Skin Care Essentials with Clarisonic

Before I got to college I never really took care of my skin. Honestly it drove my parents crazy how little I cared about washing my face or even taking my makeup off. But as soon as I got to college it was like my skin changed. 

I HAD to start taking care of my skin religiously or I would break out. The amount of stress and lack of sleep I experience on a weekly basis means that If I didn't have a skin care routine, I would be seriously acne prone. 

Up until last month I had been taking my makeup off with a make-up wipe, using a daily cleanser, 2x a week acne scrub, weekly face mask, and daily night cream and morning moisturizer. I thought this had been an effective routine, until I started using my Clarisonic. 

Oh my gosh the first day I used my Clarisonic I could not believe how much crap was still on my face!! In order to get the best results, you're supposed to take your makeup off before you use the Clarisonic. So I used a makeup remover wipe and some eye makeup remover. Then I started using the Clarisonic and realized that even though I may have thought my face was pretty clean, or my makeup was removed, it was definitely not. My skin had never felt so clean or smooth than that day! It felt like I had just gotten a facial. 


My new routine is remove makeup, apply cleaner to Clarisonic and use for 2 minutes, night cream and morning moistierizer, and weekly face mask. I also have fallen in love with the Clarisonic brand cleanser and clay masks! I like to use the Clarisonic every other day, and on the days I don't use it I still use the cleanser to help take off all my makeup. 

The difference in my skin is actually incredible. I've had one facial in my life, and when I use the Clarisonic Clay Mask then take it off with the spin head brush my skin feels identical to when I had that facial. 

A Clarisonic is definitely a splurge item, but it definitely makes a huge difference! If you're interested in getting one (or you want to add it to your holiday wish list *wink wink parents*) HerCampus and Clarisonic are offering 15% off using the code HERCAMPUS now through October 31!

Have you used a Clarisonic? How do you like it / Which brush head do you have? Obviously I'm obsessed! 



This post is brought to you by Clarisonic and Her Campus Media

Life Updates ( I joined a SORORITY)

(psst. this post is going to be just basically balling and life-updating because it's necessary)

Because this post is super rant-y I broke it up into chunks, so bear with me ;). 

These past few weeks have been CRAZ-ZAY. Papers, and mid-terms and meetings.. oh my! Oh [by the way] I joined a SORORITY. If you've been following along for a while you'd know that I went through Panhellenic Recruitment last fall at my university as a sophomore. Unfortunately I did not find my home last fall, but it did lead me to finding my home at Tri Sigma this fall!


This is officially the 6th week of school I'm about to take my 3rd midterm for one of my 5 classes, I just submitted a project proposal, we finally heard back on a grant we had a proposal for last week for the annual conference that I help run, and I get my new member pin for Tri Sigma today, not to mention I have work at 5am. Oh my gosh just talking about my life is making me exhausted.

life advice (kinda)

But more than ever being so busy and stressed has made me really realize how truly happy I am with my life right now. Early on in my college career I couldn't confidently say I was happy with where I was: I wasn't doing as well as I wanted academically, I wasn't as close to any of my friends as I had been, I started questioning where I was going to college, and I just felt like I was going through the motions.

But now I just feel so happy being at UMass, with my group of friends, with my classes, and most importantly with my amazing relationship with my boyfriend and family. I have gotten incredibly close with my parents since I've been at school and I absolutely love it! If you're a senior in high school start spending tim with your parents now, because trust me, you'll miss it. 


life update

So I joined a sorority! Tri Sigma just re-colonized here on the UMass campus so technically I'm a founding sister (but also not technically because there used to be a chapter here. It's complicated.) What that means is there are 110 total girls in my new member class and 110 total in the chapter. All of us accepted bids on the same day and we will all be initiated on the same day (except for my roommate because she was in Tri Sigma at her old school.) 

I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I feel like the reason I didn't find my home last year was because I was meant to do this. I was meant to put the work in to creating the framework for a chapter. I love putting 110% of myself into everything I do, and I can't wait to do that with Tri Sigma. 

