Happy Hump Day Spoonies! I hope everyone is having a great week so far! I just got back from LA and Maui on Monday and I absolutely cannot wait to share all of the details with you guys! My first post, though, had to be about the amazing surprise that was awaiting me upon my arrival back in Maryland. If you guys are regular Crohnically Blonde readers, you probably saw my post about working with Spoonie Essentials Box (if you messed it, click here to get up to speed). I am so excited to have the opportunity to review their first box and let me tell you it was just that much sweeter that I came home to my box delivery after almost 24 hours straight of traveling. I figured what better way to showcase all of the goodies (and the serious usefulness of all of them for us Spoonies) than catch my jet lagged self chatting about it all on video. My brain was too tired to properly write sentences so why not blab about the awesomeness!
Check out my review and if you like what you see head over to SpoonieEssentialsBox.com to pick your subscription and sign up! Also, follow them on Instagram @Spoonie_Essentials_Box for some more fun reviews and discount codes. As always, feel free to comment or email with any questions or comments. I always look forward to hearing from you all!
When I was preparing for my vacation I had to dig through my piles of favorite makeup to decide what the tried and true items were that would make the journey with me. I figured it would be a great time for me to share my picks that are absolute must haves of the moment that I literally couldn't leave home without. I've tried a plethora of different products and over time I have realized what is worth the investment and what items you can go drugstore brand or store brand on. Recently I have really fallen in love with a lot of the Sephora brand products. It started with their foundations which I realized do well even with my sensitive skin and then I branched off from there, so that's why you are seeing so much of that! All products can actually be found at Sephora or Sephora.com besides the bag which was a hilarious Nordstrom Rack find via Matt. I can't make any promises about the smaller sizes being online or in store because I got them from special edition kits and such but the full sizes should be readily available.
1. Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation- At only $28 per bottle this stuff is a STEAL. It has a buildable coverage that looks insanely natural and lasts, not kidding, all day. Honestly, I had wanted to try this for a while because I love airbrush foundations but the price tags on some higher end brand formulas were not so appealing. I thought that a lower price tag meant lower quality but on this product I have not felt that to be the case. I heard Stassi raving about it on her podcast so I took the plunge and here we are. I'm obsessed.
2. Kat Von D Lock It Hydrating Primer- This is a newer find of mine that I really am loving. I wanted a primer that was smoothing but a lot of the "blur" ones I came across are too drying and my foundation didn't set right over them. This primer is the best of both worlds because it has a blur effect but is still hydrating.
3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highligher in Moonstone- Under the brows, on the checks, on the eyelids. This stuff can go anywhere and I love it. Its a perfect highlighter because it isn't too shimmery and the finish is creamy not sticky. I use it mainly as a highlighter but also as a cream shadow if I am in a pinch or just want a natural glow. The Moonstone is my favorite because the gold tone makes me feel a little summery.
4. Sephora Bright Set Pressed Finishing Powder- This formula is both mattifying and brightening, meanwhile still delivery a blending effect to finish a look off. This is a triple threat that I cannot get enough of AND it is at a perfect price of $16. Spoiler Alert: The formula doesn't even upset my sensitive skin. Thank you Sephora!
5. Sephora Collection Bronzer Powder in Los Cabos- This is described as a "matte universal tan" and it is just that! I am obsessed with the color, finish, and staying power of this formula. For contouring purposes, layering over cream contour formulas, and an overall glow this bronzer is amazing. Dare I say.... this bronzer seems comparable to NARS Laguna..... Yup....I SAID IT.
6. Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara- Volumizing, lengthening, and packing a serious punch with pigment, this mascara is the bomb. The gentle formula doesn't irritate my eyes which is something that I often struggle with (hence why I love using Tarte mascara)! Not going to lie, this mascara is the closest I have gotten to "falsies" without actually applying fake lashes. Proof: Even Matt was fooled. He tried to pull my lashes mid Starbucks visit in the airport asking me why I was wearing fake lashes already (aka who was I trying to look good for hahah). When I screamed "owch those are freakin real!!!!) I think he got the point. You should too.
7. Sephora Collection Brow Thickener in Blonde- This is an easy way to add some amp to your brows in an effortless way. I also like the brow pencil from the Sephora Collection!
8. Ardency Inn Modster Liner- The finish is matte black which is very comparable to Perversion by Urban Decay. The staying power is also great and even lasted through 24 hours straight of traveling. I love layering this as my last step after false lashes because it gives such a sexy, thickening effect!
9. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Roller Ball- This perfume has been a long time favorite of mine. The crisp, fresh smell makes it perfect for any occasion which means it is a must have for your travel bag or purse. I also find that it blends well if I have some other fragrant product on either in my hair or on my body. Since it doesn't conflict, I don't have to worry.
10. A sassy bag- Enough said.
I am SO excited to announce that I have just partnered with Spoonie Essentials Box to help them promote their newly launching product as well as reviewing their box on Crohnically Blonde!
The way I like to explain the concept of the S.E.B. is it is like a Birchbox (something I am already obsessed with), just completely tailored for those suffering with chronic illness. HOW COOL IS THAT. They are officially launching in January 2017 and the online spoonie community is seriously buzzing about it.
My explanation doesn't do it justice so here it is straight from the source:
"The Spoonie Essentials Box is not just a beauty box, it's a box inspired by spoonies, just for spoonies! Each month us spoonies over at S.E.B carefully select products, goods, and services built around the culture of being an invisible-illness warrior & chronic disease ninja! Our selections are intended to support us spoonies on the bad days, compliment us on the good days, and enhance our always amazing infusion or hospital stay-cations! "
I cannot even begin to explain to you guys how on brand this box is for what Crohnically Blonde is all about! It embodies all of the beauty, strength, and sass that chronic warriors have while at the same time providing that sweet little boost of positivity that you need to get through those less than ideal days.
Recently on their Instagram (@spoonie_essentials_box) they have revealed a few of their products/box items for January 2017 and I can't get enough. From adorable and inspirational keychains, to pill dispensing water bottles, to hospital stay totes, I feel like S.E.B. is presenting me with options I need but didn't even know I needed.
I am extremely excited to have the privellage to review this box come January and be a part of this online community. On top of all of this excitement, get this.... until New Year's Eve at midnight you can get 10% off all monthly subscription boxes with the code WELCOME17.
Let me know if you sign up and how excited you are! If you are waiting for a review before you pull the trigger, rest assured, one will be happening ASAP so stay tuned.
Check out the Spoonie Essentials Box website, linked below.
Tis the season of gift exchanges, parties where host gifts are required, and wrapping your brain around what to get not only for these events but for the regulars on your Christmas gifting list. I am ALL about girl gifts. Sisters, friends, coworkers.... I think it is selfishly because it is like I am living vicariously through what I am buying for them but hey, it is what it is. It is always my goal each year to think of unique and thoughtful gifts that my friends and family will actually use. I am all about cute monogrammed items and things that are probably something you wouldn't buy for yourself.
Fun fact: This year my sisters and I were featured in the Land's End catalog to showcase our matching monogrammed moccasins from Christmas 2015! Showing off all of the girl gift love!
This year I tried a different approach and started listing cool things that I came across throughout the year so that by time Christmas came I had a unique compilation of ideas. Whether it was something I tried and loved, gotten as a gift and thought it was great, or was dying to try... it went on the list. I know it sounds like I was making a list for myself (maybe, sort of) but my friends and family on the ladies side of things are pretty similar to me as far as taste goes.
I put together this list to hopefully make this last weekend of shopping a bit easier for you! Some of these can be purchased in the store and others online, which I why I wanted to push this post out before it would be to late to get things shipped before Christmas! The other great thing is, they're all under $50! Click the set below to shop my picks.
1. Heartspring Co Lip Balm- Literally my favorite lip balm ever! The new all natural brand was created by Kristina Kelly (you may know her from Bravo's Vanderpump Rules). They are so soothing especially in the cold weather and the fact that they are all natural is a huge win in my book. Get your friend one of these and she will be immediately addicted. Kristina puts all the TLC into these, hand bottling the formulas in her Santa Monica apartment and it really shows in the quality of these!
2. Lyte Planner- For your super organized giftee there is nothing better than a fresh new planner! Some of my favorites are from Lyte Planner which not only are super stylish but have a clean layout that just clicks with how my brain works. OCD that is.
3. Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist- One of my coworkers had this and after I tried it I became totally obsessed. If you are looking for a pick me up that is both soothing and refreshing AND has a ton of skincare benefits, this has got you covered. This is one of those items that you don't know you need until someone gets it for you.
4. 'Cravings' Serving Board- Sometimes a little something for the home is in order and I can't get over how cute this serving board is. Whether you're using it to serve a delicious cheese plate or just to look beautiful on your dining room table, this gift is a winner.
