KKW X Mario Collection

I have been SO EXCITED for this launch!!! My excitement stemmed from the fact that I follow and support Mario Dedivanovic because he is an extremely talented and inspiring makeup artist.  I have followed Mario’s work for years now, and he is constantly at the forefront of makeup trends, always trying new things and making us look at makeup in a whole new way.  Mario is most well-known for being Kim Kardashian’s makeup artist.  While you can have any opinion of Kim that you want, there is no denying that she has been a makeup icon for going on 10 years now.  The looks that Mario has created on Kim over the years have become the industry standard that everyone looks to duplicate.  Heard of contouring?  Probably because of Mario.  The huge nude lip trend?  Oh yeah, that was Mario and Kim.  Baking your undereye?  Once again, Mario.  I’m not saying that Mario “created” these techniques, as many of them originated in the Drag community, but he did hone his skills and show us how to use these techniques in our every day makeup routines.

Another reason that I look up to Mario as an artist is because he started just like any of us, and rose to success by taking chances.  He started working at Sephora–not even in the makeup department!!  He was in fragrances, but kept giving makeup advice until he was able to switch departments.  Now Mario is one of the biggest makeup artists in the world, giving Master Classes around the globe every year to thousands of people hoping to learn from him.  I will insert one of his recent posts on Instagram that I absolutely love.

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It gives me goosebumps every time!!  That “swipe left to see how that turned out” shows 6 of Mario and Kim’s Vogue covers together.  Mario is an inspiration, and it just goes to show you that you HAVE to trust your gut.  If Mario would have listened to all of the people who told him that doing Kim’s makeup would ruin his career, just image how different things would be.  Sometimes, you have to do the “unpopular” thing if it feels right to you and just see where it takes you.  Especially in a creative industry such as this, there are no right or wrong answers.  Trends don’t start by doing the same makeup look over and over.  Try something new.  Get out of your comfort zone.  Follow your passion.  I hope that one day I get to attend a Master Class by Mario and see him work in person!  Now, let’s get into the collection and see what it’s all about!

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This collection consists of one eyeshadow palette ($45), 2 lipglosses ($18 each), and 1 lipstick ($20).  The whole bundle together is priced at $85.  One of the reasons that I was so excited about the lip products they released is because Mario created them to be worn on ANY skin tone.  He created this entire collection with makeup artists in mind.  As someone who is trying to build their own kit and have something for everyone when I am on set or at a wedding, I was so excited to hear that with this collection, Mario said you could do anyone’s makeup and have it look amazing.  It is extremely difficult to have lip colors and eyeshadows that suit everyone, so this was amazing news!  And let me just say that I completely agree with Mario, these colors look good on so many people with so many different skin tones.

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My favorite part of this bundle is the eyeshadow palette!  These colors are SO creamy and pigmented, and I expected nothing less from Mario.  I honestly have used at least one shade from this palette every single day since I received it.  I am the most excited (like everyone else on social media) about the blue he created.  It is the most perfect royal blue I have ever used.  The very first look I created on myself with this palette was using the blue, and I was so happy with it!  Are the warm tones similar to other colors you may own?  Probably, but I would be willing to bet that the quality of these are better.  I have been so impressed with this palette, I would recommend it to anyone looking for a completely versatile, one stop eyeshadow palette.  Whether you are a beginner or not, you can do so many different looks with just this one palette.  Plus, I get SO excited when I see Mario take this on set to do photo shoots with celebrities like Ariana Grande and Bebe Rexha, I immediately try and recreate his looks!

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Top to Bottom: Juicy, Super Nude, Classic K

All of these lip products are extremely opaque and pigmented.  I have been wearing the “Classic K” lipstick a lot, because it really does go with everything.  My favorite gloss is “Juicy”, because it has just enough peachy-ness to it and it makes your lips look so glossy.  “Super nude” is a little too fair for me, but I love that I can have it in my kit and it looks great on other skin tones.  “Classic K” also pairs well with so many lip liners!  It takes me one swipe to completely cover my lips in color, and I love how creamy and non-drying it is.

Overall, this is my favorite new makeup collection that I have purchased this year (and probably ever, but we will see).  The collection sold out the first time in 12 minutes, so I was thrilled to be one of the lucky ones who was able to grab it!  I highly recommend this to anyone looking for something extremely versatile!  This can easily take you from day to night, from casual to glam, and everything in between.  I hope to see more from Mario in the future!  In 2008 Mario did Kim’s makeup for the first time, and now he has launched a collection with her on the SAME DAY 10 years later!!!  Dreams do come true.  Let me know what you thought of this collection!

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Pre-Wedding Beauty Tips

Everyone wants to feel beautiful on their wedding day!  I wanted to share a few things that you can do to try and get yourself wedding-day ready and feeling your best for your big day!  These are all of the things that I am personally going to do leading up to my wedding.  Just remember that the truth is, even if you have a pesky pimple the day of or your hair just won’t cooperate, you still get to marry the love of your life and THAT is what it’s all about!

Skincare

IMG_4823 (1) Mario Badescu AHA Body Soap

Price: $8

It’s all about the A.H.A’s!!!  Alpha Hydroxy Acids are known for their exfoliating abilities.  I will go more into detail about these later, but they are a true skincare game changer.  I LOVE this body soap from Mario Badescu because it really gets rid of any little bumps you may have on your arms or legs and brightens your overall complexion.  It also smells amazing!

 

 

IMG_4827 (1) Exuviance Peel

Price: $77

I picked this pack up during the Ulta 21 days of beauty for half off–I just couldn’t pass it up!  I wanted something stronger to add to my skincare regimen before the wedding, and with over 400 amazing reviews I knew I had to try this.

Once again, we have an AHA product.  The word “peel” might scare a lot of people, because who wants to actually peel!?  But most peels do not make your skin peel off.  They just exfoliate the top layer of your skin using chemicals instead of physical beads.  For myself, I notice a BIG difference using chemical exfoliators versus physical.  This box is a 6 week supply of 2 step pads that you swipe all over your face, neck, and I go over my arms too.  It is said to smooth texture, shrink pores, even skin tone, create brightness, and diminish wrinkles.  I have definitely noticed that my dark spots are lightening and my texture is pretty much gone!  So far I am really glad I have this!  It’s the perfect pre-wedding boost!

