In a year that was unprecedented in so many ways, one thing remained the same: my love of stuff. I definitely had my moments... in the midst of quarantine, I felt that I did have too much stuff but a little purging and donating helped that. 

Ever since I was a little girl I loved my stuff. I loved knick-knacks and accessories to the point where my mom used to tell me she wasn't buying me 'junk' for my birthday and Christmas. I was always wanting quantity over quality... I can't help it! 

This year, I discovered new 'things' and definitely had my favorites. That sense of loving my stuff and discovering new items kept me sane in the midst of the worst year ever. I've narrowed down my favorite items (some are tangible items, some are brands, and others are not things you can purchase... you'll see what I mean)

Take a look back at my favorite items of 2019... all of them still stand true and were just more relevant this year! 

Let's get into my favorite items of 2020... 



iPad Mini 5th Generation

At the end of February, I decided to treat myself to a new iPad. My boyfriend was ignoring me and prepping for a breakup and we just started to hear rumblings of a new virus in China. I felt like I needed something fun and boy was I right! I've had 2 other iPads, one regular & one mini but my old mini was slow, had no storage and it was time for an upgrade. I treated myself to the latest iPad Mini because I wanted something small, that could be portable and was compatible with the Apple pencil. This has been one of my favorite purchases of the year that have endless possibilities. 

Some might think tablets are unnecessary but I can always find a use for a new gadget. I use this to read, to take notes, to edit and upload Youtube videos, to shop, and take care of any other business. It's a great second screen to have when working and I'm just so happy I bought it when it did. If you're considering an iPad, I highly recommend and I personally don't think I could ever have a size bigger than the mini because then I just feel like I should get another computer! 

*I talked about my iPad in my Items I've Been Using every day and August 2020 favorites

Gold Beaded Bracelets

This is a weird product but I really loved it! It was consistent throughout the entire year and I wore them every day, even when I was stuck in my house -- a little bit of jewelry always makes me feel normal in the midst of the pandemic. These were very on-trend this year and I think everyone and their mother started an Etsy shop to sell them. I think these gold beaded bracelets are the perfect mix of classic and trendy -- when aren't gold bracelets going to be in style? You can have plain ones or ones with charms.. they don't dangle, are flush to your wrist so they don't get in the way of your clothes or typing. They can stack beautifully and just look so nice on the wrist! 

I mostly purchased mine from Park and Beach, a small business started by influencer Zoe Dokas *who I am obsessed with*. Her quality is superb and I don't feel nervous that they are going to snap or break when taking them on and off my wrist. She has some that are plain or with a cool Disney twist (which I loved). I also have a few from Baublebar, which you can never go wrong with! Their quality is also amazing and they have so many cute charms and ways to customize them. 

Pink iPhone Stand

This is random as hell, I understand that but I cannot express my love for this iPhone stand enough. I talked about it in my October favorites but it really has been a favorite for much longer. First, I love the pink color. I love that it has a wide circular bottom to make it very level and sturdy, but my favorite part is that the actual holder, where your phone goes, is adjustable and can be flush against the stand. This allows for more level eye contact and it's easy for filming selfie videos. It also is just more uniformed, neat, and I love the way it looks on my desk. It's just the best iPhone stand out there and definitely a weird favorite but I had to include it. 

TikTok

This is the nontangible item on my list but it was probably my favorite thing in 2020. TikTok saved me this year... I think it saved all of us! I have wasted more hours on TikTok this year than anything else and I don't regret a single second. I laughed, I cried, it gave me anxiety... it's just the best app ever. I don't know what we would've done without the Savage dance, Charli D'Amelio, and whipped coffee videos? 

Stoney Clover Lane 

I mentioned Stoney Clover in my 2019 favorites but that was premature because 2020 was the year of Stoney Clover. SCL became my lifestyle in quarantine and I purchased way too many products. I became immersed in the lifestyle, attended their weekly Zoom sessions, bought the products that weren't pouches, like clothes, mugs, scrunchies, I read along with their book club, and even received a PR package to cap the year off. Stoney Clover was an escape this year and for that, I'm very thankful. We have our own little Stoney Clover community on Instagram; we interact with each other, hype up each other's purchases, and just love the brand that Kendall and Libby gave us. I got my friends and family into Stoney Clover, I organized my life with it and really just love it so much. It brings me great joy and this year would have been the same without it! 

Here are some blog posts about Stoney Clover: Brand Buzz, Fall Inspiration, Stoney Clover Collection, Cozy Inspiration

Here's to 2021 everyone! 

xoxo
B

This was not the year of beauty for me. For the first time in 6 years, I did not obsessively spend money on beauty products... yet I still became Sephora VIB Rouge and Ulta Beauty Platinum so I guess my wallet begs to differ. 

For the majority of 2020, I did not wear makeup. I think I applied foundation five times throughout the past 10 months. At the start of quarantine, I tried to get ready every morning but somewhere around June and July, I couldn't be bothered anymore. 

Aside from not going anywhere where makeup was necessary, no makeup got left behind quite like lipsticks. What is the point of wearing lipstick if you're going to put a mask on top of it and then have it get all over said mask? 

