if you follow me on instagram and/or facebook, you know that my friend Amanda and I started a book club via goodreads. we’re currently about to start our 4th month and we have 34 members – hooray! as with most clubs, the more the merrier. especially if more members means potentially exploring new genres and engaging in lively, but pleasant discussions. that being said, I come to you today because we’re looking for more bookish babes to join our book club! being a member does not mean that you are required to read every book… if you’re not interested in that month’s selection – fine! however, every member (at some point) will be asked to choose a book for the group. we are currently in the process of deciding july’s book, so hurry and join us!
please visit our group page to join or request a membership.
so last week, when it was in the 70s and I wasn’t a sweaty, crotchety ginger, dying of heat stroke, I made a mental summer bucket list.
and there, wedged between have a garage sale and drink lots of tecate was quite simply – beach it up.
we spent father’s day at the beach in Ventura and then last Friday in Malibu. if it’s up to me, we’ll be at the beach once a week. nothing is making me happier these days than sitting in the sun, reading my book, and shooing seagulls away from our bag of doritos. as soon as we got home on Friday afternoon I turned to mark and said – when do we go again? he said – tomorrow? and I said – done.
but by early evening, our burns were showing so we decided to take a break.
i’m not usually a summer kinda girl, but going to the beach is like a mini vacation, so i might be a convert. plus, it’s easy and inexpensive. we pack a cooler full of food and drink, lather up with spf 2000 and everyone is happy. i mostly just work on my tan and read… we have a mini cabana, but my cabana boy was sold separately.
cheers to summer!
there’s something about this song… i can’t get enough.
loud places (ft romy)
cleansing balms. let’s chat, shall we?
just three short months ago my face cleansing routine consisted of using aveeno positively radiant skin brightening daily scrub (as a cleanser), followed by witch hazel (as a toner/attempt to remove leftover traces of makeup.) I had been using the aveeno cleanser for years and loved it, but the witch hazel was a newer addition to my routine. it was all good for a while, but after several weeks, my skin started misbehavin’ – more frequent breakouts, it was dry, dull – no bueno. i thought maybe it was the witch hazel, so i cut it out. weeks later, after only using the scrub, i was still disappointed. that’s when i took to pinterest and started reading up on using coconut oil as a cleanser. so many rave reviews – it would make my skin glow! it would remove makeup like magic! i could use it to condition my hair! life changing, apparently. so i dusted off a tub of coconut oil that i found in the back of our pantry, checked the expiration date, shrugged my shoulders and gave it a go. i tried it for a couple of weeks… the first week or so – my skin was glowing and felt so soft. i was convinced that I’d found the holy grail of skin care. but then – meh. i still wasn’t getting the results i wanted. my skin became dry and uneven. long story short, turns out i was using a refined version of coconut oil. in fact, i came across an article that actually listed the oil i was using as a no-no for skin care. LOL. of course.
in the meantime, i had found glossier (read my reviews here – love!) and their blog – into the gloss. it was via ITG that i became increasingly interested in Korean skin care. i read article after article about their strict regimen – the methods, the whys, the how-tos – and decided that i wanted to give it a try. i was particularly curious about the double cleansing method: step 1 – use an oil-based cleanser to breakdown makeup and remove impurities, followed by step 2 – wash with a foam cleanser to further cleanse the skin and remove all traces of makeup. i have to say, I’ve been using this method for about three months (in conjunction with other products) and my skin has never looked better.
(i’ll share my entire skin care routine + products one of these days, but today – it’s all about dat balm.)
why you should use it…
-cleansing balms are oil-based. and contrary to what you may believe – this is so good for removing dirt and makeup and other nasty things that cling to your skin. not to get all chemistry 101 on you, but “like dissolves like.” i have oily/acne prone skin, so i was hesitant and terrified to put oil on my face. but ladies – it works. in fact, you want to keep your face well hydrated with oil. if your face gets too dry, the sebum of your skin will go into survival mode, producing MORE oil and most likely turning your face into a hotbed for bacteria and acne. (I’ve always wanted to use hotbed in a sentence.)
-cleansing balms do a fantastic job of dissolving make up and sunscreen. in fact, if you’re using a non oil-based (or water-activated) cleanser, it’ll have to work double time to remove impurities, often stripping your skin of – OIL – leaving your skin feeling tight and dry.
