Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How I Cleared Up My Skin

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For starters, my skin is by no means perfect now.  But I used to suffer from cystic acne.  I won't get in to details because any mention of the word "pus" is pretty gross.  I started getting zits when I was in middle school.  I got a few hear and there but it wasn't anything I felt truly self-conscious about.  But in high school, I broke out so bad that my whole face would be covered in big, small, and medium sized dots.
Like every loving Asian relatives (AKA overly concerned family members), every single one of my aunts, uncles, family friends, and even cousins just loved to point out how bad my acne was.  Every single one of them gave me these weird tips like wash your face with rice water, rub a watermelon rind on your face, and even rub lemon juice on your skin.  (I highly DO NOT recommend you try this, lemon juice will irritate your skin and make you feel like skin is going to BURN off.)
It was around this time that I decided to go see a dermatologist, she gave me some Doxycycline pills to take once a day.  The first month on Doxycycline, I had the worst breakouts I have ever had in my life.  My dermatologist warned me this would happen.  She described it as a way my skin was purging away all the bad before the good could come.  Sure enough, two months in to the pills and my skin was clearing up.  I could actually wash my face and feel skin.  I could feel patches of soft, smooth skin that I haven't felt in ages.
But like anything you take, the Doxycycline pills killed my immune stuff and I was sick pretty much the whole winter with coughs, sore throats, and congestion.  I started taking myself off the Doxycycline pills by taking it every other day then every few days and soon I was only taking it once a week.  However, my skin still did not react well to me taking myself off this "miracle pill" that cleared my skin.  I started breaking out again.  I hadn't had a pimple in ages but when I washed my face that night, I could feel that familiar, slightly red bump that was about to break in to my skin by morning.
When I got up for school that morning, it was here.  That huge red cystic planet on the side of my chin.  "Great," I thought, "Now, I get to school with a new buddy on my face."  After a few more breakouts like this, I went back to the dermatologist to see what she could prescribe me.  She gave me Epiduo and a sulfur cleanser.  With these two powerhouses, I rarely break out now (knock on wood).  I kept getting refills of these prescriptions for about four years now.  But since my insurance has gone up and I'm a recent college graduate that is on her own, I can't afford to spend $70 for a visit to the dermatologist and I can't spend another $50 to refill these prescriptions.
Recently, I began to slowly cut these products out of my life.  I use Epiduo every 3 days now, instead of every day.  I use my sulfur cleanser every night rather than morning and night.  Using these products less, my skin does break out during that "special time of the month," but the breakouts aren't too bad.  To take the place of these prescriptions, I am experimenting with drugstore dupes.  So, stay tuned for that next post!

*I am NOT a dermatologist.  
I'm just sharing my acne story and my experiences with a variety of acne medications.** 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to Find the Perfect Cage Belt for YOUR Style

At first glance, cage belts look quite intimidating like they someone just went back in time to Medieval times and stole the queen's belt.  But designers have transformed this harsh style in to something classic and elegant.  I would never have thought I could successfully style a cage belt without looking like a cartoon character.

A cage belt that is classic in design with a minimalist style or even some pastel colors can look really cute paired with a loose dress or a maxi skirt.  The belt give the dress some edge while also giving you a great figure!  Win-win situation!

When looking at cage belts, I usually opt for one that has three or less belt buckles because I find that the more belt buckles the belt has, the bulkier it looks.  I want the belt to cinch me in, not add more bulk.  For color, I usually look for belts that have two tones because the belt looks less edgy and harsh with multiple colors or textures.

I love this belt I got from Ann Taylor, a few summers ago.  It's the perfect caged belt because the bright pop of pink really creates a fun vibe that is not often found on caged belts.  Plus, the woven texture on the belt creates a cute boho vibe that is perfect for the summer!

I styled my belt with this loose white dress from Dresslink.  This outfit is 100% festival ready!  For a more fall appropriate outfit, you can style a cage belt with a loose dress with long sleeves.  It'll give you a great boho vibe.  Just finish your outfit off with the perfect fringe bag and you will look like you just walked off the cover of a magazine!

To get my dress: Click HERE!

**This post is sponsored by Dresslink.  I received the product free for reviewing/ styling purposes.  
All opinions expressed are my honest opinion.**

Monday, August 10, 2015

Top 3 Tips for Shopping Online

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Honestly, who doesn't shop online?  Online window shopping has become my new hobby.  I seriously stalk the Nordstrom sale section every week.  And ShopMarkkit has become one of my favorite places to shop online.  I think after years of shopping online, I have gotten quite good at figuring out my size for various brands.  It can get quite confusing sometimes, so click HERE for a reference guide.

Let's take the mystery out of online shopping, shall we?  Here are 3 tips to help you conquer that fear of online shopping.  Because who wants to order an amazing dress, skirt, trouser, or jean to only have it not fit when it arrives two weeks later?  Not me!  That's for sure.

1. Know your body measurements!
Before you start ordering EVERYTHING online, you have to know your body measurements like the back of your hand.  You need to know how wide your shoulders are, the measurements of your bust, waist, and hips.  To make sure you are measuring yourself correctly, always refer to the diagrams provided by the retailers.  Personally, I love the measurement guide from Nordstrom.

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This guide is great because it shows your wear each body part should be measured, so that your measurements will be accurate.  Plus, I love that Nordstrom actually tells you whether or not something is "true to size" or "fits smaller" or "fits larger" right on the product page.

2. Research the Brand
For some odd reason, brands all have their own concept of size.  One person can be a small in one brand and a medium/ large in another.  Brands that tend to run small are: American Apparel, American Eagle, Aeropostale, H&M, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Madewell, Topshop, and Zara.  Brands that tend to run either true to size or slightly larger: JCrew, GAP, Old Navy, Forever 21, Banana Republic,and  Free People.

3. Check the Measurements
Don't always assume, I'm usually this size when online shopping.  Because the garment measurements around the bust or shoulder could lead you in to getting stuck with your arms in the air or experiencing extreme difficulty getting the top over your head because its stuck on your shoulders.  (I'm speaking from experience here.  I know we've all been through this struggle, right?)  A top in a size small can fit your everywhere except your arms.  A pair of trousers can fit everywhere except really snug on your thighs or fits everywhere BUT your waist.  By checking the measurements of the garment, you can prevent yourself the hassle of having to return that AMAZING piece you scored at such an AWESOME deal.

Those are my top 3 tips to shopping online.  If you have other tips to share, comment down below!

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