Son & Park Beauty Water  Price: $30

Ole Henrikson Invigorating Night Transformation Gel  Price: $48

OIe Henrikson Invigorating Night Transformation Cream  Price: $50

Surprise, more AHAs!  Honestly, when I was introduced to AHAs it changed my skin.  When I would try new products, the oiliness and texture would come right back, and I would get out my AHA gel, and my skin would go back to normal!  I have had so many estheticians recommend AHA products to me, so I finally decided to give it a try and I have been so happy with my skin ever since!  Everyone is different, but for me–I am no longer oily, I rarely breakout like I used to, my skin tone is finally becoming more even, my skin is brighter, and my makeup goes on so smooth.  Every single night I use these 3 products, and that’s it!  This is my holy grail combination!

I’ve said it once in a previous post (Sephora & Ulta Haul!) and I will say it again, this “water” is amazing and I don’t see myself ever being without it.  After I wash my face or use a makeup wipe, I put some of this on a cotton round and swipe it over my entire face and I get SO MUCH DIRT that I didn’t even see on my skin!  It’s amazing!  I really think that just properly cleaning my skin with this has led to my skin texture clearing up because my pores do not get as clogged.

Ole Henrikson makes my favorite skincare products.  I think the brand is a little underrated, because I haven’t tried a single thing that I did not like!  These two products from the invigorating night transformation line work together like a DREAM.  Yes, this is the old packaging, but that’s because I find these at TJ Maxx for about 1/3 of the price!!!  Even if I had to pay full price for these, I would do it in a heartbeat because they work for me so well.  You put the gel serum on first, and you will experience some tingling.  Wait for that to dry down, and follow with the cream!  Whenever I wake up my skin is noticeably brighter and any potential bumps I had coming up are either diminished or gone.  My fiancé has even made comments about my skin glowing!

For your daytime skincare, be sure to follow up with SPF!  AHA products can make you more sensitive to the sun, so be sure you are protecting yourself during the day!

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The slogan of the popular hydrafacial sounds like wedding-ready skin to me!  I have watched as so many of my favorite YouTubers receive hydrafacials before big events, and their skin is always glowing!  They rave about the results, and I have always wanted to try one.  The thing is that for a facial, they are very pricey.  But, what better time to splurge than for your wedding!?  I finally booked one for myself for a week before the wedding and I am soooo excited to see what it’s all about!  The website says it is for all skin types and will help with congested skin, fine lines, skin texture, vibrancy, elasticity, and pores.  They use what is called a “vortex” tool to suction everything out of your pores and leave your skin silky smooth.  At the end, they even show you your skin’s “waste”! (Ew, but cool?).  I can’t wait to share my results!  The average cost of a hydrafacial is around $150.

IMG_6549.JPG Lastly for skincare, I always recommend doing 1 sheet mask a week!  Not only do they benefit your skin, they are so relaxing!!!  I always look forward to sitting down with my face mask and some wine and just unwinding for 20 minutes!  I still suggest My Top 5 Sheet Masks because these are really the ones I use all of the time!  Depending on what your skin needs, these can offer hydration, clarity, brightness, you name it!

Other Beauty Tips

Teeth Whitening

IMG_4826 (1) Crest 3D Whitestrips Gentle

Price: $47

I want whiter teeth for the wedding, but my teeth are so sensitive!  Any time that I use the regular white strips, my teeth hurt for days.  I have found that using the gentle routine strips for just 10 minutes a day is perfect for me!  This pack has 28 treatments, so for the month before the wedding, it’s perfect to pop these on every night while you get ready for bed!

Fragrances

IMG_8888.JPG This is one of my absolute favorite pre-wedding “beauty” things to share.  I really love the idea of having a wedding day scent.  Smells have the ability to bring back memories and take you back to certain times in your life, and I wanted to choose a special perfume to do that for our wedding.  My plan is to only wear it on our anniversary so that it can remind us of our special day!  So, we went together to Neiman Marcus to start smelling perfumes and decide on the perfect one, and we ended up finding scents for both of us!  Everyone is very different when it comes to perfumes and colognes, so what smells good on my skin might smell totally different on the next person.  I ended up choosing the Armani Prive Pivione Suzhou which has a raspberry and rose scent.  For my fiancé, we picked the Armani Prive Vetiver D’Hiver which lists its fragrance notes as woodsy and raw.  What made this so special was that the woman who helped us at the counter was SO nice and told us that we could get a special wooden box to showcase our fragrances along with free engraving!  This is a pricey item for sure, but I am so happy that we have scents that we can wear on special occasions that will always remind us of our wedding.  This is the first item we had engraved with our joint last name, and I’m so happy we did this!  Also, she gave us an atomizer to fill with our fragrances so that we do not have to travel with these glass bottles!  So helpful!

Sunglasses

IMG_4802 (1)  Don’t forget to pack your favorite pair of sunglasses!  For us with a destination wedding, this was a must.  When one of my favorite YouTubers, Desi Perkins, came out with her new Quay X Desi sunnies in white, I thought they were perfect!  I’m so excited to wear these on our wedding vacation!

 

Hair and Makeup

Don’t forget to plan out your hair and makeup for the big day!  Get on Pinterest and see what you are drawn to.  You will want to send pictures to your hairstylist and makeup artist before hand so they have a good idea of what you want.  Also, keep in mind what you want your hair to be like for the wedding.  Do you picture it long?  A different color?  Prepare accordingly and make appointments to help get your hair exactly how you want it before you go to your hair trials.

Nails and Eyebrows

Make your appointments ahead of time!  When my eyebrows are trimmed and cleaned up, it makes everything look so much better.  I get them threaded about once a month and I love it!  As for nails, going with something white will always look nice!  Just make sure you get the appointment close to your wedding day so that it all stays nice and perfect with no chips!

