Wednesday, January 15, 2020

My Favorite Products of 2019

One post that I try to prioritize sharing with you each month is a look at my favorite items. A lot of times, I share this as both a video and blog post, but it never fails that I forget to share these items with you during the last couple of months of the year. Because of that, last year, I rounded up my favorite items from the entire year, and y’all really seemed to love it! I thought it would be fun to do the same thing this year as well since I discovered some awesome items that now I can’t imagine not knowing about. These things are definitely all over the place but serve as my favorite things for 2019. I’d like to think this list rivals Oprah’s Favorite Things, and I even was sure to ask my friends what product suggestions I made to them (probably more times than they wanted to hear about something) in an attempt to not leave anything out. So, in no particular order, my top 25 items of 2019 are included below with a brief description of each item. 

This image is not click-able, and instead, you’ll want to click directly on the link to the product in my description or the image of the item at the very bottom of this post. 

I originally tried this shampoo, conditioner, and even leave-in product in the spring and now hate having to use anything else. It makes my hair feel so soft and also makes styling my hair after showering so much faster. While I do love their number one leave-in conditioning treatment (great when your hair needs a lot of TLC), I use the shampoo and conditioner any time I wash my hair. It’s pricy but, in my opinion, worth it since I’ve had the same bottles since I began using the products back in March or April, meaning a little goes a long way.

My J.Crew gold New Balance sneakers have been in my closet for a few years now but have received a lot more wear this past year when needing to get dressed for works on days when I know I’ll be at a photoshoot and on my feet most of the day. J.Crew continues to sell these year after year, so I’m assuming I’m not the only one who loves this classic style of shoe in an easy to wear color combination. 

When looking at my blog analytics for affiliate links, it turns out that y’all loved discovering Amazon’s best workout gear as much as I did in 2019. I’ve gotten to the point where I rarely order exercise attire from anywhere else. If I had to narrow it down even further, the best of the best when it comes to Amazon athletic wear are these leggings (better and so much more affordable than Lululemon’s align pants), these sports bras, and this athletic jacket. You can often find me in these pieces for wearing around for comfort, running, or heading to the gym. 

If I had to choose a top contender of discoveries for this year, I have a feeling this hair dryer may just be it. I can now completely dry and style my hair in under 15 minutes without having to run a straightener through it or multitask a brush and a normal hairdryer at once. Seriously, if you’ve been considering trying this out, DO IT! But wait till it goes on sale on Amazon, which happens frequently. While writing this post, it’s currently on sale for $35 from close to $50! 

I am pretty sure I included Barrington Gifts on last year’s round-up and with good reason. I continue to love and use these tote bags pretty much exclusively. They are durable, customizable, and sturdy enough to hold whatever I may need to take with me to work on a given day. If you’re not in the market for a new tote bag, I also love their wallet keychain and duffle bags! 

After needing nude heels for weddings, I attended and was in this past year, I am so glad to have found a classic and affordable pair at Target. Two of my friends whose weddings I was in even asked for us to wear these with our bridesmaid's dresses, which was convenient. As far as comfort went, I didn’t trip in them walking down the aisle and was able to dance painlessly before eventually taking them off as the night went on. 

My friend Ellison used this when we lived together, and I was always so impressed with how great it looked on her. Ever since trying it two years ago, I’ve been repurchasing it ever since. According to people who know a lot more about makeup than me, it’s a good dupe for one of Two Face’s mascaras.

The end of 2018, but 2019 especially was one filled with me getting back into working out. When I was teaching, my workouts were sporadic if they happened at all. Now, I love to go to the YMCA and also True40 for workout classes. I became a True40 ambassador this past year, which means that I have a code that allows y’all to take your first True40 class on me. That code is “Dorothy” and will allow you to try my favorite group exercise class in Birmingham without any sort of commitment. I love that it is a good mix of cardio and strength, and all of the instructors feel like friends!

This product was sent to me in a PR package, and I have to admit, at first, I was a little skeptical. It’s a serum that helps to moisturize and protect your skin while giving you a bit of color. Since I love reading by the pool in the summer (with plenty of sunscreen on) but try to protect my face, I thought it would be a good way to get a touch of summer color there without any damage. Until my friends started mentioning how tan I looked, I didn’t fully believe that it was working since it is gradual. The best part about this product is that it’s not streaky, and because you apply your normal face lotion on top of it, it was easy to add to my nighttime routine. My first bottle lasted a long time, and I need to remember to repurchase this come the spring.

