The instagram dreamboat that is Melrose Ave….

Los Angeles, outfit

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Driving down Melrose is literally like passing an instagram photo op on every corner!  I love a good wall and there is tons, TONS, like on every corner.  Theres the Made in LA wall, a rainbow wall, the Paul Frank Pink Wall, wings, the Carerra Cafe wall… it’s endless!  And it’s totally photo friendly because you drive by and theres 15 other people out taking pictures in front of the wall! options and no shame.. I love! You could walk 5 blocks and have 5 + different walls. It’s insane.  It’s hard to find parking but it’s walking friendly!

It was funny because everyone taking pictures in front of the Made in LA wall were tourists so maybe not made in LA but doing it for the gram! There was a line to take pics in front of this wall!

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Shirt / Topshop Shorts / Dolce Vita Shoes 

Alfred’s coffee is THAT good.  Probably the best almond milk later I had. HUGE deal people.

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There’s a bunch of cute little sidewalk art and quotes like this so while you’re walking look up, around, down!

 

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You have to literally stand on the street to get the whole wall so beware of the psycho LA Prius drivers lol.. really though.

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I love this and I truly believe it.  We all have to strive to be better and to make those around us better because we’re living in a country with an elected leader that endorses and condones hate, racism and breeds ignorance.  I don’t talk politics on my blog but I feel so strongly about this and I feel like we have to speak for what we feel!  There’s this quote from Dante’s Inferno ” The hottest places of hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.”  I’ve always loved Dante’s Inferno and this will always stick with me.

The world of beauty box subscriptions!

Beauty, beauty review, monthly beauty subscription

Last year I discovered the world of monthly beauty subscriptions and I was HOOKED.  $10-$20 a month to be sent different beauty products to try that would retail for more then what I paid for the box? SIGN ME UP. I love beauty products and I LOVE getting packages so I’m the perfect consumer for it!  So far I’ve tried Sephora play! Ipsy and Boxycharm.  Glossybox and Birchbox are the 2 that I’ve yet to try but for the most part, these are the key 5 beauty boxes that have the most popularity.  Allure beauty box is also a new one that is getting more popular. I have tried it!

UNDER $10 BOXES WITH SAMPLES

Sephora Play!

-This is Sephora’s monthly box that will retail for $10. You’ll receive 5 sample products and 1 sample perfume. All brands sold at Sephora.

I received this box for about 5 months before canceling my subscription.  Mostly the boxes I received were ok.  I was lucky if I would like 1 product but I would often find that I would like the products in other boxes!  With Sephora play there is around 5 different box variations but all will have the same 1-2 main items.  You take a beauty quiz when you subscribe so the products should be tailored to your make up likes and skin needs but I didn’t really find that very effective.

-The one thing I loved about this box was that you got a pass for 50 extra bonus points at your next Sephora purchase.  I’ve racked up my points with these little guys but I felt the box wasn’t worth it if I only liked the 50 pt rewards.

-The box doesn’t really contain full sized items except for Verb hair products and some Living Proof products.  I’m bummed that I never got some Living Proof stuff! Sometimes Sephora will give spoilers.  Other months you won’t have a clue what’s in your box until you get it.  Compared to some other boxes, I feel like Sephora is just unorganized and not as high in value.

 

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August Ipsy with around a $34 value!

Ipsy.  

-Ipsy is $10 a month and you will receive 5 products along with a makeup bag.  I love that you get a makeup bag! Although I will say they’re small and can’t fit much.  Ipsy features samples and full size products.  I’ve received full sized lip sticks, blushes and eyeliners!

Ipsy also includes makeup brushes in their bags which I love because they’re usually pretty good quality.

-I’m so impressed with Ipsy and I think they give the best bang for your buck because you receive a bag and full sized products. You also get the chance to review your products for points to redeem full sized products.  They also have a cash back service for buying beauty products through their sight!

-Ipsy is extremely good at giving hints on your box and keeping you up to date with when it’s coming and what you’ll get.

-Good for those who love makeup or those who are looking to try out makeup and explore!

Birch Box.

– Another $10 deluxe 5 sample box.   I’ve never subscribed to Birchbox because i’ve just really liked Ipsy. It will probably be next on my list to try but I would say they’re very similar!

