One Year Blogiversary Giveaway

This month my blog turned one, and as a thank you for following along this past year I wanted to give back to you! You may have seen my last post where I announced my ambassadorship with Marc Anthony. The team kindly sent me some items to giveaway to a lucky follower, and I also threw in a few surprises that I hope you will enjoy!

Updated Skincare Routine & Reviews

As I'm sure many of you can relate finals week wreaked havoc on my skin. Stress is probably the most consistent thing that ruins my clear skin. In the past month I have slightly changed my skincare routine from when I last posted (New Nightly Oil Routine & #TheBarSoapChallenge) so I felt it was time for an update.

Thanks to these little changes and a must needed winter intercession my complexion has been improving. Today is the first day in months that I haven't been scheduled to work, don't have class, and don't have to read through any research. It feels so nice to just relax for a bit. I'm not one to sit still for long though so along with rewatching Gossip Girl I have been knitting, touching up my resume, and looking at postings for after graduation. Seriously... I find it hard to just be a little lazy and relax. 😬 If you're still experiencing finals or waiting on results good luck and make sure to relax a bit afterwards, you earned it!
Some New Additions to My Skincare Arsenal

Sole Patches

Hey guys, I feel like it's been forever since I have written a post. I just finished finals today and hope to be back to regularly uploading. I was scheduling things when I could, but hope to be keeping on top of my posts more regularly now. Yesterday was also my one year blogiversary! I planned on posting a giveaway today but the packages I was expecting haven't arrived yet. Keep looking out for that post though!

This week I wanted to tell you a bit about Sole Patches. With holiday party season upon us many of us bloggers and fashionistas alike are breaking our trendy heels out of the closet. As you may remember I posted about my H&M Chelsea booties in a favorites post. They are reasonably comfortable on their own, and I wear them when I can around campus. At the end of a long day on my feet however I have found that sometimes my feet are a bit achy.

Marc Anthony Hair Partnership and Argan Oil Review

I received a series of emails last month from Marc Anthony and long story short you're going to be seeing a lot more haircare posts from me! The Marc Anthony team reached out to me about becoming an ambassador of sorts for their line. I'm so excited to work with such a well known company, and was even happier when they ensured me that their products adhere to the EU standards regarding animal testing. 

I was so excited to receive this box, at first I had no idea who it was from... until I flipped it over and saw the cute message someone from the team wrote on the box. 😊 Inside I saw the complete range of Argan Oil products. As I'm writing this (2 weeks ahead) I've been using this product for about a week. I loved the mask I found it really sorted out my dry scalp... I had been using way too many clarifying shampoos. My hair is super soft and shiny looking and it's only been a few days of using this line of products. I also forgot how much I love the scent of argan oil. 

Vanity Planet Cruelty Free Makeup Brush Review

Hey guys! Sorry for the lack of post last week, I wanted to focus on Thanksgiving, school work, and making sure I gave myself adequate time to review this product before posting. Hope you had a lovely holiday. You may have noticed I edited my last post due to some difficulties, but it has been resolved. I believe it's important to have transparency with the people that may read my posts, so I will always update a post if my stance on a product has changed.
"Palette Professional Makeup Brush Collection"
Vanity Planet kindly sent me this gorgeous travel roll filled with synthetic makeup brushes. The box included fifteen wood handled brushes in a faux leather roll. There is pretty much every brush you could need in this set. I was on a search for a good cruelty free fan brush, so I was happy to see that included in this set. 

So far my most frequently used brushes are the kabuki, the powder brush, blush brush, contour brush, large fan brush, and the angled liner brush. Most days, if I choose to wear makeup I keep it pretty simple with a medium coverage foundation, blush, bronzer, mascara, and sometime's a gel liner (like this).  Because of the addition of a fan brush to my collection I have been using a touch of  highlight as well. 

Vanity Planet Body Care Review

This month Vanity Planet, a website that carries cruelty free beauty, skincare, haircare, and styling tools reached out to me to review some of their products. I plan on spreading the reviews out into two posts, so today I wanted to focus on the body care products.

A few nights ago I came home to a box on my steps, to be honest I completely forgot these were being sent to me and was so surprised by the contents of the box. In the box I received the Spin for Perfect Skin Facial Cleansing brush in Strawberry Ice, The Bru Essential Body Scrub, and one other item that I will be focusing on in another post!

September and October Favorites| Fashion, Skincare, & Beauty

I'm finally getting around to posting my favorite's once again, it's been a busy semester and I'm currently writing this quick post to check in with you all from the library. I've been working hard on my thesis, and it's been a tough road but I finally completed one of the most difficult sections, the literature review. I thought it was time to get back into my blog, do some writing for fun and share what I have been loving recently.
I have been wearing my heeled Chelsea boots to death. I love them! I especially love pairing them with an ankle length jean and a slouchy top. These boots help to dress up any look!

Cropped Boyfriend Jeans

I have been wearing my ankle jeans to death this fall... almost as much as my leggings. Which is a lot! I love the boyfriend style because they are more relaxed and all around more comfortable. 

Oversized Flannel
I'm fairly certain I posted about my shirt jacket last year, but it has made a reappearance this year as my fall transition jacket. I love the sherpa lining and the borrowed from the boys look. If not styled correctly sometimes I look a little too relaxed, but I love this as a comfortable on campus look. Lately I have been layering it with a hoodie for extra warmth.
Hello From the Campus Library :) 

Meet the Designer| Apocalypse Ready by Azmara Asefa

 As a college student who will soon be out in the workforce I am trying to find more pieces that are versatile. Azmara's line has been exactly what I have been searching for, and I'm really excited to share this interview with you all. 

