All In This Together?

23 Apr

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Bloggers are supposed to keep posts positive and inspo-packed, now more than ever. This might not be that. Being home 24/7 has given us all extra time to be in our heads… and possibly overthink things. Possibly.

We’re all in this together. This COVID-19 sentiment is everywhere. It’s supposed to be a positive, reassuring, inclusive message. And it is. But is it true? I’m not sure.

The thought of our entire planet experiencing the same threat at the same time is almost impossible to believe. But here we are. One globe in search of sanitizer, masks, and a cure. 2020 has already made Shitty 2019 look like a freshman hazing – and we’re only four months in.

We’re all weathering the same uncharted, unbiased, unanswered storm. True. I don’t know anyone whose life hasn’t been drastically affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. But to say we’re all in it together feels a little too simple. Almost artificial. The way I see it we’re all in the same storm, but not in the same boat.

Our boats range from having to wait for app-delivered groceries to waiting in a car line for government-issued groceries. Some have gone from working overtime to navigating unemployment benefits. Millions are becoming familiar with PPP and EDD.

Some think this virus has nothing on them and they’re untouchable. Others question every cough. Many now have a definitive answer to that age-old Who would you want to be stranded on an island with? question. Others are realizing divorce is imminent.

Some singles are swirling in loneliness while some are relishing the quiet. Some are grateful for all this sequestered time with their children. Others have a grandparent in an at-risk nursing home.

Countless families have lost loved ones without being able to say goodbye.

Other families welcomed a new baby via Zoom.

Some who never thought about money are now forced to see what little they’ve saved. Others are learning they don’t qualify for everything the media is reporting they do. Some are crying for their colorist. Some crying from isolation.

Empathy is up. Communities are tightening. Priorities are shuffling.

Years from now, 2020 will have been the year without graduations or proms or March Madness. When Disneyland closed its gates and schools went virtual. Almost everything went virtual. Passover Seders. Easter Sunday. Memorials. Hugs. All virtual.

…The year that gas dropped to $2.50 and fashion houses found something to do with their extra fabric. The year toilet paper became gold and app dating quadrupled. The year of 6 feet. Of grants, loans, and possible stimulus checks. Of freeways without cars and stadiums without players. The year doctors, nurses, and Target cashiers put their lives on the line daily. And when the 93rd Scripps National Spelling Bee was canceled for the first time since WWII. All just the tip of our current global iceberg.

Same storm. Different boats.

But are we all in this together? Well… We’re all in it. And maybe that’s a big enough statement. So just be nice. Take care of yourself. Offer help if you can. And don’t presume to know someone else’s boat.

 

xo

 

6 Easy Seasonal Skincare Tips

9 Mar

As we get into these days of transitional weather (not quite winter, not quite spring), it’s helpful to change our skincare up a bit. The colder the air, the more moisture skin requires – even when the sun’s out. Ever put lotion on your legs before a day of spring skiing? You get out of your ski clothes later to find dry and scaly legs. Altitude plays a part, but colder weather can wreak havoc on our skin because it causes moisture to evaporate quicker.

Here are 6 super easy tips to get you through this transitional season.

1. Look at the labels of your skincare and body care. We want ingredients that hold onto water and lock in moisture – like Hyaluronic Acid (HA), Vitamin E, Coconut, Sunflower and Jojoba oils.

2. Try applying a replenishing serum onto a cleansed face (before cream) in the morning to feed skin antioxidants and HA for the day – like CeraVe Hydrating Hyaluronic Acid Face Serum. This one is great for anyone with sensitive skin, which is almost all of us. During these transitional months, even the most “normal” skin can react more sensitively to the environment.  

 

3. Swap your oil-free facial lotion for more a potent cream and apply it over serum. Disclaimer: I love almost every product by Supergoop. Give me a minute and I’ll make you a brand-convert. The Superscreen Daily Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 40 is one of my favorites. It protects against the sun and blue light. Plus, it’s considered a clean beauty brand at Sephora. If you don’t love layering, mix your foundation and moisturizer, then blend them onto your face simultaneously. Or just try a good CC cream.

