One of my favorite YouTubers, Jessica Braun (Insta: @itsjessicabraun), has a really curated makeup collection full of things that she loves after doing multiple declutters. Her intentionality with quickly getting rid of makeup that doesn’t work for her or is expired has motivated me to look at my own collection in the same way. With that being said, for makeup that didn’t work for me but is in good condition and can easily be sanitized, I do put aside for donating to Project Beauty Share, which is a fantastic non-profit in Washington State that provides beauty products to women in need.
Check out my quick, mini declutter below, explaining what I’m getting rid of and why:
Wet n’ Wild MegaLast Liquid Catsuit Lipsticks: A couple of years ago these were all the rage, and I obviously tried multiple colors out. However, I quickly realized they aren’t the best formula and even at the low price tag aren’t worth it in my opinion.
KVD Vegan Beauty – Everlasting Liquid Lipsticks (Shades: Lovesick and Santa Sangre): Aside from these being quite a drying formula, I just don’t need anything from the formerly Kat Von D brand in my makeup collection (these were made pre-re-brand).
MAC Pro Longwear Waterproof Eye Shadow Colour Stick (No longer in production): Not creamy at all, very difficult to apply.
MAC Paint Pot in Rubenesque (No longer in production): Not pigmented at all. One of my least favorite products I have ever purchased, but I didn’t want to get rid of it because of the heftier price tag. But now, BYE BYE.
And last, but not least, a bunch of nameless samples from my former ipsy subscription that I popped into my magnetic palette. I honestly loved my ipsy subscription and had it for multiple years, but I ultimately decided that I wasn’t going through the samples quickly enough to justify the cost.
If you’ve done a recent declutter (and not just in your makeup collection), due to quarantine or otherwise, let me know in the comments below!
West Texas will forever be one of my favorite places on earth, especially my beloved Lubbock, Texas. Lubbock is the home of my alma mater, Texas Tech University, and is the backdrop of the three years that brought me lifelong friends, cherished memories, and a fantastic education. I will try not to go on and on about Lubbock and my time there, but it is such a gem of a place that you absolutely need to visit, regardless of if you’re attending a Texas Tech event or not. With that being said, you most likely will be visiting campus at some point if you do go to Lubbock, since it is a college town (it is also the home of Lubbock Christian University and South Plains College in nearby Levelland), so I hope you enjoy its beauty if you do.
Buckle up tight, folks. I hope you’re ready to see some vintage Carly photos and get a glimpse of my favorite things to do in the Hub city:
Visiting Texas Tech Campus (Oh how I love & miss you): If you are curious about becoming or are planning on being a student at Tech, please, PLEASE feel free to message me! I was involved in a lot of student organizations that are near and dear to my heart, including being a recruiter for potential students, so this is a subject I’m very passionate about. You’ll see some of my favorite campus traditions below, but here is a list to learn even more about Texas Tech’s traditions and history.
Sporting Events: We love us some sports in the LBK. If you have the opportunity to attend a game at Jones AT&T Stadium or the United Supermarkets Arena, GO (and then drop me a message about how amazing your first tortilla toss experience is).
The Weather: Lubbock is famous for its dust storms and wild weather in general. When somebody tells you to be prepared for the temperature to fluctuating drastically four times in a day, they ain’t lying to you, I promise. You can see some of my own dust storm experiences below, but if you don’t believe me, check out this Washington Post article.
How are y’all doing on this Monday? As I stared at my makeup collection earlier (as I got ready today for a dear friend and co-workers’ social distance, drive-by birthday parade), I thought it would be fun to do a run-down of the foundations that I’m loving, the foundations that I don’t like but am trying to get rid of, and foundations that are just okay. Here is a look at my current foundation collection (from left to right), as well as my closest shade matches (down below):
*L’Oreal Infallible Fresh Wear – As my #2 favorite foundation, this one is such a gem. Lasts so well on my oily skin, has a true satin matte finish, and the shade below is a great match for me that blends in without making me look as ghostly as I actually am.
