March 26, 2015

REVIEW: PURE & ESSENTIAL MINERALS DEAD SEA MUD MASK



The Pure & Essential Minerals Dead Sea Mud Mask is a face mask created from the mud of the Dead Sea, a mineral-packed body of water between Israel and Jordan. According to the packaging, "The healing properties of its mineral-rich mud have been revered for centuries." This product claims to "nourish and restore skin's vitality, stimulate and improve blood circulation, resulting in a wonderful glow." Other than the Dead Sea mud, this product also contains a few other ingredients, like organic shea butter, organic sunflower oil, and organic aloe vera juice. I imagine these other ingredients are meant to keep the product from drying up in the container, but I'm no scientist. This product is also cruelty-free, which is great because I'm trying to eliminate products tested on animals from my beauty routine.


When I opened the packaging, I was like "this is straight-up mud." I don't know what I expected! It smells like dirt, which isn't necessarily unpleasant. I actually kind of like it. You smear it onto your face and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes so your skin can absorb the minerals, then remove by gently rubbing with a washcloth and warm water. I found the mask had a nice, tingling sensation on my skin. 

And the result? This is a really great mud mask, you guys! My skin was looking hella dull and dry from the ravages of winter, but when I used this my skin really seemed to perk up. My skin was so, so smooth after I used this mask. Like, even the tip of my nose that always seems to be kind of rough was like a baby's bottom. My complexion was also a bit rosier, and I lost some of that cadaver pallor that I'm forced to rock half the year.  Now I'm actually wondering what would happen if I put this somewhere else on my body, like my feet? I know people actually go to the Dead Sea and rub the mud all over their bodies. Unfortunately the product is a bit too expensive to smear all over, but I'm wondering: has anyone ever tried that?

This post was sponsored by Pure & Essential Minerals via Brandbacker but all my opinions are my own.

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March 23, 2015

WHAT I DID THIS WEEKEND

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On Saturday, we actually had a semi-decent day here in Columbus. And by semi-decent, I mean I didn't have to wear a winter coat and it wasn't precipitating. But I certainly wasn't very warm!

I spent the day with a few friends, starting off with beers at Seventh Son Brewery.

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We walked into the Short North to check out all the fun vintage stuff at Flower Child.

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More beers at Arch City.

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Do you like my new sweatshirt? It says "Don't be afraid of change. Paradise is here. Never return." I'm really relating to that sentiment right now...

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Kirsten and I ordered the brie with apple chutney.

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Later we saw a couple other friends walking down the street so we joined them at Hubbard Grill for more beers and snacks. The brussel sprouts were divine...

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...as was the jalapeno cornbread with a huge dollop of butter. YUM.

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On my way home I saw some flowers sprouting from all the dead, brown garbage everywhere and was inspired to take a picture. I know it's technically spring right now, but considering there is ONCE AGAIN snow on the ground, it really doesn't feel like it.

On Sunday I deep cleaned my entire apartment and read 1 1/2 books. I'm finally starting to get on pace to reach my yearly reading goal on Goodreads! 

Speaking of books, I am looking for books about/set in California (particularly LA), or books about driving/journeying out west. I have already read On the Road and Undaunted Courage (about Lewis & Clark) and I just got The Grapes of Wrath from the library. Any other recommendations?

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March 20, 2015

STARTING AN ANTI-AGING SKINCARE REGIMEN



I recently turned 26, which feels like such a grown-up age to me. Like, I really need to get it together. I need to start doing my laundry regularly, emptying the dishwasher after I run it, exercising, and eating vegetables. But most importantly, I need to start some kind of skincare routine to slow down the inevitable decline of my skin.

Ugh, I don't even want to think about it. But it really is important!

Anyhow, I was lucky enough to receive these samples from Radha Beauty and OZ Naturals to get started on my anti-aging routine.


As part of my new skincare regimen, I wanted to start using a moisturizer that contained retinol. Retinol (or so I've heard), is supposed to stimulate collagen and elastin production and basically make your skin "turn-over" more quickly. So on the left we have Miracle by Radha Beauty Retinol Moisturizer . According to Radha, this cream has 2.5% active retinol which is supposed to diminish signs of aging and leave skin soft and smooth. It has a super creamy, non-greasy texture. And while it's certainly too soon to tell if the cream is helping with any signs of aging (do I have any???), it honestly has really improved the texture of my skin. When I apply it before bed, my skin is still moisturized in the morning.

