Beauty RX: The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

In my constant search for the best beauty products for my skin, I have recently started trying some products from the brand The Ordinary. When I started researching the brand, I learned their mission is to "raise pricing and communication integrity in skincare." They want to bring high quality, science backed ingredients to customers. Because of their commitment to transparency they don't hike up the prices of their products. 

The brand focuses on ingredient driven products. Each product is named after the ingredients and not the results, so the names can be a little intimidating. But after reading a little about each product, which the company's site has, you can find what products you  should use based on your skin's needs. All of the products are under $20 and most of them are under $10!

Once of the most hyped products is the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution. This solution is a mask/peel and is meant to be washed off and not a serum. The mask's blood red color is equal parts intimidating and instagrammable. When applied, it looks like the expensive vampire facials so many celebrities rave about. The peel combines multiple ingredients to help exfoliate your skin. The AHA's & BHA's are two types of acids that will exfoliate off dead skin cells, oils and other things that are clogging your pores. 

The acids are at a very high concentration so it is very important to use the peel as directed. Wash your face and then completely dry it. Apply a full dropper of the mask to your face and let it sit. Immediately wash your hands so you don't irritate them. While the peel is on my face I felt a small tingly sensation. It doesn't hurt and stops after a few minutes. I actually liked the sensation because it made me think the mask is working. Don't use it more than twice a week and don't leave it on for more than 10 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, I highly recommend doing a spot treatment the first time you use it. Also the first time you use it on your full face, I would start with just a few minutes and eventually build up to 10 minutes. This can help avoid too much irritation. Once the time is up, completely rinse it off with lukewarm water. Because it is so strong, you don't want to use any retinoids, other acids or strong products on your skin after. I apply a thick layer of moisturizer (this is my current fav) on my face and that is it!


Immediately after using the peel my skin was softer and smoother. I had a lit from within glow that lasted a few days.  I can see how, overtime, this peel can help with textural issues and discoloration. This product seems so much more high end than the $10 price tag!

Since the peel is getting rid of the dead skin on my face, I know my other skincare products are penetrating and working better too. My nose, mouth and chin area are always trouble spots for me when it comes to break outs. This area has become even more congested now that mask wearing has become a thing. This product has helped immensely to cleanse and decongest the area and prevent "maskne". After using for over a month I have found a routine that works for me. I use it twice a week, once on my entire face and then once on just my chin, around my mouth and my nose area. If my skin is particularly irritated or red, I will only use it once a week or every other week. 

I've had a few of my friends try this product as well. They all reported softer and smoother skin too! One of them really didn't like the tingly feeling while the mask is on but she didn't have any irritation to her skin afterwards. 

Kara Krittenbrink

Fall Wishlist: Shoes

Today is the last day of Summer and I'm more than ready to say goodbye to it. We have had a taste of Fall over the last few weeks with a bit of cooler temps. This inspired me to transition my closet from Summer to Fall last week. I got out my sweaters, boots and other Fall and Winter items that I don't have room for in my closet year round. I also packed away my sandals, sundresses and swimsuits. Anything else in my closet I believe can be worn year round with the right layers and transitional pieces.

Like every other season, I always have a few items on my wishlist. When online browsing all the new items that have come out, the first I noticed is combat boots. The style isn't anything knew but I think they will be a big trend this Fall and Winter. Everyone is currently dressing way more casual so it makes sense that combat boots would become a big trend. 

Personally I"m loving the embellished combat points. The feminine details create a contrast with the tough look of the boots. I especially love the pearl and plaid embellishments. The juxtaposition of the soft and hard features also allows the boots to go with more outfits. 

A popular way to wear combat boots is with feminine dresses. I definitely see myself styling them this way. I also think they will look great with my leather leggings and distressed denim. 

