I’ve been dabbling into skincare routine exploration since I was about 26. Sure, back in the day I’d use some pretty generic moisturizers etc. But, it wasn’t until I was around 26 where I started researching serums, masks and the like.
After much trial and error, I’m going to share with you my current skincare routine that I love and is not over-the-top expensive. I have combination / sensitive skin. So, finding products that don’t cause redness and keep my skin balanced are important.
**One thing to keep in mind is that I do not wear any type of cream/powder foundation or concealers. Bare face is the new face ya’ll. From reviews I read when looking into the products, makeup sets pretty good on top of the stuff I’m about to share.
Now, these things added up equals about $175. However, all of these products last me about 4-6 months. This means you have a skincare regimen for about $30-$40/month. Not too shabby right? Right.
The face wash keeps my breakouts at bay. The soothing serum keeps my face redness down. The ginseng serum, vitamin e moisturizer and sunscreen keep my dry winter skin hydrated without making it greasy. The eye cream I received in a Fab Fit Fun box, so currently testing it out.
I know layering on multiple products seems like a chore. But when I tried to find products that did it all, my skin would get all kinds of imbalanced. Instead, I focus on simple products that I combine together. Korean skincare is what’s up, folks.
I got the face mask in a Fab Fit Fun box. I use the face mask at night for extra hydration. A little goes a long way and it doesn’t clog my pores. The LUA beam eye oil I use at night because it keeps the skin around my eye really hydrated. I can’t wear it during the day because it makes my mascara fall off.
I hope what I’ve shared helps you find products that work for your combination/sensitive skin, and at roughly $60/mo fits within your budget.
We all know it, we all hate it – student loan debt. Some folks have the opportunity to forgo paying loans; however, if you’re like me [and most of us out there] we are stuck paying back the big guys.
Now, I’m not here to give some BS motivational speech about how working hard can get you where you want to be or throw out vague ideas on budgeting/saving that every article I seemed to read would be about.
Below are specific tactics and lessons learned that allowed me to pay off my student loan debt before age 30.
PAYMENT PLAN SELECTION
There are a lot of payback options for student loan debt. My advice would be to choose the option with the lowest required payment and then pay extra when you can. With this option, you’re not confined to paying a large monthly amount that could hinder any future financial emergencies such as car troubles etc.
THE GRACE PERIOD
If you get a job before or soon after graduating, do NOT use the ever so enticing “grace period.” That’s six months of interest you do NOT need to accrue [I’m talking thousands, folks]. Start paying off the student loan debt as soon as you can.
PAYING DEBT VS. SAVING
Once you know your loan payment, take a look at all your debt and savings goals and start prioritizing where your money will go. An example priority is save > credit cards > student loan.
Save, save, save
Whether it’s $10/mo or $200/mo, whether you have debt or not, start saving money automatically from a checking to a savings account. Pay minimums on everything until you have a decent emergency fund. Having this will help alleviate swiping credit cards in the future. If you’re in the unfortunate event where you pay minimums on everything and still can’t save, find a side hustle or downsize some things. Extra money isn’t going to just be handed to you.
Tackle high interest debt
More than likely any credit card debt you have will be at a higher interest rate than your student loan. If you’re not sure, Google a calculator, calculate the monthly interest you’re paying for each, find out which one is higher, and prioritize paying it off first.
Pay minimums and then some on student loan debt
Start with the minimum, and once your savings and credit cards are in good order, start putting extra money towards this. I know it’s hard seeing extra money you now have go to debt instead of fun things, but believe me – you can have just as much fun in your 30s vs. your 20s.
Just because your credit card debt is paid off and all you need to worry about at this point is rent, a car payment, student loan debt and maybe some other things, don’t go all Jay-Z and Beyonce. Continue to save for emergencies, vacations, weddings, babies, and anything else you foresee and want to prioritize in your future.
