2020, what a year! Being in a pandemic most of the year has effected everyone’s lives. However, I hope you were able to maintain your mental health and keep pushing through this year. During quarantine, I have spent more time online shopping than the healthy amount. I was also able to try new products and companies this year to better my sanity. Here are a few of my favorites during this year.
Beauty, skin, hair
Audie Beauty is a black owned business that sells hair care products. Located in Maryland, Audie Beauty is a young entrepreneur who handcrafts each of her products. My personal favorites have been the Vanilla Butter and the Head Wraps. The Vanilla Butter is perfect for my 4C hair to moisturize and maintain a soft feel and shiny finish. I use the Vanilla butter for braid/twist outs, as well as refreshing my hair when needed. The bonnets and head scarfs are perfect to protect your hair, whether that is while you are sleeping or while being a lazy natural. I love styling my head wrap when my hair is not having it. They are all lined with satin, so you don’t have to worry about breakage or your hair drying. Overall, I have had an amazing experience with Audie Beauty. The costumer service is great and the products are great. The only issue I would say was involved with shipping; when I received my vanilla butter, it was hot and melted, so I had to place in my refrigerator to go back to its normal solid state.
In 2020, I have purchased a lot of different make up products, but Fenty has consistently been an all time favorite. From their moisturizing lipgloss to the perfect setting powder, Fenty has had a lot of great products that I have enjoyed. I have found my perfect foundation shade for both summer and winter that keep my skin looking natural and smooth. I personally have oily skin, so their pro filter matte foundation is perfect for me. It doesn’t leave my skin looking caked or dry, and it helps control oil build up throughout the day. I can keep the foundation on all day and not worry about touch ups. Pairing it with the setting powder leaves me with a flawless and natural finish. I got the most compliments when using Fenty’s face makeup.
Their gloss bomb is also one of my favorite lip glosses. I have the shade fentyglow, which I was nervous about at first with my complexion. It turned out a very beautiful color, and when doing a lip combo with a brown or nude pencil creates the perfect look. Overall I think Fenty is perfect for all skin types and shades, and I have received multiple compliments and questions when wearing it.
Aztec Clay Mask
I have seen people use this clay mask for years, and I finally gave in and bought my own late this year. The Aztec Clay Mask can be bought on amazon, in Target, CVS, or Walmart. The purpose is supposed to detox your skin or hair and draw out the dirt/oils. When I use the mask for my face, I only mix it with apple cider vinegar and leave it on for no more than 15 minutes. However, when I use the mask for my hair, I mix with water, apple cider vinegar, and some hair oils for 30 minutes. This leaves my hair clean and very soft when washing. I apply generously and rub my scalp and hair. The only negative I have with the mask is that I feel like I need to use a lot of powder for my hair, and the directions do not say what consistency it should have. I also don’t like that I have to really detangle my hair first because the clay will not help my detangling process or add slip, making it very difficult to work the products through if you didn’t already detangle very thoroughly.
Something I used almost everyday starting in June was a Vitamin C serum. I didn’t buy an expensive serum or a big named brand. However, I did just buy a vitamin c daily serum from target or Marshalls and it lasted me the whole year. I used about 3-4 drops every day under my moisturizer and my results were visible. My dark spots faded and I nearly have no more. Vitamin C SERUM is not meant to be moisturizing, especially during cold and dry months. I recommend using at night, or under hydrating moisturizer because it did leave my face feelings very dry.
Now I originally bought Shea Butter for my hair when I first started going natural and it really helped maintain moisure. However, I recently started using it for my body and face and I fell in love. It is so moisturizing on my skin leaving it feel soft and smooth. It also helped with discoloring on my face. You can get shea butter in your beauty supply store, Walmart, target, or any local store. Many say it will clog your pores but I haven’t experienced any breakouts or enlarged pores since using.
Handmade By BLF
Another local small business I invested in this year was Handmade by BLF. They can customize anything you want, from shirts, sweatpants, shorts, and cups. They are great with helping you come up with designs or use a pre-made design. The quality is amazing and everything I have bought so far has been a perfect fit and great quality. The only thing I would change is having a website to order from, although that can be very difficult with costume designs. Use code “Brooke15” to get 15% off your order.
Shein has been hands down a place to go if you want to look fashionable while not breaking your wallet. Although shipping can take a long time and quality can be poor for some items, there are a lot of great clothes and accessories you can buy. With an excellent price, you can go on a shopping spree at Shein for cheap. I would recommend reading the reviews on every item before buying to see the quality, size, and how it looks on various people.
Both outfits are 100% from Shein. The pants are both made with thin material and size small. The shirts are tight fitted (grey tank XS, black long sleeve Small). The red pants fade slightly after wash so be gentle.
The Pill Club
Have you seen all their ads all over snap chat or is that just my select agent stalking me? I have had an irregular period since I got one, eventually getting regular with a 40+ day cycle. I felt like my doctors kept saying it was normal although it shouldn’t be at my age. After talking to my athletic trainer, she recommended me to the Pillclub. I decided to fill out the survey and it turned out that my insurance pays for all expenses. I was able to get free birth control (four month supply) with stickers, snacks, and emergency pills (AKA Plan B). They automatically send the next four months and are easy to contact. I definitely recommend filling out the survey to see whether it’s the right fit for you!
Fan and Heater
While I was in a dorm, I had the coldest room in the building. No matter how many times I complained, my room remained cold and I was unable to change the temperature for my individual room (I hate dorms). After complaining to my mom almost everyday and guest leaving their coats on while paying me a visit, my mom mailed me a small heater. It worked, instantly heating up my room. I kept it on my nightstand, and I was so much more comfortable in my room. I could control the heat pressure and temperature, and it turns off automatically if it is tipped over or got too hot, which was perfect when I accidentally left it on when taking naps. But summer came around and my rom was BURNING hot. I couldn’t catch a break. Turns out, my heater had a fan setting, and I didn’t have to buy a separate device. This is probably the best college hack I have and I still use it in my apartment. Although this is not the one I bought exactly (I got mine at TJ MAXX), this 2 in 1 heater fan combo off amazon looks pretty close, and I definitely recommend.
Although I already had my new heater, I was still scarred from my freshman dorm of how cold I get in the winter. I decided I probably should invest in a better comforter than the small and old one I previously has. I went back-to-school shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond and found the soft UGG comforter. I purchased the green and ivory queen size comforter and it feels amazing. It is perfect for my pink and green bedroom. I can easily showcase either side/color since both are so extremely soft and warm.
Candle Wax Cubes and Holder
If you’re anything like me and you love candles, you’re going to love this favorite; maybe my favorite of all 2020. I go to Walmart and buy candle wax cubes, which are typically very cheap (most $4) and get a burner to put it in. This way, you can have a variety of scents while not having a bunch of candle jars all over your house. The single cubes typically last up to four uses, depending on how long you light the tea light wick and how strong the scent is. I actually bought a 200 pack of light wicks from the dollar tree, but you can purchase yours from anywhere. I recommend going to Walmart for the wax because it is cheaper there, yet they always have a lot of different scents and holders. The only thing I hate is that when the wax solidifies you have to get a knife of some tool to get the wax out.
I can’t wait to see what makes the list in 2021. Thank you for the support. Happy New Year.
With Love, Brooke