While it may so often seem as though the life of a full time blogger is incredibly glamorous, you may be surprised to find out that the majority of us have normal mornings just like yours.  We love our snooze button a little too much, and trying to choose a healthy smoothie over that chocolate muffin is a challenge (the muffin wins more often than not).  My morning routine is nothing to brag about, and definitely drags out a lot longer than in the video.  Since my gastroparesis symptoms are at their worst in the morning, I tend to do the majority of my work in bed for about an hour before I even get up and go eat.  However, any opportunity I get to actually easily leave my bed without pain merits a morning very similar to what I filmed!

I usually wake up between 8-9 AM (even though my first alarm goes off at 7:15).  I spend a few minutes catching up on Instagram, Facebook, looking at my emails on my phone, and of course snuggling with my kitty, Luna.  Then I get up and stretch… and shimmy.  Yes, that sounds bizarre, but I add a little shimmy or a little dance before I actually get moving because it gets the blood flowing and makes me happier!  Plus, if I’m wearing this adorable Adore Me pajama set, it’s just way too comfy to not shimmy in!  Next I’ll pour a few drops of grapefruit essential oil into my diffuser for a bright scent throughout my room as I begin my day.  If my stomach is alright, a smoothie or bowl of yogurt and fruit is in order.  If I have extra time, I might even make myself an omelet!  Back upstairs I go to sit down at my MacBook and do some serious work.  I’ll check and respond to emails, post on Facebook and Twitter, and plan out some of my work for the week.

Next I head to the bathroom to get ready.  I’ve been using my Clarisonic Mia 2 brush for several months now and it’s been life-changing for my skin! I recently switched from a Neutrogena face wash to the Bioré charcoal cleanser and I love the fresh, almost cold sensation it has on my skin.  I like to wash my face before I get in the shower, because I don’t like submersing my Clarisonic in the water, and sometimes, if I’ve curled my hair the night before, I skip the shower.  Next comes makeup, and I’ve put together several makeup videos recently that you can view here, here, and here!  Once my makeup is finished and my hair is dried and either flat-ironed or curled, I’ll pick an outfit and head out to conquer the rest of my day!

Some tips to keep in mind for a relaxing, un-rushed morning:

 1. Set your first alarm for a good hour before you want to actually get up.  This way, you can hit snooze several times before moving, and you’ll give your body the illusion of sleeping in.

2. Pick out your outfit the night before (this is something I’m terrible at).  If it’s already laid out and ready, you won’t spend time agonizing over that “I have nothing to wear” feeling.

3. Get food and coffee (or tea) in you before you really begin moving.  You’ll have more energy once you’ve fed your body.  It’s true what they say – breakfast is the most important meal of the day!

4. Burn a pleasantly-scented candle or essential oils in a diffuser to help wake you up naturally.  Picking citrus or bright scents make a huge difference! Whatever you do, don’t choose lavender or you’ll be falling back to sleep!

5. Don’t try a new hairstyle or makeup trend in the morning.  If it doesn’t turn out how you’d like, you will either be rushing to fix it or you won’t have time to and you’ll head out looking a hot mess!

6. Crank some tunes!  Spotify offers a bunch of “morning” playlists, but my recent favorite has been this one to get me moving!

How do you typically spend your morning?

Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger Don't Hit Snooze: The Morning Routine of a Full Time Blogger

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I’ve loved watching makeup-related YouTube videos for as long as I can remember them even existing.  It started with Michelle Phan (yep, I remember her very first YouTube video – now look how far she’s come) and continued on through high school.  The one thing I struggled with the most was that I felt as though my skin was so different from everyone who showed their face online.  Most of the girls who shared their passion for cosmetics had seemingly flawless skin, and here I was with hyperpigmentation, serious acne, and horrible under-eye circles.  No matter how hard I searched, there wasn’t a YouTuber who I could identify with … until November of 2016.