Birchbox allows you to pick a sample each month so you can control some of what you receive and it also does feature high end samples! You also get loyalty points back to go towards buying different beauty products.

-Good for those who love makeup or those who aren’t so familiar with makeup and want to try!

FULL SIZED PRODUCT, $15-$20 BOXES.

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Here’s my August Boxycharm. it has an over $100 value! Insane!

Boxycharm.  I am obsessed!

– For $21 a month you will receive 5 high end, full sized beauty products.  This month I received a Tarte Eyeshadow palette with a value of $36 so the palette alone makes the box worthwhile.  The box includes makeup brushes which is a big plus for me. I like the brands that Boxycharm features: Colourpop, Ofra and Makeup Geek so more online brands that are harder to get and try.

-great for those who love makeup and collect because within a few months you will be overrun with product! haha.

-There is a waitlist! I had no wait but I have heard some people have!

Glossybox. For $20 a month you will get 5 full sized, luxury products.  Very similar to Boxycharm. They also feature collab boxes with brands or bloggers as well as limited edition boxes!

-You can buy the box month by month with no waitlist.

Allure Beauty Box

Allure Beauty Box is $15 a month with $10 for your first box. You also get an eyeshadow palette when you subscribe. Each month you’ll receive 5 products chosen from the editors!

– Allure includes more boutiquey brands.  I got it for 2 months and I received lots of anti aging products so I would say its for more mature skin.  You don’t get to take a quiz to tailor the products you get so every box pretty much has the same stuff.

Mysubscriptionaddiction.com is an awesome site that reviews each box and gives spoilers of what you will get in each box.  I love this website and its a great resource for navigating boxes and deciding which one is for you!

Statement tops!!!

Los Angeles, outfit

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I love statement tops because they make dressing the lower half of your body so dang easy.  Just keep it simple and you’re good.  I love when getting dressed is that easy and I try to buy things that I know I can style in a number of different ways!  It’s my outfit/shopping philosophy.

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Shirt is Irene’s Story, Shorts are UO, Shoes are Cole Haan

On another note, I’m definitely not the tallest or skinniest person in the world! I’ve always, always wanted long legs and my legs are thicker and more athletic so I try really hard to find stuff to make them look skinnier!  Wearing simple, nude colored shoes is so good at elongating the leg.  If you’re wearing jeans, matching booties to the color of your pants is also super elongating!  Usually ankle straps cut off the leg and make them look stubby but it’s ok here because its a nude color.  I also look for shorts with an extra big leg opening because the extra fabric and space make you’re legs look slimmer!  I sound like a nut but it works!

 

 

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how to: beachy waves.

Beauty, Hair, tutorial

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I find that when my hair is shorter I really rely on good product to achieve my go-to beachy waves look. My shorter hair is healthier, softer and smoother which means that it lacks the texture that is a must have for the beachy look. aka it falls flat and is lifeless! Overall I have to work harder to style my hair when its shorter, especially when curling it because theres no weight to pull the hair down!

When you curl long hair you can almost always count on losing the wave as the day goes on because of the weight of your hair!  I really like that because I never want a defined curl, just movement and bend.  When your hair is short it’s very easy to come across Shirley Temples curls. I honestly won’t let anyone touch my hair when it’s short because I’m soooo particular on how I want it to look.  Absolutely no tight poodle curls!!! I only trust myself with styling my hair!  I’ve gone to Dry Bar in the past for school dances and left in a bad mood because my hair was flat with crunchy, tight curls that would look decent after sleeping on them for 2 days! I would have to come home and fix my hair so that it would look the way I wanted it too!  (I love their products, though!) Ever since then I swore to get good at my hair and now I have it perfected for any occasion!

PRODUCTS I USE

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I just discovered the Verb powder dry shampoo and holy moly I love.  I love it more than my batiste because it doesn’t give my hair a sticky sort of texture that I sometimes get from aerosol dry shampoos.  This stuff reminds me of the Bumble and Bumble pret a powder.  I place it all over the my scalp and let it sit for 2 minutes before rubbing it in. It’s quite easy to rub it in!  It gives automatic volume without making your hair super sticky or powdery. For day two and three hair, I’ll put it in my hair before going to sleep and then its good to go in the morning. I love doing this because then I don’t have to rub it in.

