Wednesday, March 1, 2017

All Natural Beauty with Black Sheep Box

If you've been following along for a while then you know that natural beauty is a favorite of mine and I make it a priority to use natural products when I can so when Black Sheep Box approached me to do a collaboration I jumped at the chance!  Black Sheep Box is a nature inspired beauty and skincare subscription box that creates their products in small batches with organic, sustainably sourced ingredients.  As you may also know I have a lot health problems and even more allergies (food, seasonal, environmental), which is why using natural products is so important to me and is a philosophy I share with Black Sheep Box.  On their website their founder, Nicole, explains, 

"My journey started in 2010 when my first child was born with (what seemed like) too many allergies. Even the big brands that touted “hypoallergenic” were not helping our baby’s skin! I was on a constant rotation of products until we finally settled on eco-friendly brands with simple ingredients that didn’t irritate skin. After months of searching and testing what worked, it was then that I discovered the value of small batch, handmade products. By the time I had my second child in 2012, I’d gone to the extreme of making everything at home (and cloth diapering, but that’s another story altogether)! My husband thought I was a little bit crazy at the time, but soon after he jumped on my ‘natural bandwagon’. Through all of our endeavors, we strive to source products and ingredients that are clean, simple and earth-friendly."

Black Sheep Box's products are all natural with easy to read (and understand) ingredients that still feel super luxe.  You have three options to purchase their products, which allow you to really choose what works best for you.  There's the Luxury Skincare Box in which you get three to five organic skincare and soap items, the Soap of the Month Box in which you are surprised each month with a bar of soap, or you can purchase products individually.

Each month I get the Luxury Skincare Box and so far I've recieved boxes for December and January.  I love subscription boxes because it is so much fun getting a new one to open each month!  This one is also even more fun because I am a skincare product junkie and love trying new ones!

In December's box there was a body scrub, soap, lip balm, and candle.  The Cocoa Mint Body Scrub smells amazing and did a great job of sloughing away dead skin.  The soap was Lemongrass Honeysuckle, which I was excited for because I always think all natural soaps are so fun.  The Passionfruit & Guava Candle is a pretty hot pink and has a crisp fresh scent.  My favorite in the entire box though was the Whipped Lip Butter in Double Vanilla, it smells incredible, is super buttery, and makes my lips so soft!

In December's box there was a facial mask, "bath tea," Lemongrass Honeysuckle soap, and hair tie.  The French Clay & Eucalyptus Facial Mask is great for acne prone skin and I was really happy to try the herbal bath tea soak because I had never used one before!

If you love all natural beauty products, subscription boxes, or are a skincare junkie like me then you definitely need to check out Black Sheep Box and try one of their subscriptions!


  
                
Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Oscars 2017 After Party Gowns

I had said yesterday that I was a little disappointed in the Oscars Red Carpet, however the after party gowns more than made up for that.  There were so many truly stunning gowns and I feel like one was more beautiful then the next.  I love that we get double the fashion on Oscars night and always look forward to seeing what everyone is wearing at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party; thankfully last night's did not disappoint.  Here I have put together all of my favorites for The Blush Blonde Oscars After Party Best Dressed List.

Sofia Vergara in Michael Kors Collection | Emily Ratajkowski in Jonathan Simkhai | Rosie Huntington-Whiteley in Versace | Amy Adams in Tom Ford

Nina Agdal in Zuhair Murad |  Heidi Klum in Alberta Ferretti | Kate Upton in Thakoon

Kerry Washington in Michael Kors Collections | Leslie Mann in Carolina Herrera | Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo | Adriana Lima in Labourjoisie

Kate Bosworth in J.Mendel | Jessica Alba in Ralph & Russo | Demi Lovato in Monique Lhuillier

Alessandra Ambrosio in Ralph & Russo | Karlie Kloss in Naeem Khan | Abigail Spencer in Thai Nguyen | Olivia Munn in Giambattista Valli

Nina Dobrev in Dior | Miranda Kerr in Miu Miu | Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein

Allison Williams in Miu Miu | Reese Witherspoon in Michael Kors Collection | Lily Collins in Elie Saab | Jennifer Aniston in Versace

So now that you've seen all my favorites who were yours?  Let me know below, I'd love to hear!

