Archive of ‘Round-Ups’ category

Five Faves // Cleansers


I’m a bit of a beauty fanatic. I love trying new makeup and skincare products and have two bathrooms full of products to show for it. I love sharing my favorite products with other women because I know from personal experience how difficult it can be to choose from the thousands of products on the market. I always read product reviews before purchasing any beauty product, and that is especially true when it comes to skincare. Skincare products are expensive so you want to get it right. Over the next few weeks/months, I will be sharing my top 5 favorite products in a variety of categories. I’ll begin with skincare before moving onto makeup and hair care. If you have a specific product category you would like to see (or a specific product you would like for me to review), leave me a comment and I will try to make it happen!

I’m beginning this series with cleansers because if you add just one thing to your skincare routine, it must be that you actually wash your face every single day. And I don’t mean with a cleansing wipe, with an actual cleanser. This is crucial if you wear makeup but it’s still important for those who don’t. I prefer creamy or oil-based cleansers because I find that gel and foaming cleansers dry my face out too much. When using a creamy or oil-based cleanser, always begin by massaging the product into dry skin. Next, using a muslin cloth (or regular wash cloth) soaked in warm water, gently massage the product off of your skin.

I typically have combination skin (oily t-zone, normal everywhere else), but when the seasons change, I often find that my skin gets pretty dehydrated. These five cleansers (plus one honorable mention) are on constant rotation in my skincare routine and I switch them in and out depending on the state of my skin at the time.

Just a few notes…

1:: Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish — if you’re interested in trying this cleanser, I would suggest this starter kit. It includes a somewhat smaller bottle, but it also includes a full-sized muslin cloth. I started with this kit before graduating to the full size.

2:: Clinique Take The Day Off Cleansing Balm — As I stated above, this cleanser is EXCELLENT at removing makeup. I have personally found that it leaves my skin feeling a little dry so I usually follow it with a second cleanse using a creamy cleanser (if I have time) and a rich moisturizer.

3:: Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser — This 3 in 1 cleanser starts as a gel, turns into an oil as you massage it into your skin and finally takes on a milky consistency as you rinse your face. It removes makeup really well, but I find that I personally use a lot more of it when I have makeup on. So I usually save it for a second cleanse or days when I’m not wearing any makeup just so I can stretch the product out.

4:: Aurelia Probiotic Skincare Miracle Cleanser — If you have sensitive skin and are nervous about trying a new cleanser, I would definitely recommend giving this one a try. It is extremely gentle and is packed with essential oils including chamomile and eucalyptus.

5:: Tatcha Pure Step Camellia Cleansing Oil — Do not be afraid of this cleanser if you have oily skin. Oil cleansers are actually great for oily skin, as well as dry skin. I am dying to try the rest of the products in this skincare line because this cleanser is seriously good.

6:: Eve Lom Cleanser — Before I tried this cleanser, I thought it was just another over-hyped, overpriced beauty product. And while I still think it’s overpriced, I cannot deny that it is worth the hype. I would never use this everyday because of the price tag, but I definitely think it’s worth it if you’re someone who likes to treat your skin to an at-home facial a few times a month. Warning: it has a distinct scent that I wouldn’t describe as good. It’s not horrible, but it’s definitely not great.

What are your favorite cleansers?


Disconnect to Reconnect

JerrellSamEng-0097I have a slight problem when it comes to my iPhone and iPad. You can usually find at least one of them in my hand. I’m either checking Instagram, pinning yet another dessert, or reading a blog or a book on my iPad. When I lived alone, I never noticed (ignored?) this problem, but lately, I’ve found that my husband has to literally stand in front of my face and/or remove the mobile device from my hands to get my full attention. I love my husband dearly and I never want him to feel like he comes second to anyone or anything. I know that we can’t just sit and cuddle twenty-four hours a day, but when he’s home, and we’re both free, I can make an effort to give him my full attention – even if it’s only for an hour. This week, we set some new house rules. The first one, and the one I’ll be focusing on this weekend, is to go phone-free in the evenings. We’ve also instituted a weekly “date night in”: one night a week where we ignore our phones and the television, pour some wine, and cook a new recipe together. I got the idea from Ashley at Not Without Salt and I am so excited!

