Favorite Summer Beauty Products & Hacks!

Let’s be real, we all struggle with beauty in the summer. Not all of us look Instagram-worthy with no makeup on, but we also don’t want to spend 30 minutes at the beach trying to get our eyeliner perfect. Here’s a list of beauty hacks that are sure to help you through the summer months:

The Sleep Styler

Using curling irons and straighteners during the summer is something no one has time for. Who wants to be on vacation having to blow dry and straighten their hair before a nice dinner on the town? NOT me. Luckily, the hit show Shark Tank has found us an amazing solution to the crazy hair problem. The Sleep Styler. The Sleep Styler is a set of eight soft rollers that style your hair without any heat. The huge selling point with this invention was that you could put these in your hair at night, sleep on them, wake up, and your hair would look perfect. I tested that out, and it works! I woke up with perfect spiral curls that looked soft and smooth. But, as someone who moves around a lot in their sleep, I wasn’t too comfortable wearing them all night (even though the rollers are pillow soft!).

I let my hair air dry until it is damp, then I put the rollers in. I watch TV, work on summer homework, clean my room… really anything just until my hair is all the way dry, which really only takes 45-hour. Then, I remove the rollers, and go to sleep (if it’s night time) or go on with my day. As someone who has fried my hair since middle school, this is a HUGE breakthrough. I’ve used the rollers only three times, and my hair already looks healthier and more shiny.

So, here’s what you can do: 

  • Jump in the shower and wash and condition your hair
  • Towel dry your hair until it’s damp (or close to it!)
  • Do your makeup
  • Get dressed
  • Remove rollers! Depending on how long it takes you to do your makeup and get dressed, your hair should be close to dry.

Definitely give these a try, your hair will thank you!

It Cosmetics CC+ Cream – Illumination SPF 50+

This was my holy grail last summer, especially during my time at the beach, and on those pool days! This CC cream is comparable to a full coverage foundation. It’s light on the skin, and gives off a radiant, bronze summer glow while preventing sun damage. I have lots of freckles and a birthmark on my face, and this cream was able to cover everything up! Not to mention, it smells really good. Apply this with a BeautyBlender to achieve the perfect summer glow for everyday wear. A full size tube of this CC cream retails for $38 at Ulta. While it is a little more expensive than our college budget likes, it is a great product that will last you the entire summer, probably longer!

St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse – Medium

Don’t have time to make it to the beach this summer, but still want that summer glow? Check out the St. Moriz Instant Self Tanning Mousse. This stuff gives a beautiful, natural tan at an affordable price. Avoid pricey spray tans and sun damage by picking this up for $12.99 at your local Ulta. Shower, dry off, and apply this evenly with a tanning mitt to freshly exfoliated and moisturized skin. The self tanner starts working instantly, so you’ll notice a little glow fairly quickly.

Tint your eyebrows – at home!

If you’re like me, you didn’t get the good eyebrow genes in the family. My eyebrows are thick, but lighter than my hair color. So, when I go without filling them in (with Anastasia Dip Brow Pomade, of course), it looks like something is missing from my face. After watching several YouTube videos, I found a way to get the perfect eyebrow color without having to spend the time filling them in each morning. Tinting your eyebrows. I’ve seen this on the services menu at salons before, but I could never justify spending $30 on such a small part of my body (I know, eyebrows are important, but college budget over here…). Luckily, the amazing beauty community on YouTube shared an amazing, and affordable hack.

Stop by a local drugstore and pick up the Just For Men Mustache and Beard dye in whichever color will work for your eyebrows. Yes, I’m serious. Stay with me here! Mix up the dye as instructed, using just enough for your brows (don’t mix the entire tubes of product!). Place some Vaseline around the outline of your brows to reduce the chance of getting any dye on your skin. Using the small brush that came with the dye, place the dye on your brows. Apply a healthy amount evenly across both brows. Let the dye sit for 5 minutes, and then wipe it off with a warm wash cloth. And there you go! Perfectly tinted brows that will naturally complete your look for a few weeks!

