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: If I had a daughter.

No. I am NOT pregnant and do not have any future plans of having one but I do look forward to being a mom one day in the far, far future. I may not know a lot in the past two decades I’ve been on this earth but I like to think that I am pretty self-aware for who I am right now. 

I honestly can’t wait to be a mom one day. I mean, of course, I can wait but I look forward to bringing a life into this world that is half me and half the person I am meant to be with. Whether she finds this when she’s old enough to read so maybe another 15 years from now, I hope the lessons still stick the same. As I get older, I know that the things I have learned will change but I think for right now, I am in a place to write this.

Our current world has given us every reason to become bitter, hopeless, and misguided. You can’t trust our president or the news or your neighbor even. My mom always tells me to do everything in my life with kindness and to always make the right choices. She’d drop me off at school and say “Okay, make good choices”. Good is a really subjective term but I think good means kind. So, make kind choices. Make America Kind Again. No matter what age I’m in or what chapter of my life I’m going through I hope I never let this world make me bitter. If I had a daughter I would teach her the same principle: don’t let the world make you unkind. I’ve seen some of the hardest things happen to my mom and she’s always reminded kind and strong. When I go through something as easy as it is to be mean and bitter, I choose to practice kindness. Some people don’t deserve it and it’s taken a lot of me to bite my tongue and I am not perfect. I have been unkind to people but it does no good. It adds no value and it doesn’t change things. Kill them with kindness but don’t let them take anything from you. Some people may not be kind but you can’t give them the satisfaction of them breaking you. We have choices in how we let what others do affect us. 

I can’t wait to see my daughter be strong and resilient but soft and kind when she chooses to be. I want her to know that in 3, 6, 12 months your life could look so different than it is now. 3 months ago if you told me I’d be living in Charlotte I’d laugh at you because I was starving myself and I wasn’t in the place to even imagine progress. 3 months later, here I am. 3 months from now, I can be in a different space in other aspects of my life. I look back to 6 months ago and I was cheated on. I never thought that I could be who I am, have this platform, or be around the people I am. My path is unconventional. I am not the traditional college student. I think that’s my power. I would tell her to do what she is called to do. If you feel like in your heart you are being called to do something bigger than yourself and the people around you, lean into it. Listen to it. Open your heart and try to really listen to what God is trying to say. It’s easy to fall into the path that is already done but everyone has a unique journey to get from point A to point B. If her path is unconventional, I hope I can be supportive in the way that my support system has been for me. I want to nurture her creativity in such a way where she feels empowered to do the hard work that she is being called to do. We can’t force people down this one path if it’ll make them unhappy. I’d rather have my daughter or son chase their happiness and what makes them feel alive than to live a life that is safe. Maybe this worldview will change. But I don’t think we should impose an idea of a plan that works for us onto others if it may not apply.

I would also tell her that growing into yourself is a painful process. It’s isolating, lonely, and painful but its necessary. I am going through that right now. Being in a new city is lonely. I’ve been here two weeks and have cried most days because I am so used to having friends around me or family to visit me. I realize that the isolation and times of loneliness happen for a reason. We do need to be alone in order to really fall into our own. Not an idea or someone else’s mold, just your own. All we can ever do is be ourselves. In a new city, new place, or new circumstance we have ourselves. It takes self-awareness and being able to be real with yourself to figure out who you are. It’s so painful and it’s not easy. You can’t just sit with yourself for one day and have it all figured out. It’s adaptive. Things change but trust yourself and just don’t lie to yourself. If you can’t be honest with yourself, you have no business trying to be honest with others. It’s taken some serious time for me to get to this point. Even now I struggle with it on a daily basis. I know my daughter will too but that’s the beauty in it. I’ve seen myself become stronger. I am confident when she goes through it’ll build her character because it’s helped build mine. I am not fully grown into myself and I wonder if I ever will be. I find comfort knowing that. It’s scary to put yourself out there when you have no idea who you are. But know enough about yourself to know what your strengths are and where you’re limited.

