Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020: Best in Beauty

The N-Sale? In this economy?! Yep.

Buckle up friends—the Nordstrom Sale is upon us. If you’re a big spender at Nordy’s, you probably already have access to the sale. If you have the credit card but use it sparingly, like me, you’ll likely get access sometime between  August 13-18. Otherwise, the sale opens to the general public on August 19.


People think that Nordstrom is a snobby store that sells overpriced stuff and in some cases, that is true. However, they sell a lot of things that you can buy at other retailers (think Sephora) that rarely go on sale—and when it goes on sale, it goes If you use this stuff, it would be foolish not to stock up and save some money. Plus, this years sale features markdowns on never before marked down brands like Dr. Barbara Sturm, Briogeo and Olaplex.

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Paula’s Choice Jumbo Size Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant

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I think that every person on the planet could benefit by adding this toner into their skincare routine. It’s a chemical exfoliant that helps to remove dead skin cells, leaving you with brighter, tighter-looking skin (while also helping to get rid of blackheads and shrink the appearance of pores). This is one of my favorite toners of all time, secondly only to Lotion P50.

Pro tip: No cotton round/cotton ball needed. Simply drip some into your hands, rub on your face and continue on with the rest of your skincare routine.

Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray Set


The Oribe Dry Texturizing Spray has a cult following—and for good reason. You would be hard-pressed to find a dry texturizing spray that works as well as this one does. It gives you hold and texture without being overly sticky or drying. PLUS, you also get a full-size Gold Lust Dry Shampoo. If you use this product regularly or are looking for a good texturizing spray, I recommend picking this up while it’s a better value.

Olaplex Bond Maintenance System Set

Untitled design (23)If you’ve ever read my blog before (or know me in real life) you’ll know that I love Olaplex and sing its praises constantly. You get three FULL-SIZE products in this set! FULL SIZE! Anybody with hair on their head needs Olaplex, especially so if you ever process your hair (color, bleach, etc) or use heat on it. Your hair will feel so silky smooth after using this, you’ll wonder why you didn’t try it before. You can thank me later.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brows Bae-sics Kit


Another oldie but goodie. I have genuinely used these brow products for close to 10 years. You really can’t go wrong with this combo. Fill in sparse spots, add shape, arch, length to your tail, etc. with Brow Wiz and then finish up by brushing those babies in to place. You get two full size products for almost the price of one. Will be grabbing one of these for sure. (If you’re not sure how to do your brows, check out my brows for beginners post).

Bobbi Brown Full Size Crushed Lip Duo


This is another one of my all time favorite lip colors. It is the perfect nude and it works on so many skintones. It gives the perfect flush of color to your lips for when you want to look alive and awake but not “done up.” This would also be the perfect lip for someone who wants to dip their toes into the world of lipstick but isn’t ready for anything bold or bright. I keep on in my purse at all times and also have one for my car that I keep in my glove box when it isn’t one million degrees out.

Pillow Talk Lip Secrets Set

216eba01-55ed-4c4a-80c4-2c5812f1434ePillow Talk is an absolute staple for me. Again, this is one of the products that I have beaten like a dead horse over the duration of my blogging career. I also tell everyone I know IRL that they need this. It’s just that good. This set comes with the lip liner, lipstick and lip gloss for $68 which is essentially like getting one of the products for free. If you’re a Pillow Talk fanatic like myself, or you’re curious about trying it, now is the time to do it.

Diptyque Set of 5 Travel Limited Edition Scented Candles

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This isn’t really a beauty item but I added it anyway. I recently did a blog post about luxury candles and how, IMO, they are worth purchasing. If you want to dip your toes in the world of expensive ass candles, this seems like a really good way to try them without having to commit to one fragrance. It also would be a nice gift to keep on hand. I plan on picking one up.


Those are my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020 Beauty Picks! Anything on this list that you’re planning on picking up? Anything that I didn’t mention that you can’t live without? Let me know!

Are Online Lingerie Brands Worth the Hype? I Bought the Bra that Kept Following Me on Instagram

If you’re a woman who uses the internet, it’s likely that you’ve been targeted by one of the many up-and-coming direct to consumer lingerie brands that are all over social platforms. For months, I was bombarded by ad after ad for bras that promised to be unlike anything I’ve ever tried, supportive but not restrictive, comfortable but polished, etc, etc, etc. In short, Instagram hates nipples but loves bras.

In recent years, Big Lingerie™ has been disrupted by smaller start-up brands like Thinx, True & Co., Knixwear, ThirdLove, Cuup and many, many more that are leaning into body positivity, forgoing perfectly airbrushed models in favor of real women and embracing diversity and inclusivity.

Of all the bra brands that I have been targeted by, one in particular stood out to me: Cuup. Its chic, minimalist style was intriguing to me and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it comes in an impressive range of sizes and colors (with names like grass, merlot and blush). I went ahead and spent $68 on one their bras, for science.


Bra sizes can be tricky and ordering them online doesn’t make it any easier. When I went to order, they were out of my size but a customer service rep let me in on a little secret about “sister sizes.” If you, like me, have no idea what that means, I’ll fill you in. Basically, there are four different bra sizes that fit the same. For example, 36 A is equivalent to 34 B, 32 C and 30 D. In other words, if you size up a cup size, you size down a band size. This came in handy for me when my usual 36 D was not in stock, but I was able to get a 34 E and have it fit equivalently.


I ordered the plunge bra in black. I was pleasantly surprised when this bra arrived in the mail 4 days after I placed my order (and I didn’t even pay for expedited shipping!). It was nicely packaged in a cute box and came with a lingerie bag so I can throw it in the washing machine without ruining it.



Unfortunately, the buck stops there and I’m sorry to say that I hated this bra upon the first wear. Like, absolutely hated it. It looked great but it felt horrible—and since I’m single and the only person that sees my bras, I was on the verge of returning it.  It’s not that it was slightly uncomfortable,  it was digging into my skin every way possible. When I took it off, my skin was red, angry and marred with indentations where the fabric had cut into my flesh. I contacted customer service, who told me that the bra takes some time to stretch out and adjust to your body. Having done many painful things for the sake of vanity, I decided to stick it out but maintained a healthy dose of skepticism that it would ever be anything more than an expensive door hanger.


