I love getting festive for any holiday, I’m sure you know that about me by now ;) My favorite wardrobe is a summer wardrobe so obviously the 4th of July and the other summer holidays are my favorites to dress for. I love all of these piece for 4th of July weekend but also for all summer long. They are perfect for BBQs, summer nights at the beach, pool days, and just all of the goodness that the sunshine brings with it. I will be in Iowa for the 4th of July visiting Jay’s grandma with his extended family. It’s typically filled with small midwest farm town traditions where the family is all together. It’s really casual in Reinbeck Iowa haha so I will be wearing some of these laid back looks. However, I am ordering some of these pieces to have in my summer wardrobe because I love them!
The Sephora sale is one that I save up for and get so excited about. I keep a list in my phone of things that I want to try when I see so that I can buy them on sale. I also stock up on my repeat tried and true favorites (in multiples) so that I am stocked. I hate paying full price for things and since so many makeup and skincare products rarely go on sale, I use this time to stock up. It hurts my credit card bill at once but is worth it in the long run. You can read about my current skincare routine here.
The Sephora sale has different dates and discounts based on status for Sephora members. If you are not already signed up as a Beauty Insider, do so ASAP! You get rewards and it doesn’t cost anything. You can sign up here. Here are the dates & codes for the sale…
April 26-May 6
20% off with code HEYROUGE
May 2-May 6
15% off with code HEYVIB
May 2-May 6
10% off with code HEYINSIDER
The one beauty arena that I am most interested in is definitely skincare. It’s probably because it goes along with feeling clean, which is my FAVORITE! If I had to chose between being made up with makeup or being fresh out of the shower and clean with all of my face products on, I’d choose that feeling of being fresh out of the shower. The other reason that I love skincare is because I think that the better you treat your skin, the less makeup you need. Plus, when you do wear makeup, it sits better on skin that is well taken care of. I want to take good care of my skin for the long haul so that it looks as good as possible as I age.
I’d love to go in and get a ton of facials and lasers and such but that is really expensive so I try to do as much at home as I can. I’ve learned that the expensive products last a really long time. I bought most of my go to’s last year during the sale and still am not done with the bottles. Most of the items (besides moisturizer, deodorant and sunscreen) last me a full year. Some face serums I need to replenish 2x/year. Since the products are highly concentrated, they do their job really well with a small amount. Therefore, when I switched to these products, the cost in what I am spending each year overall didn’t really go up (especially once I got on a schedule with the sale). However, the upfront cost isn’t fun.
I have tried my best in recent years to switch over to cleaner face products. Since our skin is our largest organ and chemicals can get through our pores, I’ve tried to be really conscious about what I put on my skin. I follow the 80/20 rule generally with what I eat being ‘clean’ versus not so I try to apply that same rule to my skincare, haircare, makeup, etc.
Like I mentioned, I’m really excited to try some new products that I’ve read a lot about (and will report back on). However, I am also ordering refills of my tried and trues like the toner which has changed my breakouts, my favorite night time face oil, and this epic sunscreen for your face (you won’t ever go back once you use it..it goes on clear). The steps that I use my skincare products in based on my current routine can be found in this blog post.
I really kept my makeup selections to a minimum so these are just my musts. I have been using some of them for yearssss (pretty sure I’ve been using the orgasm color of this blush since college). I have tried so many times to replace the GOAT mascara with a ‘clean’ alternative and I just can’t kick it (and am okay with it). I love mine SO much and have been using it since high school. I don’t curl my eyelashes with an eyelash curler (too scared of it harming my lashes) and this is the only mascara that lifts and curves my lashes. It literally triples the length of my lashes! I just got this new eyebrow pencil recently and am loving it!
This past weekend I swapped out my closet for my spring/summer clothes (yes, I am a 29 year old child who still stores my off season clothes at my mom’s house because #apartmentliving). I kept 1 of my winter coats in order to not be totally irresponsible but I am so over it! I love swapping it for my Spring coats and adding a couple of new ones into the mix. Spring is a time when you NEED layers. These light Spring coats are perfect layering pieces! Here are my favorites, just click on a picture to shop.
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It’s finally feeling like Spring! With Spring, comes the start of wedding season. That means bridal showers and other corresponding parties. I’m off to my friend’s bridal shower today so I thought that it would be the perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite Spring party dresses! I think that these are also perfect for Easter and Passover, which are just around the corner! I am going to my sister in law’s house for Easter. I’m excited to see my niece and nephew since every holiday with them is instantly more fun. I love dressing for the warmer weather and as you know, I LOVE dresses so all of these make me happy! Many of these are currently on sale too. Just click on any image to shop.
