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style + statement earrings for spring

I am really, really boring with my jewelry choices. Like, a typical look for me is usually a pair of oversize gold hoops or diamond studs. That's really it. I'm a pretty bold dresser, so I am unsure as to why I'm the complete opposite of terms of jewelry. 

SO. GOALS. Pump it up a little. 

And when I mean a little, I mean ridiculous and colorful statement earrings.

With statement earrings, I group the options into a few categories: fringe tassels, gemstones, beaded, and outrageous. For example, this would be in the gemstone category, this in the beaded, and this in the outrageous.

My top three favorites are the BaubleBar Gabriela Fringe Drops, Kate Spade Pretty Pom Tassel  Earrings, and the Shashi Zoe Earrings. The Gabriela Earrings come in more than one color, but the pink is just to die for. I've been so basic with colors lately (aka only wearing black) that a pop of color might be just what I need to not look depressing.

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beauty + how to get bedhead waves

For something that appears to be so effortless, getting bedhead, undone, relaxed waves actually takes a lot of effort. Every model ever claims to just be able to put their hair in a bun when it's wet at night, and wake up in the morning with perfectly tousled waves. I'm calling BS. I cannot go to bed looking like a mix between Miley Cyrus and Princess Leia and wake up looking like Gisele. Instead, I look like a maniac.

I much prefer to take way more time than necessary.

Usually, I start with washing my hair and applying heat protectant and styling product. My favorite is a mix of Pantene Pro-V Heat Protection Spray and Oribe Smooth Style Serum.

Next, I'll blow dry my hair straight with THE BEST round brush that I just picked up at Ulta. When I reach the top section, I make sure to flip my hair back and forth so I don't have a distinct part. I've been really toying with a close to middle part lately (a big change from my usual deep side part flip), so I like to have the option to change from a side part to middle part.

I have a lot of hair, but it's only shoulder length, so blow drying it doesn't take too long. Once it's dry, I'll section it off and begin curling. Right now I'm using a 1" Conair Curling Iron, but sometimes I use a flatiron and when it's longer I like the Hot Tools 1 1/4" Curling Iron. Really it's just personal preference.

I've found that using a flatiron is great if you just want a slight bend to your hair. I'll take a small section of hair and then, starting close to the root, drag the flatiron down in an S shape. These posts here and here from the Beauty Department are great if you want a visual for the S shape.

With a curling iron, I like to start mid-shaft, then curl alternating toward and away from your face. SECRET WEAPON: Drag the curl out. Thank you to the Beauty Department for this little trick. It gives your hair the edgy vibe instead of regular curls. A lot of people like to leave out their ends, which works too, but I prefer the drag.

I have a lot of hair, so no matter what method I use I always section my hair to be more manageable. Start at the bottom, end with the top section closest to my face.

After I'm done with the heat styling, I like to use a couple of different products. Prêt a Powder from Bumble and Bumble is great if you want the "fuzzy" vibe. Just tap it on your roots and then kind of rough up where you applied it. My all time favorite bedhead hair product is Oribe's Dry Texturizing Spray (no shock there, considering it's all anyone can talk about). A little goes a long way but it smells heavenly and DOES THE TRICK.

I have watched many a YouTube video about messy hair and am very particular about how I like it to look. My favorite how-to videos for bedhead waves can be found herehere, and here.

Any products / tips / tricks I should know about?

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beauty + my new favorite inexpensive skincare brand

Okay. Officially obsessed with Formula 10.0.6. No, this is not an ad. 

Whenever I go to Ulta to pick up one item, I end up leaving with upwards of 5. Self control is obviously not my strong suit. I have gone through my sheet face masks fairly quickly, and now I'm onto finding my new skincare obsession. 

Introducing Formula 10.0.6. It's an affordable skin care brand sold exclusively at Ulta. Having gone through a complete branding relaunch in 2009, 10.0.6 is now identifiably bright and bold. Like how cute is the packaging? Every product has its own color, which I absolutely love

I first tried Get Your Glow On, which (as shown above) is a "Skin Brightening Peel Mask" with Papaya and Citrus. I have normal skin that's on the drier side, with very little breakouts, so I don't mind trying different products (without fear that they'll wreak havoc on my skin). This product promises to boost radiance, which is always something I look for in a mask. I much prefer brightening skincare products!

I love peel masks, especially for brightening or detoxifying, because I honestly feel like they remove everything bad from your skin. I apply a thin layer of the mask (which really is just a gel) all over my face, and wait 20-30 minutes before peeling off. You're really only supposed to have it on for a few minutes, but I like to let it really soak in. 

