Urban Decay Cooling & Hydrating Chill Makeup Setting Spray.

I’m sure most women reading this are familiar with the feeling of despair when you look in the mirror sometime after lunch and notice that a lot of your makeup from the morning has come off or no longer looks fresh. I was having this problem a lot, so I started using The Urban Decay Cooling & Hydrating Chill Makeup Setting Spray (available here, here, and here).  This spray is specifically targeted towards people with dry skin. I find this particularly great to use year round because it cools the skin and helps prevent makeup melting off your face during the hot summer months. It also helps keep makeup on your face for a longer period of time. I definitely notice more product staying on my face for a longer period of time which is a plus in my book! IMG_6132

It’s important to note that Urban Decay also has another makeup setting spray (available here, here, and here). I used this before I discovered the Cooling Spray. I switched to the cooling spray because it’s developed for drier skin which I have.

Have any of you tried a makeup setting spray? Comment below with your favorite! I’d love to hear what you suggest.

My Morning Skincare Routine.

I love when bloggers and vloggers share their skincare routines with the world, so I thought it’d be fun to share my current morning skincare routine before I apply any makeup.IMG_6141I start by washing my face with the Jurlique Soothing Foaming Cleanser (available here and here).  This is  like a non-budget friendly Cetaphil and aims to help sensitive skin and people prone to redness like me. I really love how this gentle cleanser works on my skin. It leaves my skin clean and soft.  I’ve been using the same bottle since the beginning of May, so you definitely get months of use out of it.

Once my skin is dry, I apply a pump of the REN Anti-Redness Serum (available here, here, here, and here). You can read more about my experience with this serum here, but overall it helps decrease my skin’s reactive redness habits throughout the day which is a winner in my book. It doesn’t eliminate it all together, but definitely helps a lot. While this serum sets into my skin, I carefully apply the Andalou Natural Eye Gel to my eye area (available here, here, and here).  This comes with a roller ball, so it can take some finicking with the tube to get the product to come out. I’m not 100% in love with this product because I don’t feel like it does much, but I’m just using up the tube while I save money for some day time eye creams I really want. It does leave my eyes moisturized enough though, which is what really matters. Once this is rolled on, I gently tap any excess into the eye area with my finger and then rinse my hands with cold water and dry them off.

If my face serum is fully settled in, I’ll start to apply about three pumps of the Burt’s Bees Face Moisturizer with SPF 30 to my face (available here, here and here – I usually buy it in person at CVS or Target). Sometimes I will apply it to my neck and decolletage too. This seems to do the job for me and can be layered under my makeup without peeling.

After this is all done, I go do my thang like get dressed and eat breakfast. Then, I’ll pat three drops of the Kiehl’s Daily Reviving Concentrate to my face and decolletage (available here, here, and here). This is a luxuriously refreshing oil to apply to your face and I absolutely LOVE it. It’s definitely a must for any beauty junkie.

The finished product below after  all of that. Now my skin is ready for makeup if I choose to wear it.  🙂

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I know this sounds like a lot of lotions, potions, and serums. I think it is, but skincare is very important and I do notice a difference from each product I’m using.

What are some of you favorite morning skincare routines? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Anastasia of Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade Review.

Like most teenage girls of my time, I started getting my eyebrows waxed in High School and continued to do so throughout college. Post College, I started to get them done once a month. I saw a really great esthetician all throughout this time, but the constant waxing was probably a bad idea since thick eyebrows are all the rage now. As a result of this, I went over a year without waxing my eyebrows before my wedding to grow them in fuller. I got them done before my wedding to get them cleaned up, but clearly instructed that I was growing them in thicker. Therefore, she didn’t take off anything near the hair line.  I have not had them waxed since then and do not anticipate I will get them done again anytime soon. I’ve been able to grow them in a lot thicker in the past few years and will definitely ignore any thinner eyebrow trends to come in the future. I believe this trend may have contributed to most women’s obsession with eyebrow products during the past few years.

