We’re Back!! // Dove Dry Spray Invisible Antiperspirant & Vasanti’s BrightenUp!

 

Holy tits, you guys. We’re finally back in action! *searches for finger guns gif*

…Perfect.

Seriously though, it’s been a few weeks and I haven’t posted a damned thing. It’s 100% my fault though as I was the one who continually decided I’d just “update my laptop to Windows 10” later. This ultimately caused the combustion of my lovely Samsung laptop and the start of my long blog hiatus as it’s incredibly tough to write full pages on the tiny screen on my iPhone SE.

But, I’m proud to welcome my new Lenovo Miix 320 to the electronics department of my household. I’m not gonna lie and say this machine is all I’ve ever dreamed of, but for my current purposes, capabilities, and wallet, its a damn good little trooper. I suggest this 2-in-1 for anybody looking for an affordable “laptop”-to-tablet for the occasional web browsing and Netflix-ing. It’s well capable of those daily tasks. Plus, it cute AF. (Please excuse any typos, this tablet also has a very small keyboard I’m still getting used to. And I usually proof read, but it’s 11:42pm and I want to get this out before tomorrow morning, but I gotta hit the hay because I gotta be to work tomorrow morning, too).

I’d also like to mention that I’ve taken to printing calendar pages and penciling in ideas for (v)blog posts while also penciling in editing and posting dates. I say “penciling” because I live the kind of life where I don’t know what I’m doing until I decide to do it because I literally hate making plans. Regardless, I know this will help me stay more on task because I’ve always been a list person. If I see it in writing, with a “due date”, I have no choice but to comply otherwise it just sits there in the back of my head until I do it. So, hooray for consistency!

Dove Dry Spray Invisible Antiperspirant and Vasanti’s BrightenUp!

Okay, so I’m sure nobody wants to hear about my armpits, but that’s just too bad because I’ve got a heck of a gem to share with you today, pals. I have been living for Dove’s Dry Spray the last few months and here’s why:

  • It claims to leave “no white marks on over 100 colors”. Toot toot, bitches. Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Now, here’s what I’ve noticed– to an extent, that claim is true. If you take a piece of black clothing and spray the deodorant onto it you won’t see much of a white spot, if anything at all. However, the deodorant you put on yourself is likely to be a little thicker than a conservative spritz. That said, even if you do use deodorant sparingly, it still collects in the creases of your armpits.
    What the eff is your point, Catlin? 
    Point is, this stuff is pretty great for those cute sleeveless summer shirts you don’t want to ruin with big ‘ol deod’ marks. It’s also great for those who get deodorant stains on their sleeved shirts. The downside is, the accumulation of the deodorant you spray onto yourself is likely to leave a small white spot behind after you’ve worn in a while or if you put your clothes on right after applying it. I still recommend it though because it’s a HECK of a lot better than those greasy stick deodorant marks you can spot from outer space.
  • I am living for the scents. If you know me, you know that deodorant smells can be a big problem. Probably because I used to use a dollar store deodorant in the beginning of high school and I can STILL smell that awful mess. Regardless, these guys smell amazing and the aerosolized component makes it super-duper hard to apply too excessively. Disclaimer: DO NOT inhale while spraying this deodorant. More than once I have accidently sprayed myself in the face or thought it was a good idea to breathe while spraying down my armpits and got a solid lung of this stuff. It’ll dry out your throat and make you feel like you’ve been liking armpits all day. I warn you, DO NOT BREATHE WHILE APPLYING.
  • But seriously, buy this, you and your shirts and cute summer outfits will thank me.

Now that everybody is intimate with my armpits and my deodorant facials, I think we can move on to discussing a new godsend which I use to remove the day, and my deodorant, from my face: Vasanti’s BrightenUp! Enzymatic Face Rejuvinator.

A) The name of this product alone is a mouthful, B) using it is like rubbing lotion laced with thousands of tiny slivers of glass or sharp sand granules all over your face.

Alright, it’s no secret that I am the queen of exfoliating. I get this sick enjoyment out of rubbing the top layer of my face off every other day. Surely this sounds messed up to anybody who is not familiar with exfoliating, but trust me: it’s not as bad as it sounds. If you’ve never heard of exfoliating, or what to learn more, I suggest clicking this link right here. Especially if you have older skin or are trying to proactively prevent aging. Seriously.

Back to Avanti, though. Avanti is not known for being a super affordable brand, unfortunately. If you’re looking for a cheap exfoliator that actually works, I direct you to a review on some of my favorite exfoliators, here. For 4.23 oz. of BrightenUp!, you’re looking at parting ways with $34. This is exactly why I likely would not have ever tried it except that I got a trial size of it in my June Ipsy bag.

Here’s what I love about BrightenUp!

  • For being an exfoliator, it’s very lightweight, which means that its moisturizing and brightening ingredients actually have a chance to be soaked into the skin instead of just being spread around by giant exfoliating particles.
  • It smells amazing. It isn’t floral or fruity, but more sterile/clinical/salve-y. To me, this just lends to the psychological factor that tells me this is working.
  • The exfoliating particles are made of biodegradable “micro-crystals”, meaning that they aren’t going to kill fishies when you rinse them down the drain. Even better, it only takes a pea sized amount to cover the majority of your face, so a little goes a long way making that price tag a little easier to justify.  Even though this seems like a small amount of product, it’s important to understand how saturated with micro-crystals the cream is. A pea sized amount is more than plenty to feel like those exfoliators are getting deep into every pore and wrinkle you’ve got: probably even the ones you’re imagining. Disclaimer: use a light hand when using any exfoliator, but especially this stuff. It literally feels like rubbing glass on your face if you press too hard, but feels soothing if you rub in light, circular directions.
  • Finally, the product claims to make immediately noticeable changes to a huge range of facial skin problems (see photo below) and I have to agree with them. While maybe not as extreme as I’d like, there is no denying that my face has been looking exceptionally awesome lately. You know, except for the small breakout I’ve got due to the fact I was too lazy to wash the makeup remover off my face the other night… Don’t judge me.

