This was not a good week for the blog. I just needed a break because there was so much going on; we'll see how next week goes. It's the 4th of July and I'm not sure of my plans yet but hopefully, I'll be doing something fun.

While the week was really busy, I did find time for myself and went to the beach solo for the first time. I've been home every day, freelancing and getting work done but sometimes it gets really depressing being alone in the house all day long. There are only so many times I can run errands or go to the gym and I really want to get outside and enjoy the summer sun. I'm only 10 minutes away from the beach and yesterday was totally beautiful so I decided to wake up early and get some Vitamin D.



I brought my Nook E-Reader, my Airpods, and my Lilly Pulitzer Swell Bottle and settled into the sand. I was there for about three hours and it felt so good to be under the sun, alone. I'm someone who likes to be alone and since all my friends have full-time office jobs, if I wanted to get some sun I knew I was going to be alone. I got a beautiful tan (even though I was slathered in SPF 45) and it felt so incredibly wonderful.



After the beach I came home, showered, ate a cauliflower pizza and passed out for two hours. It was so good! You know that after beach feeling when you're tan and freshly showered and just cuddle up in an air-conditioned room? UGH, I wish I could bottle that feeling.

I'm done rambling about my solo beach trip and ready to dive into everything I loved this week!

Links to Love


What You Missed on Royally Pink


Have a great weekend!
xoxo
B
Mascara has always been part of my beauty routine and aside from eyeliner and lipgloss, was probably the first beauty product I ever tried. I've definitely gone through phases with it, where I really enjoyed mascara and when I didn't even bother with it but nowadays, I never leave the house without it. Sometimes I'm tempted to wear it to the gym, and sometimes I do.

I look so much more alive with mascara on and feel so much better. To me, nothing is cooler than some highlight on the cheeks and wispy lashes. That is the perfect every day, 'I didn't try' look.

Over the years I've tried a lot of mascaras that I've loved, liked, and didn't love. Mascaras are some of my favorite beauty products to try because you know immediately if it works. You get instant gratification with mascara which is really cool.

Just like I've gone through phases with wearing mascara, I've gone through phases of which mascaras are my favorite. Right now, these are my all time favorites -- some are new to me and I've only purchased one tube and others I've gone through countless tubes.

You'll see a trend in the mascaras I like. I really prefer a thick, hourglass brush that has a lengthening and volumizing formula. My lashes have always been really long so I really liked the extra volume. Recently my lashes have gotten shorter so I curl them before applying mascara and that helps a lot.

Ok, now let's get into it...


Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara 

There is a reason this is one of the best selling mascaras ever. There is a reason it's called Better Than Sex. I've used so many tubes of this I've lost count. It volumizes, lengthens, separates and makes my lashes black as black. It is my go-to mascara and when I don't have it in my collection, I miss it. This is the OG hourglass wand that made me fall in love. I feel like it hugs my lashes perfectly and really coats each one so everything is uniform. If you haven't tried it, I recommend picking it up to see what the fuss is about! 

*I have tried the waterproof version and didn't like it nearly as much as the original.

MILK Kush Mascara

When I received a sample of this in my Sephora order, I was super excited. A cannabis mascara? YES! Then I tried the formula and was blown away. It wasn't as wet as Better Than Sex, has just a thick of a wand but is more tapered than hourglass. This formula really lengthens my lashes, more than any other mascara I've used (it looks like I have false lashes on, seriously). It doesn't add as much volume but it doesn't clump either which is awesome. 

Laura Geller Lashboss

I'm pretty sure this mascara is being discontinued soon and I'm going to cry when it is. This mascara is life changing! It is a dual-sided brush that has a triple benefit complex that lengthens, curls, and volumizes (can you tell I used to write the copy for this product????). You can use either side of the brush or use both at the same time by twisting the brush as you coat your lashes. I would say this is the most lengthening and separating mascara in my collection and when I want a more natural look, this is what I use. 

Benefit Roller Lash

I remember when Benefit Roller Lash came out and was able to test it out before the release date. I fell in love and used my little travel tube to the last drop. I purchased it when it was released and have repurchased maybe 4-5 times after. This is another mascara that I miss when I don't have it; it really curls my lashes and does a great job at separating them. I would say this is most similar to the Lashboss formula because it's a little on the dry side, in the best way possible.

Honorable mention: 

Lancome Monsieur Big Mascara. I've only used one tube so I only want to mention it shortly. It's a very wet formula but has a big, thick brush that grabs ahold of your lashes and coats them while also curling and lengthening them. This is a slightly clumpy formula but it's nothing that really bothers me. 


