Birthday Wishlist

Long time no see! We are back with with Blogmas. I’m planning on posting every other day so we have at least 12 days of Christmas. My birthday is November 30th and kicks off the holiday season. I love being able to spend time with my friends and family before the stress and business of the holidays kicks in. This year, I’ve been extra blessed to be surrounded by so much love from friends. I had a birthday dinner on my actual birthday followed by a fun potluck, which y’all will hear all about soon. I feel particularly “adult” this year as all my friends are working and brought amazing thoughtful gifts and food.

Birthday Wishlist | paper + flame

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  1. I was helping my friend find some boots two weeks ago and saw a friend in one of my classes wearing these gorgeous boots. They luckily have been on sale at Nordstrom. My friends ending up getting me similar (but cooler) boots. I love Chelsea boots, and these are fun and heeled upgrade.
  2. This necklace from Mejuri is gorgeous. It is the matching necklace to these earrings that Oliver gave me for our anniversary. He ended up getting me this equally as gorgeous necklace that I love. Honestly, he’s not helping with my Mejuri obsession that is 100% Allana’s fault.
  3. Admittedly, I’m not a big perfume person, but recently, I’ve been dabbling in perfume. This perfume set is small and not too scent specific making it a great gift.
  4. As a perpetually dehydrated person, I always want a new fun water bottle to help me drink more water. I definitely don’t need new water bottles, but this Hydroflask comes with a straw!!
  5. This dry shampoo set is great because I’m a disgusting person and definitely don’t wash my hair enough. Enough said lol.
  6. I recently got a new phone and am trying to go away from my phone wallet. This key pouch from Madewell is adorable, monogrammable, and will hopefully stop me from leaving my house with the required items. I ended up buying myself a similar key pouch from Target in black.
  7. I’m obsessed with the Great British Bake Off (Baking Show in the US). If you’ve ever watched an episode, you know exactly why it’s  so great. This bread book is amazing, and my amazing friends bought me two different books by Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry, the judges.
  8. So, I’ve had a phone wallet for four years and I’m trying to transition away from the phone wallet. Now that I have an iPhone 8 Plus, a large phone wallet would be too bulky. This is a slimmer option that one with a flap. I ended up getting a similar case from Amazon.

What’s your favorite part of your birthday? Do you have any fun birthday traditions? What are you excited for this Christmas?

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Wishlist | Halloween Decor

It’s October 1st, so I think it’s absolutely appropriate to start talking about Halloween Decor. Until college, I wasn’t a big Halloween girl, but, somehow, all my friends in college are big fans. They have officially converted me to a fan of the festivities. First of all, I can get behind anyway holiday that is essentially a big celebration of the color black. Second, I love Halloween movies. I can’t watch any form of horror or suspense movies, but kids Halloween movies are my favorite.
You’ll see a bit of theme in this decor wishlist. All of these are affordable and most of them are dark colors. You can definitely go a bunch of different ways with your decorations, but my roommate goes very dark and spooooooky. Black accents are perfect for any design scheme, and keep the decor chic. All these items are extremely affordable and are from Target and H&M. I tried my best to keep all the decor not cheesy and functional otherwise.
Affordable Halloween Decor | paper + flame
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Ipsy | July

Hey guys! We’re back with a new start to the new year. Today is the start of a new series. Every month, around the 15th, I get my Ipsy bags, and I want to share with you the things I get. So, the following month, I’ll share my opinions on the products after a month of use. If you don’t know, Ipsy is a subscription service that is $10 a month and they send you a mix of makeup, skincare, and haircare products. I’ve found some of my favorite things in the world through Ipsy and realized that some fan-favs are not made for me. Every month, you get five products in a small bag that comes packaged in the cutest pink bubble wrap envelope. It makes every month like Christmas all over again.

