DOVE'S NO DIGITAL DISTORTION

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After working in the styling and blogging world for over eight years, I know what side is my good side and what is my "bad side." I know what kind of light is most flattering and which poses make you look thinner. I know what colors work best for my skin and what cuts flatter me most. None of these things are bad things, but we know that every image always puts our best foot forward. Unfortunately, we have all gotten so good at taking the perfect selfie, editing blemishes off of our faces, and applying the best filter to make us look like we're glowing that we have slowly started to distort what beauty is and should be - acceptance and love of yourself no matter what you look like. 

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It has taken me 33 years to get to a point where I can look in the mirror and say I am beautiful, and it's only in the past year, a year from hell no doubt, that I have been able to really let my "imperfections" show. I haven't really changed all that much. In fact, I may have even aged a lot more, but somehow I feel like I look better than ever. I would attribute all of that to the change in my heart and the self-esteem I have found this year. 

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As you might known, Dove, is a huge proponent for self-esteem conversations and addressing the negativity that the beauty industry can have on their customers. Dove wants all women to feel beautiful in their own skin. So, Dove, along with a bunch of influencers like myself, have started to use the No Digital Distortion Mark. This means that what you see in this photo wasn't altered in anyway. It's straight out of the camera. All fly aways remain, discoloration, fine lines...They are all still there because that's truly who I am. I wouldn't want to be or look like anything else. 

This is taking the authentic marketing conversation to a whole new level, and I'm so glad to be a part of it. This campaign is significant to me as an influencer and also as an influencer marketing manager at August United. Every day I contract influencer to tell stories for brands in creative and authentic ways. I have a responsibility to select individuals that are continuing to use social media in an ethical way, and that includes exemplifying beauty in a real and attainable way. 

What do you think of this conversation? Are you a fan of the 'No Digital Distortion Mark?'

Photos by Lauren J. Photography

TO BOTOX OR NOT TO BOTOX

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This posts is sponsored by Red Mountain Weight-loss.

I have thought about Botox for over a year. In fact, last year for my birthday I wanted to try it to help with the lines that have appeared in my forehead, but I was unable to because I was experiencing a lot of inflammation in my joints due to my autoimmune flare up. Not to mention this past year has been so nutty with the divorce that things like that just haven't been a priority. But now that the crazy has died down and my autoimmune stuff is under control, it was time to focus on feeling like the best version of myself. 

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I know I am beautiful without any injectables, ounce of makeup or at any size because beauty starts with your heart. At the same time, I LOVE makeup, I love when my skin glows, and I love when I'm the size I want to be. Red Mountain Weight Loss wants men and women to look and feel like their best whatever that is to each individual. They offer so many services, and Botox is one. 

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So, I was SUPER excited to have the chance to try Botox with Red Mountain Weight-loss. Of course, the biggest fear I had was if my face was going to look weird or frozen. I wanted to feel and look like myself above all, and I didn't want to look like a woman who couldn't express herself. So, I went in for a consult and they answered every question I had. See some of my questions below. You can also watch the process over on my IG highlights, click here to see the before and after.

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TOP BOTOX QUESTIONS:

1. Does it hurt? It hurts less than getting your blood drawn.

2. Do you get a headache? You can get a little one the day of your injection, but just take some Advil if it bothers you. I experienced a small one, but it passed quickly.

3. When can you see it start to work? You won't see results until about 10 days after your procedure. That's why it's good to plan plenty of time before an event. I walked away with small welts on my forehead where the needle was, but it went away pretty fast.

4. Can you wear makeup? No, you can't wear makeup before or after the procedure.

5. Can you get your face wet? No, you can't get wet after for several hours. You also can't sweat a lot.

6. Can you do normal activities? You should keep your head upright for several hours after (make sure to do it in the morning). 

7. How many units did you need? Start small at first, and you can always go back to get more if you would like. I only needed 14 units. 

8. Did you have any restrictions to what you could do? If you have low eyebrows you might not be able to get all of your lines taken care of because it can also cause your eyebrows to droop if you're not careful. I'm still super happy with my results. 

9. How much does it cost? Red Mountain is really affordable. It's usually around $10 a unit. If you mentioned my name, Alex Evjen, when you book you will get 15% off any service there, which is incredible!

You can visit their website for more information and to book an appointment. 

