Skincare Routine


One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to take better care of my skin. So I started the year with a new face mask and a commitment to keep my go-to products stocked in my medicine cabinet. And I’ve seen great results! It used to seem like I always had something scary going on somewhere on my face. But in the last year, I’ve only had a few scary spots that lasted for more than a day or two.

I’ve used Clinique’s 3-Step system since high school, but I wasn’t always great about sticking to it. I would run out of one of the products and just skip the step or replace it with a drugstore alternative. And subsequently end up with a new breakout that took weeks to clear up. But since the beginning of the year I’ve stuck to it and had bright, clear skin pretty much everyday. I use the Acne Cleansing bar, Clarifying Lotion 2 and Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel.

I’ve also used their acne spot treatment, but since sticking with the 3-steps every morning and night I really haven’t needed it. Anything that pops up is pretty small and goes away within a day or two with just the three steps (and no picking of course!).

In addition to my daily routine, I have a few weekly habits. The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil Face Mask is wonderful! I’ve tried alot of different face masks in the last decade and this is easily my favorite. The classic green mask gives an instant cooling and tingly sensation. As it dries it pulls away excess oils and impurities. Once rinsed off my face is always left dewy and fresh looking. It my favorite Sunday night ritual.

You know, I’m not entirely sure how effective Biore strips are over the long term, but there’s SO MUCH instant gratification with them. (And they always give me the nostaligic, warm-fuzzies, reminding me of that scene in Princess Diaries when Mia’s crush Michael shows up at her house)

What are your go-to products?


Fall Nail Color Lineup

Fall Nail Color

I’ve been trying to minimize my nail polish collection for a long time. I feel like every few months for the past couple of years I’ve purged at least a handful of nail polish bottles, but somehow I still have a ridiculous–albeit less than before–amount of nail polish. So I’ve decided to create a capsule nail polish collection of sorts. I’m going to wear only these five shades for the entire season. I might give it a little refresh in January and perhaps switch out a shade or two, but maybe I can make it all the way until the Spring lineup.
DSCN0754I devised a plan of five shades that should translate easily into other seasons. I chose two neutrals, two colors and a fun shade. I think with these five shades I should be able to satisfy my nail polishing needs with out ending up with a handful of new, barely used colors at the end of the season.

Fun Shade: Zoya Livingston

Dark Color: Julep Judi

Light Color: Essie Fall in Line

Light Neutral: Essie Chinchilly

Dark Neutral: OPI Black Onyx

What colors are you wearing this fall?

New Beauty Faves

DSCN0135In the past couple weeks I’ve picked up a few new goodies that I am just loving!

I was on a hunt for a new mascara and was prepared to splurge, so I was pleasantly surprised by this delightful $8 tube! Loreal Voluminous Million Lashes gives my lashes volume and length without getting clumpy–the fine-bristled, bendy brush seriously works wonders.

I just hate putting lotion on. So Vaseline Spray and Go is the. perfect. solution. for me! Continuous spray, no greasy cap–it’s really just like the commercial says. Plus the aloe scent is oh-so-fresh and gentle on my very sensitive skin.

So I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but Bare Minerals is magic. I went into the Jordan Creek Bare Minerals last Friday and the girls working were quick to sit me down and get me started. I enjoyed a lovely little pampering session, while the very knowledgeable girl explained the technique and selected the best shades for me. I got the starter kit which included primer, concealer, foundation, blush, finishing powder and three brushes–at $75 for all of that its almost more of a steal than a splurge (almost).


Currently Craving: Pretty Scents

Pretty Scents

I’ve been on the hunt for a new scent for so long! I picked up a random scent at the last VS semi-annual sale that was just ok, and  it ran a few weeks ago so I’ve been 100% sans-scent for a while now. Last weekend I did some serious scent perusing and found several that I love! And even picked up a sample of a few of them to test out. Now I just have to pick my favorite.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh is in fact oh-so-fresh. It’s a lovely, light floral scent–which is always a win in my book, but at $89 it’s going to take a serious chunk out of my monthly shopping budget.

French Lavender Honey, from Bath & Body Works is a better fit for my budget at $40. It’s one of the samples I’ve been using this week and its a nice sweet-but-not-too-sweet scent. I am a serious lavender-lover so I was a little disappointed that the lavender is a pretty subtle aspect of the scent, but still a serious contender.

