Thursday, May 21, 2015

Refresh Your Morning Routine

this post is sponsored by Martha Stewart Living, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

we're all guilty of similar faults, following the same routine over & over. we often don't take time to consider that our bodies evolve, our needs evolve and our routine should evolve with it! what better time than spring to refresh your morning routine?!

i am a member of the Martha Stewart Blogging Network and as a member i was sent the products below to get my morning routine off to a better start. we all start off our days with the same monotonous routine and these were some fun products to give my morning routine a jump start.


my routine was given a jumpstart with a new morning mug. if you follow me on Instagram you know i am a fan of a drink. any drink. as long as it is cold and refreshing i am first in line. enjoying my drink in a fun new cup? even better. included in my box of goodies were Martha Stewart Craft products to create my own, stylish, reusable mug. naturally the phrase 'Fancy Pants' felt like a good fit. i used my craft stencils to spell out the phrase and with my foam pouncer i stenciled the phrase onto the mug. i gave it some time to dry and i was good to go!


also included was a box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda and some helpful solutions and tips booklets.  Baking Soda is one of my favorite beauty products and I learned even more great uses from the booklets:  

1    make a paste of 3 parts Baking Soda to 1 part water. apply to face in a circular motion and rinse clean. the Baking Soda acts as a simple exfoliator.

2    in a pinch you can use Arm & Hammer Baking Soda instead of your regular toothpaste. It will help to clean and whiten teeth.

3    Arm & Hammer Baking Soda also makes a great mouthwash. put one teaspoon in half a glass of water, swish, spit and rinse. this will help neutralize odors.

4    add a quarter size amount of Baking Soda into your palm along with your favorite shampoo. the Baking Soda helps remove the residue that styling products leave behind so your hair is cleaner and more manageable.

5    add a box of baking soda to your closet to help keep clothes and shoes smelling fresh. remember to replace every 30 days for optimum results.

6    to deodorize your sink and tub drains and keep lingering odors from resurfacing, pour 1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda down the drain while running warm tap water.


hopefully i have you on the path to refreshing your own morning routine.


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Crown Braid Tutorial

this post is about to get real personal real fast. i have dandruff. there, i said it. here's the deal, nobody is perfect. i don't sweat, seriously, even during my hardest workouts i do not sweat. i have a high metabolism. i am genetically built so that no matter the number of calories i consume my weight does not fluctuate more than 3-5 pounds. i consider myself extremely lucky to be born with those traits. but, i have dandruff and i will take that any day. i also have two yellow teeth that were damaged as baby and will never change back to white no matter how often i bleach my teeth, but the dandruff, there is something i can do about that. thank you Head & Shoulders.

in honor of my new shampoo and the my love for a flake free scalp, i have put together a tutorial showing you how to get the easiest, foolproof bohemian braided hair crown. seriously, you cannot mess this up.

so easy, right? i have been wearing this around town because let's face it, braids are in. but also because it is such an easy hairstyle to achieve that looks a lot more complicated than it is. the braided up-do is so perfect for summer and all of its humidity, you just can't go wrong.

and for all you Pinterest fans here is a friendly 'pin-able' image to save:


Monday, May 18, 2015

My #BeautyStory

this post is sponsored by Lunchbox however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

