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Beauty

  • InBeauty

    My Hair Donation Story & Why I Chose To Give To Women In Need, Not Children

    I did a thing. Nine inches of my hair is gone and in the mail to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program. I have always wanted to make a hair donation. If you’ve been following along for a while, you might remember that time when my hair donation went wrong. Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise that it didn’t work out the first time, because I got the chance to rethink where I gave to and why. I decided to donate my hair to women in need — not children.

    When people think if hair donations, they mostly think of children with some type of cancer getting wigs. What they don’t realize is that it’s not that easy. Organizations like Wigs For Kids and Locks Of Love actually profit off of the donations that they get for free. Families often have to pay for the wigs that they receive and a whole lot of people are profiting off of other peoples’ choice to give. That did not sit right with me.

    That’s why I chose Pantene Beautiful Lengths for my hair donation.

    The program gives free wigs to women who have lost theirs from cancer. The operative word there is free. Women can apply for a wig through the American Cancer Society Wig Bank. According to the organization’s website, “new wigs are offered at no cost to patients without insurance or with inadequate insurance to cover the cost of purchasing a wig.” That’s a program that I can feel good about donating to.

    hair donation

    I had a goal to give more this year. Giving a hair donation was something high on my checklist. After my year of purposeful living, I wanted to make sure that the things I did to make the world a better place wasn’t just through my purchases. People think that they need money in order to give, but that’s not true. Sometimes the biggest and best gift that you can possibly give is your time. Or, you know, your hair.

    I cut off nine inches of my hair.

    It was the biggest chop that I have ever had to date. My hair donation was somewhat of a sporadic decision. I had been doing research on what program that I wanted to donate to all year though. As my hair grew, so did my anticipation to make the cut.

    The plan was to grow my hair out to get a 10 inch donation. That didn’t happen. It got to a point where my hair was just too long to manage. I figured it was time to make the cut at eight inches instead. My hair was so long that I rolled it up in my car window and didn’t even realize until I got to where I was going. That, my friends, is a sign for a hair donation.

    “We know how important the appearance of strong, healthy hair is,” the Pantene Beautiful Lengths website reads. “For women battling cancer, the appearance of strong, healthy hair is even more important. That’s why we created Pantene Beautiful Lengths, the only program to help women feel like themselves again with free, real-hair wigs. So when you donate 8 inches of hair or $8 dollars to the cause, you’re helping to make sure that happens.”

    For a while. my hair defined me. I thought that if I didn’t have my long, red hair, I wouldn’t be me. In fact, every single time that I’ve gotten in a salon chair, I’ve had anxiety. It would be so bad that I would have panic attacks leading up tot he day that I was planned to go.

    This time was a little different. I called and schedule my hair cut for two days later, and didn’t freak out once during the chop. Not even when my hair was being put into tiny ponytails to be chopped off eight inches. While I’m not completely sure why my anxiety decided to go away for the moment, I’m chalking it up to the hair donation.

    I felt good about where my hair was going which made me feel less anxious about cutting it off.

    This is what living a purposeful life has done for me. To say that my life has changed in every single way would not be an exaggeration. When you feel good about what you’re buying, doing, and supporting, everything else seems to fall into place.
    hair donation
    If you want to donate to Pantene Beautiful Lengths, all you have to do is, well, cut off 8+ inches of hair. You tie your hair into a ponytail, cut it off, and ship it to the program. They will let you know when they receive it and where it is at every step of the way. You can also donate money, if you’re not in the position to cut off that much hair.
    Every time that you put thought and purpose into something that you do, you will feel better about your decision. Where you give your money to matters. Every action has a reaction. This isn’t a science lesson — it’s about making your life matter. Because at the end of the day, a haircut can be more than just a haircut. It can change lives.

    xx.

