TrueLife: I’m a haircare hoarder

Hello. My name is Chelsea and I am a haircare hoarder. At least I’m aware. That’s better right?!?! I have a shampoo or conditioner for absolutely anything and everything my hair could possibly need. I know that its obsessive and definitely overkill, but my hunt for the perfect haircare may be helpful to you, so it all works out.

Let’s start with my hair. I have a ton of hair, but it’s incredibly thin. I also have naturally pretty stick-straight hair. It gets weighed down easily, making a lot of conditioners hard to use. I often find that within a few hours after showering and drying my hair that I can start to see my hair begin to fall and start sticking straight to my scalp. The women in my family also have a tendency to lose their hair, so I try very hard to nourish my hair and scalp to try and prevent any major hair loss from happening.

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When if comes to the products that I use almost every time I wash my hair, I have 2 shampoos & 2 conditioners that are my go-tos. I have been using the Leonor Greyl Gentle Shampoo for a little over a month now, and I love it for my very thin hair. It is almost a watery consistency, which is completely different from anything else that I have tried before. It gently lathers up and cleanses just enough to have clean hair without ever stripping. The only problem that I have had with it is the top didn’t work on mine and I ended up having to take the top off and just pour it onto my hair.

The conditioner that I have been pairing with the shampoo  is the Bumble & Bumble Invisible Oil Conditioner. I have been in love with the oil from the Invisible Oil collection for probably 2 years now. It is absolutely beautiful and lightweight yet so hydrating. When I ran out of my last conditioner a few weeks ago, I decided to give this a try, and boy it did not disappoint. Just as lightweight as the oil, this has to be one of my favorite conditioners I have ever tried for daily use. It imparts the perfect amount of hydration without ever making my hair feel heavy. I really was to try out the rest of the range soon!

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I recently picked up the Kristen Ess Signature Shampoo & Conditioner to try out after seeing the gorgeous packaging which strolling through Target. It very-well could be the most beautiful haircare packaging I’ve seen in a long time. But what kept me using it over and over was the fact that this stuff is freaking good. It contains what they call “Zip-Up Technology” which is meant to strengthen the weakest parts of your hair and help protect your hair from environmental stressors. Both the shampoo & conditioner pair beautifully together and I love having them in my rotation.

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Anytime I am going out or going to have my picture taken, I reach for the Leonor Greyl Gentle Volumizing Shampoo. There is absolutely nothing I have used before that gives me the volume that this does. That feeling that a you get from a volumizing powder is exactly what this feels like in my hair. Not my favorite feeling in the world, But I pair this with a deep conditioner and it tones that feeling down quite a bit while still providing that added boost of volume that I want.

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After a night having used the Leonor Greyl Gentle Volumizing Shampoo, I will always cleanse with the Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo. The deepest cleanser that I have, this gets out dry shampoo, hairspray, moose, absolutely everything, leaving me with intensely clean but not over stripped hair. I have not tried the conditioner that goes along with this yet, but it’s on my list!

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Since dying most of my hair blonde a few months ago, I have been on the hunt for a good purple shampoo. The only that I ended up trying out was the IGK Instafamous Blonde Shampoo. I’m not sure how I feel about this though. It does a great job at keeping my blonde from going brassy, which is perfect. The only problem with it is the consistency. It feels like, for lack of a better word, snot. It does what its supposed to. I’m just not sure I can get over the idea of putting snot in my hair…

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I find that I like to use a deep conditioning mask at least once every other week. When it comes to conditioning masks, I want something that really hydrates every strand but still doesn’t weigh down my hair. While I love Oribe in general, I find that Gold Lust just isn’t worth it for me. I love it, and will definitely use it to the last drop, but I think some of their other products that I’ve tried were so much better and I would rather spend my money on those. My favorite deep conditioner isn’t even really a deep conditioner at all. The Juice Organics Brightening Conditioner is incredibly thick, so much so that it can be a little hard sometimes to get product out of the bottle. But it was designed for think hair like mine, so even though its so thick and hydrating, I find it never makes my hair feel heavy or flat. Every time I use it, I have shiny, beautiful hair for days. The Deva Curl Melt In Moisture & the Loreal Elvive Total Repair Damage Erasing Balm are both newer editions to me. I have only used each of them maybe 2 times a piece, but so far I have really liked them both. They have a thinner consistency than the Juice Organics, but both make my hair feel strong & hydrated.

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I travel a lot, and most of my traveling requires that I pack incredibly light. Since most of the time I am backpacking in the wilderness, I have to make sure that every product that I bring is multipurpose yet effective. This has officially made its way into my travel bag as the only shampoo & conditioner duo that I will bring with me anymore. Smoke & Mirrors from IGK Hair is the only cleansing conditioner that I have found that actually fully cleanses my hair and still leaves it feeling moisturized. And the travel size is the perfect size for my backpack that I take with me.

 

What’s your favorite Shampoo & Conditioner?

My Supplement Routine

First off, let’s start with the fact that this is not sponsored (But hit me up! I would love to be sponsored by HUM). I just genuinely love HUM Nutrition. Now I am not someone who would ever take my vitamins when I was younger. You could not pay me enough or bribe me with enough candy to swallow a multi-vitamin. It just wasn’t;t going to happen. Bless my mom, she tried her best.

It wasn’t until I got out of college that I even started looking into vitamins. Like my interest in skincare, my interest in supplements started when I was looking for solutions for my acne. That’s when I found the Daily Cleanse supplements.

