Let me first start off by saying that I am a clinically (not really) diagnosed (and proud) shopaholic. I spend days researching, finding the best deals, and making sure I’m buying quality products. My family and friends trust me to guide them in the direction of the best items all while saving them $$$ (humble brag). I wanted to create a gift guide that not only could save you cash money, but that’s also full of my favorite things! AND of course, all vegan and where possible, sustainable! Not everything on this list needs the title of “vegan” (point me in the direction of a non-vegan air fryer and I’ll be concerned??) but at least you know you’re staying cruelty-free while you shop these products.

You’ll find a link to each of these products in the description along with any sort of coupon code if applicable. I also HIGHLY recommend you use the app Rakuten to shop this holiday season. What’s Rakuten you ask? Simply put, it’s an app that gives you cash back for shopping at stores you’re already shopping at! I’ve been using it since 2018 and I’ve made over $800 by literally just shopping through the app and making purchases I was planning on making anyways. Right now, if you sign up using my referral code and you spend $40+ using Rakuten, you’ll get $40 cash back! It’s that easy. Click HERE to start making money for spending money (literally, my dream job). This isn’t sponsored, I just genuinely love this app and helping people save money is like the best form of a high for me. I do not know why anyone does drugs.

Without further ado, let’s get to it!

We’re starting off strong with my absolute favorite kitchen appliance of all time. Seriously, talk to anyone who knows me and they will let you know I’ve tried to sell them this air fryer. I don’t work for Cuisinart, and I don’t make a commission off of making people buy these. But I should. Because I’ve made nearly everyone I know purchase one. Everyone says you need an air fryer, and while they’re right, they forget to mention which one. It’s this one. If you have someone in your life that loves to cook, is a lazy cook, needs an all-in-one appliance due to lack of space, or you just really really love that person- I suggest you pick up this bad boy. It’s not only an air fryer, but also a convection oven, a broiler, a warmer, and a toaster. I make tofu, chik’n nuggets, pizza, toast, bagels, tempeh bacon, fries, and basically everything else with this thing. One of the best parts is that it cooks your food QUICK too. Also, have you ever reheated food in an air fryer? It’s the only way it tastes fresh again. Go buy this for your loved one. Go buy this for yourself too, while you’re at it. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Buy at Bed Bath & Beyond (and use your 20% off coupon, I know you have one).

Does your loved one really need a fancy milk frother? Probably not. But if Christmas was about giving people what they needed instead of what they wanted, it would be all socks and therapy sessions. So if you’re going to splurge, I highly recommend busting out the SMEG Milk Frother. I enjoy coffee just as much as the next basic white girl, but I actually use this most often for the hot chocolate feature. It makes the most creamy, frothy, delicious hot chocolate you’ve ever had in your life. What’s also great is that it has options of frothy or really frothy, hot froth or cold froth, and then of course the hot chocolate feature. It blends plant milk like a dream. The stainless steel cup is detachable and dishwasher safe (can I get a hell yeah), and this is a gadget they’ll want to keep on their kitchen counter. Nothing says “look, I’m bougie” like a SMEG kitchen appliance.

I’ve never seen SMEG products on sale, the brand is sort of like Apple that way. However, you can purchase from Williams-Sonoma and get free shipping!

Immersion blenders are one of those things that someone doesn’t realize they need until they decide to randomly buy one and then they’re like, “why have I been living my life without this?” When I bought this I wanted to be *that* bitch who made soup with an immersion blender like they do on the Food Network. I got lucky and I found one with this entire set, which I recommend getting if you can swing it because it’s not that much more expensive than buying the blender alone. While it’s amazing for soup and anything else you need to *~*~blend while immersed~*~*, the extra accessories make it totally worth the buy! The whisk is amazing for, well, anything you need to whisk… and the mini chopper attachment, are you kidding me?! This thing is more powerful than some food processors I’ve had. It’s the perfect size for two (or if you’re just whipping up something smaller and don’t want to lug out the blender). Perfect gift for the foodie in your life that has *almost* every kitchen gadget you can think of.

Buy this set at Target! (Use your red card for an extra 5% off, and also watch out for any deals Target offers. They do a TON during the holidays).

Obviously there was going to be a vegan section. I know you’re not shocked. I wanted to start with this gadget because even if you’re *not* vegan, this is totally something anyone can benefit from! It’s called an Almond Cow and it’s basically one of the best inventions I’ve ever come across. I cannot tell you how many times I realized way too late that I didn’t have enough milk left for a recipe, and my Almond Cow came in and saved the day! If you buy any sort of plant milk, this guy can make it for you instead. It truly could not be easier either. You take your nut/legume/grain of choice (I’ve made everything from almond milk, to soy milk, to oat milk!) and put it in the basket on the inside of the machine with any sweeteners and a little salt for longevity. Fill the main container with water, pop the top on, press a button, and in less than a minute you have your own homemade plant milk. If someone you love buys plant milk and/or they love to live sustainably, this is an amazing gift. You can even create recipes with the leftover pulp! We love a no-waste moment!

Buy the almond cow from their website, here. Also, you can use this link to save $10 off of your purchase!

Even for the seasoned vegan, I LOVE this book. It’s actually more of a manual, if you will. While it talks heavily about nutrition on a vegan diet (also great for anyone who doesn’t think you can get enough protein on a vegan diet, yawn) this also discusses the ethical impact of being/becoming vegan, and includes ideas for meals and what your plate should look like! If you have a baby vegan in your life this is a great addition to their library.

Purchase Becoming Vegan on Amazon.

Can I tell you how HARD it was to find good, solid, vegan hiking/winter boots? It was like searching for the Holy Grail. Although I do love my Hunter boots (another great vegan option), I wanted something that would work better for longer treks and withstand any excursions I decide to go on (you know, if I ever decide to be that kind of person. I like to keep my options open). Not only are these boots non slip and water resistant, they’re 100% vegan AND SUSTAINABLE. What?! Yep! The water resistant rubber is repurposed from marine plastic, the temperature control lining is 100% recycled synthetic wool, and the anti-slip sole is made out of 45% recycled rubber. How amazing is that?! These are a bit of a splurge, but I truly believe they’re totally worth it. A word of caution, order a size up. The website says they fit true to size but I definitely had to swap mine out for a bigger size so I would be able to wear them with socks!

Buy the Weekend Boots on the Alice + Whittles website. Sign up to receive their emails for $10 off your purchase!

Literally anything, and I do mean anything, from the brand Girlfriend Collective is INCREDIBLE. I never shut up about how much I love this brand. I’m putting this under the “vegan” section because it’s a sustainable/ethical brand, but seriously anyone who likes athleisure will love you if you purchase them anything from here! First off, the company as a whole is amazing. They’re a USA-based company, but they make their clothes in a facility in Taiwan. The factory is SA8000 certified, which basically means their workers are paid fair wages, provided a safe work environment with adequate breaks, no child labor is used, and they’re able to unionize. They’re also a slow fashion brand, eco-friendly (even down to the dye), all of their clothes are able to be recycled, and they make all of it from recycled water bottles, polyester, nylon, cotton, and/or fishing nets. They’re also size-inclusive, actively support BLM, and use models of all shapes, sizes, ethnicities, and ages to showcase their clothing. Seriously, I could go on and on about how great they are. You can read more in-depth explanations of their practices here.

My favorite pieces from them are the Topanga bra, Paloma bra, Dylan bra, FLOAT seamless bike short, R&R joggers, and their quarter crew socks. But honestly I could put the whole website under this because I own just about everything they sell, and all of it is just that good. They also have gift cards if you’re unsure about what they would want.

Buy from Girlfriend Collective here. Save $15 off your purchase by using this link here, and save 30% during their Black Friday sale as well!

If you’re shopping for someone who lives for the *~*~aesthetic~*~*, pick up the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser. This diffuser fits perfectly in any decor setting (I own it in the terracotta color you see here as well as the blush pink color!) and even though it’s small, the smell travels FAR. I love that it has the option to run continuously (4 hrs) or in short bursts for a longer period of time (8 hrs). It’s also great for the friend who you don’t trust to keep candles in the house. Don’t forget to include the diffuser oils!

Buy the Vitruvi Stone Diffuser here. Save 30% during their Black Friday sale + get $15 off by using this link.

Oh yes. I KNOW you’ve seen this pan on your instagram feed, and for good reason. This baby is called the Always Pan by Our Place and it’s a fricking miracle child. When I’m not using my air fryer, I’m using this to cook my meals. Stir fry, macaroni and cheeze, fried tofu, lentil taco “meat”, vegan dumplings, the list goes on. I especially love making mac and cheeze because I can boil the water, cook the pasta, drain it, and add my ingredients for the cheeze sauce all in this one pan! Anything that makes it so I don’t have to do more dishes is worth any amount of money in my mind. It also comes in all sorts of instagrammable colors! This is perfect for your friend who loves to cook, someone with a small space who needs to clear out kitchen clutter, or if you just want to make someone’s life easier.

Buy the Always Pan here. Use this link to save $20 off your pan (PS, it combines with their Black Friday sale!)

I want to apologize in advance for the price of this gift, but it’s in the splurges section so you can’t be that surprised. Do you have half a grand laying around and you want to treat someone to the most amazing hair of their life? Enter: the Airwrap Styler. Seriously worth the cash if you’re willing to cough it up. I have insanely thick hair and the speed in which I can dry and style it with this thing is literally mind blowing. It’s a blow dryer, curler, and straightener all in one. It doesn’t use extreme heat so it’s great for those who are worried about damage from hot tools. Or honestly if you don’t even know anything about hair but you have someone in your life that loves the latest and greatest beauty buys, add this to your cart and they’ll love you forever.

Buy the Dyson Airwrap Styler here.

Dagne Dover is my go-to brand for bags. I only buy from their neoprene line (they do still use leather in some products, unfortunately, so stick to the neoprene to keep it vegan), but they have TONS of options! They sell duffle bags, backpacks, cross body bags, diaper bags, fanny packs, makeup bags, tech holders, and more. Literally any shape of bag someone would need to put their shit in, they sell. They have the cutest colors and they’re super easy to clean if the person you’re getting a gift for is the type of human that just throws their bag around with abandon. I am one such individual. You can definitely splurge on some of these pieces, but there are plenty that are totally affordable too! New moms, jet setters, students, and anyone who loves a good way to carry their life around will love anything from Dagne.

Use this link to save 10% off your purchase at Dagne Dover.

If your plant-lover friend or family member is anything like me, they’re a sucker for a good coffee table book. This one is not only aesthetically pleasing because of the gorgeous foliage on the cover, but it’s also full of plant-care tips! If they’re just starting off being plant parent, or even if they’re a seasoned plant owner, this is a great way to show you care about their hobby! (or let’s be real, if they own enough plants, part-time job).

Get Leaf Supply here. Also, include this with a purchase of two other qualified books on Amazon and get one free!

Yes, I’m absolutely hitting you with another coffee table book. I mean, look at it! The vibes are immaculate. This book, like Leaf Supply, has a great range of plant tips and tricks to keep your loved one’s plant children happy. Plant Tribe also offers plant styling tips, how to purify your home with plants, using crystals in conjunction with plants, and seriously so much more. It even features small businesses that center their businesses off of their love for plants. Another great (and reasonably priced) gift for the plant-obsessed.

