nashville

Ricky’s Cult Crushes Review

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Hello beauts! So I know we can all spend our paychecks in Ricky’s or Sephora or Ulta, or anywhere that sells makeup. There always seems to be a new product to try or a new beauty trend. I also feel like there a ton of beauty boxes out there that offer monthly subscriptions. I have tried Birchbox before since it was a gift from my sister, but I just felt like the samples were so tiny. What caught my eye about Ricky’s version of the monthly subscription beauty box is that it typically comes with one full size product. I also love that you get 25% off of all online purchases and free shipping on purchases of $50 or more. YASSSS. For only $11 getting ALL of that (retail value up to $50) seems like a steal in my eyes! For that price, it doesn’t even matter what is in the box, but it seems to always be something awesome 🙂 Check it more here.

This is the review September – I plan on updating this post each month with what I receive!

Opened it up to a little motivation! #CameToCrush everyday!

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HSI Mini Straightener

Umm ok a mini straightener?! This is actually perfection. Tiny yet so powerful! I can throw this right in my purse for days I am running late and can just plug it in at work, and viola my hair is set! The plates are ceramic which helps leave your hair shiny, annnnd even more importantly, they heat up in seconds! Love love love!

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HSI Argan Oil Shampoo, Conditioner + Leave In Treatment

Alright so after summer sun and salty hair, this came in at the perfect time. I felt like my hair was looking so dull and dry and brittle. Not after using these bad boys. I seriously am going to have to get the full size versions. I also love that they are sulfate free and full of vitamins.

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Z-Palette Large

Say what?! This is so unbelievably convenient – I remember my old company did some work with Z Palette and I kept saying I wish they would send us some so we can try, and now my dreams came true lol! This seemed to be a custom one for Ricky’s and I love it. It is so urban and hip. I love that I can customize my own palette with everything that I use – it is so helpful if I am doing my makeup on the go. Instead of lugging around my makeup bag, I can just throw it on my palette and shove it in my purse. Total win with this.

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Wella Root Shoot Mousse

I am a big advocate of Wella products – I used to work in a salon and everyone swore by it and since I got to test out the products first hand, I came to swear by them too! Sometimes my hair can get sooo flat, and since I typically straighten it, it doesn’t make for the best mix. I can’t seem to nail down that middle part with my hair pasted down like the Kardashian’s can haha. Sometimes I throw in a little volumizing powder but it makes my hair feel stiff and weird and doesn’t seem to work. I tried this once and my Jersey girl came out. Total life saver.

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Masque Bar Luminizing Charcoal Mask

I cannot seem to escape masks lol I recently just got a facial so I am trying to leave my skin alone for a bit so I have not yet tried this. But when I do, I will update 🙂

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After just one box, my final verdict is YES – totally worth it! For $11 the value is unbeatable.

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A Mask A Day + NEW Fall Skincare Routine

Fall is coming and I could not be happier! There is just nothing like sweater weather, crunchy leaves, apple picking, football season, and of course pumpkin spice everything. With the leaves changing and the weather getting colder, as we change our closets from tanks to over-sized sweaters, did you know you should also be changing your skincare routine?!

While skincare routines should always include the staples (face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.), it isn’t necessarily bad or detrimental to switch up the regimen quite often, especially when seasons change or hormonal changes occur. For example, with the colder months, my face tends to become dry very easily, but in the warmer months, my face is much more oily and I am sweating so much more, so certainly using the same routine won’t be effective for both instances. Multiple dermatologists agree that changing products way too often won’t give you the chance to see results you may be looking for since average cell turnover is 28 days. If only clear skin appeared overnight!

So, as mentioned before, with Fall approaching, colder weather is approaching, and therefore my face is going to be drier than a desert :(. I decided to pick up seven different masks from Creme Shop and do a mask a day and see how my skin felt after each one. Basically, it felt as though I was going to the spa everyday, but the spa was my makeup room.

Before we get into the masks though, let’s compare our faces to a painting. The paint will go on smoother and the overall results of the painting will look so much better if you’re working on a clean, smooth canvas right? That is why it is so important to not rely on just makeup removers and masks. After reading this totally amazing review on some of the best facial cleansers out there, I picked up this CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser and I can honestly say I am obsessed. I have used it as my sole cleanser for this week’s experiment and I think it played a key role in my face feeling so soft and moisturized. I was wearing max coverage foundation and a full face of makeup, and this cleanser took it right off, without me going through an entire bottle of it. Can you say yes please?!

