Ipsy Sneak Peeks May 2014!

Hey everyone! It’s the start of a new month, and you know what that means… Ipsy sneak peek season!

SNEAK PEEK #1Pacifica Eyeshadow (?) Duo

Image This seems to be a new product from Pacifica since I can’t seem to find it on the website. It appears to be most similar to the Pacifica Enlighten Eyeshadow Palette however! I’m excited to see what this is. Stay tuned for more sneak peeks!

SNEAK PEEK #2: Hang Ten Sunscreen or Jersey Shore Sunscreen

dNMiwJ1   Sneak peek number two is of 2 sunscreens! I guess with the summer sun coming up that this makes sense, even though I don’t use sunscreen as much as I should.

SNEAK PEEK #3: Check below for item list!

zxvrbRZ There were wayyyy too many items in this newest update, so fitting them into the title of the sneak peek would’ve been difficult!

SNEAK PEEK #4: Hair Products!

10325325_663233120390679_4663940069480623713_n   I don’t use hair products much, so I’ll probably be swapping mine away. tumblr_me96wv4pMh1qdlkyg

SNEAK PEEK #5: Miscellaneous Products!

XaJ2Z3f I’m in love with the colorful floral theme of this weeks sneak peeks!

SNEAK PEEK #5: The bag!

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What a gorgeous bag!

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My Influenster Uni VoxBox has arrived!

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My first Influenster VoxBox has finally arrived. It’s the UniVoxBox that’s designed specially for college students, and they sent me a bunch of free samples and awesome coupons to try out too! I wrote a previous blog post about this Vox Box before it actually came out, so you can head on over there to read more about it. Image

My thoughts on this box? Pretty great! For a free box, the stuff they included was very decent. 

I’m most excited about the tampons though, those things can be expensive LOL. And with summer coming up, there will be lots of swimming to be done (as well as a lot of tampons used). I haven’t tried out the Real Tea yet, but it will definitely come in handy when I run out of bed too late to get breakfast. 

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The pen is a regular pen, with a very fine point! It glides effortlessly and they included a coupon to buy another pack. I might actually take them up on it.

As for the makeup, the foundation is very creamy and spreads easily. It was medium coverage and matches my skin tone pretty well! The lipstick is a bright fuschia (which isn’t my favorite color, to be honest) but I’m excited to try it out and see how it works out. The nail sticker thingies are in a horrible pattern that I wasn’t a fan of at all, sadly. I will probably be giving those away to my sister.

All in all, my first Vox Box has went awesomely and I can’t wait to see if I’ll qualify for another one! Image

 

Influenster 2014 Uni VoxBox Sneak Peeks!

Hey everyone! As you may or may not know, the Influenster VoxBox is a free (yep, you heard that right!) samples box that is given to a bunch of Influenster users every month. I recently qualified for my first free beauty box, the Uni VoxBox, and I’ll be updating this post to keep track of the new sneak peeks they’re giving out of it on their FaceBook. So excited!

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A little about Influenster: yes, it’s completely free, and it’s completely legitimate! They send you a box full of free samples, which can be anything from beauty products to a bag full of Hersheys, if they’ve decided you’re a good match,  but who gets the survey and included into the selection seems to be semi-random. After all, it’s free, so there’s probably not enough to go around. However, the higher your “Influence” score is, the more likely you’ll receive a box. You can increase your score by being active on social media and unlocking Expert Badges! It’s super fun!

Anyway, onto the sneak peaks for the 2013 Uni VoxBox! This is a beauty box specifically for university students, which is why I think I qualified!  Image

Sneak Peak #1: The Pilot Acroball Pen

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Price: ~$2.23 ($27.67 / dozen)
Description of product: “Pick up a pen that writes as brilliantly as it looks. The stylishly designed Acroball PureWhite uses a vibrant hybrid ink that’s a combination of the best of a ball point and the best of a gel.”

As a college student, you can never have enough pens. And those you do have are usually free and painful to write with. Not to mention I lose pens often. I’ll be happy to get a nice pen with great ink. Image

Sneak Peak #2: NYC Expert Last Lipstick

“NYC Expert Last Lipstick is the next product in the #UniVoxBox – Who’s ready to go fashionably fuchsia this spring?”

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Price: €1.99 ~ €2.49 ( $2.73 ~ $3.45USD)
Description:
 “The New NYC Expert Last Lipstick is moisturising, comfortable and longwearing, it stays on up to 6 hours. Discover the wide range of shades developed to match your every mood and style!”

Who wouldn’t get excited about free makeup, especially lipsticks from a decent drugstore brand like NYC? Not sure if they’re only offering it in the fuschia color though. Image Bright pink lipsticks are kind of intimidating, so I hope they’re offering more than just one shade!

Sneak Peak #3: Red Rose Real Tea Black Tea Premium Water Enhancer

“Just in time for iced tea season! Red Rose Tea water enhancers transform an ordinary drink into an extraordinary thirst quencher. Influenster Nation tests it in the #UniVoxBox.”

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Price:  $4.99
Description: Red Rose Real Teas combine high-quality tea with traditional, all-natural flavors. They are also lightly sweetened, containing only five calories per serving, which is one squeeze of the concentrated tea per an 8-ounce glass. In addition, mixing is not required.”

Sneak Peak $4: Rimmel Stay Matte Liquid Mousse Foundation 

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Price: $4.99
Description: “A feather light, oil free formula with an airy mousse texture that won’t feel heavy or greasy. Delivers all day shine control and blends flawlessly for a natural looking matte finish.”

Officially confirmed to the this foundation after much speculation! I’m excited to try out new foundations, especially a mousse one. We originally speculated that this was the one included due to the color choices, and it turns out we were right.

Sneak Peak #5: Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

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Price: $5.99
Description: “Gel shine in no time. Fast and fabulous. No damage. No glue, no dry time, no drama. Lasts up to a week!”

I honestly have no idea how this is supposed to work. Are they nail stickers? Then why are they in a nail bottle packaging form? Is it a bottle? Do I have to use the nail polish brush for anything?? The packaging is a bit confusing, but I’m excited to try it out.

Sneak Peak #6: Playtex® Sport® Fresh Balance™

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Price: $11.99
Description: Your active life demands Sport Level Protection and Comfort from Playtex Sport. Every period, every day. 3 Levels to Protection and Comfort.”

As a girl, well, pads and tampons are expensive. I’m pretty happy that they’re including tampons in this box! Because, well, I need to use them every month, and… okay, well, this is pretty self explanatory. Yay!

tumblr_me09lfQk7l1qdlkygThe total price tag for this box is an amazing $33.19 worth of products, for absolutely free! I’m so excited to get this Uni VoxBox, like you can’t imagine!! Wahoo!!!

Simple Everyday Tips to Keep Your Skin Clear

Hi everyone! In my teenage years I was a sufferer of chronic acne, and my face looked absolutely horrendous. Needless to say it really did a number on my self esteem, and I desperately researched ways to keep my skin clear and healthy. I’ll share my everyday tips with you!

I’m in college now and I’m happy to say that my skin, while not completely devoid of pimples, is TONS better than it used to be. Here are some things that I keep in mind everyday in order to keep my skin clear. It doesn’t involve an extra routine, but just things to keep in mind while you go about your every day schedule. Image

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1) Drink lots of water! Image

Water is what detoxes your system. Have a headache? Drink hot water. Tired? Drink some water. Drinking lots of water flushes out all the salts and wastes in your body, so having more water in your system can’t hurt. Try to drink a decent amount of water each day in order to keep your skin as clear as possible — when you don’t flush those items out of your system, they reappear in form of other blemishes on your body.

My favorite way of doing this is by drinking fruit water. You get the benefit of the fruit / herbs too, plus it’s tastier! Here are some tips for DIY fruit water.

DIY Fruit Water TipsImage

  • Ingredients: Fruit, ice, container, water
  • Fruit Suggestions: Apples, citrus, basil, mint, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon, grapes, cucumber
  • Step 1: Pick your fruit / ingredients, and chop them up into slices so that they can seep into the water.
  • Step 2: Place fruit on the bottom of the container, add water and ice
  • Step 3: Drink! Or put it in your fridge to let it seep in more flavor.

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2) Clean your pillowcase / bedsheets / towels regularly! 

You wouldn’t rub your face on a dirty, oily rag for 8 hours straight, would you? That’s essentially what you do when you go to bed every night if you don’t properly wash your pillowcases! I started to wash my pillowcases more often — at least once a week — and when I couldn’t I would fit my pillow with a shirt. My skin cleared up a bit noticeably after I started doing this.

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3) Avoid eating junk food

This is important! Foods that are high in MSG, fat, or sugar will be a death sentence for my skin the next day. I try to eat less at In-n-Out or french fries so that the next day I won’t regret it.