Buy Plant Tribe here.

Do you have a friend who literally just keeps killing their plants and you cannot bear to watch them sacrifice yet another? This inexpensive, yet extremely useful, tool could be the solution to their black thumb. This handy dandy thermometer looking guy is a moisture meter, and it literally does just that. More often than not I notice my friends who are habitual plant-killers cannot get their watering schedule right, and this takes the guess work out of it. All they have to do is stick the moisture meter down into the soil, wait for it to read the moisture level, and they’ll know if it’s time to water or not! Pair this with one of the coffee table books above or another (less likely to be murdered) plant for the perfect hand-picked gift set.

Buy the moisture meter here. You can also find other models, but I prefer this one!

I am absolutely obsessed with these things! They’re called WallyGros and I know they look kind of weird, but when used they’re extremely aesthetically pleasing. It’s a planter that you can hang! It’s the perfect solution for people with a small space, or those who just want to extend their plant collection to their walls. The holes allow for proper soil aeration, the water reservoir in the back ensures even watering, and it’s super easy to hang. They’re also eco-friendly, because they’re made out of 100% recycled milk jugs! They have tons of ideas for hanging patterns on their website, and you can buy them in singles or in packs of 2, 4, or 12. Your loved one can use it to grow pretty much any type of plant, and they can even grow herbs in them for the perfect kitchen garden at their fingertips!

I’m linking the pink one here, but there are a ton of other color options available! They had a 30% off Black Friday sale last year, so I’m assuming they’ll do something similar this year too!

This strange looking skincare tool looks a lot more intimidating than it actually is. It’s called a high frequency machine (this one is portable), and it’s boasts a whole slew of skincare benefits! You know those translucent spheres that you can touch your finger to and the electricity follows you? This is basically a grown up (useful) version of that. I personally love to use it for zapping any areas on my face that are breaking out, and I swear to god they go down *overnight*. It also helps with blood circulation and collagen production, which help to rejuvenate and revitalize the skin. If you have anyone in your life that loves the latest and greatest in skincare, this is an amazing choice!

Buy the high frequency tool here. It’s 30% off right now!

The skincare fridge just might be the most extra gift you buy for someone this season, but it’s totally worth people making fun of you for having it. I don’t really need to explain what it is, because it’s pretty self-explanatory. Your loved one can store their many potions and tools in here to keep them ice cold (great for skincare application!) and fresher for longer. I like this version because it’s big (and as an esthetician I have a LOT of skincare products), but there are other smaller versions available that are more affordable! The front side even has a dry erase board so you can leave them cute notes about how amazing their skin looks.

Buy the Cooluli skincare mini fridge here.

I love a good at-home spa day, especially now since a lot of us are on lockdown. This facial steamer is the perfect way for your friend or family member to amplify their skincare routine! A facial steamer is amazing for relaxation, opening and softening the pores, and helps to remove dead skin cells. The Aira model even comes with essential oil baskets to add their favorite aroma, just like in a professional spa. It’s super user-friendly (yes even for your mom), and it even looks nice on their bathroom counter because of the luxe packaging.

Buy the Aira Facial Steamer here, and get it for 50% off!

Thanks for sticking with me if you’ve made it this far! I hope that you were able to find some amazing gift ideas for the people in your life that you want to spoil. Remember that while it’s amazing to get gifts, it’s even more fun to give them! You don’t *need* to splurge on anything to show someone you love them, but if you want to- I hope that I could be of assistance. Have fun shopping and make sure to save some $$$ while you’re at it!


How To Go Vegan When Your Partner Won’t

Hi all! Today we’re going to be talking about a tricky topic, and you can pretty much guess what it is by the fact the title tells you exactly what it is. I completely understand and empathize with people who really want to be vegan/plant based but they live with a partner who has no interest in this lifestyle, or even actively scoffs at the thought of this way of eating. The biggest discrepancy between someone who wants to make the switch and someone who doesn’t is obviously the meals they share together. This can be made that much harder if you live with the person who has no desire to change their way of eating because buying groceries, planning meals, etc. are all apart of your life together. Hopefully this post will give you some ideas and the confidence to make the switch and still live a harmonious life with your partner.

Let me first offer my personal story, because I definitely went through the same thing with my fiancé when I first went vegan. I had talked to Cody many times throughout our time dating about wanting to switch to a plant based diet, and almost every time was met with a dramatic eye roll and a “please don’t do this to me.” You can take the man out of Reno but you can’t take Reno out of the man, am I right? Also let me say that Cody is typically always very supportive of my endeavors, up to and including painting our dining room table pink. A story for another time. Anyways, it was really discouraging that he thought that changing my way of eating was a burden on him. Granted, I did cook most of the time… so I did realize that this would affect the way he ate at home. However, I also know that I’m a damn good cook and that he would like the things I made for him, despite the “horror” of them being all plant based. In March of 2019 I finally decided to actually take the leap I had been wanting to do for so long, and I let Cody know. I established some boundaries for myself (which I’ll discuss in just a second), but I didn’t try to restrict him. I didn’t expect him to adopt my way of eating, just support me in my journey. Fast forward to February 2020, almost a full year later, when Cody decided that he also wanted to stop eating animals. I remember the exact moment he told me, and how utterly shocked I was. I had to keep my cool though- I didn’t want him thinking this was my secret plan all along. It’s been 7 months now and he’s remained dedicated to eating a vegetarian diet. Yes, he still consumes dairy products- but I *did* finally get him to stop buying gallons of milk so I consider this a win. I think if you try to force the way you eat onto anyone else, you’re going to be met with resistance. It’s not your job to tell someone else how to eat, unless you’re *literally* a Dietician or Nutritionist and someone is seeking your guidance. I’m going to go ahead and assume you’re not, so let’s chat about how you can still make changes to your diet without compromising your relationship.

Like I said before, it is not your job to tell people how to eat, and this can be a very triggering topic for a lot of people. Myself included. So I urge you not to jump into your journey of switching to a vegan lifestyle or plant based way of eating with the idea that your partner also needs to eat the way you do. All you can control is yourself! That being said, the boundaries you set for yourself are important in any aspect of your relationship and this is no different. When I say boundaries, I’m referring to the behavior you deem acceptable in your life/home/etc. They can include any of the following:

  • Cooking: When I started my journey I knew that I didn’t want to be cooking anything that involved animal products, and especially not any meat based products (if you’re not already grossed out by meat, trust me when I tell you that when you watch enough of the horrific footage captured in factory farms and the like that you’ll have no desire to cook meat either). In my house, I do the majority of the cooking because 1. I love it and 2. my partner works a hectic schedule and I do not. So the boundary I set with him was that he could eat what he wanted, but I wouldn’t prepare it for him if it included animal byproducts. It was as simple as that. I think if you’re the main one doing the cooking in the house, it should be at your discretion as to what you feel comfortable cooking. If you’re the one preparing the meals because your partner has a hectic schedule (like mine) they shouldn’t be demanding you prepare them a certain meal, and if they do that’s an entirely separate issue. Let them know you’d be happy to cook them a meal free of animal products, and if that isn’t what they want that they are more than welcome to prepare food themselves. If you’re *not* the one preparing meals, realize that you will have to be more flexible in what you expect from your partner. It’s the same level of respect, you shouldn’t be demanding your partner cook you a certain meal. I’d suggest agreeing on a couple side dishes that you both can enjoy, and if they choose to cook a meat based product you can take the time to prepare a main protein ahead of time or allot for that preparation in your schedule. As we well know, relationships (should) be about compromise! This way you’re not restricting yourself and you’re still respecting your partner.
  • Not bringing certain foods home: I know some people end up going vegan because they don’t really like the taste of meat anyways and it’s easy for them to cut those products out of their life. For me, this was not the case. Going vegan for me was an ethical choice, even though I still loved things like chicken nuggets, pepperoni pizza, Costa Vida sweet pork enchiladas, etc. Fortunately I no longer crave these things, but at the beginning it was hard. When you go your whole life eating a certain way, you’re bound to have cravings. So one of the boundaries I set with Cody was asking him not to bring any foods home that he knew I would crave, or bringing me anything that would break the commitment I made to myself. Of course your partner is welcome to eat what they want in their own house (if you share a living situation) but if you DO suffer from cravings and you need the extra help from your partner with this aspect of making the switch, have a respectful conversation with them about it. Hopefully they will be understanding and limit the temptation you face already on a daily basis when we live in a society that constantly pushes an animal-based diet.

One of the best parts about life and the way in which we share social interactions is through food. Catching up with an old friend? Let’s get a bite! Celebrating a big milestone? Let’s grab dinner! And so on and so forth. Even if it’s not an event, sharing connections over a meal is a staple in our society. Here are some ways you can integrate eating plant based into your relationship that won’t compromise (and might even enhance) those special moments:

  • Veganize your favorite foods: This was one of my favorite things to do (and still is) when I initially went vegan. If you’re reading this blog, chances are you also have access to Pinterest- where a world of recipes styled after your non-vegan favorites awaits. Use this tool to make foods that you and your partner love! I promise you, there is a recipe for whatever you’re looking for. The shit that people are able to come up with in the kitchen still astounds me to this day. Yes, your partner might prefer the non-vegan version… and I get that. No one ever said vegan cheese was on par with actual cheese (though Violife comes pretty damn close). But at least this way you can include your partner in your journey by making their comfort foods! Again, if you’re not the one who typically cooks (or you have limited time) there are plenty of recipes that are quick and easy, or maybe your partner would even make it for you! Food is a love language people.
  • Try new foods together: One of the most common misconceptions about adopting a vegan diet/plant based way of eating is the “limitations” it brings. This could not be more false, and it’s one of the things I will defend the quickest when it comes to being vegan. Sure you can’t eat meat/eggs or the secretions of animals… but that’s literally it. I was a picky eater growing up, and was a picky eater into most of my adulthood up until now. There were common fruits and vegetables that I literally hadn’t even tried until I went vegan. Literally I just tried a nectarine not long ago. Don’t come for me, I know I’m the worst. Anyway, if you would have told me 2 years ago that I would regularly eat tofu, brussel sprouts, broccoli, tempeh, and that I would ENJOY IT? I truly would have thought you were high as hell. Granted broccoli isn’t a *new* food for most people… but my point is that there is a world of things you and your partner probably have never even tried. Do it together! Do you know how many things you can make out of tofu? TOFU? Shit is a miracle food. Also do not knock tofu, if you have had it and you *~*~*don’t like it*~*~* you haven’t had it prepared properly. I will defend tofu to my grave. Moving along… Another way to utilize Pinterest (seriously if you don’t have a Pinterest how are you allowed to exist in 2020?) is to just type in “vegan recipes” and you’ll have so many options to choose from. Do a fun little date night and experiment with something that sounds yummy to both of you!
  • Search for vegan-friendly restaurant options: Because I was raised as a picky eater and *many* aspects of that have spilled into adulthood, I do this thing where I only eat at like three different restaurants. I like what I like, and I don’t mind eating the same thing over and over again. This drives my fiancé up the actual wall. So learn from me… try new restaurants, and make this a way to bond with each other! There are still restaurants that are way behind the curve in terms of their vegan options (and no, fries and bland ass salad don’t count) but if you use happy cow you can find places in your area that you’ll both love! This is a win-win in my book.

