From Tinder to Engaged

In honor of Valentine’s Day I want to do something different on the blog and share my love story with my fiancé John.

That’s right we met on Tinder. Yep the notorious hook up app.

I was a bit of a hot mess when we first met and very heartbroken (which is a whole other ordeal).

Our first pictures together at the top of Mt. Philo

That’s when I decided I wanted to give dating men a whirl. That’s right, John is my first ever serious boyfriend and before I met him I had exclusively dated women.

For the record I didn’t have a come to Jesus moment and suddenly see the light, repenting homosexuality forever. I’m still bisexual and always will be.

On our first date I was so late John thought I was standing him up. I was just too focused on perfecting my hair and makeup that I lost track of time. Typical.

Picking out our first Christmas Tree

Once I arrived, the conversation flowed easily over flatbreads and beers. We bar hopped around downtown and polished the afternoon off with a magical first kiss in a dark and dingy parking garage.

Over the next few weeks we had several other dates and we lived happily ever after.


John was offered a job about 3 hours away and didn’t think long distance was going to work us, especially since we just met.

We lost touch. I started seeing other people. Several months later John was in town for a weekend, and I agreed to grab brunch with him. We slowly started to reconnect.

The day we officially moved in together

Neither of us wanted to do long distance forever. I agreed that after a year I would move in with John, leaving my beloved city behind.

Now it’s been a little over three years since that first date, and we’ve recently gotten engaged and started planning for our future together.

It hasn’t always been easy, there have been some disagreements and lots of tears. Every single day we both choose to be together. We choose love.

Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day with your sweetie today? I’d love to hear your love story and how you’re celebrating today in the comments below.

Xx Kristen


2018 Haircare Empties

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Hey Everyone!

Welcome back to the second installment of my 2018 Empties. My haircare routine did change a lot in December because my hair was getting so dry and damaged from the color, heat styling, and the cold weather. Therefore most of these products I will not repurchase unless my hair care needs change. If you have a different hair type or hair needs these products might work wonders for your hair.

Without further ado let’s get into the products 


OGX Nourishing Coconut Milk Conditioner (Jumbo Size),  Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Conditioner (Jumbo Size), & OGX Cherry Blossom Shampoo – OGX used to be my absolute favorite shampoo and conditioner so I would buy the jumbo bottles from BJ’s. Since I’ve been coloring my hair it’s gotten super dry so I’ve been testing out some new shampoos and conditioners instead.

Theorie Monoi & Buriti Glossing Shampoo – I received this shampoo and conditioner for free from Theorie as my first ever PR. I finished it early in January or February of last year and the conditioner even before that. I absolutely loved both the shampoo and conditioner from this line and would definitely purchase it myself. It smells amazing and was very nourishing.

Kristin Ess The One Purple Conditioner – I bought this conditioner on a whim from Target.  I love how it tones down the brassiness in my hair. I used to use this every time I washed my hair, I’ve since reduced it to about twice a month to keep my blonde locks toned, while using repairing shampoos and conditioners to help with my dry damaged hair.

Nuskin Renu Hair Mask – This product was kind of disappointing… Not nearly as nourishing and repairing as I had been hoping for.

Soo Ae Hair Masks x2 – Again not nourishing enough for me, and there wasn’t enough product in the packet to cover my long hair, so I had to mix it with conditioner.


Baptiste Dry Shampoo in Divine Dark and Beautiful Brunette  I don’t wash my hair very often so I live for dry shampoo. The Divine Dark is a HOLY GRAIL PRODUCT. I love that it’s tinted so I don’t get lots of white cast on my roots..

R+Co Travel Size Dry Shampoo – I believe I received this in a Birchbox. I liked it and the size was perfect for traveling.

Dove Refresh and Care Volume Dry ShampooBought this in a pinch from the drugstore. It got the job done and smelled delicious, but did leave a white cast.

Klorane Dry Shampoo – I got this in a Fabfitfun box a while back. Again it was alright but not my fave.

Chi Infratexture Spray – I am forever in search of an affordable dupe for the Oribe texturizing spray. This was alright but didn’t leave the same gritty feeling in my hair or hold my curls very well.