This post is really transparent. This is me being vulnerable to anyone listening because I’ve spoken to a lot of people who share the same feelings I do or at some point did, but no one is openly talking about it. Trust me, I know it’s scary. This is out of my comfort zone but I feel good about this because to anyone listening, know that the path you’re on and where you’re at in figuring out who you are is normal. No one tells you this stuff about adulthood. No one tells you how hard the “self” stuff is. Or maybe its super hard for me and I am using this post to vent. BUT THIS SHIT IS HARD YOU GUYS!!!! But it’s not impossible and we are all going to get through it. Finding your support system, trusting my own unique process, and being grounded in faith that things will get better have helped me get through the motions. It’s inspired me to keep pushing. It’s helped me become the person, partner, future mom, plant mom, girlfriend, friend, daughter, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH that I am today. I am eternally thankful for where I am at now and where I am going to be.

Self-Care Sunday

It’s Sunday and I don’t typically post BUT I had to show you guys an amazing video collaboration that I did with @girlwiththeplaybook who also happens to be the author for Motivation Monday: Finding Your Support System.

I teamed up with Kenya to remind you all how important it is to self-care, self-love, and give yourself that time to make sure you’re living your best life.

 

We can lose sight of ourselves and our goals if we don’t be intentional in how we treat ourselves. It’s one of the most important things we can do and if you don’t you’re going to drive yourself insane because you will keep pouring yourself into things and other people without investing in yourself.

Love is a set of reinforcing behaviors. You can do things every day that keep you on track. It’s important for me to have 3 objectives of things I want to accomplish. They’re not always work-related. Sometimes it’s cleaning my room, showering, meditating. I work the best in 3’s and it helps me stay focused and grounded.

I love to start my work week on Sunday’s. While most people rest on Sunday’s, I like to use the first few days of the week to really be productive and layout what I want to accomplish this week. I also spend a few hours with myself. I do things I like to do. Most of it is silent or work related but that’s okay with me.

Give yourself the permission to disconnect from people. You will be a better person once you start taking care of yourself and choose how you want to invest your personal energy.

What I’ve Learned From: Slowing Down

If you haven’t noticed, I have been MIA on my blog for the past week and I wanted to get on here to explain why, what I’ve learned, and what you can do if you feel like you need to take a second to stop and slow down.

So let’s get personal…

I took this week off because I was struggling a lot mentally. I had a lot of down days and honestly just didn’t feel like myself. I knew I needed a break because sitting in my room alone with my own mind was really dangerous. I (tried) to rely on those around me as much as possible without feeling too much like a burden. Thankfully, I have a few people I always go to who were gentle, welcoming, and kind which is exactly what I needed. I was stressed about so much that I couldn’t even begin to explain to you what exactly it was. I wasn’t doing the best of taking care of myself and I had a strong realization one night that the living that I was living in someways was not my normal and I was not okay with that. Something had to change. Also, some other things happened that triggered this setback but I won’t get into that.

Going into spring break, I was really sick. Like physically sick. I am the type of person that gets awful fevers in general so my body was fighting off a terrible virus for like 4 days. I would sweat a lot in my sleep, feel super cold, then get hot again. Some kombucha and sudafed and lots of sleep thankfully cured my god awful illness. Anyways, in the midst of that I was having really bad anxiety attacks. I didn’t know what was happening and TMI but I was also on my period so it was just a few days of what felt like actual hell.

I took that as a huge sign from myself that I NEED to slow down. I was doing way too many things at once and tried to play this role that clearly was super unhealthy for me. I knew my body was telling me something but I can be pretty stubborn so I didn’t listen. It took for me to get really sick for me to be like “okay, take a second”. So I gave myself the permission to slow down. What that meant was: no content, no laptop, no work, and no bullshit. I wasn’t putting up with anything or anyone that was bringing me down or leeched my energy. Call it selfish, I call it self-love because let me tell you, I needed it. I tried to be more present in everything I did and it was a challenge at times not going to lie but I managed to stay present most of the week so I am proud of myself.

I was thankful because I had a girls trip to the beach coming up so I knew I was about to be around some awesome girls and the beach. What more could you ask for, honestly? I am so thankful I went on this trip because the people that I was surrounded around had the most amazing spirit. They brought some life back into me that I thought was gone. I even cried because I was so thankful for them and who they were.