July Ipsy Review | paper + flame

Besides foundation, I feel like I never need to buy new products again. Mostly, you get sample-sized items, but many eyeliners are full-sized. Also, I’m not sure how they do this, but they deliver exactly what I need when I need it. For example, for the month of July, I needed a new face wash and BAM. I consider myself a “conscious consumer.” Before I buy any skincare or makeup products, I usually conduct extensive research, so this really saves me some time. Also, I’m not really a hair care gal, and their small samples have allowed me to branch out. Also, you can buy your Ipsy products and other high and low-end beauty products at a discount on the website.

July Ipsy Review | paper + flame

This month’s bag was Gudetama themed. Gudetama is this adorable depressed egg. He’s just adorable, I promise. My five products are

Beau Gâchis Illuminator Brush is weirdly what my brush collection was missing. I usually wear either no makeup or a full face of makeup. Due to a recent stress induced breakout, I have some acne scars that I want to cover up on a daily basis. To not look weird with just one cheek concealed, I usually pop on some concealer under my eye and some mascara as well. This brush is perfect for any concealing. Before using it as a concealing brush, I used it for highlighter and an all-over-the-lid brush. It worked pretty well for both.

Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Sorbet was the disappointing to the say the least. As a moisturizer, it was insufficient. As an oily skin girl, I use pretty stripping face washes to get my face feeling clean. Afterwards, I like to rehydrate my skin in the mornings with moisturizer and in the evening with night cream. This product goes on my skin and feels just kinda eh. It feels like I put a bad serum on. Also, this must be personally preference, but I hate how this smells. It smells like raw calabash, or bottle gourd.

July Ipsy Review | paper + flame

When I first received the Ciate London Wondewarnd Gel-Kohl Hybrid Liner in Black, I fully intended on giving it to my mom. I haven’t worn eyeliner in about four years when I realized that heavy eyeliner all around my eyes wasn’t the look for me. However, this eyeliner is double ended with eyeliner on one side and a smudging brush on another. The eyeliner is dark if you build it up and perfectly smudge-y if you want a smokey look.

Nomad Cosmetics Illuminating Highlighter in Midnight Sun is the next level highlighter. I have two other highlighters I use. One is more subtle and every day but can be considered more glam if I apply it with a wet or dense brush. The other highlighter I use is one I discovered from Ipsy, and it’s a natural gel based highlighter. Both are gorgeous and serve a purpose, but this one is really my more glam highlighter. I feel like taking approximately 15 billion selfies while wearing this highlighter. To be fair, for me, this is not the best highlighter. I have this thing called a natural glow, oily skin and sweaty face, but I’m excited to use this when it won’t melt off of my face. Together, the highlighter on my lids and the smudgy liner give me my best Delia Banai from Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce.

Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleaning Gel is a really interesting product. It was perfecting timing because I wanted a new cleanser. My face was clean but not tight after washing. The gel is a liquid-y consistency and does a decent job cleansing my face. It doesn’t work too well for removing any eye makeup, and I don’t wearing anything waterproof. I don’t think I would repurchase this, but it did a decent job.

Overall, I liked 4/5 products, and I loved the physical bag. I think this is the usual split for most of Ipsy bags. I just got this month’s bag today, and I can’t wait to chat with y’all about it.

Do y’all get Ipsy? Do y’all use Birchbox? Have you used both? Which one do you prefer?

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Father’s Day Gift Guide Under $50

Aaaaand we are back. After a hiatus from blogging, we are back! It was our last semester’s of our senior year of college and, boy, did they become hectic. I actually did a minimester from January to the middle of February and interned the rest of the semester. It’s almost Father’s Day and in true millennial fashion, I’ve made sure all these picks are on Amazon and prime-able. Especially when you graduate, you look back and see all the support (and money) your parents have invested in you. To thank your dad, we’ve got some fun picks together.


To be fair, none of these are particularly “Dad,” but I tried my best. My family buys my dad the same three things (two polos and a white dress shirt) for every occasion, so this is really switching it up on my end. Also, I bought the dopp kit for my boyfriend for Christmas and he loves it. Honestly, it’s way bigger than I can imagine any guy will ever need, so a personally thumbs up for that product.
Father's Day Gift Guide Under $50 | paper + flame
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If you need additionally ideas, we have a general gift guide for men from earlier.


