Welcome to Victoria’s Favorites! In this new lifestyle column, you will find the latest grabs from the best brands, as well as the top hits from music, entertainment, and more!
My name is Victoria Giardina, and I am a freshman at The College of New Jersey studying journalism and professional writing, with a minor in communication studies. I am also performing independent research at Columbia University on investigative journalism and global media. With my love for writing, up-to-date research of the best products and lifestyle must-haves, and adoration for beauty and products that scream “girly girl,” I created this column.
To be featured in the next column, send your questions to @victoriagiardina on Instagram!
Overall, this month has been excel
lent and I have been pretty minimal when it comes to products. I have been absolutely loving Ted Talks and The Porch, along with taking on new experiences throughout The College of New Jersey’s campus and learning more about the journalism industry.
Favorite #1: My new planner!
As someone who is all for keeping everything organized and physically writing things down, this planner is a lifesaver! I absolutely adore the month overview- it enables me to write down any meetings and important events in a clutter-free manner, since the weekly planning sheets in the following pages are devoted to my classwork and assignments. I have had several different planners throughout high school and, now that I am a college student, I value the simplicity of these planners to keep everything on track and not overwhelming due to an overly-vibrant design. As you can see below, I am BIG on color coding and it keeps my different responsibilities in order. I sometimes highlight events and plans with my Zebra Mildliner Double-Ended Highlighters (featured in last month’s favorites on the blog) and I have never felt more methodical.
Aside from this simple planner which I purchased at my campus bookstore, these Erin Condren planners have always sparked my interest. I find it unique how the planners on the website not only range from weekly to monthly planners, but also the brand features a selection of stickers, teaching toolkits and lesson planners, address books, journals, stationary and planner accessories! Condren’s brand also offers wedding planners, how great is that? If you are looking for a more minimal and basic planner, petite planners are also available. Erin Condren merchandise is definitely a must-view! Purchase these items here!
Favorite #2: BareMinerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream and BareMinerals Bareskin Complete Coverage Serum Concealer
I am a big fan of BareMinerals as a brand. Their products strive to enhance natural beauty. Whenever I wear the tinted moisturizer (not every day, but on occasion), I feel like my skin is not concealed but just enhanced with a more even finish. The tinted moisturizer also has SPF 30, so when used in the spring and summer months especially, your skin will be protected during all of those outdoor parties and visits to beach towns. The “naturally-radiant” and “sheer-to-medium coverage” described on the Sephora website cannot be more than true!
Going along with the tinted moisturizer, the concealer is so creamy and leaves a natural finish. With others I have used, the finish was drying and a bit cakey under the eyes. However, this consistency allows for even the darkest of undereye circles to be concealed and transformed into a vibrant look. Part of the reason for this lovely outcome is because the formula is generated from Plant Stem Cells, consisting of mineral optics for a refreshed look. Definitely check out these two products as well as BareMinerals in general. I have stood by this brand for years and it is incredible. Purchase the tinted moisturizer here and check out the concealer here.
Favorite #3: Imaginary Future
Without a doubt, one of my favorite bands! I have been listening to their music for about a year now and it is so unique from any other artists I have listened to. Their personal story, explaining their development into their music careers, is incredibly powerful and their love story shines through their lyrics and guitar strings. The soft melody of their compositions is perfect for studying, cuddling with your special someone or simply relaxing at home. My boyfriend reached out to singer-songwriter Jesse Epstein via email and he sent in an autographed CD for the hit album, All My Love. We love listening to their music on car rides together and our favorite song is “I Will Spend My Whole Life Loving You.” The heartfelt harmonies have extraordinary and ever-so-cute messages, leaving Imaginary Future’s releases to not be missed. Check out Imaginary Future on Spotify.
Favorite #4: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
“The culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.”
The above wise words are only representative of some of the empowering affirmations and advice published by Mitch Albom, a former college student who was heavily inspired by his professor, Morrie. Albom used to spend Tuesdays with Morrie, spending time with him and learning life lessons along the way. He then published this book, which has all of the knowledge a person- any reader, any age- can learn. From an elderly perspective, it is so refreshing and enlightening to hear that there is not one strict plan for your life. I spent three hours straight reading this book from cover to cover at Barnes & Noble before class one morning and it was one of the best reads I have had in a long time! Purchase the New York Times Bestseller here.
Favorite #5: Personalized Photo Gifts
Check out Mixbook’s services here!
Okay, I may be a teenager but I am obsessed with organizing printed pictures in frames, albums, and even by unleashing my creativity and putting together a personalized gift for someone. I have hardly any photos on my cell phone’s app (odd, I know- ask any of my friends!) but that is because I store all of my photos on these personalized photography apps. It makes creating photo books, photo cards, scrapbooks, yearbooks and calendars SO easy and simple to use! I make a calendar for my boyfriend each year we are together, each month flipping to a new memory. I have created personalized photo books for each year in high school, as well as documenting my high school prom pictures and 18th birthday party with my family and friends! A picture says a thousand words and it is nice to know that a little piece of you is concrete and documented so you can reflect on your favorite moments throughout life.
QUESTION OF THE MONTH:
Marie asked, “What is your favorite TV show?”
Recently, I have been LOVING The Bachelor! This is probably (to quote Chris Harrison) “the most dramatic season yet,” and I am always tuning in at 8 p.m. on Monday nights!
Victoria Giardina is an 18 student at The College of New Jersey pursuing a Major in Journalism and Professional Writing with a Minor in Communication Studies. Victoria's favorite movie is The Greatest Showman and you can never find her without her planner! As the founder of Kick It Cancer (www.kickitcancer.org) and a news anchor for her campus-wide news station- LTV News, Victoria steps up for community outreach, leadership, and creative storytelling. In the future, Victoria hopes to work in the broadcasting industry in New York City.