Things that help with my anxiety & stress

Like a lot of people, anxiety (and just plain old stress), is a part of my life. I wanted to do a quick blog post that just talks about the things I do that help me when I am feeling especially anxious, and things that I continually do to try and prevent me from having a lot of built up stress and anxiety.


IMG_3018Whether it is running or yoga or a spin class, getting in some exercise really helps me de- stress. I notice a big increase in my anxiety level and just general irritability when I haven’t worked out for a few days. I try and work out in some form at least 4 times a week (which, let’s be honest, doesn’t always happen). Forcing myself to go to the gym is always a struggle, but I feel so much better afterwards that it makes it all worth it. Exercise has become a lot more about my mental health than my physical health (which is also important!), and with so many different activities/classes/sports you can choose from, it is easy to always keep it from getting boring.

Watching my favorite TV Show

Sometimes all it takes is watching Parks & Rec to put me in a good mood. It is such a positive show and never fails to make me laugh. When I’m feeling anxious and a little down, this is my frequent go-to to help my mood.

Re-reading a favorite book

While I love Parks & Rec, there are times when I just don’t feel like watching tv. When this happens but I still want something calming to do I will re-read a few chapters of a favorite book. Typically that ends of being Harry Potter, but I recently picked out Angels & Demons from my bookshelf a read a few chapters of that before bed to help me relax.

Snuggle/play with my kittens

Before I got Kira (left), I was never a pet person. Like at all. If I went over to a friends house when I was younger and they had a cat or dog, I would be very apprehensive and try my best to avoid them. I got a dog when I was a teenager, which helped me adapt to animals a little better. But there is nothing like getting your first pet that is 100% yours. I honestly cannot imagine not having a pet at any point in my life now. Having a little friend who is always happy to see you when you get home and just wants you to love them is the best feeling. I also recently got another little kitty named Oliver (right) who is just the absolute cutest. Having these two cuties waiting for me at home and snuggle with me on the couch is the best, and I definitely credit them to helping ease my anxiety because they give me something to focus on instead of focusing on my anxious thoughts.


I know that everyone has their own particular way they like to unwind and de-stress, but these are the ones that are currently working for me! If you have any tips to help with stress and anxiety, please leave me a comment below! I would love to hear what other people do for their mental health.


Month in Review | April


Happy May everyone! I hope you all had a great April. I am very excited to officially be in the midst of Spring! It is such a nice change to be able to leave my apartment with only a light sweater or raincoat.





DFB1ADF6-1169-443A-8D61-51AE00C1919BIn the beauty realm for April, I was very into simple makeup with a definite “spring” vibe.  As per usual I have been using my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer almost daily, however the past month I have been doing something new- which is applying it with my fingers. I normally use a beauty blender or brush but I had been feeling lazy so I started to just blend it in my my fingers and it actually works really well! I am very pleased but surprised as well. On top of that base, I have been using Orgasm by Nars blush. I have had this blush for over a year but I think April was the month I wore it the most. It has the most beautiful but natural pink shimmer finish and I have been low key obsessed with it. I finish off my look with either my NYX butter gloss or Lumière by ColourPop (review).

Also a quick update on my April Play! Box (review) – two of the products I have (surprisingly) really fallen in love with. They are the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer and30ECBC64-8804-4BA5-8D7D-E6E3F8E0029B the Peter Thomas Roth Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Cream. I have been using these both everyday for the past couple weeks and I am obsessed. Initially when I reviewed them for the blog I had only used them twice and I said they were good, but not worth the steep price tag. Sadly, (for my wallet) my opinion has totally changed and I definitely see myself purchasing both of them when my samples run out. The primer completely fills in my pores and really helps soften my skin and my makeup applies great on top. I am actually very shocked how much I love this product because I don’t usually see primer as a necessity in my routine, but this one has changed the game for me.