Estee Lauder Double Wear – A cult classic. I used to love this one so much more, and I’m glad to still have it in my collection for special events, especially in the summer, but it can look heavy really quickly.
Milani Conceal & Perfect – I wish I liked this one more. It is definitely one of my “meh” foundations. It’s not my favorite texture (it is a thicker liquid and leaves a film-like feeling on your face), and is not a good shade match.
*Wet n’ Wild Photofocus – This is one of Tati Westbrook’s favorites, so I obviously had to have it for my own. While it doesn’t smell great, this is a good foundation. Not great, but good. And it is definitely a good shade match for me.
*NARS Radiant Longwear – My all-time favorite foundation that I love so dearly (and of course is the most expensive I’ve ever purchased). I will repurchase this over and over again. Also the best shade match for me that I’ve found.
Maybelline Superstay – So many people love this, but I quickly found out it isn’t my favorite. This most definitely forms a film on your skin post-application. And lemme just say, if you are ultra fair, you may actually want to give this a go, because this shade is one of the palest that I’ve ever seen.
*MISSHA BB Cream – This is a recommendation from the amazing Jessica Braun. I am in love with this one. It is so easy to throw on and gives you a low-medium coverage that’s perfect for every day. It will be interesting to see how this does on my skin in the summer, because it is GLOWY, but I really enjoy how healthy it makes my skin look.
Rimmel Lasting Finish 25HR – Another one on my naughty list. I’m just trying to mix this in with either the NARS Sheer Glow or the Dior Backstage to use them up, as this is the lightest shade, which is ridiculous, because it is me in my tannest dreams.
Dior Backstage Face & Body – This is another meh for me. I don’t love how fragranced it is and it isn’t a good shade match for me, but I do think it can look pretty on my skin.
NARS Sheer Glow – Bad bin. Not worth the price, terrible shade ranch, and clings to all of my dry patches.
Wet n’ Wild Cushion – It looks like this one may be going out the door for Wet n’ Wild, which is sad, because I do like this product. It is so great to give you a light layer of coverage if you’re trying to quickly run out the door to run errands.
What are some of your favorite foundations? Or what should I steer clear of? As always, I have products that I love from all of these brands, but for anything that didn’t work for me, it just wasn’t meant to be!
I don’t know about you, but these past two weeks have been the hardest of quarantine for me. I feel like I am in a constant loop of exhaustion, anxiety and guilt, and I cannot stop thinking about the stress of work, the loneliness of isolation, and the worry I have for family, friends, and the rest of the world. All of it is just swirling around in my head. So, I’m going to work on focusing on the positive right now instead, and share with you some things I’m loving lately:
Trader Joe’s Everything: Tyler and I are now firmly Trader Joe’s converts due to COVID-19. We’ve always enjoyed Trader Joe’s, but have historically avoided shopping there because of the crowds. However, for some reason, our Trader Joe’s here in Memphis has been the most calm, organized and clean grocery shopping situation we can find, and we have shopped nowhere else since quarantine started. My favorite purchases in particular have been the Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups, Charles Shaw Shiraz, Mac & Cheese Bites, Tomato Basil Soup, Chicken Spring Rolls, Bacon Ranch Dip, Southwest Chopped Salad, and a bunch of flowers each week to brighten up the house. My favorite quarantine meal has been to heat up the mac & cheese bites and put them in my tomato basil soup with a piece of french bread. YUM.
New Podcast I’m Loving: We all know I’m a podcast lover (linking my favorite podcasts post here if you haven’t checked it out yet). My sweet friend Jade turned me on to All Crime No Cattle (@allcrimenocattle), a Texas crime podcast based out of our beloved Fort Worth. The husband and wife duo behind the magic are so fantastic and feature various crimes committed in Texas throughout history. I have listened all day every day for the past two weeks and can’t get enough.
