What’s In My Bag: Fall Edit + A Life Update

Alright guys, settle in for a long, juicy one.

Fall is in full swing, and just like seasons, our beauty and fashion choices shift. Needless to say, it’s been a challenge chasing the needs of my skin with the fluctuating temperatures lately! As cooler temps start to approach, it’s super important to start strategizing your own personal skincare routine. It’s also even more important to take a moment to re-center after a season of summer travels. I also found it therapeutic this week to reset, recenter, and get creative after this past season’s dust settled. This week, I’m coupling my personal seasonal shift with my product shift, hand in hand.

Many of you may not know that I also balance a career in technology sales alongside my creative space here. That said, it can be freaking insanity for your skin and life balance. That goes for many of us, blogger or not. If you’re in a slump when it comes to figuring out how to balance your passions and work schedule at the same time, I want you to know that you are not alone, and there’s a solution.

Detox for fall.

Before you roll your eyes assuming this is a basics buzzword, hear me out. Detox is the yang to our personal yin. When you stop feeling guilty for your splurges and accept the balance you seek, only then will you be able to design your own life balance. Knowing your personal limits, whether that be 12 hour work days or 2 drinks at happy hour, gives you the power to realize your potential and also what hinders it. Crazy, right?  Failing will teach you a lot. Don’t be afraid of failing, just use it to your advantage.

I learned this past year that I needed a serious balance check, in work and life. Putting all my love and labor into a professional outlet and personal relationships that did not genuinely love me or support me back was toxic. When you take a step back to stop and suck the blockers out of your immediate surroundings, you find yourself again. When I say you, here’s what I don’t mean: your social image, who your friends are, what your body type is, or even the style you prefer to rock. Instead, I’m talking about what ignites your soul and what defines your values. Detox all the way to your soul, and re-edit.

This year, I edited everything: my unbalanced lifestyle, toxic relationships, toxic environments, and found the key to designing my true potential. Toss the stuff you don’t need in life: petty hate thrown your way, other people’s surface level opinions of you, and anything that’s not working with you. My vices? Behold:

Marine Collagen Peptide Drink Powder: This shit is gold. There’s a reason the beauty world is abuzz about collagen, boasting the whole inner beauty concept as their marketing. I dig it. It really is the key to building your best you from the inside out. Since adding this HSN gem to my nutritional lineup, I’m looking and feeling like a million bucks. I some of this stuff in my purse and add it to my water before meals or to my gym water bottle. Try it. Tell me your story!

Glossier Mega Greens Galaxy Pack: Best affordable detox mask on the market in my opinion. I go through at least one of these every season, and it’s been a game changer for my skin. I even shared it with my techie male co-workers to prove a point in statistics. Straight and gay men alike dig it, and you should too. Stay tuned for a whole series coming soon: beauty shit even guys can get behind. Yes, beauty for all.

Glossier Super Pure: If your skin sucks due to stressful work weeks or a crap diet of traveling, this serum’s for you. I lean on this for fall post-Fashion Week and summer. We have spent the last few months living life and splurging on food and drinks, so it’s time to get our skin in check.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence: This has come to be a staple in my beauty edits. Why? It helps your serums work better, and makeup sit better. It’s pricey and well worth the splurge. As fall sets in, you must think about adding moisture to your skin. I pair this with my Super Bounce serum, and it’s the golden ticket to perfect skin this season and next.

Foreo Play Cleanser: This tiny tool is the shit too. If you aren’t exfoliating, you’re covering your skin with more buildup and making your face a breeding ground for toxicity. I love that this small version is an affordable way to wean yourself into the tool game, and can personally say it gets the job done. I traveled with mine to New York Fashion Week, and it was instrumental in making my skin stay sane amid a nuts work schedule.

Move. On your own terms.

