wellness wednesday: cold weather skincare must-haves

C2FCC8BA-EC99-4A55-8292-9FE32D6830F4.JPG

Happy Wednesday! I’m back with another wellness post and this time, it’s all about protecting your skin during the colder months when the air becomes dry and harsh. When I lived in New York, I would walk to work in FiDi every morning and I cut through the Oculus for most of the journey so that I could be inside, but just the short walk from the subway station to the Oculus resulted in my face turning red from the freezing cold and brutal wind. I remember that feeling so vividly and having to really amp up my skincare routine to protect my face and body.

During the winter months, it’s all about hydration and using products that are going to seal in moisture and sooth your wind whipped skin when you come in from the cold. While your face is a priority because it’s exposed more than the rest of you, don’t forget to take care of your body as well. Legs can be notoriously dry during the winter, but don’t worry, I have some good body recommendations below in addition to face.

Here are some of my (clean beauty) favorites:

the hand cream
If you’re anything like me, your hands get super dry in the winter just like the rest of your skin. I carry a hand cream with me throughout the day and also apply every night before bed to keep my hands soft and hydrated. My favorite is Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve because it’s so thick and hydrating plus you can wash your hands three times before needing to reapply, but another great option is the Grown Alchemist hand cream or one from Aesop.

the hydrating cleanser
Did you know you should be switching up your cleanser for the seasons? A cleanser that’s suitable for hot weather can be really dehydrating for your skin in the cold, dry months so I recommend switching to one that not only cleanses, but hydrates. A cleansing oil is really great this time of year! I like the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser with strawberry seed oil, the Juice Beauty Cleansing Milk which feels super hydrating immediately after use, or Derma E’s Nourishing Rose Cleansing Oil.

the heavy moisturizer
There’s nothing like putting on a thick, luxurious moisturizer before bed in the winter. You want to make sure that you’re using a moisturizer that’s going to not only hydrate and lock in moisture, but also repair and calm your skin after being exposed to the cold. Try something like Goop’s Replenishing Night Cream with hyaluronic acid, Ursa Major Golden Recovery Cream with calming calendula, or Bioderma’s Hydrabio Cream for a great, affordable yet still clean option.

the body oil
You can definitely find some great body butters and lotions for the winter, but I really like using oils when it’s especially cold and dry outside. They feel really good after a dry brush and a bath! I recommend some options such as the The Ritual of Happy Buddy Oil from Rituals, The Everyday Oil, or just plain old coconut oil.

the body scrub
Exfoliating is a big part of winter skincare for your face and body alike, as it’s sloughing off the dead skin cells that make our body so dry. Definitely get in the habit of dry brushing, but you can also try some great scrubs like The Ritual of Ayurveda Scrub (this one smells insanely good), Kopari’s Coconut Crush Scrub (which will give you nice summer vibes), or even a simple homemade scrub of coconut oil, sugar, and ground coffee.

the hydration mask
Finally, you want your weekly masking session to achieve your new goals for the season which, again, are hydration and healing. Pick something that’s going to add and lock in extra moisture while also addressing concerns like redness. I like the Korres Wild Rose Mask with hyaluronic acid and jojoba oil, the January Labs Moisture Renew Mask with squalane and avocado oil, or plain manuka honey which you can get from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

P.S. Even though it’s winter, don’t forget to wear your daily sunscreen!

wellness wednesday: my current skincare routine

6C61C8B2-AD20-47B4-87E9-CD4EA45E6E2D.JPG

It feels like I haven’t done a Wellness Wednesday post in a while, doesn’t it? Well, I’ve recently been making some updates to my skincare routine and paring down the number of products I have stored away in my bathroom from years of working in the beauty industry.

These days, my routine is pretty simple and only uses a few products that I know and love. Every so often, I rotate to different cleansers and face masks, but recently I’ve been going back to the same ones. So, here’s my updated skincare routine.

Morning

CLEANSING
In the morning, I usually wash my face with just water. However, if it’s a morning where I feel particularly oily or if I wore heavy makeup the night before, I’ll wash with a cotton pad of Bioderma.

MOISTURIZER
My daily moisturizer is the Derma-e Hydrating Day Cream, which is so good. It’s the perfect cocktail of hyaluronic acid, vitamin E, and green tea extract. Plus, it’s paraben free and not tested on animals.

