TBT: OUR BODIES KICK BUTT

We are going to be throwin’ it back all week long.  Lately, I’ve had a handful of new readers (welcome and thank you) and I wanted a chance to share some of my favorite posts again.  Now, sometimes when I look back at older posts (especially some of my earliest ones) it can be a lot like looking back at an awkward phase school picture (enter Stetson and I in matching vests/chopping off my bangs into nubs as a fourth graders/braces with a rubber band cutting right across the front of my mouth).  It’s painful and embarrassing and you can’t believe it’s been captured forever.  But, other times they bring back some of my favorite memories.  So, let’s focus on that bit.

This is one of my favorite posts because 1. I was terrified to post it and 2. I tend to need these reminders every few months.

Originally posted: September 10, 2015
This is a post that I have had in mind for quite some time, but I have continuously put it off. My excuse for this was that I am not an expert in this area, so I shouldn’t be writing about it. And then I remembered that I’m not an expert about anything that I write about on here…

Continue reading TBT: OUR BODIES KICK BUTT

THE PERFECT BALANCE: Wild Mountain Ink

I love shopping small.

I love stuff made in Montana.

I love anything that distracts from my continually messy hair.

I love Wild Mountain Ink.

Showcasing creators that I care about is hands-down my favorite thing to do here on mgg. And Hailey from Wild Mountain Ink is the absolute best.  I found out about her through some low-key insta-stalking.  First, I was incredibly jealous checking out her artistic skill, adorable (and much better behaved than mine) dog, and Montana adventures.  But, I did manage to harness that jealousy into some solid 21st-century-you-go-girl style support.  And I am so glad that I did because her jewelry has made me look much cooler than I actually am.


I am definitely partial to the stud earrings.  I love that they are simple and pretty, but don’t get in my way.  Day to day, I tend to just wear earrings and my engagement ring (oh, you didn’t know I was getting married? Have you not been following my obnoxious Insta posts or seen me walking down the street with my left hand shoved in the air for the past month?).  These pieces are an everyday essential for me.

Hailey also carries her outstanding mountains and tree designs to dangling earrings.  If you prefer that slightly more feminine touch I HIGHLY recommend checking those out.

For those of you who are a little fancier than me on the day to day (it’s not hard…), or want some extra beautiful necklaces to mix into your wardrobe WMI does carry GORGEOUS pendant necklaces.  Her mountains pieces are what initially caught my eye, but right now there is a birch tree series that I am in love with.  Every piece is unique and detailed, but still simple.

Finally, feel free to put off all responsibility and get lost checking out the illustrations Hailey offers in her etsy shop.  It’s the absolute best time-waster and truly impressive.

*Bonus: WMI now has tie-bars and they such a subtlety cool touch on a classy shirt and tie combo.

      
The mountains are calling… Get it?

Seriously, check out Wild Mounatin Ink –her goods are way better than my jokes.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

GOIN’ ROGUE (and a little wild)

One of the biggest pushes for me to get back into this MGG world was my NEED to share some of my favorite businesses to support. And in a way that was a bit less abrasive than launching into an over-the-top monologue with anyone who complimented my skin (whether it was a grocery clerk or friend’s mother, I was all over it). The first business I knew I had to cover was Wild Rogue Botanicals.

I am obsessed with skincare. Truly. I have 4 makeup products that I use everyday and they fit very comfortably in a mini makeup bag. Which is perfect because I need 2 entire drawers for my skincare. I have always had kind of problematic skin and I love testing new products to do whatever I can to combat that.

Continue reading GOIN’ ROGUE (and a little wild)

MY MOST DIVA DECISION EVER

I have been talking about getting eyelash extensions F O R E V E R.  Seriously.  I was super fixated on it– barely short of obsessed.  But, I didn’t take the plunge until just recently.  And that is when I officially accepted my fate as a Full Fledged Diva.  I’ll be leasing a Benz and attempting to wrangle Teton into a designer handbag any day now.


Here’s a rundown of the general pros and cons of eyelash extensions, before I hop into my personal experience.

Pros:

  • Time– My make-up routine, now literally takes 5 minutes, tops. BB Cream, eyebrow gel (I’ve got some wild brows), and a teeny bit of bronzer.
  • Ease– The actual maintence of these is pretty easy.  I just “wash” them when I’m in the shower or before bed.  Then, I take a spooly to them, and brush them out to keep them from drying all clumpy/spikey/weird.
  • Flutter factor– Uh, these are perfect for eyelash fluttering. 

