Friday, December 23, 2016

15 things to carry into 2017

(Disclaimer: Not all products I've reviewed are pictured in this post. However, I have linked every product)

It's a almost a new year (woo!) and my resolutions to work out more or eat healthier have never lasted more than a week or two. Instead of writing about goals I have of my own in 2017, I wanted more so to spill the beans about my favorite products I discovered in 2016. All these products are more or less staples in my life at the moment and I plan on repurchasing and continuing to use in 2017. 

1. The 620 New Balance sneakers for women are a go-to for any outfit. In school, I feel like I spend 90% of my time in Raleigh in sneakers and since I've gotten these shoes, I wear them with everything. I made the mistake of not wearing high enough socks when I first started wearing these sneakers but other than my own mistake, these shoes are incredibly comfortable on top of being so cute. The tones of greys in the pair that I own (I have grey with light grey) allow me to easily pair these sneaks with anything. I'll wear these shoes to class with running leggings and a sweatshirt or with a big sweater and torn skinnies going out to dinner. I love that sneakers are "fashionable" and not just for walking around and working out in. They're comfortable and easy to wear and a whole lot better than trekking around in booties or heels (everyday I wore a heel in high school and I have absolutely no idea looking back how I did it). New Balance constantly has sales and it made purchasing these babies so much easier. I have no doubt once I wear these shoes to death I will definitely be repurchasing! My 620's are a staple going in to the new year for me.

2. I have found a bag/purse that I LOVE. The Street Level Reversible Faux Leather Tote by Nordstrom is perfect for being so on the go and needing enough room to carry everything I want. This bag is a classic large brown tote which will always be in style because it's chic and  can go with anything. I very rarely ever carry another bag because this bag is so nice. This tote is large enough that on top of a makeup bag and my wallet, I can fit my agenda, laptop, etc. Exam week I was able to fit a couple notebooks and head out, so I adore the convenience of this bag. It has kept so well. I believe I bought the bag in July and I'd be lying if I said this bag wasn't tossed around, dropped, thrown on my bed, etc. and it still feels and looks brand new. It's a high quality bag and with the convenience it provides and how stylish it is, it's a must have for me. I have the bag in the color "cognac"! 

3. I actually discovered this face mask just from the people around me last year, but once I tried it back in the beginning on 2016, I haven't stopped using it since. The Feeling Beautiful Avocado & Oatmeal Facial Clay Mask by Freeman is fantastic for it's super inexpensive price. I bought my current bottle at Harris Teeter for I think around $4. I've linked the mask to Ulta but you can buy this mask at Walmart, Teeter's, drugstores, etc. The green mask comes in a tube that you control how much you put on your face. The mask is perfect for breakouts and a girls night in. If I feel a break out coming on or even just broken out already, I'll apply this mask while working on homework or laying in bed watching netflix. The mask smells good, you can feel it tighten on your face, and once the mask dries, I have found that it comes off easy with warm water. I do suggest if you have let it dry for more than 15-30 minutes to just hop in the shower and let it rinse off your face because the longer you leave it on your face the more the mask does dry up and become a little bit tougher to take off. This classic green mask I have found does help with my breakouts. I see a decrease in the size of the acne on my face and the mask does help with redness. I always try to wear this mask at least the day before any heavy makeup application just to prep my skin. Even if you don't have acne, this mask is just fun to share and wear with girlfriends while binge watching SVU. It's so inexpensive and so much fun to use. I'm still working on the bottle I bought in the beginning of the year!

4. Continuing with facial care, the St.Ives Fresh Skin Face Scrub Apricot is my go to face wash. I adore this scrub because it's a perfect amount of scrub, enough to remove my makeup without make up wipes and not too rough to irritate my skin. Also, it's another under $4 steal! This face scrub smells wonderful, is inexpensive, and actually works! I use it at least once a week at night before going to bed, and always feel like my skin is refreshed and clean falling asleep. It's easy to rinse off and helps with breakouts. Trying this scrub made me love St.Ive's products. In addition to this face scrub I've purchased body scrubs as well as lotions from St.Ive's. All produces I've tried have been inexpensive, smelled great, and always worked well on my skin. Before this scrub I would wash my face with an antibacterial soap or random face washes because I never had anything that I loved so much I wanted to use it everyday. Now, I've been using this face scrub for almost a year and I am hooked.  In the course of the year, I've gone through 3 scrubs and will most definitely be repurchasing in the new year. 

