• What’s In My Bag?

    Here is my beloved Strathberry Midi Tote bag.

    I came across the bag on Instagram and instantly fell in love with its structure, handle, and overall look. Instead of traditional zippers and flaps, the Strathberry has a gold bar closure that simply “locks” the bag’s handles together. Super stylish, it has complemented a ton of my everyday looks. I’ve received a lot of compliments while using it too!

    Keep on reading for the contents inside!

    Let’s start off with what I consider my necessities—phone, earphones, wallet and water bottle. I never leave my house without my small 9 oz Swell bottle (because it fits most of my bags and is a eye-catcher every time I drink my water), my wallet and iPhone (I mean just look at my cute peacock phone case from Rifle Paper Co) and my Master & Dynamic earphones (they make my daily commutes to and from work a lot more bearable)!

    Even though everyone is pretty much all for Google Calendars, I’m still old school—forever flipping through my physical planner. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been on the planner train and, quite frankly, I’m staying loyal. There’s something about being able to write things down, something about having it be tangible in front of me that makes the old school method so appealing. To each their own, right? Say hello to my new 2017 planner from Rifle Paper Co. and some Muji stationery, of course!

    Need some hand cream on-the-go? I’m that girl who’s always whipping out a tube and sharing its hydrating love with everyone. I’ve been using Mario Badescu’s Hand Cream and Lip Wax. Next up, are Love Wellness Co.’s Do It All Wipes… because you gotta #TakeCareDownThere. These pH balancing wipes make me feel fresh (down there, duh!) whenever I need them. And how can I not carry around Kleenex tissues? I don’t know about you, but I need a tissue everyday of my life—there’s always seems to be a reason for needing one!

    Finally, my everyday makeup essentials! Do I need to say more? These are some of my favorite makeup products and they’re all travel-friendly, especially in this Glossier pink pouch. If I had to choose one makeup product to take with me on-the-go, it’d probably be the Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Wiz. Can’t leave the house without my brows!

    What is one thing you can’t leave the house without? Let me know in the comments below!

  • Visit the Mario Badescu Skincare Salon!

    Why? Because it’s facial time!

    If you’ve been reading my skincare articles, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Mario Badescu products. I love this brand because they give customers (yes, you!) a free “skin analysis” before recommending a range of relatively inexpensive products that target your skincare needs.

    I decided to check out the Mario Badescu Skincare Salon, located at 320 East 52nd Street, for one of their European Facials.

    Main Lobby (Photo: Mario Badescu)

    The waiting area, chic and spotless, is decorated with framed pictures of celebrities who have visited before. The wait time for my appointment was not very long. I was brought into a facial room where I changed before meeting my esthetician who explained everything she was doing throughout the entire facial process. The European Facial includes a detoxifying steam, extractions, a light facial massage, and a mask that is customized to the client’s skin type. The facial was definitely enjoyable and my skin definitely felt cleaner and looked more radiant afterwards!

    Consultation Room (Photo: Mario Badescu)

    After my facial, I had a one-on-one consultation with my esthetician. She informed me of my skin needs and recommended both products and a regimen for maintenance and upkeep. The products were displayed conveniently behind the esthetician on glass shelves. I was then allowed to choose which items I wanted to purchase.

    Totally love how Mario Badescu products come in various beautiful colors! 😍

    Here is a mini haul of what I picked up! I went home with the Orange Cleansing Soap, Papaya Body Lotion, Botanical Exfoliating Scrub, Rose Hips Nourishing Oil, and Vitamin C Serum.

    If you’re in the NYC area, definitely check this place out! This skincare salon provides more of an in-and-out treatment that gets the job done. I definitely recommend it! 

  • Get Unready with Me!

    Good night, Moon ?

    As promised, here’s the “evening edition” of my advanced skincare routine!

    “What’s the difference between my morning and evening skincare routines?” you ask.

    Well, truth be told, not much. Just a whole range of different products selected specifically for a more in-depth and attentive cleansing and moisturizing process. I mean, the magic does happen overnight.

    If you haven’t already checked out Rise & Shine With Me, I highly advise you do that first. Otherwise, let’s get ready to take it all off and count some sheep!

    Mario Badescu Enzyme Gel Cleanser
    Mario Badescu Seaweed Cleansing Lotion
    Kleenex Cotton Soft Pads

    Behold my favorite cleanser and toner duo! Mario Badescu always comes through, never upsets, and solves practically all skin concerns. I love using Kleenex’s Cotton Soft Pads to apply my toner. Betcha didn’t know they also have superb facial cleansing wipes!

    SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

    I like to pat some treatment essence on before applying my serums and moisturizers. Doing so rejuvenates my skin!

