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Sephora Favorites

The best beauty and skincare products at Sephora right now.

Today I wanted to share some beauty + makeup products I’ve been loving lately from Sephora!

These are things I gravitate more towards when I’m doing my make-up, getting ready for the day or when I’m applying my skincare routines. Since I’ve had a bit more time on my hands lately to try these out, I thought you may want to do the same.

Here’s what I’m loving…

Cream Bronzer

This bronzer is the perfect shade for me—and a little goes a long way. I think it’s the perfect spring into summer bronzer!! It’s also great for contouring!

Glowscreen SPF40 Sunscreen

This is one of my favorite brands for sunscreen and skin protection!! I apply it as the very last step in my morning skincare routine for a light tint and glow… but with all the protection! It’s a perfect primer to go under your make-up.

GOOPGlow Microderm Instant Glow Exfoliator

You won’t believe how good this exfoliator is! I think it’s a new product but I’ve been using this in my skincare routine a lot more lately… about 2-3x a week… and it makes my skin so much softer and smoother for days.

Drunk Elephant Resurfacing Duo

I love these two products together! I do a pump of each and combine them together in the palm of my hand before applying! Super hydrating and perfect to apply at night! 

Buff Blend Brush

Do you like to apply your foundation with a beauty blender or brush?! I’m a brush girl—always have been, always will be—but this brush is perfect for buffing out your foundation nice and smoothly. I love it! 

Pumpkin Enzyme Dermal Resurfacing Mask

A facial mask I’m loving right now is this pumpkin enzyme resurfacing mask. I have very dry and textured skin at times so I need this every once in a while to just scrub away all the dead skin and dullness. It works miracles to resurface the skin and is quickly becoming one of my favorite go-to masks. 

Tatcha Lip Mask

Have you ever tried a lip mask? If not, this is THE ONE to fall in love with. It doesn’t get too sticky but it’s thick enough that it lasts a long time. It’s a definite must first thing the morning and before going bed for a perfectly hydrated, glossy lip! 

Smoothing Shampoo and Conditioner Set

I’ve been using this shampoo for a few weeks now and really love it. Not only does it smell amazing but my hair looks and feels so strong and healthy! This set actually comes with a hair perfume/mist—which, yep, also smells sooo good!! I spray this in my hair after I get out of the shower if I DIDN’T wash my hair (because I only wash my hair about once a week) and it gives me a good after-shower smell for my hair.

Marc Jacobs Coconut Gel Highlighter + Primer

I’ve been wanting to try these for over a year and never gave in until now—and I’m SO glad I did. If you love a dewy hydrated + highlighted look, then these are perfect!! Especially for spring and summer for a natural glow. 

Double Ended Liquid Eyeliner + Pencil

A little confession: I’m not that great at putting on eyeliner. That’s why this eyeliner is perfect for me. First I apply it using the roll-up applicator end; then I go in and make a clean line with the liquid side! It doesn’t smear or fade all day long!! Definitely highly recommended!

Fenty Beauty Eyeshadow Palette

This is absolutely the most used palette for me!! I love it so much. I use every shade in the palette because it truly has all the shades I love to wear for almost any occasion! Plus, it’s perfect for travel as well since it’s super small to fit in any make-up bag.

Small Slipsilk Scrunchies

I love these hair ties for three reasons: they hold your hair in tight, without slipping down or getting loose; they also hold a bun in place effortlessly; and finally, when your hair is straight they don’t leave a crease at all! I use them every night to keep my hair in place without feeling like it’s being pulled too tightly from a rubberband.

Whirl Trio Wand

Love this wand! I typically stick with the 1″ barrel for a perfect loose curl or wave and it’s been my favorite for the past couple of years.

Better Than Sex Mascara

I am OBSESSED with this mascara, I love it so much. The brush completely fans out all the lashes so they don’t clump together at all. It makes them look effortlessly dramatic, which is perfect especially on a night out. 

