• My 3 Minute Morning Skincare Routine!

    Get glowing with me, get ready with me! My skincare routine only takes about 3 minutes in the morning, as long as I move my hands quickly and my products are readily available! I’m super focused on evening my skintone, keeping fine lines at bay, and eliminating acne at the moment – basically the same #skingoals every woman on planet earth has. I’ve found some AMAZING products lately that I think you’ll love just as much as I do. Links are below the vid! 

     


     

  • How To Take The Most Brain Soothing Bath Ever

    You’re going to start reading this thinking it’s a beauty and wellness post but really, it’s all about #MindMatters when it comes to taking a bath. At least for me – and here’s why:

    A bath is soothing, healing, and calming. It centers your body and mind. It releases toxins from your body that slow everything down and make your brain feel cloudy. It relaxes your muscles and allows your body to enter a state of rejuvenation. The body and mind are directly related – calm body, calm mind, calm body, calm mind.

    #TubTime also happens to be my FAVORITE time of the day. I love taking a bath so much I often start my day with one and end it with another. I know that two baths in a single day can seem extreme to some, but there is a good reason why I like to rise and shine with a deep soak in addition to doing it again before jumping in the sheets. More than anything else, taking a bath is a time that I move far away from my cell phone and the world around me – the emails, the Instagram posts, the city noise coming from outside my living room window – to be at one with myself and my thoughts. It’s meditative these days to simply BE, to have 20 minutes of quiet without external stimuli driving our brains absolutely nutters. I actually take it a step further and practice Transcendental Meditation in the morning bath to help get my day started, and it’s game-changing for me when combined with a warm soak, holistic salts, fragrant bubbles, and chilled lemon water.

    So here’s how I make my bath the best one ever – feel free to follow suit and let me know how you feel afterwards (I bet $250 that you’ll soon become as obsessed as I am).

    Make It Hot

    You want the water as hot as you can possibly stand it. Why? Because you want to sweat. When you sweat it releases toxins from the body that are slowing you down, making you feel like shit, and keeping you bloated. You actually burn a few hundred calories when you take an hour long bath, so make that temperature rise, honey!

    Add Magnesium Salts, Baking Soda, and Lavender Epsom Salts

    Magnesium is like nature’s candy for calming frayed nerves and helping an anxious individual reach sleep more easily. It helps to regulate the nervous system and when magnesium salts are placed into a bath, your pores open, allowing the mineral to seep directly into your blood system for a quick, calming effect on the entire body. Baking soda is a great add because it neutralizes acids, resulting in smoother skin and cleaner hair. Finally, Epsom salts soothe tired and achey muscles so any aches and pains you’re experiencing may be bathed away.

    Add Rose Bubble Bath to Calm Your Mind

    I love adding a scent based on aromatherapy that helps to calm and quiet the mind. If you don’t have a rose bubble bath, you can simply add a few drops of rose oil to the tub to help.

     Leave Your Phone on Silent in Another Room

    Forgetting your phone is my #1 rule to taking a bath that will ACTUALLY change the way you feel. Your brain MUST release itself from the grip of the phone and all the stimuli that come with it. Seriously, it needs a break to just process how you’re feeling, thinking clearly, and be creative. 

    Bring Plenty of Water With You

    If you’re taking a long, hot bath you will get thirsty. The most annoying thing that may happen is that you get so thirsty you feel like you need to grab a glass of water just so you survive in there. I like to bring in a pitcher of fresh lemon water with me so that even though I’m sweating out all the toxins, I’m constantly replenishing my body with alkaline water so I stay hydrated and feeling great. 

    Dim The Lights

    If we’re trying to relax here, we might as well set the mood. Turn the lights out or turn them down low. Enjoy yourself.

    Light a Candle (or 2)

    Along the lines of setting the mood, I like to light a candle or two and place them in the bathroom with me for some extra scent-sational moodiness.

    Embrace the Silence

    Finally, take a deep breath in and out. Do that 10 times. Do that 10 more times and then again. You’ve reached silence. Your bath has begun and you can work to soothe out all the kinks going on upstairs in your mind. 


    TELL ME – what are you favorite tips for taking a bath that soothes the mind? Let me know in the comment below! πŸ™‚

  • The Best Natural Beauty Products You Need Right Now

    I’ve made a strong effort to move towards natural and all-natural beauty and wellness products in my home – just in the same way as I’ve moved towards sourcing food for myself that is local, organic, and as whole as possible. It makes a lot of sense that we want the things we put ON our bodies to be as close to pure as the good foods that we’re eating in 2017, so whenever someone tells me about some new miracle product I always want to know if it’s natural.

    In terms of marketing hype, there are differences between “natural” and “all-natural” or “100%” natural products. Just to be clear, natural products still have some chemical or synthesized ingredients, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily bad. You just need to read the labels and do a bit of research if a term like Dibutyl phthalate pops up (FYI – it’s on the DIRTY DOZEN Beauty List of chemicals to avoid).

