Dry, Sensitive Skin Approved Products to Clear & Hydrate

Dry, Sensitive Skin Approved Products to Clear & Hydrate

After sharing about my previous skincare story and tips I’ve learned over the years, I figured it’d be a great time to share some of my favorite products that helped me transform my skin! Most of the products I have to share are topical creams, cleansers, or serums, but I also have a few supplements that really changed the game for me. There’s a good range of products here, so I hope you can find something that works for you!

Before we get into the products, I wanted to share my skincare routine printable! It allows you to assess what products and routines are proving to be effective or harmful, so you can make the necessary modifications. There are many reasons that your skin may be having a breakout/issue: product, product usage frequency, routine frequency, product combinations, and more – so make sure you’re keeping track of it all!


OLLY: Flawless Complexion Dietary Supplement Gummies, 50 CT. $14. – Bought at Target.

This has been the most helpful product that I’ve ever used for acne reduction. After one day of using them, I was able to tell that my face had reduced redness and pigmentation. A close friend even noticed a difference after the first day. After taking them for about a week, I saw a huge reduction in my cystic acne. After a few weeks, I stopped having cystic breakouts in general. After I’d been taking it for a few months, I’d actually forgotten to get more of the product for about a week. By the time I was actually able to find a store with them in stock, my face had completely returned to square one. I’ve been using them for about a month since then, and my clear face has been restored.. Literal game changer!!

Plexus: ProBio 5. $36-42 – Bought on website.

As many of you know, I am an ambassador for Plexus. I’ve spoken about this product before, but it’s also been a crucial part of helping my skin. Even though the OLLY gummies were able to help with my cystic acne, I still had little skin colored bumps on my face. I don’t know what they originated from, but I noticed a significant reduction of those once I started taking this probiotic. I also noticed that it helped with the redness and pigmentation of my skin as well. (Shameless plug, but if you are interested in getting some of these, shoot me a message and I’ll set you up with some discounts.)

High End Topicals

Kypris: Antioxidant Dew Serum. $90. – Received from Boxycharm.

This product is extremely expensive, I know. I actually was sent the product in a BoxyCharm box, or else I would have never even tried it. But girl, I have fallen in love! As I told you guys earlier, I have skin that gets so dry that it literally peels off in the winter. With this serum, it absolutely never happens! It also does a great job of evening out my skin tone. I swear, worth every penny for my dry skin girls. I will be repurchasing soon!

Clinique: Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and Optimizer. $52 – Bought from Ulta.

As I mentioned before, even when my acne is at it’s best, I still have dark scars. I haven’t used this product consistently enough to truly know the long term effects because I cycle different products throughout the week. But, in the times that I have used it, I’ve really liked it. The product has a jelly texture and it feels cooling, calming, and lightweight. It leaves a noticable difference of an even skin tone (overnight). However, I think this product is more for the oily girls. It doesn’t really dry my face out, but it also doesn’t add any extra hydration. Lastly, this product smells really good!!

Dr. Brandt: Hydro Biotic Recovery Sleeping Mask. $52. – Received from BoxyCharm.

I actually don’t use this product overnight, I just use it whenever I don’t wear makeup. It has a jelly consistency like the clinique, so it’s also cooling and refreshing. It just leaves my skin really hydrated and evens my skin tone a little as well. Honestly, I think of this as the cheaper/jelly version of the Kypris serum. The results aren’t as great as the Kypris, but it still works really well – at about half the price.

Glam Glow: Gentle Bubble Daily Conditioning Cleanser. $28. – Received from BoxyCharm.

I used this product a lot over the winter when my face was super dry and irritated. As it says, it’s extremely gentle on sensitive skin. I actually looked over this product with a dermatologist and she recommended that I use it because the ingredient list was so short and she liked what it contained. I don’t think that it improved my skin in any way, but I just really liked how gentle it was. My face was so irritated that it actually hurt to wash my face, so this was super helpful.

Makeup Eraser: The Original Makeup Eraser. $20. – Received from BoxyCharm.

I use this in two different ways. 1) Makeup wipe, makeup eraser, cleanser or 2) Makeup eraser, jelly cleanser, cleanser. I don’t think that this product takes 100% of your makeup off, just like any other wipes you’d use, but I do think that it’s good to add into a multiple step process. Also, they are machine washable so they are reusable and good for the environment!

Drug Store Topicals

Neutrogena: Hydro Boost Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Cleansing Gel. $8. – Bought at Target.

I’ve liked this product for the price. I think it’s great for the super dry girls that don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a face wash! It also smells super good. Just be careful, some people do break out from this line because of the added scent.

Your Good Skin: Moisturizing Make-Up Remover Wipes. $5. – Bought at Ulta.

I love this brand! I need to try more from them. I started using these wipes during the winter when it was extremely painful to take off my makeup or wash my face. I was amazed at how much these helped. I didn’t feel like they really moisturized my face, but my face was so dry at that point that it was hard to tell if anything helped. Thankfully, it took away most of the pain of removing makeup and didn’t leave a gross oily residue after.

Your Good Skin: Pore Minimizing Tonic. $5. – Bought at Ulta.

I had to quit using this over the winter because I wasn’t able to use toners at all (they dry you out). But, when I was able to use this, it helped my acne tremendously. It also helped reduce the appearance of the dark marks on my face. I’m going to try to start using this again in the summer, and I’ll give you guys an update then. But for my oily girls, you should really check this out!

Mario Badescu: Drying Mask. $18. – Bought at Ulta.

When I was more oily, I would use this all the time. It did help with my acne and definitely did the job of drying my face out. The product lasts a long time as well, which helps because you shouldn’t do it more than twice a week. The only thing I didn’t like about the product was the smell.. That part is terrible. But, once it’s done – it’s done.

Ponds: Clarant B3 Dark Spot Correcting Cream. $8. – Bought at Target.

This is just a cheaper way to get rid of the dark scars and marks left over from acne. I like to put this on under my makeup in combination with the Kypris serum to hydrate my face before my foundation cracks. It’s a great, inexpensive cream.

Aveeno: Clear Complexion Cream Cleanser With Salicylic Acid. $7. – Bought at Target.