  
                
Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Oscars 2017 Gowns

Don't get me wrong there were some gorgeous gowns at the Oscars last night, but overall I was a little disappointed.  I feel like last year there were so many truly beautiful gowns that I struggled to narrow down my favorites and this year I definitely didn't have that problem.  Below I have the dresses that I did love from last night in The Blush Blonde Oscars Best Dressed List and tomorrow I will have my favorite looks from all the after parties!

Chrissy Teigen in Zuhair Murad  |  Naomie Harris in Calvin Klein  |  Karlie Kloss in Stella McCartney

Emma Stone in Givenchy   |  Jessica Biel in Kaufman Franco  |  Nicole Kidman in Armani Privé

Charlize Theron in Dior  |  Kirsten Dunst in Dior  |  Laura Dern in Rodarte

Auli'i Cravalho in Rubin Singer  |  Darby Stanchfield in Georges Chakra  |  Hailee Steinfeld in Ralph & Russo

Viola Davis in Armani Privé  |  Olivia Culpo in Marchesa  |  Leslie Mann in Zac Posen

Brie Larson in Oscar de la Renta  |  Busy Philipps in Elizabeth Kennedy  |  Taraji P. Henson in Alberta Ferretti

Which gowns were your favorites?

  
                
Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!
Today I'm linking up with #HowIFallHello MondayLet It ShineWeekending, and MIMM.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My Las Vegas Guide + Tutu Tuesday Linkup


So I had to take a brief hiatus from this space last week after my trip to Las Vegas.  I knew when I got back that I would be tired, but I did not expect the jet lag to hit my as hard as it did!  I had such an easy time transitioning from EST to PST, but the transition back was rough.  Between being tired from a whirlwind weekend, traveling, major jet lag, and not feeling great I pretty much spent all last week sleeping, but things are finally starting to get back to normal!

If you follow me on Instagram then you know I spent the last weekend in January celebrating my 25th birthday in Vegas.  My last "big birthday" (twenty one) was kind of awful (I had a big surgery two weeks before, was in the middle of having major roommate issues, none of my friends were twenty one yet, and there was a snowstorm) so I decided I needed to do something big for twenty five.  One of my closest friends from college recently moved to California with her husband so I asked her if she would want to meet in Las Vegas for a weekend to celebrate and go see Britney Spears.

We had an amazing weekend and I would definitely say celebrating twenty five was my best yet!  Below I am talking all about what we did and breaking down my guide to Las Vegas.

WHERE TO STAY
Mirage Las Vegas || We stayed here in a basic room with two queen beds for three nights.  The room was nice, clean, and quiet, and the beds were very comfy.  The staff was also super nice and they gave us an upgraded room with a view of the Strip and their Volcano when I told them we were celebrating a birthday. 

On the first floor of the hotel there is eleven restaurants, three bars, a club, a Cirque du Soleil show (which we were able to catch a practice of!), numerous theatres, a casino, shopping, an animal habitat, and a pool.  We took advantage of almost everything they had to offer and really enjoyed ourselves.  You have basically everything you could ever want and I would definitely recommend staying here.

Other || While we were there we visited almost all the hotels on the Strip to see what they were about.  Other places that we thought looked nice to stay were Caesars Palace, The Palazzo, The Venetian, Planet Hollywood, Bellagio, and The Cosmopolitan.

WHERE TO EAT
LVB Burgers ||  This is located inside the Mirage and I grabbed dinner here the first night when I was staying alone (my friend arrived the next day).  After two flights and a layover I was craving a burger and fries and this place really hit the spot.  The burger was big and juicy and the fries were crispy.  It also had a nice relaxed atmosphere and large TVs with different games on so I had something on to watch.

Sushi Roku || This upscale Japanese and sushi restaurant is located in the shops at Caesars Palace.  We both ordered sushi, which was so good and the portions were generous.  All the food was super fresh and they filled their California roll with fresh crab instead of crab stick, which is always a favorite of mine.

Lavo || Lavo is a well known club and I was surprised to find out that they actually also are an amazing Italian restaurant.  It is located inside the Palazzo and has a fun, yet cozy vibe.  Their menu offers many classic Italian dishes and some unique spins on old favorites.  They also can make any pasta dish you order with gluten free, which was perfect for me.  From the appetizer to dessert everything we ate there was delicious and I definitely want to go back next time I'm in Vegas!

