My Tried & True Favorite Products Full Transparency

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I read a post from Kerri that other day that really stuck with me.  How do you know when bloggers are being true or when they have to talk about something because they were gifted or PR sampled it.  I will be completely honest with you, I’ve been blogging for almost 4 years, you get on a lot of random PR companies mailing lists.  Except I’m not on the IT Cosmetics lists, hey girls hook me up if you are.  I will share any contact you want in exchange, dang those PR samples they send are Ahhhhmazing.  Anyways, this is not to brag but to let you know I get a lot of products sent to me on a weekly basis.  Now, here is the thing.  I usually always go back to my tried and true favorites.  There are some products that have been sent to me that are now my go to and I end up repurchasing on my own.  My sister the other day when I was shooting an Instagram behind the scenes texted me and was like that product looks amazing do you honestly love it?  I have a clause on my blog and I share with anyone that ever wants to send me a product, that it may not ever see the light of day on here because I only share what I actually like.  That is my true transparency with you.  If I did receive any compensation, I will share it in a disclosure to let you know.  So I thought today I would share a total OG type of blogging post with you.  There are no pretty DSLR camera pictures.  Actually, most of these pictures are kind of dark because I took them at 630 when I got home from work and a barre class.  This way you can HONESTLY see what is in my bathroom and what I use on a daily basis.


Okay here is my bathroom. It is one of the few rooms that I organized so I actually know where everything is.  I got bins for under our cabinets at Homegoods to make sense of all the products that Mark and I both have.


Here is my makeup organizer.  I have no idea why everything likes to lean to the right.  I probably use 5% of what is in there.


Here is my makeup drawer, one side is mine, it is divided with a large Q-Tip box and Mark has the other side.  I can’t believe I am sharing a bathroom with a man again.  Our condo had two bathrooms and I never went into his lol.


Here is pretty much all the makeup I ever use.  I will differentiate between my 5 minute work get ready and my little more involved when I go out on the weekends/shoot for the blog etc.

I alternate between the Beauty Counter foundation and It Cosmetics.  The Beauty Counter is better for daytime in my opinion because it is a pretty matte finish without any “luminance” like the It Cosmetics one.  I bought the It Cosmetics as a small size to try it first and it really lives up to its hype.  I apply with this brush and put it on this palette which is looking a little rough, grab this one on Amazon instead.  For my 5 minute routine for work, I usually swipe on the above, then use whatever is leftover on my makeup brushes and finish with this all over powder (ethereal light).  It makes you look airbrushed and is worth the price tag.  For more heavier coverage at night, I love this foundation stick from Makeup Forever.  It has lasted me forever!  It definitely makes you look airbrushed and covers all imperfections.  I love this blush for daytime, n.504.  It was a PR sample but absolutely love it (I actually shattered it but this trusted tutorial brought it back to life).  For a dramatic nighttime, I love this blush, in Mata Hari.  I was sent this blush brush from ELF and it’s so soft and picks up the best amount of color to distribute, highly recommend for the price point.  I contour with this powder, it has no microglitter and is great for creating that deeper contour.  It was a PR sample but I LOVE this brand now.  My favorite daytime lipstick is this one from Givenchy (nude in the dark), it was a PR sample but it’s honestly the best natural flush lip color.  My go to going out lipstick is from Laura Mercier (fuschia mauve) that I picked up at Sephora.  If I remember to swipe this over my under eyes to complete my highlight/contour I will.  It was a PR sample but it lives up to its hype, it seriously gives the best I’m awake now concealer/brightness.  All my lash girls out there did you know that using eyeliner and product around your lashes make them more likely to fall out?  The grease and pigments in a lot of liners are really bad for staying power.  I got this liner from Dlux Professionals from my lash girl that is “lash approved” it’s a liquid liner and I really only use it for adding dramatic flair (ask the next time you go what they have).  I got a small sample from Sephora of the Anastasia brow kit and I totally get why everyone goes crazy for it. It’s super natural with great staying power.  Now, to make everything stay put especially in the Summer seal your face with the Urban Decay setting spray.  I have a mini for travel and big one for home, it’s that important.  As you can see I get most of my products from Sephora.  I love their samples, customer service, and return policy.  Anything I ever want to buy, I try it first and usually end of buying it afterward.



Skincare products, daytime and nighttime.


