Nordstrom Sale Early Access Picks!

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It's the MOOOOST wonderful TIIIIIIME of the yeeeeaaaaarrrrrr!

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is HERE! Early Access starts today, and I stayed up all night shopping the sale and picking out the very BEST pieces! Now you don't need to sift through the pages and pages of sale pieces or brave the crowds in stores, because I did the dirty work for you!

Below you'll see my *initial* picks from the sale! Over the next few days, I'll be doing additional posts and you will be able to shop my picks from the following categories: Women's, Men's, Kid's, Home, Beauty, and What I Ordered (with try-on photos!). So, keep checking back for those posts over the next couple of days!

Just simply click on a picture below to shop the item! Each picture is a link that will take you directly to the product page where you can see details, colors, pricing, sizes, etc...

If you're not a Nordstrom Card holder, you can click here to get one so that you can shop the Early Access sale! Otherwise, the sale will open up to the public on July 20th.

Alright, ready to shop?? Let's go! Get ready, because this sale is SO GOOD. There are so many amazing deals and pieces and, as I said, I have a ton more posts to follow with even MORE picks! Be sure to check my IG and blog over the next few weeks for try-ons and up close shots of all of the pieces from the sale that I ordered!

Here are my initial picks from the sale:

 

What are your favorite items from the sale?? Let me know what you are LOVING and what you are ordering!

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My Current Makeup Lineup

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Hi beautiful people!

I did a poll on Instagram asking if you guys wanted to see a post on books I've read recently, or on my current makeup lineup, and the makeup post won! I'll get my book review post up next week (hopefully!). But let's dive right into the makeup products I have been using recently!

I am really liking my current makeup situation. I've got it down so that it is super quick (I can get my full, daily makeup look done in under 10 minutes), and really easy to do. As a mom, I don't have time for fancy brushes, sponges, contour, etc... I keep it straight forward and easy peasy! I also use my fingers to apply my foundation, concealer, and blush. The only thing I use a brush for is my highlighter and my eyeshadow. Easy!

Before I apply my makeup, I wash my face every morning and then apply this facial tanning lotion: click here

While that is drying, I brush my teeth and put lip balm on. I like this lip balm. Then I'll pat in a tiny bit of moisturizer. I have been using this moisturizer lately, and I know it's full of bad ingredients, but honestly I've had so much trouble with my skin lately and since using this my face has been the most clear that it's been in awhile. So, I'm sticking to it for now!

Next up I use my fingers to apply a couple of pumps of this CC + illuminating cream. I use the shade 'Light'. I love the subtle glow it gives, and it does wonders when it comes to evening out my skin tone. Plus, it has SPF 50+, which is a great bonus! I blend the cc cream in to my hair line and also down onto my neck, using my fingers. I sometimes will use a beauty blender, but I have found that I like the outcome best when I just use my fingers.

After I apply my cc cream, I go in with this concealer. It's full coverage, anti-aging, and water proof, and it is my FAVORITE concealer. I wear the shade 'Light'. I like this concealer so much! It doesn't settle in the creases  under my eyes and it provides a really full coverage which I am AAAALLL about. I do use Shape Tape occasionally, but Bye Bye Under Eye is definitely my go-to.

Next, I apply a tiny little bit of this blush with my finger tips. When I say a "tiny little bit", I mean it. A little of this goes a LOOONG way. Start off with less than you think you need and you can always add more. I love how dewey and light this blush is. It gives the perfect hint of pink. I wear the shade 'Puff'.

To finish off my face, I use this palette from Tarte. I recieved this palette in the FabFitFun Summer Box, which was sent to me, and I am SO happy to have been able to try it! Side note: you can get $10 off of your first FabFitFun box HERE with the code AMC10. Anyways, this palette is a GAME CHANGER. I am seriously in love. It is so good. I use the shade 'Strobe' on my cheek bones, nose, brow bones, upper forehead, and all over my eyes. It acts to set my face, as well as acting as a highlighter. Then I'll dust a bit of the shade 'Lit' all over to add a nice warm glow. I then will use the shade 'Stunner' as my eye shadow, sweeping it all over my lids. I really can't say enough good things about this palette. I've gotten so many compliments on my skin since I started using it! I use a Sigma brush.

I finish off my makeup with my eyes. I curl my eyelashes, apply eyeliner (I love how easy this is to use and how it effortlessly gives that cateye look), and this mascara. I was using this IT Cosmetics mascara for awhile, which I love. But honestly, nothing beats this one, and it is so affordable! I honestly just don't love any other mascara as much as this one. It makes my eyelashes look so full and long, without looking clumpy at all.

It seriously takes me less than 10 minutes to do my makeup each morning. I also shower at night before bed, so I don't have to shower in the morning, and I wash my hair every 2-3 days, so usually I just spray some dry shampoo and I'm good to go! My routine is fast and easy - what every mama strives for, haha.

How long does it take you to do your makeup? What are your favorite products? Please share!

 

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Five Favorites

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Hi friends!

It's been awhile since I have done a Five Favorites post, so I thought it would be fun to get one up! I have been trying out some new products and brands lately and I have some things that I am LOVING. I can't wait to share!

Here we go:

  1.  Tarteist PRO Glow Highlight and Contour Palette
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I am obsessed with this palette! It is seriously *beautiful*, and smells amazing too - which is a bonus! I love love love the highlighter and it has the prettiest shade that I love using as an eye shadow. Highly recommend this! I received this palette in the Summer FabFitFun box, which brings me to my SECOND favorite thing at the moment...