What are your favorite mascaras? Give me suggestions!

xoxo
B

I've highlighted my shopping problem here on the blog quite a bit but I don't know if you realize how deep it runs. I like my 'stuff' so much and whenever I find something adorable that I can't get out of my head, I have to have it... even if it is something completely useless.

I've always been this way -- I just like things. As I've gotten older and have gotten more into shopping and having a certain aesthetic in my room, and for Instagram, I've found myself buying more 'useless' items but at the moment, it doesn't seem useless. However, when I look around my room, I see tons of stuff that is really unnecessary for me to have but I had to have.

Now, I wouldn't say I regret any of these purchases. I would even say that these are probably my favorite purchases of all time but that doesn't make them even remotely useful.

Golden Croissant 



For some odd reason, I am obsessed with croissants. They have always been my favorite pastry and when I started working in the city, there was a Paris Baguette (if you don't know, look it up!) next door to my office and I would get a croissant everyday. I soon realized they were way too fattening and restricted myself to only having one when I wanted to treat myself. 

However, I still really love croissant decor, if that makes sense! I love looking at croissants in stylized Instagram photos or in illustrations. I even bought a croissant phone case! I swear, when I go to Paris one day it's over for me.



All of that being said, when I saw a golden croissant dish on Anthropologie, I immediately put it in my cart. I waited a few days/weeks to purchase and luckily it went on sale so I took that as a sign it was meant to be (LOL)

This golden croissant sits on my desk as a piece of decor; I don't use it as a jewelry dish or storage, it's just there for show and I don't know if I've loved anything more than I do this golden croissant. It brings me insane joy but is totally pointless in my life.

It's no longer available on Anthropologie but you can check out all the other trinket dishes they have

Champagne Bell





Around 2014/2015, I like everyone else became obsessed with the 'Press For Champagne' button that was all over social media. I lusted after the piece and had it in my Etsy cart for years after I finally accepted I wasn't going to spend the $80 on the button and started looking for an alternative. I found this adorable hotel bell on Etsy for around $11 and immediately purchased it. Just like the golden croissant, it sits on my desk as a simple decor piece. It's pink, adorable and makes for a great Instagram prop but doesn't get any real use.


Tiffany & Co Porcelain Coffee Cups



I saw a Youtuber unbox these porcelain coffee cups from Tiffany & Co and immediately fell in love. I had never seen anything so beautiful, elegant and perfectly me. I needed them but they were almost $100 and I knew I wasn't going to use them for drinking. I was rediscovering my love of Breakfast at Tiffany's at the time and was in a phase of loving Tiffanys, therefore, I needed these cups. Fortunately, I had a $100 gift card that I won at a work conference and used that to walk into the Tiffany store and buy a bracelet, and my cups. I felt like Blair Waldorf walking out with two Tiffany bags and unboxing my porcelain cups. I use one as a pen holder and the other is on display with my handbags and I love those useless cups so much it hurts. 

Polaroid Camera 

There was a time a few years ago that everyone and anyone was obsessed with Polaroid cameras. I wanted one but never really thought much about it. That is until my best friend Snapchatted me on Christmas morning 2015 and said she got a Polaroid camera! I immediately went onto Amazon and purchased a pink one because I'm an idiot. I have barely used it but once again, makes for a good prop. This is probably the purchase I regret the most and should probably just sell it! 

What are some of your most unnecessary, useless purchases?

xoxo
B
TGIF! Even though it's Friday I have some things to take care of today so everything is over and I'll be eating a lobster roll in Long Island with my boyfriend, I'll be as happy as a clam!

This was a really long week with so much happening! I don't even remember what I did on Monday -- it feels like ages ago! I had a semi rough start to the week with Father's Day making me really sad and it just brought on a lot of emotions. Sometimes I really believe I haven't dealt with my grief the way I should and it sparks something inside of me. I need to take care of that.

In other news, so much exciting stuff happened this week so I really need you all to cross your fingers and say a prayer that I get epic good news soon, and when/if I do, I will of course share it with you!

This weekend is going to be a little more lowkey probably but I think I'll get some cleaning done, reorganize my makeup and jewelry (what I've been meaning to do) and try to get myself together.

I've been going through some of my stuff and listing it on Poshmark. I have a lot of great phone cases and two handbags on there right now so if you're not following me, you should be! I've been selling and shopping on Poshmark since before I started this blog and is by far my favorite platform to work with! I highly recommend.

Anyways, I'm going to enjoy the rest of my night with the Real Housewives of New York, as I'm writing this on Thursday night (did you see last week's episode? I'm rewatching now and it's insane. Top 5 best housewives episodes ever) and I'm ready for the continuation.

