More stories

  • in

    The New FabFitFun Box is the #1 Way I’m Getting Ready for Spring

    Every time my friends come to my apartment, they leave with something. A sheet mask I’d like to share, a mascara I’ll never get to opening, a moisturizer made for their skin type—my personal closet has become a full-blown beauty closet that is filled to the brim with beauty products for testing and admiring. But since I don’t get to see my friends as often, they’re missing my weekly giveaways; and do you know what’s like a personal beauty closet at your door every season? My favorite beauty subscription box: FabFitFun. 

    FabFitFun is essentially a curated selection of beauty, fitness, lifestyle, decor, and more at your door four times a year, so you can test, rate, and rave about new products in the same manner as your favorite influencers and beauty editors. Let me do a quick breakdown of why I suggest FabFitFun to everyone I know: 
    #1. You can customize the products so you get what you really want. Instead of getting a box full of products you may or may not use, FabFitFun offers customization for most products in the box so you always get items you know you’ll actually use. But don’t worry: there are still a few surprises!
    #2. FabFitFun loves supporting women-owned brands and businesses, so every box is typically filled with products that support female entrepreneurs. 
    #3. Every time I get my box, it feels like I’m opening a gift! My birthday happens four extra times a year with FabFitFun because it’s filled with self-care products I can use alone or share with friends. It’s the perfect addition to any girls’ night in.
    #4. I’ve discovered so many products I now swear by and use every single day because they ended up in my FabFitFun box that I’d probably never try otherwise. 
    #5. FabFitFun is committed to sustainability, so every box is made with 100 percent recycled materials for the box and paper inside. The box is also always gorgeous, so I reuse mine as storage in my closet, making it an extra gift in itself! 

    Keep scrolling—or click here to order your box and wait for the surprise!

    Clean Luxury Hair Masque

    $55 retail value
    This hair mask contains shea butter to coat your locks in complete moisture. Plus, it smells so luxurious; like you’re at the spa!

    Body Cream in Mandarin & Rosemary Leaf

    $26 retail value
    Not only is this in the most gorgeous packaging I’ve ever seen on a lotion, but the springtime scent will make you excited for fresh flowers, patios, and a light breeze.

    Iconic Glow Illuminating Face & Body Dry Oil

    $28 retail value
    It’s almost the season of glowy everything, and this illuminator knows how to bring it. It’s lovely on the cheekbones, but I’m stoked to use it all over my shoulders and décolletage.

    Sun’s Out, Pouts Out Lip Mask

    $15 retail value
    Get your pout in kissing shape with these fun gold masks. I gave three to my friends so we could all try them together over a video call!

    Reusable Beauty Rounds (3 Pk)

    $16 retail value
    Kiss your makeup wipes goodbye and use these reusable makeup remover pads instead. Simply wet them with warm water, and they take off everything from foundation to waterproof mascara.

    Flower Hair Clip (2 Pk)

    $30 retail value
    Add this adorable accessory to your stash of “ways to make second-day hair look cute.”

    Ultimate Core Toning Kit

    $50 retail value
    Sick of the same-old workouts at home? These two will turn up your ab workouts a notch.

    Daisy Print Duffel Bag

    $150 retail value
    This daisy print is the perfect pairing for all of your spring dresses—even if you’re just headed to the grocery store.

    Water Hyacinth Tray with Cutout Handles

    $45 retail value
    After we’ve been home for what feels like ages, I’ll take anything to change up my space a bit. This tray will look gorgeous on a coffee table and is so practical too.

    Set of 3 Packing Cubes in Sorbet

    $40 retail value
    Regardless of how few travels you’re taking this year, these packing cubes come in handy for weekend trips, sleepovers with your best friends, and even closet storage (which is how I’m using them!).


    $35 retail value
    The makers of our favorite chic pan came out with this equally-beautiful lunch box that I can’t wait to try for meal prep.

    100% Pure Argan Oil

    $39 retail value
    Argan oil has dozens of uses: skincare, haircare, cuticle care, and more; and Josie Maran knows her stuff.

    Faux Fur Slippers in Crystal Pink

    $48 retail value
    I’ll never say no to a new pair of slippers—truly, never. These are fuzzy, well-padded, and in a springy pink shade.