All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray

This is my all-time favorite setting spray because it WORKS. If you want your makeup to stay in place all day and night… this is the one!

Jet Lag Mask

I’ve been using this mask for a couple of years now as my go-to. It has everything you need in it to make your skin vibrant, healthy and beautiful.

BONUS! Sephora’s Big Sale Starting THIS Weekend!

Rouge Members — 20% off entire purchase
April 17-May 1

VIB Members (That’s What I Am!) — 15% off entire purchase
April 21-April 29

Beauty Insider — 10% off entire purchase
April 23-April 27

CODE: SPRINGSAVE

You can also go onto Sephora to sign up and still get the 10% off.

What’s your favorite Sephora purchase? Is there anything I’m missing out on? Let me know in the comments below!

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10 Ways I Use Coconut Oil In My Life

Coconut Oil Is One of the All-Time Natural Best Beauty Secrets

We’ve touched on this in my beauty tips before, but today I’m showing you ALL the ways I use coconut oil.

To me, it feels like one of those super secret weapons that everyone should know about. I keep jars of coconut throughout my house—bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen—because I use it for so many different applications.

My Favorite Coconut Oil Is THIS!

Coconut oil is perfect for moisturizing the body from head to toe.

I can’t live without it… and I bet after reading this, you won’t be able to either:

Cooking

I use the spray or the coconut oil straight from the jar, it just depends on what I’m making. It’s 100% better than butter or other cooking oils for sauteeing. But just remember that coconut oil doesn’t have a high smoke point, so it shouldn’t be used for frying or other high heat cooking. (Check out avocado oil for that!)

Body Nourishment

I use this daily (after I shower) to keep my skin moisturized and soft. I prefer this over any kind of lotion any day.

Shaving Cream

Using coconut oil for shaving cream?? It’s perfect because it allows the razor to easily glide but makes your skin extremely soft after. I just keep a jar in the shower for when I’m shaving and it lasts forever! You can thank me later!

Hair Mask

I wash my hair about once a week and before I do I drown my hair in coconut oil. I don’t get too crazy with the scalp bc I don’t want my hair to get greasy but I lather the ends up and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Then I rinse it out in the shower and it’s sleek and shiny for the next week to come!

Styling the Girls’ Hair

Coconut oil is the ONLY way I can usually get a brush through Ariah and Mackenzie’s hair… and trust me, I’ll take all the help I can get to avoid the “tangle tears”. And since they’re so young, I try to keep their products as natural as possible—insert COCONUT OIL!

Eye Makeup Remover

I love using this for a makeup remover because it’s way less harsh on my eyes and ends up making my eyelashes really soft. I get a cotton pad and put water and coconut oil on it and just like that brush it over my eyes. So much better than some of the remover wipes I’ve tried over the years that leave my skin feeling dry.

Lip Balm

It’s the simplest, most natural form of chapstick/ lip balm… and I love it. It keeps my lips hydrated with just the smallest amount.

Preventing Stretch Marks

Hands down, I 100% swear by coconut oil or vitamin e oil for preventing any stretch marks. It was the only thing I used while pregnant and I do not have not one stretch mark!!

Lip + Body Scrubs

You know I’m all about natural as much as possible, so that’s why I make my own sugar scrubs, too. One for my lips and one separately for my body that I keep in the shower. I LOVE the way it smells and it’s great knowing that what I’m putting on my body is safe.

Recipe: brown sugar, coconut oil, and honey. Put in a bowl and mix all together to get the consistency that works best for you! Simple and effective!

Facial Moisturizer (For That Dewy Highlighter Look)

I do like to apply coconut oil to my face from time to time for that super dewy-hydrated makeup look!!! It’s my fave and the coconut oil just gives you that natural highlight in all the right areas.

What do YOU use coconut oil for? I’d love to learn some new tricks, so let me know in the comments!

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It’s All About the Drugstore Haul!

Does anyone else love trips to CVS or Target?I I can’t be the only one, right?