    On the other hand, if a product is marketed as all-natural or 100% natural, by law it should be. There are still some companies that fly under the regulatory radar and promote their items as such when they are not, so again, read the label. A lot of natural ingredients do have weird-ass names so just do your research.

    Now – lets dive into my current list of the natural and all-natural products you need RIGHT NOW PEOPLE. The 100% natural products are in BOLD. Watch my video below to discover their amazing uses and gentle formulas!

    1. Noble Formula 2% Zinc Argan Oil Bar Soap
    2. Love Wellness pH Balancing Cleanser (a gentle external cleanser for your vag)
    3. LilyAna Natural Retinol Cream
    4. BioSchwartz Organic Coconut Oil Supplements
    5. Captain Blankenship Mermaid Hair Oil

  • Adventures in Botox in New York City

    So you want to shoot some Clostridium botulinum into your face? Great, me too. Join me today as I take you on an Adventure in Botox in New York City, arguably the best place in the world to have a stranger stick a thin needle in your forehead with fabulous results.

    Like most women and some men in this city I tend to FAN GIRL out over fancy doctors with recognizable names and their own lines of products at Sephora (shout out to Dr. Gross and your Alpha-Beta Peel). There are many that fit the bill, most with practices in glowing offices lining Park Avenue, Lex, and 5th. But any good New Yorker knows that when you really, REALLY want the best – from botox to technology far beyond – you make an appointment at the practice of one Dr. Patricia Wexler – dermatological surgeon to the stars, royalty, and the very, very wealthy.

    Since it’s my FACE we’re talking here and because I undergo wellness treatments not just for your reading pleasure on TheLoDown, I made the decision that for a piece on botox, Wexler Dermatology was really my only option. So, I made an appointment and sat on my hands until the day finally arrived last week for my special moment in the sun with the botox needle. Having not been the first time to get injected with this miracle toxin (this round would be my second go), I had an idea of what to expect ahead of time, but my nerves were not entirely quelled by experience.

    First and foremost I was running late to my appointment. The traffic on 3rd Avenue was ridiculous and my Uber driver wasn’t tuned into Waze in the way I was from the back seat. I get seriously freaked out when Irving Place is totally open and instead we’re in gridlock one block over. I hate being late, so my anxiety was building solely from being branded as the naughty patient whose tardiness would hold up the schedule at the practice for the rest of the day. 

    Next, needles. I like to pretend they don’t bother me at all from my experience with Accutane and the required monthly blood draw that comes with taking the skin clearing medication. And they don’t bother me THAT much, but still, I do have to look away when the sharp end plunges through my flesh to do my doctor’s bidding. Add in the fact that the needle is not being directed into the arm but instead above the eyebrow and nervous energy tends to experience a minor uptick in severity.

    Happily, when I arrived at the practice nobody gave me the death stare and instead I was happily guided into a room to wait for Dr. Francesca Fusco, a fabulous medical and cosmetic dermatologist who is a master in her own right with the needle. Even happier still, when she walked in she was a breath of dermatological fresh-air: warm, lovable, and quite soothing with her friendly and approachable tone. Safe to say she calmed whatever remaining pre-treatment worries I was still harboring.

    As a 30 year old, I’ve made the decision to include botox in my skincare routine as a way to prevent existing wrinkles from settling in deeper, and to help quiet wrinkles and signs of age that are beginning to form as we speak. I’m less interested in the pulled “look” of botox that you see with many women, though it does refresh the entire face nicely. I’m using botox in the same way I’m using sunscreen: not to fix existing issues so much as prevent new ones from occurring. And I think that most practitioners would agree with me – at my age, botox is much more preventative than anything else.

    So, Dr. Fusco asks me which areas of my face are troublesome and I don’t hesitate to zero in on the Glabullar Region, better known as the “elevens” in between the eyebrows. I’ve always had a serious case of resting bitch face and it causes me to furrow my brow at absolutely nothing more often than not. Strangers often stop me on the street to ask me what’s wrong or to make the very kind recommendation that I smile more.  I suppose, despite my intention in these moments to send icicles  of death from my eyeballs to their necks, I’d like to not look quite so serious for the rest of my days so I ask her to please shoot the good stuff into this area right here. We also discuss crows feet as she makes delicate marks on my face with a white pencil, dancing around my skin with precision and dexterity.

    And then finally the moment is upon me – the needles removed from their disposable, plastic cages – as Dr. Fusco hands me stress balls to squeeze in case the pain is too much to bear. Mind you, I’ve declined the offer of a numbing cream because I’m just so bad-ass, and thoughts of regret immediately race through my mind as she approaches my face with her steady hand, needle in tow. Despite silent pleas, PRICK goes the first injection, directly into the middle of my brow line. 

