2019 Beauty Brands Lash Bash!

It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, not Christmas - the Annual Lash Bash at Beauty Brands! With a BUNCH of mascara priced at only $10.98 (up to 60% off) through September 29, it's the perfect chance to stock up on your favorites and try some new goodies too. Plus, you'll get the Daily Concepts Charcoal Sponge ($8 value) for FREE with the purchase of three mascaras! Thanks so much to Beauty Brands for sponsoring this post, I'm always thrilled at the opportunity to try new beauty products!

In addition to this blog post, I also created an IGTV video where I applied each of the mascaras below and shared an extensive review of every product. Tips on how I apply my mascara, the importance of curling my lashes, and the performance of each product are all included in the video - go check it out here!

Sweet Like Cotton Candy

You know what I think a fashion sin is? NOT wearing white after Labor Day! Seriously, whoever said white is just for summertime is straight up crazy.

This Cotton Candy Sheer Maxi by Chicwish is the perfect example of why white shouldn't be limited to just summertime. It has dramatic sleeves, is a gorgeous length for any time of year, and just imagine how stunning it would be paired with a wool coat!

By the by, Chicwish sends me gorgeous clothes for me to review and shoot. When you shop through my links I receive a portion of the sales and you end up supporting the content I create!

Let's start with the sleeves because that's what really sold me on this Cotton Candy Sheer Maxi dress. They're billowy, they're flowy, they're lightweight, and they're just really dang perfect. With all the volume the sleeves provide, I love that the rest of the silhouette is kept pretty simple. It skims the waist and has a tie in the back to make the waist look a bit more tailored! I'm wearing a medium and might have been able to go down a size. Overall I really liked the fit though!

This dress comes in white and cream, I'm wearing the white! There are also skirt versions in the same fabric too - they're available in taupe, cream, and gray! The fabric is so pretty, it's kind of a chiffon type material and the little 3D polka dot flowers are so sweet. I love the idea of pairing a gorgeous sweater with one of the skirts (or even layering a sweater over the dress with a belt) when the weather gets cooler! All of these pieces are lined by the way and, unlike some light colored dresses and skirts, your undergarments won't show through!

What's your opinion on wearing white after Labor Day? I want to hear your thoughts in the comments below or over on Instagram!

Only In Dreams

If I was told to imagine the dress of my dreams, it would be pretty darn close to this...

Honestly though, this dress fits into some of my favorite aesthetics: feminine, romantic, ethereal, dreamy. It also incorporates some of my favorite dress motifs  - puffy sleeves, lace, a full skirt, and floral fabric. Like, "Hello, Annie? Your 5 year old self called and she's found you the perfect dress." And I'm referring to my 5 year self in the best way possible - she's still my style icon.

Before we keep chatting, I wanted to mention that Chicwish sent me this dress as part of our collaboration! When you shop through the links in this post I do receive a portion of the sales (which is super helpful considering how much time it takes to shoot, write, and post blogs like this)!

Chicwish's Only In Dreams dress comes in this sweet version and in a maxi version too. Both are ridiculously beautiful and could be worn for so many different occasions! I ordered a medium and was a little worried that it would be too low cut - thankfully it wasn't! I did go ahead and layered my favorite $14.99 bralette underneath just in case anything showed and that combo ended up looking perfect.

All of the Chicwish pieces I own are super high quality and this dress definitely kept that trend going - the fabric is quite sturdy and holds it shape really well. This dress would be gorgeous to wear to a wedding (it's not too white and the floral pattern is very pronounced) or even to a nice brunch. You can wear it with heels for a more elegant look or with flats to keep things sweet.

I'm sure my Only In Dreams dress is going to be a wardrobe staple for quite some time - I cannot wait to find new places to wear it and ways to style it!

Forever Fave

The greatest feeling in the world? When you slip on a dress and it fits you like a freakin' glove.

This was my experience when I first tried on the Forever Fave dress by Chicwish! It's floral, it has 3/4 length sleeves, it has a shirred waist, and it's a DREAM to wear. Seriously though, when I don't know what to throw on and I want to feel extra special I always come back to my Forever Fave.

Now FYI, Chicwish did send me this dress as a part of our collaboration and, if you shop through my affiliate links, I will get a portion of the sales. This really helps me be able to focus on creating and sharing content that I know you all will love!

