My Happy Planner :: Unboxing and First Impression

Me and My Big Ideas Create 365 My Happy Planner

I’m baaack! Not as soon as I hoped to be, but better than I’ve been doing. Today I want to talk about my new planner! I am obsessed with planning and organization (though you’d never know it if you went through my stuff). I weighed my options between Erin Condrin, Kate Spade, and this My Happy Planner. Obviously the Happy Planner from Me and My Big Ideas won. So today’s post I’m going to show you the unboxing and go through my first impressions of the product. Once I’ve had a chance to do a few good spreads I’ll do an update post showing you how I lay out my daily schedule as well as the monthly view.

My Happy Planner Flat Pack

This is the box it arrives in. As you can see the box is 12x12x2 so it definitely wouldn’t fit in my mail slot. Fortunately the community boxes have several over sized boxes at the bottom so the mail man just put it in one of them and left the key in my slot. But the box is boring, so lets get to the fun stuff.

My Happy Planner Box Contents

I ordered the Gold Foil Dot Planner and a set of Neutral To Do Stickers. They came packed up nice and safe. Nothing was damaged when it arrived.

My Happy Planner Gold Foil Dots

So here’s the planner itself. Pictures really don’t do it much justice. The white is crisp and the gold foil dots look great in the light. I will admit that I really wanted the My Life Planner, but it was sold out at the time I ordered. I am really glad I got this one though. I think its just so beautiful with the shiny gold foil dots on the crisp white background.

My Happy Planner Tabs

This planner also has tabs separating the months. I’m some older reviews on YouTube people were saying the tabs weren’t laminated, but these are. After a lot of reviews its probably something they changed. Nice to know there are companies that listen to peoples feedback, right?

My Happy Planner Monthly Spread

Here’s the monthly spread. It’s pretty typical. It has space along the side for notes, which is nice for writing in extras or things you need to remember to schedule.

My Happy Planner Weekly Spread

This is the weekly spread, and by far my favorite thing about this planner. I love the vertical layout as opposed to the traditional horizontal one. It too has space for notes along the side for things that need to be accomplished at some point during the week, not necessarily on a specific day. They also have little quotes along the bottom margin. This one says “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”.

My Happy Planner To Do Stickers Neutral

Last thing I want to show you guys are the stickers I ordered. These are the To Do Stickers in Netural. There are six pages all in the same color scheme with little reminders for things like travel, appointments, and to dos.

I am absolutely thrilled that I went with this planner over the others. Like I said earlier I’ll do an updated post once I’ve done a few spreads so I can show you how I organize and decorate this planner, along with some DIY stickers and great finds on etsy.

Until next time, thank you so much for being around though all the craziness that’s been going on lately. I’ll have an update post hopefully in short order so you guys know what’s been going on. Just know that I’m so thankful for you guys and I’ll talk to you soon!

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FTC: This is NOT a sponsored post. I purchased all of the items mentioned with my own money.

Exposed Skincare

Exposed Skin Care ReviewHoney, I’m home! Did you miss me? I missed you! I really have, I miss writing regularly and wearing all kinds of fun makeup, but I’m working on finding more time for blogging. Right now I’m barely balancing work and home, but I promise I really am working on it.

Anyway I got the chance to try out this Exposed Skincare line for treating acne, and I want to share my results and experiences with you guys. I am going to do this in my usual review sense, where I briefly touch on each product but the review is as the system as a whole. So let’s run through it!

Exposed Skin Care Box Contents

So the heading picture in this post is the box, this right here is everything in it. It comes with a quick start guide, a catalog, and the products. I received the Facial Cleanser, Clearing Tonic, Clear Pore Serum, Acne Treatment Serum, Microdermabrasion Scrub, and the Derm Cloth.

Exposed Skin Care Suggest Routine

This is the quick start guide with the suggested morning and evening routines. It’s a little difficult to see in the picture but for morning it suggests using the Facial Cleanser, Clearing Tonic, and Acne Treatment Serum. For evening it suggests the Facial Cleanser, Clearing Tonic, Clear Pore Serum, and Moisture Complex (optional). This routine did not work for me, and we’re going to talk more about that later after I run through the products.