Azmara Asefa 
Azmara's line is called Apocalypse Ready and marries her love for fashion and architecture beautifully. She used CAD software, 3D printing, and laser cut designs to create her gorgeous line of clothing for the modern woman. Her line is perfect for the office and looks great after hours as well. 
My Favorite Piece in the Collection 

Ultrablast Tooth Powder| Lush Cosmetics Review

Last month between classes my friend and I took a trip to the mall to get something other than the few lunch options available on campus. We decided to stop into Lush. If you have been reading my blog for a bit you may remember that I used to work at Lush. Last year I worked there as a holiday hire. Although it was a temporary position, I really enjoyed that job and continue to use what I learned there when purchasing and blogging about cruelty free products. 

While I was at Lush I ran into a former coworker of mine. I was looking at some of the newer products and I had her tell me a bit about the new toothy tabs and powders. I decided to pick up Ultrablast, which is a tooth powder that contains spearmint, lavender. peppermint, and wasabi. I thought the wasabi was going to be really weird but Ultrablast is very refreshing. Ultrablast comes in a clear pot (much like the traditional black pots) you simply dampen your toothbrush, dip it in the powder and brush!

Hustle Butter| Healing My Tattoo & Aftercare Product Review

Last month I received my first tattoo at Hustler's Parlour in Brooklyn, NY. I received Hustle Butter Deluxe to use as I went through the healing process.

Artificial ingredients just don't have a place in my routine, not when natural products can really do wonders for my skin. As well as being cruelty free Hustle Butter is made with natural ingredients like Shea, Mango Butter, and lots of essential oils. This not only makes the product smell amazing, but it's also super effective. I love products formulated with essential oils, since they always seem to do the job.
Hustle Butter Deluxe

Winter Hydration with Coconut Water| Invo

I came across an interesting email in my inbox this week, the subject line read 'Keep Skin Hydrated While the Seasons Change'. As someone who has been crafting their own skincare routine for years this immediately drew me in. As it's been getting chillier in New York I have switched out my moisturizers for the heavy hitters, and have really been delving into the coconut oil jar. 

Invo Coconut Water is a great way to hydrate from the inside out. I'll be honest, as much as I love coconut I have never been a huge fan of coconut water. After trying Invo that opinion has changed. Invo, in my opinion, is the most pure tasting coconut water I have tried and it doesn't contain any coconut bits. 

Derma E Review + New Look

Derma E is a brand I have followed for some time now thanks to Thrive Market; which is where I often discover and purchase new cruelty free products. Derma E is currently rebranding, and with that have redesigned their packaging, giving it a fresh new look. The new design will begin shipping to stores like Ulta, CVS, and Whole Foods by March of 2017. Derma E gave me a chance to test their hydrating line of moisturizers as well as get an exclusive look at their new image to share with my readers.

My First Tattoo Experience| Hustler's Parlour in Brooklyn NY

I'm sure it's all in my head but I feel like a new person. I got a tattoo yesterday(it's September 18th as I'm writing this), and I'm still absolutely buzzing about the great experience I had. I found Hustler's Parlour online when I was searching for aftercare products. I knew that if I was going to get a tattoo, I would want to use aftercare products that were cruelty free. I found Hustle Butter Deluxe, which led me to Hustler's Parlour. All the reviews of the products, and the three Hustler's Parlour locations were awesome so I sent an email to Richie asking how to go about this process. 

Richie Bulldog is the owner of Hustler's Parlour, and we corresponded about my initial idea, and the products. I met Richie in person after my tattoo was finished, and he was so friendly! He made sure I had a good experience, and was happy with the results. 

#WIPEAOLICS Savvy Travelers Subscription| Review

I was really excited to receive this shiny parcel in the mail. Upon opening it I found an adorable little travel bag decorated with city landmarks, it was filled with various Savvy Travelers wipes. Savvy Travelers is a women owned, cruelty free, and earth conscious brand.

These wipes are designed to help you feel clean and confident on the go. Wipeholics is their new subscription service in which customers will be sent a box of beauty products and wipes every month for twelve months.

The 'Pop Sugar Must Have' Box #AD

Yesterday I came home from work to find that I had received my Pop Sugar Must Have Box. I received the September edition and am loving the items so far!
Happiness Delivered 
 This month's box was packed with six unique items.

  1. Jack & Lucy| Bicoastal Wide Brim Hat (Suggested Retail: $58)
  2. NCLA| Mani-ER Tool Kit (Suggested Retail: $16)
  3. Briogeo| Conditioning Mask (Suggested Retail: $36)(Not CF)
  4. Flint| Lint Roller(Suggested Retail: $10)
  5. Smith & Cult| Lip Laquer (Suggested Retail: $22) (Not CF)
  6. The Gluten Free Bites| Dark Chocolate Coconut (Suggested Retail: $5)

What I love about these boxes is the variety. I received, a snack, a fashion item, practical things like a lint roller, plus new beauty products to try out. While browsing the Must Have site I noticed that there are other great boxes as well! There is a mini monthly subscription box, gift boxes, and limited editions. 

I am most excited to style the Jack & Lucy hat when the cooler weather sets in. Thanks Pop Sugar! 

If you would like to subscribe to the Pop Sugar Must Have box, use code SHOP5 for $5 off your first box! 


August Favorites

I'm not sure why but I feel like it's been forever since I have written a monthly favorites post. I'm so excited to share them with you this month since my two favorites are items I have fully customized.

I have been following the resin jewelry trend for awhile, favoriting a ton of styles on Etsy. I found Lilia Smith's Designs and fell in love with her unique items. Of course I found her while searching for resin jewelry but she also creates and sells prints and wire jewelry.