Cons:

  • Time–  It took about 90 minutes for my first full set, and fills are supposed to take around an hour.  With proper aftercare fills should happen about every 3 weeks (I’m hoping to push 4).  And that may not seem excessively long, but that does really cut into my dog walking/chips and salsa eating/binge watching sitcoms time after work.
  • Price– Depending on where you go and who you get them from the price can vary from expensive to ridiculously/outrageously expensive.  Based on my research (some rigorous googling and YouTube video watching) and speaking with my salon, the initial set is usually over $100 then, the fills are around $60 to $75.  So, it’s pricey. I justify the price because this is my only thing.  I do my own nails and eyebrows and try to extend my time between hair appointments as long as possible.  I think that makes this more acceptable…right?
  • Sleep– It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, but I’ve been trying not to sleep with my face crammed straight into my pillow (my preferred position– although, I do thrash around like a shark throughout the night).  I’ve noticed that when I do that I wake up with crazy bed-head-esque lashes.

Squinty eyes are all my own doing– nothing to do with the lashes.

Overall, I am THRILLED with my new lashes.  My go-to look is “seemingly, naturally beautiful– but with perfect skin and ridiculously long and voluminous lashes.”  Simple enough, right?  Now, I’ve got the lashes and I’m still working towards that perfect skin.  Adjusting to the new look did take a bit of time.  It’s just shocking to see such a change… But, don’t worry, Brady made it easier by continually referring to me as Daisy Duck.  Now, though, I am 100% in love and addicted to these lashes.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

FAKE IT ‘TIL YOU MAKE IT

If I get anything under 7 hours of sleep, I am an absolute bear to be around. But, I just don’t want to look like one. 


I’m a Sleep Diva and I know it. But, with the start of a new school year, later nights and early mornings are just a part of the gig. So, I’m doing my best to work on my mood… It’s a real work in progress… I have, however, perfected the art of not looking like I’m about to come unglued and/or curl up for a nap in the corner of my classroom. 

Here’s what you need:

Good color corrector/eye cream

Undereye bags that are puffy and as dark as the night you didn’t sleep through are a dead giveaway that you’re exhausted. Now, there are tons of products out the to fight puffiness. And tons more to fight darkness. And tons more to fight dryness. But, slathering all of those products on has never worked for me.

Luckily,  I recently discovered First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy and it does all 3 of those things! With one lightweight product and in much less time.  It’s a newbie for me, but has been a game changer. 

Minimal make up

Whenever I am feeling extra run-down I tend to think that piling on the make up will hide it.  But, I have found that to be absolutely not true (through some serious trial-and-error and sleep-deprived-cake-face days).

Keep it simple with a BB cream (I swear by this one), a bit of bronzer, and gobs of mascara (I always overdo the mascara), you will be feeling/ looking much better.

Hydrating facial spray

Alright, I know this sounds unbelievably high maintenance and ridiculous. Such an unnecessary step on a morning when you are probably already running late, right? WRONG. This magic, little stuff can fresh faced look when you’re not actually feeling fresh at all.

 I recently received a sample of this Tatcha one and I love it, but this SUPER AFFORDABLE oneEditis my favorite. For real– don’t knock this step until you try it. 

Oh and CAFFEINE… Yeah definitely caffeine…

I have found that the perfect recipe for those days when I’m going to need some extra help. It took a few days where I seriously over did it and found myself wide awake at 3 am. And a few days where I barely suffered through and wound up trying to use my car keys to unlock my house before passing out on the couch at 4 pm. 

 But, if I start a sleepy day with lemon water while I get ready, have my coffee (with milk, a bit of sugar, and lots of cinnamon) around 9:30–or 10 if I can make it–then fight off the afternoon lull with some matcha green tea around 2, I am golden.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

BITE BEAUTY AGAVE LIP MASK: Worth the splurge?

Natural- Yep. (Well 99%-whatever that means)

Effective- Definitely. 

Pretty Packaging- Of course. 

Expensive- Sadly. 

Worth it- ?

I finally bought my first Bite Beauty product after seriously lusting after the entire brand for a year. It was a big jump, though, given it was pricey and I’m still too cheap to buy brand name paper towels.

Keep reading to see if I think it was worth it. 


Price: This little tube o’ natural goodness sells at Sephora for $26 big ones… Which is a bit steep considering I can grab about 5 Burt’s Bees lip balms and 2 tubes of Aquaphor for the same price. 

