This was a really weird month in so many ways. It started off with my last day at a job I've had for four years and then I got emergency dental surgery (UGH) started a new job and two new freelance gigs.. and well, things are progressing and I hope to be able to give you a full life update soon. In all around happy news, my BFF got engaged, it was my sister's birthday and celebrated Palm Sunday with my boyfriend's family and Easter with my family.

I also found so many new favorites this month and I've been keeping track all month long so I can update you all!



Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick

At the beginning of the month I wanted a new easy to wear, easy to apply foundation stick. I took the plunge and finally ordered the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick. Everyone has been talking about this for years, it's everyone's holy grail and I just needed to try it out. Thankfully I did have a sample of it in my shade and used the entire thing within a few weeks. That was how I knew it was worth the price tag. The Vanish Foundation Stick is smooth to apply, blends out really easily (I use my PUR Foundation brush) and just seamlessly melts into my skin -- it's like magic. It's medium-full coverage and I would say lasts about 8-10 hours. If you have a chance to try a sample, please do because I'm confident that it will change your life and push you to buy the full size.

*I wear the color Shell!

Milk Kush Balm

I mentioned this lip balm a few weeks ago and I just have to reiterate my love for it. When my lips are chapped, cracked and dry, this is the only balm (besides Glossier Balm Dot Com) that helps. It feels really nourishing on the skin and I can feel it working as soon as I apply it. If you purchase anything I recommend, it has to be this. I am very passionate about my lip balms and this is my number one.

BKR Bottle

I've tried so many water bottles in the past few years, I can't even keep count. Some have broken, some are too heavy, and some smell like dirty pool water after a few weeks. That is, until bkr bottle. I've seen these bottles all over the place for a while now and last January, I formed a partnership with them at my old job. They sent me a water bottle as a thank you and I have loved it ever since. *I chose the spiked one*. Then, a few months ago I saw that Sephora had a sale on a hot pink one and I decided to pick that one up as well. You could never have too many pinks, glass water bottles -- plus, this one was easier to carry around without the spikes. The bkr bottle isn't too heavy, comes with a really nice silicone case, and feels good in your hands. My water doesn't get stagnant and while it doesn't stay cold all day long, it doesn't get hot. It's a great water bottle and I recommend checking out their warehouse sale where they sell older pieces at a lower price.

Kendra Scott 'Elyse' Ring


I mentioned this last month but I cannot stop wearing my Kendra Scott ring. I purchased it from Revolve but you can customize it on Kendra Scott's website and I will be doing that at some point. It's super comfortable and adds something special to any outfit. When I put it on, no matter what I'm wearing, I instantly feel a little more glamorous. 

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Cleansing Gel

I'm not particularly picky about my nightly face wash and will try pretty much anything if it seems intriguing enough. I received this face wash a while ago, courtesy of my friend Desiree (hey des!) and it's been sitting in my cabinet until I made it through a few other washes. Well, I started using it religiously this month and oh my goodness, I'm in love! It's classified as an all in one cleanser that exfoliates, removes makeup and impurities while smoothing and toning your skin.

You need only a tiny bit because of the gel texture goes a long way; my skin feels squeaky clean in a good way after cleansing and I think it has made a huge difference in my skin this month. I didn't have as many breakouts, my skin felt smoother and looked brighter. 
I have officially, 100% transitioned to bright color polishes and I'm feeling it. Please, give me all the pinks, corals, and light blues - my nails are READY.

In my Easter basket from my aunt (yes, I am 26 years old and I get Easter baskets) there was a new color to fuel my love... and it was another Ella + Mila polish! My aunt actually read my Manicure Monday review and went to find a new color for me -- super sweet and thoughtful.

The color she got me was 'Pinktini' and is the ultimate spring & summer pink -- I couldn't wait to paint my nails with it.



Last week I did give my nails a little bit of a break because I found that I was having a little trouble applying polish and keeping it on. My nails seemed congested and almost as if they were rejecting the nail polish. I went bare for a few days and it felt really great -- I also used the Nails INC Detox Mask a few times and it helped make my nails feel better.

However, this past weekend I knew I had to give my nails the pink treatment.

I have to first say that I liked this nail polish than the other color I have. It went on a little smoother and a little more evenly.

The color is striking -- if you wanted a perfect pink that is a mix between neon and hot pink with a touch of coral and peach, then Pinktini is it for you. It's a color that simply screams hot weather and if you're going on vacation, this would be a great matching pair for your hands and feet.

Go pick up Pinktini ASAP, you won't regret it!

xoxo
B
Jesus, what a week and not in a good way. More on that soon because it's a little too early to talk about it but let's say I ran into some issues this week and my life is not where it was a week ago. I'm fine, my family is fine, everyone is fine it's just a huge change came my way and it's an adjustment.

In happy news, my best friend since I was 4 years old got engaged to her boyfriend of 10 years! They met in high school, and I remember being 16 years old and just so infatuated with their relationship. It's wild that they're finally engaged and I'm just so over the moon excited that I spent a good 45 minutes crying on Thursday afternoon.

