7 Products I'm Obsessed with Right Now

As I'm working on my blog's redesign, I'm thinking about the feedback you all provided and I'm going to add a favorites tab to my main header. Today's post is kind of inspired by that. I went to my master bathroom after work today, looked through my drawers and cabinets and selected products I have been absolutely loving lately.

So here are just a few of my current favorites and why I love them:

Kerastase Cristaliste Luminous Perfecting Essence- this is one of the serums I was sent from Kerastase's new line and I haven't done a blowout without it since I got it. Much like Kerastase's Chroma Shine which I also have, it give a softness and smoothness to the hair and really makes hair look and feel better.  Couldn't be happier with this one and it has a really pretty scent too.  I apply 1-2 pumps to my hair, from the nape of my neck down, concentrating on my ends.



L'Oreal's Balm in the color "pink satin"- Ladies, this is a must-have.  Not only is it the perfect, subtle yet there pink color, it also has SPF, is moisturizing and overall just makes lips look like yours, but better. The packaging is also gorgeous. I love this balm so much that I keep one in my bathroom and one in my purse.   What I love most is how easy this is to apply. No mirror necessary and you just get a pretty flush of color and dry lips are quenched.


LAVANILA The Healthy Deodorant in "vanilla coconut." If I could describe this scent in one word, it would be LOVE.  Sometimes I just want to drench myself in this scent and never look back.  Oddly, the actual perfume of this scent isn't as amazing as the deodorant is, so keep that in mind.  This is a deodorant so it's not going to stop you from sweating---so I layer an antiperspirant under it (both scented and unscented have worked for me) and it's simply awesome.  I also love that it's very creamy and moisturizing.  Yes, it's an $18 deodorant, but it lasts a long time and it's awesome enough to justify the price.


Eleven Skin smooth eye cream and hydrating serum- Some of you may recall me showing these products that were sent to me in a recent video.  It's my first time trying this skincare line and I was a bit nervous at first because my skin can be reactive, but I have been loving both the eye cream and serum and have been using both every night (a couple of nights a week I still use my Kiehl's eye cream just to mix it up a bit).  What I love about the eye cream is that it is SO rich.  It is super creamy and moisturizing so if you like a thicker cream, this one is perfect for you---at the same time though it doesn't feel too heavy or greasy on the delicate under eye area.  Onto the hydrate serum---I was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) that it didn't break me out. I apply two pumps to my entire face every night except for my chin.  It has an almost gel-like feel on the skin but not super sticky. It feels nice and I've enjoyed adding it to my routine and moisturizing overnight.  I still use all of my other products too, but I've added this in.  I started to use my Peter Thomas Roth pads just a few days a week because I didn't want to over-do it and cause oil overproduction so this serum has created a nice balance for me. I haven't used it long enough to comment on results as far as fine line reduction, but Andi over at
Saltwater Dreams has seen dramatic results from this product line.



Kerastase Fibre Architecte- I think it's safe to say that I've been obsessed with Kerastase products for a long time, but this is a new one to my collection that I ordered a few weeks ago.  There's been a lot of buzz about it in the blogosphere and I know why---it helps with split ends (which I have a ton of) and it makes a big difference in the appearance of split ends and with continued use is supposed to help repair your hair. It is heat-activated so the way I use this is I apply one pump to my hair when it's 80% dry from blow drying. Then I continue my blowout in sections as I add in my Velcro rollers. It can also be used on dry hair prior to using heat like a curling iron (though I still use my Oribe Royal Blowout for that most of the time).  It's a pricey product ($42) so I try to conserve it. 


From L-R- Essie Minimalistic, OPI Sweetheart, OPI Mod About You- Everyone knows I love a pink nail...and these are the colors I've been using most lately. Need I say more? All three are awesome.


Bobbi Brown Bronzer in "light" (I believe it's called "golden light" now)- I ran out of my NARS Laguna bronzer several weeks ago and started to panic. Then I remembered I has purchased (and barely used) this Bobbi Brown bronzer. I am so glad I started to use it instead of just buying another Laguna because I've really come to enjoy it.  I love that it's matte, the color is lovely and it lasts all day.  It also layers well under my Bobbi Brown "peony" blush. Don't get me wrong, I'd still repurchase and plan to repurchase Laguna eventually, but it's nice to know I won't have a meltdown one day if NARS ever discontinued Laguna (which would be crazy, right?...so they'd never do that....right?)

I've showed you mine, now you show me yours...what have you been loving lately? Leave me a comment below and let's discuss. OR you can tell me in
formspring!

xoxo,

Veronika.