'real beauty is shaped by real women.' this is the philosophy Dove has been sharing for the last several years. as a beauty blogger i am 100% behind this philosophy and love their drive to empower women to find beauty in themselves.
i recently attended a conference sponsored by Dove and it caused me to reflect a lot on my own #BeautyStory. with Mother's Day recently come and gone it made me even more acutely aware of how my #BeautyStory has been shaped by the women around me. 
i grew up in a family of 9 - yes 9. between seven siblings and my two parents life was always a little chaotic but a lot of fun. in that 9 there were four sisters and my mom. my mother is strong, smart, independent and beautiful which led to five strong, smart, independent and beautiful daughters. i am a firm believer in the idea that mothers shape and help form our personal idea of beauty and thankfully i was raised by a woman who consistently taught where real beauty can be found.
we live in a world where the media wants us to believe that beauty is one dimensional. it is the right hair, the right clothes and the right makeup. i believe that beauty is three dimensional. it is found all around us in our relationships with others, in our families, with our friends, even with strangers. real beauty can be found in small acts of kindness, large feats of strength, in our successes and in our failures. beauty can be found all around us.
my mother takes care of herself. she eats healthy, she exercises, she takes care of her body and her awareness of taking care of her body as a whole, rather than just the outer appearance has affected the way my sisters and i take care of ourselves.
i am so grateful to be a part of this sisterhood and this family. they uplift me, they support me, they strengthen me and they make me happy. that is true beauty, a beauty cultivated by love, kindness and charity.
Visit the Dove at Walmart site to see how one family has used Dove to shape their #BeautyStory for 4 generations and share your story.

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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Tria Hair Removal

this post is sponsored by Tria however all thoughts and opinions are my own.

with summertime approaching i have decided to embark on a hair removal journey. i have decided to follow the Tria Hair Removal Laser directions to the T and chronicle my results. i am confident in the results i will achieve, i am just a little unsure of how long or how many treatments it will take to get there.

what is Tria? Tria is an at-home hair removal laser for face and body that permanently reduces unwanted hair and provides lasting silky-smooth skin. Tria uses the same diode laser technology preferred by dermatologists to deliver safe, effective, and permanent results. recommended use is every two weeks until regrowth slows or stops completely. i plan to share my results over an 8 week period to let you know what i have experienced.

why Tria (and macarons)? we spend a lot of time in bathing suits here at the Blushing Basics household. between boating or swimming in my mom's pool the kids and i are constantly wearing bathing suits. i wanted to try something that will help eliminate in-grown hairs and lessen or completely eliminate the need for shaving. the macarons are just a treat to look forward to after the slightly uncomfortable treatment!

what to expect? treatment times vary depending on the body part. underarms only take 3-5 minutes to treat. legs take 15-20. it is an slightly uncomfortable sensation described as a 'zap'. you can control the strength however higher strengths (if tolerable) are more effective. recommended usage is every 2 weeks for three months. the device is easy to hold and easy to control.

keep track of your treatment strength as well as pulse number with this easy to read display. the pulse counter is a new addition to the Tria Hair Removal Laser 4X and makes it simpler to remember how many pulses you have applied to the area. use the censor on the bottom of the handle to make sure skin is appropriate color for treatment (if skin is too dark the Tria will not 'unlock'). the censor will then unlock the unit to allow for treatment. select treatment level and apply to skin. after you hear two beeps move 1/4inch and apply again. continue to repeat over entire treatment area.

i'm looking forward to sharing my results with you. cheers to diminished body hair!


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Wonder Pencil - A Must Have

listen up ladies, i've said it before and i'll say it again, this Wonder Pencil by NYX is life changing. though i may sound a bit dramatic i'm one hundred percent serious. as in, you will never view makeup the same again.

what is so awesome about a flesh-toned pencil? beyond the fact that these things are crazy hard to come by (ironic considering they are a makeup artists best weapon, then again that may explain the secrecy) they cover a multitude of problems.

first, the simple act of concealment. they cover with precision. have a tiny dot, a mole, a small pimple, a bit of a sun spot, the smallest of hickies curling iron burns or a slight imperfection? this smart concealer pencil named Wonder Pencil will take care of it.

second, tired eyes? anyone over the age of sixteen can answer yes to that question. whether it is studying for finals, staying out too late, chasing after small kids or worrying about your older ones this pencil is a gem. simply run it along the rim of your waterline and the redness is gone in an instant and eyes appear brighter and more awake. avoid lining your eyes with your white eyeliner because that will enhance the redness of your eyeball and only create a harshness to your makeup rather than a refreshed lightness.

