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The Ultimate Guide to Fall Nail Polish

DIY, Fashion, How To, Shopping, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
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For most of my twenties I never made it to the nail salon. I’d often paint my nails but typically wore the polish off within a day or two. I wasn’t interested in making a manicure an element of my outfit. Part of it was that I was a new mom with a new career and had zero sleep or free time. Now that my daughter is ten I find it’s easier to bring her along to the salon. We go at least once every month or two and lately now that I’m finally in the city again every couple of weeks.

I’ve found my outlook on nail colors has completely shifted! I love the new muted tones for Fall and chose this deep raspberry color this week when I went for my regular manicure. One of the great things about working in the beauty industry is that I have the opportunity to take a few minutes (and extra money to go) because I sell makeup! Manicures and pedicures are a treat I no longer feel guilty about taking time to get done.

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I’ve put together categories of the best of Fall colors in nail polish along with some of the best quality nail polishes. I recommend always using a top coat and a base coat. Two-three thin coats of color in between and then the key is to thoroughly dry. I mean if you can stay seated a full hour or longer. The longer you stay still, the longer your paint will last because it hardens properly! Which color do you like the most below? I’d love to read your comment!!!

Muted Shades of Fall

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Not Boring Neutrals and Nudes

The Mean Reds

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5 on Fridays - Five Things I Learned About Cabin Fever

DIY, Healthy, How To, Lifestyle, Inspiration, Travel, StyleCrystal JacksonComment
5 on Fridays - Five Things I Learned About Cabin Fever

As I've mentioned previously, I recently moved to Northern California up into the rural parts of the state. Although I truly appreciate nature's beauty I had no idea how much the isolation could affect my mental state after a few weeks. Let me preface today's post with a little background. Where I'm staying is absolutely stunning but there are a few hurdles that I've never experienced before. For instance, it takes hours to get to a grocery store and there are only a few people if any that you may come into contact with over the course of a week. The county we neighbor has zero stoplights and only four stops signs in the entire COUNTY! That's crazy to me coming from Houston which is the fourth largest city in America.

After four weeks here I experienced a glimpse of cabin fever. Yep, full on emotional breakdown for a good three days. Nothing was satisfying. I was incredibly homesick and I realized, "Well, I live here now." After talking to a few people in the area, I realized it's common and there are ways to manage around it. Here are the things I was recommended and then did to get out of my cabin funk!

Remind Yourself This Is Temporary

Many people experience cabin fever during the cold winter months when they are cut off from the rest of society due to inclimate weather and blizzards. The days seem endless and it's difficult to keep track of time. One of the things I've been told over the last month is to remind yourself that this situation is temporary. Isn't everything in life a little temporary? It can be really difficult during emotional times to remember that this too shall pass but it will!

Establish and Maintain Your Daily Routine

Routines are something that help you establish a clear mental space. When we have good routines put into place our minds are freed up to focus on tasks at hand or bigger strategic decisions. I've talked alot about routines on the blog (see this post and this post). Sticking to your routine and keeping a calendar helps track your days. I also found keeping a written schedule versus an electronic calendar helps me stay focused.

Stock Up on Necessities and a Few Luxuries

The hardest part other than isolation from people is being isolated to things you usually have on hand. Up here shopping at a Wal-mart is a full day roundtrip. If you forget something, it's unlikely you'll be able to get it for a few days, weeks or months due to soaring gas prices, construction, fires or roads being blocked. Mail takes a little longer to reach us and there are times that you cannot receive deliveries due to the roads being closed. Have your luxury things like facial masks, bubble bath, maybe it's nice sheets - whatever it is - buy some and keep on hand to last you longer than you thought you might need in the event you can't get into the city. It makes a HUGE difference. A few of the items I'd recommend having include toiletries, conditioner, lotion, coffee, and a fully stocked pantry.

Plan a Getaway When You Can Take One

Give yourself a break. One of the things about being isolated is that it's difficult to take a break. There's always something to do, take care of or work at when you are isolated from others. One of the things I noticed helps is to have planned breaks and take them when you can. Keep that calendar in front of you to remind you what you are working towards. When you have the chance to go somewhere, GO! Enjoy the time away and change of scenery.

Stay Connected

I think the other thing that I was surprised about is how disconnected I felt this past week. Although I am not COMPLETELY ALONE, I just moved from an environment where I was web connected (and here internet is a challenge to say the least) and busy almost every night with a social activity. I had other moms around to talk to and took fitness classes frequently. I also walked every other day to the grocery store to grab a few items and fresh produce. Going from that environment to seeing the same ten people constantly was a little rough. I love each person around, but the shock of not having activities nightly really impacted my state of mind. I decided to join a few online groups on Facebook with similar interests and lifestyles so that when I have a decent connection I can reach out. I also make a point to call back home or correspond with friends daily when possible. I also found it was really important to maintain my spiritual relationship with God. Journaling, prayer and daily meditation really improves my mood and confirms my sense of purpose. Take the time to build these into your schedule daily.

