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Retail therapy is real. But more importantly, treating yourself to small items that can improve your confidence and image is so influential on your mood. As the weather gets colder and gloomier, here are some little budget-friendly items that might spark a bit of happiness in your day.

  1. Gel Nail Strips

I’m a stressed out college student with time constraints. I never have the time to sit and paint my nails, let them dry, put the top coat on, and all that jazz. What I love to do instead is pick up nail strips from Target, CVS, or Walgreens! They have the most adorable, fun designs that I could never achieve on my own, nor would I be willing to pay for at a salon. A pro tip to make your gel strips last longer is to top them off with a quick dry top coat just to seal them onto your nails. I’ve had sets last for two weeks before. To remove, you can just peel off with tweezers or use cuticle oil to help loosen them up. They’re fantastic and right now, stores like CVS and Target are carrying Halloween designs that I’m obsessed with. They can be a few dollars more at the previously mentioned stores, so make sure to double check if they’re also at your local Marshalls or TJ Maxx. Go grab a set and feel good with a manicure that takes genuinely two minutes total to apply. 

  1. Flowers

Never underestimate the positive influence flowers can have on your mood. Whenever it’s been a rough week, I grab a simple bouquet when I’m out at the grocery store or at Target to lighten my mood. They can seem sometimes like a wasted purchase since they wilt quickly, but with a couple care tips flowers can last so much longer than you think. For example, make sure there’s no leaves below the water level by trimming up the stems. Always use good scissors and cut the bottom of the stems at a slight angle. Finally, refresh the water every couple of days when it looks cloudy. I’ve had $8 bouquets from Target last me two weeks and totally brighten up my room.

  1. Tony Moly

Tony Moly is the best Korean skincare I have found for affordable prices available on Amazon or at Ulta. Seriously treat yourself to anything from this brand. Grab a pack of versatile face masks, a pore cleanser, or really anything from this line. The packaging is usually really fun and cute. This brand just always leaves my skin better than it was before and has never once made me breakout. The best self-care can be skin-care and a good show to binge.

  1. Hair Mask

Since we’ve covered skin and nails, don’t forget to treat yourself to a hair care product to make yourself feel extra confident. Hair masks are a little treat I do once in a while. Most of my favorites come from Target or whatever I can find discounted at a TJ Maxx. There’s nothing like the feeling of fresh clean hair, especially when it’s extra soft and smells good from a deep treatment. I think having a good hair day can always lift your mood and improve your confidence.

  1. A Coffee, Snack, or Any Treat

No self-care day or attitude is complete without a food treat you normally don’t get. If you grab a coffee on your way to campus or work everyday, then do something else that’s special. Find an item that you never let yourself get and just enjoy it for a day. Maybe it’s ice cream, maybe it’s a bagel from your favorite place, but whatever it is, remember to treat yourself when you need it. 

My name is Sophia Hess and I'm a junior from Leominster, MA. With a major in design and minors in marketing and visual arts, I'm passionate about art and aesthetics. In my free time I love being with friends, listening to music, and finding new places to work on photography.
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