Thursday, March 27, 2014

March 2014 Favorites

Hooray! It's time for a favorites post!  

This month I have been anxiously awaiting springtime (it's only 36 degrees right now in Wisconsin) - so I have been surrounding myself with things that make me feel like it's warm and springy outside!

Let's just dive right into it, shall we?

This March I have been loving...

  1. Graphic sweatshirts... This one is from Forever 21 and says "someday I will be president," a quote from Abraham Lincoln.  Since it is still cold here - I spend my weekends in crew necks and hoodies, and to be quite honest, this one makes me feel like a straight up BOSS when I wear it.  Who doesn't need that in their weekend? No one. We all need it.  (Sadly, this sweatshirt is sold out - but F21 has a great selection of graphic sweatshirts). 
  2. Fango Ristorativo Restorative Hydrating Mud for Face & Body by Borghese... Face masks are a must in my skincare routine.  I usually do 2-3 masks per week - depending on the needs of my skin.  Most of the masks I use are on the drying side - because I have combination/oily skin.  However, I have a few dry spots around my nose and chin.  This mask hydrates those areas while minimizing redness.  Not to mention it smells super good!  It has an herbal/mineral-y scent that reminds me of the spa.  I would definitely recommend this mask - especially if you use a lot of drying products and feel like your skin needs some nourishment.
  3. Hoola bronzer by Benefit... Hoola has a permanent place in almost any beauty blogger's makeup collection - but only recently found its way into mine.  I am absolutely obsessed!  As a SUPER pale person (a trait which I inherited from my mother, thanks mom), I struggle with finding the right bronzer.  Hoola not only complements my skin tone in just the right way (I use it for contouring), but it is also matte - which I love.  I have a few shimmery bronzers - which I like - but for everyday wear I like to have something matte.  I find that a matte bronzer really goes with any look and obviously gives the most natural effect. My makeup bag will never bee Hoola-less again.
  4. Iphone case with cardholder by Lilly Pulitzer... Lilly Pulitzer is the epitome of spring and summer. If you don't know what Lilly is - please click here immediately.  My love for Lilly started with my Lilly Pulitzer agenda and grew into full blown obsession.  When I switched from my Galaxy to an Iphone - I had to ditch my oversized, blinged out case.  I popped into TJ Maxx and found this cute case with a cardholder for only $10!!!  Whenever I look at my phone it makes me think of sunshine and flowers - plus, I always know where my ID is! (Let's hope I never lose my phone - or I won't have a driver's license either).
  5. "Feel the Love" by Rudimental... Oh my goodness guys - THIS SONG.  "Feel the Love:" isn't a new song, but it is new to me.  I discovered it a few days ago while perusing the internet - and I instantly fell in love.  Everyday when I come home from teaching I put this song on and it makes me very very very happy.  It's upbeat, soulful, and just all around amazing!  I have started listening to a few other things by Rudimental - and so far I really like what I hear.  Go check them out - maybe you'll find your springtime soundtrack just like I have.
  6. Cream Tea nail polish by Butter London... Butter London - what more do I need to say?  This white/cream color is perfect for spring.  Light colors always look fresh and flirty - especially during the spring months. NOTE: this color takes a lot of patience and requires 3+ coats, but it is totally worth it (I'm putting it on my nails once I finish this post)!  If you like cream colored nail polish - pick this up, you won't be sorry!!!
There you have it - my favorites for this month!
I hope you check some of them out - and let me know what you think.  Also, tell me what you have been loving this month in the comments below.

With love,

Traci J

Friday, March 21, 2014

Makeup Makes me Prettier

Hello loves,

Makeup makes me a prettier person, but not for the superficial reasons you might think.  Just like many of you have - I've had friends tell me "you don't need make up," "you spend so much time on your hair and make up - what a waste of time."  They always end up complimenting me on how I look - unless I've done an outright ratchet job (it happens), but I'm always a little off-put by their first comments.  I have my reasons for spending time on my appearance, and it has nothing to do with being insecure with my looks.

For me, being happy is all about taking time for myself - and my favorite way to do that is to sit in front of my makeup mirror.  When I get up a half hour earlier than I need to just to take that time to play with my products, it is relaxing.  Music on, makeup brushes in hand, and time to think.  I use this time to think, to tune out any drama from the day before, and to FEEL GOOD ABOUT ME.  There is something therapeutic about taking a half hour every day to be 100% selfish.  I get to take that time EVERY DAY (or most days) to be alone with my thoughts and do something completely indulgent.  Never, ever, will I apologize for doing something for me.

