3 Tips For Self-Care During the Holiday Season

Welcome to December ladies and gents! Y’know life has a way of just coming at you so fast, and it doesn’t feel like 2017 is nearly over, yet it is. I had planned a November Empties post for today (which will go up Thursday instead), but I had an idea about self-care that really wouldn’t let me go until I wrote about it. With the holidays coming up, I’ve been spending a lot of time with my family back home, dealing with finals at school, and making sure this blog runs smoothly. It can be…a lot. For a lot of people, the holiday season is something to look forward to with joy, and I do enjoy it, but it can also bring this overwhelming sense of anxiety that I haven’t accomplished everything this year that I wanted to.

It all came to a head this past weekend, and some of you may have noticed on my social platforms that I was effectively logging off until further notice. I had to stop something, and I had already identified keeping up with social media was one of my stressors. I deleted Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook from my phone (but not my accounts, don’t fret!) I cleaned out all of my old text messages. I backed my photos up to the cloud and deleted them all from my phone. I took all of the folders from my home screen and left a blank photo of a song lyric that I love.

It’s been 4 days since I last logged into social media and it feels like such a relief. The initial habit of picking up the phone to check for notifications has subsided. I went to a Christmas party and only snapped pics with my friends and the gingerbread house we made because it was fun not because I felt the need to post about it. And deleting my socials was only the beginning. Below I’ve left a few things I’ve done to take care of myself this holiday season, and begin to reset myself with self-care NOW, not just because the calendar told me to.

Listening to Podcasts

Part of starting to reset myself into a more positive, self-loving mood is educating myself on the things that matter to me, namely fashion, beauty, and business. However, instead of checking my socials every hour to see what the #influencers are up to, I’ve started listening to my favorite podcasts again. I love the #Girlboss Podcast as well as Refinery29’s Unstyled podcast. They both interview major power women in the fashion in the beauty industry and pick their brains about their work lives, personal lives, and more. There’s something soothing about listening to someone else talk for a little while instead of shouting my own voice into what feels like the void.

Reading For Leisure

In college, I spend a lot of time reading slides and notes from the textbook, and slowly, I stopped reading for leisure. This made me sad because I was the girl who checked out 10 books from the public library on a hot, summer day then went on my back deck and ate a popsicle while becoming totally engaged in the stories. I’ve started reading for myself again both fiction and nonfiction. I’m currently rereading #Girlboss (I love the #girlboss brand tbh), but I also love Ann Shoket’s The Big Life! For fiction, I just finished rereading my favorite book of all time The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I’m waiting to get my hands on John Green’s new book Turtles All the Way Down.

I’ve also been taking the time to read my favorite websites on my laptop without other phone distractions including Racked and Into the Gloss. It’s nice to see the full quality of photos as they were intended in the full scope of the article.

Lots of Skincare

When I am stressed, my skin suffers. I get extra oily, I break out, and it’s just a bad time all the way around. Again, because I’m intentionally practicing self-care and not being attached to my phone 24/7, I’ve found more time in the morning to take care of ALL of my skin. I take showers just a little bit longer. I massage my lotion in. I take the full minute with my Clarisonic. I lay down with a sheet mask for an hour. I take care of me! And that’s okay.

No one should judge you for logging off and taking care of yourself. You’re not selfish for doing self-care. In fact, you’re doing your body a disservice by not taking a moment to stop and breathe. You’re not alone, and you’ve got this.

Soooo, now that I’ve got that off of my chest, here’s the good news! The TCM’s 4-year anniversary giveaway begins this Thursday on the November Empties Post! This is going to be the biggest giveaway I’ve ever done, so be sure to come back to see what you could win! Have a great day!


3 Tips for Self-Care During the Holiday Season

Continue Reading

Why TF Are We Still On Instagram If We Hate It?

On Sunday, I posted an Instagram post basically unloading my frustrations with Instagram, its algorithm and all of the mental behaviors associated with it. When I really started thinking about it, it almost felt like I was going through some jacked up version of the 7 stages of grief. Denial that IG isn’t the god-like platform we’ve all built it up to be, guilt over having contributed to its rise, anger and bargaining over multiple algorithm changes, and now I’m in the reflection stage.