 

What I Wish I Knew Before College

If you’re headed away to college for the first time, we know that you’re probably FaceTiming your future roommate every day, staring at the countdown app going on your phone until move in day. You’re color coordinating your bedding with your bath towels, and trying to figure out which route you should take from building to building. While all of that is fun and super important, there’s a ton that admissions counselors and orientation pamphlets won’t tell you. Here’s a list of what we wish we knew before we went to college:

There will still be “cliques” and “mean girls”

Not to start off on a negative note, but it’s really true and something you should be aware of. Not sure why, but we had this idea in our head that everyone was going to be super friendly and outgoing. Even if you go to school a million miles away from home, there will still be people that are “clique-y” and exclusive of others. They’ll be in your classes, they’ll live on your hall, and they might be a part of any organization you join. The best advice we could offer is just to be yourself. You’ll find your best friends that way, and create life long bonds. That’s also the best way to avoid any of that famous “girl drama” that you most likely experience in middle and high school. College is a time to be comfortable, and really figure out who you are, so surround yourself with people that lift you up! You’ll meet some of your absolute best friends there, we promise.

It’s okay to change your major

So, we’ve touched on this before in some of our other posts about school, but we can’t stress this enough. College is just a small taste of what they rest of your life will be like in terms of your career, so make sure that you chose something you love, or something broad enough where you have some versatility upon graduating. If you see something else that you think would suit you better, go to your advisor first to see how you could transition, then present the plan to your parents. Parents like plans and details!

 

It’s really okay to turn down guys

When immature boys go to college, they assume it’s some slutty free for all like they’ve seen in Girls Gone Wild. Sure, college is a time to let loose and have fun, but never forget your morals, your dignity, and who you are. If a guy is pressuring you to do something that you’re not comfortable with, say no. Don’t let the, “oh it’s college” mindset excuse any behavior that wrong.

Get to know your professors – it’s crucial!

You’ll most likely learn about networking in a few of your college courses, but the most important people to network with are your professors! Not only could this help you in terms of grades if you find yourself in an academic bind over the semester, but they can provide letters of recommendation, and really just serve as another advisor and mentor for you. If you feel like you’re getting a friendly vibe with your professors during class, stick around after everyone else leaves and just introduce yourself. Tell them your name, where you’re from, and what you’re looking forward to in their course. Maybe even share what your career goals are. Chances are, you’ll find something that you have in common just by sharing that small amount of information. Some of the professors that we’ve gotten know are now some of our greatest mentors and friends! Having a good relationship with your professor is just another step to make college more comfortable for you.

Eat healthy

Okay – the freshman 15 is REAL, and it is scary.  You’ll put on a few pounds of stress weight, and probably beer weight, but you can avoid the serious poundage of you avoid the overeating and junk food from the start. If you have a meal plan, find which cafeteria or restaurant has a salad bar, or other light and healthy foods. Try to head there in the middle of the day. In terms of snacks, try to stick to health bars and other small snacks. There isn’t much you can cook up in a dorm room, but brands have gotten very creative with healthy snacks for the go. Take advantage! In addition to eating healthy, make sure you hit the gym. We liked to go to the gym really early in the morning to avoid the large crowds. That way, we could take advantage of an empty studio and track. Your school will probably offer fun workout classes (like yoga or belly dancing!), so try to hit a few of those each week, too!

Maintain a strong relationship with your family back home

Call your mom. Call your dad. Call your brother or sister. Reach out to those long lost cousins that you haven’t talked to in years. This is a new time in your life, and an opportunity for new relationships for form, even with people you’ve known since day one. When I (J) left for college, my mom and I were in a terrible place. We’d fight daily, disagree about what I was going to do with the rest of my life, and really just couldn’t sit in the same room together. After a few days of not talking when I arrived at school, daily half hour phone calls became regular, we became best friends. By the time I got home for Fall break, our relationship was completely different.

Graduating College Early – Is It Worth It?

Graduating from college early surely isn’t for everyone, and it isn’t something that some people would even remotely want. Some undergrads embrace living away from home and the party lifestyle, and they never want to leave. But, that isn’t the situation for plenty students just trying to get good grades and make their way through.

