Valentines Day Gift Guide

Good morning strawberry zingers!

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE VALENTINES DAY. Ok ok, it might have something to do with the color scheme and the fact that candy is err’where but who cares!? It’s the best. And because I’m a little bit extra, I LOVE to give cute Valentines gifts out this time of year. Because what’s better than getting a pink and red themed care package? NOTHING.

 For Gals

Daryl Dixon Shirt 

Etsy – $15

This item needs no explanation. If you do not watch The Walking Dead than I am sorry.

Love you More Pillow 

T.J Maxx – $20

I say this phrase to all my loved ones and it is always true. Everyone needs seasonal throw pillows amiright!? You could also keep this on your bed anytime of the year!

“Be Mine” Tee Shirt

H&M – $13

This little tee shirt makes me so happy. Notice the tiny heart detail on the bottom? The fit is actually very nice and at $12.99 – it’s a steal!

Candle in Honeysuckle

Bath & Body Works – $24 (USE A COUPON!)

My sister Megan turned me on to the gloriousness of honeysuckle scents from BBW. This one comes in an adorable V-Day themed jar that you can clean out and use for cotton balls when you are done!

Rose Jam Body Spray

Lush – $40

FINALLY Lush has answered my prayers. I have been tweeting the companies for years asking for this scent to become available in a perfume or body splash. IT IS HERE! Hopefully Davy is reading because…hint hint…I WANT THIS.

I will now work on tweeting Lush about a candle in this scent. Aw yiss.

FOR HIM

52 Reasons I Love You Idea

Do I love cheesy, lovey-dovey gift ideas? IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?

I love making sh*t like this for people I adore. Click the link about for a step-by-step HOW TO on how to make this!

Angels Envy Whiskey 

$50

This bottle-o-booze is representative of any alcohol or food item that your guy or gal loves. It’s nice to step it up a notch on V-Day and spend a little more on something bougie. Dahvide LURVES this whiskey.

Replica At the Barber’s Cologne

Maison Margiela – $130

I just recently smelt this sucker at Sephora and lemme tell ya – I almost bought it for myself. It smells like a clean, sexy man. Who doesn’t like that?

FOR BOTH

Crosley Pink Turntable Record Player

Amazon – $64

David got me this exact record player for Hanukkah last year along with 3 of my favorite albums. I CRIED. It was the most thoughtful and romantic gift ever. We slow danced in the living room. I love owning a record player again and this one comes in SO many colors!

Origins Love Oil

Good Clean Love – $22

Guys, you can put this stuff errwhere. Catch my drift? On occasion, I do make David rub my shoulders and go to town on this hump on my back I’ve had FOREVER. I used to think massage oils were just not necessary until we tried this stuff. It smells amazing and makes the massage feel about 92784 times better. This brand (more on them later) also uses aphrodisiacs in several of their products and like HELLO, yes! Please be more attracted to me! I love that and seriously feel that they work.

Myths & Legends Organic Aphrodisiac Perfume 

Good Clean Love – $30 each

These two fragrances are not for dilly-dallying.

Legends is the more “masculine” scent, with notes East Indian Sandalwood, Omani Frankincense, and Bulgarian Rose. The scent does NOT mess around guys. And either you love this or hate it. I tend to like heavier scents, myself.

Myths is the more “feminine” scent. I really enjoyed how this scent paired with Legends.

I think any couple would get a kick out of trying this set of two fragrances.  It would be fun to try wearing them out together on a date night! Plus, the small size means you’re not making a huge investment on a giant bottle. Win!

*I was sent the Good Clean Love products complimentary for testing. All opinions are my own.

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Bath & Body Works Haul

Hello little dingo babies!

I don’t know about you, but I feel there are few greater things than a good sale. You see, I was raised in a household where we never even looked at regular priced items. The front of any store was basically off limits except for Goodwill. In adulthood I have realized that some things must be purchased at the regular price, but most things are attainable for less. Enter: BBW. One of my all-time favorites. Candles, triple-moisture body cream, wallflowers? I love them all. And a few times a year, they mark down all their sh*t. It is a lovely time of year known as the semi-annual sale.

