When it comes to face masks, it's hard to find a mask that is made without chemicals. Because face masks cleanse so deeply, skin tends to be more sensitive after taking off the mask. Lush Cosmetics makes all-natural bath, body, and skincare products. They also make Fresh Face Masks which have to be refrigerated due to the all-natural and preservative-free ingredients. I have three favorite face masks, and unfortunately I don't have a photo for one of them, but I will link the product information from Lush's website!

My top favorite is "Cosmetic Warrior". This mask is best for oily, acne-prone, and blemished skin. Its main ingredients are garlic, egg whites, and tea tree. I have to be honest, but this is not the best smelling face mask out there. The scent is really heavy at first, but it's not sickly—I got used to it, but it may be too strong for some people. This has been the best mask that I've ever used. I purchase this mask as soon as I notice that I'm getting more blemishes than average. It's gentle enough to use every day just like any other Lush face mask. I would say it really detoxifies the skin, and not only calms redness, but it calms down the growth of blemishes and makes them smaller until they're completely healed. Using this mask as soon as you notice blemishes helps soothe the inflammation before it gets big and super spotty.

Another favorite face mask of mine is called "Cupcake" and unfortunately, I don't have a photo of this product, but it's brown and smells like chocolate. The sales associates at Lush recommend this mask for oily skin, but it does not help my breakouts. The blemishes just sit there on my skin and this doesn't help to calm them down. Cupcake is a face mask that is best for oily skin, but it also has spearmint and peppermint oils to moisturize the skin after washing the mask off. There is cocoa powder as well as mud which helps draw out and open clogged pores. This mask smells so good you could eat it, but it doesn't taste like chocolate at all, haha.

My last favorite face mask from Lush is " Catastrophe Cosmetic". This mask is so gentle that it is for all skin types. Since this face mask isn't tailored to oily skin, it has more moisturizing agents. Chamomile oil helps moisturize the skin. The main ingredient in this face mask is the blueberries and calamine powder. The scent is wonderful and light. The blueberries help deep-cleanse while the calamine powder helps reduce redness and calms sensitive skin. I would more likely use this one in the wintertime since it does calm redness and irritation while deep-cleansing at the same time. I wouldn't want to strip all the oils off my face in the colder months, so I consider Cosmetic Warrior to be heavy-duty compared to Catastrophe Cosmetic. In the photo, it doesn't look as blue, but it's a very pale light purple-blue that tends to look grayish in some lights.

What are your favorite Lush products? I think Lush does such a great job in targeting sensitive skin because they use all-natural ingredients, which is so helpful when it comes to skincare.
Image from Flickr

Since the school year is about to begin, I thought it'd be helpful to share my tips that help me stay organized and de-stressed when life gets extremely busy. Personally, I love to be organized. I always have deadlines and schedules planned out, so I'm not always constantly thinking or worrying. If I never wrote my thoughts down, I don't think I would be able to sleep. Being organized in itself is already a de-stressor.
I already wrote a post about my organization and planning here :)

Tip #1: Keep a planner or agenda.
I cannot stress enough how crucial a planner or agenda is to get your life organized. It's like seeing a day-by-day snapshot of your life. Seeing everything laid out makes me worry and stress less about things because it allows me to know when I have free time for "me time" to make a Starbucks run, sit outside to get some fresh air, check social media, or even take a short walk. Aside from using physical planners, I also like to sync all my events to the Calendar app on my iPhone and MacBook. It's just so helpful to have two different forms of events—it's also a plus to have them on the Calendar app because it allows you to set reminders of the event beforehand. I use my agenda strictly for calendar purposes as well as keeping track of school assignments.

Tip #2: Keep a journal.
I have a journal separate from my agenda because I use my journal to jot down notes, to-do lists, and anything else important that just comes up in my thoughts. I bring my journal around everywhere because these thoughts can pop up at the most random time, and I will need an easily accessible place to jot them down. I also write down my shopping lists, weekly tasks, and my finances.

