A Broke Girl’s Guide To: Skincare

I have been wanting to write this for a long time and finally have made the time to do it. I love sharing what products I am LIVING for with you guys. A few months ago, I made a A Broke Girl’s Guide To Makeup post that a lot of you babes loved so I decided to go a step further and make a similar post all around my favorite skincare products. I want to make this a series so let me know what other Broke Girl’s Guides you want me to make. Maybe I can do one on food or grocery shopping, let me know what you think. 

Makeup and skincare can get SO expensive but honestly, it doesn’t have to be. It’s true that luxury products tend to work better and last longer because of the ingredients that go into it but most people can’t afford to spend $83 on a serum. You don’t need to spend a lot of coin to have great skin.

Skincare routines can get super extensive which can also boost up the price. All of it isn’t necessary and your routine will look different than someone else’s because your skin can vary. There is a lot of noise out there and if you are someone like me, I watch a lot of Youtube videos educating myself on the products that are out there. While some products may work for the masses, it may not work for you so you may get discouraged but don’t let that stop you. A part of self-love is understanding what works for you and being confident in that. This principle applies to skincare and makeup too.

I am not a dermatologist but I do love skincare because its the basis of good makeup. Your skin is your biggest organ so how you treat it, matters. I find my skincare in all sorts of places. Thankfully my skin doesn’t get irritated when I test out different products but if you are more sensitive, figure out which ingredients work for your skin and which one’s don’t. That’ll narrow down your search on finding a routine that works for you.

Depending on the season or the climate I am in, my skin will fluctuate on what it needs. When it’s colder outside, I moisturize like crazy but when it’s humid I will use serums instead of creams. Again, you don’t need to be as extensive. All you really need is a good face wash, an exfoliant, moisturizer/serum, and a toner. These 4 or 5 products will help balance your skin.

Before you keep reading: These products work for my combo skin. Since it’s colder outside, I am drier but over the summer ya girl was OILY. Oily skin does need moisturizer too because it’ll help regulate your oil production on your face and it’s just good for your skin to be hydrated.

My skin needs will vary depending on how much sleep I get, how much water I am drinking, what I eat, and so many other things. This is what works for me right now so it can change. I am not acne prone unless I’m getting close to my period. I also try not to wear makeup too much because I like to let my skin breathe. If I have a meeting or an event to go to, I will put my blending brushes to work but for the most part, I don’t wear a lot of makeup on my day-to-day.

I am pretty picky when it comes to product. I love to try new stuff but my tried and true products are really near to my heart. Let me know what products you’re loving so I can test them out.

Facewash 

You shouldn’t spend a lot of money on face wash in my opinion because it’s one of those things that you will go through fast. A lot of drugstore brands are stepping up their game so the products are high quality

Eucerin Gentle Hydrating Face Wash– I bought a 3 pack and have been using it ever since. It is gentle and it foams so you really feel like you’re getting a deep clean. It hydrates as you wash it so you don’t feel like it is sucking your skin dry. I will do this after I take off my makeup with a Neutrogena Fragrance-Free Makeup wipe.

Cetaphil Face Wash – Love this one too but I use the Eucerin face wash more. This is a good face wash to have because it makes you feel clean and just gets off all the oil and dirt off your face. I’ve recommended this to some of my guy friends and they like it. Also, it’s $7 and will last you a long time.

Milky Jelly Cleanser from Glossier – Okay so not technically drug store but they have a travel size that has lasted me quite a bit. This is the softest cleanser I have ever used. It is super gentle and smells like roses. It makes your skin feel so smooth but clean. I know I keep saying that but this product doesn’t foam too much since it’s gel-like. It feels like you’re rubbing water on your skin in the best way. Try the travel sized first before making the commitment. I use 1-2 pumps on my finger and a little goes a longggg way.

If you’re acne prone: Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Pore Cleansing Acne Wash – Again, I am lucky to not have really bad acne but I heard good things from friends who use this. Let me know what other acne face washes you like so I can add it in.

Moisturizers/Serums – *Cue halo sound*

I loveeeeeeeeeeeeee a good moisturizer. I literally lather myself in oils and creams before I go to bed so my skin can stay hydrated. I have a few that I love for different reasons. During the day, I like to have something light and with SPF (it matters, trust me) and in the evening I like to go to bed feeling like I have been dipped in a vat of cream. Some people may not like that but waking up with soft skin is such a simple pleasure of mine. I love it so much.

