❄️Baby, It’s Cold Outside!❄️

Happy New Year everyone!! I finished 2013 as a bad blogger! I’m sure past brides can understand, once it gets down to crunch time (as in 2 months until your wedding!) it’s hard to think about anything else.

It’s officially 23 days away from my wedding. I can’t believe it! When they tell you it goes by so quickly, they ain’t lying (I’m southern y’all!)! My amazing bridesmaids keep asking if they can help me do anything but honestly, there isn’t much else to do but walk down the aisle. But yet I have that mind frame that I have so much to do which causes me to have anxiety attacks. Literally!

The past few months I’ve been trying other makeup lines to see if I can add more to my work kit. My goodness has it been fun!! I have a LONG list in ‘Notes’ on my phone of goodies I want to get. While playing with new makeup over the winter months, my skin got ridiculously dry! I never thought that it could happen because I’ve been battling adult  acne for a couple of years now. I was prescribed Epiduo from my dermatologist so it has helped keep the oil and blemishes at bay. But this year, my skin has been FLAKING! Since my wedding is so soon, I had to find something to smooth my skin back out without breaking me out. But of course, like switching to any new product, your skin has to get used to it and 9 times out of 10 you’ll break out a bit. But give it time! And that’s something I’ve done.

Im listing some of my new favorite makeup and skincare products below. And did I mention they’re ALL reasonably priced?!

IMG_3892

1. Oxygen Botanicals Hydrating Eye Cream – this stuff is like a miracle in a bottle! When having extremely dry skin it tends to get very sensitive. Especially around the eyes. This cream not only takes away the sensitivity but it doesn’t sting once applied like a lot of other products do. It has green tea, sweet almond oil, aloe, and vitamin A which helps with fine lines. And that it does!

2. Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask – you should ALWAYS use a heavier moisturizer at night due to friction and to hold that moisture into the skin. this mask is meant to be used overnight. I wake up and my skin is the smoothest it’s ever been!

3. Oxygen Botanicals Super Hydrating Cream – Most people could use this as a night cream but my parched skin needs it for the day time! It is filled with Hyaluronic Acid, which is the most moisturizing ingredient for the skin. it makes my skin stay moisturized ALL day without getting that tight feeling. It also goes great under my primer and foundation.

IMG_3859

1. Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray – I was very hesitant about this product since I already had MAC’s Fix + Spray. But in my opinion, this is WAY better! And it’s oil and paraben free! I don’t have to re-powder at all during the day!

2. Sigma Beauty Brushes – I will always say that MAC makes the best brushes. However, I’ve been watching many YouTube videos and artists on Instagram using these more and more. They are definitely more affordable than MAC and actually have a much bigger selection. I haven’t tried them yet but I just sent in to get my discount and once I start using them, I’ll let you know if they’re yay or nay! But I have high hopes. 😉

3. Morphe Brushes – I know the picture is of a palette but their main sellers seem to be brushes (hence the name!). Once again, these have also received great reviews and they’re even CHEAPER than Sigma! I will be trying them because the prices seem too good to be true. But I’ve researched everywhere and haven’t found one bad review! They’re palettes look beautiful as well so I can’t wait to try those in the next couple of weeks.

4. Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Waterproof Concealer – I tried this on whim thinking that I needed a good concealer that will stay put if (who are we kidding?! WHEN) I cry at our ceremony in 25 days. it says what it does… It stays put ALL day. Even through a few tears and contact issues! A must for all brides!

5. Tarte Braziliance Skin Rejuvinating Maracuja Face & Body Self Tanner – Goodness, that’s a mouthful! It’s so hard to find a good self tanner. I’ve tried so many over the years and I think I’ve found one I love. It comes with a mitt so your palms don’t get that dirty look even AFTER washing your hands. it’s also moisturizing since you can’t put on a body lotion beforehand. the formula is dark when applying so you can see if you have streaks anywhere. It’s great for these winter months when we tend to be pale!

IMG_3891

 

1. Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette – Do you know that I waited in line at Sephora the night this was launched?!  It is probably my favorite Naked palette thus far. Why? Well, it’s very different than the first two as far as colors and you can’t go wrong with pinks and browns! They look great on everyone. I love the versatility that it offers. You can wear a light pink during the day and go glam with a black sparkle smokey eye at night!

