On Nourishing: Caring for Yourself During a Quarantine

 

I feel like I have seen dozens of posts like this go up on the past week, so was hesitant to create my own. However, something about several of the blog posts I’ve read regarding self-care over this quarantine don’t sound like self-care to me. They sound like work. They sound overwhelming.

So I wanted to write a little something to you, a person who, like me, is probably feeling overwhelmed right now. And what I want to convey is this: Don’t take on 15 new ‘self-care’, ‘make your life better’ tasks during this time. Your life doesn’t need more complexity, stress, or expectations right now. Most of us are working from home, newly unemployed, worried about family members’ and friends’ health, and worried about our own health. Taking on a new, demanding schedule of working out and meditation and every stereotypical wellness tip will not reduce your anxiety, though it may distract you from it.

Below you aren’t going to find a ‘to-do’ list or a 10-step action plan toward easing your anxieties, because I don’t know what [that] means for you. You deserve a rubric that is dynamic and customized for yourself, and who knows you better than you?

What I suggest is something simpler, like giving yourself a soft place to land or filling your home with a calming scent. Don’t start a new habit, rediscover an old one. Journal, get introspective and ask yourself when you felt peaceful in the past. Use the past to inform your future and commodity forgotten hobbies into current comforts.

 

“Once stress escalates, it becomes tougher to let it go.”

Tamar Chansky, anxiety expert & clinical psychologist

 

Caring for yourself, fully, takes more than a bubble bath and a yoga class. It takes boundaries. Working from home can create a grey area between ‘work time’ and ‘home time’.  As someone who worked from home for over a year and a half, I can tell you that it’s easy to skip your lunch break and work through, or to work past COB. When your cell phone becomes your work phone it can be like carrying your desk in your pocket. Set boundaries with yourself and within your professional relationships. Learn to say ‘no’, learn to love your limits. During this time of pandemic and cortisol-increasing media, it’s important to respect your limitations. Now is not the time to see how fast and how far you can push yourself. Just as important as teaching yourself to work, use this time to teach yourself to rest.

Slow down and try to embrace the ebbs and flows of life confined to your home space. I’m working on accepting the fact that my kitchen will never be fully at rest, but rather always in flux during this time. Because caring for and loving on myself looks like playing, fermenting, and baking in the kitchen. It looks like waking up a little earlier than the rest of the home to sit quietly in the sun, with no obligation. Find your tiny moment, forgotten past time, or pick one new project during this time to be your space to prioritize yourself.

And, above all, be gentle with yourself because you are doing the best that you can.

 

On Nourishing: My Complexion {true botanicals}

 

A little over a month ago a got into a conversation with a brand I have been fawning over for years. True Botanicals is a beauty product line that rests on the ethos that skincare should be safe, natural, luxurious, and still effective. Unfortunately, as consumers, we rarely get access to all four within one brand. I’d seen the remarkable before and after images online and am obsessed with Laura Dern’s and Olivia Wilde’s skin (two champions of True Botanicals), so I was excited to get started and see if True Botanicals could gently coax my skin back from the mutiny it started several months ago.

For context, it would help to know where my skin was starting in a less than happy place. I never struggled with acne in high school or college, so I’m not as familiar as some with how to get my skin back in line after a break out (a brand new concept for me). In 2017, I stopped using hormonal birth control and while the rest of my body was incredibly happy with this shift, my skin was not and I started to get several deep nodules in the week leading up to my period. So long as I was patient for a few days they weren’t visually too bad, just incredibly painful.

However, at the start of 2019, I moved to New York City and the pollution wrecked my skin. Over the summer of 2019 the humidity, sweat, and pollution layered on my skin and I didn’t have a single day of clear, smooth skin. There’s nothing like several months of break out to destroy your confidence, especially as a blogger that is constantly posting selfies online. The compounding stress of breakouts and all the family struggles I was going through only exacerbated the issue.

 

 

I tried everything I could to help my skin. Expensive facials, masks, I stopped using physical exfoliants, washing my face more often, washing my face less often, stopping moisturizer and favoring oils, chemical exfoliants, changing to a “hormone-balancing diet” …

The list went on and on and I didn’t see a change. By the end of 2019, I was feeling pretty defeated.

