Ulta 21 Days of Beauty

Sorry I’m a little late to the game on this but there is still plenty of time to benefit from Ulta’s 21 Days of Beauty event going on now through April 8th!  There are one day only steals available each day up to 50% off!  Make sure you check the schedule and mark your calendar for the days items you want are on sale.  Additionally there are “hot buys” that are available for the duration of the event.

I’ve highlighted some of my favorite items that will be available for major discounts below.

  1. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara

I received a sample of this at a beauty trend show that I went to a few months ago and fell in love with it.  I’m really picky about mascara.  I love how smoothly it glides on your lashes plus the massive volume it gives them.  Now is the perfect time for me to get a full size tube!

2. Mario Badescu Rosewater

Rosewater is known to be hydrating and great for your skin.  You can spray it on clean skin or use it as a makeup setting spray like I do.  I just read that it can be used on hair too.  I’ll have to give that a try as well!

3. Mario Badescu Drying Lotion

This is not the kind of lotion you might be thinking of.  It’s actually a liquid.  It’s great for speeding the recovery of acne, especially cystic acne.  It dries it out without over drying.  Simply take a swab and dip in the pink sediment at the bottom and blot on acne spots (don’t shake the bottle!).  You’re going to want to do this at night and wash off it the morning because there is no covering it with makeup!  It’s not the super sexiest look but hey you gotta do what ya gotta do!

I hope you are able to snag some of your favorite beauty products or maybe try something new during this killer sale!  I know I have a few things on my list and in my calendar!

Long Sleeved Maxi Wrap Dress with Skinny Jeans

Ark & Co. Dress, other maxi dresses HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE // Dollhouse Heels, similar HERE // J Crew Earrings, similar HERE // J Crew Necklace, similar HERE // Stella & Dot Choker

I’ve had this long sleeved wrap maxi dress for over a year and I absolutely love it!  I often have a hard time with maxi dresses laying right on me but this wrap style seems to be a lot more flattering.

This one is pretty lightweight so pairing it with some skinny jeans not only gives some added coverage during this transitional time but also gives it a fun and different look.

I bought mine from a boutique that no longer has it available but I rounded up some others that I’m really into. THIS one is a nice neutral nude that also comes in other colors and leopard print HERE.  Keep it springy in THIS floral or a soft pink HERE.  THIS gold one is slightly shorter in length which would show off a little more of your denim.

I layered a simple gold choker with a longer crystal pendant necklace.  HERE and HERE are similar styles.

This look could be super cute with the right pair of flats but due to my height I have to wear a heel to keep it from dragging on the ground.  I could see myself wearing this with wedges as well.  HERE is a similar pair of heels.

Layers always interest especially for photos.  Try layering one of your closet staples with something new for a totally different look!

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DIY Dip Powder Nails

Recently I tried dip powder nails at the salon.  I shared my experience HERE.  While overall I liked dip powder, it was a little pricey ($55) and seemed easy enough to do at home.  There are a few companies that offer DIY kits and I decided to try a well rated one, Revel Nails.

Revel offers a starter kit that includes everything you need including one color of your choice.  I wanted something close to the soft pink I had in the salon for comparison purposes.  Also, I find that light colors are a little more forgiving if mistakes are made or if you get chips.  I was fully prepared for a little first time user error just in case!  I chose the color Erica D20.

I read the instructions that came with it and watched the video tutorial on their website.  The one difference I will point out is that the video shows 2 applications of the base and powder for each nail.  The written instructions only show one.  Since the salon I went to applied 2 coats, I went with the video instructions.

The application process was pretty easy and I think my nails turned out pretty good for my first time.  One thing I learned for the future is to really make sure to apply thin coats of all of the liquids and not get so close to the edges and cuticles.

This stuff really lasts and makes your nails feel so strong!  I lasted for 17 days before taking it off.  The nails actually still looked great but I really wanted to trim them and was ready for something else.

For removal I filed off the shine as instructed.  Initially I soaked a cotton ball in acetone and secured it to my nails with clips (you can use foil).  Because I got a little over zealous with application, it took a little longer than I hoped.

I found a video online that recommended taking two bowls that fit inside one another, fill the bigger one a quarter of the way with HOT water, fill the smaller one with acetone, set the smaller inside the bigger, then soak nails in the acetone.

