BATTLE OF THE PALETTES: W7 Lightly Toasted vs. Joly NK1

Hello frenz and Happy Friday! I hope you all had a wonderful week! I can't believe it's Friday already! I'm not sure where these days are going, but today is going to be fun because we're going to be talking about eye shadow palettes! I have about 12 palettes currently, some I use frequently and then there are some that I forget I even have (I can't be the only one). Today I will be talking about two palettes by two brands that don't have too much publicity…so let's just jump right into this, shall we?!

In one corner, weighing a whopping three grams with an expiration of five years is the Joly NK1 palette. I purchased this palette off of Amazon about two years ago. The colors were insanely similar to the Urban Decay Naked palette, and I thought it would be a possible dupe.

In the other corner, coming in at a whopping 15.6 grams and an expiration of 18 months is the W7 In The Buff: Lightly Toasted palette (ain't that a mouthful).

I purchased this palette around the same time that I purchased the NK1 palette, again, hoping it would be a dupe for UD Naked. Do you see an ongoing theme here? I can't tell you for sure if either of these palettes are dupes for UD Naked because I've never owned it, nor have I ever swatched it, but the shades look very similar.

So in preparation for this post, I did some research on both of these palettes. When I looked up the brand Joly on Google, I found the brand's website…which is rather sketchy, if you ask me. They don't have very many products, which I thought was a bit odd.

They have three eye shadow palettes; NK1, NK2 and NK3, which I'm assuming are supposed to be similar to the UD Naked line. They have a set of brushes, along with a brush stand and some powder puffs. When going to their about page, they don't specify anything about the company or the makeup they sell on their site…instead they talk about baby care products?

The whole site was incredibly confusing and gave zero insight into what the company is and what they do. They list that they are based out of California, but then list another address out of China. I won't even begin to tell you about their description of the product, because it was an absolute mess and was probably written by someone with less than half a brain stem. It also says to keep away from contact with eyes…but it's eye shadow so I'm confused???

Upon doing further research on this company and its products, I found absolutely nothing, which is really bizarre to me. If they are selling enough products to be at the top when you search on Amazon, then why isn't there more information about them? Am I just looking in the wrong place?

W7 is a popular brand in the UK, while also having an online store for the States. They have a vegan line, as well as hella palettes to choose from, along with other products like setting powder, foundation, eyeliner and whatever else your little heart desires. At least this brand's website seems a lot more legit that Joly!

The Lightly Toasted palette has 12 colors, ranging from nudes to coppers to golds. There are two matte shades, with the rest being shimmery and metallic. W7 also claims that the colors are highly pigmented with little fallout and they're not prone to creasing. Well, we're just going to put that to the test.

Now first off, these palettes aren't exact matches. A few of the shades are darker or lighter or more metallic than the latter, but all in all, they're seemingly similar palettes.

NK1 doesn't have shade names listed in or on the packaging, whereas Lightly Toasted has them listed on the back. If you're anything like me, you love your shade names — ten points to Lightly Toasted.

My arm isn't long enough to swatch 24 colors, so I split the swatches up into four each, going from left to right in the palettes.

As you can see, the beginning four nude shades hardly have any pigmentation from either palette, so I wasn't too impressed and was concerned about the pigmentation on the eyes. The NK1 palette is a lot creamier to the touch than Lightly Toasted. With Lightly Toasted, you really had to press hard to get product, and the product you did get had very little pigment.

You can see with the darker shades that they are highly pigmented for both palettes, although they still aren't exact matches for one another. Lightly Toasted has more sparkle in the shades, whereas NK1 has more of a metallic sheen.

When applying to the eyes, I find that the creaminess of NK1 gives it the ability to blend out seamlessly, without completely blending away. It also left fall out, but not enough to be bothered by it. Lighlty Toasted wasn't patchy when applied to the eyes, but it was a bitch and a half to blend, especially the darker colors. The metallic colors weren't as metallic as the NK1 shades and the two darker shades in Lightly Toasted (Up in Smoke and Dawn) have EXTREME sparkle to them. So when I tried to smoke out my look a little bit with the black shade, the sparkle and uneasiness to blend made those shades hard to work with.

Below is the look that I created using both of these palettes. The camera captured the colors beautifully. Can you spot the differences?