    Powder Kiss Lipstick Duo

    $42 retail value
    MAC knows lipstick better than just about any brand, and this Powder Kiss formula is the ideal matte that won’t come off in your mask. Bright springtime lips ahead!

    Super Eye Serum

    $65 retail value
    I’ve seen this brand all over Instagram, and this eye serum is exactly what I need to look more awake and bright on video calls.

    Papaya Enzyme Peel

    $45 retail value
    Elemis is an incredible high-end skincare brand that I’ve grown to love after trying so many of their products from FabFitFun. This is a light, gentle peel that will reveal brighter, dewier skin after just a few uses.

    Tropical Trio

    $28 retail value
    Step up your oral hygiene game with these coconut flosses. Not only is the packaging cute and the flavors delicious, but these really pack a punch for keeping your teeth and gums clean.

    This post was in partnership with FabFitFun, but all of the opinions within are those of The Everygirl editorial board. More

  • in

    5 Things to Buy Before Spring Arrives

    Despite what the weather might imply if you take a peek out of just about any window in the continental United States right now, February is coming to a chilly close, which means one thing: spring is on the way.Yes, we’ll probably be shivering and wearing our snowboots through March, but the time to stock up on winter gear has finally passed, and it’s time to look forward to brighter, happier days—and get our closets stocked too. (I don’t know about you, but after this quarantined winter, I don’t know that I’ve ever looked forward to spring this much.)
    Ready to strip off your layers of wool and down coats to reveal something lighter and brighter? Here are five places to start:

    1. Wide-Leg Pants

    Millennials, don’t get your panties in a bunch just yet. (It’s worth noting that I, albeit a young one, am also a millennial, so there’s no reason to panic here). Your skinny jeans can stay at the top of your stack of jeans if that’s your cup of tea, but if you’re looking to try something fun and new, a pair of wide-leg jeans or trousers were made for you (it also doesn’t hurt that they’re basically one step up from sweats). Think: full lengths, high waists, and legs just a bit wider than your straight jeans.


    2. Minimalist Knitwear

    For the perfect transition from winter to spring wear, invest in the minimalist knitwear trend. Rather than the chunky, oversized sweaters and cardigans we’ve been bundled up in for six months, these are thinner, lighter, and tighter. Bonus points if you wear a matching knit bra-top layered underneath.


    3. Bridgerton-esque Prints

    Yes, I know, “florals for spring,” and what not, but really, what is spring without some floral wardrobe pieces? This spring’s are more in your face than years past, with dreamy floral prints that will take us back to our favorite Netflix binge.


    4. Eyelet Lace

    In a move that feels like the polar opposite of our loungewear, feminine, dreamy eyelet lace is making its way onto the spring scene. The detailed, larger cutouts make just about any piece they adorn look a little more interesting, and could be in the running for your first non-winter walk around the block.

    5. Something Pink

    After a long, dark winter, nothing sounds better than the bright, chilly colors that spring is offering us this year, and at the top of that list is bubblegum pink. If you’re still hanging onto your sweats, trade out a grey pair for one in the hue; or if you’re ready to wear real clothes again, opt for a top or dress that you’ll reach for all spring and summer long.


  • in

    I Tested 6 of TikTok’s Most Hyped-Up Skincare Products

    For better or worse, I became addicted to TikTok in 2020. More specifically, I became addicted to skincare TikTok. I followed beauty influencers like Skincare by Hyram and found myself buying products that actually fit into my budget: $7 “brightening” serums and $10, 16 oz. facial cleansers that barely fit on my counter because the bottles are so large. My main concerns are dryness, dull texture, and acne scarring from a six-month stint on Accutane. While the drug successfully purged my skin of all the acne I was destined to have for the rest of my life, it left me with a good bit of dark spots and an uneven tone. I was committed to improving it; and now after months of testing, I have found a lineup that has genuinely changed my skin—while simultaneously making my routine a bit more affordable in comparison to my impulse purchases from Drunk Elephant and Estée Lauder. An effective routine that doesn’t break the bank? What more could I want? Thanks to TikTok, here are the products that I now call my tried-and-trues! 