Too often we get caught up in pleasing others, and forget about ourselves.  I always want to get all my work done, go over and above, and please everyone - but we cannot forget about ourselves in the process.  Doing something as simple as taking a half hour every day to do my make up is a half hour that I can say I appreciated me. I took time to make myself feel good, and that beauty radiates from the inside.

No, I will not lie to you and say that I don't use concealer to cover up blemishes, hyper-pigmentation, or those ghastly under eye circles. I do ALL of those things - but not because I am ashamed.  I cover them up because I know how, and it makes me feel good about myself.  I will still go out on weekends or lazy days with no makeup at all, in sweat pants, and not care!  I am comfortable in my own skin, I just enjoy putting stuff on my face (makeup, I don't know where your mind went - but get back on track people).

If you do use makeup because you feel self conscious or insecure - do not be ashamed!!! My advice to you is to start small.  Take half a day where you don't wear make up and you go to the grocery store, then step it up and keep your makeup off for an entire day. I want everyone to know that they are beautiful - with or without makeup.  But the most important thing is - NEVER let anyone make you feel bad for taking time for yourself, and doing something that makes you happy! You do you, ladies. You do you.

Spread the word -  #MakeupMakesMePrettier

With love,

Traci J


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Not Another Tag Tag | Tagalicious

Well hello everyone, my name is Tyler Oakley!

(Kidding, it's just me).

I have been wanting to do a tag on Bows for Justine for a while now - and while I was on twitter I found that Hayley over at Tea Party Beauty came up with her own tag!  So I decided to take this opportunity to spread her tag around and use it as my first ever tag post. Ta-da!

The Rules

You must include both Tea Party Beauty & myself in the post (and the rules too).
Once you've answered all your questions you need to tag 5 people.
Also if you tweet me the link to your post (@bowsforjustine) I will RT (or @teapartybeauty).
If you are tagged & don't do the post you will have bad luck for 68.5 years. FACT.

Alright. HERE.WE.GO.

You've made it BIG & bagged some VIP Fashion Week tickets. You lucky devil you. But in your rush to get there & get yourself noticed you forgot your VIP Passes. The guy on the door says he will cut you a deal, you can go in only if you sacrifice either your Front Row seat, backstage privileges or goody bag. What's it gonna be?

Definitely the front row seats. I mean - those goody bags - who in their right mind would give those up? AND who knows who you could meet backstage???? Buh bye front row seats. BUH BYE.

You're making a new Subscription box, what 4 items & which dreaded perfume sample would you include in it? 

Ooh - this is a nice question.  I love getting hair oil in subscription boxes - a squeal of delight comes out every time I find one in my Birchbox.  So any hair oil at all, Benefit's Stay Don't Stray, Benefit's Coralista, and a Tarte Amazonian Clay blush.  As for perfume, I'd have to go with Gold by Kim Kardashian (it's my guilty pleasure perfume).

What's your biggest blogging bug bear? The one thing guaranteed to make your blood boil and have you screaming/eye rolling at your laptop?

Not much makes me SUPER angry, but I am not a fan of Follow for Follow.  Honestly, only follow blogs and bloggers that interest you and that you enjoy reading.  I never feel obligated to follow people just because they follow me - that is not to say that I don't check out the bloggers that leave comments on my posts or follow me on twitter.

No more joining in Twitter chats only slightly relevant to your blog. You can only join in one blogger chat a week for the rest of your blogging days, which one's it gonna be and why?

I hardly ever take part in blogger chats - even though I'd like to.  My schedule with student teaching is insane - I'm lucky if I even have time to write a post! Having the time to participate in ANY blogger chat would make me incredibly happy.

'Fess up, do you actually own any MAC? If so what don't you like about the product?

My make up collection is MAC free. *Gasp* Yes, that's right. However, I am lusting over the all time staple - Cream Cup - I will own it someday soon.

The blogging Gods ban arm swatching, which body part will you swatch on now?

Hehehe. The thought of this makes me laugh. My foot. Because, well why not? Just take a minute to visualize all the bloggers in the world swatching things on their feet. Just picture it. PICTURE IT NOW.

