7 drugstore beauty products worth purchasing

Hey guys, so as a recent college graduate, I’m poor and proud. While I would love to be able to buy high-end makeup products all the time, I’ve also realized that there are tons of cheaper, drugstore products that do the same things for half the cost. That being said, here are seven drugstore products I’ve picked up this week that I truly love more than any of their high-end, name-brand counterparts.

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Freeman Facial Masks ($4) — I’ve tried so many different facial masks, but I keep coming back to these. You know I’m in love with the Lush masks and cleansers, but who really wants to spend upwards of $20 for a small pot of product? Plus, I’ve found that Freeman’s masks work equally as well, if not better. These two that I picked up (charcoal and avocado) are good for oily/acne-prone skin and clogged/larger pores.

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Neutrogena Acne Treatment ($6-$9) — I personally get more acne from stress, and these Neutrogena products really help to keep everything under control and less inflamed when I am feeling stressed. I used to only use ProActiv, but after using it for about a year, I noticed that it was stripping my skin dry and my complexion looked so unhealthy. Plus, ProActiv was $30 every month! These Neutrogena products last me a few months because a little goes a long way. I know everyone’s skin differs, but if you get acne from stress, I really recommend trying out these products, they’ve worked wonders for me!

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Maybelline/Loreal Beauty ($7-10) — I’ve seen The Nudes eyeshadow palette being advertised a lot and everyone on YouTube has been raving about it, so I figured I would pick it up. I’m a huge, huge fan of Urban Decay’s Naked palettes, but honestly, this is the same exact product: same shades, quality and much cheaper (The Naked palette is $50!). Next, Loreal True Match foundation has been my favorite foundation ever since I started wearing full-coverage makeup. It isn’t too heavy, yet it covers my blemishes and discolorations perfectly, lasting all day long.

 

What are your favorite drugstore beauty products?

Awards!

Hey guys! I always get so giddy when you leave me comments telling me that you’ve nominated me for an award, you’re seriously so sweet. I love answering these because they help me to better know myself and it also helps you guys get to know me better as well. More posts like this can be found here. Enjoy!

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is get on my phone, look at Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and I read any missed texts or emails. After I lie in bed for a few minutes, I get up and do some morning stretches. My favorite is the Sun Salutation, which is just a nice way of waking yourself up and getting the blood flowing!

What song gets you in the most creative mood?
I’ve actually been making a new playlist of songs that I’ve been listening to while writing, painting or reading. It includes artists like Lauren Aquilina, Ed Sheeran and Paul McDonald.

When did the internet begin for you?
The Internet began after playing pinball on the computer wasn’t cool anymore. My mom set up an AOL account for me and I chatted with my grade school friends online, sending messages in curly-Q fonts and what I considered to be “hip internet lingo.” The rest is history.

Do you keep a tight editorial schedule on your blog, or play it loosey goosey?
I’m an extremely organized person, and it actually drives me crazy sometimes because it gets out of control. I have multiple blogging schedules, calendars and to-do lists. That’s another thing: I have an obsession with making lists (and never quite finishing them).

What’s your most used expletive?
The ‘F’ word. I’m unashamed and unapologetic.

If logistics were not an issue, where would you go first?
I would go back in time. I would revisit my childhood so that I could better remember things, events, people. I’ve blocked out a lot of my childhood, but now that I’m older I wish I hadn’t done so. I would like to learn more about my loved ones before they passed away, I’d like to take back a few things I’ve said, I’d like to sneak a few more cookies from the cookie jar.

Favorite cartoon?
Does The Simpsons count? I’m also a fan of Bob’s Burgers.

When was the last time you danced?
While I was making dinner last night. I dance all the time, whether it’s good dancing is another story…

What do you consider the most embarrassing song in your collection?
Probably some Hannah Montana, not gonna lie. I know all the words to every single song.

Best song for karaoke?
Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas

Are you sure?
I’m never sure about anything, but I never second-guess myself. Does that make sense? Always trust yourself, but always realize you could do better.

A huge thank you to Wrays of Sunshine for nominating me!

