Travel Guide: Carry On Essentials

Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time to start traveling for Spring Break. There are so many things you may feel you need to go on your new adventure, but there are just some items you can’t leave home without. It’s a given for what to pack in your main suitcase, but what should you bring with you in your carry on?

When I’m traveling, there are a few essentials I must bring no matter what. I want to share those items with you today, so maybe you’ll get some ideas on what you can bring.

Airpods

Wireless headphones are a godsend. They are so easy to store and use that it makes listening to music, videos, and audiobooks more convenient than ever. My favorite is Apple Airpods. They come in a white case that also acts as a charging dock and two earbuds.

I take them with me everywhere even when I’m not traveling. These would be good to have on the plane or even with you in the hotel’s gym. I love the fact that there aren’t any wires to get tangled up in so it is hassle-free to take them out of the case and into your ears every time. The charge lasts a long time too, so I do not constantly have to plug them into a wall.

Portable Charger

A portable charger is a must! We all like to be connected to the internet and social media regularly. The thing is, is that if you don’t have your smartphone, laptop or tablet charged there is no way to use them and capture epic moments on your trip.

It’s easy for your battery to get drained as you take videos and snapshots of what’s going on around you. Let’s not forget using the GPS to get around town so you’ll want to have something small and powered with electricity to get you through the day and resuscitate your devices.

Laptop

Having my MacBook Pro is a necessity for me majority of the time, and when traveling, it’s no different. I’m not going to rant and rave about how great MacBook Pros are today, but I will stick to why I have to have it with me practically at all times. Don’t get me wrong it was a great purchase, but even if you don’t have a MacBook, it is crucial to have some sort of laptop on deck.

I love having a laptop because it is great to get business done on a larger screen while I’m away from home. It stores more and usually has certain capabilities that your smartphone can’t always provide. I don’t know about you, but I get tired of trying to navigate through apps that only allow you certain abilities because it is a mobile version.

If you’re a writer like me, then you know how much of a struggle it is to write on a tiny screen, and all you can use is your thumbs. It’s doable, but not convenient. I enjoy the space and ease it gives me to come up with content and communicate with clients no matter where I am.

It is also a great way to kill time while waiting on your flight. You can surf the web, look at videos, edit photos you name it! Most airports and hotels have free wifi so getting use out of your laptop shouldn’t be a problem while on your trip.

Makeup Travel Bag

If you like to get glammed or wear makeup regularly then packing a makeup bag with brushes and products you love is a must. I like to keep things simple and pack the following:

  • Foundation
  • Contour kit
  • Eyeshadow Palette
  • Liquid Eyeliner
  • Powder
  • Brushes
  • Setting Spray
  • Highlighter
  • Primers
  • Mascara
  • Eyebrow Pencil

It sounds like a lot, but I keep everything compact by getting mini versions in things like mascara and setting spray, palettes, and kits. Having a palette or kit helps you fit multiple shades and product in one item. That will make it easier to carry around and give you various looks. My favorite eyeshadow palettes to bring with me are the Huda Beauty Obsessions and the Morphe Palettes. There’s nothing wrong with looking as good as you feel on your vacation.

Kindle

I probably should have just labeled this E-book, but I have more experience with Kindles. I’ve had the Kindle Paperwhite for about five years now and have loved every second of it.

This is great for avid book readers who have a variety of books they want to read while on the go but don’t want to lug a ton of books around to do it. I mean some books are as thick as an encyclopedia. Who wants to carry that around if you don’t have to?

I love how I can purchase or read any book with only a click of a button. It is compact enough to fit in a purse or backpack and big enough to see the text with ease. All you have to do is charge it with your portable charger, and you’ll be good to go.

Neck Pillow

The neck pillow is definitely a travel essential. It will make sleeping on the plane much more comfortable. You can find them at a Target or Bed Bath and Beyond near you to give you an idea of where to look.

Neck pillows can help you avoid straining your neck because of sleeping while sitting up and being in one spot for possibly hours. The same thing applies to those who choose to drive to their destination. The support and comfort are a win-win for all.

Essential Oils

Essential oils may have not been on your mind when you thought about packing, but let me tell you why they should be.

