Winter Favorites 2021

Merry Christmas Eve! I feel like the day before Christmas is the perfect time to explore all of great things that I’ve discovered this Winter (also can we please just appreciate that this winter I’ve actually been able to wear sweaters in Texas and not roast alive). I feel like this holiday season has been a change up from ones in the past; it’s my first in a place that’s just mine and my significant other’s, no roommates or parents really making me compromise on my taste in decorations (so as you can guess, the majority of them are black and white). I still feel like I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone this season and tried a lot of different things that I haven’t in the past. So here’s just a few things that I’ve fallen in love with this winter.

Starbucks Iced Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte

It wouldn’t be a winter favorites without talking about a Starbuck’s holiday drink. Can we just appreciate this year that I don’t have to sub out the milk for once in this seasonal drink?!?! I am obsessed with this latte, and I love it hot AND iced (which is saying something since I’m an iced coffee all year long kind of girl). The sprinkles are just adorable in it, and it makes up for the fact that my eggnog latte didn’t make a comeback this year. I am not ashamed to say that if you look in my order history, it’s basically just this drink for the past few months.

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Target’s Opalhouse Eggnog Latte Candle

So Target has been knocking it out of the park lately with all of their season scents (which are literally half the price of Bath and Body Works, so I haven’t been in once this season which is very impressive if I do say so my self). This one was a bit of a compromise in our house; personally I love the Tree Farm candle while my boyfriend is more of the Orchard Cider/ Sugared Cinnamon taste, so this was the the middle between us. It does smell really festive but it’s super light and not overwhelming at all.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Reading used to be a big pastime of mine when I was younger, but honestly reading for pleasure kinda just flew out the window with university. The last few months, I’ve been trying to get back into it, and after seeing this series all over Tiktok, I decided to give it a try. Needless to say, I read the entire series in a week, and am now on a first name basis with several employees of my local bookstore. I don’t want to spoil the books for anyone who hasn’t read her yet, but let’s just oh my.

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Olaplex Bonding Oil

Now due to the fact that I’ve been bleaching my hair for a solid four years, it’s safe to say that my hair is pretty dry most of the year, but winter just makes the issue ten times worst. Enter the bonding oil; now I’m not saying that this is the best hair oil on Earth, however it will be the only one I purchase from now on. I absolutely love how it leaves my end smooth and soft, but doesn’t weigh my hair down.

Clinique Black Honey Almost Lipstick

Again with the Tiktok trends, though I will say that my friend who works for Clinique has sworn by this lipstick for as long as I’ve known her so I had to give it a try. I now see why this is a must in so many Hollywood makeup artists kits and why it’s been around for over twenty years. It gives you just a beautiful amount of color on the lips with some hydration (are you noticing a trend here). I love it so much in fact, it’s actually the lipstick I’m wearing in my senior photos.

YSL Black Opium Extreme

I have long held that my standard fragrance is some sort of fresh floral, but this season it was time to find something a little darker and spicier to match the shorter days. Despite my love affair with coffee, the original Black Opium is not my cup of…well coffee. However the vanilla in this fragrance (which is a bourbon vanilla fyi) just balances out the coffee accord so much better in my opinion, and it has jasmine which is just one of my favorite flowers instead of the simple “white flowers” that the original features. I’m not the only one who likes it, as the first night I wore it my boyfriend declared that it’s his new favorite of my perfumes.

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So those are all of my winter favorites! I always love this time leading up to the new year since it’s a good time to experiment. I hope you enjoyed this week’s post, and check in next week to see what’s new. All of my socials are linked if you want to give them a follow, until next time!

Holiday Gift Ideas 2021

Even though we are only in our first week of November, it seems like already the holidays are upon us. A quick stroll through the aisles of Target will tell you that as the lights, wreathes, and ornaments have been up since mid-October. As probably many a basic girl will say, there’s just something about Christmas time that is absolutely magical. However, one of the biggest struggles I have during this season (besides dealing with unagreeable family members) is figuring out what to get everyone in my life. There’s just so many options out there nowadays, that it can be difficult to decide what to pick. So here are a few options for those in your life (with a few of my own longings thrown in) that might be a bit more challenging.

