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    Beauty

    5 Amazing Affordable Lipsticks To Wear Right Now

    I’m lipstick obsessed. I wear a color on my lips daily, whether it’s my favorite nude for during the day, or a vampy shade for weekend nights. I can never seem to walk into a drugstore without picking up a few new shades (the addiction is real).

    And because I’ve tried (and own) a million tubes and counting, I thought I’d share with you my current favorites. 

    NYX Waterproof, Extreme Color Lip Liner in “Disco Rage”

    This lipliner is SO good. I recently discovered it at Target — you know, the place that takes all of your money. Did I need a lipliner? Nope. Did I see this color and instantly toss it in my cart? You bet I did. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I do, but it’s that good. It glides on effortlessly, sets matte and stays in place all day. Also, how could you not be happy wearing a shade like this?

    Revlon “Black Cherry”

    This vampy shade has been a staple of mine for years now. I’ve gone through several tubes in that time, and that’s because I can’t get enough of it. To make it work during the day, I lightly add a little to my lips and blend out with my fingers. 

    e.l.f “Velvet Rope”

    I love e.l.f’s Velvet Matte lipsticks because, like the name suggests, they’re highly moisturizing. This shade is an orangey red, which is a perfect color for spring and summer. 

    Maybelline “Touch of Spice”

    “Touch of Spice” is my favorite every day nude. It’s a pinky brown shade so it doesn’t wash me out like other nude lipsticks do. It smells like vanilla, too (can’t beat that). 

    Colourpop “Trust Me…”

    Because every girl needs a good red lipstick. Colourpop is a brand I discovered recently, and the quality is amazing for the price. Their Lippie Stix are travel friendly and easy to apply, and the color offerings are out of this world.


    What are some of your favorite affordable lipsticks (asking for a friend….)?

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    Beauty, Real Life

    5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care

    How often do you practice self-care (a.k.a., how often do you treat yo self)? If the answer is “not very often,” I get it. It can be difficult to make time for yourself, especially when dealing with juggling job, family and personal responsibilities.

    We often get so caught up in pleasing everyone else around us, that our own needs take a backseat. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. And it shouldn’t be! Taking care of yourself doesn’t need to be a lavish endeavor. It could be as simple as squeezing in a morning run or applying a face mask after a long day at work. 

    Below are some of my favorite ways to practice self-care. They’re super easy to incorporate into your own routine, too! 

    FUEL YOUR BODY WITH WHOLESOME FOODS

    5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogEating well makes me feel good mentally, physically and emotionally. Sometimes, it’s hard, though. I’m usually running out the door most mornings (literally), and it’s almost always more convenient to grab whatever’s around. But, greasy, sugary or fatty foods leave me feeling lethargic and bloated.

    My favorite go-to snacks and meals when I’m on the go are hard boiled eggs for breakfast (they keep me full for awhile!), a kale salad with grilled shrimp for lunch that I prep the night before, and lean protein + roasted veggies for dinner.

    You really are what you eat. So, reach for the good stuff.

    Healthy recipes to make tonight: Anything Goes Kale Salad with Tahini Dressing, Southwestern Rice Bowls with Chipotle Ranch Dressing

    GRAB A BOOK THAT INSPIRES YOU

    5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle BlogMost of the reading I do these days is on my phone (not good for my eyes, posture or sanity, to be honest). There’s nothing quite like cracking open a real book. My recent favorites are “Big Magic” and “You are a Badass.” I also love flipping through Apartment Therapy and See San Francisco for a little visual inspiration.

    SHOW YOUR SKIN SOME LOVE

    Winter is rough on the skin. When Patchology reached out to me, I knew I had to give this brand a go. I’m a huge fan of sheet masks, not only because they feel indulgent and are easy to apply, but because they work. 

    I love to apply the Hydrate FlashMasque right after my shower to prevent moisture from leaving my skin (my skin is literally the Sahara Desert in the winter months). The Eye and Lip Gels are also great for adding a little extra hydration to your under eye area and lips!

