Wednesday, September 26, 2018

My Fall Skin Care Must-Haves

I am so excited to finally be putting something like this together! I admittedly never was really into investing my skin in college. I always went for cheaper creams, and didn't look into ingredients or benefits. But as I begin to age and life sets in, I have felt the need to begin a more regimented skincare routine! With the help of amazing bloggers like my friend Natalie I have started to introduce more skin friendly items into my everyday routine!

First of: Witch Hazel. It's a simple, natural and cost effective item to add to your skin routine. I ended up picking out this mist, but you can get it in any drug store by the first aid area for about $3. The one I picked is a mist with lavender, so it was a little more but still within your budget since it lasts forever and has so any uses! You can use it to remove make up, as a double cleanser and even to take off eye make up!

Mario Badescu has become my world thanks to my dear pal Olivia. She recommended the drying lotion as a way to help under-the-skin blemishes and I am so happy I listened to my sweet girl! This cream is such an easy step in your skincare! Just dap it onto the problem area with a q-tip and go to bed! Literally.

After loving the drying lotion, I branched out to the rose water! This is another great spray that will last you forever! This spray can help set make up or refresh your skin mid day when you start to feel oily. I even spray it in my hair.

Another great Mario Badescu product I am loving is the Seaweed Night Cream. Honestly, I was just looking for a night cream, and was intrigued by the idea of seaweed. It's great for hydration, anti-aging and an anti-inflammatory.

I feel like I see everyone and their mother raving about Tula. I figured with some of my birthday money, I could give it a go. This day and night cream is around $50 - which can be out of price range. However, a lot of bloggers have discount codes! So I suggest looking at people's Instagram pages and saving some $$$. I like this cream because I was looking for something a little more nourishing and thicker than a regular drug store moisturizer, especially with the cold winter months coming!

I have always loved Aveeno products. They're always gentle but effective on my skin and I cannot say enough good things about this line! Their lotions, cleansers and creams are all budget friendly and effective!

My Clarisonic definitely was one of the bigger products I introduced into my skincare routine that made me realize the value of investing into my skin at such a young age! I have talked about it on the blog before, and cannot recommend it enough!

You might not think of make up as skincare, but making sure you know the ingredients can be a huge component of how your complexion looks when you're make up free. I try not to wear make up most week days (I clearly have a low key job) but my go to when I have break out's is Tarte Shape Tape Concealer! I have never found a concealer that can actually hide my bags and doesn't irritate my skin! Can't recommend enough. I wear share Light-Neutral.

I am in no way a Cosmetologist, but if you see me on my Instagram stories, I do not shy away from showing when I have blemishes. I know that we all feel pressure to put our "best face forward" and that, that should mean we're flawless, but that's not real life! I have implemented these products into my routine within the last month slowly to invest in my skin long term. Most of these can be found at Ulta, Nordstrom or Target and are pretty budget friendly. (If anything is a higher end price, chances are it will last you longer than you think!) A lot of these products also have smaller sample options for you to test and see if you like, so definitely look into that if you're not ready for the commitment! Happy experimenting!

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Singleness is Not a Negative

Everything happens the way it's supposed to.

Ask anyone who knows me personally, this is my answer for almost everything. It's not always the most comforting, but it is the truth. It can be so discouraging when we feel like we're behind all our friends. Seeing engagement after wedding after baby announcement, it's hard not to compare yourself.

It is so easy to get down on yourself when you're single for what may feel like a very lengthy period of time. Before my last relationship, I hadn't been in a relationship in over six years! I was so discouraged. I felt undateable, and that everything I was doing was wrong.

Although life is trial and error, I truly wasn't doing anything that out there. Did I send a few texts after a drink or two? Yes. Did I stick around, waiting around for someone longer than I should have? You bet. But that's how you learn. I learned about myself through these trials and errors.

But, we have have to trust the journey we're on. I have recently found myself single, again. Not something I had really planned, actually, I was blindsided. However, this is the journey I am meant to be on. There is nothing wrong with being in a relationship, not being in a relationship, or being on the fence about a relationship; it's just that at this moment, that is where your journey has led you. Being single does not define you. It doesn't decide how the rest of your life goes.

