Review: Maybelline City Mini Palette + Eye Makeup Tutorial

Hey beauty lovers! I recently purchased some new makeup items that I had never tried before, and I wanted to share one of them with you today! I am a big lover of makeup, and I can confidently say that Maybelline is my favorite drugstore brand. I love Maybelline because it is an affordable brand that is always releasing new beauty products, and I would say that most of their products are made with great quality for the price! I mostly purchase the mascaras, and I would say that the “Lash Sensational Curvitude” and the “Falsies Lash Lift” mascaras are my favorites! I’ve heard great things about the new “Sky High” mascara, so I am hoping to try it out soon!  Today, however, I will be reviewing the Maybelline “City Mini Palette” in ”Chill Brunch Neutrals”. I am also sharing an eye makeup tutorial to go along with it!

This product has been around for a few years now, but I finally decided to purchase it. I found it at my local Target for $7.59, however you can buy these palettes from Amazon, the drugstore, or even the Maybelline website itself! The prices can vary slightly, but you’re going to pay about $8 for it. There are many different options when it comes to the City Mini Palette, so I did have trouble deciding on which one I wanted to buy! I loved that the names all related to New York City! For example, there was “Downtown Sunrise”, “Matte About Town”, and “Rooftop Bronzes”. There are palettes with neutral shades or bright shades, shimmers or mattes, and some even have a combination!

I ultimately chose the “Chill Brunch Neutrals” palette! I decided to go with this one in particular because it seemed to have the perfect mix of matte and shimmer shades, and the colors are absolutely stunning! While anyone can rock these colors, I do think that they would look perfect on people with brown eyes! I liked that this palette included colors that I may not always wear, such as the plum purple and the light pink. I also really like that this palette is small (hence the name), so you can literally bring it anywhere and everywhere with you! It is great for the girl on-the-go! You can create so many different makeup looks with just this palette alone, and you can make it as dramatic or as simple as you want! There is a look for any and all occasions!

As you will see in the makeup tutorial, I went for a more dramatic eye look. I wanted to incorporate multiple colors into the look, and I wanted it to be bold and unlike my go-to makeup. The palette includes six gorgeous shades; a cream, a light pink, a champagne, a taupe, a silver purple, and a plum. When trying out new eyeshadows, there are two main things that I look for: pigmentation and how blendable they are. For this palette, I would say that the shadows are pretty pigmented, but nothing too outstanding. The shimmer shades were maybe a bit less pigmented, which can be common. Out of all of the shadows, the cream, the light pink, and the plum were not as shimmery as the others.

Something that I noticed about these shadows is that they all looked very different and beautiful in the palette, however when applying them, they all just seemed to be a different shade of brown. I wasn’t sure if it was the way I applied them, or if it was the combination of colors that I used, but it didn’t turn out the way I was hoping it would. I wanted a look that included a bit more color (in this case purple), but you can’t really tell from looking at my eyes. Although it wasn’t exactly what I pictured, I went along with it to see how it would turn out. When it came time to blend, it was a tiny bit tricky with the darker shades (the plum color, for example). For the most part it was easy to blend though, just make sure to apply a little bit at a time, and blend as you go!

If I am being honest, this palette did not exactly exceed my expectations. For me personally, I think that I may have to use it a few more times, and try to create some different looks with it. Maybe the colors just don’t exactly work well together, but I may have to try it out again! If I created a simple makeup look using the lighter colors, maybe it could have turned out differently, but as I mentioned, the colors just seemed to blend together, creating different shades of brown. The sparkles also seemed to disappear a bit once I applied the shadows, so the look turned out to be a bit more matte. To my surprise, I ended up really liking the look I created! It was not what I had in mind in the beginning, but it was still bold, dramatic, and beautiful; just in a different way.

Overall, I didn’t fall in love with this palette, and I am not sure if it is a product that I will reach for often. Like I said, I may try to create a different look, and maybe then I’d rave about it, but for now I would rate this product 3/5 stars.

And now for the eye makeup tutorial!

  • First, it is so important to prime your eyelids. I like using a primer that is almost white because it can make the shadows pop a bit more! I gently apply this all over my lids, and even onto my lower lashline.
  • Next, I took the second shade from the right (on top) and applied this all over my lids with a shadow brush. Keep in mind that these shadows are not the easiest to blend, so don’t go overboard on the colors straight away. Build up to it!
  • I then took the silver/purple shade (top right corner) and with a light hand and a crease brush, I applied it to my crease. To add a bit of drama to the look, I decided to use the dark plum shade (bottom right) and a fluffy crease brush to apply this to the outer corners of my eyes, and blending it throughout my entire crease. Since this is the darkest shade in the palette, I want to restate that you should definitely build up the color, because I struggled to blend this one especially!
  • After all of the blending, the color on my lids seemed a bit dull, so I went back in with my shadow brush, but this time, adding some of the purple/silver shade to the center of my lids.
  • Next, I used the light pink shade and a liner brush to apply this to the inner part of my lower lashline. Using the plum shade once more, I applied this to the outer part of my lower lashline.
  • The last step for the eyeshadow was highlight, so I went in with the cream white color. I used another crease brush to apply this to my browbones and the inner corners of my eyes. This is always great to do because it makes you look more awake, and you need something to make the look a little brighter since it is a bit dark.
  • Then I moved onto mascara. I recently bought the “L’Oréal Telescopic Mascara” in “Blackest Black” and coated my top and bottom lashes. I am absolutely obsessed with this mascara and the length that it gives my lashes! Since the eye makeup is bold, you can choose a mascara that will add even more drama to your look, however, I really liked the telescopic for today!
  • The next step was eyeliner! I used my go-to black eyeliner by Essence, and applied this to my waterline and tightline for that final touch.
  • And lastly, I simply brushed my brows up and over and I was good to go! (If you fill in your brows, you can definitely do that! I prefer to leave mine as they are, so this is a step that I don’t mind skipping!)

