#takemebacktuesday

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While it can be said that Chris and I never took a formal ‘honeymoon’… we’ve found ourselves in some of the most beautiful places in the world. This photo is taken as the sun sets over the edge of an infinity pool, fading into the distance of Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates. Chris took me on an unbelievable vacation this past summer. Literally across the Emirates… breath taking views in between miles and miles of seemingly untouched desert! UAE was nothing like I imagined… I mean I knew it was going to have plenty of gorgeous scenery… I guess I just had no idea of the luxury!! These are just a few of my favorite memories and suggestions if you ever have the opportunity to visit! I can’t wait to go back in just a few months!! I’ll of course share more then!! At the end I’ll link some tips and products that were MUST have’s on my trip!

First I have to tell you the travel was NOT ideal… both there and back I was traveling for over 24 hours. I had a 6 hour layover in Zürich and the only thing that saved me was having lounge access. Free wi-fi, free food and free booze. If you don’t have lounge access through your airline or with maybe an AMEX or membership, I highly recommend joining various clubs or rewards programs that do. I had access to showers and washrooms where I did take advantage and freshen up, some even had areas to sleep. But regardless of how long I’d traveled, I would double it to see Chris. It was all worth it to spend this time with him and even if we hadn’t been able to explore these amazing places… I would have have traveled twice as long just to spend time with him.

Chris and a few friends arranged for us to have a gorgeous, giant sailboat all to ourselves for drinks, dinner and you know… hanging around! HA! They hoisted this rope apparatus over the side of the boat and raised it high…. looking at us like, let’s go! And even though I hesitated, I jumped at the opportunity to float over the corniche! I even dipped my toes in the warm crystal blue water… it was amazing. I can’t deny I was scared to death for a few minutes as I have a MAJOR fear of the ocean. But when you have opportunities to do something like this – TAKE THEM. That evening was amazing and the smile on Chris’ face when he went was something that I won’t ever forget. His smile always makes me melt but this one was memorable. Husband of the year award goes to….. Christopher!

Afterwards we walked the grounds of Emirates Palace which was the first royal palace until the new Prince of Abu Dhabi wanted a bigger one. So they made this palace the most luxurious hotel in the world. We giggled as we explored just in awe of the elaborate architecture. Imagine gold, marble and silk everywhere… ceilings so high it’s like they’re not even there! The ornate and unique paintings and sculptures that decorated the grounds were gorgeous. This palace was the home to the royal family of the richest country in the world and here we are, Chris and I, enjoying it. I told Chris I’d do anything to just stay one night there… the boys would love it too. The grounds and the pool were just as extravagant as the palace itself! Crossing my fingers we can make it happen!

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Courtesy of Emirates Palace, 2018.

IMG_0603Dubai is a MUST, of course. But I have to say what surprised me the most was the sheer size of the Burj Kalifah. It IS the tallest building in the world, I know. Seeing in person with your own eyes is NOTHING like seeing in a picture. Even here, the sun is setting behind it and you see these buildings that seem SO tiny. They’re not. I promise you they are going to remind you a lot of every major city you’ve ever been in. The Burj is just THAT big. I feel like I cannot emphasize this enough… even with all CAPS. It’s just huge. But even aside from the Burj Kalifah, take the time to explore and shop the Souk, really take it all in. The Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world and has ANYTHING shop, boutique or restaurant you can imagine. I was so overwhelmed at the amount of people and just all the shopping. This mall even has an indoor ski slope, year round… an aquarium… a giant waterfall. My mind was literally blown. SO much to take in.

SO many amazing memories from this trip. And yet I’m planning another trip, a longer one for the boys to come too. I could have never dreamed of the places we’ve traveled. We are so blessed to offer the experience that we have to the boys. Different countries, exposure to culture and experiences they will remember for the rest of their lives. I’m so thankful. Travel as much as you can…. remember we only have this one life to live… so LIVE it!

Before you go!

Now for the travel tips and must have products I was talking about! Which I feel like I need to preface with three things… 1: I’m a planner and 2: I’m a germaphobe 3: I HATE flying and basically cringe the entire time. No plane nappy nap for moi.  So traveling especially on long trips to countries I’ve never been to before… I bring a large rolling duffle style carryon and pack it full of anything I might need. Basically I’m ready for anything…. I swear I could live out of that bag if I really needed too… HA!