Instagram Accounts I’m Loving: @thehomeedit for all of my organizational needs, @heatherkmcmahan and @unforettable when I need a laugh, @tanksgoodnews when I need to be reminded of the good in the world, @juliaroseboston when I need to dream of handbags I someday WILL buy, @tuckerbudzyn and @taroandzippo when I need adorable, baby nugget goodness, and @lisafrank when I want to wax poetic about my childhood.
Enneagram Instagram Accounts, In Particular: All of these accounts, (@chalkandleaves, @cathartic_word, @letterbyhan_, and @enneagramashton), are just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to awesome creators who integrate the Enneagram into their design work. If you don’t know what the Enneagram is, take a look at Alyson Haley’s post here.
My Peloton: I’ve owned my Peloton for a little over a year now, but it just now during quarantine has really become a source of stability and motivation for me. If you have ever considered purchasing one, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so. And if you do, you should ride to Cody Rigsby and Cody Rigsby alone. He is a gem of a human. Even if you don’t have a Peloton, follow him on Instagram @codyrigsby.
Long phone calls: I hate talking on the phone when I could be texting, unless the phone call is an hour-minimum catch-up session. Those are my bread and butter, and my quarantine time has been full of them to stay connected with loved ones.
My sloth coloring book: I’ve spent a LOT of time coloring. I’ve tapered off over the past few weeks, but it’s time to ramp up again while I hang out on the couch with Tyler and watch tv for the ninth weekend in a row. 🙂
TV shows, comedy specials and movies: My favorites aren’t surprising, but they are golden: Forensic Files, Bob’s Burgers, Onward, Frozen II, Chris D’Elia: No Pain, and Bert Kreischer: Hey Big Boy. I also can’t wait to watch Jerry Seinfeld’s new special, 23 Hours to Kill, with Tyler this weekend!
Hope y’all have a fantastic weekend wherever you are in the world,
I have been to California three times now and I fall a little more in love each time, particularly with San Francisco. Having traveled to San Francisco for both work and for pleasure, I can say that both experiences were a ton of fun, so make time to see as much of the city as you possibly can, no matter the circumstances. And, if I could live anywhere in the U.S., Monterrey now sits pretty high up on my list after our trip there in May to visit Pebble Beach during the U.S. Open (our 50th Birthday surprise to my Dad!). Below is a look at some of my favorite memories and locations in each area:
Downtown San Francisco:
I love walking this city. The views are stunning, the hills give you the best workout of your life, and there’s an endless supply of delicious restaurants to stop in whenever you are exhausted from said hills (but hey, no calorie guilt!). On my first trip to SF, I was attending the week-long Salesforce Dreamforce conference (worth a Google if you don’t know what either of those two things are lol), for work, and man, let me tell you, what an introduction to the city! Our hotel was directly across from the iconic Nordstrom at the Hilton in Union Square (swoon, y’all), and other incredible shops, so I was in absolute heaven. While staying with my family last summer, we stayed closer to Fisherman’s Wharf, which was an equally amazing time.
Some of my favorite restaurants and shops that we’ve been to so far:
Alcatraz: I can’t recommend enough. Seriously. Learned an incredible amount of information and saw some stunning views of the city as well.
Monterrey Bay Aquarium: We lived our best Finding Dory life. The aquarium is perfect for anyone at any age, although there are a lot of kid activities. We loved it so much!
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park: Such an underrated park in my opinion. We walked through the park on our way down to Monterrey from San Fran and the surroundings were breathtaking.
Pebble Beach: Ah, the true reason for our trip: the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. My dad played this course religiously throughout our childhood, and it is genuinely his favorite course in the world. My mom equally loves the resort as well, (her favorite spa EVER). Experiencing the course I have heard about my entire life during a Major with my dad for his birthday is a memory I’ll cherish forever. Also, we saw Tiger freaking Woods, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Ricky Fowler, and so many more incredible players up close and personal. The course itself is stunning no matter the circumstances, and if you are also passionate about golf, is worth every penny to either play or visit.
Let me know your favorite California spots in the comments below! I’ve also briefly visited Orange, Fullerton and San Diego on a separate work trip, but would love to visit that area much more.
