Favorite Products Discovered in 2020

Hey guys! Welcome back. 🙂 I know many of you are happy to kiss 2020 goodbye at this point, however, I wanted to highlight some really great finds from 2020 that I will for sure take into 2021 with me! I love reading “round up” blog posts like this that tie together stand out products. I always end up finding one or two items that I want to try myself from other people’s posts, so I hope you find something from my list that you want to try! Let’s get started:

*Click on any item to shop!

Abercrombie Curve Love Jeans: Y’all probably knew this would be top of the list. Jeans are SO hard to find the perfect fit, and Abercrombie really nailed it with this cut. The curve love jeans have an extra 2 inches around the hip and thigh area, and then they taper more in the waist which means your booty and thighs are more comfortable AND you have no waist gap. I have these in 3 pairs! They come in petite, regular, and tall!

Aerie Offline Goals Leggings: Big surprise, I also own three pairs of these. When I love something, I love it lol. These are a true athletic looking legging that you can totally wear casual as well. They have a good amount of hold without being uncomfortable (wearing them now as I type this) and they are great to work out in and feel secure. If you are into barre workouts, I think you would love these!

Aerie Real Free Padded Bralette: My most worn bra of 2020. It is so so comfortable, y’all. I could sleep in it. I have this one in two colors and it is my go to bra for anything. Running errands, chilling around the house, traveling. It is a great one. It is almost a hybrid between a regular bra and sports bra, however, I wouldn’t wear this one for an intense work out.

Chain Belt: This is such a fun find of 2020! It can be worn in so many different ways and just adds a little something unique to your outfit. I love how adjustable it is to get the exact fit that you want depending on what you’re layering it over. Very affordable piece too!

The Ordinary Hyaluronic Serum: 2020 was a year that I experimented with skincare, and I really love this serum! I put it on before my moisturizer or mix it in depending on what I’m feeling. It is super light weight and I love adding in hydration to my skin care.

Paula’s Choice Super Antioxidant Serum: I don’t think I’ve talked about this one with y’all yet! I usually like to use products for a long time before sharing about them, so that I know how they perform. This has been constant for me for the past 7 months or so– love this serum! It is packed with amazing ingredients. I apply this at night before my moisturizer and eye cream, and I have actually noticed a significant difference. My skin texture is so much better and it brought an overall evenness to my complexion. It also has a brightening effect. I will definitely repurchase!

Paula’s Choice Light Weight Sunscreen: I talked about this product over the Summer with y’all, but I wear it everyday. It is super light weight so anyone can wear this and not be bothered by it. I actually layer moisturizer underneath since I have dry skin. It acts as a primer for makeup for me and it even blurs my complexion a bit, so it’s also really great on its own. It has a slight tint so that it will not leave a white cast.

Hourglass Bronzer: Oh my goodness y’all. Why was this new to me in 2020?? It is the most gorgeous bronzer. I wear this even if I only put on the tinted sunscreen above and mascara. It is just so youthful and glowy without making you look glittery. I have it in two different shades: Luminous Bronze Light for Summer and Nude Bronze Light for Winter. I also sweep this in the crease before eyeshadow or by itself. It’s a pricey but very versatile product, so it is worth it in my opinion.

Briogeo Hair Mask: I go through a lot of hair masks, and this one is definitely worth mentioning for this year. I am almost done with my current one, and I will be purchasing another. It is super moisturizing without being super heavy, which is odd to me because I actually love the feeling of a really heavy hair mask. This one gives me the results that I want without being so thick. I do like to add it drops of pure argan oil to any hair mask that I use. This is the one that I use.

Ouai Hair Oil: Another stand out hair product that re-discovered this year. This is a super light weight oil that I put on my ends after blow drying. It smells amazing and adds shine without adding grease. I even reapply this in between washes when my hair gets dry.

Thanks y’all for reading! I hope that you have a happy New Year!

Cheers,

Olivia

Answering Hair Questions:

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Where do you get your hair done?

I have had the same hair dresser for over 10 years in Cary!! She is so awesome and knows my hair so well now.  She is the only person I trust to cut and color my hair! If you are local and want her info, just leave me a message on Instagram.  

How often do you get your hair colored/cut?

This varies depending on my schedule.  Usually, I go every 6-7 weeks, but sometimes I’ll only go 5 weeks. (It just depends on how long you’re happy going without freshening up! We definitely do not do my full head of hair every time—Just a partial every other time.  I also get my hair trimmed every time I get it done! It is so much more manageable that way.  (I am OCD about split ends.)

Do you wear extensions, and have you ever? 

Nope! I get this question all the time.  I have never gotten hair extensions put in. I have looked into youtube videos of other girls who have, and it just doesn’t seem like something that I’d like, plus it does cause a bit of breakage.  My hair is also pretty thick and time consuming to style at times as it is.  

Is your hair naturally blonde? How do you achieve the hair color/tone that you have?

My hair is naturally darker blonde! It continues to get a bit darker as I get older.  It was much lighter when I was younger.  Ashley highlights and lowlights my whole head.  We try to keep it as natural-looking as possible.  The lowlight she mixes up for me is usually a super cool tone mixed with another lowlight that has some warmth in it.  It’ll be different with each person depending on the natural tone and darkness/lightness of your  natural hair!  Ever other time, Ashley puts a slight toner on my hair mixed with a glaze (makes my hair more ash, plus nourishes it and gives it added shine).  Other times, she will put a hair glaze on without toner in it.  I also use this purple shampoo about once a week to maintain my tone in between appointments.  

How often do you wash your hair?

Every 3-4 days.  My hair is pretty thick and has more of a coarse/dry texture. However, you can train your hair to go longer in between washes even if you have fine hair! 

