Hey girl hey! I wanted to hit you up today to give you details on some of my recent budget-friendly favorites from NYX cosmetics. They sent me a PR box recently and over the course of the last two months, I’ve been using and testing all of the products. I’ve had plenty of time to weed out the products that didn’t quite work for me and use the heck out of the ones that had me feelin’ myself. Two things I love about this company is the quality and the affordability. There are several items that I splurge on in the makeup department, but I commend NYX for providing such a great range of quality products at a price point that won’t break the bank! NYX is also a cruelty-free company (which is super important to me). Without further ado…check out my NYX favorites below! You can shop any products by clicking the links in the description or the pictures!

Who doesn’t love a good concelear?!? Sometimes it’s hard to find good coverage without the formula being cakey and thick, but the Hi Definition Photo Concealer passed the test with flying colors!
How to use: After I apply primer all over my face, I apply concealer in a triangle underneath my eyes and blend working my way out with a wet beauty blender. Btw: your concealer should be one shade lighter than your skin tone for extra brightness! This formula provides medium to heavy coverage without the cakey residue that can gather around fine lines (cause ain’t nobody got time for dat)! Cue the cheering crowds because this is a winner!

After my magic concealer and foundation, I like to set my face before moving on to my bronzer, blush, and highlighter. The HD Finishing Powder is a lightweight, translucent powder, but sets your face for a natural finish. I’m all about diminishing fine lines (welcome to your 30s) so this does a really good job of being a “filler” without a ton of fuss. Quick note: I was highly impressed with the quality of this brush too…so soft!
How to use: I use the Pro Fan Brush and press the powder into the areas where I apply concealer under my eyes and then lightly brush it over the rest of my face.

Next, let’s talk eyebrows. So, due to the horrific self-induced waxing massacre of 2001, my eyebrows are non-existent. Yep, here we are 17 years later, and they haven’t grown back properly. I completely rely upon a good brow pencil and have sworn by the Brow Power Pencil from ITcosmetics for years. Needless to say, I need my eyebrow pencil to fill in my brows at a superhero level capacity or else I’m on to the next one. After testing the Micro Brow Pencil, I can truly say this has saved the day (and some extra $)! It’s incredibly easy to apply because of the fine tip and the pencil formula is so smooth. Strokes look like fine brow hair. The finished look is natural and believable (nothing worse than the clown look, amiright?). I also love the duel function of the brush on the other end. It’s available in 8 colors so you can find your perfect match.

I think we can collectively agree that eye-shadow palettes are the best thing ever. I can honestly say the Smokey & Highlight Ultimate Shadow Palette is my favorite product from this haul. The colors are gorgeous and highly pigmented to create depth with the wide range. I also really like the different finishes because some colors are matte and others shimmery…it gives you the best of both worlds. The purples, metallics, and pops of blue and green are SO fun…oh the options! How to use: press a highly pigmented color on your eyelid with a brush or your finger and blend a lighter, shimmery color on your brow bone or reverse the colors (shimmer on eyelid and blend the pigmented color on brow bone). I included similar palettes (warm and cool tones) in the pic below that are also so so good!

Lastly, a beloved product that I’ve used for a while and is an amazing everyday gloss to go over any lipcolor or just wear solo. Butter Gloss is just what the name says, smooth like butter sans stickiness. It’s a medium coverage gloss and comes in over 30 colors. My favorite everyday color is the called Creme Brulee (coincidentally my favorite dessert)!

I hope you enjoyed my review on some on my favorite NYX Cosmetics products! Feel free to comment with questions or let me know your favorites! I’m always down to discover new products. I hope you have a great week and stay styled, sugarplum!