2. Anastasia Dip Brown Pomade – After watching one of my favorite makeup artists on YouTube review this product, I had to have it! Talk about a brow “gel” that will last FOREVER! I use MAC’s 266 angled brush to apply this and you use very little product. Make sure to apply with light strokes. A little goes a long way! I still use a clear gel to keep my brows in place but honestly, you really don’t need to because it holds them in place on it’s own. I highly, highly recommend this product!!

3. Tarte Maracuja Creasless Concealer – I know this is the second concealer I’ve written about but this is a great one as well. A little goes a very long way with this one. my other favorite thing about this concealer is that it’s great for dark circles because it brightens the area if you set it with a translucent powder by patting the powder on with either a stippling brush or beauty sponge (that way it won’t move the concealer out. It will hold it under your eyes!).

4. Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation – I decided to try this when I felt like my MAC Pro-Longwear foundation was making my skin have that tight, dry feeling. This is like a tinted moisturizer but with more coverage. I love that you don’t have to use a lot to cover your entire face. And the coverage is an A+. It’s kept my skin feeling moisturized throughout the day but not make me oily at all!!

 

I hope you’ve learned a few fun things. I’m a product junky and love reading reviews and peoples thoughts on them. Hopefully I’ll get one more post in before my big day…. 😉

 

Xoxo,

Signature_1

There’s A Baby In The Dollhouse!!!!

I’m sure  most of you know what we’ve been up to lately. It’s blanetly obvious if you visit mine and Lauren’s Facebook pages. But if you DON’T know……. Little baby Chloe Elizabeth was born on September 30th at 2:36am to my best friends Lauren and Tim Nichols! Man, was it a long night! I thought for sure Chloe would enter the world the night of the 29th but she had to be like her mommy and be fashionably late so as to make an entrance!

Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed in the room during labor (ARGH!), but when I walked in to meet my brand new goddaughter around 6:30am, I let everyone coddle over baby Chloe for a minute to sit on the bed with my friend/sister to make sure she was okay (Lauren had to get a Cesarean Section due to the little one not wanting to come out!). We hugged and cried because she was now a mommy! I look at Tim like a brother and we joke that it’s awkward if we hug or do a kiss on the cheek. But that ALL went out the window that early morning. I even told Lauren just the other day that seeing him as a new daddy makes him even more attractive than he already is. That was so weird to say out loud!!

Chloe is a little over 3 weeks old today and I can’t tell you how loved and spoiled this baby is! As a Godmother, I can’t express the love I have for this new beautiful life that I get to be a part of. I can only imagine the feeling when we have our own children. I didn’t want to write much because for one, everyone always wants to see pictures and two, I’ve been CRAZY busy taking care of Lauren’s wonderful clientele until she gets back. So here you go Dollface Readers…. Here’s the stunning baby Chloe Elizabeth Nichols!!

884897_580087982049539_1701943671_o

53712_580072832051054_1158179783_o

 

**Above Photo’s Curtesy of Heather Marie Photography**

 

 

IMG_0201

 

2013-10-24 12.45.20

 

Top 10 Must-Have’s For Wedding Planning!

Hi Dolls! I’m excited for this post because it involves being a “guest blogger” for one of my old friends from WAY back in high school! Her name is Emily Ryan and has the SUPER fun blog called Manhattan Emily! Lot’s of Top Ten lists about the most random and interesting things. Such as Top 10 reasons why she loves the Kardashians, top 10 reasons why Twitter is her favorite form of social media, and much, much more!! Emily and I went to the “Fame” school here in Charlotte… Northwest School of the Arts! And what Emily never knew was that I looked up to her so much! She is one of the nicest, most fun, and most TALENTED people I’ve ever known! To me, she was the friendly, humble version of Rachel Berry (Lea Michelle’s character on ‘Glee’). When American Idol first started I remember thinking that she would be perfect for it! But anyhoo (Yes, that’s meant to be spelled HOO), I’m excited to be guest blogging for her and letting everyone in on MY opinion of the Top 10 must-haves for planning a wedding!