This method really sped up the process.  The one thing you have to remember about acetone is that while it is the most effective at removal, is also can be drying.

It’s important to rehydrate your nails with cuticle oil and skin with lotion.

I’m glad I have dip powder in my arsenal now but for now it’s back to my Jamberry nail wraps.  Much quicker to apply and remove and also long lasting.  Dip powder will definitely stay in the rotation and, like anything new, I’m sure I will get better with application each time!

 

Thermal Top / Waterfall Duster Coat / Velvet Slip On Sneakers

Missguided Coat // Michael Stars Top, other thermal tops HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE // Paige Jeans, similar HERE and HERE // Steve Madden Sneakers // F21 Choker

Happy 1st day of spring!  I’m excited to see temperatures rise but the reality is it’s going to be a mixed bag over the next few months.  I may be able to put away my winter jacket soon but having some lighter weight options are going to be a must during this transitional period.

I’m loving this gray waterfall duster coat.  I’m wearing a size 0 for reference.  It comes in a few other colors.  I had a hard time deciding but I’m so happy with my choice.  It’s definitely something that can be worn with dresses and skirts but I loved dressing it down with this casual look.

You might think thermals are just for wearing under your ski gear but think again.  There are so many adorable options out there that can be work on their own or layered under sweaters or vests.

I found this Michael Star asymmetrical hem thermal top at Nordstrom Rack last week for under $15!  It’s not available online but HERE is another I just purchased.  HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE are some other great options that have adorable details like being flowy, open back, off the shoulder, and cold shoulder.  I kind of want them all!

My velvet slip on sneakers are my go to shoe of the moment.  If you don’t have a pair of slips on you need to.  I had flash backs of my white Keds I wore in junior high when this trend came back.  The velvet perforated detail updates them and checks another trend box.

New Dancing with the Stars season starts tonight!  Who’s excited?

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Green Glow Smoothie

I make green smoothies regularly.  I’ve had a few people ask me for recipes I use.  Truth be told, most of time I don’t use one.  I just throw in a bunch of things that are good for me and make it taste good enough to drink but not overtly sweet.

I had a head cold earlier this week and successfully kicked it in 3 days using all natural methods!  Most colds last at least 10 days for me.  Even though I’m feeling better, I want to make sure to build my immunity so I made sure to make a green smoothie today that has some of the heavy hitters in it.

I’ve been trying to incorporate turmeric into my diet.  The health benefits are amazing.  This article shows how turmeric is as effective as 14 drugs! What’s important to know about turmeric is that it’s fat soluble.  That means that you must consume it with a fat in order to gain the health benefits.  I usually use a healthy fat like avocado for smoothies or coconut oil for tea.

I decided to make a smoothie recipe I found recently but put my own spin on it.

Ingredients:

1 apple sliced and core removed

1 blood orange (or regular)

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 inch fresh ginger

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (I use Vega.)

1/4 avocado

1/2 lemon juiced

1/2 cup almond milk (can use water)

1-2 handfuls of power greens mix, kale, or spinach (I get mine at Costco or Trader Joes)

1 handful of ice

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together.  (I use a Vitamix but any high powered blender will work.)

I adapted the recipe from this one where the author points out the following:

Apples for: sweetness and fiber
Oranges for: vitamin C, fiber and phytonutrients
Lemons for: detoxification, to balance pH levels and acidity, to cleanse + purify
Ginger for: digestion aid, nausea, anti inflammatory, immunity + to add spicy flavor
Turmeric for: soothing properties, pain relief, curcumin (anti inflammatory), detoxification, antioxidants + medicinal healing

I hope you enjoy this tasty yet super healthy green smoothie!  It may not be a traditional shamrock shake but your body will thank you for choosing this one.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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Oversized Blush Cardigan // Fishnets with Distressed Denim

Free People Cardigan and HERE // Rag & Bone Jeans, similar HERE // Betsey Johnson Fishnets, similar HERE // TopShop Heels // Michael Kors Belt, similar HERE // Lush Blouse, similar HERE and HERE // Natasha Choker

Blush is just one of those colors that I can’t get enough of.  I’m constantly drawn to it.  It’s a great neutral but with a feminine touch.  You’ll see it a lot this spring but the truth is it’s a color I wear year round.

This oversized blush cardigan is also available HERE.  It’s so cozy.  I’ve been wearing it nonstop.