All that said, the weekend is here and it's much needed. I don't have any big plans so we'll see what happens.

My head is fuzzy today so let's just get into the links of the week.



Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink




The Sephora VIB Sale is coming up tomorrow and if you are a Rouge member you can receive 20% off your order from April 26th to May 1st. If you are VIB you will receive 15% off and Beauty Insiders will receive 10% off from May 1st to 6th.

This is the sale that beauty junkies wait for all year -- it is our Olympics and we're after the gold medal. I usually try to buy something special during the sale, something that makes the 20% off really worth it. This year is no different and if you're curious what I have my eye on, head to the bottom of the page.

However, today is all about YOU and what I think you need from the sale. I've been doing a lot more beauty shopping this year than I did in 2018 and my love of beauty has really reignited, as I've said many times.

I've discovered a lot of items that I've been loving over the past few months, some are new and some are old favorites but either way, you need to try them.

*Sephora has a very forgiving return policy so if you pick something up that you aren't crazy about, you can return it. Don't be afraid to ship your items back for a refund; Sephora pretty much takes anything back as long as it's not fully empty!

What You Need


Cover FX Water Cloud Primer

When I saw that Cover FX was coming out with an anti-pollution/blue light primer I immediately put it on my wishlist and didn't wait or a review to pop up to even purchase it. I pretty much use this primer every day, even when I'm not wearing makeup, and I love how it makes my skin feel and look and I think it helps my makeup stay on. I talked more about it here but I definitely think you need to try this primer if you love anti-pollution/blue light items!


First Aid Beauty Retinol Serum

I recently purchased this Retinol Serum from QVC and so far, so good. Retinol is something that scared me because it's the one ingredient I don't really understand. I trust First Aid Beauty with my life (and skin) so I knew when I was ready to try it out, I'd be purchasing the FAB Retinol. I think this has been helping my skin look really good and isn't too harsh. I'll be going more in-depth in a future post but if you're nervous about retinol, but still want to use it, this is the serum for you.

Summer Fridays (All Three Masks)

I have been an avid supporter of Summer Fridays ever since the Jet Lag Mask launched last year. I cannot get enough of everything they release and I really love all the masks (Jet Lag, Overtime, and R +R). If you have not picked up one of them, I recommend trying the Jet Lag Mask first because I think that's the one that is most universal and most loved. It is a deep, hydrating gem of glory. 

Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask

In other mask news, the Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask is one that has changed my world. When I used a sample of it I instantly saw a difference. The day after I went to purchase it and have been loving it. It is one of the most expensive beauty products I own which is why the VIB Sale is the perfect time to pick it up. The Tatcha mask instantly makes your skin appear brighter and more even, it's like magic and gives instant gratification.

Slip Silk Scrunchies

My all-time favorite scrunchies! I don't use anything else and I don't think I ever will. There are so many different versions but I love the Small Slip Scrunchies best. They feel comfortable, don't give creases, and look cute in your hair or on your wrist. I have super thick hair and have never had an issue so no matter your hair type or style, you'll be good with these! 

Honorable Mentions



What I'm Going to Buy

What I'm Thinking About Buying

xoxo B
This blog post was originally published in April 2019 but has since been updated.

I love designer items and I always have, ever since I was a little girl and received my first Coach handbag at the age of seven years old. There's just something so special about a designer item, whether it's Kate Spade of Hermes.

That being said, not everyone (including myself) can afford all the designer items their heart desires. That's where dupes come in.

Now, there is great debate on the Internet and IRL that dupes are harmful to the luxury designer houses. I beg to differ... dupes are very different than fakes. A fake designer item is one that pretends to be the real thing, therefore they have a fake logo.

A dupe is vastly different because they just have a similar style, without trying to be an exact replica. Smaller, more contemporary brands like Tory Burch, Rebecca Minkoff, and Steve Madden are usually known for taking style ideas & colors to create a more affordable dupe of a pricier item. I am perfectly ok with dupes because I feel like fashion is a constant reiteration of the same thing... and why shouldn't people who can't afford a luxury item not have a similar style? To be against dupes is a little snobby in my opinion.

Now that we got that out of the way... let's get into some of my favorite designer dupes.




Gucci Mules & Steve Madden Flats

The Gucci Mule trend has been around for a while and until this year, I never understood it. They're just shoes... I've talked about it before but I'm not a shoe gal but something came over me recently and I just want a pair of Gucci Mules, preferably these hot pink ones.

That being said, those shoes are over $600 so I knew I had to find cheaper... much cheaper. Enter Steve Madden. They have been known to 'knock off' higher end brands (i.e Cult Gaia) and their leather mules are the closest I've seen to Gucci.

I recently got a pair (they run big, just FYI) and I am obsessed. I've been wearing them for a week and they fit so nicely, are really comfortable and go with everything. I want more colors and patterns ASAP and am just really happy to have a nice, plain pair of mules in my collection.

