I know it’s basically been crickets here the past few weeks and I’m sorry for going MIA without a little bit of warning. It wasn’t an intentional break, but sometimes you just have to roll with what life gives you. The last few weeks have been full of highs and lows. The latter I’m not going to go into because I try to keep things positive on here, but for a while our emotions and energy were running on empty so if you want to send some prayers and good vibes our way, it would be greatly appreciated.
As for the good, things all sort of came together out of nowhere. If you’ve been reading for a while, you know that I’ve been working on my Master’s degree. This past weekend I finished up all my coursework and I’ll graduate with the LL.M. next week. This is a huge relief to be done with school again for the time being (there’s a small chance I’ll go back to finish the three classes I need for a separate certificate, but I can’t think about that just yet!).
I also finally decided to make the shift with my job. I had promised myself that I would only stay where I was until I finished my program. One day, after unexpectedly getting out of work early, I channeled my motivation to switch things up and by the next week I had lined up a handful of interviews. My mom says that youjust have to keep putting what you want out there and opportunities will come. After suiting up and suffering through pantyhose in 85 degree weather, I ended up taking an associate position a local firm. Today was my first day and it’s pretty exciting. I can already see the potential and I’m very happy with my choice! While I’m glad they did, I had no idea things would come together this fast.
I also got to spend mother’s day with my mom yesterday. She came down on Saturday since I finished my final early. She went with me to pick up my new Canon 70D (a new job/graduation gift) and holy smokes am I in love!! We also hit up the flea market Sunday morning where I hit the craft supply jackpot from a vendor that was selling what appeared to be the closeout aisle from Michael’s for 5 for a $1. It took so much self-control to only hand over $9. I wanted to buy it all!
So here’s to a happy Monday and a start to a good week! I’ll be back to your regularly scheduled blog programming (whatever that means for this space). Stay tuned for some more fun announcements and a pretty sweet giveaway prizethat I’ve been holding onto for a few months!
There’s been a lot of talk about “double cleansing” in the beauty world recently and to be perfectly honest, I pretty much ignored it. It seemed like another reason to buy more products to do the same job, but then I realized I’m sort of doing this already just not effectively in my current routine. Dermalogica gave me the opportunity to review their precleanse products through iFabbo, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to explain what double cleansing is and give some thoughts on their products.
What does it mean to double cleanse?
Basically, double cleansing means just what it says–you’re cleaning the skin twice with different products. A single cleanse would be just using you’re regular face wash or cleansing cloth. As a side note (and as much as I hate to admit it) a makeup removing wipe is not a cleanser! Often when you just wash your face, a lot of makeup, dirt, and oil are left behind. See raccoon eyes after shower. Double cleansing is a two-step system that avoids that. The first cleanse is designed to breakdown all of the makeup and debris on the skin and the second cleanse it really rinse everything off and thoroughly cleanse the skin itself.
What is the Dermalogica Precleanse?
Whether you use the convenient Precleanse Wipes or the Precleanse Oil, both of these products will remove your makeup (even tough waterproof eyeliner and mascara) along with all of the other oils and dirt that have collected on your face throughout the day. After using the precleanse oil, you rinse your face (you can also wet the wipe and use it for a little extra cleaning before rinsing) then follow-up with your cleanser of choice to clean and treat your skin.
When you skip this step and go straight to a face wash, you end up just pushing all of the junk on your skin around your face, leading to breakouts and irritation. By removing it first, then using your regular cleanser, you’re allowing your cleanser to really get to your skin underneath and do it’s job.
I was a little scared of using another oil on my face as part of a daily routine. Even after trying and using so many products, I still often think of oils as being greasy and heavy on the skin. The truth is that one like the precleanse oil needs to be for it to be able to cut through all of the residue and break it up. What ends up being more important is whether it rinses clean. This one does. After using the oil and rinsing with warm water, I did not find any build-up or unwanted residue from the oil on my skin.The precleanse oil was able to easily break down waterproof eyeliner and mascara, long-wearing foundation, and a silicone based primer. I found that I was left with a pretty clean face that was ready for my daily exfoliating cleanser.
I think that this is an effective product and a better replacement for my makeup removing wipes as a first step in my end-of-day routine. Have you tried the Dermalogica Precleanse products? If so, what did you think?
I am constantly on the hunt for good skin care. Over the last few years, I have developed particularly sensitive skin and this has made it increasingly difficult to find products that not only work, but are gentle. When I was contacted about trying a line of products from Lindi Skin, I was happy to test them out. Spoiler alert: I’m in love.