Tip #3: Write down to-do lists.
Whether the list is filled with daily or weekly things to do, you will feel more relieved and accomplished when you have checked off everything on your list. This coincides with the previous tip because I write down weekly to-do lists, and check off everything I've done. Because it is weekly, I do tend to add things as the week progresses on if anything comes up. I don't have a ton of stuff to complete each day which is why I keep a weekly list.
However, there will be some days where I will have many, many things to do in one day. In this case, I would use the "Notes" app on my phone to plan out every detail of a super busy day. The reason why I use the "Notes" app is because is easily accessible when I am on the go, and my phone is something I carry around in my hand almost 24/7. If one of my to-do tasks is very time sensitive, which probably happens a few times a week, I will use the "Reminders" app on my phone because it allows you to schedule a time and/or a location for when and where you need to be reminded of the task.

Tip #4: Exercise.
When the week starts getting unbearable, or you've just had a bad day, the best thing to do is to exercise. Exercising does not mean to get a gym membership and run on a treadmill or life weights. Exercising can mean going on a walk and taking deep breaths while you do, stretching, or even yoga. I've been dancing my entire life, so when I'm stressed I like to do some ballet barre work to classical music, or spend about 10-20 minutes doing some stretching/conditioning. I made up my own warm-up routine that I use all the time. I mainly focus on stretching my legs and sitting in my splits because I find that stretching muscles really help release all the tension built up in your body. I also like to opt for yoga. I've never been to a yoga studio or taken classes before, but I found an app that works really well with a whole variation of yoga lessons ranging from 5-30 minutes each. The app is called "Yoga Studio" and is available on the App Store!
Another app that I would highly recommend if you don't like to get physical with exercise is meditation. I tend to use this app when I have so much on my mind that it prevents me from sleeping. The app is called "Calm", and you can choose from a range of calming and relaxing sounds from beach waves to rainfall. You can also use this is you've been around a very loud and busy environment. It really works to calm your mind and relax all the racing thoughts in your head.

Tip #5: "Day One" App
The "Day One" app is basically a virtual diary. You can lock it with a passcode or your fingerprint. I only have the app on my iPhone, but it is also available for Macs and other devices. This app is exactly what it says it is. You can write as many entries as you want a day, and attach a single photo to each entry. You can also change the time, location, and weather of the post as well. I use this app to write down a very eventful day or just to rant or vent about anything and everything. It's completely private because you make an account and it's your very own. People who borrow your phone won't be able to open the app unless you tell them your passcode. Anyway, I have days where so many things happened I just can't contain it all in my head, so I just let it all out in one long post, as you would do in a diary.

Tip #6: Take a warm bubble bath or pamper yourself.
At the end of the week, or the end of a long day, I opt for a Lush bubble bath. Lush is my absolute favorite store for bath items. When Lush's winter collection arrives, it is the time where I buy multiple items and stock up on all the limited edition products. Lush usually releases their winter collection around November, so I am so excited that it's only a couple months away! My favorite Lush bath products are: So White (winter collection), Golden Wonder (winter collection), Dragon's Egg, and Butterball.
A little thing I like to do while taking a bubble bath is to pamper myself with a face mask. I also love using Lush face masks, and the ones that work best with my oily skin are: Cosmetic Warrior, Cupcake, and Catastrophe Cosmetic. Another one of my favorite face masks is from Origins, and it is their "Clear Improvement" mask. It's a charcoal/clay mask that really deep cleanses clogged pores. I use the Origins mask maybe once a week, if not, then every other week. The Lush face masks are very gentle to the skin and you can use them every day or every other day depending on your skin's needs and your concerns.