Pantry || This 24 hour breakfast spot was located inside the the Mirage just a few steps from the guest elevators and we ate here two mornings.  It felt like a sweet little cafe and I got a Southern vibe from it.  I love to get pancakes when I'm on vacation and the ones they made were so good and there was way too much for me to eat!  If you stay at the Mirage don't bother looking for somewhere to have breakfast, go here you will not regret it.

Grimaldi's || During lunch on the second day we were walking around the Palazzo and Venetian and grabbed lunch at this pizzeria in the Grand Canal Shops.  I have had pizza in NYC before and they are definitely serving authentic New York pizza here.  It's a perfect place to grab a quick and casual bite to eat while walking around and shopping.

Fin || Fin is also located in the the Mirage.  It serves high end Chinese food in a beautiful setting.  I ordered the General Tso's Chicken (a favorite of mine) and it was delicious.  However, we were not fans of the restaurant atmosphere, the staff was unfriendly, unhelpful, and our waiter did not speak much English (and looked at me like I was crazy when I said I had a tree nut allergy, which was not comforting).  As good as the food was I don't think I would go back here because there are too many good restaurants in Las Vegas to have to deal with poor service. 

SWEET TREATS
Sprinkles ||  Sprinkles is always a must visit when I'm in NYC so I had to go to the one in Vegas!  If you like cupcakes, cookies, or ice cream you have to stop here.  It's located in the LINQ Promenade and is as adorable as Sprinkles always is.  This is especially a must stop if you are gluten free they're Gluten Free Red Velvet Cupcakes, and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip cookies are the best I've ever had. 

WHERE TO SHOP
To be completely honest I found the amount of shopping in Vegas to be a little overwhelming and redundant.  It felt like there were the same shops everywhere we went on the Strip and I know that we definitely missed some places, like the Fashion Show Mall, because we wanted to see more then the same stores that we could see at a mall at home.


ATTRACTIONS TO SEE
Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat || When I found out that they had this at the Mirage I was so excited because I love getting to see animals.  In the large Dolphin Habitat there are probably between ten and twelve dolphins that you can see both above and underwater.  They're quite active and you can even view their feedings.  In the Secret Garden they have white lions, white tigers, leopards, and black leopards.  All of the big cats were gorgeous and we had so much fun watching them.  The oldest white tiger was super active playing with his waterfall, jumping in and out of the pool, pawing around a giant ball, and more, which was so fun to see.

Gondola Ride on the Grand Canal || I feel like this is such a touristy thing to do in Vegas so of course we just had to do it!  You can ride down the canal in a gondola at the Venetian and the gondolier sings you Italian songs (he even sang me "Happy Birthday" in Italian) and tells you about the architecture around the canal.  It was a nice ride, a fun way to see the hotel, and a great way to get a little rest!

Eiffel Tower || So we didn't actually go up in the Eiffel Tower at the Paris, but we walked over to see it and went inside the hotel lobby.  It felt very French (albeit tacky French) and was a cool place to visit. 

Fountains of Bellagio || The number one thing everyone said to do in Vegas was to see the fountains.  Unfortunately when we walked over to see them they weren't going, but we got to see the hotel and where they go off and I had seen them on TV before so I wasn't too disappointed.

High Roller Wheel || Located at the LINQ the High Roller is the World's Tallest Observation Wheel.  This giant ferris wheel "takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution and features 28 glass-enclosed cabins with broad views of Las Vegas and the Strip."  We went up at night, which was awesome because we got to see the entire Strip all lit up from way up in the sky.  Another cool feature is that you can get a cabin with an open bar and have drinks during the ride.  I would definitely say that this is something you absolutely have to do while in Las Vegas.

Flamingos || You can see actual flamingos at the Flamingo, which we had to stop in and see.  They have a nice little wildlife habitat with a few different fish and birds.  A great part of this is that you can get to it from the LINQ Promenade, so it's easy to just pop by, and it's completely free.

SHOWS TO SEE
Britney: Piece of Me || The big reason we went to Vegas was to see Britney Spears' residency show.  I am a huge, huge, huge fan of hers and have been since I was five years old, but have never been able to see her perform in person.  I was crazy excited to see this and it did not disappoint.  It was a full hour and a half of dancing and singing and was just amazing.  I was able to see her perform literally every song I wanted and her dancing was just incredible.  I would go see it a million more times and want to plan another trip to Vegas to see it again.