Chanel & Tory Burch + Rebecca Minkoff

Doesn't everyone want a Chanel bag? No? Just me? Okay.

I've dreamed about a Chanel bag since I was a small child and that dream has only grown bigger and further away from me as I've gotten older. All I want in my life is a beautiful quilted Chanel bag; I will take any color but preferably black or grey or even hot pink. I just want the feeling a Chanel bag gives you but my bank account has a different feeling about it.

I will get my Chanel bag but I've been chasing that style for years now and I finally found a dupe....sort of.

Tory Burch and Rebecca Minkoff are great contemporary brands that mock higher-end designers often and to be, that's just fine. There have been many bags in both designers lines that smell faintly of Chanel.



The Rebecca Minkoff Edie Flap Bag which I've talked about before has gorgeous quilting and chain design that can be similar to a Chanel. The Tory Burch Fleming Shoulder Bag also has that quilted detail as well as a gold and leather chain that feels similar to what you would see on a classic Chanel. I have both bags and they have definitely quenched my Chanel thirst.

Another designer that I've seen compared to Chanel (in style, not in class) is Kurt Geiger London. A few bloggers I follow have bags by this designer and you can find them in Nordstrom.

Hermes Kelly &Tory Burch

I will never own a Hermes bag and that is totally fine. I don't think I could handle carrying something around that is worth over $10,000. That being said, I still like the look of the famous Hermes bags, including the Kelly. That is why when I saw Tory Burch release a near exact replica I immediately put it on my wishlist. It looks so similar and if I know Tory Burch bags, which I do, I'm sure the quality is excellent. I don't see myself getting the Lee Radziwill Satchel any time soon but it's a bag to have on your radar.

YSL Tote & Tory Burch & Kate Spade



The classic YSL tote is just that...classic. It is a very plain, all leather tote bag that doesn't look expensive, yet I find myself lusting after it. I found a very good cure though and that comes in the form of Tory Burch and Kate Spade handbags, mostly the new Perry Tote from Tory and the Molly Tote from Kate Spade. 

I have the Molly (review coming soon) and I had the old Perry tote, both of which are awesome bags. If you want a simple, all leather tote to look chic like YSL, these are the bags for you.

Celine Sunglasses & Amazon

I'm not someone who spends a lot of money on sunglasses. I usually will pick up a pair of Kate Spade sunnies or something along those lines. I won't lie though, I've been tempted by the more expensive pieces like the Celine sunglasses that everyone seems to be wearing. I was not going to spend $450 on a pair of sunglasses that I would break or lose so when I saw the $15 dupe version of them on Amazon, I immediately bought them. They don't feel cheap or bad quality -- they're actually really nice and for $10, they look dangerously close to Celine.  

Saint Lauren Toy Lulu & Tory Burch Kira Chevron

When I saw Tory Burch release the Kira Chevron, I knew I had to have it. It has that luxurious look and feel, and I initially thought it was similar to a classic Chanel flap but at closer look, it's much more like the Saint Laurent Toy Lulu bag. Both are puffy shoulder bags with gold link chains, and both are really well made. Both bags are of similar size and look nearly identical... I have the Tory Burch one and I'm obsessed. It's such a beautiful bag, very luxurious feeling and holds a ton. It goes with every outfit, can be dressed up or down, and it definitely satisfied my want for a pricier version. 

What are some of your favorite designer dupes?
xoxo
B
If you didn't know, I left my job of four years at the beginning of the month. It was a decision I had felt was right for a while now but finding a job is not as easy as just sending out a few resumes. It took a lot of time and patience, and I'm sure I'll do another blog post on that in the near future.

While it wasn't an easy decision to leave, it was one that I knew had to be made. I had been at the company for four years and as a 26-year-old, it was just time for a change. I wanted to explore what else was out there and see what it was like to work for another company; I wanted to get outside my comfort zone because being in one place for so long you tend to get very comfortable.

I had been thinking about leaving for a while, for so many reasons, but I always made excuses. I didn't want to let anyone down, I didn't want to go through the anxiety of flipping my life upside down. I didn't want to go through the process of an emotionally draining situation, like leaving a place I called home for four years, where I did a lot of growing up and met some of the most incredible women in the beauty industry -- I just didn't want to deal with it.

Until I knew it was time... there was a lot going on and too many changes and nothing was moving me the way it once did. I woke up one morning and didn't want to go to work and that was it -- that's how I knew.

I did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people, and did a lot of soul searching. If you think it may be time to leave your job you're going to go through a lot of emotions and feelings but ultimately, you will know when it's right for you.

However, if you need a little push, look for these signs.



You Dread Going to Work

If you wake up in the morning and get crippling anxiety and dread walking into the office; if you feel a sense of relief when you leave at the end of the day, it's probably time to rethink your current job. No one enjoys working... or at least that's what I'm told but if you hate going to a place every day it's going to be a lot harder to get your job done. Once you strongly dislike and anticipate (in a bad way) going to work, you should brush up your resume.

