POSTERS & WALL ART – Everything you need to know.

IMG_0861

You don’t really know what you got ’til you got it, huh? It’s crazy how much of a difference adding a few pieces of wall art can make to a space. Since hanging up these posters, our bedroom has been completely transformed! The ceilings look taller, and the whole room looks more pulled together.

I’ve been on the hunt for some wall art for quite some time, but always found it super overwhelming. In college, I used to paint my own posters and canvases, but those days of attempted artistic ability are over 😂.

If you follow along with my blog, you know how overwhelming finding this bed was. At times, I can be so indecisive that I won’t even end up purchasing anything because I’m overloaded with choices – bizarre, I know. Seriously, there are so many options to choose from when it comes to decor! Additionally, price was a factor – some wall art can be so expensive, or just poor quality. I definitely didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on these pieces, they’re trendier prints and I know that I’ll eventually want to change them up.

WHERE TO BUY

So I got each of these prints from this amazing website called Desenio – it’s a Swedish brand that focuses on minimalistic prints. They have tons of trendy posters, but they also have more graphic and artistic prints for those of you who aren’t so much into the whole minimalistic trend!

Each of the prints are posters that are sold without the frame. There are tons of different ways that you can hang posters – you could choose to simply hang them up on the wall as-is, you can frame them, or you could purchase a poster hanger that the poster slides into and hangs by a string.

Since this is a Swedish brand, not all of the sizes align with the most popular American picture dimensions – while this is okay if you’re going to be hanging your posters as-is, it becomes a little bit tricky when you want to frame them. I searched high and low for frames – all of the ones that I came across were either the incorrect dimensions, or had bad reviews.

After searching for weeks, I finally thought OH DUH! Let me check IKEA – low and behold, they had them! From one Swedish brand to another, they had all of the sizes that I needed!

Keep reading to find out which exact prints and frames I purchased!

 ✨

PRINTS – ABOVE THE HEADBOARD

IMG_0862

IMG_0880

(LEFT) – Monstera One Poster
Size
: 20x28in | Price: $30.95

(RIGHT)Monstera Three Poster
Size: 20x28in |Price: $30.95

FRAMES | IKEA RIBBA Frame
Size: 19 3/4 in x 27 1/2 in| Price: $14.99

These two beauties are photographs of the popular Monstera Palm Leaf – a staple in many palm prints. Theres about an inch of a white border around the prints which I love. It gives them that matted look, without having to mat them! If you’re going to hang posters above the bed, I would recommend choosing two that are similar but not the same. It helps pull the look together, and make it cohesive.

The frames are so beautiful! They’re your typical gallery, poster frame. They’re matte black, with a plastic cover – the poster sits just a little further inside of the frame, giving the photo that beautiful gallery look. I love these frames! They were super easy to assemble and hang on the wall!

 ✨

PRINTS – NEXT TO THE CLOSET

IMG_0882

 

I ordered three smaller prints to fill the empty space next to our closet. Ever since we moved in I battled what to do with this little blank wall – it’s a tad too small for a mirror, and I can’t put a large plant there because the closet doors would always bang into it!

I love the prints that I ordered, they’re so simple yet gorgeous. I just ordered two clear, glass wall planters that I’m going to plant some succulents in! They’re going to go right in-between each of the prints. I’ll do an updated post once I get them up on the wall!

IMG_0871

Poster | Your Mind by Desenio
Size: 8x12in | Price: $9.95

Frame | FISKBO by IKEA
Size:  8 1/2 in x 11 in | Price: $2.49

As you can see, the frame size is a slightly different dimension than the poster. I had to trim the poster by carefully cutting the top and bottom of it, folding it back and inserting it into the frame so that it would fit properly. However, you can’t even tell that I cut the posters down now that they’re showcased in the frames!

IMG_0868

Poster | Cotton Plant, Blue by Desenio
Size: 8x12in | Price: $9.95

Frame | FISKBO by IKEA
Size:  8 1/2 in x 11 in | Price: $2.49

IMG_0867

Poster | Breathe by Desenio
Size: 8x12in | Price: $9.95

Frame | FISKBO by IKEA
Size:  8 1/2 in x 11 in | Price: $2.49

PRINTS – IN THE BATHROOM

I didn’t know how much I would love these prints until I hung them up! They seriously make all of the difference. It turns this little space into my own sanctuary where I get ready.

