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Updated: Jan 20, 2023


With September coming to a close tomorrow (which I can't believe!), I wanted to put together a list of fall and winter wardrobe staples as a reference guide. Since we've all been living in our sweatpants and comfy tees, I thought we could all use a 'back to basics' kind of guide that really serves as a foundation for your closet. Read on to find out where the holes are for you! I've also made a checklist for you to download as you're going through your closet and/or shopping for the upcoming season!

 
Fall & Winter Wardrobe Staples
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Black/White Camisoles



Black/White Tees


Black Ankle Pants


Black Turtleneck



White Button Down


Cardigans/Sweaters



Jackets and Coats



Jeans


Boots/Booties











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Updated: Apr 7, 2020

First makeup post...EEK! I LOVE all things makeup and beauty products, so I am excited about this first post about some of my everyday makeup favorites. The following products are the ones I use MOST on a daily basis.

 

#1. Estee Lauder Double Wear Foundation: After first moisturizing (sunscreen included!), I use this foundation if I want SUPER full, matte coverage. Double Wear is one of the most loved and sold foundations of all time, for good reason! If you are looking for a *beat* face, grab this product! It doesn't irritate my sensitive skin either, which is a huge plus. I typically use this beauty blender to apply it for a flawless finish. It's buildable, so if you are looking for a more medium coverage with EXCELLENT staying power, use a little less product and then go over it with a more wet beauty blender, does that make sense? Wears beautifully, and comes in over 55 shades! They will give you a sample at any Estee Lauder makeup counter or at Ulta or Sephora.


#2. NARS Radiant Long-wear Foundation: On days when I prefer a more "natural" finish, I reach for this foundation. This is recently new to me and I have been LOVING it!


This foundation works best if applied as directed. Nars recommends to use one pump in the palm of your hand, then use your fingers to warm it up. Apply with fingers to the center of the face outward, like other foundations. I will say, it REALLY does apply best using this technique. It is buildable to a medium/full coverage. My tip is to work in small sections and use a light touch with your fingers. Then, go back with a little extra where you might need some more coverage. As you can see in the pictures above, it gives a very skin-like finish which is what this foundation claims and what NARS is know for. I am in the shade Mont Blanc.


#3. Tarte Shape Tape Concealer: The OG. The fullest coverage. The matte-est finish. No creasing. What else can I say about Shape Tape?! If you haven't heard about this product by now, you may have been living under a rock! This is America's number one concealer brand. I am in shade 12S Fair. I use this under my eyes, in the middle of my forehead, a little down the bridge of my nose, and a little on my chin to combat extra redness. Thanks, rosacea.


#4. Laura Mercier Translucent Setting Powder: Another cult classic. This powder is amazing for setting your foundation and for baking, if you're into that technique. It is so finely milled and does not get cakey. Many professionals use this for good reason. It is lightweight, lasts for 12 hours, and has no flashback in photography. And a little goes a loooong way, making a great value.


#5 &#10: Let's talk about blush! These are my two favs: NARS Orgasm and MAC Melba. The NARS one is yet another world-wide fave, and is beautiful on the skin. It is a peachy-pink with gold in it. When the light hits it, it is gorgeous! I use this one when I want to feel a little "extra" lol! The one from MAC is a pretty peach color that is completely matte. Great for everyday wear. Both look great on just about ANY skin tone.


#6: Tarte Pro Glow To-go: This is a mini version of their full-size Pro Glow palette. I like it because I cannot use all the shades in the full version with my fair skin. This one is just right. I mainly use the highlight shades "gleam" and "burst." If I am very light handed and it's summer, I can sometimes get away with the bronzer in this palette.


#7. Tartlette In-Bloom Eye Shadow Palette: Another product from Tarte! They really are a great brand. This eye shadow palette is a perfect neutral palette. You can create SO many looks with this! I also love that is is balanced enough with matte and shimmer shades. You can create a deep, smoldering smokey eye, or a light natural look. The shades all work well together and blend seamlessly.


#8. Kat Von D Kitten Mini Shade & Light Contour Duo: Wow, that's a mouth full! Years ago when it first debuted, I purchased the full-sized Shade & Light Contour Palette. A great palette for sure, but again with my fair skin, I ended up wasting several colors because they were simply too dark. A few months back I was in line at Sephora and they had these mini palettes. Perfect! I picked up the "light" combo which contains the shades "lucid" and "sombre." These were the shades I had used the most in the full -sized palette. Bonus: they are refillable pans! When you run out of one color or both, you can just buy the pan and/or you can pop them out and put into a larger Z-palette for travel or downsizing your collection! I use this for contour and highlight all over my face.


#9. MAC Paint Pot in Painterly: I use this as a base for my eye shadow. I also have the color "ochre" which I use to base more earthy-colored eye looks. You can apply with your finger or a brush, but I find using your finger works best. Another product where a little goes a long way. It cancels out any discoloration, veins, or spots you may have on your eyelids, which is the number one reason I use it. My eyelids are basically translucent because of my fair skin. It also makes your eye shadow stick better and makes the colors more true.