4. For dry hands and feet, look for ingredients that seal in moisture like Shea butter or even petroleum jelly. Thicker creams tend to form more of a protective barrier than thinner lotions. For dry cracked skin, slather some on and sleep with mittens or socks to create an overnight mask – like the Triple Cream Eczema Care & Severe Dry Skin.

 

5. Some people swear the secret to glowing skin is applying pure oils right out of the shower. The truth is, oils like Jojoba act as an excellent sealant but aren’t effective on their own. Skin needs nutrients first and then oil to lock it all in, so to speak. Usually I add a few drops of Jojoba oil to my body cream. But when I’m in a hurry (90% of the time), I opt for a formula with effective ingredients AND the oil to absorb them, like Gold Bond Restoring Lotion. This brand doesn’t get nearly enough love IMO. Big fan!

6. I won’t suggest a lip balm or mask, because I think they’re important (especially if you wear lipstick!) year-round. But my face sometimes feels oily when I’m using thicker creams – even though none of the above clog pores – so I tend to do quick at-home masks more often. Recently I tried a Purifying Peel-Off Charcoal Mask by Merle Norman that did wonders for my pores. Also, peel off masks are way more fun (or “satisfying” as my niece would say!) to take off.

xo

 

 

Easy, Giftable Beauty Ideas

12 Dec

Although I’m more than happy to accept beauty gifts all year long, December is the more acknowledged month for gift giving. What follows is a list of thoughtful, sure-shot suggestions for the beauty lover and self-care supporter in your life.

MAKEUP

Pat McGrath Labs Mini LUST Gloss Trio: You can’t go wrong with these super wearable (warm or cool) glosses from the queen of color. No one delivers rich, blendable color formulas like Ms. McGrath! She defines makeup artistry. Even her packaging is gift-worthy.

If you’re shopping for an eye palette, her Blitz Astral Quad Eyeshadow in Iconic Illumination has big color payoff that doesn’t read like finger paint. It’s a covetable compact quadrant of warm gold and bronze hues with the perfect pop of fierce bordeaux.

If the site is sold out, most Sephoras are now carrying the brand.

 

LIP CARE

Laneige formulas simply make me happy. The Kiss Me All Day holiday collection comes with 3 full-sized glowing lip balms. Packed with Murumuru and Shea butters, each fruit-flavored tube keeps lips soft and hydrated all day long. There’s even a hint of tint in the Berry and Peach.

For someone suffering from dry, cracked lips, the Kiss Me at Midnight holiday collection is gift perfection! Laneige basically pioneered Lip Sleeping Masks and from the many others I’ve tried, none compare to their vitamin-enriched, protective formula. I believe the sites are sold out of this collection (complete with full-sized original Berry flavor + 2 new travel-sized Mint Choco and Sweet Candy limited editions), but I’ve seen them inside Sephora stores recently.

 

NATURAL SKINCARE

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Anyone who appreciates natural skincare will fall in love with the Lavido Age Away Replenishing Cream. Lavido is an Israeli brand that’s actually new to me and I can’t get enough of their formulas. This age-delaying cream boasts Summer Snowflake (something else new to me!), Hyaluronic Acid, and Grapefruit Seed oil. Simply massage it into freshly-washed, slightly damp skin until it absorbs.

 

CBD-INFUSED SKINCARE

With all the CBD lines sprouting up lately (see what I did there?), I have to include a few of my favorites. Because some are seriously overrated!

Well makes a truly unique CBD Face & Body Mask that feels so good on dry and sensitive skin. It’s made with Kaolin Clay, Argan and Avocado oils. You leave it on for like 10 minutes and then just rub it in. No messy mask removal!

I’m a little obsessed (sure that makes sense!) with the Well CBD Body Cream. It is well-priced luxe hydration without the greasy feel and it smells like sweet, spa-vacation Lemon Grass. Aside from the 300mg of CBD, it delivers big skin conditioning benefits from Vitamin E, Shea, Avocado and Coconut oils.

If you want to help protect your person’s face from common offenders like blue light, infrared and UV rays, grab some CBD Blue Light Defense SPF 30 by Dermaquest. It lightly hydrates while protecting collagen and shielding skin. This brand has a bunch of wonderful solution-specific formulas, with and without CBD. All definitely worth checking out!

