March 2016 Favorites

Forgive me for being a week late – we are so close to our moving date and I’ve had a lot on my plate! March has been a fun month, and I can’t believe April is already upon us. I think every month that I blog about my favorites I write something to the effect of being surprised at the passage of time. But it really does shock me at how quickly it seems to pass! The past few weeks I have really been loving a light, fresh faced look, and my favorites for this month definitely reflect that!

Fizz & Bubble Large Bath Bombs // $6 // Ulta / A friend of mine gifted me a few of these. I love taking baths to de-stress, so this was a perfect gift! They smell fantastic and the fizz is fun. The Hawaiian Lei one did turn my bath water a little blue, but other than that I haven’t noticed that they have any special effects like LUSH bath bombs typically do. If that’s not important to you, definitely check these out! I actually dropped the Lavender Fields one in a bath right after I finished taking these photos and it left my skin feeling super soft!

Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Peony // $5 // Target / If you’re like me and love the peppermint tingle of Burt’s Bees lip balm but also like a little color on your lips, this is a great product. Peony is a shimmery soft rose pink shade. This is a perfect everyday product and I love that it’s just a tinted balm! I also have the shades Fig and Rhubarb.

Nyx Micro Brow Pencil in Taupe // $10 // Ulta / I’ve been on the hunt for a product similar to Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz (my fave brow tool!) because I go through it so quickly and it’s expensive. At half the price, this is an amazing product! Taupe isn’t the perfect shade for me, but my Target is always out of stock of most Nyx products, so I didn’t have a choice! They only had the shades Taupe and Espresso. I think that Ash Brown is probably the shade I need, so I’m going to try to find it on my next trip to Ulta, but for now the Taupe is actually working really well! I love that it’s a super skinny pencil, which allows you to make precise lines and draw in what looks like natural brow hairs. It is a little on the dry side, but I can look past that for the price! I will definitely be repurchasing this when the time comes.

Maybelline Dream Velvet Soft Matte Hydrating Foundation in Warm Ivory // $11 // Ulta / This foundation was recommended to me by Emaly over at The Traveler’s Wife, and although it’s definitely not one of my favorite foundations ever, I have been using it a lot! I typically reach for matte foundations that give me a flat look and keep me from getting oily. With the summer months ahead, I’ve been going for a more laid-back and natural look. This foundation has a satin finish that gets a little dewy on me throughout the day. It’s medium coverage and does actually feel a little hydrating, which surprised me! For a drugstore foundation, I think it’s pretty good. My only complaint is that it builds up a lot of gunk in my brushes.

Benefit They’re Real Tinted Primer // $24 // Ulta / This is a deluxe sample, but I am seriously considering buying the full size! This is not your average mascara, and unlike the regular formula of They’re Real, it’s much softer on your lashes. The original They’re Real formula seems to dry to a really hard, crusty finish, and is nearly impossible to wash off. This formula is in a deep brown shade, and can be worn in place of mascara, or underneath. It gives a really pretty false-lash effect that basically makes your natural lashes look super long. If you have blonde hair, I think this is an amazing product! My eyelashes are nearly see-through without mascara, so this is perfect for the laid-back look I’ve been going for.

Benefit Total Moisture Facial Cream // $42 // Sephora / I honestly have no idea where I got this from! It must have come in a kit or as a deluxe sample, because I don’t believe that you can buy this small size on its own. I randomly found this in one of my beauty bags and have been using it in favor of my beloved Clinique Dramatically Different moisturizing gel, which I ran out of. This is more of a day cream, so it’s pretty thick, but it doesn’t make me oily or greasy at all! It also smells fabulous.

Chapstick Total Hydration in Soothing Vanilla // $3 // Walmart / I’ve mentioned my anxious habit of picking the skin on my lips several times before, and I’m always trying out new lip products to help heal them. My usual go-tos, Vaseline Lip Therapy and Bag Balm, are not very portable. I love that this comes in a twist-up tube, and also that it feels super lightweight on the lips. The smell isn’t very noticeable, but I don’t mind. I also have the coconut flavor, but I feel like the formula is different in that one so I’m sticking with the Soothing Vanilla!

Aveda Smoothing Body Polish // discontinued? // Aveda / I searched everywhere on the internet for this and was only able to locate it on eBay and Amazon from unauthorized sellers. I am assuming that this product has been discontinued, which is a huge bummer! I love using this body scub before fake tanning. It has a soothing scent and leaves my skin soft and prepped for a tan.

doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil // $28 for 15 ml // doTERRA / Coping with anxiety can be complicated and difficult. This move has really heightened my anxiety, so I’ve found myself using this essential oil regularly. One of my favorite products is Aveda’s Stress Fix oil, which is a blend that includes lavender and clary sage. For a stronger aroma, I like to dab this oil on my wrists, behind my ears, and dabbed on my neck and chest. I find that turning the lights out and simply taking deep breaths and smelling the aroma are very calming. This was a gift from my sweet Aunt-in-Law and I am so grateful to her for sharing this with me because it’s been really helpful and healing for me!

That is all for March! If you have any product recommendations please leave them in the comments below so I have time to pick them up before we leave for Japan!

xoxo Shelbie


Lamora Beauty Brush Haul! 