Why TF Are We Still On Instagram If We Hate It?

1) The Algorithm

I’ve been blogging since I was 15 years old. These years are obviously very formative, and being one of the first generations who really grew up with the omnipresence of social media, I think my being so involved with Instagram and figuring it out as the platform grew wasn’t the healthiest thing I could’ve done? That said, I remember back then, that chronological order was far better for discovery purposes than the new “engagement” based algorithm. I could see my friends, brands and other bloggers I follow all in the order that they posted. Now, I can refresh the page upwards of 4 or 5 times and the same few photos will still be sitting on the top! This is actually why I discontinued my Best of Instagram series. I couldn’t find anything new or interesting anymore! All because IG decided that their “engagement” (like and comments + follower counts) made that photo worth promoting towards the top of my feed. I put engagement in quotes because a lot of engagement these days are inauthentic.

2) Like and Comment Pods + Individual Users

Firstly, you’ve got blogger like and comment pods. I’ll be fair and say I’ve been in a few, but I left because the work involved in keeping up with liking and commenting on a few other bloggers’ posts was never worth the return on your own. Not to mention, half of the people participating in these groups are already in the thousands of followers, so I don’t see why they need our engagement. But basically, a member of the pod will post a photo and then everyone in the pod is required to go like and/or leave a “substantial” comment (ie 4 or more words, no emojiis). I found that while some of the smaller pod members would leave actual comments on the subject of a photo, others would say something like “Love it” and keep moving.

Plus, between F4F (follow for follow) hashtags, spam accounts, and users who “blog” so they can “get free stuff”, blogger Instagram, at least, is oversaturated with those that, it seems, have forgotten about the craft of blogging. It feels inauthentic and as part of a generation that values authenticity in everything, I constantly wonder why we subject ourselves to something like IG.

3) Stories, Shadowbans and Beyond

There are a few other smaller things about IG that get on my nerves but not as much as the aforementioned problems. IG as a platform is shady AF. How on earth we all let Facebook (who owns IG if you missed that) blatantly rip off Snapchat’s stories function, I will never understand. I guess it all depends on who you actually want to see what you’re doing because on Snap, it’s more for your friends, and on IG it’s for your “business contacts”. Regardless, as a business that’s irritating to watch and doesn’t put IG in a great light for me. Add on the fact that only accounts with 10k+ followers can utilize links in their stories (which are often more viewed than photos), and it just seems unbalanced.

Then we’ve got hashtags and shadowbans. It’s bad enough that in order to try and move my photo up, I need to utilize all 30 hashtags that we’re allowed in the caption of a post. But now, if I use the hashtags that have garnered the most attention too much, IG will just stop showing them in the search results! It’s like all of the chips are stacked against smaller accounts as opposed to a platform like Twitter or Pinterest where good quality content is the only thing required to gain a substantial platform.

Final Thoughts

I feel like I’ve let a massive load off of my chest. No, I don’t claim to be “not like the other girls” or “not basic” or whatever some people my age who shun social media claim to be. I just believe that my generation has the power to enact change in most everything we do, so sitting here and subjecting myself to a platform I really don’t like just because it’s what’s there and it’s what everyone else is using. Am I going to keep using Instagram? Yes. Will I be changing the way I interact with the platform? Also, yes. Instagram only has as much power as we the users give it, and I think there are much better ways to interact with it in an authentic way without trying to trick the algorithm or other users.

I hope you guys enjoyed this introspective type post because I think I’m going to be doing more of these, starting with Taylor Swift’s merch marketing! What are your thoughts on Instagram and social medias in general? Leave me a thought in the comments, and I’ll see you next week.

Continue Reading

3 Tips for Incoming Freshman Procrastinators

As an incoming freshman and the oldest of four, I had a lot of worries this summer about what I should do to be completely ready for my first semester of college. Considering the only thing I did early was early action, I had a lot of loose ends to tie up. Here are three things I learned while preparing to start school for everyone starting a little (or a lot) late!