Let's get right into this week!


Links to Love

What You Missed on Royally Pink

I also picked up these reusuable cotton rounds from Makeup Eraser and I can't wait to use them!!



It is time for another installment of the first time dating series! This month we're tackling the ever confusing and frustrating topic of communication.

I remember when I first realized that men and women are inherently different. It was 2015, I was listening to Bethenny Frankel's book "I Suck At Relationships So You Don't Have Too" and was in a bad place with my pseudo-relationship. I was looking for anything to wake me up and instill some wisdom in me.

One of the main messages in the book was that men and women are different in a lot of ways but are very different when it comes to communication and thinking. It was at that moment that I realized that maybe sometimes people aren't being rude on purpose, it's just that you expect everyone to communicate the way you do but that is not the case.

Everyone, man and women, communicate differently and it's our job to learn how people in our lives communicate and tailor it to what you're comfortable with.

Communication is obviously a huge part of any relationship but especially romantic relationships and to me, communication is the most important thing. I think it is because it's my love language -- I like to talk and be reassured verbally of the relationship. That is definitely because, in my past pseudo-relationship, I didn't get that at all.

It's important to me that I'm told that I'm cared for but also that someone is responding to me. Whether it is verbally, by text or phone calls, I need to have written/verbal confirmation of something.

However, in my current relationship, it is incredibly different.



At the beginning of our relationship, my boyfriend made it pretty clear that he is not a phone person. He doesn't like to text, he isn't on social media, and can pretty much go days without touching his phone. Because of this, we don't talk a ton during the week. I can go a few days without talking to him and that is totally ok! I've always been a big believer that you don't have to talk to someone daily to have a relationship, whether that is platonic or romantic.

As I mentioned before, previously, I was in a place where I wanted to talk every day because it was reassuring to me. I felt that if he was talking to me, he wasn't talking to anyone else; if he wasn't talking to me, then he was mad at me or going to break up with me. I needed him to always talk to me, I need to be reassured.

That isn't the case now! If I don't talk to my boyfriend for a few days, I know that it's not because he doesn't want to talk to me, or because he's mad at me... it's because that's just not his style and in turn, it's become my style. I don't necessarily have anything to say to someone every single day. Sometimes I don't even want to talk to my mom, sister or friends. Most days, especially lately, I just want to be left alone so it's been working out!

I am so secure with my relationship that the idea of not talking every day doesn't bother me, and because when we're together, we connect so much better! We have so much to talk and laugh about, it's so refreshing. However, most weeks we will have a phone conversation to catch up and that's really nice.

Just because we don't talk constantly doesn't mean we don't communicate... we just communicate better in person than over technology! It works for us and that is the best part of relationships --you do what is best for you and your significant other. My friends and family think it's really weird but it works and I love that.

When I say communication I mean talking about life, interests, catching up but I also mean telling each other when something is bothering you. If he did something that bothered me the wrong way, I'll tell him. A few weeks ago I was feeling pretty nuts and told him that I was feeling insecure and he reassured me that things were ok. Being able to be comfortable in a relationship where you can talk about anything you are feeling is so important and it makes me so happy to be able to do that.

As long as you're communicating in the best way for both of you, then what is wrong with that? Communication is probably the 2nd most important thing to me, other than trust because without communicating, what do you have? Nothing.

What is your advice for communicating in a relationship?
xoxo
B
When I saw that Andrea Dunlop was coming out with another book, I immediately went to NetGalley to see if I could get an advanced copy. Well, I was in luck and scored one!

"We Came Here to Forget" will be released on July 2nd and is a follow up to Dunlop's first novel "She Regrets Nothing" which I did a book review on a while ago.

"We Came Here to Forget" centers around "Liz" who has escaped her life and headed to Buenos Aires. At first, we don't know the reason Liz wanted to get away but we quickly learn through flashbacks of her childhood and teenage years. We learn that Liz is not infact Liz but Katie Clearly, an Olympic medalist skiier and she has experienced some family trauma that led her to leave her life and skiing career behind.



The book is laid out as one chapter is a flashback, one is present day in Buenos Aires, and we flip flop back and forth. Personally, I found the backstory of Katie/Liz more interesting than the Buenos Aires chapters but I think that's because where the meat of the book was. That's where you learned what was going on with Katie and her family and how we ended up here. The Buenos Aires chapters felt jam packed with details and characters that didn't seem important.

Despite that, "We Came Here to Forget" was a really great book. It was super well written, really well developed characters and honestly, wasn't too long. I think that's important when you want to read a book, well written book -- sometimes the books are too long and too confusing.

