My Skincare Favorites!

If there is anything I am really passionate about, it is my skin and taking care of it! As a natural redhead, I have pale, sensitive skin that needs extra TLC. Unfortunately, when I was in high school & college I didn’t have those same thoughts. My goal was getting as tan as possible (shockingly, I can get a lot of color for a redhead…), whether it was laying on the beach for hours, covered in oil by the pool, or in the tanning bed (not a proud moment and never happening again!)

Now, I’ve grown up and realized my health is more important than having a darker glow. Mario Badescu, Josie Maren, and St. Tropez are my favorites for getting my skin in shape, and just how I like it! Mario Badescu is fresh and soothing for my sensitive skin but gets the job done! I see an improvement with every use! After washing my face, I can feel pretty dry due to my sensitivity, that’s where Josie Maren comes in. I love love love her Light Argon Oil! I put it all over my face before I go to bed, and mix it with a matte foundation during the day! It gives me a natural dewy look that is perfect for Spring & Summer!

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To finish it off, since we are getting back into those pool and beach days, if the rain ever stops, I still like to have a nice glow! Usually 1-2 times a month I will go get a spray tan as it looks more even and it doesn’t rub off on my clothes. Then I will use the St. Tropez Bronzing Mouse between visits to keep up the color. It has a natural, brown hue, instead of the orange tint like most and it goes on easy with the mit!

| Photo by Anthro_Charlottesville on Instagram|

KA

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My Top Beauty Hacks!

I’ve rounded up some of my top favorite beauty hacks that I use day to day! Everything can be found in your home or at your local grocery store. These tricks make your life so much easier and keep your wallet happy, the best of both worlds!

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1.) I start most days out with an ice water facial. Not only does it instantly wake you up, but it helps get rid of any puffiness you may have from a rough nights sleep!

2.) Coffee grounds. Something I recently read stated that the beads you find in the scrubs you buy in stores are harmful to the environment due the fact that they are too small to break down. So I hopped on pinterest and found this concoction to take care of that situation and it works just was well in my opinion.  You can mix it with coconut oil or coconut milk which is what i like (I think it is more refreshing).

3.) Coconut Oil. My coworker introduced me to this trick when we got an EXTREMELY over priced coconut oil jar in stock. I remember saying, “I can’t imagine putting straight oil on my face!” To which she informed me it is actually really amazing for your skin, hair and nails. She recommended I get a big tub of coconut oil from the grocery store and it will last forever because a little goes a long way. And it doesn’t just remove your makeup, it repairs your lashes and split ends!

4.) Hairspray your bobby pins! This trick helps your bobby pins stay in all day and allows you to use less so you don’t feel like a metal head & you won’t lose as many which is my real problem!

5.) Whenever I wear any lip color, I always place a tissue over my lips after I’ve applied my lipstick, take some translucent powder and brush it over the tissue, a tip I found from Lauren Conrad. This helps to make sure the color doesn’t bleed or get on your teeth and if it works for her, it works for me!

6.) Instead of buying the professional makeup brush cleaners that can get pretty pricey, I just use baby shampoo. When I worked for Ulta Beauty, one of our Benefit girls told me about this when we didn’t have enough stock of makeup remover to tester out. Ever since then I haven’t gone back because it’s so much cheaper!  Just put some on your hand, add some water, and swirl your brush in your palm until all the old product is removed! I prefer the honest company shampoo brand and they actually have this tip on their blog as well!

KA

My Hair Routine!

Recently I have been getting a bunch of inquiries about how I get my hair so thick and voluminous. Now I have to say, my DNA is a big factor! I have extremely thick, naturally curly hair so that really helps with all that volume (Thanks Mom + Dad!). However there are some products I’ve found that help keep my hair super healthy and strong so I can play with new hairstyles and make them bigger/thicker than the ones before!

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1.  Lets start from the beginning! The shampoo + conditioner that I am a die hard for is Clear Haircare. It really helps to nourish the my scalp and make my hair strong from the root, and that also helps to give it more lift!

2. To help keep any frizz away without weighing my hair down, I use Josie Maran Argon Oil. Y’all know that this is one of my favorite beauty products, I use it for everything. It smooths and gives a really beautiful shine!

3. Before I dry my hair, I like to use a primer. Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry Express Primer is the best in my opinion. Within the last few months, I been trying to stay away from my flat iron and this product has really helped! It allows me to blow dry my hair straight giving the perfect blowout without touching the flat iron! And since I’m now straightening my hair, my wand curls are more defined and last much longer!

4. Speaking of hair dryers, my Conair Infiniti Pro (this is a similar one as mine is sold out) is one of the best I’ve ever used! I’ve purchased some pretty expensive hair dryers in my time but a majority of them have really damaged my hair. This one was only $45 and it cut my dry time in half, which means less time under the heat, + that means less breakage!

5. To help give my braids more texture and depth, I use the Kenra Platinum Texture Spray 6. It not only gives more shape and thickness to my braids, but it also helps with hold when I pull them apart!