    The feeling of pressure! The slight pinch! The lingering of the needle in the skin! And then, the relief of the first poke being over as Dr. Fusco withdraws the thin device of pain and pleasure and carefully asks me if I’m alright. And, yes actually, I’m quite alright. It truly doesn’t hurt very much at all. It’s simply a nervous situation to have a stranger push a needle with muscle-freezing material into ones face. After another prick or two, I’m riding high on the experience, the stress balls an unnecessary comfort.

    10 touches in total, the experience is quick and relatively painless. I can feel the botox taking effect rather quickly as it becomes more difficult to move some of my go-to R.B.F. muscles. They feel as though they’re wading through thick mud in an effort to look displeased. And I’m absolutely thrilled by it. Who wouldn’t be?

    I leave the office 15 minutes later after Dr. Fusco artfully applies cooling gel pads to my skin instead of ice packs. By then, I’ve fully recovered and we’ve moved on to discuss epilators and the best way to remove dark spots from the skin (she recommends Lytera 2.0 from SkinMedica). I leave with some free product because she is a baller and I’m on my way to my next appointment, refreshed and looking just friendly enough to keep strangers-with-opinions at bay as I cruise towards Lex to hail a cab.


    Want the goods from Wexler Dermatology? Make an appointment with one of the physicians by calling 212.684.2626. Pricing for Botox begins at $500-$1000.


  • VLOG: What I Brought With Me To The Beach!!

    Was chillin’ in MTK last weekend and wanted to share with you guys what I brought with me to the beach! The weather was glorious, the party delightful, and the company just right. I picked up a few new natural beauty items as well that I think you guys will dig. Watch the vid and catch up with me as I take you on a tour of my hotel room at The Surf Lodge and just say “HAY”… links included below for all the stuff I’m showing you!

     

    HELLO SUNSHINE BAG (something similar)

    REFORMATION JEAN SHORTS

    GRAY MALIN PRINT

    SWEET BITTER

    UH HUH HONEY SWEATER

    THE NUE COE DEBLOAT FOOD + PREBIOTIC

    SUPERGOOP SUNSCREEN

    HENNE DIAMOND ROSE SCRUB

    FRANK BODY BODY BALM

    ZARA SANDALS

    MINIMALE ANIMALE SWIMSUIT

  • Secrets of My Summer Skincare Routine

    Just kidding, they aren’t secrets! Skincare is for everyone to enjoy, pals. I’m super happy to share the products I love to use, especially as this summer heats up and keeping your skin in check is Priority Numero Uno (at least for me).

    Watch the video and let me know if you use any of these products too! Links below for those who want to grab them for themselves!


     

    ROLOXIN LIFT – SKIN MEDICA TOTAL DEFENSE + REPAIRAMORE PACIFIC SPF – NATURA BISSE DIAMOND EYEPAULA’S CHOICE BHA LIQUIDCUROLOGYDERMALOGICA ACTIVE MOIST

     

     

  • How To Beat This CRAZY HEAT For Only $49

    True story, it’s 95 degrees at my house. You go outside and it’s an instant boob sweat situation. Misery loves company however, so NYers take it in stride together, charging down 7th Ave with their Iced Ginger Turmeric Teas. I for one do love the heat, but only when I’m really prepared for it – with great SPF, great hair products to keep the insanity in check, great skincare to keep things dewy and tight and glowing but not sweaty and awful. 

    My second FabFitFun box came this past Saturday just in time for this insane heat wave (remember if you will, that I signed up for the Spring Box blind, without really knowing how I was going to feel about what was inside but was happily surprised). Full disclosure – I’m a FabFitFun partner but have chosen to do so only with the intention to tell the truth and nothing but the truth about how I feel about the service and what comes inside the box. If you’re curious like I was, you can get $10 off your own box should you choose the path of BOXES by using code BOSWORTH at check-out. Each box costs $49 – because it comes with full sized products I do recommend trying it, even if it’s just for funsies.

    Now, here’s for the honest part: I liked the Summer Box more than the Spring variety. I just felt like the product assortment was higher quality and the buyer’s taste for this particular season was more attuned to the weather and what women really want (to look and feel good even when it’s fucking HOTTTTT outside). There was only one thing I thought was a little silly – you can catch my unboxing vid to see that part too. Enjoy the vid and stay cool out there, amigos.

     


    Tell me – are you a fan of FabFitFun? What are the best products you’ve received so far???

  • How To Save Your Skin From Pollutants in the Air

    With Memorial Day Weekend right around the corner (already!!!!!), everyone is gearing up for trips, airplane rides, and hotter weather. I myself will be heading to Nashville for my best friend’s Bachelorette Party and while I cannot wait for the event, the warmer weather definitely has me more aware of what’s in the air and environment around me and how those things are affecting my skin.

    Seasonal changes can bring changes with skin as well and as mine gets accustomed to warmer weather it’s also dealing with compounding environmental elements that are in the air and all around us. I haven’t found many skincare lines that address pollutants in the environment in their products yet – but one I’ve written about before, Alba Botanica IS with their new Hawaiian Detox Collection! How awesome is that?

