Jessica's Product Diary

By Jessica Varner

Have you ever wondered who writes for The Avenue? Now, you have the chance to get to know some of our amazing contributors, and snag some great product recommendations at the same time! Welcome to the first of (hopefully) many Product Diaries.

There are two distinct lifestyles at Northeastern: co-op and classes. My routine and schedule varies greatly between the two. While in classes everything is erratic. I never know when I’m going to wake up, eat, do homework, workout, or anything else; it kind of all just happens. Currently, I’m on co-op, and I have found my life is much more structured. This structure has led me to forms routines, some I stick to rigidly and others that only occur on occasion. I typically live my life in a disorganized manner —I plan things last minute, and I’m am always up for spur of the moment activities — but within this erratic schedule I am surprisingly organized. I spend much of my free time making spreadsheets, helping my friends with their course selection, and thinking further into the future than probably necessary. Through all of this there are some products and brands that hold it all together, like the JIF peanut butter that holds the bananas to my toast every morning.


I’m currently co-oping at Wayfair, which is conveniently located two T-stops or a twenty minute walk away from Northeastern. I usually arrive at work between 9 and 9:30 a.m., which allows me to wake up leisurely each morning at around 8 a.m.. This morning, for instance, I rolled out of bed at 8:17 a.m., popped some toast in my Black + Decker toaster oven, turned on the tea kettle, and made the same turkey and swiss sandwich I eat everyday. After making my lunch and eating my breakfast, I brushed my teeth with my Colgate toothpaste and began my skincare routine (that doesn’t always actually happen even though it should). I start by washing my face with my Neutrogena Healthy Skin Boosters Daily Scrub (with white tea and vitamin e). Next I applied my Retinol Brightening Serum from Rosen Apothecary, followed by Glow Facial Serum (with vitamin c and magnesium) from Valjean Labs. (I purchased all three of these products at Marshalls, because skincare on a budget IS possible!) Lastly, I applied Glossier Priming Moisturizer because winter is here and my skin WILL dry out flake off like Voldemort at the end of Harry Potter if I let it.  

Getting dressed is always interesting. Some nights I plan out an outfit, wake up, put it on, and go to work. Other times I wake up, try on eighteen different things that someone all don’t feel sufficient, and leave my dorm wondering where I went wrong in life. This morning when I woke up there was no planned outfit waiting. I plucked a pink Topshop sweater out of the heap of clothes that sits on my desk chair (the rejects of previous mornings), pulled my black, faux leather Free People skirt out of my closet, and threw on some black tights so I wouldn’t freeze on my way to work. I paired this with some heeled black chelsea boots from Zara and my tweed Jack Wills coat I got my junior year of high school and refuse to ever get rid of. Finally, I was ready to face the world.

I always forget something when I go to work. Today it was my favorite lip balm, Chapstick Total Hydration in coconut, my Apple earbuds, and my umbrella. Each loss became apparent throughout the day as my lips began to feel more chapped, I was unable to listen to music while working, and worst of all, when I walked home in the rain.

After an hour of being at work the need for caffeine became too apparent to ignore. My coworker and I, determined to complete our star-challenges for the week, journeyed to one of the three Starbucks within 500 feet of our office. I ordered a toasted white chocolate mocha with coconut milk and then returned to sitting in front of my computer until lunch. At lunch, I ate the sandwich I made in the morning and snacked on a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos at my desk afterwards. By the time it hit 1PM I was probably on my third Bigelow English Breakfast Tea which I continuously refill throughout the day. Since it was a light day at work I spent a lot of time scrolling through Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat on my iPhone X, wishing I had headphones so I could listen to the new Ariana Grande song. At 5PM I grabbed my Cole Haan leather backpack and headed out of the office.

My next stop was the ever-glamorous Star Market. I picked up the turkey, cheese, and bread I use to make my sandwich every morning since I was running low on supplies, and then proceeded to walk back to West Village in the slight drizzle. Upon arriving home, I ate my leftover ramen from Wagamama and threw on my Taylor Swift Reputation Tour sweatshirt, ready to get cozy. After watching half of an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I applied my Peter Thomas Roth cucumber gel face mask and sat down to write this blog which I have procrastinated for wayyy too long now. So now I’m sitting on my couch, using my Macbook Pro and a whole bunch of brain cells to type out all the products I used throughout my day. Scrolling through this it appears I am probably the most basic person alive but I’m out here having a good time doing that.

Once I finish this, I’m going to repeat the same skincare routine as this morning. I’ll probably take some Nyquil because my throat has been feeling weird all day and because I can never sleep, brush my teeth with my good old Colgate toothpaste, crawl under my Anthropologie comforter, and wait until my alarm wakes me up again tomorrow at 7:45 a.m. Then, I can ignore it for a solid half an hour before actually emerging from my comfy, warm cocoon and doing it all over again.