 

20 nice things to tell yourself today

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We all need positive affirmations, and when your world feels like it’s caving in, there’s nothing better than to indulge in a nice self-love session. So take these good words and write them on sticky notes, put them everywhere: your mirror, fridge, car dash, desk, etc. By bringing positivity into your every day life, you’re creating room for brighter, happier thoughts and feelings. Make sure you tell yourself these things today and every day:

1. I know how to do things.

2. I’m great/wonderful/awesome/fantastic.

3. I’m doing my best.

4. I’m important/worth it.

5. I can do this, I can do anything.

6. This too shall pass.

7. I’m beautiful/lovely/gorgeous.

8. I love my [insert body part here].

9. I need to be cared for.

10. I accept myself as I am, flaws, imperfections and all.

11. A number (weight, measurements, IQ) does not define me.

12. I am more than my successes/failures.

13. Life will still go on, I can always start over. There will always be second chances.

14. I believe in myself.

15. Others’ opinions of me do not matter. All that matters is how I feel/see/think about myself.

16. Just keep swimming.

17. I can trust my body/mind/spirit.

18. I am enough.

19. I am strong.

20. I am grateful that my body/mind/spirit allows me to do all that I do in my life.

 

Be nice to yourself today.

Happy Monday.

Photos: Oregon appreciation

Hey guys, I’ve seriously been missing Oregon lately. I miss everything about it: the cold, the torrential downpours, the overcast skies, the lush forests. Everything. I spent four years in Oregon and I don’t think I really stopped to realize how lucky I had been to live in such a beautiful place. Here are a few of my favorite photos I took in Oregon. Enjoy!

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Ultimate Christmas wish list — Lush, Urban Outfitters, Sephora

Hey guys! Can you believe that Christmas is almost here?! This is my third Christmas with you here on this blog, and I’m so happy and thrilled! I compiled this Christmas list of things I’ve had my eye on, and would love to see under my tree! (hint, hint Santa). What do you want for Christmas?

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LUSH — 1. Ocean Salt Cleanser – $21.95, 2. Mask of Magnaminty Cleanser – $12.95, 3. Rose Jam Shower Gel – $9.95, 4. Christmas Eve Bubble Bar – $7.45

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URBAN OUTFITTERS — 1. Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 – $100, 2. Scratch-Off World Map – $39, 3. Pendleton Notebook – $12.95, 4. Shield Glass Candle – $40

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SEPHORA — 1. Urban Decay Naked on the Run – $54, 2. Miss Dior Parfum – $90, 3. Amika Mighty Mini Titanium Straightener – $29

17 simple ways to be more productive

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Hey guys, happy humpday Wednesday! Today I really wanted to share a few helpful tips to help you power through the rest of the work week. We all need a little push now and again, and this list from Scott Habit are really helpful!

#1. Drink a Large Glass of Water
Even mild dehydration can cause headaches and fatigue, affect your concentration, impair short-term memory and impede mental function. If you want to be at your most productive , it’s important for your brain to be firing on all cylinders. Therefore, you should make sure you are sufficiently hydrated before starting work.

#2. Schedule Your Day and Prioritize Your Tasks
Without at least a basic schedule, it’s frighteningly easy to get to the end of the day and realize you’ve achieved nothing of importance. At the very least, you should make a list of the tasks you want to accomplish during the day and decide where your priorities lie.

#3. Focus on Your Three Most Important Tasks
Another way to plan out your day is to focus on your Most Important Tasks (MITs). With a daily schedule, it’s easy to try to do too much. Then, when you get to the end of the day and haven’t completed everything, you feel like a failure. Picking your MITs each day gives you something to focus on so you don’t waste your day on tasks of low importance. If you manage to complete your MITs, you’ll feel productive — even if you do nothing else on your list.

#4. Turn Tasks into Manageable Steps
For each task on your schedule, consider how it can be broken down into smaller steps.

#5. Create Accountability by Telling Others
If your tasks don’t have accountability built into them (like a client deadline), creating accountability by letting others know your intentions is a great way to discipline yourself into staying on task. You won’t want to embarrass yourself by admitting you didn’t get any work done, so you’re much more likely to achieve your goals if you make them public.

#6. Reward Yourself for Task Completion
To keep your energy up and motivation high, alternate your work tasks with small treats. These treats not only act as a break to replenish depleted levels of concentration, but also work like a carrot on a stick— you’ll work faster and with more enthusiasm when you have something to look forward to at the end of it.