I do love the Dry Bar Triple Sec spray.  I absolutely love their products.  This spray is a texture, refresher, dry shampoo spray that adds the perfect amount of texture, tousle and lift without making your hair crunchy or sticky.  I HATE sticky and crunchy hair and I always want hair that I can always run my hands through. I spray this product in my hair after curling it to give it texture and lift.  It also helps to hold the curl a little bit.

The Bumble and Bumble City swept finish has great hold  without making you’re hair clump together.  It gives a good tousled effect but use sparingly to avoid sticky hair! The only thing I will say is the spray nozzle is jammed from the sticky product so for that I don’t think this is the best thing ever.

Verb Leave in conditioner. I love Verb products! This stuff de-frizzes, detangles and protects from heat. I spray on my wet hair then blow dry. It also makes your hair air dry without frizz!

Living Proof Dry volume blast adds good volume to the roots but can get on the sticky side. SHAKE the can. The first time I used it, it made my hair a sticky, oily mess.  Shake, shake, shake.

Verb hair oil. I love this hair oil for the ends of my hair.  I used to use moroccan oil but I just learned since the oil is that brownish orange color it will turn blonde hair brassy and add buildup!  The verb oil is clear so it’s blonde hair friendly.

If you notice I don’t use hair spray.  I don’t really like hairspray because I feel like beachy waves don’t need heavy hold….and not to mention crunchy hair.  I find that the texture sprays give enough hold.  If your hair doesn’t hold a curl then I recommend hair spray or texture spray before curling. My hair never held a curl until I dyed it.  It needs that texture to hold it!

I’m dying to try the Ouai texture spray, the IGK beach spray, the Bumble and Bumble Dry Spun spray and the holy grail Oribe dry texture spray. Its just so expensive and I just know I’ll try it and love it lol.  Those will be next on the list.

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HOW TO GET THE BEACHY LOOK

Step 1.  I spray my hair with this verb leave in conditioner/ heat protector when its wet and I’ll blow dry my hair straight with a big round brush. I use a big round brush to make it straight.  The key to beachy hair is straight ends. I don’t dry it perfectly smooth because I like some texture and volume.

Step 2.  Usually I’ll blow dry my hair at night and curl it in the morning.  Sleeping on it allows it to be 100% dry and will add some texture to it.  You can also curl it after blow drying it, I just find that its too smooth and flat.  Sleeping on it mimics that day 2 hair look without having day 2 hair.

Step 3. Curling the hair. I use a Conair 1 1/2 curling wand. It’s like $17 from Target and I swear by it.  I don’t really use the clip unless I’m trying to straighten the ends.  The clip works very well for that.  Curl wise, I’ll curl the pieces going in different directions. Usually near my face I curl back and towards the middle and back I’ll rotate front and back.   I’ll leave the last inch of hair out of the curl, this is key for a beachy look.  I’ll wrap the hair around the barrel once so that its more of an S wave sort of look instead of a curl.

Step 4. Since you’re not really curling the hair you don’t have to brush out the curl right away.  You want the wave to hold so don’t run your hands through it or brush it.

After I’m done curling I’ll spray it with my Dry Bar Triple Sec and run my hands through it.  I’ll also apply the my Verb hair oil to the ends.  If I’m going somewhere and want the curl to last I’ll use the Bumble and Bumble spray.  If I need extra volume at my roots I’ll go in with my Verb Dry Shampoo powder or my Living Proof dry blast at the roots.  I also have a teasing comb so I’ll tease the front pieces for some lift.  My hair falls flat very easily and it’ll look glued to my head which is sooooo not flattering!

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You can see in this picture that my hair is more S waves and not really full curls. The ends are also super straight. There’s some fly aways but it all adds to the beachy, bed head look.

When my hair is longer, I’ll curl it with the wand and spray it with texture spray.  The curl will fall and look for beachy!

TIPS FOR BEACHY HAIR.

  • leave the ends out of the curling iron. you want to keep them straight!
  • don’t brush your hair.  you want to preserve any natural texture.
  • at the same time, don’t curl tangled hair because that will burn your hair off!
  • don’t hold the curl on the iron for too long.  we want waves and movement, not defined curls.
  • defined curls with short hair will make it look much shorter and coily!
  • sleep on it, it gives the best texture.