Tip #7: Make a nice hot cup of tea and watch Netflix.
When I need some down-time after a stressful week, or if I'm not tired at the end of the day, I like to watch Netflix. On days where I've been overworked, I like to watch light comedy shows, and not so much intense shows like Pretty Little Liars, Teen Wolf, etc. Currently, I opt for rewatching all seasons of "New Girl". I absolutely love this show—I love the actors because they're so hilarious. Another show that I love to rewatch is The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, but that's been taken down from Netflix since the end of last year, I believe, which makes me very sad.
On summer days, I'd make myself iced tea (or treat myself with iced tea from Starbucks). When the weather gets cooler, I like to make tea with fruit notes in it like peach or mango. I don't like drinking my tea with milk unless it's bubble tea, so I add a spoonful of honey while it's still hot. Sometimes it's just nice to be tucked up into bed watching a funny show with some relaxing tea and maybe even some chocolate—I'm obsessed with crispy M&Ms and I'm so glad they're back, haha.

These are just some of the things I do on a weekly basis to help myself feel relaxed after a busy week. I get stressed easily, and worry about everything I possibly can, so I find it very satisfying knowing that I have options to pull myself out of all the negative energy. All these things work for me, but it really depends on the situation as to which one of these tips (or a combination of them) that I would do throughout the week.
I hope you guys enjoy reading these tips, and have an amazing day or night wherever you are! :)

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When it comes to makeup, I like to stick with a neutral look. For everyday makeup, I don't go all out and do a full face of makeup—I tend to stick to the basics. I don't wear eyeshadow on a daily basis, but if I do wear eyeshadow on a normal day where I'm either going to school or work, I just stick to the Too Faced Shadow Insurance in the color Champange. It's a nude neutral and sparkly color that adds a little more brightness to your eyes. You can wear it alone for a wash of color, but since I have small eyes, I tend to put a matte light brown in my crease for some definition.

My eyelids get very oily throughout the day, so priming them is a must if I'm going to be wearing eyeshadow. When I plan on doing a more heavy eyeshadow look with the Naked3, I opt for the nude, matte eyeshadow primer. I want to try out the NARS Eyeshadow Base, though!

My favorite palettes are the Urban Decay Naked3 and the Too Faced Natural Eyes. I would either use the shade "Nudie" or "Cashmere Bunny" from the TF palette for the crease because they are very nice velvety, matte brown shades. For more of a done-up eyeshadow look, I tend to gravitate towards the Naked3 because of the pink hues. I am a huge fan of rose gold, and the pink undertones of all the shades in this palette really suit brown eyes. I know purple makes brown eyes pop, but I don't like the color purple in general, and I think purple would be too over-the-top. The pink undertone is still neutral with a hint of color to it. My favorite shades from the Naked3 are: Buzz (rose gold glitter), Liar (light bronze with pink/mauve undertones), Factory (pink-brown/bronze), & Mugshot (taupe with pink undertones—I consider this a lighter version of factory, but that's just how it appears on my skin tone).

These two palettes and primers are the only eyeshadows I take with me when I go away because they're just so slim and compact. They're both perfect for wearing a natural makeup look to a more heavy nighttime look.

I can do an everyday makeup look if anyone would like to see that on the blog. Be sure to check back for future posts including a Sephora Haul, my holy grail concealer with a secret tip, and how I de-stress from life! :)

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I've been searching high and low, testing all different brands of dry shampoo, but they have just made my hair a hundred times more oily, heavy, and smelly than it needed to be until now. I have very thick hair that gets greasy easily. I try to wash my hair every other day, but even one day without wash, my hair gets so itchy and oily. I wanted to try out dry shampoo because it's meant to absorb oil from the roots. Everything I've tried made my hair disgusting.
Everything I tried out was from the drugstore, but they were extremely overpriced for a drugstore product that did not work at all. I spent many months researching different high-end brands of dry shampoo that actually work, and I was debating between Bumble and Bumble and R+Co. Bumble and Bumble is an actual powder that you dust and massage through the roots. I wanted to try it based on the reviews, but the powder is very white, and not as suitable for dark hair. B&B's price is $27 for a 2oz bottle, and R+Co is $29 for a 6.3oz spray bottle.
I picked this up at the BirchBox store while I was in New York. I'm not a huge fan of the scent, but it fades away very quickly. I've been using this for a couple weeks now, and so far it has done a much better job than anything else I've tried out. It absorbs the oil and makes my hair easily style-able for the day to come.
If you're struggling to find a dry shampoo that works, I would recommend R+Co's Death Valley Dry Shampoo!