And, friends, that’s about all I’ve got for you today. I hope you have a good one, where ever you are. Be sure to check back soon as I’ve got loads of cool video and blog ideas. Plus… I missed you. And I forgot how much I love being able to do this in my free time. Thanks for all of the support, I’ll see you soon!

Lots of love,
Catlin

Sexual Harassment // Summer Beauty Tips and Tricks

Hey guys, as promised, this blog post was chosen by you! On my last post, I asked what you guys wanted to read next and, overwhelmingly, the answer was “Summer Makeup Tips and Tricks”. Honestly, I should have seen that coming… But, I’ve renamed our blog post to Summer “Beauty” Tips and Tricks because I came up with some ideas that might help you ladies (and fellas) out which are not necessarily makeup related.

REGARDLESS, I wanted to start this post with something I find incredibly important. If you don’t want to read it, scroll down (a lot) to skip right into my tips and tricks.

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So– I used to work at a place where I didn’t quite feel like my upper management gave much of a shit about how I felt or was treated in the workplace. And by that, I mean, I once literally asked for a behind-shut-doors conversation with the store manager and told him I felt like a sexual harassment conversation needed to be had during the next couple employee meetings.  Why?

  • I had heard, from one of my male work friends, that there was a lot of “locker room” talk going on about me and one of my work, female friends, in the back room. I don’t want to get too graphic, but just imagine bunch of 16-19 year old boys talking about what they’d “like to do to you” if they had the chance.
  • I constantly got hugs from guys, and I really don’t want them. I’m not anti-hug, but I’m not about random, overly frequent hugs for no reason. My question is: why do you need to be that close to me all of the time? I can only imagine.
  • I hate to admit it, but one guy even walked up to me and said that he liked “looking at my ass because it [was] great”. I mean, cringe.

You want to know my beef? Why my meeting with my store manager went so horribly? Why I had so many problems with that place?

Well, I told all of these things to my manager, saying that I’d rather not name specific people because it was a bigger problem than any one or two people. You know what he said to me?

  • “Well, I think your anxiety makes you see things that don’t really exist”, aaaaand
  • You ask for it, you’re too nice to the boys. I don’t want to sweep it under the rug, but I think you may just be reading into things”.

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OH MY GOD. Fuck you. Mind you, my store manager was a male, with a teenage daughter. I wonder how he would feel if his daughter came up to him and told him the same story I just described. I bet he’d be IRATE with that store manager. And he should be. You know why? Because it isn’t fucking funny. In fact, I can’t think of many things much more serious than the objectification and disregard for the female body and security in the work place. This was 100% unacceptable. And I realize that now. But, at the time, I just knew that I thought these guys were my friends and just needed a reminder that that kind of talk was NOT okay. I blamed lack of knowledge on work acceptable conversation and teenage male adolescence. I also didn’t want to start any unnecessary drama because this place was by no means good at discretely bringing up problems: I knew 110% that those guys would know I “narked” and I didn’t want that. This place was small, I needed as many friends and favors as I could get.

So, I walked out of the office with absolutely nothing accomplished and feeling like there was nothing I could do and that I did not have the support of my upper management. And there is literally nothing worse than knowing that for the rest of your employment you’re going to be subjected to “casual” sexual harassment and that there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. Talk about helpless and embarrassed. I learned my lesson the second I walked about of that office.

Ladies, if you’re uncomfortable, make as much noise as you need to. People may look at you weirdly for a moment, but once they put themselves in your shoes, they will understand. You do not need to live with this uncomfortable-ness. You are worth more than that. You deserve better than that. You shouldn’t have to work, let alone LIVE, in a world that makes you feel uncomfortable. If work does’t seem to care, somebody will. Please, for the love of god, SPEAK UP. Somebody will understand. Somebody will care. Somebody will help you. I promise.

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By now I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, that’s a great story/PSA, Cat. But, what the heck? This has nothing to do with summer beauty”. The answer is pretty simple. I was on my way to Walgreens this afternoon to refill my anxiety prescription and pick up some new drug store, summer friendly, makeup when I was catcalled twice in less than a walkable mile.

Dear god. The first time was in the parking lot of  store a literally live across the street from. Some guy in an adjacent apartment complex kept screaming at me in a super awkward tone: “Oh yeah, oh yeah”! Like… gross. Please kill me. This is the last kind of attention I wanted to draw. The second catcall came when I was crossing the highway (Clairemont, for my homies). I was just walking, drinking my Starbuck’s s’mores frappuccino when some dude leaned out his window and kept whistling at me, “Hit me up, babe”!smores

This shit is just NOT okay, ever. To anyone. And I don’t want guys to assume I think they’re all pigs, because that is 100% not the case, and I’m well aware of that. In fact, a lot of the time, I take a male friend with me when I’m going anywhere because they seem to curb all of the unwanted sexual attention. Should I need a male body guard? Hell no. Do I really need one? Who knows–thus far I’ve been fine on my own, but god knows there have been times I’ve been seriously scared for my safety on my own. But I want you guys who think it’s cute to catcall or harass women to know, we will mess up your day. We have no patience for this inappropriate crap and many of us aren’t as “helpless” as we may look. Many of us are well trained on what to do in uncomfortable situations.

The point I’m trying to make here is that it is never acceptable for anybody to make anyone else feel like this: we don’t enjoy your catcalls, we don’t find it flattering that your following us, we don’t think it’s charming or cute when you inappropriately touch or comment on our bodies. It makes us uncomfortable, we may feel afraid. It stops some of us from living normal lives, wearing comfortable clothing, going on walks alone in the daylight (let alone at night). Simply: it needs to stop. You worry about you, I’ll worry about me. And with that, I introduce you to the first of my summer beauty tips.