#10. See above!


#11. Anastasia Beverly Hills Perfect Brow Pencil: This brow pencil makes doing your eyebrows so quick and easy! I like this pencil the best because you can sharpen it to such a fine point and really get in there with it to make superfine, hair-like strokes. I am in the shade "auburn," obviously!


#12. L'Oreal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara: Yay for drugstore heroes! I am SO picky about mascaras it's not even funny. I do not like the clumpy look, so the formula has to be right. I do not (typically) like the rubbery wands, so the wand has to be right. I need more of a brown-based mascara to go with my light skin and hair color, which is hard to find! Enter in this mascara! Many people have said it is a dupe for the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara. I will agree with that! I have tried the Better Than Sex and this one is just as good at a fraction of the price! This is really a great mascara. I also have the primer and it works well, too! I am in the shade "black brown."


#13. Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner: This one is goooood! I love how pigmented it is, how it really does "stay all day," and is easy to use. It is a felt-tip pen that glides on so smooth with no drag. And for those of you who are adventurous, it comes in EIGHT different colors!


#14: Milani Keep It Full Nourishing Lip Plumper: Another drugstore hero! I decided to try this one day because the lip plumping feature intrigued me. I have tried other lip plumpers long ago that burn so bad it was miserable, or tasted so much like cinnamon (which I am not a fan) that it was disgusting! This one is a winner. It has a slight tingle, but not bad at all. It also has no taste to me, which is definitely a plus. The gloss factor is HIGH. I am getting tired of the matte-lip look and like rocking a gloss every now and again. I use the shade "almost natural" which is VERY close to my natural lip color. I have a LOT of color in my lips, so finding something that matches almost exactly to just enhance my lips for an everyday look was exciting. I am looking forward to trying out some of the other shades. Comes in 12 shades total.


That's it for my everyday faves for now! I look forward to sharing more makeup finds and faves with y'all soon! Let me know if you have a question about anything I've shared in this post by commenting below! Ciao!

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Updated: Mar 23, 2020

What a crazy world we are living in right now. I am 38 years old; I am old enough to remember the Gulf wars, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the Columbine shooting, September 11, bird flu, SARS, swine flu, and the financial crisis of 2008, just to name a few. But none of these resulted in what we are experiencing right now.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

Born and raised all my life in the south, we have also experienced MANY major weather events that resulted in destruction, the shut down of schools and businesses, and economic difficulties. Again, nothing resulting in something of this magnitude.


I grapple to wrap my mind around the possibilities of schools being closed for the rest of the academic year. Thankfully, our state has only closed schools until early April, but with more cases of COVID-19 being reported each day, the probability those school closures will extend is highly likely.


Businesses (especially local and small businesses) are already feeling the sting. It's mind boggling to think "oh, I'll just run out to the store and get XYZ...," only to realize, you CAN'T.


Don't get me wrong, I am in support of the decisions we have made as individual states AND as a nation to halt as much as possible to #flattenthecurve.


My heart aches especially for the elderly, the people already sick with other illnesses, and children who cannot possibly understand the uncertainty of the world around them. As all this began here in the U.S., my mind went immediately to those situations. I was reminded how BLESSED my family and I am, in so many ways.


Then, I read something on Instagram about an organization sharing resources and asking for prayers for individuals and children that are having to practice social distancing or being quarantined WITH THEIR ABUSERS. Oh. My. Word. I had not EVEN thought about that. My heart sank. I am moved to tears as I write this. How horrendous. Whether it be physical abuse, mental abuse, verbal, or spiritual, the thought of someone having to be in the constant presence of their abuser for weeks on end shook me.


As my anxiety over this situation peaked, I reminded myself to take a breath and ask myself "is this something I can control?" No. "Can I control how I react?" Yes. "Do I know who holds the future and promises a life more abundant?" ABSOLUTELY, YES! When I cut all of this down to brass tacks, I am left with hope because of my personal savior, Jesus Christ. Psalm 18:2 says: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer.” I stand in that today. I am comforted by that.


Does that mean I am flippant about what is happening all around us, walking around with not a care in the world? No. Of course not. God also gives us brains and expects us to USE them! I stay abreast of the national and local news, I am taking precautions the CDC recommends, I am checking in on those around me I love and care for. And most of all, should something happen to me, I know my heavenly home and the good Lord is waiting for me and is a FAR better place than this worldly earth will ever be.


Along with everyone else, I have moments each day during this trial where doubt, uncertainty, and anxiety still creeps in. I have to stop and remind myself of God's promises and His relentless love. I pray. I encourage you to do the same; to find comfort, hope, and peace in the midst of this storm. It's not the first; it won't be the last.


I would love to know your thoughts on this and what you and your family are doing to weather this storm. Please share any favorite scriptures that comfort you in uncertainty! May God bless you all during this time!





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