    Hydrating Facial Cleanser

    I am a Glossier addict, so I had been using Milky Jelly Cleanser for the past four years. Then on a whim at Target (after a TikTok binge), I grabbed the CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser—and boy am I glad I did. This face wash has a striking resemblance to Milky Jelly, both in consistency and gentleness. The ingredient formula highlights ceramides (which can prevent wrinkles) and hyaluronic acid, which both help to lock in moisture and protect your skin—an essential in the Chicago winters. As the temperature has been dropping and the heater in my apartment has been on full blast, I’ve been extra dry and patchy on my forehead. This cleanser has been keeping that at bay. I might just go full force and purchase the giant tub of CeraVe Moisturizing Cream as well.

    The Ordinary
    AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution

    Being fully transparent, I had tried this product before. But upon downloading TikTok, I discovered I was using it completely wrong… at the risk of burning off a layer of my skin. I like to call this “the blood mask” because I always see pictures of influencers with this maroon goop layered heavily on their skin. In applying the product in such a way, you’re going to be uncomfortable, itchy, and could even be damaging your skin. Using too much of a highly-concentrated AHA can cause redness and flakiness. Not the vibe. So, I followed the rules of TikTok and added a light, almost pink-toned layer. The mask didn’t burn anymore, just had a light tingle. And after a few weeks of bearable use, I noticed the texture of my skin had evened out, my acne scars were beginning to lighten, and my face was so soft. Score! AHAs and BHAs are key for safely removing dead skin, improving dull and uneven patches, and plumping up your skin for a youthful glow. Since you only have to use a pea-sized amount, this $7 mask will last a long time.

    Ice Roller

    As an avid user of jade and rose quartz rollers, this $10 Amazon ice instrument was naturally my next purchase. Just pop the tool in the freezer, and in the morning, rub the icy goodness all over your face. As I would use my jade roller, I like to use this one after my skincare routine to allow my products to sink in better. This tool has little beads inside so the rolling ritual is like a luxury facial massage at home. Plus, if you’re anything like me and you’re trying to get used to an early-morning routine, this roller is the perfect wake-up call.

    Super Glow Serum

    My biggest skin concern is scarring and texture; so, whenever I see a new product claiming to fix those things, I run to the store (or my computer) for a bit of retail therapy. So naturally after several TikTok recommendations, I went to my favorite brand Glossier to test out their vitamin C. Turns out, it’s true: The ingredient will gradually fade scars and smooth out texture. It also has anti-aging benefits. I’m only 22, but best to start early, right?

    Faded Gel

    I’ve been using this product for only about a week, but I am already a huge fan. After four uses, I swear my scars have significantly lightened and my skin looks brighter. My chin was covered in little spots due to my new enemy “maskne,” and thanks to this product, the dots are barely noticeable now. The formula features exfoliating acids and niacinamide, ingredients that are proven to fade scars. It’s also dye-free, fragrance-free, and vegan, making it super gentle. No burning here! Whether you have acne scars, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation, this product is sure to come to your rescue.

    Lash Lift Kit & Brow Lamination Kit

    I have dark, thick eyebrows with several patchy spots, and I’d also like to note they are completely different shapes. I swear the hairs on my left eyebrow grow straight up while the hairs on my right grow to the side—and I think one might even be slightly higher than the other. But I digress. My makeup routine consists of layering multiple brow products to get the effortless, bushy look à la Lily Collins. With this regimen, my life and brow routine are way easier. The lamination kit allows you to shape your brows semi-permanently. After cleansing the area for product and oil, you add the gel, shape your brows, cover with cling wrap, and leave on for eight minutes. And there you have it: beautiful, bold brows! This kit can also be used for eyelash lifting.

    By using all of these products, my skin concerns have become, well, less of a concern. And my bank account is happy, all thanks to TikTok. More

  • in

    The Best Places to Shop for Plus-Size Underwear

    The year is 2008. You’ve just arrived at the mall with your best friend, lip gloss poppin’, bangs straight as paper, with just a hint of glitter lining your cheekbones. You and your bestie know that you have one destination in mind: Victoria’s Secret. It’s their semi-annual sale and you’ve both planned to pick out six cute pairs of panties for $25 (which is kind of expensive if you also want to get Auntie Anne’s, but you’ll make it work). You walk into VS, your best friend makes a beeline for the undies section, and you follow closely behind. The two of you exchange knowing looks and then dive into the madness of the busy store. Noticing that the shelves are organized by sizes—extra-small on the top—you squat to search through what’s on the bottom row, and then realize the sizes stop at extra-large, and the extra-large looks like a medium. To curb your disappointment of yet another store not selling your size, you grab a “Strawberries and Champagne” body cream and check out.For some of us, the aforementioned feeling of disappointment is all too familiar. It’s the feeling of walking into a store with high hopes and walking out empty-handed because they don’t sell our sizes. As used to this feeling as I am, it always puzzles me when I notice that companies don’t prioritize inclusive sizing in underwear—it’s essential for Pete’s sake! Just like any other woman, plus-size women don’t want to have an underwear drawer full of only baggy, full-coverage panties. We want sexy, versatile, fun undies, too! Here’s a list of companies that make that possible:

    If you’re looking for comfortable undies

    Editor’s Choice:

    Play Cheeky

    Prior to my first time trying Parade Underwear, I would always see people talking about them on Instagram. Let me be the first to say it: they live up to the hype. I also love how inclusive their site models are. I feel seen, heard, and supported by these undies! 


    If you’re looking for sexy matching sets

    Editor’s Choice:

    Savage X Fenty
    Savage Not Sorry Half Cup Bra with Lace

    Do you remember where you were when Rihanna first dropped Savage X Fenty? I was in my best friend’s dorm room, huddled over her computer, counting down the minutes until we’d be let into the site. Since that day, Savage X Fenty has consistently created for the curvy girls—and for that, we thank Queen Rihanna.


    Editor’s Choice:

    Kaia Contour Plus

    Similar to Savage X Fenty, Adore Me makes cute and sensible undies for plus sizes. Before brands like these, I just assumed that people like me (over a size 12) weren’t meant to wear sexy lingerie. Turns out, we looked great in it! All we needed was a little extra fabric and a community that was encouraging. 


    If you’re looking for different style options

    Editor’s Choice:

    Third Love
    Petal Lace High Rise Brief

    Here’s the thing, I’ve never been a thong-lover, but this company has converted me. If you’re looking for a one-stop-shop for all of your underwear drawer needs, you might want to check out Thirdlove. They have high-quality, cute, and affordable options for your favorite styles. Whether you’re a boyshort fan or a brief kind of girl, you’ll find what you’re looking for.


    If you’re looking for something different

    Editor’s Choice:

    Feel Free Boy Short

    Sometimes we want to wear undies and just undies. These are the type of underwear you want for lazy days, lounging around the house, and binge-watching Bridgerton (for the fourth time). 


    Editor’s Choice: 

    First Line Leakproof Bikini LC

    Not only are these super comfy, but they have built-in leak protection for light period days (plus they’re antibacterial and odor-repellent).


    As a person who would rather be pantless on all occasions, I recommend you give yourself a gift and show your underwear drawer some love by trying out the companies listed above. Moreover, from one plus-size girl to another, no matter your race, size, identity, or age, you deserve underwear that makes you feel beautiful and prioritized. More

  • in

    Should You Stop Using Makeup Wipes Once and for All? We Asked the Experts

    Let’s be real: at the end of a long day, nothing is more tempting (or easier) than taking a disposable makeup wipe to your face, rubbing off-hours worth of product buildup, and calling it a night. I know I’m more than guilty of purchasing bulk packs of wipes month after month because hey, convenience is key, right?  Plus, in pre-pandemic times, the packs were super easy to toss in a weekender bag without any concerns about spills or TSA regulations, and who didn’t appreciate the simplicity of quickly wiping their face down after a sweaty night of bar hopping? Well, it turns out that using disposable wipes is actually a less than optimal practice (oops). I spoke with experts to find out why. “Between using makeup wipes or not washing your face at all, makeup wipes are the better option, although this is far from ideal,” said Dr. Marie Hayag, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics. “Makeup wipes don’t remove makeup completely and can leave residue on your face. Additionally, because they contain a high concentration of surfactants, they can be irritating and drying.” 

    There’s also the potential for skin breakage, explained Savannah St. Jean, owner of Savannah Rae Beauty. “Often, makeup wipes contain high levels of alcohol and harmful chemicals which can cause dryness and irritation and disrupt the PH balance of your skin,” she noted. “When you combine that with the texture of the wipes, you open yourself up to the risk of micro-tears. This can cause signs of premature aging over time.” 
    And in addition to these aesthetic issues, disposable wipes pose environmental concerns too. “These are really popular, but they are not good for you or the planet,” said Julie Levin, founder of Leaf People. “Unfortunately most makeup wipes aren’t biodegradable, which can be a cause for concern,” said Heather Nicole, a celebrity master esthetician and founder of Heather Nicole Advanced Integrative Skincare. As an alternative, she suggested coating cotton pads with an oil-based remover or simply using a microfiber face cloth. 

