Life Stuffs

Work, family and more

Today I wanted to finally share some pictures with you all from my little birthday photo shoot! My dad took some gorgeous photos, one of which I entered on Instagram to hopefully win a trip to Texas with e.l.f. Here’s hoping! If you want to check out my previous birthday posts, you can see my 21st Birthday here and my 22nd Birthday here.

My jumpsuit is from the brand Leith. I got it at Nordstrom back in the fall, so unfortunately it’s no longer available. It’s crazy comfortable and I actually felt better in this than any dress I’ve ever worn. All of my makeup is from e.l.f. with the exception of the foundation (Makeup Forever HD) and the Mascara (CoverGirl Lash Blast). Next birthday, this little blog of mine in just a few days!

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Welcome to #ThursdayThoughts and 2017. I know I’m already behind on one of my resolutions (posting twice a week), but it didn’t feel appropriate to start talking about makeup on Tuesday without giving some closure to 2016.

I think we can all agree that 2016 was a crazy year.

While the world was seemingly burning, so many friends, bloggers and YouTubers I watch also seemed to have a difficult year in their personal lives as well. I haven’t been this excited for a new year since 2010 ended. I had to really think about what year that actually was since I normally just think of it as my junior year. I was on the phone with my friend the other day and we said, “I wonder when we’ll stop thinking about time in terms of the school year versus calendar year.” I guess for the last 14 years, that’s how I’ve gauged my time, so it’s an adjustment.

I’m going into the year with a clean slate, which is a really great feeling. 2016 was a year of closure for me – the end of my time in Iowa City, the end of friendships, the end of living at home and more. With all of the change 2016 brought, there were times when I was sad, scared, stressed, angry, or even a combo pack. In the new year, I’m trying to focus more on taking a deep breath, doing some more yoga (I really miss yoga) and getting more sleep.

So now, let’s focus on the positives. These are some of my favorite blog posts from 2016:

I SHAVE MY FACE – Yes, I actually talk about shaving my face on the Internet

BITE BEAUTY AMUSE BOUCHE LIPSTICKS – I love how the pictures turned out for these swatches

22 THINGS THAT HAPPENED MY SENIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE – Tear.

MORE CHAMPAGNE POP! SEPHORA HAUL – Really proud of all of the images in this post

OLYMPIANS AND MAKEUP SHAMING – Yup.

NEW NECKLACES HAUL – This post was a little different stylistically and I loved how it turned out. Special thanks to my guy who helps take a lot of the pictures you see on here and Instagram.

MOVEMBER – BEAUTY PRODUCTS & MAKEUP FOR MEN – Go get it, fellas.

Here’s what 2017 has in store:

  1. A trip to Florida in February
  2. Celebrating 3 years of blogging
  3. A new niece/nephew
  4. A trip to Colorado (details TBD)
  5. New collabs…and more

With that, please allow me to officially welcome you to 2017 here on Bolt Blogs. I hope all of you have an incredible year.

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Happy Monday! Today I am super excited to share my first post specifically for men. My friend has been bugging me for a long time to get a post up for men, so I put together some of the best skincare, body products and makeup for the fellas.

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I wanted to share this post in November to also talk about Movember. If you’re unsure what Movember is, it’s a month dedicated to helping raise awareness for prostate cancer. You can read more about the Movember Foundation HERE. This is my #MCM. Ladies: if he’s anything like any of the men in your life – he’s stubborn and hates the doctor. Encourage the men in your life to go to the doctor for their yearly check up. Men: Please, go to the doctor!

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Alright, men, I am talking to you from here on out. I tried to keep cost in mind as well as where you can purchase each product. Most of these products can be found at Target so you can grab them with your groceries.

If all you own is a bar of soap and you’re ready to step it up, here are the basic 5 products every man should have:

Face Wash – Simple Moisturizing Facial Wash ($5 at Target HERE): This is a great basic face wash for every skin type. Washing your face is just as important as washing every other part of your body, but often times it’s neglected. Take the extra 5 minutes in the morning and at night to take care of your skin.

