Life Style

Secret Summertime Skin Regimen

Summertime is one of favorite seasons (next to fall of course). Popsicles by the pool, cocktails on the back deck, and SUN HATS. I have an unhealthy obsession with sun hats. But along comes summer, along comes the southern sun, and I say hello to my oily skin for the three long months of the season.

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I’m a dedicated tanner and my skin is so important to me. I love to keep it hydrated and love to replenish it with the vitamins it deserves. Needless to say, I want it to look GLOWING during the summer. Because glowing skin is always in. Let me give you my favorite Summertime Skin Regimen.

  1. Moisturizer/Sun Block

The key to keeping youthful skin 5ever is a great moisturizer, or if you’re looking to block out the sun’s rays, a sun block. Coconut oil is usually my go to moisturizer, but because my skin stays oily in the heat, I try to steer away from it. I don’t want to rub excess oil on my already oily skin. The moisturizer I always reach for in mid June is Love Boho Tan Extender. It’s a lotion that is packed with vitamins that you lose from UV rays. It makes you smell like a Coachella Goddess and keeps your skin baby soft, instead of adding a layer of oil

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2. Shave Minimizer

Shorts and dresses are my entire wardrobe this time of year, but obviously it is no long No Shave November. A Shave Minimizer is the secret to having smooth legs for the next 2 months. The more you shave with this stuff, the less hair growth returns. My favorite is No Apologies from Designer Skin. Two words: You’re Welcome.

3. Charcoal Soap

Even though I reduce my summer makeup routine to a good layer of BB cream and favorite lip gloss, it’s still a chore trying to take it off at the end of the long summer night. I reach for my charcoal soap when I wash my face because it cleans my pores so well all while leaving my skin soft for the next day. I have a sensitive face and charcoal soap is so gentle. 10/10 would recommend to a friend on this one.

4. Tiny Bubbles Body Wash

Not only is it important to get your face clean, but you can’t forget your beautiful summer bod. Body wash must haves for me include, a good fragrance, gentle formula, and I need a long lasting clean feeling. My fav summer body wash is Tiny Bubbles (Designer Skin). It smells like bubble gum, it’s OOBER soft, and it keeps my skin fresh even while I’m outside enjoying the beautiful day. A+ for Tiny Bubbles57e5c6a14afa73353d46cdff3d431806

5. Kissable Lips

The weather is not the only thing getting hotter this summer (wink wink). Your lips should be fully prepared. I have two must haves for you. The first is Sun Bum Chapstick!!!!! It comes in like 15 different flavors, including my favorite coconut, and it has SPF for your lips so you never risk over exposing them to the sun’s rays. You can always find this stuff laying at the bottom of my beach bag, my convertible, and my purse. I just can’t live without. The second secret, is my go to lipgloss. It’s shiny, it’s in the perfect peachy shade, and its a plumper. That’s right. A plumper. Sexy Mother Pucker XXL Pillow Plump lip gloss. It’s the stuff.

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I hope my secrets to radiant skin help you out this summer. If you have any secrets for me, leave them in the comments!! Remember, Glowing Skin is Always In.

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An Open Letter to my Ex-Best Friend

Dear Ex- Best Friend,

It feels so foreign to call you that. For the past 8 years I’ve called you “sis”. Because that’s how close we were. You were my twin sister separated at birth. Even though other’s call you their twin now, I was there first. But I’m happy they’re here for you now. You deserve that.

“Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. Maybe some people are just passing through. It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something: a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn. And that’s why they’re here. You’ll have that gift forever.��?—Danielle Steel

A gift, a blessing, a lesson learned. You were always those things wrapped into one. You were a gift when we met in the 6th grade and had matching Hannah Montana shirts. You were a blessing when you’re family became mine and your mom convinced me to go to Senior prom. You were also a blessing when you ditched Senior Prom with me to go cry in a Taco Bell and stuff our faces with cheesy crunch burritos. You were a lesson learned when I realized you were starting to push me away for things that were my fault, but weren’t really my fault…IMG_1892

We so badly wanted to go down the same path of happiness. We dreamed of living next door to each other as kids and rather quickly we found out that wasn’t the dream boat it was cracked up to be in our day dreams. We wanted to find success and we did, but in such different ways. We wanted to find love and passion. You’ve done that through your self-expression and traveling. I’ve done that through a relationship, which I wouldn’t trade for all the traveling in the world.