The moisturizer (which I have been using at night) sinks right into my skin and when I wake up the next morning my skin is so soft and looks brighter and my texture looks a lot better. I am actually so sad that I love this moisturizer so much because I still adore my Confidence in a Cream (review) but now I am sort of leaning towards buying the full size Cloud Cream instead… which makes me sad lol. I think part of the reason is that the Confidence in a Cream is thicker, and since it is starting to get warmer my skin has just been responding better to a lighter moisturizer. But anyways, I will of course keep you all updated with which one (or both…) I end up purchasing.


In addition to makeup/skincare, my love of perfume was re-ignited last month by my new Tory Burch Love Relentlessly (details here). I got this at the tail end of April, but I am already obsessed by it so I had to include it in this post.


I go through phases where I don’t read all month long, and then one month I will read 5 or 6 books. April was definitely the latter, I think I read 4 books. Of the books I read this month, I would highly recommend Good as Gone by Amy Gentry. It is a suspense/thriller novel – in the same vein as Gone Girl and Girl on the Train. I don’t think it was as well written as those two books are, but it was still a huge page turner for me and I think I finished it in only a couple of days. I couldn’t put it down! I also have been reading When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi which is a really amazing memoir about a neurosurgeon who gets diagnosed with lung cancer. I haven’t finished it yet but it is truly an incredible story that you all should read.



I was persuaded by a co-worker to give Breaking Bad a second shot (I tried to watch it a few years ago and found it too slow to watch) and I am hooked! I know I am very late to the game with this show, but I definitely get why people are crazy about Walt and Jesse now! I am in the middle of season 3 at the moment and will probably finish it in the next couple weeks. I even got my boyfriend hooked on it too!

I also started the podcast S-Town this month, which is just an incredible and unique story about an eccentric man in small town Alabama. S-Town is from the same people who created Serial (which I loved!) and so I knew I needed to listen to this podcast as well. It is hard to give an adequate summary because it kind of jumps around a lot and doesn’t fit into a genre, but it is so good – I listened to the whole thing on a Saturday while doing chores and stuff around the house. Podcasts are perfect for that!


What did you all love last month? Let me know in the comments!!


Did you catch my last post? You can read it here: Purity by Philosophy | 1 Year Later

Follow me on instagram! @karleenbeauty

Love Relentlessly


Happy Monday everyone! Last week my parents sent me a super nice “congrats on the new job” gift which was this Tory Burch Love Relentlessly Perfume Gift Set. I absolutely adore perfume which my whole family knows. It is the first beauty product that I loved – long before makeup and skin care – and it is still my favorite beauty product. I love things that smell good and I think a nice perfume is essential to wear daily. I am not someone who sticks with just one scent – I do like to try new ones. Once I get a new perfume though, I tend to wear that everyday for at least a few months, and then I will start to rotate through the few that I own.

84F4A8EB-8329-4278-BA64-FEBEBA222DDBThe perfume itself smells so good. I typically go for the light, airy, almost flowery perfumes. I am not someone who likes anything overbearing – I kind of want my perfume to almost be more “natural” if that makes sense. This perfume has a feminine scent, but almost with a little kick. It’s not sweet, but it is girly – at least that is my impression.  Taken from the Sephora website, the key notes in this perfume are: pink pepper, rose, orris and sandalwood. It also says this perfume is a “warm floral” and it is in the floral family – which makes sense why I like it! I will also say the bottle is super cute. I love the sort of geometric shape to it. Also, super random but the spray on this is amazing. It gives the perfect fine mist with one spray – I am in love.



I was really excited to see the set came with a lotion – especially given that I love the scent of the perfume so much; but I was also a little skeptical. When it comes to lotion, I FF1497B1-3014-43DD-84A6-E2816D8273C2don’t usually like the ones that are based around smelling good. In my experience, I have found that they don’t sink into the skin as quickly and don’t actually help with any dryness (the Bath and Body Works lotions for example are like this for me). But, I actually have found this lotion to be very hydrating. The scent is really strong, but it smells so nice to rub into your hands midday. A nice little pick me up! The last item in this set is the rollerball. I have actually never owned a rollerball perfume so I was really excited to see this item was included in the set. It is perfect to just throw in your purse so if I forget to put some on in the morning I can dab a little on my wrists at work. It will also be really nice for traveling!