This is a pretty tall order considering I sleep on my face.

BUT when starting a routine that includes a retinol moisturizer, keep in mind that your skin is basically going to go crazy and flake off at first. It got a little ugly, but I was able to exfoliate most of the flakes off with some mineral masks and a sample of StriVectinLABS 5-Minute Weekly Glycolic Peel (which is awesome!)

All and all, this is a nice moisturizer at a great pricepoint if you're just getting started on anti-aging routine.

On the right we have OZ Naturals Super Youth Eye Gel . According to Allure Magazine, this eye gel is the most effective at diminishing dark circles, puffiness, and wrinkles. Before I started using this, my eyes were in really bad shape. I had some kind of permanent rash in the corners of my eyes, and dryness and flakiness underneath my eyes. Since I started using this gel, the flakiness and redness has mostly gone away. It burns a little bit when you first put it on, but as I've done more research I've found that this is pretty common. As with the moisturizer, it's too soon to tell whether the gel is reducing fine lines, but my eyes do look less puffy! Plus this works perfectly under make-up so you can use it for day time as well as night.


Radha also sent me this Vitamin C Serum . It contains hyaluronic acid, which is supposed to be great for moisturizing. It's super light and watery, as you can tell from the picture above. I apply this to my face after cleansing and before my moisturizer. My skin just feels so GOOD after I put this stuff on. Radha recommends that you use their Vitamin C serum and Retinol moisturizer in tandem.

Using these products together for the past week and a half, I have seen some nice results. I guess time will tell if this regimen is working. After all, they say it takes like 8 weeks to get a good read on a product! So far, so good however. My skin is less red, more smooth, and definitely more moisturized than it was before I started using these products!


This post is sponsored Radha Beauty Products and Oz Naturals, but all opinions are my own.


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March 18, 2015

THINGS I'LL MISS ABOUT WINTER


The official first day of spring is March 21, but already the snow has melted and it looks like things are starting to warm up. I am SO GLAD. I despise winter. I hate the cold, I hate the gloom, I hate snow, and I hate hearing people talk about the weather all the time. However, there are a few things I'm going to miss. And since I have some reason to believe that it might be a long time before I experience another winter, I just wanted to reflect on what I actually kind of like about winter:

1) Flannel 

Flannel sheets, flannel jammies, flannel shirts - I love to drape myself in flannel all winter long. If there were flannel panties, I'd probably wear them too.

2) Not feeling guilty that I'm not spending time outside -

When it's nice out, I always feel bad having a Netflix binge or spending a lot of time indoors on the computer or whatever. But in winter, who cares? It's not like you're going to go romp in the snow.

3) Spending massive amounts of time in bed 

It's SO COLD and the only place to stay warm is under a pile of blankets in your flannel jammies! I write in bed, I read, I listen to music, I cruise Instagram. I just love being in bed! It's just not the same in the summer, ya know?

4) My electric blanket 

It's like crawling back into the womb.

5) Looking super cool in winter wear 

For some reason I look pretty damn cool in coats, scarves, and boots. My winter fashion game is A+ and I'm kind of sad to leave that behind.


Speaking of cozy things, how cute are these socks*?! They're from Granbury and they're super thick and high-quality. They're absolutely perfect for cozy afternoons in bed with a good book and my laptop. They have a lot of cute prints, including a really festive pair for the upcoming 4/20 holiday! I highly recommend!

What are your favorite things about winter? Anything you'll miss?

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March 17, 2015

BEST OF PARIS FASHION WEEK FALL 2015


I LOVE fashion, but tbh I'm pretty glad the fall 2015 ready-to-wear shows are over because I have a compulsion to view every single show and it's taking up A LOT of my time. Am I the only one who wasn't very impressed with Paris? It doesn't seem like there was anything super headline-worthy other than the Zoolander publicity stunt. The below were my favorite shows of the week, and though I liked them, I didn't love them as much as my faves from New York, London, or Milan


Alexander McQueen Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

I really love the nude/blush color theme throughout this collection and the pleating. However, it didn't feel very fresh.


