Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns

Saturday, October 12, 2019

5 things I miss about Hawaii

The most beautiful rainbow showed up as soon as we stepped foot on the beach on our first day!

So if you didn't already know, Sky and I went to Oahu for our honeymoon and it was absolutely amazing.

I had been dreaming of going to Hawaii since I was little and as I got older, I started saying, "If I don't go there before I'm married, I'm going there for my honeymoon!"

Lucky enough, Sky also was stoked to go there, so we very eagerly planned our trip!

I'll say we were a little green when it came to planning. It was both of our first times there, so we did a lot of tours and things. But I'll get into that more in another post!

Today is just about why I am missing it so darn much just a few months later and the top five things that I miss about Oahu, Hawaii!

1. THE SCENERY


Literally everywhere you look is stunning. From gorgeous coast lines, beautiful flowers and palm trees as tall as sky scrapers, to murals that take up entire sides of buildings and sunsets that look like paintings. There is always something of beauty, even in the darkest corners.

The view from our hotel balcony.


We both felt constantly in awe of the island's landscape and plentiful colors.

Even though where we live now is beautiful and tropical, it's just not the same. Hawaii just offers some kind of magic that I just can't put my finger on.

2. THE FOOD


We went to many restaurants during our trip, but the one thing I still dream about, and may or may not be salivating over right now just thinking about it, was the Kalua pork sandwich from a little bar/grill in the Ala Moana Center, which if you don't know is a mall.

I've had Kalua pork a few different places, but this one took the cake. They also had a really delicious drink called The Big Island—a spin on a Long Island Iced Tea. Yum.

Also, I am a huge fan of coconut shrimp. I ate it multiple times while on the trip and I've yet to find a place that has been better, even living in SWFL. I'd say the closest I've gotten was a restaurant in South Beach, Miami.

Malasadas from Leonard's Bakery


Then, there's the Malasadas. They're like small, Portuguese donuts and they are probably one of the most delicious desserts I've ever had. We were told we had to get them from Leonard's Bakery, and we were definitely not disappointed. I have dreams about those too.

3. THE ALOHA SPIRIT


Everyone there is just so laid back and nice! Even the people visiting seemed to all be in really good spirits (which I honestly don't know how you couldn't be in such a beautiful place, unless you're my husband who got cranky because it was raining lol) But really, the locals just embodied that aloha spirit and were always so eager to help anyone out!

The one day we decided to take an Uber to the mall, but then when we went to head home, we realized there was a bus that went to our hotel for a couple bucks. We waited in line, only to find out they only accepted cash. We didn't have any on us at that point so we had to walk away and figure something else out. But as the bus was making it's way out, the driver flagged us down and let us ride for free!

I felt awful about it but I guess we looked sad and dejected that he felt bad for us haha. He was really kind, and so was everyone on the bus! They found us seats and told us not to worry. I won't soon forget that kind gesture!


Me @ Kualoa Ranch


4. THE CHILL, SURF VIBES


Everywhere you look is either ocean or something referring to it. The ocean is like the goddess of the Hawaiian people, and I'm not just saying that, a lot of people will tell you that when you go there. It's truly their lifeblood, and is constantly celebrated.

I really love being able to go to so many different beaches that are all unique in their own way. I loved watching a surf competition in Honolulu and then seeing locals surfing on the North Shore.

Waikiki Beach during the Adaptive Surf Competition


I also really love the laid back, beach style that I incorporate into my daily life. Seeing it on a larger scale and truly embracing it was liberating.

5. THE ADVENTURE


We had so much fun just getting to see everything the island had to offer us. We went hiking up to the Waimea falls, got Dole Whip at the pineapple plantation and even spent a day driving around ourselves!

We learned a lot on the tours and they were really a lot of fun. But the real adventure was one day, just us and the island. We hit up a couple places we had already been but wanted to see more of, and then we found our own exciting places!

Lanakai Beach sunset


On our way headed back to the hotel from the North Shore, on a rather cloudy day, we were treated to the most breathtaking sunset. We were just driving along when we hit a ton of traffic. We didn't know why until we came to a clearing and saw this sunset on the beach. We were able to park off the road, run down to the beach and enjoy that wonderful gift from the islands. It was a perfect end to a perfect day.