MANAGING DEBT, SAVING, AND HAVING A LIFE
Even if you’re in a position to be financially responsible when you graduate, you might not be ready to be a hermit who doesn’t have any fun. The key to managing debt, saving, and having fun is constantBUDGETING. Budget everything. Every day. Every paycheck. At least three months in advance. The nice thing about constant budgeting is that it is more fluid. You can see areas where you can give and take rather than be married to one super strict budget for the next 30 days. Similar to those crazy diets – if you restrict something for so long you’ll eventually cave and over indulge.
I tried things like Mint and other apps, but once I got to the end of the month I ended up running out of money. I essentially wanted an app that accommodated a “paycheck to paycheck” structure. Paycheck to paycheck kept me more accountable more frequently.
I use an app called Balance My Checkbook. It’s more of a manual process, but I like that because it keeps me focused on this new dynamic I have with spending money. When apps aggregate all my stuff in one spot it’s hard for me to stay focused.
IF you want to have an app that aggregates all your accounts to keep track of how your debt has gone down or how your savings has grown, go for it. But I would keep the manual app for every day spending that overtime, can help you get to longer term goals.
HOW TO USE THE BUDGET APP
The below is a hypothetical example of app usage and manual budgeting. The example is with a bi-weekly pay of $1,200.
Add your paychecks for the next three months or so and go through the process of deducting mandatory bills based on the bills due date. Once you do that, your list of paychecks will now show how much money you have to spend in between paychecks [i.e. the 490.00 & 550.00 you now see instead of the 1,200.00 in the below image].
Also, instead of just bills, you can add transactions you know are coming up. Are you getting your hair done two months from now? Need to pay for a hotel stay in a few weeks? Know someones birthday is coming up and want to set a budget for their present? Adding future expenses will help alleviate any “oh crap I’m out of money and need to swipe the credit card” moments.
Track every day expenses. Our phones are on us ALL the time. So why not take two seconds and jot down the $25 you just spent. Even something as small as $2. Keeping track of everything you spend will keep you on course. If you don’t track even the smallest expenses, they add up over time putting dents in future budgets. I round up so I don’t get hung up on cents. If you want to have a fun night out and not worry about it, that’s ok, just check your bank account the next day and make sure you document the damage in the app. You may have to forgo eating out for lunch the next few days, but that’s the price you pay for delicious cocktails.
Tracking every day expenses will help you see how much money you have left in between paychecks. In the below example after logging some expenses there is $376 to last until the next paycheck.
I hope this process I followed for YEARS [yes, years] can help you in some way. In all honesty, even now that my debt is paid off I still use the app. It’s a great way to stay on track not just for paying off debt, but saving too.
Oh, the emergency fund. The amount of stress it can cause sometimes is the worst – especially when you don’t have enough of it. Well, I’m going to talk about some ways you can start saving to build an emergency fund. Emergency funds are great because they give you cushion when unexpected expenses come up, in turn, alleviating any debt that could accrue.
Take advantage of credit card cash back
If you’re responsible enough, you can use a credit card for almost all of your expenses [as long as you pay it back each paycheck or at the end of the month]. With this spending strategy you can rack up cash back points without the agony of a monthly interest charge because you’re constantly paying the card back in full [and not carrying a large balance]. Redeem your cash back and put it directly into a savings account.
Use cash back shopping sites
There are plenty of cash back sites out there. I personally like Ebates. I shop online 99% of the time and even though you might not get the most money back it’s nice to get that check in the mail every once and awhile! Put the money right into your savings.
Don’t spend your tax return, Christmas or birthday money
I know we all love that big check that comes in the mail or in the Christmas cards, but save it. You may need it for a future emergency. Use the money you make now to buy other stuff and if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Buying things you can’t afford leads to no progress in saving because then you’re just constantly paying off debt.
