The Magic Of Oil

Oils make me too happy for my typical resting bitch face!

Oils make me too happy for my typical resting bitch face!

I’ll never forget the first time I discovered beauty oils. Well, it was tanning oil, but close enough. I was probably eight years old and I was at the pool with a family friend’s daughter, who was older. She applied this oil out of a dark brown bottle that smelled like coconut and heaven. I really wanted to use some, but it was SPF 4. I was pretty sure my mom would flip out if she learned I was going below SPF 15. I just wanted to smell like the magic oil. I didn’t even care about the tan. It was around that time I stopped listening to my mother, but it would be few more years until I started using oils. Luckily, I’ve more than made up for it.

I am obsessed with Kopari Coconut Cleansing Oil. (Try saying that out loud five times fast.) I use it nightly to take off everything including waterproof mascara. I apply a few pumps to a dry face and massage it in. Then I remove everything with a hot washcloth, kind of like giving myself a mini-facial. My skin feels clean, soft and moist. And I really hate the word moist, so you know I mean it.

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Ever since I started using Retin A, my skin changed completely. I went from combination skin on the oily side to combo dry. My face also became way more sensitive, as if it wasn’t my face at all. It’s like someone fired my skin and the replacement was still trying to figure out how to do its job. It was actually painful. I tried using a regular moisturizer but my skin literally felt like it was on fire. The only thing that soothed my poor face was Drunk Elephant Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil. The hurt, peeling and chapping (yes, chapping) stopped. This product is seriously the oil equivalent of Vicodin for irritated skin.  

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If your skin is too sensitive and dry for a traditional serum, Biossance Squalane + Vitamin C Rose Oil could be a great alternative. It contains Vitamin C, which has a brightening effect and reduces the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. I also love the light feeling it has on my skin and faint rose scent.

But if you’re serious about serum The Body Shop’s Vitamin E Overnight Serum-in-Oil might be a better option for you because it combines both products. Formulated with a high concentration of wheatgerm oil and enriched with Community Trade Organic Soya Oil from Brazil, it helps you wake up with softer skin. 

You heard it here first: Agave is the new argan oil. I like to use Agave Healing Oil Treatment before and after I blow my hair out. It’s moisturizing and light. More importantly, unlike so many other hair oils, it’s not sticky. If you want to use oil but are hesitant because you only wash your hair a few days a week (or once a week- no judgments, I’m going on day seven right now), this is the one to try.

 

When I first heard about Kopari’s Coconut Body Glow, I thought it was trying to be the sequel to early 00’s glitter. But I was so wrong. This magic shimmery oil is mermaid-esque.  I like to layer it with sunscreen before I go to the beach or put it on my décolletage before going out on a warm night. The oil smells beachy and sexy, but not like it’s trying too hard. It blends really well with one of my favorite summer fragrances, Bobbi Brown Beach.

St. Tropez Self Tan Luxe Facial Oil is a great alternative to traditional self-tanning products. It is paraben, phthalate, sulfate, and cruelty-free, so you get bonus karma points every time you buy it. Unlike many self-tanners, St. Tropez is hydrating and easy to apply with a fresh, natural scent. 

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I love a good multitasking product, which is why I’m all about The Body Shop’s Brazilian Cupuaçu Exfoliating Scrub-In-Oil. Because it contains more oil than you normally find in similar products, you can really customize the ratio of scrub to oil and give your skin exactly what it needs. You also won't need any additional post-shower lotion or oil.

Pevonia's Dry Oil Body Moisturizer is a slick alternative to slick oils. An easy but effective spray, it's perfect for travel or those times when you don't want to risk feeling sticky. Also, if you are deathly afraid of slipping on your bathroom floor. 

