Hey bitches! As I recently talked about what I do to prepare for a new school year I thought I’d show you my desk setup and how I’ve arranged things this year. I’ll be linking where I got things to in case any of you want to pick up some of my suggestions.

I have a iMac 2008! I know it’s super old but I got it on Amazon for $200 (refurbished) and it fits all my Adobe programs on it so I’m happy with it. It also doubles as my t.v.  I don’t have to have a big seperate computer with a monitor too. I think that was the true appeal for me. WIth the desktop I have my Logitech speakers which I actually found at a Goodwill $10! They work really well and are super loud. Perfect to play my Spotify study playlist on. I also have my rose gold Blackweb keyboard that I got on sale at Walmart for $9. Not shown is my Macbook Air 11 inch. I use that for on the go stuff like when I want to go to a cute cafe (probably Starbucks) to sit and do work.

Next to the speakers is my candle from Bath + Body Works that smells amazing (like flowers) and I have my trusty Drake bowl where I put extra headphones and my card readers. (A sketch of his face is on the inside!)

To hold my utensils I have a couple different organizers. The white tray is another $1 treasure I picked up from Dollar Tree. I actually got several of them at different sizes which I use to hold some toiletries in my bathroom as well. Inside are some little jars with rose gold caps. Inside them are a couple different essentials: close pins, push pins/thumb tacks, paper clips, binder clips, staples, and little mini arrow sticky notes to mark important pages in my binder. I also have my cute little pink Beetle staged on top of my “Long List” pad from Kate Spade. The Beetle is from my local grocery store actually but it was only like $6. The Kate Spade notepad was $5 at Marshall’s. Lastly on my desk is my writing utensil bowl. This bowl is from Old Time Pottery and I got it for probably around $5. It holds all my pens, pencils, markers, scissors, and hole puncher.  

For above my desk, I have a metal grid that I actually took from the bed spring of a baby crib and spray painted gold. It holds pictures of my favorite people and some quotes in calligraphy and fun lettering that I copied off Pinterest. Below, my desk has a little white 3 drawer organizer that holds all my extras that I got on sale for $15 from IKEA. Inside is more pencils, pens, sticky notes, electronics, notebooks + binders, etc.

Hope you guys enjoyed a look at my desk! Let me know what your desk looks like it the comments!

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Hey bitches! I’m a little late this school year but I wanted to just go through a couple of things that I did to help with a new semester.

  1. Using a binder instead of notebooks
  • I  don’t know about you guys but I can’t carry around a lot of notebooks or have a lot of notebooks for each subject. I think binders just work better because you don’t have to put as much paper in them, you can attach folders in them and keep extra seperate papers there, you can add a ruler or a small pencil pouch and keep writing utensils in there as well. It makes keeping all your school materials in one place SO much easier.

  1. Dotted/graph over lined paper
  • Using dotted or graph paper in your binder is a tip I just picked up recently from a YouTuber called ‘studytee’. I don’t know her actual name but she recommend this graph paper called Whitelines which is graph paper with a white background and gray lines for the graph. This helps the notes stand out better on the page so you can really see them and it’s not distracting to the eye. If you don’t want to get those then I recommend these from Target.

  1.  Get a good planner! Or if you have a current one, update it with a class schedule and important dates. This might not work for high school students as most high school teachers don’t have set schedule for the whole year which is lame but for college students you can put in the different chapters for each week and any test dates or big project deadlines in there. You can also look up your school calendar and put in when you have breaks/holidays or teacher work days. (p.s. I might even do a video on how I set up my planner for the year!)
  2. Getting the right apps for the new semester is my next step. A couple of apps I picked up last semester and this semester:
  • Calculator 2 – ($1.99)I got this for my math class last semester, this can help with basic college math or algebra. You can write any problem into it and it gives you an answer!
  • Canva – (FREE) I got this last semester and it’s changed my freaking life! This is a graphic design tool that I’ve been using in replace of creating my blog and YouTube graphics from scratch on Adobe Illustrator. This app has a bunch of premade templates and illustrations for you to use and put together yourself. It’s honestly been a huge time saver for me and I HIGHLY recommend it to any other future or beginning bloggers.
  • Adobe Acrobat – (FREE) This is something that I’m kind of embarrassed to say I didn’t have until recently. I just added to my school apps on my phone because I have a textbook on there and it’s great for highlighting specific lines you want to add to your notes. It also has a scanner so you can scan documents and make them a PDF.
  • Outlook – (FREE) I got this because I missed an important financial aid email and it caused some small problems for me so I finally got this as it’s connected to my school email account. It actually adds my personal email to the account as well!