In the Bag
• book
neck pillow // blanket (on sale)
• baby wipes
• snacks
a complete change of clothes (what if you get stuck without a bag)
Clorox wipes and Lysol spray (yes they come in travel size!)
• mini-bottles (they’re an ounce… hellooooo TSA approved)
battery pack (mine will charge my iPhone 5 full charges)
compression socks (um, I don’t want my feet to swell!)
• a scarf (if you’ve never sat next on a plane that smells like a full on fart… you’re lucky!)
lavender oil (mostly for above said mentioned stinky plane, but also to relax)
• and a small toiletry bag with a little make-up (and remover wipes), lotions, toothbrush and toothpaste, brush and ibuprofen/Benadryl.

To some this may seem like a lot for just me to travel… but it’s not. Of course this isn’t a complete list… somethings are just a given. But EVERYTHING on this list came in handy on this trip. And a little funny…. my bag did NOT have wheels. But I was so thankful I had anything and everything I needed… I didn’t mind lugging it around. It’s better to be safe than sorry for sure and I hate having to buy things I had at home when I could have just brought it. Hope it’s helpful!

If you’re flying international… make sure you check into the carry on restrictions for those countries too!! For example, Zürich only allowed one clear sandwich sized bag with liquids through security. It’s also good to find out ahead of time what the local time is going to be so you’re able to plan for that!

Now, ready, set – GO! Travel and see ALL there is to see!

XoXo

 

everyday face

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I love wearing make-up but I have to admit I’m super picky! Especially with my everyday look… I’m usually getting ready in rush and sometimes I even get ready on the go so I need to use minimal product. So these products are my everyday need to succeed. They’ll all fit in a small pouch, they’re easily applied and I can achieve my desired look quickly!

So what is the everyday look? I try to wear a neutral eye, something that’s going to accentuate my natural features without looking too extra! A look that is more simple and fresh faced. My day to day is usually jam packed so I look for products that keep my naturally oily t-zone matte without looking cake-y! <– this is SO hard to achieve especially in the summer! So when I find products that help me achieve this… I obviously hold on TIGHT!

Let’s get to it!

First, I just prepped my face this morning by washing it with just a few drops Dr. Bronners Pure Castile Soap ($10) on a facial sponge.

Now hydrate! I use Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Daily Moisturizer with SPF 30 (under $20). It’s light and isn’t greasy at all so of course it’s perfect to wear prior to applying makeup! It lasts me about a month or so too. Inexpensive enough to still be quality moisturizer in my opinion! I wear it day or night!

Then I prep my face for makeup application with Prep+Prime from MAC Cosmetics ($26 or $12 for Travel Size). I have talked about this before and sometimes I call it Fix+ which it’s also called. I love using it before makeup AND after. It’s a great primer for that dewey yet matte finish. I just feel like my products look better when I prep with it too, any product! You can find it at Nordstrom or any MAC Cosmetics store. Just a few sprays all over and let air dry a few seconds before you get started.

Foundation! I’m currently in love with liquid or stick foundations because my skin is SO dry right now. Today I’m using the Flash Focus Hydrating Foundation Stick ($40) in ‘Light’. It is heavy enough for a good coverage and to give me some moisture but not so heavy on my face that you can see it. I received it in a PR package from Wander Beauty last week and I just couldn’t believe how much I love the long lasting wear. At the end of the day it was still matte and looked fresh. I also did a full review of a few other products HERE. I apply foundation with an e.l.f cosmetics foundation brush. I prefer using brushes because they don’t soak up as much makeup as say a beauty blender and the finish is more flawless. I noticed I was going through SO much liquid foundation when I was using a beauty blender! You can get a starter kit of these inexpensive brushes online or at Target! Blend, blend, BLEND! Paying special attention to your jawline and around your hairline… forgetting these spots isn’t good!

Once I have blended my foundation I like to brighten my eyes. Just below my lower lashes I have very noticeable under-eye circles. I apply a SMALL amount of concealer onto an e.l.f concealer brush and create a small triangle from the inside corner of my eye, down the bridge of my nose and then up to the outer corner of my eye. I do this on both sides and then blend with my foundation brush. Today I used Younique Mineral Touch Skin Perfecting concealer ($29). Shout out to my girl Mishae, she’ll take care of you! I also love MAC Cosmetics Studio Finish SPF35 Concealer ($21) I use NW15! Blending again us your secret here! The more you blend, the more natural the finish!

Powder is next! If I’m not using foundation I like to use a powder foundation. So since we started with foundation we’re going to use just a simple pressed powder. I love Younique’s Mineral Pressed Powder ($32)… a wispy dusting of this and I have an all day matte finish that’s even and clean. Looking at the website, it’s also considered a ‘powder foundation’… oops. But it’s obviously so light that I couldn’t tell! HA! Perfect!

