updated skincare essentials – summer 2018

updated skincare essentials – summer 2018

i was looking through my skincare + haircare essentials post i made last year, and realized how much my skincare routine has changed! my skin itself has changed a lot over the past year, going from combination/acne prone to very very dry but i still get hormonal breakouts. i’ve had to find a lot of new products to suit my skin’s current needs. keep reading to find out what i have been using!

cetaphil gentle cleanser for all skin types 

this is just a basic, gentle cleanser that i use morning and night to leave my skin feeling squeaky clean. i love that it is super affordable and can be found just about anywhere – drugstores, grocery stores, even readily available on amazon.

garnier skinactive micellar cleansing water for waterproof makeup

this is the only makeup remover i have tried that gets my waterproof eyeliner and mascara off with not a lot of effort! i mainly use this at night to remove makeup and oil from the day, but will also use it if i’m running really late in the morning and don’t have time to use a traditional cleanser.

thayer’s witch hazel toner

this alcohol free toner is not drying at all, but still helps to calm any breakouts and inflammation. it comes in a ton of scents but my personal favorite is the rose petal!

skinfood black sugar strawberry wash off mask 

this wash-off mask/exfoliator combo makes my skin feel amazing! it smells so good and really helps to slough off any of my dry skin and clear up any breakouts i might have.

organic rosehip oil serum 

i use this every night right before bed. it really helps to clear up any redness or hyperpigmentation on my face, and it also suck all of the oil plugs out of my nose and makes my pores appear smaller. it does look and feel very greasy on the face though, so i wouldn’t recommend for daytime use.

murad skin perfecting lotion

this is my favorite daily moisturizer to use in the summertime. its super lightweight and wears well under makeup, but also provides all the moisture i need throughout the day.

mario badescu facial sprays

i pick one of these up everytime i go to ulta. i love to use them to refresh my makeup in the middle of the day, and they feel especially great on hot summer days!

i also use masks 3-4 times a week but i’m constantly switching up what i use so i did not include any products! and thats basically my skincare routine! let me know if you want to know more about any products and i can do a whole post all about it!!

disclaimer: this post is not sponsored. all opinions are my own. all products in stock at the time of publication.




my favorite products discovered through ipsy

my favorite products discovered through ipsy

i subscribed to ipsy last summer when they opened up their waitlist, and it has become one of my favorite packages to receive each month. i love trying out new makeup and skincare items, and with this bag i have saved so much money because i have pretty much stopped buying makeup at the store and have instead relied on ipsy’s monthly bag to try out new products. keep reading for the products that i have received through ipsy that i would repurchase once they run out!






this post is not sponsored by ipsy or any other companies mentioned. all opinions are my own.


july favorites.

july favorites.

check out what i’ve been loving this past month! 

funk wave bounces vol. 1 by calvin harris 

this album is everything i have ever wanted my summer playlist to be and more. considering it was the only album i had on my phone for my entire trip to LA, it got a lot of listens, and it’s still the music i want playing while i’m in the shower. if you’re looking to get the most out of your summer vibes, the best road trip album, or simply something to just dance to, this is the album for you!

aveda damage remedy daily hair repair 

i have been travelling so much this month, and that means that my hair hasn’t always been getting the proper care it needs. this product makes my hair look and feel great, even when i’ve been using hotel shampoo, and really keeps me from getting split ends! i haven’t gotten a haircut since may and my hair is still completely split-end free!


i used to work at a buy-sell-trade clothing store, so i definitely have an interest in buying clothing secondhand. i love depop because it takes out the middle man, and allows the buyer and seller to interact together! i have gotten some amazing pieces that i can’t wait to wear this fall — including a denim jacket and a vintage coach belt — for really great prices (the belt was $10!). i love knowing that i am getting such a good deal and that i am helping the environment by putting new life back into the clothes i’ve purchased! psst — i’ve started selling some of my own clothing on depop! click the link to check out my profile!! 

tarte tarteist quick dry matte lip paint in ‘swamp family’ 

with all of the travelling i’ve been doing, i’ve been going to a few more formal events than i would get to in my everyday life. i swooped this liquid lipstick during tarte’s black friday sale, and i am so happy to finally have opportunities to wear it more! it is the perfect true red color for super pale girls like me, stays on all night long (through dinner, drinks, and dancing!) and isn’t super drying like a lot of liquid lipsticks on the market are. i’m not a red lip everyday kind of girl, but if you are, i would definitely recommend trying out this one. in my opinion, it’s worth every penny.

shop riffraff ‘glow up’ metallic dress

i bought this dress for one of the aforementioned formal events i had been going to — and i love it so much, it’s coming with me to washington in a few weeks for my cousin’s wedding. it has the perfect amount of sparkle without being too much of a statement, and the cut of the dress is so comfortable, i almost forgot i wasn’t in one of my typical tee-shirt dresses. the biggest plus — it’s currently on sale and they have lightning-quick free shipping! they ship from arkansas and i’m located in california, and i typically receive my orders within 3 business days!