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6

Another shoe that I'm falling hard for is the open back mule. These are not new and also not necessarily just a Fall/Winter shoe but I'm dying to get a pair this season. I see them as the perfect every day shoe for the transitional weather we are about to have. Even when it is colder the mule will be a dressier option than the tennis shoes I've been living in but still easier to wear than heels. 

For work, the mules will go perfect with my dark denim and favorites sweaters. For less dressy moments, these shoes will add some style to my favorite leggings and oversized shirts or sweaters. Even a henley and distressed denim could use a pair of mules!

1 - 2 - 3 - 4

Kara Krittenbrink

My Anxiety Story: Part 1 It's Not All OOTDs

I’ve mentioned a few times here that I suffer from anxiety. Back in May, during Mental Health Awareness Month, I shared a little more about my struggle on Instagram. Every since that post I’ve wanted to share more, so I'm getting personal today! My hopes in this is to not only get a little deeper but to also connect to more people.

Today, I want to share the beginning of my anxiety and how it started to shape my life. In the future I want to share more on my journey with it and eventually get into how I cope with it and the steps I’ve taken in my life. Everyone’s anxiety is very different. I don’t expect anyone else to have the same exact same struggles that I have but maybe you can see a connection in parts of my story.

Although I didn’t always know what it was, I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember. As I was growing up I would stress at new changes. I loved school but I would worry failing, not having friends or not keeping up with my homework. I could find a hundred things to worry about and it would keep me on edge. My feelings went beyond the typical stress one feels and when I was a teenager started becoming much more intense. On my bad days, the typical social stresses we all have at that age could cause me to have a complete meltdown.

Many times my anxiety wasn’t triggered by something that was happening in my life but by something that could happen. My mind is constantly creating a ton of different scenarios of how things could turn out and what could happen. I would worry and fixate on the "what if’s" in life. Once I had these ideas, I couldn’t get rid of them. I had racing thoughts, feelings of dread and a lot of fear. I would even worry about how much I was worrying! This is when my anxiety changed from situational to more of a constant in my life. Many days I would have this “keyed up” feeling all day.

Like many, my anxiety shows itself in physical ways too. It typically starts with a heaviness in my chest that can move throughout my body. When it is really bad, my heart can race and I can feel short of breath. In High School I had my first panic attack which I can only describe as a mini heart attack with a feeling of a complete loss of control. Obviously a panic attack can be very scary, especially if you don’t know what it is. When I had my first one, my mom was with me and I was lucky that she knew what was happening and could calm me down. Then the worry of having another one added to my anxiety, which creates a vicious cycle. 

Obviously the changes that come with going to college can cause stress and a little anxiety for anybody. While exciting, all the “new” in the life of a college freshman can be a bit overwhelming. I loved my new life and being at OU was so much fun but of course it added many challenges for me. Making new friends, trying to feel comfortable, managing school and trying to have a social life pretty much consumed me. Add to that the unhealthy eating and lack of sleep that is a signature of college life and I had primed myself for more anxiety and panic attacks.

What some people don’t quite understand about anxiety is how people live with it. While I had a high level of anxiety, I could still go about my day, study, have fun and kind of hide the struggles I was having. Not that this is healthy, but I learned to separate the different “boxes” of my life and shut off what I wasn’t focused on in the moment. I would put difficult emotions or what I was dealing with in these boxes and not deal with them. This doesn’t mean the anxiety wasn’t there, it was more that I was ignoring and not working thru it. And in the long run this increased my anxiety. 

Because I was hiding most of my feelings and worries from myself, I was also keeping them from my family and friends. I am lucky to have incredible people in my life but I am naturally someone that doesn't easily share things. So never did I even think that I should be sharing about my anxiety with anyone. I didn't see how sharing could help me, so why would I burden those I loved with this? People in my life could probably see that I was stressed but I think I did a pretty good job at hiding the level at which I was struggling. Having some anxiety herself, my mom could recognize that I did too. She was the only one that I felt even slightly comfortable in being open with my struggle. Her and I always had a close relationship and talked daily so I would give her some details about my anxiety level. But most of the time this only happened when she asked about it several times or when it was so high I was about to burst. 

