EDIT *When I first published this Thursday morning, I had no idea I wrote '2018' so that's where my head is at

I keep seeing memes on Instagram saying "It feels like January 74th" and boy, does it ever! I don't think I ever noticed how long January actually is but it feels like New Year's Eve was 4 months ago. I am thankful for the long month... I hate when time flies by and when I feel like I don't have time to do anything.

January was so good! I decided on my resolutions, got myself organized, saw a lot of my friends and just really enjoyed it. I only hope the rest of 2019 can be this good.

My Favorites


Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

I was so upset when I learned that my beloved Nirvana Black Dry Shampoo was being discontinued. It has been my holy grail dry shampoo for a few years and now it's being taken away from me. I needed a new one and while searching Sephora, I realized that I have never purchased a full size of the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo. Amika is one of my favorite haircare brands and I've loved everything I'vet tried from them. Their dry shampoo smells AMAZING, doesn't leave my hair with build up and really absorbs the oils without leaving a huge white cast. It is so good and everyone in my family has been loving it.

Sarah Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask & Dream Slip

I love a good lip scrub and my favorite recently has been from Sara Happ. I purchased it last year and haven't even looked at another lip scrub. I was listening to her interview on The Influencer Podcast and had no idea that she INVENTED lip scrubs! Before her, they didn't exist in the realm of buying them at Sephora, Ulta, or CVS. I thought that was so cool and it made me love her for it. Then she started talking about her other products and the way she spoke about the Sweet Clay Lip Mask and the Dream Slip, I fell in love with her words. I went home and purchased this duo from QVC.

These have been an incredible lifesaver this winter and I'm so thankful. I apply the Sweet Clay Lip Mask about twice a week, let it sit for 10-20 minutes and wipe it off. I follow up with the Dream Slip, a night cream for your lips and I wake up feeling like my lips got their beauty sleep. Both products are rich, emollient and really sink into your lips to help heal them, not just take care of the dryness for a night.

Airpods

I thought the Apple Airpods were the dumbest thing ever. They looked silly when you wore them and I wondered what happened if one of them fell out and you didn't realize it? I couldn't wrap my head around them. Then, something happened earlier this month... I suddenly found myself lusting after them and I wasn't sure why. The more I thought about how the Airpods could change my life, the more I found myself being drawn to them in a way I haven't felt in a while. When I couldn't take it anymore, I decided to run to Target and buy them but silly me, they were out of stock. I ended up going home and buying them on Best Buy and paid $6 for overnight shipping. They were in my hands the next day and I have never loved a piece of technology so much.

Airpods are AMAZING! They have changed how I listen to everything on my phone. My headphones don't get tangled in my hair, earrings or jacket on the train. I can listen to podcasts at work without having to be plugged into my phone, therefore I can charge it at the same time. I even have them in when I'm vacuuming, therefore, the tedious chore goes by much faster. Not having to be connected to my phone to enjoy some audio is incredible; I feel like I have so much more freedom! If you've been on the fence, I recommend looking into them. I was a total hater and now I can't imagine doing anything without them!

Kate Spade Pearl Hoops

I am not a hoops kind of girl. I was when I was 12 but not anymore. I only started wearing earrings a few years ago and wear only small studs. However, my pearl obsession has made me into someone I don't know. When I saw these pearl hoops, I immediately added them to my wishlist. I wanted them more than anything and my mom bought them for me for Christmas. When I opened them on Christmas morning, I was shocked at how big they were! They are not me but I wanted them so I tried them on and didn't hate them. My mom and aunt said they looked good and I decided to keep them. Well, I've been loving them! I find any excuse to wear them, they make any outfit so much more dressy and I'm so happy to have a beautiful pair of hoop earrings in my collection.


What did you love this month?
xoxo
B
There are very few times in my life when I have not finished a book. Like many others, I feel guilty for not finishing a book once I start it. If I spend money on a book, I want to finish it and get my money's worth, even if I didn't like it.

I also feel guilty because I feel like I'm judging the book by not giving it a fair enough chance, even when I know that I'm not into it. I force myself to finish the book and then end up feeling anxious that I'm wasting my time reading something that doesn't excite me.

As I've gotten older, I've learned that it's silly to read something I don't like just because I have the book or because I feel like I should finish it. Since then, I've been keeping a log of the books I never finished and wanted to share them here... and share why. I'm not bashing these books because I know there are some books out there that I love and others don't.


Surprise Me by Sophia Kinsella 

When I started this book I was a little thrown off because I didn't really know where it was going. A couple is going to spice up their marriage by giving each other surprises? What was the point? How was this a story? It seemed downright silly and I stopped only a few chapters in.

What Happened by Hillary Clinton

This isn't a bad book by any means but reading it gives me massive anxiety. It makes me remember the presidential election and how hard it was on so many people, and how it felt like the world was ending when Trump was elected. It makes me wonder how things could've been and I just had to put it away at some point for my sanity. I'll definitely pick it up again because I'm so interested to see what Hillary says.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

I loved Something Borrowed so I was excited to read another Emily Giffin novel. However, this was another book that gave me massive anxiety. A rich teenage boy gets himself into some trouble with a poor teenage girl, there are Snapchats and their parents get involved. I didn't want to finish it or get myself worked up while reading it. It just didn't seem like a story I wanted to read and I made the decision to put it aside.