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite things from the drugstore! I love checking each aisle to see what new beauty products they have- whether it’s makeup, skin care or hair care, it doesn’t matter because I just love to try new things!

Plus, I can stock up on a few of my absolute favorites things that I constantly want to have on hand!

Maybelline Big Shot Colossal

This mascara is one that I buy over and over (and over) again! I love the length it gives my lashes as well as the volume. I think it’s the shape of the brush that truly makes the difference!

L’oreal True Match Lumi Glow Nude Highlighter Palette

I’ve only been using this for a couple of weeks but I have tried every shade now and I’m so obsessed with this palette that it’s the only highlighter I’m using right now.

L’oreal True Match Lumi Glotion

So literally this is my absolute favorite thing I’m going to talk about today and if you’re looking for makeup to transition into summer with, this is so perfect… I can’t stop using it! I wanted something to put underneath my foundation or for those amazing no-makeup days and this is seriously all you need. I put it under my foundation and it leaves a bronzy/ dewy glow to my face that I can’t get enough of. You should definitely check this out for an easy, breezy summer look. (I think this will be my go-to product on vacation!)

Revlon Brow Pencil (Dark Brown)

It’s clearly my favorite brow pencil of all time because I NEVER EVER change it… and I may or may not buy about 5 at a time! I have to stock up because forgetting my brow pencil is one of my biggest fears, so I make sure to buy a bunch every time I’m at the drugstore since I use this literally every day. Hey- no judgments, right?

Revlon Skinny Liquid Eyeliner (Black)

I’ve been testing out this liner for a while now to use on date nights or late night events, which is the only time I wear liner anyway. This one is my favorite so far and easily glides in a straight line for me so I hardly ever mess up with this… unlike others where I’m slipping and sliding all over the place! PS: I’m awful at wing liner but this one has made it super easy for me and there are ZERO problems with it smearing!

L’oreal Mascara Primer

I’ve heard lots of bloggers rave about this primer for a while now so I decided to give it a try… and now I totally see why! It sets a great foundation for your mascara and helps hold the lashes in place exactly where you want them.  With this, I can totally tell the difference!

Cetaphil Facial Cleanser

This is my go-to facial cleanser especially when I’ve been testing out other products or have noticed any problem areas on my skin. I use this because I want something more gentle for my skin, so it’s a must-have from the drug store every time.

Neutrogena Natural Pore Scrub Face Wash

Something from my skincare routine that I always recommend is my Lancer Method Exfoliator which is absolutely amazing. I know it’s on the pricier side so when I’m trying to save that one or take a break from it, I will use this scrub… and honestly, I’m just as obsessed with it! I think it works just as great and is way more affordable than the other option if you need to save some money!

Neutrogena Night Calming Makeup Wipes

I use this every night to take off my makeup. Sometimes I use the blue pack but I like to switch it up every now and then, so right now I’m using these and absolutely love them.

Dove Soap

The only soap I use- PERIOD. Especially when I’m traveling I will make sure I have my own bar of soap because I find that my skin gets sensitive and irritated with other products, especially in hotels. This makes my skin effortlessly soft and always smells fresh!

Men’s Gillette Razor

Now ladies..if you haven’t tried using a man’s razor… what are you waiting for? Remember that men’s razors are meant to be used on their faces, so call me crazy, but I feel like they put more thought and quality into them because I’m telling you, they make your skin SO much softer. Not to mention they get such a close shave that there’s never any stubble or bumps afterward! If you want a way cleaner/smoother shaving experience, then this one is my favorite- just keep the stem and refills the razor heads!

NYX Wonder Stick (Shade: Medium)

This contour stick in Shade Medium is my holy grail of contour. The dark color is the best shade for my skin tone and I use it so much that I need to get a new one but I don’t really use the concealer lighter side of it. Still, I love how super creamy it is to blend perfectly every time.

