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.

 

 

Gift Guide: For The Homebody

Gift Guide: For The Homebody

1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 (can find at any lawn and garden store)// 6 // 7

We all have that one friend, family member or coworker who likes to stay home a majority of the time. Cough, cough, cough; me! These people may be a little hard to shop for, especially if you want your gift to be unique. I’ve rounded up my favorite items for the home that are drool worthy, Instagram worthy and under $75.00. These are gifts your homebody is sure to love. From unique cookbooks, to art (yay to shopping small), funky dishes in the most popular print this year and items to make the home cozy!

 

Gifts For The Grad

Gifts For The Grad

 

Graduation is right around the corner and it’s time to think about what to purchase for your favorite grad. Cash is always a great option for any grad, but sometimes a useful gift is just as nice. I would be more than happy to receive any of these for a graduation gift myself so I thought I would share what grads would really like!

  1. Gift Cards {Image via}- Gift cards are a great thing to have especially when you are strapped for cash or want something that you necessarily wouldn’t want to spend your money on. When getting gift cards you have to think about the grad. Will they need a new wardrobe for their new job? Will they be driving a lot? Will they be moving in to their first place? You also have to think about the location of the grad. You can purchase a metro card for someone moving or living in the city or a certificate for public transportation. Other great gift cards are spas, clothing/department stores, coffee shops, Amazon (you can enter to win a $50.00 one HERE), gas cards, restaurants, grocery stores or just a regular Visa gift card. You could also get membership cards to gyms or places like Sam’s to alleviate that cost for the Grad for the year.
  2. iPad– The days of lugging around a laptop are over especially if the grad will be on the go or have a busy life after graduation. I would opt for a mini version so it’s easy to fit in a bag. Even if the grad is going to need to be writing up a bunch of stuff and still use a laptop these are great for on the go stuff and great for meetings.
  3. Books– Books are a great personal gift. And there are a ton of options. You can choose something that would fit the grad’s career choice, their passion and interests, an inspirational book or simply a classic. Writing a note in the book is also a huge plus.
  4. Jewelry– Graduating generally means elevating style or simplifying style. I think a great piece of jewelry that can be dressed up or down (essentially an everyday piece) is a great graduation gift. These earrings are from a fair trade, ethical company so providing something that actually gives back makes the gift a little more special. For guys I would opt for a sleek watch.
  5. Business Card Holder– Now is the time when your favorite grad is going to have meetings, promote their selves and need to be in contact with important people. Business cards need to be handy and easy to retrieve on short notice. So that the cards are not tossed all over the bottom of their bag or next to their credit cards, a holder keeps everything in place and convenient. There are a ton of these options out there. I love leather ones and would go for a leather one for a guy.
  6. Quality Bag– The days of spending a bit of money on bags from Target or Forever 21 that tear and peel in a months time need to be over. Your grad is a grown up now and needs to have investment pieces. A good quality leather bag is an investment piece that will last and worth the money. For a grad I would look for classic styles, neutral colors, a spacious bag and one with sturdy straps. Perfect for work, travel and everyday.
  7. Business Cards {image via}– Your grad is or needs to be professional now and have their info handy at any given time. So business cards are a great gift. Most business card companies like Moo or Vista Print don’t offer gift cards so you would need to let the grad design their own card and then pay.
  8. Stamps– Even though our world is so digital I never realized the importance of stamps until I was an adult. You need them for sending out important documents, thank you cards, your resume, cards and sometimes just random things. It’s always great to have some handy so it would be a great add on to any graduation gift.

Feeling Charmed

Feeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling CharmedFeeling Charmed

Beanie- $6.00 // Blanket Scarf- $18.95 // Sweater-$29.99 // Sunnies-$8.95 // Floral Necklace– $25.00 // Husk Necklace-$19.95 // Asheville Skyline Necklace-$19.95 // Silk Tie Clutch-$29.99 // Earrings-$12.00

Can you believe it’s now only 8 days until Christmas including today? Crazy I know! Have you got all of your Christmas shopping done? Well if you live in Asheville have no fear because I have done some “research” on the greatest little boutique where you can get all of your last minute shopping done for absolutely any lady in your life. And the best part? You won’t kill your bank account too much. Plus you might walk out with a few things for yourself.

I have visited Charmed a few times before but popped in again to scope out some great gift ideas for you. And let me just take a minute to say they are slaying it with everything they have in stock right now. The store is filled with every accessory imaginable plus a small collection of clothing. But if you need more clothes, you can head over to their newest location (across the street) Southern Charm for affordable options.

