My Skincare Routine

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I have mentioned it a few times before on the blog, but in the past year and a half or so, I have really stepped up my skincare game. My skincare routine used to consist of a generic drug store face wash, Neutrogena makeup remover wipes and the occasional spot treatment cream/ gel for blemishes. Not to say that doesn’t work for everyone, but that certainly did NOT work for me. Once I moved to Philadelphia and was living in the city, my skin got even worse and I finally started prioritizing my skincare.

Nine months later, I feel confident enough to leave the house with no face makeup without feeling self conscious about my skin. Keeping this consistent routine has helped my skin tremendously. Everyone’s skin is different and I urge you to find out what’s right for your skin to keep it healthy and clean. I hope this post will give you a few new products to try out and if nothing else, inspire you to find a personalized skincare routine for yourself! I’ll warn you, my routine is on the longer side and I go into lots of detail in this post, but there is something special at the end of the post you don’t want to miss ūüėČ

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MORNING SKINCARE ROUTINE

  • Face wash: Mario Badescu Acne Facial Cleanser. This was the first product I started using when I was trying to clear up my skin this year. After a month and a half or so, I noticed major differences in my skin.
  • Oil: Bio Oil. I’ve been using Bio Oil on the acne scarring I have on the sides of my face. I just started using this product a few weeks ago, so the long term results are to be determined. So far, it hasn’t made anything worse and it hasn’t made me breakout. The scarred areas are a little smoother than before, so hopefully that’s a step in the right direction.
  • Toner: Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion. I don’t do this everyday, but when my skin is breaking out or just feels dirty or clogged, I swipe this toner over my skin using a cotton round.
  • Moisturizer: Mario Badescu Oil Free SPF 30 Moisturizer. I love this moisturizer because it doesn’t clog up my skin, it’s super hydrating without being oily AND it has SPF!
  • Rosewater Spray: Glossier Soothing Face Mist or Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray. I love how hydrating this stuff is. It also gives my skin the nicest glow! I spritz this on almost every morning after I put my moisturizer on. I also find myself throwing the bottle in my bag if I’m out for the day and giving myself an afternoon pick-me-up spritz!

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EVENING SKINCARE ROUTINE

  • Makeup Remover: Garnier Micellar Water. I didn’t understand all the micellar water hype until I tried it. I used to use Neutrogena makeup remover wipes even though they made my eyes itch and skin burn. So, I made the switch to the micellar water and LOVE it! It is so gentle and takes all my makeup off. Another perk is it is cheaper than most makeup wipes (the bottle lasts waaaay longer than a pack of wipes) and is environmentally friendly. I use cotton rounds to apply the micellar water to my face.
  • Face Wash: Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser. By this point in the post, I’m sure you’re not even surprised that I have yet another Glossier product in my daily skincare regiment. If you didn’t see this post¬†declaring my love for the brand, you know now that I am a huge Glossier fan and this was the product that converted me! This face wash is so gentle and also takes off makeup, which is a nice back-up in case I missed anything with my micellar water. This cleanser is so gentle and soothing, but after washing it off, my skin feels really clean.
  • Toner:¬†Mario Badescu Special Cucumber Lotion. If my skin is feeling dirty at all (if I’ve been in the city, sweating or my skin is breaking out), I’ll use this toner again at night. Like in the morning, I also put Bio Oil over the acne scarring on the sides of my face. I’m still testing this product out, so results are TBD!

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  • Serum: Glossier Super Pure, Super Bounce or Super Glow. I’ve gotten to know my skin and know what it needs. If it’s breaking out, I’ll use Super Pure. If it’s dehydrated and dry, I’ll use Super Bounce. If it’s dull and rough, I’ll use Super Glow. It depends on the day, but I use Super Bounce and Pure the most.
  • Moisturizer: Glossier Priming Moisturizer. This stuff is so hydrating but doesn’t make your skin oily. It’s pure magic, I’m convinced. Before I had a real skincare routine, I never even used moisturizer. Now, if I get out of the shower at night and forget to moisturize, I can’t go 45 minutes without my skin tightening up and feeling super dry. This is definitely one of my favorite products I own! If I’m feeling like it, I put on a spritz of rosewater spray after my moisturizer at night, too ūüôā
  • Spot Treatment: I haven’t found one definitive spot treatment that I love yet, but as of now I use either Mario Badescu Drying Cream or Clinique Acne Solutions Clinical Healing Gel. I’m waiting to find that magic product that makes blemishes disappear overnight. If you have a go-to spot treatment/ pimple magic product, let me know in the comments below!