(also I'm so excited to shop tf out of Etsy for some fun Tri Sigma swag! let me know your favorite places to get sorority swag!)

ending thoughts

Our greatest weapon against stress is our ability to chose one thought over another
— anonymous

I'm so thankful for all of you who have read this and everything I have in my life! Thank you guys for just being awesome! Let's get through midterms together! 



How to be a Morning Person

I always get asked how I wake up so early so consistently while at college. If you don't already know 4-5 days a week I start my day at 5:00AM and if I don't wake up at 5:00AM I sleep in until 5:30 or 6. This is partly because 2 days a week I work on campus at 5:45 in the morning, and partly because I just like it.  

Becoming a morning person is as easy as developing a routine. 

The Night Before

| Go to sleep at the same time every night |

This is the most important part of becoming a morning person, or just developing a college routine in general. There are no consistent class, meeting, or study schedules so its important that no matter what you plan to do during the day Monday-Friday you set a reasonable 'bedtime' every night. 

I've been using the new bedtime feature on the clock app with the new iOS 10 update and I really like it! 

For reference, I try to make sure I'm in bed by 10:30 PM every week night. This doesn't mean I'm sleeping or tired, I'm just in bed starting my wind down routine. {mine involves twitter and candy-crush, but typically this is when people turn their phones on silent and read.} 

| Plan a yummy and healthy breakfast | 

Having a delicious breakfast to look forward to makes you excited about waking up and starting the day! I always make sure my breakfast is yummy and healthy so I feel good all day. 

Part of my routine is that I like to have consistency, so I have literally the same basic breakfast every morning right when I wake up, then closer to when I have class (10 AM) I'll have a second, random breakfast. 

My early breakfast is green tea and oatmeal, and for second breakfast I'll either have some eggs, toast and coffee or a protein shake to-go. 

|Set out your clothes | 

The night before plan what you're going to wear the next day. The nights before I have work I lay out my uniform for work, and the outfit I'll be changing into for class when I get back. 

Having everything already planned makes the morning so much less stressful. 

| Organize everything you'll need for the next day | 

In keeping with minimizing stress, I always pack my backpack the night before and pick up my room a little bit. When I pack my backpack I make sure I have everything printed I need for class, or I make note of anything I need to stop and print, and I pack some snacks. 

Since I spend most of the day on campus and have large breaks between classes I bring lots of snacks and all my chargers and headphones to make sure I won't have to come back to my apartment during the day. 

The Morning Of

| Wake up at the same time every day | 

As important as going to bed every night is, waking up at the same time everyday is arguably more important. I know that I can't control when I fall asleep {I know that nights before I have exams I can never sleep}, but I can control exactly when I wake up. 

By waking up at the same time everyday regardless of when you fell asleep, you'll start to almost train your body to a new schedule. It'll become easier to sleep at the same time every night, and soon waking up early will just seem normal. 

| Update your planner and Schedule your day | 

I always pull out my planner in the morning and make sure I've crossed off everything I finished, and moved everything I still need to do over to the current day. I also look over the hourly schedule part of my planner and fill in anything that's not already there. 

If you don't have a day planner you should still schedule out your day. I recommend doing this because it just reminds you of meetings you may have forgotten, and it can help you see where you have time in the day to do homework or go to the gym. 

| Take time to do something you love | 

When you wake up as early as I do you have to reward yourself. I never have time during the day to watch the videos in my Youtube subscription box so while I get ready in the morning I watch videos from all the people I subscribe to! 

Other suggestions would be to read a book, go for a run, blog {something I do the mornings I don't have work}, pretty much anything you love to do but don't normally have time to do during the day. 

Knowing you're going to wake up and do something you love will help you jump up when that alarm goes off. 


Hitting *snooze on your alarm actually makes it harder to wake up. If you know you're not going to be able, or want to, wake up at a certain time one morning, rather than hitting snooze for 15 minutes, set your alarm 15 minutes later. This is why I sometimes "sleep-in" for a half an hour certain days of the week. 

What's in my Backpack YOUTUBE VIDEO

We're trying something new today! Instead of a traditional post I published my first ever YOUTUBE VIDEO all about what's in my backpack! You can check it out below, but be sure to subscribe since this will be the only video I post on this site.

Let me know what you guys think, what videos you want to see, and in general any tips you have for filming! I definitely noticed some things I need to change for next time and can't wait to get the hang of using my camera for more than just photos!

