9.21.2015 – Travel Musts

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I love a good travel sized product just as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s just not logical for the situation or the product itself. So, here are some tips that might save you both money and frustration while traveling…  Also, here are a few things I packed…

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  • Lotion, Think about the trip itself. For me… I know that for the first trip – I will be wearing a couple of dresses. and for the second trip I will be at the beach or at the pool most of the time. So, I opted for a full sized.
  • Perfume, Because I have both the large and the small option I went with the smaller one. In this case for me it would not be worth going to purchase an additional bottle.
  • Body Wash, This product can be HEAVY! If you’re flying I recommend the travel size. I went for the larger travel size option.
  • Deodorant, again – because I already had the travel size I decided to take it and use it up. But, I wouldn’t go out and purchase it again. Just take whatever you already have. I actually prefer men’s (non-manly scented) deodorant better than this one.
  • Razor,  I had this one and it vanished! I love this travel one because it had a case so it doesn’t get messed up and the razor blade isn’t just out in the open. Plus, it uses the same razor blades as my current razor. This is just my preference.

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  • Contact Solution & Case, Because I wear contacts I always have to bring this with me. But I do go with the smaller size because the full size just takes up too much room!
  • Cotton Rounds, This is a package that I  just refill but you could totally just use a ziplock! I got in the trap of the travel size a few years ago and now I just refill each time.
  • Q-Tips, I love these cases for holding q-tips. But, they are so easy to refill. I have had to purchase new ones when I’ve broke the snap but there is no need to purchase them each time you travel! Plus, this is a compact way to keep them!

These are my tips, I hope they help some of you! What are your tricks? Until Next time!

xoxo H

9.18.2015 – Travel Hair Care

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As you all know… I HATE fixing my hair, I do it as to not frighten the people around me. But, it is not something I enjoy. Today, I’m going to tell you the things that I packed for hair care… and to continue not to frighten the general public… or at least try…

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I am all for travel size in a lot of things, but with travel size shampoo and conditioner… that’s basically one time use for me so I opted for the full size. I’m currently using the OGX Coconut Milk which smells amazing. Also, because they don’t have a travel size (or I couldn’t find it) in my favorite dry shampoo, I also went for the full size for the Pantene Pro-V Blow Out Extend Dry Shampoo. It really is amazing, and for brunettes it’s great because it does not leave the white cast.

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For the rest of my hair care I have…

  • got2b Guardian Angel heat protector
  • Bed Head Hair Spray
  • Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Sea Salt Spray (For the California Trip)

For Styling Tools…

  • Hair Dryer (Bed Head)
  • Straightener (Remington)
  • Instyler (Original)

And that’s it! For the last 3 products I mentioned these are all in the travel size. What are some of your favorite products to take when traveling? Until Next Time…

xoxo H

9.16.2015 – Travel Makeup Brushes

travelWhen I’m home and getting ready for the day, I have several make up brushes to pick from. When I’m traveling… I keep to the minimum! Here is what I’ve packed for my trips…

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  1. Real Techniques Blending Brush
  2. Sigma Tapered Blending Brush E40, this is my everyday eye shadow brush.
  3. Angled Blush Brush
  4. Real Techniques Foundation Brush
  5. Real Techniques Powder Brush
  6. No Name Highlight Brush
  7. Under Eye Finishing Powder.

Number 6 & 7 were in packages that I received as gifts and so I’m not sure what brand or even what #7 was original made for. I use it to apply the NYX HD Banana powder under my eyes.

I find that in the past it was easy to pack several eye shadow brushes but now I just pack 2 different sizes and clean them on a makeup wipe after I use them with a dark shade. When I get back from my trip I will clean them all.

How do you keep from over packing? Until next time…

xoxo H

9.14.2015 – Travel Skincare

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Keeping on the traveling theme, let’s talk travel skincare. For me, the key is simplicity. Don’t over complicate things… But know your skin and stay consistent. Don’t ruin your trip by feeling less confidant because your skin is acting up. Here are the things I packed for my trip…

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I’ll start with the order that I use things, and why it was important to me that I have them with me even when I’m away from home.

