Best Beauty Buys of 2017: Perfect Stocking Stuffers

I’ve tried my fair share of beauty products this year. Some were duds and some were game changers for me. So I thought I would share all my favorites because these are perfect ideas for stocking stuffers!

Rubber Facial Scrubbers– I have debated for a seriously long time on getting a clarisonic. Done a ton of research and watched a ton of reviews. But I came across some of these little silicone scrubbers at TJ MAXX one time and decided to give them a try. For starters these are much more sanitary for your skin than a brush scrubber. They are also much more affordable and much easier to clean. I love these and they are available at Wal-Mart for under $3.00! These get a really good clean on your skin and I like to think this has helped with my occasional break out.

Outer Space Flexible Hair Spray– Yes I still use hair spray. Got to keep that hair looking fresh to death all day! And this is my absolute favorite. Like I had a meltdown when I ran out and wouldn’t be able to get more for a few days. The hold and the flexibility of this hairspray is unlike any other. It just does it’s job without being crunchy or sticky. And the smell is out of this world. A+ for the packaging as well.

Gimme Brow– Okay, I hate to admit this, but I’ve never done anything to my eyebrows before this year. Just tweezed and that’s that. Why? Because no company makes a good brow product for gingers. There was nothing light enough to make it not look like I was wearing clown makeup. Sure I could go through the trouble of finding a match in an eyeshadow and making it work, but let’s be honest, that’s too much work. This year Benefit Cosmetics came out with a new color for their brow products. And it works amazing for people with the lightest shade of eyebrows. I love this product, like seriously it’s made a difference. My brows aren’t overly dramatic but at least I feel like they are more “on fleek” now.

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel– I started getting gel nail manicures this year. I hadn’t had a manicure in ages and loved the long wear of the polish since I work with my hands a lot. But that got extremely pricey. Seriously mad props to all you ladies who do this on a regular basis and have the cutest designs. I would just rather spend that money on tacos or a new bag. So I started looking for at home polishes that would have a long result. So I tried a bunch. Had some real failures. Enter Sally Hansen Miracle Gel. Lots of color options, long lasting and work tested. Plus much safer and affordable.

Aveda Volumizing Tonic– I have been testing all kinds of products to get some great volume in my hair for that messy chic look. This bottle of amazingness is my ticket for fresh washed hair and getting all the oomph I need. The only downfall with this product is the smell isn’t great. But it seriously helps me achieve that blow out volume look I have been aiming for.

Dry Bar Round Brush– So I have changed my hair big time. Last year I did a huge chop and have been playing around with the actual cut ever since. After lots of practice, watching videos and talking with stylist, I have finally figured out how to blow dry my hair properly and to get the style and volume I want. So I decided to invest in a good round brush. This brush might be a little more pricey than what you would consider, but it really does make a world of difference.

Kat Von D Eyeshadow Quad– I have purchased this before, but re-purchased. You know that’s when you love something, right? The formula is just the best on these eyeshadows. So creamy and so easy to blend. If you aren’t a pro with eye makeup, this is a great brand to try. It’s pretty much fool proof. That’s how creamy and well these blend. To be honest I’m still probably blending wrong but it looks fine!

Rootfoot Rose Water– I have been taking my skin care very seriously this year. Maybe it’s because I’m getting closer to middle age but oh well. This spray is soothing, calming and even moisturizing. This saved my skin during the summer. Any time I was in the sun, afterwards I would use this. I didn’t peel the entire season. This never happens. I’m also noticing with cooler weather and dry heat from the car, work and home I have been using this more and more for a skin drink.

 

 

DIY HOLIDAY: MODERN CHRISTMAS WREATH

If you can’t tell I have an obsession with these metal hoops that are used for floral arrangements. There are just so many uses for them. Even a modern floral wreath. I have been on the hunt for a wreath for my front door but haven’t found one I really like or one that is even affordable. $60.00 for a wreath seems a bit crazy to me even if you can use it year after year. So to get one just the way I wanted it I decided to make my own. And it’s so easy and affordable you can make your own.

