Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Current Fall Playlist

Hi, everyone! Long time no blog. It has been an insanely busy few months of constant homework as I'm a uni student, and I have also been in somewhat of a blogging rut as far as what to post. Hopefully I get out of this place soon because I really want to create some good content for you guys!

Until then, I decided to create a list of songs that I've been obsessed with and replaying constantly this autumn season. If you give any of them a listen or are in love with them as much as I am, let me know in the comments below.

1. Hello Ego (feat. Chris Brown) - Jhene Aiko
2. Not Ashamed - Majid Jordan
3. You - Majid Jordan
4. Sativa (feat. Swae Lee) - Jhene Aiko
5. On My Mind (Acoustic) - Jorja Smith
6. Supermodel - SZA
7. The Need To Know (feat. SZA) - Wale
8. Belong To You - Sabrina Claudio
9. Stand Still - Sabrina Claudio
10. Every Kind Of Way - H.E.R.
11. Best Part (feat. H.E.R.) - Daniel Caesar
12. Get You (feat. Kali Uchis) - Daniel Caesar
13. Crew (feat. Brent Faiyaz & Shy Glizzy) - GoldLink
14. Garden Shed (feat. Estelle) - Tyler, The Creator
15. Jess Connelly - Turn Me Down & the entire How I Love EP

Friday, September 15, 2017

Fenty Beauty by Rihanna Review

Happy Friday, loves! I hope you're all doing well. We're finally slowly drifting into autumn, one of my favorite seasons, and I could not be happier about that. I've already drank more pumpkin spice lattes this week than I care to admit...

That aside, I am so excited about today's post. I am sure the majority of you have all heard about Rihanna's new Fenty Beauty line (unless you live under a rock), and like many of you I was very intrigued. Her promise of 40 foundation shades was what initially drew me in; being a woman of color I usually find it extremely difficult to find a shade that matches me perfectly, especially one that has a decent amount of coverage and is not too cakey. I decided to try it and the Gloss Bomb out, so I went to my local Sephora because I decided ordering online would be too risky. The employee was so sweet; we discussed our favorite beauty gurus on YouTube while she shade-matched me between shades 420-440. We both ultimately decided on shade 430.

Pro Filt'r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation

Claims: With 40 shades from the lightest of the light to the deepest of skin tones, this foundation claims to be a soft matte finish that gives buildable medium to full coverage.
My review: Rihanna, girl, I have to give you props for this foundation. Shade 430 ended up being a perfect match for my skin tone. Not only does it match me amazingly well, it is so skin-like that it almost looks and feels like I am not wearing foundation at all. Even my mom noticed how good my makeup looked when I wore it for the first time and commented that she wanted to try it as well! The consistency is slightly watery, but this does not affect the coverage. It also plays very well with the rest of my base makeup. The only con is that this foundation oxidizes a bit darker, so make sure you wait at least 2 to 3 minutes after applying it before you decide on a shade.

My rating: 4.5/5 ★★★★

Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer

Claims: The one universal shade, Fenty Glow, a rose nude, promises to look good on every skin tone and moisturize, all while making the lips appear fuller and smoother.
My review: I'm a gloss girl, so this product is right up my alley. The shade is beautiful and simply enhances the natural color of your lips with a bit of shimmer. It is long lasting (it lasted through my entire uni lecture and then some), and the slightly fruity scent is to die for. This gloss is not sticky whatsoever, which is an issue I have with most glosses. All around, I do believe it is a shade that would look great on anyone.

My rating: 5/5 ★★★★★

Let me know in the comments your experience with Fenty Beauty, or if you plan to try out any of the products!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Easy Vegan Friendly Breakfast Recipe

Happy Saturday, everyone! I hope you're all doing well this week. I've been spending the last two weeks struggling to get back into the routine of things when it comes to school, and it's affecting everything, including my skin and diet. Hence, why I decided to make this post.

Most of the time I try to stick to a pretty healthy diet. I haven't drank cow's milk in God only knows how long, and I don't eat pork simply because I don't care for the taste of it anymore. Now, I'm not completely vegan/vegetarian, but I try to eat as healthy as I can most of the time. We all have moments where we eat absolute trash, though, so to avoid buying fast food, I like to put together quick snacks like these that even a domestically challenged girl like myself can make. I usually eat something like this for breakfast, but you can enjoy this bowl any time of the day. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! If you recreate it or plan to, tell me in the comments below.