While makeup took a major backseat in 2020, skincare and haircare were on fire... for me and for the beauty industry in general. While I might have one or two 'makeup' items on this list, you'll see more hair and skin care products than ever before. 

I tried a lot of new beauty products this year; I made some big purchases that paid off and others that weren't. I splurged on the Drunk Elephant product that I've been dying for and incorporated new types of products into my routine. Beauty was weird this year but I still had my favorites!

My Favorite Beauty Items of the Year



Drybar Double Shot Blowout Brush

This is a life-changing product. If you buy anything from me, ever, make it this blowout brush. I raved about it in this Beauty in Review post and every time I use it, I fall more and more in love with it. I have thick, curly, frizzy hair that is a nightmare to blowdry. When I'm at the salons, sometimes two people have to dry my hair with two blow dryers each. I've never walked into a salon and not had people gawk at my hair. It's bad... and I've never blow-dried it successfully, myself. Until this brush... 

I give myself a salon-quality blowout every time I wash my hair. My hair is soft, bouncy, voluminous, and just gorgeous whenever I use this blow dryer. And it takes virtually no time -- definitely half the time of a regular blow dryer. 


Supergoop Glowscreen Sunscreen SPF 40

I ran out of my 'previous' favorite sunscreen this year and even though I wasn't going outside much, I still wanted to wear it inside. I sat near a window all summer long and knew I needed the extra protection. Plus, this sunscreen has blue light protection. Supergoop is a brand I didn't really try before so I finally splurged on the Glowscreen and wore it all summer. It is the best SPF I have ever used and I love it! It gives the most gorgeous luminosity to the skin, while also protecting you. It pairs super well under makeup but is perfectly fine to wear alone. It also didn't give me any weird allergic reactions or breakouts which I'm thankful for because my skin is very sensitive. Supergoop is truly the BEST SPF out there! 

Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Treatment

When my hair started to get dry, brittle, and horrible around April/May, I searched high and low for products that would help me. I had a sample of this Shea Moisture mask and decided to use it on a whim. Well, it completely changed everything for me. It restored my hair, made it very soft but also strong. My hair no longer felt brittle or grimy, it felt like I had come from the salon. The mask is thick, emollient, and really gets into your locks to nourish and hydrate them. You apply it before showering and then rinse it out, and shampoo/condition as normal. The difference between how healthy my hair feels before and after this is shocking. It completely changed my haircare game and I knew that I needed to start caring for my hair beyond shampoo and in-shower mask. 

Charlotte Tilbury Vanish Magic Corrector

I mentioned the Vanish Magic Corrector in my December 2019 favorites but it was loved well into 2020. I apply this creamy corrector before applying foundation and concealer, and my dark circles are magically gone! This is extremely lightweight compared to other correctors I've tried which is great for 'no makeup' makeup days. I've worn this with tinted moisturizers and lightweight foundations -- there is no reason you can't wear a corrector when you want minimal makeup. You could probably get away with not wearing concealer with this because it is that good. My dark circles are hereditary so no eye cream is going to get rid of them -- that's why this is a necessity in my beauty routine, no matter how big or small. 

Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Push Up Lashes Mascara

Another Charlotte Tilbury product, surprise! This was a late entry as I purchased it in the fall but I couldn't mention it. This mascara is truly magical. It really does push up your lashes... my lashes touch my eyebrow bone when I use this mascara. That's really what I'm looking for in a mascara -- length and separation which this mascara also does well. When I use another mascara in my collection, they just don't compare and I always end up going back to this one. I raved about it in my November 2020 favorites so read more there but I can confidently say this is my favorite mascara of all time. 

Honorable Mentions: 

What were your favorite beauty products of the year? 
xoxo 
B

My goal for the year was to read 40 books. According to Goodreads, I've read 49 which is pretty great. I definitely wouldn't have read as much if it wasn't for being newly single and being in quarantine. This year, I definitely read less thriller novels and more fiction/non-fiction books which I was happy with; for a while there, I was all thriller all the time. 

I can honestly say I enjoyed almost every book I read with the exception of two or three. However, there were only a handful of books I loved... books that rocked my world, changed how I felt, and couldn't stop thinking about for days, or even months after I finished reading them. 

These are books I read in 2020, not books that were necessarily released this year, however most of them were! I've also done book review posts on all of them and will link them. 

Let's get into it... 

My Favorite Books of 2020





Verity by Colleen Hoover

I started off 2020 strong when I read "Verity" in January. I had heard so many people talk about this novel and never picked it up... but once I was finished I was wondering what took me so long. This was my first Colleen Hoover book and it set the bar very high. This domestic, twisted thriller seemed sort of ordinary at first and then midway through the book you are thrown for a loop. The ending is what makes Verity so wonderful, so intense and so perfect. It's truly what makes it a must-read. 

To give you a quick summary, Lowen is hired by Jeremy, Verity's husband, to finish the last few books in her contract. Verity is unable to write them as she is permanently injured after an accident. Lowen moves in with Jeremy, Verity and their son, Crew. While there, she discovers what she assumes is an autobiography of Verity's and it's truly disturbing. That's when things start to get weird and Lowen starts to believe something sinister is going on. 