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These little green capsules detox your entire system, including your skin. This herb-nutrient blend includes organic chlorella algae, bladderwrack, red clover extract, alpha lipoid acid, and milk thistle that helps boost the immune system and purify the body. This blend of ingredients also works as an anti-inflammatory & antioxidant.

I will note that when I first start taking these, my face will break out. I think that is from it pulling out all of the toxins because after probably 2 weeks, my face is incredibly clear. If I run out of these and don’t repurchase for a couple months, I will have to go through that process all over again. Just something to keep in mind.

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When my boyfriend started having severe stomach issues last year, we didn’t know what was going on. Luckily, after getting diagnosed with a stomach problem, he has been able to work with his doctor to manage his symptoms fairly well. Going through all of this for months on end though, made us realize how important gut health really was. I already knew I trusted HUM Nutrition, so I decided to try their Gut Instinct supplements.

Essentially, this probiotic helps support the immune system. A blend of 10 strains of probiotics, helps regulate your system and makes sure your gut is functioning the way it should. BONUS: it also helps alleviate bloating.

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The most recent addition to my regimen is the Ripped Booster. Not something I take everyday, I like to use these in conjunction with my workouts to help keep my energy up as well as burn some additional calories. This natural fat-burner includes 7-Keto, an ingredient that has been known to enable three times the weight reduction than diet and exercise alone. Now I have not seen that, but I have also not been taking it everyday. I have, however, noticed a decrease in my food cravings on the days when I take these.

 

 

What supplements do you take?

 

Whole 30: Week One

Day 1:

Today, I found out corn counts as a grain. I would now like to die. I just freaking bought sweet potato tortilla chips. And they’re so freaking good! I’ve been looking forward to them all day. And now I can’t have them. Let’s hope the regular sweet potato chips I bought are just as good because I need a good pick me up!

Breakfast: Half a Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bar & a bottle of water as I ran out the door

Lunch: Pork chop, half a sliced apple & a bottle of water

Snack: Other half of the Chocolate Sea Salt RX Bar & a bottle of water

Dinner: Meatballs & potatoes

After Dinner Snack: Sweet Potato Chips & a tangerine

Day 2:

Not feeling great. But it’s the start of the weekend, so I’m just going to lay around all day and do a whole lot of nothing. woke up late and didn’t really feel like cooking myself much, so shoved some frozen hash browns in a pan and it was delicious! Also, Sweet Potato Chips are not nearly as good at the Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips. They’re fine I guess, but its not the same.

Lunch: Hash browns

Dinner: Meatballs & 3 tbsp tomato sauce

After Dinner Snack: 2 Tangerines

Day 3:

Spent half the day cleaning & the other half meal-prepping for the start of the week. At least I’ll have food for most of the week already made! I didn’t eat much today. Still wasn’t feeling great.

Lunch: Meatballs & 3 tbsp tomato sauce

Snack: 2 Tangerines

Late Night Snack: Sweet Potato Chips & Macadamia Nuts

Day 4:

It turns out I do NOT like pork butt. It just tastes like huge sections of fat & I can’t get behind that. But that’s okay. I’m trying to find the kinds of foods that I like, which means I’m gonna find some stuff I don’t like.

People, I like spaghetti squash!! I hate vegetables. I’m aware of that. But I actually like this stuff. Like I’m not just shoving it down. It’s actually delicious!

Morning Snack: Handful of Macadamia nuts & bottle of water

Lunch: Pork Butt, Mashed Potatoes & bottle of water

Snack: 1/2 of a Maple Sea Salt RX Bar & a handful of Macadamia nuts

Dinner: Spaghetti Squash, Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

After Dinner Snack: Pineapple & Pomegranate Seeds

Day 5:

I’m so freaking hungry! I’ve been hungry all day. I didn’t have enough meat to go with the spaghetti squash so I only ended up with 2 meatballs. So after lunch, I just walked around work starving. Spent the whole day craving a burger & boy was it good!

Lunch: Spaghetti Squash, Meatballs & Tomato Sauce & bottle of water

Snack: Pineapple Slices & 2 bottles of water

Dinner: Hamburger patty & a Coke Zero

Day 6:

I don’t hate the riced cauliflower. I added garlic powder & Italian seasoning when I sautéed it and it actually was pretty good. Definitely not the same as rice. Don’t lie to your self and think it will be. But it wasn’t half bad.

I ate dinner at my parents house tonight. Yes, I ate Hawaiian rolls. They are definitely not Whole30 approved. But damn they were good. I’m gonna be totally honest. I regret nothing.

Breakfast: Handful of Macadamia nuts, pineapple & a bottle of water

Lunch: Sautéed garlic shrimp, riced cauliflower & bottle of water

Dinner: Ribs, chicken thighs & Hawaiian rolls

Day 7:

Ate leftover chicken thighs & ribs for lunch. DELICIOUS!

Breakfast: Handful of Macadamia nuts & a bottle of water

Lunch: 2 ribs, chicken thigh & a bottle of water

Snack: Macadamia nuts & a bottle of water

Dinner: Meatballs & Tomato Sauce

 

Overall, I think I’m going to enjoy this month. This is incredibly restricting, which is going to be a bit of a pain & I can already see that I’m probably going to end up trying to find like 5 meals I like & just stick to that mostly. I’m lazy & making food is hard! I’m finding new things that I actually like. I like cooking at home for me & Austin. What I never liked was the amount of tie it took for me to make dinner every night. But I’m finding things I like that don’t take too much time. Anything that shortens my cooking time down I like. I haven’t really eaten out yet, so I’m not sure how I will handle it when that happens, but as far as eating in, I think i’m getting the hang of it.

