While I wrote about my favorite books and beauty products of the year, it's time to get down to the 'stuff' I loved. I've always been someone who loves THINGS; I love accessories, little random items, and anything that adds joy to my life.

Going into 2020, my goal is to buy less, save more, and not have as much STUFF. I'm not going to turn into a minimalist but I do want to get rid of some items, make mindful purchases and really enjoy the things I have.

Some of these items are newly discovered pieces from the year, others are rediscovered favorites but they all were deeply loved in 2019. These are my most used, most adored items of the year!



Slip Silk Eye Masks

Eye masks have always been a favorite of mine and I usually purchased them from Etsy or other websites. I refused to purchase a Slip one because um, they're expensive but this year I purchased my first one and now my life will never be the same. Slip Silk Eye Masks are made of the softest silk material I have ever felt. They are super comfortable on your face and aren't too tight. Mine always comes off in the middle of the night because I'm a crazy sleeper but I cannot sleep without these. I get such a sound sleep with my Slip Silk Masks, so much better than with other scratchy eye masks. If you are an insomniac and have trouble getting to sleep and staying asleep, you should try one of these eye masks. They are an investment but it's a luxury purchase that you will cherish. If you need a pick me up or a gift card laying around, I cannot recommend these enough. I have four because I'm a sucker for different designs and prints but my goodness, they are worth it!

Tory Burch Bags

In the past, my designer of choice was Kate Spade. I used to log onto the Kate Spade website at least two times a day and would save every bag or accessory I desired from them on my wishlist and take screenshots of my phone. Every item on my Christmas list was Kate Spade and I simply couldn't get enough. That changed this year when the brand got a new creative director and a completely different style. It just doesn't feel like me anymore.

Enter, Tory Burch.

I've loved Tory Burch forever but this year I fell in deeper love with the brand. There is something so timeless and beautiful about the silhouettes, designs, and colors. She released so many beautiful bags this year and I couldn't resist them! While I will be taking a break from shopping in 2020, I can confidently say at least one purchase will be a new Tory Burch bag!

Below are some bags I have my eye on!

Lele Sadoughi Headbands

I've talked plenty about my love of headbands this year and I just need to say again: I am thrilled that this trend has made its way back. For me, this year was truly the year of the headband. I purchased my first Lele Sadoughi headband and the addiction ensued. I have about 6-7 headbands and one on the way (from Revolve, on sale) and I can't get enough. I wear it when I dress up, dress down, need something a little extra or have to hide gross hair. These particular headbands are expensive but are by far the best made and most comfortable. They are worth the investment to me because I wear them so much and truly appreciate their beauty. I'm at the point where I'd rather spend money on headbands than makeup -- that's how much I love Lele Sadoughi. (My black pearl one is by far my favorite)

Stoney Clover Lane

I've been following SCL for at least a year before I purchased one of their bags in September. I love the branding, the adorable patches, the founders Kendall & Libby -- everything about the brand is extremely appealing to me. I just feel like it fits my personality and lifestyle so seamlessly. I purchased my first bag in September and then it was a rollercoaster high of Stoney Clover! I bought a few more myself, received some for my birthday and Christmas and plan to hit up their NYC store before it closes. The quality is exceptional and unlike any other pouch I have; the material is super durable and the zipper is very thick and sturdy. Plus, who doesn't LOVE customizing something with their initials or interests?

CBD Oil & Gummies

While I definitely tried CBD last year, 2019 was truly the year of CBD for me. I fell in love with Sunday Scaries gummies and adored Juna CBD Oil. Both helped my anxiety, helped me in feeling calm and were major players in me getting better sleep. I also tried a lot of CBD beauty products which was VERY exciting and they were definitely some favorites in the routine. I recently tried Lord Jones gummies as they were a Christmas gift and love them too! In 2020, I can only hope to try more CBD products including wellness and beauty!

What were your favorites of the year?
xoxo
B
In 2019 I took a break from buying a lot of beauty products. I tried to be more mindful of the items I was purchasing and not just buying something because it's new and shiny. I tried to shop my stash a little more and recently decluttered a TON of makeup and beauty items that I wasn't using or that are too old and expired.

It felt incredible to get rid of old, unused makeup to make room for the things I actually use. It is definitely a precedent for how I'm going to go into the new year, with less in my possession and room for the things I actually enjoy.

All of that being said, I did have many beauty favorites this year: some were new to the market, new to me, or have been sitting around in my collection for some time. I might've talked at nausea about some of these while others are new to the blog... either way, they were some of my favorite beauty products of 2019!


Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks

I've raved about Charlotte Tilbury lipsticks before, whether it was the lipstick formula or my favorite shade, Pillowtalk but I need to mention them again. I discovered these last year, and they were even in my 2018 favorites but I need to mention them again. I purchased a few more formulas and colors in 2019 and fell deeper in love. At this point, Pillowtalk is still my favorite color but I do love Super Cindy as well. All of CT's lipsticks are creamy, decently long-lasting, and blend seamlessly into the lips. They don't bleed, make my lips dry or chapped and they just look beautiful on the lips. When I don't want to wear makeup or lipstick or when I don't want to put too much effort into my look, a Charlotte Tilbury lipstick is there to save the day. If you have not tried one, I highly recommend looking into them!

