Posted in beauty, lifestyle, Makeup

Winter Beautycon x Dulce Candy Unboxing 

Today we will be unboxing the new Winter Beautycon box curated by the lovely Dolce Candy!

When I heard about the Winter Beautycon box I knew “oh I just have to have it!” Unlike some other boxes I’ve had, the Beautycon box features FULL SIZED products ranging from drugstore/affordable to VERY high end for a BARGAIN! So after watching a few unboxings on YouTube I snagged one up using a coupon code of course! (I will rarely ever, ever, EVER pay full price for anything lol thanks to my mom for teaching me frugality!)
I was BEYOND excited to get my hands on the box. There were just so many awesome items in there for me to miss out! I swear, of all the beauty boxes I’ve ever received this is the best by far! Lets just dive to everything we have here right now!

Garner SKINACTIVE Micellar Cleanding Water – Micellar waters have been all the rage for a very longtime. I never got into the hype, but now that I have it I don’t mind giving it a try at all! In fact this may well make an exceptional eye makeup remover, as mascara seems the hardest to get rid of. 

I consider this a travel sized bottle. It’s 3.4 oz and has a retail value of $5. Not a bad deal.

SKINLOVE Body Karate Cream – It’s an entire 8 fl oz and is a lovely smelling body cream. My skin gets EXTRA dry in the winter so I’m very excited to use this. I have high expectations for this, and not just because it’s expensive af! It costs $40!

Kate Somerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment- I’m SUPER thrilled to finally be trying this out! Bloggers, YouTubers and gurus have all been raving about this for the longest! I’m very into exfoliating my skin because I have acne prone skin and some texture, and exfoliating my face weekly has done wonders for the surface, appearance and feel of my skin! I already have one from the body shop that I love, but since this claims to be “Hollywoods 2 minute facial” You can’t expect me not to get curious!

Plus, the fact that this small .5 fl oz bottle retails for $24 automatically makes the price I paid for this box a bargain combining it with the SKINLOVE body cream!

Ali and Jay $50 credit- ok, maybe it’s this product that makes this box the total bargain. Now I checked out the Ali and Jay website since I didn’t know too much about them before, and I saw their clothes start at $100 and up! Usually clothes that price aren’t my desire, but the gift code will knock off at least half the price, so this may come in handy if I find something in their store that I really want. I might just even give this away, I don’t know yet. We’ll see.

Too Faced Chocolate Soleil Matte Bronzer in Medium/Deep – it’s definitely sample sized; it’s a little larger than a single eyeshadow. It’s no bother since that’s exactly how I intend use this. This shade Medium deep is equivalent to my foundation shade, not my bronzing shade. I’ll be using this as a transition color for my eyeshadows instead. It has a lovely chocolate aroma which is never a bad thing. It’ll compliment my Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette very well!

Full size retails for $30.

Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in “Illuminati” – I first heard of them through beauty youtuber/guru  Jackie Aina! She launched a collaboration with them last year and was DEVESTATED that her highlighter sold out before I could get one! She did swatch some others that would come with the collaborative collection and All of their highlighters were stunning to me. Illuminati was one of them, so I’m thrilled to have it to myself right now.


I was a bit put off at how small it is, but then I learned that a little goes a VERY long way so it’s no big deal now. 

Loreal Feline Mascara- I’m always down to try new mascaras. Loreal Mascaras aren’t bad, so i think this might be a good one. Costs $8.99!

Loreal Voluminous Lash Primer- I’ve never used a lash primer so this is exciting! I heard they make the lashes look so much better after this and mascara application. I have high hopes for this one!

The primer is between $5.99 and $8.99 depending where you shop.

BioBelle Blueberries and Yogurt Facial Mask- I love a good face mask. I’ve never tried a sheet mask though so this should be interesting.

Colourpop Beautycon Exclusive Color- This looks like a very pretty nude, especially for brown skin women. It feels like it will be very creamy and moisturizing. I may add this to my everyday bag! 

Sorry you can’t buy this from their website! 

Rommel London The Only One Lipstick in      – I’m so excited that this is a red lipstick because that’s my favorite color. Red lipstick will always be my number one. Red lipstick is the reason I got into makeup in the first place! It’ll always have sentimental value to me. Anyway, this also feels moisturizing. I also really like the design: it’s flat so it’ll apply very easily and I have no fear of it breaking. I believe this will become a favorite.

I remember these being around $5 each in the drugstore and Target.

That’s all that came with in this Winter Besutycon Box in collaboration with Dolce Candy! I’m very happy with everything that’s in here so far. I’ll provide full in depth reviews if everything very soon!

Did you get the Beautycon box too? What are your favorites? What fell short? 
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Posted in beauty, fashion, Makeup, style

Quick Review | NARS NARSissist Dual Intensity Eyeshadow Palette

NARS eyeshadows have always been so beautiful to me. Every time I looked and swatched at Sephora I felt like I was going to lose myself in a world of ecstasy! The pigmentation and color range is just unbeatable! Unfortunately, the singles are VERY pricey, nearly $30 a pop! *sigh* A girl could only dream.