I first wore this dress to a blogger event a few weeks ago and it was a HUGE hit. I was so comfortable all evening and felt really confident because of the great fit. I'm wearing a medium but you do have a lot of wiggle room with the waist fit because of the shirring. This dress is also the most lovely yellow shade and has a gorgeous floral pattern. I honestly love everything about it!

This fall I plan on pairing this dress with a felt hat, mules, and cute cropped jeans jacket or chunky sweater. I think it'll be gorgeous once the leaves start turning red and orange!

Summer Edition in Peach

For me, a perfect summer dress must be:
- easy to wear
- a pretty color
- breezy and comfy

The very appropriately named Summer Edition dress by Chicwish checks all of these boxes. And, thankfully, there's still plenty of warm weather left to enjoy it! PS, Chicwish sent me this dress and, if you shop through my affiliate links in this post, I will receive a small portion of the sales.

I styled this dress with a linen colored belt, espadrilles, a basket purse, and a boater hat. When the weather cools off a bit I think it'd be super cute with a chunky sweater and ankle boots too! I'm wearing a medium in these pictures but probably could have gone with a small. My recommendation would be to order based upon your waist size since the skirt portion is loose and the arm ties are adjustable!

I keep finding myself throwing this dress on when I'm out and about on the weekend! I like wearing it with flats and no belt for a more relaxed boho vibe.

This dress is available in lots of colors too - white eyelet, linen, black, and a sweet light blue!

What's been your go-to dress this summer? I'd love to hear about it over on Instagram or in the comments below!

Tru Fru, Tru Yum

A portable poolside treat that's frozen, healthy AND has chocolate? SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY TRU FRU. [ad]

I know, this is an aggressive reaction to chocolate covered frozen blueberries but, once you try these delicious little snackies, you'll get it. I'm one of those people who already purchases blueberries at Costco every time I go SO adding another blueberry product to my cart seemed like a pretty obvious choice. Plus, when I found out they were frozen and there was chocolate involved... well, go ahead and just re-read that second sentence in this blog post again for my reaction. FYI, this is a sponsored post but all of the opinions expressed are my own (and seriously, I'm in love with this snack - I wouldn't promote something I didn't love). Oh! And make sure to read to the end for details on how to get $2/bag through the Ibotta app!

Here's the deal - Tru Fru uses 100% real fruit that is picked ripe, frozen fresh, immersed in white and dark chocolate, and hyper-chilled at -300 degrees for maximum flavor preservation. In addition to blueberries they also have frozen raspberries and cherries available. PLUS they have a wide variety of freeze dried options as well for maximum on-the-go snacking! You can find a list of Tru Fru retailers here on their website - you're welcome.

One thing that really surprised me is that these lil orbs of delight aren't messy at all! They definitely fall into the melt-in-your-mouth-not-in-your-hand category on the snack spectrum and stay frozen even when left out of the freezer for a little while. Corey and I drove around for like an hour one evening and brought a bag along sans cooler. They stayed frozen solid the whole time! I think you could easily bring a bag of Tru Fru Frozen Fresh Blueberries along to the pool, the lake, or the beach especially if you had a cooler to keep them in. They're surprisingly resilient and super snackable! Also, the bag seals on it's own so no need to worry about bringing along any kind of storage bags. 

Making their big debut in the Midwest, Tru Fru Frozen Fresh Blueberries are available at Costco locations in MO, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, ND, NE, WI, & OH. And good news to my Kansas City friends who live in Midtown - our Costco on Linwood is fully stocked and ready to go!

To save $2/bag download the Ibotta app and check out all the details on the offer here! This deal can be applied to multiple bags in one transaction so you're definitely going to want to check it out.

Have you tried Tru Fru snacks yet? If not, you absolutely must give them a try! Don't forget to find the Tru Fru retailer closest to you here on their website and let me know what treat you're most excited to try - just drop a comment below or over on Instagram!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Beginner's Guide (2019 Edition)

The sale of the year is HERE! Well, at least one of the sales of the year is here. These next couple of weeks are actually busy ones with the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, Target Deal Days, and Amazon Prime Day all happening around the same time. I'm going to try to be on top of things and share all the picks I have.

For now though let's just focus on the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale!

Image result for nordstrom anniversary sale 2019

What's the big deal?