    La Mer The Regenerating Serum
    La Mer The Eye Balm Intense

    You know you’re an adult when you hoard anti-aging products. Better sooner than later. Or, like, better sooner than never! La Mer’s The Regenerating Serum and The Eye Balm Intense are, in my very humble opinion, the best products to use. A little goes a long way, and I’ve noticed a difference in my skin after just a few weeks. My complexion looks more revived and less dead. Best of all, the cold tip of the eye cream applicator is super soothing and helps to reduce puffiness.

    Philosophy Renewed Hope in a Jar Overnight
    Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Masque
    The Estee Edit Pink Peony Overnight Water Pack

    After serum and eye cream, comes moisturizer. I like using a moisturizer (or cream during winters) that is specifically formulated for overnight use. These babies always leave my skin feeling extra smooth and supple when I wake up!

    Fresh Sugar Lip Serum Advanced Therapy
    Drunk Elephant Lippe
    Malin + Goetz Lip Moisturizer
    Herbivore Botanicals Coco Rose Lip Conditioner

    Voilà! More evidence of how much I love lip products. I like to keep my lips super hydrated (all the time), especially overnight. Check out Lip Care 101 for more info on all things lips!

    Altchek MD 5 Minute Clay Renewal Mask
    Philosophy When Hope is not Enough Gel-Oil Mask
    Mario Badescu Flower & Tonic Mask

    Like exfoliating, treating the skin with a facial mask (at least once or twice a week) is important. No excuses, because there is a mask for everyone. Here are some of my favorite masks ordered from least to greatest amount of time needed (to fit everyone’s time and budget needs). Altchek MD’s Clay Renewal Mask takes just 5 minutes, Philosophy’s Gel-Oil Mask suggests 10 minutes, and Mario Badescu’s Flower & Tonic Mask requires 20 minutes. If you’re super-duper lazy and don’t want to smear product all over face, throw on a sheet or gel mask! Your skin will thank you.

    Do you recommend any skincare products? Tell us what your skin-loving favorites are in the comments down below! 

  • Rise & Shine with Me!

    Advanced Skincare Routine: Morning Edition

    As of late, I’ve been obsessed with all things skincare. Better late than never, right?

    Makeup, while a lot more fun to talk about, isn’t really my “essential.” Regardless whether I’m having an extra drowsy morning or super lazy evening, I always make sure to take care of my skin. No exceptions!

    Even though skincare can be an investment, I always think it’s worth it in the long run.

    Step aside face wash and moisturizer, here’s the low down on my morning routine!

    Foreo Luna Mini 2
    Philosophy Purity Made Simple
    Malin+Goetz Grapefruit Face Cleanser

    I have so many favorite cleansers, and it’s hard sticking to just one! Using the Foreo Luna Mini 2, however, makes cleaning my face a lot more fun. I noticed that my skin looks and feels healthier after every Luna use!

    You can’t go wrong with both of these cleansers. They definitely do the job and they work for all skin types! After cleansing, follow up with toner to remove any last traces of makeup and dirt. It’ll leave your skin feeling hydrated.

    Philosophy The Microdelivery Exfoliating Wash
    Mario Badescu Strawberry Face Scrub

    Don’t forget to scrub-a-dub-dub at least twice a week. You want to get rid of all the dead skin that accumulates on a regular basis. You’ll also unclog your pores in the process! DO NOT, however, exfoliate daily (unless the product says that it’s okay to do so) because over-exfoliating can cause irritation and redness. Moderation is key!

    Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Rejuvenating Serum
    The Estee Edit Late Night Eraser

    I think putting on eye treatment and serum is my favorite part of my morning routine because doing so feels like doling out extra brownie points for my skin. If you’re have super tired eyes in the morning, please try Estee Edit’s Late Night Eraser. The cold metal applicator tip wakes me up in a good way (no cranky Courtney here) and my eyes don’t feel and look as tired. I try to use serum before moisturizer as often as possible because serum helps to firm the skin while making it look radiant! I’ve also been a huge fan of Amore Pacific for the longest time so I don’t think I’m ever letting them go.

    Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture
    Amore Pacific Moisture Bound Refreshing Hydra-Gel
    Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

    Like face cleansers, I can never stick to just one moisturizer. I choose my moisturizer depending on the season and how I’m feeling in the morning. During the hotter seasons, I tend to go for a lighter moisturizer, like an oil-free gel and on brisk winter mornings, I go for a more light and creamy formula.

    Coola Daydream Mineral Primer SPF 30
    Coola Mineral Liplux SPF 30

    Don’t forget that SPF! I cannot stress how important this step is, even in the dead of winter, when the sun seems to be on a hiatus. Guess what? It’s not. The sun is secretly gleaming its UV rays right at you.

    One of my favorite SPF-infused brands is Coola! They’re good at giving you what you need (moisturizer, primer, setting spray, etc.) while throwing in some SPF!

    In simpler terms: cleanse, tone, scrub (exfoliate at least twice a week), then dab eye product, serum, moisturizer, and SPF.

    Let me know in the comments below what your must-have skin-loving products are! Stay tuned for the Evening Edition 😉

  • TheLoDown