I’m not sure when it happened but slowly, over the first couple of wears, the bra adjusted to my body and was no longer terrorizing my skin. In fact, much to my surprise, over the course of the past two and a half months, this has become my favorite bra. It’s comfortable, supportive and walks the line between being elegant and sexy. It’s made of mesh and ultra-thin underwire, which lends the feel of a bralette while simultaneously providing the support of a more traditional bra. After spending years wearing ugly, basic bras, it’s refreshing to find something that is feminine, attractive and supportive.

They offer five different bra styles: the Balconette, the Demi, the Plunge, the Scoop and the Triangle. As I mentioned before, I got the Plunge which is a mesh, unlined bra, and will not do anything to conceal your nipples, which I learned at my mom’s surprise birthday party. After perusing the website, I learned that some of the other styles offer more coverage, so make sure you do your research and know what you’re getting into.


I really love what Cuup stands for. They acknowledge that bras are not a one-size-fits-all thing, that bras should be made to fit you, not the other way around. Their vision, according to their website, is: “a collection of flattering, comfortable, and unrestrictive bras built for all women; that doesn’t compromise comfort, fit, or aesthetic. A collection that lifts, shapes, and supports — without excess materials that pinch or bulk. Bras that look and feel great in every size.”


There are no shortage of online bra companies that want your business. If you’re in the market for a chic, minimalist bra that is both supportive and feminine, I highly recommend Cuup. But don’t be surprised if you have to break it in a little bit.

My Favorite Spring Trend: Cream Blushes

For years, blush took a backseat to other products as contour, matte lips, highlighter and brows were at center stage—but right now, blush is having a moment.

Brands all across the board are debuting new blushes, from drugstore to high end. I, personally, am embracing this spring trend with open arms. Blush adds a beautiful glow to the cheeks making you appear fresh and vibrant—a look I am desperately clinging to, especially since I have now been quarantined in my apartment for over two weeks.

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While there are tons of great powder blushes, my favorite blushes ATM are cream. While cream blushes might seem daunting or difficult to use, they aren’t. In my opinion, they give you the most natural look and they blend seamlessly into the cheeks.


We’ve probably all been taught that blush goes on the apple of the cheeks and is blended outward and upward to the temple. Obviously, you do you, but I like to apply blush higher up, closer to the actual cheekbone, and sweep it across the face (including the bridge of your nose!).  I also like to blend blush on my temples to tie everything together. This gives a more natural-looking, soft-focus flush to the face.


If you’re just starting to use cream blushes, I would recommend  giving this one a try. It can look intimidating right out of the tube, but it sheers out really nicely on the face. You can apply it with a brush, a sponge or your fingers, but I find that using your fingers is the quickest and easiest way.


I love, love, love this product but, oh, boy, a little goes a long way. You can use this on both your lips and cheeks, and it blends out beautifully. It’s very creamy and surprisingly long-lasting. Every time I put this on I feel like I’ve been at the beach.


This product was so intriguing to me. I’m not sure that this is technically considered a cream blush, it’s more of a cushion compact but I’m including it in my list either way.

I was nervous to try this because it felt almost gimmicky (?) to me. It comes with a heart stamp applicator, which I assumed would be a piece of garbage, but it’s not! I always use it to apply the product directly to my cheeks and then blend out with either my fingers or a duo fiber brush. This probably has the least staying power of any of the blushes on the list but is still a great option.


This was the first cream blush that I tried. I had started really getting into cream products ( both bronzers and highlighters) and wanted to venture out into blush. I love this product. It seems counterintuitive, but I would not apply this directly to the cheeks. Instead, I warm it up on the back of my hand and then apply with either my fingers or a sponge. (Rubbing it directly on your face is likely to move any of the makeup you already have on your face!).

I would consider this to be the most fool-proof blush of the bunch. Dab your fingers in it, tap on your cheeks and you’re good to go!


I love the blush trend for spring! Do you have any favorite blushes you’re using at the moment?

Quarantine Diaries: How I’m Coping

As an introvert, I really thought that social distancing was a dream come true. In many ways, it is. If you, like me, have ever thought, “I really wish I could stay home and watch Netflix all day,” now is our time to shine!

Turns out, staying home and sitting on your ass is much more fun when the government isn’t forcing you to do so. After being quarantined for nearly a week, I’m feeling a little stir crazy. I’m also feeling extremely anxious so, I thought I would put together a list of ways that I’m coping and things I’m using to keep myself busy and entertained.

Please keep in mind that this is what I’m doing. I’m genuinely interested in what you’re doing, too. Let me know!


Earlier this week, I was sitting on my couch doing some work from my computer when I realized that I was 1) watching the news on TV 2) looking at Facebook on my computer and 3) scrolling through COVID-19 news on Twitter. Simultaneously. No wonder I was freaking the F out. Because I’m drowning myself in fire-and-brimstone news. My therapist told me to stay educated enough to have a plan of action and let everything else just be noise. I’m following her advice on that.


Whatever that looks like for you, make sure you do it.  Listen, if you don’t normally eat an organic vegan diet, now is not the time to start doing that shit. Just make sure that you do the basics: take a shower, clean your space, brush your teeth, make sure you’re eating. And remember, it’s okay to take a walk outside. Social distancing doesn’t have to equal agoraphobia—it just means that you stay 6 feet away from other people.

When I get really stressed out or depressed, I stop cleaning my apartment and live in filth. This is gross, but true and also not uncommon. Some days, especially when my apartment is a total disaster, cleaning feels really daunting. If that’s the case, I’ll set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes and call it good. Turns out, you can do a lot in 10 minutes AND once you start, you’re more likely to want to keep going.


