I haven't posted on here in so, so long and I've missed it so much! "Life" has been happening and I'm still figuring out how to respond to it and embrace the changes. So, my main focus right now is getting back into a routine that includes activities and people that make me happy and feel good about myself. A wholeeee bunch of self-love is necessary right now and one way that I show myself some love is taking care of my skin. Aside from food, I probably buy skin care products the most. I am always down to try a new product to test on my skin. However, what I've been using lately seems to keep my skin happy, bright, and smooth. I don't even wear makeup most days because I feel that confident without it. Most of the products I use can be found at Sephora because she's basically my bestie right now and I go to her house like once a week (yes, I personified Sephora). By the way, the most important skincare tip is to drink lots of WATER. I can see the difference in the tone and texture of my skin when I'm not staying hydrated. It's pretty much the only thing I drink outside of wine lol Keep reading to find out what products I use on a typical day.
Step 1: Cleanse
Usually, I read reviews before buying anything because buying a product with a four to five star rating confirms that I'm making good choices in life. However, I decided to try First Aid Beauty's Skin Rescue Deep Cleanser with Red Clay on a whim one day and it ended up working out. I have combination skin (oily on my t-zone (my forehead and nose) and normal everywhere else) and the red clay removes the excess oil on my skin without drying it out, which can be a concern sometimes with "deep cleansers". Although red clay is an ingredient, the consistency is kind of like a gel so, it's not too thick and a little goes a long way.
Step 2: Tone
Thayer's Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Cucumber Toner is the best toner I've ever used and if I decide to try anything else it would simply be out of curiosity. This toner keeps my skin pH balanced (not oily, not dry) and I definitely notice that my t-zone gets oily faster if I skip out on using it. I usually get the cucumber because the smell is so refreshing but, they have other options like, lavender, rose petal and unscented, too.
Step 3: Serum
The Amara Beauty Vitamin C Serum with Hyaluronic Acid and Vitamin E is the only serum I've ever used consistently but it definitely says what it's going to do. It keeps my pores tight (which is great for someone with oily areas) and my skin tone bright, even, and smooth.
Step 4: Moisturize
The final step in my routine is to moisturize! The Origins GinZing Energy Boosting Gel Moisturizer is amazing. It's moisturizing enough to protect my skin from these harsh winter months but it doesn't make my skin oily . The GinZing line is my favorite Origins line because it's geared towards helping with dullness and uneven texture. My skin goals are to have smooth and glowing skin so this is the perfect line for me. I also use the Refreshing Scrub Cleanser from this line, which is gentle enough to be used daily. But let's not forget to moisturize our lips too! My lips can get super dry in the winter and I just don't roll like that so, I carry the First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Intensive Lip Balm with me everywhere! I only have to reapply it 2-3 times a day instead of every hour like most other lip balms so it's definitely number one on my list.
And that's it! That's my daily skin care routine. Twice a week I do a mask, one is the Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Hydrating Mask, which is great for the lazy nights when you don't feel like staying up to rinse it off. The other is the Origins Original Skin Retexturizing Mask with Rose Clay (I'm a little obsessed with Origins because I've never tried a product of theirs that I didn't love) which keeps my skin smooth and radiant.
Have you used any of these products? Is Sephora your bestie too? Leave me a comment below :)
I’ve been getting some questions about how I feel about the curly clip-in extensions I’ve been using for the past couple of months. So here is a blog post to share my experience!
Growing up I was never really interested in extensions. Honestly, the whole idea of putting someone elese’s hair in my head kind of freaked me out. But after I gave myself a “big chop” in January and suddenly had hair that was shorter than it’s ever been, I knew I had to get creative. Since then I have done box braids twice, used curly hair extensions, and straightened my hair once to deal with those moments when I get bored with my natural hair. However, my absolute favorite has been the curly extensions. I came across a review of Better Lengths curly hair extensions from a YouTube video by Arnell Armon which you can watch here. We have similar hair textures and they looked great on her so I decided to buy some myself. I bought the Kinky Curly Clip-In set for 3b/3c hair (I have 3c curls) and I chose the 16 inch length which I have linked here. As for styling, I use the same products that I already use on my hair everyday. Keep reading for some comments explaining the pros and cons of these extensions!
