However, sometimes all the summer activities and time in the sun, can lead to clogged pores and oily skin due to the re-application of sunscreen, which is a definite must for prolonged periods in the sun. This can leave me wondering where my sun-kissed, after-vacation glow is. Besides my incessant need for sunscreen, I’ve made a few changes to my summer routine to get me back to the glowing skin I’ve been craving.
Candidly, when I first heard about the tools, I thought it was a little silly, but then curiosity got the best of me and I registered for a gua sha workshop. When I told a co-worker I was going, her reply was, “that’s something you can easily learn online” and without a doubt she is 100% right—hands-down. However, I’m completely happy/grateful that I went to the class for a few reasons.
Clean beauty status is reserved for products that don’t include ingredients we know/believe to be harmful. There’s a fallacy that clean beauty does not include chemicals; that is not true. All ingredients are chemicals, but the difference is that clean beauty products are made strictly out of non-toxic ingredients; non-toxic ingredients are ingredients that are not linked to any health problems/concerns.
This one goes out to my friend Bita who asked me last week about facial oils, and I can’t think about facial oils without thinking about serums and moisturizers so here is an overview of everything.
Toners sets your morning and evening routine up for success. Toner is all about helping your serums and moisturizers absorb better into the skin. In some ways, toner really sets the stage for the steps that follow.
Stepping into my clean beauty journey, I started with swapping out the products that are on my body for the longest. So think lotion, makeup, serums, etc. The toxins in these products literally have ALL DAY or ALL NIGHT to seep into your skin, and by looking at the ingredients of the products I was using, I knew I didn’t want any part of it.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned on my clean beauty journey revolves around face washes. Your cleansers should not leave your skin stripped of its natural oils and dry. I think we associate a clean face with one that has been rid of its natural goodness so often that sometimes when we find a good product, we have to relearn what clean means. With any of these clean beauty face washes, your skin will feel clean, but in a way where your natural skin moisture is restored and your skin is left balanced—it will feel really good, trust me on this.
When I was a kid, my mom had this tube of “mint julep”; it was an exfoliating mask that she purchased at our local drug store and every once in a while we would squeeze a thick green paste out of the tube. It was the classic green, like the color of a face mask that teen movies would show at a slumber party. My mom and I would leave it on until it cracked when you tried to smile (~15 minutes) and then rinse it off and that was it. We never dabbled in other masks, but let me tell you, masks are something to take seriously—or as seriously as you can for something that is all about self-care.
During breakouts, I always go back to basics by drinking a lot of water and picking up a good mask, but after my nightly routine I’m always looking for that final step. In some ways this is more for me than my acne, because I want to know that even while I’m sleeping, I have a product that is working to rid me of blemishes so that I can wake up with the clear skin I dreamed about.
It was getting to that time of the year in New England when the second you step out the door, you feel your skin die a little bit due to the cold—please note I love New England, but sometimes my skin doesn’t love the colder seasons. Anyhow, one morning Nick and I were getting ready to leave the house, and he turned to me and announced, “You know what I need? Eye ball cream”. Excuse me, but yes, Nick said he needed “eye ball cream”.
For any formal occasion, you’ll see me perusing the Rent the Runway (RTR) site finding the right dress for the event. I’ve ordered from RTR a handful of times for weddings and Christmas parties and I even dabbled in RTR unlimited (check out that post here).
For the first time in a longtime, I let myself wake up naturally with the sunrise, and instead of turning over and grabbing my phone, I woke up, kissed my love, and then ran to the beach, sat in the subtle morning sun, and found peace in the quiet.
Some folks may not even know what anise is, and certainly not what an anise cookie is, however once they spot them, they are like: oh, those cookies. Yes, they’re those cookies. They’re my favorite cookie and my favorite thing to bake for a few reasons, but mainly, because they’re how I remember my Nana.
Mindfulness is what allows me to click pause on life for only a moment to take in everything around me.
So this November, when I got an email promoting the Rent the Runway Unlimited membership, I was the perfect person to target. All I had to think about was the holiday wardrobe I could purchase—think velvet dresses and red and green tartan prints— that I would only wear in November/December, OR I give this Rent the Runway membership a whirl and see what happens. You can probably guess the decision I made.
So as we approach our Christmas Tables, let’s take it all in with gratitude. The ever evolving Christmas Table may in fact be part of the magic; there are new faces, relationships, and traditions. The new faces bring different personalities to the table, the new relationships are a sign of growth, and new traditions are opportunities to play a hand in building memories for future generations.
You know the philosophy of go big or go home? Well, I can’t think of a saying that describes my recent vacation more. For one week, my family and my boyfriend’s (Nick) family would all be on one island (Grand Cayman) staying in side by side condos.
Upon arrival, the place immediately had an ounce of familiarity that maybe I hadn’t even known I was craving. We were there for the Cliff Walk, but I was getting distracted by the salty air and the quietness of this village. As we began the walk, I was captivated by the views and how peaceful it was.
Anyways, with the New York weekend ahead of us, I felt the need to make one of my childhood dreams—yes, it was a DREAM—come true, by having tea at The Plaza. Are you freaking out? I’m freaking out. Why was I so excited? First, tea time is one of those things that everyone should experience at least once. It’s better than happy hour drinks, since people aren’t getting sloppy, but the same amount of banter and gossiping is happening, yet it’s relaxing. Also, it’s an excuse to eat dessert at 2 pm in the afternoon—need I say more?
Los Angeles is somewhat of a cult and after less than 24 hours on the scene, I found myself engaging in the fruit cleanses, grain bowls, and referencing things as “just so LA”. I don’t think I ever fully fit in, but I enjoyed trying and left LA feeling fully immersed.
Upon our arrival in Seattle, Bridget and I had our little dramatic reunion and then switched over to exploring mode. First off, Seattle is gorgeous in maybe an “atypical gorgeous way”—it’s not the Amalfi Coast by any means, but there is something about it. The mountains are in view as you approach the city, and you can feel and taste the salt in the air, maybe you aren’t into feeling salty, but to me, that means I am close to the water so that feels a little like home.
Saturday morning arrived, we heard the clamor of everyone leaving, and all of a sudden it was silent. Here we were in this gorgeous home, tucked away in the woods, and we got to spend the morning to ourselves, making omelets, and binge watching the snow.
Our adventure to Acadia National Park started a mere 7 hours ago, when we played a game of Tetris to fill the backseat of the car with the makings of our campsite. Candidly, whenever I mentioned where I was going for the long weekend, I continuously referenced Arcadia vs. Acadia Park, so I was not as prepared for the trip as my large duffel bag may have suggested.