Added bonus: 10.0.6 products smell so good. 

Recently I bought the Be Berry Clear Illuminating Peel Mask (another brightening product) and One Smooth Operator Pore Clearing Face Scrub. I have been in need of a good exfoliant (besides my Clarisonic), and I like ones that are on the grittier side. This product has zinc, oats, and pumice to draw out impurities and prep your skin so you have a nice, smooth base. 

Another added bonus of Formula 10.0.6. is that they're so cheap. $7 for each product! And, last time I went to Ulta, there was a buy one, get one 50% special for their products, further instigating my Ulta shopping addiction.

Have y'all used 10.0.6 before? What is the next skincare product I should try?

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beauty + my self tan routine

No secret that I love to be tan. I was pampered in North Carolina for the past 4 years since it was sunnier and warmer for more months out of the year. Now I'm back in CT and I honestly think I'm one of those people with seasonal depression. I need my vitamin D! 

It only started getting warm in the past few days, so I've resorted to popping a vitamin D pill and applying self tanner to get me in the mood for summer. My personal favorite sunless tanning brand is St. Tropez, and it never fails me. I've been using the Classic Bronze Lotion for about 2 years now, and recently I've started using the Self Tan Express Bronze Mousse.

The classic lotion is great and I highly recommend it, but if you're looking for a darker tan, opt for the Express Mousse. I've included a picture below of my legs before/after applying the mousse. I sincerely apologize for how blinding white I am in the before picture!!

So here's what I do: before I use St. Tropez, I exfoliate. This usually consists of dry brushing OR using Frank Body scrub or Bliss Body Scrub. Obviously the goal is to get all the dead, dry, winter skin off so the tan can last longer. Then, towel off and make sure you're completely dry. To apply the self tanner, I use the St. Tropez Applicator Mitt. This ensures that you're hands don't get discolored, and that the tan goes on evenly. 

I always start with my legs, and work my way up. I use two to three pumps on each body section, and make sure to rub it in very carefully as to not be patchy. BE CAREFUL AROUND YOUR FEET AND ANKLES! It's really easy for them to look fake! 

I go through every body part and do some weird twisting to get my back nice and tan....obviously it's easier to ask someone to do your back. 

Now, the face. It's totally up to you if you want to use this on your face or not, depending on the face makeup you use. St. Tropez has their own products specifically for your face, so it's your call if you want to buy those as well, but I prefer to just use the same product as my body. I'm not wearing foundation anymore, so it honestly works as a base for my skin! I put a small squirt of mousse on my tanning mitt, and then apply it on my face, paying careful attention to bring it into my hairline and my neck. Less is more, so start with a small amount and if you feel like you need more, then add a little bit at a time. 

The tan lasts a few days; it depends on which product you use and your showering habits. I don't really self-tan during the week, though. Mostly just weekends when I know I'm going to be going out and seeing people. 

St. Tropez is the first tanning product that I've used that actually make you look healthy and not fake. It works very well with my skin tone, too. That being said, obviously each product works differently on different people, so take all my opinions with a grain of salt! All the women I work with are now using St. Tropez; it's addictive!

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style + off the shoulder for spring

Hello hello, happy Tuesday, many apologies from the break in posting. Life happens! 

I went shopping last week for the first time in literally months, and while I was slightly unsuccessful in my style-seeking endeavors, I noticed that the off-the-shoulder trend from last summer has not died. It almost got to the point where I was relieved to see a regular tank or *shock* a top with the shoulders not exposed. 

Regardless, I still love this trend, so here are some of my favorite options that I've come across.

Plain and Simple Thanks Nordstrom. I love this tie-sleeve OTS top...literally the ideal dress up/dress down top that will last season to season. The thing with plain and simple OTS tops are that they let you go a little bit crazy with the bottom half of the outfit, as well as accessories. I'd love this paired with tassel earrings and white ripped jeans!  

Chambray J. Crew and Madewell are the resident queens of chambray in my opinion, and J. Crew currently has a short sleeved OTS top available. So blogger chic.

Embroidered and Eyelet My personal favorite variation of the OTS trend. First off, the Forever 21 white embroidered romper. I'm done. So friggin' cute. Pair with a denim jacket and sandals, or ankle wrap heels and crazy jewelry. I'm going to Charlotte next weekend so I have my eye on this romper for an inexpensive pick-up! Just to carry on with the cheap retail stores of years past, here is a black eyelet top from American Eagle. Hey, if it's cute and gets the job done, I will shop anywhere! And of course, Revolve has everything trendy and off-the shoulder, like this top from Parker and Lovers + Friends.

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