Dermstore Haul

IMG_1393I’m a SUCKER for a sale because I will never buy anything full-price. Last year when I was just dipping my toes into the water of skincare, I learned about Dermstore, an online retailer with an amazing selection of brands. Each year they have an anniversary sale with 20-25% off the entire site. You absolutely cannot miss out. Last year I sprung for a Harry Josh hairbrush but this year, I went a little bigger. My selection was a variety of new products as well as some repurchases.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil – One of my tried and true cleansers. It smells a little like olive oil and is so smooth on the skin. I always apply it to dry skin and then wash it off with a warm wash cloth. It’s the first oil cleanser that has worked for my acne prone skin. It leaves my skin feeling clean but not stripped of moisture – it’s great when you just want to balance and simplify your routine.

Joanna Vargas Vitamin C Face Wash – I bought this purely because I knew Audrey Gelman uses this product. I don’t love the smell of it, but I have noticed that I keep reaching for it in the morning over my milky jelly cleanser. It lathers up really nicely and leaves my skin super bright and smooth. I’m interested to see if I’ll feel inclined to repurchase once I finish the bottle.

Bioderma Sensibio H2O – This is my ride-or-die make-up remover. It takes everything off without stinging or leaving a residue. It’s just simply a really awesome product that I wanted to repurchase since I was running low and it happened to be on sale.

RMS Beauty Un Cover-up in 22 – Me, before I tried this product: Concealer is pointless,

Me, after using this product: I FINALLY UNDERSTAND WHY PEOPLE USE CONCEALER!

This product is truly so awesome and doesn’t budge all day. The shade 22 matches my skin so nice (light-to-medium with yellow undertones). It’s buttery when you warm it up with your finger and applies really nicely. It’s medium coverage but doesn’t cake up or feel heavy. The best part is, it’s a clean, natural product so you don’t have to worry about it’s effect on your skin. When I put over my blemishes it doesn’t make them flair up.

Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Sukari Babyfacial – I have been wanting to try this mask since it was released but let’s be real – it’s an $80 mask and I’m a college student! I felt very pleased with myself snagging it on sale because it’s a real good mask. My go-to chemical peel before this was Caudalie’s Glycol Peel, but Babyfacial now takes the cake. The first five minutes of having it on your faces really stings but after it goes away and you wash off the mask, you have bright, but not red, baby soft skin. I’ve been doing this twice a week since I got the mask and I’m so happy with it. At-home chemical peels can feel really weird but since the product is from the clean, natural brand Drunk Elephant I feel really good using it.

*Bonus* Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil – This sample size came with Babyfacial which I was super pumped about because I’ve heard great things about the product. It’s super smooth oil that doesn’t drag when rubbing on the skin. However, I’ve felt like it doesn’t absorb super well into my skin and leaves me a little greasy. I’m going to save this for the colder months and see how my skin responds to it then when it’s more vulnerable to dryness in the cold.

GlamGlow SUPERMUD Clearing Treatment – This was one of the first really nice masks I’ve tried. I knew I loved it, but being young and only having so much money to spend it never felt like a responsible purchase. However, now that it was on sale and my skin has needed some major detoxing since I’m a year-round city resident officially, I purchased a full-size, and I’m really pleased. After one use, the pores on my nose did look visibly smaller and the blemishes lingering on my skin were nowhere to be seen.

I really love Dermstore as a retailer since their products are up to a really high standard. I highly recommend them for an online skincare retailer.

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Tried and Approved

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Left to Right: Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser, Herbivore Lapis Oil, Avene Clenance Expert Moisturizer, BareMineral Complexion Rescue, Supergoop Defense Setting Mist

Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser ~ Every time I’m in a Sephora, I stand by the Tata Harper section longing to try the products but they’re so expensive. After taking a Follain online quiz and hearing Ingrid Nielsen’s review of this product, I sampled this cleanser and then went back as soon as it was finished to buy the smaller size. Now I’m almost out of that and will be going back to get the full size. It is so good! Great night time cleanser to exfoliate the day off of your skin. It’s a gentle exfoliant and can be used everyday. If you have oily but sensitive skin, I highly recommend it.

