My everyday morning routine

I will be the first to admit that when it comes to skincare, I suck. And not just typical sucking. I really, really suck at it. I try really hard not to, though. I have spent countless hours watching skincare routine videos from beauty bloggers on YouTube. Some of the stuff they recommend, I’ve tried. The layering of 25 products, I’ve tried. But there is just something about putting a million things on my face that I really hate. I feel as if my face ends up weighing 25 pounds at the end of it all and I do not like it one bit. So, in the midst of trying things I am “supposed to do” for healthy, smooth, glowing skin, I stopped. I completely shut down all advice and turned to trying things that worked for me. Is my morning skincare routine filled with endless, expensive products? No. It’s probably something that many of you will laugh at or wonder how this even works for me. But it does, so I’m sticking to it.

Upon waking up, I first jump in the shower. My shower routine is nothing special beyond my Bath & Body shower gel and my Herbal Essences Color Me Happy shampoo and conditioner. I’ve tried to stray away from Bath and Body shower gels in the past, but I have yet to find anything that I love more than their products. I change my scent choice based on the season, so that’s one thing that’s never really consistent, but with a coupon or a sale always being available, it’s hard to stray away from Bath & Body Works!

For days that I skip washing my hair, aka every other day, I grab my trusty Dove Refresh + Care dry shampoo. I’ve been loving this dry shampoo lately and am on my second purchase of this product. It removes any and all oil from my hair and smells heavenly, like coconuts and limes and a beach vacation all in one.

After hopping out of the shower, I wash my face. This is a step I always do after showering because there is something doing it before that grosses me out a little bit. I feel as if body oils or germs are constantly running down my face in the shower, so cleaning it afterward makes me feel clean and refreshed. When it comes to my face, I use solely Neutrogena products. For washing my face, I use the Deep Clean Gentle Scrub. This product is oil free and gently exfoliates your skin. I have been using this product for a couple months now and it truly has made my skin look smoother and feel healthier and hydrated. Plus the smell – oh my god. This face scrub smells exactly like a creamsicle and honestly, who doesn’t want that?! After washing my face and patting it dry, I reach for my Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel. I most recently wrote about this in my January favorites post. I cannot scream from the rooftops loud enough how much I love this product. The feel of it cannot be described unless you get your hands on it yourself. It goes from feeling like a moisturizer to feeling like a splash of water almost instantaneously, and leaves your skin looking hydrated and full. Again, this product is oil free which is another amazing perk. I tend to struggle with some redness on my face, especially on my cheeks and under my eyes, and I can say that after using these products for quite some time now, they have helped to reduce this redness and bring some life back into my skin. I do not feel afraid to walk out of the house without putting a single ounce of makeup on my face anymore, especially after using the water gel, because my skin looks and feels radiant. Back to my previous statement of layering products, using only these two products on my face, either with or without the use of makeup, has made my face feel lighter and my makeup apply smoother.

After my skincare, I apply lotion to my body [most recently Bath and Body Works Pink Jasmine + Strawberry Marshmallow Body Soufflé], and I hop into my morning makeup routine. I won’t bore you with these details because I already [for the most part] did that once in my beauty ride or dies blog post.

If you are interested in any of the products that I use for my morning routine, you can find them below:

What products do you use as a part of your morning routine? xoxo.


Ride or dies | Beauty

One thing I’ve been really into reading lately revolves around everyone’s morning beauty routines. I find that posts like this are so informative, and help me, in a sense, to get to know the person I am reading about. It is these posts that introduce me to new products and get me looking into whether or not some of these beauty items are ones that I should try sometime in the near future.

Working where I do, I do not put much makeup on. Some days, not any at all. But, the days that I do decide to put some makeup on, it is very, very minimal at best. I don’t really get into a full face of “glam” unless it is the weekend, or there is somewhere that I have to be that requires me to look significantly better than a dead fish. When it comes to the makeup I use, my everyday routine consists of using products that have been around for some time. These products are probably ones that you have heard of or used before, but I can’t find myself stepping outside of my “comfort zone” because I know what works for me, so why change it?!