I had been wanting to try one of the Anastasia of Beverly Hills eyebrow products for years, but finally got around to it this Summer.   I sampled the following colors on myself: Taupe, Blonde, Soft Brown, Medium Brown, and Ash Brown. The Taupe, Blonde, and Soft Brown are my favorite colors on me. Since I currently have balayage hair, I decided to pick the Taupe because it’s a safe in between color. If I were to go lighter with my hair, I might switch to Blonde. The same goes for if I let my natural hair color grow fully back in. I might switch to the Soft Brown. I find this pomade to be very blendable and easy to work with. I take the bristle end of my Anastasia Beverly Hills Brush #12 available (here, here, and here) and gently dip it into the Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade in Taupe available (here, here, and here). I gently apply it into my eyebrows with short, light upward strokes and then blend it out with the spooly end of the brush. A little product goes a long way, so keep this in mind when you’re applying the pomade. You can always add more later, but don’t want your eyebrows to look drawn on.

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My natural eyebrows without the pomade below (I did not cut off all my hair, but have it pulled back into a ponytail).

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My eyebrows with the Anastasia Beverly Hills DIPBROW Pomade in Taupe below.

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The roots of my hair are my natural hair color, so that’s probably why I’d switch to the soft brown shade if I were to fully grow that back in. You can’t even see my balayage in these pictures because it’s grown out so much. In case you’re curious, I’m wearing MAC Cremesheen Lipstick in Fanfare (available here and here). I love this lipstick because it’s a color you can get away with wearing any season of the year!

Before I started using the Anastasia brow product, I was using Too Faced Bulletproof Brows in Taupe. I think this product was good for beginners, but the product can get a little dried out like a lot of reviews mention online.  It also doesn’t have as much of a dramatic brow result that the Anastasia product does. I would definitely recommend Anastasia over them, but maybe you could try Too Faced if you’re an extreme makeup beginner.

Do any of you use eyebrow gels, pomades, or anything like that? Let me know in the comments below!

I Will Survive and A Quick Weekend Recap.

Ahh Monday, you’re despised by many.  I recently tweeted these two memes from Billy Madison and just think they’re so funny, so I wanted to share on my blog too. There are some work days when I feel like this…

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Then there are other work days when I feel like this when I’m troubleshooting a client’s problem.

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Then most days I feel like this. Granted this is from Happy Gilmore, but I decided to just throw it into the mix.

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I’d say having good co-workers is not always something that is easily to come by in the workplace and I’m so lucky to have such nice co-workers. I think that’s probably one of the most important things to get you through a stressful workday.

Did you all have a good weekend? Mine was jam packed with family and friends. It was great! On Saturday, I went to my niece’s birthday party. My sister and sister-in-law are pregnant and have due dates 1 day apart in October! I did not get the maxi dress memo for the event. 🙂

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On Sunday was my friend Liz’s Baby Shower! I got to finally meet my friend Monica’s baby Harrison. He is an adorable baby boy.

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All the pregnant women in my life look great and will be/are wonderful Mothers! I look forward to meeting all three new baby boys this Fall.

 

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone! I’m so glad the work week is almost over, but I’m not looking forward to being on call every weekend for the rest of the month. It’s a serious bummer being on call every single weekend for FOUR months out of the year. I know lots of people work weekends and I’m lucky to have a job, but I did not know I’d be on call four months out of the year upon saying yes to taking this job. When I interviewed I was told I’d be on call 1 month a year. 1 month is not so bad, but 1/4th of my year is a different story. As a result, there will be lots of Thirsty Thursdays this month because on call hours go from Fridays at 6PM to Sunday around 6PM.

Yesterday and today have been unbearably hot in the Boston area with extreme humidity. Yesterday was so humid that when I left my air conditioned office building to walk to the T, I was actually finding it difficult to breath. I had to walk a lot slower and felt like I was struggling to get air. I’ve never experienced this in Massachusetts before so it scared me.  So when I got home I turned both Air Conditioners on full blast and waited for my apartment to cool down a bit before I could find it comfortable enough to do yoga. Our kitchen doesn’t have a window unit air conditioner, so there is no way I  was spending any time in there to cook or chop vegetables. I made a yummy plate of fun foods for dinner! Pictured below are Lemon & Garlic Olives, Cheese, Stonewall Jam, Rosemary and Olive Oil Crackers, and a mix of dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and peanut butter chips.  All of these things are from Whole Foods except the chips. Not pictured below is the chilled Pinot Noir I was drinking. I enjoyed this plate of snacks while catching up on Pretty Little Liars and then tuning into Stepbrothers and The Olympics.

