Sequin Gowns & Mermaid Crowns : 2017

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Life Update and a Look Back

Hey everyone! Apologies for being incognito on my blog for a couple weeks. As I’m sure you all know, the holidays are super fun but also very time consuming! It’s been a little crazy around here too. So I’d better just go ahead and get to my life update!

My big news is that I just got a real, big girl job! Woohoo! Finally, all my schooling and killing myself in retail for the past three years is worth it! #BLESSUP. 馃檶馃徏 I am officially a Digital Content Producer for one of my local news stations! I’ve actually been working there as an Editor/Prompter Operator since last January and have loved it, even though it was part time.

Funny enough, I was planning on leaving soon because there weren’t any other positions open at the time and I was also working at Dillard’s. I was planning on trying to work my way up in the company there, but then this other opportunity presented itself. Again, I almost didn’t apply but boy am I glad I did! I just finished my two weeks of training and I am already in love. I’m finally getting to do what I’ve wanted to do all along: write.

I spend my day writing and editing and doing social media, all things I am damn good at and love to do! So I’m a happy little clam with a regular schedule and my own desk. Plus I will have much more time to get healthy and blog and other things on my to do list. Which brings me to part deux of of this post!

The new year is coming, and what the hell have I done? Since I made a post last year of all my goals and “New Year’s wishes,” I thought it would be fun to look back and see if I have fulfilled any of them! And then maybe I’ll make one for this year too!

I Gradumawated!

My first wish was to be damn proud of myself for graduating with my second degree! I totally did that and killed it! I graduated in May with my B.A. in Interactive Journalism. Something I probably should have gone to school for in the first place. But I happily and humbly own the fact that I am “hotter by 2 degrees!”

Boss Babe

I had high hopes for my career and I finally got started! I’m happy to be on a career track doing something I love and hope to keep climbing my way up!

Love, love, love! 

I wanted to embrace love from all angles, not just a relationship. I think I did that by making a ton of new friends who I truly care for and love!

Mind, Body & Soul

My last wish was to be my best self. Which I will always wish for, since I always believe there is room for improvement. I’ve let my physical health slip a little, but I really want to focus on that more this coming year. Mental health wise, I’m feeling much more in control. Last year was really difficult for me in this department. I dealt with quite a lot of trauma and my anxiety and depression got pretty dark and twisty. At this point, I feel happy and not nearly as anxious all the time. I said I wanted to read a lot, and I sure did! I set a Goodreads goal to read 12 books this year and I’ve read 11! I’m hoping to maybe fly through one more before the year is gone!

Just a few of my favorite 2017 memories!

So I’d say I did pretty well upholding my wishes for the year. It wasn’t the best year ever, but it definitely wasn’t the worst. I’d say I had some bad and some good moments. But I did make some pretty good memories and those are the ones that stick! Hope you all have a very Happy New Year! Check back in a few days for my new wishes and resolutions!

XO, Briana

Friday, December 15, 2017

Gift Guide!

For the past month or so I've been collecting things for my usual Christmas/holiday gift guide. Last year I did a "beach babe" theme. This year I figured I'd also do something specific, but the theme kind of just came out as "a bunch of stuff I think is rad." And I think that worked out pretty well! You could also count it as a last minute gift guide since this one has come pretty late in the season. However, I know I am one of many who have yet to complete shopping, let alone start wrapping. That's a whole other animal! Well, without further ado, here's a bunch of stuff I like...I mean my Gift Guide!  [Follow from left to right!]

1. North Shore Candle Company Limited Release Heather Brown Collaboration Candle (Surf Wax)- When it comes to gift giving, you can hardly ever go wrong with a candle! This collaboration is super cool because not only does it smell good, but it also showcases awesome art work. Both the company and artist are native to Hawaii!

2. Goldfish Kiss Goods Print (Scenic Set in Bloom)- This one mayyyy be on my personal Christmas list this year! If you know me, you know how much I adore the Goldfish Kiss blog and it's author Rebekah Steen. She also makes lots of cool stuff, like this beautiful watercolor! A great addition to anyone's art collection and a great gift!

3. Hot Dudes Reading (The Book!)- If you haven't already followed the Instagram account, you are totally missing out! Every single post has me in stitches and now they are all complied into one handy book! It would make a great coffee table book and is a funny but practical gift!

4. Souled Out the Label Hippie Crew Mug- A cute mug is always handy, especially as a last minute gift! This one is super cute and I love the saying! Souled Out also makes other really cool stuff, like embroidered denim jackets!

5. Kopari Beauty Coconut Multitasking Kit- Who doesn't love coconut?! This little set is great for travel or just for trying out some new products! It's a cute little gift but also useful! And better than a knock of Bath & Body Works set from Kmart (like every secret santa gift I've ever gotten, lol.)