Lindi Skin products are incredibly gentle and incorporate healing botanicals. Originally formulated for patients undergoing cancer treatment, Lindi Skin products are great for anyone with sensitive or chapped skin. All of their products are made in the USA, not tested on animals, and are backed by a 30-day 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Before I even opened up or tried any of the products, the packaging struck me right out of the box. I love the boutique, spa-like feel. All of the packaging is sturdy and functional, and it will look super pretty on the bathroom counter.
The first two products I tried out were the Face Wash ($22 for 4 oz.) and the Face Serum ($40 for 2 oz.). I am probably biased about these products because they both incorporate lavender into their formulas, which is my absolute favorite botanical ingredient.
I use the face wash as a first step in my nightly routine. It’s described as an alternative to soap and it’s a very gentle, but effective, non-sudsing cleanser. I feel like we often associate sudsing with cleansing for products like face wash and shampoo and to be honest I was a little skeptical when I didn’t get the lather I’m used to. But I found that I like this just as much, if not more. It’s formulated to preserve your skin’s natural pH balance while washing away dirt and oils and providing much needed moisture. You use it just like a regular cleanser by massaging it onto a moistened face and rinsing it off with warm water. While your skin is still damp, move on to moisturizing.
The moisturizer I received was the Lavender Face Serum and, if I had to pick, this was one of my two favorite products from the lot. This is a soothing balm that is packing with botanicals and antioxidants. You pump a small amount onto your fingertips and massage it into your skin. This product worked wonders for soothing my irritated skin (lupus flare) and delivered a big dose of moisture to my face. It has a silky texture that glides over the skin without feeling heavy or leaving a residue.
The second two products I received were the Lip Balm ($10 for .25 oz.) and the Eye Hydrator ($30 for .5 oz). I am an avid lip balm user and to say I loved this one would be an understatement. It’s tied with the lavender face serum for my favorite products. This balm goes on smooth and heals and moisturizes your lips. It has a faint vanilla scent and taste.Bonus: it can also double as a cuticle balm.
The eye hydrator functions like an eye cream or night cream to firm the skin around the eyes. This will probably be the product I use the least for two reasons. First, I don’t have a need (yet) for an eye-firming cream. Second, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the texture of this product. I usually imagine a gel to have a cool, smooth application. I found this product to have a sticky consistency more akin vaseline. I did try it out and found that the area around my eyes was smoother, but I didn’t notice any major changes. However, if you’re looking for an eye product that’s not packed full of chemicals, I would definitely check this one out to see if it would work for you.
Lindi Skin knocked it out of the park with most of these products in my opinion and I’d encourage you to try them out for yourself, especially if you have a chronic illness that affects your skin like I do. In addition to individual products, they also offer package deals. One that I would recommend if you’re interested in Lindi Skin is the Lindi Fight Back Pack ($30) that includes samples of 7 of their products (including the face wash and face serum mentioned in this post) and it comes with a $5 gift card.
As an added bonus, if you place your order before May 31, you can use BLOG25 to get 25% off and free shipping! They will also make a donation to the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good, Feel Better” program for every purchase through this date.
Have you heard of or tried Lindi Skin? What are your thoughts?
Disclosure: I received the products mentioned in this post gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own based on my personal experiences with the products.
Most fashionistas have some leather pieces in their closet. Whether its that treasured designer leather purse, a leather biker jacket, or belt, the key to making these pieces last is properly caring for them over the years. I’ll be the first to admit, I’m pretty bad about caring for my leather items, example A being the leather seats in my Mustang. But ever since the hubby bought me my first Michael Kors purse for our anniversary a couple of years ago, I’ve taken care and upkeep more seriously. So I’m going to walk you through how to care for a leather handbag today with products compliments of Leather Nova. You would use this same approach for your other items as well.
To clean my leather, I chose to use this three piece system from Leather Nova. Whatever products you use, the two important aspects of caring for leather are cleaning and conditioning. These Leather Nova products are excellent on both fronts and this three-piece kit will have all your bases covered.
The first step is to thoroughly clean your leather. To do this, you’ll need a leather cleaner and a microfiber cloth. This step removes all of the dirt and grime that has built up on your leather, which makes a huge difference in its appearance. Especially when it comes to a piece like a purse that you are constantly handling, setting on the floor, etc, its important to give it a good clean every once in a while. I really like using the Leather Nova leather cleaner because its a no rinse formula and it dries quickly.