And that’s it for the hair products I finished in 2018.

I’ve been testing out some Opalex and Moroccan Oil Products recently. Let me know if you’d like a review or an updated haircare routine.

What hair products have you been loving lately? I’m in desperate need of a better texturizing spray and hairspray that will hold my curls without being too crunchy. Also I’m forever in need of anything that helps with frizz! Please leave your recommendations on the comments below.

Love you all and thanks for reading!

Xx Kristen

2018 Empties – Skincare Edition

Hey everyone!!

How’s your year going so far?  I’ve got big plans this year for my home, career, fiances, and wedding planning and I can’t wait to share it all with you on the blog.  2019’s gonna be the year that I fully commit to this blog.  If you have any ideas you want me to write about please let me know in the comments below.

Let’s get started because this is going to be a looooooong post.


Around this time last year Ingrid Nilsen posted a video of all of the empties of products she used in 2017.  To me the fact that she had used up entire products and then either repurchased or chose not to spoke volumes about the product itself.  So she inspired me to do the same on my blog and to focus on using up products before buying new ones.


Overall I used up 46 individual products in 2018.  The majority of them were products that I only used one in the year.  For the most part, I didn’t repurchase products at the time because I wanted to try out other things, or it wasn’t the best product for the upcoming season.  

I have decided to break this post up into 3 parts (skincare, hair, and makeup & misc.) so it’s not a million years long. Today I’m going to focus on the skincare empties I have from 2018.


Simple Micellar Water x2 – This is my all time favorite micellar water. I’m currently using the hydrating version and it’s been so so good for my parched winter skin. I will continue to repurchase this because it cleans my skin, removes makeup, and doesn’t leave any residue afterwards.  Two thumbs up from me!

Neutrogena Clear Pore Cleanser/Mask – I know this is terribly harsh on your skin. Last year I did start researching ingredients and tried some other cleansers. Then I started breaking out terribly. So I’ve gone back to using this once daily, and I have zero regrets.

Neutrogena Ultra-Light Cleansing Oil – I have a stockpile of this under my sink. It’s my favorite oil cleanser for removing makeup at night. Enough said.


Pixi Glow Tonic x1.5 (1 travel size & 1 full size) – This is a chemically exfoliating toner. It’s the first one I’ve tried, but I loved the small one so much I went back and purchased the full size. I love that it clears away all of the dry and dead skin without being harsh like a scrub. It’s a little pricey but totally worth every penny.

Sunday Riley UFO Ultra-Clarifying Face Oil – When I heard about this oil I knew it was a missing link in my skincare routine. It’s ingredient list is incredible – salicylic acid, tea tree oil, black cumin seed oil, and licorice root, just to name a few. It claims to “clear congested pores” “prevent acne and blackheads” and “darken the appearance of dark spots.” At first I was unsure because it’s $80 freaking dollars for the full size, BRIGHT green, and it smells super medicinal. But I stuck with it and it’s really helped improve my skins texture, remove my milia, and help prevent breakouts. I did repurchase this and I highly recommended it for anyone looking for products to target their acne.  

Tatcha The Deep Cleanse (travel size) – I got The Deep Cleanse in a travel set from Sephora with The Water Cream. I mostly wanted to see what the hype was about with The Water Cream, but the cleanser was the real MVP of the set. It’s gently exfoliating, and leaves my skin feeling so smooth and clean. John got me the full size of this for Christmas and I can’t wait to finish my current face wash and be reunited my beloved Deep Cleanse.

Cosrx Pimple Patches – Hi, my name is Kristen, and I am a skin picker. Anytime I have a zit I can’t help myself but pick at it. This is where the pimple patches come into play. You place them on clean skin to cover zits. Not only does it prevent me from picking at my spots, but it also pulls the gunk out of them overnight. It’s a game changer for sure!