6. ALOHA Collection Monstera Tote Bag- I love this giant tote bag! It's great for every day or for a trip to the beach! Plus, the black and white palm print will go with just about everything! Perfect for the jetsetter, beach girl in your life!

7. Blonde Shark Shark Tooth Pareo- You could pick anything on this site and end up with something totally rad, however I've personally taken to this little wrap! I love the print and it's a really versatile piece. Use it as a cover up, a shawl, a sash, etc. Definitely a unique present!

8. Soda2Art Surfer Hawaiian Cuff Bracelet- I actually came across this shop on Etsy looking for a gift for my dad! This girl makes some of the coolest jewelry! She makes bracelets, earrings and necklaces out of upcycled cans with Hawaiian motif! Plus they are super reasonably priced. Guaranteed one of a kind gift!

9. Billabong Baja Beach Sweater- A beachy spin on the classic go-to gift! This cute hoodie can be worn all year long, and comes in two color-ways.

10. LvcJewelry Nalu Edison Bangle- For your beach lovin' bestie! Or anyone who loves the ocean for that matter! I love the pretty pink freshwater pearl against the golden wave! So unique and something she can wear all the time! Handmade in Hawaii!

Happy Shopping!
XO, Briana

Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Party Etiquette

As we quickly approach the holiday season, I'm sure many of us are thinking about all of the parties and gatherings we will be attending! I know I'm already planning my outfits! However, there is one thing that, I personally feel, people don't often take into consideration anymore: etiquette.

Back in the day, when dinner parties were a weekly occasion and people dressed in their Sunday best just to eat a meal at their neighbor's house, etiquette was held to the highest standard. They even had books dedicated to it and it was taught in schools.

Today, people just kind of do whatever they want and say "screw you" to rules. But I really do think it's a lost art of manners that a lot of people still expect. So as a refresher, and so no one gets offended this holiday season, here is a list of party etiquette standards that should still be followed...if you want to be the perfect party guest that is!


To start, I really dug this quote from Slate: "RSVP abbreviates the French phrase R茅pondez s'il vous pla卯t, which means please reply, as is known by every adult worthy of receiving an invitation to anything good." Well said sir. The phrase has been around for quite some time and it's meaning seems to have become more loosely translated in recent years.

However, proper etiquette dictates that, in the event of receiving an invitation, one must respond in a timely manner. In the olden way of doing things, your lack of response would be taken as an acceptance. So basically, if you plan to come, respond as soon as possible. If you intend not to come, let the host know. The whole point of an RSVP is to get a head count for party preparations. No need for the host to make food for 30 if only 15 decide to show up. Save them the money, and stay on the list for the next party.

I also want to briefly touch on Facebook invitations. These same rules still apply! The only difference is your option to select "maybe." If you choose to do this, you should change your response to a yes or no as soon as you decide.

2. Mind the Dress Code

Some parties you may attend this holiday season may state a dress code. Depending on the venue and style of party, there are certain styles of dress that could be inappropriate.  Brush up on what each dress code means and make sure your are dressed appropriately. Most house/dinner parties will likely be semi-casual, which would be nice jeans and a blouse for ladies and jeans or khakis and a button down for guys (as and example.) Fancier parties will probably be cocktail attire, which is a cocktail (short or tea length) dress for ladies and dress pants and shirt with tie for the guys. Remember, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed! Bonus: if you're struggling for outfit ideas just search "holiday party outfits" on Pinterest! [Side note: Jean Wang of seriously knows how to slay the holiday outfit game!]

3. Actually Show Up

If you let your host know that you intend to attend, actually show up. Unless there is some kind of an emergency (anything important that requires your full attention) you should always stay good to your word. Obviously, if something comes up at the last minute, like your babysitter backing out, your host will understand and not hold you accountable. Deciding not to come at the last minute simply because "you don't feel like it" is totally unacceptable and will get you on the host's shit list real quick. Even if you lie, it's likely the host will see right through it, especially if it's close to the start of the party. Which leads me to another point: if you need to cancel, try to let the host know as early as possible. They're expecting you, so save them the worry by giving them a heads up. It's not the job of the host to have to track you down!

Also make sure you arrive on time! Some parties may have a specific start time and some may not. Make sure you know the answer to this question and arrive at the assigned time. If you must be late, let your host know and try not to be past 15 minutes: fashionably late. Fun fact: arriving more than 10 minutes (or so) early is actually just as unbecoming as being late. Coming too early leaves your host no time for last minute preparations. Best course of action is just to arrive at the start time!

4. DON'T Bring an Uninvited Guest

There are three major rules to this. One, only bring a guest if you are given a plus one on your invitation. Two, if you are invited and want to bring your SO, always ask the host unless you are all friends. Three, never just show up with an uninvited guest. It makes it very uncomfortable for the host, especially if the party is at their home. Also, that's now another person they need to make sure there is enough food and drink for.