Throughou the book, you read Lowen's POV and then the bits of Verity's memoir and you can see why Lowen is so taken back. It unravels from there and is so exciting and enticing. 

You can read my full review of the novel here but I can confidently say, thrillers will never be the same after you read 'Verity'. It is unlike anything else and my #1 book of 2020. 

*I've seen that Hoover is contemplating a sequel... or another book in the Verity universe and I cannot wait to scoop that up whenever it comes to life. 

No Filter by Sarah Frier

As a social media professional, it's my job to stay up to date on technology and trends, but as a regular person, I truly enjoy it. I love technology (I always have) and I'm fascinated by how we use social media and how it has transformed the world. 

When I heard about "No Filter", the true story of Instagram I knew I was going to read it... and I did, and I loved every moment of it. I love reading about 'history' I lived through because it makes it more real. As I was reading the book, I remembered every moment of Instagram's development and it was just very interesting.

Sarah Frier, a journalist who has covered tech and Instagram for years, is the author and she did an excellent job on this book. You really get into the nitty gritty of Instagram and you begin to understand things a little better. It's also uber relevant right now as Facebook is at risk of losing it's ownership of Instagram. 

"No Filter"  is on all the 'best of 2020' lists and there was no way it wasn't going to end up on mine. This is a book I would reread over and over, and one that even though I have the Kindle edition, I feel like I need the physical book. 

You can read my full review here.

The Ghosts of Harvard by Francesca Serritella 

"The Ghosts of Harvard" can be classified as psychological thriller, historical fiction, and paranormal. It had a little bit of everything and that is exactly why I loved it so much. It made me think, made me second guess everything I was reading, but also really entertained me. 

Cady is a freshmen at Harvard, partly because she wanted to attend the esteemed school and partly because she wants to figure out why her brother killed himself at the school the year before. Cady's freshmen year is a balancing act; trying to juggle school work, her broken family, her new friendships, a budding romance, and the ghosts she is hearing in her head... yes, you read that -- ghosts. Add in the extra layer of trying to find out what drove her mentally ill brother to jump from his dorm room window, and you've got a recipe for a great novel. 

It touched on romance, family dynamics, mental illness, and good old fashioned mystery. Out of all the mystery books I read this year, this one really stuck out because it had so many layers. When the book started, you definitely have no idea how it's going to end up. The writing is excellent and the story is super well thought out. I just loved it so much! 

Read my full review here.

Followers by Megan Angelo

This was another thought provoking book and not going to lie, a little scary in the sense that this novel could actually be a premontion to what the future holds. 

What would happen if influencers were government mandated? If influencers had no choice but to share their entire lives with us -- if the government dictated what happened to them? What would happen if every piece of information ever shared online was spilled out for the world to see? What would happen if technology collapsed and the world was in complete darkness?

That's what "Followers" is all about and it can be anxiety inducing yet very interesting. The story combines the past and the present...and eventually they meet in the middle and the entire plot comes together. It can be a bit confusing at first but once you really get a grasp on the story, it all makes sense. This is a novel that needs your full attention.

"Followers" was one of my favorite books of the year because it was one that I'm still thinking about months later. It made me look at social media differently and was unlike anything I've ever read before. 

Read my full review here.

In A Holiadaze by Christina Lauren

This is different from the other books on my list because of the light hearted, romantic nature of the plot. It's also the most recent book I've read but I knew I had to put it on this list. 

I've never read anything by Christina Lauren but I figured a holiday book was a good place to start. "In a Holiadaze" takes place during Christmas, and only over the course of a few days. Mae is our main character and she is reliving the same day over and over again; she takes it as a sign from the universe 

This book made me irrationally happy. I was in the best mood after reading it (I read it in 3 hours) and smile whenever I think of the story. It kind of made me hopeful and inspired me to live my life differently. Those are the best kinds of books... when they aren't meant to make you think seriously but do anyway. 

"In a Holidaze" is a holiday book but at the core, it's a story about a lost girl who is trying to figure out what makes her happy. Once she realizes it, she goes after it and doesn't stop. It's about fate, hope, faith and just really going after what you want out of life. It was so good and I couldn't not have it on this list.

Read my full review here

A few honorable mentions: 

What were your favorite books of the year?
xoxo
B

Well, this is it, folks, the last week of 2020, and boy what a year. It started off rocky for me, with the death of my aunt and an out of the blue break up... then Covid hit, and the world as we knew it changed forever. When I let myself think about this year, I get very sad, I mean, how could you not? This was the worst year anyone has probably ever experienced-- so much loss, sadness, division, tension. 

We not only dealt with a global pandemic but a new civil rights movement, a presidential election, and probably the most division this country has seen since the Civil War. It was a traumatic year for everyone, even if you didn't lose anyone to Covid, or your family has all the same political beliefs. It was hard for the entire world, for all Americans. It makes me so sad. It makes me sad to see people's true colors and that when the going gets tough, people are inherently selfish. 

