Steph’s Travel Necessities

I am in Zion National Park right now and I will post about it when I get back but since I was packing up, I thought I would tell everyone what my travel necessities are. I’m going to focus what would be in my carry-on if I was flying or what my bag would have on a road trip since they have a lot of the same things.

The first thing you need is a good sized tote. The one I’ve been using the last few times was actually a gift from my friend Alicia when I was a bridesmaid in her wedding. It’s great because she specifically gave it to us to use when we travel and it holds so much! It looks really shiny in the picture but it’s nylon so I think it’s the way the lights hitting it.

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  • I always freeze in the car or on planes so a comfy sweatshirt is a must. Mindy Mae’s Doublehood Sweatshirts have been my go-to hoodies lately. I want every single one so check them out. They can also double as a pillow if you need that.
  • A good chapstick or lip balm for when your lips get dry with the climate changes. You know I’ve been loving my Clinique Chubby Stick in Super Strawberry. Then I feel slightly put together when I’m likely dressed in sweats.
  • A water bottle or empty water bottle if you’re flying!
  • I’m an avid reader so I will always have a book ready on my Kindle Paperwhite or a normal book to read when I get bored. The Kindle is my preference because it takes up very little space and the battery lasts FOREVER.
  • Ziploc bags because you never know what is going to happen and you’re going to need them. I like to have a couple of sizes on me too.
  • Whether you’re flying or driving, it’s important to have headphones just in case you want to listen to music, podcast or to watch a movie. One thing I didn’t think about the last time I was flying was that Adam uses wireless Bluetooth headphones and he couldn’t use them to plug in and watch a movie on the plane. Luckily, I had my pair so he was able to use mine but it’s something I never would have thought about.
  • You never know when you’re going to need a breath refresher or to try and pop your ears so always buy a pack of gum.
  • I hate washing my hands and then having my hands feel dry so I always keep some lotion in my bag and especially if I’m traveling. I like to make sure it’s something I would feel comfortable putting on my face because sometimes with travel, it seems to dry up.
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This just made me laugh. I definitely do this if I’m going to a new place. It’s so hard not to!

New Beauty Favorites

Recently, I’ve tried out some new beauty products that I really liked and wanted to share with you!

First one up is thanks to Michelle pushing me to always fill in my eyebrows. I knew it looked better when I did but I’ll be honest, I was lazy and it took too long to fill in with the pencil I bought. I was at Ulta the other day and just looking around and I came across the Anastasia Beverly Hills section. I had one of their brow pencils before but then I saw that they had a brow pomade that I could apply with a brush. I tried a little in the store and I was sold. I bought the blonde color. I ended up going back to buy a new brush and this is so much easier for me to apply. I’m the same way with eyeliner. I can’t apply it with a pencil. I need to apply it with a brush because my hand is so unsteady. I am also looking to try a new eyeliner since I’m almost out so if you have any suggestions let me know!

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My next new product is something my sister told me about. I’ve had some weird issues with most lip products irritating my lips but I still wanted to try this. It’s the Clinique Chubby Stick Lip Balm. I wanted to try all the colors but I have a hard time with that in stores where I know others have also tried it on their lips. I ended up buying the color Pudgy Peony and I really liked it! It is still very natural looking and was very moisturizing on my lips and didn’t irritate them at all. My sister has a couple that I tried and the Super Strawberry was great too.

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My last new product is the shampoo and conditioner by DevaCurl. I already use their Light Defining Gel and I love it. Michelle’s sister, Annette, started using the shampoo and conditioner and gave me some to try. It smelled so good! It was a little weird because the shampoo doesn’t really lather but it still cleaned my hair just fine. My hair gets so tangled when I wash it and the conditioner actually helped a lot with it. I think it would help my waves if I used it consistently but I don’t wear my hair like that every day. I think I’m going to watch for Ulta to put it on sale and then I’ll buy it since it’s a little pricey. You can find the shampoo here and the conditioner here.

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Let me know if you’ve tried any of these or if you have others I should try. I really do need eyeliner suggestions!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Favorites

We both looked through the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to find our favorite things to show you. Early access to the sale started this morning and things are already selling out. You can get early access if you have their credit or debit card. It’s totally worth it just for the sale. I got the debit card a few years ago to help control purchasing so I get all the Nordstrom points to get the $20 notes and then get early access to the sale.

Steph’s Favorite Finds

I found a couple great items and one that I’m excited to try on and see if it gets me out of my comfort zone. I’ll definitely be asking for Michelle’s opinion on this one. I’ll show you it first. It’s a moto jacket with a hood you can remove. I’m interested to see the quality of it in person because it’s not real leather but sometimes that still looks just as good. I could see it being great to wear out on a date night in the fall with some jeans and cute booties. You can find it here.

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I didn’t buy these booties but last year on the sale they had a very similar pair that was by Vince Camuto and I got those. They’ve held up amazing and are worth every penny. I get so many compliments on them. The main difference this year is that the pattern is a little different.