Summer Beauty Tips and Tricks

  • Girl, you do you. Slay all day, and let nobody stop you. But be safe, be prepared.

    Not only in summer, but all year long. Be alert and help your fellow women when you can. If you’re not sure how to stay safe, try Googling “safety tips for women” or “what to do in the case of sexual harassment”. I’m including here a link to an article titled “How to live alone as a woman” and another titled “10 Ways for women to stay safe when traveling alone“.
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  • Drink water, use sunscreen, buy decent glasses.

    Drinking water is the easiest way to keep your skin looking fresh because moisturized skin is your best skin. Trust me when I tell you you’re not using enough sunscreen. Sunscreen should definitely always be in your summer bag so you can reapply it as frequently as the packaging says you should (1 layer isn’t going to last all day, pal). But sun screen should also make an appearance on cloudy days if you’re going to be outside for an extended period of time because UV rays from the sun are still going to get to your skin. This is why you really should be using a sunless tanner and NEVER getting in a tanning bed–dear god, help me. UV ray exposure is also why you invest in decent sun glasses. Cheap ones may have the penny-pincher appeal, but when they’re doing nothing to stop the UV rays from getting to your eyes and skin, is it really doing anything? (Actually, the answer is probably yes, because even cheap glasses should keep you from squinting and tempting crows feet and fine lines around your eyes, but still). Click here to read why UV rays are so bad for your skin.

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  • Put your sunscreen in your favorite foundation or invest in a BB cream.

    Your face is going to need protection too, and this is a great way to help solve that problem without costing you extra money and time color matching your foundation. Mix, in equal parts, your favorite foundation and your current sunscreen together either on a clean palette or the back of your hand, apply it as you normally would.
    The other option is to buy a lightweight (and light to medium coverage) BB (beauty balm) cream. Many time these BB creams will come with some kind of SPF already added into the formula for you. My current drugstore favorite is Maybelline’s Dream Fresh BB Cream.

  • Always moisturize.

    It may seem counterproductive to moisturize your skin when you know you’re going to be sweating all day, but adding a little bit of your day oil/cream to your face is going to do wonders for your skin. As you wash your face you’re also stripping your skin of its natural oils which are what keep it healthy. As a result, your skin will begin to produce large amount of extra sebum to try and compensate for the fact that your face is so dry. This can result in greasy looking skin, clogged pores, and acne. Moisturizing your face adds back the necessary moisture and keeps sebum production at a low.

    Bonus tip: brush a THIN layer of powder over your moisturizer to help keep the rest of your makeup from looking cakey throughout the day.

  • When it comes to makeup, less is more.

    Your skin is already dealing with so much once you factor in the sun, sweat, moisturizer, and sunscreen. This is why I highly recommend using a BB cream rather than a foundation. It’s also useful to apply all of your makeup in thin layers and only put foundation on your t-zone (or the front of your face). Honestly, your face is going to be tanner and that added color is already going to hide whatever imperfections you have so well that you wont need a heavy foundation. Facial self tanners are their own thing and are offered by many companies, so research what will work best for your skin type and color. When it comes to the eyes, I’ve heard (but never personally tried) that the Maybelline Color Tattoo Concentrated Crayon eyeshadows will last you all day, even in unbearable heat.

    Bonus tip #2: Waterproof mascara is going to be your best friend over the summer. You can use it to ensure your mascara doesn’t slide down your face due to sweat, but you can also use it (if you have darker hair) to fill in your eyebrows! Also, for perfect, summer-proof eyeliner, use liquid or gel formulas rather than wax pencils (which are easily sweated off).

maybelline color tattoo pencil

  • Powder products are your friend.

    While many of the currently trending makeup products are a cream or liquid base, these things are 100% certain to start slipping and sliding at some point during a hot, summer day. Powders really are key as they help to absorb excess oils and can easily be reapplied without the help of a mirror, mind you, to soak up the sweat and oil that threaten your makeup look throughout the day. Set everything you use with powder, even your cream and liquid formulas, doing so will help the watery formulas sink into your skin and stop them from rubbing or falling off. My current favorites are the Rimmel London Stay Matte pressed powder in 001 Translucent (it literally adds zero color to your face, meaning it wont mess with your makeup) and the Coty Airspun loose setting powder in Translucent Extra Coverage (can be used to either set foundation or used on its own as a foundation!). Both of these work wonders for holding your makeup in place.

  • Summer-proof pouts

    Dear god, do I love a good lippie look. Unfortunately, summer is not the ideal time for the majority of my favorite formulas. However, we don’t have to go all summer with naked lips (although nudes have been hot AF lately…). While drying, liquid lipsticks, when paired with lipliners to help stop color bleeds and runs, are much more transfer proof than most traditional lipsticks or glosses and lacquers. For a nude lipliner, I’ve been using the Model Co Lip Enhancer in Illusion Lip Liner. I switch between my two favorite, long wearing liquid lips depending on the day and the makeup look: either Jeffree Star Cosmetic’s Velour Liquid Lipstick in the shade Celebrity Skin or, for a more affordable option, NYX’s Lingerie Liquid Lipstick in 02 Embellishment. SO much love for these colors and formulas.
    Another great option is to just go in with your favorite, colored lip balm or gloss–reapply as needed!

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  • Lock it all in

    Regardless of how much (or how little) makeup you put on, it’s crucial to set it if you don’t want to going anywhere. And that applies to everyday, not just uber hot ones. Many brands have created setting sprays or priming and setting spray duos. These things get misted onto your face and lock those pigments in for the long run. They’re also super helpful in taking down some of the powdery look some makeup leaves behind. Thing of setting sprays as hairsprays for your face, except good for you skin! You can get them in a variety of formulas, each which claims to have different purposes: but they all have holding your makeup in place as their number 1 priority. I’m totally in love with Wet ‘N Wild’s Photofocus Setting Spray, it works and it’s fucking cheap. I love good drugstore finds!