 

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Instagram round up!

Beauty, fashion, instagram, outfit

I love to share what I love so here’s an instagram round up of what I’ve been loving for my face /body / feet.  love love love love 😂

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I got this cardigan and silk cami from the Nordstrom Sale.  I love the two separately and together! Shorts are One Teaspoon.  I don’t get much wear out of them because they’re flamingo pink but when you have the right top they’re so cute!

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Back on my stoooooop! I love this top and I’m wearing my new Topshop jeans that fit like  a dream.  And my favorite shoes I own in every color.

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I’ve been wanting these shoes for forever! Every blogger has them so naturally they sold out but I was able to snag them on sale at zappos.com.  Meant to be!!!

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Sephora has some amazing point rewards at the moment!  You know they’re good when you place an online order just to redeem points!

Follow my instagram @blackberriesandsparkles for my beauty and fashion snippets that I don’t always post here!

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Sephora Haul!

Beauty, beauty review, sephora, Shopping

We are long overdo for a beauty post!  I got some stuff from Sephora then I ordered a package online because the point rewards are insane rn. (This is what I grabbed.)  I wanted to wait till I had everything to show you!

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I had like 700 points so I stalked up on the point rewards because they were so good!

I got the Sunday Riley UFO oil which I had a sample of and have been loving! I got a big zit on my forehead and it’s been helping that and the pores around my noses that are always clogged.  Everything feels smoother.

Cover FX drops in moonstone. I’ve always wanted these highlighter drops so this is a perfect little sample to have.  I feel like it’ll fill my want and last a while.

Anastasia clear brow gel. I just started doing my brows and I wanted a clear brow gel because I’m legit scared of my face when I use a tinted one.  I have thick brows so they don’t need to be darker, just kept in place.

I also got a mini sample of the Kat Von D sinner perfume w/ one of the promo codes. It’s tiny but it has a spray which I LOVE way more then roller balls.  It’s perfect to keep in your purse or car.  Smell wise I like it but don’t love it. I expected sinner to be more musky and warm.  Almost like sexy and dark smelling if that makes sense.  It’s more flowery and bright.

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Supergoop SPF 50 setting spray.  I don’t like the feeling or smell of wearing sunscreen but it’s super important!  This is a setting spray with SPF so you just do your makeup as you normally would and spray this after to set and protect your face from the sun.  I’ll use this at school when I’m outside walking to class.  It’s honestly so smart and perfect.

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Sol De Janiero Brazilian Crush Body Mist! This stuff smells so, so good!  It’s a sweet toasted almond sort of smell and I love warm scents that aren’t too sweet.  I like wearing body mists in the summer and when I go to class because they’re casual and light and I ALWAYS have some type of perfume or body mist on. ALWAYS.  I will look like a bum but 100% will have perfume on.  I have the best sense of smell so I’m obsessed with anything that has a scent.  I ordered the baby version since I want to get new perfume when I get to school in a few weeks. I don’t like to travel with big glass perfume bottles and I love that this is plastic and perfect for travel!

Laura Mercier eyeshadow stick in copper.  I wish I got this sooner! It has the staying power of an eyeshadow pot but applies like a fat eye liner which makes it super easy to use.  This is the prettiest, brightest rose gold color and I love lining my bottom lash line and rubbing it across my eyelid.  So easy, so pretty and it makes brown eyes pop, thats hard friends.

Ouai haircare smoothing spray.  I love a leave in conditioner spray that de frizzes and protects against heat.  They’re easy and you don’t get product on your hands. 😊 I continue to want to try different Ouai products and while this is super new I have heard good things.

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Glow recipe watermelon glow sleeping mask. I have heard so many good things about this!  Its a watermelon scented, jelly mask that comes with the cutest little spoon to apply it to your face… as if you didn’t need more reason to buy it!   You have the option to wear it to sleep or wash it off after 10 but it basically hydrates, smoothes and plumps the skin! You’re supposed to wake up with the softest, glowiest skin and I’m like sign me up. ( I made my own word also)  I have it on my face as I’m typing this so I will report back on how it works. It gets an A+ for smell because it smells like a perfect watermelon.

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One shoulder appreciation post!

