Me as told by Music // Pt. 2

This is a direct continuation of the first part of my blog series entitled “Me as told by music”.
Click here for the first part.


 

Imagine Dragons – Thunder

Just a young gun with a quick fuse
I was uptight, wanna let loose
I was dreaming of bigger things
And wanna leave my own life behind


Kids were laughing in my classes
While I was scheming for the masses
Who do you think you are?
Dreaming ’bout being a big star

This song appeals to me on the level in which I decided that I knew what my life purpose was at a young age: protecting basic human rights and values without stepping into the Americanization of the whole world.

I think we’ve already discussed that I was an uptight, weird child, with a lot going on in my head in school. I mean, I think we all saw the Facebook photo from the first installment of this blog…

In grade school, I was always the art teacher’s pet student. As I got older, it was my literature teachers and government and sociology teachers. In college, I maintained straight A’s through most of my school career and was offered into “invite-only” classes relating to Constitutional Law.

While other children where worried about recess, I spent my time contemplating the poor children, making friends with then new students, worrying about things I couldn’t fix, trying to hold my head onto my shoulders. I came home a cried more often than not about social injustices I could do nothing about. And for me, this is my redemption song, it makes me want to keep going: to make a difference.

Troye Sivan – Youth

So, this is 100% my “sappy” song. Yet, I still don’t really think you’ll recoil at the sight of it when you know why it’s in my list:

At first, I didn’t understand this song, and I basically had no opinion on it whatsoever. As time went on though, I started seeing more and more of myself in it. As a person who has had to talk to therapists about my CONTINUAL thoughts on death and dying, I am pathetically desperate to live my life the best I can while I’m still young enough to do it.

While I have no problem making friends on the spot, I do have a hard time committing to relationships because I don’t take them lightly. Not only do I ask myself if I think this is something that could last, is it something I would fight for, is it right? — I also find myself asking if that person is going to be worth my days on earth with them. And that may be selfish, but we all have our own hangups–and since I can’t be forever young, I can make sure I live my best life while I am still young.

Here are some lyrics that really pull at me:

What if, what if we run away
What if, what if we left today
What if, we say goodbye to safe and sound


My youth, my youth is yours
Trippin’ on skies, sippin’ waterfalls
My youth, my youth is yours
Runaway now and forevermore
My youth, my youth is yours
A truth so loud you can’t ignore
My youth, my youth, my youth
My youth is yours

And so, I motion to end this intallment with two more The 1975 songs. Stop here if you can’t handle it. But these guys are my “stuck on an island” band.

The 1975 – Love Me

And love me
If that’s what you wanna do


You’ve got a beautiful face but got nothing to say (oh)
You look famous, let’s be friends and portray we possess something important


We’ve just come to represent
A decline in the standards are what we accept
Yeah? Yeah?
Yeah… no

This song’s straight from the depths of the fact that we all only socialize with people who make us uncomfortable via social media anymore these days.

We can pretend that we don’t know when somebody is hitting us up for anything more than a simple conversation–but the truth is, we all know, but we pretend: and I think this is mostly where “friend zoning” happens. And, personally, I don’t have time for it.

If you want to be my friend, tell me, hang out with me, just tell me straight up that we’re friends now. You want a couple nude photos and to move on? Let me know so I can give you my best “fuck you”. And, love me, if that’s what you wanna do. Don’t make me guess what your motive is, we will never get anywhere.

And so, we come to a close on part 2 of the “Me as told by Music” series. In my 25 years I have only ever collected a couple more songs that really speak to, or for, me. If you like this blog, give me a comment, a follow, a share–and I’ll be more than happy to share the last few songs I have slid up my sleeve with you.

Until then, I leave you with this song which, out of all of the ones I’ve posted today, is the second most important to me. I’ll let you  make your interpretation of it, just remember: I spent most of my life with the “bad boys”, regardless of how innocent a child I may have seemed. I am not proud of all of my life’s decisions.

The 1975 – Robbers

She had a face straight outta magazine
God only knows but you’ll never leave her
Her balaclava is starting to chafe
When she gets his gun he’s begging, babe stay


Now if you never shoot, you’ll never know
And if you never eat, you’ll never grow
You’ve got a pretty kinda dirty face
When she’s leaving your home she’s begging you, stay, stay, stay, stay, stay


She says, babe, you look so cold

Love,
Catlin

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Me: As told by Music // Pt. 1

So, this is going to be a strange blog, you guys. But I think some of you will like it, and even if you don’t like my choice in music, you’ll like the idea. As a matter of fact, I have a challenge set up for you within this blog.

I was searching through music the other day because, even though it’s almost 2018, I’m still compiling shit like we’re still in the hay day of mixed tapes. This is because my grandma is always looking for some sick new beats to chill to on her long commute to and from work every day. She didn’t pick the right granddaughter, music is not my life. I actually rarely listen to it save the couple days that come around every few months when I’m reminded my somebody that it exists. Either of my sisters are way more ahead on the music train than I am, but I think that my grandma takes my music because she knows I’m not just going to throw a bunch of “popular” music on it and call it a day.

It has occurred to me that there has never been a song I have requested to her that didn’t have some sort of emotional tie to my life. And that’s why she doesn’t receive too many CDs from me: I do not easily associate with music and therefore don’t have much to share. That said, when I do find something that resonates with me it is inevitably on a very, scarily, personal level that I sometimes find uncomfortable.

I like people who say that “music is their life” or that “it’s always in the background” like they can’t function without some sort of soundtrack to their life. I am LITERALLY not trying to poke fun of you if you’re one of those people–honestly, I think it’s probably super cathartic for you and for that reason I’m actually super jealous. With that said, I have to believe that even you music-obsessed, beautiful people have found some connection with just a few songs that ACTUALLY speak to your soul–something that was literally written for you, something that came right out of your life/mind/heart.

So, we come to the challenge: I’ll give you three options–either chicken out and don’t do it; comment to this blog post here with the song(s) that truly encapsulate your life; or take to social media with your song(s).

Playlist of Catlin

Disclaimer: A lot of these songs may be “cliche” or “old” or “popular” or “underground” or whatever label you wanna give them, I don’t give a fuck. On that note, there is one band you will see here frequently: The 1975. The 1975 is one of the bands I would have missed out had it not been for my youngest sister–so I owe a lot of gratitude to her for showing me these guys. If my entire existence would dissolve into one band, it would definitely be The 1975–they have yet to make a song that doesn’t at least remind me of my own life and experiences, but 85% of the time it’s like they were there watching me live my life and wrote that song just for me. On that note, I present to you “The Sound”:

The 1975 – The Sound

I’m starting out with a bang here, so far as my life goes. There is not a line in this music, be it instrument or lyrical, that is not me 100% through and through. Fuck, even the music video understands me. Here are a few lines I especially connect to:

Well I know when you’re around ’cause I know the sound
I know the sound, of your heart


You’re so conceited, I
Said “I love you”
What does it matter if I lie to you?