  1. Something I also picked up recently is taking a step up with my note taking. Aside from the better paper system, I’ve been highlighting and using sticky notes for remembering important items that I’ll be tested on. Sticky notes also are really good to cover up any mistakes you might’ve made in pen or marker with drawings or diagrams.
  1. When teachers don’t make you a study guide, what do you do?
  • This is honestly a pet peeve of mine but ya know teachers probably feel some type of way on the other end so I’m not trying to call them out. I think if you don’t get a study guide or even an idea of what chapters/topics you’ll be tested on then the first thing you should is ASK. They might not be forthcoming with a list of potential questions but at the very least they should tell you what chapters/topics you will see on the test/quiz. After that I usually go back and look up important words to make index cards. (I might make a video on my study habits, too!)  
  1. Finally, my newest thing is making study/get shit done playlists! I normally do this on Apple Music but since that’s not available to everyone I made a new one this year for Spotify and I wanted to share it with you guys! Let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in hearing!

Thanks for reading! I hope this helps you guys prepare for the new school year. I really like talking about my college experiences and what I’m currently using to help alleviate the stress of school so I think I’m going to start doing this a little more regularly. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

            Thank you guys for reading. I hope you gained some useful information and this helped you a little in your journey to being more active in knowing what ingredients you are using in your skincare routine/household.  I attached this as a document for printing out or downloading in case you wanted to have keep it on hand for when you’re shopping. Let me know what you think in the comments!

PDF: TheDirtyDozen:Redefined

xoxo Darcy Mae Modica

 

Works Cited:  

https://davidsuzuki.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/dirty-dozen-cosmetics-ingredients-backgrounder.pdf

https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/phs/phs.asp?id=159&tid=29

https://www.yogiapproved.com/health-wellness/avoid-these-12-toxic-chemicals-lurking-in-your-beauty-products/

https://www.omandthecityblog.com/all/a-complete-guide-to-clean-beauty-3-tips-for-how-to-transition/

 

 

           In my last post, I go into detail about my conversion to organic skincare. This decision doesn’t extends to makeup as well. I felt it was only right that if I was going to do this then I needed to go all in. As I mentioned in my last post, I did get rid of everything that had any kind of bad chemicals or toxins in it. While doing research on organic products, I stumbled upon a huge list from crueltyfreekitty.com that breaks down all the brands that aren’t cruelty-free. Would it surprise you to know that a large majority of brands that we use in not only makeup but even everyday cleaning supplies test their products on animals. Here’s a link to another list of non-makeup brands that aren’t cruelty-free from Vegan Rabbit.  In this post, I just wanted to showcase some of my favorite cruelty-free brands in makeup,  where to find them, and how to check if a new brand your trying is cruelty-free.

  1.  Wet n’ Wild – This is one of my favorite brands even before I decided to go completely cruelty-free. They have really good makeup that’s not expensive. You can typically find them at Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, and online.

         

(Picture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKfymqg5EuE)(http://www.mybeautyfavs.com/beauty/2017/11/16/sneak-peek-2018-wet-n-wild-product-launches-megaglo-halo-highlighters-cushion-highlightercontour-glitter-singles-and-more )

  1. NYX – This is another brand that’s relatively not expensive and still has super high quality makeup. They have stores in 42 locations in California, Florida (where I’m at), Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Nevada, NY, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and online.

       

(Picture:https://www.bustle.com/p/you-can-now-find-nyx-cosmetics-products-at-this-drugstore-52500) (http://www.bisousnatasha.com/nyx-cosmetics-giveaway/ )

  1. Milani – This is another drugstore makeup brand that I adore. They have the best eyeshadow palettes for cheap and it’s a great alternative from better known palettes like Maybelline and Covergirl who aren’t cruelty-free.

           

(Picture: https://www.dollywoodboutique.co.uk/blog/dollywood-boutique-milani-cosmetics/) (https://www.vampyvarnish.com/2017/07/milani-makeup-summer-2017/)

  1. Flower Beauty – Drew Barrymore’s “brainchild that was born of her straightforward philosophy that woman everywhere deserve the best quality products at an affordable price.” This brand is pretty new in the beauty world but it’s made a hell of an impact. I love their hydrating and long-lasting setting spray!   