Our Little Lies by Sue Watson

To be quite honest, I didn't think this was a very well written book. It felt rushed and a little all over the place, and I could've assumed where it was headed but I just couldn't wait around to find out. I couldn't get past the writing and I feel horrible saying that but it's just my opinion.

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

I really wanted to love this book because I liked the idea of what it was about; the biggest loss to U.S Libraries ever in the form of fire... it was about books and libraries and everything I love. However, it was just so boring and a little confusing. It almost stressed me out while reading because I had no idea what was happening. 

Please share if you've ever read these books and if you think they were good -- also let me know what books you have never finished!

xoxo
B
I've always been an organized person and you would know that if you've been a reader of Royally Pink for a while. I've highlighted my obsession with planners in the Royally Planned series and have also spoken about how I'm trying to experiment with digital planning.

As much as I love technology, I have never been someone who can digitally plan. I like the feeling of writing things down and checking something off the to-do list. I could never get the hang of planning on my phone or computer.

However, that changed slightly when I started using a digital editorial calendar. It changed how I viewed planning because I couldn't find a written system that worked.



When I was looking for a way to track my budget, I tried a few different notebooks and apps but nothing worked quite like a Google spreadsheet. This opened up an entirely new world for me and I started to realize that Google Suite had everything I could ever want or need.  I am an Apple girl through and through but the Google Suite is so easy to use, syncs to your Gmail and you can access it everywhere. I have all the apps on my phone: Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets... it's just a no brainer.

After my budget, I started making spreadsheets for virtually anything I could think of.

Wishlist



I have a wishlist document where I list everything that I'm lusting after. I have the document split into a regular wishlist and then a luxury wishlist. It makes keeping track of everything I want a little easier and I feel better after I get it out of my head and onto paper. I know this sounds kind of stupid but every day I find something new I want so it's better to write it all down and stop thinking about it.

Youtube + Podcast Calendar





When I was trying to figure out how I wanted to lay out a content calendar for my Youtube and Podcast, I knew that my blogging editorial calendar was not going to work. I decided to download a monthly calendar, input it into Google doc and have a sheet for each month. I also have a separate sheet for future video and podcast ideas. It makes things simple, organized, and easy to access on the go.

Freelancing


Last year I started to take my freelance writing seriously and wow, did it really take off. I was so happy with all my writing but was a little overwhelmed because I didn't know how to keep track of everything. I wanted a place to keep track of my pitches, when I sent them through, who I sent them too and if they were accepted or rejected. It has helped me so much and I'm able to be so much more productive.

Royally Pink

Aside from the editorial calendar, I have found so many other ways to utilize Google Docs for my blog. I track my analytics, my top posts of the year and sponsored posts. I have a Royally Pink folder in my Google Drive and it's so easy to access everything and keep it organized... which is sort of the theme of this post.

So that's that! The Google Suite/Drive is my best friend and has been keeping me sane for the past few months. If you need a digital organization system, I highly recommend experimenting with Google Docs. It's also a great way to back up your work -- I write all my articles in Google docs and it's easy to share, download, and back up in case something happens to my computer.

Do you use Google Drive/Docs? What are your thoughts? 
xoxo
B

TGIF! This seemed like the longest, shortest week ever and I'm happy it's over. It was a wild week at work because we're moving offices so it was a lot of trying to get work done mixed with a ton of packing and cleaning.

This weekend I have so many plans and I'm so excited! Tonight it's a wine date with my little and grand little (I'm still a sorority girl in my heart) and then tomorrow is brunch in Manhattan with so many of my sorority sisters! It's a Phi Sig weekend and it's making my heart so incredibly happy.

Now for the wrap up of the week...


Links I Loved



What You Missed on Royally Pink



What I Bought This Week

I've been doing so well with not buying stuff but I have an engagement party in March and a few other events coming up and needed new heels. I've been dying over the newspaper print heels from the SJP Collection aka Sarah Jessica Paker aka Carrie Bradshaw herself.



I decided after much consideration and back and forth to just jump the gun and purchase the shoes. I was planning on buying them in a week or so to save up some money but when I logged onto the Bloomingdales website on Wednesday, they were 50% off and I couldn't pass it up. They'll be here today and I cannot wait! My transformation into Carrie Bradshaw is almost complete!

Have a great weekend everyone
xoxo
B
Beauty trends come and go every year or so; from glossy lips to makeup as skincare to beaming highlight to ombre hair... we've seen pretty much everything. Sometimes the trends lean more toward ingredients like hyaluronic acid or cannabis -- at some point in time, everyone hopes on an ingredient train.

Now, there is a trend that incorporates a little bit of everything; trendiness, ingredients, and basically an entirely new category.

Anti-pollution beauty.

Have you ever really thought about pollution? I mean, thought about it not in terms of breathing it in or what it'll do to your insides because I'm pretty sure we all have thought about that. I used to have an irrational fear of pollution when I was younger and was haunted by the fact that our air was so dirty. I grew out of it until I started seeing this trend pop up everywhere... now I'm obsessive about protecting my skin.