Tanning

We don’t want to look pale next to our white wedding dress!  It’s controversial, but I personally think that tanning in a bed for a week is the best way to get a good solid base color and glow.  I have very rarely seen a spray tan that looks good, and even if parts of it look good, the hands ALWAYS get rubbed off and look splotchy.  I don’t want a picture of my holding my bouquet with patchy hands!  So plan accordingly and get a couple day pass to a tanning salon right before your wedding to get some healthy looking color!

Gym

Yes, “shedding for the wedding” is a popular thing and we all want to look our best.  Personally, I think it is more important to go to the gym before the wedding in order to help you manage your stress!  Exercising can be a huge part in stress relief, and with all of the planning, you will need something to help you unwind!  Go to the gym to be healthy both physically and mentally!

 

There you have it!  My beauty and wellness tips to help you get ready for the wedding!  Please let me know if there are any tips that helped you get ready for your wedding!

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy Trip Itinerary

We all want to make the most out of our time when on vacation, especially when traveling abroad.  There are so many things to do and you have to fit it all into a limited window of time!  This can be the hardest part of planning a trip, and for us, we were also including a wedding!  I wanted to share our itinerary so that anyone looking to plan a wedding or vacation in Italy can get some ideas as to what we found worked the best!

 

Itinerary

Our trip gives us 10 full days to make the most of our time in Italy.  Here is a full breakdown of what we have planned!

Friday

Goodbye U.S.–Hello Italy! We will be departing Florida and heading to Europe!  We will be flying overnight.

Saturday

Ciao! We will be landing in Rome at around 10 am.  We will be taking a private transfer from the Rome airport to our Villa in the Amalfi Coast.  This journey is expected to take around 4 hours.

We will all check into our Villa around 4 pm.  As our welcome to Italy, a Chef will host a pizza making party for us!

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Our Villa outdoor dining area

Sunday

We will be embarking on a private boat tour to the island of Capri and 3 grottos!  We will leave at 10 am and return to the Villa at 6 pm.  The marina is a 10 minute walk from the Villa.  We will have our own sailor and will be able to swim, walk around on the island, or whatever we wish to do.

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Blue grotto

For the evening, we will have the Chef prepare a dinner for us in the Villa for when we return.  The menu for tonight is pasta with zucchini, dessert, and wine.

Monday

Today we will be hiking the Athena Loop Trail with a private guide.  The hike can be strenuous, but the views are spectacular.  We will be transported from the Villa with a pickup time of 8:40 am to the starting point at the square of Termini for a starting time of 9:00 am.  We will also be having a picnic lunch along the way.  The tour will last around 3 hours and we will be taken back to the Villa around 12:00 pm.

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Athena Loop Trail hike

For the evening, the Chef will prepare us dinner in the Villa.  The menu tonight is grilled chicken, a mixed salad, dessert, and wine.

Tuesday

Today we will tour Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius!  We will leave the Villa at 9:30 am and spend 2 hours visiting Pompeii and then 2 hours at Vesuvius.  This is an 8 hour trip with a minibus for 13 people and a private driver along with a private guide for 2 hours in Pompeii.

During our trip, we will also have a lunch and wine tour at the Mount Vesuvius area!  This will include homemade bruschetta, salami, cheese, bread and olive oil, 3 different types of wines, pasta with red sauce, and cake for dessert.

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Mount Vesuvius

The evening will consist of another dinner prepared by the Chef and the menu will be ravioli with ricotta and mozzarella cheese, dessert, and wine.

Wednesday

It’s the day before the wedding!  Today we will be taking it easy!  You can leave the Villa to explore, or hang out by the pool!  There will be 2 masseuses coming to the Villa and providing massages.

We will be having the rehearsal dinner at La Tagliata in Positano.  This restaurant is about 1 hour from the Villa, with a drive consisting of gorgeous coastline views the entire time.

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La Tagliata restaurant

Thursday

It’s Wedding Day!!!

We will spend the day getting ready at the Villa!

4:00 pm- The transportation will arrive at the Villa to take us to the ceremony.

5:00 pm- The ceremony will take place at Villa Fondi.

6:00 pm- We will head to the reception to celebrate!

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Antico Bagno Nettuno restaurant on a jetty for our reception dinner

Friday

For our “day after” celebration, we will be going on a Mozzarella and Limoncello tasting/making tour!  We will leave the villa at 9:15 am and travel to the farm where we will taste 8 different types of cheeses and learn how to make mozzarella ourselves.  Next, we will taste limoncello and learn the Italian secrets to producing it.  We will return to the Villa around 2:15.

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Limoncello farm

Our final evening will be spent with the Chef preparing us a dinner in the Villa.  The menu will be caprese salad, grilled eggplant, bruschetta, dessert, and wine.

Saturday

10:00 am- We will check out of the Villa and head to Rome!  Private transportation will take us the 4 hour journey to Rome.

The rest of the adventure in Rome will begin!

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Today we will check into our new Villa, explore the area, and find a good spot for dinner!

Sunday

We will be exploring Rome on foot!  We will take in all of the sites and enjoy the city!

Monday

We will be touring Vatican City!  We will have a private guide to show us the history and help us steer clear of long lines.

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Vatican City

Tuesday

We will be heading to the airport and going back home, but this time as husband and wife!

 

Things to Consider

  • Remember transportation!  Most people will tell you not to drive in Italy or rent a car there.  It isn’t worth the stress or potential fines that most people say they receive for some type of driving infraction.  The good thing is that private transportation is readily available!  You have to make sure you set it up for each place you go!  If you want to go to dinner, you need to get there and back.  If you do on a tour, you need to get to the starting point and back to your Villa, etc.
  • Our Villa had an in-house Event Coordinator who I worked with to plan all of our excursions and dinners, which was AMAZING.  Check and see if this is an option for you!  It makes a world of a difference having someone who knows the area and good times to go see certain sites.
  • If you do have an event coordinator, keep these emails in your binder that I mentioned in the last wedding post.  You will want to stay organized and make sure you have confirmations on everything!
  • Having dinners out with a big group is very challenging if not impossible at times.  The restaurants in Italy are not big, so trying to find a place to accommodate a large party will be a headache each time you try to go get a meal.  This is why we opted for in-Villa dinners with a chef.  We all get to relax and be together with no worries about finding a table!  In the end, the price evens out because we do not have to pay for transportation to a restaurant, so it’s totally worth it!
  • Another tip I have is to see if someone who works for the Villa will get your group groceries before you arrive.  This way, you all have something you like when you get there and you don’t have to go out to find breakfast or lunch!
  • Take all of your plans into consideration when packing!! Good walking shoes are a must!  Check the weather before hand and make sure you are prepared!

