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March 18, 2019

Loving Lately...


You guys!!! The last time I used this template was back in 2016 (JoJo was Bachelorette!). It's been such a long time since I've shared favorites this way and I had so much fun figuring out what I wanted to share with you this time around. I even have a returning contender: buxom's lip plumper... it's been three years and I still give it all the heart eye emojis.

Thursday night about two hours after I got off from work, I started getting sick, I was even up all night throwing up... we think it was food poisoning... I was so worried I wouldn't be able to get my life together and get up a post for Monday- but I'm so glad I'm currently typing this one up.

There are SO many amazing products on the market right now, to be honest- this list doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of everything that I adore currently but I also don't want to make you sit through a college lecture length of me rambling about things I love (that you will TOO!). So let's start...

BEAUTY

1. Buxom's Full-On Plumping Lip Cream in 'White Russian': Me and my mom are OBSESSED with these. (She prefers 'Hot Toddy'!) I don't think I have found a lipgloss I love as much as these since trying them back in 2016, every other gloss I get tired of. It provides the perfect amount of pigment, gloss, and plump that you honestly don't regret the price tag of $20. I have owned three in my lifetime, they last that long. Basically, one for a single year. So when you look at it that way, how can you say no? 

2. Charlotte Tilbury's Airbrush Flawless Finish Skin Perfecting Powder in 'Medium 2': YALL. I wanted a Charlotte Tilbury product for YEARS. I never dreamed I would be able to afford them on my own, I can remember Taylor Morgan sharing about them on instastories and her blog and thinking one day! Now that the day is here, I CAN'T STOP RAVING EITHER. Do yourself a favor, and when your budget allows- splurge on her products! I have never felt more beautiful then when I swipe her powder across my problem areas and see the pores slowly disappear. 

3. Sephora's Tatcha- Pore Perfecting Moisturizer and Cleanser Duo: What I really want to rave about is their deep cleanse. It truly ruined every other cleanser for me, and I have had it almost for a year and it's still going strong. YALL- this is the mini size I can't even imagine the FULL. What I love about this product is it's a natural everyday exfoliant that isn't too harsh that it will leave my skin feeling rubbed raw, but will also leave my skin feeling rejuvenated. I love that for only $25, you get to experience a brand as luxurious as Tatcha. Me and my bestie Cristen are literally obsessed...

4. Tarte's 'The Buffer' Airbrush Finish Bamboo Foundation Brush:  I was definitely a sponge girl until I found this brush and to be honest, I rarely reach for a sponge to apply my foundation after owning it. For easy and on the go, you just can't beat a brush- it's true! But this seems to give the same look a beauty blender can achieve. I will never go back! 

Life + Style

1. The Amazon Bikini Everyone and Their Dog Is Talking About: If you have an instagram, you've seen this bikini. It is everyones favorite photo-op bikini for summer time, and I'm not ashamed to be lumped into a group with them. This is hands down one of the most flattering bikinis out there, and I don't think it has to do with the fact that it's high-waisted (though let's be honest- it doesn't hurt) I think it's just that freaking cute! It's not an everyday beach suit, but it's really good for occasions. I want a cute suit to wear around my bf''s fam (done)... I want a suit for a girls weekend at the condo (add to cart!)... I want a bikini I'm not ashamed of posting onto social media (THIS IS FOR YOU!). Just be sure to size up one (and if they don't have that size- sizing up two won't completely ruin the suit- that's what I had to do!) 

2. Sol De Janeiro's Brazilian Bum Bum Cream: Contrary to what it sounds like, it's not butt cream and it also is pronounced like Boom Boom. I know everyone is talking about this lotion but there's a reason why- it smells HEAVENLY. I have never been a fan of lotions before, I would use them but didn't HAVE to use them if that makes sense. Well, I love this product so much... I literally keep two at all times- one for my bfs house and one for mine!  

3. Amazon Traveling Makeup Case: I have to shoutout my girl Taylor, because somehow she always leads me to things I can't possibly live without (like this makeup case)! I had been on the search for a good case for probably my entire life with makeup. I never wanted to spend too much money and I also just never really liked anything I ever settled on. So when she posted this to her story- I immediately grabbed it! Though small, it surprisingly holds SO much- I have my everyday makeup in there (including ALL my options that I switch in between) and to me that's wild... this was like around $20! How is that even possible!? I keep my makeup stash at Ms but if I ever want to wear makeup to work then I need a case for on-the-go and this holds everything I could ever want. Do yourself a favor and grab this before your next trip! 