I found myself obsessively reading this book every night for a week straight (it took me probably 5-6 days to finish it) because I found myself needing to know what happened next; I was addicted to the interesting story and the twist at the end, when you finally find out why Liz/Katie had to leave her life behind is something stripped straight from real-life headlines.

As the book goes on you see Liz/Katie really grow, come to terms with what happened to her and end up where she was always meant to. I am just really obsessed with the character development in this story because it is so inspiring to be able to make you feel the character's growth. I almost can't explain it!

I think I ended up liking this story more than "She Regrets Nothing" but both books show Dunlop's talent as a writer.

If you're someone who likes a typical nonfiction book mixed with a bit of mystery, you'll love this "We Came Here to Forget".

xoxo
B
I mentioned a while ago that I was really excited for the hair accessory trend to make a comeback in a huge way. I also mentioned in that post that I was lusting after Lele Sadoughi headbands. All the influencers and fashion editors were wearing them, they were all over my Instagram feed and gave off a very specific look/style.

I was enamored with the brand and excited to try out the most famous headbands on Instagram once the time was right. Well, a few months ago, I took the plunge and ordered my first headband.

Before receiving the headband, I was unsure of what to expect. I had heard from reviews and IRL people that the headbands were insanely comfortable and unlike anything they had ever worn before.

All the headbands come in their own individual striped pouches which protect the headbands
and are super adorable! 


I decided to pick the Black Rosebud Headband because I feel like it matched pretty much everything I have. I wear a lot of neutrals so I figured this would be a good one to start off with since it matches a lot and adds a little flair because of the rosebud design.



Since picking up my Black Rosebud headband, I bought the Sand Dollar Woven Headband and my unicorn, Black Pearl Headband. I purchased the first two from the Lele Sadoughi website but the Black Pearl from Anthropologie because it is obviously more expensive and I liked having the Afterpay option. However, right now the headband is out of stock on Anthropologie's website but I recommend checking in every so often because they come in and out very fast.

*My sand dollar headband is by far my most worn because it's white and naturally matches everything in my wardrobe but it is really dirty. It has makeup all over it (on the underside of the headband) and I need to figure out how to clean it. 

Whenever I leave the house (if I'm not going to the gym) I have one of these headbands on. They are so comfortable, don't give you a headache (which most hair accessories end up doing to me) and don't leave a dent in your hair. They're very lightweight which is something I wasn't expecting but definitely helps in not making you uncomfortable.

There are knockoffs of Lele Sadoughi floating around everywhere and I even own one, but there is truly nothing like these headbands. I will most likely never buy another headband in the near future -- I am fully converted Lele Sadoughi.

If you are someone who loves accessories, wears headbands frequently or is looking to make a statement with something other than jewelry or a bag, you need at least one Lele Sadoughi headband. You will never want anything else on your head!

What I also really love about the brand is that she is constantly releasing new prints, patterns, and sizes. It's really exciting to see so many new products being churned out and it ensures that there is really something for everyone, no matter your style!

I am confident that this headband collection will eventually have a mind of its own and I'm confident that I have created a true headband wearing monster. Like, all I want to do is spend money I don't have on headbands I don't necessarily need.

On that note, below are the other Lele Sadoughi headbands I'm lusting after!


xoxo 
B

I've always been a sucker for the finer things in life and when it comes to beauty, luxury and higher end have always been my favorite. When I was first getting into the beauty space, I coveted everything I purchased from Sephora and when I shopped there, I was truly the happiest.

I had drugstore makeup that I liked, even loved but if you look at the prices of drugstore makeup now, it's not as cheap as one would think. When I realized that, I didn't see the point in buying makeup I didn't want just because it was a few dollars cheaper than what I really wanted in Sephora or Nordstrom.

*Obviously some drugstore makeup is just as great quality as the higher end but it's just my preference. 

Years later, I now have the ~luxury~ of being able to afford some really luxurious products and while some of these aren't super high end, they can still be considered luxury for the price point (in my opinion).

I've tried so many products over the years and by far, these are my favorite luxury (or higher end) products and items I would pretty much never be without, despite the high price tag.


Cle de Peau Beaute Concealer - $70

I bought this heavy duty, well talked about and expensive concealer as a birthday gift for myself years ago and I don't think I will ever be without it. It is a secret weapon of mine, covers all of my dark circles, blemishes and spots but doesn't end up cakey on your skin. I love the fact that it's a cream stick concealer instead of a liquid and I think that contributes to the ease of use and high coverage. It is travel-friendly (I bring it everywhere with me, seriously) and has SPF so it's a great addition to your beach bag.

