July Favorites

Bye Bye July! Hello August!

1. Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Bronzer
I purchased this bronzer in Too Faced's Bonjour Soleil palette last year. I really didn't use it until recently and now Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer is my favorite of all time. The color is perfection - making your tan look real and not orange! And a little goes a long way. I'll be purchasing the individual compact super soon!

2. Kat Von D Tattoo Liner
I've listed this as a favorite several times and I can tell you it will be a favorite for me until the end of time. I've tried so many liquid felt tip liners and this is the ONLY one that doesn't transfer, stays matte, and doesn't fade throughout the day. 

3. Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara
Such an amazing mascara! If I could pick only one this would be the mascara I'd use for a lifetime. No matter how new or old the tube is, the coverage is fantastic. Some mascaras are too wet when new and too dry when they get old. This one has the same thickening and lengthening properties until all the product is gone.

4. The Body Shop Coconut Body Butter
No other body lotion can smell as good as the ones from The Body Shop - seriously! They smell so good you will want to eat them...peach and coconut are my favorite for the summer and your skin with stay moisturized all day long - no joke! Try it for yourself.

5. Sigma F35
This is by far my most used brush. I actually need to order another, because I'm constantly having to clean this one. I use it for placing setting powder under my eyes and also for highlighting. It gets into the creases, because it is perfectly tapered. 

6. Loving Tan 2 HR Express Dark
I seriously cannot say enough good things about Loving Tan. As of right now this is the only tanner I will buy. Worth every penny - the color is the closest to a real tan I have used and stays on for over a week. I even devoted a whole blog post to it.

7. Sigma F30
This has been a go to bronzing brush for me for weeks now. I use this with my Chocolate Soleil powder and brush along the top of my forehead, cheeks and down my neck. It deposits enough color, but is fluffy enough to keep the product evenly placed not the skin.

8. Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer (fair)
I've been using this concealer lately for everyday application. The coverage is good enough for a work day, but not too overpowering like some of my others I use to drastically highlight my face. The application is easy and it blends quite nicely. Plus it comes at much less of an expense. 

9. Victor & Rolf Flower Bomb Roller Ball
I took this with me while traveling to Cali and it was the perfect size for my travel bag and easy to carry with me in my purse. Plus, roller balls aren't only inexpensive, but they last forever! The full bottle of Flower Bomb is super pricey so I plan to keep repurchasing the roller ball version.

10. Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
This was a recommendation of Emily Gemma (The Sweetest Thing Blog) - my favorite blogger. She recently posted a get ready with me where she did her usual makeup routine on camera. She suggested using the white priming end of this mascara before your usual favorite and it really works! I will put this on and let it set before swiping on my Better Than Sex mascara and it makes a big difference!

Life Update!

So I figured I'd give a quick life update seeing as the year is half over [where did the time go?!]
If you follow me via Instagram pardonmuahinsta then you probably know a little bit more about my personal life, but really not a lot. I try to keep most of my personal life, well, personal, for obvious reasons, but every now and again it's fun to share - and I think you all enjoy it!

It's been a rather long and "interesting" 10 months. If you want to reference my Resolutions post in January you will realize what I'm talking about. During the past 10 months I am happy to say I have made some incredible friends [you all know who you are!] and have realized not everyone you meet is going to love you. I'm so thankful for all of my girl time, taco Tuesdays, Thursday baseball games, Friday happy hours, weekend lake days and everything in between. I've realized you really need your friends & family when you go through trying times, which is why cultivating meaningful, two-sided relationships is so important. I try my best to always be there for my friends when they need me - no matter the time of day or the number of texts, because I know that sometime soon they will surely be repaying the favor!

Not much has changed in my work life - still trying to find direction in my life which is so much easier said than done. I know what I like to do and what I'm interested in, but it's all a process worth patience. The other day I was talking to my mom about my life and she said, "Amanda you need to have patience and everything will work out. Things worth having take patience." To which I told her she didn't give me the patience gene (so true - I love instant gratification) but I will try my best hah!

I know there are some inquisitive minds out there wondering about my love life. And to answer somewhat vaguely (for now), I do have someone special in my life - someone what has brought a lot of happiness and many smiles to my every day. That's where I will leave that for now, but stay tuned!


