How to Pack for a Summer Beach Trip | Beach Essentials ♡

Hey friends! I'm going to the beach tomorrow for a week, so I thought it would be appropriate to share my beach essentials. I'm also going to share the things that I think you should  to pack in your suitcase for a summer beach trip. I hope you guys find this post useful :) Also click here to check out a similar post I wrote about spring break essentials for the beach.

summer beach essentials
Detangling hair brush | sunscreen | dry shampoo | suitcase | maxi dress | playing cards | sunglass strap (different color) | bikini | hat | striped dress | sandals | camera | earbuds | tote bag | water bottle | towel | sunglasses (different color) | makeup bag | book | mascara | phone case | hair ties | sports bra | shirt | shorts | sneakers | flip flops

Hairbrush/ Hair ties
Both are definitely essentials! You should definitely have a hairbrush in your beach tote bag, in case your hair gets tangled while swimming in the ocean. You should also always carry around hair ties with you, because if you're like me they will just disappear.
Here are some of my favorite hairbrushes for detangling and smoothing my hair:
-Tangle Teezer //
-Wet Brush //
-Conair //
Here are hair ties that I really like:
-Ribband //

This is pretty obvious. Sunscreen is very important if you want to keep your skin protected, which I'm pretty sure everyone wants to do.
-Sun Bum //
-Banana Boat //

Dry Shampoo
Your hair can get pretty hot, smelly and gross in the beach humidity. You should bring a bottle of dry shampoo to spritz in your hair when it gets greasy.
-Drybar //

Well duh... if you're packing your suitcase you need to have a suitcase. I like these ones listed down below because they are super cute and roomy!
-River Island //
-Tommy Hilfiger //
-Northfield //

I love wearing dresses around when I'm on vacation. The dress serves as your whole outfit, which saves room in your suitcase. They are also a lot cooler than wearing pants and a shirt.
-C&A Yessica //
-John Lewis //
-Urban Outfitters //

Every time I go on vacation I always end up wanting to play cards. I always end up having to buy new cards, so now I've probably got 10 packs sitting in a shelf in my room. I think cards are great things to pack when going on vacation, because you can play fun games with them when you're bored.
-Bicycle //

Sunglasses/ Sunglass strap
I love wearing sunglasses, not just at the beach but whenever it's sunny outside. Click here to check out my post on inexpensive vs. exensive sunglass dupes. Sunglass straps or croakies are also nice to have so you don't lose your sunglasses. They very conveniently hang around your neck.
Here are some cute sunglasses:
-Betsey Johnson //
-Quay //
Here are some cute sunglass straps:
-Kate Spade //
-Lilly Pulitzer //

I absolutely love shopping for and wearing bikinis at the beach. You can find really cool and unique ones out there. There are a bunch of different styles that work great for different body shapes. Click here to read my post on bikini and swimwear trends. Here are some of my favorites:
-VipMe //
-Frankies //
-Bikini Lab //

Hats will protect your face from the sun. They are also something cute to add when you hair is a mess- shhh... no one will know.
-Chic Nova //
-Robert Graham //

I think that shoes can totally change an outfit and add a bit of fun to it. I think flip flops, sneakers and wedges are must haves when going to the beach.
Flip flops:
-Havaianas //
-BP //
-New Balance //
-Dorothy Perkins //

Camera/ Case
Did you really go to the beach if you didn't post a picture on Instagram or at least take some pics?? You can bring a regular camera to the beach or a cute polaroid to take those beachy pics. You can also just use your phone- iPhones actually take amazing pictures. If you do bring your phone with you while your at the beach, you should have a waterproof case on it so it won't get wet from your fingers or the ocean.
-Fujifilm //
-Apple //
-LifeProof //

Jam out to your fave Spotify playlist with some earbuds!
-Happy Plugs //

Tote Bag
You definitely need a tote bag or some sort of bag for the beach to carry your towel, sunscreen and other essentials. I really like this one:
-Very Straw //

Water Bottle
Stay hydrated with a cute water bottle! I tend to drink more water when I have a cute and fun water bottle.
-S'well //

Lay out in the sun and catch up on a good book with these towels:
-Hunkemoller //
-Gilt //
-Gilt //

Makeup Bag/ Makeup
I think having a waterproof bag that you can put your makeup, cash and phone in is a great idea. That way, you can keep your stuff safe from pool or ocean water. I also think waterproof mascara is essential!
-New Chic //
-Maybelline // (my all time fave waterproof mascara!!!)

