Revolutionizing Beauty-The Concept of Mindful Consumption

In the last ten years, the beauty industry has gone through a massive evolution via the behemoth highway that is social media. Social media platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook have revolutionized not only how we process and absorb beauty, but also how we buy our products. We’ve gone from buying our products via physical stores and websites to crashing platforms all in the name of scoring our latest palette, lipstick, or magical potion which promises to do everything, even pay our bills.

However, I’m honestly of the opinion that there is indeed such a thing as too much beauty products. I’m tired of the never-ending parade of “collaborations” between social-media influencers across all platforms who (if Marlena Stell of MakeUpGeek is to be believed) have no qualms about taking cash to trash the business of competitors. I abhor the constant stream of Instagram make-up tutorials from people who constantly repeat the same look over and over again with their favorite palette or lipstick ever…of the week. And if I see another group post where group members talk about how superior they feel because they believe in the power of science or nature, I’ll scream.

I think we’re at the point where we as beauty consumers need a reckoning, en masse. We need it from a financial perspective, a consumption perspective, and a social media perspective. Now, I’m not saying that the beauty industry as a whole needs to take a hike, because our keen attention to this industry has caused more positive changes in the last five years than our forebears did in the last fifty, from Rihanna’s elegant elimination of the excuse that POC don’t buy foundation to the rise of independent lines like Beauty Bakerie,Juvia’s Place, SIGMA, and Herbivore through the almost exclusive use of social media. These are all great accomplishments. What I’m truly saying is that we need to stop consumption for consumption’s sake when it comes to how we engage in beauty. If we’re struggling to make rent, why the hell are we shelling out upwards of $60 for eyeshadow? Why are we allowing ourselves to be talked out of our money for the sake of increasing views of individuals who can only demonstrate makeup techniques on their own faces in addition to our stockpile of expired make-up? Even better: why are we arguing with individuals whom we’ve never met on Facebook, all for the sake of being considered a ride-or-die über-fan? 

I’ll be brutally honest with you. I’m tired of it. So as I’ve gotten older, I’ve made a conscious decision to be more mindful of how I engage with beauty from both intellectual and practical standpoints. I’m no longer looking for the next greatest social media influencer who can sell me my own name, but not show me how to apply makeup for glasses-wearers. Rather, if I’m going to seek out advice, I seek out professionals who can explain the mechanics of how products work, as well as how they would use those same products on their actual clients. When I buy makeup and skincare, I look for professional recommendations from actual artists and skincare professionals, and I NEVER buy without sampling first. I don’t buy every overpriced item that promises to render Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth obsolete, but I make sure that I invest in high-quality ingredients and technology which promises to  address the needs that I have. In regards to engaging with others, I don’t engage in conversations with others if they devolve into personal insults and attacks. Rather, I keep the conversation to the products or practices at hand.

It keeps me happy.


What are some ways in which you’ve adopted mindful consumption into your routine? I’d love to hear from you!


Handcreams: Why I’ll Never Be Without Them

My name is Andrea, and I have a confession to make.

I am a hand cream addict. No. I am a hand cream Obsessive.

Now, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably wondering “Why is this woman acting as though she is is an addict about LOTION?” 

Yes, lovely people of the Internet. I am a hand cream snob, and I won’t apologize for it. 

It all started in 5th grade, when my mother (the OG beauty junkie and the person responsible for showing me the possibilities of this addiction) bought me my first hand cream, which was the Burt’s Bees Almond Milk Hand Creme. It was my first favorite hand cream EVER, and not just because it smelled like almond cookies. I loved it because it was a light texture, but packed enough grease to keep my hands soft. I still think of it whenever I smell almond-scented body products.

Fast forward 19 years later, and I still have a love affair with hand creams. However, I’ve now graduated to hand creams that you find in specialty stores like Sephora, Bluemercury, C.O. Bigelow’s and the like. Basically….the bougie stuff. I do a lot of things with my hands, and I need to know that my hands are well-hydrated and moisturized. However, there is a catch-my limit is $20.00. Here are my top three hand creams that I keep on current rotation from my third favorite to my first favorite,.