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I have a pair of tall black Hunter boots and I love wearing them on a rainy day or even if it snows. I have crazy hot feet so I can wear them in the snow with no problems. I was drawn to these boots and I can just see myself wearing them with some skinny jeans and it will look great. I’m so excited to see them in person. Find them here before they sell out!

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You can see the other Hunter boots included in the sale here.

I love Zella workout clothing because you can tell it’s high quality, it fits well and it still breathes nicely. I was tempted to buy more of the leggings but I refrained, for tonight at least. They have tons of the leggings and sports bras included in the sale. You can check them out here.

For the past three years, the sale always has Clarisonic brush head refills and I didn’t see any this year. It almost looks like they don’t carry any Clarisonic stuff anymore. I was pretty bummed about that because it’s always a great deal.

Clinique also has some really great deals right now if you’re looking to stock up on any of their lotions. I’m definitely buying the Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion set and the Clarifying Lotion. Mine are starting to get low. See the stuff on sale here.

I know a lot of people find Nordstrom to be expensive but they have lots of great sales and it’s really good quality products. I like to watch for the sales and then buy the stuff quick because they sell out. Nordstrom always has free shipping and returns so I never feel guilty for buying only one thing. One time, I ordered a dress and a skincare product and sent it to my old address without realizing it. I didn’t have the new homeowner’s contact information and I didn’t see the box on the porch. I called Nordstrom to see if I could track any info down and they were so nice and just shipped me out the products again for free. I couldn’t believe it but those types of things make me a Nordy for life.

Michelle’s Favorite Finds

Again, I have Steph to thank for getting hooked on Nordstrom. She’s really good at finding great deals and super cute stuff so of course, I wanted to be just like her! Ever since we became friends, we’ve been shopping the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale together.

This year, I found a couple things that I’m super stoked about!

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I’ve been wanting this duffel bag from Sole Society for a couple years now and I had no idea it would be on sale until I was looking last night! Isn’t it beautiful? I was going to get it in a brown cognac color but I love this faded brown more. I can’t wait to use this baby on weekend trips. You can find this bag here.

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I was drooling over these cute Nikes so I had to get them. I thought they were sold out for a second because the website wasn’t letting me see anything when I would click on them and then, lo and behold, this screen popped up and I was able to buy them. Aren’t they soooo cute?? You can get these here.

Just like Steph, I am hooked on Zella, especially their sports bras. They don’t have my favorite in the sale this year but here are some others that are on sale! They’re so worth checking out. You can find them here.

If you don’t have a Nordstrom debit or credit card, you need to have one to shop the Early Access sale! Otherwise, you have to wait until July 20th for the Anniversary Sale to open to the public. But beware… some of your favorite deals might be sold out by the time it opens!

Steph and I will post some pics of our finds once we get them!

What great deals did you find this year?

Steph’s Nighttime Skincare Routine

I thought since I had posted my morning skincare routine, I should post my nighttime routine! You can find my morning routine here.

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I start off washing my face with this Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser. I’ll be honest, shut your eyes real tight because it burns if you get it in your eyes! I’ve learned from experience. I love this because it seems to take my makeup off really well so I don’t usually have to use a makeup remover too.

After that, I use a cotton ball to put some of this Clarifying Lotion on my face. I use number two because I feel like my face is a combination of oily and dry skin. I’ve used this for years and loved it.

I put this Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Serum on my face. I started using this when I decided to look into anti-aging products and this was one of the top rated ones I found. It has a five-star rating out of 5,600 reviews on Nordstrom’s website! I have a hard time not going crazy on anti-aging stuff because I feel like it’s good to start early in life before I start seeing all the signs of aging. But sometimes a girl has to be on a budget.

I like to let the serum soak in for a minute before I put on some Cetaphil lotion. I like to put on something a little heavier at night. I think it’s too greasy for my face for in the morning. I’m still on the hunt for a good night cream. I haven’t found anything that wowed me. Anyone have any suggestions?

Lastly, I put on my All About Eyes eye cream. I use this in the morning and at night. I already seem to have dark circles and my eyes can be puffy in the morning so I like using this often. I really like trying out new eye creams from samples and stuff like that.

I realized a lot of my stuff is Clinique and it’s funny because I try new things for a little bit but then I go right back to the Clinique for most things. They are just so great with skincare.

Let me know what you think or if you have anything I must try!

P.S. Did you see the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale started if you have early access? I’m about to go find my favorite items and Michelle and I will have a post coming soon about it! It’s one of the best times of the year for shopping!

Steph’s Morning Skincare Routine

I thought it would be fun to share my morning skincare routine and then another day I will share my nighttime routine since it’s a little bit different. I would say I’m definitely more into skincare than makeup. I’m hoping it pays off as I age! I love looking at all the anti-aging things and trying them out but it does get hard because it starts to get pricey. I try to find things that I really love to make spending the money worth it. The products I use last a long time so that helps me justify buying them.

