Monday, August 31, 2015

September Journal Prompts + Printable

 After taking August off from blogging, it's nice to be back with you in September. August was a crazily busy month for me. Things are still busy, but I am finally beginning to settle into a routine.

Thanks for waiting an extra month for these.

Here are September's journal prompts.

1.The best parts of fall
2. Where you want to be
3. What does content look like?
4. Something you want to try
5. This week's successes
6. Your first memory of one friend
7. Advice to ignore
8. What encourages you?
9. How do you encourage others?
10. Something to share
11. A celebration
12. A time you made a good choice
13. A favorite meal
14. An important truth
15. The thing that gives you hope
16. The last library you visited
17. A minor roadblock in your life
18. One thing to do today
19. What are you waiting for?
20. What really matters
21. A way to relax
22. One thing not to worry about
23. Three good thoughts
24. The best part of a rainy day
25. A simple pleasure
26. What have you learned today?
27. The best restaurant in your town
28. One thing you wish you could do
29. Your best quality
30. One thing you say you think, but really don't

Get your printable PDF version of September's journal prompts here.

Usually I like to journal at night before I go to bed, but with school started now, I need a way to unwind right after I get home. Lately, I've been either reading or on the internet. Both of which are difficult to stop doing once I get started, so I'm thinking about switching my journaling time to the afternoon.

Do you have a certain time of day that you prefer to journal?

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July Journal Prompts + Printable

July has just begun, but summer is already in full swing for us. We hope that your summer is allowing you a little more free time and some lazy afternoons to enjoy the sun.

Here's July's journal prompts.

1. What is most important to you?
2. Your best trait
3. A movie that makes you happy
4. Something that excites you
5. Something that worries you
6. Actions that you admire
7. A time of transition
8. How did you feel today?
9. What do you spend your time thinking about?
10. What year has been your best so far?
11. Who do you trust?
12. A song from your childhood
13. What you wore today
14. How are you creative?
15. The best part of summer
16. A letter to someone else
17. I always...
18. A list of things you like
19. A question that needs to be asked
20. What do you need?
21. Your summer playlist
22. What inspires you?
23. What do you want less of?
24. What is holding you back?
25. A tiny step towards your dreams
26. Three things you want to change in your life
27. How have you grown in the past month?
28. What are you offering the world?
29. How do you spend time resting?
30. The best idea you've had this week
31. The book you're currently reading

Get your printable PDF version of the July journal prompts here.

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

Are you still journaling over the summer? Or have you stopped to take a break? Let us know in the comments.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Simple Summer Makeup

Simple Summer Makeup

During the summer, it's nice to go easy on the make up and simply play up your natural beauty. Here are my picks to get you glowing in four easy steps.

1. A Light Sunscreen
If you want to look young forever, you either have to have amazing genes or wear sunscreen on your face and neck every day. My favorite pick is Neutrogena's Clear Face Sunscreen. It goes on matte, so it won't make your face oily or cause breakouts. For youthful lips, don't forget to apply a lip balm with sunscreen in it too like Kiss My Face's Sport Lip Balm. It has all natural ingredients, so you can feel good about putting it on your lips.

2. Powder Foundation
I would love to be one of those girls that has beautiful skin without foundation, especially during sticky summertime weather. My skin needs a little extra help though. Powder foundations are a great option during the summer to hide imperfections without putting on a lot of product. Just a few swipes with a brush and you're done. Plus, they're great for shine control during the summer months. My favorite is Bare Minerals Matte Foundation. With Bare Minerals, you can really control the amount of coverage you want, especially if you have the brushes from their starter kit. The big one is great for light coverage all over. Then, you can go back and hide dark circles, blemishes, and veins using the dense, small brush.

Sometimes you just don't have twenty five dollars to shell out on foundation. When, I'm low on funds, I turn to L'Oreal's True Match Powder. It's not a mineral foundation, but it gives the same buildable coverage as Bare Minerals. Plus, since their shades are grouped into Cool, Neutral, and Warm, you can find your exact shade easily.

3. Sweat-Proof Mascara
Eye shadow usually just sweats off during the summer, but you can still bring out your natural beauty with a little mascara. If you're like me, you want a mascara that will stay on while you want it on but will come off when it's time to take off your makeup. L'Oreal Paris' Million Lashes gives me thick, dark lashes that can stay put in the Mississippi summer humidity. When I'm ready to take off my makeup, I just wash my face with gentle soap and water. Then, when I'm drying my face, I gently run the washcloth over my eyes, and the mascara comes off. Million Lashes is a great pick for those of us who are anti-waterproof mascara.

