For the past two months my skin decided to join the rebellion and go nutso without my consent. Between breakouts galore, dull skin, and an overall blegh look I was not in my element at all since I typically pride myself on the care I take of my skin. Alas I allowed myself to sleep in makeup and stay up way to late coupled by the fact that I practically ran out of all of my holy grail skincare products and relied on testing new products (not ideal). After noticing that my makeup just wasn’t doing it for me anymore, I knew I had to whip it back into shape. I’m a firm believer that your makeup can only do so much and if your skin isn’t on point, your makeup won’t be either.

And so began the updated skincare routine you see below.


Dermalogica breakout clearing foaming wash ($19): yes, the Clear Start line by Dermalogica is geared towards teens and no, I don’t care. Since its main role is to wash away dead skin cells, dirt and excess oils that clog pores and cause breakouts I figured why not give it a go. It contains salicylic acid (known to clear skin), 8 botanicals including Tea Tree and Lavender (soothes skin), and Orange Peel extract (revives skin) this is gentle enough to use every morning.

Olay Fresh Effect {Bright On Schedule!} Eye Awakening Cream ($13) this isn’t pictured as it’ll be available in January 2014 but I just received a sample of this and I fell for the tri-rollerball applicator that cools and massages my gentle under eye area.

Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream ($60): this is nothing new but after trying other moisturizers for day I had to go back. Lately moisturizers have been leaving my skin feeling tight and dry but not this. With ingredients like vitamin E and squalane, my skin is left feeling hydrated and supple. It’s honestly a great moisturizer to use underneath makeup because it’s not greasy so nothing is sliding off.

Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen SPF 55 ($32): I received samples of Hampton Sun products over the summer but was too stubborn to let go of my Kiehl’s Activator Sun Protector Sunscreen to try anything new. Well, after finding sample packets of a few of the brand’s items I decided to go ahead and order a full sized product to layer over my Rosa Arctica cream. What I love most is that it offers oil-free broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection and doesn’t make my skin feel heavy or greasy. I simply spray it over my face and rub it in to make sure the product is evenly distributed. Sounds like a lot, but I swear it isn’t. This stuff is gold.

As part of the whole time-to-show-my-skin-who’s-boss project I went out and bought the Murad Acne Complex® Kit ($60) after having a TERRIBLE reaction to the Clinique Acne set (it literally burned me and I had scabs around my eye area…never again!). The Murad kit is pricey but worth it in my opinion because I’ve already fallen for the Clarifying Cleanser ($26 if purchased outside of the set) and Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel ($54). You can already see the value as the treatment gel alone costs nearly as much as the entire set. Though the cleanser left my skin a little bit dry, my skin simply looked better after one use. The breakouts were calmed and I’m now in week two of use. The Exfoliating Acne Treatment Gel is good for controlling and preventing breakouts so I’ve been applying right before bed only. I do use the Skin Perfecting Lotion (not pictured) but only every other night as it doesn’t really moisturize as much as I’d like.

Moroccanoil Pure Argan Oil ($50; launching on soon!): absolutely no secret that I’m obsessed with argan oil so when we came out with this product I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It’s non-greasy, contains vitamin E and essential fatty acids, and absorbs pretty quickly into skin. I use it prior to bed because I wake up with soft as a baby’s butt skin.

Disclosure: samples were provided for editorial consideration. Also, I work in digital for Moroccanoil.

So I know I’ve been MIA lately but, forgive me, I’ve been a bit all over the place. In between starting a new job, trying to be a young twenty-something in New York, and looking for an apartment I’ve been crazed. To say stressed would be an understatement – even if that stress is self induced because I’m a worrier. Throughout the month of May I’ve been living off of Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer ever since I received the sample and pored over the press release.

kiehls skin rescuer
When you feel stress, the brain sends signals to your vital organs, which then trigger your organs to react to the stress aggression. You know the feeling: your heart starts beating faster, your muscles tense, and your skin can go haywire – inflammation, redness, dullness, blotchiness, you name it (which can lead to premature aging)! My biggest issue is dehydrated skin. I’m constantly ashy or peeling and no matter how much moisturizer I apply it looks dull.

Scared, yet?

To combat this Kiehl’s introduced their newest product, the Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator. I’m afraid to call it a moisturizer simply because it’s SUPER lightweight and allows me to apply my normal moisturizer (with SPF) over it without leaving me feeling greasy or heavy. With the help of the ingredients Mannose (a barrier protecting rare sugar that shields and helps maintain skin to promote recovery) and Rosa Gallica (anti-inflammatory agent), the formula limits the release of stress signals to the skin.

My skin was less irritated, less dry, and overall happier. Good lookin’ out Kiehl’s!

I’m making it my mission to finish all of my products before I run out and buy something new. After cleaning up my room (a bit) I realized that I SOOOO many beauty products that I haven’t even touched. So, here is the first batch of products I’ve been loving lately…

A new to me brand, Kinara  means “on the edge” in Hindi and is all about bringing spa services home. The Kinara Weightless Infusion is a serum/gel combo that contains peptides, powerful antioxidants, and skin lightening agents that creates an oil-free primer. I apply this underneath my moisturizer top prep the skin.

Speaking of moisturizer, I’ve been using Patyka Ultra Riche Radiant Face Cream that has Rose Hip Oil which improves cell regeneration and increases collagen production. It sinks into my skin, doesn’t have an overwhelming scent, and doesn’t leave me feeling greasy. The last skincare product is Kiehl’s Rosa Arctica Eye cream. I’ve already spoken about Rosa Arctica face cream that I was using (and finished to the core!) but this eye cream revitalizes the appearance of skin in the eye area over time, smoothing crow’s feet and lifting the eye contour area. I don’t have any concerns in the eye department now but, hey, it doesn’t hurt to start early!

Moving on to the hair department, I’ve eased out of using too many products now that my hair is short BUT I haven’t completely abandoned ship. I’ve been relying on oils to tame frizz, keep my hair shiny, and easy to style. My number one love has been Kerastase Elixir Ultime Moringa Immortel. A lightweight oil for damaged hair, this has a lovely scent (as all of the Elixir Ultime oils from Kerastase do) and is rich in Vitamin A and C. When I’m not using Kerastase I go to my trusty friend, CLEAR Ultra Shea Nourishing Scalp & Hair Oil. I’ve waxed poetic about this before but it’s non-greasy and lovely. I’ve been applying this to my scalp versus my hair itself just because I’ve been having dry scalp lately and no one wants to see dandruff flakes flying about. Ew.

Lastly, I recently received a sample of Garnier Fructis’ Moroccan Sleek Oil Treatment. A wee bit heavier than the previous two oils (but not to the point where my hair is lying flat and gross), a little bit goes a long way to tame frizz. I love it best when applied to wet hair then blow dried.

Disclosures: a few product samples were given for editorial consideration.

I carry way too much makeup for my own good BUT I like to be prepared. Since I practically rush out the door, I tend to do my makeup on the bus.

eww! gross! do that sh*t at home! WHATEVER!! It’s my business.

I recently read on The Cut that people think it’s disgusting to do your makeup in public and while my mother will agree, I truly don’t give a damn. It takes me close to two hours to commute to and from the city, and I value what little sleep time I have so I slap on foundation and do the rest on-the-go. So deal with it. I’m too lazy to wake up even earlier to do my makeup – plain and simple. now, it’s not ladylike at all but hey, it’s makeup going on MY face. It’s not like I’m PEEING in public thus effecting your commute with horrible unsanitary conditions and stench. amiright? Maybe one day I’ll stop. ’till then here’s what I schlep with me on a daily basis.

Kiehl’s Musk Essence Oil / FlowerbyKenzo rollerball/ MAC blush in Dollymix/ NARS Palladium/ Sephora Mattifying Foundation/ MAC Pro Longwear Concealer/ Lancome Powder Brush #1/ NARS Yachiyo Kabuki Brush/ NARS Montenegro Cream Blush/ CoverGirl Liquiline Blast Eyeliner, Blue Boom/ NARS Trio Eyeshadow in Okinawa/ COVERGIRL Natureluxe Silk Foundation in Brazilnut/ Yves Saint Laurent Rouge Volupte Lipstick in 11 Rose Culte/ Inglot Slim Gel Lipstick in 60/ tarte Lights, Camera, Lashes! mascara

I know, I know. dannngg girl!

kiehls rosa arctica
Lately, my skin has been beautiful. Absolutely glorious. I’ve been reintroduced to my Clarisonic (more on that later) and have also included a few new products into the mix. I’m always hesitant to switch up my routine for fear of epic breakouts but the beauty girl in me insists on trying new things. Live a little, I say! Plus it’s much easier when the products come from a respectable company that has never done me wrong. Kiehl’s is one of those brands, so when I received a sample of the new Rosa Arctica Lightweight Cream ($60), I was curious.

kiehls rosa arctica face cream
The cream is unbelievably lightweight and perfect to use as the weather transitions from the summer heat to the chill fall air. A lighter version of the brand’s Rosa Arctica Youth Regenerating Cream, this also features the “Resurrection Flower.” According to the brand this flower, the Haberlea Rhodopensis, is known to survive up to 31 months of dehydration and return to life when proper moisture conditions are restored. Fancy!!!!

The first thing I noticed was how light it was yet it didn’t feel watery or thinned out. It sinks right in and provides enough moisture without becoming greasy. After using this cream for about three and a half weeks now, I’m noticing that my oily skin is pretty much calm throughout the day. Since I don’t have wrinkles, I can’t comment on its performance against that but when it comes to hydrating skin it works. During the summer, my biggest concern was dehydration along my forehead so using my Clarisonic and applying this after really makes a difference.

The Rosa Arctica line also comes in an eye balm ($44) and is available at Kiehl’s locations and online now.