It’s not about reciprocation it’s just all about me
A sycophantic, prophetic, Socratic junkie wannabe


And you say I’m such a cliche
I can’t see the difference in it either way
And we left things to protect my mental health
But you call me when you’re bored and you’re playing with yourself

Let’s not forget the quotes from the music video either though. Those also resonate to the sound of my childhood, specifically middle school and my freshman year of high school.

1975 Charismatic.png

Oh, dear God. I doubt I need reminding people I went to school with what I looked or lived like, but I’ll tell you the story anyhow:

I was a very unpopular girl, constantly made fun of for being some kind of bumpkin with a strong social disorder and pretty well behind the curve in everything imaginable. Truth is, I just wasn’t ready for the cruelty of the world.

At some point, I got tired of crying and hating myself because. Being an empath, I realized I couldn’t let this negativity kill all of the love and understanding I had in my heart, so I made a drastic change to get people off my back, and it looked like the this.

I was the butt of a lot of “emo” and “scene” kid jokes. I was told to kill myself, that so-and-so would kill  me if they could get away with it. I was shoved up against a locker or two–but I was happier, because I was myself. Why must we judge people for their looks, their music, make assumptions, be rude? We are all just people trying to make our way through life in a hard world, including Matty and I.

Now, let’s do a 180…

Little Big Town – Boondocks

Oh, yes. I have feel your eyes rolling in my very soul at this moment. Well, too damn bad, famjam. Just skip it if you can’t handle it.

So, I live in Eau Claire, WI. Not a huge town, but not a small one by any means. And I went to school with a bunch of people who grew up in, or around, a small  farm town called Jim Falls. I wouldn’t necessarily say that Jim Falls is a southern city which packed its bags and headed up north, but some little pockets of it are pretty damned close, and I grew up in one of them. I played in the creek, caught snakes in the winter, drove a full-sized ATV before I even thought about driving a car. I played with worms and watched the bears and deer in the yard on cold mornings with the smell of pancakes mingling with Grandma’s cigarette smoke. A fun day for me was when Neighbor Chuck’s cows got out the fence and came to say hi or when we’d take our 4-wheeler up the road to see the tiny, 1 room school house my grandma went to back in the day. Picking wild strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries was also an afternoon well spend before we all huddled up around the camp fire in our big “backyard”.

Going to town was a big deal, I remember those days because Grandmas would put on their “going to town pants” instead of their regular work sweats. We’d spend HOURS comparing prices on a loaf of bread and leave for home exhausted and with a month’s worth of simple meat, potato, and canned veggie dinners. The next day we’d be out hauling an entire garage full of wood for the furnace to keep the house warm in winter knowing that in a few months we were going to have to go empty full iron barrels of ashes out in the compost field. Mowing the lawn was also a 3 person job and took 2 days at the fastest.

Here are some of the lyrics that mean the most to me:

No matter where I go
I keep my heart and soul in the boondocks


And I can feel
That muddy water running through my veins


Give me a tin roof
A front porch and a gravel road
And that’s home to me
It feels like home to me


It’s where I learned about living
It’s where I learned about love
It’s where I learned about working hard
And having a little was just enough <- Except this part, haha…

However, as much as growing up in Podunk nowhere taught me, I did not come out religious. And if you’re anybody in my family, have read this blog, or ever had a heart-to-heart conversation with me, you’ll understand why this song had to be next:

The 1975 – If I Believe You

I’ve got a God-shaped hole, that’s infected
And I’m petrified of being alone
It’s pathetic, I know


And if I believe you,
Would that make it stop if I told you I need you?
Is that what you want?
And I’m broken and bleeding, and begging for help.
And I’m asking you Jesus, show yourself.


Showing me consciousness is primary in the universe
And I had a revelation:
I’ll be your child if you insist
I mean, if it was you that made my body
You probably shouldn’t have made me atheist

And “If you don’t wanna go to hell then, Miss,
You better start selling this.”

I don’t think there’s much more that needs to be said about this. Another reason why The 1975 is my ride or die.

Shiny Toy Guns – Rainy Monday

I don’t mind, you’re someone that ain’t mine
But someone that I’ll get
And you don’t know how hard I’ve tried
To convince myself that I could easily forget
But you let this feeling here inside me
One that never fails to find me
On a rainy Monday
I feel it inside me
Like the days of summer
On a rainy Monday
I feel it inside me
In the hopes of one day
*Siiigh* There is not a person who has ever been near my vicinity on a rainy day that doesn’t understand how much I LOATH rainy days. I seriously become a ball of hate and unending sleepiness. That aside, this song sings to me of all of the relationships I’ve left behind in my life. Be they romantic or just friendly. There are a lot of people who come in and out of my life, and I’m perfectly happy to let them do what they need to, even if it means forgetting about me. Either way, the smiles they shared with me, the jokes they told me, the secrets they confided in me–those are all things I hold near and dear to me. And on a rainy day, they are frequently that which makes me smile on a seemingly endless and shitty day. I know this song was meant for a pair of lost lovers, and I can relate to it in that way on many levels, but realistically, if we ever talked, if you ever made me smile, I haven’t forgotten you, and I’ll always be here to hit up.

Because WordPress is easily confused, I am forced to end part 1 right now. Part 2 will be linked here.

How and Why You’re Being Taken Advantage of and Why Your Heart is so Amazing

I have always lived my life in a very black-or-white way:  something is either 100% right and correct or 100% wrong. Easily one of the hardest parts of growing up and being exposed to new people, cultures, and values, for me was learning that a gray space (usually) exists. That is to say that something can be both right and wrong at the same time, or exist somewhere on a right-to-wrong continuum.

By: krnl on Steemit

This is inevitably why some people can justify actions that so many others identify as unfair or wrong. That said, when somebody’s actions negatively affect you in a big way, regardless of whether it’s physically or mentally, I don’t give a fuck what anybody says: the offender is dead wrong. Here’s why:

You are a living, breathing, worrying, loving, scared yet brave, amazing masterpiece of a person. You have value, you are worth more than you will ever know. You deserve to be respected, not just by your friends and family, but by your coworkers, teammates, fellow civilians, subordinates, and your superiors.

You have feelings, needs, flaws, things that make you you, and others should respect that, especially if they would expect you to have tolerance and respect for them and their needs. It is very true that you give what you get today in America; If you expect me to be kind to you, you best not treat me like shit, otherwise you will get nothing from me but my basic, “civil” self.

That said, I really do have a big heart. Even people who have metaphorically drug me through the dirt can get favors or sympathy out of me because I am so incredibly empathetic that it’s painful. And while I haven’t met too many people out there who are quite as empathetic as me, I have met plenty of people whose kind-hearted, selfless, nurturing personalities are continuously raped by people who couldn’t be bothered to give a single fuck about anybody but themselves.

And what hurts me the most is that those amazing people either allow themselves and their fragile, sensitive personalities to be used over, and over, again while all it does is break them further and further down, OR they slowly become more and more desensitized. They then either become shells of humans who try not to exude any emotion and distance themselves from things like commitment and friendships or (possibly even worse) they themselves turn into those nasty people who leech off the kindness of others.