    If you’re like me and don’t have in-unit laundry, the idea of using the same cloth day after day may sound a bit challenging… but you can work around this! “It’s just as easy to buy a pack of 10 inexpensive, 100 percent cotton washcloths, use a fresh one each day, and wash them each week,” Levin said. “If you are using them on-the-go, you can purchase a reusable silicone bag to keep the washcloths wet or dry.” Protecting your precious face and doing good for Mother Earth? I don’t know about you, but I’m in.  More

  • in

    The Amazon Workout Top I Can’t Stop Wearing

    Taking a peek into someone’s Amazon wishlist is nothing short of getting a glimpse into their soul. One flash of my wishlist and you’ll quickly find my deepest, darkest desires: home decor items that Joanna Gaines would envy, fashion finds seemingly plucked out of Hailey Bieber’s closet, self-help books I want to (but will never find the time to) read, and an ample amount of items that the TikTok community convinced me that I needed.Among those TikTok must-haves, one item taunted me more than the rest. I first saw it brandished on a TikTok account in the summertime. It wasn’t long until I found it appearing just about everywhere else. I saw it again and again on my For You Page, on the streets of Chicago, at the gym, and presented in the form of an ad on my daily IG scroll. The universe wanted me to pull the trigger on this affordable Amazon workout tank, but, I persisted and played hard to get.

    Behold, one of my biggest internal battles in life. Do I invest in more expensive items that will fit perfectly and last me forever? Or do I jump at the affordable option, assuming the risk that the cheaper options will be just that—cheap. It is with this contemplation that I decided on investing in the Lululemon Align Tank instead of giving the Amazon tank a try. 
    I wanted a top that could withstand a light treadmill workout/weight-lifting session but still be comfortable enough to lounge in. If I’m spending over $60 on a top, it needs to be multipurpose. When I saw my best friend rock her brand-spanking-new Lululemon Align Tank, she encouraged me that she was able to work out and watch Netflix in it, so I near sprinted to Lululemon to pick one up for myself. 
    Typically, I’m a size small in tops, but when there’s a built-in-bra situation, I am continuously dumbfounded for sizing. I’m a 32D so when I tried on Lululemon’s size four, my tatas nearly brushed the tip of my chin. One deadlift hinge forward and those babies were going to slip out and graze my worn, Adidas tennis shoes. I moved on to a size six. Still, my boobs slid out the sides covering more horizontal ground than I ever thought possible. My left breast took an exhilarating road trip west; my right flew coach, hit a fair amount of turbulence, and visited an old friend in D.C. So, I opted for a size eight. It expanded slightly to make room for my bust but the v-cut still left me feeling exposed and uncomfortable—there was no way I could make this work at the gym. Alas, I tried the size 10 at which point the top socially distanced itself from my ribcage and waist and I lost all hope.
    I walk-of-shamed home only to remember the workout tank that sat patiently in my Amazon wishlist. With lingering rage from my wasted, too-well-lit fitting room experience, I added the tank to my cart. For a size 32D, the brand recommended either a size medium or a size large. I said a prayer, opted for a medium in the color black (to no one’s surprise), and let the Amazon gods fulfill my order. 
    When I got hit with that “your order has been delivered” email, I sprung from my couch with gusto, slapped on an upside-down face mask, and triple tapped my floor’s elevator button because obviously, that would summon it faster. When I got down to the lobby, my package was there, waiting for me in all of its $24 glory.
    If you think that I didn’t rip open that package on my commute back up the elevator then, honey, you simply don’t know me. By the time I made it into my apartment, I was already slipping off my Budweiser tee, ready to see if this cult-favorite workout tank was worth the hype. And, boy, did I hope that it was. Still scarred by my Align Tank encounter (we’ll call it Boobgate 2021), I knew better than to be excited.  If it doesn’t fit, it’s OK! We can just return it. No big deal. 