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Unlike harsher cleaners that exfoliate and really remove the skin’s protective barrier (this is why you should only exfoliate 1-2 times a week!), this cleanser actually helps to restore that protective barrier as well as keeps the skin’s natural moisture. My face feels so soft and looks nice and dewy immediately after washing. Since my skin is nourished and moisturized all day long, I’ve even noticed that my foundation stays on better throughout the day, and that’s without me using primer (when I go to work, I don’t wear much makeup, so I nix primer from my routine – I try to let my skin breathe during the week). I love love love this product and can’t wait to continue using it and keep you updated!

If you want to try it, here’s a $2.00 off coupon! You’re welcome! 😉

Dry skin and red spots be gone!

Now back to our painting…I mean mask experiment! All of these masks are from the Creme Shop. Aside from masks, they also have beauty products from beauty blenders to eyelashes, something I never knew before. I guess I will have to save that for another post though! If you’ve read my previous post on Korean skincare, you know I am a huge fan and avid lover of those products, a Creme shop mask being one of them. All of these masks are made in Korea and deliver just as well as the other ones in that post! I tried seven masks, check out my thoughts on each of them below.

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  • Drink Up, Skin

This one is infused with hyaluronic acid (a main ingredient in the CeraVe facial wash by the way!). This is what keeps the skin’s thirst quenched, keeping it smooth and dewy! I also love that it is non-irritating, so for those of you with sensitive skin, definitely give this one a try. The design was adorable, and after I took it off after a half hour or so, my face felt so soft and looked so moisturized. Bye bye flaky dry skin!

  • Slow Down, Skin

Another adorable “animated” mask! Who doesn’t love pandas, and who doesn’t love to fight aging skin early?! This one is infused with restorative bamboo extract and is rich in silica – which means it boosts structure and elasticity. I actually felt my face tingle slightly while using this one. My face did feel quite refreshed after using it.

  • Charcoal & Lemonade Mask

Alright so anything charcoal seems to be all of the rage in skincare, due to its ability to completely wipe away the impurities and dirt/oil on our faces. First off, I LOVED the smell of it as soon as I opened it up, definitely smelled like delicious lemonade (as I am literally drinking lemonade as we speak haha!). So this dual mask is designed to obviously be like a 2-for-1. As we know, charcoal lifts up toxins and dirt from  the pores on our faces. Lemons have antibacterial properties that can help heal, brighten the skin, and combat blackheads. This mask is also filled with hyarulonic acid, making it full of moisture. I loved how this mask made my face feel, my face felt so clean and soft and looked so dewy. When I woke up the next morning, my mother (who is on me about skin ALL. THE. TIME), complimented how great my skin looked! Oh ,you can also refrigerate this mask for a cooling effect and feeling.

  • The Kale Face Mask

Kale yasss! I can say I know a ton of ways to EAT kale, I didn’t know I could use it to help my face though! As we all know, kale is full of Vitamins, A, C, and K. It is a super food that helps our body, but it can also help with skin imbalances. It helps reduce bloat and puffiness, corrects redness, and can even help with dry patches/flakiness. This certainly helps with keeping skin toned and revitalized!

  • Pineapple Enzyme Infused Mask

I loooove pineapples, and now I love putting them on my face! I had no idea it had an enzyme (bromelain) that acts as an all natural exfoliator, breaking down the keratin protein in dead skin cells. This reveals a new layer of skin and helps get rid of discoloration, leaving you with bright and renewed skin. My face felt so soft after this one!

  • Witch Hazel Infused Mask

This one had some serious powers like a witch haha! I wanted to try this one because it said it combats acne and blackheads and helps minimize excess oil production. It also said it helps against sun damage – a must have since summer is over. Apparently, witch  hazel has a ton of healing properties such as reducing skin damage, inflammation, and swelling. the all-natural ingredient soothes troubled skin and balances the skin for an unblemished complexion. After I took this mask off, I felt like it wiped my blackheads away too, my face felt so smooth and looked so supple.

  • Coconut Oil Infused Mask

So we all know coconut oil is the cure for everything – did you know it even whitens teeth? That will have to be my next post ;). Sometimes after washing my face I will put coconut oil on my face because it makes it feel and look great. Coconut oil is also a great makeup remover if you didn’t know! So, since I already love coconut oil, I was super excited to try this one out – and I was not disappointed! It really felt the same as when I put coconut oil on my face, super moisturized, super smooth, and younger looking 😉

PS – for a cooling effect you can refrigerate their masks 🙂 I haven’t tried, but if you have, comment below!

If you’ve tried any, I’d love to hear which ones and what you thought of them!

Could not be happier with my skin ❤ !

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Nashville Bachelorette!