I believe that we are all born with the same compassion in our hearts, regardless of race, gender, income level, or family dynamic. It’s what happens along the way, and how we’re prepared to deal with it, that determines how empathetic we come out to be in the long run. That said, I’m not entirely sure that “mean” people always know that they’re “mean”. And I don’t know that super empathetic people understand that they don’t have to cry every time a stranger has a bad day. There is a middle ground, and if you can find it, or have found it, that’s great. And if you can’t find it, there are things you can do to get yourself into a better place if you’ve found yourself in some sort of emotional turmoil (which happens more often then you’d think).

I think many happy people often believe that “mean” or cranky people have something else going on in their lives that makes them rude or harsh on others. That may very well be true, and to some extent I do feel badly for them. But you get the respect you give. You have to realize that your actions and words do affect other people, frequently negatively if you’re upset with them all of the time. I work with people like this every day: People who think they’re better me because they have more money, more authority, are older (or, in some cases, younger), who think that they can be rude to my face or talk shit about me behind my back because it doesn’t matter to them, it doesn’t hurt them any.

What they don’t know is that I frequently find out about it, and that it really does upset me because I never did a damned thing to them to make them so hateful. I used to be the girl who would cry over things like this, but I’ve since learned that I can’t let negativity get to me like that otherwise I would spend forever feeling badly for being the person I’ve become. And, honestly, I think the person I’ve become is pretty great. I’m not perfect, but I don’t think I’m the worst person who ever lived.

In these situations I usually just brush it off, figuring that it must make them feel better to make me look so small. If that’s what they need to do, then so be it. But the point of this blog is that not all of us are capable of just not caring about something like that. Some of us try to be the best people we can be, and we bust ass not only for ourselves, but for our friends, family, and even complete strangers. So when somebody who we’ve tried to be nothing but friendly and polite to goes and does something rude like talk shit about us, it’s going to completely devastate us. We suddenly then find ourselves thinking things such as:

  • Am I really that bad of a person?
  • Have a seriously hurt them that badly without realizing it?
  • When did I become so unreliable/unlikable?
  • What am I doing wrong?
  • Will they always be like this?
  • I try to help everybody, why are they trying to make me look like a bad person?

And those thoughts will hang around with some of us, even into our sleep. Sometimes those words and actions will give us anxiety and make us shake like a tree in the wind or just break down and cry. Sometimes those words will hurt us so badly all we can do is wonder what we’ve done wrong in life and be too consumed with it to remember to eat or sleep or shower. If you’ve ever been the person who treated another unfairly I need you to hear me when I say that I am not making this up. People really do feel like they don’t deserve to breathe when all they do is live to please people and then “realize” they’ve failed because you can’t be bothered to be polite to them. They are NOT being overly-dramatic.

While you grew up to poke fun at people or boss them around as a way to cope with your daily issues, they learned to be compassionate in hopes that others would understand and be forgiving when/if they should make a mistake. So, the next time you decide to do or say something petty (even when you think they won’t hear or find out) just remember that those actions are literally what lead some people to depression, anxiety, eating disorders, social disorders, and even suicide. Not everybody can be perfect all of the time, and if it’s isn’t directly affecting you, you need to let them be. If it’s something that really bothers you, go ahead and talk to them directly, but try and be polite about it. Being rude isn’t going to get you anything in life but what you deserve, which is frequently nothing. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. The universe prefers understanding and forgiveness to unkindness and unguided hatred.

And, my empathetic friends, I want you all to know that you guys are what keeps civility and “everyday” miracles alive. While being a kind-hearted person can hurt like nothing else some days, it truly is a great quality that even hateful and/or non-reciprocating people search for in others daily. This is how it happens that sometimes that person who makes you feel so miserable is actually your best friend, your partner, or even your spouse.

I once took a sociology class in college, and one of the things that stuck out to me was a unit on relationships: friend, family, professional, and romantic relationships. The basic takeaway, there are “good, helpful, meaningful, reciprocated” relationships as well as, “bad, damaging, degrading, one-sided” relationships.

When we talk about break ups, most people think of romantic couples. But friendships are some of the most important relationships in our lives—and just as good friends provide support and give life meaning, toxic friendships can make you physically and mentally ill.

-Olivia Goldhill, 2016
The sociological argument for breaking up with bad friends

I know first handedly what it feels like to be trapped into a relationship with somebody who did nothing but shove my face in the dirt and then ask for favors later. This same person, though, couldn’t be bothered to help me out with anything when ever I needed support. If you find that you have these kinds of relationships in your life, be them professional, friendships, family, or romantic relationships, you owe it to yourself to get out.

And that it 100% more easily said than done. Often time these bad partners will have you believe that you wouldn’t know what to do without them, that you need them, that you’re nobody without them. I had a manager who told me I should beg for my job back after I gave my 2-weeks notice (because I wanted to wash my hands of all of the negativity and blatant taking-advantage-of) because I’d never make it anywhere else: my expectations where too high and I clearly didn’t have an idea what what work was really like. Needless to say, I gave a separation from employment, effective immediately note to the first manager I saw as I walked out the door that day and never went back… But that does not mean it was easy. First I had to reassure myself that my co-workers, who I loved, would not hate me and think of me as adding to their burden. Then I had to tell myself that just because I was walking out of this job didn’t mean I didn’t still have great work ethic: just that I also have respect for myself. I also had to remind myself that it’s okay to respect yourself, if you don’t, you’re likely to let yourself slide into something that makes you miserable.

Point being: if you think you’re in a bad relationship, if you think you’re being bullied, if you feel like you’re being degraded or used or abused, you just need to take that first step. Somebody will be there to help. Damn, if nobody else is, I will be–you can contact me at catlinmillers@gmail.com. But I think that you’ll find that if what you’re doing is something that’s going to help you, heal your soul, let you live again, let you be that amazing, brilliant-hearted person you were meant to be, that support will start pouring in. Everybody loves a good comeback story.

And I wont lie to you, releasing yourself from that bad situation is going to fucking suck. Big time. But I’m also speaking to your from my heart when I say that you’re strong enough to do it and that once it’s done and in the past, you will quickly realize how much more easily you can breathe. Your quality of live will go up.

Taking care of yourself should not be an afterthought. It is not something you should feel badly about. You don’t have to tell yourself that “it’s fine, everybody else can handle it”. Every person is different, and only you know what you need or what you can handle. If you you don’t take care of yourself, nobody else will be able to either, and you’ll find it harder and harder to worry about anything else. Your emotional, physical, psychological health is paramount. No matter what else you may have been led to believe.

You don’t have to stop being so understanding, forgiving, friendly, outgoing, helpful, or loving. You don’t have to live in a world that makes you sad, depressed, scared, or upset. If you can identify what needs to change in your life, be it a situation, a physical location, or even a person you never thought you’d walk away from, you’re already half way there. You do you, lovely, and even it hurts, or its hard, or scary… once it’s done you will feel so much better. I promise you. Just promise me that you’ll always take care of yourself, because the world can’t handle losing a beautiful soul like yours.