If you want to read ALL my posts about CT Lipsticks: My Power Lipstick, November 2018 Favorites, March 2017 Favorites

Laura Geller Spackle Concealer

This concealer was released in January 2019 and because I worked at Laura Geller, I was able to use it a few months leading up to the release date. Spackle Concealer is medium coverage, lightweight concealer that blends beautifully into the skin doesn't cake up or dry out your under-eyes and does a kick-ass job at covering my dark circles. It's also called 'Spackle' because it has priming benefits and 'Spackle' is the name of the LGB primer line. When I want to throw on something quick whether with our without foundation/tinted moisturizer, I reach for this concealer. I've gone through at least 3 tubes in the past year and when I left LGB, I took a lot of these concealers with me. I have not one bad thing to say about this

Charlotte Tilbury Peachgasm Beauty Wand

I had been lusting after one of CT's 'beauty wands' for a while when I saw her release a limited edition shade called 'Peachgasm'. What I loved most about this shade was that it was light enough to be a highlighter but had enough colored pigment to be a blush. My obsession with cream-based beauty products usually arrives around April & May so this fits perfectly into my spring & summer beauty routine. The Beauty Light Wand is a highlighter and/or blush stick that has a gorgeous glow/ and luminosity to it. I use it as a cream blush and it truly lights up my face; I have worn it alone a lot this year, without any other cheek product and sometimes just over SPF. It's the one beauty product that was new to me in format and looks this year that I really think made a difference in my beauty routine. I became simply obsessed with this CT product this year and I 100% see myself purchasing more in the new year! *It was in my July 2019 favorites as well

Ole Henkrisen Cold Plunge Pore Mask

I'm not sure when I purchased this product but boy, was it one of my most used face masks in 2019. Ole Henkrisen has quickly become one of my favorite skincare brands, even if I don't have a lot of their items, I just really enjoy the products I do have and love their marketing. The Cold Plunge Pore Mask mimics a cold plunge, which is part of the Scandinavian sauna cycle. The cold is supposed to detoxify, cleanse your skin and reduces the appearance of pores. When you apply this mask, it really is cold on the skin and it feels incredible! I love using this when my skin feels icky when I'm hungover or if I haven't done my skincare routine in a few nights. It makes my skin feel and look smooth, clean, and pretty dam good. If I had to give away all my face masks and only keep one, it would be this one.

Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

This was the year of finally purchasing a full-size Drunk Elephant product and I am very happy that it was the Lala Retro moisturizer*. I wanted a simple, no fuss, traditional moisturizer that wasn't too heavy and this is IT. I don't react badly to it, it really hydrates my skin but I also think someone with oily or normal skin could use it because I don't find it to be overly heavy. It hasn't necessarily changed my skin in any shape or form, but that isn't why I purchased it. I just needed something to help maintain moisture and feed my skin when it felt bad. Lala Retro was also one of the most consistent parts of my beauty routine this year and I will definitely be repurchasing this once I run out.

*Note: I haven't tried the ceramides version that DE replaced the OG with mid-2019 but I am excited to try. My skin LOVES ceramides.

What were YOUR 2019 beauty favorites?
xoxo
B
Wow... it is the last weekend of 2019 and I simply cannot believe it. It's the typical thing to say both online and IRL but the year really did fly by.

Christmas was simply wonderful and I'm spending the next few days at home, recharging, making goals and catching up on all the TV and Youtube I missed while I was rewatching Christmas movies. I'm looking forward to the next week or so... this really is my favorite week of the year.

I rambled on in all my posts this week so I'm making the last round up short and sweet!

Make sure you stay tuned to the blog for more 2019 wrap up posts, the newsletter for some exciting announcements, and even on my Youtube channel which I'm planning to start up again in 2020.

I hope you all enjoyed my Royal Round-Up posts this year. They have definitely transformed over time but I do love sharing my favorite links (I do a lot of reading on the internet during the week) so I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy putting them together!

Cheers to the last weekend of the year!



Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

Before I start my no-buy in January, I picked up a few things I've been wanting... even if it was Christmas week! 

*Kylie Cosmetics is having 20% off right now and I couldn't help but scoop up this Candy K Try It Kit that I've had my eye on. I will report back on how I like it! 

*Also, with the new Little Women movie coming out I've been more intrigued by the novel. I picked up this adorable version at Amazon and can't wait to dive into it! 

Below are a few other items I purchased this week! 

xoxo
B

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, Hannukah, and/or everything and anything you celebrate! It was a wild few days here -- lots of people in and out of my house. I saw my Godson and cousins, was able to give them their gifts and they were so happy! Christmas is so much more fun with babies and children.

I was so exhausted on Christmas Day, I passed out at 7:30 PM, woke up at 10:30 and didn't fall asleep again until 2 AM. I am working from home until the new year so I'm very thankful for that!

It's now the weird time between Christmas and New Year where there is no sense of time or space. It doesn't matter how old you are or where you are in life, the 26th-31st is the wild, wild west. I need to get in the headspace to prepare for the new year and really try to make a fresh start, set some goals, and get on track.

Part of that includes reflecting on the year and rounding up my favorites in beauty, books, and lifestyle. I also want to look back on the top blog posts and products you guys loved to shop and read about this year. I find those posts to be really interesting so it'll be fun!

For now, I want to deep dive into the books I loved most this year. 2019 was a little light on reading because I canceled my Audible membership to save some cash but I also discovered NetGalley so I was able to read more books before they were released and/or books I wouldn't normally pick out for myself.

While previous years were very domestic thriller heavy, I found myself reaching for more fiction and lighter books.


Girls Like Us

As I just stated above, I didn't read a ton of domestic thrillers this year but "Girls Like Us" by Cristina Alger was one that stood out to me. I had it on my Kindle for months from NetGalley and once I cracked it open, I finished it within a few days. It kept me on the edge of my seat and was super interesting. I wasn't able to figure out the ending like I usually am so that's how I know it was a really well thought out book. Here's my full review.

