On Mondays We Mask

I love to use face masks; they are such a great way to give your skin a little extra TLC. I usually mask 3-4 times a week but I try to never miss a Monday. It’s a great way to recharge and get back into my weekday schedule. Here are the masks I’m currently using:

If you want a quick mask:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Brightening Bubbling Mask: One of the downsides to traditional masks is that they take time, most take at least five minutes. This one by PTR can be used in as little as 30 seconds which makes it great to use before you apply your makeup. It does make your skin noticeably brighter, feels super good, and adds a little extra moisture.

If you want an inexpensive mask:

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Dr. Jart+- Dermaclear Trans-Foam Clay: These clay masks are only $15 each and you get 1.7 ounces, which is cheap in the mask world. Each one works on a different skin concern, I have the one for refreshing and one for moisturizing. They contain a lovely, thick mud and leave your skin feeling smooth and clean after leaving them on for 15 minutes.

If you want a sleeping mask:

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Shiseido- Ibuki Sleeping Mask– This is a gel mask which contains little micro beads of moisture. You simply apply this after cleansing and sleep in it. It is quick absorbing and oil-free so it won’t damage your bedding like other sleeping masks.

If you want a mask you can feel working:

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Peter Thomas Roth- Pumpkin Enzyme Mask: This is my favorite mask because it is very effective, but it’s not for the faint of heart. We all now that pumpkin burns when it is applied to the face (it’s a very common spa treatment) and this mask is no exception. When you first apply it you can certainly feel a burning sensation and you have to rub it to activate the exfoliation and that makes it burn more and then leave it one for 7 minutes. But the results are amazing; after just one use it reduces texture and breakouts and helps with fine lines. It also smells incredible, just like pumpkin pie, and the smell lingers in your bathroom of for a long time which is lovely.

If you want a mask for post-workout:

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Kiehl’s- Calendula & Ale Soothing Hydration Masque: One of the main ways I motivate myself to work out is by treating my post-workout shower like a mini spa. I apply this mask and lay in the hot tub for 15 minutes while it works its magic and then I take an extra long hot shower after and I always leave feeling incredible. This mask is a gel formula with an incredible herbal scent. It is soothing on a hot, sweaty face and makes my skin feel nice and clean without being tight.

If you want an all-around, universally, great mask:

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GLAMGLOW- Gravity Mud Firming Treatment : This has got to be one of the most recognizable masks on the market. This bright silver goo looks just like unicorn blood from Harry Potter. But there might actually be some magic in this jar because this stuff is so great. It helps with texture, dryness, redness, fine lines, ect. I’m fairly certain any person, with any skin type would get a benefit from this mask. If you aren’t sure where to start with masks or skincare this is  great mask to get.

And if you want to be extra:

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Dr. Dennis Gross-Pro Facial Steamer: This is by no means a must have tool. But this tiny steamer produces the most decadent, hydrating steam I’ve ever seen. In my experience using this steamer before any skincare product dramatically helps with product absorption. So in order to get the most benefit from my masks I always steam for about 5-7 minutes before I apply them.

How I achieved my Hair Goals

img_2803I struggled for most of 2016 to find the perfect products and routine for my hair and I can now finally say my search is over. I have naturally wavy hair that is dry and course. I color my hair every three months and generally heat style it every day so I do have some damage and split ends. I only wash my hair every two or three days in order to eliminate some of the damage. The biggest concern I have is maintaining my volume between washes. My goal is to have thick, full hair that still has movement. Here is the routine I’ve been using the last couple of months and I’ve been having nothing but good hair days:

  1. Pre Shampoo- I use the Jamaican Black Castor Oil Shampoo. I apply a generous amount and really massage it into my scalp. This product helps to remove any oil and product buildup. 
  2. Shampoo- I then use Living Proof Full Volume Shampoo. Because I’ve already prepooed I can get away with using only a small amount of this shampoo. This product is unique because it not only eliminates buildup but also helps to repel it. 
  3. Conditioner- The way I condition my hair really is my secret weapon. I use Aveda Pure Abundance conditioner it has the most amazing peppermint smell and gives my hair noticeable body. I gently wring much water as I can out of my hair, I then flip my head upside down and begin by applying the conditioner from the base of my head through the ends. I then tie the hair up on the top of my head with an elastic. I leave it up there while I shave and cleanse my body. Then I just rinse extra well. 
  4. Volume Boost- While my hair is still damp I spray 3-4 pumps of the Aveda Volumizing Tonic in the upper crown of my hair. This product is great because it gives me volume and texture without leaving behind a sticky residue. 
  5. Heat Protection- Because I blow dry and straighten my hair I’m always very diligent with applying a head protectant. I use the Aveda Smooth Infusion creme to protect my hair. I apply this product similarly to how I apply conditioner; I flip my head upside down and start from the bottom of my head and work it through the entire length of my hair. 

Finished Product!

