1.17.2018

Looking At Schools

As you guys read in this post, both Jordan and I were accepted to our early decision schools. You also read how neither of us really expected this to happen. Today, I wanted to give a little background about that and share some of my experiences leading up to picking my top-choice school. Everyone approaches college differently and everyone will have different experiences and adventures, so this is by no means what you will go through or "what everyone does", its just a way to see a little bit into someone else's life and pre-college "fun".

When I was asked throughout high school where I wanted to go or what I wanted to study, my answer was always "I have no f****** idea". So when the college process really started for me (the summer before junior year), I was kind of at a loss of where to even begin looking. Big or small? City or rural? Private or public? I literally had no idea. Our school uses a program called Naviance (but if you don't use this talk to your guidance counsler), so I used that to get an idea of what schools I should be looking at. Then the summer before junior year, when I was I spent a few weeks in Boston, I started looking pretty much everywhere.

My dad went to a small liberal arts college, so thats what I started looking at. I checked out Williams and Amherst and while I liked them both, something wasn't quite right. During the program a few of us took a day to see Boston University, Boston College, Boston Conservatory, and Northeastern. These weren't official tours, but we went around with one of our RA's who attended a few of the schools (he transferred) and had a boyfriend who attended the others.

So I don't exactly remember the order of how everything else happened, but basically as junior year  started, I stared studying for my ACT and kept visiting schools over long weekends and vacations. I slowly started to realize that I was not feeling a tiny liberal arts school (some of the ones we looked at were smaller than my entire high school). So, I kind of had to change the types of schools I was looking at. I saw Vassar, Tufts, George Washington, Georgetown, UPenn, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Wesleyan, and Brown.

I started my Common App essay and all my supplemental essays over the summer before senior year. I'm a complete control freak and worrier, so I really wanted to get as much done as early as I could. I ended up thinking I was going to apply to 15 schools, many of which I planned to look at during my senior year. I chose to apply to 2 schools early action and 1 school early decision.

I submitted my early applications early/mid October and then I just had to wait. Of course, being the paranoid and anxious person I am, I kept working on all my regular applications. There was a week at school when basically everyone was finding out about their admission decisions. At school, it was kind of hell. About half of my close friend group was deferred from their top choices, so we all wanted to be supportive of them but happy for everyone who got into their dream school. My decision came out Friday at 3 (after pretty much everyone else) and Thursday night I legitimately did not sleep at all.

Friday afternoon, right after school, I found out: Johns Hopkins University Class of 2022. A month later, I'm still in shock.

So why is this something I didn't expect at all? If you look at all the schools I initially started touring, JHU is pretty different. It's much more science oriented, a little bigger, and a little south-er.

To recap this very long post: there is no "normal", I changed my mind about schools thousands of times, I still have no idea what I want to study, I'm still slightly terrified but I could not be more excited.

Please, please, please let me know if you guys have any questions or any requests for future college themed posts. And if you received some bad news, I truly believe that everything happens for a reason, and everything will work out the way it was meant to.


XOXO,


Samantha



1.16.2018

My new favorite foundation

The drugstore has been on a role recently. Almost daily new products come out, and the quality is getting better and better. Unfortunately, the price is also increasing with the quality. Wet N’ Wild is one of my favorite brands because the price has stayed fairly consistent, and the quality just keeps getting better.

They recently came out with a cushion foundation. I love cushion foundations because they look beautiful on the skin. The L’oreal Lumi Cushion is one of my favorite foundations of all time. When I ran out, I didn’t repurchase the foundation because it was almost $20 (!!).

A few weeks ago, I was at CVS for the first time is such a long time. I came across the Wet N’ Wild Mega Cushion Foundation for $8.99. On that same display was a manufacture coupon for $1 off. So a cushion foundation for $8 literally cannot be beat. I took this foundation home and decided to read up on the claims. On the website, it says that the foundation is infused with coconut derivative to create luminous, lightweight and buildable formula to help boost hydration. Before I tell you my thoughts on the foundation, I want to explain my skin type. I have incredibly dry skin, a crazy oily t-zone that is very acne prone skin. Basically, the worst of all worlds. So all face products I use have to not clog my pores, not emphasize texture and dry patches, and control (or hold up) with my oil. That’s a lot to ask for from a foundation.

To apply all cushion foundations, I use a beauty blender (or any beauty sponge you have on hand). I tap the bottom of the sponge into the cushion and then apply all over my face. I tapped my sponge in one time, and was blown away by the coverage. One tap covered a little more than half my face. With another small tap, I had my full face done. This foundation did not give me full coverage. But, I love a good medium coverage foundation, and this was definitely that. The finish was a natural/ slightly luminous finish that did not emphasize my dry patches.