I wanted a piece that would match all of my jewelry, last season I was very into the rose gold trend but I currently wear a lot more silver. I asked Lilia if she could make a clear resin ring with gold, rose gold, and silver flakes inside. Lilia was awesome to work with and if you want a similar piece you should definitely scroll through her Etsy shop. 

'Frownies' Eye Gel| Cruelty Free Beauty Review

At twenty-one years old, my under eye area isn't that big of a concern when going through my skincare routine. However, I have noticed that with long nights spent studying and not getting enough hydration my dark circles have been getting worse. So I thought why not try to add something new to my routine. Frownies kindly sent me a sample of their eye gels to try out.
A pack of Frownies

Colour Pop Gel Liner| Cruelty Free Review

Recently, I have been trying out a lot of products that are new to me, and I love sharing them on my blog. In 2014 I lived for the felt tipped eyeliner pen. I was constantly sporting winged liner. This summer I wanted to try something new and a bit more colorful.

I ordered Colour Pop Cosmetic's Gel Liner in the shades Prance and Overboard just to add a bit more vibrancy to my everyday makeup. This is my first purchase from Color Pop and my first time using a gel liner.
My First Color Pop Purchase

My First Time Trying a Sheet Mask| Alba Botanica 'Hawaiian Detox'

Today I tested out the Alba Botanica's Hawaiian Detox Sheet Mask. This is my first time using a sheet mask and I was really excited to find a cruelty free one!

Sheet masks are a product of the Asian skincare market, and while they have some really amazing and innovative products-- if they are sold in China they are (usually) tested on animals. I recently learned that  mandatory testing was lifted on some products, but I still steer away from many Asian products for this reason.

My first thought when applying this mask was that its super saturated, there is no rinsing required after using this mask as it is serum enriched. So that wet feel the mask has is just all that great serum. Most sheet masks are not for my skin type either, so I was excited to find this one.
Mini Haul: Keep An Eye Out For More Reviews

First Impressions of Burts Bees BB Cream

This past weekend I did a bit of drug store makeup shopping after seeing that Burt's Bees released a BB Cream. In the summer months especially I hate caking makeup on my face and have been in search of a cruelty free BB Cream. I attempted filming a little 'get ready with me' style video to show you how it applied, but  photo booth is awful at picking up on skin finishes. 

July Favorites// Mini Haul and Update

I feel like it has been forever since I have written a post, I usually queue my posts a few weeks before to maintain a nice schedule of posts since my work schedule is a little unpredictable. I'm currently sitting in my living room watching MTV's 'The Hills' marathon, this isn't a show I ever got into. I think I was a bit young when it originally aired, but I like having background noise as I work on other things.

One thing I want to announce is that I am now a Barklyn Grace brand ambassador, they are a "pup-branded" apparel company that donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescues and shelters. Their dog themed products are adorable, and you guys already know from my promo page that I love repping companies with a cause.

Here's a picture of my first purchase from Barklyn Grace, I love the size of this water bottle. I need to focus on drinking more water and I think it'll be easier now that I can take 32oz of it with me at a time! It's on sale currently, but you can use the code 'LUXEBLOG20' for 20% of any of the items on their site.

Another thing that I have been obsessed with is my Bando planner. I love having a well organized planner, especially with the fall semester right around the corner. I haven't had a bando planner before, but so far I really like the design.

One Weekend D.I.Y.

I had plans to take before pictures, but it slipped my mind until I began painting the front of my dresser. So my apologies for not having a true before and after.

Much of my Grandpa's antique and old furniture now lives in my basement. It's been stored there for about six years now. After my Grandfather was hospitalized from a fall he took, he was admitted to a nursing home for physical therapy and rehabilitation. We moved his things out of his apartment and into our home, in the hopes that his stay at the nursing home would be short and we could move him into another apartment in a few months. Unfortunately that didn't happen and my grandfather passed away. Not a day goes by where something doesn't remind me of him, and all the stories and wisdom he passed on to me.

Out of the furniture that he left there was one piece that I always thought was pretty cool. A three drawer dresser, or a chest? I'm not sure, apparently I'm wrong for calling it a dresser... no one else in my family refers to it as such.

Anyway, when my Grandpa lived close by I would often clean his apartment and polish the furniture, this was one of my favorite pieces because it held random knick knacks, vintage photos, a short story my grandpa wrote, letters, and even a typewritten family tree that was written in German. The piece doesn't hold any value aside from sentimental, so I thought it fitting to keep.

Upon graduation next year, I intend to move into an apartment once I find a job. New York apartments tend to be small, as I'm sure they are in most places. But I figured having an extra dresser would be nice for storage. The dresser is pretty solid, and the drawers, although hard to move because of the lack of tracks, are dove tailed (which you just cant find nowadays... at least not in the price range of a college student).
"Before"... after sanding, and partially painted
This whole project was done, with the help of my Dad in two days. This is an easy weekend DIY for any student or apartment dweller on a budget!

The first thing we did was sand the dresser. We used cabinet paint, which doesn't require you to strip the furniture down to bare wood. You simply need to remove any shine or gloss. We sanded some parts down further to try to even out any dents or scratches. This was super easy to do with an electric sander.

Summer Internship| Haul

Now that my internship is complete I feel like I have a bit more time to breath. I really enjoyed interning and getting the chance to show off my editing and design skills. I was able to complete my 120 required hours in about a month, and I'm really happy I worked out my schedule that way. It was a bit difficult to rearrange the hours at my job to accommodate the internship, and it certainly didn't help my wallet but regardless I am happy I now have the rest of the summer to catch up. I would definitely recommend pacing your internship in this manner.