 

I hope this post helps other people organize their trip!  It is a lot of work, but SO worth it!  Let me know other places you visited on your Amalfi Coast, Italy trip!

 

How To Plan A Destination/International Wedding

April is here!!! I can barely believe it because exactly 1 month from today I will be boarding a plane to head to my WEDDING in Italy!  I have been planning this wedding for about a year now, and I am beyond excited that it’s almost time for it to happen!  With that being said, I want to start a 4 part weekly series of wedding blog posts to share some of my planning efforts!  Let the wedding countdown and month of posts begin!

 

Planning an International Wedding

Choosing your Destination

Soooo many people (and I mean almost everyone) ask us “why/how did you choose Italy to get married?”  We had been engaged for 3 years when we starting seriously planning and our choice was made pretty simply.  We toured several venues, all of which were gorgeous and located on Amelia Island in Florida.  Not only were the locations beautiful, they were extremely expensive.  I could see us getting married there, but I wasn’t necessarily “in love” with the venues because it just seemed overpriced and over the top.  Here’s how I saw it: a 4 hour, $150 per person dinner party that will cost you at least $20,000.  My fiance and I met in high school, and one of the places we had always said we wanted to visit together was Italy.  Specifically, I’ve seen pictures of the Amalfi Coast and dreamed about going for years now.  After talking with my parents about my venue dilemma, they asked me: if you could get married anywhere, where would you do it?  Without hesitation I said the Amalfi Coast of Italy and whipped out my Pinterest board filled with pictures of my dream vacation.  They responded by reminding me of the absolute truth–that life is short.  If we wanted to get married in Italy, why not do it?

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Amalfi Coast, Italy

So we decided we would do it, we would get married in Italy (still crazy to say)!  That was our perfect location!  What you have to keep in mind when choosing your destination is how this will effect your potential guest list.  For us, we never wanted a “big” wedding, so we were totally fine with it.  I always pictured myself with an intimate wedding and maybe a party later, but I knew I just wanted my very closest friends and family to actually be there when I got married.  There are a lot of people who will not be able to come to a destination wedding, and that’s okay!  At the end of the day, the wedding is about you and your significant other, and that is it.  After we told everyone what we were doing, we started planning away!

Finding a Place to Stay

After choosing your date and deciding on the amount of time you want to spend at your destination, step 1 is to make sure you can find good lodging!  We knew we wanted to go in May because the weather would be perfect, and after looking at dates for school and work, we settled on our trip lasting from May 4th to the 15th with our wedding day on the 10th pretty much because we liked the number and we could have the ceremony whenever we wanted.

Next, we started researching places to stay and I highly suggest using VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner).  We thought it would be best if our group could all stay together to make everything easier, so we narrowed our searches to having the right amount of bedrooms.  Pretty quickly we came across a 10 bedroom/10 bathroom Villa overlooking the Amalfi Coast and I fell in love.  It had amazing reviews left from several people who got married in Italy–which was so perfect!  We contacted the owner and it couldn’t have been better because he introduced us to his in-Villa event coordinator and a wedding planner, how lucky were we!?

Find a Wedding Planner

Planning an international wedding is not easy.  The hardest part is trying to figure out all of the legal documents needed to have an actual wedding–most of which are in Italian.  You need to visit the U.S Consulate here with several forms filled out, bring a translator with you, have your birth certificates translated into Italian and printed out, bring all of that with you to Italy, and then follow another long series of appointments at the Italian Consulate so receive the proper paperwork.  If one thing is wrong, the wedding isn’t happening.  So for me, I knew I wanted to hire someone in Italy that could help me make sure I had everything in order and make that process a smoother one.  The owner of the Villa introduced me to the Book of Dreams owner, Alessandra, and she quickly began helping me plan everything I had been envisioning.  If you choose this route, make sure you know what they offer as far as helping you with legal paperwork.  Alessandra makes appointments in Italy for you, fills out forms, and offers to go with you to appointments  in Italy so that you have someone who speaks Italian with you.

There is no way we could have planned this wedding without a professional planner based out of Italy.  She knew the area, gave advice on locations, contacted every vendor and made all arrangements, and has been making sure everything will be in order for our big day.

Start Planning Wedding Day Details

Your planner will most likely have a list of vendors lined up that they generally work with.  First, we chose the venue.  I knew I wanted to get married somewhere outside and by the water, which is why she suggested Villa Fondi and I immediately agreed.

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Villa Fondi, our wedding venue

Keep in mind that in order to legally get married in Italy, you have to get married at a town hall location.  Italian town halls are clearly not like what we are used to, because most of them have gorgeous balconies or gardens for a beautiful wedding!

After the venue comes transportation to and from the wedding (I will talk more about transportation later, but I highly suggest having someone drive you everywhere and not driving yourself), flowers, photography, decorations, makeup and hair, music, and your reception.  All of this is just whatever package you prefer!  Think about what colors you want, what flowers will be in season, what hair would go best with your dress, it’s time to break out your Pinterest board and go to work!!!

Things to Consider

Transportation

  • Are you going to rent a car?  I suggest not, just because several people who have been to Italy have told me that they were constantly lost, the roads are windy, they got pulled over, and they overall wished they would have just had someone drive them who knew where to go.
  • Do you want to take a separate car the day of the wedding than your significant other?  I personally don’t want him to see me!  So I made sure to arrange for 2 vehicles.

Flowers

  • What colors do you want for your wedding theme?  I’ll be honest, you won’t have too many options because these venues only offer so much.  I went with red and white because I thought it would look beautiful next to the blue water.  From here, I just Pinterest searched bouquets and sent what I found to my planner!