I shower every morning even if I showered the night before because it helps me wake up. It’s like my morning coffee and I feel like I still move pretty slow. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips for that? It doesn’t matter how much sleep I get, I still move so slow. Sorry, I got off topic, lol. Back to skincare! So when I get in the shower the first thing I do is wash my face with my Clarisonic and I use Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser. I like it because it’s so gentle on my skin and doesn’t irritate it and then the Clarisonic makes it feel so fresh and smooth.IMG_5661.jpg

You can find the Clarisonic here and the Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser here. Usually, I will wait until the Cetaphil goes on sale at Costco and stock up on it then. I mentioned in a previous post of my Top 10 Beauty Products that I’ve had my Clarisonic for a long time and I still use it every morning.

After I get out of the shower, I like to moisturize my face first before I do anything else. I didn’t realize how much Clinique stuff I used until I took the picture below. It’s not a bad thing by any means but they’ve been tried and true products for me.

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Sorry, the picture quality isn’t great on this one. I start off using this Clinique Clarifying Lotion 2. I use number 2 because it’s for combination skin. I just put some on a cotton ball and rub it all over my face.

After that, I use the Clinique Moisture Surge Hydrator. I’m always looking for extra moisture for my dry skin and this does the trick. I really love it in the winter when my skin is even drier. I’ve used heavier lotions before instead of this but it’s like you can feel it’s a heavier lotion if you know what I mean. This Moisture Surge is so lightweight so I prefer that instead of a heavier lotion.

I let the Moisture Surge really soak in for a minute before I layer on some Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion. I saw on Instagram last week that Clinique is coming out with a new Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly. I’m pretty excited for it to come out and try it. When I do, I’ll be sure to post about it.

The last step for my skincare routine is to put this Clinique All About Eyes all around my eyes. I think as we age and eye cream is essential. It helps with puffiness and dark circles. I use this every morning and night.

Every few weeks when I can remember I will use this Murad Intensive-C Radiance Peel. It doesn’t actually make my skin peel and it hasn’t burned like it says it can on the bottle. It just leaves my skin feeling so refreshed and bright. I put it on after I wash my face and leave it for ten minutes before wiping it off with a warm cloth. Then I do the rest of my routine as normal.

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I hope you enjoyed this post and if you have any questions or tips about things I need to try, leave a comment and let me know! Happy hump day, friends!

Steph’s Top 10 Beauty Products

I thought a great place to start would be my top 10 beauty products. Many of these I’ve been using for a long time and some of them are more recent. I’m always looking for new things to try because you never know what else is out there! Most of these products are from Nordstrom or Sephora. They’re the same price at either store typically but I do love that Nordstrom always has free shipping if I order online.

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My first favorite is the Clinique Rinse-Off Foaming Cleanser. My mother in law turned me onto this last year. I love it because it takes my make up off really well and quickly without a lot of scrubbing. Some face washes or makeup removers don’t seem to remove everything and I’ve been pleased with how well this does.

The Philosophy Fresh Cream Lotion smells amazing! It’s sweet smelling and it’s one of those lotions I want to use every day but at the same time, I don’t because I don’t want to use it up too fast. Sometimes it’s hard to find it in the store at Sephora or Nordstrom but they always have it online.

I found out about the Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo through my monthly Birchbox. It’s always hard to find a good dry shampoo and this has been my favorite so far. It smells delicious and it doesn’t leave that powdery feeling in your hair that others do.

My hair has a light wave to it so many days I like to use the DevaCurl Light Defining Gel. I’ve been using this for years and it looks like they’ve recently updated their bottles so it might look a little different. This is my favorite to use because it doesn’t leave my hair feeling crunchy.

I received my Clarisonic about 5 years ago and it is still going strong! I used to have a big problem with peeling, flaky skin and the Clarisonic completely fixed that. I use it every morning with a gentle cleanser and it leaves my skin feeling so smooth and clean. Exfoliators with the beads always irritated my skin and this hasn’t caused any irritation.

Because of my sensitive skin, I always had a hard time finding things that wouldn’t cause any irritation. When I was a teenager, a friend let me try their Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion and it changed my life. I’ve tried the lotion and the gel and for my drier skin, I’ve stuck with the lotion. You can see in the picture my bottle is almost gone! It does a great job moisturizing without being too heavy and this is what I use every morning.

Someone at Nordstrom turned me onto the Nars Concealer and I use it mostly under my eyes to help cover up some of the darkness. It blends in so well and doesn’t crease or anything. The color I use is Vanilla.

This Lanolips Ointment is a newer find that I use on my lips. You’re probably learning by now that I have sensitive skin. My lips are also very sensitive and this has been the only thing besides Vaseline that has not irritated my lips after using it for more than a couple days. There are a few different types and scents and one day, I want to try those to see how I can handle it.

I love this Bobbi Brown Shadow Stick. I do not have steady hands and this is so easy to just swipe some on my eyelid and then use my finger to even it out. It’s great for when you’re in a hurry or on the go. I have it in Golden Bronze and Golden Pink.

This Secret Clinical Strength Deodorant is my newest find. I had been trying a few different deodorants with no success at finding something stronger. Right after I started using this, I noticed a big difference and I am hooked on it now! It’s more expensive than normal deodorant but it’s worth it to me. You can also find it at any local drugstore.

I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe found some new things to try. Feel free to comment or ask any questions and I will get back to you!