These are perfect for the holidays, home decor and for year round decorations. I decided to go extremely modern and just do green and white as my color palette. This makes this easy to hang on my door for Christmas and I can also bring it in and hang it in my room or closet after the holidays are over.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

METAL WREATH HOOP

FLOWERS AND GREENERY OF YOUR CHOOSING (I WENT WITH JUST BASIC WHITE AND GREEN)

SCISSORS

WIRE

POSSIBLY A HOT GLUE GUN

To make this wreath start by cutting all your stems and flowers. Then start wrapping and forming to the metal hoop. You can start by attaching with wire. You can continue with wire or use a hot glue gun after you get your base started. There is no exact science to the wreath. You get to just build up the flowers the way you would like and put them on there. Once you get everything on there the way you would like, you are ready to hang up. Pretty easy and hardly takes any time.

The great thing about this is you get to do your wreath any way you like.

Happy wreath making!

Thanksgiving Outfit #3: Dressed Up Florals

If Thanksgiving dinner is more of a dress up and look like you are going to a party kind of occasion I recommend wearing a nice shift dress. Shift dresses come in all different prints and textures so I’m sure you have one tucked away in your closet or that you can find one easily. The reason these are amazing is because they can be dressed up so much to look a little more fancy, yet they are the most comfortable thing known to man kind. You are essentially wearing a t-shirt dress in a nicer fabric. The flowiness of the dress makes it perfect for eating all the delicious holiday foods while feeling a little glam.

I love this floral dress I picked up from Old Navy a few years ago and it still gets wear in all the seasons for me. To make it Winter and Thanksgiving appropriate all it takes is some tights or leggings and some nice chunky booties. And BOOM you have the perfect dressed up Thanksgiving Day outfit!

Thanksgiving Outfit #1: Dressing Up Athleisure Wear

I get it. On Thanksgiving you want to be as comfy as possible. Maybe even stretch pants need to be involved. No judgement from me! I understand. It’s a busy day of running around, traveling, cooking or even partaking in events around town before dinner time. And then there’s feasting and lounging. Even though the athleisure trend is very popular now, I still like to take the look to the next level so it doesn’t look like I just got done with a yoga class or that I don’t care about my #ootd.

To transform this outfit made for feasting and cooking, I’m taking three items from my closet to spice it up.

Keeping the same leggings and oversized long sleeve pullover, I transformed this in to a more chic and stylish outfit by adding a leather jacket, oversized printed scarf and over the knee boots. Looks like a totally different outfit. Much more chic. Still just as comfy though. Stretchy pants still included. You could easily cook sides, travel and then mix it up to show up for Thanksgiving dinner. Did you mention Black Friday shopping? This outfit is perfect for taking you in to that all night shopping frenzy.

If you want to be as comfortable as possible but still look stylish, check in your closet to see how you can play up the athleisure trend. Just mix and match pieces to go from gym look to dinner look!

Stay tuned tomorrow for a new Thanksgiving Outfit Idea!

 

Shop This Look:

Top // Leggings // Similar Scarf // Similar Jacket // Boots

Hilton Head Island Travel Diary: The iPhone Version

So if you aren’t following me on Instagram (which you should because sometimes it’s funny) you may not have known that I took a much needed vacation last week to Hilton Head Island. It’s one of my favorite places for a ton of different reasons. I love the atmosphere, the scenes, the fact that it is a quiet community and the food! So here are some of the highlights of my trip!

For the first time in almost four years we stayed on the South end of the island, right down the street from Coligny Beach. We were walking distance from food and shopping of any kind; and the most important, we were on beach front so we could easily walk to the beach at any given time during the day. It was so easy to have a relaxing vacation when everything was at your fingertips. Plus it didn’t hurt that according to the FitBit, we got well over 10,000 steps a day. Plus you could constantly hear the waves crashing which is the ultimate sound for relaxation.