Okay so in my previous post I mentioned planning my sister’s wedding and such. Well obviously with a wedding, comes a bachelorette party. I can honestly say at 23, I’ve never even been to a bachelorette let alone plan one! When my sister decided on Nashville, TN as her party destination, at first I was like ummmm what? I was sooo ready for Miami or Vegas! When I did some research, I was shocked to see it is basically the bachelorette capital of the US – and when I got there, I knew immediately why!

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Coming from NYC, the flight was not bad at all, about two hours. Also, I should note I flew Southwest and highly recommend it! Great, cheap flight with extremely friendly and accommodating staff.

When we landed, I absolutely fell in love. Like an airport that is clean, people that are friendly…say whaaa?! I was most definitely not in the city anymore! We claimed our baggage and waited for our Uber (another note: Uber is much cheaper down here – and the drivers are basically all super friendly musician transplants from allover!). Everything is so casual and laid-back here, so definitely whip out the flannel and boots and leave the body-con dresses and stilettos home!

Also, everything in Nashville is super close. We stayed near 12 South and 8 South in an Air BnB. If you haven’t tried Air BnB yet, you really must. Nothing like having a home to go back to at the end of the night. I also just feel you really get a better, more full experience. You can walk around and explore and really get to see the neighborhood.

The atmosphere (excluding Broadway) is so quaint yet has a touch of unique Southern flair. Their streets are lined with unique little shops and restaurants. Many of the walls have beautiful murals on them – don’t be shocked when you see people actually waiting in lines to take pictures in front of these murals.

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I could seriously go on and on about this place, so I’ll finally get to my checklist of Nashville must-dos and must-sees – bachelorette party or not!

  • Edley’s BBQ on 12th and Halcyon!
    • I had the brisket platter (when in the south!) with cornbread, mac n cheese, and baked beans. It was so delicious I ate every single morsel. The bar also serves up some great and more importantly, strong drinks. Definitely a must-stop for some laid-back dining and food.

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  • Wander down 12th Street
    • Really cute boutiques and unique shops:
      •  White’s Mercantile – home store + clothing store. Really cute things! A bit pricy though.
      • Serendipity – small boutique selling a bunch of Nashville items, similar to White’s but on a much smaller and more reasonable scale.
      • Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James. Okay the clothing line is stunning and appears to be amazing quality, so I wasn’t shocked that the sweaters cost upwards of $200. The items on display such as plates, books, linens, etc., all had that Southern touch and I absolutely loved it. I would call it the Southern Belle version of kate spade. HINT: The side of Draper James has two beautiful murals!
      • S’More Love! A vintage little blue truck that was whipping up the perfect specialty s’mores. They were also parked next to a flower truck. Seriously could this place get any cuter?!

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  •  MURALS
    • There is art everywhere in Nashville, you just have to find it 😉 Check out some of these murals you should definitely be on the hunt to find.

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  • Frothy Monkey
    • Coffee + wine bar….what?! They also serve breakfast through dinner! Great big porch where people hang out and sip there beverages (which vary at the times of the day, wink wink). Line was kind of long, so try to go off-hours!
  • Five Daughter’s Bakery
    • This place is a dream come true. From the decor to the actual donuts, everything was impeccable. With hanging lights and the cutest mural on the side of the building, this place is just one big invitation. First, upon rounding the corner, you can smell that heavenly smell of donuts. Then your mouth begins to water. They also have paleo, vegan, stuffed, the 100-layer (cronut), and regular donuts!
      • Here were my favorites 🙂
        • Huckleberry (still dreaming of this)
        • Apple Crumb
        • Vanilla

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  • Jeni’s Ice Cream
    • Literally mouth-watering ice cream. They have vegan kinds, gluten-free, but most importantly, INCREDIBLE flavors. The ice cream was so rich and thick and the flavor combos were so different yet paired perfectly. They are all about keeping it real and natural. You can also buy pints!
      • Some amazing flavors (I can attest to this as I basically sampled the whole line of flavors) include:
        • Brambleberry Crisp
        • Brown Butter Almond Butter
        • Churro
        • Goat Cheese with Red Cherries
        • Middle West Whiskey & Pecans
        • Sweet Potato Eclair

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  • Biscuit Love
    • I am still dreaming of the food from this place. Oh my God. No matter what time of day you go, I guarantee you will be online for about an hour. And let me tell you, it is so worth it. The food here was actually unbelievable. With huge portions and tastes that cannot be compared, you will leave with your belly full and your smile wide. Heads up you may also spot a few celebs!
      • We split:
        • Bonuts
        • Hummingbird Family Reserve
        • Egg Plate (eggs, grits, biscuit, sausage or bacon)

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  • The Sutler
    • Great drinks. Great atmosphere. Live karaoke – between good singers and the “had too much to drink and the vodka is telling me I’m a good singer” singers. The cheese dip was incredible and between the few of us, it was devoured in seconds. We did this on our first night as a way to ease ourselves into Nashville. They also have a lounge downstairs that plays 90’s throwbacks on Thursdays. #TBT y’all!