Photos by Rennai Hoefer

BEST EYESHADOW PALETTE

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Raise your hand if you get overwhelmed walking into Sephora...I sure do. I'm a gal that loves to play with makeup, but with so many choices and colors and formulas, it's a gamble on which one is the most flattering and best buy. My dear friend Lindsey Bouffard is a celebrity makeup artist, and found that her clients were just as frustrated with the buying process too. She also found that many of them had no idea what to do once they got an eyeshadow palette. 

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Lindsey decided to create a no-brainer approach to eyeshadow application with Flekk Cosmetics. It's basically paint by numbers for your eyes. GENIUS! Each color has a number and coordinates to a brush with the same number. She even tells you which colors would look best for everyday wear and gives you a couple combinations for glam eyes.

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All of the eyeshadows that come in the palette are for natural everyday wear, but can be amped up for night. You're going to see crazy purples, blues and greens. All of these palettes are to help women highlight their eye shape and eye color with browns, pinks, neutrals and golds. 

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We all have different eye shapes and eye colors, so to find out which colors work best all you have to do is take a quiz. It will then recommend your palette combination. It's only $38 for six shadows. Such a steal!

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I have the fine palette and I wear it every day. It's perfect! Let me know what you think! Check out the palettes here.

Luminous White Teeth

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This post is sponsored by Tom's of Maine.

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To know me is to know that I'm obsessed with clean teeth. I love the dentist, and I look forward to getting my teeth cleaned twice a year. And during the time in between visits, well, I try to keep my pearly whites in tip-top shape at all times. The only thing is that I have very sensitive teeth, and a lot of the whitening toothpastes and products on the market exacerbate the sensitivity. 

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I have been on the hunt for a gentle toothpaste that whitens, and I was so happy to hear that Tom's of Maine has released a new whitening toothpaste called Luminous White Toothpaste that is safe for every day use and safe on my enamel. It promises to give you whiter teeth in two weeks by removing surface stains vs. fluoride toothpaste. It also doesn't have any artificial flavors, colors or ingredients. 

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I took their challenge to see if I would really have whiter teeth in two weeks. Though I couldn't tell a dramatic difference, what I have loved is that my teeth are staying bright white without any issues of increased sensitivity. Not to mention I feel good about using Tom's of Maine more than any other toothpaste out there because 10% of their profits goes to environmental and human goodness. That's super hero power toothpaste!

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I'd love to see you take on Tom's of Maine's challenge of brighter teeth in two weeks, and report back your results. It's always great to hear if other people have had good experiences too. 

TIPS ON LASH EXTENSIONS

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Okay, I'll admit it...I thought eyelash extensions were a bit "much" if you will. When I heard people were paying around $50 a month to maintain these puppies and it took over an hour to get them on, I rolled my eyes thinking, "What's so bad about applying mascara every day?" Well, don't knock it until you try it, folks.

With any luxury good or service, you really have to weigh the pros and cons as to why you want to do it. It's obviously not a need, and mascara and false lashes can help you achieve a similar look, so what is the big deal? Well, here's my break down of pros and cons for you to help you decide, as well as my experience and tips on lash care.

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PROS:
1. They look more natural than false lashes. No false glue goop or crooked lashes here, my friends.
2. You wake up looking HOT and awake! You can actually say, "I woke up like this," and mean it. For tired moms, I highly recommend doing this before baby comes and during the first year. 
3. Shorter beauty routine. When I wear lash extensions I rarely put on eyeliner, eyeshadow or mascara (You can add mascara if you want as long as it's not waterproof. Same thing for eyeliner).
4. Longer fuller lashes than any mascara can promise. There's just no question.
5. No smudgy, streaky messes when you cry or swim. I have been crying a lot lately, and these have been helpful during a hard time. I'd also recommend these if you swim a lot. (You can get them wet after 24 hours of application).

CONS:
1. They take 1 - 1.5 hours to put on, and 30 minutes to 1 hour to fill.
2. You can't get them wet for 24 hours
3. They cost a ton more than a tube of mascara or false lashes
4. They only last 3 weeks before you need a fill
5. You can't use any oil based makeover removers or moisturizers

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To me, the pros out weight the cons, but it really comes down money for me. My lash lady, Nicole, charges $100 for a full set of lashes, and $50 for a fill. That's a screamin' deal. If you live in the Arizona area, you can book this deal until the end of August. Just direct message her on Instagram and tell her I sent you her way. Nicole has been doing lash extensions for over five years. She also does microblading if you are interested in that as well. There was nothing painful about the process, and she created a combination of long and short lashes to make them look as natural as possible. You better believe I'll be going to her through this rocky season of life.

Photos by Rennai Hoefer