13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room + What To Bring Instead

13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room + What To Bring Instead

So it’s the summertime and one of the most exciting things about it is getting to go out and buy things for your soon-to-be awesome college dorm room! But more important than the fuzzy purple rug you’re going to have on the floor, or the TV and and gaming system you need to bring is the list of items you can’t have in the room. Paying attention to prohibited items can really save you money when dorm shopping, and it can save you from getting written up during room checks! 

Of course, while most colleges have some standard prohibited items that they can agree on, there are still some items that may be permissible at one college that aren’t at another, so definitely please keep your specific college in mind. In any case, here’s a list of items that aren’t allowed in dorm rooms and what you can bring instead!

1. Candles 

I know you want to add a little ambiance to the bland room, but it is entirely possible to get caught up in your daily life and forget to put out the candle. Unattended burning candles can start big dorm fires, which is why these are prohibited items.

Instead, bring string lights. String lights are an easy way to spice up your corner without going overboard. They’re really cute and can make the room look and feel just as cozy as it would with a candle. Keep in mind that some (but not all) universities also prohibit string lights — check with your RA or housing office to find out if the rules also ban string lights. If you can’t have string lights, you can hang paper lanterns (without bulbs in them). They won’t emit any light (so it’s dorm-friendly) and they’ll still make the room feel warm and friendly.

2. A space heater 

I’ve had the experiences of dealing with very cold dorm rooms *shudder* during the winter. Unfortunately, if the rooms don’t come equipped with their own thermostats, there’s nothing you can do about the lack of heat other than file a report with an RHD or maintenance. Never bring a space heater if your college prohibits it because it can be knocked over and start a fire.

Instead, bring a thermal blanket. Thermals are relatively inexpensive and are great alternatives for keeping warm. It’s not a space heater but at least it’s also not a big, puffy winter jacket that you have to wear indoors. 

3. An iron

Irons are super useful for straightening out the wrinkles in the button down you need to wear for an interview in the morning, but most colleges don’t allow irons in the dorm rooms because of the possibility that a user might forget to to shut it off and pretty much accidentally burn down the room. To combat this, some colleges actually allow irons that have an automatic shut off feature.

Instead, bring a mini steamer. Irons are clunky anyway. Mini steamers are really easy to use (I used one during my freshman year). All you have to do is fill it up with water, plug it in and wait for it to heat up, and run the steamer up and down the garment to get the wrinkles out. Yes, steam can burn you if you aren’t careful, but at least it won’t set your room on fire! *thumbs up* 

4. Dumbbells & weights 

In college, it can sometimes be difficult to find time to hit the gym for a workout, and having some equipment on hand so that you can squeeze in a workout while you binge-watch Supernatural in the comfort of your room is a great idea. Unfortunately, dumbbells and weights and some other strength training equipment aren’t allowed in most dorm rooms. 

Instead, bring a yoga mat. You can still work toward some of your fitness goals without weights. You can use your yoga mat to get in your daily round of push-ups, sit-ups, leg lifts, and other exercises. 

5. An air conditioner

The only way you can really have an A.C. in your dorm room is if your room comes with one already installed. Believe me, I know how wonderful air conditioning can be in a hot, stuffy dorm room in August. The good news is that even without air conditioning, you don’t have to put up with the heat until winter!

Instead, bring a fan. Even a small desk fan is really helpful! In fact, it’s easier to make space in an already crowded room for a small fan than a big one. Plus, the majority of the semester is during months where air conditioning isn’t really needed — August, parts of September, and, if you’re lucky, right before the semester ends in May are the only times when it’s a bit uncomfortable in a hot room. 

6. Live plants or flowers 

It may be your dream to decorate your future apartment with flowers, plants, and small, live trees, but this isn’t your apartment. Plants can be nice for therapeutic purposes, and for adding some aesthetic to a room (I’m actually considering getting little succulents for my dorm room next year!) I’m not completely sure why live plants wouldn’t be allowed (mess from the dirt? desire to keep nature outdoors? if they catch on fire they’ll burn like there’s no tomorrow?) but you probably shouldn’t have them no matter how home-y it’d make your space feel.

Instead, bring fake plants. They may not seem as therapeutic as the real ones, but if you’re just looking to make your room more attractive then you can easily do that using fake foliage. If you need live plants for therapeutic purposes, however, you can notify the housing office on campus so that you can be allowed to have live plants.  

7. Hoverboards 

Hoverboards have been banned in places beyond the college campus — restaurants, city streets, etc. They seemed like a cool, new way to get around, but they’re also really dangerous because of the fire hazard they pose. You’ve probably heard horror stories about Hoverboard chargers exploding or the product catching on fire; it’s a no wonder why they’ve been banned in some dorms.

Instead, bring a regular skateboard, or even a bicycle. Hoverboards are really just another way to easily get from point A to point B without walking, and you can do that with a regular skateboard (that doesn’t need to be re-charged!) or a bicycle (which will actually give you some exercise!) Some residence halls don’t allow you to store your bike inside your room, but you can lock usually lock them up in racks outside the building. 

13 Things Not Allowed In Your Dorm Room + What To Bring Instead

8. Nails/screws for the wall

Nails are super helpful for hanging pretty picture frames and other things. As much as you might try to think of your room as your second home, that excuse won’t fly with an RHD. You aren’t allowed to damage the walls in any way because other students will live in that room after you. It might be nice if dorm rooms came with pre-installed hooks or nails so that students and parents don’t feel inclined to take a hammer to it to hang a mirror or something, but until that happens you’ll need to put the hammer and nails away.

Instead, bring Command Hooks. They’re like temporary hooks on the wall for holding up important things — bathrobes, bath towels, jackets, scarves — without leaving holes in any walls. The one caveat I’d give when dealing with these hooks is to be very careful when removing them. There’s a little tab at the bottom for you to pull the adhesive out and remove the hook cleanly, but if you pull too hard and rip the adhesive, the hook will actually get stuck on the wall! 