BONUS: LEARNING A CULTURE


I consider myself pretty well-versed in the basics of Hawaiian culture, but actually going there and hearing it from the locals was fascinating. We learned about their dances, their food, the way they dress, the names of all the different trees and where they came from. We learned the history of the culture and the history of the island and even after hours of new information, we could just not get enough.

Byodo-Inn Temple


I can't wait to go back to Oahu and I look forward to the day where we can visit the other Hawaiian Islands.

Keep an eye on the blog for an upcoming post about some of our favorite, must-go places!

XO, Briana

Friday, October 4, 2019

Makeup products I've been eyeing

With all of the new releases and holiday kits coming out, I have quite a few products on my list of "things I want that I definitely can't buy all of so I need to pick a couple."

Eyeshadow palettes are my weakness and with all the new foundations that have come out in recent past, I'm just really overwhelmed with all of the pretty, shiny things.

So here are just a few that I've had my eye on lately that I may or may not buy.

EYES


Like I said: my weakness. There are quite a few palettes that I've really been drawn to but I literally cannot decide which to buy!

Colourpop x Kathleen Lights So Jaded Palette

(Credit: Colourpop Cosmetics)

As we all well know, Colourpop is a workhorse, pumping out new products all of the time. I haven't really been too interested in their monochromatic palettes because I already have soo many palettes and they just look too similar to things I already have.

However, the So Jaded palette has had me in a damn tizzy for the past few weeks. If I'm being honest, when I first saw it I wasn't too excited. It didn't really excite me at first. That was only until I saw all the looks being made using the palette! I am part of a Coloupop group on Facebook that is choc-full of gals who know their way around color and let me tell you, I've saved about a dozen different looks that I absolutely loved: all using this palette!

Needless to say, it's at the top of my list. It's a little high price-wise for my taste when it comes to Colourpop, but with all the fantastic reviews rolling around, I may just splurge a bit! Plus the colors are great for fall!

Grab it for yourself, here.

Ace Beaute Oceanic Palette

(Credit: Ace Beaute)
This one is a beauty! It's all blues and greens and each one is unique and beautiful! I fell in love with this brand thanks to BoxyCharm when I got a small palette of theirs as well as some really cool shadow creams.

The formula is really nice with lots of pigment and a smooth finish. They're also really easy to blend and go on the lid really nicely!

This palette obviously caught my attention because of the colors, but knowing how much I love their formula, it makes me want it even more!

My hesitation is also the thing I love the most about it: the colors. How often do I wear bright blue eyeshadow? Not much. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't be inspired to wear it more if I had this gorgeous palette!

Grab it for yourself, here.

Iconic London Brow Silk

(Credit: TrendMood)
Recently, I've become a pretty big fan of the Iconic brow cushion and I think using that in conjunction with this product will take my brows to the next level!

I am 100% aware that this is just a souped-up version of the old "toothbrush and soap" trick to get your brows to stay up. BUT I believe in the Iconic formula and a lot of people have had a lot of good things to say about it.

Basically, it's a compact with a waxy formula accompanied by a toothbrush-esq spoolie brush to brush the product through your brows.

Could it be overhyped? Yeah. Do I want to try it anyway? You betcha.

Grab it for yourself, here.

P. Louise Eye Base

(Credit: P. Louise)
My gal NikkiTutorials has been bashing this product into my mind for a while now and I've been really wanting to give it a go!

I ashamedly admit I am not one to use an eye base on a regular basis because most of the time I just either don't have time or can't be bothered.

However, I like to have a solid one around for really vibrant looks!

Grab it for yourself, here.

FACE

There are also a couple face products I've been looking at.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Edit Face Palette – Ghost

(Credit: Sephora)
Ooooh she pretty! I've seen a lot of amazing reviews of Hourglass products but I haven't tried them myself yet. So when I saw this palette was being released, I quickly added it to my list!

It's a little bit up there in price, so I'm definitely giving myself time to think about it...or I'm waiting for a Sephora coupon. I'll let you decide.

Either way, the blush colors in this palette are stunning and I have heard great things about the formula. Same goes for the highlighter. Even though I'm not super drawn to them, I know Hourglass makes a bomb-ass, natural highlight that is more glow than glitter, which is my favorite.

I'll probably go and swatch it for myself before deciding to purchase. But if I'm not huge on the highlighter, they also released a smaller blush palette that's also really pretty!

