DRUNK ELEPHANT: my HONEST opinion — would I actually purchase?

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OK, so a few weeks ago I received a PR package from Drunk Elephant ++ asked you guys if you’d like to see a blog post / review on how I liked the products so, here we are.

The package they sent over contained a collection of their “Littles,” which is basically just sample sized versions of a few of their best selling products. I’ll be honest I used almost ALL of the product in the span of one + a half weeks. So it’s def safe to say that it’s more worth your money to just buy the individual products BUT I will say that this is an amazing way to get to know the products + see which you like / don’t care for.

Overall, I was honestly impressed by their products. I will say, the week I started using them is when I ALSO started being a lil extra crazy with my skincare (lmk if you wanna know what that looks like) so that has a little something to do with my opinion. However, this is more just a first impression I had with the products + telling you guys whether or not I think it’s worth the purchase because DE can def be a little more on the pricey side.

LET’S GET INTO IT

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Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser

So the regular size of this Cleanser retails $32 which is a little more on the pricey side when it comes to cleansers. Personally, I am not super picky when it comes to what I wash my face with so it I don’t usually splurge in this department. To be honest, I wasn’t obsessed with this product, I felt like the consistency was a bit sticky + bland.

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C-Firma™ Day Serum

This is their Vitamin C serum and it retails $80 which is super pricey but it is a HUGE bottle + would prob last forever. I used this during the day + I honestly really liked it. I have tried a few other vitamin C serums and I found the actual product pretty comparable. I usually use Le Dew Citrus Sunshine — this product retails ONLY $24, which is wayyyy more in my budget so I prob wouldn’t repurchase this product if I am being honest with you guys. I will link that here for you guys, if you’re interested.

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B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum

OK, I promise this post isn’t ALL negative, I actually fell in love with this product + I plan to purchase it. I have pretty normal to dry skin so I am ALWAYS looking for some extra hydration ++ this product does not disappoint. The price point is $52, which is expensive but I honestly don’t know a product quite like this that would compare + once again, it’s a huge bottle. I really felt like this gave my skin a healthy glow + overall kept my skin extra hydrated (like, even overnight). I use this morning + night and I swear my skin just looks a little extra plump because of it (AND my light stim, of course).

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T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum

Before trying this product, I had never tried out a designated “night” serum ++ I honestly loved it. I would 100% repurchase this product. I applied this nightly ++ I noticed my skin tone looked super even + smooth. This product just glides on your skin + feels so dang good. Honestly if you’re looking to try anything from DE, TRY THEIR SERUMS. You will not be disappointed, trust me.

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Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil

I know a lot of people are scared of oils but they really are good for your skin, guys. I actually really enjoyed this product. I specifically used it on the more wrinkle prone spots of my face (under-eye, forehead) + it def helped minimize that. This retails $40, so I am not sure if I’d repurchase to be honest just because it doesn’t feel necessary in my skincare routine BUT if you’re into oils—this is def one to try!

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C-Tango™ Multivitamin Eye Cream

So I quit using eye cream just because it’s pretty pricey + I am not SUPER concerned about all that yet, BUT after trying this, I will say, I  def wanna add eye cream back into my skincare routine. This product retails $64 which is honestly outrageous but it is an amazing product ++ you get a lot for your $$$. I think when it comes to eye cream, what’s most important is just using SOMETHING. So I am going to link a few fairly priced eye-creams below for you guys.

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Umbra Tinte™ Physical Defense SPF 30

OK THIS IS THE ONE PRODUCT FROM DE THAT I AM OBSESSED WITH. I had to put that in all caps because that’s just how much I love it. This is a tinted sunscreen that retails $36 ++ is so worth your $$$. It goes on super smooth, not sticky (like your average sunscreen). More like a BB cream with a really pretty tint. I love wearing this underneath makeup, or just by itself for a pretty-clean look. I 100% will be repurchasing this. Honestly a must-have for summer.

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Protini™ Polypeptide Cream

LASTLY, this is a version of their moisturizer ++ I am not gonna say much about it because I honestly wasn’t a huge fan. I am pretty picky with my moisturizers + this one just didn’t do much for me. I am the type of person who is into smells ++ all that and that’s one thing that kinda put me off to this product — it’s a little too bland for me.

ALRIGHT.. so that’s it for the products I was able to try. Overall, I love Drunk Elephant as a brand +++ plan to test out more of their products. I honestly HIGHLY recommend testing out their “littles” for yourself (we all have different skin ++ needs). I am also going to link below some other options they have for sample versions – a day + night serum set. Which basically has all the products I approved of, win-win. I hope you guys enjoyed this blog post + let me know if I should start doing more reviews like this!