For the Book Nerd: Minalima’s Illustrated Edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This illustrated edition is a great option for any Potterheads you many have in your life as well as those who love special edition books in general. If you didn’t know, Minalima are the duo behind all of the amazing graphic design you see in the Harry Potter films. Like I’m talking every book cover, sign or poster in the movies, they’re the ones who did it. I got the Sorcerer’s Stone edition last year for Christmas, so when I found out that they were releasing book two this Christmas, no joke, I may have let out a scream. Needless to say, this book already has a reserved place on my bookshelf, and will be what I read to my future children at bedtime.

For the Hair Obsessed: Dyson Airwrap

If any of you have ever gotten to play with any Dyson product, you know they are next level and the hair tools are no exception. The airwrap is the one to go for if you’re ready for the commitment (not gonna lie, they are quite the investment piece), but with all the attachments, you’d never need another hair tool again in your life. Also, this Christmas they’ve released a limited edition blue and copper one that’s just *chef’s kiss*.

For the Skin Guru: Limited Edition Skin Sets

We all know that person in our life who could go on for hours and hours about skincare. Their routine has about fifteen steps, and you can bet that they’d never dare go outside without sunscreen (I have a friend who’s so obsessed with SPF she keeps a bottle in her work bag for second application before she goes home for the day). Helping them restock their skincare cabinets is basically their love language, and one of the best things about the holiday season is the variety of sets out there. Whether it be time tested staples (like Fresh’s shower gel and lotion duo) or limited editions of your year-round favorites (Tula’s So Polished is available this season in scents like gingerbread, sugar plum or delicious peppermint chocolate).

For the Conscious Makeup Lover: Tarte Holiday or Urban Decay Cyber Collection

Let me tell you, every year it seems like more and more brands are stepping up their game when it comes to their holiday collections, but personally I feel like Tarte and Urban are the creme de la creme. Tarte of course has always been vegan and cruelty free, but now that Urban Decay’s started creating more and more vegan products, I feel like that these are great options for the clean beauty lovers. The newest holiday collection features both the Cyber palette (think duo chrome and pastels) as wells as the new Naked 3 mini in a set with the perversion eyeliner along with an all nighter spray duo. Tarte every year releases a flood of great value sets like their shape tape sets and palette vaults, along with a few limited edition items (this year there’s a coffee themed palette and I feel like it’s calling my name.)

So while this list is definitely not entirely finished (as in there are probably hundreds more options to offer up), there is always the hope that perhaps this list has given you some ideas about what to get your loved ones this season (or maybe a few ideas about what to ask for yourself). I think the most important thing to remember is that it’s the thought that goes into the gift that matters, not the amount of money you spend. Make sure to subscribe if you want get notified when I post, and my socials are linked if you want to stay up to date on my day to day life. Till next time!

Fall Favorites 2021

As a professed basic white girl, I can honestly say that there is no time of year I love more than fall. I honestly enjoy pumpkin spice flavored anything, football games, and being able to walk outside my house without completely roasting. There’s just something about this time of year, no matter how briefly it is that I enjoy. My love of fall-themed products is no different. Every year it seems that the market is filled with more and more limited editions of a wide range of products from food to home and beauty, and while some have managed to wrangle their way into becoming permanent editions, others are here for but a brief second before being gone forever. So here are just a few of my favorite products this fall season.

  1. Trader Joe’s Maple Cookies
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So these are a delicacy that technically can be found all year long (and that I do enjoy them ALL year round), but there’s just something about enjoying maple cookies while having a pumpkin spice hot chocolate and being cuddled on the couch in front of spooky movies that is just a complete vibe and I am here for it.

2. Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Oatmilk&Almondmilk Creamer

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Just to establish again that I am a basic b-word, once the middle of August hits I am basically exclusively drinking pumpkin flavored coffee beverages. However, a recent issue that I have discovered is that dairy and I no longer are on the best terms, which is why stumbling across this in the grocery store is one of the best finds of the year. It’s amazing, and if you didn’t know that it was nondairy, you wouldn’t be able to taste the difference.