Have you bought your dad a present? What’s your go-to gift for your dad or the men in your life?
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Beauty | Hair Routine ft. Hask

This post contains sponsored products. 
Low Maintenance Hair Routine for Wavy Hair | gold&hearts

New Year New Hair! Today, I have a slightly different post for y’all about my haircare routine. As a person with wavy/curly hair that never does what I want it to do, I struggle to be able to leave the house without styling my hair. As a lazy person, I usually just throw it up in a half up half down or ponytail. With my internship coming up, I wanted to really dig deep into my haircare, so I wouldn’t be heat damaging my hair.

Low Maintenance Hair Routine for Wavy Hair | gold&hearts

Today, I’m working with HASK Chia Seed Oil Volumizing Collection, which has a shampoo and conditioner. Hask is great because all of their products are free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, gluten, drying alcohol and artificial colors. Okay, first note, this shampoo conditioner set smells amazing. Even my older brother thought our shared bathroom smelled good. Weirdly, despite having absolutely huge hair, my volume stays at the bottom giving me the dreaded triangle hair. Usually, on the first day, my roots stay volumized. but it ends there. This collection really helped keep my hair volumized in the roots to the next day. I apply conditioner only to the bottom half of my hair to weigh them down and make sure they are curls and not waves. My roots stayed super soft despite not applying conditioner. Also, the weight of the conditioner is perfect to actually curl up my hair. #bless

Low Maintenance Hair Routine for Wavy Hair | gold&hearts

After showering, I put the Not Your Mother’s Beach Babe Texturizing Spray in. Not only is this much cheaper than the Bumble and Bumble alternative, it doesn’t have the same amount of salt and doesn’t dry your hair out. I then brush my hair out with a wide tooth comb. I, then, use the Aussie Mousse to scrunch my hair gently. I was always scared of mousse because of the hard wet-look mousse people used in early high school with the super straightened  bangs. However, this just keeps my hair from getting big and preventing frizz. Additionally, if I ever need additional hold for any hair style, I use a little bit of the Not Your Mother’s Volumizing Hairspray.

If I had told myself a year ago that I would spend this much time or effort on my hair, I would have laughed. Honestly, this takes about 2 minutes and the results are visible! The best part is that all these products are super affordable and I don’t have to choose between a $20 bottle of shampoo or going out to dinner that week when I have to restock on products. All products are under $10 and go on sale often!

What’s your hair routine? How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
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Gift Guide for Men Under $50

Basically, while trying to buy a gift for the boyfriend, I realized buying for men is weird because they usually never want anything. Also, everything they want, they usually buy or is $400. So, I wanted to put together some things under 50 bucks that you could buy for any man. A lot of this revolves around alcohol solely because my boyfriend loves beer and gin…like a lot.

Gifts for Men Under $50 | gold&hearts

Weekender Bag

Recently, my boyfriend and I have started doing long distance(ish), and he brings the biggest duffle bag that is half empty and takes up so much space. So, this weekender bag is part of his actual Christmas present.

Alcohol-themed Presents

The boyfriend loves his craft beer and gin, so I have a few alcohol themed presents. The cocktail set is great for someone in their early 20s who are just moving into their first place. The beer-making kit is a really fun idea and is definitely one of those “gifting an experience” things. Alternatively, if beer isn’t his thing, this gin-making kit is a similar idea.

Cookbook

If your boyfriend/dad/brother loves cooking, this cookbook is cool. I didn’t want this to be hyper-masculine “yeah guns, fire, boobs” kinda guide, but this book actually has really cool food ideas (aka food I want someone to cook for me).

Joggers

Joggers are a fun alternative to Christmas pajamas that will actually be worn besides when someone runs out of laundry. These are fashionable and functional with hella pockets. Also, let’s be real, everyone loves being comfy in the winter time.

Technology

So technology pieces are usually hella expensive, but I found some really cool pieces under $50. I did some research to find these wireless earphones are just over 20 bucks and are highly rated on Amazon. They are perfect for anyone who loves working out. Also, the Amazon Echo Dot is really cool. It’s speaker, timer, etc. and is Alexa enabled, so you can use voice commands to control things around your house.