I know that what’s going on is really serious—and I don’t want to negate that—but I’ve always dealt with things by joking about that or trying to find something funny in any situation. Trust me, I know it’s scary. I have pretty severe asthma as well as another underlying autoimmune disease. I also don’t have health insurance. This is a really scary time and I’m dealing with it by laughing as much as I can. I love standup comedy. I have watched Dave Chappelle’s standup on Netflix so many times, I have it memorized. A few of my favorite things to watch right now are:

  • Friends (duh)
  • Dave Chappelle: Equanimity & The Bird Revelation
  • Hasan Minhaj: Homecoming King
  • Ronny Chieng: Asian American Destroys America
  • Chris D’elia: Man on Fire
  • Chris D’elia: Incorrigible
  • The Office (obviously)
  • Seinfeld
  • Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
  • 40 Year Old Virgin (classic)
  • Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle
  • Any and all Adam Sandler movies


Now is a good time to learn a new skill! I’ve been watching different classes on SkillShare to pass the time spent cooped up in my apartment. Skillshare is a paid subscription, and I know that money is tight for a lot of people right now and that might not be feasible. YouTube is free and there is a video to learn almost anything that you can imagine!


Is it “responsible” of me to be shopping right now? Probably not. But I’ve still been doing it in moderation for the tiny little bit of the serotonin I so desperately need.

I’ve been especially trying to support small businesses right now, who need all the help they can get. Even though a lot of places are closed, you can always buy gift cards to local businesses online now for future use. Small businesses need all the help they can get right now, so whether you buy a gift card, order take out food or coffee, or support them on social media by leaving a positive review or liking/sharing their content, your support means the world to them!

Other stores like Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus are also running 25% sitewide sales on things that NEVER go on sale. I am taking advantage of that, too.


Social distancing doesn’t mean forgetting about your relationships. FaceTime your family, call them, text, Snapchat, whatever. I’ve been Snapchatting with Max and it makes me both laugh hysterically and also kinda sad because I miss him a lot and wish I could be with him in person.

It’s really easy to get lonely right now, but make sure that you’re checking in on your friends and (chosen) family.


Things are weird right now. Whatever you’re feeling is valid. Sometimes I laugh at the stupid memes that are going around, sometimes I cry. The only certain thing right now is uncertainty, and we’re all going through it together. This will pass and things will get better. What are you doing to cope? Let me know!

Buy or Bye: Tower 28 Beauty

About a month ago, I was aimlessly strolling through the aisles in Sephora, as one does, when I happened upon an end cap filled with clean beauty brands. I had heard of most of the brands, Ilia, RMS, etc., but one brand, in particular, stood out to me: tower 28 beauty.


I’ve been really into lip gloss lately (which is something I haven’t said since about 2000). I love the look of glossy lips but I hate so much of what has traditionally gone along with it: hair sticking to your lips when the wind blows, those gross goopy lines that show up when you open your mouth. For that reason, I have been a matte lip girl for a very, very long time.

Probably about 6 months ago I decided that I was ready to dip my toes into the world of lip gloss again and in that time I have bought and tested more lip glosses than anyone probably should. From Fenty to Glossier, I was consistently impressed with the look of but not entirely sold on any one particular brand or product. 


All I want in a lip gloss is a high-shine, non-stick finish. I don’t want any shimmer or glitter, and I don’t want to feel like I just rubbed school glue on my lips. Ironically enough, when I stopped searching, I found exactly what I was looking for.

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned any of the other lip glosses I’ve tried. That’s  because they all have downfalls to me and I don’t ever want to recommend a product that I’m not entirely sold on. I am genuinely blown away by ShineOn lip jelly. It’s so shiny your lips almost look wet, but it’s not sticky at all. In fact, it’s super moisturizing. The Sephora website claims that it uses a unique blend of five nurturing oils to soothe and protect lips from drying and peeling. It comes in a number of different colors, but I’m boring and got Chill, the translucent version. However, after falling in love with it, I now need it all every shade offered. 


After trying the lip gloss, I decided that I needed to immediately try every other product that Tower 28 offers. I went back to Sephora and purchased the only other two products that they carry: the SuperDew Shimmer Free Highlight Balm and the SOS Save Our Skin Daily Rescue Facial Spray.

I’m normally into super over-the-top highlights, but as I’ve been taking care of my skin and embracing a more natural makeup look, I’ve been appreciating a different kind of highlight. A more natural one, that looks dewy (almost sweaty) as opposed to glittery or shimmery.

I was a little nervous to try the SuperDew balm for a couple of reasons. For one, I was worried that it would lift my foundation (it didn’t). I was also worried that it would clog my pores because it was giving me some Vaseline vibes. I’ve been using it for about a month and it hasn’t done that either. 

If I’m being entirely honest I was really skeptical about this product before trying it. Not only for the above-mentioned reasons but because I’m so used wearing blinding highlights every day that  I really just thought I wouldn’t be into a natural look. I was wrong. This highlighter is subtle but beautiful. I love that it has no shimmer or sparkle in it. I apply it to the highpoints of my face for a healthy, luminous glow. It looks incredibly natural, like your glowing from within and definitely drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. If you’re into a natural look, or that glass skin K-beauty look, you’ll love this.

PRO TIP: I also love using this on my eyelids for a fail-safe, glossy eye look. 


When I went back to Sephora to get the highlighter, I ended up picking this up too because I wanted to try everything they offer. I have only used this twice so I can’t say that I’ve seen any results from it. I will say that the mister is good and I love the science behind it. Here’s a blurb from their website, because they can explain it better than I can.

Think of SOS as your happy solution to angry skin. And here’s the reason it works: it’s inspired by you! The hero ingredient, hypochlorous acid, is naturally found in your white blood cells, which helps to fight and defend your body from harmful bacteria and inflammation. When applied to the skin, HOCl triggers an immune boost, which then signals your body to repair and heal irritated skin. This unique solution is pH balanced (4.5) and formulated for facial skin, but is safe to use on all ages and anywhere on your skin!


