YSL Baby Doll Kiss & Blush Review

Yves Saint Laurent is a brand that extends their luxurious eye for detail all the way to their makeup. They make products that you want to showcase, and their quality is worth the splurge. The Baby Doll Kiss & Blush is a two-in-one lip stain and cream blush put together. Usually dual lip and blush products come in a pot, but the Kiss & Blush comes in a bottle that looks like nail polish.  This is because it has a wand, which is the perfect tool to apply the colorful mousse. 
The two colors I picked up were the bright florescent, No.1 Fuchsia Desinvolte, and the subdued baby pink, No.3 Rose Libre. The shades are beautifully opaque and pigmented, so you can really intensify the color. As a blush it has a long staying power, which is surprising considering cream blushes and combination skin don't mix that well together. The blush colors look natural, and dry soft to the touch with a matte finish. On the lips it lasted for hours, all while feeling comfortable and not drying.  Since the colors are so opaque it requires a bit more care when applying,  so that it can look perfect.

The Baby Doll Kiss & Blush is a fantastic multitasker, and makes other lip and blush combos step their game up. Check out the shades below!

No. 1 Fuchsia 

No. 3 Rose Libre


Summer Look with Tarte Cosmetics Feat. Lipsurgence Power Pigments

This is the summer of Tarte for me.  I love this brand because they are focused on creating cosmetics with the most natural ingredients, but it doesn't impinge on their ability to create amazing makeup.  I'm always curious to try Tarte's newest additions, and lately I haven't been disappointed.  Below are some of my favorites for an easy summer look.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Airbrush Foundation
I've tried mineral foundation in the past, but I was never drawn to it enough to reach for it frequently.  That is, until I got my hands on this.  I don't think I've ever had a foundation that was so easy to put on.  I just dip my Tarte Airbuki Brush into the powder and blend it on face for less than a minute, and finito!  I'm ready to go.  There is something special like fairy dust in the formula because it actually stays put for hours, unlike so many mineral foundations that just disappear the minute you start to perspire, which is a given since every morning my subway station feels like one of the circles of hell.  It also doesn't cake up if you feel like reapplying over the day.  One tip I would give is that the foundations tend to look darker on than they look in the pot, so go one shade lighter than you normally would.

The Tarte Power Pigments Lip Stain in Blissful 
The Power Pigments come in variety of wearable colors, but my favorite this summer has to be Blissful because the warm peach shade compliments every look. The best thing about this lip stain is that it is infused with shea butter, so it feels like lip balm,  and it has a touch of mint that tingles your lips with coolness, which is a nice surprise. And not to mention that this shade is a breeze to apply,  making it even subway ride approved. 

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12-Hour Blush in Tipsy
I've had this blush for over a year, and I still adore it as much as I did when I first bought it. The Amazonian  Clay blushes are extremely pigmented, but wearable.  I've noticed that I gravitate towards this blush when I want my makeup to be perfect for the whole day because its lasting power is at least 8 hours.  With such a range of colors you're bound to find the perfect one for you, but I think that Tipsy is by far one of the most universal shades.  Everyone looks great in coral, and this is as coral as it gets.

Hope you're all having a great summer!


Review: Phyto 9 Nourishing Hair Cream With 9 Plants


When it comes to beauty products I usually do some research before purchasing it at store.  I, like many others, don't enjoy pushy sales people, and I don't often purchase many beauty items on a whim, but sometimes life happens.  On a recent trip to Sephora (why must you be so close to where I work?!)  I was in the hair section,  casually browsing. From across the store this man, who was not wearing a Sephora uniform, saw my hair, which was long at the time, and couldn't stop himself from coming up to me and presenting this small gold bottle of Phyto 9 Nourishing Hair Cream with 9 Plants.  In fact, without saying a word he put a nickle sized drop in my hand and motioned me to try it,  and so I complied, secretly wanting to show him that taming my hair wasn't going to be that easy. After running my fingers through my hair I saw how easily this cream hydrated and tamed my curls back to life.  Even though he had given me a substantial amount to try, my hair looked shiny, but not greasy, and it didn't weigh it down, which is usually the Achilles' heel of really hydrating creams.  I showed my amazement and he responded by smiling, tapping me on the shoulder, and walking away. I don't even know if he worked there, but this guy knew that the product would do the talking, and I liked his style.  My hair felt silky for the rest of the day, and I even put it through the test during my vacation to Florida.  I was sans blow dryer for the whole trip, and only wore this for frizz control, and my hair stayed soft and manageable through beach days, and roller coasters.  I've said more about this product than that mysterious man ever said to me, but this is definitely one of those see-to-believe products, so give it a whirl.