Skincare Tip: Do not forget to moisturize your neck and your chest. Whatever you spread on your face, carry it down to your neck and collarbone to prevent early aging. 

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream – I wish I got the one with the pump but this is a good overall daily and nightly moisturizer. She’s thick you guys so be careful. This is an amazing daily moisturizer. It doesn’t clog your pores and makes your skin so soft. I also use this on my body too sometimes. It will last you a long time so you get a ton of product. I love the cream feel as opposed to a gel because I like to make sure my skin is getting the most moisture.

CeraVe SPF Facial Moisturizer  –  Say it with me “SPF matters”. No seriously, it does you guys. I didn’t care about it until recently when I was like “Oh I should really start caring because aging is a thing and so is sun damage”. Wear your SPF. Just do it. What I like about this is that it doesn’t smell too much like sunscreen and it absorbs really fast into the skin so you don’t feel sticky.

Serums

Serums are another way to keep your skin healthy. They are more gentle and the ingredients will seep into your skin differently than a moisturizer. It allows your skin to get deep hydration while staying light on your face. I use a serum inversely as a moisturizer, I don’t know if that’s what you’re supposed to do so facialists and estheticians, help me out with this one. Serums are also great because they can treat specific skincare needs. So for example, if you’re feeling really dry or dehydrated after a night out (🙋🏽) then you may want to go for a serum with hyaluronic acid versus. Or a serum to treat fine lines and wrinkles.

Skincare Tip: TJMaxx and Marshall’s has REALLY good skincare products (hit or miss depending on where you live) for cheap. When I was perusing the skincare shelves one day, I found so many amazing products that are normally really expensive but they had it for less and its the same. exact. thing. I was shook!

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Serum – Can you tell I love Neutrogena? I recently bought this and I love it. It is more watery but I expect that from a hydrating serum. If you don’t like fragrance or are sensitive to this, do not buy it. I’ll be honest, I don’t like fragrance in my skincare products. I think its unnecessary. The smell is there but it goes away once you rub it in. It leaves your skin feeling quenched and will absorb super quickly.

Valjean Labs Facial Serum – I found these at TJMaxx and am hooked. They’re simple ingredients in them. They have different ones for Glow, Restore, Hydrate, etc. I have those 3 and I have repurchased them. I think originally they’re like $15 but I bought them for $6 or $7. They last you a long time and like I said before, they treat certain things. I’ll use the Glow serum as a base sometimes before I apply my makeup to add some dewiness into my foundation. They absorb fast, do not have any bad smell to them, and I like how it has 2 ingredients. It keeps it simple and you know what you’re adding on your face.

Masks

Mask and chill, anyone? A good face mask and a nice movie is my kind of night. Please do not spend a lot of money on face masks unless you can afford it. I buy so many face masks a year (I should probably invest into a subscription). I have a few that I really like. Some I use as an overnight mask and other’s I’ll just put a sheet mask on and it gives me 20 minutes where no one can bother me.

I talk about these A LOT. I love them, they aren’t “drug store” but they’re $3 from Amazon. I love all of them. The Lavender Hydrating one is by far one of my favorites. Tony Moly makes a GOOOOOD face mask. I believe they are a Korean brand too and they do skincare REALLY well so I trust it.

Another Amazon find, I know a lot of people use this. It’s crazy how much it pulls out of your skin. I feel like my pores were vacuumed.  This is the Aztec Clay Mask .  This will last you a long time, you only need a little bit and it’s literal clay on your face. Wash it off and put some moisturizer on afterward and you are good to go. It can be messy so be careful.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Moisturizing Overnight Gel Cream Face Mask – This is $2 from Walgreens. An awesome hydrating overnight mask. I put it on at the very end of my routine and go to sleep. I think Neutrogena killed it with their Hydro Boost line. I am so happy they came out with it (not sponsored, but hit me up Neutrogena) because I think it’s super accessible. They have a deep clean one too that I haven’t tried but I want to.

Also, another Neutrogena product I am loving right now is their Deep Clean Sheet Mask. I think it gets the job done and it smells good to me. With sheet masks, I don’t really mind the smell of them.