Herbivore Lapis Oil ~ I have wanted to try this product forever! However, it’s expensive so I couldn’t justify paying the full price if I didn’t know if it would work. So when I opened my first Birchbox, I screamed when I saw a really great sized sample of this product. After one use at night and waking up with beautiful skin, I went to Sephora that day to get the full-size. It’s a face oil for acne-prone skin, and you only need 5 drops to cover face and neck. I wake up feeling so moisturized but not oily which is refreshing. Sometimes I’ll put this over Glossier Priming Moisturizer Rich for extra hydration, and it has never broken me out.

Avene Cleanance Expert ~ This is a product I got a sample of from Birchbox and didn’t know what to expect but after falling out of love with my moisturizer, I wanted to try it out. It is exactly what I need. The tiny sample lasted me a week because you just need a pea sized amount for your face. The formula is so light and smells fresh. It leave me with a matte finish but is an incredible primer for makeup products. I bought the full-size on Amazon, and I’m thrilled with the product.

BareMinerals Complexion Rescue ~ Last summer (or maybe the summer before), my best friend tried to get me to use a Bare Minerals foundation and I did the whole Sephora skin ID, and let’s just say it ended horribly. The makeup was WAY too yellow for my skin and the product pilled and I invested too much money when I threw it out a month later. So I sort of had a bad experience with the product but then I saw a review of this product from my favorite YouTuber, and I was intrigued. So when I was in a Sephora, I just started playing with the samples. It is essentially a tinted moisturizer with the texture of mouse. It’s incredible and the best part is can be applied with your fingers which I love because I hate using brushes. I’m the shade 4.5, and I got that by going to the store and trying it out on my own skin rather than help from a sales associate after my last experience. I’ve been using it for over a month, and I like it but sometimes it’s too full coverage for me since I don’t love a lot of makeup on my skin.

Supergoop Defense Mist ~ I love this product! It smells so light and refreshing. It doesn’t feel heavy on my skin and leaves a nice finish. I don’t wear waterproof mascara so I have to put it on after because I learned the hard way it’ll get my mascara everywhere. It’s really easy to reapply throughout the day. Probably my favorite face sunscreen I’ve had.

Not pictured: Aesop Parsley Seed Cleanser and Aesop B and Tea Toner ~ I’m so disappointed about these products because I had to return both of them. My skin responded so poorly to both products. I was using them together but then began using them separately and the symptoms (stinging, redness, rash on my forehead) just didn’t go away. I was so disappointed because when the associate tried the products on me in the store I loved how they felt. Unfortunately it just didn’t work for me. My friend came over and used it one night, and she had no problems using it.

Summer Skin

For the first few months of summer, (read: before I started getting a regular paycheck) I had to make the most of my skincare because I ran out of products and didn’t have the funds to restock them. This meant, I returned to some products I needed to use up and the routine ended up making me love the way my skin was looking.

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  1. Warm Wash Cloth (not pictured because do you really need to see my old rags of washcloths?!)

First things first in the morning… gentle exfoliation! Most physical exfoliants don’t work for my skin and trigger breakouts (I’m looking at you St. Ives Apricot scrub), however, scrubbing my face is the best way to exfoliate my skin. I don’t like to strip my skin so I avoid using a cleanser in the morning. Just some warm water and a good ole washcloth!

2. Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist

To rehydrate my face after I cleanse, I’ve been use this mist to tone. I always thought toning had to mean stripping your skin with acids and alcohols but this mist has flipped that idea on its head. The ingredients are: Distilled Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Choline, Silica, Vitamin C, Boron Citrate, NaPCA, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Citric Acid, Tincture of Iodine, and Oil of Spearmint. It looks clear in the beautiful packaging. Then you shake it up and it makes the mist look foggy but it’s just activating the minerals and creating straight up magic. This has shrunk my pores, keeps my skin clear, controls redness and makes my skin feel hydrated ALL DAY.