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  • The Gulch
    • Biscuit Love is in The Gulch. It’s a nice area with business building, industries, chain stores, and mom and pop shops. Definitely a lot going on but it is super clean and there is a lot to do, especially in regards to eating! Here we passed a few restaurants that seemed to be popular as well as went to the liquor store and got some coffee.

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  • St. Anejo
    • Brunch #yasssss. This is also in The Gulch. I have to say not a lot of these places take reservations, and the waits can be pretty long, but I promise they are worth it. I definitely recommend this place for a Saturday brunch. Endless chips + salsa, 2-for-1 drinks that you can mix and match (can’t go wrong with their sangria or mimosas!). The food here was also amazing. Seriously these places need to open up in the north!

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  • Miss Fit
    • Okay, so since we were here for a bachelorette, us girls decided to take dance lessons. This place offers exotic chair dancing, pole dancing, anything your exotic mind can imagine. We booked the exotic chair dancing. Since they do private parties, we booked ahead of time and got our own studio. The lights were dim, mirrors surrounded us, music was loud, it was honestly such a fun time. The instructor teaches you the dance, allows you to pick your music, and she will even take pictures of all of you afterwards! This was really a lot more fun than I expected to be. Release your inhibitions girlfriends! They also give everyone a complimentary champagne toast!

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  • Sprocket Rocket
    • Perhaps the most fun thing we did during the trip. Okay so this is basically a travelling bar, where about twenty people are sitting on bike seats and actually pedaling around downtown Nashville. There is a golf cart motor in there, but with so many people, you actually do need to do some work, which is actually a lot of fun and once your drinking you come to enjoy it. There is a bartender in the middle who takes pictures, and serves up drinks for the whole two hours. **NOTE: You bring your own liquor!** We had our group, a couple conveniently from NJ, and a group of people from Long Island celebrating a 50th. It. Was. Amazing. Our driver, who happened to be Ryan Culwell, blasts party music while we drink and pedal and sing at the top of our longs. It is really a site to see, people stop and try to give us high-fives, record us, etc. We get in on the fun too by yelling “paparazzi!” at them. There is also a drinking game called Red Light – at every red light we scream “Red Light!” and have to drink. We also encourage everyone to pedal when they start slacking off hahah. Seriously the best time, and you get to see a lot of the downtown area.
  • Pinewood Social
    • Drinks. Dinner. Bowling. Yes you read that correctly. This was a more upscale place, but again upscale in Nashville is like casual NYC. We had some drinks and dinner here as a prelude to our night on Broadway. I got the mac n cheese and a salad – it’s justified since I ate like complete garbage the entire time I was down here! The girls ordered hot chicken, burgers, etc. Everything was in huge portions and looked so so good! Since the wait was so long, we actually just found seats at the bar and were able to order dinner there. Definitely recommend!

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  • Broadway
    • The infamous downtown of Nashville. This place was a complete mob scene like PACKED like Times Square in NY. I assure you that no locals are hanging out here. But honestly, it was great. I normally can’t stand crowds, but the crowds here were so lively and fun, and it didn’t help the entire street is full of wonder. With neon lights EVERYWHERE and live music coming from every single bar (there were NO DJs), this was the place to be.
      • ACME Feed + Seed
        • Moonshine Slushies! Amazing drinks, go to the third floor rooftop part and drink and dance the night away! The first floor has live music, and the third floor was a bit younger with a DJ and more of today’s hits.
      • Tequila Cowboy
        • Place was packed, they played some strange crossover music but the crowd was dancing and it was fun to let loose and just go with it.
      • Paradise Park Trailer Resort
        • CHEESE FRIES. LIVE MUSIC. I really loved this place especially because the person who was singing sang my favorite song, “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton. I really just love how laid back everything is here. Nothing like going out in jeans and a t-shirt!
      • Other places we stopped in and had fun at or were recommended to see:
        • The Stillery – small little place off Broadway – they saw my sister’s veil and got us a round of shots in celebration! Yay!
        • Honky Tonk – line was LONG.
        • Printer’s Alley – we walked through and saw some bars, but I think they would be best to go to late late night like 2:30/3 AM

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Oh Nashville, I had such an amazing time. I absolutely cannot wait to go back. I either need to get proposed to or my friends need to because we need another reason to get back down there! Most definitely my new favorite city. People honestly are probably getting annoying with how much I talk and rave about it! If anyone has any questions about any of these places or want to know a bit more, please comment or reach out to me! I’d be happy to talk – especially about bachelorette planning!

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