Spring Styles (Head to Toe Under $100)

Living in Minnesota there are a few pieces of my wardrobe that I can transition from season to season. Since the weather is so bipolar its all or nothing. Winter boots, hats and scarfs or cut off denim jeans and a tank top. I focus more on thrifty buys than buying pricier transitional pieces. I do still have a few staple items that can stand the test of all seasons but for the most part I try and find steals and sales so that I can wear my clothes just for a season or two and not feel so bad donating or selling them after. Here are a few outfits I pieced together that are under $100.

1.Floral Prints- Flowy and floral are two popular trends this Spring that will probably extend through the fall. If you are willing to sift through racks of clothes for a good find at a great price I highly recommend TJ Maxx or Marshalls. The blouse I am wearing was $12.99 by One Clothing, one of my favorite brands carried at both Tj Maxx and Marshalls. I paired this blouse with ripped jeans that I also found at Tj Maxx for $19.99 and the shoes from DSW for $29.99. The Michael Kors purse was a little more of a splurge but you can definitely find plenty of black purses with gold detail at any one of these stores. I have linked a few below that are currently on sale and all under $20 which keeps this whole outfit under $100.

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2. Linen – I have had a slight obsession with linen ever since I can remember. I was wearing linen pants, looking like I am toting around in pajamas since before they were popular, and damn proud of it. You have no idea how excited I am for this to actually be a trend now. I found this flowy, bell sleeved, linen top at Marshalls for under $15. I paired it with this denim skirt from Forever21 for under $20. Talk about another old trend coming back, DENIM SKIRTS! This one is a thicker fabric which stays put. I prefer thicker fabrics when wearing shorts and skirts so that they stay in place, while I choose stretchy denim with my jeans for better flexibility. My hand bag is once again from Tj Maxx and cost me $16.99 and the shoes from DSW’s fall and winter clearance at $39.99.

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3. Pastels- I really struggle with this one since I love neutral tones and black. The majority of my closet is black and grey, which is fine until Spring and Summer roll around. I mix my pastels with neutrals so that I still feel comfortable working outside my box. This top and bottom are from Forever 21 and total under $40. The purse I picked up at a thrift store for $10 and the mules are once again from DSW at $39.99. The bonus with pastels is that you can mix in neutral accessories to complete the outfit. I have on taupe linen pants, with blush mules and a grey and blush toned purse but it ties in well with the light periwinkle blouse.

The flexibility of working with pastels makes it a fun option for spring. Since I can’t pin point where my purse is from, I have added links to two other similar bags that would complete the look for under $100.

4. Bell sleeves- This trend isn’t fading anytime soon and I’m okay with that. This is my go to, favorite, lazy girl styles. Bell sleeves add a little drama to your outfit so you can play the rest down with jeans or some shorts. You can easily take a bell sleeve top from day to night with a dressier pair of pants and by tucking in your top. This one is from TJMaxx at $12.99 and the shorts are from JCPenny at $19.99 on sale. My mules are from Charlotte Russe for $15. Once again my purse is the higher priced item but I have linked similar bags below that will keep this outfit under $100!

Links to Handbags:

https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/madden-girl-stamp-crossbody-bag/401788?activeColor=002

https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/la-diva-convertible-crossbody-bag/408623?activeColor=001

https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/violet-ray-mini-logan-crossbody-bag/408103?activeColor=001

https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/mix-no.-6-arelle-clutch/407726?activeColor=259

https://www.dsw.com/en/us/product/urban-expressions-hester-crossbody-bag/dsw12prod7910103?activeColor=272

Must Try Masks

I’ve always drifted by the shelves and shelves of masks at Walgreens/ CVS and always wondered how well they compare to the ones I pick up at Ulta & Sephora. I asked a friend about a snail mask a few weeks ago when she snapped a picture of it on Instagram. She mentioned it was from CVS and recommended I try them, as she found them just as good as some higher end ones she has used.

Since, I only know how to go 0-60 I went ahead and purchased 9 different masks from 6 different skin care lines. All of them ranging from $2-$4, so fairly inexpensive in my opinion. The ones I liked, I tried a second round just to make sure I had the same results. All of the ones I decided to do a round two on were under $3. I will keep this fairly short as I am sure I am going to try to review more beauty products and share with you the ones I love. These were my top 3 from this mask haul.Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask with Tamarind Extract & Tea Tree Oil 0.5 oz [764302270720]

