Swapping Secrets

It’s Friday. I’m feeling chatty. And I also have a $3.50 Ulta coupon burnin’ the biggest hole you’ve ever seen. So let’s swap some secrets! I’ll share my 5 products I’ve been reaching for the past few weeks and you tell me one of yours! AKA…give me a reason I can go to Ulta again without my husband thinking I’m nuts.

1. St. Anne Tote

I’ve shared this tote a number of times on the blog. You can customize it any which way you prefer [mine looks like this!] and I carry it every single day. I keep it in my car and toss in my planner, a water bottle, protein bar and anything I need to run errands for the day. This keeps some sense of order in my baby wipe-filled SUV. It helps me think I’m a cool, organized mom in the front seat and then we all know there is spit up or a dirty diaper in the back. Whatever helps me create a false sense of security, ya know?! I like to keep my purse organized with my essentials, the diaper bag filled for Maxi and this tote is my little car office, if you will! From receipts to coupons, it’s my catchall of the car. I really want this lighter shade for summer and have been saying that for months. I need to just bite the bullet and pick it up since I use it each day and won’t stop talking about it. They also have it in a diaper bag option and I’ll link a few other color options below as well.

2. Acrylic Shelf

My love of oils is still going strong. I’ve been diffusing Christmas Spirit in the house all week [totally normal for June, no?] and it’s made everything smell wonderful. However, the clutter was getting a little bit much. I thought about ordering a little pouch for them, but I knew I wouldn’t see what I had if they were in a pouch. I picked up this acrylic shelf from The Container Store. I love how it’s a glamorous little accent to my nightstand and allows me to find what I need quickly. I put the oils on the bottom shelf and then 3 empty diptyque jars on top! I put lotions and my jewelry I take off before bed in the jars. If you have a small kitchen, this shelf would be perfect for spices and coffee pods! I am tempted to get an extra one for my office or perfumes.

3. Smashbox Contour Kit

I had this contour kit a few years ago and left it in a hotel room while at fashion week. I think I had only used it once so I never thought to repurchase. I was watching a friend on Snapchat show how she used it and why she kept one in her purse and at home. She said she would use it after work to touch up because it made her look more awake. I had a 20% off Ulta coupon [I promise I’m not sponsored by Ulta! lol The coupons just find my mailbox, I swear!] and went to pick it up. I’ve had this for about 2 weeks and I love it. I blend both the bronze and contour shade together to contour my cheeks. I don’t use the under eye color to highlight, but I put use it to finish my under eye concealer which brightens up my entire look. This is what my friend said she did and it seriously makes me look so much more wide awake. I only get about 4-5 hours of sleep at night, and this last step makes all the difference in the world. The other bonus, is that I love the brush that comes with this product. Personally, I think brushes that come with most compacts are completely useless. It’s like the plastic, green grass that comes in your sushi bento box. [What is that for, because it doesn’t make my spicy tuna more appealing?!] But this brush is just the right shape for using the highlight shade. [Also, I don’t know why this looks SO dark online. It’s not that dark at all! This is an accurate depiction.]  

4. Pearl Slides

These are my favorite sandals I have purchased this spring/summer! You know how you always need a pair of slides to throw on? From taking Peaches out to running to Target, these are the sandals I grab to run out the door. What I love most is that they pair well with anything from cut-off shorts to a dress for church. The pearls give these shoes major Chanel vibes [Side note, I hate the word vibes! It’s like how some people hate the word nugget? I cringe at the word vibes. But it was fitting in this instance so I’ll forgive myself.] and are a great price point. They’ve already sold out once this season, but they are now back in stock.

5. Sigma F80

I always apply my makeup with a dampened Beautyblender. I was out of Beautyblenders, so I decided to go through my makeup brushes and work with those. I pulled out my Sigma F80 Brush and remembered just how much I love this gem. The Beautyblender presses your makeup into your skin, so generally I don’t like how brushes just slop your foundation over your skin. I end up feeling sticky and filled with memories of unblended foundation from high school. This brush really buffs my serum, moisturizer, primer, sunscreen and foundation all together to give an airbrushed effect. I love that there isn’t a tacky finish and your skin looks really smooth the rest of the day.

What have you been reaching for lately?!

Photography by: Carmen Evans

Leave a Note

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. The acrylic shelf seems so useful – an essential for organisation!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  2. Bets wrote:

    This is a such a fun roundup! I need that acrylic shelf stat! Thanks for sharing. Please do more posts like this. The 5 items I’m reaching for right now.. threshold sweater knit blanket from Target (the best for a summer nights slumber), Dr. Teals Pink Himalayan epsom salt bath soak, blue Clearwater drop earrings from Anthropolgie, Vacation clutch from Madewell, and Coola organic sunless tanning anti aging serum.

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  3. Liz wrote:

    Happy Friday!! Can I just say I’ve been reading your blog for years and I love posts like these where I feel like we are just girl chatting- you are a really good writer! I also had the 20% Ulta coupon and of course went in for no particular reason oops! I got a Smashbox Be Legendary Liquid Lip and am really loving it so far
    xoxo Liz

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  4. I can’t live without my Living Proof humidity shield spray- it’s the best and a total lifesaver!!


