Author Archives: The JCR Girls

About The JCR Girls

The JCR Girls: Style, Class, and a Bit of Sass! A Life/Style blog based in NYC + MPLS.

What I Learned from my Month With No Spending Challenge

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For those who tuned into my No Spend October: Month With No Spending Challenge, where I outlined 5 “simple” rules for not buying stuff for 31 days…thanks for keeping up! For those who didn’t, here’s the synopsis:

I decided to challenge myself with 31 days of no spending on clothing, accessories, beauty products, footwear, or home decor.

While the rules were relatively simple, I failed by Day 7 (accidentally), by ordering 2 packs of Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes. On one hand, they were 2/$10, and on the other, I needed to up my cart price to unlock free shipping. And, in my defense, I kind of forgot that face wipes qualified as a beauty product (and only because I listed it in my rules, knowing full well I snatch these up way too often). 

When the package from Walgreens showed up (ok, I admit it, I’m the lazy person who orders toilet paper and allergy meds for delivery), I realized I had not one but two (2!) packs of face wipes already stashed in my linen closet. So, I really had no reason to cheat, especially when I already had a very similar product on hand.

Upset that I cheated while I actually had virtually the same thing on hand, I knew I had to do something about it to prevent future unnecessary purchases. So, I inventoried every skincare / makeup / beauty product I own.

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I took every product out of my medicine cabinet, drawer, undersink stash, linen closet, storage drawer, and nook and cranny I could think of. And I put it all in one spot. Out in the open to see.

When I Googled this phenomenon (of wanting to inventory all of the things I have to remind myself to use them and that I don’t need to repurchase the exact same things I already have plenty of), I found many people use sophisticated Excel spreadsheets to track what they’ve got and what gaps they have in their makeup collection, for instance. I wasn’t feeling that ambitious, so instead I grouped like things and took photos. After all, this way I could easily search + see what I’ve got, vs. navigating to a specific section of a spreadsheet.

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The Bronzers

This exercise helped me discard items I no longer need / use. It helped me reorganize my medicine cabinet and place items I use / should use regularly within plain sight. In doing so, I felt really good about “all that I’ve got” and it significantly diminished my yearning to “buy more stuff just because.”

My inventory exercise highlighted the fact that I have a lot of stuff, and I really don’t need more until I use all of this up. For instance, my makeup / skincare / haircare collection includes…

48 lip products.

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14 serums. (BTW I really love Glossier Super Pure, Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair, Kiehls Midnight Recovery and Caudalie Vinoperfect).

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15 masks.

8 full-size hair sprays. Eight?!

8 products containing SPF.

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8 body lotions.

14 face lotions / moisturizers. Some were samples, but still… I have a really hard time choosing just one fave, ok?

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23 makeup brushes / applicators. Sad thing is, I’m not sure what is used for what, and still feel like I’m missing some key brushes? Please advise.

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7 different mascaras.

1 reigning blush champ. You guessed it, NARS. At least I got that one figured out, right?

I wish there was an easier way, but physically corralling like items, counting and photographing them really helped drive the point home. This is similar to the Kon Mari exercise of pulling all items out (of a closet, or dresser) and going through each item one by one, to decide if it stays or if it goes. If it stays, it should be something you find beautiful and/or useful. Something that brings you joy. If not, it’s just taking up space, creating clutter, and you’d be better off without it.

Despite this exercise, over the course of the past few weeks some new-to-me products stood out . And in some cases, they screamed out. I really wanted to try them, but also wanted to fulfill my challenge to the best of my abilities (you know, outside of that early slip-up).

And then something else happened… Glossier (my biggest weakness, ugh) announced that their highly-sought-after perfume, Glossier You, was available for pre-order. How could I resist?

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To suppress the need to shop, I collected each item in a list to keep an eye on and if come November I still wanted them, well… I guess they’d be fair game.

Here’s the list of products that’ve caught my attention recently:

Have you tied any of these? Are they worth the hype?