The semi-annnual sale or SAS to any BBW aficionado is a great time indeed. We all race in, dig through giant bins of $3 hand soap, lotion and shower gel! Everything is coated in a thin layer of something that leaked at the bottom of the barrel but WE DON’T CARE. Give us that last, pumpkin cupcake room spray or GIVE US DEATH.

I digress.

Last year, my lovely betrothed gave me a $25 gift card to BBW for Christmas thinking I’d probably come home with a couple of candles, maybe a new fragrance set. HA. Little did he know just how far I can stretch a dollar at the SAS. FEAST YER EYES on this smorgesbord you guys. ALL purchased for just 30 bucks.

Proof:

I attribute a haul of this size and magnitude to sticking almost soley to items 75% off.

This made the wallflowers I bought just about $1.60 each. Aw yiss. In addition to the lovely spring scents below, I also got Marshmallow Fireside which is currently plugged in!

They also had wallflower plugs on sale for 75% off!

These came out to about $3 each and the bronzy one is also a nightlight!

Next – hand soaps. And BBW’s are the best. They smell good, they clean your hands and I also use them to clean my beauty sponges. I got a couple for the end of the year and a couple to enjoy now.

The fall/winter scents were 75% off, coming out to only $1.60 per bottle and the other two were $3 apiece.

I also found this cute honey handsoap which I’ll probably save for winter as well. It was in the $2 range :).

Next they had a wall of random small, one-wick candles for 75% off as well. They ended up coming out to being just a couple of dollars. Some of them were a little bit mucked up but I found three that smell amazing! Beach Cabana is one of my all-time favorite scents from BBW, I would have bought all them if they had more.

I also grabbed one of their wax melts to try in my Yankee warmer. This cost just cents.

I did walk out with a couple body care items for 75% off as well. I knew I was getting the marshmallow body wash because HELLO and when I saw this ROSE scented mousse-to-oil I was like aw yiss.

Using my $25 gift card meant that I left BBW only paying $5 out of pocket. Not bad for a lunchbreak’s work.

And check out the  length of this receipt!

 

 

Cut Crease Glitter & Red Lips

Hi peanuts!

The aforementioned title of this blog post represents two looks I’ve always been wary of. But before I get to that, let me begin with a short story.

My Mom The Nan does not wear eyeliner. She never has. When I was younger and I asked her about this she told me, “It just doesn’t look good on me.” After a few more times pestering her about it she finally explained herself.  In her Home Ec class in the late 60’s, her teacher brought in a makeup consultant for a lesson. *Pause to consider how funny and horribly Stepford Wivesy this is.* The makeup lady did my mother’s makeup and declared that eyeliner just “did not suit her”. And as a result, she has NEVER worn it since.

THIS WAS IN 1969.

i share this story because like my dear mother, so many of us have closed ourselves off to certain things (makeup, clothing items, ideals) because of one small comment or incident from our past. Someone once told us we looked sallow in turquoise or that those sunglasses were too big for our face and we believed them. I mean…don’t  get me wrong. A well-received piece of advice can be absolutely essential to saving a person from committing the worst crimes of fashion (ex: my mom not letting me buy Jnco jeans) but come on. We’ve got to push ourselves sometimes don’t we?

Enter: cut crease glitter eye shadow and a red lip.

It should first be pointed out that until the fairly recent popularity of items like glitter glue and Stila’s Magnificent Metals Glitter – this look would have never even been attempted.

You see, the complexity of this look lies within the precision of the application. First your cut crease must be well placed and blended adequately. Secondly, the glitter must hug the edge of that cut crease and the liquid liner without spreading all over the place. It’s a tricky look indeed.

I mustered up the courage to try this for an auction David and I attended with his Grandma at the synagogue. Took me a solid 30 minutes for JUST the eyes, but I am glad I embraced the challenge! What do you think?

Sorry about the sub-par photos, it was dark and I suck.

It was a sports theme!

NOW, onto red lips.

Red lips are tough for me and here is why. First, the maintenance. If I wear a red lip, I have to accept the fact that I will be checking my face all night to make sure I don’t look like Miranda Sings. Double the amount of checks if food and beverages are involved and LAWD help me if I cannot drink out of a straw.