I am so thrilled to finally share these photos from a photo shoot I modeled in last December. Modeling is something I don't get to do very often, but I really love it! I modeled a little in high school and college, but at 5'2" I'm fairly limited as to what I can do - much more commercial than fashion. So when I get the chance I'm always up for some modeling fun!

I was lucky enough to get asked by my dear friend Erin of Enlighten Events to come up to DC and participate in a super fun shoot. She's an amazing wedding & party planner and specializes in floral pieces - she hand made the carnation dress above! You would be shocked how heavy the dress was once the flowers were all applied. 

Another quick note, it was below 30 degrees the day we shot! No joke, at many points throughout the morning we had to stop shooting so that I could put my UGGs on so that I could feel my toes again. I had to keep holding my breath so that it didn't show up in the photos. Luckily, I don't think you can tell at all! It was also the first time I'd put on pointe shoes in years...sort of like riding a bike, except I swear my feet have grown a size or two.

Our photographer was Pamela Lepold of Pamela Lepold Photography. She did an amazing job and caught some amazing moments with the light and the DC scenery. Even though it was cold it was beautiful to take in the National Mall early in the morning before the tourists took over.

I hope to work with Pamela and Enlighten Events again soon!


Target Style

Before I left for my trip to Cali I stopped by Target to find some fringe boots I had seen on Instagram. I didn't find the boots, but I did find some amazing shorts, dresses, sleepwear and tops! Does this happen to anyone else?! You go into Target for one specific item and come out with half the store and nothing you originally went in for?!

This was only two weeks ago so these items should still be in stock and I found most of them online! I hunted and hunted and couldn't find all of the things, but above are some of them. I also realized that throughout the clothing section there are signs with discounts if you text a certain number and also an app where you can scan certain brands and get even more money off! It ended up saving me an additional $35.

The turquoise tassel dress above I was so thrilled to find. I've seen this dress on numerous bloggers and couldn't believe I found one almost identical for $28 - And it fits really well. I was worried the sleeves wouldn't stay off my shoulders (the model is wearing it like a traditional dress, but it's really made to wear off the shoulder) but the material is thick enough and tight enough to not move when you move your arms around. Granted if you wave your arms up in the air it surely will hah.

The muscles and mascara top was such a great find! Target has some really cute muscle tees. Really inexpensive at $12 with great sayings. I normally wear an XS, but all they had was Small - I couldn't really tell the difference though, as this top is made to be slightly over sized.

The lacey shorts in the right hand corner I bought in black and white, but I couldn't find them online - they have a bright neon pink tassel!! Super comfortable - I'm pairing mine with a shorter scalloped white camisole from Nordstrom here.

The white top is beautiful! Hard to see, but it has lace detailing and the back is racerback but can still be worn with a bandeaux bra that won't show. I've been pairing mine with white cut off shorts or my distressed skinny jeans. It's light and airy for the crazy hot temps lately! And it was the perfect top for my Cali adventure where it reached 100+ degrees (I'm not complaining though, as there is little to no humidity making the heat totally bearable).

In addition to some every day items, I found some great sleep wear (which I really, really needed). I found a super cute romper with baby pom poms in the colorful print above and also in gray. I also found these white shorts with baby pom poms to pair with tank or t-shirt. I really love them, but beware they are see through - great for sleeping, not good for taking your dog out in the morning.

I hope you enjoyed! Have a fabulous day!


Dress Vineyard Vines (old) // Shoes Aldo // Necklace Southern Belle Glitz
Melissa Douty, Comedian & Deja Hatch, Model

Joy, of The Joy Sutton Show, and one of my dearest friends!

Miss Meggan, Producer, and also one of my dearest, sweetest friends!

This past Sunday my second Girl Talk episode aired on The Joy Sutton Show

This time our segment was all about Networking Do's & Don't's - something I know quite a bit about after being on the student side and the corporate manager side. I have fairly strong viewpoints as you will see about what is and isn't appropriate - keep in mind this is from a corporate perspective! Different industries have different networking expectations and standards. I hope you enjoy the segment below!



Skin Care Routine

I've been asked several times on Instagram to post about my skincare routine. So here it is!

