the only two beauty secrets you need to know.

Just kidding. There are way more than two. Or you could be a totally beautiful person and never know these two secrets. Anyway, these are two very important things to me at this particular point in my life, and I’ve gotten a lot of requests to explain how and why I use them the way I do!

1. Rosehip Seed Oil

Purpose: I use rosehip seed oil as my moisturizer, scar remover/healer, acne prevention + treatment, ph balancer, anti-aging, pretty-much-everything product. I’ve stopped using facial cleansers because I noticed they were stripping my skin, and I was really only using them to prevent breakouts – which rosehip seed oil does. It’s the only skincare product I use, and I no longer need foundation/concealer. I do use Mac Face & Body Foundation for special occasions, important meetings, nights out. It’s lighter than their other foundations, and lets my skin breathe.

How often to use: I should probably apply it every morning and evening, but it’s really either/or. I recommend using it faithfully for 2-3 weeks if you’re trying to correct a dry skin issue or breakouts. I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW you’ve been told your whole life that oil = breakouts, but that’s not true! : )

How to use: Rinse your face with lukewarm water. Pat dry. Squirt 2-5 drops in your hand and use your fingertips to rub it into your face and neck. It’s SO light (not heavy, like coconut oil) that you can use a lot and your skin will absorb it all. If applying foundation/concealer after, I recommend waiting 5-10 minutes, but I’ve put it only directly afterwards when I’m in a rush. If you’re all like but oh mah gawd I need to exfoliate and how will my skin be clean without my bottle that says Cleanser on it, just rub your skin gently with a washrag or shower brush while you’re in the shower a couple times a week and you’ll honestly be fine. It’s water and rubbing that carries away dirt + bacteria, not chemicals.

What brand to get: I’ve used AuraCacia and Simplers Botanicals. So long as the bottle you find IS NOT FOR AROMATHERAPY, or mixed with other products, it should be fine.

What the heck are rosehips: Rose plants make fruit! I know right? I had no idea. They look like this and are the little fruit/seed pods of roses. They are packed full of Vitamin C, lycopene (anti-oxidant), Vitamin A, essential fatty acids, and other things that work as anti-inflammatories.

Where to purchase: Your local health food store, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or online. Here’s some on Amazon that’s only $11 and it’s what I currently use!

But I have sensitive skin: Yes, exactly. That’s why you should be using a single, pure ingredient – and not a mixture of synthetic things.

2. Suave Dry Shampoo

Purpose: Add volume and texture. Enables you to stop washing your hair every single day (bad for it) but not look gross. I have a lot of other tips for hair (particularly long, thick hair) over here on this other post too!

How often to use: Wheneverrrrrrr

How to use: Only use on dry hair. Hold the nozzle about 1-3 inches from your hair and practice spraying in short, sweeping bursts along your roots. After spraying, rub it in with the palm of your hand. I usually work my way around the crown of my head just so I get good lift and volume (and soak up all the oil) from all directions. Some people wait to put this in until Day 2 or Day 3 (whenever their hair gets oily) but I do it on Day 1 frequently to help add volume immediately.

What brand to get: I’ve tried a lot of $30-$40 bottles of dry shampoo and Suave’s $3 dry shampoo really, truly is the best I’ve found.

Where to purchase: CVS, Target, Walgreens, Amazon.

But not showering is gross: Okay you can SHOWER, you just don’t have to wash your hair every single time. <3

using this uncomfortable picture of myself to show the glow + health of my skin after switching to rosehip seed oil. do not be a creep and use this as the photo with which you pin this blog post thank you lulz

7 Things To Remember When Talking About Modesty & How People Dress.

This weekend I read another delightful article from a well-meaning man, talking about how if you dress modestly, you’ll attract a man for who you are, and if you wear revealing clothes, you’ll only attract men who are interested in your body.

After being calmed from my hysterics by my dear husband and his friend, and talking it all out, I decided to pen a few words that I believe all of us girls should remember when reading or listening to other people talk about how we should dress and what our clothes say about us as a person.

1a. How People Work. Yes, your clothes have the ability to say things about you. But one thing we leave out of this conversation is the nuts + bolts part of how communication works. What we say isn’t always what people hear. People hear and read (make discernments and assumptions) based on their worldview, and that is utterly uncontrollable. If you wear something to express beauty and someone else “hears” that you’re an immoral or too-sexually available woman, that’s not your fault or responsibility.