The foundation also held up throughout the day. I did get oily on my nose, but that is to be expected especially since I did not use a mattifying or oil-controlling primer. The next time I wore this foundation, I used my MUFE pore filling primer and I had no issues what-so-ever. The foundation looked beautiful for the 7 long hours I wore it.

I am thoroughly impressed with Wet N’ Wild because they really knocked it out of the park with this one. With such a great price point, they created an amazing, lightweight foundation that I could see being fit for many different people.

If you have dry or combo skin, go check out your local drugstore or wetnwildbeauty.com to purchase it!

Thank you so much for reading and have a great rest of your week.


XOXO,
Jordan

1.14.2018

The Best Shampoo and Conditioner Set

I think my life has been changed and my faith in humanity has been restored. It may seem dramatic, but I am legitimately a little freaked out.

I have never really believed the claims on shampoo bottles. Some are good for long hair, short hair, dark hair, light hair, straight hair, wavy hair, curly hair, coarse hair, thin hair, etc. There are so many different kinds, how can each type really do something magically different? BUT, I recently tried shampoo that COMPLETELY changed my opinion.

I have been trying to finish off a few of my 1/2 used products, so I've been discovering new favorites but also discovering products that are definite no's. Recently, I've been using the Pantene Smooth and Sleek Shampoo and Conditioner. But I decided to take a break from it for a while to use up some other products, and was confused to find that my hair felt coarse and frizzed up. I blamed it all on the cold weather and the static-ness. But then last night, I re-tried just the conditioner part of the Pantene Smooth and Sleek collection, and the frizziness went away! Just like it said it would. It's not that I'm always skeptical of products, it just never hit me how much this product actually worked.

I kid you not, I may never use another shampoo and conditioner again. It is magical. It also does exactly what it claims to do and is completely different than any other set I have tried. To recap: it smells amazing, smooths my hair/tames frizziness, and keeps my hair feeling healthy and beautiful.  I'm obsessed.

Ok, sorry for this kind of awkward post, but I really just needed to share my new love for this shampoo and conditioner! Let me know any of your favorites shampoos and conditioners, and don't forget to check this one out.


XOXO,

Samantha

1.12.2018

2017 Skincare Favorites

Hi Guys! 

If you haven’t read my makeup favorites of 2018 yet, Click HERE! And if you have, let’s just get on to my 2018 skincare favorites!

This was the year of skincare products. I bought and tested out SO MANY products. Some I loved, and other I could do without. Skincare is something that is so personal, so even if these product work for me, they might not work for you.

Tea Tree Oil is the only thing I trust to clear breakouts. I’ll apply some of this oil at night, and in the morning my breakouts are diminished by 50%. I also love using more natural products on my skin!

The Soap and Glory Face Soap and Clarity Facial Wash is the only face wash I used this year. I use this every night in the shower, and love how clean and smooth my skin feels after. Also, Soap and Glory is a pretty affordable brand and this face wash lasts FOREVER! I used it every day in 2017 and am just running low. Crazy.

The Tarte FRXXXION Stick is one of my two favorite exfoliators. I love how smooth it makes my skin feel, and I love the application. I am not disgusted by using stick products because I always use them on clean skin! The product lasted me so long and worked wonders for my skin. Also, it is only $22, so compared to the product I will be mentioning next, it is super affordable!

I raved about the Lancer Exfoliator in my Lancer Review. Since about September, this is all I have been using on my skin. I am obsessed with the way it makes my skin feel and look. The only downside is the price.. Lancer is a super pricey brand, but if you can afford this exfoliator, I would most definitely splurge.

The Pixi Hydrating Milky Mist is one of my favorite products of the year. I use this as a toner to hydrate my skin after I wash it. The product is so soft and hydrating, and is amazing for dry skin! I use this year round and have gone through SO MANY bottles of this in 2017! 

The Clinique Moisture Surge Moisturizer is another product I have raved about forever. This will always be my favorite moisturizer. I don’t really know what else to say but that it hydrates very dry skin and looks beautiful under makeup. 

Innisfree is a brand I discovered in October of 2017. The Pore Clearing Toner has really changed my skin. The toner helps with all of my texture and clogged pores. It is also not that expensive, so that’s another plus! I find that my skin has cleared up and looked less oily since I started using it.

The Innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum is another Innisfree that I love. For $24, you get an incredible hydrating serum. I use this morning and night after toning my skin. I have always strayed away from serums because I don’t always splurge on skincare. So for only $24, I will never be without this product again.

The Philosophy Pore Clearing Mask is one of my two favorite masks of the year. If my skin is feeling dehydrated and clogged, this mask helps clear my pores and gently exfoliate. It also works wonders on blackheads, so if that is a concern for you, this is a great option! 