5. DO Bring a Gift

When attending a house party, it is appropriate to bring a gift for your host. A bottle of wine is usually standard or bring something they can use for entertaining! Try a cool kitchen gadget or a parlor game! Or, if these aren't your style, ask your host before hand if there's anything you can bring. Finally, if you bring something, do NOT take it back with you when you leave! And don't take anything home (food and drink-wise) unless the host insists.

6. Be Present

The worst kind of party guest is the one who sits on the couch on their phone the whole time! Put your phone away and only break it out for photos or if your showing something as a part of a conversation. The whole point of parties is to get people to spend time together! Enjoy the company of others and spend your time mingling and making memories!

P.S. This links to a great article on what not to do at your office holiday party!!

7. Mind Your Timing

If the party has an end time, you should plan to leave at that time or just a bit earlier. What is appropriate kind of depends on the type of party and the venue. If there is an open ended time, try to feel the room and make your exit when the party seems to have come to a natural end.  If it's an all nighter kind of thing, stay for a couple hours at least and leave when you're ready! Just never leave without saying goodbye to your host!

Another thing to note: don't overstay your welcome. If everyone else has left and you notice your host looks tired, make your way out!

There are a lot of more specifics depending on the type of party, so if your not sure do a quick google search! Also, this is a really great interview with Derek Blasberg, author of Classy: Exceptional Advice for the Extremely Modern Lady and it's sequel Very Classy. Both books are totally worth a read!

XO, Briana

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Erno Laszlo Vitamin C Peel

Hey everyone! Welcome to cold weather season! Ew! LOL. Even though I hate anything below 72 degrees, I try to make the best of it by enjoying time indoors. *Insert Spongebob's ode to indoors song*
Related image

Anyway, for me that means lots of Netflix and face masks. You know ya girl loves a good face mask! So winter is a good time to try a bunch of different ones to combat that dry, dull skin. I had the pleasure of getting to test out the Erno Laszlo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel, thanks to Influenster!

I was really excited to try this one because I'd never tested anything like it before. But wowie, this one is a beauty!

It works in two steps. First you open the jar that smells of a delicious orange grove; slightly reminiscent of the end of the Soarin' ride in Disney World. This part of the peel works as an exfoliant. You apply a thin, even layer and massage it in for up to 3 minutes. Then the second step is the activator or the chemical part of the peel. Fill the syringe and mix it into the exfoliant already on your face. Let that sit for 1 minute, rinse with warm water and viola! A quick five minutes for great results if you ask me!

Speaking of which...the results! Here's a before and after.

As you can clearly see, there was a huge difference after just one use! First of all, as I said in my Instagram story, my face has never felt this soft. Like, I actually couldn't stop feeling it! On top of that, my skin was glowing and looking almost airbrushed compared to the before picture. 

You can use this once a week, which is nice to have as a part of your routine, and it's a lot of fun to use. I also really liked how quick and easy it was. I think it will come in handy if I'm having a bad skin day and need a quick fix! I'd definitely recommend it to use before applying makeup to give you a super smooth base to work with! Bonus: it's chock-full of healthy ingredients like Vitamin C (obviously), carrot seed oil and lactic acid. 

Overall I really enjoyed this mask/peel and would 100% recommend it! It is a little pricey, coming in at $100, but a good idea for your Christmas list! It's available at Sephora as well as the official Erno Laszlo site. 

Have you tried this peel yet or any other products from Erno Laszlo? Let's chat in the comments!

XO, Briana

Monday, October 30, 2017

My Journey with Depression

I've been thinking about this a lot lately and thought I'd share my story. I feel like I'm an open book, so if I can in any way help others who are suffering from depression and/or anxiety than it's totally worth opening up about!

I was talking with my mom the other day about my journey with depression. She has had it for a long time, as well as my aunt so it runs in the family. I do want to put a quick disclaimer in saying that I have not been clinically diagnosed with depression or anxiety, but the shoe fits. I do also suffer from anxiety, which I will touch on, but I want to focus on depression for this particular post!

One of the things I brought up was the fact that I didn't realize that I was suffering from severe depression until way after I came out of it. It's almost like an out of body experience, looking back on myself now with fresh eyes. I didn't really start to experience depression until college. I had a lot on my plate: I was away from home for the first time, living on my own for the first time and dealing with the stress of classes and meeting new people. I think I was alright for the first few years because it was such a unique and exciting experience. However, I also traveled home once a month to visit which probably helped the situation.

My senior year is really when I can recall first experiencing severe symptoms of depression. At the time I blamed it all on being stressed out. I am a perfectionist (#anxiety) so stress comes quite easy for me. So having so many things to worry about and big responsibilities, like designing makeup for A Midsummer Night's Dream, just tipped me over the edge. Plus I was working two jobs and had a lot of drama with friends. It was pretty rough. And I also didn't get to visit home as much because I simply didn't have time.