W7 claims that Lightly Toasted has little fall out, so at least I knew what I was getting myself into. What was most annoying about the fallout was that it was really only present on the darker shades, which were the most pigmented; leaving the process of wiping away the fallout a pain in the ass. It would just smudge and the color wouldn't budge (haha I made a rhyme). The creaminess of the NK1 palette causes the shadow to break and crumble, so I definitely had to use a lighter hand when dipping into those shades.

I wore these shadows all day (like 8 hours) to give you guys an accurate review of their wear. Today was a hot one – though I rarely was outside, I could still feel my skin build up more oil under my foundation. These shadows were really put to the test.

On the NK1 eye, you can see that the metallic sheen has worn off almost completely. Although the picture gives this look better justice, in person, you can see that the outer and darker shades have starting to slide a bit into the crease with lost pigmentation.

Lightly Toasted is still going strong. The metallic shade has hardly lost its sheen, although you can tell that awful blending job on my outer V with Up in Smoke (I told you they're hard to blend!)

These weren't the worst palettes I've ever used. Most of the colors have decent pigmentation and the formula of both weren't terrible, although I prefer the creaminess of the NK1. They're not something I think

I would use for everyday looks. I wish that there were more matte shades in these palettes. I love shimmer and metallics but it's hard to work with almost all shimmer shades. NK1 went on so pigmented and smooth — I really wish that pigmentation would've lasted throughout the day.

If I had to choose one to go with, I would favor Lightly Toasted. Although I wish they were creamier and had better pigmentation in their nude shades, I really like that the shadows lasted all day without creasing or smudging. It's a really decent palette for only $12.95 and I can't wait to try more from W7! I don't want to shit on the Joly brand because this is the only thing I've tried from them, but I really wish their website made more sense. Their palette isn't horrible, but there's very little information available about it which drives me a little bonkers.

I know this post was long, but I had a lot to say about these palettes. What good is having a makeup blog if you're not going to write detailed reviews? I had a lot of fun using these shades and doing the research to put this post together — let me know in the comments if you'd like to see more Battle Of series! What are some of your favorite eye shadow palettes? I'd love to hear about 'em!

SFX MAKEUP TIPS: Reference Pictures

Hello, frenz and happy Monday! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. I took a little break from makeup this weekend to heal my poor, dry facial skin. The cocoa butter has yet again saved the day and returned my skin to its regular, moisturized state. Anyway, today's post is all about my favorite type of makeup…that's right, we're gonna be talking about special effects makeup! Let's jump right into this, shall we?

I've been doing special effects makeup for about three weeks, maybe a little longer. I've definitely progressed since my first go at it and I've learned certain things along the way. One of the most important things I've learned is using reference pictures to bring your look to life. There's one specific look that I think of when I talk about referencing, and that's my third-eyed gypsy look that I created a few weekends ago (or maybe sooner, I don't know, I'm terrible with time). 

What you don't know about that look is that the one I posted on Instagram was the second rendition. The original look was thrown together in about an hour…and looks nothing like the version that took me two hours, just on the eye alone.

image1 (3)

If you look at these pictures side by side, you can obviously tell which one is better. You can see on the first one there is absolutely no shading and highlighting. The pupil and iris itself look completely fake. There is no tear duct detail. There is no illusion of the eye actually being a part of my forehead. The funny thing about the first one is that I was actually planning on that being the final look! But I couldn't do it — I didn't have it in me to call that wimpy, pathetic looking eye the final product. I scratched the idea completely.

My future mother-in-law tagged me in an article a few days later about a girl who does illusion makeup. I will link it here because this girl is seriously phenomenal at SFX and illusions. Anywhoo, as I was scrolling through, I saw this look that she created of eyes all over her face.

As you can see, the details are immaculate and the eyes look so incredibly real. That's when I knew I had to do the third-eyed gypsy makeup over again. And that's when a new skill was formed.

What I learned from this is that you must have something to go off of, especially if you're a beginner. I saved the picture and studied it. I referenced it throughout the entire process of creating my own eye. Now, obviously, I didn't copy it completely. Chances are she used entirely different products than I, and I don't have the skill that she has. But the point is that referencing can make all the difference. I referenced the shading on the whites of her eyes. I referenced the shading around the outer eye to make it appear circular and to give the illusion of it being a part of my face. It turned into something I never in a million years thought I could do. I've been using reference pictures ever since, and it has progressed my SFX skill to the high heavens.

