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    • Beauty

      YouTube & Beauty

      I've been saying forever that I want to start doing video tutorials on my blog, but to be totally honest, I'm scared to put myself out there in that way! Like pretty much every other girl out there, I stay up way later than I should watching everything from Cara, of the blog Maskcara, highlight and contour to Mr. Kate, doing the perfect sock bun.  How do they make everything look so easy?!

      When I try to film mine in my bathroom I look like, well.. a girl in her bathroom filming on her computer. It's not good. So, thats where I need YOUR help! For all of you that have done the "YouTube" thing, what am I doing wrong? Is there something I need to invest in that will make this whole thing much easier? Give me all your tips!

      In the meantime here are some of my favorite YouTube channels:

      Maskcara                                                                                                                                   Jaclyn Hill                                                                                                                                           Mr. Kate                                                                                                  Elle Fowler                                                                            MMandLShow                                                                                                                                      Kandee Johnson

      Who are your favorites? What do you like about them? What kind of things would you like me do?  Let me know in the comments!

    • Beauty

      My Favorite Products: Blinc Ultrathin Eyeliner Pen

      I swear.. ok,maybe kind of promise.. that I could get ready in half the time if I never tried to use liquid eyeliner ever again. I'll spend forever getting it pretty good and then without fail, I'll decide to make it a little thicker which undoubtedly ruins it. I saw this on Pinterest and it made me feel better that there are other girls who have the same struggle:


      Well, I think I've found the "holy grail" of easy to use liquid eyeliners. The Blinc Ultrathin Liquid Eyeliner Pen supposedly has the thinnest, most precise brush in the world and while I don't know if that's true or not, I do know that it has made my life much easier. It's also waterproof and let me tell you, they mean it. Last in week in Key West I went swimming with Ricki and when I came up from the water I was expecting to have black circles around my eyes that would scare small children, but thankfully that stuff didn't move. It's perfect for the days that you just want a thin, clean line but it's also you can also build it up, so you can get as "Amy Winehouse-esque" as you like.

      And if you still need some extra help, I found this scotch tape trick on Pinterest and believe it or not, it actually works! Just be sure to put the tape on your hand a few times to make it less sticky or else you'll be taking half of your face off with it.

      And one more thing... For all of you who are going to say, "Oh, how much are you getting paid to say that??"  I randomly bought this with my own money at Jeffre Scott Apothecary. So there. :)

    • Beauty

      My All-Time Favorite Perfumes

      As a girl, most of us have a vanity full of perfumes that we've collected over the years. Some we bought because we love the way it smells and some just because we like the way the bottle looks sitting on our counter. I've always wanted to be one of those people that has a "signature scent", but the problem is I love too many! One of my favorite childhood memories was giving my mom a hug before she went out to dinner with my dad, smelling her perfume in her fur coat, and thinking she was the most glamorous lady to ever walk the earth.

      So, even though I've found my "signature scent", I figured I'd share with you a few of my favorites! I found most of these by asking people who I thought smelled good what kind of perfume they were wearing, so let me know what others I need to try in the comments!

      1. TOM FORD BLACK ORCHID(description from Sephora) The custom grown (and über rare) TOM FORD BLACK ORCHID is the show-stopping note in this incredibly luxurious scent. Sultry woods and rich fruit accords help to bring out the skin's natural perfume, and the jet-black, art-deco inspired bottle adds to the fragrances overall glamour.  *This is one of my all time favorites and I always get compliments when I wear it. Just be careful not to use too much because it's strong! 

      2. KAI(description from Fragrantica.com) Kai is a gorgeous fragrance based on white flowers with dominance of gardenia, fresh and very natural.*If you love gardenias, you'll love this scent. I carry the oil roller in my pocketbook. 

      3.  VIKTOR & ROLF FLOWERBOMB(description from Sephora) This floral explosion releases a profusion of flowers that has the power to make everything seem more positive. Magically evocative notes immediately awaken your deepest senses, giving you the impression of living life in your own secret garden, away from reality. Sambac jasmine, centifolia rose, cattleya orchid, and ballerina freesia bloom on a base of patchouli. *Flowerbomb should be in every girly-girl's collection! 

      4. JO MALONE LIME BASIL & MANDARIN: (description from Nordstrom) Reminiscent of the scent of limes carried on a Caribbean sea breeze, Lime Basil & Mandarin has become a modern classic for men and women. Fresh limes and zesty mandarins are undercut by peppery basil and aromatic white thyme in this alluring signature blend. *One day I told my mother-in-law how good she smelled and the next day she surprised me with it as a gift! I use this one as my everyday scent and always get a ton of compliments. It's definitely a more masculine scent. 

      5. ARMANI PRIVE PIERRE DE LUNE:  (description from Neiman Marcus) Pierre de Lune boasts the floral nobility of Cassie Flower, green and penetrating, enhanced with a hint of Belambre, a customised synthetic note with vibrant amber undertones. A fragrance hewn by Giorgio Armani himself with precision, enhanced with the ultimate refinement of a French garden. *I really don't even know how to describe this one, other than I absolutely love it. It's also one of my all-time favorites, but I probably won't ever buy it again because it's so expensive. I bought it without asking the price because I thought there was no way it was more than $60 or so. Needless to say, I was way wrong. Lesson learned. Why does perfume have to be so expensive??


