The Perfume Diaries: Pillowtalk Poet

The Perfume Diaries: Pillowtalk Poet

I never really understood the whole perfume craze. Most things smelled pretty and I would gladly wear whatever. I didn’t understand the idea of  signature scents, and perfume samples were my least favorite kind. However, that all changed once I got engaged.

It didn’t happen all at once though. In fact, I think it all happened about a month before my wedding. In June sometime, it finally occurred to me that I didn’t know what perfume I’d by wearing to my wedding. This didn’t feel like a big deal to me, but it seemed like a big deal to a lot of the other brides I talked to. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I might appreciate a pretty scent in the hot July summer in Tennessee.

After this realization, I decided to take some time to go smell different perfumes and figure out what I liked. I quickly found out I wasn’t into overly sweet scents. I narrowed down my choices and made a final decision for my wedding. Ultimately, I was happy I did. Plus, it marked the start of a new interest of mine. It turns out that I think perfume is actually kind of interesting (wow, I love personal growth).

Recently, I received a sample of Pillowtalk Poet by Pinrose. It came on a wipe which made for easy application. Sometimes samples are a bust, but this one wasn’t! I absolutely loved it. The smell was so simple, yet luxurious. It felt like the perfect balance. It was something that I could see (or smell) myself wearing everyday.

Pinrose describes this scent as living in the floral family with keynotes of clove, musk, and ambergris. The online reviews don’t lie: this scent is a winner. Coming in at $65, Pillowtalk Poet comes in at an affordable price in the perfume world (in my opinion).

What do you look for in perfumes? Any suggestions as I dig into this new interest?

My Favorite Face Mask (From Hawaii)

My Favorite Face Mask (From Hawaii)

Wow, can time fly! It feels like just a little bit ago I was returning from my honeymoon, and then I looked up and a month of the school year flew by.

Thinking about my honeymoon made me remember this great face mask that I picked up in Hawaii. I waited to try it until I was back home and my sister was visiting. It made for great sister bonding.

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When Eric and I were in Hawaii we did so many cool things that absolutely reminded us of how great God’s creation is, and it was so worth it; however, I also made Eric take me to a local makeup boutique which was also totally worth it.

The boutique introduced me to some Hawaiian brands. This is when I discovered Leahlani Skincare. At the boutique I picked up Leahlani’s Meli Glow Illuminating Mask.

I absolutely loved it. My sister liked the smell and color, but didn’t love that it was sticky (it has honey in it). Ultimately, we both loved how it made our skin feel and look  afterwards.

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I wish I had a picture with her too, but she was very excited and impatient about the whole face mask process!

Leahlani claims that the mask “works at the molecular level to increase blood circulation and oxygenation.” I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you that my skin looked and felt heavenly. The site also says that this mask is good for all skin types but especially for dry or combination skin (that’s me!). I also love that it’s full of vitamins, enzymes, oils, and clays.

My only complaint: it drips off your face while you wait. Maybe I put it on too think, but I do think it is probably due to the mask’s consistency. Was this a deal breaker for me? No, not at all. I’d just be careful with what clothes I was wearing, furniture I was sitting on, etc. Next time I’m going to try applying a thinner layer.

Overall, at $48 I think the product is well worth the cost. Plus, I can’t lie: this product will always remind me of my honeymoon; therefore, it’ll always have sentimental value.

3 Skincare Products To Help You Relax At The Start Of The School Year

3 Skincare Products To Help You Relax At The Start Of The School Year

I have written previously about how skincare has become a form of self care for me. Well today’s post is dedicated to even more self care items.

This week marked my first regular work week of the school year. My students come next week. I’m so excited for the start of the school year and also for the start of my second full year of teaching. I love the new school I’m at. The entire school is full of absolute gems of staff members, but I especially love my English department. I’m pretty sure it is full of angels.

Nevertheless, the beginning of the school year also marks a time of exhaustion and stress for teachers and students alike. A lot is starting up again, but it’s important for us all to take time for ourselves. These are things that will help me relax, and they might help you too, but if they don’t reflect on what helps you relax!

1. Stress Relief Lotion $13

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I love this lotion. I’ve been using it for years, and I’ll be keeping it by my desk at work. I love skin care so putting on lotion is already fun for me, but this is also eucalyptus and spearmint scented. Wow, what a nice, relaxing scent. It’s a great, tiny break from your otherwise busy day.

2. Pumpkin Sleeping Pack $20

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You know how you feel on December 31st? That weird mix of anticipation and melancholy? That’s how I feel at the start of a school year. But not this year. This year I decided I’m leaning into fall hard. I’m so excited for falling leaves, pumpkins, hay rack rides, and everything else. I also know that my skin is already showing the wear of early mornings, long days, and late nights so it’s going to need some TLC. I love that this mask will perk up my skin while I sleep and help me embrace the upcoming change in seasons.

3. Foot Cream (and Exfoliation) $27

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Massages of any kind help me relax, and I bet they help you too. Massages are even better if you have someone else who can help you with them, but even if you don’t, you can massage your own feet! It’ll release so much tension! Plus, with this set you can exfoliate your feet after you’re done loosening up those ankles.