9. Wallpaper & decals

These are affordable ways to make your space cuter, but wallpaper isn’t allowed in many dorm rooms because they tend to peel off the paint from the walls. The university will bill you for damaging the room, and that’ the last thing you’d want to have to deal with!

Instead, bring personal photos and posters to decorate the walls with. You can easily put these up with painter’s tape (which won’t damage walls) and it’ll come off easily. Another fun way to dress up the walls of your dorm is to print out fun or inspirational quotes and tape those to the walls. You can use decorative tape to create pretty borders around them too! 

10. Toasters, electric frying pans, microwaves

Toast in the morning sounds great, especially when you really want to do your best to have a filling breakfast before you start your day. Toasters and the like aren’t allowed because, like most of the stuff on this list, they can start a fire if they are left plugged in, turned on, and forgotten. I know people try to bring their own microwaves and toasters because they don’t want to go downstairs to use the communal kitchen, and I’ve seen people try to get away with some other prohibited items on this list, but this is a rule you DEFINITELY DON’T want to mess with.

Instead, bring a regular frying pan. You can go down to the kitchen and fry anything that needs to be fried or toasted, and you don’t even have to worry about getting caught for having something you’re not supposed to have. Just make sure you always turn off the stove before leaving the kitchen. As for the microwave, just use the one in the communal kitchen. It honestly isn’t that much work to walk downstairs or use an elevator.

BTW…I’ve also got some pretty awesome tips for cooking in college that will definitely save you so much time and grief!

11. Alcohol

Alcohol is prohibited if you’re under the age of 21. Some colleges even have designated residence halls that are substance free (I’ve lived in a substance free dorm for the past two years). These rules are so strict that they don’t even allow alcohol paraphernalia as decoration in the rooms.

Instead, bring soda, juice, sparkling water, or other non-alcoholic beverages. Just stock your mini fridge some of your favorite everyday beverages. I promise, you won’t get written up for having soda in your room! 

12. Plug-in air fresheners 

A nice-smelling room is great to walk into, but little plug-in air fresheners can actually cause big fires, and that’s not great to walk into. Hence, the reason why they aren’t allowed in dorm rooms.

Instead, bring a regular can of air freshener, or even one of those solid air fresheners. I’ve used a solid air freshener in my dorm room before and it kept the room smelling fresh until all the solid was melted. You don’t even need to remember to spray anything because it does all the work for you! Just throw it out when it’s all melted.

13. Water bed 

I mean, the only reason you might want a waterbed is if you plan on having guests over in your room during the semester, but even so, waterbeds are difficult to maintain and can pop or leak in the room, which leaves a huge cleanup duty for the cleaning staff in the building.

Instead, bring a sleeping bag. This might not be the same as sleeping in a bed, but at least you don’t have to worry about your sleeping bag springing a leak. They’re really easy to store and carry — you can even take it with you if you plan on sleeping over at a friend’s dorm for the night. Plus, you’ll definitely be able to allow your guests to use it, and you don’t have to worry about it taking up any space in the dorm. 

From one college goer to another, navigating dorm room policies can be a bit sticky, so I really hope you found this list of alternatives helpful.

What other dorm room alternatives do you have? 

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4 Great Places On 5th Ave. To Grab Lunch

Manhattan is full of fun things to do and fun places to go to, but after all that walking you’ll definitely want to grab a quick bite of lunch! Hunting for great eats can be pretty daunting — there are just so many to choose from! For the last few weeks, I’ve been discovering some great eateries along 5th Avenue, and I’ve decided to share my finds with you. So if you’ll be taking a trip to the area, definitely check these places out!

1. Potbelly – 366 5th Ave. 

5th ave lunch Potbelly

This is a great stop for a quick lunch pickup. I personally purchased the chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat bread and I definitely thought that it was one of the better chicken salad sandwiches I’ve ever had. Some of the toppings you can add, like peppers and onions, and condiments are free (in case you’re wondering, avocado slices as toppings cost $1 extra). I love mustard on literally everything, so I went for that. I paid around $7 for my sandwich and I will admit that they are a tad bit small for the price, so if you go here take advantage of the free toppings and condiments! All the sandwiches are made fresh and you can take them to go, or stay in the cozy, slightly dimly lit shop and eat.

2. Pret A Manger – 389 5th Ave. 

5th ave lunch Pret A Manger

Pret (as I’ve learned people call it) is a natural and organic foods eatery. You can find soups, salads, sandwiches, and even baked goods. Coffee and other beverages are also options here. I ordered a blueberry muffin (the best one I’ve ever eaten!) and a carrot cake cookie. I totally appreciated their creativity with that. Their baked goods aren’t too sweet like the ones from other shops, and the entire store is really simple and clean, and there’s lots of nice seating. When I first stepped in, I was reminded of a section of a grocery store because of the (cooler? fridge thing?) near the front that held salad bowls and fruit. This is a great place if you want to appeal to that voice in your head that keeps telling you to at least try to eat healthy.

3. Panera Bread – 452 5th Ave. (Sorry, no pic for this one. It looked so good I ate it before snapping a shot!) 

This one’s a really popular chain and can be found in so many different places, but this was actually my FIRST TIME eating at Panera Bread! I know, I’m totally lame, but I really enjoyed the Frontega Chicken panini. I hate red onions (and onions in general) with a passion, but the onions in this panini complimented everything so well, and everything tasted so fresh. I also ordered another panini for someone else (steak and white cheddar panini) and when given the choice of a side of bread, chips, or apple slices with each sandwich, I chose the chips. You also have the option to choose whether you want half a sandwich or the whole thing. Panera Bread also does salads, pasta, and baked goods like danishes. The choices make a quick and yummy lunch and dessert that you can take back to the office with you.

4. W Cafe – 390 5th Ave. 

5th ave lunch W Cafe

5th ave lunch W Cafe

I think this one is my 5th Ave. favorite on this list! W Cafe serves hot and cold ready-made sandwiches and sides. I actually went back here twice because the Chipotle Chicken Panini I got was SO good! When you order to go, you get a side of really yummy chips. The first time, I got plain popcorn and these spicy potato chips. The second time, I got plain potato chips, and I actually LOVED them (I’m not a fan of plain anything but these were the best chips ever!) You can also get dessert here such as macarons, cheesecake cups, and slices of cake. There’s also a huge assortment of individually wrapped chocolate bars and cookies. I paid approximately $12 for two sandwiches with the side chips, in case you were wondering.