When I saw a whole palette full of them in TJMAXX I KNEW I needed to get it! It was meant to be! Sadly, the $50 price tag was WAY out of my league at the time! Even though it was $30 off the original price, that wasn’t much help for someone that didn’t have $50 for eye shadow anyway.

You can imagine how disappointed I was. 

I researched online for it and learned that it was a limited edition palette that released in 2014. Even though that’s a while back, it doesn’t take away the fact that it’s a gorgeous palette, so it’s not like I still didn’t want it. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it anywhere else! *cue devestation and sad violin music*

However, I guess it was destiny, because a while later (and after I started making my own money again and wouldn’t have to ask my mom) I saw it for sale online! It was marked down even more than I saw at the store! It was 100% authentic because they showed proof of purchase and live swatches! 

You’ve really got to be careful buying some things on third party selling sites like eBay or Poshmark: scammers love to lurk around those parts! 

The seller didn’t want it anymore because she was allergic to them. I was so excited I was going to get eight GORGEOUS NARS eyeshadows for practically a bargain! I was elated I actually got my hands on the beauty! 

Here he is!


I mean COME ON!! 😍😍😍

Even on my fingers they were stunning! But of course you never know until you try them on the skin. I think this photo says it all.

I’m still playing around with it and trying new combinations with other palette colors since there are no matte shades in this. The wear time is definitely impressive, phenomanel to be honest! I haven’t tried them wet yet so I can’t imagine how stunning they’ll look then! 

I plan on sharing some looks from this palette in the future in mini tutorials. Make sure to follow my Instagram (@hellohaneef) to see the sneak peeks there first! 

It’s funny: when I first started out I wasn’t much into shadows. Now I love playing with them and creating looks. I’m not an eye shadow palette junkie or anything though. Ima lipstick junkie!

What are your thoughts on the look of this palette? Isn’t it a stunner? 😍 

Do you enjoy NARS shadows?

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Posted in beauty, Makeup

ELF Review Series Part 1 | Eyes

Hello all!

I greatly apologize for my absence on the blog. As a person with many disabilities, there are times where my health declines greatly and Its really difficult to keep up with the blog coupled with other obligations I had. Fortunately I am feeling better after the holiday and am excited and prepared to start off the new year well!

I’m going through a transition to self hosting this blog soon and I’m very excited to grow and prosper with it. I have many plans and goals for my blog here and I appreciate everyone who will be coming along for the ride!

Now, one of my most popular posts on here involved a haul I did a while back from e.l.f. cosmetics. I live for a good bargain, and elf certainly has so much to offer for such a low amount of money! In fact, I’m positive I could do a full face of makeup using only elf products for under $50! (Look out for a makeup challenge coming soon: Full Face Under $50!)

Since many people are just as big fans of elf as I am, I decided to share my review on every single elf cosmetics product that I own! I’m going to begin with eye makeup products.


FIrst up is the Prism Eye shadow Palette, Sunset.

I’m sad to say that I am quite disappointed in this eye shadow palette. I first saw YouTuber Kathleen Lights rave about the elf prism palettes. I was just starting out with makeup and since I had very little money (16, no job, no allowance, and maybe a few bucks here and there from my grandma lol) $10 for such a gorgeous looking palette seemed like a steal in my eyes, especially since majority of beauty bloggers at the time constantly showcased palettes that were WAY beyond just $10. I’m talking about $40+!

When swatched on my arm and hand they left a lot more to be desired for me. It was hard to get a good swatch to show up on my skin. it looked great on my finger, however on the skin it takes a lot of building. At first I wasn’t sure if it was the formula or my deep skin tone, but after feeling the shallows more I’m sure it’s the formula. The first two appear chalky and unflattering. They come off like mattes even though they’re all supposed to be shimmery. The third color is pretty, but it takes a bit of building before it’s true beauty is shown. The golden and purple shades are the best shadows in the palette due to their vibrancy and ease of application. The shade between the gold and purple shadows is as terrible as the white and chalky shade.

Although this item didn’t exceed my expectations, I wouldn’t call it a regret purchase because I love the colors and they show up a lot better on my skin when i foil them with a spray. however, I don’t believe I will repurchase this product.



Here I have three of their smudge pots.

This smudge pot “Back to Basics” is a golden pigment that feels like mousse to the touch. It looks very beautiful on the eyes and lasts all day. To really show you the intense vibrancy of this product, I’ll insert a selfie I took wearing this shadow:


Next is “Brownie Points”.

This is a gorgeous brown/copper shade that almost blends with my skin tone! If you have a deep skin tone and love to go for “no makeup, makeup looks” or want something very natural and subtle, yet pretty and polished, this is the perfect pigment to easily wipe on the lids. A few seconds later you have gorgeous and illuminated eyes.

