Category Archives: personal

Winter Skin Solutions

According to about 90% of beauty blogs, magazines, etc., I’m not alone in suffering from flaky, dry, dull skin during the winter months. My dreams of looking like a baby vampire are never far from my mind, so my skin can be reigned in for the most part now that I treat it right. Things like cold winter air and unforgiving car heaters can throw a wrench in it though. This collection of products are what I’m using the combat my winter skin.


Burt’s Bees Intense Hydration Treatment Mask // This isn’t my favorite mask of all time (I’ll explain why in a second), but when my skin needs hydrating, this calms and soothes while moisturizing. You apply a generous amount like a regular mask and then you’re supposed to let it absorb in for 10-15 minutes before wiping off the excess/rubbing it in. It starts with a thick, creamy consistency that has that fresh clary sage smell, but it’s the excess/rubbing in part that always gets me. I feel like it doesn’t come all the way off or absorb completely, and what’s leftover is more waxy than creamy. Sometimes I’ll apply a thinner layer 30 minutes before bed and just leave it on to sleep.

boscia Tsubaki Cleansing Oil-Gel // When my skin’s already dry, the last thing I want to do is use a cleanser that’s going to leave my face feeling tight and awful. This oil-gel cleanser smells like roses and can remove light makeup/everyday grime without stripping natural oils. I love how popular oils and oil cleansers have become because they really are wonderful, even for people with oily or combination skin.

Josie Maran 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil & Argan Infinity Cream Intensive Creamy Oil // Did I mention I love oils? Here, have some more oil love talk. I add three-four drops of the 100 Percent Pure Argan Oil to my regular Cetaphil in the morning to give myself a boost of moisturizing power during the day. I save the Creamy Oil for my evening routine. On top of being good for my skin, I’ve also been able to add them to my nail and hair regimen. I’m so happy I saved up the 500 Beauty Point things at Sephora and got the Josie Maran deluxe sample set.

Dr. Jart+ Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask // Sleeping masks are great because you can just wake up looking great. This one is amazing because it helps seal in your nighttime moisturizer while adding its own benefits. It has hyaluronic acid macromolecule (one of my favorite acids!) for hydration and nine essential oils that smell amazing and promote a feeling of comfort and restfulness (or so they say).

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask // This is the one I’m on the fence about. I included it because I am currently using it because my lips suffer most during winter. It has great reviews and it does feel good when I apply it before bed (after exfoliating gently), but I just don’t feel like it’s the holy grail of lip masks I read about. A little goes a long way, but it’s way too expensive (I had a coupon and was desperate). I hope it comes back and surprises me. To be fair, my chapped mouth is 70% from biting and licking my lips subconsciously and less from chronic dryness, so any improvement is quickly chewed away.

Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil for Hair, Body & Face // I’m less a fan of this particular dry oil and more a proponent of any sprayable dry oil. My legs just absolutely kill and itch and burn after a shower in the winter even if I don’t shave (which is basically never at this point in my life – freedom!), but if I spray this on before I hop into the shower, my leg skin is less itchy and sad afterwards. I don’t really advocate this particular one for hair and face, but for a body oil, it smells good and doesn’t feel greasy. Works as a great moisture barrier to keep shower water from leeching any hydration from my legs!

Mario Badescu Facial Spray With Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater // My love! This isn’t just for winter, but since it’s a big part of my skin care year round now, it wouldn’t be fair to leave it out. When I first wake up, I spritz this on before applying my morning moisturizer. Skin is most receptive when it’s damp, so if I haven’t conveniently just stepped out of the shower, this is the best alternative. It smells lovely and feels so refreshing, plus it can be used to set or refresh makeup as well. Would recommend for everyone forever.

P.S. Today is my birthday! I’m actually writing this the day before my birthday, but it’ll publish when I’m hitting the insignificant 2-7. I really love my birthday (and birthdays in general) and I always try to keep with the idea that getting older isn’t something to be scared of, especially the notion that you need to be at a certain place in life by a certain time. Between older friends and family, I have so many fantastic examples of how age is not a limiter in any way, and it may seem silly to be thinking about it so much when I’m only 27, but I also know how terrifying it is for a lot of people my age (and younger!) to think about growing older. Sometimes when I’m eating boxed and cheese in my onesie cat pajamas, I can’t believe that I’m considered an adult at all. I don’t even know what I’m rambling about any more, but happy birthday to me and any other December babbies!

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The Neon Museum in Las Vegas













neonmuseumkatyThis last photo was taken by my friend Katy! Thank you lady! I went to The Neon Museum with her and her husband and took a ton of photos in the hot hot hot sun. I thought coming from Texas would make me more prepared for the heat, but man oh man standing outside for an hour mid morning never felt toastier.

The signs are so big in person – there were a few that I couldn’t get good photos of because they wouldn’t fit in one shot. I love neon things (my room in high school was full of little neon signs, light-up globes, lava lamps… very classy) so it was really fun to see all of the old styles and the way they’ve evolved as Vegas has grown. I recommend taking the tour if you’re gonna be in Vegas! They also offer night tours, but they fill up faster.

The only bad part of vacation is that eventually it’s over and now it’s back to the grind, BUT luckily for me the grind ain’t so bad.

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Unless I’m carrying a tiny, itty bitty bag, it’s a given that I’ll have some kind of journal on me. I’ve always been a doodler, but I’m also an avid list maker. Whether it’s groceries, chores or blog post ideas, I get a great deal of satisfaction from crossing things off in any sort of to-do list.

