My Business

We’ve all seen it: someone posted another picture on some form of social media¬† claiming they sell amazing products that’ve changed their lives. If you’re anything like me, you are probably super skeptical about how great these things actually work… if they’re so good why aren’t they sold in stores?! Unfortunately, this kind of skepticism is a huge reason behind what I’m going to call “post shaming”. Every day we see celebrities and influencers talk about products that we’ve never heard of, yet we rush out to the nearest store and buy the products with no questions asked. There have been numerous times where I’ve seen a YouTuber try new makeup and an hour later I’m at Ulta with a $200 bill all because some person (who I don’t even know) thinks a product works well.

I’ve been approached by people who sell things on social media before, whether it be to help a company sell jewelry, sunglasses, and the now infamous hair care products. For the longest time I just didn’t want to be “one of those girls”. You know the ones – they post huge claims about life-changing products and how much money they’ve made by never leaving the house… I rolled my eyes at that one plenty of times myself. Then I thought to myself, what in the hell do I have to lose by giving something a try? If someone can get that offended by someone posting a picture of a product then truthfully there’s probably larger problems in their life..

Anyway, it’s probably no surprise to any of you that I sell Monat hair care products. I guarantee you’ve seen numerous posts about “magic shampoo” or “miracle oil” – if not from me, then someone else. However I’m actually here to say GUYS, THE SHIT WORKS. I have literally never been interested in hair products – I just kinda throw whatever I have on my head and leave it at that. There’s been a recent surge of products going sulfate / paraben free and now things are going one step further. Monat’s products are completely naturally based – there’s more essential oils, plant extracts, and antioxidants than you can name.

Just a quick glance at Monat ingredients vs ingredients found in a majority of beauty products:

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Truthfully, if I was so interested in purely making money, there’s no way in hell I’d spend an hour writing this all out – but like I said THIS STUFF FREAKING WORKS. I have incredibly oily and fine hair. After two months of being on this shampoo and conditioner, my hair has gotten thicker, my split ends have completely vanished, I wash my hair every 2 to 3 days, and it’s grown almost 2 inches which is absolutely ridiculous for my hair. I use these products because they work and I genuinely love them – and I will not for a second be ashamed to post about them and tell people how great they are because I believe in them. As soon as I got over my skepticism and fear of being “that girl” I realized that I got my hands on some pretty amazing things and I have the results to prove it.

 

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This picture was taken two months ago. You can see how much shorter my hair was as well as how damaged the ends were. There’s a lot of frizz and dryness going on towards the ends which is something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve always used a ton of heat on my hair which has contributed to that breakage, but now I can just let my hair air dry and it comes out smooth and shiny, even if it never touches heat.

 

 

 

 

This photo was taken today – you can see the color has even improved and it’s a completely unedited photo. This was after I had only blow dried my hair – no styling tools or any products were used. My hair has never looked better and I have never been so stress – free when it comes to getting ready

 

You never have anything to lose when it comes to taking care of yourself – which is exactly what these products have helped me achieve. From all of my makeup posts and random rants, you know by now I LOVE talking about beauty tips and things that I stand by. So, if you’re ever interested in learning about having amazing hair AND possibly making some extra money while doing it, let me know.In the meantime I’m just gonna keep doing what I’m doing and loving every second of it : )

 

Don’t forget to follow my other social media accounts!

Instagram: @alexisrianna – personal

@riannajamesmua – beauty

Elixir

So, here we are, my final fall finals week of college (god, even saying that is stressing me out). I have four tests, two papers, and an internship to balance but all I can seem to think about is Chick-fil-a and my incurable Starbucks addition. Naturally, in a way to procrastinate even more than I’m comfortable admitting, I grabbed some new products and decided to play around. I’m sure a ton of you are familiar with the brand ColourPop -ya know, the sister company of Kylie Cosmetics…? I’ve been obsessed with their lipsticks for months now and I finally decided to order some eyeshadows and highlighters & WOW GUYS. Seriously, these things are pigmented, creamy, and probably the most blendable shadows I’ve ever used.

Oh, and they’re hella cheap which makes them great when you’re a broke college student who already spends too much money on makeup ūüôā So, in case you were wondering, here’s what I ordered!¬†eye_shadow_kit-_fall_2016_2_1024x1024

This is called the Zingara pack and it comes with Paradox, Elixir, Seeker, and Jinxie, all for just $18! Honestly this just reminded me 0f a huge glass of sangria so it was absolutely necessary that I purchased this. Elixir, the terracotta shade, is probably one of the most gorgeous mid-tone orange colors I have ever seen. Basically, what I’m saying is that you need to spend the money on these shadows people!!! Separately, they’re $5 each and come in different finishes that go from matte to metallic. Each one has a unique texture thats somewhere between mouse and creme but you’d need to touch one in order to know what I’m talking about.