Photography

  • Do you want just pictures or picture and video?  We decided to just go with photos because I couldn’t see us ever really watching a video again, plus it’s a big expense!
  • What pictures are must-haves for you?  This will help you choose the right package.  I knew I wanted some pictures of us getting ready at the Villa, pictures at the ceremony, and pictures of us cutting our cake (we aren’t having a traditional reception–it’s just our group of 12 adults and 1 child!).  I relayed what I was looking for, and this fit in a half-day package!
  • Make sure you ask how you will be getting your photos after everything is done.  It is common for them to mail you a USB drive once you leave Italy.

Decorations

  • Stick with your color theme!  You probably will get to choose the aisle color, chair color, and if you want to add any sashes to your chairs.  I wanted to add more color than just the flowers so I chose a red aisle to walk down, white chairs, and red sashes.

Makeup and Hair

  • My suggestion is to pick what looks best with your dress style.  Some dresses have so much detail and you want your hair mostly up to show it off.
  • Yes, I am a professional makeup artist.  No, I do not want to do my own makeup for my wedding.  I do other people’s makeup all of the time!  I want to relax on my wedding day and let someone else do mine.  Choose whatever works the best for you!
  • You will also be able to choose if you want a trial or just hair and makeup the day of the event.  I personally did not care enough to take a day out of my Italy vacation to go to a salon for a trial run, so whatever happens, happens!

Music

  • What do you want to hear when you walk down the aisle?  After a few hours of listening to YouTube wedding music played on various instruments, we chose a guitar player.  For the songs we wanted, it sounded so beautiful.
  • You get to choose songs for various parts of the ceremony.  We wanted to pick songs that we loved and that meant something to us.  Here is what we chose:
    • Arrival of the bride: Canon in D (Pachelbel)
    • Exchange of the rings: A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
    • Signing of the register: Say You Won’t Let Go (James Arthur)
    • Exit of the couple: All of Me (John Legend)

Reception

  • How far are you willing to travel after your ceremony?  We did not want to have to go far, I wanted to keep that special feeling going right into the reception!  The venue we chose has a beach right below it that leads out to a restaurant on a jetty.  We wanted to have a really fun family dinner here on the water!  The restaurant had wedding dinner menus, cake options, and they play music, so this was perfect for us!  All within walking distance!
  • What type of atmosphere do you want?  Maybe you really want to dance!  It would be nice to choose a location with a dance floor and music.  Keep in mind the size of your group because renting an entire space for a small group might not have that “party” vibe to it.

Make a Binder

One of my biggest pieces of advice–STAY ORGANIZED.  As soon as we started planning, I started my huge binder.  Here are my binder sections:

Emails

Print out every email between you and your planner for future reference.  You will forget things she told you over this process and through all of your threads it gets hard to find in your inbox, trust me!  Highlight all of the important parts.

Receipts

Keep all of your receipts together!  You never know when you will need something.

Ideas

Print out Pinterest ideas!  Keep a list of things you see in magazines or random thoughts that come to you so that you can run them by your planner.

Spending/Prices

Make a document that has all of your potential spending points such as the venue, flowers, cost of the planner, etc. and fill in the quoted price as you go.  Mark what you have paid for when you send money!  This will help you keep track of your budget and make sure you know what prices to expect for your total bill.

Villa

Keep track of your reservation for the Villa along with your check-in and check-out times.

Wedding

I like to print out all of the package options and then highlight what I want to pick, that way I can look back and see what choices there were.

Itinerary

I will talk a lot more about this, but this trip is more than just a wedding!  It’s a vacation!  Here you can start planning all of the things you want to do while you are in Italy!

Get Flights

Start looking way in advance!  The farther out you book, the better chance of getting the best deal!  Also, keep in mind that there are certain times of the year where airlines offer specials!  Don’t forget to coordinate with the group you are traveling with.  I knew I wanted us to sit together for the long part of the flight, so we all bought our tickets at the same time and picked seats together.

Get All Important Documents

You will need to make sure that everyone has a valid passport!  You and your significant other also need your birth certificates, so don’t wait until the last minute to find all of your necessary paperwork!

Start Saving

Set savings goals for each month!  It will add up quickly and then you won’t be stressed as you get closer to your wedding date!  Almost everything will require that you pay cash in Euros once you get to Italy, so you really have the entire planning process to save money which makes it nice.  Don’t forget that on top of the wedding day essentials, you are on vacation and you will need daily food, money for excursions, etc.  Also, it is important to keep in mind that all of the prices you are quoted are usually in Euros!!  You need to convert the Euro to the Dollar and make sure you save accordingly.

Start Planning Itinerary

I will be making this part an entire separate post!  Just be sure that you start making a list of things you want to do while in Italy!  Do research, ask around, read blogs, get all of the ideas you can!  There are so many options and so little time, so make sure you pick things that are at the top of your list!  The hardest part will be deciding which day to do which thing, which takes a lot of time and patience to properly plan.  I will be sharing how I created our 10 day Italy itinerary in my next post!

Make a Wedding Website

This is an incredibly fun and easy way to stay organized, while also letting your destination wedding group know the plan!  It’s hard to always update people individually, especially when your head is in a million different places between planning an international wedding and real life in general.  I found that updating the website when I received new information from our wedding planner or our event coordinator was the best way to let everyone know what was going on.  I was sure to include prices, locations, and most importantly our itinerary.  It’s been so nice to refer back to now that I started to pack my clothes and organize our budget, you just pull up your site and you have prices of each excursion, transport, and dinner!  I thought that The Knot was a great way to make a website–plus it’s free!

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Find Your Dress and Get the Tux

Dress shopping is FUN!  You basically get to feel like a princess the entire day!  I can’t wait to share the dress that I picked after our wedding and we get our pictures back!  I’ve been keeping it a secret from most people!  Give yourself plenty of time for alterations and to pick accessories.  You will learn a lot at the alteration appointment–such as if you want a veil, if you want to add cups, if you want a crinoline slip, etc.  Bring your shoes to check your height and just enjoy it!