In college, I used to have a vanity. But since we live in a small apartment, I had to give that up! I get ready in the bathroom every single day – it’s where all of my hair and makeup products are stored. Hanging up these posters has helped make this space even more of my own little sanctuary! I’m so obsessed.

IMG_0875

Poster | Pink Perfume by Desenio
Size: 20x28in | Price: $30.95

Frame | IKEA RIBBA
Size: 19 3/4 in x 27 1/2 in| Price: $14.99

IMG_0873

Poster | Lashes by Desenio
Size: 12×16 in | Price: $13.95

Frame | Fiskbo by IKEA
Size: 12×16 in

OVERVIEW

Buying wall art doesn’t need to be expensive, if you look in the right places you can find pieces that you love at any price.

I loved my experience with Desenio, and will definitely be purchasing from them again. Since it is a Swedish company, shipping takes a little bit longer. It probably took about three weeks for me to get my items. I actually reached out to the company and inquired about them because the tracking number that I received stopped giving me updates.

I immediately got a response back from a Customer Service representative there, and she reassured me that my packages were still in-transit, but since they come from overseas, once they hit the U.S they are no longer able to track the items. Don’t be alarmed by this, this company is legit. You won’t get scammed and your posters will arrive un-harmed and rolled up in a sturdy tube.

Where have you guys gotten your wall art? Let me know in the comments below!

Why All You Need Is A (Cheap/Affordable) Headboard!

IMG_0331.jpgIMG_0335.jpg

Color… what’s color?

No, but seriously. My decor style is no different than my wardrobe style… colorless and shiny 😂.  We recently got a new headboard, and if you know how indecisive I am then you know how difficult this was for me to pick out. LOL, I seriously had to shut my laptop and walk away multiple times because I was getting so overwhelmed with the choices!

I finally decided on this one from Overstock, it’s the iNSPIRE Q: Melina Tufted Grey Linen Wingback Bed. Woah that’s a mouthful! I’m obsessed with the color and was drawn to glam of the studs and grommets. I ordered a Queen size and it came out to $359.99, and then I got a coupon that reduced it a little bit more.

I wanted to outline a few helpful tips that I have for you guys, as well as my thoughts and review of Overstock!

IMG_0333.jpg

1. Know What Style You Want.
To begin narrowing down the search process, take a look at all of the options out there and then start pairing down to the designs that fit your style and aesthetic. For me, I knew that I wanted a fabric headboard, so anything with wood was definitely out. I wanted to keep the color palette neutral (obvs 😂) and loved the pop of glam that grommets and studs gave. So that made choosing a little less overwhelming. I filtered the results on Overstock to: linen, white, grey, and black).

2. Understand The Difference Between A Bed + Headboard.
Maybe I’m the last person on the planet to get clued in on this… but a headboard and a bed are two very different purchases. A headboard is simply… the headboard. It’s just the decorative piece that you can purchase to attach to your already existing frame. When you purchase a whole entire bed you get the frame and headboard. Alright, so this made it even harder for me to find my perfect headboard – not only did I need to love the way that it looked, but having a frame that had fabric all around the bottom of the bed was a MUST. Our old bed was wood all around, and didn’t have enough room for the box spring to drop down into, so it left us with an eyesore that I had to cover with a bed skirt (yuck). As you can see in the picture below, the fabric that wraps around the whole bed makes such a difference. It adds those “finishing touches” to the bed that I love so much.

3. Shop Around – Don’t Settle For Full Price!
I always go into buying anything with the belief that just because it’s expensive, doesn’t necessarily make it good. That’s why I’m always chasing a bargain and love when I can find something that I love that’s not going to cost a ridiculous amount of money. There’s plenty of headboards out there that are $1,000+ and to me that’s just RIDICULOUS! You can easily find something that’s just as beautiful at a fraction of the price. I looked all around Wayfair, All Modern, Joss & Main and eventually went with Overstock because of the reviews. All of these websites are competitors, and some are even offshoots of each other – be smart, find a coupon and don’t pay for shipping. Cut some of the costs out of the price in order to get something that you truly want!

IMG_0342.jpg

My Thoughts On Overstock

Personally, I loved how easy and simple the purchasing process was! Everything came in just about a week, and I was updated every step of the way through email and text message. Their customer service is amazing, easy to get ahold of and extremely amicable.

