This For That

I am aiming to be smarter about my purchases and the way I shop, especially when it comes to my beauty products.  In the spirit of minimalism, my new process is to use a product until it runs out and then replace it with something new.   This way, I can try new products and understand what it really is that makes my skin happy and what doesn’t.

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I recently ran out of products and went to make some new purchases.  Here are the items I chucked and the ones I swapped them out for!

Schmidt’s Lavender and Sage for Schmidt’s Ylang-Ylang Calendula
I love Schmidt’s deodorant, so I knew I wanted to keep it in the Schmidt’s family, but I just changed up the scent.

Evian spray for Avéne Thermal Spray
I’ve heard amazing things, so I figured I would give it a shot.

Rosebud Salve for Sun Bum
I’ve tried Rosebud so many times, and it has always been too drying for me.  I thought I would give the Sun Bum a shot since it’s summer and my lips tend to get sunburned, but it also dried my lips out, so…

So, that’s my latest haul.  See ya!

A Twenty-Fine Occasion to Remember

My Birthday was Lit.

It started with a spreadsheet from my ever organized best friend, and it quickly evolved into a pile of empty amazon boxes and confetti filled balloons.  There was a beautiful cake, polaroid pictures, incredible food, amazing cocktails, and there was even a snapchat filter.  Yes, a snapchat filter.

Even though all of that was indeed…lit, the best part of the evening was the amount of joy that filled the room.

I know what you’re thinking, joy seems like a given.  It’s a birthday, so joy should naturally follow.  Well, yes, but for me…nah.

Calm is not my constant.  Worry is more of my jam.  For me, calm is a daily struggle.  This isn’t something that I’m proud of, but in the interest of making 25 my year of truth, this is what it is.  A state of calm is something that I’m constantly chasing.  It’s an ideal state of being and thriving that I wish to one day be the only thing I know, but for now, I worry.

So, joy and calm are not a given for me, but they were this night.  It’s because my friends are a thing of dreams.  They push me to be more, they create safe spaces for me to enjoy, and they view my weaknesses as strengths.

These are the images, faces, and feelings that I’m taking into 25.  My prayer is that I draw them in closer and embrace the calm.

All photography by Lauren Ito, a woman who sees the beauty in all things.

Pack light

I’m always thinking of ways to travel smarter.  There’s nothing worse when you travel than wondering where everything is and if there’s something you’re missing or you’ve forgotten.  One pro tip that I’ve discovered is traveling with Glossier Pouches.

If you use Glossier products, you know that they come with these adorable pink bubble wrap pouches that are great to carry your products in.  These are amazing for compartmentalizing the items you want to carry on the plane.  I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to my personal belongings when I travel.  I always think that the airline will misplace my luggage, so I always travel with a couple of things that I wouldn’t want to be without.  Here’s how I use the pouches:

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Pouch #1:
Feminine products.  You always need to be prepared!

Pouch #2:
Gum, lotion, chapstick, foundation stick, lip gloss, concealer and hand sanitizer

Pouch #3:
An eye mask, face wash, moisturizer, make up wipes and a hair tie

This method has completely changed the way I travel, and that’s me only being 40% dramatic.

Baking is a really good sign

If I’m baking, it means I’m healing.

I love to bake.  I have loved to bake ever since I was a little girl.  My mother is an incredible baker, and I guess it is one of the many things I picked up from her.  I’ve noticed a pattern…I seem to bake a lot at times when I am filled with joy.  There are times when I feel free and limitless, and these are the times when I find myself expressing my free spirit through actions that bring me joy.  I haven’t felt free and limitless for a while.

There’s a lot going on in our world, and I can’t stress enough how important I think it is to remain involved and aware.  With that said, I know how draining it can be.  There are external factors that make us feel like we aren’t worthy or capable, that joy isn’t ours to claim, and that kind of weight eventually takes a toll.  I’ve been feeling that weight lately.  It’s this overwhelming feeling of being unable to get ahead, feeling limited.  Know what?  This feeling is a LIE.

When you’re feeling like this, take a step back.  Step away from the doubt and fear by engaging in small actions that are filled with intention.  Remind yourself of your worth in everything that you do.  Wake up with purpose, eat breakfast with intention, head to work with meaning.  Ask The Lord to order your steps so that you are constantly walking in your purpose.  No one can stop your shine.

Take care of yourself by doing the things you love.  You deserve to be free.  You deserve to enjoy your life to the fullest.  Reclaim your joy.  There is no room for fear and doubt, that’s not your burden to carry.  He has already claimed that load as His own.

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All about skin…makeup brushes

My skin has been freaking out.

There are a number of factors that come into play when trying to keep your skin clear and supple.  Beauty trends change every week, and there is always a new company trying to get your attention and business, but there are a couple of hardcore skin facts that won’t change.image1-10

When you use the same makeup brushes and sponges everyday, they form makeup build up and they trap oils.  Stripping your brushes of these skin irritants is a major key in maintaining healthy skin.  (I’ve always wanted to slip “major key”into a sentence, ever so effortlessly.)

I use the “Beauty Blender Cleanser” to clean my Beauty Blender sponges, and I use baby shampoo or Dr. Bronner’s soap to wash the rest of my brushes.  Here’s your newest Sunday night activity!  Or…is that just me?