I know this isn’t supposed to be a “diet”, but I thought every week I would share what sort of results I have seen from it.

Starting Weight: 154.0

1 Week in: 152.4

 

Have any of you tried Whole30? I would love to know some tips & tricks!!

Whole 30: Preparation

To be completely honest, I did very little research on this 30 day “detox”. I looked it up, said “ooh this sounds good” and the next day I started it. I don’t really recommend that. More research should definitely be done. The Whole 30 website says that you should cleanse your whole house of junk food, stock up on everything you need for at least a week & mentally prepare for what you’re about to embark on. I didn’t do that. But to be totally fair, I’ve been on a low carb diet on and off for two years at this point, so most of the food that I had is fairly healthy.

I did look into what sorts of snacks I could eat as I find that that really is the key to me staying on track with diets. If I get hungry and there is nothing for me to snack on, I will break down and eat something bad. I know myself. This will happen. So after doing very minimal research into approved snacks, I headed to Trader Joe’s, the mecca of all healthy snacking.

Before we get into what I picked up, let’s start with the basics: what the heck is Whole 30?

What what I have been able to gather, Whole 30 is essentially a food detox. The founder of Whole 30 does not like to call it a diet. Basically, you’re removing anything bad for you and trying to form a new relationship with your food.

What you can have:

  • Meat
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Oils & Ghee
  • Coffee
  • Nuts & Seeds

What you can’t have:

  • Dairy
  • Legumes (there are a few exceptions to this rule)
  • Grains
  • Alcohol
  • Added Sugar

Now this is where things get a little weird. Potatoes are allowed. Oil is allowed. French fries are not allowed. Bananas are allowed. Cocoa is allowed. Freeze the bananas, blend it with the cocoa to make ice cream. Not allowed. Why? That is incredibly confusing to me. They say it defeats the purpose of the detox. Supposedly it’s a mental separation from junk food as much as it is a physical one. I don’t like it. But I guess I’ll give it a shot.

My first grocery run

Again, I will state that I did maybe an hour of research into this before I got started. So when I went to the grocery store, I was slightly lost. Since my apartment is already stocked with all kinds of meats, my real purpose with going to the grocery store was to stock up on snacks, sides and sauces that would help me make it through the day.

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What I picked up:

  • Clarified Butter
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranate Seeds
  • Lettuce
  • Riced Cauliflower
  • RX Bars
  • Larabar in Apple Pie
  • Sweet Potato Chips
  • Sweet Plantain Chips
  • Almond Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Pork Belly
  • Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips
  • Yuzu Hot Sauce
  • Ginger Stir-In Paste
  • Thai Red Curry Sauce
  • Hazelnuts
  • Macadamia Nuts
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Russet Potatoes
  • Shredded Hash Browns
  • Spaghetti Squash

Let’s see how this goes…

Holiday Gift Guide: Skincare Edit

The holidays are my favorite time of year. I absolutely adore the cold weather, hold chocolate, & being with loved ones. This year, I am on a mission to find the best gifts for my friends & family. These are my top skincare recommendations!

 

GIFT BOXES     ————————————————————————————————————-

Beauty Heroes Subscription Box

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I received my first Beauty Heroes box year ago & I regret nothing! When I first got this monthly box, I know nothing about green skincare. Looking for products was so overwhelming. I didn’t know what I should be looking for or what companies were actually any good. Then I found Beauty Heroes. They had done all of the work for me and curated only the best products to be included each month.

For someone just dipping their toe into green skincare, this would make an amazing gift. Each box costs $39, but comes with well over $100 worth of products inside. Novembers box contained a total value of $205. Value for money is impeccable.

The one downside to Beauty Heroes is you must purchase a 3 month subscription, but after your first box, you’ll be so excited about the 2nd & 3rd box that you won’t mind having already purchased them!

MINTD Subscription Box

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I recently received my first MINTD box. And by recently I do mean I got my box 3 days ago. But I love it so much already, I decided to include it here.

Unlike the Beauty Heroes box, you can purchases on a month-to-month basis. Each box costs 65 Euros, a bit of a price increase from the Beauty Heroes box. But for that price increase you do get more. Where Beauty Heroes feature a single company, MINTD features 4-5 different companies. The most recent box contains 4 full size products as well as one deluxe sample size.

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Besides just getting more, my favorite part is that you get the chance to try something from multiple companies. This months box featured products from Votary, African Botanics, Oribe, Skin Laundry & De Mamiel.

You really can’t go wrong with picking up any green beauty subscription box, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, this is where it’s at. Just based solely off of value for money, MINTD can’t be beat.

 

GIFT SETS     —————————————————————————————————————-

Drunk Elephant Come C About Me Gift Set

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Drunk Elephant may be one of the most well-known green skincare brands on the market right now. It seems like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about the amazing effects of Drunk Elephant products.

My favorite of the gift sets that Drunk Elephant is offering this year is the Come C About Me set, which includes a full size of the C-Firma Day Serum as well as deluxe sample sizes of the Beste Jelly Cleanser, B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel & the Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30.