I also decided to get two highlighters and two Lippie Stix which are also freaking incredible. The best part is that I only spent $42 dollars on all of this stuff…including shipping.

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The highlighter I used on my cheekbone and inner corner in this photo is called Wisp & it’s ¬†probably the prettiest champagne gold/silver I’ve ever seen. It literally makes you look like you’re glowing and I mean who doesn’t want that?

Basically, I just put a light orange color in the crease – I think Orange Soda from Anastasia Beverly Hills ($12) – and then used my finger and put Elixir all over the lid and ta-da! I didn’t feel like doing a wing because 1) I’m lazy and 2) I love the color so much I didn’t wanna hide it at all.

All I did was my normal makeup routine: brows, bronzer, blush, highlight, and lips! Okay, I know that sounds like a lot, but when you’re trying to hide from your responsibilities it doesn’t seem like enough. I could probably do my makeup for 3 hours and still figure out more things to plaster all over my skin, but that really shouldn’t be surprising by now.

And just to be clear: I don’t do this because I hate how I look without makeup. I’ve always been obsessed with creative things ever since I was little and since I have 0 artistic abilities with pen and paper, this is the closest thing I get to art, alright? Of course I have days where I’m insecure and want to hide an annoying pimple, but most days I just love to stand in front of the mirror and create new shapes and color palettes on my face.

People oftentimes think girls do their makeup to impress other people but lemme tell ya what… that’s not the case at all. I don’t remember the last time I wore my favorite grey-toned lipstick and got a compliment from a single person. But you know something? IT’S OKAY!!! Art is an expression of yourself and as long as you’re happy and content with what you’re doing, validation from others kind of just slips to the wayside and disappears. Of course I love when people admire what I do, but I don’t¬†need¬†it in order to be happy with myself. I think that’s a HUGE thing for a lot of girls to understand in today’s society. So many people are in desperation for validation, compliments, or even recognition that they think without it they are nothing. Well, I’m here to tell you ladies that no matter how many times people say your black lipstick looks bad, if you like it then you should wear it however often you want. {I may be biased towards black lipstick, but I mean who doesn’t want to feel like a cross between cat-woman and Avril Lavigne? No one? Just me? Okay, fair enough.}

Anyway guys, if you take away anything from this just know that A) it’s perfectly okay to do things for yourself even if other people don’t like them, B) Yes, it’s also okay to spend 45 minutes taking photos of yourself in order to get the best possible angle for your highlight, and C) Do whatever it is you do with so much passion and love that other people see it and want to become just as passionate as you are.

Until next time xoxo

P.S. It’s also okay to absolutely LOVE parts about yourself and its even more okay to want to showcase what you love. For me, it’s my eyes and lips so here they are in their full glory. Lemme know what you love about yourself!!! Let’s spread the self-love today ūüôā

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Let’s Be Real…

Picture this: I’m sitting in an extra-large T-shirt that makes you wonder if I’m even wearing pants, barely matching socks that are practically black on the bottom, and half of my makeup rubbed off from where I got eyebrows threaded, revealing my too-dry and flakey red skin underneath. Don’t believe me? Here you go:¬†DSC_1037.jpgDSC_1049.jpgDSC_1036.jpg

Let’s not forget: I’m in desperate need to brush my teeth from drinking too much coffee, I haven’t shaved past my knees in a couple days, and I’m long-overdue for an upper-lip wax. I’m sorry to break it to you guys, this is what we’re really dealing with today. I haven’t edited these photos to smooth my pores, make the whites of my eyes appear brighter, or hidden any blemishes that are so graciously dispersed across my face.

Today, I’m just basking in my authenticity; what you see is¬†literally¬†what you get. It’s one of those days where I don’t feel like doing much else besides watching that episode of Law and Order: SVU, just¬†one more time, even though I guarantee I can tell you exactly who did it, why, and what their sentence was within the first two minutes of watching it. Really, it’s a problem. Okay, maybe not a problem, just a beautiful addiction. Who else doesn’t totally wanna be Olivia Benson? Talk about a real badass woman right there. Anyway, I digress…

So often I think we, as young girls, feel the need to hide our real selves from the world. For whatever reason we’re fixated on the need to appear “normal” within the context of society. There have been so many times I’ve sat in front of my mirror desperately trying to cover up a pimple on my forehead not because I really wanted to, but because I didn’t want people to see that I wasn’t “perfect”. It’s a lame confession, I know, but I guarantee you all know exactly what I’m talking about. Ever since I was in middle school, people have told me I have perfect skin. So when my face started freaking out due to those lovely little hormones raging throughout my already too emotional body, you can only imagine the amount of pressure I felt to keep up the “perfect skin” facade. Again, lame confession, but it’s a real one.