I changed a lot this year and I became angrier. I was angry at my family, my friends, my ex-boyfriend, the entire world. This year we saw people disregard other's health for their own 'freedoms', people thinking systematic racism isn't real, people believing an election was stolen, people who disregard science and facts. It was exhausting and disheartening and downright depressing. 

Yet, we also saw hope, the first Black, female Vice President, people celebrating the heroes on the frontlines, people changing their beliefs and realizing they don't know anything. There was good this year, we just really have to search for it.

This week, I am only working two days, attending a mass for my aunt who passed away, and then probably ringing in the New Year with my mom and her fiance. I'm planning on a quiet, peaceful week as I wait for 2021 and hopefully try to reflect on the year while setting some goals for the year ahead. I'll also be writing all about my favorites of the year, some of my favorite blog posts to write! 



Pink Positivity of the Week

Christmas was so great. It was somber because of my aunt and the fact that my grandpa skipped out this year but it was still a really nice holiday. I'm sad Christmas is over but am trying to stay in the winter spirit! 

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink


Have a great week everyone!
xoxo
B

 Merry Christmas Eve! As a Roman Catholic, Italian-American from New York, Christmas Eve is always a much bigger deal than the Day. When I was a little girl, I remember Christmas Eve as the night we got dressed up in fancy Christmas outfits while Christmas Day was slightly more casual and we kind of just lounged around. 

On Christmas Eve, Italian Americans celebrate the feast of 7 fishes, which has religious meaning since the number 7 is important in the Bible and fish is also a semi-religious symbol. You can have whatever 7 fishes you like, and sometimes people have more than that... you just need to make sure you have 7! 

This year, my mom is making: steamed mussels, fried shrimp, baked clams, fried calamari, a crab sauce, and then other fish will be in a fish salad she makes. It's so delicious and I'm salivating thinking about it. 

Along with the fish, we have pasta -- that's where the crab sauce comes in and a delicious antipasto which is basically a charcuterie board.  

As for dessert, that is where I come in... I am always in charge of dessert because I'm kind of the only one that truly cares. My mom and sister aren't big bakers so for the past few years, I've taken over as the resident baking specialist when it comes to the holidays.

I try to switch it up every year and experiment with new flavors and types of desserts. This year, all of the dessert mixes came from Trader Joe's and I'm pretty pleased with myself. I spent all of yesterday baking (which you will see in an upcoming vlog) and it knocked me out but everything turned out delicious. 



This year on the dessert menu: 

  • Chocolate peppermint cupcakes with vanilla frosting 
  • Gingerbread cake with cream cheese frosting
  • Peppermint chocolate chunk cookies
  • Stroopwaffe loaf cake




I'm so excited to dig into the Stroopwaffle cake -- I got the mix from Trader Joe's and it came in a jar with the flour brown sugar, caramel bits, and stroopwafels pieces. It smelled amazing while baking and even better now so I'll have to report back with how it tastes.

As for drinks, I'll probably stick to champagne this year. I kind of forgot to buy things to make sangria or mimosas but I think a simple recipe to stick to is cranberry juice & champagne for Christmas Mimosas. Below are a few other drinks I think could be fun this time of year: 

What are you all drinking on Christmas Eve & Day? Let me know your traditions in the comments!

No matter what you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

xoxo
B

Sherpa is having a moment. It started a little bit last year but I think everyone has gone full cozy and rightfully so... it's the best, most comfortable material ever. Plus, it screams winter and hygge and I simply cannot get enough! 

Now more than ever before every brand is releasing their own version of cozy, sherpa clothing. There are tons more when it comes to accessories but that's a post for another time. While sherpa is definitely having its moment in the sun, let us not forget other necessary winter fabrics like velour and fleece. I'll include those as well because I definitely feel like cozy clothes, in general, are in the spotlight, thanks to our friend, the pandemic. 



Today I wanted to round up the coziest fits to wear quarantined in your house for the next few months. Throw on a sweatshirt, get under a blanket, light a candle, and have a true hygge moment. 


 

xoxo 
B
We're back with a 2nd round of Lights Lacquer Manicure Monday and I'm very excited to share it with you! If you haven't read my first feature, head to last week's post for the backstory

This week I used the green and champagne polishes from the Lights Lacquer holiday collection. The green is called "Hoping to be Kissed"  and the champagne glitter is called "Fuzzy Socks" which is simply the best nail polish name to ever exist. 




Hoping to Be Kissed is described as a true hunter green with gold and silver shimmer while Fuzzy Socks is a more traditional glitter polish and the color is described as a fine rainbow shimmer with blue reflects. When I say traditional glitter polish, I mean it was scratchy to the touch and a bitch to take off... very unlike "I'm All Toasty Inside", the gold polish from last week. 

Just as the red and gold polishes from last week, these colors were really fantastic. The formula was really smooth, didn't bleed outside the nail, and didn't chip until I really started picking at it. They applied very smoothly and evenly, and they reflected the light beautifully. I mean, they are stunning polishes for the season and there were no issues with them at all. 

Just as the red & gold polishes, the green came off very easily with regular nail polish remover. As "Fuzzy Socks" was a more traditional glitter polish, it took a little more work to get it off. Since I'm currently using regular polish remover and cotton pads, I just held the soaked cotton pad to my nail for a few minutes and then rubbed the polish off. It came off pretty easily after that.

