Monday, June 18, 2018

Here's A Photo Of Me, Go Like It Please!

Monday, June 18, 2018

  • blogger | ˈbläɡər/noun
a person who regularly writes material for a blog.
  • lifestyle blogger
one who creates content inspired and curated by their personal interests and daily activities. 

I think people see us as a caricature: here we are screaming HERE'S MY FACE NOW GO LIKE IT. PRAISE EVERYTHING I HAVE TO SAY. BUY MY PRODUCTS AND HELP ME LIVE OF RAMEN AND CRUSHED DREAMS HEHE. We have devil horns that only show once we break 300 likes and we secretly hate everything we promote on our instagram. When really we just work hard to bring these posts... to be honest I put more thought into a single instagram post, than I do in what I wear. 

In late 2017, one of my high school teachers once posted a tweet that hit me in the gut like a dodgeball I wasn't prepared for in gym. 

"Just a heads up young people!! If you scroll down through someone's insta and all they have is mostly selfies...!?!! -run! Stay away. Just say no!!! There is no room in their world for you anyway!" 

Maybe I'm guilty? Scratch that, I know I'm guilty.. 
if you're a follower of mine *insert shameless insta plug here* then you know 

a) I have NO friends, and those that I do live far away so typically when I see them it's more important to enjoy living life with them than a photoshoot (not that we don't partake in that too).
b) I am a lifestyle blogger which means instagram holds a whole new meaning, it's full of stress and agonizing on if you should indeed post before 9PM, staying up editing photos through four different editing programs to reach the right level of aesthetic you're looking for, and not to mention before we post we have to check the diagram to make sure it blends with the story we're telling.
c) Please define "selfies" because evidently it's a new trend to include full body shots or photos of you other people took and to be honest that just seems like attacking to me. Like I said, I HAVE NO FRIENDS??? There's only so many likes a photo of chips and guac will get (shout out to El Jefe though because their chips always bring the likes)

It means grabbing coffee with your bestie after a year hiatus and sitting there wondering why your photo of a gorgeous Cape Cod beach can't break 200 likes and a photo of literal tree bark could reach 2927.

The thing is: even with the stress of algorithms, the plateau of likes when you finally find your groove and have to start all over again, and the comparison game to those who only have 200 more followers than you- I wouldn't trade this "blogger" life.

I get to do what I do best: scream my passions from the rooftop even if it's just my best friend who is listening. I know I'm guilty of forgetting that sometimes. That this... is all it really is, it's sharing your passions with the world because maybe you'll be changing someone else's life with a product that changed your own.

It's about sitting down with a cup of coffee and having an open dialogue between you and your readers and I think I lost that for a while. I forgot how much fun it is to gush over your favorite makeup products and omg! FOOD- (guys, TATES COOKIES ARE THE BOMB.COM THEY'RE SO GOOD THAT I JUST EMBARRASSED MYSELF SAYING THAT!!) it's like having a sleepover with each of you and we're gushing over the cute boy in our history class. 

I love that I get to sit here in my little corner of the internet and gush over things like Too Faced Chocolate Soleil, my undying love for mac and cheese, and my favorite deodorant lol. I love that I willingly embarrass myself by writing out real life embarrassing stories (like that time my friend chased my big fat giant crush down the streets of NYC) that are now immortalized forever on the world wide web!! Here's to 25, to better content, to more entertaining stories, and to YOU my faithful readers who have came back time and time again to this little site. Without you, none of this would be possible. Thank you *all the heart eyes*  



Sunday, March 18, 2018

How To Receive Free Products Without Being A Blogger

Sunday, March 18, 2018

If you ever need to get a hold of me, there's a good chance i'm in the makeup section of any store. My obsession meets new heights each day but you know how it goes- you love what you love. It's funny, I always thought I was so much more into fashion growing up... my best friend Abigail had the makeup guru locked down. So much that if I ever wanted to look cute, she was the one I went to. I remember her pulling out her collection of MAC makeup, and me being in awe because I knew notihng.

I'm embarrassed y'all but when I first wore makeup my Clinique powder foundation had AWFUL flashback, I wore way too much dollar store eyeliner (brown too!), and would frequent dollar tree for their flashiest, sparkly LA Colors gold shadow with a built in brush. One out of ten was about where I laid on the makeup skill scale.

Now you can typically find me doing my makeup with youtube tutorials going on in the background as I try super hard to look like I somewhat know what I'm doing. Over my last few years of being obsessed I've picked up a few tricks here and there for growing your collection for a fraction of the cost! In some instances dare I say FREE makeup (!!!) and yes even YOU can too.

