August 31, 2017

How To Get Confident, Clear, AcneFree Skin

This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and AcneFree. All opinions are mine alone. #AcneFreeSummer #CollectiveBias

Listen, having flawless skin is not something that comes naturally to me. In fact, quite the opposite. I suffered with my fair share of breakouts growing up, but it wasn't really until I graduated college and my skin did a total 180 and I started experiencing horrible breakouts all over my face that I realized I needed to put some more effort into taking care of my skin and treating my acne.

Enter AcneFree. I had heard horrible things about acne regimens, but couldn't really find anything negative about the brand so I figured I'd give it a shot. I mean.. my skin was already bad, so what could I possible lose, right?


ONE // STOP TOUCHING YOUR FACE: 
This is hands-down probably the number one thing everyone does without even realizing. But when I saw the huge changes my skin made and knew I needed to fix it, I made the extra effort to ensure my hands were always clean, my skin was always clean and that I wasn't touching my face unnecessarily. The amount of dirt and germs stuck on your hands that we don't even see, and then touching your face - it's no wonder we break out so easily!


TWO // LET YOUR SKIN BREATHE:
I am alllllll for makeup. Trust me, I love makeup just as much as the next person, but it's soooo true what they say that makeup can be so bad for your skin. It clogs your pores and makes your skin a breeding ground for imperfections (which then, in turn, you need to use makeup to cover up - the cycle!). I really started to realize that wearing makeup for 12+ hours every day was taking a huge toll on my skin, and I made the pledge to try to go with as little makeup as possible. Now don't get me wrong, I still beat my face when I'm ready, but for work or going for lunch, a little moisturizer, concealer and lipstick go a long way rather than my heavy foundations, powders and products.

THREE // MOISTURIZER IS YOUR BFF: 
I've said it before and I'll say it again.. you need to be moisturizing! Despite the fact that it makes your skin appear so much smoother and more hydrated, it also helps to keep your skin healthy and happy. When I first experienced my breakouts, I went to see a dermatologist who told me that I wasn't moisturizing nearly enough, and so my skin was producing twice as much oil and clogging my pores. Moisturized skin keeps your pores open and healthy, meaning less clogs and less breakouts.

FOUR // INVEST IN ACNE-SPECIFIC PRODUCTS:
Every face wash on the market claims to do a million and one miracle things, but to be honest, the only thing that really made a difference in my breakouts was investing in acne-specific products. Introducing AcneFree - they have tons of different products specific to whichever problems you may be experiencing, from body acne to spot treatment and more, to create the perfect regimen for your skin.


During a particularly bad breakout this summer, I ordered the AcneFree 24 Hour Acne Cleansing System from Amazon (God bless Prime shipping, am I right?). The system has three steps: Oil-Free Purifying Cleanser, Renewing Toner, and Repair Lotion and can be used in both the mornings and nights and even on your chest and back for those who suffer with body acne.

I wash my face with the Oil-Free Purifying Cleanser first, clean my skin using a cotton pad and the Renewing Toner after and end with applying the Repair Lotion all over my face. For someone who hates following instructions, it was surprisingly easy and I saw results really quickly.


FIVE // USE THE RIGHT OVERNIGHT TREATMENTS: 
I know (and hate!) the feeling of going to bed with a horrible breakout, or even one really gross spot, on your face and just hoping, wishing and praying it goes away by the morning, and running to the mirror first thing in the morning only to find it... still there!


When I saw that AcneFree had a medicated prescription-grade spot treatment (complete with micro-benzoyl peroxide), I added it to my order instantly. The Maximum Strength Terminator 10 is my go-to now for that one pesky spot you want gone overnight. I put a little bit on the exact area, and just let it work its magic. It has all of the power of prescription medication while still being incredibly affordable and easily accessible, two of my favorite things. They say you can use it multiple times throughout the day, but I found that even using it at night was enough to make a difference and in 3 days, all of the spots I used it on were completely gone!

If all of this sounds like it's up your alley or exactly what your acne-prone skin is looking for, then you should participate in the #AcneFreeLife Sweepstakes and see visible results in as little as 3 days!


AcneFree is launching a 4-week sweepstakes from August 14th where 3 grand prize winners will win $1,000 spending money and AcneFree Supplies for a year. Plus, they're giving away 10 AcneFree 24 Hour Acne Clearing Systems every week for 4 weeks. No purchase necessary. To enter, simply enter your name and email address here. You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook for even more entries, and see all of the full rules and instructions here too.

