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Shopaholics Anonymous: How The Internet Almost Stole My Savings And My Soul

Author Bio: This article was written by Shannon Celine. She is an intern for Picvpic.com

I hate the mall. It’s monotonous torture and for what? To find items that are overpriced and possibly not even what you were looking for in the first place? You run around for hours, try on piles of clothes, stare at yourself in funhouse mirrors inside shabby dressing rooms with unflattering lighting. You notice cellulite in places you wouldn’t otherwise, develop complexes, and vow to never eat a slice of pizza again unless you’re on a treadmill while doing so.

It's best to stick to window shopping. Some snazzy shoes on display at Berdorf's, NYC. 

The mall is overwhelming and yet, underwhelming. But, the internet. Oh, the internet. It’s mighty. It’s vast. It’s like an astronomical refrigerator stocked with, well, everything and you can access it anytime! That’s a dangerous fact and when you consider it, it’s easy to see why so many get sucked into the online shopping vortex and never come out. That almost happened to me for three straight years as my cousins kept getting married (though not to each other) and their huge McWeddings kept on coming. I’d get out my laptop, Iphone, credit card, soul, and just start shopping away. 

How dare my cousins invite me to their beautiful weddings! The nerve! You’d think they would’ve known what a danger that would pose for someone like me: an introspective loner and chronic homebody with the nagging urge to spread my sights far and wide all over the world wide web. These were fancy affairs in different states. There would be rehearsal dinners, ceremonies, brunches, shindigs, and oh yeah, a wedding in there somewhere! If I was to attend, I would have to look the part, make an entrance, and leave an impression. I’m a perfectionist and I was going to need to buy a variety of outfits, dresses, shoes, and cosmetics and get into all sorts of shopping shenanigans along the way. 

The things I bought! I had high standards, you see. I wanted clothes made only in the U.S.A or Europe, fair trade items, and all natural cosmetics that were free of parabens, but rich in price. These standards in themselves were fine and dandy. My intentions were pure at heart. I cared about where my money was going and what I was investing in, but I wasn’t thinking about how much I was investing. These items were hard to find and even harder to afford. 

When I bought a pair of Vivienne Westood heels, I knew I had gone too far. Still, I had really researched this purchase! I read every review on Zappos. I knew exactly how many customers believed these shoes had a “supportive arch.” I even knew that this particular pair of designer heels ran large by half a size and that I should purchase a size 7 for my size 7 and 1/2 tootsies. They were adorable! My freakin’ goodness, were they adorable! They were the quirky result of a collaboration between Westwood’s Anglomania collection and the Brazilian, eco-friendly brand, Melissa. That probably explains why they were twice as expensive as most Melissa styles. I’ll let you use your imagination (or your friendly neighborhood Google; just be careful or you might fall in love with them, too!). 

Vivienne Westwood + Melissa Lady Dragon Heart pumps

I had really stepped in it with these babies. Stepped into some sparkly, ultra-modern plastic pumps smelling of bubble gum and regret. I couldn’t walk in these things. Well, I could, just not all the way to the wedding. I walked into the Chautaqua Park venue in Boulder, Co., a gorgeous retreat you have to see to believe. I barely made it up some precarious steps before going completely barefoot. Yes, I got to make my entrance, but that's as far as I can go. I never wore them again. Not at all. My feet were killing me. Screaming with protest. I rarely wear heels and even more rarely do I even find a pair of flats to my liking. Yes, flats! And here I bought crazily-priced heels that were now covered in heaps of lush Boulder grass to the point of no return. Kicking off my heels, My Vivienne Westwood + Melissa Lady Dragon Heart pumps weren't made for walking.

I didn’t want to return them. I really liked them. They were so stinkin’ cute! I’m not normally a shoe freak. I’ve never owned more than 2 or 3 pairs at a time. If I ever made it to 4, it was due to some sort of orthopedic miracle. I was going to keep these high-end hybrid heels for my own amusement. They would forever lurk in my closet as a trophy that I won in a game of cyber roulette. 

And that’s where they sit today. I cleaned off all the Chautaqua growth and sat them under my collection of tokens from my other internet conquests. My Gucci gown, my Dior duds, my Marchesa markups. No, I’m only kidding! I don’t have anything by any of those designers. 

I sure was headed in that expensive direction, though! I made yet another trip to Sephora.com that included Tarina Tarantino Sparklicity Shimmer Dust (In my defense, I still have the stuff years later and spray on the overpriced sparkles whenever I choose) and a pit stop at Tarina T’s own web site for a high-calibre cameo necklace. It was then that I realized I had to take it down a notch. I was blowing cash I didn’t have, racking up that much-dreaded credit card debt. Not a desired path, m’dears. 