At the end of the day, my hope for you is that you have someone in your life that supports you in your endeavors and encourages you to live as your authentic self. If being a vegan or adopting a plant based diet is part of that, then they should support you! Just as you would support them. Food is such a large part of our lives and for some people, our identities- especially when you’ve always eaten a certain way and want to change (because sometimes change isn’t easy, and this is one of those times). Even if they aren’t interested in this way of eating, there are plenty of solutions to live cohesively with your partner that don’t compromise your goals or boundaries!

I hope you enjoyed this post, and were able to take away some useful ideas if you’re struggling to make the switch due to pressure in your relationship. Let me know if any of these worked for you, and if you have any other thoughts on this subject! Follow me on instagram @shelbyveggie for vegan recipes, my favorite vegan beauty products, Finley and Poppy content, and more 🙂

Crystals for Beginners

In a crystal we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being.” -Nikola Tesla

My personal collection of stones! I have many smaller palm stones as well, but I typically keep them scattered and in different places depending on how I’m feeling.

So you’re giving into the hype and you want to know what this whole crystal thing is all about. I don’t blame you! They make for beautiful decor and they’re something tangible that you can refer to for specific feelings, ailments, or imbalances. Don’t let people make you think that crystals are for witches or people who worship satan…. because those things have absolutely nothing to do with crystals in the slightest. People of all religions, beliefs, and ages can use crystals in their every day lives.

Even if you don’t believe in the “influence” or “power” of crystals, you can still use them as a piece to inspire your daily mantras or remind yourself to attract positive thoughts and things.

This post is mainly intended for people who are just getting started in the world of using crystals and want a guide of what to get, what to read, and what crystals can do for you. I am by no means a “crystal master” or “guru,” I just have a love for them and I have a habit of obsessively researching anything I become interested in. So if you ARE a crystal guru, feel free to share some love or knowledge 🙂

Some references in here are taken from books or websites*

My Go-To Reading Materials:

The first book I bought was The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall. This is basically an encyclopedia for your common stones, a reference to what they look like, what they can do for you, etc. It’s a really great reference and, in my opinion, essential for beginners. It doesn’t overwhelm you with too much information either. I also love Elemental Energy by Kristin Petrovich. It goes into how she found her love of crystals and their multiple uses especially in the realm of beauty. It’s a very basic stone reference book in terms of how many she goes over, but she also provides ways to charge them/cleanse them, use them in beauty elixirs, and balance your chakras with them.

Don’t overwhelm yourself with information and stick to the basics when you’re starting out. If you don’t want to invest in books, there are tons of websites that have great information as well. Google is a beautiful thing.

What Stones Should You Start With?

At the end of the day you should choose crystals you are drawn to and that speak to you, but these are my personal favorites. There are so many others out there that I implore you to look at as well, but these are great starter stones!

Clear Quartz:


Clear quartz is arguably the first stone you should start with. It’s a universal crystal that works for a multitude of things, plus it’s easy to come by and not too expensive. Its known as the “master healer” and can be used for any condition (think headaches, body aches, anxiety attacks, etc.)

It helps bring about overall well-being, balances all chakras (especially the crown), and it’s great for meditation! Sometimes I lay with a small palm stone on my forehead and try to direct all my thoughts into the stone, and afterwards I feel so refreshed. I keep clear quartz just about everywhere in my house.

Rose Quartz:


Rose quartz is my favorite stone out of all of them, probably because I’m drawn to the beautiful pink colors! Rose quartz is the stone of unconditional love, especially self-love. It’s also extremely beneficial for the heart chakra.

I love to keep this stone by my bed. Since it’s calming and replaces negative energy with loving energy, it’s great for people who experience bad dreams or trouble sleeping. It also attracts romantic love, so if you’re on the hunt for someone special, keep this stone by your side. Even if you’re in a relationship now, it can amplify the loving energy in your home.

Green Aventurine:


The stone of luck! This one’s purpose is easy to remember since it’s green, like money honey! It’s said it’s great for boosting your chances in any situation- but take that with a grain of salt…. Putting a piece of green aventurine on your lottery ticket might leave you disappointed. However this stone makes it easy to manifest wealth and prosperity- so you can attract more money by realistic means.

This stone is also great for something like a first date. It brings about confidence and allows new growth to take place, a perfect crystal to encourage a new relationship to flourish.



Also a great stone for attracting prosperity, this crystal is known as the abundance stone. Whether that abundance mean money or success. Citrine is typically a yellow color, so it’s easy to remember that it’s powered by the sun. It’s what gives the stone its energizing vibe!

Citrine also never needs to be cleansed because it doesn’t harbor negative energy. Keep this stone around to encourage positive energy and turning your dreams into reality!

Black Tourmaline:


Black tourmaline is a fantastic stone to shield negative energy. I use this stone a ton, especially when I’ve had a mentally taxing day. Working with the public can be particularly draining, and whether you realize it or not, you can absorb the energies of those around you. Ever had a conversation with someone who was extremely negative and by the end of it, you just want to take a nap? Black tourmaline will help protect you and your sanity.

Wonderful for dispelling negative thoughts and emotions within yourself, black tourmaline also encourages positive thinking. If you spend a lot of time on your phone (who doesn’t) or around TV/computers, it also protects against electronic “smog”. Wearing this stone around your neck or keeping it in your pocket is a great way to experience the benefits.

Tiger’s Eye:


This one is really great for people who need help with accomplishing goals or following through with commitments. Also having the energy of the sun, it energizes and helps drive one towards goals. I put this one around when I have a lot of crap I have to get done and I’m not in the mood to do any of it. So like, most days.



Amethyst is such a gorgeous stone with a beautiful range of purple colors. No matter what form you buy it in, it’s such a great decor piece. An interesting fact about amethyst is that it was once worn to prevent drunkenness, and it’s great for combating addiction.

A calming stone, amethyst is another great one to keep next to your bed for peaceful sleep. Also great for people who suffer from anxiety! Put calming and loving intention into this stone and it will vibrate wonderful healing energy.

Smoky Quartz:


I always make my boyfriend take smoky quartz with him when he travels for work. It’s a wonderful protection stone, both physically and mentally. It also helps relieve stress so if you’re in a profession that brings about a lot of that, consider keeping a chunk at your desk!

It’s got a great grounding energy and helps balance the root chakra, making you feel safe. If you’re unaware of which chakras of yours might be closed, take this quiz.

Lapis Lazuli:


Lapis Lazuli is really great for people who suffer from migraines. I love putting this on my “third eye” and laying down to focus on healing myself. It also helps with any spiritual journey and brings about self-knowledge. It’s also said to aid in people suffering from depression and mental strain in general.

This stone also allows for self-expression and encourages self-awareness. Great for the third eye and throat chakra, it’s fantastic for active listening, which is important for any relationship to flourish.

Finding Crystals


Depending on where you live, you may or may not have a metaphysical store within driving distance. Places that have a “hippy vibe” might have more. Think places that sell tapestries and incense. In Boise there are a few! If you live around me, try Eyes of the World, Earthlight Minerals, or Crone’s Cupboard.

If you don’t have access to one or you hate going to stores; they sell crystals on Etsy, ebay, etc. I got my bigger obelisks (the tall ones with a point) online at eBay. You can find them for a really reasonable price, because the ones you find in the metaphysical stores can get pretty damn expensive. The only problem is the bidding wars you get into, that will just hurl me into a ball of stress and anxiety. The good news is after you win the crystal, you can use it to calm yourself down.


If you’re just starting to get into crystals- I hope this post was helpful!

There is so much more to learn and see when it comes to crystals. Do your research and again, always buy stones that feel right to you! If you have any questions, need help finding a stone that would be great for you, or just have something to add- feel free to comment!

Thanks for reading!

xoxo Shelby


*pictures shown were found on Pinterest and are not my own unless stated otherwise

Best of Beauty 2017

In the spirit of *~*beauty blogging*~* I’ve decided to hop on board and do a Best of Beauty for the year 2017! While 2017 was a crazy (some good, some bad) year for most other aspects of our lives, the beauty industry did not disappoint. I’ll be naming my favorites from multiple categories and I hope you find some new things you want to try! As always, these are products that worked for ME and they range from drugstore/inexpensive brands to higher end/expensive products. So without further ado, my picks for 2017!

SKIN (definitely the biggest category of the year):

Tatcha The Water Cream


I’m obsessed with this moisturizer. Especially in the AM, it gives me a perfect amount of moisture without making me feel like my foundation is slipping off my face. I know tons of people have talked about this product, but it’s only because the hype is real. I also love that it comes with a small gold applicator, it’s so bougie but it’s cleaner not to stick your fingers in the container!

Tatcha The Essence Plumping Skin Softener


So I originally tried this product because I was interested in the SK-II Essence. I love products that are “out of the ordinary” and not something someone would normally use. It’s not a necessary step to your routine, but I’ve seen such a difference. It makes it so I use less of my other product, because it infuses in the skin with moisture. If you’re willing to splurge on an anti-aging product, this is the one to get!

Drunk Elephant C-Firma Day Serum


I am a firm believer that everyone should have a vitamin c serum included in their regimen. Vitamin C helps fight pollution and free radicals (which age us quicker). This particular serum also has enzymes in it which act as pac men to eat away at dead skin. You only use it in the morning so you don’t go through it as quick, and I’ve seen a huge difference in the brightness in my skin!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2%


Hyaluronic acid is ANOTHER product you need in your routine, and this serum is fantastic! I actually love to cocktail it together with the C-Firma serum in the morning. Hyaluronic acid can hold its 1000x it’s weight in water, so when I’m feeling especially dry or dehydrated this is the perfect fix!

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion


You know those tiny little texture bumps you get on the surface of your skin that are impossible to get rid of? Use this retinoid serum and they’ll vanish. I’ve seen a huge improvement in texture since using this. It can also help with wrinkles and dark spots!

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment


Okay so if you haven’t heard of this mask, I kindly invite you to come out of the rock you’ve been living under. It’s everywhere and for good reason. Every time I’m feeling congested or having “monthly inflammation” AKA period blemishes…. I reach for this baby. Just one use a week is enough to help keep congestion at bay.

Glamglow Thirstymud Hydrating Treatment


Alternatively, this is the mask I use when I am in need of a surge of moisture. It smells like a beach vacation and feels soooo good on the skin. You can also sleep in it which I love because sometimes I’m far too lazy to mask and wash it off… #thestruggle. When I wake up my skin is plump and full of hydration! Idaho weather (especially in winter) literally sucks any and all moisture out of the skin, so this mask is a necessity.