    Products listed: Hydrate FlashMasque (my all-time FAVORITE product for dry skin) | SmartMud | Eye GelsLip Gels (enter NATALIE25 for 25% off your order at Patchology.com! Offer expires May 1, 2017)

    GET SOME EXTRA SLEEP

    The Mayo Clinic recommends adults get seven to nine hours of sleep each night. I’ll be honest – I don’t get as much sleep as I should. It’s definitely something I’m working on.  If this is something you struggle with, try eliminating distractions from the bedroom such as your cell phone (GUILTY) or the TV. I’ve found reading a book usually helps me nod off faster.

    EMBRACE SLOW, QUIET MORNINGS

    5 Simple Ways to Practice Self Care | Natalie Was Here | Lifestyle Blog

    As much as I hate getting out of bed in the mornings, there really is nothing better than being awake before the craziness of the day starts. Mornings are quiet and peaceful, and one of my favorite things to do is enjoy a cup of coffee and watch an episode or two of my favorite show. Having time to yourself makes the 6  a.m. wake-up call worth it.

    What are some of the ways you practice self care?


    Thank you to Patchology for sponsoring this post. And thank YOU for supporting the brands that make Natalie Was Here a happenin’ place to be!

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    Beauty

    Let’s Talk Hair Extensions: First Impressions and What You Need to Know

    People use clothing as a way to express themselves. You could say that about makeup, too. When I’m having a bad day, I typically reach for darker eye shadows or lipsticks (que the emo rock music).

    Sometimes, I’ll go really crazy and bust out the glitter on a Saturday night.

    Moral of the story? It’s fun to switch up your look from time to time.  And just like clothing and makeup, hair is no different. You can straighten it, curl it, crimp it, dye it, braid it, perm it, shave it or chop it all off. You can even add length and volume with hair extensions.

    Irresistible Me Hair Extensions - Natalie Was Here, a life and affordable style blog

    And I’m not talking about your typical “sit in a salon chair for five hours” extensions. Because ain’t nobody got time for that. Nope, I’m talking about clip ins. And they’re pretty genius.

    I should add a little disclaimer here, and if you know me personally, you won’t be surprised. When it comes to styling my hair, let’s just say my skills are lacking. I had never tried hair extensions in my life. So, when Irresistible Me reached out and told me how easy their extensions were to use, I was a little skeptical, but also intrigued. Because if I can put them in, anyone can.

    Irresistible Me Hair Extensions - Natalie Was Here, a life and affordable style blog

    First Impressions

    Ordering extensions, like ordering anything online, can be a bit of a challenge. Especially if you haven’t used them before.

    Here’s a little info for you to reference before buying: the weight of the extensions (100g, 140g, 200g) refers to the total weight of the hair without the clips attached. The thickness of the hair is relative to both the weight and the length you choose. For example, a 14″ 200g piece will look thicker than the 24″ 200g piece. Still with me? Good!

    As far as color selection goes, this video will help give you a deeper dive into the the range they offer so you can pick your perfect match.

    I wanted thickness and length, so after reviewing the selection, I decided to go with the 200g 18” Silky Touch extensions in Chocolate Brown.

    What I Liked

    • These were SO easy to apply. Like, really easy. The pictures in this post were taken right after I put them in for the first time. They’re not perfect as you can see (missed some spots while curling), but overall, not bad for a first-timer (again, if I can do it, anyone can)!
    • The company gives you a lot of hair for the price.
    • And speaking of price, they are relatively affordable compared to other extension brands on the market.

     What I Didn’t Like

    • The extensions I ordered are too long for me personally. On the upside, however, it’s better for them to be too long than too short. Nothing a trim can’t fix!
    • The color was too dark, but that was partially my fault. I colored my hair a month or so before ordering, and the deep, rich color had faded significantly.
    • The hair is a little too shiny, and when curled, I found some of the pieces looked stringy.