If you're just beginning your time at college or university the idea of an internship might seem daunting. I promise, it's not so scary! Last month I worked for a New York State Assemblyman, and I really enjoyed working in a field I am not overly familiar with. I helped curate a lot of his media posts, created graphics, and edited videos. These are all skills that pertain to my minor, which is New Media.

Your school should have someone to help guide you through the process of obtaining your internship, this person may have connections and reach out to them to help you get those hours, or they may guide you through applying on your own!

You might be asking yourself what is appropriate to wear or what should I bring to my internship, So I have compiled this post to address that.

What's In My Gym Bag?

I made a promise to myself that when the semester ended I would get my butt back to the gym. Last year I enrolled in a kickboxing program at a local gym, and went religiously for months until one day it just became too much with my schedule... not to mention my gym is 20 minutes away. I decided that this summer I would stop making excuses and go back.

A friend recommended this gym to me after she joined and had amazing results, I'm not trying to lose much fat, but rather gain muscle and I think this program helps me do just that... as long as I put the time and effort in. (But kickboxing is a great way to lose weight for those who wish to do so.)

I went back this week and the first class was brutal, but it made me happy to get back in there. I know after a few weeks of training at least 3 times a week I'll start to feel stronger and this will come easier to me. My roundhouse kicks are still on point though.

New Nightly Oil Routine

If you regularly read my blog I'm sure you already know that I am obsessed with Tarte's Brazilliance Self Tanner, it's something that I use regularly throughout the year. It leaves my skin feeling soft, doesn't irritate my skin (even on my face), and it creates a beautiful and natural looking glow.

Recently I have been trying the #BarSoapChallenge--- that's not a real hashtag but it's what I have decided to call the project. To summarize; my boyfriend thinks he knows a bit more about skincare than me so I decided to give his suggestions a try. You can find out if his challenge works here.
A New Addition to my Routine

#TheBarSoapChallenge// Testing my Boyfriend's Bar Soap Theory

My boyfriend likes to give me skincare advice... I love him, but I am very stubborn about my routine. Over the years I have figured out a system that works for me, so I don't really take anyone's advice about what to do for my skin.

I have had acne since I was about 12 years old and I saw a dermatologist from ages 14 to 20. After doing some research recently I read that dairy might be the cause of my skin issues. I gave it a try and have given up dairy, with the exception of a few dinners at friend's houses, and date nights. ---I don't like to dictate what people are cooking, or ordering as appetizers based on a dietary restriction that isn't really going to harm me if I don't stick to it. So once in awhile I cheat on the dairy free alternatives.

After cheating on Daiya twice in one week I suffered from some pretty stubborn breakouts. My boyfriend suggested trying bar soap, since, after all his skin is perfect and that's all he uses. No toners, moisturizers, gel cleansers (which is my standard), or serums.... absolutely nothing else. My boyfriend is blessed with good genes and has clear and relatively normal skin. I on the other hand, as you know, suffer from acne, but also have combination skin.

I was curious about his theory though. When I first started seeing a dermatologist they suggested I use Dove's Beauty Bar (soap) when I cleansed my skin. I never really saw a difference based on that switch alone... but six years later? What the heck?! Lets try it again.

I am currently testing out Tom's Of Maine Daily Moisture Natural Beauty Bar, which is a cruelty free alternative to the Dove one I tried long ago. The bar contains Olive Oil, which is something I usually stay away from with my skin type, as well as Vitamin E. I will come back to this post after a week to talk about the results.
My Tom's Beauty Bar

My Favorites Stores to Shop At

Like many other females I love shopping, but bad service can be such a turn off and really deter me from shopping at a store again in the future. This is a a list I have been compiling for quite awhile, after shopping at these stores numerous times and having wonderful customer service.
A peek into my shopping bag from a day trip during Study Abroad
  • Victoria's Secret
    • This past week I received amazing service at Victoria's Secret. I have an angel card, and  shop there quite regularly.  I am usually a bit overwhelmed by the variety so I like to get an idea of what I'm looking for online first. However, this time I stopped in unexpectedly. The sales women were amazing, I was measured and brought a bunch of different options to try on and I left feeling confident and very happy with my purchases. I also love shopping there during a sale, this week I received a free perfume gift set. Having an angel card is definitely worth it as long as you're responsible, and can pay it off on time. The interest rate is a bit high if you're someone that doesn't pay off your cards right away. Once you reach a certain amount of points on your card you receive gift cards to use towards future purchases, plus you get perks when shopping online! 
  • Alex & Ani
    • On Long Island collecting Alex & Ani bracelets is a pastime, seriously I'm pretty sure all my friends own at least one and I have been gifted them on numerous occasions. I have mentioned this on the blog before, if I remember correctly, but for my 20th birthday my boyfriend bought me a beautiful Alex & Ani necklace. A few months ago the chain broke and I'm pretty sentimental about gifts, so I was bummed that it was broken. Since the chain slides I didn't think I would be able to fix it at a local jeweler so I contacted Alex & Ani's customer service instead. The process was incredibly easy, I just had to fill out a form and send a picture of the broken chain, and they sent me a new one! I highly recommend shopping with Alex & Ani. 

June Favorites// Update and Mini Haul

I really want to get back into beauty blogging, a lot of my posts recently have been based on other topics, and while I'm so happy and blessed that I was able to travel this year cruelty free beauty is something I am passionate about and love to write about. I am hoping to bring more of that back to this site.

I have been chatting with a few companies, and hopefully I will have some fun new posts coming up.

