Category Archives: Beauty

My Favorite Volumizing Mascaras

I have really long eyelashes, but they aren’t super full. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they are “thin” because they aren’t sparse by any means. They look rather normal most of the time. However, when I wear mascara my normal looking lashes suddenly clump together and begin to look a bit on the thin side. So I’ve spent the past couple of years trying out different mascaras to find the PERFECT one (for me anyway, haha). If you are looking for mascaras that volumize well then this post is for you! 🙂

Four things to note:

1. Elle from ElleSees is like my beauty guru so she definitely helped me a ton in my search over the past couple of years!

2. I don’t wear waterproof mascara so I only tried ones that weren’t waterproof.

3. I always get the “black” or “blackest black” when choosing color.

4. This picking a favorite mascara process took so long because I don’t wear mascara often (about once a week) and because I didn’t want to spend a lot of $$ on something that I didn’t know if I would love or not all at once.

So after a ridiculous amount of research and trying out mascaras, these were my favorites:

Rimmel ScandalEyes Flex  ($5.49)
L’Oreal Voluminous
Tarte Gifted Amazonian Clay ($21)
Too Faced Better Than Sex ($23)
Younique 3D Fiber Moodstruck ($29)

Want to know the craziest thing? Despite those higher end, more expensive mascaras… my absolute favorites were the two cheap ones. After trying all these mascaras (and many others as well that just didn’t make this list of ones I liked), I landed on my top two favorites: L’Oreal Voluminous and the Rimmel ScandalEyes Flex. All of the others listed here were good too, but I wouldn’t repurchase any of them.

Rimmel ScandalEyes and L'Oreal Voluminous.JPG

The L’Oreal Voluminous has a very natural look to it. It adds plenty of volume to my lashes without clumping and I love that. The Rimmel Scandal Eyes Flex also adds volume without clumping, but it also adds extra length for an even more dramatic look. And neither of these are flaky which I really appreciate! So just depending on the look I’m going for decides which mascara I wear. 🙂

Clinque Primer and Sephora Lash Comb.JPG

I would be remiss if I didn’t add in that during all this searching, I discovered the Sephora Lift Off Lash Comb which is awesome for my long lashes! It helps separate them both before and after putting on mascara. I love it! And I have to tell you guys about how great the Clinque Lash Building Primer is as well. I tried it as a base coat with every mascara that I tried out and it made all of them look even more dramatic. I actually don’t use it often because my eyelashes are already pretty long and this makes them stand out even more underneath the mascara (also sometimes I’m lazy and don’t want to use more than one product haha). But I do like to use it for special occasions.

Do you wear mascara? If so, what’s your favorite and why?

Love Rach


The truth behind our “picture-perfect” beach photos

I think about cutting my hair back to just above my shoulders from time to time. Typically 6 days out of the week my hair is in a bun on top of my head, a pony tail, or a braid. So I ask myself why I bother with having long hair if I’m just throwing it up out of my way. But then… about once a week (or maybe twice if it’s a date night, special occasion, or we’re traveling) I’ll wear my hair down and I’ll remember just how much I love having it long. So once again I’ll put off cutting it.

rach at the beach{from our most recent Destin trip – yes, I’m rocking my FitBit and hair tie as bracelets 😉 }

Ah, that pretty hair! But this photo is deceptive. You know how all those beach photos you see of Christopher and me look so perfect? Well, it usually takes ten photos to get ONE great one. The gentle breeze that we love all day long while being out on the beach turns into a WIND by sunset every evening. Making photos kind of hilarious. Please see below.

destin 2016.JPG

This shot is also from our most recent Destin trip. Check out that wild hair. Absolutely fabulous. 😉 Poor Christopher usually ends up with a face-full of my hair while trying to get the beautiful photos we love. Click here to see the far more magical photo taken just minutes later when the wind died down a bit.

destin may 2016

This one makes me laugh because Christopher is attempting to tame my mane. This is a pretty regular occurrence when attempting to take beach photos. 😉 This photo is from our Destin trip this past May (prettier photos from this day can be found here).

DSC_4731 copy{Panama City Beach earlier this summer}

Even when it’s kind of wild, I still like my long hair. The upkeep can be a pain sometimes and I honestly am pretty boring with how I style it most of the time, but at the end of the day I know that I won’t always have long hair. Eventually the day will come when I cut it all off once again so I’m going to enjoy having it for now.

vow renewal in cozumelRenewing our vows in 2011 just off the coast of Cozumel on our first cruise (my hair had been cut just above my shoulders earlier that year).

