Weekend Reading

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I absolutely loved Alison Love’s writing in The Girl From the Paradise Ballroom. Descriptions jump off the page which is exactly what you want from a novel that puts you squarely in the middle of another time and place.

The first meeting between Antonio and Olivia at the Paradise Ballroom is brief, but electric.

Years later, on the dawn of World War II, when struggling Italian singer Antonio meets the wife of his wealthy new patron, he recognizes her instantly: it is Olivia, the captivating dance hostess he once encountered in the seedy Paradise Ballroom. Olivia fears Antonio will betray the secrets of her past, but little by little they are drawn together, outsiders in a glittering world to which they do not belong. At last, with conflict looming across Europe, the attraction between them becomes impossible to resist–but when Italy declares war on England, the impact threatens to separate them forever.

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I am a big fan of Karen White’s books. I think I’ve read almost everything she’s written and I eagerly jumped into this one which may be my favorite.

If you haven’t read any of Karen’s books, do so right now.  Flight Patterns is due out in late May so pre-order or add to your Goodreads list.

Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit…

It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled.

Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.

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Valley of the Moon is not due out until July so pre-order now. I really liked Melanie Gideon’s first novel Wife 22, so I’ve been very eager to read her latest!

I’m just a few pages in but I am completely hooked by the authors excellent writing.

Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time—until she realizes it actually is. Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her.

Soon she finds herself torn between her ties to the modern world—her adored son—and the first place she has ever felt truly at home.

 

What I’m Using and Loving Now

 

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Some of my latest favorites include these products, pictured above: Younique Blush, mascara and lipgloss along with the BB Flawless cream, Burt’s Bees Bb Cream and lip crayone and It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Illuminating cream.

I am new to Younique products and really liked what I tired including the famous Moodstruck Mascara which makes lashes look extremely long and lush thanks to tiny fibers that adhere to lashes and give them volume and length. The blush is pigmented and long lasting and the BB Cream is lightweight, creamy and not greasy.

I have really taken to wearing BB Creams lately and this one is in heavy rotation.

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I also loved the lipgloss- I am a big lipgloss fan and love when the gloss is soft and shiny, not sticky and leaves lips hydrated. I’ve also been using the Refreshed Rose Water to refresh skin and set my makeup in place without leaving it matte.

You can find out more by going here!

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I’ve been a Burt’s Bees fan for a long time and love the BB Cream and lip crayons!  When I want light, hydrating coverage, this BB Cream is ideal. It also offers an spf 15 making it what I reach for when I know I’m going to be outside.

I’ve been using the Intense Hydrating Day Cream too to keep skin very hydrated. I have found that well moisturized skin plumps up fine lines and wrinkles. I have gone from loving a super matte look to appreciating dewy skin.

Burts Bees has really nice lip products, I have numerous Lip Crayons and Balms. The Lip Crayons ae smooth and soft, giving lips nice color and a lot of moisture thanks to shea butter and jojoba oil. Because its a little matte, I like to add a gloss over it.

Last but not least, I am a fan of IT Cosmetics, they are cruelty free (if a brand isn’t totally clean, please let it be cruelty free) and innovative with products that work well. Green beauty purists will want to check ingredients but I don’t mind using these for my trouble spots.

The  IT’s Your Bye Bye Collection includes the most amazing under eye concealer called Bye Bye Under Eye Illumination – it covers dark circles beautifully and makes eyes appear alert and fresh. Its what I need! You also only need a tiny, tiny amount to cover each eye area.

The collection also includes: Bye Bye Pores Pressed Powder,  Bye Bye Pores Blush, a new Heavenly Skin Bye Bye Pores Powder Brush for a flawless finish along with  Bye Bye Makeup cleanse.

What are your favorite beauty products right now?

New! From Kahina Giving Beauty

 

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One of my favorite brands is Kahina Giving Beauty. I really like everything I have tried and I am quick to recommend the Night Cream and Lip & Face Balm as well as the Fez Hand and Body Serum *the scent is incredible which I promptly used up thanks to my Kahina addiction!

There are a few new faves around here and I am excited to show you. First I have to talk about the Eye Cream, so many eye products are heavy or greasy and end up migrating to my sensitive eyes but this one is amazing thanks to a super light texture and the ability to absorb quickly.

It contains Kahina’s signature Argan Oil with a variety of extracts to soothe and give gentle hydration to the eye area. I use this in the morning and at night!

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The Moroccan Beldi Soap is a gel-like soap that lightly foams and cleanses skin without drying it. The eucalyptus scent is ultra refreshing. Eucalyptus is perfect for cleaning as its clarifying and antibacterial. You can get this soap in a large jar size or like what I have above, a resealable travel size.

Use as a mask or as a soap, just grab off a little piece of the gel and apply to the face or body.

Check out the purity of the ingredientssaponified olea europaea (olive) oil, eucalyptus globulus (eucalyptus) leaf oil.

There’s an interesting story about the soap too, read it here.

 

Last but not least is the perfume which I cannot say enough good things about! I knew I’d love it before I even tried it because every single product that Kahina turns out smells delicious. The perfume was inspired by the coastal village in Morocco named Essaouira. It looks stunning and exotic, just like the perfume.