When I started speaking with True Botanicals in early January the first thing they did was ask questions about my skin to determine what products would be best for me. This research seems so necessary to me, but not many brands offer this level of customer care. I was happy to find that this isn’t something uniquely available to collaborations! On their website is a skincare quiz that is designed to help you find the product line that best fits your skin and goals.

After determining that I had break-out prone skin they suggested that I try out the Clear line and sent me several products to try*. I decided that the best way to evaluate how effective their products are I should only use True Botanicals for a full month and then draw my conclusions.

 

 

The product line is naturally scented with sandalwood, helichrysum, and cypress and truly smells like a spa on your face. It quickly became my favorite way to start my morning and end my night. Calming, relaxing, and truly effective.

If I had to choose one “favorite” product it would definitely be the Radiance Oil. I used it morning and night, mixed it in my foundation for a smooth and glowy application, and even used it on my collarbone for date night.

One month later and I’m currently typing this while sitting in a coffee shop, sans makeup. No foundation, no concealer. Do I have perfect, airbrushed skin? Not yet, but I’m confident we’re getting there. I’ve seen a noticeable difference in any scarring I had on my cheeks, haven’t had any large breakouts as my hormones fluctuated over the month, and any nodules I had this month lasted less than a day.  I used about half of the bottle in a month and definitely see myself purchasing these products again once they run out.

 

 

* The products discussed in this article were gifted, however, all thoughts are my own. This review was written prior to a laser facial I received in February. During the trial month, I did not use other products/brands and I kept my diet and makeup routine the same.*

On Reflection: The Long and Short of It {my hair}

 

Short.

Light.

Dark.

Blonde.

Long black.

 

No, it’s not how I take my coffee. It’s what I’ve done to my hair over my 20 plus year history of fighting and eventually succumbing to embracing its natural form.

Fiery red. Growing up I always had very long, shiny, baby blonde hair, but when I was 11 I got the notion the red hair was the ideal form. I lusted over auburn locks and wanted them so badly for myself. After a year of begging, my mom let me indulge this want with a box of temporary hair color. I was hooked instantly. I loved it, but as many of you probably know, temporary hair color (particularly red) doesn’t fade beautifully and so began a cycle of dying, chopping, and growing out that lasted over a decade.

Dark brown. In high school, I dyed my hair a rich dark brown as an effort to reclaim my natural color and cover up the highlights earned from hours of running in the sun. I adopted the idea that my highlights made me look younger than I was and in an effort to look grown I covered them. Layer after layer of glossy dark brown dye gave me a deep, nearly black hair color that I kept until college.

Short & black. After my first year of college, I chopped off ten inches a wore a short dark bob. It was about as different as my hair had ever been. I think it was part of a desire to distinguish myself from the high school person I used to be. A lot of people’s college experiences are marked with all the places they drew a line in the sand and said “this is who I am”. A lot of my early time at college was spent trying to distance myself from my country roots. I had a list of reasons a mile long for doing so, none of which seem to hold any weight today.

 

Natural. When I started a new relationship in 2014 I stopped running. Stopped running from my roots, from my passions, from who I naturally was. My hair got long and the dye washed out. My natural highlights returned, a little brassier than their natural blonde, and my curl pattern started to form again. I focused less on my appearance than I had in years and I embraced a natural “me”. I washed my hair with baking soda and vinegar, spent my days working at a yoga shop and taking long Ashtanga practice every morning.

 

Blonde. In early 2015 the desire to dye my hair again came back, from a place of play. I wanted to try something new, something I never had before. Going lighter instead of darker. I had always been taught that dying your hair darker is adding color and therefore healthier than bleaching or stripping out color. This is why for so long I was terrified to go blonde, despite wanting to try it out. I took the plunge through a series of full highlight treatments over several months which gave me a very natural blonde (I had a lot of new acquaintances believing I was a natural blonde).

 

Bob. The unexpected haircut. As I grew out my blonde toward the end of 2016 I decided to go for a chop (up to my shoulder) to get off a lot of the length and let my natural hair grow back. When I left the salon she had cut my hair the shortest it ever was, up to my jaw. It was like losing my crown. It made me really evaluate my ego and where I kept it. Even five months after the chop (below) my hair was still much shorter than I was comfortable with, although the color was returning to my natural hue.

