Not your Grandma's serum || Fresh Friday || Champagne + Linen || Missoula, Montana Wedding and Event Planners
I’m a total sucker for anything that advertises to make my skin look a million years younger, fuller, sassier and sexier. My skin is also a real hot mess piece of work and hates 90% of what I put on it. The hot mess paired with my desire to buy everything that claims to make my skin more beautiful is a terrible combination and makes my life a real disaster sometimes. So when I saw all of my beauty bloggers that I follow on Insta advertise a miracle serum that makes their skin look amazing, I had to look into it.
This whole serum concept is a new and exciting one to me, and I got on the bandwagon immediately. The one advertised on insta is easy enough to find, and got decent reviews. Then I got to the price. $36.17. Hold up. Did I also mention that I’m a cheap bitch? I love all things beauty, but for something that is a new and upcoming idea, no way am I gonna pay that kind of cash. I know, I know, you get what you pay for, you should invest in your skin, yadda yadda, blah blah blah. If you know anything about me by now, you also know that I don’t like to sacrifice quality for price, so I went hunting.
Not so surprisingly, my hunt brought me back to Body Merry (which I also use for my face wash). They offer several serum options, and I had recently read about the benefits of hyaluronic acid. Benefits include (but are not limited to): revitalizing the outer layer of your skin, enhanced moisture, plump and supple AF skin. AKA it takes your skin back a few years and makes you look even more bangin than you already do. Tada! Body Merry’s Hyaluronic Acid Dew Serum was a fraction of the price ($13.29) of the other option, and gets 4.5 stars on Amazon. Done. Deal. The serum is even blended with Vitamin C + E, Green Tea, and Jojoba Oil, which means it’s hella moisturizing and revitalizing.
What did I notice? || First off, I was surprised by the texture and feeling of the serum. It wasn’t as silky as I was expecting, and if you try rubbing it into your skin for too long it gets a bit sticky on your face (which is kind of weird). So, I just apply a pea sized drop to my entire face area, including my under eyes AND my lips, and add a little more and rub it on my neck as well (#1 beauty tip from celebrities is to not forget your neck when you moisturize and to put sunscreen on it every single day along with your face). It’s a nice, quiet, unoffensive scent that doesn’t bother me at all, and it did NOT break my skin out, which is an accomplishment in itself, and it didn’t give my chin a gross, scaly look (also an accomplishment). I place this third in my skin care routine lineup, in between my apple cider vinegar toner and moisturizer. The directions say that you can use it in the morning as a pre-makeup treatment, but if I’m being totally transparent with you, I don’t do skin care in the morning. Totally lazy? Yes. Do I care? No.
It’s been about a month, now what?? || I’ve been using the serum now for about a month, and I have absolutely noticed a difference. The biggest difference is in my lips, TBH. THEY ARE PLUMP AND SUPPLE AF! It’s amazing. I feel like Kylie Jenner, but in a non-porn star kinda way. I do truly feel like it adds a totally new element of moisture onto my skin, and I do feel it helps with my forehead wrinkles a bit as well. I have noticed that my acne scars have been disappearing and my skin tone is evening out nicely, and I’m definitely not as embarrassed to leave my house without makeup anymore. I think this is due to the combo of this serum and my apple cider vinegar toner, but I would not be noticing such a difference without this product, for realz.
Are the results as dramatic as I was hoping for? No, but I have also only been using for about a month and they say that for most skin care products to give it at least a few months for the full results. I do feel that I will only continue to get happier with this product.
Have you tried any other serums? What is your favorite skin treatment?
Drop us a line, comment, or suggestion! We would love to hear from you.
We dedicate this blog post to all the people who did not take us seriously when we first announced the idea of starting a wedding planning business. The girls of C+L have come a long way from planning our sorority functions and staging fancy holiday drinks in Alicia’s backyard for Instagram photos (taken on our cell phones).
February 15th, 2017 was a huge milestone for Champagne + Linen. We had our very first styled shoot! Made possible by so many creative souls and amazing vendors found right here in Missoula MT. We are so excited and proud to share with you our first styled shoot: Water & Ice.
We all agreed on two things during the very early stages of planning this shoot. 1] Showcase a Montana winter wedding at a beautiful new venue. 2] Be different.
Thanks to all the amazing vendors, we achieved just that!
Styling + Coordinating // Champagne + Linen
Venue // White Raven Wedding & Event Center
Rentals // Vintage 44 + Montana Party Time
Bridal Gown // Velvet Bride
Florist // Earth Within Flowers
Cake // Crave Catering & Cakes with decoration by C+L
Hair + Makeup // Rachel Kenck and Dana Means Wheeler of Shear Art Salon + Montana Wedding Hair & Makeup
Tie + Pocket Square // Tuxedo Gallery
Paper Goods // August + Stone
Jewelry // OneElven Clothing Boutique
Ring // Pandora Studio
Beverages // The Stone of Accord
Photographer // Mackenzie Keough Photography
Videographer // Arrowroot Productions
The one, single feature on your face that LIT-ER-AL-LY has the ability to make or break your entire vibe, is your eyebrows. In my opinion they are one of the absolute hardest makeup aspects to master, so imma be honest, I’m like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ when it comes to my brows. Too often I see brows that are stuff of nightmares. My favorite is this Buzzfeed about eyebrows that are so bad they are literally works of art. As usual, my main piece of advice for doing ANY of your makeup, but especially brows, is that LESS IS MORE if you have zero idea what you’re doing. It always takes time and many, many applications to master any kind of makeup, but especially the brows. Time and practice will let you work up to a more dramatic look or a more artistic look, so don’t feel defeated if you feel like you’re back in kindergarten with your colored pencils but this time you’re messin shit up on your face instead on paper. Been there, done that, you are NOT alone.