2. FabFitFun Subscription Box (Use code AMC10 for $10 off your first box!)

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FabFitFun is a subscription box that comes to you every season full of FULL-SIZED products! The box contains various things related to beauty, fitness, tech, and lifestyle from brands like Moroccan Oil, Trina Turk, Tarte Cosmetics, Dermalogica, Dr. Brandt, and more. I have been dying to try out a box for a long long time because I've seen them posted all over social media. When FabFitFun reached out to me and asked me to be a #FabFitFunPartner I jumped at the opportunity! And let me tell you, the box did NOT disappoint. It is as amazing as I thought it would be - more so! I love all of the products and it is so fun that each season you get a new box filled with new goodies! They gave me a code for you guys: Use the code AMC10 and you'll get $10 off of your first box at FabFitFun.com!

3. Fawn Design Diaper Backpack

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I can't say enough good things about this diaper bag. Not only is it BEAUTIFUL, and totally does not look like a diaper bag, but it is also extremely functional. Now that I've been "momming" for a couple of years, I can say hands down that a backpack diaper bag is the way to go. Especially with a toddler. You need those hands (and arms) free, mama! This bag is great quality and I can fit so much into it. Get the bag here.

4. Knocked Up Fitness Prenatal Program

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You've heard me rave about the Core Rehab Program (click here for more info. on Core Rehab) for postpartum mamas and how it helped me to heal my abdominal separation after having my first son (read about my experience with the program here and here). Well, the creator of the Core Rehab Program has a program for pregnancy and it is just as amazing! I have been doing the prenatal workouts throughout this pregnancy and I love them and how they make me feel! You can learn more about the workouts by clicking here!

5. Made by Mary Zola Disc Necklace

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I have this necklace with 'james' on it and I just love it so so much. You can get it personalized to say whatever you want and I think it is so special. I wear it all the time (I switch off every day between this necklace and my mama and baby bird necklace!). I can't wait to get this necklace with the new baby's name on it once he arrives! I'll get it in an 18" chain and wear it with my 'james' disc necklace above it. This would make such a great gift for a new mom! For reference, the disc necklace I have is in the rose gold color, brushed metal, 16" chain. Click here for the necklace.

I hope you guys enjoyed this edition of Five Favorites! I'll do more of these, I promise. They are so fun to do.

Let me know what you are currently loving in the comments!

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5 Easy Beauty Hacks

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Hi everyone!

How is your week going? What's new? Have any fun plans that you're looking forward to in the coming weeks? Fill me in! I love hearing from you guys!!

I hope you had a great Fourth of July! Mine was super low-key. Ben, James, and I went to the cabin in Montana over the weekend, which was really fun. We came back Monday night, and Ben had to work on the 4th. James and I spent the day lounging around the house and recovering from the long car ride the day before. James was in bed by 6:30pm, and then Ben and I watched a movie and went to bed early. #parentlife :)

Anyways, I've been wanting to share some easy beauty hacks with you guys. These are things that you can incorporate into your day that will help you to look and FEEL glowing and healthy!

  1. Collagen I have recently started adding a scoop of this collagen into my morning cup of coffee, and also into my afternoon cup of tea. Collagen has SO many benefits, and I'll be doing a whole blog post about it soon, so check back for that, probably next week! Collagen helps to reduce wrinkles, it helps to heal your gut, it helps with joint pain, it's good for your hair, skin, and nails...it's so good. It's such an easy thing to incorporate into your daily routine, and I have seen a major difference since I started using it. I love this one - you can get it here.

  2. Apple Cider Vinegar I love taking an apple cider vinegar shot every morning to help wake up my digestive system. Apple cider vinegar helps with weight loss, it's a mood enhancer, it helps give you energy, it has natural antibiotic properties, it can assist in controlling high blood sugar levels...the list goes on and on! I like this brand (get it here) but any Apple Cider Vinegar WITH THE MOTHER (VERY IMPORTANT TO GET ONE THAT SAYS 'WITH THE MOTHER') will do. I mix about a tablespoon of ACV with about half a cup of pure, natural pineapple juice and a little honey. So good!!

  3. Probiotic Probiotics are good for a NUMBER of reasons. They help with digestive and urinary health, gut health, allergies, stress, immunity...just to name a few things! Taking a probiotic can be ESPECIALLY important for us postpartum mamas. I'll do a blog post about this as well, if you guys would like more information! Let me know. Anyways, definitely talk to your doctor before starting to take any supplements, including a probiotic. I take this one.

  4. Oils I've been battling postpartum hormonal acne for awhile now, and one of the things that has really helped has been using facial oils. I love this one so much! I was sent it complimentary for testing purposes, and I seriously LOVE IT. Get it here. I cleanse my face (morning and night) and then spray it with my Mother Dirt mist (see number 5 below!) and then massage my face with this oil before applying my moisturizer (I use this one). My skin is so much more moisturized and dewy and clear since I've started this regimen. Definitely recommend oils!!

  5. Mother Dirt AO Mist This is a spray that you mist all over your face (and body, if you'd like) that has live bacteria in it (the good kind). The thought is that with all of the cleansers and scrubs that we use in our daily lives, we eliminate the good bacteria from our skin. This spray puts it back. It is said to reduce the need for moisturizers and deodorants, and is made with family-friendly, simple ingredients. I definitely have noticed a difference in my skin since using this. Highly recommend it! Get the Mist here.

What are your ride-or-die beauty hacks? Please share - always looking for new ideas and things to try! :)

Five Favorites

Happy Friday!!