3. Purlisse Pumpkin+Ginger Detoxifying Charcoal Mask

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Living in the South, as much as I wish the first day of Fall meant crisp leaves and chilly mornings, unfortunately we are still the lower 90s most days which means I am a sweaty mess and clogged pores under my mask (like the pandemic kind) most days. This mask cleans all of that gunk out and it smells amazing. Pumpkin enzymes are amazing for resurfacing the skin (getting rid of all of those dead skin cells, ew), while ginger is proven to detoxify and improve skin texture. It doesn’t hurt at all that this mask smells exactly like a yummy pumpkin snack!

4. KVD Everlasting Liquid Lipstick in Vampira

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On principal alone, 90% of the year I am a nude lipstick queen and I don’t stray from that path. When the air starts to crisp up, there’s just something about a dark red/maroonish lip that does something to me. Now KVD has always had one of my favorite liquid lipstick formulas that I’ve finally been able to go back to since a certain problematic is no longer a part of the company (but that’s a whole other topic), so the color Ludwig is my go-to nude for most of the year. Vampira just fits this time of year perfectly: 1) the name is *chef’s kiss*, and 2) the color almost perfectly matches my school’s color which is great for football season. There’s something to be said about a color the can go from fun days to spooky nights.

5. Target’s Opalhouse Harvest Brunch candle

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Like most who proudly call themselves basic, fall use to mean flocking to Bath and Body Works and spending $100+ only to walk out the door with like five candles. But with age comes wisdom and the realization that Target has candles that smell just as good that cost literally half the price. Among your typical pumpkin and maple scents, there was just something about it that set it apart for me. Like there’s definitely still pumpkin in it, but also I smell fruity pebbles? I’m not sure, all I know is that this candle smells good.

Thank you so much for checking in to this week’s blog post, and I hope you enjoyed! If you want to try anything, I linked everything that I could. If you want to give my a follow to keep up with my day to day, all of my socials are linked in the menu. Until next Friday, I hope you have a great week.

Worth the Hype: Fresh Skincare

One of the exciting things that happened during my hiatus was Fresh Skincare coming to Ulta. Once a Sephora exclusive, you can now find this clean skin love at your local Ulta (and it’s not the only once Sephora exclusive that’s found it’s way into Ulta recently). Founded in 1991 by Russian immigrants living in Boston, Fresh is all about natural, sustainable ingredients inspired by the food bazaars found across Europe. An amazing aspect that Fresh has brought to the game is that they’ve partnered with the UEBT (Union for Ethical BioTrade) to ensure that all of their ingredients can be traced back to their source. They are also working towards having net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 and 100% of packaging either made of recycled material or being recyclable by 2025. All of these things are absolutely amazing, but of course comes the question: are the products worth the price tag?

From experience so far, I say, absolutely! There is not a single item that I have tried that I haven’t loved, and as someone with extremely sensitive skin that is a miracle. There are very few brands out there that I can say that about (even my introduction to natural skin, Origins has given me a few reactions). While some of the ingredients are very typical for skincare, they’ve added some unique ones that certainly work (like kombucha, great for the gut and your face lol).

  1. Soy Face Cleanser
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As a combo-dry skin person, I am constantly on the lookout for a cleanser that is going to get me clean, but not leave my skin dry and tight feeling. This cleanser is it. Like hands down, one of the best that I’ve ever tried. One of my friends shared with me that she’s not the biggest fan of the scent (think soy and cucumbers), but honestly I don’t mind it. I just love how clean my skin feels after using this.

2. Rose Deep Hydration Oil-Infused Serum

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On principal, I’m not the biggest fan of rose scented things. Don’t get me wrong, I love what rose does to my skin, I love receiving roses, however anything that’s artificially scented rose or most things with rose essence just immediately bring to mind elderly ladies (I think it’s a direct correlation to my paternal grandmother and her love of rose lotion). Fresh’s rose line is something else however. It might be the fact that in several of the items I can actually SEE the rose petals (like the toner and mask), but I really just enjoy it. This serum has become one of my nighttime routine, going directly after my retinol serum, and I just love how it makes my skin feel.