NuSkin Epoch Glacial Marine Mud Mask – For those of you who don’t know I used to sell NuSkin products, and I can still hook you up if you like. I’ve always prided myself on promoting products that I truly love and use myself. I’m OBSESSED with this mud mask. It pulls all of the oil and gunk from my pores. I typically use it 1-2 times a week.  It is pretty drying so I always follow it up with a moisturizing mask. I highly recommend this mask if you have oily or acne prone skin!!

Juice Beauty  Smoothing Eye Concentrate – I received this in a FabFitFun box a while ago. This is nice and moisturizing but I wouldn’t purchase this on my own. I typically don’t use eye cream and just bring my moisturizer under my eyes and I’ve been surviving.

Skin + Pharmacy Retinol Serum – Honestly I don’t remember much about this product. I’ve been using retinoids at night for the past two years to help reduce dark spots, and prevent signs of aging. I liked it enough to use it up though, but I probably won’t repurchase.

UPDATE: When I tried to link this serum to I couldn’t find it.  Not sure if its discontinued or what.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Cream Serum – I just bought this because I was out of my other retinol serum. It’s bright yellow and a pretty thin consistency, which I still don’t know how I feel about. It got the job done, but I probably won’t repurchase.


Tatcha The Water Cream – I loved The Water Cream when I first tried it because it’s somehow a super light gel but also very moisturizing. I don’t know how they do that, but it’s AMAZING. I loved this until I discovered something that did the same thing for a fraction of the price. I’m all for saving some money when I can.

Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel and Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel w/SPF 15 – I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Neutrogena Hydroboost line. It’s an amazing dupe for Tatcha’s The Water Cream. I love the one with SPF for day time and it looks beautiful under makeup. The regular one was perfect for night time in the summer.  I don’t think it would be moisturizing for me in the winter, but I do plan to repurchase it for the summer again in 2019.

CeraVe Skin Renewing Night Cream – This is my absolute favorite drugstore night cream for wicked dry winter skin. I even put this on my hands a few times when they were extra dry and cracked.

Beauty 360 Oil Free Moisturizer – I bought this when I ran out of my moisturizer and I needed something on a budget.  It’s from the store brand line at CVS, and I believe it’s meant to be a dupe for a Neutrogena product.  In general I do like the Beauty 360 line from CVS, and this moisturizer was no exception. It hydrated my skin for a low price, and I recommend this line in general if you are trying to follow a budget.  

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If you made it this far into the post you are INCREDIBLE! It might be a long one, but I personally love seeing other peoples empties videos and blog posts.  I’d love to hear what products you used up last year and have repurchased or will definitely not be repurchasing.

Also, let me know what you think of this post in general. Did you enjoy it? Was it too long?? I’m wondering if I should do empties posts more frequently throughout the year. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Xx Kristen


I Tried a Thing: Green Lipstick


I first heard of these color changing lipsticks from Lipstick Queen about a year ago.  I was definitely intrigued by them at the time, but I quickly forgot about them.  A few weeks ago I was shopping with my friend at Ulta, and I saw a trio of best sellers from Lipstick Queen that included the shades Frog Prince, Hello Sailor, and Medieval.

All of these lipsticks are originally $25 each,  or you can get the trio for $48.  During the 21 Days of Beauty the shade Frog Prince is half off for $12.50 on April 4th.  That mean’s that it’s a great time to try out this product without breaking the bank, so I thought I would review the trio that I recently purchased.  

Frog Prince


As you can see this lipstick starts out dark green in the tube but it changes to a rosy shade on the lips.  This is what Disney, fairytale, magic dreams are made of!! The color changes based on the pH of your skin, so it will look different on everyone.  


It is a super moisturizing formula more like a lip balm than a lipstick.  I am disappointed by the color payoff.  It’s a very sheer formula, but I was able to build up the color by adding thin layers of the lipstick. The color turns to a rosebud pink on my lips and looks very natural “my lips but better.”

If you’re looking for a sheer moisturizing lipstick this might be the one for you.  It’s also a fun product to try and I would highly recommend getting it while it’s half off at Ulta.

Hello Sailor


Similar to the Frog Prince, Hello Sailor, starts out blue and changes to a sheer plum or berry tone, again depending on the pH of your lips.  I will say this formula is even more sheer than the other. It turns to a cool toned pink on my lips, again more like a tint than a lipstick and still super moisturizing.  