1b. Clothes and Assumptions. We all use clothing as a form of expression. Sometimes they express styles and color palettes we love, and sometimes they express that we are confident in ourselves, or that we aren’t. [On late Sunday nights, my sweatpants express that I'm exhausted and comfort trumps anything anyone thinks about me, hah.] What they can’t do is express the position of someone else’s heart or what kind of value they have as a person, or what they believe spiritually or religiously. Never let someone tell you that your sexy self on a Friday night out reflects the fact that you have Daddy issues or low self-esteem or don’t have a close relationship with Jesus. Just because a person exudes confidence or appreciation in their body doesn’t mean they are shallow. Study up on the logical fallacies, darlings.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE TO MY GIRLFRIENDS: Making assumptions about a girl’s character or priorities based on how she dresses SLAUGHTERS our ability as women to befriend other women. It’s not a competition or a Holiness Assessment Game unless you decide it is, and that will keep you from making friendships with incredible girls.

2. Individuals Don’t Speak for Everyone. No man can speak for all men, and no woman can speak for all women. A lot of us girls like to hear men’s opinions on things, AS WE SHOULD. It’s awesome when genders interact. However, we often make the mistake that one man giving his personal opinion about how he perceives women when they dress a certain way is what ALL men perceive. That “awesome man” writing that “awesome article” about sexiness or modesty in women? Remember that he had parents, was raised a certain way, had certain life experiences, went to certain churches, lives in a certain city, had men and women in his life tell him certain things – - and that’s how all of our beliefs get molded and defined, and in the end, they are individual opinions and views. “He” doesn’t necessarily think like all other potentially dateable men, all other good men, or your husband.

3. Cultural context. Clothing is cultural, and I don’t mean just international. There are plenty of outfits in my wardrobe as a 25 year old woman in Los Angeles that I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing in Alabama or Ohio or even the Carolinas. And that’s not because I’m suddenly more convicted when I’m on the East coast, or because men there are more susceptible to lust. It’s because cultural dress is very different in Los Angeles, and what would be shocking to a midwestern small town is “totes adorb” and quite normal here in Hollywood. I dress to be comfortable, attractive, and sometimes sexy if I feel like it that day – but I personally don’t go for the gawked-at outfits. (If you do, MORE POWER TO YA, WOMAN.) The Internet is awesome, but it often means we’re living in one place listening to another person speak about how what’s culturally acceptable in their city or country, not ours.

4. Fear Of Beauty and Sexuality. Don’t be modesty-ed into being terrified of being noticed or being attractive. Often when we say things like “the good men will notice you if you’re modest!” and, “selfish men will just want your body if your shirt is revealing!” we come, naturally, to the conclusion that to be noticed for our beauty, sexiness, or good looks will be terrifying and even dangerous. Not only is this conclusion harmful to both us and men, it’s simply not true. All men (and women) notice attractive people, and that’s totally okay. We all notice how people look before anything else. That isn’t shallow; it’s how our eyeballs work. It used to be that if a guy openly noticed me for my looks or complimented me, I felt like my boundaries had been plowed down and that he’d thought I was an easy girl who would say yes to going home with him. In the real world, he was just complimenting me. But in my terror-by-way-of-modesty-brain, I assumed he was making judgements about my character or revealing his own.  And HOLY CRAP that makes normal conversations with strangers and friends nearly impossible. It also can force us into choose each mornings whether or not we’re going to “be good and not feel attractive” or if we’re going to say, “to hell with it, I just want to look awesome today.” 

5. If You Want Guidance On How To Dress. If you’re set on dressing in a way to please or attract good men, remember that good men (and nearly all men) are attracted to confident women, and they can determine that based on your posture and whether or not you “hide” [physically and emotionally] in your clothes. I put this pretty brutally because it’s a painful war I’ve been fighting since I got married to The Best Husband Ever. I feel the sting myself as I say it, and I write it to hopefully nudge a few of you girls into learning to be confident in your body. My husband can tell when I’m hiding my body either in fear or because I’m ashamed of it, and he tries to help remind me that I’m a beautiful woman and can be confident in that. He loves when I wear things that fit well, that show off my figure, and give off the comfortable-in-my-sexiness vibe. Not because he’s just looking to see a little more boob, but because he wants me to embrace the woman that I am.