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This will be my final full-day post from my trip to New York as I don't have outfit photos for the other days (explained in my previous post). Day six was absolutely amazing. The first thing I did when I woke up was attend my first ever Sephora beauty makeover. It was free because I reached VIB status. I was very excited, and Terry, the makeup artist at Sephora in SoHo was amazing and super friendly. I loved everything she did from my brows to the cat-eye to my lips. I do have to admit, the contour was darker than I normally opt for, but I really think it made the look come together. I never really put on a heavy full face of makeup anyway.
Since I knew I was getting my makeup done, I wanted to be a little more dressy, so I paired a lacey For Love & Lemons crop top with my black H&M skater skirt and my Steve Madden sandals.
It was a very light and breathable outfit for a hot day.

Top: For Love & Lemons | Skirt: H&M | Sandals: Steve Madden

After getting my makeup done, my boyfriend met me in SoHo and we went for afternoon tea at Ladurée (I will be making a separate post about this, so stay tuned!) I have to admit, it wasn't really "afternoon tea" because we didn't order tea, lol. We had sparkling lime water instead. It was muggy-hot, but not too humid in the city, so we couldn't bear the thought of sipping on a hot beverage.
The next thing we did was visit Central Park (yes, for the second time), but this time it was to visit the zoo. I'm not going to post all the pictures of the animals I took because they aren't that nice, but the zoo was pretty impressive. I thought it was cool because it was actually a part of Central Park, and we got to see a live-feeding of sea lions. All the animals were so cute!
Afterwards, we did the last bit of shopping and browsing around SoHo and ended up walking the Brooklyn Bridge and the DUMBO area. I have always wanted to see DUMBO because the views from photos I've seen looked incredible. The sun was setting as we got there, and it lit up the sky so nicely. The views were breathtaking.

This weekend I'm hoping to write some blog posts of the restaurants and cafes we explored in New York, along with some lifestyle-themed posts, so stay posted! :)


My third day in New York was just scorching hot. I had to keep this outfit simple: white and flowly. I normally don't wear the color black because I'm not a fan of how it looks on me, plus it makes me sweat a hundred times more than normal when I'm wearing black on a hot summer's day. I paired this flowy Brandy Melville tank with a BM criss-cross bralette, and destroyed medium-wash denim shorts from American Eagle. It is so hard for me to find shorts that fit perfectly. I'm not a fan of high-wasited shorts because I am already so short that my torso barely exists. I prefer to wear low-cut shorts, but I don't want them to be too long that they look like Bermuda shorts when they're not supposed to be. I try to stick with short-shorts, but not too short that it gets inappropriate when I bend down. American Eagle's low-rise "shortie" shorts fit me perfectly. I have this type of shorts in three different washes. The BM tank is something I have been looking for for quite some time now. I had originally ordered it online, but a few days after placing the order, my money was refunded and I got an email saying they no longer carried it. I was devastated because the style of the tank was something that I knew was so my style. A month or so later, I went into BM in Boston to take a look around and I found this tank hanging up high. I noticed it right away and purchased it. I'd like to think that it was fate that brought this tank and I together, haha. My feet were also so sore and dead from walking many, many miles in flat sandals the days before, so I opted for a pair of cushioned, comfy Converse.

