My 2016 Favorites

Per usual, I’m a bit late to the party with my fave things from 2016 but hey, at least I showed up!

Makeup

Clinique Beyond Perfecting Foundation + Concealer

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I used this foundation for most of 2016 and for good reason. The coverage is really great with a pretty small amount and it lasts very nicely. I found that it applies best with a buffing brush rather than a beauty blender and doesn’t require a whole lot of setting. Also, the price is right at under $30.

Maybelline Better Skin Concealer

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For a drugstore concealer, this one takes the cake for me. Due to my transparent skin and vitamin-deficient diet, my under eyes require a hefty dose of concealing on the daily. As such, I tend to go through concealers quite frequently. If my wallet allowed, I would go to town with Nars Radiant Creamy or Tarte Shape Tape (which I really MUST get my hands on), but for under 9 bucks a pop, this concealer works juuuust fine.

Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder

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This is the perfect under-eye setting powder. It is SUPER finely milled and (as the name suggests) is very brightening. Do not be alarmed by the white color of this powder when freshly applied, as it blends away like a dream!

Physician’s Formula Butter Bronzer

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This bronzer is seriously BEAUTIFUL. The color is perfect on me and it blends wonderfully. On top of that, it smells cuh-razy good. As in, I want my whole body to smell like it. And it’s from the drugstore so win-win!

Marc Jacobs Shameless Bold Blush in Obsessed

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This color is just perfect. It is described on the site as a “warm pink” and I find that to be pretty accurate but sometimes it even leans on the peach side. Great formula. Long-lasting. Good stuff.

Wet’n’Wild Mega Glo Highlighting Powder in Precious Petals (on the right)

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This limited edish highlight sent me on quite the wild goose chase (read about that here) but was totally worth it in the end! I would describe the color as a slightly pink-champagne. It is completely gorgeous, on par with other $40 highlighters and costs under $4. SUCH a find!

Covergirl Supersizer Mascara

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For the second year in a row, this mascara has captured my heart. While it can be a little B to remove completely (try micellar water!), one cannot deny it’s separating and lengthening effects. I love to combine it with the L’Oreal Carbon Black Voluminous Mascara which is another front-runner in the drugstore mascara race.

Stila Stay All Day Water Proof Liquid Eyeliner

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If you are looking for the easiest, most richly pigmented waterproof liquid liner – LOOK NO FURTHER. This eyeliner has beat out so many others for me. As the name suggests, it does in fact stay all day, is super black and VERY easy to apply.

Rimmel Lasting Finish Kate Moss Lipstick in Rock N Roll Nude

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This is the perfect shade of lipstick for me. Similar to my ride-or-die Mac Creme Cup, this color is lovely for every day. I can throw it on without thinking and it compliments any eye look perfectly. I also like the smell of these Rimmel lipsticks!

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in White Russian

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This gloss is perfect on it’s own or over any nude or pink lipstick. It gives that “wet” look without any glitter or shimmer and it has a slight plumping effect which I personally enjoy. I really could purchase SO many colors from this line.

Treat Beauty Jumbo Lip Balm in Confetti Cake

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I have raved about this lip balm since I purchased it 6 months ago. It is by FAR my favorite lip balm and I love that it is in the jumbo size. The first ingredient in this stuff is organic coconut oil so I also use this under my eyes for a quick moisture boost whenever I need it!

iBeauty 21 Brush

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I found this Artis-style brush at TJ Maxx for $7.99 and wasn’t sure how I would like it. Wellll, I don’t like it. I LOVE IT. It applies most foundations super duper smooth and even. Plus, it is a fun design. What’s not to love?

BODYCARE + MISC

Dermadoctor KP Duty Lotion

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This stuff aint cheap but I can confirm it DOES work on the keratosis pilaris on my legs. It is the best treatment lotion I have used and doesn’t leave a chalky feel afterwards like the prescription lotions can.

Castor Oil

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So I have reallllly enjoyed owning this bottle of Castor Oil. First off, it is what I run through my eyelashes every night to help with growth, thickness and to keep them conditioned. Secondly, during these cold as tits winter months, I tend to rub this all over my hands, feet, knees and elbows at night time for added hydration. It doesn’t have a weird scent, costs next to nothing and works wonders. I love this stuff.