Let me know if you own this palette (or any of the City Minis) and tell me your thoughts on it in a comment below! Thank you so much for reading!

Winter Blues Getting You Down? Here’s How to Cope

Photo by my talented love: @notapatchontom on Instagram!

Hey everyone! Today wanted to chat about a topic that I think many people can relate to right now. I am sure that I am not alone in saying this, but sometimes the weather really does have an effect on my mood. I feel like I thrive when it’s sunny and warm, but when it’s dark, cold, rainy, or all three, I tend to struggle just a bit more. There are certain things that I enjoy during each season, and I find them all beautiful, however winter would probably be my least favorite. Luckily for me, where I live it doesn’t get too cold. Still, I have noticed that the cold weather can sometimes bring me down, so I wanted to share this post in the hopes of tackling the winter blues together!

This topic is actually something that has been studied over time, and there is actually a disorder attached to it called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (or SAD). Now, I do want to say that just because you may not feel as happy or as motivated during a certain season or time of year, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have this disorder. I just wanted to mention it because it is actually something that people can have. I recommend looking into it further or speaking to a healthcare professional if you truly believe that you have this. Read more about SAD here and here.

Part of what has been helping me is the fact that it is a new year! I’ve slowly been getting my motivation back, and I’ve been completing daily tasks, which feels great! While my mood has been pretty good overall, and I have been feeling more motivated, this is not the case every single day. The changing of seasons can affect us all differently, and it is very common for people to oversleep, have low energy, a lack of motivation, and feelings of depression or loneliness once fall and winter come around. It can be hard to get out of bed or feel productive on these days, but there are ways to combat these feelings!

First things first: it is completely ok to have a day (or a few days) when you simply allow yourself to relax and take a breather. Remember that rest is productive, and you deserve to take some time for yourself, whether that means taking an hour at the end of every day to unwind, or even taking a full day to do whatever you want. Balance is important though, so just make sure that you don’t spend day after day sitting around because this can very quickly turn into a habit, making work, school, or other important tasks much more difficult.

I wanted to share a few tips with you all on how to stop the winter blues in its tracks!

  • Wake up with the sun

Since it gets dark early these days, it can make the days feel shorter, and you may feel like you don’t have a lot of time to get things done. While we can’t control this, we can control our mindsets and our actions. It is important to have a sleeping schedule that allows you to feel refreshed and alive in the mornings! It is not at all fun to wake up and feel like a zombie for half of the day. I know it can be challenging, but if possible, you should try to get about 8 hours of sleep. I’ve noticed that when I sleep too little or I sleep too much, I never feel very great. It is an amazing feeling to wake up and feel ready to take on the day, so if you can, create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. It may take time, as it does to form any habit, but this is so beneficial for so many reasons! This is something I am still working on myself!

  • Get outside

I know what some of you may be thinking: why on earth would I go outside when it’s freezing?! Trust me, I understand!  I don’t always love to be outside when it’s dark or rainy, and especially not if it’s super cold! However, I think it is still very important. We need our vitamin D and it’s always good to get some exercise too! If it’s not extremely cold where you are, I think it would be great to bundle up and get outdoors. Whether you go for a walk or run, or play some kind of sport, this can be a really great way to get over the winter blues!

  • Exercise

I know I just mentioned this, but exercise can make such a difference in your mood! Even if you aren’t a fan of working out, you can’t deny the amazing feeling after a great sweat sesh! If it’s just too cold, or you can’t really do your workout outdoors, you can roll out a yoga mat or grab some dumbbells and get your fitness on inside! This will not only wake up the body and keep you strong and healthy, but it will also warm you up on a cold winter day! It doesn’t matter if you do a 10 minute yoga session, a 30 minute cardio burn, or an hour long weight training session! As long as you get up and get moving, you’ll be sure to feel the benefits!

  • Keep a planner

This is something that I absolutely love to do! This year, I made it a resolution to write down everything I would like to do in a day or week, no matter how small. It could be working out, it could be cleaning, or it could be school/work related! I’ve been doing this a little over a week now, and I have already recognized how helpful it is! I used to only write down school related tasks in my planners, but writing down everything really helps me to manage my time better, and I feel accomplished at the end of the day when I am able to cross off each item! So, even on days when the weather isn’t ideal, I can still feel good when my head hits the pillow at night!

  • Cook some comfort food

It is so nice to sit back and enjoy your favorite warm comfort foods! It can be a hot bowl of your favorite winter soup, a traditional family recipe, or even some cake! Of course, I always recommend eating healthy foods, but it’s also important to listen to your body, and on a day when you may not be feeling your absolute best, it is ok to indulge a little bit! For me personally, a healthy diet is a balanced diet. I am doing my best to incorporate healthier foods into my meals, while also enjoying something small and sweet (pretty much daily). Don’t be too hard on yourself, and remember that you are allowed to enjoy your favorite meals. I mentioned this previously, but as long as you do not start any negative eating habits, then you’ll be alright! Try not to make any drastic changes to your diet overnight, and remember that food should be enjoyed!

  • Express gratitude daily

This is such a simple thing to do, yet so many people forget to do it. I know that right now, the days may seem so similar, and maybe the winter blues are really getting you down. I understand completely!  But even if you don’t do any of the things I listed here today, please do this. Every morning when you wake up, or every night before you go to bed (or both), try to think about or speak about the things that you are grateful for. This truly is such an amazing habit to form because once you start, you’ll notice that you will soon express your gratitude without even thinking about it! I’ve been doing this a lot more often lately, and I have to say, I have directly seen how it can change your life! I strongly believe that what you put out into the world will somehow make its way back to you. So, when you have a positive mindset and you speak, write, or think about your gratefulness, you will attract even more to be grateful for!

I really hope that you found this post helpful, and if you know someone who can benefit from reading this, please share this with them too! It is so important to take care of our mental, physical, and emotional health, and to encourage others to do the same! Know that your mind is a very powerful thing, and you do have the ability to control your thoughts and your actions. While it is easier said than done, you have to do your absolute best to get out of bed in the morning, think positive thoughts about the day ahead, and try to find that healthy balance of productivity and relaxation. It can take time, but you don’t have to let the weather affect you negatively. Try to find the beauty in it, because even if you don’t see it right away, it’s always there.