Third and last up is “Wine Not”

This is a subtle purple-ish, brown color. The camera doesn’t do it much justice, nonetheless it’s another gorgeous color. Long story short, every single smudge pot is gorgeous and worth so much more than just $3 a pop! Yes, I said $3! You better go stock up on them now!


Here is the elf shadow lock eyelid primer.

I haven’t used it much. I’m not much of an eye shadow person unless there’s a special occasion or I just feel like experimenting and playing around with makeup for the ‘gram (HA!) The smudge pots are so much more convenient and easy when it comes to the eye shadow department.

Anyway, when I used it, it did help tremendously with keeping my shadow in place and increasing the vibrancy and longevity all day long. For $2, you can’t beat it!.


Last but not least is this shadow/liner duo I received as a free gift with purchase!

Here’s the liner and shadow swatched.
The shadow is a beautiful gunmetal gray shade. I wore it as a base for my eye shadow look on Halloween. Here’s a closer look:


I haven’t yet gotten much use of the liner, as I don’t use liner much either. I’m just very squeamish and get high anxiety about placing pencils and such near my eye I guess! I’m still practicing my winged liner! The look and feel of the liner is very satisfying though. It is very opaque, black, soft, and easy to apply.

That wraps up my reviews for all of the elf cosmetics eye makeup products I own! Next in this mini-series will be lips.

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Posted in beauty, fashion, style

Current Fashion Trends Actually Worth The Hype

My interest in fashion automatically makes me inclined to know about and keep up with the latest trends and what’s hot right now. However, some of us truly don’t follow these trends religiously, or feel the need to incorporate every single new fashion trend into our wardrobe. Honestly, to emulate your favorite fashion blogger or editor or celebrity down to a T is quite tacky. Sorry, it’s true.

I’ve never been a person interested in doing things just because “everybody’s doing it” even as a child. While I firmly believe fashion is all about self-expression and wearing as you please, I don’t believe in hopping on a bandwagon that I’m not 100% invested in, or for the simple fact of trying to “keep up” or “be cool”. Who wrote it down that looking just like everybody else was “cool” anyway?

Trends can be very fun and inspirational for your personal style. That’s what fashion is all about: taking inspiration from these trends and incorporating them into your personal style and taste. It’s written no where that you have to look like the fancy fashion bloggers or only buy from high end designers, or copy all the “Instagram baddies” with hundreds of thousands of followers. To the average person, it can get quite overwhelming, not to mention expensive, to buy into all the latest fashion trends anyway.

Moral of the story is, do it because you like it, not because of the hype..

That’s why I’m ready to talk about the latest fashion trends that I actually enjoy and would consider incorporating into my style. We all know there are literally dozens out there, but these are fashion trends that fascinate me enough to want to participate myself.


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Image result for velvet boots

Adidas Superstars

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Image result for choker

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Distressed denim


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Those are my favorite current fashion trends! what are some of your favorites? I want to check them out!

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Posted in beauty, Health, Health and wellness, lifestyle, Makeup

High End Beauty at Frugal Prices | Review


Everybody loves a good deal. I’m a bonafide bargain hunter, and I make sure that I get my bang for my buck when I buy any beauty item. I’m especially thrilled when I can get my hands on a usually expensive product that’s on sale or deeply discounted. That’s probably the main reason I’m never one to get things when they first come out; I’m waiting for the price to drop!


Here’s What I Got


Over the past few weeks I’ve accumulated a la few high end skin care items: facial cleansers, mattifying moisturizer, and a vitamin c face mist.


HSN was having a sale on the Lancome Creme Radiance Clarifying Cream to Foam Cleansers. I was searching long and hard for a great cleanser that didn’t contain alcohol and that will thoroughly cleanse my skin without irritation. I also wanted something that could help cut down the oiliness in my skin. The sales representatives insisted this was a great investment for people with oily/combination skin. I’m a big fan of Lancome so as soon as I saw the price I new indefinitely I was going to have this. They basically had a two for one deal, plus FREE SHIPPING! The normal retail value is $26, and I got two for that price.

Actually no I didn’t… I got a coupon as a first time customer for 20% off and I used it on this purchase, knocking the overall price down to $22.10.  I also bought it on flex pay, knocking the price down even lower at $5.52 a month for four months! Crazy right?!?

Next was a purchase from I am really on a facial mist and setting spray kick right now. They’re so fascinating to me and I love trying out different ones (review on facial mists and sprays coming soon!) I was eyeing this one in particular called the Lumene Glow Refresh Hydrating Vitamin C Mist

I’m drawn to anything about vitamin c skin care products because of my sensitive, acne scarred skin. Vitamin C does wonders at protecting your skin from the sun. and causing brightening affects and fading of acne scars and hyper pigmentation. They also smell really nice too, like oranges and lemons.

