An Honest Review

So, I’m scrolling through Instagram one afternoon, minding my own business…and I see a sponsored post that actually catches my eye. As someone who does social media marketing for a living, I typically ignore all ads on social media…on principle. I refuse to “like” them; I just know too much about them (cue evil laughter). Needless to say, the fact that their ad got my attention already got them off to a good start.

“Free skin care trial” was also eye-catching.

I took a screenshot to remember the name of the company and continued scrolling and double-tapping. A few photos later, I couldn’t resist the temptation and scrolled back up and bit the bullet: I clicked “learn more.”

I’d never heard of Honest Beauty before (sorry, Jessica Alba) but paying less than $6 to try some product was too difficult to pass up. I have fairly sensitive skin, though, so I typically stick to my regular routine. But hey. My complexion could be better (and my lifestyle has been murdering my skin lately), so the $5.95 7 day trial seemed like a pretty good idea. After all, that wasn’t much to lose.

I noticed a difference almost immediately. 

I know that sounds lame and brainwashed, but I promise I’m under no contract with Honest Beauty and am completely speaking the truth (as always, #fiercelyreal). 

I ordered the trial for balanced skin: You get a gel cleanser, a moisturizer, and a daily SPF primer (probably my favorite because I’m basically albino and living in Texas). Oh yeah, you get a free make up bag and a few samples of their make up as well.

The first night, I cleansed and moisturized. I looked in the mirror the next morning and while I still had a few break outs (it’s not like it’s a miracle worker or something), my skin overall looked great. It kind of glowed and didn’t have the usual splotchiness it had before I put make up on. Going in with no expectations, I was definitely impressed.

Step 1: Cleanse.

I think I can definitely ditch my Aveeno cleanser. I like it because it’s gentle, but the Honest Beauty Refreshing Gel Cleanser ($18) is definitely far from harsh. More importantly, I think it does a lot more for my skin and complexion. After a few days, I only needed cover up for a few break outs. My usual red splotches were completely gone. I was almost sad, like I’d accepted they’d always be there…

Step 2: Hydrate.

I also love the Even Brighter Everyday Moisturizer ($34). I haven’t used a moisturizer since I ran out of my old Benefit product I was using and couldn’t find it anywhere (they might have discontinued it). I haven’t tried anything else because if a moisturizer is too…moist…I’ll break out like crazy. I know that I definitely need one, especially this time of year because I spend every minute I can by the pool. Anyway, I like this one because it doesn’t leave my skin feeling too oily and I can definitely tell that it works well with the gel to reduce the redness in my skin (I think the chamomile is what calms it down).

Step 3: Protect.

As for the Beyond Protected Daily Beauty Fluid ($28), while I do like it, I think I could live without it. From what I’ve read about the products, it seems like it’s almost redundant except that unlike the moisturizer and gel, it has SPF 30 added to it. Like I said, I do like that, but I already use foundation with UV protection. Maybe I’m being frugal, I don’t know. Stay tuned – maybe I’ll stop using it and suddenly turn into a lobster. Who knows!

I’ve continued with the recommended routine, ignoring my own products for the next few days. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of “system” skincare like Proactiv, where you absolutely have to use one company’s products and even though you’re sent three “steps” of products for the trial, so after focusing initially on just the Honest Beauty products, I started mixing them up with what I already use. So far, it’s been working out pretty well!

Since I do plan on continuing to use the products and the trial is semi-sketchy if you don’t read fine print, here’s the low-down on how it works:

Your trial starts 7 days after the ship date (I ended up receiving my package about 3 days later) and after 7 days, you’ll automatically be charged $50 for your skin care bundle unless you cancel or postpone.

  • I called the customer service center (located in Austin, TX!), initially thinking I would cancel and then order the subscription after substantially testing the product. I don’t know about you, but 7 days is not long enough to figure out if I like a skin care product or not!
  • The woman I spoke with was super nice and helpful! I learned that I could actually postpone when my first bundle shipped and wouldn’t be charged until then. She was nice enough to do it for me over the phone, but you can do it online too (without calling customer service at all).
  • When you start your trial, you sign up for an account, which you can access online or by downloading their really pretty app.

You’re not limited to the products they send you in your trial bundle – you can customize it!

