Empties! Skincare Edition

“If I ignore the fact I have a new empties post monthly,
that means I’m not spending $$, right?”

Here I am. Back again. WITH. MORE. SKINCARE. EMPTIES. I would say I’m ashamed, but truly I am not, so, here we are. I will confidently type on this keyboard to let you know what I thought of six skincare empties and if I will be repurchasing or NAH.

Want the tea? I’m about to spill it.

First up, one of my favorites in the bunch, Hey Honey’s Detoxifying mud mask (retails for $54.00).

I originally reviewed this product here, so you can see I’ve been on the Hey Honey skin-detoxing train for awhile now. I admit, yes, it’s pricey. That will take a few paydays before you want to pull the trigger.

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HOWEVER – H O W E V E R…… I love it. I notice an actual difference in my skin/pores the next morning. It also doubles as a mild exfoliant with the tiny beeds in the mask. It doesn’t smell the greatest, but IDGAF, it’s so good. This will leave you with softer skin and less gunk in your pores. And it’s mild. It doesn’t dry down to a stiff mask on your face. I do not notice any irritation. I will absolutely be splurging on the larger tub of this as I cannot live without! It’s one of my holy grail face masks.

Wanna save 10% to lessen the blow? I have a Hey Honey discount code: type “ksloves10” at checkout Image result for angel emoji

Next up is my second favorite item, and that was a DIY body scrub I made in a class led by Nyambi Naturals, a Philadelphia practicer of homegrown therapies. We used calendula-infused grapeseed oil, lavender and mint essential oils, and sugar to create this magic and I reached for this every other day for the two weeks it was good for.
*It expires after two weeks since there are no preservative ingredients – ALL FRESH.

This made my skin feel incredible. The formula also includes castor soap, which cleanses the body along with exfoliation. I freaking loved this stuff and need to invest in a double-boiler to make more! Lmk if any of y’all would be interested in a DIY post on how to make this body scrub.

The next product has become another holy grail of mine and that is the Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm (retails for $29.50).

Previously, I’ve reviewed this product here and you can read all about my infatuation with it. Yes, I have repurchased and intend to do so again and again. It does not irritate my skin or break me out and cleanses my entire layer of makeup before I go in with my face wash.

Next we have TWO Mario Badescu products (not surprising, tbh) and the first one is the Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater (smaller bottle is $7.00). This spray is awesome and is a cult-favorite for a reason. Sets your makeup in place all day, smells refreshing, and takes away the powdery look of your finished face. I have previously repurchased this setting spray and will probably continue to do so – I have yet to find one better and the price is ON POINT.

My second Mario Badescu product is their Whitening Mask ($24.00 for 2 oz.)

This is ideal for all skin and aims to reveal brighter and smoother skin beneath the surface. I love all MB face masks. I think they do wonders and pack a punch – not to mention, they’re based at an affordable rate. I would use this mask where I experience discoloration and dehydration (mainly forehead and cheeks), but I will be repurchasing and trying this out under my jawline where I have recently been dealing with adult acne (oh, the joys).

My last product is the Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil for treating blemishes (normally $10 but on sale for $6 as I write this).

This product WORKS, I’ll say that much. I think I need a new bottle and will always keep this around for evenings before big events when I feel a blemish coming on. You want to stop an under-the-skin blemish before it even makes its way to the top? Rub this in before bed.

Although, I recently learned from a facial specialist that your body absorbs a lot of the toxins you slather on top of it (think: face wash, masks, spot treatments) and so for this reason I am slowing my roll on the tea tree oil – I used to go ham on this stuff. It’s time it takes a backseat but will I be repurchasing for those stubborn blemishes? Hellz yeah.

So those are this month’s skincare empties. Hope you enjoyed! Found something new, or reminded yourself of one of these products you love and haven’t used in awhile? Lemme know in the comments! I love talking through skincare products.

Xoxo,
KS Loves red lips isolated in white

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How Ikea Plants Transform a Room for Less Than $10

“I should’ve purchased like three more of these.”


As I ease my way into the plant world, Ikea wasn’t my first choice as far as buying some quality plants as an addition to my home decor. However, I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the selection and durability of their plant section.

I feel the need to mention I am a plant dummy. If there is a Plants 101 for Dummies I need it in my collection. We were not big gardeners growing up, and while my dad currently has a knack for all things greenery (think: retired and needs a hobby lol) I am by no means an expert.