4. Pop of Lip Color
To finish off your summer face, add a pop of color to your lips. You can either go natural and choose a color that intensifies your natural lip color or you can be more daring and choose a color that makes your lips the focus of your face. My favorite lip color for summer is Burt's Bees Tinted Lip Balm in Rose. It takes gives my lips a healthy, rosy glow. If you're more adventurious try a matte fuchsia or sangria color, like Burt's Bees Lip Crayons in Hawaiian Smolder or Napa Vineyard.

Monday, June 8, 2015

How to Style Curly Hair Fast Updated

How To Style Curly Hair Fast

Curly hair is so beautiful and fun when you have the time to fix it, but when you don't, it can be a mess! Since the first "How to Style Curly Hair Fast" post I've learned a few more tricks and have found some even better products. I know it seems like a lot of steps, but it's really not. I just wanted to break the steps down, so that if you're new at embracing your curls and wearing your hair curly you'll have some direction. Hopefully, this post will help you embrace your curls instead of just throwing your hair into a bun or ponytail!

Part 1: In the Shower

For this step you'll need a wide tooth comb, cleansing conditioner, a clip, and conditioner.

1. Use your comb to part your hair how you want it.

2. Get in the shower and wet your hair.

3. Tilt your hair to one side and gently work cleansing conditioner into your scalp taking care to not mess up your part.

My favorite cleansing conditioner is Pantene's Color Preserve Cleansing Conditioner. Even though the name sounds like it'd be for color treated hair only, it's also for coarse curly hair because it's so gentle. I also really like Head and Shoulder's Coconut Co-wash for when I need dandruff control. It's not tingly like Pantene's, but it smells wonderful! Really, any cleansing conditioner should do. If you have curly hair and haven't tried cleansing conditioner, you should! It'll clean your hair like shampoo but without stripping your hair and making it frizz. 

4. If you're short on time, simply work the cleansing conditioner down to the tips of your hair.

If you have a little more time, grab your favorite conditioner and work it to cover the rest of your hair. I like Pantene's Curly Hair Conditioner and Dove's Curly Hair Conditioner.

5. Make a bun and secure it with your clip. Now, go about your regular shower routine while you let the conditioner work.

6. Let your hair out of the clip and rinse out your hair without messing up your part.

7. Brush out your hair with either a wide tooth comb or your fingers. You can do this either with your head under the shower or out of the spray of the water. I can't really tell a difference in results.

 If you find that your hair is really tangled, then try brushing it out before you rinse out the conditioner. Now, you're ready for part 2.

Part 2: Out of the Shower

For this step you'll need a Turbie Twist or large t-shirt, a setting product, a curling spray, and a diffuser.

8. Once you're out of the shower, put your hair in a Turbie Twist or a large towel. If you have thick hair, you may need to put it in another towel to get more water out of it. So usually I put it in my Turbie Twist, then I get dressed.

9. Smooth in curl or hold cream.

I love Argan Magic's Curling Cream (which I can't find on Amazon). I get it at T.J. Maxx for about ten dollars. It does a good job of keeping my hair from frizzing without being crunchy. Dove's Curling Creme Serum looks like a similar product.

For more hold, I love Got 2B Kinkier Curling Mousse. This mousse should work on just about anyone's curly hair, and the price is great. It has hold without being greasy or too crunchy. Just don't use too much or it will get crunchy. Depending on your hair, you can either just smooth a pump or dollop of your product over and under each side of your hair or you can scrunch it in. Scrunching too much makes my hair too frizzy, so I try to avoid that.

10. Spritz in some moisturizing spray to help with frizz.

Organix's Weigthless Hydrating Oil Mist and Shea Moisture's Coconut Hibiscus Spray both smell amazing if you like tropical coconut scents! I also have used Herbal Essences Tousle Me Softly Spray and loved the scent and light hold. I've also tried Garnier Fructis' Curl Shaping Spray and Got 2B Kinkier Curling Spray. Both are great unscented, non-greasy options.

10. If you plan to use a blow dryer later, then be sure to spritz in some heat protectant spray too like Silk Element's Heat Protectant Spray. At first, it feels like it's going to be oily, but once you use heat it ends up not feeling oily anymore. It makes my hair feel super soft. 

11. Once you have your product in, you can put your hair in another dry Turbie Twist or t-shirt to get even more water out of it. While you're waiting, fix your makeup or eat breakfast.

12. Then, you can either let your hair air dry, which I usually do, or you can help it along by blow drying it. For curly hair, you definitely want a diffuser to keep it from frizzing.

 According to all the curly hair websites, the Deva Diffuser is the "gold standard," but it's really expensive! So I use my trusty Relvon blowdryer with a diffuser attachment. Once your hair is semi-dry you may want to flip it over and shake it out, and then fix it however you like.