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Beste Jelly Cleanser A jelly-based cleanser that removes all traces of makeup, excess oil, pollution and any other grime. With a unique blend of mild surfactants and makeup dissolving emollients, this gentle formula rinses away without an ounce of residue, leaving skin clean and soft without feeling stripping.

B-Hydra Intensive Hydration Gel This ultra-hydrating gel replenishes the complexion and improves the look of skin texture and tone. Formulated with pro-vitamin B5 and pineapple ceramide, B-Hydra delivers steady hydration throughout the day, leaving the skin looking healthy and more illuminated. This light-weight, hard-hitting gel is ideal for all skin types.

C-Firma Day Serum A vitamin C serum packed with a powerful antioxidant complex of l-ascorbic and ferulic acids that reveals a brighter, firmer and more even-looking complexion. Formulated with pumpkin ferment extract and sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, C-Firma helps to dissolve surface dead skin cells as it intensely hydrates.

Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 This sheer, physical sunscreen is loaded with potent antioxidants like astaxanthin, grape juice and sunflower shoot extracts to minimize the appearance of photoaging for a more youthful-looking complexion.

I took a full size of this beauty with me when I went hiking for a week in Chile last year & it was absolutely amazing. Out of the probably 15 different sunscreens that everyone brought, mine was the only one that people wanted to reach for. Why? Because it doesn’t burn your eyes. And when you’re hiking for 12 hours a day for a week, you’re bound to sweat, which means your sunscreen will run down your face and eventually some will get in your eyes. I also came back without a burn on my face, proving that it actually does work. Trust me when I say that this baby has been tried & tested!

Retrouve Collection Quartet

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The most expensive product that I will be recommending, there is a reason that celebrities swear by Retrouve. I got the chance to test out the Luminous Cleansing Elixir & the Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer. Besides being gorgeous, these are highly effective products.

The Luminous Cleansing Elixir reminds me of an even more luxe version of the Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel. This emollient cleansing balm is richly textured without being thick & moisturizes while gently cleansing the skin for soft, nourished, hydrated result. I may love this beauty even more that my beloved Oskia Renaissance.

The Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer is like a hybrid between a serum, balm & moisturizer. With an almost a caramel-like consistency, this is ideal for people concerned with dehydration & firmness. Formulated with stem-cell rejuvenating properties, this moisturizer is one of the most intensely moisturizing products I’ve ever tried. This is the type of moisturizer that would be perfection for someone like my mom, who suffers from intense dehydration.

Now, you can’t go wrong with picking up a full size of any of their products as a luxurious gift, but my recommendation would be to pick up the Quartet. It contains 1/2 sizes of four of their products: Nutrient Face Serum, Dynamic Nourishing Face Cream, Intensive Replenishing Facial Moisturizer, & the Revitalizing Eye Concentrate.

At One Skincare Iconic Facial Collection

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This collection includes three FULL SIZE cult products from At One Skincare: Flawless Cleansing Oil, Night Repair Serum & Vitality beauty Balm.

The Vital Cleansing Balm is an intensely purifying formulation blended with seven key skin loving botanical oils. The unique blend includes Watermelon seed and Hemp oils that rejuvenate tired, dull skin while opening pores to deeply cleanse.

The Night Repair Serum is a lightweight and intensively hydrating serum that repairs skin on a cellular level, reversing stressors and environmental impacts.

The Vitality Beauty Balm is a deeply nourishing daily moisturiser formulated with only the purest plant oils and butters to soften, hydrate and protect delicate skin, making it perfect for this cold winter season when skin needs a little extra love.

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While I have not had the chance to try these products out myself, I can say that this gift set is on the top of my Christmas List (*hint hint wink wink Austin).

I did speak with the founder of At One Skincare (she’s amazing btw) & she is giving all of y’all 25% off your order with the code IamAtOne (excluding gift sets). Go check her out & give her a big thank you for being so amazing!

Caudalie Trio Mini Masques

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If you’re looking for a small gift that really packs a punch, I would recommend the Caudalie Trio Mini Masques. Like the rest of the Caudalie line, these masks are beautifully formulated.

The Glycolic Peel treatment renews skins texture, visibly tightens pores, reduces oil, and provides an immediate burst of radiance to your complexion. This non-irritating, two-in-one peel diminishes dark spots and smooths skin’s texture.

The Moisturizing Mask is essential for anyone seeking a high dose of hydration. The formula protects against future dehydration and leaves skin supple and quenched with a youthful-looking radiance. It is enriched with vinolevure to strengthen and soothe, grape seed oil to nourish, and hyaluronic acid to moisturize.

To treat enlarged, clogged pores, apply the Instant Detox Mask to immediately bring life to dull, tired skin. This mask acts like a vaccum for the pores to draw out any impurities and toxins, leaving a smooth and clear complexion.

Votary 3 Step Routine Gift Set

I have longed for Votary products for quite some time. There is just something so luxurious about them. The gorgeous packaging. The incredible ingredients. Votary can basically do no wrong. I recently picked up two products from them: the Clarifying Cleansing Oil & the Calm Your Skin Jasmin & Calendula Facial Oil. And I want more. Votary has come out with discounted gift sets & they have made their way onto my wish list.

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The one that I am most interested in? The Votary 3 Step Routine, which includes the Rose Geranium & Apricot Cleansing Oil, the Toning Serum, & the Smooth Your Skin Neroli & Myrrh Facial Oil.