6. Lust vs Attraction. Hey dudes – Just want to make sure you know that noticing how sexy or attractive a woman is ISN’T lust. This is probably really relieving to some of you. You don’t have to guilt trip yourself for your sin every time you notice a pretty girl or a hot girl. Also, if you try to assess which girls are morally sound, are emotionally healthy, and love Jesus, DON’T SKIP OVER THE SEXY ONES. She didn’t choose that body just for you, God gave it to her. That body doesn’t define what kind of person she is. And she isn’t necessarily whoring out her cleavage, she just feels confident and beautiful in how God made her. I’ll say it again: observing isn’t lust.

7. You have the right to be you, whoever that is. How you dress is up to you, it’s no one’s place to assume things about your moral caliber by it. If you choose to dress more on the covered side, there is NOTHING wrong with that! For those of you new to “the modesty debate,” I’m sure you’re relieved to hear someone say it’s okay to show a little more leg. But for those of you familiar with the modesty culture discussions, I know you can feel judged for wanting to show less than others. At the end of the day, remember that how you choose to dress is none of my business. And I will never assume something about you because of how much you reveal, or how little you do. Make your what-do-I-show and what-do-I not decisions on what is appropriate for where you’ll be today, and what will make you comfortable and confident. Don’t make those decisions to protect men from their ‘uncontrollable thoughts’ or because it will take a hit on your morality or value as a person.

END THOUGHT: As Christians, we should view everyone as a person with immeasurable value who was created by God and who is our equal in all things, and letting someone’s clothing choices alter that view should have no place in our life. End of story.

FOR DISCUSSION: A lot of us have been pulled aside or confronted by people in our church to be rebuked for how we dress. How have you handled it? What words did you use to explain yourself? A lot of us simply don’t know what to do or what to say in this moment. What’s a good way to stand up for yourself graciously and respectfully?

Comments arguing for modesty absolutism or our responsibility to keep men from lust will be moderated. Thank you in advance for understanding the intended nature of this post. 

My Hair Tutorial for Long, Thick Hair (But fine strands!)

I’ve been putting off this post for about two years now, mostly because I feel like I wrestle with my hair daily, so I’m the last person to be promising you all these Magical Secret Solutions. But, then I realized that I’ve learned some things in my fighting, so I’m HERE TO SHARE. Haha.

It’s important to note that my tips probably won’t work for you unless your hair is really similar to mine: long, thick (in amount), and fine (in diameter of hair strands). It’s VERY important to know the difference between your amount of hair and the nature of your hair strands. A lot of us are told at one point, “oh your hair is so thick!” and don’t realize that ehhhhhhh that doesn’t really explain our hair that well. For example, you could have an average (or even less than) amount of hair, but your strands are really coarse – and it would seem thick to you, but really, you just have course, heavy hair!

MOVING ON.

1. I only wash my hair twice a week. Natural hair oils are a gift, if you know how to use them. Infrequent washing keeps your hair from being stripped, helps your scalp stay healthy, is just overall a good thing. The longer than you can go without washing your hair, the more dry shampoo, and the more volume/texture. : )

2. Shampoo & Conditioner. I swear by good conditioner, but shampoo is pretty important too. You don’t want something that strips your head, or coats it in wax (all Pantene products). Right now I’m using Davine’s stuff, and I love it. If you only have money to spend on one, pick the conditioner. It comes in a pot and lasts forrrevverrr. If your hair is uber-stripped from over bleaching or something, rub coconut oil through it and let it sit for 10-15 mins before showering.

3. Brush your hair in the shower. If you have long hair you’re probably already doing this to get the tangles out, but make sure you brush or comb your conditioner through your hair. Otherwise you only condition like 1/3 of your head. And ONLY condition the lower 2/3 of your hair. Don’t get close to your scalp. That weighs down your hair. No volume for you. : (

4. Dry your hair half-way, upside-down. Flip your head upside down to blow dry it. I don’t blow dry completely because that usually frizz-es me out, and it’s really easy to fry your hair when you have SO MUCH THAT YOU JUST HAVE TO BLOW DRY FOREVER AND EVER.