  • You may be feeling like a hot mess, but your skin and hair don’t need to look like it

    If you haven’t experienced the magic that is dry shampoo, you’re about to have your life changed forever. Dry shampoo is exactly what it sounds like: dry shampoo. It’s basically an aerosolized powder which, when applied to the roots of your hair, clings to grease and is then brushed or shook out, leaving your hair looking clean, smelling great, and adding volume. Keep a couple full sized bottles at home, but also buy a travel sized one for your bag for on the go hair fixes. Jeremy and I have been religiously using Dove’s Refresh + Care, Volume & Fullness dry shampoo. Just spray onto your roots, rub it in, towards your scalp, and brush it out.
    Bonus tip #3: If you can’t run to the store and pick some dry shampoo up, baby powder also works. This is ideal for lighter hair colors as they are less likely to show any powder that may have not gotten brushed out, but I’ve heard that adding cocoa powder to the baby powder helps with that problem for darker haired people. Plus, it smells great either way!
    Finally, it’s about inevitable that your face is either going to start collecting sweat or grease at some point throughout the day. A great way to help clean this mess up without fucking up your makeup is to use blotting sheets. These are sheets made of a plastic feeling material that absorbs oils from your skin without picking up your makeup as well. Just dap it on the parts of your face that are starting to shine and you’ll instantly see an improvement! There are many ways to DIY blotting sheets, so these don’t necessarily need to be something you save up for. As weird as it sounds, toilet seat covers work as blotting papers as well as that paper you use to wrap fish up in. I don’t know, look it up, see what works for you.

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And, that’s all I’ve got for you.

Whew, sorry not sorry that that took so long to bust through, guys. But you literally asked for it! I hope that you found at least an idea or two that might help you out this summer. If you know of any useful summer beauty tips, leave a comment! I gotta stop being lazy and explain my love for Dove’s Sheer Fresh Invisible Dry Spray Antiperspirant to you guys one of these days: literally the best, clothes friendly deodorant there ever was, I’m convinced. Anyhow, thank you for having so much patients with me over the last couple weeks. I full explanation is in the works for this weekend, so, stay tuned!

-Lots of love,
Catlin

Caturday Saturday! // Poll and Giveaway?!

Seriously, let’s skip the intro part today and just get right into the nitty-gritty. The poll is posted directly below in all of its poorly designed glory (but it was easy, free, and supported by my hosting site, so work with me, Fam). As I stated in my last post, I’m looking forward to writing more for you guys–but this time I want to know: What do you want to read? If we get 25+ votes on this blog, I’ll reveal a pretty sweet random giveaway chance in the next blog post I create, which you should vote on RIGHT NOW, before you forget.

Also, be sure to introduce your friends to this page as you can only vote once!
Let’s do this thing, guys!

Lots of love,
Catlin

If you’ve thought about trying Ipsy, consider using my referral code!

Remember that time we hit 100+ viewers? // 2017 Fashion Photo Booth

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So, fellow scrubs, we fucking did it. We made it to over 100 individual viewers on Tuesday! I am so grateful for everything this blog has accomplished, I hadn’t even bothered to set goals because I didn’t want this to be a chore, but a passion. Yet, here I am, so incredibly thankful for the 100+ of you who have been so amazingly supportive and it’s blowing my mind. I promise I will find some way to make it up you, because you all truly deserve it. Thank you for making something that’s been so much fun for me something that actually, also, matters. I literally could not, and can not, do it without each of you. So, please accept my heartfelt “thank you” before we get into the special, 100+ blog post:

2017 Fashion Photo Booth

Do I work for Vogue? No. Have I ever been to a fashion show in Milan? Also no. So it’s important that you understand these are just my novice opinions on what’s going to be in this summer. Although, not to toot my own horn but, toot-motherfucking-toot, I have called out fashions trends months, if not years, before they actually “became a thing”. Including: white spring dresses, skinny jeans, return of crop tops, rose gold, and pastel pink accessories.

But, Cat. You dress like a total knob and don’t even match 90% of the time”. Well, thanks for the reminder, pal. My pockets have never been deep and, truthfully, I don’t give a damn. I might look frumpy or silly, but that’s just my personality- I know it isn’t for everyone, but don’t hate on my clothes just because it isn’t your thing, sheriff.

I’m including what I call a “photo booth” in the space below which includes photos taken from my pins on Pinterest or loves on Instagram. Just click on the photos that you’re most interested in (hopefully that’ll be all of them) and a brief description, by me, will also appear in case the photo isn’t self explanatory. If you’re on a computer, you may have to use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to view the full description, but scrolling works fine on cellphones. Before we begin, I just want to thank you all one more time, you have truly been great and this blog has been a bigger adventure than I would have ever imagined it could be. Let’s keep it going!

Whew! These posts take much longer to assemble than one would think they should. But it is so worth it. I hope you found something you’re totally living (or dying) for and excited to try out this summer. If you have any questions or comments, be sure to either leave a message on this blog or on the specific photo you’re talking about. Don’t be shy!

Also- I’m hereby promising to post more often, so hold me to it.

Lots of love,
Catlin

How Farming Simulator 17 could help calm your anxiety

Yes, you read that correctly. And I’m sure you’re thinking this article is going to be full of shit because how in the hell will a farming game possibly help me when I can’t help myself? Prepare to be amazed.

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First of all, let’s discuss Farming Simulator 17, created by Giants Software:

Take on the role of a modern farmer in Farming Simulator 17! Immerse yourself in a huge open world loaded with new content: new environment, vehicles, animals, crops and gameplay mechanics!