Hey y’all! This post was supposed to be published a WHILE back, but life strikes again! I hope you’ve had a great week and are gearing up for Halloween! My son is going to be a robot and I can’t wait! He has been practicing (and mastering) his robot walk!
So, today I’m coming atcha with a hair tool that has completely changed my hair game and made life so much easier. I thought since I’ve had plenty of time to test it, I’d give you my thoughts on why you need it in your life, too!
Drumroll please….I introduce you to: the best curling iron on planet Earth. This is a 100% FACT. It’s the Hot Tools Professional 1 1/4″ Rainbow Gold Barrel Curling Iron. I have the rainbow gold barrel, but the solid gold one is just as amazing (so I’ve heard from a fellow blogger.) I absolutely love the size curls it produces. Before this one, I had two that I used…a one inch curling wand and then a one and a half inch curling iron. You wouldn’t think the measurements make that big of a difference, but it does! Let me explain why I think this one is at the top of its class.

  1. It heats up faster than the speed of light and curls just as fast. Within a few seconds, it’s ready to go and reaches temps up to 450 degrees. Being a busy mom, I have NO time to mess around when it comes to getting ready. So I really appreciate a super fast heat-up. It takes less than ten minutes to go through and curl my hair with this curling iron, and the quality of the curls it produces is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. And trust me, I have tested out a ton of different hair tools. Previously, I was using a hair wand BUT I find that having a clamp (like in this curling iron) helps me to mold my curls easier and faster. IF you wanted to use it as a wand, you can, just don’t open the clamp.
  2. The cord swivels so there’s no fighting with the curling iron. Also, let me add another fun fact about the cord…it’s 8 ft long. This is a really nice feature too because there’s plenty of slack in the cord for it to move around while you curl different sides of your hair. Lots of freedom of movement.
  3. The gold ensures even heat distribution throughout the entire curling iron, and is effective for every hair type. Plus, it’s just so dang pretty.
  4. I love the soft grip feel. I have total control and I also really appreciate the extended length thumb grip. It really makes it super easy to style your curls.
  5. How do I use it to curl my hair? I section off my hair into three parts (bottom/middle/top.) Then I usually run it through 1-2″ sections of my hair (always moving away from my face), clamp in the middle, twist up toward my scalp (leaving the iron two or so inches away from the bottom of my root), “pump” it down that strand by slightly opening up the clamp twice and moving it down, and then curling back up toward my scalp for 6-8 seconds (depending on how loose or tight I want my curls that day.)  I go through my entire head like this (without brushing…you want to let the curls set.) After I’m finished curling my entire head, let the curls sit for another minute or so THEN brush them out. After brushing, use a flexible hold hair spray or hair spray to set the curls. (I’ve linked some of my favorite products down below.) I’ll usually run my fingers through my hair for a “just left the beach” look. I will say that I think any styling works best on second and third day hair! It tends to hold the curl better (at least for me!)

This has been my technique to achieve the curls you see in the very last picture. (Sorry it’s just a selfie…I’d attempt to shoot a hair tutorial, but I’m not that brave yet!) This curling iron is the only one I’ve ever used that runs smoothly down my hair and is really quick and effective for giving me the beach wave curls. It’s available at Ulta and runs about $60…(linked below.) You can use rewards coupons on it though, and they almost always seem to be running sales on them!

Here are a few additional hair tools and product faves of mine that I use daily and swear by! (My favorite root booster is in there along with the dry shampoo that I couldn’t function without!)

I hope you check it out and it makes your life easier! If you do, let me know how you like it! Also, if you have any products that have changed your hair game, please let me know! I always love testing out new things!

Hi y’all! Wow, I can’t even handle the fact that it’s August, much less the third week already! I don’t think a summer has ever flown by faster in my LIFE! Although it still stays pretty hot in South Carolina throughout August and September, our beach days are pretty limited now because our fall schedule is insane-o! After spending so much time in the sun all summer, it was extremely refreshing to discover Willing Beauty and take on their Hy 5 Challenge! It may seriously be the holy grail of skincare products…let me give you a bit of background on Willing Beauty and then I’ll go over all the deets of their Hy 5 Challenge.

