You get invited to be on a TV show or interviewed for something, or do a professional photoshoot, and you’re thrilled to death! But also, a little terrified about looking good on camera. I get it.

I’ve been on several episodes of national TV shows, along with a CNN special. I also do videos for my day job as a news reporter. So I can tell ya, I know a little about doing your hair and makeup for camera because I’ve made ALL the mistakes. And Lord knows, ya’ll should learn from my slip ups.

Makeup for camera is very different for most people than their daily beauty routines, and that’s definitely true for me. Here are my top tips for looking good in videos and on camera, and I hope they help you a little when your big time comes!

Tame those flyaways

When you’re under bright lights, especially with a darker background (like a backdrop many photographers or videographers use) the little frizzies in your fair are totally magnified. Especially if you’re like me and like to tease your hair, or if you have thick hair! I can’t tell you how many times in a shoot I’ve had to stop and take a wet paper towel across my head to tame my hair, or rub lotion between my palms and pat down my little flyaways. Make sure you use lots of hair spray or gel to keep your hair in place, even if you normally go for a bigger, bed-head look like I do. 

Neutrogena shine control powder

I was recently on a shoot for a Discovery ID Channel show and this was what the video team handed me to keep under my chair, with a little white makeup sponge. It seems super thick (which it is when applied straight on your face with a sponge like that) but that’s exactly why they like it. You can powder your nose or forehead and totally, completely cut out any shine without looking like you added more makeup or changed your makeup between shots. It’s easy and from the drugstore, so definitely pick some up to have in your bag. You might feel really weird putting it on, especially if you typically go for a dewey look, but I promise you’ll be glad you did in this situation. Pick it up at Target.

Matte matters

Speaking of dewey looks– as much as I love them, that’s not what you want on a video or photo shoot. You don’t have to have heavy, mask-like makeup but you also don’t want your face to be reflective in the camera. The dewey-ness also can make your pores look bigger, which no one wants! Keep your face fresh looking with a foundation and concealer, but don’t go too heavy on contouring or highlighting. 

Shimmer

Shimmery or glittery highlights, blushes, and eyeshadows are some of my favorite things- but they aren’t camera and harsh light friendly. Again, glitter on your cheeks can make your pores look bigger than they are under all that lighting. Keep it off the eyes, too! Go for a matte, clean look with a color to warm up your crease and a lighter, skin-colored shade to put on the inside of your eye. You can use eyeshadow or eyeliner to define your eyes, but don’t overdo that either. It can look much harsher in photos than you realize. 

Lippies

The only real rule here is wear a lip liner, even if you usually don’t! It will keep your product in place, so it doesn’t start sliding into the skin or lines around your lips, and make it last longer too. I tend to stay away from very shiny lipsticks or glosses when on camera because they are too reflective off the lights for my liking.

Last but not least

Relax and have fun! This is your time to shine!

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I hate it when you see these bloggers in totally amazing bathing suits and then when you click on them, they’re usually over $150. While I might be in love, I have a really hard time convincing myself to spend what could be a nice night out on a bathing suit that covers literally 12% of my body.

So after a little internet sleuthing (that’s what I’m here for, right?) I have found a whole bunch of cute & similar styles to the ones all the it girls are wearing, all for under $50. Yes, both pieces of two-piece sets are under fifty TOTAL. 

It’s time to stop spending an insane amount of money for a cute piece of spandex you wear for three months, amiright? 

Let me know if you buy any of these and what you think! 

1 AF seersucker one piece

2 Forever 21 chain and floral bikini

3 Target black one piece with cutout (buy this in your bra size for $49)

4 Amazon pom pom high-waisted bikini

5 Forever 21 watercolor bikini (comes as a set for $27)

6 Red Dress ruffle bikini (comes in black too!)

7 AF leopard one piece

PS: TJ Maxx is a great place to find well-made, department store bikinis for around $30 max. The stores have way more of a variety than online, so head there asap. One of the only stores I go to in person anymore!

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It’s no secret I’ve changed my ways when it comes to face makeup over the past year– I’m planning to write a post about that soon, but I converted to a light coverage kind of gal and ditched my old full-face, matte routine. But I think for the summer, most of us don’t want to wear our normal makeup and opt for something lighter or something with SPF.

Recently I ran to Ulta and picked up some new things for the season that I have been absolutely loving. I’ve been really leaning towards a light or no base, with bronzer and blush and something to give my skin a dewy effect. For eyes, I really have been loving a warm-toned look.