Downsize your life and budget better
To piggy back on the last point, take a look at your lifestyle. Is the way you live now causing you to go from paycheck to paycheck? If so, you might want to re-evaluate the car you have and get one with a smaller payment. Or, find an apartment that isn’t bleeding you dry. Roommates might be necessary, but if they’re good ones, it can benefit you greatly. Stop buying coffee and lunch everyday and keep eating out to just the weekends. Delete monthly subscriptions you don’t need. Re-evaluate how often you use that gym membership. There are plenty of ways to downsize, you just have to have the discipline to do it. The need to have a certain status in society will always be there, but why compromise your future for something so materialistic? Prioritize what’s most important to you. Travel? Great, have a simple car. Nice car? Cool. Probably can’t travel much. It’s all about give and take. One day, eventually, you might get to a point where you can have both, especially if you work for it.
Take advantage of new jobs, pay raises and promotions
Just because you got a new job, promotion or raise, doesn’t mean your lifestyle needs to change. A lot of times people think of new money coming in as an opportunity to get a better car, better apartment, etc. Instead, take that extra money and save it.
Last but not least, when you pull money from your emergency fund, replenish it. Don’t use the money up so that you’re left with nothing.
Regardless of the season, if you’re getting ready to pack your bags, you’ll want to think about skincare and here we’ll talk about skincare tips while traveling. Pressurized air cabins and changes in humidity at your destination can wreak havoc on your skin, so it’s important to give your hands and face some extra TLC before, during, and after your adventure. Read on to learn how to enjoy your vacation with healthy, glowing skin.
Prepare Before You Leave
Just as you prepare yourself mentally and practically before you travel, you also need to prepare your skin. Two days before leaving is the perfect time to exfoliate so you can start your trip with clean, fresh skin cells. Don’t go too hard on this one, however. A gentle face scrub is more than enough to slough off those dead skin cells and allow your favorite moisturizer to penetrate into the deeper layers.
Your Travel Skincare Kit
Once your face is daisy-fresh, it’s time to pack your skincare travel kit. For this, you’re going to want a liquid-tight, canvas cosmetics bag that won’t let your creams and oils escape and ruin your clothes. Using small screw-top bottles, empty enough of each of your skincare essentials into each bottle to keep you covered for the number of days you will be away from home. You might want to label these to make sure you know what they are!
Research Carry-On Limits Beforehand
When packing your carry-on bag, be sure to check the airline information for carry-on liquid limits so that the items you want with you on the plane will be allowed to pass through TSA security. There’s nothing worse than suffering from uncomfortable, dry skin throughout the flight because you had to discard your skincare products before boarding!
Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize
Which products do you really need while away? The most important thing you’ll need to do for skincare while traveling is to keep up your moisture levels. If you have an oily skin type, you may be tempted to think that the dry, air-conditioned cabin air will help to keep oil production down. The truth is that if your skin doesn’t receive enough moisture, it can tend to ramp up the oil production to compensate for water loss. It’s better to use a misting spray or light moisturizer and then soak up any oil with blotting paper.
Here’s a quick-reference list for products to have on hand on the plane:
If there are any specialty skincare products that you might not be able to buy at your destination (for example creams and treatments for sensitive skin), be sure to take these either in your hand or checked luggage. For those who want to avoid chemical soaps at airports and hotels, a bar of all-natural mini travel soap will be the final essential to have in your carry-on bag.
Plan for a Fun, Comfortable Flight
Your flight is the start of your adventure, so why not make every moment count? Instead of staring out the window and watching the clouds pass by, plan ahead and give yourself something to look forward to on the way. On a short flight, it’s easy to stay entertained with games your cell phone (in flight mode) or a good book. For longer flights, get yourself some travel comfort gear and follow these tips for staying comfortable on a long flight.
Sun Safety in Every Climate
Once you arrive, take advantage of the opportunity to change into some fresh clothing that will keep you comfortable at your destination. This is also a good chance to dab on some light makeup (you want to let your skin breathe as much as possible while on vacation) and some 30+ sunscreen.
