Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Tips & Tricks Tuesday | Quick Solutions for Sudden Breakouts

We've all been there. Our skin can be flawless for days, weeks, even months at at time, but every now and then, we get that pesky pimple. It can be frustrating, especially when you think you've finally nailed a skincare routine that works for you. However, there's always a solution. Here are a few tips you can try if you're faced (no pun intended) with a sudden breakout.

  • Break your routine | If you've been exfoliating more frequently, take a break and try a more gentle cleanser. The same goes for if you've been using a simple face wash, try exfoliating a couple days out of the week. Sometimes our skin, much like us, can settle into a routine and get a bit too comfortable. By changing your routine, you're giving your skin a little wake up call to start rejuvenating itself again. 
  • Go back to an old favorite | An old, trusted product is old and trusted for a reason. It's that product that you always seem to repurchase. Though you may not use it everyday, when you do, it always comes through. If you're someone who constantly likes to try new things (i.e. a skincare junkie), take a break from experimenting and go back to a product that you know works well with your skin. I'm sure it would appreciate a visit from an old friend. 
  • Treat the problem, and only the problem | If you're only battling one spot as opposed to a major breakout, focus your energy (and products) solely on that area. Many acne treatments can be quite drying to the skin, so using it all over the face can actually end up doing more harm than good in the long run. Sure, the problem area will disappear, but the "good skin" can end up extremely dried out. Then you'll have another battle on your hands: flaky skin. That's never cute.
Now, if you're experiencing sudden breakouts because it's that wonderful time of the month, unfortunately, you may just have to wait it out. You can try all of the tips above, but period acne is caused by internal hormonal changes. External treatments can subdue breakouts, but won't eliminate them completely. Drink plenty of water, eat chocolate whenever you want, and just be patient. It'll all be over soon.

Hope you found this helpful! If you have any other breakout treatment related questions, you're always welcome to ask in the comments section below or chat with me on Twitter

Monday, July 28, 2014

Best, Finds | No. 7

Almost two months into Best, Finds and I've really been enjoying this series. I hope you have been too! As always, if there are any internet finds of your own that you would like to share with me, feel free! For now, here are a few of my favorite posts of the last week.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • As soon as I watched this video I knew I had to share it with all of you. Tanya Burr is another YouTuber that I've been watching for a long time now. Her accent is adorable, her personality is always bubbly, and you just can't help but fall in love with her. However, what made me want to share her most recent Get Ready With Me (GRWM) was her outfit. I absolutely adore everything about it, especially the shoes. Check it out and you'll see what I mean. (Tanya Burr)
  • As always, The Man Repeller is one step ahead of me. While I am enjoying the summer rays, nothing would satisfy me more than the temperature dropping a few (okay, several) degrees so that I can bring out my boots and leather jacket. It would seem that the writers over at MR feel the same way; they've already started drafting up a fall fashion wish list of sorts. Though I was trying to live in the moment and enjoy the remainder of the summer, they have only validated my feelings for fall to pick up the pace and arrive already. (The Man Repeller)
  • If you don't know by now, I have a serious affinity towards more minimalistic styles...in fact if you don't know that, you must be new here. Welcome! Anyways, because of my lust over all things plain, this post by Into The Gloss had me at "The Best Barely-There Nail Polishes." I want to try every single one of them, although that may get quite repetitive. I'll simply justify it by using every beauty girl's go-to excuse, "They aren't exactly the same." That ought to do the trick. (Into The Gloss)
  • I don't believe I've talked about the weight loss journey that I've embarked on this summer yet, but I don't see why I wouldn't share that with you. Of course, I still slip up; I'm a poor college kid with three 7-Eleven branches at my disposal. However, overall, I think I've been doing much better with my eating habits. Luckily, I came across this post earlier this week which is sure to help me stay on track and help me get rid of those last stubborn inches off my waist. I'll be sure to keep you updated on my progress! (Amelia Liana)
  • I haven't been following her for long, but I've fallen absolutely head over heels for Kristina of Kayture. Everything about her style appears so effortless and I've loved every look she's posted. It doesn't hurt that she's been travelling recently so each style post has had some spectacular back drop to accompany it. This particular post shot in Greece has to be one of my favorites so far, with Mykonos being on my bucket list of places to visit. What's more? She's 20 years old! At 21, I could be tempted to question my life choices while gawking at her blog but instead, she's only pushed me to work even harder. Thanks Kristina! (Kayture)
Remember to check out these phenomenal bloggers and feel free to recommend any of your favorites below!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