I've really been loving these colors and will hopefully test out the last two shades "I'll Be Home" and "Misfit Toys". I will probably do this post-Christmas, pre-New Year's and you'll see the review in January. 

What is on your nails this week?
xoxo
B

Friday night is here again and I'm sitting by my Christmas tree and watching Dateline. They're talking about Princess Diana tonight, and now I'm really sad. I think I mentioned watching The Crown a few weeks ago and how I actually had to pause it because I felt so drained from it. Now, I'm reliving it all over again for no good reason other than I always have to stop and watch something on the Royal Family. I so wish I could've remembered Princess Diana and so wish she was still here today.

This was a solid week -- it snowed in NYC and oh wow I think it was just what I needed. It's so magical when it snows and this week was no different. The streets looked and felt so calm, and still do, even as the snow is becoming grey and melted. 

I'm also really excited about next week because it's CHRISTMAS! My family and I are taking all the proper precautions to have a small gathering with just my uncle and aunt so I'm happy. I love soaking up the last few bits of Christmas spirit during this week. I'm only working Monday & Tuesday so happy to have a few extra days to relax and recharge.

Let's get into the post... 

PS: I'm hosting a holiday giveaway! Enter on this post!



Pink Positivity of the Week

The snowstorm and just being super cozy during the holiday season has brought me a lot of joy this week! It really made it feel like Christmas and warmed me up inside. 

Links I Loved


What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week



Have a great weekend!
xoxo
B

Holiday 2020 Giveaway

in , , by RoyallyPink, 8:11 PM

 It has been quite a year. I know it wasn't the year any of us imagine... who could've imagined a global pandemic? Sure we probably saw some of it coming, like the political tensions but to have experienced every other trauma we have, both personal & worldly was just unprecedented. 

I've gone through my own stuff that I've talked about over the past few months but sometimes it still hits me... all we have lost this year. 

In the spirit of the season and because we could all use a little joy, I wanted to do a nice giveaway! I've rounded up some of my favorite items, like a Slip Silk pillowcase and eye mask, Good Patch patches, along with a few other self-care goodies to take you right into the new year! 

Here is a photo of everything you'll win, just enter through the widget below!




a Rafflecopter giveaway 


Thank you all for another year of Royally Pink! Thank you for reading, for following, and for being my community over the past *almost 9 years*. It has been a journey and I'm glad you're with me on it!

Happy holidays! 

xoxo
B

When I first heard about this novel, "Self-Care" I was really excited. I had gotten rejected for a Netgalley ARC but vowed to purchase it when it came out and that's exactly what I did. I loved the idea of this book... an NYC startup that is run by two millennial women, and it's centered around the idea of self-care.... AFTER the 2016 election? It was everything I could want! 

However, this book 100% fell short for me and I will tell you why...



Publisher's Summary

Maren Gelb is on a company-imposed digital detox. She tweeted something terrible about the President's daughter, and as the COO of Richual, “the most inclusive online community platform for women to cultivate the practice of self-care and change the world by changing ourselves,” it's a PR nightmare. Not only is CEO Devin Avery counting on Maren to be fully present for their next round of funding, but indispensable employee Khadijah Walker has been keeping a secret that will reveal just how feminist Richual’s values actually are, and former Bachelorette contestant and Richual board member Evan Wiley is about to be embroiled in a sexual misconduct scandal that could destroy the company forever.

Have you ever scrolled through Instagram and seen countless influencers who seem like experts at caring for themselves—from their yoga crop tops to their well-lit clean meals to their serumed skin and erudite-but-color-coded reading stack? Self Care delves into the lives and psyches of people working in the wellness industry and exposes the world behind the filter.

My Thoughts

I had very high hopes for this book but in conclusion, it is a definite skip. Truthfully, there is no plot... the story just didn't really make sense and it didn't feel fully fleshed out. The story HAD potential though, it just fell so flat. You have these two 'best friends' who are co-founders of this company that sounds interesting, at a very pivotal time in history, and in the business, but they can't get out of their own ways. 

You have these side characters that have multiple stories going on yet nothing is ever linked; the sexual assault scandal, the pregnant employee-- it was just a lot. It felt like the author was trying to throw everything buzzy and relevant into one story: self-care, presidential election, social media, racism, sexism, sexual assault... it was just overkill. However, maybe that was the point. 

I had that feeling at the end of the book like maybe we're not supposed to like this novel? Maybe it was a reflection of our own lives to the point of almost mocking the world we live in? Because at times throughout the novel it definitely felt like Stein was just making fun of people in start-ups or people who value self-care but in an intelligent way. I didn't feel offended by the novel but almost like it was supposed to be thought-provoking? 

I might be overthinking it but if that was the intention, then it was a good book. I guess it's the way you look at the story? 

Even if the book was supposed to be satire, the ending was infuriating. I was kind of rooting for Maren the entire time -- I found her much more likable than Devin and the ending was just not what I expected nor was it satisfying. Even if I loved the book up until that point, I think the ending would've ruined it for me. I was so mad! 

