How to Deal with Newly Dry Skin

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As we age, our skin goes through changes. Here is how to cope with your unfamiliarly of dry skin. 

There was a point in my life that I was convinced that I wanted to be a nurse. As such, I took courses in nutrition, chemistry, and anatomy and physiology. Eventually, I was introduced the in’s and out’s of skin, hair, nails and yes, even your sweat glands that provide our bodies protection. This system is known as the Integumentary System. When studying for our exams, my professor always told us to remember one thing: The  older we get, the worse things get for us physically. Yikes. Not exactly the most positive thing to say.

The good news is (per the norm), I am here to focus on the positive by helping you find a solution. It is inevitable, our bodies goes through a lot of changes as we age. Our skin is not exception. Personally, I have noticed that my once unbearably oily skin is now insanely dry and difficult to manage keeping moisture on my face. Here is what I have learned so far about my new dry skin:

Change your Cleanser

One thing that I always struggled with oily skin is the constant battle to keep my pores clean. As such, facial scrubs from time-to-time were excellent to keep my oily skin at bay. But now, however, things are different. My face is not producing the same amount of oil as it once was. So when you are using a facial scrub two or three times a week, you are actually stripping down layers of skin on your face. I like to wear make-up, but I also want to make sure I am not leaving make-up behind on my face when I clean it off at night. I love the Dermae E Evenly Radiant Brightening Cleanser because it is great on all skin types. Plus, this cleanser is super gentle on your face without stripping down layers of skin on your face. This cleanser is also available on Birchbox.

Change Your Foundation and Primer

Step aside, oil free primers! You are no longer needed. Now that your face is on the drier side, you want to make sure that your face looks and feels hydrated. Products that are helping me to do that are form Laura Geller. The Spackle Soothing Make-Up Primer  is fabulous. When you put it on, you can feel a cooling, tingling from it. It helps with any redness on your skin and helps keep your skin super hydrated through out the day (this is on top of the fact that it will keep your foundation fresh throughout the day). This is my new go to!

Since we are looking to stay away from drying out your skin, a hydrating foundation is going to be right for you. Laura Geller’s BB Cream is wonderful. This BB cream gives a fantastic amount of coverage without making you look like to caked on your foundation. It you want an extra touch of coverage, Laura Geller’s  Balance-n-Brighten Baked Color Correction foundation pairs extremely well with this BB-cream.

Change your Moisturizer

I know, I know, change is hard. It took me a very long time to find the right moisturizer that would not clog my pores but also give me the right amount of moisture on my skin. I definitely recommend the Sampra Ultra Hydrating Fluid. I got a sample of this product in my Birchbox over two years ago. I never ended up purchasing it after I finished my sample because of the price (I was in a much different place financially a few years ago). This year, I waited until I had a decent amount of Birchbox rewards points to buy it. This is a product you will definitely not be disappointment with. I am not exaggerating when I say that this moisturizer is what saved my dry skin this past winter!

Stay Hydrated

Whether you have dry, oily, or combination skin, you want to stay hydrated. Water flushes toxins out of your body. Additionally, drinking the right amount of water will also help naturally, to keep your skin hydrated throughout the week. So just how much water should you be drinking a day? About four water bottles a day (12 fl oz, the size of a standard Poland Spring water bottle).

With new changes in your skin type, it can seem overwhelming to make changes to your beauty routine. However, I do feel that this is a fun time for anyone. Head over to stores like Ulta and Sephora to try out different products to see which ones are right for you. You might just find a new favorite brand. On top of that, you are going to be thrilled with how your face looks when you find the right product. I know I certainly am!




The Best of Oscar Red Carpet Fashion 2016

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For me, the Oscars are my Super Bowl (pretty much a given if you are a theater geek). That being said, there is nothing I love that to see some of the most talented actors in Hollywood come together in one night. While I dream of one day to wear a couture gown, all I can do is admire the ones that celebrities grace the red carpet (not so bad, right?). Since I do not like to focus on the negative (at all), let’s go over some of the best looks from last night’s red carpet.

All images are courtesy of Getty Images. 