Anti-pollution beauty is all about protecting your skin from environmental stressors and making sure that the pollution and grossness in the air aren't penetrating and damaging your skin. Beauty brands are starting to realize the damage that cities can cause our skin to freak out. Between trains, planes, and automobiles, the droves of people you come in contact with, and the overall dirt that is in an overpopulated city, why wouldn't your skin rebel?

I have first-hand experience with this. When I started my job in 2015 and was commuting to Manhattan on a daily basis, my skin freaked out. It wasn't used to being underground, surrounded by germs and thousands of people; it wasn't used to the smog from the trains and just the overall disgusting environment that comes along with Manhattan. I broke out everywhere, mostly along my cheeks and chin, and it was very difficult to get rid of.

As a teenager, I had typical acne -- a break out here and there but nothing that couldn't be dealt with by using Proactiv and Clean and Clear. I was very lucky, I know that. But now, at age 22, the city was wreaking havoc on my skin. Eventually, I got it under control and my skin became used to the stress of the city but I think I could've used some anti-pollution skincare.

Toxic, city air is linked to eczema, hives and premature aging and brands are starting to fight against that. Ingredients in city defense products can be anything from vitamin A, B, and C, anti-oxidants and

The key to anti-pollution beauty is to form a barrier between your skin and the environment.

I've started to incorporate these types of products into my routine and I've really been loving them all. If I can see a difference, I'm not sure but I think over time, I will notice my skin being healthier and overall in better shape.

antipollution beauty-royally pink-beauty-beauty blogger


Cover FX Water Cloud Primer

When I saw this primer pop up on Sephora.com, I didn't hesitate for a minute. I purchased it immediately because it was incredibly intriguing. The Water Cloud Primer defends against pollution, environmental stressors and something I've never seen before: Bluelight!

Now we have to worry about blue light affecting our skin, not just our eyes. Applying this primer under your makeup will help protect your skin from all the harmful things and it's a good primer to apply when you're sitting in front of a computer all day.

I've been applying this without any makeup on before I go to work just to give my skin that extra barrier. It's pretty cool and I've been loving it.

Drunk Elephant D-Bronzi Anti Pollution Sunshine Drops

I haven't used this a lot since the weather turned cold but I used it so much during the summer! The Drunk Elephant Bronzing serum made a huge splash when it launched this past summer because of its anti-pollutant ingredients and gorgeous bronze finish it adds to your skin.

It contains Vitamin F fatty acids to build up a skin barrier; the mix of anti-oxidants will protect against pollution, according to the Sephora website. I love mixing this in with my Hangover RX Primer for extra moisture, protection, and a gorgeous glow.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Scrub Anti-Pollution Volcanic Clay

I was given this scrub in a box from InfluenceHer Collective and was so excited when I saw the anti-pollution claim. My family and I have been using this scrub for a few weeks and it's so nice. The volcanic clay leaves our skin incredibly soft and I feel good that I'm using a cleanser that is gentle enough to scrub and exfoliate my skin while also protecting against free radicals and the environment. I think you can get most Alba Botanica products in drugstores and I highly recommend checking out the rest of the anti-pollution line! They're affordable products and are made with good ingredients. 

Below are more products that I haven't used that are anti-pollution


What are your thoughts on anti-pollution beauty? Do you think it's a trend or necessity? 
xoxo
B
I don't remember where I first heard about the book series, "The Thousandth Floor" but I know it intrigued me from the start. This is the debut novel from Katharine McGee and I am fascinated by her mind.

The series takes place in Manhattan, in the year 2118... however, Manhattan is not the Manhattan we know and love right now. The entire city consists of one skyscraper and nothing else; everything you need is within the thousand floors.

The technology involved in The Tower is something I don't know if my mind could imagine; contact lens computers, being able to virtually try on clothes, and so much more.



Publisher's Summary


New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Perfect for fans of One of Us Is Lying and Big Little Lies, debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….

Review

It took me a while to finish this book and that isn't because it wasn't interesting but I think because it was a little confusing. It took a little time to understand where the story was taking place and to grasp the fact that this is taking place in the future. There are a ton of characters so it takes a little time to understand who is who and focus on each of their stories.

Once you understand everything, it's smooth sailing and you are captivated by this fictional, insane world that is set so far from the world we live in now. One of the most important things to note is that there is a great divide between the upper floors and the lower floors; of course, the upper floors are where the wealthier people reside.

The novel centers around the cast of characters listed in the book summary and their high school lives, navigating The Tower and figuring out their lives. What comes to follow is a lot of love, fights, scandal, and intense confrontations. There is betrayal, family drama, secrets, and lies... it's all the best parts of a dramatic reality TV show set 100 years in the future. 

However, the plot wasn't only a futuristic Gossip Girl; there was a murder mystery that kicked everything off. Someone died on the first page and then, of course, you find out who it was in the end. I think I forgot halfway through the book that someone was supposed to die and McGee did a great job at not revealing anything. I couldn't pinpoint who would be dying and it was nice to not know for once (I'm very good at figuring out the ending of books).