I really thought my level of anxiety and the constant heavy feeling I had was normal. And honestly it had basically become my new normal. When you have this same consistent feeling most days, it is hard to remember a time without it. Because I didn't really think I could help this feeling, I wasn't doing any work to make it better. I also thought that since I was doing well in school and making friends at college that I must be ok. And since I wasn't sharing with really anyone, no one could tell me that I shouldn't have to live with this intense level of anxiety. One of the biggest symptoms I struggle with is difficulty sleeping. I could lay in bed for hours and not fall asleep, even though I was exhausted. Then on nights when I could fall asleep, I would wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to fall back asleep. 

Only in hindsight did I realize I was boxing up my feelings. It was a subconscious way my mind taught me to cope so that I could live my life. I still had plenty of joy and fun in my life so I didn't see the problem in what I was doing. Not until I started therapy in my mid 20’s would I learn how to break this habit and that dealing with my anxiety, and all the emotions that come with it, was the only way that I could actually alleviate it.

Like I stated before, this is the just the beginning. For me, anxiety will be a lifelong struggle and I am thankful that I have the opportunity and platform to share with you. Later this month, I’ll be sharing the next part of my story and how 2 major life events affected it.   

Kara Krittenbrink

Beauty RX: Texture Spray

One question I seem to get quite often is what products I use in my hair. I'm relatively low maintenance when it comes to hair products. While styling my hair I typically only use one maybe two products. Unless I have freshly washed hair, I will use dry shampoo. This has been a staple in my hair arsenal for over a decade. My super thick hair is incredibly time consuming to blow dry so I love anything that can keep me from washing it a day or two more!

Since I don't use many, a hair product has to be pretty incredible for me to consider it a must. A few years ago I received a sample of this texture spray.  After experimenting with it I realized this is the hair product I've been missing! It creates the perfectly un-perfect style I'm always trying to achieve.

Texture spray is a dry spray that does exactly what the name sounds like, it adds texture. Unlike dry shampoo, texture spray isn't just applied to the roots. Texture spray can be sprayed all along your hair, from root to ends. It sprays in a fine mist and doesn't leave any residue or weight to your hair. It works well on about any hair texture or length. Since it doesn't have any weight, texture spray is great for adding volume and movement to your hair. Unlike most hair sprays, you can still run your fingers thru your hair after you use it. I've listed it on almost every hair tutorial that I've done.

You are probably now asking when you should use texture spray. With its versatility you can use it for tons of styles. Before you curl your hair, spray a light mist. This will add roughness to your strands which will help them curl. It also helps create the messy, beachy waves look which so many of us love. (See how I curl my hair with it here). It also helps revive second or third day hair. Spray it all over by lifting large sections and spraying throughout your whole head. Spraying it lightly will add some volume. The more concentrated you apply it the more defined your look will be. This works for straight hair as well!

Braids are also the perfect hairstyle for texture spray (see here). Before braiding spray a bit of texture spray on the strands. Your braid will be thicker! The grip the spray adds to your hair will also help the braid stay in place. Smaller pieces won't slip out. Once your hair is braided and tied off spray it again with the texture spray. Then pull on the individual strands to thicken the look of the braid (this is called pancaking). Texture spray will also add interest to a ponytail. There really is a ton of versatility with this product so take some time and experiment with your hair and see what it can do. 

Texture sprays have become more common lately and there seems to be one at every price point! The Rusk texture spray is my favorite. The cost is middle of the road but worth every penny! Oribe makes incredible hair products and I've heard great things about their dry texturizing spray. This OUAI Texturizing Spray also absorbs oil so I think it would be like a hybrid of a texturizing spray and a dry shampoo!

Let me know if you use texture spray an what other hair products you consider a must have!

