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: Coming back from traveling

As amazing as getting away may be, I always come back a little tense and ready to feel like myself again. My skin is usually super dehydrated, my body is in desperate need of some TLC, and I just feel scatterbrained. Traveling puts your body and skin through a lot. On this self-care Sunday, I am going to walk through what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling.

Depending on when I get back from traveling, I go through these motions but recently I was driving so much in a four day time period and when I got back I was exhausted. The day I got back from my trip, I didn’t do much except for showering and resting.

Give your body time to rest. Being around tons of people can be exhausting even for us extroverts out there 🙋🏽‍♀️.

This self care Sunday is going to highlight some “surface level” self- care. Which means it’s the stuff we do physically or on the surface to take care of ourselves.

Self care has been something I’ve started to take really seriously because I was in a place where I wasn’t taking care of myself and the effects of it took a serious toll on my mental, physical, and emotional health.

Before I travel: I hate coming back to a messy room. Before I travel, I take out all of my trash, do laundry, clean my room, and go through my mail (and my inbox). That way when I come back I don’t need to do any chores and everything is clean. Depending on how long I am gone for, I buy my basic groceries so I can come back to a fully stocked, healthy-ish fridge. I also make sure that the energy in my room is clear. Sometimes I sage my room before I go to make sure any energy that comes into my space when I’m gone isn’t going to cause me any stress or anxiety.

A clear and clean space gives your brain extra reassurance because you know when you get back you don’t need to do the basic chores. Remove unnecessary clutter and put away that pile of laundry you’ve been dreading putting away.

Sleep: I value sleep so much. I’m one of those people who needs to get my 7-9 hours of sleep every night to feel like a functional adult. I don’t sleep that well when I’m on vacation or traveling between people’s places cause I want to maximize on all the fun or things happening around me. The lack of sleep drains my body so much and I feel so sluggish. Also, my skin hates me afterward. I make sure to take a long nap or sleep at least 8 hours the day before so I come back reenergized. I once took a nap for 6 hours and woke up at 10:30 pm without knowing where I was. Yeah, I was THAT tired.

We dismiss sleep the older we get but sleep is key for optimal brain function. Our brain uses most of the calories we consume so make sure you SLEEEEEEP.

Skincare: If you know me or have been following me, you know that I am a skincare JUNKIE. Any face mask, scrub, cleanser, moisturizer, or serum I am literally so obsessed with. I have an ipsy subscription that makes my addiction to skincare that much worse. I try to pack “lightly” when it comes to my skincare. I go for my basics: moisturizer, makeup remover, face wash, facial mist, night cream, and serums. This is basic for me if you know how extensive my skincare regime actually is. When I get back, I wipe all of my makeup off even if I don’t have any on.

I cleanse my face with a chemical exfoliant or a sugar scrub. I then do a face mask (sheet masks are preferred), moisturize, serum, and go about the rest of my skincare. This is my favorite part about getting back because I can lay out all of my products and I love when my skin feels healthy and glowy. It forces me to take the extra 30 minutes – an hour when I get back to focus on my skin. I do this before I go to bed so the serums can really penetrate underneath my skin. I wake up feeling restored, refreshed and reenergized.

Also does anyone else mask on planes? 🙋🏽‍♀️ I look insane but planes dry out my skin so much. So if you ever see a crazy mask wearing lady. It’s probably me. Hiiiiii 👋🏽

Wellness: I consider wellness to be mind and body. If I can get a workout in the day after I travel, I’m happy. I recently got back into fitness now that I am fueling my body more with nutrients. So recently, after a few days away I did a nice workout to feel like me again. Working out has always been the one hour just for me. I silence my phone and just focus on my actions. It’s helped me deal with a lot of tension or anxiety. Working out for an hour or 30 minutes forces you to be with yourself. You put your mind into your workout and play some music to fully disconnect. I even put my phone on do not disturb so I don’t get any notifications during my workout.

Another thing I do is I try to drink something to reset my gut. I love kombucha. Kombucha is a fermented probiotic drink that is amazing for your gut. When you’re traveling you may not be eating the best and your immune system can take a hit, especially if you’re staying up late and not drinking enough water. I buy 2 kombuchas and try to finish one of them by the end of the day. The taste can be awful sometimes so I go for the Synergy Organic Kombucha in Mystic Mango. THIS IS MY FAVORITE DRINK EVER. Synergy, sponsor me. PLEASE. It’s goodness in a bottle and tastes super yummy. The acidic kombucha taste isn’t as strong. I even had my mans try it and he liked it so take his word for it, But seriously, I love this stuff whenever I get back from traveling or I’m about to get sick. Something about healthy probiotics in my gut makes me reassured. I also try to make a cucumber + lemon water. I have a basil plant so sometimes I throw a couple of leaves in there to add a little more flavor. The cucumber and lemon act are super hydrating for you. Again, hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

The last thing I do is spend some quality time with myself. Whether that’s working on some projects, reading, watching Youtube, or just being alone. I take the time to just be myself for a little. I’ll meditate with some candles or my crystals and think about the trip.

