Nov 27, 2013

Wednesday Roundup

As you all know, when it comes to Wednesday Roundup, I am all over the place.  For this reason, I've decided to compartmentalize my thoughts into four sections: Work It, Watch It, Wear It and Want It. Check it out and enjoy. Happy Wednesday!

Work It
I'm notoriously cheap in the fitness department, and as a result, I'm usually found working out in my room to the tune of whatever YouTube workout I can find.  My most recent favorite is the "Standing Abs Exercises" video from FitnessBlender. It doesn't require crunches or fancy equipment, making it perfect for those of us just looking to tone up a little with minimal investment or pain.

Watch It
Call me crazy (or at least beauty-obsessed), but I love watching skincare routine videos on YouTube. Chances are, if you're into routines, you do too. The latest and greatest routine video I've found is Vivianna of Vivianna Does Makeup.  This is like pure product porn for all of my fellow skincare junkies.

Wear It 
Welcome to Thanksgiving week, where sweatpants are (almost) always acceptable attire, especially post-food coma.  Here's some adorable options by Aerie.  P.S. it's 40% off right now, so head on over to ASAP.

Want It
I'm a full on candle junkie and after reading Emily Weiss' review of Le Labo's Laurier 62, I'm more than a little bit tempted to head on over to their website and drop $70 on a candle.  Maybe one of these days...

So, what does you have to say about this week's Wednesday Roundup?

Nov 25, 2013

Makeup Crush Monday: Lulu Organics Hair Powder

Philosophical question: does the early bird still get the worm if the only reason she's up early enough to get the worm is because she procrastinated on getting the worm in the first place?  Just something to think about.

In case any of you are wondering why this bird is up so early, it's because I procrastinated on a Spanish paper (the proverbial worm in this scenario).  The procrastination is going to continue on for a minute as I tell you about my latest discovery, which is Lulu Organics Hair Powder in Lavender-Clary Sage.

Not only does this dry shampoo make procrastination easier since I won't have to wash my hair this a.m., but it also smells ah-mazing, very clean and somewhat herb-y. I was once (and kinda still am on some occasions) a steadfast baby powder fan, but I got tired of smelling like a baby when I didn't feel like washing my hair.  For this reason, I recently went out in search of something new and I stumbled upon the Lulu Organics hair powder.  It apparently has its own cult following, which I love!

Cult products usually achieve their "cult" status for a reason and I'm happy to say that the reason the Lavender-Clary Sage Hair Powder is a cult fave is because it keeps your locks smellin' good and grease free on "days of unwash," as they so eloquently put it.  I've been using my this hair powder quite a lot in these past couple of weeks and it really has done its job.  Not only can I sleep in for the extra 30 minutes I might typically use to shower on days like today, but I can also carry the conveniently small powder in my purse for touch ups on the go!

You can purchase the Lulu Organics Hair Powder online here.  They also have a few other scents, including Jasmine, Patchouli + Amber and Vetiver + Black Pepper, just in case Lavender-Clary Sage doesn't tickle your fancy.

Have you tried the Lulu Organics Hair Powder?  Do you have any other dry shampoo faves?

Nov 23, 2013

Weekend Ramblings: 4 Beauty Tools You Need

If you're into beauty like me, chances are your grooming routine is rather extensive.  It also undoubtedly involves some tools that leave your boyfriend, or even some of your friends, scratching their heads (looking at you, facial extractor).  Below you'll find a list of my favorite, not-so-confusing beauty tools that I fully believe are worth an investment.  Have a look-see!

1. Tweezerman Tweezers:  Any pair of tweezers is about the same when you're looking at the short game.  However, in the long run, Tweezerman tweezers are miles ahead.  Once you've dulled these bad boys up (and trust me, it will happen), you can send them in to Tweezerman and have them sharpened for free.  So pay $25 versus $10 only one time and have a great pair of tweezers for life.

Gen-yoo-wine snake skin
2. The beautyblender: Yes, paying $20 for a makeup sponge seems a little ridiculous, but to be quite honest, the materials of the cheap dupes I've encountered pale in comparison to the materials of the real deal beautyblender. Also, the beautyblender makes a colorless version, which I think is far safer than the popular dyed options (even those offered by beautyblender itself).  Most importantly, though, it makes your makeup look airbrushed and who doesn't love that?

3. Revlon Emeryl File:  I used to be the girl who changed her nail polish every three days, but due to a serious lack of time these days, my nails are typically bare. BUT, they're always shapely.  I have my beloved Revlon Emeryl File to thank for this.  One of the worst things ever is trying to file your nails with a frayed emery board.  With the Emeryl file, this never happens.  This durable metal file lasts for ages and will never fray.  Did I mention that it only costs $3?  You need this. 

4. The Clarisonic: I must say, I was on the fence about including this one.  Not only is it the most cliched beauty investment ever, but it's also not easily accessible to everyone, especially my readers on a college budget. I really do love my Clarisonic Mia, but dropping $100 or more isn't the only way to get a good face scrubbin'.  If the Clarisonic is in your budget, great.  Go get one.  However, if not, some decent alternatives are this pink silicon scrublet from Sephora or a soft baby washcloth.

As far as beauty tools go, these are all of my favorites. What tools do you all keep around? Anything investment-worthy?

