My hair and I have been on quite a journey together. When I was little, my hair was actually pin-straight, and it slowly just got curlier and curlier the older I got. I have gone through years of hating my hair, trying to straighten it as much as possible, and even wearing wigs, but now I can happily say that I love my hair and my bouncy, soft curls. Even though my hair has been through a lot of bleaching, I feel like it’s still in pretty decent condition and my curls have held up well. Today I’m going to walk you through how I take care on a daily basis, what products I use, and what I don’t recommend if you want to protect your hair. I also want to point out that my hair type is 2C, which equals a loose, barrel-shaped curl. If you have a tighter curl or a different hair pattern/texture, you may need to do something completely different to take care of your curls, so just keep that in mind! Also, I am not a hair care expert or a stylist- this is just what works for me personally.

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Like many curly girls, it took me years to figure out that you are NOT supposed to brush your curly hair! Doing so can make it extremely frizzy and ‘pyramid shaped’, as I call it. I always used to worry that if I didn’t brush my hair, it would get tangled and look dirty, but the reality is, my hair actually feels much cleaner and manageable now that I rarely brush it. In fact, the only section of my hair I really brush is my bangs. As long as I wash my hair regularly and use products that are designed to smooth-out my hair and keep it tangle-free, I never have to worry about frizz or knots. 

About twice a week, I will use my purple shampoo and a leave-in conditioner in the shower. The brand of purple shampoo I use is by eva-nyc, and so far, I’ve been really impressed by this brand. I love that the shampoo is cruelty-free, affordable, and it also smells absolutely amazing. Most importantly, it makes my hair feel so soft and manageable. The leave-in conditioner I use is by AG hair, and it is yet another high-quality, amazing-smelling product that I look forward to using. My hair tends to lack moisture if I don’t take care of it adequately, so these two products together keep my hair feeling extremely hydrated and salon-smooth. 

I have never been a big fan of blow-drying my hair, which has been really beneficial for both my curl pattern and my overall hair health. I’m actually not sure why towel trying works so well, but from a personal standpoint, I absolutely believe my curls look so much prettier and fuller when I wrap my hair in a towel and let the heat soak up the moisture for a few minutes. After I towel off my hair, I just let it air dry for the rest of the day. The products I use on my hair help it to dry much quicker, so I’m going to be talking about those next. 

If I don’t use my leave-in conditioner that day, I will always ALWAYS use the Aveda damage repair treatment in my hair and the Drybar Prep Rally spray. I’ve talked about these products a lot, because I think they’re very high-quality and I genuinely don’t think my hair has ever looked better. I apply them back-to-back when my hair is still wet, and after that, my hair routine is essentially done! I let my hair air-dry with the products in, and after a couple of hours, my hair is almost completely dry and curly, and it feels so amazing and soft. I am definitely going to repurchase these two products after I run out, so you can expect to see them in my Product Empties article down the line!

Anyway, that’s my very adamant hair care routine for protecting my loose barrel curls. Like I said, I’ve had a pretty rocky hair journey, but I’m really happy with the way it looks now and the quality that I have been able to uphold despite lots of bleaching. I know not everyone is going to be able to go out and buy a bunch of new products for their hair, so whatever your circumstances are, I would say just do the best you can with the resources you have! Remember, you are beautiful no matter what. 

This is such a great month for favorites, hands down. I’ve certainly had a lot of time on my hands and I’ve needed new things to keep me busy, and this is everything I’ve been loving so far in the month of April! I hope you guys enjoy. 🙂 


Health & Beauty | Soap & Glory

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You may have remembered me trying out the Differin skincare line for a few months, and though I had high hopes, I ultimately didn’t see results fast enough. In fact, I think the intensity of these products actually made my skin worse, bumpier, and drier! So my mom very graciously gave me some new products to try, and I am having much better luck with Soap & Glory. For one thing, these products are so much gentler on the face, they hardly give me any redness or irritation after application. The packaging is also absolutely adorable, which has nothing to do with the performance of the products, but it’s still a nice touch. I honestly think the fact that the products are so cute and *aesthetic* makes me want to use them more, so I’ve become really adamant about washing my face every day. I honestly can’t figure out if this brand is cruelty-free or not, because even though they say they are, they are not leaping bunny certified. I’ll see if I can do some more research and find a more definite answer! Overall, though, such a cute line of products that make my face look fabulous. 


