5 (Seemingly Innocuous) Reasons You're Breaking Out


In my younger years, even throughout high school, I had beautiful, clear skin. Then, one day, that all changed dramatically. I don't remember if there was anything going on in my life at the time that could've contributed to the decline in my skin health, but I started breaking out like crazy. My skin became dry in some areas. It developed redness and blotchiness. Everything about it was terrible.

To this day, I never fully recovered, not even when I was on hormonal birth control, which clears up some women's skin. My skin is still red and blotchy and dry, and I break out frequently, especially in the week or so after my period. Of course, that's hormone-affected breaking out, but throughout the years, I've read and heard about and even seen and experienced for myself seemingly innocuous habits that can cause your skin to break out: everyday objects, picking and popping, skin (over)care, skin (under)care, unhealthy foods, unhealthy drinks, and a lack of post-workout skin care.

In this post, we'll take a look at these bad habits and talk about how you can break the cycle.

Everyday Objects
Think about the things that come into contact with your face on a daily basis: your cell phone, pillow, and hair, for example. Imagine how much bacteria is on your cell phone from all that use, then imagine all of that being put on your face when you talk on the phone, and if you're like, "I don't even talk on the phone. My phone comes nowhere near my face," then another culprit to beware of is your hair. If your hair is like mine and gets greasy quickly throughout the day, then it's best to keep it out of your face, i.e., avoid having bangs, because greasy hair on face equals greasy face equals breakouts. Basic math, right? 😛 Along the same lines, change your pillowcases frequently because it's not just greasy hair that dirties pillowcases, and bacteria-ridden pillowcases plus face also equals breakouts.


Picking and Popping
This is something I am definitely, abso-fucking-lutely guilty as shit of. I know it's terrible for me, but I still do it, and I can't help it! I wonder if there's like a support group for face pickers or something. 😂 Anyway, picking at your face and popping zits is a sure way to leave scars. That's why if you've ever seen me sans face makeup, you'll feel inclined to hand me a flyer for Face Pickers Anonymous. Most advice I've seen just say don't do it, but us face pickers, we know not to do it; we just can't help ourselves, so what I've been trying to do is to stop myself whenever I catch myself doing it.

Skin (Over)Care
Overzealous skincare might actually be one of the reasons my face ended up betraying me. Around the time when I started this blog, I started exploring more beauty brands and trying more skincare products, and that was unfortunately the same period of time when alcohol in skincare products was super in vogue, so what I suspect happened was that using too much alcohol-based products stripped away the important oils in my skin and seriously dried it out, causing irreparable damage that I'm still suffering to this day. Of course, that's just a theory, but experts do suggest staying away from alcohol-based products and use, for example, witch hazel instead.

Skin (Under)Care
I feel like this is something people more so do out of laziness. At least, that's why I do it. You get home late, especially after a night out, hear your comfy bed calling your name, and just think, "Fuck it." For me, I always feel like one night won't hurt, but it actually does. Makeup and your skin's natural sebum can clog pores, and clogged pores tend to turn into breakouts, especially when left to their own devices overnight, so think twice before going straight to bed without washing your face. Similarly, don't skip washing your face in the morning either because your skin still produces sebum while you sleep, even after you wash it before bed. An easy alternative to days and nights when you just can't is to leave a pack of face cleansing wipes next to your bed. It's not a recommended long-term solution, but it's at least something.


Post-Workout Skin
I used to do this all the time until I found out that it's really, really bad for your skin, not just your face but the entire rest of your body as well. It's along the same lines as not washing your face before and after bed—your body's own secretions can stab you in the back. Stab you in the face? Excess oils and sweat from working out can settle in your skin and clog your pores, and as we've learned before, that's not a fun time for your pores, so once again, it's cleansing wipes to the rescue! I always have a pack of them in my gym bag so that I can kind of clean my face after toweling off the sweat. That removes the excess oils and sweat and dirt temporarily until I hop in the shower or wash my face for realsies.

What other reasons do you know of for breaking out?
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Weekly Reading | November 15, 2018


Beauty

Let's get down to business basics this week. I feel like I've been neglecting this category lately while I read up on other topics, so it's about time I reacquaint myself with some beauty basics like at-home gel nails, eyebrow products, and skin care.