I’ve seen the fishnet under distressed jeans trend and have been wanting to try it.  I’ve only seen it with black fishnets which I would wear but it would definitely give more of an edge to a look.  I have a bin full of tights that I’ve picked up over the years and I remembered that I had this pink pair of fishnets.  I love how it gives a tiny bit of edge to the look but the subtly keeps it soft.  HERE is a similar pair.  I think nude fishnets would give a similar effect.

I never miss an opportunity to wear my new velvet heels and these were so necessary to complete my neutral look.

I hope your week is off to a good start.  I’m fighting off a tiny head cold but this too shall pass!

 

SNS Dip Powder Nails

Before my trip to the Cayman Islands a few weeks ago I decided to try a new nail “polish” I had read about, SNS Dip Powder.  It’s actually not new but it’s new to me and I’m told it’s big in the south.

What drew me to try it was the process and that it is a healthier alternative to gel polishes and no UV light is required.  I had heard claims of it lasting 2-4 weeks and that it actually strengthens your nails.  For me, as long my nails last 7-10 days I’m a fan.  I usually want to trim my nails by then and/or change the look.

I found a salon near me (Velvet Nail Lounge for anyone local) that offers SNS Dip Powder application.  I had heard of this salon several months ago from someone who was telling me about them offering eyebrow microblading (which I’m also very intrigued about).  The nail tech told me that they have been offering SNS for about 8 years.  How have I not heard of this before now and why aren’t other salons in my area offering it?!

I was amazed at the quantity of colors available.  I mentioned that I was interested in a soft pink and the nail tech recommended #397 telling me that it was a popular pink.

After thorough nail prep included pushing back cuticles and trimming, nail filing, and buffing we were ready for application.  I was instructed to wash my hands and nails with soap and water and was provided a nail brush.  A clear base coat was applied on one finger followed by dipping it into a jar of pink powder.  Any excess was removed by tapping the bottom of my finger.  This was repeated on the remaining fingers on my first hand.

A second coat of base and dipping powder was applied to the first hand before moving to the other hand.  After drying for just a couple minutes, the nail tech buffed each nail and instructed me to wash again.  The process was completed with a clear top coat.  Again, just a few minutes to dry and they were completely hard and dry.

I loved the look and feel.  I’ve been wearing Jamberry nail wraps consistently for about a year and a half and can’t say enough about how great they are but I’m usually game for trying a new product just to switch things up once in awhile.

The verdict on durability? On day 6 I did get small chips on my thumb and middle finger of my left hand.  Granted, I was on vacation and in the sand and salt water everyday.  The chips didn’t spread and the rest of the manicure looked great.  There was some slight fading of the pink after being in the sun for several days in a row but it didn’t bother me and is typical of most polishes and gels.  I decided to remove the application on day 10 but I’m sure it would have lasted much longer.

I thought the price tag for this service was a little hefty at $55 but thought it would be nice for vacations and special events as a little treat.  Despite the chips, I did like the product and would give it another try.

The salon charges for removal but the process is similar to gel removal which I have done on my own several times before.  I will admit that removal took me a little longer than it should have because I missed an important step at first.  You must buff or file the shine off each nail first.  Then you soak a cotton ball in acetone, lay it on a nail and wrap finger in foil. I have these plastic clips that I use in place of foil.  You just need something to hold the cotton ball to the nail.

Acetone must be used.  I did initially try to use another remover I have that removes gel and was getting nowhere.  Once I followed the actual instructions the product came off easily without damage to my nails.

I later found that another company, Revel Nail,  makes a similar product and sells to the public (SNS is only available to professionals).  The process seemed easy enough to DIY so I bought the starter kit.  I have it on now and will give a full review soon.

Have you tried a dip powder at home or in the salon?  What do you think?  Would you try one if you haven’t?

Band Tee // Velvet Heels

Bravado Tee // Rag & Bone Jeans, similar HERE // TopShop Heels // French Connection Handbag // Shinola Watch // BCBG Leather Jacket, similar HERE // Michael Kors Belt // TopShop Choker

Graphic tees, slogan tees, logo tees, concert tees, and band tees all seem to be having more than a moment.  What I love about them is the versatility to dress them up or down.