5. I feel my best when I have a little bit of color to me. I'm not sure if it's my dark hair and easily feeling washed out by wearing dark colors or even being a little darker than usual makes me feel thinner (I swear I'm not the only person who feels skinnier with a tan!) but I love being tan. Last year, I laid in a bed a couple times a week and built up a decently good tan but vowed this past summer to never tan in a tanning bed again for the sakes of protecting my skin. I'll definitely lay out and catch whatever sun I can with sunscreen on but no more tanning beds for me. Just a personal decision! The beginning of this semester I would spray tan monthly and it wasn't so much that the price I was paying was driving me away but the inconvenience of driving almost 20 minute both ways to tan just became more pain than it was worth. I found St.Tropez Self Tan Express Advanced Bronzing Mousse through one of my best friends Tessa. She was so sweet to let me try this product before buying it and I have since purchased this self tanner and love it! With the mousse, you purchase a tanning mitt that allows for easy application. The mousse comes out a dark, army green color but on the skin transforms in to a pretty glow and at first application a light tan. The application of this product is easy. In the past almost 2 months I have been using this self tanner, I don't look splotchy (unless I've completely missed half an arm, which is my own fault), this self tanner doesn't smell (This is MAJOR: Self tanners usually have distinct smells so much that my boyfriend and family could tell before this product when I had faked tanned. But, now I am odor free when I tan with St.Tropez), the color is gorgeous and natural looking (I don't feel like I look orange), and I would argue is worth the price. The bottle I have linked on Ulta is $44. I've been using my current bottle since mid November and I will have probably gotten roughly 10 to 12 spray tans from it when I run out. Thats about 4$ a tan! The formula I use is Express, meaning you'll have a light tan in 1 hour, medium tan in 2 hours, and dark tan in 3. I always wear the tan to bed and in the morning shower off to maximize my color. This self tanner is high quality, gives me a beautiful color, and is a deal compared to spray tanning regularly at a salon and also being able to tan in the convenience of your own home. If I had any tips with this product I would say: Wait until your current spray tan is faded and all scrubbed off before reapplying a new fake tan, use a cotton ball to apply this product on your face instead of the glove to minimize breakouts, and ask a roommate or friend to double check that you've reached all over your back to create the perfect tan. I love this product and have traded in my traditional tanning salon spray tans for St.Tropez Self Tan Express. 

6. Moving away from beauty products for a second, I am obsessed with Clif Bars®. My go to flavor is "chocolate chip" which I've linked on but you can buy these bars at any grocery store. It's not a granola bar, but more a soft treat (at least to me)! I can eat these for breakfast, lunch, dinner, for a snack, etc. They are so yummy! They're soft and chewy and not a traditional energy bar. I'll throw them in my book bag for in between classes, my purse for when I'm shopping and might need a snack, or even in the middle of the night as a midnight snack. Foods I get myself hooked on for a few weeks usually become unappetizing after eating the same thing over and over again, but these bars are to die for. They're filling, convenient, and for the most part gluten free! I don't have celiacs and these bars are not certified gluten free, but as someone who has been gluten free for over two years, I've never gotten sick or had an allergic reaction. I can always be in the mood for a Clif bar, I love this treat! 

