Need a Stylist? Try Golden Tote!

inked by Julia

Out of all of the Neal women, I despise shopping the most.  I love fashion, clothes, shoes, etc., but the actual act of shopping bores me to no end. But, online shopping is a much different story. I could sit on my computer looking at pretty things for hours. In fact, I purchased all of my homecoming and prom dresses online, and I also bought my bridesmaid dress for Emily’s upcoming wedding online.  Shopping with the click of a button is more my style– it’s in my genes. My mother is the QUEEN of online shopping. If there’s not a UPS delivery at our house everyday, I’m shocked. So when she told me about Golden Tote, I was all in. golden-tote-1Golden Tote offers a personalized monthly subscription tote bag. The things that make GT different from similar sites like Birch Box is that you are not committed to buying something every month and you actually have a say in what you buy.  Once you fill out your style profile, you can purchase items from either the boutique or by ordering a golden tote. For the smaller totes, you choose one item that you want, and then GT stylists pick out one or two other items that fit your style profile. For the larger totes, you choose two items that you like, and the stylists will surprise you with an extra 3-5 items that fit your style profile. They even include a card with suggestions on how to style your new items!

Once you receive your tote (or totes if you’re Holly Neal), you can try on the items. If you love them all, they’re yours! If you hate them all, you return them fairly easily. If you love some and hate the others, you can join a trading group on Facebook. The ladies on the page will post FSOT (GT lingo for “for sale or trade”), and you can either pay them what they ask via paypall, or you can see if they’d like to trade for the items that you were not so fond of. It’s so fun!

I tried GT for the first time this month with a small tote and loved both of my items. I chose the Slouchy Statement Pants and I was surprised with the Naked Zebra dress in teal. They both fit perfectly! I wore the pants when we visited Savannah, and I wore the dress to a fabulous wedding in Indiana. Both items were a hit, and I can’t wait to wear them again! golden-tote-2Golden Tote adds new clothes each month, and the first day you can buy a tote is the first Monday of each month. Check it out and let me know what goodies you find. :) Happy shopping!

Just Another Make-Up Monday

Julia Makeup  Make Up Forever Foundation // Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner // Sephora Lipstick

inked by Julia

Make Up Forever Foundation– I’ve tried several brands of liquid foundation, but this has by far been my favorite! It covers my blotchy skin with only a small amount of foundation. Although it’s not one of the cheaper options, it is definitely worth the cost.

Stila Stay All Day Waterproof Eyeliner– I always hated the way liquid liner looked and how difficult it was to apply. This brand looks great and isn’t too difficult to put on. It is perfect for my watery eyes, but yet easy to remove!

Sephora Lipstick in Mr. Lover– This is my favorite way to accessorize any outfit! This quick pop of color can add so much sass. Sephora’s brand is a less expensive alternative to high end lipsticks.

Just Another Make-Up Monday

Emily makeup Urban Decay Naked 2 // Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Liner // Stila Convertible Color Cheek Stain in Rose

inked by Emily

Here are a few of my favorites!

Urban Decay Naked 2 palette:  Urban decay has some of my favorite eye makeup products, but the Naked 2 palette takes the cake. It has the perfect shades needed for everyday eye shadow. It’s perfect for traveling when you don’t want to take all of your individual eye shadows!

Urban Decay Gold Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy: Although I don’t use it daily, this glitter eyeliner adds a little extra sparkle for special occasions! I apply a small amount over my regular eyeliner at the outer corner of my eye. Perfect for an evening out!

Stila Convertible Color Cheek and Lip Stain: I was always scared to try cheek stain, but Stila’s cheek stain in rose has made me a believer! It’s easy to blend and literally lasts all day when other powdered blush seems to lose its splendor by lunch.

Just Another Make-Up Monday: GIVEAWAY

Lindsay Makeup Nars blush // e.l.f. Liquid Eyeliner // Buxom lipstick in Swinger

inked by Lindsay

I’m a recovering make-up hoarder. I used to (weekly) scour drugstore cosmetic aisles looking for something new to try.

But in the last few years, my make-up routine has become more streamlined and I find myself gravitating toward quality products instead of quantity. I love Smashbox concealer and foundation, but I’ve always had a hard time finding the right shade of blush. My pale skin needs a little color, but most blushes I found were too pink or too orange. Then I discovered Nars blush in a classic color that works on everyone. Worth the splurge!

For eyeliner, I lived and breathed by Stila’s waterproof pen, but the steep price made me cringe. I stumbled upon e.l.f. liquid eyeliner at Target for—drumroll—one dollar! And it works just as well as the expensive stuff.

And seriously, what took me so long to jump on the lipstick bandwagon?? I have a few classic reds and pale pinks from M.A.C., but my current must-have is a bright magenta by Buxom called Swinger (I might have a thing for scandalous product names?). I’ve been a faithful fan of Buxom lipgloss, and I’m so happy they launched a lipstick line! It’s the perfect pop of color and packs a lot of moisture.

