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Fall Skincare Routine

October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween, friends!  As I mentioned in my last post, I recently moved to Denver.  The weather here has been absolutely fabulous, however compared to Minneapolis Denver is SO DRY.  It has definitely taken a toll on my skin, and combined with the fall temps I have definitely had to adjust my skincare routine.  One of the best ways to keep your skin in its optimal state is by adjusting your routine based on the weather, time of year, etc.

A little about my skin – I have combination skin that can get extremely dry on my cheeks, but my T-zone can get oily throughout the day.  My skin is prone to hormonal breakouts, so I need products that will help prevent acne but won’t dry out my skin.  I’m also extremely conscious about sun damage, aging and proactively preventing skin issues that may arise down the road.  They say your 20s and 30s are when the damage to your skin is actually happening that you see in your 40s and 50s, and I really take a lot of pride in caring for my skin.  I mean, if I’m spending on money on makeup products why wouldn’t I take care of the skin itself?!  Below I’ve broken down some of my essential products for this time of year.

  • Clarisonic Mia 2 – I’ve had a Clarisonic since high school, and really find it to be so helpful when my skin starts acting up.  The Clarisonic is the #1 dermatologist recommended skin cleansing device, so you know it’s doing something right!  It cleanses the skin 6x better than hands alone, but is still gentle enough for me to use it daily.  I use mine with a gentle cleanser, which helps my skin feel clean, balanced and smooth.  I actually snagged a 15% off coupon for The Curly Diaries readers – just use the code HERCAMPUS at checkout through November 20th!  It’s the perfect treat for yourself, or gift for the holidays!
  • Pixi Glow Tonic – Although I’ve mentioned the Glow Tonic a few times before, it really is one of my favorite products for my skin!  I’ve realized that my skin really reacts well to glycolic acid, and it helps slough away dead skin cells from the dry climate.  It also contains aloe vera and ginseng, which helps tone, firm and tighten the skin.
  • L’Oreal Detox & Brighten Clay Mask – If you are prone to breakouts from stress or hormones, I honestly cannot say enough good things about this mask!  Not only does it contain charcoal to help detoxify and illuminate your skin, but the price honestly cannot be beat!  When I feel a breakout coming on I use this before bed, and I can truly say that it helps clear up my skin overnight without overly drying it out.
  • Collagen Eye Pads – For those days that you’re feeling tired, puffy or just need a little pick-me-up, these collagen eye pads are amazing!  They contain plant collagen, hyaluronic acid, grapeseed and rose extracts which help regenerate skin cells, while also reducing the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and puffy eyes.  I like to keep these in the fridge, and use them first thing in the morning to really help wake up my skin.
  • Boots Organic Facial Oil – As someone who gets oily throughout the day, using a facial oil seemed pretty terrifying.  After trying this one from Boots {which you can buy at Target} I am a total convert!  Turns out using an oil actually helps your skin stay balanced, and with the dry Denver climate it is so critical to keep your skin hydrated.  I love that this one locks in moisture for 8 hours, and helps my skin stay comfortable in the dry air and chilly weather.

What are your fall skincare must-haves?  Be sure to let me know in the comments below!

This post is sponsored by Clarisonic and Her Campus Media.  As always, all opinions are my own.  Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Curly Diaries possible!


Curly Hair Recipe

August 15, 2016

Thanks to Cantu for sponsoring this post. 



I get questions all the time from readers about my curly hair.  Whether it’s the color, cut, style or products used, curly girls often seek out advice because curly hair is so unique!  I remember being younger and trying out the products that my straight-haired friends were using.  Almost none of them worked for my hair, and I would become so frustrated {not to mention tired of wasting money on stuff that didn’t work}.  It took me a while, but I eventually realized that I need specialized products that are made for curly hair.  An even bigger discovery?  Almost no two curl patterns are alike, so it’s essential to mix up your own “curl cocktail” for your hair!  That’s why I love Cantu products – they are perfect for mixing and matching, to create the perfect recipe for each unique curl type!