Love on Lexington Avenue

This might've been the series of the year. 2019 will forever be known as the year I fell in love with Lauren Layne and her writing. The Central Park Pact is an incredible story about women becoming friends under weird circumstances and then each finding their own path, in their respective novels. I loved Passion on Park Avenue but Love on Lexington Avenue was my favorite so far! It's light, fun, funny, and filled with love. It's a perfect read no matter which genre you prefer. You can read the full review here, and look out for Marriage on Madison Avenue coming in the new year -- I'm sure my review will be up the moment I finish the book!

The Editor

This is another book that was sitting in my Netgalley/Kindle queue for a while. I could kick myself for not picking it up sooner! When I started reading, I had completely forgotten the summary that had enticed me in the first place. The book is centered around a man who has Jacqueline Kennedy Onasis as his book editor, in the 90s! It has so many things I love in one place: books about writing, the 90s, and Jackie O. Full review here.

Red, White & Royal Blue

I said it once and I'll say it again... this is the best book of the year. This might've been the best book I've ever read. What would happen if the First Son of the United States fell in love with the Prince of England? An international love story, that's what! "Red, White, and Royal Blue" was hilarious, heartbreaking, adorable, and pretty groundbreaking. If you read anything on this list, make it this book! Full review here.

The Book Charmer

This novel took me forever to read and I was slightly disappointed in it until the story picked up, I started paying attention and I actually understood what was happening. It turned out to be an incredibly magical book that I think all book lovers will enjoy. I don't mean if you love to read casually, I mean like you love the look, feel, and smell of books -- if books bring you an immense amount of joy, you will wholeheartedly love this book. Full review here

Honorable Mentions: 

Love At First Like, The Address, Some Choose Darkness

What were some of your favorite books of the year?!

xoxo
B
I am someone who loves traditions. My family isn't huge on traditions but over the years, I've created my own personal traditions that are almost like mindful actions at the change of seasons and for the holidays.

I do them for pretty much everything from Halloween to the start of summer but my favorite mini traditions by far, are Christmas. I thought it would be fun to talk about some of those personal traditions that I like to do during the Christmas season and what better day to post than Christmas Eve!
christmas tree-christmas decor

Personal Christmas Traditions

Christmas Movies

christmas movies- ELF


I start watching Christmas movies the moment Thanksgiving ends. This year, I started watching Hallmark movies to get me in the spirit for the entire month of November and then once the clock strikes Black Friday, it's all about The Grinch, Elf, Home Alone, and all the claymation movies. IT puts me in the best mood and gets me in the spirit.

Decor and the Nativity 


nativity scene-christmas-decor

There are few things I love more in life than decorating for Christmas. The past two years, my mom and I decide to put up the Christmas tree before Thanksgiving and it is going to become an annual tradition. I love having it up for an extra few days (or weeks, depending on when Thanksgiving is) and it just makes the season feel a little longer. On Black Friday, I decorate the house with our little odds and ends, as well as putting up the Nativity. The Nativity scene has been my favorite since I was a little girl; it's the one decoration that really means a lot to me and I love seeing other people's Nativity setups when I go to their house. The reason mine is so special is because my grandmother (who passed before I was born) handmade it. It's so beautiful and my favorite thing about Christmas.

Baking

peanut butter blossoms - christmas baking


Since I was about 17 years old, I've been in charge of baking for Christmas. My mom was never a huge baker and I love everything about it, especially for the holidays. A few weeks before Christmas, I look up recipes and decide what I'm going to make. Some years it's more complicated than others but this year is simple with some festive cupcakes and a variety of cookies. Either the night before or on Christmas Eve, I set myself up with A Charlie Brown Christmas and my baking supplies and get to work.

A few other honorable mentions: 

I switch out the gallery wall in my room for Christmas prints, try to wear as much festive gear as possible, drinking hot chocolate and Christmas coffee, and for the past two years I've been trying to read Christmas books.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Hanukkah, or any other holiday you celebrate!

xoxo
B
The final month of the year is coming to a close and it has me feeling some type of way. It was a crazy year and pretty evenly split amongst good and bad. I spent most of the year unhappy at a job and then unemployed, which taught me a lot about myself and where I want my career to go. Then, the good part was that I found a new job I love so much, grew my relationship with my boyfriend and had a lot of good memories with my friends.

It wasn't what I expected from the year but it was interesting, to say the least.

December was pretty great though; lots of activities, Christmas fun, and so much shopping. That being said, I had a decent amount of favorites going into the month and wanted to make sure I shared them before my 2019 wrap-ups in the coming days.

Project 62 Nate Berkus Comforter

Nate Berkus Target Comforter


I have been in the market for a new comforter for some time now and have been slowly looking to see if something caught my eye. I had my old comforter since I moved into this house, about three years ago and it was just time for a new one. My mom was also looking for one and we both stumbled upon this Nate Berkus one from Target. I knew that when I was ready, this would be the comforter I purchased. Low and behold, it was on sale for Black Friday and I didn't even think twice about purchasing it. Spoiler alert: I have been loving it! It's a micro-texture, plush, white comforter that is super cozy and warm but not overpowering. I love the fact that it looks like a hotel comforter because it's very smooth yet still very comfortable. It makes my entire room look very neat and tidy which I love. It's also not a super expensive comforter but feels like one, so it's a great solution if you're in need of something new for your bed!

