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9 Beauty Products I Can’t Live Without & 4 I’m Dying to Try

Not that I was ever all that great at consistently updating my blog, but since becoming a parent, I’m really struggling to find that balance of working full-time, parenting full-time and blogging – oh and resting sometime in between! Not to mention, poor Beckett has had a cold that’s been lingering like a bad habit and has now developed into the saddest little ‘help me momma’ cough. ANNNNDD when she doesn’t feel well, the only thing that cheers her up are snuggles which has ultimately led to Joe and I both being sick as well. The Venti household could use a break right now…or a vacation. I’d take either.Nevertheless, with all the sickness my skin has been looking a little ‘meh’ lately, which has me in a frenzy about my skincare and beauty routines right now. I’ve been scouring websites and blogs looking for new and old cult favorites to see if there are any products I can add to my routine that I might love. That said, I realized I haven’t really shared any of my favorites with you all – so without further ado:

I use this on my lips constantly…I’ve always had very dry lips that no amount of hydration and water consumption resolves. I’ve tried every chapstick under the sun and the only thing that ever hydrates my lips is Aquaphor. But not just any Aquaphor…the giant tub of it. Don’t ask me why, but it’s different than the lip repair and it works better!

Joe (and Beckett) got me this for Mother’s Day this year..had I not had my eye on it for so long, I might have taken offense to my husband buying me a device to get rid of wrinkles, but truthfully, this is the bees knees. I use it a couple times of week, and I can tell such a big difference in my skin since May. It’s a little pricey, but worth every penny!

I’ve been using this mascara religiously since I was probably 19 or 20. I’ve tried a ton of different mascaras and I always resort back to old faithful. I love the bigger wand because it really gets in there and covers all my lashes. I have naturally blonde (meaning nonexistent) lashes, so without mascara I look like a 12 year old. I love this stuff! I’ve also recently been using this mascara and I’ve become quite fond of layering it with Buxom Lashes!

I was introduced to this brand when my sister in law had her first son. She swore by the soap and lotion for him and started using it herself. Then my mother in law started using it and then I got pregnant, so I started using it. Yes, it’s baby lotion – but it so soothing and smells so clean and I can’t get enough!

This was an investment piece for me…growing up, I always used drugstore hair dryers way beyond their expiration date and my hair really suffered because of it. I have naturally medium-thick hair that is usually very long (I cut it all off after my wedding!) and can be a real pain to dry. After my last Conair hair dryer croaked, I caved and treated myself to DryBar’s Buttercup Hair Dryer. Not only has it sped up my drying time (which is clutch because I frankly don’t have 25 minutes to stand in front of a mirror drying my hair anymore), but my hair is so much healthier and manageable.

I think I went out and bought this concealer after reading an article that Kim Kardashian used it – afterall her makeup looks nice, right? Whatever the reason, I love this concealer. It hides the dark ‘I’m a mom’ circles under my eyes, and can be used as a highlighter to sort of contour my face. It doesn’t crease, and the color Custard is universally flattering!

I wouldn’t call this my signature scent (that spot will always be reserved for Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle), but I bought this last year and it is hands down one of my favorite perfumes to date. I’m not quite sure how to describe the scent, but it makes me feel powerful and classy when I wear it and I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want that little extra boost of female BOSS!
I was originally introduced to this brand via a sample at Sephora a few years ago. I was struggling with some acne after moving to Chicago and my skin just couldn’t adjust. I used the sample twice and already my skin was that of an angel. I immediately went out and bought the full-size and have been using it ever since! I’ll admit, I find washing it off to just been a pain, but your skin will thank you!
With blonde lashes comes blonde eyebrows, which truly stinks in a world of full on fleek brows! It also stinks when it comes time to look for a pencil or powder to fill them in. I’ve experimented with a lot of different products in the arena, and was never truly SOLD on any until I came across the Anastasia Beverly Hills Eyebrow Pencil. It’s convenient, looks natural and it lasts forever.