Just a quick note: I have combination skin - mostly oily just in my t-zone or if I'm in super humid weather. Unless it's [that time of the month] or I'm insanely stressed (I live at a normal stressed level haha) I really don't have a problem with break outs. I do have very sensitive skin so I don't switch up my skin care routine very often and I try to use products that are dermatologist approved, with very few or no fragrances. Some of skin care is trial and error, but once you find something that works - stick to it!

Also, this is my FULL face skin care routine. On most nights I don't do all of these steps, but I always make it a point not to sleep in my makeup - even if I sleep at a girl friends house or am traveling. 

This is a holy grail product for me. If you want your makeup and even waterproof mascara to slide off your face with little effort you need this in your life! I found that my cleanser was working, but wasn't taking off all of my mascara which is one of my pet peeves - and I hate pulling and tugging on my sensitive eye area to get it all off. The cleanse off oil does the trick! IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT wet your face first. You want to apply the cleanse off oil when your face is dry in order for the makeup to emulsify. It makes a big difference.

After I've rubbed in my cleanse off oil, I take Simple's micellar water on a cotton round and use this to remove my makeup off of my face (it usually takes at least two cotton rounds). The plus to using the micellar water is that you don't have to rinse it off, BUT the way I use it after the cleanse off oil you really do or else your face won't be squeaky clean.

First Aid Beauty has some of the best skin care items around! Inexpensive, but still a luxury quality. They aren't filled with fragrances or additives and they carry any and every skin care product you could need in your regimen. The cleanser goes a really long way, as it only takes a small amount to cover the whole face. Lately, I've been using my cleanser with my new Boscia facial sponge - so cool! The sponge is rock hard when dry, but becomes sponge-like when wet. Really gentle on the skin and great for removing excess makeup.

**I do own a Clarisonic, but I don't use it very often. My understanding is that you need to use it consistently in order for it to be really effective, but I just haven't managed to fit it into my normal routine.

If my skin isn't cooperating or I plan on self tanning the next day (which is usually once a week), I will use an exfoliator to get off old tanner and dead skin. I prefer First Aid Beauty's because it is really gentle on the skin while still doing a good job. I have a sample size and it has lasted me foreverrrr.

Lastly, I always use a moisturizer before getting into bed. It keeps the skin hydrated over night and prepped for makeup in the morning. If I know I'm going to be traveling via airplane the next day I will use a thicker moisturizer like Glam Glow's Hydrating Treatment (really good, just really pricey). First Aid Beauty's is a great option, because it's hydrating, but not too thick & sticky. Who wants to stick to their pillow?!

If I have any imperfections or can tell some are coming, I will use my Mario Badescu Drying Lotion - GO BUY THIS RIGHT NOW! Seriously! This is the best, best, overnight spot treatment. If your pimples or imperfections aren't gone or reduced greatly by the next day I would be baffled. Worth every penny! Do not shake the bottle! Use a cotton swab to get the product out of the bottle and then place onto the face. It will stay white, but trust me it'll be worth it!

If you have any other questions please let me know!


Last week I drove to Charlotte to stay with my bestie Natasha who recently moved there! We had the best time decorating her new, amazing apartment and girl talking about life. I flew out the next day - Charlotte prices were wayyy cheaper than where I live.

After a slight panic attack trying to park at the Charlotte airport - when I arrived I was told long term parking was full! Full?! Luckily a nice man pointed me towards daily parking which of course was twice the price, but as I watched the time passing by, I was ready to park my car anywhere just to make my flight on time. Security was a zoo and the airport was packed...I'm convinced I picked the most popular day to fly. BUT I made it on time and happily boarded my flight for Cali!

Five hours in the sky - thanks to a nonstop flight! I sat next to the nicest couple who offered me snacks and talked to me about their planned Cali adventures. Always nice to win the airplane lottery when your seat mates are friendly and not too talkative (if you know what I mean hah).

 I purchased this edition of Real Simple a week before leaving and it was so hard not to open it up before my flight - but I wanted to save it just for my trip!