This facial mist usually retails at $21.99, but I caught it on a sale for $16. Then i added on a coupon dropping the pric lower to $13.49. That’s nearly 50% off! SCORE!
Lastly I went on to do a little shopping at Nordstrom Rack and found the Caudalie Vinosource Mositurizing Mattifying Fluid. Again I have oily skin and I’m desperate for anything that can help cut down the grease! So anything that has “matte” or “mattifying” on it will always catch my eye. I heard a few things about this brand from YouTubers and they claimed Caudalie to be a very nice brand. French Skincare seems to be as popular as Korean skincare nowadays. Once again it was the price that sold me: this 1.3 fluid ounce product that was originally priced at $39 was marked down to a crazy $11.97! I immediately purchased this product for a whopping $27 off the original price tag!


Time For Reviews!

Starting with the Lancome Crème Radiance Clarifying Cream to Foam Cleanser, I THANK GOD THAT I HAVE THIS! I’m especially pleased at the price I paid for them as well. I’m so glad I have two because now I have a backup and I don’t have to go to Macy’s to repurchase it for the original price for the next few months! There are 4.2 fl. oz. in one bottle, which already sounds like a lot. A little goes a VERY long way. About a pea sized amount is enough for you. I’ve already been using it for a little over a month and I’m not even half way through the bottle.

It starts out as a cream and then lathers into a slight foamy consistency. It feels gentle and luxurious, and has a nice subtle, very mild fragrance. It’s a scent of a pleasant soap rather than an overpowering perfume. It’s perfect for my sensitive, oily, and acne prone skin. It’s even helped to cut down some of the oiliness of my face, specifically my T zone, although my nose is the most stubborn, still refusing to cooperate the way I want it too. It’s better than nothing though. This high end skin care item is worth its hype and its price. It’s so good that I actually look forward to washing my face!

The Lumene Glow Refresh Hydrating Vitamin C Mist is very nice. The amount you get is 3.4 fl. oz. so it’ll last quite a bit.  It looks like a product you’d find at the spa, and smells like it too. It has a moderate scent of orange to it. It smells like a nice quality fruity perfume. If you’re not into scented facial mists this won’t be for you at all. If you don’t mind, I recommend this. The mist is light and refreshing, and it hydrates the skin as it promises.

The only drawback that I really don’t like is the spritzer. The mist comes out a bit awkwardly for my taste. It’s not a major problem but sometimes I feel like it hasn’t covered my entire face, only a few parts. So I have to spray multiple times in a few different directions to even feel like I’m spraying enough. I can easily replace the sprayer or the bottle itself to fix that problem. The bottle itself is so pretty though, so I don’t know if I really want to replace it. Curse aesthetically pleasing products with not so pleasing function.

I have to say that I’m a little disappointed with the Caudalie Vinosource Moisturizing Mattifying Lotion. I thought it would be extraordinary, but I haven’t noticed too much of a difference in my skin. It works nicely as a moisturizer, but it doesn’t do much to mattify my face, at all. I certainly would have been very angry if I had purchased it for its original retail price. I’ll continue to use it until it’s gone, and I will not repurchase.

I can’t say I don’t recommend this because I don’t tell people not to bother with any skin care products that didn’t work out for me; everyone’s skin type and needs vary greatly, so what doesn’t work for me may work for you and vice versa.

Overall I’m satisfied with each purchase, and I intend to get great use out of each of these products. My favorite is certainly the Lancome Cleanser. If there’s anything you should run out and buy at this second, it’s that!

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Posted in beauty, Makeup, Personal, style, Uncategorized

Affordable Makeup Haul: elf Cosmetics 

Elf cosmetics is an uber popular affordable brand know for its high quality products ranging from highly pigmented eyeshadows to near professional grade brushes (most which cost a mere $3-6 each!)

I have yet to meet a person that does not have at least one favorite from elf cosmetics. Their products offer high quality for bargain prices, something that seems to be very rare in the beauty world.  Anyone from beginners to artists trying to find simple products for their kits can benefit from the many gems that elf cosmetics has to offer. They even have their own skin care line now!

I did a HUGE haul from the elf cosmetics website recently and so far I have been very satisfied with my choices.  My very first elf purchase was am elf brush, the elf powder brush. I saw my favorite YouTuber Jackie Aina recommend it back when i first strtaed getting really into makeup. Once she said it was $3 I practically ran to CVS! It worked like a dream,  just as she had said.

After that and checking out a few other’s reviews of elf cosmetics products, I was curious about everything else they had to offer.I’d pick up a little something here and there sometimes when I went shopping with my mom. This is the first time I’ve actually bought so many different products at once from elf.

The elf cosmetics website has so many options and things to offer! They constantly have great deals going on, like free gifts with a $10 purchase or free shipping with no minimum purchase required. As if free shipping on orders of just $25 wasn’t enough to sell you!They run sales like these very often! Elf also discounts bundle kits or even includes them as a free gift with your purchase!