Once you are hooked on the characters and their lives, you are addicted and the ending of "The Thousandth Floor" just left me wanting more. Thankfully there are two more books in the series so I don't have to say goodbye to The Tower just yet.

I think if you like mystery, young adult problems, and a lot of drama mixed with a little bit of futuristic talk, you will definitely like "The Thousandth Floor". You may not like it at first but power through, it gets better and you'll be hooked!

Have you read "The Thousandth Floor"? What did you think?
xoxo
B
In 2018, I kind of lost my love of beauty buying. There are so many products being released on a daily basis, some are overhyped, some are items we've seen so many times before -- truthfully, it got a little overwhelming. I was overwhelmed by everything in my collection and needed a break.

However, that doesn't mean that I stopped buying altogether. I definitely found new favorites through my shopping endeavours but I also found some duds.

I think it's important to look back at items you've purchased and see what worked and what didn't. If you know what you like, that's an easy task. If not and you're more indecisive, choosing what didn't work can be a little more difficult. I find myself somewhere in the middle.

I want to like everything I purchase but sometimes, they just don't work for me. Whether it's a texture or color thing, or if I had an allergic reaction, I'm semi-good at knowing immediately when something doesn't work for me. I'm also pretty good at returning the things I absolutely hate.

The last time I did a post like this was in August 2016. I've disliked a lot of beauty products since then and I figured it was time to lay it all out there.

*A note on the last post: I said I didn't like the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation & Concealer. I actually got these again somehow and I completely changed my mind. I am obsessed with this foundation and concealer now. The foundation I still have, the concealer I went through a while ago. Maybe I will do another post on this but just wanted to say it's possible to change your mind about products!  

Products That Didn't Work


makeup that didn't work-royally pink-beauty blogger

Fenty Gloss Bomb

Everyone has been obsessed with this lipgloss since it was released but I just got around to picking it up. They say it's to most amazing lipgloss they have ever tried and I have to strongly disagree. This was the stickiest gloss I've tried in a while and it made my lips feel utterly gross. I haven't had this negative of a feeling about a beauty product in a long time. It was thick, heavy, and so sticky. I felt like it was 2000 and I was putting a lip smackers on my lips, and not in a good way.

If you want a nonsticky lipgloss, try the Laura Geller Nude Kisses or Bite Beauty French Press Lipgloss.

Ouai Son of a Beach

I included Son of a Beach in my June Beauty Favorites but that was extremely premature. I thought I liked this but it really was dumb on my part. It did nothing to my hair and that could just be because my hair is too dark for it to work. I returned it because it definitely was an impulse purchase and pretty useless to me. 

Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Shampoo

I love Briogeo as a brand and I've loved every product I've ever tried from them... until now. I was dealing with a really bad dry scalp (as usual) and was desperate for something new to help me. I figured a Briogeo Scalp Shampoo was the right choice... I was wrong. I used this shampoo twice and it made my hair feel disgusting. My hair was incredibly knotty, greasy, and it did nothing for my scalp. I'm glad I only bought a mini size but I was so disappointed that it didn't work! 

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Balm

Bite Beauty is one of my favorite lip brands and the Agave Lip Balm is one of their most famous, well-known products. I tried this out at the beginning of 2018 or end of 2017 and I tried to love it, but I just didn't. It irritated my lips and was so thick, it didn't glide on as easily as other lip balms. I felt like I had to press hard on my lips to get a good swipe and that is not how a lip balm should be.

If you want a hydrating, easy to glide lip balm, try the MILK Kush Lip Balm or Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments.  

Marc Jacobs Enamored Lipgloss in Sugar Sugar

Oh boy... this one has me HEATED! Similar to the hype around the Fenty Gloss Bomb, everyone and their mother raves about the Marc Jacobs Lipglosses, specifically the shade "Sugar Sugar". I've been intrigued by them for years but never purchased; thankfully, I was able to get a deluxe sample from Sephora with a purchase last year and I was so excited! I couldn't wait to finally be part of the "Sugar Sugar" club... my experience was horrible. Why does everyone like this gloss? It was goopy, patchy, and so sticky! I threw it in the garbage after one use because I never wanted it near my lips again.

What are the beauty products you've purchased that didn't work for you? Share in the comments below!


xoxo
B
For the past year or so, I've been using a Louis Vuitton MM Agenda as my planner and I don't really know how I used anything else. I love the chic style that comes with carrying Vuitton but also love the personalization and freedom I have to create my perfect planner.

I've tried so many inserts over the past year from different websites and random Etsy shops; I've taken recommendations from planner Facebook groups, Youtube, and just from my own browsing. There are definitely some popular inserts that I've loved, some I've hated and some hidden gems.

I wanted to take you through the inserts that have worked for me in case you are looking for new inserts for your own personal planner.



Minted Sugar

When I first got into the planner game, Minted Sugar was the first shop that I found and really liked. I've used both personal and pocket pages and I find that everything is consistent between the sizes. They have pretty paper, nice fonts and so many choices of layouts. The paper is thick but not too thick which I think is key. Pens don't bleed through them, they're easy to turn, and they don't rip easily. I've learned that these things are important when it comes to planner pages.