Sleeping Beauty Vanity Mirror

sleeping beauty vanity mirror-december 2019 favorites

I talked about this on Instagram, my Black Friday post and my Gift Guide for the Disney Nerd but Besame Cosmetics sent me some of their Sleeping Beauty collection, including the Vanity Mirror. The minute I saw this collection released a few months ago I knew I needed the mirror. Sleeping Beauty is my favorite princess movie and this mirror is right up my alley. It's luxurious, feminine and just feels like it was meant for me. I have loved having this displayed in my beauty area but also using it to apply makeup and getting up close and personal with my skin. If you love Disney and beauty, this is a collab you would love!

Holly Nichols x Caseify Phone Case

Holly Nichols Caseify Phone Case

I've been obsessed with fashion illustrators for a long time and when I discovered this holiday phone case from one of my favorites, Holly Nichols, I knew I needed it. My sister actually gifted it to me for my birthday at the end of November and I have not changed it out at all. It is officially my go-to holiday case and I'm considering keeping it on all winter long. It's so beautifully made and sturdy so your phone is protected. I'm a big phone case fan and I honestly think I will exclusively be purchasing fashion illustrated cases from Caseify from now on. 

What were your favorites of the month?
xoxo
B

PS: Make sure to go enter my TWO giveaways happening right now!



Happy Sunday! Happy 3 days until Christmas! I am so excited I can hardly contain it... but also sad because my favorite seasons are ending (even though winter began yesterday). I can't wait to relax, bake, and open presents (and also give all the presents I picked out). I'm also excited for some time 'off' work aka I'm working from home starting tomorrow until New Year's Eve. It'll be nice to have that time away from the office but still get things done.

Tomorrow I start baking for Christmas and I think that is my favorite part, the preparation for the holiday. Christmas Eve is the big day at my house as I think it is for most Italian families and then Christmas Day I'll go to my aunts for a lowkey dinner.

I also cannot believe that not only is the year coming to an end but the decade as well. I feel like it's a really big deal but not a lot of people are talking about it. This was probably the most life-changing decade that I might ever experience, in both good and bad ways. I want to take the time to reflect and really learn from the things I went through over the past 10 years.

I'm also ready to hunker down and set some goals for the new year (and decade) and really try to stick to them. We'll see how that goes.

For now, here's everything you missed from the week and a little bit of love.



Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink


I didn't buy anything this week except for a few last-minute gifts!

xoxo
B
If you are new here let me fill you in on a secret.

I'm pretty sure I have a shopping addiction.

At this point, I don't even know if I can consider it a 'shopping' addiction because I think it's more of a 'spending' addiction. It's gotten better over the years but whenever I seem to have a dollar in my pocket, I have to spend it. My online shopping habits were once so bad, I was buying things at least once a day and if I didn't stop, I started to get nervous.

It got to the point where I knew it needed to stop and being 27 years old, still living at home, I should know that I need to save my money.

I kind of had an epiphany within the last two months that the spending was out of control. I have real things to save for now: weddings, destination weddings, and bachelorette parties to be exact. I would like to be able to take a real vacation one day, save up for my own wedding and eventually a house.

The thought of real, true adulthood started to loom over my head and I realized that I was more anxious when I was spending money than when I wasn't. When I have more than $100 in my bank account, I actually feel more secure, who would've thought?

This epiphany hit a bit of a snafu when the holiday shopping season rolled around but I'm happy to say that I've purchased more gifts than I have for myself and usually it is definitely the other way around.

In addition to the fact that I need to save money, I'm really overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have. I recently went through a huge clear out of beauty stuff and it felt so good. It made me realize that I hold onto makeup that I will never wear. Some of it was purchased, some from jobs, some I got in PR but no matter what, it was clutter and in the words of Marie Kondo, it wasn't bringing me joy.

As the year comes to close, I want to go into 2020 with a better mindset and a cleaner room so I will definitely be getting rid of more stuff whether I donate it, sell it, or honestly just throw it out.

All of that brings me to this:

How am I going to hit my savings goal in the new year? With the help of technology of course!


Apps to Help Save


Truebill: I've been using Truebill for the past few months and it was a major help! It shows you everything you're spending your money on and buckets it into different categories so you can see where exactly your money is going. You can create budgets for yourself, and the app will even tell you how much you're spending a week over week and month over month. It helped me realize how much was going to subscriptions and that I spent $85 in Starbucks over the course of a month. I can also see my 'unnecessary' shopping vs my necessary so yeah, I spent $45 in Target but it was on groceries and personal health... it wasn't things I didn't need. It keeps me accountable and on track which is the biggest help.



Qaptial: My biggest thing when it came to saving was that I wanted to see what I was saving for and wanted things to be separate. I opened high yield savings account with American Express earlier this year and that has helped me actually 'save' but I wanted something extra. Enter Qaptial. It's an app that you can create different sections for different needs and set up rules to save money without you even realizing it.

For example, I have a section for bachelorette parties and the rules are to round up every purchase $3; so for every purchase, I make on my debit card (which is linked to the app), an extra $3 goes into that bucket. You can also make manual transfers to these sections which are great. That way, I can see how much I'm saving toward each individual goal. It's exciting and nerdy in the best way possible.

In addition to those apps which are going to be my main helpers in saving, I'm going to stop shopping. I have a list of major things I want to buy in 2020 but I'm really going to cut back... I have to because I kind of feel like my life depends on it.

I'm much happier when I'm not shopping and have money in my account. I've been very upfront with my anxiety on the blog and I've realized that money is a huge trigger for me. To keep my anxiety in control, I need to be in control of my money. 

To contrast the need to 'treat myself' I will probably do something small for myself every few weeks. I've been kind of obsessed with a new blowout bar in my neighborhood where it's less than $20 for a blowout and have been treating myself to blowouts every week or so; it makes me feel so good and is well worth every penny. To feel like this 'no buy' is not a punishment, I will probably get a blowout twice a month but I'm not holding myself to anything. 