I even ended up joining their beauty rewards program. The products are so cheap that it’s be so easy racking up the points to get the rewards. On top of that. I shop through my Swagbucks link to earn more cash back points from my elf cosmetics purchase! When I say I strive to get my money’s worth, I mean it!

here are pictures of everything I bought, and received as a gift.


Elf Smudge Pot in Wine Not
Elf Smudge Pot in Back to Basics
Elf Smudge Pot in Brownie Points





Nothing really except the daily cleanser. No face makeup bought.

Here are the free gifts that came with the order:


I’ll definitely be doing reviews on everything soon. I’m especially excited to share my thoughts and experience with all the new lip products! I’m such a sucker for lip sticks and lip glosses. If I see some my eyes just zero in and I want to take them home and try them immediately! The same goes for skin care products, as if I don’t have enough skin care already. I’ve always just been a curious person. I want to know how everything works!

What are some of your favorites from elf cosmetics? I would definitely like to check them out myself!

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Posted in beauty, lifestyle, Makeup, style

ULTA Beauty Review: Matte Lip Creams

I recently purchased some ULTA Matte Lip Creams (retail for $9 each) from I was in need of some fall lip colors to get myself more in the mood. They were on sale: buy two get two free, so I thought it was a good time to try them out.

I got four colors: Courageous, Passion, Stirring, and Allusive.

Here are arm swatches for each:

Left to right: allusive, stirring, passionate, and courageous

Initial thoughts when I first got these were that the colors were absolutely gorgeous and the pigmentation of the lip cream was impressive. Applying them on my lips was hassle-free and I loved the creamy, satin like feel. However, I was worried for a moment that these wouldn’t truly fit the matte definition as tt takes quite a few minutes for the lip cream to dry to its matte finish. Once it dries it doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything. It doesn’t dry out my lips or feel tight and uncomfortable like other matte lip formulas.

They are not smudge proof, although they pass the kiss the back of my hand test. They do have a staining affect to the lips so the color will still be quite pigmented after eating and drinking. They come off very easily with a makeup remover wipe.

The lasting power of this formula is great. You can most likely get through the entire day with these with minimal touch ups! You’ll mostly need to touch up the inside of the lips after eating or drinking.

While darker liquid lipsticks tend to have the issue of being patchy or difficult to apply,  I don’t notice patchiness or unevenness of the dark colors allusive and stirring when applying them. I’m happy that isn’t an issue. I cannot stand patchy lip products, especially when they’re a gorgeous color.

I am pleased with these lip creams. I’m not sure if I will repurchase these because they are a bit more expensive than what I’m used to paying for drugstore priced lipsticks. However Ulta usually has awesome sales on their website that mark down the price considerably. When they have a good sale I’ll more than likely purchase them then.

I recommend the Ulta matte lip creams and give them a 8/10 rating.

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Posted in beauty, Beginner, Health, lifestyle, Makeup

The Perfect Skin Care for Teens!

I’m really into skincare which is something that seems unusual for others around my age. I do a great deal of research involving health and wellness and I have a huge fascination with having healthy, soft, radiant and beautiful skin. As someone who has been dealing with cystic acne for years, I try the best I can to make sure I do everything I’m supposed to do to make sure my skin stays healthy and free of acne (or at least keep it minimal).

Unfortunately I also have to deal with the scars and hyper-pigmentation that the zits have left behind. I also have to deal with excess oiliness and sometimes dry areas. I have quite problematic skin, and using acne medication alone isn’t going to take care of all the issues going on.

During my research involving suitable teen skin care I couldn’t help but notice how much skin care products are targeted towards mature audiences. Everything seems to be all about anti-aging or getting rid of fine lines and wrinkles. Hello, I’m 19! I don’t have issues with aging and wrinkles! I don’t need a “Magic Youth Serum”; I am the youth!

It left me asking lots of questions

“Are there really skin care products for teens out there?”

“What skin care products for teens are on the market?”

“Do cosmetic companies think we don’t care about our skin too?”

I’m here to confirm that yes; there are plenty of skin care products for teens out there! Teens and young adults can benefit from these skin care products just as much as anyone over 25! Whether you have normal or extremely sensitive skin, mild acne  to extremely severe acne, dry as the desert skin or walk around with a constant film of Crisco on your face, incorporating these simple and usually affordable products in your skin can improve the health of your skin and boost your confidence.

Wait… So What Products Are We Supposed To Use?

Going into the world of skin care can be very overwhelming very fast. If you check out all the beauty magazines and beauty gurus all over YouTube and the blogosphere, you’ll see a laundry list of different “Must-have” products. We have cleansers, which seem to come in many forms nowadays (cleansing oils, cleansing balms, soap free cleanser, micellar waters, etc.) We’ve got toners, essences, elixirs, serums, moisturizers, sunscreen, face masks… the list probably goes well on!