 

Ok, so those are my relaxation skincare products! How do you relax? Do you have any go-to relaxation products? Let me know!

 

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My Favorite Matte Lipstick

My Favorite Matte Lipstick

In the past, I told you how my sweet husband gave me his Sephora Birthday Gift. Well, today I’m going to tell you about my Sephora Birthday Gift.

This year, I chose the Tarte Birthday Gift, complete with blush and matte lip paint. Truth be told, I haven’t tried the blush yet. I lay off a lot of my makeup layers in the summer, and when I do dip into my blush, I tend to stick with my go-to. So I guess here’s to fall and getting to try new blush.

The blush comes in the shade Paaarty and the lip paint comes in the shade of Birthday Suit (very purpose appropriate names, am I right?!). Unfortunately, Birthday Suit is currently out of stock at Sephora, but you can still find it at Ulta. If you’re truly loyal to Sephora you can sign up to receive an email when it’s back in-stock.

The blush feels a little expensive to me at $29 for a full size. However, I’m sure it lasts awhile, and honestly, since I rarely wear blush, I also rarely buy it which means I don’t have the best understanding of the blush market. I do think that if I’m going to buy this blush ever, I’m going to have to really like the sample (I’ll update you all in the fall).

The matte lip paint comes in at $20 full size. This is a pretty average price for a lip product of this quality, but it’s still quite a bit more than an average, drugstore lipstick. So is it worth it?

For me, it’s one hundred percent worth it! Unlike most of my other matte lipsticks, this one isn’t super drying and actually feels like it stays creamy (the product description describes the feeling as velvety and I agree with this and can totally get behind it). It also stays put extremely well, and let me tell you, I couldn’t have received a better color shade! I absolutely love the way this shade looks on me. It’s pretty neutral, and only a step darker than my nude lips, but the full-coverage formula keeps my lips standing out and looking great. I also love it’s incredibly light, but pleasant scent.

Overall thoughts? I was pleasantly surprised with the lip paint, like to the point where I thought that this might be the lipstick that converts me to a daily lipstick wearer. It seems so perfect for so many different occasions, and I truly love its versatility. It also has me super excited to try the blush. I’m hoping it’s as good as the lip paint!

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The Perfect Lip Scrub

The Perfect Lip Scrub

Right before I left for my wedding and honeymoon, I made a last minute lip scrub purchase. I realized I needed one, but I was having a hard time finding one that looked like it was of decent quality for a decent price.

Lucky for me, it was also right around Amazon’s Prime Day. As I was madly searching the internet, I happened across the brand Hanalei. It’s products received strong reviews and the ingredients seemed nice and healthy (no swollen lip reactions!). They also had a sugar lip scrub.

I was even lucky enough to find the scrub on Amazon as part of Prime Day. Normally, the lip scrub costs $20, but since I found it on Prime Day I got it for $15 including shipping. In a couple short days, the lip scrub arrived and I got to test it out.

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I’m not super picky with my lip scrubs. I want them to make my lips softer and I don’t want to have an allergic reaction, all at a reasonable price. So I was very happy with Hanalei’s lip scrub. I hardly have to apply any. It works extremely well. It even has a sweet taste.

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My lips felt so soft after using it, and it helped my lipstick go on smoothly and look great for my wedding.

Overall, it was a win.

Bronzing Sunscreen (And A Story)

Bronzing Sunscreen (And A Story)

So this weekend, Eric and I took my youngest sister to a water park. Lot’s of fun ensued. We had a blast. And like all good people, who are deeply concerned with skincare, we reapplied sunscreen regularly. Like a lot. Especially to my little sister. There was no way that I was taking her back to my parents with a sunburn.

Luckily, this was no big deal because we had a bunch of sunscreen leftover from our honeymoon in Hawaii (I’m very pale so I stocked up). But all good things come to end. And so mid-way through one of our sunscreen applications, I finished off one of our spray sunscreens on my sister.

As I opened a new bottle and started spraying Eric, I noticed how the finish of the sunscreen looked so different than that of the other stuff. My sister and Eric are both much tanner than I am. I said something along the lines of, “Ooh, Eric, look how smoothly this goes on you. It sprays so evenly!”

Eric looked down in shock and shouted, “What’s in this stuff?”

That’s when I finally looked closer. The smooth finish was because the spray looked tinted, not it’s normal glossy finish. I told Eric to rub the sunscreen in, and after he did, he looked at his hand.

“Eew it’s sparkly,” he said, “and tinted, like makeup.”

I looked down at the bottle of sunscreen in my hand. And at that moment I came face-to-face with a truth that recently kept coming more apparent: I need to read product’s labels more thoroughly. That, or I guess you could argue, that product’s needed to keep their labels more simplistic. Either or really.

What I bought was Pacifica Coconut Probiotic SPF 30 Water Resistant 80 Minute Sunscreen. What I didn’t realize I bought was Sunscreen BRONZER.

I had accidentally covered Eric in bronzer, sunscreen bronzer, but bronzer nonetheless. And for a few seconds he was convinced I did it on purpose.

