Self-Tanning Products Worth Purchasing

Though I’m not the most consistent self-tanner applier, I have tried several tanning products over the course of my adolescent and adult lives. I believe I was 12 or 13 when I tried self-tanner for the first time, and I can honestly say I had NO idea what I was doing. Unfortunately, I had an orange phase. Like a really, really orange, streaky, splotchy phase and I’m not proud of it…yikes.

Then it finally hit me: stop trying to force your skin to be something it’s not meant to be! I have very pale skin, so as you would imagine, going 10 shades darker wasn’t exactly the best way to approach things.

While I used to not like the Jergens Natural Glow Fair to Medium formula because it didn’t ‘do anything’ for me, I have actually really grown to like the subtle color that it creates. It adds a hint of color without completely altering my appearance and making me look unnatural.

I’ve tried all kinds of tanning products from different brands (both high-end and not), and I always come back to Jergens because they have really great products. They have been in my life on and off for over 10 years! Besides, you’re supposed to moisturize your skin everyday anyway, so I figure why not add a subtle color into the mix for summer.

The three products featured here today are the Jergens Natural Glow Gradual Tanner ‘Fair to Medium, Jergens Natural Glow Face Gradual Tanner in ‘Medium to Tan’, and the Jergens Natural Glow Instant Sun Tanning Mousse in ‘Deep Bronze’.

You’re probably thinking, “That’s a broad range of skin colors you got going there.” It seems crazy, but I have my reasons!

I use the tanning mousse very sparingly, once every week or two whenever I feel like I need a boost. They didn’t have the ‘Light Bronze’ mousse at the store the day I went, and I reeeally wanted to try it so I went ahead and bought the ‘Deep Bronze.’ It actually doesn’t give that much color initially! The formula is definitely buildable; I used it for a few days in a row and got pretty tan (a bit too tan for my taste), so I think if you’re looking to build some color this is a great affordable option! It’s also a long-lasting formula; it lasts several days before it starts to fade. The consistency is very foamy and there is a slight color guard so you can see what you’re doing. The formula is a bit sticky after it’s been sitting on your skin for awhile, but I apply it right before bed and shower in the morning so I don’t really notice. It smells alright for a self-tanner, too!

The gradual tanner lotion in ‘Fair to Medium’ is what I use to moisturize and maintain color throughout the week. I apply every night before bed, and in the morning I wake up with a hint of color and soft skin! This is the product I’ve been using on and off for years and it’s always been my go-to tanning product. The only places I notice it gets a little funky is on my feet and wrists, but that’s just a common thing in all self-tanners. Other than that, it’s smooth, even color all around!

For my face, I use the gradual tanner lotion for the face in ‘Medium to Tan’. The reason I go darker for my face is because I’ve noticed that it tends to wear off quicker on your face than it does on your body. Since I wash my face twice a day and exfoliate occasionally, the color payoff just isn’t enough in the lighter version.

Normally, I’m really bad about keeping up with my self-tanning routine, but when I’m in the mood for a little color I love using Jergens’ products. They’re my favorite that I’ve tried over the years!

What are some of your favorite self-tanning products? Let me know in the comments!

Self-Tanning Products Worth Purchasing

May 2017 Goals

A new month means a new list of goals! April was a great month. I feel like I accomplished my two main goals: establishing regular exercise and blogging routines. I’m really proud that I consistently had multiple posts every week, and I’m also feeling great now that I’m back into yoga and walking again. I did read a book, 13 Reasons Why (you can check out my thoughts here), and I know I will always be working on my photography and eating healthier. Might as well chalk those up as lifetime goals!

As for May, I’m hoping to:

  1. Spend smarter.
    April was a bad month for my bank account. Not sure what came over me, but I could not put the credit card down! For May, I’ve decided to give myself a budget for my frivolous spending. I always tell myself that I work hard for my money and that I deserve to buy things I want (otherwise, what’s the point?). However, with my husband paying for school out-of-pocket and just the want to be more financially responsible in general (a.k.a. that Roth IRA isn’t going to fund itself), I knew I needed to chill out with the spending. I will still buy myself things, just not as much as I was.
  2. Train with my husband.
    I really would like my body to get stronger, so my husband (who is very much into fitness) offered to help me train in order to achieve that goal. While I am going to continue my morning yoga sessions 4-5 times a week, I know it’s not enough for the amount of sitting I do every day. He’s giving me mini intensive workouts in the evening a few times a week, and so far it’s going good! I’m definitely feeling the burn…
  3. Have productive training sessions with my dog.
    We’ve signed our dog, Pickles, up for a 7 week dog training course that starts this month. He is a little reactive to other dogs and humans; a lot of it stems from his anxiety, and the class is supposed to be specifically designed for dogs just like him. We would eventually love to be able to take him to the park and other public places, so we’re going to work really hard to help him overcome some of his anxieties.