Sometimes, products don’t work out for you, even if they have tons of positive reviews and are beloved by others. Below is a look at products I regret purchasing and why they aren’t my favorites. As a disclaimer, just because I don’t love them doesn’t mean that they won’t work for you, and if you love them, then keep on loving them! Also, I have other products that I love from all of these brands. 🙂
This doesn’t do much as far as true “radiance,” I just see a lot of glitter on my skin. Also, this does nothing to help with the duration of my foundation, which is what I’m really personally looking for in a primer.
This doesn’t give me enough coverage and does not last long on my skin. If you’re looking for a NARS foundation, I would HIGHLY recommend my all-time favorite, the NARS Longwear Radiant Foundation. This shade is also terrible on me, and I believe was the only shade even remotely in my very fair shade range when I purchased this. But, it does look like the shade range has expanded (I wear Mont Blanc in the Longwear Radiant, as reference).
This foundation is THICK, and not in a good way. I really don’t like the whipped texture and feel like it slides off my oily skin super quickly. Also, the lightest shade at the time that I purchased is now the fifth shade up, so that just goes to show how orange it looked on me and how much the shade range has thankfully expanded in the past couple of years!
So, this has been re-branded and the version that I have has been recently discontinued. I’m currently only keeping it to use as a body SPF because of how heavy and sticky it feels on my face. My makeup just slides off any time I wear this underneath. However, the new version may be a new formula…but, I personally don’t plan on finding out. 🙂
The SMELL. I can’t handle the smell. I also don’t think this has anywhere enough hold for a hairspray. If you do decide to purchase this, only get the unscented, unless you want to smell like expired, musky perfume all day long.
I bought this to wear when we were going to be on a lake and it felt like all of my eyelashes fell off after I wore this. It took foreverrr to get off and was super thick on my lashes, so I’m afraid to try the non-waterproof version.
Iceland is the most beautiful place I have ever been to and will ever go to. In September of 2018, I had a jam-packed week of adventures with two incredible friends, Allyson and Wendy. We honestly barely scratched the surface of this gorgeous country, but what we experienced was nothing short of amazing. As only my second international trip, experiencing Iceland meant so much to me, and I can’t wait to go back and bring Tyler and other family members and friends. With that being said, I cannot shower enough praise on Allyson for planning this trip. My only request was seeing the puffins, and she brought us that and so much more.
Now settle in, get ready to scroll, and I hope you enjoy a glimpse at the beauty that is Iceland:
Our first stop after getting off the plane and procuring our rental car was the iconic Blue Lagoon (a note on the rental car situation: having a rental car was essential for us and definitely the right move, but also be aware that the security deposit for these things is quite substantial). We had pre-purchased our Blue Lagoon Premium Package tickets ahead of time, which was so worth it, and enjoyed a wonderful meal in the Cafe before soaking in the hot springs with their signature face masks to unwind and relax. Although it is one of the busiest and most popular attractions in Iceland, it is beyond worth experiencing.
***Side note: You absolutely, 300% need to get a wi-fi hotspot. Ours worked without fail on our entire trip and was easily picked up and dropped off at the airport.
After leaving Blue Lagoon, we checked into our Airbnb. I highly, highly recommend this Airbnb. Beautiful, comfortable, fantastic location, and a great host. After dropping off our stuff, we ran to Bonus to pick up some groceries (if you do one thing while visiting Iceland, make sure to stock up at the grocery store and bring your own lunch and snacks with you. Between our sandwiches and the Rx bars that Allyson brought with her, we saved so much money doing this in a famously expensive country). After unpacking our groceries, we ran over to Rossopomodoro for a celebratory Italian dinner. (Another side note: alcohol is extremely expensive in Iceland, which we knew, but found out the hard way when we wanted a glass of wine with our pasta. It came out to about $23 for a glass, so DEFINITELY grab your alcohol at the Keflavik Airport at duty-free and bring it with you if you want to drink).