Kara Krittenbrink

Dress + Sneaker Pairing

The last few weeks I shared some of my favorites dresses (here) and sneakers (here). Both can be worn with countless other things, I have been combining the two. If you follow me on instagram you've seen evidence in a lot of my recent OOTDs. I have had some questions about how I pair dresses with sneakers so today I'm posting a few of my favorite combinations to provide some inspiration using mainly items from the precious posts!

There really are no rules with how to put together dresses and sneakers. If it's out of your comfort zone (like it originally was for me) then sometimes a little inspiration can help. 

This is my favorite board because both dresses look good with either sneaker. A denim dress will look great with almost any pair of sneakers. Prints, textures, bright colors and neutrals look equally chic with denim. For an impact, I love the combination of this hot pink dress and tie dye sneakers. This look is dressy enough for nicer events. I think it would be especially cute for brunch or a shower. 

An easy way to coordinate is sticking within the same color palette. For example, if a dress has warm colors, like coral, then find sneakers with warm colors like the pink and red in these. It's okay that the colors don't match exactly, the fact that they are in the same color family means they'll coordinate. I also love the contract of the athletic shoes with the dressy outfit.

These glitter sneakers do make a statement but I've been wearing them with everything! I would wear them with any of the dress in this post

Print mixing can sometimes be intimidating. One combo I will always love is leopard and basic stripes. Both prints are classics but when combined become a fashion forward look. 
Kara Krittenbrink

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

It is time again for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I know it is a really crazy time right now and many of us aren't shopping at all or at least cutting back on our spending. There are many more important things happening in this world than a sale. But in case you are interested, I wanted to put together on comprehensive post on it. This one will be saved on the top of the site for you to come back to during the sale. I will also update it with any new items that are added. 

If you have shopped the sale in years past you may find that some things look pretty similar. A lot of the shoes and sweaters are very similar from year to year. Many brands feature the same product each year just the new season's version. So if you have purchased some items in the past you will see the new version. The great thing is that you know the items are still in style!

First, you'll have to find out when you can shop. The chart below shows the dates of the sale. If you have a Nordstrom card, you'll need to look up your status to see when your early access starts. The chart below has all the dates listed. What is great that this year you can preview whats on sale. If you find some things you like, save then in your wishlist and then when your shopping window opens, you'll be able to easily add them to your cart. 

What makes this sale a little different than others is that pre-season items are on sale. Which means a lot of Fall/Winter items are on sale now. When the sale is over they will go back to their regular price.

I look at this sale in two ways. It can be a good time to stock up on a few Fall items you'll need or it can be a great time to get a splurge worthy item or two at a better price. Many of the items I bought in years past are things I still love and will wear for years. Jeans are a great item to get during this sale! 


We all know a classic black dress is always needed in your wardrobe. Work functions, dinner, a night out, weddings, the list goes on and on of events that a black dress is appropriate for. Many times when I am uninspired on what to wear, I go to a black dress because I know it will be flattering and stylish.  I love the mixed materials and pleated skirt on this one. 

One of my favorite items on sale are the Spanx faux leather leggings. I wear them at least once a week in the Fall and Winter. They are always on my must buy list for the cooler weather because they fit so well, are flattering and can be dressy or casual!

Beyond black dresses, the sale has some great fall dresses. This red and white midi dress is beautiful and would pair so well with these white booties! This blue print dress is a great transitional dress. I'd wear it now with my sparkle sneakers from this post and then when it gets colder, layer a sweater over it and add booties.

Madewell makes my favorite jeans! I have several pairs including these black ones. During the Fall and Winter I think I wear my black jeans more than my blue denim. Paired with a black bootie or heel, they create a long lean line and are so flattering. Black jeans can also add a bit of edge to an outfit!

Vince makes some of my absolute favorite sweaters! They are incredibly soft, flattering and stylish. They are made with high quality fabrics so will last for years. This brand is definitely a splurge but I try to get one nice new sweater a year to add to my wardrobe, knowing I will have it forever. 