Also, you’ll be proud to hear that during this time I not only rediscovered stuff I already had (for free, in my own closet / mini drug store), but I also corralled all my product samples into one spot so I had the ability to still enjoy those high-end luxuries (at least a little bit of ’em).

If you’re considering embarking on a month with no spending, I’d encourage you to do it! Create your own rules, and try to stick to them. When you’re feeling sad that you can’t add new things to cart, clean out some drawers, your closet, or medicine cabinet, and re-discover some items you already have.

If you’ve done a month (or more!) without spending on clothing, accessories, etc., comment below to let us know how it went / what you learned!

Self Care Sunday: What Helps You Relax?

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By the time the weekend rolls around, I’m exhausted. Like, nap on the couch past dinner exhausted. Perhaps I’m just “getting old”, but chances are there’s a little more to it. In order to embrace relaxation and get in good habits, I’ve tried / am planning to try the following:

  • Apps
  • At-Home Treatments
  • Exercise
  • Spa Treatments & Alternative Medicine
  • Travel

Apps
1. Calm App
I’m pretty sure this app was advertised to me on Instagram, and I happened upon it at a time when I literally needed to calm down (seriously though, how did they know?). Since then I’ve been playing around with it, and have been very pleasantly surprised. I’ve also heard great things about the Headspace app (tagline, “Meditation Made Simple”), but I have yet to try it myself. If you have a review of it, please let me know in the comments below!

Calm provides meditation, sleep stories, and music, all focused on helping you get to a calm, serene place.

Calm-App-Review

 

2. Beautyrest Sleeptracker
Tagline: “Monitor your sleep. Understand your sleep. Improve your sleep.”

In our experience, The Beautyrest Sleeptracker does exactly that! You can monitor up to 2 sleepers with each kit – just pair the smartphone app with your device over WiFi and you’re set! The entire setup process takes about 10 minutes.

Sleep Reports
The amount of data it collects with every single sleep is pretty incredible. Each morning, you’ll get an email with your Sleep Report. You can also pull up “Sleep Analysis” stats within the app, such as your week-in-review or month-in-review metrics.

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Sleeptracker-App-Daily-Email Ok, this is a screenshot of the highest sleep score I’ve received since using the Beautyrest Sleeptracker system. I’m really not a great sleeper, typically going to bed pretty late and needing to wake up early for work. But, this data can be used for good, and those “under 65-point” scores can only improve by being armed with this data!

I received this Sleeptracker product complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes : )


At-Home Treatments
I’ve been lucky to be able to test-drive spa-like products in the comfort of my own home, like:

Colleen-Rothschild-Radiant-Cleansing-Balm This Colleen Rothschild Radiant Cleansing Balm is such a treat! It comes with a white muslin cloth you dampen with warm-to-hot water and then place over your face for a mini-facial. Leaves your skin soft and glowy!


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I only recently started using this Erno Laslzo White Marble Peel, and I’m already hooked! It’s packed with Vitamin C and works quickly to scrub and polish your skin. It’s a 2-step process that only takes a few minutes, but the results are noticeable right away. Find Erno Laszlo at Sephora.

And when all else fails (or you’re just in the mood to stay in and do nothing), the old scented candle + blanket + red wine trick works, too. On that note, my favorite candle is Baies by Diptyque. I also love a good Frasier Fir, when in season, or Volcano by Capri Blue in the summer.

Exercise
I’ve been a long-time runner and biker. But, it gets darker and chillier here in the Midwest, I find it difficult to exercise outdoors. So, I’m going to try a series of new workouts this winter, including:

1. Orange Theory
2. Corepower Yoga
3. FlyFeet
4. Barre
5. Spin
(we don’t have a SoulCycle in MN though. …maybe that’s a good thing?)

…Anything else you’d recommend? I’ll be writing a full-length post on this soon : )

Spa Treatments & Alternative Medicine

1. Floating
2. Massage
3. Facial
4. Pedicure
5. Up NextI’m going to try Acupuncture, Salt Room Therapy, and pay a visit to the Aire Ancient Baths NYC. I’ll create a supplemental blog post reviewing spa treatments & alternative medicine  after experiencing all of the above!