SUNSCREEN
After moisturizer, I put on the EltaMD UV-Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 sunscreen. I like this one because it doesn’t have a smell and it doesn’t feel oily, but it’s also a clean brand and really affordable. I make sure to put on sunscreen every morning even if I’m not going to be outside because my house is very sunny.

SUPPLEMENTS
Right now, I take the Olly Undeniable Beauty gummy vitamins with vitamins C and E, biotin, and keratin. I mentioned before the story behind why I take these and I’ve really been loving them!

Evening


CLEANSING
In the evening, I take off my makeup (if I wore it) with Bioderma and then wash with the Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser. It smells so good and is really good for both brightening and tightening the skin as well as hydrating it.

OIL
I use a couple of different oils, which I’ll talk about in a future post. But mostly, I’m using the Eminence Rosehip Triple C+E Firming Oil on my face and neck.

MOISTURIZER
Right now, I’m using my Derma-E day cream at night as well. But sometimes, I skip moisturizer altogether because the oil is enough to hydrate my skin overnight.

Weekly

MASK
Every Friday, I use a face mask depending on what my concerns are that week. Usually, I like to do the Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask, the Omorovicza Deep Cleansing Mask, or the Charlotte Tilbury Goddess Skin Clay Mask.

STEAM
Before, during, or after my face mask on Fridays, I like to use my steamer as well. This helps to open and cleanse my pores as well as increasing circulation.

EXFOLIATE
Every Monday, I do an exfoliating treatment, whether it be chemical or physical. Typically, I do physical exfoliants and lately have been really enjoying the Summer Fridays Overtime Mask.

What skin care products are you loving lately?

the holiday gift guide

Can you believe it’s that time already?! I feel like some people start holiday shopping as early as the summer up to September/October, but it’s definitely in full swing by November. I love getting dressed in a cozy vest and jeans, buying a hot chocolate or caramel apple cider from Starbucks, then walking around my favorite shopping streets and areas. I swear, the process of shopping for the gifts is half the fun.

Because I’m not all about the consumerist culture of the holidays, I think I’ll only be sharing one holiday gift guide this year. Everything on this page is sectioned into categories by price and are all under $150. My gift giving philosophy is to give people special things that they may have had their eye on, but never actually bought for themselves. There are certain things like this for me that come to mind such as silk pillowcases and certain accessories. I’d love to have them, but always have something else come first. Those kinds of things make perfect gifts!

So, get your cup of hot chocolate and happy shopping!

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 2.43.42 PM.png

A monogram mug for sipping hot chocolate. A special ornament to add a personal touch to their tree. Seasonal pancake mixes for cozy mornings. A shea butter lotion with vintage-inspired packaging. Coconut body oil for the harsh winter weather. A natural sea wool sponge to exfoliate the skin. A jade roller for cozy self-care nights. A vanilla bean cacao candle for all the happy vibes. A baking set so they’ll make you treats. A chic apron with pockets full of extracts and spices. A gorgeous desk calendar for the year ahead. A Kiva gift card so that they can give back.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 2.43.50 PM.png

Aesop hand soap to step up their bathroom counter game. Caudalie’s Instant Detox mask for the best pampering routine. Handcrafted Mullein & Sparrow bath salts to support artisans. A set of Herbivore products because one isn’t enough. A cute clay hut for burning incense. A minimalist KeepCup to keep her drink warm on her commute. A set of question cards meant to increase emotional intelligence. A throw blanket to keep cozy on the couch. The What Do You Meme? game because why not? A cookbook that teaches how to perfect the pizza. An essential oil diffuser for natural home fragrance. A pair of Komono sunglasses she’ll wear all year round. A monogram necklace to wear on its own or as a layering piece. A beautiful vanity set for her bathroom counter. The perfect holiday candle from Draper James. A book that teaches how to incorporate crystals into your life.