4. Amazon Pink Fluffy Slippers: Do you sense the theme? I got an alexa for Christmas and then finally joined the rest of the world and created an amazon prime account and I AM ALIVE! How did I go this long without ordering things at the drop of a hat? My bank account might hate me, but yall should NOT because I get to share all my GREAT finds! As usual, I found this via Taylor (literally do I ever find anything on my own lol) they are the most comfiest slippers you could ever own in your life! I feel like I'm walking on air and it's because they don't have a solid back to them... it's cushion. So literally going to wear these everywhere, k? 

Coveting

1. Laneige's Lip Sleeping Mask: If you follow any youtubers or bloggers than you know this stuff is the ish. I'm totally late to the party but I want to join too! I smelled it in Sephora once and HATED the smell but I think it was just an off batch because literally all my friends rave about it too. Have you tried it? 

2. Marc Jacobs Beauty's Velvet Noir Volume Mascara: I have heard nothing but good things about this product and I honestly have it in my Sephora cart and I just need to click check out because I NEED IT. They also have a primer that looks bomb too. (Taylor recommends it too, so ya know I'm sold.) 

3. Drunk Elephant's T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum: I have a few of their products and actually LOVE them (even more than Sunday Riley, am I allowed to say that??) their oil is actually how I realized that oils DO work and can be added to your skincare routine. I haven't tried their day or night serum and would love to try either one. 

Other

1. Tates Cookies: YALL, how did I never try these until I was 25 years old!? That's 24 years WASTED! I really want to make ice cream sandwiches with them, has anybody tried that?? They are the perfect amount of buttery and crunchy and chocolatey- literally can't get enough. Literally who needs boys when these cookies exist???

2. Mio Energy: I have been trying to not only drink more water but cut down on coffee and lattes, and this stuff is the bomb. They have so many flavors and all it is, is water enhancers and some of them have caffeine in them too which is perfect for me when I go to work! The black cherry has Kool Aid vibes (!!!)

3. Apps I've Been Loving:
-Tone It Up: This app has changed the way I view exercise. I love spending 30 mins daily choosing a workout that fits MY problem areas, insecurities, or lifestyle. They also have SO much variety within their variety (things like boxing, arms, full circuits, hiit, yoga, and more!) I've already seen an improvement in not only my body but my self confidence too!

-Shopkick: I won't go into too much detail because I have a previous post that explains it in full length but this app is the reason I've gotten $100+ worth of Sephora completely FREE (!!!). If you love to window shop... or live somewhere where there isn't a lot to do then you NEED this app! 


So what are some of your favorites lately, Lord knows I'm already creating a shopping list in my head lol.... leave some recommendations below! 

March 11, 2019

Stop Taking It So Personally


|Thread & Supply Jacket|Aerie Leggings (with pockets!)|

"'Cause when you feel attacked that's a feeling, not a fact"

If you've been around for a while then you know I'm a musical theatre junkie. That particular quote above is a line from Mean Girls on Broadway. I can remember hearing the song for the first time and thinking wow now that's a game changer! It goes hand in hand with my new mindset I've been working on all of 2019...

You can't take others reactions to you personally, they are not facts. It's someone latching on to something in the moment, instead of actually facing what the actual problem is.

Gosh! That is so much easier said than done, right? I feel like it's an on going battle with me, you feel confident, that no one can tear you down- Brooke (that girl) knows what she's doing! Then a customer starts making comments about the way you FOAM A LATTE and you feel inferior, confused, and crushed. I just let someones opinion of foam, make me think I was less than. The worst part is we can sit here reading that statements and in unison all agree that I was insane for letting that simple action have that kind of affect on me. But if we reach deep down, we know that we've all let similar situations make us feel inferior.

We go around acting like that stops in high school, but some of us will always be drama queens deep down. We let people's opinions run the show and dictate who we are. And y'all, that has got to STOP. No wonder we're all driving each other mad!