Function: Well, this is pretty straight forward– this lip mask is designed to moisturize your lips. 

Duh. 

What makes this mask stand out, though, is that it is 99% natural. You could literally eat your Bite Beauty products. Plus, it’s has the same amount of antioxidants as 15 glasses of red wine (without any of the sloppy tears and headaches that would accompany that much wine). And while I do not recommend buying a $26 chapstick to snack on, that is a comforting thought considering the amount of lip product we accidentally end up consuming. That makes me extra thankful that Bite Beauty leaves out mineral oil, dyes, and other chemical disgusting-ness, I’m sure my body is ok without (or I get enough of whenever I plow through an entire bag of gas station brand chips on a road trip). 

They also make your lips look pretty, darn nice when you wear them. The mask that I purchased doesn’t have any color payoff, but leaves a subtle glossy look (not like Lizzie McGuire and butterfly clips glossy–grown up glossy). Bite also offers Champagne and Smashed color options, if you are wanting a bit more oomph.

Oh, and it’s S U P E R moisturizing. Which is really the whole point. 

Repurchase: Let’s start off by agreeing that the price is just outrageous. There’s no way around it. I could buy a weeks worth of coffee, or go to the movies with 3 friends (no snacks), or leave a tip after a much needed haircut and color; ok, that list isn’t too impressive–life is expensive. But still. 

I have to admit this lip mask is going to make its’ way back into my Sephora cart once I squeeze every last moisturizing and expensive drop out of this tube. I love using this each night before bed and waking up without any dry or cracked lips. It’s something I try to use sparingly, but is the perfect bedtime treat. And I’m all about some treat yo-self pampering. 


Thanks for reading,

Sydney

PERFECT SUMMER SKIN

I am a true, true lover of skin care. I love trying new things, figuring out what works for my skin (with the occasional experimenting breakout), and taking a little time to pamper myself. It’s quickly been working its way to a real obsession. 

Patchology is a brand that I was introduced to a few months ago and it seriously piqued my interest. I love trying out all the natural, super trendy, Pinterest-inspired skin care tips (like rubbing half a lemon all over your face…), but I do not underestimate the power of science when it comes to skincare. I know people that are much smarter than me have put tons of research into these products and I love seeing how that works. 

Of course, when these items were sent to me I shrieked for joy, jumped up around, and threw in a few fist pumps for good measure. I mean I love trying new skin care and it made me feel so special that they asked me to test out these new products!

The best part: Patchology gave me a discount code to share with you guys! Use code SydneyR25 at checkout, but act quick because it only lasts until August 16th.  


SmartMud Detox Mask

Being a true skincare junkie and prone to breakouts I am a big fan of mud masks. These type of masks are the perfect reset button for my skin. However… I am not at all a fan of the mess they leave. 

I have been VERY honest on here about not washing my hair everyday (sometimes even pushing it to 3 or 4 days). But, I always have to wait until a ‘Hair Wash Day’ to use a mud mask because, no matter how hard I try, I get the mask  e v e r y w h e r e (in my hair included– I have very detoxed roots), and then when I go to wash it off I get muddy, dirty water  e v e r y w h e r e. 

Luckily, Patchology’s new SuperMud fixes all that. It’s like a sheet mask, except it’s a mud mask. And before I tried it I assumed that meant this would be a weak, little mask that couldn’t stand up to my sweat/stress filled pores… But it totally did! It pulled everything out and was super easy. 

This is a bit pricey for a one time mask (so use the code!), but it’s the perfect treat yo’self product. 

PoshPeel Pedi Cure

This is hands down (or feet down… ha. ha.) my favorite Patchology product I’ve tried, so far. 

I have exceptionally ugly feet: the longer second toe, a curved third toe, and forever dry/rough/dirty feet from constantly wearing Chacos. So, my feet need some extra TLC. 

This peel is incredibly easy. You get these super attractive plastic socks. You pour in the little, magic mixture. And then chill for about an hour (you could get work done during this time, but I found my time was better spent watching Food Network). It’s so simple.

My feet felt phenomenal! I’m talking no more dry skin getting stuck to my sheets or making it look like I have the feet of a 75 year old. Definite improvement. 

 Plus, this product can be reused (depending on how much of the mixture you use) and is a super fair price. Way cheaper than a pedicure… I highly recommend it. 


