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My top 5 beauty products.

I’m obsessed with beauty products!

I don’t know if you know this about me but I LOVE beauty products – skin care, makeup (!), self-tanners, cellulite creams, hair treatments… you name it, I probably have 4 bottles of it in my cabinet. It’s a bad addiction, but it’s a fun one.

I’ve been trying to find a way to share more of my favorite products (or even the things that are NOT my favorite) without it being a giant sales-pitch (I am not sponsored by anyone). The thing is, I’m always trying new things. Even if I like a product, I’m still open to trying other brands just to see what’s out there.

But, when I started writing about all of the cosmetic primers I’ve tried, a reader wanted to know about other products I’ve tried. It’s taken me awhile, but this is my START. I’m very critical – so right now I’ve got five products that I love and have even bought multiple times… as in, I’m sold, I’m not trying other brands. Done. So here they are!

  1. Impress Manicure – When I agreed to get my Invisalign, I knew it would be an extra monthly expense for a little bit (I’m paying for it myself). To help, I vowed to give up professional  manicures. Instead, I started buying press-on nails to keep my nails looking nice without the cost. After trying several brands, the Impress Manicure continues to WIN – big time. These nails are a natural, short length and they require no glue. One set lasts about 10 days, and it costs around $5-$8! I’ve found them at Walgreens, and the grocery store, but you can also get them online. I swear by these!
  2. Essence Forbidden Volume False Lash Mascara Top Coat – This is a top coat you can add on top of any mascara and it has the little fibers that extend each lash. This stuff makes for a pop! I add it to all of my mascaras and I love it – plus, it’s $4. I got mine at Ulta, but I’m sure you can find it other places where Essence makeup is sold.
  3. Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment – I love finding bargains and cheaper solutions when necessary, but I also have come to realize that sometimes, it’s just worth it to shell out the cash for seriously AWESOME products. So far, all of the Glamglow products I’ve tried have blown my mind and I’ve even gotten comments on how fresh my skin looks – given my sleep regimen, this is a miracle! The Thirstymud treatment is a like a thick moisturizer, it smells like coconut, and you basically put it on before bed and wakeup to smooth skin. After trying a sample of it in my Birchbox, I bought the entire kit: the face wash, a blackhead mask, and the full size jar of Thirstymud. Complete GAME CHANGER.
  4. Bath & Body Works Aromatherapy Body Wash & Foam Bath – I hadn’t been inside a Bath & Body works in at least 6 years when I randomly wandered into the one at the outlet mall a few months ago. They were having a “Buy 2, Get 1 Free” sale, plus an additional 25% off, so I caved and bought three bottles of this stuff (in three different scents: Happiness, Stress Relief, & Sleep) and all of them smell so good. But what I love most about them is how much they foam up! I use them as bubble bath and on my loofah during a shower. It’s fantastic and now I’m always watching for the next big sale to restock.
  5. Sei Bella 3-in-1 Eyebrow Pencil by Melaleuca – Melaleuca products are made of only the good stuff, which means no parabens, no chemicals, no carcinogens… all of my household cleaners are from Melaleuca and I try their beauty products all the time. So far, my favorite product is their eyebrow pencil – it has a brush, a pencil, and a blender all in the same place! It goes on so easy, it self-sharpens, and it’s affordable at $15 (for members).

And there you have it! What products are you swearing by lately? As I get more “favorites”, I’ll report back!

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‘Mariah’s World’: Got Me Feeling Emotions.

Hey girl, hey.

Hey girl, hey.

Hey, hey! Wow, last week was pretty huge in my little corner of the world. It was my first week at a new job, and we have a new President. I also went to Mexico for the second time in my life, but I had my first taste of panchos, ate roasted street corn, fresh fruit seasoned with chile, and took tons of beautiful pictures in the streets of Progresso.

Since last week, I now work in a pretty emotional, controversial line of work. While this work is meaningful to me, I’ve learned quickly just how important it is to keep those things that bring me happiness nearby.

Now, I try not to get too political here, and I won’t today, but I know many people are sad, or scared, about the times ahead. I get it, and I’m hoping you’ll take my same advice. Keep doing the things you love. Whether its reading romance novels, or watching true crime shows, or maintaining a garden. Do it.

I think sometimes its easy to get caught up in all the work we have to do – work for our country, the causes we care about. But in order to tackle those things, we need to be in good spirits; we need rest, we need to be healthy – we need to be at our best in order to give our best.

And so, last night I watched another episode of “Mariah’s World” (along with an episode of the Real Housewives of Atlanta) and took a nice long bath. These things are important, too!

Ok, so let’s get into the episode!

Mariah is still on tour in Paris, and she’s casually sitting in bed reading fan mail. As in literal letters, which Mariah didn’t know people actually did! Fans, they’re just like us! Wait…

She is talking to Stella about how James had to go home and she wishes she had more time to spend with him, but she doesn’t, and that’s just how it is.

Tanaka got an MRI to find out exactly what’s wrong with his leg, and as he awaits the results, you can tell he is DEVASTATED. He finally realized Mariah is with James, and he can’t even dance away his cares.

On the next flight, the entire drama about the tour bus with the kids comes up again. Lawd. Anthony has basically spent a month ignoring Mary Ann after he basically threatened to quit if he had to stay on the bus with a kid.

The next stop on the tour is Amsterdam, and Tanaka finds out he has a cracked kneecap. He needs to rest for four weeks. So, no more tour for Tanaka! The bigger issue is, if it doesn’t heal properly, it will be another 6 months, and that could be the end of a career.

When Mariah gets word (right before the show), she’s terrified that he’s leaving the show and going home (but whyyyyy).

So, the team comes up with the idea that they need to cheer him up and should bring him on stage for a lap dance when Mariah sings “Touch My Body”. It was a litttttle awkward, even for me, sitting in my apartment by myself.

Mary Ann finally approaches Anthony and tells him (kindly) how much he hurt her because she respected him so much. He understands and apologizes, and all is well.

Later, the gang heads out to a place that sells pot brownies and space cakes, since weed is legal in Amsterdam. Mariah gets a nice chocolate cupcake – laced.

While everyone is obviously having a good time, Mariah decides to prank one of the dancers by hopping into bed with him while he’s sleeping – fully clothed – and then waking him up to think something more happened.

Mariah’s twins have a birthday coming up and the tour is taking everyone to South Africa. There is a very sweet moment when Mariah brings her kids on stage with a ton of blue and pink balloons and sings “Always be my Baby”…awww!

After the show, everyone is on the bus and the wine is flowwwwing, and Mariah and Tanaka come so close to kissing like five times.

And that’s the end of the episode! I’m pretty sure next week is the finale, although it wasn’t advertised as such. However, basically it shows Mariah unsure of whether or not she’s going to marry James, and then she’s running on the beach with Tanaka… hmm!