ANNNDD, here are 4 products that I’m considering trying, so feel free to comment below if you use(d) any of these, why you love it, why you don’t, etc.

I’ve been on the hunt for a new face wash for a few months now. I’m currently using this and while I love it, I really dislike the packaging. If it came with a pump, this would be a whole different discussion, but I can be quite a picky individual and despite checking most the boxes, it’s just not a perfect 10 for me. I’ve read so many great things on the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser, but I’ve been hesitant to try it because I’m leery of falling in love with something that I can only get at Sephora.

In a world of Kylie Jenner lips, everyone is on the quest for the perfect pout – myself included. I kept seeing this pop up in Instagram posts so I did a little digging and I must say – I’m intrigued. It has pretty good reviews, but it’s a little pricey and I’m not quite convinced it’s worth the investment. If you’ve tried this product, please leave a comment below and let me know how it is!
Now that I’m a mother and I’m running on borrowed time, I’ve found myself wanting to simplify my makeup routine. I’ve always been a liquid foundation wearer, and I have no complaints. I love the look and feel of liquid makeup and am simply looking to see if this powder can achieve a similar look in a fraction of the time.

I can’t say I know anything about this product, but I can tell you that it is EVERYWHERE right now and has phenomenal reviews. This may be the first of these 4 products to get purchased 🙂

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Wedding Wear

I’m so excited because next week Joe, Beckett and I get to go on a little vacation! It’s not a ‘true’ vacation, but we are headed to Buffalo, NY for a wedding and not only are we really excited for the nuptials, but it’s a place we’ve never been before and we are looking forward to exploring and maybe seeing Niagara Falls while we are there. I love visiting new places and just exploring. I’m definitely not one of those people that has an itinerary when I travel. I like the idea of simply walking around and discovering all the unique treasures each city has to offer. That said, if any of you have been to Buffalo – let me know those ‘must-see’ places!

Back to weddings, I found this dress forever ago and it’s just been patiently hanging in my closet, waiting for the perfect occasion. This past Sunday, I decided to pull off the tag and wear it to mass, but I’m still contemplating wearing it to the wedding next week too! I personally love the embellishments and the simple, blush shade, but I’ve also been eyeing quite a few fun dresses on runways and websites (see some of them below) that would also be perfect for this wedding or any Fall/Winter weddings you’ll be attending.

Aghhhhh, decisions, decisions! Help!

Outfit Details
Dress; Cynthia Steffe (old)
Shoes; Christian Louboutin
Handbag; Tory Burch (old) – similar here
Earrings; J Crew (old) – similar here
Lips; Kat Von D (Lolitta) & Milani (Matte Orchid)
Watch; Michele

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month: An Update on My Mom

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my mom in my posts. Matter of fact, I really only wrote one post about her being diagnosed with Stage 3 Breast Cancer (you can read that post here) and with Breast Cancer Awareness Month upon us, I figured now was as good a time as any to update you all on how she is doing.

Having been diagnosed in December, it’s been a long year. For me yes, but for her I’m sure it’s been an eternity. My momma completed chemotherapy, followed by a mastectomy and just completed her final radiation treatment last week (perfect timing, eh?!). During all of this, she’s been extremely sick, with little to no appetite, and battled every day with very low white blood cell counts, which ultimately left her hospitalized a couple of times. During this long road, she lost her hair, she lost weight, she lost the chance to see her granddaughter born, she lost her breast (among various other things), but in the end – she won the war!

After her mastectomy in July, the doctor was pleased that the pathology report came back from her surgery with no cancerous tissue! As a precaution, the doctor advised that my mom complete radiation treatment – and as any scared cancer survivor would do – she did as her doctor told her to do!

She finished her last radiation treatment last week, just in time to raise awareness about a cause that will remain near and dear to our hearts forever!

And while I’m ecstatic for my mom and so proud of her for how much she endured, there are women everywhere that are not as fortunate. And with this, I will passionately advocate for awareness and encourage support to national and local programs that fund research for a cure, and that help with any and all aspects of this disease.