Also, there is the delicate song and dance of selecting the proper shade. For me, too dark and my skin looks even more ghastly white than it is and too bright/warm and my teeth are yellow. A red-coral that leans on the cool side usually works best for me, but then there’s the issue of getting it to stay.

And before you ask, YES. I know ALL of the tricks to getting an ordinary lipstick to stay put. (Comment below if you’d like a post on that!). So why not get a red liquid lipstick you ask? Well, I don’t wear the color enough to necessitate a prestige brand and a dry, drugstore brand would just make my small, wrinkled lips look horrible.

Enter, this product:

Let it be noted that I DO NOT recommend this product to everyone.

The Covergirl Outlast lip products are a friggen’ doozy man. I have a few shades and hear is what to do: First, apply the “all-day colorcoat” and wait for that to dry, Read: THEE most uncomfortable product you’ll ever apply to your lips. Once it is dry, follow up with the moisturizing topcoat. I actually really love the topcoat product and use it over lots of other lip colors. The topcoat makes the horrible colorcoat wearable and best of all, SHINY! Which is what us older gals need to fill in those lines.

I wore this to the Gonzaga basketball game last week and loved it. The only thing to be careful of is to not apply too many layers of the topcoat because it will break the colorcoat down eventually.

That second pic is me next to Adam Morrison who is sporting a righteous man bun.

SO, in conclusion…I am glad I pushed my boundaries in these makeup choices. They ended up panning out for me, which is rare! Up next, BANGS.

…just kidding….

My 2017 Favorites!

I’m a little late to the game on posting these but sometimes a girl needs a few days  a month to figure out her sh*t. I know you guys get it.

So. In no certain order, here are my favorite products from last year!


MAKEUP

Foundation

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

This two-year winner takes the cake for a menagerie of reasons. It covers well, lasts long, looks natural and is priced reasonably.

Concealer

Tarte Shape Tape

It’s true, everyone and their dog loves this concealer. Because it is perfection.

Powder

Benefit Hello Flawless Powder Foundation

I fully realize that the reason I love this powder so much is because it is also a friggen’ foundation and therefore, the coverage is insane. But I don’t care and neither should you. This powder is velvety soft, beautiful on the skin and makes me feel airbrushed.

Bronzer

Benefit Hoola

Oh Hoola, I can’t quit you. I’ve tried so many bronzers and contour shades and Hoola remains always in my line-up. always on my cheekbones and forever in my heart.

Blush

Milani Baked Blush in Rose D’Oro

Where in the F has everyone been  on discovering this underrated color from Milani? Sure, we’ve all sung the praises of Luminoso but this color is absolutely stunning as well. I wore non-stop last year.

Highlighter

Revolution Blushing Hearts Highlighter in Goddess of Faith

 

I realize as I am typing this that this is the first time I have EVER spoke of this product. I am shooketh. This is hands down, 10 out of 10 the BEST HIGHLIGHT I have ever used. And it is from the DRUGSTORE. And it is heart-shaped. It is perfect on my pale skin, boasting a gorgeous icy champagne hue that is so extra I can hardly contain myself. Hat tip to sister Megan for discovering this gem.

Setting Spray

Milani Make it Last Setting Spray

Although the mister on this thing isn’t my favorite (FAR too much product is centrally distributed), the effects are great. YES it contains alcohol but if it goes in my mouth, why can’t it go on my face? TWSS.

Eyeshadow

Stila Magificent Metals in Diamond Dust

Why do I not own every shade of this product? WHY? I give SO many props to Stila for inventing thee most practical way to apply intense glitter.

Pencil Eyeliner

Too Faced Perfect Eyes Eyeliner

This liner is super creamy so take that as you may. I love how richly pigmented and black it is and being that I am not oily, I have no issues with smearing.

Mascara

TIE! Between Covergirl’s The Super Sizer and Total Tease

The one characteristic these two miracle-workers posses is their ability to separate and be buildable at the same time. If you’re a person who enjoys over 3 coats of mascara, then run out and buy these then come back here and thank me ;).