 

Natural. Today I’ve fully embraced my natural hair. It’s low maintenance, I cut it myself, I flip my part from the left to the right. I keep it long enough to not need hair ties (I just tied all the length into a knot). I don’t have to worry about fading as I did with my dark & short, I don’t worry about it drying out as I did with my blonde, I don’t worry about it curling up too much as I did with my bob. It feels like me, no mess, no fuss.

 

I think the big thing here is how important hair can be and how much it can change how you express yourself or process aspects of your life. Everyone should be free to embrace their natural hair or not, it’s their choice. No hair is unprofessional, no hair is superior. Everyone’s hair and aesthetic is unique and everyone should have the freedom to experiment and embrace the style they want to.

Dear Molly, How do you feel beautiful when you barely feel pretty?

Some days I feel really special and beautiful and other days I barely want to look at myself because I don’t feel pretty. I guess what I’m asking is, how can you feel beautiful when you barely feel pretty? How can you change your thinking like that?

 

Feeling beautiful and feeling pretty are not mutually exclusive and (unfortunately) not mutually inclusive either. You might feel one, the other, both, or neither.

Feeling beautiful is internal, it’s the most important feeling to cherish, nurture, and value. Beauty may show up on your face in a glow, in your body in the confidence to walk tall, but it is not dependent on the external. Feeling beautiful comes from internal thoughts, how you treat others, how you maintain boundaries, how you love, how you accept love. Feeling pretty is a fleeting evaluation of your external appearance. It’s a special feeling but does not contribute to your worth as a person. Being “pretty” is not nearly as important as being “beautiful”.

Feeling beautiful doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and in so many ways we’re conditioned not to see our beauty. Loving ourselves relentlessly is seen as vain and vapid, so from a young age we’re taught three messages:

1 / Loving yourself is a sign of vanity and instead, you should be overly humble.

2 / You should reject any compliments you receive with false humility.

3 / That feeling pretty is lower on the hierarchy of “attractiveness” than feeling beautiful. That you need to feel pretty first.

Fuck that. Seriously.

Turning back those ingrained lessons isn’t easy and I wish there was a mantra I could tell you to repeat 10 times each morning that would solve all your problems, but our minds don’t all learn that way. The one thing I can tell you to repeat every time a thought like that creeps up is “Fuck that.” Think that you shouldn’t love yourself? Fuck that. Think that someone else is better than you because her waist is leaner? Fuck that. Think you’re better than someone else because your complexion is clearer? Fuck that.

We are not here to compare ourselves or journey toward some end goal of “attractive” that less than 5% of the world’s population actually has. When I look in the mirror and feel beautiful it has nothing to do with how my skin, hair, body looks. It has nothing to do with whatever sexualized DM has popped up today. It has nothing to do with whatever compliment was given to me that morning. It has everything, everything to do with how powerful I feel.

The times that I question my beauty are the times that I question my strength. There are plenty of times I look in the mirror and see a surprise blemish or don’t feel as toned as I’d like to be, as a woman the list of things to be self-conscious about is endless. But I have to remind myself to step back and realize that the important parts of who I am are not external. I refuse to value the opinion of someone who only likes me for my external and if I don’t value their opinion then it’s meaningless.

If you are struggling to feel beautiful start by looking at where you do and do not feel in control in your life. Where do you feel like you are in the passenger’s seat? You are the woman in charge, you determine your worth. Your beauty is your birthright. Beauty is not something that you need to achieve, it’s something you innately have. You are entitled to it.

So what do you do when it escapes you? When you feel out of control? When you don’t feel in your power?

Channel someone who is in their power and use their energy. Choosing someone powerful and strong who has all the qualities that you admire, and focusing on that person’s energy when you are feeling low to zap yourself back into self-love. It’s not about becoming another person, it’s about feeling their vibrations and using that to spark the same energy in you. When I have a “self-conscious” day there are two women I reach for: Audrey Hepburn and Lara Croft. Very different energies and both powerful, magnetic, and beautiful in their own ways. How would they walk down the street? Internalize that energy and it will alter the energy you are putting out.

I’m going to copy something I wrote in a previous post below because I continue to stand by it:

Ingrain your beauty in every moment you have with yourself. Don’t just go through the motions of self-care, embrace the moments of self-care. Speak to yourself softly and gently and love yourself.