What I Wore | 07.22.14

1 | 2 | 3

The other day, it was pretty hot to say the least. So, I opted for this sheer crop top that I paired with a black strapless bra. I also added this flowy, cotton maxi skirt to give my legs some semblance of breathing room. Because it hangs a little long on me (and because I wanted to add a little interest), I tied the hem of the skirt into a low-hanging knot, something I often do. I threw on my trusted minimalistic sandals and called it a day. Unfortunately, I could no longer find the sandals online, so I linked a similar pair with an added metallic detail instead.

Once I get a fairly nice camera, I plan on taking a few shots of my OOTDs to bring you even more What I Wore posts. If there's anything specific you would like to see, let me know!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Best, Finds | No. 6

This past week...has been super long to say the least. Luckily, I was able to find a few moments to relax and enjoy these posts.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
  • I often struggle with taking high quality photos using my iPhone 4S, but this post by Nouvelle Daily gave me plenty of ideas on how to change all that. It may not be perfect quality, but it will definitely improve my Instagram posts from now on! (Nouvelle Daily)
  • Interior design isn't something that I talk about often on my blog, but I want to start incorporating it slowly. I've recently found so many home decor blogs that my inspiration bookmark folder is getting ridiculous. One of those blogs is Homesick, which has helped me think of creative ways to decorate my new place and I could not be more excited. (Homesick)
  • I haven't stumbled upon a good manicure post in a little while so when I saw this, my eyes lit up. I've been seriously into neutrals lately (in every area) and it would seem that nails are no exception. If I had the time to execute this properly, I would. Until then, I suppose I'll just have to stick to my one-note fingers. (Door Sixteen)
  • I ran into something I've never thought of doing: a makeup detox. But I'm torn. On the one hand, I could never fathom throwing out any of my makeup. On the other, I look through my collection all too often and say, "Ew, I don't even use this anymore." This post came at the perfect time for me to kick my hoarder ways, in the midst of my move. Hopefully it will help you as well! (Gh0st Parties)
  • She's baaaaaaaack! One of my absolute favorite bloggers and YouTubers, Shirley B. Eniang, has finally returned and looks better than ever. I've been a huge fan of her style (in fashion, makeup, and interior design) for over a year now and I'm happy to see that her recent life detox has rejuvenated her. I should definitely take a page out of her book and make a few changes. With so many new and exciting things on the horizon, I need to be prepared to face them all with a smile and a confident attitude. (Shirley's Wardrobe)
Hope you enjoy these posts from these lovely ladies of the internet! I know I did. And remember, let me know in the comments below if there's anything I missed that you would like me to check out!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Report Card | Sephora Collection Contour Eye Pencil in Flashy Green

I've had this eyeliner since my senior year of high school when the product was known as Sephora Flashy Eyeliner. I'm not sure when I first picked it up, however I do remember the moment I realized it would remain in my makeup collection for a very long time.

The last day of senior year is a notorious tear-fest, but despite all of the crying I did that day, this eyeliner (which I rimmed on my lower lash line by the way) did not budge at all. When I got into my friend's car and checked my face in the mirror, I expected to see a green, streaky mess, but to my surprise, everything stayed in place!

If you're looking to add a pop of color to your summer makeup routine, give this product a try in any one of their incredible, long-lasting shades. It will stay on even the most oily skin or the biggest cry babies. Already a fan of this product? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Hope you enjoyed the first installment of this new series, Report Card, which will solely feature product reviews. As always, I'm open to feedback so if there's anything you would like me to review let me know!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tips & Tricks Tuesday | One Product Three Ways

Today's tip will be fairly brief, but a good tip nonetheless. I've been using Noxzema products for years now, but it never occurred to me that the way I use it is different from others. Here are a few ways I use the moisturizing product as much more than just a cleanser.