The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is a way to shop brand new fall items at a discount! The sale functions in a totally non-traditional way - items debut at a sale price and then get marked up to full price when the sale is over! This means you get amazing deals on fall and winter items now and actually get to wear them this season too!

Here's how this whole thing works...

July 12 - 18 is the early access portion of the sale that is exclusively available to Nordstrom cardholders. Beginning July 19 the sale will be made public and shoppable through August 4!

Why should I shop now if I don't have access yet?

Even if you aren't a cardholder, you can still scope out sale items and save your faves to your wishlist in the totally FREE LIKEtoKNOW.it app (found here)! Then, on July 19, you'll be able to head to the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, shop the items you saved to your wishlist, and snag your fave pieces! I'm linking all my picks over on LIKEtoKNOW.it/annie_austen too so wishlist additions are even easier. Make sure you're following me in the app by searching "annie_austen" and then clicking "Follow"!

Where to start...

Right here, right now! I've broken down my picks into categories below so everything is super easy to shop. I also dedicated an entire page on my blog to my Nordstrom Sale picks - you can find it here

Everything I linked is under $100 and most of the items linked are under $50. I tried to focus on pieces that were classic enough to last more than one season BUT unique enough to be worth a bit of a splurge. And, yes, a splurge to me is anything in the $40 - $100 range... I know. I'm ridiculous.





I will mention one other thing - items in this sale really do have a tendency to sell out. The day the sale opens to the public try to be quick if there's something you really want. A lot of people over-purchase and return things later - take advantage of this! If something you love is sold out online check at your local Nordstrom store - someone might have returned an item you really wanted!

By the way, I try to keep my "Shop" section updated with the best sales and my favorite things across the web. Right now if you click on the "Shop" menu, there will be a drop down with a few selections including "Nordstrom Sale 2019", "Shop my Feed", "Current Faves", and "Sale". Keep an eye on this section for all the latest and greatest sales and the things I just am really digging. It's a fun place to explore!

Like I said, there are a million sales going on right now so stay tuned - I'm going to try to stay on top of things and share the best deals with you! Make sure you're following me on LIKEtoKNOW.it and Instagram as I'm pretty active both places. Oh, and let me know what you're looking for in those upcoming sales OR if there are any sales I'm missing. I can't wait to see what you find!

2019 Beauty Brands Liter Sale

The sale I look forward to every year is here - it's the Beauty Brands Liter Sale! As many of you know I'm a once-a-week hair washer which means a liter of shampoo and conditioner lasts me quite some time. I've managed to sync my shampoo and conditioner repurchasing needs with the sale (and am ridiculously proud of that fact). During the Beauty Brands Liter Sale you can save up to 72% on 200+ salon brand shampoos and conditioners - that sounds like my kind of discount!

Beauty Brands let me pick out a liter of shampoo and conditioner which was so generous - I went with the Redken Diamond Oil Glow Dry Gloss Shampoo and All Soft Conditioner. I don't color my hair and thought the gloss shampoo might add some more dimension to my locks! I do have relatively coarse hair and am really excited to try the All Soft Conditioner.

In addition to getting a liter of shampoo and conditioner, Redken and Beauty Brands also generously gifted me some other products as well - Redken Frizz Dismiss Instant Deflate Oil-In-Serum, Redken Frizz Dismiss Rebel Tame Heat Protective Leave-In Cream, Redken Frizz Dismiss Shampoo & Conditioner (unavailable online right now but check in stores), Redken Guts 10 Volume Spray Foam, Redken Fashion Work 12 Versatile Hairspray, Redken Triple Dry 15 Dry Texture Finishing Spray, Redken Triple Pure 32 Scent-Free Extreme High-Hold Hairspray (not yet available online but check in stores), Redken One United Multi-Benefit All-In-One Treatment, Wetbrush Pro Detangler Brush, Tarte Tarteist Quick Dry Matte Lip Paint in Bounce, and two liter pumps for my shampoo and conditioner! You can shop all of the products that are available online through the affiliate links above or via the slideshow below!

I'll share more picks from the liter sale over on my LIKEtoKNOW.it page - make sure to check it out!

Chicwish Collab Pt. III

I have the best news ever - dress season is upon us! There's nothing I love more than warm weather and lovely, feminine skirts and dresses. Lucky for us, Chicwish has hundreds of styles available that absolutely nail that vibe!