Master Bedroom Paint Reveal!

Our painting journey has finally come to an end so I decided to break things down and do a post for each room separately.  You’ve already seen our main floor (kitchen, dining room and bathroom) and my painted and re-organized closet and today I’m revealing our master bedroom.

This is the room in our house I have the most trouble/frustration with. I don’t spend a lot of time in it (just to sleep, basically) but I still want it to be beautiful.  Painting it was a start, but I am not happy with how it looks overall…yet.

I think the walls need something---maybe art, mirrors, floating shelves etc.  I also know we need new, larger nightstands. Possibly in white or a fun brighter color.  We have some cheapie IKEA ones right now and they are lacking in both function (storage) and style (blah). I also want to switch out the hardware on our dressers.

Nevertheless, though it’s far from being complete, I did want to show how the paint color turned out in our room. It’s the same color we used in my closet and on our accent wall in the living room, Martha Stewart’s “flagstone.”

But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the “before” 

bedroom1bedroom2bedroom3

I was not into that dark brown color on two of our bedroom walls. I wanted something lighter and I wanted all of the walls painted, not just two of them.

Here is how the paint color turned out:

MB1MB2MB3MB4MB5

It’s much crisper now with the new paint color, but like I said, this room still needs a lot of work.  If you have any thoughts on what you might add, please let me know in the comments below!

xoxo,

Veronika.

 

PS: here is a list of the item in our bedroom bedroom:

Bed Frame & Headboard: West Elm
Duvet Cover & Shams- Z Gallerie “Mimosa”
Dressers: IKEA Hemnes
Jewelry boxes- cream- West Elm; blue- Marshalls Home Goods
White tray: West Elm
White Vase: Marshalls Home Goods

Closet Tour!

I’ve done a post about my closet before (both in our old house and our new house) but I thought I’d film a video this time too.

For those that don’t have time to watch my video tour, I’ve included photos of my closet in this post.

Let’s take a look at what my closet looked like when we first got the house:

IMG_0894
This is actually from when our house was still a model home, but you get the idea, the walls were just a plain (blah) builder paint.

Then, when I had my things in it, it looked something like this:

IMG_1053To be fair, this is when we first moved in so it was really terribly messy, but you get the idea…

I had the painters paint my closet the same color as our bedroom. It’s Martha Stewart’s “Flagstone.” I took some photos while it was still empty so you could see the color.
closet1
closet2

closet3This is what our bathroom looked like when the house was being painted. That bathtub sure came in handy. 

Here’s the after:

closet5closet6closet7closet8closet9closet10closet11

 

If you’d like to see my video tour, please click “play” on the video below:

 

Before I go, here are my top closet organization tips:

  • Group things together: this means that all long sleeve shirts, sleeveless shirts and short sleeve tops should be grouped together so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • Organize each “category” of clothes from light to dark so that it’s easy to see which color groups you have.
  • Assess your closet at least every other month---are there things you never wear/don’t fit anymore/are very worn out? Donate, sell or toss clothes as needed.  Remember to think of your closet as valuable real estate---every item that is taking up space and is never used is a waste of your valuable space.
  • Fold vs. Hang- I fold my jeans and shorts and hang my dress pants.  Fold what makes sense to save room for items that need to be hung.
  • Use the same hangers for everything---I use all white hangers (except for pant and skirt hangers) because they look crisp and clean and when everything matches your closet looks more boutique-like. 
  • Use your wall and door space---I have an over the door hanger that holds my belts and some necklaces and tote bags. You can also hang hooks from your wall to hang handbags and other items.
  • Embrace the seasons--- I will usually re-order my closet for fall/winter and spring/summer.  This means that in the spring and summer, heavier sweaters and jackets go to the bottom bar towards the back of my closet since I won’t use them during this time. Another option is to move items that are seasonal into a storage closet in another room of your house.

    Hope everyone had a great weekend!

    xoxo,

    Veronika.

Weekend Shopping: Fitting Room Photos & Haul Video

Happy Saturday everyone!  As always, I like to blog my fitting room photos as often as possible. You can watch my haul video here, or just check out the photos below! (by the way, there is a Lulu cameo in the video, so it's a cute one!)
Everything I bought today is from Zara. That store has really been impressing me lately. It has become a total go-to shopping destination for me because their clothing can be mixed in effortlessly with other brands.


(Don't mind me, I had my little socks on that I wear with my flats)

Royal blue linen blazer (the sleeve lining is a dark nude color with blue polka dots! so cute!)