If you are a concealer junkie or someone who has a lot of trouble with dark spots, circles, and blemishes, you need this concealer. It is worth $70 and I will repurchase for the rest of my life.

Tatcha Violet -C Radiance Mask - $68

I received a foil sample of this Tatcha mask, used it, saw instant results and immediately purchased the full size. This mask instantly brightens your skin thanks to the two types of Vitamin Cs infused in the violet mask; it has AHAs from Japanese fruits that help with anti-aging and is made for everyone, despite your skin type. Whenever I feel like my skin is dull and not looking its best, this mask truly brings it back to life without drying it out. It's the only mask that I've used that really makes a difference in how my skin looks. I love this mask so much, I've been highly considering purchasing the matching serum.

Tom Ford Lip Color in Sable Smoke - $55

There are probably more expensive lipsticks out there but this best selling Tom Ford color is definitely the most expensive in my collection. "Sable" is a gorgeous warm peach nude that washes me out ever so slightly but in the best way possible. It is a super moisturizing lipstick and one of my go-to colors whenever I don't know what I want to wear. Do I think it's worth $55? Probably not but it's a really gorgeous lipstick formula, gorgeous packaging, and when was the last time you went through an entire lipstick? I've been lusting after other colors for a while now and maybe one day when I need a pick me up, I'll try another one! If you're in the market for a new, expensive, luxurious lipstick, go try the Tom Ford ones.

Shiseido Facial Cotton - $12

$12 is not a luxury price tag but it is when you are paying for cotton pads. I resisted the Shiseido Facial Cotton hype for years but eventually gave in during a Sephora VIB Sale some time ago. One use and I never ever went back. I use a facial cotton every day because I wash my face with micellar water in the morning; I don't use face wash so having a good quality facial cotton is something that has become important to me. I don't use these for nail polish or removing my entire face of makeup, it's really just for micellar water or stubborn eye makeup. That being said, I've tried to use drugstore cotton pads since and I wanted to scream -- there is NOTHING like the Shiseido Facial Cotton. They are very, very soft and never fall apart; they are very sturdy which is really cool because when was the last time you had a cotton pad NOT fall apart? 

If you don't want to shell out the $12 on the first try, get the 40 sheets for $5. 

What are some of your favorite luxury beauty items?


xoxo
B
Wow... I cannot believe we are 25 weeks into 2019 and basically 6 months away from the end of the year. Time is FLYING and 2019 is not turning out how I expected it to. When I think about that, I get really sad and it almost depresses me. If you haven't caught on, clearly I'm going through some stuff and almost all of it is professional stuff.

Other than that, my life is good -- I have a great boyfriend, I see my friends a lot, and I'm thriving in my freelance life. I guess I just have to remember those things, ya know? It's hard sometimes to see the sun when you feel cloudy.

Tonight I am headed to a concert at Jones Beach, which if you are not familiar with New York/Long Island, is one of the BEST venues for a concert! I've been there a handful of times and during the summer it's just beautiful. Watching a concert outside is really, really special and invigorating. Tonight, my friends and I will be watching Summer Jam which is a concert put on by one of the Long Island radio stations. I'm not familiar with most of the acts performing but the reason we're going is simple; the Jonas Brothers are performing.

I'll be going to their concert in November with my best friend and words can't describe how excited I am for it but this mini-concert will be a good teaser. I can't believe I'm seeing my boys for the first time in 10 years! It is truly insane!

Tomorrow I'll probably be doing something fun and outdoorsy with my boyfriend and Sunday is Father's Day which is always really difficult for me but it's my third one without my dad and I always make it through, even if I shed a few tears along the way.

Woah, that was a long update -- let's get into what I loved!


Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week





xoxo
B

Little Loves, Vol 5

in , , by RoyallyPink, 7:30 AM
It's time for another little loves post! It's been an interesting few months with a lot of career changes, a lot of personal changes and just exciting and life changing things. I know I keep making vague statements but just know that things are good and down the line, I'll be able to share.

I've been doing a lot of writing, mostly for Fab Fit Fun which is SO exciting. It is such an awesome brand and they are some of the best people I've worked with. It really is a dream come true.

I'm so excited for summer and for everything that is coming up; I have a few parties, some daytime fun with friends, and I'm just looking forward to being outside and doing some fun stuff. It's such a change from how I've felt about summer in the past. I used to dread it because I didn't feel like I had anything to do but now with a boyfriend, I have a built in person that I can force to do things with me LOL

I've been loving so many things lately and I couldn't wait to share this post with you all to show off my little loves!