I actually ran into a small problem when I was purchasing this headboard because I ordered the wrong size… oops! At first, I ordered a full instead of a queen – a few clicks and I found their customer service number. The person on the phone was super helpful, and helped me quickly solve this issue. They knew exactly why I was calling, before I even had a chance to explain myself. This means that they looked up my phone number as they answered my call, and pulled up my order history. It was such a breeze to get things squared away.

The set up was way easier than IKEA furniture – there were only a few pieces that we had to assemble. It took no longer than 30 minutes from the point of unboxing to fully getting it set up. They actually packed pieces of the bed inside the back of the headboard underneath a velcro panel, so that they could fit all of the pieces into two boxes.

I would absolutely purchase a furniture item from Overstock again, and would recommend all of you do so as well!

 

How I Cleared My Skin Without Using Harsh Chemicals

img_1424.jpg

Hey beauties! Today, I thought that I would do a blog post on how I cleared up my skin and show you the products that I’ve used to get my skin back to it’s normal, healthy state. Most people forget that our skin is the largest organ in our bodies. Not only does it protect us, but it helps keep us looking radiant, youthful and young.

Here’s a little back story: about a year and a half ago my skin broke out worse than it ever had. It was worse than the typical middle school pimples that I had back when I was what, like 13 years old. I was so devastated and embarrassed, and wouldn’t step foot outside without covering every square inch of my face with concealer. It took such a toll on me mentally and physically – these weren’t just any pimples. I seriously had between 5-6 large, cystic pimples on my forehead at any given time. This lasted for about 5 or so months.

I tried everything. Researched skin care every single day and watched YouTube videos any moment that I could. First, I cut out dairy from my diet (goodbye cheese and ice cream 😭), that didn’t help. Next, I took a probiotic thinking that what was going on with my skin was a result of bad bacteria build up in my gut – that didn’t work either. I doused my skin in tea tree oil and witch hazel, praying that it would work some miracle on me.

I vividly remember running across the street in college with a hood up. I went to this all-natural health food store that also sold healthy/vegan/organic/whatever-other-names-for-it-there-are products. I asked the lady working if she could give me everything she had for natural skin care – this was my last resort.

I bought a pimple popping kit on Amazon (sorry that sounds gross, lol), leaned my head over a boiling pot of water so the steam could open my pores, hung upside down for an hour to circulate blood, did 100 jumping jacks, spinned in circles, twirled my thumbs. Yadda, yadda, ya.

Eventually, I grew tired and defeated and called up my dermatologist. I went to a derm back in high school, was put on some sort of steroid/antibiotic (I don’t even remember what it was) and it really cleared up my skin. So I thought, hmm I’ll try that again what’s the harm. Well, after about a month of waiting for an appointment, it was finally my chance to see the dermatologist. I was in her office for all of about 5 minutes, she barely even analyzed my skin. Next thing I know, she wrote me a script for some steroid or antibiotic to take and another script for a topical treatment. I can’t even begin to explain how disappointed I was. Here I was, grasping for some sort of an answer or reassurance and I got nothing of the sort. When I got home, I researched the steroid that she gave me and read so many bad reviews. Everything from it making their acne worse, to crazy side effects like dizziness and red, irritated skin. Needless to say, I threw away the bottle and never took it.

It was at that moment that I decided that it was time to go to an esthetician. I wanted someone who knew skin, could really analyze what was going on and help me take better care of my skin. So, I called my local Hand & Stone at college and went in for my first ever facial. As a disclaimer, I will say that each individual’s experience and skin is different, I’m just letting you know what worked for me. Together, we came to the conclusion that I was improperly removing my make up and it was clogging my pores. I wasn’t getting all of the residue off, and my skin was so clogged because of this. She worked on my skin, removing the clogged pores and getting rid of any breakouts. I think that I went to her for about three or four sessions, each session my skin became clearer and clearer.

The esthetician combined with properly removing my makeup at night (which I detail below on how I do that) completely changed my skin. Oh, and by the way… DRINK WATER LADIES. Seriously, gulp that up. It keeps your skin revitalized and helps clear out toxins in your body, that will eventually come out on your skin.