Well, there you have it! After a few days, then an overnight staycation in Sacramento in The Citizen Hotel (which you can read about here) I came back renewed and refreshed. I popped out my list of goals and refocused on the important things. Remember, you're going to be okay! You're going to make it through and most of all it's only temporary!

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Tips for Staying Sane on a Long Road Trip

DIY, How To, Packing, Lifestyle, Style, TravelCrystal JacksonComment
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Finally I’m back at you with a few new travel posts! Feels like it’s been a while since I last shared anything travel related. We are currently en route to a lake house in Northern California where we will be staying for a few weeks. Instead of flying out this time, we decided to load up the car and drive from Houston to San Diego, CA then up to Sacramento after a few days of play. Now being a child who moved every few years on average, I know a few things about road trips. However, it’s much different when you grow up and have to take care of every body else! Here are a few ways we managed to survive 25 hours of straight travel.

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What to Pack and Bring

Leave early evening and drive through the night

A lot of people choose to leave in the middle of the night or early morning to get a head start. We actually drive a lot through the night because there is little traffic and hardly anyone on the road. Instead of waking everyone up in the middle of the night for a 3 or 4am departure, we load the car at sunset and then hit the road. If you have two adults capable of driving then you can switch off. If it’s just a single driver, you can always pull over at rest stops. We left for California at 8pm and arrived in San Diego the following night around 9pm. Driving through the night had us arrive about halfway in El Paso the following morning which was the longest, most boring stretch of the ride. West Texas has some beautiful parts, but it’s pretty bleak for miles on end.

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Rest Stops are Your New Spot

Rest stops don’t get so much credit these days, but they are an integral part of long term travel. They allow a safe place for you to grab something out of your luggage. Most come with picnic tables and rest rooms. As we entered California the rest stops became so much more elaborate. Not kidding, some of the cleanest restrooms I’ve ever seen! Rest stops are pet friendly so if you brought your pup along you’ll be able to give her a good walk from time to time. Plot a few out along your journey and then look for road signs so if you need to stop quickly you can. The other benefit is they are a quick and easy get on and off the highway.

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Bring a mini cooler to save on breakfast, snacks and drinks

Take a quick survey before you leave and load up with everyone’s favorite snacks and beverages. The fewer stops you have to make the earlier arrival time you’ll experience. Also, instead of packing tons of bottles, give everyone a refillable bottle and buy a few beverages in bulk. If you do decide to stop for something to eat, take time and enjoy a local spot along the way. We ended up having the BEST fish tacos in San Diego unexpectedly while we were at a gas station. Look at using YELP or TripAdvisor for recommendations. The key is to keep everyone fed and happy so you can enjoy the trip!

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Dress in Easy to Remove Layers

One of the best things you can do for your family and yourself is to have everyone dress in layers. Start with soft pants like leggings and a tank or a tee. Then, add a hoodie and easy to remove shoes instead of ones that require socks and lacing up. Being able to jump in and out of the car along the way without having to get your shoes on as an ordeal makes the trip seamless. Also, while we are on the note of getting out of the car - encourage every person traveling at every stop to get out and move around no matter what! It’s good for the legs and will help keep everyone from being restless!

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Don’t Forget Your Sunblock and Moisturizer

Being trapped behind a windshield in the middle of the desert means you are getting tons of unwanted UV rays. I like wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap so I can let my hair down without worrying how it looks. But I also like those items to shield me from the scorching sun. Remember, when you change climates your skin will need to adapt. Bring lots of lip balm, SPF, moisturizer and of course hydrate with water. You’ll end up feeling so much more refreshed upon arrival. You can also use car time as spa time by doing a mask!

Tips for Staying Sane on a Long Road Trip

Protect your face from UV rays

Well, there you have it! If you have kiddos consider renting a vehicle with a DVD player unless you already have one. You can also rent a car to save on wear and tear or to get a larger vehicle than you may own. Bring lots of road games or have a list on your phone of things you can do and spot along the way. Last but not least, enjoy this time! Remember it’s the journey not just the destination!

What are some of your favorite road trip tips and tricks?

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5 on Fridays - Five Ways to Get Healthy Long Lashes

beauty, DIY, Lifestyle, Healthy, Style, Product ReviewCrystal JacksonComment
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With lash extension bars popping up everywhere and the explosion of options in the mascara industry long lashes are desired right now! So, what’s the trick? Do I have to run out and get extensions? Absolutely not! I am going to write this article from first had experience and I’ve never had lash extensions. Yes, never. Instead I focused on thickening my lashes and keeping them healthy. Your lashes are just like the hair on your head, when left unconditioned or over stressed they will break and lack volume. If you nourish your lashes and treat them with care your body will naturally produce more lashes! Today I’m sharing five ways to get healthy long lashes.