I have to say that reading this post-2020 election was refreshing -- it was like I wanted to scream at the women "It's going to be ok!" 

All in all, even if the book was supposed to be satire and thought-provoking, it wasn't satisfying and is a skip in my opinion. I did really love the writing and it was an easy book to get into but a little bit of a letdown.

What did you recently read that was disappointing?

xoxo
B

My acne has been on point lately... and obviously not in a good way. I think we can thank masks for that (wear your mask, IDC about your pimples) but also I've been suffering from acne for a little bit. It's nothing outrageous, just a few chin breakouts during that time of the month and some random cheek & forehead breakouts from time to time. 

I never suffered badly from acne as a teenager and I wouldn't say what I have now is bad either, but I still don't like it! I still want it to go away. As a beauty product hoarder, I've tried a lot of different items to get rid of these pimples: some work and some don't. I'm also a sucker for innovation -- I think when companies start new trends and release different products we've never seen before is insanely cool. I'm truly a marketer's dream.

A new beauty product that has recently been making waves are pimple patches. It might've been last year that I saw the first kinds and mostly from Asian beauty brands (they are the trendsetters, always) and I thought the idea was interesting: a clear sticker that is infused with ingredients to attack a pimple on sight, even before it comes to a head. You could wear it during the day, it wasn't messy like a cream and it was as targeted as you could possibly get.

 My holiday nail game has been slacking lately only because I feel silly wearing anything other than red, gold, silver, or green before Christmas... after Christmas, I'm all about the deep, dark shades mixed in with some winter whites and blues. 

That's why I was so excited when I received the Lights Lacquer Holiday Collection in the mail. First off, the PR package is truly iconic. It is the most beautiful package I've ever seen and I want to treasure it forever. It's shaped like an ornament, in a beautiful baby blue color, and has gorgeous holiday accents inside with the descriptions and names of the polishes. I was overwhelmed when I received it and knew that this was my manicure for the next few weeks.


I decided to start out being super festive and chose to paint my nails with the red & gold shades. The red is called "Lucy" and the gold is "I'm All Toasty Inside". I haven't listened to Kathleen explain the names behind everything but if I know her, "I'm All Toasty Inside" is a reference to the Grinch. *After I wrote this, I went back and watched her reveal video and these are ON POINT. I know my girl Kathleen WELL* 

"Lucy" is a true, Christmas red. It looks like the coating on a candy apple or Santa's pants. It is FESTIVE as hell and I don't think I've ever owned a true Christmas red like this. It definitely has a reflective shimmer to it which I like. It's not a flat red and I think that makes it all the much better; it brings the shade to life and makes it unique. 

The formula of "Lucy" is spot-on -- much better than other Lights Lacquer polishes I've tried in the past and I really like it. It went on super smooth, not goopy, and didn't bleed onto my nail beds. I also think the lasting power is pretty good. I wore it for 3 days before it chipped and that was because I was packing up boxes. 

"I'm All Toasty Inside" polish is NOT a typical glitter polish. It's not grainy or scratchy -- by feeling the dry, hard polish on your nails you wouldn't know it was glitter. I love that because I hate the actual feeling of glitter polish. It's also so beautiful! The gold is super gold and the glitter reflects in the light so beautifully. The polish goes on super smooth, not goopy and it has a decent lasting time. Similar to "Lucy", it chipped after 3 days and only because of what I was doing.

I'm pretty obsessed with "I'm All Toasty Inside" and will be wearing this for months to come. It's the perfect gold glitter to add to your nail collection. 

These polishes were really wonderful. I highly recommend and I can't wait to paint my nails with the others -- maybe this week I'll do the green and review next week! There are six shades in the collection and you can purchase the entire bundle here

xoxo
B

I can't believe we're at week 50 of the year. I can't believe 2020 is almost over. What was supposed to be the best year for so many turned into the worst for the world? I don't know if I have fully comprehended that fact yet... it just seems so insane. I don't think we'll ever be able to understand it.

I'm trying to stay away from the negativity of the news in the next few weeks so I can find some of my sanity and enjoy Christmas. I think I've done a good job at enjoying Christmas so far -- every night I sit on my couch, near my tree, and watch every Christmas movie possible. It's so nice and makes me so happy, I'm already sad that it'll be over soon. 

This weekend was slow and fast at the same time; I was off on Friday for a doctor's appointment and then had a little Christmas get together with my friends and it was just perfect. We made pizza, drank hot coco, played games, and sat by the fire....all in our Christmas pajamas. It was the definition of the holiday season.

Then, for some reason, on Saturday I slept till noon and felt like crap all day. Therefore, I spent the entire day in bed and ordered sushi for dinner with my sister. Today, I did some food shopping, a little baking, did some organizing and cleaning, and watched both Home Alone movies for the 200th time. Now I am here, incase you were wondering.

I really just didn't have the energy to open my laptop until 7:30 PM on a Sunday night and I need to give myself grace for that. 

But let's dive right into the post...




