Wednesday, October 12, 2016

#Instanatural Vitamin C Serum

I find myself all of the sudden obsessed with serums. I know, they've been a thing for a while, but I'm only now starting to really use them consistently and really seeing results. Maybe it's specifically the Vitamin C ones I'm so taken with as they truly do brighten the skin. Either way, I seem to be getting quite a collection going as far as these serums are concerned. My latest addition is the instanatural Vitamin C serum that contains hyaluronic acid (one of my personal favorite ingredients), ferulic acid, which is an antioxidant said to really help with anti-aging, sea buckthorn oil, and plant stem cells. You guys know I'm a major fan of instanatural products and this is no exception. Aside from the fact that it brightens and smooths my skin, it smells of oranges, kind of tangy and sweet, which is incredible. The consistency is thin and sinks in fairly quick and really seems to moisturize the skin.

Have you guys tried any serums? What're some of your favorites?

This serum goes for $17.97 for 1 oz which lasts quite a long time as you only need a small drop or two for your entire face. You can purchase it here if you're interested.

*This post contains products that were sent to me free of charge for my consideration. 
I am not obligated to like the product.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Feel Grateful Friday #7

I'm changing it up again this week for Feel Grateful Friday! Not only do little reminders of positivity help us feel grateful, but mediation is one of the most powerful tools to help us on our gratitude journey.

Merriam-Webster's simple definition of meditation is: to spend time in quiet thought for religious purposes or relaxation.

I'm seriously amused that there is a simple definition at all, even though the concept itself is just that. Seriously, though, have you ever tried meditating? In this mile-a-minute world we live in where everything is instant and our minds are constantly racing on to what's happening next today, tomorrow, in a week, or next year, it's hard to actually focus on what's happening right now. Literally, as I sit here typing these words I'm listening to the tv in the background, the guy mowing his lawn outside and thinking of what other items I need to check off my list today. It's a constant battle to focus on what's happening in each second as it's happening. As I've delved deeper into my meditation practice I find I can be more appreciative of things as they are happening and really live in the moment. Which is what life really should be all about. Today I'm giving you some tips that have helped me along the way.

Start small: Literally start really, really small. When I started meditation initially, I started playing positive meditations in the background as I did my makeup in the mornings. As the weeks went on, I noticed I'd stop more often to focus on specific things that were being said. Without forcing myself to concentrate I was inadvertently concentrating, so I knew I was ready to fully focus on the practice.

Taking the plunge: I then started setting aside 10 mins of quiet time and picked one phrase to focus on such as, "Today, I will be more present." I noticed at first the quiet wanted to be replaced by other thoughts, such as, "I need to get going, I need to get ready, I've got a lot to do." However, I pushed those thoughts aside and as I focused more and more on my breathing and the phrase at hand, "Today, I will be more present," I found over time I was able to really focus.

Increasing the time: I started doing the practice for longer amounts of time, slowly increasing until I was 100% concentrated for the time I was taking. I suggest also splitting times. Right now I'm up to 2 30 minute meditation sessions, one first thing in the morning and one right before bed. While that doesn't sound like much, imagine sitting for 30 minutes 2 times a day really focusing on the present moment. It blows my mind to think about it, yet here I am.

Stick with it: Meditation sounds easy enough, but it's one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life. If you think you can't stick to a workout, try meditating. It's so easy just to count it as a loss and move on with your busy day, but I promise you, as you start to notice a positive change in your life you'll feel more committed, and unlike working out, those changes happen almost immediately. Even focusing for 5 minutes to start my day made me more aware of everything happening and I was able to have a more positive outlook and really enjoyed the small things every day. Stick with it, I promise you won't be disappointed!

Now I want to hear from you guys. Have you ever tried meditation? Do you believe in its healing properties? Let me know what you think in the comments below. Also, if you have any good tips, leave them there too, let's help each other out. I hope you all have a wonderful, amazing, happy weekend! XO

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

September Favorites

I know everyone says it every month, but it's because it's true, another ones come and gone in the blink of an eye. I seriously don't even remember September, but I did love a lot of products, some old and some new, so here's what my favorites were for the month.

I love a good mask and because I have really, really oily skin I tend to use one two or three times a week. This Borghese Fango active mud mask is for face and body, but I've only ever used it on my face, although I love the idea of a body mask. This is your typical mud mask and is really good for cleaning out pores.

This Stila Stay All Day liquid lipstick dries matte but is really comfortable on the lips (one of the few I've found!) It's in the prettiest everyday shade called Patina and I've worn it pretty much all month.

I'm loving this golden bronze eye look and these are two of my favorite long-wear shadows. The top color is Urban Decay's Half Baked (enough said) and the bronze shade is Lancome's Color Design Shimmer in the shade Mannequin. This is a no brainer color combo that looks beautiful on the lids.

I've always loved Wet n' Wilds Reserve Your Cabana for a soft highlight look, but lately I've been setting my undereye concealer with it and I love the brightness it gives. It's not too much but it's just enough to make me look awake and sets my concealer nicely.

Okay, if you only take away one thing from this favorites, let it be this book by Bradon Nave. Copper Lilies is about the height of the AIDS epidemic and one woman's journey as she tries to make a difference. Again, the ending felt slapped on which was a shame considering the rest of the book was so beautifully told, but it was worth it none the less. I loved this book and highly recommend giving it a read.