Loves, outfit

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1) One shoulder is so much better then off the shoulder because you don’t spend the whole day adjusting it!  I am 100% in.

2) I got this hat at Nordstrom to reach the spending limit at the mall to get free parking. 😂 I’m so extra but how cute is it?!

3) I love this outfit.  I feel like I’m getting better at doing casual cute.

4) I love a good wall and this one is so cute!  It looks like a different wall in each picture. This wall is in Venice, CA.

5) I want to get some new blouses / rompers and I can’t find any I love and it gives me anxiety. Am I the only one like this?!

6) I’ve had a few Sephora visits lately so a haul post is coming your way….. I’d love to make a video but I’m a chicken.  Hoping for one day!

7) My dodgers are on fire and I LOVE it!

8) I’m writing this post in bed with a bottle of tums sitting next to me 99.5555% of what I eat gives me heart burn!

9) I am part of the 1% of the population that hasn’t seen Game of Thrones. I’m currently watching Naked and Afraid lololololol. What a weird show.

10) My brother told me he’s been using my new shampoo and he really likes the smell… come to find out he is using my $24 Moroccan oil clarifying shampoo!!!!!!!! OMG you’re supposed to use that once a week and homeboy uses it twice a day.  Smh.

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Hat. Sunnies. Top, similar. Shorts. Shoes. 

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If you’ve made it this far you know the blog looks different!  I wanted the pictures to look bigger and be more of the focus SO just scroll down for categories, tabs, and socials!

 

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what I’m loving!

flatlay, Lists, Loves, Uncategorized

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I needed black cut offs because I wear my other ones all the time! So excited to get these and just wait they’ll make their way to every other outfit post. These are from Topshop. They’re shorter on the sides, longer in the back.  So good, so flattering.

Buxom Lip Gloss in Melissa. I found this at TJ Maxx!  I have been having good luck there, lately!   I love lip plumpers and this one is so good.  It has a colder, minty sensation instead of the burning kind which I personally hate.  Like the Too Faced lip injections?  Those are painful! I really like this and it comes in every color under the sun.  They last pretty long on the lips too!

BP Hat. Oh guys, I’m a sucker for hats!  I think they’re so cute! I neeeeed to wear them more because I have quite a few!

BP Sunnies!  I am obsessed with sunglasses.  I want a closet full of designer glasses one day but I honestly suck at taking care of them!  Every pair I own is so scratched, like my Quay high keys are donezo because they were never in the case and the gold scratched off.  I also sat on my Ray bans so now the sit crooked on my face. Lol.  I throw my sunglasses all over the place so I’m gonna stick with buying cheapy pairs so that it’s not such a waste when they’re all scratched up. Nordstrom BP has an amazing section! These were $12 each and the white rimmed pair reminds me of these new Ray Bans that I almost just bought.  I’m in love with them and they’re pretty freaking identical. Here’s the tortoise shell ones.

July Favorites

Beauty, beauty review, flatlay, monthly favorites

Holy moly how is it August already! I felt like summer was going by so slowly and bam its August. Craziness but it sure does sneak up on you.  Here’s to another month of faves; I have more hair products included in this month!  Hopefully one day I’ll have enough courage to make a video of my favorites because I love watching those on youtube!   Until then here we go!

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Verb Leave in Mist.  I did a post about this being a dupe for the Bumble and Bumble primer, here.  I love this stuff and how many boxes it checks!  Just a few sprays on wet hair and it nourishes, hydrates, de-frizzes and protects from heat.  It’s so easy to use and it does a really great job and keeping my hair from getting frizzy.  Especially when I air dry! Thats a big deal for me guys.

Real Techniques Blush Brush.  I never talk about makeup brushes probably because I use what I have and don’t really buy them or I use my fingers or beauty blender.  Well it’s hard to use fingers or a sponge for pressed powders so this is my go to brush.  I love it for blush and even more for highlighter because it makes it look for blended and natural as opposed to a harsh section of pure highlighter.  I’ll use this brush for blush and then highlighter which may be a big no – no but I like how the leftover product on the brush brings my whole makeup look together.  Love this brush!