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*warning  – spoiler alert ahead* I’ve been watching Pretty Little Liars since it first came out and have felt that the show has gone down the tubes this season or even a little bit before this season. I was disappointed when we found out who A is, and have fallen off the HALEB bandwagon. Caleb left Hanna for a RAVENSWOOD ghost. Then he has a serious relationship with on of her best friends. He is also very quick to leave and move out on a woman. Doesn’t he know by now not to pack up all his things right away and peace out? I really loved Haleb and think the actors have great chemistry together, but I just can’t forget about Caleb’s fleeting heart. I think he really needs to do some more proving of himself in order to be worthy of Hanna again. Most importantly SPOBY. I am still very team SPOBY and was tearing up at Spencer and Toby’s goodbye last night. I wonder if that really is the last we’ll see of them together. I’m hoping it’s not (even though Toby’s fiance seems like a great catch). Since I’m recapping HALEB and SPOBY, I mean as well touch on the point of EZRIA. We all knew Aria not telling Ezra about a phone call from his dead girlfriend was going to come back to bite her in the ass. How many times do you need to get into trouble for lying in your life before you realize you should be honest? Seriously, these girls are so stupid sometimes. I’m glad Emily’s Mom was able to let loose and enjoy her birthday eventually!  Jason DiLaurentis should be called Jason DiLahotness. Although I liked him more pre-hipster vibe. I actually liked this week’s episode a lot more than the rest of the season. So I’m hoping the show continues to pick up.

Maybe I’ll start watching Stranger Things this weekend. Has anyone seen Suicide Squad yet? Kraig and I saw it last weekend and it was certainly entertaining. There were completely CHEESIE parts and it was a tad long, but Margot Robbie and Will Smith carried the film for me.

What is everyone up to this weekend? I have my niece’s 6 year old birthday party tomorrow and then my friend’s baby shower on Sunday. A fun filled weekend of children stuff! This was my first full work week since sometime in July, so I was very scared to face it, but I survived.

Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil.

If you’re into beauty or oral hygiene, then it’s likely that you’ve heard about Oil Pulling in the past few years. I had been meaning to try it for years, then finally tried it and gave up on it too fast before I saw results. Fast forward to 2016 and a little more patience and I’ve finally become an oil pulling addict. I noticed that in order to continue to see results, I need to do the oil pulling on a consistent daily basis. So if I stop oil pulling for a few days while I’m on vacation, the benefits I see from it may subside during that time.  I think it’s so awesome that something so simple can supposedly help remove toxins from your body.

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What you need: Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, a tablespoon, patience, 20 minutes, and a garbage bag.

How To: 

  1. Start with an empty stomach. I recommend doing this as soon as you wake up in the morning. Do it before you eat or drink anything.
  2. Grab your jar of Organic Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Coconut Oil and a Tablespoon. Put a tablespoon of the oil into your mouth and start swishing the oil around your mouth.  Do not swallow the oil.
  3. Set your kitchen timer for 19 minutes and stay busy during this time with other things.
  4. When the timer goes off, spit the oil into your trash. DO NOT SPIT IT DOWN YOUR DRAINS or it can cause clogging. Personally, I like to spit the oil into a plastic bag I keep in the freezer for my garbage. This is to prevent fruit flies.
  5. Rinse your mouth with warm water. Some websites recommended salted warm water, but I just rinse with regular warm water.
  6. Brush your teeth and follow your usual oral hygiene routine as you normally would in the morning.  You can get your own special post oil pulling toothbrush, but I just use my regular toothbrush.