I had an epiphany around Christmas time, I was dealing with a situation that escalated and ended up with someone video taping me. You know those viral videos where someone makes a worker seem like a complete and total A. All I was doing was sticking to my job and the set rules laid out for me. I wasn't rude, I didn't want to make anyone feel less than, and I certainly wouldn't want to negatively impact someones day. They flipped the script, and wanted to make me out as a monster. They left, and I sobbed uncontrollably. I couldn't stop shaking, and I was honestly confused. I tried to act brave, but for a solid month I worried I would have to deal with nasty comments on the internet that I just wasn't ready for.

It was in that moment that I realized, I was taking this way too personally, and I'm sorry but so were they. If you are told that light ice does not equal more product... that is not a personal attack. If someone is videoing you for absolutely no reason just to fit their narrative... that is not a personal attack. When someone calls you an idiot for carding them... that is not a person attack. When someone questions rather you have college education under your belt because you don't know their specific cigarette subcategory... believe it or not, that is not a personal attack.

I'm not saying that we should go around and emotionally vomit all our frustrations onto each other. I do not excuse or dismiss their behaviors one bit, but I can't get hung up on them and take them personally. Someone's reactions to something, often times says a lot more about them than it does about your abilities. (In an act of complete transparency, it says a lot about me when I let someone's opinion of foam dictate how I want to treat someone.)

We have got to stop letting others negativity belittle or define us. It has got to stop! Even if you aren't a believer like me, and don't think that our identity can only be determined and found through Jesus...
then you have to know that your ability and identity is NOT determined by other thoughts and it's not even our own thoughts and measure of our own self-worth! We have got to stop being such easily offended creators and start taking things with a grain of SALT.

I know it's not easy. I know sometimes you want to cry yourself to sleep secretly. I know that in the moment it feels like an attack and a fact. I know when your mind gets to settle, it keeps you up at night occasionally. I know, it's easier said than done.

BUT, I also...

know that you aren't alone. I know that my door is always open. I know that every single person feels like someones opinion is a fact. I know that we will wrestle with these truths daily, 'til we die.

And I say, bring it on. I'm ready to be better, stronger, and more resilient than who I was.



March 4, 2019

It's All A Balancing Act



Lately, I've felt uninspired to write anything worth while. I wanted to get back to the roots of why I created LookBrooke... to write out what God was teaching me day by day. Don't get me wrong I'm a self proclaimed beauty lover, but there's only so many beauty favs posts I can write out before it feels like fluff.

I recently got promoted in my job, and now deal with customers in a more hands-on manner than before (though if you've worked retail- then you know customers are people you must deal with no matter the title.) I almost feel like it's helped me be a better human being all around.

It all comes down to a balancing act. One I'm constantly perfecting day to day. Some days are easier than others, the scales just naturally lean towards the right way. Some days though, I have an overwhelming need to cry out to Jesus from frustration. The battle between pride, guilt, love, and appreciation. It's the line between caring for your work but making sure that sense of pride isn't shadowing your love for others. Same can be reversed too, and that your love for others isn't jeopardizing the work. That's when my scale just falls completely over and crash bang ow! it's on the floor and we're back to ground zero.

This all applies to life too, I strive to my live life with arms wide open and my heart eager to pour into others. I'm still learning and striving to get it somewhat perfected. Having pride in not only my work but my response to others, as well.

So let's raise our coffee, wine, beer, or mimosa high in the air and balance our scales. Cheers to another perfectly imperfect learning curve of a day! *weee*





September 2, 2018

Products I Have Been Loving




Guys, I don't know when it happened but I am obsessed with makeup lately. Remember when you got your first high end makeup purchase and didn't know what to do with yourself?? That's me 247 lately discovering new brands, re-discovering old, and making wish lists upon wish lists full of makeup I need to add to my collection! 

With Labor Day and a change to Sephora's reward system- we have some good makeup sales we have to talk about real quick! Sephora added a third (!!!) VIB sale to their roster to celebrate the fact that rouge can now trade in their points for $100 gift cards towards another purchase (!!!). In addition, both VIB and rouge now get to trade in their points for full-sized items as well in the rewards bazaar! Great things are coming and if you're not already a beauty insider, I would sign up! You automatically get the free birthday gift (no purchase required) but if you love makeup and trying out new things... your points stack up fast! The sale ends tomorrow 9/3 though, so I'd stock up STAT. The codes can be used online only once, but can be redeemed in store multiple times! 