3. Origins Original Skin Essence

I bought this after seeing goddess Christine Nguyen use it in a GRWM video. It is so good. I had never heard of this line until I started using it and discovered so many others who swear by it. I give it all the credit for evening my skin tone and clearing up my acne scaring I’ve had since being the dumb teenager who picked at her acne.

4. Super Pure or Super Glow

I bought the serums because Glossier has me wrapped around their finger. Now they’ve become a part of my rountine. Glow makes my skin look like I got eight hours of sleep, and Pure helps control breakouts whether they’re hormonal or I haven’t been eating well.

5. Glossier Priming Moisturizer

This is my favorite moisturizer. I have oily skin, but this cream moisturizer keeps me balanced while controlling my redness. I don’t foresee me giving this up anytime soon (ed: future me is laughing because I have — more on that later.)

6. Glossier Invisible Shield

I didn’t wear sunscreen before Glossier’s because I didn’t believe SPF could be this good. Now I’m a believer. It applies like a serum, smells fresh and lemony and is effective. The price point is higher than drugstore sunscreens, but you’re paying to not breakout over pore clogging formulas.

 

Now for my night routine!

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  1. Bioderma Sensibio

I tried every brand of drugstore Micellar water, but I couldn’t find one that I liked. They either didn’t work, left a weird residue, and in some cases tap water would have been better. I finally splurged on this and I’ve had it for over 6 months, and it hasn’t run out! It’s pricier initially but in the long run, it is cheaper. I highly recommend getting it with the pump because it lets you use less and therefore save product (which equals money!)

2. Cetaphil

I have a love hate relationship with Cetaphil. I first began using it, and it did nothing for my skin. Then I came back to it at the end of my junior year of high school and loved it. Then after a while, I didn’t love it anymore and tried other cleansers (some of which I loved, and others which I did not). I eventually came back to this at the start of this summer because I didn’t want to splurge on the DHC cleansing oil which had been one of my favorite cleansers. My skin has actually learned to love Cetaphil at the moment, but I love trying new cleansers.

3. Hannes Dottir Mineral Mist

Just as I do in the morning, I mist at night because Cetaphil can be stripping so it’s important to replenish skin. I love love love this product but hate the price on it.

4. Super Bounce

My skin is dehydrated because I am terrible about drinking water when it isn’t at a meal. So to compensate, Super Bounce has come in to soothe my dry skin as well as even out the texture on my cheeks which had forever been red and bumpy. I will never stop using this product.

5. Dr. Jart Water Drop Moisturizer

I won’t lie — I don’t love this moisturizer. I originally bought it for the cool effect and kept using it because I don’t want to waste it, but I’m looking for something else (ed: I have found something else!). For a really long time my night moisturizer was Nivea Creme which sounds crazy, but I would use it forever if I didn’t get milia around my eyes from it. I’ll be on the market for a new moisturizer soon.

What Brightened My Week:

This face mask. I got a free sample from Sephora and love to follow it up with Glossier’s Moisturizing Moon Mask. A mask night while sipping a cup of chamomile tea before bed is my idea of pure bliss.

Coconut oil has changed my life. I use it to moisturize when I get out of the shower. It seems price-y but when you look at the cost of even drug store lotions, it’s so cheap because a jar will last you forever. It definitely makes you smell like an Almond Joy, but I’m into it. I started using it after reading this article on Into the Gloss. My next venture in natural beauty is trying apple cider vinegar as toner and using the oil on my face.

This bathmat is back in stock, and I want to buy it but the price tag is a third of my paycheck this week. Not gonna happen but a girl can dream. Someone sponsor my dream lifestyle.