Pink Positivity of the Week

If you saw my Instagram stories and post, you would've seen that I got a Christmas present from Stoney Clover Lane! They sent their biggest fans or 'influencers' within the SCL community a little goodie bag and it truly was the highlight of my year. I hadn't ordered anything from them but I had a package on Wednesday, so I figured it was a present. 

They sent a white open top pouch with my initials in iridescent letters and a little reindeer patch on it. The pouch was filled with items for hot chocolate, candy, marshmallows, and a bunch of ornaments. It was so cute, so perfect and just was a true highlight. 

Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink

What I Bought This Week

I finally bought another Jill and Aly mask (they're some of my favorites) and more Stoney Clover items! 


xoxo
B

 What do we call scarves, gloves, hats, and earmuffs? Are they winter accessories? I couldn't find the right world for them when writing this post and I feel like it was driving me a bit mad. 

Either way, I wanted to talk about them today! I feel as if these winter accessories are commonly forgotten about... I know I forget about them whenever I leave the house. Then I'm caught in the freezing cold without protective gear. It's not that I don't have the items, because I do, I just simply forget them when I'm getting ready to leave the house. 

I think the key to remembering your gloves, scarves, and hats is to have them in the same place as your shoes and jacket... and to have really cute items that get you excited about putting them on! I searched the internet for some of the cutest & coziest looking winter accessories to buy this year. These would also make really great stocking stuffers -- I love getting a new hat or new gloves on Christmas morning! Sometimes those practical gifts are the best. 





What is your favorite winter accessory to stay warm?
xoxo 
B

 At the start of my blogging career, I wasn't a big gift guide person but over the years, I've become someone who shares maybe 3 guides for very specific groups of people: the introvert, the homebody, the girl who likes nothing or the girl who likes everything.

This year, we're sticking to the same theme but I'm condensing it into one huge post... and everything is under $100! 

Let's get right into it!


The Beauty Queen

For the person who loves makeup, skincare, haircare, and fragrance -- who might have every new product but will never pass up a good palette or gift set.
 

The Work From Hom-er 
*which is all of this year, right? 

Working from home is the new normal so why not treat your fellow WFHers (who maybe are still not adjusted) to some essentials, like a mug warmer, wireless charger, or  UGG slippers for them to wear during Microsoft Team meetings.
 

The Essential Worker

If "social distancing" isn't the word of the year, the "essential worker" might be. Whether your loved ones is a nurse, doctor, teacher, grocery store manager, or a delivery person, they deserve something to make their jobs on and off the clock a little easier, a little cozier, and a bit cleaner.
 

The Anxiety Ridden Millennial 

Millennials definitely take the cake for being the most anxious generation, and as some moved back home with the parents for the pandemic, or maybe lost their jobs, or decided to become TikTok famous, give them something to make life just a bit more peaceful.

The Book Lover

It felt like everyone started a book club this year so if you know someone who has a Bookstagram, you might want to get them something on this list. 


xoxo
B

This is the latest I've ever done a monthly favorite in years but better late than never! I might've skipped it completely but I had a lot of favorites this month and wanted to share! 

November felt very long for me. Election Day feels like it was 500 days ago and the month dragged on; as cases of Covid rose across the country and then all the politics of the month pulled everything down. It was a hard month but it was a good month at the same time.

I shopped a ton this month and as we enter winter, there are so many items that I've been loving! 

My Favorite Items I Used in November



Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream Light

During the Sephora VIB Sale at the beginning of the month, I really wanted to splurge on something for myself. I've been in a huge Charlotte Tilbury mood and kind of want to throw all my other items away to just exclusively have a CT makeup collection (I'm not going to do that). I needed a new daytime moisturizer and the Magic Cream Light had intrigued me before. It has SPF, anti-pollution, and anti-blue light technology so once I figured that out, I purchased it. I've been wearing it daily and I love it. It's very luxurious, lightweight yet deeply nourishing so it really feels like it's doing something for my skin. It does have an incredibly strong SPF scent (I feel like I'm applying Coppertone to my face) but once applied, the smell goes away. It's incredibly pricey, and probably not worth it but I love feeling a little fancy! 

Charlotte Tilbury Pillowtalk Push Up Lashes Mascara

This might be my favorite mascara of all time. When Charlotte Tilbury released this a few months ago, I was reluctant because I've heard less than satisfactory things about her mascaras. However, something about this intrigued me so I decided to splurge. Mascara is one of the few products I wear almost every day so I justified purchasing a new one. Well, wow... this is magical. I usually curl my lashes beforehand but after a few applications, but my lashes literally touch my eyelids... that's how long I get them. I wouldn't say this is a voluminous mascara but it definitely pushes your lashes up (just like the name says) and has insane length. The packaging is also luxurious and very heavy, definitely one of the best packagings Charlotte Tilbury has. If you're looking for a lengthening mascara and want to treat yourself, I highly recommend it. 


Stoney Clover Lane Small Mini Tote in Hazelnut Cozy

I have been obsessed with this bag! It's really been the only bag I'm using when I'm running errands. The size is perfection -- it's not too big or too small and I love the material. The cozy feeling is so perfect for this time of year so whenever I use it, it just brings me so much joy. I don't really use the shoulder strap and prefer to hold it by the handles or on the crook of my arm but that's a personal preference. I've really been wanting a larger bag to throw everything in nowadays, and instead of using a Neverfull, I find this really works. I feel a little overwhelmed when I go out; I have a big coat on, a mask, my glasses -- it's just a lot so having a bag I can throw things into but still be able to find my items has been a game-changer. 