To the symptoms. I didn't want to do anything. And I mean anything. Just getting out of bed half of the time was an absolute chore. I was constantly sick, whether it was a cold or allergies or just feeling like my whole body was hit by a Mac truck. I missed class a lot, called out from meetings and work, flaked out on spending time with friends and spent a lot of time watching marathons of Bar Rescue. Through it all, I really just thought I was tired from running all the time and that my body couldn't handle it. I was suffering and I didn't know why. I wanted to do all of these things, but my body just wouldn't let me. One of the things I want to note is that, although it is common, I didn't often feel sad. I did have certain days when I felt sad for no reason, which I could recognize. But more often than not, I just felt oppressive fatigue more on the end of nothingness. Just general "blah." I can't recall feeling much else, honestly.  I also gained a lot of weight, which I attributed to stress and eating crap. Not so much.

It wasn't until my mom pointed it out that I realized I was in a deep, dark battle with depression. My parents came down for a visit and my mom sat me down and said, "you're really angry." Now if you know me at all, you know that I am not an angry person. I'm probably one of the most chill people you know. But at this point at time I was the freakin' Hulk. Any little thing set me off, and the fact that I didn't notice until someone else did is a little scary. How can your entire personality shift without you even realizing? My biggest issue was that even though my mom had explained depression to me in the past, I was so far deep that I couldn't even recognize the symptoms. Luckily, that conversation with my mom was enough to wake me up and realize what was going on. Just being armed with that knowledge of what triggered me and what I was feeling, I was able to combat it and heal.

I think moving back home definitely helped. It alleviated a lot of my stress, and being with my family always makes me happy. I slowly got better and am lucky to have not experienced a really bad episode like that in many years. However, in retrospect, I so wish I had figured it out sooner. I missed a lot of opportunities and my schoolwork and relationships suffered as well. Part of me wishes I could get a do over for that year, but everything happens for a reason. I think I needed to experience that so that when I start to fall into that rabbit hole again I am ready to pull myself out. I haven't felt the need to get medication for my depression, since it is pretty mild at this point. My anxiety on the other hand is a different story, one that is for another day. With depression, I find that I am able to recognize my patterns and I prevent it by really taking care of myself mentally.

I still have to fight sometimes to get out of bed in the morning, but at least now I can tell the difference between depression weighing me down and just plain 'ol exhaustion! I'm happy to share my story and help you guys understand that depression is not always totally apparent. If any of you want to share your stories, ask/share advice, or just need someone to talk to I am always here! We can chat in the comments, or you can message me privately through my Facebook page!

XO, Briana

Monday, October 23, 2017

Fall Trend Report!

Hello friends! I never seem to realize how long it's been since I've posted until I actually log in and see the last post I published! In this case, it's been a little hectic and I've been working on several different things that I hope to bring to you in coming weeks!

With all that aside, I am excited for this post that I've come up with. It's nothing totally innovative, but I kept noticing certain styles popping up on Instagram (my social media platform of choice) and thought I'd curate my own little trend report! I'll link the images to their OP so you can follow these awesome accounts for yourself!

Cosmic Influence


I'm getting strong moonchild vibes from a lot of people this fall. Glittering stars and embroidered cosmos are constantly popping up! I've even seen a lot of moons and stars in jewelry styles. The cool thing too is that this trend seems to span a multitude of styles! No longer is cosmic influence reserved for the bohemian hippie chick in you.

All Wrapped Up


Wrap dresses and wrap/tie front tops are everywhere when it comes to the more tropical/beachy styles (aka, my style.) I'm personally obsessed with the printed maxis that XIX Palms has been showing off prominently all over IG. Simply stunning! While most of the styles I selected are on that more "endless summer" side, this trend can definitely be translated to a more polished style.

Fuzzy Feelings


Return of the floofy jackets! This trend has been making the rounds for a few years now, particularly with bohemian stylistas. Now it seems to be crossing over a little, but on the more subdued side. Even though I, sadly, can't really seem to rock this trend (I look like a really glamorous linebacker) I still love the fun and freedom of a gigantic fuzzy frock. Maybe I'll try the hoodie version!

What Goes Around...


The trend that started it all! I started to notice these little guys all over my feed and throughout my likes. I hadn't even noticed the amount until I went and looked! It seems like all my favorite tropical fashionistas are rocking these tambourine style bags! I personally enjoy the rattan styles, but they are showing in leather styles as well! Definitely a good staple bag to keep around all year long!

Breaking News-boy


Of all of the trends I've listed, this is the one that I went out and bought right away! I love a good hat, and I've been seeing this style all over. It seems to go with just about anything and looks good in a variety of colors, patterns and textures! I got a simple black felt one from Target that looks exactly like the higher end ones that have been circulating! It's an easy trend to get the "look for less" but still be on point! I personally love pairing this more menswear inspired topper with one of those feminine wrap dresses! Bonus points if it's in a tropical print!

What trends have you spotted for the season? Which are your favorites? Let's start a very fashionable conversation in the comments!!