So grab your wine, a notepad, and lets freshen up that face with a little setting powder (cheers to all my oily friends out there)... my only request is that if you have a tip or trick I didn't mention- leave it below in a comment and share babe!

1. Get Rewarded For Your Obsession
Quick guys, grab your phones and open your app store because you won't want to miss these! I have found two apps that help reward me with my shopping/window shopping obsession and there is absolutely NO hidden catch! 

-Shopkick.  This is actually a fairly old app that has been around for a while so if you're savvy when it comes to saving money... you may already know this one. I just recently started using it this fall. Since 2009, you have been able to be rewarded for something as simple as doing your daily Walmart stop (shout out to my bf who loves Walmart more than I love broadway)!  Through shopkick you earn points towards gift cards (I use mine for Sephora because #obsessed) in a few ways: by simply walking into the store, for scanning products found around the store, and for buying items. I even got my bf hooked on it and we typically spend Sundays going to all our favorite stores and scanning objects for fun! Stores that you can receive points from include: Target, Walmart, Food Lion, Best Buy, TJ Maxx, etc. 

Within the first two months of using the app, I received $30 to spend at Sephora. As a total, I have gotten up to $60 just for spending too much money at TJ Maxx and walking through Target daily (things I did with no profit before!) 


-Influenster. This is my holy grail when it comes to free products. The concept is simple, the more you review products the better chance you have of being sent similar products to test out and review! As someone with a passion for beauty (and obviously a blog) I had many different products that I had tried out and that I had on hand. It took a little while and a ton of reviewing to get the "Beauty Junkie badge" but since then I have gotten a new product almost every month! I typically take a night once a month to round up 5-10 products I've tried out (or haven't reviewed yet) recently and give my honest review on them. 


2. TJ Maxx and Marshalls is where it's at! 
My biggest life regret, other than never going after my dream of becoming a real life Disney princess, is that I never knew the gold mine that is TJ Maxx. I always would walk up and down their home décor isles day dreaming of what it's like to own and furnish a stylish house. Their beauty section, however, I would barely bat an eye.

Here's why their beauty section should be on your radar: typically when a company repackages, revamps their formula, or discontinues a product... the leftover is sent to these companies to distribute. They are your number one stop for sometimes up to 75% off of regular price products you can find in places like Ulta and Sephora. This also can ease your mind from worries that these products are counterfeit, the only "bad" thing about them is their formula may be getting a new face lift in weeks/months to come.

Want to call my bluff? That's fine, take sometime to search TJ Maxx Beauty Hauls on youtube, not only are they incredibly entertaining... you'll find yourself craving to make a trip and see what goodies you can come out with! I've found Buxom, Kat Von D, Anastasia Beverly Hills, MAC, Too Faced, Smashbox, etc. They're relevant products too: like the Shade and Light Palette ($20), ABH Contour Palette, and Casey Holmes' Smashbox Collab ($15) that came out just last year!

Google is your best friend when it comes to being skeptical about certain products. You can double check on the specific product name, model, etc. You'll find many NARS products listed and still available through Nordstrom, that are discontinued yet you can find currently in store.

The only reason you would ever find counterfeit products sold is because they were falsely returned and then somehow found their way back on the shelf. If you feel as though a product looks off, then use your own discernment. Stick with your gut, but don't think they all are fakes.

My best tip would be to check and check often. I like to think I catch so many good deals BECAUSE I typically and check it out at least once a week. Yeah, some days it will feel like you're wasting your time but trust me: when you spot a Too Faced Cocoa Foundation Compact, Smashbox contour pencils, a NARS concealer for only $10, and ABH liquid lips you'll be glad you're obsessive checking payed off.

You can always get an idea by checking out what they have available online as well, while you can't search for a specific brand... you can roam until you notice something packaged v similar to NARS ;) Don't be fooled though, the goodies are found INSIDE the store.


Sephora actually offers pretty good deals! Granted a lot of the deals are because products may be discontinued or they're trying to clean stock... but if you're skeptical about TJ Maxx and the authenticity and can't move past it then this is for you! Each week, they have between 3-6 products specific to that week on sale and then you can find other products they have a discount on as well! Typically, while supplies last you can find these products have the same sale price in store once you get to checkout as well.

While, I admit I have never actually purchased anything from the sale section... I watched it often. I've seen products such as BECCA highlighters (yes, even Champagne Pop) for $19 and Cover FX contour palette for $20some. I typically use the sale section to search for certain products I may have found in TJ Maxx. Such as the Kat Von D concealer or shade and light contour brush (all can be found on sale on their site as well as in TJ Maxx for an ever bigger discount).