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Spring is an exciting but also tricky season to dress for. I think that shoes are a big part of that. I love getting shoes that will be transitional and I can wear in the summer as well. I want things that will look good with jeans, dresses and shorts. I’m also always looking for cute sneakers that are comfortable but elevate an outfit instead of bringing it down. Spring is the time when I wear the most slip on sneakers of all! I rounded up all of my favorite spring shoes for the season in this post and I legit want every single pair. They are all well under $200. Just click on an image below to shop!
I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m the biggest trend follower but sometimes a trend just hits home and I dive right in! The satin midi skirts that have been all over have really been speaking to me. That’s particularly true for the animal print ones. I think that they give you a fun ability to dress an outfit up or down depending on if you wear heels or sneakers and what type of top you wear. I embrace any opportunity to get dressed in something besides athletic wear and wear sneakers so I am all over this look! I thought that it would be fun to pair my new favorite band tee with it but for night time I can also wear a black top. Also, I got this jacket for the holidays and I am OBSESSED with it! It is so reasonably priced, comfortable, and I love that it has a detachable hood. I like that the sweatshirt fabric hood is detachable because I can keep it on when I want a more casual look and remove it when I want it to be dressier. I linked some of my other favorite leopard skirts below!
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Shopbop’s big sale is here and its the perfect time to stock up on Spring/Summer wardrobe pieces! I know that the items that Shopbop carries can be pricier so I kept all of my picks to items under $100. Its the perfect time to get the sandals, shorts, and other essentials that you’ll wear all season long once the sun comes out! Just use the code GOBIG19 to receive 15% off orders of $200 or more, 20% off orders of $500 or more and 25% orders of $800 or more. Click on any image above or below to shop.
A little bit ago I asked on my Instagram stories what you guys are currently searching for and was shocked how many people said bathing suits! It’s never too early to start dreaming of warmer weather. In fact, I think its a bit of a lifeline for these winter months! I know a lot of people are also preparing to go on vacation somewhere warm. If you are going away, make sure to also check out my Spring Break Clothes Under $100 post. I tried to cover all of the bases here with a variety of bikinis and one pieces. I also made sure to include some more appropriate options for times when you don’t want your a** hanging out, like when you are around your dad or playing with your kids. They’re all super cute! Click on any image to shop.
One Piece Swimsuits
Spring Break is just around the corner! Isn’t it funny to think about what Spring Break means as a kid versus a college student versus a parent? I actually met my husband on (actually on the plane to) the MOST college Spring Break trip to exist. It was in Acapulco, Mexico and was straight out of the scene from MTV Spring Break. Who else remembers those videos on MTV and then again of Ross on Friends haha. This trip was full of wet t-shirt contests (I did not participate) and all of the other college break scenes that you could imagine. Nowadays, the reference to Spring Break in my circle is from my friends who are teachers and families that I am planning vacations for (I am a travel agent and my company is the Cozy Traveler and it is an affiliate of Smartflyer for those of you that don’t know). Even if its not during Spring Break timing for schools, this is the best time to go away because all of the magic of winter has more than worn off and with the lack of holidays, these next few months move by slowly (particularly slowly when you are recovering from surgery and haven’t left the house in 5 weeks!!!).
So, whose going away for Spring Break? I wish that I was going away but since I’m not, you’ll have to say hi to the sunshine for me and soak it all up! Either way, looking at Spring/Summer clothes and starting to shop for them gets me in a better mood. Its fun to have new pieces that you are excited about packing and bringing on vacation. I know that going on vacation can hurt your wallet enough though so all of these picks are under $100! Stay tuned later in the week for my bathing suit roundup…it’s amazing! Let’s get shopping for your warm weather vacation! Just click on any image to shop!
Here is a makeup free, edit free, harsh AF lit selfie for today’s skin care routine post. My skin is obviously far from perfect! However, I put a lot of effort into taking great care of it and I feel like it loves me back when I do. It’s our biggest organ and I think that it’s important to treat it nicely. I am someone that values feeling clean and soft more so than feeling ‘done up’ so skincare is definitely a passion of mine over makeup (although clearly makeup is very important haha). I’m a big believer that your makeup can only look good if the skin that you are applying it to looks good and is healthy.
I have really stepped up my skincare regimen within the last 5 years and have noticed a huge difference in my skin from so many of these products and steps. In today’s post, I break down all of my routines (the routine after I shower and before bed are the most important) and talk about the products that have been game changers for me. Because I am interested in skin care, I try a decent amount of products and always circle back to these because I can’t find others that measure up (I also rule out a lot of them because I’m so picky about scents..whoops). I know that there’s a lot of steps but they are worth it and can be done quicker once you get in a rhythm. If you don’t workout in the morning, just use my ‘Post Shower’ routine as your morning routine and my night routine as your night routine. Here it goes..