Exposed Skin Care Cleanser and Tonic

Here we have the Facial Cleanser and the Clearing Tonic. The Facial Cleanser is a clear gel with a nice soapy scent to it. A little goes a very long way, this stuff lathers like crazy. It’s a little on the drying side, but not overly so. As long as you’re using a quality moisturizer with these products you shouldn’t run into any problems unless your skin is already very dry to begin with.

The Clearing Tonic is like most toners. It’s a clear liquid that’s a little on the viscous side. It has that unscented smell to me, but that doesn’t bother me any. Like the cleanser, a little goes a long way. They recommend applying this with your hands instead of a cotton pad and I completely agree. I tried putting it on a cotton pad and had to use almost twice as much product because the cotton absorbed it.

Exposed Skin Care Serums and Microdermabrasion Scrub

The Clear Pore Serum is recommended for use in the evening routine. It smells like licorice which I think was nice, considering the alternative is smelling like a bunch of chemical compounds. Its supposed to help clear your pores and rebalance your skin overnight.

The Acne Treatment Serum is for the morning routine. It smells the best out of all the products, like Tea Tree Oil. That’s one of my favorite smells in the world so I was extremely excited for this. This is supposed to kill bacteria and help treat and prevent breakouts.

The Microderm Scrub can be used once or twice a week as a treatment. It doesn’t smell very good, but most microdermabrasion scrubs and systems don’t. It isn’t as abrasive as the scrub I make myself, but it still works very well. It leaves your skin instantly smoother without all the redness that comes from a harsher scrub.

Exposed Skin Care Microfiber Cloth

The last thing I received was the Derm Cloth. Its a 10×10 microfiber towel to help deep clean your skin. It works very well with the facial cleanser. My skin definitely felt very clean.

So putting the whole system together, I love all of it. I did have one problem however. I started getting red flaky patches on my skin that were dry and uncomfortable. Going through the process of elimination I determined that the cause was using both the Clear Pore Serum and the Acne Treatment Serum on the same day. I scaled that back to only using one a day and the problem cleared up and hasn’t returned.

As far as making a difference in my skin, yes. I have seen a lovely improvement. This didn’t clear everything up overnight. Any product that claims to clear up your skin in a very short amount of time is a scam. It takes weeks sometimes even months to see results from something. After about two weeks of use I started seeing improvement in my skin and its been going up from there.

Will I keep using this? Will I repurchase this? Yes, I will keep using it. As for repurchasing I will definitely pick up the serums and the scrubs when they’re gone, but the jury is still out on the cleanser and clearing tonic. I like all of the products I’ve tried, but I’m still not 100% on the repurchase aspect of those two.

Don’t just take my word for it. Check them out here and see the products and more information before making your own decision.

That’s it for this post, but I hope to be back soon(ish) with more fun stuff for you. I’m shooting for next week, but don’t quote me on that, I’m still trying to find enough hours in the day.

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FTC: The Exposed Skincare line was given to me complimentary in exchange for my honest review and opinion. All opinions stated are 100% honest and in my own words.

No Affiliate Links

Amazing(ly wierd) Korean Beauty Goodies

Botanic Farm

Hello my Loves!  I have missed you all so very very much. I’m still adjusting to my new schedule and I’m having extreme difficulties finding time to brush my teeth, let alone write. But I’m getting better and more efficient every day and working back towards a regular posting schedule. I don’t want this intro to get super long, so I’m going to leave it at that and we’re going to get right into the goodies I was talking about in the title.