Mani Roundup: Spring Edition

Summer is around the corner, and to celebrate I've been rocking the brightest polishes. Instead of explaining each color, I thought it would be better to show little photo diary of all of these beautiful shades.

Clockwise starting from top left: Dior Bouquet/ Essie Sittin' Pretty/ Ciaté Mojito / Essie Serial Shopper/
Dior Perle




Shampoos for Highlighted Hair

Jet black hair is lovely until you want to dye it. Back in March I bit the bullet and got a light brown balayage, which came out super nice despite my worries. My highlights looked seamless and I planned on keeping it that way. My hairdresser warned me that highlights on black hair have a tendency to turn brassy, so I took her advice of buying a quality everyday shampoo and purple shampoo. After a few trials and experiments I think I have found the best combination to preserve my highlights and prevent them from looking orangutan orange. 

I love purple shampoos because it does wonders at neutralizing the yellow-orange hues in brassy hair. A cheaper purple shampoo would be the Clairol Shimmer Lights Blonde & Silver Shampoo, which does a pretty good job, but I prefer the Schwarzkopf because it has a thicker consistency, which coats my hair better. I apply this shampoo once a week, and leave it on for five minutes before rinsing it out. And don't be scared of the dark purple color staining your bathroom because I've had this splash everywhere and it all came off with a bit of water.

Pureology Volume Shampoo
This shampoo is great as an everyday shampoo because it's moisturizing, but not heavy. It's also sulfate-free, so it won't strip your hair, or leave it terribly dry. This is a pricey shampoo, but it will extend your highlights, which means less trips to the salon.

These shampoos will help revive your color, but if you have reached the brassy point of no return, I would recommend going to the salon and getting a toner. It's cheaper than dying your hair all over again, and it will significantly tone the brassiness, and make your hair more shiny. After that you can use these shampoos for maintenance mode. So, if you have dark hair like I do, don't be scared of going lighter because these products will have your back.

P.S. Tomorrow marks the one year birthday of my little blog. I quite enjoy blogging, and it has kind of become like my tamagotchi, which is the closest thing to a baby I've ever had. I can't believe a year has gone by, but I think it's time I rev it up a bit, and post more often. I'm holding myself to that promise, so expect more things!


Unlikely Purchases

I like bright makeup as much as the next girl, but sometimes I want something that's easy to wear for those I-can't-be-bothered days. That's the mood I was in when I spotted these two products among all the new spring collections at Sephora. There is something very cool and unique about these shades, but they are also versatile, and make it easy to look put together on those lazy days.

Dior Nail Polish in Junon
First and foremost, I want my next pet to be named Junon because it's a rad name, and secondly this slate blue nail polish is a head turner. The cool undertones make this polish super chic, and it's a refreshing take on a classic nude nail. The color looks more gray indoors, but in the sun the blue color comes out to play. Dior is my favorite high-end brand of polishes because their formula is great, never streaky, or clumpy, and it dries fast. I can't stop wearing this color, and I hope it isn't limited edition, so you can all experience the beauty.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting in Mood Exposure
I've already professed my love for the Hourglass Ambient Lighting blushes. They look beautifuly natural, and have an amazing lasting power. When I first saw this blush, I was hesitant because judging from the pan it looked too dark, but when I swatched it I saw it was actually a stunning plum. Hourglass is really blowing me away with their blushes, and hope they come out with more shades.

Left: Mood Exposure / Right: Luminous Flush

I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but when it comes to makeup judge away, and keep an open mind because you might be pleasantly surprised.


