Thursday, February 22, 2018

My Top 10 Pieces & Products of 2017

Okay! I know it is February, & this post is about 1 month & 22 days overdue; but better late than never I think! Hopefully everyone's 2018 is off to a great start, I know that my blog posts have become few & far between - I usually keep more up to date with daily to do's, recipes, lifestyle, outfits, etc. on my Instagram (@emilybfahlsing) & my IG stories/snapchats, but blog posts will still come from time to time! I more or less enjoy just checking in with you guys & saying Hi on the blog, answering some questions & hopefully providing some answers, & just utilizing the creative aspect of my mind away from the throes of everyday life!

I wanted to share some of my absolute favorite pieces & products from 2017 with you guys because most of these things I utilize on a daily basis &/or I seriously can't get enough of - & I think it will be the same for you, too!

1. Chenille Sweater

As pictured; this cowl neck Chenille sweater I picked up from Express in December has been my go-to live in sweater for pretty much any occasion. It is SO comfortable, literally like lounging in a cloud - & goes with just about anything! The material is kind of velvety/plush, but lighter. The one I got is linked {here} & below, & is currently ON SALE for less than $50! I am wearing a size XS for reference.

2. JCrew Slippers

I literally live in these. I can not stress enough how amazing these slippers are! I wear them all day everyday around the house. I probably am already due for another pair (I got them in November), because I have already worn them in so much. They are so comfortable & so easy to slip on & off! I have them featured on my IG {here} & {here}. I have linked them below at JCrew Factory (under $30), & at JCrew ON SALE for under $50! These sell out every season, but usually end up getting restocked!

3. Sorel Wedges

My go to outdoor wedge (also pictured in these specific blog post photos)! I slip these on to go just about anywhere, whether it to be to run errands, go to yoga, or to go out to dinner. They are so versatile because they can be dressed up or down, & they are SUPER comfortable! You for real don't feel like you are wearing a wedge. For us petites, these are kind of a must because they add a good amount of height & just the right amount of flare! Even if I don't look put together, these kind of make me look put together. Know what I mean? They are durable in the winter conditions, & waterproof! I linked them below along with some of my other Sorel wedge faves. These are the "Lea" wedge for reference.

4. Glam Glow "Volcasmic" Moisturizer

I have been using this every night before bed as my night cream if-you-will, & I absolutely love it! It is so creamy & nourishing, my face feels immediately smoothed & hydrated! I love the smell too, it smells like an orange dreamsicle. I switch up my skin routine from time to time but I get a lot of questions as to what I utilize & this has been working well for my fine lines & the dry weather! I linked it below; along with a Glam Glow Volcasmic kit I just might have to try next!

5. Bath & Body Works 3 Wick Candles

I have a slight obsession with 3 wick candles. I usually have at least one burning while I am home at all times, & Bath & Body Works candles have seemed to last & burn the longest! Also they have the biggest variety of scents (& they all smell AMAZING). Bath & Body isn't directly affiliated with so I couldn't link through them below, but I did link the same candles through 3rd party websites. Otherwise, you can find any of my favorite scents (shown below) at any Bath & Body store! I always take advantage of their sales every season because these candles can cost a pretty penny. So worth it though!

6. IT Cosmetics CC Cream/Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer

The dream duo for complexion & coverage! (at least from what I have found)! For my daily makeup routine, I always use IT Cosmetics CC cream to even out my complexion & then Tarte's Shape Tape concealer to conceal my undereyes/highlight my T zone. The CC cream gives me just enough coverage without heavy/thick application, & Tarte's concealer is definitely my favorite concealer to date! I have linked both below. For shades, I use the shade "light" in IT Cosmetic's CC, & "fair beige" in Tarte's shape tape.

7. Chloe Rose "Work It Girl" Swimsuit

I guess technically this could be deemed a 2018 purchase, but I have been eyeing it for quite some time! I saw this swimmy online in various places & I fell in LOVE with it. For my birthday I took the plunge & splurged (treat YAself) because I rarely fall in love with swimsuits. It is everything & more! It has fairly cheeky coverage (in boobs & butt area) but flatters you in the best places. Seriously, it will be so cute paired with high waisted shorts & wedges, & I can't wait to wear next month in Florida (stay tuned for features)! It is currently sold out (you can try & search it on google & you may find your size on various websites); otherwise Revolve just released their pre-order schedule & they say some shipments will start March 25th for all sizes! I linked below! I ordered an XS for reference & it fits cheeky but well.

8. Jogger Sweats

Pretty much jogger anything I am down with. For males & females! I particularly love the sweatpant variations, but I think jogger pants in general are super cute & can easily be dressed up or down. I'll wear mine out to a casual dinner with wedges & then I will wear them to bed that same night. Problem? I think not. More like a solution! I linked my favorite ones from Express {here} (also featured on my IG (here)) - & I also linked them along with some other favorites below!

