Skincare & Beauty

Top Purchases of 2018

At the beginning of last year, I wrote a few blog posts on my favorite beauty/skin, activewear, and denim finds of 2017, so I figured I would share my favorite purchases of 2018 before we get too far in to the new year! Believe it or not, my spending habits really changed this year. I learned to focus on only buying things that I 120% LOVE, even if it means quality over quantity, and I wore items much more repeatedly. I included several photos within this post where you’ll probably see me wearing a lot of the same things over and over again.

This past year was a year of exploring more “clean beauty” products. Not everything on this list is considered “clean” though  (I definitely have a ways to go) and my beauty routine isn’t perfect yet but I’m learning! I’m excited to learn more about cleaner beauty brands and find some new products this year!


  1. Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil: I just ordered my second one of these (that’s how you know it’s really good) and I started using this in place of my regular moisturizer. I found that it works 10x better than any moisturizer I’ve used and my skin LOVES it. I use it at night and in the morning.


  2. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water: Best makeup remover I’ve ever used and bonus points because you can get it at a drug-store! Before using this I was removing my makeup with coconut oil thinking it was good for my skin but my under-eye area would get irritated.


  3. T3 SinglePass Curl 1.25’’: Love this curling iron so much, especially for shorter hair, but I think the key to good curls for me is this heat protectant (another one of my favorites) and some good texturizing spray. My favorite texturizing spray I’ve tried this year: Drybar Triple-Sec.


  4. Bareminerals Original Foundation SPF 15: This makeup really made me realize that I don’t think I’ll ever go back to wearing liquid foundation, unless I have a really special occasion or something. My face cleared up and it feels like I’m not wearing makeup yet still covers up any imperfections. I use this Beautiful Finish Brush to apply! Definitely read the reviews… there are SO many but they are super helpful.


  5. Clip-on Bangs (JK… but not really?): I ordered these on Amazon to see if I would look good with bangs and they ended up just being really fun to put on my dog occasionally. The laughs though = definitely worth the $5.99.


  6. Urban Decay Perversion Waterproof Fine-Point Eye Pen: I was never really good at doing winged eyeliner until I found this stuff (ok, I’m still not that good but this definitely helps!). I LOVE it and not sure if I’ll ever use anything else.


  7. Bioclarity Essentials Routine: I started using this in September I want to say and I love the fact that it is 100% vegan, cruelty-free, paraben free, and sulfate free- and a really, really affordable price. I love TULA products too(all the rage on IG) but it can get very expensive when you’re repeatedly buying it. That does bring me to my next favorite though…


  8. TULA Aqua Infusion Oil-Free Gel Cream: I absolutely loved this stuff for the summer. It was perfect as a makeup primer too since it has a gel/cream consistency.


  9. Isle of Paradise – Self Tanning Drops: I recently started using these drops on my face and I love the subtle glow it gives! I’ve used just about every tanning “drop” you can use on your face and this one has the cleanest ingredients I’ve found so far. They are hard to find in stock lately though! Also sold at Sephora


  10. BareMinerals Gen Nude Eyeshadow Palette: I’ve been using this eyeshadow palette for several months now and I don’t know if I’ll ever need anything else! It doesn’t have an overwhelming amount of colors and each color is perfect for everyday wear or you can add an extra bit of darker shades for a night look. It comes in 4 color palettes but I’ve only used the “Neutral” one.


  11. St. Tropez Self Tan Express Bronzing Mousse: I think this was on my list for the previous year too. I’m always using some sort of self-tanner (my skin is very, very fair and skin cancer is one of my biggest fears) but this one was my go-to in 2018, especially in the summer! I love how you’re tan in just a couple of hours. One thing I’d like to find in 2018 though is a self-tanner with cleaner ingredients.


  12. Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen: This product is actually life-changing. I used to hate putting sunscreen on and saw it as an inconvenient chore almost but this stuff has a clear gel-like consistency and is SO GOOD. I actually enjoy putting it on and it can also work as a makeup primer!

Agolde Denim Shorts: I purchased the darker pair last year and loved them but I think I love this lighter wash a lot more and wore these just about every weekend in the summer. They’re a little pricey for a pair of denim shorts but I promise they’ll be the only ones you want to wear, probably saving you more money in the long run. If you think they’ll be too short, they also come in a slightly longer version.

Madewell Summer Jeans: This year I really came to LOVE Madewell everything. I have a pair of pajama pants from there coming in the mail today and I’m so excited. Everything I’ve ever purchased from Madewell lasts. The quality is so good and their styles are seriously timeless. Shop the jeans here.