It’s a very short list this time, but obviously my April goals are carrying over into this month as well!

What are some of your goals for this month? Let me know in the comments!

Birkenstock Sandals

I’m not going to lie to you guys: I used to own a pair of Birkenstock clogs in elementary school back when clogs were the thing. (Remember when all your classmates wanted to own a pair of Crocs?? Those are the days I’m talking about.) After they went out of style, I tossed them to the side and never owned another pair of shoes from Birkenstock again. Well, that was the case until recently.

No, I didn’t buy another pair of clogs. I’m not ready for that…yet. Instead, I bought a pair of pink suede sandals from Birkenstock. I’ve been wanting a pair of comfy, durable slip-on shoes for spring and summer without sacrificing style. The outdoorsy style of sandal such as Chacos or the original Birkenstocks have never really appealed to me, but the rosy pink color of these really caught my eye. It modernizes them and makes them wearable with the items I already have in my closet!

What really takes the cake, however, is the comfort. The sandals are soft, cushy, and offer a lot of support for your feet. Though they look a bit clunky, they’re actually very lightweight (which was a surprise to me!). I also like that they have adjustable straps so you can make them as tight or as loose as you wish. They’ve been an absolute dream to wear!

They’re a bit on the pricey side ($135 to be exact. Sorry bank account…), but I think they’ll last me a long time. Overall, I’m really happy I decided to purchase them and have been wearing them frequently since! If you’re in the market for comfortable summer shoes, I highly recommend these.

What types of shoes or sandals do you love wearing in spring and summer? Let me know in the comments!

Birkenstock Sandals

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

To put it simply: it’s not easy. In fact, it took me a whole year to figure out a schedule that I could stick to without feeling completely overwhelmed! I work 9am-6pm Monday-Friday at a small marketing agency, and it demands a lot of my brain power. Most nights after work, I feel pretty drained and brain-fried, and all I want to do is veg-out on the couch for the rest of the night. One day I decided I didn’t want to live like a sloth anymore, so I decided to come up with a plan that would get me blogging consistently without adding a mound of stress. Sometimes all you need is a little self-discipline!

Here is how I keep a consistent blogging schedule while working my full-time job:

  1. Write blog posts ahead of time.
    This step is probably the most important. While there are a few blogs out there that are photo-based, most blogs rely on words. People will be able to tell if you whipped up your post in five minutes, so really set aside some time to write something thoughtful. I used to write my posts after I took photos, which I realize now is the most ridiculous thing. Once you have an idea, take it and run with it. Photos can come later! I’ve been writing my posts a week in advance, and it has been an absolute life-saver (especially since I publish three a week)! I used to try to cram both writing and photography in on the weekend, but it was making me a bit miserable and would cause me to not post very often. You definitely want to give yourself some time to actually relax on your days off or else you’ll get burnt out!
  2. Keep track of every single idea.
    My notebook and Notes app are always at the ready when I have an idea. Any time a thought related to your blog crosses your mind, you should jot it down. When you’re in a creative rut, you can look back and see that silly little scribble you made three months ago when you were in the makeup aisle at Target. Who knows, it could spark your best idea yet! My notes really help keep the creative juices flowing so I never run out of ideas. Okay, never say never, but it definitely helps.
  3. Create a posting schedule.
    Some people are blog genies and can post on a whim several times a week whenever they feel like it, but I am definitely not one of them! I need structure in my schedule otherwise I’ll never get anything done. My blog posts now go live on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 12:00pm EST, and so far it’s been working great! I highly suggest giving yourself deadlines to keep on track.
  4. Set aside time for taking photos.
    This is a little obvious, but it’s definitely something you don’t want to forget. Photos will help improve your click-through rate, which is extremely important if you want your posts to get seen! I’ve found that the lighting is best for product shots in the late morning, around 10am or 11am, so I set aside time on Saturday and/or Sunday to take my pictures then. For outdoor outfit posts, it’s definitely best to go in early morning or very late afternoon (6pm or 7pm) when the lighting isn’t as harsh. Cloudy days are also good for outfit photos! Know what kinds of posts you’re going to do and plan accordingly.
  5. Stay inspired.
    The best way to stay inspired is to read other people’s blogs. Not saying to copy anyone, but seeing other people create cool stuff makes you want to create cool stuff. Reading blog posts makes me happy, and I want to give that same feeling to people who read my blog as well. Follow a few blogs on Bloglovin’; you’ll be amazed at how many creative people are out there! Pinterest and Instagram are also great tools as they help you know what’s trending at the moment. Utilize your resources!