You already know that I spent my first year of college away from home. And you already know that I moved back home after two semesters of struggling emotionally. When I moved back, I really kicked things into gear. My attitude, my goals, and my work ethic completely changed. I was no longer a college student that wanted to drink all night and find that perfect group of friends to go to house parties with. I was now 19 years old, commuting over an hour multiple times a week to a very small campus that was more like a small town high school than a university. I was accepted to this school before I had even moved back home, so I never got the chance to visit the campus. I really just needed a reputable school to finish my degree at, and the pictures online convinced me that this school would be the place. Once I officially moved back, I went in to meet my advisor. As soon as I saw the campus in person, I knew that this was somewhere I was not going to want to be for a long time. Later that day, I printed out my degree plan and registered for summer courses at the local community college would transfer in. I entered school a semester ahead than most sophomores, and I went to school full time the next summer, allowing me to graduate one year early.

I never found my place at this school. I met lots of nice people, but at a school so small, people have their friend groups after freshman year. I met one of my best friends there, I learned a lot about myself (socially and academically), and I pushed myself to extreme limits taking on average 18-22 credit hours each semester. During one of my many meltdowns caused by being overwhelmed with coursework, my dad asked, “How does this benefit you? I know you want to be done one year early, but how does this help you in the long run?”. For me, graduating early was more about a personal achievement than something to put down on a resume. I learned how to time manage, handle myself in extremely stressful situations, and stay extremely focused. Making real money and moving onto my next educational step was always a huge priority for me, so now I have that extra year to make a full time salary and save some money before I head into law school.

For me, it was worth it completely. I never truly “fit in” where I was, and that was fine by me.  I didn’t want to go to boring dorm parties and drink warm beer with people that I wasn’t truly friends with. I wanted to get through it and get myself exactly where I wanted to be. And for me, that isn’t being hungover and showing up late for my AM classes. I didn’t peak in high school, and clearly I didn’t peak in college. But, I got through it, and I know that the best is yet to come.

This path isn’t for everyone, and it’s definitely not easy. But if you’re focused, determined to get to that next step in your life, and you’re not too attached to where you’re going to school, you might want to consider this. You’ll wind up saving some money along the way, too 🙂

Let me know your thoughts on this. Is this something you want to do, or something you’ve done? I’d love to learn more about your experiences.

J

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Affordable Room Decor Ideas!

We’ve touched on apartment essentials, but today we’re here to share two of our personal favorite room decor ideas. Whether you’re living in a dorm, back at home with your parents, or living in your first apartment, these can work for you… without breaking the bank!

1. Record Wall

My records: The Eagles, Bryan Adams, Elvis, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, & George Jones (last two not pictured). And of course, Hank gets his own wall because he’s the OG.

Creating a record wall is a great way to show your own personality while adding a vintage feel to your room. There is probably a box of records somewhere in your parents house, or you can always stop by your local record store (basically every town has a cute little store like this!) and pick some up. To create this super cute record wall, you’ll need the following:

  1. Records
  2. Permanent Mounting Scotch Tape (or Command Strips!)

To start off your record wall, first figure out what wall you want your records on, and what pattern or order you want them in. I just went with a straight line above my closet doors, but you can always make a square or diamond pattern! Take your roll of Scotch tape and cut four pieces. Place one piece in each corner. Then, remove the tapes backing. Place the record in the desired location, and repeat with each record until you’re finished! This is a very quick, very easy, and very affordable project that can completely change the dynamic of a room. In total, I only spent $19! 

