Ipsy Subscription: The First Three Months

This past September I finally gave in and signed up for an Ipsy subscription. After seeing friends and bloggers talking about how awesome the service is and after realizing how great the 10$/month price is, I just had to try it out for myself. Ever since I got my first bag in October, I have been wanting to write about the Glam bag, but I decided to wait until I had received a few so readers could get a better idea of what they would be getting with Ipsy. First, I want to say that the value of the glam bags is great. You get at least one full size product a month, which alone is usually over $10, along with four other products, usually sample-sized. The value of the bag is always over $10. The quality of products that I have gotten so far has been good too. I haven’t received an item yet that I don’t like. The Ipsy subscription service is great for those of us on a budget or anyone who loves to try out new products. And what I really love about Ipsy is that the beauty quiz they have you take when you sign up really reflects in the products you get each month. I also just received my fourth Glam bag on Saturday and I’m loving the products in it as well. Somehow, they’ve managed to send me items that I’m either really into at the moment, like eyebrow products currently, or something that I need. I’m totally sold on this subscription service!Read More »


10 Links To Help You Take The Semester Head On

In need of some new organizational skills? Struggling with knowing how to best study? Wanting some fresh motivation to take with you to class? Well, I have some great links here to help you with all of that and more. I know how hard it is to stay organized and on top of everything when the semester gets in full swing, but I’ve been able to greatly reduce my stress and improve my performance in class by doing some of the very things that these links talk about. So whether you’re trying to dramatically change your study habits so your grades go from Ds to As or you’re just wanting to refine some of your organizational skills, these great links can help you do that this semester and beyond.

  1. How to Read a Textbook (Because we all know reading textbooks can be pretty boring)
  2. 10 College Studying Don’ts (How-to’s are great, but sometimes we don’t realize the mistakes we make)
  3. The Ultimate Guide to College Organization (This girl has got some pretty great tips that cover a lot of ground)
  4. 12 Habits of Highly Productive People (Maybe you just want to be more productive in general. These tips will definitely help)
  5. 10+ Must Have Apps for College Students (Apps can make your life so, so much easier)
  6. 9 Things to Bring on Your Next Library Study Binge (For finals, or midterms, or what have you)
  7. The Best Study Tips for College (We covered the don’ts, so here are some do’s)
  8. How to Get Your Best Grades in College (Here’s an article for those needing to improve their grades)
  9. How To Develop a Routine and Stop Wasting a Time (Developing a routine is a fantastic way to up your productivity and organization)
  10. How to Make Your College Paper Stand Out (In a Good Way) (These are fabulous tips on writing papers that have worked for me as well)

How to Buy Textbooks and NOT Empty Your Bank Account

Attention all college students! Since this week is probably your first week back and you’re looking at all the books you have to buy for class, I’m sure you’re also probably freaking out over all the ridiculously high prices. Seriously, some of those costs are criminal! I don’t know how anyone can justify pricing a book at $300, but yet it’s still done. However, I have good news for you budget-savvy people: there is a way to save money on textbooks. You don’t have to go back to school already broke and eating ramen until your next paycheck because of textbook prices. Yay! I’m going to show you how this is possible with the method I use for saving the $$$ on the books I need for school.

The first thing you want to do is make a list of all the books you’ll need for the semester. Keep it looking nice and neat. It will help with the whole process. I like to write the list out, organizing by class. You’ll want to leave some space in between the individual books so you can write down comparative prices.

Next you want to start looking up your book prices. I usually check three places, sometimes four, for my textbooks. I use my university’s bookstore, Amazon.com, and Chegg.com. Sometimes I also check a local store that sells textbooks. I look up each book in each place, finding the best price, and then I write that price down and where its at. So, for example, if I’m getting a biology book, I would check for the book at my bookstore, Amazon, and Chegg and write down the prices for all three places. I have a picture below of my system for this.

Once I’ve gone through all the books I need, I read through my list, highlighting the best prices, and then I order my books from those places. Pretty simple system, right? Of course, it isn’t necessary to write everything down like I do, but if you like being really organized and methodical like myself, then the list is very helpful. And trust me, going through the trouble of checking every book at multiple places really is worth it. If you check out the photo of my textbook list (top right corner), I ended up saving $126 by making sure I was finding the best prices instead of buying everything at the university bookstore. Also, I rarely rent books because most of what I need for class are materials I plan on keeping, but renting books can also save you even more money, especially renting from places like Amazon and Chegg. I also get very few books from my university’s book store in general because their prices are almost always more expensive. And although it may be a bit more convenient to be able to walk to a store on campus and get everything I need, rather than waiting for books to be delivered, I find that having more funds in the bank feels much better! (Plus, I know we’ll all need that extra money for coffee and energy drinks when tests and papers hit.)

I know that my textbooks for school may not be as expensive as what others need, but even when I’ve had books more in the hundred dollar range, I’ve still saved a lot by making sure I was getting the best price possible. For example, I remember one semester my book total was around $500, but I dropped it to around $300 by shopping around instead of getting them all at one place. I also buy used books 99% of the time to save money as well and I’ve always been happy with their quality.

The System

In summary, keep a list of the books you’ll need and compare the prices at multiple places. Also, don’t buy new textbooks and don’t ever buy them all at one place. Shopping around and finding the best prices really helps bring the total cost of textbooks down. If you have any questions or more tips about saving money on textbooks, or more information about where to get textbooks,  let me know in the comments below!