I've been doing a lot of work from home and I like to change up where I sit; my dining room and kitchen tables are a little lower than my desk so it's awkward when I try to sit there and do work, therefore I finally bought a laptop stand from Amazon. I have been obsessed with it for the past few weeks. It really helps me get work done in a comfortable state and I honestly feel a little fancy with it, like I'm a businesswoman. There are a bunch of different laptops stands on Amazon but this is the one I got and with a quick assembly, I have a sleek, easy to use a laptop stand.



I hung up my Erin Condren planner a few weeks ago. I was getting bored with it and wasn't really utilizing all the features. I won't be buying a new one this year -- I just would rather something a little simpler. For my new job, I had purchased a discounted planner from one of my favorite illustrators, Melsy. I've been using it constantly and I'm in love! It's the perfect BIG planner that lets me write big, brainstorm, and really spread out. I don't think I'd purchase again because they are pricey but right now, I am really in love.

Netgalley is my favorite website ever! You've seen me talk about it in past book review posts but it's allowing me to blow through books super quickly, both books that are already published and books that have yet to be published. In the past two weeks, I've finished about 5 books -- it's wild. If you have a blog/review books and aren't using Net Galley, you have to be.



Once the weather hits around 70 degrees I'm immediately in a Lilly Pulitzer mood. I start looking at the Lilly website to order one new thing (this year it was this Essie shirt in the print 'From Sea to Shining Sea'), start checking on Poshmark for any new Lilly accessories, and start obsessively looking at hashtags. This year I decided to get on board with another Lilly agenda (I always come back to these so I don't know why I try to reinvent the wheel) and I'm just in a super duper Lilly mood lately!



Lastly, summer is unofficially here and it's sangria season! Wherever I am, I always drink sangria and I've had too many to count already and we're not even halfway into June! Maybe I should share all my favorite places in New York/Long Island for sangria this summer -- that sounds like a fun post ;)

Thank you as always, for reading!

xoxo
B




Two months ago, my best friend since I was 5 years old got engaged and it was an amazing proposal, an amazing day and I'm just so incredibly excited. Before that, three of my other longtime friends got engaged so I have a ton of weddings coming up in the next two years.

You may not know this about me but I am super into weddings/bridal/all things planning a wedding. Have I ever planned a wedding? NOPE. However, my mom has planned a ton of parties in her life and I remember when she was planning my confirmation party (she planned a party for my entire class -- did the decor, menu, collected the money, and did the seating arrangements), I was intrigued. She also planned my sweet 16 and I obviously helped her with that and I just love all things party planning.

That being said, I get really excited about all the components that come along with an engagement; cute, personalized gifts, showers, bachelorette parties, brunches -- I just want to be involved with it all.

For this particular engagement of my BFF, I was super stoked to put together a little basket to celebrate. I think it's the sorority girl in me because I love putting together baskets and little crafts... it's just so much fun!

The minute she got engaged I went online to pick up a few items that would pair nicely together for an engagement basket. I think despite your bride's style you will be able to find a variation of products to help her celebrate!

What I Put in the Engagement Basket



Kate Spade Ring Dish: 


A special dish or jewelry box is such a great gift to start off their engagement off right. I bought one for my mom when she got engaged months ago and I knew that it would be my go-to for all the ladies in my life. There are so many options and it helps them keep their ring separate from other pieces of jewelry, but it's also really special. Personally, I love having a special piece of decor to celebrate a milestone. 

Baublerella Bling Brush:

I first heard of this product through two of my favorite bloggers, Emily Gemma and Katey McFarlan. This is an on the go jewelry/ring cleaner that makes keeping your engagement ring shiny and beautiful. I also bought my mom this when she got engaged and she continually says it's the best thing she could've ever gotten. I think you should gift every bride this pen because it's something that is practical, easy to travel with and is a product they will always use.

Wine Glass

Can I be more basic? Probably but I love a good, cute wine glass and that DEFINITELY comes from my sorority life. I wanted to buy a cute wine glass that could be decor or be used for drinking and found this adorable one from Amazon

Champagne

Inside the wine glass, I obviously put a mini bottle of champagne. If your bride isn't into champs, put her favorite drink and if she doesn't drink alcohol, you can definitely put some coffee, tea, sparkling water -- anything to get her through wedding planning!

By no means do you have to gift something outside of an engagement party, bridal shower, wedding but I think to give a friend something small and meaningful to celebrate with her is really special.

Below are a few other picks for what to gift your bride BFF or anyone else in your life! 




It's really fun to talk about and buy beauty products; whether it's concealer, lipstick, or eyeshadow, I love trying new things; I love reading about people trying new products and I love watching videos about it.