1. A VERY patient, forgiving, and laid-back Fiancé!! – Now, this could just be in my case. Why? Because I’m pretty much psycho! Yes, I admit that! My number one excuse for my dramatic and emotional behavior is the fact that I’m a Virgo. I’m a worrier. Not all brides are, but I am. My poor, poor fiancé has put up with many break downs, arguments, and hearing a lot of “I don’t want to go into a marriage like this!”. Again, this is me being dramatic. My advice to newly engaged couples (especially if you’re like me!), have a conversation up front with your significant other that the next few months are not going to be easy! Let them know that you need their support and compassion. Because, my God, you’ll need it! Let them know that you will be stressed dealing with all of the little details so you might be a little “testy”.

DSC_9661

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. A good wedding planner to, at the very least, guide you through the process – This was a hard one for me because I know how I want my wedding to be. And I want to be in control of EVERYTHING! But since we’ve hired the amazing Nancy Usuff with I Do Wedding Consulting, I’ve received a lot of good advice and planning tips up until the last 2 months and she will take care of everything! She’s helped me find a vendor for all of our wall draping and given us great ideas for a rehearsal dinner. I don’t recommend a day-of coordinator because they don’t really know the logistics like a “mending the end” type of package like we have. I do have to say that I have a bit of an advantage than most brides because I’m in the wedding industry and have met so many amazing vendors so I knew exactly who I wanted to use for everything! But since couples will start the wedding planning process cold turkey, then I would have to say get a planner! They know the best of the best and can work with any budget! Do it! You won’t regret it!

3. IBUPROFEN – Do I really have to explain this one?!

4. A knowledgable esthetician – I’m really not trying to self-promote! I’m being serious! Stress will make your skin do CRAZY things! And do you really want huge zits all over your face the day of your wedding? I would recommend looking into estheticians that own their own business because 9 times out of 10, they’re very experienced and well-rounded. If you go to a spa (especially a “chain” spa) you’ll take the risk of getting a facial, chemical peel, or a brow wax from someone straight out of school. The only good things about these chain spas is they have great education so the esthetician grows. Trust me, you don’t want to get the skin around your brows ripped off because the wax was too hot or your bikini line all bruised up a few days before your wedding! If you’re wanting to start hair removal for your wedding night and honeymoon, start at the very least a couple of months before the big day. If you’re on a budget and look at facials as a luxury instead of a necessity, then save up until 2-3 months before your wedding so you can get one facial for a good deep cleaning and the esthetician can recommend the best skincare routine for you to keep away any blemishes.

5. Your girlfriends AND your mama! – My mom has been my ROCK! She has kept everything organized for me so I can remember all the details from the vendor contracts. She’s gone with me to all of the first meetings because Matt couldn’t care less about decor and flowers! Which makes me happy!! I get my dream wedding because he doesn’t have an opinion! Woot Woot!! My bridesmaids have been awesome! 4 of them (you should know who you are!) are so calm and are good with calming me down with just a few sentences in an email since all of them don’t live in Charlotte. The other friend is exactly like me! She gets things done QUICK! I have a good balance. This is how neurotic I am… My friend, and brother’s significant other, wrote an email from all the way over in LA letting me know that she had been looking for dresses and asking if it was okay if she cut bangs. As I was reading the email, I CRIED!!! Why?! Because I was so stressed and just the thought of her letting me know what she’d been up to and asking about her bangs (which I told her to go for it!), made me feel special at that moment. I don’t suggest becoming a Bridezilla and asking everyone to do everything for you, but if you need help or having a stressful day, if they’re a true friend, they’ll help you in a second!