    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  5. Nicole wrote:

    I share your obsession with Ulta as well. I was planning on going today so this helps me justify the trip 🙂

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  6. Alex wrote:

    I want of one of those bags!!

    In terms of Makeup, I’ve been obsessed with the becca highlighters and too faced brozers, they look so gorgeous on! I always get complements!

    I’m still in the hunt for the perfect setting powder.. I Just purchased the Laura mercier perfect pressed powder in the number 2 shade and I think I really like it! What setting powder do you use?!

    Speaking of beauty blenders.. have you tried the Sephora brand beauty blender? It’s half the price of the real one and I was thinking of trying it!

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  7. Alex wrote:

    Correction.. it’s the Laura mercier candlelight pressed powder ????

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  8. Ashley wrote:

    Aquage Uplifting Foam is my new favorite product! I have thick but really fine hair so my roots are always flat. Just using this stuff gives me lots of volume after I blowdry my hair. I also love Bumble and bumble Thickening Full Form Mousse but you’d have to make a Sephora run 😉 I’m making an Ulta run tonight after work because somehow coupons found my mailbox too!


    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  9. Jennifer wrote:

    I just got the Dior Forever foundation and a Dior bronzer. I am in love with them. Even my boyfriend keeps telling me how great my makeup looks. Also the Hourglass Veil primer is great!

    My last Ulta purchase was the Drybar Sake Bomb shampoo and conditioner. I’ve really enjoyed them!

    Happy shopping!

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  10. Rebecca wrote:

    Love all this! I just have to tell you, I started using Tula products thanks to you, and they have cleared up my texture, made me much less oily, and evened out my skin tone! I’ve stopped using liquid foundation. I just use Tarte Shape Tape to conceal with my first makeup love, Bare Minerals Original Foundation, on top. I follow it with Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer, Essence Silky Touch Blush in Baby Doll ($3!), and Physicians Formula Shimmer Strip in Miami Strip. Easy & natural looking ????

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  11. Libby wrote:

    I love everything you mentioned, especially the acrylic shelf. I’m curious how you styled it in your bathroom… would you consider a post on how to style? I think it’s super functional and cute, but I’m not sure how I would style it in my bathroom or office/closet. Thanks! 🙂

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  12. Allie wrote:

    Love these secrets! The whish shaving cream you talked about in your self tanner post is on clearance at the Ulta in Dallas for $6.50, you could get it for a whole $3.00 (meaning here is your excuse to go to ulta haha) no accountant in his right mind could say no to that deal! I have super sensitive skin that breaks out if I look at a something wrong, this shaving cream is like magic.

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  13. Britt M wrote:

    Love all of these!!! Ugh! Now I want them all haha. My new faves of the moment:

    1. Essie nailpolish in Bachelorette. I not only love it for myself, but I throw it into my engagement gifts for all the brides to be in my life.

    2. Loreal Voluminous Lash Paradise. Seriously a perfect dupe for Too Faced Better Than Sex Mascara. Pretty sure you can use that Ulta coupon on this:)

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  14. Lauren wrote:

    I love these products, Katey! Especially the sandals and tote. Super darling!

    One product I have been loving is Koh Gen Do’s Natural Lighting Powder. I put it on right after I put my foundation on and it totally sets my face and gives me a matte look (vs. dewy) – I feel like my face is definitely less oily throughout the day because of it. Here’s a link if you’re interested 🙂 http://seph.me/2txLgQf

    Hope you enjoy!

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  15. Robyn wrote:

    A friend recently got me the Kopari sample bag and I’m loving the coconut sheet oil. It goes on so nicely, soaks in quickly and smells amazing! Also, you have me wanting to try oils now! Which diffuser do you use? The ones that I have seen are a little bit on the pricey side so I want to make sure I get one that works well and worth the price. Happy Friday!!

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  16. Brittany wrote:

    I love that acrylic shelf- definitely ordering! You always have the best organization tips!


    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  17. Britt M wrote:

    Ooo and also I forgot (how DARE I?!) about my Aquage products. They now carry them at Ulta and I about CRIED when I saw it there!!!! The strengthening shampoo and conditioner (dark blue bottles) smell great and my hair smells AMAZING for DAYS! I also use the Beyond Shine spray by this brand as it helps with blow drying/flat ironing. We have the same hair texture (mines a tad more coarse) and it smooths my hair out so nicely.

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  18. Stephanie wrote:

    These are great, thanks for sharing!

    Lately I’ve been obsessed with cleansing balm from Sephora and Ulta. I’ve tried both Clinique’s take the day off cleansing balm and IT Cosmetics bye bye makeup 3 in 1 makeup melting cleansing balm. I forget if you’ve tried these before, but if you haven’t you need to get one of them for sure!! I prefer IT Cosmetics, but Clinique’s is a little cheaper (and they have a great travel size I just got from Sephora for trips). It’s my favorite way to take off makeup, and my skin feels so much more moisturized! I’m actually motivated to take off my makeup at night too.

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  19. Roxy wrote:

    Love these types of post. Would love it if you showed how you styled the acrylic shelf. Those were good ideas by the way and thinking of buying it for my coffee pods

    Published 30 Jun 17Reply
  20. Totally want to try the Smashbox contour kit!


    Published 01 Jul 17Reply
  21. Camille wrote:

    Really love the acrylic tower!

    Published 03 Jul 17Reply