Love yourself with a long bath after a tough day. Love yourself with a facial massage to elevate some of that forehead tension. Love yourself with a little lip filler to boost your pout. Love yourself with a spin class. Love yourself with eating the “right” foods. Love yourself with eating the “wrong” foods.

Love yourself in all the ways that make you happy. There’s no right or wrong way to love yourself. There is no hierarchy of self-love. There is no hierarchy of beauty.

There’s beauty is all aspects of you. There’s beauty in your vulnerability, beauty in putting yourself out there, beauty in picking your battles, beauty is how you walk down the street, beauty in how you say hello, beauty in how you laugh, and beauty in how you cry. There is beauty in how you are.

 

xx

 

On Reflection: What a Structured Morning Has Done for My Well-being

 

One month ago I attended a wellness weekend here in NYC that was put on by Mejuri. Post-event I was so motivated I sat down and quickly penned a few promises to myself about what my new goals were and how I wanted to implement changes in my life. My overall goal was fairly simple: introduce a few new rituals into my life and use them to amplify a radical, powerful, feminine beauty in me.

I started with cold showers and quickly integrated other aspects into my day to help myself find a stronger, calmer centerline. I now have a list of nine rituals that I do each morning to wake up my body, mind, and settle myself for the day.

In the past two weeks, my body has been waking me up sometime between 5:30-5:45 each morning. No alarm, no groggy-tired eyes, I just snap awake. I wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and launch into my morning that looks a little something like this:

  • 5:40 Wake up, take my basal temperate, and do 3 minutes of cat-cow postures in bed. I do these before I get out of bed to wake up my breath, body, and circulation.
  • 5:45 30 minutes of yoga, typically Ashtanga Primary Series, but occasionally I just flow.
  • 6:15 Take a cold shower. I start with the water a little cooler than lukewarm and finish with a 2 minute, ice-water cold rinse. During this time I furiously rub my arms, legs, and body to boost circulation and practice long deep breathing techniques to keep my mind as calm as possible.
  • 6:30 Oil pulling for 10 minutes as I do my skincare routine. Then I floss & brush my teeth. I keep my skincare routine very basic in the morning, but always include Herbivore’s Lapis Facial oil, jade roller/gua sha, moisturizer & sunscreen.
  • 6:45 Meditate for 10-15 minutes (however long I feel I need that day). I have been using the Kundalini yoga 4 part breath: 4 counts in/4 counts hold/4 counts out/4 counts hold out. For me, it’s helpful to have a breathing technique to focus on to keep my mind still. I also tend to pick one of my crystals, set an intention, and hold it closely throughout the mediation.
  • 7:00 Eat a small breakfast – typically a banana – and take my vitamins & supplements.
  • 7:30 Get dressed, do my make up, and pick out a fragrance for the day.
  • 8:00 Feed the cats a little snack.
  • 8:30 Wake up the cats & start our day together.

 

 

Of course, those times are approximate as I don’t actually count the minutes of each ritual. I do it until I feel full and prepared to move into the next one. Starting the day well-rested and centered is incredibly new for me. Even in 2015 when I was starting each day with a 70-minute Ashtanga practice I still wasn’t feeling the calm that I feel each morning stepping through this routine.

My energy is up, my anxiety is down, I’ve been motivated to eat better, and I’ve been more emotionally still. I’ve always run a little hot-tempered and have a very passionate, fiery streak. In arguments I can be quick to say the most hurtful thing, regretting it immediately. This past month I have been incredibly even-tempered. Even when I get frustrated, get the blues, get thrown a curve ball, I’m able to quickly bring it back, calm myself down, and reflect on the situation. Maybe it’s just part of getting older, but as an Aries Moon & Aries Rising a lot of my ferocity is innate to who I am (regardless of age). I credit my new ability to press pause on these emotions to my morning routine.

 

The purpose of introducing these rituals was to amplify my inner and outer beauty. After one month I can confirm that I feel the effects on the inside and outside. I’ve been better able to handle the squalls of everyday life. I’ve felt more confident and strong as I walk down the street, as if my aura is growing day by day, inch by inch. I’ve had numerous people comment over Instagram and IRL that I look “different” or “really good today”. I can feel it on the inside and it radiates on the outside.