I hope this made your shopping a little bit easier. To see what to get for your beauty obsessed friend, check out this guide.

What are you buying for the men in your life?

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DIY | #AnytimeSpa with Evian

This post contains sponsored content. 

Today, I’m here to bring you a really exciting post with Evian for their new #AnytimeSpa campaign. The holidays are coming up, which generally means avoiding conversations about politics with people you see maybe one or two times a year. At some point, it just becomes awkward when everyone under the age of 25 is lumped together. Luckily, instead of going to watch some PG-rated movie about 15 times, you can just put on a little DIY spa. Get everyone in your family involved and try to help mend that stressed out skin.

When you're bored during the holidays, get your family members together and do a DIY Spa Day with Evian. | gold&hearts

Part I: Face

I would start off with a clean face followed by the Evian spray for some renewed moisture. Recently, I’ve been loving this mud mask from Formula 10.0.6. that I got in my Ipsy, which helps draw out impurities. It makes your skin feels so clean afterwards and is suprisingly affordable. Your skin will then be ready for a really moisturizing mask like the First Aid Beauty mask or just normal moisturizer. A quick DIY mask is yogurt mixed with honey. If you want to really go the extra step, add some turmeric for glowing skin!

Part II: Hair

The holidays are a time where you want to look your best. With all the heat and styling, don’t forget to give your hair some ~extra~ love. On a regular basis, I use the Aussie 3-Minute Miracle, which is maybe $3 at the drugstore. In my Ipsy, I also received the Briogeo deep conditioning hair mask and have been loving that for an extra moisture boost. For a quick DIY mask, just slather a bunch of warm coconut oil in your hair and leave it in for as long or as little as you desire! While your hair mask is in, spray your face with some Evian spray and exfoliate your lips gently with a DIY scrub of honey and sugar.

Part III: Nails

Nails are so easy and fun to do for every age range. The Sally Hansen Cuticle Remover literally makes your hand look like they worked the scary cuticle scissor magic at the salon. After that, you just need an array of nail polish, base coat, and base coat. If you want to make it pedicure appropriate, just get one of these little feet grater things to make your feet soft af.

Have an amazing holiday season! If you aren’t celebrating anything this time of the year, just enjoy the cold weather and furry blankets!

What are your favorite at-home spa treatment? Who would you want to do a DIY spa with?

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Gift Guide for Beauty Lovers Under $25 and $50

So, we decided to do #Blogmas and have failed epically and have started today.Hopefully, we will have 12 new exciting posts between now and Christmas! We have some super exciting (holiday and non-holiday themed) content for y’all. Buying Christmas gifts and not going broke is pretty hard. You have that “do I love the x dollars or y dollars?” discussion, so we are hoping to make that easier and have some Christmas guide for everyone in your life.
Gift Guide for your favorite beauty lover under $25 and $50! | gold&hearts
Today, we are starting off with the beauty lover in your life. Everything above the words in the image is under $25 and everything below is under $50. Even if you know nothing about makeup, we’ve got you covered! If you know what your friend likes (lipstick, eyeshadow, etc), we have options for every price point. If you have no actual idea about makeup at all, we still got u covered.

Under $25

Any beauty lover can’t get enough of Beauty Blender. This set also has a cleanser which will last past the life of the Beauty Blender. I personally steal my friend’s sponge cleaner, so this is a steal for $25.

First Aid Beauty Christmas value sets are my favorite. I got introduced to the brand through one and buy one at least every year (oops). This set includes a cleanser, a lip conditioner, and facial radiance pads for $15. I don’t want to sound gimmick-y but holy shit what is in those facial pads and how do they make my skin look so good. They are usually my treat-yo-self because they are $$$ but actually have the payoff.

Also, perfect for this winter season is the L’Occitane Shea Butter Ornament that is only $15 (!!) and has hand cream, body lotion, and body soap. If you have ever owned any L’Occitane products, you know how luxurious they are. Side note: this is great for moms and grandmas too!

