5 Things I'm Loving Right Now

Hey Hi Hello! I returned last weekend from Miami Beach, packed my shorts and sandals back under my bed, put on my boots and drug myself into work every day this week in the 40 degree temperatures. I don't usually travel during the winter months and it was down right HARD to get back into the swing of things. But I did unpack my suitcase last night and it only took me 5 days (I'm writing this on a Friday) so that feels like a tiny win. Anyone else just dread unpacking a suitcase??

But Miami was a wonderful vacation. The weather was lovely, we ate some great food, went to the beach, I drank some pina coladas, and the whole trip was one of the most affordable trips I've ever been on! I'm torn on if I want to share some photos and information on the places we went, things we did, restaurants we enjoyed. I'm in no way an expert, but I also couldn't find a ton of guides online that were up my alley. Let me know if you'd like to see my recommendations in a upcoming post! But I'm back to real life now and thought I'd share some of my favorite things. 

Here are some things I've been loving recently:

1. I'm now on my third month of Studio DIY's Can't Clutch This clutch subscription box and I'm still totally and utterly in love with them. I'm sure at some point I'll have too many clutch bags, but as of now it's still such a fun surprise to look forward to every week. Added bonus, I get more compliments on these bags than any other bag I've ever used. And the quality has been wonderful as well.

2. I've recently found and am loving several new beauty products. I know you are probably here to hear about butter and sugar and cocktails, so I'll just list the products that I'm loving. If you want to hear about anything in particular, feel free to ask me in the comments and I'm tell you more about this things! Herbivore Botanicals DETOX Bath Salts, Real Techniques Setting Brush, Sonia Kashuk Blending Brush, Anastasia Beverly Hills Caramel Eye Shadow, Kevyn Aucoin Contour Duo On The Go, Pixi + Caroline Hirons Double Cleanser, Tarte Tarteist Lip Paint in Birthday Suit (I have mini), NYX Soft Matte Lip Cream in Prague, Not Your Mothers Dry Shampoo Mini, Essie Gel Couture Nail Polishes, Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Paaarty, and Glossier Boy Brow in Brown.

3. New routines! I've been attempting to read more and make my way through a handful of books that have been lying around the house unread for a while now. Because G gets up for work early and I need like 10 hours of sleep at night to function, we tend to be in bed by 10PM during the week. So I've been trying a new routine of going to bed around 10 and then reading until about 10:30. Not a ton of time, but it gets me off Instagram and clears my head a bit more. I'm currently reading Mary Roach's Stiff

4. I was given an oil diffuser for my birthday, which turns out to be a gift I didn't know I wanted and needed! I have a handful of friends who swear by essential oils but they've never really worked for me personally. But I love having the relaxing scents going in my house at night. I have one of these and I love it!

5. We booked our hotel in Miami with the Hotel Tonight app. With this app, you can book last-minute hotel rooms (up to a week before check-in) and get some really great deals. This was my second time using it and I definitely plan on using it for some smaller trips we have planned this year. After looking at all kinds of discount travel sites, this still gave us the best price.

Lipstick Obsessed

So, I'm pretty positive I have a lipstick obsession. These are all the lipsticks that I carry around with me on a daily basis. I know, I know. Even I recognize how ridiculous it is to be carrying 15+ lip products around with me at all times. I started getting into lipstick maybe 2-3 years ago when I wanted to learn more about cosmetics and started watching videos and following blogs about cosmetics and beauty. I've always been drawn to a classic red lip and after being nervous for a while about pulling it off, I decided to get over myself and do what I wanted. I'm a firm believer that "pulling something off" is 97% confidence and fake it 'til you make it and 3% knowing what looks good on you, which is really your personal opinion about yourself. 

My problem with lipsticks is that I have longevity issues. I don't know if it's the way I move my mouth when I speak, or something I do subconsciously, or if my lips are just more moist than other people's but I have a seriously hard time keeping lipstick looking good. I'm definitely not a "put it on in the morning and don't check on it until bedtime" kinda girl. Most of the time, I need a lip liner. And even with liquid lipsticks, I cannot for the life of me keep lipstick on the center of my bottom lip. So, unfortunately, many formulas of liquid lipsticks stay on 75% of my lips, except the bottom center, which within 20 minutes is completely washed away and I'm left with a seriously hard to get off outline around my lips. Not ideal.

One of the main things that's helped me with my lipsticks is to keep my lips moisturized and exfoliated. Every night I use a heavy coating of Vaseline to keep my lips from drying out when I sleep and moisturize them. In the mornings, I exfoliate my lips with a LUSH scrub, wipe it off with a damp washcloth, and apply an agave lip mask to soak in while I do the rest of my makeup. When it's time to apply my lipstick, I apply the Prep and Prime, let it get a little tacky, then apply lip liner and lipstick. 

Below is a list of my current lipstick favorites that I'm towing around in my bag these days along with some of my favorite tools and "helper" products. In the fall/winter, I tend to use mostly reds and plums, but now that spring and summer are upon us, I'm happy to be throwing my pinks and oranges back into rotation. Also, I spoke about my main lipstick combination in this post, but that Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain has been such a problem solver for me. It's a gloss that dries like a liquid lipstick or stain, but it helps with that center of the lip problem! I use it with most of my red liquid lipsticks.๐Ÿ‘„ 

Nars Pencils: Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in Cruella; Satin Lip Pencil in Yu, Timanfaya, and Luxembourg.

Liquid Lipsticks: Stila Stay All Day in Beso; Sephora Cream Lip Stain in Blackberry Sorbet; Yves Saint Laurent Glossy Stain in Rouge Gouache; and Beauty Bakerie Lip Whip in Mon Cheri.

Lipsticks: Bite Beauty Luminous Creme Lipstick Duo in Marmalade and Confection; MAC lipstick in Craving; and Buxom Full-On Lipstick in Barcelona.

Lip Liners: MAC Pro Longwear Lip Pencil in Kiss Me Quick; MAC Lip Pencil in Whirl; Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-on Lip Pencil in Catfight, Bang, Anarchy, and Gash (must be discontinued, similar: Bad Blood)

Tools: NARS Pencil Sharpener; MAC Prep and Prime Lip (not pictured); LUSH Mint Juleps Lip Scrub (not pictured); Bite Beauty Smashed Agave Lip Mask (not pictured); good old fashioned Vaseline (not pictured). 

Most of these links link to Sephora since that's the main place I buy my cosmetics and it's one of my favorite places to shop. Two items are discontinued, but I found them on Amazon or a similar color.