This was my least favorite of the three shades. I just don’t think it’s very flattering on my skin tone. I think a deeper berry or plum shade would look better but the cool toned pink just doesn’t work with my skin tone.  



I tried this one last because it wasn’t one of the color changing ones so it seemed like it would be kinda meh.  


Boy was I wrong, it is by far my favorite shade. It sorta makes your lips look like you’ve been sucking a cherry Popsicle.  And I LOVE it. I think it’s a beautiful shade for everyday wear and it’s still extremely moisturizing like the others. This is definitely my favorite of the three.  

Overall these lipsticks do seem a little gimmicky to me, but they are fun to try out.  The formula is more like a tinted lip balm than a traditional lipstick. It’s very very sheer, but also moisturizing.  They do seem a bit overpriced and I don’t think that I would repurchase them. If you’re still interested in trying them I highly recommend buying them on sale.  


Can you tell which shade I’m wearing here?

Have you tried these or any other color changing lip products?  I’d love to hear your experience with them or see how the color differs on your skin.  Are you thinking of trying out Frog Prince when its on sale or will you pass?

What other products are you eyeing in the 21 Days of Beauty Sale?  I’m going to stock up on the Stila eyeliner and the Urban Decay eyeshadow primer while their on sale.  

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.  Thanks for reading my review!!  Don’t forget to hit subscribe so you never miss a post.  Until next week!

Winter Favorites

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Who else is so ready for winter to be over??  I’m so sick of the snow and the frozen tundra that is the northeast this time of year.  Your girl has turned into a hibernating sloth in a blanket burrito. 

So naturally I’ve been hyper focused on hydrating products in my skincare routine to combat my disgustingly dry skin, healthy eating, and staying cozy.  These are the products that I’ve been loving lately and I will be continuing to use throughout the spring months.

Skin Care

CeraVe Night Renewing Cream

Ever since its started getting colder my skin has been craving moisture.  I ran out of the Garnier Skin Active Moisture Rescue that I posted about in my Summer Favorites.  I picked up the CeraVe Night Renewing Cream when I was perusing the drug store for a new night cream.  


I’d heard some good things about CeraVe but I’d never tried it before. I’m so happy that I snagged this up because it’s super hydrating without making me greasy or causing acne.  It does contain niacinamides, which I know can break some people out, luckily I’m not one of those people, and this works super well for me.

Cosrx  Acne Pimple Master Patch

Growing up I had super dry skin due to my hypothyroidism so I never dealt with acne until I was diagnosed and started medication.  Then all of a sudden BAM! Zits were popping up all over the place. I also developed this pesky habit of picking at my face. 


But since I discovered these Cosrx pimple patches I just apply these on when I get home from work and it stops me from picking.  It also helps draw out moisture and pus that’s clogging your pores.  I find it oddly satisfying to see all of the gunk that comes out of my face.  I know, I know it’s gross.  But it works!!! 

Pixi Glow Tonic

I’ve seen rave reviews all about Pixi Glow Tonic toner all over Instagram and Youtube.  For a long time I wasn’t sure if it was worth the hype, especially since it’s so much more expensive than my witch hazel.  I picked up a travel size bottle of this when I was at Target on a whim and was shocked at the difference this made in my skin.  As the name suggests it makes my skin so beautiful and glowy.

This baby sized one is perfect for traveling.

It has glycolic acid in it which chemically exfoliates your skin.  It was a little weird to get used to not physically exfoliating anymore with a scrub.  But seriously this makes my skin so radiant and glowy. I ran out of this about a month ago and I’m trying to finish my other toner before I repurchase.  The struggle has been so real without it.

Epoch Sole Solution 

Real talk: my feet are absolutely disgusting especially in the winter.  My heels get so dry and flaky and gross. To help combat my dry skin I started using the Epoch Sole Solution foot cream and this has saved my feet!! I’ll even slather this on my hands or elbows when they become scaly and it dries into my skin really quickly.  Plus it’s not greasy and just leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized.