 

INDIVIDUALS     ———————————————————————————————————-

Planted In Beauty Reparative Complex

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If you are looking to spoil your mom, or grandma, or yourself (I see you people), I would start here. Yes, it’s expensive. But it is a treat. And the type of product my mom wouldn’t buy for herself.

This natural, multitasking complex promotes skin’s overall health and delivers firming, smoothing and brightening actives that support skin’s natural cell metabolism and revitalize from beneath the skin’s surface. Green Algae, Beech Tree Bud and Pomegranate promote collagen production for firmer, smoother skin. Ascorbyl Glucoside (stable form of Vitamin C) brightens and restores radiance while Alping Willow Herb refines the skin’s texture and minimizes the appearance of imperfections.

There really isn’t anything from Planted In Beauty that I wouldn’t recommend picking up, but this is definitely my top recommendation of the products that I have had the chance to use. This is actually what I’m looking at getting for my mother since it has such beautiful firming & brightening properties.

Vintner’s Daughter Limited Edition 50ml Bottle

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I’ve lusted after Vintner’s Daughter for years. It was one of the first things I got interested in when I started looking into green skincare.

This lightweight face serum has an award-winning formula consisting of over 22 active ingredients that work in synergy to firm, clear and add radiance to your skin. Housed in a limited edition 50ml glass vessel, it deeply penetrates the top layer of skin to battle signs of agin and maintain elasticity and brightness, as well as stimulate cell turnover for a smooth, even and balanced complexion.

Oribe Balmessence Lip Treatment

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With the holidays in the dead of winter, intensely chapped lips are becoming a major problem. Possibly the best balm I’ve ever used, this makes an amazing stocking stuffer for your skincare loving bestie. Thicker than a typical lip balm, Oribe has found a way to make something that can intensely hydrate & thick while still feeling comfortable.

 

EXTRAS     ——————————————————————————————————————-

BKR 500ml Water Bottle

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We all know that drinking water is one of the most important things when it comes to skincare. But if I’m being completely honest, I’m the worst at getting myself to drink water.

I know that a cute water bottle is not necessarily the answer, but maybe it is. It’s freaking adorable, which makes me want to take it with me. And if it’s with me, I’ll use it, which means I actually drink more water.

Madison And White Clean Skin Pillowcase Set

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For someone that loves skincare so much, you would think that I would have thought about this before, but your pillowcase really does play a large role in your overall skin. These satin pillowcases allow the skin to gently move across the surface without tugging or causing wrinkles, the way a typical cotton pillowcase can. The fibers in these satin pillowcases also help the skin to retain its natural hydration levels, which helps you wake up with beautifully plump skin every morning. The extra plus is the satin helps keep your hair fresh longer and lowers your chances of hair loss due to your hair tugging on a traditional cotton pillowcase.

Girl Undiscovered Stars Aligning Crystals

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Know someone that could really use a way to relax? These beauties may be the perfect gift. I just started getting into facial massage, and it’s one of the most relaxing things I’ve ever done. That level of self care is wonderful. These can be used with any oil that you already have in your collection. These crystals calm, naturally lift and help to increase product absorption while encouraging skin repair and rejuvenation.

HUM Nutrition Supplements

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I truly believe that great skin starts on the inside. When you eat, what supplements you take, all play a huge role in how your skin looks. While I try my best to eat healthy, HUM supplements are really what I rely on to help cleanse my system.

If you have a friend that is into smoothies, protein powders & supplements, I would look into HUM. My two favorite supplements for skin health are the Daily Cleanse & the Gut Instinct.

Daily Cleanse detoxes your skin, liver, bowel, kidneys and lungs from toxins, leaving your skin as clear as can be.

Gut Instinct is a probiotic blend of bacteria that helps with digestion & supports your immune system which aids in beautiful skin.

I know supplements may be an odd thing to recommend as a gift, but I truly believe that if you have someone that is struggling to keep their skin clear, these are lovely and definitely something that I would have appreciated.

QYK Sonic ZOE

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This thing is freaking awesome! Not only is it amazing for a deep cleanse, but flip it around & you can use the back of it to apply your skincare products to help them penetrate deeper. With eight pulsating speeds, your bound to find a setting that work perfect for you. I personally prefer to have it on a lower setting for both cleansing as well as skincare application as I find its essentially like giving yourself a beautiful facial massage at the same time. It also has a pointed tip to help you get into the hard to reach corners of your face. This is an A+ gift for the skincare lover in your life.

 

 

What are you looking at picking up for your loved ones?

Holiday Gift Guide: Bath, Body, & Haircare Edit

The holidays are my favorite time of year. I absolutely adore the cold weather, hold chocolate, & being with loved ones. This year, I am on a mission to find the best gifts for my friends & family. These are my top recommendations for Bath, Body, & Haircare!

 

BATH     ———————————————————————————————————————–

Susanne Kaufmann Bath Oils Trio

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Dear lord these smell amazing. If you are wanting to get into the Christmas mood, these are how you do it. These luxurious oils elevate any bath into a beautiful self-care experience. Which Hazel is designed to help combat dry, flakey, winter skin & smells of witch hazel & sage. Bath for the Senses contains a gorgeous blend of ylang ylang, patchouli & lavender. It has a slightly soapy scent, but still beautiful. My personal favorite, Winter smells of cinnamon, clove & orange. Literally sweet cinnamon, this is the perfect holiday scent. I open it up randomly just to smell it. If they ever came out with a candle version of it, I would pick up 12 and burn them all year long. I actually think I may love these even more that my favorite Aromatherapy Associates bath oils, & that’s saying a lot!

