February is the month of love, and sis really took some time to get acquainted with herself.
After finding my long-lost confidence in January, I was starting to feel more comfortable and more like the old me. I’ve been very vocal about this pandemic and its affects on my mental health, but that confidence boost really helped gear my brain into a newfound sense of accountability. I sat myself down, set some intentions for the month and put my nose to the grindstone.
This month was spent solely on the idea of forming successful habits, diving deep in the vault for the tips and tricks from when I felt my life was in near perfect shape: I started making To-Do Lists again (& actually crossing things off of it); I began practicing yoga again; and above all, I started talking to myself like I talk to my friends, which has been the biggest lesson of all.
I don’t truly feel that the year really starts until my birthday, which is this month. January and February were great starts to the New Year and now I feel equipped to take on 28 headstrong.
Here were some of my favorite products this month:
Love Is A Revolution book
Let me introduce you to a story that I guarantee you’ll love.
Love Is a Revolution is a young adult story about a girl named Nala, who finds the boy of her dreams, Tye, but the problem is is Tye is everything that Nala isn’t: He’s an activist and is bettering the community while Nala would rather just chill during summer vacay. She fakes it until Tye falls for her, something she can’t believe as a curvier girl, but not before the truth gets exposed, causing her to really deep dive into who she’s really meant to be.
I chose this book specifically because TheEveryGirl, one of my favorite resources, had posted a To-Do List for the month of February which included reading a book from a new-to-you black author for Black History Month. Renee Watson is a black female author and this story was anticipated to be a breakthrough release, which made me even more excited when my library had a digital copy right after its release date!
This is technically a love story, but I would say it’s more about loving yourself, which is such an important topic to drive home to young kids reading this. It sells the point that you don’t need someone else’s affection to prove your worth, which is a little reminder I needed to hear this month. This is a quick, cute read and it might have become my favorite book I’ve read so far this year.
[Follow me on my Reading Challenge of 20 books in 2021! Currently, I’ve read 6 books this year]
Maybelline Lash Sensational Washable Mascara
I’m pretty positive that I used to use this mascara back in the day, but I have fallen back in love with this sensation.
Thanks to TikTok, I (am pretty sure re)discovered this drugstore treasure. This is one of the few mascaras that lift and separate each individual lash for me and gives them the fanned out appearance which ultimately makes them look longer and fuller. Pictured left, my right eye has two coats of the mascara against my natural lash. Each lash looks elongated and thickened, without appearing too much like spider legs. 🕷 I’m going to be fully honest, it doesn’t give them the falsies look, but there is not a single mascara that I’ve tried out that has achieved that particular look.
I especially like this mascara because it doesn’t flake off, but when it’s time to hit the hay, it washes off without excess rubbing. It’s been a long time since I’ve fallen in love with a drugstore mascara, but Maybelline has been a tried and true for forever.
Liquid IV Hydration Multipliers
I totally get the purpose of influencers after my experiences with Liquid IV and I commend them for their services.
At the start of the month, I had the worst cramps ever in my calf, to the point that walking was even a challenge. I recalled seeing these packets on some girls I follow on IG and immediately made a trip to Target to stock up because I knew that the cramping was due to dehydration. Anything would have helped at that point and I was willing to take whatever I could hobble towards.
Scientifically, I’m just going to regurgitate the information on their website to you because I don’t actually know what any of it means, but I know that I felt a hell of a lot better after drinking these for about a day. It’s 2-3 times more hydrating than water and 3 times more hydrating than sports drinks and it’s got a bunch of essential vitamins that are good for you.