Tower 28’s lip gloss initially caught my eye because of the packaging. It has such a modern ~cool girl~ feel. When I started doing a little more research, I found even more reasons to love them. They’re cruelty-free, vegan, don’t test on animals (and are PETA certified!) and don’t contain any irritants of allergens. In fact, their products are approved by the National Eczema Association.  Additionally, all products are California Prop 65 compliant. You can learn more about their blacklist here.

Another huge bonus: it’s female-owned! Amy Liu worked with some of the biggest brands in the industry, including Smashbox, Kate Somerville and Josie Maran, and founded T28 after struggling with her skin her whole life—which I think is amazing. I am so inspired by women who see a problem and take it upon themselves to solve it. I loved reading this interview with her.

I left a review about their lipgloss on the Sephora website and saw it featured on their Instagram. I commented that it was my review and Amy reached out to me herself to thank me and even offered me a $10 code to use on their website. I spent it on BeachPlease Luminous Tinted Balm in Magic Hour (which Kristen Wiig recently wore to the Oscars!) because that’s the only product I haven’t tried. I can’t wait for it to arrive in the mail.


If you have lips, you’re going to want to try Tower 28’s new ShineOn lip jelly. If you’re not interested in lip gloss, I highly recommend checking out their other products, including their highlighter, skin spray and tinted balm. My Luminous Tinted Balm shipped today (yay!) and I can’t wait to add more lip jellies to my collection. 

Have you tried Tower 28? Let me know! 

Does CBD work? I tried it to find out

Much like Chandler from Friends, one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long, stressful day is taking a bath. I have spent years cultivating and perfecting my bath routine. Candle, book, something to effervesce, maybe a face mask or a glass of wine if I’m feeling extra indulgent. I thought it couldn’t get any better—I was wrong. Enter Well CBD.


If you’re skeptical about CBD, I don’t blame you.  We should be skeptical about any product that purports to be the end-all-be-all to all of life’s problems—especially when it comes to health and wellness. If you’re on the fence, I suggest taking the plunge with bath salts (pun intended). Bath salts are the perfect way to dip your toes into the world of CBD and be able to experience its effects without ingesting it. (Alright, I’ll stop with the bad jokes now).



Cannabidiol, or as most people know it, CBD, is a cannabinoid found in both hemp and marijuana that can have potential health benefits. Unlike THC, CBD does not have a psychoactive effect, meaning it won’t get you high.


Most people have heard about the health benefits of CBD. It’s the hottest trend in health and wellness because of its reported effects on stress, inflammation, pain, mood, and more. Does the science live up to the hype? Here’s the deal: our bodies have something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). Our ECS is responsible, in part, for controlling our stress and fear responses (think “fight or flight”) and CBD products can help support and promote endocannabinoid production.  What does that mean? Well, in layman’s terms, it means that CBD can help us to manage stress more efficiently.

There are a number of studies that indicate the effectiveness of using CBD to treat stress-related disorders, but there’s a lot of research that still needs to be done—not only on CBD but on the dozens of other cannabidiols found in marijuana and hemp. My advice is to take each persons’ story with a grain of salt and know that you might not have the same experience.



I tried CBD for the first time in early 2018 before everybody and their mother was using it for every known ailment under the sun. I purchased a CBD tincture from a local health and wellness store and took it sublingually (under the tongue) for a while and found that it did absolutely nothing for me. I’m not sure what the issue was—maybe I was taking the wrong dosage, maybe I got a shoddy product—but either way, it didn’t work. From that point on, I was extremely skeptical of CBD. It seemed like a modern, gentrified version of snake oil to me.


A few months ago, I was watching one of my favorite Michigan bloggers’ IG story—@whatkatefinds—and she was raving about a CBD cream that she was using for knee pain. Still skeptical after my first experience, I looked the brand up and was super intrigued.

I have tried all of Well’s products now—and Kate was right, their products are amazing.  I didn’t try the products convinced that I would feel any effect at all—but I absolutely did.



December was a rough month for me and January has not been any better. There are a lot of things happening in my life that are beyond my control. I know “accept what you cannot change” blah blah blah, but it’s easier said than done and I’ve been looking for actionable steps I can take to feel better.

Being under constant stress has wreaked havoc on my body. My mind never shuts off. My muscles are tense. I have a constant stomach ache. I can’t sleep at night. I’ve tried a lot of things to help, and some do. I see a therapist. I’ve started journaling. My doctor gave me a prescription for Omeprazole to help with the stomach issues. But arguably the most disruptive part of stress has been not being able to sleep. I’ve tried Melatonin, I’ve tried reading before bed, not being on my phone or having the TV on, I’ve tried rain sounds and sleep masks. I asked my doctor for a prescription sleep aid (which he wouldn’t give me because they’re “habit-forming”). Then one night, as I lay in bed wide awake in the wee hours of the morning, it dawned on me that I should be trying CBD.



I wanted Well’s products to work, but I had low expectations based on my last experience with CBD. CBD didn’t magically solve my problems, but I’m so thankful for the little bit of relief that they have been able to provide. My absolute favorite products are the bath soak, the body cream and the body oil.

I’ve been using the bath soak 2-3 times per week, and following up with the body oil or body cream once I get out. There is something absolutely magical about the bath soak, I’m not even joking. I had to look up the ingredients because I was so impressed by it. Not only does the bath soak have 50 mg of CBD in it, it’s made with both French Gray Sea Salt and Himalayan Salt, as well as grapeseed oil and lavender essential oils.



All CBD in WELL Products is grown clean, in the USA, CO2 extracted, pesticide and solvent-free, and is third-party tested with a minimum of 99% purity. Additionally, all Well Products are vegan, cruelty-free, non-GMO, and gluten-free. Well CBD products are intended for use for those 18 and older and should not be used if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.

If you’re interested in Well CBD you can purchase through their website or check them out on Instagram.

The effects of CBD are subtle but definitely helpful in alleviating stress, helping soothe sore and achy muscles and even aiding in a successful bedtime routine. I highly suggest testing our products and incorporating CBD into your routine if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.

Disclaimer: I received these products as a gift, but I am not being compensated in any way, and my review is 100% honest and authentic.