I love Moleskines, but I’ll take any sort of plain or pretty journal. I’m currently working through the bee notebook right now, and I got it in the check-out line at Home Goods. I have so many empty standbys that I won’t need a new one for a long while, but I do fill them up quickly. Unfortunately I don’t paint at all anymore, but I still draw in my notebooks, and that keeps me going. They’re also good for bouncing around ideas for this here blog when it’s a little slow-going (kind of like it is now – sorry!). Sometimes I’m struck with a thought that I know I won’t be able to hang onto till I get home to my computer, and it’s just not as much fun to put notes on a smart phone. Notebooks win forever.


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As I mentioned earlier this week, Mark and I spent a part of last Saturday at the Dallas Arboretum looking through the gardens. I’d never been before and wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve always enjoyed aquariums and zoos, but I’d never been somewhere that specifically featured plants and trees. Everything was really beautiful! The only drawback was that it was so so so humid and warm that after about two hours we were ready to go.

I’d love to come back in the fall (or anytime that it’s less than 90 degrees) to see how it changes from season to season. I took tons of photos, but unfortunately a lot of my pictures didn’t include the name plates saying which flower or plant is which. Either way, I was really happy to photography something different for a change. I’m no professional by any means, but it wasn’t hard to get nice photos when my subjects were so pretty!

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What’s in My Bag: Lake House Edition


Nikon 1 J3 with COSMOS Brown Leather Case // Sleep Pillow Mist in Lavender Chamomile // Black and Gold Heart Sunglasses // Julia Wine Cat Sleeping Mask // Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.


Today I’m heading out for a much-needed weekend trip with some of Mark and I’s closest friends. We rented a lake house and are going to eat great food and hang out by the water and it’s going to be amazing. I’m really bad at not taking vacations, so I’ve been looking forward to this for months. I’m not taking much, but I love a good “What’s in My Bag” posts, so here’s what is tagging along with me this weekend (minus the obvious stuff like clothes, toothbrush, SPF 1000 sunscreen).

Dr. Jart+ Black Label Detox BB Cream // I almost never wear full foundation anymore, and I’m certainly not going to on a lake vacation, so this is great for a breathable, hydrating base with SPF. It’s light to medium coverage, so I mainly use it to even out my redness a bit, but you can build it up a little bit more if you need more. Too much though and it gets greasy on me. I reviewed the gold bottle Dr. Jart+ awhile back and had that problem, but it turns out I was just using too much! When used correctly, it’s a dream. I love their whole line, including this black label, but my favorite is the gold. It only comes in one self-adjusting shade though, so if you have medium to dark skin, this one would be a miss.

NYX Butter Gloss in Strawberry Parfait // I feel like most lip colors smear or feel weird in water, so I try to stick with something that’s balmy, and I loooove these butter glosses. I usually stick to mattes, but as dry as my lips are, I’ve started to embrace the gloss. This one is a nice, flattering pink, and it smells delicious. It doesn’t last super long if you’re eating or drinking, but it leaves your lips hydrated, and the smell makes reapplying worth it.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eye Liner in Black // This one cost me a pretty penny, but I can’t get over how precise and fine a line I get with it. Cateye is my go-to eye look, and this makes it so easy. The formula lasts forever and can even be a pain to get off, but I like my eye makeup to stay in place. When I swatched it at Sephora the first time, it stayed on my hand clear through a shower into the next day! I can get so close to the lashline, it blows my mind every time. Waterproof isn’t necessary for everyday, but it’s good for trips like this.

L’Oreal Voluminous Carbon Black Waterproof Mascara // Still my favorite waterproof + voluminizing mascara. I’ve had this in bag posts before. The formula can be a little clumpy if you don’t scrape the excess off of the wand. If it clumps, I use a q-tip to even them out and then apply a second coat.

French Lavender & Honey Body Mist // Running around outside is a good way to get smelly. That’s when I prefer body-mists to perfume. I can get a few good pumps and don’t have to worry about it being overpowering. This one from Bath & Body Works smells sweet without being cloying, with notes of lavender, honey and nectarine. My mom sent me the mini in a care-package and it’s perfect for keeping in my regular purse bag, not just for traveling.

Gilchrist & Soames London Collection Body Lotion // I got this in my Birchbox a few months back (why did I stop reviewing those boxes?) and to be honest it wasn’t incredible, but it’s nice and it’s travel size. It doesn’t have a strong smell and it’s cruelty-free, plus it absorbs fast and has a lot of natural emollients.

Davines This Is a Sea Salt Spray // This is also from an old Birchbox but I love it! I braid my hair a lot on water-based trips, and nothing adds good texture like a salt spray. It smells like candy and makes my hair feel like second day hair without being dirty or drying it out.

Love & Beauty Nail Polish in Baby Blue // I have a soft spot for jelly polishes. Normally I hate when you can see through after several coats, but with jelly I don’t mind. It’s just like a nice wash of color on your nails, and this one has a fine blue shimmer going through it. Makes me think of the color of a pool!

OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner // Another case of, “ehhh it’s okay but it’s travel sized!” These smell so so so good but I don’t think I’d use them every day. They weigh my hair down a little, but between, sweat, sunscreen and lakewater, they do a great job of leaving my hair smooth and tangle-free. They have egg proteins to strengthen your hair too which helps with breakage, and since I’m always growing my hair out, I love anything that keeps me from losing my ends to splits and break-off.

And that’s it! Have a great weekend!

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