Top: Brandy Melville | Bralette: Brandy Melville
Shorts: American Eagle | Sneakers: Converse

Before strolling around Washington Square Park, my boyfriend and I went to Chelsea Market to grab some lunch. I had no idea how crowded it would be during the afternoon on a workday, but it was filled with tourists. I thought the food court would've been more open and spacious. It was very difficult to find a table with seats. After we ate, we felt it was worth making the trip because we both had never been there before. There was also a People's Pops stand at the market, so I decided to try it out. A cool popsicle was much needed in the summer heat. I got the flavor "cold brew mocha" and it was literally a coffee popsicle with a hint of chocolate. I was impressed because it didn't melt straight away like a regular popsicle, probably due to the absence of food chemicals and artificial flavoring. 

After eating at Chelsea Market, we went for a walk on The High Line. I was really not impressed with this because first, from the website and photos I've seen, I thought it was located higher up than two floors. Also, my legs and feet couldn't handle high-demand walking after two days without a break, so we only walked a couple blocks on The High Line until we saw the exit. Afterwards, we made our final stop at Washington Square Park and Baked By Melissa. I was very disappointed that the water fountain was not on because it was being cleaned by the maintenance men. The reason why we came to Washington Square was to see the fountain, but it was just nonexistent at the time. We stopped by Baked By Melissa on the way home because it was near, and I was craving some of New York's best cupcakes. My favorite flavors have got to be cookie dough and chocolate chip pancake.  could live off of those flavors of cupcakes. Mmm…they're so good I could still taste them.

*For days four, five, and seven, I do not have outfit pictures because we did not really explore since my boyfriend had work. We went out for a quick dinner, so pictures at night don't work out well, and I wasn't dressed all that great because we weren't going to fancy places. I just had a bum day for those three days, but I just thought I'd let you know.

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Day two of exploring New York City completely killed my legs and feet. According to the FitBit app, I walked over 9 miles. Central Park is somewhere between 2-3 miles in length, but we wove in and out and wandered the streets as well. We had the best brunch ever this day at a cute little restaurant called Rabbithole in Brookyln. I will definitely be writing a review of that place because if I had the chance, I would definitely go back.
This day wasn't extremely humid, but the heat was very hot that we took every chance to be in the shade. I'm sure the temperature reached the 90's. I wore this dress because it is very light and flowy, and the cutout on the back was a very nice touch. I usually never wear prints because they're just not my style, but this dress seemed like the perfect piece for a summer wardrobe. It's convertible, so you can wear it strapless as well. Additionally, this dress had a padded bust so that you could go bra-less and feel comfortable in the dress all day long. My sandals are from Steve Madden, and they are so comfy. They're pretty good walking shoes. I didn't think they would survive walking through Central Park, but they held up extremely well. I love these shoes because they are a nude-pink color, but there are also small crystals along the straps of the shoe that add a nice sparkle when walking in the sun.

Dress: American Eagle (similar) | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters
Sandals: Steve Madden | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff

Since it's summertime, Central Park's "The Lake" was open to rowing. I highly suggest checking this out if you get the chance. It's very relaxing and it's a really fun experience. You don't even need to have experience to know how to operate it. It's about $15 for up to four people on one boat, and you get the boat for an hour. If you want to stay longer, then you pay a little extra per each 30 minutes that you extend your time. We also walked through Sheep Meadow, and it was absolutely stunning. It was so green and nice, and the sun was setting, so the views of the buildings were just amazing to look at. Strolling down Central Park was very peaceful, and it was not as crowded as I thought it'd be during the summertime.