  • Cleanser | Of course, Noxzema has been a tried and trusted deep facial cleanser for decades now (it's been on the market since 1914, in fact). I inherited my love for Noxzema from my mother, but after trying several other cleansers, this one has been a consistent staple in my regimen for years now, and it will remain that way for years to come. It cleans deeply without stripping your skin of all its moisture. It actually leaves your skin feeling more moisturized and softer than before! The tingly feeling the eucalyptus oil provides is simply an added bonus.
  • Face Mask | This is actually a little trick I picked up about a year ago. The concept is the same: you apply the product to your face generously. The only difference is the amount of time you leave it on. Typically, I apply the Noxzema to my face while it's dry and leave it on while I shower. Once I'm done showering, I simply rinse it off and keep it moving. Doing it this way is super efficient when you're pressed for time and makes for an even deeper clean. 
  • Shaving Cream | I shared this tip in passing with a friend this morning and was met with a blank stare. I had adopted this trick so long ago that I didn't even realize that I'm probably one a few that does it! I can't remember where I picked up the habit, but it comes in handy when I run out of shaving gel. In fact, most of the time I don't even buy shower gel anymore; Noxzema has become my one-stop shop. It moisturizes the shaving area just as it would your face, which is great because moisturizing the area softens the hair follicles and makes for an easier, cleaner shave. All you're left with is clean, baby smooth skin. 
Pick up a jar of Noxzema Moisturizing Cleansing Cream to test these tips out for yourself! It's relatively inexpensive and a little goes a long way so this large container will last a while and you're sure to get your money's worth. Let me know how it works out for you in the comments below!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Best, Finds | No. 5

Not that I've been very consistent with this, but when I originally started this series, my intention was to post every Saturday. However, I've come to realize I don't like posting on the weekends...and I often forget to schedule Best, Finds ahead of time. Despite my shortcomings, I've also realized that I thoroughly enjoy posting on Mondays. There's something about starting off a new work week with a blog post that makes it more bearable. I mean after all, while it is work to maintain a blog, for me, it's more comforting than it is tedious. I said all that to say that Best, Finds will now be posted every Monday. A fresh list of great links to kick off the week. So, without further ado, here are the best things I've found over the past week.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

  • As a long time fan of Kelly of The Glamourai (and long time mis-speller of the blog's name), I've noticed that she always seems to style herself so effortlessly. This week, of course, was no exception as she reminds us that monochromatic palettes are truly timeless. (The Glamourai
  • I haven't shared much related to interior design, but if you follow me on Pinterest then you know how much I love it. Apparently, Thou Swell has a weakness for decor as well. The clean palette he shared recently really appealed to me and since I'll be moving soon, I need all the inspiration I can get! (Thou Swell)
  • Speaking of weaknesses, I've always had a soft spot for tie-dye and watercolor effects. I'm not exactly sure why. Knowing that, it should come as no surprise that I fell head over heels for the pieces Folk & Fest posted this week. I would wear every single one...every single day. (Folk & Fest)
  • What can I say about Karla? Um, how about she's wonderful? Another style blogger I've followed for years now, she always pushes the boundaries while somehow remaining so subdued and classy. I love it. (Karla's Closet)
  • As if I needed another reason to add things to my own wishlist, Emma Lou created one of her own that I completely need to steal items from. But don't worry Emma, I'm sure Urban Outfitters has enough to satisfy the both of us. (Emma Lou)
Hope you enjoyed and, as always, if there's a blog post, YouTube video, or anything on the web that you think was amazing this past week, share in the comments below!

Friday, July 11, 2014

F+ | Just The Two of Us

Philadelphia, PA

On Me
1. Dress | Express
2. Shoes | Eternity Fashion on Chestnut Street
3. Lip color | Revlon Super Lustrous Lipstick in Va Va Violet

On Daryl
1. Top | Express
2. Bowtie | Express
3. Slacks | Men's Warehouse
4. Shoes | Steve Madden

If you follow either of us on Instagram, these pictures are nothing new. But for those of you who don't, here's a little peak at what the two of us wore to Beyonce and Jay Z's On The Run Tour last Saturday.

Honestly, this post was only supposed to feature my boyfriend. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you look at it), neither of us took any individual pictures...at least any that turned out nice. But together, I think they turned out pretty amazing.

If you want to see these pictures before anyone else the next time around (and I know you do), follow us on our social networks!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Summer Beauty Tag

I really enjoy participating in tags so I thought, why not one more? Hope you enjoy!

What is the best part of summer time?
Swimming! I didn't realize how much I loved swimming until I made the decision to stay in Philadelphia for the summer. I still have yet to find a great outdoor pool or make a day trip to the beach, but that has to change soon if I'm going to keep my sanity.

