Sephora VIB Haul

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Remember those good ol’ jolly days leading up to the holidays? Prepping Thanksgiving invites for loved ones near and far. Feeling warm and festive around the toasty fireplace, watching the flames flicker while listening to Frank Sinatra sing about white Christmas (which unsurprisingly is on repeat in my humble abode).

And then there are shopping sessions that bring many good cheer (how can you not when your favorite perfumes are bottled up ideal stocking stuffers?) So when the Sephora 20% off VIB event occurred last week, I was one of the many beauty enthusiasts to gleefully jump on that sales bandwagon. And the verdict? A happy camper with a bag full of skincare and makeup goodies to smooth sail through Winter!

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Without further adieu, here are the items I purchased and my two cent’s worth on them!b1-3

1.) First Aid Beauty Face Cleanser ($20): My go-to cleanser for Winter, I love how this lathers up to a creamy texture and removes makeup residue, dirt, grimes and oil without being abrasive.

– Pros: Antioxidant boosters like white tea, licorice root, and feverfew to combat free radicals. No parabens and sulfates. Suitable for all skin types.

– Cons: It has a pungent medicinal scent but not strong enough to be off-putting.

2.) Origins Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion ($39.50 for 4.2 oz): Serving as my wake-up call with perk-up aromas like bergamot and peppermint, it’s as pleasant to the senses as it dutifully removes dead skin cells.

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– Pros: My skin looks more polished, most likely due to the lemon oil that illuminates and the aloe that prevents irritation and redness. No parabens and sulfates. Suitable for all skin types

– Cons: None I can think of!

3.) Origins GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream ($30): A first buy, I was drawn to its holy mantra –“instantly reduces dark circles. Unsightly bags and puffiness virtually disappear”. Plus when I tested it at Sephora the gel-like texture soaked in well without leaving a hefty residue.B1-5

– Pros: Natural ingredients like Panax ginseng, magnolia extract, and caffeine. Soothing texture with cooling effect. No parabens and sulfates. Suitable for all skin types.

– Cons: Results take time; my under eye bags have diminished ever so slightly but those dark circles haven’t budged a bit (note to self: no more burning the midnight oil).b-4

4.) Perricone MD Photo Plasma Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($69): With a dewy pink soufflé texture, this holy grail moisturizer not only hydrates and nourishes but protects against sun damage.B1-7

– Pros: Oil-free moisturizer with a highly absorbent formula that doesn’t leave a white cast on your face. Titanium Dioxide and Vitamin C Ester deliver the dual purpose of warding off UVA and UVB rays while brightening the skin. No parabens and sulfates. Suitable for all skin types.

– Cons: Again, can’t think of any!

5.) Marc Jacobs Beauty Plush Shadow ($59): The coveted triad of “shimmery metallics, buttery mattes, and lustrous sheens”, the 7 colors in this palette leave a creamy luxe finish while blend seamlessly with one another into vibrant new shades!b-7

– Pros: Sleek and skinny palette ideal for travel; high pigmentation and staying power; non-tacky shimmery and matte colors.

– Cons: If only there was a beige or light gold shade between the white and brown to act as a foundational base on the lid area.b-8b1-14

How about you? Have you tried any of these products before, or perhaps picked one up during your recent shopping haul? 🙂

Xo~ Lena

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Photos: Jason J

Stay Calm & Carry On

“Blooming under a cold moon, we are like fireworks. Rising, shining, and finally scattering and fading. So until that moment comes when we vanish like fireworks, let us sparkle brightly. Always.” – Tite Kubo

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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the word  imgres-1?

Is it chasing after an aspiring career? Is it meeting that special someone that makes you love, laugh and cry? Or is it just the mere palpitation of the heart that keeps our corporal engine running? To me, life is not just the physical act of living but also the multi-faceted pursuits and endeavors that make each day impelling, worthwhile, and adventurous.

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However, sometimes life gets a little shaky and “modern” afflictions may cause us stress, dampen our livelihood, and disrupt our inner Zen. So here to introduce to you are a few ways to alleviate stress and improve well-being to pave way for a genuinely happy and healthy life.     

