I haven’t made a favorites post in a while so I wanted to switch it up and talk about some items I seem to always keep in stock. When I started making this list I wanted it all to be beauty related but if I’m truly being honest most of what I buy and can’t live without is food! So don’t be surprised if you see a few randoms snacks in this list too! Let’s get started shall we!?

mac fix plus

First up is my Mac Fix Plus. You all have heard me talk about this time and time again, but it truly is a gem (liked how I rhymed eh?). I borrowed Amanda’s the other day and it sprayed out so nicely I forgot what that felt like. I always go through mine so fast that the product hardly comes out. I practically have to take the lid off and dump it on my face. Anywho this is an item that travels with me wherever I go. I need to commit and just buy the full size; especially now that they have scented fix plus options, but right now I just have been using the little bottle. For some reason, it’s easier for me to buy it for $10 than buy the big version for $20.

Eos Lip Balm

Eos Lip Balm: Since my favorite lipstick is matte lipstick (usually from Mac although I’m loving the KVD lip stains), Its a requirement to moisturize my lips. I recently went to my local Costco and bought the multipack and now I rotate between flavors. I know I know..im doing too much, but I like my options ok!? So far I have tried mint, strawberry, and peppermint. I now have one in my travel bag, one on my makeup vanity and one in my car (currently praying it doesn’t melt).

Makeup Revore one

Neutrogena Makeup Removers: I have yet to find anything that works as good as these. I’m currently using the makeup removers from forever 21 and they are garbageeeee. The towels aren’t very wet and it doesn’t do anything for removing my eye makeup. I’ve tried using baby wipes; I even wrote a whole post about alternatives to makeup removers so that I could save money on purchasing them, but nothing beats Neutrogena. They are soft, they don’t have an annoying scent and are affordable.

What beauty products do you always re-purchase!

kierra again

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I’ll be honest, I’m cheating a little. I’m technically not done with my no buy yet, I still have 3 more weeks to go, but I am proud to announce I’ve been at if for a solid 6 torturous weeks. I say torturous because that’s the least of the worst words I could use to possibly describe it. It has been the hardest thing ever! But before we get into that let’s start with why a perfectly sane person would even put themselves through this in the first place…

Why I put myself on a no buy

As you all may know by now I’m currently contracting at my job, and my contract is unfortunately coming to an end. I’ve been working for 6 months and I’ve been spending money left and right. I started the job in March, saved and bought my iPad in May, went to LA in June, traveled to Vegas in July, and now its august and I’m trying to save my last little pennies while I’m looking for my new gig. So I decided –in an attempt to save money– that it would be smart to put myself on a “no buy”. A no buy, by my definition is when you don’t purchase anything outside of your daily needs. For example no new beauty products, no clothing shopping, nada! The most exciting thing I’ve bought were some bobby pins and hair gel (which by the way I was in desperate need of). Aside from that I haven’t picked up a single thing from Sephora, Ulta, or any of my favorite places to shop. Now onto why I think it didn’t work…

Why being on a no buy totally sucks

Not purchasing, or as I like to say “giving myself weekly treats” make’s you more susceptible to spending money on dumb things and/or racking up a huge wishlist of items you probably can’t afford. I’ve sort of lost perspective on what I can afford. I keep thinking 50 bucks here and 50 bucks there and I will totally be able to afford this 200 mirror that I want. It never dawns on me that I’m 100 bucks short and that just because saving sucks doesn’t mean you save more. I also think everyone deserves little pick me ups and for me that always involved purchasing something. Some people prefer a glass of a wine, or a trip to the gym..I prefer buying a Mac lipstick. Not having my weekly dose of something new and pretty has made things really stressful.I know I know..cue the violin.

But this is serious O.K! And I promise there is a point to all of this…

Anywho not buying things on a weekly basis has also caused me to overspend on the things I can buy. I buy soda when I go to the grocery store to get milk, and I’ve been on snack overload since food is my only way to really splurge without breaking my no-buy. I’m tellin ya…life has been rough.

What I learned from being on a no buy

Now on to the good part eh! What I did actually gain from doing all of this. I learned that my beauty habits and shopping addiction is not the source of why I can’t save. My money is entirely spent, and sometimes wasted on food. Food is the way to my heart, and apparently the way to eat my wallet. I know most people can look at a bank statement and still get this same information, but for me it really became evident during my no-buy. As much as I’ve missed my weekly trinkets, I realize that my budget needs to be readjusted to incorporate my eating habits. I spent about $10 bucks on lunch during the work week, roughly $15 a week on Starbucks, plus whatever I eat while out for dinner (sometimes my lovely mother cooks). You throw in a few Mac lipsticks and the stuff I actually need for the week you can rack up $100 quick. I definitely have to be more conscious of what I spend on food so I’m currently brainstorming on ways to meal prep for the week so that I can not only eat healthier but also save money. I have a long way to go, but at least I know the source of what’s causing my debt.

In the meantime I have 3 more weeks of my no-buy, and so far my wishlist keeps growing (currently swooning over this and this) If you’d like a play by play be sure to follow me on twitter! I’ll be doing the biggest haul of my life on my birthday coming up!