This is a very gentle product that leaves my skin feeling really soft and hydrated. Most cleansers leave my face feeling stripped and irritated by fragrance or exfoliants, but this product just feels really simple and natural. They also have a clear complexion foaming cleanser as well. I have both, but I mainly use the cream product. It’s the cleanser that I am currently using, and I don’t see myself switching.

Doctor Prescribed

Adapalene: I’m unsure of the brand or price because it was dermatologist prescribed. This is what I use to fight the cystic acne that I get from time to time. I use it on the little pimples as well, but there are plenty of topical treatments that could probably help those, too. This has been a life saver, since I’ve learned to use it in the right way. In the beginning, I was putting it all over my face (in conjunction with moisturizer) and it was burning the frick out of my face. I felt like I had permanent sunburn.. In the winter. Now, I just put it over the blemish itself, and it goes away within a day or two – pain free!

Curology: A lot of you have heard of Curology somewhere on social media, I’m sure. They have a 3 piece system: a moisturizer, cleanser, and personalized prescription for your skin’s needs. I use the moisturizer on a daily basis because I think it’s formula is really hydrating without feeling greasy. I liked the cleanser because it was gentle and effective. As for the personalized product, I haven’t used it recently because I’ve laid off using extra products on my face. I used it more often in the past, but I wasn’t consistent with it so I didn’t see good results.

Alright, so that’s all I’ve got for now! Hopefully you guys were able to find something that could really benefit you. If you give any of these a try or have any good skincare recommendations (especially for dry and sensitive skin), shoot me a DM on Instagram! Have a great week 🙂

Skincare Tips for Cystic Acne, Dehydrated + Sensitive Skin

Skincare Tips for Cystic Acne, Dehydrated + Sensitive Skin

My Story

I’ve struggled with cystic acne since I was in middle school. I’ve been on and off medications, and I really had no idea what worked for me until I really started doing the research. I spent a few months with a dermatologist and still couldn’t find a solution. I was extremely close to starting Accutane, a very harsh medication that you take for severe acne. Thankfully, I found a few different products and learned what regime works for me. In addition to that, I had to make a few lifestyle changes to really make a solid difference.

In the past, the winters were terrible. My face dried out so badly that my skin started peeling and my cystic acne hit its worst points. For a few months, my skin was in constant pain. It was really painful to put on or take makeup off, but it was basically pointless to put it on in the first place because it couldn’t even hide the dryness or acne. Luckily, I had it a little easier in the summers. I always made sure to stay in the sun so I could keep a tan and clear face. I had significantly less breakouts and my skin was much more hydrated than it was in the winter months. But, until this past year, I was ignorant to the importance of sunscreen so I’ve been left with sun damage and a few too many wrinkles for a 21 year old.

What I Did Wrong

Since middle school, I’ve tried to buy all the products to help my skin. I tried proactive, curology, and every other product that I found with good reviews or a promising description. My “skincare routines” were anywhere from 3-5 steps every night. At the time, I thought that was a good thing but I was actually over treating my skin. I also never researched the ingredients of the products I used because I just trusted the claims on the bottle or the reviews that I saw. I failed to realize that some products just didn’t work well with me, I just figured that it was my body/skin’s fault that it was getting worse.

I also really never understood the effect that my diet had on my skin. After deciding to do some “testing” on what did and didn’t work, I now know that I can’t consume dairy, soda, or french fries for multiple days and have clear skin. Funny how the things we love the most can be the worst for us.. But in all seriousness, if you’re struggling with acne, you should eliminate parts of your diet for a specific period of time to see what could be causing the breakouts.

What I’ve Learned

Over these last few months, I’ve completely turned my skin around. I still have scarring from acne and sun damage, and unfortunately I’m not sure if that will ever go away. But on the other hand, I rarely break out, my skin is more hydrated, and it’s not in constant pain – so I’m considering that a win! Here are some of the tips that I’ve learned to make these significant changes 🙂


  • Drink caffeine. Aside from the obvious coffee, soda, or teas.. I realized that even taking my pre workout was making my face a lot worse.
  • Always trust a dermatologist. I went to one for months and my skin didn’t get better until I started listening to my own body.
  • Eat poorly 24/7. A lot of the sugary, fatty, or carby foods that we all love are the worst for our skin. Like I said before, eliminate foods for a while to see what is/isn’t working for you!
  • Skip taking your makeup off or washing your face. You are honestly asking for a breakout if you skip it!
  • Go to the gym with makeup on. Your pores open up when you sweat and you don’t want the makeup to clog your pores.
  • Pop acne or touch your face. If you have to pop something, use a specific acne popping tool. They are super cheap and can be found on Amazon, at TJ Maxx, etc. They help eliminate the scarring.
  • Put too much product on your face – whether that be makeup, self tanner, or skin care products. Let your skin breathe.
  • Use abrasive scrubs or peels too often. This will irritate your skin.
  • Use expired products. Check the dates!
  • Use products with a lot of ingredients. Simple = better!


  • I can’t stress this enough, but wear your freaking sunscreen. I ignored this for so many reasons – I thought it broke me out, I didn’t think I would get as tan with it on, I didn’t like the way that it felt on my skin, etc. But if you do your research, you can find a sunscreen that doesn’t break you out or feel greasy, while still protecting your face from sun damage and wrinkles.
  • Drink as much water as possible. Good for hydration and clearing skin.
  • Try a jelly makeup removing cleanser instead of wipes because wipes can dry your face out, leave a lot of unseen makeup behind, and irritate your skin. Use a makeup removing cleanser and then immediately follow up with your regular cleanser.
  • When introducing new products to your skin, try them out one at a time. Try one for a few weeks and see if that works before starting something else, even if it has different uses/benefits. If you’re trying a bunch of new things at once, you will never know what the true cause is if you have a breakout.
  • Research what products will be best for you and your skin type.
  • Manage and regulate your stress levels. High stress can cause acne.
  • Wash your face twice a day (timing it right if you do workout/sweat or wear makeup).
  • Keep your makeup brushes and applicators clean.
  • Moisturize daily – even if you have oily skin. I thought I had oily skin, but it turns out that my skin was so dry that it was overproducing oil in an attempt to compensate.
  • Let your face breathe once in a while, don’t wear makeup every day. Don’t clog the pores too much.
  • Wash face immediately after sweating.
  • Talk to a dermatologist! They may be able to discover things about your skin that you didn’t originally notice. Just take their advice with a grain of salt because sometimes you actually do know best.