Botanic Farm Rose Mask

I’ve decided I’m going in order of least to most unusual, so we’re starting with this Botanic Farm Rose Sheet Mask. We’ve all seen and used masks, I don’t have to tell you how they work. I popped this beauty on my face and let it hang out there for about 20 minutes. When I popped it off my skin was gorgeous and glowing. This is a great same day mask. The gorgeous glowy goodness lasted for about 6 hours after I removed it and then my skin went back to its usual self. I love masks like this that are great for quick same day results. If you ever find yourself needing to have a good skin day, but you’re having a horrible one, this mask is P-E-R-F-E-C-T.

Botanic Farm Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbert

Next is the Botanic Farm (all of these products are Botanic Farm) Grain Ferment Cleansing Sherbet. Cleanser isn’t weird … fermented cleanser might be a little weird, but it’s all good. I found the texture of this a little odd. It’s smooth but kind of grainy at the same time. This also dried out my skin a little bit. Nothing that a good healthy dose of moisturizer couldn’t fix, but I skipped the majority of my skin care routine because my face just felt tight. If you don’t have an overly complex skin care routine or if you have oily skin this is perfect, but if you have normal skin, sensitive skin, or dry skin this isn’t for you.

Botanic Farm Camel Milk Hydrogel Mask Pack

Hydrogel masks are kind of weird. Camel Milk Hydrogel Masks are down right weird. But it was really cool. Once I got used to the sensation (if you’ve never used a hydrogel mask it feels sort of like soft, wet rubber) it was worth it. Again I left this one on for 20 minutes and just hung out, checked Instagram, watched some trashy reality TV, basic there’s-a-mask-on-my-face-and-I-can’t-do-anything stuff. Once I pulled it off my skin didn’t look that great. I felt like the patchiness of my skin was exaggerated. It was extremely hydrated and it felt soft, but it didn’t look like it felt soft. My skin calmed down overnight and looked good for a couple days after. I would love to see the results of weekly use on this mask.

Botanic Farm Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch

The final and by far weirdest thing I got to try out was the Salmon Egg Hydrogel Eye Patch. This is an under eye mask that like all other masks you just plop it on, hang out, and remove it. This is also my favorite of all the things I got to try out. This gave my under eye skin a great boost in hydration. I would love to give this a shot in the morning just to see how wonderfully my concealer goes on in that area. Also don’t worry, it doesn’t smell. None of the products I’ve mentioned has any soft of offensive odor.

That’s all of it dears! I would encourage you to check these products out and to search out some more reviews.

For the record, I have normal skin with the occasional pimple. My skin isn’t sensitive and it’s rather difficult to shake. If your skin is like mine, it’s a safe bet similar products will work for you. If it isn’t, keep checking reviews until you find one from someone with your skin type. Better safe than sorry!

Thank you so much for sticking around while I’m transitioning. Just know that I love each and every one of you and I’m so thankful that you’re here!

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FTC: The Botanic Farms products mentioned here were give to me complimentary in exchange for my honest review and opinion. All opinions are 100% honest and in my own words.

No Affiliate Links.

So Where Have I Been?

Hello all my loves and thank you to each and every one of you reading this. I have been decidedly absent as of late, and I think you guys deserve an explanation.

I’ve had a whole lot going on in my life lately. I suffer from sever anxiety that interferes with my daily life and I’ve been experiencing a greater than normal number of attacks. I do have some great coping mechanisms (and I’m actually planning on doing a post on them) that help me get through the attacks but they can render me essentially useless for quite some time.

I also started a new part time job. I would normally post Monday, Wednesday, Friday but those are the days that I’m working now. So I need to work out a new posting schedule, but I’m sure I can come up with something.

Last I want to apologize for having nothing but sponsored content for the past couple weeks. I promise I’m not that blogger. I want to put it out there for the record that I get between 10-15 offers each month for products for review etc, and I only accept maybe 2 or 3. I try to shy away from “self serving” posts. I get offers for things I would absolutely love, but I know that you guys wouldn’t want to see it. When that happens I politely decline.

I’m also trying to avoid painting myself into a corner with post types, so I’m going to try to expand a bit.

With all of that in mind, thank you so much I love all of you and I’ll be back with some fun stuff very soon.