The Origins 10 Minute Rescue Mask is the other mask I love. When I have more active breakouts, I love using this because it helps dry out the area. Even though the direction say to leave on for 10 minutes, I leave it on for slightly longer to make sure I get the full effect. I have had the same tube of mask for so long, and I am wowed by the results every time I use it.

I have the driest, most chapped lips. The Laneige Sleeping Lip Mask is a life saver. You apply this at night (or in the morning), and in the morning your lips are so soft, smooth, and plump!

If you have not smelled the Sol De Janeiro Brazilian Crush Body Mist, what are you doing with your life. I absolutely love this scent. It mixes so well with my body chemistry. I haven’t tried their Bum Bum cream because I cannot get myself to spend so much of a moisturizer, but if you know what that smells like, this is the same thing. Another plus is that the spray lasts forever!

So those were all my skincare favorites for the year! I felt like my skin definitely changed over the past few months and these are the products that made it possible!

I hope you guys have an amazing weekend, and I’ll see you on Tuesday!

XOXO,
Jordan

1.10.2018

2017 Recap

Ok, so Jordan just posted her 2017 recap, and I loved the idea so I thought I would do one! Quick disclaimer, 2017/junior year was rough for me, I'm not going to share everything here (maybe a post for another time), but I want to keep this fairly positive and use it as a chance to reflect on everything I learned/did in 2017.

January: December 2016/January 2017 were pretty much not great (i.e. terrible). Again, not getting into it, but I just wanted to share that looking back (even though I still shudder when I think about this time), I think I kind of needed to go through it, even if only to prove that I was strong enough to actually get through it.

February: I got super close with my family this month. Think 17 people in one tiny cottage in the woods for a weekend. We were already super close, but because of the distance, school, and work, we haven't actually all been together in a long time, so getting to spend this long weekend together was amazing.

March: If you read this post, you'll know my skin went a little cray-cray this month. So yeah, I really had to accept that what I look does not define me (a skill I'm still trying to learn today). It seems a little petty now, but this actually ended up being huge for me and I'm definitely more confident in my own skin.

April: This was another crazy, busy, and stressful month. If I'm being completely honest, I didn't really remember anything from April but I keep a journal so I went back to it and April was filled with lots of "rough day...", "ugh....", and "aghhh", so yeah, it was not great.

May: This month I spent a ton of time studying for my SAT Subject Tests. Spoiler alert: this was not working out for me. I was trying to study for 3 different tests to see what I would do well on, but nothing (literally nothing) was clicking. I ended up needing to take a step back, pick one exam and actually take a break from studying. I would get so focused and hung up on a few points that it was actually making my score 10x worse. After realizing this, it did all end up working out, but it did take some trial and error + some perseverance.

June: Junior year ended (thank the lord). But other than sad/school things, I also had my first photo-shoot for dance. I'm still obsessed with these pictures, I will always treasure the candids of me laughing with all my friends, and it really was the first time I felt truly pretty.

July: I ended up creating my own internship for over the summer, and although it was so much fun, it was also a little stressful and kind of intimidating. I would never ever in a million years classify myself as a hip hop dancer, so walking into a room filled with some of the greatest names in street dance was crazy scary. But everyone turned out to be incredibly nice and welcoming, and this internship was an amazing opportunity. A bonus: I figured out how to navigate the NYC subway system.

August: I turned 17 in August, so that was pretty awesome. Nothing too eventful happened, I spent a ton of my summer working on college applications which wasn't great but needed to be done. August was also the month when I truly learned how strong I could be. I was at the gym every day this summer, and I felt amazing. This now seems a little dumb to write down, but I think it's important to share the moments when you feel really great about yourself.

September: The start of senior year - crazy! The beginning of the year was super stressful and busy as I was working on all my college applications and trying to keep up with all my classes but it was also filled with tons of fun memories!

October: October was actually a fantastic months. There were so many nights I came home saying "that was actually the best night ever". Shoutout to all my friends reading this: you guys are the best!

November: Early decision applications were due November 1st, so the rest of the month was filled with working on my regular decision applications. We hosted Thanksgiving for the first time, which was tons of fun.

December: This month was slightly (very) crazy. My schedule was jam packed and school was still super stressful. I preformed in The Nutcracker which ended up taking up a ton of my time. Um, also, I got into my top choice university! It was definitely hard talking to those who were deferred, but my whole friend group was so supportive of everyone else. Also Christmas was fantastic!



So ya, this year definitely had some ups and downs, but I survived. And no matter how suck-y it seemed at the time, so did you! I hope this didn't come across as too complain-y, I really just wanted to share a little bit of my life. Let me know some of your highlights/lowlights down below, I'd love to hear how you spent your year. Also, a HUGE, GIGANTIC THANK YOU to all of you guys. We love creating content for you guys and we love hearing all your feedback. You guys are awesome and we are so so so grateful for you all.

XOXO,

Samantha

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