Who says when the going gets tough the tough can’t get going? Step 1-2-3-4 let’s fire that engine!

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1.) ONE A DAY

Do one thing a day that makes you happy, whether it’d be going to Bikram yoga, moving those feet to a little tune, or finding online deals like saving 70% on Top Brands at Shopbop.comExperts say that stress can elicit cortisol what causes the body to store more fat cells around the waist. The next time stress kicks in and your arm latterly reaches for a cookie, get up and engage in something else. Your body will thank you later for fending off that sugar crash.

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2.) H2O

You know what they say, 6-12 glasses a day keeps the doctors away (some believe it’s apple, but prolonged dehydration would claim otherwise). When your body is dehydrated, you tend to hold on to more water weight, which causes puffiness and bloating. To keep your cells collaterally hydrated and your immune system on par, try to drink at least 70 ounces of water a day. To amp up your taste buds, squeeze in half a lemon as it would aid with healthy digestion. Also when you wake up in the morning drink one glass of water before starting your day – it would help flush out the toxins accumulated from the night before.

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3.) OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

Along the line of doing something fun everyday, it’s essential to engage in activities outside the four corners of a wall. Ride a bike, stroll along the lakefront, or run a 2 mile trail. The link between 30 minutes of daily physical movements and improved mental health is irrefutable. Not to mention sunlight therapy, or “heliosis” as the Greeks call them, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure which slashes away stress hormones and anxiety concerns.

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4.) WHOLE FOODS

Not necessarily the organic food chain that charges $15 for a salad, but eating a wholesome diet with multitude of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and fish allows us to steer clear of fat-inducing chemicals found in refined and processed foods. Think of salmon & almonds = omega 3 fats = brain power. Think of fruits & vegetables = Vitamin C, D, E = healthy heart, joint and skin. And cutting back on caffeine can reduce anxiety and panic tendencies. Which is why i kicked the can (literally) and abstained from coffee. So refrain from starchy fast foods and invest in more fresh produce. You’ll feel less lethargic and more healthy!

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So put on those walking shoes, fill up that BPA-free water bottle, and step out to embrace the warmth, energy, and life of your surrounding. Not only will you body feel more robust and energized, but you’re also bound to discover novel things – a trail, a route, or a new friendship!

Xoxo~ Lena

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October Beauty Favorites: High End + Drugsture

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What’s your favorite beauty product? A go-to eyeliner that won’t smudge or budge for 12 hours? A smoldering red lip that sets the tone for a double take? Whether you want to channel your feline alter-ego with a retro cat-eye or a modern day Grace Kelly with sultry red lips, I’ve rounded a selection of high end + drugstore cosmetics that get the job done. Right.

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* Before I jump in, here are some outfit deets — to keep the look minimalistic, I paired this 3D Rose Top White from the LookBook Store (as featured in “Fashions Fade. Style Is Eternal”) with my triple-toned mini skirt from Zara and kept the accessories to the minimum with a gold bracelet and a petal-infused ring. Now let’s go.

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~*~ HIGH END ~*~

1.) Burberry Complete Eye Palette (Plum Pink): My holy grail eyeshadow set, this highly coveted palette is known for its illuminating, lightweight formula that can easily work a smoky finish to a neutral eye look. Also the set comes with a velvet pouch and 3 applicators so it’s great for girls on the go! $60 via Nordstrom

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2.) Eyeko Black Magic Mascara (Black): This carbon black mascara comes with a user-friendly wand that delivers the triple effect of length, volume and curl!

Want to try this out without spending big bucks? Then check out this special sale at Beauty Brands. It’s the $10.99 Annual Mascara Event! Save up to $17.50 on your favorite mascaras from brands like Smashbox, Stila, Tarte, Too Faced, Per-fekt and more! $24 via Beauty Brands (Sale $10.99)

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3.) Yves Saint Laurent Eyeliner Effet Faux Cils Long-Wear Cream Eyeliner (Deep Black): Mired in the iconic YSL namesake logo, this cream eyeliner delivers intense color in a silky formula that’s both water & smudge-proof. Plus the packaging is totally eye candy material! $30 via Sephora