You're Not Learning

When you stop learning in your current position, that's a sure fire way to know that it's time to look elsewhere. In a job that is fulfilling you should always be learning something new, you should always be challenged and looking forward to what comes next. Once you are too comfortable, you are probably not learning anything new. If you feel like you're not growing or excelling in your current role, it's time to leave.

You're Unmotivated

Similar to not learning anything in your current role, if you're feeling unmotivated, uninspired, and not connected to the work you're doing in addition to everything else on this list it might be time to look elsewhere. Of course, there are going to be days when you feel lazy and not excited about the work you're doing but you will be able to tell when the feeling runs deeper than that. That's when you should re-examine yourself and your goals. 

You Don't Agree with the Direction of the Company

This is probably a little controversial and doesn't always apply but it's worth mentioning. Sometimes in a corporate company, or a non-one at that, changes happen and not always for the better. If you see things happening, changes occurring and new leadership taking place and it's not for the best, you might think about leaving. I'm not saying jump ship at the first sight of change but if you see things headed in a certain direction you can calculate your priorities and adjust accordingly.

There are many more reasons to leave a job or a leave a boss or a company but these are just a few that have stuck out to me over the years.

What are your thoughts on this topic?
xoxo
B
TGIF once again! I completed my second week at my new job and I'm starting to get the hang of everything. However, I am glad to have it be the weekend again. I know it's not good to wish for Friday every week but sometimes I just can't help. I love my lowkey weekends!

This weekend is Easter so I'll be celebrating with my family on Sunday and on Saturday it's errands and quality time with my boyfriend. It's also going to be filled with writing and working... just like my week was. I love working on articles and some freelance editing -- it's a really exciting time for me.

That being said, I was a bad blogger this week; between articles and editing, plus an after-work event, I was not in the blogging mindset. Hopefully this weekend I will get some solid writing done. I was also feeling a little uninspired

One of my goals to continue on, now that I've gotten other things under control, is working out after work. Now that I'm driving to work instead of walking to and from the train every day, I need to work in some daily exercise. I haven't been taking as many steps as I'm used to and I can definitely feel it in my legs. We'll see how that works out.

Now that I'm done talking, we'll get into everything from the week.


Links to Love

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week


xoxo
B

Since starting Royally Pink, I have been very open about my mental health. When I realized I had anxiety, I never shied away from sharing my story. I thought it was important to talk about and normalize it because if I normalized it, I no longer felt like I was suffering from some dirty little secret.

I wear my anxiety like a badge of honor, even on the days where it prevents me from getting out of the house. I was never embarrassed by it and really talk about it any chance I get. I'm also pretty positive I talked about it on my first date with my now boyfriend.

As I learn more about myself and my anxiety and mental health, in general, I realize how key it is to just keep talking. The more we discuss mental health the stronger we all become.

When I found out that April was stress awareness month, I thought it was a great time to talk more about mental health... not just anxiety but stress even more.

My Iconery x Bando necklace 


77% of Americans say they regularly suffer from physical symptoms of stress. Everyone can and will experience stress at some point in their life, but there is a difference in letting stress take over your life. No matter who you are, stress does not discriminate.

If you're experiencing stress, you most likely have a reason for it. Whether it's school, work, family life, a situation with friends... stress comes up in the most peculiar ways. However, stress is incredibly manageable and most of the stress we experience in life will pass, even if it doesn't seem like it will at the time.

Personally, my stress becomes a problem when it overcomes me and I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel. When I'm overly stressed that's when I tend to have heightened anxiety and it all muddles together.

When I'm stressed, there are a few things that really help me and they are slightly different from my anxiety cures.


  • Write -- whether it's making a to-do list or just writing out a stream of consciousness 
  • Take a walk to clear my head
  • Talk it out with someone
  • Use a stress ball or some other weird habit to distract yourself from what's going on
  • Drink water (I don't know why but this helps me so much when I'm stressed or anxious)
  • Breathe in for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts and breathe out for 4 counts 

For stress awareness month, try to do at least one of these things:

  • Talk about stress as much as possible -- preach it if you will, to make those more aware and understanding
  • Share your coping skills with others
  • If someone in your life is stressed, spend a little more time talking to them and helping them through it
  • Read up about stress, mental health and educate yourself further -- you might think you're an expert but there is always room to learn more.

If you ever feel stressed, anxious or just need to talk, please feel free to email me! I'm always here <3 briana@royallypink.com


xoxo
B

Little Loves Vol 4

in , , by RoyallyPink, 6:00 AM
I haven't done a Little Loves post in almost two years and I figured it was time for an update. There have been a lot of changes happening in my life and I wanted to talk about it, and also show you some things I've been loving.

If you've been paying attention to my blogs, I told you that I left my job at Laura Geller Beauty and I'm now working in Long Island at a new job. I'm still a social media manager, just in a different industry for a different company. I was at Laura Geller for 4 years and I was ready for a change. I'm planning an entire content series about career (which I've touched on in the past) but as I embark on my 2nd full-time job, I want to bring you along for the ride.