Maybe you don’t need a 2 hour morning routine, maybe you just need one thing, but what I encourage you to do is examine your morning and question if it sets you up for a successful day. Maybe five minutes of mediation will be the game changer for you. Maybe add an extra few minutes into something you already do each morning, like walking your dog, to pause, get still, and appreciate where you are.

Taking an extra few moments for you in the morning can help prevent you from feeling like you are being pulled in a million directions throughout the day.

On Why: Beauty is Your Birthright

 

I prefer my shower temperature somewhere between scalding and boiling. You know all those hot and heavy shower sex scenes? Not in my future. I’ve yet to meet another human who likes their showers nearly as toasty.

But I’m about to make a big switch. I’m going to start taking cold showers.

Pause for reaction and a little context …

This past weekend I attended Mejuri‘s Wellness Weekend which consisted of several workshops and classes all about healing and promoting inner and outer beauty. My favorite piece of the weekend was a masterclass in which Desiree Pais, the beauty editor for Herbivore Botanicals, walked us through several daily rituals we could introduce into our routines to promote our radical, feminine, beauty.

 

DAILY RITUALS

The rituals ranged from yoga postures to meditation & breathing exercises to different skincare masks, oils, and serums. There were a few that really stood out to me:

  • Starting each day with 3 minutes of cat-cow postures. I plan on completing these before I get out of bed to wake up my breath, body, and circulation.
  • Channeling a woman you admire to stave off insecurities. Choosing someone powerful and strong who has all the qualities that you admire, and focusing on that person’s energy when you are feeling low to zap yourself back into self-love. It’s not about becoming another person, it’s about feeling their vibrations and using that to spark the same energy in you.
  • The One-Minute Breath. This is a Kundalini yoga breathing technique that is much more intense than it initially sounds. Inhale for 20 seconds, Hold for 20 seconds, Exhale for 20 seconds. Let me tell you, it is incredibly focusing. I’m starting with the smaller goal of 10 in/10 hold/10 out for 5 minutes every morning. Here’s a blog post, written by Herbivore on the one-minute breath.
  • Cold Showers in the morning. Using the burst of cold water to wake up all those little blood vessels and flush out any lymph, toxins, etc and reinvigorate.

 

I was easily on board with the first three, but that cold shower? I was less convinced. However, I’m a “try everything once” kind of woman and I figured it was worth a shot. After running a few post workshop errands I came home, turned the shower on, and got ready to face it. I set myself a 4-minute timer and (filled with images of Rose saying goodbye to Jack) stepped in.

Mother.

Of.

Pearl.

The first 30 seconds, incredibly rough (and I only had my legs in).

The next 30 weren’t that great either as I doused my arm in ice, but then I remembered something Desiree had mentioned: rub your body. I began massaging my legs and arms and focusing on deep breathing and after a minute I was able to get under the water completely.

By minute 3 I felt strangely warm (?) and was genuinely enjoying putting my face under the glacial water streaming from my shower head.

I completed my 4-minute goal and am hooked. I knew I had to sit down and write this immediately, because I was so shocked at how quickly, in just one day, I had such a radical “ah-ha” moment. Not only did I have an “ah-ha” moment about taking a cold shower, but I had a larger light bulb moment about beauty and how we value and judge beauty in the U.S.

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BEAUTY IS A BIRTHRIGHT

Your beauty is a birthright. You are born beautiful. You deserve to feel beautiful. Not sometimes, not on a good day, but every day. Every second of every day. In the U.S. we value beauty, but shame the path to get there. If you want to be beautiful or share your beauty you are egotistical, vapid, shallow, and clearly compensating for a lack of confidence.

We emphasize how important inner beauty is, but don’t provide any framework for finding it, embracing it, magnifying it.

Ingrain your beauty in every moment you have with yourself. Don’t just go through the motions of self-care, embrace the moments of self-care. Speak to yourself softly and gently and love yourself.

Love yourself with a long bath after a tough day. Love yourself with a facial massage to elevate some of that forehead tension. Love yourself with a little lip filler to boost your pout. Love yourself with a spin class. Love yourself with eating the “right” foods. Love yourself with eating the “wrong” foods.

Love yourself in all the ways that make you happy. There’s no right or wrong way to love yourself. There is no hierarchy of self-love. There is no hierarchy of beauty.