When I found myself upset and torn after my last relationship, a friend shared something really important with me. It was a random post she had found, that asked if love was a feeling or a choice.

Young people who were asked, said of course it was a feeling. It was a powerful emotion. However, when they asked people who had been married for decades, those individuals share that it was a choice. Love is in no way easy, they wake up every morning and choose to still love all the things about their partner that they found endearing in the beginning of their relationship.

When I read that, I began to cry. I cried because I realized that maybe my relationship was something that he chose not to love anymore. That was a hard pill to swallow. It also made me realize that I should be with someone who does chose to love me. Who chooses to stick out life events no matter how dramatic and disheartening they are. In time, I will find that love.

Not only did this post help me conclude what happened in my relationship, but it made me realize that you have to apply this to yourself as well. I had always thought that if my hair was altered this way or if I lost this much weight or if my legs looked a certain way I would wake up and love myself. I would just feel it. It would be a powerful emotion.

Something else that I realized, was that we choose to love the things we love in our lives. You choose to love your friends, your pets, food, clothes, music, books, all of it. I think yourself should be included. I truly believe that once you realize that, so many more doors will open.

Just because you are single, does not mean that you are hopeless. It doesn't mean you're loveless. It just means that now isn't the time for you to be in a relationship. Now isn't our time. I am in the same boat with you. And that sounds like something your friends in relationships tell you to try and make you feel better, but I promise it's the truth. Unfortunately, so are things like 'it'll happen when it happens' and 'it'll happen when you least expect it' but those phrases don't really provide any comfort. Even if they are the truth.

For awhile, I was really anxious with alone time when my relationship ended. When there wasn't anyone to text or call or check in on. Then I realized, that this is just another part of finding myself again. I know for my personally, there were so many daily things that had changed for me while being in a relationship. Having time to realign yourself; whether it's going from a run, diving into a good book or organizing your living space, helps you learn more about you.

On your journey, at this time, you are meant to go out there. You are meant to experience things for yourself and learn from it. You are meant to fall in love with yourself and choose to wake up everyday and love yourself. All of it! Your quirks, your personality and all your bring to the table.

Once you make peace with yourself, I feel like the positives in life will help you realize your value. We always want what we can't have. When I was at my lowest this past month, another friend asked a really important question. He asked, "would you want to be with someone who wants to be with you, or someone that you have to make be with you?" When you read that question, you're obviously thinking, "well, duh! The person who wants to be with me!"

It's so important to remember your worth, your values, and what makes you, you. Once you're completely yourself, the right people will come into your life, I promise.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Bring On 24!

I'm not one to make my birthday celebration a whole month or anything, but there is something special about the start of a new year. Another year older and, hopefully, another year wiser.

On M&L's Instagram last week, I asked if you guys preferred to learn 24 things about me, or if you would prefer to read about 24 things I've learned. It seemed like y'all preferred 24 facts about me and I'm all for giving the people what they want; so without further ado:

24. I grew up in the near west suburbs of Chicago, I live probably 20 minutes from downtown.

23. I LOVE dogs. From the moment I could speak, my parents said all I could talk about was getting a dog.

22. I have one younger brother. His name is Jack and we're 18 months apart in age. He is way smarter and more level headed than I am.

21. I'm really close with my family. We spend a lot of time together and I grew up going to the same schools as most of my cousins.

20. I also LOVE chicken fingers. Probably more than the average person.

19. Another thing I really love: coleslaw! All my friend's in college would make fun of me for picking coleslaw over Texas Toast at Cane's!

18. I have been running Mimosas & Lipstick for about 7 months now! It may be one of the more time consuming and rewarding things I've ever done.

17. I was a cheerleader in high school but I didn't know anything about football.

16. I completely, 100% winged it when it came to picking a college. I visited LSU's campus, didn't know anyone, and that excited me. It was the best decision I've ever made.

15. In college, I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma fraternity for women. I think that going through sorority recruitment is great for meeting new people and also for your professional networking skills.

