Glow Therapy: Candid Conversations With A Skin Specialist

So I’m having an event in NYC! Think of it as a TEDtalk for all things beauty and wellness related. I’ll be breaking down the functions of the skin, how you can get the most out of your seasonal skin care routines & much more. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask me any questions you might have about beauty (even professional questions). The best part is you will receive a free skin consultation from me as well! I hope to see all your beautiful faces there ❤ I’m so excited to meet you!

Here’s the link!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/glow-therapy-candid-conversations-with-a-skin-specialist-tickets-42162783019

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SAY NO! Protect Your Glow

If you’ve followed me for a while, you are absolutely aware that my approach to skin care (and overall wellness) is being gentle with the skin. This means not doing anything that would disrupt the acid mantle of my skin. The acid mantle is the outermost layer of the skin that protects it from any bacterias and potential invaders. Moral of the mantle is, it keeps the dirties out. Being that it is so important to skin health, I want to do everything within my power to keep it intact. So here’s a list of things to avoid that could disrupt and/or destroy your acid mantle.

  • Drying Alcohols– drying alcohols wear away at the acid mantle and make the skin vulnerable to infection and overproduction of oil
  • Peel-off masks– masks that dry hard and peel from the face not only hurt like hell to take off but they can make the pores appear larger
  • Nair– it falls under the category of chemical depilatory which means which means it is highly alkaline (unlike the natural state of the skin) so… NOPE!
  • Shaving– call it dermaplaning or whatever you want… it is shaving. Those little vellus hairs (yes, they have a name) are the equivalent of a wire fence for your acid mantle
  • Microneedling- poking holes in my face with needles? Blood? Need I saw more?
  • Mineral Oil– check all your products and if they have mineral oil in them, burn them. Or just throw them in the garbage. Although it softens the skin, it does clog the pores and increase water loss in the skin. Water loss speeds up aging
  • Face Scrubs– anything with granules on the skin that is meant to exfoliate usually does not. Instead, it scratches at the acid mantle and makes the skin raw. Step away from the St.Ives ladies!
  • Lemon Instagram hobbyists will lead you to believe that lemon juice on the face is a great lightener and exfoliator. It is actually too acidic for the face.
  • Vaseline– Its derived from petroleum… like the stuff we put in cars. Also, uses paraffin wax which is bad for your skin in the exact same way as mineral oil. It is also horrible for the environment
  • Facial Brushes Similar to face scrubs, they can wear away at the acid mantle. Aside from that, they hold bacteria and makeup.

The Abnormal Beauty Story

I have been keeping a secret. For the past three months, I have been a brand ambassador for a company called Deciem (also known as The Abnormal Beauty Company). You might’ve heard of the brand by way of The Ordinary which is now carried at retailers like Sephora and Ricky’s. The company is an umbrella brand, which means it owns and formulates multiple brands. As of now, there are more than 100 products under the Deciem umbrella. This means it took me a lot of research and trying out to know for sure if I loved the brand. Since it is against my personal code of ethics to promote some shit I don’t use or love, I kept my new role under wraps.

But now, I am here and ready to share with you!

Deciem offers lines for hair, skin and body but for the purpose of simplicity, we are just going to focus on the skin care lines for now. There’s The Ordinary, Hylamide and NIOD (pronounced KNEE-odd).

The Ordinary: This line is so simple that it’s complicated for most people. It’s where you go to figure out what kind of ingredients your skin likes. Also, it helps you to get real about your skin concerns and goals. It has everything from exfoliating acids, retinoids, vitamin C, cold-pressed organic oils and other molecules for various concerns. The best part about the line is, all of the products are priced under $15. The only thing that I am not fond of about the line is that it does not have a cleanser.

Some of my fav products from The Ordinary include EUK 134, Azelaic Acid, Marula Oil.

HylamideThis would be considered the next step up. The formulations are a little more advanced and target more signs of aging. Also, the serums are a lot lighter in texture compared to The Ordinary because they’ll penetrate the skin a lot better. This line has a face cleaner, face mists and uses targeted “boosters” for skin care concerns like sensitivity and congested pores.

Some of my fav products from Hylamide include the High Efficiency Face Cleaner, SuQ Anti-Age serum, Photography Foundation

NIODOkay so NIOD is probably the best thing to come into my life in 2017. Most advanced skincare technology I’ve ever used. The line focusing on preserving the skin health for as long as possible. This explains why it is absent of things like direct acids and retinoids. It is also very special because it not only supplements what your skin is missing but it also trains your skin (via these crazy delivery systems called precursors) to create more of whatever your skin is lacking. Naturally, it is the most expensive line, but not so expensive that you feel horrible about purchasing it. It ranges from $25-$90.

Honestly I love everything I’ve tried from NIOD. It has become a staple in my daily routine (both day and night). I use the Copper Amino Isolate Serum, Fractionated Eye Concentrate, Multi Molecular Hyaluronic Acid, Non-Acid Acid Precursor, Voicemail Masque, Flavanone Mud and Mastic Must.


I know that the website can be a bit overwhelming but if you are ever in need of product recommendations or have any questions, feel free to hit me up and ask!

20 Under 20: Cute, Quick & Cheap Secret Santa Ideas!

Every year, millions of innocent people around the world are pressured into participating in gift giving with relatives, co-workers and various other human beings. It can be a chore trying to find the perfect gift for everyone on your list without breaking the bank. Luckily, you have my cheap ass to help you! Here is a list of some of the best beauty and wellness gifts for $20 and under (which are all products I have used or will be trying out in the near future! YAY!

