Skin is In

Skin is in so show some! On your face I mean! Talking about my skincare routine and products I use and love on the blog today.

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Happy Monday ladies!!! Now I’m down for showing a little leg and maybe even a little cleavage here and there but the skin I’m referring to in this post is in our face! As I’ve grown older (and wiser and better I might add lol) I have paid more attention to taking better care of my skin. I love make up and how it makes me look and feel BUT 93.7265% of the time I am make up free. I am a busy woman with a family, work, and other activities so make up is not a priority when I’m trying to just make it out the door! And that especially applies on Monday! So I want to share some of the things I use in my skincare routine today.

Ladies as we age it is sooooooo important that we take care of our skin. Our skin has been through so much as our bodies have changed throughout the years. We’ve had acne, sun exposure, dietary changes and we maybhave had medical issues involving medications that can cause changes in our skin. I will tell you the absolute first step to great skin is drinking water. Period. Water helps hydrate our bodies and our skin which leads to a brighter appearance, less breakouts and plumper skin (think less wrinkles). So get you about 8 glasses a day. I guarantee you this will work!

Secondly we must clean our skin. Everyday twice a day I use a cleanser on my skin whether I wear make up or not. It’s important because just think about all the things you come in contact with daily whether it’s in the air or something you may handle with your hands and then touch your face. The cleansers I recommend are Clean and Clear Morning Burst face wash and Avon Anew Clean Cleansing Foam (shop my Avon e-store here). I like the Clean and Clear in the a.m. because it does include little beads that wake up your skin and I use the Avon at night because it thoroughly removes away all the dirt and grime from the day.

 

In addition to cleansing daily, if I wear make up I makes sure to remove makeup with Garnier Micellar Water. This stuff works! I use the one with the teal top which is formulated for eye make up removal. I just saturate a cotton pad and wipe away my makeup. I also use it to clean my lashes and then spray with alcohol to disinfect. I would definitely recommend this product especially if you are a make up lover like me.

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I always follow up cleansing my skin with a moisturizer.  I have combination skin and even though I tend to get oily especially in the summer I still moisturize because your skin needs that hydration. You will actually cause your skin to produce more oil if you do not apply moisturizer because it is trying to make up for the moisture it needs. A smooth moisturized face also helps apply your foundation and concealer more smoothly. I use the Avon Anew AHA refining cream. I love this moisturizer because it’s thick and a little goes along way. I follow up my moisturizer whether I wear makeup or a little drop of the Avon MagiX Face perfector because it contains SPF. I only use a little because it personally does not keep me matte but I love the protection it gives against the sun.

 

I have always had acne and as an adult I still have break outs especially around my time of the month. Because of my acne and the fact I pick at my breakouts (Don’t do it!) I have hyperpigmenation and acne scarring. To help fade my dark marks I use Ambi Fade cream. This stuff is old school but it works! BUT you must use it consistently, preferably twice a day. I also try to use it as soon as a dark mark appears and normally I sew it fading in a few weeks. It does also contain sunscreen to prevent dark marks from getting darker.

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Finally once a week I make sure to exfoliate. It is very important to deep clean your skin and pores and scrub away dead skin cells. This will give you a brighter appearance and for your cleansers and moisturizers to penetrate your skin more deeply. When we age the skin cells our body makes slows down so exfoliation aids in producing new ones. I use Clean and Clear Deep Action Exfoliating scrub and I normally cleanse in the shower using a cleansing brush. The one I have is from Oil of Olay which is on its last leg but Avon makes one which is on sale for $24.99 which I plan on purchasing. The power brush really helps get deep and my skin feels so good after using it.

 

Now I am a reformed product junkie so I’ve tried alot of products over the years but I have narrowed my routine down to these steps and products and I really feel my skin has improved as I’ve gotten older. Some things like the Ambi are tried and true and some things are new like the Micellar water but will remain a staple. If you have skin issues I always suggest doing your research and visiting a dermatologist. So what are your skin care secrets? I would love to know so please share in the comments below!

 

Love Ricki

Everything ain’t for Everybody

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Jumpsuit: Bebe (similar here and here)

And this jumpsuit is not for me! Happy Friday beautiful people! My family is going thru several transitions this year and one of those changes involves downsizing. To meet a future goal we will be moving into a smaller place temporarily and I honestly am looking forward to it. Less to clean and less expenses and I’m going to enjoy that. I am not however looking forward to a smaller space but I guess you can’t have your cake and eat it too! So I am working on revamping my wardrobe and having less BUT making sure what I have are clothes and shoes I love and make me look and feel great. You will see more of me defining my style and putting together my wardrobe on blog posts to come.