Yes, these products were gifted to me, but this post is not at all sponsored. My opinions in here are totally honest and I just wanted to get a chance to share with you (and help you save some $$– don’t forget SydneyR25).

Please, let me know some of your skin care favs or if you get anything from Patchology. I would love to hear!

Thanks for reading, 

Sydney

GOING AU NATURALE

That’s right! We are talking about going au naturale today.

Over the last few months, I’ve tested out lots of different natural products. There have been some duds and some new faves. So, I figured I’d share them and let you know what to expect if you switch to any of these products.

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Hello Whitening Toothpaste

Natural toothpaste is NOT for me. Sure it got my teeth clean and I’m cavity free, but I need that overpowering, artificial mint smell in my life! I wanted to like this item so badly– the packaging was trendy and just adorable– but I couldn’t. I have a major fear of being that girl with the awful breath. Give me that in-your-face-mint-kick.

Yes To… Facial Towelettes

The entire Yes To brand is a natural option that I love, simply because of its accessibility. I mean, it can be found in good ol’ Laramie, WY, right in our WalMart. That’s a big deal! But, I did find that not ALL of their products work for me. The “Soothing” Cucumber towelettes burned the sh*t out of my eyes, but the Blemish Clearing Tomato ones are my new favorite wipes for removing make up (I just slather coconut oil all over my eyelashes to remove the layers and layers of mascara, check out my wicked-cool raccoon face in the mirror, and use the towelettes to wipe the entire mess away).

Deodorant 

Okay, trying new deodorants is actually kind of tricky business. When you switch from your ‘normal’ brand to a natural kind it takes your body a few weeks to adjust. So, keep that in mind when you try it out. And do not try a new, natural deo on any sort of important day!

Here’s what I tried:

  • Homemade natural deodorant- left me smelling okay, but gave me a nasty underarm rash (as if there is another kind of underarm rash…)
  • Tom’s Deodorant – left me smelly AND sweaty– luckily I teach at a junior high, so I just blended right in

Here’s what works:

I’ll admit, figuring out what worked for me here was some seriously smelly business. But, I am FINALLY happy with my natural-deo choice! And it’s definitely passed the sniff test, thanks to some above-and-beyond friends.

***

Of course, this is nowhere near an all-inclusive list of natural items you can add to your beauty routine. But, these are items that I have tested for a loooonnnng time and feel like I can give you a totally honest, full review.

I love mixing and matching natural products into my routine. My desire to be a super-all-natural-trendy-earthy-hippy is something that I’ve mentioned before. But, I also know that people who are much, MUCH smarter than me have made some serious scientific and technological advances when it comes to self-care. And I want to take advantage of that. I like the balance.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

NO FUSS ‘STACKED’ BRAID

I love simple hairstyles that keep the hair out of my face (without looking like my 6th grade slicked-back-greasy-ponytailed self).  And I have been seeing ‘stacked braids’ all over Pinterest and YouTube for quite some time now.  So, I decided to create my own simplified version of this trend.

DSC01270
This is the closest I will ever get to an Elsa braid.

Here’s why I love this hairstyle:

  • No heat– I am in desperate need of a hair cut (like no hair cut since November bad). My ends are totally dead. So, I have made a conscious effort not to use any heat on my hair for the past month (don’t worry I’m getting my hair cut soon).
  • No bobby pins– not that I have anything against these little guys, but lots of stacked braid tutorials that I checked out involved pinning the 2 braids together and I just felt like I had to worry all day about the pin sticking out. I need to feel free to whip my hair whenever I please!
  • No time– this is super fast, but still looks cute.

Materials:

  • 2 tiny hair elastics
  • A beautiful head of hair
DSC01257
This is my brushed out curly/wavy/dirty hair… your hair will look much prettier during this step.

Step 1: Gather you hair together and then separate it into two section.  The bottom section should be about 1/3 of the size of the top portion.

Step 2: Braid the bottom portion in a standard braid.  Secure with a tiny elastic.

DSC01261Step 3: Take the top portion and braid it into a fishtail.  Be sure to keep the braid as tight as you can, then secure it with a tiny elastic.

Step 4: Grab your normal braid and weave it in and out of your fishtail (I literally just push it from one side to the other a few times).  Be a little careful with this step so you don’t destroy the braid, but don’t worry it being perfect. Secure the two braids together with a tiny elastic (I just remove both of the ties I have already used and put the braids together into one because I don’t like having that many hair ties in at once– I’m all about  simple).