XO, Briana

Friday, September 29, 2017

bareMinerals BarePro Liquid Foundation

So as many of my posts begin, I need to send a big 'ol thank you to Influenster for letting me try and introducing me to a product that is now my absolute favorite. We're talking about the bareMinerals BarePro Liquid foundation. Like, oh. my. god.

If you've been following my blog for a while, you know foundation is quite the pain for me. I have a lot of trouble finding exactly what I want: the right color, finish, lasting power etc... I have found a few that I do like, i.e. the Wet 'n Wild Photo Focus foundation for a whopping $5 and the Urban Decay Naked Skin. Not including my extreme coverage favorite, the Lancome Teint Idol foundation. That stuff is next level. But today we're focusing on every day foundation here and BarePro is my new holy grail.

For some reason, I was never drawn to the bareMinerals brand. I'm not really sure why, but I think it was around when they first became popular for the powder foundation. My skin is way too dry for powder foundation, so I just never really got into it. I do regret not trying it sooner though, because I was definitely missing out!

There is so much to love about this foundation. First off, it blends like a dream. I just pump a little bit at a time on my beauty blender and dab dab dab away. It covers evenly and is very easy to build. I'd say it comes out as a medium/full, dewy coverage. I love the way it looks and it's perfect for my every day makeup. And boy does this baby last! I typically work really long days and I don't take my makeup off as soon as I get home so I'd say it's on for a solid 12-14 hours. Let me tell you, there is hardly any fading and no breaking up. I mean, obviously after all that time any foundation is going to fade and not look as fresh as when you first put it on. But this one really does a great job of staying smooth throughout the day. I also never have to touch it up. Not once. #blessit

Overal, if you couldn't tell, I'm obsessed. Oh, and it also has SPF 20 which is a nice little perk, especially if you live at the beach!

XO, Briana

Monday, September 11, 2017

A Thought About Jeans

So I went shopping yesterday looking for some basic pieces for work. I am in need of jeans, which is and always has been, a nightmare for me. I thought it would be easier to find clothes now that I am averaging around a size 12 and it has been, but not for jeans.

Jeans are a curvy girl's worst nightmare.   Although there are many brands that include "plus sizes," they simply aren't cut to fit a curvy figure. Being a somewhat in between size, I find that straight size lines that go up to a 12 or 14 are too straight through the hips and strictly plus size lines are too loose in the bottom. (Don't even get me started on plus sized tops that find the need to accommodate a DDD bust in a 1x top...) On top of everything this endless hunt requires, now we also have to deal with misleading style names.

I want to point out that I really like Joe's jeans as a brand. I love the styles, the quality and the overall feel of the jeans they produce and have sung their praises to many a customer. However, I have yet to find a pair that actually fits me. The brand goes up to a 32 waist, which I would say I usually wear a 32 or 34. When I came across a pair called the "booty fit," I thought I may have finally found my match. Now I did realize "booty" could have referred to the somewhat bootcut leg, but I figured since it was the booty fit and not booty cut, that the fit was designed for a girl with hips and thighs.

Fade out to the fitting room: me with my "booty" jeans not even making it past my knees. I couldn't even tell if they would fit on the booty. These jeans had zero, and I mean ZERO, stretch or any kind of Lycra. So apparently I was totally wrong about it being a curvier cut. Like I wasn't already frustrated, now I'm disappointed. Apparently not only am I not skinny enough for Joe's but I'm also too shapely? 馃檮

I am still trying to wrap my mind around why so many brands are catering to skinny, curveless women when, in reality, they are the minority. I've realized that even if I lost enough weight to get to a size 6, I would still struggle. The fat may melt away, but the Puerto Rican thighs and booty are forever.

If I never get the opportunity to design my own line, I ask that someone please fix this problem! At least refrain from using misleading style names that make me feel like I'm not good enough to wear your clothes. *Mic drop*

XO, Briana

Monday, September 4, 2017

Instagram Wish List

For a while now I've been collecting some things on my Instagram saves that I've been obsessing over. Basically, its a wish list of things I most likely will never get my hands on. Either way, it doesn't cost anything to admire them from afar (sigh..) So here are my favorites! Maybe some of them will make it onto my Christmas list! ;)

Mermaid Goodies from Sincerely Sweet Boutique

You could probably pick something from this website with your eyes closed and I'd probably love it! This place has the biggest selection of mermaid goodies that I've found so far. They've got everything from bathing suits, to seashell compacts, to mermaid tarot cards! I'm in serious need. Plus, as I've featured above, there's even something super cute for blind mermaids like me! LOL.

Handmade Batik Clothing

Batik is a hand dying technique that is native to Indonesia and it is absolutely a work of art! Jenny Handmade Batik has been on my radar for a while and she creates some seriously gorgeous pieces! I've saved quite a few favorites, but this one was my most recent! I love the mudras on this cute little crop top!