Maria Menounos in Christian Siriano


This dress fits her so well! It is so incredible to see the artistry of the beading in this gown. I am so thrilled that they off-the-shoulder is back. Whether you are 6’4 or 4’9, anyone can rock this trend.

Tracey Edmonds in Lorena Sarbu.


I love how classy this look is! I love the light, sheer detailing on her shoulders of the dress (plus the extra beading). God bless her, I have no idea how she was able to walk in this gown. I love that this look was not over accessorized. There is no sense in taking away from such a great gown!

Zuni Hall in Portia & Scarlett. 


With red being my favorite color, this dress was certainly going to be on my list of favorite this evening. The seams of the dress add a glamorous and unique touch. And while I am at it, who else is in love with Zuri’s choker? It is an open diamond choker by Maxior. You cannot go wrong with a unique piece of jewelry to add to your look.

Alicia Vikander in Louis Vuitton.

One thing I love about the Oscars is the different blend of colors. There are some that are holding to dark colors for their gowns. Others, have spring fever by utilizing pastels. This dress is no exception. It is so nice to see a warm, fun color on the red carpet. Per the norm, I am overly impressed by the beading of the gown. Vikander is definitely glowing in this beautiful gown.

Priyanka Chopra in Zubair Murad.


Fun fact, Zubair Murad is one of my favorite designers. As far as I am concerned, you cannot go wrong with lace and floral print. I also love the accent of the belt for the dress. The belt helps the dress fit her body perfectly. By far, this is my favorite gown of the evening. She looks like a princess!

Brie Larson in Gucci. 


Ruffles can be tricky. Certainly not with this dress! The Oscar winner of the night dazzled the red carpet in this gorgeous royal blue gown. I absolutely love the detailing of the dress with the fabric plus the addition of the embellishment at her waist to compliment the dress. A job well done by her glamour team!

Jennifer Garner in Atelier Versace.


Absolutely stunning! This, ladies and gentlemen, is how to step out after a breakup. Garner’s gown is beautifully modern and classy. I love the earrings that were selected for this look. It add some color to her look without taking away from your fabulous gown and flawless make-up.

Cate Blanchett in Armani.


I have yet to see Blanchett strike out at any awards shows. This gown is certainly no exception. Blanchett looks absolutely regal. I especially love the details and the color. This look also has a great blend of sparkle from both the gown and her accessories.

Rachel McAdams in August Getty Atelier.


Wow, this is not an easy color to pull off. McAdams, however, does so effortlessly! Sometimes less is more when it come to gowns. The simplify of this dress what I loved about it. I love that her hair was pulled back to show off the halter of the dress.

Lady Gaga in Brandon Maxwell.


Waiting to see what Gaga is going to surprise us with on the red carpet is always agonizing but worth the wait. If you look closely, Gaga is not wearing a gown. It is a jumpsuit with a skirt (how cool is that!?). I love her versatility both on the red carpet and on stage is unprecedented. Side note, if you did not have a chance to see Gaga’s performance last night at the Oscars, stop everything and watch it. The song will probably have you crying, but damn, it is powerful.

What were some of your favorite looks of the night?







How to Clean out Your Closet for Spring Cleaning

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Need help with cleaning out your closet? Here are some tips to help you out.

It is time to be out with the old and in with the new. But before you go to update your wardrobe or make new cleaning solutions to your rooms, let’s go over some things that you can get rid of before you get anything new (your wallet will thank me for this!)

I work part-time in retail. That being said, I know how easy it is to clutter your closet space with clothes and other trinkets when you are getting dirt cheap deals from your employer. Now that spring is on it’s way, it’s time to see what items to keep and what items to get rid off.

First, start off by putting aside four boxes or bags: One for the items you are going to keep, one to put things in storage, one set aside for donations and the other to throw away broken or unnecessary items. These four bags or boxes will help you to make more room in your closet.

Next, put aside all the items you are going to put into storage. Now that spring is coming, take into consideration your heavy winter clothing. Those can be put into your storage bag. Keep one heavy winter jacket in case a stray snow flurry or two happens to sneak it’s way between now and April. Heavy articles of clothing can also be added to this bag. Also consider your winter boots and other snow gear that may be taking up extra room in your closet.