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Review :: NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Wash Review

Hello my dearests and welcome back! I know I’ve been gone for awhile (more on that in another post) but I promise I have not abandoned my blog and I’m working on getting everything flowing again. All that aside today I want to talk about an anti aging face wash. I know. Me? Talking about something anti aging? Shocking! Anyone who has read a post here before knows that I love my skin care, and I love anti aging. I firmly believe that if you aren’t using anti aging skin care by your early twenties you’re already behind. So today we’re going to talk about the NeoStrata face wash that I’ve been using twice a day and have fallen head over heels in love with. I have a few very important skin warnings through out this post so make sure to be on the lookout and pay extra attention to anything you see in bold.

NeoStrata Box

This is a very high strength AHA cleanser. Soap-free, fragrance-free, and as gentle as something like this could possibly be. That being said, this is not for someone who hasn’t been using AHA products on their skin. I’m going to come out and say that right now. You’re skin needs to develop a bit of a tolerance before you can jump right into the big leagues. Almost every product I use on my face is formulated for anti aging, I’m quite used to it.

NeoStrata Claims and Directions

This is a resurfacing wash. Instead of exfoliating with small grains or beads, it exfoliates chemically. This could be problematic for someone with extremely sensitive skin. I noticed after a few days that my skin seemed able to breathe better. Obviously I haven’t been using it long enough for maximum benefit, but I have noticed a small difference. It’s cleaning my skin better than a traditional scrub because its occurring chemically it can happen on a smaller scale and it’s happening more evenly. When you use a gritty scrub there’s a chance that part of your face only sees the soap, that’s not the case with this face wash. I’ve also noticed that after about a week the product I use on my skin next absorbs more completely. I’m not left feeling like there’s still serum on my face.

You use this like any another face wash with one extremely important difference. You absolutely must use a good quality sunscreen while you’re using any product that contains AHA. You also need to avoid getting your eyebrows waxed. AHA makes your skin a little bit thinner and you run the risk of pulling your skin off with the hair. Don’t take the risk. Pluck your brows yourself or go get them threaded.

NeoStrata Cautions and Storage

I thought I would also post the cautions and storage portions of the box. Most cosmetics have a pretty wide range they can be stored at (above 40 F and below 120 F). This product on the other hand wants to be in a much tighter range. I do have it sitting on my bathroom counter, since my house is always within the temperatures listed. As far as the cautions are concerned it’s pretty garden variety stuff. Don’t eat it. Don’t wash your eyes with it. If it’s burning your skin or you develop a rash, stop using it. Don’t let kids play with it. Again, if your skin isn’t accustomed to high AHA, build up some tolerance before jumping in.

NeoStrata Foaming Glycolic Acid Wash Demo

Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for! The foam itself. It’s incredibly thick, not at all watery. This is two pumps and the foam is about the size of a golf ball. You’re looking at the foam on a sheet of wax paper. Notice how you don’t see any signs of water around the edges? It’s hanging upside down. You read that right. I’m holding the piece of wax paper upside down and the foam is just hanging in there. I tilted it all around and it didn’t budge a bit. Two to three pumps is all I need to wash my face. I want to point out that I don’t exactly take my time with it. I do have quite the tolerance built up, but I still want to get in there, cleanse my face, and wash it off. I make sure to keep it moving so that it isn’t sitting in one spot for too long and I rinse my face very thoroughly with warm water then pat dry. Follow up with the usual skin care routine (toner, serums, moisturizer) and you’re good to go!

NeoStrata Ingredients

I leave you with a parting shot of the ingredients just in case you’re curious. This is not a natural product. It’s full of chemicals meant to exfoliate your skin, and wonderful in every way. I highly highly highly recommend this to anyone with anti aging skin care concerns, who isn’t new to anti aging skin care. One last time for good measure, if you’re new to anti aging, this is not the product for you.

What’s your favorite anti aging product? Tell me in the comments below!

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FTC: Sponsored Post. No Affiliate Links.