Dorm Safety with SABRE {+ Giveaway}

Back in August SABRE reached out to me asking about safety on my college campus. (Originally I was really interested in their pepper spray/drink test duo kit, but unfortunately you can't mail pepper spray to Massachusetts)

I ended up getting the chance to try out their Dorm/Apartment Kit. It's basically 3 intense alarms: one personal, one window, and one door. 

The door alarm looks just like a door stop. You slip it back behind a closed door when you don't expect anyone to come into your apartment or dorm. Because there are 4 people in my apartment, once everyone is home for the night we can place the alarm by the main door. And on weekends when people go home or go out I can place it just on my bedroom door. When the door is opened unexpectedly, it pushes down on the stop which sets off the alarm. 

The window alarm can also double as a door alarm. It's a white box that has two part and whenever the door or window is opened (once activated obviously), the alarm goes off. I have mine on my bedroom door for when I don't use the doorstop since the windows at UMass are pretty difficult to open from the inside, let alone the outside. 

The personal alarm is honestly the coolest! I have it on my keychain and I bring it with me everywhere! Since I couldn't get the pepper spray, I figured this was the next best thing, and I feel a little more safe with it. If the pin is pulled, it sounds an alarm! 

The point of all of this is personal safety. Whether you're already in college or just applying, personal safety on campus is huge. I can't tell you the number of times my friends or I have felt unsafe just walking around in broad daylight let alone at night, and it can be scary being in a dorm or apartment with a new roommate for the first time. 

I would highly recommend if you can to invest in a personal alarm, pepper spray and most importantly a drink test kit! They aren't expensive and can give you peace of mind and even save your life. 

Win a Dorm/Apartment Kit

SABRE was kind enough to send me a second kit to give to one of my readers! Enter below for your chance to win! Winners will be announced on October 5th! 

How I Study

Going into my third year of college I've finally perfected how I study. Developing a study technique for college can take a while, you have to decide what works best for you. That's why I titled this post "How I Study" and not "How to Study". 

If in high school you were like me and didn't really need to study to do well, take some time to try different techniques before you find what really works for you!

What I Use

You can read about the specifics of everything I bought for school here, in my school supplies haul, but for studying purposes I use:

  • 5x7 index cards
  • my notebooks
  • Google Drive (docs)
  • highlighters
  • black pens
  • colored pens

What I Do

I take my laptop with my to classes, but I only use it in classes that we're required to have it. I take all my class notes in a lined notebook. I find that I get less distracted in class when I have to write everything down. 

After class I type all my notes into Google Docs. Because all my classes use 3 different online sites I have all of their readings downloaded and synced to Google Drive and organized by class. Once I type my notes in they go into a Class Notes folder. Having everything accessible on Google Drive means I can look up anything on my phone if I need it. This is perfect for last minute studying, or answering questions for classmates. 

All of my classes have required or optional reading. I've found that professors find a lot of exam questions through optional readings so I now just do all of the readings. And I treat them like lectures: I old-school outline all of my readings and hand-write them into my notebook, then when I have free time I'll type them into my Google Drive. The repetitive copying and rereading of my notes really helps me remember all of the information. Now that my classes are all business related understanding the topics clearly are important for not mixing up the classes. 

While I'm doing the readings or typing in my notes I take any key terms or things my professor has said was important and put them on an index card. I like to use the larger index cards because I can draw diagrams, or extended definitions without using multiple cards. 

By doing all of this as the semester goes, I don't have to craw when exams come around, and all my study materials are pretty much created! I can build study guides out of my typed notes based on the specific exam details and study only what I need to closer to the exam. 

If you're interested in a "What's in my Backpack" Youtube VIDEO let me know in the comments! 



BioClarity Skin Care

disclaimer: this product was given to me for promotional purposes, but this post was not paid for by BioClairty and all thoughts are my own. 

Being in college, keeping my skin clear can be tough. I've never been someone who struggled with severe acne, or cystic acne, but waking up with acne never leads to a good day.

When BioClarity reached out to me I was a little skeptical. I can never use natural products because I'm allergic to Tea Tree Oil and it's in almost EVERY natural based beauty product out there. But once I found out there wasn't any type of oil I could have an allergic reaction to, I figured, why not!