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My 4 Favorite Lipsticks

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I recently dyed my hair much darker and I am loving it! But because my hair is now dark and my skin is light I feel like I have to have lipstick on every day to complete my look. Luckily there are so many great lipstick options on the market right now. Here are my four favorite lipsticks right now. 

dsc_0210Anastasia Beverly Hills- Liquid Lipstick- Pure Hollywood– The ABH liquid lipsticks are my favorite formula on the market right now. They dry so smooth and last for hours. I love to apply them, let them dry for 30 seconds and then apply a gloss over them. Pure Hollywood is a perfect brownish-nude shade. 

dsc_0208NARS- Velvet Lip Glide- Unlaced– NARS recently came out with this new Velvet Lip Glide formula it is a very unique formula that is a hybrid between a lipstick and a lipgloss. It is not long wearing but is so hydrating and easy to apply. If you are intimidated by highly pigmented matte lip products or are looking for something soft and natural these are a great option. The shade Unlaced is very neutral color that is wonderful for light skin tones. 

dsc_0215MAC- Lipstick- Velvet Teddy– MAC lipsticks are great because they are somewhat inexpensive ($17),  come in a million colors, are creamy, and pigmented. The shade Velvet Teddy is a beautiful reddish-brown. It matches tons of eye looks and during fall/winter I wear this at least once a week.
dsc_0216Kat Von D- Everlasting Liquid Lipstick- Lolita II– Kat Von D products always have the most beautiful packaging and the liquid lipsticks are no exception. I always feel like such a bad a$$ when I take this out of my purse. The shade Lolita II is a vampy, rich, maroon color and it looks beautiful with my new dark hair. These liquid lipsticks are extremely matte and long-wearing but can be somewhat drying. 

 

My New Obsession | Mario Badescu Skin Care

dsc_0130Over the past week I have become completely obsessed with Mario Badescu Skin Care. I had heard about this brand a few times, mainly in some of Jaclyn Hill’s older videos, but for some reason I thought it was expensive and never really looked into it for myself. But boy was I missing out! This line is incredibly effective and reasonably priced. So far I have purchased five products, geared towards my dry winter skin, and I have yet to be disappointed. 

dsc_0135Enzyme Cleansing Gel $7.00- This is a basic gentle cleanser. It doesn’t foam up much but removes my makeup incredibly well. After using this my face feels super clean but not dry and tight. I was using a product that was three times as expensive that did not remove my makeup nearly as well. 

dsc_0137Cellufirm Drops $25.00- These drops are used similar to a serum. They are applied after cleansing but before moisturizer to provide extra moisture and elasticity. These absorb quickly and didn’t make me break out. I also like that he bottle is plastic which makes it great for travel. 

dsc_0139Protein Night Creme $22.00- This is my favorite item that I have tried so far! This creme is everything I’ve ever wanted (but couldn’t find) in a night creme. It is so thick and luxurious and leaves behind a lovely oil which is absorbed while you sleep. I would not recommend this for oily skin, but for me it is better than the $45 creme I’ve been using. 

DSC_0141.jpgDrying Lotion $17.00- This is the product that Mario Badescu is most known for but when I first saw the name “Drying Lotion” I was like hell no. But the reviews were so good that I decided to give it a try. It is a spot treatment to be applied to blemishes. I have been lucky enough to have clear skin most of my life. But recently I’ve started to get painful, stubborn, cystic acne. My blemishes  take forever to go away, are painful, and even leave behind discoloration. This lotion has defiantly been helping, I’ve seen about 50% reduction in the size of my acne bumps each night that I use this. 

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A.H.A Botanical Body Soap $8.00- I have a very hard time finding body soaps that don’t irritate my dry sensitive skin but still rinse clean and make me feel fresh. This soap has been a lifesaver. It has a light fresh scent, foams up, and rinses without stripping my skin. It is made with papaya and grapefruit extract so it removes dead skin cells naturally and gently. And you can’t beat the price!

5 Products I Always Repurchase

dsc_0038One of my greatest joys in life is trying out new products. I visit the “Just Arrived” section of Sephora.com at least one a day looking for the new best thing; so it is rare that I re-purchase the same product more than once. But there are five products that I always repurchase because they are the best of the best! 

dsc_0040Urban Decay Chill Cooling and Hydrating Makeup Setting Spray I use this setting spray everyday that I wear makeup. It adds extra much needed moisture to my thirsty skin and noticeably blends my powder and liquid products together. This spray defiantly also prolongs the wear of my makeup. This was originally a Jaclyn Hill suggestion and I would never purchase anything else. 

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Brazilian Bum Bum Cream This product is meant to tighten and smooth the look of skin and I have had some luck using it for that; but this cream really is so much more. It is the perfect combination of quick-absorbing and ultra-moisturizing. The formula is the perfect consistency to make it easy to spread. And the smell is to die for. This cream literally smells like a tropical vacation.

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Shade: Medium Brown (Excuse my grown-out nail)

Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz I am a brow fanatic and a victim of waxing my brows too thin when I was in high school so brow products are so important to me. Anastasia hands-down makes the best brow products on the market right now, and the Brow Wiz takes the cake. It is thin enough to do precise brow work but also smooth enough to blend out for a natural look. And the Brow Wiz literally lasts all day.

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Shade: Light Warm

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Complete Coverage Concealer This concealer is a cult-classic for a reason. It’s a concealer that is thick enough to cover imperfections but thin enough that it blends out naturally into the skin. And once you set it it lasts all day long without the need for touch-ups. It also comes in a wide variety of shades and the price point it great for the amount of product you get. 

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MAC Eyeshadow in Bamboo To be honest, I don’t even like MAC eyeshadows. I think they are overpriced for the quality and pigmentation that you get. There are much better eyeshadow brands on the market. But MAC Bamboo is the exception! I start every eye look I do with this shadow. It is the perfect base or transition shade on my skin. It is creamy and blends like a dream. If you can’t get the gradient, blended look on your eye looks give Bamboo a try.