Christine Nguyen has a new March Favorites video. She is truly my beauty guru. I also discovered Elyse Love this week. She’s a dermatology resident and gives some sage skincare advice. Follow her on instagram!

I finally started reading Modern Lovers by Emma Straub. I picked it up at Brookline Booksmith on sale a while back for half the price it’s listed at on Amazon. Plus, I got to support an independent bookstore. Double win! So far, I’m loving Straub’s writing style. Plus Leah Goren’s cover illustrations is so dreamy. I’m dying to buy a print of her work.

Also, I’m gonna show my millennial for a second and leave this here. Swoon.

Personal victories: I had some major career wins this week. At my current internship, I’m really satisfied with how far I’ve come in the short time I’ve been there. I’m combining my love of broadcast with helping others, and it feels incredibly fulfilling. I was also really focused on my academics this week and feel good about my classes. After a few off weeks, it’s nice to be back on my game.

Alright, now let’s get out there and seize this weekend… even if it’s filled with work obligations like mine is.

*Featured image from DesignLoveFest

Summer Uniform

Changing of seasons means only one thing to me: change of closet. In the past this has been especially exciting as summer means no dress codes. However, I’m *trying* to enter the realm of adulthood that includes a job/internship. Luckily, professionalism is becoming trendy and what is in lends itself to easy dressing for the workplace.

The idea of a work uniform became incredibly appealing to me when I first read this piece. So as I’ve been doing my usual online (window) shopping, I found myself looking at the same three things: striped tee shirt, black pants, and black mules. These are some of my favorite pieces that will be taking over my summer 2017 workwear.

summer uniform

One // Two

Three // Four

Five // Six

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Dear Samantha,

This is what I wish for you in your 20th year:

  1. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.
  2. Do not fear your own voice.
  3. Write your heart onto the page.
  4. Be active when it comes to moving your body and expressing your beliefs.
  5. Live every day with purpose.

Have a fulfilling year. Let Anna Quindlen’s words ring in your ears, “George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”

Love,

Me

Shark or Dolphin? Night One Bachelor Recap

ALEXIS

photo via ABC

Wow. Wow. What a night.

If I could have described exactly how I wanted night one to go to the producers, they would have pulled through. CRAZY.

The thirty hand-picked women arrived at the mansion to meet our Bachelor, Nick Viall. So many wore red dresses. So many had awkward first encounters.

But most importantly Nick gave his first impression rose to, Rachel, who it should be noted is a black woman. This is huge considering a black woman got the first rose rather than getting sent home:

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Where should we start? These are my 20 takeaways from night one:

    1. Nick had bleach blonde hair in high school giving serious 90’s vibes in those high school prom pictures.
    2. His little sister, Bella gave him advice. I need more of her on this show to be the voice of reason.
    3. Rachel, the lawyer, is a perfect contestant. I can’t wait for her to win this whole thing or at least be the next Bachelorette.
    4. Danielle L. owns three nail salons? I love these women with their badass careers.
    5. Josephine is awesome. So glad she got a rose. I thought she might be too quirky to get a rose the first night, but she pulled through. I want to be best friends with her.
    6. Raven, who I mentioned in my last post, had a second notable quote (beyond her shooting, mudding and reading the bible comment) by saying her hometown can be described by “”Family, faith and football because that is all we have”. Someone get this girl to a city.
    7. Danielle M. is amazing. One of my guy friends texted in our group chat that she was his top contestant. She has “wife-y” written all over her. Definitely in the running for a place in the final two.
    8. Corinne, Corinne, Corinne. You are 24 years old and proudly say that you are a multi-million dollar business owner. Do not also proudly say that you couldn’t survive without your nanny. Watching her is like watching a car crash. I fully expect her to make it to final 5 or 6, but I don’t see her getting a hometown date.
    9. Taylor brought up racism she has faced in her package. Whoa. So excited to see this show being progressive. They just need to get on the feminist train now…
    10. Christen had a painfully awkward entrance with that massive yellow fan. She was too starstruck when meeting Nick. Yikes.
    11. Sarah made me laugh when she came in the house and yelled “Oh my good there’s food.” A girl after my own heart.
    12. Taylor had a moment reminiscent of Chantal’s entrance on Brad Womack’s second season.
    13. Jasmine G. brought Neil Lane (of Bachelor fame) on her entrance which killed me. You have to love a girl who knows what she wants. Especially since those rings are always so horrible, I’m glad she is taking things into her own hands. Never trust a man.
    14. When Liz (who has made it clear that she and Nick had sex the night of Jade and Tanner’s wedding) entered she didn’t say anything but Nick clearly knew who she was. Their encounter was so uncomfortable, but I’m impressed how she spun it to be a positive?