If you're new to wearing your hair curly or are just having trouble getting your curly hair under control, Curly Girl: The Handbook is a must. I used to straighten my hair all the time because I thought I had frizzy, poofy hair. After I read the book, I realized that I actually had really pretty, wavy-curly hair, it just needed a little nudging. If you know a middle-schooler with wild, curly, frizzy hair, make her life easier and buy her this book. She will love her curls! I wish someone had done this for me.

What are your favorite curly hair products and tips? I'd love to hear them! 

Monday, June 1, 2015

June Journal Prompts + Printable

Thanks to everyone who's been following along over the past month. With my return from France and adjustment to things at home again, it's been a busy, but enjoyable month for me.

Even though I haven't had as much time to post here as I would like, I am making it a priority to get these journal prompts to you for each month, and I plan to make a point of doing that through out the summer.

Here's June's journal prompts.

1. A step you have taken towards your goals
2. Something good from last week
3. A time when you were frightened
4. A really good idea
5. The books in your to-read list
6. Something to remember
7. The best thing about your day
8. Your best qualities
9. Your top priorities
10. A new thing to try
11. Where were you a year ago?
12. Where were you five years ago?
13. What is home?
14. Your dream job
15. Favorite things in your town
16. Reasons to feel happy
17. Words you need to share
18. Something to give up
19. An area to grow in
20. An exceptional skill you possess
21. What motivates you?
22. What do you need?
23. A way you relax
24. The personal you are currently grateful for
25. The song you know all the lyrics to
26. A movie you can quote by heart
27. What fills you?
28. Who is your role model?
29. Are you a role model to anyone else?
30. What makes you proud?

A printable version is available at the bottom of the post.

Download your printable PDF of the prompts here.

Make sure that you get next month's prompts by following along with Life of Lovely on bloglovin, pinterest, or twitter.

 We hope that your summer is off to a great start! Let us know how you're using these journal prompts in the comments.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Sensitive Skin Essentials for Clearer Skin

For a long time, I've been in a constant cycle of breaking out, then using something harsh to control the breakout, then it getting slightly better, then getting a rash or itchy, red skin, then giving up, and then starting all over again. After my last particularly bad cycle, I finally got fed up with being itchy! So I decided if I can't stop my skin from breaking out, then I'm at least going to do something about my constant skin irritation. I went to amazon and did some perusing and decided to find some products that are sensitive skin friendly and don't have any questionable chemicals to hopefully calm my skin. While the products I found aren't fun or flashy, they've done the job. My skin overall is a lot less red and itchy. I'm still breaking out some, but my skin looks a lot better which makes me wonder if a lot of my breakouts were coming my attempts to stop them. I thought I'd share with you what I've found so that hopefully if you're dealing with the same issues you can find something that works without having to read a ton of Amazon reviews!

1. Basis Sensitive Skin Bar
For a long time I've used Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. I really want to love it because it doesn't irritate my skin and I love Dove products. However, it doesn't do enough to soothe my skin, so I decided to give Basis a go.

I was pleasantly surprised by this bar soap. It's very gentle. I can use it on my face and body which is very convenient and economical. I also immediately started noticing that my skin wasn't red like it usually is after I wash it. It sounds silly, but my skin really does look calmer when I use this soap. While it does not have any added fragrance, it does have a light chamomile scent from the chamomile extract in the soap which I think is lovely. The light scent makes me feel a little better about not getting to use a fun, scented soap. This soap is a safe choice for people with sensitive skin. If you try it and find that it doesn't work for you, I'd try Dove's Beauty Bar for Sensitive Skin. Several people in the Amazon reviews said either one or the other worked for them.

2. A Konjac Sponge
The Basis Sensitive Skin Bar is working beautifully for my skin, but I need a little exfoliation on my face to keep my pores from clogging up. I decided to try a Konjac sponge because they're very in at the moment. I see why! When dry, it looks like a sponge and feels basically like sturdy styrofoam. Then, when you put water on it, the sponge gets bigger and softens. You can use it without soap, but I like to use it with the Basis Soap. I'm obsessed because the sponge is so soft and cloud-like. It gives me a little extra gentle exfoliation without irritating my skin. I'm liking Ecotools Konjac Sponge because it's perfect size for my face, it doesn't have anything extra like clay or charcoal added in, and it's affordable.

3. Neutrogena Clear Face Sunblock
Wearing sunscreen daily is so important for preventing skin cancer and aging, but it's so hard to find a good one that's not too sticky or pore-clogging. Neutrogena's Clear Face Sunblock is amazing! I bought it for the first time about four months ago, and I kicked myself for not trying it earlier. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be heavy and sticky. Now that I've tried it, I see that it's actually very light. Once it absorbs, my face feels lightly moisturized but more also matte. So if you're looking for moisturization, this lotion is not for you. It's perfect for my oily, sensitive skin though. If you're worried it won't be sensitive skin friendly enough, then try Elizabeth's favorite and go for Neutrogena's Sensitive Skin Sunblock.

