May Ulta Haul

Monday, May 23, 2016
I have talked to so many friends and family that always tell me how lost and clueless they feel in Ulta. I'm personally more familiar with the store than my own bedroom but don't judge me. I have always been open to experimenting with makeup and I'm a sucker for a pretty package. Because confusion seems to be a widespread side effect of what I think is the most amazing place on the planet, today I am going to share with you a "Haul" post from my most recent trip to hopefully give you a few ideas on some new items and some brands to look for!

1. Urban Decay Naked Skin Concealer
This is where is ALL started. I went in to Ulta just for this one little product. Of course, we all know that you can never just buy 1 thing when you visit a store with that many options. I have been hearing so much about this stuff that I just wanted to try it for myself. I bought a few shades lighter than my skin (Light Warm). It is full coverage and it very easily buildable. It's not too thick at all. I think I am going to love it but it's obviously too soon to tell! You can get it for yourself at Ulta, of course, or order it online here for $28.

2. Hoola Bronzer By Benefit
I walk past the Benefit shelves every single time that I go into Ulta but after watching some YouTube videos that highly recommended this product I finally decided to give it a chance. There is literally only one color (Hoola) and it comes in the cutest little box. I haven't worn it out anywhere but the color payoff is amazing! I can already tell that this stuff will last me a long while. This is definitely the perfect shade for any skin tones. A lot of times bronzers have too much red or orange tones and give my skin a muddy look but this one is great. I am pretty sure it will end up in my May Favorites. You can get this product here for $29.

3. Too Faced Candlelight Glow Highlighting Powder Duo
I have been looking for the perfect highlighter and this just may be it!! This product comes in two color sets, Warm Glow & Rosy Glow. I obviously chose Rosy Glow because I prefer a lighter toned highlighter and I'm partial to soft pinks. I haven't seen anyone talk about this one but I saw it and It was just too pretty to pass up! The color pay off is AMAZING and it doesn't contain any actual glitter. You can get there here for $30.

4.Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge
It doesn't always have to be expensive to be amazing! This is basically just a cheaper version of the Beauty Blender. If you follow me then you probably already know that my sweet little one year old finds pleasure in feeding my Beauty Blenders to our dog. Insert annoyed face here. I has a Mardi Gras ball to go to one day and didn't realize what had happened until just a few hours before so I ran to Walmart in a panic and bought the closest thing that I could find (this). It turned out to actually be better than the real thing. I prefer the shape of this way more than an actual Beauty Blender. The flat side is amazing for blending out concealer. I already had this but I like to replace mine every few months so that I know it's clean and safe. (I've seen some really gross YouTube videos on old blenders.) You can get yours here for $6.

5. IT Brushes For Ulta & Ulta Beauty Wedges
These were just some really quick I want to try a new brand of brushes and I need some wedges for baking my concealer purchases. I have not tried either of these new brushes but I will tell you which ones they are. The first one I bought is Live Beauty Fully All Over Powder Brush (#211). This is a very soft medium sized brush for applying powder. You can get your own here for $40. The second brush is the Live Beauty Fully Flawless Blush Brush (#227). You can get this brush here for $28. You can purchase the Wedges here for $1.99.

As always, thanks for reading! If you have any questions, comments or concerns feel free to contact me. If you want to read a full review on any or all of these products, let me know and I'll do a separate post!

3 Reason Why I am Celebrating Mother's Day

Sunday, May 8, 2016
White chocolate strawberries. Last mother's day my mom made white chocolate strawberries just for me and I never even had one because, as usual, everyone else had already devoured them before  I could get there. I had a newborn and I was late to everything. It was a pretty normal day. I didn't think it would ever be a very significant moment for me but here we are. I'm typing and you're reading about one of the most simple days of my life. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that my first Mother's Day would be my mother's last.
Today it would effortless to sit on my couch and morn. Today it would be more than simple to eat my weight in Blue Bell Ice Cream and ruin my low carb diet. Today it would be so easy for you to feel sorry for me but I urge you not to. I've read a lot of articles about "motherless daughters" but you must understand, I am not without a mother. I am not without several mothers.
It is difficult, at times, for people to understand me. I am no better than any single person but perhaps I am different. I know some people can't help but drown in an ocean of grief but that life is not for me. I have chosen and I choose every single day to live, to marinate, in the strength of my God. If you're intrigued, keep reading. Here are 3 reasons why I choose to joyfully celebrate Mother's Day even after my Mother's passing.