So, I hope you guys can learn from my mistakes and use some of these tips that I’ve learned over the years! In my next skincare related post, I’ll share some of my favorite products for clearing up my skin and keeping it hydrated. Have a great week! 🙂

Skincare Routine Worksheet on Etsy

My Supplement Routine for Weight Loss, Acne, Hair Growth, Energy, & More

My Supplement Routine for Weight Loss, Acne, Hair Growth, Energy, & More

Yes, I am a Plexus Ambassador. But I’m not just here to promote my business, I promise. I use plenty of other supplements outside of the Plexus family that have done wonders for me as well! I’m just feeling good and I want y’all to feel your best too! So basically I’m just going to share what the supplement is, what it claims to do, and the honest effects that it has on me. 

I’m starting with Plexus products because after posting my progress picture I’ve received a lot of questions about what I’m taking and how I got to where I am, and I just want to be able to have the story all in one place! I’d just like to go ahead and say that this is not me just trying to make a sale, these are my honest thoughts and experiences. I value being real and trustworthy over possibly receiving a new customer anyday. 




Claims: Burns stubborn fat (especially in abs, hips, and thighs), improves metabolism, and supports mood, focus, and energy. 

Personal Effects: I’ve only been taking metaburn for a week or two now. For the entire time that I’ve been taking it, I’ve been eating terribly. I’ve been extremely busy and I’ve just eaten the foods that I can quickly warm up so I can get back to work. So in all honesty, I haven’t seen it’s most true effects. 

Even though I haven’t seen it’s best effects, I still think that it’s helped. I have more energy and have been in a much better mood over the past week. I’ve been way more motivated to work out which is a freaking miracle for me because I am absolutely never motivated to exercise. In all honesty, I haven’t noticed any fat burn but that’s because I’ve been eating like crap over the past few weeks. But in my opinion, I still feel like it’s doing a good job because I haven’t gained any weight or felt my pants getting super tight.



Claims: Maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reduces the absorption and glycemic index of carbs and sugars, supports weight loss, and helps reduce caloric intake. 

Personal Effects: I think that this product has been my saving grace over the past few weeks. Most importantly, I haven’t had sugar cravings which I usually have on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Frankly, I’m still in shock that this has worked this well. Additionally, I really do believe that the carbs are somehow diminishing because I’ve never been able to eat the way I have been without gaining at least 5-7 pounds, while looking like it too. I also feel like it’s given me a lot of relief when it comes to dieting/weight loss, because it still allows you to have those sweet treats too. I’m no longer feeling like I have to skip the desert as long as I have a primarily healthy diet. 

Bio Cleanse


Claims: Kills gas, bloating, and discomfort. Clears out your gut by taking away the unwanted microbes and substances in your body. Helps promote regulation and improved gut health. 

Personal Effects: This is TMI, but I said I was gonna keep it real.. So, here we are. Before taking this product, I had a really hard time going to the bathroom which always made me feel SUPER bloated because I basically wasn’t getting rid of anything.. So it just kept building and building! I also really like this product because it doesn’t keep you on the toilet 24/7 like a laxative or detox tea/pill. It just clears you out on a daily basis to make sure that there’s no buildup in your gut. After I started taking these for about a week, my pants truly fit SO much better. I also lost 8 pounds.

Probio 5


Claims: Helps keep intestinal yeast in balance, supports a healthy intestinal tract and healthy digestion, improves natural response to imbalance, and promotes healthy bacteria counts and pH levels in the gut. 

Personal Effects: I honestly couldn’t tell you the noticeable effects that this product has had on me, aside from clearing up my face. I honestly didn’t know that was a main effect of this supplement until I had done some Google searching to see what it truly does. I saw amazing improvements so I truly believe that the probio 5 is the solution.  I have battled cystic acne my entire life but once I started taking this, the overall tone of my face (redness) improved and I wasn’t getting a bunch of little bumps all around my face anymore. 



Claims: Clinically demonstrated to help you lose weight and reduce hunger, supports healthy glucose metabolism and enhanced satiation and satiety, and increases hydration.

Personal Effects: This has completely curbed my hunger. At the start of taking this product, I literally had to force myself to eat multiple times a day. I’ve been an overeater for my entire life, so this has really been a game changer for me. I’m also super picky with the way things taste, but this tastes like pink lemonade so it’s been super easy to drink. I also think that the sweetness helps curb the sugar cravings because I feel like I’m already getting some by drinking this. I think this was also a large contributor to me losing 8 pounds.

Other Products

OLLY Flawless Complexion Gummies


Claims: Regulates hormones to give you clear skin. 

Personal Effect: This is one of the greatest finds I’ve ever made. As I said earlier, I have battled with cystic acne my entire life and this product has been a saving grace as well. While the Probio5 helps my skin tone and smaller acne, this helps get rid of the cystic/large acne. They don’t taste great, but definitely worth it for the effects. 

Elderberry Gummies


Claims: Has vitamin C and Zinc that helps support your immune health. 

Personal Effect: Since Corona, I have wanted to do everything in my power to build up some immunity! I don’t feel a huge change but my favorite thing about them is that they taste like candy.. So good!

Biotin Gummies


Claims: May help support healthy hair, skin and nails in those deficient in biotin. Biotin also supports carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism.

Personal Effect: I literally just started taking these about 2 days ago so I can’t really commit to any statement right now. I wanted to make the hair grow around my forehead so I’m hoping this will help! I’m also liking all of the other claims it’s making.. So I’ll come back with an update on this one. Just wanted to mention this because it’s super cheap and also tastes amazing!!

Lastly, we have my antidepressants. They aren’t a “supplement” but they do help my mood, energy levels, motivation, and more. Can’t say enough good things about them, and will answer any questions you may have! 

Alright, so that’s all the supplements I take in a day! I spread them out throughout the day depending on the claims that it makes. For example, if I know one will give me energy (Metaburn, antidepressants) then I will take it in the morning. But that’s everything I have on the list. 🙂 If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Instagram (@carmenreynolds)! Also, if you were impressed with my honest review and interested in trying Plexus or becoming an ambassador, feel free to reach out to me on there as well. I will answer questions, recommend products, and find you some discounts!