14. I've recently lost 18 pounds with Weight Watchers. I used to feel like Weight Watchers was only for one kind of person. So when my mom asked me to do it with her, I was hesitant. But I'm so happy that she asked me to. It has changed my life!

13. I grew up spending my summers in northern Wisconsin at Camp Manito-wish YMCA. No phones, no iPods, no social media. Just girls empowering girls without even trying. Reconnecting with nature and valuing face-to-face interaction is something that I feel was huge in my development.

12. I hate feet - they are my least favorite thing!

11. Since I was a sophomore in high school, I have always had an outlet to write. I was apart of Spoken Word club, which is similar to poetry club, in high school. It helped me with my writing, leadership and communication skills.

10. I wear glasses. My prescription isn't that strong so I mostly just wear them at work.

9. I fell in love with New Orleans from a young age. I hope by my next birthday I will be living there! It's far away from my family, but I know that if I don't at least try, I never will.

8. I am almost always wearing my Apple Watch. I swear by it.

7. I drink 4-5 liters of water a day! Whenever I'm at a restaurant with my friends I'm always that girl that's asking for more water - almost to an embarrassing point.

6. I rarely have the attention span to watch an entire movie.

5. Mardi Gras and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays.

4. Going to Trader Joe's is an unique kind of joy for me. I have tried almost everything and can't complain!

3. I have been to 15 states. I'm trying to see more of the country!

2. I am addicted to sparkling water! I was trying to kick my Diet Coke habit last summer, and my office at the time had free La Croix. Boom! An addiction was born.

1. I believe my sense of style comes from my mom. I always had matching dresses, shoes, bows and socks for every outfit and she would blow my hair dry!

I have had 24 trips around the sun. Although not all my experiences have been easy or happy, most of my life has been filled with love and support from my family and friends. And I think that's what really matters.

I lover getting to wake up every day and connect with all of you amazing people, so thank you for giving me this platform for my voice to be heard. Thank you for interacting, reaching out and sharing your stories with me. I wouldn't be here without all of you!

Friday, September 7, 2018

Raising The Barre

If you've been following along with Mimosas and Lipstick, you may remember that I joined Weight Watchers about two months ago and have lost about 17 pounds! It has literally changed my life. But these last few weeks with a lot of family troubles popping up, I haven't really felt motivated to work out like I once was. And, obviously haven't really been seeing positive results because of this. My anxiety has been really high these last few weeks. Although, overall, it has been manageable, I tend to let all that stress go when I work out. So by not working out, my anxiety stays, and it's a cycle! Anyone with me?

I have been feeling like I'm in a workout rut. I haven't been as excited as I sued to be to find time in the day to work out. I wasn't looking forward to it anymore. So I knew I needed to spice it up!

When the Barre Code Oak Park and I decided to team up, I have no idea that when September hit I would be feeling this way - I guess everything works out how it's supposed to! Barre is a mix of pilates, yoga and ballet. The Barre Code was founded in Chicago by Jillian Lorenz and Arianna Chernin in 2010.

This past Tuesday I was tired, irritable, and not in the mood to work out. But I signed up for the BRAWL class and made myself go.

I was blown away! It was my first class of the month and just walking into the studio, I knew it was an atmosphere I wanted to be a part of. Everyone was so nice and friendly. they made me feel right at home.

The studio is on Lake Street in Downtown Oak Park. It's crisp, clean, and the perfect vibe to sweat your butt off. There are four types of classes. BRAWL happens to be a high cardio, kickboxing workout. I can't remember the last time I did that many squat jumps of burpees! But the instructor made it fun. The music is fast-paced, and the movements are spread out into combos.

I definitely was tapping out, and not completing every movement to the best of my ability. The planks and squat jumps could have been better on my end. I'm excited to see how I progress throughout this month-long journey.

I am also taking part in the Back To Sweat, which is an 18-class challenge in only 21 days! It's going to be tough, but I'm excited to see how Barre will change my body. Make sure you check out their website or the app for more information!
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