I’ve changed. Last year around this time I was feeling unhappy. I work a full-time job and I was getting home from work and laying on my couch watching hours of TV until it was time for bed. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some Real Housewives, but what I did not love was feeling like I was laying around wasting my life. I knew I had to do something so I consciously made changes to my life to improve it. I decided that I wanted to start living my best life.
I didn’t change my life on my own either, I asked friends and family for advice and support and their help has been crucial as well. They help hold me accountable and cheer me on when they see me succeeding which is amazing.
Another thing that helps give me motivation, ideas, and strategies to improve my life are videos I find on YouTube. I follow some amazing women who give great tips on living a more healthy, happy, and organized life. I loved this video by one of my faves Brittany Vasseur:
I just had one of the best trips of my entire life to a place you may have never heard about- San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua. My sister and her husband are avid surfers and knew they wanted a destination wedding. When a friend suggested the small surf town on the west coast of this stunning Central American developing country they agreed that it was just what they were looking for. They ended up getting nearly 60 friends and family members to come out and celebrate with them! I stayed for about a week and I want to break this up into a few posts starting with this one with tips and tricks. Here’s a photo of the dreamy couple:
I used to work out semi-annually. That’s right, only a few times a year which is horrible so I give it a cute name. Luckily I have finally come around and I’m working out regular these days thanks to support from friends and family and ClassPass. ClassPass gives me everything I need to stay consistent. I pay $60 for 5 workout classes a month on ClassPass, but if you sign up using my link you’ll get $30 off! That’s only $6 per class for your first month! If I don’t use a class they do not roll over so I have to workout 5x a month no matter what. I can workout at each gym up to two times per month so I get the variety I need to stay interested and motivated. I can add my friends that have ClassPass to the app and see what workout classes they are signed up for which allows me to join them. You also must pay a cancellation fee if you miss a class and can only cancel (without a fee) more than 24 hours in advance. Once you’ve selected your classes you have to show up or else you’re paying twice! This is the perfect amount of accountability to keep me on track.
As I was scrolling through the available classes I started to see a lot of ones I had seen on Real Housewives episodes and on their social media. I thought it would be fun to include those classes to give anyone needing inspiration a silly little reason to sign up and get moving!
Ms. Cynthia Bailey the supermodel entrepreneur on Real Housewives of Atlanta just turned 50. Fifty years old ladies and gentleman! She looks absolutely incredible so I just HAD to do some research and find out what her beauty secrets are. I’ve even seen Cynthia in passing at the Grove in Los Angeles and she was absolutely stunning just like a supermodel should be.
“The thing that modeling has taught me about beauty is that it’s really individual. I work with so many different types of beauties, as a model. It’s not so much traditional. It’s about working with what you have and owning it. Confidence is so much of a part of being beautiful. I’ve met so many women who weren’t model-beautiful. Their confidence and everything about them is so beautiful to me.” – Cynthia Bailey (Source)
We all love Erika Jayne’s over-the-top glam, but I think what’s even more appealing about her is her honesty. I read every interview I could find about Erika Jayne’s beauty routine and she is not sugar coating it for us. She is not afraid to let you know she did not wake up like this.
What do you think makes someone beautiful? Confidence is the base to all beauty. (Source)
Erika’s look takes a gay army, her skin looks that good because of her dermatologist, she’s super diligent about SPF, she eats right, works out, gets plenty of sleep, drinks lots of water, takes vitamins, always washes her makeup off, doesn’t tug at the skin around her eyes, and she stays away from booze and cigs. Basically she does all the things we already know we’re supposed to do, and she does them consistently and that’s why she’s still looking amazing.So while I don’t have any super easy cheap hacks to make you look like Erika Jayne, I think her dedication to being hot is is admirable and it’s a good reminder that it’s not easy. If you want to be Erika Jayne, start with her trifecta- aquaphor for lips, under eye cream, and sunscreen.
(PS click the pictures of products to shop this post!)
Last year for Father’s Day I gave my dad a themed gift that was semi-“beauty” related so I thought I’d share the idea here! I’ll start by saying that the photo in this header is from when my dad took me to Turks and Caicos. We’ve been boating and going to tropical locations since I was in the womb (literally) so this is a “fun in sun” gift idea that isn’t actually fun at all, but it is super useful and practical, so… But seriously, thank you so much daddy-o for inspiring my love of travel and exploring!