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time!

OOTD: A Pop of Pink

Hey everyone! I am very excited to share today’s blog post with you all because it relates to fashion! Over the years, I’ve learned how to style clothing in my own way. I absolutely love planning outfits for any and all occasions, and it truly has become a passion of mine. Today, I am sharing an outfit that I recently put together!

I really didn’t have anywhere to go on this day, however this has been the case for almost a year now! I figured that I shouldn’t wait for any kind of special occasion, or let another gorgeous outfit go to waste! I haven’t been doing a ton of shopping for myself lately because I’ve been so focused on saving my money, however a few new items were added to my wardrobe thanks to loved ones at Christmas time! I thought it would be the perfect time to do an outfit of the day!

For my shirt, I chose a simple lettuce trim long sleeved top. It is black and ribbed with a mock neckline as well. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is cropped, but it still works perfectly with high-waisted bottoms. It can be dressed up or down, and styled in so many different ways. I’ve had this top for quite some time now, so I do not believe that it would be available anymore, and I apologize for that, however I am linking very similar ones that I found here and here!

Next, my newest pair of jeans! For a long time, I had such a love for skinny jeans. I had them in different colors and washes, and I wore them all the time. Well, last year I bought my first pair of straight leg jeans, and it’s safe to say that there is no going back! I am so in love with high-waisted straight leg jeans, and I now own a few different pairs! Although I haven’t been wearing jeans very often lately, I had to style these! I purchased these from Old Navy a couple months ago. I had never gotten jeans from Old Navy before, but I decided to try these out. These are the Sky-Hi Straight Leg Jeans (extra high rise + secret-slim pockets). I typically prefer a lighter wash, but I decided to go for something a little darker this time. These are perfect to wear for any casual occasion. What I love about high-waisted straight leg jeans is that they are so much more comfortable than skinny jeans, and they are flattering on everyone! These specific jeans are very easy to wear, and again: very comfortable (and even a tiny bit baggy on me in the front, which I’m not used to)! I couldn’t find this exact pair, so I will link similar ones here and here!

Since it is winter, layering up is important! It doesn’t get super cold where I live, and luckily on this day we had decent weather, so I threw on my favorite trench coat! I bought this from a store called “Pimkie” when I was in France last year! I knew I couldn’t leave without buying one, and this just so happened to be the perfect price and exactly my style! It is a lighter material, so it won’t necessarily keep you warm, but it is so stylish! Trench coats are such a classic piece, and you can really find them anywhere!

And now, for my newest obsession… THESE SHOES! If you haven’t heard of Just Fab, you’re missing out! I now own two pairs of shoes from this brand, and they are very trendy and so stunning! This is the “Kit Color Block Ankle Bootie” in the color “Black Multi” (it also comes in “Tan Multi”). These are definitely my new favorite pair of shoes! I love the colors on this shoe because they are neutral and they go so well together! It is also a pointed toe bootie, which I think looks very classy. I love wearing heels from time to time, however I am not a fan of the stiletto style, and I am terrified of falling! I love a chunky heel, and these aren’t too tall either, so they are perfect for me! I bought these in a size 8 ½. You can buy these shoes here! Also, I believe that you can get your first pair of shoes for $10 when you become a VIP member!

My other new obsession? My beautiful Kate Spade bag! I got this as a gift for Christmas, however I did pick it out, and I knew I would be receiving it. I was so eager to open this, and I am head over heels for it! I actually found this bag while browsing online one day, and when I saw the price and that it came from the actual brand, I jumped for joy! It was part of the “Surprise Sale”! I know that this is more of an affordable designer brand, but still, this was a big moment for me because I had never owned a designer bag before! It’s perfect because it is my favorite color, and it is just the right size to fit all of my essentials inside! This is the “Cameron Small Flap Crossbody Bag” in the color “Bright Peony”. The price actually did go up a bit from what we paid for it, but it is still very affordable, and you can purchase it here!

For my jewelry, I kept it pretty simple. Because the neckline of my top is a bit high, I chose to forego a necklace. Instead, I went with some adorable stud earrings and a dainty bar bracelet. The earrings are by Lauren Conrad and they are the cutest things I’ve ever seen! I love elephants, so my mom got me these for Christmas! I normally prefer to wear dangly earrings, but I couldn’t refuse! My bracelet is very special to me because it includes a very important date. It is one of my favorite pieces because it because it reminds me of my love! I purchased it and got it customized on Etsy. And lastly, I wore my two gold rings that I wear every single day! Most of the time, I like to keep the metal of my jewelry consistent, so today that meant gold everything! I will include a link to purchase the earrings here!

I hope you all enjoyed this outfit of the day! I am so in love with my new pieces, and I had to share them with you! Thank you so much for reading!

My 2021 Goals and Resolutions

Happy New Year everyone! I am very excited for 2021 and all that it has in store for us! I know that 2020 was a very difficult year for so many people, but I truly believe that things will be better this year, and that there is so much to look forward to!

I always get so excited when a new year begins because I feel so much hope for what’s to come. I also start thinking about goals I would like to reach and resolutions I would like to make. I know some people tend to laugh at the idea of “resolutions” because it is common for people to forget about them as the months go on, but I happen to be very determined, and I am not the kind of person who gives up easily on things that I really want. With that being said, I would really like to share some of my 2021 goals and resolutions with you all!

  • Go hiking once a month for twelve months

If you have been following me for a while, you may recognize this goal. This is something that my uncle and I have been doing for two years now, and we plan to continue again this year! I have a love for nature, and going on hikes really helps me to stay present and even get some exercise outdoors! We don’t live in an area that has too many intense hikes, but in the past, we have been able to go to a few different places. While I love a gorgeous mountaintop view, there is something serene and beautiful about flatland hikes as well. I am looking forward to another year of monthly hikes!