2. Colorful Cork Board

IMG_1873

Okay, just about everyone has a cork board in their room. You might think they’re kind of basic, but there’s an affordable and fun way to make them stand out and keep you organized. Using paint (optional!), string lights, 5-7 pieces of card stock, and colorful thumb tacks, you’ll have everything you need to create the perfect board. To create your colorful cork board:

  1. (OPTIONAL) Paint your cork board. If your board is just plain brown, you might consider painting it a different color to make it look unique. I painted mine white just to brighten it up!
  2. Place the card stock on your cork board as a background, and secure it in the desired place using the colorful thumbtacks. I used pink and orange patterns for my background. Using fun colors will draw the eye to your board!
  3. Take your string lights and drape them around the perimeter of your cork board. Secure them in place using Command Hooks or the Scotch tape. This will brighten up the cork board and warm up the room.
  4. Add whatever you’d like to your cork board! Mine is filled with concert tickets, hockey tickets, pins, bookmarks, lanyards, and lots and lots of “The Office” Redbubble stickers, courtesy of my friend Emily. (BTW – Redbubble stickers are a super cute and affordable gift idea!)

As I already had the cork board and the paint, this little renovation cost under $15. Pieces of card stock are usually about $1.00. The most expensive item would be the lights, but there are plenty of cheap stores that sell those for a reasonable price. I purchased mine from FiveBelow for $5.00.

Be sure to try out these decor ideas, and tag us in your photos!

J

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What to Wear on Vacation

Annual summer beach vacations are an absolute must. Even if you’re working full time or going to school throughout the summer, you deserve one week to yourself in a tropical paradise. Some of our favorite beach spots are the Outer Banks, North Carolina, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, and Key West. But, picking the perfect relaxing location is just half the battle. You want to be able to chill stress-free, but you also want make sure you have the right outfits packed. Since you’ll be surrounded by scenic views, you’ll want to look cute for all those Instagram photo ops.

Two Comfortable Swim Suits

Key word: “comfortable”. Swim suit trends are getting pretty crazy these days, with all the different strings and straps hanging from everywhere. If you’re going to be laying out on the beach everyday, taking a dip in the ocean, surfing, body boarding, etc., you’re going to want a suit that you’re comfortable moving around in without worrying about a possible wardrobe malfunction. What we suggest: a bikini and a one piece. Packing this way allows for two very different looks. Plus, you’ve got the one piece revival suit handy just incase you feel like getting out your Yeti and trying to make it onto Old Row. Our favorite bikinis are from Sandy Buns Bikini, and the cutest one pieces that we’ve found are from Forever21.

Cover Ups

Contrary to what Victoria’s Secret makes you believe, bathing suit cover ups don’t just need to be loosely crocheted, barely there, ponchos that drape over your body. We like to think of swim suit covers up as versatile outfits that can be worn out to lunch, boardwalk shopping, etc. We like to bring distressed denim shorts, and cute off the shoulder tops as our cover ups. That way, if we want to head to grab food or hit some shops, we can easily slip them on without running back to the hotel room, and still look acceptable in public. Our favorite distressed shorts come from our own shop, and some of the cutest tops we own, we found at American Eagle.

PM Outfits

Days in the sun are great, but so are the nights out on the beach town, trying out some local landmark restaurants. Those cover up pieces could serve as cute dinner outfits, but we like to go a little fancier. You can never go wrong with shift dresses! Our favorite things to wear out to eat, shift dresses, are loose, comfortable, and adorable. Some of our favorite shift dresses have come from MondayDress, FillyFlair, and Hollister (yes, they still have cute stuff).

Shoes

Kind of a given, but we figured we’d touch on this anyways. A comfortable pair of cheap flip flops is an absolute must. Running back and forth from the beach to the hotel (or house… if you’re lucky enough to have one!) makes it necessary to have easy slip ons. We always find cheap flip flops from Old Navy. When you’re going out at night, step up your game and slip on a pair of nicer flip flops or sandals. Jack Rogers sells cute sandals, but you can never go wrong with Sperry’s or boho style sandals from Kohl’s. Some say wedges are out of style, but we disagree! Wedges are a great way to give yourself some height (and make your legs look a lot longer!) while not compromising comfort. Any shift dress or short/shirt combo can be dressed up with some wedges! Check out the places listed above for some cute wedge options.

J

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5 Things You Need to Make Your Apartment Your Home

 

I recently moved into an apartment by myself. Now, I’ve lived in apartments before but I’ve always had at least one roommate. For the first time ever, I am living alone (minus the kitten I just smuggled into my apartment the other night). So far I’m liking it but it is definitely different and it can get pretty lonely at times (hence the kitten). I’ve put together a list of five little things I found that made my 759 sq. ft.  one bedroom apartment feel like my home.