    Pollutants in the air can drastically affect the skin, causing hyperpigmentation, inflammation, a breakdown of elastic and collagen, and rough and dull skin. Bad news considering that we really just worried about the harmful rays from the sun before this wave of new information. But, power is knowledge and I’m happy to have an arsenal of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant ingredients at my disposal in my new anti-pollution products.

    My three must-have products from Alba Botanica to help detoxify my skin after a long day or a long flight are the Hawaiian Detox Towelettes,  the Hawaiian Detox Scrub, and the Hawaiian Detox Sheet Mask. I use them in that order too – using the towelettes to remove make-up and detoxify, then the scrub to get rid of debris, and finally the sheet mask with real volcanic clay that draws out toxins.

    Step 1: Use Towelettes!

    Step 2: Scrub!

    Step 3: Detox Sheet Mask

    It’s really the natural ingredients in this collection that help to save the skin: the real volcanic clay draws out and absorbs impurities, lotus flower and torch ginger tone and rebalance, and tropical fruit acids dissolve dulling debris. I love a natural product and have made a conscious shift towards products of this nature. Even better – the Towelettes and Detox Sheet Mask fit into my carry-on bag for my weekend trip to celebrate my best friend, and I think they will be totally necessary after a long weekend with my girls!

    Thank you to Alba Botanica for being a wonderful partner to work with – I love all the products you send me to try out!


    Are you taking a trip for Memorial Day this year? What beauty products make your skincare essentials list?

  • This Virtual Reality Facial Promises Zen AND Great Skin

    Getting an invitation to a virtual reality facial sounds a little kooky, right? Yes, you would be right. It IS kooky! The sheer logistics of getting facialed while wearing a VR headset is confusing, but the Natura Bisse team at Julien Farel uptown are determined to bring the concept to life. Why? To bring you moments of zen while your face is being massaged by a stranger.  Wellness – it’s all around us these days, pals.

    I arrive without any expectation, except knowing that the facial I’ll be receiving is all about collagen (perf, I have an event the next day I’ll be photographed at). The collagen treatment promises to sculpt and define my facial features while plumping the areas I want plumped, like my lips and cheeks. I’m invited to get cozy in my heated treatment bed (love a heated bed) and my friendly aesthetician Hannah guides me to put on an enormous black VR headset to get started. She tells me the virtual reality portion is only 7 to 8 minutes long and that I’ll enjoy a scalp and neck massage during the video and guided mediation that accompanies it. 

    I’ll do anything once, so, I say okay. I sit up to place them on my face properly (not feeling like a facial yet) and she guides me to lay back as I start seeing clouds appear in front of my face. A woman’s voice picks up volume in an in-room speaker and she welcomes me to my focused facial. 

    Let me just stop right here now and tell you that while the idea of a virtual reality facial is indeed a bit kooky, it’s also fucking AWESOME. I’ve never had a VR experience before, so doing so while simultaneously lying on my back, being massaged and listening to a soothing voice the Natura Bisse gals simply call “Her” gives me a feeling of melting away. The images on the screen range from different colors and shapes to ocean creatures floating by and sand dunes and white light and stars and electric, winding shapes. Sort of like the visuals in the Sahara Tent at Coachella but without the deafening base. I’m not high, but I feel like it, and it’s kind of lovely. Perhaps it’s the physical sensation of being on my back, allowing the VR experience and gravity to take over your senses that creates such an intoxicating experience, but now I totally understand the funny cartoons you see of people glued to their couches, trapped behind a VR headset. 

    During the VR-time, my mind shifts off of the multitude of “things” floating through my cranial atmosphere and slows down, just to focus on the party lights in front of my eyes. And that’s really the point – to allow the person receiving the facial, traditionally not the most relaxing spa experience compared to say, a 90 minute massage, to mellow out. And I do. The world is winding in front of my eyes, allowing me a sensory experience that could, under different circumstances, be classified as illegal.

    When the VR moment is over, I’m actually disappointed. Surprisingly so. Had Hannah been able to put collagen goo all over my face while also experiencing VR I’d give this facial 10/10 gold stars. Alas, the goggles are removed and we get into the actual skin treatment with a very gentle glycolic peel that doesn’t create redness or actual skin peeling a few days later. It’s a little tingly, as to be expected, and I get a nice massage of my pressure points while my face cooks. “Her” is still talking to me this whole time, mind you, reminding me to focus on my breathing and things of that nature.

    The collagen creams come next and we finish with a mask that is hooked around your ears and pressed gently down onto the face. I have no idea what was happening during that period of time, but it made me realize that all those cloth masks that are hot right now should totally have ear-hooks attached so they stay planted more firmly on the face. “Her” tells me to take 10 deep breaths, counting them as I go, and after an hour of listening to her soothing voice and being gently massaged and covered in creams, it’s time to hop back on the 6 and head downtown, back into my actual reality, the one I attempt to center every day.