If you're weary about the authenticity of a product here!

4. Top Secret Tip: HOW TO GET AROUND THE MINIMUM FREE SHIPPING
This is hands down my favorite tip! When I realized there was a way to get free shipping no matter the price of the product I had to share it with all my friends. I annoying texted in all caps to my besties (shout out to Crissy and Lauren) because FREE SHIP is a seriously thing (!!!)

When it comes to Sephora's Weekly Wow or wanting to try out a product, it's hard when you can't find it in your local Sephora (or it's an hour away if you're like me) and you feel like it's a waste to pay for shipping. I can't count the countless times you end up adding stuff in your cart you didn't really need or the amount of times me and my mom would chip in so that the shipping minimum was reached.

With the new shopping app Dote, there are countless stores you can order from and get free shipping no matter the price. This is a great tool if you want to buy from the Sephora sale page but aren't stocking up! While you get free shipping on your first order, specific stores have free shipping period without the minimum: SEPHORA is one of them (!!!)

You can even use the code: FIQ4 when you log on and get free $5 towards your next purchase (!!!). (There are always tons of codes out there for $5 off your Sephora order!!)


These are my tips and tricks for how I've substantially grown my own makeup collection in the last few years. I hope these help you build your own and again, feel free to share your own tips and tricks about discounts and such. We are all makeup loving gurus trying to help each other :)

xoxo


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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

My Skincare Routine + Journey

Wednesday, February 7, 2018
**This post is in collaboration with VIIcode**

True confidence lies in being happy in your own skin, and with the rise of social media... it's not always easy to do. I find myself thinking I'm having a good skin day and the next thing you know, then I'm scrolling through instagram judging every minor "flaw" that I see in the mirror. Finding the right skincare routine is tricky, takes time, and is a lot of trial and effort. However, it's rewarding when something finally clicks and you can work it into your life.

If you knew me growing up, you'll know I struggled with terrible acne growing up. I even have some scarring left on my skin. Being comfortable in your own skin was such a foreign concept to me until a couple years ago, and even then it was typically when I had a tan to cover all my "flaws." I'll be the first to admit, that mindset doesn't go away and I am still struggling with wanting to have an all year-round tan to feel good about myself. However, my current skincare routine is helping tremendously with the doubts that creep in.

One of those products I'd like to single out exclusively is the VIIcode Oxygen Eye Cream. It's main focus is to treat under-eye circles and wrinkles, and you know the age old saying "it's never to early to think about skincare." As my favorite blogger Taylor Morgan tweeted the other day,  "Do you know what's extremely flattering as you get older? When people think you've had Botox." With an age old formula from 255 years ago developed by Dr. Bryn Victor for Napoleon's Josephine, you'll feel as though you're getting the royal treatment.  The ingredients include many natural elements such as Evening Primrose, Avocado, Elderberry, and Chamomilla Recutita.




My current routine:

Morning: 

1. Cleanse face with Clean and Clear Morning Burst- another one of my favorites for years is the L'Oreal Paris go 360 clean.

2. I love using the Good Things Deep Pore Cleanser + Toner before doing any makeup (if I choose to that day). I've only ever been able to pick this up at Marshalls or TJ Maxx. 

3. I love using the Garnier Wrinkle Reducer Serum + Moisturizer, I think it smells fresh and is a good way to start the day. 

Night:
1. I repeat steps 1 and 2 from earlier during and after the shower.

2. On certain days I love a good face mask (which I do between cleansing and the toner), my favorite go-to is the Lush Cup O' Coffee (if you've followed me for a while you know I'll never love anything more) when I feel like I need a small boost- I reach for Karina's Clarifying+ Face Mask.

3. I then go to treat my under eyes with VIIcode Oxygen Eye Cream, their crescent shaped activation strip glides easy around the yes to smooth the product and refresh the eye area. I then use the strip to gently dab the eye cream and let it soak into my skin. 

4. Lastly, I moisturize with the H2O+ Beauty Oasis Hydrating Treatment


I currently love using the eye cream, I've seen small results so far and I can't wait to continue using it and seeing real results in the next few months. 

What are some of your skincare favorites? I'm a sucker for all thinks dainty and good for you...


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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

7 Prom Prep Tips For Girls

Tuesday, November 28, 2017



With prom season not too far off, you are probably hearing non-stop chatter amongst your friends about transport, outfits, and more. If you are counting down the days until the special event, here is a checklist to help you prepare.


Accommodation
A lot of prom goers like to stay in a hotel after prom. If you do want to book accommodation for you and your best friends, book early. Prom is a busy season and rooms book up quickly.