The trip was like the movies. Girls sitting, braiding each others hair, doing each others makeup, taking pictures, and talking about boys. It was the sleepover I have always dreamt about. Each one of those girls was so unique, beautiful, and special in their own way. You wouldn’t think we’d have anything in common but we do and honestly it was the best girls night(s) I have ever been on. I had my own personal struggles along the way but being around those girls was the perfect distraction for me.

Sometimes we need to slow down. Even if it’s for a few moments. We need to sit with ourselves or in my case, surround ourselves with people that “get” us. I didn’t know these girls for long but I really felt like they understood me. They saw me for who I was and not what I was going through. We didn’t even talk about what was happening and it wasn’t even that emotional of a trip but just being around them and being surrounded by people who LOVE you really made the world of a difference for me. I am very lucky to have been heard and it showed me what true, honest friendship looks like. I never felt like I had a family here in North Carolina and I felt like the sky is always falling but for a few days the sky wasn’t falling and I think I found my family. If I didn’t slow down and focus on myself, I wouldn’t have been able to realize that the world is not crumbling even when it felt like it was. Moving forward, I think I am going to protect my energy more and listen to the earlier signs of support that I need or even being more present in the moment instead of worrying about things that happened or will happen.

What I learned from this is that when I gave myself permission to slow down I opened myself to so many other amazing people and things that I wouldn’t have been able to connect with. I am coming back to my platform and my brand with fresh eyes and a clearer vision. Instead of focusing my energy on the things that were already said and done I channeled my anxious energy into the people and things that make ME happy.

 

What I’ve Learned From: Listening

About a week or so ago, I took to instagram stories (@tkhoub & @teeksandeats) to ask what content you wanted to see. One of the polls was the ‘personal posts vs keep it professional’. About 89% of you voted for ‘let’s get personal’. First off, it is very easy for me to talk about my personal life to the people in my circle but being vulnerable online is scary. As a content creator, I want to create content that you enjoy but also reflects who I am. So here we go..

Isn’t it ironic that I have a blog called “Is Anyone Really Listening?” and even I have a hard time taking the time to slow down, open my heart, and listen to ones around me.

Something as simple as listening is something I struggle with. I have so much to say and frankly, I love talking about myself. If you know me, you know how frustrating it can be but my intentions are always in the right place. I notice myself not listening when someone comes to me with a problem and my instinct is to give them a solution.

My amazing friends have been very patient with me as I work to stop, listen, and not provide feedback. When I need someone to listen, I go the extra step of letting the people around me know “hey, I need to vent” or “hey, I’m going to go on a tangent and I just need someone to hear me”. Saying that gives the expectation to that other person to not offer immediate responses.

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Sometimes genuinely saying “I hear you and I understand you” makes a WORLD of a difference. Don’t say that if you don’t mean it. If you don’t understand do what you can to have that other person explain to you. Ask questions if you REALLY need to say something.

If you know me or have interacted with me you know that I have a pretty strong personality. It can come off as intimidating and sometimes even aggressive. Right now, I am finding a balance that works for me and makes others feel more comfortable without reducing myself to being quiet. What I’ve started to do that has shown a lot of success. I ask a sh*t ton of questions. Not to a point where the person feels like they feel interviewed but enough where I can get information or insight to the other person. I have learned so much from this. Some people aren’t as comfortable talking about themselves. Most of the people around me are more introverted and I love that because they are more methodical, intentional, and reserved when they speak. I try to emulate that in some ways and in situations where there are a lot of stronger personalities I tend to be the one to retract.

Having a strong personality is not a bad thing. It becomes an issue when the people around you begin to not feel heard, understood, or comfortable when they speak to you. I want every person I meet to feel comfortable and empowered to speak what is on their mind. I never want someone to think that I don’t care about what they have to say or that I’m in anyway judging them. I take it personally when people close to me don’t feel empowered so I am actively working to improve this.

All in all, there is a time and a place. Take a step back and ask yourself “Am I really listening?”. If not, ask questions, be intentional, or ask that person what they need to feel heard.