The founders, Christy and her daughter Willa, launched a safe and effective skincare line in 2009 formulated for teens. After this launch, Christy yearned to provide the same safe and effective products for women of all ages. She partnered with green chemists, experts, and researchers to formulate what is now known as Willing Beauty.

Their Hy+5 complex is the magic behind what makes this line stand out from the rest. Hy +5 stands for Hyaluronic Acid, which helps skin balance and retain a smooth and hydrated appearance. That magic ingredient in combination with the 5 forces of nature make Willing Beauty a fierce competitor in the world of safe skincare. The 5 forces of nature are: Vitamin C, Prickly Pear Cactus Seed Oil, Antarctic Glycoproteins, Alpine Edelweiss, and Deep Sea Hyrdothermal Enzymes…say that 5 times fast…dare ya!  I’ve tried a ton of skincare brands in my adulthood…popular name brands, drugstore finds, specialty brands, organic…you name it. I personally have never found a line that works for MY skin like Willing Beauty does. I’m not exaggerating! Let me tell you more…

Within the first five days during the challenge, I noticed a drastic change. My skin is in the normal to dry range, and it was noticeably smoother and felt more hydrated after 5 consistent days of using Willing Beauty’s regimen. I completely stand behind their Hy+5 challenge! I have continued using it for several weeks now and cannot brag on these products enough. It has truly transformed my skin and I have also noticed less random breakouts and has minimized the appearance of fine lines as well. Here is a breakdown of the products from this line!

So the HY+5 challenge consists of a specific regimen using the cleanser, day moisturizer, and primer in the morning and the cleanser, age-defying night serum, and night cream before bed.

Morning players:

The Do Over Nourishing Cleanser is the first step and for good reason…it preps your skin and washes away any dead cells while hydrating like WHOA. This cleanser is so incredibly smooth and creamy, you can tell immediately that your skin is relishing in the goodness. After that, apply a bit of the Daydream Day Moisturizer. A little goes a long way with ALL of these products, you only need a tiny drop! This moisturizer is lightweight and full of antioxidants! NOW your skin is ready for the Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer. 

I’ve been using this everyday before makeup and it is BOMB. Even on days when I’m not applying a full face of makeup, this can totally substitute in place of foundation to even out skin tone and gives a fantastic base and coverage! I always use an SPF on my skin before makeup, so this fuses two products into one for me. Plus it’s a mineral sunscreen primer so it’s super safe! Like I mentioned before, all of these products are chock full of safe, clean ingredients! The Get Set primer is probably my favorite out of the Willing morning routine, because I feel like it just gives my skin flawless coverage and smooths things out (super high priority at this point in my life! Hello there wrinkles of the 30s…I’m totally regretting my Britney Spears tanning bed era in my late teens…Haha!)



Night players:

The night routine consists of the Do Over Cleanser again, followed by the Partner in Time Age-Defying Night-Serum, and lastly the Sleepover Night Cream. I’ve already raved about the Do Over Cleanser from the morning routine, so the fact that you use it twice in a day is a total WINNING moment. After the cleanser, apply a few drops of the Partner in Time Night Serum. Not only is it an age-defying formula, but it holds the highest active level of the HY+5 complex while improving elasticity and the appearance of fine lines (wrinkles be gone!) Last but certainly not least, is the Sleepover Night Cream…this is probably my favorite of the night players because it leaves your skin so dang moisturized! Even after sleeping all night, the minute I wake up…my skin is still smooth and hydrated. I’m telling you, it has really changed the feel of my skin completely.

Like I mentioned, I stand behind these products 100% and so does Willing. If for some crazy reason you aren’t satisfied with the line, they will take it back anytime for a full refund. They have a 100% happiness guarantee! Also, can we talk about how presh this packaging is?!? I love the bright and bold turquoise and black color combo.  I think it’s the total package (literally!) Are you *willing* to give it a try?? (See what I did there? Lol) If you’re interested in any of these products, want to try the Hy+5 Challenge, or just gain more info about the products…click here to check out their site: Willing Beauty 

Also, if you have any questions for me, I’ll be more than happy to answer them for you!