When you’re on your trip of a lifetime, you don’t want to worry about getting sick. Essential oils are great for boosting the immune system and fighting off infections.

It also supports digestion that way if your stomach is upset or if you’re having indigestion you can get relief naturally.

Not to mention vacations can be draining and make you super tired. If you have the right essential oil on hand, then you can get a quick energy boost without caffeine.

Travel Size Toiletries

Please, please, please don’t forget to pack travel size toiletries. You don’t want to get stuck using the hotel’s cheap shampoos and conditioners that dry your hair out.

It’s so easy to go to a store like Target and get empty travel bottles. Not only will you not have to worry about if the liquid matches the airport’s regulations, but you will also be able to keep up your skin and hair routine without any problems.

So there you have it my travel essentials for 2019. These items are what get me through any trip and some I use regularly. Either way, they’ll be a great addition to your carry on while you travel for Spring Break or any other vacay.

 

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Top 5 Makeup Staples

Makeup is another passion of mine besides being active and writing. I have a makeup collection that is organized similar to a beauty blogger and am a Rouge member at Sephora. So today I want to put on my beauty blogger hat and share my top 5 makeup staples.

Foundation

I have a variety of foundations to fit my mood for any occasion or day. Finding the perfect foundation is rough and takes a lot of trial and error. Some of my favorite foundations are:

  • Nars Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Macao
  • Bobbi Brown Skin Foundation SPF 15 in Warm Almond
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’ R in 420 (soft matte)
  • Bobbi Brown BB Cream SPF 35 in Dark

These are my go tos because they give me great coverage and last all day regardless of if I wear a primer or not.

Contour Kit

I absolutely love to contour. I have a couple contour sticks that I love, but none of them beat my Smashbox Contour Palette in Medium/Dark. I can’t get enough of this palette especially the terracotta bronzer. It is the perfect shade for dark skin and it even comes with step-by-step instructions for those just starting out. I use this kit every time I put on makeup even if I tell myself I’m not going to go all out I somehow gravitate toward the bronzer every time.

Highlighter

Having a glow is my signature look. I wouldn’t be me without a shimmer on my cheeks. I try to tone it down, but I can’t go without the shine. Some of my favorite brands to get my highlighters from are:

  • Kylie Cosmetics
  • Huda Beauty
  • Becca
  • Anastasia Beverly Hills

Lipstick

I am so a lipstick kind of girl. If I don’t have anything else on, but want a little makeup on then lipstick is my go to. I love a matte lip and am obsessed with the Kylie Cosmetic Lip Kits for that matte look. I use numerous kinds and finishes of lipsticks, but matte and Kylie Cosmetics are my favorites. The next would have to be Kat Von D.

Mascara

Four Words…Better Than Sex Mascara. As risque as the name is, the Better Than Sex Mascara by Too Faced Cosmetics is my absolute favorite mascara of all time. I also like the Maybelline Great Lash for a more natural look and the L’oreal Voluminous Million Lashes for that false lash effect at a reasonable price. But back to the Better Than Sex. It gives me that long false lash look that I like without overdoing it. It lasts for a long time so you’re getting your monies worth and throughout the day so your look looks as fresh as it did before you left. Mascara is a must for any makeup look to bring out your eyes and finish the look.

I could go all day about all my makeup favorites and collection, but these are the top five that I must have with me anytime I want to make up my face. I enjoy playing around in makeup and trying new looks, but it’s also nice to have a go-to look when you don’t want to really think about your look in too much depth. I hope you guys check out some of the brands I mentioned and get why I love them so much. Tell me about your favorite makeup brands in the comments and your staples you can’t live without!

Apartment Tour 2019

Hey guys! It’s Paige back with another blog post to kick off 2019. This one is uniquely special because it is my first apartment tour! I recently took the plunge and moved out my parents’ house back in late December. Since I’ve pretty much gotten all of my furniture, I thought it would be a good idea to let you guys get a peek.

I got a majority of my furniture from Rooms to Go and a few things from Design Within Reach. Below I have labeled everything to indicate where things are from. I still need to get a TV stand and put some art up, but besides those things, I’m completely furnished.