15 . Nick later seemed hurt that she never reached out to him. Damn. DAMN.

16. Danielle M. and Nick have instant chemistry. She seems like the typical choice for a Bachelor “wife-y” however she isn’t what I expect of Nick’s choice. Interesting to see how that will play out.

17. Corinne is not doing herself any favors with that awkward kiss on night one. When Nick commented that it was forced, that doesn’t play well for her.

18. No one knows whether or not Alexis is wearing a shark or dolphin costume. Scratch that. Everyone knows she’s wearing a shark costume. She is the only one who believes it is a dolphin. Oh yeah, did I mention her career is “aspiring dolphin trainer”?

19. Rachel got the first impression rose. This is MASSIVE considering POC rarey get any visibility on this show. She and Nick are obviously clicking so I cannot wait to see her journey this season. I’m routing for her to be the next Bachelorette because she deserves better than Nick.

20. No one really notable got sent home. I didn’t know the names of any of them. They were all really mad that shark/dolphin girl got a rose over them, but I wasn’t mad.

This season had begun on a particularly ridiculous notes. Congratulations in advance to the producer and their increase in ratings *eye roll*.

The Bachelor is (almost) back!!!

So here are a few of my favorite things: The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, and Bachelor in Paradise. Yup, I am a member of Bachelor Nation. I am not crazy though. As a killjoy feminist, I watch the show through that lens and try to be critical when the show inevitably gets into cringeworthy territory. Also, I’ve seen UnReal, and understand how heavily produced the show can be. However, I still route for the bachelor or bachelorette because as crazy as it seems, sometimes this process works!

For example some of the contestants from seasons past, Ashley and JP, Sean and Catherine, Desiree and Chris, Kaitlyn and Shawn, Ben and Lauren, Jojo and Jordan and Carly and Evan (my faves!!!!). I would just like to say I am obsessed with all these couples especially Kaitlyn and Shawn as well as Carly and Evan. If you don’t have Kaitlyn on snapchat (@snapbackbean) do it! She’s so funny and her love of Shawn’s dog Doodle is the best. Also Carly’s new dog Huck is adorable so please take a follow of her on Instagram (@carlywad) where she frequently documents his adventures on instastories. Also she and Evan were in a holiday decoration competition with their neighbors. It was so domestic, I love it.

Moving onto our present season, tonight Nick Viall of Andi and Kaitlyn’s seasons of the Bachelorette as well as the last season of Bachelor in Paradise, will be at the helm of The Bachelor in the title role. I am so excited. While on the Bachelorette, Nick was clearly the villain of both seasons. However, the producers have a heavy hand in how contestants are portrayed. I go deep down the rabbit hole of Bachelor gossip, and rumors have been floated that perhaps Nick’s storyline on Kaitlyn’s season wasn’t authentic and needed to spice up a season that would have been boring otherwise. As well as on Andi’s season, Nick was only made to be the villain to distract from that season’s “winner” Josh’s genuine wickedness. In Andi’s recently released book she describes abuse allegations against Josh. Just saying…

I always liked Nick so I’m beyond excited for this show. He has some interesting ladies lined up. Here are the notable ladies seen in the intro package previews from the “Countdown to Nick” show that aired Sunday. Let us begin:

Corinne is a multi-million dollar business owner. She repeated this very confidently in her package as well as in all the previews. She also seemed very aggressive in the previews (specifically sexually). I’m all about ladies owning her sexuality ,but unfortunately I don’t think it is going to help her on the show. A contestant that says “my vagina is platinum” doesn’t translate to the “wife-y” type to the producers.

