Self-Tanning for Light Skin Tones

Y’all, I am very light skinned. Like, Casper the Ghost light. Like, translucent light. My freckles are white. Literal white spots up & down my arms and legs. So self-tanners just seemed out of my league. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve also gotten bolder, and felt it was time to give a few products a try. What’s the worst that could happen? I turn orange. It’ll fade. At least I hoped, ha!

For reference, here’s a before photo from last summer — summer, y’all — in all of my pale glory!

I wanted to start out trying drugstore products because if a lower price-point item worked, then yay for savings! I started with two, L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Water Mousse ($12) and the Neutrogena Build-A-Tan Lotion ($9).

Both were good and neither had a bad self tan smell but I preferred the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze because it dried quicker, was less sticky, and I thought developed the “tanned” look quicker. In fact, this is the product I came to compare all to!

Next I tried the B.Tan Love at First Tan and it just made me feel like I looked dirty (not even gonna link it ha!). It came out of the bottle a dark mousse and it seeped into every pore and hair follicle and just did not feel natural. It has great reviews so it must work well for some, but not this friendly ghost. Check out how splotchy my arm looks.

Next I tried the Jergens Tanner Towelettes ($14) and this is a great option, especially for travel! You get six individually wrapped wipes per box so at that price-point I wouldn’t want to use them all the time, but super convenient for on-the-go! It gives a natural glow, just be careful to not let the towelette get away from you as it can cause streaks if the corners touch areas you didn’t intend for it to. It was easier for me to control if I kept it folded while I wiped it on…

Finally, I leveled up to a high-end brand, Tanologist. They have a full line of products with sprays, mousse, lotion, erasers, and scrubs, but I decided to start with the drops in medium ($20). What I like about the drops are that you can manage the darkness of the color yourself! And all you have to do is add the drops to a lotion of your choosing so you already know you’re going to like that! It does thin the lotion out a bit, but it still feels the same when applying.

So far I have used two drops mixed with my daily facial moisturizer from Cerave for my face and neck, and five drops mixed in with the CosmoSun Sun Lotion ($14) for my body. You can use any body cream you like, but what I appreciate about the CosmoSun lotion, is that it already has a tint/shimmer to it so you can see exactly where it’s being applied. It also gives me a bit of instant gratification while I’m waiting for the “tan” to develop. 😉 I think this combo does give me the best color, but combined it’s $34 for the tanned look. Whereas the L’Oreal Sublime Bronze at $12 is an excellent alternative! Can you tell the difference in the below photos?

L’Oreal left, Tanologist right

All of these recommended products — and the clothing items, too! — can be found on my shoppable liketoknow.it page!

Peace love & hugs,
Kelli

Make-Up Brand Battle

Do you ever wonder if paying more for a product is worth it? I do all the time! I’m so budget-conscious that it takes a lot for me to spend more dolla dolla bills, y’all. So I thought I would save you the trouble and worry and host a little make-up brand battle and let you know my opinion of when it’s worth buying high-end and what drugstore dupes are just as good! Here’s a little side by side of me putting each on…

Here’s what it all looked like with no filter right after application.

By midday, this is what it was looking like after mask-wearing and lunch, with no touch-ups.

And then late-night, just before bed, no touch-ups, no filter. This is what we call getting vulnerable online 😉

Can you tell a difference from side to side? For the most part, all of the products wore well, but I did discover some favorites among the bunch. So here’s my verdict:

Other products used that’s a toss up:

Thrive Causemetics shadow sticks and Elf Cosmetics shadow sticks. Elf is a little messier but it’s also less expensive. I love cream shadows so for me it really just depends on who has what color I’m looking for…

I didn’t have a high-end loose powder to compare because I love the Maybelline Fit Me! loose finishing powder so much.

Regarding brow gel, I just grab whatever clear is the cheapest 🙂 Right now it’s the Maybelline Great Lash clear.

Please let me know if you have any questions. You can always DM me on Insta at @shortgirlbigmood or email kelli {at} kellihuff {dot} com.

Peace & hugs,
Kelli

Target Gifting Ideas!

We started with Amazon but I know how much we all love a good Target run. Either in-store or online, amirite? So grab yourself a coffee, a glass of wine, a good snack, and let’s do some holiday shopping!