My prized necklace by Tarina Tarantino

So, I tried to compromise with a bit of behavior modification. I started buying cosmetics on eBay. Yep. You heard right! This turned out to be a worthwhile experiment. For a short while, anyway. I managed to score some great (and unused, thankfully) items for around 1/3 of the price. It was strange bidding on lip gloss, but when I “won”, I saved. And not everything on eBay is to be bid upon. Some items are simply click and buy. 

I went on like this for a while. I would find something I knew I wanted and already purchased for oodles of moolah after watching dozens of rave Youtube reviews. Then, I would buy it off eBay. The problem was, I was still spending despite all my saving.

 Korres Cherry Oil lip gloss from eBay

A few things happened that finally brought my online ODing to a halt. My cousins stopped constantly getting hitched allowing me an online respite. Then, I just got really tired of the whole thing. Yes, all my exhaustive internet shopping and extensive product research had left me fashion fatigued. I also felt oddly satisfied. I made all these purchases and actually had my fill. I got it out of my system, miraculously enough. I realized that if I was going to build a future and formulate some type of savings account, I was going to need to give the credit card a rest. 

These days, I still make purchases online, but only for those moments when I really need something. You know, like a legit necessity or at least something within the realm of reason. A new pair of workout pants, my favorite bra on sale, an ebook of The Great Gatsby because I finally felt like reading for the first time in ages. I don’t go nuts and I don’t buy impulsively. Nope, no even a well-researched impulse buy. 

Yes, I do have those moments when I see something I really want because I’m going somewhere I really want to go, but I make sure not to splurge. It has to feel right. The stars have to be aligned, all signs need to be pointing in that very direction, and it must not be during a Mercury retrograde! 

A yellow brick road has to be laid out before me, leading to that one purchase. I have to see the Emerald City in the distance because it really is all about the distance. I think about what I buy and how it will affect me in the long run instead of the mere moment. There are many things I want, but if I want to have them, I just pin them to my Pinterest page and leave them there. I try to remember that the less I feel I need, the less I’ll want, and the happier I’ll be.

 

Lubna Ali Khan: How to Start a Raw Food Diet

To lose weight and become healthy you don’t necessarily have to stop eating all together. You can consider going on a raw food diet. The best thing about eating raw is that it’s not restrictive at all. When food isn’t cooked or baked its nutrients and minerals are preserved that are essential for a healthy body. With raw food you can eat to your heart’s content without gaining those extra pounds. So if you’re looking to start a raw food diet here are ways you can do that.

Photo credits: http://rawgirltoxicworld.com/

1. Stock up on fruits and vegetables

The first tip to start a raw food diet is to stock up your pantry with as much fruits and vegetables as you can. This is a lifestyle of abundance so you don’t want to restrict yourself, instead you want to have as much healthy food as you can in your home. The more you stock up your pantry with raw food, the more inclined you’ll be to eat it.

2. Start your day with a smoothie

Make your first meal of the day, a juicer smoothie. This will keep you hydrated and the fruits will keep your sugar level maintained throughout the day which will further control your sugar cravings. There are tones of different recipes for making a healthy smoothie.

Photo credits: http://www.vitalmagazin.hu/

3. Incorporate fruit in your breakfast

Make your second meal of the day a huge platter of fruit. You can pretty much eat any fruit that you want. Make a fruit salad of various fruits if you like eating them that way or just eat one fruit at a time. Make sure you eat enough, because you want to have plenty of carbohydrates to keep you full throughout the day.

4. Eat your dinner in two parts

Start off your dinner with a tiny plate of fruit and in the second part of your dinner have a big vegetable salad. There are plenty of different ways to make salad dressings.

5. Exercise

Be sure to get enough exercise each day to keep you hungry. You want to keep moving in order to keep your body healthy. It has been scientifically proven that exercise contributes to a healthy lifestyle. So if you can, get about 20 minutes of exercise everyday.

Photo credits: http://allmedcorp.com/

6. Educate yourself

It is important to educate yourself as much as you can about eating raw. You should learn about eating raw so that you don’t end up overwhelming yourself. You should be conscious of the food that you put into your body as it will encourage you to switch to a raw food diet.

7. Get enough rest

Get plenty of sleep and rest. Your body, when you first start eating this way, is going to be detoxing a lot. It won’t be used to eating a lot of raw foods like this so you will have perhaps some detox reactions. Keep in mind that this is a restorative diet so you need to get plenty of rest to help your body rejuvenate. 

Photo credits: http://youandworld.am/

 

Author Bio: This article was written by Lubna Ali Khan. She blogs at BeautifulYou.com.pk which is a premiere health, beauty and fashion informational portal of Pakistan

AJIN 1: Demi-Human

My boyfriend passed on AJIN 1: Demi-Human to me, after receiving this manga from his co-worker. He expressed to me how much he liked this manga, and thought of me. After reading AJIN 1: Demi-Human, my initial reaction was "when is the anime coming out?". It was that good. Unfortunately, there is no anime to AJIN 1: Demi-Human. But, there should be!