A Guide To Press On Nails

a guide to press on nails

Hello Dears! Today I want to talk about an exciting find! I bought my first set of these Fing’rs Prints Press On Nails awhile ago and I was so impressed with them I bought a few more sets and wanted to share one with you guys today. As a general rule press on nails usually don’t work well for me. I can typically only wear a set of press on nails for a day before they start falling off. These on the other hand lasted until I got sick of looking at them and peeled them off. So I really want to show you this really affordable alternative to traditional acrylic or gel nails.

prep nails

For the sake of ease my nails are already prepped. I trimmed them down, buffed them lightly, and cleaned them off with a little rubbing alcohol so there were no traces of buffed nail or oil left.

check for fit

Check the nails for fit. You want to know which press on nail goes where before you start applying them. I love that these already have the glue on the back so I don’t have to mess around with a little tube of nail glue.

apply nails to dominant hand first

Once you’ve checked for fit, apply then nails to your dominant hand first. Like the vast majority of the population I’m right handed. By applying the nails to my right hand first I can ensure that both hands will look good. You won’t lose too much coordination with your dominant hand with the nails on, but your other hand might be a little off for awhile.

repeat process on other hand

Repeat the process on your other hand. If you got a little sloppy and touched your natural nails a lot you might want to give them another swipe with the rubbing alcohol and wait a few seconds for it to evaporate.

nails applied

Now all of your awesome nails are applied. It’s my personal preference to wait a few minutes for the glue to really set up before doing anything demanding with my hands. As a general rule I also never use my nails as tools, this will be especially important while you have fake nails. Even though the nails will stay put you could be damaging your natural nails.

3d charmYou could easily leave well enough alone, but these nails also come with 3D charms. I decided to add one to the ring finger on my left hand. They come with little glue tabs that are easy to work with. Add the tab to the nail where you want the charm, pull off the backing, and press on the charm. Couldn’t be easier.

finished nails

Here are my finished nails! They’re adorable, they’re on good, and most importantly they’re going to last. I typically get sick of looking at them after about six days and peel them off. I’ve never had one of these pop off or get loose. All that’s left to do is accessorize!

anjolee bridal set

I chose this gorgeous bridal set from Anjolee. These are CZ’s and not diamonds (since they were complimentary) but that’s an option available for add on when you purchase the real thing. I think that’s an amazing option that more jewelers should offer. That way you don’t have to take the real deal on vacation or anywhere they might get lost.

Anjolee also has a lot of other amazing jewelry options and since you can customize the quality of the stones it can be really affordable considering its real jewelry. If you’re in the market I encourage you check them out!

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FTC: The Bridal Set from Anjolee was provided complimentary to be featured in a post. Everything else shown here was purchased by me and the post was written and edited entirely by me and in my own words.

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask Review

Adovia Mineral Skin Care Purifying Mud Mask

Why hello there! Today I’m going to semi quickly run through this new mask I’ve been using. This is the Adovia Purifying Mud Mask with skin loving goodness from the Dead Sea. Mud from the Dead Sea is all the rage in skin care and has been for awhile. It’s really common place for face masks to contain “mud” from the “Dead Sea” (I’ll explain the quotes in a minute here) but some of them stand out from the rest. This is one of those masks and today we’re going to talk about what sets it apart and why I love it.

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask Close Up

First off, getting the pertinents out of the way, It’s a 5.1 oz tube for $20. Assuming you use it once a week the tube should last for a year. 52 weeks in a year so you should get 52 uses out of the tube for $20 so we do a little math and each use breaks down to 38 cents. I can definitely live with that price. Clearly there’s value there. What about quality?