I hope you enjoyed this post. I will be updating my routine as life goes on but again, skin care doesn’t need to be super expensive. I hope you all have a happy week wherever you are and be kind to yourself.

Self-Care Sunday: Anthony Bourdain

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide, depression, mental health.

If you are triggered or might be triggered by any of these topics do not feel obligated to read this post, I understand. There are plenty of other posts that I am confident you can connect with. If you need someone to talk to, my email or dms are always open. Someone is really listening.

In the past week, two legends chose to leave our world. When it comes to suicide or sudden death, there is no good “why” and it can be hard to understand why someone would make the choice to end their own life. Suicide hits close to home for me. A friend of mine this past September took his own life. I’ve been candid in speaking about him on my platform. Tony was one of my best friends. I didn’t see it coming and I wish I knew. I miss him every single day and pray that his heart is at peace.

Rest in peace to Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. There is so much that can be said about these two people. Kate Spade showed us that color and creativity can be a girls best accessory. Every time I unzip my Kate Spade wallet, I am reminded of her legacy and her impact. It pains me that her world wasn’t colorful

Anthony Bourdain used food, cuisine, and culture as the medium to show us that our global neighbors aren’t as different from us as we may think. My heart truly aches over the loss of these beautiful people. During the worst times of my eating disorder, Anthony Bourdain reminded me of my love and passion for global cuisine. He made the darkest parts of my struggle brighter.

This self-care Sunday is dedicated to them and to the millions of people who struggle with their own demons. Know that there is someone really listening. My email inbox is always open to anyone who wants to reach out. I will respond with open arms and I promise you are loved, I am here, and you are not alone. I promise that there is someone listening or who is willing to listen.

Data shows that in the months subsequent to celebrity suicides, suicide rates increase. Some people don’t feel comfortable talking to a hotline or a stranger but if you are going through this and feel like you have no one. There are people waiting for you to reach out. It takes a lot of courage to do so. So if you reach out to me or anyone or call this 1-800-273-8255 number, I am so thankful.

I want to point out that social media can be a toxic environment with anyone dealing with any level of a mental health issue. Social media is a highlight reel of people’s lives. We choose to put our happiest moments on there because we all want to be accepted and we all want to fit in somehow. It’s in our nature to have a sense of belonging to a group of people or someone. If you don’t find that in your physical community, there are millions of communities within reach by a few taps on a screen. So naturally, we are drawn to it. I catch myself doing this sometimes where I find myself posting a picture or a moment out of obligation. Since part of my job is to portray myself on social media, I feel like I have to always have it together when I don’t. I’m here to say that I wake up 99% of the time not knowing what the hell I’m doing. Sometimes I post things when I don’t feel the best about myself. I’ve even gone back to edit some instagram captions to point out the state I was in. I realized that I was being inauthentic when someone recently reached out to me and went “I love your page. You’re so positive”. I corrected them by saying “Thank you but I’m struggling right now. It’s not always positive”.

These celebrities who took their own lives should make us realize that no matter how successful you are or what your job is, you’re a human being and you are allowed to feel like the world is crumbling around you. They had all the resources at their fingertips but at the end of the day, but still made the choice to take their own lives. There are things all of us go to bed with and it can be overwhelming.

I think we need to live more authentically about the battles we go through because I feel like we’d be a lot more connected. I think our society is so polarized right now by political affiliation or these social identities that we forget the person we are judging is a human being too. We can’t wear these capes all by ourselves. We aren’t superheroes and even superheroes have weaknesses. I am so tired of this notion that we have to have it together all the time.

What saddens me about Anthony Bourdain is that he had the dream job: to eat, travel the world, and tell stories about forgotten places. When Bourdain had an episode of Iran I was so excited because finally, the world gets to see how amazing iranian cuisine is. It was like Anthony was enjoying the same bowl of Persian food I grew up. I felt connected to him. Other episodes of his made me more connected to the world around us. I felt a bit less alone. My cousin and I would sit and watch him while enjoying some amazing homecooked food. His authentic, creative, and unifying approach to storytelling reminded me why I love cuisine in the first place. The most communal moments happen when you can break bread with someone. His episode with Barack Obama was one of my favorites. Something about seeing the president of the United States sitting on a plastic stool in a foreign country made me so happy. Like I said before, Bourdain made food less intimidating for me. He tried pretty much everything and he was a scholar of culture. I always say food is the best vessel to experience culture and I am thankful to Anthony for showing us that.