Explore farming possibilities over hundreds of acres of land, including a detailed new North American environment. Drive over 250 authentic farming vehicles and equipment from over 75 manufacturers…

Harvest many types of crops, including for the first time sunflowers and soy beans. Take care of your livestock – cows, sheep, chickens and now pigs – take part in forestry, and sell your products to expand your farm! Transport your goods with trucks and trailers, or load and drive trains to reach your destination.

Farming Simulator 17 offers rich online activities: play in co-operative multiplayer up to 16 players, and download mods created by the passionate community for unlimited content and an ever-evolving Farming Simulator 17 experience.

Steam, Valve Corporation

And if that isn’t enough to have you convinced that this is something you should invest in, then I don’t what ever could be. Except maybe this video (turn your volume on):

Seriously, guys, if you’re not living for this–I don’t even know. You’re probably a scrub, and that’s okay. I understand this isn’t going to be everybody’s cup of tea. But if giphy (5)you’re into simulation games, relaxing sounds and scenery, cute animals, and lowkey game play you can walk away from if you’d like, then this is going to be your jam.

Now that I’ve hyped you up, I’ve got some bad news. Sorry, my bad, I can be a shady bitch. This game is just about too good to be true, and I’m about positive that that’s why the price tag is as steep as it is… $34.99. I mean: Ouch, Cat, what the hell? But hear me out! It’s a one time purchase for your computer or your platform, including PS 3 and 4, VITA, 3DS, and XBOX 1 and 360. It’s also got unlimited gameplay and replayability. With so much content to be gone through and new mods constantly coming out, I find it hard to believe you could ever grow truly tired of this game. Plus, from what I’ve seen, the Farming Simulator community is an awesome, huge group of people to be in cahoots with. That’s worth more than $34.99 to me. Even so, I realize this may just simply be too much for some people to afford right now and that many people wont have a computer or platform that can handle this game. This is exactly why I introduce to you Twitch TV.

Twitch is similar to YouTube in that it’s a site where you can watch various videos. What’s different about Twitch is that it’s centered around watching people play video games (old and new) in real time (streaming live). This might sound completely pointless, why would you want to watch somebody play a game instead of play it yourself? Yet, the answer to that question is pretty simple:

  1. The person streaming the video and playing the game usually will have some kind of awesome personal quality such as being famous, being fucking hilarious, maybe just being plain entertaining to listen to, or super smart. A lot of the time streamers will play together and you can watch/listen to them as they play.
  2. You get to interact with the person playing the game. Most streamers enjoy suggestions, questions, or just general tomfoolery and conversation. You have the option to write comments posted under your username which show up in the “conversations” tab, meaning everybody watching the stream will also be able to view and reply to your comment.
  3. Sometimes you’re just too damned tired or lazy to actually play the game, but you want to experience it anyway. So, if you don’t want to drop the cash on the game, you can still “play” it vicariously with a bunch of potential new friends.
  4. A lot of the time popular streamers are given early access to games, meaning you can get a sneak peak before anyone else.

And then, you know, there’s always YouTube. Regardless of the channel you may pick to view through, I’m going to leave you with a suggestion: Sips. This guy is hilarious and does have a Twitch and YouTube account where he plays many games, including Farm Simulator 17!giphy (6)

And now that I’ve just talked your ear off–

What Farming Simulator 17 does for my anxiety:

So, I can’t speak for everybody when it comes to what exactly anxiety feels like or what the best methods for calming an anxious person down are. However, I can tell you that for me, keeping my mind busy and my body relaxed does wonders. Some people wonder why I always wear a sweater or I don’t get out of my bed during days off. The truth is that I like the weight of my blanket or sweater because it feels comforting. Other times people wonder why I don’t mind sitting in silence or why static, white noise doesn’t bother me. The key here is audio-therapy, these sounds (or lack thereof) are easy for me to focus on and either meditate or clear my mind of my anxieties. If you’ve ever been inside my room, you’ll notice that there are a lot of blankets, soft textures, candles, incense, flowers, and colored class vases. This all has to do with a calming aesthetic. I surround myself with things I like to look at, touch, smell. Things that remind me of home or simpler times. Things that look pretty and polished or perfect. All of this added together creates a perfect environment for me to bring myself back together, to remind myself that I’m alright, or to have a breakdown if I need to and know that I’ll be safe and comfortable.

As strange as this is going to sound, I’ve noticed that Farming Simulator 17 has the same effect on me as my bedroom does. The clucking of the chickens, the occasional moo, maybe the sound of some rain during the day and then the chirp of crickets at night. Thfarming-simulator-17-5e graphics of this game are amazing in that they aren’t 100% realistic, but they look beautiful regardless–especially when the sun sets or you look up into the cosmos during a clear night. I can sit in my robe or my oversized pajamas and collect eggs, run errands, walk around, sight-see, or watch my boyfriend play and grow crops or complete tasks–all while drinking wine or coffee in my bedroom. There is no hurry in this game, but there is lots to do on your own time, making it something that doesn’t get boring fast but keeps my brain busy.

I mean, you could just go to the countryside. But that’s not always possible. You could just listen to “farm sounds” on YouTube. But then you’re missing out on the landscapes. There’s just something powerful about how Farming Simulator 17 wraps all of these anti-anxiety elements together and it works for me. And I’m thinking it could very well work for any of you who also suffer from general anxiety and are looking for another outlet besides coloring books, sudoku, and Rubik’s Cubes. I think it’s at least worth a shot. If you download and play the game, or watch anything on Twitch or YouTube, leave me a comment and tell me if it worked for you. Also, don’t forget to share this with anybody who might benefit from it either.