 

 

 

 

 

F-It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose Of Retail Therapy (Winter Beauty Edition)

Living in Los Angeles, I’m usually exempt from winter skin and hair dryness (in all fairness, my hair tends to be dry all year round). But, this year the temperature has been at an all time-low and my body has been at an all-time dry. When I moved here from New York eight years ago, cold winters were not part of the contract I signed. So, I’ve had to do a major product switch up. If the weather is having a negative affect on your hair and skin, you probably have to do the same. Here are my favorite winter dryness solutions because F-It, it’s Friday, treat yourself.

White Sands ER Fusion

White Sands ER Fusion is a game-changing product that makes hair both softer and stronger. No, it’s not another oil or conditioner, but a unique treatment that creates a micro-shield for 30 days. After washing and towel-drying your hair, you apply the product and help it penetrate using a heat cap or hairdryer for 20 minutes, then rinse it out. 20 minutes of effort for 30 days of good hair, I'll take it! 

Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer

Curel Hydratherapy Wet Skin Moisturizer is magical. I was in a business meeting with Anthony Pazos (of LA Hair fame) when he accidentally touched my leg (I was wearing a short skirt) and interrupted the entire conversation to discuss how soft my skin was. True story! Remember, it’s called Wet Skin Moisturizer for a reason, so apply it immediately after showering, before toweling off. I actually keep my bottle in the shower, so I don't forget. 

Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash

Dove is my favorite bar soap, but when the temperature drops, I need some extra help, so I use Dove Deep Moisture Body Wash instead. Formulated to cleanse in the gentlest way possible, it’s been great to counterbalance the hot showers I’ve been taking to warm up. (Yeah, I know that’s bad for dry skin, but don’t judge me.) Dove’s creamy texture makes my skin feel soft and clean. It also smells super fresh.

Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil

What can’t Kopari Coconut Sheer Oil do? My favorite multi-tasker, I put it on the ends of my hair every night as well as on my lips. It also works as a gentle eye makeup remover and super duper moisturizer for extra-dry skin. Pro tip: a little goes a very long way. 

Bodyography Hydrating Mask

Adding Bodyography’s Hydrating Mask to your routine helps restore moisture to your face and treats fine lines. Gentle enough to use every day, it's formulated with anti-oxidant ingredients including watermelon, green tea, and apple fruit extract. Anyone else craving a smoothie right now? Bonus karma points come free with every purchase becuase it’s vegan, paraben and cruelty-free. 

F- It Fridays: Your Weekly Dose of Retail Therapy (Holiday Beauty Edition)

It's a little over a week until Christmas and Hanukkah (which happens to start on Christmas Eve this year). No matter what holiday you celebrate (or pretend to celebrate, or just want to get over with already), we all know the Pony Express (aka the post office and every single courier I've ever dealt with) does not always deliver on time. So, please consider this your warning and get yourself together right now. If you couldn’t find something on my $25 and under F-It Friday last week or the Gift Guide For Special Snowflakes, then consider any one of these fabulous beauty sets. They're all fool-proof favorites. Seriously, if someone doesn’t like any one of these gifts, you probably need to re-evaluate your relationship with them. And between us… I won’t tell anyone if you are naughty and end up buying a little something here for yourself. 

Laura Geller So Scrumptious 6 Piece Color Collection

Laura Geller’s So Scrumptious Set is worth $173 and currently on sale at Ulta for (don’t faint when you read this number) $39. It has everything you need for a party-ready look including primer (seriously, we all need more of that), foundation (fair or medium options, LG totally hooks it up), blush, an eyeshadow trio, lip gloss and a double-ended face brush. Run, don’t walk (or just click) to your nearest Ulta right now. 

Decleor Merry Oils Premium Gift Set

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I like Decleor’s Merry Oils Premium Gift Set because oils are so luxurious. Also, the winter dries your skin like no other season can (thanks a lot, Winter!). The person who receives this gift will actually be appreciative because Decleor will save their face and body from the inevitable frost. You might actually receive a thank you card in the mail for this fabulous find (or a text, at the very least). The set includes Aroma Cleanse Micellar Oil, Aroma Nutrition Satin Softening Dry Oil, 1000 Grain Body Exfoliator (as opposed to 1000 grain bread, sorry I can’t help myself), Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Night Balm and Aromessence Neroli Hydrating Oil Serum. 

Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection

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Are you looking for an under $10 gift for a White Elephant or grab bag? Look no further than Flowerful by FLOWER Colorful Nail Collection. Flower is Drew Barrymore’s beauty line and might even contain some of her magical goddess power (Drew Barrymore is a magical goddess. End of story). With eight nail shades and two glittery nail files, it will make your hands sparkle. 

SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles

You know that friend who is more afraid of aging than getting by a train? SkinCeuticals Gold Standard Kit – Fine Lines & Wrinkles is the perfect gift for that person. This kit contains two heroes of the SkinCeuticals line. C E Ferulic is an antioxidant serum that neutralizes free radicals, helps build collagen and makes holiday parties more tolerable (because skin compliments). The Hydrating B5 gel is like the personal assistant of C E Ferulic, making it work better, harder and more efficiently. Containing hot ingredient du jour, hyaluronic acid, it helps moisture bind to the skin.

Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit

Do you have a dude in your life that likes fancy grooming products? Don’t make him survive without an Anthony Head To Toe Survival Kit. It has all of the essentials he needs including Rush Hair + Body Wash, Glycolic Facial Cleanser, Facial Scrub, Shave Cream, and All Purpose Facial Moisturizer. It’s perfect for traveling, especially if he tends to “borrow” your products.

Drinking Yourself Pretty With The Food Network's Kate Von

Beauty beverages are becoming a huge wellness trend. But is this just another craze or can you actually drink yourself pretty? The answer is yes, but it’s not a miracle cure. You can’t just drink something and suddenly look like you had a vacation, plastic surgery and a nap. (But wouldn’t that be nice?) Beauty beverages should be treated like any other supplement, as part of an overall healthy lifestyle, nourishing you from the inside out. 

I asked Tatiana Ridley, who is a New York based holistic nutritionist exactly how these drinks work and she broke it down, “While the age-old quest for the proverbial fountain of youth may not have been found in beauty beverages, there is some validity to the beautifying benefits of some of the drinks on the market. First of all, the liquid form of these elixirs makes them more bio-available - meaning the nutrients are easier for the body to absorb and use because they’re already broken down. Since the main ingredients are fruits and veggies, which are packed with antioxidants and water, they work together to benefit your skin. Imagine a microscopic army of antioxidants fighting off the little mutants that manufacture wrinkles and sagging skin, (free radicals), and a fleet of water (boats) rescue the nutrients, delivering them safely to our skin cells to hydrate and plump up.” 

If you need further proof, just look at the beautiful Kate Von of the Food Network’s Cutthroat Kitchen and Camp Cutthroat. She makes her own beauty elixir by “blending juiced turmeric, ginger root, a squeeze of lemon and a dash of cayenne.” She says her not-so-secret beauty sauce also has other benefits, “It is the ultimate metabolism booster, beauty amplifier and toning tonic. Stimulating circulation, suppressing the appetite and satisfying your cravings will all improve your glow and keep you feeling fabulous.” I’ll totally have what she’s having. 

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

Kate Von's big beauty secret is out!

But, if you aren’t as ambitious as Kate is in the kitchen, it’s totally okay, store bought drinks can work just as well. Whether you prefer smoothies, mixes, liquid supplements or juices, there are lots of ways to drink your way to better skin, hair and even nails. Here are some of my personal favorites:

Project Juice Turmeric Lemonade

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If you aren’t going to juice your own turmeric like Kate Von, Project Juice’s Turmeric Lemonade might be the next best thing. With just 50 calories per bottle (when was the last time lemonade was this low-cal?), it has a mild kick. You can even drink it while working out instead of water. Turmeric is kind of a wonder herb because it reduces inflammation and free radical damage to cells.