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~* DRUGSTORE ~*~

1.) Rimmel Lasting Finish by Kate Moss (8 & 104) – Created by Kate Moss for the every girl, this lasting finish lipstick has a.) matte finish b.) creamy texture c.) superb staying power. All the quality of a designer lipstick at 1/6th of the price! $4.79 via Walgreens

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2.) Revlon Parfumerie Scented Nail Enamel (Wild Violets) – With over 24 shades to choose from, this nail polish is ideal for girls that want a hint of sparkle to matte finish! Plus it has a nice fragrance when dry. $6.49 via Ulta

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3.) EOS Smooth Sphere Lip Balm (Lavender, Honeydew, Pomegranate) –  Collect one, collect all! This vitamin E and shea butter-infused lip balm comes in an adorable egg shape and a fun selection of colors! $3.49 via Ulta

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Have you tried these products before? And if so what’s your take on them? Xo~ Lena

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Top: Lookbook//Skirt: Zara// Bracelet + Ring: Forever 21

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Photos: Jason J Photography

Rise & Shine to Brighter SKin!

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Treating post-puberty acne is a constant warfare for me. Most battles I armor up on a daily basis, like saying bye-bye to coffee and battling caffeine withdrawal, are pretty minuscule and I somehow manage to overcome through the test of time (and multiple packs of gum, mint or fruity if you may). But when it comes to little concave red dots popping up on my face due to inevitable factors like stress, weather change, or days I linger before the feminine care section of Walgreens, I always fast-forward to what gears I would need to clean up the bloody aftermath (yes we are still talking about pimples here). The old sage still holds true that to minimize scarring and blemish, we should:

1.) Treat it with 2% salicylic acid because the ingredient exfoliates skin and dissolves build up which prevents the pores from becoming congested.

2.) Wash and moisturize daily with noncomedogenic moisturizer

3.) Hands off! Though popping pimples would momentarily reduce the hollow appearance, it would impel scarring which, depending on the skin tissue damage, can take many years to heal.

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So what if you dutifully followed steps 1-2-3 and STILL notice the blemish after the redness dissipate? Is there no hope for those of us that lay down the fighting spears in total surrender only to be thrown at the fiery wrath of the pimple god? The answer is NO — we still have hope in mitigating the civilian damage post-war. We can still pick up the pieces and march on. So here to present to you are 3 steps I follow in fighting the appearance of little black spots vis-à-vis remnants of a breakout:

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1.) EXFOLIATE: Mild exfoliation once or twice a week would remove lingering residue from a breakout because it not only buff dead cells away to speed up turnover but also headway to more radiant skin by allowing your face to absorb moisturizer better. Look for products with gentle ingredients like sugar, salt and oatmeal with granules ideal for dead skin removal. I like to use the CAUDALIE Gentle Buffing Cream because it has Jojoba and Grape Seed oil that nourish the face without harsh ingredients like parabens and sulfates.

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2.) BRIGHTEN: For years we’ve turned to citrus fruits as our go-to source for Vitamin C. Though one integral benefit of Vitamin C is warding off immune system deficiencies, we can also take advantage of the brightening factors of this antioxidant to give our skin that radiant glow. Did you know that Vitamin C boosts natural collagen protection and defend our epidermis from free radical damage? This is important for reducing blemishes because it encourages skin cell turnover, allowing new and healthy skin to surface. I recommend OLE HENRIKSEN Truth Serum® Vitamin C Collagen Booster due to its purifying, soothing, and healing properties amassed with Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (collagen production) and Ester-c (brightening solution).

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3.) PROTECT: The last part of this 3-step regimen in clearing up post-acne skin damage is to prevent the sun’s ultraviolet rays with a SPF 30 or plus moisturizer. Though natural sunlight is effective in amping up your daily supply of Vitamin D, excessive exposure without broad spectrum SPF can cause hyper-pigmentation and increase the appearance of darkened spots and patches. This is why part of the process in clearing blemishes is to make sure that your moisturizer has natural ingredients like titanium dioxide and contains non-drying properties like glycolic acid and essential oils. I like to use PERRICONE MD Photo Plasma for these reasons —  titanium dioxide protects the skin against ultraviolet radiation sans chemical enhancements and Vitamin C Ester brighten the skin and smooth imperfections.