 

 

 

photo courtesy of Herbivore Botanicals

My Favorite Products for 2C/3A Curls

I’m deeply invested in my skincare, as well as in my haircare and I’ve found that finding the best line up for your wavy/curly hair can be a lifelong task. Curls change with the season, day to day with the humidity, and they even change as you age. I have a mix of 2C waves and 3A curls that I have always loved, but not always known how to style. Great curls definitely start with a good haircut, specifically for your curls, but after that having a great array of care products can make living with much easier and more fun.

There are a lot of steps below, but read through and you’ll find it’s actually a pretty maintenance routine. I don’t like a lot of steps, 2-3 in the shower, 2-3 things out of, and 2-3 to revamp my curl pattern and that’s all I need.

Not sure what kind of waves/curls you have? You can find your curl pattern type here!

SHOWER

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DEVACURL No-Poo Decadence | $44

Care for your curls from the very beginning with how you wash them. You don’t want to strip away any natural oils or moisture that your hair has – this moisture is essential for silky curls! Look for a sulfate, silicone, paraben free shampoo, my favorite is DevaCurl’s No-Poo Decadence. It’s incredibly silky without the artificial, added silicones and since I’ve started using it I’ve noticed far less breakage, allowing my hair to grow over 3 inches in 4 months.

 

 

 

 

 

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DEVACURL One Condition Decadence | $44

The hair follicle for curly hair is actually shaped differently than for straight hair, meaning that it is much more prone to drying out, frizz, and breakage. The best defense is a strong conditioner that’s made to lock in moisture. I like DevaCurl’s One Condition because you don’t need to completely rinse it out. I like to leave a little bit in my length to help keep them hydrated (not all conditioners are formulated to do this and many will leave a sticky or greasy residue).

 

 

 

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CHRISTOPHE ROBIN Cleansing Purifying Scrub with Sea Salt | $53

Great curls start with a clear scalp. Once a week I mix a little of this scrub in with my shampoo to help clear out build up and revitalize my roots. Remember to rinse, rinse, rinse this one! The sea salt emulsifies into a thick lather and the smell of lavender is heavenly. It’s super expensive and a little goes a long way.


 

POST-SHOWER

 

SHEAMOISTURE Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie | $14

My first step post-shower usually happening in the shower! With my hair still sopping wet I’ll slather SheaMoisture’s Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie mid-length to tip, ensuring that I coat those ends! Mixing the product in when my hair is still wet ensures that every step of the drying process it has been moisturized. I then hop out and gently squeeze try my hair with a microfiber towel – NO towel drying, NO wrapping hair up. If you don’t have a microfiber cloth you can get them here or use a 100% cotton tee shirt in a pinch.

 

 

 

OUAI Wave Spray | $26

A “wave spray” is usually some mix of salt and water that is sticky, drying, and the last thing you’d want to use on waves/curls. Ouai’s Wave Spray is different! It uses rice protein to help you perfect that wave texture. No sea salt means it’s safe for curly hair, color-treated, and/or keratin-treated hair. After moisturizing my hair I run a comb through it, let it air dry to damp, and spritz tons of this miracle wave spray on my length. After that I’m safe to let it completely air dry before I need to fuss with it again.

 


 

STYLING

 

DRYBAR The Kicker Finishing Spray Wax | $26

This spray wax is perfect to add a little texture to your waves/curls, particularly if you have a similar curl pattern to mine and you like wearing your hair in piecey waves. There are two ways to apply, directly to hair or to your hands. I like to hang my head upside down and spray the wax up from my end toward my roots. This way I don’t have to worry about too much build up at the roots. Then I spray a little in my hands and work different sections to make sure everyone is laying properly!

 

 

 

 

BUMBLE AND BUMBLE Hairdresser’s Invisible Oil | $40

I only toss this guy into the line up when my hair is feeling dull. Just a few drops in your palms, rub together, and lightly pet through your hair for amazing shine and softness. I also love this as a moisture boost to your ends! (In case you haven’t realized, moisture is the key to curls!)