You can no longer have Yankee Candles or Perfume Bottles in the background of your shots, what other inanimate object will you choose?

Packs of Ramen.  Let's be honest - I spend all of my money on beauty products - so that's all I can afford to eat.  I just want to be sincere and transparent with my readers. So , yep. Ramen.

Your blogs Instagram is it for cats or meal shots?

This contradicts my comment about Ramen above - but meal shots. HOWEVER, let that not overshadow my extreme love for cats (I don't want to be kicked out of the internet community for not loving cats). I have 2 of them, I promise.

I had a lot of fun doing my first tag post!  Thanks to Hayley for creating it! Make sure you go check out her blog:

I tag...

Noor over at
Kallie over at

With love,

Traci J

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Spring Style | Wishlist

Happy Sunday, loves!

Today I am bringing you my Spring Style Wishlist.  I have been loving seeing all of the spring themed posts and videos that are popping up all over the blogs and YouTube.  However, my spring fever is not just a result of lusting over all of the products that Missglamorazzi, Zoella, Tanya, and FashionToast are raving about - it comes from the fact that it is still 30 degrees here in Wisconsin (and it feels like a heat wave).  I cannot even begin to tell you how long and cold this winter has been.

Anyone else been stuck in this dreadful polar vortex?!?! I mean honestly - would it be too much to get to 50 degrees?

Being a veteran Wisconsinite - I know that warmer days are to come - but I shouldn't underestimate the probability that we could still get a snowstorm in April.  So while I wait for warmer temperatures, I will scour the internet for fabulous springtime fashion finds!

Here are a few of my favorite Spring Style favorites as of late:

This spring I'm loving all of the floral and ultra feminine looks.  The collared daisy romper from Boohoo is my favorite out of all of my picks (the blue shorts are close second).  I would pair it with the brown sandals from Asos for a casual look - or with heels and a statement necklace for something more dressy.

What is your style this spring? Is it warmed up where you live - or are you still living in a winter wonderland like I am?  Link to any spring inspired posts in the comments - help me beat the winter blues!!

With love,

Traci J

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The Great Blogging Silence of 2014 | Life Lately


I know that I have already broken what I have deemed "The Great Blogging Silence" but... I promised an explanation. So - here it is.

The whole life update thing is part of the blogging world that I haven't really tackled yet.  I have no problem updating you all on my life via twitter, or answering questions about what I'm doing, but the whole - just talking about what has been going on with me thing - FREAKS ME OUT.  Don't know why. It just makes me very anxious and nervous.

So to start things off - I had a LONG break from school (from December 15th - January 26th).  I spent most of that time working, hanging out with my boyfriend, spending time with my family, and blogging.  Thanks to all of the wonderful free time I had, I stock piled a fair amount of blog posts - so you didn't experience the Great Silence quite as early as I did.

To start things off - I moved back to the town where I attend University, and am currently student teaching, on January 25th.  My friend's boyfriend planned a surprise party for her - so my boyfriend and I were super excited to go!!!! (Plus this was the first time my boyfriend and I had seen each other in nearly a month, so we were DOUBLE excited).  We headed out to the party and had an amazing time.  Our group spent the night dancing to Michael Jackson and Salt n Pepa (I have the coolest friends).

Unfortunately, after such a fantastic night -I had a not quite as nice night.  The boyfriend and I were hanging out at his house - having a nice homemade dinner and watching Breaking Bad (sounds great, right???)  To make a terribly long story short - he chose to end our 2.5 year relationship over reasons I still cannot begin to understand.

This was devastating to me. Now, I don't consider myself a dependent person by any means, but going from having him as a support system and friend for 2.5 years - to being single - was is not an easy transition.  Here is where I get anxious about putting this out into the world.  It is deeply personal and really turned my world upside down, AND began the Silence.

I could go on about how this made me feel - the repercussions that I am still dealing with today, but I'm not sure that's a good idea for me to delve into - for my own personal health - and I don't think it would be particularly interesting for you lot to read...

--Here's where things get better--

In addition to my break up, I began student teaching full time - and WOW does that take up SO SO SO much of my time.  I love it - I'm in a great 4th/5th grade multiage classroom with 2 wonderful co-teachers.  I could not be happier (or busier). I spend quite a bit of my time lesson planning and grading papers at Starbucks (and my bed).