    Irresistible Me Hair Extensions - Natalie Was Here, a life and affordable style blog

    nwh-nov2016-hair-18 nwh-nov2016-hair-22 nwh-nov2016-hair-29

    Overall, I was very pleased with the Irresistible Me hair extensions, and would recommend giving them a shot if you’re interested! I’ve only worn them for special occasions (i.e. a recent trip to Las Vegas), but they’re definitely fun to have in my arsenal for those nights when I’m wanting a little somethin’ somethin’ extra!

    What do you think? Would you give hair extensions a try?

    * The hair extensions featured in the post were provided to me for review by Irresistible Me. As always, opinions are 100% my own! Thank you for showing some love to the brands that support Natalie Was Here!

    Photography by Erika Gene Clark

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    Beauty

    Fake it ‘Til You Make It: How to Get Tan, Glowing Skin at Home

    How to get tan, glowing skin at home with some great products! See more at NatalieWasHere.com.I am not a tan girl (It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out, just look at my last outfit post). No one has ever said to me, “Wow, Natalie. You are SOOO tan! Did you just go on vacation?!” It just doesn’t happen.

    Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to be the girl with the envious, deep tan. I tried, believe me. In high school, I’d bake myself in tanning beds before dances, school plays or just because. I skipped the sunscreen on beach vacations because I desperately wanted to be a bronze goddess, even though I more closely resembled a lobster (I went through a lot of aloe in those days).

    But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to embrace my fair skin and that bottle of SPF because a) skin cancer is not cute and b) there are ways to achieve a convincing faux glow at home, without the harmful UV rays.

    Scroll below to see which products I reach for to get the job done! Because even though it’s currently April and it’s SNOWING, shorts weather is hopefully right around the corner.

    Summer highlights to compliment a healthy glow - See more at NatalieWasHere.com!Products to help you get that summer glow - See more at NatalieWasHere.com!

    Rodan + Fields Foaming Sunless Tan

    No, I’m not a R+F rep. But, I am a girl who loves her self tanner (shout out to Megan for sending me a new one to try!). And when it comes to self tanner, I’ve tried it all — lotion, spray, towelette, mousse. While there are a lot to choose from, I’d recommend a mousse, especially if you’re a newbie. I’ve found mousse formulas provide the most even coverage, so you don’t have to worry about orangey streaks (been there, done that). Use a mit to apply the tanner and make sure to go lightly around knees, elbows, hands and feet. I prefer to apply it before bed so the tan can develop while I sleep.

    Simple Micellar Water

    There are a few micellar waters on the market, but Simple’s version is my favorite. I’ve already killed one bottle and I’m halfway through the next. It’s the perfect addition to any skincare routine and is great for prepping your skin for moisturizer and foundation.

    Acure Moroccan Argan Oil

    I’ve been really into oils lately. At first, I thought the whole “putting oil on your face” thing was nuts. Especially because I have a history of terrible acne from my teen years, and the scars to prove it. But facial oils are so hydrating and are the best for giving you a natural dewy finish (I’ve found they help improve the look of my skin overnight, too!).

    Makeup products to help you get that summer glow - See more at NatalieWasHere.com!

    Face

    L’Oreal True Match Lumi Foundation

    This foundation has a dewy finish and blends flawlessly. If you’re on the oily side, I’d recommend staying away from this one and going with its more matte counterpart, but if you have dry or combination skin, you will not be disappointed.

    Milani Illuminating Face Powder

    This powder is gorgeous. It’s a subtle illuminating powder (not glittery by any means) so it can be used all over, and will give your skin a lit-from-within look.

    Clinique Chubby Stick Sculpting Highlight and Contour

    These products make contouring and highlighting a breeze — you don’t even need a brush. Apply them where you normally would apply a contouring powder and highlighter and blend with your fingers.


    Eyes

    e.l.f. Prism Eyeshadow Palette in Sunset

    I’ve raved about e.l.f. products before, but their prism eyeshadows are on point. They’re highly pigmented for such an affordable price point. The shadows feel like cream when you apply them, and their shimmery formula is gorgeous.

    Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara

    Here’s another product I’ve talked about before, but guys, this mascara is so good. In a sea of so many others, I’ve finally found the one.

    Benefit Hervana Blush

    This blush contains three different shades in one compact, and is great for giving your cheekbones a natural-looking flush.


    Lips

    ColourPop Ultra Matte Lipstick in “Solow”

    Because all of the products I’ve mentioned are heavy on the glow factor, I like to keep my lips more matte (we don’t want to go overboard here). I found out about the ColourPop brand on Kathleen’s YouTube channel and wanted to give it a try. For just $6, you can’t beat the quality of their lipsticks. This matte shade is an everyday pinky nude, perfect for spring and summer.


     

    Brows

    Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara

    This is, like the name says, mascara for your brows. It’s so easy to apply, so forget dealing with the hassle of a pencil and try this on for size.


    Nails

    Sally Hansen Xtreme Wear in “Coral Reef”

    A peachy color compliments tan skin. This quick-drying formula is a great budget-friendly option.

    How to get tan, glowing skin at home - See more at NatalieWasHere.com

    How to get tan, glowing skin at home - See more at NatalieWasHere.com

    What are some of the products you use to achieve a faux glow?

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    Beauty

    February Beauty Faves

    Feb Beauty Faves

    I’ve been slacking on this monthly post, guys. Sometimes real life gets in the way, and when I say real life, I mean real life. Like, running out the door, putting makeup on during my commute, life. Also…I should mention that I took these photos fresh out of the shower with a towel on my head. So, there’s that.

    But, you won’t hear any more excuses from this side of the screen. My monthly beauty faves post is back and this time, I’ve lined up a series of products that I can’t wait to tell you about. This little roundup has it all — from mascara and lipstick to concealer, eyeshadows and eye cream. Without further ado, here are some of the products I absolutely loved in February (and I’m wearing them all today):


    1. Too Faced “Better Than Sex” MascaraBetter-Than-Sex-Natalie-Was-Here

    I’ve always gravitated towards drug store mascaras. L’Oreal and Maybelline never disappoint. But then I tried Too Faced’s “Better Than Sex” mascara and my world changed. I don’t think my lashes have ever been happier or looked better. Whoever named this product, I know what you were thinking. Well played.

    2. Milani Fierce Foil Eyeshadow in “Florence”

    Milani-Eyeshadows-Natalie-Was-Here

    Stila released some pricey foil eyeshadows awhile back, and I remember standing in Ulta faced with the crippling decision of whether or not I should buy one. My internal dialogue went something like this, “Natalie, are you really going to spend $30 on an eyeshadow? Seriously. An eyeshadow. Do you know how many coffees you could buy with that money? A lot.” My caffeine addiction won in that instance.

    I thought all hope for metallic lids was lost, but then I found this crazy affordable dupe at CVS. If you haven’t tried Milani Cosmetics, add the brand to your list, stat. These eyeshadows are so beautiful, highly pigmented and well worth every penny of the $10 price tag.

    3. Valentia “True Glow” Eye Cream Valentia-Eye-Cream-Natalie-Was-Here

    I am the WORST when it comes to putting anything on my face before bed. My nighttime routine usually consists of me sluggishly removing my makeup with a makeup wipe before hitting the lights. On a good night I’ll apply moisturizer. But, eye cream…what 25 year old needs eye cream, am I right? Wrong.

    Preventative maintenance is where it’s at, and considering skin in your eye area is thin and more susceptible to lines and wrinkles, it’s time to get serious about skincare. This eye cream from Valentia is more like a serum, and it goes on so smoothly and really lives up to its name.

    4. YSL Touche Eclat Neutralizers in “Green”

    YSL-Natalie-Was-Here

    My Italian roots outweigh my Irish ones (75% vs. 25%), but my complexion says otherwise. I’m fair-skinned and struggle with redness, especially around my cheeks. This new product from YSL is a l-i-f-e-s-a-v-e-r. I simply apply the green concealer to areas of redness before my foundation, and it evens my skintone within seconds. Trust me, it’s a game-changer.