I hope you have all had a wonderful week! It has been a really busy week for me, what with James turning 10 months old, and doing things for the new house, and working on some fun projects... Life is such a whirlwind right now, but I'm loving it! So many wonderful and exciting things happening. I'm feeling really really blessed!

Here are five things that I am really really loving at the moment:

1. These pretty wine glasses: Click here  // Also love these

2. This blush - so amazing: Click here

3. These cute shoes...AAALLLL the heart eyes: Click here

4. This GORGEOUS rug!! So beautiful: Click here

5. These adorable and fun pom pom slides: Click here

There you have it! Just a few things that I really like right now!

The weather here has been SO BEAUTIFUL this week...it's really feeling like summer!! 

Have a wonderful weekend, friends!

Five Favorites

Wow, sorry for being MIA this past week! We were traveling for a wedding and things have been SO busy since we got back!!

Ok, ready for another round of Five Favorites?

Here are five things from all categories - makeup, skincare, fashion, etc... that I am LOVING right now, and I think you will love them too! Just click each title for more info!

1. Haloscope by Glossier

This highlighter is SO easy to use and it gives the most perfect, dewy glow.

These are the cutest wedges and they go with everything.

Such a beautiful top - perfect for Spring!

Such a beautiful top - perfect for Spring!

Perfect for flat lays!

Perfect for flat lays!

Hope you all have a great rest of your week!

Romantic Braid Tutorial

Top: ILY Couture //

This is one of my very favorite hairstyles these days! It's very easy to do, once you get the hang of it. Plus, it keeps my hair out of my face when I'm playing with James! It is just really really feminine and pretty and I always get compliments when I wear my hair like this. I think it is PERFECT for Valentine's Day or a date night!

1. Part your hair on one side, and swoop all of your hair over the opposite shoulder.

2. Start french braiding your hair up at the top by your part. Continue the french braid until you're at your ear.

3. Start adding in hair from the opposite side by grabbing sections and bringing them around into the french braid. You can play around with how big of sections you use for different looks.

4. Tie off your braid with an elastic, and then gently pull the braid apart to give that big, messy look. Again, you can play around with this. Go crazy for a chunky, bed-head look, or leave tighter for a sleek and tidy braid.

There you have it! Be sure to tag me in your pictures if you try this braid - I'd love to see how it turns out!

5 Minute Makeup Routine

I think we'd all agree that, while it can be fun to spend a half hour on achieving the perfect makeup look SOMETIMES, there are days when you need a look that is a bit faster to achieve. Now, add in the whole "mom-factor" and the need for a quick and easy makeup routine is multiplied by 1,000. AmIRight??

That's why I have perfected this 5 minute makeup routine!

It uses minimal products and requires minimal effort...and the end results are very put together and lovely...which is a win! Basically this makeup looks like you spent much longer on it than you actually did.

I shot this quickly one morning while I was sitting on the living room floor getting ready. James was doing tummy time in his Dock-A-Tot and watching me. He thought the whole thing was pretty weird and funny. haha

So, that is proof for all of you other mamas out there that this makeup routine is PERFECT for whipping up real quick during a nap or when you have a few spare minutes while your child plays.

Here we go:

First, start with a clean face. I like to apply a tinted moisturizer with SPF (usually this one), followed by my favorite primer (this one). I also like this one A LOT.

Next, I apply a couple of pumps of this MAGICAL CC cream all over my face, blending it down into my neck. I then apply this cream blush to the apples of my cheeks and blend it up along my cheek bones.

I just use my fingers for all of this when I'm in a rush. If I were spending more time on my makeup, I would use a Beauty Blender.

This blush has been my go-to for years. I love how it's so creamy and dewy. I'm ALL about the dewy looking skin. Plus, it's very easy to apply and blend.

Next, we'll move to the eyes - in my opinion the MOST important part of any look. I take my eye makeup VERY seriously, haha. I love dark, dramatic, long lashes and a good cat eye.

First, I'll apply a light shade of eye shadow all over my lids and brow bones. Then, I'll go into the crease and apply a light swipe of a slightly darker shade. This palette is the one I've been using lately and it's great! Plus, it's very affordable!

Then I apply my eye liner. I've started only applying it to the upper lash line - NOT the lower. This helps my eyes look more bright and open. I do a cat eye on top. I like this eye liner the best right now.

Then, MASCARA. If I had to pick one thing to take with me to a deserted island, I might just pick mascara. As you can see, my eyelashes are BLONDE, and therefore basically invisible. haha So I LOVE mascara and feel so naked without it.

This one is my current favorite. I also really really LOVE this one!

Don't mind the smudgey finger prints all over the tube... haha

*sigh of relief* There! Eyelashes!

Next up, LIPS. Mine are (clearly) so dry and flaky this time of year. I really love this lip color because it moisturizes while giving great color.

Ta-da! DONE!

I hope you liked this quick tutorial! This is my go-to every day makeup routine, and I get a lot of questions about it, so I'm really excited to finally be able to share it with you all!

Let me know what you think, and tag me (@tiugirlanna)  in any pictures of you with this makeup look after you try it!

Guest Post: Glam Mommy Life's Winter Skin Saviors

I am SO excited to share a *special* guest post written by one of my lovely friends, Kristie. Kristie is the voice and vision behind Glam Mommy Life - a new blog focused on showing moms that it is possible - and even easy - to be glamorous and fabulous! I think her blog is so much fun and I LOVE her beauty tips. 