I love you.
Stay strong.
-Catlin

P.S.: A great quote brought up by my sister:

I need your help // Poll time

***Scroll to bottom for poll.***

So, I’ve been having a week–to put it gently. Too many things have been bouncing around my very withdrawal-laden buzz brain, and I want to discuss them all with you. Partially because blogging is my heart and soul, but also because I think these things could seriously help someone out there going through the same rough shit.

Unfortunately, bad things happen to all of us, regardless of how great, or shit, a person we are. At these times in our lives, all we can do is roll with the punches, be grateful for what we have, and keep on moving one day at a time.

And that’s exactly where I am right now: being grateful for my support network and taking deep breaths each morning.

Because there is so much going on in my life, heart, and in my head right now, I have no idea where to begin. This is why I need your help. Below I am going to list the topics that have been plaguing me and I’m hoping you can spare 1 second and simple click to help show me what you guys are interested in hearing about next.

Thank you so much for your time, and thank you even more for your readership and support. I am thankful for every last one of you guys, every day.

The Topics:

  1. I’ve absolutely had it with bad business practices, people with no hearts, and those who take advantage of others. Yet, I have so many stories of people who are so kind it’s hard to believe they actually exist in this century. I want to get a message out there to all of the kind and cold heart-ed people (and companies) alike about what it means to be human in 2017.
  2. While I can honestly say that Sertraline saved my life, I can also say that Citalopram tried to kill me. I have since decided that the Sertraline no longer works for me and, due to a long list of complications, I have decided to quit it cold turkey. I want to talk to you all about how hard it is to start, and quit, anti-depressants, including my own zombie-like introduction and current withdrawal symptoms.
  3. Finally, on a MUCH LIGHTER NOTE: We are almost out of “no shave November”, fellas, but I have some tips and tricks on how to grow the most glorious beard out there. So glorious, that not even your girlfriend can bitch about it, in fact. I’m ready to spill the beans.

The Poll:

Quick Morning Makeup — Natural Beauty // Tutorials, Reviews, and Laughs

I think we all know the feeling: You tell yourself that you’re going to get to bed early and actually get up the first time your alarm goes off the next morning. This will leave you looking refreshed and give you time to pick out the perfect work or school outfit and then coordinate the perfect hair and makeup look.

But, the first alarm comes around “sooner than it should have” and you still have an hour before you have to be out the door – What’s the harm in pressing the snooze button just once? So you groggily tap the snooze button and are back asleep before the alarm even stops.

Before you know it, you have 20 minutes or less to get the fuck on the road and your plans for being hygienically productive have been, once again, quashed. Good job, loser. …Except that this is also me, every damned morning… #DontJudgeUs

YouTube: grav3yardgirl

The good news is that you don’t have to sacrifice that extra 40 minutes of sleep in the morning for a fresh looking, snatched face. Here’s how I get my natural, even, bronzed look in 5 minutes (or less).

The products:

Click on the photo for info! Keep scrolling for more in-depth reviews and bonus options!

Primer: e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer

Honestly, if you’ve already washed and moisturized your face, which you should always do before applying cosmetics to your face, you can probably skip this step. I frequently only use a toner to remove any grime I may have gotten on my face over night, so this primer is a serious go-to for me because 1) it both moisturizes and in place, blurring (NOT filling) my pores, and is too good to pass up for that awesome primes, cutting a full step out of my routine and 2) it does a great job locking my makeup drugstore price.

I have a very oily T-zone, but the rest of my face gets very dry, especially in the winter months of Wisconsin. I do not notice that the e.l.f. Hydrating Face Primer makes my makeup slough off or move around, but if you find this product to be to “silicone-y”, I also suggest the Wet n Wild photofocus Face Primer. The Wet n Wild primer has a more lotion-like consistency and sinks into the skin quickly leaving a smooth canvas without any slick-ness. I’ve also just sprayed my face down with a setting spray, let it dry down a bit, and used that as my primer.

Concealer: Maybelline Instant Age Rewind

I like to apply my concealer before my BB cream or foundation because that way I can better control how much product I’m putting be low my eye. The trick with concealer is to use a good one and then to only use as much of it as you really need to. Less is normally a lot more because cake-ing it on doesn’t usually equate more coverage, just more annoying creasing and very noticeable under-eye makeup, especially considering how much powder you need to use it set it all in place.

I swear, Maybelline’s Instant Age Rewind concealer in a gift from the drugstore gods. So far as I’ve experienced, the Instant Age Rewind is the creamiest concealer with the most full coverage you can buy for under $10 (if you buy the normal/small size). The fuzzy sponge-tip applicator disperses product evenly and covers a large area in just one swipe, making the process fast and easy. I like using it as a eye shadow primer as well, using my ring finger to pat and blend the concealer out under my eyes and bringing the excess onto my eyelids.

If you’ve already tried the Instant Age Rewind and didn’t like the formula or the sponge-tip applicator, I also swear by Maybelline’s Fit Me concealers with the traditional doe-foot applicator and a more liquid-like consistency. This concealer does not cover as much of the blue/brown under my eyes, but it still looks amazing.

I do not suggest skipping this step as concealer is one thing that significantly helps even out your skin tone and makes you look more awake. I love using the Instant Age Rewind to spot conceal any blemishes or red patches I have. I do this before using my BB cream or concealer because it helps give that extra coverage, but also because it helps smooth the area over. This helps to ensure than the BB cream/concealer doesn’t stick to dry or flaky skin, making the spot look worse.

BB Cream: Neutrogena Acne Correct & Cover

Hear me out: I know most people my age aren’t too concerned about acne anymore, but that doesn’t mean we don’t still get menstrual, stress, or travel breakouts occasionally. Right? That’s where this little guy comes in. I like to use both as a preventative measure for things like shark-week breakouts, but also a way to dry out blemishes I didn’t see coming. This product is truly dual function with its star ingredient: salicylic acid, a traditional acne treatment. I, personally, love the strong “grapefruit” smell, but if it isn’t your jam, just know that the smell fades shortly after application.

Another problem people run into with this tinted moisturizer is that it only comes in two shades: “fair to light” and “medium to tan”. While I can’t speak on behalf of those with dark skin tones, I can say that the fact that this is only a “tinted” moisturizer means that it fades into any skin tone pretty well as it’s not intended to be full coverage or super pigmented. That said, it does show up on my skin a little too dark, but I can easily tone it down with some lighter (or even translucent) setting powder. Similarly, if it comes off as too pale on your skin, you can always use a big fluffy brush to quickly fluff on some bronzer to darken any kind of face makeup.