Makeup Products I Use Everyday

  • Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot Instant Perfecting Power Primer. This product runs for $14.00 at the drugstore. When it comes to primers, I find myself bouncing back and forth between this product and Benefit’s POREfessional Face Primer While I really enjoy Benefit’s primer, I can’t always justify spending the $31.00 when Soap and Glory’s primer works just as well for me for more than half the price. Plus, I love that Soap and Glory is now sold at Target too!
  • Maybelline Fit Me Matte + Poreless Foundation in the shade 115 Ivory. This product runs for $7.99 at the drugstore. I am not going to lie to you, I only started wearing foundation about a year ago. I purchased it because I had a wedding coming up and also had a coupon to use for Ulta. I am also not going to lie to you when I say that this is the only foundation I have ever bought and used. The only thing that has changed is the shade depending on my skin tone from summer to winter. While I do realize that there is so much more out there in the world of foundation, I really have that, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” attitude. It does its’ job and [major perk], it doesn’t wear off throughout the day, all while being an affordable price.
  • Maybelline Fit Me Concealer in the shade 15 Light. This product runs for $6.99 at the drugstore. Again, this is the first and only concealer I have ever purchased. Also again, the only thing that has changed about my concealer is the shade depending on my skin tone from summer to winter. I purchased this because it came from the same line as the foundation and I figured, “hey, why not?”
  • NYX Matte Liquid Liner in the shade Black. This product runs for $6.99 at the drugstore. Unlike my foundation and concealer, I have tried a handful of eyeliners over time. Most recently, this has been my go-to; I find myself reaching for this every single morning. It is easy to apply and stays put all day. And the shade is an absolute opaque black that looks great on “naked” eyelids, as well as eyelids that are covered with every color of the rainbow.
  • Lancôme Hypnose Drama Instant Full Volume Mascara in the shade Excessive Black. This product runs for $27.50 at Ulta. I most recently started using this product, just within this past week to be exact. My grandma uses Lancôme mascara and the beauty tech gave her the wrong formula so, it found its’ way into my hands. I rarely buy any luxury makeup items as I struggle with justifying paying the price for something that you can get for significantly cheaper, so I will be honest with you when I say that I wish I didn’t love this product so much because I will be purchasing this again. I was not blessed with the longest eyelashes and this mascara elongates my lashes so much that it looks like I have a pair of fake eyelashes on, or even eyelash extensions. I am absolutely obsessed.
  • e.l.f. Cosmetics Perfect Finish HD Powder in the shade Sheer. This product runs for $6.00 at the drugstore. I am currently in the process of finding a good finishing powder and have most recently landed upon this one. I don’t really love it that much, but I don’t hate it either. It is just what I have been reaching for within this past month or so because it is the product I have handy at the moment. There is some flashback with this powder as well, not that I really take flash photos. But for those of you that do, beware.
  • Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer in the shade Light Bronzer. This product runs for $14.99 at the drugstore. I will scream from the rooftops with every ounce of my being the amount of love I have for this product. First off, the smell. You get one whiff and it smells like summer and the beach and warmer weather and being on a secluded island. The product itself works wonders. It gives you the perfect sunkissed glow without looking orange or like you spent 8 hours getting a spray tan. I most recently hit pan on my most recent compact, and I am looking forward to buying this product again in the future!
  • L’Oréal Brow Stylist Definer in the shade Brunette. This product runs for $8.99 at the drugstore. I most recently bought my first eyebrow pencil when I had a waxing experience gone wrong. It does its’ job and makes it look as if I do not have a gaping hole in my eyebrow. So, I am thankful for that.
  • Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. This product runs for $7.00 at Sephora. I struggle so bad in the winter months when it comes to chapped lips. They get so bad that they get to the point of bleeding and being extremely painful. After years of trying different things, this is the one that has finally worked for me! I apply it multiple times throughout the day and it is a miracle worker. Seriously, it never leaves my purse!