The Essaouira oil is made from steam distilled essential oils. The scent is described as “light rose and woodsy sandalwood mingle with herbaceous geranium and lavender, accented by a bright note of petitgrain.” It’s very clean and light and the notes mix together beautifully.

This is the ideal scent for those who want something that’s not heavy, sweet, or perfumey.  I generously roll this over pulse points, behind the ears and anywhere else I want!

The perfume bottle itself is pretty substantial, a nice sized bottle and the gorgeous blue box that it’s housed in is a work of art.

Do not miss out on this clean, luxurious products. Visit the Kahina Giving Beauty website for more!

Weekend Reading + Movie Trailer

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Here’s what’s on my To Read pile for the next few days!

Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer by Kate Grosmaire, this one looks like its going to be emotional and compelling. I love reading about the varied experiences of people but as a parent, this is going to be tough.

Here’s the synopsis:

“On March 28, 2010, Kate and Andy Grosmaire received two pieces of news that would change their lives forever.  The first was their worst nightmare: “Ann has been shot.”

The second was the dumbfounding addendum: “Conor was the one who shot her.” Their nineteen-year-old daughter had been killed by her boyfriend, a young man who had lived with the family and had come to feel like part of it.

In a beautiful, tragic testament to the liberating power of forgiveness, Kate Grosmaire finally tells the whole story of her daughter’s death at the hand of her boyfriend—and the stunning, deliberate forgiveness and help that Kate and her husband offered to the young man who shattered their world. That forgiveness meant not only telling him face-to-face that they forgave him but even working to reduce the time he would spend behind bars.

Part memoir, part spiritual testimony, Forgiving My Daughter’s Killer is the story of a family whose faith was put to the ultimate test and so found the capacity to do far more than they could have thought or imagined.”

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I am about halfway through and LOVING Kristin Harmel’s novel When We Meet Again.

With no close family around her and an estranged father, Emily feels alone in the world. When a mysterious painting of a beautiful woman arrives, it sends Emily on a search for the truth about her now deceased grandmother and a POW in Florida during the second world war.

The book switches seamlessly between present day Emily and the past, with her grandmother Margaret and her love, Peter. I am completely hooked! Family secrets and star crossed lovers? What is not to like? Do not miss this novel!

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I always like a good self-help book and this is the latest one on my To Read pile: Let It Out by Katie Dalebout. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Katie Dalebout shares the transformative practice that will rocket your life to the next level—journaling. Discovering in her darkest hours that a journal is the greatest tool in finding your purpose, healing yourself, and creating the life you most desire, Katie has assembled the remarkable tools and insights that will elevate your life and get you “unstuck”—for good.

Packed with journaling exercises, prompts, and techniques that can be done anywhere and in any order, this interactive guidebook offers you a new way to navigate your daily life, cope with stress, and create exciting, permanent change. Divided into seven sections covering everything from clearing clutter to finding presence to cultivating abundance to moving beyond fear, this book will be your new best friend and coach anytime you seek clarity or crave solace.

AND if you are an avid reader and lover of movies, you won’t want to miss both the book (read it now) and the movie (due out in the fall) The Girl on the Train.

Check out the the trailer below. Doesn’t Emily Blunt look perfectly creepy and fabulous?

 

What I am Loving Now: Mahalo Skincare

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I am absolutely loving Mahalo Skin Care right now. Everything about it is perfection! And the creator of this brand Maryna, is a fantastic person with the kindest heart. I adore her and her products!

Let’s start by checking out the gorgeous balm, featured above.

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My skin loves this nurturing product called The Rare Indigo. It’s the only cool hued balm you need!

Hand blended from natural ingredients including but not limited – hemp, marula, indigo, rose otto, lavender, and more, the scent is purely intoxicating and the skin softening properties has me addicted to using this all day.

You can use it anywhere, anytime. I use it on my hands and face, applying a little to my temples at bedtime for soothing aromatherapy!

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The Petal Mask is a gorgeous pink shade which I love. And trust me, you will look so pretty with it on your face! A gentle beta-hydroxy treatment, this mask contains 28 active ingredients!

Amazonian white clay tones and refreshes skin, raw honey contains anti-bacterial properties. Rose in forms of hydrosol, oil and petals, contains endless benefits.

Skin is visibly softer and looks fresh after washing this off. Its a quick treat for your complexion!

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The Pele Mask is another winner and many green beauty lovers are addicted to this.  Definitely a favorite in the detox mask category.

Named after the Hawaiian Volcano Goddess Pele, the mask is supercharged by “botox-plant” Hibiscus, anti-inflammatory Turmeric, collagen-boosting vitamin C, anti-aging Neem, sebum-balancing Witch Hazel, wrinkle-fading Guava, acne-fighting Holy Basil, toxin-magnet Volcanic Ash Clay, oxygenating Cayenne, and bacteria-absorbing Activated Bamboo Charcoal.

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Mix a little of the dry mask with some water and watch it activate into a mousse. Apply this with a brush, all over your face and let it work its magic for twenty to thirty minutes.

Upon rinsing it, your skin will be invigorated and radiant.

I also tried samples of the Vitality Elixir and  Vacation Glow Body Serum, both blew me away! LOVE.  Did I mention the products are made without preservatives, synthetics, parabens, harmful chemicals or animal testing?

I highly recommend you check out everything Mahalo has to offer by going here. 

 

By Hello Dollface