No matter whether you’re going on a sun-and-sand vacation in Mexico or a ski trip to Japan, it’s easy to get burnt if you’re not careful! Sun rays reflect off sand, concrete, and snow and can still burn you on a cloudy day. To protect your skin in the sun, lather up with some non-toxic mineral sunscreen before heading out each day and wear a trendy brimmed hat, long clothing, and cute sunglasses.
Nourish and Hydrate from the Inside
The last tip for healthy, glowing skin while traveling is to nourish your skin from the inside. Oily and fatty processed foods contribute to inflammation in the body, which can result in skin outbreaks and irritation. In contrast, fruits, vegetables, quality proteins, and healthy fats give your skin the building blocks it needs to renew and repair. A wholesome, nourishing diet can even help to smooth out the appearance of wrinkles!
As you go sightseeing and relaxing by the pool, keep sipping on water and herbal tea throughout the day to keep up your hydration. Along with frequent moisturizing, this is the best way to keep your skin smooth and beautiful!
“Aren’t you scared?”, “Why would you want to travel alone?”, “That is so weird”. These are just some of the unwelcome statements a solo female traveler has to endure from her family and friends whenever she feels like taking on a grand road trip adventure all on her own. But, why is that? Should solo travel be regarded as something out of the ordinary?
Of course not, and in fact, it might just be the single greatest decision of your life. Not only is solo travel the epitome of personal freedom, but it’s also wildly exciting, empowering, and infinitely rewarding for a bold young (or not so young, of course) woman. With that in mind, it’s time to tune out the haters and embark on your very own solo adventure of a lifetime.
It all begins with careful research
Let’s not kid ourselves by thinking the world around us is all sunshine and rainbows, ladies. In fact, the world can be a pretty nasty place, especially for a woman traveling all on her own. Not only will the patriarchal society try to take advantage of you no matter where you go, but there could be physical dangers lurking in the shadows as well. This doesn’t mean that you should get all scared and abandon your dream; quite the contrary, this simply means that you should act smart.
*image via Pinterest
The keyword here is safety. You want to research your destination in order to find the sightseeing hotspots you want to visit, yes, but the research should begin by investigating the safety of your destination. How welcoming is the local culture to solo women? What is the local policy regarding tourists, and women in general? Should you expect to be treated as an equal there? Are there any places you should stay clear of? What are the safety precautions you need to follow? Let these questions help you decide where it is and where it isn’t safe to travel.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone
Traveling solo doesn’t mean being all alone, remember that. In fact, it’s almost impossible not to meet new, exciting people during your exploits, so prepare for a whole lotta fun and partying with people from around the world. This goes especially for you gals that choose to stay at a hostel, preferably in a dorm where you can meet some exciting folk.
This can be a good thing, but can have its downsides as well. If you’re sociable and really want to meet new people, then you’re bound to have a blast. On the other hand, there are people who truly want to be alone on this journey, and if you’re one of them, then you’re better off booking a private room.
Make a detailed itinerary
Right, sightseeing. Look, there is only so much a girl imbued with never-ending wanderlust can manage to see on a single trip, especially if you’re traveling to an urban hotspot like Sydney, for instance, filled to the brim with exciting places, people, and events. This is why you need a detailed itinerary to guide you throughout and help you stay on schedule – it will mean the difference between having a blast and wandering around aimlessly.
So, note down your must-see places. For instance, if you’re a gal who appreciates fine liquor, why not add a few out-of-the-box stops to your itinerary? A visit to the Archie Rose whiskey distillery in Sydney is a must for every whiskey lover traveling around Australia, which is simultaneously an interesting educational tour enriched with a menu of delicious sips. You can also visit some of Australia’s boutique wineries out in the outback in order to experience the best sights and sips in the Land Down Under.
*image via Pinterest
Stay like a local, live like a local
If you’re a gal traveling alone, you might feel safer at a hotel, but the modern couch-surfing or private accommodation culture is so well-regulated nowadays that you should actually feel safer renting out a place all to yourself.
