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Tuesday, September 8, 2020


 Hello from a nearly six month long OOO from the blog! Between working and living in this new normal of the pandemic, I feel like I've been living in a fog these past few months. It's so strange when I really think about how my own life has changed this year, and I'm sure a lot of us feel in the same boat. Living in New York in particular, it's been something going through all these phases of lockdown and re-opening. I do try my best to stay positive and keep routines/do things that keep my spirits lifted, but of course I have my days where I feel really stressed and anxious. 

For me, I've always found joy in beauty products- in my teens this equated to color cosmetics, but nowadays I'm much more into skincare (like most other beauty lovers these days). Here are a mix of products I've been using during lockdown that make me feel happier, including some great products to use in mask makeup looks :)

I'm CONSTANTLY trying new products- usually I'm lucky in that most of what I used are shared either from brands, friends, my workplace, or sampling. For this reason, when I run out of something, like a moisturizer, instead of re-buying I'm onto the next one to test! Some of the products I've included here might seem a little boring (like the deodorant...) but actually each one has been really important to me. This is my shortlist, there are a bunch of other products I've used over quarantine too that I've loved but these in particular mean something a little more to me.

Secret Luxe Lavender Clear Gel Deodorant ($5)

There are a lot of "cool" deodorants out there on the market nowadays, and also ones that are arguably better for your health and skin in the long-run (natural deodorants, organic ones, even mineral crystal types). BUT- I have been using this clear gel for about half a decade now and can't seem to find anything that beats this for daily use. One of my best friends turned me onto this freshman year when I was talking about how I'm tired of seeing white stains on my majority all-black wardrobe. Sure, deodorant isn't a very exciting product, however it's a major part of my daily routine.

When we started working from home for my job I was nervous, I've never done anything like this before for an extended period of time in my career. Of course, over these past few months there's been plenty of time to adjust, and now I can more than confidently say I'm totally capable of doing this. There are perks for me for working from home- I save a bunch of time on my commute to the city, save money from not having to buy a train pass, and most importantly have the privilege of staying in my home when limiting outside exposure is paramount. What I do absolutely miss is having a workday routine. I'm someone who needs to operate within a structured pattern, so believe it or not even the ritual of getting dressed and putting on deodorant is an act that makes me feel normal and ready. I love the refreshing feeling of applying it and how it makes me feel fully prepared to take on the day- something particularly important when I'm having a rough week.

Alleyoop Stack the Odds Multi-Use Face Palette, "Sunkissed" ($32)

I have fallen hard for this palette! I'm kind of out of the loop (no pun intended) on emerging brands... but luckily I have a very cool best friend who is always ahead of the curve when it comes to product discovery. She gifted me this palette AND the following product for my birthday this year, and as usual she knocked it out of the park! This palette is not only compact and perfect to slide into my bag, but the products are exactly the amount of low-maintenance, high-impact wear that everyone needs right now.

I still can't understand how people wear a full face of makeup with masks, doesn't it get all over the place? Maybe there's a secret to it I don't know about yet. Regardless, since most of my days are spent at home, sometimes on my trips to Target or the supermarket I like to do myself up a little bit, purely because it's fun for me! This cream makeup stack includes a highlight, blush, and contour. Dabbing a little blush and highlight onto my face makes me feel beautiful and special in a time where usually I only see myself in sweats and messy hair. I'm very stressed during the week trying to get projects done, etc. but on the weekends when I break out this little palette it is just pure bliss!

Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum ($36)

Any product with promises of brightening and evening skin texture has my attention! I am particularly excited about this serum because I've been using it the past few weeks and my skin looks incredible. I've had multiple people compliment me on how my skin seems glowing. A few things to know about my skin: it's VERY oily, can be acne prone, and scars very easily. I'm in my early twenties, so even though I don't have any noticeable wrinkles yet, slowing the development of them is definitely important to me. Another reason why this serum is so exciting for me is because it's the debut product from a brand new beauty brand that's black-owned and woman-owned. 

I use this at night after washing my face and let it sit a few minutes before applying my usual moisturizer. The serum has both vitamin c and e to help with said brightening and texture improvement. Applying this feels so luxurious to me, and even though it takes only a minute it makes me feel like I'm taking the time to think about and take care of myself. I look forward to when I use this after I come out of the shower, and not to mention the packaging is so cute and inviting!

Burt's Bees Beeswax Lip Balm ($3)

If I could only use one beauty product for the rest of my life I think it'd have to be lip balm. I have a really terrible habit of biting my lips to shreds when I'm stressed out, so it's so important that I keep reapplying lip balm to stop myself from inadvertently peeling my lips apart. The particular type of lip balm I use always kind of varies, but I recently bought a two-pack of the OG Burt's Bees balm that's always been one of my favorites. I love how this doesn't have a strong fragrance and really nourishes my lips instead of staying a waxy layer on top of my lips.

I'll wear a lip color sometimes around the house if I'm shooting pics or just feel like mixing things up, but especially in the age of mask wearing, lip balm is the only lip product I'm really running through these days. This is another product where it doesn't seem so exciting, but sometimes during a really busy workday taking a sec to just reapply my lip balm can feel like a nice mental break, even if for a second!

Gucci Mascara L'Obscur ($35)

What an absolutely gorgeous mascara this thing is! I do have to say I'm a little biased working on the brand...but I have always been a very tough mascara critic. My first impression of this wasn't spectacular, I've been using the most extreme waxy, waterproof drugstore mascara for so long that I kind of forgot how to appreciate one that doesn't totally freeze my lashes. For me, I need those super waxy/waterproof formulas to be able to hold a curl in my lashes. I've come to appreciate that even though this mascara doesn't keep my lashes in a crisp curl, this is great for a natural boosted look. I give my lashes a little curl and apply this thin formula from root to tip, the color is the most intense black I've ever seen.

The packaging feels so significant and special and I love how it has some weight to it too. As I'm doing more of these low-key enhancing looks, most of the time the added intensity of black pigment on my lashes is just enough to complete the look. My favorite thing to do recently is use a pencil liner to draw a rough wing then smoke it out with a small angled brush, a few swipes of this is my finishing touch!