Screen Shot 2018-10-28 at 2.43.54 PM.png

A sleek, self-cleaning water bottle for the gym and daily use. A fluffy white robe to wear all winter long. A gorgeous juicer for making that perfect green juice at home. A handcrafted teapot for brewing cozy, warming teas. The Mason Pearson brush that her hair deserves. The cutest Draper James bag to carry all the things. The sculptural earrings that are basically wearable art. An electric tea kettle from Smeg, the vintage chic kitchen brand. The gold bakeware set every passionate baker needs. A splurgeworthy Byredo candle. A pair of Koolaburra boots to keep her feet warm. A six or twelve month subscription to Book of the Month club, so they’ll have something to read all year long.

I hope this helped you guys find a good gift for someone in your life! Let me know in the comments what gifts you have your eye on for yourself, too.

pretty things no. 24

Copy of Dapper (12).png

This month is about all things cozy and warm but also a little bit dark and spooky. I’m celebrating October with my favorite “scary” movies and taking inspiration from them for this weekend’s edition of pretty things.

When it comes to Halloween costumes, I’m the type of person who tends to like dressing not as anything in particular but in a generally chic outfit with a spooky element added on. The perfect thing is this lace mask. You can really put together any all black or white outfit and add this on top to make a chic and easy Halloween costume.

This A.P.C. high-neck blouse made me think of Victorian and Gothic fiction like Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, Sleepy Hollow, and Mia Wasikowska in Crimson Peak. In real life, though, it would look great with a pair of jeans and suede ankle boots!

The Apocalyptic scent from Byredo is so good for October, as it was inspired by “a landscape of ashes and despair”. Sounds depressing, but smells really good and will get you in the mood for Halloween. It has notes of white-hot iron, black raspberry, oak moss, papyrus, dark wood, and birch.

This Hermès Rocabar wool blanket, with its 70s inspired color palette, is like an expensive version of something you’d see in a vintage shop. It just looks like the perfect thing to wrap up in to read or watch old movies.

One of my favorite go-to masks for fall is the Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask. I used it all the time in college because it smells amazing and exfoliates with pumpkin enzyme, AHAs, and the same crystals that are used in microdermabrasion.

I’m absolutely obsessed with these fauve-inspired earrings from Madewell. Artists in the fauve movement like Matisse and Derain were known for flat, fragmented shapes like what you see with these earrings. They’re the kind of thing you could pair with a basic white tee and jeans for a carefree, French girl vibe.

I have a tradition of buying a pair of themed socks from J.Crew every season and this year, I’m proud to say that I used rewards and coupon codes to get three pairs of socks for $2. Yes, two dollars. I love this pair with dancing skeletons for Halloween!

summer fridays overtime mask review

88B46398-319D-43F8-90DC-EB6A1E17D772.JPG

Summer Fridays Overtime Mask, Sephora ($44)

I love Summer Fridays. It’s the brand founded by Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores that’s all over Instagram. I was at their brand launch party earlier this year and was lucky enough to be gifted their first product, the Jet Lag Mask. I was so excited when they launched their second product at the beginning of September that I placed an order immediately.

I have a feeling I’ll be collecting each of their products as they’re release, so let’s make it a tradition for me to share my reviews as they come out.

FIRST IMPRESSION

I was excited to see that the package design and ingredients were fitting for fall. I love displaying my Jet Lag Mask because of the pretty blue color and I imagine I’ll be doing the same with this pretty orange creamsicle colored tube. Fortunately, this product was released right around the same time I knew I needed a good exfoliating product. I also knew that it involved pumpkin, so I was sold.

WHAT’S IN IT

The Overtime Mask is described as “a clarifying mask that uses vitamin-packed pumpkin and exfoliating apricot seed powder to polish away dead skin cells for a luminous effect”. Along with the pumpkin and apricot seed powder, it’s also formulated with oat kernel proteins, beta carotene, and vitamin E. As with all Summer Fridays products, this one is certified clean at Sephora meaning it has no parabens, sulfates, fragrance, or silicone and it is vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. 🙌

USING IT

The first thing I have to talk about is the scent! It’s a blend of spices like clove, ginger, and nutmeg and seriously smells like pumpkin pie filling. So good! The exfoliant is really light which means it’s not going to be too abrasive on your skin but give a good scrub. If you have super, super sensitive skin, I’d be careful but for the most part, this should work for everyone. After scrubbing for 60 seconds, I left the mask on for ten minutes then rinsed. My face was instantly smooth and glowing! Just like the Jet Lag Mask, I highly recommend the Overtime Mask.