Because this is a sheer coverage product, I like to cover my uneven spots with concealer before I apply the tinted moisturizer (see concealer steps above). This product is also, potentially, very drying: which is why it works to well to prevent blemishes on oily skin and/or zap zits you may currently have. That being said, I don’t always use this all over my face. Occasionally I will just blend it into my oily t-zone or use it as a spot-treatment on my blemishes. I do not recommend this product for those of you with sensitive or very dry skin. That said, I do use this over my entire face most days to help cover up any spot concealing I’ve done because I do not personally find it to be super drying. To apply, I use a damned makeup sponge or a flat-top kabuki brush in circular motions. I will use my fingers, if I’m in a BIG hurry, to blend out any streaks I may have caused.

If you’re not looking for an acne treatment, I also love Maybelline’s Dream BB Fresh 8-in-1 Beauty Balm Skin Perfector, complete with pomegranate extract and SPF 30. This has just slightly more coverage too it, but is not drying and seems to be good for any skin type. It also comes in a larger array of skin tones, making it easier to match. If you’re not about sheer coverage, I am in love with how easy and quick it is to apply my Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse Airbrush Finish. This guy packs a satin finish with medium coverage that is incredibly easy to blend in with your fingers (if you must) or a sponge or kabuki brush. I would avoid medium, and definitely full coverage, foundations if possible because these take more time to fineness into perfection to make sure it doesn’t look like you just tried to slap something on your face and go. BB creams and tinted moisturizers are much more forgiving and also look beautifully natural.

Powder: it Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores (Airbrush Silk Pressed Anti-Aging) Finishing Powder

SUPER long name for a truly epic product. While the price tag is a little steeper for this product than the rest have been, I think it’s well worth the splurge because it seriously ties together the super fast glam look we’re going for. Like its name suggests, it is silky smooth and build-able while still maintaining its transparency and not coming off as chalky or overly powdery. This product is a holy grail so far as pore-blurring powders go because it honestly works. It both sets that BB cream or moisturizer in place and keeps it there all day while also giving you pore-less mannequin look, which I absolutely love. It buffs out easily and sinks into cream products like nobody’s business which makes it an immensely useful tool for those of us who like to sleep in late. I use it with any old fluffy brush I can find and brush it onto my skin to cover my face fully before buffing in circular motions to make sure it’s really sunk in there.

I have two other options for people looking for a cheaper alternative to the it Cosmetics powder, the first being Coty Airspun loose face powder in either translucent or “extra coverage translucent”. I’ve only ever used the extra coverage one because it’s all I can find in-stores in my corner of Wisconsin, but I swear it’s just as translucent as the other. The name may even sound familiar to some of you, and that’s because Coty Airspun has been cult favorite since 1925, which explains the old lady packaging and the REALLY potpourri-Grandma’s-house smell. Honestly, if you are sensitive to smells, this is probably not the product for you although the smell does subside quickly. It’s important to note that this is also an incredibly dusty powder: as in, just opening the jar causes a big puff of powder to fluff into the air. This can be a problem if you’re wearing dark colored clothes or are just a messy person in general, but the reason that it’s so messy is because it’s air spun. The creation of Coty Airspun, and the air spun process itself, has been documented here. Basically, though, the air spinning process “reduces particles to micron size (a micron is a 1/1000 of a millimeter or 1/25,000 of an inch)”, resulting the smoothest powder you have ever used. If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re seriously missing out. Get it together, brah.

Bronzer and Eye Shadow: Rimmel London Natural Bronzer

I have hit some serious pan on this guy. For the price this stuff seriously cannot be beat. I used shade 021 Sun Light on my pale-ass skin and I absolutely love how it warms up my skin without looking orange. And its ease of blend-ability makes it a powerhouse in my get-it-done-fast routine. After all of that primer, foundation, and powder, it’s pretty likely that your face is going to be looking a little flat… or dead. Bronzer is a great way to liven yourself up again by reintroducing some color while simultaneously allowing you to cheat having higher cheek bones, more hollow cheeks, a smaller forehead, a thinned nose, and a chiseled chin. While all of that is a tutorial for a different time, I’ll leave a basic map of where to, usually, bronze and highlight your face below.

Kim K contour how to

It’s best to apply this bronzer with a big, fluffy brush, which allows you to cover the areas you want to while having to put very little effort into actually blending it out: the brush does it for you. This will definitely give you a sun-kissed look and add a lot of dimension back into your powder-blanked canvas. I take a light hand with this, because it’s easier to add more than take too much off. Start with light-handed back-and-forth swiping motions until you have about the amount you want on, then buff that harshness out (also with a light hand) in circular motions to blend out any harshness.

I personally find contouring too take too much time because I’m a perfectionist with that stuff and I usually reach for creams over powders. However, if you have a nice contour powder that you’d really like to use to SUPER sculpt your cheeks, consider dipping a much smaller, fluffy brush into the contour powder and buffing it into the hollows of your cheeks and blending it into the bronzer.

As far as eye shadow goes, I don’t always find it to be a necessary step (the same goes for blush). I’ll just dip a fluffy crease brush into my bronzing powder and, using windshield-wiper motions, place that into the crease of my eyes, dragging it up a little bit closer to the eyebrows and possibly defining the outer V, just to give my eyes a little more definition. I will occasionally also use my finger (see next product) to apply some of my highlighter to the center of my eyelid and the tear duct, just to open them up and give a little bit of a pop.

Highlighter: Wet n Wild Megaglo Highlighting Powder

Aside from a few Maybelline highlighters, there are no better drug store highlighters than those in Wet n Wild’s megalo series. I like using the shade 321B Precious Petals because it’s blinding, but also because it has a really pretty, subtle pink cast to it that negates the use of blush for me, thereby eliminating a whole step from my routine. Other people with fair (or fair-er) complexions than mine may not like the pink cast–in which case I suggest a lighter highlight color such as Elizabeth Mott’s Show Me Your Glow or the Maybelline Face Studio Master Chrome Highlighter in 100 Molten Gold.

I use a medium-sized fluffy brush to apply this highlighter to the top of my cheek bones, on the tip of my nose, and in my tear ducts to add some extra interest to my quickly done face. This helps to pull it all together and make it look polished: like you spent 20 more minutes on you face than you actually did.

Mascara: L’Oreal Paris Voluminous Lash Paradise

The trick to an excellent mascara, no matter what time  you have or what look you’re going for, is to find one that doesn’t flake, lifts, and fills all day long. This means that it shouldn’t be too watery, too clumpy, or smudge easily, if you ask me (if you like clumpy mascara, you do you, girl). This is why I think the Lash Paradise is the world’s greatest mascara (no, this isn’t sponsored). There have been many long work days where I came home and my eyelashes were still reaching for the heavens and looking great, and more than once I’ve received compliments on how beautiful and long my lashes are while I’m wearing it. If you haven’t tried it, you’re missing out on something powerful, seriously. Be sure to grab the original formula though, as I’ve heard the water proof stuff doesn’t hold up as well.

