Monday, June 18, 2018

My mom heavily influenced my obsession with skin care products. When I was young, I would see her applying all sorts of products on her face and I would sneak up and try on some of the products when she was away. Sorry mom! Haha I think it's a good thing I learned and started early because I never experienced any breakouts or acne.
I'm turning 30 +  this year (yeah I'm gonna keep it as a secret) and I thought I'd share some of my favorite products with you. I'm no beauty blogger so please don't expect a lengthy post! Haha I've tried a lot of brands and products but these are the ones that best work for me and have done wonders for my skin.

Shu Uemura Anti Oxi Skin Refining Cleansing Oil
This is Shu Uemura's most popular cleansing oil. Aside from removing make up effectively, it also works to remove sweat, dirt, and other pollutants deep in your pores that can speed up the ageing process of your skin. 
No matter how tired or lazy I am, I'll never go to bed with make up on. I love this cleansing oil because it leaves my skin feeling soft and radiant! I apply heavy make up when I have events and shoots and this product removes everything stat! 
I have eyelash extensions so I use a cream to remove my eyeliner and eyeshadow. 

La Mer Reparative Face Sun Lotion
I NEVER leave the house without applying sunblock. I also run outdoors and I love the beach so I always need to make sure that I put a generous amount of sunblock on my face and body. I particularly love this sunblock because it's not sticky compared to other sunblock lotions. The product also contains anti-ageing benefits that helps repair fine lines and wrinkles. 

Khiels Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
I'm prone to freckles so I gave this product a try. It's a serum that helps diminish spots and corrects uneven skin tone. I use this product together with Khiels Midnight Recovery ( I ran out so there's no photo lol ) and I saw some improvement after a week of using the dark spot solution. Freckles and sun spots do not go away immediately so I'm going to continue using this product and see if my freckles will get lighter. 

La Mer Eye Concentrate
I am obsessed with La Mer products and this eye cream is a game changer! I'm prone to dark circles and this product significantly reduced my fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. I'm hooked! I'm already on my second jar! Haha 
Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair
I started using this product a month ago and it has made such a huge difference in my skin. My pores are almost invisible and I love how my skin looks clear and glowing when I wake up. The only thing that I don't like about this product is the smell but it goes away immediately. I apply this serum before my moisturizer. 

La Mer Moisturizing Cream
I've been using this product for 2 years now and this is a miracle worker! I've tried a lot of moisturizers but this one is THE BEST. I use this as my night cream and it provides a deep, penetrating moisture so I wake up with radiant skin. I know for sure that I'll keep on using this product till I'm old! Haha

I had a shoot and interview yesterday with Facial Care and Marie France, both of which are prestigious skin care and beauty centers which I'm lucky to be a part of for 4 years now. They asked me about my skin care regimen and a couple of tips on how to age gracefully. I couldn't help but laugh because I don't think I'm that old to give tips on aging! BUT I'll be 30 in 3 years and though a part of me dreads the idea of it, I guess I just have to stick with my healthy lifestyle so that I can somehow delay the physical signs of aging! Haha Let me share some simple yet very effective tips that your body will thank you in the long run.

1. Exercise regularly
I lead a very active lifestyle. I run, box, or do conditioning atleast 3-4x a week. Exercise is vital for slowing the effects of aging. Multiple studies have found that it can prolong life and reduce disability and diseases like cancer, diabetes, and stroke. 
Exercise does not have to be a brutal workout in a gymnasium, or running a marathon. A brisk 30-minute walk each day will ensure cardiovascular conditioning that gets your heart pumping oxygen and nutrients to your brain cells, so those cells sprout branches, communicate more effectively, and remain healthier longer. 
2. Eat a healthy, balanced diet
A good diet will not only boost your mental and physical health as you age, but will also help you look and feel good. It doesn’t mean avoiding foods and snacks you enjoy. You can still eat chips, chocolates, and other junk food as long as you do so in moderation. I also prefer having a cheat meal instead of cheating the entire day. 
3. Sleep
Getting less than 6 hours of sleep daily puts you at risk for a number of health and mental problems. When you lack sleep, you are depriving your body of time to rest, rebuild and restore. As a result, you put yourself more at risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. 
4. Don't smoke and drink
Smoking is one of the main causes of premature aging. You are prone to dry skin, wrinkles, and dehydration. Smoking also increases your risk of heart and lung diseases. It's okay to drink alcohol as long as you do so moderately but what's considered as "moderate" changes as you get older. When you drink excessively, you're also putting yourself at risk for various diseases to the heart, liver, and brain. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Like a Boss