All About Rosehip Oil

It seems that every season there is a new beauty oil craze. First it was coconut oil, then argan oil, and now it seems that rosehip oil is receiving all the hype. According to the Aura Cacia website, "rosehip oil contains pure retinol (Vitamin A), which is best known for replenishing and restoring mature or sun-damaged skin. It also contains essential fatty acids, including linoleic and linolenic acids, which are known for their skin conditioning properties and for restoring suppleness".  Those are big claims, if I do say so myself.
When buying rosehip oil, I recommend making sure it's organic. There seem to be a lot of counterfeits out there with unnecessary filler ingredients, which can clog your pores, and wreck havoc on your skin, instead of help it. There are more expensive rosehip oils by brands such as Pai and Triology, but for me, a rosehip newbie, the $12 Aura Cacia one was perfect and easy to find at Whole Foods.  The bottle is small,  but it goes a long way because two drops is all I need for my whole face. I've been using it for a few months now, and though I like this oil, I have come to realize there are a few things I don't love about rosehip oil:

- It doesn't absorb into the skin as easily as other oils, so it will leave you with a shiny disco ball face, which makes this product more suited for bedtime.
-It occasionally makes my face itchy, especially if used on top of a product containing salicylic acid or benzoyl peroxide. 
-This may be silly, but it kind of bothers me that it doesn't smell anything like roses or flowers- just plain EVOO. 

Though there are a few cons, the one big positive is that it has never caused any breakouts. This is my main concern when trying facial oils, and this rosehip oil has never made me regret ever putting it on. Nowadays I apply this every other night, and never on nights when I have on a spot treatment, which has reduced the itchiness significantly.  In the mornings when I wash it off I do notice brighter skin, and it's a noticeable change, and one I haven't seen with other face oils. I can't say it's a miracle product, but any dark spots I had on my face are looking lighter. I would recommend this rosehip oil solely on the price, but it does appear to be a special oil, worthy of its praise.


Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush


The Hourglass Ambient Lighting Blush in Luminous Flush is a beautiful rose blush and champagne highlighter blended together. The Hourglass brand always seems to impress me because the quality and texture of their products are truly unique. The blush is satiny soft, and not powdery. Similar to their ambient lighting face powder, the blushes seem to cover your pores, and stays put for hours. The color provides exactly what its name depicts; a natural flush, which highlights without enhancing pores, and even changes shades of pink depending on the lighting. How cool is that?

I'm such a big fan of theses blushes that I picked up another shade, which is the complete opposite of this color, so expect a review on that sometime soon.



The Scrunchie Comeback

Remember when Carrie Bradshaw bashed the scrunchie into oblivion? Well, she would be biting her tongue now because the scrunchie is making a comeback! Though I have seen it on the runway, I don't think I will be sporting it to the office, but I did buy a pack of scrunchies for the sole reason of sleeping at night. The loose hold keeps my hair away from my face, and it's ideal for days when I straighten my hair because it doesn't cause the dreaded hair tie dent. So, get a pack of scrunchies and pay homage to Michelle Tanner, while you snooze.



Manicure Bliss at the New Paintbox Studio

Last week I was in a deep search for a salon to get a manicure for my birthday.  I wanted to try something new, like a gel design manicure, but the salons that offer gel designs always seem to be booked weeks in advance.  I was losing hope until my bestie told me about this new salon called Paintbox Studio that just opened up in SoHo.  After some investigating at home I saw an opening for the following day, and I booked an appointment for my first gel design manicure.  :cue a little happy dance:

Paintbox Studio offers regular manicures with polishes from Chanel, Deborah Lippmann, Butter London, and Dior to name a few, but what makes them innovative are their twenty five nail designs, which are curated each season, and take inspiration from trends seen in magazines, and on the runway.  I sat there wide-eyed flipping through their nail book for ten minutes, and ended up giving the reins to my manicurist, Christine, who picked a light peach color with gold foil.  Christine was extremely nice and meticulous.  This type of gel requires many layers, and she did everything flawlessly, never missing a beat even when the gold flakes would stick to her hands, instead of my nails.  It was a nice treat to sit back, drink some wine, and watch my nails transform from eh to woah! Christine told me they are trying to become like the Drybar for nails, so don’t go there expecting to see pedicure chairs because they don’t offer that.  They love manicures so much that they even have a built-in manicam, so your nails are instagram ready the second you step out of the salon.  I know my nails will last for a few weeks, but I’m already thinking of making my next appointment, and opening a gel manicure savings account at my bank.