  • On your account, you can choose not only when your next bundle is shipped but also how frequently you receive it (which reflects how often you’re charged, duh). For example, the customer service rep told me she only needs her bundle every four months, so that’s how she set her account up.
  • You can also choose which three products you want included. In other words, since I can live without the protection cream, I could exchange it for lipstick or something.
  • Obviously, that rocks because you’re saving money and you can change it easily, any time. So if I wanted to switch out my third product every few months, I could have a pretty awesome make up collection!
  • If you want more products, you can add up to five “must haves” and save 25% (stay tuned, I haven’t fully explored that because I’m pretty maintenance with make up).

All in all, I think Honest Beauty is pretty awesome so far.

Like most women, I’m extremely loyal to my make up and skin care brands. I’ve been using the same mascara since my freshman year of high school. I’ve tried more skin care products because of how much my skin has changed over the years, but once I find one I like, I stick with it…and I think I’ve just met my match.



Green Thumb

I’m not sure what’s come over me lately, but I can’t stop crafting. Then, when I’m not crafting, I’m coloring.

What can I say? I like being creative. And I guess it’s better to craft while I binge Orange is the New Black than to eat everything in my apartment. But sometimes, I do that, too.

I’ve had a few plants hanging out on my windowsill, because I also really like gardening. I picked it up as a hobby a few months back, as a sort of therapy and I’ve been meaning to expand on it. Plus, since I was basically broke when I started my little garden, my plants were growing in plastic yogurt containers and such…which is just not very visually appealing. Snapchat-7902655630730065162.jpg

So last weekend, I merged my craft bug and my green thumb, bought a few more plants, and recycled. Literally. I love the local brewery/beer scene here in Austin and have always loved the quirky cans they come in. I kept a few and cut the tops off to make mini planters for my tiny new friends.

Here’s how it went down:

  1. Drink all the beer (or I guess you can pour it into a pint to have access to the can sooner…or make someone else drink it…but what fun is that?)
  2. Using a can opener, (carefully!) cut off the top of the can
  3. Clean it out because ew…
  4. Grab a sharp object (I used tiny sewing scissors but a needle would probably work well) and poke holes in the bottom of the can for drainage
  5. Add a layer of rocks to the bottom (again, drainage)
  6. Choose your plants and get to work re-potting!



Do NOT Text Him #7

Go to the gym without your phone…remember that iPod mini you have?

This one was a tough, since I no longer have a music-only device; I had to think outside the box. I actually like the idea of going just about anywhere and leaving my phone behind, but how am I supposed to work out without my music? When I run, I usually turn my phone on airplane mode…so I thought about that…but I wanted to actually leave it behind. Plus, when it was finally time to work out, my phone was practically dead.

So, I paced around my apartment, talking to my dog. As if she would have any ideas for me. Finally, What Would Audrey Do? (my current book of choice) caught my eye on my bedside table. That’ll do. I grabbed my book, hooked my phone up to the charger (and turned it off), and walked to the gym. Yes, I can read while I work out. If I’m on the bike (which I was), I have to, because I’m sitting there staring at the wall and not going anywhere…so I have to stare at something other than the wall. I can’t read on a treadmill because bouncing, but I don’t use those anyways. They’re boring. I prefer to run outside.

Anyways, time actually flew by, and I actually worked out pretty hard (considering I was on a stationary bicycle). I even topped it off with some weight lifting, because why not?

After all, swimsuit season is right around the corner. 😉

Confused? Start at the beginning.

Do NOT Text Him #11

Go on a run…and get really toned.

I highly encourage all of you text-fiends to make this the first thing on this list that you do. Go. Right now. Even if you hate running.


Two words: Bikini. Season.

And what better way to get this loser’s attention (without texting him) than by looking drop-dead sexy in your new Victoria’s Secret bikini? Bonus points if you post a beach/pool selfie on social media. Better yet (if you don’t want to wait that long to brag about your hot bod), snap a selfie for your Story or post to Instagram after your run. Yes, you’re gross and sweaty. Apparently, guys dig that. So be one of those assholes bragging about their work out. Why the hell not? You look good in your running shorts and now he can see that 100 of your closest “friends” and potential Boy Toys think you look damn good, too.


…Plus, it’s really hard to text while you’re running. Like…really hard.



Read my first post of the series. Then read the rest.

Ice Cream Detox

My name is Marie Carlson, and I’m an ice cream addict.

