The Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without (Not Makeup!)

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Happy Thursday! It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty based post, so I thought today I would share some of the beauty products I use all the time. These are the products I use either every day, or at the very least every week.

First up is a jade roller. And to be perfectly honest, my dad broke part of mine awhile back, so I’m only really using the smaller end. While I do plan to get a new one (eventually) I still love using the smaller end after I apply eye cream. I have chronic puffy under eyes and dark circles from genetics and allergies, so I like to do anything I can. I really think the coolness of the jade helps with the puffiness—at least marginally.

Next is the new self tanner I’ve been using. I have to say, this is one of my favorite self tanners ever! I put it on and am instantly tanner, so by the time it’s been on for a few hours I look like I’ve been in Florida! Also, you can’t beat that $13 price tag. One caveat: it definitely transfers color onto clothes and sheets, but it easily comes out in the wash! But, if stained sheets really bother you, I also really like this pre-shower self tanner that’s stain free (it just takes a little longer to build a tan).

You guys. I have been using the Josie Maran Argan oil since middle school and can’t imagine life without it. I use it for literally everything: my face, my hair, my cuticles, even on my legs, arms, and feet! A little goes a long way with this stuff and it is so worth it. I usually use it on my face at night under moisturizer, but like I said there are so many different ways it can be used.

I don’t know about you, but dry shampoo saves my life on a weekly basis. I’ll be perfectly honest here, I hate washing my hair. The shower pressure in my apartment sucks so it takes 7 years to get shampoo out of my thick hair. And then blow drying and styling? Way too much effort on my part. So I try to go as long as possible without washing and I am pretty lucky because my hair doesn’t get greasy very fast. But when it does, this dry shampoo comes to the rescue. I’ve tried others and have yet to find one that works as well as this product.

Just like the Argan oil, I’ve been using Clinique moisturizer for years. Occasionally throughout the years I try a new moisturizer, but this is the one I always go back to. As someone with dry skin, this really does do the job.

Ok, you’re probably thinking, why is there a toothbrush on this list? But, I think keeping my teeth looking clean and white counts! My mom just got me an electric toothbrush for Christmas and I will never go back. Regular toothbrushes just don’t clean half as well. If you don’t have one yet, order ASAP!

Last on the list is this body lotion. Once again being honest, I forget to put lotion on my body (aside from my face and neck) all the time and have dry skin. But one use of this product and my legs are looking fresh and moisturized! I love that it’s pretty much fragrance free too—I weirdly hate when my lotion competes with my perfume. This is the perfect lotion to put on before bed and wake up with fresh looking skin!

That’s it for this week, I hope you enjoyed it! What other beauty posts would you like to see in the future?



What’s In My Makeup Bag

Welcome back! Sorry for the brief sabbatical, but I had a family emergency that caused a delay in posting. But anyway, I thought I’d share some of my favorite products in my makeup bag. I generally use these products every day!

First up is my tinted SPF. This summer I started to really read up on skincare I should be doing in my 20s. I obviously knew SPF was a must, but I was only using a foundation that had SPF15 in it. I realized that I needed a separate SPF product so I can really protect my skin. The best part is that I feel like I no longer have to use foundation with this product. For the most part my skin is pretty clear so a little tint just evens everything out and I’m ready to go!

Of course, I do like to use my concealer for any blemished and my under eye circles. I like this one because I feel like it’s slightly brightening, making it perfect for under my eyes. And to round out my face products, I like the tarte Pro-Glow To-Go palette for highlighting and bronzing!

I’ve probably said it before, but eyebrows are SOOO important! They literally frame your entire face and can make or break your look. I just bought this eyebrow pencil from Benefit and so far I’m loving it! For eyeshadow, lately I’ve been reverting back to my Naked Smoky palette. I am so sad Urban Decay decided to discontinue it because it’s one of my go-tos. I would definitely get it before it’s completely gone!

And finally, mascara. I’ve mentioned before, but I’ve been using a lash booster before my mascara and it makes all the difference! My lashes looks so much longer and fuller when I use it.

That’s all for this week! Also, hover over the images for direct product links!



Makeup Essentials/My Every Day Routine

Happy Wednesday! I haven’t shared a beauty post in awhile, so I thought I’d make a post about my makeup essentials. These are the products I use on almost a daily basis — essentially what I use for my every day makeup routine. (Click on the images above to go directly to the product page!)