Lash Products in Today’s Post


Thoroughly Clean Your Lashes

Removing your mascara and the dirt, oil and debris from the day is the first step to healthy lashes. Begin every evening with an oil based cleanser like our YOU·OLOGY Cleansing Stick. It’s made with high quality olive oil which will remove anything on your lashes at night while moisturizing your lashes. Your cleanser needs to be strong enough to remove waterproof mascara but nourishing enough to keep lashes moisturized to prevent brittle lashes.

Replace Your Mascara Every 3-4 Months

Mascara matters. Just like skincare, you must choose a mascara that is filled with elements to protect your lashes. Look for a mascara like our MOODSTRUCK EPIC mascara. You can use just a single coat or layer for a more dramatic effect. If I’m going to be out and about running errands or attending a workout class I’ll opt for a single coat to lengthen and define. If I’m looking for a more dramatic effect then I’ll add a second coat or our MOODSTRUCK EPIC 4D one-step fiber mascara. The key is to ensure you close the mascara tube all the way to eliminate oxygen from getting into the tube and drying out your mascara. Always use the smell test if you are unsure if you should replace it. If it smells like alcohol, then it’s time to replace!

Keep Your Tools in Top Shape

Although I do not use a lash curler, but instead opt for a curling mascara like our EPIC MOODSTRUCK mascara, you will need to keep your wand and eye lash curler in the best condition possible. Cleaning your mascara wand with an antibacterial soap as it starts to get clumpy will extend the life of your mascara. Also, replace the pads on your eye lash curler every few months as well and toss the tool at the end of the year. You need to replace your eyelash curler once a year to ensure it properly works and doesn’t take your lashes off in the process of curling. NEVER use a lash curler without the pads! It can immediately break off your lashes and cause pain.

Start Using a Lash Serum Daily

Begin with an oil cleanser each evening to remove your mascara and finish with a lash serum. You’ll begin using a lash serum daily and then scale back after a month to a few times a week. Our MOODSTRUCK ESTEEM lash serum is made with keratin, peptides and conditioning oils to coat, protect, moisturize and thicken your lashes for proven results in just four weeks. You can check out an article that In Style magazine wrote about the benefits of using the MOODSTRUCK ESTEEM lash serum for a month. It comes in at $42 which is a fraction of the cost of competitors like Neulash (which comes in around $100). In lab tests, participants reported an increase in length by 29%. The proof is the pudding on this one.

Take Your Time

Cleansing and applying product doesn’t need to be a chore. Rushing through tasks like your beauty routine usually ends up with poor results. Set a timer and take a full five minutes to remove your makeup. Every evening lock yourself in the bathroom for 10-15 minutes, put on a little music or a motivational video and work through thoroughly cleansing, moisturizing and then adding serum to those lashes. I promise you will see not only a physical difference but a mental change. I used to rush through everything in life - work, home, family, chores and all it left me with was a feeling of being empty. Now, by mindfully taking my time I’m able to enjoy the process and it leads to better results. Set an alarm on your phone for the same time everyday to remove your makeup and give yourself 10-15 minutes of self care and love!

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Before/After

Single Coat Using our MOODSTRUCK Epic Mascara


Shop Lash Products


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Free Slurpee Day with Stripes Stores

beauty, DIY, Fashion, Style, Product Review, HealthyCrystal JacksonComment
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July and August are the hottest months here in Texas and my car thermometer read 111 degrees yesterday! I can’t tell you how much I am currently appreciating icy cold drinks right now. I’ve been making rounds to juice shops, cold brew coffee shops and my new obssession - the slurpee! Today’s National Slurpee Day and Stripes is excited to announce free slurpees! Head on over to my Instagram post for all of the details!

Speaking of the heat, I’ve been really laying off makeup lately and focusing more on skincare. Recently, I’ve switched from a few old favorites to new products like a cleansing stick instead of a harsh cleanser that dries my skin out. I really love oil based cleansers because they get all of the dirt and makeup off my face without removing natural oils that protect my skin. This YOU·OLOGY Cleansing Stick is an easy-to-use emollient-based makeup removing stick that fits right in your pocket. Effectively dismiss hard-to-remove makeup, even long-lasting waterproof mascara and stubborn lip stains. Never get stuck in your makeup with this totally pursable, travel-ready stick.

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Another product I’ve switched to is a BB cream instead of a heavy foundation. BB creams are simply beauty balms that help minimize imperfections and allow your natural skin’s beauty shine through. I recently switched to Vegan, cruelty-free and non-toxic products for all makeup and skincare. The difference in just 30 days has been astonishing! I have clearer brighter skin and it’s all thanks to working with a company who has the best products on the market! Try the BB FLAWLESS complexion enhancer for a lightweight feel that goes on easily and stays put all day!

What are some of your favorite Summer Beauty Products?

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