(3) M-61 Hydraboost Hand Cream (Peptide and Vitamin B5 Hand Cream)- I found this hand cream when I meandered into the Bluemercury near Grand Central while on my way to a P3 (Prayer, Penance, Pub) meeting. I had intended to restock on my all-time favorite, but I asked the saleswoman to show me another option, and this was the one I liked the most. A bit of background about the M-61 line: It’s Bluemercury’s house line, and it was founded by Marla Malcolm Beck as a luxurious, highly efficacious vegan alternative to the high-end lines that she carries in her stores. This cream is unscented, and very hydrating, but not greasy. I like to use it at night on top of other serums that I may use on my hands when I have the time to do so. 


Hydraboost Hand Cream










(2) Deborah Lipmann’s “Rich Girl” Hand Cream with SPF 25- I decided to buy this hand cream when I got my copy of the May issue of InStyle magazine, and the editors voted this hand cream as their favorite.Since I’m a huge fan of their beauty section, I HAD to have it. So I went to the one place I knew had their entire line in stock, aka C.O. Bigelow, and I tried it out. Besides the rich, buttery texture and the perfume-like scent, this hand cream is one of the rare ones on the market that has SPF in it. I tested this at my nail salon on my hands AND feet when I wanted to protect them from the effects of the UV light during a gel manicure session, and I can say that it did the job. *A word of warning: This cream works really well on skin that has been exfoliated. If your hands are dry and crusty….nah. It’ll feel like grease on top of breadcrumbs.


Deborah Lipmann Rich Girl Dermstore com










(1) Caudalie’s Hand and Nail Cream- This is my favorite hand cream EVER. Besides the smell, which smells like a grape vineyard in your house, I love the feel of this hand cream. It’s thick, but it goes on lightly, and it makes your hands feel hydrated without being greasy, and the hydration was still there after a few hours. For me, this cream is an experience: I can feel it working, smell the French sunshine, see how it hydrates my hands instantly, and hear the lack of ashy crustiness as a result of using this cream.

Caudalie Hand and Nail Cream Caudalie com









So there you have it. These are my three favorite hand creams which I actually use. What are your favorite hand creams? Are you into hand creams? Or do you not see the need for them? Let me know!

The Reward Is In The Routine-The Importance of Consistency in Beauty

Hello, everyone!

Have you missed me? Well, I missed you. If you were to ask me where I’ve been, I’d say that I’ve been taking care of the business of living my life. I’ve been working on my friendships, relationships, my blessings, my food, and everything else.

But I haven’t been as consistent in my beauty routine, and so I decided to talk to you today about how important it is to remain consistent in maintaining your routines. Not only for your outer beauty, also for your inner beauty.

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Three Product Roundup: Cleansing Oils

Hello, people!

I’ve been MIA for awhile, and I’m sorry! I’m currently in the midst of trying to get my life together (#adulting), and a lot of things have fallen off. However, I’m back with a three product round-up to show you that I’m still in this to win this.

Now, first things first: cleansing oils are not new to the beauty scene. For millennia, women have been using oils to cleanse their faces throughout the world. However, the modern iteration of cleansing oils (which originated in Asia) use emulsifying agents housed in oil bases to break down makeup, sunscreen, pollution, and other impurities on the surface of the skin. Some people say that they aren’t necessary, but considering the fact that we in the West wear long-wearing sunscreen and makeup which boasts about lasting more than 24 hours, we do need to safely break down those products. Water-based cleansers won’t cut it because those long-wearing products I told you about are housed in silicone, oil, and wax bases. Translation- They are made to stay ON.

Cleansing oils are one of my favorite products. I tend to use them as a first cleanse on the days that I’ve worn sunscreen, but not any makeup. If I wear makeup, then I use a cleansing balm. With that in mind, here are three different cleansing oils that I’ve tried, and here are my opinions on each.