Lip Color: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

I like using the shade Hibiscus because… well, just because I think it’s pretty. And that exactly what I suggest you do when you go out to pick one of these babies up: just grab whatever your heart gravitates to. With a face of low-beat makeup, a full fledged lip color might be looking a little strange but also take too much time to perfect: especially if you’re like me and live for lip liner and perfect lipstick lines. A nice lip gloss would do the trick, but I like using Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm because it’s both hydrating and it leaves noticeable color behind without being hard to apply. Because the color is so sheer, if you go out of the lines in your haste to get out the door, it really doesn’t matter because A) nobody’s going to notice and B) you can always just use a q-tip to clean it up really quickly if you went in really heavily with it to build up the color. Here you get the best of both worlds: quick lip color so your mouth isn’t going around naked in comparison to the rest of your face, but also some moisture, which is always great.

Setting Spray: Urban Decay All Nighter (travel size)

So, the full sized product is a little more spendy at $32, but it’s 100% worth it. When you’re hauling ass to get out the door in the morning, you need something you can rely on to lock that face in place and keep it there all day. You also need something that you can count on to help freshen up your face mid-day if you’re anything like me and don’t have a lot of time to re-touching your face throughout the day. That’s exactly why this setting spray has been one of the staples in my makeup routines for the last year. This stuff has got a great mister and doesn’t take much to cover your entire face. I like to use a brush or a sponge to press the spray into my face to help further settle all of the powders on my face as well as double-ensure it’s adhered and ready to face the day with me (haha, see what I did there?). As I previously mentioned, I will also use this setting spray as a primer because it’s just the right amount of tacky to help keep my BB creams, moisturizers, and foundations in place. Because I like to carry this thing with me to freshen up throughout the day, I always by the travel sized because, obviously, it takes up less space in my bag, but I don’t think that the price for the full sized unit is all that bad considering how much this setting spray can handle.

If the Urban Decay setting spray doesn’t seem up your alley, I also love setting my face with Wet n Wild’s all day wear PhotoFocus Setting Spray and setting/refreshing with Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater. The Badescu spray is so soothing and calming on the face that I’ll even just give my bare face a spritz here or there throughout a day when I’m feeling like I’m looking a little drab or that my skin could use some help. Sometimes I just spray it on because I like to and it smells great and makes me feel better, which is why I’m recommending it to you right now: sometimes we could all use a little pick me up.

And there you have it…

That’s my official list of get-it-done-quick while still looking great products for fellow snooze button-pushers. If you’ve used any of these products, or are excited to try them, leave me a comment here. If you have any advice or products for getting a beautiful face in little to no time, also leave a comment here. I love hearing from you guys and can’t wait to hear your suggestions!

Until then:
Lots of love,
Catlin

Onward and Upward // Part 4

Holy shit, you guys, things have been fucking nuts lately. Today is the first day since I started my new job that I haven’t felt like death or in serious need of a 4 hour nap, and I’m not even fucking around with you right now. Most of the time I get up, go to work, come home, pass out, get up to make/eat food, watch some Hulu, and fall back asleep again. So, obviously, there hasn’t been a lot of time for blogging–but it feels great to finally be back at the keyboard and keeping you guys in the loop. And to be drinking hard, lime seltzer water and testing the longevity of my Marc Jacob’s lipstick against sour cream and onion toasted Ritz chips (my current obsession of the last two months) and watching Keeping up with the Kardashians.

So, let’s start where we left off:

In my last few days of employment at my old job I experienced a serious amount of “fuck you”, which I felt was incredibly uncalled for. I can’t say I was entirely surprised, because in one way, it had always been like that except that the managers and staff were better at covering it up behind good intentions and fake smiles. This happened to drag out my “so, you want to play that game?” attitude which resulted in a lot of straight-up “You’ve been treating so-and-so like total shit,” and “You know why you can’t keep a support leader? Because you’re a psychotic person who likes to team up on people and make their work lives miserable”. WHICH, in turn, resulted in plenty of conversations that ended, more than less, with a “God, I’m glad you’re leaving”. Holy shit, I could have smacked somebody.

Weirdly enough, the one rude thing that somebody said to my face that I didn’t even think twice about, was the one thing pissed off many of my co-workers and probably resulted in ensuring that the rude employee doesn’t get to come back next year for the seasonal hire position. And here’s how it went:

I was sitting in the break room with a few co-workers when one of them spoke up and told me that I was going to be working at one of their favorite places to shop, and that they just couldn’t see me working there because I didn’t exactly have a professional vibe. And, you know, I admit that. I swear like a sailor and pushed my boundaries frequently at my old job. But that certainly does NOT mean that I can’t act like a civil person with manners, and I know that, so I just chose to ignore this comment. Unfortunately, the rude person did not stop there- she continued to go on saying that the people who worked there didn’t know what it was like to work in a real, professional environment because even McDonald’s had better morals and work ethic than this place did. The people who work here wouldn’t even know what to do with a “real job”.

Well, like I mentioned, I wasn’t the only one in the break room at the time. While I was able to just brush it off, one employee who overheard the conversation just went pale in fury and worked hard to keep their mouth shut while another tried to make light of the conversation and defend the integrity of the business. At the end of that very long 15 minutes, I walked out the room assuming it was over until I was sideswiped by the employee who chose to keep their mouth shut in the hostile room some hour ago. They wanted to make sure that I would be there the next day to explain what had happened on break that day with our store manager, in hopes that the store manager would realize the sort of attitude the rude employee had and how they really felt about the company and their peers. I agreed to tell the manager what had happened since it was apparently so important to my one co-worker because if it bothered them that much, then maybe there should be some repercussion.

Buuut, I didn’t work that next day and I totally forgot about it until the store leader called me into the office to talk about it. So, apparently the other two had given their stories, and the leader was curious to hear my mine. I shrugged my shoulders and told the story as impartially as I could. I suppose the leader must have had a talk with the rude employee because they eventually came an apologized, and while I don’t know what happened, I’m willing to bet they wont be invited back next year.

I doubt they meant to be as rude as they came off, but you really do need to thinking about what you’re saying before you say it. So, I accepted the apology since I wasn’t worried about it to begin with, but from what I heard, her apologies to the two who were actually upset by the comments didn’t quiet get a heart-felt apology. But, that’s none of my business. Before I knew it, I blinked and it was time to hand in my badge and my discount card. My manager gave me a big hug and I didn’t feel the tears start to well up until I was chased out the door by a wonderful, little old lady who I shared a lot of my life stories with, saying that “[I] was going to need this. It’s not much, but get yourself a coffee or something nice!” She then handed me a little fist full of $1 bills and hugged me before I left my very last shift.

So, while my exit from my old job was anything but smooth–I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss it. I don’t miss the work, and I don’t miss most of the leaders, but I do miss my little work family. I suppose that’s likely to happen when you work closely with amazing people for over 3 years. So, if any of you are reading this, then thank you for everything. Thank you for showing me how to work, for being my friend, for answering all of my annoying questions, and for being their for me when I hit my low points. I wouldn’t be the worker I am today with your guidance.

With that, I’m going to wrap up this blog post because if I started talking about my new job, this blog with quickly turn into a book. Stay tuned though, I’ve got some new job stories that are sure to make you laugh or question the humanity of anchor store shopper.