While that is all fun and games, there is a sector of the beauty industry that isn't talked about enough and it's the nonglamorous side of beauty. It's the stuff you don't show off, the items you pretty much need, not want. It could be a little gross and a little unsatisfactory so I figured I'd talk about my favorite nonglamorous beauty products! These are items that are not sexy but items I use constantly.



Venus Swirl Razor

This is the product that inspired the post. I was shaving my legs and just had an overwhelming love for this razor and needed to shout it from the rooftops. I've tried countless razors since I was 10 years old and really, this is the one I never want to be without. 

You've seen the commercials and ads for the razor that moves with you and if you thought it was a gimmick, you were wrong. I finally picked it up after years of wondering and haven't gone back in nearly a year. It gives me a really close shave, doesn't nick or cut me, and rarely do I miss a spot with this razor. Because it has that swivel motion, you can twist and turn the razor easily, making shaving your ankles and knees really easy. I also shave my arms with this so getting the elbows and upper arm area is pretty full proof.

Julep Cuticle Oil

I don't classify cuticle oil as a glamorous beauty product so here we are. I don't go to the nail salon to get manicures so I have to care for my cuticles at home. The Julep Roller On Oil is the best because it's compact, travel-friendly, and you don't have to worry about getting your entire hand full of oil. You just roll it onto the cuticle and you're all set. I keep this with me every day, no matter where I'm going. I also keep one on my nightstand if I need to apply before bed. It's hands down my favorite cuticle oil.

Emjoi Micro Pedi

This was one of my favorite beauty products of 2017 and that still rings true two years later. The Emjoi Pedi is an electronic callus remover and it just removes all the dead skin from your feet within seconds. Whenever my feet are feeling extra gross, I do this for a few minutes and suddenly my feet feel as if I just got the most luxurious spa pedicure. I only have to use it every few weeks and it's a lifesaver between pedicures. It's really easy to use, doesn't hurt, and the refills are pretty cheap on Amazon

Venus Waterless Razor

Yes, this is another razor but really, you need to go get this, especially for the summer. I've had it in my drawer for months but never opened it. One day this month, I was running to the gym and forgot to shave my underarms (ugh) so instead of taking my regular razor, I cracked this open and life was changed. It's a plastic blade and has a waterless gel that you squeeze out and after shaving, the hair comes right off. It's the perfect on the go razor, ideal for the beach or BBQs but also great for keeping in your desk at work or in your car. Go GET IT. 

What are some of your favorite nonglamorous beauty products?
xoxo
B
This was a really long week and I'm very happy for the weekend! I will be spending most of it listening to the Jonas Brothers new album, "Happiness Begins". I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it but I am a huge Jonas Brothers fan. I was overly obsessed with them rom 2007-2009... it was a dark two years honestly, just ask my family and friends.

I'm pretty convinced that I didn't have a boyfriend in high school because I was too preoccupied with loving the Jonas Brothers. I'm planning a post all about the Jonas Brothers because they're such a big part of my life so look out for that soon.

As I said, I'm looking forward to the weekend so I don't have to really focus on anything other than enjoying time with my friends and boyfriend -- we're going to a bar tonight that's on the water and I'm excited to be outside.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

My no buy is NOT going well. Jesus, I need help.

I also purchased my favorite SPF; I got a sample a few months ago and have been obsessed. It finally came back in stock and you need it! 





xoxo
B
*As I finished this blog and went to look for a link, I found that the book has two different names for the US and UK markets. In the US it is called "The Woman Next Door" and in the UK it's "All Her Secrets". I read the UK verison and from what I can tell, just the titles are different. The book was released in the US on May 23rd, 2019.

If you read my book reviews regularly, you know that I am no stranger to a psychological thriller. I usually listen to them on Audible but I'm taking a break from audiobooks and taking advantage of NetGalley, the site where you can get books early if you're a reviewwer.

The latest book I read is "The Woman Next Door" by Sue Watson and at the beginning of this book I had no idea how it would progress.



Lucy Metcalfe is the main character and is taken with her neighbor, local weathergirl, Amber Young. Amber soon discovers she has a stalker and Lucy becomes a little obsessed with protecting her friend. Everyone in Lucy's life from her friends to her husband Matt tries to tell her that Amber is no good and cannot be trusted.

As the novel progresses, you start to see signs that maybe everyone is right about Amber and maybe there is something off about her. Lucy refuses to see it and Amber keeps taking advantage of her friend's kindess. However, at some point you start to realize that maybe something is off with Lucy... and now no one seems to be in their right mind.