7. Throughout high school I plucked my eyebrows way too thin. I cringe looking at old pictures seeing my eyebrows so thin that they look like they were shaved off and drawn in with a pencil. I'm currently in the process of regrowing my eyebrows as well as my hair (post soon to come about regrowing my hair!) and since the summer I've gone back and forth on brow products to fill in the spaces of my brows as I grow them out. I am absolutely hooked on Micro Brow Pencil by NYX. This pencil is amazing. The formula is great quality, comes in beautiful colors, lasts all days, glides on easily, thin enough to mimic hairs, and a steal for only 10$! I've spent over 20$ on eye brow pencils before and nothing I've used before has compared to how great Micro Brow is. If you have little eye brows like mine, thick and beautiful brows, or even just curious and looking for a new brow product: try this pencil! I usually purchase my Micro Brow pencils at Target or Ulta. I've also tried three different colors because this product is so popular and in such high demand that every time I go back to get a color, it's gone! I've tried colors: Chocolate, Ash brown, and Brunette. I think chocolate worked best for my dark hair (I want my brows to be a little lighter than my dark hair). I could write an entire post on NYX and this brow pencil would be on top of my favorite NYX products of all time. The quality and price of the pencil is fantastic and I can never see myself using something else.

8. Continuing with growing my hair, I fell in love with hair vitamins this year. My first batch of hair vitamins was given to me and I truly feel like has made a world of difference in regrowing my hair. My hair grows so slow. I feel like I could go months and not see a difference in the length of my hair. It was actually suggested to me from the last person that styled my hair that I try hair vitamins to jump start the process of growing out my hair. I've asked my family, boyfriend, and friends and all have agreed my hair is much longer than it used to be and I accredit most of that regrowth to hair vitamins. I currently take 3 a day, usually before I go to bed and that's it! In addition to my hair, these hair vitamins make my nails grow crazy fast too! If you're wanting to grow your hair out I would say that hair vitamins have been a must for me. I've always wanted to try SugarBearHair vitamins but am currently using the Spring Valley Hair, Skin, and Nails Collagen Support and had a lot of success using these hair vitamins! I truly feel like my hair would not have grown as much as it has without hair vitamins. I will definitely be repurchasing in the new year in continuing to grow my hair out. 

9. In school, I spend a majority of my time in t-shirts and I've always struggled to find t-shirts that could serve as staples in my closet. I discovered what I feel like is the best t-shirt company on the planet through shopping at my favorite store, Vestique, this summer. The Pocket Tee by Z SUPPLY is my go to shirt on an every day basis. My favorite thing to do with these tees are layer them under sweaters or sweatshirts. These tees are so comfortable, high quality, stylish, and universal with your entire closet. I wear these tees to class, with jeans and sneakers to go out to lunch, or even layered underneath a jacket and skinnies for dinner. They're extremely flattering and have stayed in good condition considering I wear one almost every day underneath something. I love these tees so much they're a big portion of what I asked for for Christmas. I currently have the colors: white, heather grey burnout, and a darkish grey color that I can't find on the website. My roomates, family, etc. would all attest that I live in these tees. They're such a staple piece that I've boughten them for christmas gifts this year and tell everyone I can to try this brand. There will soon be a post about all things Z SUPPLY in the future because this brand is to die for.

10. Revisiting my obsession with NYX, I recently tried the NYX Color Correcting Palette and fell in love. I actually made some of my best friends try it recently, like wouldn't stop talking about it, "You absolutely have to try this". I struggle with a lot of natural redness in my face. This includes acne and redness in random parts of my face, most generally in my cheeks. Before this palette, I would pack on the concealer that was a couple shades lighter than my foundation and I would still see the redness though all that makeup. But, applying this product to my skin after primer and before foundation has reduced the amount of makeup I was caking on my face, as well as creating a flawless look. I use the green color on the redness, the pink-salmon color underneath my eyes and in my crease and even sometimes the darkest shade to contour my nose. If you were born with a flawless complexion, I am so jealous. However iff you're like me though and want a way to correct the discoloration in your skin for an easy price (only 12$!), try this color correcting palette. The concealers haven't made me break out, which is saying a lot because my skin is sensitive to new products. I quickly apply this on a daily basis just to even out my skin and could not be happier with the results of what a difference this palette has made on my every day makeup routine. 