You have to remember that makeup is an art. In art classes, pictures are referenced and recreated. It's the same with SFX makeup or even every day makeup. If you're really trying to get into SFX makeup but can't quite get the hang of it, try studying and referencing. And hey, even if you're not into makeup, you can always try this tip for painting or drawing or whatever kind of art you're into. It might make all the difference.spooky

FIRST IMPRESSION FRIDAY: e.l.f. Duo Eyebrow Kit

Hello, frenz and happy FriYAY!!! If you read my last post, you would know that I am changing up my blog. What I've come to decide is that I like makeup and that's what I want to write about. I apologize for all the confusion that has come with the change up, but makeup is something I love and it's something I want to pursue. I hope you all stick around to read my new content! As you can tell by the title, today is First Impression Friday, so let's jump right into this, shall we?

Let's talk about brows. Brows shape your face and they can either make or break your look. I've been fussing with my brows for YEARS and have just recently learned what works well for me and what doesn't. Now for the record, I don't have one set brow product. I use Maybelline's Nude eye shadow palette for my brows. Go ahead and judge me. The only brow product I've found that I truly love is the Anasatasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz, but I went through it super quick and I lack the bread to repurchase. So since then, I've been experimenting with different brow products, as well as shadows, to give me the perfect brow.

So today, I'm going to talk about a very popular brow product, E.LF.'s Duo Eyebrow Kit.image3
This product has been in my collection since about this time last year. I've wanted to try it forever, but could never find the blonde shade that I needed. I once tried the dark shades and I immediately regretted that decision and it turned me off to the product for some time. But alas, my local Wal-Mart had the blonde shade in stock and I purchased it for a measly $3…only to let it sit in my collection. Yesterday, I stumbled upon it and thought to give it a go.

This product is a duo, with a pigmented wax and a powder. The wax is a darker shade than the powder. It has more of a red undertone, whereas the powder is more ashy, with a cooler undertone. It comes in a tiny compact with a mirror attached to the inside top of the lid. Also included is a mini double-ended applicator; one side being an angled brush and the other being a small blending brush.image2
I chose not to use the applicator that came with it and, instead, reached for my E.L.F. angled brush, mainly because it has a longer handle and it's what I always use to fill in my brows.

By just looking at the pigmented wax, you wouldn't think it would be any different from their darker shades, but upon swatching, you can see that it is a much lighter brown, almost like a dirty natural blonde.image1 (2)

When applying the wax, it goes on very smooth and was more pigmented than I had anticipated. It worked well and filled in the part of my brows that were fuller, but the formula's consistency made it hard to fill in the sparse parts of my brows. It has a rather oily consistency and smudged easily. Wiping away the edges of my brow with my finger smudged the ends entirely. I couldn't really reach the product into the arch of my brow where I needed more coverage. I tried going in with the powder portion and it did a decent job at mattfying the wax, but was no good at giving my arch coverage.

Once I got the outer part of my brows filled in as much as I could, I started working on the inner part. My brows have been over-plucked for years (currently trying to grow them back), so I hardly have any hair on the inner brow, and the hair that I do have is a very light blonde. Again, the consistency gave me trouble on giving the illusion that I had full brows in the front. Even when applying the wax and blending it out, you could see the distinct space between where my eyebrow started and the "illusion" begins. It was nearly impossible to make hairlike strokes with the wax, leaving my brows blocky and thick. Again, going in with the powder only helped to mattify the wax, but didn't give me the coverage and illusion I desired. I ended up just coating my brows in the wax the best that I could, and then put the powder over it to try to make them appear less oily.

I wore this product for a good eight to ten hours before taking it off. It did a fairly good job at keeping my brows in place where I had hair, but as the day went on, you could see the sparseness of product in the inner part of my brow. It seemed like the mattifying effect that the powder gave completely wore off as the day went on and as my skin became more oily. If you would've seen me, you wouldn't have thought that I was a beauty blogger or that I had any clue what I was doing with a brow product. Looking in the mirror at the end of the day, my brows looked sparse, discolored and oily.