  • Stop procrastinating

I always knew that I was a bit of a procrastinator, but I didn’t realize just how much until recently. I noticed that I was putting off every little thing (even some things that I wanted to do). I started to get frustrated with myself! I recognized that if I keep making excuses for not doing these things, I will obviously never get them done. Whether it is cleaning or writing, I really want to stay focused and get on track to reach my goals. So, this year I want to stop making excuses and get things done, no matter how small.

  • Stay organized

I was looking back at my goals and resolutions from last year and realized that I wrote the exact same resolution for 2020. I wouldn’t say that I am very messy or someone who is completely disorganized, but I could definitely work on it. I tend to be a bit more organized with my school work, but at times, I will forget to do something small. I am not so organized with my room, so I have a plan to clean and organize my space once a week (including my bathroom). If life is stressing me out, a messy room can add to that stress, so I would like to keep things as tidy as possible. I also really love to plan things out, so ever since I got to college in 2017, I’ve kept a planner. Even though I’ve mostly used it for school in the past, I decided that this year, I would use it for everything in life. I want to write down any and all plans for the day/week/month, and I feel that by doing this, it will keep me on track. I love crossing things off my list, and it can feel really great and satisfying after a productive day.

  • Say positive affirmations daily

I have been on my self-love journey for quite some time now, and I am really proud of how far I’ve come. Of course, self-love can be difficult at times, but it is important to keep going. I feel like I stopped doing this for a while, so I decided it would be good to start saying positive affirmations again. It can be really beneficial to start your days off with positive thoughts about yourself or about how you want your day to go. You don’t have to say them out loud, but as long as you are thinking them, that is all that matters. Your mind is a very powerful thing, so what you believe, you will become. I’ve noticed that I will bring myself down at times by discussing the things I don’t like about myself. We’re all human though, and we all have things we may not necessarily love about ourselves, and that is ok. As long as you are working on loving yourself, then one day, those flaws will no longer negatively affect you. I hope to speak positively about myself more often, even if it is just in my own head. Remember: confidence is different than cockiness. Yes, it is amazing to love yourself, but you should never walk around thinking that you are better than anyone else.

  • Prioritize my overall health

As many of you know, I am very much into fitness. I have a plan to try to stay on track this year. In 2020, I ended up losing my motivation, especially in the second half of the year. My gym was not open for most of the year, so I was stuck with at-home workouts (and I still am). So, my plan is to do weight training and HIIT at least four times a week, and to continue doing my daily yoga. I have set up a workout split and I am hoping to get my motivation back once again. Hopefully sometime soon, I can go back to my gym, but for now I think it’s best to stay safe and stay home. Healthy eating has always been a bit of a challenge for me. I first started eating healthier in 2018, but over the past couple of years I realized that I was getting so bored of my usual healthy meals and snacks that I slowly stopped thinking about eating healthier. This year, I want to try to change things up a little bit, and find new ways to eat better. Of course, I won’t be jumping into it too quickly, but I really want to put healthy and delicious foods into my body, because I have experienced the overall benefits. I am also going to continue focusing on my mental health. I’ve been in a really great place these past few years, so I will do my best to continue taking care of myself in all ways. Happiness looks beautiful on anyone and everyone!

  • Weekly pamper nights

Sometimes we just need a little self-care. I recently bought a few new items to add to my pamper routine, and I am so excited to use them! I decided that I would have a pamper night at least once a week. While outer beauty isn’t everything, it is nice to keep up with my appearance, and it makes me feel beautiful and confident when I do. On this day, I can take my time, using things such as body scrubs, hair masks, and nail polish to make me feel pampered. Everyone deserves some time for themselves, and if you use that time to take care of yourself, it’s even better!

It is only the second day of 2021, and I have already learned quite a bit. I was speaking to my best friend and I was talking about New Year’s resolutions, and I questioned why we all wait until January 1st to start forming these new habits. It can be difficult and nearly impossible to change your life overnight. If anything, we should start in December! If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed or upset because you are struggling to turn things around and do better this year, you aren’t alone. Take it day by day, and don’t be too hard on yourself. It is important to be motivated and inspired, but of course this can come and go. Take your time forming these new habits, but stay disciplined. You don’t have to have it together all the time, but you should do your best to accomplish your goals, and work on bettering yourself daily.

Thank you all so much for reading my first post of 2021! I am feeling very inspired to create some fun and interesting content for you all this year! Everything from beauty and fashion, to fitness and health, to travel and entertainment! If you haven’t already, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe to my blog, and share it with friends and family! I am wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and safe New Year!

What are some of your goals and resolutions for 2021? Leave me a comment below!

2020 Year in Review + Thank You

As 2020 comes to a close, I have been reflecting on these past twelve months. This year, many unexpected events occurred; both good and bad. I know that many people around the world have struggled a lot this year due to COVID-19, and this was something that absolutely none of us saw coming.

For me personally, I was able to take a step back and relax, spend time with my loved ones, take care of my overall wellbeing, and start/continue some projects that I had been wanting to work on. I am so extremely grateful that I live with a big family, and they made being in quarantine so much easier. I feel lucky to have them because I recognize the fact that not everyone has been able to be with their families, and some people have had to spend this year completely isolated from everyone they love. This crazy pandemic has affected everyone differently, but one thought that has been helping me through is knowing that the entire world is going through this challenging time together, and that (for the most part) people have been doing their part to stay safe and end this pandemic.

Today, I wanted to share some important moments and milestones that occurred in my life this year. While these events are all positive and exciting, I want to say that I don’t want anyone to think that I am being insensitive to all of the sadness that occurred this year. My heart sincerely hurts for those of you who have experienced pain, loss, and grief this year, and I recognize that this has not been the best or easiest year for a large number of people. 2020 may not have been the year that we expected, but I truly do believe that a lot of good has come out of it. It can be really difficult to focus on the positives at a time like this, but we have to try. I often describe myself as a positive person, so with all of that being said, I would really like to share some of the good moments that I went through in 2020!