Here is a list of foods that I try to eat less:

  • Chocolate Image
  • Chocolate / caramel candy bars (i.e. Snickers)
  • Instant noodles (SO much sodium — one bowl is usually 50% – 100% of your daily sodium intake!)
  • Fast food
  • Fried chicken
  • Chips
  • Soda

What to do when you DO consume these foods? See tip #1. Flush all of that guilty deliciousness out of your system by drinking lots of water.

These are just some simple tips, but I hope they helped! Image Be kind to your body and be kind to your skin. What are some of your everyday skin-care tips?

On Being from a High School That’s in The Top 10 for SAT / ACT Scores

BusinessInsider recently did a very interesting article (accompanied by a great infographic) on the Top 25 high schools in the nation with the highest SAT / ACT scores — and I am somewhat proud to say that I went to one of these schools. I feel like I should tell my personal story on maybe why at least half of the top ten has student bodies that are over 50% Asian.

Most of our parents were first generation immigrants and they worked super hard to buy a house here and immigrate to America, and the mindset of “Work off your ass especially in education” was passed onto their kids.

The competition at my school was definitely rigorous and stressful. The top 10% of my grade had 3.99+ GPAs, we had 30 or so Valedictorians, and people scrambled to get leadership positions so they would look good on college applications. In fact, people created clubs just so they could have leadership positions. To say the competition to get into college was intense is somewhat of an understatement.

I at least was taught from a young age that college was the ticket to a successful future. We worked extremely hard for college applications, to the point where college acceptance season felt like some sort of sport game (“Can you believe so-and-so got into Stanford?!”). Some of my classmates took Adderall for important bio tests, while others dropped out due to the pressure, and many others fell into depression due to their inability to keep up with their 5+ AP classes.

As far as cheating goes, we helped each other as any other high schoolers would, but cheating was the gravest offense at my high school. There was no gang fights, or stealing, or violence. Cheating could get you a 0 in a class on the first try, which is a death sentence for your college apps.

As for other things… Everyone shelled out thousands of dollars for college counseling. If you didn’t have a college counselor, how could you compete with your classmates into getting in a good college? That was the mindset. My parents spent $2,000 on an SAT boot camp for me, and another $3,000 on someone to read over my college essays. My counselor did not write my essays for me, and neither did she suggest what to write. She was just an editor, the same as if you went to your English teacher… Except paid. And I’m not even going to talk about all the other supplemental classes: the SAT II camps, the college courses, the AP tutors, chemistry tutors, ACT tutors. It was endless and expensive, but my parents were determined for me to get into an excellent college.

There are rumors of certain kids who paid editors the upwards of $20,000 to write their Ivy League essays, but those are very few. At least from where I am from, most of my classmates where thrown into countless tutoring and long, long all-nighters trying to finish AP homework. We weren’t cheaters, but the pressure put onto us from our parents and environment was immense and caused us to work super hard to get into the best colleges possible.

Was it worth it? You tell me:

We have well over 25+ people going to UC Berkeley this year and at least 1 student at every Ivy League (some of them have as much as 3). Several are at Stanford. Some others went to John Hopkins, CMU, Rice, MIT, UCLA, the Claremont colleges. Generally people who fall in the mid-tier range of my school distribute around UC San Diego, NYU, UC Davis, and UC Irvine. Only a couple of my class of 400 opt to go to community college if it’s not for money purposes — often my dad threatened me that community college was for losers and failures (I was considering going to save money and transfer out to Cal or UCLA for 2 years but that was socially unacceptable).

As for paying for the college tuition, the area we live in has a very high housing cost because of all the inflated standardized scores the schools have. Most of the families have more than one child, so even if the family is making $150k+ a year, that’s only enough to live in a modest house and to live comfortably with 2 – 3 kids. Paying for college: parents usually pay for 1 or 2 years worth of tuition at a state college ($50k-$60k), and then we have to take out loans. If it’s a private college then you take out loans immediately, usually.

The problem is, most of the families here are in the odd position that their income is enough to live relatively ok in this particular area, but by other standards our income is really high so we can’t qualify for financial aid even though we can’t exactly pay for our full college tuition either. Parents literally dig themselves into debt to get an education for their children.

As for how I did?

My GPA was below 3.7, in the 60th or so percentile of my school. My ACT score was 35. I did several extracurriculars. In the end I went to a pretty good state college by the skin of my teeth (got wait listed), but I didn’t even bother applying to any Ivy Leagues. Which disappointed my parents, but they gave up on me long before that.

Looking back, I’m not sure if it was a positive or negative experience, but it was definitely something that has taught me much self-discipline and I could not have gotten where I am today without the influence of my parents and my school. Ironically, I’m doing better in college than I ever did in high school.