Today, Kristie is sharing her Winter Skin Saviors with all of us...which I desperately need because my skin gets SO dry and miserable during the winter months! Anyone else??

Let's dive right in and hear from Kristie! And be sure to head over to Glam Mommy Life after you're done to read the guest post that I wrote! I'm sharing my daily schedule and my tips for making time in your busy day for health, fitness, and a little pampering! Click here to check out my post!

Hi everyone! My name is Kristie of Glam Mommy Life and I'm so excited to be a guest blogger for Anna! She is an inspiration to me with her health and zest for life! I'm honored to to share my winter beauty must haves with all you lovely readers.

I don't know about you, but my skin absolutely loathes winter. That's why I really have to step my skincare to be thicker and more moisturizing than I would use. Here are my must have products to keep dry skin at bay during these brutal and cold months. 

Glam glow Thirsty Mud Hydrating mask

I use this at night and my skin just drinks it up! This treatment moisturizes, restores, replenishes, and calms the skin. It leaves skin with an instant silky, soft, and supple feel. Thirsty Mud smooths and energizes the skin, giving you a healthy-looking, glowing complexion. It works to hydrate those dry patches between my brows, on my chin and my cheeks so I wake up with moisturized skin even when the weather is brutal. 

Sol de Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream

This isn't just for your Bum Bum. This cream, which has the consistency of whipped butter, glides on the skin and absorbs quickly! The smell of caramel praline is out of this world and it leaves just hint of sheen on your skin. 

Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm SPF 25

This lip balm is amazing for quenching my parched lips. I mostly use it at night as my night balm and I wake up to smooth, hydrated and soft lips. It contains soothing skin conditioners and antioxidants to make my lips smooch worthy.  My favorite flavor is the Black Tea & Blackberry.  

Tarte Lip Facial Lip Scrub

Speaking of lips, let's talk exfoliation. You can't have smooth lips when there is a flaky layer getting in the way. This lip scrub, that looks like a crayon for my 4 year old, but exfoliates the lips in the most effortless way possible! I love using this in the shower to slough off that dead skin!

Kate Somerville goat milk cleanser

This cleanser is like applying whipped butter on my skin. It's a satisfying sensation of both cleansing and moisturizing my skin as I massage it in. The cleanser is the perfect solution for dry skin cleansing in the blustery winter months, without breaking the skin out.

And finally, I'm sharing a tip that has made such a difference in softening my wintery dry skin. At night, use a humidifier in your bedroom and you will wake up to soft and supple skin. There you have it! I hope these must-haves help keep your face and body hydrated all winter long!

 

 
 
About Kristie:
My name is Kristie Frederick and I am the mother to two beautiful girls, ages 4 and 4 months. I am a yoga instructor and have a love for all things beauty, food and fitness. My mission is to help women and moms feel and look gorgeous in the swiftest way possible.
Be sure to visit Kristie's blog, Glam Mommy Life!

 

A huge thank you to Kristie for this amazing post! I am so excited to check out some of these products, because my skin needs some serious saving during these cold months!

What product are YOU most excited to try? Share in the comments below! Also, PLEEEEEAAASSSSEE share any other tips you may have! 

Also, don't forget to check out my post on Glam Mommy Life! Click here

Lash Like A Boss

I am AAAALLL about dark, thick, long eyelashes and dramatic eyeliner, paired with pale pink lips and rosy cheeks. That is my go-to every day look, and I don't typically stray from that. In fact, I've been doing a similar look ever since I started wearing makeup in middle school! I guess you could say I'm not very adventurous when it comes to trying out different makeup looks, but I prefer to think of it as ...I know what I like!

I am always on the hunt for new mascaras and eyeliners that help me to achieve my much desired dramatic eye look. It's HARD to find a good mascara that gives you volume, length, dark color, AND doesn't leave you with clumps or a big mess. That's why I am SO excited to have found the new Big Shot Mascara by Maybelline! You guys, it is seriously so so amazing!

I was sent this mascara complimentary from Influenster and Maybelline to test out and review. I ALWAYS give honest reviews, and I am a harsh critic of mascara, so I was ready to tear this mascara apart and find any problems with it that I could. When I first saw the brush, I was skeptical. It looks like a mess. BUT, as soon as I started to apply the mascara, I was sold. It goes on SOO smoothly and evenly. After just one coat, my eye lashes were perfectly dark, long, and full of volume. And the best part was, NO CLUMPS. *cheers* Because clumps are the WORST.

So, I'm now in love with this mascara, and I just had to tell you all about it. Plus, it can be bought at the drugstore and is very very affordable, which is always nice! Especially for a mascara that is SO AMAZING!

I was also sent the new Master Precise Curvy Liquid Liner from Maybelline. I could go on and on about this product, but I will just say that my eyeliner woes and worries are NO MORE. This eyeliner lets you achieve the PERFECT cat eye like it's nothing. So simple, so easy, and no mess. Perfect cat eye every time. Just what I like. It's the best eyeliner that I've used in a loooong time, and my eyeliner looks better than it EVER has (at least with me doing it!). So, again, highly highly recommend! And remember, this is a drugstore brand, so it is so affordable, and the quality that you get it UNBELIEVABLE for the price.

There you have it! Just had to tell you all about these great new beauty finds! Yes, I was sent these products for free to try out, but all of my opinions are entirely my own. This is my honest review and I truly LOVE these new products and will be using them in my daily makeup routine from now on!! I'm going to be doing a dramatic cat eye for Christmas dinner, and I will definitely be using this new mascara and eyeliner to achieve it!