    Want to try the Natura Bisse Virtual Reality Facial? Call over to Julien Farel and make an appointment, stat.

    Cartoon via CartoonaDay.com

  • Is it Possible To Get Rid Of Dry Skin For Good?

    With everything that surrounds us, from pollution to cigarette smoke, to salty food and over-zealous skin zapping beauty products, it’s pretty easy for your skin to look like a 5/10. I hate that, especially with spring upon us and dresses flying out of my closet and on to my pale body faster than you can say “75 degreeeeessss!”

    I’m always on the hunt for new products and methods to take care of my skin – from upping my water intake and overnight facial masks to fabulous lotions made with natural ingredients. My hunt has recently taken me towards Alba Botanica and a specifically Hawaiian influence, the natural beauty company that is having a real loud moment with their Hawaiian Detox line of products. Everything is full of clay, smells good, and pulls nasty stuff out of the skin while hydrating and making you smooth and soft all over. I feel like an island babe already, pals.

    My new hydration method (beyond drinking 2 glasses of lemon water immediately upon waking up) goes like this:

    Scrub, Scrub, Scrub 

    First things first – if you have dry skin already, you have to get it OFF! I’ve tried countless scrubs in my day. Some are too tough on the skin (including some DIY sugar/honey creations I’ve made), and some just don’t cut the mustard at all. The perfect scrub never irritates, is made of natural ingredients, rinses off the skin easily, and leaves it feeling a soft as a baby’s bottom. Can I just say that the Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Frothy Scrub is ALL of those things? For the real life example, see me taking a shower below.

    OH HEY GUYS, JUST TAKING A SHOWER, NBD.

    As you can see from the actual scrub on my face, it’s gentle enough to use all over the body. I also want to mention AGAIN how easily it rinses off – I’ve struggled with crazy coffee scrubs that literally will not leave my body or my shower walls. This one is quite nice.

    FROTH IT UP

    After an invigorating scrub, it’s time to use a moisturizing body wash that won’t strip the skin of natural oils and moisture. Step right up, Hawaiian Detox Body Wash. It’s a clear wash with actual clay in it (just like the frothy scrub) that protects what’s on the outside with pulling out the ick that’s on the inside. With Hawaii in mind, it’s formulated with coconut water, torch ginger, lotus flower, and Yerba mate. Sounds almost good enough to eat, am I right?

    The smell is really soothing and it bubbles up nicely on the skin. Good enough to get clean all over without sacrificing the good that’s already there.

    SLIP AND SLIDE

    The last step in my moisturizing routine, obviously, is LOTION. I have a secret way to apply it however, and that is to do it while your skin is still WET. Yes, it takes a bit longer to dry off and get dressed, but for some reason, I swear, the lotion works better this way. The Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Renewing Lotion does more than moisturize the skin however – it also protects it from pollutants in the air. How so?

    Hidden within the moisturizer is a cover of volcanic clay that protects the skin from the elements, allowing the cocoa butter, kukui nut oil, and lotus flower. It slides on smooth and lasts all day. No re-application necessary here!


    I always follow up with more water throughout the day and try to snack on fruits and veggies with high-water content as well. My favorite thing to do lately is combine coconut water with fresh watermelon, spun up together in the blender! That’s the taste of the islands right there, lovers!

  • I Tried A $49 Box Subscription Just To See What’s Inside

    I’m not really a fan of box subscriptions. I don’t like not being able to choose what I’m paying for.  I KNOW there are some decent ones out there, and because I do really like stuff, I asked a few of my friends which ones are actually worth it and which ones to avoid like the plague. Hence, here is my honest review about FabFitFun’s Spring Box – the company recommended to me most by other New York City gals. It costs $49.99 and is delivered 4x a year (so $179.99 annually). The gals at FFF tell me the box is worth over $200, so a good deal in my opinion (they also gave me a coupon code for you to use at your leisure – use “BOSWORTH” at check-out for $10 of your first box).

    Upon arriving at my doorstep I’m actually charmed by the design and size of the box. Being the founder of an online wellness company myself, I take packaging very seriously. I do NOT like waste, and FFF does a good job of sending an appropriately sized, recyclable box full of goodies. It’s pink too, and I like pink.

    I open the box expecting to find another box on the inside, but thankfully for the planet, there isn’t one. 10 points for FFF. The products are just right there waiting for me, and I get the feeling that I do on Christmas morning when I scope out what has my name on it under the tree (private shivers of excitement). There are so many THINGS! And they are FULL-SIZED THINGS. I love full sized things. Everybody does.

    In the spring box are some actual gems – the first thing I see is an exfoliator by legendary New York dermatologist Dr. Brandt (may he RIP). It’s the Dr. Brandt Microdermabrasion Age Defying Exfoliator. And like I said, FULL SIZE. I’m stoked. It smells sort of like peppermint and leaves my face actually glowing after use.

