February has been the best month I’ve had in a while, I’m actually a little sad to see it end so quickly. But here are a few of my favorite things that helped make this month pretty great.
Makeup & Skincare
Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb
I’m not the type of person who typically wears lipgloss, but I’ve seen so many people rave about the Fenty Glow Gloss Bomb, so when I saw a set of the gloss with a mini highlighter at Sephora (you know, near the check out aisle — that’s where they get you), I had to pick it up. And dare I say, this is my favorite gloss ever. It’s a shimmery rosy shade that gives you just a hint of color while still looking fairly natural. It’s not sticky at all and it keeps my lips feeling moisturized for hours, as opposed to other glosses that wear off almost instantaneously. Plus, it smells like peach gummy candy — my favorite!
Clinique Intense Moisture Surge
This winter has been really tough on my skin and it’s been drier than it’s ever been in my life. I had been using Clinique’s Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel for years, but it wasn’t cutting it anymore. So I decided to switch to Clinique Intense Moisture Surge and my skin is thanking me for it. I tried to go back to my previous moisturizer so as to not let it go to waste, but I couldn’t. I could literally feel the difference in my skin; it wasn’t as smooth and hydrated as it was when I used the Moisture Surge. So it looks like I found my new holy grail moisturizer.
(I will say, it smells a little like paint, so that’s something to look out for if you’re sensitive to scents. But I don’t find it offensive enough to not use it.)
The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
I don’t know how I got sucked into watching home renovation shows, as I’m a 20-something year old who doesn’t own a house and is no where near ready to purchase a house, but I’m addicted. My favorite show by far is HGTV’s Fixer Upper with Chip and Joanna Gaines. So when I saw The Magnolia Story on sale at Target, I picked it up in a heartbeat and started reading it once I got home.
It’s a heartwarming story that follows them through their first time meeting to their wedding and honeymoon, explores a little bit of their family backgrounds, and explains how they began their business flipping homes together and how that led to their hit TV show. The book is mostly written by Joanna, but Chip has his interjections here and there. I found myself laughing and smiling as I was reading, picturing the ridiculous scenarios that always seemed to have a way of working out perfectly in the end. It’s an easy read, but also uplifting and inspiring, so if you’re a fan of their show, I’d recommend picking this up and learning more about them through their own words.
Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things
I love watching documentaries, but Minimalism was different than others because it didn’t teach necessarily teach me anything; rather, it changed the way I look at everything. Before, I used to think I could never live a minimalist lifestyle; I couldn’t imagine downsizing to fit all my belongings in one bag or whatever ridiculous things I’ve seen when looking into minimalism before. But in this documentary, they made a point in response to a similar sentiment, saying that you don’t need to get rid of absolutely everything. If something brings value to your life and makes you happy, keep it. It’s all the unnecessary junk that bogs us down and keeps us from living a fulfilled life.
After watching this, I began to reassess how I viewed my belongings. I looked around at everything in my space and realized there were so many things that didn’t add any value to my life; they were just there essentially collecting dust. So I started donating and selling a lot of my things and trashing/recycling the rest. It’ll be a long journey to live completely minimal, but I already feel so much more at ease having watched this and shifted my mindset.
If you find that you also have an unhealthy relationship with material things, definitely give this documentary a watch on Netflix.
I revamped my blog layout a month or so ago and felt like something was missing. That’s where Canva came in handy. It’s a free, easy-to-use tool that can be very useful for content creators who don’t have much experience with graphic design (i.e. me.). They have templates ready for website banners, social media posts, infographics, even covers for CDs and ebooks, but you can also customize them to your liking. I personally use Canva to create labels to set as featured images for blog posts when I don’t have a a relevant photograph to use in its place, and it makes it so much easier than I ever thought possible.
This app has changed the way I drink water. It’s essentially a plant that you water throughout the day as a way of reminding yourself to drink water. You can set it to fit your lifestyle — higher water intake if you’re more active or lower intake if you’re not. If you haven’t watered your plant in a few hours, it’ll send a reminder that your plant is thirsty and that you need to give it — and yourself — some water. After a while, the plant will grow to its full capacity and you can plant it in a garden with all your previous plants. It’s a cute and fun way to motivate yourself to stay healthy and hydrated.
I’m not the best at keeping in touch with my emotions — that is, until I’m overcome with overwhelming frustration or sadness and suddenly break down for what seems like no reason at all. After intermittent bouts of happiness and sadness, I decided it would be best to try to track how I’m feeling on a daily basis so as to see where things are going right and where things are going wrong.
Daylio allows me to rate my mood each day, ranging from rad or good to meh, sad, or awful. It’s a good way of checking in with your emotions and because it also allows you to list the things you did that day, it helps you pinpoint what may be affecting your mood for better or worse.
Maia and Alex Shibutani (The ShibSibs)
I never really paid much attention to the Olympics before. Sure, I’d watch every now and then, but I never really felt invested in any of the athletes. That is, until I learned Maia and Alex Shibutani would be on the U.S. Olympic figure skating team this year.
I learned about the (ridiculously good looking) brother-sister ice dance duo last year through a Wong Fu Lunch Break episode, and I was excited to see them at the Olympics ever since. Not only are they incredibly talented — their free dance to Paradise (and a snippet of Fix You) by Coldplay won them a bronze medal in the team event and the individual ice dance program — but beyond their skating capabilities, it’s so refreshing to see them and other Asian Americans represent the U.S. and see articles referring to them simply as Americans (since it’s so common, at least in my experience, for Asian Americans to be seen as perpetual foreigners and not really American).
When they’re not skating, they have a YouTube channel called the ShibSibs,where they upload vlogs to take their fans along on their journey (including this adorable video that makes my heart melt every time). It’s safe to say I’ve become a bit of an ice skating fangirl, who woulda thought?
Honorable Mention: Want You Back by 5 Seconds of Summer
This song was just released last week, I know, but I’ve been waiting for some new 5SOS music for a while now so I had to give it a shout out. After going on a hiatus for a couple years, I was starting to wonder whether or not I would still like their music once they made their comeback. But once I heard this, I knew I still stanned them. It’s a more mature sound than I’m used to from them, but it shows their growth as artists and the new direction they’re taking. I do hope the rest of the album has more of the pop-punk sound that they’re known for, but this is a bop, so I’m excited to hear what’s to come.
What were your favorites for the month of February? I’d love to read about them in the comments below!