Being so close to the beach and the fact that this was a much needed vacation was a no brainer that all day, every day I was at the beach. I loaded up on the SPF and literally chilled. The beach was quiet after Labor Day Weekend and even more quiet with the threat of a hurricane. But still I relaxed. And swam in the ocean. And played with sea creatures. I’ve got plenty of questions about this hat, the striped bathing suit and the kimono cover up; so they are all linked here!

Hat // Striped Bathing Suit // Kimono

Hilton Head Island is known for their world class golf courses and food. And well let’s just say I prefer food over the links. I have been waiting 5 whole years to try this place. They shut down for a week before Summer and it just so happens that’s always the week I visit. But it was worth the wait. Perfectly cooked cajun southern food. I had the etoufee and it was amazzzzzinggggg! If you visit Hilton Head, I suggest visiting Kenny B’s.

I found Java Burrito Company on Instagram and I am so glad that I did. It’s like a local Chipotle but for every meal and a full coffee bar inside. I had a breakfast bowl and iced dirty chai. Hands down one of the best decisions I made on that trip.

Ela’s is becoming a favorite on the island for me to visit. A little swanky, quiet, on the waterfront and the service and food is outstanding. We visiting the day before the evacuation was in order for Irma and they were still open. We had the place to ourselves and the service nor food suffered due to being understaffed or the island becoming a ghost town.

Marley’s Island Grill was a first for me, but not a last. Sooooooo good! A Caribbean take on local seafood. I got chorizo almond crusted scallops which may actually be one of the top 20 best meals of my life. So good.

There is just beauty and magic every where on the island. Maybe it’s because you are on vacation or island time. Whatever it is, it works. My soul feels a little more full after my visit there.

Happy Travels!

The Failed Romper

Fashion, style or lifestyle bloggers typically share what they love, what works and what they think you need to add to your shopping cart too. But a lot of times we miss the things that just don’t work. So I’m here to share with you something that just missed the mark big time.

Last year for Andrew and I’s annual Hilton Head Island visit, we got invited to a last minute event. And to be frank, I had planned very little on blogging or working period because not only was this our annual visit, but it was also in celebration of graduation for myself. I literally planned to sit on the beach the entire week and do nothing but swim, eat seafood and drink gin and tonics. But this event happened. I ran out to the local outlet mall to grab something quick. Without even trying it on, I bought a sale item that of course couldn’t be returned. But at least I didn’t waste a lot of money on it, right? I wore this to the event dreadfully, because well it just didn’t work. Hence why no pictures of the private seafood dining experience we had.

In light of the male romper becoming a thing everyone is talking about, I thought I would get this out of the closet to try to style it one more time, with my entire closet and plenty of time. And it’s still a big nope. The area around the crotch is just not working for me, the top portion is about two sizes to big and the linen fabric for this does not work because it’s constantly a wrinkly mess. I don’t feel confident in this number, nor do I feel comfortable. Which are huge turn offs for me in clothing.  I’m glad this is from last season, because I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone. I’m confused on how someone can create a male’s romper to fit his groin area without any moose knuckles but women’s rompers are the luck of the draw, and they are the luck of the draw for many women in many different sizes and shapes. They are just hits or misses.

Needless to say this number immediately went in to a donation bag because there’s no use in it taking up my closet space. Also lesson learned to never leave the store without trying something on, especially if it’s a “no return sale” item.

 

A Maxi For Mom

Dress // Sandals // Jewelry

Mother’s Day is this weekend; so I hope you have picked out your momma the best gift or have come up with a thoughtful gesture! So whether you are brunching, lunching or grilling out with your mom, your #ootd needs to be on point, because mom deserves your best look!