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Home Goods Welcome Mat
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Rooms to Go – Coffee table and Rug; Home Goods – Accessories on top of the table
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Rooms to Go – Bedroom Set

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Patio Furniture – A gift from my mom
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Rooms to Go -Living room set

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Design Within Reach – Dining room set

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Moving to Addison was such a huge step for me and at times I second guess my decision, but overall I’m glad I did it. I can tell I’m going to learn a ton being on my own; in fact, I already am. I dreamed of the day I would be able to move into the complex I’m in for almost two years and God blessed me to where it is no longer a dream. I can’t describe how grateful I am to be in this position even if things aren’t necessarily perfect. I’m still thankful and know that God will see me through and keep me.

I hope you enjoyed my little apartment tour and stay tuned for the TV stand and art!

P.S. This post is not sponsored and everything was purchased with my own money

Buy or Bye: KKW x Kylie Round 2 Collection

You guys know makeup and coffee are my weakness and the keys to my material heart. Well, this Black Friday I couldn’t resist because Kylie Jenner came out with another lip collection! Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner have done it again by coming out with KKW x Kylie Round 2 Collection. After I saw the swatches I knew I had to pick one up for myself.

This lip collection comes with four beautiful shades with an amazing formula to match. They range from a dark hue to light and perfect for every skin tone! I was so impressed by the warm undertones these shades have so they didn’t come off ashy looking on my lips. Major key! Since these shades don’t come with a liner, I lined my lips with a universal liner from Sephora before putting them on, however, you can use whatever you want. But let’s look at them a little closer shall we?

Double Trouble

This is my favorite shade out of all of them. Double Trouble is a red chestnut bold matte lip that won’t disappoint. I loved the formula being creamy, and lightweight on the lips. I’ve never had a matte lipstick that didn’t make my lips feel dry, but now that is no more. It also is long lasting! I was able to eat and drink for hours before having to apply it again. I put it on around 7 AM and didn’t reapply it until about 5 PM that same day. It’s a great shade for women with darker skin tones like myself. Here’s how it looks on me:

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Soul Sister

Soul Sister is another goody. This brick red matte lip is perfect for that classic red lip but toned-down because it’s on the darker side. Again the formula is amazing! It lasted all day through eating and drinking from 5 AM to 4 PM. The color also complimented my skin tone, as well as the others. I absolutely love the matte lip look! This is what it looks like on:

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Twinning

Twinning is a rosy terracotta shade that is perfect for every day. I like how it is one of her velvet formulas, but still gives you the matte look that I love! It does transfer a little, but that doesn’t affect how the color lasts all day through eating and drinking. The formula is smooth and creamy. I like that it isn’t sticky and feels light on the lips while still being very pigmented. I like that it doesn’t look ashy on my dark skin too! That’s really hard to find with lighter nude like shades, but this one hits the nail on the head. This is how the shade looks on me:

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Side Note: I used her burgundy palette on my eyes!

Main Bae

Main Bae is a bronzed copper shade that goes on silky smooth and not gritty despite the flakes. Out of the four, this one transfers the most and you’ll have to reapply it often like you would with any gloss. That doesn’t deter it from being an awesome and wearable color. I really love the formula it is super moisturizing and the applicator is sturdy making it easy to apply. I can appreciate the thought that went into making this product. This is how it looks on yours truly:

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Buy or Bye: The Verdict

So now the question is, is this a buy or bye? I personally feel this is a huge buy! From the formula to the color selection is good enough for me. Kylie and Kim did an excellent job creating shades that are suitable for a variety of skin tones while making a lasting, and moisturizing formula to match.

These products are high quality and worth every penny. I enjoyed using these lip shades to compliment my various looks throughout the week and will definitely use them from now on. I’m satisfied with my purchase and am glad that I did take the plunge.

Get to Work! | Express Haul

As you know, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and passed. Well, I decided to get in on the hub lah and purchase a couple of items from Express. To me, Express always has the best formal and business professional attire and I personally needed more of that in my own wardrobe. I purchased four items to make a total of two outfits that I’m going to show you today.