    • Beauty

      Skin Secrets: SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic Serum

      A few months ago I posted my daily skincare routine and while it's still pretty much the same, I have switched up a pretty important part since my skin always gets extra dry this time of year. I've always been a huge fan of SkinCeuticals and all of their serums, so during the summer I use their Phloretin CF and during the winter I use the CE Ferulic because the vitamin E helps keep my skin hydrated.

      Again, I know I'm going to get a million comments about how expensive it is but since I only use 1-2 drops a day, a whole bottle will last me about 6 months. It's so important to be on some type of vitamin C serum if you want to keep young healthy skin and fight the signs of aging, sun damage, and brighten all at once! I apply it after I wash my face in the morning and let it sink in for a few minutes before I apply my moisturizer.

      For a less expensive version, try Boots No7 Protect and Perfect Intense Serum. I've never tried it but since it has vitamin C, it could be a great tester to see if you like it before you buy the more potent SkinCeuticals version.

      Have you tried any other vitamin C serums? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

    • Beauty

      My Tips For Healthier Hair

      It's no secret that I've worn extensions and absolutely LOVE them. What I don't love is the damage they do to my hair and honestly, the maintenance it takes to keep them looking healthy. I've tried the bonded kind and the tape ins and if I ever do get them again, I'll definitely go the tape in route. Much less expensive and way easier on your hair.

      But anyway, ever since I took my extensions out a few months ago I've been trying really hard to get my hair back to the condition it was in. (Sidenote: I didn't wear extensions on the show!) I've always had long, healthy hair but last year after putting my hair through so much stress I decided I needed to cut it and just start over. Since then, I've been using less heat on my hair and using a mask once a week. I had always heard that I needed to do that, especially since I color my hair, but never did because who has time for that?? I thought it had to be this huge process that would take forever and be a huge inconvenience, but I've learned it doesn't have to be. I just apply mine while I'm in the shower, brush through it with a wide tooth comb and then clip it on top of my head. Sometimes I'll put on a shower cap if I want to be safe. I just leave it on the time it takes me to shave my legs, sing a couple songs, and use my Clarisonic. I probably should leave it on a little longer but for me, it works!

      Here are some other tips for healthy hair:

      1.) Cut down on heat styling! I know we hear this everywhere and very rarely listen to it, but just try it once. When I know I'm going to curl my hair I'll let it air dry and it gives my hair more body every time. If I do use a hair dryer I wait until it's almost already completely dry and always use a heat protectant!

      2.) Sleep with your hair in a braid tied with a scrunchie (Yes. Scrunchie. But be sure to remove it before leaving the house.) or I wrap my hair in a loose, low bun and use a small clip.

      3.) Try a good dry shampoo so that you can go longer between washing. I usually go about 4-5 days! (Here's my post on my faves!)

      4.) Take a vitamin such as biotin or Viviscal. I have heard Viviscal works wonders and have started taking it so I'll keep you all updated!

      What are your favorite hair treatments or tips for health hair?

    • Beauty

      Undying Love For My Clarisonic


      This isn't the first time I've blogged about my Clarisonic, but my love for it runs so deep that I felt the need to sing my praises for it once again. Especially since winter makes my skin turn into something from Tales of the Crypt and this seems to be one of my few saving graces!  Before I had one I just assumed it was yet another expensive thing that was being hyped up by people paid to say they like it, but after using it it for over a year I can say it totally lives up to its hype. And no, I'm not one of those people being paid to say I like it!  Sometimes I'll get lazy and will go a few days without using it and sure enough there's a breakout on my face as a reminder.

      So, whether it's a gift to yourself or a friend, it will be the best money you've spent on your skin. Promise. They even make a men's version! You can also get the body brush head to scrub off old spray tan.

      Have you tried the Clarisonic? Please tell me I'm not alone in my obsession!

    • Beauty

      Laura Mercier Radiance Primer

      A few weeks ago when I posted about my beloved, Egyptian Magic face cream I went into Sephora looking for anything that would disguise the fact that my skin was totally falling off of my face. As I'm digging around, unknowingly trying my hardest to spend every last penny in my bank account in this store, one of the girls that works there came over and introduced herself. I honestly couldn't listen to a word she was saying because her skin was FLAWLESS. I think I actually interrupted her and told her I wanted everything she uses. Creepy? Yes. Worth it? For sure.