    12
  • InBeauty

    Silk Scrunchies Are A Girl Boss’s Best Friend

    There’s no better sign of a girl on a mission than a messy bun. Some of my best ideas, most productive work days, and greatest accomplishments involve the hairstyle. It’s like some weird scientific fact that nailing the look will instantly make you happier, ready to get shit done, and boost your bank account. Okay, one of those is not true, but the other two are. The only problem is the aftermath — crazy hair that is creased in all places. That’s where silk scrunchies come in.

    I proper get ready almost every day. Not only do I love the process, but I also feel like it helps my work. I feel ready when I have my hair and makeup done. That’s just a personal preference. But I also really love messy buns. Just like the phrase — “messy bun and get shit done” — I love to throw my hair up, bust out my to-do list, and get one with my day.

    Thanks to the beauty products, the messy bun is no longer an all-day commitment.

    My hair creases no matter what hair tie I use. Well, used to. Thin bands, thick bands, and regular cloth scrunchies couldn’t do the trick. Silk scrunchies did. Whether my hair is straight or curly, the silk scrunchies protects my hair, no matter how long I wear it. It’s like a little circle of magic. Actually, I’m wearing one right now as I’m writing this.

    Silk Scrunchies

    I test a lot of products every month, but silk scrunchies have been a constant in my life for a solid sixty days now. There aren’t a lot of items that I can say that about. I keep one on my desk and one on my bedside table for when I go to bed. Because, like I said, no matter how long you keep silk scrunchies in your hair, there will be no creases.

    Don’t believe me? Well, maybe you’ll believe celebrity hairstylist Laurie Heaps. She doesn’t just back up my theory of silk scrunchies being complete game-changers, but she’s seen them in action too.

    “Since a scrunchie is soft and much more flexible than traditional ties, they will not make large dents in the hair,” Heaps says. “Even if you wear one for the hours as you sleep, you will not have visible markings that cannot be brushed out.”

    They truly are a girl boss’s best friend. Whether you’re digging into weekly planning, getting daily tasks out of the day, or sleeping, silk scrunchies have your back.

    Silk Scrunchies

    Remember the scrunchies that you rocked in the ’90s? Well, these aren’t the same. They look just as great on your arm, but these are the updated version. Just like silk shirts and scarves, these accessories are the grown-up version. Unfortunately, that means that the price tag is a bit higher.

    The silk scrunchies that I use are from Silk Laundry. They come in four different colors — black, red, green, and white — for $27.51 each. It’s a lot of money, but, to be completely honest, it is worth it. Especially if you wear your hair up throughout the day. Plus there’s the added bonus of not getting a headache from having your hair up.

    I’m selling one of my unused silk scrunchies for way cheaper on my Poshmark page.

    Because everyone deserves to try these out. I wish I could hand them out to each and every one of you reading this, but this is the best that I could do.

    Silk Scrunchies

    I know this item might not be thrifted or eco-friendly, but I couldn’t help but share it with you. This item has seriously changed how I go about my day-to-day work. It was too good not to share, and I hope it brings you as much joy as it has brought me.

    Because us girl bosses need to stick together any way we can. Even if it means saying each others’ hair styles.

    xx.

    11
  • InBeauty

    Let’s Talk About Subscription Boxes & How Much I Love Merkaela

    Subscription boxes and I have a love-hate relationship. There are some that I purchase every single month to no matter what and others that I’ve gotten one time and instantly cancelled. Simply put, it is hard to nail a subscription box. You have to balance the price and size of the products with its’ practicality. Picking out a subscription box an extremely personal thing.

    If there’s anyone that knows a thing or two about subscription services, it’s Cratejoy’s co-founder & CEO Amir Elaguizy. He created what I like to think of as the Pinterest of subscription services. Cratejoy offers 2,000 different boxes and 12 different genres, ranging from pets and books to beauty and fashion. If you love subscription services, it’s pretty much a goldmine.

    I recently got the chance to try out a variety of different boxes from Cratejoy, and I loved every second of it. Just from a tiny sampler platter of boxes, it’s clear that Elaguizy has a real winner on his hands.

    You can search literally anything on the website and subscription boxes of your liking will pop up.