Now on to the items that you can donate. This is a great service that you can do for your community. Also keep in mind any family or friends who could really use a donation of some of the articles of clothing you are no longer using. When you are going through your closet, think about the articles of clothing you use often. Are there some items in your closet that you think are cute but never use? These items would be great to donate to someone who could really use it!

Ok, now it’s time to look at items to toss. I have a mother that happens to be a seamstress, so if a shirt or dress needs patching up, I can always have her fix an outfit. Seamstresses can be very expensive (and it may be time to get ride of those clothes from high school that you don’t use anymore). Go through some of your clothes and take note of a few things:

  • Are they stained?
  • Are they damaged in any way?
  • Are the seams of this piece coming undone?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to get rid of those pieces. I like to cut up old t-shirts to use as rags for when I wash my car. You might be able to find other ways to recycle your old, unwanted clothing. Be sure to check out Pinterest for other creative ideas to re-use your old t-shirts for yourself or even your pet. There are some crafty people out there!

Finally, it’s time to decide on the items you are going to keep. Be strong! Remember, you are looking to add for closet space and de-clutter your home (and possibly add to your wardrobe later lol). Take into consideration the following:

  • Basics: Here, I am taking about plain colored t-shirts, tank tops, and long sleeve shirts. These are great pieces to keep because they can be used for all outfits types. Whether you are going out on a girls day or have a date night, these pieces are always going to be useful.
  • Special occasion outfits: Ok, let’s face it. You are not going to be going to a wedding or party every single month. So why hang on to a dress that you are only going to use once? Take a look at the dresses that you wear often and the ones that you do not use at all. If there are some dresses that you have not used at all last season, it may be time to donate them. If you do have any special occasions coming up, considering use Rent the Runway. You can rent designer dresses for a few days and then return the dress when you are finished. If you are going to spend money on a new dress anyway, you might as well rent one as opposed to buying a dress that will just collect dust in your closet.
  • Usage of  your outfit: How often do you use some of your dresses or shirts? Really think about the pants, shirts, and dresses that you use often. What about those articles of clothing that you never use? If you find that you are not using some of the clothes in your closet, it’s time to let those items go (it’s not like you are going to use them any time soon!)
  • Shoes: Take a look at some of your favorite shoes. If you have a great pair shoes that are worn out, consider which ones that you want to have repaired and which pairs of shoes you want to have donated or tossed.

I hope these tips help you get rid of some unwanted clutter. A neat closet is a happy one! Now go ahead and add some new pieces to your wardrobe (with discipline of course). Good luck with the rest of your spring cleaning!



How to Bounce back from a Bad Morning

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In a funk this morning? Here are some tips to get you out of it!

It is inevitable. Some mornings are just not going to go as you plan them. As such, we can’t let a bad morning ruin a great day. So how do you break out of a bad funk? Here are some ways that I cope with bad mornings each and everyday.

Take a deep breathe.

This sounds so basic but hear me out on this for a second. When we get stressed, our bodies give off several reactions. Believe it or not, breathing when we are stressed tends to decrease. This can lead to headaches and increased anxiety (a little something I learned from a stress management course I took in college. Very resourceful!) So if you find that your morning is not going exactly as planned, take a minute to relax. Stretch out your muscles and take a deep breathe. This will help you decrease your anxiety and help you to think clearly throughout the day.

Be selective with your music selection.

The last thing you want to do when you are stressed is to get yourself more upset with the wrong song selection. I would suggest that you make a playlist for your phone or I-pod with your favorite songs that will put you in a better mood. For me, I like to listen to songs that make me want to dance and have a great beat to keep my spirits high. Which ever songs you pick, make sure that they will make you happy (because I recognize that not everyone loves show tunes as much as I do lol).

Get a good lunch.

Frankly, whenever a day is not going well I always turn to food to make it all better. I find that when I get a good, wholesome lunch, the rest of my day flies by. I am not saying that you should not get a cheeseburger and fries if you really want it. But take into consideration what that burger is going to do to your body. Once you are finished, you are going to feel sluggish throughout the rest of the day (and possibly stress about how many calories you just consumed). By all means, have a burger just not when you are stressed.

