History of My Hair

So far in my short life, there have been four distinct eras of my hair. I have dyed, fried, and dried my hair almost to the point where I wanted to shave it all off.
Let’s start at the very beginning. Leading up to fourth grade, my hair more resembled a bush than actual hair. I’ve always had very thick and coarse hair, but it was getting out of control. During that summer, I got the famous wannabe pixie cut.

I admit, it could’ve been worse… like a lot worse. For some reason, I kept cutting my hair like this even in middle school. I thought I could make it look better by wearing headbands and dying my hair really dark, but it only made it worse.
By the end of seventh grade, I knew I’d grown out of the short hair and started growing it out. This is when the next stage of my hair began, and I like to call it the Gene Simmons look.
Now with my hair to my shoulders, I wanted a dramatic change. For me, I thought I wanted to look like a dark, edgy, and rebellious teenager, so what’s more dramatic than dyeing your hair black? About a month later before a Color Guard contest, I wanted to switch it up again. At the same time, home ombre kits were just released, and with my freshman mentality, this was going to upgrade my look. You might think a 14-year-old girl with brown roots, black hair, and blonde split-ends would be the worse that it could get, but then I got a perm.
You may think after the first time after perming my hair I would learn my lesson. Nope. Later, I redid it again and tried to dye my hair blonde. For some odd reason, my box bleaching kit didn’t work and only dyed my roots. So that very same night I bought black hair dye and went full on KISS. When you are as pale as me, having big curly black hair will wash you out.
Entering my junior year, my hair was dry as bone and multiple shades of brown and black. I found a way out through starting to get quarterly keratin treatments. Though I was just adding more chemicals, my hair looked healthy and literally as straight as an arrow. I had to use special shampoo and conditioner that helped keep it this way, but it was terribly hard to rinse it out. The downside of this whole process was the split-ends that I got from straightening it, and it was terribly time consuming and expensive.
Now since I’ve stopped the treatments, I really think my hair has become better than ever. Sure, it’s not as shiny or soft as it once was, but it’s easier to take care of. In the last three months, I’ve switched to a gel based shampoo, and I find that it rinses out really nicely while still getting all the gunk out. Currently, I’m using Garnier Fructis Sleek and Shine and L’Oréal Ever Cream shampoo. Though with the L’Oréal, I like to dilute it with water before use. For conditioner, I use the one from the Ever Cream line. Once a week, I do a rinse of lemon juice and vinegar to clear up any build up. As of right now, I get a haircut every few months because I’m trying to keep the same length.

2017 Goals

I couldn’t be happier that this year is over. With a semester left of schooling, I’m ready to head into the next chapter of my life. Until then, I’m stuck in suburbia working my butt off on a senior project and on this blog. As you might know, in four days this blog will become gtolley.com. Not much is changing except the URL and an extra post per week. To break in the new year, I want to set some goals for this website and me.
1.) Learn to properly budget time

I’m the queen of micromanaging, but I seem to never stick to schedule when it comes to my life. Learning to properly budget my time is a skill that I need help with in order to prevent procrastinating. I want to schedule 30 minutes a day to work on blog stuff so that on upload days I’m not staying up all night and getting no sleep.
2.) Keep in touch with people after graduation

Though I’m not going that far away, some of my friends are. Sure, we will still have our group chat where we share memes, but for the first time in forever, I’m not going to see my friends everyday.
3.) Try things that scare me

My life is predictable. I buy all my clothes from the same two stores and order the same thing every time at restaurants. I want to break the status quo and try things that I wouldn’t try in a million years. What’s the worse thing that could happen?

4.) Watch/ listen to more indie

This year I was terrible at going out and finding independent films and music. There are awesome movies and artists that aren’t produced by major studios that deserve recognition. I just have to find them.
5.) A fresh start

After living in the same small town for 18 years, people think they know you. Moving out is providing me with the chance to be whoever I want. I’m no longer forced to be the person I was in high school. Maybe I’ll run with a different crowd than I typically would, or maybe I’ll be called Grace rather than Gracie. Leaving home is going to be hard, but it’s giving me the chance for a clean slate and to become the best version of me.

What’s in my make-up bag? {Fall 2016}

Ever since I started wearing makeup back in middle school, I haven’t gotten much better. (Although, I have learned how to properly put on foundation.) My makeup arsenal is always changing and is a combination of both drugstore and high-end.

Face
Before I even start thinking about putting on makeup, I have to moisturize. This step is necessary for dry skin. Personally, I prefer liquid foundation because it seems to last longer. When blending my foundation I use a beauty blender or a makeup sponge.