Make Up

Trestique Matte Color and Shiny Balm Lip Crayon in Florence Fig

THIS LIPSTICK IS WHAT DREAMS ARE MADE OF! Seriously though.  I’m so in love with the Trestique Matte Color and Shiny Balm Lip Crayon that I originally received in a Fab Fit Fun box!! 


This duo has a matte lip crayon on one end and a lip balm on the other.  The formula of the matte side is better than nectar from the gods. It’s matte but doesn’t do that weird flaky, drying, butt hole mouth thing.  Plus if you need a lil extra moisture or want a more of a traditional lipstick feel you can layer this magical lip balm on top.

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Also can we just talk about this shade for a moment?  Is it not the most perfect everyday shade? UGH I cannot say enough good things about this.

Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara

I’m a sucker for a good free gift with purchase so when Ulta had a deal a few months ago to get a 64 piece set of freebies I made sure to snag that right up.  A full size of the Maybelline Lash Sensational Mascara came in that bag. I first I didn’t think I would like it because the wand is the plasticy kind, which I typically HATE. And it has this weird curve that I’m not used to at all.  


But I was out of my Curl and Lash mascara so I reluctantly tried it. Boy was I pleasantly surprised. This stuff is amazing!!! It gives me so much volume and lasts all day. Normally when I get home from work my mascara has flaked off and is basically nonexistent.  But this not only lasts all day but I can also easily wash it off with my Neutrogena Cleansing Oil. What’s not to love?

Please ignore my eyebrows, I desperately need to find a place to get them done in NY.  But Look at these lashes!


Book of the Month

This winter I’ve been living my best life cozy under one million and one blankets.  Naturally I’ve also gravitated towards activities that can be done under said blankets, napping, watching the Bachelor (don’t judge me!) and reading.  For Christmas John spoiled me with a year long subscription to Book of the Month.

These are the books I’ve gotten so far.  I absolutely loved Little Fires Everywhere and Red Clocks.  Can’t wait to read An American Marriage next!

If you haven’t heard of it BotM is a monthly subscription service that sends you a new hardcover book each month for about $15.  Where else can you get a new hardcover book for that price? Each month they curate a list of 5 books you can choose from. And these aren’t crappy bottom of the barrel books. Often times its new releases from bestselling and award winning authors.  It’s a great way for me to try books I wouldn’t normally read. The only struggle with this is finding enough space for all these books.

Lemme know if you’re interested in signing up.  I can send you an email with a coupon code to get your first book free.  And who doesn’t love free things?

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

If you haven’t seen this movie yet what are you even doing with your life?  IT WAS SO GOOD!! I might be biased because I love musicals and Zac Efron but still.  Now if you know me well you know I don’t really listen to music. It probably means that I’m a psychopath or something but I just like listening to podcasts better (side note: I’m thinking of writing a post about my favorite podcasts tell me in the comments if you’d be interested in that sort of thing.)

Ever since I watched the Greatest Showman I have been listening to this soundtrack on repeat.  I’m even listening to it as a type rn. Trust me, you need this in your life.

Tessemae’s Ranch Dressing

Dairy free ranch that actually tastes good and doesn’t hurt my tummy.  Say whaaaat?! I discovered this gem while I was on the Whole 30 in January and it is a total game changer.  Perfect for dipping veggies and chicken nuggets, or bathing in. Whatever you’re into. I’ve found it at Wal-Mart and Whole Foods, but you can also get it here



French Vanilla Nutpods

I used to just drink my coffee black.  I know I’m crazy, but I just love the flavor of coffee.  But another W30 approved product I tested out is French Vanilla Nutpods and it is so good in my morning cup of joe.  I’m still drinking my cold brew black, so I’m still a little bit of a badass.



That’s it for my favorites this season.  What products have been your must haves this season?  I always love having new things to test out. If you try any of these products I’d love to hear your thoughts on them.  

Thank you so much for reading my post lovelies!!  There will be new posts up every weekend. I’m really trying to step up my game consistency wise.  Hit subscribe so you never miss a post. Catch you next week!!