My 10 Beauty Must-Haves

My 10 Beauty Must-Haves
She stepped past the threshold of Sephora, eyes alight with excitement.

Everything was beautiful and sparkly and the scent of Chanel wafted through the air. She felt excited with all the possibilities before her. She knew what she needed: bronzer. As she wandered down each aisle, things became more muddled-should she get the Tarte shimmery bronzer or the Hourglass lighting bronzer? Oh no-or the Nars blush/bronzer duo? Slowly her excitement began to ebb. There were so many options here. She scanned the store for a sales associate-but no one came to her aid-all were busy helping other customers. Her excitement soon faded into a feeling of overwhelming frustration. This was supposed to be a fun trip! But there were just so many options and she didn’t know which to choose.

 

If you’ve been in that same scenario-I feel ya girl. There have been so many times I’ve wandered into Sephora or Ulta and been totally lost. But through some ok years of trial and error, I have tried hundreds of products and found my top 10 Beauty must haves. This way, you can go into Sephora like the girl boss that you are and confidently snag these products and know they are bomb! Alright, let’s jump right in sista.

 

 1. Dress Code Elchim Blow Dryer

This is the Rolls Royce of blow driers. It runs a little pricey, but girl-it is literally amazing. I will do anything to cut my blow drying time and this bad boy cuts it right in half. My hair went from taking 45 minutes to blow dry to 15. Reminder that whenever you blow dry, use heat protector. Apply it twice: first before blowdrying and then again before you style your hair. The heat from the blow-drier evaporates the first layer and you gotta protect those gorgeous locks! This is 100% worth every penny I spent on it. I bought it straight from Amazon because prime shipping is life.

2. Origins Out of Trouble Mask

This mask is perfect for anyone with acne prone skin. I use it once a week and it always leaves my skin so smooth. Plus it never dries out your skin! Just leaves it feeling perfectly supple and radiant. Ever since I started using this, I rarely break out. And as someone who used to have severe cystic acne-I am so thankful I found this mask! It’s the only mask I consistently use.

3. Olaplex No 3

If you want bomb hair-get this treatment and use it every week! I’ve gotten my hair so long and healthy thanks to this treatment and my amazing hairstylist who takes amazing care of my locks. Many of you comment on my hair and I want you to know-my hair wasn’t always long and healthy! I used to have extensions 24/7. Getting my hair healthy was a journey and this treatment was a huge part of it. This is different than a hair mask because it rebuilds your hair from the shaft, fixing the damage done by color or highlights. I cannot recommend this product enough!

Pro-tip: Whenever you get your hair highlighted, colored, or balayaged, ask your stylist to mix in Olaplex No 2. It’s a more concentrated version of No 3 and is a game changer.

4. e.l.f. Poreless Face Primer

Apply this below your makeup and your skin looks so smooth and flawless! I also love that its affordable. It’s comparable to the Smashbox primers-but this one is cheaper 😉

5. SmashBox Studio Skin 24 Hour Concealer

This is the best concealer of all time. Even when I’ve gotten 3 hours of sleep and am exhausted, I just put this bad boy under my eyes and no one is the wiser! I swear by this concealer-its that good.

6. The Perfect Face Loose Powder in Y2

This is another hack I have learned for those pesky under-eye circles. After I do my concealer and foundation, I put this on liberally under my eyes and then proceed to do my eyeshadow. Then I take my powder brush and brush it away! And voila-no under eye circles ever again!

7. Milk & Honey Cream Deodorant in Coconut Vanilla

You know how everyone is switching to natural deodorant but then everyone kind of smells bad? That was my worst fear, so when setting out to find a natural deodorant that worked, I asked my boyfriend, best friend, and my mom to tell me if I ever smelt bad. Tbh there was no way I was gonna sacrifice smelling good to make the switch. Luckily, I found this natural deodorant from Milk & Honey and its amazing. Not only does it smell good, but it works. Just like regular deodorant, you apply it every morning! I seriously love it. The only drawback is that its cream, so you apply it differently. But I heard they were developing a stick form which I am stoked about!

8. Hoola Bronzer

I will never, ever use another bronzer. I love it because there’s zero sparkle in it. Its completely matte with brown undertones-giving you a sun baked glow that looks completely natural. I use it for my contour and its simply amazing.

9. Clean and Clear Oil Absorbing Sheets

Ok-I love love love these things. As you could’ve guessed, I have oily skin. So usually about 9 hours into the day, my skin begins to produce lots of oil and get shiny. I love strategically using shine for highlighter-but looking super shiny all over isn’t my jam. So I’ll bring these little guys with me-especially during shoots because they don’t disturb your make-up!

10. Conair Xtreme Heat Rollers

Wanna know how I achieve those big curls? This is my secret! Yes, you may definitely will look like a grandma when getting ready, but who cares! Your hair will end up looking crazy awesome in the end!