I’m always trying to find a balance between high quality products like Smashbox and Nars and mixing in a few less expensive finds. Chris’ wallet appreciates it, too.

And guess what? One of our lucky readers will win all three of my favorite products! To enter the giveaway, follow the instructions below by Tuesday, June 18.
1) Like the neal ink Facebook page
2) Share this post on Facebook
3) Comment below and let us know you’ve followed steps 1 and 2

We’ll randomly select the winner this Wednesday. Good luck! ;)

Packing List: St. Thomas

packing final  one // two // three // four // five // six

inked by Lindsay

Chris and I are taking our honeymoon… three years late. When we got married, we decided to take a low-key trip and save up for a bigger excursion down the road. The culmination of a few events pushed us to finally take the plunge and book a trip for this summer!

When we started researching a destination, we knew we wanted a relaxing beach outside of the U.S. We considered areas of Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Bahamas, and St. Lucia before deciding on St. Thomas. While it’s technically out of the country, the fact that St. Thomas is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands gave us some peace of mind. And, we’ll be just a short ferry ride away from neighboring islands of St. John, the British Virgin Islands, and even Puerto Rico.

With the trip being just a few weeks away, I’m already thinking through what I’ll be packing, because–get this–we’ll only be taking carry-ons. So, multi-tasking pieces will be a necessity!

My packing list is a combination of items I own and a few that are on my wishlist. Here are the deets:
One – Flowy dresses and skirts I can wear over a bathing suit on the beach or out to dinner.
Two – Retro bikinis. I just love them! Probably stems from my love for Mad Men and all things mod.
Three – These sandals are as comfortable as they are versatile. They’re pictured in our family selfie here.
Four – My mom introduced me to Jo Totes camera bags when I bought my DSLR a few months ago. This camera bag is perfect for travel; it protects my camera and lenses and has space for my wallet, phone, and passport without being too bulky.
Five – How fabulous is this scarf? I’d love to have it for the chilly plane rides and late evenings.
Six – These Anthropologie shades are stylish, affordable, and complement the retro bikini.

What are your beach vacation must-haves?

And for those of you who’ve been to St. Thomas, any recommendations on what to see or where to eat? Other than Udder Delight, of course, because you best believe me and my milkshake-loving husband will be there everyday! ;)

Just Another Make-Up Monday

Alissa MakeUp

Benefit They’re Real mascara // Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion // Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof eye liner

inked by Alissa

Confession: I have been known to wear the same make-up for 2 days in a row, so my favorite make-up finds are all about long-lasting wear.

My absolute favorite thing in my make-up bag is Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion. I can successfully wear my eyeshadow for 2 days in a row (ok, sometimes 3) without a single crease thanks to this miracle worker!

At my mom’s recommendation, I recently started using Stila Smudge Stick Waterproof Eye Liner. Now that I’m pushing 30, I have these wonderful new lines under my eyes which seem to always be a magnet for eye liner, but the Stila eye liner stays in place & doesn’t fade for days!

Last, but certainly not least, is Benefit They’re Real! Mascara…it boasts that it “lengthens, curls, volumizes, lifts, and separates lashes” & it’s SO true! Due to it’s staying power, it does take a heavy duty eye make-up remover, but it’s so worth it!

Just Another Make-Up Monday

For the next few weeks, we’ll each be featuring some of our favorite make-up products. Here’s the first installment, featuring Holly’s favorites!

Mom MakeUpBlue Lizard Face sunscreen // Makeup Forever Sens’Eyes waterproof eye make-up remover // Tweezerman tweezers

inked by Holly

As the mom, I’m the queen of sunscreen. My girls know that when they’re with me, sunscreen WILL be worn!  I’ve been known to be the mom with sunscreen in her bag to pass around on field trips, water parks, etc. Can’t help it, it’s what I do. We have some family history (ok, quite a bit of family history) of melanoma.  A few years ago, our derm recommended Blue Lizard.  It is a zinc oxide formula (think that white stuff people put on their nose in old movies) which actually blocks the harmful rays of the sun.  And I, for one, love the sun. So if we’re going to be in the outside, we’ll at least be protected!  We use the faces formula and have found that the regular and sport formulas rub in a little better than the baby and sensitive options.  Use your sunscreen, people!  And don’t forget your hands. You don’t want old looking hands, right kids?

As I’m approaching my 50’s (I’m not there yet but it’s coming fast and I’m preparing by saying I’m almost 50 to start the adjustment process), my Tweezerman tweezers have become my friend.  Who knew so many stray hairs came with aging?  My friend Tam introduced me to Tweezerman a few years ago and they’re the best. They even provide a sharpening service when your tweezers become dull with use.

One of my new finds is Makeup Forever eye makeup remover.  I accidentally discovered it in the checkout line at Sephora, and I liked it so much I bought a bottle for each of the girls, too!  You see, one of the things we all can agree on is our love for They’re Real mascara by Benefit, but it’s a pain to remove.  Makeup Forever remover takes it right off!  I bought a small size for my travel bag and a large bottle for home.