9. Adidas NMDs

I actually bought these to wear for work, because I needed a new pair of work tennis shoes; & because I am on my feet 13 hours a day (nurse life calls for long hours) I needed something durable that would be both comfortable & cute! I absolutely love my NMDs & I am so happy with my purchase! They are sweat/water wicking & easy to wash. Plus the boost makes them comfy & easy on my back. Not to mention they are PINK & come in a variety of colors! I linked my exact pair below - otherwise you can pretty much search on google any style & a variation will pop up! You can also see them on my IG {here}.

10. Marc Fisher Wedges

I think these were actually voted the most loved wedge of 2017! These have sold out pretty much every season & I completely understand why. They actually go with everything, & the combination of the ankle strap & suede makes them really easy to wear. I have them in the chestnut brown color in style "Adalyn" (linked below) & shown on my IG {here} & {here}; but they now come in a variety of different colors & styles! They are perfect for the upcoming Spring/Summer months!

There we have it! A compilation of my favorite pieces & products of 2017. As you can see, I am kind of a shoe fanatic. Shoes have always & will forever dominate my closet! If you guys have any questions feel free to email &/or DM me (link in "Contact" section); I love to hear from you all! These months are flying by so quickly lately, I have been really trying to stop & think about each day & to live for every moment - no matter the challenges. I just wanted to give a shout out to all of you to say how thankful I am for you all! So THANK YOU! For every or any impact you have had on my life. For reading &/or just glancing at my blog. I love you all.

XX. E.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Holiday "Glow" Makeup Look

Happy holidays everyone! I can't believe it is already almost Christmas. Although I feel like I have been in the spirit for over a month now - decorating the whole house from top to bottom in holiday decor, turning the tree on every night, watching Hallmark movies literally all day; everyday, wrapping gifts, decking myself out in red, you get the picture. I love this time of year! Everyone seems so warm & happy when they are out, even when it is completely hectic. Plus, we have snow up here! Which isn't surprising, but it is definitely going to be a white Christmas in MN.

This last weekend we took some last minute Christmas card photos, & I decided to go for a very natural, basic holiday look that would stand out in photos but not be too "glam." I don't usually wear a lot of makeup, so instead of loading on the dark eyes to make a statement I decided to go with more highlight. I wanted to create a "glowy" look to pair well with all of the red, gold, silver, & glitz of the usual holiday wear! I asked you guys on my Instagram story (@emilybfahlsing) if you wanted a kind of step-by-step tutorial to this look, & you guys overwhelmingly said yes! So here we have it. A little tutorial without the video for how you can create this holiday "glow" look at home. PS! I want you guys to know that none of these makeup products are part of a collaboration. These are all my tried & true products that I have used for a long time, & love!

I always start with a clean and moisturized face. I then prime my face with Benefit's The POREfessional primer. This primer has always made my face feel super soft & gives me a good amount of coverage without having to use a lot of product. I follow the primer with my absolute favorite foundation (cc cream if you will) from IT Cosmetics in the shade "Light." This foundation is light enough that it doesn't feel caked, makes my face feel extra moisturized, but also conceals a lot of redness/fine lines. I love it for everyday use! I usually just apply this with my fingers all over my face & blend.

I then apply concealer with a beauty blender underneath my eyes, between my eyebrows, & to the bridge of my noise. I use Tarte's Shape Tape Concealer in the shade "Fair Beige." I will never switch my concealer again after finding this product. I have horrible under-eye circles & this concealer really helps to brighten my eyes without accentuating my fine lines. I like to get a shade lighter than my skin in concealer because I want it to also serve as a highlight (why I apply it to the bridge of my noise & between my brows). I seal in my foundation & concealer with my tried & true matte powder from Rimmel in the shade "Translucent." I try to focus on my under-eyes when applying the powder so that I can again, create a more highlighted look for my dark circles.

For this look, I then applied bronzer to my cheekbones, forehead, & to the bridge of my nose. I didn't do a dramatic contour, more or less just used a basic blush brush to apply the bronzer to these areas. I use the Anastasia Powder "Light to Medium" Contour Palette for my bronzer & I kind of just mix all the shades together. I then applied a small amount of blush to my cheekbones in the shade "Orgasm" from NAR's. This shade of blush has pinky-peach undertones with gold flecks so it provides a good highlight base. I wanted even more highlight for this look specifically, (to reflect all the glow of the holidays) so I then applied highlighter to the very top of my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, & right above my lip with the pinky highlighter shade from Carli Bybel's Highlighter Palette. I adore this palette for highlight, I also love her eyeshadow selection! Perfect for everyday use (I love golds/pinks/browns). Any gold/pinky light highlighter would work for this look though!