Pro Tips for Procrastinating Incoming College Freshmen (freshman)

Submit all of your paperwork!

Deadlines are closing in, and it feels like everyone else has already submitted their stuff, but don’t fret! Make a list of everything that needs to be sent to school (immunization records, final high school transcript, etc.) and check it off when it’s done. Also, be sure to talk to your advisor once one has been assigned so they can fill you in on what else you may need.

Reach out to your roomies!

Roommates are an integral part of the freshman experience, and they may have already begun buying items for your room, so be sure to reach out to see where you can pitch in and maybe even coordinate colors!

Pack, Pack, Pack!

This one sounds self-explanatory, but you don’t want to be a week out from move in day and staring down a very cluttered room of stuff that you don’t know what should leave and what should stay! Donate old clothes, trash high school notes you know you won’t need anymore, and pass the stuffed animals down to your kid sister. Tackle the mess little by little, and that way it’ll be much easier in the end.

Going to college can be a really exciting yet overwhelming time in your life. Following these tips can make sure that, even though you started a little late, you finish right on time! Leave your best tips for freshman down in the comments, and have an awesome week!

Continue Reading

Your Room is Where the Heart Is (+ Youtube Video!)

Hey, everyone! Another week, another post, but hopefully it’s gotten much warmer where you are as it has for me! Today, I wanted to sort of shift away from all things beauty and give you a little tour of my room and how I organize my clothes and makeup among other things. Rooms have a lot to say about each person’s individual expression, and you can learn a lot about them by going in their room. Actually, don’t do that on a whim, though. Could come off as stalkerish LOL. Also, we all have that dream room that sort of represents where we want to be in life. You can check out my Pinterest board to see what kind of decor ideas I have in mind! Well, enough rambling from me! Enjoy the video, and if you liked it, go ahead and subscribe for more cool content!

Continue Reading

POPFLEX Active – #FashionFriday

Hello again everybody! Glad you made it through the week! This post is scheduled, but by the time this goes up I’ll be recovering well from my surgery. A lot of it is thanks to NOT feeling like a gross slug while I recover. I have been (and will be) doing a lot of (sitting) Pop Pilates videos to help me not feel so lethargic while I get better! Cassey Ho’s videos really keep me inspired and motivated to be my best me, and hey, if I can look good while doing it, why not? That’s why I’m super into her activewear line POPFLEX Active!

What’d you get?

I bought the Set the Bar Bra in the Mermaid print back in December during their Black Friday sale and I’ve really enjoyed it! It’s super cute, fits well, and keeps the girls all in one place! 🙂

I also got my 2017 Fit Planner from POPFLEX! This planner is like a regular planner, but it also includes places for me to write down how much sleep I’ve gotten, water I’ve drank, sleep times, and etc. It keeps my brain on a healthy mindset especially when I’m thinking about reaching for the Christmas leftovers. Some of the pieces are a bit on the pricey side (looking at you yoga mats), but most of it is quite affordable.

If any of you would like to try out POPFLEX Active, you can use my referral link! If you click on it and buy something for the first time, I get 500 points which helps me toward getting money off of future purchases. Then, once you buy, you can sign up and start earning your own points!

What are you guys’ favorite activewear lines? Who else should I try? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Have an awesome weekend!

-Dymond M.

Continue Reading

The New TCM (+Giveaway)

Hello everybody! Welcome to the new and improved The Chic Machine! This is a huge step in my journey as a blogger and I’m so glad all of you, readers old and new, could join me! Before we get to the giveaway, I’ve added 2 new features, so let’s talk about those for a second.

The Email List

Over in the right hand side bar you’ll see a little box asking you subscribe to my new email list! My email list will go out weekly and things that used to be their own individual posts like shopping alerts and giveaway announcements will all be in there along with some more exclusive content that you won’t want to miss!

Contacting Me

Of course, I always want to hear feedback from your guys, so the new email to reach me at is dymond.moore@thechicmachine.com! All of my socials are located @thechicmachine (except Pinterest which is @thechicmachine1) so you’ll always know where to find me! And if you can’t find them by searching, you can always click the little icons in the top menu bar!