Face Scrub – No7 Beautiful Skin Purifying Exfoliator ($10 at Ulta HERE, although I know they sell this at Target because that’s where I purchase mine. I couldn’t find a direct link online): If you struggle with acne, this face scrub is a life saver. I credit this scrub with helping to keep my breakouts under control. I like to use this scrub in the shower and gently massage it into my face for a minute or two to leave my pores super clean.

Face Lotion – CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion ($10 at Target HERE): This is the face lotion my boyfriend uses. He has sensitive, normal to oily skin. I have also used this from time-to-time and have sensitive, normal to dry skin. This lotion is lightweight and absorbs quickly so you’re skin isn’t left feeling greasy. It’s important to moisturize your face, even if you think you have oily skin. It’s common for people with oily skin to have oily skin because their face is actually dry, so their body is trying to find a way to moisturize itself. The face produces excess oil, making people think their skin is greasy and the cycle continues. Moral of the story – moisturize.

Body Scrub – St. Ives Renew and Purify Sea Salt Body Wash ($4 at Target HERE): If you have dry elbows, knees, feet…that’s not cute or cuddly. Help get rid of dry skin with a good scrub like this one.

In-Shower Moisturizer – Nivea In-Shower Nourishing Body Lotion ($5 at Target HERE): Assuming you probably don’t want to spend a lot of time adding new things to your routine, this in-shower moisturizer is the perfect solution. After your body wash or scrub, use this to leave your skin instantly soft.

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Makeup for men? Yes, welcome to 2016. Makeup is not just for women. In case you haven’t noticed, James Charles is the newest face of CoverGirl and he’s KILLIN’ it.

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Makeup isn’t about femininity, it’s about wanting to enhance your best features and maybe add a bit of extra confidence. If it’s still scary territory, that’s ok. I picked out 3 products that are easy to use and address some concerns you might have about your skin:

Uneven Skintone/Acne Scarring/Rosacea – BareMinerals Complexion Rescue ($23 at Sephora HERE): This tinted gel comes in 17 shades to help fit every skin tone. When you’re trying to pick out your shade, don’t be afraid to ask a friend, your mom, sister or even go to the store. The men and women at Sephora love helping people find what works for them. This tinted gel is lightweight and seamlessly blends into the skin for an undetectable look that helps smooth over discoloration. To apply, start with a pea-sized amount and rub the gel into your skin wherever you feel like you need a little coverage.

Under-Eye Darkness – Garnier Dark Circle Roller ($14 at Walgreens HERE): I use this concealer almost everyday. This roller is easy to work with helps prevent you from using too much. The product has a very thin consistency and has a neutral tone for a natural look. To apply, lightly roll a little product on and tap it in with your ring finger to blend. It’s almost as good as eight hours of sleep.

Oiliness/Photography/Filming – Sonia Kashuk Undetectable Loose Powder ($10 at Target HERE): This powder comes in light and medium. Loose powders are great to work with because they leave the skin with a natural finish. To apply the product, you’ll want to use a brush instead of the applicator that the product comes with for the best results. The e.l.f. brush can be found HERE at Target too for only $5. To apply:

  1. Tap a little bit of the powder into the lid of the container
  2. Swirl your brush into the powder
  3. Tap the handle of the brush to get rid of any excess
  4. Swirl the brush on your face in circular motions where you want to apply the powder. If oiliness is your main concern, concentrate on your forehead, nose and chin. These are also great spots to hit if you’re having photos taken.

Makeup Tips:

  1. You can always add more, so start off with a light hand and slowly build
  2. Try and apply any makeup in natural light. If not, try to apply in a bathroom or kitchen where there tends to be the best lighting.
  3. If you can try a sample, test the color to your jaw, not your hand
  4. Practice on the weekend or a day when you can spare a few minutes to try your new product
  5. Most importantly, make sure you wash off all of your makeup at night before you go to bed to prevent breakouts.

Thanks again to my friend Carl for suggesting this idea! Please comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for more manly posts.