I’ve found happiness, love, and peace. I have the happiest life and I’ve worked so hard to get myself to love the life that I’ve been given. But I hate that you’re not apart of that. I hate that you won’t be my Maid of Honor in my wedding. I hate that you’re not here to help me find my wedding dress, like you did my prom dress. I hate that when I have a baby, you won’t be an “auntie”. I hate that every time an old country song comes through the radio static, I have to change the station.

I hate that we fight, but I’m done with all of it. I have to say that this is the absolute worst heart break I’ve ever been through. I haven’t shed any tears, said any hateful words about you, or cursed you when that country song does come on. But I’ve certainly felt it in my heart and I’m ready to stop feeling it. So I’m letting it all go-including you.12079234_10207026766724964_9157872278192632047_n

I wish you the absolute best life that you can find out there. I hope that you will search for that life and never give up until you have it right in front of you. I hope that you’ll have the best career you can imagine. I hope that you go to all the best concerts, even if you have to sneak your way in. I hope that you’ll spend more time at the beach than you do in bed somedays. I hope that you’ll just turn off Netflix sometimes and go for a walk and enjoy the sun. I hope that you’ll make a thousand more trips to Waffle House in the middle of the night and I hope that you’ll go to the Pier when you’ve had a bad day.  I hope you find a love of a lifetime, the kind that will wake you up in the morning with coffee and be your best friend when you’ve lost yours. I just hope you find happiness and the life you deserve.

I’m sorry I can’t be there to help you find that life and I’m even more sorry I can’t be apart of that life for you. But I wish you all the world has to offer. You weren’t meant to be in my life forever. But I’m glad you were apart of it. 11048743_1082676278413344_1190840500150392157_n

-“Sis”

PS- Ask Nana to mail me some Blackberry jelly. I’m almost out.

PSS- No, I didn’t get rid of that stupid shirt. But you still can’t have it back.

Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend

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It’s been almost 8 years since I walked down the Valley for the first time at Church camp. I met my very best friends here. We were lucky enough to spend one week together out of every year. We slept in the same bunk, shared our flip flops, and ate countless packages of fruit snacks. It was hot, humid, and dirty but its some of the best memories I had ever made. Memories of holding onto each other as we cried together, laughing at each other trying to play softball, and memories of our “group mom”, Alicia, dragging us all out of bed at 7am for devotional and donuts. Bless that girl for making sure I had breakfast every morning and smuggling in snacks for me throughout the day. Pretty sure she kept me alive since there was no coffee for the campers. Memories of holding on to Sabrina through my mental breakdown as I found out my great grandmother was passing away while I was stuck at a camp almost 4 hours away. We were so close and couldn’t bare the thought of the week coming to an end.

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It’s now been 3 years since we left that church camp and we live states away but thanks to our group chat and our driver’s licenses we’ve still spent a week together every year. This year, that week changed my life…

They drove 9 hours to get here. My girlfriend’s and I had a full day of shopping in our favorite stores, ate take out for dinner, and were having a Sex and The City marathon. We had just watched my very favorite part of the movie where Carrie and Mr. Big finally get married and she has the closet of her dreams (swoon). I had just taken my makeup off and I was down to my underwear for the night. I was having the best day with my best friends. And that’s when it happened…

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He was down on one knee. We were standing in our closet of our new home (Just like Carrie and Big). There I was in my pajamas and with out makeup, my two best friends behind him filming it all, and my boyfriend of 2 years was down on one knee with a ring box. I screamed, I cried, I said YES.

It may not sound like a dream proposal to some girls, but it was my dream come true. A day spent with my best friends and the man of my dreams popping the question in our closet of our new home. I got to celebrate with my girlfriends and they took me out to shop for anything and everything BRIDE.

I tried on wedding dresses and we started planning immediately! I’m so blessed to have these girls by my side as I become Bridezilla and so lucky that they will help keep my head on straight. I have the 3 best Bridesmaids a girl could ask for; Alicia, Sabrina, and Sydnei. Thank God for Sydnei. She knows me so well and knows how to ALWAYS keep me laughing. She’s the life of my party!