By the way, for newer readers… I used to cut 10″ off my hair every year (about 4 or 5 years in a row) to donate to organizations that made wigs for cancer patients (my hair grows super fast so this was easy for me). I quit doing it a couple of years ago because I wanted long hair for our Italy trip in 2013. Turned out that I kind of loved that long hair so I’ve kept it around the last few years. 🙂

Why is your hair the length that it is (short, medium, or long)?

Have you attempted photos on a windy day and found yourself with a face full of hair? Even people with shorter hair have this problem! I know because I photograph them all the time. 😉

Love Rach

Favorites: The Routine Things

You know how sometimes there are things that are just so a part of your normal routine that you don’t even realize how much you love them? Today’s post is all about me sharing some of my favorite routine things. 🙂

morning quiet time.jpg

Mornings kick off with my Bible, prayer journal, She Reads Truth devo, and a reading from Common Prayer (also daily online here). If you are looking for a good daily devotional – I really recommend She Reads Truth. And my husband really likes the He Reads Truth daily emails as well. We’ve been doing their devos for nearly a year now and while some have interested us more than others, we have definitely been blessed by the ministry as a whole. Also, I’ve been digging this smoothie again lately.

the skimm

After quiet time, I take a few minutes to check in on the news. I’ve used several different news sources over the years and theSkimm has been one of my favorites (thank you, Amy for recommending it!). It’s short and to the point and has underlying humor to it. {official disclaimer: if you use the link above to sign up, I get referral points which I think eventually lead to swag, but you guys know that I never recommend anything that I don’t actually use and love myself}


I only wear make up once or twice a week, but I’ve found the most magic thing that makes me actually enjoy wearing makeup! The BeautyBlender! Okay yes, I know. Everyone else already knows about this, but until Elle from ElleSees really convinced me of how magical the BeautyBlender was, there was no way I was shelling out that much $$ for a make up sponge. And to be honest – I still didn’t at first. I put it on my Christmas wish list, ha! But I was given one and LOVED it. It has cut my make up application time in half because it blends so beautifully and easily. I’ve even bought a replacement one for myself since then which shows how much I love the BB since I spent my own money on it. 🙂 I’ve used both the pink one and the black one and like them both! Further Helpful Reading on BeautyBlenders: Why you should give the BB a chance, How to use the BB, and How to clean your BB.

gym selfie

This isn’t actually my gym (this photo was taken from a hotel we stayed in earlier this year), but I don’t have any photos of me at my actual gym so this will have to do. 😉 Anyway, time at the gym is another every-day favorite. I typically find myself at the gym for about an hour and a half every day, but it’s not a very intense hour and a half. I walk on a treadmill (with my face in a book) just fast enough to get my heart rate up, I lift light weights to tone & strengthen, and I do simple 10 minute ab workouts. My goal is to maintain my current weight and to keep my muscles (including my heart) strong and toned. So far, so good. 😉 If you have questions about my work out routine please let me know! I love to talk fitness!

fitbit on the beach.jpg{Rockin’ my FitBit on the beach last week. And if you look closely you can see Christopher’s clip-on FitBit on his pocket as well.}

My final daily favorite for this post: I love my FitBit. It’s a whole post for another time, but suffice it to say: I have loved having it this year. Competing with my family has been a lot of fun! So, if you have a FitBit and want to compete – I’m in! Let me know and I’ll add you. Unless of course you are going to kick my tooshy on the first challenge we do by running 10 miles and mowing the lawn all on a SUNDAY. Not naming any names coughKRISTENcough. Oh oops, it just slipped out. 😉 Just kidding, it was actually really great inspiration for me! 🙂

Do we share any favorites? 

Tell me about a favorite of yours! 

Love Rach

My favorite red lipstick

I don’t wear lipstick often. Not at all in the warm months when I have a tan. But in the winter, when my tan fades and my skin resembles alabaster, I find myself loving the shock of a red lip against that pale skin. I’ve tried a couple of different reds, but my absolute favorite is one that I have been wearing for the past year.

mac russian red


Elle, over at ElleSees, wrote a blog post in December 2014 about perfect holiday lips which introduced me to Mac Ruby Woo. After a quick Google search to learn more about Ruby Woo, I was led to Mac Russian Red. After talking to Elle about both lipsticks, I decided to go with the Russian Red. And you guys, it has been awesome!

mac russian red lipstickmac russian red lipstick2mac russian red lipstick3Christopher took these photos this past weekend and he kept coaching me to “look serious” which only made me laugh more. 😉

I love this lipstick! I am complimented on it every time I wear it. Since I’m asked so often what lipstick I’m wearing when I wear this one, I thought I would actually blog about it. 🙂 Elle, I’ve said it before, but here’s a public thank you for always taking the time to answer my questions and for helping me find such a beautiful lipstick! 🙂

This isn’t a sponsored post. I just wanted to share a favorite with you guys!

Do you have a favorite red lipstick?

Love Rach