Sephora Gradual Self-Tanning Face Water

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It makes me sad to look at this stuff and then realize the pasty ghost I’ve allowed myself to become RN. Anyway, this stuff reallly works in the best way possible. I, for one enjoy a nice healthy glow and this product delivers flawlessly. I will apply this with a cotton pad for maybe 3 days in a row to build up a nice, subtle glow and then keep using every 1-2 days to maintain.

Sinful Colors Nail Polish in Vacation Time

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I have painted my nails this color probably 4-5 times in 2016. Says alot.

Batiste Dry Shampoo

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DO NOT overlook the Batiste Dry Shampoo in the Tropical scent. It smells like coconuts and makes you feel like you are a Roxy model.

Rose Jam EVERYTHING

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But mostly, the Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner which I have talked about over and over again. It is the best product probably ever invented by anyone. Ever.

 

Things I Got for Christmaukkah and My B-Day

You knew this was coming.

Each year, I am flooded with gifts within a two day span because Nan and Gare idiotically (love you guys!) decided it was a good idea to conceive a child (gross) exactly 9 months before CHRISTMAS #amateurhour.

So here are some things I got this year, commemorating my grand, yule-tide entrance into this world.

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A Disney Swarovski Crystal Bracelet from David! He secretly snapped this up while we were in Disney a while back. I love it so much and have barely taken it off because MICKEY GOES WITH EVERYTHING.

Obviously, I got quite a bit of makeup this year. I mean DUH.

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Sister Megan got me this Kat Von D duo-toned blush and so far I really like it!

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She also got me this highlighting palette which is surprisingly not half bad for L.A Colors. Swatches below:

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The whitest shade is DEFINITELY glittery so beware.

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Meg also gave me this Benefit lipgloss in the color nookie nookie. It is gorgeous and slightly iridescent which is totes on trend rn.

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She also gave me this LOVE-ly (get it?) palette from Too Faced. The colors are all shimmery and super buttery and pigmented. Also the eyeliner that came with this bad boy is AMAZING. SUPER DUPER soft and VERY VERY black. I might end up re-purchasing the eyeliner by itself.

And David got me a Velvet Teddy! Probably not the kind you’re thinking of tho…

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I’ve wanted this color for awhile now

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Nan and Gare gifted me the perfume I wanted so badly and it smells just as good as the 53937 other times I put it on in Sephora on my lunch break.

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If you don’t know Sailor Moon, then  I don’t know you you obviously don’t ever go to Hot Topic. Nor were you a pre-pubescent girl in the early 2000’s. Amy and Shan totally surprised me with these amazing Sailor Moon tube socks and tank!

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David’s Dad and Lisa got me the Lush box I so desperately wanted! I CANNOT WAIT to try these products out (listed below):

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David also got me the Astronomical Lush box, which comes with some amazing goodies! I have already tried The Experimenter and realllly loved it.

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Ah yisss. The Tory Burch nylon backpack I wanted! I squealed with delight and surprise when my Mom gave me this. I am going to be the most chic commuter EVERRRR.

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And last but CERTAINLY not least, Shannon got me the Wet Brush PRO! I have the regular Wet Brush and swear by it (great for kiddos too!) and I can tell you that the pro version is amazing. I love the feel of the handle too!

And that’s it folks. What did you get for xmas?

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No! That wasn’t the sound of me trying to hold in a little bit of vom!

Similar to Christmasing, it was what I had the absolute delight of doing this year.

The first holiday activity on the docket was E’s Nutcracker performance in which sister absolutely killed it. Not to mention, the whole thing was just about the most adorable display of tiny tutus, beginner balanchine  hands and itty bitty buns ;).

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After her dazzling debut, we headed to David’s Dad & Lisa’s house for a psueo Christmas Eve. We had Spanish coffees, ice cream sundaes and watched the old clay-mation Rudolph movie by the fire.

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So did Meira.

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The next day we opened gifts, ate tons of healthy food and then took a late-night plane to Kennewizzle.

I love when we’re all at my parent’s house. Its just chaotic and funny and someone’s crying and there’s always wine and pita chips. Tate came over to play with his best bud and I snapped a couple adorable pics while they watched Sesame Street.

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E kept covering up Tate with his blankie. #futurebabysitter

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That night Rach came over and we played Speak Out, which caused everyone to very slightly pee their pants.