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10


Last year I was on the search for a pair of white booties. It took awhile to find a pair I love that looked high quality and the leather didn't have too much shine. This pair is very similar to the ones I bought. What I've loved most about a white bootie is how you can wear them thru most seasons.  These croc heels are another great transitional item. They come in four colors and the blush is really tempting! Another blush item I love are these slip-ons. Cole Haan shoes are so comfortable too!

I wish I need a new tote because I am loving this Clare V. leopard one. It's a great size to carry everything and has options to carry it crossbody or with two handles. The leopard isn't calf hair so it will last longer and not wear as easily.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 


This lip kit is included in this sale almost every year. Last year I bought it and completely fell in love with the color. The color Pillow Talk is well known as the perfect nude lip color that looks good on everyone and so far I believe the claim because I haven't found anyone that doesn't look good in it. 

Kate Sommerville's Exfolikate is one of my favorite exfoliants. Nothing makes my skin softer and smoother and you don't need to use it that often. This post shares how I use it. It is a bit pricey so I typically buy the small tubes and use sparingly but I plan to get this big tube so that I will have it for the next year. 

Supergoop is basically the only brand of sunscreen I buy! The 3 pack of the antioxidant sprays is a great deal and will get you way past the rest of the summer. And since my skin never sees the sun, I am always using this tanning foam. I mention the foam here as well. 
Kara Krittenbrink

Statement Sneakers

The fact that sneakers and tennis shoes are one of the biggest trends right now is no coincidence. I've shared a lot recently about how I've been dressing more causal lately. One of the biggest changes I've made is my footwear. I have completely embraced wearing sneakers with almost everything!

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12

 Until this last year, I never wore sneakers outside the gym unless I was on a vacation. I had one pair of casual sneakers to wear for those few instances. A few months ago, I purchased this pair to try out this trend. I was wearing them so much that I wanted another pair and bought these glittery ones!

My favorite combination is dresses and sneakers! It really has become my go to for pretty much every occasion I've had lately. All of the dresses in this post would look great with sneakers. I love the touch of leopard on this pair paired with a sophisticated dress. It can be a bit intimidating to pair dresses and sneakers. A simple formula to begin with is keeping one item simple and the other item can be more of a statement. Ex. A denim or solid colored dress with this leopard pair. I will admit, as I have become comfortable with this look, I've broke this rule and mix patterns and colors.

If you are just getting into wearing sneakers, then I would highly recommend this white pair, this gold pair or this pair with the blush stripe! All three of them would go with most items in your wardrobe. They'll be easier to incorporate with dressy or casual items. By contrast, if you want something colorful, this tie dye pair and this bright pair will make a statement. My favorite pair are these, which are definitely a splurge but the mix of textures make the neutral colors really pop!
Kara Krittenbrink

Spanx Bralette Review

In the current environment, we are all dressing a lot more casual. While I worked from home my work wear changed to lounge wear. I went almost 2 months of wearing mainly sweatpants and leggings with t-shirts and sweatshirts. Even the few times I was more put together it was still very casual. 

I was wearing mainly sports bras but needed a more comfortable alternative. I purchased  a few bralettes to wear. They were definitely very comfortable but didn't give the most flattering support. I kept searching for a better option and found the Spanx Bra-llelujah bralettes. There are two versions: lined and unlined. I went with the lined because it had a little more support. This bra became the perfect hybrid between my regular underwire bras and the bralettes I love to lounge in. 

The Bra-llelujah bralette provides plenty of support without any wires. The back of the bra doesn't have any closures and it is thicker so that it smooths your back. While the bra provides a lot of coverage the cups are cut in a way that you can still wear v-neck tops with it. It is advertised as a great tshirt bra, but honestly I wear it with almost everything. If you follow me on instagram and see any of my outfits lately you can see that I'm wearing a lot of casual dresses with tennis shoes. The Bra-llelujah bralette has been the best bra to go with all of those outfits. 