These products give me just that! Let me know if you try any of them and what you think.

Summer makeup products

Almay Smart Shade Skintone Matching Makeup

Ya’ll, I am shocked at how much I like this stuff. Its one of those products that comes out white with little grains, but it changes color when you rub it on. I rub it between my fingers for a few seconds until the color starts appearing, and then apply it directly to my face and blend with the warmth of my fingertips to make sure the color is just right. There’s several different shades that adjust, and I went with the lightest. 

I LOVE the way this cream feels on my face, and I love it has an SPF. Its the perfect beach makeup for me! It also isn’t very dewy, so if you’re looking for something like that just use a dewy primer or spray over it and you’re good to go. Perfect natural face makeup when you just want a little help and protection for your skin! (Buy it here)

Australian Wellness Co. Mango and Papaya Lip Balm

I picked this up at a CVS at the beach on a whim (it was in those darned things by the cash register, they always get me!) and I have been in love ever since. It goes on really white and thick, so I use it before bed or first thing in the morning before I do my makeup. After it has time to soak into your lips, you will feel the difference. I don’t think there’s an overwhelming smell or taste, despite the claims on the bottle. It’s pleasant, but definitely not too much.

PSA the applicator on mine had a little plastic bump on it, so I’ve just been applying it to the back of my hand and then using my finger to rub it into my lips. (Can’t find it online, but I love this brand too)

Sun Bum Tinted Lip Balm

Can you tell I have a slight lip balm addiction? This stuff is great because unlike the other one, you can wear it like a lipstick during the day. It smells AMAZING, tastes good (don’t ask) and has a color that wears like a light lipstick. And, it’s got SPF! Lips are one area, like the tops of your feet and your ears, that usually don’t get sun protection. Anytime you can remember to protect those areas and actually have a product that makes you forget you’re helping your skin, it’s a winner. 

I have the color Sunset Cove and Sand Bar. You can pick these up at Ulta or online!(Buy it here) 

Revlon Volumazing Mascara

This is an incredibly underrated mascara, in my opinion. It’s a really lightweight and easy to remove formula, which is awesome, but it stays put all day even in the sweaty summer days down south. It gives you that thick, flirty lash look and is more volumizing than lengthening, but I’m completely down with that. If you’re looking for a new drugstore mascara, check this guy out. (Buy it here)

Colourpop Brow Boss

I am usually NOT a thin brow pencil kind of girl- my usual go to is Benefit Goof Proof. I ordered this on a whim because it was $5 and at first I wasn’t crazy about it… but I started using it, along with a little brow gel (Archery from Soap and Glory is my fave) and I love the way it looks! I use the gel first, and then fill in any bald areas with this little guy, concentrating on the front and the arch. I love the thick look this process gives my brows! With a light, summer makeup, I think full brows are a must. And God knows I do not naturally have those. (Buy it here)

Summer makeup products, Naked Heat petite palette

Urban Decay Naked Petite Heat

The internet made me do it. I’ve seen this palette since it came out last year and I have always liked it, but I didn’t ever bite the $29 bullet and buy it. Well, that day came and I am completely smitten. I was a little worried about the limited looks 5 shades could give, but it’s actually surprised me in the best way possible. There is a great browbone/highlight color, a neutral for the lid, two great outer corner or crease colors, and a color I can use as a liner. Shockingly, I have been reaching for it everyday and haven’t gotten tired of it! 

I also love how this little guy has a big mirror, and its perfect for travel. I’m already planning for it to be the one shadow I take with me to the Bahamas next month! (Buy it here)

Pacifica Alight Multi-mineral BB Cream

This is another product I bought on a whim (are you seeing a pattern here?) and I’m surprised I actually like. It’s also another white-turn-nude formula, but maybe a little less versatile than the Almay shades. This product doesn’t actually give you any coverage or color to your skin really, but acts as a dewy cream that makes you look like you have a Victoria’s Secret model skin. I recently used this with a little of my Petite Heat eyeshadow, some strong brows, and my tinted Sun Bum balm for family dinner after a day at the pool and it was such a perfect look! It isn’t irritating to my skin or covering up my face, but rather giving a little healthy glow to look a little less tired than I usually am.

I am curious to see if this lays well under makeup— if so, it would be the best primer! (Buy it here)

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I’m not usually a huge LOFT person, but I have occasionally found some really good finds there. Especially when they have awesome sales! I recently saw they were having a 40 percent off sale & I thought I should check it out.