My mom was the bravest, kindest soul to ever walk this planet. She would give everything she had anytime, anywhere to anyone that needed it. She spent a lot of time as a single mom of 3 little girls and she never gave up. She never complained. She never considered us a burden. She was always there being our biggest fan, believing in us, cheering for us all even when we didn't deserve it.
She did a lot things and she changed more lives than she ever knew. She was incredible and she was humble. She was blessed and she was a blessing. There was not an empty chair at the funeral. People were lined standing in the back of a large church. If that doesn't tell you something about Linda then nothing will.
My mom was so true to her heart and her heart belonged only to God. I have yet to share much information about what happened but when we spoke to the man that towed the car a few days after the accident he looked us straight in the eyes and he said "You know, I see a lot of accidents. I do this a lot. I see a lot of bad things happen. You can always smell and feel fear and death. It's nothing that I can explain. It's just there. It's in the air. You just know. When I pulled up to the scene of this accident it's like I was slapped with peace. It was so peaceful. It was so different. She must've been a REAL Christian lady."
That is what I celebrate. A woman so incredibly in love with her God that she was saving people even after she was gone. The daughter that prayed for hours for her parents. The mom that saw me through my first dance class, my first date, and even my first child birth. The grandma that left her full buggy in Walmart for a baby with a very slight and even questionably existent fever. The friend that helped her daughters fork so many of your yards. The lady that I aspire to be. Today and everyday I celebrate Linda.

I am not without a piece of my mother. Her love for her daughters will forever be unmatched. She loved me then and she still loves me now. It's so hard to explain and probably impossible to understand unless you, yourself, have lost your mother.
There is not an empty place in my heart. People say that so often but it is not true. That place that they're referring to, it will always be filled with my mothers love.
I miss her so much. I wish I could pick up the phone and call her. I wish she could hear me and I wish I could hear her. I would talk for days. I would never stop talking. I would never sleep but I can't and she can't. That aspect is so much harder than anyone else could ever know but even though she's not here, her love is. It is so real and so unending. I can feel it. I never stop feeling it. I truly believe that she will love me until the end of eternity.

My mom did not leave this earth and set me up to be alone. She left me with so much and so many people. She left me with a serious and in depth knowledge of God. She left me with a Mother-In-Law that she knew would take care of me. She left me with a grandmother to share stories and photos and watch Baby B while I am at work. She left me with sisters to know me just as well as she did, to love me just as much as she did and to hold my hand every time that she would but now can't. She left me with friends, with an unending amount of strong beautiful women friends. She left me with my best friend, a person that I can say the worst and most shallow things to and yet her opinion never changes. She left me with my best friends mom, a sincere woman with a real love for me and my sweet baby boy. They say "it takes a village" and believe me, my mom left me with one.

Is Mother's Day bitter sweet? Yes. Am I going to mislead you to think that it isn't a little hard for me? No. It is hard. It sucks, to be frank, but I am choosing to be strong. I am choosing to be happy. I am choosing to celebrate all of the mothers that she left me with. I am choosing celebrate the mom that she was. I am choosing to celebrate the mom that I am. I am choosing to celebrate the opportunity to be her daughter. I am choosing to celebrate the opportunity of being Brantley's mother. I am choosing to celebrate my Mother-In-Law. I am choosing to celebrate my grandmother. I am choosing to celebrate my fellow mom friends. I am choosing to celebrate all of us because happiness is, in fact, a choice and this is what I am choosing.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you strong, beautiful and incredible women. Make your family/friends take you out to eat so that there are no dishes to clean and find somewhere to hide and take a 4 hour nap. Today is our day! However, wherever, with whoever, let's celebrate ourselves and let's celebrate each other.
As always, thank you for reading! Feel free to comment or contact me with any questions, suggestions or concerns!

7 Days To Healthier Skin

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
I have gotten so many messages about why I haven't done a "Favorites" post for April yet and if I plan on doing one. Although I am flattered that you guys actually enjoy those, the answer is unfortunately no. I spent the last two weeks of April fighting a bad skin reaction to a new foundation and just didn't have any time to try anything new.
This all started at Ulta. I typically ask the girls there for recommendations on new products and this one just did not go well for me. I was looking for a full coverage foundation. They recommended Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation, which I am sure is a great product, but my sensitive skin just couldn't handle it. It's VERY thick and if you have dry or sensitive skin it is VERY harsh.
I have never had any skin problems ever but after a week of using this stuff my face was completely unbalanced. My cheeks were red, burning and dry. My forehead, nose and chin were extremely oily and broken out. It was painful and unattractive. I thought at first it would go away on it's own but after a week of it just getting worse and worse, I knew I had to do something. Continue reading to find out how I got clearer and healthier skin in just 7 days!