  1. Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask: I have never tried African Black Soap before but have seen it in many magazines. I have an oily t-zone and drier skin everywhere else. This mask is intended to draw dirt, congestion and remove excess oil. It smelled pleasant like Shea Butter and was not as thick as some mud masks I’ve tried before. It felt more like a cream, so it didn’t have a crusty dry feeling. It was pretty intense as soon as I got it on my skin and increased intensity for the 15 minutes I had it on. (Directions say 10 minutes, once again I like to over do things) I would apply it very lightly around the eyes because I did have a little more sensitivity around that area.  I only used half of the product because there was so much of it. I used the rest the next day for a few smaller bumps I get on my chest. The next day I did notice my skin was secreting white heads, which is awesome! That means it is doing it’s job! Since the mask is just a cream like texture and goes right on your face its easy to go about your business. It is also cruelty free, certified organic and a family owned and operated company, which all around is pretty great in my opinion. I think I will be adding this to my weekly routine. For just about $2 I think it was a great find. https://www.pharmapacks.com/products.php?product=Shea-Moisture-African-Black-Soap-Clarifying-Mud-Mask-with-Tamarind-Extract-%26-Tea-Tree-Oil-0.5-oz&gclid=Cj0KCQiAw9nUBRCTARIsAG11eid6p5wNOTx9WEdk5kYMumLbtJ_9SXtOCUBCUbpZNaI-k6rnnEAT7IgaAmAzEALw_wcB
  2.  Peach Slices Shrink Pores: Since my trip to New York this winter I have been fascinated with the Korean Beauty product craze! My Canadian cousins raved about the products and I had a chance to shop around a few of the K-Beauty stores. This mask was a good follow up 2 days after the clarifying mask. It had quite a cool sensation. I cleansed and toned my skin and added an exfoliant. Since this mask focuses on shrinking pores I wanted to make sure I scrubbed out the gunk on my face before using the mask. The mask itself is made of pure cotton and clung to my face like a glove so I was able to scroll through Instagram without having to tilt my face back etc for the complete 20 minutes I had this mask on. This product has no artificial fragrance, alcohol, parabens, mineral oil, coloring, formaldehyde, sulfates and they do not test on animals. Once the mask was off I just pat in the remaining product which left my skin feeling as if something was still on it. When I looked at my face in the morning my pores looked much less prominent. I have excessively large pores so it may have been easier for me to notice. Overall I liked this product specially following the one above. Image result for elishacoy skin refining snail mask
  3. Skin Refining Snail Skin Re-generation: I was really hesitant to try this product. This one was the one that my friend had raved about, but when reading the packaging I noticed it stated it had snail slime in it. When I took it out of the package it looked like clear slime, but not sticky. It had an amazing smell, I am assuming the fragrance to mask the idea of snail slime in the product. Once again this product also was made with 100% cotton mask and was larger than the one above covering my face, the curves around my nose and under my chin as well. This mask was icy cold on your face and had a cool like tingly sensation.  I hope my descriptions are adequate! HAHA I really liked this one because I felt like my skin was just overall softer the next day. My imperfections was a little blurred and my skin just felt pillowy. With my skin getting so dry in the winter this was a nice little break of hydration.  https://www.cvs.com/shop/elisha-coy-skin-refining-snail-mask-0-81-oz-prodid-1370083?skuId=257902

Hot Head: Reasons Why I No Longer Blow-dry My Hair

So let’s be real, the days of not using a hot tool on our strands is a day of the past. I envy the messy, bun, towel dried, out of bed but still cute look that so many girls (aside from myself) seem to pull off oh so well. For me however, I have to work for that look. It takes a day or two of dry shampoo before I can even make that effortless look work in my favor.

For over a decade I washed, blow dried and styled my hair almost every other day, if not every day. Aside from the fact that I no longer have that kind of time, I realized my hair didn’t deserve that kind of hell! So here’s a few reasons why I no longer blow dry my hair and a few ways to get around that.

  1. Flash drying (or blow drying at high heat) removes the water that sits on the surface of your hair. However, in doing this is also takes the moisture that should be going back into your hair once it dries. So essentially it is like drinking a gulp of water, holding it in your mouth and then spitting it out. Still thirsty right? You get it, the idiot analogy wasn’t needed.
  2. It is extremely time consuming. There is so much else I would rather do than sit there holding a blow dryer to my head.
  3. My hair breaks a lot easier when it is wet. Running a brush through while blow drying my hair always tends to pull more hair out of my head than running around letting it air dry.
  4. By using my blow dryer for all bout 5 minutes on a very low setting and letting my hair air dry makes it feel less stiff. Styling seems to lay better when my hair has been air dried.

So what do I do different now?