Just today I was trying on clothes at the mall for an interview when I absolutely¬†lost it inside the fitting room stall of Forever 21. I’d tried on about five different pairs of pants, six different shirts, and I could not for the life of me find a single thing I liked. Let’s add the fact that I’m on my period (it’s 2016… if a girl can’t talk about biological processes going on with her body then we have a whole other host of real issues to tackle) so naturally I feel bloated beyond belief and practically the size of a whale. I’m not kidding when I tell you I was slumped over half naked with crumpled up clothes surrounding me frantically texting my best friend to explain that I was in a real crisis. Luckily, she came through with the pep talk I needed saying, “Find a high waisted pencil skirt and blouse and rock the fuck out of life like I know you can.” *Ladies, this is where I tell you to find a best friend like Sara and¬†never, ever ever¬†let them out of your sight.*After getting that text, I kid you not, I went back out there, found a pencil skirt and shirt, and felt like a brand new person ready¬†to take on the world.

We all have days where we feel like crap about ourselves. We have moments that seem so dark and miserable that we forget just how incredibly incredible we are. The point of all this is simple: so often we favor the bad thoughts over the good ones. Truth be told, I know I’m the same person whether or not I’m wearing my favorite pair of fake eyelashes. The fact that I don’t have on an hour and a half’s worth of makeup doesn’t change who I am internally, yet we see all of the little things that we perceive to be “bad” and let them overwhelm us to the point that we end up crying in a public bathroom (yep, that’s happened to me multiple times). How incredible would it be if we could spend twice as much time praising ourselves than we do putting ourselves down?!

Now, let’s switch gears a little bit and look at instances where I spent the time to actually do¬†my hair and makeup…15271272_1373417772670382_1563889980_o.jpg15302362_1373408096004683_1859864032_o.jpg15303815_1373408162671343_1534777171_o.jpg

I will not lie to you…I am probably WAY¬†too proud of my highlight and the fact that I got those dang lashes to stay on for as long as they did. I’m happy that it only took me seven minutes to apply that liquid lipstick as opposed to the twelve it normally takes.

While makeup continually gives me a way to express myself, boost my confidence in my appearance, and allows me to show of what I like¬†to think is my only talent, it doesn’t change who I am internally. Deep down I know my value is not based on the fact that I vainly spent an hour in front of the mirror to make myself look “presentable”. I understand that my physical appearance doesn’t make me a better person. I have a grasp on that reality…most of the time. But at times I still find myself loving me just a little bit more after I smear expensive products all over my face.

As a girl in 2016, I can say that life can be¬†mentally exhausting. We have the tendency to attribute our worth to our appearance. This, in my opinion, is largely due to the society and social structure we live in, but there are other contributing factors. Why is it so hard to love ourselves but give out compliments like Oprah gives out free cars? I can’t tell you the amount of compliments I receive on my skin, the exact thing I find myself hating every day. This is not to be conceited, it’s to show that because of our internal monologue, we are so blind to the beauty that others see in us. I challenge you to accept your faults and recognize that those are what makes you unique and what makes you¬†gorgeous.

To be honest, I don’t even know if anyone besides my family reads the¬†stuff I decide to put out into the world. The things I say probably don’t make it to 1/20th of the people I’d like to reach. But that’s okay. Just today I read a quote a friend wrote down in her notebook. It said “Just make your dent in the universe.” And today, that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not trying to overhaul the world and have everyone know who I am. If a single person reads this and it makes them smile or feel anything at all, I’m happy with that. I truly believe that everything starts off small; we only have to do something seemingly insignificant in order to begin the chain reaction.

So, I leave you with this:¬†know your worth. No one is going to be perfect, not even you.¬†We need to remember to live our lives for ourselves and not to achieve an ideal set out by some elusive idea. It doesn’t matter if you have on the most expensive dress, or if you’re sitting in yesterday’s pajamas with third-day hair. As long as you are you, completely and unapologetically, that is all you’re ever going to need.

My name is Alexis. I just want to put myself out there because I need more exposure. Exposure to life, people, other experiences, anything. My dreams and wishes are too big for my own good, I want everything and will stop at nothing to get it. Hopefully this starts me off in the right direction, ya know? Just get everything out in the open. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to make that connection or even help someone that goes through ¬†the ¬†same things we all do. Bottom line is, we’re not that different at the end of the day. I know what it feels like to feel alone with no outlet, so maybe this will be the start of an amazing journey. So let’s see where this all ends up!

 

~ 19 ~

 

~ Florida ~

 

~ Makeup is my passion ~