"Eyebrow Essentials on Fleek" via A Pint-Sized Life

Fashion

It's back to basics with fashion as well, and last week, I found a post about sweater dresses for all budgets. I love sweater dresses so much, so it was a great roundup for me, at least. Another basic is how to mix patterns for fall style. Then, Elizabeth of Lizzie in Lace wrote about transitioning one of the hardest patterns to work with: tweed.

"Pattern Mixing for Fall" via Sunny Side Cecilia

Blogging

For blogging basics, I found a roundup of free courses and webinars for creatives, e.g., bloggers. I also found a list of important info for us to include in our Instagram bios. As for the last post, it's something that resonates with me a lot because it's something I've always believed in: blogging is a community, not a competition. People tend to wonder why I have so many posts and series where I show other bloggers' content, like my Style Ideas by Bloggers series or this Weekly Reading series. My answer is always, "Why not?" As much as I love getting my content out there, I still feel like hey, we're writing about the same stuff. We should acknowledge one another's work and share it instead of competing to get more views on posts about the same topic. But that's just me. 🐸☕

"The 4 Best Free Courses and Webinars for Creatives" by Emily Hester
"5 Things Every Blogger Should Have in Their Instagram Bio" via Kayla in the City
"Why We Need to Remember that Blogging is a Community" via Creatively Lauren

For more blogging as well as lifestyle and fitness posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

What are some of your favorite beauty, fashion, and/or blogging basics?
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Makeup Mistakes and How to Fix Them


There are many reasons people wear makeup, and regardless of the reason, it is possible to do it--that is, applying makeup--wrongly, and I know I talk about mistakes a lot (I've even previously covered common makeup mistakes) but it's only because I'm guilty of so many of them, so it's fun for me to share my mishaps and misadventures with y'all to maybe get some commiseration.

Anyway, I bring up reasons because I don't want this post to be misconstrued as being one about how your makeup is making you look older, or it's making you look trashy, so ya need to cut it out. I bring up reasons because some people, women especially, do wear makeup for the sole purpose of looking older. There are some industries (ahem, education, ahem) where your apparent age can dictate how you're treated.

Therefore, the mistakes that I mean in this post are those that detract from your makeup, regardless of reason.

Wearing the Wrong Foundation

The wrong foundation, then, is not foundation that makes you look older or that draws the color from your face because, again, there are people who wear makeup for the sole purpose of looking paler, and I'm not going to go into detail about this because I can legit write an entire post about it.

The wrong foundation is foundation that feels uncomfortable on your face. If it makes you break out, if it makes your face extra oily, if it dries out your face, it's the wrong foundation. We tend to think if it's the right shade, it's the right foundation. I can just blot my face or spritz water on it throughout the day, right? I mean, yeah, but why put yourself through all that trouble?

Buy instead a foundation that's already right for your skin type. Not sure if it is? Try a sample out first. Sephora especially is pretty generous with their foundation samples. Ask for some and try them out for a few days. This'll also help with determining how long it'll take you to put it on because no one wants to wake up hella early just to make sure you have time to get your foundation just right.


Wearing the Wrong Blush

Like foundation, blush can also be uncomfortable to wear, but another thing that's easy to mess up with blush (probably even easier than with foundation) is the color. When you choose to wear blush, chances are you want it to have some sort of effect, but sometimes, the blush doesn't even show up on your face! This is something that I especially struggle with because I tend to play it safe when buying blush and end up choosing one that's way so light for my skin tone that it doesn't even look like I have blush on.

A rule of thumb that I've since found out is that pinks and peaches work well on fair to medium skin tones, while corals and oranges work well on medium to dark skin tones.

Skipping Brows

Here's another cliché for you: brows frame the face, so when you don't do anything with them, it looks like something's missing. You can do as little as brush them down with some transparent gel or as much as draw them in and define them with pencil, so long as you don't leave them as they are. It takes a lot of getting used to if filling in your brows isn't something you do on a regular basis or any basis at all, but they're so worth it because, since we're on the cliché train, practice makes perfect.

For some of my favorite foundations, blushes, and brow products as well as a look at how I do my everyday makeup, check out my everyday makeup post.

What are your favorite foundations, blushes, and brow products?
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Weekly Reading | November 8, 2018


Lifestyle

I know I've been throwing hella unpopular opinions at y'all, but here's another one: I loved my morning commutes. Yes, you read that past tense right. It's not that I don't love morning commutes anymore; it's that my new job is literally less than ten minutes away by foot, and that's from my literal doorstep (on the third floor) to the staff room door (on the ninth floor) and factoring in elevator wait times and stoplights.

