Philosophy renewed hope in a jar review and dupe

Hey guys!

So I’m sure many of you have heard of the famous,  award-winning Philosophy renewed hope in a jar, or at least their first formula, hope in a jar. If you check the ratings on this product you’ll notice it has almost 5 stars. So this product must be a holy grail, right? Eh…

Back in December my mom and I were in Ulta and tried a little sample of this product and immediately fell in love. Our skin was so so so silky soft, so of course it was purchased. It retails at about $47-$75 depending on the size of jar you choose. However, if you do want to try it out yourself without putting a hole in your pocket, y0u can purchase a 0.5 fl. oz jar for about $16.

philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Review

Lets get to the review:


  • Baby smooth skin
  • Hydrates
  • Makes your skin glow
  • Isn’t greasy
  • Free of parabens and sulfates


  • The price
  • Doesn’t contain SPF
  • Flakes BAD

Since it doesn’t contain SPF, I’ve been wearing a silky moisturizer underneath that has SPF. However, when applying renewed hope in a jar on top, after it dries you’ll notice your skin start to flake, and the product will peel off looking like dead skin. WHAT. This stuff is way too pricey to do that.

Luckily I found a dupe:


Thanks to my March 2016 Ipsy bag, I received Ziaja Goat’s Milk Day Cream.

Note: This may be more suited to those who have drier skin.

This made my skin look and feel exactly the same way that Philosophy’s renewed hope in a jar did… without the flakiness with other products. Another advantage that this product has is that on Amazon it’s sold for only $9.86.

For some of you, Philosophy’s renewed hope in a jar may be your holy grail, but I wouldn’t exactly say it’s mine. If you’re looking for a dupe, I would definitely suggest Ziaja Goat’s Milk Day Cream for a fraction of the price.

I hope all is well!

The Optimistic Collegiate



I’m back! Let’s talk about spring fashion!

I’m back! And holy moly it’s been long over due since I’ve written on here. For those of you who I follow I’ve been reading a ton of your posts, I promise. However, I have had a ton of assignments, exams, and other things that have been keeping me busy for a while. Now that I have some free time -or now that I feel like procrastinating from homework- I thought that I’d take a seat and chat with you all.

Spring is here, and that’s not saying much for Wisconsin. Just yesterday we had a snow storm and today it’s a beautiful and sunny mid 50 degree day. I don’t get it. But I’m not complaining, the weather just keeps us on our toes around here.

Speaking of spring, let’s talk spring fashion. Transitioning from the darker colors of fall and winter, bright colors and pastels are always a happy change… and also an excuse to go shopping (which I still need to do). My roommate has been crocheting beautiful tops for people around the area that we live, and also her hometown, but is in the process of designing her own website for a wider audience. I’ll probably do a follow up post once she gets everything in line in case you guys are interested to order. As you can see below, she’s quite talented and I’m extremely jealous of her creative abilities -she gets it from her mama.


Spring fashion includes a bunch of pastels, florals, stripes, lace, jean jackets, etc. Let’s take a look at a some of my favorite styles (in case you were curious):

I just want to point out how cool it is that WordPress puts together a cute little layout for your pictures so you don’t have to… Anyways… I promise I’ll try harder to post more. I hope all is well with you all and that you’re enjoying this nice weather we’re having! …Rain, snow, or sunshine.

– The Optimistic Collegiate

February Ipsy Bag

Hey everyone!

So I may have told a little white lie. According to my last post, (click here to check it out) I posted at the end that my next one would be about my review and opinion on TRESemmé’s new Expert Bontanique Nourish and Replenish shampoo and conditioner. However, since I’m a new blogger, I couldn’t hold out any longer on writing my next post, and I still haven’t used the shampoo and conditioner long enough to be able to give my true opinion.

That’s what brings me here to share with you my FEBRUARY IPSY BAG! And as you can tell from the bolded caps lock lettering, I am pretty dang excited about it.

This is the first month of my Ipsy glam bag subscription, and let me just say they did not disappoint. I had watched a lot of YouTube reviews/un-boxing videos about Ipsy and BirchBox and decided that for $10 a month, I had to give this a try. (I ended up subscribing to BirchBox too, but I’ll save that for another post)

To give a little backstory on Ipsy for those who don’t know what it is, it’s a monthly $10 subscription that sends you five samples of products from amazing brands that you may or may not have heard of prior. Not only do you get those five samples, each month you’ll get a cute little makeup bag that’s designed according to that month’s theme. This month was Pretty In #IpsyPink. If you’re on a tight budget like me, love makeup, skincare products, hair products, pretty much anything beauty related, HIT THIS UP. You will not be disappointed. It’s like Christmas every month that comes in a metallic pink package. If you want to join Ipsy, you can sign up at


-Drumroll please-


February Glam Bag

In my complete honest opinion, this isn’t exactly my style. I think the bag is cute, but I wouldn’t have purchased it on my own, if that makes sense. It has a textured front, with a smooth plastic back.

Overall: 1/5



THEORIE Argan Oil Ultimate Reform Hair Serum

I wasn’t really expecting much from this product considering I’ve tried numerous argan oils before, and am a pretty dedicated buyer of Josie Maran Pure Argan Oil, but I was incredibly impressed with this. Like most argan oils, you can apply it to dry or damp hair. But if you read the back it says “PRO TIP: Add a few drops to any Theorie Conditioner for optimal effects.” Now since I don’t own any of Theorie’s conditioners, I thought I’d still give it a shot by mixing it in with my own. I’m not kidding you guys, it actually made a difference. You can probably do this with any argan oil, but I would definitely recommend trying it if your hair is super dry. I promise you’ll notice a difference. As for smell, it has a light fresh fragrance.

Retail price of full size: $39

Overall: 5/5



tre’StiQue Baby Blush Stick in Bora Bora Coral

When I first saw this I was really excited about the color that was selected for me because coral goes really well with my olive skin tone. I’ve never used a blush stick until now, and I do have to say I like it. I don’t know if I’ll purchase the full size, however, but the formula really blends well into your skin and the rest of your makeup. It looked like a natural flush from your skin rather than a resemblance of a clown.

Retail price of full size: $34

Overall: 4/5



Ciaté London Nail Polish in Hutch- my go-to red

Anyone who’s been to my house has probably seen my boxes full of nail polish. I love this stuff. So I was thrilled to see Ipsy had put a mini one in this month’s bag. My first thought was about how I was so pleased that it was in red because that’s one of my go-to nail colors to use (apparently the name fits well). However, I wasn’t that blown away by the shade or the formula of this nail polish. Once I put it on my nails, it was a bright, some what orange toned red. It would be more suitable for me in the summer I would say, rather than February. The nail polish itself wasn’t anything special. Most likely will not buy the full size, but the sample also came with a good amount that’ll last.

Retail price of full size: $24

Overall: 2/5



ModelCo LIP LAQUER Lip Gloss in Morocco 

When I noticed that I had received lip gloss I started to have flashbacks of my middle school days. To say the least, I cringed a bit (a lot a bit). But I’ve noticed that lip gloss and shiny plump lips are starting to make a come back. The color was a beautiful nude shade, so I wasn’t mad at it. I’m still a little bit on the edge of starting to bring back lip gloss into my makeup routine, but this one is still beautiful on.

Retail price of full size: $24

Overall: 3/5



IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye® Anti-Aging Concealer

I’m saving the best for last because this is an item I will without a doubt be purchasing. The skin underneath my eyes is really thin, so when I don’t have makeup on I feel like it occasionally looks like I got beat up. Some of my favorite YouTube beauty gurus completely swear by this stuff. So when I saw in Ipsy’s sneak-peak that I had a chance to receive it, I was giddy. Thank goodness I did because it’s all that it’s hyped up to be. The consistency of this concealer is unlike any I’ve ever tried before. It’s really tacky and sticky, so it clings to the skin under your eyes more effectively and doesn’t wear off. It does crease a little bit, but every concealer I’ve ever tried does that so I can’t complain. Give this a try if you’re on the same boat as me and have dark circles under those beautiful eyes of yours. Another bonus is that it contains anti-aging ingredients such as collagen and Vitamins C & K.

Retail price of full size: $24

Overall: 5/5


Join Ipsy!! It’s so exciting to get a little gift from yourself every month full of goodies that are specifically chosen for you (you take a quiz in the beginning so they know what would be best suited for you personally). If you love higher end products, but don’t want to spend over half your bank account trying them, invest $10 a month in Ipsy. Each sample had a great amount of product in it that’ll last a while. And since you’ve then had tried each sample yourself, you’ll be able to make a thorough judgement whether or not you want to drop your hard-earned dollar on the full size.

Tip: For those of you who didn’t know about Ipsy, and whether or not you choose to subscribe, each month they offer discount codes for the brands that they’re giving out that current month. I believe you can still access and use the codes even if you aren’t a member. They also do daily discounts on a product that you can buy off of their website for usually almost half the price of the original.


I hope all is well!

The Optimistic Collegiate 

Joined The Coconut Oil Bandwagon

Hi everybody!

So of course living in the dry brutal winter months of Wisconsin, if I hear about a cheap and truly effective solution for my extremely dehydrated skin, I’m going to try it out.

Before I did, I still did my research like how I do with every product I consider buying. Being a college student already puts a dent in my wallet with rent, school debt, food, you get the idea. Since coconut oil is in the spotlight right now, I didn’t have any trouble finding any reviews and extreme claims on this product.

Apparently, according to my beauty research, this stuff is the holy grail of oils. However, you have to get the organic, extra virgin, cold-pressed, version of it. For skincare, it’s said to not only hydrate your skin but helps clear up and prevent breakouts due to it being able to fight bacteria. For hair, it’s supposed to work as an extreme hydrating mask, making your hair soft, silky, and of course- hydrated. There are a lot of internal benefits coconut oil has for your body, but we’re not talking about that today because I can’t personally be able to tell you my testimony on that view.

If you want to look up the benefits, pros, cons, etc. I suggest checking out reliable websites, scholarly articles, or just trying it out yourself. By relatable websites, I’m talking about medical websites, like Check out Google Scholar for scholarly articles that have been fact checked and backed up upon so you’re getting the real information.


Now let’s get to what you’ve all been waiting for:

My Personal Review On Coconut Oil

Is it really all it’s worked up to be? My answer is YES! Absolutely. 100%

Living in the Midwest, I know cold and dry skin more than
most. And with me having naturally curly hair, I also know dry ends more than most.

If you’re curious on what product I specifically used it was the Carrington Farms 100% Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil. I purchased it at Walmart for only $7.20, so hit that up.


For the past two months, I’ve been using coconut oil on my skin in the day and the night as part of my routine, with other moisturizers, and I’ve noticed a dramatic difference. With me being in college, my stress levels vary from very high to low. My skin is definitely the number one thing effected from that. That being said, after I’ve been putting coconut oil on my skin I’ve noticed a serious change. Even in the winter months, my skin has been hydrated, my acne is no longer there, and my skin feels as smooth as a baby’s butt.

I swear to you all that I’m not just saying any of this. I only paid a little over $7 at Walmart for a little tub of this stuff and it works amazing. $7.20 compared to the $80 face creams is seriously nothing. So for all of you looking for something great for your skin, I would without a doubt suggest it.


Okay, okay. Now for those of you who are blessed with normal skin that doesn’t dry up and make you look like you’re 20 years older than what you really are, but you have those dry scratchy ends at the bottom of each hair strand, this works for you too.

About once a week I’ve been applying a big handful to the ends up my hair and working it up onto the scalp to help with hydrating each strand. Now first I do have to say after you rinse this out, SHAMPOO VERY WELL. Your roots will look greasy, but it’s extremely beneficial to your scalp. However, if you have naturally oily roots, I wouldn’t go too far up.

I usually do this at night, and then let my hair air dry until the morning. Without any product put into my hair, my hair wasn’t frizzy, scratchy, dry, nada. It was honestly a god sent. However, like I said, I did notice that my roots got very oily since I didn’t thoroughly shampoo my scalp well enough I guess. So after my morning class, I came home and took a quick shower and styled my hair as usual. My ends were still soooooooo soft you guys. It honestly looked and felt healthy for once instead of dry and brittle. For six bucks, this is definitely worth giving a shot.

Next post

I’ve just recently purchase TRESemmé’s new Expert Botanique Nourish & Replenish shampoo and conditioner, and tried it out this morning. So far so good, but before I give my final input I’m going to use it for a little while longer.


I hope all is well you guys!

The Optimistic Collegiate