The first outfit is a mustard yellow suit with an ivory blouse. It has to be my favorite out of the two because I love color and outfits that pop! You can purchase the items here:

The next item I got was a navy blue short dress that has a knot tie in the front. It’s very comfortable and flows effortlessly. It also has long sleeves for the colder months making it a perfect addition to any wardrobe. You can get your own here:

This post is not sponsored and all items were purchased by me! All thoughts are my own 🙂

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Fashion & Beauty | Look Book Fall 2018 + Sideways (Foodie Finds)

The adventures of Nicah and Paige continue. Today we went to the Harbor in Rockwall, TX. We decided to put together my first lookbook for the blog and it came out great! The look we were going for was business casual to casual. We ended the night with some delicious BBQ from Sideways. Enjoy!

Hair Credit: Natalie from Forney Salon Suites

Moments captured with Canon Rebel T7i

Makeup Tutorial | Huda Beauty

This was the look I wore yesterday so I thought I would share how I came up with this. The prices and details will be listed below.

Step 1:

On freshly cleansed, and moisturized skin apply your favorite primers to your eyes and face. My personal favorite for my face is the Nars Radiance Primer and for my eyes, it is the OG, Urban Decay Potion Primer.

 

Step 2:

I like to always start off with doing my eyes first. After I prime my eyes I try to pick a medium light shade for my lid, then go into the middle of my crease with a lighter shade and make sure it is blended all the way until my brow bone. I then go in with a darker shade into the crease and blend, blend, BLEND! Typically for the best results, you’ll want to use a tapered blending brush. At times I will go back and reapply any of the previous shades to my better judgment. After that, I follow up with my highlight shade in my tear ducts and blend again with a tapered blending brush. I find the best way to apply shades to the tear duct is with a pencil brush. Then to finish I put on a liquid liner and mascara. Now you’re done with the eyes!

Step 3:

If you haven’t applied your face primer definitely do it now then use whichever foundation you choose to apply. You’ll want to use circular motions for an even blend around your face and don’t be afraid to apply the excess product to the neck. Trust me, it helps! As far as the amount of coverage that is totally up to you. I typically like to use a full coverage foundation on the weekends, date nights, and other special occasions and a BB cream for an everyday look. Also if you’re just starting out with using foundation I recommend getting a medium to full coverage so that way you can build the foundation up to your liking without looking cakey. Once the foundation is applied it is recommended that you set your face with a powder. I prefer translucent, but I’ll be honest sometimes I skip this step. Shhh don’t tell!

*Side Note: This would also be the time to use any concealer again I skip this step often these days.

Step 4:

The next step is to contour, but again you can skip this if you’re using a BB cream. If you’re using a medium to full coverage foundation I highly recommend contouring to bring the warmth back into your face. Here I used my Smashbox step by step contour kit and followed up with the Huda beauty highlighter kit. I always do my contour shade and bronzer first then go in and apply my highlight to my cheekbones, bridge of my nose, brow bone and temples.

Step 5:

Just when I think I’m done I go ahead and put whichever lip gloss or lipstick I want, do my eyebrows and then set my face with a setting spray. That’s it!

*This post is not sponsored and all products shown were purchased with my own money 🙂

Nars Radiance Primer Broad Spectrum SPF 35 Sunscreen $36

Urban Decay Primer Potion Original (mini size) $13

Brushes used for face

Brushes used for eyes

Huda Beauty Warm Brown Obsessions Palette

$27

Lid = 2nd top color (middle)

Crease = 1st top color (Left)

Middle Crease = 1st  bottom color (left)

Highlight = 2nd row 3rd color (right)

Huda Beauty 3D Highlighter Palette in Bronze Sands Edition $45

NARS Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation in Macao $49

Laura Mercier Translucent Loose Setting Powder in Natural Finish $38

Smashbox Step by Step Contour Kit in Medium/Dark $35

Side view – Earrings are from Express

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Satin Black $20 (this is a sample size the price given is for the full size)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz in Ebony $21

Maybelline Great Lash Blast Mascara $6

Fenty Beauty Glass Bomb Universal Lip Gloss in Rose Nude $18

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Kate Somerville UncompliKated SPF 50 Soft Focus Makeup Setting Spray $38

Photo Credit: @foodforthoughtbypaigeredwine