Almost every other beauty YouTuber and blogger are coming out with beauty gift ideas for the holidays. So how about sharing some non-beauty/lifestyle favorites? All of these are items that I own and have enjoyed tremendously. Each of them would make a great gift!
1. Google Chromecast ($35): This is a really awesome gadget that projects/streams videos from your YouTube or Netflix mobile app and anything from your Chrome browser on the computer. It’s definitely a good tool for have for both smart and non-smart TVs since the interface of some smart TVs can be really frustrating to use. This is a great gift for people of all ages and technological backgrounds (super easy to set up!).
2. Acrylic Earrings Organizer ($15): Know an earring lover? She’ll love this gift! This earrings organizer fits A LOT of earrings and best of all, it’s foldable! This makes transporting your earrings really easy because you can just fold everything into a rectangular prism, stick it in the original box, and take it anywhere you want. I know at least 5 friends who got this after seeing mine :)
3. Staedtler Triplus Fineliner Pens ($10-$20): Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been obsessed over colorful pens. These pens are really high quality and lasts for a long time. They don’t dry out easily either. They do bleed slightly on paper but not too much. Using these pens actually motivates me to study because I love using them so much.
4. The Looker iPhone Case ($20): I recently got this iPhone case after upgrading to the iPhone 5S. It’s a multifunctional iPhone case that has a card slot and a mirror on the back. Since the material is made of silicone, a card fits pretty snugly into the slot and it doesn’t slip out easily. These cases come in several colors and I got the one in Emerald Green.
5. Simply Vera Corduroy Leggings ($25): I suppose it’s kinda weird giving leggings to a friend so this is more of a mother-daughter or sister gift. These are simply the most comfortable and warm leggings ever! Corduroy leggings might sound weird but these are totally worth trying. Regular leggings are too thin to wear on its own but these leggings are thick enough to wear on its own and looks great with a slightly long sweater. They are also very warm and look great with boots. I’ve had mine for a year and the color doesn’t fade after washing. I definitely prefer these over sweatpants!
1. DSW White Mountain Lore Riding Boots ($75): This is my first pair of riding boots. I’ve been mostly wearing slouchy boots during the past few years. I saw these on display when I went to DSW and had to try them on. These boots are very comfortable and warm. I also love the gold details on them.
1. Dooney & Bourke Wristlet ($118): The exact one that I own isn’t being sold anymore but it’s similar to the item linked in the title. This was my very first designer purchase when I entered college. In my wristlet, I keep my phone, keys, headphones, hand sanitizer, ID/cards, and lip balm. The main reason I got this wristlet is because my old phone (LG Voyager) was quite long and this product is long and slender. This bag is very versatile because it can be used for both casual and formal occasions. I’ve been using my wristlet for more than 4 years and the quality is phenomenal.
2. Longchamp Le Pliage Large Tote ($145): This was kind of an impulse purchase but I’m glad it was worth it! I love how this bag is waterproof and foldable. The straps are quite narrow but they are actually really comfortable. I used to carry this as a school bag but I stopped when I experienced shoulder pain (mainly due to having bad posture when I used to play the violin and using a tote bag for school for almost 7 years). Girls, get a backpack for school! Save this bag for running errands and traveling!
I hope you have enjoyed this post! Happy holidays!
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Hi guys! If you are a student like me, then you know that finals week is approaching quickly. I’m going to share some tips on how to prepare for exams and maintain your sanity during this crazy time of the year. Sometimes I feel like this type of posts are more of a pep talk for myself, but I hope you’ll find something useful!
Note: I was a science major in college so whatever I say probably applies to science courses more than humanities courses.
- Start early! I really mean it. Start studying at least 2 weeks before your exam to allow enough time to go through all the material. I know it’s really hard to start studying for the final exam while you still have other assignments due. But start small by spending 15 minutes per night reviewing and then gradually increase that amount of time as it gets closer to the exam.
- For concepts that you have to memorize, write them all out (by hand if possible) and study them everyday before the exam. I usually write out a long version first, and then create a condensed version to pinpoint all the crucial points.
- For classes that you have to solve problems (such as genetics, chemistry, physics, math), learn the concepts first, identify different types of problems, do practice problems, and summarize how you should approach each type of problems. Make a list of the step-by-step procedure if the material isn’t too theoretical.