Aerie Chenille Turtleneck Sweater: I also came to really love Aerie this year; and while it might not be forever-quality (some of it is), the comfort, sizing, styles and pricing are all on point! I have bought this turtleneck sweater in at least 4 colors this year and it’s just the best option to wear with leggings which brings me to my next favorite…

Aerie Play Real Me Leggings AND Play Pocket Leggings: If you’re looking for a comfortable, high-waisted pair of black leggings (for spring/summer/warmer temperatures), these are the best ones I’ve found! I love them although they are pretty thin (I was cold in them in 60 degrees)! If you’re looking for a pair made for colder weather, I love these (plus they have pockets).

Lou & Grey Speckled Side Stripe Ponte Leggings: These are a more recent purchase but I am currently loving these that are made to be worn as a regular outfit (not working-out). They have the prettiest texture and the stripe adds a sporty feel but I still feel semi-dressed up whenever I wear them. Paired with an oversized sweater and sneakers – my ideal everyday outfit.

Aerie One Shoulder One-Piece Swimsuit: This is another more recent purchase but I’ve never worn a swimsuit that makes me feel more confident than these. I ordered a small in these for reference and I love the one-shoulder/high-waisted combination. The price is so good too – I have realized I never really re-wear swimsuits from year to year so I’m kind of done with spending a lot for a swimsuit when I can find something at this price for this quality.  

Levi’s Ex-Boyfriend Denim Trucker Jacket: Once spring rolled around last year, this jacket was on repeat! You can never go wrong with Levi’s- I know I’ll have this thing for years.

Grey Herringbone Blazer: Technically, I bought this is 2017 but because it was sold again in 2018, I want to include it on the list because it’s just that good. I love this blazer so much and is the easiest way to dress up any outfit year round.

Vionic Perforated Sneakers: I wore these almost every day in the spring and summer of 2018. To be totally honest, I didn’t see a ton of sales come from them (LOL) but they are still in my top faves and you can’t beat the comfort.

Brixton Joanna Straw Wide-Brim Fedora: There aren’t enough words to describe my love for this hat… I wore it with everything over the summer and got compliments from strangers everywhere I went.

Zella High Waist Leggings: These black leggings were worn quite a lot in 2018… I wore them with all of my outfits in this 10+ Ways To Wear Leggings video – I think they’re such a great option for both wearing as normal outfits in the winter and fall.

Franco Sarto Lowe Booties: I don’t know why I keep calling these my James Franco booties – these Franco Sarto booties were part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale (but they’re back on sale now!) and I wore them everywhere, even walking around NYC for a full-day! So comfortable and chic. Franco Sarto and Cole Haan are probably two of my top favorite shoe brands after this year!

Oversized Boat Neck Sweater: This sweater is always going to be one of my favorites – they recently brought it back in even more colors and I love this neutral pinkish shade. In fact, Abercrombie made a comeback for me this past year and it’s now in my top 5 or so places to shop. Weird. Who knew in 2019 I’d be shopping at AE and Abercrombie but here we are.

Felt Panama Hat: Best. Hat. Ever. Love how structured it is and it comes in a few colors.

Chunky Beanie: Another. Best. Hat. Ever. My original tan one I found is this.

Sorel Waterproof Boots: Before our snowy trip in October, I bought a couple of Sorel boots that I knew I’d be able to wear for years to come. Love this pair and this pair in white. This second pair is unbelievably lightweight – they’re SO cool.

Cole Haan Harrington Bootie (30% off now): These booties will forever be in my fall wardrobe!

I didn’t have a ton of home items that stuck out to me this year, except for a few. Honestly, we owned most of our furniture since before we moved into our current house so I haven’t done any big home purchases in a while – well, except for a stove/oven we just purchased a couple of weeks ago. This year will most likely be a year where I spend more on home items than clothing. We’ve lived in our house for a year and still haven’t bought an indoor dining table…

  1. Jersey Rope Throw: These are pricey for a blanket but I love how much definition they add to a space with the texture. I’ve also tried blankets that have ended up shedding and these are the BEST quality. They aren’t very large but I look at them as an accent piece to a room.


  2. Set of 12 Frames: I added these to a corner in our living room in early 2018 and, for a really inexpensive purchase, they add SO much to that corner. My goal is to fill them up with different countries that TJ and I have the chance to visit together.


  3. Upholstered Panel Bed: This timeless bed is so beautiful and makes our bedroom feel like a coastal cozy escape. I know we’ll have this thing for a long, long time and I love how many different color options it comes in.


  4. Acrylic Calendar: At the beginning of the year, I would hang giant paper calendars on my wall and, while they helped me stay organized, there is just something about these prettier ones that makes me excited to use each day. Definitely more of a splurge item but not when you think of how much you use it and how organize it keeps your life!

I know I’m probably forgetting something but that’s it for now! Excited to see what 2019 brings! I hope y’all have a great weekend- we’re planning to get some kitchen work done and continue organizing/putting up Christmas decorations.

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