I'm also going to be selling a lot of my stuff so keep an eye on my Poshmark

I need to be better so I hope I can continue to hold myself accountable and stick to the little plan I have in place. This is definitely my number one goal for the new year but more on those later.

How do you save money? What is something you have trouble committing too? 

xoxo
B
If you've been around here for a while, you know that I am obsessed with graphic tees/sweatshirts. They are my favorite piece of clothing and I think they can be really fun and even dressed up if you do it right.

I especially love a good themed graphic tee/sweatshirt for the fall & winter seasons. It's my go-to for a themed party whether it's with friends, family, or work. I even started wearing a Christmas themed sweatshirt on Christmas Day. Pair it with a nice pair of jeans or leather leggings, cute boots and a nice headband -- you're all set!

In recent years there has been an influx of themed sweaters and shirts to rock around the holiday season and I've been loving it.

Whether you choose to shop at Target, Nordstrom, or an online boutique, there is bound to be a Christmas sweater that screams your name!

christmas teeshirts


Below are just a few that I loved this year!



xoxo 
B
A few weeks ago I saw Essie post about their new line of polishes called "Expressie". It has been advertised as an 'on the go' polish that dries within minutes. There are 40 shades in the line, all with adorable 'on-the-go' type of names like 'Desk Mani', 'Mid Day Mocha', and 'Seize the Minute'. The colors are described as unconventional and transeasonal which I completely agree with. These are shades that can be worn all year round and no one will second guess your judgment.

The colors are also strangely unique, especially for Essie. While I'm sure you can find a dupe, some of these colors are new to the eye. The shade "Don't Be Latte" is a beige, grey, green color that is unlike any polish I've seen before. There are also a handful of yellow colors in the range that don't look like fungus on your nails. It's very interesting and I recommend taking a look.

Essie also did a change upon their signature brush with the Expressie line. These polishes have an angled brush that makes it easy to paint your nails with BOTH hands. This also ties into the fact that these polishes are supposed to be used 'on the go'.

The idea of on-the-go nail polish is interesting, to say the least. No one really does their nails while running to an after-work dinner or in the car but have you ever WANTED to do that? Have you ever wanted to give yourself a quick manicure without worrying about the drying time or smudging your freshly done nails? I definitely have which is why this was so intriguing to me.

Also, no other nail polish has ever been marketed as a quick dry with actual claims... especially from a mega house like Essie.

Because of all of this, I placed my order for two polishes on Target.com within minutes of seeing the Instagram announcements.

My Review

The colors I chose were "Take the Espresso" and "Misfit Right In". Espresso is just what it sounds like, a true espresso, dark chocolate brown; surprisingly, I don't have one of these colors in my collection so this was the perfect time to buy one.

expressie essie polish review


"Misfit Right In" is super fun and I cannot wait to wear it! It's described as a shimmering bronze and looks just as good in person as it does online.

'Take the Espresso" arrived first and I applied it the moment I received it. I used my normal basecoat which currently is Orly Nail Defense and then applied two coats of the quick dry polish.

The bottle is different than a regular Essie bottle as it is slimmer and taller -- it's also important to note than the Expressie is .33oz while a regular Essie polish is .5 oz. so you're getting less polish for the same price. That doesn't necessarily bother me, though I know it will some people.



The angled brush was interesting; the handle is dipped on one side but the actual brush is very thin, similar to old school Essie brushes (not like the new flat, thicker brushes). It was a little difficult to get used to but it was easier to apply using my left hand which is the entire point.




I did not use a top coat as I really wanted to test out the quick-dry aspect. After applying the last coat to each hand, I ran my finger over one of the nails and nothing came off. The polish wasn't smudged and didn't come off on my fingertip. I've never had that happen after a minute or so, and without a topcoat.

Expressie is truly a quick dry polish! They have finally done it! A nail polish that doesn't smudge immediately and one that you could pretty much take anywhere with you. I don't know if I was convinced before but I'm the best consumer in terms of I'll try any gimmick at least once so my expectations were highly exceeded.

expressie essie polish review


While I didn't use a topcoat and the polish isn't advertised as 'no chip' I was pleasantly surprised to see minimal chipping after 3-4 days. I'm not sure if every color will be this way for every person but my nail polish chips pretty quickly so I'm excited to test out the other colors and see if it's the same.

If you love doing your nails yourself or you're looking for something to keep with you on the go, you will love Expressie. If you're a nail polish junkie and just want to try something new, I couldn't recommend this line enough. I will be back soon with a review of the 'Misfit Right In' shade!

Have you tried Expressie yet? Are you interested in trying it? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo
B




Holiday Giveaway | 2019

in , by RoyallyPink, 8:30 PM
To celebrate the holiday season and the end of an epic, life-changing decade I'm hosting a holiday giveaway for all of you! I've been collecting some awesome lifestyle, wellness and beauty products to host this huge giveaway so I'm excited it's finally happening!

There's a hefty amount of beauty in both prize packs but one is definitely more wellness + lifestyle focused.

Thank you for all your support over the past year but also over the past few years. It means the world to me and I really love having this blog and a little part of the internet with all of you!

The giveaway ends on 12/27. Follow the rules & enter below! Feel free to enter one or both :)

Lifestyle Pack






Beauty Prize Pack





  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!
xoxo
B
I have been a bad blogger for the past few weeks! It's been a crazy, social few weeks and it's very different for me. Last weekend I was in the Poconos with my boyfriend, his cousins and some of their friends. It was so much fun! We went snow tubing, hung out by the fire, and played games. We left Friday night and came back Sunday afternoon so that's why I missed last week's round-up!