Catch up on your reading for school or for fun! Here are some of my fave books:
-B&N //
-B&N //
-B&N //

Athletic Clothes
I really like wearing athletic clothes (like t-shirt and shorts) around the beach. You can throw them over your bathing suit when riding bikes or going into shops which is nice.
-Calvin Klein //
-Etsy //
-H&M //

I hope you enjoyed this post! What are your beach essentials?

Thea ♡

My Favorite Bronzer, Contour + Highlighter Makeup Products (Review & Swatches) ♡

Hey guys! Today I am going to share with you my favorite bronzer, contour and highlighter makeup products, as you can see from the title of this blog post obviously. I love using bronzer during the summer to give my skin a nice healthy glow. I also love the contour and highlighting trend that's going around. I don't think of it as changing the shape of your face, but more as enhancing your natural face shape. 

You're probably wondering why there is a picture of foundations and eyeshadows when this is a post all about bronzer, contour and highlighter. Keep reading to learn more about how I use things like eyeshadows and foundations for bronzing, highlighting and contouring!

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I picked up the Covergirl Nudes TruNaked Palette a few months ago during an Ulta shopping trip (read full review here). I think the eyeshadows in this palette are absolutely beautiful. They are extremely easy to blend and are super pigmented. I noticed that the shades not only work as eyeshadow, but also as highlighter!

There are a combination of matte and shimmery shades in this palette. I use the shades buff and champagne in this palette for highlighting. These shades are shimmery and give a beautiful glow to the skin. I use the shade mink sometimes for bronzing my face, but it could also be used as a highlight if you have a darker skin tone.

Buff and champagne are both cooler tone shades in my opinion and mink is a more warmer tone shade. I mostly use champagne for highlighter. I just like to dust it on the tops of my cheekbones with a small little eyeshadow brush. If you have any light colored eyeshadows, you can make always try using them as highlighters! That way you'll get more use out of them and won't have to carry around and buy more products than necessary.

I bought this contour palette from Marshalls a few weeks ago and fell in love with it. First of all, the packaging is just the best thing I've ever seen. It comes in a gold tin case and the words are in a matte black. I've looked on the Profusion website for this palette, but they don't seem to sell this particular one anymore. I did find a similar one on Ebay. I got this palette in the shade medium and it came with a small mini contour brush inside. 

This palette not only comes with shades for contouring, but also has powders for highlighting and bronzing as well- the perfect trifecta! The powders are very blendable and easy to work with. This palette really makes contouring and highlighting easier and faster!

I usually use the shade highlighter and vanilla for highlighting because they give the perfect glow. The shades nude and caramel are good for bronzing your face or for contouring. I usually use caramel for contouring my cheeks because it's just a hair darker than my skin color, so it looks very natural. When I want to make my contour more intense, I'll go in with the shade expresso very lightly. I definitely recommend this palette to basically anyone!!!

I recently picked up the sample size of the Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer at Ulta. I also just did a review on this product that you can read here. One of the main reasons I love this bronzer is because of the smell. It smells just like chocolate, but it's not an overbearing scent. It's very subtle and sweet. 

The shade I have is medium/deep which is just a little bit darker than my skin tone. Since this is a matte bronzer, it's great for contouring and sculpting out your cheekbones. 

Here is a swatch of it on my arm. This is definitely a pricier bronzer and if you want to spend a lot of a nice, expensive bronzer than go for it! I think that there are many drugstore matte bronzers out there that will do just the trick- however bear in mind that they won't smell as good. 

This is one of my all time favorite makeup products, because I think it is so versatile and can be used in many different ways. The Bobbi Brown Shimmer Bricks are handmade in Italy have 5 shades in them. 

You can use the shades in this compact as eyeshadow, highlighter or bronzer! I like to use an eyeshadow brush and sweep it into these shades individually as eyeshadow. When I use this compact as highlighter I like to run my brush through the top two shades and pat the brush on the tops of my cheekbones where natural light usually hits. When I want to bronze my face, I use the bottom 4 colors and apply them on my cheeks and around the high points of my face. 

Here are swatches of the colors in this palette, starting from the top color and working down to the bottom color. This is my go to compact when I want to look really glowy and bronzed up for the summer. 