  • Sephora Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover, this seems self explanatory but… I wear waterproof mascara all the time and I still want to get all my makeup off everyday.
  • Yes to … these are the cucumber version, but any makeup wipes will do. I’ve mentioned before that most face washes will NOT remove your makeup. By not removing your make up before you wash your face your not giving it a chance to really work. By removing all of your make up before your wash your face, your allowing your scrub or face wash to really get down to remove whats in your pours and not just whats on the surface.
  • Aveeno Clear Complexion Foaming Cleanser. This is what I’ve been using everyday to wash my face once I’ve removed my make up. Because I don’t currently have much in the way of problem areas, this has been just what I’ve needed to really get that clean feel but nothing too harsh.
  • Zapzyt Ok, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about this. This is a spot treatment for blemishes. I’ve tried several different types of spot treatments over the years but nothing has worked as good as this product. It is so under appreciated. It is very inexpensive. Even when I don’t have active breakouts I always bring this with me when I travel; just a change in routine, foods, or even climate can change reactions in your skins so I like to be prepared. Most of the time if I feel like a blemish is coming (it doesn’t even have to be showing yet, but when you get that slight bump feeling) I can apply this after I’ve washed my face, but before my moisturizer and then go to bed… and the blemish will never surface! SO good!
  • Garnier Moisturizing Gel, This is what I’ve been using for moisturizer. It’s really light weight and does the job.

Like I said, I like to keep it very simple and stick to the products that I know. But, stick to my routine. What are some of your travel skin care tips?

Until Next time…

xoxo H

9.10.2015 – Travel Makeup Bag

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For the next couple of weeks I’m going to taking a couple of trips. One with family, and one to go visit friends. I thought I would share with you a couple of posts related to packing. Now, in the past I have been the queen of over packing… especially makeup. So, this time I’ve make an extra point to NOT do that! First, I’m headed to Nashville with family for a little family vacation. Then, when only two days home I’ll be headed to Southern California to see some of my best friends. Because of the short turn around, it’s even more crucial not to over complicate anything; chances are I wont be fully unpacking portions of it.

Let’s jump into it…

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When I travel, I go when things I know I love! So, of course I grabbed a new bottle of my It Cosmetics CC+, for concealer both are from Maybelline 1. Age Rewind for dark circles, and True Match… mine is in the lightest shade and I use this for highlighting.

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Next, Powders… I have the NYX  HD Finishing Powder in Banana, Rimmel Stay Matte, Becca highlight in Champagne Pope, and Milani baked blush in Luminoso.

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Because with both trips I will be outside a lot in the heat and humidity, I packed my Urban Decay All Nighter Makeup Setting Spray. As well as my everyday UD Eye Shadow Primer Potion.

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For eyes I decided to keep it really simple and only packed one small palette. This is the Lorac Skinny Black palette. I did a full review on this if you’re interested. This is a great pallet because it’s very thin, and transitions from day to night perfectly. I also stayed with the trend of keeping products I know work for me, and I love. This keeps you from over packing for those “just in case” moments. I packed my IT Cosmetics Brow Power Pencil, my Milani Brow Gel, and my current favorite mascara; the Maybelline Lash Sensational.

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Las but not least, LIPS! I’ve talked about this lip pairing before but it’s just so good I couldn’t NOT pack it! It’s just fool proof! Maybelline Sin-A-Mon lip stick, NYX lip pencil in Nude, and NYX lip gloss in Tea Rose. Perfect Nudey Pink!

Well friends, that’s all I have for my travel makeup bag! I will have a couple more travel post coming in the next few days… so stay tuned. Until next time…

xoxo H

9.4.2015 – Reflective…

Hillary

Today, is a reflective day for me. Two years ago, my entire life changed… Let’s start from the beginning.

Just before my 21st birthday I noticed several irregularities in my period. I wouldn’t have a cycle for a couple of months, then I would have one that lasted weeks. After this happened a few times I called my family doctor who referred me to a gynecologist who specialized in “special” cases, he said. »Little did I know the bond that I would have with this doctor, he is now someone I consider a dear friend and I wouldn’t have my sanity with out him.« My first appointment was set in February, I waited what felt like years in the room before the doctor came in; he asked me if I had been feeling any pain; I hadn’t given much thought to the pain because I had always experienced terrible cramping. But, once I started explaining everything to him, he explained that this was not normal. He reviewed my tests, and performed an exam then explained that I had PCOS; Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and Aggressive Endometriosis… 2 levels of confusion, all clustered together that would alter my world, entirely.

Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition in which a woman has an imbalance of female sex hormones. This may lead to changes in the menstrual cycle, cysts in the ovaries, trouble getting pregnant, and other health problems.

Endometriosis is a problem affecting a woman’s uterus. This is when the kind of tissue that normally lines the uterus grows somewhere else. It can grow on the ovaries, behind the uterus or on the bowels or bladder. This can be very painful.

The next 6 years were a roller coaster of emotions. Medications, tests, doctors appointments, surgeries, and every time when I thought things were under control I would get a rude wake up call. Sometimes I would try to ignore it and think that it would just go away, that it was normal… but that didn’t last long.

As I mention, my doctor and I became great friends. When you spend as much time in his office as I did, it was bound to happen. He was one of my biggest advocates and tried so hard to do what was best for me in the short and long term. These failed attempts at a long term pay off were wearing on me; my family, friends, and my doctor could see it. It is so emotionally draining to be overjoyed that you’ve overcome something, only to be let down when you realize that isn’t the case.

February 14, 2013 my roommate and I had made plans to have a girls night. About midway through the day I started feeling some pain in my side but it didn’t feel like the pain I “normally” felt when I would get a cyst, so it didn’t even cross my mind. I went on with my day, ran some errands, visited my grandparents, then went home and waited for my roommate to get home and start our plans… but the pain wasn’t letting up. We were half way through a pedicure when I knew I was going to be sick. I asked the manicurist if he could stop and the night went downhill from there. Later that night I called my mom and told her I thought it was a kidney stone and that I really thought I needed to go to the ER. By this point I could barely stand up straight and I was fighting back tears. This still didn’t feel like a cyst. After about an hour of the typical blood work and questions from nurses and doctors they came in to do an ultrasound of my kidneys…

Ultrasound Tech: Well dear, you don’t have any kidney stones…
Me:  What?? Are you sure?
Ultrasound Tech: Oh I’m sure, but you have a 6 cm cyst on your left ovary.
Me: *Tears*

This hit me so hard, it had been over a year since my last cyst and it had been the longest I had gone without one. I thought it was OVER. My mom’s head sunk. I’m sure the Ultrasound tech had no idea what to do or say, so she just stepped out…The next week I was able to get in to see my beloved doctor who just came in and hugged me… In that one week the cyst had grown 2cm and it needed to be removed.

As in all surgeries, they send whatever is removed to pathology. I’ve had several exploratory surgeries to remove cysts and unwanted endometriosis at this point that I hadn’t ever really given much thought to that part of it; until I woke up from this surgery and my doctor told me that he wasn’t able to remove the entire cyst and he was going to have to wait until he received the pathology report back. Now, I wasn’t just sad or frustrated… I was scared. A few days later the report came back that the sample was benign but that it was a Teratoma. By definition this is also called a dermoid cyst of the ovary, this is a bizarre tumor, usually benign, in the ovary that typically contains a diversity of tissues including hair, teeth, bone, thyroid, etc. All I knew… was that I wanted it out of me!

In May of 2013 after a 30 day round of progesterone treatment to try to prevent any new cyst growth, I had my left ovary removed. Some would think that this was a hard decision to make but honestly, at this point… I just needed the polycystic part of life to be over. It was on that very day before my surgery that I told my doctor… if I had another cyst I wanted a hysterectomy. I was going to give it a solid effort, but that I needed to close that chapter of my life. He reluctantly agreed.

I was optimistically cautious after the single oophorectomy was a success, but I never got my hopes up that this was the end of my journey. So when I started feeling slight recognizable discomfort, I gave it time. But when it just got increasingly worse, and worse I went to see Dr. Reliable… who walked into the room, hung his head and said “This is it, isn’t it?” September 4, 2013 at 26 years old, I had a full hysterectomy. This was harder for me to come to terms with over time, but in that moment… it was effortless. I wanted my life back.

Yes, I had always pictured my future life physically having children and it was hard to let go of that image. But, there were so many things that were risky with this condition and pregnancy. Ovulation was difficult, miscarriage risk was very high, and there are other options. This chapter, was over. I have moments that are harder than others but over all this was the best decision for my life. I have gone 2 years pain free and that is the longest since I was that 20 year old girl waiting for my first appointment… So today, I look back at the path that brought me to now with no regrets or what if’s about it. This was, and always will be the right choice for me.

xoxo -H