Here’s where Ikea comes into play. They have manageable, easy-to-care for plants to select from. I started simple: succulent, aloe vera, and a Himalayan plant that “thrives on neglect.”

PERFECT.


The picture above is my Himalayan plant that I took to work. It cost me $2.99.

I absolutely love it. I have an office cubicle that receives no sunlight and where the temperature is regulated by our building maintenance. With that being said, it doesn’t sit in the dark and the temps stay relatively mild, tho for obvious reasons it does not receive the most “pristine” of care. This Janet Craig plant adds a great touch of green to my desk and livens up the cubicle. That gold pot can also be found at Ikea for $4.99.

The second plant I bought is a succulent plant with this adorable pink pot for $7.99.


This adds such a feminine touch to my apartment and I love the pop of green and pink. This plant only needs watered once a week and does well with little light. I added these fairy lights around the lantern and just love the vibe of this mini plant terrarium.

My final plant is an aloe vera plant that cost me $4.99. I put it in this galvanized pot that I also got from Ikea *surprise, surprise* for 49 cents!


This plant is awesome and only needs watered once every two weeks (at least for right now in the winter). I have yet to break off a piece of the plant for the aloe gel on the inside, but when I squeeze it between my fingers I can feel the gel. I love this plant – it’s so green and vibrant and can brighten up a nightstand or an end table.

Overall, this was an incredible start to my initiative of bringing plants into the living space. I am intrigued and plan to purchase more, even those that may require a greener thumb. There is a super unique plant/garden store in South Philly called Urban Jungle, and if I can get my hands on a few gems there I will photograph and upload those on my blog here as well.

I would lastly like to mention that I purchased these plants a little over a month ago and they are going strong in the environments I’ve placed them in. I am really happy with the outcome and plan to go back for more. I mean c’mon… LESS THAN TEN DOLLARS.

Have you been to Ikea for plants? How about planter pots? Let me know your thoughts and if I need to run out and get another piece to incorporate into my home.

Xoxo,
KS

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Clean Your Makeup Brushes with One Item from the Drugstore

“Hint: it’s baby soap! *gasp* That’s right, I said it – and I put it to the test.”

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That’s right, people. I washed my makeup brushes with baby soap. And guess what? It’s a flippin miracle. Forget $30 brush wash or spot treatments. You can clean an entire set of brushes in less than $4. MULTIPLE TIMES.

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I really should be able to end this post right here, because I’m sure you’re convinced. I don’t see how you couldn’t be. However, allow me to explain and go through the method of cleaning so that you can also do this at home! Ballin’ on a budget, amirite???

  1. Gather all your dirty brushes – big and small, face and eye brushes, we don’t discriminate here. You can start with bigger brushes first and then we’ll move onto small brushes. My reasoning here is because you will dispense similar amounts of soap depending on the brush size and it would be annoying to go big, small, big, small, etc.

2. Wet the tip of your brush under a slow and lukewarm stream of water from the sink.

3. Dab a dime-size amount of soap into your less dominant palm.

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4. Begin to swirl your brush into the palm of your hand to create a lather. Be as careful as you can with your brush, doing your best to not turn it right side up (with the bristles in the air). We don’t want the water seeping to the base of your brush hairs – this will cause rust and shedding.

5. Run the tip of the brush back under the stream of water just enough to wet it again. Gently squeeze out excess water, this is when you will see the color of foundation and powder on the bottom of your sink.

6. Repeat with the lathering and “rinsing” until your water excess runs clear.

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One of the most important steps: let your brushes air dry against a cloth to absorb excess water or off the side of a counter (as mine are pictured above). You don’t want to ruin these beauties. Lay them bitches out to air dry.

This will probably take overnight – so I’d recommend washing them in the evening.

And that’s it! Easy, simple, and AFFORDABLE. I also have an affordable way to wash your beauty sponges too, if anyone wants a little blog post on that.

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Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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Decorate with Me! Cozy Christmas Edition

“Could the magic of Christmas be that it never loses its magic?”

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Slowly, year by year, I am trying to revamp my Christmas decorations style. I know you know what I mean. Some people love the vibrant reds and greens, others dream of the “snow-frosted” white Christmas. I like vintage pieces, but also rustic DIY projects. I think I’m still in the process of finding my Christmas style, but I’m getting there.