  1. I shower like normal and try and squeeze as much excess water out of my hair while I am standing in the shower.
  2. I wrap my hair in a towel while I run around picking out my clothes, brushing my teeth, washing my face etc.
  3. About 15 minutes after, I once again squeeze my hair with my towel.
  4. Then I run a quarter size amount of Leave In Conditioner(link below) through the bottom half of my hair, then the same amount on the top. I avoid any product close to the roots of my hair. Since your hair creates natural oils closest to your root avoiding product near the root can prolong the next hair wash.
  5. Then I brush my hair. (Brush link below)
  6. I then use my blow dryer on the cool or warm setting about 6-8 inches away from my head and blow dry for about 3-5 minutes while i run my fingers through my hair. (The reason I do this is because your hair swells when it is wet. During that time the proteins in your hair are trying really hard to hold your hair together. The shorter the dry time the less stress on your hair.)
  7. I give my hair one more good brushing and let the rest air dry.

Obviously, if I was strolling around the park and a bird decided to lay one on my head and I needed to wash and style my hair before a job interview in an hour I would definitely use a blow dryer. Aside from that scenario I try to stay away from the hot setting on a blow dryer. So if you’re looking to cut a few minutes in your hair care routine I hope this guide helps!

ToolKit Links:

  1. BRUSH: https://www.ulta.com/professional-flex-dry?productId=xlsImpprod16731431&sku=2515414&cmpid=PS_Non!google!Product_Listing_Ads&cagpspn=pla&CATCI=pla-294680686006&CAAGID=18002902230&CAWELAID=330000200001228961&CATARGETID=330000200001332369&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIqq7-r7G32QIVEYrICh0ThgUQEAkYBSABEgIkIfD_BwE
  2. LEAVE- IN: https://www.ulta.com/miracle-leave-in-product?productId=xlsImpprod6481230&sku=2218075&cmpid=PS_Non!google!Product_Listing_Ads&cagpspn=pla&CATCI=aud-370516521359:pla-300240268222&CAAGID=47403364473&CAWELAID=330000200000135807&CATARGETID=330000200001234024&cadevice=c&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIif3B2bG32QIVTrnACh1aTwTJEAQYASABEgKeOPD_BwE

Dry Shampoo Magic

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My first encounter with dry shampoo was when I was in school for Cosmetology and I would have my faithful perm set client come in for her bi-weekly appointment. Before I could get to rolling those little soft white hairs, I would have to rinse out 14 days of dry shampoo that had set in! I didn’t mind because she always had a story to tell and tipped me in cans of pop or slices of pie! Although my visits with her were always a pleasure, my thoughts about dry shampoo were not so positive.

Fast forward a few years and dry shampoo is the new thing? Obviously I had to try it, and before I knew it I was in love. Let me throw this out there, I have long, thick, dark, coarse hair. I know, I know.. but trust me the grass is always greener on the other side. I used to spend an hour to an hour and a half, washing, blow drying and hot ironing my hair…every, other, day. I envied the girls with thin, straight hair with their lunch room talk about how they were showered, primped, dolled up and hair set in 20 mins… But now… after dry shampoo, my daily shower takes 5 minutes (ok maybe like 15 minutes) and I only wash my hair about 2 times a week. (Gross right? no, just you wait.)

Your hair actually produces natural oils that keep it healthy. By washing your hair everyday you strip your hair of those essential oils and try to replace them with other products to bring that healthy hair shine and glow. I may have read that some where in a magazine but I’m going to stick with it, because I refuse to go back to that everyday hair wash life.

The trick to dry shampoo is trial and error. I have darker hair so it tends to be tougher to find a product that doesn’t leave a white residue behind. I have been through about 9 different dry shampoos and currently I am obsessed with Dove’s volume collection. I have a ton of hair, heavy hair, but when I don’t wash it every day it tends to fall flat. I use the volume collection so that I can give my hair some body again.  In addition this product smells great. It doesn’t smell over powering and the aerosol can sprays well.

So here’s the trick. Brush you hair with your regular brush. Split your hair into two sections, top and bottom. Spray the bottom section closest to the root. Let it sit for five minutes then run your fingers through the roots. Then let down the top section. Spray your roots a little further away. Too close and you risk that white residue look. Let your hair sit for about 5 mins, run your fingers through the roots and then brush your hair lightly with a bristle brush. Voila! Repeat on day 2, 3 and 4.

Personally, I have tried this product on a few friends and it seems to stand the test of all different hair types. For a drug store product under $7, you can’t really beat it. I just purchased Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Dry Shampoo and I will be updating you all on what I find! If you’re new to the dry shampoo game though I would definitely try the Dove Refresh + Care Invigorating Dry Shampoo.  Let me know if you have a dry shampoo that you can’t live without!