For this week’s Highlights, I’m not posting any links or talking about any online sales. Today, I want to encourage you to disconnect from the virtual world and reconnect with your families and friends. Whether that means going on a date with your significant other, planning a family game night with your kids, or hosting a phones-free brunch with your girlfriends, do whatever it takes to reconnect.

Happy Weekend!

photo taken by Katie Lopez during our engagement session


What To Wear To… Graduation

10411033_10102049285212879_5283373054605709219_nAlthough I graduated in December, my actual commencement ceremony is Mother’s Day weekend. That’s only twelve days from now. And I just realized that I haven’t even thought about what I’m going to wear. I went to school in New Orleans so I already know that it will be blazing hot and humid. Therefore, I need a lightweight dress. Graduation is held in the Superdome (where the Saints play) so I also need comfortable, easy-to-walk in shoes. I also want a dress that I can wear again throughout the Spring and Summer. I decided to check ASOS because I know their prices are good and they have a huge inventory. It took me at least an hour to go through all of the dresses and I still don’t think I saw everything. Here are the top 10 dresses on my wishlist. Help me narrow it down! And if you’re graduating this Summer, let me know what you’ve decided to wear.


Highlights // 4.10.15

Weekly Highlights posts have become a tradition in my past few years of blogging. Every Friday, I share a round-up of the things I’ve been loving, things that have piqued my interest, and things I believe my readers want to know about. These “Highlights” have included beauty products I’ve been using, recipes I want to/have already tried, articles I read and wanted to share, online sales I heard about, etc. So, of course, the tradition will continue! Here are the highlights of the week…

:: Sam recently started working on the weekends and, because I’m still getting used to his schedule (that’s code for “I’ve been super lazy”), I’ve been terrible about making sure we eat home-cooked meals more than we eat out. This weekend, I decided to make our favorite turkey burgers (here’s the video version in case you’re more of a visual recipe follower). They’re healthy, Sam loves them and I’m making enough so that we’ll have leftovers in case the lazies hit me again tomorrow. Triple win!

:: Ever since I moved back to Virginia (from New Orleans, where I attended law school), my skin has been dry and dehydrated. I’ve tried everything I could think of, but my dry patches haven’t budged. Despite this problem, my t-zone is still pretty oily so it was hard to find a moisturizer that could balance my entire face. I’ve been using Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cream for about two months and I’ve had great results. It gets rid of my dry patches without making my entire face greasy. I have to reapply in the middle of the day sometimes, but that doesn’t bother me. Have any of you tried it? What did you think? Do you have any other recommendations?

:: Book of the Week — With or Without You by Domenica Ruta. I started and finished this incredibly brave memoir in one day. I have too much to say about the book to summarize it here, but this NY Times review will tell you everything you need to know. If you do read it, let me know what you think.

:: I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my home office so I’ve been devouring all of the home office and work space tours I can find. I was browsing old articles on The Everygirl and came across this one about the different ways to style a desk for the college student, post-grad and career woman. I’m somewhere in between the post-grad and the career woman so I’m going to come up with a combination of the two for myself. If you’re currently designing (or have been meaning to start designing) your home office, you should definitely check this one out.

:: After I decided to launch the Registry Essentials series, I came across this DIY Housewarming Gift tutorial. While shopping off of a registry is convenient and guarantees that the recipient will love the gift, a homemade (or semi-homemade) gift is always more memorable. What I love about this gift idea is that you can change the container or the contents depending on who you’re giving it to and what their style is. It may take a bit more time than purchasing a gift off of a registry, but it is sure to make a lasting impression.

Have a fantastic weekend!



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