The New Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet Foundation

A few days ago I stumbled into Lord & Taylor and found myself amidst their friends and family sale. I wandered around a bit not thinking I was going to get anything until I saw the sleek black bottles of the new Chanel Perfection Lumière Velvet foundation. What won me over at first was that the color 40 Beige matched my skin to a tee, which anyone who has ever used foundation can appreciate as a rare occurrence, and one that deserves to be taken home.

Perfection Lumière Velvet is Chanel's answer for oily/combination skin, and it truly delivers. Just like the original Perfection Lumière you have to give the bottle a good shake before applying. The foundation itself feels extremely light, and it's watery consistency is unlike any foundation I own. The magic of this product happens when it sets because it dries in a matte, velvety finish (hence the name). This foundation dries quickly, so I suggest applying it in sections. Since purchasing it I've been using my fingers to apply because the foundation's light texture doesn't require intense brush stippling. Though it's targeted for combination skin, I think this foundation could be used on any skin type, but if you have dry skin try exfoliating before applying, and it should prevent the foundation from clinging to dry patches.

Perfection Lumière Velvet wins in my book because it's long lasting, applies easily, and wears well through my eight hour workday, and still makes it through my evening workout classes. I also have a sweet spot for the sophisticated travel friendly bottle. I have now entered the world of high end foundations, and I'm curious to see what other luxury brands have to offer. This could be dangerous...

(Wearing 40 Biege)



Summer holiday fashion

Summer holiday

I love the saying "going on holiday" way more than "going on vacation" because it makes me think of a celebration, instead of a break from real life. A fun, sunkissed celebration. I might be going on holiday to Florida this June, and I would love if the following things went there with me.

Starting from the top left:


Sunday Skincare #1: At-Home Spa Treatment

My Sundays usually consist of lounging, reading, watching TV, (Orphan Black, anyone?) and pampering my skin, which just means I do everything on Sunday with a face mask on. I thought I would share the products I used today, and though it may seem like a lot, each product does something different, and together create an at-home spa treatment. And in the words of Parks and Rec's Donna and Tom, Treat Yo'Self!

In the order I used them:

Origins Clear Improvements Mask
I did a review on this one before, and I still love it. It's great for drying spots, and leaves my skin super soft.

Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask
This has been a skincare staple of mine ever since I bought it. I put this one right after the origins (who says you can't do two masks in one day?) This mask brightens my face, and I try to use it once a week.

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Alpha Beta Peel Original Formula
After the masks I like to use this as my acidic toner. It exfoliates my face, all while brightening and treating my skin.
Anatomicals Spray Misty for Me Facial Spritz
I got this in a Glossybox a few months ago, and I really enjoy it. I use it as my hydrating toner, and it adds a soothing spritz after the Dr. Dennis Gross pads, which is nice because they extinguish the sting of the pads.

Organic Rosehip Oil
I picked this up at Whole Foods, and have only been trying it for a week, so I can't speak as to the claimed miracles about rosehip oil, but I can say it is seriously moisturizing. I'll do a review on this in a few weeks when I really have formed an opinion on it.

Sundays are already fun, but my little skincare ritual seems to relax and prepare me for the long week ahead.


Empties #1: To Repurchase or Not?

Empties #1: To Repurchase or Not?
It's not everyday that I finish a complete bottle of something, so I thought I would share what's done, and what I'll repurchase.

St Tropez Bronzing Lotion (travel size)
I got this sample from Sephora a few months ago and finally finished it. In the winter I didn't have the energy to put it on, but as the temperature started to rise the more I reached for this bronzer. St. Tropez is far from the Oompa Loompa self tanners, and offers a natural bronze glow. I was going to repurchase the lotion, but I opted for the mousse version because it's easier to put on and takes a shorter time to dry. Also, I saw that this month Sephora Beauty Insiders can exchange their points for a sample of this lotion, so give it a try!

Harmon Face Values Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover
Before I started using this waterproof mascara as a mission to take off. Now I just pour a bit on a cotton pad, gently rub my eyes, and so long stubborn eye makeup. Even though this is the generic brand, I prefer it to the Neutrogena one because I think it works better. There's no question as to whether I would repurchase this, I already have a mini stock pile in the bathroom.