Lots of love,
Catlin

Does it work?! St. Ives vs Equate Beauty: Apricot Scrub Edition

giphy (1)

Taking bets, right over here, which exfoliator works best? Unilever’s St. Ives‘ Fresh Skin Apricot scrub, as raved about in Allure Magazine–or the Walmart “knock-off”, Equate Beauty‘s Refreshing Apricot Scrub? I tell you now, I think you’re about to have your pants shocked right off. I’m going to start by stating that while these products claim to be “scrubs” you probably (read absolutely) shouldn’t actually use them as a scrub, but more as a wash. Here’s why: as exfoliators for the skin, they’re make with harsh granuals which scratch into the skin and IMG_2463may cause tears/micro-tears which, in a worst-case-scenario, could become infected. Some dermatologists suggest not using these products at all because of the harshness, others say there isn’t much of a problem with using them so long as you use them as intended and with a light hand. As a girl with oily skin, large-ish pores, and a dirty/dusty job, I absolutely depend on these products and have never had a problem with them. They help soften and brighten my face as well as clear out pores and remove dead skin–I’ve never had an issue with them breaking my skin or causing any infections. For the record, this is how I use them:

  • Two or three times a week, in the shower (When I wash my hair, every few days. Some people say washing your face in the shower isn’t a good practice because the water you shower with is hotter than the water you usually wash your face with, but I haven’t noticed any problems, so I’m going to keep doing it. Also, I use exfoliators less often in winter when my skin is a little more dry.)
  • A little bit goes a long way, you only need as much (if not less) as you would put on a toothbrush.
  • Use a light hand in circular motions taking care to avoid the eye area as well as any broken or irritated skin.
  • Gently remove by splashing face or lightly wiping away.
  • When drying your face, pat dry with a towel instead of scrubbing or rubbing.
  • I always follow my exfoliators up with a light weight, yet highly moisturizing facial lotion or oil to avoid my skin over producing the oils the exfoliator pulled out.

If you have sensitive skin or are experiencing agiphy (2) bad breakout, this may not be the product for you. That said, if you use these products as the packaging suggests and follow my tips, you should be golden and your skin looking amazing. So, let’s get on with the actual comparison.

Obviously the bottles look incredibly similar, and I’m sure there’s more to that than just a copy-cat designer, but the obvious difference between the two products is the price. On the Walmart website the St. Ives’ scrub costs $3.63 while the Equate Beauty scrub only comes in at $1.97. Total difference: $1.66. This means that you could almost buy 2 bottles of the Equate Beauty scrub for the price of 1 St. Ives scrub. Ultimately this is great because if the Equate Beauty scrub works, you’re officially cutting your exfoliator budget in half! But now for the real questions: Is saving $1.66 worth committing to a Walmart branded product? Does the Equate Beauty scrub stand up to the St. Ives Scrub? What is the meaning of life?

First of all, let’s take a look at the ingredients listed.

Seriously, when reading the labels on the back, the only difference I noticed is that the Equate Beauty scrub contained some plain glycerin that the St Ives scrub did not.

—-HOLD THE PHONE, CAT—- Isn’t glycerin what they use to, like, preserve bodies?

Um, the answer is yes. However, it’s far more complicated than that. Glycerin is magical, basically, and can be used in many ways including: sweetening toothpaste, toning/moisturizing skin and hair, and even preventing burns due to radiation therapy. Seriously- glycerin is in way more of your beauty products than I think you know. If you’re still not convinced, I introduce you to this article from WebMD.

So, I am ultimately persuaded to believe that if the Equate Beauty scrub isn’t any better for you (which it may very well be), it certainly isn’t any worse for you than the St.
Ives scrub is either. IMG_2467So far these products are neck-and-neck in my book. The second test I put these products to was all about the texture, as seen in the photo to the left.

Right off the bat I noticed two things: while the St. Ives scrub had more walnut and exfoliating granuals, they were tiny in comparison to the Equate Beauty granuals. Equate Beauty had fewer, but they were much larger (see the black specks?). Aside from this, the pasty consistency was bang-on between the two, leaving only one last test to maybe set them apart: the performance test.

I hopped into my obnoxiously steamy shower and set up my highly scientific experiment: St. Ives to the left, Equate Beauty to the right (I should note that I conducted this experiment multiple times to corroborate my initial findings, so nothing I’ve noted here should be coincidental). As I scrubbed the St. Ives scrub into the left side of my face, I noticed the same things I always do: it’s rough, smells slightly of chemicals or plainly synthetic, that there isn’t much lather, and that it spreads about as easily as one would expect a paste to. Then I got to the right side…

Drum roll, please.

The Equate Beauty scrub worked just as well as the St. Ives! *Cheering all around*

The only difference I noticed between the two was that the Equate Beauty formula smelled way stronger than the St. Ives. That is, the two smell exactly alike except that the Walmart branded one was much more concentrated and noticeable. The Equate Beauty scrub also required more scrubbing with an even lighter hand than I used with the St. Ives. This was simply because the Equate Beauty formula had fewer exfoliating granuals than the St. Ives meaning it needed to be worked with a little more. But what’s a couple extra seconds of scrubbing to save $1.66? I think nothing.

I’ve been using the Equate Beauty formula on its own for a few weeks now, and my skin is exactly the same as it’s been since I started using the St. Ives. I haven’t broke out, noticed any irritation, nor experienced any other negative side effects of using the cheaper formula. 10/10 would recommend.

In a final conclusion: the Equate Beauty Refreshing Apricot Scrub is a near perfect duplicate for the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. If I’m ever at Walmart when the time to buy an exfoliator strikes, I’m positive I’ll reach for the Equate Beauty scrub and save myself a buck and a half. However, it’s hard to argue that $3.63 is “way too much” for a product that actually works. I also love St. Ives in general, so I wont hesitate to continue buying their apricot scrub either if I happen to not be at a Walmart (which is likely, since I don’t necessarily live near one).