Lake pajamas are a repeat offender on my favorites list. I probably should be embarrassed that some of my pajamas are nicer than some of my everyday clothes, but I’m not since sleep is pretty important, and that justifies these PJs. If you’ve never felt how soft they are, you might not understand the hype, but I’ve gathered quite a collection over the past few years! 

Another staple in my closet, this jacket is definitely one of my most worn pieces of clothing. I got it rewaxed in the fall, and it looks brand new, reminding me that this is likely a piece I will have for forever if I continue to take good care of it. In the winter, I wear it with a liner, and during spring showers, I can easily unzip the liner and add my hood to make sure I don’t get soaked. 

It wouldn’t be a list from me without some type of snack, and a protein bar is fitting. I wish I knew how many of these I have consumed in the past year, but that number may be alarming. This is the best tasting and most filling of protein/granola bars I’ve tried, and I’m particularly fond of the kid-size ones to keep me full between meals. 

I used to HATE these because the ones my parents have let a lot of the coffee grinds leak. I decided to give this another go when I found a double insulated one and have been filling it with my favorite coffee grounds ever since. 

If you were to ask my friends to tell you what thing I kept encouraging them to use in the past year, it would be the Libby App. I even had friends comment that they should be paying me as their spokesperson given how much I love it! In short, it’s an audiobook app that connects to your library card that allows you to check out and listen to audiobooks. It is hands-down the number one reason why I’ve been able to read so much more this past year.

I love iced coffee, and while it’s relatively inexpensive to order at Starbucks, Stok makes an equally delicious version that I can make at home! 

I sound like a broken record again, but if you haven’t gotten one of these, you won’t fully be able to understand my love of them. Somehow with one cloth and a little bit of water, you can completely remove your makeup with ease and without using a makeup wipe. Magic is the best way I can describe these, and if I had a million dollars, I’d have forced everyone I know to try these already. 

My favorite piece of jewelry this past year has been my Goldbug ring that I received for Christmas the year before. Sadly it’s broken at the moment, and I’m eager to get it fixed since I love just how unique it is and the fact that it includes two of my favorite colors! 

With a lot of cross country travel (for me at least) happening in the past year I was glad to have a suitcase of my own to travel with. I know so many people are obsessed with away luggage, but I like that these are a little bit different, very classic, and functional. The four wheels make it easy to maneuver through the airport while the hard shell keeps everything well protected!

When thinking about what pieces of clothing I wore in constant rotation this past year, this sweatshirt was the first thing that came to mind. It was a little pricy, but I have worn it a TON and actually found it on sale for y’all.

There’s something about drinking out of a mug at work that feels professional to me. Sometimes though, it just makes your coffee cold too fast, which makes the Ember mug a good solution. It keeps your coffee warm for you until the last drop and is sleek enough that it looks nice sitting out until you refill it again. 

If you paid attention to any of my travels last year, you'd know that this was my trusty companion and plus one on voyages. I pretty much plan to never fly again without this pillow and love it so much that I gifted it to both my brother and sister in law! 

Boy, did I take pride when people complimented my shoes, and I could tell them they came from Walmart. Even despite that mental victory, these shoes were well-loved over the summer and will definitely be worn time and time again this year. 

Christy Daughtery’s Books (The Echo Killing and A Beautiful Corpse)
If you love thrillers, then you will also fall in love with Christi Daughtery’s books. I accidentally read these out of order, but even still, they top my list of my favorite reads this past year.

Circling back to being in weddings and having formal events to attend, this foundation helped me to look like I knew what I was doing when it came to makeup. It has an even, natural finish with just the right amount of glow! It’s on the more expensive side but is certainly cheaper than getting your makeup done! 

I guess 2019 was the year of inexpensive workout clothes since I fell in love with Old Navy’s $12 running shorts. They are loose, which I love and come in an extensive range of colors! 

Honorary mentions include airpods, this pullover, and the peloton, all of which I discovered too late in the year to include but would make the  list otherwise.

I hope you enjoyed this look at some of my favorite things, and I’d love for you to share yours with me too! 

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