Shea Moisture Coconut Oil

I use coconut oil for so many thinks it’s crazy. This shea moisture one I use as a lotion after the shower, I use it as a hair mask, I use it to style the girls’ hair AND I use it as a facial moisturizer. Bottom line? EVERYONE needs coconut oil in their life and this one is my favorite for all things beauty!

e.l.f. Beauty Blender

Even though these are the most convenient ones for me to get my hands on, I still think they do just as great of a job as others. It helps to blend everything perfectly- especially when it’s damp.

Milani Color Statement Lipliner (Shade: 09 Spice)

Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color (Shade: Forever)

I found this lipliner recently and after using it for a couple of weeks I’ve decided it’s just one of those great every day/ nude liners… and it just so happens to go perfectly with my Revlon Ultra HD Matte Lip Color, too! I keep these two in my bag at all times now.

Dry Shampoo (Dark Brown)

I need dry shampoo almost every day unless I’ve recently washed my hair… but let’s get one thing straight: a girl can’t live without dry shampoo! I always want volume and texture to hide my greasy hair days and this one is my favorite because it doesn’t give that white residue if you use too much of it. In fact, it’s actually brown, so it easily blends in with my hair color. They carry ones for all different hair colors, so just it out and match it to your current style!

Wet Brush

I always use this brush after I get out of the shower since it’s the only one that doesn’t damage my wet hair. Plus, for little girls with curly hair it’s a MUST, check it out!

Revlon Kiss Balm

This balm is so hydrating- and tastes like a pina colada- so I was sold immediately! Now, I keep a bunch of them around my house or in the car so I never run out of my favorite lip balm!

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My Daily Vitamin Regime

A few weeks ago I posted on my IG story about my daily vitamins and I got a lot of DM’s about which ones I take (and why), so I wanted to do a full post on it today!

To me, it’s so important to take your vitamins to get the nutrients your body needs to function on a daily basis.

While I try to eat a healthy diet, I know that on some days my vitamins are the only way I’m truly getting what my body needs.

I have read many health books over the years but this one, in particular, Jumpstart to Skinny by Bob Harper, is my favorite. I’ve learned a lot from his book about health in general… and think you will too!

While I will say I am not an expert, dietician or nutritionist at all, the vitamins below are the ones I take that are right for me.

Here are the vitamins I’ve been taking daily for over a year and why (and if you’re interested in learning more you can click the links!)…

Prenatal Vitamins

I started taking prenatal vitamins when I got pregnant with Ariah- and never stopped. When you are pregnant, they are obviously a MUST for added nutrients for the baby (especially the folic acid for the brain!)

No, we are not trying to get pregnant (at the moment), BUT they still provide incredible nutrients that help to grow my hair and nails super long and healthy.

And did you know: Surprisingly, doctors suggest to start taking prenatals at least a year prior to trying to conceive, so if you’re thinking of having a baby- or currently pregnant- make sure you start them asap!

Calcium

I take Calcium because it is so important for your immune system to keep you protected from sicknesses and other diseases… especially this flu season! I am not playing any games this year when it comes to taking my Vitamin C!

Probiotic

Probiotics are very important for your gut health and overall digestive system because they provide the “good bacteria” your gut needs. They can also help with belly fat, weight loss, and for women, they are also great for your vaginal health to keep everything functioning down there.

In a nutshell, Probiotics are great for fighting and preventing any bacteria or infections!

Fish Oil

I started taking capsules of fish oil when I first read Jumpstart to Skinny. While it sounds kind of gross, fish oil is for one thing really good for your heart. It’s also really helpful for those who work out a lot to combat soreness and joint pain <<— perfect for Mike, too!

B-12

Depending on your diet, you may be B-12 deficient and don’t even know it! Many vegetarians don’t get enough B-12 because it’s naturally sourced in animal proteins such as red meat. B-12 helps to keep your iron levels steady which helps you to not feel fatigued and cloudy-headed- and as a mom, I need all the B-12 I can get!