The items I’ve curated include some of my very favorite jewelry from Sanctuary Project, a recent fair-trade partner of Target, my can’t-live-without hair styling tool, some fun flannel for both him & her, kitchen gadgets, tech gadgets, the latest in must have toys, and more!

Simply click on the image below to be taken to where all items have been linked for ease of shopping! Once there, just click on the individual squares of products (underneath each collage) to look in more detail and purchase if it strikes your fancy!

While you’re there, feel free to hit FOLLOW on my LIKEtoKNOWit so you don’t miss any future posts!

Then hop on over to my Instagram at @shortgirlbigmood and let me know what you think of this guide. I hope it helps make your holidays a little more merry and bright!

Coming up next will be a gifting guide that gives back. Stay tuned!

Amazon Holiday Guide

It’s my favorite time of year… this anticipation of the holidays! All the planning and thinking about loved ones. It’s my jam.

Have you heard of the Five Love Languages? If not, check it out! There is a free quiz online that can help you. But a quick summary is that we all have favorite ways our love bucket is filled. We need all five of these in our life, but we probably have a couple that mean more to us than others. So if you really want to show your love to someone, you can learn what their love language is and meet them with what is most valuable to them.

The five are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Acts of Service
  • Quality Time
  • Physical Touch
  • Receiving Gifts

Gifts as a love language? SIGN ME UP! 🙂

I do love gifts. Receiving them, of course. I love knowing I was thought of and that someone put intention and action into that thought. But I also love giving them! So with giving in mind, I wanted to put together a holiday gift giving guide to help you out this year.

As I was researching, the list got loooooooong. What can I say? I enjoy even hypothetically giving gifts! So instead of making you scroll for days, I’m going to break the lists up by vendor, starting today with Amazon. I will also be sharing gift ideas from Etsy, Target, Walmart, Simple Switch, and several of my favorite fair trade shops like Sanctuary Project, Noonday Collection, Mercy House Global, and more.

Just remember that due to the pandemic and many more people relying on mail services, shipping times may be longer than usual. So even if you don’t usually start your holiday shopping in October, this year you may want to consider it. 😉

So… here… we… go!

Just click on the pictures to be taken to the listing.

Simply Modern Tumblers — $16-$25
My fave color is the Cantaloupe but they’re all really great!
Yeti Mug — $25
Who doesn’t love Yeti? And this one comes in so many colors!
Taylors Tea Set — $12
I’m not a tea drinker, but for loved ones who are, this is a great gift!
Fuzzy Winter Socks — $9
I love warm, cozy socks and this set has great reviews and comes in so many colors and patterns!
Knife & Cutting Board Set — $23
I love the colors and it comes with a sharpener, too!

Grill Accessories Set — $30
I’m the griller in the family and I would love to receive this!
Blue Light Glasses – $17
With all the ‘virtual’ this year, what better gift than blue light glasses! These come in a set of three. Love the style!
Burt’s Bees Gift Kits — $10-$33
Burt’s Bees is one of those brands that gives everyone a smile. Several gift set options for various price points!
Beard Grooming Kit — $21
Have a bearded guy to buy for? This is the gift for him! I love it’s a complete set and something he probably wouldn’t get for himself.
Starbucks Gift Basket — $31
For the coffee lovers in your life!
Cozy Sherpa Lined Robe – $21
Are you a robe person? I want to be! And this one would be a great one to start! Perfect for a cold Christmas morning.
Bath Bomb Set — $14
This year has been full of stress so give the gift of relaxation with a bath bomb set!
Soy Wax Candles with Essential Oils — $19
Everyone needs a candle when they’re taking that bath!
Facial Cleansing Brush — $25
One of my favorite skin care tools! Good for both women & men!
Best Selling Make-Up Bag — $20
Customizable make-up bag to organize all the goodies!
Scrunchie Set — $9
Scrunchies has saved me during this busy season and these are so cute! Great for the kids or just the kids at heart.
Packing Cube Set — $16
These are life savers! Comes in a pack of seven and several different patterns.
Bracelet and Jewelry Dish Set — $18
This is so pretty and also useful! I love that combo. Many colors and patterns available!
Birth Year Necklace — $10
This is actually on my Christmas list! How cute and personal!
Jewelry Organizer — $20
A great accompaniment for your jewelry loving friends!