AcneFree products are available on Amazon and in both Walmart and Walgreens too, so whether you're an online shopper or you see it while you're strolling down the aisle in your local store next time, you'll want to pick this up!

In the mean time, if you're ready for AcneFree products right now, you can hover over this image and shop them directly so you don't have to wait for amazing, confident, AcneFree skin!



Image Map

August 24, 2017

Skincare Secrets Under $20



It should come as no surprise to anyone reading my blog that I love makeup. But while I love makeup and have grown to invest in products that I love and swear by, it definitely does some damage to your skin. I've always had a complicated history with my skin and I'm definitely not one of those people who are naturally #blessed with perfect skin, no pimples or amazing texture. In fact, I work twice as hard to get my skin to look clear, beautiful and healthy. I have used everything under the sun for my acne problems, but I realized that no matter how many regimes I've used, skin health really starts with ensuring you're getting your skin clean - especially after wearing makeup. Yes, we take off our makeup - but are we really taking it all off?

I'm a firm believer in #ballinonabudget and skincare is no different for me! Back when I was in college, I really couldn't justify spending $100+ on high-end skincare products, and there was always a new product out that claimed to be life-changing and I just couldn't keep up. So I stopped trying to, and I turned to drugstore brands and tried just about everything until I found something that made my skin feel amazing regularly.

In fact, my go-to for skincare is less about using cult products, and more about listening to my skin and making sure I'm focusing on what it needs. And luckily for me, my skin only needs about $20 worth of product, all of which I've picked up from Walmart - and chances are, yours does too!


// Simple® Cleansing Wipes: This is the first step in my makeup removal process. I've tried just about every makeup remover for my super-sensitive skin, and nothing took my makeup off quite as well as these! They're gentle on my skin and even more important, they're incredible gentle on my eyes, so they manage to take my ultra-waterproof mascara off without me having to scrub them. Which means cleaner faces, less wrinkles from less scrubbing and happier skin, thanks to Simple's commitment to not using any artificial perfumes or colors or harsh chemicals. Win, win, win.. am I right?

// Noxzema® Classic Clean: I've tried just about every everyday face wash under the sun, and this is hands down one of my favorites! It's dermatologist tested and proven to deep clean your skin without totally drying it out. It's one of the few cleansers that doesn't leave my skin feeling tight after washing (you know the feeling..) and instead feels super soft and smooth! Plus, it removes dirt, oil and makeup, so it's definitely an important step before I go to bed to make sure my face is 1000% clean.

// St. Ives® Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub: Chances are by now you've heard about this scrub, and for good reason: it's AMAZING! I don't use it every day, usually 3 to 4 times a week when I feel like my skin needs a deeper cleaning and some exfoliating, and it seriously works! It really gets deep into my skin and leaves my face looking super healthy and GLOWING! It's honestly a must-have in EVERY home because it works for just about every type of skin - and at that price point, you really can't go wrong!

// Pond's® Dry Skin Cream: This definitely isn't a super popular opinion, but I love to moisturize my skin before I go to bed. I always moisturize in the mornings too, but after I clean my skin out at night, I put a small amount (I say small because a little goes a super long way here!) of this cream and head to bed. I started doing this like 10 years too late, only last year when I graduated college and my skin did some super weird freakout and I broke out 10 times worse than usual. After a visit to a dermatologist, she explained that my skin may be over-producing oil because I'm not moisturizing enough, causing my breakouts to get even worse. I added this step into my regime and it's been a game-changer. Plus, I wake up with super soft and hydrated skin.


And plus, like I said, I got all of these at Walmart for $20, which is less than I spend on just about anything, and these last so long, so you're definitely getting your bang for your buck. Let's put it this way: I haven't ran out of product yet and I've been using these things for months!


So, I've let it all out. All of my skincare secrets, and I'm so happy to share. My skin has never felt as amazing and as healthy, and I find my skin looking more glowing (and not in that shiny way either!). And while I still get a breakout or two, my skin bounces back faster than ever.

Have you ever used these products before? What do you think of them? 