Tarte Pack Your Bags 911 Undereye Rescue Patches


Okay so a bit off topic but I promise it pertains to this product. My boyfriend, since I’m convinced he hates me, requested that we watch that movie “A Dog’s Purpose”. Have you SEEN that movie? I’ve never cried so hard in my entire life. I’m talking heaving, sobbing, tissues surrounding me crying. Anyway, I woke up the next morning and my eyes were basically swollen shut from crying so much. These eye masks saved my life. Cooling to the undereye area and super moisturizing. These would be great after a long night out if you accidentally took thirsty Thursday a little too far, and need to look alive on Friday morning.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Gel Cleanser


This is my ride or die facial cleanser. Gentle enough to not cause skin sensitivity (I turn tomato red if I even just touch my face) but powerful enough to wash off my makeup thoroughly. Dry, oily, combo, etc. can all use this cleanser. Get it, thank me later.

Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant


What I love most (well, one of the things I love most) about the Botanical Kinetics exfoliant is ease of use. Exfoliating, I’ve noticed, is a daunting task for a lot of people. I know this because when I ask clients if they exfoliate, most either try to lie and say they do, or they flat out say “no.” All you have to do with this exfoliant is put it on a cotton pad and wipe it on your face. That’s literally it. Salicylic acid exfoliates and helps to fight against breakouts.

Volition Beauty AM/PM Eye Gel


So I had never heard of this brand before, but I was on Sephora’s website reading reviews for eye creams. Something I do in my spare time. Anyway, this one had a lot of great reviews so I decided to take a chance on it…. and I am in LOVE. I almost debated putting it in the makeup portion of my Best of Beauty because it doubles as an under eye primer that prevents creasing, which is all something I feel we struggle with. A little goes a long way and the packaging is SO cute (if that matters to you!)


Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation


Okay so Fenty Beauty seriously lived up to the hype. I am so impressed by a ton of the products she put out, specifically her foundation. The shade range is amazing, obviously, but second to that is how light this foundation feels on the skin. Literally the only con is that it feels so light that I forget I’m wearing it and I touch my face. Which is not the worst problem in the world. I’m a full coverage kind of gal (thanks, hyperpigmentation) and this foundation is lightweight but ACTUALLY covers my dark spots. It’s best for normal to oily skin tones, but if you mix it with a drop of your favorite oil it works great for dryer types too!

Fenty Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer


Again, I’m just really impressed with RiRi’s makeup line. This gloss is perfect for any occasion, even for those who hate wearing makeup in general. It’s not sticky, feels moisturizing, and it has a shimmer to it to give it an extra “oomph”. I would describe the color as “your lips but better,” if that makes sense. Obviously it’s going to vary on everyone, but literally every single person could wear this color!

L’Oréal Voluminous Lash Paradise Mascara


I got this after I heard from literally the entire beauty community that it’s basically a dupe of the Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara, and they were right. I will spend thousands of dollars on makeup but for whatever reason I find it *extremely* hard to spend $23 on high end mascara. Don’t ask me why I honestly have no idea. Anyway, this mascara is amazing and costs half as much as the Too Faced. Yay for saving money!

Benefit Hoola Bronzer


A cult classic for a reason. I love this bronzer because it’s not too warm and not too cool (all you need is a light jacket! haha… get it? Miss Congeniality? Anyone? Just me? Okay cool.) Anyway, it’s perfect for contouring or bronzing so it’s great if you’re looking for both! It’s also matte so you don’t have to worry about any shimmer, which is something I hate in my bronzer/contour color.

Jaclyn Hill x Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow Palette


If I’m being totally honest, I have not touched another eyeshadow palette since this one came out. I’ve hit pan on multiple colors that I use every day, and you can genuinely create a billion different eye looks with this. She did an amazing job at picking out shadows and perfecting the formulas for each color. No matter your opinion on Jaclyn, you can’t deny that this palette is bomb.

Stila Glitter and Glow Liquid Eye Shadow


These are another one of those products that have been just about everywhere since they came out. If you like dramatic eyes or you’re a glitter person, these should definitely be in your collection. In the past, I’ve always hated wearing glitters because of the fall out and general task of putting them on… but these make it SO easy. Some people use a different applicator but I find the wand they come with works the best. They’re so pigmented and shiny, I get compliments whenever I wear any of the colors. My favorites are probably Kitten and Smoky Storm, but ALL of the colors are worth trying!

Kylie Cosmetics Ultra Glow Loose Highlighters


If you’re looking for a blinding highlight, please grab these. They’re EXTREMELY pigmented and you only need the tiniest bit for your entire face. They’re a bargain at $14 a pop, and I’ve barely gone through any of mine since you need so little. I attached my favorite color (Santorini) but there are other ones available on her website! You can even use it as a body highlight with a brush or mix it in with your favorite lotion for an all over glow!


Pravana “The Perfect Blonde” Purple Toning Masque


So if you weren’t aware, my hair is really blonde. I hate super warm tones in my hair and I’ve always had a problem with toner falling out of my hair really quickly after hair appointments. I could never find a good purple shampoo or anything to keep it cool toned, until I came across this baby. You need the TINIEST amount (I actually mix mine with my regular conditioner so it lasts even longer) and, seriously, only leave it on for max 5 minutes. Otherwise you will have purple hair. Unless that’s what you want, then go for it! I am licensed so I buy mine at a local beauty supply store, but you can get it if a salon sells Pravana, or on Amazon. It’s my must have product! (I also featured this in another blog post, Blondes Have More Fun (Except When Buying Product), if you wanna check that out!)

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo


Everyone has their favorite dry shampoo, and this one is mine. I prefer aerosols to powders due to ease of use. I do not recommend this dry shampoo if you are a brunette or you have dark hair, because I find that it lightens even my hair… but I like that about it. Especially if I’m overdue for a highlight (aka right now). The smell doesn’t bother me or stick around which is a big problem for me with dry shampoos in the past. I can still smell my other yummy hair products after using this!

Aveda Thermal Dry Conditioner


If you haven’t tried dry conditioner you are missing out! Before Aveda released this product every dry conditioner I had used was just “okay,” but I never found anything I was blown away by. Since my hair is blonde (aka inherently damaged/dry) I have to be careful about how much heat I use and how much I wash my hair. This helps refresh my locks and moisturize them until the next time I use a mask or condition in the shower. It also smells like Shampure, and if you don’t use Aveda you’re probably unaware of the magic that is Shampure. It’s basically Aveda’s signature aroma, and I have people creepily smelling me whenever I have this scent on me. If you want people to tell you that you smell like a spa, use this.

Aveda Pramasana Purifying Scalp Cleanser


I don’t know how I lived without this product before it came out. I use dry shampoo and dry conditioner on a regular basis, obviously, and it can cause build up. Like most hair products. This completely “resets” my scalp back to a healthy state. I always just used shampoo to wash my hair and scalp but since using this I could never go back. Any flakiness on the scalp, gone. Product build up, gone. It’s a miracle worker. It’s also great for those of you who struggle with hair growth, some of the problem might be excess build up!


Kat Von D Sinner Perfume


You guys, I have been waiting since *2009* for this perfume to come back. Well that’s when it originally debuted anyway. It was back when I couldn’t afford to buy big bottles of perfume (I was only 16) so I got the travel rollerball. When it was discontinued, I literally hoarded the rollerball and I still have some left to this day. When Kat Von D revealed she was releasing this again I legitimately squealed with joy. For anyone who likes warm spicy scents, this one is for you. The “key notes” are patchouli, cinnamon, and wood. I actually hate patchouli by itself but they’ve done an awesome job concocting a perfect mixture with this perfume. The smell is powerful and mysterious. I get compliments all the time when I wear this! The packaging is also so beautiful and fun to display.

Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Bum Bum Cream


First of all I love that this product is called Bum Bum Cream. I think it’s so cute. I actually don’t use this *just* on my bum bum, but as an all over body lotion. I think it smells so yummy (however if you don’t like a fragrance that will stick around, this is not for you) and it leaves a beautiful shimmer on the skin. Not like, I’m wearing roll on glitter hashtag summer of 1998 status, but shimmer that gives you a glow. It has caffeine in it, to help with firmness, and cupuaçu butter and coconut oil to condition the skin. Plus, a little goes a LONG way.

Shiseido Facial Cotton


Alright this is an especially bougie product and I realize some people will make fun of me for using fancy cotton on my face, but I don’t even care because I absolutely love these and I will never go back. I think it was Jaclyn Hill that originally recommended these, and her and I both have really sensitive skin (like I actually know her? lol). ANYWAY, I use these to apply my Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant, clean my eye makeup off, liquid lipstick, etc. The cotton is so gentle on the skin and really is worth the money. Especially around the eyes which is such a delicate area anyways. Buy these and you’ll never go back to the Walmart brand cotton ever again.

Foreo Luna 2 for Sensitive Skin


I did an entire blog post on this comparing the specs to a Clarisonic, so if you’re interested in reading in depth about this guy then here is the link: Clarisonic Mia 2 vs. Foreo Luna 2. In that post you’ll find I prefer the Foreo over the Clarisonic (which was a tool I used for years). It’s easy to use, gentle on my sensitive skin, and really gets down and clean like it says it does. It’s a lot more economically friendly as well since you don’t have to replace brush heads, which is a win in my book! Face cleansing tools are seen as a “nice to have” instead of a “need to have” in terms of skincare, but I firmly believe in them… as should you.

Invisibobble Power Hair Rings


I guess I could have also put this in hair but it’s more of a “tool” to me so I’m keeping it here. I was always intrigued by these “hair ties” especially because word on the street was that they didn’t kink the hair and helped with breakage (again something necessary to me). However my hair is EXTREMELY thick, so I was afraid to try them. Enter: The *Power* Invisibobbles. When I saw these online I was so excited! They’re specifically made to stay in better, which was music to my ears. Plus they come in nude so they blend in with my hair pretty well. They keep my hair wherever I put it until I take it out, and doesn’t lose it’s shape which is wild. I have gone through SO many hair ties in my lifetime, as I’m sure we all have, but I’ve had the same three invisibobbles since July. JULY PEOPLE!!!

Lilumia 2 Makeup Brush Cleaner


This is such a cool product, I can’t believe I didn’t buy it myself. I saw ads for this long ago and looked at it before but always saw it as unnecessary because I didn’t want to spend the money. Fast forward, my boyfriend actually bought this for me for Christmas! I never uttered a word about it to him, he just thought I would like it (he’s a keeper!) Anyway, if you HATE cleaning your brushes (like I, and most of the beauty world do) consider getting this contraption. All you do is put the solution in, stick your brushes in the compartments, press a button, and sit back while the Lilumia does all the work for you. It’s insane and so so cool. I’m going to be writing a separate full-length review on it, so stay tuned for that, but this truly has changed my life in regards to cleaning my brushes. Now I don’t dread it, but look forward to it!

Welp, that’s all folks! I hope you were able to possibly find some new products to try or saw some products you already have and love! As I said before, these are what worked for me and what I enjoyed. If you find a product on here that you didn’t necessarily love, that’s okay! What’s great about the beauty world is that there is something for everyone.

Have a question about any of these products? Did I mention a product that you LOVE too? Feel free to comment down below! Or let me know what you would like to see me post next! I love hearing from you guys.

