opinions are my own! If ever a link is an affiliate link I will mark it with a *

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Getting started....

We all start somewhere don't we? Everyone has a beginning to their next great adventure, a moment when they make a decision and then pursue that passion or dream. This is my dream, this blog. I hope to make it a place that is lovely to visit and fun to read. Maybe you have a cup of hot tea or a frothy cappuccino and you want to spend those ten free minutes sipping your drink and having a good read. Maybe you feel uninspired and want to read something uplifting or look at a beautiful picture. I want this to be that place!
My favorite mug, courtesy of my sister-in-law! Find it here!

I buy far too much makeup and from time to time, I probably wear too much makeup too! I don't let this stand in my way and I trudge onward and upward to better things. I am ALWAYS looking for the next great beauty item and, of course, no beauty item can be applied well unless the canvas beneath is healthy and beautiful too. So this is my justification for buying way too much skincare as well. All of this culminates in countless hours on beauty and lifestyle blogs, looking for the next great product. This also brought to my attention the fact that even with so many wonderful bloggers out there today, I couldn't always find what I wanted. Instead of getting frustrated, I decided to be proactive and make my own blog!

So here's to trying to fill in the gaps of my constant beauty research and here's to all my future readers who haven't found me yet but hopefully will!



There are no affiliate links in this post