Image Map

August 04, 2017

Amazon Prime Student: Why It's Worth It

Growing up in Trinidad, I didn’t get to shop as often as my American friends did. Sure, we had malls - but our store choices were far more limited than the average mall. And ordering something online was not only expensive, but took forever too! When I first moved to the US 5 years ago, I was most excited about being able to use Amazon. I mean, I had used Amazon many a time over the years before - to buy camera equipment, books and what would later become e-books when I finally purchased a Kindle - always shipping whatever purchase to my sister’s house in the US and making her fill her suitcases with my goodies when she came to visit.

So when I finally moved to the US, I was just so excited to be able to go online and order basically ANYTHING at the touch of a button, knowing it'll take a matter of days (instead of the weeks it would take to reach me in Trinidad). So naturally, when I moved, I signed up for Amazon Prime Student because helloooo Free Two-Day Shipping is just ALWAYS a good idea!


So over the years of Amazon Prime Student, I've come to love the service and all it offers. I'm always the one convincing friends to join Amazon Prime Student, and they always do after they hear all the reasons why I love it, and I wanted to share it with you:


ONE: FREE Two-Day shipping // Ok, so chances are you already knew this one... but, it’s worth mentioning if you’re not aware. Amazon Prime Student members receive unlimited FREE Two-Day shipping on millions of items across Amazon (if you're an online shopper like me, you KNOW shipping can cost a pretty penny!). So basically, you can get whatever it is you need, right when you need it! In my four years of college, I’ve ordered basically everything on Amazon, from a curling wand to a pack of granola bars, and from a cell phone case to the textbook I needed for my paper due in two days (And YES, I have ordered all of these things on Amazon Prime Student… I have no shame in admitting that I ordered granola bars online... when you’re a hungry college student sometimes there’s just no time to go grocery shopping!). So needless to say,  the free two-day shipping your with Amazon Prime Student membership is a GODSEND! There’s nothing like the panic of needing a textbook for class and realizing the rush shipping price is out of this world. With an Amazon Prime Student membership, you have the ability to ship textbooks in two days for free.


TWO: Exclusive deals, sales and specials // Yep, your Amazon Prime Student membership includes more than FREE Two-Day Shipping. Not only does Amazon celebrate "Prime Day" which is a one-day shopping event with huge savings and specials solely for Amazon Prime members, but almost every time Amazon has a sale, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday for example, Amazon Prime Student members have access to some of the best deals 30 minutes before non-Prime members do. I almost always save my big purchases, especially electronics, for those big sale days - and I’ve gotten amazing deals! Plus, Amazon Prime Student members receive unlimited access to over a thousand books, magazines, articles and more with Prime Reading.


THREE: Prime Photos & Prime Music //  To be honest, I forgot the fact that my Amazon Prime Student membership included Prime Music. I recently decided to give it a try, and I’m seriously hooked. Think no ads, handpicked playlists and over a million songs to listen to, all included with your Amazon Prime Student membership! And don't get me started on Prime Photos - also known as the GAME CHANGER if you're anyone who has a smartphone and is constantly hit with the "no storage" message - yeah, you know the one. As a Prime Student member, you get access to unlimited cloud storage for safekeeping of your pics.  I used to spend $3 a month for a photo storage platform and STILL ran out of room on my phone because I'm a photo hoarder and I'm not ashamed, so thankfully I no longer have to choose between that irritating storage message and keeping these photos and memories to look back and laugh/cringe in years to come. Definitely an added perk to the membership!


FOUR: Prime Video // Like you, your mother, and your best friend, I watch TV shows and movies like it’s my job, and I’m always looking for new things to watch. So when I discovered that my Amazon Prime Student membership came with Prime Video, well Jesus take the wheel, I was hooked. Not only do I have access to a huge movie library, tons of cool documentaries and a wide selection of new and old TV shows, but I also get to watch some of the Amazon original shows, like Catastrophe, Transparent (which won a Golden Globe) and The Man in the High Castle (which won an Emmy)! So, clearly, this is good TV. The best part? Guilt-free TV-watching because it’s already included in the membership you’re paying for, so you can binge happily knowing you’re saving yourself money each month!


