Simple Summer Style

Happy Tuesday evening, gorgeous babes! I wanted to share some outfit inspo and how you can turn a simple top like this one into a cute outfit! I snagged this top on sale from American Eagle today for $20 and it is so insanely cute!! At least I think so. It pairs really well with some distressed skinny jeans or the always flattering white jeans. My distressed jeans are Levi’s 721 High Rise Skinny. Levi’s are one of my favorite brands of jeans and they always fit me like a glove! If you’re short and petite like me then you know how dang hard it can be to find jeans that look good on you. If I had a dime for every pair of jeans that were WAY too long on me, I might be a millionaire by now. Luckily I now know that this brand works for me, so no more stressful days trying on hundreds of brands of jeans. They can be a little pricey but I literally wear them all the time so it’s a great investment IMO. Accessorize it up with a cute initial necklace and some small hoop earrings! To finish off the look I grabbed my Steve Madden clear studded sandals which I wear nearly everyday. Such a great staple summer sandal! That’s all for today folks, thanks for stopping by!

Talk soon! xoxo – Melissa Dawn

Welcome!

Hey everyone! My name is Melissa Bennett and this is my first blog post EVER! So, what am I doing here? And why now? Well, I’m glad you asked! Most people that know me know that I have a major shopping obsession………I mean, major. I’m always looking for good steals and deals on the daily. And over the years I’ve found so many great products that I’ve come to love. I’ve always seen other girls making livings doing what they love, and what I love…… shopping! And sharing brands that they have come to love. So I thought to myself, “Why can’t that be me?” So I took a leap of faith and decided to fully commit to this process. And I’m so glad that I’m here. I’m excited to share my daily OOTD looks and all of the steals and deals I come across.

I’ve recently been accepted into the rewardStyle program which means you can find me as an influencer on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app, just search for melissadawnblog or click the hyperlink in this sentence. If you are a shopaholic like me and have never heard of this app then let me fill you in on the greatest shopping app of ALL time! For real. Once you download the FREE app, you have access to the thousands of influencers that post their OOTD looks and all of the sales going on. Each picture contains links to the products shown which take you directly to the brand website with your ready to purchase product! Easy, peasey! What I love about this app is that you can “heart” products that you love but may not be ready to purchase quite yet, moving them in to a folder that you can access at any time you want! I also gain a ton of outfit inspiration from all of the amazing influencers sharing their style.

I am so excited you all are here and I can’t wait to take this journey with you!

10 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hi friends!!! Instead of sharing fashion related posts today I wanted to open up and share some things about myself that you might not know! It’s the deeper things we share that I feel really connect us to one another. Please feel free to share something about yourself in the comments section – I love learning about you all as well!!