  • Went hiking once a month for twelve months

In 2019, my uncle and I decided to try going on at least one hike a month for the year, and we completed that goal. I am happy to say that we reached that goal again for 2020! Every month we found a place to hike; some hikes were more intense than others, but we sadly do not have a ton of great hiking locations in our area. Still, there are some beautiful places to hike, and I really enjoy being out in nature from time to time. It always feels good to get up and get moving, and really anyone can go for a hike or walk! It was especially nice to do this when I felt like I was just in the house for too many days at a time. Some days, quarantining took a toll on me, so I was thrilled to spend some time outside!

  • Celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training

On February 23rd, I celebrated my four year anniversary of weight training! I truly can’t believe that I have been on my fitness journey for over four years at this point, and now more than ever, I am feeling ready to get back in the gym and push myself! Of course, this year my fitness journey took a bit of a turn and my motivation dropped significantly. I persevered and I did my best to continue working out through at-home weight training, HIIT, and even yoga! I began doing yoga daily in April, and I am proud to say that I have not skipped a day since! Yoga really became my main form of exercise this year, and while I do enjoy it, I miss weight training. My gym opened back up in September, but I won’t be going back until I feel safe to do so! I am feeling ready to reach new fitness goals in 2021!

  • Went on my dream trip to France

This was truly the trip of a lifetime for me! I had always dreamed of traveling to Paris, and in November of 2019, an opportunity came my way and I simply couldn’t refuse. On February 29th, I left for a week-long trip to Paris and Lyon! I was hesitant and nervous to go on this trip for multiple reasons, but I am so happy that I decided to go, and I have zero regrets! I am very fortunate to attend a university that allows for students to travel through multiple study abroad programs, and I never imagined I would have the confidence to actually go on one! It was my first time being away from my family for that long, but once I was there, I realized just how ready I was for something like this. I learned to be more brave, confident, and independent. One of my biggest dreams came true, and I was able to check the biggest item off of my bucket list! Click here to read about my trip to France!

  • Traveled locally

Sadly, our big family vacation was canceled this year due to COVID-19. We stayed hopeful, however things had not gotten much better by June (when we would have been leaving). I will not share exactly where we were going to travel just yet, but I am excited to share it with you when we reschedule the trip (hopefully for the summer of 2021)! Hint: it is a country in Western Europe! We safely booked a two week trip to the beach at the end of June, and we were able to get away from home for a bit! At that point, I was happy to go anywhere, because being at home all day everyday was getting frustrating. We stayed in a nice beach house at a private beach, staying as safe as possible. In November, my family and I also went on a weekend getaway to the mountains. Although our original travel plans were canceled, I was very grateful to be able to do some exploring this year!

  • Celebrated my 21st birthday

On July 14th, I turned 21, surrounded by my family and my best friend! It felt really nice to simply dress up and feel special for the day! Every year for my birthday, I always choose to eat dinner at The Melting Pot, which is a delicious fondue restaurant! We hadn’t been out to eat since early March, but we decided to eat out on this day. We did this as safely as we possibly could by going a bit earlier in the day to avoid crowds, wearing our masks, and sitting in a private room. Later on, we had some cake and I opened a few thoughtful gifts. The years seem to go by faster and faster the older I get, but I was never one to be afraid of growing up. I was excited to turn 21, and I am happy to be in such a good place in my life, surrounded by some amazing people!

  • Fell in love

They say that the best things happen when you least expect it, and I can say that this is 100% true. Over the past few years, I’ve really been taking the time to learn how to love myself. It hasn’t always been easy, and it is something I am working on each day. Little did I know that by starting my self-love journey, it would eventually attract the right people into my life. I ended up connecting with someone who now holds such a special place in my heart. I truly feel like the luckiest girl in the world, and I wake up every day feeling confident, happy, and grateful, and he is such a big reason why! He is patient, understanding, generous, loving, kind-hearted, funny, witty, and everything I could have ever wanted in a person and more! I have felt things this year that I didn’t even know a person could feel. At one point in time, July 22nd was just another day, and now it is the most special day!

  • Celebrated one year of “Compass to Confidence”

On August 15th, I celebrated one year of blogging on Compass to Confidence! It is so crazy that I launched my website over a year ago now! I remember how nervous I was to put my personal writing out there, but now my words have a home in this world, and I am always very excited to share more content with you all! I have always had a love for writing, and I have big plans for my blog in the future! I want to continue to share my passions, give tips, and inspire anyone who reads my writing to be confident. I am very outspoken when it comes to self-love and self-care because I have directly seen the benefits in my life, and I think everyone deserves to feel this way. I have a lot planned for my second year of blogging, so I hope that you will stick around, or if you are new here, I would really appreciate it if you would subscribe, and share my blog with your friends and family! Thank you so much for the support! Click here to read about my first year of blogging!

  • Started my senior year of college

My second semester of my junior year ended differently than I had planned. After I got back from my trip to France, everything changed and we very quickly switched to virtual learning. Although it was a little bit sad, stressful, and even confusing at times, I got through and completed my junior year! I truly can’t believe how fast my college experience is flying by! I’ve been working really hard, and I just recently finished up my first semester of my senior year, and I will be graduating in May of 2021! This is an accomplishment that I am already so proud of, and although I am nervous, I am also excited to see where life takes me after school!

I feel like I’ve learned so much this year about patience, self-care, love and relationships, and even myself. While of course this year was not perfect, I’ve been able to find so much beauty in it. If I’m being honest, I was a bit hesitant to share this blog post because I feared how others would perceive it. I don’t want anyone to think that absolutely nothing went wrong for me this year, or that I never had a bad day, because this wouldn’t be true. But I do believe in expressing gratitude and sharing positivity, so that is what I am doing.