Plus all of this stuff usually is not easy on the wallet by a long shot. Come on, $90 for a moisturizer? Sounds ridiculous right? At least it is for the average teen budget.

Even things like the French and Korean skin care trends are booming and the pressure in the beauty community to be on board with all the latest trends can definitely wear you out. (It’s a good thing I don’t follow trend often!)

I’m going to be honest: you truly don’t need a great deal of these skin care products, no matter how much a beauty blogger may tell you that you do. In fact, here are the only three simple skin care products that us teens and young adults should definitely have in their skin care regime:




It’s imperative that your wash your face. There’s literally no way out of this. Cleansers wash away all the dirt, grime, pollution, excess oil and makeup, right off of your face. You really don’t need to invest in anything fancy; as long as it gets the job done, you’re good.


A good inexpensive cleanser from the drugstore is the e.l.f. daily cleanser. You can find it at Walmart, Target, or online. It has a hand soap-like consistency, but it’s very gentle and does a great job removing makeup too.


The Garnier Skin Makeup removing lotion is awesome at removing makeup, even waterproof eye makeup. It’s inexpensive and will probably save you quite a few of your makeup remover wipes.

Don’t use body soaps or body washes as they’re not ideal to use on the face. Many of them are too harsh and will end up overdrying your skin, throw off ph levels, or even cause irritation or allergic reaction. If you’re going to use a bar soap to wash your face try sticking to ones that are made to moisturize from brands like Dove or Olay.

dove-bar-soap   olay-bar-soap

If you can afford it, invest in a face cleansing brush. The ever popular Clarisonic is uber-popular and holds a good reputation for its performance. However, it’s probably WAY out of budget for many teens. There are quite a few other great face cleansing brushes on the market that are a fraction of the cost of a Clarisonic brush. Olay has their version, as well as Clinique. The Vanity Planet Spin For Perfect Skin facial cleansing brush is very popular on the internet and I use it myself. It’s fairly inexpensive and there are several coupon codes that knock the cost down substantially! You can even find it on Amazon or eBay. CVS has their own skin care line, and they sell a face brush as well.

facial-clanesing-brush  clnique-cleansing-brush.jpg

clarosonic-clanesing-brush   olay-face-brush

A facial cleansing brush will truly rid your face of more dirt, oil, and makeup than your hands ever could. I thought it was just a marketing ploy myself until I actually tried it. It was extremely surprising to see how much dirt and gunk was left on my skin after washing my face with my hands only versus using a cleansing brush.





Everybody’s got to moisturize their face. Although we’re made of 70% water, your skin still needs moisture. Applying a daily moisturizer once or twice a day if need be will make your skin significantly more soft, supple, radiant and hydrated than if you went without one. Moisturizer is important for all skin types.

If you have dry skin, cream or oil based moisturizers will suit you best, as creams and oils are ultra-hydrating. They will provide the hydration your skin needs. You can use 100% essential oils like olive oil, jojoba oil, grapeseed oil, argan oil, almond oil, or butters like shea and mango butter on your face. There are some great affordable moisturizers that you can pick up right at the drugstore, like Aveeno Rapid Repair Daily Moisturizer or Neutrogena Hydrating Gel Cream for extra dry skin.

aveeno-moisturizer         neautrogena-moisturizer

Oily people tend to skip the moisturizer because they believe it’ll create more oil. Truthfully, the added moisture will balance out the over-production of excess sebum and reduce it altogether, if you’re using the right moisturizer for your skin type.

If you have oily skin, water based and gel-like moisturizers are the best choice. Neutrogena Hydro-Boost Water Gel is excellent for normal to oily skin types.


Another I love is the Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Mattifying Lotion. It’s suitable for oily and blemished skin. The tea tree oil cuts the grease decreasing the excess oil production along ith drying out your annoying zits. How’s that for a one-to punch! It also works as a pretty good partner to my makeup primers. You can use tea tree oil itself on your face as well. It’ll dry up acne and excess oil that clogs pores and it isn’t greasy or heavy like olive or coconut oils or butters.

If you have combination skin look for moisturizers that say they’re specifically targeted to combination skin types or are suitable for all skin types.




Everyone, no matter your skin tone or skin type, is supposed to have some kind of method in place to protect their skin from the harsh rays of the sun. We all know what harmful UV rays can do. They can cause sunburn, sun spots, sun damage, and even skin cancer. It’s so important that you protect your skin and use sunscreen every time you leave the house, even on your face.

There are a plethora of moisturizers on the market that contain sunscreen(SPF). Products on the shelves with usually have a range between SPF 15 to 60. You really want to stick to something SPF 30 or higher for greater sun protection.If you have hyperpigmentation, dark scars caused by acne, or sun damage, this step is especially important for you NOT to skip.