I really wanted this product to work out. E.L.F. is one of my favorite drugstore lines. They're inexpensive, cruelty-free and most of their products work fantastically for me. This duo eyebrow kit, however, was a complete bust…but I'm not giving up hope.

I want to try it again with the powder I currently use to fill in my brows and see if that makes much of a difference. I really want to like this product and find a way to make it work. Perhaps if you have fuller brows, this would work better for you. Like I said previously, the consistency didn't allow me to create the illusion of thick and full brows where my hair was more sparse. I wanted to take pictures of the inconsistency in color, but unfortunately, it wasn't showing up on camera…but it was a disaster in person.

Let me know in the comments if this product works for you and if you have any recommendations of how to make it work — I would LOVE to hear them. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend!rl

 

Liebster Award Nomination 2017 & My Nominees

Hello frenz and welcome back! This post is extra special and near & dear to my heart. I was nominated by the lovely RenaΒ for the Liebster Award! For those of you who aren’t familiar with what that is, it’s an award for bloggers. No trophy involved, just recognition and support for your blog. It’s a big deal for me, because I’ve literally never been nominated for anything. I once won a 3rd place Track and Field award in elementary school, but that’s about the extent of my award winning abilities. If you haven’t, go check out Rena’s blog. She’s a cat loving personal blogger who writes about some pretty relatable stuff – plus she’s super sweet, so give her blog a read. Now, without further adieu, let’s get into this thing!Β 

Rena’s questions to me are as follows, with my answers. I hope you enjoy getting to know a little more about me!

1. What is your go-to dressed up outfit? Every time you want to look done up, what do you tend to do?
Well, let’s address the outfit portion — I usually where anything that I feel comfortable and confident in. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I want to wear a dress, and other times leggings and a cute top can suffice as “dressed up”. Don’t judge — comfortable can also be dressy. As for what I do to look done up, I definitely gotta fill in these sparse brows and add a sharp as shit winged liner.

2. What is the last book you read?
I’m one of those people that read half a book and then put it down and start another one. I’m currently in the middle of reading three different books, but the actual last one would be Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult. This book caught my eye on Walmart’s book shelf AGES ago, mainly because it had Salem in the name. I hardly remember what it’s about but I know I really enjoyed it. Perhaps I’ll make it the fourth book in my ongoing reading frenzy.

3. Why did you choose the blog platform you are on?
Mainly because I wanted a site where I was able to gain followers straight from the platform. Plus, I’ve heard very good things about WordPress. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever transfer platforms. WordPress is where it’s at for me.

4. What is one goal you have accomplished this year that you are really proud of?
Finding what I want to do in life. It’s not so much of a goal I had, but I’m really happy that I found my calling this year. I know I want to write for a living, and in learning that, it’s completely changed my outlook on the future.

5. What hair product would you rather not live without?
Leave-in conditioner. My hair has a nice, natural texture to it. I can live without styling it, but I definitely need it to be hydrated so it doesn’t turn into broom bristles.

6. What methods do you use to plan your blog posts?
I take mental notes most of the time. I get an idea and outline it in my head. If it’s a more complicated post that requires research and planning, I free write on my phone just to get my ideas out. Then I paste it as a draft in WordPress, get on my laptop and paste it into a Word document for edit. 90% of the time, I plan and upload posts from my iPhone.

7. What is one beauty trend you’re afraid to try but really want to?
Bright colored hair. I once dyed my platinum blonde hair a non-permanent blue and it stained my hair. I spent countless nights bleaching my hair to get it out, leaving it dry and lifeless. I love the look of ombre’d colored hair and I would kill to have it, but I’m way too apprehensive due to a bad experience.

8. Do you prefer sweet or salty snacks?
It ultimately depends on my mood. Sometimes I have a hankering for chocolate that can only be satisfied by eating four bags of M&Ms. And then other times, I can eat 12 bags of potato chips like it’s nothing. I honestly don’t snack too often, but the type of snack I want is usually reliant on my mood.

9. What is one song you can’t stop listening to at the moment?
I don’t have one specific song as I do one specific artist. I went full 2006 emo kid and listened to My Chemical Romance for a month. Now I’m on a Melanie Martinez kick. I give it a few days until I’m jamming to Cannibal Corpse for weeks.