Shop this look: Pink Lily Sweatshirt/Aerie High-Waisted Leggings/Amazon Slippers/Amazon Leopard Throw
  1. I grew up in Hutchinson, KS and lived in the same house up until I moved away to college. I have one older brother and my parents divorced when I was 8. I was the world’s biggest daddy’s girl so it was pretty tough but we did the whole every other weekend thing although it still wasn’t the same.
  2. I attended a catholic school from first grade all the way until I graduated high school. Our junior high and high school were together and we had a total of around 250 kids. My graduating class was 47. And yes, nuns taught me – but only for religion class. Even though I wouldn’t have told you at the time, looking back at it, I really did enjoy the private school and having a smaller class size.
  3. I broke my wrist when I was in 5th grade. My brother and I were jumping on a trampoline at our neighbor’s house and when he was jumping down it flew me about as high as the trees and I landed on my back and wrist. And I didn’t even shed a tear! I was a very tough little girl.
  4. I’ve been obsessed with Eminem since I was 13 years old when “Hi My Name Is” came out and I’m still obsessed 20 years later. My mom actually bought me the full explicit Marshall Mathers LP CD for me when I was 13 as well as the 2001 Dr. Dre CD that had a picture of a marijuana leaf on it which I didn’t ever think was odd until I grew up. I actually went through a very dark depression during high school and listening to Eminem’s music was about the only thing helping me through it. I can’t really explain it but I just really connected with the lyrics of some of his songs. And I think it’s because him and I have more in common than people think but I’m not ready to share about those things yet.
  5. I’m a huge introvert and I’ve been labeled as shy and quiet my entire life. It always seemed like a negative thing when people would tell me that but being a thinker and observer doesn’t make me less than anyone else and I like those qualities about me.
  6. My dad passed away when I was 20 from a heart attack and it was the worst day I’ve ever experienced in my life. I don’t think life can ever prepare you for something like that. He was my favorite person on the entire planet and it’s something that I still grieve to this day. What I’m left with is knowing how much he loved me. No one has ever loved me that unconditionally. Just like he was my favorite person, I know I was his favorite as well. I have a tattoo on my left wrist with the words he wrote on the last birthday card I ever received from him. It makes me feel like I have a part of him with me at all times. His death taught me to truly appreciate every day on this earth and to spend as much time with the ones you love as possible.
  7. I had my daughter my junior year of college and then took a year off after that to take care of her. I went back and got 2 bachelor’s degrees and I didn’t stop there! I applied to a 2-year master’s degree program in Early Childhood Special Education and graduated in those 2 years all while being a single mom of a toddler and working full-time. I can’t even describe the feeling I felt after I accomplished that! It’s one of my proudest life accomplishments.
  8. I’ve been diagnosed with a few mental health disorders and I think it’s important to be open about those since there’s such a stigma out there. I have bipolar depression, anxiety, and ADD. It’s real and it’s difficult. I’ll be doing a whole new post about living with a mental health disorder in the near future.
  9. I’ve never had braces and my wisdom teeth are still in. My top teeth are perfectly straight and my bottom teeth used to be but those dang wisdom teeth went and made a few crooked!! Argh!
  10. I am a true crime junkie! Dateline is my jam. I actually used to want to be a criminal psychologist when I was growing up. It’s just so fascinating to me that a person can do horrendous things like that. I’ve always been curious about what goes on in someone’s brain like that.

Hopefully you got to know me a little better and on a deeper level! Can’t wait to learn more about you!

Beauty Faves

Happy Thursday, friends!! I have been MIA on here for a few months. I was having a difficult time juggling building up my instagram account, working full time, and making quality blog posts so I decided to concentrate on building up my Instagram account first but I think I have found my groove again!! Today I wanted to share a few of my favorite beauty products! I did an Instagram story last week to see if any of you had tried Benefit’s They’re Real mascara and about 90% of you said NO!!! This is my all time favorite mascara! I like my lashes to look super long and I’ve tried a ton of mascaras that are just okay. This mascara from Benefit makes my lashes look SO incredibly long and I absolutely love the brush that comes with it. It’s $25 and I’m linking it for you here.

Check out my amazing lashes in this photo!! All thanks to Benefit’s They’re Real Mascara

Next up is my all time favorite lipstick! I was never much of a lipstick wearer until recently. I will occasionally do a bright red for when the KC Chiefs play, Christmas or Valentine’s Day but I just love sticking with an everyday nude lip color. Charlotte Tillbury’s Pillow Talk Matte lipstick is 100% my favorite lipstick of all time. It is the prettiest color everrrrr! It’s a little pricey but IMO it’s totally worth it! Linking it up for you right here!

Let’s talk foundation. In the past I have just bought drugstore, cheap foundation and I never loved how it looked. Y’all there is a reason why good makeup is so expensive!! I can’t say enough good things about Estee Lauder’s Double Wear foundation!! I use color 3N1 – the Ivory Beige. It is such good coverage and it literally lasts all day long. When I used to use the drugstore brands I would look like a hot mess at the end of the day and all of my makeup would just look terrible. After a long day at work I can honestly say that my makeup is still intact and my foundation is still in place. Not only that but my bottle will last me around 3+ months!! You can grab yours right here!

Last, but certainly not least, is my all time favorite concealer. My genetics have not been good to me in the under the eye area! I get really bad bags and dark circles very easily under my eyes so concealer is probably one of the most important pieces of makeup I have! Tarte’s Shape Tape is so insanely AMAZING!!! I don’t know how many people used to tell me how tired I always looked before I started using this stuff. It seriously brightens up underneath my eyes and makes it look like my bags and dark circles are pretty much nonexistent! Huge lifesaver for me! You can grab it here!