2 or 3 strawberries, sliced
A handful of blueberries
Granola (I use this brand)
Almond milk or non-dairy yogurt
Coconut flakes (I use this brand)

If you are using yogurt, spoon into bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle as much granola on top as you like. Add strawberries, blueberries, and coconut flakes on top. If you are using almond/non-dairy milk instead of yogurt, pour into bottom of bowl, as you would with cereal. And just like that, you're done! I feel silly even making a post about this because it's so simple to make, but I just wanted to share an easy, healthy snack with you guys that I absolutely love. Enjoy!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel Review

Hello, everyone. Happy September! I hope you're all doing well. I know that it's been a few weeks since I've last posted (which I also know I promised I'd stop doing) but I've been preparing for my senior year of college, and we all know how hectic back to school time can be. I've also tried out a few new skincare and makeup products recently, one of which being the Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel from their new collection.

Just a little background about my skin: it is very oily (I'm talking after a few hours it looks like I've fried bacon on my face), acne-prone, sensitive, and dehydrated. I also have some hyperpigmentation on my cheeks. What I usually look for in a moisturizer is obviously something that will not make me oilier or cause breakouts, but also one that can hydrate my skin and help repair its damaged moisture barrier.

One of this product's main features is that it contains hyaluronic acid, which as some of you know can hold 1000x its weight in water, making it an amazing ingredient to help hydrate the skin. The texture of this moisturizer is just as it is named, a thin, watery gel. I have heard some complaints about the scent of the product, which reminds me of the ocean. I personally do not have an issue with the fragrance. The water gel soaks in very quickly and completely with a matte finish, making it ideal for oily skin like mine. Although if your skin is very sensitive to things like fragrance or artificial colors, it may react to this product.

I have been using this product for about a week now, and I have to say that I am genuinely impressed. My skin honestly has not felt this soft in a long time, and I can definitely tell that I get less oily throughout the day when I apply it in the mornings. I admit that I had strayed away from Western/drugstore skincare recently because of how harsh the products can be, though I can safely say that this moisturizer may have changed my opinion on them. It has not even caused any new breakouts on my skin! If you are in the market for a new and affordable moisturizer, I highly recommend this one.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dealing With Depression And Anxiety

Hi, everyone! I hope you're all doing well this week. I've been super distracted with family staying over, and the sky has been so overcast lately that I haven't been able to take a good photo to save my life. So this week's post is a bit late and a bit different than my usual. I wanted to touch on the subject of something serious that many people, as well as I, deal with on a daily basis. It's way too often seen as taboo or dramatic on the part of the person suffering from it.

I personally have dealt with both anxiety and depression since my early teens. It wasn't something that I told anyone about in the beginning; I began having anxiety attacks almost every night from the stress of my home life, and the depression soon followed. Of course stress affects everyone, but I found myself unable to deal with stressful situations and worrying about minuscule things to the point where I would have an anxiety attack again, or fall into a type of sadness that I could not get out of. Certain things like financial issues and deaths trigger them as well.

These are a few of the things that have helped me, and hopefully they can aid you in some way as well. But just as a disclaimer, these are coping methods that have helped me personally. They may not work for everyone. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should always seek the help of a professional.

1. Talk to someone - This is probably the number one most important thing to do when suffering from depression or anxiety or any other mental illness, whether it's a friend/family member or a professional. There are coping methods, but not everyone is capable of helping themselves and may need the help of a doctor.

2. Meditation/mindful breathing - I'm going to be brutally honest, when I first heard about these techniques, I thought they were a load of crap. But meditation and mindful breathing have helped me tremendously with introducing positive thoughts into my mind. There's an amazing little book called How To Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh that focuses on the practice of mindful breathing, which is basically focusing solely on each breath and nothing else when you feel stressed.

3. Cut down on caffeine - It was definitely hard for me to cut out coffee, but caffeine can actually make your anxiety worse. I switched to green tea, which has significantly less caffeine than coffee, and cut out all soft drinks.