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It should also be said that this game should only be played with people you don’t care about drooling in front of :).

Christmas eve was très eventful as we had a recording sesh, went to the trampoline gym AND had a b-day party for yers truly. And we lit the candles for the first day of Hanukkah!

These guys are the only presents I need. and maybe some bath bombs from Lush.

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Christmas morning was of course splendid as Mr. Tate M. Johnson came dressed as Santa!

Here he is with his FAVORITE thing of all…books!

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Anyone like this ghetto contraption my Mom made with an old rider toy from GW and an old belt? #KLASS.

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And the menorah my mom found for which we had no candles that fit so we actually WIDDLED some down. Yes, Nan and I widdled together.

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The day after Christmas we came back to Portland and David was back to work on Tuesday. He did however, find time to whisk me away on a quick trip to the Columbia Gorge Hotel!

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It was stunning, all decked out in Christmas cheer and when we got to the room, we had a surprise waiting for us!

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Note: David’s pose was completely his idea.

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This was just so special to me. Having worked in hospitality (namely, room service) and making rooms feel special for other people, it felt so good to finally get to experience this for myself. David and I sipped champagne and kicked back in comfy chairs before heading downstairs to the hotel bar for happy hour.

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That night after dinner, I lost a bet and had to sing “Friend Like Me” at a local karaoke bar which I begrudgingly did amidst the sounds of LITERAL crickets. Not even one, lowly courtesy clap-along.

The next day we walked around the ground of the place and realized we were basically on top of a waterfall!

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During the time between Christmas and the New Year, I did lots of important things. But mostly, I binge watched Shameless (OMG SO GOOD) and Girlfriends Guide to Divorce (NOT AS GOOD BUT STILL GOOD).

Then New Year’s Eve rolled around.

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So I did some green eyeshadow:

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Slapped on this little number (Christmas present from Meg):

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And David and I went out, had some libations and stood on a crowded dance floor so balloons would drop on our head. #worthit

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All in all, we had a wonderful break, oozing with love, family and Barbie cake.

Le Marc Liquid Lip Crème Vox Box

G’day gents!

I was recently selected for the Le Marc Liquid Lip Crème Vox Box by Influenster (the products were complimentary) and thought I’d share my thoughts!

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Not being a huge fangirl of liquid lipsticks these days, I was unsure of how I’d like this one from Marc Jacobs Beauty. However, the brand has really put out some great things, namely the Marc Jacobs Glowstick, Velvet Noir Mascara and of course the High Liner. When the box arrived, I was slightly disappointed to see that they selected the shade Hot Cocoa. My blonde hair and transparent-white skin doesn’t typically lend itself well to any colors in the brown family.

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But then I swatched it and was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t just straight-up brown, but had a slight rosy hue to it.

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The box also contained a coordinating lip liner! Mine was in the shade (nude)ist.

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Here it is next to the lip creme:

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And because I am a hard core beauty blogger (teehee) I decided to try it on and snap a pic for you guys.

DISCLAIMER: I have been sick all week and have closely resembled Aileen Wuornos.

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NOT a precise application but you get the idea. Also, please note that I am reppin’ a North Face fleece.

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Overall thoughts? I actually really like this stuff! The formula STAYS PUT and it wears really nicely. My issue with most liquid lipsticks is that they get all patchy and gross, but this one fades really well. I like the formulation and surprisingly, the color is growing on me! I think with a whole face a’makeup it wouldn’t look half bad. The lipliner is pretty typical, nothing overly wonderful. But a nice color and well pigmented, for sure.

Follow @Influenster and @MarcBeauty for more info on these puppies.

Oh, and this is Aileen Wuornos for anyone who doesn’t know…and this is a good pic.

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Sephora Beauty Insider Sale Haul

That’s right folks. Contrary to popular belief, I am not a V.I.B Rouge, or even a V.I.B. I am but a humble Sephora Beauty Insider, who does not get the 20% off coupon or any of the other perks. However, they do send out a $15 of any $50 purchase once a year which I usually jump on.

Here’s what I got this year!

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Of course I got the birthday gift which is comprised of the Marc Jacobs Highliner and lipstick.

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I had previously bought a full-size highliner when the product first debuted and had issues with the formulation so I returned it. I was happy to discover that they included this lil’ guy in the b-day gift because I heard they improved the formula and lemme tell ya – it is awesome! I will definitely be buying this in the full size. It actually stays in the water line and tight line and is SO richly pigmented.