  1. Anatomicals Cruisin’ For A Snoozin’ Silk Sleep Mask $10.50
  2. Biossance Body Brush $17
  3. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil $9.80
  4. jKo Cosmetics Matte Liquid Lipstick $10.50 (currently on sale and there’s a color named after me!)
  5. Bevel Shave Cream $14.95
  6. Nasty Gal ‘Clearly Perfect’ Visor Shades $16.00 (on sale for 50% off w/ code GET50)
  7. AVEDA Shammy Cloth $9.50
  8. ZOYA Polish Quad Gift Set $15
  9. Squish-and-Bubble Mesh Mask for Body $10
  10. Soaptopia ‘Rozilla vs. DRYskinea’ Bar Soap $8.55
  11. MAC Lipglass Clear $17
  12. Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser $18
  13. Frank Body Shimmer Coffee Scrub $20
  14. The Little Book of Skin Care: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho $13.74
  15. Carol’s Daughter Almond Cookie Softening Body Wash $10
  16. The Chemistry Brand Retin-Oil $20
  17. Hylamide HA Blur  $19
  18. J. One Jelly Vita 2-Step Mask $6
  19. ARGOtea Owl Infuser $8.95
  20. Creative Professional Large Wet/Dry Detangling Brush $17.90

 

 

Coming Soon: Mask Mondays!

You know what pisses me off? Seeing tutorials and skin care vids of women with beat faces sparingly applying mask products to their face. As if they are completely unaware that the skin around their brows, mouth and eyes also needs to be tended to. After providing these women with one too many views, I have decided that I will begin a weekly Periscope broadcast featuring myself and some of my fav masks and other products. Those tuning in will be able to ask me health, beauty and wellness questions. So you’ve got a week to download the app and follow. Can’t wait to see you there!

Not into livestreams and such? No problem! I’ll bring the best questions, suggestions and ideas here for your consumption.

Toes & Hoes: A Guide to Suckable Toes and Rubbable Feet

WARNING: IF YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE WHO ARE GROSSED OUT BY FEET AND/OR TOES, SCROLL PAST THIS ONE! 

Genetics blessed me with good feet. When I say good, I’m strictly speaking about the look of them (because they are big). I often meet guys who claim they “don’t do feet” but as soon as we are in intimate positions, my feet somehow find themselves in these young mens’ mouths and hands. Foot play was never even my thing, but there is something about having your partner love on all your parts that makes you (or just me) feel cared for and a little empowered. So if you’re trying to get your man or women or gender fluid bae to slob on your toes, here are some of my fav products and tips to preserve your feet and keep them kissable even in the colder months!

1. Baths! Baths are the answer to everything! Being able to soak in hot water and oils helps to make exfoliation easier and hydrates areas like the feet and hands (which house the thickest skin on the body). I like to add things like grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, tangerine essential oil and whatever else I have around the house and soak for about 30min before scrubbing my feet of any dead skin. If you are opposed to baths, you can invest in an at home pedicure spa thing.

2. To prevent any flaking and crusties, hydration is a must. I try to stay away from products that are too thick or greasy. A few of my favs are  ha3 Hand Hydrator from Deciem and “First Place” Body Shimmer Oil by jKo Cosmetics. Yes, I use a hand hydrator on my feet but this is a judgement free zone so no worries! 🙂 Both these products smell and feel amazing! The body shimmer is usually reserved for special occasions.

3. Pedicures are a must! We put our feet through hell (and heels) on the daily so maintenance is crucial. Some people prefer to do them at home and that’s okay but I prefer to have a professional to get all in the nooks and the crannies while i sip green tea in a massage chair. The only real advice I have about getting pedicures at salons is make sure they use plastic liners in the tubs EVERY SINGLE TIME and clean their tools BEFORE they work on you! I would have for you to wake up to nubs or deadly infections because of something like cleanliness.

WTF is natural?

I have been gone for a while and I come to you writing with fresh eyes on various beauty topics. One particular thing has been bothering me for a while. What exactly does “natural” mean??

In my time away from you guys, I have sold over $2,000 in revenue as part of my vegan skin care line, Ara By Essence, traveled a little more, read a lot more and become a brand ambassador for a global beauty brand (I’ll tell you guys a little more about it later). All of which has affected the way I view beauty and the lengths that humans go through to feel physically beautiful. While my philosophy for beauty has not changed (less is still more), my understanding has definitely graduated. In my new role as beauty ambassador, I am often asked “Is this line natural?”. I think that what we (people concerned about overall wellness and ingredients) should be asking is if products are toxic instead.

There are plenty of natural ingredients out there that aren’t productive to overall wellness and skin balance. Things like essential oils, coconut oils, hard clay masks and apple cider vinegar are all natural but can throw off our skins natural functions by way of clogging pores, enlarging pores and messing up our pH balance. Being educated on what your own skin “likes” is not enough. As much as we love to hear that our favorite beauty product has some shit in it that comes from a tree, all “natural” products are not created equal!

Some natural ingredients that can be harmful to the skin (especially easily irritated and dry skin) include lavender, eucalyptus, witch hazel, peppermint, lemon, lime, bergamot, arnica.