What I think I love the most about this bra is that I can wear it all day! It is one of the most comfortable bras I've owned. I love this bra so much that I will be buying another one!

Kara Krittenbrink

Summer Dresses under $150

Earlier this week I did a quick survey on instagram and I found out many of you are shopping for dresses. As one of the most versatile items in a wardrobe, I am always shopping for dresses.  Even with a more casual dress code at work, I've still been wearing dresses. I'm now pairing them with tennis shoes and flats for a casual vibe. I never thought there would be a point that I actually like wearing tennis shoes more than heels but I can definitely get used to it! During the hot, summer months nothing is easier and cooler than wearing a dress. 

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

Shirt dresses are probably my favorite type of dress. They are an easy piece to immediately make you look polished. Any wardrobe would benefit from at least one.  A solid color shirt dress can take you to work or play. Almost all shirt dresses will look great with a pair of pumps or wedges. So many brands are changing things up and using fun and different prints for their shirt dresses. 

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

One of the top trends I've loved this last year is puffed sleeves and I love how the trend has moved from not just tops but dresses too. If you are afraid of the added volume they give your silhouette, balance it out with a fitted waist and you'll have created a beautiful hourglass figure.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8

Maybe because I asked for one for my 3rd birthday, but I always have had at least one jean dress in my closet. Nothing creates an easy casual dress better than denim. Lately, my favorite way to style my denim dresses are with a pair of statement tennis shoes.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7

Kara Krittenbrink

The New Shower Product that Gave Me the Smoothest Skin

I spend plenty of time taking care of the skin on my face. I have tried out and posted about many products that I love. Recently I have been better about taking care of the skin on the rest of the body. I am trying a few new products and will be posting some reviews soon. Just like on your face, exfoliating your body is a crucial skin care step. It helps with skin texture, acne, cell turnover and promotes absorption of skin care products. 

I recently purchased this body exfoliating cloth as a replacement for my loofahs and scrubs. It has completely changed my shower game! The Luv Scrub (what a fun name) gently exfoliates your skin as you wash. You can use it with any sop or shower gel and it creates the most intense lather that I love! Not only does it look your skin so smooth, but it also feels great. The long length can be stretched to up to 50" so you can even use it to exfoliate your back.

Loofahs and wash cloths both can also exfoliate. But loofahs need to be replaced at least every 2 months and wash cloths sometimes are too rough on your skin. The Luv Scrub lasts up to 18 months and is just the right amount of exfoliating that can be used everyday. It also comes in several fun colors. 

One thing I really love to use the Luv Scrub is to exfoliate before I put on self tanner. Exfoliated skin absorbs self tanner more evenly and the self tanner will last longer too! All of your lotions and oils will also absorb better because the layer of dead skin has been sloughed off. 

Kara Krittenbrink

OOTD Round Up Vol. 5

My style has definitely leaned more casual lately. I don't even have to wear business casual for work right now. Jeans, tennis shoes and casual skirts have been in constant rotation. I'm sharing a few of my favorite outfits from the last few weeks. If any items I'm wearing aren't currently available I've listed similar options next to the description. 

Bodysuit (1) - belt - Distressed Jeans (1)-  Block Heeled Sandals (1) - purse

 Raffia Sandals (1
Kara Krittenbrink

Book Round Up Vol. 7

The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley - Memoirs are really one of my favorite genres. I love really understanding how someone thinks and why they made certain choices. Andre Leon Talley became one of the most important people in fashion publishing. He talks about growing up as a black man in the South and how race played a part in his career. He has incredible fashion knowledge and his stories are truly captivating. Grade: A