Anyone who really knows me — knows that I don’t traipse around town in sky-high heels and fancy couture. Since becoming a mom 11 years ago, I’ve been rocking the “athleisure” look before “athleisure” was even a thing you read about in Vogue

BELIEVE. Yep, you can usually spot me in Golden Goose sneakers and workout gear like these shiny leggings and metallic anorak because that’s how I roll.

 Plus, who can hit the grocery store, Whole Foods, Target and CVS in stilettos? NOT THIS CHICK. Plus, that’s kinda, sorta tacky.

Also worth noting? May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month. Living in South Florida, we can all relate to knowing someone who’s been affected by skin cancer. Which leads me to my new customizable UPF 50+ (read: sun safe!) hat from Sun Hats by Roni Girl.

 I love that these $50 hats are lined with outdoor/umbrella fabric — making them both protective and fashionable. Also, for every hat sold, the brand donates to The Skin Cancer Foundation for research, awareness and a cure.

Winning… like a BOSS.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Treat Your Inner Mermaid With Lehlani's Skin Care

Anyone with an Instagram account and an interest in skincare has undoubtedly come across Leahlani’s infamous #mermaidmask.
It’s hard to miss… in fact, there are currently over 2,000 Instaposts of gleefully grinning faces smothered in that thick, dark algae-coloured paste.  Leahlani’s sirens look so happy on IG, that it’s near impossible not to catch their mermaid fever.

o    Bless Beauty Balm (AUD$68)
o    Mermaid Mask [a sample only] (AUD$46)

So who is Leahlani Skincare?
Leahlani Skincare is a line of all natural skincare products created on the Hawaiian island of Maui by Leah Mason Klasovsky, CEO, Mermaid in Chief and a spa esthetician who believes skin care should be a sacred, loving self-care ritual.  Each product is infused Leah’s love, passion and gratitude and, if you’re intuitive like me, you’ll feel her Hawaiian spell each time you place them on your skin and inhale their exotic aromas.  There’s something ritualistic, special and exotic that evokes that tropical island vibe… coconuts, mermaids and hibiscus flowers, if you get my drift.

— Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder —

I knew I wanted to try one of Leahlani’s face masks and I had a feeling Mermaid Mask would be a little too strong for my sensitive skin.  So I was looking at either Kokoleka ‘Ritual Desert’ Detox Mask or Kalima Coconut Cream Cleansing Powder (which multitasks as a cleanser and a mask).  My skin is dry/mature and also quite sensitive, so Eve steered me in the direction of Kalima.  She explained that Kokoleka is not as gentle and is more suited to congested and combination skin types.  Kalima, on the other hand, “is beautifully smoothing and clearing but also very gentle (and it smells divine)”.
Well, I can vouch for that.  Wafts of creamy coconut, with hints of citrus and vanilla notes, caress your senses as soon as the lid is lifted.  Kalima is a silky, clay-like powder that bubbles and transforms into a lovely soft granulated paste when it is activated with water.  I have been pouring a small amount of the powder into the palm of my hand, then adding water, one drop at a time, and watching, mesmerised, as the mixture bubbles and transforms into a lovely aromatic paste, with fine granules that ever so gently caress and exfoliate the skin.
I find that I only need a Kalima cleanse once or twice a week.  At least one of those applications, I have been applying it as a mask by leaving it on my face for around 5 minutes.  This gives a deeper cleanse and detoxifies the skin.
What I love about Kalima is how well it softens and evens out my complexion.  You’ll also like to know that it contains organic hibiscus, wildcrafted camu camu fruit and vitamin C, which work together as a “powerhouse trio” to boost collagen production… oh yes please, I need more of that!