So I did, and found some really great pieces! Here are the items I bought, plus two not pictured that I ordered.

LOFT romper

Floral romper

I ordered a simple black high-neck tank and a long sleeve, chambray type dress shirt with a subtle polka dot print. Both are SO SO soft and both so versatile!

Yellow shorts/ black tank (old from Free People)

Everything I got is precious, but I have to say I think the romper and the basic black tank are my favorites. And I’ve already worn most everything I got!

LOFT shorts and shirt

Yellow shorts/ floral blouse

Do you like shopping at LOFT? Or are you a more trendy shopping kind of girl? Let me know where I should try!



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Red Dress is one of my favorite places to shop. No, I’m not sponsored by them or paid to say that, it just truly is one of my top places to find adorable, cute, and trendy pieces. Everything I have ordered from them is top-notch quality (kind of surprising for the prices, if I’m being honest) and I loooooove that they have a full-refund policy if your pieces don’t fit. I hate places that only let you return for store credit, especially when it’s an online store where you can’t try before you buy! That’s definitely one of the top reasons I buy from Red Dress again and again.

Here are some things I’ve bought lately from Red Dress! Some I kept, some I sent back for fit reasons, but there was nothing that was “bad” by any means.

Let me know if ya’ll try shopping at Red Dress and what you think of it!

Radius of Radiance Dress & 2. Castaway to Somewhere Dress

Both of these got returned. Not because I didn’t love the look or because they weren’t made well, just because the fit didn’t work for me. With the Radius dress, it was too small and also just didn’t flatter my body type. I’m 5’7″ and have an athletic build and this was definitely made for someone more petite. If you fit that bill, this is a precious little dress! Castaway was also precious, but way too short for me. If you are tall, again this may not work for you unless you’re looking for a swim coverup.

3. Hey Gorgeous Light Blue Multi Maxi Dress

This one hasn’t hit my doorstep yet but my gosh I am so excited. I was on the waitlist for this guy and I jumped on it as soon as I got the restock email. I bought the small and I know it’s going to be great for dinner dates or outdoor, summer-night parties.

4. The Perfect One Khaki Round Bag

I got this as a Mother’s Day present for my mom and I know she’s going to love it. It’s so cute and lightweight, I’ve had to stop myself from using it before I give it to her!

5. Weekends in the Hamptons Mint Multi Bikini Top & Bottoms

This bathing suit is gorgeous, and I wanted it to work so badly. Sadly, this was just a little too small for me! I could have returned for the large, but I wasn’t sure if the bottoms would work or not. If you are petite, this is a great pick. Every bathing suit they have though is adorable!

Red Dress maxi dress
Such a fun wedding & the best dress for a beach event!

6. Make It Magical Maxi Dress in Sweet Surprise

UGH why can’t I wear this dress every single day? I love it so much. I bought the medium and it’s perfect. I got so many compliments when I wore this to a recent beach wedding and I definitely already have plans to wear it to another reception coming up. It’s the best color for summer and the low cut top isn’t as revealing as I thought it would be. Sure, its low– but I definitely didn’t feel uncomfortable wearing it around my high school friends and their moms. This might be my favorite purchase of the site!

7. Be My Date Dress in Olive

I got this in the olive color and I love it so much. I bought the medium, but I def could have used the small… but it’s so cute, I don’t think it really matters. The material is silky and feels so expensive, and I love the smocked waistline that you can adjust to what works best for your waist/hips. It’s also a great length for this long-torso gal! I am planning to wear this to an upcoming rehearsal dinner and probably a (different) wedding too.

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It’s transition season ya’ll, and you know what that means in Alabama. It’s sweater and shorts season.

While this season doesn’t last long here (we typically move from winter into summer within a week), I still love this time of year. Its perfect weather to sit outside, the mosquitoes aren’t out, and you don’t sweat your face off.

Sweater and shorts outfit for spring.
Shorts (similar)/ Sweater (similar)/ Bag/ Name necklace/ Earrings (similar)

I loved these denim shorts last year and they’re already in my rotation again this year. They’re Joe’s Jeans from TJ Maxx, but here is a similar option from the brand. I think they’re the perfect length, which can be so hard to find!

This sweater is from Three Dots and I can’t find the exact one, but there’s a lookalike at Forever 21.