All of their inserts come in a variety of sizes and colors: marble, white, grey, pink. I've purchased and used the Lined Notepaper and the Monthly Dated Inserts which is just a monthly calendar for the entire year.

My favorite insert is the Weekly Dated/Detailed Classic Inserts. It has a notes page, a weekly overview of your top three priorities, a to-do list, and a to-buy list. At the bottom, there is also a tracker for three habits. Then once you flip the page, there is a space for each day like a traditional planner. It is a great organizational tool and a must-have for all planners!

Sessa Vee

There are planner inserts for literally everything and anything you could ever want and I've learned very quickly that Sessa Vee is a good place for them. When I was thinking about what I wanted for my 2019 planner, I wanted to have sections for different uses and I knew that Sessa Vee would have everything I was looking for.



First, I ordered the Weekly Planner Inserts which have been awesome! I love the bullet points to list my to-dos and the hydration tracker. I thought that these might be a little small for me to write everything in but I adjusted quickly and I have more than enough space.

I love the clean black and white look and the semi-glossy paper; it gives such a cool look to my planner.



In addition to the Weekly Inserts, I have the undated agenda pages and Doctor's Appointments (I haven't used the doctor appointment pages yet but I used the Undated Agenda pages for days that are particularly busy. There's so much space to write and organize your day, it's so nice! I might need to stock up on more and start using them daily.

Sessa Vee has so many other inserts and these are a few that I want to try: Project Notes, Order Tracker, and Meal Plan.

*One thing I will say about Sessa Vee is that they have so many inserts and the website isn't organized that well so I have a hard time distinguishing between everything.  

Cloth and Paper

Cloth and Paper are the OG of the planner insert game; they have gorgeous pieces, a monthly subscription box and they even sell their own planners. I love following them on Instagram and they provide such great inspiration.

Girl Gang

CEO

I only have two inserts from C&P but I do have their CEO and Girl Gang dividers which are awesome! The two inserts I have are Capsule Notes and Monthly Expenses (which I have not used yet)




As I go through the website, I find more and more inserts I want: Media Content Pages and Habit Tracker Pages

Honorable Mention

I picked up this 2019 monthly calendar pack from Life Potion and I am OBSESSED. It was a total spur of the moment purchased and I'm so glad I did it. I have the design "Mademoiselle" and it's so girly, pink, and perfect!




The monthly calendar layout is bigger than I expected, has a nice notes page, and a great overview page with goals, to buy list and more. I love when I find a random gem on Etsy and it becomes a favorite. I'll definitely be buying more Life Potion pages in the future!

If you want a closer look at my 2019 agenda, I did an entire video on my Youtube channel. 

Do you use planner insert pages? What are your favorites?
xoxo
B
Boy, what a week it was! It was so stressful and exhausting, I'm happy it's over! My mom had a little health scare last Friday and she went into the hospital for surgery on Wednesday but everything turned out totally fine and it was a false alarm.

I took off of work on Wednesday to take her, then off again on Thursday to help her because she couldn't really move around. Because I was home Thursday, I volunteered to take my sister to the airport at 4 AM because she was headed to Nashville. Not to mention I had to wake up at 5 AM on Wednesday to take my mom to the hospital.

Today I'm working from home and I'm off on Monday for MLK Day so it was a weird six-day weekend. It was a strange, strange week and I'm so happy it's done and I can enjoy a longer, less stressful weekend.

Because of the week I had, I only wrote two blog posts, which were pre-written and pre-scheduled. Everything will hopefully be back to normal next week.



I didn't get a chance to tell you about my trip to Frozen on Broadway! It was my Christmas gift from my boyfriend and we went last Saturday night. I grew up going to Broadway shows... my extended family would get together once a year and go see one. My first two shows were Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast, both of which I'm pretty sure I saw on Christmas Eve with my parents and sister.

After that, I saw Wicked, Mamma Mia, Hairspray, The Lion King, West Side Story, Jersey Boys, and Grease. There is nothing more spectacular than a Broadway show... it's so magical and insanely beautiful.




First, we went to a little restaurant in the theater district called Bea NYC. It was so cool and very good -- I had Mac & Cheese and my boyfriend got Shepards Pie; we split fries and they were so delicious. This place had cool drinks but I opted for a glass of Prosecco but he got some fancy drinks and one of them had a charcoaled marshmallow in it? It was strange and cool... everything you'd expect from Manhattan.



Afterward, we made our way over to the theater, got to our seats and took everything in. I had seen the little Frozen cups on Instagram and I had to have one so we got two more drinks for the start of the show. The drinks were "Frozen" themed which was very cool; I never went to a show when I was of drinking age so I'm not sure if they do that at every show but I was excited.



Oh my goodness! The show was SO GOOD. I don't know what I was expecting but I thought it was incredible. The technology and lights were everything during the show. You had to wonder how they were going to make the 'frozen' effects work when Elsa freezes Arendale and they blew it out of the water.

The show didn't get great reviews and from the few people I spoke too, they weren't a fan. I think it was because the show was a little long (I didn't think it was long but that's what people said) and they included a lot of songs & scenes that weren't from the movie.

All in all, it was a wonderful night and I can't wait to get my butt back to Broadway soon!