We never knew. I think when you live on such a public stage you can’t come out and say you’re depressed. There are so many stigmas surrounded around mental health and the internet can be so mean. People will attack you for being human and until you are in their shoes you will never understand that pressure. We label people as crazy and until we can talk about mental health within our own communities and help one another, we can’t be surprised when people pass. I’m hopeful. It starts within our small communities. In the people we surround ourselves with. Checking in on a friend out of courtesy is useless. We should always make the time for our people so that when something is really happening they know someone is really listening.

As always, I am really listening. I never knew my brand name or the title of my blog could be such an important question. It’s becoming embedded into everything I do. Making sure that everyone around me or whoever is reading this feels connected in someway. This is my why. This is why I asked the question because it can feel like no one is. So I am.

Products that got me like 😍

I haven’t bought anything super new, fancy, or expensive but since I’ve added or learned about these products I’m really surprised I’ve lived without them. These products range from hair care to beauty to skin care. If you are looking to try these out then keep on reading.

Okay so I don’t know how to style my hair. I have thick, dark, color treated, curly hair and I have no idea how to keep it healthy and smooth. I used to wash my hair every single day but I don’t anymore. Honestly, I wash my body everyday but I wash my hair every week or every 5 days. It takes about 3 weeks for your hair to get used to it but since I started doing that my hair is super soft, strong, and not as dry. It’s still dry but that’s because I am not getting enough nutrients, see this post What I’ve Learned From: March for a little more context.

I asked my fellow persian friend Parisa (HEY QIRLLL) what she does because her hair IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND LONG AND HEALTHY. I was like what is your secret. Tell me what you’re drinking, whatever you are using I need 100 of and she goes “literally, head and shoulders shampoo”. and I WAS SHOOKETH but honestly, it’s changed my life. Your hair grows from your roots so if your roots aren’t moisturized then your hair won’t be. It makes sense.

Also, maybe I am late to this but a wide toothed comb is magical. They’re $2 from Target and when you want to work product or conditioner into wet hair it is so gentle. I use this all the time especially when I use the Shea Moisture Hold & Shine Moisture Mist. I bought it two weeks ago and I am half way done with this. I’ve had a bunch of my friends use this as well and it’s changed their lives too. It offers a good amount of moisture into your hair after you shower without weighing your hair down and making it super greasy. I DOWSE my hair in it and very gently brush my curls out and I am good all day. I haven’t been using heat with it but I am sure you can use it as a heat protector. Also, when I need extra moisture in my dry hair too I spray and brush. It’s not a spray like a hairspray it’s, as advertised, a gentle mist so you can go HAM with it if you have thicker hair. Thin hair ladies, use less it still does wonders. The only thing I wish it had was a continuous spray but that is just my personal preference. 

We got a BOMB ASS drugstore shampoo + $2 hair brush + shea moisture. Do we need anything else? Nope. Moving on..

Another drug store find.. mascara! The Lash Sensation Curvitude . The wand is winged out so for my almond eyed girls like myself this is perfect. I grips every lash and curls them UP! I think this may be..lline (i hate myself, maybelline joke) my favorite drug store mascara. It doesn’t clump, it grips every single lash and offers more curl than length. For length I go in with my OG roller lash from benefit that everyone and their 3rd cousin uses.

Let’s talk about some glow..

So I bought two new highlights. One drug store, one high end and tbh they are GLO[W]RIOUS. First off, Amrezy…BITCHHHH you did this. If you don’t know Amrezy is the Glow Queen on Instagram. She posts amazing makeup looks and has a really good relationship with ABH and Norvina so this collab was obviously meant to happen. The Anastasia Beverly Hill’s Amrezy collab is so beautiful. The highlighter is gold but not too gold/yellow. There is no fallout and it looks wet. If you like a wet highlight this is perfect. It goes well with different skin tones as well. I used a brush to apply it and didn’t like it but with my fingers or maybe a damp brush it’s stunning. Blind baby girl… BLIND. Every time I wear this I get compliments.