1. Welcome mat/Something to hang on your main door

Let’s start with the first thing you see: your entrance. You are an individual so your entrance should reflect that. A cute welcome mat like this one adds some personality while also preventing dirt from being tracked into your new place. Add some flair to your door with a custom wreath.

2. Plants

Plants can serve a number of roles in your apartment. Not only do they make cute decor, they also have a few real benefits. Indoor plants help to reduce pollutants in the air, reduce carbon dioxide level, and increase humidity. We recommend Aloe, Spider Plant, and Jasmine.

3. Tapestries/Wall Art

In most rentals, whether it be an apartment or a house, you aren’t allowed to paint the walls. This often leaves you to a very plain, white environment. I don’t know about you but that would drive me crazy. Try hanging tapestries  on large walls to take up a good amount of the white space in your apartment. For smaller walls, consider woven wall art  or canvases.

4. Your OWN Piece(s) of Furniture

I’m not saying that I’m not grateful for the couch, bed, coffee table, and end table my mom gave me for my new apartment. Believe me, if people offer free or cheap furniture, TAKE IT (Don’t like it? Refinish it!). But there’s something about your own furniture that is brand new (at least to you or your family) that you’ve never seen in a place you’ve lived. I got new bar stools for my apartment and I absolutely love them!

5. Better Lighting

In every apartment that I’ve lived in, the kitchen had horrible fluorescent lighting. It’s harsh on the eyes and does not make for good selfie lighting. I suggest investing in string lights that are on a wire. The wire allows you to manipulate them into any space. Lamps with multiple shades help to bring light to a more broad area. Looking to light up a balcony/porch? We love Edison string lights.

 

So there you have it. Whether you’re moving into a new apartment soon or are just looking for ways to improve your current one, you now have some of our favorite apartment hacks to consider. We would love to hear about how you made the most of your space!

 

T

Today.

 

Today, I’ve been reflecting on my life and how lucky I am to have all the freedoms given to me as a citizen of the United States of America. This year, I attended the Young Women’s Leadership Summit held by Turning Point USA in Dallas, Texas. While it is no secret that conservatives are far more patriotic than the left, I have never been in a more patriotic environment. Every woman in that room, including me, had a deep love for our country and was unapologetic for it. When I arrived back home, I quickly realized that I was back in the real world, where not everyone feels the same gratitude to our country. What saddens me most is not that everyone doesn’t love our country, but rather that so many hate it.

 

It’s sad that today’s left stands united in hating our country and our flag.

 

You may not agree with the administration of our country, and that’s okay. Thankfully, you live in a country that allows you to openly voice your dissent. Independence Day is not about loving President Trump. Independence Day is about being proud that you were born in the United States of America and appreciating all your privileges and freedoms given to you just because you were lucky enough to have been born here. Independence Day is about being thankful for the courage of our founding fathers to leave their home and found a nation on the principle of giving power and freedom to the people. Many people will argue that we aren’t the greatest country in the world because other countries have freedom too, but the magnitude is incomparable. Other countries do have freedoms, but not one country has freedom that is guaranteed quite like ours.

 

“If we lose freedom here, there is NO place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth.” – Ronald Reagan

 

The false sense of victimhood indoctrinated on its’ people by the left is a root cause for the disdain that some people have in this country. There is no question that certain groups of people have been wronged here. However, the core value that our country was founded upon -freedom- is what allows those circumstances to change. To me, freedom is opportunity. Freedom allows you to voice your opinion when you believe something is wrong. We are given the opportunity to pursue happiness without restriction and make positive change. Our freedoms give us the opportunity to rise out of bad situations and change them. We are “the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” because we have the freedom to stand up for what we believe in. I respect those who disagree with poor leaders, ideas, and policies. However, I do not respect those who hold hatred for a country whose fundamental values of freedom allow the people to openly voice dissent and advocate for change. We are all given the choice to stand up when something is wrong, and only you, not this country, are to blame if you choose not to. The left only focuses on the moral wrongdoings of the United States of America, but fails to recognize the incomparable good it has done for its own people along with the rest of the world. No country in the history of the world has ever fought for the liberty of others as the United States of America has.