Jasmine G. is a Golden State Warrior dancer, and this girl has serious confidence and from what I saw in the promos, that is going to intimidate the girls. Important to note that she is an African American contestant. Historically contestants of color don’t make it very far but I think that is going to change this season. I also want to put her in the running for the next Bachelorette. I am dying to see a person of color at the head of this franchise!

Rachel is another African American contestant. She’s a lawyer from Texas and definitely has her life together. She is a clear front runner for me, and I love her already. She makes it as far as Finland which could be far along in the season depending on if it is the first or second destination for the show. I really hope she makes it to the final three because I’m just putting it out there, she is my choice for the next Bachelorette.

Christen is quite the contestant. Her package featured a declaration stating that she was saving herself for marriage for “faith-based” reasons. This was followed by a very sexual moment of her straddling a horse. Ugh. She’s going to throw girls under the bus who are being too sexual with Nick. She’ll be the foil villain to Corinne because she’s going to stir up drama with the next notable contestant…

Elizabeth! She was the maid of honor at Jade and Tanner’s wedding and apparently that evening she and Nick spent the night together. I’m a little disappointed because all we know about her so far is that she and Nick have hooked up, and I want to know more about her life! I truly hope her personality and substance is showcased over her prior relations to Nick.

The rest of these contestants were not featured in promo packages, but I think they are notable:

Danielle M. – From her bio online, it is very clear that her story will be based around the lost of her fiancé. I think she’s going to be top 4 contestant and will at least get a hometown date. Definitely a frontrunner. I wouldn’t be surprised if they keep her around because her storyline is definitely one they could work with if she were to be the next Bachelorette.

Olivia and Taylor – I don’t know much about these contestants, however, they were both featured quite frequently in the previews without going into detail which could hint that they will go far. Taylor is a counselor and really seems to have it together. Nothing that notable about Olivia, honestly.

Jaimi – I don’t think Jaimi will go far, HOWEVER, in the promo she discussed telling Nick about her past girlfriend. STOP THE PRESSES. I am beyond excited to have some LGBT representation on the show. I am really nervous that she’ll describe it as a “phase” because I would love to have bisexual visibility on the show.

I am so excited for this show, and I can’t wait for the episode tonight. Will definitely have more to say come Tuesday! See ya then!

I’m Gonna Be A Better Human (if i can)

I’ve been listening to this song quite a bit lately, and I know the lyrics come across rather silly, but this tine still manage to stop me in my tracks whenever I hear, I’m gonna be a better human if I can.

2016 was a big year in so many ways –mostly in some pretty horrible ways. It put so many of us through the ringer, but I do have to say that I am coming out the other side a better person than I was at the start.

I have big plans for 2017 part of which includes utilizing this little corner of the internet a lot more. See ya in 2017!

Please vote.

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Yeah, you may not agree with all her policies. Yeah, you can keep calling her crooked. But guess what?

She’s a bad ass.

She doesn’t care if people like her. She wants to get shit done. She always has and always will.

When Hillary first said the above quote, it was 1992. It was controversial because she showed that she wasn’t going to take a backseat in our male-dominated democracy.

Today, she doesn’t have to hide those words. They’re a platform for her campaign. A symbol of the progress she started 20 years ago. She was laying the groundwork for us ladies to accomplish whatever the hell we wanted before we were even born.

I am so proud that I got to vote for this nasty women.

So please go vote.