Also, ya’ll know I love me a good pair of statement earrings, and these are no exception. They are also from TJs, but Red Dress has some cute white earring options. Name necklace is one of my new faves from the Sis Kiss, and the other is my name in Arabic all the way from the Middle East.

Happy Spring!

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.
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I recently had a pretty big trash bag full of makeup products- both empty, expired, or simply ones I didn’t care for. I thought it would be fun to list the things I’m tossing for whatever reason and tell ya’ll what I thought about them! I love trying new beauty products, so I think it’s definitely proof that something is awesome if I plan to buy it again.

Let me know if you have tried any of these products and if your verdict was the same as mine! (Links for everything is listed in the name of the product)

Will repurchase ASAP

Neutrogena SkinClearing concealer– Y’all, I adore this stuff. The color is a little dark for me, but I make it work because I love that this product allows me to cover my blemishes but still treat them with salicylic acid while wearing makeup! If you’ve ever used a spot treatment, you know makeup does not layer over it well. I adore this concealer and have used it for years.

Maybelline Dream Cushion foundation– Y’all. This foundation is the perfect light-coverage foundation for girls looking to get ready on the go, or those who want just a little bit of makeup for a natural day. I love this stuff and have used it as my “get up and run” makeup for as long as I’ve had it. I can pat this on in my car mirror with a sponge or with the little pad it comes with and throw on some mascara, and be ready to go.

Beauty products I'm keeping


Maybelline Fit Me concealer– While Shape Tape is my favorite concealer at the moment, Fit Me is my all time favorite. It’s definitely thinner than Shape Tape but you get great coverage and it is super hydrating without looking oily. I will buy this again and again and never look back.

Eco Tools makeup sponge– The ONLY dupe for a beauty blender that I use. This guy is the truth!

Maybelline Brow Precise Fiber Volumizer– I know there’s a lot of Maybelline on here, but for good reason. I always liked a pencil brow product until this guy— it’s like a fiber mascara for your brows! The color is perfect for me, and I love how thick my brows look with just a few swipes of this. The only thing with this product is that you’re not going to get a very neat, Instagram-looking brow, but if you’re okay with messy brows then this is for you.

Maybelline The Rocket mascara– My ride or die mascara since 2012, I don’t even want to know how many tubes of this I’ve gone through. It’s embarrassing. This is truly the best first-coat mascara on the planet and I will buy it until you bury me.

Won’t rush to repurchase

Rimmel Stay Matte powder– This stuff is fine for a powder when you’re doing your makeup, but it’s not awesome for touch ups later in the day. It works, but I think there are better powders that doesn’t make your skin look patchy and your makeup separated.

Soap and Glory One Heck of a Blot primer– I heard several Youtubers rave about this product, but I never could make it work. Every time I use it, my pores look huge and my foundation slides off my face. Not a good look, but maybe this is better for someone with a different skin type.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Tint– I love the formula of this and I think it’s a great product. But the color doesn’t match my skin really well, especially when I am not self tanned. If you have a little deeper or more warm-toned skin than me and want a summery foundation, this is a great choice.

Beauty products that I'm throwing away

LA Girl Pro Powder in banana– Again, I heard people rave about this product. I have never been able to make yellow-toned powders work for me— again I think it’s my coloring, because they make my face look sallow and dull. Also, baking my under eye area is something that just doesn’t work at all for me! I know this is the main point of this powder, so I knew I should toss it because I will never use it again.

L’Oréal Infallible stick foundation– While I adore both liquid foundations in the Infallible line (and the powder) this stick formula didn’t work for me. I tried applying it so many different ways, but each time the finish was cakey and the product quickly separated in my T- Zone. Not for me.

This post was not sponsored; all opinions are my own

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I did something I tell ya’ll ALL THE TIME not to do, so I felt like I should come clean.

I weighed myself and then was hard on myself for the number I didn’t like staring back at me.

I know, I know. I say constantly— and I know to be true— that weighing yourself on your home scale doesn’t give you a full picture. When I stated working out seriously I gained weight, and I was okay with that. And, I tell ya’ll to be okay with that too.

But I wasn’t okay with the number the other day, and I was upset at myself. I wallowed around for an hour about that number. Soon though, I remembered something. I remembered I can break a wooden board with my kick. I can get out of choke holds and I know how to throw someone to the ground. My body is strong and capable.

Maybe it’s not 100 pounds. But why does that matter anyway?