Frank Marino's Divas Las Vegas || We went to see this drag show on a whim and absolutely loved it.  We got a great deal* on the tickets and decided to get ones for the front row, which was such a good decision.  If you're looking for a laugh, a lot of fun, and a really great show you will love this.

*How to get discounted tickets...
We got our tickets for this show at Tix4Tonight Half Price Show Tickets booth and like I said we got a really good deal on the tickets, especially upgrading to the front row.  If you have your heart set on a show I recommend purchasing tickets through the show's venue in advance like we did for Britney Spears, but if you're open to seeing different shows going to Tix4Tonight is a must because it will save you a lot of money.  We went to the booth in the morning, read the list of available shows, and spoke with the helpful sales associates before deciding on a show and purchasing our tickets.


I had such a great time in Las Vegas and would love to go back again at some point.  If you have any Vegas recommendations please leave them in the comments - I'd love to learn about them!

  
                
Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!

Welcome to Tutu Tuesdays a linkup with The Blush Blonde and The Fairy Princess Diaries!  Linkup whatever you'd like and make sure to do a little mingling - our goal here is to create a community of bloggers where we can all connect, find new blogs, and support one another.  We love new friends, supporting other blogs, and meeting fellow girl bosses!

There are just a few rules we ask you follow to join in on Tutu Tuesdays:

1. Please follow both Jordyn and me, your lovely hosts, on Instagram and/or Bloglovin.
Kristin: The Blush Blonde  |  Bloglovin'  |  Instagram

2. Link to your specific post, not your blog's main page.

3. Grab our super cute button or share a link to Tutu Tuesdays in the post you are linking up so everyone can know about the party!

4. Have fun and mingle with other bloggers that have linked up!  Like I said we want everyone to make new friends!
“The




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Sara Drury Local Looks

Today I have a special installment of Beauty Behind the Blog and am instead calling it Beauty Behind the Business.  Sarah Drury is a certified Hair and Makeup Artist who has been in the beauty industry for almost a decade.  Sara creates incredible hair and makeup looks and is someone I always turn to for beauty advice.  Today at 12 PM EST Sara is launching Makeup Made Simple, a 6 Week interactive online program where you will learn how to do flawless makeup application on yourself.  To celebrate this launch I am interviewing Sara about her personal routine, her business, and Makeup Made Simple.  Also at the bottom of the interview you'll find my experience with taking Sara's course in advance of the release!

Name: Sara Drury
Age: 35
Occupation: Certified Hair+Makeup artist. Confidence booster - I’ve been in the beauty industry for almost a decade and I absolutely love it!
Where to find more from Sara:  Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram
Where to find Makeup Made Simple: You will find the link here!


THE BASICS
Who taught you about beauty?
My mom!  But not in the traditional sense.  She is a total tom boy so she has never been into makeup or fashion or what is typically thought of as “beauty,” and yet she was the one who taught me about beauty, because she taught me about true beauty.  The beauty that is in every person, the beauty that is all around us in nature, the beauty of kindness.  So yeah, my mom taught me about beauty. 

 What is your favorite thing about beauty?
I believe that beauty is a form of self expression so I love that it can be whatever feels good to you as an individual!   

What is your best beauty secret?
Self love! Beauty is an inside job.  Oh and exfoliating regularly! 😉

Do you create any DIY beauty products?
In the winter when my scalp gets super dry I will mix a little raw sugar and coconut oil and exfoliate my scalp with it. Definitely need to wash twice after though!

SKIN
What is your skin type?
I have combination skin. 

What is your basic skincare routine?
In the morning I keep it simple. I wash my face and moisturize and put on sunscreen!  In the evening I do a little more as make sure to take off all my makeup, then wash my face really well, I exfoliate or add my retinol, night cream, eye cream...etc. (unless I fall asleep first.  Hey nobody’s perfect!)  On the weekends I like to take nice long baths where I do my facial masks and let them set on for a while.  I really use this time as a little ritual for myself and my skin. It feels so good to take time for me!

What are your must have skincare products? 
For the past year I have been using R Devine Skin Care. It’s an all natural organic brand and I absolutely LOVE it! My favorite product is the Sacred Balance Purifying Facial Serum. It’s so great for combination to oily skin and it smells soooo good! I also love their exfoliating face wash/mask! I love it so much I asked to be an affiliate for their products. If you want to try it I have a code for all of your readers to get 10% off, at checkout type SARADRURY in the coupon code.

