April 2017 Favorites

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.

I can’t believe how fast the days are flying by. We’re already in May! (Cue Justin Timberlake.)

A new month calls for a new monthly favorites and I have a few things that I’ve really been loving.
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In April, I found myself reaching for the Tarte Tartelette in Bloom palette. It’s raved about for a reason. This classic has a variety of colors that are pigmented, easy to blend and smell like chocolate. What more can you ask for?
Though I am late to the game on this primer, I have to say I’m very excited about this discovery. Last month, I picked up the Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer and I haven’t put it down ever since. I was genuinely surprised at how much I really love this. I didn’t realize that this was highly rated by people with oily skin when I picked this up. It’s not necessarily going to leave you matte, but it will leave you with a smooth base for your foundation.
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Another eyeshadow palette I’ve been using has been the Too Faced Sweet Peach palette. I’ve captured a lot of pictures of this on my Instagram page, but it’s only because I really do enjoy it. I find that the colors are fairly easy to blend and you can get many uses out of this single palette from everyday to bold looks. The only downside is the smell. Sometimes it’s a bit too potent, making me want to forgo it, but once it’s on the lids, you won’t smell it throughout the day. I struggle to support this palette, especially with all of the controversy going around Too Faced currently, but I have to admit that I did use this palette quite a bit in the month of April.
Back on a lighter note, the Total Control Drop Foundation by NYX Cosmetics. I’ve talked about this on the blog before so I won’t go too in-depth about it. I can layer it up and I don’t find that it gets cakey once I do. I don’t find that I produce more oils throughout the day with this, which is a big plus!
The next product is actually a repurchase. This is the Black N’ Brown Brow Pencil from ColourPop. I ran out of this pencil and I thought I could use something else in its place, but I found myself really missing this pencil and I immediately reordered it once I realized. It’s not too creamy, nor is it too stiff. I find that It’s the perfect size for me to get thin, precise strokes for my brows.
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I’ve briefly touched on the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit here on the blog. I’ve really been loving this. A lot of contour shades for deeper skin come across red on my complexion, which is great for bronzing, but not ideal for contouring. This gives me the best of both worlds and I like to mix the two deeper colors to give me an all over bronze.
Another thing I’ve been loving has been the Wet N’ Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder in “Precious Petals.” I’m surprised that I don’t hear people raving more about this. It’s a fantastic formula that is very smooth to the touch and you can build it up to an intense glow. (Which is what I normally do.)
The last thing is something that I don’t talk about very often, which is the E.L.F. 19 Piece Brush Set. E.L.F. has really stepped up their game and it really shows with these brushes. They’re extremely soft and apply my makeup with them has been a breeze. I haven’t experienced any shedding since I was given them on Christmas. Though they’re a little pricier for E.L.F., it’s much more affordable than some other brush sets on the market. I highly suggest these.
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That was quite the list! I’m really loving all these products, but I’m excited to try out some new ones in the month of May. Please let me know some of your favorites so I can test them out! I look forward to hearing them!

Winter Reading List 2017

Winter is the perfect time to incorporate hygge into your daily life. If you’re wondering what hygge is, it is a Danish concept that defines the feeling of warm, cozy comfort. (You can read more about it in this article I wrote on Womanitely.com a while back.)

With that being said, my favorite way to incorporate hygge into my life is by taking the time to grab a cup of tea, throw on some fuzzy socks and read an interesting book. Here are some of the books that I’ve had my nose in these winter months.

  • Adulting is a Myth by Sarah Scribbles
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    Sarah Scribbles literally draws out what it truly means to be an adult in a comical way that leave you laughing at how true it is. I received this as a gift from Her Campus for my graduation. So, if you know anyone graduating, this is the perfect gift!
  • Capture Your Style by Aimee Song
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    Are you addicted to Instagram? Do you want to improve your aesthetic? Do you love Aimee Song? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you need to grab a copy of Capture Your Style. Song goes in-depth of how to really lock in your own personal style, using Instagram. I’m so glad to have gotten this from the lovely Christina from Tiramisu for Breakfast. Definitely check her out!
  • Facts by Bernhardino Pierre
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    Before I really go into this book, I have to disclose that my cousin actually wrote it. However, I have to say that if you like poetry and someone really laying in the facts to you, this is an amazing ebook to read. If you’re looking for a book with advice on love, life and happiness, I highly recommend this. You can find the ebook here.
  • Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
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    If you haven’t heard of Sweetbitter before, I would probably think that you were lying. It’s been on the New York Times list of bestsellers. I’ve just started this book but the style of writing is utterly beautiful. It’s a coming-of-age novel that follows a girl, Tess, who just moved to NYC and finds herself at a job in a restaurant. If you’ve read this, I beg you, don’t give me any spoilers!
  • The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae
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    True Issa Rae fans unite! I was so excited to open up a gift from my sister to find this. Before Insecure, Issa Rae created the YouTube show, The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl. The show followed the life of “J” who is the epitome of an awkward black girl. I don’t want to give too much away so I’m just going to to say that her new ABC show, Insecure is loosely based off of the YouTube show.
  • You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero
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    This was another present from my sister for Christmas. I actually haven’t started this one, but as you can tell from the title, it’s a self-help book that looks into helping you from self-doubting yourself. I’m so thankful to have received this book because I definitely am one to self doubt myself. Hopefully, I can get some pointers from Jen Sincero.