Make sure that you go look at tuxes with enough time to get alterations done to it as well.  I must say, the tux shopping is much more simple and laid back than the dress!  Here you do have the chance to add in your wedding colors and see your future hubby in his wedding day attire (heart face emoji for sure).

Get Wedding Accessories

Don’t forget to pick out jewelry and shoes!  Also, decide on a veil or hair piece!  There are so many options, so don’t get overwhelmed and just try and think what you can picture for yourself in your dress.  My parents surprised me with the most gorgeous necklace, earrings, and bracelet set of pearls for my wedding day.  Pearls are timeless, classic, and very bridal, which makes them perfect!  I wanted cute heels for our pictures, but I also bought a pair of rose gold sparkly Toms for the reception!  Keep your comfort in mind, it is likely to be a long night and I knew I wouldn’t last in heels!

Order Wedding Favors & Gifts

Etsy is a magical, wonderful place filled with so many creative things!  I ordered our wedding gifts and favors from different vendors on here, and I am thrilled with each purchase.  I can’t talk about the gifts just yet, but I can’t wait to share them after the wedding!  They turned out so good!  For wedding favors, I know our group is small, but I really wanted something with our date on it so we could all have a keepsake.  I found the cutest shop that had Italy themed favors and she worked with me to make can coolers and wine glasses!  Check out String Bird Bridal for some awesome wedding ideas.

Don’t Forget the Pets

You will need to arrange for petsitting/boarding for your trip!  Do this in advance, you never know how quickly people can book up!  We have one cat and one dog, so we had to do something different for each one.  For the cat, she is most comfortable at home and would be too upset to be boarded for that long.  We bought a security camera from Amazon that allows us to both hear what’s going on and talk through the camera.  This way we can see our baby while we are gone!  It also gives peace of mind when having someone come into your home to check on your pet.  I can make sure her food bowl gets filled and that she is safe and happy.  For the dog, I suggest checking out doggy day care centers that also board!  During the day, she gets to run around, swim, and have play time.  At night, she gets a room to herself with a bed and a video camera so we can see her!  I’m already nervous to leave our girls, but knowing they are safe will help ease the worry of traveling so far.

Extra Things to Keep in Mind

  • Credit Cards
    • Don’t forget to call your credit card companies and let them know you are traveling internationally.
  • Cell Phones
    • Check out what international plans your phone company offers.  Don’t turn on phones that you don’t have to use while you are over there, because you will rack up bills just by receiving texts and using data to get notifications.  Choose a designated phone to use as the calling and texting phone and add the international plan to that one!
  • Clothes
    • Start thinking about what you will be doing during the day on your trip and planning accordingly!  I will have a separate post on packing, but grab items here and there that you know you will want on your trip.  For example, I personally wanted a few cute “bride to be” things to wear leading up to the big day!  Just keep your eye out over the course of wedding planning so you are not stressed at the end trying to desperately find cute outfits!
  • Beauty
    • A post on this will be coming soon!  Start thinking of things you want to do to get ready for your big day in the realm of skincare and makeup!  I can’t wait to share what I have been doing and my suggestions!
  • Cash
    • Almost everything you reserve will need to be paid for with cash Euros when you arrive in Italy.  Make sure you head to your bank and order the correct amount of Euros that you need ahead of time to save A LOT of money in conversion fees at the airport.

 

There it is!  My list of everything I can think of that I have been working on for the past 11 months or so.  It’s surreal that my day is almost here, so I hope that this list helps other future brides who are thinking about doing a destination wedding!  All I can say so far is if you have been thinking about it, do it.  I am so incredibly excited that we are doing our wedding this way!  Yes, it is very different and there are sacrifices you have to make in order to travel to another country for your wedding, but so far I think it is worth it.  Your money goes A LOT farther, and you get an entire vacation out of it rather than just a one night party!  Let me know any questions you might have and I look forward to sharing 3 more wedding posts with you soon!

 

 

 

Eggs For Your Skin?

I’m always very intrigued by skin care, so I love learning about new trends and what to try next to get radiant, smooth skin!  Especially with my wedding just 6 weeks away (!!!!), I am on the hunt for that bride-to-be glow!  I have been hearing a lot about egg products being a skincare wonder, so I wanted to try this out and see what all of the hype was about.

I started researching what eggs can do for your skin, and here is a general list of what I found:

  • Albumin in egg whites can help tighten pores and clear blackheads
  • Egg yolk has hydrating properties
  • Egg whites contain collagen that can help fight wrinkles
  • Due to the skin tightening properties of eggs whites, it can reduce oil production and help those with oily skin

Not a bad list, right!?

I came across two egg products at Ulta, and decided to give them a try and see what results I could get!

First up, the very highly rated and talked about Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask (Price: $6).  The claims of this mask are that it provides you with hydration and brightening effects.  I also picked up the Egg White Perfect Nose Kit (Price: $4).  I was really drawn to this because of the fact that unlike any blackhead clearing strip I have used before, this came in 3 different steps (and the picture of the egg going from dirty to completely white really got me).

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I actually loved the Egg Cream sheet mask!  It made my skin feel SO hydrated and didn’t leave me feeling sticky.  I did think my skin was a little brighter, and any redness I had was soothed.  This was a win for me!  Especially for $6, I would want to pick this up again.  As for the nose kit, I wasn’t overly impressed.  I have used the Biore Nose Strips for years, and I really like them!  The issue I have is that I don’t feel like they ever “fix” my blackhead situation on my nose, they just help a little and I have to continually use them, yet I never see that my nose is completely clear.  This is why I wanted to try a 3 step process, just in case I needed a little extra strength to see more results!  Unfortunately, I couldn’t really tell a difference between these and my Biore strips.  The process is really different though–the first strip is like a sheet mask that sits on your nose, then its a sticky strip that hardens and pulls off, then the third strip is a sheet mask again.  It was a fun process, but also a lot of work to keep track of the time and keep changing steps.  For $4 I would suggest giving it a try, but for me personally I don’t think I will repurchase.