 

TOOLS

The PMD Clean Pro is next-level facial cleansing, with one side for cleansing and the other for applying serums using heat therapy. It breaks down the dirt and oil in pores at 7,000 vibrations per minute while apparently operating at the perfect frequency to lift, firm, and tone skin. This might not seem like an obvious gift, but someone who is serious about facial care will love it! Blame me if they don’t. 

Lastly is a super luxe brush collection from IT Cosmetics. Your Brush Magic! is a limited-edition 5-brush set for makeup application. It comes complete with specific face and eye brushes that are travel-ready in a soft pouch and clean lucite carrying case. Give them the perfect excuse to toss those old brushes and start the New Year with new plush ones!

 

Happy Gifting Season!

xo

 

 

 

 

Cyber Monday Beauty Deals

2 Dec

Pat McGrathI’ll make this quick. It’s Cyber Monday and there are some good beauty deals to be found! I’m even using Rakuten to get cash back on my purchases. It’s super simple. Just search the Rakuten site for the shop you want and click it to activate your discount. Some stores are offering up to 15% back!

Here’s a quick rundown of my favorite beauty deals for today only…

  • LORAC Cosmetics – 50% off sitewide! Yes, f’real! Code: CYBER50
  • Marc Jacobs Beauty – 20% off sitewide + free shipping. I’m in!
  • Laura Mercier – A very rare 25% off sitewide … except my favorite perfume for some reason!
  • Buxom Cosmetics – 25% off sitewide + free shipping! Best. Glosses. Anywhere! Code: CYBER25
  • Tarte Cosmetics – Up to 60% off on super deals + 25% off everything else. Hello, Salt Lyfe! Code: CYBER
  • Too Faced – 30% off sitewide. Check out their Natural Nudes lipsticks with coconut butter! Better Than Sex mascara for $18? Always. Code: PINK30
  • Pat McGrath Labs –$10 (Yes, $10!) LuxeTrance Lipsticks! All hail the queen! 25-20% off sitewide + free shipping! No code needed.
  • Armani Beauty – 20% off sitewide. Luminous Silk Foundation? Nothing better. Code: CYBER20
  • Laneige – 30% off sitewide. The Lip Mask trailblazer!
  • NARS – Up to 30% off sitewide. Head to the site to find your discount.
  • Voluspa – 25% off sitewide. I’ve mentioned the Milk Rose candles before. And now I’m noticing a lotion, too. This girl’s accepting gifts!

Happy shopping, all. Save today… and give back tomorrow! #givingtuesday

xo

Meet Tulsi Spa: Ayurvedic & Wellness Center

15 Nov

image1For those who are used to traditional day spas, Tulsi Spa is a different kind of experience. Hidden inside the infamous El Royale Gardens Hotel in Studio City, each treatment space is housed in a cozy, refurbished guest room.

Guests are greeted with a warm welcome upon entrance, where a lovely retail boutique sits on the left. The vibe is pure wellness. Everything is Ayurvedic. I’m told sessions are conducted by appointment only and therapists are called in according to their specialty.

My visit began with a facial. At the onset, my therapist told me she was an Ayurvedic Practitioner, not an esthetician. So my facial was more of a mask (homemade blend of chickpeas, orange, and rose) than a steamy multi-step process. It felt a bit like doing a DIY mask at home with your friend.

Next was a therapeutic treatment called Basti. It consists of placing a big dough ring on the affected area, then filling it with medicated oil said to reduce pain, swelling and tension. Truthfully, I’m not sure if it worked but it felt relaxing for the most part.

If you’re used to a day spa type of experience, some of the treatment names might feel a bit misleading. Like the facial, for example. But if you love Ayurveda and eastern wellness practices, Tulsi Spa is a must-visit in Los Angeles. And you should get familiar (if you aren’t already) with the spa’s co-owner Lissa Coffey… She’s a fountain of gentle, Ayurvedic knowledge.

Check out the website and call ahead for wellness appointments. Parking is super easy and there’s an abundance of herbs, oils, creams, and gifts at your disposal.

Tulsi Spa | 11117 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604 | 323-829-1882

Namaste?