Moroccanoil Treatment
I love using copious amount of this oil on my ends because my hair sucks it up like a plant being watered. I have other argan oil treatments, but I always lean towards this one because of its lush feeling, and smoothing abilities. If I don't find a new hair oil to try out, I will definitely repurchase this one.

Aveda Smooth Infusion
Before I got a haircut last week, my hair was the longest it has ever been. I don't think I would've been able to manage it without the miracle that is the Aveda Smooth Infusion. Putting this on my hair was the only way I could manage to run a comb through it, or else it would've gotten stuck in my thick hair forever. This has always terrified me considering I knew a girl in elementary school who got a barrel brush stuck on the side of her head, and had to get half of her hair chopped off. And this was before girls with half-shaved heads was a trend. Anyways, I'm trying to finish other hair products before repurchasing this, but I already know a new bottle of this stuff is going to end up with me sooner or later.

I hope you had fun reading about my empties, and hopefully inspired you to try some of great products.


Swaying to the Beat of Your Own Blending Brush

Whenever I go to a drugstore, or beauty shop I can't help but notice that someone out there in the beauty world has assigned specific eyeshadow colors for each eye color, and brown eyes are always assigned bronze, or purple. Sure, warm bronze shades suit my complexion, and compliment my eyes, but I shouldn't feel discouraged to step of my comfort zone, and sway to the beat of my own blending brush. This is where the Bobbi Brown Smokey Cool Eye Palette comes in. When I first saw it I didn't think the cool tones would look good on me. Maybe I was conditioned to think that, and almost walked away, but the colors looked like it would create a fabulous smokey eye. Thankfully, I ignored the gnawing, "bronze shades for life" feeling and took this baby home. Not only did the shades suit me, but the cool tones against my complexion give a very modern look. Unfortunately, this palette was limited edition, so I don't know if you can still find it, but what I'm really trying to say is no one should decide what colors suit you best, but you.

And now I'll put my soapbox away for the night.


Birthday Wish List

Birthday Wish List

My birthday is in exactly a month, and I've been told I'm very hard to gift, so I thought I would share some things I've been eyeing lately. 
List starts from top left:
1/2/3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10


Morning Routine With Aesop

I've been hooked to Aesop ever since I discovered them last year. The Fabulous Face wash, and Bitter Orange Astringent Toner were given to me as a gift for Christmas and I have been cherishing them ever since. Lately my morning routine consists all of my aesop products because they are gentle, natural, and the invigorating aesop smell wakes my sleep induced face. The Fabulous Face Wash completely cleanses my skin, and never leaves it stripped of moisture. The Bitter Orange Toner brightens my face, and I feel that the witch hazel helps dry out any spots I may have. It also sinks into your skin and doesn't drip down the skin into oblivion as most watery toners do. If you're looking to change up your skincare give Aesop a try.



Spring Trends: Ciate Flower Manicure


The Ciate Flower Manicure is the perfect spring touch for your nails. The flowers are delicate, and can be tricky to put on, but I recommend slightly pushing the flower on your nails with the end of a tweezer, then applying two layers of the topcoat, and putting on another topcoat layer the next day to seal it in. It's supposed to snow tomorrow in NY, but these flowers give me hope for sunnier days, even if it's just wishful thinking.

Final look with Essie's Tarte Deco nail polish.


Portland & Seattle


A few days ago I took a trip to the pacific northwest, and visited Portland and Seattle. For a few days we explored the city life, experienced northwest nature, and ate some damn good food.

If you ever plan on going to Portland or Seattle here are a few things I would recommend doing:

1. Hike! Especially Forrest Park in Portland. It was only a few minutes from the city, and filled with cool trails, and beautiful moss covered trees.
3. Grab lunch from the vast selection of food trucks.
2. Go on a food tour. We went on the Hip on the Hill tour with Savor Seattle, and it was great. We got to stuff our faces with delicious food all while learning about the Capital Hill district in a fun way.
3. Take highway 84 towards the Columbus River Gorge. It is a scenic ride with lots of waterfalls to stop at and awe.
4. Check how windy it is before visiting the Vista House. Seriously, we nearly broke the doors to our rental car.
5. Get a pint of ice cream from Salt & Straw. You'll thank me later.