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale 2020

The Nordstrom Anniversary sale is one of my favorite sales of the year! This is a great opportunity to snag all of those items you’ve been eyeing all year but didn’t want to splurge full price on. I’m going to break down the sale for you and show you some of my favorite products in each category and will also share my top 10 picks for this year! I will be adding to this post as the weeks go on so check back frequently!!

What you need to know:

  • August 4: Sale opens for select cardmembers
  • August 13: Sale opens for ALL cardmembers
  • August 19: Sale opens to the public

In no particular order, here are my top 10 picks for this years sale!

  1. Adidas Swift Run Sneaker: These go from $85 to $49.90. I think these shoes are so cute! These ones are high on my wishlist. If you’re looking for a new pair of running shoes I would highly recommend these! They are very popular and stylish!
  2. We The Free by Free People High Rise Busted Knee Skinny Jeans: These go from $78 to $49.90. I absolutely love these jeans!! I own them and they are one of my go-to pairs. They are very soft and comfortable and I just love the busted knee look!
  3. Steve Madden Forever Chain Pointed Toe Mule: These go from $89.95 to $49.90. I don’t know about you but I’m obsessed with mules these days! This pair is another item on my wishlist. There are 5 different colors to choose from but I really love the nude color. You can pair that color with most outfits but if you want something fun, there is a leopard print!!
  4. T3 Cura Professional Ionic Hair Dryer: This goes from $235 to $155. I own a T3 hair dryer and it’s seriously the best hair dryer I’ve ever used. It decreases the frizz and they say that it’s actually better than air drying your hair! These hair dryers are pricey so this sale is a steal!
  5. Barefoot Dreams CozyChic Leopard Cardigan: This cardigan goes from $134 to $79.90. Can we say soft?!?! Barefoot Dreams has some amazingly soft blankets and this cardigan is no exception. Plus, it’s leopard print! So stinkin’ cute and it is definitely on my wish list!!
  6. Tory Burch Carson Convertible Leather Crossbody Bag: This bag goes from $498 to $299. Wow!! This bag is such a staple and is sold in black or cognac. It’s so cute and perfect for a night out or a day out shopping!
  7. Chealsea28 Cowl Neck Sweater: This sweater drops from $79 to $49.90. I love a good sweater and this one is such high quality! You can choose from 4 different colors. I personally am loving the Orange Jam Heather and the Beige Oatmeal Light Heather colors! This is another product that is high on my wish list!
  8. Vince Camuto Fedrilla Open Toe Bootie: These cute booties drop from $149.95 to $79.90. I love a good bootie and these ones are absolutely adorable!!
  9. Spanx Faux Leather Leggings: These drop from $98 to $64.90. Need I say more?!?! If you haven’t hopped on the Spanx train yet, I highly recommend that you do! I absolutely love these leggings and I wear them ALL the time. They are so easy to dress up or dress down. These WILL sell out!!!
  10. Barefoot Dreams In The Wild Throw Blanket: This blanket drops from $180 to $119.90. Like I said above….these blankets are EXTREMELY soft and this leopard print one is just too cute to pass up!

Well folks, that sums up my Top 10 picks of the sale! Check back soon for my top picks in each category!!

My Favorite Self-Tanner (and why it should be yours too!)

Who loves tanning as much as I do?! I used to frequent the tanning beds throughout college and even worked at a tanning salon for a few years so I got the perks of free tanning! There’s just something so relaxing to me about getting into a hot tanning bed. But as I get older, I’m realizing that it’s probably not the safest thing to do and it’s really not great for my skin either. So I set out to find the best self-tanner that I possibly could! I googled the best ones, looked to the influencers to see what they were loving and read through lots of reviews. It wasn’t the cheapest adventure (self-tanners can be pretty pricey) but in this adventure, the third time was a charm!