You know I gotta keep it real with everyone, these are HELLA SALTY on the first sip. Like, take a teaspoon of salt right to the tastebuds salty. But I promise you after that first initial contact, the flavor is smooth and they go down easily. Plus, it helps that you can drink as many as you need without consequences. These would be perfect for a hangover recovery (if you’re of the legal age!), so I plan on stocking up on these.
billie Floof dry shampoo
It hasn’t been any secret that Billie has bettered my life, so are we really surprised that I added another favorite? (Answer: Not in the slightest)
For starters, it doesn’t come in an aerosol can which gives me peace of mind to be a little more beauty conscious, and it makes it the perfect travel companion! The needlepoint applicator ensures that you won’t make a mess and you can target the root of the problem, grease. Made with biotin, rice starch and baking soda, you know you’re not putting garbage on your scalp and you can extend your wash day another day (or three!)
This also doubles as a volumizer, giving your hair an absolute refresh every time. I also love that I can include this with my billie razor subscription, so I’ll never be in a pinch for dry shampoo.
Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Nail Polish in Thyme is Money
When all this pandemic mumbo jumbo started nearly a year ago, the one thing that I was actually confident to do myself were my nails, as I’ve been doing my own manicures for ages.
I’ve always been a snob when it comes to nail polish brands, relying heavily on Essie and OPI, however when money’s tight and I get bored with my polishes quickly, I’ve learned to look elsewhere. A friend of mine had told me how much she liked Sally Hansen, and bought their White Out shade over the summer, where it quickly became a favorite.
The Insta-Dri formula is perfect for the impatient people like me who don’t have all day to sit around and watch paint dry. With a base coat, two coats of polish and a top coat, I’m done in as little as 10 minutes. No joke.
Thyme is Money is a gorgeous sage green that’s going to brighten up your spring days ahead. I’m not overly rough on my hands, but I rarely get chips when using this polish and can usually go a little over a week.
I guess this will sort of lead into my intangible, but I think it’s important to break the two down to understand the whole mindset of the month.
Let’s keep it 💯: Sis hasn’t been very kind to herself and has really struggled with mental health lately. After a turbulent year, I really wanted to bring it back to ground zero and get a little uncomfortable with myself as I built up habits and practices. One of the biggest things that helped me in this facet was affirmations.
Affirmations, by definition are ‘positive statements that can help you to challenge and overcome self-sabotaging and negative thoughts’. For so long, I’ve really been harsh on myself, comparing myself to past success and being downright mean to me. The way I spoke to myself, I would never in a million years speak to a friend, so why was I being so ugly to myself? Why was I so angry or upset that I would ridicule myself into this awful headspace?
That quickly changed when I discovered that confidence last month and I knew that in order to eventually love someone else, I needed to love myself first. Starting with a daily affirmation that I wrote on a sticky note, I’d look at it daily and repeated it, until it became second nature and in hand forced me to be a lot more forgiving and kinder to myself. One day, I happened to be on IG and one of my favorites Courtney Shields shared how she’s teaching her daughter Kinsley affirmations and how she’s naturally affirmed people in her life. I absolutely loved this, and want to adopt this practice whenever I have kids someday.
Intangible: Commitment to establishing habits; Forgiveness to past self
With this new narrative on how I spoke to myself, it really made it easier to establish habits.
In hand with establishing habits, I learned to forgive myself quite a bit for the rocky ordeal that was 2020. Because I was speaking more kindly to myself, it made me more focused to sit down and actually asset the problems in my life and therefore creating those habits.
The month as a whole, I listened to what I needed: If it was doing yoga every day for two weeks to ground myself, I did; If it meant laying on the couch all Sunday morning to finish a book I was invested, I did it; and if it meant taking time with some girlfriends to do some soul searching, I did it. My habits might not have been consistent for the whole month, but when I lacked in one category, I strengthened in another. It was a balancing act that I needed, and honestly I’m hella proud of myself for doing.
When I came into the month, I knew I wasn’t going to hit the ground running with goals and ambitions. The main focus was to just find that common space to explore what I needed in this season of life. I had the confidence in my pocket that I lacked for so long, and now I just needed to find the person I used to be and love her a little more.
February ’21 Faves Video 🎥