Lipstick & Lattes

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It's National Coffee Day, ya'll- AKA the best day ever because coffee is the best thing ever. To celebrate this amazing day and to honor one of my favorites things in life, I figured I'd share with you 4 things that coffee has taught me.
  1. To relax. With a full time job, exercise routine, managing my blog, taking care of 3 pets and a husband, life can get pretty hectic. Having a cup of coffee- let's be real, more like 5 cups - each morning forces me to sit down and start the day on a relaxing note.
  2. To be more social. I'm an extroverted introvert, meaning I'm outgoing in certain situations. Generally speaking, I tend to keep to myself in my daily routine, staying in my office at work most of the day without mingling with co-workers, passing on group lunches, blah blah blah. Coffee is a social beverage in that it forces you to have quick conversation when you go get a cup, whether it's in the office or the Starbucks drive through. My barista at Da Bux and I have some pretty great chats!
  3. To be thankful. Each morning when I sip on my coffee and watch the news (duh, I have to since my hubby is a news anchor) I tend to reflect on things I'm grateful for. Now, I'm not saying I'm all sappy each morning, but there are mornings- especially on weekends - where I get lost in my thoughts and reflect on the blessings in my life. #blessings
  4. To take "it" one step at a time. We all have those days where the struggle is real whether it's a busy day running errands or a hectic day at the office- it's easy to get ahead of ourselves and set our expectations a little too high and overwork ourselves. When I'm overwhelmed I tend to freak out. Coffee seems to be the only coping mechanism to the daily struggle and stresses. It forces me to take little breaks by sipping my venti iced coffee with one pump hazelnut, skim milk and light ice (because let's face it- they're cheap and give you mostly ice). 
To say I love coffee is an understatement- it's simply divine! What has coffee taught you?
Image result for goodbye summer

With today being the last day of summer, I figured I'd reflect on some of the highest points this summer brought with it! It's always fun to look back on memories, especially when they involve family and friends!

Summer started with an anniversary trip my husband and I took to celebrate 3 amazing years of marriage. We book a weekend trip to Branson (about 45 minutes away) and stayed at Big Cedar Lodge, a resort owned by Bass Pro. We golfed at Top of the Rock, took a canyon tour and had a spa date. You can read more about our adventure here!

I was also a bridesmaid in my niece's wedding in May. It was an outdoor wedding in New Hampshire with the mountainside as the backdrop. It was so wonderful getting to see family and spending some quality time with my niece!

My husband and I also took a trip on Fourth of July weekend to visit his side of the family in Los Angeles including his parents, brother, sister-in-law, and his adorable niece and nephew. We hiked Mt. Hollywood, explored downtown LA and went to the Hollywood Bowl for their July 4th Fireworks and Spectacular with Chicago! It was such an amazing trip!

No filter, obvs. Yea right.
What fun adventures did you have this summer? Let me know in the comments below!
I have oily skin, y'all. Like, I could probably provide enough oil for my car's next oil change (beautiful picture, right?). Okay, maybe not THAT bad, but it's bad! For the longest time I would skip applying a moisturizer in the mornings because I thought if I added it to my beauty routine it was pointless since my skin was already a grease ball. Makeup would just slide around and I would become even more oily, right? WRONG.

When our faces produce oil, it's not the same moisturizing grade as an actual moisturizer, rather a spike in hormones that's causing the overproduction of oil. Skipping moisturizer is only hurting your skin because if it's not moisturized, your skin will overproduce oil (AKA sebum). Sebum can contain bacteria which is the source of acne if you're on the oily side. Oily skin needs to be moisturized because it tends to overproduce sebum to aid in moisturizing the skin. Applying a moisturizer to your skin can help lower the amount of sebum that's produced because the skin will be moisturized.

I started trying Valentia's Pure Glow Brightening Moisturizer* a couple of weeks ago and can honestly say I'm in love. I've tried many moisturizers from both the drug store and higher end stores like Sephora, but products either made my skin extra oily or too matte. This Brightening Moisturizer contains the following organic ingredients: hyaluronic acid which keeps the skin moisturized and plump, kojic acid to brighten dark spots, ginseng to firm the skin and help produce collagen, sunflower oil to repair skin, and shea butter which is loaded with nutrients and vitamins for nourishment. This moisturizer is on the thicker side, has a light pleasant scent and is quickly absorbed. It leaves my skin feeling silky smooth and I've noticed a big difference in how much less oily my skin as been!

I know I've raved about this brand many times, but I'm really in love! Their products contain organic and natural ingredients, so you know it's good for your skin. Click here if you're interested in trying this moisturizer or want to browse their other organic skincare products! You can also follow Valentia on Instagram and Facebook.

*I was sent this product for my honest review. As always, I only promote products I genuinely enjoy and think my readers would benefit from.

While perusing the aisles of Ulta on a recent lunch break I stumbled across the cutest, most adorable packing: rose gold lipstick. Best part was it was only $5.00 so naturally it went in my basket. I didn't pay attention to the product or brand, just the packing. Stupid idea, but it worked!

This little cutie is seriously the cutest packing for a lipstick I have ever seen! It's Makeup Revolution's Rose Gold Lipstick in Chauffeur and obsessed is an understatement. This discovery of mine is almost as amazing as if you were holding a litter of kittens or eating your favorite ice cream (these are a two of my favorite things- cue sappy music).