Below you’ll find some of my favorite pieces, and for the most part where you can buy them and how much they cost. Because let’s be real here – you need to know the good good if you want to replicate anything you see in your own home.

Let’s start out with some home decor you probably saw in last year’s Christmas segment (shout-out to my ONE YEAR blogging anniversary coming up!).

That beautifully-glowing Christmas present glass box was given to me by a friend. Get this – someone made it for them! So it is doable. My best guess is a frosted glass box, some twinkle lights on the inside, and a big bow to tie it off.

The “Merry Christmas” sign is from my all-time favorite vintage/rustic Christmas shop,
The Old Candle Barn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. It was $8.99. This is the same place I bought my little caroler girls for $3.99/each.

The “Holiday House Rules” came from Kohl’s and cost $29.99 originally but I know I wouldn’t pay that (LMAO); I remember buying it on sale during Black Friday in 2016.

The wooden “tray” is new from Home Goods and cost $12.99. I think it adds a nice rustic touch to the wooden coffee table. I remember buying the reindeer candle holder from Kohl’s years ago. That Fireside candle is from the Shady Maple Gift Shop (also located in Lancaster, PA).

Per usual, I have to include a couple photos of my Christmas tree – would it be a Christmas post without it?!

That sign above my tree came from Home Goods for $14.99.
I got my tree from Big Lots on Black Friday in 2016 for $59.99. Incredibly good find. Image result for okay emoji

One of my favorite ideas this Christmas are these pillowcases. Casey Holmes posted about this genius idea on Snapchat and I was determined to replicate this in my home when I got the chance. Here is where you can buy all six pillowcases for your throw pillows for $19.99. Then I bought a pack of four pillows (18″ x 18″) for $19.99. Instead of buying a single pillow for $15-20 depending on where you go, you can invest in the pillows and swap out 4-6 cases each season for the price of one. You’ll save storage space and $$ spent on decorative throw pillows!

All Hearts Come Home at Christmas” pillow is from the Old Candle Barn and cost $7.99.

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Lastly, I have this really cool DIY project involving a galvanized vase and some branches I picked out and put together. I think I’ll save this for its own blog post. Image result for wink emoji

So those are my holiday decorations for 2017! How about yours? Do you have a blog post up detailing your finds? Is there something I can add to my collection? Lmk in the comments below!

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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5 Ingredient Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars *No Bake*

“This took 15 minutes to prepare yet I feel a step closer to a certified chef.”

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Do you love peanut butter? How about a chocolate-y graham cracker-y goodness? Yeah, I thought so.

So.. you can kinda tell from the title where this is going. 5 ingredients, 15-20 minutes of prep, and you have some delicious post-dinner treats that took little time and $$ to prepare.

The recipe I used: https://chefsavvy.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-bars/

HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED:

1. creamy peanut butter – 1 1/2 cups
2. powdered sugar – 1 1/2 cups
3. chocolate chips – 1 1/2 cups
4. butter (melted) – 1 cup = 2 sticks
5. graham crackers (crushed) – 2 cups

THE INSTRUCTIONS:

Start out by spraying your 9×13″ baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside while you prepare the mixture.

You’ll want your butter to be melted and your graham crackers crushed. You can crush the graham crackers in a Ziploc bag with anything heavy you have in the kitchen.

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Combine ingredients: 1 cup peanut butter, powdered sugar, melted butter, and crushed graham crackers. Mix together until everything is thoroughly combined, and you reach an even consistency.

Once finished stirring, let’s move this mix to your baking pan and spread evenly on the bottom of the pan. Let this sit while we prepare the chocolate spread.

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In a microwave-safe dish, add the chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 cup of peanut butter. Heat in the microwave in 15 second intervals (stirring in between), until the mixture is completely melted. Next you will want to take a spoon and drizzle this evenly over your peanut butter graham cracker mix. You can also use a spatula to coat the top of the mixture as well.

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Place your pan in the refrigerator and let cool at least 1-1.5 hours before you cut into bars. And now you have a delicious treat to share with all of your friends! Let me say.. this makes a lot. You’d have to have a HUGE sweet tooth to finish this on your own in less than a couple weeks. I’d highly recommend sharing to save the calories Image result for wink emoji .. or not!

