What's really going on

I’ve struggled to make this post for over two weeks. I’ve wept at the feet of every person who would listen. I’ve put on a strong face when I was anything but that. I’ve strapped my shoes on, and tussled my hair stating, “just keep rolling”. It always gets easier. But the hallow pit that I feel is still very much there, under all the laughter and all the false determination. I am tired of fighting, I feel confused, and I am beyond exhausted. Just keep rolling, no longer works for me. If my emotional journey was that of an explorer, you’d find me laid by the river I need to cross, so lost that I can’t find home again. Surrounded by hills of loneliness and a current to strong that if I dipped my toe in instead of ask for help crossing, I’d be washed away entirely. Battered and beaten by the miles I’ve walked in all the wrong directions.

The weight of the darkness I feel is heavy, it crushes me most of the time. I’ve carried it around for years and years saying, one day it will be like a pebble in my pocket. I’ll forget about it but on occasion, when I stick my hand in my pocket, I’ll be reminded it’s there. But my darkness didn’t become light like a pebble, it’s buried me like a boulder. Maybe if I had acknowledged my struggles before now, the tiny pebbles all the “bad stuff” was supposed to become, would be that. Instead, I kept rolling on by myself. Collecting heavier burdens as sped towards my current exhaustion.

I’ve always dealt with mental illness for as long as I can remember. Being very anxious at 6 years old with very confused and frustrated parents made me feel helpless, alone, and broken. My brain doesn’t see what normal people see. My head is a scary place to be, and with all my friends/family back home, I could easily check out when I needed to hide from the monsters. I’d go get drinks, invite someone over, or find a new project to pour myself into. But I’m here now, 2 hours away from most people I know, feeling isolated and helpless. There’s no distractions here, just a silent empty house filled with ghosts and memories. There’s nothing I can’t touch in this house that doesn’t turn monsters themselves.

I’m in the deepest of dark places, with no choice but to confront all the ugliest parts of myself for the first time. Which may be a blessing in disguise (even though it feels horrible right now). Mental health is 100% something every single person is struggling with. Mental illness can happen to anyone and probably affects some of the happiest people you know. The first step to beating the monsters is acknowledging them. It’s reaching out to those who will sit on the phone with you for 3 hours without expecting anything and saying what you honestly feel. It’s pushing for medical treatment even if you don’t have health insurance or a lot of extra money. It’s being honest with therapists who can teach you to fight smarter, not harder so you can make on your own. I guess the only real solution to any pain, any heartbreak, any monster’s found hiding in the dark is to call for help -- find someone with a flashlight and a plan, and just keep rolling on together until you're not lost.

Life Lately: Joyful as it MAY

Hello Beauties! We're already in May, and this year has flown by and some amazing doors have been opening for me in my new city. 


- 7 Weddings
- 4 Bridal Trial Runs
- 2 Commercial Headshot Shoots
- 3 Meetups with local Boss Babes
- 4 Eyelash Extension Applications


- 1 Girls Trip to Texas.
- 1 Bachorlette Weekend
- 1 Concert (WonderYears)
- 1 Wine Walk at Waverly Place
- Lots of pool days
- A clean house (finally)


- Style shoot with Marie Killen
- Tons of Trial Runs + Wedding
- Roots Collective Styled Shoot
- Microblade Training
- Zoo Day Trip
- Continue to strive for work/life balance

What do you guys have going on?! How was your May? What goals do you have for June?

Wedding Day Hair + Makeup Recommendations

Hello Gorgeous! We're so sad we're not available to service your big day! We never like to leave our brides with the "what now's"  so we've scooped out some the best on location hair and makeup providers that will suite your every need. These teams were hand plucked personally, and I'll be happy to stand behind my recommendation of them. Check them out below!