harry potter and the methods of rationality 

okay, this definitely isn’t for everyone, but i was so glad to find out about it because i love it. basically a parallel universe fan-fiction, where harry has a very different backstory and ends up in ravenclaw. i’m less than 20 chapters in and i’m completely hooked! if you. like me, have always disliked harry’s character most out of everything in the franchise, i completely recommend this to you. we basically skip all of the angsty teen emotions and the problems are tackled in a much more logical and rational manner, all while still having childlike innocence of a young ‘muggleborn’ at hogwarts. i’m a ravenclaw, can you tell? 


what have you been loving? let me know in the comments below!! 


my skincare + haircare essentials

my skincare + haircare essentials

as i go more into my twenties, my skin and hair keep changing. over the past few years i’ve had to move on from my high school favorites and find some more products for my current skin and hair type. i’ve spent a bunch of time testing out new products in 2017, read on to see what i’ve been loving!


being a younger 20something, my skin can be kind of all over the place. i still suffer from the occasional hormonal breakout, but i am also starting to notice fine lines appearing. these products help to soothe my troubled skin and keep my face moisturized to help prevent fine lines from appearing. 

mario badescu special cucumber lotion 

i credit this toner to clearing up my skin so much. i first tried it when i picked up the mario badescu acne starter kit at ulta, and is the one product i loved enough to repurchase from the line.

mario badescu brightening mask 

a brightening mud mask that really helps to get rid of scarring, redness, and hyperpigmentation. my only complaint is that it can be a little drying, so i try to stick to using this once a week or less.

skinfood black sugar strawberry wash-off mask 

this is the best exfoliator i have ever used. first of all – the smell is amazing. it smells exactly like fresh strawberries. i use this 3 times a week in the shower after cleansing my face but before washing my hair or body. i massage it into my skin for about a minute and let it sit until the end of the shower, and my skin looks bright and clean after every use.

lush full of grace solid serum 

this solid serum is super convenient for travelling, which makes it one of my faves. plus, it has tea tree oil in it, which helps to soothe troubled skin. i use this nightly and i swear every morning my skin gets better and better.

herbivore orchid youth-preserving serum 

i use this as my morning moisturizer. it doesn’t leave behind as much residue as the lush serum, and it sits really well below makeup! if you plan on using this under makeup too, i would recommend getting the rollerball rather than the dropper, as it is easier to get only the tiniest amount.


i have super thick, wavy, frizzy hair, which means i don’t want a lot of product in my hair that will weigh down my natural texture and make my hair feel even heavier, but i also need something to keep my frizz at bay. these products make my hair look great, even with my busy wash-and-go lifestyle. 

herbal essence biorenew naked volume white grapefruit + mosa mint shampoo and conditioner

this shampoo and conditioner smell absolutely amazing, and really help to define my waves! plus, its a total steal — i buy mine on amazon but you should be able to pick it up at your local drugstore or target.

aveda smooth infusion style-prep smoother 

i don’t often style my hair, but i love to use a pump of this on my wet hair before letting it airdry. it really helps to eliminate pesky frizz and flyaways for me, and makes my hair feel silky on days where i do decide to blow dry.

aveda damage remedy daily hair repair leave in treatment 

i credit this stuff to making my hair amazingly healthy. i put this on my ends when my hair is damp, and it really helps to reduce split ends from popping up. plus, it smells sooo good.

tresseme expert selection shine serum keratin smooth 

i like to use this in drier months when my hair tends to be even frizzier than normal. i started using this at the beginning of my college days and i absolutely swear that it makes my hair grow faster than normal!

aveda air control hairspray 

my must-have hairspray for any time i style my hair. it has great hold, it doesn’t leave my hair crunchy or stiff (seriously, my friends don’t believe that i have hairspray in when i use it) and it doesn’t have a typical hairspray chemical smell. i don’t ever see myself going back to any other hairspray after using this stuff.

note: some products mentioned have been provided to me by the company, however all opinions are my own and i was not obligated to share any thoughts about the products.


april favorites.

april favorites.

Check out what I’ve been loving in the month of april! IMG_2847.JPG

dl1961 denim. 

I bought two pairs of these and they have been a total game changer! I practically live in leggings, but these are so stretchy I never felt uncomfortable like I do when I wear other jeans. They also run a little larger than the other denim brands I had been purchasing before, which meant that they never got too tight after a large meal!

mr kate on youtube. 

Not even gonna lie, I have been an avid HGTV fan since high school. So I was thrilled to find Mr Kate on YouTube! They have a couple of different series, some of them redoing the house that they bought and some where they makeover spaces of other social media influencers, and I have been hooked on both! I really like that they are younger, so a lot of their content matches my style, and they show you how to do really great DIYs for really cheap! I also bought Kate’s book, featured above, where she talks about different experiences she’s had as an interior designer and gives even more DIY tips than the show does!

tarte sex kitten palette 

I bought this palette on a whim and loved it so much it has become my new everyday eye palette! It pairs unexpected neutral eyeshadows with a peachy rose gold highlight color and allows you to create so many different looks. I especially like it because some of the colors are a little more unconventional than what you’d find in something like a naked palette, so even in a sea of nude eyes you can create a look thats different than everyone else.

tule fog candles.