-cleansing balms remove even the thickest of make up – from concealers to foundation and layered mascara… it’ll remove it faster (and more efficiently) than I’d remove my clothes for Jamie Dornan.
-cleansing balms are often made with natural/organic ingredients.
-cleansing balms are nourishing, calming and leave your skin feeling super soft.
how you should use it…
-massage cleanser into your dry skin. you’ll start to see the makeup dissolving within seconds.
-rinse off with warm water or a washcloth for a gentle exfoliating effect.
things worth mentioning…
-water-activated cleansers are okay, but use them as your second cleansing step.
-just because i didn’t continue with using coconut oil – doesn’t mean i don’t believe in it. it’s basically the same as using the types of cleansers you see above, except it’s pure oil.
-i don’t think there’s anything wrong with the aveeno product i mentioned above. it might actually be a great second cleanser! i just haven’t tried it yet.
-i believe my previous skin care routine failed because i wasn’t cleaning and moisturizing properly. i was using products that contained alcohol (a major no-no) and other chemical detergents that are not good for the skin. the more oil i have introduced into my routine, the healthier my skin has become.
-for those of you who are questioning if double cleansing is too much cleansing – you’re wrong. as long as you’re using an oil-based cleanser to start, you’re on the right track.
on to the products!
first of all, i haven’t used all of the balms shown above, but I’m a beauty product review junkie, so I’m going to help you out a bit. hopefully, you’ll find one that works for your budget and skin care needs.
1. banila co clean it zero purity – i use this and i loooooove it! this version is for sensitive skin. i chose it because i wasn’t sure how my skin would react. it’s free from artificial coloring, synthetic fragrance, parabens, alcohol and mineral oil. best eye makeup remover I’ve ever used. $25
2. su:m37 miracle rose cleansing stick – this thing is “on-trend” and getting great reviews. people are loving it for its gentle cleansing and convenience. plus is smells like roses! apparently a little goes a long way. $34
3. ren rosa centifolia no. 1 purity cleansing balm – a rose infused balm that’s free from parabens and all that jazz. people with acne prone skin have mentioned that it has cleared up their acne over time, leaving their skin soft and with an even skin tone. might i add – rose oils are so unbelievably good for your skin. $48
4. eve lom – apparently this cleanser does a myriad of things – improves circulation, opens pores, exfoliates, tones… it’s pricey, but i included a pricier option for you fancy bitches. (and i say fancy in the nicest way.) it gets great reviews for being refreshing, hydrating and exfoliating. the bad reviews suggest that it made their skin dry and flakey. remember – with these products, a little goes a long way. $50-$190
5. brooklyn herbarium infused organic coconut oil – 100% organic, infused with calendula (heals wounds and skin irritations) and red clover (soothes skin inflammations.) coconut oil is meant to reduce inflammation, support tissue healing, act as an antioxidant, softens skin and relieves dryness and flaking. this product talks a lot about holistic baby (think diaper rash and cradle cap) and adult skin care, but coconut oil is coconut oil. as long as it’s unrefined, like this one is. there are no reviews available, so if you use it – let me know! $23
6. clinique take the day off cleansing balm – this appears to be a favorite among basic bitches everywhere. LOL – just kidding! but seriously, i did add it because women love clinique and they trust the brand, i guess. of all the balms, this is the last one i would try. I’ve never had good experiences with clinique products. women seem to rate it high, though. mostly for its ability to remove make up so well and not cause breakouts. $28.50
as i mentioned, i love the banila co cleanser; however, i also believe in having options and switching up my products. I’d love to try the su:m37 cleansing stick, but I’m also kinda obsessing over camp’s desert island wonder balm and board and batten’s “farm to skin” cleansing and conditioning balm.