20 Exercise + Gym Bag Essentials

20 Exercise + Gym Bag Essentials

Since I’ve been getting pretty consistent with exercising and dieting again, I wanted to share some of my favorite things that have helped me shed a few pounds! All of the “Gym Essentials” are things that I absolutely can’t workout without. The “Gym Bag Essentials” are mostly things that I like to take with me to the gym, but are used after the workout. I have a lot of products to tell you about, so I’ll keep this short and sweet and get right into it! 

Gym Essentials –

Pre Workout: Six Star Explosion – Icy Rocket Freeze

Link: https://amzn.to/2TdBCxi

This is honestly the best pre workout that I have ever used. It tastes amazing. I would still drink it even if it weren’t a pre workout. Aside from that, it gives me a lot of energy and focus throughout the entire day, but doesn’t make me sick, anxious, and jittery (unlike a lot of other ones I’ve tried). Best pre workout ever. Honestly. 

Waist Trainer

Link: https://amzn.to/2X99wEI

This link isn’t the exact waist trainer that I have because I got mine at TJ Maxx, but I did some research and I still think this one would be great. It is extremely adjustable and pretty cost effective, especially compared to the other ones. I love these because they make you sweat so much – even if you’re doing low impact workouts like walking! I’ve stopped and started using this multiple times before, but every time I start using it again, I’ll notice a difference by the end of the first week that I use it. 

Apple Watch Series 3

Link: https://amzn.to/2zLvIN2 – It’s on sale! 

Honestly one of the greatest things I’ve ever purchased. I can track my fitness super easily, read/respond to texts, answer calls, control Spotify (especially helpful during a workout), and so many other things. You can pretty much use any app on an iPhone on the watch.. Email, weather, camera/photos, alarm, etc. 

Also, yes I’ve tried a Fitbit (Versa 2). I didn’t like it at all compared to this. It’s basically just a fitness tracker. If you have an iPhone you can’t answer texts/calls with a Fitbit. You also don’t have many apps, no camera, etc. Doesn’t compare at all, in my opinion. 

Nike Run App

You can get this on the apple watch or an iPhone. You can track your runs, have “guided runs” with trainers, and more. On the watch, it tracks the avg speed, time, miles, calories, heart rate, etc. Awesome app! My favorite for fitness. 


Link: https://amzn.to/2LAcUmy

I never wanted to buy these. I thought it was extremely stupid to buy a pair of headphones that were over $100. I was so wrong.. They are also one of the greatest purchases I’ve ever made – I honestly can’t live without them anymore. I actually lost a pair and had to buy a second because I was so addicted. (Yes, I am embarrassed.) But these are so helpful for any exercise you’re doing. My favorite thing about them is that you can call people hands free. I love being able to walk and call whoever while getting a good workout in. I’ve also never seen wireless headphones that match the same sound quality as Apple, and I’ve tried multiple cheaper versions. 

Airpods Case

Link: https://amzn.to/3g73eyb

Remember how I said I lost my AirPods? Won’t be doing that again. This is such an inexpensive product that can end up saving you so much money in the long run. When I head for runs (or leave to go anywhere, really) I pin the case to my keys, but you could always attach them to a purse, backpack, etc.  

Music (Spotify)

This is self explanatory, but I wanted to add it in because music is a complete game changer when it comes to working out. I will be 100x more motivated to workout when I’ve got some good music on. Actually, most of the time, I honestly don’t workout if music isn’t involved.

I love Spotify because they already have so many playlists ready for you to choose from. They even have a section of playlists made for working out. On top of that, they give student discounts and are partnered with Hulu. So.. Team Spotify. I said what I said.

YouTube Videos

Chloe Ting: https://www.youtube.com/user/ChloesAddiction

Pamela: https://www.youtube.com/user/PamelaRf1

I’ve really gotten into YouTube workout videos since quarantine started. I asked for recommendations on Instagram as to who to watch, and I saw Chloe Ting a million times. Then, one day, I randomly looked up a dance workout and came across Pamela. I love both of them because their videos are pretty short but impactful – so if I don’t have time, I’ll be satisfied with doing 1 or 2, but I can also do them 3 or 4 times for a really intense workout. 

Yoga Mat

Link: https://amzn.to/3fYK0KR

This isn’t the exact yoga mat that I have because I got mine at TJ Maxx, but I liked this one because it was cheaper and had a strap. Yoga mats are extremely versatile. Obviously, you 

can do yoga.. But you can also do at home body workouts, stretching, and more.  


Gym Bag Essentials –


Link: https://amzn.to/369m1nP

Okay, I get it.. You probably have your own deodorant. I just wanted to share this one with you because it has worked wonders for me. It’s a gel deodorant that doesn’t make your armpits wet, doesn’t leave any white residue, stops me from profusely sweating, and keeps you smelling fresh for so long. Yes, it’s a “men’s” deodorant, but this specific scent is definitely on the feminine side of their collection. Game changer, I promise. 


Self explanatory.. Just bring one. 

Dry Shampoo

Link: https://amzn.to/2XbqHFF

I heard somewhere that if you put dry shampoo in your hair before a workout, you won’t even need to wash your hair after. I’ve only tried it once or twice, but I agree! I linked this specific one because it’s the best dry shampoo I’ve ever tried, it smells good, and it’s super inexpensive. 

Body Spray

Again, self explanatory. Don’t smell.. Just bring some. 

Hair Ties

Link: https://amzn.to/3cJh7QU

I recently discovered this type of hair tie and they are amazing. They don’t put kinks and creases in your hair and i’ve noticed a lot less breakage since using these! I’ll never go back to using the other kind again. 

Makeup Eraser

Link: https://amzn.to/3cOCjVO

You never want to wear makeup while at the gym – that’s like asking for a breakout! I recently stopped using makeup wipes because I found this amazing alternative through a Boxy Charm box. You just wet the cloth and it takes all of your makeup off. (I still wash my face after, just like I did when I used wipes.) I love this product because I’m not putting harsh/drying chemicals on my face, it’s great for the environment, and you can use it like a million times over. You have to wash the cloth in the washer every few days, but you’re still doing laundry anyway.. So it’s pretty easy! Worth the money.

Shower Products, Towels, Clothes, Skincare, & Makeup 

This obviously depends on if you shower and get ready at the gym, but I figured I’d add this in as a reminder for the people that do! Just a little tip, I always brought my shower stuff in a plastic bag so it wouldn’t get the rest of my stuff wet. 