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So I hopes these little trinkets of advice would help you with your post-acne treatment in reducing the appearance of little black spots as much as it did for me. What products have you used in treating blemishes and scarring? 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena 

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A Brush. A Swab. A Jelly.

Beauty upkeeps. The twelve letter words that women abide by like the cardinal holy grail. Polished. Tweezed. Lipsticked. The life-long affinity that, on average, a woman spends $5K a year to look polished and presentable (to their loved ones, their coworkers, or just the person staring at them in the mirror).

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Granted not all of us can pull off the natural “no makeup” look emulated by the Erin Heathertons and Lily Aldridges of this world. In essence the “less-is-more” ethos that burgeoning celebrities abide by often have a hefty price tag. $250 microdermabrasion for youthful skin? $100 worth of makeup tools to smudge, smear and contour? Over time our hollow wallets would succumb to anorexia and what happened to “savings” would become “doings”. Well thanks to local drugstores like Walgreens and CVS that carry affordable beauty tools and products, I’ve found 3 items with a price tag of $10 each that can be used for beauty upkeeps like creating face masks, exfoliating lips, and perfecting cat eyes. Though this may not give you that $1 million bra, guaranteed this would help you get an “Angel” face 🙂

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 1.) TOOTHBRUSH:

* Get rid of flyaways – dab hair gel on brush then smooth along hairline

* Exfoliate lips – wet the bristles, dab into a honey + brown sugar mix, and gently rub over lips

* Whip up a face mask – mix, mesh, and apply!

* Groom brows – spritz on hairspray and glide on brows in direction of hair growth

* Fix mascara – clump no more!

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2.) COTTON SWAB

* Desmudge – dab into makeup remover and wipe away botched areas

* Create cat eye – pull up at the end of eye liner to give that upward swirl

* Soften lip-liner edge – red lipsticks take note, this would help combat that “Joker” look

* Camouflage darkness – apply concealer to under eye bags

* Hide zits – ta da! Date night approved!

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3.) PETROLEUM JELLY

* Moisturize lips – give that pout a healthy glow

* Gloss eyes – eye palette in one hand, apply color with the other, then put a tad of jelly over shadow for shine

* Nourish nails – massage into cuticles to keep crack, peel, and flake at bay

* Soften cracked heels – may advise applying after a lavender epsom salt soak. Heaven…

* Undo foundation overkill – tap some on clumpy areas then smooth out with your fingers

Who says beauty costs a fortune for the beholder? Take heed of these DIY tricks and you’ll look polished, refined, and amazing in no time! Trust me, your wallet will thank you for it 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Let it grow and let it shine!

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Lately due to perpetual exposure to outdoor activities in such 80+ degree weather, my hair has gone on a follicle rampage, meaning it’s extremely brittle and prone to breakage. All my shampoos and conditioners have failed to deliver those “smooth and shine” results as advertised in magazines (luscious Eva Mendes locks anyone?) Well after some research into the reason behind my stifled hair, I discovered the appalling evidence: the evil culprit Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)and its close relative Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), which are commonly used in shampoos, detergents, and toothpastes to “foam up” lather and induce the cleaning up texture we normally get in these products.

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Well my fellow beautinistas, let me warn you the dangers of the diabolical twin sisters as I’ve recently brushed up my knowledge on these chemicals. The same ingredients in the shampoos and toothpastes that you get at your local drugstores are used to dissolve the grease on car engines! There is scientific proof that SLS and SLES strip your epidermis of its natural proteins, making it prone to irritation and allergic reactions. The chemical is absorbed into the body to mimic the activity of the hormone oestrogen, whcih has many health implications that could decrease fertility and expose you to higher risk of cancer!

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So now is the time to switch up your routine and choose products that contain safe yet hydrating ingredients, such as provitamin B5, olive oil, argan oil, cetostearyl alcohol and shea butter. L’Oreal EverStrong Hydrate Conditioner is sulfate-free and contains cetostearyl alcohol that is a mixture of fatty alcohols that impart an emollient feel to the skin, and its bio-ceramide complex strengthens the hair fiber and makes it more resistant to breakage. Ever since I’ve used it this past two weeks, I’ve not only seen less hair buildup in my tub but also more luscious locks that I can gently glide my fingers through. Why don’t you give it a try and see if you get the same results that’ll give blondie in Tangled a run for her money? 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Count pink polka dots from one to fo’!