My first day in Cali consisted of a quick trip to the grocery and dinner in with Netflix - which was so nice as I was rather tired from a long day of travel. So Day 2 we hit the gym and then changed for lunch and an adventure downtown. As you will see if you've been following me on Instagram (pardonmuahinsta), these Chucks have been my everything!

We walked through a beautiful rose garden filled with every kind of rose you can imagine and a forest full of different kinds of trees. It was really neat to see and super serene. The shade was so welcome with temps in the high 90's.

Ta-da! I went to Sacramento! Here is the capitol building looking just gorgeous. Fun piece of info - they got one day of rain in Sacramento last year...one day! I'm sold! Good hair days all the time people!

As we sat at lunch I could't help but take in the beautiful weather and the palm trees all around.

This was actually my outfit for the plane ride home. And good thing I wore long sleeves as my flight was super cold. Next time though, I'm wearing fuzzy pajamas and bringing a blanket and pillow - probably the most uncomfortable 4.5 hours of my life.

On Monday we drove around quite a bit so that I could get a feel for the area and surrounding towns/cities. We stopped for lunch in El Dorado Hills and let me tell you - AMAZING! I could have stayed here forever and been happy. This place was so beautiful and the buildings and homes were to die for. We ate at a super cute restaurant where the food was mouth watering and ate overlooking a town center. We ended up staying for two hours (I think I actually got sun burned) because it was so relaxing.

This was on my last day in Cali (so sad) and we did some more driving. I was actually born in Vacaville and for the first time in 24 years I was able to go back and see my very first house! It was a rather strange feeling to be somewhere I was so long ago - and the area has exploded since I was a baby. So much to see and do now.

Big thanks to my amazing host for taking pictures for me :). I told him if he's not careful I will recruit him as my blog photographer hehe. I'd say he did a great job! I'm loving this top I got from Boohoo - inexpensive and the tassels make it.

While in Vacaville we ate at the Black Bear Diner which I picked off "Best Restaurants in Vacaville" on the web...it was a gamble, but ended up being really good. They serve breakfast all day so we indulged in french toast, biscuits and lots of bacon! Everything in the place had bears...even the ketchup and hot sauce! I felt like such a little kid, because I spent the whole time hunting down more bear accessories.

Took the red eye home, which was nice because it gave me one last full day, but let me tell you - I am still tired. I didn't think a 3 hour time change would be rough, but I'm definitely still on Cali time. I haven't even reset my watch yet! I'm just going to keep it that way in preparation for my next visit.

Huge thanks and a big hug for this guy! I couldn't have asked for a better trip and a warmer welcome. Cannot wait to plan my next visit and I feel incredibly thankful to have someone like him in my life. 

TGIF! Hope you all have a wonderful Friday and a great weekend!


Travel Day 3

So sorry I didn't post this yesterday!

I was traveling back home from my vacation - took the red eye, drove three hours home from the airport, took a lengthy nap and then had to work from home. It was a long day!

Needless to say, I am still jet lagged today and dragging - but my vacation was amazing!

I was even more excited to wear my new Triangl bikini in Poppy Flamingo Fling. I've been looking at this suit for quite some time and almost bought a knock off version to avoid the cost. Unfortunately, the off brand versions took way too long to come in so I opted for the original and I'm so glad that I did! The neoprene is of the highest quality and fits like a dream (I bought XS in the top and bottom). The colors pop and I didn't have to fidget with the top one time while out on the river this weekend - one of my biggest complaints about bra top swimsuits is that they don't stay in place throughout the day. It's also super easy to rinse out - run under cold water and hang to dry and you're done.

If you have the $$$ I would highly recommend giving Triangl Swimwear a try. You probably won't ever buy another bikini from any other company.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post with photos from my trip!


Welcome to Travel Series Day 2!

If you read yesterday's post about how I cram all of my must have travel size bottles into a quart size bag, you'll understand why I decided to purchase a powder foundation for my trip. It's been years since I've used a powder formula foundation, because a lot of the time they are drying or don't offer enough coverage, in my opinion. 

Fortunately, NARS recently came out with their All Day Luminous Powder Foundation with SPF 24 (perfect for summer vaca)! I've been wanting to try it out so my current trip was the perfect opportunity. The compact is relatively thin and very sleek like all NARS packaging. As you can see in the photos the product is on top and underneath is a high quality sponge. One side is made to use dry and the other wet - which is a major plus if you want greater coverage. 