So, Ariel, now that you’re done criticizing me for my brows, what now?? || I’m here to tell you that there is a solution for those of us who suck at doing our brows. It’s brow powder, and thank you Jesus for it. When I think “brows” i used to think gel pots and scary looking brushes and literally having to paint my brows on. Then I actually started doing my brows and paying attention to what kind of products are out there. Cue brow powder. I use, you guessed it, NYX Eyebrow Cake Powder in Blonde, which is hella easy to apply. I don’t use the gooey glue crap that comes with it, cause gross. But I literally just follow my eyebrow hairs to fill it in using my Real Techniques Brow Brush, with a little bit of a lighter touch the closer I get to my nose, creating more of an ombre look, lighter to darker going out towards your temples. This is the look I usually attempt to go for, but I normally fail miserably and end up with just one solid shade throughout. I start with the lighter shade, and add some of the darker on top of the light if I want a lil’ bit of drama in my life. Sidenote: for upkeep, the newest trend is microblading which you can see here. My wife and I are both dying to get this done, but you know, we’re poor and it costs a shit ton of money.
Ariel, I’m a brow pro, give me something more advanced || Disclaimer: I am NOT advanced at my eyebrows, and so my recommendation of the following is purely based off of how bangin my wife looks using this product. Ana-Leigh IS an eye-brow sauvant, like her brows are off the freakin wall amazing. She gets I don’t even know how many compliments in a single hour on her brows. So, what does she use? She uses Anastasia Brow Wiz Pencil to outline the shape that she’s goin for, and then fills in with Anastasia Dipbrow Pomade with a standard brow brush. It’s freakin ridiculous how good they look when she’s done. To be fair, she works super hard at her brows and spends a decent amount of time on them, and I straight up don’t have the patience or the balls to do her process. One of my favorite quotes from her is “Your brows are sisters, not twins”, whenever I’m stressin about my brows not being even. So, if you choose the artistic route, like Ana-Leigh, just remember that they don’t have to be mirror images of themselves, and PLEASE, for the Love of God, don’t get too crazy from your original brow shape, keep it with the natural shape of your brows.
So, as I said, I’m no master at my brows, but there you have it. You can bet my main suggestion is easy as pie to use, so it’s a safe bet you would have an easy time with it too.
What products do you use for your brows? Drop us a line, suggestion, or fun new product that you’re using!
Planning the [destination] bachelorette party of your dreams // Wedding Tip Wednesday //Champagne + Linen // Western Montana Wedding Designers and Planners
We’re on a dream kick, can you tell? It must be this winter-spring-gray grossness we’re going through.
Well, last week I had a wonderfully nostalgic dream. I was at an extravagant beach mansion attending a some ridiculous pool party - maybe a wedding, it seemed like a wedding? I was talking to my dear friend Phaedra about the OC when Georgia walked in looking all LA adorable. The next thing I know we were at the bar - per usual. Cooper was bartending, she handed glasses on glasses of champs. I looked through this confetti + balloon fog and saw Logan, Ana, and Alex walking over. As this was happening We Can’t Stop, by Miley Cyrus started playing - essentially the anthem of our senior year. It was too much.
I just dropped a lot of names, many of you won’t know, but I had to get them out there!
It was an amazing dream. I was reminded on how much I miss these dear friends, which lead me to bachelorette parties. They’re a great way to bring all your great friends back together. When your friends are scattered all over the US, sometimes it takes a wedding to bring them all together. We’re talking about destination bach parties this week.
In many ways destination baches are the same as local ones. You still spend time with loved ones celebrating the bride. But there are very many things that are different. Some things to keep in mind when planning a destination bach party:
Who to invite // Allllll the squad. In my case, Vegas was a pretty central place for my friends to fly to. Just be prepared, some people aren’t going to be attend. It maybe taking the time off, it may be that they can swing it financially. Don’t be offended. It’s the price you pay for having a destination bach party. Don’t worry though, even though there may be less people, you’ll have the time of your life. *Cue Time of Your Life*
Where to stay // STAY ALL TOGETHER. Whether that means all in the same house, hotel, room. Just do it. It will save everyone time and money, and you get to spend more time together! Take a look at airbnb. I’m always amazed by the good deals on there.
Decorations // You have to be pretty strategic here. If you’re flying, you are constrained to a suitcase. Even if it a simple banner, make a little effort for the bride! Side note: be careful with glitter. You don’t want to get charged a cleaning fee.