Nov 21, 2013

What's In My Shower

As a daily ritual most of us partake in, I fully believe that showering should be an indulgent experience.  And when I say this, I don't mean expensive.  Indulgent, to me, means using products that make you feel expensive. While my shower routine is actually quite simple at the moment, these following products make me feel pretty fancy.

I love the smell of rosemary and this shampoo and conditioner combo by Avalon Organics does it well. If I'm being honest, though, the conditioner half of this pair is moot when it comes to moisturizing. It's reminiscent of my experience with Shea Moisture's Deep Treatment Masque. However, they both volumize like no one's business, which is what they claim to do. No serious complaints here.

This soap by Nubian Heritage is a true gem. The chai scent is very light, unlike many other heavily spiced renditions of the drink. Rose extracts add a touch of sweetness. This soap is seriously one of my favorite shower finds in a while! 

And as usual, my in-shower skincare routine consists primarily of Johnson's Head-to-Toe Baby Wash, a konjac sponge and the occasional manuka honey facial.

What about you all? What's in your shower?

Nov 20, 2013

Wednesday Roundup

Sorry, you all.  I know it's been a couple of weeks since I've had the chance to do a Wednesday Roundup.  It's actually one of my favorite segments on this here blog but, unfortunately, I just haven't had the time to do one as of late.  However, now that I've found a couple hours to spare, I want to tell you what I consider to be some of this week's best discoveries.  Enjoy!

The Toronto Mayor
For those of you who don't follow social media or watch much television, Rob Ford, Mayor of Toronto, has become a bit of a running joke in the media.  Not only did he admit to smoking crack, but he admitted to doing it while in a "drunken stupor."  I'm not much for political or social commentary, but this guy is just too funny not to talk about.  Check out this nice little BuzzFeed compilation of Rob Ford, "The World's Greatest Mayor" (and ignore some of the dirty language, please).

*Photo via

Vaseline Original Petroleum Jelly
This once highly respected beauty cure-all has been catching a lot of bad press as of late. Sure, it may not be sustainably produced like many more "natural" salves or balms, but sensitive skin like mine can really find refuge in this non-irritating product during the cold winter months.
*Photo via

One thing you should know before using petroleum jelly is that it is an occlusive agent, meaning it does not actually moisturize, but rather it traps in moisture. Vaseline is best used on damp skin or over another balm or oil. I've been using it as an eye cream at night.  I simply apply it to my damp under eye area after getting out of the shower and it seals in some of the moisture from the water. Also, a few swipes on dry cheeks before stepping out into the cold can prevent windburn. For those of you that really hate the idea of using a petroleum-based product, I've been told that Waxelene is a good alternative (though I've not actually tried it myself).

Celebrities Without Makeup
No, I'm not trying celeb-shame by advising you to check them out without their makeup on, but I AM, however, trying to remind you that even seemingly flawless celebrities need concealer.  Check out this post on Daily News for a welcomed reality check.

*Photo via
Alrighty, folks...that's all I've got for today.  Have the happiest of Wednesdays!

Nov 7, 2013

Etsy Finds: Charcoal Detox Mask + Spot Fix by The October Union

You all may remember the interview I did with The October Union's Kimie Rosenthal just a couple weeks ago.  In that interview, I mentioned ordering some of her products and I'm here to give you the 4-1-1 on Kimie's Charcoal Detox Mask + Spot Fix.

Charcoal, for most people, conjures images of summer barbecues rather than skincare, but I assure you that the stuff used to grill your burgers is not the same as what The October Union is using in their face masks. So stop thinking Kingsford and start thinking elegant cosmetic charcoal.

Charcoal is actually a highly prized skincare ingredient, admired for its purifying properties. Currently, Kimie uses willow bark charcoal in the Charcoal Detox Mask + Spot Fix, but she will soon be switching to coconut shell or bamboo charcoal, depending upon which is more sustainably harvested.  Could this brand get any better?

But back to the mask... We all know my skin is super picky, so I asked Kimie to remove the cayenne pepper and cinnamon and a few other ingredients.  While I actually do like cinnamon in some occasional facial applications (see this previous post), I figured it might prove to be more than my skin could handle in combination with the charcoal.  Perhaps I'll brave it for my next jar, though, and leave every ingredient in, especially since I've had such great results with this mask.

Pretty products on a dirty window sill... Sorry about that!
What I love about this mask, specifically, is its use of charcoal and himalayan pink salt to deeply cleanse.  I swear my face takes a breath of fresh air after I've removed it. Not to mention, a little goes a long way.  You can mix a teensy bit of this mask, which comes in powder form, with the liquid of your choice (I like chamomile tea, manuka honey or Wildroot Botanicals Rose Geranium Hydrosol) and it will cover your whole face.

At $10 per 2 ounce jar, the Charcoal Detox Mask + Spot Fix is a great product at an equally great value.  I highly recommend that you purchase it, and you can do so here or here.

Kimie also sent over two samples, one of her Love + Kindness Balm and the other of her Pomegranate + Cocoa Tinted Lip Salve.  Both of these products were amazing as well, but I'm especially in love with the Tinted Lip Salve.  It's got the perfect hint of color and moisturizes so well, which is definitely something I need on these cold fall days we've been having as of late.  You can buy these two products here or here.

Tell me everyone: have you tried The October Union's products?  What do you think?