I haven't heard much about Makeup Revolution, but they're a London based makeup company that launched in 2014. They have everything from eye shadows to highlighters to lipstick and everything in between! They kind of remind of NYX in a way because their products are affordable and high quality.

This lipstick is from their new Rose Gold Lipstick line which claims to be comfortable, richly-pigmented and moisturizing on the lips. While matte lips are my preferred lipstick of choice, this lipstick is incredible. It's creamy, non-drying, super pigmented and is the perfect everyday nude lipstick. While the staying power isn't great, for the beautiful shade and formula mixed with the price, you really can't complain! I'm seriously going to be making another trip to Ulta this week to purchase the other 4 colors in this collection. #nojoke

Have you tried any products from Makeup Revolution? If so, which products do you recommend?

Coconut oil has been trending everywhere lately and for good reason! Coconut oil contains fatty acids that include antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it great for ingesting and placing on cuts, sores and fungi on the body. Coconut oil is also a great and healthy cooking oil because it's good for your heart and digestive system. But did you know coconut oil can be used in your daily beauty regime? Take a look at these 5 uses and benefits of adding this oil to your beauty routine!

  1. Body lotion. Coconut oil is excellent when used as a moisturizer because it's easily absorbed by the body, non-greasy and very moisturizing to the skin. A little goes a long way! Take a quarter sized amount of solid coconut oil- don't worry, it melts easily in your hand-and rub all over your body. While it may seem greasy at first, after a few minutes your skin will absorb the oil and will feel silky and smooth!
  2. Makeup Remover. We all know how difficult it can be to remove makeup, especially mascara- waterproof or not. Take a small amount of coconut oil, rub in in your hands to melt the product and gently rub your makeup off!
  3. Hair mask. Nothing makes my hair softer than a coconut oil hair mask! I've fallen prey to the whole "your hair has some damage, you may want to cut it off" trick from a hair stylist in the past. I'm trying to grow my hair out and a weekly coconut mask tames split ends and makes my hair silky and healthy. Leave it on for an hour or overnight for healthy and shiny hair!
  4. Eye cream. Okay, maybe not cream, but you get the point. Coconut oil is great at hydrating the skin and can even reduce the signs of wrinkles, making it a great natural eye cream. If you don't have sensitive, acne-prone skin you may be able to get away with using coconut oil as a moisturizer for your entire face. It is a comedogenic oil, meaning it clogs pores so be careful if you're acne-prone like myself.
  5. Cuticle oil. We all know how drying nail polish remover is to your skin, especially your cuticles. After your next at-home manicure, take a pea-sized amount of coconut oil and work into your cuticles. They'll feel moisturized in no time, leaving the skin around your nails healthier and softer.

There you have it, folks- 5 beauty uses for coconut oil. Just make sure you use an organic, unrefined coconut oil so you're using it in its purest state with no added ingredients. Do you use coconut oil in your beauty routine? If so, leave some tips in the comments below!

Last week I turned 28 and now more than ever, I'm really starting to pay close attention to caring for my skin, especially after noticing some pretty deep smile lines around my mouth. I've been on the hunt for the right anti-aging moisturizer for a couple of years. I've tried pretty much every drugstore serum and moisturizer you can imagine and was feeling extremely frustrated- they either made my skin feel like I slathered on a bunch of oil on it or caused me to breakout.

Everything changed when I came across ARK Skincare's Age Protect* skincare line- and I'm obsessed! ARK Skincare is a British skincare brand with a focus on treating skin by age which I thought was really appealing. I've never seen a skincare system like this before that was categorized by late 20s (holla), early 30s, late 50s, and 60s. Each skincare system has ingredients based on hormone production according to your age.

The first step in my nighttime skincare routine is the Pro Remove Pre Cleanse, a solution that helps remove your makeup- YES, even waterproof mascara- and debris while balancing your sebum levels. It's perfect for sensitive skin because it's a fruit lipid blend and contains avocado, grape seed and kiwi oil so it's gentle on the skin. After using the pre cleanse, I follow up with my Biore Pore Cleanser.

The final step in my nighttime skincare routine is following up with a moisturizer. I love the ARK Age Protect Skin Vitality Moisturizer that contains antioxidants and natural oils to balance your skin. This moisturizer sinks in quickly and makes my skin super soft! The packaging is not only beautiful, but it's sanitary because you have the pump the product out by pressing the top of the bottle, not dipping your fingers in to retrieve the product.

No matter your age, ARK Skincare has the perfect skincare line for your skin!

Do you use anti aging products? If so, which products are your favorite? Let me know in the comments below!

*This product was sent to me for review. As always, I would never recommend a product to my readers I didn't genuinely enjoy. Powered by BrandBacker.
Wow. How the heck has it been two year since this post? My 28th birthday was this past Friday and it's so strange how fast time flies! When I was younger and thought of myself as 28, I had my whole life planned out. I wanted to own a home and have at least one kid. Well, needless to say, things haven't gone exactly as planned: my husband and I are still renting an apartment and we don't have any children. My first thought when I woke up on Friday was exactly that- reminding myself that I wasn't where I saw myself at this age. But then again, it's not my plan, it's God's plan.

I feel like it's weird to be 28- twenty eight. It used to sound so old to me, but not anymore. I still feel young, like it's not too late for the things I dreamed I would have at this age. 

Do you feel the same way? 

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