In the same breath, I've also expanded my freelance business (if you could call it a business). I'm doing some work for Byrdie and Fab Fit Fun so that's really exciting! I've been writing for Stacker Media for a few months and that's been really fun. My goal is to really heighten my freelance writing so I'm hoping 2019 will continue to be the year of writing.

Also, if you didn't read the first post in my First Time Dater series and haven't really been paying attention, I have a boyfriend. We've been dating for almost a year (we went on our first date in June 2018) and that's been incredible. As you know if you read the post, it's my first relationship and we will continue to explore all parts of relationships in my series. It hasn't been an adjustment really... it's been really exciting, fun, loving, and awesome.

And now here are the other things that have had my heart:



I'll talk about this in my favorites post at the end of the month but the Hourglass Vanish Foundation Stick has been my go-to for weeks now. I started using a sample I had and used the entire thing in about two weeks. I immediately purchased the full size and haven't wanted to wear anything else since. It's truly the best foundation I've ever tried... more to come soon!


I need this Wildfox Sweatshirt -- I'm definitely buying it this week before it sells out again!


Kate Spade is having a 30% off sale items sale and I will need to pick up a few things I've been eyeing:







Rainbow rings are so in and Baublebar has the cutest ones. I picked up this set from Nordstrom a few weeks ago and I can't stop wearing them. *They're not available at Nords anymore but you can pre-order on Baublebar.com


I'm pretty sure tiny watches are trending and if they aren't, I don't really care. I ordered this pre-loved (but it had all the tags so I don't think it's even be worn) Kate Spade watch from eBay and wore it all weekend. I love watches but sometimes when they're so big and clunky, they can be annoying. I paired this with my small Tiffany heart bracelet and it was the perfect weekend stack.


That's it for now! Stay tuned for more Little Loves post monthly :)
xoxo
B


So I mentioned in last week's roundup that I was starting a new job and this was my first week. Therefore, it was a stressful week, adjusting to a new routine, and learning new things. That being said, I'm happy the weekend is finally here.

It's a family filled weekend; we're celebrating my sister's birthday tomorrow and then I'm headed to my boyfriend's aunt's house for Palm Sunday on... well, Sunday.

At the moment, I'm distracted with finishing up an article and catching up on General Hospital so I'll jump into the meat of this post.



Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink


What I Bought This Week

I'm proud to say that I have not bought a single thing this week! 


Have a great weekend everyone
xoxo
B

I've had this idea burning a hole in my content calendar for a while... probably since last June which is when I went out on my first ever date.

Yes, you heard that right -- I was 25 years old and had never been out on a date.

Let's backtrack, shall we?

I was always the girl who never had a boyfriend. I liked boys, they didn't like me; I kind of just assumed that's how my life would go for a very long time. In high school, all my friends had boyfriends and most of them are still together today... which means that I've been surrounded by long-lasting, healthy relationships in a social aspect (not a familial aspect) since I was around 15 years old.

I used to cry myself to sleep wondering when it was going to be my turn to have a boyfriend... to post a cute anniversary picture on Facebook with (we had Facebook when I was 15, not Instagram) or change a relationship status with. I wanted someone, something to make me feel like I belonged.

It didn't get better when I got to college. I was surrounded by all these young men but had no idea how to talk to them. I joined a sorority and honestly, for two years, I was more consumed with my girlfriends than I was with boys and that was ok with me. I loved my sorority, more than I ever thought I could love something in my life and that was my college love, that was enough.

Until it wasn't... and until someone else came along.

My senior year of college I got involved with a guy and we had a very up and down sort of relationship -- an almost relationship if you will. It lasted for around two years after we graduated and then we both firmly realized (well I finally got the hint that it wasn't going to work).

Even though we were together, we weren't really together so we never went out on dates, which brings me back to my first point of being 25-years-old and never going out on a date. 

That started my bout with dating apps. God, I hated them more than anything. I talked to my fair share of guys, a lot who were very sweet and adorable, but it never went anywhere. I was getting frustrated and annoyed with how everything was going and didn't think anything would ever happen... until it did.

My aunt asked me if I wanted to go out on a blind date with her friend's son. I agreed and she gave him my phone number. He texted me, we set up a day and time to meet and I went out on my first date... and a blind date at that.

We met at a seafood restaurant on Long Island and I couldn't focus on anything but my nerves. I drank a little too much, talked a little too loud, and felt so uncomfortable. It had nothing to do with him, he was a perfect gentleman and we had great conversation. There were no awkward silences and everything went smoothly; at the time, I thought I liked him and he seemed like a good guy. However, I still felt so nervous and all I wanted to do was get out of there.

I was so nervous because I was with someone I didn't know, in a town I wasn't familiar with and didn't know how to function on a date. That's why I told the guy that I had to get home because my sister was sick. I just needed to decompress and be alone... which also is related to my social anxiety.