    In fact, their number one search on the website is witch. So, yes, there’s something for everyone. But one of my all-time favorite is the Merkaela box.

    Subscription Boxes

    According to the website, the Merkaela box is filled with all-natural health and wellness products, but it’s so much more than that. The type of products that you receive are all extremely high end but minimal at the same time. If you’re into earthy, healing, and restorative natural products, you will love it.

    To no surprise, this box is right up my ally. I love everything about natural products, crystals, daily mantras, and plain and simple products that work. It’s no surprise that this one stuck out to me. According to Elaguizy, Cratejoy is all about connecting people to what they love in an even deeper way than he or she can imagine.

    “We connect people to their passions in a deeper way. For example, I have a two and a half year old son, and I’m very passionate about his education so I subscribe to a preschool box to help teach him how to read,”Elaguizy says. “I’m passionate about my son’s happiness and his education, and Cratejoy boxes connect me deeper to that passion.”

    That is exactly what Cratejoy has done with my love for all-natural products. It took everything that I loved and made it even better. You never know what to expect when you search the website, but you know where to start. That’s all you need.

    Subscription Boxes

    Now let’s jump into the box, because, in my opinion, it’s everything that’s right with subscription boxes. First of all, it only comes every three months. While that might seem like a downfall, it’s not. You get so much in this box that it makes it all worth it. There is nothing more frustrating than getting another box in the mail before you even have time to use up the previous months.

    Plus, you get full-sized products for every single aspect of your life. This particular box came with bath salts, a body cream, tea, a bar of soap, meditation spray, a daily mantra, sage leaves, and a crystal. What more can you possibly ask for?

    Merkaela does what Elaguizy says the boxes do — takes what you love and makes you even more passionate about it.

    The box has made me dive even deeper into the world of all-natural beauty and make me fall in love all over again. This is one that I will keep purchasing.

    Subscription Boxes

    We all have our passions in life. It doesn’t matter if it’s books or food or fitness. When you find a special product that makes an old passion exciting again, you know you have something special. That’s what Cratejoy does — it makes life exciting again.

    If nothing else, I hope this post can make you dive deeper into a passion of yours. Because, at the end of this life, you can’t taking things with you, but you fall deep into the rabbit hole of passion as much as you can while you’re here.

    xx.

    12
  • InBeauty

    I Need To Talk To Someone About Pixi Beauty’s New Skincare Products

    I am lucky to have products pop up on my doorstep almost daily. As a fashion and beauty writer, I am connected to a lot of different brands who are eager for writers to try out new releases. Typically, a lot get donated or gifted to friends, but there was something about the Pixi Beauty delivery that I got that just couldn’t go unnoticed.

    Maybe it was because 100 percent of you guys voted on my Instagram poll that you wanted to see a haul. Or maybe it was because the packaging was so sleek and, despite the pastel pink and green colors, screamed to be used. Either way, I knew I needed to give the new Pixi Beauty’s new products a try.

    I have never said this before, but every single item blew me away.

    The liquid shadows were incredibly pigmented and shimmery, the powders glided on like a dream, and the plumping lip colors did everything they said they’d do and more. But the real winners were the skincare. If you were to ask me which product was my favorite out of the Rose Cream Cleanser, Rose Tonic, and T-Zone Peel-Off Mask, I wouldn’t be able to. That’s how much I love all three of these products.

    Pixi Beauty

    I like all of these product so much that I don’t even know which order to talk about them. The love is that real. So, for the sake of not picking favorites, I’m going to talk about them in the order that I use them. I guess this is what people mean when they say that you love all of your children equally.

    I’ve been searching for a great cleanser for the past year now. There have been good ones that have crossed my path. Good enough to share them with you guys, that is. But there hasn’t been one that I repurchase more than twice. I either get bored or my face gets used to the formula.

    My face loves the Pixi Beauty Rose Cream Cleanser.