To clean the leather, start by spraying a small amount of cleaner on the microfiber cloth. Never put products directly on your leather piece. Then use the cloth to clean the leather using gentle rubbing and circular motions. Be sure to patch test any new products on a small, inconspicuous location to be sure that it won’t cause any damage. Use a dry section of the cloth to blot off any excess product, then allow the leather to thoroughly dry (should only take a few minutes).
For deeper cleaning (like removing stains) and simultaneous conditioning, the job may be better suited for a cream cleaner and conditioner. The Leather Nova Conditioner and Cleaner is a non-greasy formula the I like for this purpose. To use it, you place a small amount on the microfiber sponge and rub the product thoroughly onto the leather. Use a clean cloth to remove any excess product and allow the product to absorb into the leather and dry completely (about an hour). At this point, you should start to see your leather start shining through! This deep cleaning and conditioning helps soften the leather, restore its flexibility, and restore its natural finish.
The last step is to condition your piece using a Leather Conditioner oil. I’ve always been pretty good about wiping down my pieces, but actually conditioning them with a proper oil is a step I wish I would’ve taken more seriously in the past. This step will help nourish the leather of your pieces and preserve them as they wear over time–especially the straps! Again, you apply the product to the sponge and then rub it gently onto the leather. Allow it absorb and then blot off any excess with a clean, dry cloth.
Taking these steps will preserve the beauty and life of your pieces. High quality products like this Leather Nova line makes the process that much simpler. These products are easy to use, come with the applicators, and have a non-greasy and quick drying formula. In addition to leather, these products can also be used on vinyl and plastic. Each individual product costs between $16-18 and the full set runs about $52. That’s a lot cheaper than trying to replace my Michael Kors purse.
Disclosure: I received the products mentioned in this post gratis for the purposes of writing this review. All opinions are my own based on my personal experiences with the product.
I while back, I started a learning aromatherapy series and introduced tea tree oil and its many uses. Today, this series is back to talk Peppermint Oil. My friends at InstaNatural were nice enough to provide the oil for this installment. Second only to lavender, peppermint is one of my favorite essential oils.
Disclaimer!: I am not a doctor and this overview is based on my own research and experiences. It is possible to experience irritation from essential oils and you don’t want to ever use them internally. If you have concerns, especially if you have allergies, be sure to address them with your physician.
What it is: Mentha peperita, or peppermint oil, comes the peppermint herb plant commonly found in North America and Europe. (I grow some in my garden each year and it smells amazing!)
How to buy: As with any essential oil, you want to look for a pure oil that is natural and free from additive filler oils. This Peppermint Oil by InstaNatural, available on their website and at Amazon, is a great example. It is made in the USA, not tested on animals, and comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
How much does it cost: The InstaNatural Peppermint Oil is $19.97 for a big 4 ounce bottle. This amount will last you a long time (product has a shelf life of at least 24 months) and is a good value. Similar sized bottles from various retailers range from $15-45.
What other oils does it pair well with: There are many oils that you can blend peppermint with, but my favorite combinations include eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, and lemon.
How to use it: There are so many ways to use peppermint oil, that I’m only going to highlight a few of my favorites here. I encourage you to do some research to see how you can incorporate it into your routines.
In a bubble bath or to infuse bath salts. Peppermint has been proven to helps with muscle aches, fatigue, pain, nausea, and a plethora of other symptoms and conditions. Use sparingly, i.e. a couple of drops, a little goes a loooonng way (trust me from experience).
Blend a couple of drops into massage oil.
Use it on cotton balls on your countertops and window sills to deter pesky ants in the spring and summer.
Use it, by itself or as part of a custom blend in a vaporizer or diffuser to scent your space. It has been shown to increase energy and improve concentration. It has also been shown to help with jet lag.
How much do I need: Peppermint oil is potent, so use it sparingly! Start with a drop or two and build up from there as needed. The InstaNatural Peppermint Oil comes with a built in dropper, making it easy to measure and disperse. This 4 oz. bottle will be more than enough to get started.
I am a big fan of InstaNatural products and highly recommend this oil, along with the other oils they carry, as a quality and affordable way to start experimenting with essential oils. My suggestion is to pick one or two that interest you and keep building your collection as you become more familiar with the oils and how to use them.
I hope that you are enjoying this series and I plan on doing more installments in the coming months. Please let me know if there are any specific oils you would like to see featured or questions you have!
Disclosure: I received the product mentioned gratis from the company for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions are my own based on my personal experience with the product.