The lipstick formula is fine but the color is not for me.

Boscia Deep Hydration Sleeping Mask

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I am on the last few uses of my L’Oreal Volume Filler Night Cream so I figured I should re-stock. This time, I decided to try Boscia after contemplating re-purchasing the First Aid Beauty Hydrafirm Sleeping Cream (which is awesome). I have heard good things about this brand and hello, the packaging is pink.

Clinique Exfoliating Scrub

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The other day I realized I hardly EVER exfoliate my skin, which is NOT good. Aging skin needs to be exfoliated (gently) every so often to remove dead skin and help decrease skin shedding.

I decided to go with this one based on reviews that the actual scrubbies were quite small (and the smaller, the better). After I got this in the mail, I realized that Clinique markets it to people with oily skin (which I do not have), but so far I am really liking it, especially for the price.

Alterna Caviar Repair 500 Point Perk

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I have been in the market for new shampoo and conditioner and have been really trying to steer clear of the crap from the drugstore. I also ran out of my Redken Anti-Snap leave-in treatment so I was overjoyed when I saw that this set came with shampoo, conditioner, as well as two leave-in treatments. I have used the entire set a couple of times now and I realllllly like this line.

Oh What Fun!

So, I played my old high clarinet the other weekend. I asked Gare if we still had it and he wasn’t sure, so he went down into the basement to take a peek. Low and behold, he found it toward the back of a shelf and brought it up for me to inspect. Much to my surprise and absolute delight, when I opened the case and popped the mouthpiece cover off, it STILL had a reed on it. And the reed…you may have guessed….STILL had pink sparkly lipgloss on it.

After I died laughing for about 15 minutes solid, I started to play it and was happy to learn I’m not half bad ;). I asked my Dad to get it re-padded so that I could take it back to Portland with me and actually play it from time to time! Let me know if anyone wants a video of this.

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And of course, a trip home would not be complete without seeing Mister Tate M. Johnson. When I arrived on Friday, he was napping and so it was I who got to collect him after he woke up.

Every time I come home and see Tate, I feel like he is slightly confused about who I am. I kind of look like Mommy and have a similar voice, but I am taller, bonier and definitely do NOT have the lashes.

Therefore, when I pulled him from his crib and took him in the den to hang with my Mom and I, he immediately started swimming out of my arms over to Nana. I was crushed…”NOOOO TATE! LOVE ME!”

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He literally laid there (which he NEVER does) and just gave me stink-eye for about 10 min.

But then, he woke up a bit more and started loving me again.

Halfway there…

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There’s that smile!

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ALLLLLSO. Tate hugs things now. HE HUGS THEM.

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In more important news, I got a new lipstick.

Found at T.J Maxx for $5.99 and I felt it was time for me to jump on the metallic lip trend.

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In Melted Marshmallow Bunny.

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Last week, David and I were lucky enough to go to the Amy Schumer show at the Moda Center!

Our pal Richard is actually a friend of Amy Schumer’s brother Jason, who is part of the opening act for her show. He plays the bass clarinet so obvs he ROCKS.

Anyway, we showed up early for some dinner + drinks and basically prepared to burn 1,000 calories from laughing.

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And since there was a slight possibility of actually meeting Amy Schumer or her brother…I put m’lashes on.

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And lastly, our best pal Andy moved to Chicago last week. We met up with him for dinner at the Radio Room, cheers’d for the last time and exchanged sad hugs 😦

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I hate saying goodbye to friends!

Five Essential Items for Breakups or Divorce

**Before I begin let me state for the record that I am still in a wonderful relationship. I simply consider myself an expert on this matter and thought I should therefore share.**

Now! Let’s talk about how to go from this:

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To this!

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(Yes, the above picture of Sad Nat is genuine. I believe it is important to document both the good times and the bad.)

Being a lady of a certain age has taught me many a lesson.

– Never wear sweatpants in public unless coming or going to the gym.

– When in doubt, wear slightly over-sized sparkly stud earrings. (this applies to MANY situations)

– And lastly…There is nothing that vodka, mascara and candles from Bath & Body Works can’t solve.