What is YOUR go-to makeup look?? Let me know in the comments below!

Have a great day!

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Review: Erno Laszlo Double Cleanse Set

The name 'Erno Laszlo' is iconic in the world of beauty and skincare. He was the very first doctor to create his own line of skincare products that are medically based. Laszlo is also known for coming up with the idea of establishing a skincare routine tailored to one's specific skin type.

I have been curious about the new Double Cleanse set from Erno Laszlo ever since I first started seeing it pop up around the blogosphere. I have fair, sensitive skin so the Sensitive Double Cleanse Travel Set was the perfect choice for me. The set consists of an oil-and-bar duet that work together to nourish and moisturize sensitive skin, all while cleansing it. Infused with anti-inflammatory plant extracts, the set removes oils, makeup, and any other impurities, leaving your skin feeling soft, dewy, and fresh.

Here's how it works:

 

1. Begin with the oil, massaging it gently onto dry skin. This step is great for removing makeup!

2. Next, without rinsing the oil off of your face, lather the cleansing bar with warm water. Then, rub the lathered up cleansing bar all over your face in gentle, circular motions. The solutions from the oil and the bar will work together to cleanse your skin.

3. To finish up, rinse your face thoroughly with warm water. Pat your skin dry with a soft face cloth. Et voila!

 

In my opinion, this cleansing set is definitely worthy of all the hype! I highly recommend it!

xo, Anna

*Thank you to Influenster for sending me this product free in order to review. All opinions are my own.

Beauty Sleep Essentials

Sleep hasn't been something that I have been getting much of lately. Being pregnant makes getting a good night's rest a tad bit difficult. I miss being able to get a full night of sleep and waking up feeling fully rested and refreshed! Although, I know that this is good preparation for when my baby comes, since I probably wont be getting much sleep then anyways. :)

Needless to say, I've been doing a lot of thinking about sleep lately! More and more we are hearing about how IMPORTANT sleep is for our bodies and minds. I mean, you've probably heard of Arianna Huffington's new book, 'The Sleep Revolution', right? This book gets ALL into the importance of sufficient rest and ways to achieve it. Getting enough good quality rest is pretty much a non-negotiable for our health. Not getting enough sleep leads to dark circles, dull skin, crankiness, a decrease in proper brain function, and a weakened immune system. Not good!

I've put a lot of research and thought into sleep and ways to get as much of it as possible, especially when one is struggling with it like I am. Here are some beauty sleep essentials that I've rounded up based on what my searching has turned up, and on what has worked for me!

1. Lavender Essential Oil. Lavender is highly regarded for it's relaxing effects on the body. It helps to de-stress you and calm you down. I love dabbing a bit on the insides of my wrists at bed time.

*Scroll through the above gallery and click on a picture for more details on each piece!

2. Comfy Pajamas. Feeling comfortable is SO important when it comes to being able to doze off into a peaceful slumber! Above are some pajamas that I am lusting after! Click on each picture above for more info. on each piece. Finding the perfect sleepwear can make a world of a difference. I have a set of satin PJs from Victoria's Secret (no longer available) that are just the comfiest things in the world and I sleep so well in them!! Seriously, comfy pajamas are a game changer. Invest in some right away!

3. Eye Mask. A nice, soft eye mask can make such a difference. It blocks out any light that might be messing with your ability to snooze. Plus, there is something so luxurious about a nice eye mask, don't you think?

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4. Silk Pillowcase. Silk pillowcases are supposed to be so much better for your skin. Regular pillowcases can tug skin and leave weird creases in your face. A silk one will keep your skin smooth and will glide over your face as you move around in the night. Plus, again, so luxurious and soft! A silk pillowcase is just setting yourself up for a beautiful night's rest. This one matches the eye mask above, which is super cute too. When things match and look pretty together it puts me at ease and I'm better able to relax. Anyone else??

5. Tea. A nice cup of warm tea always helps me to unwind and puts me in the mood for bedtime.

Here are a few other tips for setting yourself up for a night of beauty sleep:

+Meditate: Spend 10 minutes meditating, focusing on your breath and on all of the beautiful things in your life that you are thankful for.

+Read: Try putting your electronics away as soon as you hop into bed. Better yet, keep them in a different room andmake your bedroom an electronics free zone. Ben and I are giving this a try now that we've moved into our new house. It's hard, I'm not going to lie, but it's so nice to be able to disconnect from social media and e-mails and screens. Instead of scrolling through Instagram, read a few pages from a book instead! E-readers don't count. No screens. Pick up a good old-fashioned book at bedtime.

+Take a warm bath: A bath at bedtime can be so relaxing and soothing. Throw in some bath salts and essential oils (lavender!), and light some candles. Then, feel yourself relax and decompress from your day. After a good soak, you'll be ready to drift off into a restful sleep.

What are your go-to tips for getting a good night's sleep?? Please share your beauty rest tips and tricks with me below!

xo, Anna

My Daily Makeup Routine

Today I’m going to be sharing the makeup that I use on a typical day. I’ve gotten a lot of requests for this, and I think you all will be happy to learn that all of my makeup is from…Rite Aid! That’s right. I use drugstore makeup and you can too! Honestly, I’ve tried expensive, designer brand makeup, and yes, it is fun and nice. But I truly think that you can get just as good results from using makeup brands found at the local drugstore - for a FRACTION of the cost. 