Water Bottle

Link: https://amzn.to/2ACYoYZ

Drink your water!! Even if you aren’t going to the gym, you should still be drinking tons. This water bottle is insulated, around the same size as mine, and has 4 different lids to attach. My advice, don’t spend a bunch of money on a Yeti when you can get the same type of product for half the price. I have a Yeti.. They aren’t anything special. 

Prepared Snack

I usually eat before I go to the gym, but if I have somewhere to go immediately after, I bring a snack. I typically bring a pb&j (whole wheat bread and natural peanut butter). It’s filling, quick to make, and doesn’t need to be refrigerated. I know it’s not the healthiest, but it checks all the other boxes.. You win some, you lose some. 

Ibuprofen/Bandaids/Pain Reliever 

I just always keep an extra bottle of this in my bag, just for emergencies. Never know when you’ll have a blister, cramps, or soreness! 

Fitness/Goal Notebook 

Link: https://amzn.to/3bDdTgh

I understand that I am obsessed with any planner or Notebook on the planet, but I really do think that this one is worth the money. It helps you realize your goals (in many different aspects of life) by giving journal prompts, and then allows you to effectively plan them out through the months, weeks, and days. 

It’s worth every penny in my opinion because it actually helps me stay accountable and motivated. You can write what you ate, what workouts you did and when, and track your progress. 

So that’s all of my favorites! I hope you’re able to get a good checklist out of this and find a few new products you like! Which ones are your favorite? Let me know! 

*All Amazon links are affiliate codes.

Reviewing 16 Foundations and Concealers

Reviewing 16 Foundations and Concealers

Alright, as promised, here’s my foundation and concealer review! I have sooo many to talk about! I actually had a few more high end products than I expected, but I decided to add them anyway for my makeup lovers. This post is gonna be pretty long, so I’m just gonna get right into my skin explanation and then share my thoughts! 

I have fought with acne since middle school. It’s been through so many phases. I’ve had ‘little’ acne, cystic acne, or no acne. – It changes very frequently. Sometimes I will have extremely clear skin without a single breakout, and then sometimes I will have a week where I have 3 or 4 huge breakouts. But, the one thing I know for sure, is that my skin is always much worse in the winter. Unfortunately, I am someone who literally can’t stand to look at acne on her face, so I have picked at it my entire life, and now I am left with scarring. So even when my face is clear (which it’s pretty good now), you can still see all of my scarring. 

Additionally, I have extremely dry skin. If I don’t profusely moisturize every single day, my face literally peels off. (Sorry, I know it’s gross.. Just had to explain how bad it is.) 

With that being said, I have to be extremely careful about the makeup products I use. Having dry and troubled skin makes it really easy for my makeup to look cakey! So here’s my advice..

Too Faced Born This Way Foundation

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/born-this-way-undetectable-medium-full-coverage-foundation?productId=xlsImpprod12621017

Price: $39

Coverage: Medium/Full – Definitely full when multiple layers applied. 

Finish: Matte

Notes: Good coverage, but doesn’t really help if you have raised acne bumps/marks. The formula is somewhat drying so you’ll look crusty if you put it over active acne. But, if you have naturally combination/oily skin with no major breakouts – I think this would be a great foundation for you.

Too Faced Born This Way Concealer

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/born-this-way-super-coverage-multi-use-sculpting-concealer?productId=xlsImpprod18631033&_requestid=3188854

Price: $29

Coverage: Light/Medium

Finish: Matte 

Notes: I didn’t like this at all, honestly. It dried out my skin wherever I used it. Even when I used it as an eyeshadow primer, it would make my eyeshadow patchy because it was so dry. Creased under my eyes and didn’t cover acne well at all because of its light coverage. 

But, on the days where I wanted to do natural makeup (just concealer over my marks), it did pretty well if I profusely moisturized and applied primer before. I think this would be great for people without problematic skin who want a natural look. 

Too Faced Dew You Fresh Glow Foundation 

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/tutti-frutti-dew-you-fresh-glow-foundation?productId=xlsImpprod18941027

Price: $36

Coverage: Full

Finish: Extremely Dewy

Notes: One of the best foundations I’ve ever tried. Extremely dewey and hydrating when you first put it on – but if you have oily skin, you can definitely put powder over it and make it matte. (I still use the powder just to set it, even with my extremely dry skin.) This is one of the very few foundations that works extremely well with dry complexions. Hides imperfections well, doesn’t sink into skin, and can easily be mixed with other foundations. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay Foundation

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/amazonian-clay-full-coverage-foundation-spf-15?productId=xlsImpprod4130103

Price: $39

Coverage: Full

Finish: Extremely Matte

Notes: I didn’t like this. Emphasized all of my pores, looked extremely cakey on dry skin, made my acne look terrible. It was full coverage on my non-problem areas, but the product seemed to disappear on the raised bumps. If you have oily skin, you will have much better luck with this. 

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/shape-tape-concealer?productId=xlsImpprod14251035

Price: $27

Coverage: Full

Finish: Neutral 

Notes: I really love the coverage of this concealer. The only issue that I have with it, is that it terribly creases under my eyes. On the positive side, I really love it as an eyeshadow primer and for acne coverage. Definitely cancels out discoloration. 

Milani Conceal and Perfect Foundation

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2xSrcM3

Price: $8.97

Coverage: Full 

Finish: Neutral

Notes: Beware, this is a thicker foundation.. So if you really hate the way that foundation feels on your face, I would probably avoid this one. But, this is great for troubled skin. It really does what it says.. Conceals all problematic areas and gives an overall gorgeous face. Amazing when I moisturized well and used a hydrating primer. 

Rimmel Stay Matte Foundation

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2YWMoM2

Price: $4.97

Coverage: Full

Finish: Extremely Matte

Notes: I bet this would be amazing for oily skin. Does really well at hiding imperfections, just extremely drying. I still need to try mixing this with an oil (or something) to see if I can get it to work for me. But to my oily skin girls, I seriously recommend trying this product!

LA Girl HD Pro Concealer 

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/3bn2BN9

Price: $4.95

Coverage: Full 

Finish: Neutral/Matte 

Notes: Covers acne pretty well and I really like the product. I just don’t love the applicator. I always squeeze the product onto the back of my hand and use my sponge or brush instead of using the given one. 