This week was filled with work, our holiday party, and then just catching up on some much needed R&R. Again, the reason that this round-up is coming on a Sunday instead of a Friday.

I cannot believe Christmas is in a week or so. I just finished my shopping this weekend (I have one more little thing to buy) and have to figure out what desserts and drinks I'm making. I want to try to soak up every last moment of Christmas in the next week so I'm really excited.

I have been going nonstop for the past month and feel like time is just flying so I want to try to take the next week to really be present.

In the meantime, let's wrap up the week and start the new one on the right foot.

Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I mainly bought a lot of Christmas gifts which I won't reveal here but I did buy myself two Wildfox Couture sweaters: the Ski List and Moody Lips.

xoxo
B


This is a very specific type of gift guide but I thought it was so fun! Disney is having a major moment for adults. There are more Disney bloggers and Instagram accounts than ever; so many Disney collections being released by various brands from Besame to Colourpop and Disney clothing is present in every major retailer from Coach to ASOS and Zara. Plus, don't get me started on Disney+.

I've always been a Disney fan and ever since going to the parks two years ago for the first time as an adult, my love has been turned up a notch. When I discovered an entire online community of Disney lovers, I was over the moon. Some people take their Disney seriously and I'm obsessed.

With the launch of Disney + I think more people are getting in touch with their inner child and appreciating the art that went into our favorite movies. I think it's a great time to be a Disney fan; with everything going on in the world we could just a little comfort and nostalgia.

That being said, if you know someone in your life who went to see Frozen 2 in theaters, took off the day Disney+ went live, and has a trip planned to the parks, this is the gift guide for them.

disney gift guide
Danielle Nicole Cinderella Clocktower Handbag | Besame Cosmetics Sleeping Beauty Royal Vanity Mirror
Mickey Mouse Initial Necklace | Le Creuset Disney Ramekins | Disney Princess Floral Sweatshirt
Colourpop Midnight Masquerade Palette | Cinderella Sweatshirt


xoxo
B
"One Day in December" by Josie Silver is one of those books that you see everywhere. It has a very beautiful cover and has that hygge feeling to it. Everyone was raving about it last year and as December crept up again, it made it's back in the spotlight.

I had been meaning to pick up the book since I heard about it because it seemed like the kind of story I would eat up with a spoon (spoiler alert: I was right). However, me being the Type A person I am, I didn't want to read it in any other month but December. Well, I got my wish because at the beginning of the month the Kindle version was on sale for $1.99 and I immediately purchased it.

I read the entire book in three hours. YUP. From 8 PM-11 PM, I did nothing but read "One Day in December" from start to finish. It was THAT GOOD... but more on that later.


Publisher's Summary

Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love, at first sight, doesn't exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there's a moment of pure magic...and then her bus drives away.

Certain they're fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn't find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they "reunite" at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It's Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.


What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and an immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.

My Thoughts

This was a super cheesy book but in the best way possible. It was a romantic comedy in book form; it had love, death, marriage, heartbreak, and everything in between. It also took place in England which was awesome and made everything better.

Some parts was predictable; like the moment that you read that Sarah has a new 'perfect' boyfriend, you know it's going to be bus-boy. However, other parts were not so predictable and I was shocked that the story made those drastic turns. I was really happy I couldn't figure out the ending, or how we ended up at the end of the book because it kept me on my toes

And so the story truly begins as Jack and Laurie try their best to create a friendship, even though they both know they've seen each other before.

I loved the fact that we travel throughout 10 years of their friendship/relationship; we see the ebbs and flows of adulthood where change is so normal but so fleeting. It was really interesting how Laurie and Jack change as individuals but how their relationships (both together and with others) change. 

The characters were really well rounded and thought out. I enjoyed both Laurie and Jack equally and honestly, didn't find them unlikable. Sarah, however, really rubbed me the wrong way. I'm guessing I was supposed to feel that way to make Jack and Laurie more appealing but my goodness, I really didn't like her character. I found her to be immature, annoying, and a little self-centered but she was a good friend to Laurie, so there's that.

"One Day in December" is the type of book I'll probably read every December. It doesn't all take place in December but it has that warm, fuzzy feeling winter has. It's a beautiful story with so much love along with the message of timing having to be right to be together. I loved it so much and would read it again and again!

Have you read "One Day in December"? What did you think?
xoxo
B
This post is sponsored by Basic Invite but all thoughts and opinions are my own

We are in full swing of the holiday season and I could not be happier! My house is decorated, I have all my holiday snacks, and the only TV I have been watching is Christmas movies.

Christmas is the best time of the year for me -- it just brings me so much joy! Between the weather, the coziness of the season, and spending time with family & friends, there is just so many exciting things happening.

I also love Christmas traditions; from putting up the Nativity set my grandmother handmade before I was born,

When I was little, my least favorite thing to do was take Christmas pictures but one of my favorite things to do was OPEN Christmas cards from others! I looked forward to the mail every day in December to see whose Christmas card arrived next.

Back in the day, Christmas cards were a little more complicated to layout and send to your loved ones but now it's super easy...especially with Basic Invite.

basic invite holiday cards

basic invite holiday cards


Basic Invite is an online destination that allows customers to create their own holiday Christmas cards AND give you an instant online preview -- that way, you can see what you're ordering before it arrives. You can even order a printed sample before placing a full order, that way there are no surprises when you receive the entire final order.

How it works is you can select a design and can change the color of each element, that way your entire card is completely customized -- how cool is that?!