Happy 2018, I can’t wait to see what this year will bring us!

xoxo, Shelby

PS: If you’re an online shopper like me, you NEED to be using Ebates! Ebates is a website that gives you cash back for purchases you make online. Literally, that’s all you have to do. Just this year I’ve made $170 for things I’m buying anyways! If you sign up using my referral link, you’ll get $10 after your first purchase!

Start makin money, honey! —> *click here*

Clarisonic Mia vs. Foreo Luna

Hey all! I’m gonna get straight to the point because I’m sure going on a long tangent about how I haven’t been on in months doesn’t interest you. Because same.

One of the most common questions I get in my inbox is “what’s the difference between a Clarisonic and a Foreo?” or just “what skincare cleansing tool should I buy?” Well, lucky for you, I am a hoarder of skincare products and I tried both so I could let you know what would work best for you, and why.

As with all of my comparisons, I’m going to rate them in different categories. They are as follows: cleansing power, aesthetic (looks in general), ease of cleaning, cost, *~*bells and whistles*~*, and (my) overall opinion.

To give you a background of my experience with these products, I have used a Clarisonic Mia 2 since 2013. I started using the Luna Foreo (for sensitive skin) earlier this year because I wanted to change it up and be able to compare the two. I never review skincare products until I’ve used them for more than 4 weeks due to the turnover rate of the skin. Okay now I’ll start.

Cleansing Power:

***Now, with each of these cleansing systems it’s imperative to know that you need to either wipe off your makeup entirely or do a pre-cleanse beforehand. So many times people have told me they hated their cleansing tool and claimed it “made things worse,” only to find out through questioning that they were just using it on a face full of makeup. No matter how well each of these systems work, if you do that you’re just smearing your makeup around and not actually cleansing. Hence why it’s not working. Anyway, moving on.


There is no doubt in the cleansing ability of the Clarisonic. There’s a reason it’s been such a popular product for such a long time. The results obviously lie in if you use it properly, i.e. if you’re washing your face beforehand/you’re using the right brush head for your face. Personally I have pretty sensitive skin, so I found myself sticking to the sensitive brush heads, which is what they come with. I would swap it out for the deep pore cleansing brush heads if I felt I had a lot of congestion or breakouts. I’m going to go into brush heads more in the bells and whistles section, but a large portion of the cleansing power of the clarisonic is due to whatever brush head you choose to use. To cleanse your skin, you wet the brush and your face, and apply cleanser directly to the brush head. 60 seconds later, you’re done!

One problem I have with clients using clarisonics is that so many of them (them as in people) are WAY too rough on their skin. The brush head is specifically designed to move on it’s own accord, yet people push it onto their face almost violently because they think it’s going to cleanse better. All you have to do is move it around your face in the sections that require cleansing. Obviously this is a user issue, but it factors into the results you get.

Clarisonic Cleansing Grade: A


This cleansing system is ~relatively~ new on the market, especially compared to the clarisonic, which was why I wanted to try it out. (I obsessively buy new skincare items and since it’s my job I justify it, but it doesn’t take away the fact that if my bank account could talk it would ask “what the HELL are you doing woman?! Stop for the love of god!”) Anyway, It has the same concept as the clarisonic, but it’s entirely different in it’s execution. First of all, there are no brush heads. You choose your Foreo Luna based on the type of skin you have (Dry, Oily, Normal, Sensitive, or Combo.) There’s also one for men, and I’m almost positive it’s the exact same as the oily skin version but it’s in black. Because god forbid if men had to use a blue skincare tool. But honestly whatever floats your boat. If you’re unsure of the one you should use, the foreo website has a handy “consultation” tool here. Each of them have a different pattern of silicone “touch points” that cushion the skin when you cleanse and work for each different skin type.

love the cleansing power of the Foreo. You apply your chosen cleanser to your face instead of the brush, wet the brush, and get jiggy with it. This system is also 60 seconds, so either way you can’t escape at least spending a minute on your skin morning and night. I will say I feel as if the Foreo is much more gentle on the skin when it comes to cleansing, yet it still cleanses just as well as the clarisonic. So if you’re a bit more sensitive, this might be your better option.

Foreo Cleansing Grade: A


A lot of people care a great deal about the way their products look for one reason or another. I love the option of being able to choose my color, because I feel like it adds a pop of personality to an otherwise basic tool.


The clarisonics have a million color options. Sometimes they even release special edition patterns for random reasons, so it gives users the ability to pick whatever color or pattern their heart desires. The design is simple, easy to hold, and looks like this:

Clarisonic Mia 2 in Lavender

It fits into the contour of the hand and it’s buttons are easy to decipher and use. The only downfall is that it’s a bit large, and the carrying cases only make it larger to travel with. So if you’re someone who travels a lot or just likes things to be compact, there is a size option that works the exact same but is much smaller. Check out the Mia Fit if you’re a gal (or dude) on the go.

Clarisonic Aesthetic Grade: A



Here resides the downfall of the foreo IF you’re big on choosing the color of whatever you’re purchasing. The colors are assigned to each skin type so you don’t have the option of a different color. They are pictured here:

From left to right: Normal, Combo, Oily, and Sensitive

As I said before I have sensitive skin so I have the lavender color, which I love so it doesn’t bother me. I do wish they would release color options just to give it that personal aspect but at the end of the day if it works it’s not a huge deal.

The foreo is also smaller than the clarisonic. It fits in the palm of the hand and it’s really easy to travel with. It comes with a luxe drawstring holder to carry it in to protect the device. I don’t find issues holding it even though it’s more of a flat design, and the buttons are easy to work. They do have smaller options as well, three to be exact. The mini, the play plus, and the luna go. The mini and play plus are only based on color, the touch points all look the same, and they also come with a smaller price tag which I’ll touch on later. Personally I like having the regular size, but you do you boo.

Foreo Aesthetic Grade: B (for lack of color options)

Ease of Cleaning:


This, for me, is the clarisonic’s biggest downfall. I’m huge on sanitation, which is necessary in my industry, and keeping a clarisonic clean is hard even when you know what to do. First of all, you need to clean your clarisonic brush heads. Not just with soap and water, with an actual sanitizer. They do not recommend you share brush heads so you should only be using it on your own skin, but even then you run the risk of spreading bacteria especially during times where you have breakouts. Most people don’t do even this, which is the bare minimum. You also need to clean underneath the brush head. Since these tools are waterproof, people don’t worry about drying them off so water stays under the brush head. I don’t even want to imagine the amount of bacteria that starts growing there. I would venture to guess an obscene amount of people could prevent breakouts if they would just clean their tools and belongings (makeup brushes, pillow cases, phones, etc.) While I realize that this is a user issue and depends on the consumer being proactive in cleaning, I wish there was an easier way for people to keep these devices clean so they didn’t even have to think about it.

Clarisonic Ease of Cleaning Grade: C


On the opposite end of the spectrum, this is one of my favorite parts about the luna! Foreo uses nonporous medical grade silicone that is 35x more hygienic than nylon bristles. So you don’t have to worry about setting aside time to clean your device after you use it and the chance of it harboring bacteria is extremely low, if at all. I just rinse mine afterward (with a cleansing soap) and it stands up so any leftover water isn’t able to stay in the device to sit and grow more bacteria. So easy and user friendly!

Foreo Ease of Cleaning Grade: A+


*Both units are the “2nd generation” and I also included their travel size companions


Cost is $169 which includes the device, one brush head, the charger, and a sample size cleanser (1 oz.) The downfall of the cost when it comes to the clarisonic is that the cost doesn’t stop there. They recommend you replace the brush heads every 3 months, to the tune of $27. Adding up to $108 a year. They do offer a box option which allows you to get the 4th brush head for free, so it’s $81 at once. However some people can’t afford to drop the $81 at once, and you are left with spending the extra $214 in a two year span. Ouch. I don’t like the idea of constantly having to replace something, and that was another reason why I wanted to try something that didn’t have the extra cost associated with it.

In addition to that, somehow the travel size is a whopping $50 more? How is something smaller more expensive? Like I’m already shelling out what would require someone making minimum wage 24 hours of work to afford, and that’s before taxes. Not my favorite thing ever.

*Comes with a 2 year warranty

Clarisonic Cost Grade: C


The price point is set a bit higher at $199, but the huge upside is that you don’t have to buy any brush heads! So while you’re spending $30 more up front, you save $108 a year. Yes please!

The travel size options are also at a lower price point which is how I believe it should be. The technology of the device doesn’t change, with the exception of the speeds on the two smallest models. The mini luna 2 is set at $139, the luna go at $99, and the play plus at $49. The play plus ONLY has the cleansing option, not the anti aging option, which is included in the next section.

*Comes with a 2 year warranty and a 10 year quality guarantee

Foreo Cost Grade: A

*~*Bells and Whistles*~*:


The clarisonic (Mia 2 and FIT) has 2 speeds to switch between, referred to as “Delicate” and “Universal”. So if your skin is more on the sensitive side you’re obviously going to use the lower speed, and less sensitive skin can use the universal speed. It’s waterproof which is necessary for these types of products due to people using them in the shower, bath, and at the sink. It’s also rechargeable, and using mine the charge would last about a month at a time or less.

However I believe the biggest bells and whistles of the clarisonic are within the brush heads. Obviously you have the option of brush heads for your certain skin type, but there are now also brushes that go even beyond that. One of the brushes is a foundation head that you can use to apply your makeup. Now I haven’t used this brush head personally, but I’m old school when it comes to makeup application and I prefer a dense synthetic brush for foundation application. This brush appears a lot less dense than what I’m used to, and by reading reviews I’ve heard it also tends to shed. But again, I haven’t used this personally and it might work great for other people! It retails for $35.

BrushheadSpectrum_US_v2 copy
Various options for Clarisonic brush heads

Clarisonic Sonic Foundation Brush Head

Clarisonic also sells pedi brushes as well as body brushes. The downside is that these are not compatible with the original Mia, Mia 2, or the Mia FIT. You have to purchase a separate clarisonic for these to be able to be used. Another costly addition. The last face tool is a “massage head” that is meant to be used as an anti aging device. It claims to help with signs of aging including wrinkles, firmness, and sagging. They have studies with pictures on the clarisonic website if this is something that intrigues you! You can find them here. This brush comes in at a hefty $55 and again is only compatible with the separate device (the Smart Profile) that costs a whopping $349.

Clarisonic Pedi Brushes

Clarisonic Firming Massage Head

Clarisonic Bells and Whistles Grade: B (lots of options, but a bit too costly)


The luna also has speed options, however this device has the option of 12 different speeds. I only ever use two, but I like that it gives a ton of options to really cater to your specific skin type and how you feel. Also waterproof and it has a flat bottom so it can stand freely which I love. The luna 2 also only requires one full charge EVERY. SEVEN. MONTHS. What?! That’s insane to me! If only iPhones had that capability!

Another big selling point of the Luna to me was that it already comes with an anti aging aspect. It’s on the back side of the device and looks like this:

Foreo Luna 2 Anti Aging side

This also claims to improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging. It helps with the absorption of products into the skin which is a great benefit especially if you spend money on serums since this will maximize their benefits. It’s a 60 second cycle as well, uses a low frequency pulse, and the manual tells you exactly where to use it on the face. The best part is that this is included on the device already and doesn’t require you to spend more money (because let’s be real, skincare is ALREADY expensive AF.)