    I’m talking a full-blown head-over-heels, never be with anyone else kind of love. The formula is cream, as the name suggests, and feels almost like a mask going over your face. It becomes thinner as you rub it in and add water, but the best part is how it makes your skin feel. No other face cleanser has ever made my face feel as clean as this one. My face feels clean, but not dry. Cleansed, but not stripped. Fresh, but good enough to use twice a day.

    I loved it so much that I was actually afraid to look at the price on the website. I would pay big money to get this kind of product. Luckily, I don’t have to. The 4.5 oz. bottle is $18 and available right now on the Pixi Beauty website. Get it. Use it. Love it. Thank me later.

    Pixi Beauty

    Next comes the Pixi Beauty T-Zone Peel-Off Mask. If you thought I was singing high praises about the cleanser, get ready for the choir to go up a pitch. I love masking, but I am a lazy human being. There are nights when I just want to cleanse and go to bed. But this mask is so great that I get excited to put it on at night.

    From what I can tell from the website, this is the brand’s first-ever peel-off mask. The idea of a peel-off mask is exciting in general. Who doesn’t like to physically see the gunk coming out of your face? (Just me? Oops.) This one goes on so thin that I thought that it wasn’t going to peel off. When it did, magic happened.

    This mask will make you feel like you have a brand new face.

    That’s weird to say, but I don’t even know how else to say it. A little goes a long way and at the end you won’t know why you ever tried another mask. Call it dramatic, but you’ll say the same thing after you try it.

    Pixi Beauty

    I follow all of that up with the Rose Tonic Toner that is like the icing on top of the cake. I’d say cherry, but, let’s be honest, the icing is the best part. It works great with my combination skin — no matter what combination it is that day. I like to compare it to when you mist your face with a great product. You feel refreshed and ready to take on the world. Or take off your makeup. Same thing.

    You cannot go wrong with any of these products. When used together, you can get a full skincare routine for $55. That’s three products, people! Plus you can get them all in Target. I can’t promise that you won’t walk out of the store with eight other things that you don’t need, but I can promise that you’ll love these products.

    Run, don’t walk, to get these products. You can thank me later.

    xx.

    21
  • InBeauty, Sustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    Living Purposefully For A Year & Where I’m Going From Here

    One year ago today, I decided that I was going to live purposefully. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do, think, create, and achieve in the new year. But, ultimately, I just wanted to make my life matter. I had no idea that it was last an entire year, bring hundreds of people into my life, and spread as far as it has.

    “My hope is to make my life and this world a better in every single way that I can. I’m done taking the easy way out and giving my money to companies that do more harm than good. This world will only be better if we make it.”

    I wrote those words last year, after deciding that my normal resolutions were — excuse my French — bullshit. They did work, because I truly didn’t care. Society drove my goals. Told me to lose ten pounds. Eat more kale. Whatever the fad is that year. Instead, I decided to take a broad goal and do my best to implement it into my life in all aspects.

    I’m extremely happy to say that I have succeeded. Even more importantly, I had a whole lot of fun doing it.

    This past year brought brands into my life that I never would’ve discovered, amazing makeup, and even a staple skincare routine. It connected me with charities, women-owned businesses, and all of you. The best part about this entire journey was meeting all of you guys and connecting through my journey to live purposefully. I am so grateful for every single amazing soul reading this right now.

    Which brings me to my next resolution…

    This year I’m aiming to give, love, and create more.

    Live Purposefully

    … I will also be living purposefully. I know that technically you’re supposed to make a new resolution every year, but I had way too much fun with this one to ditch it. Instead, I decided to build on. After all, I couldn’t go on without showing you guys all of my thrift finds and amazing brands.

    I’m going to continue my journey to live purposefully while giving, loving, and creating more.

    What does that mean? Well, to start it means doing a better job at posting regularly. It also means teaming up with charities and giving my all in every single relationship.

    This past year I realized how much time I spend with myself. Typically, people need more me-time. I need to spend more time out of the house, face-to-face with friends and family more — spreading love and giving what I have to offer.