The first self-tanner that I tried I got off of Amazon. It’s called Golden Star Beauty and it’s organic. This stuff smells kinda funny and I felt like it made me look more orange than anything. So, on to the next one! The brand that I kept coming across and everyone was loving was the St. Tropez self-tanners. In all honesty, I really do like this self-tanner but it can be pretty streaky and sometimes I felt like it made me look dirty, especially around the neck area. But I really liked the color and how dark it made me look. But I knew I could find something better. So one day I was watching QVC (because what else do you do when there’s a pandemic) and they were raving about this new Isle of Paradise self-tanner. They had a really great deal so I decided to snag it! And I’m so glad that I did. When I bought mine, it came with a big bottle of the body butter (which apparently isn’t being sold anymore) along with the face and body drops. Basically you just mix the drops in with either your face moisturizer or your body lotion and then apply. Don’t forget to wash your hands after though!! I’ve made the mistake of not doing that and my palms looked like I had orange paint everywhere. They also recently came out with Hyglo drops which have the hyaluronic acid in them, so you also get some skin care! I’m switching to those after my bottle is done. Let me just break down all of the reasons why I love this self-tanner:

  1. It doesn’t streak!!!! I didn’t think I was ever going to find a self-tanner that didn’t streak a little bit. The only spots that I still have trouble with are the tops of my feet – that can look a little weird at times but still way better than any other self-tanner I’ve used.
  2. It looks really natural.
  3. There are 3 shades you can choose from: light, medium, and dark. So it’s not just one size fits all! I personally use the medium and it works perfect for me!
  4. The drops are only $29 and it lasts quite a long time! You only need 4-7 drops mixed in with your lotions so a little goes a long way.

So there you have it folks! The greatest self-tanner of all time!! I’m linking the tanning drops right here for you to go check out! You can also follow me on the LIKEtoKNOW.it app @melissadawnblog to shop all of my looks, favorites and sales!

-xoxo Melissa Dawn

What I’m Loving Right Now……Graphic Tees

Who doesn’t love a good tee?!?! I’m so happy that band tees and graphic tees are on trend right now! I think the most obvious reason is because they’re hella comfy! But they’re also so easy to throw on with a pair of jeans or shorts. What makes these tees even better is that you can really show off your style by adding some great accessories. I love dressing up my tees with a hat, my Victoria Emerson bracelet wraps and the occasional cardigan when I get cold. You can shop all of these tees right here. Target has some really great band tees right now that include Nirvana, Sublime, The Beatles, KISS, and more! I’ve also had really great luck on Etsy. They have quite a few really cute designer inspired tees as well as the Mama and Mini tees that you see above.

That’s all for today! 🙂

xoxo – Melissa Dawn

Fourth of July Sales

The holidays always bring in some really great sales and Independence Day is no exception! I’m sharing some of my favorites and why!

First up is the Spanx sale! Spanx is having 50% off select sales right now!! If you don’t own a pair of Spanx yet then run and get you some right now!! They’re seriously amazing! I have the faux leather leggings and wear them ALL the time. Not only are they stylish but they really help with your figure. Sadly, the black faux leather leggings aren’t on sale this time BUT I’ve linked some of my favorites for you. The leopard leggings are part of the sale and are super cute! The biker short version of the leopard leggings are also on sale AND the biker short version of my faux leather leggings. I’m all for the new biker short trend…….but that’s for an entirely different post :).

Next up is the Tory Burch sale! She is doing an extra 30% off certain styles. I own the nude color of the Miller sandals and they are probably my most worn sandal. The red and polka dot ones (pictured above) are included in this sale and are also super cute – maybe just not as practical, but who cares about practical, right?! I also linked some cute wedges of hers that I love.

T3 is doing 20% off sitewide!! My hair is super dry and unhealthy due to a lot of heat damage and a few months ago I purchased T3’s Featherweight hair dryer. They say that their hair dryers are better on your hair than air drying. I’ve honestly noticed a world of difference after using this hair dryer. My hair is a lot smoother and even visibly looks healthier. So go check them out if you haven’t already!

I just hopped on the Victoria Emerson wrap bracelet train and I’m not disappointed!! This weekend she is having a BOGO FREE sale!! Her wraps are super high quality and can be worn with dressy or dressed down clothes. Also, if you have an Apple Watch, she has a bunch of wraps for those as well. Go check her stuff out!