My nuts schedule and normal stresses of life wrecked havoc on my skin, social life, and workout routine. It wasn’t until I started actively making time for myself (no matter where I was) that I was able to find a stride that worked for me. If you feel like you do the same workout trends day after day without anything to really show for it, DITCH it. I’ve found myself reaching for solutions instead of the dream that’s often sold, and it’s been life-changing. That said, I’m not here to shit on group fitness or other creative workouts, I’m just saying find your balance that works for you, your body, and your life. Here are the current secrets to my success:

MoveWith: This amazing San Francisco based fitness technology allows you to do your favorite workouts on your own, and more importantly on your schedule and the way you live. Ever wanted a run coach on your favorite run route around the water or across town? Sick of paying through the nose to workout? Here’s the key to your workout destiny. It’s something I also recommend to my personal training clients and take it from them, it’s the answer to their workaholic lifestyles.

Trigger Point Foot Foam Roller: This piece of gear is one of my best-kept secrets. We are on our feet most of our day, so we need to care for them properly. Between heels, high-intensity workouts, and natural stress, we need to give our feet the recovery they deserve. It’s easy to roll this under your desk at work, at home, and on the go! I keep this in my work and gym bag so it’s easy to incorporate into daily life.

Educate yourself.

I’m a firm believer in continued education, none of our learning is ever really finished. I like to keep myself up to date on everything from fashion, health, history, and technology, as it changes the way we continue to design our future. The more you understand the failures of our generation and adjust, the better of you will be to actually start doing some good in your own life, and out in the world. Here are some of my favorite sources of education:

Reddit: If you aren’t reading on this site, you are behind the power curve. Not everything is gospel here, you have to do your sifting and thinking yourself. It’s a great way to get the buzz on new products, brands, and a pulse on the world. It looks janky as fuck, but once you start bouncing around it starts to make more sense, as you search for things that matter to you. Try it out!

Fat Mascara: I fucking love this podcast. The ladies are hilarious, and the education is real. Listen along on your ride to work, at home, or while traveling! It will give you a new boost of creativity when it comes to your beauty choices, and also get you listening to some of the best in the industry when it comes to learning beauty and making it work for you.

The Balanced Blonde: I love Jordan for several reasons. One, she’s from my hometown, Sacramento, and secondly, she’s such a genuine spirit. If you haven’t read her book, you must, especially if it’s honest life balance you’re seeking. Life is about trials and errors, and finding what works for you, and her personal account and lessons learned are relatable for any of us navigating the world today.

The Skinny Confidential: I also fucking LOVE Lauryn. She’s very much my cup of tea: ballsy and smart as fuck. Have you ever wanted REAL reviews, real raw shit? Me too. I love her fresh approach to learning what works for you through trying new ways to make the world and products around you work for YOU. She’s my self-confidence muse, reminding me to stay true to myself. It’s also wonderful to spend my day reading and connecting with other like-minded gals through social media. Check her podcast and Facebook group out!

Do fucking YOU.

The sooner you start living life for you, and not the life others create for you, is when you hit your stride. That goes for the world you surround yourself with as well. Strive to fill your life with people and places that support you through tough times, not just the easy parts. I have created this blog as a way to shake up the normal stigma of navigating life, fashion, and beauty, and want to CHALLENGE each of you to TRY adding in one of these picks and pieces from any of my posts and make it yours. I’m not here to tell you how to live, dress, or simply mimic what I put together. The beauty is in the journey of designing how you approach both fashion and beauty. Try. Fail. Learn. Succeed.

Photos by Paulina Perrucci 



  1. maggie
    October 20, 2017 / 7:22 pm

    Will have to listen to these podcasts! Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. October 20, 2017 / 8:14 pm

    I go on Reddit Conspiracy Theory way more than I should — it’s so addicting!

  3. October 21, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    I love this post girl!! I’m going to need to try that facial treatment!

    cute & little

  4. October 22, 2017 / 2:18 am

    Oooof, I am in a major need of a detox (both inside and out) myself

    – Gita (www.mimiandchichi.com)

    • Mandy Gragg
      October 22, 2017 / 10:53 pm

      Aww you’ve got this too girl! 💓

  5. October 26, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I’m detoxing right now too HAHA Loading up on whole 30 goodness. I went overboard on fall sweets last month. Xo Mindy

  6. Azanique
    October 27, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    Detoxing is at the top of my list! It is a must this season.

    -xo, Azanique | http://www.lotsofass.com

  7. October 27, 2017 / 2:40 pm

    I am LIVING for this post! I definitely need to do a detox soon. I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts and audio books lately. Need to check out your recs!


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