Lashes

H&M Lashes

Go figure, these .99 cent lashes on closeout from H&M have been easily my favorite of the year. I have worn them multiple times and I cannot get enough of the super thin and flexible band, the natural clumpiness and realistic curl. Here’s what they look like on me:

Lipstick

Mac Cremesheen Lipstick in Creme Cup

You guys saw this one coming 782378435 feet away. This color is just perfect on me and it just so happens to come in my favorite finish AND it’s Mac so it has the vanilla scent. I just feel more myself wearing this, ya feel me?

Lipgloss

Buxom Full-On Lip Creme in Bellini

I cannot recommend any of the Buxom glosses enough. They provide a lil’ plump and a healthy dose of color. What’s not to love?

Lipbalm

Brazilian Kiss Cupuacu Lip Butter by Sol de Janeiro

I know this is good because when I wear it to bed David always says I smell good :). It is super moisturizing and also a jumbo size.

AND of course, Treat Beauty Jumbo Lip Balm in Confetti Cake

These jumbo lip balms are the best! All natural, come in THEE BEST flavors, jumbo sized AND from Portland Oregon!? What more could you want?

Tools

Flower Beauty Makeup Sponge

As I said in this post, this has to be the softest, most bouncy-soft makeup sponge on the market. You can get yours at Wal-Mart for $9 or pay over $20 at Sephora for a Beauty Blender. CHOICE IS YOURS!


HAIRCARE

Shampoo +  Conditioner

Davines is where it’s at y’all. I have  thoroughly enjoyed each and every product from this brand. My stylist uses Davines color on me as well. The whole brand is great and I highly recommend!

Dry Shampoo

Batiste!

Absolutely nothing beats this dry shampoo and I have tried a few (RHYMING!). Yes it leaves a white-cast but I like me a white-cast! How else do you know it’s working?! The tropical scent is my favorite because it smells like coconuts.

Other Hair Products

Davines Oi Oil

Here’s Davines again! This smells amaaaazing and I love to use it on my ends.

Davines MELU Hair Shield

I love how lightweight this spray is. It smells nice and provides the best protection for my hair.


BODYCARE

Lotion

CerVe Renewing SA Lotion

As you might have read about in this post, I have KP (keratosis pilaris). This lotion was recently recommended to me by my dermatologist and I do really like it. Being the winter time, I have not had to be as diligent about putting it on everyday but I do apply it to the affected areas after bathing. It uses salycilic acid to exfoliate and break down the keratin around the hair follicle.

Brazilian Kiss Body Mist by Sol De Janeiro

 

This body spray smells like everything I want to be. That should tell you all you need to know.

Dr. Teals Epsom Salts

Call me old fashioned but I love me a good ol’ epsom salt bath to cure what ails me. So great for sore muscles and the Dr.Teals brand has so many scents to choose from. I have tried nearly every one and haven’t found a dud yet!

And that wraps it up folks! What are YOUR favorites from 2017??

L’Oreal Elvive Damage Erasing Balm Review

Howdy doo!

Today I bring you a review of a recent product from Influenster. If you haven’t already signed up for Influenster, you should! It is free, really easy to use and best of all – they send you free things. Sign up here!

This time it was the new L’Oreal Elvive Total Repair 5 Damage Erasing Balm.

I have zero complaints about the packaging, smell and consistency. This product smells nice, has a nice weight to it and comes in large tub making it easy to scoop.

After showering and using the Melu Shampoo from Davines, I busted out the balm and coated the ends of my hair. I let it sit (per the directions) for 3 minutes and then rinsed out with hot water.

I immediately noticed how soft my hair felt as I rinsed the product away. MUCH softer than the Melu and Oi Conditioners I’ve been using. However, I didn’t let that fool me! SO many drugstore conditioners use ingredients that create a silky soft feeling when rinsed out (…PANTENE…) but actually just coat the hair in wax. Then the product just builds up on itself but is really doing nothing for the hair.

I also am not an idiot. I know that a split end is not repairable by any product, no matter how expensive. The only way to effectively get rid of split ends and damage is to CUT THEM OFF.