Overall, the egg trend is still really interesting to me!  I will continue to check it out, and maybe even try making my own DIY egg white mask at home!  Let me know what your favorite skin care ingredients are!

Intergalactic Makeup

The most recent makeup trend has been the holographic/galaxy inspired looks, which I think is so fun!  It’s different and unique and I love trying new things.  I received both of these products as gifts over the holidays so that I could achieve this type of look!  I also wanted to have these in my on set kit just in case I would need to create a character that was “out of this world”!

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First up is the highly anticipated Fenty Beauty Galaxy Palette.  The first thing about this eyeshadow palette is the insanely cool packaging.  Inside, there are 14 glitter eyeshadows that will add a pop to any eye look.  Some of these are more sheer topcoat colors that just add a little something to existing shadows, and others are more opaque shimmers.  Overall, this palette is so fun to play with!  The colors are really different from anything I owned and they kinda force you to go outside of your usual comfort zone.  They make me want to create an Effie Trinket inspired character look!  I would say the quality of the shadows is also really good.  There is fallout, but I feel like most glitter shadows have this as well.  Definitely use these on your eyes before you put on your foundation, but then you are good to go!

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The next perfect “stellar” makeup product is the Huda Beauty Winter Solstice Lip Strobe Set.  These lip glosses layer perfectly on top of any color or you can wear them by themselves.  They are extremely iridescent and often look like different colors in different lighting environments.  In the packaging, they all look to be a white color, but when you swatch them, they have colorful undertones with duochrome glitters.  These make for the perfect festival look!  They are branded as a “winter” collection, but to me these are great for a party, a costume, or just to add an intriguing little flare to a lip look.

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Both of these products are limited addition according to the Sephora website.  I think they are fun additions to any collection!  For me, you never know what you might need on a film set or what your next job could be, so I love having options!  It’s also fun to just play around and create new looks!

 

February Ipsy Bag

Last month I was introduced to Ipsy, and I decided to keep my subscription for now!  I have to say, I think February’s bag was even better!  So far I am loving this!

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The bag itself is super cute.  This month is a pale pink with black lace trim, and I can never have enough of these little makeup bags for my kit!

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It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer

Price: $10 for this travel size

What’s pretty cool is that just this concealer alone would be the cost of the whole Ipsy bag!  I have heard so many rave reviews about this concealer, I was so happy to receive it in the bag!  I love trying new concealers because I feel like you need different ones for different days.  This one is definitely a full coverage concealer.  It also says that it is anti-aging and waterproof, both big pluses!  Overall I really like this!  It is pretty thick, so it wouldn’t be good if you have dry under eyes, but on a normal day or if you have dark circles I think you would really like this.

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Naked Cosmetics Lip Scrub

Price: $4.99

I have been sooo dry recently with the change in temperature, so I was happy to get a lip scrub that could help my chapped lips!  This smells really good, it has a vanilla scent.  It’s just like most lip scrubs, it gently buffs away dry, dead skin and then you can apply a lip balm and quench your lips!  I don’t know that I would repurchase this because I have lip scrubs that are similar, but I always enjoy trying new ones!
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Z Skin Winter Skin Hydrating Spray

Price: full size is $19

I mentioned that I have been extremely dry recently, so I was very excited to see this in the bag!  Plus, I LOVE face sprays, they are so relaxing and refreshing I can never get enough.  This is probably my favorite item in the bag.  This smells and feels amazing!  I really think this made a difference in my dry skin!  This brand is made with all natural ingredients which I love.  This product hydrates and tones, and it says that it will reduce dark spots over time–which I was very intrigued by!  I have been using this every morning and night and I definitely enjoy having this in my routine.

IMG_4741 (1).jpg Ofra Liquid Lipstick in Unzipped

Price: full size is $20

Ofra cosmetics has amazing liquid lipsticks!  So many YouTubers have collaborated with Ofra to create their favorite shades, and they rave about the quality.  These liquid lipsticks are so comfortable, pigmented, and they last for a long time on the lips!  This shade is really nice, it’s a flattering berry pink.  You can never have too many lip colors in your collection!

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IMG_4743 (1).jpg Seraphine Cosmetics Blush

Price: $14

I am pretty much drawn to anything that says “rose gold”.  I think it’s so gorgeous and always looks pretty!  This blush fit that category perfectly!  It is another natural product, with lychee and chamomile extracts in the blush to give more luminosity and hydration.  It says it is a healthy glow blush, and it gives you just that!  It isn’t an extreme amount of color, but I feel like it’s just enough for a natural looking day.

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Another month of new products and a successful Ipsy bag!  I am still loving this subscription, and I can’t wait to see what March brings!  Let me know what you received in your February bag!

Trying Out New Brands!

Recently my Ulta changed their layout and added more brands to the store!  Which was super exciting to me, especially because I usually don’t try “online only” brands since I can’t swatch or color match and I hate to pay for shipping when I don’t know if I will love it.  But when I saw all of these new displays, I decided to pick 2 brands I have never tried before and check them out!

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First up is Models Own!  This is a British makeup brand, but it’s now available in the US.  I was immediately drawn to this brand because of the packaging, I mean how cute is this!?  The ombre colorful effect is so modern and pretty I had to pick it up.  I wanted to try something a little different, and I was really intrigued by the Colour Chrome eyeshadow kit (Price: $14.99).

The kit comes with an eyeshadow color, a mixing pan, and intensifying eye primer drops.  You take a little product on your brush, wipe it into the pan, add the drops, and mix it up!  It’s really easy and super fun!  The color after is AMAZING.  I picked up my kit in the shade Copper Lustre and it has been my go-to for the last week.  It looks almost wet on your eyelid it’s so shiny and shimmery.  You just need a simple transition shade in the crease with this on the lid and you are ready to go!

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I love how different this product is and how cute the kit is.  I didn’t own anything like this, and so far this brand is a great find!

I really wanted to try a liquid lipstick product from this brand as well, mostly because I fell in love with this color!  I got the Lix Liquid Matte Lipstick in the shade Naked (Price: $7.99) and it’s my perfect nude!  Finally!!!  It matches everything and it doesn’t make my lips look too pale, too pink, it’s my perfect match.