Basic Invite has 40 different colors of envelopes (which are peel and seal so no licking envelopes -- truly my least favorite part of stationery) so there is pretty much every color possible for your holiday cards -- whether you want a red, green, gold or another festive color, the possibilities are endless!

When you're getting ready to create your card, you can post a custom link on social media that leads your friends and family to a form where they can input their address, and then you'll have a list of addresses saved in your Basic Invite account! This is MAJOR, not only for the holiday season but you'll be able to use those addresses for other Basic Invite stationery, like wedding or baby shower invitations. It takes all the guesswork out of chasing down addresses!



Basic Invite has all the technology to make your holiday card mailing as easy as possible. Upload your photo, choose your colors, input your text and choose your quantity and viola! You are finished!

If you're interested in Basic Invite holiday cards, they are offering 15% off orders right now with code: 15FF51 

You could follow Basic Invite on social media here: FacebookPinterestInstagramTwitter

xoxo
B
I've never read a Sophie Kinsella book before, and I haven't read any of the Shopaholic series. I do have memories of her books on my mom and aunt's nightstand when I was little and I love the Confessions of a Shopaholic movie -- Rebecca Bloomwood is my spirit animal.

However, when I got the chance to read "Christmas Shopaholic" thanks to Netgalley, I was super excited. I read that you didn't really have to read the entire series to understand this book so I was confident that I would understand everything... and plus, I want to read more Christmas centered books during the holiday season so this was perfect.

What I wasn't expecting was that the book was so different from the movie; Rebecca goes by Becky and the entire thing takes place in England, not New York. Since this wasn't the first novel in the series, I wasn't in tuned to every difference but those are definitely the key ones.

Like I said, I received this e-book before it was published in October, courtesy of Netgalley, and finished it just in time for the Christmas season!


Publisher's Summary

’Tis the season for change and Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) is embracing it, returning from the States to live in the charming village of Letherby and working with her best friend, Suze, in the gift shop of Suze’s stately home. Life is good, especially now that Becky takes time every day for mindfulness—even if that only means listening to a meditation tape while hunting down online bargains.

But Becky still adores the traditions of Christmas: Her parents hosting, carols playing on repeat, her mother pretending she made the Christmas pudding, and the neighbors coming ’round for sherry in their terrible holiday sweaters. Things are looking cheerier than ever, until Becky’s parents announce they’re moving to ultra-trendy Shoreditch—unable to resist the draw of craft beer and smashed avocados—and ask Becky if she’ll host this year. What could possibly go wrong?


Becky’s sister demands a vegan turkey, her husband insists that he just wants aftershave (again), and little Minnie needs a very specific picnic hamper: Surely Becky can manage all this, as well as the surprise appearance of an old boyfriend–turned–rock star and his pushy new girlfriend, whose motives are far from clear. But as the countdown to Christmas begins and her bighearted plans take an unexpected turn toward disaster, Becky wonders if chaos will ensue, or if she’ll manage to bring comfort and joy to Christmas after all.

My Thoughts

When I started this book I was pretty unsure if I was going to like it. It seemed to be a little all over the place, a little difficult to follow and hard to understand. I wasn't sure if that was because of the writing, the nature of Becky Brandon ne Bloomwood or because I hadn't read any of the other books before this one.

However, once the book got moving I was able to keep track of the people (I did have to Wikipedia a few character names and see how they really fit into the story) and the multiple plotlines. I also got into the groove of following Becky's stream of consciousness which seems very hard to write and keep track of, so that is pure talent from Kinsella.

Once I got over that bit of confusion I really loved this book. I thought it was hilarious! The cast of characters was super eclectic, from Jess, the vegan to Becky's ex-boyfriend/rockstar, Craig and his pushy, wacko girlfriend Nadine and Becky's parents trying to become hipsters. 

Then, you have Becky who is outrageously out there but at the core, has an amazing heart and soul which you see throughout this novel. She is a really good friend, a wonderful mother, and a wife and a person who so desperately wants to make everyone happy. She is unlike any other character I've ever read and it's no wonder that they had to make her into a movie character. Her personality and love jumped off the page and you become very invested in her journey to make the perfect Christmas.

I also think that Kinsella captured perfectly what it means to be stressed during the holiday season; it's wanting to make the perfect Christmas dinner, buying the perfect gifts, being conscious of your health and the waste you're putting into the environment, making everyone happy and then everyday life on top of that. However, she also made it a point to call out (numerous times) that Christmas isn't about the stuff, it's about the people and I loved that message woven throughout the text.


It was the perfect touch of realism in a world that doesn't really exist, with so many eccentric personalities in one place, I loved every moment of it. I loved it when Becky invented a new word, thought she was falling in love with her ex-boyfriend, tried everything to find a vegan turkey, and got locked in a pet store. It was so wild, so weird and so perfect. 

You definitely don't need to read the other books in the series to love "Christmas Shopaholic" and I would 100% read again next year around this time to make it a weird tradition. That is how much I loved this book. I'm also pretty sure I need to go back and read the series and will probably continue reading because of the way the book ended you know that there is going to be another one coming down the pipeline. 

If you need a good, romantic and funny book to get you through the Christmas season, or just want to read something funny and festive, you will LOVE "Christmas Shopaholic".

Have you ever read any of the 'Shopaholic' books? What did you think?

xoxo
B


Ah, the beauty queen gift guide, my favorite gift guide to put together because I am the resident beauty queen between my friends and family.

During the holidays there are so many incredible gift sets for the beauty lover or even the person who isn't so sure about makeup and skincare yet. There is something for everyone and that's what I love most.