For reference, here is the ingredient list and as you can see, the fourth ingredient is wax. I did a bit of research on this particular one and it isn’t necessarily “bad” but I discovered it is typically “added for increased lubricity and to keep liquids and oils from separating”.

So how did it work?

Meh. Being a somewhat educated woman in the realm of haircare has taught me that (as with lots of things in life) you absolutely get what you pay for. And this product costs $6.99 for 8.5 ounces. Although I do not think it did any further damage to my already damaged hair, I do not think it lives up to it’s “damage erasing” claims.

See evidence:

Still some damage there, me thinks.

All in all, it was fun to try out and my hair kinda smells like marzipan so #winning.

*I received this product complimentary for testing.

HUGE Holiday/Collective Haul

Hello sparkly unicorns!

I have SO many things to talk about today. Some are still awaiting a final verdict, some have yet to be tested and some I can provide an honest review on. Sohere. WE GO!

Sol De Janeiro Bum Bum Beauty Escape Set

Sister Megan thoughtfully gifted this lovely set to me for Christmas. In it, you get a mini Brazilian Crush Body Mist (my no. 1 reason for wanting it), a full-sized Bum Bum Cream as well as the Brazilian Kiss Lip Butter. The body mist is AMAZING and I am trying hard to conserve this stuff for the summer when I will literally DOUSE myself in it. I have yet to try the Bum Bum Cream but the lip butter is fantastic and HUGE.

Davines Oi Kit

My amazing hair stylist has got me hooked on Davines and my awesome sister-in-law Shannon got me this set from her beauty supply. It contains the Oi Shampoo & Conditioner as well as the All in One Milk. I have yet to try the milk, but LOVE the shampoo and conditioner when I need a good thorough wash after a 3-day dry shampoo bender. I love the way this stuff smells but not everyone does so I would recommend a quick sniff before purchasing.

Hello Flawless Powder Foundation in Ivory

Purchasing this powder was a long time comin’. I knew I liked it after trying it out a couple of years ago on my under eye area. Then I saw Emily Noel mention it in her Emily Awards and I knew I needed to go get it. Since it is marketed as a powder foundation the coverage is REAL nice and the texture is so velvety. I use it under my eyes and then anywhere else I want to highlight.

Sephora Beauty Insider Birthday Gift

The Amazonian Clay blush in Paaarty in this kit is BOMB. I have been using it nonstop!

EcoTools Stay Matte & Beautiful Brush Set

My mother-in-law to be got me a few beauty items for Christmas this year. I haven’t tried this set yet but EcoTools brushes are really good. Super soft and easy to clean. A+!

Real Techniques Miracle Remedy Sponges

OKAY. I absolutely LOVE these little babies. They are marketed as “touch up” sponges for on-the-go use but I really like them (the purple one especially) for application. I’ve applied my concealer with one for the last few days and it goes on flawlessly, no dampening needed. Also, the handle becomes the cap so they are absolutely PERFECT for travel. I am hooked. Thanks Lisa!

Wet’n’Wild MegaLast Nail Color

Always been a fan of Wet’n’Wild and Sinful Colors nail polish. This color is pretty unique and slightly purple in real life. Don’t forget the Out the Door Topcoat (the best one).

Essence Lash Princess False Lash Effect Mascara

I intend to try EVERY since Essence mascara I do. So far I have tried the Volume mascara and really liked it, so I thought I’d give this one a shot. I have used it for the past few days and so far, it’s aight. I need a couple of weeks to properly review a mascara as I rarely like a fresh tube of ANY mascara but this one is pulling it’s weight. The formula is VERY wet so it is really easy to go overboard with it and end up with tarantula lashes. It isn’t too volumizing at this point either and I have been scraping the excess product off on the side and going in with it that way. I can also do a complete coat on the top and bottom without re-dipping. A little of this mascara goes A LONG WAY.

Mac Lipstick in Creme Cup

If you’ve been a long-time reader of this blog, you know the mutual love Creme Cup and I share. It is just the best lipstick color and formula for me EVER.

Daiyun BB Cover Cream

Favorite parts include: “mercilessly make the dark circles”, “overcome ills ‘grievance'” and obviously everything written under usage.