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Of course I loved the packaging–so sleek and modern.  I also thought it was really interesting that this liquid lip offered a minty scent.  Such a good idea!  I mean, I love minty lip glosses and chapsticks, so why not a liquid lipstick?  I wore this out to dinner and it stayed through my whole meal!  Definitely happy about this purchase.

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The next new brand is Flower Beauty!  This brand was created by Drew Barrymore, and it is all so affordable!  Once again, the packaging is too cute.  I picked up this HydraSilk Ultimate Lip Butter in the shade Rose Petal (Price: $9.99).

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This is one of those products that you keep with you in your purse because you can never go wrong putting this on.  It is SO creamy and hydrating, which is why I wanted it!  It gives just a flush of color with a shine.  I’ve heard great things about this cosmetic line, and now I see why!  I can’t wait to try more!

I’m so excited to have a few new brands that I can experiment with!  So far, I love the new additions to Ulta!  I look forward to continuing to branch out and try new things and let you know what I think!  Let me know what other brands I need to check out next!

 

Maybelline Bestie Bundle Desi X Katy

I’m a huge fan of Desi and Katy, and guess what, so is my bestie!!!  So as soon as I heard about the Bestie Bundle launch, I knew what I was getting my friend for her birthday!  Desi and Katy did a Master Class with Maybelline in New York City, and in collaboration they picked out some of their favorite products to include in this bundle.  The package is so cute and whether you plan to give it as a gift or keep it to add to your collection, I think it’s so fun and very worth it!

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The Bestie Bundle is available on Amazon for $25.97 and includes 3 full size products along with a Desi X Katy sticker sheet!

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The 24K Nudes Eyeshadow Palette

This palette is $11.99 by itself at Ulta.  It has really good reviews and the tones are perfect!  I love all of these shades, they are perfect for every day and it also includes some smokey colors to transition for a night out.  Overall, 12 shades for $12 is a great deal!
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Master Chrome Highlighter

This sells for $9.99 at Ulta.  I have seen so many YouTubers rave about this highlight!  Specifically in the shade shown here, Molten Gold, I have heard it referred to as a “must-have”.  It gives the skin almost a wet look as it glides on, and provides an intense glow!  I also feel like the gold is complimentary on so many skin tones!

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Maybelline Superstay Matte Ink Liquid Lipstick

The retail price for this is $9.49 at Ulta.  I have this liquid lipstick in another shade (which I talked about in my recent Liquid Lipstick Dupe post) and these liquid lips are no joke.  They stay on for so long!  The color is very intense and does not budge, but it also isn’t drying on the lips which is perfect.  As Desi and Katy say, everyone needs a good red lip!  This color in Pioneer has a blue undertone, which actually makes your teeth look whiter!  You can never go wrong with a bold red lipstick!

In total, this bag is worth over $30 and you get all of this, plus a cute Maybelline makeup bag and stickers for close to $25!  I can’t wait to give this to my bestie, and I’m always excited to see what else my favorite YouTubers come out with!  Let me know what you thought of this collaboration bundle!

My First Ipsy Bag

I’ve always thought about signing up for one of these monthly makeup delivery programs, but I just couldn’t decide if it was worth it.  Would I get enough products that I like to make it worth it?  Or should I just put the $10 towards something that I know that I want?  Lucky for me, Christy Classified posted on her Instagram stories that she had 5 free Ipsy bag codes for the first 5 people to DM her, and I got one!  So here is my very first Ispy bag and my thought on it!

For $10 a month, Ipsy will send you 5 mini size products based on the preferences that you fill out online.  It is a really good way to test new things and find products you might not have bought!  Here are the products I received in my January Ipsy bag!
IMG_4685Purlisse Blue Lotus Seed Face Mask

Full size price: $48

We all know how I feel about face masks–I’m obsessed.  So I was very excited to receive a new one in my Ipsy bag!  Online, this mask has great reviews.  I have never tried this brand before, so I am excited to see how I like it and see if I have found a new favorite face mask!  This mask says that it will exfoliate, detox, brighten, smooth, and tighten all in just 10 minutes!

Kokie Kissable Liquid Lipstick

Price: $6

I believe that this product is full size!  I really love the color, this is the range that I always gravitate towards when choosing a liquid lip!  It’s not too dark, but still gives off a bold statement.  I think the formula feels nice and comfortable, and it wouldn’t be too expensive to restock on this item, which is a plus!

Luna Eyeshadow Single

Price: $15

I also believe that this is a full size single of this eyeshadow!  I love this shade, especially for this time of year!  It is the prettiest shimmery pink, and it was extremely creamy and pigmented.  I will definitely be using this as an all over lid shade!

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Bella Pierre Eyebrow Gel

Full size price: $25

I am definitely intrigued by this product, but I’m not sure if this will be a hit or a miss for me.  I am pretty picky when it comes to eyebrow products, and I am generally not a gel person, I prefer pencils.  But, I am actually glad I got this in the Ipsy bag because I would probably never buy a gel product to try!  This is a good opportunity to see if I like it!

 

 

 

Mary-Lou Manizer Highlighter

Full size price: $24

This was the product I was the most excited about receiving!  This highlighter was all over YouTube a few years ago, I swear everyone was talking about it!  It is still gorgeous, it’s such a natural highlight that gives a great glow to the skin.  It would be an amazing bridal highlight!  It’s a “lit from within” type of glow, and who doesn’t want that?  Having this mini size to travel with is going to be amazing!

Overall, I really enjoyed my Ipsy bag!  The Verdict: I signed up for 3 more months.   We will see if I continue to like it!  I just really liked the fact that most of these products were new to me, and this gives me a way to branch out to different brands for just $10 a month!  Plus, the little makeup bag is so cute!  I use so many of these in my large kit that I take to events and films, so having more is never a bad thing!  I’m excited to see what comes in my next Ipsy bag!

What are your favorite monthly subscriptions?  What one should I check out next?  Let me know in the comments!