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In addition to this lengthy routine, I also try to do a face mask once every week or so. I alternate between using TONY MOLY Sheet Masks and the Glossier Mask Duo (Mega Greens Galaxy Pack & Moisturizing Moon Mask). Depending on how much time I have and what my skin needs, sometimes I only do one of the Glossier masks or even put one mask on part of my face and the other mask on another section of my face- haha! You’ve probably realized how many Glossier products I have on here, which is why I have a special treat for you! If you use this link to shop any Glossier products, you can receive 10% off your purchase.

Whew! Typing out my skincare routine made me realize just how long it is! Even though my routine is pretty cemented, I always love hearing what other people do/ products they use, so let me know your favorite skincare products and/ or your routine in the comments below! 

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored, but by using the Glossier link above to receive 10% off, I also receive $5 off a purchase through their refer-a-friend program. This blog is not affiliated with Glossier- I am just a big fan of their products and genuinely want to spread the word! 

Summer Bookshelf

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As I’ve mentioned on Twitter a few times, I’ve been reading up a storm the past few months. I made it one of my New Year’s Resolutions to read every night before bed, and I’ve stuck to it. I always loved reading, but in the past I never made time for it, so I would have the same book sitting on my nightstand for 6 months because I would check my phone and watch Netflix in my spare time instead of reading. Now, don’t get me wrong. I still check my phone (admittedly way to much) and watch my fair share of Netflix (obsessing over Jane the Virgin right now- anyone else?), but I also make time for reading. Cristina recently wrote a little bit about this and it really resonated with me:¬†if you want to read, then prioritize and make time for reading.¬†

On that note, I wanted to share a few of my favorite books that I’ve recently read. To stay updated on new books I’m reading and want to read, be sure to follow me on Goodreads. I just downloaded it last week and am really loving it so far. It’s a fun way to find books, follow what friends are reading and stay on track with your personal reading goals.

The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis //¬†The Dollhouse tells two parallel stories, both set in New York City, one in the 1950’s and one in modern times. It tells the story of two women living in the same building: the Barbizon women’s hotel (1950’s) and condos (today). The novel takes you through their stories while uncovering some mysteries & untold stories in the process. Definitely my favorite book in this post today!

The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessero // The Perfume Collector is structured in a very similar way as The Dollhouse, bouncing back between two characters, connecting their stories as the novel progresses. This novel follows Grace Munroe, who had just been given a lot of money from a stranger, on her quest for understanding and closure. Another great historical fiction!

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford¬†// The summer is the time for fun books, and¬†Everybody Rise is just that. This novel follows Evelyn Beegan as she maneuvers her way through the Manhattan social scene in the mid-2000’s. She is desperately trying to disguise her way through the Upper East Side old money and make her mark on Manhattan. I went through this book loving and hating Evelyn but had to keep reading to see what she would do next!

The Husband’s Secret¬†by Liane Moriarty //¬†I watched¬†Big Little Lies and had never even heard of Liane Moriarty before. Now, I’m reading all of her books and can’t believe I haven’t heard of her until now!¬†The Husband’s Secret¬†is the series of events following Cecilia Fitzpatrick as she reads a letter her husband wrote, which was only to be opened upon his death, but he is still alive and well.

The Knockoff¬†by Lucy Skyes and Jo Piazza¬†// This was such a fun read. I love reading books that are related to the fashion industry in any way, and this was so perfect. It follows¬†GLOSSY Magazine¬†editor Imogen Tate through the rapidly changing world of fashion and tech. If you’re in the fashion/ tech worlds (or are just a devoted follower, like me!), you’ll love this book and probably get a few laughs from the parallels between this and the real world.

What have you been reading this summer? Let me know in the comments below!

Summer Trend: Blue & White

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Graphic made in Photoshop. Image credit from left to right: Background image, image 1, image 2, image 3, image 4. 

For the past few years, my go-to outfit, at any point in the season, would be black and white. Stripes, solids, all black in the winter, all white in the summer… my outfits were more or less always a variation of black, white and sometimes grey. This spring, in spirit of my style resolution to wear more color, I experimented with adding more color and am hooked on the latest trend: blue and white. I feel like everywhere I look (blogs, fashion magazines, stores etc), people are wearing blue and white. One of the most popular variations I’ve seen is the classic blue and white stripes or gingham, but there are tons of other patterns and ways to style this trend. I’ve picked up a few blue and white items myself that I am looking forward to styling for the blog. For now, here’s some inspiration I found via Pinterest for the summer’s hottest trend.

Image credit linked above except for bottom center image, credited here.

How are you styling blue and white this summer? Let me know in the comments!

Chambray Ruffle Sleeve Top

I felt like I was in such a fashion rut at the beginning of the summer. I was working almost every day and felt like I had nothing to wear! I hadn’t really done any shopping for spring or summer, so I decided to pick up a few things halfway into the season. One of my favorite outfits I’ve put together since is featuring two of my new purchases: my chambray ruffle sleeve top and my long¬†beaded necklace. The top is super comfortable and versatile, which I love because I can wear it into the fall. As for the necklace, I have been seeing this trend all over Pinterest and Tumblr lately and have been looking for the perfect necklace with which to test it out.