Morning Routine…right when I wake up, before I workout:
Face Wipes: Leaning over a sink and half bending to wash my face really hurts my back so in the morning I will just clean my face with one of these face wipes.
Eye cream: Since I’m going to shower after I workout, I am stingy with the amount of eye cream I use first thing in the morning but I use some none the less. I have a lot of lines under my eyes and pretty prominent crows feet (for a 29 year old) so I really appreciate how thick and ‘real deal’ this eye cream feels. I’ve noticed a difference since I started using in with how my under eye concealer sets as well.
Moisturizer: I could bathe in this stuff I love it so much. It feels so luxurious when you’re putting it on and works so well. It doesn’t leave you greasy but still is so hydrating. Once again, since I’m going to workout soon after, I am cheap with the amount of product I use at this point in the day.
In The Shower…following my workout:
Face wash: I do my deep clean face wash once I get in the shower after my workout (sometimes I don’t shower for a while after I workout though…whoops). I use this Clarisonic brush with my face was 2-3 times a week and the other days I put it on with my hands. You want to be careful about how many times you exfoliate your face in a week.
Additional Face Wash For Breakouts: I add this in only when I’m having breakouts or am feeling like I’m about to have a breakout. I scrub it on the Clarisonic brush first and then use the brush on my face. I noticed that adding this additional face washing step it helps with acne when I see it! If I’m using this, I will use it before my other face wash because it doesn’t leave your skin feeling soft.
Morning Routine…after I shower following my workout:
Toner: Toner is a GAME CHANGER for breakouts and clearing up your skin. I am so glad that I added it into my routine because I’ve seen big changes from it. This one smells awesome and feels different than the others that I’ve tried. It is pricey but lasts SO long. My bottle lasts me at least a year. I just pump it once into my hand and then rub it onto my face directly. Then, I let it soak in for a couple of minutes and put on my deodorant and stuff.
Vitamin C Serum: This is the product that I most recently added into my routine and I’m so glad that I did. It has changed the brightness of my skin in a great way! I was reluctant to spend more money on my skincare routine so I held off on adding it for so long but now I realize that the bottle I bought will last for forever (I bet it lasts me well over a year). You need such a tiny amount and the bottle is so big. I heard that it can make your skin sensitive to the sun so in the warmer months I will likely switch this into my night time routine. I pump one pump into my hand and then spread it all over my face (its a tiny amount). I let this soak into my skin for a couple of minutes and moisturize my body in the meantime. If you do that, make sure to wash your hands well after so that you don’t get the body lotion on your face.
Eye cream: Same daytime one as earlier in the morning. I’m trying to be better about remembering to apply it with my ring finger since its such sensitive skin.
Face oil: This is a game changer for moisturizing! It will not make you break out, don’t be deceived. Just put a tiny amount into your hand and then massage it into your skin. After this, I want it to soak in for a couple of minutes so I brush out my hair.
Moisturizer: Same product that I use first thing in the morning. I love that it has SPF 30 in it for the day time.
Night Routine…right before bed:
Face Wash: Depending on if I wore makeup or not, I will actually wash my face with my face wash (if I wore makeup) or just use the wipes again (a lot of the reason I don’t wear makeup frequently is because it hurts my back so much taking it off so my goal is to use the wipes).
Eye Cream: Using a night time specific eye cream has been so helpful for me. I’m not sure why but in the morning I can tell the difference if I used this one versus another one.
Face Oil: This night time face oil is my great addition. I discovered it a couple of years ago and I can’t live without it. I used to travel without it but I was missing it so much that I now have to bring it where ever I go. If I don’t have it, my face feels so dry! I am more generous with lathering this on (I pump it into my hand and then onto my face) because I typically workout in the morning so I don’t care if my hair gets a little of it in it. If you’re worried about it though, I would just tie your hair up and then use a couple of small drops and you’d be totally fine. This product is pricey but lasts me half a year on average (and would last you longer if you weren’t as excessive as I am).
Jade Roll: On the nights that I am dedicated, I will use my jade roller after putting on the oil to really make it soak in. I want to be better about adding in this step because I really only do it once a week on average. I really love it and feel it de-puff my face mainly, I just get lazy.
Moisturizer: After letting the face oil soak in for a few minutes while I do other tasks to get ready for bed, I apply my moisturizer. Then, I try to do a few more tasks to let it soak in before getting in bed.