I also wanted to share this blog post to say thank you so much to those of you who read my blog. It means the world to me to have your support! I know in my heart that helping others through my writing is my purpose in life, and I will never stop working toward that goal. Whether my writing reaches ten people or ten thousand people, I will be living my dream! I hope to grow my blog and the Compass to Confidence community. If you are a returning reader, I hope that you will continue to follow me along on this self-love journey, and I hope to help guide you through yours. If you’re new here, welcome! If you are curious as to what “Compass to Confidence” is all about, click here, and I hope you will stick around as well!

Thank you all so much again! I am feeling so positive and hopeful heading into 2021! I know beautiful things are coming our way. I am wishing you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2021, and I’ll be back with fresh and exciting content in the new year! Until next time!

My December Ipsy Glam Bag

Hey everyone! This will be my final beauty post for the year, and I’m sharing and reviewing my December Ipsy glam bag with you all! 

This month, Ipsy wanted their members to get all of the warm and fuzzy feels with the teddy inspired glam bag! While I like the cozy feel of the bag, it isn’t my favorite. I wish it was a bit more festive! I rated my overall bag 3/5 stars because I felt that I received a couple products I didn’t really need/like.

Inside the bag:

  • Benefit Cosmetics – Precisely, My Brow Warm Light Brown 3 Eyebrow Pencil

 I’ve tried a few products by Benefit Cosmetics and I love the brand! I have heard some great things about their brow products, but I never tried any until now. My eyebrows have always been pretty full, so I never cared to do anything to them (other than brushing through them). When using this product, I felt that the lines were not too harsh, and it seemed easy to blend. The color is a bit light for me though. I’ve always heard that you should go one shade darker when it comes to brow products, so if I were to purchase this, that is what I would do. I don’t see myself using this often, however that’s not to say it is a bad product, it just isn’t for me! It could be helpful to fill in some sparse areas! I rated this 3/5 stars.

  • Hey Honey – 24Seven Honey Day & Night Cream

I am currently trying out something new to help with my acne, and it is drying out my skin a bit. Plus, the cold weather isn’t helping, so I was in need of a new moisturizer! This one is nice because it does not have a strong scent, and it feels smooth on the skin. I wouldn’t say it is a favorite of mine, but I do plan on using it frequently. It is a nice everyday moisturizer. I rated this 4/5 stars.

  • Maëlle Beauty – Dawn to Dusk Eyeshadow Collection Single in Sunkissed 

When I first saw this shade, I was somewhat disappointed. It is a nice matte brown shade, however I felt that it was a bit boring for me. I really like golds, champagnes, and taupes. I also enjoy wearing shimmer shades. When trying out this shadow, I was pleasantly surprised! This is a great base shade for most eye looks, and I actually liked that the color is matte. I don’t think that this is a shadow that I would reach for too often, but I have been going for natural makeup looks lately, so maybe it will become my go-to! It is very pigmented, and perfect for an everyday look! I would rate this 3/5 stars.

  • Purlisse Beauty – BLUE LOTUS 4-IN-1 Eye Adore Serum

I am always excited to try eye serums and creams because I have dark under eye circles. I try to be very careful about the skin around my eyes because I know that it is sensitive and I would like to avoid premature wrinkles and bags. I’m not sure why, but applying this product feels luxurious. The consistency feels a bit thicker than I would have expected for a serum, but I actually really like it! I haven’t used it long enough to see results though, so I don’t think I can give it a fair rating right now! 

  • Sunday Riley – A+ High-Dose Retinoid Serum (my pick)

I only started using retinol serums in my skincare routine this year, but I’ve really noticed a difference in my skin when I do! This is the product I chose for this month, and I am not quite sure how I feel about it just yet. As soon as I opened the product, it began leaking all over the cap. This was upsetting because it is already a small sample.  I really dislike the scent of this serum as well. Other than that, I can’t tell if it has been helping my skin. Retinol is known to help reduce wrinkles, lines, and acne, so I’m going to continue using it. I’m hoping for the best! For now, I’ll rate this 2/5 stars, but this may change as I continue to use it.

Thank you all so much for reading today’s blog post! Let me know what you received in your December glam bag in a comment below! I also created a video using each of these products, and you can check it out on my Instagram, @sacchere14. I have one last post I would like to share with you before the year comes to a close! It is personal and honest, and I hope that you will take the time to read it at the end of the month!

If you would like to become an Ipsy member, click here!

How to Style Holiday Fashion Trends

Hey everyone! I am very excited for today’s blog post because I have always loved styling different outfits and planning what to wear for any and all occasions! Of course, celebrations may look a little different for us this year, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t dress up and get festive (even if you aren’t going anywhere)! Today, I will be discussing some holiday fashion trends, and sharing tips on how to style them!

Velvet

This is admittedly not my favorite trend, however it is a popular choice for the holidays! Something about this material does feel festive, and you really can dress this up or down. There are so many ways to rock this trend. For example, if you wore a simple white chiffon tank top paired with black denim and an emerald velvet blazer, this would make the perfect holiday event outfit that is professional yet trendy! Another idea would be to wear a gray oversized sweater, a royal blue velvet skirt, and some black ankle boots! Whatever your style may be, you can’t really go wrong with velvet for the holidays!

Try the “Women’s Long Sleeve Velvet Ruched Bodycon Dress” from Target ($25) or the “Velvet Puff Sleeve Top” from LOFT ($44.99).

Sequins/glitter

This is a very fun trend for this time of year! Any time I shop around the holidays, I always find sequins everywhere I turn! I personally don’t wear sequins very often, and if I do it is typically for some kind of occasion. New Year’s Eve/Day is the perfect time to style this trend! If sequins are a bit too much for you, wearing something sparkly will look beautiful as well! For example, if you wanted to go all out this year, you can wear an all black sequined jumpsuit with some red heels to complete the look. This screams Christmas/New Years to me! A more toned down choice would be to wear a glitter tie waist wrap top and some slim black pants (or even denim). Although this trend can be intimidating at times, there are a variety of ways to wear it depending on your style and what you like!