240141_10151211423006142_744350726_o

 

 

 

 

 

6. $ Money $ – Sad, but true. Especially with websites nowadays like Pinterest and Etsy. Most of the wedding inspiration photos on Pinterest are simply that. INSPIRATION. I quickly found this out once we started getting quotes from different vendors. Weddings are EXPENSIVE!! The average wedding cost in the USA today is around $27,000. I thank The Lord every day for my mom and dad for hosting our wedding and allowing me to have my dream wedding! Luckily there are ways that you can cut costs down on your wedding. Have your wedding on the “off season”. These months are pretty much the winter months. December through February. Matt and I are doing this by getting married on February 1st. Vendors aren’t too busy so they’re more than likely going to give you a discount on services. If you want the traditional spring wedding, have it on a Friday or Sunday. But DON’T, and I repeat, don’t ask if a vendor can lower their pricing packages unless they bring up the subject first! I find it very rude, honestly! The vendors have their prices for a reason. And that reason is that they are worth it! We base our pricing on time, travel, talent, product usage and replenishment, etc. To sum this up…. Weddings are expensive!!

7. Sleep – I’m sure you’ll have lots of sleepless nights worrying about if your dress will get here on time, where you’ll get the balance money for the caterer, what songs you want to have played, and the list goes on! If you’re like me and have bouts of insomnia then try an all natural sleep aid. If that doesn’t work, try Tylenol PM. And if THAT doesn’t work, go see your doctor and they can prescribe you a stronger sleep aid such as Ambien, Xanax, or Klonopin until your wedding is over! I don’t condone drug use AT ALL and some of these prescriptions can be highly addictive so make sure your doctor keeps a close eye on how many you’re taking by only prescribing 3 refills at a time and then paying them a visit to see how you’re doing. 🙂

8. Forms for the Budget, Guest List, and Wedding Timeline – Your wedding planner can give you all of these! Or if you’re a self-planner then you can find most of these documents online. Another great source is Martha Stewart’s Wedding Planning book. It has all of the documents you need along with other fun things such as folders to keep contracts in, bags to keep business cards in, and photos of different flowers!

9. A gym, workout routine, and a good diet – Once I got engaged, I jumped on the bandwagon and started Crossfit! After the first workout, I was questioning my sanity. But I kept up with it for the first month and fell in love! Well, a love-hate relationship! I hate every single second of the workout of the day but I’m seeing the difference in my body and how I feel about myself and I love it! The hardest thing for me is diet. I have the worst sweet tooth and can’t turn down candy or a cupcake if its offered! So I have my underarm jiggle and lower belly to still work on. It’s just hard to say no! You’ll find yourself working off stress at a gym or a spin class or just going for a simple run at least 3 times a week if you’re not into torturing yourself at a Crossfit gym. And you’ll feel so hot for your wedding!! Also, make sure you stick to a good diet. Maybe cheat one meal a week so you’re not depriving yourself and hating your life! If you’re like me and not a cook, look into healthy food delivery services that deliver your weekly meals to your door every week! I’ve started with Racing Edge Fit Nutrition. The meals aren’t frozen, they’re made fresh and all you have to do is stick them in the fridge and warm them up when you’re ready to eat! It’s the best thing EVER and not expensive!!

10. A photographer that SEE’s your vision and can add to it – I know, I know, I talk about my photographer ALL the time! But when I tell you that photography is the ONE thing you want to spend your money on, I mean it!! You’re going to have these photo’s for the rest of your life! Or at least until your second or third marriage. I chose Richard Israel because, to me, he’s the BEST! He’s so knowledgable and worldly. If you haven’t read any of my other posts, our wedding is going to have an Old Hollywood theme. Richard shoots a lot with film. It fits perfectly with our wedding because our photos will look aged with the texture and color of the prints. Choose a photographer will allow you to let them know what you want and they can add to that vision! Don’t let the photographer talk you into doing something you aren’t comfortable with such as doing the “first look”! I can’t stress enough, this is YOUR day! Stand your ground if you want to see each other for the first time walking down the aisle. So many photographers want to do the first look because it’s easier for them. I could be completely wrong and a photographer is reading this and hates my guts now! But in my opinion, the photographer can easily get all of the family and bridal party shots done between the ceremony and reception. This is where the planner comes in! They keep everyone on track! My advice, meet with different photographers, ask them a ton of questions, and see if all three of you understand each other!

DSC_9532

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you Emily for allowing me to write a Top Ten list for you!! This has been so much FUN!!

1080370_10151820006717034_55698863_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Xoxo,

Signature