I can just see my wedding day now. Alicia will have a checklist ready to go and her Mary Poppins bag will be stuffed with everything imaginable I will need. Sabrina will be the one crying when I’m finally ready to walk down the isle but she’ll also be the first one to start a fight if anyone pisses me off. Then there’s sweet Sydnei, who will demand I let her wear converse in the wedding and will be chugging the wine at the reception so she can keep me laughing all night.

I may have the most beautiful diamond on my finger but my most valuable diamond is our friendship-it’s rare, it shines, and it’s so precious to me. After all, diamonds are girl’s best friend.

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7 Ways to Make Your House Feel Like Home

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You spend so much time in your home without realizing it. Home is where your heart is, its where you lay your head down on your pillow at night, and it’s where you take warm bubble baths with a face mask on and a full wine glass in your hand…or at least that’s what I do.

In the wise words of Joanna Gaines (Interior Design Goddess/Role Model), you have to love the space you’re in. It’s important to love your house so that it will love you right back. Since you really do spend so much of your life at the house, you want your house to feel like home. These are the 7 things I have practiced to make our house feel more like home.

No. 1

Fresh Flowers

I have spring fever in February and that’s perfectly fine. I love flowers and I love waking up in the morning to a vase on my bedside table of my fresh cut favorites. Having plants in your house allows for clean oxygen to be produced and who doesn’t love a breath of fresh air? The master bedroom, guest bedroom, kitchen, and my office space all have a vase of fresh flowers. Since Valentine’s was just a couple of days ago, this week’s pick were red roses.  Next week I will be replacing them with mini Carnations.

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No 2.

Your Own Space

We all have our own secret little places we escape to when we just want to get away. My place is a coffee shop where I sit in the far corner with a view of a Magnolia tree in the park. I find relief and relaxation when I come to write a post and have my 14th cup of coffee throughout the day. But why should I have to leave my house (or my pajamas) for this relaxation? So I created my own space in our new home. My “office” is an extra bedroom upstairs, where I can drink my morning cup of coffee, write a post, and never have to put on pants. I picked all of the decor and personalized it down to the mini “Charolette” I have sitting on my desk. It’s where Nataleigh & Co. will be coming to life soon.

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No 3.

Reading Material

It’s always better to have too much to read than not enough. Whenever I have a free moment from my schedule, I like to pick up one of my favorite books or magazines I keep tucked all around the house. It’s great to take a minute out of your day and curl up on your couch with a good read. The current magazine I’m loving is Romantic Homes and my favorite book right now is The Magnolia Story.

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No 4.

 Throw Pillows

Your house should have a touch of you, your family, and your personalities. You should love your house and feel like you belong there. That’s what makes a house a home. I’m a firm believer that every seat and bed my home NEEDS a throw pillow like I need coffee. Throw pillows add a little personality to your home. They come in a gazillion different colors and styles so you can hand pick one that you love so much you want to wake up with it on the other side of your bed in the morning.  This one is my new favorite…

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No 5.

Curb Appeal

A home is not only about the inside, but the outside too. A house should feel like a home when you drive up, love what you see, and have a sigh of relief that your FINALLY home after a long day. I know I said I have a touch of spring fever already, but let me reinforce that by telling you that I’ve already planted pansies in my window flower boxes. It’s not an expensive feat to add some curb appeal to your house, but give your house a little love by adding some greenery or flowers out front.

No 6.

Wall Decor

Blank walls are like putting on your favorite outfit and forgetting your earrings. It’s horrendous. Take your time picking your wall decor like you do your throw pillows. Pick things that are visual appealing to you and you feel like give the room a touch of your very own personality. Adding wall decor to your house will give it the inviting homey feel you want to achieve.

No 7.

Coffee Bar

This is just a bonus! My coffee bar is one of my favorite places at home. My Keurig stands tall, my K-cups are waiting to be brewed, and our favorite mugs are on display. It’s so easy to wake up, stumble to the kitchen and have all of my necessities in one little place.

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I hope this inspires you to love the space you’re in and I hope your house makes you feel like you’re home.

