A Letter to My Pre-College Self

I was inspired by Earnest, a company providing a better way for students & grads to refinance student loans to share a letter to myself. This came in such a great time considering I just completed my fourth year of college last week. With everything hitting so close to home, I hope this advice and their blog can be a helpful guide to those who may need it.

Dear Selena,

I know that you are embarking on your journey to college and adulthood which is a crucial time in your life. You’ll be transitioning from home, meeting new friends, and most importantly stepping out of your comfort zone. College provides a lot of opportunities for improvement and you should take advantage of each available opportunity. Nothing can prevent you from exceeding except yourself; friends, family, and whomever else shouldn’t determine your future for you. During these times your peers will explore their talents and will delve into things that can be beneficial to their future careers. If you are unsure of what you want to do then you should also explore; whether it’s photography, activism, blogging, becoming a YouTuber or creating/selling art (t-shirts, paintings, etc.) then you should give it a try!

Then there are so many other things you must consider when attending college like managing your finances, maintaining your friendships (and sanity), staying organized and how you’ll be paying for your education.
In some cases, the student doesn’t have to keep a close eye on their finances or financial aid because everything is paid for by their parents – which is amazing – but if that isn’t your case you’ll have more work to do. Let’s talk FAFSA and scholarships… FAFSA known as but not commonly referred to as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is one of the biggest pains in the behind at the end of the school year. To complete your FAFSA you must have your tax forms, student/parent pins, and other critical information to successfully file for your Student Aid; if you aren’t organized it will take way longer to finish this task. Also, you should do your FAFSA as soon as it opens because there is no reason to burden yourself if you don’t have to, and this is coming from someone who still procrastinates each year. I will say that I’ve learned from my mistakes enough to know better but doing better is what matters. And I haven’t even discussed what you’ll have to do to pay those loans off after graduating… I’ll just take this one step at a time. Also, you should apply for as many scholarships as possible they don’t have to specifically cater to yourself but if you do well enough you could qualify for it. Getting scholarships will prevent you from needed and having to pay as much money back to Sallie Mae. My senior year of high school I participated in a scholarship pageant with a sorority where the money I raised went to my first year of college which really helped because I didn’t have to worry about where I’d be getting that money from if something happened with my financial aid. One more thing, don’t be lax with your financial aid office at your university! When you call and don’t get an answer, send an email; if you don’t get a response then go to their office. Make sure your ducks are in a neat orderly row before you get on campus.

Since I already mentioned financial aid I thought I’d mention finances next. Get your coins and save them. Clip coupons, utilize sales, and learn about specials at the places you love (ex: movies, bowling alleys). I am one of those people who enjoy having a good time and I don’t mind spending money but there are times to be wise about your spending habits. Most schools hold events for students to attend for free or at a discounted price so if you’re interested GO. You should also know other ways to make money if you aren’t employed: you can sell clothing on Poshmark or places like Plato’s Closet, you can do hair (if you’re good), or you can even charge to do makeup for special events. That will build your portfolio, give you experience and you’ll be able have extra spending money. The things I mentioned don’t even touch the wide scope of ‘hustles’ you can have. Another thing that will help you build on a budget is Dollar Tree, one of my favorite stores. You can find cute decorations for your dorm, cleaning supplies, snacks, books, and so many other great things. Dollar Tree is a Godsend and you will soon find a reason to go there everyday.
Now there’s maintaining friendships, your sanity and staying organized. To stay organized you don’t have to break the bank like some may think. You can get your folders, planners, sticky notes, and everything in-between at Dollar Tree. YouTube and Facebook groups have planning communities where they spend a lot of money on fancy planners and stickers but this isn’t a requirement to keep yourself organized throughout the school year. You can also use apps on your phones to input important upcoming events. It’s so simple but these two things will definitely drain you or at least they drained me – maintaining my sanity and friendships.

To better manage my well-being I had to to take breaks AKA me time to relax, do a DIY spa day and clear my head of whatever was bothering me. I also used a super cute journal I got from TJMaxx as a prayer diary, in it I’d write down my goals, what I’d pray for/prayers, and things I want to work on. I found a lot of cute ideas for this on pinterest but I ended up going with my own format. This really helped because I was able to see everything written out and I felt less overwhelmed. As far as friendships I can only say a few things:

  • Do what makes you happy. If you want to do something and your friends don’t then you should step out of your comfort zone and do it anyways. You can make new friends along the way who will like to do similar things
  • Take time for yourself and your well being
  • Branch out to meet new people. Having a clique or intimate group of friends is cool until something goes wrong..

I hope this letter will be helpful to you on your journey to college and I wish you the best of luck!




Save Money While You #Slay pt. II

Do you love discovering new things and saving money on some of your favorite brands? If so this post is for you. Below there are three super cool subscription services and a resource for college students who enjoy online shopping. Part one of my Save Money While You #Slay series is here!


  • Influenster
    • Influenster is a service that sends you products free for reviewing. The level of items that you receive are based on your social media influence after connecting your SM accounts with Influenster. The items you review will vary depending on your interests like beauty, fashion, technology, traveling etc. Because of Influenster I’ve been able to try items from Bite Beauty, Marc Jacobs, Covergirl, Ralph Lauren and many other popular brands. If you like to try new things and don’t mind doing tasks like reviewing and sharing on social media then sign on up today!
  • Unidays
    • If you’re a college student who loves to online shop then you must sign up for Unidays! Unidays is a website that gives you access to student discounts from many popular brands such as Boohoo, missguided, Levi’s, Apple, Asos, and MORE. You must have a current student email to use these great deals. You are also required to verify your student status but it’s worth it if you love these brands.
  • Sample Source
    • Sample Source is another service that sends you products free to “try before you buy”. For this service you have to fill out your profile to give them more information about yourself and the items you’re interested in. They will send you an email whenever there are samples available that fit your profile. You then get the option to choose which items will fill your box. It’s also imporatnt to keep your profile up to date so you can try more things.
  • PINCHme
    • PINCHme is another service where you can get products free for reviewing purposes. For this service you need to take a shopper survey so they can match you with the best samples. Out of the three services mentioned this one is my least favorite because as long as I’ve been using this service I haven’t been a match for many of the sample dates which are once a Tuesday every month. I will say that I have been able to get free magazine subscriptions so I guess it’s okay. You also have to update your profile quite frequently.
    • Samples I’ve received: Greenies Pill Pockets for my dog Roscoe, a Scotch-Brite Scrubbing dish cloth (that I loved), a dog food coupon, a grey reducing shampoo for men (for my dad) and Shout Color catcher dye trapping sheets.

That’s all for part two of the Save While You #Slay series. Whenever I find more deals/services I will be sure to create a third part. I hope this series is useful for those who don’t want to break the bank with each purchase/new thing they try.


The Girl Behind the Blog | Get to Know Me!

I’ve been blogging on Xoxoselenanicole since my freshman year of college, which would make this blog 4 years old. And in these four years I’ve never shared much information about myself but that’s about to change – starting today!

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About ya girl:

Major: Therapeutic recreation

Plans after college: After graduation (whenever that will be) I would like to attend graduate school to get my masters in Occupational Therapy. If I do end up following a different path I’d hope that it’s something I love.

Zodiac sign: Virgo

Something I would tell my younger self: Don’t give up on yourself, don’t feel inadequate, continue to do the things you love and learn how to accept your time alone.

The last thing I bought: Well, I had went to Walgreens with the intent to purchase discounted Easter candy but I ended up with nothing remotely related to candy – makeup! I got the Maybeline shine shot in the shade Prismatic, a Wet n Wild velvet matte lip color in the shade Looking for a Truffle and the Sugar Crush body spray from Soap and Glory.

A random fact about me: One of my favorite movies is Superbad

My favorite ice cream: World class chocolate from Baskin Robbins. YUMMY!

Dream travel destination: I would love to travel all over the world to be honest. One of the places I’ve wanted to visit since I was younger is Toyko.

What I hate most about school: GROUP PROJECTS!

Why I blog: I love affordable beauty and fashion, and talking about life from time to time. My good friend also began blogging around the same time I created XOXOSelenaNicole, so we would always talk about different ideas for a blogposts and chat about bloggy things. It’s also fun to share these different topics with others, whether my audience is big or small. I just really enjoy reading blogs and blogging. Hopefully my platform will expand in the future.

What’s in my bag: I’m carrying this huge tote from Kate Spade so it’s going to be a bunch of random items LOL

  • Two pairs of black shades. One pair is heart shaped and the other is circular.
  • A small rose gold Michael Kors wristlet
  • My glasses and glass case
  • NYX Butter Gloss in the shade Praline
  • Travel size Palmers Coconut Oil body lotion
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Extra Polar Ice gum – MY FAVE!
  • 2 Carmex
  • Maybelline Shine Shot lipgloss
  • Pens and pencils
  • Receipts
  • Mini hello kitty notebook
  • MAC Lipglass in the shade Viva Glam Miley Cyrus
  • L.A. Colors babyPOP lipgloss in Clear
  • Bag from Dollar tree – mini haul: 2 Milani lipglosses, cotton rounds, hair pins, hair clips, black headbands, Wet n Wild mascara, a car air freshener and a window car cleaner.