I’ve been looking through my closet trying to find the perfect outfit for Mother’s Day, because I’m heading to Biltmore. And the maxi dresses just seem perfect. Long enough to be classy and respectful, but with a fun boho vibe. And a maxi is easy, just the way I want dressing to be on a Sunday. You don’t have to worry about putting together an outfit that just works and let’s face it, even though we love mom, Sundays are still our lazy days.

I already have a strappy, short staple for this Spring and Summer, but this dress is going to be my maxi go to. Enough black in the dress to satisfy my neutral loving heart but with some pops of colors spaced throughout the stripes for a fun Spring/Summer pop. The added tribal print on the straps, plus a fun strappy back eliminates my need for a necklace, making it the easiest throw on and go, pulled together look. All I needed was some sandals and my go to daily jewelry (bangles and rings). Perfect for errands, traveling, brunch, cook outs or patio drinking.

Mom would def approve of this dress (and the price point).

 

 

The Show I Didn’t Expect To Binge Watch Or Be So Emotional Over

Image VIA

I’m not one to tell y’all what I’m binge watching because generally it’s embarrassing or I’ve gotten better since I’m busy now to watch an episode at a time, ya know like people normally would. And you probably honestly don’t care. But the show I recently binge watched, was one I wasn’t expecting or expected to have real emotions during. But I did and I’m still heart broken over it; so since it is that good I just had to tell y’all about it.

I had not heard of 13 Reasons Why (I had no idea it was a book or created by Selena Gomez). I even ignored the preview on Netflix earlier in the month; I simply passed it off as another teen drama. But then I noticed a friend whom is a teacher talking about it, so thought I would put it on as background noise for making dinner. I was making a chicken bake, so nothing was going to burn, but I didn’t want to keep missing the parts when I got up to do laundry and other nightly chores. After dinner, I had to restart the show and I was drawn in. Needless to say I was up until about 3am on Monday morning watching because I just had to know what happened next. I later finished the Netflix original on Thursday, and lately I haven’t been binge watching anything with my hectic schedule.

Without giving away what happens, the trailer even tells you this much; the concept is Hannah has taken her life and left tapes to explain why and the show focus around Clay, Hannah’s crush/love, listening. Even though it’s high school based, the reason I was so drawn in is we have all either been Hannah or known a Hannah. Also the characters are all familiar; the popular crowd, the loner, the kid who might do a school shooting, the friendly crowd, the shy kid, the kid with no money and the kid with all the money who gets away with everything. All of them trying to find their way and themselves through the harsh reality of life.

But the show’s creators and writers did not leave any stone unturned. The show talks about things that high schoolers and young adults (even adults) face. Bullying, sexual assault, depression, rape, alcoholism and the list goes on. They take it head on, not something that is pushed under the rug. It’s raw and real. It honestly feels like the most realistic thing I’ve watched in a really long time.

Image VIA

I as a 28 year adult, cried. I cried more times than I would like to actually admit. The scene that got me the most was the school dance scene. A perfect moment in time. Like we have all had before. A moment that captures that awkward yet thrilling moment of young or fresh love. A moment we never think would be a memory due to a tragic fate.

When Clay hears is own tape, I balled. Like a baby. Sometimes you can love someone so much but still not be able to help them the way they need you too. Or you may not even know they needed help, because on the outside they were holding it together so well, or maybe even semi well. This hit home a little too much with a bunch of personal stuff going on.

The graphic scene of the actual suicide makes you really think. What could I do a little more to make sure someone feels that they have no other choice. No one to help them. No one to run to. No one to comfort them. I have suffered with depression since the age of the characters in the show. I have gotten to that point. But then I always had someone bring me back. And we all need that from time to time.

A show to make you think. A show to make you feel emotions. A show to make you love and compassionate. A show to make you think about those around you. A show to make you live life to fullest. A show to make you thankful. A show to make you think about the things you say and do. A show to make you aware you effect others. A show to make you tell people you love, that you love them. A show to make you aware, the world is rough and every single one of us has to encounter it’s harshness.

The “Everything” Dress

Dress // Clutch // Sandals

I’ve been looking for a dress that I can just about wear to anything. And I do mean anything. Cook outs, date night, showers, celebrations or even just running errands. And I’m pretty sure I found just the right one. Luckily I don’t have to attend any weddings, but a wedding celebration, so nothing overly fancy was needed. I have been searching and searching. Everything is just overload on floral and a lot of bright yellow. Neither I am extremely fond of. But I did find this dress, with a floral print, but not overly floral. Plus the base of the dress is black, making it extremely versatile.

The fit of this dress is what drew me in. I’m not the biggest fan of the straps, but could easily put a vest or cardigan over it. The rouging under the bust gives a nice silhouette and the flare helps cover up any unwanted attention to the mid section and the hips. The length is perfect. It’s not too short and not too long.

I paired the dress with some strappy sandals and this amazing clutch in the perfect Spring neutral for a fun night of patio dining. But the dress would go great with sneakers and denim, cardigans and booties, blazer and heels or just worn with casual sandals. The possibilities for styling and what to wear it for are endless.

Have you found your go to dress yet this season?

 

Blooming Into Spring

Skirt // Top // Similar Sandals // Necklace

The new season means new collections everywhere and picking just the right pieces to add to your closet. What’s popular this Spring? Florals ( GROUNDBREAKING ), the color blush, cropped denim and pants, flowy dresses, cold shoulder, cut outs, yellow and sandals (just about any kind). And to help me with adding some new Spring pieces to my wardrobe I got to visit Versona to check out all these new trends.

Now when it comes to trends I am very fickle because I’m more a neutral kind of girl and I like to find pieces that will transition with my wardrobe through the seasons so I get my money’s worth out of the pieces. So I always keep that in mind, and if it is something extremely trendy like the seventies style flowy floral dresses I make sure it’s affordable so it’s not a huge loss. But with Versona this Spring, you can actually do both. If you are unaware of Versona, it is a boutique shopping experience but not with boutique price tags. The same idea of limited supply, unique pieces, quality pieces and even indie labels are available. This Spring, I actually loved a ton of stuff in the store. They had all the trends, tons of floral, blush colors and dresses that hit the mark. I did try on several items from their new Spring Look Book, but nothing really hit the mark. The long flowy floral dress did absolutely nothing for my skin color. But the skirt I am wearing is in the look book in the blush color, that color also did nothing for me, but I also noticed it in black. And of course I was sold on the black.

Black is my color. It’s so easy to style. So when I found the black version of the Spring Look Book find, I knew this may be the winner. This skirt is so versatile to style and that’s what drew me in. Y’all know I have this obsession with stripes and that’s how I immediately planned to wear it. But when I got home, I noticed the different colors in the skirt. I could wear it with dark neutrals or light neutrals, which is perfect for me, hence why I chose a khaki striped top and broke out the cognac colored heels. And ladies, break out those caged sandals from last year because they are just as popular this year. But the reason I also picked this up, it will work into the fall and winter months for me. This would be cute with a sweater, tights and booties. And that’s how I really put together an #ootd, right there in the fitting room of the store to debate whether it’s worth it or not. This skirt will be on repeat for me this Spring and Summer as I have several events to attend in the coming months and I can style it differently for each one, but also have a piece that corresponds with Spring trends.

If the trendy pieces are not really your style, Versona has a ton of versatile, neutral and quality basic pieces right now. I did pick up a few things that were not in the Spring Look Book that you will see next week on the blog. In the past they haven’t had a ton of these pieces, so it was refreshing to see that and it actually made the store feel a little more like a boutique.

So a huge thanks to Versona for letting me play dress up and pick the perfect pieces for a more Spring vibe in my closet!

Also messy curls are huge this year so head over to my Instagram Stories today to watch how I get my curls and all the products used!

Here’s this little number from the Versona fitting rooms that I love but didn’t make the cut because the arms were a little to snug for my liking.