CLEANSE

IMG_0308

Ponds Cold Cream Cleanser: ($4.99 Here)
This stuff is my savior. It removes everything, even the most caked on foundation. My freshman year roommate turned me onto this stuff years ago. I’ve always kept a tub of it in my shower, but I used to only use it to remove mascara. After this whole fiasco, and watching tons of YouTube videos of girls “double cleansing” their skin, I decided to try this out all over my face. GAME CHANGER. I put this cream cleanser all over my facelips and eyes. Then, I run a washcloth underneath hot water for a few seconds, and drape it on my face. Next, I gently remove EVERYTHING (yes, I capitalized, underlined, bolded, and italicized that). Please, please if you don’t take anything away from this post please take away the fact that you must remove allllll of your makeup.

Purpose Gentle Cleansing Wash: ($4.69 Here)
I have been using this stuff for years. It’s the only face wash that I’ve used in probably 10+ years. Ever since I first went to a dermatologist, he told me to stop using all of those harsh chemical washes that they sell at the drugstore. All you need is a clean, clear soap – everything else actually hurts your skin. Most other face washes contain salicylic acid, a chemical that is meant to clear skin. However, this actually dries your skin out and you become immune to the positive implications of the medicine. Another good cleanser is the Cetaphil Skin Cleanser, it’s so gentle and essentially the same product as this Purpose face wash.

 

MOISTURIZE

IMG_0305

COSRX Oil Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap ($19 on Amazon)
This was a product that I bought while my skin was breaking out. I wanted a moisturizer that was oil-free, and pretty simple. COSRX is a Korean Skin Care product – a huge trend in beauty these days. But in Korea, skin care has always been highly coveted and prioritized. This stuff is amazing – the smell, lightweight formula and non-greasy feel makes this stuff such a winner. It hasn’t broken me out, and replenishes my skin with the vital nutrients it needs.

Cosrx Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence 100ml ($14 on Amazon)
One of the biggest problems that I had while my skin was breaking out was hyper-pigmentation. Basically, my skin was being scarred by the pimples after they would clear up. This was due to me popping them (don’t do that), or the fact that they were so swollen that the skin was stretching and getting red. This is another Korean Skin Care product, and if you’re not familiar with K-Beauty basically Essence’s are your “specialty treatments”. The products that you apply after your skin has been cleansed and moisturized – I put this on after my moisturizer and it helps any clearing blemishes not scar my skin. 

Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream ($52 at Ulta)
Alright, so I was basically conned into buying this by the Ulta lady 😐. Lol, not really but she told me that this stuff was amazing and I had no idea that it was $52. It’s the craziest texture, it’s super light weight and basically evaporates on your skin minutes after applying it. This stuff is my savior in the warmer months, because my skin gets oily in my t-zone. My skin is so balanced and evenly moisturized because of this stuff.

TREAT

IMG_0309

Clindamycin Phosphate and Benzoyl Peroxide Gel (Prescription, Dermatologist).
This was seriously the only good thing that came out of me going to the dermatologist. This stuff is magical. I’m not a dermatologist, but if you’re struggling with your skin right now I really encourage you to talk to your doc about this stuff. It’s non-irritating and the only thing that can eliminate a pimple in 1-2 days.

Glam Glow SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment ($24 at Sephora)
Whenever I feel like my skin needs a little extra love and attention, I put this mud mask on. It dries almost instantly, and when it does dry you can see the ares of your face where the SUPERMUD is really going to work. It will come up with darker spots, for me it’s generally on my forehead and nose area. You quite literally see the toxins being pulled to the surface. If I feel a break out coming on, I’ll put this on as a spot treatment and then apply the Clindamycin gel. It’s quite the dynamic duo.

 💜

I hope that this post helped you guys. I know how disheartening it can to be to struggle with acne, blemishes and skin issues in your early 20’s. You feel like you’re the only one and every one else has clear skin because they went through their bout with bad skin in high school or middle school. Hang in there, and give some of these products a try. Remember, that beauty starts from within!

Top Tips For A Good Night’s Sleep

IMG_0315I am a sleeping machine – I function at my best when I have at least eight hours of sleep. If I can sneak an extra hour or hour and a half more in, I would. Usually, I’ll start to wind down around 9:00 PM, with the hopes of falling asleep by 9:30–10:00. I wake up between 6-6:30 AM, but some mornings I sleep in a little later, not getting out of bed until 7:00 AM (something that I’m drastically trying to change, #sunrises right?).