#7. Remove Distractions Before Working
Rather than struggling against your brain’s natural inclination to procrastinate, save yourself a lot of time and hassle by simply closing your email tab and banning social media during work time.

#8. Clear Your Desktop
Clear all paperwork off your desk except what you will need that day. Put everything else into physical folders, file boxes and drawers — out of sight, out of mind.

#9. Play Music or White Noise to Improve Focus
Low-level background noise helps muffle any distracting sounds that could interrupt your work and has been shown to improve creativity and focus for many people.

#10. Do the Hardest (or Most Unappealing) Task First
Look at your list of MITs (Most Important Tasks) and underline the one that you know you’d put off indefinitely if you had the chance. Get started on this task before you have a chance to think about it. Don’t work on your other tasks until it’s finished.

#11. Commit to a Very Small Goal
Look at your hardest task and plan a small, easy first step to completing it that will take only a few minutes. Pick a simple metric that you know (without a doubt) you can complete.

#12. Work in Small Blocks of Time
The Pomodoro technique is probably the most well-known version of this technique. It involves working for twenty-five minutes and then taking a five-minute break. Want to learn more about Pomodoro? Click here.

#13. Track Time for Different Activities
Most people overestimate the amount of time they spend doing actual work and spend a surprisingly large amount of time doing mindless tasks. By tracking your time, you become more aware of how you’re spending it, and you can start to spot patterns in your schedule that are reducing your productivity.

#14. Use the Two-Minute Rule
If a task will take you two minutes or less to do, deal with it immediately and move on. Keep in mind that this type of framework is how the urgent trumps the meaningful.

#15. Capture Every Idea
Our minds tend to wander (I know mine does!). Despite our intentions they drift off from the task at hand. Rather than a drawback this is one of the fascinating ways that we gain insights. Pull out a notepad and write them down. You can come back to them later and, who knows, it just might be a great idea or the solution to a problem you’ve been working on.

#16. Write a Done List
Most people are familiar with to-do lists, but these lists can easily make you feel overwhelmed and demotivated if you try to plan too much. A done list has the opposite effect. By writing down everything you achieve each day, you’ll feel motivated to continue.

#17. Review Your Goals
Everybody has goals. Whether they are big or small, we all have things that we want to accomplish. Sadly, the daily hustle and bustle of life can make us get off track. You need to review your goals so that you can create plans to reach those goals, put your day in perspective and know what’s important to accomplish.

 

There you have it! I love these tips, especially writing a “done” list. What are your tips to increase productivity?

How I started traveling

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Traveling is something we’ve been accustomed to for much of our human existence. From the very beginning of time, humans have been traveling to find better lives, surroundings and peace within themselves. And for me, like many others, traveling is a hobby (a very expensive hobby, but a hobby nonetheless), it’s a passion, it fuels my motivation to create and inspire. But most of all, traveling makes me feel at ease with myself, it helps me to reconnect with the earth and put everything into perspective.

A wise soul once said to me, “If you want something, don’t stop searching until you find it.” But what if we don’t know exactly what we want? What do we want out of life? Who do we want to become? What are we striving toward? What are we searching for?

I knew I wasn’t going to discover who I was and what I wanted to be while sitting in a classroom or a SAT prep class, so I thought I would travel. I’d never left the country before, and I’d only visited a few U.S. states. For me, I had only seen the world through the pages of my history textbooks and the Discovery Channel.

Beginning in high school, I embarked on journeys around the globe. Starting with trips to Italy, France, Switzerland, Spain, Africa, etc., I slowly came out of my shell and began to realize who I wanted to be. I first realized my love for architecture while I was walking the streets of Italy, I fell in love with French Impressionism while sitting in the Louvre, and I knew I wanted to be a writer when I met the Pope in Spain.

I’ve been to over 20 countries, and even attempted living abroad, but throughout all my travels, I’m still unsure of where I want to be in life, what I want to be doing, and how I’m going to make my dreams come true. However, the time I did spend traveling opened my eyes to just how vast the world is, it showed me where we came from and how far we have left to go, it made me proud to be of the human race because of all the good things we’ve created: art, music, happiness and progress. And it made me realize that by using my words, anything is possible.

So I urge you to go out and travel. Explore your world. Appreciate all there is to be appreciated, because this world truly is a magnificent one.