For the record, I have heard about the lawsuit against Unilever and the St. Ives Fresh Skin Apricot Scrub. If you haven’t, I suggest this article from Allure. Here’s how I feel about it: Remember that lady who sued McDonald’s because she burnt her junk when she spilled coffee in her lap? Everybody was like, “What a total knob. Obviously the coffee is going to be hot. Don’t drink it while you’re driving, especially not right after you order it”. Yup. The two women filing the $5 million lawsuit against Unilever are grasping at thin air to try and make money out of their bad experiences with a product that they likely weren’t using correctly in the first place. It’s hardly something I consider taking seriously. These people are why we have those seemingly pointless or stupid caution and warning labels on everything:

do-not-put-any-person-in-this-washer

And now you know everything I do about these two products. If you’ve ever used either of them, leave a comment below with your experience or opinion.

Lots of love,
Catlin

The time a lady squirted me with glass paint at work//Freeman’s Mint & Lemon Clay Mask

IMG_2383So, the other day, I’m at work (a thrift store) and I’m just doing my thing when an older lady walks up to me and tells me she wont be buying this glass paint if it’s all dried shut like the last ones she bought were. I just kinda look at her like, “….Okay?” Eventually it becomes obvious she wants me to walk over to the department, get the bag of paints, and open it for her so she can inspect the paints herself without getting in trouble for tampering with sales stickers and packaging. Sure- whatever. I do just this. Then, she holds the tube of paint in my direction, pulls the cap off, and the paint goes flying everywhere, ending up in my hair, on my face, across the apron, and, most annoyingly, on the sleeve of my favorite UW sweater. I’m holding my breath at this point like, “Don’t flip a tit, girl”, while I try and muster up a smile. The lady laughs and proceeds to have me open the rest of the MileyGlitterpaint tubes so she doesn’t get any on herself and I end up walking away looking like Miley Cyrus from Future’s “Real and True” music video. I’m thinking, at this point, where the hell is my medal of honor? Never was I so happy to wash up in a public restroom.

And, you know, that’s the magic of skin: even permanent inks and paints wont stick around forever (if you don’t want them to, anyhow). Most days I enjoy working at the thrift store, but it’s a dirty job in the sense that everything is covered in a thick layer of dust, dirt, cobweb, pet hair, mold, you-name-it. These are exactly the kind of things that dry your skin out or are catalysts for a whole slew of skin problems, including clogged pores. The easiest way to maintain healthy, happy looking skin is simple: keep it clean and hydrated. This is exactly why I keep Freeman’s Feeling Beautiful Mint and Lemon Clay Mask in my arsenal of skincare products.

Clay mask: How does it work?

IMG_2384This product claims that the clay absorbs oils from the skin leaving you with a matte finish and smaller looking pores (This has proven true for me!). The mint and lemon are also supposed to help cool and soothe any skin irritation due to breakouts. I tell you what, it definitely sucks the oil right out of you, but I don’t know that I’d call it a soothing formula. Consider it: this clay is sitting on your face, pulling everything out of your pores. Is there really any room for it to be “soothing” as well? Let me tell you something: make sure this goes on evenly and you wash it off as soon as you know it’s dry. You’ll know it’s dry because it’ll start to crack and you’ll feel like your face is covered in Saran Wrap, nice and tight. If you leave it on for too much longer you’re going to have some irritated, burnt, patches on your skin: very similar to a sun burn. This is why I don’t use the product often and while it says it’s good to use on your entire face (excluding eye area but including neck)–I usually only use it on my T-zone, where I get the most oil and dirt built up, and only a couple times a month. Also, keep it the fuck away from your eyes, especially the first time you use it. This stuff is strong, and while it smells nice, your eyes will not be prepared for it and they will water. I only had this problem the first time I used it.

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This product is not something you can just get away with slapping on real fast in the morning. It’s got a toothpaste like consistency and requires a lot of product to get evenly spread which means it can be a little messy. Depending on how much you put on, the drying time should be somewhere around 5-7 minutes. Then comes the art of taking the mask off. Since it goes on so thick, it takes a little scrubbing to make sure you’ve got it all off. I heavily suggest using a soft towel and some cool water for this. Be sure not to tug on your skin any more than you need to and to wipe in upwards directions (if you’re worried about wrinkles). I frequently follow up with some toner, but always remember to use a facial moisturizer afterward, otherwise your skin will just over-produce natural oils to compensate for the fact that you literally have none after using the mask.

Disclaimer:

While it may sound like more of a hassle than it’s worth, it’s really not. This stuff works. Really, really well. Your skin will literally feel squeaky clean and your pores will look better. All it requires is you to pay a little bit of attention and to have some patience. It also makes for a great spot-treatment for any blemishes you have or are getting, so don’t giphyforget that you can use any product in any way that works for you. Freeman is currently undergoing some re-branding, or something similar to that effect, so they do not currently have a working website. However, you can buy this product for around $7 from places such as Target, Ulta, Walmart, and Sally Hansen, making it an affordable and easily accessible mask for my oily skinned, breakout prone (including menstrual breakouts) fam! Once again, this a ride or die product I’d be lost without and I hope it works just as well for you. If you’ve ever used this product, or any of the other masks by Freeman, leave us a comment letting us know your thoughts!