 H + MU by Ashley Watts  ©J+A Photos

H + MU by Ashley Watts ©J+A Photos

Raleigh/Triangle Area

Lula Hair + Makeup
The Makeup Culture
Makeup for Your Day
RAE Makeup Artistry
Wedding Hair by Liz
Radiant Hair + Makeup

Charlotte/Triad Area

Face Forward Triad
Carla White Beauty
Hair and Makeup by Rebekah

 We hope this list helps guide you on your journey to booking your perfect Beauty Artist for your big day. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to reach out. We're always here to help.

Coming Clean: Beauty Tools you didn't know needed cleaning.

Hi there! Today we're going to take a journey into the world of cosmetic cleanliness. I know you're probably thinking, well I wash my face -- how much cleaner can I get?

The answer, MUCH cleaner.

Did you know that bacteria lives on every surface? Currently, as you're reading this article, sipping your coffee on your couch, there's millions of different types of bacteria swirling all around you. Let's try not to focus on how disturbing this development is, but rather on how to make sure those swirls of yuck don't end up affecting your daily routine with things like "Pink Eye", also known as Conjunctivitis aka Con-yuck-tivitis.

So let's get started on the, "Oh crap, I was supposed to clean that list".

First and foremost, there's a huge debate in the industry on whether 70% or 99% alcohol is the proper sanitizing agent. But according to the CDC, 70% is the most effective cleaning agent out of the two. So be sure to keep a jug close by for proper germ disposal, because 70%.
 Elegance and Beauty,  ©  2014

Elegance and Beauty, © 2014

Makeup Brushes

You've heard the horror stories of infections being spread through makeup, but the moist, porous surface of your makeup brushes are normally the culprit behind every horror story. So it's imperative we clean them. The best way to clean them is with a brush shampoo, like this one from Eco Tools. They're built for a multitude of hair types (crazy, right? even brushes have different hair!), you won't have to worry about damaging your brushes.

If you're traveling, or even just sharing brushes with your teenager child/weirdly invasive room mate, there are instant brush cleaners like Cinema Secrets -- which is my favorite one to use due to it's fast drying. You never want to use the same brush on different people without it being cleaned, your funk isn't the same as the funk of someone else. So if you share your funk, it can cause major issues for the person without it.

Tweezers, Nail Clippers, and Sharpeners

Yep, often laying dormant in your beauty bags, these surfaces need to be soaked/cleaned with 70% alcohol immediately. I know I personally use my tweezers for a ton of different things like putting on lashes, plucking stray hairs from my different areas of my face, and maybe even to help with hang nails. Talk about cross contamination! There are soaking jars available here, they're really nice for cleaning tools. You set them in to soak, and remove after 10 minutes. I'd also suggest upgrading to a sharpener that has a cleaning pick, like this one. They seem to work the best in my opinion.

Hot Tools/ Skin Tools

Do you use a straightener? A Clairsonic to exfoliate? Chances are those surfaces need a good wipe down themselves!

Hot Tools often have the most build up of any product, hair products and germs seem to latch onto the surfaces. A good cleanse will up the performance of these tools, and leave your hair clean. Clairsonic brushes by default have antibacterial bristles but the machine itself could use a wipe down. You want to use 70% alcohol on both these products as well.

  ©  Reader's Digest

© Reader's Digest

Hair Brushes/Combs

Also a beacon of bacteria, your hair follicles are a major port for germs to harbor through. The best way to clean your brushes is by using a hair removing tool, like this. Then soak combs and spray brushes with 70% alcohol or medical grade Barbicide.

 Again, if you're sharing these tools with multiple people or using them in a professional setting and do not have time to deeply clean them -- there is an instant Oster Spray that is great to clean utensils in a crunch.

Your Makeup Bag

I'd use a wet cloth with 70% alcohol to clean the interior and exterior of your beauty case. This is often overlooked, but it's super important that every surface/tool be wiped down!


So there you have it guys, now stop saying, "Oh crap!" and go clean your beauty utensils so your skin is the healthiest version it can be!

  • How do you currently clean your beauty tools?
  • Any suggestions on products, cleaning regimens, or things I missed?