Platforms such as Airbnb offer a vast array of amazing accommodation options for a female traveler and you can pick and choose a room or an entire downtown apartment that suits your personal style and flair. So, don’t be a tourist, be a traveler.
Keep your friends and family posted
Last but not least, there is no need to be “under the radar” during your exploits. In fact, as a solo female traveler, you want to keep your friends and family posted regularly on your activities and whereabouts. This will not only help everyone feel a bit easier about your upcoming trip, but it will also allow you to safely plan an adventure of a lifetime with little to no limitations.
Traveling solo is a wonderful experience, and nobody should stand in the way of your dreams of traveling the world on your terms. If you were on the fence about it before, let this simple guide help you find the drive and passion to fuel your never-ending wanderlust.
Mia Taylor is a fashion and beauty enthusiast from Sydney and writer for www.highstylife.com. She loves writing about her life experiences. Travelling and enjoying other cultures and their food with her husband is a big part of her life. She is always on the lookout for new trends in fashion and beauty, and considers herself an expert when it comes to lifestyle tips. Twitter | Facebook
We all have them, we all love them – the infamous girls weekend. Back in the day during college it was so easy to get everyone together. The older we get, the more we need to plan – especially if we don’t live down the hall from each other anymore. Me and a few of my girlfriends try to get together at least once a year for a fun weekend trip. From Nashville, to Denver, to closer to home because some got hitched.
This year, we decided to go somewhere new – South Lake Tahoe, California. September was a time we could all go, and I was pleasantly surprised by the weather. Not too hot, not too cold. I will definitely want to return in July though so I can get in that water!
Now, you know I love being transparent with you all, so I’ll lead with saying our hotel stay was sponsored; however, I’d never get sponsored from a place I wouldn’t actually pay for / can afford.
When I started researching places to stay, I was a little overwhelmed with how expensive AirBnb’s / Cabins / Other Hotels were. A lot of the AirBnb’s were for really large groups as well. Given there was only three of us this year [there’s normally four – MISSED YOU DILL] we needed something that would work for all of our budgets. When I found Hotel AzureI loved their price points, views/location and newly renovated spaces. I typically like to save on stay so that we can splurge on activities.
Once you get to Reno, I highly recommend renting a car. You can peruse the unique city of Reno, possibly play the slots before you head to the Lake, which is about an hour drive.
Now, onto the good stuff.
72hrs in South Lake Tahoe
Once you’ve landed and settled into your hotel [or not in case you showed up before check-in] head toPick 6and get some beverages on their rooftop patio.
After you’ve settled in the hotel, go check out the water. There’s easy access across the street from the hotel. It is absolutely amazing.
For dinner,Base Camp Pizza will hit the spot. The food is delicious, and the outdoor seating with twinkly lights and live music is amazing.
Have coffee with a view.
Bike to breakfast at Sprouts Cafe. One thing I loved about our hotel is they had free bike rentals. The location of the hotel is close to a lot so you don’t even need to drive if you don’t have to.
Go on a private boat tour. You won’t regret it. Our driver Captain Dan from Lake Tahoe Boat Rides was the best. He knew so much about the history of the lake. Go to a grocery store before hand, stock up on some canned wine, snacks, and have the best 3.5hrs ever.
Grab a quick breakfast atBear Beach Cafe. This was a great little cafe attached to the hotel and had really delicious breakfast. Fresh ingredients and not super greasy – perfect for what’s about to come.
Hike the Rubicon Trail.We ended up doing the 10 mile stretch but if you want you can do 5 miles [you’ll need two cars though]. Go early (about 9:00am) to snag good parking and to not see many people on the trail. The trail is breathtaking. There are off shoots to lookouts that give you a panoramic view of the lake and there’s Emerald Bay Beach where you can eat lunch / catch some rays or swim. I didn’t havehiking shoes for the trip and ended up buying some Keens. I don’t understand why all hiking shoes are brown, but I wanted something different so I opted for a green color. They were insanely comfortable for the 4hrs we were walking so I highly recommend! Regardless, my feet and shins needed some love so the hotels hot tub saved the day.