My two lovely friends Lexie and Caroline (be sure to follow them!) headed into Princeton for some good old fashioned girl time featuring dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, shooting blog pictures and lots of laughs. Spending time with “your people” is one of the best feelings in the world, and that’s how our entire night was!

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What new trends have you tried lately? Comment below! 

A Year in Philadelphia

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While I wasn’t as active on this blog as I had hoped during my first year living in Philadelphia, hopefully these pictures will give a good recap. For any new readers, I just finished my freshman year at Drexel University, located in the heart of University City, Philadelphia, studying Design & Merchandising. In short, I loved everything about it. My classes, my professors, my friends, the city…

I was going through my camera roll today to make a scrapbook/ journal of my year and decided what better way to get back into blogging than share the highlights of the last 9 months on here. These are just a few snapshots of my year in Philly. Looking forward to the next three!

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Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens
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Two Door Cinema Club at the Filmore
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Free People in Rittenhouse Square
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Coffee at One Shot in Northern Liberties
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Design I Project
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Philadelphia Flower Show
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Brunch at Little Spoon
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Intro to Drawing Final inspired by @blairz
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Exploring Rittenhouse
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URBN Urban Outfitters Headquarters at the Naval Yard for the Drexel Fashion Show

Cultivating Creativity

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I‚Äôve spent the last year in what some would call art school. I‚Äôve taken drawing, painting, design and computer imaging classes with some of the most creative, innovative, inspiring people I have ever met. Throughout my life, i have always admired ‚Äúcreative‚ÄĚ people and wished I could be like them. Those who could be inspired by their surroundings and create something. I thought I never had that potential. I was creative, but in a different way. I could never make art. Sure, I could write a very well-written, thought-provoking piece on a topic that deeply interested me, style pictures and outfits and maintain a blog, but creating art, no way. Spending this last year taking many visual studies classes, I learned that I too am truly capable and creative, and anyone can be.

We live in a world dictated by results, wanting to do things the right way and following formulas. We have a set idea of results we need and do our best to get there as efficiently as possible. Instead of rushing through life to achieve results, I learned that the best results often come from creative exploration. Some of my best works were those where I had the most opportunity to play and experiment. There are no SparkNotes or short cuts for creatives.

I was so frustrated with my professor for giving us a final project in which our only instructions were to create a twelve panel mixed media work that ‚Äúexplored the motion of time through space‚ÄĚ using the various techniques and styles with which we had worked throughout the term. What the heck is the exploration of motion through time and space?! And how the heck was I supposed to write an essay describing what I painted?! But I figured it out, and my work had a purpose. And I got that A+. Why? Because I was given creative freedom. I was given multiple weeks to explore and play around with various techniques, styles and ideas before settling on the final piece. I worked with my fellow students, got their advice and also critiqued their work and got inspired from them. And the work of my peers was so different than mine, but equally beautiful. Seeing how everyone took this confusing, vague prompt and created something expressive, meaningful and well crafted was inspiring in and of itself!

So take some time to just explore. Whether that is going somewhere by yourself to get some clarity or just sitting down with some pen and paper, exploring and playing are good for the mind and the soul. If you want to learn to paint, go to Michael’s, buy some paint and paper and experiment. I am certain you will create something you never thought possible. It may even lead to a bigger, better idea. If I learned one thing in college this year, it is that the best things happen unexpectedly.

I have made it a priority in my life to take time to create and think, whether it is writing, drawing, collaging or painting in my sketchbook. Sometimes, that process means taking time to read, watch and admire others’ work. Everyone’s creative process is different, but that’s what makes it fun. Buy a cheap journal and just play. Collage, paint, draw, write, sew, doodle, finger paint… just create something for the sake of creating something. Step out of the mindset of following a specific plan for specific results. Take a step away to explore, experiment, discover and play and you too will be creative.

 

image via Tumblr

New Year’s Style Resolutions

With the New Year, there is so much talk about resolutions and how to use the next 365 days to make yourself a better you. I love the idea of the¬†clean, fresh slate that a New Year brings. I always make a few resolutions or goals that I try to work on throughout the year. A few days after New Year’s Day, I was sitting at home starting to pack up to go back to school for my winter term when I realized literally¬†all¬†of my clothes are black, white, grey or occasionally blush or olive. While often times a muted or all black look can be super chic and trendy, it also gets a little boring. So, I decided to make a New Year’s¬†style¬†resolution… to bring some color back into my life! Here’s some of my inspiration:

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Do you have any style resolutions this year? Comment below!