And that’s five ways I balance blogging with my full-time job! Though some days I will be tired and stressed after work, I always feel happy and accomplished when I finish writing a post. It’s truly the little things!

What are some things you do to keep a consistent blogging schedule? Any tips for balancing blogging with a full-time job? Let me know in the comments!

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

How I Balance Blogging & a Full-Time Job

April 2017 Boxycharm Unboxing

Here we are again with another Boxycharm unboxing! I have to say, I wasn’t too impressed with this month’s box. Of course I didn’t expect to like every single box I received, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit bored and decided to cancel (gasp!). I did, however, sign up for Ipsy to give that a try, so more about that soon I hope!

I still think Boxycharm is a great subscription box. Who doesn’t love getting a box full of full-sized products for a fraction of the price? We’ve received some bangers for sure, but the nice thing about these month-to-months is that there’s no commitment! You can come and go as you please. I may reinstate my subscription in the future, but for now I’m onto trying different things!

All that aside, let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this post:

  1. Rodeo Drive Highlighter, OFRA Cosmetics ($35)
    Without a doubt, this highlighter is my favorite product in this month’s box. It is the blingiest highlighter I have ever seen! Though I’m not usually a fan of excessive highlight (for everyday makeup at least), when this is applied tastefully, it has a stunning effect. It is a bit on the glittery side, but I love the golden yellow color. Perfect for summer!
  2. 3 Piece Contour Blending Sponges, PÜR Cosmetics ($36)
    One thing I love about Boxycharm is all the tools we receive. I love getting new brushes, and this month they sent us THREE beauty sponges which is super convenient. Sponges get gross kind of quick, so I’m glad to have some backups!
  3. Concealer Palette, Measurable Difference ($20)
    So this was a product I was kind of disappointed with. Like most people, I’m pretty picky about my concealers. They have to be the right coverage, consistency, and color. A palette like this is great if your skin tone tends to change throughout the year (i.e. darker in the summer, lighter in the winter). This way, you have all your skin tones in one convenient palette. My skin tone doesn’t change, so it really doesn’t help me any. Even when I fake tan, I still use my same concealers (which if we’re being honest, the tanning routine lasts probably a month out of the whole year because I’m lazy). Plus I am not a fan of the consistency. These concealers are very thick; I would rather have a thinner, more liquidy consistency. This product was a bust for me!
  4. Lip Gloss in ‘Taos’, Cargo Cosmetics ($16)
    I love lip gloss, so I was excited to receive one in my box this month. The color is very sheer, but it has a nice shine. The formula is perfect as it doesn’t feel sticky on your lips. It also smells really good! One con for me is the wand. The tip is a bit flimsy; it bends easily which can be a bit annoying when you’re trying to apply. I personally prefer a wand tip that doesn’t move!
  5. Hairgurt Smoothing Yogurt Shampoo, Project Beauty ($10)
    I really wanted to like this shampoo more than I do, but I’m thinking I just haven’t given it a fair chance yet. At this point in time I’ve only used it twice, so maybe my mind will change after a few more uses. I like a lather to my shampoo, and I feel it lacks in that area. It says to use a small amount, but my hair is so long that I’m not sure it’s doing much. It’s supposed to help tame frizzy, dry hair (hi! That’s me). It made my hair feel a little bit softer, but I didn’t see much of a difference in frizz. The same brand makes a hair mask, which I think I would have preferred over the shampoo.

This month’s total: $117

So this month was kind of ‘eh’ for me, but as I mentioned before I think Boxycharm is still a great subscription box. I just want to try something different for a bit to see what else is out there.

What subscription boxes are you currently subscribed to? Which ones would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!