    The next gem: a FULL SIZE round beach towel from Gypsy. I looooved Gypsy when I lived in LA. I don’t have a ton of use for their gear anymore living in NYC but with summer just around the corner I’m super happy to find this great towel in the box. I do have a backyard to perch in and this is perfect for it, and my upcoming trip to Turks and Caicos. It’s fringed and tie-dye and totally of the moment.

    The other highlight for me in the box: FOUR (yes, 4) Hydrating Face Masks from Karuna. They’re the cloth kind that you lay over your face and make you look like a crazy person during use. I absolutely LOVE a mask like this. I scare the pants off my boyfriend then he wants to wear one too. This particular one by Karuna is great because the cloth is a 100% natural fiber, and it’s a mask+serum duo which deeply conditions the skin.

    Outside of these 3 perfect surprises are nail polishes by Deborah Lippmann, lipstick by REALHER, gummy vitamins by Nature’s Bounty, a charming bracelet by Emerald Duv, a cosmetics bag from Milly, and a leave-in conditioning spray from Briogeo. I like this box concept because these items aren’t things I would purchase on my own, but now that I’m the proud owner of them, I’m using ’em and likin’ them!

    That’s the thing about box subscriptions, right? Some fabulous curator gets to pick what they think you’ll like, what’s on trend, or what they want you to like because they’ve been pushed to do so by their boss. Not EVERYTHING is a hit, but certainly a lot of the items are. Because of the really high-end brands included in FFF’s Spring Box, I’m temped to sign up for the next one too. Hopefully the summer box will even include a little SPF for warm days spent in the Hamptons or the French Riviera. Maybe I’ll petition them to include some Love Wellness in the next one!

    Okay… I signed up for it. Here’s to the next box reveal….


    Tell me honestly – what do you think about box subscriptions? Are you a fan? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Here Are My Fave Wellness Products That Cost Less Than $25

    Everyone is so into wellness these days. And I don’t even laugh at them. In fact, I’m a total CHAMPION of this movement. Why wouldn’t you want your mind and body to be at peak performance? 30 is the new 20, and 40 is the new 30. I know some serious BABES that are 40+, and how did they get to be that way? Well, good genes, but also the motivation to put health first.

    More and more companies are dedicating themselves to wellness and health. I even launched my own feminine wellness company (Love Wellness) last year after struggling with chronic infections and irritations for years, and the pharmacy goo just didn’t cut the mustard. It was only when I turned to high-quality ingredients and natural products that my problems went away and because of that I chose to share what my doctors and I worked on together with all of you.

    In general that has been my experience – turn to organic ingredients that come from the earth instead of a lab, and poof, yo problems dissipate into thin air. Not all of these on this list of $25 and under wellness grabs are for problems that need fixin’, but they do each hold a special place in my heart for what they ARE for. My picks span across different verticals – beauty to tummy troubles. Lets explore these affordable finds!

     

    Collagen ($17.25)

    So everyone has been drinking this brand of collagen drinks lately (the bottle is striped, dirty lemon I think it’s called) in an effort to plump their skin. Turns out you can just buy powdered collagen and skip the fancy drink scheme. Doin’ it yourself is way more cost-effective, plus you can add collagen to just about anything – smoothies, yogurt, water, a vodka martini, etc.

    Collagen is super great for filling out fine lines and wrinkles over time and improving skin elasticity. It’s high-time to add it to your list of supplements.

    Do It All Wipes ($24)

    Full disclosure, these feminine wipes come from my own line, Love Wellness, but they’ve made the top of so many “wipes” lists that I thought they were fair to include. My friends ask me for freebies of these so often I keep like 20 packages in my backpack all the time. I formulated these to be all natural, infused with coconut oil so they soothe sensitive skin down there, and the wipe itself is made from 100% cotton. The smell is really light and the packaging is petite and chic. These vag wipes really do it all – I even use them to get make-up off sometimes or clean something gooey off my hands. These wipes are sold in packs of 3 for $24.

    Aztec Secret Healing Clay Mask ($12.29)

    If you need to get goo out of your face, forget the crazy peeling masks you’ve been seeing all over Instagram. The true holy grail is Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. It’s just a bottle of calcium bentonite clay powder, one that you mix up yourself into a mask. Just combine a bit of water with the powder and you have an almost endless supply of green clay to clear your skin out with.

    This stuff seriously WORKS to get rid of blackheads and other nasty stuff lying beneath the surface. Don’t use it everyday though – it’s simply too powerful and can dry out the skin.

    Activated Charcoal ($17.65)

    Upset tummy? Instead of Tums, go the natural route and try an activated charcoal pill instead. Charcoal is found everywhere these days – from facial cleansers to tooth whiteners and now, stomach soothers. Keep a few in your purse on a date to avoid anything uncomfortable that may happen afterwards. I won’t say anything else about these, just use your imagination, and know they have 5 stars on Amazon.

    Maca Powder ($18.99)

    A little PMS-y? Feck, girl, me too. Pretty much always. Or at least for like 10 days out of the month. How unfair is that? 