Foreo Bells and Whistles Grade: A


Overall Opinion?

Having used both devices for a substantial period of time, my preferred tool is….

The Foreo Luna 2!

I just love this device and although clarisonic was my first cleansing love, it was time to grow up, move on, and save money. The foreo works so well with my sensitive skin and I truly believe every one of my clients could benefit from using this device. The price point is worth it and saves you money in the long run, and the additional features really add to the value of this product. I can’t say enough great things about it and since using the Luna 2, my skin has never looked better!


I hope you found what you were looking for within this post and that I answered any lingering questions you had about these two skincare devices. I challenge you to see your skin as an investment and not as another expense you’re wasting money on! You only have one face and while you can always get the botox and laser treatments and what have you, but an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

If you have any other questions feel free to leave them below and I will do my best to help answer them! Happy cleansing my loves!


xoxo Shelby


“Why Won’t My Skin Get Better?”: Common Skincare Mistakes You Might Be Making

You buy the expensive products. You read the various articles online. You even might have seen your local esthetician for advice, and still NOTHING has helped. “WTF?!” you scream into the mirror after many days/nights of using your $200 regimen that was sold to you with the promise that your skin would look better; only to find your skin looks the same…. if not worse. Sound familiar? You’re not alone! Hello there, your friendly online (and real life) esthetician here to help you with yet another skincare crisis.

If you haven’t figured it out by now (and it’s likely you haven’t, due to the fact you’re reading this), it’s HARD figuring out your perfect skincare routine. Not one person’s skin is the same, and we all have unique needs. That being said, I’ve noticed many trends among people who seem to struggle with skincare issues that can be easily changed or avoided.

It’s an unfortunate matter of either hearing the wrong information about your skin or just not knowing, and neither are your fault. That’s where I come in. Now, I’m not saying that if you change these things about your regimen your skin will magically turn around. Some (and most) skin issues are caused by internal factors (hormones, diet, water intake, stress levels, etc.) in which case you should consult a physician if you’re really unsure. However, these changes in your regimen could make all the difference!

To make this easier to navigate, I’m going to organize it into sections for specific skin types. If you want, just scroll to the section that best fits your skin description! There is also a general section at the bottom that could also apply to you.


OILY SKIN (acne prone, large pores, excessive oil production)

“I have oily skin so I don’t moisturize because I don’t need it.”

Um, yes. You do. Strangely enough, you will get the opposite effect if you go by this logic. If you have oily skin and you don’t moisturize, your skin will react and actually create MORE oil. Potentially creating more breakouts and more sadness. If you’re oily and for this reason you dislike moisturizers, opt for something very light and absorbent. Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Hydrating Lotion is a great lightweight option.

“I use a salicylic acid cleanser every day for my acne.”

This is *generally* a bit excessive. Using too much of an acid can be detrimental to the skin, because it strips you of the natural oils your face NEEDS to be healthy. Not all oil is bad people! Plus, if you have TRUE acne (not just breakouts on your chin when it’s your time of the month, or a breakout when you sleep in your makeup) you should be consulting a dermatologist or medical esthetician for your skin’s needs. Opt for a gentle gel or foam cleanser (my favorite is Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Purifying Gel Cleanser) and use a spot treatment for breakouts. I like using The Ordinary’s Salicylic Acid 2% Solution directly on blemishes before I go to bed!

DRY SKIN (dry, flaky, tight-feeling, and lacking oil)

Not incorporating a hydrating serum into your regimen

I swear by hyaluronic acid to combat dry skin. Moisturizers are obviously fantastic (and necessary) for dry skin, but the molecular structure of a serum (like hyaluronic) is so much smaller than a moisturizer. This allows for the product to penetrate into the skin instead of just sitting on top and just masking the dryness. The Ordinary has a great Hyaluronic Acid, especially if you’re ballin on a budget.

“I don’t exfoliate because my skin is already so dry and I don’t want it to get drier.”

Exfoliating doesn’t mean you’re drying out your skin! Using BHAs and other products that strip the skin can be drying, but those are also typically formulated for more oily skin anyways. If you don’t exfoliate and you have dry skin, your dead skin cells will just pile up on your skin and any moisturizing products you try to use won’t moisturize your skin properly. It’s like trying to put sunscreen over your clothes. If you’re dry, try using a mechanical exfoliant instead to help slough away the dead skin cells. I enjoy Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Radiant Skin Refiner or GlamGlow’s FLASHMUD Brightening Treatment to keep my skin exfoliated and luminous!

“I just use coconut oil.”

No offense- but literally, cringe. Please refer to my Coconut Oil is Ruining Your Skin blog post in regards to this.

COMBO SKIN (a combination of dry and oily qualities, primary oily t-zone and dry cheeks)

Only treating one part of your skin

Multi-masking is a blessing my friends. Instead of always using drying products that combat oil, or vice-versa, and making one condition worse, try treating both! I consider my face combination skin and I’ll make it a point to use detoxifying masks on my t-zone (forehead, nose, chin) and hydrating products on my cheeks and neck. For my detoxifying masks I really love the GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clearing Treament or Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Deep Cleansing Clay Mask. For hydrating, Aveda’s Botanical Kinetics Intense Hydrating Mask or GlamGlow’s THIRSTYMUD Hydrating Treatment Mask. Are you seeing a trend here? I definitely have favorite brands. There are definitely other options but these are what I use and love the most!

NORMAL SKIN (not necessarily dry or oily, a good balance of both)

“I don’t have anything wrong with my skin so I don’t do anything to it.”

Although people with normal skin are generally very blessed (also we all hate you), you still need to take care of your skin. Cleansing, exfoliating 2-3 times a week, moisturizer, and SPF during the day are the bare minimum steps you should be doing. Just because you don’t have skin problems now doesn’t mean they can’t arise later, and an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. AKA take care of your skin now so you’re not a leathery mess later.


  1. Not letting your products dry before you apply the next one: You need to give your skin a chance to absorb each product you’re trying to use. Each serum and moisturizer goes in a specific order to allow for optimum absorption. Rule of thumb: thinnest to thickest. So serum to moisturizers.
  2. Not washing your face in the morning (or in general): It seems genuinely insane to me that I have to remind people to wash their face. Or wash their face with something other than bar soap. Now, if you don’t know… I won’t judge you, but now you know. You have no excuses. Washing your face at night is usually a given to most people…. but during your slumber you sweat, your hair touches your face, hands touch your face, your pillow cases can be dirty, etc. So in the morning it’s essential to wash your face so you’re not applying makeup over the crap you’ve slept in. And if you don’t wash your face at all, please don’t be surprised if your skin isn’t happy.
  3. Not cleaning your makeup brushes/phone: I think I say this in just about every blog post I write but you haaaaave to clean the things that touch your face the most. Phones and makeup brushes are the highest up there besides your hands, which should also be cleaned too, please. You wouldn’t believe how many people I ask if they clean their makeup brushes regularly and they’ve almost NEVER done it. Bacteria loves to live in dense places like brushes! I make it a point to clean mine every Sunday with a gentle detoxifying shampoo. As for your phone, keep a couple of Clorox wipes handy and wipe it down every so often!
  4. Not getting a proper skincare analysis: Before I went to esthetics school, I couldn’t tell you anything about my skin. It kind of felt normal, but I still got breakouts, and my makeup would slide around, but I was still flaky… etc. So I really had no idea what products to use on it either. Just because your favorite beauty blogger uses a mask, doesn’t mean that’s right for your skin.  Get a professional to help you assess your biggest concerns and give you the true 411 about your skin type. They can also usually set you up with products that are catered towards your specific needs instead of just what’s “popular”.
  5. Sleeping with your makeup on: DON’T. EVER. STOP DOING THIS. PLEASE. I can’t even begin to describe the detrimental effects doing this has on your skin.
  6. Not cleansing properly: Cleansing is more than just slapping some soap on your face and wiping it off with a washcloth. If you wear makeup regularly, you should take the time to remove the bulk of your makeup with a makeup wipe, and then cleanse the rest of it off. If after you’ve cleansed your skin you can wipe a wet cotton pad over your face and there is still residue, you need to cleanse again. Make sure to get next to your ears, into your hair line, and your jawline as well. Also make sure if you’re using a washcloth to dry your skin off afterwards that it’s gentle enough to be used on your facial skin. I like bamboo washcloths that you can get relatively cheap off of amazon. (Please also make sure to clean these regularly too!)
  7. Washing your face in the shower: Generally speaking, shower water is too hot for your face. You can cause capillary breakage, plus you can’t see if you’re cleansing everywhere properly. You should be taking the time to wash your face with lukewarm water at your sink.
  8. Using random skincare products just because they’re “natural”: I love using naturally derived beauty products. I think some are really great and a lot of people are leaning towards more natural products these days because we’re a greener generation. However, just because it says “natural” and “organic” on the bottle, does NOT mean it’s natural and organic. It also doesn’t mean it’s good for your skin either. Taken from the FDA Website, “FDA has not defined the term “natural” and has not established a regulatory definition for this term in cosmetic labeling.” So basically a company can slap “natural” on just about anything, because there’s no set definition for it. Just because it’s from Whole Foods or your local Co-Op doesn’t mean it will work, and you are still responsible for the ingredients you choose to put on your skin. I thoroughly research brands before I use them on myself, as should you!


All of the above “mistakes” I’ve listed are just what I’ve seen and heard of the most in my time being in this industry. I use the word “mistakes” loosely because in my experience it’s just because people aren’t aware, and that’s okay! I, as well as other people who are trained in this profession, are here to help those of you who maybe aren’t as ~*~*current*~*~ with the do’s and don’ts of skincare. There are obviously other factors that go into your routine as I stated earlier, many internal, but with these changes in your routine I hope you find some of your concerns are taken care of.

Any questions? Still feel clueless? Leave them in the comments section! I love to help you guys out as well as hear feedback from my readers.


Peace, love, and moisturization to all

xoxo, Shelby

Facials: The Beauty Ritual You Need In Your Life

People always ask me what the point of a facial is. They’re a bit spendy (depending on where you go), it’s an hour (or more) of your time, and some people really don’t understand the benefits of an appointment dedicated specifically to your skin. Alas, don’t fret, I’m here to explain! 

Generally people are more focused on spending their money on hair or nails before their skin, because it’s where you see immediate results. You get a highlight and wash/dry, voila! Lighter hair. Get a pedicure, bam it’s socially acceptable to wear your sandals again. Yes, you see an immediate glow after a facial service, but it’s so much more than that! Keep reading to find out why everyone (yes men, you too) can benefit from facials.

Benefit Numero Uno*: Massage

Facial massage boosts circulation throughout the face, neck, and décolleté (aka your chest area if you’re not versed in facial lingo). If you didn’t know already, blood is what supplies nutrients to the skin. Any vitamins you take go to your bloodstream. If you don’t have proper circulation, your skin can’t receive nutrients, resulting in lackluster skin. Estheticians are trained in proper massage techniques that encourage blood flow. Plus, you have no idea how much tension we hold in our faces until someone gives you a facial massage. Trust me on this.