This is generally how I prefer to style my braid. Add a hat, a crew-neck, gobs of mascara and I’m ready to go!

Step 5: Gently pull at different parts of the braids to get your desired fullness. Then, be prepared to bask in compliments all day long!

*If you are unsure about how to do a standard braid there is a fantastic tutorial here.  If you are unsure about how to do a fishtail braid I love this tutorial. Really I forgot how much I adore The Beauty Department until I was looking back through these.  It is just too pretty.


I am a huge fan of this look because it is so ridiculously easy and cute.  I would love to hear about any go-to summer hairstyles you have!

Thanks for reading,

Sydney

SHEETS ABOUT TO GET REAL

The sun is starting to shine in Laramie! Which means warm weather… and that means I want to wear less make-up (the fewer products I have on my face the less I have to sweat off throughout the day).  So, I need my skin to be in tip-top condition.

img_4147I have been on a serious sheet mask kick for the last few months.  They were never anything that I was too interested in or knew too much about until I received a few in a PopSugar Box.  That is when the lazy-girl/skin-care-junkie inside of me realized I had hit the jackpot!

Sheet masks are a super easy and mess free treatment for your skin.  They are a one time use item that you simply lay on top of your skin, let the treatment sink in (DO NOT try to snack during this step– I tried that out, but just ended up with food all over the mouth opening; smoothie drinking with a straw is a-ok), throw away the mask and marvel at your beautiful and glowing face.  I highly recommend these for a moisturizing mask, but I still keep a few of my favorite clarifying masks on stand-by.

In order to give you a full rundown of which are the best of the best with these masks I have selflessly tried out a wide variety of these guys (well, really I totally used this post as an excuse to buy any and every sheet mask that I saw for the last few months– so thank you!).

Of course, there are TONS more out there that I would love to try, but here is the rundown of the options I have tested so far:

Patchology Facial Sheets

  • The Good- It only takes 5 minutes for your skin to feel unbelievably moisturized. Yes. 5 minutes. 
  • The Bad- These are pretty darn expensive… Around $50 for a pack.  Yikes!
  • The Ugly- You look like Hannibal Lecter wearing this mask.

Sephora Collection Face Masks

  • The Good- The fit of this style of sheet mask was the best for my face shape.  The mouth and eye holes actually lined up with my mouth and eyes!  Also, these are perfect to add into your cart at Sephora if you are just so close to that free shipping minimum.
  • The Bad- All sheet masks tend to move around a bit on your face, but these were exceptionally hard to keep in place if I was doing anything but reading or lying in the bathtub (which really I used as an excuse to take more nice, hot baths– so maybe this is part of ‘The Good’…)
  • The Ugly- You look like your entire face is molting off like a lizard wearing this mask.

TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Masks

  • The Good-  The ingredients in these sheets are fantastic!  The name: “I’m Real” is a pretty darn good sign and I felt really good about using these.  Plus, you can get them for a super budget-friendly price on Amazon.
  • The Bad-  Because these are a Korean beauty product the shipping can take a bit of time (really it depends: I have had one order come incredibly quickly and another that took  w e e k s).
  • The Ugly- You look like a Silence of the Lambs reject wearing this mask.

Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Facial Sheet Masks

  • The Good- You get a wide variety of  mask options with this pack and they are another incredibly affordable option.
  • The Bad- I wasn’t a huge fan of the shape with these.  They leave a little eye flap in case you want to hydrate your eyelids and the nose flap has a weird slit in it.  Not things that I found I needed or wanted.
  • The Ugly- You look like your geisha make-up took a turn for the worst wearing this mask.
These masks NEVER look good, but you can pretend you're at a spa, bundle up in a comfy robe, and make a fancy green smoothie to help you feel a bit prettier.
These masks NEVER look good, but you can pretend you’re at a spa, bundle up in a comfy robe, and make a fancy green smoothie to help you feel a bit prettier.

For me, the TonyMoly have been my most repurchased set of masks. I love the simple and real ingredients that they use.  I love the cute packaging.  I love how hydrated they make my skin feel.  But, mostly I love how inexpensive they are.

Really, none of these masks made my skin freak out or left me dissatisfied with the results.  But, I still didn’t notice a major difference in how my skin felt with the different brands.  Essentially, unless you have an incredibly specific skincare need you are trying to meet, I suggest sticking with the more inexpensive brands.

Let me know if there are any suggestions for masks that you swear by!  I would love to check them out.

Thanks for reading,

Sydney