The complete guide to makeup brushes. What they're called and how to use them.

When I first started using makeup I owned about three brushes. I used all three for multiple products and hardly washed them. I figured if the makeup got from the pan or bottle onto my face than that was good enough! As I’ve grown older and more knowledgeable about makeup, my collection of makeup brushes has grown. I now know that each one has a specific purpose and place in a makeup routine. That’s not to say that you can’t break the rules and use a blush brush to apply highlighter (*gasp* THE HORROR!). However you’ll find that your makeup goes on much easier when you use the right brushes.

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A couple of posts ago I rambled on about the awful weather my town was experiencing and how un-spring like it was feeling. Well, yesterday it was 75º and sunny and today it’s meant to be 81º and sunny! Spring has FINALLY arrived and it feels so good. The beautiful weather has inspired me to go through my nail polish and pick out my favorite shades for spring.

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MAC e.l.f. highlighter

Soft & Gentle, as the man at the MAC counter told me, is the OG highlighter. Before highlighting was even really a thing, MAC had their mineralized skin finishes and was all over the soon to be trend. Naturally, dupes for such a cult classic were bound to come along; one of which is made by e.l.f. cosmetics. Blush Gems might even be mistaken as a travel size version of Soft & Gentle, it looks so similar. Do the similarities go beyond just the appearance, though? I put the two head to head to see which one is better and if MAC is still the go to for highlighters!

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As I type this there is a blizzard ripping through NY so it doesn’t quite feel like Spring; however it has to come eventually, right? Right…? *Looks around frantically for some confirmation*

Spring weather or not, clothing stores and boutiques are filling their stores with floral patterns, cute sun dresses, and flowy skirts. I’ve had my eye on a lot of different pieces so I thought I would put them together in a post to inspire my readers to update their Spring wardrobe!

  1. Blossoming Memories Raglan Top in Light Pink – Filly Flair

Filly Flair Spring Floral Top

I think Raglan tops can be so cute and are incredibly comfortable. I love the feminine touch of this top from Filly Flair and I can see myself wearing it with jeans or some little white shorts.

2. Find a Way Floral Maxi Dress – Filly Flair

Filly Flair Maxi Dress

Someone find me a field of flowers I can frolick through while wearing this dress! I think it’s absolutely stunning and it also looks really comfortable and flattering. I only own one maxi dress but it’s my mission to buy more that fit my small frame.

3. Corduroy Mini Skirt – Forever 21

Forever 21 Spring Corduroy Skirt

I love a good corduroy skirt, and this one comes in blush pink! It’s the perfect color for spring and can easily be paired with little sneakers or some nice sandals for a dressier look.

4. Selfie Leslie Rose Print Romper – Forever 21

Forever 21 Spring Romper

I’m actually drooling over this romper. Everything about it is stunningly beautiful and would be great for a wedding, formal dinner, or just because!

5. Cache Rose Gold Sandals – Steve Madden

Steve Madden Spring Sandal

I mean this sandals are rose gold, what’s not to love? The shine on them makes them great for more formal events when you want to look put together but don’t want the pain of wearing heels. They’d also be great paired with jeans and cute top for a more casual day. Little sandals like these ones are really versatile.

6. Classic Navy Blue Top – Lulus

Lulus spring striped top

I’m a sucker for stripes. My closet doesn’t need anymore but I can’t resist this top. The bell sleeves and laced up details are a nice addition to the top and make it different from anything I currently own. I love it paired with white shorts like in the picture!

7. Chic Taupe Clutch – Lulus

Spring Clutch Lulus

I don’t own anything like this little purse, and I think it’s gorgeous. The suede flap is a nice detail and I like that the strap can be taken off and the purse can be held as a clutch.

8. Billabong Sunset View – Navy Blue Striped Shirt Dress

Lulus Spring Striped Dress

Oops more stripes! Told you I couldn’t stay away. This dress looks so comfortable and perfect for those days when wearing pants is just too much work. The back is also gorgeous and could be really pretty with a white bralette underneath.

9. Road Trip Responsibilities Denim Shorts – ModCloth

Mod Cloth Spring Denim Shorts

These shorts are adorable and I need them. I would take the bandana off of the belt loop but I absolutely love the red peeking out from the pockets. It’s such a nice change from the typical denim shorts.

10. Happiness Is a Warm Mug T-Shirt – ModCloth

Spring T-Shirt ModCloth

Nothing like a good t-shirt to cozy on up in at the end of the day, and this one is adorable! I love tea, and I love t-shirts so this is the perfect pairing. A tea-shirt, if you will. Okay, I’m done now.