Links I Loved



What You Missed on Royally Pink



What I Purchased

Two random purchases I made this week were an Airfryer which I'm still getting the hang of (more to come on the Youtube channel) and Airpods which have completely changed my life. I highly recommend trying them out! You will love them, I promise.

Have a great weekend!
xoxo
B
For a much-needed break in true crime/suspense novels, I decided to pick up a book I've heard tons about and was much more light-hearted than any other book I've read lately. I also follow the first time author on Twitter and was so happy to see someone so young publish their first book.

"Playing With Matches" was released in June 2018 and was written by Elite Daily editor and former matchmaker, Hannah Orenstein.

playing with matches-royally pink-book review


The premise of the book is a modern-day romance, filled with references to Tinder and Bumble. Why shouldn't millennials have a story set in their time when the reality is, you're spending Friday nights with your single girlfriends, swiping on hundreds of guys and taking turns messaging them?

I was super excited to finally crack this book open and I was not disappointed. I finished it in 24 hours and that's how I know a book is interesting, easy to read, and I become completely enthralled with the plot and characters.

"Playing With Matches" centers around Sasha, a 22-year-old New Yorker who just graduated college has a handsome, finance boyfriend, lives with her best friend Caroline and is an aspiring writer. Feeling lost, she finds herself with a new job as a matchmaker at the matchmaking agency, Bliss.

Sasha begins to learn the ropes of matchmaking all while trying to remain a good girlfriend and a good friend. She sets up her clients with people who match their checklists and tries to obey the #1 rule of matchmaking: don't get involved with the matches.

Eventually, Sasha does get the hang of matchmaking and really starts to enjoy it... however there are bumps along the way and as she becomes more settled into this unusual job, her relationships begin to unravel.

"Playing With Matches" was very light, very interesting and very conversational. I love when books take place in New York and really bring the city to life. The detail that goes into the locations can only be written by a true New Yorker and just as it did in Sex and the City, Manhattan is a background character in this modern-day love story.

Sometimes with a book as light-hearted and fun as this, you can predict the plot but I was truly shocked by the few plot twists that Orenstein threw my way. It made the story and Sasha's character development much more interesting and intriguing.

I thought the writing was really well and the plot was paced perfectly; not too fast or slow. It was the kind of book I could see myself writing and I really liked that about this.

"Playing With Matches" was a really good book for pretty much anyone and I highly recommend picking it up. It's something light, fun, and definitely worth the read!

xoxo
B
Nail polish has been a staple for me for years. I think it all goes back to the fact that in elementary school, I wasn't allowed to wear nail polish and felt restricted for so many years. I love changing up my color and matching my nails to my outfit, season, or holiday. My nails are never not painted and if they aren't, I'm usually at home just letting them breathe.

I have a collection of over 40 nail colors and am very strict about what I wear during the Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. Light colors stay in the back during the winter and vice versa. I always have my nude colors in front because they are always in season.

We're at the point in the year where the holidays are over and winter is truly here. This is probably my favorite time of year for nail polish because I find the dark colors so cozy and chic. I have so many dark polishes and sometimes in the heat of summer, I fight the urge to paint my nails navy blue. *I know this rule is dumb but it's like not drinking peppermint mocha in August, it just feels wrong*

Most of my favorite nail colors are still in rotation today, other's were limited edition but you can surely find something similar from your favorite nail polish brand.

*I also did a post on my favorite sumer colors

royally pink-manicure monday-winter colors


Essie Cashmere Bathrobe

I don't know where I discovered this color, maybe it was while browsing on Ulta and the name drew me in but wow, it's a gorgeous grey/blue shade. It feels like a cozy night by the fireplace or an afternoon skiing. I'm so happy when I have this on my nails because it has the smallest bit of glitter and sheen, making it look a little more dimensional.

Manicure Monday Post

Essie Go With the Flowy

This is definitely classified as a light color but something about it screams winter. It's not a light color that I would ever wear in the summer because it feels cozy and has a glint to it that looks like the sun reflecting on snow. I purchased it last year and wore it to death. Last week was the first time I applied it this season and I forgot how much I truly loved this color. It's one of my favorite grey polishes ever.

Manicure Monday Post 

Essie Virgin Snow

When this was released a few winters ago, I became obsessed. It still remains one of my favorites, the name playing a big part of that. *I'm so weird when it comes to nail polish names, sometimes the name makes me love a color even more* "Virgin Snow" is a gorgeous lavendar shade that has a touch of blue and grey to it. *Do we see a pattern? LOVE blue & grey for winter* Virgin Snow is no longer available but keep an eye out for it, who knows where it could pop up. Essie Envy also has a nice comparison chart for this shade as well as others

Manicure Monday Post

Essie Haute Tub

This is such a unique shade and a typical color you would expect to rock during the colder months. It is a black base with a ton of glitter and some holographic shifts to it. It almost has a purple hue to it, which might be the glitter. It looks so pretty on the nails and gives me a very chic vibe. This is another limited edition one but Essie Envy did another good comparison post. 