Lots of love,
Catlin

Onward and Upward // Part 2

 

Alright, fam-a-Lamborghini (term I learned at the bar). Now that I’ve got nap in, paid my electricity bill, and taken my Sertraline, I feel that I am prepared to write to you of my interview experience.

Well, it went like this:

I walked in and immediately went to the nearest service counter to look for somebody who could help me find the HR lady I was supposed to be meeting. I’m feeling pretty conspicuous in what I feel is very obviously interview clothing, but this doesn’t seem to help me grab anybody’s attention. I realize they’re helping customers and move on to stalking around the store looking for somebody why maybe isn’t too busy to help. Eventually I run into a lady folding pants and I blurt out, “Hi, hello. I’m looking for M*****. Could you help me find her?” and I shit you not, she just about rolls her eyes at me as she picks up the mic from her lapel and asks if M***** is “radio-ed”. No response either of the times she did it.

Eventually she gives up and walks over to the counter I had just abandoned and asks one of the ladies working if they know where M is. They say no and the pants-folding-lady, who hasn’t made eye contact with me since she realized I was, in fact, speaking to her, commands in me a short, board breath to “go sit on the chairs by the mall entrance”. I’m sure I’m blushing bright red of embarrassment and guilt at this point, but I mutter a thank you before sulking over to the chairs, wondering what the hell is going on and if anybody is going to come find me. At this point, I’m really starting to wonder if I actually want to work here with bitch-zilla and the magically disappearing HR lady.

To distract myself, I start mannequin shopping from my seat when I see a pair of denim capris with super cute pink, embroidered flowers along the sides of the leg. I’m making  mental note of them because I’m thinking that even if nobody shows up to interview me, I could still buy these pants and salvage the day somewhat. (Note: I actually did not end up buying them because, like, I’m fucking poor). Little did I know how important those capris were going to be.

At this point I’m literally half way through my, “WTF do I do now?” text I’m intending to post to my family’s group chat when, LOW AND BEHOLD, M***** finally shows up. She had  apparently been in a different interview with a girl who brought her mom along. Like… is that normal? To bring your mom along? While M finishes up with them, I check the time on my phone. I’ve literally only been in the damned store for 15, maybe 20, minutes, but it feels like my muscles may have rusted in place. This becomes increasingly clear as I return M’s hello and reach to shake her hand: suddenly my arm weighs 70 pounds and I think I might knock this poor, cute, mousey looking lady unconscious with my dead arm.

And, really, that’s all the worse it got because the rest of the interview was a piece of cake and M and I both realized I’d be an awesome fit for this place! While she walked me up the stairs to the interviewing room, I commented on how I’d been admiring the flower capris downstairs. M literally stopped to look at me and was like, “Ohmigosh, I know! Every time I walk past them I think about how functional they are!” The deal was cinched right there–we was vibin’ way too hard. We spent the rest of the interview conducting formalities and laughing. I told her about my interview with the thrift store I work at now:

It was hot as tits up in that bitch, and I had been seated in a plastic chair. Once I got up to leave I noticed that I was peeling my shirt away from the back of the chair and made the mistake of looking back at it. Sure enough, I left a big ol’ sweat imprint of both my ass and back on the chair. I didn’t event know what to do: laugh, cry, flush in embarrassment? So I just kept walking, hoping my soon-to-be manager didn’t think I was some sort of slimy mutant. #SexyAF.

After the interview, M asks if I have time for her to show me around the floor. I oblige and half-way through the tour we get interrupted by a very upset employee with a children’s, transparent, plastic handbag displaying her pills, keys, and cigarettes. She starts telling M about how she thinks so-and-so should be moved to a different department because (in more polite terms) he’s a moron out to get her and she doesn’t feel like she should have to come to work and instantly be put into a mood where she thinks she’s going to have a meltdown because all of her hard work was ruined by a stupid employee later that night. I’m thinking this girl is really overacting and that the person she’s complaining about sounds like they need better training. While I’m eyeing up all of the cat hair on her yoga pants, wondering if I’ll be able to get away with the same thing, M does an excellent job calming the employee down.

AmIWearingPants_web.jpg
Click me!

 

“That’s one of the only times somebody has come up to me with a big complaint like that,” M says, trying to reassure me that I haven’t just agreed to working in hell. I get it, shit happens, so I’m not too worried about it. I let M know that I was so grateful for the opportunity to talk with her today before confirming that I haven’t been scared away quite yet. I then stumble my way through the mall in a haze, working what in the serious fuck just happened, when I bump into Jeremy who’s bought me 2 new eyeliners from Ulta as a congratulations present. At this point, I don’t even care about the clusterfuck that interview was, I now have a dip eyeliner with a new eyeliner brush. Yass, boy, yass.

But I was sorely mistaken that this would be the weirdest part of the career transition. You guys are going to have to hold your titties to get through part 3: handing in my 2 week notice.

Onward and Upward // Part 1

Alright, peeps. If you didn’t know, I currently work at a thrift store- the same one for the last 3 years. Lord knows I’ve have my good times and my miserable ones with that place, but it never stopped being home because eventually your co-workers become your friends and family after you’ve spent so much time with them.

But the day has finally come that I gave my official two-week notice. And shit, was it ever hard. Firstly because I already miss by bro-pals, secondly because I knew my managers wouldn’t much like the news, and thirdly because the entire thing gives me anxiety on a level I cannot describe.

But I was not destined to be an entry level employee at a thrift store for my entire life, and with all of the inevitable changes coming up in the next few weeks, it feels like the right time for a switch in careers. In order to be closer to home, and make a little more money, I started throwing my resume out here and there, not trying especially hard but not slacking off either. Eventually I got a call from a store in the mall asking if I would be interested in setting up an interview with them.

And I am like, “… Yass”. So it is set for the next week at 11:30, just walk in and ask for M****. Can.fuckin’.do.

In the mean time I don’t tell many people because I don’t need that getting out and having my managers on my ass preemptively. And I didn’t start getting nervous about it until the day before the interview. I kept telling myself, “Getting this job would be an awesome bonus in life. But if it’s not meant to happen right now, that’s okay. You still have your thrift store fam. No bridges burned. Let’s keep it that way.” But of course, that doesn’t really help with anything.

Most of my anxiety reaches its precipice when I feel like I have no control over a situation. In order to make myself feel better about something, I have to make sure I am prepared and know what to do if something goes horribly wrong (although, let’s beIMG_3394 honest: it never does). One of my coping mechanisms for the interview was to have “the perfect outfit” picked out long before the actual interview. Thankfully my mom-squad is pretty dope and was up for the challenge immediately. I jumped into my grandma’s van one afternoon and we spent hours milling around the mall with my mom, hunting for the necessary ensemble pieces: blackonblackonblackonholonails. We all had my Pinterest inspiration photo saved to our phones for ease of reference: shit was getting real–and we had an equally real budget of, like, $0.50.