11. I usually always have some sort of breakout on my face. Whether there's one or two small zits or a bad breakout on my face, unfortunately there's always something there. The worst breakouts for me at least, are ones that are large, get sore, and very red. Those are the hardest to not only get rid of but also cover up. When I do get a breakout like that, I use the e.l.f Acne Fighting Spot Gel with Aloe. I'll put this product on my breakouts after I wash my face before heading to bed, and I kid not that in the morning if my acne is not gone, a lot of major redness is and the acne usually hurts less and has decreased in size. It works and is only $2. You cannot beat the price for the quality of what this products does. I tried this product after reading great reviews for it, and how could I not try it for such an inexpensive price? This is a great spot treatment for breakouts on your face. 

12. I was given the Capri Blue Reed Diffuser as a gift for my apartment at the beginning of the semester. Since keeping this in my room and flipping the sticks every couple of days, I always get the question "What smells so good in here?". I never realized how good this diffuser made my room smell until everyone that walked in always made a comment. I feel like this is the best alternative to buying the volcano candles over and over again after burning through them. My diffuser will probably last me the entire school year and I will definitely repurchase when I run out of my current diffuser. The volcano smell is one that is very popular and a classic smell that any woman would love. The volcano candles are definitely on the pricier side for a college student but the diffuser for a school years worth of use, is a steal. If you've never smelt the volcano scents before, you HAVE to at least smell this candle in your lifetime. I want everything I own to smell like capri blue. I get the love of the volcano products from my mom who has blessed our household with smelling as good as the local Anthropoligie.

13. Highlighters have become so popular the past year. I fell in love with the craze over highlighting this past summer and my first highlight palette has been my favorite highlighter all year long. I've tried individual highlighters, ranging from drugstore to high end. After trying numerous products, my go to and favorite highlighter is the That Glow Glow Kit by Anastasia Beverly Hills. The colors are absolutely gorgeous. I have it swatched below as follows: sunburst, golden bronze, bubbly, and dripping in gold. My favorite color in the palette is dripping in gold and I love to even mix that with sunburst when I want a more intense work. All the colors mix beautiful together. This highlighter helps me create an everyday dewy look and a glow that is not too intense but definitely makes a statement in my makeup look.  I have hit the tin on "dripping in gold" but the rest of the colors look almost new. It takes very little product in this glow kit to create a dewy look, so this kit is sure to last you a long time. If you've never tried highlighter before and want to add a glow to your everyday makeup routine, this is the best palette.  

14. I fell in love with the ipsy Glam Bag this year. For only 10$ a month, I receive 5 high quality beauty samples in the mail every month. I love the products I have received, love how inexpensive this service is, and love getting a little bag full of goodies every month! I get this bag every month along with my roommate and we always share and sometimes even swap what we get in our bags each month. I've received make up, full size make up brushes, face masks, moisturizers, nail polish, etc. from brands such as Tarte, Benefit, theBalm, IT Cosmetics, NYX, etc. Ipsy matches you with products through an online quiz you take before receiving the bags asking what your favorite brands are, favorite products, etc. The customer service for this service is fantastic as well. Ipsy has always been very accommodating with my preferences and I love my ipsy bag more and more with each passing month! I don't want to give too much away about this bag because I will soon be uploading a post reviewing my Ipsy bag this month, but try this, even if it's only for a month if you're interested in  ipsy. I love my glam bags!

15. I love playing with makeup, trying out new products, and I would rather dedicate the money I spend on makeup to the actual make up itself rather than the brushes to apply it with. I adore e.l.f. Cosmetics Makeup Brushes. I started using their eyeshadow brushes in high school and started purchasing more make up brushes from e.l.f. in the past couple of years. Pictured at the top of this post are my favorite brushes: ultimate blending brush, contouring brush, and the powder brush (I believe thats the name of it, as you can see I've worn the name off of it). What is unbeatable about these brushes are their price. I got each for 6$ and the brushes are high quality. I read whatever reviews I can on products before I purchase them, and the reviews have never been misleading when it comes to e.l.f cosmetics brushes. All the e.l.f brushes I have tried are high quality and everything from e.l.f is so inexpensive, I haven't been able to find a brand that competes with these brushes. E.l.f also regularly has lots of free goodies with purchases as well as free shipping, so if you've never checked out e.l.f. before I definitely would suggest it because you can find great products for an inexpensive price. 

Filed under: Beauty

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