have you ever?

looked in the mirror and thought, wow i’m really ugly this morning. my skin is too red, my teeth are too yellow, my tummy is too fat? have you ever gotten into the shower and wished your existence would just wash down the drain? have you ever thought, if only i’d made a different decision, if only i’d done this instead, if only i’d never said that? have you ever wondered, am i the only one that feels this way? do other people have these thoughts?

we tell people “you wouldn’t understand” and “you would have to go through what i went through”

but we don’t know what they’ve been through and they don’t know what we’ve been through, so all we do is build up fortresses around our hearts and cages around our minds. we belittle others’ struggles in an attempt to protect ourselves from our own. we separate ourselves from the very people who can understand the way our minds tick.

tick, tick, tick.

time seems to pass so fast and so paradoxically slow. we wake up and go to our jobs and wish the time would go by quickly. we wish it would waste away until we could be free. but are we free, after we punch the clock? free from bills, from that stubborn stain on your favorite shirt, from the dishes in the sink, from the efforts we owe to the people we love?

it’s exhausting, being alive. so many things to do in so few hours and so few days. so little money, for so many adventures. so many people to please, and to help, and to learn from. sometimes i put too much energy into loving other people that i forget to save some love for myself. but then i have to remind myself that love is not finite, and to define it as such would be an injustice. there is enough love in my soul for all people, for all things, for all places, and for myself. but it’s hard to prioritize that, and i still make mistakes. sometimes i hurt people and i feel riddled with guilt. but my guilt can’t un-say words, and it can’t un-raise my voice. so i have to ask for forgiveness from the people i hurt and try to forgive myself.

i want to leave a piece of my heart in so many places. i want to say beautiful things and see beautiful places with unfiltered eyes. i want to learn things, not just math problems and historical dates. i want to learn to find peace in my most broken, painful moments. i want to learn to embrace people without projecting my own insecurities onto them. i want to learn to be gracious, and humble, and gentle.

i want to be able to say, have you ever? instead of, you wouldn’t understand.

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July 2015 Favorites

Hi friends! It’s been a while. I’ve been doing this thing, wedding planning, and it’s consuming my life. Plz 4give.

I’ll cut to the chase – here are my favorites from July!

  1. Up & Up Luminous White whitening wraps, $16 at Target – I hate Crest Whitestrips. I think they’re slimy, inconvenient, and they give me awful tooth sensitivity. Oh, and they’re heinously overpriced for essentially being a film of hydrogen peroxide. SO, on my quest for white teeth many moons ago, I decided to try this product. (The packaging has since been updated in stores) They’re purple wax trays that mold around your teeth. I love these because they actually stay adhered to my teeth – you can talk with them in! – and do pretty dramatic whitening in a short amount of time. I am  usually able to get a good deal on these with Cartwheel or in-store coupons at Target. I’ve been using them since I was in high school, so you could say I’m biased loyal to the results. I do experience mild tooth sensitivity, but I have normally sensitive teeth anyway.
  2. Plus White 5 Minute Speed Whitening System, $11.49 at Walgreens – This is my holy grail whitening product, and with my wedding coming up, I’ve been using it non-stop! The only part of the kit I use is the whitening gel – the rinse exploded while I was moving, and I don’t really like the tray. I put a thin strip of the gel in a 99-cent mouthguard and leave it in for ~20 minutes, 30 if I’m really bored. This process tends to be a little drool-ier, so you won’t really be able to talk while whitening. I usually do this while showering. The gel foams up and gets in all the little nooks and crannies of your teeth, and it’s pretty cheap. It’ll last me forever and it works really well.
  3. CoverGirl Outlast All-Day Primer, $12ish at Ulta – I like to explore all beauty trends. Primers have been a pretty big thing in the beauty scene over the last couple of years, and I’ve had a difficult time jumping on the bandwagon. This particular primer has the consistency and texture of a moisturizer, and soaks into your skin in the same way. It doesn’t have the silicone-texture of the Smashbox or Benefit primers. When used in combination with the ELDW (see below) foundation, I can wear my makeup for 18 hours with minimal touch-ups. What did you just say, Shelbie? 18 hours with minimal touch-ups. I have super oily skin, so it’s practically a miracle. I really like this product.
  4. Orlando Pita Revive Dry Instant Boost Shampoo, $50 for 2pk at Beauty’s Most Wanted, purchased at Costco – My mom actually picked this up for me at Costco, and I’m in dry shampoo heaven every time I use it. It gives my hair such a silky, dry texture (bye-bye, evidence of unwashed hair) and smells lightly floral. I haven’t experienced any white residue, and the powder itself is very fine, so it blends into my hair nicely. I don’t believe Costco sells this anymore, and I haven’t had much luck locating it online, which is a bummer. Anyone know where I can find some more?
  5. Jergens Instant Sun Tanning Mousse, $12 at Target – After falling in love with my beloved Fake Bake Flawless Darker, I pretty much swore off drugstore tanning products. I was a sucker at Target a few weeks ago, and bought this. I’ve been applying it with a mitt, and I really like the color it gives. The mousse is really runny, which I don’t like, but I’ve been enjoying the results of this product and have used it several times. I would maybe repurchase this to keep in my bathroom in case I run out of the Fake Bake. It does transfer onto clothing and take about 10-15 minutes to dry completely, but I would recommend this!
  6. Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation, $38 at Sephora – ERMAGERD LERVE THIS. (It’s past my bedtime) I have pined over this foundation for close to two years, and I finally took the plunge and bought it. I have the shade Dawn 2W1, which is a light-medium warm tone. It looks great with my fake tan and this stuff seriously lasts all. day. long. The sales rep told me it should be applied with a brush, but I prefer it with a damp beauty blender. I get a slight sheen after ~5ish hours of wear, but it’s more of a natural glow and can be easily blotted away. With other foundations of mine, I get mega-greasy after 2-3 hours, so I’m definitely satisfied with the oil controlling properties of this foundation. It has a runny, thin consistency, which is a positive as well, as it doesn’t feel thick or heavy on the skin. 10 million/5 stars.
  7. Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Acne Moisturizer, $6.50 at Walmart – I’m trying to conserve my Clinique moisturizer, so I’ve been using this every other day. I think it does a decent job of light moisturization, and I have noticed a slight decrease in my acne as well. I don’t think this product is something to write your great aunt Sue about, but I will probably repurchase it.Also, it smells good.
  8. L’Oreal Quick Dry Primer Spray, $5 at Ulta – This is sorcery. You spray this in your hair and it cuts down on the time it takes to blow-dry your hair. I’m honestly  not sure how, but it smells delicious and really works. I have a ton of hair, so I hate blow drying it, but this has actually given me a little bit of an incentive. At the time of this posting, Target has a Cartwheel on this product for 20% off, so it’s a great time to try it!

What were your favorites for July? Anything I should try out in August? Let me know in the comments!

xx