Grab it for yourself, here.

Fourth Ray Beauty Hyaluronic Tinted Moisturizer 

(Credit: Fourth Ray Beauty)
This Colourpop sister brand has been on my radar for a minute. I haven't tried anything yet, but just recently they released a tinted moisturizer!

If you know me, you know how much I love a tinted moisturizer and how I love hyaluronic acid even more! So this was a dream team product for me.

I'm still waiting to watch some YouTube reviews before I give it a try. But I'm thinking at a $12 price point it's totally worth checking out.

Tinted moisturizers are great for those days where you don't really want to wear makeup but also want a little bit of coverage. I like them especially for days where I don't want to wear really any makeup (like when I have to work at 6 a.m.) or for when I'm spending most of my day outdoors.

So I think I'll totally pick this one up!

Grab it for yourself, here.

I'd say that's all for now in terms of things that have already been released! There are a few other eyeshadow palettes I've been trying to decide between, but I think I've pretty much narrowed it down to the two above.

What products have you been thinking of purchasing?

XO, Briana

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Brand love: R + Co.


R + Co. has been on my radar for a while now, making their debut in my beauty bag when I received their Death Valley Dry Shampoo in a Birchbox a million years ago.

Now, I'm so thrilled that they contacted ME to work with them as an affiliate! #swoon

As a welcome gift, I got to choose a few products that spoke to me and share with you my thoughts.

Needless to say, those thoughts are very good.

Some highlights about the brand that I love:

  • They have some really cool and innovative products! And from what I can tell thus far, they deliver on their promises!
  • They are a vegan and cruelty-free brand!
  • They always offer free samples! I love free samples because it gives me the chance to try another product, even when I can't afford to buy more than one thing.

HIGH DIVE




Let's start with the High Dive Moisture + Shine Creme. My frizzy, Florida curls are so grateful for this magic in a tube.

I use this as an after shower, leave in conditioner of sorts. After towel drying my hair, I slather this all up in there and then brush it through.

It leaves my hair hydrated and gives it a nice, healthy glow! I've been using it every wash for the past month and I have not once been disappointed. Oh, also, it smells really good!

MOON LANDING



When I ordered these products, I had just found out I was moving to Florida. So when I saw this Moon Landing Anti-Humidity Spray, I was like, guuurrrll give me ANYTHING to save me from having a humongous frizz afro on the daily!

After styling my hair, I make sure all my flyaways are tamed and spray away! This isn't your typical hairspray. It doesn't feel stick at all and doesn't make your hair crunch. Think of it as making a barrier between your hair and the humidity! It lightly lays on top and adds some extra shine too! I use it on my entire head, not just the top and it really does help.

Now I'm not going to say my hair is never a victim of the humidity. Some days there's just no getting around it. But on those days I just embrace it and accept that it is what it is lol.

But more often than not, this spray keeps the frizz at bay!



I also got a travel size of the Waterfall Moisture + Shine Lotion. I really liked that too, although I haven't used it too much since it's happily living in my travel bag! Although I have used it to smooth out dry strands when my hair is already styled and it worked quite nicely! Gives a similar shine that I get using High Dive but I prefer that for when my hair is wet. A great alternative!

IN MY SHOPPING CART

Here are a few products I've had my eye on! In case you need suggestions on what else to buy. ;)

Shopping leafs monstera plants trolley gif shopping shop women people illustration
Credit: Paulina Procner
  • Television Perfect Hair Shampoo + Conditioner — I may be biased because of the name, but a friend of mine swears by this set, so it's definitely on my must-try list!
  • Centerpiece All in One Elixir Spray — Anything that is going to get more done in one shot sounds good to me! It's fragrance is also called "Dark Waves" with notes of tangerine, pineapple and lavender, which sounds AMAZING. Yes, please!
  • Pinstripe Intense Detangling Spray — "Intense detangling" sounds like what I have to do every time I decide to go a few days without washing my hair. #CurlyGirlProbs. The name says it all with this one, and I'm always down for anything that is going to help me tame my mane!


If you're interested in trying any of the R + Co. products, click HERE to shop and use my affiliate code 6zqL to get a welcome credit of $10 off your first $50+ purchase AND free shipping on all orders over $50!

Happy shopping!

XO, Briana