My Desk

Nowadays since I work part-time, I don’t sit at my desk all day. That being said I created a work space that I love. I recreated what I loved from my desk at my office, including a salt lamp I turn on while I’m working. I added a new item that makes me smile; Baby Yoda!

Kevin and I were at Target around Christmas, I saw this for $10 and had to have it! It’s childish yes but brings joy to a place I can feel stress.

Beauty Badass

Inherited Habits

I, over the years, have acquired most of my beauty knowledge from outside sources. My mom’s not a girly-girl, nor was her mom, so I don’t have many inherited habits.

High-Low

I splurge on a lot of my skincare and makeup products. I however don’t believe in paying for an expensive cleanser since it’s not on your skin long. I also love this toner, which isn’t expensive.

Travel Diaries

As I discussed in this post, I caution against changing the products you use just because you’re traveling. Decante your usual products into smaller containers.

Simplifying is Better

A few years ago my skin was not as great as I knew it usually was. I went to a dermatologist and they told me I was using too many different brands. I switched solely to First Aid Beauty and my skin cleared up. I find exploring different brands interesting however sometimes I think there’s too many options.

Favorite Stores

I used to prefer Sephora over Ulta since they carried many brands Ulta did not, but now they’re more comparable and I shop both depending on what I’m buying. I buy directly from brand sites as they often run promotions.

My Routine

I have a lot of steps/put a lot on my face. It’s joke-able, yes, but I’m having the last laugh because at almost 34 I have great skin.

I’m not fussy with cleanser; as I said above it’s on your skin for such a short time. My go to is something gentle, this, or if I want to treat myself, this.

Sunscreen, always. Regardless if it’s sunny out, if I’ll be outside I protect my skin. I either used this or if I want some color, this . I love CC cream because while it isn’t a full face it does provide an overall smoothing of color and just evens you out.

Eye cream is seen as extra, but it’s definitely an area worth devoting time and money to. You need so little product, so yes eye creams are expensive but the last forever. I’m always trying out new ones and haven’t found a go to yet.

The Advantage of Therapy

There are many things, positive and negative, to come out of this experience. But the by far best thing is finding how impactful doing the work through therapy can be.

Pre-surgery I would have considered myself anti-therapy. While I never thought of needing therapy as a sign of weakness, I did think a certain type of person would go to therapy and I wasn’t that type of person. I was of the mindset that problems could and should be handled yourself (wrong), either internalizing everything or seeking advice from my friends and family.

I started seeing a therapist shortly after my surgery, Spring 2019 with my surgery end of October 2018. Unfortunately, I had an acceptable to others reason to see a therapist. There’s such a stigma with mental health and unless you have a reason society deems acceptable, seeing a therapist is akin to being weak. But I cannot stress the importance and payoff of hours where you’re assessing yourself. To be forced basically to self-reflect is extremely beneficial. My almost three years of therapy has:

Taught me how to look at a situation from someone else’s point of view.

Be more in tune with what effects my mood, positive or negative, what triggers me and how better to practice self-care.

How to fight in a polite and constructive way.

I usually have a session with my therapist every few weeks. Sessions are an hour, but sometimes I end early as I don’t have enough to discuss to fill a whole hour. I’ve also cancelled a session because I feel things are going good. My therapist offers advice and asks good questions to further the topic, but she mostly just listens and is a compassionate ear.

Most days I’m in a pretty good mood, but some I get down and in a funk. When that happens I’m especially thankful I have someone in my corner as a resource.

Travel Toiletries

I began my career in 2011 and immediately started frequently traveling for work. Before that I was a chronic over-packer; “but what if..?” was my motto. I since have learned the value of space and convenience of not having too much luggage, especially with air travel and all the restrictions that come with it.

I’m a big pro-carry on only person, and not because of the cost of checking but the elimination of having to wait for your checked bag. So that’s an even bigger draw to figure out how to pack smarter.

I know I touched on travel with this post put I have a really short trip coming up and decided this would be a good topic to blog about!

Here are some tips I’ve accumulated, both over my pre-surgery years and in this recovery since it’s more essential I pack certain things.

Watch Your Liquids

Ah, the challenge of air travel and that 3oz. rule. You can buy solid shampoo and conditioner. They’re not as environmental friendly but you can pack makeup remover wipes over liquid makeup remover. Same with toner.

I beg of you, then please have your bag of liquids in a convenient place to pull out for going through airport security. One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone is surprised when their bag sets off the sensor then they have to go on a search and seizure to find the liquid.

Plan Ahead

Let’s say you know you have a trip coming up in 2 weeks, and your toothpaste is getting down there. Think about how much you’ll need on vacation and take the normal sized one. There’s few things more satisfying on a trip than getting to throw out something and take home less stuff.

Decante Your Loved Products

Traveling can feel ideal to use smaller products you’ve accumulated that are different than the products you normally use. But this can be another varied factor in an already strange situation. Travel already brings stress, often richer food than we’re used to and different water (primarily noticeable with washing your hair); why throw another variable into the mix? I prefer buying empty travel containers and taking my usual products with me. Or often brands have a gift set with smaller versions of their products which can be perfect for travel!

Not all that is mine!

Keep A Travel Kit Always Packed

If you travel frequently, consider always having your kit packed. I’m more mindful then most but recently forgot to pack my deodorant since I was planning to pack it the day I left after I used it. Yes it was easy to go buy one, but it was an annoyance that took up time I could have instead being enjoying my vacation. Doing this is more expensive because you’re buying duplicates of your products but you can easily pack your toiletry bag without much thought. Another idea is to make a checklist.

What are your travel kit tips?

My Love Of Lip Color

I’ve loved, aka used frequently, lip color in my beauty routine for at least 5 years before my surgery. While I love makeup and a full done face, much of what I put on is more neutral to let a bold lip shine.

Unfortunately there are a few reasons I can’t wear a bold lip often.

The first is of course Covid. With masks it’s impractical and not worth it. I’m also much more restricted than pre-surgery, both with it being more difficult to initially apply and then re-apply.

My solution is such: I have a weekly work Zoom, the perfect opportunity for going through the effort to apply lip color. It’s Zoom so no mask needed, and short enough that I don’t have to plan for re-application.

Flashback Friday: Kensington Palace

Last week I blogged about when I lived in London. I was lucky enough that when I was there my friends visited. One day we went to Kensington Palace; here are some of my favorite pictures!

Of course I took a photo of this photo .

A treasured memory: my friends and I have a track record of just chatting to people because we are genuinely curious about people’s lives. See: one of the best moments of my life….which I think I’ve blogged? I can’t find it; basically we talked to a security guard at the stage door of Aladdin and he let us backstage.

Anyways, we’re talking to someone who works there and we ask if he’s ever seen Kate (the Cambridges part time live there). He told us on his breaks he likes to go outside and if he’s alone he sings and dances. Well he was singing something like “You Sexy Thing” and he turned around and there was Kate with George and Charlotte.

The Importance of Fashion

I recently started rewatching one of my favorite shows, The Bold Type on Hulu; so underrated yet so amazing.

In the third episode, one of the main characters Jane, who’s a writer at a magazine, is interested in interviewing a political figure. She gets wrongly assumed she doesn’t care about politics since she works for a magazine known for fashion so only gets to talk about fashion with the person. She later discovers in fact the person is using her wardrobe choices as aa smokescreen for supporting unpopular policy.

This made me think of this post and my love of the Royal fashion; it’s unbelievable the thought behind an outfit!