Beauty Insider: YESINSIDER
VIB: YESVIB
Rouge: YESROUGE 



These are my current obsessions, products I have been trying out lately that have really made the cut. Slowly transitioning into my must-have pile with each use. I can't wait to share them with you and hear your thoughts on the products. If you've tried them, like them, hate them, and what other products you recommend for me to try! 

I know that Kat Von D herself is a pretty hot subject right now, but speaking on the quality of the product only- I truly can't find a contour product out there that I love more. I actually picked this up at TJ Maxx around this time last year, and I can't wait to use it all and have an excuse to buy the refillable one from Sephora. It's smooth, buttery, bendable, but not so highly pigmented that it's an accident waiting to happen. They're build-able shades with the right hue to not leave your face muddy. I personally use the second and last shades and I love the highlight powders equally. It's a great palette to bring with you on vacation because any thing you need is right there, even a bronzer shade for a quick eye look! I agree her personal choices are crazy but the girl KNOWS her bronzer. Don't try me hahahah. 
I realize how extra this truly makes me look, but to be honest I don't care. This product speaks for itself in application. The second you try it out, you won't look back to the other holy grail products you once used. I love using this at night as my moisturizer, or as a primer if I'm doing the bare minimum or just staying home and maybe leaving the house for a grocery store trip. My skin instantly looked better within two days of trying Tatcha products. It's expensive, but truly worth it.
I was mesmerized the second I saw youtube beauty guru's trying this out (I think one of the first I saw was Rain Daisy) that I knew I needed to add to my cart. Since receiving the product, I haven't used any other concealer. First of all, the product you get is INSANE! You practically get double other concealers for a single dollar more. The product is super full coverage, easy to blend out, and a little goes a long way! You're basically getting a foundation for the price of concealer. It's made for multi-uses, so you can use it as a concealer, highlight, contour, or foundation (especially on those days you just dap a little concealer and call it a day). I actually plan on getting it in my exact shade for those kinds of days as well as a few shades darker and try to contour as well. It's versatile, a bang for your buck, and I truly love Too Faced products- I've never been disappointed for the most part (other than Better Than Sex). 
Oh My Goodness, this is hands down the only lip balm I would keep if I had to make the decision. It simply enhances your natural lip color for a 'your color but better' kind of look. My go-to for basically every day. I love this with brows and a little mascara. 
One of my best friends swears by Cover FX and to be honest, I never really understood the hype (and definitely didn't think cream foundation would work in my favor) so when they came out with the liquid foundation this spring, I did it. I've truly never felt more beautiful when it comes to foundation, it glides on beautifully. I will be honest, I've only ever used a sponge but I just bought the tarte foundation brush and I can't wait to try it out with this foundation. If you were to splurge on a single makeup product, I do think it should be your foundation and with price tags like $120+... I think $44 is pretty reasonable! 
Remember all the Modern Renaissance hype? Your mom, your neighbor, heck even your dog was so onboard with that palette, so when the Soft Glam came out this spring... I jumped at the chance of getting it during the last VIB sale. 
I will give the disclaimer that fall out doesn't bother me much, especially since I'm not a smoky eye or dark shadow kind of gal. I also typically don't really wear shadow (I know, I know) so when I do... I apply first before anything else. 
For Norvina, I fell in love the second they announced the palette. If I could go back to the LU days and talk about my perfect palette- that would be it! Purple colors are so gorgeous with brown eyes, and I like that I can take the palette and have everything I need eye wise. (In fact my first ever shadow was a single shadow from MAC in a vibrant purple color... and yes I literally ONLY had that for years lolol).
Soft Glam is versatile but has so many feminine choices in it! I love making "sunset" looking eyes with it. I think they're great for everyday and going all out for special occasions as well. Hands down, I'm now an ABH shadow palette fan! 
I love this sponge for makeup, it's giant so really gets the job done fast and gets to the point. I have to admit I was watching instastories and this girl said that the only sponge that works is the beauty blender and I was tempted to message her and say girl you gotta try the real techniques body sponge then! That's how much I believe in this product. 
I mentioned earlier that Better Than Sex had kind of disappointed me, and I truly believe that's because this product exists. The brush and packaging are similar, and are often compared as dupes for one another. I think my lashes look longer and more voluminous with Lash Paradise. I've actually bought this product twice and will be buying for a third soon. If you're looking for a good drugstore mascara, this is it (!!!).
This was my first actual brow product that I ever bought, coming back to this pencil- I forgot how easy yet good this made my brows look. I'm not one to be skilled in that department but I feel like I can fake it til I make it when it comes to this product. 
I love Sun Bum! I've been a fan of their chapstick for years. I use their coconut one every single night with my night time routine. They're hydrating, smooth, don't dry out to where your lips feel like you need it every second. and they come in so many flavors! I like to keep the mango one in my wallet for when I need to grab a chapstick on the go.
RIP to one of the best palettes ever. My first high-end eye shadow palette was the OG Naked Palette from Urban Decay. My mother had it shipped to my house as a surprise and I couldn't get enough. It's one of the few palettes I've hit pan in and have completely wiped evidence of product haha. Sidecar is my OG and to be honest, I bought another one when they announced it was being discontinued so that I could have that color forever. It's just a good everyday palette. Go grab it from any UD retailer NOW- for $27.00 you just can't beat it. You need it, and if you have it- you need another haha.