 Akris Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear 

I loved al the super soft fabrics in this show in shades of grey. Everything looked super warm and cozy. It was as much high fashion as it was pajamas, which is good in my book.


Carven Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

I absolutely adore Carven's quilted florals. They were reminiscent of the 70's, but with a futuristic twist. The shoes were really great also. 


Chanel Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

I thought most of Chanel's collection was pretty boring. Same old tweed and bouclé in some different silhouettes and lengths blah blah blah. However, I really liked these looks above that kept the same Chanel DNA but with space-age fabrics and techniques. How amazing is that 3D flower print? I really wish that the whole collection was like this because these looks blew me away, which is difficult because I'm fat and pretentious.


Zuhair Murad Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

If I were walking down the red carpet (maybe next year??), I would totally pick one of these gorgeous gowns from Zuhair Muhad. I would encourage you to look at this show on Style.com and really zoom in on these because the detail is incredible!


Iris van Herpen Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

Iris van Herpen's collection was a play on textures and fabrications and it was SO COOL. Like, I didn't even know a dress could look like that one on the right. I also really dug the mother of pearl theme throughout the show. 


Manish Arora Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

I like when designers have a bit of fun with fashion, so sue me. And Manish Arora was having A LOT of fun with this collection. It reminds me of something from Final Fantasy X II. Is that reference too obscure? Whatever. Look at that golden ribcage thing! Fantastic.


Valentin Yudashkin Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear 

I will end this with my man Valentin Yudashkin. Valentin Yudashkin just makes the most beautiful, luxurious garments. The details are fantastic but they also feel so wearable. Like those coats? Ugh. Fantastic. And on the left like, can I get that for a Poison Ivy costume? 

What were your favorites from Paris fashion week?


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Photo sources: Style.com

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March 16, 2015

ULTA HAUL & NEW HAIRCUT


For my birthday, my mom and dad got me a $50 gift card to Ulta. I think we all know how getting a gift card to Ulta or Sephora can be both a blessing and a curse. I went to pick up a Chi straightener (they were half off!), and ended up with all this other stuff. Oh well. Such is life!



I just got my hair cut into a bob and I'm planning on straightening it more often, so I decided to buy a more heavy duty straightener. The Chi straighteners at Ulta were on sale, and literally how could I say no to rose gold with pink polka dots?! I've used it a few times now and I'm pretty pleased with the quality, although I can't really imagine paying full price.

Ulta also had a lot of haircare products on sale. I was fresh out of shampoo so I picked up this Fekkai Essential Shea Shampoo. I've used it twice now and I really like it. It smells heavenly and my hair does seem to be a bit smoother, although I'm sure it would work better if I used the matching conditioner.


I picked up a few green eye pencils for St. Patrick's Day. I got the NYX slim eye pencil in Emerald Green and the NYX Jumbo Eye Pencil Color in Rocky Mountain Green. I found the slim eye pencil to be pretty difficult to blend which was disappointing, but the color is really nice. The Jumbo Eye Pencil is much better, but it's such a bright color I can hardly imagine myself wearing it very often!


I have a major weakness for fake eyelashes, so when I saw these Andrea lashes on sale I scooped them up. Um, MAJOR MISTAKE. I HATE THESE. Seriously these were such a nightmare. The band is so thick and inflexible, it's impossible to get them to stick to your eyes. So obviously I applied more and more glue until I eventually stuck my eyelids together. Maybe they would work if I trimmed them up a little bit, but I doubt it. 

The cashier gave me a free sample of the Tarte Timeless Smoothing Primer. I hope she wasn't saying that I looked like I needed it...although to be fair I wasn't wearing make-up and I had a hangover so, you know, I've looked better. Anyhow, this stuff is hella heavy duty! I can't imagine a situation where I would need such strong primer, but it really made my skin look airbrushed. 


I did a quick St. Patrick's Day look with the NYX jumbo pencil, Andrea lashes, and Tarte Primer. What do you think? Also, I got a hair cut! I'm still mastering how to style it, but I really like the length. It looks exactly like this picture of Emma Stone I brought in. Yay!

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