In practically every post this month I have been saying how busy my schedule is, however I am now in the final days of my internship. I have had a lot of fun editing, and creating social media content for my boss but in truth it has been rough trying to balance everything. I am happy to be getting back into coaching golf this month, and putting more hours into my job as well as this blog.

If you read my last post you would have seen that I have been testing out some new (to me) products from SunBum. As promised I would like to let you know my thoughts on those.

I have only been to the beach twice this month, and since I am awful at applying sunscreen I have also been sunburned twice. Having some sort of aloe treatment on hand in the summer is vital. Last month I picked up Sun Bum's "Cool Down" spray. This product contains aloe and cucumber extract to help soothe irritation. I am actually really happy with this product. I use it after showering to restore moisture to otherwise dry and sun damaged skin. I found the product to be hydrating and soothing. I also love the light cucumber scent.
My Mini Haul

What's In My Beach Bag Featuring Bohemian Island (+ New Cruelty Free Finds!)

Summer is finally here, and I was so excited to visit the beach this weekend! After realizing that I had run out of most of the sun products I had left over from last summer, I decided to try out some new things. I wanted to share my haul with you, since all of my products are cruelty free! 

I also reached out to a company called Bohemian Island earlier this year, and was lucky enough to receive a pair of their shorts. I'm so happy to finally be able to wear them, now that the weather has warmed up. Bohemian Island is an awesome company, not only is their clothing super comfy, but they stand for such a great cause! They donate 10% of their proceeds to the Soi Dog Foundation, which is an organization that rescues and cares for thousands of stray dogs and cats in Thailand. I own these super cute shorts, and am so happy to be spreading the word about such a great brand. 
My 'Hansa Elephant' Shorts

An Overpackers Guide to Packing

If you're anything like me, chances are you are excited by the idea of adventure and stuff everything you could possibly need into your checked luggage. Well I realized how ridiculous that was during my trip to Ireland. I brought an extra pair of shoes (that I never got to wear), a swim suit and cover up dress (even though I never went to the pool), hair appliances, extra product, and about three days of clothes extra. Had I not packed so much I think I would've felt more comfortable bringing home  more souvenirs. I was very conservative when shopping because I was concerned about things not fitting in my bag.

After going to Ireland I learned what I did and didn't need when packing, so I thought I would make a checklist for both my readers and my future self.

Traveling to the Emerald Isle

Last month I posted about creating an easy to travel with wedding outfit, with an announcement that I would be going to Ireland for a wedding.

I had the exciting opportunity to be able to visit Ireland last month. Ireland is a country that I had wanted to see for sometime. When I studied abroad in London, England I aimed to travel to some nearby countries, but it never happened. 

Ireland is a place I have always wanted to go, since hearing the story of my great, great grandmother who travelled in steerage to Ellis Island from County Kerry. I wasn't able to visit Kerry this time around, but I'm hoping to return in the future. 

I had so much fun traveling to Trim, with my boyfriend's family. We were guests at his cousin's wedding, which was beautiful. It was my first time attending an Irish wedding. 
A view of the countryside in Trim

During our week abroad, we also visited Dublin for a day, and traveled to areas surrounding Trim for the wedding. Being a passenger in Ireland was scary enough with the narrow roads, and roundabouts; I can only imagine actually driving there.
The Temple Bar area of Dublin

May Favorites

Hello everyone! It feels like finals just ended, but its almost June already! This month I have been training at my new job as well as interviewing for what will be my second internship, which I hope to be taking during the fall semester.

Next month I will begin my summer internship and honestly I am very excited for the 9-5, but I have been trying to take it easy on the few days I have to myself. I picked up my knitting needles the other morning and much to my surprise, I still remember how to use them! Here are some other activities and miscellaneous nonsense I have been loving this month.

  1. Netflix
    • Ok, it's the obvious favorite of every college student. This month I have specifically been loving  MadMen, Dexter, and Bob's Burgers for when I need something lighthearted. 
  2. "Hello Life
    • +Marcus Butler, an English YouTube star, debuted his healthy lifestyle (and intro to adult life) book a few months ago. I bought it when it first became available and although it is a very quick read I found it has some great tips. With such a hectic school and work schedule I haven't been able to read as much as I would like, but I loved flipping through Marcus' book in my spare time. 
  3. Pura Vida Bracelets
    • You might already know this but I love Pura Vida! They're an accessory company that help create jobs in Costa Rica for artisans. I have been wearing this bracelet the most this month, but they just unveiled new rose gold styles and I am in love! I am a campus rep for Pura Vida, so if you decide to make a purchase from this awesome company, remember to use the code 'PATTIANN20' for 20% off. Keep on eye out for limited edition bracelets as well, I was able to snag a really cute one for my mom on Mother's Day.
  4. Purple & Gray 
    • When I first started my blog purple was my main accent color... It still is, but if you have been following me for a few months you will notice I underwent a huge change as far as theme and graphics. I created all my own graphics using an online design site and I really love them! 
    • I love them so much that I carried the theme into my bedroom. Late last month my room was in need of a new coat of paint so I decided on purple, and all my accent pieces are gray. Since I am now entering my senior year of college, and hope to be moving closer to wherever I obtain a job I wanted the accent pieces in my room to be very neutral since I will be moving with most of it. I went with gray because I do not currently have a vision of how I want my future apartment to be decorated. I am really liking the cool tones, as a change from my formerly spring yellow walls.
  5. Trader Joes Cookie Butter
    • Oh cookie butter, something I have heard about for so long but never ventured to try. Cookie Butter is a spread sold at Trader Joe's Grocery Stores, it is basically cookies crushed up and made into a spread equivalent to peanut butter. I have been loving this spread as a dip for apples and spread on whole grain waffles.
What have you all been loving this past month? Let me know in the comments. <3

Charcoal Toothbrush| Review

I was lucky enough to stumble upon B.BINCHOTAN earlier this month while I was perusing Instagram. I got in touch with their rep and was given the chance to try out their product. 