Giveaway Time

Now that we’ve done that, let’s get to the good stuff! On New Year’s Eve, The Chic Machine will have been around for 3 whole years! I really can’t believe it! I started this blog when I was only 15 and it’s managed to grow into this great community that I appreciate so much! To show my appreciation, I’m doing my biggest giveaway to date! What’s in it you ask? Here’s the full list:

  • 3 Mini Stila Liquid Lipsticks in Fresco, Patina, and Baci
  • The Glossier Black Tie Set
  • A Super Cute Forever 21 Clutch
  • 3 K-Beauty Sheet Masks
  • Mini MAC Cosmetics Zoom Lash Mascara
  •  Mini Urban Decay Perversion Mascara and
  • A Mini Sephora brand lipstick

Want to win? Here’s how!

1) Sign up for the TCM email list! That way I can make sure I can contact the winner, and you get all of the TCM goodness!


2) Comment below what your favorite thing to do on New Year’s Eve is and your email!

Either of those options will get you an entry to the giveaway, but if you really want to win this prize pack…

3) BONUS: Follow my socials (@thechicmachine), then comment below with your username/which platform. I’ll check, and if you’re there I’ll give you 5 EXTRA ENTRIES on up to 3 different socials. That’s 15 extra entries!

The contest will end January 1st at noon EST so make sure you’re entered before then! The winner will be announced within a week of the end of the contest.

And keep checking back! There’s going to be a lot of fun happening here on the blog and all of my socials for the next week as we count it down to the new year and my blog anniversary! I hope you all have a very happy holiday as you spend time with your loved ones and thank you again for being on this road with me!

Merry Christmas!

-Dymond M. <3

Continue Reading

The Benefits of Benefit

If you’re a makeup junkie like I am, I’m sure you’ve heard of the cult makeup brand Benefit Cosmetics. Benefit is well known for its quirky vintage branding and packing, punny product names, and bright pink logos. It’s more of a prestige brand, so I mostly purchase their products in minis. I’ve had the opportunity to try the They’re Real Mascara and Liner, but that’s about it. That’s why I was excited to try out a sampler I received from Ulta with minis of the They’re Real mascara, Posietint lip and cheek stain, Fakeup concealer, and the Porefessional balm (which has been on my to try list for over a year now). After taking a closer look, however, I noted that the Fakeup concealer was a couple shades too light for me, rendering it unusable. And after checking swatches on the Benefit website, Instagram, and Influenster, I could only find ONE (!!!) photo of a deeper toned woman wearing it! And they were still a shade or two lighter than me. So I posted this observation with dismay on Instagram, and user @smoothliminal noted that sampler packs from companies often indicate who that brand believes to be their main consumer base. This made me wonder.

I went back to Benefit’s website to further research their colors concerning skin tones, and found that for most of the products a pale model was used to demonstrate or advertise the product. For the Big Easy BB Cream, the deepest shade was “Deep Beige.” For their Play Sticks, it was “Medium Tan”. And for many of the other products, the deepest shade was Nutmeg, and after swatching that in store a few times, let’s just say I can’t wear it. So why are there no skin products at Benefit for deep tones women? And furthermore, should I, or any other woman of color, support a company that at best, is only catering to who they believe their main shopper base to be or at worst, blatantly ignoring darker skinned women?

I’m going to have to answer with a resounding no. Sure the packaging is cute, and their mascara is nice, but at the end of the day, why should I support a company that doesn’t support me? The beauty industry has a long way to go in terms of inclusiveness concerning deep toned women, but if MAC has been doing it very successfully since the early 90s, then we know other companies can too. We need to take a hard look at the products from companies that we utilize and challenge them to shape up or ship out. And the easiest way to do that is to not give them our money. Instead, we need to put our dollars in places that will invest in us and not marginalize us just for a profit. I recommend Glossier or Covergirl Queen Collection for a drugstore alternative, or if you’d like something a bit more highbrow, MAC Cosmetics, BareMinerals, and Smashbox Cosmetics are great companies as well.