Replere Restore & Fortify Beauty Shooters by Dr. Debbie Palmer

Developed by dermatologist Dr. Debbie Palmer, Replere Beauty Shooters come individually packaged and don’t require refrigeration, so they’re perfect if you are on the go. You can drink the shooter by itself or add to water. The formula contains a variety of ingredients including coffee Arabica (coffee fruit), camu camu, goji and açai berries, chokeberry, blueberries, pomegranate, and resveratrol. The high concentration of antioxidants helps fight against the affects of free radicals. It’s a perfect afternoon pick-me-up and a more hydrating alternative to coffee.

UVO

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If skin has one enemy, it’s the sun’s UV rays. Created by Dr. Bobby Awadalla, UVO is the only drink formulated to protect and repair your skin against sun damage. It comes bottles as well as individual packets you mix with water. The orange peach flavor is like drinking a tropical vacation. Every serving gives you 3-5 hours of sun protection. FYI, drinking UVO isn’t a substitute for sunscreen, but if you are that person who always ends up getting burned (and use SPF 100, which you reapply every 15 minutes), UVO might be your favorite new beach accessory.

Greek Girl Beauty Protein

A combination of whey protein and Greek yogurt, at only 50 calories, Greek Girl Beauty Protein isn’t exactly a big fat Greek smoothie. This powerful powder contains 8 essential B vitamins, which helps prevent dry skin, wrinkles, acne, weak hair and splitting nails. Because it’s gluten-free and contains probiotics, Greek Girl also helps with your digestion. And unlike most protein powders I’ve tried, the honey vanilla flavor actually tastes good.

NeoCell Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid

Hyaluronic acid is a very popular ingredient in many moisturizers. But did you know you could drink it?  NeoCell’s Hyaluronic Acid Blueberry Liquid can be taken by the spoonful or mixed with water. The formula also contains pomegranate and green tea polyphenols, which help plump the skin and increase elasticity. Sweetened with agave, it tastes like a liquid Sour Patch Kid.

Core Hydration Water

Water is actually one of the best beauty drinks available. Staying hydrated reduces toxins and helps your whole body function in a more optimal way. Core Hydration Water is specifically formulated to help you better assimilate vitamins, minerals and other nutrients because it has the same pH as your body. So, essentially, it makes all of your other supplements work even better. 

Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil

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Intelligent Nutrients Intellimune Oil is one of the more versatile drinkable products. Organic, it is designed to prevent pre-mature aging and support healthy cell growth. Two teaspoons have the same antioxidant power as ten pounds of berries. This product is great if you want the benefits of a beauty supplement in a more convenient way. You can use the oil in salads, or blend into sauces or smoothies. Or you can simply drink it on its own. It has a mild taste, like buttery oregano. 

Seriously, Not Kidding, For Real These Four Apps Will Change Your Life. #Productivity

They always say that things don’t change your life. You change your life. But, as someone who prides herself on breaking the rules, I don’t think that is necessarily true. Anything that can make you more productive can be very life changing. Here’s an example of what I mean. Have you ever gone from not having your own washer/dryer to having one in your house or apartment? No more lugging half your wardrobe to a gross basement, a sketchy laundermat, or having to make actual plans to do your laundry. You can live a life free of freaking out if the ketchup on your French fry suddenly makes its way onto your favorite t-shirt. See what I mean? Total life changer.

So what does having an appliance have to with apps? Well, these apps can also change the way you do those absolutely unavoidable life tasks aka adulting. Here are four of my favorites and how they’ve been game changers for me.

