Hair by The Collaborative Hair Artist

 

One of the best self-care practices for me is getting my hair cut and colored every eight weeks. This has made a huge difference in me not only taking care of my hair, so I wanted to share some of the tools and products that my stylist uses and what I use at home to tame my rather unruly brows. You can find more from my hair stylist at her Instagram profile here.

The items she uses for me:

1. This is B and I’s all time favorite does it all styling creme.

2. They use several different shampoos and conditioners, but these are two of my favorites that I switch out between with my VERB shampoo and conditioner.

3. My favorite hair spray that I stock up on.

4. Kerastase leave in spray. I wouldn’t use this everyday, but I’m seriously considering investing in it for the summer when my hair gets super dry. And speaking of investments….

5. The soft curl curling iron is definitely an investment, but it may be a replacement after my hot tools one dies completely.

And one of my other self care rituals is having my brows waxed every 5-8 weeks:

I seriously over plucked my brows in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. It has taken me years, YEARS to get them back to a normal state, and now, much like coloring my hair, I try to only do basic maintenance between getting them waxed to avoid going too far, ha!

 

1. The Hourglass is a bit of a pomade/pencil mix that works well for fill-ins.

2. Anastasia brow powder, my favorite for filling in the sparse areas at the front of my brows.

3. Sonia Kashuk brush, perfectly angled for the brow powder.

4. Anastasia brow gel for holding all brows in place.

5. And my favorite weekend brow gel, Benefit Gimme Brow.

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February Beauty Buys

This month I had several items I was restocking and then just a few new items to fast forward towards Spring.

First is my Garnier Micellar Water restock. This is my favorite make-up remover. I feel like it doesn’t leave an oily residue like marked “make-up removers” do and it really helps get your skin completely clean. I combine it with my stand by cleanser.

I restocked my hairspray, I use the Bumble and Bumble until empty. I’ve tried lots of other hairsprays, but this one has hold without being crunchy or stiff.

I have seen the peace out acne dots on several influencers blogs and wanted to try them out. I would say they are okay. I don’t find them to make a marked difference in reducing a pimple faster and if you have more sensitive skin, it will leave a red, slightly raised spot for a bit in the morning when you take the dot off.

I’m constantly on the hunt for shampoo for B that doesn’t have anything in it he’s allergic to, and the Odele shampoo fit the bill. So far he’s liked it, and it has no fragrance.

Every night that I wash my hair (about two to three times a week), I follow it with Bumble and Bumble styling cream scrunched in from the scalp and then I spray L’Oréal Priming Spray all over and It’s a 10 keratin on the ends only. Fair warning, spray over a towel (or over your tub and rinse it down), because they make tile slick when the spray gets on them. Don’t ask me how I know. But trust me.

A refill of my favorite perfume was one of my gifts from B for Valentine’s.

I like the Stila waterproof eyeliner in dark brown, and switch between it and Revlon’s color stay liquid liner.

I went throw and tossed quite a few old our used nail polishes a few weeks ago, so I re-stocked my stash with Essie polishes in Marshmallow, Spring in Your Step, and Check In to Check Out.

After seeing Cristin Cooper’s dermaplaning step by step, I decided I needed to add in m-61 glow pads to my weekly routine. When I first used them, they stung. A lot. Like, oh no, what have I done, stinging. But then it stopped and my face looked great. I would say to definitely read the directions and check with your dermatologist because I’m not an expert and your skin may be too sensitive for these. They are sold out on Amazon right now, but will hopefully restock.

I also tried the isle of paradise tanning drops (I use the lightest shade) to give me just a bit of glow as my skin is just supremely dry this time of year. I only do two drops mixed with my moisturizer once a week and I don’t use them at night because they do have just a bit of a tanning lotion smell. However, they are really easy to use, not streaky. Just make sure to follow the directions on the package and online.

Finally, sugar caramel lip balm. I used up all my trial size of this one and bought the full balm. I love it!