I was so scared when we had an awkward goodbye and didn't think I'd see him again because truthfully, I figured he didn't like me. I wasn't used to guys wanting to be with me...ever since I was a little girl it was always me chasing boys, never the other way around. It might have to do with the types of guys I was chasing, or because I was, in fact, chasing them.

I left my first date shaking and needing to pee. I got home, called my mom and texted my friends to give them the rundown. I didn't really feel any which way about it but was confident I probably wouldn't go out with him again... but at this point, it was just my nerves and my discomfort of this new situation.

Either way, I was surprised that he later texted me saying he had a good time and would like to see me again. Playing hard to get, I told him I couldn't see him next weekend but maybe the week after. He agreed and we made tentative plans for him to come to my neighborhood this time. I spent the next two weeks thinking of canceling the date because I was afraid to put myself out there again.

Well, the second date went a hell of a lot better than the first because now that guy that I was so nervous to meet is my boyfriend of almost a year.



Dating is all about putting yourself out there and as an anxious introvert, that is probably the scariest thing you could tell me. I was also very aware of the fact that I was 25 years old and never had been out on a real date or had a real boyfriend. I was self conscious about the fact that I might not be totally over my ex something and I was just really hard on myself for all those reasons.

When it comes to dating for the first time, there's a lot of things I wasn't sure how to do and that's why I wanted to start this series... to document those scary firsts and to let anyone out there reading know that there is no normal. Being in a relationship is different for everyone, and is different every time you're with someone new. How I was with my almost boyfriend is the complete opposite of how I am with my boyfriend now. It's very interesting...

I'll be writing these every month so if there's something you want me to tackle, let me know!


xoxo
B

I really enjoyed doing the first 'beauty that didn't work for me' post because I'm always so focused on finding things that do work for me and telling you about them but that I feel like not a lot of people are honest about the products that didn't work for them.

As I mentioned in my previous post, most of these things have been returned or gifted away and the same goes for these! 



Beautyblender Instaclean Sponge & Brush Cleansing Spray

When I saw that beautyblender was releasing this spot cleaner spray, I was super psyched! I ordered it the first day it was available and when I received it, I put it to the test immediately. After testing, I immediately put it back in the box and printed a return label.

This was incredibly oily and didn't remove any of the stains. It was a weird consistency and I hated the smell.

Instead of this, I just use the Sephora Collection Instant Brush Cleanser -- it is fragrance-free and super easy to use.

Kiehl's Lip Balm

My struggle with lip balm continued when I tried this Kiehl's lip balm. It's the classic, no fuss lip balm that has an almost 5-star review on Sephora.com. This is a fragrance-free balm that has a vaseline consistency. It does get a little oily when you first use it but it doesn't really affect anything else. Just as with other balms, I used this for a few weeks and all was well; then, out of nowhere, it stopped working for me and I broke out in an allergic reaction. I kept it in my collection for months and would go back to it every so often but the result was always the same. I eventually gave it to my sister and she hasn't had a problem with it. My lips are just too sensitive. 

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

Speaking of too sensitive... I was so happy when I tried out this cult favorite sleeping mask. I thought it was going to solve all my problems and it did, at first. I was slathering this on every night and I was waking up with lips as soft as a baby's! I was so thrilled because I was finally able to use something that was popular (and smelled good!) 

That was incredibly short-lived as one morning I woke up with swollen, chapped and cracked lips. I was so sad to see that my favorite lip mask no longer worked for me. I eventually returned it to Sephora but I'm curious to try the Vanilla scent that is currently available...  

It Cosmetics CC Cream

This is another cult classic product that I really hated. I didn't have an allergic reaction to the It Cosmetics CC Cream but I really just didn't like it! I don't understand why everyone has an obsession with this product! It's not a CC Cream, it is a full-blown foundation. It looked incredibly heavy and cakey on my skin and I was able to actually feel it on my face. I don't know if my skin just didn't like the CC Cream but I definitely did not like how I looked with it on. I gave it away to a friend who wanted to try it and she seemed to like it! 


Benefit Cheek Palettes

This isn't exactly one product but a category of product. I love a good face palette and have quite a few of them, from Becca, Laura Geller and NARS (to just name a few). One brand of face palettes that I never experimented with was Benefit and I think they are probably highly known for their face palettes. The palettes usually come with five face products and a little brush; they consist of bronzers, blushes and highlighters. To me, always seemed so bulky and useless. I don't have too much space when it comes to my makeup (probably because I have too much makeup) and that was something always holding me back.

It was only a few years ago when I saw one of the limited edition palettes in the store that I jumped at it. I just couldn't get it out of my head and had to have it. I only lasted a few months with it before giving it away because I just wasn't reaching for it. I felt like the colors were all wrong and they were products that I was reaching for. I think the palettes are just too big, too cumbersome and come with too many shades for one person to use.

Recently, Benefit Cosmetics released a mini, three product palette that I definitely want to try! I think they are more my speed.


