Your Makeup Could Be Toxic For You

Your Makeup Could Be Toxic For You

And just when I thought I found my holy grail nude lip...bummer.

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How is it that I've gone twenty-two years on this planet and not stopped to consider the ingredients in my face and body products? I've been wearing makeup for as long as I've been allowed. Growing up, I could makeup twice a week and on special occasions. I used to stash makeup in my backpack so I could put it on in the school bathroom without getting caught. Today, makeup is my passion. Makeup is how I express myself and showcase my creativity. Every approaching holiday, most people get excited about the food or celebrations. Meanwhile, I can't contain myself over the new product releases and makeup looks I'm waiting to create. While I don't wear makeup every day, I can't go one day without other products, including deodorant or lotion. For years, I've had a consistent daily skincare routine.

Yet, it wasn't until recently that I took the time to research my product ingredients, the daily items that absorb into my skin and seep into my pores.

At this point, you're probably picturing your bathroom cabinet, wondering which products are safe. Don't worry, you don't need a Ph.D. in Chemistry to differentiate safe products from harmful ones. Recently, I attended an event when the owner of Skin Owl Cosmetics introduced me to Think Dirty, an app that scans products and rates them on a numerical scale, indicating the safeness. The app lists ingredients and color codes them to illustrate toxicity.

I was devastated to find some of my favorite brands and products contain Talc, an ingredient known to cause cancer. More heartbreaking was the realization that on average, drugstore makeup contains worse ingredients than high-end makeup. As a college student, I'm accustomed to cheap everything. Cup of Noodles is a weekly meal.

I bet you're curious if I tossed ALL my unsafe products. The answer...nah. While I would normally use any excuse to shop, I'm still balling on a budget.

By no means does this change my love for makeup. I will continue wearing lipstick and lashes until I die. Catch me in my grave with full GLAM because in no way am I leaving this world in any other fashion. Still, it didn't hurt to toss out my most toxic products that were probably expired anyway.

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Being Homesick Is Normal For College Students, Don't Feel Bad About It

I've heard enough horror stories to know that being home is honestly an escape from negative people, negative feelings, and even just being homesick.

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When you first move into the residence halls and get all settled, you will feel really excited about being in a new place. If you're anything like me though, it was a really hard adjustment. Many students enjoy the freedom they've wanted for so long, no more checking in, going out drinking, parties, etc. However, for others who are homebodies, this is a really hard change to handle.

It's also a struggle to overcome what seems the norm for a college student, which is taking advantage of your freedom from adult supervision by staying out until the early morning hours. However, I have to say that that norm isn't really the typical college life because there are a lot of different kinds of students — one of them is the homebody.

Basically, what I mean by this is someone who prefers to be home with their family and dogs; just being back in their hometown make them happy. For me, I go home every other weekend, which would be more frequent if it wasn't because of my work schedule. I don't really want to party. To be honest, I have never felt like I'm missing out on anything by being this way.

Sure, I still like spending time with friends and even drinking occasionally, but nothing beats being at home. To me, being home is the best — watching tv in my own room, sleeping in my own bed and eating homemade meals cooked by my mom have no equal. I look forward to my mom making my favorite meal when I am home. Also, I get to watch the Chicago Blackhawks with my entire family as my mom gets frustrated and yells at the TV as if the players can hear her tell them what exactly they need to do.

Being home shouldn't be something to shame college students for. People need to understand that this is where they escape to and relax. College is extremely stressful, considering you're pretty much thrown into adulthood — we're all being repeatedly punched with new responsibilities throughout the four years. Home is a safe place for so many students because this is where they can go for love and support when life gets them down.

Leaving behind your own space to share a small space with someone you've most likely never met can be really stressful. I've heard enough horror stories to know that being home is an escape from negative people, negative feelings, and even just being homesick. So, stop judging someone who foregoes parties and opts out to heading home instead.

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I've Attended A Private University, A Community College, And A Public University— Community College Was My Favorite

I was wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with community college.

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My college experience was like a story in that it had a beginning, middle, and end. It began when I was just seventeen when I packed up and moved across the country to attend a private university on the East Coast. But before that, all throughout K-12, my academic life was just as busy as anyone else's.

My hometown community was small and people typically knew one another. Students differed obviously in their abilities and their work ethics and of course, some students were destined to attend the most prestigious of Ivy League schools. For the most part, however, the people I interacted with were satisfied going to nearby state schools, even aiming for UC schools like Berkeley and UCLA. The agreement, however, which often went unspoken, was that the local community college known as Cabrillo was not a place anyone wanted to go if they ever wanted to get out of the small town of Santa Cruz, California.

From the time I was in elementary school, Cabrillo College was stigmatized in the worst ways. It was stereotyped as a place for dropouts and underachievers. Growing up and hearing only negative stories about the local community college, I wanted to get as far away as possible. Ultimately, that's what I did.

When I was a high school senior, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I grew up an intensive athlete, but following an injury that ended my athletic career, my focus switched from athletics to academics. I was smart, luckily competitive gymnastics wasn't the only thing I had going for me. I had the grades but school was just school to me. My entire life, I focused on a sport that I thought would take me to the collegiate level and after that ended, I had no idea what I was going to do. When I thought about college, I thought about athletic scholarships, not majors. I didn't know the first thing about what possible academic majors were out there. THAT WAS MY FIRST RED FLAG. That right there should have been my sign, my sign to go to community college.

But instead, the stigma surrounding community college got to my head. That and, my college academic advisor at the time kept pushing private liberal art colleges down my throat. In the end, I think I applied to over ten colleges, many of them being private colleges, with their own separate supplemental questions and an even more expensive application fee. I ended up attending a small private liberal arts college in Washington D.C. because apparently liberal arts schools are meant to help students, select majors, when they're otherwise undecided. Needless to say, the tuition was insanely high, the academics were average, the food was subpar and the housing was overcrowded and lacking. I left after a semester.

Having what I feel was wasted an obscene amount of money at a school I wasn't too fond of, I wanted to spend some time deciding my next move before doing anything else. After taking a semester off of school and focusing on work, I returned to college, this time to Cabrillo.

Maybe the stigma is applicable to some community college students, but the ones I met were dedicated and had every intention of transferring to a university in 2-3 years. At Cabrillo, I joined the Honors Program and the Honors Society Club, but rather than thinking of it as an intensive program, it was, in fact, a tightknit community of intelligent individuals with their own personal goals.

The teachers and mentors I had at community college cared more about my wellbeing than any other school staff member ever has. The friends I made in the Honors Program are some of my best friends to this day. The Honors Program prepared me for a 4-year university better than any high school AP class ever did.

After two years at my community college, I transferred to a four-year. I love my school because I've met people from around the world and become friends with amazing individuals. Not to mention the classes are unique and university college culture is a worthwhile experience. Plus, nothing beats the dining halls when the food is, bomb!

Still, Community College was my favorite. Many of my classes there were harder than my classes at American University and UCLA, the schools I attended prior to and following community college. While the classes were challenging, they prepared me for classes at UCLA. Community college work is often stigmatized as being simple, but my classes during community college were anything but. However, I had help because there truly was a sense of community, in the classroom and beyond. For that reason, I will always be proud of my time as a community college student.

Not to mention, my one semester at American was probably just as expensive as one of my two years at UCLA, or my entire two years at community college.

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