Birthday Reflections: 26 Lessons I’ve Learned


Today is my 26th birthday, so the first quarter of my life is officially over. I was talking about getting older with my therapist the other day, and she said, “you’ve lived a lot of life in these first 25 years.” She’s right.

I routinely think about how much I’ve grown and changed since I was younger. I’m sure that I’ll look back on this in a few years (or even less) and think that the version of myself that wrote this is young and naive and has a lot to learn. And those things will be true. But for now, this is as good as it gets.

  1. No one knows what they’re doing. It’s true. Not your parents, not your role models, not your favorite celebrities. We’re all just building the plane as we fly it.
  2. Start now. Start the blog, book the trip, quit your job. You’re never going to feel ready. Just do it.
  3. Ask for help. Seriously.  Don’t be a martyr—you don’t have to suffer in silence.
  4. You never really “get over” things. I hate when people talk about “getting over” things. If something profoundly affected you, you never really get over it. You get through it—and life goes on—but it stays with you and changes you, sometimes in ways you don’t expect. That’s okay.
  5. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. I had to learn this the hard way, and then I had to learn it the hard way a few more times, just to be sure.
  6. There is no substitute for hard work. Stop looking for a shortcut.
  7. If you love someone, tell them. Whether it’s your parents, your partner or your friends, they won’t be here forever. Tell people you love them while you have the chance.
  8. Skincare first, makeup second. It’s better to deal with the pimples than to be really good at hiding them. I mean this both literally and figuratively.
  9. Social media isn’t real. It’s all bullshit and we should pay less attention to it.
  10. Stop doing things you hate. It’s harder than it sounds but so, so worth it. It’s okay to say no, I promise. (Admittedly, I need to take my own advice.)
  11. Prioritize platonic love. As a culture, we don’t talk about platonic love but, realistically, those relationships are likely going to be the longest lasting. Make time for your friends.
  12. Invest in yourself. Go back to school, go to therapy, hire a personal trainer. It’s the best money you’ll ever spend.
  13. Don’t sweat the small stuff. And guess what, most of it is small stuff.
  14. Show up for the people in your life. It’s really easy to be there for people when everything’s going great. But life is messy and bad things happen, even to the best people. Showing up requires intentionality and a willingness to be vulnerable. It can feel uncomfortable and awkward, but do it anyway.
  15. Stop thinking that love is soft. I’m not sure why young people are so cynical about love and romance, but it’s beautiful. I say this as someone who had their heart broken in 2019 and still believes this to be true.
  16. Apologize. If you act like an asshole, own up to it.
  17. Always maintain a healthy amount of skepticism. Someone once told me that nothing in life is black or white—everything is a shade of gray. It’s true.
  18. Learn to enjoy your own company. The longest relationship you’re ever going to have is the one you have with yourself, so you might as well get comfortable with it.
  19. Read more. Like, real books. Not captions or Tweets.
  20. Spend quality time with your family. Most of us take our families for granted—whether they’re our blood families or chosen families. Either way, they’re probably slightly dysfunctional and drive you crazy, but appreciate them while you can.
  21. Listen to understand, not to respond. Pay attention to the person you’re talking to. There are countless books, seminars and podcasts to help you communicate better, but few focus on the importance of being a good listener. Start there.
  22. Always be curious. There’s something so innocent and wholesome about a child’s sense of curiosity and wonder. As we get older, it’s easy to become jaded and cynical—but try to never lose your sense of curiosity. There’s always something more to learn.
  23. Find something to laugh about every day. Nothing is really ever that serious.
  24. Feel your feelings. It sounds so simple, but it isn’t. A lot of us—myself included—avoid our feelings because we’d rather pretend they don’t exist than deal with things that are painful. 
  25. Sometimes you have to move on without closure. I can’t tell you how much I hate this. I know this is something that we learn with age and life experience, but reader, this is one life lesson that I could do without because it fucking sucks.
  26. Life isn’t fair, but it is still good. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, but it is.



Everything You Need to Know About Microblading

I started grooming my eyebrows when I was in the 5th grade and I have spent the last 15 years waxing, plucking, tweezing and threading them into submission.  I have enhanced them with powders, pomades and waxes and have had them tinted (at the salon or at home with Just for Men). It only felt natural that, for the sake of beauty (and research), I try microblading. After lots of research, i.e., countless hours spent watching YouTube videos and stalking people’s Instagram pages, I reached out to Alexis Horton from Arched by Allie and set up an appointment.

What is microblading?

Microblading is a semi-permanent tattoo technique used to create the illusion of fuller brows. Unlike traditional tattooing, microblading uses tiny, fine-point needles to deposit pigment into the skin to create delicate, realistic looking hair strokes. Because the needles only penetrate the superficial layers of your skin, the method is semi-permanent instead of permanent (like traditional cosmetic tattoos).

Who is microblading best for?

Microblading is a great option for anyone who is looking to enhance their brows in a natural way. Keep in mind that the results will differ for everyone. Allie told me that microblading tends to work best for people with drier skin, but if you have oily skin like I do, you can still have microblading done—you’ll likely just need to have yours touched up more often.


My eyebrows the morning of my appointment (with no makeup on them).

How long does microblading last?

I mentioned earlier that unlike traditional tattooing (cosmetic or otherwise) microblading is semi-permanent. About 6 weeks after your initial appointment, you’ll need to go back for a touch-up appointment. Depending on where you go, this may or may not be worked into the cost of the initial service. Then, microblading can last anywhere from 12 months to three years depending on a variety of factors, including your skin type and lifestyle. There are certain precautions you can take to extend the lifestyle of your news brows, including staying out of the sun (and if you are in the sun wearing sunscreen on your brows, or wearing a hat to protect those babies), and avoiding using skincare directly on your brows because the active ingredients will ruin the color.

Allie recommends having a touch up every year to keep your new brows looking fresh and fabulous. I know that this will be vital for me, since my face is like an oil slick and I’m so obsessed with my results that I don’t ever want to be without microbladed brows.

How much does it cost?