On Day 2, we were up bright and early to do “The Golden Circle,” the iconic ring of destinations in the Southern part of the Island. First step was the amazing Thingvellir National Park. We learned so much about Icelandic history at their visitor center, and I adored their gift shop. (Also, if I could start every day with an Icelandic skyr, I would. I haven’t been able to find this brand in the states and none of the other versions compare. Such wonderful, yogurty goodness).
The below geysir is the original geothermal phenomenon that caused the word to be created. Also, please check out the warning signs below that were at the main visitor center and gift shop. Comedic gold.
You can walk around not only the perimeter of the crater, but can also go down to the crater floor. The third photo is where “Adventure Carly” was born as I trekked down the path. Also, Bjork held a concert on a temporary platform floating on the lake as fans watched from the crater walls, so that is wild.
We did not go to a ton of restaurants to help save some cash, but we loved Hofnin, Braud & Co., and Eldsmidjan Pizza. Hofnin was by far the best meal we had, every one of our plates was delicious (my fish dish pictured below), and it has an incredible view of the water.
There are many naturally occurring hot springs that form little hot tubs, or “hot pots,” throughout Iceland. We visited the Landbrotalaug Hot Pot, which was so much fun. Nothing like walking through an Icelandic field in your swimsuit!
Budakirkja – The Black Church at Budir, was honestly a bit overwhelming for me, it was that beautiful. Starkly looking over the turbulent sea below, this church is a photographer’s dream. We even saw a fashion photo shoot as we were leaving. So. amazing.
Snaefellsnes Peninsula – The lava field walking path between Arnarstapi and Hellnar was one of the most quiet and peaceful moments of the trip. We all took some time to walk alone in the serenity and just enjoy the beauty. We also had some amazing fish & chips in Arnarstapi afterwards while overlooking the water.
The Reynisfjara Blacksand Beach at Vik is so crazy cool. However, make sure and keep a very safe distance from the water, as there are warning signs every wear to avoid the treacherous waves.
The Skogafoss Waterfall is so powerful it’s scary (hence my hat blowing off below). By this point on our trip, we had kind of gotten into an “oh, another waterfall, cool…,” mentality, but that quickly changed when we got up and close and personal with this behemoth.
Then came time for us to hop on the ferry and visit the Westman Islands to see us some puffins! First of all, let me just say, that water was GNARLY. I am not prone to sea sickness, but you definitely need some dramamine on this voyage. We were NOT well. Also, you 100% need to go on a tour with Eyja Tours. Our tour guide, Ebbi, is amazing and a life-long native on the island. We learned so much about spranga and the 1973 volcanic eruption, and of course about the amazing puffin nuts that the island is famous for. We also got to check out the Vestmannaeyar Golf Course, which I dream of taking my dad, Tyler and Davis to some day.
I MET A PUFFIN. And we also stood on top of one of the windiest places in Europe. It was amazing. We also had no idea that we were on the island the night that the puffin babies jump from their nests and land into the town. No shade of a lie, it’s crazy. If you want to learn more, you definitely need to check out the Eyja Tours Instagram account (@eyjatours).
After the best tour I have ever been on, we stopped for a yummy lunch at Gott and went for a beer at The Brothers Brewery. Still the best fruit sour I’ve ever had!
After getting back to the mainland, we went and checked out the Seljalandsfoss Waterfall (which you may recognize from the “I’ll Show You,” Justin Bieber music video).
Snaefellsnes Peninsula – Our final stop was Kirkjufellfoss, one of the most photographed locations in Iceland, and for good reason. Absolutely STUNNING at sunset.
With that, our time in Iceland came to a close. At the Keflavik Airport, we stopped for drinks at Loksins Bar and grabbed a bite to eat at Nord before heading back home.
Have you been to Iceland? If so, what were your favorite parts of your trip?