Results I’ve noticed from Oil Pulling: 

  1. Clearer and more radiant skin.  I noticed that after about 1-2 weeks of Oil Pulling, my skin is more radiant looking and has an extra glow to it. I also noticed less zits on my face.
  2. Whiter teeth. This is great for me because I have very sensitive teeth and don’t react well to normal tooth whiteners. This does not make my teeth Hollywood celebrity white, but they sure look better than they do without oil pulling.
  3. Less tooth sensitivity.
  4. A slightly less severe hangover the morning after a night with too many drinks.
  5. A cleaner feeling mouth and better breath.

Other Results that I’ve read about, but haven’t necessarily noticed yet: 

Helps TMJ/tooth grinding.  I grind my teeth a lot during my sleep and have been doing it for years. I have to wear a mouth guard because of this and have not noticed a decrease in my grinding habits.  Perhaps this will change with more time.

Makes you more alert/awake in the morning. I’m still fiending for my coffee afterwards.

There are many more health benefits that are supposed to be tied to Oil Pulling, but these are the ones that stuck out to me the most. I also think it’s pretty cool that people say it helps clear up their acne and psoriasis. What a wonderful natural wonder!

If you’re thinking that a tablespoon of coconut oil is too much or 20 minutes is too long: 

Start smaller. Try starting with a teaspoon of oil and swishing for 5 minutes. Try to build up your tolerance and time. Don’t panic if you can’t last so long or fit a massive glob of oil into your mouth without gagging. Just start smaller and slowly work your way up to find what feels good with your body. Remember that patience is key.

I actually like that I can’t talk the first 20 minutes after I wake up because I’m quite grumpy when I wake up in the morning to an alarm. It gives me time to zen out and center myself.

It’s important to note that some people report things gets worse before they get better with oil pulling. For instance, things like zits or sinus problems might get temporarily worse for a short period of time when you first start oil pulling.  You will then notice these  symptoms to subside and to get much better with time to see the results you’ve been aiming for.

Have any of you tried oil pulling? What are some of your favorite tips, tricks, or results regarding it?

Family Vacation in Cape Cod.

My parents rented a house in Harwich, Massachusetts for a few weeks this Summer and Kraig and I were lucky enough to visit them for a few days. It was so wonderful to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, work, and the concrete jungle of Somerville.  We had an unbelievable view in the back yard that I could just stare at for hours.

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It was so much fun getting to spend time with family because I have not had vacation time with my siblings in a few years. I love playing beach tennis (or whatever it’s called) with my nephew and water games in the pool with my niece.  I was in Auntie heaven.

Where we beached – Red River Beach.  If you have water shoes, bring them to this beach because there are some shells and crabs. It will make you more confident when you’re walking into the water.

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Where we ate – Depot Dogs, Land Ho, Cooke’s Seafood, Bistro on Main Chatham,  Kream ‘N KonePerks Coffee Shop, Marion’s Pie Shop.  Depot Dogs is located in the parking lot at Red River Beach. It’s so nice and convenient to have a place that sells food there so you don’t have to worry about packing a lunch. Kraig and I split a hot dog and cheeseburger from here. It was so yummy and I would definitely recommend going there if you’re at this beach.  I got an amazing lobster plate for dinner at Land Ho.  Cooke’s Seafood is a great family friendly place to go for seafood on the Cape if you have children with you.  I went to lunch one rainy day at Bistro on Main Chatham. I ordered the lobster salad on a real salad which was very fresh. Kraig got some poke special that was so fresh and had beautiful presentation.  We had take out from Kream ‘N Kone and I loved it. My chowder, calamari, and lobster roll were delicious. We also sampled breakfast pastries from Perks Coffee Shop and Marion’s Pie Shop during our visit.

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Teddy Bear the Yorkshire Terrier below is very sweet and affectionate towards the whole family.

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Despite the terrible Winters in Massachusetts, it can be a pretty great place to be in the Summer, Fall, and occasionally Spring. I highly suggest vacationing in the Cape, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket during the Summertime here!  One thing you have to keep in mind is the unpredictable New England weather. So you could rent a house for a week and have rain the whole time. Just something to keep in mind if you want to roll the dice on it.