What are some beauty products you've tried but haven't worked out?
xoxo
B

After my post about my favorite true crime podcasts, I wanted to dive deeper into my love of true crime documentaries. My interest comes from the fact that everyone and everything is a true crime right now. Pop culture is feeding out interests and I don't think that it's going anywhere.

Documentaries are easy to come by nowadays thanks to Netflix and Hulu, and everyone is getting true crime treatment. While a few of these may not be considered a 'documentary', it's still a true crime movie of the sort.
These are my must-watch true crime documentaries/docuseries.



The Keepers

This Netflix special series was a wild ride, and very hard to watch at times. It's about the unsolved murder of a Baltimore based, Catholic nun, Cathy Cesnick. You think you're getting into a regular old murder mystery but what the documentary uncovers goes much deeper than that. The sexual abuse going on at the school that Cesnick worked at comes to light, and the director does his best to get answers.

The Staircase

This is a case that I got super into and I still think about it to this day. It's a very slow series but very interesting. While it isn't a Netflix original (except for the last few episodes), you can still binge watch it there. The series follows Michael Peterson's story of his wife allegedly falling down the stairs to her death. Did he do it? Did she just fall? What really happened to Kathleen Peterson? I personally think he did it, and please do yourself a favor and look up 'the owl theory' but either way, you need to know everything about this case.

The Act

This is one of the series that isn't necessarily a docuseries or documentary; it's more of a regular series with actors and dramatized events but it's one you need to watch. It is about the story of Gypsy Rose and Dee Dee Blanchard; Dee had Munchausen by Proxy Syndrome and convinced her daughter, Gypsy (as well as others) that she was gravely ill. Gypsy was in a wheelchair that she didn't need, used a feeding tube that was unnecessary and was falsely diagnosed with leukemia, diabetes and other diseases. Eventually, one day Dee Dee turns up dead and the story rolls on from there. The story in itself is wild and I recommend the 20/20 special on it, but please get yourself a Hulu account and watch this intense, horrific tale of mother and daughter. 

Amanda Knox

I remember when the story of Amanda Knox was happening; it was something truly insane and I've remained fascinated with the story until now. This was released on Netflix in 2016 and was probably one of the first true crime documentaries I watched. Knox told the story of her innocence and the murder of her Italian roommate, Meredith Kercher and it was interesting to say the least. If you've ever had an off opinion of Amanda Knox, I highly recommend watching it. 

Abducted in Plain Sight

If you haven't heard about this yet, where have you been? It has been everywhere for the past few months and is a short watch. It's an incredibly strange, gut-wrenching story and you will be shocked at how stupid and naive some people are. Spend your night with Netflix and this very stupid family, you won't regret it.

Here are a few honorable mentions:

The Inventor: Out for Blood, Mommy Dead and Dearest, The Fyre Festival: The Greatest Party that Never Happened

A few that I didn't love:

The Ted Bundy Tapes, Making a Murderer, The Case Against Adnan Syded, Evil Genius


What are your favorite true crime docuseries?
xoxo
B


Oh boy what a WEEK. This post is up a little later than usual because I had an emergency appointment at the dentist yesterday. I still have all my wisdom teeth which is fine because they're not impacted, but I got a cavity on one of them so I had to get it pulled.

I walked into the dentist yesterday thinking I was just getting a filling and she told me that she was going to do an emergency extraction. Well, the entire process was fine until it was over because the minute I tried to get up from the chair, I almost passed out.

This happened two years ago when I got my blood taken at the doctor. My blood sugar dropped, I felt very nauseous and dizzy, and basically had a mini panic attack. I turned white, broke out in a cold sweat and then they had to give me oxygen.

My mom was getting her nails done and ran out of the salon to come to get me because I was of course, in no condition to drive. I spent the rest of the day in bed, nursing the hole in my gums, and trying to not focus on it.

On top of that, this was my last week at my job. I start a new one on Monday (another reason I was so nervous to get my tooth pulled) so it was an emotional, hectic week.

I will definitely go into more detail in future posts about how I felt leaving my first big girl job after four years but all in due time.

For now, let's dive into the things I loved this week!



Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

A few months ago I wrote a review about the first book in a series called "The Thousandth Floor". It was a book that had been on my "to-read" list for a while and I finally decided to purchase all three books to consume.

After "The Thousandth Floor", I was hooked and I quickly read the second and third in the trilogy... "The Dazzling Heights" & "The Towering Sky". I just finished "The Towering Skies" mere minutes ago and had to write the review.





If you read my review of "The Thousandth Floor", you know that the book is set in a futuristic New York where the entire city is housed in a giant tower, that extends a thousand floors into the sky. We follow the lives of all the teenagers who live high in the tower or are not as fortunate and live in downTowers.

A tragedy of course stricks the Tower and that is where we leave off with the 2nd book, as well as the rest of the series.

The entire series is filled with romance, incest (which was weird but you were also rooting for it), computers, death, lawbreaking, and con artists. It has pretty much everything you could want from a series... plus, it was only three books which can be a pro or a con because I want more of these people but truthfully, it ended perfectly.