To start off, I know moisturizer isn’t makeup but I always put it on before I put on makeup! Especially since I don’t usually use primer every day (I only break it out for special occasions), my moisturizer creates a nice base for the other products.

After I apply my lotion, I like to let it sink in a bit. Then I move on to the under eye concealer. I have pretty dark circles so I love this product. It has an orangey hue to mask the purple, so I always put in on before my foundation. I also like to do my eyebrows and put on eyeshadow. I use the Charlotte Tilbury makeup palette in “Dolce Vita” pretty much every day (I also have a holiday palette from that brand for those special occasions). It only has four colors with directions how to apply them all. That’s how I like my makeup — simple.

After eyeshadow I finally apply my foundation. If necessary, I also use the bareMinerals concealer under my eyes or on blemishes. After that I move on to mascara. My mom got me the Lancome CILS lash booster for Christmas and I am obsessed. It’s base coat you put on before mascara and it really makes a difference. Once I finally put my mascara on over the booster, my lashes look so much longer and fuller. For the finishing touch on my makeup I like to wear one of the MAC nude lipsticks in “Creme D’nude” — the color I wear in almost every blog post. I don’t usually wear the lipstick to class, but everywhere else, it’s a must!

So those are my makeup essentials! I hope you like this post. If you want to see more like this, let me know in the comments!



Whitening My Teeth With Carbon Coco

Whitening My Teeth With Carbon Coco

Whitening my teeth is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while now, but since my teeth are so sensitive I haven’t really found any products to use. So when Carbon Coco offered to send me their natural teeth whitening product I was all over it! I’ve heard about using activated charcoal to whiten your teeth before, so I was definitely interested in seeing how it works.

Even though I’ve been using the product for only about a week, I definitely notice a difference in the whiteness of my teeth. I am especially impressed because I realized half way through that I wasn’t even using the product correctly. I realized that you have to brush your teeth for a few minutes with the charcoal, then rinse your mouth and brush your teeth with the toothpaste.

I have to say, aside from whitening my teeth, I really enjoy the toothpaste. It has a minty flavor, with a hint of citrus that makes my mouth feel extremely clean and my breath fresh. Overall, my experience so far with Carbon Coco’s ultimate carbon kit has been a positive one, and I expect to have even greater results the more I use it!

Has anyone else used this product or activated charcoal before? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below!



*I received this product in exchange for a review. My thoughts, as always, are my own*

Current Makeup Faves

Current Makeup Faves
Hello, hello. It’s been a while since I’ve done a beauty post, so I thought that today I would round up some of my new(ish) beauty faves that I’m absolutely in love with! Some of these I’ve been using since Christmas, and believe me when I tell you that you’re going to want to get them ASAP.
  1. Charlotte Tilbury Dolce Vita Palette. I had been wanting this palette for a loooong time, and my wonderful mother got it for me for Christmas. I think it was meant to be with a name like Dolce Vita when I was heading to Italy in a little over a week. I have been using this palette almost every single day since I got it. The colors can be played down for a subtle day look, or applied with a heavier hand when you’re going out.
  2. Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclat. This is something else that has been on my wishlist for awhile. It really does brighten the under eye area (and can be used to highlight other areas on the face), but I will admit that it doesn’t work as a concealer. For maximum effect, I apply my usual bareMinerals concealer first and then use the touche eclat over top.
  3. Sephora Lipstick in “addicted to you.” I know what you’re thinking: Sephora brand lipstick? Let me just say though, I have never had a lipstick with better staying power. Usually after I eat, all my lipstick comes off except for a weird outline around the edges of my lips. But this lipstick, while it may slightly fade, stays on my entire lip and still looks great! And who doesn’t like the price at $13?!
  4. Tarte Pro Glow to Go.  I’m a little ashamed to admit it, but this is actually my first contour kit. Don’t get me wrong, I have quite a few highlighters, and I had a couple bronzers. But when I ran out of bronzer, I decided I needed to finally get myself a palette. Because I wasn’t sure what I wanted, I went with this mini palette and I LOVE it! It’s so easy to use and I’m kind of obsessed with the two highlighters. Definitely worth the $23.
  5. BH Cosmetics Sculpt and Blend Brushes. I actually got these brushes in a secret santa exchange. I had heard good things about these brushes, but with a price of $20 for a set of 10 brushes, I was a little skeptical. These brushes are AMAZING. Really great quality, for a really great price.
  6. NARS Lipstick in “Juliette.” I am a huuuge fan of NARS lipstick. Although a little pricey, I think that they’re just great quality. I picked this newest one up in Scottsdale and I love the pinky-coral color—it’s so perfect for spring and summer.
  7. IT Cosmetics Brow Power Universal Brow Pencil (not featured above). If you don’t already own this brow pencil, you are missing out. One color for any color brows. I actually first came across this brow pencil in middle school before I even understood how to do my eyebrows, but even then I knew what a great product this is. I recently bought this for myself again, and I’m wondering why I didn’t do so sooner.