3. Sugar Lemon Body Wash and Lotion

So lemon has always been one of my favorite scents/flavors (like lemon Luna bars and Lemonades from the Girl Scouts are my weakness), so the first time I smelt this scent, I was done for. My skin is SO soft after using this shower gel, and the lotion *chef’s kiss*. Together, I just look and smell amazing. With ingredients like mango seed extract and actual sugar, Vitamins C&E, and nourishing shea butter, it’s doing good for your skin while leaving you feeling nice and refreshed.

4. Lip Treatments

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So with the return of the masks, unfortunately means that my lips are back to being as dry as the Sahara. Never in a million years would I have imagined myself paying almost $20 for a lip balm, but these have become an actual favorite of mine. To be totally honest, I have two just because I hate going between bags and forgetting it in the other when I need it. So the mint flavored one lives in my work purse, meanwhile the tinted Rose one lives in my just regular purse (so that way there’s a bit of color on my lips when I’m going out to eat). I’m honestly probably way too obsessed, but with winter coming at least I know crusty lips aren’t in my forecast.

Thank you so much for joining me this week, and if you want to check out Fresh for yourself, I’ll have their website linked here. As always, if you want to keep up with me, all of my socials are linked in the bar. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week, and see you next Friday!

Life Update!

So it’s been a while……to put it mildly. To say my life has been a mess of organized mass chaos lately is putting it mildly. To break it down, there’s been vacation time, job promotion (whoop whoop), and my boyfriend and I moving into our own place (so finally no other roommates), as well as my final semester of school starting. So like I said, mass chaos. But, in good news, I’m back and I have many, many new ideas of things to explore.

Like many a basic white girl, to say I’m obsessed with fall is putting it mildly. Do I already have my halloween decorations up in September? Yes (but only on the inside, the boyfriend is making me hold off on the lights and cobwebs on the outside till October 1st). Do I have a stockpile of the Pillsbury spooky cookies? Yes (in my defense, those things are a hot commodity in my town , so if I want to enjoy any for the next month, I need to grab them while I see them). Am I unable to go about my day without a pumpkin spice beverage? Unfortunately, also yes (on a side note: has anyone else tried Starbuck’s new oat milk PSL creamer? It gives me life). With a new season, comes new launches, and already the sneak peeks are giving me life. To highlight just a few of the things I’m excited about:

  1. Chloe is coming out with a perfume that is 100% natural origin fragrance.
  2. Urban Decay’s new light/metallic, 100% vegan Cyber palette
  3. The possible return of Colourpop’s Hocus Pocus collection (yes, you heard that right)
  4. Drunk Elephant coming to Ulta

Honestly, I could go on and on about all of the exciting things that I’m looking forward to, but that list would probably be 20 pages long and no one has time to read that. So just make sure you stick around, I promise I won’t disappear again. My socials are linked in the icons if you want to give them a follow, and I’ll see you next Friday!

Austin Birthday Adventure

This is a very different post from the content I’ve posted previously, but I feel like the point of this blog is opening up and sharing parts of my life, and well, birthdays are a big part of life. So my birthday was on Sunday, and since I was lucky enough to have that day off, my boyfriend and I decided to make the short little drive into Austin to celebrate with his family and one of my best friends. We had some amazing food, and I just want to share all the fun bits (aka all of the delicious food) from that trip.

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Gordough’s Public House

2700 S Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78704

So let’s start with Saturday nights dinner, if greasy food is your jam, then you’re going to love Gourdough’s. To make it simple, everything here comes with donuts. I’m talking chicken sandwiches made with donuts, salads with donut croutons, donut desserts. Everything. Is. Donuts. If you were coming here for just good ol’ donuts, I’d definitely hit up their food truck, however, as a meal, I’m probably not going to go back. I’ll tell you what made the dinner worth it: the coffee cocktails. They’re incredible, and they don’t just have one or two, there’s like ten. I had the Salted Karma (chef’s kiss) that I will definitely be back for. Maybe check them out just for them!