Final Thoughts…

If I had to pick one place that was my ultimate favorite, it’d probably be W Cafe (if the fact that I went there twice didn’t already give it away). There is literally a sea of sandwiches there that I haven’t tried yet and that I’m excited to. The ingredients and flavors in the sandwiches aren’t boring — not stuff that I think I can boast about making right at home. I also love the variety of the desserts there. Granted you will not find as many desserts here as you would in a bakery, but if I really wanted something sweet I’d still actually have a hard time choosing what to get here! Congrats, W Cafe, you’re the ultimate winner in my mind!

Next time you’re in the city looking for a bite to eat, I hope you’ll consider these locations. And if you’re totally new at traversing the city and have no idea how to start, be sure to check out my post on city travel basics + Battery Park. That’s right, there’s lots of fun to be had in Battery Park! I totally believe that you can plan a great trip to the city, but if you still aren’t convinced you can also take a look at my post on how to ride the subway like a pro.

What are your favorite Manhattan eateries? 

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How To Leave High School With No Regrets

I’m not a super sentimental person, so I’ll just skip the whole ‘new chapter of your life,’ ‘best four years of your life,’ ‘leaving behind friends,’ ‘congratulations,’ stuff (because you’ll get enough of that at graduation and before you head off to college!) As you can tell by the title, I’m going to give you a few tips for walking away from those lockers, those hallways, and that cafeteria regret-free. Regrets don’t necessarily have to be huge screw-ups or major opportunities missed — sometimes we look back and think about that one small thing we forgot to do before leaving. These aren’t exactly life-altering, future-changing things to do, but they can make you leave high school feeling even more satisfied.

1. Add your favorite teachers on social media. 

You don’t need to leave them all behind after high school. On Facebook, I friended a few of the adults from my high school that I really looked up to and really liked talking to in my free time. Later down the road you might find that you have a career-related question for them, or just need insight on a subject and they were the experts you got to know.

2. Do something you’ve always dreamed of doing in high school. 

As long as it’s legal and allowed in school! I was a band geek and our band teacher has this tradition of letting two graduating seniors conduct the concert band during graduation. Since freshman year, I’ve dreamed of being one of the two seniors. Sure, I had some doubts because I didn’t want to accidentally mess up the beginning or fall off beat. So when he asked if anyone would like to tackle the job, despite everything inside me, I couldn’t bring myself to raise my hand. What a chicken. You only get one chance to do certain things, so make sure you take advantage!

3. Sit down for a conversation with your high school principal or vice principal. 

My senior year was the year we got a new high school principal, and not many people cared to take the time to try to get to know him — they only cared that he was good-looking and so nice because he greeted the students at the door every morning. My senior year, I was able to sit down for a quick conversation with him, and I got to see pictures of his family, learn about his values in life, and I received valuable pieces of advice from him. I found that not only did everything he said resonate with me, but they were also great life goals to hold onto going forward. There are some wise words to be spoken in your high school, and they don’t all come from an English textbook!

4. Actually try to look good for graduation. 

You don’t need to wear a super poofy Cinderella dress or the heels you wore to prom, but try to look neat and put together. I know a lot of people don’t care about graduation, but still try to look nice for all the pictures you’ll be taking later with your family and friends. Plus, this is literally the last time you’ll be in front of the entire graduating class, so you might as well show them how fabulously you’ll go off to college.

5. Don’t spend your last few days obsessing over the boy or girl you liked. 

You probably aren’t going off to the same college as your crush, but maybe that’s for the best. Don’t think about countless ways to say goodbye to them, or how to ask them to hang out over the summer. Life goes on and you need to go with it. You’ll only be sad if you tried so hard to make that move and didn’t get to do it. Instead, have a good time with your friends and make plans with them this summer.

6. Wear your new college apparel to school one day. 

Most high schools actually have a specific day for doing this, but if your school doesn’t or you missed it the first time, do it now! There’s just this great feeling of pride and accomplishment when you show off a university t-shirt or hat around the halls — it often tells people that you’re proud of the choice you made and proud of how you got there. And when you do this, take a picture! Don’t be one of those people who think they’re too cool to do this.

7. Take pictures with all your friends. 

Take all the pictures you’ve ever wanted to! It’s nice to be able to look back at your high school self and your friends’ high school selves and see how much you’ve grown. It sounds cheesy, but personally, I wish I had taken more pictures of myself in high school because I barely have any that I feel shows who I really was in high school. Plus, this is a fun way to spend some time with your buddies!

Don’t walk away from high school without making sure that you’re really, truly satisfied with what you’ve been able to do in the last few weeks of your high school career. Even the little things count so don’t hold back!

How do you plan to leave high school with #noregrets? 

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13 Things You Need To Throw Out Right Now: Wardrobe Edition

I’ve been doing lots of cleaning lately and have been coming across so many items that I’ve kept in my room for far too long. Last week I told you all about Things You Need To Throw Out of your room, but this time I’m back with the wardrobe edition, because THERE IS SO MUCH CRAP IN MY CLOSET (and maybe in yours, too!) I know you’ll be super busy cleaning out your closet after this, so let’s keep this intro short and sweet and get right to it.

1. Anything that can no longer fit you. 

If you’ve thickened up or slimmed down, most of the clothing you have may not be able to fit you anymore. Sometimes I’d accidentally buy a top or pants that were a little too tight for me and I used to tell myself, “oh well, I’ll use this as motivation to lose some weight.” I’m being totally real here: more often than not, those were empty words for me. So now I just get rid of things that have become too tight for me. You can always try to find the same thing in a more comfortable fit.