Vitamin C has brightening effects on the skin that fade dark marks over time and help protect your skin from the sun. If you find a sunscreen or moisturizer with high SPF that also contains at least 15% vitamin C, your skin will be nearly invisible against the sun’s harmful rays, and could potentially become brighter and more radiant.



So, there we have them. If you have more problematic skin, of course consulting with a dermatologist is number one. They will assign to you items tailored to your specific and personal needs for whatever troubles you may have. On a basic scale, cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen are truly all the skin care products the average teen needs and should have. Try incorporating these three things into your routine if you haven’t already, and see how your skin responds within a month. I’m positive you’ll see some positive changes.


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Posted in beauty, Beginner, fashion, lifestyle, Personal, style

Five Ways to Incorporate Denim into Your Fall Wardrobe


It’s that time of year again: everyone’s clad in their favorite jeans, sweatshirts, and Chuck Taylor’s, sipping their PSLs and stepping on the crunchy autumn leaves that have decorated the sidewalks. While a  classic pair of jeans can probably never get boring, it doesn’t hurt to spice it up a bit sometimes. Denim can be styled in many different ways to fit any and every style. Here are some edgy and chic denim pieces you can add to your fall wardrobe.

For the Rebel   denim-choker

Denim Chokers

Chokers are back in style (although personally I never let them go!). What a creative way to combine our two favorite pieces in one by rocking a sweet denim choker? It adds a grunge, rock-star edge to an outfit, or you can dress it up a bit to compliment a chic and stylish ensemble such as a slip dress, bomber jacket and peep-toe booties.

Perhaps we can thank Mrs. Kim K for proving how gorgeous and chic this denim trend is?


For the Fierce: Denim Jumpsuit

Jumpsuits and rompers were all the rage during the spring and summer months, and a neat denim jumper provides a smooth transition of the trend right into autumn fashion. Add a pair of camel or olive colored peep toe or exposed heel booties and you’re set from brunch to happy hour. Pair the denim choker with this outfit and you’ve got an Instagram worthy shot of an on-trend showstopper!

For the Girl on the Go: Denim Shirt Dress

denim-dress                                          denim-dress2

The shirt dress is the perfect piece for the girl on the run that wants to look fly and put together without much time or effort put in. The denim shirt dress is on-trend and stylish providing the best of both worlds: laid-back and snazzy. Dress it up in the office with your favorite boots, or dress it down with your fave sneaks. Either way, you’ll be the it-girl of the office and out on the town.

For the Bold: Denim Boots

Boots made of denim aren’t seen everywhere you go, so you’re bound to stand out from the crowd! This unorthodox way to sport jean is sure to turn heads and spark curiosity, while making you look fierce, confident, sexy, and fashionable. You don’t mind setting your own trends and making your own rules. Own it!

For the Risk-Takers: Wear a Denim Jacket as a Shirt


Wearing a jacket without a shirt underneath may sound taboo, but the purpose of fashion is to take risks! Sure, it’s supposed to be a jacket, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be worn as a shirt either right? Dress it with some distressed or ripped jeans for an even edgier ensemble and some Adidas Superstars or high tops, or strappy sandals. Button it up for the day time, and open it up for the club at nighttime (it gets hot in there you know.) It’s sexy and sassy, but make sure to keep it classy and keep a bra, a cute bralette, or pasties, or at least something underneath, please!

Do you see yourself wearing denim in any of these ways? Try one, try two, or try them all if you want! Remember the most important thing about fashion: stay true and do you!

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Posted in beauty, Health, Health and wellness, lifestyle, Makeup

Simple Ways to Combat Acne

images-11Acne is an evil, pesky, irritating, and probably the most repulsive nuisance a human can know  (besides Donald Trump). Many of us know it all too well. It tampers with your self-esteem, causes pain and inflammation on our delicate skin, and can even leave behind permanent damage! It ends up costing people hundreds to even thousands of dollars to treat with numerous dermatologist visits and a million and one products that either happen to work or just puts a huge whole in your pocket. Needless to say, it can be quite inconvenient and challenging to deal with.


Personally, my acne has been severe since the start of middle school. I’m now 19 and I suffer from adult cystic acne and am on four different prescribed medications to treat it. I’ve lived with severe cystic acne for EIGHT years! It damaged my self esteem for a long time.

Eventually I learned that it’s just something that everyone may have to deal with, whether it’s just a few zits here and there from time to time  (I envy you if that’s your situation) or it has to be medically treated. I have learned to accept it as a part of life, and I am very grateful that I have a wonderful dermatologist that has helped me come so far with controlling my acne and healing my skin. It may not be as flawless as a baby yet, but I plan to get close to it soon with taking all my medications correctly along with maintaining these healthy tips in my lifestyle and taking these precautions.