6. Anther Kenra Product I love is the Fast-Dry Hairspray 8. I don’t like using a ton of hairspray because I think it makes my hair too stiff + dries my hair out, but this stuff is gold!

KA

Winter Beauty Faves!

While the winter time is so beautiful with the sparkling lights, holiday decor, and parties it is definitely not so pretty on your skin! When it comes to taking care of my own skin during this harsh time of the year, I’ve found some products that I truly can’t live without! These products give my skin the extra boost of moisture that it really needs without making it go completely crazy!

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My all time favorite brand is Mario Badescu! It is so gentle and refreshing while still removing all the dirt that has piled up on your skin throughout the day!  My favorite items from their collection are the rose water spray (smells just like roses, so good!) and the drying lotion. The rose water can be applied anytime of day, especially if your feeling on the dry side. It really just refreshes your skin. The drying lotion really helps with any redness or breakouts that might occur with the climate change. Wear it overnight and all your problem areas will be erased, its amazing!

My next favorite is the Josie Maran Argan Oil! This stuff is life changing and can be used in so many ways! You can put it in your hair for an overnight treatment, use on your face to heal any dry or cracked skin, or drop some in your bath for a full body treatment! I prefer to use this at night so that I don’t look greasy during the day!

The Aveeno Positively Radiant Collection is perfect for the daytime! It keeps your face moisturized all day long without creating a shiny look or clogging your pours!

I am a huge supporter of exfoliating all the time!  I don’t feel like anything is getting clean unless I do it every night. And the Lush Sea Salt Scrub is the best! It’s all natural and gets all in there to make sure your skin is clean and fresh at all times! The color and smell is also really nice!

Last but not least, is my ride or die, Carmex lip balm! I collect this stuff! I have drawer in my desk dedicated to at least 75 of these things!  If you haven’t tried this, you really need to ASAP! It’s also super affordable and you can find it anywhere!

Wedding (Beauty) Belles!

It’s been quite awhile since I posted anything related to weddings, so I think it’s time!  Today I’m going to discuss beauty looks I believe to be perfect for today’s bride.  I’ve started to notice that in the midst of trying to plan the perfect weddings, some brides tend to go overboard with the whole “have to look my best” look.  When it comes to such a monumental day in your life, you don’t want to look your best, you want to look like the best version of you! So let’s talk makeup, hair, + nails!

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M A K E U P

Now I’ve been a bridesmaid many times, and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed it’s that brides are so eager to create a “flawless” look for their big walk down the isle. I honestly think this is a big mistake. Your other half chose to spend their life with YOU, so don’t you want them to see YOU as you walk towards them? The answer is yes! Try not to cover up the details that make you the beauty you are. Let that natural, blissful glow shine through.

For your eyes, try a soft smokey look.  Whether your eyes are blue, brown, green, or hazel the smokey look will make them stand out in the most perfect way. Just make sure not to go to dark and harsh, the softer the better!

Now lets talk coverage!  Like I mentioned above, don’t immediately go for the “flawless” look. Sure, if you have a less then ideal blemish, cover away! You’re bound to get a few from the stress of planning, but don’t try to hide every last freckle on your face.  Also, go easy on the contouring. I love a good contour, but one that is too intense can almost make you look like a completely different person, and that’s not want you want!

Lastly are the lips!  There are so many options for your lip color on your big day!  If you are a bold individual, a red or dark/vampy lip would be perfect! If you’re more of a chapstick everyday kind of gal (A.K.A. Me) then the nude lip is ideal! However, I’ve recently loved the idea of combining the two for a light, berry color! It just looks very romantic in my opinion + if weddings are anything, they are meant to be romantic!

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H A I R

Now let’s talk about my favorite topic, hair! When it comes to how to wear your hair on your big day, I say stick to what you love!  If you love having your hair down and that’s when you feel most beautiful, then girl you were that hair down! If you feel your most elegant with it up, then girl you work that updo! But why choose? I personally love having my hair down and definitely plan on wearing it that way as I walk down the isle whenever that may be. With that said, I have every intention of having a great time at my reception and don’t want to have a Britney Spears moment! So when the time comes, I plan to pull my hair up into a soft side bun.  This definitely isn’t a new thing in the wedding world by far, but I hope more brides participate because there is nothing worse than stringy curls after dancing the night away!

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N A I L S

PLEASE, for all that is good in the world, say no to fake, acrylic nails! They are so prom circa 2007 (in my humble opinion, of course!)  They just feel very dated and out of style to me and that’s the opposite of how you want to look as you tie the knot! Now I understand that some of us were not born with perfect set of nails so if you want them to have a better shape and think acrylic is the best way to do so, then go ahead, just try to keep them on the shorter side so they look more realistic!

Now if you want to add a pop of color, try a light pink or deep berry! Both beautiful colors that enhance your bridal beauty! Or go for a more subtle look with a nude nail, which is my go to!  Allure by Essie is my favorite and won’t take the attention from that stunning ring on your finger! Try adding a fun accent to your nails whether it be with gems (minimal) or glitter!

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