Lots of love,
Catlin

The time Briogeo contacted me via Instagram//Anti-frizz hair gel

Yeah, so- that happened. I often forget you can directly message someone on Instagram, so this was a pleasant surprise. Anyhow, I woke up this morning to a super cheery, polite, DM from Briogeo asking if I was loving my Briogeo and, if so, if I’d be willing to leave a review for them on Sephora in exchange for a discount on my next purchase. For those IMG_2350of you who don’t know, Briogeo is a hair care company that creates things such as shampoos, conditioners, gels, and creams. They describe their products as cruelty-free, free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, silicones, DEA and artificial dyes. And I believe them and am totally in love with their Curl Charisma: rice amino + quinoa frizz control gel, which you can buy here or here (be sure to check out the discount offer below)

So, I went ahead and decided to write them a positive review because I have no problem giving credit where it is due and this product deserves all of the the hype I can give it since it’s basically destroyed all frizzy-hair problems I’ve ever had. For dead fucking real, which is why I’m sharing my review here, with you pals. I got a tiny trial sized bottle in my Ipsy bag a few months ago, tried it once, and was forever hooked after. My biggest problem with it: the price. $20 is pretty steep when you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but this stuff goes on for miles, so you’re definitely getting what you pay for, and there’s a lot to be said about that. I’m going to include a screen shot of my review below, just so you can get the gist: 

Briogeo Frizz Gel Review(If you can’t read this, click and drag the photo into your URL box for a larger photo. If you’re using a cellphone, tilt your phone to the side.)

In short, I love this product because it’s:

  • Lightweight
  • Defines curls
  • Kills frizz
  • Smells great
  • A little product goes a long way
  • Free of unnecessary/unwanted ingredients

I didn’t write anything about the Curl Charisma Frizz Gel so far as whether or not it’s helped with hair dryness or strength because I also use an oil and a keratin spray in my routine, so it’s hard to say what’s doing what. If I had to hazard a guess though, I’d say the Curl Charisma Frizz Gel  does help in both of these areas, if not just a little bit, but more so in the moisturizing department than strengthening (the keratin ingredient isn’t listed until about 1/3 the way through the list, but it’s there nonetheless). I just showered and didn’t use anything in the roots of my hair but the Curl Charisma Frizz Gel, and that hair feels smooth and soft, as it always does after using it. 

While I’ve been focusing on this one product for frizzy, curly haired peoples, Briogeo has a whole line of products for all hair types: thick, thin, oily, dry, even heat damaged. So, regardless of the state of your hair, this company will have something for you to try. Since I haven’t used anything but the Curl Charisma Frizz Gel, I can’t vouch for any of the other products, but I love Briogeo and I think you will too. If you find yourself buying anything from them, be sure to leave a comment with your review so that we can experience it with you! See below for a discount!

Briogeo Save 10

Pro Tip: If you don’t already have an account with Briogeo, by going to their website (here), you can sign up for their newsletters and receive a code for 10% off a purchase!

And that’s all she wrote today, guys. I’ll update this post once I hear from Briogeo again. Until then:

Lots of love,
Catlin

***Update***

I heard back from Briogeo today- they were quick to reply and, once again, very polite. I received a code for 20% my next order. Thank you, Briogeo!

Welcome to the blog, Fam! Aprilskin soap review

Oh.my.gosh.

I think I’ve been talking about this for forever now, and it’s finally here! I’m excited to officially welcome you to our blog, where you can find all things Cat, makeup, fashion, hair and skin care, and bad pun related. And wine… and bubbly… so much wubbly. That’s our new word now, ‘ight? Great.

Without further ado, here is the first official review/recommendation, chose specifically because April will forever be an important month for this blog:

Aprilskin’s Magic Stone

5/5 am already recommending.

I have found the holy grail of all-natural facial soaps for my oily-skinned Fam, and it’s super cute! Korean skin care (being an unholy 10-15 steps long) is uber hot right now which is how I stumbled across these little pals:Aprilskin1

So… before you get all “hold the phone” on me- I know these are black and look strange, but I’m pretty sure that’s because one of the main ingredients is “Gangwon-do hardwood charcoal”. I’m thinking charcoal gotta be hard thing to cover up, ya know? Anyhow, charcoal is in now for facial skin care because it cannot be adsorbed or metabolized yet it does manage to pull dirt, bacterial, and micro-particals out of your skin, leaving you with a great complexion! And I’m for real when I tell y’all that’s exactly what this strange
looking bar of soap does for me. And it gets better! I’ve been using this stuff for months now and it’s just starting to show some wear, so you’re definitely getting some bang for your buck, Son.

 What’s to love:

So, there are two styles to these moon stones: the gray and the black. I use the gray one in the mornings as a slightly less intense cleanser just to get the night off of me. The black one is a little heartier and does a great job removing makeup from anywhere but around my eyes. Seriously… don’t get this in your eyes. Both leave my skin feeling squeaky-fucking-clean while filling my bathroom with a pleasant, earthy/clay aroma with subtle floral undertones. I would have expected nothing less of a productAprilskin2 with also uses olive, castor, palm, coconut, and sunflower seed oil alongside Shea butter and pearl powder (I have no idea what this is, but it sounds hella niiice).

These soaps are meant to be lathered up in your hands and then lightly rubbed into the skin via your fingers. The instructions say to leave the lather on your face for 30 seconds to allow the nutrients to be absorbed into your skin before rising it off. Some people complain that these soaps leave a film on their skin, but I think that’s just the trade-off for natural soap with so many benefits. Either way, I’m a toner person and usually follow up my face soaps with a dab of Neutrogena Alcohol-Free Toner on a cotton round and some facial lotion.

Despite the long list of oils used in the ingredients list, this soap is anything but oily. As a matter of fact, I recommend this soap to people who have regular, combination, or oily skin, but hazard people with already naturally dry skin as this stuff may dry you out. As long as you use a moisturizer though (like you always should be!) you’ll be golden, Fam.

Where to get it:

There you have it! The only drawback is that these soaps get sticky after using them and leave loads of residue behind, so be sure to keep them in an easily washable soap dish on your sink. But, hey, soap dishes have a tendency to make everything look totes swank, so it’s worth it.Aprilskin4

I’mma throw it out there that I can’t find these soaps on the actual Aprilskin website, so I’m including a link to where I bought them on Amazon below as well.

Lots of love,
Cat

Aprilskin Website
Buy on Amazon