< friendly note > Make sure your hair has finished air drying before continuing to the next step.< /friendly note >

5. $3 Suave dry shampoo. You can also use baby powder, but I highly recommend Suave’s aerosol can since it doesn’t result in me accidentally dousing my shirt in white stuff or smelling like a baby’s butt. You can get this at Target or your drugstore. Shake the can, and hold it 2-4 inches from your scalp. Spray liberally (but not so much your hair turns white!) and then rub it in with your fingertips or palm of your hand. I usually work my way around the crown of my head just so I get good lift and volume (and soak up all the oil) from all directions. Some people wait to put this in until Day 2 or Day 3 (whenever their hair gets oily) but I do it right out of the shower to help add volume immediately. I re-apply whenever I need.

6. Teasing/back-combing. Dry shampoo is my Epic Secret #1, and this is Epic Secret #2. If you’ve never done it, it’ll take a little practice to figure out how your hair needs to be teased. Don’t be too aggressive. Start your comb at 2-3″ from your scalp and backcomb towards your scalp, and then you can do a loose backcomb at about 4-6″ if you want super intense volume, but I recommend waiting to do this until after your hair is fully styled.

7. Natural waves. If your hair is like mine, it does its own thing every day. Some days it waves or lays nicely, others I just run through it REALLY loosely with a flat iron, but sometimes I want some prettier looking waves (Read: Calmer. Heat, for some reason, just does beautiful things to hair like ours). Use a 1.5″-2″ curling iron and wrap chunks of your hair around, but DON’T go all the way to the ends. You can run it through the ends briefly just to “seal” or “treat,” but don’t actually include it in part of the curl. Hold the curl for a few seconds before you release. The curl will loosen, and if you don’t wrap your hair all the way to the ends, it will retain a natural wavy look. This is a good video for how to use the curling iron, though this girl has significantly less hair than I do, and they didn’t add volume to her hair.

8. Salt water spray. This is a new fad, but you don’t have to spend $30 on it. Just get a little 99 cent spray bottle from Target or JoAnn’s, fill it with water, and put 1-2 teaspoons of salt in it. Shake well. Salt water drys out your hair a little bit, but gives it a lotttt of texture. This is what you’ll have to experiment with the most. IF YOU USE SALT WATER SPRAY, make sure you flip your head upside down and re-dry with the blow dryer. Soaking your hair will make it all go flat again. Weight of any kind is your enemy. Also, experiment with doing it at different stages in the process. Like right before the dry shampoo.

9. Tease/backcomb again. Or add in more dry shampoo. If you have little baby wisps or fuzzies around your face, you can touch up with a flat iron.

10. Remember to create more volume in the bathroom than you actually want. BE BRAVE. Your hair will fall naturally, so over do it at first. : )

Don’t be frustrated if your hair doesn’t look as amazing as you want the day you take a shower and try all this. Day 3 is best for me, and it might be Day 2 or Day 6 for you. Play around with backcombing and salt water spray and dry shampoo til you find how it all works best for you.

lingerie / fashion review: true&co

A few months ago I stumbled across a new company called True&Co that had a relatively new model for lingerie shopping. I eyed their products for a month or so, and then decided to test out the whole “shopping from home” thing. I’m notorious for trying on a million things in the store and only purchasing one, if that, so I didn’t anticipate online shopping for bras to work out too well. Especially because I’m in-between on band AND cup sizes. It’s just difficult for me.

True&Co has you answer a detailed but brief questionnaire, and then they send 5 bras to your home. You give a $45 deposit, try on the bras when they arrive, and slap the return label on the box and send back the ones you decide not to keep within 7 days. All shipping both ways is free, and the bras are priced between $35-$60 apiece (less than Victoria’s Secret now, mind you. AND they run sales all the time.). If you don’t keep any, they refund the $45, and the whole experience has cost you $0.

When you answer the questionnaire and order your box, you get to choose 3 from the shop and they choose 2 that they believe will fit you best. (THEY’RE A SURPRISE. I LOVE SURPRISES.) When I got them? All. Five. Bras. Fit. And they were the most comfortable bras I’d ever worn in my life.