Apps | Think Dirty

Think Dirty – Shop Clean on the App Store

Recently, I came across this app after watching a YouTube video about hair care. Essentially, the app has a database of millions of beauty/skincare/haircare products, and rates them on a scale of 1-10 of how ‘clean’ they are. Not only does the app give each item a score, it also tells you why the ingredients may be harmful, what the long-term effects can be, and what better products you can use in place of a low-grade item. Sadly, Soap & Glory does not score very high on Think Dirty, mostly due to the excessive use of artificial coloring and fragrance, but I’m going to keep using it as long as it works for my skin. I love this app because it’s so addictive to go through all my products and see which ones are actually not great for my skin and my long-term health. I think this app is going to be extremely useful in helping me pick out clean products in the future. Also, it’s free!


Health & Beauty | Carli Bybel palette

Anastasia Beverly Hills Carli Bybel Palette at BEAUTY BAY

For my birthday, my boyfriend actually surprised me with this palette because he knew I had my eye on it (see what I did there? Eye on it?) Needless to say, he’s wonderful, and I was so grateful that he bought it for me. I’ve been really into warm-toned pastel colors for the past few months, and I’m also in love with bright. shimmery shades on my lid. Clearly, this palette has both of those things, and I’ve been totally loving using it these past few days. My favorite colors are ‘Cindy’, the coral orange color, and ‘Boli’, the light shimmer shade. I like that even though the colors are very cohesive, there are so many different looks you can create with this palette. 10/10 for me.


TV & Movies | Tiger King

Tiger King Memes Inspired by James Garretson's Jet Ski Scene ...

Yes, I finally hopped on the Tiger King bandwagon. In fact, Nathaniel and I watched it in about a two-day span, with very few interruptions in-between. God, what a bizarre journey! I honestly don’t know what to think about anybody in this show, but I think that’s kind of the point- they want you to be conflicted about the morals of the characters. Joe Exotic is, after all, a mastermind manipulator with a wicked evil streak, but he tends to mask it well with his charisma. I think my favorite characters were Saff, Rick Kirkham, and the zookeeper with the long hair, whose name I cannot remember. I absolutely hated that Doc guy with the blonde ponytail; he’s definitely running some sort of sketchy sex cult on his property. I’m super eager to see how the story continues to play out, and I have no doubt new episodes will be out in the future. 


Fashion | Scrunchies

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Like many young ladies and gents, I have been on such a scrunchie kick lately, I literally cannot get enough of them. I mean, come on, they’re so functional! You can pop it in your hair, pop it on your wrist, or even use it as a decoration. I used a bit of my birthday money to buy a pack of twenty scrunchies on Amazon (for $8.99, I might add,) and I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a purchase in my life. Particularly since my hair is at such an awkward length, throwing in a scrunchie can really make my hair look so much cuter and much more interesting. Also, here’s the link to the twenty pack of scrunchies if anyone is interested. 


Apps | Pinterest

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For the longest time, I could not get into Pinterest, but that all changed about a week ago. I’m not sure why I suddenly fell in love with it, but I literally just woke up one day and…I got it. And from that point on, I have been a suburban mom. My current boards include vegetarian meal prep, indoors crafts, aesthetics, and outfit ideas. Particularly since I’m moving into my first apartment in a couple of weeks, I’ve been really into pinning decoration ideas and easy crafts I can do to make my space feel more homey. I’m also not very proficient in cooking, so Pinterest is helping me quite a bit with that as well. My Pinterest name is diplomatsdigest for anyone who wants to check out my boards! I have to say, I’m quite proud of them and their pastel, soft cohesion. 


Music | Doja Cat

Who is Doja Cat? The rise of the US singer and rapper

Last but not least, I’ve had my queen Doja Cat on repeat these past few months. Obviously she’s extremely talented as a musician, but I also adore her aesthetic, her outfits, and her personality in general. She seems so unapologetically herself, and I really respect that. ‘Tia Tamera’ was my favorite bop for a while, but now I have ‘Rules’ and ‘Say So’ on repeat nonstop. I’m also really inspired by her makeup, particularly the sharp brows and the excessive pink blush. It’s so cute and feminine, and I think it looks quite flattering on me as well. I’ve tried out some not-so flattering looks in the past, so it’s nice to find one that sticks.