I also got a pair of black pants (same as the jade ones I got last week and the shoes I am wearing in the photos above.)
....and now, I have a bone to pick with Old Navy. I get this email saying that they have a promo for 25% off online only. So I go to the store and I was going to buy two tops but then I realized it would be cheaper to buy them online.  I forgot about shipping, so it would actually be more to buy them online, even at 25% off. So now, I have to go back to the store to buy them. Ugh. But they are cute so I don't want to miss out.


and this is the other one I liked...


So yeah, Old Navy is on my list of "retailers that are annoying me" right now. Why can't they just let you use the discount in the store? So frustrating.




xoxo,

Veronika.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Prevent Aging

I'm turning 29 in May and something I think about more and more as I get older is how I can protect my skin from showing signs of aging.  I've been very open about the fact that I would consider Botox as I age to prevent and smooth out wrinkles, but for now, I'm doing everything I can to delay that because the better I am to my skin now, the more time I'll have to avoid (or delay) things like injections. 

So, what can you start doing now to prevent skin damage?

1.  Wear sunglasses-everywhere!  It may seem excessive, but for someone like me, sunglasses are a must, even on somewhat overcast days because my eyes are so sensitive to sunlight.  Even if your eyes aren't as sensitive as mine are, you should always be protecting them from the sun.  First of all, you'll squint less, which helps prevent wrinkle formation and secondly, you'll protect your delicate eye area from UV exposure which causes premature wrinkles.


2.  Drink green tea everyday- it's packed with antioxidants and helps fight free radical damage---it also helps with inflammation and multiple studies prove it can help prevent heart disease and a variety of other ailments. My personal favorite is Bigelow brand green tea with MINT and Tazo "Zen" green tea which has a spearmint flavor to it. I drink mine completely clean (no sugar, no sweetener) and I absolutely love it!  I drink about two cups in the morning, one after lunch (it aids with digestion), another cup mid day and then I have a cup peppermint tea with NO caffeine before bed.  As someone who used to suffer from major IBS, green tea with mint has proven to be an incredible thing for my digestive tract. I honestly cannot say enough about the benefits of this incredible tea!

3. Wear a big hat. Or any hat, really. When I spend time in the sun (and I'm talking multiple hours, not just running quick errands), I wear a hat to protect my scalp and to shield my face from the sun's rays. I also use an SPF 60 on my face (I love La Roche Posay's Anthelios liquid SPF 60), even when I wear a hat. A lot of people have asked if this means my body is one color and my face is another---and the answer is yes. I cheat though because I just use self tanner on my face and it all evens out. Perfect, right!? On that note, if you still use tanning beds, please stop now. I won't get all crazy about it in this post---but you can read more about my thoughts on tanning here.

4.  Start early. Maybe you're 25 and starting to think about skincare...now is the perfect time!  I started using eye cream when I was 25 and each year I've been adding new products to help prevent aging.  It's as easy as applying a few creams at night before bed.  That's it! The payoff is definitely worth the few minutes of effort. The more you can prevent or delay now, the longer you can hold off on treatments later on.

5.  Drink more water. This is one I have to work on too.  Keep an extra large plastic tumbler on your desk at all times and keep it full of water. I always drink more water when I use a straw and when I make it accessible. Remind yourself to drink water every hour. Hydrating from the inside will make you look even better on the outside! Dehydrated skin doesn't have that young, healthy glow that we all covet...so drink up!

Since we are on the topic of aging, I filmed an interview with KHOU 11---a local news station about beauty superfoods and it aired on today's morning news. I was honored to be involved and had a great time doing the segment.   You can watch my segment
here

 



Lots of video filming and blogging to come this weekend!

xoxo,

Veronika.

A Painted House

Our home is nearly completely painted!  All that’s left are bedrooms and bathrooms.  I am so excited that our home now feels more like “us.”

We ended up choosing Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter” for the majority of our home.  When your home is as open-concept as ours is, you really need to use a paint color that transitions well from space to space---so, because our kitchen, dining room and living room don’t have any walls in between them, we opted for something fresh, crisp and airy.

You may remember when I posted about choosing the perfect gray and I truly think that Revere Pewter is the lightest gray you can get that doesn’t have blue, green or purple undertones to it.  It truly is a clean, gorgeous light gray. It looks very…elegant. I guess that’s a good way to describe it. It’s also very subtle…but in a good way. It contrasts nicely against bright white trim, but it’s not dramatic like darker colors can be (we are saving those for the bedrooms).