Therapie Discover Me Gift Set

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I have long been an admirer of Therapie. I’d seen The Anna Edit talk about them for years & have always been curious to see if they really were as amazing as she made them sound. The Discover Me Gift Set is the perfect way to explore the range of products that Therapie offers.

This set includes deluxe minis of their Boost Hair & Body Wash, Cherish Skin Repair Serum, Equilibrium Bath & Shower Essence, Himalayan Detox Salts, & the Restore Aura Spray.

Therapie

Don’t want a whole gift set or have your eye on one particular product? Therapie offers stocking stuffer sized versions of some of their cult products. My personal favorite (this seems to be a cult favorite) are their bath salts.

YUZU Bath Bomb Cubes 

YuzuBomb

These quickly became my favorite bath bombs & would make the perfect small gift or stocking stuffer for a loved one. With multiple scents to choose from the bath bomb cubes are creamy, making your skin so silky smooth you can skip out on your lotion. I’ve never found a bath bomb that was more moisturizing. This scent in particular, Lavender Sage, is one of the most relaxing scents I’ve ever smelt. But be warned, it may make you want to fall asleep in the bath!

 

BODY     ———————————————————————————————————————–

 

Moon Juice Moon Dust Collection

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I am just getting into the world of smoothies, juicing and powders. I will not claim to fully understand what each ingredient does and why, which makes something like this the perfect gift for me. Each collection box comes with 12 single serving sachets, 2 of each type of Moon Dust that Moon Juice offers: Beauty, Brain, Sex, Power, Spirit, & Dream.

Moon Juice Bliss Miss Set

MoonJuiceHotChocolate

Don’t want a smoothie or juice but still want to try out the benefits of Moon Juice powders? Look no further! Moon Juice came out with Bliss Miss, a hot chocolate gift set that comes with a full size of either the Spirit or Sex Dust. One of the better hot chocolates I’ve had, no one with even know their having something healthy!

Marvis Seven Days of Flavor Set

Marvis.png

Am I the only weirdo that would be excited to get toothpaste in my stocking? Probably.  But there is just something so appealing about this set. I first saw Marvis at a drugstore in Paris, & after that, I’ve been wanting to try them.

 

 

HAIR     ———————————————————————————————————————–

IGK Friends With Benefits Texture & Shine Set

IGK

What I refer to as the “Cool Girl Haircare Company”, IGK has something for every type of hair need. My favorite gift set that they offer has to be the Friends With Benefits set, as I find that it works amazingly well for thin hair that can easily get weighed down with product. I never thought that I would say that I actually liked a 2 in 1 cleansing conditioner, but Smoke & Mirrors is perfection. This cream-to-oil melts into your scalp & hair, providing the perfect amount of moisture while still actually getting your hair clean. Mistress, the leave in conditioner, is the shot of moisture that my hair desperately needs without ever weighing down my hair. To add extra volume & texture, I use Beach Club that is salt-free, so it doesn’t dry out my hair.

 

 

What product are you gifting this holiday season?

Holiday Gift Guide: The Boyfriend Edit

When it comes to Holiday shopping, I always find it’s hardest to shop for my boyfriend. And pretty much all the guys in my life. My boyfriend, brother and dad can all be tricky to find the perfect gift for.

Here are the gifts that I think would be great for the man in your life.

 

JORD Meridian Watch in Nightfall

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Austin is literally the toughest when it comes to watches. He has one watch. For the last five years, he has told me to NEVER buy a watch for him without him there. And then I found this one from JORD. As I promised, I showed it to him and he instantly fell in love. The band is made out of wood, but since it’s in such a dark color, it’s only faintly noticeable. It just adds a little extra piece of interest to the watch.

What really made Austin fall in love was the dual wheel movement. As Austin has so lovingly told me, for automatic watch enthusiasts, a dual wheel is a must. Because the movement is mechanical it requires no battery. The best part is that the dual wheels are completely visible, which makes it aesthetically pleasing. Austin will literally sit and stare at the exposed wheels all day long. We went to a wedding last weekend, and he proceeded to show everyone and tell them how amazing his new watch was.

Extra Note: if you’re looking at picking up this watch or any others from JORD, I would suggest filling this out to get 25% off your order instantly.

 

Topman Side Ribbed Slim Fit Sweater

TopMan

If your guy is anything like mine, then he probably refuses to buy nice clothes for himself, especially anything nice. I always like to try to find one nice piece of clothing to give him for the Holidays that I think is something he’d actually enjoy but would never pick out for himself

I really love this one from TopMan because it wasn’t terribly expensive, but it’s very nice quality. This specific sweater has ribbed panels on either side and inner arms. Casual enough to wear with jeans, it can also be dressed up with a pair of slacks.

 

Commodity Style Guide

CommodityStyleGuide

This is one of my favorite gifts, mainly because it’s unisex which means I can enjoy it too! Commodity has some of my favorite scents. My all time favorite is Gold. While that is unlikely to be Austin’s favorite, this Style Guide gives him the chance to test out different fragrances and find his perfect match.

 

Art of Shaving Sandalwood Shaving Cream

ArtOfShaving

One of the most luxe shaving creams around, this is something I rarely find that men splurge on for themselves. The Sandalwood Shaving Cream generates a rich and foamy lather that helps protect the skin from irritation by improving the razors ability to glide across the skin. It softens the beard for a close and comfortable shave. The formula contains glycerin and coconut acid that provide hydration during the shave. A luxe shaving cream is something so small, but I think it really elevates your daily routine.