Here’s how you can combat your acne, whether mild to severe, in simple yet effective ways.


download-8 Eat and Drink A Healthy Diet

I know, I know. I’m stating the obvious, preaching to the choir, restating something that’s drilled in our heads everywhere you go, from the doctor’s office to magazines to your health nut friends and family members. Yes it gets on my nerves to hear sometimes too. Not because I don’t want to do it, but because I am very aware that some people have to do much more than simply “Just eat healthy and drink more water!”

I’m one of those people.

In fact, I kind of have the urge to throw water in face of every preppy cardio bunny  blonde who lives in sports bras and leggings and only shop at Whole Foods, whose only advice regarding keeping healthy skin is just this! There are more factors in the reasons behind why we have acne: it could be hormones imbalance, a side affect of certain medications, allergic reactions to foods or substances, other underlying conditions or diseases we don’t know about. My best advice is to consult a doctor immediately if you’re having trouble with breakouts consistently. You truly never know what could be causing it until you get an answer from a professional.

At the same time it’s still very important to eat an appropriate amount of fruits and vegetables and get all the vital nutrients and antioxidants you need. I do happen to notice a difference in my skin when I choose to eat potato chips and sour cream dip instead of a fruit salad. I feel a lot better after drinking a green smoothie than after eating a Chicken McNuggets combo from McDonald’s. Eat foods that make you feel energized and productive rather than ones that please your taste buds and then make you not want to get off the couch a few minutes later.

While the concept of detoxification diets are still controversial in modern science, it is true that your body is capable of detoxifying itself on its own to a degree. This means that all those fast foods, highly processed foods and sugary sweets will end up showing up on your face because your body has to release all that extra stuff you put in it that it didn’t need. Just do the right thing and avoid a few extra zits by sticking to the guidelines of the food pyramid.



Do Not Touch Your Face!

dont touch face.jpg

Who hasn’t heard of this one before? Constant touching and feeling on your face is a terrible habit because it leads the way for germs and bacteria to make direct contact to your skin. We all know what germs and bacteria do to our skin: they breakk us out, creating an inflamed, irritated, and horrible disaster!

Avoid touching on your face or resting your face in your hand, and try not to put your cell phone to your ear often. Wipe your phone down with a disinfectant wipe frequently and use the speaker or your earbuds if you can.

Before your skin care regimen, wash your hands every time without fail. Try to stick products that are inside containers and jars that have pumps or are in squeeze tubes to prevent transfer of germs from your hands to the product. Plus it significantly diminishes any chance of any growth of bacteria (or even mildew in some cases) in your product.



Change Your Pillow Case Weekly

Raise your hand if you religiously change your bed sheets and pillow cases every single week. If you’re not one of those people, hop to it, immediately!

You must switch out your bed linens weekly, as you shed dead skin cells on a daily basis (and probably slob on your pillow too. Come on, be honest). Over time those dead skin cells and that bacteria growth will irritate your skin and cause breakouts. To avoid that, make sure to have a fresh, clean pillow case on your pillow every new week.  You can also try placing a new freshly washed and warm towel over your pillow every night for better protection and TLC of your precious face.


Avoid Over-drying Your Skin images-8

Toners have become all the rage in the beauty community when it comes to skin care. Needless to say, everybody’s now running to the local CVS or Sephora in search of the best toner to solve whatever their skin issues they’re having. Notice that many of these toners contain alcohol, an ingredient that can be super drying for the skin.

You may believe that dousing on the alcohol and witch hazel will do good, but over time it will wreak havoc on your skin by creating more irritation due to over-stripping of the natural oils your skin produces. Your skin will start to become dry and tight, creating excess peeling, flaking, and further irritation of your skin. Try not to use toners that are heavily concentrated with alcohol, witch hazel, or other extremely drying ingredients, especially if you’re already on acne treatments that contain salicylic acid or retin-a. Here’s a simple and super affordable  recipe for a DIY toner that has worked well for my skin. It’s alcohol free and is perfect for the harsh summer and winter weather and after a workout!


Exfoliate  images-6

Exfoliating your face once a week when you have acne works wonders. It scrubs away the dead skin cells that lay on the surface of your skin along with those pesky little blackheads and whiteheads that pop up around the nose, chin, forehead, cheeks…. ears….  the list can on actually. I know mine does.

I notice a significant difference in my face when I exfoliate once a week. It’s much softer and smoother right after, the hard little acne bumps have been scrubbed away and my skin produces a radiant glow.

If you have sensitive skin, look for exfoliates that have tiny granules or particles in them instead of larger, harsher ones. There are quite a few exfoliates on the market specifically for those with sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin and it was hard finding a good exfoliating treatment that didn’t cause severe redness and further irritation.

Luckily I recently tried  The Body Shop Vitamin C Glow Boosting Microdermabrasion. I love anything Vitamin C because of it’s brightening and illuminating effect on the skin. It feels like a cream mixed with baking soda, but less harsh tan plain baking soda. It smells like oranges too.

Incorporate these simple methods into your lifestyle and dealing with acne surely won’t be as hard.

Here’s to healthy skin!

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