If you are looking for a new perfume, I definitely recommend going to your closest Sephora or department store (my parents actually get this set from Macy’s) and smelling Love Relentlessly by Tory Burch!

What is your favorite perfume? Have you tried this one? Let me know in the comments.


Did you catch my last post? You can read it here: April Sephora Play! Box

Follow me on instagram! @karleenbeauty




7 Tips for Starting a New Job

Hello everyone! So this isn’t a beauty related post, but I have realized as I have been blogging, that there are other topics I want to write about! So every now and then, I may have a lifestyle post up, or something career-related in terms of advice/tips and been general thoughts on #worklife. My first post in that realm, is going to be Tips for Starting a New Job. I recently began a new job almost one month ago, so while everything is still fresh in my mind about what it’s like during this transition, I thought I would blog about it! I do work in an office and do the typical 9-5 thing, so some of these tips may not be super applicable to those of you that do something completely different, but hopefully some of them are useful! So let’s jump in.


1. First up – ask questions! When you show up for your first day, it is totally nerve-wrecking  (at least for me…. hopefully I am not the only one!) – with new coworkers, new responsibilities, new everything. But now is the perfect time to ask questions. Whenever I start a new job I always feel like I am bothering people by the amount of questions I have – but then I realized that everyone is expecting you to ask questions. They know you are new, and that you don’t know everything – so don’t feel bad about having a million of them.

2. Get to know the people you work with. Co-workers are a huge part of the job. Being friends, or at least friendly, makes the work day go so much faster and creates a more enjoyable environment. At my new job, my company does a lot of social gatherings outside of the office, and I have tried (still am!) to attend as many as possible. This may not be everyone’s cup of tea – it can be a lot to work with someone all day every day, and then go do something after work with the same people. If socializing outside of work isn’t for you, then I would suggest making an effort to get to know people during work – strike up a conversation about your favorite Netflix show, or a fun activity you did over the weekend.. anything! Building friendships takes time, but it never hurts to start early.

3. Offer to do things. In my experience, starting a new job is not only scary… but it can be a tad boring during those first few weeks as well. Since you are still figuring everything out, you may not be given a lot to do at first (don’t worry, that will change!), but this is a perfect opportunity to show your initiative and interest by offering to do things you already know how, or that you want someone to teach you.

4. When you make a mistake… own up to it. I feel like most peoples first instinct when they make a mistake is to ignore it and hope it goes away (if that’s not you… congrats you are killing it in life). But as that instinct arrives, please ignore it and ask someone what to do. When you are new, people are expecting you to make mistakes. You can’t be perfect, especially when you are just getting started! So it may be a tough/scary conversation, but most bosses will understand. It’s much better to say you made a mistake and ask someone how to fix it, then hope it goes away but actually ends up creating more issues down the line.

5. Look good feel good! I think getting a new job is a perfect excuse to purchase some new clothes and/or makeup (not that you ever really need a reason… #treatyoself). Wear what makes you feel confident! Whether its a killer pair of heels or your favorite lipstick.

6. Learn what your bosses expectations are of you and the job. I’m sure some of this was discussed during the interview process, but now that you have started it is the perfect time to figure out what is expected of you. Whether it’s if you should check in with them first thing in the morning, how you should communicate issues that occur with projects etc., it is so important to be on the same page with your supervisor.

7. Be patient. It takes time to settle into a new job, but it will happen over time! One day you’ll come to work and be killing it, and will wonder how you ever thought it was so scary in the first place!