    The good thing is that once you bring maca powder into the rotation, expect your symptoms to subside a bit. I’ve been mixing maca into my smoothies for a month or so now and I noticed that this most recent cycle was quite as painfully emotional. Maca is a renowned Peruvian root that’s been used for hundreds of years to balance hormones.

    Turmeric Tea ($13.95)

    God, I love turmeric. Just last week I wrote a post about Golden Turmeric Milk and the health benefits of this powerful herb. This is just straight up tea (a little quicker to throw together) and just as tasty as the milk. This is more peppery and the ginger also adds a digestive aid and benefit to the drink. Turmeric is both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and I can’t say enough great things about it. My doctor recommended I add turmeric into my supplement regime and since I have all my old aches and pains have definitely calmed down.

    Squeezable Omega 3 Packets ($22.99)

    Everyone knows that fish oil is pretty much disgusting, but, so nutritious that we should be consuming it anyway. Thank goodness for this brand CoroMega. They make high quality Omega 3 supplements that come in this squeezable flavor packets you can add to water, smoothies, or just straight into your mouth. This is a big squeeze packet instead of the smaller, individual ones they have for sale (it was under $25) so you simply squeeze and close it back up when you’re done.

    Omega 3s lower your risk of heart disease, depression, dementia, and arthritis. They also make your hair, skin, and nails lovely. This brand has managed to make a product that doesn’t taste that weird or fake, so I give them a thumbs up for what they’ve done.


    Tell me, pals – what are you favorite wellness goodies I should add to my list? If they’re not under $25 that’s okay – I gotta know anyway. 

    xx

    L

  • I Tried Sunscreen You Apply After Your Make-Up

    While I don’t live in the land of perpetual sun and fun anymore (LA), the gloomy skies over New York City still allow some pretty killer rays to penetrate through the atmosphere, my skin absorbing them hesitantly over the course of the day. Rain or shine, those rays will get ya! Wearing sunscreen everyday is the most critical part of my beauty routine and finding the right products to help me along the way has always been a top priority. I switch around a lot when it comes to sunscreen, trying out different SPF levels, consistencies, and brands in my never-ending quest for the PERFECT sunscreen.

    Recently my dermatologist told me that for my skin to reap the full benefits of SPF protection, I should be re-applying my sunscreen every 2-3 hours. Um, say what? The glob I put on in the morning on top of my moisturizer isn’t enough? UGG, I’ve been doing it WRONG all these years. Well, not too wrong – I’m still wearing it, and avoiding the sun like the plague whenever I go on a beach vacation. Hats and umbrellas are a yes for me, thanks.

    And this leads me to the point of all this – how, if I wear make-up, am I supposed to re-apply my sunscreen lotion without messing up my face? The answer: a sunscreen spray or powder that’s formulated for post make-up application. Like, duh, how obvious is that? Had my brain made the connection years ago I could have just gone to CVS and picked up a bottle of Neutrogena spray and been done with it. BUT – the truth of the matter is, not all products are created equal, and some of the sprays on the market leave you looking super greasy/shiny which by 4pm, is not the best look.

    So let me introduce you to my 3 faves I’ve incorporated into my routine: Supergoop!’s Defense Refresh Setting Mist, Amore Pacific’s Resort Collection Sun Protection Mist, and Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral SPF 45 powder. Companies are finally getting hip to the (not) trend that is SPF. Very exciting for me personally as an X-treme lover of sunscreen.

    Supergoop!’s Defense Refresh Setting Mist comes in as my #1 post make-up fave. It has a nice smell (rosemary), a high SPF 50, and actually creates a matte finish on your skin after applying. I don’t really find that I need to use pressed powder anymore for a little shine – this spray just takes care of it. What I really like about this product is that the sunscreen comes out in a fine mist – it doesn’t leave little white dots of products all over my face. I’ve tried sprays that do – and they will remain nameless for now. But what’s the point if you have to rub it in and smudge your foundation? My only gripe with this product is that by the end of the day, it does almost TOO good a job of providing a finish to your make-up, and my skin feels a little bit tight at times. At $30, it’s a great item to throw into your purse for intermittent SPF touch-ups.

    Next up is cult brand Amore Pacific’s Resort Collection Sun Protection Mist. It clocks in at SPF 30 (not bad, but wish it was higher) and smells really divine. This company knows how to make a luxury product – that’s for sure. It comes in a bottle that’s bigger than Supergoop!’s, but it’s says it’s for vacay and not your purse right in the product name, so okay, cool. It definitely fits in a beach bag or my suitcase (it is 6.76 fl oz though so not in a carry-on). The product comes out a pump spray nozzle, and while it’s definitely shinier than the others on this list, it’s not overwhelming. It’s not like an aerosol spray shine at all. It provides more of a healthy glow to the skin, like if you were to apply a highlighter to the top of your cheekbones. It’s suggested you spray the product into your hands and then apply to the face (prob to protect your eyeballs) but I skip that step and just spray it right on. If the goal is to keep my make-up intact, then a direct spray is important. No rubbing allowed. The only other downside to this lovely spray is the price tag – the full size bottle is $75. After a big of digging I discovered you can get the 2.7L bottle for a more reasonable $32 here.