IMG_0804 IMG_1087 IMG_0897 IMG_0841


Spring Nails

I'm sending out warm vibes with these spring shades.
Essie's "Splash of Gernadine"

Essie's "In the Cab-Ana" & Rimmel's "I Lilac You"

Essie's "Spin the Bottle"


Vacation Face

I wish I was a light packer. I'm not the kind of girl that has to check in a bag full of clothes and makeup for every trip, but I am not a throw-in-one-underwear-and-lets-go kind of person either. I have the tendency to over pack, but the more I travel the more I am learning through trial and error which products belong in my travel bag, and which need to stay at home with my cat.

For my recent trip to Portland & Seattle we planned exploring the cities, nonstop eating, and hiking in the northwest forests, so I chose products that would create a fresh face with a rosy glow. Below are the products that made it in my bag:


Urban Decay Naked 3 $52

I always bring an eyeshadow palette. It saves room in my makeup bag, and I don't have to go fishing for single eye shadows. Lately, I've been really feeling the Naked 3 color because rose and pinks accentuate black eyes.

Maybelline The Rocket Volum' Express Mascara $7.49

From the package this mascara doesn't look all that special, but the densely packed bristles on the wand grab every single lash. "No lash left behind" should be their slogan.

Hourglass Femme Rouge Velvet Crème Lipstick in Fresco $30

This has been my go to lipstick for 3 months now. It is the perfect shade of a rosy mauve for my lips, and the sheerness of the formula gives a nice sheen, which is extremely wearable for all occasions, even work. This is a great lipstick for a no-fuss kind of girl.

Laura Mercier Silk Creme Foundation $45

This foundation is easy to put on in hurry. It's not heavy, and offers great coverage.

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner $18

This liquid eyeliner has a super fine point, that does not budge when you swipe it on your lids. And the color is a true inky jet black, even after it dries.

Make Up For Ever Full Cover Concealer $32

This really is a full coverage concealer, which perfect for covering any blemishes.

Hourglass Veil Mineral Primer $52

This primer extends the longevity of my makeup by a few hours, so I don't have to retouch.

Urban Decay Primer Potion $12

I have been in love with this stuff ever since I got my hands on it years ago. It is an amazing primer that will leave you with smooth, vibrant eyeshadow for hours.

Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Finishing Powder $29

I set my foundation with this and it stays put.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar $25

This is a highly pigmented blush, but using a little gives the most beautiful flush.

Chanel Crayon Sourcils Sculpting Eyebrow Pencil in Brun Naturel $29

With this pencil I can do my eyebrows in seconds, and who doesn't like that?I hope this inspired someone who's going on a trip! Vacations are too short to be worrying about your makeup, so it's best to stick to your holy grail items, and bring a few fun lipsticks to change up your look.




Aesop Fabulous Face Oil


I never thought that I would love a face oil. I had always associated it with really dry skin, and imagined the consistency would be like olive oil, which just screams pore clogging. I went to the Aesop store in SoHo in search of a moisturizer, and the salesgirl showed me all kinds, but I left with the fabulous face oil because I don't have anything like it. It feels like a serum, but provides some serious moisture. Three drops is all I need for my whole face, and it doesn't leave my skin feeling heavy. The juniper berry, ylang ylang, and jasmine petal provide the most amazing herbal scent, which smells amazingly natural. I don't know if I'm a face oil convert, but I am definitely enjoying this one.

Price: $57

Macadamia Ternifolia Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Oil, Juniperus Communis Fruit Oil, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Tocopherol, Jasminum Officinale (Jasmine) Oil, Linalool,Benzyl Benzoate, d-Limonene, Eugenol, Farnesol, Benzyl Salicylate, Geraniol, Benzyl Alcohol.


Technology to Help You Stay in Shape


Though bikini season may seem like a million months away, it's always nice to try and better your health and body. Exercising doesn't have to be all about the gym, and if you have a smartphone, or computer, and access to the internet you can make your own gym at home. Below are some apps and videos that help my get off the couch and break a sweat.

The Jillian Michaels Show podcast
Jillian Michaels from the Biggest Loser is a no BS kind of gal, and her podcast is simply that. She is always in the know of new exercises, will debunk any diet fads, and is all about showing the ways to maximize your workout and life. Whenever I'm feeling extra lazy I listen to her podcast, and it's the push I need to put on my workout clothes and tie my sneakers, which is already half the battle.

Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30
I've pretty much tried all of Jillian Michaels' DVDs because she knows how to pack a satisfying workout in under thirty five minutes, and that is easy to squeeze into my day. Half an hour later I am breathless, sweaty, and sore. Ripped in 30 is the latest one I'm trying out, and it is not an easy dvd, but feels great to accomplish.

Cassey Ho is a certified fitness instructor with an amazing YouTube channel. She has over 200 work out videos, which range from fat burning workouts to cardio dance parties, so you can't get bored. And if you sign up on her site (it's free) she will send you the password to see her workout calendar, which changes every month.

5K App
I really enjoy running outside, when it's not 5°F, but when I first started running I had no idea how far I was actually running. The 5K app makes running easy because it tracks your distance, and helps build your running tolerance by having you walk for a few minutes in between runs. The app doesn't need to be open in order to work, so you can listen to music, and it will make announcements of your progress from time to time.

Don't beat yourself up if you think you had one too many slices of pizza, instead try a new workout and sweat the worries away.


Conditioners Made For Long Hair


Growing out my thick, wavy/curly hair has made me learn valuable lessons: hair knots are real and terrible, and that not all conditioners are made the same.  Some are too thick, which weigh down my curls, and others can be so watered down that after a shower my ends have a closer resemblance to hay than hair.  Taming my hair is no easy feat, but I thought I would share the conditioners that always have my back.

Moroccan Oil Moisture Repair Conditioner $23
This conditioner is infused with the argan oil that makes the original Moroccan Oil so popular.  It always leaves my ends silky soft right after rinsing.

Aveda Damage Ready Restructuring Conditioner $27
I purchased this conditioner after I had dyed my hair and was having trouble growing it out without split ends. This conditioner is enriched with quinoa proteins, which soften like a dream. It also visibly strengthened my ends, and now my long hair is curlier than it's ever been.  If you have super dry ends that need mending, I really recommend this conditioner.

Suave Salon Professionals Sleek Conditioner $3.50
If you're on a budget, this conditioner is definitely one of to check out.  I think it's one of the best drugstore conditioners out there.  Leaving it on for five minutes before rinsing will leave you with soft and manageable hair.  And for the price, what's not to love?


Winter Skin Saviors


With the new year comes the cold Northeast winter. The mix of the outside frigid air and blasting the heater at home can cause dry, cracked skin, especially on your hands and lips.  I was never one to care about moisturizing when I was in my teens, but now I can tell it makes a difference on my skin.  If one of your new year's resolutions is to have soft skin, then these products will not only make you feel moisturized, but look pretty enough to carry around for the rest of the winter season.

Dior Creme de Rose Soothing Plumping Lip Balm $27
This is not your run of the mill lip balm.  It smells like roses, has a light, creamy consistency, which feels like silk on the lips. Since it doesn't have a gloopy vaseline-type feeling it can be used both in the day and night. As for the plumping claims, my lips aren't showing Angelina Jolie qualities (you'll be the first to know if they do), but the moisturizing effect is a special treat on cold day.

Aesop Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm $27
This Aesop cream is one of the most moisturizing creams I have every used. It has natural ingredients, and is enriched with tocopherol and Beta-Carotene for a deep moisture. It is a bit thicker than the L'Occitane cream below, but it never feels heavy.  All of Aesop's scents are woodsy, botanical, and unisex. Out of all the scents offered resurrection aromatique is my absolute favorite because the blend of mandarin rind, rosemary leaf, and cedarwood atlas create a musky scent with hints of citrus. I love it so much that I use it on my whole body (yes, I'm a rule breaker).

L'occitane Hand Cream in Marvelous Flowers $10
The main reason I love this hand cream is because the smell makes the girl in me swoon. It has a sweet floral scent that lingers on your hands, and is small enough to throw into your bag and have in case of a dry skin emergency. This cream leaves your hands leaves your hands feeling like velvet, and has no greasy residue.  I think this scent was limited edition, but L'Occitane has so many scents that you're bound to find the right one for you.

I hope you found some of these products useful and are staying warm out there!