I have this bronzer in the shade 739 Ticket to Brazil. I also did a review of this product here. This is a great drugstore bronzer that is extremely inexpensive. This isn't my favorite bronzer, but I like to use it when I want a more natural look that isn't quite as shimmery and glowy.

This bronzer looks pretty matte at first, but as you can see by the swatch below it is actually shimmery. I don't reach for this product very often, just because when I do decide to wear bronzer I like to go all out. This product is very pretty though and can also be used as eyeshadow.

Here's the swatch of the bronzer! It looks very gold and shimmery in this picture, however when applying it to the face it doesn't look this vibrant.

Elf Contouring Blush & Bronzing Powder

I heard pretty good reviews about this contouring blush and bronzing powder duo online so I picked it up awhile back in the shade antigua. I did a review about it here. The packaging of this product reminds me of the Nars packaging, because they are both matte black. This product is very affordable and easy to use. I don't use the blush in this duo because it is way too pink for me and I'd probably end up looking like a clown. I used to use the bronzer a lot before I had other bronzers, but I don't find myself reaching for it quite as much now. 

As you can see, these powders are extremely pigmented- like crazy pigmented! Pigmented to the point where you have to be careful about how much you apply on your brush. They do blend easily though, which is great. The brown shade can be used for bronzing or contouring. It has the smallest amount of shimmer too it, but it's barely noticeable. This shade is a bit too dark for me so when I use it, I use a slight hand blend a lot to make it look more natural.

This product reminds me of the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick that I have, but way more affordable. One of the downsides of this product is that it cracks and breaks easily... as you can obviously see. It's the main reason why I never use this product anymore. The top twists off and powder always spills out everywhere... it can get pretty messy. I have this illuminating powder in the shade 348 starlight bronze.

Here's a swatch of these powders. They aren't quite as pigmented as the Bobbi Brown Shimmer Brick but they are still beautiful colors. I would swirl all these colors together to make a nice shimmery bronzer. You could also use this product as a highlighter if you focused on the tops of your cheekbones.

I have the shade 04 in the Body Shop BB Cream, which matches my skin perfectly in the Summer when I have a nice tan. However, during Fall/Winter/Spring my skin is much lighter so this BB cream doesn't match my skin anymore. It was annoying that I could only use this product when I was tan, but then I discovered strobing. It's basically contouring and highlighting with liquids. I apply this BB cream on the hollows of my cheeks where I would normally apply contour powder. I find that using liquid products will make the contour and highlight last longer! 

I have the Rimmel Lasting Finish foundation in the shade 203 True Beige. If you want to read my full review of this product than click here. This product is the exact opposite of the BB cream. It matches my skin great during Fall/Winter/Spring. It's too light during the Summer though, so this works great as a highlighter. It works differently than a powder highlighter does. Instead of adding a shimmery glow, it brightens and lifts your undereye area. 

Here is a swatch of the foundation and the BB cream. It's hard to see the BB cream because it matches my skin pretty well right now. I definitely recommend to use foundations that are too light or dark for you for strobing! That way you can get more use out of the product!

I hope you all enjoyed this post! What are you favorite bronzer, contour or highlighter products?

Thea ♡ 

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beauty Picks 2016 ♡

Hello friends! The 2016 Nordstrom Anniversary sale is open to the public today and will last all the way to August 8th. Nordstrom is having some great sales right now, and today I am going to share with you some beauty picks that I think would be great to pick up if you are in the market for new makeup. Beware- your bank account might not appreciate this sale as much as you will! 

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

If you only want to buy one beauty item at the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, I would spend your money on a nice palette. Whether it be an eyeshadow or face palette, they are always good deals. You get a bunch of different products all together in a convenient palette and don't have to pay the price of each separate thing included in the palette. Usually the palettes are cheaper than buying all the individual products.

I've always wanted to try eyelash enhancers. My eyelashes are sooo short and applying mascara can become difficult, as well as time consuming. I would love to have eyelashes that are long and full!

I hope you guys find this post helpful and find some amazing deals at the sale! Tell me what you buy!

Thea ♡

Too Faced Kiss & Makeup Product Review ♡

Hey guys! Today I am going to do a post on the Too Faced Kiss & Makeup bronzer and lipstick duo. I'm going to be sharing my thoughts and opinions about these products and also show what these makeup products look like on me. I bought this at Ulta from the little section of mini sized products near the front counter. I purchased it for $15. I love buying little mini sets of products so that I can try them out and see if I want to invest in the full version of the product.