I bought the Fig + Vine scent this month, and it is the most delicious thing I have ever smelled. I seriously would wear it as a perfume if they made it! But what I love most is that they are a Bay Area based company that uses only ethical and sustainably sourced materials, and give many tips on how to be kind to mother earth, including posting different ways to recycle the jars on instagram! I’ll likely be planting a succulent in mine once the candle runs out (and heading out to repurchase my fave scent!).

e.l.f. hydrating primer

The weather in the bay has been all over the place, which made my skin even dryer than it usually is. I picked up this primer at target and love how soft it makes my skin feel, even when I use a ton of drying lotion every night! Plus it’s so inexpensive, it can easily fit into anyone’s makeup budget.

glossier cloud paints.

I haven’t had great luck with cream blush in the past, but when I saw these were on sale I couldn’t resist. I picked up two shades – dusk and haze – and they are both so pigmented and look great on any skintone! You only need the tiniest bit to give you a nice flush, and I’ve found they work best when applied over foundation with a very damp sponge (I use the same one that I use for my foundation and don’t rinse off in between for an even softer look). They also stay on for forever — as in, I forgot to take off my face makeup before running forever — but come off easily with a face wash or makeup remover! I also love how the packaging looks like a little acrylic paint tube, it was a really cute touch to a great product!

heatstroke by calvin harris ft. young thug, pharell, and ariana grande  

I saw Ariana Grande on her dangerous woman tour at the end of march, and was so excited when this song came out about a week later! I have been listening to it nonstop because it was the best balance between my post-concert obsessing and wanting new songs from Ariana. Plus, it has the perfect vibes to get you in the mood for warmer weather!

*all opinions in this post are my own, and i paid for all products with my own money. this is not sponsored by any of the above brands.* 
february favorites.

february favorites.

I’ve been loving a lot of things this month! Check them out below:

forever21 high rise skinnies

i bought a few pairs of these in black when my local store was having a sale, and i became obsessed! they are a very flattering fit (on me, the rise hits right below my navel and the leg hits right above the ankle), they have the perfect amount of stretch, and they are lightweight enough that I am sure I will get a ton of use from them even in the summer. 


i realize this is a broad category, but the sales have been great at pacsun this month! first they had buy one get two free for all sale, so i went with my boyfriend to split the cost and scored a kendall and kylie bomber jacket and black ribbed turtleneck, while he picked up a black brixton hoodie. then we went back after i had a job interview at the same mall and noticed they had 70% off all sale items, so we had to take another look! this time i picked up a boxy, oversize pink sweater and he got a black hooded windbreaker. they have had a lot of great brands on sale each time i’ve looked, so i would definitely recommend going to your nearest store and checking it out! 

nyx bright idea illuminating stick in lavender lust 

lavender is my favorite color, so i love finding ways to incorporate it into my everyday look. this highlighting stick gives such a nice wash of color and natural highlight, and makes me look super awake when i’m tired in the morning! my favorite way to use it is to swipe it on my cheekbones and blend in with a damp sponge. 

gardening (kind of?)  

I have been trying to add more plants into my living space because they can purify the air, and I love the touch of green it adds to the room. However, I am terrible at keeping plants alive so I asked a friend who works at a nursery to help me pick out some plants that would be low maintenance for me. We ended up deciding on some sansiveria plants, which are a part of the cactus family so they are as low maintenance as it gets!  I currently have two variations of them and can’t wait to pick out a few more! 


My high school art teacher was really hard on me and my artistic abilities, and pushed me away from painting for years. I decided to order some watercolors this month as a hobby to do in my free time, and I have been loving it! At first it was just for fun but I have actually been getting pretty good at it for some basic designs like fruit and birds. I picked up this watercolor set that came with a decent set of brushes and this pad of watercolor paper on amazon for under $30 all together! 

coffee with chrachel 

I have been obsessed with this podcast for months now, but i had to include it in my first favorites post. Chris and Rachel sit down twice a week and record a podcast discussing everything under the rainbow, from politics to harry potter to video games to their cats, and they also answer listener questions. I can always count on this podcast to put me in a good mood, and it makes for a fun listen if you have a commute a little under an hour! I should warn that the topics and language are not always safe for work, so take precaution and bring headphones if you like to listen to podcasts in your office environment. 


I am honestly terrible at saving money, but this app makes it so easy! It basically just rounds up to the nearest dollar (or two, or three – you get to decide) every time you make a purchase with your debit card, and once you reach your goal you can transfer it into your savings account. They also have a feature where you can create a goal with multiple people, which I haven’t tried out, but would be great for saving up for a trip you plan on doing with your friends! Click here to download the app and get $5 free just for signing up! 

blue calcite 

I have been really drawn to this crystal this month. Blue calcite is known to boost creativity, which is something that I’ve always felt like I’ve needed more of this month. It is also connected to the throat chakra which is great because my allergies have really been acting up with how drastically the weather has been changing in the Bay Area (it was around 70 degrees on Valentine’s Day and then pouring rain two days later!)