Turmeric

Turmeric is an amazing root plant that helps to fight inflammation in our bodies. You can take it in capsule form, via an oil or get turmeric powder and mix it with hot water, lemon and honey for one heck of a wake-up shot! It’s a goldish-yellow color- that WILL stain your fingers FYI– and is actually what gives curry its color! Other ways turmeric is good for you: heals your liver, boosts brain functionality and acts as an antioxidant… seriously, it’s a miracle worker.

Collagen

I like to put a scoop of collagen peptides from Vital Proteins into water or tea for hair, skin, & nail health! Plus, this berry flavored one is delicious!

Biotin

We’re back to the B vitamins… and this time we’re talking B7! It’s super effective for healthy looking skin, hair, and nails. Not only does it strengthen brittle nails but it helps to give hair and skin that beautiful glow we all want, too!

Are these some of the vitamins you take too? Maybe you were considering one and now you’re going to give it a shot! Whatever it is- and especially if you have a favorite vitamin that I haven’t tried– I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

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My Daily Makeup Routine + The Products I LOVE!

Today I wanted to share my everyday quick makeup routine… which really just consists of  giving my face some color and definition, so I can look alive and fresh (hello… #momlife, right?)
I recently started using these new makeup brushes from My Makeup Brush Set and I had to come on here to talk about them because I’m actually obsessed.
It’s hard to find the right brushes for your skin and makeup combo but these brushes are so soft and give such flawless finish- I love them!
First, I start with my skincare routine (which you can find —–>> here) because this is really what helps with the texture of your skin to give you the perfect flawless finish you’re looking for you. PS: You can’t have a good makeup routine without good a skincare one too… they go hand in hand!
Next, I go in with this primer with my clean hands and apply to my whole face.
Then I go in with this foundation (Shade 240) with my new Powder Brush from My Makeup Brush and apply to my whole face and down my neck some just to make sure everything is matching. I make sure it’s all blended in smoothly and with the texture of this oval brush, it really makes it easy to blend any liquid product perfectly!
Next, I do my brows. For daytime, all I use is this Revlon brow pencil in the  Dark Brown shade and just line the bottom then fill in the ends. I like to leave the inner part natural by just brushing the hairs upward so they don’t look too drawn on.
Now its time for concealer and I’m currently using the Tarte Tape Shape/ light medium which I only apply under my eyes to cover dark circles during the day if I’m in a hurry. If I’m looking for a fuller coverage, I’ll apply a line down the middle of my nose and up to my forehead, as well as my chin, and line under my brows as I blend it all in with my Concealer Brush.
Then I go in with my cream NYX Contour Stick Deep Profound and I apply right under my cheekbones, under my jawline, and around the top of my forehead near my hairline (as well as the sides of my nose) with my Foundation Brush to really bring some color to my face. Bronzing is my favorite part because it really gives your face the definition it needs to bring out the features and structure of the face.
Now, I go in with a bronze color- which for me I usually go for the Kylie Burgandy Palette (“Penny” in the crease and a mix of “Naked” and “LA” on the lid).
Next is highlighter- and ever since it came out I’ve been using the Fenty Beauty one in shade “Hu$tla Baby”- and I love the way it applies with the Lip Brush! All you need is one swipe and blend a little and it makes for the perfect highlight. I apply this to the top of my cheekbone, down the bridge of my nose, on the tip of my nose and highlight under my brow bone.
Lastly, is my mascara and I use the Maybelline Big Shot and I swear by this mascara! I love the way my lashes look when I use this one and it really combs them out so they look super long black and spread out !
That’s pretty much it for my everyday makeup routine!
I really stick to what I know when it comes to makeup and I rarely switch it up. I just know what works for me, my face and skin- and this is what I like to do!
I highly recommend these My Makeup Brush Set brushes for a great flawless look so if you’re looking to get your own set from them I have a discount code for you all to get 10% off your order: SAVEWITHASHLI_EVANS

Let me know in the comments some of your go-to makeup tips + tricks or product recommendations. I would love to hear from you + am always on the hunt for something new!
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My Go-To Skin Care Routine + Products For Winter!