5. Tarte Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette- You cannot go wrong with this palette. The colors and matte finish are universally flattering and Tarte's products are approved for sensitive skin. This is another item that you wouldn't necessarily think to buy yourself (I would but that's just me) but once you get it you don't know how you lived without it. You're. Welcome.
6. The Magnolia Story- Chip and Jo #goals. If this book doesn't warm your heart while simultaneously make you want to redo your entire house you are a real Grinch.
7. Modern Mix Faux Fur Throw Blanket- Furry throws are a must for getting cozy and binging on Netflix. This is an affordable version from Target that gives all the comfy with less of the price tag.
8. Fringe Snood- Another cozy winter favorite right here. Not going to lie, Aerie makes a great scarf/snood. Well constructed, trendy, and warm as anything. Your Secret Santa will be thanking you as soon as the temperature drops below 40.
9. Monogrammed Wine Glasses- I really enjoy a good monogrammed home situation. These wine glasses are both useful and will look great in and Instagram picture. #priorities
10. Home for Christmas Lush Giftset- Nothing says treat yo self like a giftset devoted to doing just that. All natural goodness and relaxation is just what everyone wants but doesn't want to splurge on for themselves. Do your friends and family a favor and make them take some time for themselves!
Relaxing is a skill. A skill that I am not very good at. My brain is wired for two things: full speed ahead and sleeping. My capability of "non productive time" is something I have not found they key to tapping into. For example, today I am home with a stomach bug and instead of sleeping and resting... here I am, hey everyone. Per doctor's orders I am working on it... slowly but surely. Everyone needs some time to chill the eff out sometimes and for me that happy place just happens to be with bubble baths.
Not only do bubble baths actually force me to not be running around doing things but they also help to detox the body and reduce aches and pains. Score. During this quest for relaxation I have narrowed down some truly awesome bath products that are the best of the best as well as a few of my other relaxation must haves.
1. Rose Bath Salts- Bath salts in general are amazing. Great detox, awesome for your skin, the smell is armatically relaxing. Basically you can't go wrong. Rose bath salts are my new favorite at the moment.
2. Alex and Ani Candle- Love love love Alex and Ani candles. They burn forever and the smell is perfectly subtle.
3. Lush Bath Bombs- So many to choose from! These are my go to bath bombs but I also like to pick up some other homemade ones from local shops whenever I travel. Eucalyptus is my favorite.
4. Coconut Hydrating Mask- Multitasking while bubble bathing is the best. I always slap on a face mask and sometimes even a hair mask and let it alllll sink in.
5. Adult Coloring Book- Sometimes my brain just will not stop working when I am trying to relax and adult coloring books are one of my favorite ways to keep my mind working but in a relaxing way.
To shop these picks, click the picture above. I have a lot more specific recommendations so feel free to reach out for any other suggestions.
Happy relaxing Crohnies!
I've already shared my skincare must haves of the moment so I figured hair is up next! Recently I just got my locks cut short again. Usually a shorter do is my go to but every so often I think that my super straight and fine hair can actually grow out to create a Real Housewives worthy look, sans extensions. After it gets about 6 months overdue of a good cut I always come to, to the harsh reality that I will be forever embracing "short hair don't care". Now I'm not complaining about this because I have a BOMB stylist who makes sure that my bob is more of a lob and anything but soccer mommish. I take pride in the fact that this time around I feel like I have achieved Pinterest worthy hair (even though I have zero talent associated with this feat, I just picked out the inspiration photo, go me!). I figured to commemorate this moment I would share my current must haves in the haircare department.
Here we go!
1. ColorProof Control Craze Styling Creme- I picked this up from my salon and use it on my damp hair to give my ends a piecey look. A little bit goes a long way and it leaves zero crispy feel or yucky residue.
2. Label M Texturising Volume Spray- This stuff is probably my favorite thing I have ever put onto my scalp. For real. I also picked this up from my salon. With super fine hair like mine sometimes you need a little extra grit and texture when your hair is freshly washed. For years I was spraying dry shampoo onto my perfectly clean hair just to give it some volume. This spray does exactly what your dry shampoo would do, just without the yucky residue and with an actually lift and hold. A++ on the product scale for me!
3. Not Your Mother's Bach Babe Soft Waves Sea Salt Spray- This is honestly the best sea salt spray I have ever tried and is phenomenal for texturizing short hair curls. I have tried everything under the sun as far as sea salt sprays but this one packs the most punch for an extremely low price. You do have to use a bit more than the more expensive alternatives but it never builds up to feels sticky or crunchy.
4. Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo- I have tried a ridiculous amount of dry shampoos, mostly because I really hate washing my hair. I got this product free for testing from Influenster and to be honest I did not think I was going to be impressed. Joke is on me though because day one when I tried this stuff it was actually pretty awesome. It didn't leave a weird white residue in my hair, it didn't increase the frizz (it actually seemed to control it!), and my hair was still malleable enough to style. Officially added to my daily routine.
I hope you enjoyed hearing about my hair care faves! In the comments please feel free to ask me any questions, give me recommendations, and let me know what you would like to see me post about/review next!
Season after season, I am constantly adapting my skincare routine. Partially because I am a beauty product junkie (thank you five years in makeup sales!) and partially because my skin changes with the weather. This year I am all about deep cleansing, serious moisture without the greasy feel, and protection from the UV rays. Self tanners are in there as well but they deserve their own post, mainly because I just have too much to say. Almost all of these products can be purchased at my alma mater, Ulta.
Cleansing: As a die hard Clarisonic fan, I never thought that I would make the switch to the Clinique Sonic System. When my Clarisonic Mia broke I had a mini break down and needed to get a new brush ASAP before I left for vacation in a few days. I opted for the Clinique option in all honesty because it was a cheaper option. Thanks to my frugal moment I found my new favorite skincare tool. It is gentle enough for sensitive skin but does the job as far as exfoliation goes. At only $89.50, this brush gives you some serious savings from its pricier rivals. I paired it with the Foaming Sonic Facial Soap which leaves my skin feeling super clean without leaving any kind of residue. My additional "must have" pictured? Coola face SPF. I got it in my Birchbox a few months back and cannot get enough. It is perfectly lightweight and has zero greasy after effects.
Moisturizing: Bee-cause I am obsessed with honey product right now. This obsession all started when I heard Scheana Shay on one podcast or another raving about her Manuka honey skincare obsession. I began frantically Googling this phenomenon and wondering why I was so late on discovering this miracle ingredient. Thanks to my research I discovered the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of ingesting Manuka honey. This was a major "aha" moment for someone who a) has an inflammatory disease and b) can't take regular antibiotics.
At this point, I am in a car for a six hour drive to a beach vacation, mid Crohn's flare up which, of course causes my skin to freak out as well. I frantically Amazon Prime this Manuka honey skin cream to my destination and that was probably the best impulse buy I've made in a while. This stuff literally worked miracles on my skin. My mixture of cystic/hives bump situation was cured within days and my face has never felt so moisturized. My advice is to definitely get this cream if you have any type of skin condition that needs some extra TLC. It is best for a night time routine in my opinion due to the thickness.
To get my daytime honey fix, I've been using the Honey Dew Me Up primer by NYX. It delivers the right amount of glow without leaving your skin looking greasy on a summer day. It soaks into your skin quickly with very little drying time and allows for almost immediate application of your concealer/foundation afterwards. I've not only noticed the increased moisturizing effects but also the stay power of my face makeup has improved as well! For a drugstore brand price point, this stuff definitely holds its own against big name contenders in my book.
Suncare: As a reformed tanning bed fanatic, years ago I could have never seen myself willfully reaching for the SPF. As if all of the increasing articles and studies about skin cancer weren't enough to scare me, one of the side effects of my immunosuppressant is "increased risk of skin cancer". Suncare is clearly not something to take lightly, not only because of cancer risks but because overall you are aging your skin. Your skin is your largest organ so why shouldn't you care for it and protect it like it is.
Sunbum is my absolute go to when it comes to suncare. Between their face stick to lip balm to easy to apply spray lotion, I am a fan all around. Due to my back to back vacations full of on the go activities these two products have been heroes this season. The spray lotion is easy to apply on the run, stays put through multiple activities, and is gentle on sensitive skin. The Cool Down Aloe Gel is perfect for those spots that may have gotten too much sun by accident or in this case, for my boyfriend who missed getting lotion on an entire arm before our Cozumel boating excursion.....
If you like what you see shop my picks via the links below:
Clinique Foaming Sonic Facial Soap
Coola Classic Face SPF 30 Cucumber
Clinique Sonic System Purifying Cleansing Brush
Bee Real Advanced Skin Cream
NYX Cosmetics Honey Dew Me Up Skin Serum & Primer
Sun Bum Premium Moisturizing After Sun Gel
Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray SPF 30
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.