2. Things you promised to use as a DIY project but didn’t. 

I love doing DIY projects, but over the years I’ve accumulated so many old pieces of clothing that I promised to make a cool muscle shirt out of, or a cute pair of shorts but I never got around to doing any of it. Just skip the arts and crafts and toss whatever’s taking up space in your closet. Re-vamping a few things is cool and all, but if you were super into it you’d probably have done it already.

3. Shoes you don’t wear anymore. 

Maybe that sale from two years ago was just way too good and you had to snatch those boots…and the sandals, and the flats, and the high heels. But you’ve forgotten about them over the years and instead bought brand new pairs of shoes that you’re in much more love with. If they’re just sitting there collecting dust, it’s about time you kicked your kicks to the curb.

4. Clothes that just aren’t your style anymore. 

My style has changed so much from high school — from athletic to my version of goth to preppy to girly to college kid? Well that might as well be a style. Anyway, I have found so many things that I just cringe at now and probably would never even think of wearing. These are definitely the types of things you just need to let go of.

5. Things that have seen better days. 

I know you’ve been through so much with your favorite blue t-shirt, and your cardigan has been there for you through thick and thin, but you just need to move on from really beaten up clothes. I usually have a hard time letting go of things — including six pairs of black leggings with rips near the crotch and thighs ‘cuz chaffing — but they serve no purpose when they’re that damaged. This goes for clothes with stains you can’t remove, bleached things, things you got hair dye on, etc.

6. Anything that makes you feel extremely uncomfortable when you wear it. 

I used to love wearing bodycon dresses and skirts, but now I personally prefer things that are a looser like skater dresses and skirts. It’s just a personal preference of mine. But I had so many dresses from when I was really into bodycon, but I knew I wouldn’t be wearing them again, so it was definitely time for them to go. This also goes for shoes that hurt your feet badly.

7. Clothes that still have the tags on them.

We’re probably all really guilty of buying clothes and never wearing them once. If you look hard enough you might even be able to find something more than two years old that still has the tag on it! I wouldn’t put these in the garbage but I would definitely try to give them away to someone who would actually like and wear it.

8. Your middle school uniform!

I shit you not; I actually still had my blue polos and khakis from middle school! Old gym uniforms may be okay for wearing around the house or for sleeping in, but I doubt you’d wear a shirt with your school crest stitched onto it to an interview, or a date, or a hangout with friends.

9. Broken or ripped bags. 

I’m literally the self-proclaimed queen of screwing up bags of all kinds. I’ve gone through more bags in high school than I could count on one hand — all ripped or with broken straps and zippers. Over the years I’ve managed to create a bag graveyard in my closet and they’ve all just been sitting there. *cringe* These bags need to move onto a better place.

10. Broken sunglasses (or ones that keep breaking). 

It’s absolutely heartbreaking to see a broken pair of loyal sunglasses, but you can’t keep trying to salvage what’s no longer there. Toss this pair out and get a new one.

11. Jewelry you haven’t touched in years. 

Jewelry was like my natural high — rings, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and all — but since entering college I have become less and less of a jewelry snob and have taken to wearing more simple pieces on a daily basis. So my room is scattered with wild pieces of statement jewelry that haven’t seen the light of day since high school. You haven’t touched them in so long and you probably won’t ever.

12. Tarnished jewelry. 

This is a no-brainer. Tarnished rings sometimes turn your finger green, and rusted necklaces and bracelets just aren’t as pretty as they were before.

13. Broken watches you got for less than $20. 

I’ve somehow managed to break three watches in one year and I STILL kept the broken pieces for NO REASON at all! I got every watch for under $20 and I had no intention of trying to get them fixed, so I should’ve tossed them a long time ago! Good riddance!

Keep in mind that tossing things in the garbage isn’t the only solution here — you can also donate some of the things on this list to clothing and shoe drives in your neighborhood, or the poor boxes at your neighborhood religious organization. Shoes you don’t wear anymore and things that aren’t your style anymore are great candidates for this option. You can even try to sell your clothes at yard sales or by taking them to stores that buy back clothes.

What are your tips for cleaning up your closet? 

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5 Easy Ways To De-Clutter Your Phone

We’ve probably all been guilty of an overly stuffed cell phone at some point or another. Hell, some of us are probably still guilty of having so much junk on our phones that we’ve forgotten why we saved half the things we saved. Dude, I get it; I’ve done it all before. And that’s pretty much how I got inspired to create this blog post. I had so much crap on my phone that I sometimes had a hard time trying to find that picture I took last weekend, or that really inspirational quote I saved on my phone. Well, you get the idea. So here are some really easy ways that you can get rid of all that phone clutter literally with your eyes closed.

1. Delete the repeats from your camera roll. 

I absolutely love taking a ton of pictures of every plate of food I eat, fuzzy animals behind bushes, and New York City sunsets just as much as the next person, but there’s no need to have 10 pictures of the same slice of cake on your phone. I like to save my pictures to my computer (even all five angles of the same one) so that I can delete all those repeats from my camera roll. I do still like to keep just one angle of that pie or just one shot of my nail art just to show people.

2. Delete badly taken pictures. 

You’re probably not going to post it on Instagram or use it in a portfolio — it may pretty much never get to see the light of day, so you might as well get rid of it. All it’ll do is take up space on your phone and clutter all your nice pictures. I’m super guilty of this — I have so many photos that I’ve taken impulsively or at the very last minute and they’re just not my best work at all.

3. Get rid of apps you don’t use or don’t like. 

Sometimes I download games that I’m so addicted to for like three months straight, but then at some point I lose interest or forget to play it again, and it just sits there on my phone. Believe me, it was so difficult for me to delete Dragon Story (yes, Dragon Story) once and for all. I’d be saying goodbye to the big, bad dragons I had been raising for months, and the habitats I had created. But I hadn’t touched the game in almost a year, so it was time to say see ya. I also really didn’t want to delete Flappy Bird or Candy Crush, or Temple Run, but I’m so glad I did because they were all just taking up space.

3. Delete old to-do lists from your notes.

I’m in absolute love with to-do lists and will write one on literally anything I can get my hands on. I even do grocery lists too! I have found to-do lists from January that I saved as notes on my phone! There’s really just no point to keeping these notes stored on your phone anymore.