Talk it Out

We all have that one best friend that we can talk to about anything. For some, this is your boyfriend, a sibling, or a mentor. Whoever it is, make sure that you can take to someone if you are having any issues. They might just make you feel better and even help you find a solution to  funk you cannot seem to get out of.

Let it Go

Yep. I am telling you all to be like Elsa and put your bad morning in the past. Let’s face it, everyday is not going to be perfect. Don’t fixate yourself on the bad. Focus on the fact that tomorrow is a new day and a new start. After all, nothing good ever came out from negative thinking.



How to dress between Winter and Spring

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Keep your wardrobe up to date during season changes.

Hello loves! I don’t know about all of you, but I am certainly having a case of spring fever. I just want the warm weather to be here already! I know a struggle of mine during this time of year is that awkward transition between your winter clothing and your spring clothing. Fear not! Here are some ideas as to how I cope with the winters blues:

Solid colors

It all comes down to the basics. When all else fails, stick to colors like grey, back, and white then pair them with some fun colored accessories. The dress and clutch featured in this image are from StitchFix. The shoes are JLO by Jennifer Lopez (the line is sold exclusively at Kohls). And last but not least, my statement necklace is from Francesca’s.


Opposites attract.

Don’t be afraid to mix colors when it comes to your wardrobe. Mixing different accents can really help your outfits to stand out. For this particular example, I chose a blouse from Banana Republic that has white accents along with lace details. I decided to pair the blouse with a lace skirt that was sent to me in my StitchFix. I completed the look with my favorite pumps with lace. There are JLO by Jennifer Lopez.




Blazers for the win.

Whether you are 6’5 or 4’11, blazers flatter all bodies types. That being said, I do recommend investing in a blazer that you can pair with your favorite blouses (I got my first one from Kohls, which is featured in this photo). You can also pair your outfit with your favorite pair of jeans. Be sure to add a necklace and a cuff to add some accessories to your look. The cuff is from one of my fixes through StitchFix and the necklace is from Express. Finally, complete the look with your favorite pair of nude colored heels. Mine happen to be from Chinese Laundry.

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Add to your accessory game.

The great thing about this time of year is that you can really play up your wardrobe with great accessories. This includes some of your favorites scarves and hats. Also keep in mind some of your favorite hair accessories like flowers and headbands. These items are great to add a flirty touch to a plain outfit.



Birchbox Review

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Are you considering getting your first Birchbox? How exciting! But before you do, what exactly should you expect from your small little gift to yourself every month? Check out my list of things to consider before you get your first Birchbox in the mail.

First of all, what exactly is Birchbox? The company started up in 2010 by two Harvard graduate (fancy, fancy). It provides women (and men) a chance to try new products such as cosmetics, hair products, and sometimes chocolate samples (oh yes, chocolate samples). It is very affordable to get your Birchboxes each month. You can choose to pay $10 USD a month or pay annual $110 USD. If you decided to pay annually, the first box is free.

So how does Birchbox know what to send you each month? When you become a member, you get a chance to create a custom profile on the birchbox  website. In your profile, you are asked questions like what is your hair type, what types of samples would interest you the most, etc. This customization is what has keep me a loyal customer for the past two years.

What is even better is that Birchbox has a rewards system too! If you leave a review of the products you try each month, your get 10 points per review. Once you earn 100 points, you have earned $10 USD in the Birchbox store. So anything you may want online you can get for practically for free after leaving several reviews. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I have had so many great products mailed to me without breaking the bank.

Getting a Birchbox is a lot of fun. I absolutely love that it is super affordable. The company has a love of big name brands on their website from Smashbox to Beauty Blender. Keep in mind that if you ever find yourself wanting to cancel your subscription, you can do so at any time. I have also given Birchboxes as gifts. They are a big hit! Hope this helps you  make a decision on whether or not to sign up for a Birchbox. Personally, I love that the little box is like a Christmas gift to myself throughout the year 😛




My Experience with Kayla Itsines Sweat App

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Considering the Sweat app as a purchase? Here is what I found when I started using the app.