Weekly routine..once a week on average (some weeks I DEFINITELY skip):
Tanning Lotion: During the colder months, I use this awesome tanning lotion once a week or once every 2 weeks. One bottle lasts me a year so its definitely worth the investment. The cream is white and you cannot mess up the application. It’s SO easy, you just apply it like regular lotion and don’t have to worry about streaks. Just rub it in and then wash your hands and let it dry for a couple of minutes before putting on your clothes. I’ll apply in in the morning and then shower later in the day so that I don’t get in my sheets with it on, even though I’m sure it would be fine because the cream is white. It doesn’t smell bad but I just don’t LOVE the smell and I’m a psycho about being clean so I want to shower a few hours after applying it even though I know it would be more effective if I didn’t. It produces a really subtle and awesome fake tan and I couldn’t recommend it more. I put it on my face as well and have never had any issues. I get asked a lot about the brown bottle versus the white bottle and they’re the same thing.
Face Mask: On Sundays, I try and do a face mask. Full transparency, I probably only realistically do this half the Sundays of the year. I do my face masks after I shower because my pours open up in the steam. Some of my favorites are this one for brightening, this one for acne/general care, and this one for extra moisture and to use when I travel. I also just bought this one to try because I heard great things.
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My mom has the most perfect (natural) teeth on the planet. I remember being a kid and being amazed at how white and straight they were. Even before I really valued it, I knew that it was special. After all, its hard not to notice people’s smiles. Someone’s smile is so important. I feel like someone’s smile (and how much they use it) really gives you a sense of that person. I started valuing it from a young age and added it to my list of the many reasons that I wanted to be just like my mom.
When I was around 14 years old, a local family in my town lost their home and all of their possessions in a fire. My mom bought them tons of new clothes, toys and other things. The mom of the family was a dental hygienist at my dentists’ office so as a thank you she offered to give us all teeth whitening trays. My mom turned her down a few times but eventually accepted and continued her selflessness by giving them to my sister and I (I guess she also didn’t need it haha). I’ve used those trays on and off over the years but my teeth have shifted and changed since I was so young so I really needed new trays. I quickly found out that if you are not getting them comped like I originally did, they are actually really expensive!
Enter Smile Brilliant! Smile brilliant is an affordable and easy solution to teeth whitening. Its truly made for everyone because the price point is attainable and you can do everything from home. As you may know, I do as much as I can from home. I online shop, get a lot of my groceries delivered, abuse my Amazon Prime membership, and all that jazz. Therefore, I was pumped to not have to go to an office to get my trays made.
At first, I was slightly intimidated that making my molds was going to be confusing but it was SO easy! They give you fool proof instructions in your package. The whole process took me 10 minutes maximum.
I don’t drink coffee (I’m too naturally prone to anxiety to be able to handle caffeine), I don’t drink wine or other colored beverages (I don’t produce an enzyme to digest alcohol through my liver or I would gladly drink wine haha), I don’t smoke and I just generally avoid a lot of the things that would discolor my teeth to begin with. I think that this helps me see lasting results from whitening my teeth and its a silver lining to the rest.
Now, I will be using my system for years to come for ‘touch ups’ every now and again! Plus, I’ll be keeping up with my lipstick usage, which always helps my teeth look whiter, even if they have lipstick on them half the time like a crazy person!
My readers get 15% off with the coupon code thecozycurator15
Also, my readers get the chance to enter an awesome giveaway with Smile Brilliant! The giveaway is for a $149 Smile Brilliant credit. It is open until January 3rd and open to USA, UK, Australia and Canadian residents. Enter the giveaway here!
This post is sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You guys know that I love a great excuse to get dolled up and fancy. I am either in sweatpants or a dress basically. My sister and I always joke because when she asks what I’m going to wear to something she goes so are you going homeless vibe or wearing a dress? I would like to add that I also wear athleisure a good amount haha. On NYE I like to take the opportunity to get fully dressed up. I’m not a big sparkle or glitz girl (except for when it comes to diamonds, I mean come on haha). Even if you don’t have fancy NYE plans, I think that dressing up in a festive outfit is a way to make it feel different than any other night. Well that and champagne but we all know I can’t drink so I have to wear extra glitter in my outfit to compensate.
This year, I will be in Florida for NYE. My parents always celebrated NYE with their best friends and when we were kids we used to celebrate with them. They recently moved to Florida so after my dad’s passing they kindly invited us down there to celebrate it with them. We are one big extended family (kids included) and so it will be good to all be together for it. It’s another holiday in the list of them all that is crappy this year so I am glad that we will be together as a group/fam. We are going to stay at their condo and all hang out. What are your plans for NYE? Are you going big or laying low?