I enjoyed AJIN 1: Demi-Human so much, I read it twice..... well, currently for the third time. I am planning on buying the second book very soon. The storyline is engaging, beautiful ink artwork, and the characters are very interesting; including the bizarre ones. The most engaging part is the friendship between Kei and Kai. I am not going to spoil anything, but their bond is pretty compelling.

AJIN 1: Demi-Human

SYNOPSIS:

Kei Nagai is a high school student, aspiring to become a doctor after graduation. He learns Demi-Humans are supernatural beings who can't die. Kei Nagai didn't know he was a Demi-Human until he was tragically hit by a truck.... and emerged back to life with little to no damage. With Kai's help, Kei flees from his home to escape from scientists, police, and society.   

PROS: I love it! The story and artwork is wonderful

CONS: I did not experience any cons

RECOMMENDATIONS: I would recommend AJIN 1: Demi-Human to anyone who loves to read action and supernatural mangas.

RATING: 5 out of 5

If there is an anime related to AJIN 1: Demi-Human, please let me know! I am loving this manga. What do you think about AJIN 1: Demi-Human? What kind of manga do you enjoy? leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for reading. Be Beautiful & Geeky :)


Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System

DISCLAIMER: The following product is based on my own experiences and opinions. I was not paid or sponsored by Rodan + Fields  and iFabbo to write this review. Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System was provided for review by iFabbo. Thank you.

I am very excited to share with you my experience with Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System. This skincare system contains daily cleansing mask, pure moisturizing toner, day and night triple defense treatment, and acute care treatment for expression lines. The purpose of this system is reduce wrinkles and expression lines.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I was born with eczema. My skin is very sensitive and dry. Finding the right skincare system takes trial and error. Sometimes my skin responds well, then over time my skin just gives up. Well... I am happy to say that Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System does not require trial and error, and my skin responds very well without giving up.

I know I know...... I don't need a anti-aging/wrinkle reduction skincare system. As a 27 year old, I look and sound like a 18 year old. But, prevention is key. I want to preserve my younger looking skin as long as possible. I believe Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System will help me achieve my skin goals. 

Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare Syetem

PROS: My skin feels smoother, brighter, and moisturized all day. I also noticed my skin looks younger.

CONS: I noticed a little bit of reduction in the undereye area using the acute care treatment.

RECOMMENDATIONS: I would recommend Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System to everyone with all skin types. It is safe to use, helps moisturize and soothe your skin, reduce wrinkles, and helps brighten your skin tone.  

RATING: 5 out of 5

SWATCHES:

If you would like to learn more about Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System, visit http://bit.ly/1Bk1fL6. This is a great skincare system, I am happy that I had the opportunity to try it. What do you think about Rodan + Fields Redefine Skincare System? Would you try it? leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for reading. Be Beautiful & Geeky :)


Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success- Online and Off

Michelle Phan is my biggest influence behind my passion for everything beauty and lifestyle. In addition to my passion for writing and video editing, she is the reason why I wanted to build my career as a beauty and lifestyle blogger/YouTuber. I started watching her YouTube videos during a time when I was constantly bullied and told "you will never make it". The first video I remember was her popular Lady Gaga Makeup Tutorial.

From her Lady Gaga tutorial, I continued to watch more of her videos, then branched out to other YouTube beauty videos. I told myself: "If Michelle Phan and all of these other girls become successful, I can do it too!" It took me a long time to find the courage to build a blog and a YouTube channel; consists of a lot of trial and error. But, I managed to just dig deep and write what I love. That is how BeautyLifeGeek was born.

Reading Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success- Online and Off by Michelle Phan motivates me more than ever to continue doing what I love. Build my career through blogging and YouTube, and I will one day become successful. Also, learned new beauty and lifestyle tips & tricks. I owe a big thank you to Michelle Phan. If it wasn't for her, I would not know how to bring my dreams to life.

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success- Online and Off by Michelle Phan

SYNOPSIS:

Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success- Online and Off is Michelle Phan's guide to everything beauty, fashion, and lifestyle on and offline based on her personal experiences. Her book is filled with great information, and answers a lot of burning questions. She is open, honest, and brave to share her journey to the world.

PROS: I enjoyed this guide very much! I learned how to improve my skincare routine, as well as new lifestyle tricks that I need to incorporate into my daily life.

CONS: I did not experience any cons

RATING: 5 out of 5

If you are a huge fan of Michelle Phan like myself, or want to learn new techniques to improve your beauty & lifestyle routine; I highly recommend this book. It is a great way to not only learn new techniques, but learn Michelle's journey before & after the existence of YouTube. What are your thoughts on Michelle Phan's Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success- Online and Off? leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for reading. Be Beautiful & Geeky :)