For my eyes, I took the pinky tinted highlight from the Carli Bybel Palette & applied it to my brow bone. I then applied the light gold shadow from the palette to my lid. I took a white eyeliner pencil (any white liner from the drugstore will do) - & I applied it to my lower waterline. I made sure this was nice & pigmented, & then I took the gold shadow that I put on my lid & applied it over the white liner line with my finger & blended this in. I took my usual mascara, (I have used Loreal's Telescopic Carbon Black since high school, & I haven't found any mascara I like more) & applied it to my upper & lower lashes. I don't have to do much with my brows anymore - since I got them micro-bladed (see my post on my micro-blading experience here) but I do fill them in a little with Sonia Kashuk's brow pencil in "Taupe."

A bold lip really completes this look. Red was my color of choice (because Christmas, duh) ;) & I used Maybelline's Red lipstick in shade "Ruby Star."

& there we have it! My "glow" makeup look step by step for the holidays! You guys should trial this weekend. You really can use any similar products that have the same pigments (or just take the products you have to work with if they are similar to mine & go in the same order); otherwise I have linked all of the products I use throughout the tutorial above & directly below.

& My Outfit:

Bonus! I attached some last minute gifts under $50 below (great stocking stuffers) for those in a bind to get their Christmas shopping done. All of these are guaranteed delivery before Christmas Eve! So get shopping!

Hope everyone has an amazing Christmas with their loved ones. I really do love this time of year.

Lots of love! Xx. E.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Microblading 101: My Experience

Hey y'all! I have had TONS of questions secondary to my microblading experience with the ever so talented Ally from Highbrow Studio in Minneapolis. & I have been so excited to share with you guys! I can't rant & rave about this enough, I think it is such an amazing option for pretty much anyone who wants a fuller natural brow (without the day to day hassle of filling in/makeup application, etc).

I literally butchered my brows as a teen, & for some reason went years without caring at all about brow care/filling them in, etc. I mean no- I didn't completely let them go; but I literally would either over pluck or just leave them be, & because of my lighter hair color- they were basically non existent. Bring on my college years & big, natural, gorgeous brows started to come back in, & I was like WOW. I really need to step up my brow game. I had moments of fail/no-fail with makeup application, started getting them waxed (to formulate a shape) about every 3 months, & then finally came across a brow I was fairly happy with. This is great! But unless I fill them in on the daily with my routine makeup application (I use Sonia Kashuk pencil in Taupe- btw), I still struggle with how light/patchy they are in some spots from my years of butchering. Anyways. There is my personal brow story. Can I get an Amen 90's baby ladies?

I came across microblading this last year when I stumbled upon Ally's IG- & I was very intrigued. I have never gotten a tattoo, & I have absolutely NEVER been interested in permanent makeup. I am one of those who gets easily scared away by others makeup applications (except Mindie @makeupbymindie- cuz she's a literal makeup master), & so this both excited me & frightened me all at once. I was like whoa! This could be a major game changer. Her skills seemed to be absolutely ON point, & I loved the brows that evolved from her technique. Super natural, filled in (but not too extreme), gorgeous. What every girl wants without the hassle, amiright?

So after much back & forth inner convincing, I booked! & guess what? I LOVE & LOVED. Everything about the experience has been a major YES in my book. I love my new brows- & they are still healing! So I know I am going to love them to their full potential for years to come. To answer all (or hopefully some of) your questions about my experience, I wanted to do a little Q&A. For any other questions you guys may have- feel free to DM/PM me!

Microblading Q&A
(with much help from the master herself, Ally @ Highbrow)

1. What is the investment?
Most sessions will cost you $300-500 for your initial session & your touchup depending on the studio/artist. If you are booking below this amount- question it & the studio! This is a big investment but also absolutely necessary for the tedious work it takes to micro-blade.

2. Did it hurt?
Yes & No. HA! I went into the process thinking it was going to be SUPER painful, & I braced myself for the worst. I have never had a tattoo, & I had no idea what to expect. For the initial go around, she pre-numbed me; but it wasn't enough to really completely numb me. The sensation is worse than anything, due to the tool they use & the cuts that are made. It was more "uncomfortable" than painful I would say. After the first initial cuts are made- she numbed me again; so for the second go around I was completely numb & I didn't feel a thing! This whole process only takes about 20 min so it was definitely tolerable.