First, I start with the Complete Conditioning Co-Wash to cleanse my hair.  I am a huge fan of co-washes, because they are still hydrating and don’t strip your hair of moisture {like many other shampoos}.  After I’m out of the shower, I use the Coil Calm Detangler, which softens my hair and gets out any tangles.  I also always apply the Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream, which helps reduce breakage, frizz and flyaways!

Now comes the fun part – your curl cocktail!  Everyone’s will be slightly different, but, essentially, I mix together products to create something that is perfect for my hair type!  For me, it’s a 50/50 mix of the Coconut Curling Cream and the Twist & Lock Gel.  The curling cream defines my curls and moisturizes, while the gel controls frizz and holds the style.  You can also layer these products for a different result, and it still looks so fabulous and makes your hair feel amazing!






My Curl. My Cantu. Share your look by tagging #mycantu for a chance to be featured on Visit for additional tips, tricks, and tutorial videos.



Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2016

July 22, 2016

It’s my very favorite sale of the whole year – the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!  I’m sure you’ve been hearing about it all over social media, but today is the first day the sale is public!  Up until today it’s been “Early Access” only, so if you didn’t have a Nordstrom credit or debit card you weren’t able to take advantage.  Lucky for you I’ve been scouring the sale for the past two weeks, and even made a trip in to Nordstrom to check out fit, quality and sizing in person {if you know me, I rarely online shop so this is a BIG deal}.

Most major sales take the items that didn’t sell well or are going out of season, but the #NSale features brand new merchandise from the best brands on major discount!  I’ve been saving my pretty pennies for the past few months {I even have a separate “Clothing & Beauty” savings account, thanks to my gal pal Tess’ tips on multiple savings accounts}, so I was able to snag up a ton of amazing fashion and beauty items for fall.  The best part about shopping with Nordstrom is the amazing customer service – they offer free shipping on every order and their return policy is in a league of it’s own!  I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite items from the sale, including a few that I already purchased myself.  Seriously guys, there is some fabulous stuff on major sale!



Nixon Watch | Patagonia Zip-Up | NARS Perfect Cheek Palette | Lace Up Flats | Tory Burch Crossbody | Cowl Neck Sweater | bp. Plaid Scarf | Hudson Distressed Jeans | BeautyBlender Set | Steve Madden Booties | Kendra Scott Earrings | Deborah Lippman Nail Polish Set


I’ve never been willing to splurge on a Patagonia jacket, because they are just so darn spendy!  When I saw this one on sale, I knew it would be perfect to snatch up for the winter months.  Plus, who doesn’t love a quarter zip?!  Cowl neck sweaters are a fall necessity, and the fit on this one looks absolutely fabulous {plus it’s under $30}.  I also am totally drooling over these Hudson jeans – the distressing is so perfect!  When I first started browsing through the sale, these lace up flats were the first think I knew I needed to have.  How adorable?!  I can already tell I’m going to be living in these this fall!  And how cute are these booties?  I love the cut out detail – it seriously makes your legs look ten times longer!


Okay, I’m a total watch lover and I’ve been eying this Nixon beauty the entire sale.  That rose gold detail?  Obsessed!  You can absolutely never go wrong with some Tory Burch, and it rarely goes on sale.  Now is the perfect time to snatch up this wine colored crossbody {or any of the other fabulous Tory goodies}.  I’m also a huge Kendra Scott fan, and these earrings are the perfect fall colors.  I love the unique stone, and the different metal options are perfect.  Lastly, nothing screams fall like a plaid scarf.  I love that this one is huge and oversized, plus it’s under $20 which is a major steal!