Anyway, yes, I loved my morning commutes because it's 15 to 30 minutes (depending on which office I was going to) of pure nothing. It was time I had to myself to just sit and relax and prepare myself mentally for the day, and since I tend to zone out, I just listened to music, but here's a post about how you can make the most out of your commute. Then, there's a post that explores podcasts more specifically. Finally, if your morning commute isn't enough to destress you, here's a post about packing your very own stress emergency kit.

"7 Lifestyle Podcasts to Start Your Day" via The Scalloped Edge
"The Stress Emergency Kit" via Blush and Fairy Dust


Fitness

I had a health scare around two years ago during my last year of grad school (makes sense, right?), which forced me to take a good, hard look at how I was treating my body. Of course, at the time, working out was next to impossible with my schedule, so I opted to eat healthier instead. That worked pretty well, and when I finished grad school and started working again, I managed to keep eating healthy and also to work out, but I have to admit: I'm really falling behind on both of those things right now, so these posts have been super helpful and motivating.


Blogging

For how much I'm blabbing about my life in these Weekly Reading posts, I feel like I should rename them "Weekly Reading and Rants" or something. 😂 I say this because I was gonna go into another spiel about how I'm trying to get back into blogging more regularly even though I talked about that exact thing at least twice in two separate Weekly Reading posts that contained this category, so Imma just let y'all do your thing.

"How to Run a Successful Blog Giveaway" via I Can Build a Blog
"10 Blog Contest Giveaway Ideas" by Susan Gunelius

For more lifestyle posts as well as fashion and food posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

How do you spend your commutes?
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Celebrity Style Inspiration for Any Age: 40s


Another installment of Celebrity Style Inspiration is here! Previously, we've looked at celebrities in their teens (Elle Fanning, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Bella Thorne), 20s (Selena Gomez, Emilia Clarke, and Emma Roberts), and 30s (Krysten Ritter, Rose Byrne, and Meghan Markle). In today's post, we'll look at celebrities in their 40s: Lucy Liu, Sofía Vergara, and Tyra Banks.

Lucy Liu
Lucy Liu is one of the first Asian American actors I remember seeing on TV, and I'm so excited that she's back in the limelight. Her Joan Watson on Elementary is one of my favorite characters, not just because of the gender swap but also because she's a female Asian character who isn't a sidekick even though canon John Watson plays the sidekick role. 

Source: @lucyliu
Sofía Vergara
The mere mention of Sofía Vergara's name brings to mind the image of Modern Family's Gloria Delgado-Pritchett, and although Gloria is also one of my favorite characters, I hate that the role has reduced her into the "loud and feisty Latina who butchers the English language." I hate it so much that I used her as a prime example in a sociolinguistics paper I wrote about language and identity. The basic premise is that multilingual celebrities portray themselves differently in their different language environments. If you Google Sofía Vergara in English, interview videos pop up about her mispronouncing shit or being a spicy Latina, but try Googling her in Spanish. She suddenly becomes a poised, ex-TV host who can speak on important issues.

Tyra Banks
Tyra Banks is one of the first celebrities who made teenage me think, "Wow, I want to be just like her when I grow up," because it was America's Next Top Model where I first saw her, and she was always looking gorgeous af. Plus, her job was literally making dreams come true, and she was always coaching women and inspiring them and, despite the competition that can sometimes get toxic, she showed me how rewarding it can be when women support one another.

Source: @tyrabanks

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1. ModCloth Stargazing Splendor Blazer in Floral Chambray
2. SheIn Polka Dot Open Front Blazer
3. Boden Bramley Blazer

Who would you have liked to see featured in this post, or who are your celebrity style icons?
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Weekly Reading | November 1, 2018


Fashion

Last week, I read a bunch of how-to fashion posts. First, Cuddlepill's Christina styled a jean skirt for the fall. Wouldn't she have been perfect in my "How to Style Fall Skirts and Dresses" post from last month?! 😂 Second, Lizzie in Lace's Elizabeth is giving me serious pink envy with her post on styling up pink outfits. I've never been one for color in my outfits, especially pink, and this post is giving me hella second thoughts. I think the pinkest I've ever been is back in 2013 when I just thought why not. Third is a wardrobe organization post by Fashion Fairytale's Jackie. It always makes use of a lot of pink. I wonder if this is a sign... 🤔