Doing these things is what I like to call “surface level self-care” where you take care of yourself on the surface. So your skin, your space, your body, etc. Self-care is a lot deeper than this. This is what I like to do whenever I get back from traveling because it resets my body and my mood. Obviously, there are other ways you can go about doing this.

Let me know what you guys love doing when you get back from traveling.

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.

✨Grounded, Growing, and Glowing ✨

This time of year is a transitional period for a lot of people. Graduation, prom, moving, internships, summer, opportunity, all of that stuff. It’s a bittersweet time too because, on one hand, you’re excited about all the things ahead but on another, you’re going to miss some of the most important memories or people that have shaped you. I always feel extra anxious because I hate saying goodbye. But this year, I am the one leaving. Apart of me is really scared to move but another part of me is really excited to be around new people, a new city and start over.

Also, this time period seems to move VERY VERY fast.

Spring semester flew by and throughout this entire semester some really powerful things happened for me. More recently, I have evolved. I am constantly growing. Some of that growth is painful and some of it is so beautiful. And I am soaking every moment of it in.

So, let’s get personal…

My blog launching, a toxic relationship, an eating disorder, and transformational decision to move to Charlotte later and here we are: exactly where I am supposed to be.

Some of the situations like my ED is a process. There is no fixed formula or recipe for it but writing about it allows me to shed some of the weight (ironic) of it all off. It doesn’t place the burden that I am carrying this challenge with me alone because I know many people also go through it.

One of the most challenging realizations I had was I wasn’t loving, accepting, and living my truth. I put myself in a position where I felt like I had to compromise who I was in fear of not receiving the love and security I was searching for. The relationship I was in didn’t support me and everything I was and it felt like I was in competition with every and any person or thing in his life. Those emotions pushed me to realize I wasn’t taking care of myself in the process. I didn’t feel like I couldn’t defend who I was when things happened. Things that were wrong and had nothing to do with me.

Through extensive therapy, I’m in a better place of taking care of myself and I don’t compromise who I am the way I used to. I trust who I am and what I can offer.

I wasn’t treating myself with the same love, compassion, and forgiveness I was offering other people. Being in therapy and actively practicing self-love/self-care taught me that there is no one that can offer me anything I can’t offer myself. The search began from the source: me. I was lost in the shuffle of being the “perfect woman” and wasn’t being myself in the process. I was trying to be what other people thought I should be. When in reality, all I needed to be was myself.

It’s become so apparent to me, during this time of transition, that the people and circumstances that support and love you are the ones you chose to attract. During this time, I look around to see who is there and who isn’t. I’ve learned not to beat myself up about the people that aren’t in my life because everyone has choices and I can’t bother myself too much about the choices other people make for themselves.

My therapist and I came up with a mantra that I say every day.

“I want to take care of myself in such a way that I am not abusing myself. I can do this by taking ownership of what I do and who I do it with”

I hope you all can benefit from this in some way. It reminds us to give ourselves the permission to nurture ourselves as much as we nurture other people.

Once I’ve begun taking ownership of myself, my actions, and my reactions to situations I have been protecting so much of my energy. I’ve disconnected myself from what other people choose to do with their lives and the people in them. That’s helped me nurture myself instead of punishing myself for choices other people make.

Practicing self-care is so much more than doing a face mask. It’s really thinking about what your limitations are and what you can/ cannot do within that. I’ve been communicating more openly on how I feel and think instead of trying to shrink myself to be someone I’m not. I cannot punish myself if someone chooses not to accept that because I am who I am. That may sound self-righteous but I think when you’re aware of yourself and your behaviors you can identify who you really are and teach yourself to accept yourself. You won’t feel the need to be in competition with anyone once you really see your own value.

That has translated into my brand and other areas of my life. I am so ready to embrace the good, the bad, and everything else this next phase of my life will offer. I won’t ever reduce myself to be seen as “enough” for someone else.

Transitions are amazing because you can slow down, be honest with yourself, and figure out a plan of action for where/who you want to be. Think about the people around you and what their limitations are. And give yourself the permission to love yourself for who you are.