The Grace Kelly Dress by Brenda Janowitz - Three women tell the story of the impact the same wedding dress has in their lives. The reader moves back and forth from past to present as each woman shares their story of falling in love. Although the time spans over 60 years some things, like love, don't changes as much as one would think. Grade: B

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - Many stories have been told about WWII but ones that aren't told as often are about the women. The Nightingale is a novel of two sisters in France during the war. Their lives during the war take off in completely different trajectories. Vianne, the older sister, is just trying to survive and take care of her daughter while her husband is at war. A German officer starts living with them and Vianne must learn to live with enemy. Meanwhile Isabelle has been kicked out of another finishing school. At 18, she is searching for a purpose and hopes to find a way to work with the French resistance to the German occupation. Grade: A

And They Called It Camelot by Stephanie Marie Thornton - I am a sucker for anything about Jacqueline Kennedy, and while it is a novel, this book really paints an incredible picture on her life. Many called her American royalty, Jacqueline must use her charisma and intelligence thru the many trying times in her life. She easily could have just sat in the shadows as a senator and then President's wife. Instead she uses her influence to renew the white house and to influence policy and foreign relations. When she becomes a widow and must start her life over, Jacqueline can only rely on herself to provide for herself and her children. I found myself inspired throughout the entire book. Grade: A

Open Book by Jessica Simpson - This book was so much more than I expected! I wanted to read it because I thought it would be filled with juicy gossip (which I did) and crazy stories about being a pop star. What I didn't realize was how deep Jessica would get. I have told almost every woman in my life that they need to read this. Jessica shares her struggles with body image, dating, family and drinking in a real and raw way. I found myself feeling so close to her thru the book. It truly was one of those books that I laughed and cried thru. Open Book is a great audio book because Jessica reads it herself. Grade: A+
Kara Krittenbrink

Summer Basics Under $50

Lately I have gone back to basics with most things in my life. My routines, outfits and beauty regimen have all been paired down to the basics. This next month most of my posts are going to reflect my more simplified routines and outfits. 
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

For the fist post of the month I am sharing some perfect basics for your wardrobe. All of these items not only mix and match well with each other but will work with so may items already in your closet.  

I have a bodysuit similar to this one that I wear atleast once a week. It works so well as a layering piece under other items. I also love it with pair of distressed jeans and some block heels for a fun girls night or date night outfit. 

I've been looking for a classic sandal to wear with everything  The color of these will go with all of my outfits and the platform adds height while still being comfortable. 

Kara Krittenbrink

Everyday Suncare & Faux Tan

Suncare is important year round but really something we should all focus on during the Spring and Summer. We all know by know how the sun can cause skin cancer but sun damage is also one of the leading causes of our skin to age.  It's no secret that I take suncare seriously. I'm constantly looking for new products to use and better formulas. We now don't have to settle for thick sticky lotions to protect our skin. 

1. Sunscreen Primer & Oil - One of my absolute favorite products is this new Glowscreen from Supergoop! I wear it every single day and dedicated a whole post to it here

 If you have ready any of my skincare posts, you'll know I love face oil. Over the past few years it has become my favorite skincare products. I've now switched to using  this sunscreen oil in the morning all over my face and body on any days I'm going to be outside. This formula soaks in and doesn't feel greasy. Once it has soaked in you can apply make up over it with out any issues. It is moisturizing and nourishing and gives a soft glow that I love.

Setting Mist -  I know many people are skeptical about whether a setting spray works of not, but I've always been a believer. When you combine one with spf, I'm really in. This product not only keeps your makeup on longer but it applies an even coat of spf 50. It is an especially great travel item.

Setting Powder - Another dual purpose item, this product sets make up, applies sunscreen and mattifies your face. It is the perfect product to use as a sunscreen touch up over makeup. It will soak up any oil as well.

Color Science Setting Powder - Supergoop Setting Powder

Protecting our skin from the sun doesn't mean we can't have a bronze glow. I have several products I love that help give me a hint of color. In all of these I buy the light version but for anyone that wants more color they have darker options. 