What tool do you use to curl your hair?

I have used this basic curling iron all through college, and I still use it.  I took the clamp off with a screw driver several years ago, and voila! DIY hair wand. 

Do you take hair vitamins? 

I don’t! I have been looking into taking Nutrafol hair vitamins that Dani Austin and Olivia Rink have written about recently.  However, they are pretty pricey and I’m not sure if they are worth it!

Products that help grow your hair longer and prevent breakage??

I swear by this product by Redken. I have used this product longer than any other hair product I own.  There is no telling how many I have purchased over and over.  So great to improve the strength of your hair!  A more recent item that I love is this hair brush. It is so gentle, and gets out allll of my tangles wet or dry. I also love to use this while blow drying my hair! 

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Extra Hair Tips:

  • If you wash your hair every day, try to start going longer without washing it. Washing and styling more than you need to just increases the amount of mechanical and heat damage done to your hair. I used to hate doing this with working out/sweating ect.  Something that really helps me is blow drying my hair on a cool setting after working out and spraying dry shampoo. Also, figure out hairstyles that work well with your second/third/fourth day hair.  I really love watching this girl’s youtube channel for tips: Twist Me Pretty // Abby Smith
  • Let your hair air dry as much as possible. I usually wash my hair at night so I can sit and let it air dry to about 90% before a blow dry it.  
  • Find a hair style you like that doesn’t require any heat, so you can give your hair a break sometimes. 
  • Try to lessen the amount of hair spray you use—it builds up on your hair over time and causes breakage.  Instead, I use this texture spray on my curls.  
  • Be SUPER gentle with your hair when it’s wet.  This is when it is most fragile.  Blot your hair with a towel instead of rubbing, and use a gentle hair brush. 
  • Sleep on a silk pillow case!!! I cannot recommend this enough. I love mine so so much. It is gentle on your hair and skin, as some fabrics can “rough up” your hair.

If there are any questions I didn’t answer, feel free to leave me a comment below or on my Instagram! Happy Sunday, y’all. 🙂

My Must-Have Products for Healthy Hair

I have gotten manyyy questions over the years of what I use on my hair, and I thought that this post might be helpful to those of you who are looking for products to help keep your hair healthy and manageable. Personally, I love talking about anything beauty product related (especially hair), so feel free to leave me a comment below of your favorite products as well! I’m sharing absolutely every product I use in my hair from hair masks to dry shampoo, and I’ll try to keep it short lol!

To start, a little bit about my hair: I have very thick, sort of coarse hair.  I do highlight my hair, so that adds to the dryness.  I tend to gravitate towards products that add moisture back into my hair.  So, if your hair is more on the oily side, some of these products may not be the best for you.

 

Shampoo:  I have used this shampoo for years. I love to buy the huge bottle from Ulta, and it lasts me months and months.  I like that it is still moisturizing, as some shampoos in the past have left my hair incredibly dull.

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Biolage Hydrasource Shampoo

 

 

Purple Shampoo:  This of course is for blondes, to neutralize brassy tones.  If you’re looking for something extreme that’s going to give you a super cool-toned effect, maybe try leaving this product in a bit longer.  Personally, I just like to have a more neutral tone, so I leave it in for the normal amount of time. I have used other purple shampoos in the past that were pretty harsh on my hair. This one is perfect, and I have been through multiple bottles of it.

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Matrix So Silver Shampoo

 

 

Hair Mask: My FAVORITE type of hair product.  I do not use regular conditioners ever–only hair masks.  This has certainly been my go to hair mask for years (and I have tried a lot).  It gives my hair back so much life and shine.   My other go to’s are by It’s a Ten and Nexxus (I switch off and use these every so often.)

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Macadamia Hair Mask                 It’s a 10 Hair Mask                             Nexxus Hair Mask

 

 

Leave-in Product:  (For all hair types!!!)  I can thank my hair dresser for this one.  When I first started coming to her 10 years ago, my hair was a hot mess–I was that 14 year old girl who experimented and abused my hair (why was I so obsessed with flat irons???).    She suggested this product to me, and I’ve used it ever since.  I put this in my damp hair every time I wash it.  I have gotten every single one of my friends to use this as well.

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Redken Anti-Snap

 

Heat Protectant:  This is my newest product that I have added to my must haves, and omggg where has this been all my life?? Thank you Birch Box for sending this to me! I am for sure purchasing the full size.  I never thought I could blow out my own hair until using this. It makes your hair sooooo smooth, and no frizz at all.  Plus, it protects from the heat!!!

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Briogeo Heat Protectant

 

 

Argan Oil:  I love this line of pure oils from Ulta! This is pure organ oil–nothing added.  I put it on my ends day to day if I need added moisture (especially in colder months coming up).

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Pure Argan Oil

Pure Coconut Oil: The one product from this list that you can also cook with lol.  I put this in my dry hair right BEFORE washing it.  Do not put this in your hair as a leave-in product. You will totally be a grease ball.  This helps keep the moisture in my hair balanced before going in with  regular shampoo + purple shampoo.  You can buy this at the grocery store of course, or TJ Maxx!

Dry Shampoo: I don’t like washing my hair more than I need to, so anything that will prolong my hair style is good for me.  I’ve tried many dry shampoos, and this one is the best for the price. I buy mine at TJ Maxx (cheaper than Ulta.)

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Batiste Dry Shampoo

I do not have a hair spray/texture spray that I swear by.  I don’t use hair spray often, so I’d love to hear your favorites on that!

If you got to the end of this post, thank you so much for reading! If you like posts like this, and want to see more like this in the future, please let me know!  Until next time, 🙂 .

 

-Olivia