      She told me she swears by Laura Mercier Radiance Primer and that I should try it first, because I already use a tinted moisturizer that I really like. Since I'll buy anything anyone tells me will make me look pretty (don't judge, ok?), I of course left with the primer not expecting much. Well, after a few weeks of using it I think it might be one of my favorite products ever. I usually stay away from anything that says it makes your skin "glow" because I end up looking like a backwoods version of JLo, with my face super bronze and the rest of my body as pale as snow. Not exactly what I was going for. The Laura Mercier Radiance Primer doesn't really bronze my skin, but just gives it a healthy, dewey look that helps my makeup stay throughout the day. I use it under any foundation and it works just the same under all of them. My favorites right now are the Armani Luminous Silk Foundation (I use 4.5 in the winter) and Tarte Amazonian Clay BB Tinted Moisutrizer (I use Medium).

      I also used the primer on top of my foundation as a highlighter and it worked amazingly well. At $40 a tube, I definitely want to get my money's worth and I can honestly say I will continue buying this primer unless I find something I like better. I use the tiniest bit because it spreads very easily, so one tube will last me a long time.

      What are your secrets for beating the winter "blah" face?

    • Beauty

      My GlossyBox Review

      Ever since I was a little girl I have loved checking the mailbox. When I was 7 I adopted a manatee in the Florida Keys just so they would me pictures of her in the mail. At age 10 I somehow learned of the Publisher's Clearing House and got so many letters from them I was convinced Ed McMahon would be knocking on my parents door at any moment, holding a check for $1,000,000.

      As an adult, checking the mail gets a lot less fun. Junk mail coupons, bills, catalogs for stuff you want to buy but know you shouldn't.. the list goes on. However, there is one day a month that I look forward to walking to the mailbox more than any other day. GlossyBox Day. I can spot that cute, flowery box from a mile away.

      I'm pretty new to the whole "subscription beauty box" thing, so I don't have a whole lot to compare it to, but from what I've read GlossyBox, is the leading in luxury beauty products. For $21 per month, or less depending on the length of your subscription, you get a box of five luxury beauty samples and sometimes full size products. In the few months I have been getting GlossyBoxes, I have repurchased atleast six of the products, including one in Octobers box! It was the Renu Exfoliating Gel, which I never would've even heard of it weren't for the GlossyBox and it was perfect for my dry skin! I also got a full size tube of the Tarte "Lights Camera Flashes" Mascara, but I haven't tried it yet because I just got lash extensions (more on that another day!).  And if you travel as much as I do, the smaller sizes are perfect for suitcases and I put the ones I don't use in a glass vase in my guest bathroom for my friends to use when they stay the night.

      Have you tried any of the "Beauty Subscription" boxes? If so, which are your favorites?

      If you want to try GlossyBox, click here!

    • Beauty

      Winter (dry skin) Blues: Egyptian Magic to the Rescue


      So, my skin has just decided that it doesn't want to be on my face anymore. Seriously.. its falling off to the point where I can't even put any makeup on and I've been trying everything in my never ending drawer of products. I don't know if it's the heat in my house or what, but the other day I hit my limit and decided to do what every girl does when she has a problem. Pinterest.  (SIDENOTE: My mom and I have a deal that if something ever happens to me she'll take my computer and destroy it. I suggest you do the same because as girls, we google some weird $&!*.. don't act like you don't!)

      Anyway, I found an article where Lauren Conrad said she swore by Egyptian Magic for her dry skin and  I remebered being in a meeting with the girls at InStyle and every one of them said the exact same thing. So, I figured if Lauren Conrad AND the fabulous girls of my favorite magazine say it works, I need it too. It was a matter of seconds before I was on Amazon clicking express shipment. I can honestly say that the morning after I put it on I woke up to the my normal skin back! Not a speck of dry skin in sight! I wish I could tell you the magic ingredients and the science behind it, but if you haven't been able to tell by now, I don't really care as long as it works and this does.  If it's good enough for Lauren Conrad, it's good enough for me.

    • Beauty


      For so long I'd heard so much about how I had to wear a primer if I wanted my makeup to look good and last all day. Being the sceptic that I am, I just assumed it was yet another useless product that someone was trying to sell me. It wasn't until I tried a sample of one in my GlossyBox that I knew I'd been missing out. So, heres a list of some of my favorites!

      Boots No7 Colour Calming Primer-  I love this one because it hides any kind of redness, whether it's sunburn or blemishes.

      Mally Perfect Prep Poreless Primer-  Love this one! Just be sure to use something other than your fingers to scoop it out of the pot so you don't contaminate it.

      OC Eight- This one is pretty tough to find, but even on the hottest days of summer my makeup doesn't move at all. I only apply it to my t-zone and then wait about five minutes for it to dry before I put on my makeup. 

      Benefit Stay Flawless Primer-Just like almost every other Benefit product, this primer works amazingly well! It's super thick, so just be sure to apply your makeup with your fingers or a BeautyBlender sponge instead of a brush.

      SmashBox Photo Finish Light- I feel like SmashBox is the Holy Grail of primers and a lot of other people agree because it has won pretty much every award there is to win!

      HourGlass Self-Tanning Primer- This is the only one that I haven't tried, but have been hearing really good things about it. I'm a sucker for anything self tanning, so let me know if any of you have tried this one!

      What are your favorites? Let me know of any that I need to try!

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