I hope you have a fantastic weekend!

Happy FRIDAYYYYY! Woohoo! I am so pumped for this long holiday weekend! We are heading on vacation today and staying through Wednesday in North Myrtle Beach. I can’t wait for 5 days straight of sun and fun! Since we’ll be beachin it up over the next few days, it made me think about my favorite beach essentials. Besides magazines for reading (Vogue, In Style, and the Food Network magazine are a few of my faves…fashion and food! YAAAS!), I thought I’d share these products with you because they are AMAZING. Each special in their own little way! I hope you discover some new brands and products in this post that you might add to your must-have list as well!

Let’s start from the top with hair and work our way down! My first beach beauty essential is Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray.  First of all, all the ingredients are organic…we’re talking Atlantic sea salt, aloe, sea kelp extract, and rose geranium essential oil just to name a few- which makes it smell amazeballs btw. I love a good salt spray in the summer. After a swim, just spray this on your damp locks and you’re left with perfect tousled waves. This product is key for that effortless beach wave look. It doesn’t leave your hair crunchy and gives it just the right amount of texture. Who doesn’t want mermaid hair?!? It comes in two sizes starting at only $14. Buy it here: Captain Blankenship Mermaid Sea Salt Hair Spray

Next is the Soothing Eye Concentrate from Juice Beauty. This product is also organic and blended with fatty acids, vitamins, grape juice, and aloe to sooth, smooth, and firm the eye area. So far in my 30s, the area around my eyes is the one place that was beginning to show my age a bit. It’s super important to me to use organic and natural ingredients, especially on such a sensitive area, so I was thrilled when I discovered this product. It’s also fragrance free which is fab because nobody wants weird smelling stuff around their eyes…ICK! This may sound weird, but you can almost FEEL it working as soon as you apply. Perfect for days in the sun when your skin is extra thirsty. It’s almost as if your skin drinks it up and immediately puts those ingredients to work. (Basically like Chick Fil A breakfast does for a hangover! Lol! You know it’s true!) You can buy it here: Juice Beauty Soothing Eye Concentrate

Next are two things that I not only use massive amounts of in the summertime, but also carry in my bag year round. Burt’s Bees Hand Salve and Burt’s Bees Moisturizing Lip Balm in Coconut and Pear are absolutely necessary for smooth lips and hands! The hand salve is soooo hydrating- I also use it on my elbows and other rough areas sometimes for a quick touch up. It’s one of those things that you just always need to have on hand. (Literally!) Another product I’m obsessed with is Burt’s Bees Lip Balm. I always get 1,000 of them in my stocking at Christmas and keep one in my purse, car, bathroom, kitchen, office…you get it, one in every room. You can never be too prepared. Can someone be addicted to lip balm? Is that a thing?
Hand Salve: here
Lip Balm: here

Next, we move on to nails. I just tried the NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil for the first time a few weeks ago and I am beyond obsessed now. It’s infused with Vitamin E and leaves your cuticles so nourished. I love the dropper style applicator and a little bit goes a LONG way. It will last forever! I always paint my nails (my two favorite polish colors are the next products) and then use the cuticle oil as a finishing touch. It’s also perfect for touch ups for that fresh mani look. Find it here in Mermaid Tears here: NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil AND it also comes in Pumpkin Spice (what what?!?!): NCLA So Rich Cuticle Oil in Pumpkin Spice

If you haven’t tried Deborah Lippmann nail polish, you haven’t lived! (So dramatic right?!?) But seriously, once you use it, you’ll never go back. The polish is never streaky and it dries faster than any polish I’ve ever used! No exaggeration there. For a Momma that doesn’t have much time to paint her nails, I need a quick drying polish! Not only that, but it lasts longer than regular polish. I am the queen of chipping polish and this miraculously outlasts the elements! A super cute little detail is that all of the polish names are musically inspired! Fun right? My two favorites featured in the picture are Like A Virgin (the white) and Shape of My Heart (light pink). I usually paint two coats of the Like A Virgin and then one coat of the Shape of My Heart. It’s my favorite beach color combo because your nails look bright and fresh!! I’m going to warn you though- it’s available in a million different colors- slippery slope! Shop all of her colors here: Deborah Lippmann Nail Polish

Alright, so I saved my secret summer skin weapon for last. This one isn’t pictured with the others, but I had to add it and share with you because it is the BEST. The Cera V. SA Renewing Lotion is the most amazing lotion in the universe. My skin gets super dry in the summer and this lotion helps my after-sun skin to feel hydrated and renewed. I’ll use it on my face (although there is a face lotion also) and my entire body. I feel like it heals and repairs really dry skin. The salicylic acid works to penetrate to the deep layers of the skin where dryness begins and keeps your skin feeling smooth and glowy. It’s also enriched with antioxidant vitamin D! Do your skin a favor and stock up! You won’t regret it! You can shop it here: Cera V. SA Renewing Lotion

Also, you can shop my palm waterproof pouch from the first picture here: Aloha Collections Palm Pouch

I hope you enjoyed my must-have summer beach beauty essentials! If you have questions about any of these, feel free to comment or contact me! Have a wonderful weekend!

Hey y’all! I hope you had a fantastic weekend! We had serious quality family time, and it was wonderful! My son had his last soccer practice Saturday, which was adorable! They finally played a scrimmage against the other three and four year old team, and to say it was entertaining would be an understatement. My cheeks still hurt from smiling and laughing so much! Then last night, I saw Beauty and the Beast with a friend of mine! It was Disney perfection. Total magic…no lie. It was my favorite Disney movie growing up, so I knew going in that I’d love it! It far exceeded my expectations and Emma Watson was THE perfect Belle (girl crush!) I’ve been talking about it non-stop on social media, because I seriously can’t control my excitement. I’m going to attempt to scale back to finish this post though, so here we go. I’ve actually been trying to get this post up for a few weeks, but I’ve been writing and sharing other posts, (slack!) After two weeks of neglect, I FINALLY want to dish some of my March Beauty faves. Some of these are old school must-haves from my makeup bag, and some are new additions. Regardless of when they joined the pack, these are my favorite beauty baes in rotation at the moment!

1. iT Cosmetics Sunshine in a Compact: This has been my jam for about 100 years now. Or maybe just 3, but this bronzer is my absolute favorite. The shade I use is Warmth (it’s the universal color) and it gives such a perfect sun-kissed color. It’s a talc-free matte formula that treats your skin with anti-aging peptides, collagen, and antioxidants. I use it on my cheeks, forehead, and around my jawline…sometimes even down my neck to blend. Some bronzers can seem cakey and heavy…not this one. It is lightweight and so silky smooth.

2. iT Cosmetics Brow Power: So, I was a 90s kid… therefore I overplucked my eyebrows. The two went hand-in-hand. If I had only known then that they would NEVER grow back properly, I would have banished my tweezers forever. BUT, that wasn’t the case, and now I’m stuck filling them in every single day. I discovered this Brow Power in an ipsy bag a while back and since then, I haven’t used or even LOOKED for any other brow pencil. The color is called “universal” and it is the best. Everyone is always so surprised when I tell them I have to fill my brows! I attempt to make them appear as natural as possible, given their sad circumstance.

3. Too Faced- Better Than Sex Mascara: I also discovered this mascara in an ipsy bag a while back and it quickly became one of my all time favorite mascaras. The formula is collagen-fueled and leaves my lashes plump and well, va-va-voom. I have always been a sucker for a good mascara, and I have tried hundreds. This one ranks up in the top 3 for sure. The shape of the brush grips my lashes and leaves them full bodied and lengthened. I highly recommend! So along with this one…I also use L’Oreal Voluminous Superstar Mascara. I’m obsessed with this primer. This mascara is double sided, so one side is primer, and the other mascara. I like to use this mascara to separate any clumpy lashes. It’s also great for applying on the top side of your lashes, since the brush head is more streamlined than the Too Faced one I also use. When these forces combine, it’s pure mascara magic! *TIP: It suggests to apply the mascara while the primer is still wet, but I don’t really follow that. I usually let it dry for a hot second, because I feel the mascara adheres to the lashes better and builds more body. Both are listed below.