 

Apple AirPods

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Austin specifically asked me to include this in my gift guides as he is madly in love with them. What is it with guys and headphones anyway? My favorite thing about them is the technology behind them.

AirPods can sense when they’re in your ears and pause when you take them out so you never miss your favorite part of a song. They hold up to 5 hours of listening time on a single charge. And since the case can actually hold multiple additional charges, you can get more than 24 hours of listening time before every having to plug the case back in. 15 minutes in the case gives you 3 additional hours of listening time.

 

Native Union Night Cable Marble Edition

NativeUnion

This has to be one of the fanciest chargers I have ever seen. Absolutely beautiful, it is not only gorgeous to look at, it’s also incredibly functional. This comes in both a white as well as black marble base to fit your aesthetic. Since the marble is naturally heavy, it works as the perfect base to keep your charger on the table instead of dropping to the floor. With a 10-foot charging cord, there is no need to worry that a plug may be too far away. The weighted ball attached to the cord helps hold the cable where you place it. Because the cable is made with a braided nylon, it reduces the likelihood of the typical wear and tear of most cables.

Want just the charging cord? There offer just the Night Cable here.

 

May Lindstrom Problem Solver

Problem Solver

If you were to give your man one skincare item this winter, I would suggest the May Lindstrom Problem Solver Mask. As the name would suggest, this mask works to combat a variety of issues, from breakouts to irritation. If your man is anything like mine, giving him a pre-mixed mask is a waste of time. He’ll never finish it before it expires. Which is where a powder mask comes in handy. And if he’s only going to use one mask, a max of once a week, then it needs to be a powerhouse.

This intense correcting mask effectively purifies and tightens pores, extinguishing inflammation, fighting blemishes, jump-starting circulation and detoxifying skin with delightful ease and power. A jet-black fusion of antioxidant-rich raw cacao, healing bamboo charcoal, soil nutrients, salts, and exotic warming spices go deep on a mission to reveal your most radiant self.

If your guy is into skincare, I have a skincare gift guide going live soon with more things he may love!

 

What are you gifting the men in your life?

The healthy alternatives I grab for when all I want is candy

I am a candy addict. I love chocolate. Give me a Reeses’ and I’ll love you forever. And with Halloween barely in our rearview mirror, my sweet-tooth is craving candy. So while it may be hard, I am trying my best to be good. Here’e what I’m reaching for instead.

Atkins Peanut Butter Cups

If you love Reeses as much as I do, then you probably miss them as much as I do. I recently found these at our local grocery store and I’m in love. Even Austin eats them. The best part is they are only 2 net carbs! My least favorite part about low carb treats is it always tastes like something is missing. They’re always so close, but it’s just off somehow. These are not that way at all. I love them almost as much as I love an actual Reeses. I thin if you blind taste tested them against an actual Reeses, you wouldn’t be able to tell which was which.

Breyers Low Carb Smart Vanilla Ice Cream

This stuff is a thing of the Gods. This has been just about the only ice cream I have eaten for well over a year. It tastes exactly like regular vanilla bean ice cream; the only difference is that it is almost the consistency of a soft serve, which means it melts quicker than a typical harder ice cream. Not an issue considering I down the whole bowl in a matter of seconds.

Atkins Chocolate Covered Peanuts

If you like Peanut M&Ms, these are a pretty great alternative. While not 100% the same, I can barely notice a difference and on days when I’m craving candy, the 1 net carb snack pack are incredibly handy, as long as I can keep them out of Austin’s grubby hands!

Dark Chocolate Covered Almonds with Sea Salt

This is something that I like to make. I recently purchased low carb dark chocolate chips and they work perfectly when I want to make chocolate covered almonds. I like to sprinkle a little bit of sea salt on top before it dries. I find the sea salt really helps to bring out the taste in the chocolate. Since Austin doesn’t like dark chocolate, it means I actually get to enjoy these all to myself, just the way I like it.

 

What healthy alternative do you reach for to satisfy your sweet tooth?

How skincare saved my life

I don’t really know how to start this. I have struggled with depression most of my life. I am the type of person that would rather talk down about myself than ever raise myself up. It’s my natural instinct.

When I went to college, I started falling harder into my depression. I ended up changing schools, which only made things worse. When I felt I couldn’t take it anymore, I started cutting. I broke up with my long distance boyfriend and started thinking of suicide. Even after meeting Austin (my current boyfriend and best friend) I still couldn’t help but fall into large periods of depression. I could barely get out of bed and ended up gaining over 50 pounds in a year.

It wasn’t until I started looking for a way to heal my acne that I found that skincare could be more that just washing your face. For me, my skincare ritual each night is as much about self care as it is about just cleaning my skin. The act of spending 10 minutes on myself every night in a positive way instead of tearing myself down changed my entire view on myself. I’m not sure ow to really explain this, but such a small about of time being used in a positive way made me actually start to like myself. It lifted my self worth. 

I know this my not make sense to most people, but when you spend your entire life being torn down by others, you start to get it in your head that they are right. Those 10 minutes a day give me a chance to really look at myself and realize that they’re wrong. I will probably always deal with depression in some form or fashion. But since discovering my love for skincare, I have also discovered a love for myself. I am healing. As weird as it may sound, skincare did that.