Do you tan or burn?
I tan...a lot. I can actually count on one hand the number of black people I know that have gotten sunburned. Perhaps it's the melanin it our skin that keeps us from being burned. I'll look that up. 

Favorite summer nail polish?
This year it's been changing a lot so I won't name a specific brand and color name. But, I have been gravitating towards bright shades of orange and powder blues. 

Favorite summer drink/beverage?
Lemonade, iced coffee, and mojitos. 

Favorite summer clothing item?
Maxi skirts and crop tops. Sorry that was two items; clearly I'm not good at following directions. 

Favorite phone app during this summer?
Overall, I think this question is kind of dumb but I suppose I'll say Instagram because it's full of great vacation photos.

Favorite summer movie?
Again, kind of a dumb question but I guess I'll go with any superhero movie. Those are typically really big summer blockbusters and I'm a huge fan of them all.

Favorite summer beauty product?
Anything with a gold, peach, or bronze shimmer. Those tones look great against my skin tone when the sun hits it.

Favorite summer activity?
Swimming! I swear, if I don't get in a pool soon I'm going to lose it. 

Favorite type of lip product for the summer time?
Lip balm with SPF. Easy. 

If you'd also like to participate, I tag you! Feel free to copy and paste The Summer Beauty Tag questions in your platform and share your own thoughts. I'd love to hear all of your summer favorites; comment below with the link to your answers so I can check it out!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Best, Finds | On The Run J+B

Best, Finds will return to its regularly scheduled programming, but first, there's no way I can go without sharing with you my experience at Jay Z and Beyonce's On The Run tour. Honestly, there are no words to properly express how amazing their show was and, truthfully, "show" isn't even the right word to describe what I witnessed. It felt as if I was watching a live play of their life together. Their combined body of work spans decades and their relationship together is a close second. They used their songs to tell the audience a story starting from the beginning of their relationship, touching on the hardships in between, and ending on a beautiful note, reassuring the crowd of their future together, stronger than ever.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Birthday America!

Usually I would post a  picture of fireworks because...well, I'm obsessed with them. I live for holidays like Independence Day simply because I know I'll be able to see fireworks light up the night sky. This year, however, I opted to embrace our red, white, and blue in a cute little mood board that you can feel free to share.

If you're spending the 4th in Philadelphia, here's a list of a ton of great things to do today. Wherever you are, stay safe and have an amazing time!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

June Favorites 2014

Beauty | So, don't judge me, but I borrowed yet another nail polish from Amber this month. I've been wanting to try a bright orange on my nails and this color is perfect. It's coral in some lights, neon orange in others, and perfect in all of them. P.S. Shameless plug: Amber has recently rebranded and it's absolutely gorgeous. Check it out!

Body | I've always trusted St. Ives as a brand in general so if I'm looking to try something new, I know they'll come through. Of course, when I went to look for a good body scrub, their sea salt one didn't disappoint. I typically prefer more coarse body scrub because I'm a glutton for punishment, but I know that in the long run this more gentle exfoliant is healthier for my skin.

Fashion | I bought these ages ago but I've been wearing them so much this month...probably too much actually. They're like the classy version of sweatpants to me. You can dress them up or down depending on how you accessorize and they're beyond comfortable. I have them in black and in a blue tie dye pattern but I definitely plan on getting at least one more pair before the summer's up.

Accessories | I'm not sure if I've ever shared this piece on the blog, but my boyfriend Daryl got me this two Christmases ago. It's not exactly a June favorite but more of an all-the-time favorite. I especially love rose gold accents in the summer as my skin tans; it's the best contrast.

Techie | I could use this as an opportunity to go on a rant about my broken cell phone but instead I'll just talk about my saving grace. You never realize how dependent you are on technology until you don't have it. So to feed my addiction, Mavericks stepped in to fill the place of my phone. I was finally able to text again and the new notifications feature is everything I never knew I needed. I'm not really sure how they're going to top this system in the fall.

Song | I've easily played Na Na over a billion and two times this month and I regret nothing. The album, of course, is nothing short of perfection and you should get it immediately. You're welcome.

Munchies | I wish I had something new to share but I honestly haven't tried anything new this month...adventurous, I know. Let me know if there's anything you've been loving that you think I should try in July!