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Well I can tell you this jumpsuit is not making the cut. I purchased it over a year ago from the BeBe outlet and I did try it on in the store. I loved it when I tried it on but I didn’t think about the fact that I had a bra on AND that this jumpsuit was backless. When I got it home I tried it on again without the bra and with the way I tied the ties in the back I figured I could make it work. BUT I have never worn this jumpsuit! As excited as I was to get it, it has sat in my closet for a whole year. Everytime I was going somewhere where it would be appropriate to wear this, I passed because I didn’t feel comfortable in it overall. It was not made for women with a larger bust (see the darting in the front pics) and even though it was cute overall, I didn’t feel cute in it. It was hard to find the proper undergarments that would hold me to wear it. I could go without but I realize I am an almost 40 year old woman and in my opinion and with the way gravity works it just would not have been a good look for me! So that leads me to say this: we may love something but it may not be the best for us. Apply this where you want: fashion, people, relationships etc. People may even say it looks good (we’ve all heard y’all are so cute together lol)but only you know what is best for you. So this jumpsuit will be given away or sold and I will be on the search for a more versatile summer jumpsuit that looks good on me AND makes me feel good in it. Ladies, do you have things in your life that you love that don’t work for you? I suggest you really evaluate the benefit and joy you actually get from that thing (or person) and decide if you really have room enough to keep it! Make space for the good things!

Love Ricki

Keeping my day job

Well I guess that other job isn’t going to work out lol! So I’ll be cute at the one I have for now.

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So if you follow me on IG (rickiloves, go follow!) you know I posted yesterday about a possible job change lol. Well the way this body is set up that’s not an option! Also , I can’t dance or shake with any type of coordination so I probably wouldn’t make any money anyway:(  I’ll just keep the job I have for now. Even though I don’t love my job I am grateful for employment and to make days better it also helps to be cute and feel good about yourself! I told yall in my last style post I would stretch my wardrobe and switch up my casual look to a more work appropriate one wearing the same jumpsuit from Forever21. To switch it up I pulled out one of my fav basic wardrobe essentials, a belt! I bought this wide brown leather belt a few years ago from the local Express outlet and I love it! It has elastic and a snap closure so it so it can fit me at just about any size but I especially love what it does whenever I wear it: cinches this waist hunny! Who doesn’t like a small waist? I know I do especially after having 4 children (another reason why I couldn’t take the other job)! The belt also helps you look more put together and professional. Go get you one, I’m definitely on the hunt for more!

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To help the look be work ready I wore minimal jewelry, put my hair in a bun and added heels.

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I work in a business casual enviroment but if you have a more professional dress code add a blazer or cardigan. I hope you like this look and it encourages you to think about different ways to wear the same pieces and stretch your clothes and your budget! Let me know in the comments about what pieces you have that can be worn for work and play.

Love Ricki

Ricki Loves Lashes

AirBrush_20170630092522I have put myself on a blogging schedule in an attempt to bring more content to the blog. I absolutely love blogging and I am grateful to God to finally have found my purpose and passion but it still can be work and being organized helps. I am going to bring you more posts talking about all things beauty particularly for us women in our 30s and 40s. So on Monday I will dedicate my post to make up, hair, skin and anything that makes us feel pretty (on the inside and outside) so I hope you look forward to these posts.

Today I want to share my love for lashes. I am apart of the big eyes club (I get it from my mama ha!) and I was constantly teased about my eyes growing up. I was always called fish eyes growing up and but it’s funny the things you were insecure about when you were younger you embrace as you age! Hunny I love these big eyes now! I love wearing eyeshadow and playing up my eyes with winged eyeliner and as the title of this post tells you I love lashes! Now the love for lashes grew though because I will not lie to you it was a struggle learning to put these suckers on! When I first started really wearing make up (like a full face) I was well into my 30s so my patience for certain techniques was thin and putting on lashes were one of them. I mean it was messy, it was irritating and it was frustrating. I watched so many tutorials and tried so many kinds but was unsuccessful. I honestly gave up. But finally I realized if it was something I wanted to incorporate in my make up look I was going to have to have patience and PRACTICE. If I can give you my #1 tip for applying lashes is practice. It is not something most of us will get on the first try. It is what it is and if you realize that you will win the battle and learn how to put them on. And with the other tips I share hopefully you won’t take as long as I did!