    And before I could even finish my thought, the tank slipped and fell onto my body and I was at a loss for words. It? Fits? I started jogging in place, doing cartwheels, and performing bodyweight Romanian deadlifts in front of my mirror. After about five minutes of pushing my bust to the limits, I exhaled. It. Fits.
    And now, a glimpse at my happily ever after. I wear this thing everywhere. I’ve gone to the gym in it, I’ve worked from home in it, I’ve napped in it, and I’ve worn it under a puffer on my last two grocery runs. It’s lightweight, breathable, and functional AF. When I go to the gym to do an incline walk, a weight-lifting session, low-impact HIIT, or yoga, I leave the pads in. When I’m lounging at home, I simply slip them out. If I’m going to be doing what I deem as intense cardio (moderate running or sprinting), I opt for a more supportive, higher neck sports bra but, in all reality, I’m only doing that a mere once or twice a week. 
    While I’d say that the material is nice, you miss out on the buttery softness that comes with the Lululemon Align Tank. Amazon’s version is 87 percent nylon and 13 percent spandex while the Align Tank is 81 percent nylon 19 percent Lycra elastane. So while the Amazon one is definitely comfortable, it’s not a direct comparison on that front. At the end of the day, while then Align material would be a nice luxury, it’s most definitely not my priority.
    If I buy again, I’ll probably try out a large just out of sheer curiosity. If it’s not snug enough for workouts, I’ll still keep it for lounging purposes. If I like it better overall, I’ll be sure to let you know. For now, I’m beyond happy with my size medium sports bra tank that costs just a bit less than a Tao vodka soda and less than half of the price of a Lululemon Align Tank. With that, I can confidently say that in this episode of high-end or dupe, the dupe wins my heart.

    As far as I’m concerned, this tank could hit me with a car and I would say, “thank you.” This tank could leave me on read and I would fully, wholeheartedly understand. This tank could put an empty milk carton back in the fridge and I would apologize for assuming it’s full. Thankfully, this tank has shown me nothing but love and it is for this reason (amongst a million others) that I will no longer be wearing anything else. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk. More

  • in

    5 Easy Zoom-Ready Hairstyles for Black Women

    Don’t get me wrong: work from home life has been great. Working in my pajamas or sweats, eating all day long, and best of all, no bra! Yes, I’ll throw one on for a Zoom meeting here or there along with a work-approved top, but the outfit isn’t the only thing that has to be camera-ready. Let’s be honest: if I’m not leaving the house, my bonnet usually doesn’t leave my head. Sure, a lot of women just throw their hair up in a ponytail and keep it moving, but for Black women, it’s a whole process that requires proper planning. If my hair is natural, am I going to do a whole wash and go for a 30-minute meeting? Do I need to have my frontal baby hairs laid to the gods every day? 
    One of the most significant benefits of this quarantine is that my hair has grown so much due to the low-maintenance styles I’ve been rocking, and just because I have a Zoom meeting doesn’t mean I’m going to mess that up. Here’s how:

    1. Braids/Twists/Faux Locs

    Let’s start with the obvious. The OG protective styles: braids, twists, faux locs, etc. The first few months of quarantine, I kept my hair in knotless box braids because with all the stress of dealing with a pandemic, the last thing I wanted to do was my hair. I loved the ease of being camera-ready in literal seconds with no daily styling needed. 

    2. Wigs

    Yes, wigs can be high maintenance, but hear me out. Make or buy a good quality human hair closure or frontal wig that will last. Style it and keep it on a wig head ready to go. Braid or flat twist your natural hair and rock that when bumming it on the couch. Zoom call in 5 minutes? No problem—grab that wig, slap it on, and boom, you’re ready to go. 

    3. Individual Twists

    Taking the time to do neat individual twists after washing your hair will pay off in the long run. Twists are no longer a style that is only meant to be taken out. From chunky twists to tiny twists, the style is super cute, protective, and lasts at least a week until wash day. Bonus: consider this a two-in-one style if you choose to wear it as a twist out near the end of the week. 

    4. Flat Twist Updo

    Part down the middle for two twists pinned up or do a side part with a couple on each side. The options are endless when it comes to this easy hairstyle. I love that this style is easy and good for your hair while also looking somewhat elegant because it’s an updo. Pair with baby hairs, cute earrings, and Fenty Gloss Bomb lip gloss for the finishing touch. 