4. Laura Geller Blush-n-Brighten in Apricot Berry: This is a new addition to my routine. So, for my face, I use my foundation, iT cosmetics bronzer, Marc Jacobs Beauty Blush, AND THEN this product on my cheekbones, down the ramp of my nose, and around the frame of my face. This is basically the cherry on top of my face makeup routine. It adds both a really pretty berry color and a highlighting sheen. It has an incredibly silky consistency, is paraben free, and also contains anti-oxident ingredients. I love all of her products, I’ve never had any issues with quality or satisfaction. You could use this as a blush alone, or as a final touch like I do!

5.NARS Audacious Lipstick- ANNA: I raved about this lipstick a while back in a blog post that I wrote about a few of my favorite things. Well, it’s still at the top of my list one year later. This color is absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of my favorites to wear on a daily basis, and is always in my purse. It’s gives your lips just the right amount of rosy color.  The formula is so smooth and creamy, it’s like velvet on your lips. AND it’s available in 35 colors! It is a bit more than what I would normally spend on lipstick, but I guarantee that it’s worth it!

6. NYX Cream Highlight & Contour Palette: This is a new addition to my routine, and I have to admit…I’m still trying to master the art of contouring. The first time I tried it, tbh, I looked like I rolled around in mud…so so bad. I wanted to try a contour palette, but didn’t want to break the bank. I searched online for highly rated palettes, but then I stumbled across this one at Target and really like this brand. I gave it a shot, and although I’m still mastering the skill…the palette itself was surprisingly high quality considering the price (only $15!) I really like the 3 shades and they compliment each other so beautifully. There’s a really pretty shimmer to the highlighter, and the cream formula is lightweight. It’s a great long lasting formula, too! I think this is a great starter palette if you’re looking to expand to the world of contouring! That same day, I purchased this e.l.f Contouring Brush (which is a steal for only $6!) Like I mentioned, I’m still mastering the actual application process, BUT this brush is awesome! The shape of the bristles helps you control and blend. I need to watch about a hundred more YouTube contouring videos, but I’m determined to get this, y’all! Stay tuned! Shop both below.

7. Heavenly Skin Bye Bye Pores Powder Brush: This may seem like a TON to spend on a brush. It’s $58. I totally get it. BUT, it’s a skincare infused brush. (Ummm…what does that mean?) So, the patent-pending hair bristles are infused with anti-aging collagen, silk, peptides, niacin, and antioxidents. The makes application seem as flawless as the fairy godmother’s magic wand. Not kidding. It’s my favorite brush ever. I use it for bronzer, although it can be used for loose or pressed powders. This brush was developed by plastic surgeons and dermatologists, so it’s the real deal y’all! The experts have spoken! It also has some weight to it, so it’s really easy to control for perfect, flawless application every time. It’s like the Rolls-Royce of brushes.

8. iT Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush #7: Last but not least, my other favorite brush on the planet. I love that it’s dual sided, because I feel like I’m getting more bang for my buck. It’s another rather pricey one, but well worth it for the airbrush application effect. The details suggest to use it for foundation and concealer…I use the larger side for my blush (like the Laura Geller baked blush I mentioned above), and the smaller side for the base color for my eyeshadow. This brush is so versatile though, that I’m sure you could use it with a ton of different products, and it would give you amazing results no matter what. I also love that the brush is 100% cruelty free and has vegan bristles.

I hope you enjoyed my rundown of my current makeup faves! This week I’m bringing you a fashion post on some items in my shopping cart. Or more accurately, in transit in a box at the UPS processing center…haha! I hope you have a great week!