There ya go! Take this list with you next time you venture into Sephora or Ulta and never feel overwhelmed by all the options again! I got chu girlfriend! Feel free to share this list with your friends. And better yet, if you have a product I have to try-let me know in the comments below!

LYLAS-

Rach

 

10 Perfect (& Affordable!) Holiday Party Looks

10 Perfect (& Affordable!) Holiday Party Looks

Tis’ the season for holiday parties! Holiday parties are my fave-especially being a plus one! If you’re anything like me-you have a myriad of holiday parties approaching. Some ranging from black tie to tacky Christmas sweater to more conservative work parties. If you’e also like me-you love dressing super classy but-ya girl has a budget. I have gathered all my favorite finds this December to compile this list of all my favorite holiday party looks for every single get together you have this season! And-the greatest news of all-they’re all affordable-the most affordable being $19.90 (wait-what?!) to the most pricey being $118. Hope you enjoy this guide and have a wonderful time at your plethora of holiday parties this season!

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Jumpsuit: Forever 21 $19.90     Bag: Tory Burch      Shoes: Top Shop

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Dress: Nordstrom $118     Bag: Tory Burch

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Top: Forever 21 $18     Skirt: Forever 21 $17.90

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Dress: Nordstrom (Top Shop) $65      Earrings: Kendra Scott      Bag: Madewell

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Dress: Nordstrom (Lulu’s) $72     Earrings: Kendra Scott

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Sweater: Target $34

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Dress: Francesca’s    Shoes: Prada

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Dress: Zara $39

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Dress: Nordstrom $100      Shoes: Prada

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Dress: Forever 21 $19.90

I hope that each of you have a wonderful time at all your holiday parties-whether it’s a black tie event or a group of girls in tacky sweaters drinking champagne and playing How Do you Meme or a cozy family get together with your precious nieces and nephews watching Elf and drinking hot cocoa! It’s my prayer that each of you take time this crazy holiday season to rest in Jesus. To take time away from all the parties-to sit and think about how wonderful it is that our Savior humbled himself to live in this world so that we can have a sympathetic God who understands what it is to be human! I also pray that your Christmas season is filled with special memories that you will always cherish. Take time to play silly games with your little cousins and family. Laugh hard, don’t take yourself too seriously-alright?! Instead of getting wrapped up in staging Insta-worthy photos, put your phone down and make real memories! I love you all and hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

 

LYLAS-

Rach

Outfits to Help Ya Gobble Till Ya Wobble

Outfits to Help Ya Gobble Till Ya Wobble

Tis’ the season for pie. And more pie. And more pie! One of my all time favorite holidays is Thanksgiving. I love how it brings families together to celebrate all that we have to be thankful for! I also am a big huge fan of food. So when I set out to choose the perfect Thanksgiving attire, I want something with two very important components. First and foremost, it must be comfy! I want to eat alllll the turkey and dressing I want and not feel constricted in any way shape or form! Secondly, I want my outfit to be cute. I don’t know about you guys, but my family loves to take copious amounts of photos around the holidays so I wanna be lookin’ fly! Without that second component, I would probably be wearing Outdoor Voices joggers and a t-shirt tbh. Right here in this blog I’ve rounded up all my favorite Thanksgiving looks for you to chose from! Let me know what you think!

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Sweater and Jeans: Alterd State      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Shop Priceless      Jeans: Loft      Hat: Francesca’s      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Shop Priceless      Jeans: Loft          Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Forever 21      Jeans: Francesca’s          Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Francesca’s      Jeans: Loft          Bag: Marc Jacobs      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater, Dress, and Hat: Luxe Apothetique        Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater, Skort, and Hat: Luxe Apothetique      Bag: Louis Vuitton      Boots: Steve Madden

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Sweater: Anthropologie

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Sweater and Skirt: Forever 21      Shoes: Steve Madden      Bag: Louis Vuitton

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Shoes: Nordstrom BP      Jeans: Loft      Bag: Marc Jacobs      Jacket: BCBG

That rounds up all of my thanksgiving day ideas! I think I am going to rock the pink chenille sweater from Shop Priceless! More important than any outfit you could wear this Thursday, I hope that you and your family have such a wonderful time counting all your blessings. And you all would take that quality time to put your phones down-make food together, watch and make fun of the Lifetime Christmas movies, laugh with your cousins, play games with your nieces and nephews, and make new memories that you will cherish forever! Most importantly, I hope each of you take time to reflect on just how fortunate we all are to have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who died and defeated death for us. We are blessed beyond compare! Happy Thanksgiving Turkeys!

 

Gobble till ya wobble homies,

Rach

True Beauty in an Instagram Culture

Austin Fashion Lifestyle bloggerAs I open up my Instagram Explore page, I am bombarded with images that look similar: the most gorgeous women from all over the world: long, thick hair, full, pouty lips, curves in all the right places, and dressed to entice. As I am looking at these images of these women, thoughts pop into my head, “I definitely need to go to the gym today-shouldn’t have eaten that cookie!” “I wonder how she got her hair to curl like that, mine never stays-ugh I hate my hair” or “I wish I had longer legs”.