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I’m trying to stay positive right now, but it’s hard. I’m allowing myself one day to be upset, so my Thursday Thoughts are going up a little early. Here they are:

Shortly into working at my first job as a big kid, I sat in a room with four incredible women for a phone conference. To them, it was probably just business as usual. Just a few weeks prior I was sitting in a classroom at college where one of my professors said, “We need more strong women at the top, especially in marketing and advertising.” Now here was a room of five women, on the phone with another woman, discussing the details of a new business venture. I felt excited and hopeful not just for this job, but for the future landscape of women in the workplace.

From the beginning of this election cycle, I was a Bernie supporter. I felt the “bern,” quite strongly. I excitedly caucused for Bernie in a sweaty room filled with hundreds of other enthusiastic students. Hillary was barely viable in our room. We lost Iowa, but still Bernie held on and fought hard, state after state. I am so proud to have supported, donated to and advocated for his campaign.

When Bernie lost, I looked to the future, hopeful that Hillary would step up and include those of us who felt wronged by Bernie’s loss. For me, she did. I was now excited to see the first female president in office, following our country’s first black president. With each debate, she continually proved her intelligence, perseverance and poise, even in the face of childish name calling. I voted for Hillary, proud to live in a country where I can caucus for one candidate in one state and a few months later vote for another candidate in another state. The freedom and the power to make my voice heard is something that I do not take for granted.

On election day, I was ready to watch history unfold. I posted my voting selfie, encouraged others to vote and showed my support for those who also exercised their civic duty. I sat on my couch with my boyfriend, anxious to watch as the states started filling in with blue and red. But with each chime that interrupted George Stephanopoulos, I became more nervous. At 12:30, I finally went to bed, fulling knowing what I would wake up to.

As for the results of the election, I have three things to say:

  1. If you are a Republican who did not support Trump but also did not vote in the primaries, I hope you do better next time and get involved sooner. You can’t yell, “FIRE!” after your whole house has burned down to the ground. Might want to grab the hose once you see the first flame.
  2. If you are a Democrat who felt that this was the time cast your “protest vote,” look around.
  3. If you did not vote at all…you do not get to complain once the next four years. However, if you are ready to get involved, now’s the time. We need you.

Wednesday morning I watched Hillary give an incredibly moving speech with two of the women I work with. We cried. Hillary talked about the constitutional rights of every citizen in the United States. She talked about the bright future for young boys and girls. She talked about the glass ceiling, not yet shattered, but well within reach. She wore purple because we are one.

As a young woman, the following part of Hillary’s speech was especially relevant:

“And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I’ve had successes and I’ve had setbacks. Sometimes, really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers. You will have successes and setbacks too.”

This is a setback, but we cannot let it stop us from moving forward. That doesn’t mean I’m not scared, though. I am scared of the next Supreme Court Justice and what that might mean for my body. I am scared for my friends who are fearful of a president who judges them based on the color of their skin. My heart aches for my friends who are fearful of a VP who thinks their feelings can be “cured.” Our highest elected officials should represent so much more.

Hillary also said this:

“This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”

So let’s keep fighting, friends. Fight for the women in your life, for the LGBTQ community, POC, minority groups, the disabled…the Other. Fight for love.

Another wonderful Thursday! It’s National Coffee Day, there is a new Grey’s tonight and it’s my oldest niece’s birthday. Last year for this very special holiday I compared two pumpkin spice coffee creamers, which you can read about HERE. This year, I grabbed the winner of that comparison, along with a pumpkin spice coffee and even…greek yogurt.

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This coffee is great, although not strong enough for me. I don’t understand why all flavored coffees are light roast. I like to mix a scoop of dark roast in with this because I’m high maintenance. Other than that, it’s delicious. Totally would recommend and isn’t fake tasting at all. I add just a touch of the creamer, which you can read about here.

Now the yogurt. I had very low expectations for this yogurt and I’ve seen a few brands come out with one this year. This one tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. I almost added whip cream to the top. It isn’t as thick as Chobani, although I’ve never had Oikos before so I’m not sure if that’s standard. If you have a pumpkin pie craving but don’t want to buy a whole pie (or your roommate refuses to make you one…long story), then this is your solution.

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In honor of the holiday, here is one of my favorite mugs! Fun fact: I collect mugs. Shop this mug and other cute one’s from Alisha’s etsy HERE.

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