My tips for Lash application:

  • Make sure your lashes fit your eyes. You need to take them out the package bend them up and then put them against your eyes. It is okay to trim them if need be!
  • Find a glue that YOU like and that you can tolerate. I use DUO glue that goes on white but dries clear. However it is latex based so if you are allergic to latex, DUO also makes a brush on version which is latex free and has vitamins. Now this is my opinion because I know people who use it (and theirs looks good) but I DO NOT USE HAIR BOND glue. It is not made for lashes and I have seen some terrible eye irritations due to wearing it. Also when you are a beginner you do not want that sticky smelly glue all over your eyes! I know people do this so they don’t have to reapply everyday but I would rather do that then have pink eye, I’m just saying!
  • Apply a thin layer of glue but make sure you apply enough at the ends. These are the places you need the glue to stick the most. Nothing worst then having an eyelash hanging off.
  • After you apply the glue, give it 30 seconds to a minute to dry before trying to apply them. I usually apply my glue to my lashes and then let them dry while applying my mascara or highlight. If you apply the lashes right after putting on the glue they will not stick. This is not hot glue lol and it needs time to get tacky so they will stick.
  • Use tweezers when applying as a beginner. Once you become a pro you can do what you want but tweezers give you the control you need to get a good application.
  • When applying, place your lashes on your lash line in the center of your eye. Then take your tweezers and apply the lashes to the end and corners of your eye.  Check out Maria Antoinette on YouTube, she has a helpful, detailed video on applying lashes for beginners. I’ll also make sure to share it on my FB page so make sure to like Ricki Loves on Facebook! (Shameless plug!)
  • I just recently learned to not try to put my lashes all the way to my inner corner. For me this doesn’t work. My eyes would water and they would never stick. Now I pull them further away from the inner corner and I promise it still looks good!
  • After you have applied your lashes, take your finger and press the lashes against the lash line. This will help them stick closer to your lash line and look more believable.
  • If you don’t have them close enough to your lash line, that’s okay! Use eyeliner to bridge the gap! No one will even know!
  • Apply a thin coat of mascara to blend the lashes with your natural ones. This helps them to look more realistic.
  • Finally like I said before practice and have patience! You will get it down. And when you do you may even feel naked without them!

Now below I have shared pics of my favorite lashes with links cause I love ya’ll. They are all from the drugstore or beauty supply (no fans though ladies! PLEASE!) and very affordable. I have honestly never tried mink lashes and maybe I will in the future but for now these are my go to. I also would suggest starting with these because the bands are thinner, easier to work with and look better when you are just learning how to apply them. I also get the most bang for my buck because I do reuse them by cleaning them after I take them off with Micellar Water, tweezers, and I spray them with alcohol to disinfect. Most times I can get anywhere from 5-10 wears or more out of a pair!

Here is a great pair to start with: Half lashes. These are so easy to apply and add just enough flair to your own lashes. Just make sure you use mascara to blend them with your natural ones.

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Ardell Accents

These are the normal everyday lashes I enjoy wearing:

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Broadway lashes Whispies
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Salon Perfect demi whispies
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L.A. Colors
Natural-False-eyelashes
Beauty Supply 747

 

Here are my favs if you have a larger eye like me or you want some drama!

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Kiss 11 lashes
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My favorites, give them a try!

I hope you give wearing lashes a try. They are not for everyone but it doesn’t hurt to try a new look or technique and shake up your normal routine. If you are a lash lover like me, which ones are your favorites and what tips do you have to make application easier? Let me know in the comments!

Love Ricki

 

 

Weekend Warrior

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Jumpsuit: Forever 21 Sandals: Charlotte Russe (old) Bucket bag: Just Fab (old)

Happy Friday! Even though we had a day off during the week it just wasn’t enough, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet so that you can start weekend!