Wet n Wild Photofocus Foundation

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2AcAjYK

Price: $4.42

Coverage: Medium/Full 

Finish: Neutral

Notes: Probably my second favorite foundation. So cheap but works super well. Not absolutely perfect at covering acne, but it doesn’t make it look cakey and gross. It leaves a very natural finish, like “your skin but better”. I just add a little bit of concealer before using it. I think they’ve also expanded their shade range in the last year or so.

Colourpop No Filter Concealer 

Link to Purchase: https://colourpop.com/pages/search-results?q=no%20filter%20conceal

Price: $7

Coverage: Full

Finish: Neutral 

Notes: I think this is the dupe for the Tarte Shape Tape. It may have a little tiny bit less coverage, but it doesn’t crease as much or dry me out. Oxidizes a bit, but still good for the price.  

Maybelline Dream Urban Cover Foundation 

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2xQOwtA

Price: $10.95

Coverage: Full

Finish: Dewy

Notes: I really like this foundation until it sits on my face for about 30 minutes. It’s dewey, natural looking, and covers acne pretty well. But after half an hour, it sinks into every single pore and fine line on my face, and also gets more oily looking. At that point, I really don’t like it. If you don’t have large pores/acne/lines – I definitely recommend this. 

Maybelline Fit Me Foundation 

Link to Purchase (Dewy and Smooth): https://amzn.to/2AeHGPq

Link to Purchase (Matte and Poreless): https://amzn.to/2LxbOrX

Price: $5.34 

Coverage: Light/Medium

Finish: Both

Notes: I all around do not like this foundation. It doesn’t give the coverage that I need, sinks into pores, emphasizes dryness, gets super oily throughout the day, doesn’t mix well with my other products, and easily comes off. On the other hand, if I had clear and hydrated skin, I think I would really like it. It’s super natural looking. It’s just not for me. 

Maybelline Fit Me Concealer 

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/3bodtu7

Price: $5.34

Coverage: Medium/Full

Finish: Neutral/Dewy

Notes: I love this concealer! I know, interesting.. Considering that I hate the foundation. Probably the best drugstore concealer. Doesn’t completely dry out my under eyes. It significantly helps covering acne and doesn’t dry it out or make it look cakey. 

Covergirl Vitalist Healthy Elixir 

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/2LhzUqk

Price: $6.93

Coverage: Full

Finish: Dewy

Notes: Another great drugstore foundation. Hydrating, covers everything well, and holds up throughout the day. My only complaint is that it oxidizes a bit, but I just buy a lighter shade. 

L’oreal Infallible Foundation 

Link to Purchase: https://amzn.to/3dCuLFm

Price: $11.97

Coverage: Full

Finish: Dewy

Notes: This is a pure liquid foundation. I haven’t tried it too much on it’s own, but I really liked to mix it with the Too Faced Dew You Foundation. I think that it would probably sink into my pores if I didn’t mix the two – just because liquid foundations usually sink into my pores, but I liked it whenever I used it in a combination. I honestly need to try it out on it’s own more. It does oxidize.

It Cosmetics Bye Bye Foundation Full Coverage Moisturizer with SPF 50+

Link to Purchase: https://www.ulta.com/bye-bye-foundation-full-coverage-moisturizer-with-spf-50?productId=xlsImpprod17611001

Price: $39.50

Coverage: Light

Finish: Dewy

Notes: This is a tinted moisturizer, which is really good for summer makeup, especially with the SPF 50. I don’t think the product is full coverage for active acne – but for scarring, I think it works well. If you want a little extra coverage and very natural makeup look, I think this would be great for you. If you have problematic skin, I don’t recommend.. I think you should just stick with a foundation for the coverage.

Okay, I think that’s enough for now! I hope you guys liked my brutally honest opinions of these products. If you have any other review ideas – send them my way! Have a great weekend! 🙂

* All of the Amazon links are associated with an affiliate code and these photos are not mine.

11 Tips to Boost Your Energy

11 Tips to Boost Your Energy

I used to nap for 4 hours every single day. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t help it.

As I’ve said before, I think that my medication helps a lot with my sleeping habits now. But, even with the medication, I still have to find ways to force myself to keep my energy up and stay out of bed.

Obviously, I’m not perfect and I still take a nap from time to time.. But I can honestly say that I probably take a nap about once or twice a month – and I only do it if I absolutely have to, like there’s literally no other option.

But this doesn’t have to pertain to just naps. You can try some of these things even if you just want to put a little extra pep in your step and be a little more productive throughout the day.

Either way, here are my tips. I saved the best for last 😉

Stay out of bed or other relaxing areas. I’m not going to lie to you, I don’t do this often, but I’m writing this post from my bed.. And I’ve debated taking a nap multiple times today. I don’t know what it is that tricks my mind every time I sit here.. But I get tired every freaking time. So I can’t tell you why, but just stay away.

Exercise. I write about exercise as a way to fix everything.. I know. But I mean, it’s true. I even avoid working out at night because I’ll stay up till 2 or 3 in the morning because I’m still pumped up. I would truly think it’s the other way around, but no. Anyway, just try working out for a week and you’ll see a difference. You might wanna double check me on this, but I’ve also heard that exercise helps you sleep better if you work out in the morning.

Caffeine. No brainer, I know – but it realllly does help. Drink some coffee in the morning, use some pre workout before you head to the gym, get a caffeinated tea.. Up to you on how you get some in, just don’t try these all at once.. or you’ll be shaking and having extreme anxiety. Also, you should probably avoid the soda. It has caffeine, but it’s definitely not good for you and it eventually gives you a sugar crash.

Bring a lot of light into the room. You know how you’re told not to go to bed with the TV on? It’s because the light is a simulator. It keeps you awake so you don’t fall asleep when you’re actually tired/ready for bed. But during the day, the light is super helpful. Go outside or open the curtains by your desk and watch it work wonders.

Engage your mind. If you have no purpose for the day, it gets pretty easy to take the lazy way out. Make sure that you have tasks to do and a timeline for doing them, it helps give you focus. Even if it’s just busy work or something light.. It’ll help.