I've been using the foundation as a dry powder. It doesn't give me the same coverage as my liquids, but it is super easy to use and leaves my face matte and sweat proof. It's great to use over liquid foundation too for some added color. I purchased mine in Barcelona and when I'm spray tanning I think I could go even darker (when using the product wet it does deposit a darker hue).

I would recommend this product for anyone traveling who doesn't want to bother with the hassle of liquids or to those who want something quick and easy. It's a great product to throw in your bag for cover ups throughout the day!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post all about a pretty new bikini I purchased!


Today is the first day of my week long travel series! 

Right now I'm somewhere sunny - where the sun shines all the time - and so far I'm having the absolute best vaca! I'll tell you where I am very soon :)...if you don't figure it out on your own (or if you follow pardonmuahinsta).

In order to make it to my current destination in a timely fashion flying was in order - plus I'll fly just about any chance I get! I love, love, love flying, BUT I hate, hate, hate the 3oz - 1 quart size bag rule. I could pay the $25 and check my bag, but I just refuse and my carry on bag fits all of the clothes and accessories I could need for a week long trip. It took me quite a while to get everything in the proper size and it was like a jigsaw puzzle squishing them all into the baggy together. Some things I just can't live without for several days. I don't believe in giving up my hair care or skin care routine just because I'm taking a trip. Skin care is actually even more important when taking long flights because it dehydrates the skin and can cause imperfections and dryness.

Here are the items I chose not to live without:

Shampoo & Conditioner - I found these cute travel bottles at CVS. I wish they were a tad smaller, but there contoured shape helps them fit tighter together. I don't like sacrificing my hair, so I squeeze my usual salon quality shampoo & conditioner into the travel size. What i don't use traveling I will use in the shower when I get home so that I don't waste any product. *The labels came from an old travel set.

Moisturizer - A while back when I was traveling I found the best travel size bottles at CVS! Most travel bottles are 3 oz or 2 oz, but the kit I found has bottles of all sizes so that you can fit more into your quart size bag. I used one of these for my First Aid Beauty Moisturizer. It's a great every day cream for the face or the body and is thick enough to hydrate before and after a long flight.

Eye Cream - I love Origins Ginzing eye cream and luckily I own a couple baby size tubes. They last forever and are fantastic at brightening the under eye - also amazing for jet lag!

Eyes & Body Lotion - Because I'm a constant contact wearer I have to bring along my trusty Opti-Free (not so exciting). I also purchased a small body lotion for my trip from Jargons, but wasn't able to bring it along, because it wouldn't fit in the end. I'll be bringing it along on another trip!

Hair Spray - Elnett is by far my favorite hair spray of all time! Thank goodness they sell it in a smaller size - even though it'll cost you $8 - but it's really worth it. Most travel size hair sprays make your hair feel like cement or they make my hair feel dirty super fast. Elnett has just enough hold, it's a fine mist, and it keeps my hair feeling fresh for days on end.

Self Tanner - Maybe this isn't a necessity, but for me it absolutely is. I self tan regularly, especially when going on a sunny, summer vacation. Since my trip is longer than a couple days, I like to bring a travel self tanner to fix spots that may start to fade or peel. This has been a life saver, because I got sun burned before I left and my self tanner started tragically peeling off both shoulders and the center of my chest.  I use a fluffy Real Techniques brush to apply self tanner to small areas.

Primer - In addition to my setting spray, my primer is equally as important. The girl who always helps me at MAC is wonderful and gave me a sample size in a small MAC container. She also gave me 3 extras to use for other products! The containers are the perfect size! It was a life saver.

Makeup Setting Spray - For the summer I feel like this is essential. If I'm going to put a lot of work into my makeup then I expect it to stay on all day and look great, even in hot temps. Urban Decay's All Nighter is my all time favorite and the travel size is nice and slim.

I hope that this is helpful info for those of you traveling soon. Always ask your cosmetic stores or counters or samples of your must haves or for small containers to place your product in. If you are a usual customer there's no reason why they won't help you out! 

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on my new travel foundation!