— Bless Beauty Balm —

There’s pretty much nothing in this balm but the most luxuriously rich, skin-loving, cold pressed oils, butters, rose clay and LOVE.  It is divine: a total treat for the skin and absolutely perfect for those cold winter nights, when you’re skin is thirsty like mine.  It is extremely hydrating, so much so, in fact, that my skin almost feels damp and dewy upon application.  I LOVE that.  I’m so sad that I’ve used it all up!
The only attribute about this balm, which could put you off, is its strong floral aroma.  Personally I loved it, but it may be too much for some.  I think the hero aroma may be from the orchid extract.  My husband most certainly didn’t like the smell and he wasn’t quiet about it either!

— Mermaid Mask —

It’s difficult to give a rounded opinion of the Mermaid Mask, as I only had one application to work with.  But I was surprised with how well my skin responded from just one application.  The mask is a thick, dark emerald green colour.  It smells and tastes sweet, like honey.  That’s because it does contain raw honey, organic, from Hawaii thank you very much.  It also contains organic spirulina and chlorella, algae, clays and a myriad of other skin-loving ingredients.
The mask left my skin incredibly soft and noticeably evened out my complexion.  I was expecting my face to go red, which it often does after a potent mask like this one, but it had the opposite effect and really toned down my skin’s pinky pigmentation.  Very impressed!  It also washed off really easily and the remnants that crossed my lips were delicious!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Stuff I'm Lovin

Oh my gosh, I've been writing like a madman… there goes one of my 2018 goals. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time thinking and writing. There’s just something about writing that helps relax the mind. Actually with all this writing… there’s also the eating part of it which is contributing towards my muffin top. Anyway back on topic, today’s post will be on Stuff I’m Loving

First up we have the Bőr Organics Eye Love Skin that I’ve been using for the last four weeks and have been very impressed with. Bőr products are 100% certified organic and formulated with natural and locally sourced ingredients. This eye cream contains ingredients such as white tea, coconut, avocado and rosehip to assist with hydrating the area around the eyes. I’ve found this eye cream to be hydrating (no more tightness around the eyes) and it has also helped to reduce puffiness.

I’ve been really into anti aging as I’m almost at the age where wrinkles will be popping up left, right and centre. So when I was sent the A’kin Purely Revitalising Brightening Day Cream I was pretty excited. I’ve used this cream for just over four weeks and it has left my skin feeling brighter and more moisturised. The texture of the cream is slightly thicker and the scent is not overwhelming. It absorbs into the skin quite quickly and doesn’t leave the skin looking greasy or shiny. A’kin products are vegan friendly and does not contain any nasties like sulfates, parabens and mineral oils. They also don’t test on animals!!

I’ve been using a few Lady Jayne hair accessories that were sent to me recently. The tangleze is the perfect size to put in handbags or gym bags. I mainly use mine twice a week after I’ve washed my hair to get rid of any tangles. The bobby pins and leather bow hair tie is great for the gym. My usual gym hairdo is a super high pony tail and bobby pins to pin down any pesky hairs.

I’ve previously reviewed some Dusty Girls products and have said how great they were. A few months ago, Dusty Girls released four shades of Natural Vegan Lipstick and four shades of Natural Mineral Eye Shadow. I was sent Natural Vegan Lipstick in Guava Pink and Natural Mineral Eye Shadow in Paper Bark & Summer Tan. Both the eye-shadows are quite neutral toned and have great pigmentation. The lipstick shade is a tad too light on its own but when paired with the right lip gloss, it looks amazing.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Sore Lips Saviours

A few weeks ago my lips were in the worst condition they've been in for years. I had oral thrush so my lips were blistered, sore and dry. In desperation I turned to my old favourite lip remedies. They're the products that I always have in my collection, balms that I know will do the trick if my lips are suffering.

I've been using Carmex since I was a teenager. It was the first lip balm I found that actually healed my chapped lips. Back then (thanks to a vitamin b deficiency) I'd wake up with blood through my mouth from my cracked lips. I tried every lip balm available then out of desperation I asked the chemist and they gave me my first jar of Carmex. Thirty years later I still use Carmex and always have at least two tubs in my collection.

Looking at the ingredients list it sounds like the sort of balm that I'd hate. It contains petrolatum and camphor, two ingredients I steer clear of, however in Carmex they work. Carmex starts healing my lips instantly and within a few days my lips are restored to their normal, healthy condition.