I am strong, I am healthy, and overall I am happy with the way my body looks. Those three little numbers on the screen below me shouldn’t make me want to throw all that way.

This was something I wanted to share to show that while I always want to be as body positive as I KNOW I should be, sometimes I have setbacks– and I’m okay with that. But when I, 9 days out of 10, practice self love and self care, I am happy with my body and I don’t even have the temptation to get upset over a number.

And you shouldn’t either. But if you do, don’t beat yourself up about it. Cry a little or wallow in your misery, but in an hour you pick yourself up and remember, you are capable of so much more than that number can show.

In 2019, let’s stand together against criticizing our bodies and body shaming. Let’s stand for pushing our bodies to do their best, and thanking them for keeping us going.

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Last week we talked about graduation gifts, now it’s time to talk graduation invitations. Some of ya’ll know I made my own wedding invites and I definitely do not regret it. They turned out exactly how I wanted! But, I think since graduation invites are not as elaborate or detailed, and you don’t need as many (ie expensive) as wedding paper suites, you can pretty much buy them exactly how you like and spend less than you would making them and have less of a headache.

Enter Basic Invite. Basic Invite is an online company that offers thousands of paper products, including business cards, stickers, and stationary. They specialize in invitations though, and they have some of the cutest grad invites I have ever seen.

Picture of Basic Invite graduation invitation

One really cool thing about Basic Invite that makes them different from some of the other paper companies out there is that they have nearly more than 180 color options for every element on your card, meaning you can completely personalize *everything* and make your invite look like YOU, and not just one picked off the shelf at Hobby Lobby. That’s the biggest thing for me— I want my invites to be as unique as I am, and Basic Invite lets you do that.

They also offer custom samples, so you can hold an actual printed sample of your invite before you put in your order. That way, you don’t order 100 and realize you don’t actually like the picture you chose.

Basic Invite also offers more than 40 colors of envelopes, and the envelopes are peel and seal (praise the LORD, you do not know how helpful this is unless you’ve licked 300 wedding invitations!). They also have an address service that works with a link you post on social media, so friends and family can directly input their address info and its saved to your account. The best part of this service is Basic Invite offers recipient address printing at NO COST on all card orders. What! 

Picture of Basic Invite graduation invitation

For my extra gals, like myself, they also have foil cards too in gold, silver, and rose gold.

If you want to try out Basic Invite for their medical assistant graduation invitations,save the date graduation invitations, invitations for college graduation, or anything else they offer, you can get 15% off with coupon code: 15FF51

If you get overwhelmed, some are my favorites are called The Tassel, Script Frame, and Gold Confetti Corners.

Thank me later! 

This post was sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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It’s that time of year! College graduation invites are coming in– and its match week for all my med school folks– and you’ve got to get shopping for the perfect gift for the lady in your life who is about to take her next step, whether that be a job, residency, a big move, or whatever.

I put together a list of some items at different price points that I think would be amazing college or higher ed graduation gifts for any woman in your life! Let me know what you think. What was your favorite graduation gift?

Gold Bangle: The Yearly Company is one of the coolest businesses I have found in a while. They make real gold bangles, designed to be given yearly or for special events like graduations, marriages, and babies. If you get your graduating girl one now, its so easy to just keep giving them when she hits major milestones! Built-in future gift ideas, and she will love stacking them.

Charm Bracelet: If you know me, you know I love Alex and Ani bracelets. They have the cutest college collection of charm bangles, so you can get your graduate a little piece of her alma mater to take with her wherever she goes. See them here.

Leather Tote: Your girl is about to be running all over the place, from job interviews to happy hour and everywhere in between. Give her a big tote bag that she can stuff her laptop, notebook, and a pair of flip flops in, and she will be a happy girl. Bonus if it comes with a wristlet attached! This is one of my favorite totes because it is designed to fit a MacBook, and it’s available in different colors! 

Bedding: Get her some cute pillows and bedding to make that college mattress look a little more adult. I love light colors with muted patterns!

Kitchenware: While really anything for the kitchen is a good gift, some real bowls and plates can really make the new college graduate feel like an adult. And look like one too when people come over! I love this baby blue set, and they are the perfect cereal size… which I ate a lot of at that time.

Books on how to kick a**: Books are one of the best gifts, especially for graduation. Girl Stop Apologizing is the new book by Rachel Hollis and is supposed to be amazing for women who want to learn how to fearlessly take on their goals and conquer them. Buy it here.

This post is not sponsored; all opinions are my own.

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