10. Do you have a favorite magazine and why?
I might be in my 20s, but I’m still a huge fan of Seventeen magazine. They have a lot of nice tips and trends — plus they always have vibrant colors which usually catch my eye. Their articles/stories are also very well written and their magazine is nicely put together.

11. What is one piece of advice you would give a first-time blogger?
Just do it. You might feel silly or like a noob, but the blogging community is extremely supportive of all types of blogs. I thought since I didn’t write about makeup or beauty that there wasn’t going to be a place for me in the blogging world, but the reactions to my posts are just the opposite. I have tons of blogger friends. I honestly have more online friends than I do in real life. Blogging is a commitment, but if you’re truly passionate about it, you will love every second of it. Just put yourself out there and go for it.

Now that you learned a little about me, it’s time for my nominations! Since Rena nominated me, I’ve been constantly thinking of who I want to nominate. There’s this rule about only nominating blogs with “200 followers or less”, but I feel weird about asking someone or creeping on their blog. So I’m going to nominate some of my favorite bloggers that really need some love and recognition.

Mystic Mogwai – I found this girl on Twitter and she’s so incredible. I love her style and her blog name is ingenious. She’s not one specific type of blogger, which is why I love her blog so much. She’s chatty and her blogs are fun to read!

Natural Hazards and MoreΒ – This girl deserves so much recognition for her ongoing battle of informing the internet world on science. Her blogs are extremely important to the future of the planet.

Ditzy D Blog Β – She writes about her self journey through anxiety and depression in such a beautifully honest way. Her blog deserves so much recognition.

The Emma LifestyleΒ – She’s a lifestyle blogger who writes about everything — from beauty products to book reviews to everyday life. She’s a sweetheart and I really enjoy her blog.

Howling LibrariesΒ – I really love book bloggers. Although I’m not currently too much of a reader, I enjoy reading book reviews. She writes really solid reviews, so why not go give her blog a read?

Black Tulip BeautyΒ – And last, but certainly not least, is one of my FAVORITE beauty bloggers out there — mainly because she’s a total babe and I wish I could jack her style. She writes incredible product reviews and also has sunflower yellow hair!? She’s the total package when it comes to beauty bloggers.

Below are the questions for my nominees, if you choose to accept! Have fun!

1. If you could be any animal, which would you be? Why?

2. What is your holy grail beauty product and why?

3. What is the one thing you want most out of life?

4. How do you come up with ideas for blog posts?

5. Who is your biggest role model? Why?

6. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

7. What is your dream job?

8. Do you think you would survive in a zombie apocalypse? Why or why not?

9. What are you most confident about?

10. What’s your favorite movie and why?

My Top 10 Favorite Shows on Netflix

Hello frenz! Welcome back! A few weeks ago, my boyfriend's mom gave us her Netflix account to use. Since then, we've done nothing but binge watch our favorite (and some new) shows. Below are my top 10 favorites on Netflix. I hope you guys enjoy these as much as I do!

10. Trailer Park Boys
This has been on Netflix FOREVER and, to be honest, I wasn't a fan until recently. It follows around three main characters' shenanigans while living at a trailer park in Canada. Between trying to grow and sell dope, staying out of jail and pulling shopping carts out of a lake to sell, this show will keep you entertained and make you laugh for hours.

9. Criminal Minds
I've been a fan of this show since I was a teenager and I can't help but binge watch it all day, every day. This show follows an FBI team, known as the Behavioral Analysis Unit. They work on cases involving anything from rapists to murderers to terrorists. Their job is essentially to give a criminal profile based on behavior in order to find the "unsub" (unknown subject). It will for sure keep you on your toes — and some episodes are actually really creepy.

8. iZombie
I've just started watching this show, and I'm obsessed. The main character is a doctor who became infected and is now a brain-hungry zombie. She now works in the morgue and helps a local detective solve crimes…by eating the brains of the victims and getting visions of how they were killed. It's gory enough for a TV drama, with some good comedy aspects, too.

7. Supernatural
This show, again, I've been a fan of for ages. It follows two brothers who are, basically, demon slayers. There's a whole backstory, which I'll let you learn on your own (I don't want to ruin it!). Each episode has a level of creep factor, along with two gorgeous men to look at.

6. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia
I watched all the seasons of this show in two weeks. It's too funny. It follows five friends' antics in a bar that they all own together. You can't expect a show with Danny Devito and Charlie Day not to be hilarious.

5. What the Health
This documentary is new to Netflix. I really wish I could scream from the rooftops how powerful this film is. It talks about meat and dairy and what's actually in our food. It's an eye opener and I recommend everyone to watch it.

4. The Office
How could I pass up Steve Carrell as Michael Scott? I'm not a huge fan of the British version, but the US version is enough to make me pee my pants. It follows the everyday life of people who work at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania (ayooo). Their boss might be a narcissist and certifiably insane, but you can't pass it up if you're looking for a laugh.

3. An Idiot Abroad
My boyfriend was the one to introduce me to this one and with much hesitation, I will admit that I enjoy it. Ricky Gervais sends his idiot friend to different countries and basically, you just watch him make a fool out of himself, because he just doesn't know anything about the country or culture. I could watch it for days.

2. To the Bone
This film was extraordinary. Lilly Collins has really outdone herself with this role — an anorexic 20 year old with a dysfunctional family. It follows her, and other people, in a group home treatment for eating disorders. Keanu Reeves also stars as a doctor. It really brings to light the struggle that those with this disease face.

1. Bill Nye Saves the World
Bill Nye has been my hero since I was a kid. He's single handily taught me everything I know about science. His new show is more adult friendly and he talks about REAL issues in this world that need to be addressed, like climate change and alternative medicine. I'm making a petition to make Bill Nye president.

There are plenty of other shows on the beloved Netflix that are incredible. These are just a few that I can't get enough of. Feel free to share some of your favorites in the comments!

Goals for the Rest of 2017

Hello frenz! Welcome back to whatever this blog has come to. I've been bored with my blog lately, so I thought about doing something a little different. I've seen these done before and I think it's fabulous to share goals with likeminded individuals. I've tried to keep this post upbeat, but to be honest, I haven't been so positive lately. So here goes – my goal list for the rest of 2017.

GET A JOB
I've been unemployed since March, so that makes a total of almost five months now. I was planning to join the Air Force, but realized that I was leaving too much behind (also I'm too old to be tricked by military schemes). I put that goal behind me and now I have another – to find a job. Not only do I need one to pay my bills and buy food, but I'm tired of not working. Every day since losing my job has turned into a blur and I'm ready to be productive again.

SAVE MONEY
I really don't want to live in Pennsylvania anymore. It's poor and highly taxed. The weather sucks and my town should be known as Drug and Crime Central. By getting a decent (and steady) paycheck from accomplishing Goal #1, I hope to be able to start saving enough money to get the hell out of here within the next two years.

GAIN A FOLLOWING
I want to write for a living, I've known that for some time now. I want to be a full time writer or even a full time blogger at some point. I want to get my blog out there and create a name for myself. I need to start creating my empire.

LIVE STRESS FREE
I don't think I've ever had this amount of stress in my life. I have nervous breakdowns almost every day, mostly due to lack of money. I can't afford things I want and need. I want to live stress free again. I want to be able to enjoy life and wake up happy.

BEGIN SFX MAKEUP
This is something I've wanted to do for some time, but haven't had the money or want to invest the time in. But Halloween is coming up and you best believe I want to scare all the kiddos on the block this year.

MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFE
Since money has been so tight recently, I've only been eating once a day and skipping the gym to conserve gas. I need to get back into the routine of working out regularly and eating enough so I don't waste away into nothing. It's easier said than done when you have $-33 to your name.

TAKE ANOTHER TRIP TO FL
My trip to Florida at the beginning of July was so incredible. Seeing and spending time with my family meant so much to me. I want to make it into a regular visit.

READ MORE
I really do enjoy reading, but I lack the interest to do anything other than nap (thanks depression). I also find myself reading the words but daydreaming about something else, which leads me to reading the same paragraph ten times. I have so many books but have only read maybe five of them. I'd like to read them all and then add to my collection.

BUY MORE MAKEUP PRODUCTS
It sounds a little materialistic but I'm a sucker when it comes to makeup. I watch and read tons of reviews on new products and I want them all…but lack the dough to get them. I haven't purchased any new makeup in at least a year, and it's breaking my heart.