It's also a great time to stock up on the items you love, try something new from your favorite brand, or gift yourself (or a friend) a very luxurious item. When it comes to beauty at the holidays, the possibilities are truly endless.

I searched all the websites for the items I think would make a great gift for any beauty guru in your life... or even yourself!

Laneige Kiss Me All Day Set | Slip Silk Scrunchies | Cooling Eye Pads | NARS Mini Blush + Lip Balm Set |
MAC Brush With the Stars SetGucci Lip BalmDeborah Lippmann Treasure Chest Set


Shop more gift ideas below!

PS: Don't forget to enter my giveaway! 


xoxo
B
Happy December! I hope you all had a great long, holiday weekend filled with family, friends, food and lots of shopping. It was pretty overwhelming, all the sales that I felt like I needed to shop and the spending money on the things I knew I needed to purchase, whether it was a gift or something I loved and knew the sale was too good to be true.

However, I controlled myself much more than I often do and it felt really good... felt really good to be in control of my spending and not clog up my room with so much stuff.

Aside from that, I had a splendid long weekend and looking forward to the Christmas season!

Today, I want to talk about my current favorite beauty products. I've been doing this post for the last few months and really love it because I can talk at length about the products that have been making me feel human. I'll admit, for the past few weeks, my makeup game has been very light. I have been waking up and putting nothing on my face and heading straight into work.

Besides that, there are still a few products that I've been using whenever I do my makeup and in my opinion, they're pretty life-changing.



Charlotte Tilbury Magic Vanish Color Corrector

When I found out that the Queen was releasing a color corrector, I bugged out. I ordered it the first day it was available and honestly have not been using anything else since. I love a good under-eye corrector because my under-eye circles are deadly and make me look like I got punched in the face. I've tried a lot of different correctors and while they've all been good and at one point, my favorite, nothing else beats the CT one. It is very lightweight, very creamy, but not sticky or tacky. I apply it with my finger and gently pat it under my eyes, and in an instant, my eyes are bright and beautiful -- dark circles are gone. It's light enough to wear on your own (if you wish) but looks exceptional under makeup. I've worn it with a few different foundations & concealers and it looks beautiful under all of them. I think this might be my favorite beauty product of 2019. *I have the shade fair

Boing Cakeless Concealer by Benefit Cosmetics

In the same category as the corrector, I've been loving the Boing Cakeless Concealer by Benefit! I had my eye on it since it was released but finally purchased it a few weeks ago. It's the only concealer I've been using and boy, is it full coverage. Whether or not I use it with my CT Corrector, it covers my under eyes and blemishes perfectly. I have the shade 3 which is a little light but it's still nice to highlight and brighten my under-eyes. It has similar coverage to Shape Tape but not as creamy, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at it. I've been really enjoying it and recommend for those who have really dark circles and need something a little heavy duty. 

Stash by SJP 

I have talked about this fragrance a few times before but every year, I fall in love with it all over again. I have a little bit left and I cannot get enough... I'm using every last drop. It is a masculine, yet soft scent that is filled with cedarwood, pistachio, and something called Vetiver. The perfume is perfectly described as woodsy which is ideal for this time of year. I need another bottle, ASAP!

IGK First Class Charcoal Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo is one of my favorite products to try. I love testing different ones out to see what is best for my hair. I have thick, frizzy hair and a very sensitive scalp; my hair doesn't get greasy too often but sometimes it just needs a refresh. Enter: IGK. I discovered this shampoo a few months ago and recently repurchased. There is just nothing better than this dry shampoo! It doesn't just mask the oil but really makes your hair feel clean; it comes out strong in a good way and doesn't leave any white cast. It doesn't irritate my scalp either which is probably one of my number one must-haves in a dry shampoo. If you need something heavy-duty to keep your hair looking it's best, you need to at least try the IGK First Class Charcoal Dry Shampoo.

Don't forget to enter my giveaway! 

What are your current beauty favorites??
xoxo
B
It's the best day of the year! (I have a lot of best days so let's just go with it). Black Friday and Cyber Week are here again! If you want to get technical, Black Friday deals have been happening all week long but now the main event is happening.

I'm first to admit that the deals on Black Friday for your normal, everyday items aren't that great. Most places nowadays have deals all year round so it's not that special. However, that doesn't stop me from shopping!

Black Friday is also a really great time to buy electronics or household items like vacuums (I've seen so many deals on vacuums which is why it randomly is at the top of mind).

However, what I like Black Friday and Cyber Week for the most is to stock up on items (like my Zella Leggings which are on sale for 33% off) or to buy gifts. I'm planning on getting most of my Christmas shopping done on this one day so it's an exciting time.

For my BF posts, I never go into the deep webs of the internet to look for sales I'm not going to shop. I tell you straight up what my favorite deals are

Stoney Clover: 25% off + discount applied at checkout

Kate Spade: 40% off with code TGIBF

Kendra Scott: 25% off + 30% off orders $300+ (discount applied at checkout)

Evil Queen Candles: 20% off with code SHOPSMALL

Jack Rogers: 30% off the entire website with code BF2019



Besame Cosmetics: Sleeping Beauty BUNDLE (Sleeping Beauty book, mirror, base, tote bag, crown $126)

Anthropologie: 30% off entire website + discount applied at checkout

Nordstrom: Cyber Sale, 50% off select items

Ulta: Steals & Deals all weekend long

Evelyn Henson: 25% off with code SHOPSMALL25

May Designs: 40% off everything + applied at checkout

J.Crew: 50% off everything + 60% off sale styles

J.Crew Factory: 60% off everything

Tory Burch: 30% off $250 + 60% off sale items. Discount applied in checkout

Happy shopping!

PS: Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

xoxo
B

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