Clean & Clear Persa-Gel/ Equate Beauty 10% Benzoyl Peroxide Acne Treatment Gel

  • Great for acne spots
  • Day and night
  • Buy off-brand version to save $$$


Olay Complete All Day Moisturize- Normal

  • Keeps skin from getting patchy


NYX Cosmetics Studio Perfect Primer
Shade: Green

  • Works like glue for foundation

  • Helps conceal redness

Covergirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3 in 1 Foundation
Shade: 810 Classic Ivory

  • Full coverage

  • All day wear

  • Shine free

Maybelline Instant Age Rewind Concealer

Shade: Light

  • Brightening

  • Doesn’t dry out or crease

  • Blends well


ELF High Definition Powder
Shade: Corrective Yellow

  • Sets foundation all day


Brows

After a waxing mishap a few weeks ago, I had to learn how to fill in my eyebrows. I use the two following products together to make them look as natural as possible.


Maybelline Brow Drama Define & Fill Duo
Shade: Deep Brown

  • Great color match

  • Easy to apply

  • Natural looking

Maybelline Brow Drama Sculpting Brow Mascara
Shade: Deep Brown

  • Fills in evenly

 

Eyes

Trying a new eye product is the easiest way to change up your look.

Clinique Chubby Stick Shadow Tint
Shade: Bountiful Beige

  • Shimmery

  • Great base

  • Works as both shadow & primer

Lancôme Color Design
Shade: 311 You’ve got the look

  • Great fall color

  • Mega pigmented


ELF Brightening Eye Liner
Shade: Coffee

  • Goes on smooth

  • Good controls

ELF Volume Plumping Mascara
Shade: Black

  • Keeps curl

  • Doesn’t clump after two coats


Lips

Pucker up, buttercup! This is my all-time favorite lipstick!


Lancôme Color Design
Shade: The New Pink (sheen)

  • Pricey, but lasts forever

  • Can be worn all year long

  • Isn’t drying

October Favorites

Dear Mother Nature, I beg of you to please just let me have one day of fall. This is truly getting out of control! October is over and it’s still t-shirt and shorts weather outside. Besides cooking kettle corn 15 hours a week at work and attending Friday night football, I’ve found a few new things I like this month.

 

Haters Back Off

Miranda Sings, a YouTube sensation, finally had her Netflix show released. The eight episodes are a cringe-worthy experience that serves as the origin story for the character. The ending is way depressing and doesn’t really fit the overall tone that was set up. Unlike other YouTube based media, Haters Back Off is a lighthearted comedy that’s willing to take risks.

Knit Peacoat

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1070614&vid=1&pid=339302012

Other places in the world are experiencing a season known as fall. I picked this piece up a couple of weeks ago for an upcoming trip to Indianapolis. Guessing by the forecast, it’s probably going to be chilly the five days I’ll be there. I really don’t have the space in my bag for a winter coat. This jacket is super light and doesn’t take up a lot of room. Personally, I own the red, but both colors can be dressed up or down.

L’ORÉAL Sleek It Iron Straight Heatspray

http://www.ulta.com/sleek-it-iron-straight-heatspray?productId=xlsImpprod6330203

A few months back I found out the products I was using by Kerastase is made by L’Oreal, so I switched all my hair products to L’Oreal. I’ve already talked about the shampoo and conditioner, but I love the heat spray just as much. The only issue I found with it is that it isn’t sulfate-free, but who cares when you’re protecting your locks?

 

Holographic Makeup Bag

http://www.forever21.com/Product/Product.aspx?BR=&Category=acc_beauty-acc-bags-storage&ProductID=1000214013&VariantID=

I don’t really consider myself a child of the 90s. (Although, I kind of think that the 90s didn’t really end until 2004.) Recently I’ve been obsessed with everything holographic. It was time to get a new makeup bag since last month I accidently burned my old one with my hair straightener. This bag is big enough for all my essentials and even has a wipeable surface.

 

Pewdiepie’s Tuber Simulator

Felix Kjellberg, AKA Pewdiepie, released his second mobile game. Fans of the channel know that Kjellberg is known for his gameplays and commentary on them. Tuber Simulator takes aspects from social gaming and traditional simulator games. The goal is to get more subscribers than Pewdiepie by creating online videos. It’s free on both iOS and Android.

September Favorites 

September Life Update: Still not flannel weather. {Thanks global warming}

Supergirl

The main reason I didn’t watch Supergirl during its initial run on CBS is because I was under the impression it was more of a girl in the big city + aliens comedy. What I learned after watching it was that I was completely right. Compared to the rest of the superhero TV shows currently airing, Supergirl is a lighthearted break. Yeah, it has multiple love triangles and rogues of the week, but it highlights the importance of family.

M.A.C To Boldly Go

Nerdy makeup lovers were living when M.A.C announced a collection in collaboration with Star Trek’s 75th anniversary. Pressed pigments and palettes are the only makeup products that I’m willing to invest my money into. To Boldly Go is a red/copper eyeshadow that is the definition of pigmented. Especially for fall, I’ve been loving putting on this red smokey eye for daily wear.

EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner

My hair is something I take great pride in, especially because of everything I’ve invested in it. Naturally, I have super thick and dry hair. EverCreme Sulfate-Free Moisture System Intense Nourishing Shampoo & Conditioner has become my go to hair product. Compared to the overpriced stuff I was using before, this is a steal.