I also used a bronzer next to do a little natural contouring. I used Younique Beachfront Bronzer in Sunset ($32). When we apply foundation or powder to our face I feel like we lose that natural line that falls just under the cheekbone.This little trick slims your face and adds dimension so it’s perfect for especially oval or round face like mine. To do this, take a bronzer brush (shorter more controlled bristles) with just a little bronzer and pucker your lips. Just below your now more visible cheekbone apply the bronzer back and forth along this line. Afterwards I used THIS ($6) kabuki brush to blend!

We’re ready for eyes! ACS_0063

I love MAC Pro Palette Pans ($8 for pan, $6 per color). I can create looks and keep them together. These colors I’m using today are CONCRETE, HONEY LUST, GOLDMINE and SHROOM. I used concrete on the outer corner using a 224S MAC tapered blending brush, honey lust to blend over to the inner corner and goldmine in the center of my lid. Shroom I use to clean it all up. I blend it into the inner corner of my eye and just under my eyebrow as a highlighter. I use this color a LOT as it is the perfect highlighter without being too light or bright white!

Mascara is usually my Better than Sex by Too Faced ($13)! I love how it lengthens my lashes and gives them volume without smearing or flaking throughout the day! I also love to add a drop of lavender oil when I break open a new one because that naturally helps to grow healthy lashes! Of course it smells yummy too!

Now for a matte pinky nude lip, I use MAC Liptensity Lipstick in Medium Rare ($21)! It’s perfect for everyday and I can even glam it up with gloss if I’d like to wear it more for date night! I spritz on a few more sprays of MAC Prep+Prime Fix+ before I dust a little setting powder under my eyes and on my t-zone! Ready to go!

ACS_0064I love wearing these colors and this look with just about anything other than black. It’s just a more natural, easy and quick look for everyday! I hope this answered a few of the questions I received!! I love getting questions, thank you!!

Now go try something new with your makeup! Ha! Or maybe even branch out to one of the products I mentioned above! Remember I’m super picky so I don’t suggest anything that I haven’t personally fallen in love with first! Let me know what you think!!

Xo,

Kate

Products I Use

Oh, photo days! I love them SO much because I get to put outfits together and play dress up… just about all day! HA! #dreamjob!
But on these days or any other day when I’m getting ready there’s a few products that are my GO TO! I’m picky about everything I use and want it to do what it’s supposed to! Let’s dive in!

hair

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Let’s talk about hair… I am in love with Function of Beauty. You take a quick quiz about your hair type, problems you may have and also your personal hair goals. You pick the color or dye free, the fragrance if any… The product is quality, affordable and I love that it comes suited in a bottle with my name on it! You can also choose to get a larger shampoo or a larger conditioner if you use one specifically more than the other! Get started here for $5 off. Sets start around $36.
DSC04154_grandeWhile blondes may have more fun… they’re also a lot of work! Unfortunately to keep that white beautiful blonde color you need a little help. When I’m feeling a little brassy or too yellow I love oVertone conditioners. They get me right back to the color I love without damaging my locks. I couldn’t believe the color correction that I was able to achieve from just a conditioning! You can also play with super vibrant and fun colors too! Check out their $5 sample sizes to find the colors best for you here!
2500743I get a ton of questions about my hair and how I curl it. I am way to uncoordinated to use a regular curling iron… props to those who can, but it’s not me. I’ve had many wands and the key is getting the right diameter. Smaller barrel – tighter curl, bigger barrel – big waves! I stick with 1′ 1/4-3/4” myself so that I can make them look more finished or have a loose beach wave. This is a good one and a steal at $69! Get it here!
2286731After I’ve curled and have the perfect waves going… I finish it off with Matrix Texture Builder. It gives light volume and smells absolutely incredible. Seriously I love the fragrance. Usually it gets mistaken as perfume, but it’s always a hit! I love it! A few light sprays and finishing touches and we’re done! Snag it for $18 at Ulta Beauty!

face

US-31401-01_0I love a good mineral powder foundation. But I could never find one that provided a good coverage and still felt light on my face… until this one. Younique has great products and they tell you exactly what is in them and why. I love knowing what I’m getting into! This duo set is a great deal at $60 and can be found here!
IMG_0214.JPGI love my lashes, they’re long and have a good curl – but they’re blonde. So when I’m looking for mascara I’m looking for a dark, thick mascara that gives them life! But please, spare me the goopy and flaky mess of some of the others. Better than Sex is a fabulous mascara! *Mine says Love because I bought it in Dubai. Affordable and amazing get it here for $24!
Hope this is useful and you give these awesome products a try! I’ll do these periodically and will also share when I try things for the first time!
Merry Christmas!
Xo
#beautyblog #fashionblog #functionofbeauty #overtone #productreview #ulta #recommendedproduct #ad #sponsored