What to do // Do what the bride wants - go out, play games, watch movies, go to the spa, eat delicious food. Whatever it is, do what the bride wants. Being in a [somewhat] unknown area means you will most likely want to do a little exploring. Make sure not to plan too much! Stick to one main activity a day, that way you can spend time exploring. Plan a few surprises, whether it be a nice dinner out, taking her on a scavenger hunt, or taking her to get her nails done. Show her that you care!
Organizing // Get yourself a shared google docs. Seriously, they're a lifesaver. You can have everyone upload their travel information, suggest restaurants, really, everything.
Now, if I say bachelorette party, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Vegas, right? Well, Vegas is great - it is where mine was held- but it isn’t the only destination.
Love the city? Check out Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Denver, NYC, Chicago.
Love the beach? Miami, San Diego, Cape Cod, Santa Barbara.
Feeling adventurous? Hit up New Orleans, a National Park, Disneyland, Aspen.
Destination also doesn't have to mean out of the state. Take a short drive to a local lake or into the mountains. Really, it doesn't matter where you are, as long as you're surrounded by your squad.
Destination bach party isn't your thing? Don't worry. Stay tuned for local bachelorette tips.
I am DONE with winter.
I am done with tugging on my Fuggs.
I am done with hauling my coat around [and hating myself when I don’t].
I am done with getting into a freezing car in the morning, having Scottie drag me across slick ice in an attempt to murder me, and I am done with nipping out.
Please don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate winter.
+I enjoyed cuddling up with my Starbucks caramel hot chocolate [The Bucks isn’t just for basic white gurls #memorableblackbitch].
+I loved watching fresh snowfall. I binged watched Gilmore Girls last fall + Lorelai Gilmore definitely changed my perspective on snow for the better.
+I loved being able to wear leggings every day and a baggy sweater and calling it good enough. Am I wearing a bra? Did I sleep in this outfit? Did I spill BBQ sauce on myself earlier? You’ll never know dear friend. Well, the BBQ sauce you’ll probably know depending on how prominent the stain is.
I am ready for bro tanks, sandals, and pedicures. I need to wear dresses and have my legs breath. I need to drink on patios. I need BBQs. I need POOL PARTIES!!!
The gals of C+L dream of hot summer days by the pool. We realize it is the start of March in Montana. Mother Nature is most likely teasing us with these past few nice spring days. But hey, it is never too soon to start planning your first summer pool party that is sure to be a splash! Ha, see what I did there? Anyways..
So like any party the three key ingredients are: Good Food. Good Music. Good Company. But lets add some gravy to our pool party!
For Alicia’s bachelorette party we stayed at the Lux Hotel. I could have drowned in their pool and I would have died happy.
Pool || Okay, so maybe add pool to the list of key ingredients for a pool party. If you are blessed enough to have your own pool in your backyard share the wealth + invite your friends over for a dip. If you are lucky enough to know someone with a backyard pool, invite yourself over for a dip.
Not fortunate enough to fall into either of the above categories? No worries. Find a pool in your community that you can use! Becoming friends with Ariel benefited my life in many ways. One way being when she shared her secret of The Broadway Hotel swimming pool with me. Turns out if you spend at least $10 [which is easy to do because they have delicious drinks and chicken wings] you can use the pool as long as you want!
Now I know what you’re thinking, public pools may or may not be public toilets as well. I am willing to bet that hotels or other pool venues will let you use their pool for private events. So unless you invite a ton of children or people with poor bladder control you shouldn’t have issues.
Last summer, Alicia and I bought one of those cheap plastic pools [pictured above], two fold out tanning chairs, new swimsuits [I want this one!!], and beach towels. We blended up vodka lemonade slushy drinks. [Combine 1 ½ cups vodka, cup of lemonade concentrate, and 4 cups of ice cubes in blender. Blend tell it’s a slushy consistency. Poor in large pitcher, grab some fun glasses and crazy straws, and drink up! OR if you have an ice cream machine and want to be lazy like us, just toss juice and vodka in and let it roll] and we made our own tropical pool side in Alicia’s backyard.
Fun Pool Toys || I don’t mean foam noodles. Check out Funboy for “the world’s most luxurious pool floats.” I personally really want the rainbow unicorn float!
Food & Drank || Growing up in Reno, my aunt had an in-ground pool in her backyard. Some of my favorite childhood memories include eating BBQ and swimming all day. Now that I am 25 I have the luxury of adding a little something extra to my juice. Remember glass in the pool is not cool. So stick to canned beer and red solo cups.
Food & Drank Check List:
Games || Alicia made Melanie Giant Jenga for a surprise wedding gift. We were able to test drive it during The Annual 2016 Beer Olympics. Let me tell you it was a blast!
Giant Beer Pong. Need I say more?
I am also always down for a good game of Chicken. I am a huge fan of water guns and water balloons. I know. I am a child.
Honestly friends, I could go on and on about how to plan the perfect pool party. As I write this in my chilly apartment [my electric bill has been terrifying so I refuse to turn my heat on], I cannot help but be really really excited for getting my feet wet. I hope to see you and your squad in the water this summer! In the meantime, you'll find me at The Broadway!
Thanks for reading!
All my love,