Self-centeredness becomes my mindset.

Comparison creeps into my mind on how I can look more beautiful.

This morning, after a solid one hour scrolling session, I brought these feelings to God. I asked Him what He thinks true beauty is.

I wanted to know what true, real, lasting beauty is that remains once the makeup is off, the hair isn’t cooperating, the filter is gone, and some weight is put on.

What does God say is beautiful?

The foundation of our beauty begins with what God says about us. He looks at you calls you daughter, worthy, precious, and loved. The God who put the stars in their place, who parted the Red Sea, who set the earth in motion, who upholds everything by the power of His word calls you daughter, beloved. Throughout this blog, I want to explore what makes us beautiful and what God says in His Word is actually a beauty that ought to be pursued.

“THE GOD WHO PUT THE STARS IN THEIR PLACE, WHO PARTED THE RED SEA, WHO SET THE EARTH IN MOTION, WHO UPHOLDS EVERYTHING BY THE POWER OF HIS WORD CALLS YOU DAUGHTER, BELOVED.”

But how do we know He loves us?

We know the depth of His love because He sent His Son Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, to die for us. Jesus didn’t have to do this, but He willingly submitted to The Father, and took on weak, human flesh. Jesus was tempted in every way, yet He lived the perfect life. The He was brutally tortured, crucified, and was killed.

He endured all this for you.

But it didn’t end there, He was raised to life after three days so that we could be restored back into a right relationship with God.

That is the length God will go to call you His own.

He loves you.

That is why you are beautiful and beloved.

Now that we have the foundation of where our worth comes from (what God says about us and what Jesus did for us), let’s look at scripture where God outlines characteristics we ought to pursue.

QUIET AND GENTLE SPIRIT

As I was praying this morning, 1 Peter 3:3-4 popped into my head, “Do not let your adorning be external-the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a quiet and gentle spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.”

As someone who has always considered myself a strong, I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman, this verse took me a while to grapple with. I always wanted to be passionate, fierce, and opinionated. But maybe there is more strength in the ability to hear others, empathize with them, meet them where they are, and gently point them back to the truth of Jesus than to be someone who values independence and autonomy over everything. Because anyway, we are all thoroughly dependent on Christ.  Once we understand that, it frees us up to love people in a way that is marked by patience, kindness, and gentleness which is produced by the Holy Spirit working in us.

“BUT MAYBE THERE IS MORE STRENGTH IN THE ABILITY TO HEAR OTHERS, EMPATHIZE WITH THEM, MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE, AND GENTLY POINT THEM BACK TO THE TRUTH OF JESUS THAN TO BE SOMEONE WHO VALUES INDEPENDENCE AND AUTONOMY OVER EVERYTHING.”

PROVERBS 31

Proverbs 31 came to my mind as I was considering the type of beauty we ought to be pursuing. The entire chapter is full of godly characteristics we ought to cultivate.

She is trustworthy“The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of grain.” Proverbs 31:11

She does good. “She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:12

She is a hard worker“She seeks wool and flax and works with willing hands” Proverbs 31:13

She has responsibility“She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.” Proverbs 31:16

She is compassionate and gives willingly“She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” Proverbs 31:20

 

She is clothed in strength and dignity. She doesn’t fear the future because her trust is in the Lord. “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.” Proverbs 31:26

 

She is wise and kind“She opens her mouth with wisdom and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” Proverbs 31:26

Lastly, She fears the Lord“Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.” Proverbs 31: 30

These are the characteristics that contribute to real, unfading beauty.

Beauty that grows with each passing year.

Beauty that delights in the promises of God and treasures His Word.

Ultimately, the Bible points us away from external appearance and to the “hidden person of the heart” (1 Peter 3:4) to determine where real beauty is found. I’ll be completely transparent with you, there are times my words are harsh, my heart leads me to judgement instead of compassion, my flesh tells me to pursue idleness rather than discipline. I fail on so many of these characteristics. But luckily for me, for all of us, Jesus is strong where we are weak. When we fail, He is there to pick us up. In our insufficiency, He is fully sufficient. When we fail, let’s turn away from that sin, ask God to give us a right understanding of the gospel, and praise His name for his goodness.

Join with me in pursuing this kind of lasting, enduring beauty. Let’s fight for that. Let’s fight for that when the entire world is screaming to us that physical beauty entices and sex appeal is the way to get attention. When I find myself nose deep in my phone, I take those feelings to God. I let Him know I feel insufficient, I confess that to Him and I ask Him to remind me of my true identity-the one that is in Christ alone. And I meditate on scripture that speaks into that truth (Ephesians 2).

So Let’s be women who trust in our identity that is rooted in Christ. A true identity tells us we are precious because God says so. Let’s pursue a beautiful heart that remains and becomes more lovely as we mature more into the image of Jesus.

-Rach