Last but not least, Express is having up to 50% off all non-clearance items and extra 60% off clearance styles. I snagged a few tops from express the other day that are on sale. They’re one of my favorite brands and are a really great place to shop if you need work attire!

There’s tons of other sales going on this weekend but I just wanted to share a few of my favorites! I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!!

Talk soon! -xoxo Melissa Dawn

4th of July Round-Up

The 4th of July is right around the corner and it’s one of my all time favorite holidays!! Nothing beats watching fireworks, being on the lake, and having a cold one with friends and family! I’m linking up a few cute tees and tanks that I’ve found on my LTK app! And of course a cute headband because I LOVE me some headbands! What is everyone doing for the 4th this year? Unfortunately, with the whole Corona thing going on I don’t think we have big, fun plans this year. We will be heading back to my boyfriend’s hometown to just have some fun, family downtime which I can’t really complain about either! I’m still a little sad about not getting to watch a big fireworks show – I look forward to it every year!! For the past 3 years, we have been going to Gardner, KS for their fireworks show. Every year they put on a free country concert with some big name country stars and then they put on a kickass fireworks show after the concert. It’s fun stuff!! Hopefully next year we will be all back to normal! I hope everyone has a fun and safe 4th of July weekend!!

Talk soon! – xoxo Melissa Dawn

My Skincare Routine

So, I’m 33 and I’m just now getting serious about my skin. I know, I know. SO bad! I’ve just always had such a babyface and never thought I would start getting wrinkles so soon! Sometimes I even welcomed looking older just so people would stop thinking I’m still in high school. But times are-a-changin’ and I’m at the age where I’m getting wrinkles…..more than I would like. Everyone is different, but the problems I’m facing (no pun intended) are deep wrinkles on my forehead, visible pores, uneven skin tone and my undereye bags are AWFUL, ugh!!! So before we get to what I currently use (and love, SO, SO MUCH!), we need to talk about what I used before. For the longest time I was using Mary Kay, even used to sell it, and to be quite honest, I never really saw a change in my skin. Fast forward to about a few months ago, I decided to give Tula a try. I saw all of the influencers raving about it. Don’t get me wrong, Tula has some really great products. I especially love the eye brightening balm and I’ve heard incredible things about the primer (haven’t tried it yet, but definitely want to). However, once again, I just never saw a change in my skin after using the products for a while.

Thankfully my best friend informed me of this amazing brand called Drunk Elephant. She RAVED about how her skin was changing and how her co-workers were also obsessed with it. I was very skeptical, especially after looking up the prices, but I caved and bought “the Littles” which consists of 8 little sized products used to help restore your skin back to a healthy and balanced state. Here are the products you receive in this kit:

  • Jelly Cleanser: removes traces of makeup, dirt, oils, etc.
  • C-Firma Day Serum: packed with vitamin C – gives you brighter, firmer, even looking skin
  • B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Serum – improves the look of texture and tone of skin
  • Glycolic Night Serum – lifts away dead skin cells and improves skin tone, texture, fine lines and wrinkles
  • C-Tango Eye Cream – firmer, stronger looking skin around the eyes
  • Umbra Sheer SPF 30 – UVA/UVB protection
  • Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – diminishes the look of fine lines and wrinkles
  • Protini Polypeptide Cream – moisture helps in improving skin’s tone, texture and firmness

I also added the A-Passioni Retinol Cream which helps with fine lines, wrinkles and sun damage…..basically ALL of the things I need help with! Okay, so now for the results………!!

I kid you not, after using these products for ONE week, I already saw a huge difference in my skin. It was softer, less pore visibility, my tone was more even and my wrinkles and fine lines were even starting to fade. I can’t rave enough about this skincare line!! The littles kit is $90 but is valued at $126. For those of you that are interested it’s linked right here on my LIKEtoKNOW.it app! So, if you aren’t satisfied with your current skincare products I would highly recommend this stuff! I’m obsessed and will be using Drunk Elephant from here on out! That’s all for today :).

Talk soon! xoxo – Melissa Dawn