If you’re reading anything interesting, I’d love to get some recommendations to add to my bookshelf So go forth and practice hygge, and don’t forget to grab yourself a cup of tea!

Blogger Tasting at Ginger Juice

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Last week, I had the wonderful opportunity to join several other bloggers for a private blogger tasting at Ginger Juice in Richmond, Va. There, we got to try some amazing new dishes that are going to be served at the location and I have to say, all of them were so yummy! We were also able to meet Erin Powell, the owner, and Jermaine Jonas, the Ginger Juice chef.

Ginger Juice is a small fresh juice shop, located in RVA. The shop just opened in 2015, and has gained much popularity for the section of freshly pressed juice. Powell began juicing when her redheaded son (Hence the name “Ginger”) didn’t want to eat her vegetables and she’s been juicing ever since.

During the tasting, Jonas prepared some delicious plant-based options for us, and I have to say, I’m getting hungry all over again looking at the pictures.

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We started with a kale salad, which I’m surprised to say that I enjoyed, considering I have a love-hate relationship with kale. It was paired with their “Golden” pressed juice.

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We, then got to try the avocado toast with chipotle cashew mayo and cucumber, paired with what I believe was their “Greggory” juice.

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For dessert, we started with a slice of lemon pie with a raspberry sauce.

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And we ended the night with my favorite from everything we tasted: vegan ice cream.

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As takeaways, they prepared our choice of a shot of tumeric or ginger, along with their “Glitzy” fresh pressed juice. Taking a shot of ginger is really helpful to your immune and digestive systems. Warning: The shot of ginger is not for the faint of heart. Be prepared for the spicy, yet refreshing ginger flavor. It did clear out my sinuses though, so that’s a major plus!

Final Thoughts:

There are major benefits to juicing. It promotes healthy eating habits, curbs hunger, detoxifies your body, and much more.

If you’re in Richmond or plan to visit anytime soon, you should definitely stop by Ginger Juice to taste the fresh juice and awesome food choices. Both Erin and Jermaine were so incredibly sweet and friendly.  If you’re nervous about vegan options, trust me, Jermaine Jones, the chef knows what he’s doing. You’ll love it.

If you’re not going to be in RVA anytime soon, don’t worry, you’re able to find a selection juices that you can ship right to your home! Get your cleansing on today!

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Best of 2016

As the year wraps up, I thought it would be a good idea to compile a list of some of my favorite products throughout the year. These products include stuff that I have been reaching for throughout the year.

Face Products

 

Complexion Favorites 2016

 


I have been on the lookout for a new contour powder. I found that the one that I had was too warm for me in the winter months. When I went into Sephora, I explained to one of the representatives my issue, she referred me to the Smashbox Step-By-Step Contour Kit. This is the perfect contour kit for someone with deeper skin complexions. It includes three colors, a contour shade, bronze shade, and highlight shade. I bought the “medium/deep” shade. When I am wanting a warmer contour, I mix the bronze with the contour shades to preventing it from being too cool and muddy.

I hate to jump on the bandwagon, but I couldn’t help it. This powder is phenomenal. Under the eyes, it helps to lock in your concealer and prevent it from creasing. One thing I have noticed is the fact that it clung to my dry spots this winter. That’s to be expected, being that it includes talc. I would suggest people with dry skin to dust this powder on, rather than bake with it to prevent it from clinging to your dry patches.

I actually received this as a Christmas gift from my lovely sister, Linda. (You can get to know her through her YouTube channel here.) There are a variety of shades that makes this a very versatile palette for any highlighter junkie. As you would expect, the highlighters are creamy and easy to work with. If you’re willing to splurge, it’s definitely a palette that you should look into.

Churro
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Churro was an instant favorite of mine. Though I didn’t mention it in my “Highlighter Favorites” post earlier this year, I completely fell in love with this. Much like other ColourPop products, Churro has a silky texture. It’s not too golden and not too peachy, making it perfect for a variety of skin tones. And the best part? It’s only $8!
Foundations
Foundation Favorites 2016

 


Again, I’m jumping on the bandwagon with the L’Oreal Pro-Matte foundation. There are countless reviews on this, so I won’t go too in-depth with this. It’s perfect for my oily skin makeup fanatics.

If you haven’t heard about this foundation, I am skeptical. This is geared towards those of you that are on the dryer side. As stated in the name, it gives off a luminous finish. If you’re more on the oily side, you may not like this. I love the fact that it comes with a dropper, which makes it easy to dispense the perfect amount. All-in-all, if you haven’t tried this, you should definitely go to your local Sephora and ask for a sample.

Bobbi Brown Cosmetics long wearing foundation
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Foundation sticks were all the rage in 2016. Wanting to try one, I opted for the Bobbi Brown stick and it completely changed the game. It gives a buildable medium to full coverage without looking cake-y. Because I’m lazy and refuse to use more than one brush for my complexion, I use a BeautyBlender sponge to blend it out because I find it the best to blend out my concealer. But, with this particular product, I would suggest that you use a brush, as it can be difficult to blend out with a sponge.