4. Cetaphil Eczema Calming Body Moisturizer
I don't think I actually have eczema, but I figured if this lotion works for people with eczema, then it should definitely work for me. At the time, my skin was crazy itchy, and I was desperate. I saw the Good Housekeeping seal, so I knew it had to have promise. Since I've started using it, it has not let me down. It's unscented and free of irritants. The lotion is not anything fancy but, it keeps my skin moisturized, itch-free, and calm. It's a great everyday lotion for people with sensitive skin.

5. Dove Go-Sleeveless Anti-Perspirant Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile
The skin under my arms gets so irritated and itchy from shaving, which I just cannot deal with. I decided to try Dove's Go-Sleeveless Deodorant in Soothing Chamomile, and I'm really pleased. Now, after I shave, I put a little of the Cetaphil Moisturizer and then this deodorant on and my problems are solved. My underarms look a lot less distressed, and I'm not going crazy from being itchy. I really like the light chamomile scent. It's not especially sweet or fruity but more of a very mellow, natural scent. If you truly have sensitive skin though, then I would say skip the Dove Deodorant since it is scented and try Almay's Sensitive Anti-Perspirant Deodorant. My dad has super sensitive skin, and this is all he'll use. It's free of fragrance and definitely should not irritate your skin.

If you're like me and your skin is in constant turmoil, it may be because you're treating the symptoms but not the root of the problem. I think for me, I was using stuff that was too harsh for my skin trying to treat breakouts, and really the harsh products were making my skin a lot worse. So it's worth a try to walk away from the hardcore stuff for awhile and try using a base of simple products for sensitive skin and see what happens. Then, if you need to, maybe try using just one product a day for breakouts. I alternate using a benzyl peroxide lotion and a salicylic acid/retinol lotion at nighttime. It's just enough to keep my skin under control without it turning my face perpetually red. Hopefully, this is helpful! I'd love to hear your favorite sensitive skin products and tips!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

March Julep Box

I'm a little late on this review, but better late than never. For my March Julep box I decided it was time for a new look for Spring. So I ordered Julep's Soft Focus Finish polish in Ali, Plush Pout Lip Crayon in Aurora Pink, and Orbital Eye Shadow in Earthshine.

Julep Soft Focus Polish in Ali

 Ali is a super pretty semi-matte seafoamy mint polish. (I'm wearing a topcoat over Ali which sort of negates the matte finish.) Every time I wear this polish I get compliments! It's perfect for the spring and summer months. It is a bit trickier to apply than some of Julep's other polishes. It takes at least two coats to get an even color and takes a bit of patience. I'd say for the color it's well worth it though.

Julep Plush Pout in Aurora Pink
 Julep is spot on with the coverage and moisturization of their lip crayons. I love the formulation of their Plush Pout sticks. However, their shade depictions need a little work. From the website and name I was expecting a rosy pink color. I was really surprised to put it on and end up with a bright poppy coral color. The color is beautiful but just not what I was expecting! Luckily, Julep customers are very good about posting their reviews of products on the product pages. So next I'll be looking there before I buy another lip crayon.

Aurora Pink 
Unlike Aurora Pink, Julep's swatch for their Orbital Earthshine eye shadow is spot on. It's a highly pigmented deep, shimmery treebark brown shadow. It has a lot of staying power and is easy to apply. A little goes a long way! It's a very versatile every day shadow. I like to use it on it's own, as a compliment to lighter shadows, or as a powder eyeliner. 

Julep Orbital Earthshine Eye Shadow

I can't wait to try more of their Orbital Eye Shadows. I would love to have their Pan The Story Begins Orbital Eye Shadow Collection. It's a whimsical collection rich, shimmery hues like Supernova- a charcoal with electric orchid pearlescence and Moonbeam- a silver with lilac pearlescence.


Last but not least is the lovely bonus polish, Brandis, that Julep added to my box. (Always check your email ladies so you don't miss Julep's fun bonus offers!) Unfortunately, I don't have a swatch of this colorful turquoise creme polish because I sent it to camp with Elizabeth. Brandis went on super smoothly and was very rich. The formulation made it a breeze to apply. I was a little intimidated by the color at first because it's so bold, but it was a unique accent to my boring grey ensembles!

As always, if you think you want to try Julep, I'd love to refer you! Simply, click here to check out Julep's offer this month. It's free the first month, and if you don't like it then call Julep to opt-out.


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