I was searching through the depths of YouTube when I discovered Thataylaa – a beauty vlogger who titled herself a #PalePrincess.  Not only was her skin tone the same as mine, but she was very bold about her struggle with cystic acne.  Finally I found someone who I could rely on for any cosmetic product out there.  One of my favorite things about Taylor is that every Friday she uploads a “Foundation Friday” video where she shares a foundation that she’s never tried, gives a wear-test, and a final review at the end of the day.  One of her top suggestions for 2016 was the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation, so obviously I had to try it!

In my video, I did something very similar to Taylor – I showed the application of foundation, gave check-ins throughout the day, and ended it with a short review.  Here’s what I think after nearly a week of wear: the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation retails at $39 for 1 fl oz and has a very dewy, light finish.  I have to apply several pumps of product for a full-coverage, flawless finish.  The product is so lightweight, you wouldn’t even know you’re wearing makeup – which I love.  The lightest shade, Porcelain, is a perfect match for my skin tone.  The foundation wears beautifully throughout the day with a light dusting of powder.  I do find that by about hour six or seven of wear, it begins to break down around my chin and forehead (in between my eyebrows), and there is creasing around my mouth from smiling and talking.  If you’re willing to apply powder once more, you can increase the lifespan to about ten hours and still feel flawless.  It washes off super easily, and I have only seen positive results with my skin.  My acne has not flared up, and my skin feels smooth and moisturized.  I’ve been overall incredibly pleased with this foundation.  Would I purchase again?  During the winter, absolutely.  For the summer?  Probably not.  It’s great for those with dry skin, but definitely showcases the oil for those who have combination/oily skin.  Summer humidity and sweat would not love this product, and it’s far from waterproof.  However, it’s one of the most natural-looking foundations I’ve ever used, and for that, I will definitely give it two thumbs up!

Have you ever tried the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea foundation?  Let me know your thoughts, and make sure to give a thumbs up and subscribe to my channel for new videos each Monday!

Under The Sea: Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Foundation Wear and Review

Shop What’s On My Face

primer | foundation | under-eye concealer | face concealer | powder | bronzer | blush | eyeshadow | kohl eyeliner | liquid eyeliner | mascara | liquid lipstick | setting spray

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February was filled with so many amazing things, from finally reaching 10k on Instagram, to my birthday celebration, to all these goodies that I’ve been reaching for on repeat.  It was a month of favorites for sure! View my video to see all of the items I had serious “heart eye emoji”-feelings for – and then scroll down to shop them!

Some of the honorable mentions: my Adore Me bra (the exact one I love is out of stock, but this one is nearly identical), and my Beyond the Beauty 25-18mm curling wand.

What have you been loving lately?  Are there any beauty products you think I should try? I’m on the hunt for a new makeup setting powder and another pair of sneakers to add to my collection!

Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites Just Stay Don't Go: February Favorites

Shop My Favorites

Fashion: leggings | top | dress | shoes

Beauty: mask | fragrance | eyeshadow palette | ombre lip color | blush | liquid lip color

Miscellaneous: lavender essential oil | grapefruit essential oil | chocolate | pop tarts

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In May of last year, Ashley Tisdale partnered up with BH Cosmetics to release her own line of affordable makeup.  These products are high quality for drugstore prices, and I was dying to test out one particular set of items: her brushes.  I’ve tried my fair share of cosmetic brushes, but never truly been impressed, so I went on the website to make my purchase and they were sold out.  The next week they were sold out as well.  Then there was a restock, but I got to it right as they sold out.  Months later, I asked for them for Christmas, but was told that the person who planned to buy them for me also found they were sold out.  Then surprisingly enough, one of my best friends gave me a Christmas gift and inside were the brushes!  Somehow she managed to snag them right after a restock, and it completely made my day.