Try the “Sequined Dress” from H&M ($34.99) or the “Midnight Sparkle Skater Dress” from Windsor ($18.97)

Sweater dress

If you prioritize comfort over anything else in your wardrobe, sweater dresses are a great option for you! You can style them to be more casual, or you can get really fancy too! A nice oversized, patterned sweater dress would look really cute with a simple pair of flats, or a fitted lace-up sweater dress with a pair of knee high boots would be another gorgeous option. I think sweater dresses can be perfect for girls with any type of style because they really can look feminine, sexy, or casual all depending on how you style it!

Try the “Women’s Long Sleeve Sweater Dress” from Target ($29.99) or the “Cable Knit Sweater Dress” from Forever 21 ($13.99)

Puffy sleeves

I am actually a big fan of the puffy sleeve look! I think it can give any look a vintage vibe, and it’s just a fun trend to wear! This is a trend that has been pretty popular lately, so it would make sense to wear it around the holidays! You can style this trend by wearing a pleated black maxi skirt, pointed toe booties, and a white puffy sleeved top. I have seen quite a few tops where the sleeves are sheer and the rest of the top is not. I think that this can be a very feminine and classy look, and so many people can pull it off!

Try the “Organza Puff Sleeve Top” from Express ($32) or the “Puff-Sleeve Wrap Top” from Forever 21 ($19.99)

Leather, satin, and fur

Who doesn’t love a nice leather jacket?! You really can’t go wrong with classic black and silver detailing. This would look amazing over a red dress, or you can use it to complete an all black look! Satin is always stunning around this time of year, so wearing a satin midi or maxi dress with a slit would be a bold and even sexy choice! A big fur coat can be an elegant and fun layering piece for winter! Although I do not own one, there are so many different styles and a wide price range for these as well!

Try the “Faux Leather Moto Jacket” from Forever 21 ($17.49), the “Ultimate Faux Leather Biker Jacket” from ASOS ($56), the “Satin Slip Midi Dress” from Nasty Gal ($28.80), and the “Women’s Faux Fur Jacket” from Target ($40)

Trench coat

A classic coat for fall and winter! I absolutely love wearing trench coats because they are so stylish and chic. I own a few different ones because there are so many options out there! For example, I own a white cropped trench that is perfect for layering on a cold winter day. I also have a long, light brown trench that is made of a thinner material and is a bit more classic. I love both for different reasons, but there are so many ways to wear these, and they come in a wide range of colors, fabrics, and patterns. These tend to be a bit pricey, but you can definitely find trench coats that are very affordable!

Try the “Women’s trench Coat – A New Day” from Target ($50)

Embellishments

I adore the look of pretty little embellishments on clothing, and what better time to style this trend than during the holidays? For me personally, I love the simple detailing of diamonds and pearls; I just feel like they add a feminine touch to any look! For example, a black long sleeved top with pearl detailing at the neckline would be a very nice touch! Or, diamond buttons on a flowy collared top is beautiful as well. Bows are another gorgeous touch, especially around Christmas, so a pussybow blouse would be a great option too!  If you aren’t a fan of these embellishments, you can incorporate some sparkle in your jewelry! This is the perfect way to complete any outfit. If you’re going for more of a casual look with your clothing, you can dress it up and have a bit of fun with accessories!

Try the “Women’s Holiday Loop and Pearl Cardigan Sweater” from Target ($19.59) or the “Jewel Embellished Top” from Macy’s ($20.99)

Nordic print and plaid

Around the holidays, you have probably seen a ton of sweaters or leggings with a very similar print on them. One of the most common holiday prints is Nordic (or that typical Christmas sweater print) and plaid. This trend can really be worn by anyone, and it instantly makes you feel very festive! A nice Nordic print or plaid sweater and jeans is a great look for laid-back events or gatherings. Another option is to wear a cozy sweater with some Christmas printed leggings! This is a very fun and casual look, and it can even be worn as pajamas!

Try the Reindeer Christmas Sweater from Walmart ($14.99) or the “Classic Plaid Flannel Shirt for Women” from Old Navy ($19.97)

And lastly, I wanted to include the top color trends for winter 2020! If you can incorporate any of these colors into your outfits this season, you will definitely be on trend!

Amber, sandstone, classic blue, brick, blue-green, magenta, olive, sleet, yellow-green, dusky pink, and samba.

You can also combine some of these trends to complete a look! If you wanted to wear a amber satin top with a bow at the neckline, that would be beautiful, or you can style a black leather skirt with a plaid sweater. There are so many options when it comes to holiday fashion trends!

Thank you so much for reading today’s blog post! I hope that you found it helpful, and that it gave you some inspiration for your holiday fashion! Leave me a comment and let me know what your favorite holiday trend is!

Must-Have Holiday Lip Colors

Hey everyone! I am so excited to share this blog post with all of my beauty lovers today! I have been planning out my final blog posts of the year, and I am really looking forward to sharing more holiday content with you!

 I have such a love for lipstick, so I figured that it would be a perfect idea to share five different lip colors to try this holiday season! I would say that these are very affordable as well. I have included links to purchase each lip color so you don’t have to go searching for it! I know that not everyone loves to wear red lipstick, so I am sharing multiple options for variety; three unique reds, a mauve, and a nude/rust.

I received this product from Ipsy earlier this year, and it is the perfect bright red lipstick! If you are a fan of matte lipsticks, then this would be a great option for you! This applies very easily, and I would say that it is my favorite lip color for this holiday season! It is more of an orange-red, and I absolutely love the glamorous look of a matte lip! It is mostly long-lasting, however it is very likely to come off throughout the day. Also, it is extremely pigmented, so try to apply this carefully. I highly recommend trying this crayon!

Earlier this year, I bought this lip tint after seeing a beauty influencer promote it on Instagram. I had never heard of it before, but I had to try it for myself! While this may not be your typical Christmas lip shade, I still think it is the perfect everyday color for this season! For a lip tint, it is actually very pigmented and even a bit glossy (but not sticky). It is a gorgeous mauve color and it can truly go with so many makeup looks! I would definitely check this one out if red or nude isn’t your thing!