 Happy almost Friday! (Fri-yay, am I right?) This will be quick – just wanted to share these pretty new brush babies with you all! I have blogged about my beloved Lamora flat top kabuki brush before, and as a recap I actually prefer it to my Sigma F80. It’s super soft and blends liquid and powder foundations like a dream. I got an email from Lamora Beauty with a coupon code to get this 6-piece set for $5 on Amazon, so naturally I jumped at that opportunity. 6 brushes for $5?! Crazy steal.

The set comes with a flat top kabuki, an angled kabuki, domed kabuki, shader brush, blending brush, and angled eye brush. I’ve used all of them except for the angled eye brush so far and I’m in love. They are SO soft. One thing I did notice was that Lamora must have made some changes to their brushes since I got my first one – my original brush has a matte black plastic handle and is super lightweight. It definitely feels cheap. The new ones that I got in this set have heavier, high gloss (and slightly sparkly!) tapered handles and the bristles are just a teensy bit longer. They are beautiful! The set is $20 right now on Amazon, which is still a great price. They look, feel, and perform like professional brushes, and they are also cruelty free & vegan friendly. I highly recommend you check them out!

New brush on top, old brush on bottom

What are your favorite inexpensive brushes? Let me know in the comments!



How I Redid My Bedroom On A Budget

This post has been sitting in my drafts for months now, and I am finally coming around to finishing it as we prepare to pack these things up to go in storage for a few years. Of course!      The bow frame is actually a Christmas frame from Kohl’s; I flipped the matting around so that I can use it year round. The wooden map was a wedding gift from our Zola registry, the two bronze things (I honestly have no idea what to call them!) are from the Target Dollar Spot, the candle is from Bath & Body Works, the cute candle stand is from Pier 1, and the wreath is from Hobby Lobby. 

The two adorable wooden signs were purchased during the 50% off sale at Hobby Lobby, the lamp was a Target clearance find, and the wax warmer is from Kohl’s.

The bedroom furniture that we brought in tow with us to North Carolina were either hand-me-downs from when my parents were first married, or furniture that I grew up with as a child. As a result, they were mismatched; the nightstand was oak, the dresser was whitewashed pine, and the armoire was pine stained in a shade I like to call, “only-God-knows-what.” Our mattress also sat lonely on the floor. Honestly, I had more matching furniture in college. We haven’t had a bunch of extra money to spend on interior decorating, and the thought of buying a new bedroom set for a couple thousand dollars gives me anxiety. Especially considering the fact that hubs and I are both two capable, crafty people. So, we set out to make our teeny, temporary apartment feel a little more like a home and we’re pretty proud of the results. (And can’t wait to put all our hard work on display in storage for three years!!!…😉)

This nightstand entered my life somewhere in elementary school. It’s been well-loved, but it’s solid oak and has stood the test of time thus far. When we started the creative process of how we wanted to redo our furniture, I couldn’t decide what type of paint I wanted to use. I knew I didn’t want to sand and restain – especially since we were a thousand miles away from my dad’s arsenal of tools (let’s be real, mostly the power sander). Chalk paint is super popular these days, and as much as I love a matte finish on furniture, I chose to go with something else. I used Valspar Furniture Paint in the shade CI198 String of Pearls, a warm off-white. I wanted to brighten up the room and choose a color that gave me the freedom to incorporate personality into the space through other types of decor. String of Pearls was perfect! The Valspar paint was around $24 after military discount from Lowe’s, and was super easy to work with. The nightstand required 2 coats of paint and no prep work!!! I didn’t sand or prime, and the end result was beautiful. Opaque coverage and no brush strokes! I used some antiqued bronze hardware to update the nightstand and give it a fresh look.


The armoire was a little trickier – it had a high gloss finish on it to start with, so I did lightly sand the doors and body. It took three coats for even coverage, and I used bronze hardware again to update the pulls and knobs! I wish I would have used a foam roller on this piece, because I think I would have been able to finish it in two coats. I also rehung one of the doors on crooked, so ignore that minor detail for now 😉

I didn’t seal either of these pieces (I strongly recommend that you do!), but I will seal them with polycrylic before we put them in storage. The dresser is still a work in progress, but I think I’m going to paint the body and stain the drawers for a fun two-tone look!

My husband also built a platform bed using plans from Shanty-2-Chic. (I tucked our bedding in so that you could see the frame) It was a super simple plan, and we stained it using Minwax Dark Walnut sealed with polyurethane. When we return stateside we plan to build another bed, but the platform bed has been wonderful for now ☺️ Here is the link to the plans – however, be aware that you will need to adjust the dimensions for a queen or king sized bed!   

In all, it cost us around $120 in materials, hardware, and other supplies to craft a bed and redo some furniture. We got to personalize some sentimental pieces of furniture and saved a lot of money on buying new pieces. I now view our bedroom as a sanctuary, rather than a mismatched place to sleep. It’s cozy and cute and perfect for us! I have some more pieces of furniture that I want to refurbish as statement pieces, so feel free to share any inspo or suggestions you have in the comments ☺️

• Shelbie Layne