In all transparency, I had a campaign with Skinceuticals that is how I was initially introduced to the skincare line.  Now, since I’ve had the opportunity to use it for a few months, I can HONESTLY say, no other products can hold a candle to it.  Yes, the price tag is up there but the products have lasted me months without even a dent in them, a little goes a long way.  The Vitamin C serum is a daytime must and you have to use it for prevention/correction.  I have noticed such a difference in the overall appearance and look of my skin since using it.  I had such a problem before with dry patches with oil and it’s finally all resolved.  If I could tell you two products to honestly buy it would be the Vitamin C and the lipids moisturizer.  The lipids moisturizer is super hydrating and does not break your skin out.  I use the Metacell at night with the lipids and it feels like rejuvenation every night.  When I went to Boston this last time I had some Origins samples in there and used those, my skin felt SO dry and lifeless and I couldn’t wait to get home to my Skinceuticals.  I know it sounds dramatic but true.  I love this product line so much that I’ve already have it budgeted in when I run out how I’m going to get another supply.  It is that good in 100% honesty.  I add the HA Intensifier at night when I need extra moisture and the SPF sunscreen is one of my favorites, nongreasy and absorbs so well.  A lot of dermatologists sell this or high-end med spas.  Try some samples first, you will be just as hooked as I was.


Here are my tried and true hair products.

The tool I use for beach waves, my flat iron I’ve had since I believe college.  My three favorite dry shampoos in order, Redken, Clairol hair food, and Klorane (PR sample but really like it).  The best hair oil that will not make it greasy, weight it down but still gives the best shine and frizz control.  My wet brush has seen better days and I probably should order another one.  My hairdryer is a PR sample from when I first started blogging 4 years ago and the name is rubbed off of it……sorry about that one lol.


These are my shower favs.

I alternate between this shampoo & conditioner (PR sample) and this one from Alterna.  I wash my hair twice a week (maybe three times) so shampoos/conditioners last me forever and I have no problem splurging because they last so long.  My hairdresser talked me into this Redken repairing/protein strengthening mask.  I’ve had it for years and put it on my ends.  It makes such a difference and I think that is why my locks are able to grow so long (that and the prenatal vitamins).  I love the smell of this Beauty Counter body wash and lotions.  I just feel like anything I slather on my body I want as free of toxins as possible.  I am newly obsessed with this Volition line from Sephora.  It’s a super cool concept.  Developers submit their products and thousands of people vote on them, the best make their way and are able to distribute in Sephora, so it’s essentially the best of the best voted by real people.  I was sent a PR box and this one product really stuck out.  It’s a tumeric body and face scrub that brightens the skin and seriously makes it feel like glass.  It has quickly become of my top favorites right now.  When I could use self-tanner, St. Tropez is the tried and true best.  My hands down favorite nail polishes are LaKur, best-staying power, with the least amount of icky chemicals and a great gel finish.  My favorite way of removing my makeup which I honestly believe has lead to my face staying clear.  Finally, I slather this coconut oil on to hopefully prevent stretch marks, then I rub it on my nail beds and over the ends of my hair.


So there you have it.  These are all my products that I actually use day in and day out.  As you can see they are used and abused with how much I use them.  What that said, if I took a picture of Marks products, it would consist of like 4 things.  Men have it so much easier right?  I should also say I made all these links with my rewardstyle or Amazon affiliate links.  If you buy something from my link I get like $1.20.  If is no different to you with your shopping experience but it does give some validation to my husband as to why I stay up till 11pm writing blog posts.  Thanks for all your love and support as always!  What are some of your tried and true favorites?  Did they make my list? Were there some new products on here that you hadn’t heard about before?  I’d love to hear your feedback!



17 responses to “My Tried & True Favorite Products Full Transparency”

  1. Ashley says:

    Totally agree with you, it can be hard to tell when bloggers are giving an honest review of products. I use and love so many of your favorites– the Klorane dry shampoo, Beautycounter, It Cosmetics, etc. I’ve been wanting to try the Kopari melt!

  2. Pinky says:

    LOVE THIS!!!! And yes, sharing a bathroom with a man, UGH!!!!