"How to Style a Jean Skirt" via Cuddlepill
"How I Organize My Clothes" via Fashion Fairytale

Lifestyle

Sunny Side Cecilia also has an organization post, but it's about organizing yo' LIFE. The next lifestyle post I read is an inspirational one by Vogue in Vegas' Paula, where she talked about how it's ok to not be boxed into one passion in life, and I think it's sadly relatable because we're all told that we need to be good at ONE thing and to do that one thing for the rest of our lives. As you're embracing your different passions, if it happens to take you to a new city, here's a post by Haute Table's Hayden about ways she's meeting new people and making new friends in a new city.

"4 Organizing Tips" via Sunny Side Cecilia
"Embracing Different Passions" via Vogue in Vegas

Food

Moving on, I'm a HUGE fan of meat (Take that how you will 😉😂). No, but for realsies, I always feel like going vegetarian is not for me because I'm a carnivore to my core, but having met more and more people who are vegetarian is opening my eyes to how non-vegetarian-friendly many restaurants still are and how difficult it can be for vegetarians to eat out (I swear I'm not doing this on purpose 😂), so last week, even though I didn't go vegetarian, I read some posts about vegetarian-friendly options. One step at a time, right? 😂

"Easy Vegetarian Fast Food Options at 5 Restaurants" via Kristen Shane
"Slow Cooker Chocolate Jackfruit Pumpkin Chili" via Fairyburger
"What I Eat: San Francisco Work Day" via That Jenn Girl

For blogging, travel, and wellness posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

What are your thoughts on vegetarianism?
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How to Style Midi Skirts for the Fall


Midi skirts are great. They're the perfect transition piece, no matter the season. Plus, they're versatile and can be dressed up or down for any occasion, so I thought I'd share a post about how you can style midi skirts as a summer-to-fall transition closet staple.

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Business Casual

Now that I teach five days a week and have to be in business casual two days more than I'm used to, I'm way more about styling business casual than I already was. One easy way to dress up a midi skirt for the office is to pair it with a long-sleeved button-up. Just tuck the top into the skirt for a clean, refined look.

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Everyday Chic

When I'm not in the office, I'm probably grocery shopping. That's all I do on the weekends now, tbh. For an everyday look, pair your midi skirt with oversized tees, also tucked in, and sneakers or canvas shoes for a more relaxed, everyday look.

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Going Out

Midi skirts are also great for a night out. If you're like me and sick of wearing a plain ol' mini skirt with tights when you go out in the cold weather of the fall, midi skirts will be your new best friend! Pair it with cute bodysuits, maybe throw on a leather jacket, and you're golden!

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How do you style midi skirts for the fall?
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Weekly Reading | October 25, 2018


Blogging

Last week, I read more blogging how-tos. I know I've been blogging for 12 years (😳), with six of those years on here, but the blogging industry is an ever-changing one, and even though I don't blog as often as I used to, I still feel it's great to keep abreast of the industry because I still really want to dedicate more time and effort to this blog, y'know. 😋

"How to Shoot Restaurant Interiors" via What of the Day
"Tools I Use and Recommend" via Amy Lynn Andrews

Travel

Another fun (but time-intensive) activity besides blogging is traveling, and it's really never too late to start planning for trips. My sister and I are thinking of going for a staycation somewhere sometime in February, and we're already planning for it, lol.


Wellness

Keeping busy is great and all, but always, always, always remember to keep your wellbeing as your number one priority. Watching your wellness can get buried under your daily mountain of stress, so here's a post with seven easy ways to incorporate self-care into your everyday routine. I also read a post on how to start a conversation about eating disorders with people closest to you and a post on what to do if the mere thought of sex gives you anxiety.


For more travel posts as well as fashion and food posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

How do you practice self-care?
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Laundry Mistakes You Might be Making


Alright, guys, I'm gonna share an unpopular opinion: doing laundry is fun. I'm not kidding. I guess the routine of it all is comforting in a way, y'know. It's by far my favorite chore. Well, it was my favorite chore. My current apartment, unlike my previous apartment, isn't as great in its laundry facilities. I still have my own washer in-unit, but it's small, and there's no dryer! It's just not a thing in China. I had to resort to buying one of those awkward portable dryers that aren't the most efficient at drying clothes. Anyway, I feel like I'm kinda digressing a little here, so let me get at least closer to the point of today's post.