I just received my second order from True&Co yesterday, and have now taken it upon myself to be their #1 biggest fan. Below are photos of 5 True&Co bras that I have in my possession right now. If you’d like to try them out too, click here and use the code: LAUREN15! You’ll get 15% off for being referred by me. <3

PS. After you complete your first "intro box" with 5 bras, you are given a personal shop on their website, so the only bras you see are bras that are in your size, and in styles that compliment your shape and figure! So incredibly great.
















All photos taken by Lauren Dubinsky. Please credit when used.

laser hair removal: yes? no? safe? terrifying?

Alright. So, who has done it?!

I see Groupons all the time for it, but I don’t know much about it, and I am moderately terrified of possible scarring, spider veins, or my skin falling off.

I don’t know if these are actually possible side effects, so I thought I’d ask all you girls.

+ Have you done it? Legs, underarms, bikini, elsewhere?

+ Have you thought about doing it/will you do it if I will?

I’d just really love to never shave my glorious legs ever ever again.

And I’m offended that razor cartridges are like $28 for a 4 pack.

Beauty Secretttttttttttts.

Hey girlies. This post is for you. :)

I asked a bit ago if you’d like to hear some of my beauty secrets, and the whole world flipped out and assumed that I had lots. I’m flattered.

But, unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of secrets. I only have a few. And I’m about to have none, because in 10 minutes you will have read this and they won’t be secrets anymore.

Also, I’m going to preface this by saying I am not a girl who spends an outrageous amount of money on cosmetics, hair product & skin care.

I lived this lifestyle briefly, and it broke both my bank and my heart. Why? I found out pretty quickly that the more I bought, the more time it took me to get ready in the morning. I also found that it sabotaged my definition of beauty, and how comfortable I was in my own skin. So, long story short, I decided it wasn’t worth dropping a couple hundred a month in order to sleep less in the mornings and be more discontent with myself.

I also want to challenge you, women, to build your beauty routine around your desired lifestyle.

What on EARTH do I mean by that.

Here’s what I mean. I can tell you right now that I look “better” with darker hair, and that for me, this means getting a full color every 8 weeks. This also means I have to use Schwarzkopf Bonacure Repair Rescue Shampoo (but NOT the corresponding conditioner, it’s too heavy – have to pair it with Brocato Vibracolor Conditioner) because it is the ONLY shampoo in the entire world that can keep the dye from fading and pulling my natural red out in a strange way. No really, I even tried Moroccan Oil products and that didn’t work.

Girls, that’s well over a thousand dollars a year on just my hair – in one paragraph. And that doesn’t even include at least four different kinds of product to keep stocked when I use heat (flat irons/curling irons) to “protect my hair.” If that didn’t bite, do some more math. Spend an hour in front of a mirror every morning Monday-Friday, and even if your time is only worth minimum wage, that adds another $1850 to the annual bill. Plus, I would argue that you are worth more than $7 an hour.


I know that I’m a bit unusual, but my lifestyle has GOT to allow me to spend only 10 minutes getting ready, and I can’t be lugging a bag of beauty supplies every time I leave town for the weekend or have to get ready in the morning at a rest stop. I also know that I can’t be spending that kind of money on something that’s a massive inconvenience for me. It doesn’t matter if you already have this lifestyle, or if this is the lifestyle you want to be able to live. Someone told me once to dress for the life I want, and I’ll get it. Shallow? Maybe, but so damn true.

Knowing all of this, I stopped coloring my hair altogether, and I also decided to adjust to whatever the hell it is that my hair does on it’s own every day. And to just leave it alone. I use Aveeno shampoo & conditioner, get out of the shower, half-blow dry my hair and go. That costs me $12 about every 2 or 3 months. Also? Don’t wash your hair every day unless you absolutely have to. Everyone’s hair is different, I know – but I wear my hair long both because I love it that way, and because I can go 4 or 5 months without getting a cut.

If I’m being perfectly honest, sometimes it sucks. I don’t feel put together all the time, some days my hair just flat out drives me absolutely insane. I miss the amazingness that is $40 shampoo. But, then I remember that I can roll out of bed and be showered, dressed, and make-upped in 15 minutes – and that my close friends still think I’m beautiful. It’s a difficult mental shift to decide to care only what they think, but it’s one well worth it. Also, once you make it a month in, your skin starts breathing again and you find out it’s better than you thought it was, and your hair becomes more healthy and helps fight the battle for you!

Alright. Secret time.