 

I’ve always thought that it is ignorant to say “If you don’t like it, why don’t you leave?” because our nation was founded on freedom – with one of the many freedoms allowing people to question and change what the government does. However, I think that it is different when you disagree with our country’s fundamental values and lose your patriotism because of a false sense of victimhood. If you hate the United States of America, our flag, our anthem, and our values, why don’t you just leave?

 

You won’t because you know that leaving the United States of America would be a mistake – one that would leave you with less opportunity, less privilege, and surely less freedom.

Madison - Guest Writer

Written by Unbounded Ambition Contributor, Madison Smith.

“Gap” Year Jobs…

Planning on going to medical school, law school, or any sort of graduate program? Need to take a break for a year, but still need to work? This ones for you.

I always knew that I wanted to continue my education after my undergraduate degree. I knew that I would definitely need to, as a bachelors degree is losing its worth daily. I planned on taking a “gap” year, one filled with traveling, LSAT studying, and a part time job. As my parents put it so kindly, I was living in a “fantasy world”. They told me that any post-graduate education wouldn’t be covered by them, as they paid for most of my undergrad (excluding my one year out of state, but we’ve already talked about that). After I picked myself up from being thrown off of the gravy train, I realized that I needed a full time job. Working part time wouldn’t be enough to pay law school tuition and my living expenses for my time there. So, I blindly began my search for a full time job, unsure of where to start.

Most full time jobs want to know that you’re planning on being on board for awhile. That you want to grow with the company, and do what you have to do to get the job done. Revealing in an interview that this just is just one to hold you over for a year isn’t going to be something most employers want to hear. It’s definitely possible to work your way around the “where do you see yourself in five years” interview question, don’t worry about how you’d answer that just yet. Here’s a list of well-paying job opportunities for you to check out:

1. Legal Assistant/Secretary

Looking to go to law school? This job is perfect for you. It will be high pressure and time consuming, but you’ll be learning all about the field that you’re studying to be in. Most of the time, law offices are looking for law students or recent college graduates would want to pursue a career in the legal field.

Average Salary: $32,000 – $48,000 annually

2. Medical Receptionist

If you’re looking into medical school or veterinary school, working as a receptionist in a doctors office is definitely for you. My physicians office will actually only hire med or vet school hopefuls or students. It’ll take a little bit to get used to working with insurance companies and billing, but it’ll be a great introduction to your career as a medical professional.

Average Salary: $27,300 annually

3. Social Media Coordinator

Most companies are now realizing that social media is the way to get in touch and stay in touch with their clients. Whether they are an accounting firm or a clothing boutique, almost everyone is on at least Facebook, if not Twitter and Instagram as well. Companies are looking for young blood to take over these roles, as we know the ins and outs of all the different social media outlets. Depending on what kind of company you work for, you might have some really cool stuff to post about!

Average Salary: $37,592 annually

4. Full-Time Nanny

While babysitting might not be the exact way you want to spend your gap year, many full time nanny jobs are well paying gigs that also allow for some flexibility. If you can handle kids, you might want to check out Care.com or Craigslist to see what opportunities you can find in your area.

Average Salary: $700 weekly

5. Server

If you’ve worked in the restaurant industry, you know that this really isn’t an ideal position. Working in hospitality is extremely difficult, especially when it comes to people who are hungry. If you’re a people person and you can handle a distraught customer every once in awhile, consider applying for a job as a full time server. You might not make bank working at your local diner, but working solid dinner and weekend shifts at a higher priced restaurant could help you rake in some serious cash. Servers at the restaurant I used to work at could easily bring in $2,000 each month, most of them just working four days a week.

Average Salary: $2,000 monthly

These are only a few of the jobs that will help you put some money away before you have to break the bank while continuing your education. If you’re looking for part time work, consider becoming a tutor, date-night babysitter, cashier, etc. Every penny counts!