The third book was probably my favorite because it wrapped everything up in a nice little bow but my goodness, the twists were coming at you from every which way and it was super surprising. The final twist that author Katharine McGee threw our way was insane, something I didn't see coming but also a really perfect ending.

Katharine McGee did an incredible job at bringing this futuristic city to life; I don't know how she thought of everything but wow, I was blown away by her creativity. Everything from the technology to the transportation to having an entire city in one building is so insane and it makes you wonder how McGee's mind works. I recommend the series just for creativity alone!

I think the message of the entire series was that as a society, we are put into a lot of different boxes and it's easy to fall into that trap of being who you think people see you as. It is very important to find your own identity because how you see yourself is what matters most.

"The Thousandth Floor" series was a quick read and each book was beautiful on its own but even better together. If you were someone who loved YA when they were younger (or still enjoy it now) this is a series that you would love. It is reminiscent of novels I read when I was 14 years old and I think it brought the younger, fiction lover out in me. I've been so obsessed with domestic thrillers that this was a really nice step away from that and really showed me that there are still incredible stories out there that don't involve a gruesome crime.

Have you read "The Thousandth Floor" series? What were your thoughts?

Since the beginning of 2019, I have purchased at least four handbags. I've sold a few too, but mostly purchasing and if that doesn't tell you I have a handbag problem, I don't know what will. Maybe if I tell you there are at least three more handbags on my wishlist and I hope to procure before the summer begins.

We will see...

However, for today, I'm discussing one of the latest additions to my Rebecca Minkoff handbag collection; the Rebecca Minkoff Edie Flap Backpack.



I've already raved about my Edie Flap Shoulder Bag and now it's the backpack's turn. I was never a huge backpack lover when the trend first came on the scene, but like all good trends, it grew on me. I found a way to make it my own without going overboard and I think the Edie Flap Backpack is a great way to incorporate the trend into my style.

I chose to buy this preloved to save about 50% off the retail cost, and I loved the color. The shade is called 'Doe' and is exclusive to Revolve, but I thought it was a great contrast to some of the other bags in my collection. It is also a color that I would feel comfortable wearing year round and it's nice to have a lighter bag going into the spring months.

This backpack is by no means large but it is not as small as my Kate Spade backpacks. It's the ideal everyday bag, and would make a great travel companion but for me it's not something I would take back and forth to work or school... just because I carry everything and the kitchen sink.

It's a very comfortable bag to wear and doesn't get too heavy -- I pack it to the brim with my items when I'm out and about, and I don't feel weighed down like I might with a normal shoulder bag.

All in all, I love this bag and it's a great backpack -- it's not too big or too small, is super comfortable and the quality is amazing. I also love the quilted detail because it feels more luxurious and I think it adds to the comfort level.

You can see the bag and my full review in my Youtube video!


xoxo
B

I've seen this nail polish all over the Internet for years but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that I realized it was available in my local Target store. The story behind this line is that it's eco-friendly, 7 free nail polish that has a high end formula.

The polishes clock in at $10, which is just a dollar or two more than Essie and OPI, depending on where you purchase from. I find the packaging completely adorable, with the square bottle and little elephant logo... it's just so chic and aesthically pleasing.

Before buying my first Ella + Mila polish this past weekend, I had no idea about the brand but now I kind of want to know everything about it. They have a great website  and even better social media so definitely check it out if this sparks your interest! *They also have some makeup products which is super interesting!



Now, onto the important part of this post... the nail polish.

I picked up the color "Time to Start a Bond Fire". It looks very similar to Essie's "Angora Cardi" but a little lighter and probably more apprioprate for year round wewar. It was also the only color that appealed to me from everything at Target.

I was pretty excited to use this color and try out a new polish formula... so excited I painted my nails yesterday.



The brush is similar to a normal nail polish brush, what the old Essie polsihes have... just a thin, long brush. However, the moment the brush hits your nails you can tell that something is different; I was able to cover my entire nail in just two swipes.



The formula is so smooth, smoother than any other polish I've ever used. It doesn't clump nor does it spread onto your cuticles and skin easily. It was really weird... how it just stayed on the nail and didn't bleed. To me, that's the sign of an expectionally good polish.

I applied two even coats, then applied my Essie Gel Couture top coat and finished it off with my Julep Ta-Da Quick Dry Drops.... this has been my finishing nail routine for a while. Since I only applied it yesterday I can't speak to chipping but it dried really nicely so we will see how it holds up on my fussy nails.

I have to say I was super impressed by this formula and as I was painting my nails, I was audibly gasping because I was so shocked and excited at how good this polish is.

The color is also really gorgeous -- it's not as autumn themed as I thought and is really a beautiful shade for year round wear. I need to get my butt back to Target, or order from Ulta because this is for sure my new favorite brand.


Have you ever tried Ella + Mila? What were your thoughts?
xoxo
B

COPYRIGHT © Royally Pink · THEME BY WATDESIGNEXPRESS