how to get super shiny + healthy hair


I had another post scheduled for today but it was raining all day Sunday so I couldn’t get the photos sorted out. Therefore, I have a quick post today that was supposed to be next month 😅 Long story short, last year when I was living in New York, my hair became super thin and dull because of the weather, pollution, and other environmental stressors. After moving back South, my hair took forever to get back to normal.

It sounds vain, but it was annoying because I’ve always been used to having super low maintenance hair that looks voluminous and healthy and just good without really trying that hard. Over the past few months, I’ve finally gotten my hair back to normal and maybe even a little better than before. Here’s how I did it, aside from generally eating well and drinking lots of water:

olly undeniable beauty vitamins
I started using these in October, I think, took them everyday for the next three months, and saw a very noticeable difference. In fact, I think these were one of the biggest factors in repairing my hair. They have biotin, borage, and vitamins C+E to build strength and shine.

scalp clarifying treatments
Another thing that helped a lot was doing scalp treatments about twice a month. Sometimes I’d use the Kiehl’s Deep Micro-Exfoliating Scalp Treatment and other times, I’d do a DIY treatment. To DIY, I’d mix 2 tbsp baking soda with water to create a paste that I’d scrub into my scalp. Wash out the paste, then follow up with an apple cider vinegar rinse made by combining 16 oz of water with 2-4 tbsp of apple cider vinegar.

brush with soft bristles
One huge factor that changed in my beauty routine is that I now primarily brush with soft, natural bristles. These are so much better for your hair than plastic bristles because they help to release oils in your hair and stimulate the scalp for healthier hair follicles. The best of the best brushes come from Mason Pearson, but there are definitely great options out there for less.

use hair treatments + oil
Finally, I began using hair treatments, primarily oils, more regularly, just running some oil through the ends of my hair before bed to help replenish the ends. My favorite oil to use for the hair right now is the Biossance 100% Squalane Oil because it’s purely one ingredient and it can also be used on your face and body.

the skincare line you have to try


I went to Ulta earlier this month with my mom to get her a new cleanser, vowing that I wasn’t going to buy any new skincare until I had finished every last product I have at home already. BUT, one of the sales associates and I started talking about K-beauty and she showed me a product from this brand (which isn’t a Korean brand, but had a K-beauty inspired product) called DermaDoctor, which is a clinical line from the office of Dr. Audrey Kunin. It’s an award winning line that’s also cruelty free, soap free, synthetic fragrance free, and more. The products have a high end delivery system and come in quality packaging comparable to La Mer to keep the product in pristine condition.

We ended up spending a ton of time there with her testing out all of these products, particularly a cleanser which immediately showed a difference on my hand within just a few seconds. I couldn’t not leave without it, so I broke my rule and took it home along with a ton of free samples.

Kakadu C Cleanser // When I started using this cleanser, I was at the tail end of of a purge breakout from using Biologique Recherche P50 Lotion 1970 (which I love and still use). I used it on my face and within a day or two, I saw results. My skin was clear and glowing and super hydrated. This is a cleanser, toner, and makeup remover all in one, containing high quality ingredients like aloe, lactic acid, and citrus. It is an AHA, so definitely wear sunscreen after using but you’re fine to use it day and night.

I truly did see results immediately after using this, especially along with the face peel I mention below. I took the above photo after using it for two days or so and I’m not wearing any makeup save for a little dot of RMS concealer right above my lip where I was still recovering from the P50 skin purge. This is a strong and highly effective product, so you might have to play around with your moisturizer a little bit. I was using one I usually like from Eminence, but I didn’t feel hydrated enough so I switched to one with lots of coconut oil and a milkier texture.

Intensive Vitamin C Peel Pad // I really think the cleanser works best in conjunction with these peel pads, but you definitely don’t need both to get started. I used my samples of the peel and will definitely be buying them in the future, but I want to finish my P50 first. These peel pads are packed with incredibly ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, willow bark extract, algae, ferulic acid, Vitamin E, squalane, and more. The blend of AHAs , BHAs, and antioxidants slough off dead skin cells while also brightening and hydrating

KP Duty High Potency Body Peel // This is the other product that we bought full size and wow, is it necessary in the colder months. I have really stubbornly dry legs and these have already begun to help. They’re similar to the face peel, but they come in packets with two steps. First, use the resurface sheet with glycolic acid, lactic acid, phenol and more. Apply to your legs, arms, and torso then let it sit for two minutes. Rinse in the shower, then follow up with the Quench sheet which moisturizes skin with ceramides.

Lucky Bamboo Jukyeom Water Gel // I’ve used a couple samples of this following the cleanser and facial peel. I love a water gel because it feels so much more hydrating than a heavier cream to me. This is actually the product that the sales associate at Ulta used to draw me in! It contains Jukyeom 9x which is purple roasted bamboo salt crystals created by Monks nearly 1,000 years ago, as well as magnesium, zinc, and more.

I highly recommend checking out the line! It’s one of the most quality lines out there in the mainstream market at places like Ulta, Sephora, and Dermstore and it’s surprisingly affordable. The cleanser, which is 6oz and will apparently last about a year, is only $36. The peels are more expensive ($78), but they come in boxes so you can split them with a friend, too. Still, for such high quality, the products are priced really well.

wellness wednesday: cold weather skincare must-haves


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


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.


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.

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.

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.

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!


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.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.