Did you catch my last post? You can read it here: Love Affair with Lumière 

Follow me on instagram! @karleenbeauty

Month in Review | March 2017

Hello everyone! Instead of doing a Monthly Favorites post, I want to start doing a “Month in Review” – that way I can talk about my life a bit more. So let’s dive in!

cc310753-8975-4635-b7c8-68f0c907e21bMarch has actually been a really exciting month for me. After months of searching and applying, I finally got a new job (yay!) which I am very excited about! My first day was actually today, and I think the job and company are going to be a really great fit for me!

Beauty wise, I haven’t really been wearing much makeup honestly. My focus the past few weeks has been on nailing down a consistent morning & night skin care routine and trying to let my skin breathe a bit more. I bought a ton of new skin care products after Christmas and I think I may have over done it a bit (oops..), so now I am trying to take a step back and figure out what is/isn’t working. I’m hoping that by keeping a consistent routine the next few months I will start to see some results. I am going to do post soon on my new routine so stay tuned!

While I focus on my skin, my day-to-day  makeup routine has mainly just been my brows, mascara, and concealer. For the days where I want to look a *bit* more pulled together I will put on my Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer or use my Neutrogena foundation (review) and then add a lip color. I have also started using my ColourPop highlighter on the regular for my inner corners. It is a bit to showy of a highlight (for me) to use on my cheeks, but by adding a bit to my inner corners it really helps my eyes look more awake.


In the non-beauty world, I have been *obsessed* with Big Little Lies on HBO. I read the book several years ago and as soon as it was announced that it was going to be made into a series with Reese Witherspoon (love her!) I have been counting down the days until it started. Now that it has actually aired, I still can’t get over how good it is. Seriously. If you haven’t watched it yet, please stop reading this and go do it right now. The whole cast is phenomenal and it is top quality TV.

I also recently stopped at Barnes and Noble and picked up Truly, Madly, Guilty – which was 50% off! This book is by the same author, Liane Moriarty, as Big Little Lies, and I couldn’t put it down until I finished it! I love to read but I haven’t been doing much of it lately, and this book really reminded me how much I need to make time for a good book.

So that wraps up March in Review! Hope you enjoyed, and let me know how your month went! Any new beauty products I should try? Book suggestions for next month? Let me know. 🙂


Did you catch my last post? You can read it here: Hello Spring! | New Makeup Products

Follow me on instagram! @karleenbeauty




Women Who Inspired Me In 2016


I think women empowering and inspiring other women is so important that I wanted to dedicate a whole post to the women who inspired me in 2016! Some inspired me in the beauty realm, some inspired me to more loudly advocate for things I believe in, and all inspired me to work hard and live a life that I love (cheesy, but true). So here we go!

Kathleen Lights


My first women who inspired me is KathleenLights. I discovered her YouTube channel in late 2015, and all through 2016 (and now!) she has been my go-to person for product reviews and makeup tutorials. For having almost 3 million subscribers, she seems so down to earth and a person I would genuinely want to hang out with. Her love of makeup and beauty products is very infectious and I love that she is always using and talking about drugstore makeup. For youtubers that have such a huge subscriber base, I feel like you rarely see them using drugstore makeup. I truly believe her when she says this is her honest opinion, and I love how upfront she is about sponsorship/PR – nothing seems fake with her. She isn’t a makeup artist, and doesn’t do super dramatic looks, but that is why I love her. She uses makeup like the everyday person would! If you haven’t checked her out, then you definitely need to! She inspires me to keep on going with my beauty blog and because even she started somewhere and you never know where your passion/hobby can take you!

Emma Watson


I love Emma Watson – literally everything about her. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan for starters. And from there, I just think she is so classy, well spoken, and of course, well dressed. I love how she uses her enormous platform and fame to advocate for gender equality, and I think her book club is so cool. Feminism is still such a hot topic, and for Hollywood being so liberal, many still don’t speak out past your typical one-liner in support here or there. Emma has gone above and beyond in fighting for what she believes in and I really admire that.