I hope you found this post to be helpful. I’d love to hear your thoughts!
hi friends! real quick – my girl Amanda and I have been planning and making… and while we’re no where near a shop opening or something of the like, we thought we’d get the ball (sorta) rolling by seeing if there’s any interest in the tshirt you see above, on the right. after posting the photo on instagram and facebook, we’ve gathered several emails (yay!) and will be sending out more information, soon.
sooooo… if you’re interested, leave your email address below and we’ll be in touch.
hi friends! as I mentioned in last week’s oh sweet friday post, I wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone who used my HUM (nutrition) referral code. which happens to be F6C27 if you want $10 off. I’ve earned so much credit (because of YOU!) that I ordered a one month supply of the Runway Ready and plan to give it away along with two cuffs from Gage Huntley. to enter, please visit instagram, find the giveaway photo you see above and follow the instructions.
this giveaway ends on Saturday and we’ll announce the winner on Sunday.
I’ve worn them once, so basically they are in perfect condition. vegan leather. size 7. super versatile. $25 shipped, US only, please.
I’ve posted them on instagram, as well. first person comment with their email address WINS. haha. first to person to comment will get an invoice from paypal is what will actually happen. but you’re still a winner in my book.
*insert big toothy grin face here*
the thing about topknots is that they’re not as easy as they look. I’m serious. I probably watched 10 different youtube videos before it finally clicked… one day two years after the fact. always late to the party, this one. anyway, just when I was getting comfortably smug about my perfectly messy topknot, I decided to cut my hair.
so here i am, attempting to master the half up topknot. honestly, I thought I left the half up ‘do in my middle school locker, but apparently not. at 35, I’m begrudgingly admitting that I dig it, while my 12 year old self is doing the butterfly (the dance move. where my 90s peeps at? heeeeeeey) and yelling too legit to quit – hand gestures and all.
I didn’t have to watch any how to videos this time around, so this is a pretty good first try!
however, as you may know – no two knots ever look the same.
thoughts? to half up topknot or not to half up topknot, that is the question.
ah, the sheet mask. creepy as hell, but pretty awesome. they’re not meant to draw out impurities, clear up acne or reverse the signs of aging, but they will give your skin a healthy dose of moisture. I came across the tony moly masks via urban outfitters and for 4 bucks a pop, i thought – why not? i purchased 3, but decided to try the lemon/brightening mask, first. i washed my face, slapped this bad boy on and chilled with a book for about 20 minutes. these things are one size fits all, so don’t expect a perfect fit. plus, it smelled a bit like lemon pledge, but whatever – the effects were obvious and instant! after removing the mask, i dabbed the remaining serum into my skin, waited 30 seconds or so and then applied my nighttime moisturizer. the next morning, my skin was soft and had a nice glow.
i think sheet masks are great to have on hand… they’re like mini facials! and inexpensive, too.
i also purchased pomegranate for elasticity and tomato for radiance. i’ll share my reviews, soon.
happy sheet masking!
when it comes to clothing, zoey is a picky, one-trick pony – dresses and skirts. that’s it! even to bed. dresses and skirts over tiny little legs that are covered in bruises. and paint and probably food. because while she loves a gaudy pink dress, she also loves to get dirty. food, sand, markers… she’s usually covered in something by the end of the day. my little girl lives her life. she gives zero effs and I love it. however, this also means that we learned very early on not to buy expensive clothing or even adorable skinny jeans with polka dots… she wore them once… because I bribed her with chocolate.
a lot of z’s clothing is gifted to us for birthdays or holidays and some of it is handed down from good friends. (friends who have clean kids. friends who buy from the gap. friends who have tiny human catalogue models for children.) that being said, we often end up with an overflow of clothing that zoey refuses to wear. she has her favorites and we cycle through them day after day, week after week until they no longer fit. and while I may intend to put her in some super cute, tiny human model outfit, it never happens.
so what do we do with all that clothing??
we donate it to schoola! a sort of recycling program that resells never worn or gently used children’s clothing (up to high school age) at deeply discounted prices. the best part – for every $5 spent, $2 goes to a school (or schools) of your choice that will help purchase things like art supplies, books, sports equipment, musical instruments, etc… how rad is that??
ready to get started? it’s super easy. click here to request a bag, fill it up and send it to schoola free of charge. they’ll take care of the rest!
*the clothing you see in the photos above is merely a sampling of what we’re mailing in. I’m not sure when schoola will post our additions to the site, but if you’re interested in seeing what we have to offer, let me know and i’ll get back to you! and ps. the bag is huge. it’s folded in the photos.
I’m excited to support this program and I hope you will, too!