Anywho, those are all my monthly favorites for April! Do you guys share any of these current obsessions? Let me know in the comments below. Stay safe and don’t forget to subscribe to my email list to have my posts directly sent to your email! 

As a follow-up to my article posted on Tuesday, today I’d like to share with you my usual nighttime routine! As with my morning routine, it tends to differ slightly depending on the day, but this is my usual groove for a weekday night. 

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The time I decide to get ready for bed differs on a nightly basis, but it’s usually some time between 10pm and 11pm. The first thing I like to do is remove all of my makeup, if I happen to be wearing any that day. I know my makeup probably looks grueling to remove every night, but it’s actually a pretty painless process. I use this cloth called ‘the makeup eraser,’ and it wipes off almost all of my makeup in one swipe. Even my mascara and false eyelash glue comes off pretty easily, and with very minimal scrubbing. I also like this cloth a lot because it’s a low-waste alternative to buying disposable makeup wipes, which saves me money in the long run.

After I remove all my makeup, I’ll usually brush my teeth and do my nightly skincare routine. As I mentioned in Tuesday’s article, I’ve been using Soap & Glory products lately in both the morning and at night. My usual line of action is cleansing, toning, and moisturizing, and occasionally I will exfoliate as well, depending on the condition of my skin. I have incredibly oily skin, so it’s really important to me that I go to bed with the cleanest, freshest skin possible.

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This is kind of a weird, random facet of my nighttime routine, but before I get into bed, I ALWAYS go into my kitchen and make sure things are tidy. If there are dirty dishes, crumbs on the counter, etc, I have to take care of all of that before I go to sleep. I guess it’s just the way my mom raised me- you should never go to bed with a dirty kitchen or dishes in the sink! It’s a pretty good habit to get into, in my opinion, and it makes mornings just a bit more manageable knowing I don’t have to empty the dishwasher or clean pots and pans. 

The very last thing I do before getting physically into bed is removing my contact lenses. I try to keep them in as long as I possibly can, because once they’re out, I’m pretty much as blind as a bat. I do own glasses, but the prescription is not up-to-date and I can’t see very well in those, either. Once my contacts are out for the night, I’m pretty much visually useless and I can’t really see anything farther than two feet away. 

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About 60 minutes or so before I want to actually fall asleep, I will take all of my medications and vitamins. I always take my medications around the same time every night to ensure that they’re working as properly as possible, particularly my birth control and escitalopram. The other medications are not as critical as those two, but they’re still important: calcium supplements, THC tincture, immune-boosting gummies, and 10mg of melatonin. I’m happy to say I’ve finally weaned off of Unisom, which I had been relying on for sleep for about five months. Now, just a single dose of melatonin is enough to get me sleepy and (usually) prevent me from waking up throughout the night. Remember last fall when I was having those horrendous sleep problems? Yeah, that was no fun. The good news is, I seem to have more or less recovered from that. 

While I’m waiting for my melatonin to kick in, I’ll finish off the night by attempting to do something relaxing, such as reading, knitting, or listening to a podcast/Vsauce video. I’m reading a ton of books right now, and my boyfriend recently gave me a few more he thought I’d like, so I’m never short of novels to dive into before bed. If you saw my ‘What I’m Reading Right Now” article, you probably saw that I’m currently loving Memoirs of a Geisha, Anne of Avonlea, and In a Dark, Dark Wood. I’ve also just started reading Venus in Furs and some T.S. Elliot poetry, which I like quite a lot, and I’d like to delve into Cat’s Cradle by Vonnegut, Selected Works by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust, Italian Journey), and The Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud as well. With Freudian writings, I’m particularly interested in reading Psychopathology of Everyday Life, The Interpretation of Dreams, and The Theory of Sex

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Alright, that was a lot. Realistically, I usually read for around 60-90 minutes a day, or a chapter of 3-5 books each. After I start to get really sleepy, which is usually around an hour after melatonin, I switch over to YouTube and put on a Vsauce playlist to fall asleep to. I’m not quite sure why I love listening to his videos so much, but they are very relaxing for me and they help me to fall asleep within minutes.