Also, Stoney Clover is everything to me, truly my favorite brand of all time so the fact that I can use something of theirs on a daily basis (that isn't a pouch) is great. I contemplated getting the bag in the rose sherpa as well but decided against it. 

However, if they release this is in other materials down the line, I will for sure buy it! This might be a little small for my work life (whenever the world allows that kind of life again) but for errands or even school, it might work. This bag is still in stock in Rose on Stoney Clover's website and Shopbop but Hazelnut is sold out. 

S'well Traveler 16 Ounce Bottle

I am an avid reusable water bottle lover and my company recently sent everyone this S'well bottle as a little gift! I was skeptical at first because I usually use a bkr bottle or just a Starbucks tumbler to drink water out of but I decided to give it a try. I've used S'well bottles before and wasn't a super fan because they start to smell after a while and I find that they spill easily... that is not the case with this traveler bottle. It's an interesting shape which I find oddly comfortable to hold and it's the perfect size to drink at home. I tested the spillage by shaking it around and upside down, and nothing spills so it's safe to have in a bag. I also have never had a bottle keep water as cold as this one does... it's borderline insane how chill my water is after so many hours, even when I leave the bottle uncovered. I think this would be a great stocking stuffer for pretty much anyone in your life! 



What did you love in the month of November?
xoxo
B

Royal Round Up, Vol 3: Week 49

in , by RoyallyPink, 4:51 PM

 This was a lighter week than normal on the blog and I'm a little disappointed in myself. I had posts planned and my calendar keeps moving, mostly due to time constraints, other freelance work I've picked up, and I just couldn't get myself to write. It's definitely a goal of mine for this month *and this year in general* to be better about batch writing blog posts so I have them for the week. I used to do that when I was commuting to work but the pandemic has made me a little lazy.

Now that that is out of the way... happy December! I'm writing this sitting by my Christmas tree, watching Youtube Vlogmas, and have my Fresh Balsm candle burning from Bath & Body Works. Earlier today, I went to Target and bought so many holidays treats, it just put me in the spirit! I can't wait to watch Christmas movies tonight. 

This week was a solid week; my birthday was really nice. I had an easy, calm day where I was mostly alone but then had dinner with my family & my sister ordered a Milkbar cake, which was delicious. Work was busy but quiet and that's the best kind of week. Last night I went to dinner with my family for my mom's birthday and that was enjoyable too. It was just a good week and I felt good.

I don't have much else to report so let's get into the round-up! 



Links I Loved

What You Missed on Royally Pink:

What I Bought This Week




xoxo
B

I have never read a Christina Lauren book.. shocking, I know because they are the rom-com queens of novels. And yes, Christina Lauren is a THEY -- it's TWO people! I just found that out last year and was stunned. I find that super interesting... the process must be astounding. 

Even though I had never read a Christina Lauren novel, when I heard that they were releasing a holiday book, I was super excited. I just read "In a Holiadaze" a few weeks ago; I started reading it at 1 PM and finished it around 3:30 PM. All I did for those two and a half-hour was read. It was glorious and this might be my new favorite holiday novel. 


Publisher's Summary

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

My Thoughts

I simply adored this book! It was everything you could want from a Christmas novel: romance, friendship, holiday joy, and a very strange premise. It's a plot that jumped out of a Hallmark movie! 

The main character constantly wakes up like it's groundhog day so she can learn something and really follow her heart's desire? That is definitely Hallmark but it made for a great read. 

I did have a little bit of a hard time with the idea at first... like it was just so unrealistic but once I was at the halfway point and realized what was happening, I was fine with it. I embraced the strangeness and just gave myself to the story. 

This story made me swoon -- it was so relatable; Mae is stuck in her life, her parents are divorced and she's about to lose the one thing she loves the most: Christmas at the cabin. She's been in love with Andrew since she was a teenager and doesn't know how to handle that. It's such a simple base for the story and it just made my heart hurt and soar at the same time. 

Toward the end of the book, I just felt so sick... like Mae wasn't going to get what she deserved because at her core, she is a good person. She's one of the most likable characters I've ever read in a novel. The ending, it made me sob. I was crying like a baby! It wrapped everything up in a beautiful bow and while it felt a little rushed and unrealistic, I couldn't imagine it ending any other way.

This book really put me in the holiday & winter spirit; it gave me that joy of the holidays that 2020 is missing so I'm very thankful that I read it so early in the holiday season! 

One thing to note about this book: there are a lot of characters and it's hard to keep track. I don't think I really knew whose parents were who and kind of just stuck with Mae, Andrew, and a few other characters. 

Otherwise, I have nothing negative to say about this book. It was everything I could want from a light, romantic, funny, and unrealistic story. I got lost in this book for a few hours and it was just what the doctor ordered. 

I cannot wait to read other Christina Lauren books!

xoxo
B

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