I’m generally a pretty good sleeper, but some nights it’s hard for me to get to sleep and I toss and turn, eventually passing out hours after I initially intended to. Our bedroom is right above a pretty major highway in the city, so it can get loud at times. Not to mention the fact that we have huge windows that span an entire wall in the bedroom and while the view is breathtaking, it also means that tons of light pollution invades our sanctuary at night. All of the skyscrapers and skyline buildings have lights on them, and some even have rotating pictures that create flashes at night. Because of this, it’s never truly dark in our room.

I’ve found some really amazing tips and lifestyle changes that have helped me fall asleep, stay asleep and feel more energized the next morning. I hope that they help you get the rest that your body needs!

  1. WAKE UP WHEN YOUR ALARM GOES OFF.
    I know, I know. It’s hard to leave your warm bed, so you hit snooze when your alarm buzzes at the crack of dawn. But now it’s an hour later, your alarm has gone off 5 times by now, and you’re almost late to work. I’ve fallen into this cycle more times than not, wanting to sneak a few more Zzzz’s in before I start my day. But the fact of the matter is, the quality of sleep that you think you’re getting by hitting the snooze button isn’t that good, at all! Think about it as if you’re taking consecutive little naps, being woken up every 10 minutes or so. I’ve found that this actually makes me more tired and groggy throughout the day. My logic here is: the earlier that you wake up, the earlier you’ll be ready for sleep at night. If I wake up at 5:00 AM, by 9:00 PM I’m exhausted and ready to get a good nights sleep. But if I don’t wake up until 8:30 AM, by 9:00 PM I’ve barely been awake for 12 hours – so I won’t fall asleep until 11:00 or 12:00 AM.
  2. WORK OUT, FIRST THING.
    Trust me, this is much easier to say than do. Not only is this good for your health, but it helps you burn more energy (and raise your metabolism, #winning). For me, I find that working out in the morning energizes me throughout my day. The chemicals that your body releases when you start to move your body help you feel more awake and alert. Some people complain about the mid-day crash that happens when you work out first thing in the morning. However, I’m here to tell you that that eventually fades away. Your body becomes more accustom to your rhythms and habits, stabilizing over time. Think about it, do you really want to work out at night when you get home from work? You’re going to energize your mind and body just hours before you’re supposed to be resting.

IMG_0318

3. ESSENTIAL OIL DIFFUSER.
I actually got this for my boyfriend for Christmas, but it turns out that we equally love it! Each night, we’ll put it on about an hour before we’re ready to go to sleep, and then we’ll keep it on throughout the night. This thing may be small, but it is mighty. It smells the whole room up, filling it with whatever essential oil we fill it with it. I got this on Amazon – it’s the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Ultrasonic Humidifer. It’s seriously amazing – there are two buttons one for light, and one for mist. There are 7 different mood lights, with two variations (bright/dim), so 14 different colors altogether. The mist has two different settings, continuous and intermittent. The continuous mode last for 7-9 hours if you fill it up all of the way, intermittent will last you about 9-11 hours if you fill it up all of the way. Pouring water into here is easy, this oil diffuser comes with a transportable measuring cup so that you don’t have to plug and unplug the unit.

4. PICK THE RIGHT ESSENTIAL OILS.
The pack of essential oils that we have comes with 14 different oils – it’s called the Artizen Aromatherapy Top 14 Essential Oil Set. Each bottle is a different oil and is 5ml, considering you only need around 6-10 drops of oil per diffusing session, this pack will last you a very long time. For night time use, our favorite oils to diffuse are the “Stress Relief”, “Muscle Relief”, and of course “Good Night” scents. However, for the day time, I love mixing Peppermint and Lavender. If I want the room to just all-around smell nice, I’ll diffuse the Sweet Orange or Lemon scents. I love diffusing before bed because it helps relax your mind and body through aromatherapy, putting you in the perfect mindset to get a full nights rest.

nightshft.jpg

5. NO BLUE LIGHT BEFORE BED – USE APPLE’S NIGHT MODE.
THIS IS SO HUGE! If you’re not already utilizing Night Mode on your iPhone, please implement this right away. Our phones naturally give off a blue light, a type of light that has been linked to directly affecting sleep patterns. The blue light suppresses the production of melatonin, the hormone that is produced by our bodies that regulates sleep. Our phones, TV’s and computers all emit blue light – I know how much we all love to scroll through our phones at night right before we’re about to fall asleep. I’m not saying don’t do it, all I’m saying is to do it carefully. Apple created Night Mode that alters your phones settings to emit warmer toned light, helping to not disrupt your sleep schedule. You can schedule your phone to automatically turn on Night Mode, I have mine activated between 7:30 PM – 6:00 AM. You can easily find this by going to Settings, and typing Night Mode into the search bar. 