The Pearl

I’m a weirdo who can’t sleep without noise, especially when I’m not in my own bed. Recently I’ve gotten tired of my noise machine app. {One can only listen to Amazon rainforest recordings for so long.} After searching around on Spotify, I was recommended Harold Budd’s The Pearl. I don’t know how, but it puts me right to sleep.

Bowties and Bourbon Candle

I totally forgot about even buying this candle. Currently it’s not sold in stores, but I do believe it’s a seasonal item. Bath & Body Works is the gold standard for all candles. Overall, it’s very masculine and is great for cooler weather. 

August Favorites

August is over! That means it’s time to put on a flannel and go get my PSL fix. JK, it’s still 90 degrees here.

Tassel-Front Swing Blouse

I’m so obsessed with this shirt that the day after I first wore it, I went out and bought it in two other colors. It’s perfect right now because we are slowly transitioning into fall. You can still show some skin while continuing to be comfy.

http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=1046693&vid=1&pid=225517042

JANSJÖ LED Work Lamp

Originally this was purchased for a friend going off to college, but I fell in love and bought one for myself. It produces enough light to fill my whole room without the overhead lights on. The bendable head is great for late night studying, especially when you’re too lazy to get up and turn off the lightswitch.

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20169658/

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set

E.L.F Makeup Mist & Set spray is a lifesaver for me because I need my makeup to last the whole school day. In the past twenty days of use, I haven’t had to do any major touch-ups. Let’s hope this stops me from looking like a sweaty goon on the marching band field.

http://www.elfcosmetics.com/p/makeup-mist-and-set

Chobani Flip Yogurt

Toppings make everything taste better. Normally I’m not a huge Greek yogurt fan, but Chobani’s recipe is not as bitter as other brands. It’s not chunky, but it isn’t super thin either. There have only been three flavors I haven’t liked, and those were the cherry, pear, and key lime flavors.

http://www.chobani.com/products/flip#peanut-caramel-satisfactiontrade

Scholly

Everyone who attended, currently attends, or is going to attend college in the future knows that school isn’t cheap. Finding scholarships are key to not having tens of thousands of dollars in student debt. Scholly is a free app that takes all your information (ACT scores, major, grade point average, etc.) and comes out with all these scholarships you are eligible for. It makes it easy to apply and keep track of them.

 

 

July Favorites

What a month! I’ve been keeping quite busy between my online classes and going to the lake. This week is the start of every band geek’s favorite time of the year – Band Camp. All of my friends are sad it’s our last time experiencing it, but I couldn’t be happier. I can’t wait to start the new school year and start the next chapter of my life.

Biore Charcoal Face Cleanser 
I normally have dry skin and have minimal acne. For the past six months, I’ve been using the Biore Charcoal Face Cleanser twice a day. This month I’ve been breaking out like crazy, so I tested out Biore Warming Anti-Blackhead Cleaner. After you use it, you will know why I put it on the list. My face feels like a baby, and my acne cleared up in a week.

http://www.ulta.com/complexion-clearing-warming-anti-blackhead-cleanser?productId=xlsImpprod4141889

Good Morning Call
I have talked shit on my friends for watching anime and reading manga for years; well, here’s your public apology. I’m in love with Good Morning Call! Based on the Japanese anime of the same name, Good Morning Call is a live action TV series co-produced by Fuji TV & Netflix. Basically, it’s about a junior named Nao that moves into an apartment when her parents leave her to move in with her grandpa. After a real estate scam, she is forced to share her apartment with the most popular guy in school. You can see what’s going to happen from a mile away, but I can’t stop watching. I’m almost done with the series, and I’m not sure if there are any plans for a second season. All 17 episodes are on Netflix and last about 45 minutes each.

Boho Bandeaus
This month I cut six inches off my hair, and I was going for a Black Window meets Posh Spice kind of look. Natural Life makes a product called Boho Bandeaus and solves all of your bad hair day problems. They are basically infinity scarves for your head and can be worn in a dozen different ways. At this time I have three of them in gray, tie dye purple, and in a brown and hot pink pattern. https://www.naturallife.com/accessories/all-boho-bandeaus.html

Yesso Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars
In reference to what I said last month, I’ve been trying to eat healthier. Also, it’s been over 100 degrees each day for the past month. Yesso Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frozen Greek Yogurt Bars are a gift from God. One bar is just 100 calories and isn’t just cookie dough flavored; there are also chunks of cookie dough inside of it! It’s all natural and kosher as well. https://www.yasso.com/products/chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-stick-bars/

Sing Street

If you’re a fan of Screen Junkies, you’ve probably heard of a little movie called Sing Street. It’s about a British teen in the 80’s who creates a band to impress a girl. Sorry Deadpool, but this has the best movie soundtrack of the year! There are eight original songs written for the movie and are performed by the cast. In my opinion, Drive it Like You Stole It is the best, but The Riddle of the Model is a close second. If you haven’t already (and I know you haven’t), just rent the movie on iTunes. It’s better than 90% of the movies in theaters right now.