The Jungalow Stationary

First off, let me say that I absolutely love everything that Justina Blakeney and company produce from their uber creative noggins. Like, who wouldn't want to spend all of their time in THIS room?! Decor aside, they just recently came out with this adorable stationary collection and let me just say, I need those palm leaf notebooks in my life!

Aloha Charm Necklace

I've had my eye on this baby for a while and it will be mine someday soon! I just love the meaning of aloha and how delicate and pretty this is! I hunted extensively for something similar but a little less expensive, but this one from Love Me Knots Hawaii is the clear winner. It's handmade in Hawaii with 14k gold and pink coral. So unique! Plus you also have the option to customize these necklaces with whatever you want them to say!

Pacifica Crystal Line

The vegan, cruelty-free makeup and skincare company Pacifica has recently released a whole collection of crystal based products. How cool?! I found this picture from @bbcbeautyblogs on Instagram but this is only a few things that they have to offer.  One thing I found extra cool was the roller ball perfumes! Each scent targets a particular vibe like happiness or romance and are made in small batches with the crystal inside for maximum effect!

Island Style by Colleen Wilcox Art

Well, if you didn't know I was in love with this lovely wahine's art by now, you haven't been paying attention! I just adore the tropical themes, the bright colors and the unique way she puts it all together! I would kill to have this beauty hanging in my room right now, but I'll probably have to settle for the print. This particular one that she is holding is a giclee canvas print, which is a special, limited edition, high quality print on wrapped canvas.

Isla + Mar Hand Painted Hats

It was love at first sight with this palm leaf, painted hat. I find myself constantly double tapping on every hat and bag on their Instagram. Like many things that come from Miami, it just gives off that laid back, beach life vibe that I love oh so much. Plus, I'm pretty sure this one would go with just about anything!!

That's all for now! I could go on for days about the super cool things I find on IG, but I'll save some of those for another post!

XO, Briana

Saturday, August 12, 2017

HASK Charcoal Purifying Dry Shampoo

Wow, the past few months sure did fly by fast!! I may not have posted much on here, but I've been working on testing out quite a few awesome products for you guys! So make sure to keep an eye out for more noise from me!

To kick off all of the amazing reviews I have coming, I recently received one of my favorite products to test out: DRY SHAMPOO!

In my personal opinion, every girl needs some dry shampoo in her hair arsenal, as it is a gift from the beauty gods. Especially if you have hair like me, that is dry on the ends and leaning toward greasy at the roots, dry shampoo is basically a miracle in a bottle.

Now I've tried a lot of different ones and have my favorites, but as you well know, I'm always looking for the next best thing! And this new line from HASK is definitely some good competition!

HASK has just released four, count 'em, FOUR new dry shampoos all with different active ingredients. You can check out the whole collection here, which is also conveniently available at Ulta! (Yay!)

I decided I wanted to go for the charcoal one. I feel like I constantly see beauty gurus raving about the benefits of charcoal everything so I wanted to get in on the action. The HASK Charcoal Purifying Dry Shampoo uses charcoal infused rice to quickly absorb excess oil. Plus, the citrus scent is pretty nice too. It's not my favorite, but I'm not exactly mad at it. However, I do love the fact that it is free of all sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten and artificial colors.

In review, I actually very much like this product! It works well to take away my greasy roots after not washing for two or even three days. It also gives me some extra volume, which is always nice since oils tend to weigh down my hair. It does give off a white cast, as most dry shampoos do, but not as much as some others I've tried. But it's also very easy to get rid of! In the past I have found myself rubbing my head for a ridiculously long time trying to get rid of my "old lady hair," but not with this one!
What stands out to me most about this particular dry shampoo is that it is very lightweight. I doesn't make me feel like I'm putting a crap ton of product in my hair. It feels natural and comfortable while still doing its job! I will note that it's great for when you experience a little bit of greasiness but I wouldn't use it for a heavy duty job haha.

I would 100% recommend this entire line! I honestly want to try them all, since they're great quality and still affordable (since I go through an embarrassing about of dry shampoo.) Plus, the convenience of being able to grab a bottle while I'm spending half of my pay check at Ulta is wonderful!

So much thanks to HASK for letting me try another of your awesome products (and for the super cute tote bag too!)

What are your favorite dry shampoos? Have you tried any other HASK products? Let me know in the comments below!

XO, Briana

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Kenra Grip Trio

Hello everyone! This week I have decided to mix it up a little bit! I know I tend to focus my reviews on makeup and skincare products, but for the next few posts I'll be giving you the DL on haircare!

I was lucky enough to be chosen to try out Kenra Professional's new collection, the Grip Trio. As it's name states, the collection consists of three awesome products: the Whip Grip Mousse, Air Grip Spray and the High Grip Spray.