Today I wanted to share my current skincare routine for the winter!

These are products I’m using every day (seriously, day and night) and I swear by them!

I’ll start by saying this: I have pretty normal to dry skin and I get very few breakouts but especially in the mornings and during this time of the year my skin is very dry, so I am always in need of hydrating products. Plus, this routine really helps before applying my makeup, to make it go on smooth and flawlessly- I love it!

First I use makeup wipes by Neutrogena to remove any leftover makeup and to really get the first layer of dirt off. I use them morning and night because I just love the way it makes my skin feel- plus, it wakes me up and refreshes me in the morning!

Then I grab this facial/body scrubbing brush and apply my Lancer Method polish/exfoliate and scrub it all into my face with my brush, then I rinse with my towel and water really well.

This step I do nightly to remove all the dirt and build up from the day. This product is a bit more on the pricey side, but it’s so worth it and a little goes a long way.

Next, now that my face feels totally resurfaced, soft + smooth, I apply my Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser and rub that into my skin with my finger.

 

This is my absolute favorite cleanser because it makes my skin SO soft after all the brushing and exfoliating. It’s so gentle I’m pretty sure I will rely on this product forever! I also use their Baby Cleanser Body Wash for Ariah’s skin morning and night.

After completely exfoliating and cleansing my face, I tone it with this Neutrogena toner. Mainly, I use this in my T-Zone (the space between your eyebrows and down your nose) or where I notice my pores are larger. It helps to even out the surface of my skin when I keep this in my morning routine.

If I do find that I’m having a mini breakout I’ll use Mario Badescu Drying Lotion and I swear the next morning it’s either gone completely… or almost unnoticeable!

Next… it’s the holy grail of beauty products- VITAMIN E OIL- and I think everyone should have it as part of their routine!

 I use just a little bit of Vitamin E Oil all over my face and since it’s an all-natural product, I let it soak in. You can really tell it’s working because it doesn’t just sit on your face like other products that have a lot of chemicals in them. The Vitamin E Oil perfectly moisturizers my skin, so I use it all over my body- and ended up tossing almost all of my other lotions… it’s the only thing you need!

Not only does it keep my face hydrated at night, but if I’m applying makeup after the oil sets in, it really gives it that dewy, flawless look that I love. Lastly, this was my go-to for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy… so basically it’s a miracle worker- it does it all!

If I feel like I have a little extra time- or my face just really needs more of a boost- I will apply this Kiehl’s Face Mask after cleansing my face. I’m obsessed with this mask, so I definitely try to apply this at least once or twice a week.

 

What are your go-to winter-friendly tricks and tips for your skin?

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An Early Birthday Gift to Myself: Sharing My Fav Things With You

It’s my birthday and I can share my wishlist if I want to!

That’s right, my birthday is (quickly) approaching so I decided to put together a list of all of my current
*o b s e s s i o n s* right now… like this outfit below!

A gorgeous Floral Embroidered Moto Jacket

With these jeans <<—- Check out the details (gah!)

A simple cami

 

And always the must-have accessories like the boots, Yves Saint Laurent Bag…

and these killer sunglasses!

 

At all times I keep a “wishlist” of things I’m excited about so I’m not spending my money on random things… but instead, on things I’m really loving.

These are things I know I’ll truly wear or use- and as for the expensive items… I make sure they’re items that would be classic staples in my closet for years to come.

Oh, and PS: someone send this to my husband please (LOL)

Here Are My Splurge-Worthy Favorites:

 

Fashion Favorites

Lifestyle Favorites

Beauty Favorites

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The Best Beauty Gift Sets of 2017

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a GREAT Thanksgiving with family + friends… and now it’s officially time to deck the halls and finish (or maybe start) your Christmas shopping!

I put together a list of all of my favorite beauty related gift sets! <<— And I’m obsessed with them all!

I already have a lot of these products myself… and they’re a m a z i n g… so I’m excited to try a few more- while crossing a few gifts off my list for some of my favorite ladies.