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BLOGGING 101

HI LOVELIES,

It’s been a MINUTE since my last blog post so if you’re new here, WELCOME. If you aren’t new here, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been for the past two months…and to be quite honest, I just needed a mini break. Since I started my blog last May, I have been blessed with so many amazing opportunities, whether that be collaborations with brands, freelance work as a graphic designer, selling my own presets, + other random gigs here n’ there. Starting this blog has opened up so many doors and given me opportunities I never dreamed of happening, better yet, happening in the short time span of less than a year. I don’t say this nearly enough but I am so incredibly grateful for you guys for even reading this blog post right now, liking my posts, or just doing whatever you can do to support me. I realize this sounds so sappy already but I am honestly so passionate about this topic because the decision to start my blog truly changed my life.

So you might be thinking to yourself, “well, why did you start this blog in the first place?” and there’s really no short answer to that question. Honestly, if you told me a year ago today that I’d be doing what I am doing now for a job, I would 100% laugh in your face. To be real with you guys, this time last year was not a good time for me; I was incredibly depressed, lost + had no clue what my future would hold. That’s honestly a blog post in itself but to sum it up, with the help of my boyfriend and my family I was able to get through it + I started seeing a therapist. Fast forward a few months later, it was summer + I was in such a better place and I was really motivated to just do something for myself that would allow me to be creative / keep me busy. I have always been a creative person whether that be with photography, design + writing so I thought why not just combine the three and start a blog. I am also an English major and I knew I wanted to go in a different direction than teaching or the usual route, so I thought this would be a good place to start + build my resume. I actually even had a blog back when I was in high school (before blogging was even a thing, really) but I was way too afraid to go public with it so it really wasn’t an out of the box thing for me to do. I guess the only difference this time was that I had way more confidence in myself. I always have girls DM me asking “how did you deal with other people’s opinions when you first started your blog?” and honestly, I had been struggling with finding my own happiness for so long and right from the start, blogging made me so genuinely happy, and just motivated to live my life and I really don’t think anyone’s opinion could get in the way of that. Not only was I finally feeling like myself again but I was discovering myself at the same time and it was just such an empowering feeling and really kept me going. I think the best advice I have for someone who is interested in starting a blog is just to do it. Like right now…right this second. Obviously you gotta want to start a blog for the right reasons, it can’t just be for the “free stuff” or pretty Instagram photos. Trust me when I say this is a full-time job and you gotta be 100% in it for the right reasons to be successful. So if that resonates with you and you’re passionate about it then you should just do it. You have absolutely nothing to lose and if you’re only fear is that people might tease you, then just think about how they’re going to feel in two years when you’re working for your dream brand and they’re still wasting their time worrying about what other people are doing. Can’t relate…JK GUYS, that was sassy, but really at the end of the day people will judge you no matter what you’re doing, so just do what makes YOU happy. Also, you’ll probably be surprised at how much support you’ll receive because I know, I did.

OK, so if you’re still reading this, I probably convinced you to start a blog and now you’re sitting here wondering, “How the heck do I start a blog?”

Lucky for you, this is pretty simple nowadays because there’s a million different platforms and resources like YouTube, that will teach you how to do literally anything. That’s pretty much how I figured everything out myself. I use WordPress because long-term it just made sense for me with all the upgrades they offer but I know a lot of blogger gals that use Squarespace + Wix. I would just test them all out and see what you’re most comfortable with. I had prior experience with WordPress from my first blog so this was my first choice.

As for designing my blog, I was able to work with Bluchic + use their Isabelle theme, which made my life WAY easier. If you’re not super tech savvy, I def recommend using a pre-made theme. Bluchic has tons of different styles so I will be sure to link their stuff here. However, when I first started I just used a basic theme that was available on WordPress. I think the most important tip for you guys is just to start with whatever resources you have. You will learn as you go, and have more opportunities to upgrade your site, later on.

Now that you have a basic idea of how to start a blog, I am gonna answer a few specific questions from you guys about blogging:

Did you reach out to brands first or did they reach out to you?