That's all for me for another month and now we're on to my favorite month of the year! What did you guys love in September? Happy Hump Day friends! XO

Monday, October 3, 2016

All about the velvet

Velvet is a trend heading into the fall season and I've always loved the lush material. I'll admit, when it comes to my clothes I'm in love with things with lots of texture and different materials, so velvet is something that's at the top of my list. I've had this kimono since last year and it's one of my favorites since it transitions so nicely through fall and winter.

Can you tell what's different about the first picture from the rest? Hahaha, if you have a guess leave it in the comments below! Thanks for stopping in friends, hope you had a wonderful weekend! XO

Kimono - Wet Seal - similar
Jewelmint- Baublebar - here
Booties - ShoeMint - similar

Friday, September 30, 2016

Feel Grateful Friday #6

So it's another Feel Grateful Friday but this one's going to be a little different. While I have countless things to be grateful for this week I want to talk about one very specific thing. Warning: It's about to get deep over here. 

I've been a little MIA recently as far as commenting on my sweet friend's blogs or being present on my social media. The fact of the matter is it boils down to a few things, not the least being that I've been super busy. As I've been really trying to meditate more and be present in the moment, I find that when I have had time to be on social media I just really didn't want to. Some of that is because I want to actually be with my family and friends when I have the time to, but also that I was finding I just legitimately didn't want to. Instead, I wanted to read a book or watch a show I've been meaning to catch up on or just do other things in general.

And wouldn't you know it, I feel like I've had the exact break I needed at the exact time I needed it. I think this happens to a lot of us, at least according to the ones who are brave enough to share those heartfelt posts, that at some point in our lives we feel less than. Less than our friends, less than our loved ones, less than what society tells us is right. For a long time, I've been feeling less than. I've felt like I needed to do everything, and when I couldn't accomplish that at the end of each day I began to wonder why I couldn't just adult the way everyone else could. Why can't I get up at 3:30 in the morning and work out and then put on a full face of makeup for my 15 hour day, and then go home and cook a nice meal, all while trying to spend time with my husband and finish up the work I needed to get done, whether that be blogging, chores, etc. 

Lucky, I had an epiphany, and for this, I am so grateful. Instead of starting my week off beating myself up over all the things I didn't do this weekend, I thought, "I'm doing my best." It's true. I do what I can and I do a lot of it and I'm proud of that. Each and every day I wake up, I get out of bed, and I keep the wheels turning. My family is happy and healthy. We don't go without. Our lives are full of love and smiles and positivity. This, at the end of the day, is what it's all about. I try my best. I do what I can when I can. And I'm okay with that. More than okay with that. Whatever it was in my brain that told me to let go of unrealistic expectations this week and to just be, came just when I needed it the most. 

Know that you are enough. Know that we all are doing the best that we can, no matter what other people's lives might look like. Love yourselves. Be kind to yourself. Speak lovingly. You guys are all the best and I am always inspired by you! Thank you for letting me have this moment to share. Have a truly amazing weekend my friends! XO

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Buena Skin Triple C Vitamin Serum

I've only been using serums for about a year and I haven't experimented with very many. Okay, if I'm being honest, I've actually only ever tried one, maybe two tops. I figured the one I used worked well enough so that's where I left it. When I received this Triple C Vitamin Serum from Buena Skin, I thought it sounded nice, but I expected it to be like the other serum(s) that I've tried. Still, I'm adventurous, I thought why not give this one a go.

It claims to boost collagen, repair sun damage, block melanin, fight acne, fade age spots and fight wrinkles. That's a big claim and while I can't promise it does all this, I will say this serum has made my skin look amazing. Upon first use it made my skin look much brighter and healthier. I'm lucky in that I don't have much sun damage (thanks mom, for the SPF 80) and acne, I am starting to see fine lines and wrinkles. While I'm not sure if this serum will work complete miracles on them, I can say the serum seems to hydrate my skin, making it look plumper and definitely making those wrinkles look less defined. I don't know if I can say this is a miracle in a bottle, but it's definitely impressed me beyond being just another serum. If you're interested in trying this serum out yourself, you can purchase it here. If you use the code BSTRIPLE $3.99 you can purchase the serum for just $3.99 now. That's a steal and I'm planning on buying myself a couple backups!

*this post contains products that were sent to me free of charge for my consideration. 
I am not obligated to like the product.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Magnifying Lighted Makeup Mirror

I'm sure everyone has seen those magnifying mirrors. You know, the ones that zoom in so close you see every nook and cranny of your face. Believe it or not, I've never actually owned one of those, although I have seen them in countless hotel rooms and dermatologist offices. Which, while I'm thinking about it is quite strange because I am one of the few people who still actually plucks my eyebrows. So when I had the chance to get one I thought, "Why not?"

This one from Mirror on a Rope has a 10X magnification and is also lighted, which is nice even in the day time to really see all those pesky tiny hairs. I'll admit, when I first used this mirror I was intrigued by the zillion pores on my skin, only made bigger by the mirror. When I finally settled in to doing what I intended to do, tame the unruly hairs that claim to be eyebrows, I wondered why I never thought to get one before. This mirror also has a suction cup which makes it super duper convenient. I just stuck it right on my bathroom mirror and it's ready to go. The other thing I love is that the light is powered using batteries so you don't have to worry about finding a plug, which makes this easy for travel, to use in your office, or basically anywhere you want.

If you are interested in snagging up one of these mirrors you can buy it here. Even if you don't pluck your eyebrows (I'm sure most of you are smart enough to have found a less torturous way to keep yours in check), this mirror would be excellent for precise makeup application. Hello, brows on fleek.

*this post contains products that were sent to me free of charge for my consideration. 
I am not obligated to like the product.