6. PUT DOWN THE PHONE, PICK UP A BOOK.
Elaborating on my prior tip, I think that it’s important to put our phones down before bed. I know how addicting the cyber world can get, it swallows you whole and then spits you back out 2 hours later. Something that I’ve been trying to do recently is to not look at my phone 1 hour before bed. I’ll pick up a book and read, which helps me fall asleep at night. I think a large reason why so many people can’t fall asleep at night is because we’re so wrapped up in our cyber, social media worlds. We compare ourselves to each other, to celebrities, to random people we see online. These thoughts turn into us feeling sorry for ourselves, or pity and send us into overthinking mode. I think it’s healthy for everyone to detach from social media at some point throughout the day.

 

I hope these tips helped you guys! Let me know your thoughts and routines on how to achieve the best night sleep possible!

 

Spring 2018 Trend: Mules

img_0298.jpg

They’re back baby, and I’m glad that they never left! This spring season, mules are the go-to when it comes to fashionable footwear. These beauties are from Target they’re the Women’s Kona Backless Mule Loafers in silver (they also have them in black, here).

I’m seriously so obsessed with them – they’re extremely comfortable and easy to walk in. The silver color adds a little glitz + glam to any outfit. They’re the perfect blend between casual + dressy, the go-to shoe for everyday wear.

The material is a faux-leather, and I will say that I’ve been noticing that they scuff pretty easily and are starting to form a crease where my foot bends as I walk. Other than that, they’re pretty good quality (and did I mention that I only bought them for $11.00?!)

IMG_0288

Usually, I wear my mules with jeans. I cuff the ankles (helllllo, flood pants) and slip these babies on. I love how the silver dresses up any outfit – it adds dimension and excitement to even the most casual of outfits. You can never go wrong with a statement shoe.

 

MULES: SHOP THESE LOOKS

rilee-e1516557920375.jpg

Steve Madden: Rilee Horsebit Mule (On Sale For $55)
Get Them: Here.

This is the other pair of mules that I own, and I’m obsessed with them. These ones are black and a suede texture, making them more dressy and business-esque (I guess). The buckle on them is a pale gold so you can get away with mixing silvers.  I wore these puppies allllll spring, summer and fall last year – I practically lived in them.

cool.png

Steve Madden: Majesta Mules (On Sale For $55)
Get Them: Here.

Okay, these may not be everyone’s cup of tea but I think they’re stunning. The pattern on them is so fun, and would look amazing with an all-black outfit. Just like statement jewelry can make an outfit, statement footwear can as well.

mule-e1516557602340.jpgDolce Vita Candy Studded Mule ($59.97)
Get Them: Here.

Those studs tho 😍. Will studs ever go out of style? I hope not. I love how grungy yet simple this shoe is. The studs counterbalance the flat, almost matte leather making these amazingly plain. Did that make sense? Probably not. What I’m trying to say is that these are an every-day shoe with a little pizzaz (did someone say pizza? 🍕)

cape-robbin.jpgCape Robbin Cell Embroidered Mule ($19.97)
Get Them: Here.

I die for these. I don’t even know what the embroidered print is. Bees? Spiders? Octopus? Not too sure. All I know is that these are so weird, funky, unique and all around amazing. I love the nude color of both the suede and the embroidery. They also have them in red and black with yellow stitching.

Share your Spring 2018 footwear trends with me!

It’s Time To Have A Talk With The Person Staring Back At You In The Mirror.

I’ve always been my own harshest critic – talking myself out of or down from things before I even start them. This year, I made a vow to myself to work on that. I needed to become more aware of how hard I was being on myself without even knowing it. That little voice inside of my head? Yeah, well it was no longer serving me to say the least.

You know, that voice that beats you up when you make a mistake. The same one who is overly critical of your actions or in-actions. The same one who’s always talking the loudest, yet producing the least amount of action.

img_9404.jpg

I don’t know why I’m always so hard on myself – is it a habit that I formed, or is it a natural human behavior that’s been ingrained in our DNA for ages. Sometimes I think, “Wow, is everyone this hard on themselves?” And to be completely honest… yeah, I do think that we’re all our own harshest critics. We don’t give ourselves enough credit for the things that we do right AND wrong. We harp on the tiniest of things for days, yet don’t take time to celebrate those little wins we gain daily.