3. What is the process like? (How long does it take)?
(This is from my experience specifically, everyones might be different): First, she pre-numbed me with a gel/solution and then we went over my consult (30 min). She mapped my brows (seen in photos above) with a pencil to show me how she deemed my brows would look when complete. These were symmetrical and specific to the shape my brows "should be" when finished with the microblading process. Following this, she showed me a few pigments that would work for my brows (hair color/brow color). I was able to pick from these pigments which shade fit me best based on the pencil/makeup color I use & my hair color.

Following this, we started the initial blading process. As I stated above, I could feel this process- as the topical numbing doesn't completely numb you. After she makes the first initial cuts (this takes about 10 min), she applied the second layer of numbing cream- & let me sit for another 20 min to let this kick in. Once kicked in, she went over my brows and bladed again (another 10 min) which ended in completion of my brows! All in all, the process took about 2 hours (which is fairly typical for a session).

4. How long do they last?
Typically, (from the reviews + research I have done) they last about 1-3 years. Everyone's skin is different!
** You WILL absolutely need to go back in for your 6-8 week touch-up (some people ask if you need to go in for your touch up session or if its just as needed), but the touch up is really what solidifies & gives you your "perfect" brows. In the initial session, they aren't able to make every stroke necessary to achieve your brow as they don't want the tint to run together. In your touch up session- they can add these extra strokes, along with adjust your tint/shape as well if you'd like! It is a two step process, but oh so worth it in the end!

5. How do they match/achieve your wanted brow color?
As said above, she made a swatch of some tints on my forehead so I could see which ones fit my skin tone/brow color best. She also makes her suggestions, & you kind of go over a mini consult as to which tint matches your hair color/makeup you use to fill. I went with her suggestion, & they match perfect! (in above before/after photos- you will notice they are slightly reddened in appearance, but this is just my skins reaction beneath the tint color ((like when your skin is slightly red/swollen surrounding a new tattoo)).

6. What does aftercare involve? Will I be able to go out in public?
Aftercare is pretty easy, not to mention Ally is SO cute & she swags you up with an aftercare package- complete with organic baby soap (for cleansing your brows), grape seed oil (to keep them moist so they don't dry out), chocolates, etc! Pretty much aftercare involves no touching/cleansing your brows for 24 hours (as they are essentially an open area), no sleeping on your face, no long showers/extensive exercise/sweating (so that bacteria isn't introduced)- for 2 weeks. You are also instructed to cleanse your brows with the baby soap & apply the grape seed oil (after the first initial 24 hours) for 2 weeks. I am in the healing process now, & I have noticed a small amount of flaking - but nothing too extreme!

The first 1-2 days I did notice my brows got a lot darker in appearance, which Ally states is completely normal & to not freak out when this happens. This is just the scabbing process of your cuts/tint. Following this, (the process I am going through right now) when things start to flake off, your brows get MUCH lighter in appearance & I am all like- "where have my brows gone!" But fear not! They will return in the next few days, & will be further enhanced at the touch up appointment.

7. Will I still need to wear makeup to fill in my brows?
I asked Ally this question because I was all about not having to do the whole 2-5 min brow makeup filling process on the daily. She stated its kind of up to everyone, but that she usually doesn't have to fill her brows in. If you wanted a more dramatic look for a night out- you probably could, but as for me so far- I haven't even thought to fill mine in, & I am LOVING it!

8. Do I have to do anything to prepare for my appt?
I didn't really have to do any specific prep, but it is smart to avoid any types of blood thinners, tanning or extreme sun exposure, chemical peels/extensive face scrubs, etc. so that your skin/brows are prepped & ready for the microblading process.

If you want to bring in any photos of you with makeup on, or how you want your brows to look post micro-blade, this can be helpful! Along with the color of makeup you use to fill in your brows if you want this specific tint.

9. How do I book?
I have attached all the necessary contact info for booking below! Along with Highbrow's Instagram & Facebook page links.

{Ally, Highbrow Master & Owner + Myself}

10. What did YOU think initially?
See video below for my reaction. ;)

Highbrow Studio
701 North 3rd Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota
(IG): @highbrowstudiomn
(FB): Highbrow Studio

All of this information is secondary to my personal experience, & all questions/answers are specific to my experience with Highbrow Studio. No ones experience is guaranteed the same! If you guys are going to another studio- make sure you ask in depth questions prior to your appt!

PS: My girl Alex is also a MAJOR boss at Highbrow & just started expanding her client base. If you need another highbrow artist to book with - she's your gal!
Hope you guys enjoyed this blog post! I had a ton of fun writing it because I am seriously super in love with my new brows, & I know you guys would/will be too if you decide its worth it!

FYI; Highbrow's prices will be increasing post the New Year, so if you want to give your brows a little treat, act fast for the holidays! :)

Happy soon to be Thanksgiving! Love to all. Xx. E.