Amazon Prime Now

Amazon Prime Now is NOT the same thing as Amazon Prime, but you do need to be a Prime member to use it. Amazon Prime Now is like a personal assistant who brings the annoying, not-fun and absolutely essential things I need for my life like soap, cleaning supplies, cases of water, toilet paper and dog food straight to my door when I tell them to. Now, if you are wondering why I just don’t buy this stuff at the grocery store, it’s because I rarely shop at traditional grocery stores. I’m a Trader Joe’s and Farmers Market kind of girl, so buying household items means an additional task, driving there, parking, waiting in line and wasting at least an hour of my life I’ll never get back. It also means carrying heavy stuff from my car, which I’m not a fan of. Pro tip: As I’m running low on things, I add them to my cart, so I don’t have to create a separate shopping list.

APN isn’t yet available everywhere. If they don’t deliver to your neighborhood, Google Express is a pretty good alternative.

My dogs poop a lot. 

My dogs poop a lot. 

I'm all about sorbet and green cleaning products.

I'm all about sorbet and green cleaning products.

Shyp

“I like going to the Post Office” – Said no one ever.

I’d rather be stuck in traffic when I have to pee than stand in line at the post office when I have to send a package. For $5 someone comes to your location, picks up your item(s) and then they leave.  It’s almost alarmingly simple. Seriously, the first time I used Shyp, I was confused and asked them if there was anything I had to sign or do and there wasn’t. The app lets you estimate the cost in advance and choose your shipping preferences (fastest, cheapest, etc). Shyp will even pack and box your items for you, as well as insure them.

Shyp is serious about packaging!

Shyp is serious about packaging!

This lamp was sent from NYC to LA and arrived in one piece! Thank you Shyp. Also, thank you for the lamp, mom.

This lamp was sent from NYC to LA and arrived in one piece! Thank you Shyp. Also, thank you for the lamp, mom.

Giftgram

I love buying people gifts, but because I overthink everything, I can become overwhelmed. When it comes to buying someone something nice, I don’t want to see 10,000 options, I just want to see like 100 things I really like. GiftGram has an amazing selection of well-curated gifts to give everyone from your boss to yourself starting at around $20. It’s easy to use, fast and the person who receives your gift will be completely wowed.

If you want to try Giftgram, use my promo code, which is AK84700 and get $15 off your first purchase. You’re welcome. (And obviously, full disclosure, they give me $15 for sharing).

There isn’t one thing on GiftGram I don’t want, but here are a few of my favorites. It was really hard to choose.

If you don't love this, there is something seriously wrong with you.

If you don't love this, there is something seriously wrong with you.

I am totally obsessed with Kilian. This fragrance comes with it's own clutch. Two gifts in one. Yes!

I am totally obsessed with Kilian. This fragrance comes with it's own clutch. Two gifts in one. Yes!

Perfect gift for your favorite #GirlBoss.

Perfect gift for your favorite #GirlBoss.

Affordable, but cute baby gift. Done!

Affordable, but cute baby gift. Done!

YouCam Makeup

YouCam Makeup is one of those apps that does so many things, I really feel I can only scratch the surface here. In many ways, it’s kind of like a Snap Chat filter on steroids, helping you take a selfie worthy of a thousand likes. With tools galore and one of the most user-friendly interfaces I’ve tried, it’s the only photo editor you need on your phone. You can fix blemishes, under eyes, and any other imperfections faster than it takes a doctor to load up a syringe with Botox and inject it into your face. You can also take a barefaced selfie and give yourself a complete makeover. Want to know what you would look like if you learned how to contour IRL? You can try several different looks just one tap. You can also customize like crazy, changing up your hair and eyes (not just eyeshadow, but the actual color of your eyes). You can also add headbands, sunglasses and other accessories.

One of my favorite features of YouCam is that you can apply actual products from several brands including Laura Geller, Ardell, Paul Mitchell and Elizabeth Arden. And yes, there are more coming soon. You can even purchase products without leaving the app. 

I was totally barefaced when I took this picture.

I was totally barefaced when I took this picture.

Pink hair is not my thing, but luckily I didn't have to actually make my hair pink to figure it out.

Pink hair is not my thing, but luckily I didn't have to actually make my hair pink to figure it out.