 

MASKS & REVIVING

 

DEVACURL Melt into Moisture Matcha Butter Conditioning Mask | $36

Everyone should be masking their hair at least once a week, especially curly headed women! It’s your foundation for how your hair will look every day! This guy is definitely my favorite, not only does it smell heavenly, but the formula is U N R E A L. After one use your hair feels like silk, two or more uses and day to day you’ll notice a difference, particularly if you have curls. As I have mentioned 101 times at this point, moisture is the key to healthy, happy curls, and this mask will keep you moisturized!

 

 

 

OUAI Dry Shampoo Foam | $28

If I’m using a dry shampoo (which I do often as I try not to wash my hair more than 3x a week) I’m reaching for Ouai’s Dry Shampoo Foam. The reason I love this is because you don’t need to brush it out after or do any of the normal dry shampoo spray tricks! You just gently massage it in and not only does it refreshen your scalp and remove oils, but the little dampness that comes with it helps jump start your curl pattern.

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEPHORA.COM

 

Skincare Meets Makeup {Glossier}

I haven’t always been very skincare conscious, but a trip to Paris in the spring of 2016 changed all of that. Since then my skincare has become a high finessed routine with each product undergoing an extreme vetting process. It makes me months to fall in love with a product and it’s tough to break into the list of my favorites (explore my favorite face masks here!).

Glossier has been a company that I kept my eye on, but regarded as a hyped-up, not much substance, trendy brand. Through an affiliate link I was offer 15% off my first order and figured that if there was a time to test the brand this was it.

Six months later and the only regret I have about placing that first order is a financial one. I have yet to be disappointed with a product I’ve tried. There are a few that weren’t my style, but none that didn’t live up to their promises. I’m also a huge fan of any company that stands behind their product and has excellent customer service. I can vouch for Glossier’s amazing customer support, but online and in store.

Here are a few of my favorite products:

Milky Jelly Cleanser | $18

I’m currently on my third bottle of this stuff and I cannot get enough. After years of using face washes and cleansers that had salicylic acid and other acne fighters in them I was nervous for the switch. I absolutely love this stuff and have not looked back.

I love to use one pump on a dry face to loosen up and remove make up, rinse with water, and then use 1-2 pumps on my wet skin to really cleanse my skin. It has definitely helped with my skin’s all over texture & tone without drying it out after every use – it’s almost hydrating itself!

*It smells amazing too.

 

Lip Gloss | $14

’90s babies rejoice! It’s the same high gloss you begged your mom to buy you from Claire’s without the chunky glitter and hair attracting stickiness. I cannot say enough good things about this little tube of gloss, I use it non-stop and it lasts and lasts and lasts. If you are on the fence I hope this review pushes you over the edge because trust me you will not regret it.

*I also love using this over Cherry Balm Dotcom or just a lip pencil.

 

Cloud Paint | $18

I am not ashamed to say I own every color of Glossier’s Cloud Paint. Each serves it’s own purpose and I highly suggest these, especially if you are a #makeupminimalist who wants the fastest possible ways to look 10/10. Here’s how I use each shade:

  • Puff is the perfect rosy pink for spring! I dot and blend this on both my cheeks and lips to make my face look alive without too much effort. Perfect for when I’m running late!
  • I use Haze on my cheeks and lips similar to Puff, but for me this is more of a Fall/Winter berry shade so I like to save it for chiller days. Occasionally I’ll mix a little in with Puff to deepen the color.
  • Beam is my go to when I have a tan and Puff’s cool-toned pinkness needs a little warming up.
  • Dusk is a little too deep for me to use on my cheeks, but I love it as both a contour shade and on my eyelids to add a little depth to my socket line.

 

Priming Moisturizer | $22

The claims that this can be used as a priming isn’t something that I agree with, but all over the moisturizer is exactly what you want for #summerskincare. It’s lightweight, melts quickly into your skin, and doesn’t leave a film. I also find that it leaves an almost velvety feel to my skin, similar to a primer but without the make up staying power.

*This does contain retinol so be sure to use sunscreen with it!

 

Super Pure | $28

This little vial packs a punch. Full disclaimer, I know several people who didn’t get any positive effects from this, but I felt it did wonders. Using Super Pure regularly kept my skin’s oily nature in check all day and prevented those dreaded PMS break outs.