Get a little edgy with a leather jacket but soften the look with these AMAZING nude velvet heels with grosgrain ribbon ties!  I searched high and low for something like these and bit the bullet a few days after discovering these beauties.  These will definitely be a staple in my wardrobe moving into spring.

I absolutely had to have this band tee after feeling so bummed that I missed the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert here in Detroit recently.  I saw them a few years ago and even though I had terrible seats, it was a super fun and energetic show!  I need to get better at looking ahead for bands coming to concert in my area so I don’t miss out.  In the meantime, I’ll be wearing this band tee on repeat and singing and dancing along to the Peppers Pandora station!

Rag & Bone is one of my go to denim brands these days.  I’ve been wanting a darker pair and hit the jackpot when I found this slim boyfriend cut pair at Nordstrom Rack this weekend.  They are sold out online but I highly recommend checking out your local store or I did find THESE that are the same cut but slightly different in color and hem.

I hope you have a great week!

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Teddy Bear Coat // Faux Fur Jacket

BB Dakota Coat // Kenneth Cole Dress, similar HERE // Free People Socks, similar HERE // Catherine Malandrino Boots // Free People Scarf, similar HERE // Express Gloves // BaubleBar Earrings // Ray-Ban Sunglasses // Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM

I hate to be that person that talks about the weather constantly but it’s hard not to right now.  We’ve had a fairly mild winter but we definitely have had some extreme temperature swings from day to day.  Last weekend it was 65 degrees one day and about 30 degrees colder the next!

It has me all excited to wear skirts and dresses but I have to accessorize appropriately.  This chilly day I minimized skin exposure with my favorite over the knee boots and some over the knee socks, similar HERE.

I’ve been on the hunt for a jacket this length for awhile.  You pretty much feel like a teddy bear in this cozy number, hence the name.  The faux fur isn’t super bulky but warm enough especially when layered with a chunky knit scarf, similar HERE.  I bought my coat on sale but I’m kind of jealous that you can get it for an even better deal now!  Less than $25!!  It really is the perfect coat to get right now to transition you into spring.

Low messy buns (so are messy braids) are a thing right now.  Thank goodness because that’s the only kind I can create!

Have a good evening!

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Spring Decor

I’m not gonna lie.  The day after Valentine’s Day I took down my V Day decor (yes I have a few things I put out!) and pulled out my spring decor. Maybe because we have had such a mild winter and don’t currently have snow, I felt like it was ok.  We’ll probably get a blizzard tomorrow now that I’ve said that!  Since Easter isn’t until the middle of April this year, I refrained from putting everything out.

I’ve had this cloche from Homegoods for awhile but I frequently see them there.  HERE is another.  I found this pink mercury glass egg at TJ Maxx recently along with a bag of real moss.

These beautiful and delicate mercury glass eggs were a house warming gift from our friends last year.  The moss bunny was at Target last year but HERE is a similar one.  The tray is a recent find from Homegoods.

Don’t discount the Dollar Spot at Target.  I found this pink lantern there.  The wooden bunny, wooden lantern, and aqua bunny (last year) are all from TJ Maxx.

The copper tray is from Target.  The pot, cupcake stand, and flower tea light holder (last year) are all from Homegoods.  The bunny salt and pepper shakers were a gift but I’ve seen something similar at Homegoods.  The orchid is from Trader Joe’s and is doing much better than the one I had last year!

The framed bunny is from Pier 1.

The wooden bunny and napkins (last year) are from Homegoods.

The white and mint trays and all of the pink glass items are from Target.  The pink runner is from West Elm. The apothecary jar is from Homegoods.  The Hydroponic tulips are from Trader Joe’s.  I’ve never had these before but they are so cool!  You just need to make sure water is filled to the bottom of the bulbs and put them where they get some sunlight.

This terrarium and moss is from TJ Maxx.  The nest and eggs are from Michael’s (last year).

This is probably my favorite spring find!  I scored it at TJ Maxx but HERE is something similar.

It’s been a year since we moved into our house.  I’m finally getting some things on the remaining blank walls.  I’ve also been slowly adding a few remaining touches and making simple updates with pillow and accessories.  In a few weeks I’ll probably move some of this spring decor around and add a few more things to really get into the Easter spirit!

If you are in need of some holiday decor, my top recommendations are Homegoods and Pier 1.  You are bound to find something cute and affordable!  Happy decorating!