FIVE: Amazon Prime Student pricing // It's all of the goodness of Amazon Prime for students who are #ballinonabudget (like we always are!). And you can qualify for Amazon Prime Student no matter what kind of student you are - traditional, part-time, community college, graduate, etc.. which is just amazing because I can't tell you how many "student services" only accept students in traditional four-year programs. Students get a six-month trial at NO cost to them, and even better, the Amazon Prime Student membership is 50% off regular Amazon Prime pricing, which means that even after the six month trial, you're still paying less than you normally would. Uh, helloooo? Talk about a good deal! (Start your Amazon Prime Student six-month trial, at no cost to you, here)

Do you use Amazon Prime Student? What's your favorite part?


Thank you to Amazon Prime Student and Her Campus Media for partnering with me on today’s post! All thoughts and opinions are my own.  

Image Map

April 24, 2017

Balancing Work, Life AND a Side Hustle

If you remember reading the lessons I've learnt in four years of blogging, you'll know that blogging takes a TON of work. So it shouldn't be a shock to anyone that finding a way to balance your life, and a full-time job or school, plus blogging or another side hustle, feels like it's damn near impossible sometimes!

Sometimes, there's just too much that demands our attention and there's way too little of us to give, and that's okay! It's important to recognize that we aren't superheroes, and we can't do everything, even if we want to!

So because I spent the last four years balancing (at different points): a blog, full-time school, on-campus jobs, a sorority and other campus (over)involvement, a full-time job, a side-hustle job, AND somewhat of a social life, I've decided to share my little secrets. No, it's not easy.. but is it worth it? Absolutely!


1. write it down // whatever it is, just write it down. I ALWAYS have a notebook on me because thoughts always pop into my mind at the most random moment. Whether it's a blog post idea, a marketing concept for a client, some ideas for my day job or a meeting or appointment that I scheduled, I write everything down, along with little to-dos and reminders for each "category" and it saves my life! It's the first step to getting my shit together, something that's definitely necessary to do everything!


2. take care of you // it's overwhelming as it is to do one, but trying to juggle all three on top of everything else you have going on is a whole different ball game. Try to take some time for you, and find the time to do the things you enjoy doing or you'll be on the road to burnout in no time. And make sure to take care of your body. I am the most guilty of sacrificing sleep when I have so much going on, but it's so importan to ensure you're taking proper care of your body! Whether that means eating a salad for lunch, drinking more water, getting those 8 hours in or going for a run after work, the more you take care of you, the more energy and strength you'll have to keep going and be even more productive.

3. know your priorities // maybe you're willing to write one less blog post this week if it means making it to your best friend's birthday dinner, and maybe you're happy to skip the gym to finish up that blog series you're working on. Know what you're willing to give up to achieve what you want, and honor them! So if that weekly TV show on Monday nights (Bachelor, anyone?! #TeamRaven) is important "you time", then by all means take it!

4. it's okay to say no // hey! you do A LOT! so yes, while you'd love to volunteer to run that charity bake sale, or you were asked to take on more responsibility at something you're involved in, don't say no right away.. consider it! BUT, if taking on more responsibilities is going to make one of your priorities suffer, then know it's okay to turn down the opportunity. I was always a "yes man" and I got seriously burnt out at 21 years old. First came the panic attack, then came the emotional breakdown, and then eventually I barely wanted to do anything. So, if saying "yes" adds way too much to your plate and sacrifices your emotional health and sanity, then say NO!

5. schedule schedule schedule // I cannot stress this enough... scheduleeee! The only thing that really keeps all my shit together when I'm taking on a million tasks, is the fact that I use a planner. Writing down everything from random notes, to-do's, appointments, meetings and important dates, and so so so much more keeps my life in order and my brain from being pure mush.

I've been a longtime fan of Erin Condren's life planners for quite some time as you well know by now, and I've tried the different layouts but I kept coming back to the vertical layout. Now, instead of being broken down by morning, day and night, the three sections are blank, for you to use however you want. Personally, I break it down by category: blog, work and personal. So I know at a glance what each "section" of my life requires from me for the day!


Plus, with customizable stickers, bright pens, snap-in dashboards and personalized covers, it's the perfect accessory to organize your life, and I mean every part of it! Interested? Take $10 off your first Erin Condren purchase!

-- 

So there you have it.. the key to staying on top of everything and somehow staying sane! These are the years for the full-hustle, side-hustle and every kind of hustle! Go forth and slay, ladies! 


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Erin Condren. The opinions and text are all mine.



Image Map