Adovia Purifying Mud Mask IngredientsOh, I’m sorry. Did I just see Dead Sea Water listed as an ingredient? And right up there at the top with Demineralized water? Why yes, yes I did. Right after that comes Dead Sea mud. This mask is mostly made of exactly what it says it is. A lot of times you find a low cost mask in a chain store that says “dead sea” on it. If you flip it over and read the ingredients you’ll probably find that “dead sea mud” is the last ingredient. That means they literally put just enough in to call it a “dead sea mud mask” when really its made from clay I can dig up in my back yard. Also you’ll notice from this picture that it is not tested on animals. Bonus! Now we have all that stuff out of the way we can get down to the important part. Actually using the mask.

wearing a mud mask

There are girls who look cute while wearing a mask, and then there’s me. But that’s okay, it doesn’t matter what the mask looks like on. It matters what your skin looks like when the mask comes off. This is one of those rare masks where your skin actually looks really nice when you wash it off. I didn’t have to go into hiding for 12 hours so my skin could calm down.

When you apply the mask it’s very thick and has a bit of grit to it. Like every other mask you apply it on clean skin, let it dry, and wash it off. The directions say to leave it on for 10-20 minutes, so I split the difference and went with 15. Fair warning, this is not the easiest mask to remove, It took me about 7 minutes to get it completely off. When I took it off my skin looked softer, smoother, and a bit more evened out (that’s a temporary side effect of masks). It wasn’t overly drying, but it’s very important to follow up with toner and a good moisturizer.

Overall, this is the best mask I’ve tried at the price point. It left me with good feelings. Whenever I try something out and I’m going to write about it I always ask myself “Would I recommend this to my best friend or my mom or one of my sisters?” In this case the answer is absolutely yes. This is a great product that you want sitting on your vanity. Pick it up on amazon before they’re gone!

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FTC: The Adovia Purifying Mud Mask was provided complimentary in exchange for my honest review and feedback. All opinions stated are 100% honest and in my own words.

No Affiliate Links

My Hair Kit

My Hair Kit

Hi Dears! I wanted to run through my hair kit with you guys today. It’s almost all from the drugstore and everything is really affordable. I had some trouble narrowing down products, though. I wanted to highlight 5-10 and I wound up with 13. This is by no means my whole kit, this is just what I love and use the most. Let’s look at my essentials.

hot tools

The first tool shown is a one inch curling iron from Conair. It has 25 heat settings and it heats up in about 30 seconds. I use this when I’m going to curl my hair in a ponytail.

Next is the Kiss InstaWave. I use this whenever I curl my whole head. It only takes 10-15 minutes to do my hair with this miracle worker.

The flat iron is my trusty Revlon Smooth Stay 1 inch Titanium. I’ve had it for a few years and its still going strong. I prefer titanium to ceramic since it heats more evenly, doesn’t develop hot spots, and doesn’t chip on the edges and eat your hair while you’re trying to straighten it. Titanium for life yo!

I have a Conair Infiniti Pro hot brush. I don’t use this to dry my hair. It’s only 500 watts so it would take about 3 hours to completely dry my hair. I mostly use this for body and volume at my roots.

Last is my blow dryer. This is a Remington that I picked up at a Walgreens on the way to my boyfriend’s (at the time) house because we were going a pool and I forgot my dryer at home. That was six years ago. It works just as well today as the day I bought it and it was $14.99. I’m considering getting a new one since the technology has vastly improved over the past 6 years, but there’s still no reason to spend big bucks when the ones from the drugstore are fabulous.

brushes and tools

That big pink thing on the top is my microfiber twisty turban hair towel. Yes, 2001 calls me all the time asking for it’s towel back. I send the calls to voice mail. This towel is one of the best investments I’ve made. It doesn’t squeeze my hair so tight that it breaks and the microfiber wicks water away like no ones business.

The first brush on the left is my detangle wet brush. This one is from Goody. They only cost about $8 but it gets the knots out of my wet hair without damaging it. A total must have.

Next is just a paddle brush I picked up from Sally’s. But it’s purple and it has rhinestones. If you haven’t noticed I really like purple (the wet brush is purple too). This is typically what I use to blow dry my hair straight. Once it’s about 90% dry I’ll take the paddle brush to it and work everything out.