Psstt… Want to shop this style?! Take a look here:

Gift sets are great because it’s always feels like you’re getting more than just one item when you recieve them!

With lots of different items they’ll love all in one, they’re easy to wrap + you definitely get the value for your buck!

 

Everything here is under $100 and will be a great gift for just about any girl in your life!

Skincare Gift Sets

Makeup Gift Sets

Haircare Gift Sets

 

Fragrance Gift Sets

 

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5 Tips For Healthy, Gorgeous Hair

Let me start by saying that I’m definitely not an expert on hair- BUT my hair has been through so much growing up, that I’ve definitely learned a thing or two. Finally, it’s at a length I love- and believe it or not, I haven’t even had a trim since March!

When I was in high school I wore my hair straight almost every single day- and washing it every two days! For whatever reason, I didn’t embrace my natural hair as much back then- but I do now!

I’ve grown to truly love and appreciate my natural hair- curls and all!

And during my pregnancy, my hair growth just took off! It was probably a combination of prenatal vitamins, tons of water and a few new hormones, but it just grew and grew.

Here are a few tips I’ve learned over the years that have really helped improve the health of my hair… as well as help it grow much longer!

  1. Stop Washing Your Hair!
    Being a new mom, I hardly have time to myself in the shower anyway, so I only really wash my hair once a week (sometimes I even go longer)… Can you say, “Hello, dry shampoo?!” I know some people may think that’s gross- and they just can’t do it- but if you’re trying to grow healthy hair this is my number one tip! When I stopped washing my hair as much I truly started noticing a huge difference in the growth… and it does save so much time when getting ready every day!
  2. Put Down the Heat!
    Like I said, I used to straighten my hair every.single.day… looking back now I cringe at the thought of doing that! Today I wouldn’t dare! In fact, I’m pretty strategic when it comes to putting heat on my hair! I use a blow dryer once a week to diffuse my hair so that I can wear it curly for a couple of days, then I flat iron it once the curls aren’t so cute anymore and start to get frizzy. I can wear it straight for at least three days before I wand the ends and use a lot of dry shampoo at the roots to get it through the week!
  3. Use Sulfate-Free Hair Products.
    I use sulfate-free everything on my hair! About a year ago, I switched to the Redkin sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner and LOVE how soft and smooth it makes my hair. I learned that products with alcohol are really bad for your hair because they dry it out so I try my best to stay away from those products to keep it healthy and beautiful.
  4. Masks Aren’t Just For Your Face
    I like to switch up my hair masks and try different ones, but my go-to is the It’s a 10 Miracle Hair Mask. If I just really need something natural… or if I’m running out… I’ll run to the kitchen and make a coconut oil & honey hair mask. I just spray my dirty, dry hair with a spray bottle full of water to get it wet, then start rubbing the mask throughout literally every strand of hair. Don’t get too crazy around the scalp because it will leave your hair greasier in the end even after washing it out.I really focus mainly on the middle and ends then tie it up in a bun with a shower cap and let it sit for about 30 minutes before washing it out. I like to wash my hair twice to make sure everything is really out! Do this once a week and you’ll  have soft, hydrated and bouncy hair too!
  5. It’s What You Sleep On
    It may seem funny, but sleeping on a satin or silk pillowcase really helps too. You could also sleep with your dry hair in a scarf or t-shirt… but NEVER a towel! I have been doing this for a few months now and omg I am noticing such a difference on my ends. Honestly, they’re not as brittle and dry as the used to be, I don’t have that many split ends anymore, and the soft pillowcase really helps me get the extra few days out of my hair <— which you know I love!

 

*Photo Credit Belongs To: Leigh Clifton*

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Our Love Story: From the Beginning…

They say nothing really ever happens by chance.

That the way two people meet…
Or the circumstances that brought them together…
Or the instant connection they share…

It’s not by chance- but by f a t e – and I couldn’t agree more.

That destined day back in 2013, when Mike and I met seems like a million years ago some days, and yet I still remember it like it was yesterday.