Not only are we too worried of what others will think of us, but we’re even more worried of what we’ll think about ourselves. How many people have taken a good hard look at themselves in the mirror and thought, “Am I a good person?” Am I acting each day in a way that serves others. Am I being a good friend, a good lover, a good partner, a good teammate? Am I spreading joy, or poisoning my sphere with negativity.

IMG_1193

I’m not saying let’s get all mushy-gushy. What I am saying saying is, let’s get honest. Let’s get authentic. Let’s get real. With ourselves first, and then with others second.

Please believe me when I say that I believe positivity is a learned behavior. Some people are more genetically predisposed to be positive than others. But it’s our duty to become hyperaware of this, and be consciously positive. We owe it not only to others, but more importantly to ourselves.

So, let’s continue to confront that little voice in our heads together. The one that prevents us from feeling the greatest happinessjoy, love and connection. Negative self-talk is one of the few things that stands in the way between us and truly connecting with others.

After all, life is about connection – it’s one of our basic, primal needs. We want to feel like we belong and that we’re connected to one another. But that can only start when we become more aware of that little voice inside of our heads that wants to prevent us from doing so.

IPSY – My Thoughts

IMG_9039.jpg

January was my first ever month subscribing to IPSY — a monthly cosmetic subscription service that sends you 5 full and travel sized products inside of makeup bag. I’m probably the last person on this planet to test this out, but I’m so glad that I did!

IMG_9032.jpg

What I Got:

Oribe Gold Lust Dry Shampoo
WIN. Did I ever mention the fact that I’m slightly addicted to dry shampoo? I try to only wash my hair about two times per week. Since I color treat my hair, I find that this is the most efficient way for me to preserve the color and integrity of my locks. Dry shampoo is my best friend and this stuff smells amazing! I’m not too sure what the “gold lust” part about this particular product is, because it comes out white/clear just like any other dry shampoo. However, the smell is amazing — SERIOUSLY, it smells like heaven in a bottle. Typically, I like dry shampoo that volumizes and lifts the root of my hair… this product doesn’t necessarily do that. That being said, it does make your hair feel clean and smell amazing.

Absolute New York Artiste Shadow in V.I.P
I wore this shadow all day and there was only slight creasing — FYI, I wasn’t wearing any sort of primer or concealer underneath the shadow, just bare skin. However, the color lasted all day/night and did not fade. I love this shade, it’s a neutral light brown with copper undertones. I love shades that are universal, something that will look good on any skin tone — this stuff falls under that category.

Global Beauty Care Charcoal Mask
I LOVE CHARCOAL MASKS! Lately, I’ve been using the Glamglow SUPERMUD and the Clarins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask — both of which have really helped me clear up my skin. I’m excited to try this one out & I’ll update this post with my thoughts on it!

So Susan Liquid Matte Lipstick in Pumpkin
Okay, I seriously need to find out where I can buy more of these liquid lipsticks. This stuff is amazing. It stays on your lips, doesn’t dry them out or make them look crepey, AND it’s so smooth. I only had to reapply this once throughout 12+ hours of wearing it. The color is beautiful and the perfect shade to wear both during the day and at night.

The Balm Mary-Lou Manizer
Seriously how cute is that name?! I can’t begin to explain how excited I was to get this mini sample size in my IPSY bag. I’ve been dying to try this highlighter for years, but never got around to purchasing it. It’s the most beautiful icy, neutral shade that you can wear any time — I apply mine using a damp beauty blender. That trick has been a life savor for me, it allows me to place the color where I want it to and it really makes the pigments that much more vibrant.

Overall

I’m absolutely going to be keeping my subscription. I love how IPSY includes “hard-to-get” brands — they’re all so unique, some of which I’ve never heard of before. For $10.00 a month, this is well beyond worth it. Not only do you get a really cute makeup bag (that would probably cost $10 at the store, anyways) but you get 5 full-sized and/or travel sized products.

This subscription service is amazing — if you know someone who’s birthday is coming up soon, definitely think about gifting them this service! Or, get it for yourself as a little treat every month 😊.

Have you guys tried IPSY yet? What are your thoughts — leave them in the comments below!