Have a diet that fuels you. I know when I’m not eating great for a couple of days, I start to notice a huge difference in my motivation and energy levels. When I’m feeling bloated and fat, all I wanna do is lay in bed. Also, like I said earlier, when you’re eating/drinking something with a lot of sugar in it – you’re gonna crash. So, look up the foods that give you energy!

Speaking of food.. Smell a lemon. I’m serious. It’s like scientifically proven, I swear. I think the term is called aromatherapy. Anyway, you can smell specific scents and they’ll trigger certain reactions. (On the other hand, if you’re trying to sleep, I’ve heard lavender is really good. Mint is also used for stress relief.)

Drink the dang water. I know, I don’t like it either, I promise. But, when you’re dehydrated, you’re way more likely to feel sluggish and tired.. sometimes even sick. So, just do it, there’s also like a million other health benefits too. 🙂

Change the temperature in the room. I’m not going to lie, this probably isn’t the most effective out of all the examples I’ve given, but it does help. I really do work better when I’m a little bit chilly. Maybe it’ll be the opposite for you, but give it a try!

Listen to uplifting music, loud. I always feel a little happier and more energized when I’ve got some loud music on. Maybe I’m just jamming in my room, or I’m listening to motivational music on a run.. but it really does change my mood.

Alright, as promised.. Here’s the best for last.

Do something that excites you. Think about something that you really care about. Like if you really love surfing.. It doesn’t matter if you have to get up at 6am to catch the waves – that’s what you’re gonna do, because you love it.

Even if it’s something that doesn’t require physical energy.. It still works. I obviously love blogging & social media related work, and I could stay up till like 3 am working on it just because I love it. I force myself to go to bed earlier because I try to wake up around 7 to get a head start.. But you get the point.

Find something that you love, even if you can only do it for an hour a day, you’ll be excited up until you do it, and once you’re done, hopefully you’ll be able to keep some lingering energy.

Okay, that’s it! I’m glad I did this post because I even thought of a few different things that I can add into my own routine. Do you already do some of these things? Are you going to be able to add any of these into yours? Let me know! See you next week. 🙂

11 Healthy Ways to Give Your Mind a Break

11 Healthy Ways to Give Your Mind a Break

I’m going to start out by saying one thing: breaks are necessary.

I won’t lie, I absolutely hate taking breaks. I feel like I’m being lazy and not reaching my full potential for the day – but that’s not true.

I have to teach myself to think about it like this.. Working hard all the time drains you, mentally and physically. So, you’re presented with a choice: Constantly work at a 30-50% capacity all the time, or work at 100% capacity with included resting breaks.

As Dave Hollis would say, you have to pour into yourself to be able to pour into others.

So, here are my ideas to give yourself that break!

Listen to good music. I usually choose to listen to calming music when I want to give my mind a break, but if you’re dead set on blasting the rap music.. Do your thing. Just make sure you’re focusing on feeling free and relaxed while enjoying the music.

Find somewhere to sit and relax. This will obviously depend on where you live, but some of my main places to go include the beach, pool, or park. If you don’t have those in your area, you can just set out a lawn chair or hang up an ENO in the backyard. Get some sunshine and chill, even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

Watch TV/Netflix/YouTube. I definitely don’t condone this for long periods of time, but if you just need a day to binge a good show or you need an hour of TV after work – that’s healthy and understandable.

Get some exercise in. Exercise is one of my favorite ways to clear my mind. If I’ve had a really bad day or I’m angry about something – that’s my number one go-to. I grab my headphones, blast some music, and start running to relieve the stress. Obviously, this doesn’t only apply to stress-relief.. For example, you can also do it to clear your mind and get in a good mood before work.

Take a bath. I’m sure everyone was expecting this one.. But it truly is one of the best ways to relax. Grab a bath bomb, a candle or 2, some soothing music, and hop in the tub!

Paint your nails. For me, painting my nails takes a lot of focus. That’s helpful in this situation because it allows me to switch my focus from (whatever) to concentrating on getting a good looking nail.

Take a nap. I mean, shutting your mind completely off is the best way to clear it. It’s also gonna help you recharge and get that energy back. Curl up under some blankets, light a candle, make some tea, and take an hour to get some good rest in.

Do mindless chores like dishes, laundry, etc. Maybe you don’t really have the time to completely give yourself a break. I get that. So just do something that doesn’t require hard work and thinking. Cut on the TV, or some music, and free your mind while getting a few things done around the house. You can still refresh your brain that way.

Do some art. I don’t know about you, but I love the adult coloring books. Those things are so satisfying and a way to completely disconnect from all other thoughts. Even if you don’t have a coloring book, I’m pretty sure you can just print a page or download an app for it. But maybe that’s not your thing – and that’s okay. There are so many different forms of art.. You’ll be able to find something. Paint, draw, make some clay, knit something.. Whatever works for you.

Play a game on your phone. Okay, I know that sounds silly.. We’re all adults here, I know. But I swear, there are some games out there that can completely distract me for hours. I love playing Rummikub on my phone. Maybe you like Angry Birds or Temple Run or something.. I don’t really know any other games. Point is, they really will distract you for hours on end.

Meditate. I’ve personally never meditated, but I know that something that a lot of people do. (I do want to try someday soon.) But I hear it’s a great way to clear and refresh your mind, feel balanced, or be “at one with the earth” or something like that. Like I said, I don’t really know how it works.. But just give it a try if you haven’t already.

Okay.. So that’s all the tips I have for you. Maybe not all of these will be of interest, but I hope you give a few a try. If you have any other ideas, share them with me! I’m always looking for new ways to force myself to relax (lol). Hope you enjoyed, see you on Saturday!

Restarting My Fitness Journey

Restarting My Fitness Journey

I’m not gonna lie.. During this quarantine, I’ve been way too slack on my fitness goals.  

I’m obviously upset that I’ve gained weight – but I am not mad at myself. I had the relaxation that I desperately needed. I ate the foods that I actually wanted to eat. I also understand that it’s okay to take a break from time to time.. and progress isn’t always linear. 

It’s kinda funny timing though because this is like the number one time to get fit.. You get to plan out your day how you want. You don’t have to be ready for work/school in the mornings. It should be easier, right? 

Anyway, it’s time to get the ball rolling again. 

I wanted to make a blog post about it because I think it’s a good way to keep me accountable and maybe my journey will help and inspire some of you guys. In the future, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite tips/tricks to help kickstart weight loss, but today’s post is just about my goals and my (current) plan. 