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Coffee, Charolette, & Changes.

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The coffee is steaming, the sun is going down, and my fingers are typing away at the keyboard. You would think my coffee shop spot brings me to ease but in fact there’s so much noise around me I can barely focus on my own little world. I don’t even know where to begin. The past week has been so frantic and fast paced yet almost felt like it was moving in slow motion. I believe that change is such an important part of our lives and that change is a necessity in keeping the world going round…although I’m not always welcoming of change.

These past 3 weeks, I welcomed change with open arms. Packing up our first home and unpacking our new home. A trip to Oklahoma to bring home my new car, Mini the Mini Cooper. Bringing home our first French Bulldog puppy, Charolette (named after Charolette York from SATC of course.) Change has been all around us and we almost haven’t had a chance to breathe.

But I am so thankful for these changes that are almost overwhelming. Our new house already feels like home. I wake up at 7am, brew my coffee, take Charolette out while Nathan lays dead asleep wrapped in our down covers. Routine makes the change easier.

My new little red wagon gets me to and from every errand I run throughout the week. She gives me a sense of freedom I had almost forgotten. When I take the top down, play my favorite song, and drive through town she takes me into a day dream.

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Charolette is just a complete goob…plain and simple. I’m a nurture by nature and the oldest of 4 kids which I give credit to my nurturing skills. I’m 19 and I have no children (yet) so Charolette fills that void for me. She wakes up with me every morning and follows me around the house for the rest of the day. I hold her like a baby, she keeps me warm at night, and every Friday night I bring her home a pupcake (dog cupcake) from my favorite bakery so she can indulge a little with me. I love her bunches.

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Positive changes have come our way and we are continuously blessed daily with new changes. The only job we have is to accept those changes with open arms and hope for the best. I was so afraid to accept all of these big life moves. I was afraid of leaving my hometown and afraid the dog would be too stressful. God forbid the convertible top doesn’t come back up when an unpredictable spring shower decides to ruin my afternoon drive (if you’re from Arkansas…you will know what I’m talking about). I didn’t LOVE the little world I lived in, but I liked it. God knew that, but he saw something greater in my future. So I changed myself. Changes to myself brought me to see that it was time to let go, forgive, and move forward. Leave the baggage at the airport and get on the freaking flight. So I changed myself…and it changed my world.

When you find yourself in the midst of change, you have two options, to step forward into growth or to step backward into safety. I pray that you step into growth. Don’t let growth scare you. Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as being stuck somewhere you don’t belong.

Open your arms to change, take is slow…

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How To Make 2017 Your Best Year

“365 New Days, 365 New Chances.”

 Okay, maybe not 365 new days. More like 337 days left. Here we are, almost at the end of January and I can’t figure out where the month has gone. For those of you who have stuck to your resolutions…YOU GO, GIRL! For those of you like me and didn’t attempt a resolution…It’s not too late! Here’s how to make 2017 your best year yet.

Get Organized

No matter where you are in your life there is room for some organization. My niche to staying organized is my planner/agenda. I call her Pearl (because shes an essential just like my pearl earrings) so she comes along everywhere with me. If you have a busy schedule try a new planner for 2017! Check out my 3 Keys to Staying Organized. Get rid of anything that no longer serves you. Through away everything that just hangs out in your junk drawer and get rid of all the unnecessary clutter in your life! With Spring just around the corner, there is no better time to Spring Clean your life. You will feel a huge relief.

Welcome Changes

Improvement means change. If you want to bring change to this year and make it a fabulous one, welcome the changes that come. I love small changes. Rearranging our furniture, changing up my style, a new makeup product to my routine are all changes I normally welcome. Major life changes on the other hand I HATE. This year embrace those changes that life dishes you out, weather it’s petite or majorly drastic. After all, everything happens for a reason. Take that change with a smile.

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Set Goals & Crush Them

It’s so important to set goals for yourself, even if they’re small. Having a goal in your mindset reminds you of what you want to accomplish in the long run. Don’t set a vague goal. Make it very defined and know why you want to accomplish it. Be focused and get inspired!  Write it down and keep track or your progress. I keep up with all of my weekly goals in Pearl. Set your Goal   for 2017 and Crush it.