       

(Picture:https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/flower-beauty-coming-ulta-might-200958263.html  https://hollywoodlife.com/2013/01/21/drew-barrymore-flower-makeup-cosmetics-line-walmart-tips/ )

  1. e.l.f – This is a brand that most makeup gurus aren’t that vocal about because it’s really inexpensive! That can be a turn off for people because they might think it’s not great quality but that’s not true! It’s amazing quality and so affordable that if you can’t afford this then you shouldn’t be buying makeup bitch!

     

 

(Picture: https://www.allure.com/story/elf-cosmetics-40-percent-off-sale-on-vaults   http://www.utahsweetsavings.com/huge-elf-cosmetics-sale-makeup-1-free-4piece-gift-set-offer/)

  1. Physician Formula – This brand is famous for it’s bronzer but what many don’t know is it’s foundation is actually top notch stuff. I have the Healthy Foundation in the shade MC1. It’s my go-to everyday foundation and also inexpensive.

      

 

(Picture: https://mybeautybunny.com/new-cruelty-free-products-from-physicians-formula/ http://thefemininefiles.com/2018/03/06/new-physicians-formula-makeup-the-healthy-foundation/)

  1. Anastasia Beverly Hills – Now I’ll move on to more high end brands. This is of course a classic in the beauty world. I love their eyeshadow and highlighter formulas! They have a large range of liquid lipsticks as well that pretty much set the standard for what’s a good liquid lip.

      

 

(Picture:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNgGV5KC_S8   https://flashmode.org/beauty/make-up/best-ideas-for-makeup-tutorials-foundation-sticks-by-anastasia-beverly-hills-luxury-beauty-amzn-to2hzfa13-l-2/)

  1. Too Faced – This brand as well as the next one have had some controversy on whether or not they are really cruelty-free. The brands themselves are cruelty-free but their “parent companies” or owners of the brand (usually a big corporation) are NOT cruelty-free. This can get a little confusing so I will be doing another post on this. Other than that, I love Too Faced! They have incredible eyeshadow palettes and their themes are always super fun.

      

 

(Picture: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhKSLXvS2B8  http://www.eightyquartier.com/estee-lauder-buys-too-faced-cosmetics/)

  1. Tarte – This brand has one of the best concealers in the game and it’s of course full coverage. You can literally wear it and nothing else and it’s like you have a full face on! They also have in my opinion, the best blush books. I love a good collection of blushes instead of individuals. It also saves you a lot of money.  

        

 

(Picture:  http://vivaglammagazine.com/omg-tarte-cosmetics-is-giving-away-a-lifetime-of-free-makeup/    http://www.freestufffinder.com/20-off-tarte-cosmetics-free-sample-free-shipping/ )  

  1. Morphe –  This brand has everyone else beat when it comes to a lot of eyeshadow colors for a good price. Not to mention a brush range that is unparalleled. I’m especially excited for the new Jaclyn Hill collection!

 

        

 

(Picture: https://www.revelist.com/bloggers/jaclyn-hill-morphe/7987   http://www.teapartybeauty.com/2016/01/battle-of-the-makeup-brush-brands-ft-crown-brush-zoeva-morphe.html/)

         These brands are all amazing and I love every single one of them for different reasons but the most important is that they’ve dedicated their time to making formulas and testing them by NOT USING ANIMALS. It’s crazy to me that if these brands can be successful without animal testing then why aren’t other brands hopping on this motherfucking train? Greed? Money? International markets? I don’t know but it’s clearly possible to make it happen. I only encourage you all to take a minute and think about making the switch. With all these amazing brands in place it’s not as difficult as it seems.

 

xoxo Darcy Mae Modica

A few months ago, I barreled into this journey throwing caution to the wind and forever altering my mindset when it comes to clean beauty products. This is still an ongoing adventure I’m having, I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying new organic + natural skincare. I can’t wait to share with you guys everything I’ve learned!

Let’s backtrack, so I’m not sure how much you’re going to know about organic skincare going into this so let me just breakdown what I mean by that. To me, organic means it doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals or toxins like sulfates, silicones, parabens, phthalates, DEA/TEA, etc. that can have lasting effects on your skin/hair/nails. I’ll explain what all of those are in detail in another post.