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My summer trip to New York started off very well. I was happy that I had the energy to walk 6+ miles in one day exploring the city again. As for my outfit of the day posts, I'm going to keep my posts simple: my OOTD and a short summary of what I did. I am currently exploring different restaurants and cafes as well, but I'm planning to write about the restaurants I tried in a separate post.
For this hot summer day, I knew I was going to need something very flowy as I was going to be doing  a lot of walking and shopping around. This was also the first time I took my RM bag out into the open, haha.
I'll link the exact items that I could find online below!
*As I was gathering links to my outfit and accessories below, I just found out that my RM bag is now on sale for 40% off at Nordstrom :\

Top: Brandy Melville | Bralette: Brandy Melville | Shorts: Abercrombie
Sandals: Dolce Vita | Bag: Rebecca Minkoff | Sunglasses: Urban Outfitters

The day started off with some shopping in SoHo, and I was more than excited to see that Aritzia, a store which I've been wanting to buy things from, was having a sale. I bought a dress and a few cute tops. I love the buildings around SoHo, they're just so beautiful to look at. I love the architecture in this city. After shopping around, my boyfriend and I grabbed some brunch at a place I was very excited to go to, but I was very let down. I had high expectations for this cafe in SoHo, but it was not as great as it was said to be. After some more time strolling through the streets of SoHo, we decided to get some ice cream to cool off. Morgenstern's Finest Ice Cream had its line out the door. It was pretty impressive. They had very different flavors that you wouldn't find anywhere else, their scoops were perfectly rounded, and the waffle cone was delightful. We got the flavors green tea pistachio and salted pretzel. The scoops were quite large; after all, it was a monster cone, so we got one to share. Afterwards, we went to the top of the Freedom Tower at sunset to look at the views below. I think this attraction just opened in the spring, so it's still pretty new. Walking past the 9/11 memorial was also peaceful. From the 102nd floor, you could see the twin tower memorial from below as well as the Jersey Shore and The Empire State Building.

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Since running out of my daily Benefit the POREfessional face primer and my Chanel Perfection Lumiere Velvet foundation, I resorted to trying new things. The POREfessional wasn't my number one favorite all-around because I mainly use it where my pores are immensely noticeable (which is down my T-zone). I love the Chanel foundation, but the only issue I had was that it was very light coverage. It was like another layer of skin. I do like light coverage, but there can be days where my skin is acting up and concealer isn't even enough. While searching for a foundation that would be similar in texture and formula to Chanel, I spent weeks researching because I did not want to splurge on something that did not work for my skin.
While making a few trips to Sephora, the employees were extremely nice and helped me decide on which samples to take home to try out. I've heard many good things about YSL foundations, but the only foundations that got many praises and reviews were the Touche Éclat which was an illuminating foundation, something my oily skin does not need. Luckily, am employee offered that I try this YSL Fusion Ink Foundation. The formula is very liquid-y just like the Chanel foundation, but apparently YSL's foundation is a serum which makes the foundation last longer. I cannot tell the difference in texture between serum and a light, liquid foundation, but I can definitely see the results of the serum lasting longer.
YSL foundations have a variety of shades, yes it is pricey, but I can guarantee you that this brand and its foundations are worth the hype. They make foundations for all different skin types, which is a definite bonus. The Fusion Ink comes in a glass bottle with a small little spatula applicator. I tend to dab the spatula either on my face or my fingertips, then I blend it out with a foundation brush. A little goes a long way with this foundation because it can easily be light, medium, or high coverage depending on how much product you use. I tend to go for a light-medium coverage depending on my skin. With this applicator, it is easy to control how much you apply. If you are going for high coverage, it does not cake or look like you have a huge layer of foundation on in any way due to the serum formula. 
The other base product I picked up from Sephora is this Hourglass Mineral Veil Primer. I know, the packaging looks different from the beautiful glass pump that most people rave about. I bought the limited edition jumbo 2-ounce size. To be honest, I didn't really do much research on this product, I've only came across many reviews through YouTube videos raving about this product. I was in need of a new primer, and I saw that this one was oil-free, so I decided to try it out. I didn't know much about other oil-free primers, but this primer comes with SPF and it creates a very smooth base that allows my foundation to glide on perfectly. It's a white primer, but it goes clear once you blend it in. It's very light-weight and has a liquid-cream texture.

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