Michelle Obama

Literally everything about this woman is incredible. She has been an amazing First Lady for the past 8 years, and she has become a huge inspiration for not just me, but millions of women around the world. She is graceful and eloquent, and such a boss. She speaks her mind and doesn’t back down, while at the same time being incredibly gracious. She has become such an icon, and every time she speaks, the world listens. I’m sad she is leaving the White House, but so happy that we had her in there for 8 years.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg


She is my personal hero. I studied Political Science in school, and the Supreme Court always held a fascination with me. Last year I read a great book called The Nine, all about the nine justices that make up the court, and learned so much more about Ruth and her personal mission to expand women’s rights. She has become more famous in pop culture recently thanks to her nickname as “The Notorious RBG” as well as her famous dissents in Supreme Court cases – most recently the Hobby Lobby case from 2014. Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the ultimate bad ass boss feminist, who is insanely intelligent and is always fighting help women. She is who I want to be when I grow up.

Selena Gomez


Next to Emma Watson, Selena is my ultimate girl crush (and hair goals). But this past year I really have been inspired by her. She took time out of the spotlight to recuperate, and when she came back, she gave a kick-ass and passionate speech about the importance of taking care of yourself. It was so powerful and I love that she is using her platform to give voice to the fact that sometimes, you need to worry less about others and take care of yourself. I am so happy she mentioned how your heart, and who you are, is so much more important than what you put on Instagram or on any social media. Care more about taking care of yourself and being a good person, than the image you display on social media.

Hillary Clinton


Hillary is a powerful woman, and a huge inspiration. She does what she needs to get things done, and even when she didn’t get what she deserved (in my opinion), she conceded with grace. She is a fighter, and I draw huge inspiration from the fact that she kept her head down and got to work when she lost to Obama, and how gracefully she conceded to Trump, while still encouraging young girls and women to keep fighting. #stillwithher

Leslie Knope


So technically, Leslie Knope is a fictional person. But the inspiration she gives me is real so I get to include her! Parks and Rec has long been my favorite show, and Leslie Knope is my favorite fictional character (followed by Hermione and then Buffy). Whenever I am feeling down -about something specific or just in general – I can always count on this show to cheer me up. And whenever I need motivation to keep on working hard, when I’m not seeing any results, or getting any recognition or just feeling frustrated with work altogether, Leslie Knope helps. Her motivation, positive attitude and just all around determination inspires me to work hard, and know that if I do, things will eventually work out.

So that is my list! Of course there are many more I didn’t include (my mom, grandma, sisters, bestfriends, etc.) but these are the major public figures that inspired my all through out last year, and continue to do so in 2017.

Who are your female role models? Who inspires you?! I would love to hear about them 🙂

2017 New Year’s Resolutions


I am not the kind of the person that typically makes resolutions. I think that if you want to go ahead and make a positive change in your life, than you should be able to start at anytime during the year – not just January! That being said, the past few months I have been reflecting a lot on my life and what changes I can make to be healthier and happier. And all of this has just happened to coincide with the New Year. So, for the first time, I have decided to actually write (or blog) about my resolutions. I am hoping that by publishing my goals on my blog, it will help me stick to them. And then in a year I can look back on this post and see how I did!

Resolution #1: Exercise

I know, I know – what a cliche resolution to make. BUT, this is an important one for me. This past summer I started working out regularly for the first time ever, and it was amazing. It helped me de-stress after work, gave me more energy and reduced my anxiety. Somehow along the way I injured my foot so I stopped going for a month or so to give it time to heal. But one month turned into two and before you know it I had stopped going altogether. And once you stop it is really hard to get the motivation to start going again. But I decided that after I got back from Christmas vacation, I would get a gym membership and I have now been going 4 (or so) times a week for the past few weeks. And once again, I am feeling so energized by this change. I feel better – both physically and mentally – and I am hoping I will be able to stick with it. I also want to try and attend classes at the gym. I was really into yoga for little while so I would love to get back into that, as well as try out some new classes! I am also excited for all the cute athletic clothes I now have a legitimate reason to buy myself 🙂