The price of microblading varies depending on where you live. I had mine done at Arched by Allie in Owosso, Michigan. Allie charges $300 for the initial session and $160 for follow up.

What’s the process like?

Step 1: Creating the shape



Before we ever got started, Allie and I talked extensively about what I wanted from microblading, how I currently fill my eyebrows in and the look I was hoping to achieve through microblading. Once we were ready to get started, Allie had me lay down in her chair and she used a number of different tools and gadgets to make sure that my eyebrows were going to frame my face perfectly. After she had mapped out the shape, she had me get up and check in the mirror to make sure that it was what I had in mind.

Step 2: Numbing the brows


After Allie mapped my brows out, she put a numbing agent on my brows to make sure that I was comfortable during the process. She put plastic wrap on the cream to help keep it place (and also because the heat from your body helps it work faster). She let the numbing cream sit on my brows for about 20 minutes and during that time I scrolled through Instagram and took a client call.

Step 4: Microblading the brows


After making the strokes, Allie applies the color. Very flattering angle here!


For some reason I wasn’t worried about microblading hurting. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and am willing to tolerate a lot for the sake of beauty and spending less time getting ready in the morning. The process itself doesn’t hurt at all. I really can’t stress that enough. You can feel the needles dragging across your skin, but it doesn’t hurt. The strangest part for me was the fact that you can hear the needles scratching your skin, but after a while, I got used to it and didn’t notice it. Allie did two passes on both my brows, and kind of touched up a few placed with a third. After each round of strokes, she applied the pigment into the scratches, which is what you see in the photo above.

What’s aftercare like?

I have to admit that, aside from the fear of having my face tattooed, the aftercare process was the second largest deterrent to having my brows microbladed. I thought that the aftercare was going to be a gigantic pain in the ass. Turns out, it wasn’t! It was easy peasy lemon squeezy, even for someone a little lazy like myself.

Allie gave me everything that I needed to take care of my brows and was super accessible whenever I had any questions. I followed my aftercare for nearly two weeks after my microblading, even though you really only need to do it for a week. Every morning and night I would:

  • Splash my eyebrows with cool water
  • Apply the cleanser very gently in a dabbing motion, never any scrubbing.
  • Splash them again with cool water to get the cleanser off
  • Follow up with the tattoo ointment

I did have to alter my normal routine slightly during the healing process. For instance, I normally get in the shower every morning and let the water run on my face for a few minutes to help myself wake up. Since I couldn’t get my brows wet, I would wash my face at my sink before getting in the shower and then face away from the showerhead the entire time. It’s also super important that you don’t get any facewash/skincare/shampoo in your brows during the healing process (and even after if you want the best retention possible) so I always brought an extra washcloth in the shower with me to pat my brows dry and wipe away any shampoo that was getting suspiciously close.

What’s the healing process like?

Before we got started with the actual microblading process, Allie went over everything in very thorough detail with me, from the aftercare process to the healing process. She even had this really handy infographic that showed what I could expect in each phase of the healing process.


Stage 1: The first day your brows will look amazing, like everything you’ve ever dreamed out. You’ll want to take countless selfies and shout from the rooftops that you’ve made the best decision of your life by having your eyebrows microbladed.


Stage 2: The day after your appointment, you might notice that your eyebrows are getting darker. This continues for a few days (at least it did for me). I suppose if you’re really fair or not use to having dark, bold brows this might freak you out. I personally was super into it! I wouldn’t have been mad if they stayed that dark forever!


Day 2 – no makeup on my brows at all


Day 2 – taken before I had any makeup on. Taken in front of a ring light, but no retouching or editing whatsoever.

Stage 3: Within a few days of your initial appointment, typically between days 5-7,  your eyebrows are going to start itching and flaking. This is entirely normal—it’s your body healing the scratches that were made from microblading. I would notice little brown flakes on my eyebrows and it was difficult, but I was SO proud of myself for leaving them alone. I did notice that some of the flakes would come off during my aftercare, but Allie said that was totally normal (because you know I asked, lol!).


Stage 4: After you’ve experienced the flaking, you’ll notice that your brows have kind of disappeared. Allie told me this would happen between days 8-10, but it actually wasn’t until probably 12-14 that I noticed it. I was just living my life, loving my brows and being pleasantly surprised that I was somehow immune to this phase when I woke up one morning and was like, WTF. My perfect brows are gone! Because Allie had explained to me in such great detail what I could expect, I knew it was normal but I was still so bummed. Because I was cleared to wear brow makeup again (you can’t the first 7 days), I went ahead and used a little brow pomade to bring those babies back to life.


Stage 5: After you’ve seen your amazing brows vanish before your eyes, rest assured that they DO come back. I noticed late last week that they are coming back and looking a little darker and I am so, so happy with them. They look natural and they frame my face perfectly. If I want to be a little bolder, I can fill them in slightly with a pencil or a pomade, but it takes two seconds and is definitely not necessary.

cuter me

Stage 6: 4-6 weeks after your initial appointment, you’ll go back for a touch-up. During this appointment, Allie will go over the strokes she made at the first appointment, and you’ll leave with crisp, fresh brows. That’s the last appointment you’ll need for a year (or possibly longer). I have my follow up on Dec. 16 and I’ll be sure to keep you all updated.

I can’t say enough good things about Allie. She made me feel so comfortable, did such an excellent job of explaining things to me, and made me feel very included in the entire process. I cannot recommend her enough. If you’re in the Lansing area and interested in booking an appointment with her, you can reach out to her here or here.


If you’re interested in getting your eyebrows microbladed stop procrastinating and book an appointment with Allie ASAP!

Do you have any questions about microblading? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them! I also have a microblading highlight on my IG, if you’re interested.

Disclaimer: Allie microbladed my eyebrows free of charge. Everything included in my blog post is my own opinion and reflects my genuine experience.

The Best Products from Sephora’s Beauty Insider Sale

Make room on your vanity because Sephora’s Beauty Insider Sale is back and the deals are so freaking good!

