DRUGSTORE.COM HAUL!

A sad, sad day has come, friends - drugstore.com and beauty.com are closing!  Noooo!  One of my viewers had mentioned this a couple weeks ago, so of course I had to check if my fave Shea Moisture products were on sale.  They weren’t, but there were some other goodies that were that got me excited! 

I picked up the excellent shampoo/conditioner/masque trio by TIGI Bedhead - their Urban Anti+Dotes lines are fab and leaves hair super soft and shiny (and the scent is amazing).  They were on sale for about 50% off, so I stocked up!

I also am super excited to try some Sachajuan products - this is a new brand for me, but I’ve heard great things.  I picked up the Color Save shampoo and conditioner, along with the Ocean Mist, which I think will be lovely for those days when I really don’t want to do diddly to my hair.  Most of the Sachajuan products on drugstore.com are currently about 20 - 25% off. 

ALSO: ORIBE PRODUCTS ARE AVAILABLE AT DECENT DISCOUNTS ON DRUGSTORE.COM RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!

(Note: *All products discussed were purchased by me or were PR samples, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.*) 


MY JUICING ROUTINE!!!

Ahhh, green juice…so healthy, so tasty, so trendy.  I first bought a juicer back in 2011 in Korea off of a dude on Craigslist for maybe forty bucks.  It was a Philips and made tons of noise, but I was hooked.  I finished teaching pretty much every night at 10 PM, and when I got back to my apartment, my friend (who lived in the same building) came down and we would make loads of juice for the next day.  And I felt amazing!!!  We kept up our juicing routine for a solid four or five months straight, but then I eventually moved to France and didn’t juice for awhile.  I bought the same juicer in France and used it here and there, but not nearly as consistently as I had in Korea (and my body could feel it).  

And then I moved to America, left that juicer behind, and eventually picked up a masticating juicer by Kuvings (which was actually recommended to me by a Croatian beauty blogger - thanks Missha!).

So, what’s the difference between these juicers?  The noisy Philips juicer I had in both France and Korea was a centrifugal juicer, which basically means you put the fruit/veg in and it has this thing that spins around a million times a minute and basically pulverizes the hell out of it.  (My friend and I often would joke about how the poor carrots were screaming out for dear life as they got shoved in and chopped to bits.)  Centrifugal juicers tend to be more affordable, but they are very noisy (and anxiety-inducing) and it has been said that some of the nutrients are lost in the process from heat and oxidation.  I also often noticed that a lot of weird juice foam was created - just like a beer can have a heavy heady layer of foam, so did our juices…I’ll take beer foam over carrot foam any day, thank you very much.  (But they are way more affordable than masticating juicers, let me say that again.)

A masticating juicer is what would create the trendy cold-pressed juices that we see all over the place nowadays.  Basically there is this screw-type device that gently smooshes the fruit/veg, which then eventually makes its way to a type of screen/filter, which separates the juice from the solids.  Whereas a centrifugal juicer spins around and around and around at a bazillion miles per hour, which inevitably creates heat (thus killing some nutrients), the masticating juicer is slow and peaceful (just sing a little Kumbayah to your masticating juicer, why don’t you?) and doesn’t create much heat, thus retaining more nutrients.  Nutrition aside, I prefer the masticating juicer simply because I can’t deal with the noise and stress of a centrifugal juicer (I always feared noise complaints during our late-night juicing sessions in Korea - luckily I never got any from juicing… but did manage to get them for being too noisy during the day…).  Masticating juicers are certainly pricier than centrifugal juicers, so I would recommend trying to find a used juicer of any type before investing in a masticating juicer - there is nothing worse than shelling out 500 bucks on a solid juicer and then having it just hide in a cabinet.  (The Philips I bought in France was about 130 euros - it was the same one I bought used in Korea.  My masticating juicer was originally $500, but I waited until I had a promo code and ended up paying around $400.)  You’ve gotta make sure you actually like juicing and are willing to go through the prep and clean-up before really sinking some money into a fancy pants juicer!  (But if you do want a fancy pants juicer, I highly recommend a Kuvings.)

Now that I’ve covered the types of juicers I’ve used, what exactly do I juice?!  (No, you can’t juice a cheeseburger, sorry.)  In general, my base consists of carrots, beets, ginger, turmeric, lemon, apples, and greens - usually spinach, kale, chard, or beet greens.  If I have cucumbers or melons, I will sometimes add those.  If I have berries that are getting a bit too ripe, those go in.  Same goes for most fruits and veg that have a higher water content (no, I don’t juice avocado or broccoli or bananas - although I do believe the juicer I have has an attachment to turn frozen bananas into sorbet, but I haven’t tried it!)  I love juicing because it is a way to use up the fruits/veg that I have forgotten about or didn’t have time to prepare…and now they are getting a bit yucky looking and not too tempting to eat on their own.  

And as for cleaning the juicer - yes, you have to take it apart and wash all of the pieces and let them dry (don’t put this stuff in the dishwasher, please).  Yes, it can be annoying.  Yes, it is worth it.  And eventually you develop a routine for chopping and juicing and even cleaning.  I have gotten my juicing routine down to a clever little science and it goes quite quickly now (especially when my husband gets involved with the chopping).

Take a peek at the video for even more juicing info and a demo of how my Kuvings juicer gets the job done.  I am a huge fan and proponent of juicing and can certainly tell a difference in the way I feel on the days that I have my green juice versus the days I don’t.  I’m all about treating the body from the inside out and using food to heal, and I really believe that juicing is an excellent way to jump-start better nutrition.  Cheers! 



SEPTEMBER EMPTIES!

Holy cats, I feel like I went through so many products this summer!  And how are we already in September?!  Yikes.  Anyway, loads of goodies to discuss in this video.  Lots and lots of epsom salt was used up in the last couple of months, which tells me that I was rather stressed out (this has sort of become my perpetual state of existence in California) - so I am very happy that I have been able to find these salts at a decent price at Costco!  I probably buy a new 12 pound box every week, just to make sure I am always stocked up.  I also had a couple lovely Shea Moisture body washes that I finished up, along with a tube of my absolute fave Oribe conditioner - always sad to finish up my faves.  

Take a peek at the video for all of my recent empties and loads of little mini reviews!


MEMEBOX HAUL AND REVIEW!

Ahhh K-beauty… such a wonderful thing.  If I think back to when my beauty product obsession really began, it must have been while I was living in Korea (my second year there).  I had membership cards to Missha, InnisFree, and Etude House, and quite possibly for other stores that I can’t remember.  

Luckily for me, Memebox exists and they exist super close to where I live in California!  I’ve received several ambassador shipments from them, as well as products that I’ve ordered on my side, and I wanted to finally put together a little haul/review video.  I have tested all of the products in this video extensively and these are all ones that I love (because hey, it’s way more fun to talk about products I actually like!).  

Some total faves include the Thank You Farmer gel cleanser - such a light, gentle cleanser that doesn’t leave your face feeling tight and stripped.  I also really like the Bon Vivant trio of jelly masks - they are all unique and awesome in their own way, with the pink being such a weird (cool) texture, the green having these amazing little exfoliating particles, and the grey being great at sucking up excess oil.  I also am in love with the Beauty People lip tattoos - these things really stay put and the colors are soooo vibrant and fun (but just be careful to make sure you color inside the lines - if you mess up with this product, you will have a lovely stain to remind you).

Take a peek at the video to see all of the awesome K-beauty products I’ve been playing with these last few months from Memebox!

(Note: *All products discussed were purchased by me or were PR samples, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.*) 


AUGUST 2016 FAVES!

And with that, friends, another month is gone…which can only mean that it’s time for FAVORITES!  

I have used Manuka Health Manuka Honey before, but never in their highest strength, MGO 550.  This stuff is potent and works great as a face mask (I don’t think I could justify the $60 price tag if I were eating it), and I imagine it would help to heal burns and cuts really quickly, as well (I used a lower strength on a burn a couple months ago and it worked amazingly well).  Manuka honey has incredible antimicrobial and antibacterial properties, plus honey is a natural humectant, so really, a layer of manuka is going to be fab for just about any skin type!

I am also so in love with nail polishes by Ellos, which I believe is a department store in Sweden.  Yes, these are the private label polishes with the department store name (much like how Forever21 or H&M have their signature polishes), which would make me think they weren’t going to be amazing - but seriously, these are quite possibly the best polishes I’ve ever used!  The colors are beautiful and really wearable - no weird, crazy colors and most of the shades are opaque (a couple are lightly shimmery or pearlescent).  I’ve discussed these polishes before, but the reason I mention them again is because I just got in a whole new slew of shades!  They are near impossible to get in the US (not sure where Ellos delivers), but if you find yourself in Scandinavia, do yourself a favor and pick up a few shades.  This polish stays put for so long - my hands often find themselves washing and SCRUBBING a lot of dishes - which would usually be a nightmare for a manicure.  Not so with the Ellos polishes…

Another favorite this month was actually a DIY project - I dyed some suede heels!  They are about three years old, never worn, and originally were a weird turquoise suede (really pretty, but come on, not practical).  I kept looking at them and they were begging for a little love.  I considering just hitting them with a can of spray paint, but opted to do a bit of research first, which led me to the Fiebings Suede Dye on Amazon.  I ordered two bottles of it and ended up doing three coats of dye per shoe - and they look great!  So much more wearable now!

Check out the video for even more August Faves!

(Note: *All products discussed were purchased by me or were PR samples, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.*) 


GET READY WITH ME - AUGUST 2016

Ahhhh, a little sleepy GRWM today!  I was pretty tired this day (check out those undereye circles!) and wasn’t exactly thrilled about driving into SF (ewwww, no parking!) - but let’s have a quick chit-chat and get ready together! 

The one unique tool I used today was The Original Beauty Blender sponge - I’ve been testing out loads of other brands of blending sponges, but I went back to the original today.  Why?  Because Costco has them for 15 bucks!!!!  I did verify that the Beauty Blenders being sold at Costco are the real deal, so I plan to pick up a few more to have on hand the next time I go for groceries.  I have definitely found some good alternative blending sponges, but I am definitely a bit of a sucker for a discount, and I will always love the original!

(Note: *All products discussed were purchased by me or were PR samples, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.*) 


CHIA SEED PUDDING - SUPERFOOD BREAKFAST!

And here we are again, back in my kitchen!  I am a huge proponent of healthy eating and taking care of your innards (and healing your body with food, not loads of prescriptions) - so today, I’m talking about a quick, delicious breakfast made with chia seeds.  Chia seeds are a true superfood - they are chock full of antioxidants, protein, and fiber - they are great for your health and beauty routines.  I love to make this recipe for breakfast, but it also works great as a snack or dessert.  Serve this with some fruit or maybe a drizzle of maple syrup and you’ve got yourself some serious goodness coming your way!

Check out the video for the recipe and demo - it’s sooooo easy and affordable, too!


SUPER EASY DIY - HERBAL FACIAL STEAM

I am a gal who loves a good DIY project, and if that project is beauty-related, I’m quite likely to jump on board.  I’ve recently started making my own kombucha (which tastes amazing and is doing amazing things for my body!), and I have ordered many different types of herbs, spices, and dried berries to use in the flavoring of my brews.  

Besides flavoring kombucha, an amazing use for herbs is a brilliant herbal facial steam - it is excellent for opening up the pores and helping to get all the nasty junk out, as well as calming nerves and soothing stress.  And best of all - it’s super cheap.  You can use dried herbs for this, but if you have fresh herbs available, that’s amazing, too (I love using fresh rosemary, mint, lavender, and thyme in the summertime when I have pots of these herbs in my garden).  Green tea will even work, as will herbal teas (as herbal tea is just dried herbs - and bonus - if you do, for example, a chamomile facial steam, you can totally drink the infused water afterwards!).  A normal steam without herbs is fine and will open up the pores just as well, but I find that the addition of herbs/teas has great sensory benefits and I feel like it does that little something extra for the complexion.  Plants have loads of unique oils and properties and if you mix that with hot water, these lovely properties will be released and your skin will be able to soak up some of that good-ness.

What herbs do I recommend?  Well, the sky is really the limit with this, but lavender, chamomile, rose, mint, lemon balm, eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, and hops are all lovely.  A slice of lemon or orange would be great, as well.  (Be careful if using essential oils - I prefer to just use plants for my steams, as EOs are really concentrated and potent and when I have steamed with them in the past, it was just too strong and unpleasant.)  I would recommend steaming your face for 5 - 10 minutes (or longer if you can handle it - it can get mighty hot!) - and then use any night treatments you use or do a mask.  I love doing a mask after a steam, as the pores are really open and can drink in the benefits of a mask or let the yucky stuff from the pores get pulled out.  Bonus - if you are sick with a head cold or lung congestion, this will help to clear that yuckiness out (this would be a great time to use rosemary, eucalyptus, and maybe a drop of tea tree oil).

Check out the video for a full demo of how to do a lovely herbal facial steam - your skin will thank me later for its beautiful glow!

NOTE: Because all I think of right now is some ding-dong suing me because they burned themselves, much like some ding-dong spilled hot coffee on himself and proceeded to sue McDonalds, I will say the following:  You are using HOT WATER for your facial steam - you are getting close to STEAM, HOT STEAM - please be careful to not burn yourself.  Please use common sense - hot water can HURT you.  Thank you.


JULY 2016 FAVORITES!

Ok, for real - how is July already over?  They say that time seems to speed up as you get older and that your perception of time changes over time as you’ve had more and more experiences.  Whatever it may be, it’s totally true for me, as time has never gone as quickly as it has been going these days (but maybe it’s just the California effect and living in Silicon Valley is making me go a bit bonkers!).  Anyway, July is over and it’s time for FAVORITES!

I was totally in love with some products from Memebox this month.  I really like to use a nice gel cleanser in the morning and for my second cleanse in the evening - the Thank You Farmer Foaming Gel Cleanser was great (and what a fun brand name :D ).  I also really liked the CosRx Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap - such a nice lightweight moisturizer that didn’t irritate my skin or break me out.  I am also soooo thrilled to have the Emma Hardie balm cleanser back in my life - this stuff can be such a pain to find in the 200 ml pot (I won’t buy the 100 ml pots because I know how much better of a deal the 200 ml pot is) and I can only get it from outside the US, but it is such a great makeup remover and cleanser.  And it smells incredible and the little washcloths that come with it are the softest things ever and they create such a beautiful spa experience at home.  Have I convinced you of my love for this product yet?  :P

And in nail news, I’ve been using polishes by Makiash for around 2 1/2 years - they are the best quality I have found.  They last for a long time without chipping, the shades are all opaque (I don’t do glitter or shimmer or, God forbid, pearlescent), and they are the closest thing I have found to being gel without actually being a gel polish.  I’m in love with the Cosmo Red shade this month - such a fun vibrant, almost neon, red/pink shade (I swear it changes color depending on the light).  

Check out the video for all my other JULY FAVORITES!

(Note: *All products discussed were purchased by me or were PR samples, and all opinions are my own. Some links may be affiliate links.*) 


SUMMER MEAL IDEA - CHICKEN QUINOA SALAD

When I was in high school, I LOVED watching cooking shows…and it was sort of my dream job to have a cooking channel.  So here, friends, is my first ever cooking video!  I love this recipe for summer - it’s a light, refreshing blend of quinoa, chicken, veggies and herbs, with a bit of lemon juice and olive oil.  All you need is a pinch of some good sea salt and you are good to go.  Feel free to vary the recipe and add different vegetables or herbs, or go vegetarian without the chicken, or go vegan without the chicken or feta.  

Quinoa is a fun grain to play around with, depending on the season and what produce is readily available.  I love this version for the warmer months, but for the cooler months, I envision something with raisins and maybe squash or sweet potatoes and maybe some yummy goat cheese (and maybe a pinch of cinnamon or nutmeg).

BON APPETIT!

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