I’m going to try something a little new this week! Originally, I considered doing month-by-month “favorites” lists. But then I realized 2 things: 1. I don’t buy things often enough to call for monthly favorites lists. and 2. I only post once a week anyway, so I don’t want 25% of my content to be favorites lists. Instead, doing seasonal favorites lists seems like a better idea for me!
Spring has been a pretty busy season for me. I went on vacation with friends, celebrated a birthday, moved back home with my parents, added a new little member to our family, and started a new job as a professional writer. Since I’ve been so busy, I didn’t have time to do a lot of shopping, reading, or binge-watching, so this list feels a little short. This isn’t a bad thing, though, as I only wanted to cover things I’m really passionate about. Without further ado, here are my favorite items in beauty, fashion, TV, books, and more!
This is actually the first brow item I’ve ever bought. Up until recently, I never even touched my eyebrows. Last fall, I started using clear mascara to keep the flyaway brow hairs in place. However, on my trip to Miami, when my friends and I stopped in a Sephora to pick up some essentials, my friend showed us this brow product she’s been loving. I tried the sample and immediately fell in love. Actually, all four of us walked away with one of these, each in a different color that suited our eyebrow shade best. I’ve been using the Rich Chestnut shade every single day and I feel like it makes my eyebrows — which are already pretty dark and thick — really stand out. Disclaimer: Definitely use a gentle hand when you’re applying because the product itself is very pigmented.
Considering I’ve been a makeup fiend since I was 14 — back when I spent 1 or 2 hours a night recreating makeup tutorials on YouTube — it’s pretty shocking that I’ve never used one of these until recently. I hate to admit this, but before I bought a beauty blender, I applied liquid foundation with my finger. I used to wear foundation only on special occasions, but since it’s super fast to apply foundation with a beauty blender, I wear it almost every day now. This was a spur of the moment purchase on my trip to Miami at the Walgreens we seemed to frequent daily. I got a 2-pack by Real Techniques and spent only about $10. I saw the same shape beauty blender in Sephora for $16… for one, not two of them. In my opinion, buying cheap beauty blenders is the way to go. They have to be replaced every few months anyway, and — though I have nothing to compare them to — my cheap beauty blenders work flawlessly.
How I clean my beauty blender: I saw a YouTube tutorial of a girl (that looked about 12 years old, making me — at 11 years her senior — feel like a terrible adult female) using her favorite technique to clean her beauty blender. You take a thumbnail size of olive oil and dish soap, wet the beauty blender, and scrub lightly. The dish soap get the foundation marks out while the olive oil keeps the foam soft. Whenever I do this, I feel like a life-hacking genius.
I’m almost positive that every J. Crew necklace I’ve gotten has been a gift. Nonetheless, I have 6 of them! Most of my clothing items are relatively simple; I don’t like spending a lot of money on trends that I know will fade in a few months — I’m talking to you, off-the-shoulder tops! — so I like to add color and uniqueness to my outfits through bold jewelry. These necklaces are beautiful. Each one is so different, people are probably unaware of the fact that I practically circle through the same shirts on a weekly basis. While I prefer the bright-colored ones during the spring and summer, some of my more neutral shades look amazing all year round. I’ve been warned, don’t buy them through the store, as they’re crazy expensive. Instead, go to an outlet and load up on the coupons. You can save anywhere from 25% to 75% on these statement pieces!
The Sixties, The Seventies, & The Eighties
3 favorites for the price of 1! These 3 series make up the CNN mini docuseries and are all on Netflix. As you can imply from the titles, each series goes through a different decade in U.S. history, broken down by different categories. The first 1 or 2 episodes of each series are about television during the decade and the last episode is about music; these are my favorite episodes. Between these bookends are episodes about specific events in history, such as the assassination of JFK, Watergate, the Vietnam War, etc. Videos from the period in addition to modern commentary by historians — and Tom Hanks — make the episodes factual, interesting, and easy to understand. I was never a history buff in high school, but after finishing this, I can’t wait for The Nineties to come out!
If you — like me — were a huge fan of the older seasons of Glee, this might be your post-“Finchel” fix. This fun, lighthearted comedy on The CW features 2-3 original songs and dance numbers per episode. The plot revolves around Rebecca, who leaves her high-paying job in New York City when she bumps into her middle school ex-boyfriend and decides to follow him back to his town in California, where she gets a new job and makes new friends, all while trying to woo Josh over. The show is completely over-the-top and silly, which makes it the perfect show to put on after a long day of work. Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix, so you can binge-watch in anticipation of Season 3, which comes to The CW later this year.
As a pretty unadventurous drinker, this is the perfect app for me to step outside of my comfort zone. I’m the kind of girl who orders Bud Light because it’s the cheapest and drinks hard cider like it’s water ever since my semester abroad in England. This app makes me stop and think, I don’t want to log another Bud Light. What else is on tap? Through the app, you can earn badges the more you log in different brands, styles, and countries of origin. (Don’t worry, fellow cider lovers. You can log cider in too!) It gives wannabe-comedians like myself a chance to write some funny captions on the beers I rate. You can even “toast” your friends’ logged-in drinks. It takes “social drinking” to a completely new level!
What an incredible book! I hadn’t seen the movie before, so I went into this with fresh eyes. Dennis Lehane is a spectacular writer, and he specializes in my city, Boston! This story follows 3 former childhood friends as they deal with the aftermath of a murder. One of the men is a detective investigating the case, one is the father of the murdered girl, and the other is the suspect of the crime. Lehane offers multiple points of view, switching between the 3 men, allowing us to find out some dark new developments along the way. To me, the murder is merely the backdrop of the real conflict, the inner demons these men face, from childhood trauma to present tragedy.
My short attention span often finds me avoiding books longer than 400 pages, but I remained hooked the entire time. I want to read more of his novels, like Shutter Island — even though I already know the ending — and Gone, Baby, Gone, along with some of the less popular ones.
Maddie, my new puppy!
I’ve already talked about Maddie a little bit in a former blog post. In short, my family got a second dog, a little cockapoo named Maddie! We already had one dog, a 12-year-old labradoodle named Chloe. We weren’t sure how Chloe would do with the new addition to the family, but they have been getting along so well! They’re constantly cuddling on Chloe’s dog bed or playing; they’re attached at the hip! Maddie is still having occasional accidents but she’s starting to learn tricks. She can sit, give her paw, and do a high five! We’re so glad we got her and can’t wait to see her grow even more (yet we still want her to be puppy-sized forever).