third, outlining. the makeup artists trick to making lips look fuller, brows looking groomed and eyes larger. outlining your lips with a nude pencil will enhance the shape of your lips to make them look fuller and poutier. i would opt for this step any day over too-dark lip liner to create a fullness to your lips. this natural looking step makes ALL the difference. same goes for your eyebrows. outlining your eyebrows with a nude pencil makes them look fuller, better groomed and brightens the eyes. good brows make for a good face - this nude pencil will take you there.

if i haven't convinced you yet have i also mentioned that it is $4.50 and is now sold in Target? NYX has never been easier to find and purchase so be sure to pick one up on your next visit.


Monday, May 11, 2015

How To Apply Eyeliner

here are some basic tips to help you apply your pencil eyeliner with precision! i tend to avoid pencil liners as i like the preciseness that liquid liner gives you, however occasionally i step outside my usual routine and use some pencil action. the great thing about pencils is that you have so much versatility with application. you can apply as thick or thin as you like - combine that with a little smudging and you can create all sorts of eyeshadow shapes. liquid eyeliner isn't as friendly with mistakes or blending.

tip one:

hold up eyebrow while applying. holding your eyebrow makes your eyelid skin taught, allowing pencil a smoother canvas to draw on.

tip two:

i sometimes cringe when i look in the mirror and see i've skipped that strip of skin directly above my lash line. usually it's not bad but if you apply in a hurry, that strip of skin looks like Moses parted the Red Sea. take a quick second to draw downwards to ensure that no skin peeks through.

tip three:

if you are going for drama then leave your pencil line as is, but more often than not a smudged pencil line looks more flattering. it blends the eyeliner into your shadow and looks like a more savvy makeup application.

if you have any additional tips for pencil eyeliner application, i would love to hear.


pin this image to see all tips in one place!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Classic Wardrobe Staples

i think there is something to be said about classic items for your wardrobe. these are things that might cost a small initial investment but in the long run will pay off because their cost per wear will be far less than most items. i can't tell you the number of times i have bought something because it was 'trendy' and ended up wearing it only a time or two. however there are also a good number of items that i have purchased and have worn for years.

first, jewelry is one of your most timeless and classic wardrobe items. there are just some things that never go out of style. simple jewelry pieces like a pearl necklace/bracelet are things i have owned for years and work well with so many different styles from casual to formal. Tman and i purchased a necklace/bracelet/earring combo years ago and i still wear them to this day. the pearl necklace and bracelet pictured here are gifts from The Pearl Source. click here to see what other pearl items they have to offer.

additionally, a good watch will last you years, sometimes decades depending on the quality. i was so thrilled to add this Daniel Wellington watch to my jewelry collection. a timeless leather band and rose gold face will last through all clothing trends and styles. they were also generous enough to offer 15% off to Blushing Basics readers until June 15th. simply visit and use code blushingbasics.

my second favorite staple is a basic handbag, and by basic i don't mean ugly or plain, i mean without frills or trendy embellishments. a neutral handbag that will easily transition from season to season and outfit to outfit. sure, i have a bit of a handbag obsession but this Tory Burch Robinson Tote has stayed a true timeless piece. there's a reason this baby never goes on sale...

third, sunglasses. sunglass styles vary and styles changed drastically each season but let's be real, how long have Ray Bans been around? ages. has their body style changed? no. the variations come in lens color or hardware color but the basic body style has stayed true and classic for years. if the real deal isn't in your budget opt for a similar body style in sunglasses. it doesn't have to be a name brand, just know what styles and shapes have stayed popular throughout decades.

i hope that helps you get on your shopping way. if you are interested in any of the items i am wearing click on the picture link below to see where they can be purchased. by the way, if you haven't tried these TOMS wedges you should. they are the most comfortable sandals ever, have a super reasonable price point and come in a variety of colors.


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