4. Take vitamins - It is believed by some that taking daily supplements can aid with mild depression. I take them not only for this reason, but for my health and skin as well.

5. Know that the way you are feeling will not last forever - It sounds cliche, I know, but most of the things that cause our anxiety are temporary situations, which you should never make permanent decisions based on. Know that you are worthy of getting better, and know that you are worthy of living.

Leave a comment below if you have dealt with depression or anxiety and what has helped you, or just your stories in general. I would love to hear them.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Summer Makeup Routine

Hi, everyone! I hope you're all doing well this week. I am definitely trying to get back into the routine of posting every week, and will be doing so every Friday. I have tons of ideas for new posts, so be sure to subscribe to my blog by email over on the sidebar so you don't miss out!

So I know I'm not the only one who hates a face that feels caked full of makeup in the summer time. You sweat and your makeup ends up running down your face, and that's never cute. This is the routine that I apply when I want a very light, natural look but also want the sun protection that a BB cream provides. It's so essential to protect your skin during the harsh summer sun, especially if you have PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), or dark spots, from acne like I do. Because of the sun's rays, this can make your hyperpigmentation appear even darker. The BB cream that I used is great for that because while giving light coverage over my scars, it also contains broad spectrum SPF 30. That makes it a win-win! And most of the products I listed below are from the drugstore, so they are very affordable and accessible.

Also, leave a comment below if you would like for me to make a separate post about sunscreens that are POC (people of color) friendly.

Products used:
Colourpop Super Shock Bronzer in "Happy Hour" - Discontinued
Colormates Eyebrow Pencil in "Dark Brown"

Friday, July 21, 2017

My Personal Closet Essentials

We all feel the occasional temptation to shop until we drop, but sometimes when it comes to building a wardrobe, less is more. It is definitely not necessary to purchase every new trendy item that comes around, especially since trends change so quickly. Key basic pieces mixed in with a few trendy pieces can help you to look put together at all times without even trying. Below I've listed the essential clothing/accessories that I can't live without, and links to those or similar items. (Note: this post does contain affiliate links.)

  1. Denim jacket (similar) - This is probably my number one must-have closet essential for autumn and winter. In my opinion, denim jackets are just a cool piece of clothing that never goes out of style. I like to purchase mine a size or two larger than normal for a relaxed, oversized fit.
  2. Plain white tee (exact) - In all honesty, I probably own way too many t-shirts. But hey, I like to be comfortable. Tees have a certain versatility about them; you can dress them up tucked into a cute midi skirt, or down with a pair of distressed skinnies.
  3. Comfy knit cardigan (similar) - On a lazy class day, these are a God-send. I usually just throw one on over a tank top tucked into jeans.
  4. Skinny jeans (similar) - After high school, I ditched the bootcut jeans and never looked back. I've become a fan of more fitted clothing, and skinny high waisted jeans with a bit of stretch to them are a great way to make your booty pop.
  5. White sneakers (exact) - This particular pair of white Nike sneakers were a bit of an investment for me, but they were so worth it in the end. They literally feel like you're walking on a cloud, and I've gotten so many compliments on how cool and futuristic they look. But by no means do you have to spend $100+ on a pair of sneakers in order to look trendy; even an affordable pair will go with almost any outfit.
  6. Trenchcoat (similar) - I was so very lucky enough to thrift a London Fog trench from Goodwill for only $6 and it's become one of the staple pieces in my wardrobe ever since. They're an amazing way to stay warm and stylish at the same time.
  7. Little black dress (similar) - As I stated before, I've gotten really into more fitted clothing lately, so my go-to little black dress is a bodycon. They hug your curves in all the right places, and you can never go wrong with that.
  8. Black booties (similar) - This is another classic item that I believe everyone should have in their closet. They can be paired with anything from a dress to jeans.
  9. Strappy sandals (similar) - These are a must-have for the summer, whether you're hanging out with friends or lounging by the pool.
  10. Denim/chambray shirt (similar) - A denim top is a piece of clothing that you can wear several different ways. My personal favorite is wearing it like a cardigan, but you can also tie them up like a crop top or around your waist.