Here’s my daily makeup routine:

  1. Sunscreen. (I'll either use Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture with Sunscreen, or if I feel like I need a little extra glow, I'll use Jergens Natural Glow Face Moisturizer.)
  2. BB cream.
  3. A light coat of foundation (only if I’m going somewhere or have blemishes, etc… otherwise I will skip this step and just stick with the BB cream only.)
  4. Blush. (I am OBSESSED with pink cheeks! Blush is my favorite. I use this blush in the shade "Fresh Pink".)
  5. I don’t use eyeshadow any more…instead, I apply a coat of foundation to my eyelids. I think it makes my eyes look brighter, cleaner, and more awake! 
  6. Eyeliner. (I love dramatic eyes! Cat eyes are my fav.)
  7. Mascara. (Again, I LOVE dramatic, dark, thick lashes!)
  8. Lips. (PINK lips. I’m ALL about pink cheeks, dark lashes, and pink lips! I love this lip balm in "Pink Punch"!)

That’s it! I finish my look off with a light misting of MAC Prep+Prime Fix+ (Ok, this can’t be bought at the drugstore, but I HIGHLY recommend it. It sets your makeup and keeps it looking fresh longer!) 

As I said, I love pink cheeks, dark, dramatic lashes and cat eye, and pink lips…and dewey, creamy skin. I am majorly into the dewey, glowy, creamy skin look. I HATE dry, cakey makeup so I’m hugely into moisturizing and spritzing my skin throughout the day to keep it moist and dewey looking. 

I’d love it if you’d share some of your favorite drugstore makeup finds!

xo, Anna

Review: Oh Sugar! and Plumpify

Covergirl and Influenster sent me over some of Covergirl’s newest products for free to test out and review for them. I am already a big fan of Covergirl, and so I was very excited to try out some of their new stuff! They sent me some of their new Oh Sugar Lip Balm in the color ‘Taffy’, and their new Plumpify Mascara by blastPRO. Let me tell you, I am in love. 

Oh Sugar! is one of the best lip balms I’ve used. It goes on so smoothly, the color is beautiful and natural looking, and this stuff doesn’t dry out your lips. In fact, it contains vitamins that moisturize and nourish your lips while you’re wearing it. I will definitely be trying out more colors!

The Plumpify Mascara by blastPRO is great. It makes my lashes look so long and thick, which is what we’re all after, right?? My ONLY complaint is that the brush is HUGE and makes application a tiny bit tricky. But, it also ensures total coverage of all of your lashes, so I think it is worth it for the slightly awkward size of the brush. 

Bottom line: I highly recommend both of these Covergirl products. Plus, they are affordable and you can get them at your nearest drugstore. How can you beat that? Let me know if you try these products out! I’d love to hear what you think of them!

xo, Anna

7 Tips For Long, Healthy Hair

This is something that I get asked about ALL the time: how did I go about getting my hair so long while keeping it healthy? Except for two unfortunate stints with short hair - one in 5th grade and one in 2009 - I have had long hair my whole life. Needless to say, I have learned a thing or two about how to get it as long as possible, AND keep it healthy as well.  As a teenager, my hair was damaged from heat and getting it highlighted so often. It was dry and brittle. Now, I have developed much better, healthier habits for my hair. Allow me to pass on to you some tips that I've picked up throughout my long-haired life:

1. Minimize Heat Usage. I used to blow dry my hair every morning before straightening or curling it. Every. Single. Day. Not only did this take close to an hour to do and was a huge waste of time, but it was also REALLY bad for my hair. Now, I don't even own a blow dryer, and I never straighten my hair. In fact, I use zero heat on my hair, except for when I curl it every few months or so. When I curl my hair, I make sure to apply a heat protectant first. I wash my hair at night before bed, towel dry it, twist it up into a top knot or throw it in a french braid, and let it air dry while I sleep. In the morning, it is dry and full of volume and texture from the top knot, or beachy waves from the french braid! No heat required!

2. Brush Less and Brush Right. If I'm being honest, I don't always brush my hair every day. Sometimes I will go a day or two without brushing it. I try to just comb through my hair when I have a conditioning treatment in, or I will take a brush to my hair if it starts looking flat or messy. But by brushing much less than I used to, I've found that my hair has a substantially less amount of split ends. What I DO try to do is brush JUST my scalp in 'U' shaped strokes for a few minutes whenever I think of it. This helps to stimulate the hair follicles and encourage hair growth. Plus, it feels amazing, like a nice scalp massage!

3. Eat Healthy. A healthy diet is so important for a number of reasons! But, for the purposes of this post, let's talk about how important it is for your hair. Eating nutrient dense foods will help your hair to grow longer, stronger, and thicker, AND it can give your hair that much coveted shine. It's important to get enough iron, protein, and fatty acids in your foods. Basically, the healthy foods that you should be eating anyways are important for growing your hair long. And BONUS, they are key to healthy, beautiful skin and nails as well! Here are some foods that you should incorporate into your diet for healthy hair:

  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Leafy greens, like spinach and kale
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Protein, such as chicken, beef, eggs, pork, lentils, kidney beans, etc...
  • Greek yogurt
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Cantelope
  • Tomatos
  • Sweet potatos

You can also take supplements, such as Biotin and Vitamin E. These are said to be really great for your hair and for making it grow longer and thicker! I have tried Biotin and didn't really notice THAT much of a difference. But, go ahead and try it! Some people swear by it. 