4. Delete text messages from more than two months ago. 

Oh man, don’t even get me started on the number of text messages I had sitting on my phone from 2015!

declutter phone

See what I mean? These can easily be deleted, and they should be. Oh, and while we’re talking about messages, delete those texts that you get from companies and things offering you something that you probably don’t want.

5. Try to de-clutter your phone every couple of months.

This is another super simple way to keep your phone de-cluttered. I’m going to try to clean things up every three months because it’ll be less overwhelming than building everything up from the beginning of time!

Ah, now doesn’t that feel better? Doesn’t your phone feel squeaky clean? Good as new, ain’t it? Well, not exactly, but it still feels like a weight has been lifted from your spirits when you clean out your phone!

What are your tips for de-cluttering your phone? 

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May Kiss List — Products I Absolutely Love

So back in May I bought a couple of products that I really needed/wanted and let me tell you, they’re pretty damn awesome. Like these products literally give me life. Okay, well they don’t exactly give me life, but I do get really excited when using them. So I decided to write a post about their awesomeness! Alas, my May Kiss List was born. Maybe you’ve read my January Kiss List and loved it so much that you’re excited to see what products I’ve listed this time. So without further ado, I give you the best of my May purchases.

1. Too Faced Melted Matte Lipstick in ‘Lady Balls’ — $21

may favorites_lipstick

I love red lipsticks, and I had been using this fantastic red lip creme from Tarte for many months, but then I ran out and really needed a new red lipstick (that particular shade was limited edition). So I went looking around at Sephora for my new red lipstick and I swatched ‘Lady Balls’ and fell in love!

It’s literally a bright, cherry red color — perfect for getting dressed up or if you just want to make a bold statement (which I pretty much always want to do). This is from the Melted matte collection, which is great because matte is my favorite lip finish. I also love that it goes on soft and really smooth — no yucky, sticky feeling at all! I have worn this lip color for more than 12 hours and haven’t experienced fading, creasing, or dry lips (which can sometimes be an issue with a lot of matte lipsticks). The applicator tip gives me ample control when I’m trying to get every application perfect (or as close to perfect as I can get it!) Bottom line, I hope this lipstick never gets discontinued ever, because I have literally found my red lipstick match made in heaven!

2. ELF Face Primer — $3

may favorites_primer

Cosmetics from ELF are one of my favorite finds because they’re great quality and super inexpensive — just ask the gel eyeliner from ELF that I use basically every day. Anyway, I picked this up at CVS Pharmacy one day because I really wanted to start using primer again. I’m actually really picky when it comes to making primer purchases because I have oily skin and wear medium coverage foundation, so I hate using primers that make my face and foundation noticeably oily. It was really cheap so I went for it and I was NOT disappointed.

When applying this primer, you get a sort of silky feel that gets worked into your skin really quickly. Two pumps is usually enough for my entire face and I don’t wait for this dry because I never feel like I need to. I have worn this under foundation for 13-14 hours at a time and I have rarely felt the need to blot or reapply my makeup. A definite favorite!

3. ELF Eyeshadow Primer — $1

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I love doing fun eyeshadow looks but sometimes my eyeshadow fades throughout the day. Despite this I’ve never felt the need to purchase eyeshadow primer, but since this was only $1 I decided to go for it. I love that the product is actually white because when I rub it on my eyelids it leaves a light, white base, so if I want to do an extremely bright and vivid look all the colors show up nicely. My eyelids don’t feel oily and I haven’t experienced any creasing so far. I definitely think that this eyeshadow primer is great if you’re looking for something extremely affordable or if you’re an eyeshadow beginner.

4. Urban Decay Perversion Mascara — $21

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OH. EM. GOD. Mascara is probably the makeup product I’d never leave home without, so I’m really picky about which ones I purchase. My eyelashes are naturally long and curled, so I hate mascaras that make them look clumpy and spidery. I do love getting a “fake eyelashes” look, but without too much drama. I started off by buying a sample sized mascara and I loved it so much that I bought the full-sized one.

Perversion from UD doesn’t clump my eyelashes together and it also doesn’t cause any flaking. Plus, removal is pretty easy — I just gently wipe it off with makeup remover wipes so that I can start again fresh the next day. I also really love the wand itself because I hate wands that are so small and sparse that you could literally count the number of bristles on the wand. This is definitely a fantastic mascara!

5. Sally Hansen Hard as Nails Hardener — $3.99

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It’s weird how I pay attention to my nails every single week, but I don’t actually pay attention to them. Basically, I’m a huge fan of nail art so I paint my nails all sorts of designs, but I don’t usually think twice about caring for them the way that I should. I use a base coat and that’s about as careful as I am. But I was at Rite-Aid one day and my eyes glanced over this nail hardener. It was only $3.99 so I decided to go for it. It promises to strengthen your nails and reduce chipping and breaking, which sounded like a great idea to me. In the past my nails have broken much more easily when they got really long, and so far I haven’t experienced any breaking or chipping since using this.

Be warned, however, this product does NOT promise to grow your nails faster, so don’t expect it to!

I would totally repurchase every single product on this list because, well, they’re great!

What are some of your favorite makeup products from May? 

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16 Things You Need To Throw Out Right Now

So I recently started the dreadful task of cleaning up my room because (and I’ll be the first to admit this) my room is a breeding ground for junk, clutter, and unnecessary items. Well, I finally got sick of it, so I decided to start cleaning things up. As I was tossing things out and finally seeing the pretty surface of my desk once again, I started thinking about all the crap I’ve been keeping that I should’ve tossed a hella long time ago. And thus, this blog post was born!

I’ll definitely admit that I sometimes have a certain paranoia about throwing some items out: what if this receipt from two years ago is actually really important?? What if the second I throw out my old pair of converse I’ll realize that I need them?? What if this random object that I’ve never had a use for and don’t know what it is suddenly has a use?? So if you’re a pack rat (like me) or you’re just terrible at judging between junk and, well, not junk, here’s a little guide that will make your next clean-up SO much easier!