The website makes it easy to figure out which type is best for you. Under each type of hair, from straight to curly, Better Lengths has links of YouTube videos so that you can see product review videos from other women with hair textures that worked well with each type. I really appreciated this because I had plenty of videos to help me make an informed decision when buying the correct texture.
Quality. These extensions are great quality-wise, in my opinion. They are shiny and blend seamlessly with my hair. I also love that I’m able to use the same products on these that I do on my natural hair which makes for easy styling.
Versatility. I’ve been able to wear these extensions in many different hair styles. Basically, any style you can do with your natural hair, you can do with these extensions. Straight down, half up/half down, buns, ponytails...you name it, it can be done!
Price. Aside from these, I’ve only bought extensions maybe one other time in my life so I’m not a pro on what to expect price-wise for clip-ins. However, these cost almost $200 which, in general I felt was a little expensive. Now, that I’ve worn them pretty much every weekend since the beginning of March, I feel like I have and will continue to get my money’s worth out of them.
They can be a little difficult to detangle sometimes. If you have curly hair, you know that our hair is difficult to detangle sometimes and these extensions are consistent with that truth. I have to comb through the extensions more times than I do my natural hair, although my hair is slightly more fine than these extensions so maybe that is why. I typically don’t use products with cones in it (cones are ingredients such as Dimethicone that makes it easier to detangle hair. There’s a lot of controversy on whether they are good or bad in the long run but that’s another blog post for another day. 🙃). However, I may have to use a product with cones it it when detangling my extensions to make the process a little easier.
I hope you guys guys enjoyed this post! Do you guys use extensions? Have you ever tried this brand or any others? Drop comments or questions below!
My friends and family know that I am literally a crazy person when it comes to what chemicals are going onto my body! I even stopped using body lotion a few months ago and decided to use olive oil instead because at least I know exactly what’s going on my skin. There’s so many man-made chemicals out there that are being used in products we use everyday. I’ve been researching toxic chemicals vs. natural/organic ingredients for years (when I was in college, this is what I would do instead of doing my homework!). So, today I’m going to share a little bit of what I’ve learned!
Keep reading if you want to know the top three chemicals I stay away from, how I differentiate between which chemicals are safe and which ones aren’t, and what I’m planning to remove next!
Question: Do you know what you put on your skin on a daily basis? I mean, do you really know? We live in a time where convenience and speed surpasses quality and it’s evident in the skin care business. Products we use everyday such as soap, facial cleanser, and lotion contain toxic chemicals that could cause adverse effects to our skin externally or even contribute to internal infections. For me, the top three chemicals I absolutely stay away from are Parabens, Phthalates, and Petrolatum. It has been found in scientific studies that when these ingredients are used in topical skin care products, they are able to be absorbed into the skin and sometimes become associated with cancerous tumors. There are many other ingredients out there that can be toxic to our bodies and some of them can cause long-term illnesses; I’m not willing to knowingly use just because they’re convenient or cost-effective.
Currently, I am looking for a natural/organic deodorant. In almost every deodorant you’d find in Walmart, aluminum (which is the ingredient that keeps perspiration to a minimum) is present. Aluminum has been linked to breast cancer and Alzheimer’s so I’m trying to find a deodorant without it. So far I’ve tried one by Schmidt’s Naturals and because it didn’t have aluminum in it, it didn’t combat wetness very well. So, I need to find one that uses an alternative ingredient to aluminum.