Now for a highlight a quarter of the price, the wet n wild mega glow highlighter in precious petals  is one of my favorite rose gold highlighters. I wear rose gold highlighters everyday, it’s my signature look. I love to look like I just went on a vacation and a cute pink/blush undertone goes well with my skin so when I found this I was like WOW this is beautiful. You can build up the blindness but honestly its $5 just go buy it. Try other shades and let me know. The product is pretty blinding out of 10 and 10 being the sun it’s like a 6 or 7. Amrezy is like 9.8 because once light catches that highlight..you’re gone.

If you know me this isn’t new for me but I thought I’d add this in is from my Ipsy Glam Bag awhile ago I use is the Calypso Highlighter in the shade Luna. This product is apart of my makeup routine. I think I got a full size in my Ipsy bag which is so nice. I am going to repurchase this. Like I said, I love me some rose gold glow. I use this as eyeshadow, blush, highlight everything. With a light bronze and a bright under eye this is STUNNING. Also it makes a really pretty eyeshadow shade that isn’t too in your face.

To take all of this off, I have been LOVING the new Olay Facial Wipes. I saw these everywhere on Youtube and social media and wanted to try them out. They are awesome for traveling because you don’t need to worry about it spilling or causing a mess. It doesn’t leave my skin super dry but it’s not as hydrating as my eucerin one. Also since it is a wipe it makes for a really good makeup remover but not a good face wash. I would still go in and wash your face gently with a face cleanser but it takes off makeup off really well. They are water activated so when you run the wipe under water it starts to lather really nicely. I use this over my neturogena wipes. I’ve tried this out for a few weeks now. I am not obsessed with it because its a face wash but I do love the concept of a water activated wipe. I hope other brands come out with products like this. It seems more sanitary to me (maybe I am wrong with that). Like I said, it is perfect for travel. Put a few of those in a zip lock and it doesn’t take up a lot of space like other packaging does.

This is what I am loving so far. No new skin care stuff but if you have any recommendations please let me know I would love to know what you guys are using. If you haven’t already be sure to check out the other posts on here

Base Makeup Routine

Monday Skin Revival

My favorite products of 2017 (Beauty/Skincare)

Please let me know what you want me to try, any feedback you guys have, and let me know if anyone is really listening???

What I’ve Learned From: Reclaiming My Space

My space is really important to me. What is in it, the energy, colors, textures, life, etc all matter because this is a place where I shed all of the day off and enter a zone of comfort, zen, and peace. I started to really value my space because I moved a lot in high school and never had one place to call home. As I am in college now and moving to other apartments it’s really important to me to make my bedroom, wherever it is, feel like the home that I am comfortable. Reclaiming my space began as a physical project for me at first but later grew into finding out a lot about myself. I was making the decisions in my life and for my space that spoke to me, not anyone else.

I had to think about

  • How I wanted to feel when I entered this space

  • What it would look like

  • What I wanted the energy to feel like

and a lot of other things but those were the major ones. To keep things simple, start by thinking about your space. Where you spend the most time whether it be your desk, your home office, or your bedroom. You want this space to reflect you. It can be adaptive with you as well which makes it even more fun.

What I have in my space is reflective and has been gleaned overtime. I love trying new things in my bedroom space that help to balance my energy as well as any that may enter this space.

Reclaiming your space is one of the best things you can do for yourself because you spend a lot of time in your room and it’s where you sleep so it should be inviting, calming, and a place where you can take a deep breath and just relax.

These are the some of the things I’ve added or thought about when I put my room together. It’s a little random and all over the place…kind of like me!