I’ve posted about how I’ve had melanoma before and my dad had basal cell carcinoma removed from his head somewhat recently. This means I try to be VERY diligent about my sun protection and try to convince my family to do the same since we live in Florida and Southern California. Here’s what I got him:
Jack Black ‘Double-Duty’ Face Moisturizer SPF 20 ($28) This is a broad spectrum sunscreen meaning it protects agains UVA and UVB rays (major key). The ‘Double-Duty’ part is that it contains powerful antioxidants that help protect skin from aging from sun exposure. No matter who you are those 2 things are what you should be looking for in a sunscreen. This also had great customer reviews. Also, what man knows how to buy himself a moisturizer… Continue reading Father’s Day Gift Ideas→
With all of the advertising and marketing in the beauty industry it’s very hard to tell what is going to work and what will not. This is so important because who wants to waste $$$ on a product that does not live up to it’s claims? So how do you research a products claims and find out if it contains ingredients that will actually make your skin better? This is where one of my favorite websites Beautypedia comes in. Beautypedia was started by Paula Begoun who is known as the cosmetics cop. For decades now she has been breaking down ingredient lists vs. manufacturer claims to de-mistify the (sometimes) fuzzy beauty science and to educate the masses. Whenever you sign on to Instagram, Youtube, open a magazine, see a commercial, etc. you’re constantly being bombarded with “This is the one! The product that will make you flawless and fix all of your skin’s problems! BUY NOW!!” and Paula helps you separate the BS from the truly beneficial products.
The other thing I like about her site is that you can choose how deeply you want to plunge into the scientific knowledge behind ingredients. You can find out if a product contains sodium hyaluronate acid and what the hell that means, or you can just find out if the MAC Pro Longwear Nourishing Waterproof Foundation lives up to it’s claims or not (PS it does according to beautypedia and now I really want to try it!).
Growing up in Florida and now living in Los Angeles I see a whole lot of sunshine. When I was younger I loved to lay out and bake. I wanted to be as tan as my fair skin would let me so I’d slather myself with oil and stay by the pool all day or go to the tanning beds occasionally. I knew it would all catch up with me eventually, but I didn’t think eventually would be at age 27.
There I was in stirrups at my annual gynecological exam (as if that day couldn’t get any worse) when my doctor. points to a mole over my heart and says “You need to see a Dermatologist about that. If I could take it off right this minute I would.” “Great” I thought, “yet another doctor’s appointment to schedule.” Luckily I was motivated by the fact that it was the end of the year and I had already met my high deductible so I went to see my dermatologist (who I was already getting annual skin cancer checks from) to get the mole biopsied.
When the biopsy came back unfortunately the results showed that it was Melanoma. This meant I had to go back and get it removed along with some of the healthy skin around it to ensure the entire thing was gone and would not spread.
So now that I’ve had a chance to use my purchases from the 2014 Sephora VIB sale I wanted to give a quick review on them and let you know what I think. I especially wanted to get this up because Sephora sent out another perk for VIB members which is $20 off your purchase of $50 or more and the holidays are coming up so I’m sure you want to know what gifts are worth it.
1. Smashbox Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer ($39) – So far I’m happy with this little guy. The product is a little thick so you have to warm it up on your finger tips before you apply it. You then want to kind of push and roll your fingers into your skin to best cover your pores. When I’ve applied it and look in the mirror there’s no huge “WOW where have my pores gone!?” reaction, but it feels silicon-ey and smooth and blurs your face a tiny bit. The main thing I like about it is that I think it controls my oily skin without making my face too dry which is a delicate balance. My foundation maybe looks slightly better on top of this vs. without it, but it’s not anything that a slower more intentional application of the foundation couldn’t replicate or beat. It maybe keeps my makeup on a tiny bit longer as well, but again no huge day and night transformation. It’s supposed to last for up to eight hours, but I usually have my makeup on for about 12-14 hours per day. Overall I’d recommend this if you’re oily, if you’ve liked Smashbox primers in the past, and if you aren’t counting on it to change your life. It would also be good if you’re sweating or somewhere that’s humid because it’s supposed to be resistant to those things.