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Have you made anything similar to this? Please let me know if you try it! It’s so yummy and takes little time to make on a Sunday evening before bedtime.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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DIY: Refurbished Barstools

“From Craigslist to Chabby Chic!”

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This is one of the cooler DIY projects we’ve done. We took some barstools we got for $25/each, splurged on a can of nice paint, and sanded the edges for a worn look. It took some time but it was well worth it for how polished they turned out. They match fabulously in our new apartment with the white marble countertop.

They were completely plain when we bought them. The first step was to coat them in the chalk paint we purchased. The brand is Annie Sloan and the shade is graphite.

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After going over them with two coats of paint, we took to sanding them down for a worn look. We used sandpaper from Home Depot and this process was not difficult at all. If you messed up, you just painted back over it! It’s simple and completely customizable as to where you place the “weathered” look. We tried to make them all match, in a sense, but none of the chairs are identical.

After sanding down the chairs to what we were happy with, with sealed it with two coats of polyurethane. We also purchased this from Home Depot and made sure to get a kind that is easy to clean/wipe down.

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I think they turned out fabulously! They are certainly a conversation piece, and we saved a lot of money on nice barstools. It was a fun project and now we know how to redo some kitchen furniture.

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Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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DIY: Rustic Coffee Table (gray stain)

“All credit goes to Ana White and the incredible plans she puts online!”

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Who’s ready for a fun (and manageable) DIY project?!

Full disclosure: I owe all of the credit to my fiancé for putting this together, but I will say my take on this was the gray stain to fit our “modern rustic” theme.

Before we jump in, here is the plan for the coffee table, and the matching end tables. Yes, we made both! And we followed the directions precisely. Our wood came straight from Home Depot, along with the screws, gray wood stain, etc. etc.

Above you will see how the wood looked when we bought it! Plain and normal looking. Andrew built this all by himself with tools he had at home plus a rented sander from Home Depot. Just follow all of the instructions step-by-step and you’ll achieve the same finish!

Below is a look at how our end tables turned out (before the “x’s” were added). They are essentially smaller versions of the coffee table.

Once the assembly was complete, we took to staining it! We used a light gray wood stain from Home Depot (they should really sponsor me at this point lmao). The table only needed one coat of the stain and we worked in sections to ensure an evenness in color depth. Below is how the table top turned out before assembling – exactly the way we envisioned it!

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And lastly, here are a few pictures of the finished products! It was really fun to put our own spin on this DIY project, and you can really paint the table/end tables any color you’d like to match your décor. I love the way this looks in our apartment with a few rustic touches and of COURSE some fall decorations/candles.

Did you build any of the furniture in your home? Have you heard of Ana White before? Her plans are all over Pinterest so I’d suggest checking out her website if you’re interested in putting together some unique furniture.

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Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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Magical Makeup Monday: My Makeup Spreadsheet

“This is the only way I can organize my makeup desires and remember them too.”

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So I’d like to tackle the growing list that is my makeup wants/desires in a spreadsheet. And when it comes to free organization, Google sheets is your best friend. This makeup list has grown tremendously since I’ve created it, and it continues to do so. It is the easiest way to categorize makeup and skincare products that I want, and also track what I would like to buy next/have already purchased.

I list the categories in order of how I would apply my makeup (example: primer, then foundation, concealer, etc.), this just makes it easier to search the list, as it has become pretty extensive at this point.

I’ve recently decided to alphabetize each category, as it is difficult to search through all my lipstick wants, skimming for Wet n’ Wild Catsuit lipstick while I’m standing in CVS. So now when I am in a store searching for something I had documented, I will pull out the Google sheets to search for what I wanted.

The next step in this process is highlighting. I will highlight in blue once I’ve purchased a product. Then, before a larger haul, I will highlight in green the items I intend to purchase. This way I am not all over the place in Ulta running around like a makeup newb.

The other key to my spreadsheet is pricing out each item and listing where I can find it. Colourpop can only be found online, so I will state, “on website.” Wet n’ Wild is typically in Walmart or CVS, so I will list that. This is a huge part of my organization, as I can find products easier if I know where to look. It also helps eliminate walking around looking for e.l.f. in Ulta, as I know I should head to Target or the drugstore. Ya feel?