Like everyone else without an unlimited amount of disposable income, I try my hardest to get the best deals and save money—which is why I’m so strategic with cosmetics sales. While Sephora has its Beauty Insider Sale a few times a year, this one is the best value because the holidays kits offer the best bang for your buck plus you save an additional 10-20 percent off depending on what tier you’re in.


I don’t play when it comes to Sephora sales. I’ve done the legwork and I want to pass my knowledge along to you. And when I say legwork, I mean I’ve been to multiple Sephora’s across the state (I wish I was kidding lol),  turned off Netflix and put my phone on airplane mode to scour the website and check out the best deals and the products I truly believe you’ll be happy spending your hard-earned money on. You’re welcome!

Here they are:


Charlotte Tilbury – Gift of Pillow Talk Lips – $35



The ultimate “your lips but better” color for a large swath of the population, this lip set features Charlotte’s iconic, bestselling Matte Revolution Lipstick and mini Lip Cheat Pencil for a dreamy nude-pink, kissable pout. 

Olaplex Holiday Hair Fix Set – $58



Olaplex is the best of the best. I stock up on Olaplex products whenever Sephora has a sale and this cute little set, is an incredible offer. You get the complete four-piece Olaplex hair repair system (in-shower treatment, shampoo and conditioner and No. 6 bond repair treatment) for $58, a value of $84. I use all of these products on a regular basis and cannot recommend them enough. I bleach my hair a few times a year, and blow dry and style every single day (I know, I know, that’s not good) and my hair is incredibly healthy thanks to these products.

Dyson Supersonic Hair Dryer Gift Edition with Stand – $399


I know, I know. The price tag is insane, but it’s a Dyson and it comes with a stand. These do not go on sale. Sephora is the only retailer that includes Dyson in their coupons, and not only are you going to get this for between 10-20 percent off, you also get a free stand. This is the best value you’re going to find on Dyson, hands down. I currently have this in my cart and am waiting to pull the trigger later this afternoon. The only question is do I gift it to my mom or keep it for myself?

Sephora Favorites Superstars – $48


This is such a steal!  This is a collection of nine bestselling makeup essentials, including a full-size highlighter, brow gel, and lipstick. If you asked me to put together a collection of nine of my favorite makeup products ever, it would look very similar to this collection. I own—and genuinely love—every single product in this kit. If you have a makeup lover on your Christmas list, or if you just want to try these for yourself, this is such an amazing, cost-effective way to do so. Plus you get an additional percentage off the $48. Add this to your cart now. Just do it!

Sephora Favorites- Give Me More Lip – $42


Sephora has really outdone themselves with their holiday kits this year. I love lip products. I have so many, I can’t keep track of them. This holiday kit won’t remedy that issue, in fact, it will only add to it, but I’m willing to live with that and you should be too. This kit is a collection of lip products in different formulas, shades, and finishes—including two full-size and six deluxe products. Two full size products. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills. The only product that I have not used in here is the Roller Baby lip gloss. Everything I have used and love, including two products that I swear by: the cult classic Charlotte Tilbury lipstick in Very Victoria (my absolute favorite lipstick of all time) and the Laniege Lip Sleeping Mask.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Meltproof Brow Kit – $30


Anastasia Beverly Hills is the queen of brows. She makes the absolute best brow products on the market and they are priced accordingly (aka they are pretty damn pricey). This kit comes with a full size Dipbrow pomade, a full size Dipbrow gel brush and a double ended slanted brush— all for less than $30 with the discount code. You cannot beat that value! I find that the Pomade is a little more difficult to work with (and very, very easy to be heavy handed with) so I would recommend this for someone who has a lot of experience filling in their brows or prefers a bold brow look. 

Anastasia Beverly Hills Best Brows Ever Kit – $30

best brows.png

Another incredible value. This kit contains a full size Brow Wiz brow pencil, a travel size Dipbrow gel and a travel size clear brow gel. This kit is perfect for anyone who fills in their brows! Brow Wiz is my favorite brow pencil of all time, and when you lock it in with the Dipbrow gel (or the clear gel if you prefer a more natural look) you’ll have perfectly polished, natural looking brows all day long.


Charlotte Tilbury Luxe Eyeshadow Pallete in Pillow Talk – $53


I didn’t want to love this because of the price tag, but I do. It’s the perfect size for throwing in your purse and getting ready on the go and the colors are stunning. It’s casual enough for everyday use but you can definitely zhuzh it up for an evening look in no time flat. I’m obsessed. 10/10 recommend but only when it’s on sale, so hurry!

Patrick Ta Monochrome Moment Velvet Blush –  $32

patrick ta.png

I didn’t plan on purchasing this, but I’m so glad I did. Patrick Ta is a celebrity makeup artist who beats the faces of the Hadid sisters among others and now has his own gorgeous makeup line. I got the shade “She’s Seductive” which is a mauve plum color that I believe would be universally flattering on almost all skin tones. The packaging is gorgeous and chic, and you get a gigantic mirror, which is always a bonus. Patrick Ta himself responded to my IG story and said this was his favorite shade. Does this mean we’re best friends now? I’ll let you know what Bella and Gigi are like. 😉 

Dior Backstage Face & Body Foundation – $40


I have used full coverage foundation for my entire life because I’ve always struggled with acne and acne scarring. Jennifer Edwards at Aesthetics Med Spa has changed my skin and my life and for the first time ever I was in the market for a foundation that didn’t resemble spackle. I bought this Dior foundation on a whim because it has a natural, matte finish and medium (but buildable) coverage. I love it, and it might just be making its way into my “top foundations of all time” list. At $40, the price tag isn’t much more than any other “high-end” foundation AND you actually get a lot of product. This bad boy comes with 1.6 fluid ounces, whereas most foundations only have 1 oz. 

Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer – $75


This is my favorite primer of all time. It works well on any skin type, from dry to the oil slick that is my face, and makes your makeup apply beautifully and last all day long. If I could only use 5 makeup products for the rest of my life, this would be one of them. I got the largest size they offer because it’s the best value (allegedy the largest size is a $104 value for only $74). More expensive in the short term, but will last me until the next Sephora sale. You only need a tiny bit!

