Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

First Impression: Tarte Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation

Y’all. I’ve never been more disappointed with a foundation. I hate to say that too, because I’m always open to trying new things, but this one right here may be the first I actually return to
This is the Tarte Double Duty Beauty Shape Tape Hydrating Foundation. I picked it up on sale for $19 because I’d been wanting to try it. I am an avid user of the Shape Tape concealer; in fact it’s all I’ll use. I’d heard mixed reviews about the foundation, but I figured I’d just give it a shot, especially since Tarte is one of my favorite brands.

Well let me tell you, not only does this foundation make me look 10 years older, but I also had an allergic reaction to it. My face felt tingly and it gave me a burning/numbing sensation in my cheeks. 
As for the look of it, for a “hydrating” product, it made my skin look even MORE dry and sunk into EVERY fine line and pore on my face. Now I pride myself on having great skin. I take good care of it and often get compliments on it. This foundation looks so bad, even my fiancĂ© was like, yeah it’s not your best. I was not only uncomfortable but felt ugly. I think I described is as, "I look like a potato."

The other weird thing was that it seemed like any powder products just faded away. My setting powder did NOTHING. My face felt wet still after I put it on. When I put on bronzer and blush, the color was super pigmented and then two minutes later it was practically gone. Also, it made the rest of my face dry, but within an hour my nose was oily! 
After a few hours, the allergic reaction I was having became unbearable. I would have taken it off sooner, but I was at work and didn’t have any remover with me. So after about 3 1/2 hours of wear, I finally got to take it off. Under the makeup my skin appeared dry and my cheeks, in particular, were a nice bright shade of red. 

Several hours after removing the product, I still was experiencing itching on my cheeks and nose and a burning sensation. 
Once I got home, I put on a cooling/calming, very gentle face mask to soothe the itchy and burny, It definitely helped. I also put on a heavy duty night moisturizer.

The following morning, the reaction seems to have pretty much gone away. I still have some small splotches on my cheeks and a slight numbness and itchiness, but overall it's been okay. It worsened a bit when I put on some makeup, even though it was light, but ya'll know I can't leave the house without SOMETHING on my face lol.

Overall, I just wouldn't recommend this at all, ESPECIALLY if you have sensitive skin. I don't have sensitive skin and have never had this issue, so if your skin does skew on the sensitive side, I'd stay away. The only positive I would say about this product is the applicator. It's just like the shape tape wand! Although, I do wish it was a little bigger. 

XO, Briana

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New year, new wishes!

Happy 2019 everyone! This year is going to be a good one, I can just feel it! I'm so excited for this year to begin, mainly because I'm getting married!!! But also, because I get to start a new chapter. So I especially wanted to write down a few things I want to keep in my mind throughout the year.

I have noticed that every year I tend to have the same goals/wishes in the new year (i.e. lose weight, read more, etc.) This year, those will stand, however I have some new ones.

My two main goals this year are to take care of myself and to go after my dreams!

Making some "me" time

Being in a relationship with my best friend means we are attached at the hip 24/7. We're lucky enough to work at the same place and the same hours so when I say 24/7, I mean literally, and I absolutely love it. Why wouldn't you want to be with the one you love as often as possible? Alas, with that amount of time spent together, I don't really get any "me" time. When I say that I don't mean alone time, I mean time to take care of myself.

Being a girl is complicated and time consuming. Face masks, moisturizing, exfoliating, painting your nails, trying different hairstyles; all of those things get pushed to the way side for me nowadays. Those things and also things that I enjoy that are more "single-player" like reading a book and writing my blog.

I've noticed my skin is suffering from not giving it enough love and I've had that yearning to read a good book. So I've decided to give that gift to myself. I have my reading list already set, and I want to try to get back into a routine of doing a face mask and LEAST once a week!

I'm going to take some "me" time at least a few times a week to do something good for my mind, body and/or soul. Those don't all have to be by myself, but a lot of them will be to an extent and I need to be okay with that. When Sky and I move on from our current jobs, the likelihood we'll be working together like we are now is slim. So I really need to prepare myself for some separation anxiety! So if that means taking some alone time together (i.e. sitting together reading our respective books) I'm a-okay with that!

Our New Year's Eve outing! Ringing in 2019!

Dream BIG!

I have a lot of big dreams. They range from regularly writing here to really getting into starting my YouTube channel. And then I have dreams stemming from those, like what I would do if I become an established YouTuber. With all that I've been through in the past year, good and bad, I've realized that those big dreams are attainable, especially now that I have someone to help me!

I'm really hoping to re-brand a little and kick off Beach Babe Beauty this year. That may mean a little less writing and a little more video-ing(?) but I think the trade off will be worth it!

Overall, I want this year to be a constant vibe of positivity and happiness!

XO, Briana

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Top 10 travel tips for budding jetsetters

Well, hello! It's been a minute, but I'm here with something I've been working on for a while. I've always been into traveling and seeing the world is absolutely on my bucket list. I do travel a lot, but until recently, I didn't feel it was enough to call myself a "jetsetter."

Now, however, by the end of this year, I'll have been in 5 different airports and visited 5 different cities, some of them multiple times. It seems like every couple weeks we are going somewhere! It's a lot and often takes a few days to recover, but it's totally worth it.

Our latest trip has inspired me to put together a list of my top 10 travel tips that I've come to follow in the past year, and some that have been good old standbys from my many trips home during college.