The book progresses on and on, with a few twists and turns. You think you know what is happening but then Watson pulls the rug out from underneath you, continually. Nothing is at seems in "The Woman Next Door" and just when you think the book is over, the real bomb is dropped.

I don't remember reading a book with this many twists (and I love a good twist) -- it was really supsensful without being scary. It wasn't a creepy story... just trying to figure out who was stalking the weathergirl.

If you love psychological thrillers that aren't too intense but have a great storyline, this is for you! I think it might be one of my favorite books of the year.

xoxo
B


I go through shoes like I drink water. I have always been very rough on my shoes, a very hard walker and really every pair of shoes I own fall apart within a season or two. Because of this, I've learned to invest in good, quality shoes that aren't overly expensive because I will probably destroy them at some point.

I'm a gal who loves her flats. I think they're practical, go with everything and can be casual or dressy. They are also the perfect in-between season shoe; you know, when it's not really winter or spring, and not really summer or fall, flats come in handy despite the hot or cold weather.

I've tried countless pairs of flats from countless companies to find a pair that I really liked; I needed them to be comfortable (most shoes are uncomfortable on me), didn't give me blisters and went with everything. I also needed them to be cute, obviously.

Enter Tory Burch.

Tory Burch has been one of my favorite brands for a number of years but their flats had a reputation of being wildly uncomfortable. I know women who have worn them and completely hated them but that was years ago, and now Tory Burch has a lot of different options.



I knew Tory Burch had high-quality products and after reading reviews of the Minnie Travel Ballet Flats, I knew they were going to be perfect for me. The reviews raved about how comfortable these flats were, how people never bought another pair of flats and that these were a must-have. Also, they're travel flats which means that you can fold them up, put them in their little travel bag and keep them with you on the go. I might not really use that feature but it is really appealing and nice to have.

I ordered a black and white snakeskin pair that were on sale on the Tory Burch website and from the moment I put them on, I was in love. It feels like my feet are on a pair of pillows, they don't give me blisters and don't slip off when I walk. I've had my pair for close to a year and they haven't stretched out a bit.

The Tory Burch Minnie Travel Ballet Flats are true to size. After my weight loss, my feet shrank almost a full size and I now wear an 8.5 in almost all shoes, including these flats.



After obsessively wearing these shoes for months, I knew I needed a more neutral pair. When I saw that Tory Burch released quilted flats, I immediately put them on my wishlist. It was a few months ago that I scored the nude pair of quilted flats on sale and truthfully, I like them better than the snakeskin because they are a little more luxurious looking and go with more outfits. I also really love the nude color for spring and summer.

Neither pair has much wear and tear -- I've worn them in the rain, in Manhattan, and on the subway and they don't look nearly as worn as other shoes I own.

These flats are incredibly sleek, fashionable, and chic. They look really classic and elegant; I feel a little bit like Blair Waldorf in them. I think they make any outfit better and you don't feel like you're wearing a pair of any old flats.

Flats get a lot of flack for being a boring shoe but there is nothing boring about the Tory Burch Minnie Travel Flats. They come in a ton of different colors, prints, and materials so you will definitely find something that fits your unique style.

If you are looking for a good, classic pair of flats, I don't think you can get better than these. I can't wait to add more colors/prints to my collection!

Have you ever tried these Tory Burch shoes? What are your favorite pair of flats? 

xoxo
B
I was shopping in Target a few weeks ago and came across the most gorgeous nail polish. The color "Strike a Rose" was for lack of a better word... striking. It's the most stunning neon pink color that screams summer. and would look insane against tanned skin.

It was on the "new' display so I assumed it was part of the Essie 2019 Summer collection and I was right. I couldn't leave the beautiful nail polish just sitting there, begging to be taken home. Therefore I bought it and immediately painted my nails with the new, neon pink color when I got home.



Well, I did not do my research properly. The Summer 2019 collection is a demi-matte collection which means that it dries down only with a slight sheen, not like a full out cream. I found this out when I applied it and the polish started to dry.

I am not a fan of matte nail polishes -- I don't like the way they make my nails/hands look and I find that they chip faster. If I would've known that the collection was demi-matte I definitely wouldn't have purchased it.

The formula of this polish is alright -- it felt a little patchy and was slightly messy. It chipped within a day, even with the Essie Gel Couture topcoat (which I have been using even without the Gel Couture polish). However, it did dry down to a nice semi cream finish after I applied the top coat.

I liked the shade and will probably wear it multiple times throughout the summer because it's just so beautiful and I have it in my collection but it by no means is my favorite polish ever. However, if you like a demi-matte finish, you will probably enjoy this collection!

What is on your nails this Monday?
xoxo
B
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