So that’s how I organize all of the makeup I intend to purchase! Does anyone else have a similar system? Any other techniques I should try? Open to any/all suggestions and comments.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

Fancy Friday: Building a Vanity

“Now I feel as glamorous as some of the YouTubers I watch.”

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I finally did it! I have a makeup vanity I have been wanting to put together for months. And alas, here we are. It feels… incredible. The Container Store storage is an organizer’s dream, and a mounted shelf/drawers make for a stunning display of makeup.

For about a year now, I have been obsessed with everything beauty. I started collecting more brushes, trying out new products, and almost became a platinum member at Ulta (lol). With this experimentation comes an excess of belongings and a need for new space. I had been keeping everything on a tiny bookcase from my college dorm, and was long overdue for an upgrade.

So, under my mirror (also from Ikea), I added the Ekby Alex shelf with drawers for a vanity!

I couldn’t write this post without giving extensive credit to my boyfriend for putting together the shelf from Ikea. Below you’ll see the beginning steps to putting everything together and mounting it on the wall!

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The shelf is 46″ wide and has a depth of 11″. The size is perfect for a couple storage units, a candle, and some lotions/perfumes for display.

The drawers are of a decent size, as I was most excited for the convenience of mounted drawers. You can see below that they hold a decent amount, and will aid in the efforts to keep the top of the shelf organized.

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I also added a power strip underneath my vanity so that I could plug in my tv as well as my curling iron and hair straightener. I used two command strips to secure the power strip underneath the shelf and it hasn’t budged yet.

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So that’s it for this vanity feature! I hope you were inspired to create your own or use some of the organizational hacks above. Let me know in the comments below if you have other ideas or questions about how I put this vanity together.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white

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Fancy Friday: DIY Jewelry Hanger

“I forgot I owned that necklace!”

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Do you have that one place you throw all necklaces, rings, and earrings? Could be a small jewelry bag, or a hanger that became much too small. In my case, I had a headless woman in a formfitting black dress with hooks around her body for me to place my necklaces, headbands, rings, etc. Since I’m not 13 years old anymore, that wasn’t going to cut it, as my repertoire of jewelry has expanded a lot in the last decade. I couldn’t place my rings on it because that would take up too many hooks. It worked great for necklaces if you wanted to tangle two together in the same spot. And headbands? Forget about it.

That being said, this might have been the easiest DIY project I have ever completed. For all my girls out there looking to revamp your jewelry display, I’m here to share the wealth!

The supplies I collected for my DIY jewelry hanger:

    • (1) can of spray paint – color of your choosing
    • (2) 1”x3” pieces of wood, each 18” in length
      IMPORTANT: While you’re still in Lowes or Home Depot or wherever you can find the wood, have them cut each plank to a length of 18 inches
    • (1) pack of c-hooks – I chose gold and used 20
    • Drill from your boyfriend, dad, family member, neighbor, etc.
    • Various size screws and drill bits

First, you’ll want to spray paint both planks of wood. I made this jewelry hanger in the summer, so it took about 20-30 minutes for the spray paint to dry in 80 degree weather. Flip the planks to the other side and spray paint all over. It is important to allow the paint to dry completely so that it doesn’t get all over your hands while you are building this later on.

Secondly, you’ll want to take the smaller drill bit and drill holes along the underside of your jewelry hanger where you’d like to place the c-hooks to hang your jewelry. I did a row in the front for rings, and one in the back for my longer items (headbands, necklaces, bracelets). You only want to drill into the wood about ¼ of an inch, since you will be screwing in the c-hooks later on.

Next, drill two screws from the back of the hanger into the front piece to secure both parts together.

Now is when you twist in the c-hooks with your fingers. Since the holes were pre-drilled, this shouldn’t be too difficult. Twist them until they are completely secure and facing the direction you will be hanging jewelry.

The last step is to drill this masterpiece into the wall! If you have a more convenient way of hanging it, you can stop here! Otherwise, after leveling the hanger to the wall and making sure it is balanced, use three screws and drill the jewelry hanger into the wall.

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You can choose to cover these screws with FastCaps, but that part isn’t necessary. Otherwise, we are finished!

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I hope you enjoyed this at-home DIY and have a bit of inspiration to create your own jewelry hanger! Let me know in the comments below if you’ve made something similar or recommend another organization trick. I am also open to answering any questions that may have come to mind.

Xoxo,
KS red lips isolated in white