What is your favorite skincare splurge?
My last splurge was Renée Rouleau Advanced Resurfacing Serum.  I'm already out though and I've picked my next splurge, Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil.

MAKEUP
What is your everyday makeup look?
On an everyday basis I don’t do much.  I typically do a little foundation, concealer, blush and my biggest thing is that I almost always curl my lashes and put on a couple coats of mascara!

What is your go to makeup look when you go out?
I am a total homebody, plus I have a four year old little one, so I don’t go out a ton, but when I do that’s my time to play with fun looks!  Something dark and smokey is always fun for a night out.  And definitely false lashes, always!

What are your must have makeup products?
Oh boy! Now you’re gonna get me going haha!  Right now my top 5 are:

What is your favorite makeup splurge?
I recently purchased the new lip palette from Anastasia Beverly Hills!  It’s just so fun to play with and mix all the colors!

HAIR
What is your basic hair care routine?
Honestly my hair gets the least amount of TLC. It’s kind of sad really!  Even though I work in a salon I am in desperate need of a haircut at the moment.  For my basic hair routine, I usually wash it once or twice a week, put my leave in conditioner in, use a root lifter and then I blow dry or air dry.
I use dry shampoo the rest of the week!  I love me some dry shampoo.

What are your must have hair products?
-My Wet Brush!  Best brush ever. 
I have repurchased all of these so many times!
  
What is your favorite hair care splurge?
I love Pureology 21 Benefits.  It really does have 21 benefits, but my favorites are that it’s a leave in conditioner so it helps as you comb through the hair without damaging it, it is a heat protectant so it helps to protect your hair against damage as you blow dry or curl etc., oh and it smells really good.

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Tell us a little about the course.
Makeup made Simple is a 6 Week interactive online program where you will learn how to do a flawless makeup application on yourself, infused with exercises to unlock your most confident self.  Makeup is awesome and fun but what's even more important is that you feel good about you.  That’s why we will not only learn the art of makeup but you will also learn the art of self love.  After you’ve completed this course you will be able to do a complete and totally gorgeous full face of makeup on your own, just as if a pro had done it for you. 

You'll be able to:
-Apply a full face of makeup like a pro (even if you suck at makeup or think you can't).
-Cover your dark circles so it looks like you get 8 hours of sleep every night.
-Apply your makeup so that it lasts all day.
-Choose your shade of foundation perfectly every time.
-Finally master winged eyeliner.
-Do a daytime makeup look.
-Feel confident choosing the right products.
-Save time and money.
-Contour and highlight for your face shape (hello cheekbones!).
-Master a Smokey eye - no more looking like you got a black eye.
-And you’ll have the confidence to pull it all off.

Why did you create this course?
I created this course to help women build confidence in themselves and to feel beautiful on the inside AND the outside!  I believe that confidence starts with self love. If you can learn to love yourself, you can do ANYTHING.  Makeup is just icing on the cake!

What is the number one thing you want people to take away from the course?
 I want every woman to love herself a little more after this course.

How did you decide what to include in the course? 
I actually did quite a bit of research on the front end to figure out what to include!  I have been doing makeup for nine years and I also have been teaching 1 on 1 and group makeup lessons so I would hear the same questions, concerns and frustrations over and over.  Finally, I decided I wanted to help MORE women feel beautiful so I figured out how to create an online program, did tons of research and created a product that would be able to help hundreds of women! 

How much does the course cost and what does that include?
The investment for this course is $197.  I also have a payment plan available!
  It includes lifetime access to a full 6 Module video based course, six live group calls with me to get your specific questions answered, and our incredible community of women inside our private Facebook group.

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I had the opportunity to take the Makeup Made Simple classes ahead of their release and I have to tell you they are amazing!  I've already implemented so many of the things I've learned in the classes and my makeup has been looking great.  My main goals of the course were to learn proper face makeup application and contouring, which was I was able to learn in a simple and easy to understand way.  Everyone from makeup novices to makeup masters can learn something from this course as it covers every aspect of makeup application.  I highly recommend looking into the course and taking it yourself.  You can find more information on Makeup Made Simple here and you can also sign up for a FREE class Sara is hosting to kick off the launch here.

Thank you so much to Sara for taking the time to chat with me about all things beauty!

  
                
Make sure to add me on Snapchat - @kthomp22!
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