4. Deep Condition. I do a deep conditioning treatment once a week. Since I've started doing it, my hair has felt thicker, softer, and it is much shinier. Basically, it feels and looks healthier. I love this hair mask

5. Less Frequent Hair Appointments. I only get my hair trimmed twice, maybe three times a year. Honestly, I'll let you in on a secret: there isn't a need to get it done every 6 weeks - that is a myth! You only need a trim when your ends start looking split and ratty. Since I stopped getting frequent trims, my hair has grown longer, and NO, I don't have more split ends. It is thicker and healthier than it has ever been. As far as color goes, I try to only get a full foil maybe three times each year, and then I will just do partial foils the rest of the time to brighten up my hair and touch up my roots as needed. My hair used to be SO damaged and fried when I used to get it colored EVERY month. It is so much softer, shinier, and healthier now.

6. UV Protection. Your hair is susceptible to sun damage, just like your skin is. I try to wear hats when I am going to be in the sun for an extended period of time. There are also sun protectants for hair out there. I haven't used any of them yet, but I plan on getting one to try out soon, so stay tuned and I'll let you know which ones I like!

7. Protect Your Hair From Wind. This might not be something that you would automatically think of, but wind can do a number on your hair. It whips hair around, tangling it up, giving you big knots, and causing breakage. I have learned the hard way to just throw my hair in a braid or bun when I am going to be in windy conditions, such as on a boat or a mountain. This keeps it neat and tidy!

I hope these tips are helpful! I know that everyone's hair is different, and that these tips may not work for everyone. Some of you who are hair stylists may even want to strangle me through the screen. :) These are just some things that I have found to work well for me. My hair is the healthiest, longest, and strongest that it has ever been, and I hope that these ideas help YOU to grow your hair long and healthy too! Let me know if you have any questions or comments! 

xo, Anna

 

 

 

 

DIY Mermaid Mint Sugar Scrub

*Video Tutorial Coming Soon! Check Back!*

This sugar scrub is really easy to make! It looks beautiful, smells amazing, and feels super luxurious. It helps to exfoliate your skin while softening and moisturizing it, all while giving you a nice little aromatherapy session. Plus, this scrub makes for a GREAT homemade gift! Whip up a batch, put it into a cute jar, tie a ribbon on it, and there you go! The recipient of this scrub will be blown away that you made it yourself. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1/2 cup of coconut oil
  • 1.5 cups of granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs of mint extract
  • 1-2 drops of green food coloring

Here's what you do:

Microwave the coconut oil on high in a microwave safe bowl for about 15 seconds. You want it to be soft. Then, mix in the rest of the ingredients, and stir up until well combined. The food coloring should be evenly distributed by the time you're finished mixing. If your scrub is too liquidy, go ahead and stir in a bit more sugar until the consistency is just right. Spoon into cute jars and decorate with ribbon to use as gifts, or put the entire mixture into one big jar and keep it all to yourself! ;) I won't judge. 


Nightly Ritual

Rituals are so important for a relaxing, good night's sleep. Winding down in the evening can be hard, and it can be a real challenge to quiet your mind after a long and busy day. Taking some time to care for yourself and to get in the right mindset before bed makes a huge difference. I know that on nights when I am rushed, or when I'm out late and forced to skimp on my nightly ritual, I feel unsettled, stressed, and I always have a harder time falling asleep. When I set aside the time to go through the motions and take care of myself, I end up in bed, relaxed, calm, and content and ready for a good night's sleep. I'll go ahead and share my nightly routine on a typical week night (for when I'm at home that is, as opposed to traveling or sleeping in a tent!) with you all!

I always take either an epsom salt bath, or a hot shower right before bed. I wash and condition my hair, exfoliate my face, and use a cleanser. Depending on how I'm doing for time or how tired I am, I'll use a coffee scrub prior to showering or taking a bath. 

I do a deep conditioning treatment on my hair once a week. Then I always towel dry my hair, twist it up into a top knot, and sleep with it that way. In the morning I have nice waves and volume. I never use a hair dryer, and I always just let my hair air dry. In fact, I never use heat on my hair. I will OCCASIONALLY, very rarely, curl my hair. But other than that, no heat. This helps to keep my hair healthier and prevents damage since it's SO long. 

Next, I apply my pore refining serum from Murad. It is my absolute beauty must have and it makes my skin so nice, clear, and healthy. I love it. About 2-3 times a week, I will use a face mask prior to putting on the serum. I love trying out different masks, but my go-to is this Murad one. I have some dark spots under my eyes, so I've been using this Brightening Dark Spot Corrector from Burt's Bees under and around my eyes. Then, I slather my face, neck, and chest with moisturizer. I am loving this Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture from Murad right now. 

I use St. Ives body lotion all over my entire body right after I take a shower or a bath. I have really dry skin so moisturizing is big for me. I am obsessive about it, and this St. Ives is great because it doesn't leave your skin sticky or gunky feeling, AND it's a drug store brand, so it's very affordable! Once or twice a week I will apply a sunless tanner. I like trying out different brands of self-tanners, but my current favorite is this one by Jergens.

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I brush my teeth, use mouth wash, and then hop into bed. I'll apply a cuticle cream, and dab some lavender oil on my wrists and neck. I moisturize my lips with some EOS lip balm and will dab a little extra moisturizer around my eyes. I always chug a bunch of water at this point. Sure I have to get up in the night, but I wake up in the morning with glowing skin! So, to me it is worth it. Then I read a passage from The Book Of Awakening, read 50 pages or so in whatever book I'm currently reading, turn out the lights and, hopefully, drift right off to sleep. I picked up this lovely lavender scented eye pillow that I lay over my eyes sometimes. You can put it in the freezer to make it cool, and it is just so refreshing and is sometimes just that little extra something that I need to fall asleep. 