“Is this makeup?” he asked in disbelief.

“No,” I said, “it’s sunscreen.”

“But it’s bronzer,” he said. “Isn’t there makeup bronzer?”

“Yes, but it’s different,” I said.

I finally convinced him that I didn’t purposely cover him in bronze toned sparkles by reminding him how pale I was and badly bronzer sunscreen would look on my skin.

In the end, the show had to go on, and we had a bunch more rides to go on so I finished applying the bronze sunscreen to Eric and then applied it to myself.

Eric walked around the park sparkling and I walked around with orange legs.

But the most important thing is this: We all had fun, and the sunscreen worked and no one got burned!

sign off

My Wedding Lipstick And How I Found My Perfect Color

My Wedding Lipstick And How I Found My Perfect Color

Hello everyone! I’m so glad to be back writing to you. Don’t get me wrong, my wedding and honeymoon were a blast, but if there was one thing I looked forward to after my wedding, it was getting back to my writing.

I owe you all an in-depth wedding post, but guys, I just got back and I am not organized enough for that right now. So instead, I’m going to talk about my wedding lipstick, plus you’ll get a sneak peek of my wedding photos.

For starters, you should know that early into planning my wedding (we had about a year and a half engagement) I decided I would do my own wedding makeup. In the wedding world this is apparently a controversial decision, but I did this because 1. I wanted good coverage, but I didn’t want my freckles to be covered and since I had a destination wedding there  couldn’t be a makeup trial. 2. I feel comfortable with makeup and have lots of experience. 3. I already buy lots of high quality, long-lasting makeup so I didn’t have to worry about buying a ton of new makeup.

As far as my decision goes, I was also nervous about a couple things: 1. I don’t wear lipstick all the time so I needed to spend some time finding the perfect lip color for my wedding day and 2. The darn false eyelashes.

Luckily, the lipstick came through, and I’ll do another post about my full wedding makeup in the future, but the false eyelashes were stressful.

So let’s dive into my lipstick journey:

About a month out from my wedding, I really wanted to start experimenting with finding the perfect color. I waited until that late in the game because my skin tone changes drastically in the summer once my freckles come into their full glory. One day, after a run with Eric, I had him drive me to Macy’s so I could try on some lip colors at the MAC counter.

I knew from spending countless hours on the web that I wanted a berry colored lip, but not too dark to fit perfectly with my mid-summer wedding. I also knew that although I love the matte look, I was something shiny for my wedding. So that’s where I started at the MAC counter. I ended up walking out with lip liner in Soar and a satin lipstick in Captive (technically a plum).

My face was a little rosy from my run still,  but I thought the color was just what I was looking for.

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Later, I did a full trial of wedding makeup with split reviews from my family when I sent pictures. A couple of sisters thought the lipstick was too dark, a couple of my sisters and my mom thought it looked good.

After that, I started looking at more wedding makeup looks and watching wedding makeup videos. A lot of ladies were rocking nude lips so I decided to experiment a little with that so I headed to Ulta. After lots of help and testing out about fifteen colors, I walked out with two more lipsticks: a BARE MINERALS Gen Nude Radiant Lipstick in Heaven and an Urban Decay Vice Lipstick Sheer Liar.

I couldn’t decide which of these I liked better. I kept going back between the two. I tested the Bare Minerals first and I loved the color, but it seemed so light.

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I’ve read so much on wedding makeup that I knew that you were supposed to wear a stronger color so that I would show up better in pictures (cameras take some of the color off apparently). This basically means that you need to find a color that will look good both in person and in pictures. I was convinced Heaven would show up well so I decided I’d wear Sheer Liar.

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I also realized I wanted a little more shine so I ended up purchasing Anastasia Beverly Hills Lipgloss in Sunset Strip. When I was looking at all the colors, at first I thought Sunset Strip would be way too orange, but when I tested it out, it was perfect.

Heading into my wedding, I thought I had everything figured out. I’d wear my Soar lip liner with my Sheer Liar lipstick and my Sunset Strip lipgloss. However, that all changed the day of my wedding.

When the time came to start getting ready, I started on my makeup while the hairstylists did my bridesmaids’ hair (Southern Belle Beauty, they’re fabulous). Then, right before I put on my final makeup touches, it was my turn for hair. The hairstylist put in my flower crown when she finished and I went back to finish my makeup. It was time to do my lips and staring in the mirror at the purple flowers paired with the peach ones, I knew I needed to go with that original light berry. So I lined my lips, patted on the MAC Captive and finished my lips off with the gloss.

The finished product was perfect. It was a long journey, but in the end, I found the perfect fit, and surprisingly it was all in the flowers.

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I learned a few things on my lipstick journey. 1. Inspiration pictures are great but lipstick looks different on each individual so sometimes you just have to experiment. 2. My lipstick didn’t just need to go with my skin tone and in the end, my flowers helped me make my final decision. 3. Doing your wedding makeup can be stressful so keep that in mind when making your decision (my decision was the right one for me).

PS- the amazing wedding photos are by Jessica Lee McIntosh ❤️