Elements-Massage-Minnesota
My most recent massage was at Elements Massage – Saint Louis Park, as part of their grand opening week!

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I enjoyed their welcoming lobby, and the ability to choose from these 4 aromatherapy scents to be used throughout my massage. I went with Radiance (although it was a tough call!). More details on the experience coming soon as part of the full Spa Treatments & Alternative Medicine post : )

Travel
Last but not least, travel. When I get out of my routine and outside of standard scenery, my mind opens up. And on that note… we’re headed to NYC this Thursday and can’t wait for plenty of exploring ahead. But, it’s never too early to plan another trip. Suggestions welcome!

Glossier Review: Skincare + Makeup Products + Promo Code!

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Get to know Glossier

Glossier just celebrated their 3rd birthday and launched in the UK. All very exciting. We’ve been fangirls for a while now, but just yesterday (literally yesterday) we made our relationship with Glossier official in the form of #Glossierrep status. This means, our love for Glossier has paid off and we get to share perks in the form of 20% off your first purchase + free shipping on orders of $30+! Unlock those deals here: https://www.glossier.com/reps/martha.

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The Classics
To us, the original Glossier Starter Set (slightly modified version of the actual Glossier Phase I Set), includes:

Milky Jelly Cleanser + Boy Brow + Generation G + The Supers.

If I literally had to choose between just one Glossier product to use for the rest of my life it would be Generation G in Jam. While it’s a close match between Gen G and Boy Brow, I find Gen G to last a *lifetime* compared to Boy Brow, which I need to replace on the reg. So, from a value standpoint Gen G is the best ever.

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Haters (and frugal friends we’ve made on the Internet) will say these $5.00 ColorPop Lippie Stix are “the same thing” or “a better thing.” TBH we still need to try them but we will. For your sake, we’ll update this post when we have a POV (point-of-view) on how the two stack up.

**Drumroll please**
In my humble (but in no way professional) opinion, my favorite Glossier products (and I’m ALL CAPS OBSESSED) rank-ordered by priority are:

1. Generation G. Specifically Jam. Zip (aka Red) also looks pretty good with my fair-to-olive-toned skin and brunette hair. Jam is my daily jam and Zip helps spice up my weekend look.

2. Boy Brow. I go brown. I also got clear but unless you color your brows with powder or pencil, PASS. The pigment makes the product. Fuller brows FTW.

3. The Supers. These little bottles are appropriately named. They really are super. The Super Pack is $65 and it comes with 3 serums that suit specific skin needs, such as combating effects of stress, dullness and dehydration.

4. Milky Jelly. Like the above, this product is appropriately named. The color is milky, the texture is jelly-like, the results are totally up to par. It’s gentle, it’s effective, it’s kind of hard to ask for anything more?

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5. Stretch Concealer. For when you need a little bit of extra coverage (without caking your entire face in product). I stretch a tad under my eyes and other problem areas as needed. Presto! Swipe some Wowder (#8) over the product and you’re set.

6. Body Hero Daily Oil Wash. I really like the smell. I just got this product, so not sure how long it will last, but I’m hoping forever because I’m kind of hooked on it.

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7. Glossier Sweatshirt. Maybe you think I’m kidding, but I’m not. It’s warm, cozy and just makes me happy, ok? When I first purchased it (I’m the gal who is normally in navy + white striped long-sleeve tees, even to bed) I wasn’t sold on it. I looked… like an inmate in Phy Ed. But yeah, it’s grown on me. I don’t wear it out of the house (maybe I’m not cool enough?) but I do wear it around the house all. the. time. I think a need a spare for when it’s in the wash. Seriously.