A little rat tail comb is a must. This makes sure your parts are clean and in a pinch you can use it to tease your hair.

The last brush is a finishing brush from Sonia Kashuk. This is the smaller of the two. It’s a combination plastic and boar bristle brush that smooths your hair and transfers oil from root to tip so your hair is naturally shiny.

This little (or shall I say huge) clip is a necessity. I have tons of duck bill and crocodile clips, but I use this one the most. I use it to section hair for blow drying and it’s large enough that I can use it to clip all my hair up when I just need it out of my way.


Ahhh! The products! I’m not going to go in to tons of detail about all of these. I love them all and I want them to be known, but there are only a few I want to go into detail with.

The Garnier Root Amp Spray Mousse is a must if you have fine hair like me that tends to fall flat. Just spray a little at the roots, work it all the way through the ends, and dry. Be careful, it is a high hold mousse so if you use too much your hair will be sticky and crunchy.

The L’Oreal Volume Filler Densifying Gel is another must for fine hair. This swells the hair shaft making your hair look thicker. It doesn’t offer any styling hold though so you’ll need additional products for style.

The LA Looks Mega Waves gives amazing beachy waves with zero effort. Also it was only $1.99 for that huge bottle that I’ve had for about a year and is still half full because you only need a few sprays.

The Sebastian Texturizer Liquid Gel is the most expensive thing shown in the products but worth every penny. It was $17.99 at Ulta which isn’t horrible but its definitely not drugstore. Two pumps of this through wet hair will give you great separation and texture. Clean hair bed head is the best thing ever.

The last product I want to really highlight is the Umberto Dry Texture Spray. This is amazing for finishing. It’s got a light hold to it, but it gives so much fluff and texture. I spray it in my hair then flip it upside down and rake my fingers through it. When I flip back I have fabulous piecey hair. It does have a bit of a matte finish so you might want to follow with a shine spray if matte hair bugs you.

These are the loves of my hair kit. If you’re curious about any of the products I showed but didn’t really talk about or if you want to know more about anything drop me a line in the comments and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

What’s your hair holy grail?

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Fast At Home Manicure

at home manicure

Hi guys! Quick one today. I want to go through the fast version of my at home manicure. This is somewhere between a polish change and a full manicure. There are things I do in the full version that get left out of this one. If you’re interested in my full version I would be more than happy to do it (once my thumb nail grows back). This is great for if your nails are in pretty shabby shape and you need to fix them up but don’t have enough time to dedicate to a full blown mani.

Before we start there are some things you need: A shallow bowl with warm water and some oil (I used olive oil), clippers, nippers, buffer, file (optional), rubbing alcohol, paper towels, base coat, polish of your choice, top coat, nail polish remover, a q tip or orange stick, and a stiff brush. This whole process only takes about 15 minutes. Let’s get to it!


The first thing you want to do is soak your nails for about five minutes. This helps to soften them and the cuticle and it makes them easier to work with. After your time is up, dry your hands and move to the next step.

trim hangnails

Once your hands, nails, and cuticles are softened go in with the nippers and clip any hangnails. Do not cut your cuticles. Just get the annoying, painful, or gross looking hangnails.

push back cuticles

Next push back your cuticles. Normally I would use an orange stick but I just broke my last one. In a pinch a q tip works just as well. It takes longer, but it still works.

buff nails

Time to buff! Move gently in the same direction, not back and forth. This helps get rid of any ridges in your nails and provides a nice smooth surface for the polish. Smooth surface = smooth polish.


After buffing trim your nails down so their more uniform. You might need to file your nails after clipping if they get a little sharp on the edges.

clean nails

Clean the oil, filing dust, and other contaminants from your nails using a little rubbing alcohol on a piece of paper towel. I don’t recommend using nail polish remover for this. It doesn’t evaporate as quickly and can leave some acetone behind on your nails that might mess with your manicure.

base coat

Time for base coat. My favorite is Orly Bonder. It’s a rubberized base coat that really helps the polish stick, but you can use whatever you have on hand. If you have issues with chipping at the tips of your nails apply a thin coat to the tips only first, then go back and coat the whole nail.