Skin:

Exfoliating: I used to use Origin’s Modern Friction Dermabrasion. It’s $37 for a small tube, and is the best you’ll find, but you have to pair it with a ph balancer & lotion to not dry out your skin. Solution? Sea salt & olive oil. You can buy natural sea salt at the grocery store for less than $5, and the same with olive oil. Every couple days, pour some salt in your hand, mix it with olive oil, and scrub your face with it. Rinse, pat dry, and you’ll freak out. The olive oil is a natural moisturizer, and you just bought about 6 months worth of skin care for $10.

Toner: Lemons. Lemons are amazing. If your skin is breaking out, or really dry, it’s probably because your ph balance is off. Lemons naturally balance out your ph levels. Slice a piece of lemon and rub your face with it. It’ll burn like hell the first couple times you do it, but hey, beauty is pain, right? And they’re a lot cheaper than tiny bottles of Ph Balancing Toner.

Lotion: You know those bottles you pay like twenty bucks extra for because it has “real avocado oil” or “with all natural sesame seed oil extracts” about 25 ingredients down? Freaking just go by that AMAZING stuff and use it on it’s own! Go to your local health food store and get either Avocado Oil or Sesame Seed Oil and use that as your lotion. It’s incredible. It’s gentle enough to use on your face if you need (you barely need any) and within 3 days of using it, you’ll have people asking if you’ve been out in the sun and trying to figure out why you look so ALIVE. Oh, and it’s also dirt cheap.

Face lift: Oh women you are about to adore me for this. Beat the hell out of some egg whites, and put them on your face! Yes! It’s amazing for your skin and it’s a 10 minute face lift. It strengthens, brightens and tightens your skin. For pretty much free.

Make-up:

Okay, this is where I spend money. I justify it with the previous paragraphs, and with the fact that I don’t wear much makeup anyways. Most days it’s just mascara & chapstick, but when I do…

Foundation: Foundation kills, please don’t suffocate your face. Get MAC Studio Moisture Tint. It’s $30 and lasts awhile – it covers/balances/protects/moisturizes without caking. It’s great.

Mascara: MAC Opulash. Bad Gal sucks compared to Opulash, believe it or not. And MAC’s Haute & Sexy is a nightmare. Just get Opulash.

Eyeliner: If you wear eyeliner a lot, go get MAC’s Fluidline. You have to buy their brush for it too because it’s potted gel, but holy crap it’s incredible. And you can put it on as thick or thin as you want. It’s also awesome for facepaint if you ever have ridiculous Halloween costumes like I do. You can spend money on it because it lasts FOREVER. I’ve been using it for six months & I’m not even halfway out.

Eye shadow: I don’t really wear a lot of this, and I’ll admit I’m not a pro. I really like MAC’s four-palettes. I haven’t had much luck with any department store brands because they don’t last me throughout the day, or they smear. Suggestions? Let’s hear ‘em.

Blush/Bronzer: Easiest makeup category. I like Victoria’s Secrets, but I’ve been using MAC’s Powder Blush for awhile now and love it. Surprise, surprise.

Concealer: Okay if you listen to nothing else, just please go do this for me. If you ever use concealer, go buy MAC’s Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer. It’s $16 and has also lasted me a year, and I’m not out yet. You can skip out on dropping the $$ on the mascara & eyeliner, but not this.


Note:Victoria’s Secret Semi-Annual sale ROCKS for makeup. I pick up most of my lip gloss, fun eyeliner (like white sparkly stuff!), eye shadows, etc here. I can get all of those items for $2-5 dollars, so I don’t feel bad experimenting.

Make-up Application Note: BIG SECRET. Color is color, you guys! Don’t limit your application of a product to it’s intended use. If your bronzer is too pink that day, mix it with your gold eye shadow and brush it on your cheeks. If you want softer eyeliner, mix it with your foundation on your hand, and apply THAT. Want some intense eyeshadow but don’t want to buy it? Use your lipstick color and mix it with some foundation and anything else you’ve got. If you’re gonna paint your face, have fun, and see everything as paint and your face as canvas.

