product review: urban decay’s naked smoky palette

Full disclosure: I used to never wear makeup. Ever. All through junior high and high school, I never really bothered with foundation or anything like that, only some glittery eyeshadows and clear mascara every now and then (it was the ’90s after all). My love for makeup and skincare didn’t really even start until college.

Now our bathroom shelves are almost completely made up of skincare products and tubes and vials of makeup (sorry, Mark!) but I’ve always kind of struggled with the smoky eye. I still don’t wear too much eye makeup, so I’ve been really self-conscious to wear anything that shows up too much.

So when I was approached to test and review Urban Decay’s upcoming palette, I decided to throw caution to the wind and try something new. And I’m very, very glad that I did.

Here’s the palette:

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we went to europe!

So this month has been a really special one: I went to Europe for the first time!

Mark’s family was hosting a family reunion in Berkhamsted (about 30 miles from London), so we were lucky enough to not only attend, but spend a few days in London and Paris. It was my first time out of the country ever, so I was pretty overwhelmed with just about everything.

A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

Seeing Abbey Road was pretty awesome. So awesome that a selfie was in order.  A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

We went to plenty of awesome pubs and restaurants in London, but visiting the Churchill Arms was an incredible experience. Flowers everywhere, the nicest people inside and instead of the normal pub menu, they serve Chinese food. It was basically the pub of my dreams.

A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

The family reunion was in Berkhamsted and there is a full English garden in the back. Walking through all of the flowers was definitely a highlight.  A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

Tower of London was a pretty long tour, but seeing the bridge and walking through the castle is a pretty neat experience. I was pretty shocked by the London weather — everyone had been hounding me to bring sweaters and jackets and I was sweating the entire time!  A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

Our last day was spent at Covent Garden — definitely a must-visit. There’s a little part of CG called Neal’s Yard, full of fun little coffee shops and juice bars. Right up my alley since most of the liquids we consumed on this trip were just espresso and pints of beer. A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings I’m not much of a souvenir gal… I just don’t like lugging things around with me on the trip and I had limited space in my carry-on. However, I could have spent hours humming along and browsing in this Beatles souvenir shop. We went back twice. ;)
A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

We happened to visit Paris during an intense heat wave. It was over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and not a lot of places had air conditioning, so it was better to spend time outdoors. That’s not too much of a problem in Paris — there’s tons of stuff to see and most of the cafes offer sidewalk seating.
A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

I was hoping to catch a ride on this, but since we woke up early to avoid the crowds and higher temperatures, it was a no-go. Next time!
A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

Many of the locks have been removed from the bridge, but they’ve started popping up elsewhere. I’ve got to find a heart-shaped lock! A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings

And if you’re wanting to avoid the crowds and catch a little quiet time, visit Père Lachaise in eastern Paris. It’s the largest and first garden cemetery in the city.  A Trip To Europe! | Wanderlings You may notice that I don’t seem to have pictures of any food. Truthfully, after walking around in the hot weather and spending a lot of time traveling, the meals disappeared pretty quickly. All of the food was so great that I didn’t even want to spare a second to pull out my phone!

Seeing all of these places was truly a life-changing experience for me. I came back to Texas with a completely different outlook on just about everything in my life. And of course, something pretty major happened over there: we got engaged! This trip was the best. Here’s to the next one!

What did you do when you visited Europe for the first time?

PS, you can see more of my Europe pictures on my Instagram page.



Sorry it’s been a little quiet around here lately. Since I’ve started school again and been a little busy with work, my free time has been spent with my guy and my pup. And I haven’t updated in over a month!

Here are some highlights…

my butter half A birthday trip to Austin…

oak cliff beer run

A beer run in Oak Cliff…


This awesome lady getting ENGAGED. BOOM.

allison wheeler and birdie

And many, many walks with my guy and my pup.

Seriously. They’re just the cutest.


happy easter!


Happy Easter, everyone! Mark and I will be obsessing over the season premiere of Mad Men tonight (my favorite show returning on my birthday! YAY!) and then spending the next couple of days in Austin for my birthday—I have a feeling that I’ll be exercising my butt off after we get back from our Gourdough’s binge…


product review: estee lauder’s pro-longwear foundation

It’s hard for me to find a foundation that I really like. My skin tends to get a little oily on my nose and chin, while my cheeks and eyes always seem a bit dry. I usually just opt for a tinted moisturizer or BB cream most of the time, but when I need some coverage I feel a bit stuck using concealer/foundation.