BioClairty has 3 steps: Cleanse, Treatment, and Restore Gel. The instructions recommend doing all three steps twice a day (in the morning and before bed). But because I didn't always have acne, and may major problem is redness I only did steps 1 and 3 everyday and added the second step in when I noticed my skin acting up. 

My biggest problem with my skin is redness. Right on my nose and over my cheeks are always red - it basically looks like I always have a sunburn. But Step 3 is literally dark green, and acts as a green concealer. it calms the redness to the point where I don't have to put regular concealer on to block it. Not having to wear a ton of makeup to feel great makes me feel so confident! 

I continued to use my microdermabrasion system in conjunction with the BioClarity just to help get any extra dead skin off of my face once a week.  

Overall, I really love the cleanser and Floralux Gel, and I loved the treatment as a spot treatment! If you're looking for an easy on your skin, and easy to use, system you can use the code ALEX to get 50% off your first month!

What's your go-to skin care product?



Iced Coffee Hacks

It's been 2 weeks since I moved into my Junior Year apartment and coffee has been an essential component of these last two weeks. Now that I live in an apartment, and have to pay for things like groceries, I've been looking for ways to supplement my coffee addiction that don't involve driving to Starbucks and being late for class. 

My real experience with coffee up to this point has been through Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, or random coffee shops, I've never really been one to make my own coffee. When I got to college our dining halls gave out free coffee before 10:30 and there are 2 Starbucks and 2 other coffee shops on my campus that accept dining dollars (meal plan) for later in the day. 

Now that I don't want to drive to Starbucks, and don't have an unlimited dining plan for the on-campus locations, I had to come up with options.

Tools Used:

My amazing grandmother bought me the white Keurig 2.0 as an apartment-warming gift, and one of my roommates brought an actual coffee pot

*you in no way need to own both a Keurig and coffee pot, you can make all of these recipes with either.

Items Needed: 

  • reusable to-go iced coffee tumblers
  • ground coffee
  • k-cups
  • flavor shots

Every morning I would get an iced coffee, an iced vanilla latte or an iced caramel macchiato. Its well known that the standard Keurig does not make iced coffee. So to achieve the iced coffee dreams we came up with options: at home cold brew and regular. 

Iced Coffee

| For The Individual |

If you're trying to just make one cup of iced coffee before class your first step is to brew a cup of hot coffee. If you have a Keurig when you wake up put your favorite flavor of k-cup in and let it brew and sit until it's room temperature. If you have a regular coffee pot you may be able to program it to automatically begin brewing at a specific time (this is awesome). Once your coffee is brewed and room temperature pop it in the fridge. While your waiting for your coffee to get nice and cold you can go about the rest of your morning routine. 

Right before you leave for class grab a reusable tumbler fill it with ice and pour in your coffee. I always add a teaspoon of sugar, half&half and a little almond milk to my iced coffee! 

| For The Week | 

If you're obsessed with iced coffee like I am, one cup will not suffice. By making a full pot of coffee, with either a coffee pot of a Keurig Carafe, and letting it cool then storing the entire pot in a plastic iced tea jug. you'll have coffee for at least a week. One of my roommates makes a pot every other day (shoutout to Kenzie for supplementing my coffee addiction) and we never run out. 

Cold Brew

Making cold brew at home is surprisingly easy.

  1. Simply take your loose coffee grounds and water and pour them into a tupperware container, stir and store overnight.
  2. The next day take a micro strainer or place cheese cloth over a traditional strainer and place a second tupperware underneath. 
  3. Pour the stored coffee into the strainer until just grounds are left in the strainer or cheese cloth. 
  4. Then you have cold brewed coffee! 

You can do this for both individual and several servings. 

bonus hacks

| Coffee Iced Cubes | 

Pour coffee into an ice cube tray and freeze to make iced cubes that won't water down your coffee. When they melt, your iced coffee will just be filled with more coffee!

| Flavor Shots | 

If you don't have a Keurig, and can't buy flavored k-cups, flavor syrups are awesome. We buy Folgers coffee for our coffee pot and Folgers also makes flavor enhancers that you can add to full pots or individual cups.