Hello loves! Now that February has begun, I wonder how you are all doing with your New Years Resolutions. Some of you may be doing very well. For some, you may be finding that keeping your resolutions are already becoming a challenge. This year, I decided that I did not want to focus on getting skinny or losing weight, but rather become healthier and stronger. One way that I have been able to do so is by using the Kayla Itsines Sweat app. Here is what I found out about the app in the past few months that I have been using it.

  1. No counting calories. One thing that attracted me to Kayla Itsines and her nutritional advice was the fact that she does not count calories. Rather, she focuses her recipes on getting proper nutritional value from all of your meals. Instead of focusing on calories, you can on stay active while still enjoying a wide variety of different recipes. These recipes are provided to you straight from the app!
  2. Pre-planned meals. I am someone that loves to schedule my week day-especially my meals for the week. As much as I love to eat out from time to time, eating out can be very expensive. The Sweat App gives you meal ideas for the week that you can either prepare ahead of time or the day of. The best part about this app is that it gives you a shopping lists of ingredients that you will need for the week. Your grocery bill will literally be in the palm of your hand through the app.
  3. Customization for meal plans. If you are vegan or vegetarian, you can add this information to your profile. As such, your meal plans are catered to your specific needs (and the meals are delicious).
  4. A recent featured that was just added to the app is a planner. The app will sync into your primary e-mail calendar to help remind you to do your exercises for the day. This feature is a smart and effective way to keep on track with your exercise throughout the week. This new feature has been a fantastic way to keep me on track with my goals.
  5. I love the customized water log. Did you know that there is such a thing as over-hydration? Yep, this is a real thing and it is someone I encourage you to read more about (thank you, community college nutrition course). As such, the Sweat App has a water log that will show you whether you need to drink more water throughout the day or stop. The water the amount of water is needed for your body is determined by your weight. It’s pretty cool!

I also love that the Sweat App has different exercises that you can do throughout the week in order for you to see results. More so, the Sweat app is now really affordable. It is 19.99 USD a month to use the app. I read several blogs and reviews before I decided to give the Sweat app a chance. I can agree that having access to a gym HELPS when using this app to strengthen your body. I don’t necessarily agree that you need to go to the gym or need to have a personal gym in order to use this app (let’s face it, going to a gym can be intimidating. I certainly am not a fan of public gyms myself). I can say that you do need the following items to be able to get the most of the Sweat app. They include:

  • A yoga mat. I found that having one helps you not only maintain your balance but also ease your back and wrists when applying pressure to them. Needless to say, a yoga mat will be an invest-whether you decide to use the Sweat app or not.
  • A muscle foam roller. This was an item that I have never heard about until I started using this app (this extensive exercise thing is new to me lol). You can purchase one through the Kayla Itsines website or online on Amazon (that is where I got mine). The reason I ended up purchasing my muscle foal roller from Amazon to take advantage of my Amazon Prime account.
  • Weights. Don’t worry, you do not have to go crazy with them. I do recommend getting weights not just for this app but also to use in the future to keep your arms toned. If you are short on cash, ask around and see if you can borrow weights. You might even be able to convince your friends to join you in strengthening your body.
  • Medicine ball. Again, this might be a product that you might not have right away at your disposal. I did find that without the medicine ball, I could not complete some of the workout that I needed to do. I ended up improvising some exercises with weights instead.

Conclusion: The Sweat app is a great way to stay active on your goal to strengthen your body. I follow Kayla Itsines on Instagram and Twitter. The fact that  she promotes having self-worth and confidence by promoting good health and strength is really admiring. If you like to plan your meals ahead of time, you will definitely find this app very useful. You are NOT going to get immediate results right away. I have noticed after two months I have a lot more energy and strength. Let’s be frank, a healthy lifestyle is not a quick fix. Results that will last (and continue to last) will one happen when our eating habits change and we stay active. I truly believe that this app can be useful for anyone who is serious about becoming healthier. Learn more about Kayla Itsines by checking out her website here.