Mad About You had me at first sight. I love everything–the name, the colors, the bow! The base of the scent is peonies–my very favorite flower. I’ve been sampling this one all week to and its a very sweet scent, but I actually really like it. It’s also from Bath & Body Works and comes in at just $35.

Tocca Simone is pretty and elegant, just like its bottle. The bright tropical hints in the scent are something I’m usually not attracted to but mixed with a bit blonde wood its just perfect! But at $68 its quickly inching to the top of my very modest budget.

Bombshells in Bloom is just what it sounds like–a fun, sultry scent with sweet floral overtones. Add “in Bloom” on to the back of pretty much any scent and I’m going to love it! The $52 price tag makes it a very manageable splurge.

DIY: Lavender Sugar Scrub

DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub | Tulips & Rain

Dress season is inching closer here in Iowa–you could even argue it’s already arrived with a high of 70 later this week! Which means its time to unleash the legs! But before that happens, a little preparation is necessary–which is where this DIY Lavender Sugar Scrub comes in. I usually start getting my self-tan on sometime  in March–I’m still looking for the perfect self-tanner, let me know if you have suggestions–but before slathering up with tropical-scented tanner a good exfoliation is necessary. A few years ago I found a super simple sugar scrub recipe that’s just as good–if not better–than anything I’ve ever used from beauty shop.

1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw
1/4 cup olive oil
Several drops Essential Lavender Oil

Mix sugar and olive oil together in a small bowl until well combined. Add several drops of lavender oil, until reaching your desired scent potency. I used a generous amount of lavender to cover up the olive oil scent, not that olive oil smells bad, I would just rather smell like lavender. 🙂  I recommend adding a few drops, then giving it a sniff, and so on until you reach a sweet spot.

Use in the shower just as you would any other body scrub. You can substitute regular sugar for Sugar in the Raw and swap out essential oils, this would be wonderful with lemon too!




Coral Crush

Coral Crush | Tulips & RainI pick up new beauty products every now and then and more often than not they end up barely used in the back of my bathroom cupboard. I tend to pick unsuitable colors for my skin tone, or products that just don’t work with my routine. But lately I’ve been on a roll with all things coral!

Coral Crush | Tulips & RainI’ve always been a fan of cream blushes, but since my favorite one was discontinued a few years ago I’ve been on the hunt for a new one. Tarte cheek stain in fearless is the perfect subtle hue and I think it will transition really well into summer when my skin gets a little darker.

Covergirl LipPerfection Jumbo Gloss Balm in Coral Twist gives a nice amount of color. I’ll never be someone who can pull off a bold lip, so I like just a touch of color–and it’s a perfect drugstore alternative to Clinique’s Chubby Sticks!

Essie never fails me. Peach Daiquiri is a lovely orangey-pink–not too girly and not too ORANGE–a good pedicure color. With a little patience (it takes a good 3-4 thin coats with complete drying in between) Resort Fling is a pretty, almost neutral coral.

Currently Craving: Spring Beauty Goods

Currently Craving: Spring Beauty Goods | Tulips & Rain

The ground is covered is snow and its not even a spring month yet, but I’m craving a little warm-weather color in my life.

Eos Honeydew Lip Balm // Eos is an essential in my moisturizing regime. I have one at work, in my purse, by my bed and in my makeup bag. My sweet mint one that I keep at work is almost gone and I think its time to change it up with Honeydew.

Sephora Eye for Color Mini Eye Brush Set // I can’t remember when I got my eye shadow brush, but I know I was still living at my parent’s house and I’m not sure if I had a Driver’s License yet. I think its about time I replace it. I love this mini set from Sephora.

Clinique Happy in Bloom // I love this scent. It is perfect for spring and early summer.

Tarte Cheek Stain // I haven’t had blush in my makeup bag for quite sometime and I’m starting to miss it. Cream blushes are my favorite and I’m sucker for cute packaging.

Essie Resort Fling // Essie is my go-to nail polish brand and I’ve been drooling over this color since it came out with the Resort collection a few weeks ago.

What are you craving this month?