According to their website "B.binchotan is a lifestyle brand that represents the highest quality of simplistic and minimalist Binchotan charcoal products. Binchotan charcoal is an activated charcoal that is also considered to be a natural antibacterial, it has the ability to adsorb the compound and toxin called Tannin. Tannin is responsible for the stains in your teeth that are found through everyday liquids consumed by you such as coffee, tea, tobacco, wine and berry like fruits. This decreases your chances of anti fungal and will rid of any bacteria that would likely to cause bad breath".

The Right Way to Get Rid of Pesky Blemishes

Ok, so I know those extraction videos are all the rage right now, but don't worry guys I won't expose you to any videos or photo demonstrations. I read this post on Byrdie the other night which inspired me to write a bit on this matter.

Although the needle method is sterile and probably works great it's not my cup of tea. I don't really want to poke needles into my skin unless it's for a vaccine.

About a month ago I purchased an extraction tool with one of my online orders. This has honestly changed the game for me. We all know that picking at our skin is awful, it can lead to scarring, infection, and even make your spot last longer. However, this tool is gentle and doesn't squeeze your skin the same way you would with your fingers, therefore it does not push bacteria or dirt deeper into your skin.

The package says you can gently "roll away" blackheads or whiteheads. There are two ends to the tool, the flat side is for whiteheads and the side that is bent is for blackheads. I can honestly say that since I started using this tool my blemishes have cleared up much faster.

Kylie Cosmetics Gloss Review featuring The Fit Foodnista

Hello everyone! I hope you have been enjoying the beautiful weather this week. I have been finishing up my final exams and papers, as has +Rebecca, but we wanted to collaborate on another post for you guys! 

Since our first collab Becca and I have been brainstorming ideas for another, and since we both ordered from Kylie Cosmetics when the new ranges launched we thought this was perfect! If you haven't already checked out her blog I strongly suggest that you do, she's absolutely lovely and has a great variety of posts including beauty, healthy eating, and fitness. 

Here are Becca's thoughts on her Kylie purchases; 

Review| HASK Charcoal Purifying Hair Care Collection

This week I had the opportunity to review HASK's line of Charcoal Purifying Haircare Products. HASK is a brand I have mentioned on my blog before, I love their mask packets especially the Monoi Coconut Oil Deep Conditioner. The best part is, HASK is cruelty free!

When I first heard about the charcoal range of products I was a bit wary... charcoal?... in my hair? However, I have used charcoal cleansers on my skin before, and I know charcoal is wonderful for purifying. As I have said before in past haircare reviews my hair can be somewhat oily if I don't use the correct products, so I was actually really excited to try a purifying shampoo because it was a concept that I hadn't tried before.
My samples provided by HASK

Summer Wedding Packing Guide

This month I am fortunate enough to be traveling to Ireland for a wedding. I have not been to Ireland yet so I'm so excited to be going on this trip. As the trip is nearing I have been considering what I will be wearing on that day, I have already chosen my dress, which is pictured below, and now I am considering the details like hair and makeup.

I bought this gorgeous pastel blue skater dress for the wedding, it's not as formal as dresses I have worn for special occasions in the past but I like that I can potentially dress it down. I love the scalloped edges and the length is perfect. Unfortunately I do have to get the waist altered, but I ordered the wrong size haha.

I plan on wearing black or nude pumps to the wedding, I think nude would look better, But I plan on bringing a black cardigan, so I feel either would work.

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Mother's Day is never easy for me, honestly no holiday is, but that is my own fault. I'm an overachiever when it comes to gifts, I go crazy trying to find the perfect gift. This year I was at a bit of a loss as what I should buy my Mom for Mother's Day.

I decided that creating a board might spark some inspiration and sharing it may help someone else out too! After choosing the SandCloud towel, I went with a lot of other boho options, but I think my mom would really like the lokai, candle or any of the handbags.

I have been in a beach state of mind this week, I'm writing this quick post during hell week so the beach sounds amazing right now. A few of these are things I see buying myself in the next few months. Specifically the SandCloud Towel, I love that they come in double wide sizes as well, since part of a Long Island summer is hitting the beach with your friends. SandCloud is an awesome and ethical brand, they donate their proceeds to helping marine life.

Mothers Day Gift Guide

Spa Evening| Pamper Routine

Having a night to myself is essential; being a student, working, blogging, and constantly traveling can be stressful. If haven't already set aside one night a week to relax, I highly suggest it. Having this night to look forward to helps cut down on stress.

One of the first things I do on Wednesday nights is light a candle, some of my favorites include Mahogany Teakwood, Bow Ties & Bourbon, Baja Cactus Blossom, as well as London- Tea and Lemon. If you're familiar with any of those scents you'll notice that I love darker cologne-esque fragrances as well as light fresh scents. I was really excited when I received Brooklinen's Bourbon & Blood Orange candle to review. It perfectly marries the darker scent with a lighter fresh orange fragrance. I highly recommend giving this one a try, especially if you're somewhat of a candle snob like me. And who doesn't love chalkboard painted jars?!

Before a shower or bath I like to apply a face mask, one of my favorite clay masks at the moment is from Era Organics. I've mentioned it before, but you really can't go wrong when pampering yourself with dead sea mud. 