I want to shout out Kristy from @smoothliminal for provoking even more questions that allowed me to write this article. She takes great pictures! Go check her out! Also, don’t forget I’m hosting a Glossier giveaway for two epic sets of Glossier Products! Click the link here or in the sidebar to enter!

Happy Tuesday!

-Dymond M.

Continue Reading

App Review: My Dressing-Fashion Closet

In classic procrastinator fashion, while in the middle of packing for my trip to California, I decided to organize my entire closet right then and there. I mean, the fastest way to an epic closet and bomb outfits is knowing what you have and what you can pair it with, right? So I looked up some articles for apps fulfilling this purpose, and all of them were iOS based. Note to online editors: The world does not revolve around Apple. So this is an Android app, and I don’t know if they have an iOS version, but even if they don’t you can go to one of those other websites and find something suitable.

My Dressing is an app designed to let the user have their closet at their fingertips. First, the user takes pictures of each item, crops out the background, and adds it to the solid background of their choice. Then they can put it in different categories, create outfits, and select favorites. I think entering your clothing is the hardest part. I spent the better part of 2 hours entering all of the clothing I was bringing with me to California. That’s not my whole closet. Maybe half of it. But it’s a lot of clothing. The crop feature could be great, but without a stylus, it’s too difficult to get precise tracing around each item.

That said the organizational side of the app is pretty good. The only place it misses is that there are no subcategories under the main categories. All the shoes go under SHOES. There’s no separation between sneakers,boots,heels,etc. I did like the outfit creation part a lot! It’s like Polyvore with my own closet. That said, at the end of it all, I deleted the app after my trip. It’s a little too time consuming for my taste and not neat enough to use all of the time. I would consider using it again on my next trip because it’s convenient to see what I have to wear without digging out my entire suitcase (especially when moving from place to place in a short amount of time).

Do you guys know of any good closet organizing apps for Android? Let me know in the comments. Have an epic 4th of July to my fellow Americans. To everyone else, good luck surviving! The Glossier giveaway is this week! Keep an eye out!

-Dymond M. <3

Continue Reading

Principal's Office: Meet Faye Orlove

Those of you who have been following me on Instagram and Snapchat have seen me maxin’ and chillaxin’ all over California for the last 2 weeks. It’s been an amazing experience, and just makes me want to live out here a lot more! I had a couple things on my list to do while I’m here, and one of them was to visit the new LA art gallery/mini shop called Junior High. I found it on Instagram where the pale pink aesthetic found purchase with my often ignored girly side. Their page also features a neon purple uterus sign, Drake fan merch, and lots of pins. I got in touch with the owner and creator, Faye Orlove, and set up a meeting during my visit. I got there a little early, so I got to look around a bit. Junior High is a very cool quirky space. Currently exhibiting a collection from Girl on Girl Collective entitled FIRST KISS, there were poems, photos, and digital art adorning the room, all in a soft pink and white glow.

Faye came in with her backpack, apologized for being sweaty, and just started chatting, which was a surprise to me! She was certainly very down to earth, unloading “really aggressive looking” tampons and lunch among other things. Once she settled down, we got to talking.

D: So I think it’s really cool that you’ve managed to crowdsource an open art space with Junior High for the underrepresented artists, especially girls. About how long did it take you to put it all together?

Thanks! I actually got the space in May, and it took about a month to organize. We opened June 1. I’ve been working the business side of things since January. You know, crowdfunding, applying for grants, all that good stuff.

D: What kind of grants have you been applying for?

I actually have someone else helping me with all that. They’re making a list for me to look at. You know if we can get that government money that’d be great! Because we are a non-profit organization. Like a lot of my friends think I’m making money for this, but we’re actually not breaking even yet, we’re losing money. *laughs* But we’re almost there.

D: Yeah that’s fair. Always make the government work for you! I’m certainly enjoying the vibes out here in Cali especially here, Hollywood, LA, it’s really nice. But I’ve been around, so why put Junior High in LA? Why not a different city?