  3. Biana says:

    I’m with you and so wish I could get on the IT cosmetics PR list LOL – I love ALL their products!! They are seriously incredible! I really need to get that towel to remove my makeup! xo, Biana –BlovedBoston

  4. I’ve been using the BC Tint Skin this summer too and like it! And SkinCeuticals products really are the best! The price tag not so much, but they do last forever so I find them to be worth it!

  5. the last paragraph – lol!!! seriously people, help us bloggers out!! hahahaha

  6. Lindsay says:

    LOVE the honest truth! I was literally taking notes in my planner of products to get on my next Sephora run while I was reading this. I used to have that straightener forever (since college) and it was the best!

  7. Nadine says:

    I love seeing everyone’s holy grail products! We all like to try new things, but you know if you keep going back to a certain product that it is a keeper! I have that exact same Wet Brush, color and all! Love Klorane dry shampoo, IT CC cream and UD setting spray! I don’t do anything to my brows, but I think I am going to go to Sephora one afternoon and let them show me what a difference some of the products will make lol. Love your bathroom!!!

  8. Karly says:

    I’ve been at this for almost just as long, and I’d love to know how to get on any PR lists period, lol. #smalltimebloggerprobs over here. I’ve heard great things about the Klorane dry shampoo but never can find it. The Makeup Eraser is still one of the best products.

  9. I really love that Klorane dry shampoo. It’s the only one I’ve tried that doesn’t make my hair feel dirtier. It is hard to know when bloggers really love something or not. I’ve actually did a post where I went back and re-reviewed things I shared letting readers know if I still loved the product or not. Usually if I don’t like it, I just won’t share it. Seriously though, how does one get on the IT Cosmetics PR list??

  10. Emily says:

    What a great post! Love the honesty of it – you are right, sometimes it gets hard to know what people truly use and love when reading blogs and watching YouTube etc since so many things are sponsored!

  11. Klorane is the best dry shampoo, I hope to have my sephora order at my door this afternoon! Okay I have to get this It CC cream for sure, everyone seems to love it! Thank you for this honest post, my makeup caddy looks the same! Also randomly, this is the first post of yours in a while that hasn’t crashed my chrome browser, I wonder what is different?!

  12. Kay says:

    Heck I want to be on the IT cosmetics list and I dont even beauty blog haha. Jk. Maybe. Anyway I know of course that most bloggers dont consistently use the products they are sent. Thats unrealistic. Still, its good to see someone admit that. BTW love your bathroom.

  13. Kate says:

    Men definitely have it MUCH easier! And will never understand why it takes us so long to get ready *oy*. We have separate vanities in our master bath, and I giggle when I find some of my skincare products that have somehow migrated over to his side. I can never tell if a blogger is being genuine in a review because they received products for free and/or are being paid to push said products. Love hearing people’s real holy grails and re-purchases <3
    Green Fashionista

  14. Kerri says:

    Yes! I adore an OG blogging post – thanks for including my mini *rant*! I was biting my tongue for so long but it got to the point that I was starting to second guess everything I was reading and that wasn’t a good feeling.

    I think a few people misunderstood some parts of the post, I am 110% A-OK with affiliate links! If you are introducing me to a great product, you are absolutely entitled to something BUT I’d hope that they are your true feelings on it and the thoughts would be the exact same if you paid for the product with your own money ;)

    I always turn to your posts when I want to “treat” myself to something and I live for your “Recent Amazing Purchases” recaps. You always include a detailed opinion on products mentioned(!), this is a sure sign for myself, as a blog reader, to be like “Oh hey! What a helpful review. She definitely knows what she is talking about and adores this item.”

    Thanks again for sharing my post, it’s a great feeling knowing what of your favorite bloggers takes the time to read your post ♡ ♡ ♡

  15. Michelle says:

    Phyto’s phytodefrisant botanical straightening balm. The packaging says for “unruly, frizzy and rebellious hair” and they mean it. I’ve been using it for nearly 20 years. I’ve tried everything out there and nothing beats it. Everything else is too heavy, too greasy or just doesn’t work. Back in the early 2000s I used to travel to France a lot on business and the exchange rate was in our favor and I used to empty out the local pharmacy before I came home. I miss those days….

  16. I love seeing what products other people use! I recently started using a selling Beautycounter because you are right, we shouldn’t be slathering our skin with toxic products!!! I am a Mom of two little girls, and try to be really sensitive to the products I use on them! Check out Beautycounter’s baby line – you will love it!

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