Half Step

75 1/2 Rainey St Austin, TX 78701

When people think Austin, 6th Street is what automatically comes to mind. However, if you want to get away from the tourist scene, then head to Rainy Street. It’s cocktail bars inside renovated old houses, chill yet still fun. Perfect for if you’re not a twenty one year old hoping to get blackout. We just popped into Half Step for a quick nightcap, and I had the Grapefruit Collins, which was basic, but still good (honestly, if you like mules, you’ll like it).

Kerbey Lane Cafe

3704 Kerbey Ln Austin, TX 78731

A throwback to my in-laws college years, this wasn’t the first time I had been there, but honestly I see now why it was one of their favorites. I got the baked potato omelet (ten out of ten recommend) with a vanilla oat milk latte and a mimosa (I mean, it’s Sunday brunch), and honestly I can’t wait to go back to have it again. Oh, and when I say they have the fluffiest biscuits, I mean they’re better than Cracker Barrel’s.


2115 S Lamar Blvd Austin, TX 78704

This was a very special treat for my birthday dinner, and I’ve honestly been looking forward to trying this place ever since I first heard about it. Loro is a collaboration with Franklin Barbecue (aka THE place to go for Barbecue in Austin), so imagine Asian cuisine meets Texas smoked meats. I had the Malaysian Curry Chicken Rice bowl with a Mango Sake Slushie, and they were absolutely amazing. The interior is super modern minimalist, and you go up to the counter to order so it’s the perfect balance between casual and higher end dining.

Thank you so much for reading, and I hope you get a chance to try out all of these fun eats. All of my socials are linked if you want to give me a follow, and tune back in next week to see what’s new!

The Bare Face Dilemma

I’ve been playing with makeup for as long as I can remember. When I was elementary school, it came in the form of red lipstick and as much glitter as I could possibly coat myself in for dance. Middle school was an unfortunate run-in with a shimmery bronzer that I thought was a genius idea to apply all over my face. In high school, I probably spent hours watching tutorials and practicing how to do the perfect smokey eye (much to my chagrin, I still looked like a raccoon most mornings). I spent every dollar I could get on NYC lipstick from Walmart in every shade possible, and the day I could finally buy the original Naked palette with money earned was one of my proudest moments. Makeup to me was an escape, a way to get out of my own head and the demons I could often find there, a place where troubles could rarely find me. I often forget sometimes that it’s not that way for everyone.

A startling reminder of that fact came to me in meeting a girl my own age, reduced to tears, overwhelmed at just how many options there were to choose from in the store. Never having worn makeup before, she had heard tinted moisturizer was a great place to start, but was also told by her friends that she was going to need full coverage, powder, contour and the works. When we got into an honest conversation about what exactly she would be comfortable with, what she truly wanted, it really was just the tinted moisturizer. Everything else she didn’t know how to use and scared her, and that is perfectly fine. The encounter for me was a stark reminder about how much in today’s time we constantly see full face, full coverage glam and how that has become the standard that we hold ourselves.

The thing I think is often forgotten about makeup is that there is no one standard that anyone should be held to about it. Makeup is all about what makes you feel beautiful, confident, and comfortable in your own skin. If that’s a full face of glam, then good for you. If that’s nothing at all, then also good for you. Makeup shouldn’t be something that makes you feel forced to wear or make you uncomfortable in your own skin, instead it should make you feel at home. And just like everything else in your life, though, what makes you comfortable can change. Where glam for me was once an easy, everyday occurrence, after a year in quarantine, I am much more comfortable in a natural look that let’s my bare skin peak through (which with how much I spend on skincare, is probably a good thing). Can I still rock my full coverage/contour when the mood hits me? Absolutely. Am I also found most of the time nowadays in mascara and bb cream only? Also yes, because it’s what I’m in the mood for and makes me feel beautiful that day. All that really matters when it comes to makeup is what makes you feel good.

So, lets embrace our bare-faced babes the same way we do our full-face divas, and have no shaming going either way. Because how we do makeup is an expression of our individualism and what makes unique, and no one should be ashamed of that!

Thank you so much for reading, and just as a reminder, I’ll have a new post up every Friday at 12 CST. My socials are all linked if you want to give them a follow, and I hope you have an amazing week. Till next time!