Rouge Volupté Shine Oil-In-Stick Lipstick – $38


I got this because I have new lips and I’m obsessed with lipcolor now (lol, I am nothing if not honest) and because I am a sucker for some luxe, over-the-top packaging. Emily, why are you like this?! I got the shade nude because it’s a beautiful pinkish brown. This looks pretty glossy on the lips (it is a oil-in-stick lipstick, after all), but in a sexy grown up way, not like a Lip Smacker chic way. 

Bobbi Brown Crushed Lip Color – $29


If you put a gun to my head and asked me, “what is the best lipstick on the market?” I would say this and Charlotte Tilbury. I got the shade “Sazan Nude” which is the perfect soft pink nude that doesn’t look orange on my lips and stays put all day (especially when you line your lips with Charlotte Tilbury’s Iconic Nude lip liner first). I will still live and die by Very Victoria, but this is a close second. 

Olaplex No. 7 Bonding Oil – $28


I am extremely brand loyal, especially when something is amazing as Olaplex. I wasn’t entirely sure what this was, but it had some pretty big claims and it was on sale (which is rare) so I went for it. This is a first-of-its-kind, highly concentrated, ultra-lightweight, reparative styling oil that works on all hair types and textures to repair, strengthen, and hydrate. I’ve been mixing it in with my No. 6 creme and have been loving how smooth, silky and frizz-free my hair has been all week.

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder – $39


This is the OG loose setting powder. I cannot find a powder that I like more than this one and I have tried. Hourglass, Fenty, Too Faced, you name it. They’re not as good. I use this all over my face and to set my under eye concealer. It’s the best there is and I always stock up during the sale. Get it for your mom, your aunt, yourself. Just get one!

Nars Radiant Creamy Concealer – $30


You can’t go wrong with this concealer. It’s medium coverage concealer with a natural finish that will keep your secrets by covering your dark circles and bags all while looking natural. If you’re looking to stock up on products, I suggest adding this to your cart while you can save a few bucks.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Bronzer in Luminous Bronze Light – $52


This bronzer will definitely give you sticker shock, but it’s my absolute favorite and it doubles as a highlight. Bronzer can be tricky. It can look muddy, it can look orange—it can be difficult to get right. This takes the guesswork out of bronzer and makes you look like a sun-kissed angel all year round. Like a lot of these products, I only purchase when it’s on sale. It’s expensive, but it’s worth it. 

Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector in Opal – $38 


This is probably the first highlighter that I ever purchased and it holds a special place in my heart—and for good reason. It’s so pretty. It has the most buttery texture that melts into your skin for the ultimate high-impact glow. Some pressed pigments can sit on the skin and look cakey, but this one never does. It applies seamlessly and never cakes and has a high-impact, elegant finish that doesn’t look glittery.

I want to know! What products have do you stock up on during sales and what’s sitting in your cart right now?

Top Five Size-Inclusive Target Sweaters for Under $25

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! We’re almost halfway through November, it gets dark at 4:30 p.m. and every day feels less like fall and more like winter. Hello, seasonal depression! 


If you’re like me and hate winter and everything about it, these awesome (and super affordable!) sweaters might help you produce the tiny little bit of serotonin needed to get through the day.

Dolman Sleeve Turtleneck Tunic Sweater – A New Day — $20

I’ve never really been a big fan of turtlenecks until this year and now I can’t stop buying them. In fact, this is my favorite sweater of all time. I now own it in 4 colors. I can’t stop buying them.  It’s super comfortable and very flattering and it’s on sale right now for only $20. Bonus: this sweater comes in both straight and plus sizes. Yay for size inclusivity! You can purchase the plus option here.

Long Sleeve Rib-Knit Cuff Chenille Open Cardigan – A New Day — $19.59

We love a gorgeous chenille moment! (I just saw JVN last night and have been referring to things as moments, it’s fine. Just go with it.) I actually purchased this cardigan last year and I wear it around my apartment all the time. I love the color options for this because I’m very into jewel tones. This is also on sale for less than $20 right now, you better get to Target ASAP. A New Day typically has pretty generous sizing, and I can normally comfortably wear their straight sizes. However, here is a very similar plus-size option.

Leopard Print Long Sleeve Open Cardigan – Knox Rose — $24.49

My friend Andrea of Blonde Bedhead has this cardigan and it is so cute. I love a good long-line cardigan because I’m a huge fan of clothing that feels like a bathrobe but is socially acceptable to wear in public. Bonus points that it’s leopard print! Fun fact about me: I was in 5th grade when my parents bought a new house and let me choose how to decorate my new room. I went with all leopard everything. Like, literally everything. Bed spread, wall art, throw pillows. It was truly a sight to behold. 

Striped Long Sleeve Crewneck Pullover Sweater – Ava & Viv — $20.99

This sweater was an impulse purchase that was way out of my comfort zone. I’m typically all about neutrals. I like black, camel, olive green and leopard print. As a plus size person, I typically shy away from horizontal stripes but, you know, the “rules” about what’s flattering and what isn’t, but I decided that that’s bullshit and I will wear whatever I want to. So, I bought this sweater and I love it. (I did spill ramen on it, so it’s currently being stain treated lol). Here’s a similar non-plus size version.

Long Sleeve V-Neck Pullover Sweater – Prologue — $24.99

I love this sweater because it’s so basic but it’s also very chic. Plus, I’m getting some very serious Yeezy vibes from this? Maybe I’ve just been watching too much Keeping Up With the Kardashians. It could also be that I fell into a very deep Kanye rabbit hole earlier when I learned he wants to change his name to Christian Genius Billionaire before he runs for President in 2024. Anyway, I feel like everyone needs a basic black sweater and a basic camel sweater and this is a great, affordable option. Here’s a similar plus size option.

For full transparency this post contains affiliate links, meaning, I may earn a small commission if you happen to click on a link and make a purchase (at no cost to you).  It also allows me to see what things you are interested in and helps me create future relevant posts.