Benefit Numero Dos: Stress Relief

A large part of skin ailments are due to stress. Ever see a huge pimple pop up right before you have a big, important event? Ding ding ding! Stress raises hormones in the body that cause our sebaceous glands to secrete excess oil, which in turn causes breakouts. Especially if you’re not properly cleansing and exfoliating. The aromatherapy and relaxation associated with facials is proven to reduce stress. An hour under the care of an experienced professional can seriously change and improve your stress levels.

Benefit Numero Tres: Exfoliation

Such a large portion of clients that I see fail to exfoliate their skin, or over exfoliate in general. Either of which can be detrimental to your skin. In a typical facial service, your technician will determine the best route of exfoliation for your YOU, whether it be mechanical or chemical. Both of which will reveal a brighter complexion underneath. It encourages cell turnover, which is essential to the health and youthful glow of the skin. It makes fine lines appear less prominent since your products are able to soak into the skin better; and it also helps alleviate congestion, which is what causes uneven texture on the skin as well as breakouts.

Benefit Numero Cuatro: Proper Treatments 

I can’t tell you how frustrated I get when I see “beauty bloggers” using horrific DIY masks, trendy machines or tools that don’t really work (or that actually damage your skin), and just giving bad advice in general. They are not licensed professionals and you should not trust them as if they are. Not to say they’re all necessarily wrong, but people blindly follow what they do and not everything is good for you. I know we all like to save a few bucks and do things ourselves, but some things are best left to professionals who were trained to do them properly. For instance, extractions. Anyone can go to the store and buy an extractor tool and go to town on their face. However, most of you are probably damaging your skin and pores due to incorrect methods. Surprise, estheticians are trained to do this for you! Plus, we’re able to get a perspective on your skin that you just don’t have access to. Since, you know, your eyes are attached to you.

Benefit Numero Cinco: Knowledge

An Esthetician is specifically trained and licensed to analyze the skin and its current state. We spend 600 hours (or more depending on what state you live in) gaining an understanding as to why the skin does what it does, and we use that information to determine what routine is right for each and every client we see. Everyone’s facial needs are so different, it’s impossible to read an article about someone’s favorite skincare and use the same products to get the same results. I can’t give people a proper skin analysis over an Instagram message, even though I try. I have to be able to see your skin to tell you what you need, which requires a visit to yes, you guessed it, the salon! We like to see clients every 4-6 weeks because that’s when the skin has gone through a complete cell turnover cycle, and we can assess and treat the skin all over again for YOUR benefit. 

PSA: You don’t have to use the exact products I recommend, but know that you will not get the results you want with a $4 moisturizer from Walmart. These are facts. We cannot guarantee results if you fail to use proper home care. Just like if you color your hair with nice products, then you turn around and use Suave. HOME CARE IS ESSENTIAL PEOPLE!

I hope this answered any questions you may have had about why you should be receiving regular facial treatments. Spa expenses may seem like a waste of money to some people, but if you’re interested in preserving your youthful appearance for as long as possible they are essential. Even going in at the start of each season can benefit you greatly, but 4-6 weeks is that sweet spot for optimum results.

Any questions? Leave them for me below! Now call your salon and schedule a facial ASAP! You can thank me later.

xoxo Shelby

*I don’t know why I decided to number these in Spanish, because I don’t speak the language. I got a C in 7th grade Spanish. 7th grade Spanish. 

10 Healthy Skincare Habits You Can Start Today

So I think one of the most popular and frequent questions people ask me as an esthetician is “how can I make my skin look better?” I went over the basics you should start with in my post The 7 Deadly Skincare Sins, but I want to share with you some very simple, every day things you can actively do to improve the state of your skin. Whether it be immediate or long-term, there are almost always extra things we can do to create a more healthy, youthful appearance! Interested? Keep reading…


Let’s get the obvious ones out of the way; SPF and H20. Drink your water, wear your damn sunscreen. Water is important and the sun damages your skin. Pretty easy. Let’s move on.

1.  Wash your face with lukewarm water

Washing your face in a boiling hot shower is detrimental to the health of your skin. Opt to wash your face separately with lukewarm water instead. Hot water can irritate your skin (especially those of you who are sensitive), dry out your face, and even rupture blood vessels (which will make your skin appear more red). Turn the knob to a lower temperature, or even better, wash it at your sink instead!

2. Pat dry, don’t wipe

Dragging a terry cloth towel against your face makes your skin angry. The material is too rough on your delicate facial skin! Pat dry your face instead. Even better, purchase facial towels that are separate than what you use to dry off your body. Bamboo towels are great for this purpose, and they’re inexpensive!

3. Take care of your eyes

One of the first places you see anyone age is the eye area. Someone can be relatively young, but if they don’t take care of their eyes they can appear older very easily. Most people fail to take care of their eye area properly! Rubbing the eyes excessively (and roughly) can damage the delicate skin that surrounds our eyes. Over time, it damages the elastin which keeps the skin from sagging, and you can cause blood vessels to rupture causing darkness and uneven tone. Be gentle when cleaning the skin, and wear an eye cream morning and night!

4. Exfoliate twice a week

Once if you’re more sensitive, three times (max) if you’re more oily. Exfoliating is so important to do! Your skin needs help shedding itself throughout the natural process of cell turnover. If your skin feels rough, looks dull, or you just can’t get it to stop flaking, chances are you’re probably not exfoliating enough. Be aware that over exfoliating is just as bad as not exfoliating at all, so pay attention to how often you do this.

5. Extend products to your neck and chest

Your face doesn’t end at your jawline! The chest and neck require love, care, and good products as well. You might not be able to see signs of aging on your neck and chest now, but you will in the coming years if you don’t include these in your daily skincare routine. Using products with peptides are great to stimulate collagen to keep these areas youthful.

6. Remove your makeup prior to cleansing

Not only will this decrease the time you spend trying to wash your face, this will help clean your face thoroughly. What happens often is people go to wash their face, and it will look clean, but there is a lot of leftover residue from makeup. You then proceed to put product over top of the leftover makeup, causing breakouts to form due to bacteria. Taking the time to use a (gentle) makeup wipe to remove the bulk of your makeup could save you from this mistake!

7. Wear sunglasses

Ever notice how much you’re squinting when you’re not wearing sunglasses? Over time, that squinting causes… yep, you guessed it, wrinkles! Keep your sunnies on (yes, even in overcast) to protect your peepers from premature crows feet and the 11’s you get between the eyes.

8. Stop touching your face

Seriously. Stop. You have no idea how many germs, oils, and debris you have on your hands at any given moment. Make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face unless you KNOW they are clean.

9. Wash your pillows

Sweating, drooling, oily hair, etc. All things that pollute our pillows when we sleep! When you press your (hopefully clean) face against your pillow at night, you’re smearing all of those things onto your skin without even realizing it. I suggest washing your pillow cases AT LEAST once or twice a week to keep them free and clean of unwanted debris!

10. Massage your face

Yes you can get regular facials, but massaging your own face is a great way to improve the look of your skin when you can’t get to the spa. When we massage the face, it increases circulation, aka blood flow. Our blood is what supplies nutrients to the skin, so it helps keep us looking young (what up collagen production). It’s also incredibly relaxing (yes, even if you do it yourself) and can help with stress relief, which is also essential to a good complexion! Also always make sure to massage upwards (against gravity, not with!)

Of course there are so many other things that you can do that will help your skin; from expensive serums to pricey spa visits. However, I think the simple every day things we do can make the biggest difference! I hope you guys can take these few little bits of advice and use them to keep your skin radiant and glowing for years to come 🙂

What are your favorite every day skincare regimen steps? Let me know in the comments below!

xoxo Shelby

My Experience With Lip Injections

Hello all, and welcome! I’m here this week with a review of an experience rather than a product. Unless you failed to read the title, you have already guessed what it’s about. Yes- lip injections. The hottest trend in the beauty next to the balayage and bold brows (IMO).


Let me start off by saying that this procedure was done completely per my own desire, and no one else’s. Yes, I see beauty gurus and celebs plastered all over instagram and TV with their perfectly plump pouts, but I’ve been wanting this done for a while now regardless of the hype behind it. So yes, it is possible to make a personal appearance choice without wanting to look like everyone on social media.


Moving right along, I know a lot of people are hesitant to do this procedure, and you absolutely should be! You should make sure you’re seeing the right specialist, doing it for the right reasons, and researching EXACTLY the look you want. Everyone’s lips are different and you have to be realistic about your results, but you should give your injector as much guidance as possible. Anyway, I wanted to make this blog post to let you know what my experience was, and what to expect should you decide to do it as well! Keep in mind that every experience will be different and what I experienced might not be the same as you. With that, keep on reading!


So here are/were? my lips pre-injections. They weren’t terribly small, but I definitely wanted a fuller look. Especially for lipstick. My main goals were mostly to even them out and create a more “hydrated” look as well. Injections also tend to help with any feathering around the mouth while wearing lip products (due to fine lines), which I experienced from time to time.



Now fast forward to the actual procedure. First of all, they make you put a topical numbing cream on your lips and around the border. This will ONLY numb your skin, so prepare to feel a pinch where they’re actually injecting the product. Also, if you can avoid getting this in your mouth, do so, because the tip of my tongue was also numb the entire time and I can’t imagine something more annoying.

The actual injections didn’t really hurt that bad, but you can actually feel the product being put into your lips so that really tripped me out. It’s hard to describe, but definitely a strange feeling. I bled during my procedure, which is normal as well. I mean they’re puncturing the skin, so yeah. All in all the procedure wasn’t THAT bad, and only took maybe a half hour between everything. She held up a mirror in between injections to see if I liked where the product was being placed, and asked where I wanted more. I did swell up pretty quickly, but my skin is very sensitive so I wasn’t that surprised. I also bruised because I took aspirin the day before (which is a blood thinner if you didn’t already know) aaaaaaaand I wasn’t supposed to do that. Oops.

So I survived the procedure! The worst was over. Or so I thought.


Here are my lips immediately after injections. By the way, I did go in a second time to even one side out, but I’m condensing the photos.


Pretty amazing difference right?! Let me tell you, I was feeeeeeeling myself. Look out world, new lips on the block. Still a little bit numb after the topical cream, but it fades not long after. I could talk just fine and whatnot so no issues there. Definitely swollen but nothing too bad!



Uuuuuuuum yeah. So basically, the night of/day after was when my lips decided to swell to roughly the size of Rhode Island. This was the “bad” part. See below:


(The spots on the rim of my upper lip are injection sites)

Meet my twin, that character from Monsters Inc., 

And my triplet, that guy from “Botched”

*Pause for laughter*

I could literally FEEL my heartbeat inside my lips. My boyfriend couldn’t even look at me without laughing, which I allowed. I mean, I looked like a cartoon character. I also assured him that they would go down and not to worry. They swelled up so much my lip skin split in the middle, if you can tell in that picture. I contacted the Medical Esthetician who assisted my injector and she let me know that my reaction, while intense, was pretty normal. I think part of the reason they got so large and in charge was also because you have to massage your lips to ensure there are no bumps left over. Whatever the reason was, they went down drastically in the days following. Thank god.