    5. Classic Puff 

    I can’t make a list of easy hairstyles without including the classic go-to: The Puff. I usually like to do this style the day after a lazy wash day where all I did was let my curls air dry without any styling. My curls are already defined, so I just grab my spray bottle and favorite gel and slick them up (or back, depending on my mood). Don’t forget to tie your edges with a scarf to really slay this look. *chef’s kiss* More

  • in

    I’ve Always Struggled With My Skin Until These Products Stepped In

    Like most adolescents, acne hit me hard starting during the blissfully awkward middle school years. Looking back, my acne really wasn’t as bad as it seemed. It was never cystic and only amounted to a few spots at a time (unless you count the body acne—I still shudder at the memory—but at least that was coverable with a strategically cut shirt).No, the acne wasn’t the real problem. It still isn’t. I don’t mind the occasional hormonally-induced pimple, that’s just life. What has frustrated me the most over the years is what happens after a breakout. To this day, no matter how carefully I treat a pimple—no picking happening here—I end up with stubborn hyperpigmentation that can take years to fade. 
    I’ve tried countless serums that claim to send dark spots packing, professional peels that shed-off layers of skin, and have even sipped on not-so-great tasting teas that promise glowing skin. I thought I would never crack the code. But to my very happy surprise, in the past year or so, the puzzle pieces have fallen into place! I finally landed on a skincare routine that actually helps me avoid breakouts in the first place and makes hyperpigmentation heal faster. Is my skin perfect? Of course not, but these products are keeping it in a really good and glowy place. 

    As much as I love the immediately smoothing effects of a physical exfoliant, I know they can be a bit damaging if not used carefully. I’ve found that using a chemical exfoliant on a regular basis gives me more sustainable results. Products designed for acne dry my skin out and never seem to actually make acne go away. So, now I avoid any products specifically targeted at drying out acne and reach for a chemical exfoliant instead. This combination of PHA, AHA, and BHA really does it all. I experience fewer breakouts, smoother skin, and my dark spots fade quicker when using this clarifying liquid. Win, win, and win. 


    I’ve seen good results with retinol in the past, but you’re not supposed to combine retinol with acids. So, I take a day off from acids once or twice a week and use this super hydrating sleep mask that contains retinol. I find if my skin is feeling sensitive or needs a bit of extra moisture after a breakout, this mask is the way to go. There is also a non-retinol version of this mask available, which I liked, but I appreciate the extra benefits I get from the retinol version. 


    This is where things get fun. While there’s no denying that professional microneedling sessions can do wonders, I wasn’t willing to drop major bucks on a problem that was going to keep popping up again. After years of wanting to try microneedling, I took matters into my own hands with this home device. It’s so easy to use, and when I use it regularly, my skin tone is much more even. Products absorb better post-microneedling, so I’ve found that overall my skin is more moisturized, smoother, and brighter the morning after use. Not to mention, the process is very cathartic after a long day. 


    As I mentioned, I’ve tried a lot of serums with not a whole lot of brightening success. Still, I kept up the search, and I’m glad I did. This very gentle combination of acids and niacinamide is pretty darn effective on new breakouts. It doesn’t irritate my skin, and I’ve been able to use it in conjunction with stronger acids and retinol. Fair warning, my skin isn’t super sensitive, so you may want to check with your dermatologist before combining products. At the very least, do a test on a less sensitive spot of your body first.


    Anyone who struggles with hyperpigmentation knows that wearing sunscreen every day is a key step towards not letting those dark spots get deeper, darker, and more permanent. I’ve bounced from sunscreen to sunscreen and found the perfect formula. Moisturizing, solid SPF protection, and the prettiest lightweight tint—all in one product. Most days, I simply pair this sunscreen with my favorite concealer (read my review here!) and have enough coverage and glow to hop on any last-minute Zoom calls. 


    When a major breakout does happen, I seem to be stuck with a rather unpleasant healing process—think scabs and flaky skin (sorry for that visual). When my skin really needs a little extra TLC, I reach for this super clean facial oil. It is soothing and healing and just makes my skin feel great. Not to mention, it’s a great oil for locking in moisture and nourishing my skin.


    I have a bit of a confession to make: I hate using makeup remover. I have sensitive eyes and removing eye makeup often leads to tears. Luckily, this cleanser removes makeup effortlessly and doesn’t irritate my eyes. My skin obviously looks way better when extra makeup doesn’t get left behind by a bad wash!