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I found this jumpsuit at Forever 21 a few weeks ago. Here in Houston at the Woodlands Mall location every item located on the second floor of the store is $10 or less and there is usually a sale on top of that. This jumpsuit was $7.99 with an additional 30% off! And I am in love with earth tones and olive green and my favorite metal is gold which looks really good with this color so it was definitely going home with me. I knew this was a good piece to wear on the weekend casually. I love these strappy minimal lace up sandals and because they’re nude they match with everything. Minimal jewelry and makeup and a small bag which can be worn as a crossbody finish this laid back look. I think this look is perfect for a weekend lunch or brunch or shopping. BUT I am editing my closet and learning how to get the most out of my wardrobe so I figured I could pull a work look off with this piece as well. The material of this jumpsuit is not see thru at all so it could definitely work. So next week I’ll be showing you how adding some accessories you probably already have and some heels you can stretch your wardrobe and get work and play from the same item! What do you like to wear when you’re out and about on the weekends? Let me know in the comments and have an awesome weekend!

Love Ricki

Fireworks: How We Slay the 4th

 

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Dress: here Shoes: here

Hey ladies!!!I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend and sad face for everyone that has to work Monday (me included) but hopefully me and my blogger boos can brighten your day with some fireworks! Cue the Katy Perry song! But seriously my friends and I thought that we would get together and show you how to slay the 4th of July without help from Old Navy  No shade because I was tempted to get a flag tee this weekend when I heard they were $2.50 but I challenged myself to not be lazy and come up with two looks in my red, white and blue! My friends Ranisha from The Cost Conscious Fashionista and Eve from On the Eve Style (click the names and check them out because they’re awesome! Thank me later!) encouraged me to put that Old Navy tee down and gave me inspiration by also creating looks in our flag’s colors! Make sure you check out there looks for more ideas on styling your 4th of July outfit!

 

 

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Slay Ranisha!

 

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You are too cute Eve!

So moving on to the outfits! I actually bought this first dress never intending for it to be apart of this post but it kind of just fell into place when searching my closet for a look. The dress is from She in (they’ve been getting all my coins lately) and I will admit it is an item that looks different from the pic but I still liked it when I received it. I thought the dress would be a different material and it has absolutely NO stretch. So if you think about purchasing definitely size up! And because there was no stretch it was difficult to put on and take off. I felt like a little kid getting dressed by my mom with my arms up over my head while my daughter was helping me slide it on. But I think it’s still a cute look. Let me know what you think! The red floral slides (size up) are from She in as well and I did buy them when I ordered this dress because I wanted to experiment with mixing prints and this is an easy way to do that.

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For my second look I actually ordered this dress from Amazon. It was my first time ordering clothes from them but it definitely will not be the last. They have tons of items for us budget fashionistas and with Amazin Prime you can’t beat it (sign up for a 30 day free trial, I promise you’ll be addicted!) I love midi dresses and I knew I wanted a white dress for the summer for any all white parties I may be invited to (still waiting). The material of this dress is like a swimsuit material and it sucks you in!! I would still suggest undergarments for a smoother look but the ruching on the dress helps hide problem areas as well. This dress was not the easiest to put on either but the stretch and fit made it worth the struggle!

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Dress: here Scarf: Target Body Chain: old from Forever21 Purse: vintage

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I paired this again with red floral slides for a casual glam look and my gold body chain. To bring in the blue I added my vintage Dooney and Bourke purse with an American Flag scarf from Target (thanks Eve) tied in a bow on the handle.

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It was hot!

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I am in love with this dress and I will be remixing it on the blog again and ordering more colors (there were so many to choose from!) Now I wanna know how you celebrate the 4th? Does your family have any traditions or is it just nice to relax and have a day off? Let me know in the comments and of course share what you wear! And I still might get that Old Navy tee lol!

 

Add to Cart Here!

Where to Shop-

So I asked a question on Instagram (follow me!) about what would you like to see on the blog and a dear friend of mine (Hi Daphne!) mentioned she would like to know what were my favorite or best online shopping sites. I got a lot of good feedback but this suggestion stood out since I recently had done some online shopping and I thought I could share my experiences.  I want to give you the lowdown on where I shop and how I like it. I’m old school so I enjoy a stroll thru the mall but I have found unless you are catching a really good sale or clearance you can save some coins especially on trendy or popular pieces if you search online. I do shop online at retailers that have brick and mortar stores (Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, H&M) but for purposes of this post I will only be talking about retailers that have online sites only. So let’s get to shopping shall we?