  1. Natural Light ☀️
    One of the first things I do every morning is open my blinds to let the light in. I have plants on the ledge of my window in my room so they appreciate it too! There is something like the warm sun in the morning that puts me in a very inviting, relaxed state to take on my day. If it’s gloomy outside, that’s okay because I love rain (when I’m inside). It also just brings up my mood, something about being in a dark room does not excite me AT ALL. I prefer warm, natural light vs a light for my room.Having natural light opens your space up.  If you only have one window in your room, add a mirror across the room so the light reflects off of it and spreads it around your room. When the light is shining through I am more inclined to clean up any excess clutter which clears up my space because I can see it more clearly.
  2. Plants! 🍃
    You can get an air plant or a fake plant from TJMaxx to add some green or color into your room. You don’t need to do anything with those at all. It’s just nice to have because it makes your space look more homeyI am a proud plant mom. I have four little babies. They are so cute and honestly my favorite part of my whole room because I was the type of person who struggled with keeping plants alive or anything but myself alive but when I went to The Tiny Greenhouse (my favorite plant shop in Greensboro, go check it out!) I asked for a low maintenance plant and just fell in love with the store, the people, and of course my plants. I water them once a week when I feel the dirt is dry. So far they are alive and thriving so thats always a good thing👍🏽. I wanted to add a touch of green and for some reason the fact that I have plants makes me care about my room even more because I don’t want them to die.
  3. Crystals 🔮
    I got into crystal healing and have been doing a lot of research on it for the past few months. I have my crystals together in a bowl on my windowsill right next to my plants so that they charge overnight or during the day. I have a citrine, rose quartz, regular clear quartz, amethyst, and a flourite. I can go into why I have the different ones later but I love them and they help really balance my space out. I use them as a way to meditate, stay grounded, and they are beautiful to look at. I take them on travel with me too for some healing too 🙂
  4. Color Scheme 💙
    Your color scheme doesn’t have to be your favorite colors. Honestly, I just pick colors based on association to my mood. For example, blue is calming. Red is fiery/angry, etc etc. It’s important to have some sort of theme throughout your room so that your mind isn’t focusing on a lot of different stuff at once. It’s less work if everything is in a similar color family.The color blue speaks to me the most so all my sheets, shower curtains, towel, etc are blue with gray accents. I like a light faded blue so that it’s welcoming, soft, and calming. It reminds me of being on a beach a little but minus the sand and the weather. My comforter is dual sided but that was by accident. I got it from Bed Bath and Beyond for like $40. It’s washing machine friendly too which is GREAT.
  5. Pictures/Sticky Notes of Affirmation 📝
    This is for my more visual people. I’m a very visual person so I have reminders to keep me on track or remind me of sayings that speak to me.I have sticky notes hanging in my room to remind me of different messages, verses, or quotes that I like. There are some notes that people have left me too which are up there. It keeps me grounded along with the pictures of my friends, family, and yes the Obamas because whenever I feel super overwhelmed or my mind gets too busy I can look around and feel a sense of stability and guidance.
  6. Candles 🔥
    Smell is associated to memory so I like for my room to smell nice. I want to walk into my room and feel at home. I get all my candles from TJMaxx because I burn through them so quickly and they’re cheaper there. I like subtle rose or honey scents. Nothing like Bath and Body Works or Yankee Candles. They are wayyy too intense for me and I will get a headache very fast.Candles lit at night also make your room more romantic and homey as well so if you want to cuddle up with your boo or by yourself your candles will create that space
  7. Bathroom 🚿
    Deep clean your bathroom at least once a week or every two weeks. There is so much bacteria and germs that accumulate. I always have those Colorox Wipes on hand to pick up any hair or wipe down my sink. Your makeup brushes go on your face and if your counter is dirty or if your bathroom is dirty it can actually cause acne. So clean your bathroom and clean your brushes!I have a bathroom in my room and honestly, I love just sitting in my bathroom and being alone because no one really bothers you so my bathroom is very very important. I like to keep it as clean as possible. I get lazy throughout the week but I deep clean like once a week.

Other tips/tricks to maintain your space

  • Only keep the things you use (mostly) everyday on hand especially on your vanity, desk, or countertops. If it doesn’t have a purpose other than to be used or to look pretty, then you don’t need out. If you don’t see it often then you probably won’t use it.
  • Donate, sell, or give away the extra sh*t in your room. If you have clothes that don’t fit, you don’t wear, etc instead of buying new clothes donate the ones you don’t want or try to sell them. I purge my closet 3 times a year. Before I move out, before I officially move in, and around the new year. Clear out your cabinets. No you don’t need the receipt from Target from October of 2016.
  • Throw away expired makeup or beauty products. On the back of the packaging you will see a logo with a number on it. That looks like this. I’m guilty of keeping makeup past its due date but if you can live without it or can buy a new one soon. Toss it, it’s not good for you or your skin.