Cover Fx Custom Cover Drops N90
$49 – farfetch.com
Skincare
Skincare Favorites

 


Masks have really helped improve my complexion this year. This Black Tea face mask is really interesting. It gives off a cooling sensation when you rinse it off. This is perfect for hydrating your skin, without leaving you greasy. It also helps with problematic acne-prone skin. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that’s struggling with these skin issues.

Juice Beauty Green Apple Peel Full Strength
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Every time I use this product, it completely blows my mind. I use it at night, before bed and when I wake up in the morning, I find that my skin is drastically improved. With this peel, I generally leave it on for 10-15 minutes and then rinse it off. This is perfect for acne-prone skin or if you struggle with dark marks. If you do purchase this, make sure you use it only once or twice a week. Anything more and you can run the risk of burning your skin. You don’t want to do that.

Simple Skincare Smoothing Facial Scrub
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This was a surprising drugstore find. I love that it has exfoliants that give you a deep clean and removes your peaky dead skin. I love it so much that I even mentioned it in a previous post I dedicated completely to Simple Skincare.

First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Cream Intense Therapy
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I usually have oily skin, but the dry winter weather has really dried me out. This face cream has really assisted with restoring my skin. I generally pat it in over the dry patches on my forehead and temples at night. If you have dry skin, this may be your best friend.

The Detoxifying Black Cleanser was a spur of the moment purchase. I was really interested in adding charcoal to my skin care routine and a representative at Sephora pointed me to this. It’s a black gel that warms on the skins. At first, it was extremely weird, but when you work it into a lather and rinse it off, it leaves your skin feeling soft and toxin-free.
Clothes
Anyone that knows me is very aware of my obsession with outerwear. I feel that the perfect sweater or trench just really makes the your whole outfit. It helps to tie in everything together, while keeping you warm.
Outerwear Favorites
Outerwear Favorites by Me featuring coats

Cardigan
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For the past couple of months, no one has been able to get me out of this particular cardigan. It’s the perfect cardigan to keep you warm. I’m a big fan of longline coats and sweaters because it really elongates your frame, making you look taller. It’s also versatile enough to be able to pair with not only jeans and a shirt, but a short dress.

Coat
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I’ve gotten many questions about where I’ve gotten my go-to jacket. I feel bad explaining that I got it two years ago at Charlotte Russe, but I recently stumbled upon a similar jacket on Forever 21. I wear  this with just about every outfit. That’s what I love about trench coats. They help to dress up a laid-back outfit and also is the perfect statement piece for a midi dress or skirt. I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties.

Coat
shoptailor.com
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This coat has been the best purchase I’ve made in Richmond. I fell in love with the dusty pink color. I find that depending on what you pair it with, it the color can come across either stone or a very light pink. Much like the previous trench, I love to pair this with high-waisted jeans and booties. I also like to pair it with a black dress. I also have to mention the owner of Shop Tailor, Taylor Alexis. She is the sweetest person and was so helpful when I was looking for the right trench. If you’re looking to purchase quality items from an awesome and down-to-earth person, you should definitely log onto ShopTailor.com.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I hope your New Year is even better. Let me know what some  of your favorites of 2016 have been. I’d love to see what you love and what I should be picking up in 2017.

An Open Letter to My Foundation

***Originally posted on HerCampus.com.

To my foundation,

I remember the day I first met you. I walked into my local Sephora and there you were. You stood out in the crowd. Everyone had been telling me how great you were, and I knew I needed to have you. The first time we went out together, people complimented us, saying how good we looked together. I was addicted to the way you made me feel. I felt flawless when we were together.

I’m so grateful to you. You helped me get my confidence back. You transformed me from a girl that was self-conscious about the way she looked to a confident woman who knew how great she truly was. But because of that, I have to tell you– I don’t need you.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want us to go out together for special events and other adventures, but I have to let you know that I can’t be dependent on you anymore.

When we were first together, I found myself not being able to go anywhere without you. If you weren’t with me, I couldn’t let anyone see me. I thought I was nothing without you. Without you, people could see all of my imperfections. With you, those imperfections were gone. I finally felt good about myself.

I started noticing that when I was with you, I stood a little taller and I smiled a little brighter. I was so happy with you and I wanted to feel like that all the time. One day, after you were gone for the night, I stared at myself in the mirror. There was a pimple here and hyperpigmentation there, but it was me. So I smiled.

I went behind your back and did that a couple of nights feeling guilty, but eventually the smiles came more easily. I saw myself for who I really was without you and I was happy. I’ve learned to love myself with and without you.

I have imperfections, but that’s what makes me who I am. I love my imperfections when you’re not there just as much as I love dressing you up with a smokey eye and bright red lips. I’ve seen who I am without you and I love that person. I love who you are and everything you’ve done for me, but at the end of the day I wash you all off. You can’t be with me 24-hours of the day.

So foundation, this is far from a breakup. I love you, but I can’t and won’t let myself depend on you anymore.

Until the next adventure,

Xoxo, Katlyn