Four Facts Tag

Jena from Provoke a Smile tagged me in this adorable tag and I figured it would be a great post for my followers to know a bit about me. 


  1. My dad calls me cuckoo bird... I have no idea why but he's been calling me that my whole life. I never really had that stage of childhood where I asked him not to call me that, so at 20 I'm still known as cuckoo bird.
  2. My boyfriend calls me nicknames such as pumpkin, pudding, and love. I love it and him.  
  3. In high school a friend of mine called me chives, I think it was because we were talking about how everyone mispronounces my last name. 
  4. One of my close friends called me Pam after a teacher in our high school called me that. I went to catholic school and by senior year they weren't as hard on you about uniform infractions so a lot of us bent the rules a little. (rolled up blazer sleeves, untucked shirts.. things like that)I had this teacher freshman year and she caught me in the hall outside of passing time and said "Pam tuck in your shirt".... she didn't have that many students so I'm not sure why she thought my name was Pam, but whatever. 


  1. Italian Ice Stand
  2. County Club (Assistant Coach and Proshop Sales) 
  3. Golf Coach (outside of the country club) 
  4. Baby-sitter


I'm awful at keeping up with movies but here are a few that I can think of off the top of my head.
  1. The Notebook 
  2. Deadpool 
  3. Kingsman 
  4. Pirates of the Caribbean (I honestly loved all of these films) 

New Skincare Routine| How I Cleared Up my Skin

I've been meaning to write this post for quite awhile now, but I wanted to make sure that the changes I had made were really working for me. This time last year my face... well it wasn't something I was confident about. It's taken a lot of adjustments as well as some trial and error to figure out what works for me, but I think at almost 21 years of age I've got my routine down. Here are some steps I have taken, and changes I have made to improve my complexion, I hope these tips work for you as well.

  • Love Yourself

    • Not that I really wanted to quote Justin Bieber or anything, but seriously! Get comfortable in your skin, take a break during the week to treat yourself to a face mask, drink water, just treat yourself right! 

  • Cut Out Dairy

    • This was difficult for me at first but evidence suggests that the hormones in dairy milk can spike androgens in your body, which cause over production of oil and acne. I was skeptical at first but when I slip up and have a few servings of dairy it shows itself throughout the next week. Shopping in the vegan and organic section of my supermarket, Trader Joes and on Thrive Market have made it easier for me to stick to this lifestyle change. Try a glass of vanilla almond milk, trust me, you can give up dairy. 

  • Stick to Natural Based Products

    • Products with tons of chemicals tend to over dry my skin, leaving it dull and lackluster. I've got my routine down now to a science and at least 80% of the products I use are natural. 

  • Exercise

    • I haven't been keeping up with this one lately, but exercise helps to reduce stress and it also makes you sweat, ridding your body of toxins. Stress tends to be what causes the few breakouts that I do see (thanks college), but when I was working out 3 times I week I saw a major difference in both my mood and my skin. 

  • Go Makeup Free

    • This is hard for some people, but I'm going back to my first point "love yourself". You need to let your skin breathe. I never thought I could go barefaced, and I hadn't from the age of 14-19. I'm now realizing why my skin was terrible for all those years. I now go makeup free at least 6 days out of the week! It took me some time, but I had to learn to feel confident and beautiful with how I look naturally. I can't give instructions on that, all I can say is it took a little bit of bravery. Now it feels normal! I don't leave campus feeling like my skin cannot breathe, and my pores are smaller than ever. 

MAKE Beauty Review| #MAKEYourself

This week I had the chance to test out a cosmetic company that I was not previously aquatinted with. MAKE Beauty is a cruelty free beauty company that produces beautiful products. They were kind enough to provide me with the most adorable little samples.

I tested out the Matte Finish Eyeshadow in Alabaster, and the Silk Cream Lipstick in Taffy

Both samples that I received were kind of  'your skin but better' shades. I wish I got more interesting shades because MAKE has a wide variety of colors, but I used the eyeshadow as a base and think it looks beautiful blended with other colors. The eyeshadow was very pigmented and was easily picked up by my brush. Overall I'm really happy with this shadow, and I look forward to trying out some of their full size colors. These are my two favorite shades!

March Favorites (& a Bit of Girl Talk)

March has been kind of a strange month for me. It has been one of my most hectic, yet lazy months of the semester. All the work seems to be piling on, but it's spring break as I'm writing this so I've thankfully gotten some downtime, some of it lazy and some of it adventurous. As usual I have a monthly favorites post for you all, much of it having to do with health and wellness!

  • Series 8 Fitness Exercise Ball
    • I picked this up at my local Five Below for $5, my goal is to use it a couple times a week to work on my core muscles. I think as finals come around exercising a bit more will help relieve stress. 
  • LOLA Cotton Tampons
    • It may seem a bit strange to some of you that I would include these in a favorites, or on my blog at all, but LOLA was kind enough to send me a box of their natural cotton tampons to try out and post about. Over the past few months, along with trying to transition to cruelty free products, I have been trying to find other things in my routine that could be improved upon... things that may be synthetic and possibly harmful(?). According to their site the FDA regulates feminine products, but does not require companies to list all of the ingredients in their products. The well known brands that make the feminine products we usually pick up at the store use synthetics and dyes. Although I'm personally not aware if this makes a difference, I feel more comfortable using something that is 100% natural, in the long run I believe it will be better for my body. LOLA is also a subscription service, so you can decide on how many you'll need and how often you want them sent to you, plus you can cancel at anytime.  I suggest ordering a box! 
  • Sweet Potato PopChips 
    • I love sweet potatoes in every form, mashed, baked, fried... so it's no surprise these are one of my favorite snacks. Their sweet, salty, crunchy and satisfying. 
  • Matcha Maiden
    • I am not a huge tea drinker, but I saw these cute little packages at Urban Outfitters and I decided to give it a try.  Green Tea in a powdered form is supposedly more beneficial, and is packed with vitamins and antioxidants. I like that drinking matcha means there won't be any tea leaves floating around. Overall I really enjoyed this tea, I also added some to a face mask. The benefits seem to be endless, my next idea is to add some to a smoothie! 
What have been your favorites this past month? 