ASOS– This is my fav store. Now let me say this: They are not always the most affordable (they do run many sales though!) but what I love about buying pieces at ASOS is that a lot of their items are so unique. They are items that you won’t find at the stores in the mall and most of the time when I wear their clothes people always want to know where I purchased from. Their sizes run big (which personally I love, makes me feel skinny lol) and all the items I have ever received from them were of good quality. I have a midi skirt that I’ve had about 5 years that I have washed numerous times but still looks good and the material is thick. This is important to me because I want my clothes to look expensive and I wear undergarments and I don’t want my Spanx showing through the material! I would give ASOS an A- and that’s only because their items sell out so quickly otherwise they would get an A+ from me! ASOS has free standard shipping (about 4 business days) to the US for orders over $40 and they have an option for unlimited 2-day express shipping to the US on any size order for $19 a year which to me is totally worth it!

BOOHOO – Boohoo has trendy pieces and are very affordable and what I like about this site is they ALWAYS have a sale! ALWAYS! So if you are looking to try a trend I would suggest you check this site out. Now some of their items tend to run small but I do like that they now have a plus size line. I will also tell you that the saying you get what you pay for is true in the case for some of the pieces I have bought from Boohoo. I recently purchased a duster which I believe I paid a little over ten dollars for but the duster was made of a flimsy material and had no hemming! I also purchased a gorgeous Gingham off the shoulder top which was a nice material (it did run a little small though but I have a larger chest which affects how a lot of my tops fit) and I only paid about fifteen dollars for it so it’s definitely hit or miss when it comes to shopping on this site. My grade for Boohoo would be a B- for the inconsistency but I will continue to shop there if I find an item I truly want and I do really like most of their items. Shipping to the US from Boohoo is free with a $50 order.

SHEIN – You know I had to talk about Shein! You always here me talk about them on the blog because they will give you the designer look on a budget! I have bought many items from them including clothes, shoes and accessories and 80% of the time I have been pleased with my purchases. Shein is a retailer based in Asia and they’re clothes do run small but I have noticed lately they have begun to carry larger sizes and more plus size options. I haven’t purchased pants from them, but I have purchased dresses, tops and skirts and I have liked what I have received. Even though they have many designer “inspired” pieces at low prices that I love I would say when you shop there lower your expectations. I have purchased some pieces that were cute but not what the picture looked like so be aware of that when adding to your cart. She in gets a B from me because I have liked all the things I have gotten from them they just weren’t necessarily what I expected. Standard shipping (6-8 days and remember they’re in Asia!) from She in is free on all orders, no minimum to the US and if you spend over $30 you will get free expedite shipping which is about 4-7 days.

JUSTFAB/SHOEDAZZLE – I am a member for life of the subscription service from Justfab and Shoedazzle (which are the same company basically) and I have bought MANY pairs of shoes, bags and even clothes from them. One of my favorite totes is from Justfab and I only paid $20 and always I receive compliments when I carry it. Now I know many people don’t like the subscription part because you are charged $39.99 monthly which translates to credits to shop with (most of their items are $39.99) but I can honestly say I don’t mind it because I skip almost every month! Set a reminder in your phone ladies (you almost always have your phone right?) This is easy to do and has never failed me. I love the shoes I have received from them and they have really stepped up their game from when they first started with the quality. They also have helpful reviews which I love and really assist me in whether I want to make a purchase. I would like to think of myself as a savvy shopper and I tend to stock up on most of my items from them when they run they’re 50% off sale which they do several times per year. The only issue is they sell out of items fast. I have had my heart broken a few times because I thought I was slick waiting on a sale and ended up not getting the shoe I really wanted! Sometimes it’s worth the $40 bucks! Also, JustFab’s customer service and customer rewards with coupons and special sales and discount codes has kept me shopping there since 2012. AND last fall I attended a members only dinner here in Houston where they surveyed us on what we want and gave us lots of cool gifts ($$$). JustFab and Shoedazzle get an A from me because I love shoes (you can never feel fat and ugly in cute shoes!) and they really deliver cute, trendy, classic and affordable styles. Shipping with Justfab and Shoedazzle is free with a $39.99 purchase. I have included my referral link HERE if you would like to join and if you do in full disclosure I do get a $15 credit to help me keep bringing cuteness on my feet!

Well there are many other places I have tried but the four I mentioned above have been my go to for years and I wanted to share my true thoughts on them with you. If you shopped at any of these places or have an online store you think I should try let me know in the comments!

Love Ricki