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I would love to hear all about YOUR nightly rituals! What are your go-to products? 


My Top Skincare Picks

This is something that I have been getting a lot of requests for, so here you have it! My go-to skincare products! (Click each brand name to be taken to their website where you can see a full list of products!)

  1. Murad. I use the Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Serum religiously. I use it every night after washing my face. Sometimes I'll put some on in the morning before my Murad Essential-C Day Moisture (SPF 30) sunblock (which I also use religiously) and my makeup. I use the Murad Clarifying Mask once a week. I also received this sample of the Murad Essential-C Radiance Peel which I have been loving! I have been using that once a week as well. 
  2. Yes To Cucumbers. I use the Yes To Cucumbers Soothing Eye Gel whenever my under-eye circles are extra noticeable. This serum feels so cool and refreshing and really helps to brighten up the skin around my eyes!
  3. St. Ives. I use the St. Ives Apricot Scrub every day. Exfoliating daily is not for every skin type. In fact, some people say that you just shouldn't do it so often. Period. But, what can I say. It works for me. It leaves my skin glowy and removes dead skin cells and makeup that might build up and cause break outs!
  4. Frank. I've raved about Frank before and I'll do it again. This coffee scrub is amazing. It can be used on your entire body, including your face (which I'll do instead of the St. Ives Apricot Scrub every so often). It leaves your body feeling silky smooth AND it supposedly helps to eliminate cellulite and other imperfections. Love.
  5. Kora Organics. I first tried Kora Organics products earlier this year when I received some of their products, and I am HOOKED. I put a few drops of the Luxurious Rosehip Oil on my face every night after the Murad T-Zone Pore Refining Serum and before the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream. I use a few drops of the Luxurious Rosehip Body Oil in my baths, and the Balancing Rose Mist is a staple for me throughout the day when my skin and makeup need a refreshing spritz. 
  6. Burt's Bees. I slather on the Burt's Bees Intense Hydration Night Cream With Clary Sage every night right before bed. I layer it on thick all over my face and neck. I wake up with dewy, soft, hydrated skin. 
  7. Coconut Oil. I use coconut oil as a makeup remover. Sometimes, I will slather it all over my clean face and leave it on for a few minutes before wiping it off with a clean towel. This helps to hydrate my skin and give it a nice glow. 

Here's How To Feel Comfortable In A Bikini

Bikini season is right. Around. The corner. It is so close you can taste it. Summer days full of sunshine, warm breezes, salty hair, sandy toes, and bikinis...all of this is quickly approaching.

I would venture to guess that every girl feels at least a small pang of panic when thinking about donning a bikini for the first time after a long winter. The quest for the perfect "bikini body" and the best slimming and toning secrets begins. So much stress and anxiety goes into trying to ease our fear of wearing a bikini and baring so much for the world to see. 

Well, I am not here to talk about a new workout, diet, or treatment that will get you that "perfect" bikini body. Rather, I am here to tell you that the very BEST way to feel comfortable in a bikini is to learn to LOVE yourself and your body, and to embrace your inner confidence! You - yes, YOU, are perfect just the way you are. If you want to wear a bikini, then you should, and you should wear it with confidence. Because, you see, there is no "bikini body". There are just bodies. Many, beautiful, unique, different bodies. 

Luckily, society is starting to catch on to the fact that every woman is built differently, and every body is beautiful. So, I'm here to say that if you want to spend a fun day in the sunshine, swimming and playing and lying on the beach, all while rocking a bikini - or ANY type of bathing suit for that matter - then DO it! And do it with confidence! You deserve to let loose and feel comfortable.

Here are a few quick tips on how to feel your very most comfortable in a bikini:

1. Do not compare yourself to others. Each of us is different. We each have different body types, different skin tones, different shapes, different curves... Different everything. And that's beautiful. You just focus on being the BEST you, and on being confident about who you are and what your body looks like. You are gorgeous and worthy of fun, carefree beach days! It's SO easy to make comparisons. But trust me. Comparison is the surest and fastest way to dissatisfaction and discontent. Avoid it.

2. Remember that you are your own worst critic. You notice flaws on your own body more than anyone else does. Don't be so hard on yourself! There are SO many amazing things about you that you can focus on instead! When you focus on what you love about yourself and about your body, your inner confidence will shine through. Which brings me to number 3...

3. Head high, shoulders back! Rock that bathing suit with confidence! Confidence is the most beautiful thing. Smile, be kind, and be confident in the fact that you are strong, beautiful, and totally worthy of wearing that suit and of having a fun day in the sun! 

4. Ignore the meanies. If for some reason someone makes a mean comment on Instagram about your bikini picture that you posted, or someone gives you a rude look at the beach, make a conscious decision to shake it off and let it go. Realize that people put other people down because they feel badly about themselves. Don't let other peoples' opinions have a negative impact on you. If you feel good in that little bikini, then rock it unapologetically with confidence! And have FUN!

5. Build others up. One thing I have learned is that the more I build other women up and compliment them and treat them with kindness, the better and more confident I feel about myself! AND, the nicer they are to me! You get what you put out, and if you dish out genuine kindness, love, and encouragement, you will receive the same back. Nothing feels nicer than a heart-felt compliment.

Wearing a swim suit is about feeling comfortable and about being able to enjoy a sunny day, splashing in a lake, river, pool, or the ocean! It's not about a competition, or about striving for "perfection", or about working towards some ideal body type. So embrace yourself and your body! Don't be afraid of swimsuit season! Put on that bikini and dive right in and have the time of your life!