1. Old receipts, to-do lists, etc.

Good news: if you’ve had no use for the receipt you received after shopping at H&M two years ago, you definitely won’t have a use for it now. Go ahead and toss it in the garbage along with any other old papers you forgot were there. Sheets of paper strewn all about only adds to your clutter.

2. Old or expired makeup or skincare products.

Don’t mess with lotions, lipsticks, foundations, moisturizers, or any other product that goes on your skin if it’s been sitting there for a long time. Chances are it’s probably not good anymore, so don’t keep it for later use and risk getting a rash or worse.

3. Worn out hair elastics.

You know that point where your hair elastic has seen so many ponytails and so many twists and turns and there’s basically no life left in it? Throw it out at that point. I’ve used worn hair ties before and it’s actually pretty annoying because at some point the coating breaks and the elastic material gets in your hair and makes it all sticky. Let’s not.

4. Dried up nail polish.

This very clearly serves no purpose to you anymore since you can’t paint your nails with dried up nail polish. I like to reevaluate my nail polish collection maybe twice per year to see what’s still good and what’s become a sticky, globby mess for the garbage can.

5. Expired coupons or deals.

I was so annoyed to see how many coupons from last year I had scattered on my desk. I didn’t pay attention to them when they were still good, so I’m definitely not going to pay attention to them now. Needless to say, you shouldn’t feel bad at all when tossing these things.

6. Anything broken.

This is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much broken stuff I found when I was cleaning up! Like everything else on this list, broken items just take up space. Sometimes broken things can be fixed so here’s my rule of thumb for that: if it can be fixed but I still won’t use it and I can’t give it to someone who will, then it goes in the trash. #sorrynotsorry.

7. Excess cups or containers.

Small organizers are great for, well, organizing, but sometimes there are ways to put all your belongings in one big container rather than having multiple all over the place. I wouldn’t throw out those extras unless they were really beaten up or couldn’t be used somewhere else.

8. Empties!

I am SO guilty of leaving empty bottles of hair product and makeup all over the place! Do yourself a favor and (finally) discard the empty perfume bottles and hairspray cans.

9. Products you can no longer use.

If you’re constantly switching up the products you use on a day-to-day basis, then you need to let go of the ones you’ve found substitutes for. Likewise, old prescriptions need to go.

10. Really old snacks.

It sounds gross but let’s be honest here; you’ve probably forgotten a granola bar under textbooks and God knows what else at least one time. If it’s been months and the snack in question is now smushed beyond belief, smells weird, and/or looks like it’s no longer food, do yourself a favor and throw it out.

11. Pens that have run out of ink. 

Pens without any ink are a definite no-go. Let’s be real — you probably aren’t going to try to buy ink refills anyway. Also toss any empty lead pencils if you know that you aren’t going to buy lead refills.

12. Filled up notebooks that have no sentimental value. 

Of course, you wouldn’t toss a journal full of your thoughts and ideas now would you? If you still have your ninth grade history notebook sitting on your desk, it’s probably time you got rid of it.

13. Those extra buttons that come with some clothing. 

The buttons are there in case you need to sew them in as a replacement, but (at least in my experience) that has never happened, so I usually just end up throwing those buttons away.

14. Product boxes and old packaging. 

I am SO guilty of keeping my old iphone box, laptop boxes, and all these other packaging materials that I don’t need. You’re probably not returning anything, so the boxes only take up space.

15. Old, juiceless batteries. 

I find these everywhere! Then sometimes I even end up trying to use batteries that are no good because I think they’re good, BECAUSE THEY WERE SITTING ON MY DESK INSTEAD OF INSIDE A TRASH CAN.

16. Empty tape rolls. 

That feeling when you try to grab a piece of tape from the roll, but then you realize that it’s actually empty…the pain. Is there a disappointment greater than this?

Hopefully I’ve alleviated some of your clean-up worries! I definitely feel that keeping these in mind will at least give you a basis to go off of when trying to figure out whether or not you should toss an item once and for all.

What are your tips for cleaning up your space? 

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A College Student’s Ultimate Guide To Resume-Writing — With Examples!

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So you’re in college now and, well, shit’s getting real. Like really real. Like, you need to find a part-time job or internship to gain experience real. One of your most valuable assets when applying for said job and/or internship is your resume, and truthfully, it can be really hard to write one! I’ve written and re-written my resume so many times this past year in college because every time I thought I had concocted the perfect way to show employers why they should hire me, I realized that no, I hadn’t — I was always missing something, and that something can really make your resume! So to help you not make the same mistakes that I did, here’s my little guide on resume-writing so you can totally land that position.

P.S., I may or may not also have a guide specifically about internships. Be sure to check out Part One and Part Two!

Use a simple and clean format. 

Your resume really isn’t a competition to see which applicant has the best decorating ability. Even when you apply to really creative or expressive positions you shouldn’t try to add fancy borders and garnishes. I do agree that a very monochromatic resume can be bland, so what I like to do is add a single, colored line right at the very top underneath my name and contact info — like this:  Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 1.51.42 PM

Don’t mind the blue bars, they’re just there to hide my more personal info. My pink line is a nice break from black and white, and it’s really simple and doesn’t require much thought. It also nicely separates my name and contact info from the rest of my resume.

Put your name where everyone can see it (and know that it’s your name!)

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See that? That is a very painful screenshot of my first resume *shudder* that I prepared for my college’s job fair. In case you were wondering, I did not walk away from that job fair with a job. My name and contact info are all formatted to the lefthand margin. I also included my phone number, my email address, campus address, and permanent address. As you can see, my email couldn’t fit in the tiny space so it took up two lines. Same goes for my addresses. This all just looks cramped and just NO. A lady at the job fair even had to ask me if that was my name up there in blue!

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I highly recommend centering all your essential information. My name is written in big, bold, black letters where everyone can recognize it, and write under it I have my address, phone number, and email all in one single, convenient line that doesn’t look cramped in any way, shape, or form.

Stay away from fancy fonts. 