Moonlit Night Cross Back Crochet Cami Dress

For Pt. III of my Chicwish collab series I'm bringing you the Moonlit Night Cross Back Crochet Cami Dress aka THE dress of summer. Like I said in my last post, this is a collab and I was sent these clothes for free in exchange for an honest review. If you do buy any of these pieces through the links in this post I do receive a small commission as well!

Beauty Brands Annual Hairspray Event!

An annual sale where you can save up to 70% off the best hairsprays and dry shampoo on the market? Uh yes. Count me in. The Beauty Brands $8.99 Annual Hairspray Sale is here right now and runs through June 2 (while supplies last)! With products available online and in-store, this once-a-year sale is one you absolutely do not want to miss!

I'm so excited to partner with Beauty Brands to bring you more information about some of the awesome products included in the sale! Read on for some of my favorite picks from the sale that Beauty Brands generously gifted to me. Just so you know this post does contain affiliate links which means if you decide to buy something I do receive a small commission - thanks in advance for all your support!

Chicwish Collab Pt. II

Brrrrrr - there's been some very brisk April weather lately! Unpredictable midwest springs is exactly why I haven't packed up my sweaters just yet. I was absolutely reaching for them when it was 40ish degrees yesterday morning!

Shop the cami here and the cardigan here.
I'm so excited to bring you my second Chicwish collab look - this lovely Knit Your Love Cardigan in Ivory and black Full Flower Crochet Cami Crop Top. Now, like I said in my last post, this is a collab and I was sent these clothes for free in exchange for an honest review. If you do buy any of these pieces through the links in this post I do receive a small commission as well! Now that we have all of that out of the way, let's talk clothes.

Chicwish Collab Pt. I

Looking for romantic clothing with feminine lines and affordable prices? There's only one stop you need to make - Chicwish. By curating vintage inspired and handmade pieces, Chicwish has something for everyone with an eye for fashion. I've heard a lot about Chicwish's massive online presence through social media but actually hadn't ever bought anything from them before! When Chicwish reached out and offered to send me a few of their pieces in exchange for my opinions I was so excited to partner up! This is one of a few posts I'll share about the clothing I received and I hope to share even more pieces from their collections in the future! Just FYI, if you purchase any of the items in this post via the links I've included I will receive a small commission. I do really appreciate the support!

When ordering online it's so hard to know what you're going to get but each piece very much exceeded my expectations. Each piece felt high quality - the knits were nice and thick, the lace was detailed and durable, and the tulle held it's shape and was super voluminous.

I cannot even explain how hard it was to figure out which items I wanted to try for this collaboration - they have so many gorgeous pieces to choose from! I'd had my eyes on this super cute and cozy cardigan for a few months. The heart pom pom detail is so cute, I love the big sleeves, and, as you all know, I'm a sucker for neutrals. This sweater has been a great way to transition my wardrobe from winter to spring - it's cozy enough for chilly mornings and looks fresh enough to layer with my favorite spring pieces! I went with a L/XL to keep it nice and oversized.

At Home Teeth Whitening for Sensitive Teeth!

Happy 2019 lovelies! I'm so excited to start the new year with more confidence in my smile than ever thanks to Smile Brilliant! I'd always gotten lackluster results when using whitening products in the past so when Smile Brilliant reached out to me I was a little hesitant - I just didn't think that it would work as advertised. But, I'm so happy to share I was wrong! I've actually gotten the best whitening results from Smile Brilliant than any other product I've tried. Read on for my full review! You'll also find a discount code and giveaway link at the bottom of this post - make sure to check it out for 15% off your purchase and a chance for $149 in Smile Brilliant credit!

So let's be honest, one of the first things I pay attention to with any product is the price. If you've been following me very long at all this probably won't be much of a surprise! Now, my Smile Brilliant kit was sent to me for testing purposes and, with that, I didn't have to pay for the trays or any of the associated products. But based upon the super customized product I received, the detailed instructions and support provided, and the quick results I experienced I absolutely would recommend purchasing this product for anyone serious about whitening.  The custom trays plus whitening products whitening range from $139 for light stains and non-sensitive teeth to $189 for heavy stains and sensitive teeth with many options in between. Compared to the $500+ you might pay at the dentist's office I think this is an incredible deal! Oh, and after I go through all the whitening gel and desensitizing gel I have I do plan on purchasing more. Luckily Smile Brilliant has lots of options for repurchasing those supplies as well!