The next, and perhaps the most exciting thing that contributed to my hiatus - is my NEW JOB!  I hopped on 4 flights one weekend in 24 hours to interview for a job as a consultant.  It was crazy busy - and super nerve wracking.... But I landed the job - and now have something lined up for after I graduate.   I will be flying to a different city nearly every week - and meeting new people - seeing new things. GAH. I just cannot even believe it.

Here's a shot from the plane :)

Lastly - and yet another exciting accomplishment - I received the award for Greek (as in a member of a fraternity or sorority) Women of the Year on my college campus.  The coordinators of the awards ceremony even surprised me with having my parents walk out when the award was announced! I am so humbled and honored - and couldn't have been happier.  The day was so special - and I felt extremely loved.  

That's basically it.  The crazy amount of stuff that happened to me within a month.... Not to mention regular day to day problems mixed in.  I will say this - I learned a lot from this whole experience.  It is true that good things come after bad.  It is also true - that heartbreak takes a long time to heal - and I'm not sure how long that will take for me.  But I do know that I am content with who I am as a person, with my choices, and with who I strive to be - and in the end - that is the most important.

So readers, I hope you understand a little bit more about what caused The Great Blogging Silence of 2014.  I won't say it won't happen again, because life is unpredictable - and I never want to promise things that I cannot provide.  I appreciate all the support from everyone and I cannot wait to see what the next few months have in store!

With love,

Traci J

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Shai Razor | Review

Hello loves!

Long time no blog! I apologize for taking SUCH a long break from blogging - and for failing at my goals for February.  I had a whole bunch of things going on in my life last month - some that were really terrific and exciting, and others that just really sucked.  Now that I am getting back into a somewhat normal routine - I cannot wait to get back to blogging with all of you.

Look for an update on what I've been doing for the past month soon!


One super exciting thing that I will share with you now - is that I received my first ever sample.  As a disclaimer - on any post that has my thoughts on a product which I did not purchase on my own, I will always let you all know!  Also, the thoughts and opinion shared will always be 100% mine and 100% real!

Now, onto the review!

This is the Shai Soft Touch 6 Blade Razor from Dorco.  This company strives to make shaving affordable - which I LOVE because all of the good razors are always SO.EXPENSIVE.

Although it isn't very important - the first thing I look at in a product is the appearance.  Aesthetically, it is super pretty.  I love anything pink - so that's a plus.  It is a good size, I like to have razors that have some substance to them so they are easy to hold and manipulate.

Included with the razor was a holder that suction cups to the inside of the shower. I love this!  I share my bathroom with 3 other roommates - so we have a ton of products and shower things - this makes it super easy to store my razor and I don't have to rummage through all of the clutter to find it.  The best part, it doesn't fall down!  A few years back I had a razor that had a similar holder, and I swear it fell down every day. Not kidding. Good job Dorco, your suction cups are high quality.  

So what about the actual razor, Traci?!

Hold on guys, I'm getting there.

So I actually really liked this razor.  I'm not super picky when it comes to razors - except that I rarely use disposables, because I find that most of them make my legs itchy and dry.  I used this razor with my usual shaving cream from EOS and exfoliated first with this body scrub by Soap and Glory. (Oh, and I followed up with this body butter by The Body Shop.

The lubricating strip has vitamin E, aloe, and lavender oil - which helped it glide across my legs.  No cuts, no red bumps, nothing.  As I said - I'm not really a razor snob - so all I can say is that this razor is really nice.  It does the job, and it didn't irritate my skin at all.

Here is a nice picture of my extremely pale legs (you're welcome) - post shaving and slathering body butter over them.  As you can see - the razor shaved very closely and didn't leave any irritation.  I didn't feel the need to shave again for about 3 days.

All in all, I was pretty impressed with this razor - and here's the thing - it only costs $5.95.  Yep, that's right, and it includes the holder AND a replacement cartridge.

But don't worry readers - I wouldn't talk about an awesome product without giving you the link!!!

AND - here is a code for a 15% discount off any Dorco product!

Code: O326G8IOS0B

It expires on 4/30 so make sure to check it out now!!!!!

Thank you so much for sticking with me through my extra long blogging break.  You are all lovely.

With love,

Traci J