I know that educating yourself on this subject can be stressful and time-consuming so, if you’re ever overwhelmed when looking for healthier products or trying to figure out if an ingredient is safe or not, you can always head over to ewg.org and check out their Skin Deep cosmetics database which gives products and ingredients a safety rating. I’ve been using this website for years to become more informed about the safety hazards associated with the products I use everyday.
I’m still working on removing products with harmful chemicals from my beauty routine so I’m on this website a lot. Replacing products with more natural ones that gets the job done is definitely a process that takes time. I prefer a safety rating of 5 or lower, anything above that is just too risky for me. However, I do judge on a case by case situation, considering some of the rating categories may not be as important to me as others.
I prefer to focus simplicity and purity when it comes to skincare, which means using lots of natural oils like olive oil and coconut oil. I’ll be posting a follow-up blog post with some natural skin care products I use and also how I plan to start making my own body lotion!
Thanks for reading!
One of the sensations I cannot stand the most is the feeling of dry lips. Ugh! I've been noticing lately that I have to reapply lip balm more often than I would like. So, of course, I did some research because I am a self proclaimed Google queen and found out the most common reasons why I feel the need to constantly reapply and some tips on how to combat the issue once and for all.
First, let’s start off with the possible reasons your lips feel dry...
Harmful IngredientsI'm obsessed with looking at ingredients in every beauty product I own. I’m literally that girl who stands in the middle of the aisle reading the ingredients list on everything. I try to stay away from as many toxic chemicals as possible when it comes to my hair, skin, and makeup products. However, up until recently I never thought to pay attention to the ingredients on my lip balm. After coming across a few articles about the dangerous chemicals lurking in many lip products I found out that many lip balms contain petroleum jelly. Sometimes the petroleum used is at risk of being contaminated with carcinogenic agents, meaning it could be contaminated with chemicals linked to cancer. Also, some lip balms can actually be drying overtime and contain addictive properties that could cause the need to constantly reapply throughout the day. I am honestly not shocked because I have to reapply every other hour or so.
Licking your lips
I am a slight offender of this one. Although I've definitely gotten better about making sure to not lick my lips when they're dry. Licking your lips only allows for temporary moisturization and actually ends up making them worse.
ClimateThe weather is probably the most common cause of dry lips. Cold or windy weather, as well as, sun exposure can cause chapped lips.
Now that I’ve covered a few reasons why your lips may be chapped, here are a few ways to help end the dryness...
The skin on our face and body are not the only places that need to be exfoliated. Our lips get flaky and dry too. Lately, I have been using the Tarte Maracuja Lip Exfoliant, although rubbing a little sugar and honey or olive oil on your lips will remove dead skin just as well (and it's cheaper!). Exfoliating should be done at least once a week in my opinion, but everyone's needs are different.
Use natural oils to moisturize
I've been using natural oils such as Coconut oil, Olive oil, Jojoba oil, and many others on my hair for years. So, now I have started using oil on my lips. Honestly, I don't know if oils like Jojoba oil or Grapeseed oil are safe for ingestion (which is something that definitely crosses my mind when I'm applying an oil near my mouth). So to be safe, I'm going to stick to oils that I know are edible for now. Actually, as I write this post, I have Coconut oil on my lips; Olive oil is a great option as well. Just pay attention to the ingredients when you buy natural oils. Make sure that the ingredients list only contains that specific oil (unless you're purposefully buying a mixture) and doesn't contain unnecessary ingredients and chemicals such as mineral oil or fragrance. They should be pure, organic, and cold-pressed. A USDA Organic seal, certifying that it is in fact organic, is even better.
Try to find a natural lip balm
If you’re not interested in putting oil on your lips, try to find natural lip balms that contain moisturizers like Shea butter or Cocoa butter instead. The Moisture Lip Care by Nivea and L'Occitane's Ultra Rich Lip Balm are great options .
Note: This blog and all posts on it are for entertainment purposes only. I am not providing any form of medical, legal, or any other form of professional advice. Any advice taken is at your own risk. All thoughts and opinions are my own.