Have Fun Along The Way

What’s a great year without a lot of fun? While you’re out there working on making this year count don’t forget to count your blessings. Follow your heart and your passions while setting new goals to dominate. If you’re encountering new changes, stop worrying about them and enjoy them more! Make more time for yourself and practice the art of self care. Spend time with your best gal pals and make the most of it. Learn new things, take new adventures, and don’t forget to document it all along the way. You have 337 new chances, make them the best chances you have.

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Secrets to a Happy Relationship

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We’ve been together for 2 years and let’s face it, that’s a while for a millennial couple. Most people in our generation aren’t looking for something serious or they don’t see the value of commitment in your 20’s. We’ve made the commitment to live together and hopefully soon we’ll make THE commitment. Here are our secrets to a happy relationship.

Time Together & Time for Our Selves

Spending time together and taking the time to nurture your baby (your relationship) is super important. What’s even more important is to take time for yourself. You simply can not forget to take care of yourself and love yourself! If you don’t love yourself how are you suppose to love your partner? After spending the majority of your time with your partner it is always refreshing to take an hour or so out of your day to do something for yourself. My “Nataleigh time” of the day may be writing a blog post, having an “at home spa night”, or reading a good book with a good cup of tea. After feeling relaxed and I have spent some time to myself I’m really able to give my my best self to Nathan and vice versa.

Keeping our Relationship Semi Private

Most young women run to their friends or moms to tell them every detail of their relationship. Had a bad fight? Run to mom. Had the best date of your romance life? Get on the group text! We love our friends and family…but a relationship is between two people and that’s how we like to keep it. No one knows every aspect of our biggest fight, our bad days, or even our best days. We keep our little secrets to our selves and its something we cherish together. If it’s a fight we’ve had we take the time to cool off without calling up mom and we come back together with clear heads to work it all out. We find our privacy is really important to our relationship.

Making The Most of Our Differnces

We have things we love to do as a couple. We especially love having dinner at our favorite restaurants, taking day trips out of town, and going for a drive to unwind at the end of the day. But we also have our separate interests and we like to incorporate into spending time as besties/partners. I love a good coffee and writing sesh so Nate will occasionally take me to my favorite coffee shop and plop me down with our laptops and a big ole’ cup of joe. Nathan does photography (photo sessions for life!!). So some days when he wants to have a shoot, I will tag along with him and we have a lot of fun. I think it’s especially fun to see him being so passionate about something.

 

Solid Support

The wise man built his house upon the rock. Our foundation is the most important to us. Unwavering trust, unconditional love, and a solid support are the foundations we have laid for our future. If your relationship doesn’t have a solid foundation what do you have to build on? It will be shaky if the foundation isn’t firm. With my family living five hours away, Nathan is who I rely on at the end of everyday and I trust him to be there. Build that foundation and build on top of it. Be the wise man.

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Love your partner and yourself. Our secrets to our happy relationship. – Nat

3 Keys to Staying Organized

My organization routine most likely stems from my slight OCD, but hey…everything has it’s own place and who doesn’t love a good list? I love organization and I especially love helping people GET organized. I’m always the friend who gets the “HELP” phone call to come get sh*t done! Here are my 3 keys to staying organized.

No 1.

My Agenda:

I use an agenda/planner to keep track of everything that comes at me in life. I use one by the brand of Sugar Paper which you can find at Target. I choose this planner because of it’s unique and super functional “This week” pages scattered throughout the end of every month. This helps me to remember what emails I need to write, my weekly goals, and that week’s shopping list. I call my agenda “Pearl” because she’s a staple in my life just like my pearl earrings.

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No 2.

Notebook & Stationary:

Somewhere in the bottom of my purse is always my “handy dandy little notebook”. It comes everywhere with me. It’s what I use to keep my to-do list’s on hand, make pro and con lists if need be, and write down any super important information in case of some emergency or natural disaster. My newly adopted notebook is my “Blog Book” which is gratified with lists, ideas, and bullet points.

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No 3.

A Lifestyle of Lists:

If you haven’t picked up on it already I am a list maker by trade. Shopping lists, to do lists, to call, to buy, to email, to write, to blog, to go, to clean. The list making never ends and this is truly my secret to my orderliness and organization. Bullet points are my boyfriend.