- Do practice exams and time yourself! Unfortunately, not all professors are willing to provide those….
Take Care of Your Body:
- Eat healthy, snack often. I don’t know about you, but I get hungry really easily when I study! My favorite snacks while studying are: Greek yogurt with granola and nuts, mixed fruit bowl (I suggest chopping up the fruit right after a meal and put them in a Tupperware. Trust me, if you are too lazy to chop/peel fruit when you are full, you won’t do it when you are hungry.), chips & guac, and dark chocolate (can’t live without my dark chocolate :P).
- Get some rest. I know it’s much easier said than done but make sleep a priority. Sleep at least 6 hours per night. Being well rested makes studying easier.
- Stay (somewhat) physically active. Time is tight but try to exercise/play sports twice a week and take walks on the other days.
- Drink lots of water, don’t drink too much coffee. Although I love my daily cup of coffee, I usually can’t stand the taste of coffee during finals week because I’m so tired of the taste. I like to drink green tea when I’m stressed because I find it to be very calming. I normally just use whole leaf green tea and add some honey in there.
- Use a sheet mask 1-2 times a week. Stress is a major cause of dull skin. Sheet masks are easy to put on and remove. Plus you can keep doing your work while you have the mask on.
- It’s natural to get overwhelmed but don’t stress too much. Breakdown your larger tasks into smaller bits and you’ll get more done than you expect. I love making lists so I depend on my Todoist app to keep me on top of things.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself if you slack off for a little bit. Just pick yourself up and focus on your work afterwards. Get rid of distractions such as electronics. It’s too bad that the SelfControl app doesn’t work in OS X Mavericks. Now I gotta exercise real self-control :P
- Change your study/work environment so you don’t get too comfortable. For example, rotate between studying at the library, coffee shop, your desk, dining table, etc.
- Listen to instrumental music. I’ve been really enjoying the Study Music Project, created by a current medical student. You can listen to his music here on his YouTube channel.
- If you are soooo stressed that you feel like you are on the verge of a mental breakdown, stop what you are doing and take a break! Spend an hour watching TV, reading, drawing, baking, napping, or whatever that helps you to relax. Sometimes you need to get your mind off your work so you can approach it with a new attitude later.
- Resist the urge to online shop. I have this bad habit of really wanting to online shop whenever I’m stressed out, but I end up regretting most of those purchases. To deal with this, I have 2 solutions: 1) create a Pinterest board of the things you want instead of actually buying them, 2) write down “I saved $____ today by practicing self-control” on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. I know they are kinda silly but they work!
Phew, you finally reached the end of the post! I wish you all the best of luck with your final exams! Hang in there!
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Kanebo KATE BB Gel Cream
Japanese beauty products have worked very well for me in the past. But every once in a while, I encounter a product that works terribly on my skin. Reflecting on all the years that I have used makeup, this BB cream is probably one of the worst products I’ve ever put on my face. I usually give a bad product 3 tries before I completely give up. But the result was so bad during the 2nd try that I had to take it off because I knew I couldn’t walk out of the house wearing this.
Here are the issues I had with this BB cream:
- The texture is like a mixture of cream and gel. The thing is, gel products tend to sit on the skin and gets absorbed into the skin very slowly. If you mix a gel with a cream, there’s very noticeable patches and separation between these two textures. I love gel moisturizers because they are lightweight but this is not a desired formula for a BB cream.
- On my skin, which has pinkish undertone, this product makes me look like I was wearing a mask. It looks way too yellow. I think this BB cream could potentially work for someone with yellow undertone.
- The coverage is really sheer.
- The staying power is quite poor on oily skin or oily parts of combination skin. After 2 hours, my T-zone looks like it has no makeup on.
- It clogs the pores around my nose.
- This BB cream looks really cakey with powder on top.
- I’ve tried mixing this product with a foundation (usually helps the BB cream to provide more coverage and make it more long-lasting), but the result on my skin looks almost as if I didn’t mix them at all.
The reviews on MakeupAlley for this product are mostly positive. So this BB cream does work for some people and it isn’t as terrible as I have described. Perhaps there’s a change in the formula that I’m not aware of because the positive reviews were the older ones. If you have combination skin or oily skin, I would not recommend this product to you.
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