2. Sephora Cream Lip Stain in 07 Dark Berry ($13) – I got this because I want to be Samantha aka ssssamanthaa on Instagram from Batalash (see video below), but instead I look like I’m failing miserably at trying to look like Lorde. I’ve only worn this around the house to try it because it is BOLD as hale. It smells really nice like the Stila Stay All Day Lip Colors a nice cake scent. It stayed pretty well and I don’t remember my lips feeling too dry and crispy. I hope I’m brave enough to wear it out into the world one day, but we’ll see. The color is really cool and I’d recommend it if you want to try something new and fun I just don’t know if I’m cool enough to rock it yet.
3. L’Occitane Voyage En Provence Set ($39) – Ugh I haven’t used all of the products in this set so far, but so far I’m super disappointed. I had very high expectations for this especially for the famous She Butter Ultra Rich Body Lotion and it was nothing special. The scent was whatever and it’s not super thick or long lasting or curative to very dry skin or anything like I was expecting. I would not recommend this and I’m wary of buying more products from L’Occitane now even though so many people are obsessed! I’d recommend this to no one because I hate it and I’m pissed. The more I think about it and write about it the more I think wow why am I not returning this to Sephora I don’t need products to travel with so desperately that I need to keep this $39 set!
4. Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Ultra Definition Liquid Makeup in color 2.0 ($39) – I knew this guy was not going to be the perfect fit because it’s a luminous light weight virtually invisible foundation and deep down I’m a full coverage kind of girl. It’s very thin and fluid-like and reminds me of the bareMinerals bareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation in that it’s luminous and nice for a day that you want to look natural and take a break from full cake face mode. This would probably work better for me at night because when I wear these luminous foundations during the day I get oily and then they’re a mess, but the problem is that I want full coverage when I go out at night. This does have build able coverage though which is good. I need to experiment with it a bit more to figure out how it can work best for me. I wish it had sunscreen in it. I’d recommend this to someone that wants to look younger (a more sheer, luminous foundation will make you look younger than a matte full coverage one), someone that already has pretty good skin and doesn’t need a ton of coverage, and someone with dry, normal, or combo skin.
5. Urban Decay Good Karma Optical Blurring Brush ($25) – This is a vegan brush that was developed to work with the Naked Skin foundation and overall I like it a lot. It blends out the makeup quickly and evenly. I have used it with both the super thin Naked Skin foundation and the super thick BECCA foundation. I’m back to using my tried and true Beauty Blender, but when I mix it up I love using this guy. I’d recommend it to someone looking for a good foundation brush to use with liquid foundation. I think the price point on this is great and very reasonable for the quality.
6. BECCA Ultimate Coverage Complexion Creme in Buff ($44) – YASSSSSSS hunny. I am absolutely loving this foundation and I’m using it everyday and at night for going out as well. It is super full coverage and gives you a very flawless finish. I normally use a generous amount of foundation so when I accidentally put two whole pumps on my beauty blender and then went to blend it out and I was wearing a serious mask (which was fine for that day, but meant I don’t need to use as much in the future because it’s so pigmented). This foundation is easy to blend but the only thing you have to look out for is once it dries (relatively quickly in 1-3 minutes) it is DRY and SET so don’t try to blend it out again because you will just mess it up. This foundation lasts me all day and/or night long and keeps me relatively matte without drying me out too much. Once it’s on it doesn’t feel super heavy or cakey which is nice for how full coverage and pigmented it is. I spent at least an hour trying to figure out online which color to get in this and while I like to think I picked the best match I do definitely have to blend it very well down my neck and blend very very well if I’m wearing my hair up. This foundation color is also super yellow which I like because I think it balances out my redness, but I know not everyone likes super yellow foundation. I would recommend this to anyone that is looking for a full coverage foundation with great coverage and staying power who has normal to oily skin. This is my favorite thing I bought. This price tag is a little high, but I’m hoping that since it’s so pigmented that I will use less and it will last me longer (fingers crossed!) Here’s a pic of me wearing it: