h&m beauty grwm + my winter goals | how i plan to conquer winter 2018

Now that winter is in full swing, and 2018 is not too far away, it’s got me thinking about a new set of goals. Setting goals for each season, I believe, really can affect an outlook for the next couple of months. It keeps you focused. It keeps you grounded. I’ve been setting seasonal goals since the summer, after my best friend challenged me to write 250 words a day for a novel that I would eventually finish by the end of July 2017. Since then, I look forward to a new season for three reasons: the weather, the fashion, and the goal-setting.

h&m beauty grwm

In the fall, I set a list autumn goals, and as I read back through them now, I realize that I accomplished quite a few, like I sort of understand makeup now and I started dressing in threads that make me feel fab! This winter’s goals are a little more business-y/#girlboss oriented, and I’m excited to see where Winter 2018 will lead me. (Besides, you guys LOVE reading my seasonal goal posts, so this one is for you!) I’m doing something a little different this time ’round though, and combining my goals post with a GRWM, just to add a little flare and share my thoughts about H&M’s beauty line!! Today I got ready for a local dance recital at a high school. (Sidenote: my mom and I saw an ad in the newspaper and decided to go. We did not know the kids or the school. Haha!)

1. Open an Etsy Shop

After washing my hair with an Aveda shampoo and conditioner (comment below if you’d like a short hair care routine!), I take my Universal Styling creme, apply this to my hair, then comb through with a wide-tooth comb. Since cutting my hair, I have been using Aveda products, which are high-end and salon-quality. I will admit that these products are a little expensive, but they do wonders. I’m also not too sure what is in the products, but there’s always this cooling feeling when I apply them that’s really relaxing.

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Next year, I want to open my own Etsy shop. (Though, with threats of Net Neutrality, I will admit that I am slightly apprehensive.) My shop would have the same name as my blog/social medias: hello ninetyseven. I really want to start branding myself as both a photographer and blogger. I have now added a photography category to my blog, so you can check out some of my shots here.  For my Etsy shop, I plan to sell photographic prints at around $30 or less, adding special touches, like hand-written notes or small gifts. if this is something you’d be interested in or have questions about the shop, please comment below. I haven’t opened the shop yet, because I am still researching branding tools, and figuring out if Etsy is right for me!

2. Finishing writing novel

Let’s have a nice chat about H&M’s beauty line. I will admit that I had low expectations, while both ordering and then later receiving my order (my order arrived two weeks late, but that’s another story). Before, I’d believed that popular brands, like Smashbox and Benefit only provided quality makeup. I thought I’d have to spend double digits to triple digits on makeup. But after I opened my H&M order, I was immediately impressed. First, the packaging is A+. The boxes that the products come in are black and white–my aesthetic–with a smooth, matte white finish. Both the packaging and the actual tubing of the products is minimalistic, which gets two thumbs up from me.

I’d never used a brow gel before so, I wasn’t sure how I would like it. But as soon as I swiped it across my brow, I loved it. As someone who always had wild catepillars for eyebrows, this became a lifesaver. The only issue I have with it is, the gel is very thin, and I was hoping it was a little thicker and tame the little hairs at the end of my brows. But other than that, I like it. The Maximalist Mascara makes my lashes extremely voluminous. After only two coats, I definetly saw a difference. It doesn’t clump or create dots on my brow bone. A huge plus. Lastly, I can’t get enough of the Lip Color To-Go in the shade When in Rome. I wanted to try something that was subtle, and more brown than pink, since it’s winter. After one swipe, my lips immediately became moisturized. It’s not super pigmented, which I like, and is in between a gloss and matte. It doesn’t survive a meal though…sadly.

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I have been writing my novel for exactly one year this month. Since it’s a work-in-progress, I’m keeping the title under wraps, but I often refer to it as Mateo. Mateo follows a high school boy during a major social movement, who is appropriately named Mateo. I sort of threw young Mateo into a fire of social injustice, while having him navigate through his first heartbreak, second “first love”, the decomposition of his identity as a minority, and the risk of his family falling apart. If you’ve read The Hate U Give, it may seem like the story of Mateo and Starr are parallel, but trust me, I began reading The Hate U Give this month. Mateo is strictly pre-The Hate U Give. 

I started writing it after a few events occured last year that I necessarily didn’t agree with. It also was birthed out of a conversation that I had with my photography professor at the time, who told me that I (yes, specifically me) shouldn’t be silenced becuase of fear, and that because I write and photograph, I had a lot of power. When I first started writing, there was a lot of pressure for it to be impactful, powerful enough to awaken. But now, after twelve months, I find myself writing with my heart instead of my head. I currently have over 12,000 words written for Mateo, and 2018 feels like the year that it will be finished and self-published. Fingers-crossed.

4. Put my mental health first

For my outfit, of course I’m sporting Forever21 with a lil’ H&M. Are you surprised? Haha! Lately, fashion is something I’ve gotten into. I find it to be one of the easiest ways to express myself. Though I loosely follow trends, I tailor them to my comfort level. My style can be defined as “office-street chic,” in that I like dressing professionally, but I do wear enjoy a biker jacket every now and again.

Here are some links to the completed outfit:

Lipstick Pencil


Dress (unfortunately, there are only plus sizes avaliable! But this is what the dress looks like. Hoping they restock all the sizes soon!)

Jeans (I wore jeans with my dress because it was 20 degrees the night of the recital! But two things: these jeans run a little small. So, I would recommend going up a size or two, because they will basically fit like leggings if you go with your normal size. I would like to warn you that I waited over three weeks for my H&M order to arrive. Some items may become sold out, even though you’ve already purchased them! If do want to purchase something from H&M, I would recommend buying in-store.)

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To first work on my mental health, I had to address the mental health struggles I faced. I had a hard time coping with my anxiety while in Hong Kong for a multitude of reasons. Some of those reasons were my insecurities. I revealed to the Twitterverse a few days that I would speak on my insecurities, and I definetly go in-depth will in a future post. I was inspired by Dorkface’s post All My Insecurities, after she revealed her insecurities last year. I thought it was extremely brave, especially for a blogger because you have the choice to what to reveal, for her to do this.

One of my main insecurities I have is that I am not body positive. I will admit that I do look in the mirror and I am unhappy with what I see. From my weight to my apperance. BUT my new haircut has definetly boosted my self-esteem because my hair is my crown. My crown used to be “dented” and “rusty”. My confidence plumeted. Prior to the cut, I was extremely unhappy with my hair. I went natural, but then it ended in a matted disaster. I didn’t feel pretty. I felt anything but, and I knew I needed to change that.

My lack of know-how with makeup also caused me to be insecure, because I wanted to look put together. I just didn’t know how. I know makeup isn’t something crucial to being beautiful, but for some reason, I felt less of a girl because I was comparing myself to the girls on YouTube, and the girls at my school who mastered something (I considered to be basic knowledge) I couldn’t. This time around, I’m starting fresh and taking baby steps.

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Thank you so much for reading this post.

Thank you for the nice thread of tweets a few days ago. I appreciate that more than anything.

Thank you for always replying to my blogger questions.

Thank you for just being there.

*Also shoutout to Trevor Jackson for replying to my tweet. My life is made. BLESS UP!*





get lost. get found.

-hello ninetyseven


17 thoughts on “h&m beauty grwm + my winter goals | how i plan to conquer winter 2018

    1. Can you send me the link to your Etsy store? I’d love to see what you have on there. Apparently it’s like full time job trying to keep up with it, so I understand. Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I’d love to read your novel! Maybe you could give us snippets of it in your next post?
    Thinking of opening an etsy shop here as well to sell my paintings but its just hard for me to part with something I’ve put much efforts in….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you! I may share some snippets, but it’s still a work in progress! I definitely see how it would be part to something with you’ve made. But is it possible to make copies of it??

      Liked by 1 person

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