Literally this place is an accessory lovers heaven! The store is filled with local designers, designers from the U.S. and of course regular trendy wholesale pieces. The local stuff is something that could fit everyone’s taste. These earrings and the husk necklace I’m wearing are from a local designer BellaCJewelz, and very affordable. The earrings are only $12.00 (umm yes please) and there are some for every style. And this Asheville necklace! How adorable (and yes I’m pretty sure I need it in my life)?! Some of my favorite things were the wire wrapped necklaces from Pink & White Design (I’m wearing the floral one) and Charmed‘s collection of trendy/couture inspired sunnies.

Plus I had to play dress up! Duh. I went with a super affordable beanie, deep hued blanket scarf, grey sweater and Kat Von D (ish) glasses paired with my t-shirt dress, leggings and fringe booties for an urban city look. In this #ootd I want to go teach an art class, hit up the shops downtown and then grab dinner at a new swanky restaurant in town.

So for any lady on your last minute gift list, you are sure to find something at Charmed!

I want to thank Zoe for letting me come play dress up and take pictures of her beautiful store and also thank Clementyne for being my lovely hostest and stylist for the morning!

Gift Guide: For the Outdoor Lover

Gift Guide: For the Outdoor Lover

I love the outdoors now. I hated the outdoors prior. When I first started hanging out with Andrew, I told him I loved the outdoors because it was such a huge passion of his. Well he drug me out to outdoorsy things such as hiking and camping. And I have to admit I do kind of like it now. And all women can like the outdoors. So I picked some things I think any woman who loves the outdoors might like for different types of activites. Plus everything I have picked out is under $100.00!

Hammock– ENO hammocks have become pretty popular. I really like the idea of having one of these hammocks because you can take it hiking and find a spot to hang out, take it camping for something besides the typical fold out chairs, you can use it in your own back yard and it’s very portable which is perfect for traveling. Plus they come in a variety of colors so you can find one perfect for any personality.

Tent– A tent is a perfect gift for that lady who wants to go camping but just doesn’t have the right equipment. This is a great starter gift for someone starting to love to do outdoorsy things.

Hiking Back Pack– A hiking pack pack is something every women needs when going on longer hikes or camping trips. Perfect for carry snacks, water, a first aid kit, camera, phone and keys.

Dry Bag– A dry bag is a great gift for anyone who loves water sports. This will keep everything important dry. Nothing will spoil a day like dropping a phone in the water.

Vest– A vest is a really good gift for the lady in your life who likes to get outside even when the temps are dropping. This fleece lined vest is an affordable one from Old Navy and still warm, but if your lady lives in much colder climates or plans to travel somewhere where the weather is a factor nicer ones could be invested in.

Nalgene Water Bottle– A water bottle is a good investment for anyone. It can be used at any time, but especially important when outdoor activities are involved. I really like the Nalgene bottles because there are lines of the fluid ounces to help keep you hydrated plus these bottles are pretty indestructible.

Camp Socks-Camp socks are great to give to anyone. These are perfect for when the temperatures drop and any type of weather is a factor. These socks are very thick and generally a wool blend so they keep feet warm and dry. These are even great to use during the summer months because if you go camping in the mountains, it’s always a little chilly at night. And no one likes cold feet.

Beanie-Like with the socks this is great for cold weather outdoor fun. These are stylish and keep the head warm.

Chunky Snood-Like the socks and beanie this is great for cold weather outdoor fun. Very stylish and add some extra warmth. And great to take on summer camping trips when it gets a little extra chilly at night.

The items I listed are from chain stores but if you live in Asheville you can buy any of these items (or similar) locally. Living in WNC we have an abundance of outdoor stores. You can shop locally at Black Dome, Diamond Brand Outdoors and Frugal Backpacker whom is having their large sidewalk sale this weekend..

A DIY Christmas Gift

A DIY Christmas Gift

Jewelry trays/dishes can be very expensive in store but if you make your own it can be very affordable. For your first dish it will cost you any where from $15.00-$20.00 but if you make multiple ones it costs around $2.00 each!

DIY Christmas GiftA DIY Christmas Gift

What you need:

  • dish-I got mine from the dollar tree but you can find them any where for around $1.00
  • spray paint-any color
  • paint-for additional designs
  • top coat-spray top coat or modge podge
  • newspaper-for the spray painting

DIY Christmas Gift

You will want to spray paint your plain dish with about 2-3 coats. You can use any color spray paint for whomever you will be gifting this too. After the paint drys you can paint additional designs to the dish or hot glue a small figurine in the middle. Whatever you or your recipients preference would be. I added black polka dots to mine. After everything has dried you will want to spray a top coat or brush on modge podge to seal the dish and prevent the paint from chipping, or damaging the items to be put in the dish.

A DIY Christmas Gift

And now you have a great trinket dish!

 

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Shop Small, Support Local

This shopping weekend remember all of the small and local businesses when you are shopping. I love to support small businesses and local businesses! Generally the quality of your goods are better and money is being put into a local community versus a corporation. Here are some of my favorite small businesses at the moment.

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I love these earrings I purchased at Bryant Antiques in Asheville. I have several things from there. Yes, everything is used, but if you have a vintage lover in your life a piece of jewelry would be greatly appreciated. I know I wouldn’t mind getting a gift from an Antique store. Also every town has a locally owned antique/vintage shop.

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Asheville has plenty of craft fairs this coming weekend where you can buy locally hand crafted goods. These pop up all over the country and are a great way to get gifts and support locally.

Beach Style

I love my Tom Design number necklace. You can get any numbers or letters in 3 different finishes. This makes for a very sentimental, personal and affordable gift! Follow the Facebook page for possible sales this coming weekend!

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I love my new ring from Ashkal, I’ve been wearing it every day. It’s perfect for a rocker, boho, or laid back style. It’s just perfect for everyone! And these rings are extremely affordable. This Black Friday Ashkal will be offering 15% off your purchase with code:BLACK2014!!! I’m actually eyeing THIS!

I also have a newest addiction; Jamberry nail wraps! Howard Jams will be offering prizes beginning at 5am on Black Friday with purchases. These which are $15.00 for 2 manicures and 2 pedicures are the perfect stocking stuffer! You can shop HERE!

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Viva La Jewels offers a great assortment of jewelry and clothes at a very affordable price. I just recently scooped up this necklace for a steal of a deal! Tonight on Facebook there will be a Black Friday auction with great discounts and you can always shop on the website for great deals. Plus you can always use code:Stephanierep for an additional 10% off your purchase!

Baby Get Your Shine On

Gravel Road Tees is by far, hands down, one of my most favorite small businesses right now! You guys know I love my t-shirts (hello I live in them)! The cute graphics are a plus, but the softness of the t-shirt is amazing. Even Andrew loves this shirt, and I have to literally hide it in the closet so he can’t find it. The owner is fantastic and so so so sweet! Gravel Road Tees is local to North Carolina! Stay tuned on Facebook for Black Friday sales. Also stay tuned to the blog next week because I have styled this shirt for the holidays that you won’t want to miss out on!.

Countdown to Christmas

The Viva La Jewels Facebook Sale

Due to school, I have been planning my blog up until the end of the year since August.  Christmas goodies have been in stores prior to Halloween, Biltmore already has all of their Christmas decor up, and I am officially in the holiday spirit. I have taken an idea from YouTube (Vlogmas) and have decided to incorporate something similar into the blog; I plan to have a special holiday themed blog post every day until the end of the year! I have plenty of holiday themed posts lined up for all you that I am extremely excited about it. So if you are interested in some DIY, outfits, special occasions surprises, some recipes and plenty of other fun things! Make sure you are following me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram to see special extra posts. Also make sure you LIKE and FOLLOW me on Facebook because there will be extra posts there including some videos which you will not want to miss out on!

If you enter your e-mail address on the right hand side of the page, you will be notified immediately of new blog posts. I do not send out your information, nor are you spammed with e-mails (only one e-mail is sent when a new post is published).

I hope you guys are just as excited as am about the upcoming weeks!!!.

Help A Girl Out!

puppy

 

IMAGE {VIA}box

IMAGE {VIA}

Of course I would love to get a puppy and a sparkly something from a Tiffany box for Valentine’s Day, but I know that will never happen. Let’s face it, some guys don’t take hints very well even when you tell them point blank, especially when it comes to gift giving. Some guys also can’t pick out a gift on their own; thank goodness for lovely sales associates in stores who want to make a sale! Honestly this year all I would like is a gift card because I really need to get some art things and there are a few things from all around that I would love (I pinned them here), and of course some yummy chocolates. One thing Andrew can do is pick out some chocolates. Andrew doesn’t have to get me anything but I can dream right?

Valentine’s Day this year is going to be rough on me for some personal reasons but the one thing I really want to do is to eat dinner in (the thought of Friday night+Valentine’s Day=FRUSTRATION in public) and to make something we have never made before. I’ve got a lot of ideas here!

All of you are welcome to share this with Andrew so he will have a better understanding. Every girl needs some help now and then! Visit my Valentine’s Love pins on Pinterest and find some goodies you would like to be given or gift to yourself! Most of those gifts are pretty affordable as well..