Style Switch-Up

If you found this blog through my Tumblr you might have noticed a major shift in the style of my posts over the past year. Gone are the pastel hues, pictures of Cape Cod vacation homes, and boat shoes.
When I first started my Tumblr I named it 'Prepped & Ready'... actually no, it had a much stranger name since I started it my freshman year of high school, but lets not talk about that. Growing up on Long Island and attending private Catholic middle and high schools made a huge impact on my style. When I was ten I began playing golf, and as I got better was sponsored by the parents and friends of other junior coaches to play at various local country clubs. It became apparent that Ralph Lauren was the only way.

Thrive Market Haul Collaboration with The Fit Foodnista

Good Morning, afternoon, evening; whenever you're reading this I hope you've been having a good day! This week Becca (+Rebecca Glasser-Baker) and I have decided to collaborate on a post. This was our first time ordering from Thrive Market, a website that specializes in wholesome products for every lifestyle. I recently became a Thrive affiliate, but I want to note that this post is not sponsored. We each tried some different products from Thrive Market and gave our feedback on each others blogs. Here are Becca's picks! 

Badger Lip Tint in Rose Tourmaline/Opal Shimmer- This product is adorable and great to throw into a bag. I was extremely excited about this product but sadly, it was rather disappointing. It felt moisturizing on my lips but sadly, it did not give me any shimmer or tint. The opal shimmer gave my lips a dulled shine.

Mongo Kiss Lip Balm in Vanilla Honey- As soon as you open this product, the scent of honey fills your nose. It is mild and sweet but not overwhelming. I have tried products from this brand before and I enjoyed them. It was no surprise to me that I thoroughly enjoyed this product and it’s flavor. It felt pretty moisturizing on my lip, it’s a nice solid lip balm.

Coconut Milk Leave-in conditioner- This product is amazing, as soon as you spray it. It brings you to a tropical paradise. The smell of the summer and the beach can be slightly overwhelming but comforting at the same time. It took me a few sprays to get it working, but after using it my hair felt lightweight and conditioned.

Ways I Have Been Using Coconut Oil This Month

In tomorrow's post you'll see that I received a (free) jar of coconut oil with my Thrive Market order. I've always been curious about coconut oil, since I feel like it has had so much hype in the beauty industry and in the health food industry as well. Well I finally got my hands on a jar and it has definitely lived up to the hype, I'm not sure why I was so skeptical before. 

Here Are Four Easy Ways to Use Coconut Oil in Your Beauty Routine: 

As A Moisturizer

  • I have combination, acne prone skin and finding a decent moisturizer is challenging. I started using coconut oil in place of my night cream a few weeks ago and my skin has been thanking me. Coconut oil has antibacterial properties and helps to keep my acne at bay. I've been seeing fewer breakouts. I've also recently realized that oily isn't the opposite of dry on the skin spectrum. Having oily skin actually means that your skin is lacking so much moisture that instead of just feeling dry your skin kicks oil production into high gear in an attempt to add moisture, so using an oil really helps to lock in moisture at night and I see a bit less oil during the day. 

  • I also love to use coconut oil on the rest of my body after a shower.

To Clean Makeup Brushes

  • I mix 1 part coconut oil, 3 parts dish soap, with a few drops of tea tree oil and mix it all together in a bowl. I then use it to clean my beauty blender and my brushes! The oil helps to pull out any pigment that can be stuck in the brushes. 

Function of Beauty: Personalized Haircare Review

Function of Beauty is a new haircare company based out of Connecticut, their products have been engineered by MIT graduates and are designed specifically for your hair needs. After I saw a Facebook advertisement for the company I knew I had to give the brand a try. Is there really a shampoo that does everything you expect it to? 

For reference these were my answers to the questionnaire that helps formulate your custom product

Hair Profile:

  •  Straight
  • Medium 
  • Oily

  • Fix split ends
  • Strengthen
  • Lengthen
  • Control oil
  • Moisturize

  • Cucumber mint 

When opening the box, I really loved the packaging. I love that the bottles are personalized with your name, and the presentation reminded me of spa products. I'm not overly fond of the scent I chose, but I'm kind of picky with minty scents and I should have realized that when I chose it. I am growing accustomed to it though. I like that the set comes with a card listing all of the ingredients and recommendations for a regimen.

After using this line of products for three week I would say that the shampoo and conditioner set does a good job at cleansing my scalp of oil and kept the ends of my hair free from split ends. The issue with my hair is that the roots tend to get oily after a long day, but the ends become damaged very easily since they were color treated (C'mon everyone got an ombre this summer). I haven't seen results as far as lengthening my hair yet, but it was recently cut, so it most likely isn't noticeable yet. Usually a few weeks after a cut a bit of damage is apparent near the ends of my hair, but I've noticed that my hair still looks nourished and healthy!  

Overall, I really like this set and would consider buying another in the future. Maybe your shampoo can do it all, I have a feeling custom products like these are going to revolutionize the way we look at haircare... and most likely skincare in the future. Well done Function of Beauty