Makeup Tools I Use Everyday

  • Morphe Flawless Beauty Sponge. This product runs for $7.00 at Ulta. I don’t really have a favorite when it comes to beauty sponges. My most recent purchase is Morphe’s and I really enjoy it! I didn’t get my hands on one until Morphe started being sold at Ulta. Plus for $7.00, you can’t beat the price! I have tried the whole foundation brush thing, but I can’t seem to get into it. I really love the way my makeup looks when I use this beauty sponge, so for now, I will stick with it.
  • it Cosmetics Heavenly Luxe Wand Ball Powder Brush #8. This product runs for $48.00 at Ulta. This brush was given to me, I did not purchase it on my own. I can’t really seem to justify spending $48.00 on makeup, let alone a makeup brush, but because I have this brush, I use it everyday. Truthfully, I wouldn’t recommend spending the money on a brush when there are much cheaper options available that work just as well!
  • it Cosmetics Airbrush Essential Bronzer Brush #114. This product runs for $26.00 at Ulta. Same as with the ball powder brush, this product was given to me as a gift. I really like using this product, as it blends my bronzer in perfectly. However, again, I would not recommend spending a ton of money on a brush when there are cheaper options available!

What are some products that you reach for every single day and cannot live without? xoxo.

National coffee day | My kind of holiday

It is no surprise that coffee has slowly but surely become my best friend. I remember at a young age, probably around 10 or so, drinking “coffee” – a concoction of loads of milk and sugar and a dollop of coffee. The older I got, the more prevalent the relationship between coffee and I became. I mean, hell, just today I drank four cups – one right now as I write this post!

So, on this #NationalCoffeeDay, I’ll give a little break down of my go-to drinks at some of my favorite coffee spots:

Tim Hortons: medium dark roast coffee with one cream and two sugar

Dunkin’ Donuts: medium cold brew with two cream and one sugar, with a hazelnut flavor shot [most recently, I have been a fan of the maple pecan flavor shot – yay fall!]

Starbucks: medium iced chai latte with a shot of espresso, aka “dirty chai” [most recently I have also become a fan of the coconut milk mocha macchiato]

Spot Coffee: medium caramel macchiato

Panera Bread: caffe latte, one size

Wegmans: medium organic hazlenut coffee with one cream and one sugar  

7/11: medium blueberry coffee with one cream and one sugar packet

Keurig K-Cups: Folger’s gourmet classic roast, Dunkin’ Donuts original blend, Starbucks veranda blend, The Original Donut Shop coconut mocha

Coffee creamer: Coffee Mate Natural Bliss sweet creme coconut milk, Coffee Mate Italian sweet creme coffee creamer

Are these the only places I get coffee? Nope. Usually anywhere that offers coffee, I take a cup! Today, I went so far as to even have coffee at Denny’s on my lunch break from staff development day!

What are some of your favorite coffee spots/drinks? xoxo.

Softer than a baby’s bottom.

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So, as we all now know, yesterday was my birthday. With a birthday, comes the free birthday perks from different retailers and restaurants. So yesterday, I “treated” myself to a [free] venti chai latte from Starbucks, a [free] pastry from Panera, and some free little perks from Ulta.

I just recently became more aware of the wonderful world of makeup. Up until about a year or so ago, I couldn’t give a crap about any of it. The entirety of my makeup routine consisted of $5 mascara from Target and maybe some Chapstick. *cringes* I am still shaky when it comes to achieving the perfect makeup look, but I can surely pat myself on the back for my liquid winged eyeliner abilities.

Anywho, yesterday little ol’ me goes bopping into Ulta with my boyfriend ready to spend some money. I was running low on a few things, and I had my birthday coupon in tow. I desperately needed a face cream, as my face has been so dry lately, I’m patiently waiting for a camel to waltz across it.

I had been reading up on various face moisturizers to try on different websites, so I had a couple in mind that I wanted to look at. When I got into the store, I asked one of the girls working there what she would recommend. One of these items was the Total Moisture Facial Cream by Benefit. I had read great things about this cream online, so when this was also suggested to me in person, I figured I’d try it. And let me tell youpurchasing this is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I have always wanted to try Benefit products, but could never justify spending the money on them. This cream is retailed at $42 for a 1.7oz tub, which is way more than I would ever pay for a skin care product. But, all Benefit products are 25% off this week and after my coupon, I walked out paying $20 for this item!

So far, I used it last night and this morning and my skin feels light and airy and is so extremely soft, I keep wanting to touch my face! It hasn’t been more than 24 hours and I already feel a huge difference in my skin. I would highly recommend this moisturizer to anyone who, like me, is struggling with extremely dry winter skin.

I hope this helps at least one person. xoxo.