OPI Blak Dress Not Optional

When I heard that OPI was doing a Breakfast at Tiffanys collection a few years ago, I was instantly obsessed. I was even more obsessed when I was able to take home the entire collection from a collab we did at work. I definitely have my favorites in the collection but "Black Dress Not Optional" is probably my number one. It is a plain black polish with a little sheen to it but nothing really noticeable. That's why I love it, because it's so simple and feels very fancy. I wore it on NYE this year and paired it with the next and final color on this list. *A similar color would probably be Licorice by Essie*

OPI Champagne for Breakfast

I don't wear a ton of glitter top coats but I do have a handful in my collection. I love the name of this which is why I always wear it on New Years Eve. It isn't full of chunky glitter, just nice, small specks which creates a really pretty effect. I love that the glitter is mainly silver but has some gold and blue/green tints to it as well, it creates a really pretty finish and adds a little dimension. This isn't available but Essie does have a similar shade.  The Essie Luxeeffects Glitter Top Coat has very chunky glitter, the shade "Set in Stones" is a close as you can get to the OPI. 


What are your favorite nail colors to wear in the winter?
xoxo
B

Happy Friday! We got through the first full week of January with flying colors... well, I hope. I'm working from home today and very happy about that. Work from home days are my favorite because I get so much work done and not commuting is fabulous.

I have a fun weekend planned -- I'm heading into the city with my boyfriend to see Frozen on Broadway! It was my Christmas present from him and it's a show that I've wanted to see since it debuted so I am PUMPED UP! I will report back with my thoughts but make sure you follow me on Instagram and Twitter (@bribrilukes) for a real-time look.

It already feels like January is flying by, even though it's only the 11th but I'm trying to savor every moment. I have a lot of fun things planned and I'm really excited!

For now, let's get into my loves of the week!

Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink


Have a great weekend everyone!
xoxo
B
The last few months of 2018 I went on a little bit of a shopping spree. I felt like I was making up for lost time because I am going to try my best to save and not spend this 2019. I made a little mistake and purchased this Kate Spade sweater last week but that was it! I'm going to be good... I have to.

I purchased a lot of things that I had been wanting for a long time, like two Louis Vuitton agendas, a Louis Vuitton shawl, some beauty items, and a few handbags.

After this, I'm going to do my best to lay low and stop shopping. I've seen so many people doing 'No Buy January' and entire 'No Buy Years' so we'll see. I say that a lot but I'm going to try to stick to it in 2019. I even downloaded a Habit Tracker app to keep myself accountable and made a list of all the things I need/want to save money for!

Before we get into that, let's have some fun and talk about what I bought! Tune into the very long, very fun video below!


xoxo
B

Refinery29 has had a series for a number of years called "Money Diaries". It follows the spending of women from all over the world over seven days. You are given information like their occupation, salary, rent, and any other monthly/yearly expenses and then you read about their spending habits.

Money Diaries is incredibly addictive and being the nosey person I am, I really love reading them. It's so interesting to see how other people spend their money and follow the lives of real women around the world. I love reading about their daily lives and it gives me a lot of insight into my own finances. If you've never read a Money Diaries, I highly recommend you do so now.

Because the series became such a hit, Refinery29 put together an entire finance bible entitled "Money Diaries." When I heard about this being released, I marked September 2018 on my calendar and patiently waited.

I pre-ordered it and was so happy when it was finally delivered on my doorstep.

royallypink-moneydiaries-refinery29-bookreview


If you are having trouble with your finances, need help understanding the world of finance, and really just need to get your bank account into shape, please read this book. It has completely changed my world, my outlook on life, and kind of scared the crap out of me in the best way possible.

The book takes you on a financial journey, teaches you how to save and what to save and how much. It teaches you everything you need to know about credit cards, loans, buying a house and saving for your kids. Money diaries are sprinkled throughout the book and you even get a little interview with the diarist at the end to help you better understand them and their spending.

It is quite the long book and took me a few months to get through it, especially because it gave me little bouts of anxiety. There were some chapters I skipped over like the ones about kids and only skimmed the section about joining together your finances with your signficant other. I will hit those chapters when it's time for me.

I cannot say enough good things about "Money Diaries". It is the financial bible that everyone needs in their collection. It answers any question you have and puts it into terms that you can understand and apply to your life.

Has anyone read "Money Diaries"? What did you think?

xoxo
B
It seems that I am never happy with my planner choices and I can never seem to find "planner peace". I get bored easily and like to switch things up frequently. This year, I thought that would be different because I really fell in love with my Lilly Pulitzer agenda again.

That all changed when I stumbled across an Erin Condren sale, a few planning videos and became intrigued. I had, of course, heard of Erin Condren before but was not intrigued by it. The planners looked too big, I wasn't a fan of the vertical layout and it just seemed weird to decorate a planner so much.

However, something inside me clicked and I was drawn to it this year. I decided to purchase an Erin Condren Life Planner, put my Lilly one on the shelf and then use my Louis Vuitton MM Agenda as my every day/come with me a planner. Erin Condren stays at home and is the main book while LV travels with me to work and acts more like an all in one notebook.

So, that is how I ended up with an Erin Condren Life Planner.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned
Star Sky Cover

I've been using it since October and really feel like I have a great understanding of how it works for me and I have to say, I'm obsessed.