Laundry; you can love it like I used to, or you can hate it, but we all need to do it, and if you want to minimize possible damage to your clothes, there are a few "mistakes" you should avoid making. I gotta admit: a few of these are things that I didn't even know were important, such as this first one:

Filling the Washer Incorrectly

I mean, I know there's an order in which you should fill your washer, and I've always just done clothes, detergent, water. It makes sense, right? Let the detergent soak into your clothes, then the water mixes them all up. Wrong! A washer I had suggested detergent, clothes, water, so that's what I've been doing. Apparently, that's wrong too! Clothes, water, detergent is the way to go, it seems, for the most efficient distribution of detergent, but since my current washer has a compartment for detergent where the water flows into the washer, I don't have much of a choice in protocol anymore, lol.


Tossing in Socks

Ok, here's another one I'm extremely guilty of doing because I've been mixing my socks with my clothes since the day I started doing my own laundry, lol. I use the same laundry basket for clothes and socks, so everything just gets tossed in together in the washer. Turns out, you should put your socks in first, at the bottom of your washer to avoid them getting attached to your other clothes and disappearing. I've only ever had one singular sock go missing, so this isn't as big of an issue for me, so maybe I'll just continue doing what I've been doing all along. 😂

Rubbing Stains Furiously

I'm sure we're all well-acquainted with that mini heart attack that occurs when you spill or drop something on your clothes (especially if they're brand new 😩), but resist the urge to immediately grab a rag to attempt to erase history! Stains can spread when rubbed, and it's also really bad for the fabric to be rubbing at it. Y'know, friction and all. What you can do is yes, spring into action immediately because the longer you leave the stain for, the more it soaks into the clothing, and the harder it will be to get out. However, use a white cloth so that colors don't transfer, and dab (not rub) the stain from the outside in. This decreases the likelihood of the stain spreading as well.


Using Too Much Detergent

This one is surprising to me because I didn't know using too much detergent is a thing. I usually only do my laundry when I have a full load, so I just fill the detergent cap to Level 5, and that works well for me, but apparently, if your water is too sudsy, the suds (along with the dirt it removed) can get trapped in places like under a collar. How to remedy the situation is to use half the amount of detergent you normally use and gradually increase the amount if your clothes don't come out as clean as you like them. I might actually give this a try because my clothes don't usually get dirty, just my workout clothes, so as long as I can get my clothes to come out smelling clean, I might not have to fill the cap to 5 after all. 🤔

At the end of the day, though, guys, your laundry habits are up to you. I know I definitely have my own idiosyncrasies when it comes to laundry like how I have to load the washer one garment at a time, kind of to check what all is going in there so that I can make sure they all come out. It doesn't make a lot of sense, but it's just something that goes into my process, lol.

What are some other laundry "mistakes" you've heard about?
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Weekly Reading | October 18, 2018


Fashion

We talk about fashion here a lot, but one topic integral to the industry that we've never really touched on much is ethical fashion. I have to admit that I'm only just slowly learning more and more about the skeletons in the closet (😏) of the fashion industry, and it's a major issue that we should all be well-versed in. First off, Megan shares some information about what ethics means in fashion, then Abigail and Caroline share guides on how to get into ethical shopping.

"Ethical Denim Diaries: DSTLD" via Tunes and Tunics
"How to Shop for Clothes Ethically" via & She's Brave

Food

Switching gears, last week, I also read some recipes for vegan and gluten-free Maine lobster rolls. Vegan and gluten-free are definitely not terms I associate with Maine lobster rolls, but Rebecca never ceases to amaze with her innovative recipes. Then, I found posts that combine two of my biggest passions in life: food and shopping. 😌


Travel

Switching gears again, I also read some travel posts. For how little traveling I get to do, I sure love reading travel posts. 😂 Let me live (vicariously), ok! The first two posts are domestic locations: Atlanta, Georgia and Florida. The third post is an international location: Helsinki, Finland, one of the many European cities that I really want to visit one day.

"The Happy Guide to Three Fun Days in Atlanta, Georgia" via The Happy Arkansan
"My Favorite Florida Spots" via Haute Table
"10 Things You Might Not Know About Helsinki" via Small Towns & City Lights

For blogging, lifestyle, and beauty posts, check out the previous Weekly Reading!

What are your thoughts on ethical fashion?
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