Add two thin coats of whatever polish you’re using. I’m using Doutzen’s nude from the L’Oreal Collection Exclusive. It’s a more mauve pink nude than a brown or tan. It compliments my skin very nicely.

clean edges

After you paint your nails but before applying top coat clean your cuticles and edges with a stiff brush and some nail polish remover. Do this before you apply top coat because if you mar the polish a little accidentally the top coat will smooth everything back out.

top coat

The last thing to do is add one or two coats of your favorite top coat. I love the Orly Sec n’ Dry. It dries two coats of polish in 60 seconds. I add two coat and within three minutes my polish is actually dry enough to not dent. It isn’t the shiniest top coat in town, but it dries insanely fast and keeps my manicure in place for about a week.

Doutzens nude

Now you’re all done! Like I said this is a quick manicure. There are about 4 steps I omit from this version that I would do in a full manicure, but it gets my nails looking presentable in a pinch!

Do you like giving yourself at home manicures or do you prefer a salon day?

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Updated :: Nighttime Skincare Routine

nighttime skin care routine updated

Hi Pumpkins! Today I want to go through my nighttime skincare routine. Having a good routine for the night is very important to the overall health and well being of your skin. You should tailor your routine to your specific needs, however if your skin is similar to mine (mostly normal, slightly acne prone, with anti aging concerns) my routine is a good place to start. So I’m going to run through my routine and the products I use.

makeup remover wipes

I start out by removing my eye makeup and lipstick. If I’m wearing a waterproof eye makeup for whatever random reason I used a traditional oil based remover first, but I almost never do that. These ones from Costco are my absolute favorite.

cleansing oil

Next I use a cleansing oil. I used to only do this on days I slept in my makeup but I love how it makes my skin feel so I started using it at night as well. I only remove my eye makeup and lipstick with the makeup remover wipes and then I use the oil to remove the rest of the makeup from my face. You rub it on dry skin and then rinse with water. It works like a charm.

foaming facewash

After the cleansing oil I use a regular foaming face wash. This removes the remainder of the oil and it really gets in my pores to clear out dirt. My face feels super clean without being stripped of the necessary natural oils that protect it.

wonder serum

Next I use my Wonder Serum. This goes on after cleansing but before toning. I use a few drops and pat it in until it’s fully absorbed by my skin.


Next comes my be all end all holy grail skin care product. The Neutrogena Acne Stress Control Toner. If you were to ask me what one product is completely irreplaceable in my routine, it’s this. This is the toner of life. I’ve been using it for years and years. This is probably my hundredth bottle. In this whole post, if there is one product I would tell you that you absolutely need, it’s this.


Now it’s face serum time. I mix a few drops of the InstaNatural Hyaluronic Acid and a few drops of the InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum together and press them into my skin.

eye serum

Next I use an eye serum and pat it in under both eyes. This helps hydrate the area and deliver all the things skin needs to look good. This one in particular contains caffeine which helps keep the puffiness down.

night cream

I follow up with a nice, thick night cream. I love this one here with Cocoa Butter and Vitamin E. It keeps my skin super soft, it’s nice and thick so it stays put while my skin is absorbing it, and it smells good enough to eat.

eye gel

Next I put on an eye gel, and again I apply it a little heavier. Since your body repairs itself at night I make sure to give my skin all the tools it needs to look amazing in the morning.

lip balm

The last thing I do in my routine is slather on the lip balm. I put this on so heavy it looks like a mask on my lips. They’ll absorb it completely in about 15 minutes so I may put on a little more before I go to bed if I feel like my lips need it.

spot treatment

Bonus : If I feel a pimple coming on I put on a spot treatment before bed. Even over my other skin care products this works great and helps keep it from going three dimensional on me.

That’s it! This is how I take care of my skin in the evening to help keep it in great shape!

What’s your nighttime routine?

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