Disclaimer: This is just based on experience, and my own personal research. Feel free to disagree with me. And pleeeeeeease do not take offense if you are able to spend some extra time in front of the mirror to get hot and gorgeous, or if you spoil yourself with great haircuts and colors. Trust me, I know how amazing it is – and you deserve it.I have periods of my life where I fall back into this, and it’s 100% fine. I’m a firm believer in spoiling yourself when it’s needed, and if this is your way of doing it, be sexy and be blessed. These are just thoughts/suggestions based on where I am in my life!

 

+ make the heart swell +

Sometimes I think I need someone in my life to take photos of me so that I can remind myself I know how to dress. I am horrible at seeing myself objectively. Hah.

I have a binge-relationship with Tumblr. I’ve abandoned it lately, and today I remedied that. Over-remedied.

Sometimes I feel like this blog is my mind and my Tumblr is my heart. Or perhaps this blog is my left brain and my Tumblr is my right.

Anyway. Things I love today.








+ mascara review +

Okay, ladies. This is going to be the shortest beauty product review you’ve ever read, because I really only have one thing to say: MAC Opulash is the best. You can stop reading now.

But really, for years I’ve been on the hunt for the best mascara, because it’s the only cosmetic product I use regularly. Every time I’ve found a “good” one as in “oh this is way better than that awful YouCanHaveLashesAsVolumizedAsVacuumCleanerBrushes XXXXXL!! I tried last year” mascara, they discontinue it, or change the packaging so that it might as well be discontinued because I can’t find it. This year I finally gave in and have been trying out the way-too-expensive mascaras because the thought popped into my head that maybe, maybe mascara is worth spending money on in the same way that you can’t half-ass your face moisturizer or your go-to black heels.

First, I tried Bad Gal’s Blue mascara. I was originally headed there to pick it up in Black, but the crazy woman at the counter convinced me that with my blue eyes, the blue mascara would be absolutely stunning. I pointed out that she also had blue eyes, but was wearing black, and she entirely ignored the question and cheerfully started talking about how fantastic my lashes already were. So, for a few weeks I wore “stripper lashes” as my brother sweetly referenced them. By stripper lashes I mean that yes, in the light, my lashes looked bright blue – even though little blonde lady told me it would appear black. Always.

Pros: Awesome application brush. Great to have as a secondary mascara color for nights you go out & are wearing colorful eyeliner/shadow. Cons: Have to apply 2-3 coats to have it sufficiently “volumized!!!” Makes people question your morals and your career. If you would like to purchase it, here are the specs:


Benefit Bad Gal Blue $19

After the first month, I went back and exchanged it for the black. Short story here. I liked it a lot, but still was choking a bit over paying $20 for mascara that really didn’t last me that long.


Benefit Bad Gal Black $19

Three days ago, I ran out of my Bad Gal and decided to check MAC’s mascara even though I’ve been told by half the world that Bad Gal is the best on the planet. The awesome asian girl that always helps me at MAC told the cashier, “Lauren will be buying Opulash in black, please.” So, that is what I bought. And it was $14, which is better than $19. And that purchase brings us to this post.

MAC’s mascara is so much better than Bad Gal that I will most likely be wearing it until I have my third child and let myself go altogether, at which point I will go back to purchasing Bad Gal just for the name.

Go buy it.


Mac OPULASH $14

Question for anyone actually reading this: Have you tried any of these three? Thoughts? Any others you recommend me try?

 

+ wishlist break +

Wishlist time! I’m not sure how many of you follow my tumblr, but these are a few things I’ve been dying over these past few days.


[ oh chanel, i'm falling in love with you slowly. stop! ]


[lookbook]


[ stockholmstreetstyle ]



also, QUESTION: how many of you use google reader? Let me know – I’m interested in finding out.

- lauren xoxo

+ beauty secret! +

Fix +

An aqua-spritz of vitamin and minerals, infused with a calm-the-skin blend of green tea, chamomile, cucumber, topped off with the fresh, natural, energizing scent of Sugi. Adds radiance, finishes makeup. Spray it on. Skin drinks it up!

3.4 fl oz US $18.00

- – -

Ladies, I swear by this. Refresher / makeup-fixer / wake-me-up / moisturizer all in one. I’m addicted and am about to buy two more, one to keep in my purse and one to keep in my car. If you wear foundation or skin tint, it gives you the “hey, I’m actually a real person” look and if you are make-up free, it protects your skin and keeps it moisturized without the heaviness of a cream or lotion. Get it.