So when I first started, I tried to get as much content as I could before I just started reaching out to brands. I made sure to have a few blog posts up + content on my Instagram to show that I was actually blogging and could offer them something in exchange for product. Once you feel confident enough, I highly recommend reaching out to brands. You might feel silly sliding into the DM’s of some of your favorite brands but you gotta put yourself out there somehow. I would use the DM’s as a starting place to get a point of contact / e-mail because that is just way more professional and will give you more room to pitch your ideas to the brand. It’s important to have a pitch ready because you have to understand that brands are constantly getting e-mails and it’s more likely that you’ll land a collab if you already have an idea in mind. ALSO, keep it noted that you will probably get ghosted / rejected by a lot of brands and that’s totally normal. It happens to everyone and honestly, still happens to me sometimes, so don’t feel bad lol. Keep posting your own content— not everything has to be sponsored. It’s almost like you’re building your resume at first. Brands will reach out to you once you have good content + good engagement.

How do you know if a brand is legitimate about working with you + not just trying to scam you?

So this is definitely something to be aware of when you first start blogging because you will most likely want to work with any + every brand that reaches out to you, and there are tons of scams out there. I think the number one thing is to make sure the brand is legitimate (google them, look for a website, read reviews, you can even look on their Instagram page and find girls they’ve worked with in the past and DM them lol — this has happened to me so it’s not that weird). One of the #1 signs of a scam is if they’re trying to get you to pay money. You shouldn’t have to pay anything. I remember when I first started, I got tons of messages like this and I actually fell for it once so trust me when I say this. If a brand is only offering you what appears to be a large discount on a product + you have to buy it, it’s most likely a scam and the quality of the product isn’t worth the money anyways. I have actually had a few girls DM me in the past, so if you’re looking for a second opinion feel free to ask because it can be hard to tell!

How did you grow so fast?

This is probably my most asked question from you guys and I never know how to give a short answer on Instagram. To be honest, the reason I have been able to grow so fast is because I’ve put a lot of my own time + work into it. I’m not gonna sugarcoat it and pretend like I just started posting pretty photos + gained a following. Since I started my blog, I have treated it like more than a job and put in hours every single day into it. Whether that be posting on Instagram, creating content, engaging with you guys, connecting with other bloggers or brands. I have always had an obsessive personality to the point where I’m either utterly obsessed with something or I just don’t care and this is just something I am obsessed with. There is so much passion behind it and just being able to express myself in a creative way keeps me sane, tbh. Obviously, there’s gonna be times when growth is slow + you will feel discouraged but it’s just important to remember why you started. It’s so easy to fall a victim to comparison when your job revolves around social media, but I think what helps me the most is just focusing on my own journey. Getting to where you want to be is great, but I think what’s even greater is HOW you got there. Nowadays, you can rush the process and buy your following but at the end of the day I think it’s way more rewarding to take the extra time and be able to look back and know that you achieved this all by yourself. That’s my honest opinion about it— there is no secret to this, it’s honestly just what you put into it.




Read w/ Me: Fall Edition

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I decided that a bookish blog post is long overdue and since I am currently an ambassador for the Book Sparks Fall Reading Challenge, I thought I’d give you guys a little updated book list for fall. With that being said, I’ve been getting tons of questions all about Book Sparks and what exactly the challenge is, and basically they have just been sending me fall-themed books for the past month or so for me to read and share with you guys! I have really enjoyed this experience because I love finding new authors and so far, they have all been new to me! Not to mention, I am obsessed with true-crime and that sort of thing, and some of these books seriously have the best, spooky story lines. Along with the books from Book Sparks, I am going to include my favorite fall-themed books, so I hope you enjoy this post + comment some book recommendations below!

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware:

I actually read this entire book on a flight home around Thanksgiving last year. It’s an easy read and honestly impossible to put down. I remember from start to finish, I was constantly wanting more. It’s a crime/mystery novel that takes place at a cabin in the woods so you can only imagine how spooky it is!

The Secret History by Donna Tartt:

I would consider this more of an advanced novel just because you really have to use your mind while reading it. It’s more complex but the story line is SO good and very compelling. It’s sort of a mystery/thriller.  It’s perfect read for fall!

The Night in Question by Nic Joseph:

This book was actually included in the fall reading challenge, and I have to say it stood out to me the most. It’s basically about an Uber ride gone wrong, and if that doesn’t make you wanna read it, I don’t know what will. I love the idea behind it because it’s so current and interesting. It’s definitely an easy + fun read for the fall time!

A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard:

If you’re someone who loves true-crime, then I highly recommend this book. This is a true story about a girl who was kidnapped for eighteen years of her life and survived to tell her story. She kept a diary throughout it all so it’s very interesting. This is a heavy topic and if you’re sensitive to that sort of stuff, I wouldn’t recommend reading because it gets very deep.