I’ve been using these brushes since the end of December, and I can’t speak more highly of them.  The bristles are super soft, the hairs don’t shed at all, and the handles are very sturdy.  Most of the brushes are very dense, aside from the dual fiber blending brush, which has lighter fibers (as it should).  They’re easy to wash – I use a Sonia Kashuk brush cleaner to wash my brushes – and they’re also cruelty free!  Best of all?  This set of eight brushes only costs $19!  I know of single brushes that cost more than that and don’t live up to this level of quality!  The next items on my Illuminate by Ashley wish-list are the Beach Goddess palette and the Illuminating Shimmer!

The Illuminate by Ashley brush set includes the following brushes:

Deluxe Powder Brush

This brush is perfect for a light dusting of pressed or loose setting powder across the face.  It can also be used for powder foundations, or to help blend out already-applied color, such as blush or bronzer.

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Dual Fiber Blending Brush

I use this brush for stippling on my liquid foundation and concealer.  I use a dabbing style and then buff out along my neck and chest.

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Blush Brush

I think this one is a little self-explanatory 😉 

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Angled Contour Brush

Alright, so I haven’t quite mastered contouring yet, but I use this brush to chisel out my cheekbones and along my temples and chin for definition with a golden-brown bronzer.  

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Eye Blending Brush

This fluffy, semi-tapered brush is perfect for blending out your eyeshadow colors, or creating a smokey effect.  However, I personally use it to dust a brightening powder beneath my eyes and apply highlighter on my cheekbones, cupid’s bow (that little area above your lips) along the bridge of my nose, and the tip of my nose.

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Large Shadow Brush

This brush is perfect for applying all-over lid color.  It’s kind of a one-brush-does-all, because in all honesty, I could create an entire eyeshadow look with just this brush!

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Smudge Brush

A stocky brush such as this one is perfect for saturated color in the outer corners of the eye or in the crease.  It’s very dense, and the more you smudge it back and forth, the smokier the colors will become.

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Angled Liner Brush

Last, but certainly not least, this little guy is dynamite for creating the perfect winged liner using a gel eyeliner, or even for defining your eyebrows (which is how I use it).  It’s not the slightest bit flimsy, so it creates the perfect line, rather than feathering out any of the color.

Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by AshleyBrushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by AshleyBrushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley Brushstrokes: Get Ready With Me Featuring Illuminate by Ashley

Shop My Makeup Routine

 brushes | foundation | concealer | eyeshadows 1 + 2 | kohl eyeliner | liquid eyeliner | mascara | powder | bronzer | blush | lipstick

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It seems as though the postman and I are going to become close friends, since he’s been visiting my house nearly daily in the past couple of weeks!  Because he’s has been dropping off so many packages, I figured that instead of just letting them sit around my room until I had a chance to photograph what’s inside, I would give my YouTube viewers a sneak peek through a collective unboxing! Between the time of filming and when this post goes live, I did have the opportunity to shoot a handful of the clothing pieces, so I’ve added a sneak peek of those for you to see before the full looks hit the blog!

I have a major request for you babes: I want to know what kind of videos you want to see!  When you get on YouTube, what do you search for?  Lookbooks?  Makeup tutorials?  DIYs?  Random cat videos (I could totally make some of those)?  With this being my latest blogging endeavor, I want more than anything to put out content that you’re interested in viewing.  Unboxing videos are one of my favorites to watch, so that’s one of the reasons I wanted to film it, but of course, your opinions matter more than anything to me, so please let me know what you’re interested in!

Have a great rest of your week!

Opening Up: Collective Unboxing Opening Up: Collective Unboxing Opening Up: Collective Unboxing Opening Up: Collective Unboxing

Shop My Unboxing

coffee mugs | workout leggings | heart sweater | striped sweater | perfume | ring | shirtdress | shorts | treggings | patched denim | skinny jeans | midi dress | silk cami | moto leggings | v-neck tee | days of the week ankle socks | lace trim black socks | cream socks | lace trim gray socks | plain black socks | CA Republic socks | ombre palm tree socks | shark socks | bicycle socks | fox socks | be my valentine kitty socks | musical kitty socks

photos by Stefanie
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