Together these products are the perfect set for creating some pretty awesome up-dos. Now I know you all know that I tend to let my mermaid hair hang loose more often then not, but I do love me some braids. Plus, this set will definitely be my go to for any special occasions when I need something a little more fancy! So let's go through each product!

Whip Grip Mousse- light hold defining mousse (9)

This one boasts an airy formula that will give you three times more volume without that typical mousse stiffness. I'll be honest, I am extremely picky when it comes to mousse. Because I air dry my hair, I often find that mousse is just too heavy and weighs down my hair. No bueno. However, I actually liked this one! It defined my curls and helped to keep my frizz at bay all while remaining amazingly light weight! It also smells really good, which you all know is one of the most important things for me (lol.) I personally would use this individually for an everyday, easy look, but I do think this would be awesome for girls with thinner or straighter hair to obtain a little more volume prior to creating a killer updo!

Air Grip Spray- dry wax defining spray (5)

To me, this spray was the most innovative of the three. I've never really seen anything like it. The brand describes it as a light weight and flexible hold but with 50% more grip. It definitely delivered! I used this one to create a fishtail braid. I tend to have slippery hair that forces me to use 600 bobby pins to keep anything in place. With this spray I was able to create the braid much more easily and I only used 2 pins to keep a few shorter hairs in place. Also, I decided to see how it would be leaving the spray (and hairspray) in for another day. I was able to wear my hair down in the morning without it looking, well, yucky and tossed it into a voluminous, piecey pony tail later on.

High Grip Spray- high hold defining hairspray (20)

Last but not least is the hair spray. This one claims to produce a light weight, 24 hour hold. After using it several times, I would say that is absolutely true! I really like this hairspray because it holds really well but it's not crunchy. And like I mentioned earlier, I was able to switch up my hairstyle with out any "phantom styles," like the one in the meme below. (haha!)
Overall, I really love this trio! I think it's absolutely perfect for creating some killer up do's and even individually for everyday styles. I also really liked the number system they used to determine how much hold each product has. It is a scale from 0-25 or 30 depending on the collection. I think it makes it much easier to really know how set in stone that style is going to be! Also, the whole collection is now conveniently available at Ulta! For more information on the Grip Trio collection and Kenra Professional's other products, CLICK HERE!

Are you an updo girl? What kind of styles would you want to try using this collection? Let me know in the comments and also if you've already tried them!

XO, Briana
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Wednesday, May 17, 2017


Throughout the course of your life, you'll notice that several questions continuously seem to pop up. In particular, I mean, is "what are you passionate about?" You'll hear this question a million times by the time you're 20 and it gets really old really fast. What does it even mean? How are we expected to know the answer to that question as a teenager, when our brains aren't even fully developed? You'll hear this question when you're in middle school, choosing an extra curricular activity; you'll hear it in high school when you're deciding where to go to college; and you'll hear it in college when you're searching for a career. Even once you've got a degree or two, people will still ask you. Even if you've been in a successful career for years, they will still ask. So what is it about passion that is just so darn important and sparks so much curiosity? And why are we constantly criticized for what our passions are, or are not?

Since I had a mind enough to understand what a "passion" was I have been critiqued for it, constructively and not. As I've grown to an adult, this question has haunted me and it's accompanying comments: you're not passionate about anything, you like too many things, that doesn't count. Being the self-critical and self-constructive person that I am, this repartee stayed with me and continues to challenge me and make me question myself.

If asked, I would describe myself as a passionate person. To me, passion stands for something you care deeply about. There are many things I care deeply about, for example, my writing or my singing. However, I'm also passionate about non-hobbies like my family and love in general. Now that last one is where people start to criticize and misunderstand me. A lot of people have one extremely strong, obvious passion, like an artist's life revolves around his art. Passions are commonly described by people as a hobby, or a career or family. But I've always been a little different. My entire adult life so far, I've hunted for my passion. Was it acting, singing, writing, design, fashion? I put my love into so many things, that I could never choose just one to focus on. I could never give one thing my entire heart, mind and soul.

Today, as I write, I am less than a month from turning 26 and I think I've finally figured it out. In recent past, I had decided my passion was family. After all, if I had to choose one thing out of all of those in that list, family would be it hands down. But it still didn't account for those other things I still felt strongly about.

Funny enough, my epiphany came after watching the final episode of Girl Boss. I won't spoil the ending for you, in case you haven't watched it, but something about what Sophia went through made me realize: my passion is that big 'ol L word--LOVE.

My entire being is fueled by love. Everything I care about is important to me and is amazing because of the love I put into it. This blog has succeeded thus far, because of the amount of love that goes into each and every post. I excel in school, because my love for learning sparks that fire under my ass to get it done. I feel that I am my best self when I am in love.

Now I'm not saying that I need a man to be happy. That's not completely true. I can be entirely content without a man in my life, however when your passion is love the feeling you get when you have that unconditional love of a man that choses to love you is just unmatched. And the feeling I get when I have a man that I have chosen to give my love feels just as grand.