Pain Pt. 2

Ironically, as I type this, I’m feeling pain that has nothing to do with my autoimmune issues. My left big toe h•u•r•t•s! Who knew that one toe could disrupt life so much? This is where I have been allllllllllllll week.

Ice, heat, ice, heat, repeat… doggo snuggles help, too

Anyway, the podiatrist said my joints are inflamed so we’re doing a little acute treatment and hopefully healing will come quickly. Say a little prayer for me because momma doesn’t need to add anything else to her body issue list! For the freakin’ love hahahahaha!

Regarding regular pain management, this is something that has taken me years to figure out and I still have to tinker with it. Autoimmune diseases are as unique to each individual as each individual is unique.

If you’re thinking, “wait, what autoimmune issues and why is she jumping into pain management because of one bum toe?” go ahead and hop over here to read part one of this post.

Now that we’re all caught up… here’s a quick run down of what I do daily to manage my* symptoms from Hashimoto’s, Addison’s, and Fibromyalgia.

First and foremost, is being mindful regarding rest, stress, and energy output. I am determined to live a full and inspired life and refuse to allow my autoimmune diagnoses to be my identity, but for that to be true, I have to plan, think things through (hard for my impulsive nature), and make accommodations. As an example, this momma is going to be at 👏 every 👏 single 👏 one of her kids events, but after an all-weekend basketball tournament, I need to keep my calendar clear the following Monday to give my body a chance to recuperate. Things like that.

I also hear that a healthy diet and exercise is helpful for those with autoimmune issues. Heck, I hear it’s good for everyone! I have not tried that yet… ha, jk… I have tried but I’m not the most disciplined at this. Now that I’m living this journey more out loud, maybe I’ll be inspired to be a better example. Maybe.**

I have a great team of physicians that support me living my best life. My boo, Linda, at Wiseman Family Practice oversees my care in consultation with my endocrinologist and rheumatologist. Below are the medicines and supplements we have determined work best for me each day. It’s taken a long time to get this mix right and it’ll likely have to be tweaked and changed over time, as well. Autoimmune isn’t one and done. Every day is a new day with new challenges, but right now this is my daily dose.

Morning meds…

Don’t let that handful scare you, only two are prescription. Each morning I take Synthroid to support my thyroid function (ha, like I have any function! but this helps my body pretend it does) and Cymbalta as a pain receptor blocker (bonus, it’s also an anti-depressant!) I also take an over-the-counter Allegra to help stop my overactive histamine production, a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, vitamin B, vitamin C, and zinc. Recently the biggest game changer for me has been upping my vitamin D. It’s given me an extra boost of energy! And this being the dumpster fire that is 2020, we’re alllllllllll drained and can use a boost, amirite??!

In the evening I only have one prescription…

Nighttime poppin’…

And it’s my favorite prescription! At only 4.5mg, Low-Dose Naltrexone (LDN) helps reduce my pain experience and fights against inflammation. It’s a compound drug, meaning you’re not going to find it at Walgreen’s or CVS, it’s just not mass produced like that. I have a local compounding pharmacy make it for me. It’s not currently covered by insurance, but it’s worth the extra $$$ for me, and hubby agrees. He’s seen what I’m like when I don’t take it. 😉 I also pop a magnesium before bed, one Estroven (ugh menopause), and then depending on the day and how I’m feeling, I may add a couple Tylenol or Alieve and one or two Benadryl. The thing with having a compromised immune system is that once one issue is diagnosed, it’s not uncommon to discover others. The latest we are investigating is dermatomyositis ‘cuz this girl is super itchy all the dang time. I’m just a party, y’all. 🥳

With all of the above, plus the loving support of family and friends, a lot of Diet Dr. Pepper, and even more Jesus, I’m here, happy, and living a joyful life.

Whatever you’re facing in this life, I pray you are able to look for the joy.

Peace & hugs,
Kelli

*what works for me may not work for you, please consult your physician before taking or changing any meds or supplements

**probably not