Be prepared for security

When you're waiting in the security line at the airport, use that time to your advantage. Make sure you have your boarding pass and ID in hand, remove any jackets or accessories necessary and start taking out any electronics and liquids that need to go through the scanners separately. The more prepared you are ahead of time, the less chaotic it will be once you actually get to security. Also, a bonus tip, when you're collecting your things from the belt, grab everything and move to a nearby bench. That way you can take your time getting yourself together and not be in anyone's way!

Be familiar with airline rules

Every airline has different rules when it comes to bags. Some come with a personal item and a carry on with each ticket, and others will only let you bring a small personal item (cough, cough, Spirit.) Make sure you know what you can take before arriving at the airport so you're not stuck panicking about what you're going to do with an extra bag! Bonus tip: Don't risk bringing a bag bigger than the designated dimensions. Some airports are more lenient than others and will let you get away with something a little too big, but others are strict and may make you check it if it doesn't fit inside the box! (I learned this the hard way and made a scene in Philadelphia airport. Needless to say, I didn't pay extra to check it.)

Keep yourself entertained

Plane rides can be nerve-wracking and also kinda boring. If you're not planning on sleeping or it's a longer flight, make sure to bring things to keep yourself entertained. Make sure you download music that you can listen to offline, bring a book or a video game. My fiance and I brought our Nintendo Switch and played Mario Party this past weekend and it was so much fun! It also made the time go much faster. So if you're a nervous flyer like me, I highly recommend it!

Always have your beauty essentials

There are certain beauty products you should have with you in your purse or backpack that will make your life a lot simpler. Things like a nail file (not the sharp, pointy kind), a makeup wipe and some moisturizer really come in handy. Anything that you need to feel comfortable should be in your kit! Plus a cute little makeup bag also doesn't hurt. ;)

Dress comfortably but fashionably

I like to be comfortable just as much as the next person, but I absolutely HATE seeing people traveling in their PJs or whatever they just threw on in the dark. Flying used to be a luxury and people would dress to the nines to travel. Those days have passed, but that doesn't mean we need to worry flight attendants that a homeless person snuck onto the plane. In a world overrun with athlesiure, there is no excuse to not look fashionable and comfortable while flying. Normally, I'll go for a cute pair of jeans with a nice sweater or even a cute graphic t-shirt with a jacket. On earlier flights that make me want to die, leggings and an oversized tee are an easy throw-on pair, but with the right pieces, can still look put together. Think more casual, less loungewear.

Get your packing done ahead of time

This one is a toughie for me. Packing gives me MAJOR anxiety. I hate having to decide what I want to wear ahead of time, and I'm always worried I'm going to forget something. Which is a warranted fear, since 99% of the time, I do. However, I've found when it comes to packing for a trip, you need to find the sweet spot: Not too early, not too late. I'd say two days before is a good option. It's early enough that if you forget something, you can toss it in or pick it up at the store, but it's also late enough that you have time to really contemplate what you want to take.

Use things in your hotel room creatively

When you're traveling, especially with limited bag space, there are certain things you can't bring with you. Additionally, you are away from your home where a lot of comfort items stay behind. Learning to creatively use the things you find in your hotel room can make for easy solutions to your problems! For example, I stand in front of the bathroom mirror to do my makeup. I also have extremely cramp-prone feet. So standing on hard, cold tile is just asking for an awful foot cramp. Sky had a brilliant idea by using a folded up towel for me to stand on, in place of the floor mat we have in our bathroom. Another example: wrinkled clothes and no iron? Hang the garment in the bathroom while you take a shower. The steam will help to release the wrinkles in your clothes! I also always carry a Febreeze wrinkle release spray with me, which also helps!

Stick to trusted sites and hotel chains

This one's a doozey. It's easy to get drawn into a seemingly charming, boutique hotel for a good price. However, they can't always be trusted. What may look "charming" online may wind up being basically a dump once you step foot in the place. I speak from experience. Since then, I've stuck to anything under the Hilton umbrella for the most part and I have not been disappointed. I think boutique-style hotels are cool, but it's hard to tell what you're actually getting for your money. If you do book a hotel outside of a major company, do it through the company's website. They are more trustworthy than sites like and Kayak. Also, do your homework. Check sites like Yelp and TravelZoo for reviews, also keeping in mind that there will always be some good and some bad reviews.

Have a plan

Some people may disagree with me on this one, but I think I make a good point. The idea of spontaneously whisking away to a new place may seem exciting and romantic, and it can be, but not always. If you travel somewhere without any plan at all, you run the risk of winding up sitting in a hotel room all day, or not even making it there in the first place. I like to at least have SOME kind of idea of where I'm going and where I'm staying before making the trip. I say, make a few broad plans, like going to a certain area, and explore from there. You'll still have that adventure, while staying sensible. You don't want to wander around and wind up in a dangerous part of town, or get lost in a place where you don't speak the language. As much as you'd probably be fine and have a story to tell, it's better to try and prevent something like that from happening if you can!

Bring a buddy

Traveling is always more fun when you have a companion. It helps the boring parts fly by and makes everything more of an adventure. Having a buddy means having someone to share your experience with! It's also much safer, since you have each other's backs. So whether it's a significant other, a friend or a family member, bring someone along to share the fun!

XO, Briana