My lips finally looked normal!!! I absolutely loved them. Only thing I noticed was that the injections hadn’t fully “settled” just yet, so you could still feel some firmness if I went to press my lips together. Other than that, they had gone down to pretty much where they were going to stay until they start to dissolve after a certain period of time (lip injections tend to last about six months to a year, depending on the person).


Currently, I’m still loving my injections. My lips feel completely normal now, with no firmness or any bumps/unevenness. Wearing lipstick is even MORE fun now, because the extra surface area does wonders.

I know getting cosmetic procedures done can be terrifying, and I’m the type of person who thinks of every worst-case scenario. Trust me, you will get through it! If you want to make a change for you, do it! The worst part of the entire thing was the swelling the day after. Yes, I looked silly for a bit, but the end result was absolutely worth it and I could not be happier with my results.
***By the way, yes lip injections are expensive. Please don’t expect to get them done and not pay a pretty penny. You ALWAYS get what you pay for in the beauty industry, so keep that in mind when you’re shopping around***


What has been your experience with any cosmetic procedures? Do you love them or hate them? Let me know in the comments! Thanks for reading!


xoxo Shelby

How to Wreck your Skin in 7 Ways (The 7 Deadly Skincare Sins)

So, if you’re like me, you use any excuse to reference RomComs on the regular. i.e. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, AKA the inspo for my title/blog post. I honestly thought I was being really clever so if you don’t think so just let me live and keep reading. TYSM.

This is going to be a skincare how-to in reverse. Yes, I am basically quoting the movie at this point. Anyway, I always have people asking me what they can do to make their skin better, improve their skin, change their skin, etc. etc. The truth is, you have to start with the basics. The most expensive products in the world won’t be worth a thing if you don’t treat your skin right from the ground up. So what should you be avoiding? Well little lady (or lad), keep on reading!



Yep, big surprise I know. If you aren’t already aware of the dangers of tanning, please point me in the direction of the rock you’ve been living under. It’s pretty common knowledge now a days, yet people still do it.

Did you know that the number one cause of hyperpigmentation on the skin is sun exposure? So any freckles and discoloration you may have on your face is probably from that big ball of fire in the sky. In addition to that, it’s the number one cause of aging. That is, of course, besides Father Time.

When you’re exposed to UVA and UVB rays (the rays that the sun AND the tanning bed emit) they both do certain things to your skin. UVB rays are known as the “burning” rays. These rays cause your skin to burn and tan. A tan is VISIBLE skin damage, because it’s your bodies way of protecting itself from the rays of the sun. This is what causes discoloration. UVA rays are known as the “aging” rays. These rays penetrate deeper into the skin to the dermal layer where all of your collagen and elastin is produced. Collagen = what smooths out your skin and keeps it nice and plump, elastin = what keeps your skin from sagging. When UVA rays penetrate the skin, they weaken the collagen and elastin, causing you to age MUCH faster.

No matter WHAT anyone who works at the tanning salon tells you, it is HORRIBLE for your skin. Trust me, I used to tan in the beds and lay out in the sun with no SPF on at all, and I’m already seeing the results of doing so at age 23. I’m just lucky I changed my ways now and not later on. You should be wearing a minimum of SPF 15 on EVERY. DAY. Yes, even when it’s cloudy out.

Whenever I’m going over the dangers of sun exposure with my students, I show them the picture below. The man in the photo was a truck driver for 28 years, and since UVA rays aren’t filtered by car windows, he has severe sun damage on just one side of his face. You can see he looks about 20 years older on the left side (aka the driver’s side) JUST due to sun exposure. I know everyone thinks they look better with a tan, but no one looks better with advanced photo aging. Opt for spray tans instead!

trucker sun damage


Not Drinking Enough Water

I know this one also probably comes as a big shocker, but you would be surprised at how many people don’t realize how much these two things affect the health of your skin. There are only a few external reasons for skin ailments; crappy products and sun exposure being the two big ones, but MOST of our skin concerns stem from internal factors. What you put into your body DIRECTLY affects how our skin looks.

Have you ever looked at your under eyes and noticed they look hollow and dry? Chances are you’re skimping on your water intake. Is your skin flaky and feels dry, but you’re moisturizing and doing everything else right? You’re probably dehydrated. Skin just looking drab and dull no matter what you do? You guessed it, you probably need more water. Think of the skin, if you will, as a grape. When a grape is filled with water, it’s plump and smooth. When a grape is dehydrated, it turns into a raisin and thus reveals lines and wrinkles. I’m not saying drinking water will make you age in reverse Benjamin Button style, but it will certainly help your case.

The picture below shows a woman who drank a gallon of water a day for four weeks straight. Look at the difference:

water consumption

Doesn’t she look ten years younger?! Her under eyes have filled in and no longer have that crepe-y appearance, her skin tone is much more even, and the majority of her fine lines have been filled in. Our bodies are MAINLY water. You need to be consuming it regularly!


Over or Under Exfoliating

If you didn’t already know, exfoliating is the removal of dead skin cells from the outermost layer of skin (aka the stratum corneum). About every 28 days (give or take depending on your age) our skin cells move up from the bottom layer of our skin to the top to replace the old cells.

Exfoliating is a VITAL part of your skin care routine no matter who you are, because our skin needs a little help shedding those dead cells that can’t seem to come off on their own. But did you know that you should only be exfoliating about 2-3 times per week? Less if you’re more on the sensitive side, more if you’re on the oilier side.

If you UNDER exfoliate, you’re not removing those cells and they just sit on top of the skin. They can form a barrier between your new, healthy skin underneath so your moisturizers and serums don’t work properly. Your skin may appear dull and you may feel like you can never get rid of the flakiness or uneven texture. If this is the case, you probably need to exfoliate more.

If you OVER exfoliate, you’re removing not only the dead cells from your skin but also the new healthy ones, along with all of the good oils your skin needs to function properly and retain water. I find the people who are over exfoliating are either A. doing so every single day or B. are using a product that is way too harsh for their skin. Once again, you only need to exfoliate 2-3 times a week.

Small concentrations of salicylic acid are okay, but unless you’re on an acne regimen you don’t need to be using a full blown salicylic exfoliant. St. Ive’s apricot scrub? Throw it out. You might as well be exfoliating with glass. Research your products and get samples of the ones you feel work best on your skin. My personal favorites are the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Radiant Skin Refiner if you’re into the gritty type of exfoliant, and the Aveda Botanical Kinetics Exfoliant if you have sensitive skin.

Sleeping in Your Makeup

I can be rolling in the door at 3 am five long islands deep (or 5 glasses of water deep if my mom is reading this) and you still won’t catch me going to sleep with a full face of makeup on. Sleeping with makeup still on your face from the night is a sure fire way to end up with a whole slew of skin problems.

First of all, sleeping with mascara and eye makeup on can cause an infection in your eyes. The product can fall into it when you’re moving around and all you’re doing is pressing it in further as you sleep. It can also break your lashes if you’re not careful, especially if you’re wearing falsies.

Second of all, breakouts. Obviously. You’re sleeping with all of your pores closed off to any oxygen with all of that foundation, powder, bronzer, etc. on your skin. Black heads, white heads, and possibly deeper pustules await if you fail to remove your makeup after a long day.

Lastly, you age faster. Yep, it’s true. When we sleep, our skin regenerates itself. If we cake on foundation and snooze while it’s on, your skin’s ability to do so decreases exponentially. Your exposure to free radicals goes up, and thus ages us quicker. So for the love of god, just wash it off. No matter how tired you are, it’s not worth the consequences.

Poor Home Care

I’m sure this one is pretty obvious. If you go see an esthetician for regular facials and you’re going home to wash your face with bar soap what’s the point? It’s like if you spend $150 on getting your hair colored and going home and using Suave shampoo. Probably not gonna work out so well.

While there are some drug store products out there that work perfectly fine, some are downright terrible for your skin. Harsh detergents and coarse exfoliants will tear up your skin and ruin the acid mantle that keeps it healthy. Even some luxury brands carry products that aren’t ideal for your skin. Don’t assume that every product a beauty blogger or instagram model is hawking is good for your skin.

The great thing about this day and age is that there are so many avenues to find the information you’re seeking. The internet is wide with various reviews and product information available whenever you want it. Sephora is great about giving samples for just about anything you want to try!

You can’t expect your skin to look and feel healthy if you’re using horrible products on your skin. If you don’t know where to start, I am always willing to help with recommendations OR you should take the time to find an esthetician in your area that can help you directly!


Yes, smoking harms your skin (along with every other bodily system that exists, but I digress). Anyone who has taken 7th grade health knows this. But are you aware of the gravity in which it damages your skin? Allow me to tell you….

First and foremost smoking can affect your sleeping habits. Nighttime nicotine withdrawals can inhibit a proper sleep cycle, resulting in dark circles and bags under your eyes.

Secondly, your risk for certain skin conditions, such as psoriasis, goes up exponentially. Up to 60% after a decade of smoking, according to a 2007 study. Even just being exposed to second hand smoke can increase this risk. 

Third, the premature aging. Smoking limits the blood flow that supplies nutrients to the skin and thus slows cell metabolism. Your collagen and elastin gets damaged when you smoke, which is what keeps us looking youthful. Cigarette smoke also asphyxiates our skin which means it has limited oxygen supply, so your skin can appear dull and gray. 

And lastly (but certainly not least), your risk for skin cancer (specifically squamous cell carcinoma) is about three times higher than people who don’t smoke. Yikes! 

If you are a smoker, the best way to help with these problems is obviously to quit. I realize that’s easier said than done, but within the first week of quitting you will already be able to see a visible difference. If you can’t get a wrangle on quitting, try using products with antioxidant rich ingredients to help fight free radicals. Vitamin C is a great place to start!

Here is a side by side comparison of two twins. One of which smoked for 16 years (and also had more exposure to the sun). Which twin do you think it is? 

Yep, it’s the twin on the right. You can see the difference between the two is shocking. 

Avoiding Sleep

Yep, this is a huge one. Sleep is absolutely CRUCIAL to the health of your skin. I know I’ve mentioned bags and dark circles, but those are the least of your worries if you can’t get a good nights rest. 

So many things happen to our skin when we sleep! Sleep reduces cortisol (the stress hormone) which has a direct affect on our skin. If our hormones are out of whack, it can cause a whole slew of problems. One being acenic skin, which is what we all try to avoid. 

Sleep also helps with cellular renewal which helps reverse damage that we encounter in our day to day lives. Free radicals, which I talk a lot about, are unstable molecules that steal electrons from healthy ones. I know I’m getting a bit science-y, but bear with me. When our skin is exposed to these (via pollution, cigarette smoke, etc.) our skin suffers tremendously. They’re basically super agers *que dramatic screaming* Products with antioxidants can help with this, but you need your sleep for good, healthy skin.

I hope that these give you a bit of insight into what you should avoid when taking care of your skin. They seem like very simple and obvious things, but they’re the biggest issues I see with clients on a day to day basis. You might not see the damage of some of these problems right away, but you will after time. The best thing you can do is educate yourself!