    Finally, my third fave product for a post make-up application of SPF is Peter Thomas Roth’s Instant Mineral Powder with a nice SPF of 45. This product has truly great potential – the actual powder itself is really nice! It’s smooth and soft and does a nice job of elimination shine. It’s hard to get it absolutely everywhere though, and the actual packaging itself is really lacking. The brush hairs come out a lot (kind of annoying) and it’s really hard to actually start using the product – like figuring out how to get it out of the bottle itself. If you’re more comfortable with a powder than a spray, it’s a good option, and nicely sized so it will fit into any purse imaginable. It will set you back $30, more or less like the others here. 

    I’m loving the advancements being made in the beauty industry right now when it comes to products like this. I’m loving that skincare is getting top priority with major brands. It means really good things for the health of our skin. If you have a post make-up sunscreen that you love, I’d love to hear about it! Leave the name in the comments!

    xx

    Lo

  • I Tried An Online Dermatologist and Here’s What Happened

    So, I got suckered into trying out Curology through video ads on Facebook. Have you seen them? Girls in their young 20s rave about this new thing for acne: just answer a series of questions about your skin online, send them pics of your zits, have a quick chat with a dermatologist (or an nurse practitioner – that’s who I got), and then a few weeks later they send you a little bottle of potion mixed up just for you.

    Seems too good to be true, right? Well, in some ways it is. The website is not totally user friendly, it’s hard to find your shipping and payment information, and a lot of the user’s posts on the homepage aren’t positive about the product. It also took ages (I did mention weeks, right?) to actually get the bottle in my hands and an email or two to figure out what was happening.

    As a business owner I understand the hiccups in user experience and customer service that can happen along the way, especially in a start-up situation – so they’re forgiven for the small things I wish I could change about the service. My nurse practitioner Emily seems to be a real nice lady who is well-informed about skincare and I dig the overall concept of creating custom solutions for each individual.

    The goals I discussed with Emily were to reduce overall pore clogging (black-heads, ew), reduce redness, and soften fine lines. I don’t get a lot of monster zits anymore now that I’m 30 (gasp), but in general I felt like my face could use some fine-tuning. I appreciate the face that Curology is open to addressing more than just acne – it was definitely the selling point for me that they’d also dive into my other concerns. 

    The formula Emily put together for me is as follows: Tretinoin (.009%), Clindamycin (1%), and Azelaic Acid (9%). Each element addresses my concerns and combines redness reducing acid with anti-bacterial elements and ingredients that help to shed skin cells (to help with disgusting black-heads and things of that nature).

    And what’s my verdict after using the product (at night only, per their recommendation) for a month? Honestly, I love it. I wasn’t expecting to, but I do. I didn’t get a single outbreak during my most recent period. The skin around my nose and chin is getting less red, and I think I look younger and more fresh. It’s also cheap AF ($19.95/month with a subscription service) compared to going to the real-life dermatologist and then the pharmacy.

     Turns out its sometimes okay to go down the Facebook advertising rabbit hole. You may just find clear, younger looking skin on the other side.

  • Why Doing Good Things Makes You Beautiful

    So I got tuned in to a new campaign from Alba Botanica this week that I’m really digging – a beauty brand committed not only to reducing their environmental footprint, using only 100% vegetarian ingredients, and never testing on animals – but one that is also supporting women in a MAJOR WAY right now. I’m just majorly feeling the lady vibes lately so I wanted to throw my support behind the #DoGoodDoBeautiful campaign.

    Here’s the scoop: the brand is featuring intimate, doc-style vids that journey through the day in the life of fave powerful women who are making a true difference in their communities. These 5 women featured protect animal rights, push for women’s empowerment, protect the environment, and demonstrate their commitment to community through social activism and service. Giving back has a way of touching your soul in a really beautiful and calming way, creating positive energy vibes that penetrate through your skin and out into the universe. At least that’s how I’ve always felt about activism. When that happens, your skin calms down, your eyes sparkle, and your entire aura just glows.

    The #DoGoodDoBeautiful Campaign is one I’m behind because I’m a true fan of Alba Botanica – the products very much align with my lifestyle. They contain 100% vegetarian ingredients and are made with vitamins, plant emollients, and therapeutic botanicals for fabulous beauty benefits. I’ve personally made a conscious decision in the past year or so to use natural products whenever possible, and the Alba Botanica ones totally fit the bill.

    I’d love to introduce you to the 5 incredible women featured in the #DoGoodDoBeautiful campaign now – please lend your support and leave comments on this post, on their YouTube videos and on Instagram! Much love!

     

  • TheLoDown