I don't use the Carmex balms with SPF in them as I'm allergic to SPF, however the pot and squeeze tube versions are magic on sore, cracked lips. 

Burt's Bees
Burt's Bees is the second balm I found that could heal my cracked lips. Back then I had no idea about natural products and I had to order my Burt's Bees products from the US as they weren't available in Australia.

I use both the stick and tub versions, I prefer the stick as I don't have to put my fingers in it. This has a real minty tingle to it and starts working instantly. It works almost as quickly as Carmex.

Natralus Paw Paw Ointment
Paw Paw has been a staple in our household since I was a child. Back then the only version available was the notorious red tub, which we now know contains the dreaded petrolatum. Happily, there are now many natural, organic paw paw balms available and I've tried every single one I can get my hands on. By far the best is Natralus. Their paw paw balm is natural and contains shea butter, calendula, cocoa butter and olive oil, so it's very hydrating and soothing. Once my lips are starting to heal I start using paw paw.

I like to use it as a thick lip mask at night and over the top of my Carmex for added moisture. Whilst it doesn't heal as quickly as Carmex, it is perfect for when the cracks are healed and lips are parched. If I just have dry lips I'll use Natralus, cracked lips require Carmex or Burt's Bees.

Egyptian Magic
This truly is a little pot of magic. As a face treatment Egyptian Magic is amazing, it makes my skin feel very soft and smooth. It does the same for sore lips. Soothes, heals and softens. As with the Natralus Paw Paw, Egyptian Magic is what I use once my lips have started to heal and I need a big hydration hit. It doesn't heal in the way that Carmex and Burt's Bees do, but it hydrates. I also love to use Egyptian Magic as a lip primer, it's great under lipstick. Now that it's available in a small pot, it's easy to carry around and a great, multi-purpose product.

What are your favourite lip balms?

My Thoughts on Make Up Clutter

Random thoughts on make-up clutter
It occurred to me recently, when I was decluttering my make-up drawer, that all of the excess products I have are preventing me using the things that I love.

It was something I saw on The Minimalists Instagram that turned a lightbulb on for me. They said that they wear their favourite clothes every day. I don't wear my favourite make-up every day because I have so many products and clutter, which means I'm missing out on using the things that I love.

I have a drawer that I put all my daily use products in. It was so full I couldn't find what I wanted to use and couldn't fit anything else into it. In desperation I put the products that I use every day in a make-up pouch so that I could find them.

After using only those products for a few weeks it dawned on me that I don't even look at anything else in the drawer. On the weekend I pulled 90% of the products out  and put them away. Now I can see what's in there, I can get to the products I want and it feels so much better. Looking at the photo, there are still products that I don't love, so a further declutter is needed.

I don't see the point in using products I don't love just to finish them. I decluttered a Chanel eye liner yesterday because it's nowhere near as nice as my Essence eye liner. I considered keeping it because it's expensive, but what's the point? I don't like using it, better to give it to someone who'll appreciate it and get myself another Essence liner.

Next up will be a big declutter of my entire collection. I've decluttered before, but then continued shopping, so it was pointless. This time I'm aiming to only keep things that I love and not buy any more unnecessary products! This time around I'll find that easier because there is limited shopping down here and not a great choice of natural, organic make-up. The choices I do have access to aren't cheap, which always makes me think twice. Plus, as I keep on saying, I have way too many products!

Shopping is a habit for me. It's a stress relief and pure habit. When I'm out I always browse the make-up aisle, not because I need anything, but because it's just what I do. If I'm stressed I shop. When I'm unhappy I shop. Funny enough, whilst shopping makes me happy, it only works for a little while then I'm back to being stressed. I do it because it's doing something just for me, which happens so rarely now that I have children.

I've been pondering long and hard about what I can replace shopping with and I've finally come up with a solution. Coffee. When I'm stressed or want to do something just for me, I'll buy a coffee. We have a coffee machine so I rarely buy myself a coffee, buying coffee feels like a treat and it's something just for me. It also costs a lot less and doesn't clutter up my house. I'll just have to remember to leave my travel mug in the car. I have three so it won't be a problem.

 Are you trying to reduce your collection? How's it going? Any tips for me?