Six Beauty Products I {Heart}

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! ♡♡ I hope today is filled with love, happiness and some of your favorite things. For me, that means French toast, lots of coffee and a romantic Italian dinner with my favorite Italian man.

Speaking of favorite things, I’ve fallen hard for some beauty products lately in my continual hunt for the perfect makeup and skin care goodies I can use to look and feel my best on our big day. I’ve done some major experimenting, and here are the winners!

Olay Regenerist Pore Detoxifying Scrub. When we first got engaged, my mom bought me an expensive skin care set to get me glowing. Although I liked it, it didn’t really “wow” me, so when I ran out of the cleanser, I randomly picked this Olay product up at the grocery store. It was a bit on the expensive side (for something available at a grocery store), but I can honestly say it has changed the texture of my skin within my first week of use. I can’t wait to see how it continues to transform my skin over the next few months. I truly look more even-toned in a matter of days.

Josie Maran Light Argan Oil. I wash my hair every three days, and by the time I go to bed on that third night, the ends of my hair can look and feel a bit fried. Just a few drops worked into my ends are all I need—then I wrap my hair in a bun and go to bed. After I wash my hair the next morning, my hair looks shiny and smooth. I have oily hair (and swear by dry shampoo), so I can honestly say I was very skeptical when I bought this, but I promise, it won’t make your hair greasy! I also use it on my cuticles before bed for soft hands.

Bare Minerals BareSkin Pure Brightening Serum Foundation. As someone who hates feeling like I have makeup caked on my face, I am always weary of foundations—but I knew my simple BB cream wasn’t going to get me through all of our pictures on our wedding day. This makeup is very lightweight but boasts great coverage. It just takes two drops onto the Bare Minerals brush to give me a full day’s worth of long-lasting makeup, and it still lets my skin show through.

Philosophy Total Matteness Oil-Free Mattifying Pore Eraser. But before I put my makeup on, I work a dime-sized dollop of this all over my face—it helps keep my skin mattified throughout the day (no feeling oily around 3 p.m.) and keeps my makeup on; both musts for pictures!

Josie Maran Argan Color Stick in Spice. Can you tell I’m a Josie Maran fan? I got this blush in a sample kit of hers (along with the argan oil) and have worn it every day since. The color is a perfect neutral that pairs perfectly over top a bronzer for a perfectly blushed cheek. I also have one of her coconut water cheek stains and love it too.

NARS Satin Lipstick in Tolede. I can’t even begin to explain my journey to finding this lip shade (I know, dramatic sounding, right?). I asked three different makeup artists to help me find a “neutral pink” shade and boy, did each of them have their own idea of what that meant. One went so far as to drawing two points on my upper lip with a lip liner and painting a terrifyingly orange/red stain on me. I stifled a scream and then politely declined her offer of walking me to the checkout counter with her selection. And then one day, I walked into Sephora, talked to a new girl and bam! She brought me this beauty. It’s the perfect shade that gives my lips color without too much drama. Plus it’s very moisturizing. And I don’t look like the Bride of Chucky.

Have a beautiful day everyone!

What are your favorite beauty products? Any must-haves for your wedding day?



My (Wedding) Health Goals

Folks, it’s crunch time. It was easy talking about my hopes and dreams for hitting the gym back in August, but at the turn of the new year, I knew I had to set real goals I could stick to day in and day out.

Before I go into the details, let me first say that I honestly have just one end goal in mind: to look and feel my absolute best when I take that anticipated walk down the aisle toward my future hubby. Does that mean shedding a couple pounds? Sort of. It mainly means feeling tight, toned and confident in my dress and emotionally energized and refreshed.

I’m actually not regularly stepping on a scale in these next few months. I’m mainly going on how I feel in my clothes and what I see when I look in the mirror, because as we know, the scale only tells part of the story. My skinniest has not always equaled my most toned in the past. But there are real goals I’m working toward every day. Here are a few of them.

Countdown to 200 miles
Countdown to 200 miles

I’m doing the Tone It Up bridal challenge. In other words, in the four months leading up to my wedding, I want to run 200 miles. That’s right—about 50 a month/12.5 a week/1.8 a day. I’m not going to drive myself bonkers trying to meet that exact number, but I’m going to do everything in my power to get damn close. This will help hold me accountable during my workouts and give me that extra nudge when I want to get off the treadmill. I thrive from checking things off of lists, so this worksheet is just begging to be crossed off!

I’m cutting carbs. Not cutting out carbs (no one wants to get on that rollercoaster ride), but rather cutting down on them. This means more green veggies, fruits, and lean proteins. Replacing a carb-y snack with Greek yogurt. Removing sugary creamer from my morning coffee. Backing away from the cookies at night and replacing them with peanut butter and granola. Of course there have been cheat meals and weak moments, but we’ve been on this “diet” since the new year—as the home’s chef, whatever I cook, Nick eats— and the both of us feel great. It’s crazy what some diet tweaks can do for your energy levels.

The gym and I are seeing each other 4x a week. I’ve always been dedicated to working out, but it’s time to bring out the big guns. Doing the same old 2-3 workouts a week isn’t going to help me get where I want to be. It’s also not going to get me to 200 miles, so I’m upping my workouts to at least four times a week. Five when my schedule allows. I’m of course running but doing more strength training as well to get the sculpted arms and back I’m craving.

See? Nothing too crazy. I’ve had goals like this before, but I’m really holding myself to this one. Between the pictures that will be taken and the honeymoon bikini that will be waiting for me the day after, I haven’t been having motivation issues. I just close my eyes and imagine how I want to feel for all the celebrations, starting with my shower and bachelorette party in April.

Honeymoon dreamin'
Honeymoon dreamin’

What fitness goals do you have for 2015?