And use fonts that are easy to read, too. Nothing on your resume needs to be written in any form of script, nor do you need bubble letters of any kind.

Keep your profile short and sweet! 

You’ve probably heard that employers only spend about 30-60 seconds looking over your resume. While I can’t speak for employers, people probably say this with good reason! Make sure you get right to the point with your profile. It should essentially be a summary of your best qualities and what you hope to do with those qualities. Here’s mine:

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So I basically described myself (diligent, fast learner, etc.) and said that I was looking to contribute my skills to a well-rounded team. Short and sweet! Note that my profile is literally two sentences long!

Make sure everything is READABLE. 

I used to be under the impression that your resume should be one page or less. That actually applies to cover letters (which I already knew) but I was literally stressed about having a resume that continued on a second page. So to combat my worries I’d type all my words in size nine font. Never do this. Don’t sacrifice readability for space. Honestly, it just makes your resume look very cluttered and hard to read, and an employer would probably give up on trying.

Use bold face to set sections apart. 

Where does your list of experiences end and your skills begin? Playing around with bold face can make sections stand out better for the sake of organization, neatness, and ease of access. This is what I did:

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Now, I definitely should’ve made ‘Profile’ and ‘Experience’ black instead of gray, but that’s what happens when you use a resume template that comes with your computer!

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Ah, that’s better. Another way I would try to improve this part of my resume is by going easy on the all caps. I find that all caps all over the place is a bit hard visually and not always appealing.

Really think about all of your relevant experience before you hit ‘send’! 

This is probably the biggest reason why I had to keep revising my resume in between applications. I thought that my roles as an EIC, contributing author, college CERT member, and teaching assistant were the only things I should include. I completely forgot about the articles I had written for Thought Catalog, Thought Couture, and I had forgotten to list my social media experience as a Snapchat content creator, even though it was a one-time thing. Hell, I even forgot to list THIS BLOG as relevant experience! Even though I had only written one article for Thought Couture and two articles for Thought Catalog, they were still really excellent pieces of experience that I FORGOT to add earlier. Remember, you can’t hit ‘send’ on that resume attachment and then email the employer again like, ‘jk I forgot to add something.’

Be able to say what you did for each piece of experience in two sentences.

I know, I know, you want to really show potential employers that you learned so much from your past positions and you can’t possibly fit all your knowledge into a couple of lines. Honestly, try to save your learning outcomes for the interview. Use your resume to say exactly what you gave to your past organizations.

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Bam. There you have it — exactly what I did as a Snapchat content creator. I showed that this particular project was for a major event, I showed that a major media organization trusted me to use their company’s social media tools, and I used adjectives such as ‘fun,’ and ‘informative’ to describe my work — all in just two sentences! Here’s another look at how I kept things concise:

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 3.20.51 PMOn this version of my resume, I did NOT forget to mention the fact that I have a blog!

Don’t include any type of high school information.

I got this pro tip from a career advisor at my college’s career center. When I went to see her, I was a sophomore (no longer fresh out of high school) so she told me not to mention high school information. I didn’t even need to list the name of my high school under my Education section. Not even the names of my honor societies. You’re in college so you need to show what you’ve been doing in college. The only reason you should have for including high school experience is if you’re a freshman and don’t haven’t held a position during your college years yet.

Don’t include references on your resume.

This is also a pro tip from the career advisor (and a mistake that was written all over the first 30 copies of my resume I printed). If an employer asks for a list of references (at all), it would be after receiving your resume and cover letter. If you’re asked for a separate list of references, be sure to give your separate list the same format as your resume’s!

Include social media handles.

Yes, you can totally include your Twitter and Instagram handles on your resume…as long as they will help you and not hurt you! If your Twitter profile is full of curse words and content that employers wouldn’t consider professional, you definitely don’t want to include this information. I’m a journalism major and a lot of my tweets (almost all of my tweets!) are article links to my content and links to other extremely enjoyable articles I’ve found. I probably should’ve included my handle with my contact info…oh well next time! Likewise, if you’re seeking a photography or visual position, it would do you good to include your Instagram handle…as long as your Instagram contains quality photos that are representative of what you can offer the company.

Don’t be modest about your skills! 

And don’t forget about some of the ‘basic’ ones like Microsoft Office and Google Apps (because I did at first!) It’s actually good to see that you understand and can use these updates. I also label this section as my ‘Skills/Credentials’ section because as I have gone through two years of college already, I have gained some certifications that would be great to talk about during an interview. This is also a good place to say what languages you’re fluent in, or have conversational ability in.

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I like separating my skills using a semicolon. One thing I’d do differently in the future is tighten up my organization. I start off by saying ‘writes effectively’ then I get into some skills I’ve picked up, then somewhere in the middle I describe myself as ‘punctual,’ ‘effective listener,’ etc. It feels a bit choppy to me, so in the future I’d definitely put those ideas closer together.

Don’t bullshit about your skills!

When I wrote my first resume, I stated that two of my skills were HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I tried to self-teach HTML and CSS and I forgot half of what I looked at, and I had taken a college class on JavaScript (which I did terribly in). My rule of thumb if you’re not sure if something should be added as a skill is: if you need to essentially completely re-teach yourself how to do something, it shouldn’t be on your resume. If you get the position, you’ll likely have to use those skills ASAP so there’s no time for tutorials on YouTube. Needless to say, I got rid of those ‘skills’ from resume.

These are some of the things I’ve learned when crafting a resume that will make employers interested. Of course, I’m no professional resume writer, nor do I claim to be, but the great thing is that this is all spoken from my (good and bad) experiences!

What are your tips for writing resumes? Comment below or tweet them to me @jay_su_ using #macaronsandmascara 

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The Perfect Beauty Guide

The pursuit of beauty is as old as the human race itself, or at least as long as proper society has existed. Some of the most advanced beauty products that we use today are just better versions of the natural products that were used by our ancestors. For example, olea/Olive extracts have been used in beauty products as far back as the Ancient Egyptian times. Ornaments made for beautification have been found in all the ancient civilization including the oldest of them all: The Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization.