The one thing we did add is an accent wall where the double doors go out to our balcony.  We wanted to have one wall that was a bit darker and we absolutely love it.  We love the color so much that we are also going to use it in our master bedroom and my closet. It’s Martha Stewart’s “Flagstone” matched to BEHR’s Ultra paint.

Here are some photos of our main living area and entryway:

paint1paint2paint3paint4paint5paint6paint7paint8paint9paint10
Other colors we are using in our home will be:

Guest Bedroom & Bath: Fashion Gray by BEHR
Half Bath: Fashion Gray by BEHR
Master Bedroom & Closet: Flagstone by Martha Stewart
Master Bath: Seine by Valspar color matched to BEHR paint

More painting updates will come as they happen! I love that I can decorate more now and put artwork on the walls.  It feels good to have a home painted just like you want it.

Just as a side note, we hired painters (the same ones who painted half of our last home).  They do a great job and we have high ceilings so it can be hard for just the two of us to do it.  We really like how crisp and clean everything is when professionals do it, but of course it’s a total DIY project if you want it to be (we painted half of our last home).

xoxo,

Veronika.

Stila Lipglazes- YouTube Giveaway Winners!

Proving everyday that I am the worst at giveaways ever, I FINALLY took the time to randomly select the winners of my Stila Lipglaze contest that I hosted on my YouTube channel.  I finally found an easier way to do it (thank God) where I paste the comments into a MS Word doc and it automatically numbers them so I don't have to sit there and count each one of them, praise the Lord!

Okay, so here we go. I know I said I was going to do four winners but I did five because, you know, I just felt like five was a better number.

Here we go:


Winner 1- comment 255
kareenafan01



Winner 2- comment 257
caitmanock




winner 3- comment 190





winner 4-  comment 9



Winner 5- comment 231




Thank you SO much to everyone who entered and I also want to thank my computer for giving me a solution to make these giveaways easier for me to do because if I had to print out 20 pages of comments again and count every single entry I think I would have to stop doing giveaways!

If you won, I am contacting you via YouTube message for your mailing address.


xoxo,

Veronika.

Weekend Shopping, Painting & Fitting Room Photos

Good morning!  I'm up bright and early with the painters completeing the painting on our stairways and accent wall in the living room!

By the way, we went with Benjamin Moore's "Revere Pewter" for our main living spaces and stairwells. I'm really happy with how it turned out---a very soft, light, subtle gray with no blue, purple or green undertones.  We are going to do all of the rooms and bathrooms in darker, richer shades of gray so we stay in the family of grays but with a little more drama.  The challenge with open-concept living spaces is that a lot of walls connect, so if your main living space is one large room like ours, you have to pick a color that works well with that entire space.


I'll post some better photos when painting is complete.

I thought I'd share some fitting room photos since it's been requested that I put them on my blog more as opposed to just my Facebook page (I tend to share photos and other links there that I don't put on my blog, so if you're interested in that kind of stuff, you can "like" my page here.)

I filmed a haul video on these items yesterday, so I'm including shots of some of the stuff I bought over the last couple of weeks. 

By the way, I had some requests to share my more casual outfit iPhone snaps on my blog, too, so here's what I wore on Friday:
Tunic (worn as blouse)- Zara
Blazer- Express
Jeans- GAP "always skinny"
Flats- Tory Burch
Necklace- Banana Republic
Now, onto fitting room photos, let's start with Banana Republic:



These are the Sloane ankle pants in navy (I got black) with a blazer I didn't love on me


This was a navy pencil skirt with a pink silk blouse (I liked this one but I didn't get it because I wanted to get my H two pairs of pants and could only get five items total at 50% off,
sometimes we have to sacrifice for our loved ones---LOL, I'm totally kidding!)


This is the cream 100% silk blouse I purchased. Really love this one!



These are the Sloane ankle pants in black that I purchased


Now onto Zara---I got these jade green pants there and I'm in love.
I need them in more.colors.now.

(nice, messy fitting room!)

I also realized I didn't post some photos from a shopping trip
a few weeks ago so I'm adding those as well!


(oh gosh, I need to not to be so lazy and take my jeans off)
These are the Presley Skye dresses from Nordstrom


This is the dress I got at Charlotte Russe a few weeks ago---it doesn't photograph well,
the bottom is actually a different color which is not apparent in the photo.



The jeggings above are the Target ones that have gotten a lot of buzz.
I passed on them, but they are okay.  Size way up on these.
Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

xoxo,

Veronika.

PS- here is my haul video!

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