So many lessons I have learned over the years have applied directly to the world of relationships. Ask my old college volleyball teammates – I almost wrote a MANUAL. I’ve been in just about every awkward, wonderful, life-changing circumstance you could imagine. Some blissful, and some have left me straight SHOOK.

N.E ways (haha remember when people spelled it that way?) I shall now pass along my years of accumulated wisdom on the subject, wrapped in a handy list!!

1.) A good pair of headphones

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Allow me to deconstruct: We’ve all had the original Apple earbuds, lost them, got a new phone and got more, lost those, etc. etc. By now you’re probably wearing  hot pink a set you spent $9.99 on while checking out at Fred Meyer. When going through a divorce…these my friends, will just not do.

You’re going to need you a solid purr a’headphones. Ones that can be turned up so loud they may or may not rupture an eardrum. You see, there will be MANY times where you need to drown things out. Sometimes it will be your own brain, other times it will be the conversation the happily married girls with 2 adorable kids are having next to you about where they’re vacationing next month. It is at times like these, you’ll be glad you have your Beats on, merrily blasting “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor”.

2.) SIA

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This black-and-white haired little lady may or may not become your BFF during this absolute sh*t time. For me, Sia was IT. Her music is SO passionate and raw. Song lyrics always seem to come alive during the darkest of days for me and Sia just really nails it time after time. If I may, I would suggest the following:

  • Elastic Heart
  • Big Girls Cry
  • Fire & Gasoline
  • I’m in Here
  • Unstoppable
  • Alive

3.) Nice under-eye concealer

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Go ahead and treat yerself to a more expensive under-eye concealer RN. Chances are sleep isn’t coming easy, crying is a daily occurrence and alcohol consumption while in the bath may be at an all time high. NO JUDGEMENT girl. You do you. But we all know that when Monday morning rolls around and your face looks like Extra No. 247 from the Walking Dead, it might be time to slap on the ol’ warpaint. After all, you are going through a war. A concealer with great coverage is going to get you so far. Here are the best ones:

  • Mac Pro Longwear Concealer
  • Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer
  • Kat Von D Lock-It
  • Maybelline Better Skin Concealer (if you’re on a budget)

4.) One or two really comfortable, yet chic pieces of clothing

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If there’s a time in your life where it’s alright to invest in a Barefoot Dreams cardigan, it’s now. For me, clothing and appearances can make or a break a day. On my best days, putting together outfits is really fun and I won’t mind wearing slightly uncomfortable things if it means I’m gonna look cute. But on the poopy days, give me a uniform of jeans, a comfy top and some flats. It is still important to look nice and take care of yourself, but there is no way a little pencil skirt and heels are happening. Buy yourself a new drapey sweater made of a better material. Splurge on a cashmere blanket scarf that you can cozy up in, anywhere you are. Nothing is more comforting, than the clothing and materials touching your body, so make sure they are good!

5.) A fun pee-chee (applicable only to divorce)

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Am I the only one left calling these pee-chees? You know, pocket folders. Whatever you call them, you’re going to need one or two in order to keep all your papes in check. There’s going to be all kinds of paperwork involved and then even MORE subsequent paperwork if you’re doing things like changing your name, adding bank accounts, editing insurance, etc. It is all very confusing, painful and takes alot of time. I found a good way to try and keep my spirits up while standing in yet another line at the social security office was to keep everything organized in a Justin Bieber pee-chee. Once I had the final documents, I moved them to a festive cupcake folder at home, covered in sprinkles. I say, why not find joy in everything during this hard time.

Other Helpful Items to Consider

  • A space heater, electric blanket or heating pad = These are especially helpful if you are a bit of a cuddler and you find yourself all alone in your bed.

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  • New sheets = Preferably a high thread count if you can, in a happy, warm color. You’ll be spending alot of time in your bed and I found it helpful to have crisp, new sheets for those 12-15 hour sleeping spells.

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  • Candy = ‘Nuff said.

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  • Subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu and/or the like = Try to steer clear of rom coms and instead opt for hits such as “The Killing”, “The Fall” and “American Horror Story” to keep your mind occupied.

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  • Bath and Body Works Candles = As noted above, there’s not much one of these cannot solve. They fill up the whole room with fragrance and no matter what your taste, there’s a scent out there for you. May I suggest however, Marshmallow Fireside for the Winter and Summer Boardwalk for the summer.

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