Checkout the shops.There’s so many cute boutiques you can go to in town. Grab a souvenir for someone on your way home or a yummy latte.
Have your last supper atBlue Angel Cafe. The space is cozy and the drinks / food are fresh. My ribs were the shizzy.
Regardless of what you do, you’ll have an amazing time. Until next time, Tahoe.
*Thank you Hotel Azure Lake Tahoe for sponsoring this post. As always, all opinions are my own.
We’ve all been there. We look at our closets and think “bluck, everything looks the same.” We also look at our wallets and think “bluck, I don’t have hundreds of dollars to spend on a new wardrobe.”
Well, I have a super easy tip to get you out of a wardrobe / outfit rut:
Buy one or two things in a color you don’t own.
Now, I know what you might be thinking “I look crazy in emerald green, so, pipe down you redheaded fool.” But hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it.
I personally never thought I could pull off the color lavender. I tried a lavender top on at Marshall’s and ended up loving it. When I wore the top out I got a lot of compliments about how good I looked in it!
So, for you, a few things to keep in mind:
The style and fit matters more than the color
You want a piece of clothing that is flattering and you feel confident in first. If you typically look good in wrap tops, find a wrap top in a color you don’t own. If you feel good wearing the style, you’ll more than likely feel good wearing the new color.
Prints are always fun to add to our wardrobe, but we want the new primary color to stand out. Find a solid piece that has fabric details such as pleating, ruching etc. The top I chose had some slight puff in the sleeves. The more basic with subtle details, the more likely you’re able to wear it again by mixing and matching with items you already own.
Make sure the color works with other pieces you own
You found your new color – great! But unfortunately lime green only goes with one pair of pants that you typically only wear in the fall. Yeah, we don’t want that. Find a color that’s new, but also goes with other pieces you have. For example, you bought a sweater in a new color for fall. Does it pair well with your Jackets? Pants? Boots? Can you create three outfits with this new sweater? If you can, great. If you can’t, you might want to try and find another color.
Ease into it
Now, I’m not saying go bold or go home – there are plenty of shades out there to choose from. I don’t own anything purple, but couldn’t pull the trigger on something PURRRPLE. Hence, why I opted into the more subtle lavender color.
If you love color as much as I do, I’m sure you sometimes come across the issue of knowing what colors do/don’t look good together – especially when you try to combine 3+ colors. Color blocking is essentially mixing a palette of solid colors that compliment each other into an outfit. Typically, each piece is a different color. The best way I accomplish this look is by generally knowing what colors look good together, trial and error or a happy accident.
For this look, I had laundry on my bed and my green blouse and yellow pant were next to each other. I thought, “Hm, that could be a good color combo.” I tried it on and it looked great. Next up were shoes. I tried on a few safe colors like black and tan, but then I tried on my coral pair and it looked great. I finished the look with a white cross body bag.
Do you ever feel like each time you shop you buy similar looking things every time? Oh great, another off the shoulder blouse, or another crop top, let’s add another striped tee to the mix. Did you also know that it’s totally okay to do that? Everyone has a uniform whether they know it or not, and everyone has certain styles that they know are flattering on them. Now, don’t get me wrong, owning 25 striped tees might be a little overkill, but having what you know looks good can really help you put outfits together much easier.
One of my favorite pieces to buy is a long sleeve blouse. There are differences between the blouses such as fabric, neckline, color and print; however, there is also sleeve style. Lace on the sleeves, ruffles or ruching, cut outs, strings, you name it. A unique sleeve can always catch my eye – which leads me to this top I’m sharing today. I found this Mango top a few months ago and absolutely love the oversized cuffs at the bottom of the sleeves. The sleeves add a unique 70’s style to the top that I love.