So, here’s the plan..


  • Everyday, for at least 30 minutes. Even if it’s just taking a walk. I know that rest is important.. But when you’re bipolar, it’s really hard to stay consistent. I genuinely believe that this is the only thing that will keep me on track.
  • Workouts will usually last an hour to an hour and a half
  • A mix of running and in-home body weight workouts
  • If only running for the day, I do around 5 miles. 
  • In-home workouts vary. I think in the future I’ll post a beginner’s guide for working out as well as a post sharing my intermediate routine. I just need some time to build the strength back up. (I’ve run during quarantine, but haven’t done many in-home workouts so I’ve lost all my strength). 

Meal Plan

  • Drinking as much water as I possibly can!! 
  • Definitely avoiding soda and fast food. Not completely restricting foods because it’s okay to enjoy things once in a while, but definitely no more than once a week. (I  usually do less than that anyway.) 
  • Also trying to avoid milk as much as possible. I absolutely love milk but it has sooo many calories in it. Also, dairy messes with my skin. 
  • No eating because I’m bored or emotional  
  • 3 meals a day, semi healthy dessert if I want (ex: whip cream & strawberries).
  • Going to try my best to meal prep so I don’t turn to the unhealthy/quick foods. 
  • Not going to buy foods that will tempt me 
  • I will basically eat the same thing every day. 
  • – Breakfast: Grits and eggs – I know this isn’t super healthy – but when I workout, I’m burning around 600-800 calories. I really need fuel to be able to do that. Also, it keeps me full for a good amount of time, so I don’t really need to eat a lot at lunch. (If you’re looking for an idea, I also recommend oatmeal and chia seeds.. super filling).   
  • – Lunch: Fruit bowl, smoothie, or apple and peanut butter (when I’m really hungry). I try to keep this relatively small. It’s just to make sure I don’t starve by dinner time. 
  • – Dinner: Chicken and salad or vegetable. I only eat carbs if I’m super hungry – but that’s usually a potato, yellow rice, pasta, etc. I definitely make sure to have a smaller portion of carbs if I do eat them. 

Other Factors

  • Making sure that I am sleeping enough
  • Checking in on my mental health.. Mental and physical health go hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other.
  • Using my accountability resources (probably will write about in a future post): planner, trackers, friends, etc.
  • Having a motivational back-up plan for when I have excuses 
  • Physical reminders and motivation 
  • Finding some good workout music!!

Goals & Reasons 

  • Feel confident in my own skin
  • Finally be able to commit to something and stick to it, even when it’s hard
  • Feeling proud of myself for putting in the work every day 
  • Treating my body right to genuinely become healthier
  • Becoming physically stronger
  • Gaining willpower 
  • Hopefully inspiring others 

So, that’s the plan for now. I’ve done the majority of these things in the past and had a lot of success with it – I just have a problem with temporarily quitting. But, I’m hoping that this will keep me accountable and motivated! I know it won’t be easy, but I’m excited to start feeling confident, proud, and healthy. Also, I want to invite you guys to join in. Maybe you won’t have the exact same plan, but if you’re trying to start a fitness journey, reach out to me! I was thinking about creating a group of encouragement and support if people are interested. 

Also, big shoutout to my friend Kayla! She reached out a few days ago and asked me to share some tips/tricks, so she decided to join in. We’ll share some of her thoughts in a future blog post so you guys can see a different perspective as well. 

If this is something that interests you guys, let me know! I’ll be happy to share my real journey and give you guys updates every once in a while.

Alright, that’s it! I hope this has been interesting and helpful. Until next time, have a great weekend! ❤️

Getting Comfortable in the Gym

Getting Comfortable in the Gym

I used to be terrified of the gym. 

When I first started going, I didn’t know what to do or where to start. I was extremely afraid of messing up or looking like an idiot. I had it in my head that if people saw me doing something wrong, they’d know that I never really went to the gym. 

I’m not here to tell you that I’m now completely comfortable with doing anything I want in the gym, because I’m not. I’m still scared to bench or use certain machines. The point is, I’ve made myself comfortable enough to show up and give something a shot everyday.


First things first, if you really can’t stand the thought of working out in front of other people, it’s all good. Just start somewhere – your room, basement, or even back yard. If that works for you, great. 

For my gym people, here’s my advice.. 

Pick a gym that you like. Going to the university gym was freakin scary. There were a million people there and 500 different things to try. I didn’t want the people in my math class watching me do burpees, so I switched gyms. The gym I switched to is closer to my apartment, it’s primarily older people (that I don’t care to impress), and its not as crowded. It made me so much more comfortable, and I started to go more because it didn’t take forever to get there. 

Bring headphones. If you pick the right music, you’ll be 10 times more motivated. Also, turn your volume all the way up. You can block out every other person in the room, or at least your thoughts that want to concentrate on them.  

Remember that no one really cares what you’re doing. People don’t go to the gym to watch other people. They go to make themselves better, therefore they are only focusing on their work to do that. They don’t care that your face looks like a tomato or that you can’t do 10 push-ups.

Join a class. Classes are awesome when you don’t know what to do. You can go just to get some ideas to personally work on if they aren’t really your thing. You can also go to make friends. Or you can choose to do them because you’ll have a set schedule and pre-planned exercises. 

Start with the workouts you’re comfortable with. Okay, so you can’t do 10 push-ups. Modify them, and do 5. Try 3 un-modified. Or, don’t even do push-ups, you can do an easier exercise. If you know you’re good at running, start there. Just start with whatever gives you enough confidence to be there. 

Gradually try new things. Once you work on something for a while, it obviously gets easier. You mastered the 10 push-ups? Okay, try 10 burpees. You can do the same workout that you’d normally do, just change up 1 or 2 things to move forward. 

Bring a friend, but don’t become reliant. On a positive note, going with a friend can be comforting and make workouts more enjoyable. They can also keep you accountable. But they can also do the opposite and quit on you, and unintentionally hold you back from going or doing your best. Just be careful with who you pick. Make sure they have similar wants/goals, and be able to realize if something changes. 

Remind yourself that you are the priority, not other people’s judgements. You’re going to better yourself. Don’t let your perception of other people’s opinions affect your want to make a change. They do not matter more than you.