Resolution #2: Cook New Things

I have come to the realization that besides having to pay bills, cooking for yourself regularly, let alone cooking good food, is the hardest thing about being an adult. I look back now and can’t believe how much I took for granted all those home cooked meals my parents made for us every day growing up. Because let’s get real: cooking is hard. First, you have to plan out what you want to eat for the week (at least that’s how I like to do it). Which is a pain because finding new recipes that look good, and are quick and easy to make takes time (Pinterest is great for this though). Which means for the most part, I am recycling the same handful of recipes I know how to make easily. Then you have to go grocery shopping (my least favorite chore). And then, of course, you have to come home after a long day and cook the meal. So, to sum up, cooking for yourself is hard. That being said, I love to feeling of accomplishment that I get from cooking myself a really great meal that tastes delicious. And when I am prepared (meaning I know exactly what I am making when I get home and have everything I need to do so) I actually like to cook. So my main goal when it comes to cooking in 2017 is planning out my weeks better and testing out new recipes! I have so many cookbooks filled with great dishes and I want to actually try to make some of them. I have Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook and actually used two of the recipes this past weekend and both turned out great. Hopefully this is a good sign for the year to come!

Resolution #3: Blogging!

When I started this blog it was to really just extension of my newly developed interest in makeup, skin care, and beauty related things. I wanted a place to talk about products I discovered, things that I liked and didn’t like, and place to go to read product reviews and discuss beauty! I didn’t really think I would keep up with posting, and for a while I didn’t, but the past month or two I have been really enjoying it! After a bad day at work this has really become my happy place where I can focus on things that I enjoy and write about them and take my mind off the stressful-ness of real life. My  blogging goal for 2017 is really just to keep it up! To keep posting regular content, discover and connect with more bloggers and to hopefully to have this keep being a place where I can take my mind off of the real world for a second and just enjoy talking about makeup, skincare and all things beauty!

Resolution #4: DIY

I have always really been into crafting, even if I am not the most creative person in the world. I love coloring, painting, hot glue-ing… pretty much everything to do with crafts. Walking into Michael’s is not quite as exciting as walking into Sephora, but it’s up there! But while I am always pinning away ideas on Pinterest, I don’t actually end up doing any of  the crafts, and I want that to change. Because every time I actually end up doing one (like the wreath pictured above that I did a month ago) I have so much fun! I am making it my goal this year to spend more time on DIY or crafts that I really want to do and enjoy a weekend making/crafting something!

Resolution #5: Do more things that make me happy

This seems like an obvious one, but I think it is so important. It was so easy to fall into this trap where I come home from work, eat dinner, watch TV the rest of the night, and then going to bed. And I want to change that for myself! I want to spend more time on hobbies and activities (including the above four) and doing things I actually enjoy instead of just being lazy (if I’m being honest). I have been doing pretty well with this the past couple months and I really want that trend to continue. Even if it’s just taking an half hour to read my current book, or color in my adult coloring book (I love that this is a popular thing to do now!), I want to spend less time on the couch and more time doing actual things that I enjoy and keep me busy. That being said, sometimes all you need is a good Netflix binge marathon (I spent all day Saturday watching Broadchurch which is so good!). I just want to cut out the mindless TV watching and add more hobbies to my life!

So there you have it! My first actual list of New Years resolutions. Do you all participate in this resolution making? What are you hoping to achieve in 2017? Wishing you all a great year!

Sunday Morning

This past Sunday I played tourist in my own town and walked around the University campus. It was extremely cold, which explains the first picture of me where I was mid-sentence telling my dad to “hurry up and take the picture I’m freezing”. Other than that it was a great morning!

IMG_2357 (1)IMG_2359 (1)

Outfit Details

  • Coat: Aritzia
  • Shirt: Aerie
  • Jeans: American Eagle
  • Boots: Steve Madden
  • Purse: Michael Kors