How I Built My Confidence

Confidence is something that always eluded me. I’m naturally an introvert and shy. I was the classic punk rocker in high school, and chubby, so no guy wanted to date me. I’ve heard so many times that, “You’re a cool girl, but I just don’t think of you that way”, or some variation of that phrase. I’ve been cheated on and manipulated by men I loved. It made me question if I’ll ever find love, was it my looks? my age? my ability in bed? my intelligence? I’ve suffered a job loss. That made me question if I’ll ever have security or peace of mind again. It took some work and it’s been a process, but this is how I built and re-built my confidence:

  1. Exercise. I know there’s this whole Eff Your Beauty Standards/Body Positivity movement, however, I was not happy at 180 lbs. It was a hard two years, but I lost the weight and then some. I certainly don’t have what people consider a perfect body, but I love MY body.
  2. Faith. It’s not cool to declare yourself a Christian or person of any kind of faith even, but my church really helped me. I knew no matter what no one has the final word on me but God. So suck it, world.
  3. Good people. My parents are rad. I have some solid friends. I know if someone makes me feel like an asshole, I can run the situation by Brittany or Amanda and they’ll give it to me straight.
  4. Me. Reminding myself of who I am and the things I like. Punk rock. Red lipstick. Scandinavian shows. Writing stories. Realizing this is who I am and accepting it.

I love myself Kendrick Lamar

Why I Quit Birchbox

I have been a Birchbox subscriber since 2011. I remember catching wind of this company while reading a copy of Cosmo. Someone asked how they could try samples of beauty products, and Birchbox and Glossybox were both mentioned. Glossybox was more expensive, so I opted to do a month-to-month subscription with Birchbox.

At first, the samples weren’t bad. It was hit or miss, but eventually they hit their stride and started sending me products that were cool. Granted, several of the products they sent me I couldn’t afford in full sizes, but I loved them! It was neat getting a present each month, and for $10 I ended up receiving samples that would come in handy if I was traveling or just happened to run out of shampoo or conditioner.

Birchbox Wings

Well, as time went on, I became non-plussed. A lot of the samples were just “meh”. Anytime I would get an eyeshadow, it was a nude shimmery shadow. I WOULD ONLY GET PINK LIPSTICK. So annoying. I said in my profile that I was interested in face and hair care, but there were times I would end up with so many shampoo + conditioner samples I would run out of room in my shower. Several of these products, like I’ve mentioned before, I couldn’t even afford in full sizes.

Stanley Eyeroll

So, what’s a girl to do? All things considered, it was NOT worth $110 a year. I started perusing online and found out I wasn’t the only one. In a Racked.com article, they talk about if this is the end of Birchbox. I emailed and called the company and requested they cancel my subscription. I received my last box in November. Someone I work with gave me her unused October Ipsy bag. I loved it! The eyeshadow and lipstick were actual colors – reddish brown for the eyeshadow, and a berry color for the lipstick. I don’t think I could afford it at this time, but maybe one day!

There are several blog posts and articles online discussing how much Birchbox sucks. This post by MommyReporter discusses another important flaw in Birchbox – they don’t particularly cater to women of color. Now despite my whiteness, I don’t dig if a company doesn’t look to represent women of different races. If you’re a makeup company only swatching your shadows and lipsticks on white skin, to me that illustrates your shortsightedness and I’m not down to support that. My friends who are POC have said the fact that Birchbox sends them certain types of hair products is irritating because they have chemical relaxers in their hair and they can’t use an average clarifying shampoo, for instance.

Farewell, Birchbox.

Bye Felicia

LUSH Cosmetics Review

Back in September, I visited Oxford, England, for a friend’s wedding. I stopped by the LUSH store, because how can you not stop by a LUSH store, and also I needed some face wash and something for my chapping lips.

LUSH Cosmetics Let The Good TImes Roll Face and Body Cleanser

I picked up Let The Good Times Roll face and body cleanser. I was tickled by the fact there’s actual popcorn in it! It was a lightly exfoliating cleanser that’s yellow in color. It smells buttery and sweet, like a sugar cookie. When I got back home, I went to Beachwood Mall and had to pick up a second pot because I was running low. I didn’t even care it cost $12.

LUSH Cosmetics Buttered Brazils lip balm

The second product I picked up was Buttered Brazils. I didn’t realize it was made with Brazil nuts, which I’m allergic to. It was grainy, and even though it helped a bit with the chapping on my lips, I didn’t care for it. It was about $10.

Review: CoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara

I really loved and was loyal to CoverGirl’s Lash Blast Mascara for a very long time. I thought using this product – a cousin of the original – would bring back those warm and fuzzy feelings. Alas, not so.

The color of this mascara was brown. I don’t know if I didn’t pay attention (yes) or I just assumed every mascara is black (also yes), but it being brown didn’t make my lashes pop. I also noticed that it didn’t harden my lashes. My lashes didn’t feel like they had anything on. Again, this is what happens when you buy drugstore products with a coupon.

This product retailed for $8.99 and can be found at Walmart, CVS, and the like. Sorry for the short review – I drank too much last night and I’m trying to recover. Cover Girl Lash Blast Fusion MascaraCoverGirl Lash Blast Fusion Mascara

Review: Rimmel 24/7 Eyeliner & Kate Lipstick

Okay. Can you imagine how stoked I was to find coupons for beauty products? SUPER STOKED. Granted, it wasn’t the cruelty free brands I prefer to buy, but hell, I can try something new. I had been using Eyeko eyeliner and love the precision of a pen. I almost preferred it to a brush and gel liner.

Rimmel Color Precise Liner

The first time I used Rimmel Color Precise Eyeliner, which promises to last for 24 hours, I was pretty happy with it. The line wasn’t as dark as the Eyeko line, but it was usable and for around $6, I’d say it was a good deal. Well, well, well… The second time I used this product, a line barely showed up! It was already drying out it seems. Super annoyed, I tested it out on my hand and realised if I pressed IT REALLY HARD, I’d get something out of it. THIS IS NOT HOW BEAUTY PRODUCTS SHOULD WORK, ESPECIALLY ON THE Rimmel Kate Lipstick 001SECOND USE.

The second Rimmel product I used, which I was actually slightly more impressed by, was the Kate lipstick. The color I purchased was a berry red. It was a little deep for day use, as in wearing it to the office. It reminded me of Bite’s lip color in Juniper. It was moisturizing and in comparison to Hard Candy’s lip color, at least lasting through a whole meal. It also had a fruity scent, so that was unique. If I didn’t have a coupon for this product, however, I probably wouldn’t have bought it nor would I re-try it. I simply wasn’t impressed enough by the color, and as far as I know, Rimmel does in fact test on animals when it’s required by law. So, boo.