Like I assume so many of y’all are also doing, I have been taking advantage of all of the online retail sales while I am sheltering in place at home. I am always looking for a bargain, and if there is one thing I can reinforce to y’all to do to take advantage of those deals, it is to check your junk email every day for coupons. You know, that email address that you use when you are required to provide an email at a store checkout. 🙂 We’ve all got one. Staying on top of what deals are available and giving a critical eye to my closet to determine what I actually need to purchase to fill gaps and make some replacements in my wardrobe allowed me to snag all of this for less than $275. Seriously y’all. Those Franco Sarto sandals were $4 and the Bleecker & Bond loafers were $2 because of all of the DSW coupons I used.
Hope y’all are having a wonderful Saturday. It’s a beautiful day here in Memphis, but since Tyler and I are obviously staying at home today, I’m enjoying the sunshine from our sun room on the couch we have out here and it is LOVELY!
While perusing my Instagram feed yesterday, I saw that Kendra Scott did an Instagram Live (@kendrascott), featuring vintage pieces throughout the history of the brand. It was so neat to watch Kendra show the beautiful designs that helped build her incredible brand and legacy. Having collected Kendra Scott pieces for basically every holiday, birthday and treat myself moment of the past 8 years, the post got me thinking about my own collection and what it means to me.
When I think of Kendra Scott as a brand, I think of every single happy memory associated with a piece of their jewelry. Now, I know that sounds a bit odd, but I am known far and wide in both my family and friend groups as the girl who not only wears an overwhelming amount of jewelry each day, but also that chances are I’m wearing at least two KS jewelry pieces at all times. The brand has always been something that I am passionate about from a philanthropic standpoint as well, as the work that they do to give back to the community from their support of the MD Anderson Cancer Center where my incredible Grandma Jean was treated, to the work they are currently doing to provide over 1 million meals to date through Feed America during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Check out their Everlyne Friendship Bracelet, where 50% of the proceeds go towards the Feed America efforts. I picked up the Dichroic Glass version and it is beautiful).
From my first-ever pair of earrings that my mom surprised me with for my 17th birthday (still swoon over those abalone shell beauties), to the matching earring and necklace set that my husband hid my engagement ring in while opening up Christmas gifts, and the Texas/birthstone charm bangle that some of my best friends surprised me with when we moved to Memphis, my entire, ever-growing collection will always hold a special place in my heart. Here’s a look at my collection, featuring some vintage beauties, custom Color Bar pieces and recent purchases:
What are you favorite Kendra Scott pieces in your collection? And, if you don’t have a piece yet, what’s stopping you?!
A few years ago, we spent a wonderful, long July 4th weekend in Las Vegas. Surprisingly enough, it was a super relaxing trip, proving that Vegas doesn’t always have to be a go-go-go destination. (*Side note: If that’s what you want out of your Vegas trip, then live your best life, and our next trip will definitely be full of more of that fun with hopefully a few friends in tow). Below is a look at where we stayed, what we did, and what we ate:
The Wynn: We stayed at the beautiful Wynn the first night, stopping in at Charlie’s Bar + Grill for a late dinner getting off the plane before playing a few slots and walking around, and it was such a great experience! We only stayed through the afternoon of the next day, so I’m excited to spend more time there in the future, but brunch at The Buffet was just as iconic and yummy as you would expect.
Caesar’s Palace: We spent the rest of our time in Vegas at Caesar’s Palace, which was just plain awesome. We had a full spa day at the Qua Baths & Spa. The 50 Minute Classic Couple’s Massage and my Signature Facial were absolutely to die for and the facilities there are stunning.
We also spent a full day at the massive pool complex, renting two lounge chairs at the Venus Pool + Lounge, which I would highly suggest doing if you want a designated space. We drank ridiculously expensive piñana coladas all day long and relaxed in the Nevada sun.
We also spent a lot of time wandering around and exploring the Strip since it was our first time to Sin City, which was a ton of fun. You’ve never experienced people watching like Vegas people watching. I got an amazing blowout at the Drybar @ The Cosmo, we walked and shopped through The Venetian and Paris, and had a very memorable and delicious lunch at Wahlburgers during an exciting World Cup match.
Have you ever been to Vegas? And what did you love about the city? Let me know in the comments below!