 

Lash Slick | $16

Highly skeptical would be an understatement for how I felt trying lash slick for the first time. But within moments I was hooked. It is a fibrous mascara that adds gentle volume and amazing length to your lashes, while maintaining a very natural look. It’s flake proof, smudge proof, waterproof (even though they say it isn’t), and amazingly sweat/gym proof.

*If you’d like a little more glam from your lashes use Lash Slick as a base coat and top with either Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara or Lancôme Grandiôse Wide-Angle Fan Effect Mascara.

 

Cherry Balm Dotcom | $12

This guy could easily be placed under makeup as well as it’s tinted with a perfect “just bitten” shade of cherry. I could do without the scent, but otherwise this product is a slam dunk for me. I love how it makes my lips feel, not only immediately after application but also several hours down the line.

 

 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GLOSSIER.COM

Favorite Face Masks from Sephora

I’ve been a pretty avid masker for a few years now, and after several hundred (maybe thousands…) of dollars spent on different masks I’ve created a list of my absolute faves. A good face mask should do what it promises, but also should be incredibly satisfying to wear and rinse.

CLARIFYING

GLAMGLOW

SUPERMUD® Activated Charcoal Treatment | $59

This is definitely one of those use-it-once-get-totally-hooked masks. A strong detoxifier that focuses on pulling out sebum from the skin I don’t recommend using this the day before a big event (give your body time to flush everything out). It has a cool, almost metallic feel when going on and dries down into a thick, tough to rinse crust. I find GlamGlow’s SuperMud mask to best fit into my day when I put it on about 30 min before a shower and rinse in the shower.

JOSIE MARAN

Whipped Mud Mask Argan Hydrating and Detoxifying Treatment | $48

If my skin is having a drama queen moment and getting very sensitive to product/make up I reach for Josie Maran Whipped Mud Mask Argan Hydrating and Detoxifying Treatment (try saying that 10 times fast). It’s gentle, while detoxifying (thanks to that argan oil) and leaves your skin with a fresh feeling, not a dry one. If you have combination/oily skin you’ll love this one, if you have dryer skin I would spread the product thin when using an test a small area before the full fast commitment.

FIRMING

DR. JART+

Shake & Shot™ Rubber Masks | $12 ea

Part of a set of 4 Dr. Jart+ has offers for any type of mask you could want. Yes, rubber masks in general can seem a little gimmicky, but I sold on these. For only $12 you receive all the pieces needed to spackle a rubber mask onto your face that after about 10 minutes you can peel off! The purpose of a rubber mask is to make such a thick seal that prevents your masks from evaporating and that all it’s qualities are forced into the skin. I absolutely love all Dr. Jart+ products, but these Shake & Shot masks may be my favorite.

PERRICONE MD

H2 Elemental Energy Firming Foam Mask | $50

The first time I used this mask I severely underestimated it’s foaming abilities and ended up with foam in the eyes, nose, and mouth. I’ve since learned from my mistakes and know that a little goes a long way with this product. It reacts to your skin’s pH and temperature creating a thick foam after about 20 minutes. Rinsing this product is probably my favorite part, when mixed with water to rinse the foam dissipates into a serum-like gel that leaves your skin silky soft with minimized pores. Win win win.

HYDRATING

FRESH

Black Tea Instant Hydrating Face Mask | $92

I would definitely agree that Fresh’s Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask offers instant results. The consistency is similar to room-temperature butter, with a touch more texture and leaves your skin almost velvety smooth. I typically don’t use this too much in the summer, as it’s a heavy moisturizer and I’ll likely reach for something with a jelly or watery consistency, but in winter it’s my staple.

GLOW RECIPE

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask | $45

This mask is a cool drink of water for your skin. It has a watery, almost jelly consistency that melts into the skin and instantly has you feeling better. I also love any hydrating mask that is a leave on, it’s the best way to ensure that all that goodness is going into your skin. Not to mention it makes masks like Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask perfect for flights and long-term traveling.

BRIGHTENING

BOSCIA

Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask | $34

A mask should give you great results, but also be satisfying to wear and remove. Enter Boscia’s Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask. Peeling it off is a little uncomfortable, but not painful (I’d watch those baby hairs though!) and leaves you with the smoothest skin ever. I feel that the best results come about 24 later once my skins as woken up a little more.

STOCK PHOTOS COURTESY OF SEPHORA.COM