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Laurel Castillo Makeup

Laurel Castillo Makeup


So last week I was bored and decided to watch something on Netflix. I came across How to Get Away With Murder and I was hooked. I never binge watch shows, but this one I did. I’m so obsessed with this show. One thing I love about the show is the style, especially Laurel’s. I’m in love with all her outfits and her makeup (also I completely ship her and Frank!). Once I saw her makeup, I knew I needed to recreate it. After playing around with my makeup for awhile, I think I have it down, so I wanted to share this tutorial with all of you. And on a side note, if you don’t watch How to Get Away With Murder, I highly recommend.


To start this look, like always, I start with a primer. I got this sample from smashbox in my birch box and I really love. I probably wouldn’t recommend it to those with oily skin, but personally I like the added moisture it gives my underneath my makeup. After that I used my beauty blender to apply my usual bareMinerals foundation and concealer. Of course I have to top off my face makeup with my undereye brightener.


After the base is set, I move onto contouring and highlighting. Laurel’s face is always perfectly contoured in the show so I use my bronzer from tarte to contour along  the hollows of my cheek, my temples, the sides of my nose, and under my chin. My trick for contouring the hollows of my cheeks is to make a fish face and brush the bronzer just under your cheek bone.

Before I move on to highlighter, I add a little blush. Laurel always has a nice flush, but it isn’t too dramatic. I recommend using whatever blush you have that gives you a little color, but still looks natural. I personally use a bareMinerals blush in lovely. Just swirl a small amount onto the apples of your cheeks and you’re good to go!

For highlighter, I used  Benefit’s Watt’s Up! highlighter (I also really like Benefit’s high beam highlighter as well). I applied highlighter on the top of my cheek bones, above the blush, down my nose, under the arch of my brow, and along the cupid’s bow of my lips.


The next step for this look is eyebrows. Laurel’s thick, dark eyebrows are a key part of her look. For mine I just used an eyeliner brush and grayish-brown eyeshadow, since I’m out of an eyebrow pencil. Honestly, this works just as well as a pencil or gel, but I do like IT Cosmetics’ universal brow pencil.



The next part of this look is the eyes. Laurel’s eye makeup is dark, but subtle to create a sultry look. For this look I’m using my Naked Smoky Palette from Urban Decay. The first step is to sweep a shimmery champagne color all over the eyelid. After that, I use a shimmery light brown on the outer corner. The trick is to create a small V on the outer corner of your eye, going slightly into the crease. Although the color is pretty light, it gives some depth to your eyes.


Also from the Smoky Palette, I use a dark brown color for eyeliner. Because Laurel’s look is so seamlessly blended, I’m using an eyeshadow instead of eyeliner because it isn’t as harsh. Using an eyeliner brush, I sweep the dark brown color on my upper lash line, staying as close as possible to my eyelashes, and along my water line. Although I do prefer the eyeshadow, later in the day it starts to come off of my water line, so I might touch it up with a brown eyeliner.



For the finishing touch, I curl my eyelashes and apply a few coats of mascara. Laurel’s eye lashes really stand out, so curling is essential for this look. Finally, I apply the lipstick. This look is based off of Laurel’s season 3 makeup, so a rosy/fuschia lip color is a must. The lip color I’m using is an old one from Rimmel London in the color Kiss. It’s been discontinued, but I found some similar ones: here, here, and here.

Here is the final look, I hope you liked this tutorial! I’m also thinking of doing an outfit post based off of Laurel’s style in the show, so let me know what you think.