I don’t think that you have to give up everything because there are SO many alternatives that are better for you and work just as well as products that are weighed down by bad chemicals. It’s not by any means an easy switch and I’m talking from experience. When I first started it was really because I was somewhat upset at ingredient labels I couldn’t understand. I decided the best course of action was to rid my vanity of every bad product I owned… ALL AT ONCE.

I know what you’re thinking. “Darcy! You’re an idiot.” Yes, yes I am. I was just so swept up in this “omg organic skincare is gonna change my life blah blah blah” thing that I had going on in my head. It was until I saw the results that I realized I probably should’ve slowed down. That’s actually my first word of advice: Try one product at a time! Work your way through the stuff you own and replace them one at a time.

Going into this I wanted to basically revamp my whole skin care routine, but instead of trying little by little I switched immediately thinking my skin will bounce back like it’s nothing. HA!  I have combo skin to begin with, my T-zone is relatively oily, some dry patches around my nose and on my chin, and very mild acne. I don’t have a real problem with breakouts except for the occasional hormone burst because of my period.

I had a particularly bad breakout after my period recently and I didn’t understand why my diehard Aveeno cleanser wasn’t working? Was it the hormones? Was it what I was eating? I did some research. I came across this article from Allure magazine and it changed my perspective on using salicylic acid. This was of course a key ingredient in my Aveeno cleanser. The article just pointed out that my acne could also be caused by a yeast bacteria and that those types of exfoliants (salicylic acid, benzoyl peroxide) can “hide the problem but it won’t treat it.”

This is where I started my journey with organic skincare and started purchasing things. Which is another piece of advice: Do your research! It’s clarifying and it helps you save money by not falling into the trap of buying the most expensive shit. Going organic doesn’t need to break the bank.

I started looking for alternatives and stumbled upon organic skincare. I thought that by getting rid of all these chemicals that in the long run my skin would be healthier. Now there’s a good and a bad side to almost everything I’ve tried. I started using the Acure Brilliantly Brightening Gel Cleanser at first but thought it wasn’t enough so I immediately switched again to the Nourish Organic Moisturizing Face Cleanser which made my skin more dry around my chin and nose and created a breakout. I’ll insert some pictures down below so you can see because I always want to be honest about what the process is really like.

    

Then, I switched back to the Acure cleanser and have been using it ever since but it still hasn’t really prevented any breakouts. It’s only been about 2 months so I’ll keep you updated on that!  

  

 

For my toner I switched from Mario Badescu Rose Water to Thayer’s Witch Hazel in Rose Petal and then I just bought the Cucumber scent as it was recommend by a friend. It’s definitely the better choice. It also comes in Lavender, Coconut Water, Lemon, Unscented, Medicated, and Original. It’s helped keep the areas of my face that aren’t super dry looking refreshed and as a plus it cleans off any makeup I might’ve missed when cleansing.

  

My favorite: moisturizer! This one is a combo situation, because I have dry and oily skin, I decided I need 2 moisturizers. For my oily skin, I’m using Avalon Organics Oil-Free Vitamin C Moisturizer which incidentally doesn’t work on my dry skin but is great everywhere else and for my dry patches I’m using Weleda Skin Food (This shit is fucking amazing!) It’s thick, creamy, gives me a glowy finish and has helped clear up my dry patches pretty quickly. I’m probably gonna order a lifetime supply if I can get my hands on one!

   

Another cream I’m using is homemade and it’s more of a night cream to put on before bed. It’s a mixture of Shea Butter, Argan Oil, and Tea Tree Essential Oil. Here’s the link to the recipe. For the day time, specifically if I’m going outside I’ve finally incorporated a sunscreen (yeah I wasn’t doing that before) and it’s helped so much! Yay for no possible future skin cancer! 

   

Masks + exfoliators:

As a small step before cleansing I actually use a automatic cleansing brush like this one here. It helps a lot with softening my skin up before I do anything else and can act as a good exfoliate.

I think my favorite kind of ‘masks’ are sugar scrubs because they are essentially 2 in one, exfoliate + a mask. Depending on the ingredients you can switch it up to help it target different problems.

Here are links to some of my favorites:

That’s it for this post! I’m going to to continuing working on using more organic products that aren’t super expensive and letting you guys know about the results. I also haven’t yet dabbled in organic/cruelty-free makeup but I’ll be doing a post on that soon. Please let me know any more recommendations in the comments!

 

xoxo Darcy Mae Modica