May 19, 2013
ANNIVERSARY CARD, EARLY MORNING MINI CUPPA, LUNCH OUT, HEALTHY COOKING, SHE STOLE MY FAVORITE CHAMBRAY, ME AND MY ROSE, MAGAZINES GALORE, JAPANESE NOTEBOOK FOR FRENCH LESSONS, LOVE AT FIRST SPRITZ
Just a few bits and pieces from the past week, courtesy of my phone, my instagram and my trusty point-and-shoot. I like making posts like these because they remind me of all the good in a week, even when the week feels short and uneventful! Someday I want to work up the courage and know-how to do a vlog, but for now, I'm loving photo diaries!
May 18, 2013
Before presenting you with my favorite reads of the week, let's just get a small disclaimer out of the way. Yes, that thing balanced precariously on the stack of books is a holiday Starbucks mug. No way was my favorite red cup going in storage after December 25th.
- Garance Dore's hilarious post on her eye makeup revelations had me nodding along in agreement. The story begins when she commits the beauty sin of sleeping in her makeup and wakes up looking "
drunk hot." If heavy eyeshadow doesn't suit you, or if you've woken up to a Sunday morning smokey eye and thought, not bad!, you must read her tips. Don't worry, "don't remove your makeup at night" isn't one of them!
- If you want to stalk the closets of artsy, stylish ladies, head to Closet Visit for a browse around. Best inspiration ever to clean out your wardrobe and build up a collection of pieces you love.
- My sister and I spent a significant portion of our childhood pretending we were cats. When asked to draw a self-portrait in preschool, my sister drew a cat face. This article from the NY Times reassured me that this was totally normal behavior. It also has some interesting answers to why most children's books feature anthropomorphized animals. It does not explain why years later, Mr. E calls me "grumpy cat" and "mini bear."
- Akiko's midi rings are making me want to add some more to my collection! Any ideas on where to get some good silver ones?
- I'm still reading To a God Unknown, and my goal is to finish it before my next weekend reading post. In other news, this week I installed Rosetta Stone French on my laptop, and armed with a dictionary and my awful pronunciation skills, je suis prêt à parler français! Is that right?! Unfortunately, flipping through the dessert recipes in Essential Pepin doesn't count as learning French.
It's so rainy today that all I want to do is have all-day-breakfast-in-bed and continue this reading list. But I'm off to work... happy (un)weekend!
May 16, 2013
The gym and I have had an on-and-off relationship for the past year. After a rather long break I've decided the excuses are over... time to renew my vows of commitment! I feel at my best when I exercise regularly. I have more energy, feel more positive and level-headed, drink more water, eat less sugar, and am a happier human being. That's more than enough motivation to get my heart racing!
I'm going to mix it up to keep things interesting. For me, working out loses its appeal when it gets boring. It helps to alternate between cardio workouts at the gym (different machines), walking/running outside, doing the 100 workout, and going to yoga. Also, workout playlists are crucial! I cannot run without music, so I always upload a peppy playlist or two to my iPhone. My goal is three workouts a week. Totally doable... I'm slipping on my Zella leggings and heading out for #1 right now!
Who else is trying to make exercise a priority? Tell me what your plan involves!
May 15, 2013
Yesterday I got off work early and decided to treat myself to my first ever shellac manicure. I usually chip my nails two days after painting them, but a shellac manicure dries instantly and can last for at least two weeks, so these glossy, bright red nails are mine for a little while! I've heard conflicting arguments about whether shellac weakens your nails more than regular polish. So I've decided to take preventative measures by using the Julep Might Nail & Cuticle Serum. This product contains a protein-peptide concoction that builds keratin and collagen, which keep your nails strong. According to the instructions, you apply this to the cuticle area twice daily for two weeks and then once a week for maintenance. The claim is that your nails will be visibly stronger in two to three weeks. I've been using OPI Nail Envy for the past few months, but I don't see a huge improvement in my nails, so I'm hoping this product will be more impressive! Have you tried it?
If you're thinking about shellac and concerned about nail damage, here's what I found from a little research. I went to a salon that uses CND Shellac, a brand which claims zero damage to the nails if used according to the instructions. CND Shellac also is "3-free," meaning it doesn't contain the carcinogenic chemicals formaldehyde, toluene or DPB. A few don'ts: do not go to a salon that uses drills to remove the polish, and do not try to remove the polish yourself. Also, even though shellac can be addictive, I've heard that you should take breaks to let your nail "breathe." I'll keep you posted on my shellac experience!
May 13, 2013
Following from my current favorite moisturizers and treatments, these are my top picks for cleansing and toning. I am quite prone to congested skin, but my skin is also sensitive to harsh antibacterial cleansers, so my goal is to achieve a deep cleanse without stripping my skin or adding anything unnecessary.
Makeup Removal: At nighttime only, I start by removing my eye makeup with the Lancome Bi-Facil Eye Makeup Remover. This stuff works well, removing waterproof eye makeup without leaving an oily residue, but a cheaper drugstore alternative is good enough for me. Next, I saturate a cotton pad with the Vichy Claming Cleansing Micellar Solution and use it to remove all of my face makeup. This is a great alternative to Bioderma, and in the US it's slightly cheaper and easier to find. A bottle is under $20 and lasts at least a month with daily use. Even though I use a facial cleanser, I like to use the micellar solution first to make sure I remove every trace of makeup.
Cleansing: My current cleanser of choice is the Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Deep Pore Gel Cleanser. This is the first product I've tried from Michael Todd, and I am so impressed... apparently everyone else is too, because this product is out of stock on the website! The cleanser is jet-black (a little jarring at first!) because of the charcoal, which absorbs impurities. It creates a gentle lather, but it's not drying and it's sulphate-free, so it doesn't sting your eyes, and it rinses off completely, leaving no residue behind. The only thing I'm not thrilled about is the smell... a small trade-off when you use a product with no artificial fragrances! I use this morning and night. Every other night or so, I use my Clarisonic with this cleanser to give a deeper cleanse. Also, once or twice a week when I'm not using the Clarisonic, I swap the Michael Todd cleanser for the Clarins One-Step Gentle Exfoliating Cleanser. This cleanser has tiny beads that buff away dead skin cells. I've read that chemical rather than physical exfoliants are better for your skin, but this product does make my skin smoother, so I'll keep using this and then look for an alternative once it's finished!
Toning: aka... the step that I've ignored for most of my life. A gal I know at the Clarins counter talked me into purchasing the Clarins Toning Lotion with Iris, so I use this morning and night after I cleanse. Iris is a natural antibacterial, so this is formulated for combination or oily skin. I think it works... I'm not too sure, but I've obviously used a lot of it and my skin is happy, so I'll keep going until it's gone!
There you have it... my super simple and refreshing cleansing routine. I know I'll be trying new things soon enough, so I'd love to know what your favorite cleansers and toners are!