Anyway, that’s my entire nighttime routine while working from home and self-quarantining! Like I said, it differs slightly depending on the day, and on weekend nights, I can sometimes skip steps altogether (except for kitchen tidying and medications- I NEVER miss those.) However, like anyone, sometimes there are just days when I don’t want to do my skincare routine. Or I would just rather binge watch Women Behind Bars than sit down with a stack of 19th-century novels and pretend I am a highly intelligent Victorian lady doting over high-culture literature. Whatever the night entails, I always try to aim for between 7-10 hours of sleep, so that I can start my day feeling bright and productive. Take care of yourselves, everyone! Beauty sleep is important. And stay safe, too!

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With all of the turbulent changes happening to many of us during this time, it’s no surprise that our routines from morning to night are changing as well. I’ve actually planned on posting this article for a while now- it just so happened that the date lined up with a global pandemic. Because I am living at home currently, my schedule is quite a bit different than it was when I was living on campus. For one thing, I’m able to sleep in a little bit later! I also have more time for other things, such as workouts and doing my makeup. From start to finish, this is how a usual weekday morning goes for me.

Like many people, the first thing I do in the morning after shutting off my alarm is take a few minutes to scroll through my phone. I’m a member of several group chats that I keep muted, so the first thing I’ll usually do is flip through my messages and make sure I’m not missing any important information. I’ll also check my many emails: my regular email, my school email, and my work email, to see if there is anything crucial I need to add into my daily workload. Additionally, I like to read through theSkimm newsletter sent to my email to stay up-to-date on current events.

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After catching up on socials and messages, the next thing to start my morning is a big cup of black coffee. My caffeine intake has been slowly increasing over time, and as of right now, I’m averaging about 16oz of coffee per day. The less coffee I have, the less productive and awake I’m likely to be. I also prefer a light breakfast over a super substantial one, unless it’s a weekend and I’m feeling a bit fancier. Lately, I’ve been enjoying either the soft-baked Belvita breakfast bars, or a bowl of vanilla yogurt with blueberry granola. 

I’ll either put in my contacts before my morning shower, or immediately after; either way, it’s one of the first things I do when I wake up. Putting in my contacts can also really wake me up if I’m feeling groggy- there’s nothing like sticking your fingers into your eyeballs to make you feel awake. 

At least twice a week, I like to do a quick workout to help me jump into the day and make me feel pumped and ready to get things done. I don’t like going to the gym (and even if I did, I wouldn’t leave my house right now,) so I follow exercises from a workout book called Body Boss. The workouts usually take me between 15-25 minutes, depending on how long I decide to warm up, and encompass everything from cardio to weight training.

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By this time, it’s usually around 11am or so, and that’s right around when I take my morning shower. I also do my morning skincare routine, which includes cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Right now, everything I’m using for skincare is by the brand Soap & Glory, and I’m absolutely in love with their design and packaging. I haven’t been using the brand long enough to know if the products really work, but I do really love everything this brand is about and how cute everything is!

Immediately after my shower and while my hair is still wet, I always go ahead and apply the same two products: a damage repair leave-in treatment by Aveda, and a few spritzes of the Prep Rally spray by Drybar. Bleach really takes a toll on the quality of one’s hair, and even though mine is in fairly good condition, I still like to keep it as healthy as possible. Because my hair is naturally curly, it gets quite frizzy if I brush it while it’s still wet. Using a couple of high-quality products on the daily helps me to keep my hair and check and maintain a salon-smooth silkiness.

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Lastly, depending on what my agenda for the day is, I’ll either go completely bare-faced or put on a full face of makeup (there is no in-between.) I don’t put on makeup with the intention of going anywhere; I just genuinely love the relaxing process of putting on makeup, and I feel really good about myself when I have it on. Even though it’s just a little thing, it really brightens up my day and even boosts my productivity and my creativity.

By this time, it’s usually around noon and the morning is over! The next line of action is just for me to start my work for the day! Like I said, my routine would be very different if I was still at school and going to physical classes every day. I can assure you that I definitely would not be working out twice a week, or spending so much time doing my makeup. However, even though the times are strange right now, I am making do with my circumstances and trying to live my best life. I hope you found this article entertaining, and I’m looking forward to posting my updated night routine on Thursday! Stay safe, everyone.