I’m completely obsessed with celebrity culture. Especially Hollywood. I like the idea of fame and being famous, especially the Kardashians!

D: *laughs* The Kardashians and I have a love/hate relationship.

That’s totally understandable!

D: Like, I admire how they basically built an empire from scratch, but sometimes they just annoy me. Kim is cool I think, but Kendall-

Yeah Kendall’s a little suspect!

D: I just got finished watching season 1 of KUWTK, and honestly young Kendall and Kylie have boosted my self esteem so much!

Yeah they were crazy. And now they’re modeling and selling stuff. I actually have a Kylie Lip Kit. I just had to have one to try.

D: What’s it like? I can’t do matte formulas they drive me crazy.

It’s good. I don’t use it all the time for sure, but I didn’t hate it or anything.

(At this point I’ve begun noting the numerous tattoos on Faye, so of course I ask about them.)

D: So I see your Virgo necklace and tattoo and we would be zodiac twins!

Oh you’re a virgo? That’s awesome!

D: Yeah, I’ve been meeting a lot of Virgos lately. But yeah your tatoos are really cool. I see Sonic the Hedgehog, Dirty Dancing, and oh my god I love Lisa Simpson!

Lisa is such a great character. Seasons 2-5 are the best because you have episodes like where she becomes a vegetarian and like this woman she made, well like our version of Barbie, Malibu Stacy, and she calls her out like you have this platform of power why use it to just go shopping? And she’s just very cool! 

D: I’ve been thinking about getting a tattoo when I’m a little older. Maybe a lightbulb? I’m always thinking about stuff. I just hate that it’s gonna hurt. I have a LOW pain tolerance.

That’s a cool idea. It doesn’t hurt that bad.  Just make sure it’s really what you want. I’m actually thinking about maybe getting one removed. And that hurts. It’s lasers. It’s like the ink molecules are bigger than blood because you don’t want it in your bloodstream and stuff and they just zap it out. You just want to make sure it’s what you want so that down the line you won’t have those regrets.

D: Yikes! That does sound painful. Okay so last question. Last meal on earth: GO.

Oh I think a friend asked this once. I’m thinking biscuits and gravy and fried chicken. There’s this great place down this way  on Vine and Sunset called Roscoe’s Chicken. They have the BEST chicken and waffles. I adore them absolutely! You gotta go before you leave.

After that we chat a little more, and I pick up a Junior High tee shirt and 2 buttons (to be featured in a later haul post). I also grabbed a free sticker sheet, mix CD, and some more pins to add onto my jean jacket when I get home. We took a selfie, but alas, someone has stolen her selfie stick. I really did have a great time meeting Faye and checking out Junior High. So if any of you Cali are in the LA/Hollywood area, I strongly encourage you to go check it out. They’re open Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM with various after hours events and workshops on Sundays at 2 (Check their calendar here). If you can’t swing by, go to their website, buy some merch or donate to an epic cause. Follow them @welcometojuniorhigh on IG and @juniorhighLA on Twitter.

Much love,

Dymond <3

Continue Reading

An Open Letter to Glossier


I just wanna say Glossier isn’t just a brand. It’s a lifestyle. Once I tried it, I never looked back. And the best part is, it’s the best because they let us, the consumers, help make it. I’ve referred 100 people. That’s 1000 freaking dollars in store credit. Friends, family, fellow bloggers, and readers of my blog have all bought in because I just say how I feel about it.
Is there a lot of hype surrounding Glossier? Sure. But just like the legendary Tony winning Broadway musical Hamilton you’ve got to look past the hype and see the substance that created that hype. It has a good base.  I’m just thanking Emily Weiss for making Into the Gloss a safe space to learn about makeup and for being an epic female role model I look up to when I think about my future. She’s a true #girlboss.
That said, you all see all the excess store credit I have, but I already own EVERYTHING (seriously I just reupped on my Boy Brow just to get the visor). That means there’s a giveaway coming very soon!

✌Dymond (Self Proclaimed Glossier Junkie) 💖

Continue Reading
1 2 3 6