This Becca Glow on the Go set has both a liquid and powder version of their Moonstone Shimmering Skin Perfector. They both are in travel sizes making it for easy for the one who wants to try everything or the one who travels a lot.

The Kat Von D Bow and Arrow Set is perfect for your favorite trendy beauty lover at only $20.  Literally all my friends are obsessed with this lip color. It comes with their legendary liquid eyeliner.

Under $50

This palette is the real bae. The Tarte Tartlette in Bloom palette is on my wishlist (hint hint mom/bf). It has the perfect combination of shimmery and matte shades to create a variety of looks from natural to full on glam. Palettes are an amazing present because they basically last forever and your friend will always remember you for only $45.

If your friend loves her contour, she either has the Kat Von D Shade + Light palette or wants it. At $46, buy it for someone special who really never treats themself or really loves being glam at all times.

For you friend that basically has everything, this Nars Velvet Matte lip set will complete their collection of lip shades that are similar but not the same, which is the ideal standard for a lip product, for $45. These products are high quality and your friend will love you for them.

Lastly this amazing Beauty Blender + Benefit kit comes with a Beauty Blender (can you tell we are obsessed?), special blotting sheets, and the amazing Benefit Porefessional Primer for your friend that’s always touching up her makeup because the weather is ruining her life. (all Texas girls ever)

What are you favorite beauty purchases? What do you want on this list?
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Beauty | Makeup Forever Ultra HD Foundation Liquid + Stick

So, today, I’m really excited to talk to y’all about a product I’ve been using for about 3 years now. I love that this foundation is available in like a gazillion colors and undertones. A big downside is the price, but honestly, I only invest in my base and buy about two foundations a year.  Luckily, about a week after I finished my last bottle of the MakeUp Forever Ultra HD Invisible Cover Foundation, Influenster sent me both the liquid and stick foundation. Also, on Sephora, you can get a FREE sample of this foundation with a $25 purchase!

So a few general foundation things first. I apply my foundation with the Real Techniques Complexion Sponge. Also, I like to wear buildable foundations because I wear foundation maybe once a week because that’s about how often I go out. I am looking for a fuss-free foundation because I don’t have time to sit there blending it out and worry about how it’s going to look in every light.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation Liquid + Stick Review | gold&hearts

Liquid 

First of all, the first thing I noticed was the repackaging. It looks the exact same besides adding the “Ultra HD” to the title. In the old bottle, the lid would pop off really easily, and I had so many foundations explosions.  The finish of this foundation is absolutely gorgeous. It ups your selfie game like no ones business. I’m still shocked by how flawless my skin looks in photos when I wear this foundation.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation Liquid + Stick Review | gold&hearts

 

Also, I have combination skin with oiliness in my t-zone and dryness on the tops of my cheeks. Basically, my skin always looks greasy af, but makeup catches on some random dry spots. This effortless glides over all my imperfections and to blur them out. However, it tends to get a bit slick after wearing it for a while. In Austin, it’s still in the 80s during the day and evenings, so I do use a primer and set it with a powder.

Makeup Forever HD Foundation Liquid + Stick Review | gold&hearts

Cream 

Like many people with dry patches, I’m weary of stick foundations. I can imagine the cake-y faced mistake of years past. Right now, the stick foundation is more a winter  shade, so I use it to “highlight” under my eyes. It surprisingly wasn’t cake-y at all and didn’t settle into fine lines. Also, it didn’t stick to any dry patches. It stayed all day on my face during a game, the fair, and a few tears (because we lost).

Makeup Forever HD Foundation Liquid + Stick Review | gold&hearts

This definitely isn’t going to be an every day product for me. It blends effortlessly, but as a I ranted before, I rarely wear any makeup. If I’m trying to look extra nice, I will use this. Also, this covered up my under eye circles like no ones business. Usually, I use the  color correcting concealer with a normal concealer on top, and it helps brighten up the area a bit. I didn’t even need to with this gem, so #blessed to have one less step to do.

What’s your favorite foundation? Have you used any Makeup Forever foundations? 

 

 

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