I'd always struggled with figuring out my passion, and I'd always claimed to be "just a relationship person," but I had never found the connection between the two. Why am I always happier when I'm with someone? Because I am fueled, I am driven by love and having someone to share that with is amazing. And I know a lot of people will say, "can't you give your love to your family and friends?" The answer there is yes, but it's just not the same. If you've ever loved someone romantically, you understand what I'm getting at. I'm counting on you to back me up on this.

But for as long as I can remember I have loved love. I love romance, I love affection, I love caring for someone and I love being in love. Love has always been the driving force in my life, whether it was being given or received. Love is my passion and everything I put that love into means something special to me. And I now feel like more a complete person finally understanding that about myself!

Where do your passions lie? Are you struggling to understand your's just like I did with mine? Discuss in the comments! I'm happy to give advice on this and connect with you on this very intellectual and spiritual level <3

XO, Briana

Friday, May 5, 2017

Lanc么me Love!

Hello lovlies! I realize it's been a while since I've posted and I apologize. I'll start with my usual spiel: I'm graduating on Saturday, so the past month has been hectic blah de blah de blah. You get the gist. But I do have some great reviews lined up, so keep your eyes peeled for more regular posts from me! On that note, let's get down to business!

Recently, I was lucky enough to be chosen by Influenster to try and review and entire collection of Lanc么me products! I'd heard some great things about the foundation in particular so I was really excited to get my hands on it! The group includes the Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Foundation SPF 15(in 250 Bisque-W), the Teint Idole Ultra Long Wear Camouflage Concealer(in 220 C Buff), the Click & Glow Highlighting Skin Fluid(in Lumi猫res de'Or), and the Le M茅tallique Metallic Lip Laquer(in Mirrored Nude.)

Let's start with the foundation! This was the one I was most excited about, after hearing NikkiTutorials rave about it for months. The first time I put it on, I wasn't super impressed, but I realized I wasn't using enough and that my dump beauty blender seemed to dilute it a bit. When I tried it again with a bit more product, I fell in love. I need a bit more coverage in certain spots and this foundation did the trick! It's super buildable, but still pretty high coverage to begin with. Unlike a lot of high coverage foundations, this one feels light in comparison and doesn't make you feel like a total cake face. It's a photoshop finish without piling on the product! I have mostly dry skin, and it felt nice: not drying or oily at all! The color matched me perfectly without a tan, which I will now have to use a good deal of bronzer to wear it now haha! But the wide range of colors and tones makes for an easy match! Also, Lanc么me was not kidding when they said ultra long wear. This baby lasts and this is coming from someone who starts their day at 5am and goes to bed at 10pm some days. I put it on, went to work, came home, napped for a few hours and it still looked flawless! Definitely would recommend it for anyone looking for a medium-high buildable coverage!
My silly face with just foundation.
Next up is the concealer. Unfortunately, the color on this wasn't as easy to match so it was kind of hard for me to judge. I'm hoping to update when I have a deeper tan, however I still think it will be too cool toned for me. But I'll base this review mostly on the formula. This is a great concealer for blemishes and other things you want to cover, but I wouldn't recommend it for under the eyes. I liked it to cover up a couple of scars that I have. I usually have trouble covering them, but this concealer erased them like magic. I wish so much that the color was right because I would absolutely use it regularly! On the opposite end, I found that the formula was really super oily and shiny to a fault. It didn't bother me on the scars but when I used it under my eyes I had to choice but to bake, which still didn't mattefy the area completely. It did a good job with coverage, but I'm still pretty attached to my Tarte Shape Tape for my under eyes.
Another silly face with foundation and concealer.
The highlighting fluid was pretty cool and something different. I had never tried a liquid highlighter, so I was absolutely curious! This one gave a subtle golden glow and it was beautiful on the cheekbones. I'm used to the more powder metallic highlighters, but the liquid made it seem more like a "glowing from within" look than the "I just smeared unicorn blood on my face" look (which I happen to enjoy by the way lol.) It was very easy to use and great for travel. It does have an applicator tip but I would recommend using that if you're not applying on top of powder. I just put some on my finger and dabbed it on. Overall, I think it's really pretty and something out of the box!
Check out that glow though!!

Finally is the lip lacquer. Lanc么me describes it as full coverage, however I found the color I got came off more as a gloss. It may have been because the color was very close to my lips but regardless, it was very pretty on. I did also try it as a lip topper over a nude lipstick and that looked nice too! So I think it's a versatile product that feels nice and hydrating on the lips. I would be curious to try one of the bolder colors.

Overall, I think Lanc么me's Teint Idole collection has a lot to offer! My favorite was definitely the foundation, but I will absolutely use the other products as well! Below is a completed look featuring all of the Lanc么me products. Have you tried any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! Much thanks to Lanc么me and Influenster for letting me try these for free!

XO, Briana