However, the fast paced times that we live in, juggling our career and family lives, leave us with little time to take care of ourselves. As with all things in life, this has consequences and most of them are not good. If care is not taken, not only will aging effects kick in earlier, but chances are that improper care can lead to a lot of skin diseases. We have always believed in the pursuit of both inner and outward beauty. Ironically, both take a long time to achieve, if you lose them along the way.

The best way to go about having the latter is to have a set routine. Break your efforts down to daily, weekly, fortnightly, and monthly schedules. To accentuate our point, let us elaborate a few points related to a daily routine. Start with the most basic things. If you consume a lot of caffeine based products cut down on them. If you lack in oral hygiene take up your game by applying oral health best principles. Make a habit of moisturizing within three minutes of washing your skin. You can buy most of the stuff via these coupons from Groupon. But, perhaps the most important part of your daily routine is a proper night’s sleep. Depending on your age and genetics, you may require 6-9 hours of sleep.

We have prepared an infographic which depicts some major hacks when it comes to beauty. Just read through it to find out about them.

The Perfect Beauty Guide

Co-produced by :Rebateszone & Macarons And Mascara

12 Skin Goals That Will Change Your Life

Your skin is the largest organ, so make sure you treat it right! Over the years I’ve definitely had my share of skin struggles, like many others, but those struggles did open me up to a world of skincare that I (honestly) probably wouldn’t have known existed if my troubles didn’t force me to pay attention. Some people have great skin without even paying much attention to it, while others treat their skin like its gold and get great results. And I’m not just talking about the skin on your face, either. Here are some #skingoals that we should all strive for no matter what our skin condition is.

1. Wash your face at least twice a day. 

Most people wash their faces in the morning when they wake up, but after a long, exhausting day at work, school, and home, it can be easy to just throw yourself in bed and not give a care in the world about washing your face; you just want to sleep and that’s understandbale. But not removing the dirt and grime of the day from your skin can lead to clogged pores, which can lead to skin problems. Even if you aren’t acne prone, you should still aim to cleanse your face at least twice a day — it’s so refreshing!

2. Never sleep with makeup on. 

This paster year in college, I was so guilty of falling asleep with makeup on. It was an accident because I didn’t remove my makeup early enough so I’d fall asleep surrounded by papers and books with perfectly winged eyeliner, mascara, and full foundation. This is a one-way ticket to clogged pores and unhealthy skin! Remove everything from your face before you sleep. I like to use Neutrogena makeup wipes on my entire face, and then go wash my face completely with my face wash to make sure I really get everything out.

3. If a product irritates your skin, stop using it. 

No one likes to spend money on a product that they end up not being able to use, but if your lotion is causing a rash on your arm or making you break out, stop using it immediately. Prolonged use will only make it worse. If you don’t want it to go to waste, give it to a friend or family member; maybe they’ll have better luck with it than you did.

4. Seek professional help if needed.

Don’t punish yourself for years and years because you’re too stubborn or too embarassed to see a dermatologist. Even if you think next year will be the year you conquer your skin issue by yourself, chances are things will get worse. Dermatologists aren’t just for treating facial issues; they can give you a full body exam if you want, and help you treat skin conditions before they become really serious.

5. Drink lots of water.

Water keeps your skin hydrated, and some experts say that it can influence the elasticity of your skin, thereby making it less likely to crack (cracks in the skin are fantastic for irritations!) This doesn’t mean you should drink yourself sick with water, but aim to stay hydrated by consuming water regualrly.

6. FYI, DIY isn’t always best.

One time on Facebook, I saw a video of a DIY charcoal pore strip using non-toxic glue. It looked cool so I shared the video to my timeline, and I even thought about trying it myself (because some pore strips are pretty expensive). But I got a wake-up call from a friend who said that that’s actually dangerous to put glue on your face, and it can cause my skin to become immensely irritated. Beware of some DIY facials, because (depending on your skin) some of them might actually cause more harm than good.

7. Don’t be overly aggressive with your skin.

Save your aggression for the soccer field; you need to be rather gentle with all types of skin. Scrubbing the shit out of your face and arms will cause redness, and can even break the skin. You’re not scrubbing an apple, so be nice!

8. Be consistent with your skincare regimen.

You’re not going to see results overnight; you’re not going to use a lotion on your legs for two days and wake up on the third day with super smooth, glowing model legs. You need to stick to a regimen for many, many months (sometimes a year or so) before you decide that it doesn’t improve the quality of your skin. Plus, being hasty and changing products like you change your answers on a multiple choice test can further aggitate your skin.

9. Shave carefully!

You’re not sheering a sheep (though if you were you’d probably still be careful because sheep are adorable!) You could accidentally nick your skin and cause it to bleed. You can also get annoying razor bumps! Try to find a good razor that can at least meet you halfway. I like using Schick Hydro Silk razors because they give me a close, clean and smooth finish without the need for aggression.

10. Use lip balm religiously.

Your lips are still part of your skin, so they require care as well. Overly chapped or dry lips can lead to very painful peeling. Avoid this by moisturizing your lips on the regular with your favorite lip balm. I apply lip balm to my lips multiple times throughout the day because I can’t stand the way my lips feel when they’re even remotely dry! You’ll have soft, supple lips in the long run!

11. Actually test products before using them.

Before using a new product, my mom always made me test it out for 24 hours on a small patch of skin on my arm, much to my dismay because I couldn’t wait to use a new product. This serves its purpose very well. It’s very possible that a product won’t agree with your skin. Fun fact: I actually can’t use EOS lip balms because the first one I ever used dried out my lips insanely and left me with a strane looking dark mark on my lip, which took many months to heal.

12. Have patience!

Like I said, nothing is going to change in the blink of an eye. There is no such thing as a miracle product. Haste makes waste, so treat your skin gently and with patience — it’s one of the best things you can do for your skin.

I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope I was able to offer some skin advice that’s *life changing* for you. Please note that I am not a doctor of any kind and I do not claim to be. These were just some eye-opening things that I have realized over the years when it comes to skincare.

What are your tips for healthy skin? 

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