    5. Stila Stay All Day Liquid Lipstick in “Aria”Stila-Natalie-Was-Here

    I love this lipstick. So, so much. Not only is it a gorgeous berry shade, but it really does last. If a lipstick can stay with me through two cups of coffee and the messiest cinnamon roll on the planet, then that’s when you know it’s a keeper. 
    Product-Shot-Natalie-Was-Here

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    Beauty

    The Best Nude Glosses

    lip gloss 6Nude lips are all the rage right now (cough cough, Kylie Lip Kit). And I’ll admit, as a fair-skinned girl who loves her berry lipstick like no other, the nude look was a trend that I was a little hesitant to embrace. But when I spotted this affordable kit at Target, I knew it was the perfect time to try it out. NYX is a favorite drugstore brand of mine, and its “Butter Gloss” is no exception. It’s a gloss that lives up to its name, and goes on like, well…butter.

    This kit comes with three wearable shades: Creme Brule (soft, light pink), Angel Food Cake (deeper fig) and Ginger Snap (dark, mauvey brown). I love them all and reach for them on a daily basis. This whole nude thing? I think I’m 100% on board.

    Creme Brule

    nude lip 2

    Angel Food Cake

    nude lip 3

    Ginger Snap

    nude lip 4*This post was NOT sponsored by NYX…I just really, really love their products.

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    Beauty

    November Beauty Faves

    Oct Faves 4
    I was in denial for many years, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m 100%, without a doubt, a beauty junkie — maybe even a hoarder. There’s almost always a lipstick or nail polish that miraculously jumps off the store shelf and finds its way into my cart. It’s so weird, guys. I don’t know how it happens…

    Without further ado, here are some of the products I couldn’t keep my hands off of in November.

    Oct Faves 10

    1. Cover Girl Clump Crusher Mascara

    Oct Faves 2I’m pretty set in my ways when it comes to mascara. I’ve worn the same brand since I heard LC say it was cool back in her days on “The Hills.” But after reading so many rave reviews, I had to give Cover Girl’s Clump Crusher mascara a go. GUYS. This stuff is amazing and truly lives up to its name. You can literally layer on the coats without a single clump. Amen.

    2. e.l.f. Smokey Eye Kit

    Oct Faves 7This pallet. It’s love. I’m telling you, for how crazy affordable e.l.f. products are, the quality is amazing. The brown shades in this compact are my go-to’s for everyday wear, and the deep gray shades never disappoint when I’m getting ready to go out on the weekends.

    3. Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick Compact in “Apricot”

    Oct Faves 1I rarely splurge on expensive makeup. I’m typically a drugstore girl. But during an event I co-hosted at Saks in Cincinnati last year, I somehow wound up at the Bobbi Brown counter and just like that, fell head over heels in love with this genius creation. It gives the prettiest shimmery glow. Well worth it.

    4. Essie Nailpolish in “Virgin Snow”

    Oct Faves 6So, I’ll admit, I laughed at the name when I picked up this shade. Virgin Snow — what is that? The first snowfall? Does the first snowfall typically have a lavender hue? Who knows, but name aside, this shade is my new fave.

    5. L’Oreal Infallible Pro-Matte Foundation

    Oct Faves 9I never thought I’d love a matte foundation, but this one is far from flat. It goes on smoothly, evens out skintone and is great for those with oily skin. If you’re in the market for a new foundation, I’d highly recommend this one.

    6. Clinique Chubby Stick

    Oct Faves 3This product is perfect for lazy girls of the world (i.e. me) who want to get the contoured look without all the hassle. Simply draw the creamy formula on the areas you want to contour and blend with your fingers or a brush.

    7. Anastasia Brow Wiz

    Oct Faves 8This was another product I splurged on, but again, SO worth it. I’d been using drugstore eyebrow pencils, but found the shade was always off. This product matches perfectly for a look that’s more natural, every time.

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