This Too Faced Set includes...
Here's a swatch of the lipstick in nude beach. I think this color is super pretty! It has a nice natural sheen to it. It looks super natural on the lips and is also very hydrating.

Keep scrolling to see pictures of the lipstick and the bronzer on me!

I really like this bronzer for a few different reasons-
  • Easy to blend
  • Very natural looking
  • Great for contouring (very matte)
  • Smells like chocolate!!!

What I'm wearing ♡

Makeup I'm wearing ♡
Face Moisturizer //
Foundation //
Concealer //
Setting Powder //
Highlighter //
Eyebrow Powder //
Eyebrow Gel //
Eyeliner //
Eyeshadow //
Lipstick //

Thanks for reading!

2 Gossip Girl Inspired Outfits From Serena & Blair (Lunch Date Edition) ♡

*Picture used from

Hey elites! It's Thea here, your one and only source into the scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite (or into the boring life of a high school blogger). There's been another spotting of S and B (otherwise known as Serena van der Woodsen and Blair Waldorf) out and about. As you can see in this picture, they are happily coming out of their favorite little lunch spot in Manhattan, looking as carefree as ever... they won't be after I'm through with them (letting their secrets out of course). They thought they could get a break from me over the Summer now that schools out- think again!

So many of you enjoyed my last post about these two beauty queens, so I thought I would let you in on a few more secrets on how to steal their outfits on a budget you can afford! Keep reading to learn how you can steal their style! Sorry S and B, more secrets are out in the open. 

Serena's Outfit
serena outfit 2
Shirt / skirt / necklace / shoes / bag / bobby pins

Did Serena and Blair coordinate their outfits, because they both look perfect for this summer! They both have pops of green in their outfits- I'm definitely looking green with envy at them! I love Serena's comfortable and simple look, as she pairs a green short skirt with a tank. I also am obsessed with her hairstyle. It's actually quite easy- just put your hair in a ponytail, leaving out a section of hair. Then take the section you left out, wrap it around the ponytail and bobby pin it in place. It's as easy as that!

Blair's Outfit
blair outfit 2
Headband / necklace / dress / bracelet / bag / shoes / belt / ring

Blair (as usual) looks very feminine, classy and sophisticated in her floral dress. I love how she added the headband to add a fun vibe to her look. She's also carrying a woven straw handbag that looks like a picnic basket if you ask me. It's very festive for the summer though!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed another Gossip Girl inspired blog post!

And who am I? That's another secret I'll never tell. You know you love me. XOXO.

-Gossip Girl (aka Thea)

4 Outfits for 4th of July ♡

Hey guys! I’ve put together a few different looks that are fourth of July themed! I tried to incorporate a lot of red, white and blue (colors of the American flag if you didn’t already know) and a lot of stars and stripes into the outfits. Whether you’re out with your friends watching fireworks or going to a neighborhood barbecue, these looks will have you covered. I hope you guys find some inspiration from these looks when you are putting together your own outfits! Do you guys have any fun plans for 4th of July? If so, comment them down below! 

Look 1
fourth of july outfit

I think this outfit is super cute and laid back. I think it would be perfect for watching fireworks in at night or going to a family barbecue. The off the shoulder white shirt also makes this outfit look more bohemian. I love the trend of tie up sandals and I think these ones would be super cute! They are also very versatile and could be dressed up or down.

Look 2
fourth of july outfit 2
Hat / jean jacket / dress / earrings / lipstick / shoes / nail polish / bag

I think this outfit looks super comfortable and effortless. This dress is super flowy and seems very soft. I think adding the jean jacket to this dress makes the outfit more casual and cool. I also love the look of red lips for fourth of July! It's very bold and matches the theme of red, white and blue.

Look 3
fourth of july outfit 3
Shirt / necklace / bag / jeans / watch / blue and silver bracelet / red bracelet / blue bead bracelet / wallet / key chain / shoes

This look is more fancy and chic. It would be perfect for a more fancy brunch, lunch or dinner. This might be one of my favorite looks in this post, because I think the off the shoulder denim top trend is so cute!!! The silver hardware and jewelry dresses this outfit up and looks great with red and blue. It also reminds me of silver stars!

Look 4
fourth of july outfit 4

Now this outfit is hardcore patriotic. It's like the American flag just hits you in the face. There is so much going on with this look and it would look crazy if you wore it any other day except fourth of July. 

Thanks for reading!

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