I love that it's so customizable and so unlike any other planner I've ever used. Erin Condren has so many different interchangeable covers which I took advantage of for the holidays and will continue to use. She has many different dashboards that provide different uses; I have the monthly bills and the to-do dashboard but really the possibilities are endless and I need to expand my collection.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned
Halloween cover


royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned
Pumpkin Cover


royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned
Christmas cover Etsy Shop

As for the actual planner, there are planner pages at the beginning that you can use however you want, whether for monthly goals, bills, really anything you want. I haven't found a real use for them yet but it doesn't feel like wasted space because there's only two in the huge planner.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned


For every month, there is a blank page and a monthly overview. I love how big the planner is and how there is so much space to write.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned


royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned


Each week is laid out vertically with three sections, I usually use one for a to-do list, another for random notes, and one for decor or it's left empty. You can see how I decorate the planner in the videos below!

On each weekly view, there is a box and a list of lines but those usually go unused for me. Sometimes I just don't have enough to write.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned


I have to say, I was very skeptical about decorating a planner but I have grown to really love it. It's very inspiring, therapeutic and fun -- it almost feels like scrapbooking.

royallypink-erin condren-royallyplanned


I'm pleasantly surprised by how much I love Erin Condren planners and I could see how addictive they become and why they are so popular. She has so many different varities from vertical to horizontal, hourly, teacher and student planners.

Below are a few videos that I've done all about my Erin Condren planner!







Have you ever tried the Erin Condren Life Planner?
What are your thoughts?
xoxo
B


If you have been following my blog for a while, you know that I suffer from incredibly dry skin. This winter though, it's been really bad, probably the worse it has ever been. I'm constantly itching and my skin is bleeding from me itching and just the dry skin patches in general.

I don't remember my skin ever feeling this parched or having this many dry patches... I didn't change anything but something must have changed in the air or my skin is just becoming more sensitive.

I've bee suffering for a few months, ever since the Fall began but I think I finally cracked the code to help me this year. These are my must-have items for smooth, hydrated skin this winter.



Nivea In-Shower Body Lotion

I notice the biggest difference between when I use this and when I don't. I always hated applying lotion when I got out of the shower and it was a step I always skipped. I hated how it made me feel and I didn't like being greasy. When Nivea released this a few years ago, I immediately bought it and my life was changed.

The in-shower body lotion is just that -- you apply it in the shower and then rinse off before you get out. I was wondering why my skin was acting up so badly and then remembered I hadn't been using this. I purchased a bottle, started using every day and voila, my dry skin was instantly better. I cannot rave about this or recommend it enough.

I use the Extra Dry skin/Cocoa Butter version and it's so rich and creamy, it makes all the difference.

Ouai Rose Body Oil

While I hate the feeling of a body lotion, I love body oil. I used to have a sample of the Caudalie Body Oil and after a shower, I'd slather it on and my skin felt so good. I figured that oil might work again for me! The only oil I had was Ouai Rose Hair & Body Oil (as I'm writing this, I remembered I have a whole thing of argan oil) and after I put it on, my skin instantly felt better. That, combined with the Nivea In-Shower Lotion has been a real saving grace.

Lip Care

Aside from my body, my lips have been insanely dry and chapped this winter. I cannot even handle it and I've been experimenting with so many different balms. Usually, Vaseline and Aquafor are the best for me but sometimes even that isn't cutting it. I am testing out two items now that if they work, I'll let you know but two saving graces have been Glossier Balm Dot Com (which I have used in the past but now I have the original and it's to die for) and the Milk Kush Lip Balm. The Milk Makeup balm is infused with cannabis so it has anti-inflammatory properties which apparently does wonders for my lips!

Scalp Care

My scalp has also been a disaster but it's very rare that it ever behaves. I needed something new and tried the Briogeo Scalp Revival Charcoal Shampoo but it made my hair incredibly tough and greasy. I went out and got the Dove Dermacare Scalp Reviv Shampoo after seeing Teresa's post and have fallen in love. I thought I had used it once before and didn't like it but I'm not sure because it is really hydrating my scalp and keeping it itch-free. I also like to the use Briogeo Scalp Massager to give more of a deep clean and get the gunk out of my scalp.

Aside from products, there are a few other things you can do, like make sure you're drinking enough water, avoid hot showers (which is super hard for me because I like to boil) and use a humidifier in your room.

What are your favorite ways to treat dry skin?
xoxo
B
Welcome to the Royal Round Up 2.0 -- a new year, a fresh start! We got through the first week of 2019 and it was a decent one! It felt good to be back at work and get into a routine; we'll see how long that lasts.

I'm currently in bed, with a wet head and my new Sara Happ Sweet Clay Lip Mask, watching the R.Kelly docuseries on Lifetime. It is very eye-opening and I highly recommend you watch it.

On a lighter note, I pushed out the first episode of the Royally Pink podcast this week and published two Youtube videos. I'm on my voice & video content game; let's do it in 2019!

It was a little quiet on the blog this week because I was getting back into the swing of things and my commute took about two hours on Thursday night so I was just out of it. Next week will be better but for now, let's get into the wrap-up.



Links I Loved

What I Bought This Week




Have a great first weekend of 2019! 

xoxo B

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