I was recently approached to try Estee Lauder’s Pro-Longwear Foundation, and became immediately intrigued when I read that it was an oil-free formula that lasted for up to 15 hours. Working at a store and having a million things to do doesn’t really allow me the time to spot-check and reapply throughout the day so if it’s long-wearing, that’s an immediate plus for me. I headed to Nordstrom to get matched for a foundation and it was surprisingly easy (and pretty funny considering that I am about two shades lighter than their lightest shade available. #palegirlproblems) I always have a really hard time selecting foundations, so I decided to go sans-makeup so my foundation would be a perfect match.  continue reading


product crush: r+co

I’m totally guilty of judging books by their covers when it comes to packaging. Let’s be real: if something looks great on the outside, I’m more likely to buy it. I was first drawn to R+Co.‘s beautiful packaging, but it turns out their products are pretty damn awesome, too. 


Dry Shampoo | Salt Spray | Styling Mousse | Smoothing Conditioner | Hairspray | Thickening Spray

I’ve tried the shampoos and conditioners, but I just ordered the thickening spray (I mean, it’s called Dallas) and I can’t wait to try it. I’m crossing my fingers for some Dolly Parton volume.

How often do you select products based on packaging?


sixties-style lashes + physicians formula


I’m pretty obsessed with anything stemming from the mid-to-late 60s, but the artistic approach to beauty and makeup really does it for me. That expertly-applied eyeliner and those thick lashes… it’s just so good.

I’d love to be able to replicate those thick, Sixties-style lashes, but I hate wearing false lashes. So when Physicians Formula sent me their Eye Booster Instant Lash Extension Kit, I was immediately intrigued. It’s super easy to apply, but it doesn’t feel heavy or irritate my eyes throughout the day. It’s a perfect everyday product.

Click through to see my lash transformation!  continue reading


shaving + skincare + a giveaway (closed)

shaving & skincare (+ a giveaway!) | wanderlings (+)

I never really thought too much about shaving and moisturizing until I read Skin Cleanse. When you stop and think about the stuff our skin endures, it’s pretty crazy. And my skin definitely doesn’t respond well to shaving—I get razor burn and ingrown hairs every time. So after doing a bit of research into what I need to be doing (and what I’ve been doing wrong for years), I think I finally figured out the perfect shave…

  • Invest in a good razor. This seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes stuff happens. You’re running late, a little strapped for cash, etc. Here’s the thing, though… you’re dragging a very sharp blade across half of your body. Let’s invest in something that isn’t in the bargain bin at your local pharmacy. But don’t think that you should spend an arm and a leg either—I’m using the new Venus Swirl and haven’t had a single problem lately. The razor is designed to contour to those trickier areas and is coated with a moisture serum to glide over skin.
  • Don’t shave as soon as you get in the shower or bath. Your skin needs a little time to soften up, so wash your hair and do your thing and save the shaving for last.
  • Consider changing your shaving direction. I used to get razor burn on my shins every single time I would shave. It didn’t matter how careful I was, or how well I moisturized post-shave. I recently read that it’s best to shave with the hair growth, instead of against it. If you shave pretty often, it’s best to shave in the direction of hair growth, but if you don’t shave too often, you may want to shave against the growth and then again with the growth.
  • Pick a moisturizer that doesn’t irritate—no fragrances and no frills. It’s best to go with an all-natural moisturizer that won’t irritate your skin and cause any problems. I usually stick with coconut oil in the summer and apricot oil during the colder months. A little bit goes a long way, and they absorb quickly without any grease.

Read on to enter the giveaway!

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4 Albums I’m Loving Lately

I’m definitely a creature of habit when it comes to music. Truthfully, I still listen to a lot of the stuff I listened to when I was 13, and if it ain’t broke I don’t fix it. So it’s pretty hard for me to get into new(to-me) music. But I’ve been spending a lot of quality time with my Spotify account lately, and I’m so thankful for a little extra spare time! I’ve been reeeeally loving these albums lately… 

Waxahatchee’s Cerulean Salt | Courtney Barnett’s Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit
Dum Dum Girls’ Only In Dreams | Vivian Girls’ Self-Titled

What have you been listening to lately?

Oils That Will Give You Unicorn Hair

I tend to have an oily scalp, but my ends can always use a little TLC. It’s so easy for me to get into that habit of straightening my hair, just to avoid that crunchy feeling. I know, I know, I should get trims more regularly, but it’s hard to do that when you’re trying to grow your hair out a little! Instead of subjecting my hair to the flat iron of death and destruction, I’ve been vigilant about applying hair oils to my hair instead. Here are a few of my absolute favorites:

Bumble & Bumble OilArgan Oil | Show Beauty Treatment OilOjon Hair Therapy

The Bumble & Bumble Oil is one of the first hair oils I’ve tried and it’s definitely an old favorite. It’s a bit more lightweight than other hair oils, so if you’re worrying about greasy strands or applying too much, you don’t have to worry too much with this product. It’s also an Allure 2014 Beauty winner… that should tell you just about everything you need to know. continue reading