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8. Wowder. Puts the “wow” in powder. Pretty sure that’s how the name was invented. I’ve bought expensive setting powders, but this one is different. And cheaper. It also has fun millennial pink packaging, a matching brush, and this trampoline-style mesh that prevents spillage / messes when traveling, or just going about your daily routine.

9. Priming Moisturizer. At first I thought this was “overpriced and meh.” But it’s grown on me. For one, a lot of daily moisturizers are $$$. It’s just a really good base. Much lighter than the dense Priming Moisturizer Rich Creme (which I like, but it doesn’t make the top 10 list because I rarely use it. Ok, since winter is approaching maybe it will come back into rotation. Stay tuned).

10. Masks. These are good. They really are. If you’re super diligent with using masks on the reg, try one! Probably the moon over the green only because of versatility. If you find it hard to find time for masks they aren’t mandatory. I like them, but I don’t need them. There’s quite a bit of product inside, so they should last quite a while, which is a plus.

We promised a promo code. Here’s a link to unlock 20% off your first Glossier order, plus free shipping on orders $30+ https://www.glossier.com/reps/martha. If you want any further details on Glossier products, comment below with your question(s) and we’d be happy to provide a POV!

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Original Post: Published April 10, 2016

Glossier
Glossier is a modern beauty brand inspired by real life. We’re big fans of this mentality, given the “Style Tips for Real Life” angle we’ve woven into many posts over the years.


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Glossier was founded by Emily Weiss, the blogger and CEO behind Into the Gloss (now leading the helm at Glossier, too). Her team of 35 employees (and counting) have set out to rethink, reclaim, and redefine beauty. Gotta love a bold and ambitious #GirlBoss!

The shift from blogging about beauty products to creating beauty products was a natural one. As they put it, “We are creating a highly edited collection of modern staples reflecting how you get ready every day, starting with the most important thing—a perfectly primed canvas (your skin!)—and working our way up.”

After hearing rave reviews of Glossier skincare products from many female friends (both on the Internet and IRL), we had to try them out. They are simple, straightforward and hard not to love!

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Glossier recently launched Phase II: Makeup. A 3-piece line including Generation G Lips, Stretch Concealer and Boy Brow. Like their skin care line, these beauty basics are designed to leave you fresh & glowing : )

The reviews of this new product line have us *adding to cart* as we speak!
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Shop Glossier Phase II

If you’re new to Glossier, you’re eligible for 20% off your first purchase. Shop via ➞ https://www.glossier.com/reps/martha to unlock your discount!

Did we mention it comes with adorable packaging complete with a sheet of Glossier stickers?

 

UPDATE: 4/20/16 – While the Stretch Concealer has been SOLD OUT for some time now, we were able to get our hands on Generation G Lip Color (in Crush), Boy Brow in Brown & the Mega Greens Galaxy Pack aka ‘juice cleanse for your face.’

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As anticipated, we understand why these products have a cult-like following, and anxiously anticipate future product lines (and current ones coming back in stock)! Shop Glossier skincare and makeup on Glossier.com.

October Bucket List

It’s officially October. We’re excited about this month for a few reasons – from fall leaves to our No Spend Challenge, to our JCR Girls reunion (starting October 26 in NYC!). What gets you excited about October?

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To make the most of this month, we’ve put together a list of favorite fall activities to do over the next 31 days. Here’s a glimpse at our list:

  • Visit an apple orchard
  • Visit a pumpkin patch
  • Carve said pumpkin
  • Go on an outdoor wine tasting tour (or, if that fails we’ll just sip our Winc on the deck!)
  • Mull wine and/or cider
  • Take a fall foliage walk and/or scenic drive
  • Run and/or bike outside; breathe in the crisp autumn air
  • Bake apple crisp and/or pumpkin pie
  • Make chili
  • Have a bonfire
  • Go on a ghost tour

What’s on yours? I’m not super into haunted houses or corn mazes, but we’ll see how this ghost tour goes!

P.S. anxiously awaiting peak leaf season over here…

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Follow our fall adventures on Insta Stories @thejcrgirls!