Into the Gloss, one of my favorite blogs created by the genius Emily Weiss, and College Fashionista (another blog I check religiously and one day hope to be a part of) have asked their readers to share their #ITGTOPSHELFIE. Now you may be wondering what can all those letters possibly mean!?! Well its very simple actually: ITG (Into the Gloss) has asked their readers to share their Top Shelves’ or “their beauty line-up” for a chance to be featured on ITG. So today, I am going to share my beauty line-up with all of you as if I was being featured on ITG myself.

Skincare: I like to pretend that I am very into skincare. I really do think I am, but I sometimes don’t always follow the lovely skincare regimen I set up for myself. One product that I try to use every morning is Clean & Clear’s “morning burst hydrating gel moisturizer.”  If I forget everything else for the rest of the day, I’m okay in my mind be

FullSizeRendercause I used this. Its so light and fresh which is what makes me love it because it wakes me up and helps me feel ready to start my day. Also in the morning, I try my hardest to get myself to use my clean and clear morning burst facial cleanser and deep cleaning toner. These 3 products used together work really well. I find that they give a similar effect to a Clinique set, but at less cost. In the shower, every other day I use my St. Ives Apricot Scrub. It is such an amazing exfoliator and it smells so so good (which is very important when purchasing products)! Occasionally, I like to step up my game (on the weekends) and I will use the Arcona Cranberry Morning Exfoliator to get a different product on my skin. And finally if I am not too lazy at night after wiping off all my makeup I will apply the Neutrogena naturals nourishing night cream all over my face for max moisturization (thats probably not a word) and even though it isn’t an eye cream, I use the Clinque skin hydrating cream under my eyes for even more moisturization! I have been very fortunate not to get many pimples, but when I do i use my Clean and Clear acne spot treatment. It works so so well. I highly recommend it!  Although this may sounds conceited, the one thing I almost always get compliments on is my skin. So maybe I am doing something right with my skincare?

Haircare: My hair is probably one of my favorite things about myself. Almost a year ago, I got it dyed ombre and I love it! I’m thinking about redying it soon actually. But to take care of my hair, I switch off with a number of products. Once a week, before I wash my hair with Organix coconut milk shampoo, I use the Organix moroccan argan oil intense moisturizing treatment. It makes my hair FullSizeRender-1so soft and it always looks so good the day after I use it. After I wash my hair, I have a few products that I like to switch around using a few different products – sometimes alone, sometimes mixing and sometimes all together (*insert monkey covering it’s eyes emoji here*). The product I have been using for the longest is Bed Head Control Freak. It really works well at defrizzing and taming hair. It can even be used on dry hair, which I do do from time to time. I also like to use Its a 10 because it just really is a miracle product. I have no other words to explain it. And lastly, I use Organix argan oil spray for shine. Every once and while I also use the Living Proof PHD, but usually only when I am planning to use heat on my hair. Speaking of heat, I use the CHI protectant spray to save my hair from the dangerous high high heat that comes with blowdrying and ironing. And finally, one of my favorite products of all is the Not Your Mother’s Clean Freak Dry Shampoo. For those days that I decide not to wash my hair, it gives my hair a fresh feeling and makes it smell really good too!

There you have it, my #IGTOPSHELFIE. I know its a lot, but I just love all these products so much and am so happy that Into the Gloss and College Fashionista gave me the opportunity to do so!

*Dislaimer: most of my products are from the drug store – which is not a bad thing at all! I don’t think it is always necessary to spend an exorbitant amount of money on products when there are so many at the drug store that work really well!

Not the Skinny One

This is a sensitive topic for me, and as I write this, I am not sure if I even want to post it, but here we go…

Ever since I was a little girl, I always knew I wasn’t the skinny one. I wore tankinis and one pieces while everyone else wore bikinis. I worried more about what we were going to be eating next. I was the one who always wanted more. I was the one who got in trouble not for being disrespectful, but for hiding candy wrappers around my house. I was the one who searched the kitchen for the secret hiding spots for candy and cookies.

And being a little girl, I didn’t notice that I was the outcast. The one that was different from everyone else. Because little kids don’t have judgements and they don’t know any different to think badly about themselves. But as I got older I learned the truth: people see you differently if you’re not skinny.

This was never that hard of a concept for me to grasp. Although, I luckily was never was treated badly for not being skinny. I’ve always had the best friends, a supportive family and even now an amazing boyfriend. I’m in tons of clubs in school, have an active social life, and get good grades. But for me, this is not enough.

I’ve struggled my entire tween and young adult life with my weight. I can’t remember the last time that I went more than an hour without thinking about how I look and how I don’t like the way I look. Literally I have tried so many things and programs to lose weight you wouldn’t even imagine. Weight Watchers multiple times, Jenny Craig, nutritionists, personal trainers, therapists and yet here I am, at the highest weight of my life and unhappy as ever.

No, I have never turned to anorexia or bulimia, but I have come close. I think there is something in my head that will not allow me to lose weight because I feel like all I think about is how happy I will be once I am skinny and healthy and how I will be able to wear all the clothes I want and just feel like a better person – but then I see food. And it’s like my mind goes “well screw it, you’ve gotta eat this!!!!” but in reality I don’t have to eat this. I know I don’t, but I do anyway.

I’m able to make jokes about my weight and be silly with it, but that isn’t what I really want. I want to be able to wear a bikini and feel confident in it. I want to not go to stores and try on things that aren’t supposed to be tight, but are. I want to be able to wear a sports bra to the gym if it is really hot out! I want to feel comfortable in my own skin and I want to be able to be happy with myself.

I know something needs to change. I can’t keep living life this way. It not only is causing me emotional harm, but it is just not healthy. I am so thankful that I am not judged, out in the open at least, for my weight. But I can’t go on like this anymore. Something has to change. So I’m putting this in writing because I think that is makes it more real for me. It makes me accountable for my actions, even though I am still doing this for me.

Today is the day! March 4, 2015: I pledge to do right my by body and myself. I will not let food control my life anymore. I’m going to make smart decisions and I am going to stay on track with Weight Watchers because I know that this will result in my overall happiness in the future. I’m going to exercise as much as I can and I am going to congratulate  myself for the little goals and try to be happy with myself as I go on this journey. 

I can’t credit myself for this decision though because honestly I probably would have kept going down this path of idleness which would have just made me even more unhappy and who knows where that would lead to. My best friend reached out to me randomly when she didn’t even know how much I needed her encouragement. She has inspired me and helped me realize that I need to do this for me and I will be so happy with my final results. So I just wanted to say thank you and tell you how much you mean to me, Perri. Thank you.

So as I go further along this journey, I will share my progress with you and check in here because I think for me at least that gives me the motivation to keep going. So stay tuned for the new and improved me.