At the time he was at Texas A&M and I was attending Blinn Junior College, still trying to figure this thing called life out. It could have been like any other normal college day: friends getting together, meeting new people, hanging out and having fun.

But it wasn’t any normal day… it was the day I would meet the love of my life.

Our connection was intense from the moment we met: I’m talking butterflies + fireworks— the real deal.

We quickly realized that we shared so many of the same interests, one of them being going to the movies, so obviously it was a no-brainer to make that our first date. From that point on we spent every minute we could together, hanging out with our friends, seeing movies and going to Northgate.

And then football season started.

Of course I had heard how amazing Mike was- I mean, people literally stopped and asked him for a picture everywhere we went– but it wasn’t until I saw him play with my own two eyes that I was truly blown away.

He had such natural skill at Wide Receiver that he made it look almost easy! The chemistry he had on the field with his quarterback and good friend Johnny Manziel, his talent, and obvious love for the game was so impressive to watch!

I loved going to every one of his games, cheering him on, being there to support him- but it was the game that I finally got to meet his daughter Mackenzie that will forever hold my heart. It was a game against Auburn and his mom brought Mackenzie to watch her Daddy play- and WOW, did he play for his little girl! As it turned out, that game would be one of his best college career games ever and she was there to watch it all.

Meeting his daughter, spending that time with her, and seeing who Mike was as a father brought this whole new kind of love for him that I never knew existed.

What I DIDN’T know was that Mike’s college career was about to be over! He entered the 2014 NFL Draft and was drafted the overall 7th pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!

How incredibly crazy/beautiful it was to watch the moment he was drafted- I almost remember it like it was yesterday.

It was such an anxious moment for everyone… so many mixed emotions and so many nerves… yet a lot of excitement! I remember the moment Mike got the phone call sitting at the round table, it was such an emotional moment for him, + then they called his name and it became real! He was holding Mackenzie and just thinking about how blessed he was to be in that position. It was incredible.

And that was that: we packed up and moved to Tampa… new town, new home, new team.

That first year in the NFL was crazy! We learned so much about each other and ourselves… and HELLO, remember, we were only 20!

But you live and you learn and you love and you grow… that’s life, right?!

So there we were later in 2014, it’s almost my birthday and Christmas is (TOO QUICKLY) approaching. All I wanted to do was plan the P E R F E C T Christmas for Mackenzie and our families. It was so important to me to welcome them into our home and make this an unforgettable experience for everyone.

We celebrated Christmas a few days ahead because the truth is that life in the NFL doesn’t always mean being there for the holidays, but making the most of the time you do have.

Sooo… again, there we were enjoying everyone’s company, exchanging gifts and loving this time together. After everyone finished opening their gifts Mike hands me one more gift to open… in the shape of a shoe box.

If you know me at all, you know how excited I was… and if you know my husband at all, you know it “probably” wasn’t just any pair of shoes.

I unwrapped the box and immediately see it’s none other than a box from Christian Louboutin… eekkk! Inside was THE cutest pair of blue Pigalle’s.

But that wasn’t all…

My eye quickly saw a smaller blue box from Tiffanys inside- and at that point I’m ecstatic thinking that I’m about to get new earrings too- but everyone gets super quiet.

Like waiting to hear a pin drop kinda quiet.

I’m staring at the blue box, hardly realizing that Mike is getting down on one knee right.in.front.of.me.

He takes the box from me….
Opens it…
I’m shaking…
And he asks, “Ashli Nicole Dotson, I have one question, will you marry me?”

Half crying/ half screaming I say “YES!”… and then cry and cry and cry.

It was absolutely beautiful and perfect: surrounded by our family, everyone in the holiday spirit and me completely surprised. To this day Mike says it was one of the most nervous days of his life… but like always, he does an amazing job.

We immediately set the date and I got to planning the wedding of a lifetime.

On February 13th, 2016 we had the dream wedding I had always hoped for… but that’s a story for another time…