Maybelline has to be my favorite drugstore makeup brand! I own so many products by them, and I really do enjoy using their lip products (as well as their mascaras)! This lipstick is a creamy red-pink shade, and it is stunning for any holiday event. This is a color that would look good on so many different skin tones as well!

I just recently received this lipstick from Ipsy, and while I had never heard of the brand previously, I was very impressed. Out of all of the lipsticks I am sharing today, this one is the most expensive, however I believe it is worth it. I did not own a shade like this before, so I was happy to try it out, and I fell in love with it! It is a nude/rust color, and it is truly perfect for fall/winter. If you feel that red is just a bit too bold, and nude is just a bit too boring, this is a great choice for you!

Last but not least, this stunning deep red lipstick! This one is so very pigmented and it is more of a mature red color. This is my second favorite red lipstick to wear because it is bold and even a bit intense, but it still works! Even though it says it has “matte” in the title, it is actually pretty creamy. I think that the shade would look beautiful for Christmas! I have had this one for quite some time now, and I do not think that e.l.f. sells this specific color anymore. I apologize for this, however, there are other ways to purchase this, such as on Amazon, so that is where the link will take you!

I hope you all enjoyed reading this post! Let me know if you have ever tried or will try any of these lip products! Also, if you would like to see what they look like on me, you can check out my Instagram @sacchere14 to see a reel I made using each lipstick! Thank you for reading!

Gift Giving Tips + Ideas for the Holidays

The holidays are coming up quickly and sometimes, finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones can be difficult. At times, we can start to overthink things, when in reality, it shouldn’t be all that complicated to find a meaningful gift. Today, I wanted to share some of my gift giving tips for the holiday season! Many of these tips are great for those of you who are on a budget as well!

  • Know who you are shopping for

This is probably the most important thing when buying someone a gift. Some people are very specific with what they like to receive, whereas other people are more laid-back and happy with the simpler things. There is nothing wrong with either of these things, however, if you do not know the person well, it can get challenging. Get to know their interests, hobbies, and their likes and dislikes. Even knowing the smallest facts about a person can be helpful. This leads into my next tip…

  • Ask people what they want

Sometimes it can be best to simply ask a person what they want. That way, you know that they will love your gift. If you happen to come across something that wasn’t on this persons list, but you just know they will appreciate it, then that can be great too! I am the kind of person who loves surprises, so if I find something that reminds me of someone I care about, there is a good chance that I will get it for them, even if they didn’t ask. And I love surprise gifts in return! If you are someone who worries about whether or not a person will like your gift, the safest option would be to ask them what they want.

  • Create a budget

If money is tight, and you aren’t able to spend a lot, this tip is very helpful. This is something that you can also create with your friends and family members. For example, if you and your best friend want to give each other gifts, but you don’t have a ton of money, you can try to agree on a price range or a specific amount to spend that works for both of you. This way, you can avoid the potentially awkward moment of giving or receiving “too much” or “too little”. I understand that it can be uncomfortable to speak about money with others, so if you don’t want to do this, then just give what you can. The people who love you aren’t going to care how much you spent on their gifts! They should be grateful and appreciative no matter what.

  • Think practically

Sometimes we will buy gifts for people, and they never end up using them. While it can be fun or exciting to plan out gift ideas for all of your people, try not to get too caught up in the excitement that you go overboard buying things that they don’t really want or need.  Try to think about whether or not the person will actually use this gift often, or if it will end up sitting in the corner of their room for months at a time.

  • Get sentimental

Many people love these kinds of gifts because they speak to the heart, and it is the perfect way to remind someone of how much they mean to you! Whether it is an old photo in a gorgeous new frame, or a book of all of your memories, this person is bound to love it because it is a very thoughtful gift.

  • Personalize, personalize, personalize!

This is always a fun way to make something your own! I recently bought myself a gold bar bracelet and I got it personalized with a very special date. This is a perfect gift to give anyone special in your life. You can personalize with initials/names, dates, coordinates, or phrases/quotes that mean something to you and this person. You can pretty much personalize anything these days, though it does tend to cost a bit extra. If you have the means, this is a great idea for anyone you have a close connection with!

  • DIY gifts

If you describe yourself as crafty and creative, then this is a nice option! Even if you aren’t very crafty, you can still try to make something on your own with the help of YouTube or Pinterest! The ideas are truly endless, and you can get extreme, or keep it simple. For example, grabbing some tools and making your own home décor is fantastic, but so is creating a scrapbook of memories with a loved one.

  • Gift card/money

When all else fails and you are completely out of ideas, or if you just prefer letting people pick out something for themselves, gift cards are something that most people will appreciate! It can be for their favorite clothing store, favorite restaurant, or even their go-to grocery store! This is another surefire way to know that they will love what they get, because they can choose it themselves!

  • Bigger isn’t always better

While it can be exciting to unwrap a giant box on Christmas day, sometimes it’s the smaller gifts that stand out the most. Big gifts can be great, but it doesn’t mean better or more meaningful. Take a moment to appreciate the fact that you were given a gift in the first place.

And lastly, I think it is important to remember that no one is obligated to get you a gift. People are most likely giving you something because they love you and want to see you smile. Material items should never be a top priority, especially at this time of year. But it is a part of the holiday, so I wanted to share this blog post.

Christmas is my absolute favorite holiday, and as I get older I really recognize why that is. I love cuddling up in warm Christmas pajamas and fuzzy socks, I love sitting by the fireplace and watching festive movies, I love baking holiday treats, and I love giving gifts. But to me, the most important thing will always be the people I share these moments with.  If I take a look back at past Christmases, I do remember a few of the gifts that I’ve been given over the years, but if I am being completely honest, what stands out the most to me is the time I spent with my family.

I hope that you found this blog post helpful, and that I was able to give you some ideas on what to get someone for Christmas! Remember to practice gratitude and show appreciation for those who love you. Thank you for reading! I’ll be back with more holiday content soon!