I hope this inspires you to make a list!

 

Cheers to Turning 20 in 2017

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2016… I gave it a big ole’ smooch and I kissed that year good-bye and don’t miss it a bit. It was a struggle if anything. It brought so many changes and unnecessary negativity to a girl who was trying to stay afloat with positivity . I know I’m not alone when I say I felt a turning point as 2017 came along. It was a relief and it left me feeling refreshed. Here’s to turning 20 in 2017 and how I plan to make it a year I will never forget.

“Oh, to be 20 again and know what I know now!” My 60 year old grandmother’s voice sprung out of the phone when I told her about this blog post.“What would you do differently if you could be 20 again?” Knowing this one of a kind woman, her answers didn’t surprise me. She would have moved off to the city in her 20’s. Traveled more, dated less. Made more time for her girlfriends and adventuring out in the world, learning about herself along the way.

I feel so much pressure to have it all figured out and have a plan for the rest of my life jotted down somewhere in an agenda that doesn’t even exist yet. But what I gathered from my grandma is that she would have let herself float along and enjoyed what the world had to offer to her and take her time with life.

I’m going to remember 2017 as the year I turned 20. The year I’m living with the love of my life and growing our relationship along the way. The year I started my blog. The year I got my anxiety under control. I took trips and put miles on the car. The year I started planning my wedding on Pinterest, because heck…I’m turning 20. The year I cherish the friendship I have with my best girlfriends who live a state away and we laugh until we cry like we did every summer since we were 11.  The year I just wore the freaking bikini and I had desert after dinner. The year I put myself first and took more long bubble baths with a good book instead of crying myself to sleep over a bad day. The year I really slowed down, traveled more, and enjoyed what being 20 has to offer me. The year I will remember for a lifetime. CHEERS TO BEING 20 IN 2017! 

What will you do this year that you will remember for a lifetime?

 

5 Best Beauty Products to VAMP up your Routine

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A simple southern girl living the simple southern life style. That’s how I would describe myself and I love that because I believe there is beauty is simplicity.

However my beauty routine is not one of simplicity…I wake up and make up. Here are my 5 favorite beauty products I recently collected to replace my ba-oring simple ones!!

 

No. 5 : NYX’s Lip lingerie

NYX launched their Lip Lingerie in 2016 and I was all about these beautiful nude matte liquid lipsticks. They really vamp up the pouty matte look you’ve been searching for. It’s also a dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hill’s matte liquid lipstick. My favorite shade is Bed Time Flirt…get it here.

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No. 4: Loreal’s Magic Lumi Primer

This primer works wonders-lasting all day and giving you a luminescence glow. The best trick is to mix it in with your foundation and TADA…you have a beautiful glowing foundation! Find it at any drugstore.

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No. 3: Coconut Oil

If you haven’t already, jump on this bandwagon. Better yet…THROW yourself on the bandwagon. Deep condition, moisturizer, chaptstick, shaving cream, face mask, lotion, makeup remover, and the list goes on! Coconut oil does it ALL! I’m convinced it’s a cure all and I use it religiously.

No. 2: Roller lash Mascara

The world of mascara is overwhelming. Every brand name has a million different formulas and I’m convinced I’ve tried them all. No other mascara has given me such va-va-voom lashes! Thank you Benefit for giving my lashes the up-do they deserved!

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No. 1: Function of Beauty Shampoo & Conditioner

I love anything personalized. I mean, if it’s not monogrammed…is it really yours? When I found out I could personalize my own shampoo I ran to upstairs to trash all of the Herbal Essence and OGX  I owned. Function of Beauty allows you to completely customize your shampoo down to the name, color, functionality, and fragrance. BONUS…you don’t even have to leave the house. You order it online and have it shipped to your home as frequently as you’d like. It’s just a win-win. Go on…personalize your shampoo, ladies.

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*Bonus* Mini Beauty Blenders

Anything “mini” is ten times cuter and beauty blenders are already a blessing. Now imagine mini beauty blessings. I took my beauty blenders to the next level and got a hold of the mini version for under the eyes and around the lips. Game. Changer.

-NAT