I’m not a terribly unhealthy person…since my experiment with vegetarianism, I’ve been paying extra attention to the nutrients I put into my body. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, I take my vitamins, and I try not to over-eat. So, why have I gained weight this summer?

Ice cream.

I thought the problem was just because I work at a Dairy Queen but due to an unfortunate illness, I haven’t worked in over a month. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped eating ice cream, I just have to buy it at the store. Tragic, I know.

I’ve tried cutting down on ice cream…everything is good in moderation, right? Sure. Except that I can’t just eat a bite or a scoop of ice cream. It’s my ultimate weakness, so I lose control. It’s kind of pathetic, really: I finish my dinner and even if I’m content with my meal, I have to eat a bowl of chocolate peanut butter cup ice cream.

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on weight loss tips (with a focus on how to curb cravings) and instead of just absorbing the information I’ve started applying it.

First, I binge-ate the rest of the ice cream that was in my freezer and vowed not to buy more for a long, long time. Probably not a good start but I knew if it was in there it would tempt me. I realized that not having ice cream just meant that I would start looking for other forms of chocolate/sweets to eat after dinner…so I started taking Magnesium supplements, because I read that usually when you crave chocolate, it’s due to a Magnesium deficiency. That helped a little, but it could just all be in my head.

Now, I’ve re-vamped my whole eating routine. I used to eat a decent-sized breakfast, a light lunch, and a big dinner. But for the last few days, I’ve been eating larger meals in the morning and afternoon, and a smaller meal in the evening. That way, my body can burn off the larger meals before bed. And again, I’m still focusing on eating healthy meals, fewer carbs, and very few preservatives.

For some reason, focusing on my meals has led me to focus less on my ice cream cravings. I haven’t eaten ice cream in five days and I may have been off to a rocky start, but the last three days (since re-vamping my meals), I’ve actually been able to control my cravings. I don’t feel quite as upset (yes, upset) about not eating ice cream.

So, we’ll see where this goes. I’m finally hopeful for my recovery. Any encouraging notes would be appreciated. 🙂



Today, I had one of those runs. You start out, wondering why you bothered to leave the house…and by the time you finish, you feel like you could conquer the world. It was hot and sunny and brutal but beautiful. And I was just in the mood to run today, in spite of the hear, and I kept going. I ran about six miles, which is 3 more than I expected to get in.
But man, did that cold shower feel good after.


We’re All Mad Here

I realize there is a lot I blab about on this blog: everything from school (which isn’t really applicable anymore) to interning, to jobs, to travel, to fitness, and health. It’s a lot to keep track of, even for me. I’m not trying to be one of those “jack of all trades” types of blogs, I just have many interests. I don’t want a blog that focuses on one specific thing simply because I don’t: it’s just how I am. I have ADHD, like many other people, and I’m often focused on many things simultaneously. But ADHD works for me. I make lists and I get a lot of things done, and done quickly.

It also makes me crazy. For example, writing this post is the last thing on my to-do list for today. The rest of my list is all over the map, between job related tasks, “housekeeping” tasks, and personal things like making plans with friends. And then there are the things that aren’t on my to-do list, like working out and trying to relax a little before I go to work this evening.

I learned the hard way that if I don’t stop and take a little bit of “me” time, I’ll go insane. When life is pulling you in a million different directions, sometimes you have to abide by the cliche and stop to smell the roses. For me, this is getting in my daily work out (be it running, yoga, or boxing) and watching Game of Thrones while I eat my dinner before work. Game of Thrones is a whole different story…I just started the series due to nagging by my friends…and now I’m hooked. But it’s a great show to watch and unwind before the rest of my day or at the end of the day.

I guess the point of this post (my ADHD kicking in again) is an apology for being all over the place at times, and also to remind everyone to take a little bit of time for themselves. We’re all busy. Everyone has their lists, organized or not. But I’ve learned from experience and from watching friends and family during their times of stress that if we don’t take a little bit of time for ourselves, we’ll go mad. So, take some “you” time. Do yoga. Be zen. Watch a show on TV; you don’t have to binge watch an entire series, just one episode will make a difference. Go for a walk. Or run. Whatever you like to do where you don’t have to worry about your list for a little while. It’s easier said than done but once you make it a habit, you’ll thank yourself.