Transportation
Nothing quite sets the scene for a night to remember like a limo ride or some other unique form of transportation. Treat yourself and your crew to a road trip and allow yourselves to begin the night in style. Again, book early to avoid any disappointment and decide on a pick-up point for the night.

Prom Preparation
Most girls spend months getting ready for their prom, so it would be best if you seek the help of your mom if you have decided to tone up or lose weight to fit into your dress. Why not exercise together as a family and begin a healthy eating regime to encourage yourself to easily reach your goals. Prom can be a scary time for self-conscious girls, so it would be best if you have your mom to help you out.



The Dress
Again, it’s never too early to start shopping. Do not hesitate to try on a wide range of styles, and spend time together with your mom browsing online and going through magazines for inspiration. You can also check the unique prom dresses 2018 collection at Peaches Boutique.
Shopping for the dress can be pretty stressful, but it can also be tons of fun. Make a day of it, be prepared, and you’re sure to love every moment.

Accessories
Accessories are the cherry on top of the cake. Once you’ve selected an outfit, you can start thinking about shoes, bags, and jewellery. If you have opted for a plain dress, you can ask your mom to help you bring the look to life with strappy sandals, dangly earrings, and a cute clutch purse. Or, if you’ve gone for a dress that is patterned or ornate, keep the accents simple and let the dress do all the talking. Remember to take the dress along when you go shopping for accessories.

The Day of Prom and Dinner
If you’re keen to push the boat out for yourself, make a day of it and plan a celebratory brunch or barbecue with family and friends. You can get the party started by inviting your friends over to get ready together and take photos. In the afternoon, spoil yourselves to some beauty treatments, or have a beautician come over to do your hair and makeup and split the cost between the other parents.
While there is sometimes dinner at the prom, you could always make reservations for your group to have something to eat before you all get there. Book early, as restaurants get busy on prom night.

The After Party

Finally, if you really want to go to an after party, you may want to arrange transport for getting home. Make sure you plan something reliable and secure. You may also want to host an after party the day after prom to continue the celebrations. You could do this by having a light brunch with your friends to discuss the moments from the big night.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

5 Things To Check Off Before Buying Their Engagement Ring

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


So, you are sure you want to spend the rest of your life with your guy, and you’ve already been dropping every possible hint you can, but he just doesn’t seem any closer to popping that important question, does he? Don’t get upset. Buying the engagement ring is arguably one of the most intimidating, scary, and expensive things he will ever do in his life. 
But, before he buys the ring and presents it to you, he has to get through a major checklist. So, if your guy seems to be putting off proposing, just know that he may well be making his way through the items we will discuss below. And, if that doesn’t bring you even a little bit of peace, why not share the list with him as a not-so-subtle reminder that if he loves it, he ought to put a ring on it?
If you’re a guy getting ready to propose, make sure you carefully work through the list below before you take the leap.
  • Learning the Language
Okay, nobody expects you to become a diamond expert just to pick out the perfect ring for your lucky lady, but you are going to have several new words you will need to learn if you want to make the right choice. At the very least, you will need to understand the four C’s – carat, cut, colour, and clarity – before you even have an idea of what you are looking at. Do your homework, but rest assured a reputable jeweller will be able to walk you through your new vocabulary.
  • Set a Budget
The next step is to figure out roughly how much you want to spend on the ring and how to slash that final cost without sacrificing integrity, and then start saving up that amount to spend on a ring. 
  • Her Style and Size
Even if you have not yet saved up enough money to get your custom made engagement rings at Certified Diamond Network, you still need to learn about what kind of style your partner wants and her ring size, too. Many a man about to propose has been known to steal another ring that she often wears, use their own finger, or even press another ring into a bar of soap to take to a jeweller to figure out her size. While none of these sneaky plans are completely watertight, and they are all sure to get the nerves up, they can help with getting her size relatively right. Don’t forget that choosing the perfect style is also going to take some planning.
  • Shop Around for Options
Once everything starts to come together, there is still some planning to do. You should check out different kinds of rings and diamonds, shop around for prices, and carefully check a store’s return policies and insurance policies. It may not sound romantic, but it a practical necessity.
  • Seek Permission
There seem to be different schools of thought when it comes to whether or not to ask her father’s permission to marry the woman of your dreams, but if she is traditional, she is sure to appreciate it. Getting up the courage to ask and then working out a plan to do it without her knowing also takes some planning. And it all must happen before shopping for the ring!

Remember those 5 things and you’ll be well-prepared when shopping for an engagement ring.


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