My Low Carb Staples

I have been eating low carb on & off (mostly on) for almost 2 years now. In the beginning, it felt like the hardest thing to do. Did you know freakin everything has carbs?!?!

After a few months, I figured out alternative for the things I was really missing. These are the things that I keep i my house at all times so that I can keep myself on a low carb diet without depriving myself of the things I really love.

Disclaimer: I work on a net carb system. This means that I take my total carbs for the day and subtract dietary fiber & sugar alcohols to give me my final carb count.


Great Low Carb Cinnamon Bagels 

The day I found these, was the day that I stopped hating low carb. Each bagel is only 2 net carbs. Yes, you saw that right. Considering a typical bagel can easily be 60+ carbs, a 2 net carb bagel is beyond amazing. And since cream cheese is incredibly low in carbs (typically around 1-2 carbs per 2 tablespoons) I can get through an entire breakfast for under 5 net carbs.

If anyone is looking at getting into low carb, I would highly suggest checking out Great Low Carb Co. online. They make amazing bagels, loafs of bread, & rolls so you never feel like you’re sacrificing in order to eat low carb. They are more expensive and shipping is pricy, but I like to buy in bulk and shove the extras in the freezer for later.

Great Low Carb Plain Sliced Bread

This is less of a requirement for me as it is for my boyfriend. He has recently decided that he was going to do this whole low carb thing with me, but the second I told him he would have to cut out his regular sandwich bread he almost quit before he’d even started. Since getting the low carb sliced bread alternative, he hasn’t even been able to notice a difference. We also picked up low carb corn chips so that he could happily eat his chips and salsa.

Almond Flour

When I first started looking for ways to make things that were low carb, everything seemed to require coconut. Coconut oil, coconut flour, coconut milk. I don’t like coconut. This was gonna be a problem. But then I realized that I could use almond flour and a whole new world of options opened up.

I use almond flour for almost everything. If I make fried chicken, it’s my breading. If I want pizza, I make the fat head pizza crust which requires almond flour. If I want chick parmesan, I mix almond flour with parmesan as the coating. We even like to make almond flour chocolate chip cookies. If it’s always in the house, we have a ton of options. If it’s not, I feel like we’re always at a loss for what we can actually make.

Bryers Carb Smart Ice Cream

I don’t even remember eating a ton of sweets before going low carb, but once my options for sweets became limited, I began to crave them like crazy. I would literally get mad at people if they brought candy around. I had seen recipes for low carb ice cream online, but to be completely honest, I just didn’t want eating low carb to mean that I had to slave away in the kitchen for hours everyday to make sure we had things to eat. Bryers Carb Smart Vanilla Bean Ice Cream tastes exactly like regular vanilla ice cream, albeit melts quite a bit faster, and is only 4 carbs per 1/2 cup. It’s just such a nice thing to have in the house for when you just NEED to have something sweet. I like to top it with chopped pecans. SO GOOD!

Cheese

Literally all of the cheese. Sliced cheese, string cheese, HUGE bags of shredded mozzarella, shredded parmesan, those little Babybell mini cheese wheel things. Since cheese is typically minimal carbs (a lot of the time it’s even zero) we basically live off it. String cheese I find to be the most important since its so convenient. It has nothing to do with cooking, which saves me all kinds of time. When Austin is complaining that theres nothing quick to eat in the house, I’ll literally chuck string cheese at his face. It just makes things easier.

We also started buying the 32oz. bags of shredded mozzarella now. When we make meatballs, we top it with mozzarella. When we make pizza, the pizza crust is basically made out of mozzarella and almond flour. THEN we top the pizza in more mozzarella.

I feel like I’m going on and on about my love affair with cheese. Let’s move on.

Meat

Same premise to the cheese. It’s typically zero or almost zero carbs for basically any type of meat out there, so our fridge and freezer it packed to the brim with different types.

We typically pick up short ribs (that we cook in a low carb BBQ sauce we found here), chicken thighs, sweet italian turkey sausage, meatballs, tilapia, crab, burgers, sandwich meats, and steak if we’re feeling fancy. Most rubs and spices we have found to be low carb, so we have a variety depending on what kind of mood we are in.

Pasta

We love Italian food, but pasta is just a straight no go for a low carb diet. Shirataki noodles saved me and my love for pasta. We use the ones from Miracle Noodle. They have so many options and they’re all zero carbs! We are able to make fried rice, spaghetti & meatballs, and fettuccini alfredo (my personal favorite) without ruining our carb count. I first found them through Amazon, but now they are at my local HEB.

Soda

Yes I know soda is bad for you and maybe I shouldn’t put this on my staples list but it is. For me, it is a staple. I don’t drink coffee. If you do, black coffee is zero carbs. But for me, soda was always how I was able to make it through the day. Most diet sodas will be zero carbs. Now not all of them taste amazing, so that part is entirely preference, but Austin and I like to keep Coke Zero (for me) & Sprite Zero (for him) in the house at all times.

 

Those are basically the foods that I like to stay stocked up on so that I don’t go crazy while trying to eat low carb.

Side Note: This is not all that we eat. These are just the things I try to make sure we have all the time.

 

 

I know this was kind of a left-field thing for me to talk about, but I love our low carb life right now. I’ve been thinking about throwing in a few of our favorite low carb recipes in every now and then as well. Let me know if ya’ll would be interested in more low carb based post every once in a while!