What are some products you've been loving lately? I would love to stock up and try some more haha. 


         
        


March 18, 2018

How To Receive Free Products Without Being A Blogger


If you ever need to get a hold of me, there's a good chance i'm in the makeup section of any store. My obsession meets new heights each day but you know how it goes- you love what you love. It's funny, I always thought I was so much more into fashion growing up... my best friend Abigail had the makeup guru locked down. So much that if I ever wanted to look cute, she was the one I went to. I remember her pulling out her collection of MAC makeup, and me being in awe because I knew notihng.

I'm embarrassed y'all but when I first wore makeup my Clinique powder foundation had AWFUL flashback, I wore way too much dollar store eyeliner (brown too!), and would frequent dollar tree for their flashiest, sparkly LA Colors gold shadow with a built in brush. One out of ten was about where I laid on the makeup skill scale.

Now you can typically find me doing my makeup with youtube tutorials going on in the background as I try super hard to look like I somewhat know what I'm doing. Over my last few years of being obsessed I've picked up a few tricks here and there for growing your collection for a fraction of the cost! In some instances dare I say FREE makeup (!!!) and yes even YOU can too.

So grab your wine, a notepad, and lets freshen up that face with a little setting powder (cheers to all my oily friends out there)... my only request is that if you have a tip or trick I didn't mention- leave it below in a comment and share babe!

1. Get Rewarded For Your Obsession
Quick guys, grab your phones and open your app store because you won't want to miss these! I have found two apps that help reward me with my shopping/window shopping obsession and there is absolutely NO hidden catch! 

-Shopkick.  This is actually a fairly old app that has been around for a while so if you're savvy when it comes to saving money... you may already know this one. I just recently started using it this fall. Since 2009, you have been able to be rewarded for something as simple as doing your daily Walmart stop (shout out to my bf who loves Walmart more than I love broadway)!  Through shopkick you earn points towards gift cards (I use mine for Sephora because #obsessed) in a few ways: by simply walking into the store, for scanning products found around the store, and for buying items. I even got my bf hooked on it and we typically spend Sundays going to all our favorite stores and scanning objects for fun! Stores that you can receive points from include: Target, Walmart, Food Lion, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, etc. 

Within the first two months of using the app, I received $30 to spend at Sephora. As a total, I have gotten up to $60 just for spending too much money at TJ Maxx and walking through Target daily (things I did with no profit before!) 


-Influenster. This is my holy grail when it comes to free products. The concept is simple, the more you review products the better chance you have of being sent similar products to test out and review! As someone with a passion for beauty (and obviously a blog) I had many different products that I had tried out and that I had on hand. It took a little while and a ton of reviewing to get the "Beauty Junkie badge" but since then I have gotten a new product almost every month! I typically take a night once a month to round up 5-10 products I've tried out (or haven't reviewed yet) recently and give my honest review on them. 