So that leaves us with how YOU can get involved?

First of all, you can stop reading this post and go check your breast for any abnormalities. If you’re not sure how, you can follow the steps provided here. After you’re done with this, come back and finish reading the post.

No seriously – stop reading and go check! Do it yourself, have a spouse or friend check or schedule an appointment with your doctor – but make sure you check!

Now that you’ve completed your self-examination, it’s time to get involved.

There are plenty of ways to get involved – volunteer at your local charities, walk for a cure or part ways with some of your paycheck and donate it. But I understand that there is no ‘one size fits all’ way to do good in this world. So this October, I’ll also be purchasing items that I know will give back to the greater good..and these are products I’ll most likely need anyway (most likely being the operative word – because do I really need more beauty products, or candles or jewelry lol).

If October finds you with an abundance of cash and you decide you can part with a dollar or two – I know daughters, mothers, cousins, friends, sisters, brothers, fathers, children, pets, etc. will be eternally grateful.

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Summer Stripes

I cannot believe that summer is coming to an end. Pretty sure I blinked and it was over. Now if only Winter could be as generous…Anyway, this morning I got up at the butt-crack of dawn (seriously, I have to get up at 5:30am – why?!!!!) and I looked at the weather. Checking the weather is literally the first thing I do every morning and today it said ‘currently 53 degrees outside’.

53 degrees?! FIFTY THREE DEGREES?!!? What the what?!

I have to mentally prepare for this kind of weather. I cannot have something like this just sprung on me! Like I need full on pep talks to myself and adding extra ‘insulation’ lbs. so I don’t die of frostbite. Thankfully I haven’t lost all that baby weight so I’ve got that going for me this Winter, but I cannot emphasize enough how much I am not ready for Winter.

So with that said, I’ll be living out the remaining days of summer in this dress. Like literally, I’ll be wearing it every single day. Nothing screams ‘denial Winter is coming’ more than this colorful little number, right?!

It’s cheerful, it’s happy and it’s everything summer should be! Plus, it’s only $19! It sold out really quickly last time it was on the site (I waited over a month for this to arrive on my doorstep!) so just a heads up in case you need it in your closet as much as I did when I first saw it 🙂

Happy Monday!

Outfit Details
Dress; SheIn
Shoes; Steve Madden (old) – similar here and here
Earrings; BaubleBar
Watch; Michele

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Birthday Brights

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

 

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger
fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

 

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

 

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

 

fall fashion express vest chicago blogger

Y’all, yesterday was Joe’s birthday..say it with me: Happy Birthday Joe!!!

I’ll make today’s post short and sweet – there’s still celebrations to be had (time got away from me yesterday – don’t judge!) and cake with my name on it. Okay, the cake literally has Joe’s name on it, but it is practically begging ME to eat it, so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?!

Anyway, I picked up this vest from Express about a month ago and I am really loving that I can wear it with just about anything. It goes with slacks, it goes with dresses, it goes with jeans…like literally it goes with everything!

The white color makes me feel ultra-sleek too…although this is one outfit I would not recommend wearing when carrying around an infant. I just know the second I pick up Beckett wearing this beautiful crisp, clean white – Beckett will decide to spit up all over me, or even worse – have a blow out!

For the record, prior to having a child, I had no clue it was even possible for a child to literally poop through their diaper, through their clothes and on to yours. I thought a blow out meant someone popped a tire while driving, or maybe just a bad ‘contained’ diaper. Well if you’re curious, it is entirely possible for said scenario to occur. And it’s just as fun as it sounds 🙂 Hence the rule of “no wearing white when holding baby”.

Happy Tuesday loves!

xoxo, Jessica

Outfit Details

Vest; Express

Dress; H&M

Necklace; Ebay (I know what you’re thinking!!)

Shoes; Jimmy Choo

Sunnies; Gucci

Bracelet; MantraBand

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