I've tried my fair share of self tanners and had plenty of bad experiences. Finding a combination of natural color, even application and a great smell is not easy. Two of my favorite brands are St. Tropez and 
Tan Towels. St. Tropez's foams (here and here) go on smooth and evenly. The foam is colorless and has just a slight but pleasant smell. It gives subtle color that you can build but you will tell a difference after one application. I have recently starting using this tanning mitt and the application has been even easier. 

Tan Towels are single use towels infused with self tanner. Application is easy because you just swipe the towels across your body. Since there aren't any liquids with this product, it's so easy to take on vacations. 

One newer (to me) product is the Tan Luxe lotion. It feels and acts just like a normal lotion but after a few hours gives a hint of color. For me, it is the ideal amount of color to get a natural glow!

Kara Krittenbrink

DIY Time: Tie Dye

If you have spent any time on Instagram lately, you have probably seen Tie Dye everywhere. It's on shirts, shorts, hair ties, blankets and probably the most popular is the matching sweatsuit. I've bought a few different items but really wanted to try to make my own. I remember tie dying a few times when I was growing up and one time in college, so I have very limited experience. 

I did some research online and watched a few different tutorials before I began. After doing it and loving the results, I think I have a method I really like. Below is the method I used and a few tips I figured out along the way!


  • Rubber bands
  • Dye (I used this kit) I think I'll be these Rit Dyes next time.
  • Garbage Bags 
  • Water
  • Something to Tie Dye (sweatshirt I used)
  • Gloves (optional)

  • I dilute the dye in this kit because I wanted a softer, more pastel color. For most of the colors I only used 1/3 of the dye then filled the bottle with water to dilute it. 
  • The more you crinkle the piece of clothing, the more white there will be when you are done.
  • Washing out the color before "setting" it will also dilute the color. 
  • When using more than one color, start with small amounts of each color to see how they blend together. 
  • If you are using more than one color and want certain sections of the item certain colors. Take note of where the sleeves, neck, top, bottom are.
  • I laid out trash bags on the grass to work on.

Make sure and read the directions for your specific dye. This was my method for this dye kit. 
  • Wet clothing and ring out excess water.
  • "Crinkle method”. Lay your item flat. Then start gathering it up and wrinkling it together. You want to form lots of small, puckered up pieces. It will look wrinkly.
  • Once the whole item is gathered together, start securing with lots of rubber bands. I’d use some to gather secure smaller sections and then big ones to hold it all together.
  • Start spraying the shirt with dye. I would spray up close and far away to have some differentiation in colors (ex. lighter and darker pink).
  • Make sure you spray all sides and spray into some of the crevices as well. (don’t spray in all the crevices because you want some white left). I even poured some dye into a few crevices.

  • Once you are done adding color, put in a gallon ziploc bag to set.
  • Let set for 5+ hours. The longer something sets, the darker the color will be. 
  • Rinse out excess dye and then take off rubber bands and give a final rinse. 
  • Dry in dryer on high heat to set. (I let the shirts first partially air dry to prevent bleeding and to keep the white sections white)
  • For extra security iron clothing to set. 

Kara Krittenbrink

My Beauty Favs for the Sephora Sale

Sephora is doing its big sale again! This doesn't happen very often and it is one of the few times that basically everything is on sale. If you sign up for a beauty insider account with Sephora, you'll get 10% from 4/23 - 4/27. If you already have an account and have a higher status you may get an even higher percent off.

 It is a great time to stock up on products you already use and maybe try a few new ones! I am sharing some of my favorite skincare and makeup items that are available at Sephora. You can read my big skincare post here and my daily makeup post here for details on how I use the products. One other thing I will be stocking up on is my absolute favorite dry shampoo by Living Proof. Let me know what you are buying! I'm always interested in trying new products.

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10

1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5

Let me know what you are buying!

Kara Krittenbrink