GIVE GIFTS AT CHRISTMAS
Last Christmas was horrible. I wasn't able to get anything for anyone and it made me feel so low. Christmas is my second favorite holiday and I love giving to others. I want to be able to give to everyone I can this year, and even to the less fortunate. I miss having the means to be generous.

BE GENUINELY HAPPY
I haven't been happy in such a long time, and I really miss the feeling of enjoying life. I need to get that feeling back for my own sanity.

I'm keeping this list as my own little time capsule of things I want to accomplish. I hope to look back in January 2018 to have accomplished all of these and then some. Here's to my future endeavors.

The Problem with Modern Day Job Searching

Hello frenz and welcome back! How are ya?! So I made a poll on Twitter the other day, talking about making a to-be-honest, cut throat, rant-style blog post about the struggle of job searching. The ballots are in and it seems yes won by a landslide. So here it is, and believe me the struggle (and frustration) is real!

Money, money, monnnaaayyy!

Everything revolves around money. Money has become a survival tool, especially with the value of a dollar gradually decreasing. In order to obtain and sustain money, a job should be in order. In most parts of the world, jobs are hard to come by, especially semi-decent, well paying jobs.

"How are we expected to live like this?"

I don't know about you, but I'm definitely in the market for a job, since losing mine in March. The job search for me has become increasingly difficult and tedious. I don't think I'm being too picky when I ask for full time hours at decent pay. The minimum wage in Pennsylvania is $7.25 an hour. That equals out to $290 a week (40 hours) BEFORE taxes. You get about $100 (sometimes more depending on how much you make) taken out for taxes. That's $190 a week, or $760 a month.

What makes employers think that that low of a wage is livable for anyone? Yes, when you're really broke, money is money. But what do you do when you can't afford your rent or the electric bill or gas for your car, among all the other bills you might be juggling, and you're only getting paid $190 a week? It's not reasonable. I could live off of a $9 an hour wage, which only equals out to $360 a week (before taxes). In some states, $9 an hour or MORE is the minimum wage! To reiterate, I don't think I'm being too picky when I ask for a decent wage.

Okay, what is it with employers asking for 3+ years experience for an ENTRY LEVEL job? In order to gain experience, you need someone to give you a chance, but in order to get a chance, you need to have experience. I'm a fast learner. Give me two, maybe three days top of training and I bet you I could do the job. I understand wanting to hire a person because they already have experience in a certain field, but come on! Give us a chance to do the job before you decide that we're incompetent.

Not only do employers ask for a massive amount of experience, but it seems like nowadays they are only willing to give part time hours (usually only up to 20). In Pennsylvania, the employers do it so they don't have to pay the extra money to offer you benefits. Isn't that fucked up? Not only are you not getting any benefits whatsoever, but you're also getting paid less money per paycheck — and it's not like you're working for much as it is.

A lot of employers straight up lie on their job ads, especially healthcare positions like Home Health Aides or CNAs. They list that they offer full time or part time positions and that they pay $18 an hour. So you think to yourself, fabulous! I can work part time and still bring home decent money! Uh-uh, wrongo. You apply, end up getting the job, and then realize that you're working ten hours a week and that they can't offer full time hours. THEN WHY SAY THAT YOU DO? It's a way to sucker people in and leave them still living in poverty. It's a lose/lose situation.

And for the people who have military experience, forget about it. At least where I reside, employers will swear up and down that they hire veterans. But do they? My boyfriend has applied to a billion jobs (with only having military experience) and has received zero phone calls. So you hire veterans, huh? I bet.

It's the same with college graduates. You might have graduated top of your class, but employers don't care. They say you're too young. You're too inexperienced. You're too this, you're too that. It's utter nonsense. It's like employers are looking for specially programmed robots rather than taking a day or two to train a real person.

It's come to the point where so many people who are living on their own can't find a job. They're forced to move back in with family and take a minimum wage job at Burger King, never using their degree (or training) and feeling like they've wasted the last however many years of their lives.

Is this an issue that can be changed? Or is it going to get to the point where the economy becomes so bad and jobs become so scarce that society just collapses?

Just know that if that does happen, the people living poverty will survive, because it already feels like society collapsed right on top of them.

[Photo Credit: Pixabay]