Everyone knows I’m a beauty junkie, and I can’t tell you how many of these beauty items are sitting in my cart waiting for me to pull the trigger!  If there’s one thing you absolutely need to buy, it’s this BeautyBlender set.  I swear by my BeautyBlender, and in this set you get two of them PLUS the blender cleanser!  I’ve also totally been drooling over this NARS Perfect Cheek palette.  Not only do you get some of the most iconic blush shades in the beauty world, but you get their amazing Laguna bronzer and highlighter in one palette!  There are a few great nail polish sets included in the sale, but I’m loving the beautiful shades featured in the Deborah Lippman set.  It’s so stunning for fall and winter!

I’ve included a few other items I’m loving from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale in the widget below, so be sure to shop your little hearts out!  Let me know if you’d like to see any of these pieces styled, or if any other items are catching your eye.  Happy shopping!

5 Secrets Makeup Artists Don’t Tell You

June 23, 2016



I get tons of questions from friends, readers of my blog and even acquaintances about tips for makeup application.  Makeup is such a personal thing, and there are so many different ways to apply and wear makeup for your own liking.  Between my previous makeup application training and consistent product research, I have picked up a bunch of tips to achieve a flawless makeup look.  Since I totally love all things beauty and makeup, I’m always more than happy to share my recommendations and advice with those who ask.  Surprisingly, there are a few tricks that make a huge difference that I’m always shocked by how few people know about!  In today’s blog post, I’m sharing my top 5 secrets that makeup artists don’t tell you but will TOTALLY change your makeup game.

  1. Do your eye makeup first This one is such an easy change, and I’m always SO surprised by how many people have never heard this advice.  Think about it – if you do your foundation first, spend time getting it looking flawless and then do your eyes you can totally ruin it by fall out from your eye shadow, a messed up eyeliner wing or a number of other possible problems.  By switching the order and doing your eye makeup first, you can simply wipe away any fall out or unclean lines with a tissue and then move on to your foundation.  In my opinion, it helps make both your eye and face makeup look more clean and professionally done.
  2. Prime, prime, prime! – Most of the questions I get when it comes to makeup center around how to get a smooth, even looking makeup look.  No one wants patchy looking foundation or eye shadow that creases throughout the day!  I always recommend a primer, especially an eye primer and face primer.  Not only does it help your makeup apply smoothly and evenly, but it helps your makeup last all day long {even in the heat}!
  3. It’s not you, it’s your brushes – So often people tell me they “don’t know how to do their makeup,” and then when I ask them what brushes they use they look at me with a confused look.  If you are using those brushes you use in a cheap kit {or even worse those little sponge, or no brushes at all} you are seriously doing yourself a disservice!  You don’t need 50 different brushes do do your makeup, but you do need at least a few high quality brushes each with an intended use.  I would recommend at least two eye shadow brushes, a powder brush, a bronzer blush and a blush brush.  Even easier?  Pick up a brush set so you have all the basics you’ll need for a flawless face!  You may think you can get away without, but I promise you your makeup will thank you when you invest in a few quality brushes!
  4. Spend a bit more on what’s important to you – This one may seem a bit obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people skimp in areas that they complain about.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about finding great products at the drugstore but also like to spend a little more when it makes sense.  Think about your makeup look, and pick 2-3 things that you care most about.  For me lately, I want flawless skin, glossy lips and bold eyelashes.  Since those areas are my priority, I tend to spend a bit more on a glowy CC cream, my favorite lipgloss and a great mascara.  That means I usually go a little cheaper on my blush or lipstick.  Everyone’s focus areas will be different, so choose what’s important for you and don’t be scared to spend a little bit more to get a high quality product!
  5. It’s an art, not a science – The thing with makeup is that it’s SO subjective – what one person loves another might hate!  I could tell you a million tips or tricks, but there really are no rules.  If anyone tries to tell you there’s a right and a wrong way to do makeup, they are taking themselves a bit too seriously.  With makeup, feel free to experiment, try things out, make mistakes and try again.  It’s only makeup and at the end of the day you just wash it off, so make it fun and unique to you!

What are your favorite makeup tips?  Let me know in the comments below!


Images via MoneyCanBuyLipstick