Favorite Fall Lip Colors

Fall is in full swing now. The leaves are changing, fall holidays are coming up quickly, and the weather…well, the weather isn’t quite cooperating, but we’ll just focus on the pumpkin lattes and Halloween decorations for now! I can’t wait for it to cool down more, though. I’m impatiently waiting to break out the scarves and oversized sweaters. But while I’m waiting for the right weather for fall clothes, I’m breaking out the fall makeup in its entirety, including unique eyeliner colors and bronzy eyeshadows. Another important part of fall makeup is the lip, which, during fall, you can make understated or dark and moody. I think the fall lip may be my favorite look. So, in celebration of the wonderful colors that make up the fall lip look, I’m going to share my personal favorites with you all. As usual, I have budget-friendly picks, but I also have two items that are a little pricier, but worth the splurge. And of course, these fall colors will look amazing on gingers as well!Read More »

My Favorite Amazing Budget Products

I’m always looking for new products that are both high in quality and low in price. This goal can be hard to meet when it comes to makeup. There are so many different formulas and brands that just choosing what to get can be hard all on its own (when the packaging is super cute, the choice is even harder, am I right?). Then, once you’ve finally gotten a product that you think is great, you use it and are very disappointed. I know the struggle! That’s why I’m going to share a few of my favorite budget products that definitely did not disappoint.Read More »

Easy Tips for Back to School (or whenever you’re in a hurry!)

Hey guys! Today is not my usual day for posting, I know, but today is special because my dear friend Abby Faith uploaded her new video to her channel and that video has ME in it. Crazy right?? So I wanted to take this time to introduce Abby to you guys before you head off to watch the video.

Here’s what she looks like (such a cutie, right?)


“I’m Abby Faith. I run a YouTube channel that focuses on making people smile, teaching someone something, and  encouraging people at the same time.”

Abby is a makeup addict like myself and she’s pretty talented at it! Not only is she good at everyday makeup, but she can also do costume makeup as well. I often find myself asking her for advice and opinions on makeup. We also share a love of Doctor Who and we both have red hair. She’s just all around awesome!

So in our video you’ll find some cool tips for easy outfits, simple makeup routines, and organization tips, along with some possibly funny moments (it was my first time filming a video, so the bloopers were plentiful). These tips are great for students, but honestly anyone who needs ideas for easy routines and tips could find them helpful. I hope you guys enjoy!!

For a description of the products I used in my makeup tutorial, go here. For details on the some of the clothing items I wore, go here.

Stepping Out Of My Comfort Zone Part 2

Awhile back, I let the blogosphere in on a little secret of mine: There are fashion and beauty trends that I’m scared of trying. Shocker, I know! In an attempt to show others that it’s ok to step out of their comfort and challenge them and myself to do so, I listed few things I hadn’t tried out yet (you can find the post here). However, it’s been a couple months and I’ve had opportunities to widen the comfort zone, so it’s time for an update. The trends/items I listed were red lips, high heels, floral print, rompers, and printed shorts. I can say that I have successfully worn four out of the five items! Pretty good, right? So let’s see which items those are…Read More »

A Simple Night Routine

Last week I shared a simple makeup routine (here) with you guys for days at school or when you’ve woken up late and need to save all the time you can, something that happens to me fairly often. Many of you found the routine helpful and enjoyed finding new ways to shorten your time getting ready in the mornings, which I’m very happy about! For this post, though, I’m going to talk about the flip side of the morning makeup routine–taking it all off at night. During the school year, days are long and nights are late. Your energy is depleted and at the end of the day, when the homework may or may not be completed, all you want to do is fall into bed and sleep. In these moments of sleepiness and stress, I am often guilty of not taking off my makeup. My skin is clear and sometimes dry, so I don’t breakout badly. However, random pimples pop up a day or two after my night of sleeping with makeup on. So, to avoid this problem and keep my skin healthy, I developed a simple night routine that only requires two steps (sounds pretty easy, right??) and I am pleased to say that for the last couple of weeks, I have stuck with it and I love the results!

Read More »

My “Ten Minutes Tops” Makeup Routine for Going to Class

Sadly, summer is coming to a close. Not only do we have just over a month left of the season on our calendars, but for all of us who are going back to school, the end is even closer. I only have until the 26th of August myself (Five days!!). With this in mind, I’ve set out to develop a quick routine for my early mornings or when I “accidentally” hit snooze too many times. When I’m going to class, I like to look presentable. I feel like I come across as more prepared and/or professional when it appears as if I’ve put a little thought into how I look (Honestly, though, I rarely feel professional or prepared. Fake it ’till you make it, right?). However, sometimes I get carried away in the mornings and try to do too much, which only makes me even more late. I’m chronically late, if I’m being honest with myself. So this makeup routine is going to solve all those problems. Ok, some of those problems. It’s quick, looks put together, and will still allow me to have enough time in the mornings to grab that cup of coffee before flying out the door. And the best part? It will only take ten minutes. Tops.Read More »

July Clean Out and No Buy July Update

Why am I still posting about July while we’re in the middle of August, you ask? Because I haven’t quite gotten my blogging rhythm down yet. As a new blogger, there have been many challenges already and there is so much more ahead for me to learn. And sometimes in the midst of all the information being thrown my way about blogging, I forget to actually blog. However, in order to provide myself with some sanity and prevent too much stress, I have decided to focus on three areas right now: a consistent posting schedule, my Pinterest activity, and a mailing list. As with almost anything in life, consistency will be key for these areas. (By the way, if you would like to be added to my mailing list and give me some feedback on my first newsletter, shoot me an email at gingerlifeblog@gmail.com. I greatly appreciate any and all feedback!)Read More »