3 more weeks!!!! Pray I make It!

kierra again

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while blogging

I am quite the perfectionist. I’m very careful with what I choose to invest my time and energy into, but once I’ve chosen something I dive full force, and it’s been no different when it comes to this blog. I started this as a creative outlet because college was starting to weigh on me. I studied fashion and it took all the fun out of shopping. I see clothes and retail stores totally different than I did before; shopping is now more of a chore than it is enjoyable. So I thought starting a blog would be a great way to get back into why I loved fashion in the first place, for its innovation and creativity. But of course, because everything I do is always so serious, blogging became a chore too. My blog is like having a part-time job on top of my full-time gig. It’s fun but at the same time tiring and not always the most rewarding (raise your hand when you’ve written a post for 4 hours and it barely gets any views). If I’ll be honest with myself and all of you, I went wrong when I tried to make my blog like everybody else’s. The moment I started to imitate the big blogs (hello damsel in dior) is the moment I lost my own sense of identiy and creative flare. Im always reading “how to” do something instead of brainstorming on what works for me, and I’m constantly analyzing all the little details from my favorite bloggers trying to find ways to incorporate similar things into my blog. I spend more time trying to figure out how to do “it right” than I do instead of just doing it. Over the years I have finally figured out what works for me and it started with…

Knowing what I wanted in the first place

After all my extensive research and trial and errors of my own, I have finally figured out the look and vibe that I’m going for. Let me tell ya, folks, if you end up going back to the same thing you started with in the beginning, the chances are that’s what you actually like. For me, it was my blog design. When I first started I wanted a clean and minimal design (much like I have now), but I quickly got bored with it and switched to something colorful. It would last for a few months but in the end I always went back to black and white. After two years of the back and forth I finally realized black and white is my thing! I’m gonna stick with the contemporary vibe and sell it! You don’t have to limit yourself to one thing (if you like switching a million times then go for it) but if you are trying to imitate a blog you think you want yours to look like, chances are it won’t work out for you.

Finding my voice

I’m not funny. I can make people laugh, but I know hilarious would not be the adjective people would use to describe me. However, I really like to add some type of umph or sass to my posts the same I would if I were in person, but it’s a lot harder trying to convey it on paper. Sass can sound like rude, a joke can easily be missed, and sometimes you have punctuation nazis that get irritated at the sight of misspelled words like “ain’t, gonna,”. It took me time to figure out my creative flare and how to come across authentic in my posts.

Allowing myself to be flexible 

This one was a hard one for me to learn. Understanding what it meant to be regimented but open-minded at the same time was a difficult concept for me to understand. I wanted to be productive but I also didn’t want this to be a thing I had to do. You see so many successful bloggers and you think, gosh if I just did this, this and thisss then I would be perfect, but that list is never ending and the truth is doing what someone else did is not going to get you as far as you think it is. I had to really let go, and allow myself the opportunity to explore new things and to embrace the trial and errors. The biggest room for flexibility is on my content. I initially started the blog to be more fashion geared, I knew nothing about beauty, and I certainly had no intention on talking about fitness. This blog has really turned into more lifestyle (which I used to think meant people just had an online diary and wrote about nothing productive), but now I’m realizing that my favorite blogs to read are those that are more personal and/or beauty related. I love to learn something new and since fashion is so woven into my life it’s always exciting to see beauty posts; because it’s a world I know nothing about.

All of these things have helped me establish my identity not only as an individual but also how I blog and the blogger I aspire to be. By letting myself focus on these things instead of the fluff that is so easy to get caught up in, I’ve been able to grow and explore things I would never have seen before!

Until Next Time

kierra again

 

 

 

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hey

This week has been quite chaotic. I’ve been pulled in every direction manageable. For those of you who have been following my fashion career, you know that I’ve been freelancing for a little over 2 years now. I recently was approached about a full-time gig (at Banana Republic HQ) and the seriousness of the situation is really starting to weigh in on me. The interview process has been rigorous, not to mention the fact that actually having a full-time big girl job just completely freaks me out. As much as I have complained about being a freelancer there have been a lot of freedoms that come with that. Expectations are low, and you can come and go as you please. Having a full-time salary job is totally different than clocking in for your hours and going home at 5 every day. I would be stepping into full on adult mode, and its exciting yet intimidating at the same time.

On top of all my job craziness, things with the blog have slowed down as well. I’ve been really struggling with my identity as a blogger, where I want to take things and how I’m going to get there. I struggle with what investments should be made for this blog and what it really takes to make it grow the way that I want it too. The stress of my job has caused me to be unmotivated and discouraged so I was thinking of taking a hiatus. In the midst of all of this I checked my email one day and realize I was featured in IFB Links Al La Mode. Wow! Just the confidence booster I needed. I was excited for about a week, but work was getting to my head again and I quickly got writers block. Then one day I’m checking my stats and realize I have a boost in traffic on my decorating my vanity post. I look it up and see that the post was featured in another blog link up! Of course, I was ecstatic. Right, when I started doubting myself all these people choose to feature my blog and seeing people appreciate my work is so rewarding. I was in two weeks of writers block and I still was getting featured in some amazing blog link ups. Week 3 comes along and its crazy busy. I didn’t have time to shoot pictures for my blog posts so I figured I wouldn’t put any posts up that week and take some time off. I forced myself to upload two posts, did a little Twitter and Instagram promo, and went on about my day. This morning I wake up and see that one of those posts were featured againnnn on IFB. What the heck is happening! I’m starting to think “shoot I should start doubting myself more if I’m gonna keep getting all these features”.

The point of all of this is that no matter how discouraged you are as a blogger keep on going! Somebody out there is reading your posts, and your work is valuable even though you may not necessarily see it right now. For those of us who work full time and let the woes of work get to you (guilty as charged) let this post be a source of motivation for you! Try and do whatever you can during the week and as long as you put your best foot forward, then don’t stress!

Hope this post inspired you! If you’re struggling with how to manage a blog while working full time you can read up on my tips here!

kierra again

 

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Third Feature for IFB! 2 weeks in a row!!

Links à la Mode, August 6

SPONSOR: Amazon’s Shopbop Designers, Schutz, Prada sunglasses, Versace, Gucci, Edun, Lacoste, Jelly shoes, Tunic Dresses, Party Clutches, Red Ballerinas, Men’s Sweaters

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