NARS bord de plage. I talk about this a lot but guys I love the palette so, so much.  I’m debating buying another one for backup because thats the level of love we’re at.  As you can tell by the picture it is very loved and used a lot!  The highlighters are my perfect highlighter in terms of color, glow and consistency. I like to apply them after I use a setting spray because that really gives them that pop and dewy look.  I had a hard time with color pay off with the bronzer at first but I’m not sure if it’s because the top layer is gone but now I have no issue getting enough product and pigment on my brush! Absolutely smitten with this palette!!!!

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Bite Beauty butter cream lipstick in Caramel. This is a nude / peachy / coral lipstick which is so out of my comfort zone.  I’m straight up nude pink sort of girl.  This color is super flattering and is easy to wear for someone who isn’t use to color on their lips.  I just dab this on my lips for an easy going look and it’s so creamy and comfortable to wear.  It’s a nude color but adds enough color to flatter your face!  Bite beauty is very gentle and as a sensitive skin girl I really like their lipsticks.

Dry Bar Triple Sec.  This is a repurchase product and I’ve always love it for the texture, scent, refresher trifecta but guys for short hair… this stuff is a game changer!  The scent alone is amazing like all dry bar products but what it does makes it even better. My hair as I mentioned is shorter so I have to try harder to achieve that beachy, lived in, messy sort of look. My hair falls flat very easily this stuff is great at giving it that lived in texture I want.  I HATE texture sprays that make your hair sticky, tacky and tangled and this does not do that.  It’s hard to find a texture spray like that.  I wouldn’t say this is a complete dry shampoo.  It will refresh your hair but I like to use batiste dry shampoo at the roots for oil and then finish with this for a lift, texture and scent!

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Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos.  Guys, this stuff has literally blown my mind.  I’ve been using it for about a month and the improvement I’ve seen in my skin is insane!  I have pretty good skin but I struggle with a cystic zit here and there, texture and eczema.  This has completely changed the texture of my skin! It’s so smooth and my makeup wears so nicely.  I’ve gotten compliments on my skin and as I only wear some concealer I’ve had people ask me what foundation I use.  Drunk Elephant TLC Framboos! lol. I love being able to say I don’t wear foundation that is my skin!  That is such a blessing.   My skincare is my foundation and the hype is totally real for this stuff.  It’s amazing.  I have sensitive skin so I started using this every other night and now I’ve worked my way up to every night.  I use a facial oil right after applying this because as this is an acid, it helps your skin to absorb it better and is gentler. This stuff is a pretty penny but extremely worth it in my opinion.  I will be buying the full size!

YSL Touche Eclat.  I had this in my collection for a while and I randomly stopped using in in high school and I just recently started using it again… why did I stop using this?! It’s sheer but its so good at brightening the under eye area and it does not crease!  If I’m tired and you can obviously tell I’ll use a speck of the Nars creamy concealer along with this for more coverage.  This stuff is so nice under the eyes and it feels like you aren’t wearing anything.

Colourpop highlighter in Spoon. (not on website :()  I was digging around my makeup collection and I found this little guy. It’s a more glittery, silver finish which I don’t usually reach for with highlighters.  I’m all about that gold shimmer. Spoon looks almost duo chrome / iridescent in some lighting which I’m obsessed with! I just love how easy this is to apply.  I’ve been really into applying makeup with my fingers lately.  It’s so pretty on the skin and you know I really like it because I’ve hit pan and that never happens! I like to top it off with a bit of the Nars palette pictured. Super pretty together!

My Nordstrom sale silk cami has to be included in my monthly favorites because I bought 3 colors and thats literally all I’ve worn this month. My instagram will agree. Its sold out but here is a similar option.

Happy Tuesday!

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Bell sleeves appreciation post

outfit

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Irene’s story top / Levis shorts / Catherine Malandrino random, TJ Maxx find shoes

Bell sleeves are the best sleeves, ever.  I LOVE them! I love long sleeves to begin with and they just reinforce that love.  This top is very 70s and I’m really feeling it! It laces up with ruffles in the front and has ruffles on the sleeves and while I like ruffles, (say ruffles one more time) I love making them less girly with vintage cut offs and loafers. Aka making them more my style! I have a hard time defining my style but I see this outfit and I’m like this is my style.

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So that’s all we have for Monday.  I’m gonna be getting my hair done soon and trying to figure out what I want to do next.  Thinking more brown since the whole point of cutting my hair was so that it would finally be healthy and grow long!

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