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Activewear for star jumps

My goal for this year is to do some sort of fitness every day. Not to lose weight, but in a determination to keep the flexibility, muscle tone, and strength that I have. I do a combination of high intensity, strength training, AMRAP, and yoga. With that in mind I decided to give myself a few incentives to keep up with continuing exercise, in the form of new activewear. At the end of January I ordered a new pair of Adidas leggings and a Zella top from Nordstrom:

And new Adidas sneakers:

So my thoughts on all of it:

The pants are very comfortable. They did roll down a bit when I was doing an intense work-out, so I would suggest them for strength training or yoga. The top has a cute detail in the back. It’s closer to a cotton material, but is extremely light weight and didn’t bunch up when doing multiple burpees and box jumps. The shoes are amazing. Seriously, my favorite. They fit like a glove, and don’t slip. The laces are a little bit slippery, so you definitely want to double knot them.

See the back detail? So cute!

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January Beauty Buys

Admittedly, I had some extra beauty buys this month because I had two Sephora gift cards to use from Christmas. I used those for a few splurges, and then I picked up a few extra items I’ve on my list!

First, Tarte’s In bloom Palette. I love this palette. The colors are rich, and just perfect neutrals with a bit of pop. I would say that it doesn’t last quite as long as my NAKED eye shadow palettes without an eyeshadow primer (I use NARS).

Hourglass vanish concealer. I gave into the hype with this one. I’d seen several beauty bloggers post about it, so I decided that I had to try it for myself. The Sephora salesperson told me to make sure my eyes were well moisturized and that is definitely true. It cakes up a bit if it’s not, and you only need a really small amount. However, once you put it on, it’s on and doesn’t budge.

Beauty counter eye rescue cream. My hair stylist brought me a sample of this after we had a lengthy conversation about eye creams. I’ve been using it at night for about a week and I really like it. I feel like my under eye area is less puffy in the morning and it has no scent and I haven’t had any irritation issues (which I’ve had with other eye creams).

Becca skin primer. I think the lasting ability of this one is based on your foundation. I’ve been testing out various foundations with it (IT CC cream was a big no, NARS sheer glow lasted a bit better).

YSL lipstick in No.10. Definitely a splurge, but such a great color. Pairs perfect with my NYX gloss in creme brûlée.

Becca eye primer. This I love. It kind of smoothes everything out and you can reapply it throughout the day. And it doesn’t go on green.

MAC eye liner in Teddy. This is my all time favorite high end liner. It goes on smooth and doesn’t budge.

And for a couple of examples of the wear of it all (Yes, I’m in my parked car. It has way better natural lighting than my office. No, I am not driving. Driving and taking selfies is foolishness.):

Hour 1:

Hour 6:

After a slight touch up (powder on t-zone, a day fresh swipe of lip gloss):

So, a little bit of redness broke through, but other than that, not bad! Happy beauty shopping!

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The sweet spot

Oh, how I love Valentine’s Day! The boys love it too. I wasn’t going to get out decorations this year because we are prepping to put the house on the market, but I decided to put out just a few. They are so excited! It also reminded me that even though we are moving, it’s good to stay positioned in the now. I have always been a future thinker, what’s next, when are we going to get there. However, really in the past few years I have been working to think about future steps, while also remaining present in the now. Now that I’ve gone completely philosophical, let’s take a step back into reality with a few items that would be high on my Valentine gift list!

First, a set of fun barrettes, I like finding items that are more trend oriented at a reasonable price.

A sweet sweater that has a gorgeous bow detailing in the back.

I llama love this pouch, and I do!

A re-stock of my favorite everyday perfume.

Fun cozy slides.

Heart hoop earrings.

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What’s Up Wednesday

This has been a crazy few weeks. Between final exams, the short turn around from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and other life stuff, I felt like we needed to do a bit of a check in. So I’m linking up today with Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer Told Me To to do a what’s up Wednesday.

1: WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Corn chowder, potatoes au gratin, chicken and broccoli roll-ups, carnitas, and salmon with rice.

2. WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Planning for Disney trips! We aren’t doing that right now because of our house building and I miss it. Also, this awesome hot chocolate with a cookie I had last weekend:

3. WHAT I’M LOVING:

This sugar caramel lip balm. I put it on at night after I shower and then I follow it up with Kiehls lip balm before I go to bed.

4. WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Basketball! And school, work, last minute Christmas shopping, etc.

5. WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’ve got to take the boys to get their hair cut this week. The barber that cuts their hair does a great job, but it’s the process, time, and the fact that I can’t schedule an appointment (they only take walk-ins).

6. WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m up for reappointment at my job in January which means I’ve been multitasking working on my dossier:

And wrapping presents:

7. WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

Christmas! And having two weeks of no school, so sleeping in and lazy mornings.

8: WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m half-way through The Giver of Stars, but I’ve had The Conviction on hold at the library and it just became available, so I’m going to need to read that fast once I get it before it’s due back in two weeks.

I watched all of the new season of Fuller House and I’ve been finishing out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series while working on present wrapping. The boys and I are working our way through Holiday Baking Championship and, of course, The Mandalorian.

9: WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

Besides Christmas music on repeat, I finished another podcast episode of Forever Thirty-Five, and I’m currently listening to this episode of The Splendid Table. I also really like Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend podcast.

10: WHAT I’M WEARING:

Layers on repeat because we’re having thirty degree weather swings this week.

11: WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

A whole lot of baking and B’s parents are coming to town for a couple of days. I made lemon chocolate chip cookies this past weekend for a work event for B and I need to make another batch for the boys.

12: WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Honestly, getting my dossier done and turned in is high on that list. Also, a new Semester! I’m excited for the new class formats I’m teaching in and meeting all my new students.

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Sephora Fall Sale

Well, it’s officially Fall weather because everyone in our house is under the weather. Ugh! We are hoping for a quick turn around, and in the meantime we’ll be watching lots of movies, football, playing Fortnite, and picking up Mac and Cheese from Chik-Fil-A. I’ve been loading up my Sephora cart for the upcoming sale (already started for Rouge members, starts a Thursday for VIB and Beauty Insiders). Here’s a break down of some of my “Holy Grail” products:

All of these are ones I’m either out of completely, or there is less than half of the product left. These are also products I use almost every single day. So let’s get started!

1. I wouldn’t call this a moisturizer, it’s a lip treatment. I put it on immediately after I wash my face at night and then apply Kiehl’s lip balm right before bed. I’ve found this combination helps to prevent my lips being so intensely chapped all winter.

2. I didn’t think I’d ever find a moisturizer again after Sephora stopped carrying their original formula of my favorite. This one is going to seem really intense, but my skin is pretty dry, so it works. And no oiliness or breakouts, or fragrance.

3. B and I both use this styling creme, and our hair stylist said it’s getting discontinued….hence why I have five in my shopping cart right now.

4. This lip pencil is the perfect pink and it wears so well…I’m super conscious of my lip stick wearing off weirdly when I’m talking while teaching, and this one has never let me down.

5. Living Proof Full Volume Blast. If you don’t follow the directions on this, your hair will be sticky and unmanageable. However, if you follow the directions, your volume will last for days (if you use the Bobby pin bun technique I use to put my hair up at night….I feel like I need to do a tutorial because I keep telling people about it, ha!).

6. I’ve tried other hair sprays, I always go back to this one. Always.

7. Verb conditioner, still my favorite. I trade off using it and Bumble and Bumble Creme de Coco conditioner.

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Neutral stripes

Similar styles:

Camisole

Pants

Cardigan

Boots

Nail polish

It’s full on Fall here! Rainy days and falling leaves, and I’m loving the weight of my striped cardigan. The stripes add interest, while still keeping with the neutral theme. I also love that the colors of the cardigan means you can pair it with a variety of other neutrals. The point of the boot toe dresses up the outfit, and the camisole under the cardigan is perfectly paired!

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Week of Outfits

It’s finally Fall! I wore out another pair of shoes this week, walking back and forth to teach is starting to wear down my shoe collection. Everything I’m wearing this week I’ve had for at least a year, so check the links for similar styles and/or colors.

Monday:  shirtskirt, loafers (so old…updated here).

Tuesday:  toppants, Nordstrom shoes.

Wednesday:  topskirtwedges.

Thursday:  topskirtwedges.

Friday: toppantsheels.

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