They are:

(1) Shea Moisture Peace Rose Complex Cleansing Oil ($12)

Shea Moisture CLeansing Oil-Target

Photo Credit- Target

(2) Biossance Squalane + Antioxidant Cleansing Oil ($30)

Biossance Cleansing Oil

Photo Credit- Sephora

(3) Fresh Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil ($44)

Fresh Cleansing Oil-Sephora

Photo Credit- Sephora

I. Amount in packaging: 

Shea Moisture: 4 fl. oz

Biossance: 6.7 fl. oz

Fresh: 150 mL (5.1 fl. oz)


II. Marketing Jargon (Taken directly from company websites whenever possible)

Shea Moisture: This natural cleansing oil gently yet thoroughly melts away make-up, dirt and impurities without leaving an oily residue. Enriched with skin-nourishing certified organic Shea Butter and our proprietary complex of Alpine, Damask and Musk Rose Oils, it transforms into a creamy, soft emulsion when blended with water. Sensitive skin is left softer, smoother and refreshed.

BiossanceAn antioxidant-rich cleansing oil that gently removes long-wear makeup and leaves skin with a beautiful, healthy look and feel. Formerly known as “The Purifier”—it’s a brand new look, same effective formula.

The lightweight oil lifts away makeup and impurities, then rinses completely clean with water. Formulated with our sugarcane-derived, sustainable squalane oil, it helps keep skin hydrated and feeling fresh.

Fresh: Seaberry Skin Nutrition Cleansing Oil helps remove impurities and makeup, including waterproof. The blend of nourishing oils and protective extracts effectively cleanses the skin while maintaining natural moisture levels, so skin feels soft and supple and looks healthy and radiant.


III. Ingredients:

Shea MoistureHelianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Sodium Lauroyl Lactylate, Sodium Isostearoyl Lactylate, Fragrance (Essential Oil Blend), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter**, Rosa Damascena Flower Oil, Rosa Centifolia Flower Wax, Rosa Damascena Flower Wax, Rosa Canina Flower Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Balanites Aegyptiaca Kernel Oil, Rhododendron Ferrugineum Leaf Cell Culture Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract.


FreshVitis Vinifera (Grape) Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Butylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PEG-20 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Caprylic/Capric/Succinic Triglyceride, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Hippophae Rhamnoides Oil, Nigella Sativa Seed Oil, Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Bixa Orellana Seed Extract, Haberlea Rhodopensis Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tocopherol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Fragrance, Water, BHT, Benzyl Alcohol, Dehydroacetic Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Citral.

IV. Directions for Usage (According to company directions)

Shea Moisture: Massage the oil onto face with hands. Add warm water to transform the oil into a milky emulsion. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Biossance: Apply to dry face with fingertips and gently massage. Add water and continue to massage to [break down] makeup and impurities. Rinse.

Fresh: Gently massage 3-4 pumps onto dry face and closed eyes. Add warm water to emulsify. Rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water.


V. Texture and Scent

Shea Moisture: This smelled like the generic European-style rose-scented soap that I like to buy from time to time. However, it felt like the cheap liquid handsoap you get from Target.

Biossance: The scent of this is very mild. It smells like the beginning of orange creamsicle, but it never actually gets there, so it’s not an annoying smell. It’s pleasant, but not cloying and annoying, as I like to say. Due to the squalane, this cleansing oil feels very decadent. It’s a thick oil, so if you prefer oils to remove your makeup, you will like this one.

Fresh: This smells like a mild version of berry and citrus together. Very mild, but a lovely scent. Unlike the previous two, this oil is very thin.

VI. How Did I Use It?

I used all according to the package directions. Like I said in the intro, I usually only use oils to remove sunscreen. However, for the Biossance and Fresh oils, I used four pumps each every time I used the product, and then I used a warm clean washcloth to remove it.

VII. My Thoughts on Each Product

Shea Moisture: This. Crap. Burned. My. Eyes. It removed my sunscreen quite well, but it burned my eyes. To be honest, this is more a soap than a cleansing oil. I hated it. I used it twice to be sure I had the same reaction, and then I put it in my cabinet and forgot about it until I needed a brush cleanser.

Biossance: I love this product. I love the size, the smell, and the feel of it on my skin. This product removed all of my sunscreen and the minimal makeup (on the rare occasion I wore any.) I’m a firm believer in the double-cleanse method for my skin, but if you are someone who likes a single-cleanse, then you should try this. Furthermore, you can’t beat the price for the size. This product had me questioning whether or not I needed my second cleanser. Major.

Fresh: This is another “I love it” product. The texture is very thin and delicate, but it packs a punch in terms of removing sunscreen and surface dirt. My washcloth looked disgusting when I used this for my first cleanse. I did also use this for a second cleanse, and I liked how my skin felt. Furthermore, this bottle may not look like much, but I bought this bottle at the end of August, and I just finished it about a week ago…so clearly, it’s worth the money, even though I did complain about the price. when I first bought it.


VIII. Final Verdict

Shea Moisture: For the skin, this product is not my cup of tea. I have very sensitive eyes, and if a product burns, I usually get rid of it pronto. However, this does make an amazing brush cleanser so I would buy it again to use exclusively for that purpose. But only as a last resort.

Biossance: I like this one so far. I’ve only been using it for a week, and I can tell that there has been some improvement in my skin since I’ve started using it. My skin is not nearly as dry as it usually is in the winter, and the texture of my skin seems to glow more. I find that it’s made my treatment cleansers work much more effectively. I will definitely be repurchasing this.

Fresh: I love this product. It’s compact, but it definitely does what I need it to do. The only thing that bugs me is the price. Since I live in NYC, the price of this goes from $42 to $45 thanks to sales tax. That being said, the Sephora VIB sale is approaching, and I would add this to my list of “nice to haves” that I usually consider buying once I’ve bought my essentials.


My Favorite Shops in NYC-Beauty Edition

Happy Tuesday, peeps!

So I was running an errand for my mom at the Macy’s on Livingston Street in Downtown Brooklyn, and I was perusing the makeup floor to look at some of the new(wish) goodies. It was weird seeing such a shiny new beauty concept store with brands that I’m used to seeing in Sephora. I mean, I remember the days when the cosmetics were sold by women in white lab coats behind elegant glass counters and I would watch my mom buy a compact and a lipstick, then leave with the GWP (Gift With Purchase). I wonder if Estee Lauder knew what she was getting herself into when she started the concept of GWP back in the 1950s as a way to get women to try new products…..

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Three Product Roundup-Vitamin C Serums

Happy Friday, lovely people!

For the second Three Product Roundup, we’re going to talk about Vitamin C serums!

Now, I love Vitamin C serums. They are great for two distinct reasons: (1) They work wonderfully in conjunction with your sunscreen to provide you with antioxidant protection from the sunlight and environment during the day, and (2) They work really well at percentages over 20% during the nighttime to help brighten dull skin. If you are someone who chooses to ignore warnings about the sun and go out during the hottest times of the day especially, you need a Vitamin C Serum. Period.

However, here’s the catch: there are a LOT of products on the market, and as with most skincare trends, we are now seeing an explosion of products coming out at lower price points with the intention of making such ingredients a line-item in someone’s skincare budget. So, with that in mind, we’re going to discuss three well-known Vitamin C serums today which are well-known and figure out….which one is the best!

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Three Product Round-Up :Cleansing Balms

Greetings, readers!

This is my first beauty post of 2018, and one of my resolutions was to create more meaningful content in the space of beauty which actually discuss care in detail.

So I’m starting a new series for this blog called “Three Product Round-Up.” In this series, I’m going to test three different versions of a product at three different price points:


Department Store:$$

Higher End:$$$

For my first foray, I’m going to do a three product round-up of cleansing balms. Now, what are cleansing balms, you ask? Cleansing balms are solid, oil-based cleansers which are mostly used as the first step in a skincare routine. Now, most people use them to remove sunscreen and make-up before using a second treatment cleanser, however, depending upon the product, there are some products which can be used as a second cleanse. 


The three cleansing balms which I am going to be comparing are the following:

Pixi’s Nourishing Cleansing Balm ($20) Available at Target  

Clinique’s “Take the Day Off” Cleansing Balm ($29.50) Available at Sephora and Macy’s

Sunday Riley’s Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm ($50) Available at Sephora and Space.nk Apothecary

Now…let’s begin, shall we?

I. Amount in packaging:

Pixi-3.04 oz

 NourishingCleansingBalm Open 04AUG16 web large

Photo Credit: Target

Clinique– 4.2 oz (Originally 3.8 oz)

 Clinique Take the Day Off Macys

Photo Credit: Macy’s

Sunday Riley-3.38 oz.

 Sunday Riley Sephora

Photo Credit: Sephora

II. Marketing Jargon (Taken directly from company websites whenever possible)

Pixi: :A gentle cleansing balm that removes all traces of makeup as it nourishes, leaving skin silky-soft.”

Clinique: “Lightweight makeup remover quickly dissolves tenacious eye and face makeups, sunscreens. Transforms from a solid balm into a silky oil upon application. Cleans thoroughly, rinses off completely. Gently helps remove the stress of pollution so skin looks younger, longer. Non-greasy. Non-drying. Ophthalmologist tested. For all skin types.”

Sunday Riley: “Blended with gentle sugar-based cleansers, Sunday Riley’s ‘Blue Moon Tranquility’ balm will remove impurities and makeup without stripping your face of essential oils. It’s infused antioxidant-rich Cocoa Butter, moisturizing Mimosa Flower Wax and a calming blend of Blue Tansy and German Chamomile to soothe irritation. Tangerine and Sweet Orange Essential Oils tone and clarify while creating a relaxing, spa-like experience.” (Taken from

III. Ingredients:

Pixi: Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cetearyl Isononanoate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Behenate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Cocoate, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Lecithin, Tocopherol, Cetyl Alcohol, Benzyl Alcohol, Fragrance. 90 ml / 3.04 fl.oz

Clinique: Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Caprylic / Capric Triglyceride, Sorbeth-30 Tetraoleate, Polyethylene, PEG-5 Glyceryl Triisostearate, Water / Aqua / Eau, Tocopherol, Phenoxyethanol.

Sunday Riley: Glycerin & Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides & Aqua & Sucrose Laurate, Jojoba Esters (And) Acacia Decurrens Flower Wax (and) Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Wax (and) Polyglycering-3, Glyceryl Behenate, C10-18 Triglycerides, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (Coconut Oil), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Moringa Oil/ Hydrogenated Moringa Oil Esters (Moringa Butter), PEG-8 Beeswax, Cetyl Alcohol (and) Ceteth-20 (and) Steareth-20, Polyglyceryl-6, Polyglyceryl-3 Beeswax (and) Cetyl Alcohol, Squalene, Tangerine (Citrus Tangerina) Oil, Citrus Sinensis (Sweet Orange) Oil, Tanacetum Annuum (Blue Tansy) Leaf Oil, Matricaria Recutita (German Chamomile) Essential Oil, Vanilla Planifolia Fruit Extract, Ylang Ylang (Canaga Odorata) Flower Oil, Citrus Aurantium Var. Amara (Neroli) Flower Oil, Anthemis Nobilis (Chamomile Roman) Flower Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin And Caprylyl Glycol. (Taken From

IV. Directions for Usage (According to company directions)

Pixi: • Use AM & PM 
• Step 1: Apply a coin size amount onto dry skin & neck. 
• Step 2: Massage gently for 30 seconds. 
• Step 3: Remove with damp face cloth, using circular movements. 
• Petra’s Recommendation: For best results, follow with Glow Tonic.

Clinique:  How to Use
Use fingertips to massage balm over dry skin.
Rinse well with warm water. Pat dry.
Follow with your 3-Step Skin Care System.

Sunday Riley: How to Use
Massage balm into dry skin and remove with a warm cloth or apply as a hydrating mask on clean skin. 
Once open, most effective when used within 12 months. (Taken From

V. Texture and Scent

Pixi: This product feels like a solid oil. It’s very smooth, and goes on like a very slippery oil when rubbed on the face. I love the mild rose smell.

Clinique: This feels like Lard or Crisco. When you rub it between your fingers, it goes on like an oily cream. This has no fragrance, which is perfect for those who don’t like scented products.

Sunday Riley: This product feels rich, but it is quite grainy. I found the blue tansy scent quite calming, though. Still, the grainy texture..nah. I’m not a fan of it.

VI. How Did I Use It?

All products: I took a quarter-sized amount between my hands, rubbed them once, and then massaged it into my face for one minute to remove makeup. Then, I used a warm, clean washcloth to remove my make-up and sunscreen.

VII. My Thoughts on Each Product

Pixi: This was my least favorite. I used my usual method, and my face felt as though it was coated in wax. I had to use a stronger second cleanser to remove the remnants of this cleanser. Even on my hand, my hand felt as though it was coated with wax. A really nice smelling wax….but still…I don’t like wax near my face. Ever.

Clinique: I really liked this product. I’m normally a sucker for scent, but the performance of this was so good that I didn’t miss the scent. I was able to remove this in 1-2 swipes, and it even removed my waterproof eyeliner as well as my makeup. WIN! 

Sunday Riley: I do like this product. It performs well, and it can actually double as a moisture mask. However, I will not be repurchasing this product because there are much better cleansers which can be purchased for the price, and the grainy texture just wasn’t my thing. 

VIII. Final Verdict

Pixi: I will not be repurchasing this. Ever again.

Clinique: I really love this product. The issue that I have is Clinique is one of the flagship Estee Lauder brands. If you don’t know…Estee Lauder Companies sells their products in China, which requires internationally-owned brands to test their products on animals before they can be sold to the Chinese market. This issue is a LOT more complicated than it appears, and I will be making a separate post on it in the near future.

Sunday Riley: If the price point were $20 lower, then absolutely. However, it’s just not worth it to me.

The Joys of DIY Beauty

Good evening!

So I’ve been hunkering down in my lab for the the past week working on my skin treats.

¿Qué? Lab? Skin treats? Huh?!

Relax! Let me explain!

Now, if you’ve been following my blog, then you already know that I’m a huge fan of more higher-end, skincare-specialist-oriented skincare and makeup. It works for me. However, I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not the cheapest…or (admittedly) most practical of habits. So I circumvent the cost of these products by making certain products myself. This measure allows me to be more selective about the ingredients that I use, and it’s quite cost-effective in the long run because I can make large batches which will last me for a VERY long time.

Here’s a list of products that I make myself, as well as some examples of the ingredients that I often use to make them. I tend to stick to these types of products because they’re so easy to make, and you can never get them wrong.

  1. Detoxifying clay masks-Listen, I live in Brooklyn and I work in the Union Square area, so my skin is exposed to pollution on a daily basis. Therefore, a clay mask is necessary. I use them 1-2 times per week. I tend to mix clays such as kaolin, red clay, and montmorillonite with activated charcoal, probiotic powder, and fermented rice water infused with detoxing/brightening herbs. This mix keeps my skin smooth and clear.
  2. Exfoliating body scrubs-I’ve always said that a good scrub can make you feel as though you just came back from vacation, and for me, it’s true. For pennies per use, you can create a body scrub from kitchen ingredients. I like to use white sugar and brown sugar with kaolin clay and whatever oil I have on hand. Sometimes, depending on my mood, I’ll even add an essential oil or two. NOTE-NEVER USE CITRUS JUICES IN YOUR SCRUBS. Using this class of ingredients in your scrubs will cause phototoxicity and make you skin sensitive to sunlight. You. Will. Burn.
  3. Bath salts-It took me years to believe in the power of bath salts. I mean, they smelled nice, but I never felt any different. Then, two things happened: (a) I joined a gym, and (b) I read “Sacred Woman” by Queen Afua. Now, in regards to the former, when I started doing my heavy lifting, the nightly soaks became necessary, especially on leg day. As for the Latter, Queen Afua wrote something that really changed the way that I look at bath salts. She said that for bath salts to really work, you have to use a lot. Her suggested amount was 1 lb. I thought that she was crazy, but I tried it one night…and I’ve never looked back. I felt…as though I had just come out of Maracas. Since then, I’ve stuck to a recipe of 1 lb epsom salt, 1 lb pure sea salt, 1 lb pure baking soda, 3/4 cup kaolin clay, and 2 tbsps of activated charcoal. Depending upon how I feel…I may add essential oils to scent it. Use 1 lb of bath salts at a time. It may seem like a lot, but if you don’t taste the salt in your bath water, it’s not theraputic…and you won’t feel anything. Trust.
  4. Body butter-Decadence in a jar. The nice part of this product is that you can use pure butter alone if that’s what you want, or you can add oils to really supercharge its effectiveness. I’ve been making this since college, and I usually mix shea, coconut, and mango butters with a variation of infused carrier oils such as coconut, almond, grapeseed, jojoba, olive, apricot, rosehip, and argan.
  5. Hair oil-Now this is the product that I am the most picky about. I’m big on hair oils because they’re a huge part of my routine for hair health. I also refuse to buy hair oils because 99% of hair oils cointaim some form of silicone, which I’m not a fan of using in oil form. I tend to massage my scalp 4-7 times per week with my blend of infused coconut oil, essential oils, argan and almond oils.

So those are the products that I like to make on my own. Making those five products allow me to save some coin and explore my inner chemist. What products do you like to make on your own?

Talk below!

Cleanse the Day Off: My Night Skincare Routine

Good Morning, World!

I’m so glad that people liked the previous post about my makeup routine. I know that it is a lot of product to use for a regular workday, but there are some days that you just need to glam it up, you know? I ascribe to the school of thought that says if a little bit of make-up makes you feel better about yourself, then do it. Forget about what others think.

However, any fan of les artes du maqulliage will tell you that there is only one thing that they love more than giving the face a beat for the gods, and that is REMOVING the face paint after a long, hard day. So with that in mind, I’m going to share with you my night-time skincare routine. Enjoy!


When I’m ready to start the whole skincare process, the first thing that I do is use a balm cleanser like REN Rosa Centifolia Cleansing Balm. This stuff breaks down my make-up and heavy duty sunscreen like no other. Basically, all you do is take a little bit into your palm, rub it between your hands, and massage it into your skin gently for two minutes. Then you use a hot cloth to remove it. Easy peasy, Simple pimple. My skin doesn’t feel dry after using, and I rinse it off after to ensure that the reside is gone.


After my first cleanse, comes my second cleanse. Now, depending upon whom you ask, a second cleanse may not be necessary. However, I’ve seen a change in my skin for the better since I implemented a second cleanse, so I do it. I like to use a more active cleanser such as Dermadoctor’s Glycolic Cleanser. It helps to remove any excess make-up and keep my skin smooth. It’s not a foaming wash, which is good since I hate them with a passion. However, it does have glycolic acid to help remove the micro-particulates and help refine your skin’s texture.


This is a step that I’ve only recently added to my regimen, and I’ve already seen a huge improvement in the texture and luminosity of my skin. This daily exfoliation step involves acid pads, and the ones that I turn to are First Aid Beauty’s Exfoliating Radiance Pads. These pads have a combination of glycolic, lactic, and alpha-hydroxy acids which helps to remove dead skin cells and refine skin texture. Bonus point-they also help your other products work better. Now, unlike your typical drugstore acne pads, these are not harsh enough to take the paint off of your Honda Accord. Rather, they take the more gentle approach so that your skin isn’t harmed. WIN!

4.) TONE

This step involves the L’Occitane Immortelle Essential Water that I mentioned in my morning routine. I like to use this to neutralize any acid that may remain on the face, and the scent is calming to me.


Like my morning routine, my treatment is one of the most important parts of my routine. I alternate between a retinol serum like Peter Thomas Roth’s Retinol Fusion PM Night Serum and an AHA serum like Ole Henriksen’s Invigorating Night Treatment. These two products have also made a difference in the texture and tone of my skin. I usually alternate between then so that my skin isn’t too used to one or the other.


Again, I like a moisturizer that moisturizes. That’s it. Ole Henriken’s Nurture Me is simple, easy, and it does what it needs to do, which is keep my skin nice and moisturized.

7.) OIL

This step is sometimes optional, and sometimes mandatory. I like to use an oil to seal everything in. Depending upon what I feel like, I may use argan oil, or a facial oil sample from a Petit Vour box.

You’ve just read my night routine. As my morning routine is about getting me revved up to face the day, my night routine is about releasing the stress of the day. With every step I perform, it’s though I’m centering myself again.

Thank you for reading!

Next post- A Beauty Book Review.

When to Save and When to Splurge- The Ins and Outs of Purchasing Beauty Products

Good Morning, my fellow beauty novices!

It’s been a while!  I missed you all! Don’t worry, I wasn’t buried somewhere deep in the heart of Mogadishu! I was off….living life. You know…family, friends, job, etc. etc. Yep. That’s right. Living.

Today I wanted to talk about a topic that I think is incredibly important in the world of beauty which is not discussed ad nauseam NEARLY enough: budget.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Yes, we do! We even named a whole sector of the beauty market after that very thing (Here’s looking at you, budget skincare!).” But in all honesty, we really don’t. So I’m going to share my personal philosophy with you, and then delve into tips you can use to simplify your strategy when it comes to buying your personal care products.

My personal philosophy is quite simple: I only have one face, and I’m going to spend money on it. So when I look to purchase products, I test a LOT of a specific product before I commit to buying one. (I’m currently in the middle of a testing phase…and it’s showing. Breakouts galore.) You see, I was raised by people who were older, and the number one lesson I learned from ALL of them was this: Higher Rate of Investment=Higher Rate of Return. They were always willing to spend a little bit more in order to get something that was going to last them for a longer period of time. And in my case, it was true. So that’s how I’ve lived my life. I don’t necessarily live for Saks, but I will invest in key staples to last me quite a while every season.

With that in mind, here are the rules that I use when buying my beauty products:

  1. Set Your Limit: This one-the key to it all. Do some digging in your budget and figure out what you can afford to spend on your desired product. Figure. Out. Your. Limit.
  2. Invest First: What do I mean by “Invest First?” It’s pretty simple: I invest the majority of my beauty budget on the items that I use at least twice a week. So I invest in my skincare (duh), and the makeup I use on a daily basis. No matter what your budget is, always cover the NEEDS first. You don’t NEED the latest Naked palette. But you do need sunscreen. If you wear make-up, invest in a good foundation, concealer, corrector and powder. It’s worth spending the extra cash on those items to ensure that you have a perfect match on your skin. If you know that you like a good neutral eye every day, invest in a good palette that has a variety of neutral shades to choose from.
  3. Learn What to Save On: This is something that not a lot of people know, but it’s incredibly important because it can save you a TON of money in the long run. If you know that you like to change up your look everyday with different eyeliners, blushes, eyeshadows, mascaras, etc. then don’t be so quick to buy the latest social media sensation that costs enough to feed a child for a month in a war-torn country.
  4. Realize that low-price doesn’t mean low quality. I’ll readily admit this-in the field of make-up, the best eyeliner that I ever used was a L’Oreal H.I.P eyeliner. That jet black stayed put throughout prom night. You can find great deals at Target, Ricky’s, Ulta, and any other place that sells lower-priced skincare and make-up. I may not use many drugstore products in my routine, but I am aware of their reasonably-priced deals at the very least.

So those are my top four tips for figuring out when to save and when to splurge.

What are some of your tips? Share the love!