I saw this product featured on Lauren Curtis‘s YouTube channel awhile back and DUH, had to order it. Just LOOK AT THAT PACKAGING. Could it be cuter? I ordered both shades (1 &2) from Ebay and only paid about $7 for both. I decided to get both shades but really, could have cared less about the product itself. I did end up using it yesterday and I have to say….it AINT BAD. See pic below.

**Horrible overhead office lighting but also NO filters.

Not too shabby.

And that’s all I have for you today.

Peace, love, and leftover Christmas candy,

Natalie

 

Christmaukkah 2017

You know I love the holidays but MAN am I ready for some free weekends AMIRIGHT!?

So, let’s just get straight down to business and talk about all the sh*t we did.

Hanukkah was nice and early this year! David and I accompanied his grandmother to an auction for the Jewish Academy to kick off the season. The 80’s theme was everything.

Each night of Hanukkah, we lit those candles and I sang my best blessings. We dispensed little gifts to E and of course Jack, our “mensch on a bench” kept a close eye on us.

I also got to see the Nutcracker with my friend Kelly and her daughter! We had a fabulous time but I was a little disappointed there wasn’t any audience participation because I had my ballet shoes in my purse.

Soon enough December 22nd rolled around and David and I took the train to Pasco to spend 5 days in lovely Kennewick.

The train was SO MUCH FUN and I felt like I was on the Polar Express. We watched a movie, purchased little bottles of wine and split a king-sized Snickers.

The next day, we woke up and headed over to Megan and Ben’s to see none other than….

TATE MAXWELL!!!

Tate is in the cutest phase right now. I mean, yes he throws fits sometimes but his little face scrunches up so cutely that even when he doing the blood-curdling scream, it’s adorbs.

We decided to head to Beaver Bark to get him Santa pics and see the reindeer.

OF COURSE right before it is Tate’s turn to meet Santa this DUMB-ASS employee dressed up like the Grinch, complete with the long, green, furry fingers comes over to us. So obviously Tate is  absolutely terrified of him and the Grinch is like, still trying to interact with him so I just shout “Go away Grinch!”. Hahahaaa.

But then Tate was a little sheepish and was expected to sit down and smile, so we got this little face, which is still pretty cute:

And then we made Nan take 2934733 pics of us with these huge hats on because #Christmas.

Later that night, we took Tate to the trampoline park and really it was all I could have asked for my birthday because homeboy LOVED IT. And nothing makes me happier than my nephew laughing. It’s like crack.

We played in the toddler area most of the time and quickly discovered that Tate sucks at jumping…but he did love sliding around and being thrown in the foam pit.

Here I am trying to push him up to Megan…unsuccessfully.

And yes I did wear a giant pair of David’s basketball shorts the gym.

That night we played shanghia rummy and I put on the new rainbow highlighter I got from Kelly’s daughter. 10 out of 10 unicorn.

Also of course we went to the Sports Page with Ray-Ray and got turnt.

Just kidding. We basically hung out and then went to Ron’s for chips and cheese.

On Christmas Eve my birthday, it was ALL ABOUT ME! So I put a bunch of glitter on my face.

Actually, we just went to the mall and my mom bought me 7 pairs of underwear at VS for $28. But it was pretty fun picking them out. We also went to Claire’s. Claire’s is overly stimulating for me, much like the store Justice.

But we did find this gem:

That night I opened up some prezzies and we had DQ ice cream cake.

The next day was Christmas and all just kinda mozied around until like noon, when Amy and Shannon got up (Amy had to work x-mas eve, so they couldn’t come until  midnight).

Annnnd, they brought their precious dogs Ellie and Toby!

That night after dinner we hung out, played games and watched TV like the Americans that we are.

We did a little shopping on the day after Christmas, but I didn’t find anything too amazing. My mom and Megan however, randomly found me a really expensive leotard and ballet skirt at T.J Maxx (of all places) for $10. So THAT rocked.

David and I came back home to Portland on the 27th and spent the next few days being deathly ill! We started to feel better right around New Years.

My resolution? Improve my ballet.

Peace out 2017.