Yes, you read that correctly. Step 1 is no makeup. NONE. AT ALL. Once I had, had enough I stopped wearing any and all makeup for 7 days straight and I promise it made a world of difference. When your skin is becoming irritable or you see multiple breakouts in a small amount of time it could be and probably is a sign that your skin needs a break. We focus so much on protecting our hair and monitoring how much heat and what products that we use but we sometimes tend to deprive our face of that same care. Wearing makeup every single day of your life is not good for your skin at all.  Put down the concealer, step away and trust me. I mean, it's only 7 days and it will be so worth it. You will see!!

For just 7 days simply everything that you are doing. Forget the face masks. Leave the oils alone. Your eyebrows can wait 7 days. Do not put wax anywhere on your face. Stop all of the fancy products and tricks that you've learned. Don't even touch the exfoliator. If your skin is bad enough that you're reading this for answers then you just need to take a step back, calm down with the products and really focus on letting your skin breathe. Stop trying to heal your skin and let it just heal itself.

Find and commit to a SIMPLE routine. I know, I know. The 21st century is full of nothing but commitment issues but, again, it's literally only for 7 days. You can do it. I am going to recommend the products I used in the next few steps but if for some reason these aren't for you, that's okay. Use whatever you want just make sure you're using the same thing every single night.

When your skin is unbalanced and all over the place the best thing that you can do is to consistently use a light gentle cleanser. Don't confuse gentle with ineffective. There are some products out there that are very light on your skin because of the fact that they aren't really cleaning it the way it needs to be cleaned.
I personally love Olay Cleansing Cloths. These things are literally God's gift to me. With these you can remove your makeup, gently exfoliate and cleanse all at the same time.  I buy the gentle ones for sensitive skin and I have been using these for years. They're only about $6 and you can find them at Walmart or any drug store in your area.
I washed my face with these every single night for 7 days in a row. I didn't use them in the mornings. I don't sweat in my sleep and I wash my face right before bed time so I didn't really need to use anything but warm water in the morning. If you do sweat or have a need to wash your face every morning I would definitely recommend these but if you don't just NEED to then I wouldn't.

If your skin problem is that it's dry then this is a no brainer for you but I know that when our skin is feeling oily our first thought can be to chill out on the moisturizer. Unfortunately, that is actually the worst thing that you can do for your skin. If your skin is more oily than normal it means that your face is overproducing oils because it thinks it needs it. Quitting your moisturizer will only make your face produce even more oil resulting in an even bigger problem.
I personally use Cetaphil for sensitive skin. I have tried many different moisturizers and I'm still experimenting with them when my skin is under control but I always go back to Cetaphil, especially when I start seeing skin problems. I used this product first thing in the morning and right before bed at night every single day for 7 days. You are free to obviously use your own moisturizer but this one is my absolute favorite. It's not too oily or too thick and it is amazing at helping to heal your skin. You can find this product at Walmart or at pretty much any drug store.

Drink water. Drink water. Drink water and then when you think you've had enough water, drink some more! The health of your skin is usually a direct reflection of the health of your body. If you truly want healthy clear skin then you need as much water as you can get. 8 glasses of water is the recommended amount for the average adult. If you want beautiful glowing skin I would recommend much more than that. Cut out the sodas. Sugar will contribute to your breakouts and dry skin. With all the water you should be drinking you won't even have time for sodas anyway.

Once you've hit day 7 and your skin has calmed down and has healed (or began to heal) itself, finish the week with a good exfoliator. Exfoliating will help smooth out any problems areas that still exist and will get rid of any lasting dead or flaky skin.
I personally used my Rodan + Fields Exfoliator. I know you guys see me talk about this all of the time but it's because it is so gentle but so effective. The morning after the first night that I used this stuff I was seriously amazed by the results. You will see a change in the texture and look of your skin in just a few hours. It's absolutely incredible. If you have an exfoliator that you like to use then go ahead and use your own but if you are interested or are looking for one to fall in love with you can purchase your own here.

If you use the 7 steps for 7 days I can promise you that you will notice a difference. When I started off I was very self conscious to walk in to a full day of work and then dinner out with my husband and son with no makeup but by day 7 my skin was so clear and beautiful that I didn't even need any! I wish I would've taken a before photo so that I could show you the difference because it is so drastic but when I started my 7 days I was in so much pain and was hating my skin so much that I just didn't do it. I will, though, show you below a photo of my skin today.

Today my skin is clear and I'm still wearing minimal make up because I no longer feel like I have anything to cover or hide!
As always, thank you for reading! If you have any questions, comments or recommendations feel free to contact me any time!

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top