After finally nailing the outfit down I went straight into worrying about what my  makeup was going to look like, as being at a cosmetic counter will (hopefully) be  part of my new job really soon. I spent 2 hours practicing a perfect “natural” bronzy face with a lightly smoked out brown shadow and satin pink lips. At this point, I came to realize I was about as prepared as I could be (considering I had been interviewing myself in my sleep over the last 3 nights).

Eventually the interview day arrives and I can’t eat anything all morning because I’m so anxious I’m nauseous and sure I’m going to die. I eventually get myself into my Worthington’s ankle slacks, a black sweater from the GAP with the sleeves pushed up my forearms and the front tucked into my pants, and my sick new grandma kicks (Walking Cradles, hahahahaha, wut?). I slap my face on in record time and pull my hair out of my face with a clippy and regret having got up so early because now I’ve got “time to waste” which really means “time to psych myself out”.

IMG_3396

Time goes by so slowly I think we may have reached the apocalypse. Yet I find myself in the truck, my holographic nails digging into the palms of my hands and my heart threatening to jump out my damned throat. I tell Jeremy, “You can’t go in with me, it’ll look like you’re my babysitter”, which makes him laugh, but he understands. He reminds me that I am going to slay the shit out of this thing and that he’ll see me soon before he starts walking towards a different mall entrance. I take a deep breath and realize that the closer I get to the door, the less nervous I am. Same thing always happened with presentations in school: I’d about shit myself from the anxiety build-up, knowing that I was going to have to get up there and talk soon, but as soon as I got up front all those nerves straight up died and I spoke with no problem at all.

I have no idea if there is a name for this, or if anybody else experiences it. But I absolutely hate anticipating things or having to wait because it’s always the same thing: freak out… zen out.

To be continued…

Trending, Online Dollar Stores

When I say I’m on a budget, I mean I’m on a budget. I’ve probably got enough money to pay the bills and then enough for a box of wine and lunches until payday. This does not mean that I have 30 disposable dollars to spend on a new shirt or concealer, but I might have $2 I can part with for a dope alarm clock with a floaty fish in it (keep reading)!

And I know I’m not alone in this, a lot of us struggle with the paycheck-to-paycheck life. That’s why I’m writing to you guys today about two legitimate online stores that I’ve recently run across and decided to put to the test. The first is a largely cosmetics centered store called Miss A that only sells one dollar products. The other is Hollar, which claims to be another online dollar store but also carries your favorite products at severely discounted rates in limited quantities.

Hollar.com

Lemme hit you with the fact that this “online dollar store” sells everything: clothes, school supplies, non-perishable foods, cosmetics (of course!), technology, baby supplies, kids toys, and essentials like garbage bags, toothpaste, and laundry soap. I’m going to follow that up by reminding you all that the reason I am mentioning this store in the first place is because we all wanna know where the real deals are. I bought a 4 oz. hibiscus and coconut scented perfume for $1, a floating fish alarm clock for $2, and Revlon’s Photo Ready Airbrush Mousse Makeup for $3, amongst a couple other things that got me up to the $10 limit. As a mater of fact, I haven’t seen anything on this site for more than $9 since I’ve started stalking it.

Hollar

I can hear you slamming on the breaks already. Seriously, hear me out. A 10$ purchase limit make sense you when take into account how much money these guys would lose in shipping if they sent everybody a $20 product for a buck or two. Plus, it’s almost guaranteed that the first item you put in your cart was originally worth more than $10 to begin with, so it’s sort of like a buy-on-get-nine, or five, or whatever- free!

Also, before you get thinking too hard, read this block quote from an article on the history of Hollar:

The other hurdle Hollar has to cross is winning customers’ trust that the products on its site aren’t scams or knockoffs, but the real thing.
People assume a $2 toy is low quality, but Yeom insists Hollar has been selective about the manufacturers it partners with,.
Many of the items it receives are from closeout sales, so yes, that OPI nail polish is really OPI and that box of Oreos really are Oreos. Its beauty section sells brands from Revlon to L’Oréal. Its snack food section has items like Cheerios and Kraft Mac and Cheese. The $1 pregnancy test it sells is just as FDA-certified as the ones you can pick up for much more inside a Walgreens.

-Business Insider

So, hopefully that helps put to rest any “it’s too good to be true” ideas you had knocking around the inside of your head. But if you still don’t believe it, check back soon because my package is on the way! (So, add speedy delivery to the pluses for these guys!)

Plus, Hollar comes with a really great $2 referral incentive that works both ways.  You receive a referral link and each person who clicks it, and actually buys something off the website, will earn $2 credit to their account. In return, you also got $2 in credit added to your account. Best part is, there is no limit to the number of people you can refer, so long as they’re not returning customers or somebody in your household.

Everything about this is pretty great, right?! And, if you’re like me and love stocking up on essentials with great deals, you’ll be even happier to hear that Hollar waives their shipping fee after you spend $25. But be sure to shop fast. While the “only X left in stock” banners may seem like a stupid gimmick to make you buy something, these guys really do only have so much stock on hand. You will need to move fairly quickly if you want the last one of anything. That’s half the fun though, along with sweet deals and a constantly changing inventory to scroll through.

ShopMissA.com

Here’s the scoop on Miss A: they sell everything beauty related for $1, including lashes, brushes, lipsticks, nail polish, and hair ties.

The catch: you get what you ask for, but the quality isn’t always there. That said, I ordered a variety of things from them and was pleasantly surprised by the quality some of the $1 products where packing.

But, honestly, I think that’s all part of the fun. Somebody once told me you can make anything work if you just try hard enough–and I think that’s especially true with budget cosmetics (remember having to heat your eyeliner pencil up with a lighter to actually get any pigment out of it? That’s the shit I’m talking about).

Shop Miss A makes getting a hold of cheap makeup super easy by carrying what feels like full lines by companies such as: E.L.F, AOA Studio, L.A. Colors, Rich On, Amuse, and Santee. Shopping is made even easier by the amount of choices given so far as specific searches go and by the reviews displayed with each product. There isn’t much to say about this store other than it’s a budget friendly way to get creative and find awesome new staples for your cosmetics table. This is also a great store for buying fun gifts such as wine shaped and colored lip stains or Frappuccino dust plugs for your cellphone. And for a dollar, can you really go wrong?

For the record though, some sets and collections cost a dollar an item or less. But that’s still a steal: 24 new brushes for $20? Count me in.

I plan on writing a review of the Miss A products I purchased last week to give you guys an idea on what you may want to add to your cart right now or save your dollar on. If you’re in a hurry, I suggest watching this YouTube video by Laura Lee, which is where I learned of ShopMissA.com:

So, moral of the story: there ARE actually places on the internet where you can get high quality products without having to spend an arm and a leg. Be sure to check back for my full review on the products I’ve received from these two sites. In the mean time, happy shopping, and don’t forget to leave a comment saying whether you’ve ever bought anything from these guys or any other legitimate, online bargain stores you love buying from.

Lots of love,
Catlin