2. TJ Maxx and Marshalls is where it's at! 
My biggest life regret, other than never going after my dream of becoming a real life Disney princess, is that I never knew the gold mine that is TJ Maxx. I always would walk up and down their home décor isles day dreaming of what it's like to own and furnish a stylish house. Their beauty section, however, I would barely bat an eye.

Here's why their beauty section should be on your radar: typically when a company repackages, revamps their formula, or discontinues a product... the leftover is sent to these companies to distribute. They are your number one stop for sometimes up to 75% off of regular price products you can find in places like Ulta and Sephora. This also can ease your mind from worries that these products are counterfeit, the only "bad" thing about them is their formula may be getting a new face lift in weeks/months to come.

Want to call my bluff? That's fine, take sometime to search TJ Maxx Beauty Hauls on youtube, not only are they incredibly entertaining... you'll find yourself craving to make a trip and see what goodies you can come out with! I've found Buxom, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, MAC, Too Faced, Smashbox, etc. They're relevant products too: like the Shade and Light Palette ($20), ABH Contour Palette, and Casey Holmes' Smashbox Collab ($15) that came out just last year!

Google is your best friend when it comes to being skeptical about certain products. You can double check on the specific product name, model, etc. You'll find many NARS products listed and still available through Nordstrom, that are discontinued yet you can find currently in store.

The only reason you would ever find counterfeit products sold is because they were falsely returned and then somehow found their way back on the shelf. If you feel as though a product looks off, then use your own discernment. Stick with your gut, but don't think they all are fakes.

My best tip would be to check and check often. I like to think I catch so many good deals BECAUSE I typically and check it out at least once a week. Yeah, some days it will feel like you're wasting your time but trust me: when you spot a Too Faced Cocoa Foundation Compact, Smashbox contour pencils, a NARS concealer for only $10, and ABH liquid lips you'll be glad you're obsessive checking payed off.

You can always get an idea by checking out what they have available online as well, while you can't search for a specific brand... you can roam until you notice something packaged v similar to NARS ;) Don't be fooled though, the goodies are found INSIDE the store.


Sephora actually offers pretty good deals! Granted a lot of the deals are because products may be discontinued or they're trying to clean stock... but if you're skeptical about TJ Maxx and the authenticity and can't move past it then this is for you! Each week, they have between 3-6 products specific to that week on sale and then you can find other products they have a discount on as well! Typically, while supplies last you can find these products have the same sale price in store once you get to checkout as well.

While, I admit I have never actually purchased anything from the sale section... I watched it often. I've seen products such as BECCA highlighters (yes, even Champagne Pop) for $19 and Cover FX contour palette for $20some. I typically use the sale section to search for certain products I may have found in TJ Maxx. Such as the Kat Von D concealer or shade and light contour brush (all can be found on sale on their site as well as in TJ Maxx for an ever bigger discount).

If you're weary about the authenticity of a product here!

4. Top Secret Tip: HOW TO GET AROUND THE MINIMUM FREE SHIPPING
This is hands down my favorite tip! When I realized there was a way to get free shipping no matter the price of the product I had to share it with all my friends. I annoying texted in all caps to my besties (shout out to Crissy and Lauren) because FREE SHIP is a seriously thing (!!!)

When it comes to Sephora's Weekly Wow or wanting to try out a product, it's hard when you can't find it in your local Sephora (or it's an hour away if you're like me) and you feel like it's a waste to pay for shipping. I can't count the countless times you end up adding stuff in your cart you didn't really need or the amount of times me and my mom would chip in so that the shipping minimum was reached.

With the new shopping app Dote, there are countless stores you can order from and get free shipping no matter the price. This is a great tool if you want to buy from the Sephora sale page but aren't stocking up! While you get free shipping on your first order, specific stores have free shipping period without the minimum: SEPHORA is one of them (!!!)

You can even use the code: FIQ4 when you log on and get free $5 towards your next purchase (!!!). (There are always tons of codes out there for $5 off your Sephora order!!)


These are my tips and tricks for how I've substantially grown my own makeup collection in the last few years. I hope these help you build your own and again, feel free to share your own tips and tricks about discounts and such. We are all makeup loving gurus trying to help each other :)

xoxo


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