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Audrey Knizek

*Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links and I may earn a percentage of each purchase made through affiliate links*

Cranberry Orange Scones

About a month ago I became a representative for the Bluebird Tea Company based out of Brighton, England. Part of my duty as a rep is to create at least one recipe per month using some of the tea I’ve been sent. After assessing the teas that came in the welcome box, and mulling around ideas in my head, I decided to bake some sort of scone. Nothing screams England, or pairs better with tea, than scones, right? I will be completely honest, before baking these I had never baked a scone in my life. No better time than the present!

Bluebird Tea Co

The first tea I thought of using was the Bears Like Marmalade loose tea; it has an amazing floral, orange flavor that is so refreshing. However I wasn’t content with using just one tea, I wanted more! After trying Purple Rain I knew I had to incorporate it in the scones somehow; the gorgeous purple tea is too pretty not to use. That’s when the idea of a glaze occurred to me, because apparently creating my own scone recipe and then baking them for the first time just wasn’t enough. Both teas are part of Bluebird’s spring collection which goes on sale this Sunday, March 12.

Loose tea

Now, baking with tea can be a tricky task. Simply including the tea leaves in the batter or dough won’t release the flavors of the tea, plus no one likes chunks of dry leaves in their food. Steeping the tea in milk works somewhat, but usually if a recipe calls for milk it’s not a lot. So, infusing unsalted butter with the tea is the best option. As fancy as it may sound, it’s actually quite simple. Melt however much better you need for the recipe and then add in the loose tea without any tea ball or bag. Once it’s steeped for 5-10 minutes strain the butter through a fine sieve and discard the tea leaves. Then, depending on the recipe, let the butter solidify or use it in the melted form.

Bluebird Tea Company Loose Tea
Bears Like Marmalade tea; how gorgeous is that color?!

The glaze uses the same sort of method. Using a double broiler (or two pots and some water) all of the ingredients are combined to create a hot, liquid glaze, and then the Purple Rain tea is steeped for 8-10 minutes. Once it’s done steeping, the mixture is strained through the sieve and the tea leaves can be discarded.

Cranberry Orange Scones

The scones are definitely a bit time consuming, but trust me when I say they are so worth it. The combination of teas make the scones so lovely, plus they’re beautiful to look at! If you’d like to try this recipe out, and I really hope you do, head over to Bluebird’s website and use the code WLBTEABIRD20 to get 20% off your purchase at checkout.

Cranberry Orange Scones Recipe

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Audrey Knizek

Milani Lipsticks

I’ve been crushing on some new lipsticks recently, and I knew I had to write up a post and share my find with my readers! I haven’t heard too many people talk about Milani lipsticks, but I’ve heard great things about the brand overall. I’ve been wanting to try more Milani products as everything looks so beautiful, and the prices can’t be beat, especially if you use coupons at the drugstore. Next to eyeshadow, lipstick is my favorite product to buy, so naturally I gravitated towards to Milani lipsticks as the next thing to try from the brand.

Milani Lipsticks

I picked up two shades; Blushing Beauty and Matte Blissful. Blushing Beauty is a gorgeous, semi-matte, bright coral shade. Matte Blissful is a purple toned mauve shade with a matte finish. Between the two, I like Blushing Beauty just a bit more than Matte Blissful. The semi-matte finish is stunning, as is the particular shade against my fair skin. I also like that, depending on the look you’re going for, you can achieve a very bright look with this lipstick or you can tone it down quite a bit by blotting it with a tissue. Both lipsticks smell sweet like vanilla, which I like a lot!

Milani Lipsticks

I’m going to be honest, when I first tried out Matte Blissful I was not impressed. It bunched and pulled, leaving my lips looking less than awesome. The color was pretty, but I thought the formula was bad. Not wanting to jump to conclusions, I tried it again the next day, except I made sure to exfoliate my lips beforehand. What a difference that made! The formula is so comfortable and opaque, and the lipstick lasts all day. I was highly impressed the second time around. I still prefer liquid matte lipsticks over a traditional lipstick in a tube, but I do really enjoy the Milani one.

Milani Lipsticks
Matte Blissful (left) Blushing Beauty (right)

 

The Milani Lipsticks retail for $6 and can be found at CVS, Walmart, Walgreens, and on Milani’s website. I’m eager to try more shades of lipstick and more products from Milani, as I’ve really enjoyed what I’ve tried so far. What’s your favorite Milani product? Let me know in the comments below!

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Audrey Knizek