    Of course, there are some online goals too. I want to get my book club rolling strong, expand it even further, and connect women everywhere. I want to keep proving that thrifting isn’t about finding out-of-date clothing. And finally, I want to up my side hustle game and turn things I love into profits.

    What are your goals for 2018? I want to hear all about them — personal, blog-related, anything that you have in mind. If last year taught me anything, it’s that it’s so important to share your goals with others to hold yourself accountable. Thank you for going on this journey with me, and I hope you’re enjoying the ride as much as I am.

    xx.

    12
  • InBeauty, Sustainable Fashion, Thrifting

    How To Use Your Instagram Top Nine To Make Yourself A Better Blogger

    As exciting as the beginning of the year is, I think I like the ending the best. I love to take the time to reflect on everything that’s happened. One of my favorite parts of the end of the year is the Instagram Top Nine. Not only is it extremely fun to see which on my year’s photos landed on top, but it also shows me what I need to do more of in the next year as a blogger.

    Instagram is an incredible tool. Not for just sharing my day to day life, but as a blogger. I’ve learned this year what I what to share and how I want to share it. For instance, I only share my blog posts on my stories and I share my life on my timeline. But I know that I can always improve. That’s where Instagram Top Nine comes in.

    If you not familiar with the website, it’s super easy to do. Just go to the Instagram Top Nine website, enter your username, and get the photos that did best on your timeline for the year in one grid photo. It will also tell you how many likes you got overall and how many posts you had this past year. Pretty neat, right?

    Well, it’s even cooler than just the concept. This year I’m using Instagram Top Nine to make myself a better blogger in 2018. I’m not using the device as something fun to post on my timeline, but to see what people really care about. Here’s what my Instagram Top Nine looked like…

    Instagram Top Nine

    There’s three things I’m looking at this year in my Instagram Top Nine. It’s not about comparing yourself to other bloggers or seeing who has the most likes or post overall. Instead, it’s about meaningful content. Do you want people to love your pretty photos? Be envious of your #ootd? Or do you want to use your platform to make a difference?

    Personally, I want to do the latter. I don’t care about the rest. So I’m using these three things to make myself a better blogger in the upcoming year.

    1. Look At The Photos

    Obviously this is the most fun part of the whole thing, right? It’s cool to visually see what people liked — literally. Is there a certain color scheme that did well for you? Maybe people love when you post selfies or certain outfits or pictures of nature. Once you find this out, you know what to do more of in the new year.

    I’m not saying that you should change what you post because of what people want to see. What I’m saying is that you’ll be able to see what is making the most impact on your timeline. After all, the most important thing overall — with or without the Instagram Top Nine — is that you’re staying true to yourself.

    2. Read Your Captions

    Don’t just stop at visuals. Take a scroll through your feed and read the captions under the nine photos that landed on top. Really take a good read. Don’t just glance. What do these photos have in common?

    For example, every single one of my Instagram Top Nine photos have meaningful captions. In other words, I spent time to write something that means something. They don’t just have one witty song title as the bio. The captions have a bigger meaning.

    Either they’re a call to action, asking others to comment something, or they give a deeper look into my life. There’s no coincidence that the top photos are both great photos and great captions. Not everyone reads captions as they scroll down a timeline, but if you can get them to, it will pay off. There’s almost always a correlation between top photo and number of comments.

    3. Look At Your Best Photo

    This one seems obvious, but it’s important. Even after you’ve figured out the correlation between all the photos and comments, the top one proves the most. Ask yourself a few questions — what did people like, what do you like, and what did they have to say?

    My top photo was of my 1,000 follower celebration. People loved to see me hit my milestone. It was personal, fun, and had a good caption. It’s also one of my favorite moments of the year.

    Yours is probably something similar. It might even be something that you were afraid to post. Whatever it is, figure it out and do it more. It won’t just give you better stats at the end of the year. It will make blogging even more fun.

    These are the things I plan to do to make myself a better blogger in the new year. Do you have tips? I’d love to hear them in the comment section. I’d really like to see your Instagram Top Nine too, so tag me if you decide to do them!

    xx.

    6