Meaning behind my blog name: Honestly, it’s the only name I could come up with. I chose XOXO because it sounds cute and I am Selena Nicole so.. yep lol

….If you’re reading this you’ve reached the end. Sorry, I got a little long winded but I hope you enjoyed getting to know the girl behind the blog!


Amazing Instagram Pages to Follow!

Aside from my classmates, favorite celebrities and whoever else I follow, these are the pages that I love the most. Because of their unique styles and aesthetics I can’t help but enjoy seeing them on my timeline. If you’re interested in following some new and stylish faces then check each person out below!






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Marjorie and Lori Harvey





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Thecutlife and cocoaswatches



Let me know some of your favorites because I’m always interested in following new, stylish people!


Friday’s Finds: Black Radiance & Wet’n’Wild

I think it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with Black Radiance and Wet ‘n Wild. Both of these companies have become my top drugstore brands because they’re affordable and they have such amazing quality. It doesn’t help that they are constantly putting out new products especially considering the fact that I enjoy spending my money on nice new shiny things.

On Friday evening, my mother and I went to Walgreens (one of my favorite stores) to purchase water and some drinks for the house which ended up with my buying all of these items… All I remember is telling my mom that I was going to browse the beauty section and then her coming to find me after she’d got everything we came to get. Once we got together I continued to browse until I made my final decision which was quite hard because I wanted everything but life just got in the way. Anyways let’s discuss what’s important here, the goods:

Black Radiance | BRILLIANT EFFECTS LIP GLOSS – Fire Cracker | $4

Black Radiance | Perfect Tone Matte Lip Cream | Living in Violet| $4

Black Radiance | Perfect Tone Matte Lip Creme | Bronze Sugar | $4

Wet n Wild | Larger Concealer Brush | $1

Wet n Wild | Large Stipple Brush | $3

Wet n Wild | Powder Brush | $3

Cantu | Shea Butter Coconut Curling Cream | $2

Cantu | Cream Curl Activator | $2


#OOTN | Stepping Out of My Comfort Zone

Recently I was challenged by Dia&Co, a curated shopping experience that’s exclusively in sizes 14+, to step out of my comfort zone and try something new with my style. Every Friday in their office they celebrate Try-day which is a day where they challenge each other to step out of the box and try something new. Because of their challenge I was also able to participate in Try-day, and I must say it was a good day!

Stepping out of your comfort zone can seem like such a task, especially when it comes to wearing different styles of clothing. With my small shopping problem (depending who you ask) I’ve acquired a bit of clothing that I’ve never worn because I didn’t feel confident in them. Crop tops, dresses, high heel shoes and shorts galore – this behavior has to be put to an end. To get a jump start on this I created an outfit with this super cute black and white off the shoulder crop top that I’ve had for over a year and never worn. I would always take it out as an option when getting ready for a night on the town but I’d punk out and decide to wear something more “comfortable”. Comfortable meaning something I’ve worn several times and I know it would look good on me. This mindset has really hindered me from stepping outside of the box and trying something different with my look. Wearing this top is just a small step because I wear a lot of off the shoulder tops but a crop top that highlights some of my insecurities.. no it hasn’t happened.


I’m getting out of my negative head space by doing what feels right and what looks good.

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Outfit details:

Crop Top | Forever 21 Plus | $5

High Waisted Cropped Jeans | Gap

Faux Leather Jacket | New York & Company

Ella Lace Up Sandal | New Direction | $50

So don’t be like me and hoard clothes you’ll never wear in your closet. Try something new and rock. it.



What’s in My Travel Makeup Bag | Spring Break Edition

For my schools Spring Break my friends and I went to the beach, which didn’t require a majority of these items but you never know when you’ll need to pop out. For myself that didn’t happen until the night before our departure and I sure was glad I brought so many things.

What I brought :

Travel Makeup Bag

*some items weren’t on Polyvore so I couldn’t add them to my picture 😦

Nubian 2 | Juvias Place

Retinol Makeup Cleansing Wipes

Charmin Freshmates to Go

Mario Badescu | OG Facial Spray

L’Oreal | Silky Sheer Sunscreen Lotion 50+

Clinique | Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Clinique | Liquid Facial Soap – Mild

Clinique | Clarifying Lotion

Clinqiue | Dramatically Different Mositurizing Gel

Avon Ideal Flawless Translucent Loose Powder

Wet n Wild | Photo Focus Face Powder

Real Techniques | Miracle Complexion Sponge

Wet n Wild | Highters | The Sweetest Bling & Lilac to Reality

ELF Brownie Points Eye Base

ELF Pout Perfector in Glow

Clinique Stay Matte foundation 25 Spice

LA Girl Pro Orange Corrector

Makeup Revolution|Baked Bronzer in Rock On World    smfld

YSL | Black Opium

Covergirl Super Sizer Fibers Mascara

MAC Cosmetics | Lipstick | Violetta

NYC Liquid Liner

La colors contour stick in bronzer

Black radiance True Complexion Primer

NYX Liquid Crystal Liner in Crystal Pink

Black Radiance | Brilliant Effects Lipgloss |

NYX Cosmic Metals in Asteroid Aura

Wet n Wild Lipgloss in the Loco-Potion

Wet n Wild |Photo Focus Concealer

Ruby Kisses Pure Mineral Concealer in Golden Honey

Covergirl Lip Lava

Sephora Citrus Brush Cleaner Spray

Carmex Daily Care Lipbalm in Winter Mint

Wet n Wild Mink Eyebrow Pencil

Am I the only one who over packs no matter where I’m going or how long I’ll be there? Please say no LOL.


Mini Hair Product Reviews: L’Oreal EverPure Moisture Collection

I’m not the pickiest person when it comes to purchasing hair care items and I don’t care which section they come from – what matters to me is the packaging and the price point. With that being said, If I saw any of these products in the hair care section I would probably glance at them and keep it moving. At first glance I was a bit skeptical about these products but I’ve come to like most of them.

I should add that I received these items for free to review from Influenster which gave me the opportunity to try them out. If you would like to read other reviews of these products I have each item linked below!


Shampoo: If I had to rate these items from 1-3 with 1 being my favorite this would be my second favorite. This works so well on my hair and it doesn’t leave my hair feeling stripped after using. At first I wasn’t feeling the fragrance but I have come to enjoy the rosemary scent while washing my hair. This smells better than the conditioner even though they are the same.. allegedly LOL. I would definitely purchase this if they changed the packaging because it sometimes doesn’t want to close and other times product will leak out.

Conditioner: I could live without this conditioner in my life. I know I’m being my usual dramatic self but I don’t think I’m being very extra with this review. The scent isn’t my favorite and my hair feels a bit dry after using. I didn’t see my usual juicy curls/coils after use and my hair dried super quick. Maybe the moisture was locked in but I’m not an expert on natural hair so I can only speak on what I saw.

10-in-1 Elixir: Like I mentioned above in the shampoo review – if I had to rate this item from 1-3 with 1 being my favorite this is it! I used this Elixir with my JBCO Leave-in from Shea Moisture when doing a twist out and I had one of the best twist outs in my natural hair history. My hair was so defined and moisturized, I would definitely purchase this again!

(L) After shampooing and conditioning –  (R) my best twist out to date!

If you are interested in trying only ONE of these items from the EverPure Moisture line then you should get the 10-in-one Elixir, you won’t regret it. Hopefully!


Utilize Your Resources for FREE Makeup!

Warning, this title is not sensationalized because you can get makeup for free without dumpster diving or whatever crazy methods that are showcased on YouTube. This method of receiving free products is called sampling. By sampling you are able to find your correct shade, which products you like and if you are willing to spend money on the full size item in the future. I believe every makeup counter gives samples of products (you just need to ask) and Sephora gives three per visit, so you are able to rack up on items you’ve been coveting without breaking the bank or making a purchase at the counter/store.

Sometime last week, my friend Raj and I went to the mall to look around and see if we could find something cute to wear for a huge party on-campus, which she did. While there we decided that we would go get a few samples of foundation and concealers that we were interested in trying from high-end companies like Lancome and Bobbi Brown. Eventually that turned into us shamelessly going to both Sephora’s in the mall for more samples of other products – like skin care and whatever else I could think of at the time. This left us with a nice amount of items to try to potentially purchase or to sample again. From this trip I ended with 10 samples which are listed below:

Becca Aqua Luminous Perfecting foundation in Deep Bronze

Clinique Super Balanced foundation in 15 Golden

Bobbi Brown Long Wear Even Finish in Almond

Lancome Teint Idole foundation in 500 Suede W

Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm

Facial Oil from Lancome not sure the name but who doesn’t love expensive products

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Primer in Caramel

Murad Essential -C Cleanser

Make Up For Ever Step 1 Smoothing Primer

Becca Skin Perfector in Rose Gold

I guess you could say that we had a pretty successful trip!

At Lancome getting matched for a foundation: