Best of Body: What I Love

Yes, this looks like a lot of stuff and yes I use almost all of them daily because I am obsessed with pampering myself because if I don’t who will? Little luxuries like these don’t have to be expensive, but the time you dedicate to keeping your skin and body happy and healthy is priceless.

giphy7Body Lotion – Your skin is your largest organ, and it does a lot to keep the good stuff in and the bad stuff out. It takes a lot of stress from the sun, heat, cold and wind all while keeping you safe and alive. Find a great body lotion to pay it back for all that hard work. If anti-aging is a concern for you, as it should be at any age, then the St Ives Renewing Body Lotion with Collagen Elastin is your new best friend. It smells like cucumber melon and can be found at any drugstore for a super reasonable price. It absorbs nicely and leaves your skin nice and hydrated. Another favorite of mine solely based on scent is the Hempz Original body lotion, I am a sucker for that floral banana smell!

Body Oil – I use a body oil on certain parts that need a little extra TLC. For me, that is the back of my upper arms and the back of my thighs and butt. I have a little bit of that pesky keratosis pilaris that manifests as little red, flaky bumps, so a good body scrub in the shower followed by Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil keep it all in check and help fade any scarring that can happen.

Bust Cream – I am by no means a big busted girl, but since the bust can show a lot of signs of aging, it’s not a bad idea to have a cream dedicated to tightening and firming that delicate skin. Again, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Bust Cream makes it easy to get familiar with your breasts and perform self-breast exams.

giphy6Self Tanner – Everyone needs a little boost in the cold, winter months. I only use self-tanner when my tan starts to fade in the late fall and when I need to start showing my legs again in the spring, and the Alba Botanica Sunless Golden Tanning Lotion is the perfect product to give you a chemical-free glow with a pleasant scent and no orange tone.

giphy8Body SPF – I was at a BBQ one summer and ambushed a girl to find out what she was using that smelled so good, turned out to be this Alba Botanica Hawaiian Coconut Dry Oil Sunscreen SPF 15 and I’ve been using it ever since. I love that it is in an oil form so I look great at the beach, and my skin feels and is very moisturized.

Hand Lotion – For a super moisturizing, non-sticky hand lotion without any icky ingredients AND supports a good cause, look no further than Out of Africa Shea Butter Hand Lotion. It comes in a variety of scents, but the Vanilla, Almond and Lavender are my favorites. With every Out of Africa purchase, you help provide education and medical care to children and women in West Africa.

Body WashDr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap in Tea Tree is by far my favorite body wash. The tea tree scent gives me that spa experience every time I shower, plus its antibacterial properties help with body acne. I got a pump for the bottle so it’s easy to dispense.

IMB_WaFhdz.gifBody Scrub – I like my super simple DIY Coffee Coconut Scrub, which is really just ground coffee, coconut oil and maybe some sugar if you’d like some more grit. You can totally customize the amount of oil to scrub to your liking! The caffeine works wonders on cellulite while the oil helps to moisturize while you exfoliate. You can add some essential oils if you’d like but the coffee and coconut combination is heavenly.

Body SprayRose Water is the best full body spray you will find. You can use it head to toe without worrying about any greasy feeling or getting oil all over your bathroom. It is very refreshing, hydrating and soothing for all skin types.

Deodorant – Native makes hands down the best all-natural, aluminum-free, effective deodorant on the planet. They come in great scents and they actually work.

Eczema CreamAvalon Organics Eczema Relief Body Cream helped me when I needed it the most late this winter when the skin on my arms and back decided to freak out and get all red and flaky. The colloidal oatmeal is soothing and made my skin feel like silk, I was tempted to use it all over!

Cellulite Cream – I am obsessed with the scent of this Sol de Janiero Bum Bum Cream. Not only does it smell good but it has some good things coming for your rear. Moisture is your booty’s best friend.

Foot Cream – Yes I use a foot cream nightly, I hate it when dry foot skin scratches against the sheets when I’m trying to sleep. Our feet do so much for us so we should repay them with a mini foot massage regularly. There are a few I’ve tried, and as long as they are pepperminty they’re all the same to me. Burt’s Bees Peppermint Foot Cream, J.R. Watkins Peppermint Rejuvenating Foot Cream and Out of Africa Peppermint Menthol & Tea Tree Foot Cream are all great options, the J.R. Watkins one may be the biggest bang for your buck though.

Foot Care – I have seen first hand how important it is to take care of your feet. You literally walk all over them every day all day and all they get in return is to be crammed in pointy high heels and exposure to athlete’s foot. There are a lot of preventative steps you can take to ensure that your feet are happy and healthy for a long time. YogaToes Gems are one of my favorite nighttime rituals, wear them for 10-15 minutes per day to give your feet a nice stretch and realign some common issues. Bunions, hammer toes and plantar fasciitis are all remedied with a little TLC.

tumblr_owkhsvp8qx1veenguo3_540FitnessClassPass needs no introduction as I am always talking about it. So many people get expensive gym memberships and then never go. This is beyond me, what a waste of money! Plus you aren’t going because you don’t want to go, so why pay for it in the first place? This is why ClassPass is genius, sign up for classes you want to go to, only pay for classes you actually go to and nothing in between. I have found my perfect balance of realistic and enjoyable types of classes at studios that I love to meet my fitness goals. Personally, that is ballet, hot yoga, dance, barre, row, kickboxing, rock climbing and booty boot camps.

What is your perfect class combo? Do you have any body care products that you swear by? Let me know!

Header Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

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Best of Face: What I Love

This list is subject to change since new products and gadgets come out and I get obsessed with the newest thing, but the following are either products I’ve gotten from my beauty box subscriptions like BirchBox and Petit Vour, or just oldies but goodies that have never failed me.

giphy1Face Wash – I got a travel size of the OSEA Ocean Cleanser in the Follain Start Kit (which comes with an adorable travel pouch!) and I’ve been enjoying it so far. It definitely shows that it’s working with a bit of a tingling sensation if you leave it on too long, but my skin has really felt clean after using it. Another cleanser that I have had a good experience with is the Tarte Rainforest of the Sea Deep Dive Cleansing Gel.

Face ScrubSt Ives Exfoliate & Nourish Facial Oil Scrub is not the harsh scrub you’re thinking about. This is the oil version that is more gentle while still being effective, I use it every morning and the grapeseed oil leaves a nice moisturized barrier.

giphyFace Towel – It may seem silly to have a favorite face towel, but what you dry your face with 2+ times a day is pretty important! I got these Muslin face cloths and they are so soft, thin and gentle on my face. I also got a 10 pack so I can swap them out every few days which prevents me from using the same towel for too long (which I admittedly neglect to keep track of).

Face Wipes – I love the Simple Kind to Skin Facial Wipes but I hate that they don’t have a snap closure. For better packaging, I get the e.l.f. studio makeup remover cleansing cloths.

TonerThayers Alcohol-Free Witch Hazel in Rose Petal or Lavender gets your skin feeling clean without any stinging or dryness.

giphy2Face Spray – I always fall back on my basic Rose Water for a nice refreshing spritz, but I have a nice DIY face and body spray recipe that you can tailor to your skin. I have these tiny travel spray bottles to keep them with me on-the-go as well.

Face Mister – I am all about any gadget that will give me hydrated skin. This is essentially a portable humidifier that you can point directly at your face on-the-go, it will even take toners, rose waters and small amounts of viscous essential oils (so no carrier oils!) at an 80:20 water to oil ratio. Perfect for travel, your desk at work, the car etc!

giphy3Eye Cream – I will never stop singing the praises of the Juice Beauty Smoothing Eye Concentrate. I have seen a noticeable difference in the line around my eyes, smile lines and forehead lines.

Acne Serum for Day – The Evologie Intensive Blemish Serum is a nice, natural, multi-tasking serum that feels like a traditional acne serum. If you like a more nourishing, moisturizing balm then check out the Zabana Essentials Tamanu Calendula Face Balm, I got a sample of it from Petit Vour and I love it so much. I may even splurge and buy it when my sample runs out!

Retinol for Night – I’m basic and got a generic tretinoin prescription from my dermatologist. I use it every other day or else my skin starts to flake, but a retinol is imperative in the anti-aging journey.

Face Moisturizer – There are a lot of great moisturizers out there but Kiehl’s Skin Rescuer Stress-Minimizing Daily Hydrator really is a life-saver for angry skin. Its base ingredient is Squalane Oil which on its own is very calming for irritated skin.

Face Oil – I have read a few posts about how many oils that have a high concentration of polyunsaturated fats can harbor free radicals and further age your face, which to be fair there is a lot of debate about this. If it is true then a lot of our favorites oils, basically anything derived from a nut or seed (almond, rosehip seed, etc) is aging us while we use them. Now with proper use and storage of these oils, I don’t think there is much to worry about but to avoid it all together you can stick to jojoba oil (which is actually a wax), plant-derived squalane oil, vitamin e oil and coconut oil. This works for me because I happen to be a big fan of the Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil, but I also use Josie Maran Argan Oil when I travel when my skin is most compromised and my skin never looks better.

Face SPFJosie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 with Sunboost ATB is so moisturizing that it doesn’t’ even feel like a sunscreen.

giphy4Face Mask – My favorite DIY face mask is simply blending Aztec Secret Indian Deep Pore Cleansing Healing Clay with either water or Apple Cider Vinegar if your skin needs some extra blemish targeting. Get it into a nice paste consistency and apply, it will dry and make your face look crazy, but while you rinse it off it acts as a nice exfoliant as well!

Lip Color – I don’t wear bright colors on my lips, so the Fresh Sugar Lip treatment in Nude with SPF 15 is my go-to. I’ve posted about this one before and it glides on so well, leaves the best nude color that matches my skin tone and a little goes a long way. Plus I love that it has SPF 15!

giphy5Lip Treatment – I have been using the Fresh Sugar Advanced Therapy Lip Serum with the Lip Treatment and my lips have been very happy, plump and moisturized.

Do you have any go-to face products or tools you can’t live without? Let me know in the comments!

Header Photo by Anna Sastre on Unsplash

Best of Hair: What I Love

I must admit that I don’t put a lot on my head styling wise, but I do have some favorites that I go back to every time I need to restock.

Shampoo – When I was home for the holidays my mom had this shampoo and conditioner set and my hair never felt better, especially when washing it in her well water. The Jason Natural Restorative Biotin Shampoo doesn’t have any fancy smell or cost a lot of money but it really does restore! The conditioner is great too but I have one I like a lot more…

Conditioner – The S-Factor Smoothing Conditioner smells so good and makes my hair feel amazing. I get it in big pump bottles from Marshalls or TJMaxx on the cheap.

L'Oreal Total Repair 5

Hair Mask – The L’Oreal Paris Advanced Haircare Total Repair 5 Damage-Erasing Balm hair mask is a great deal and really does feel like it erases years of damage from your hair.

Scalp Mask – I’ve perfected my DIY Scalp Mask and like to use it at least once a week to keep the hair coming out of my head nice and strong from the start.

giphy7For Bleached Hair – If you get your hair bleached at a salon, I hope they are using the Olaplex system. If you do it at home like I do, then buy it for yourself too. Olaplex no. 3 is the at-home version they can sell you in salons, it’s great to use as a hair mask every so often and the week before a color treatment to get your strands ready. It rebuilds the protein bonds in your hair, scientifically rebuilding the hair shaft. it is truly an incredible product and I would probably be bald without it.

Leave-In Oil – I love to use the L’Oreal Extraordinary Oil on dry hair before walking out the door. I have fine, damaged hair and it never weighs it down or makes it look greasy, but it seals up the split ends so that it looks a lot smoother.

Air Dried Waves – When I want to enhance my natural wave I use the DevaCurl Whip It Good Wave Maker Texture Whip to tame frizz and give volume.

Dry Shampoo – Alterna Caviar Anti-Aging Dry Shampoo is my favorite but it’s no longer available, when I’m done with the bottle I plan on trying the Bumble and Bumble Pret a Powder Shampoo to check out the hype!

giphy8Heat Protectant – This Suave Keratin Infusion Heat Defense Leave-In Conditioner is a super value option that won’t weigh your hair down and protects before you heat style.

Leave-In with SPF – Don’t forget that the sun can damage your hair just like it does your skin! In the summer I like to use Sun Bum 3 in 1 Leave-In Spray to protect my already fragile hair. Coconut Oil and Argan Oil also have natural SPF in them and are good for the hair! Slather some on at the beach as a hair mask, style and protection.

Alcohol-Free Volumizing Mousse – Anything with alcohol in it is going to be very drying on your hair, that’s why I like this TRESemme 4+4 Styling Mousse, it’s alcohol-free but still nice and foamy which gives me great volume and no sticky feel.

giphy9Hair Brush – I know it seems ridiculous to spend this much money on a hairbrush, but the Mason Pearson hairbrush is very gentle and detangles without pulling or tugging. My mom uses these wooden brushes and it’s like getting a scalp massage everytime you brush your hair. Also great if you suffer from static!

Do you have any hair products you can’t live without? Let me know!

Header Photo by Alex Blăjan on Unsplash