I love vintage inspired clothing and accessories: Rayban wayfarers, distressed denim, black lace dresses, silk chiffon tops, and button-down utility shirts to name a few.

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I often envision myself working at the helm of vintage fashionistas like Alexa Chung and Kate Moss, whose androgynous yet chic 80’s inspired clothing makes me go “woo” and “ahh”. Well ladies as much as I’d love to babble on my vintage obsession that resonates with an era before me, there is a classic vintage design that is highly adored throughout the years by beauty icons like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, and that particular design is polka dots! Yes, the circular black/white sphere against a contrasting backdrop is feminine and poised, albeit it popped up as the height of fashion in 1930s. Many girls like to wear silk chiffon shirts smothered in polka dots, whereas others prefer just a pop of polka dots in their accessories. All in all, it is a true vintage piece that never goes out of style.

As much as I revere polka dots in haute couture fashion, I don’t imagine it being consistent in my life on a 24/7 basis; it’s like wearing harem pants to sleep every night! Well here’s the dilemma, lately I’ve been noticing pink polka dots taking an omnipresent part in my life, and they are scattered on my face in the form of hyper-pigmentation!  Blame it on post-teenage breakouts, but these deep-rooted acne scars often take 6 months to a year to heal! Acne scar is the result of inflammation within the dermis brought on by acne, and the scar is created by the wound trying to heal itself resulting in too much collagen in one spot. And what is the quickest and most lucrative way to get rid of them? Umm..dermabrasion, laser, and light chemical peel (the latter being the least expensive: $50-$150 per session, usually up to 6 treatments).

So should Lena say bye bye to her diminishing cash cushion and say hello to specialized instruments that “sand” her skin? No no no ladies, save your greenbacks for a rainy day and let me show you a few safe and effective ways to incrementally reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation as well as prevent future acne scars from surfacing. Pink polka dots..hmm..not so fashionable now is it?

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Step 1: Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate! New skin cells are created in the skin’s lower layer (the dermis) and over time the cells migrate to the surface of the skin and become more acidic. Exfoliation removes the outer layer to reveal the newer skin beneath, and this shedding of the outer layer unclogs pores, keeps skin clean, and helps reduce acne breakouts. This is a great one that I use — Clinique 7 Day Scrub Cream that gently cleans and polishes my skin.

Note: DO NOT use exfoliating scrubs that contain natural grains, walnuts, and apricot kernels! These particles are too brazen for most skin types. Rather, choose one with round grains like polyethylene or micro beadles. 

Step 2: Avoid skincare products with salicylic acid, which despite its anti-inflammatory features, may cause hyper-pigmentation. You know the 2% salicylic acid cream your dermatologist advised you to apply on your pimples 2x a day? Well use it for 2 days until the lump subsides and stop on the 3rd day to let the pimple heal itself. FYI I was at Sephora the other day and the specialist told me it’s better to replace salicylic acid with 2.5-4% benzoyl peroxide on breakouts because it’s less abrasive.

Step 3: Use oil-free “non-comedogenic” moisturizer that a.) does not clog pores and b.) provides hydration which allows the skin to heal faster.

Step 4: Apply sunscreen after your moisturizer!  When a hyper-pigmented area is exposed to UV light, more melanin production is triggered on a cellular level, causing further darkening. Sunscreen should ward off both UVB and UVA rays, and here’s a great one that I’ve been using for the past 6 months — SPF 30+ City Sunscreen Serum with Uniprotect PT-3 (which repairs existing skin damage while reducing UV-induced oxidation)

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Step 5: Avoid food heavy in diary, which can cause breakouts on your chin and jaw, and most acid citrus and tomatoes, which is the culprit for those red spots on your cheeks.

Step 6 (experimenting in process): Apply a dark spot corrector serum. Last Saturday I picked up Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector which according to its mission statement has a “clinical formula with CL-302 complex that dramatically helps reverse the appearance of dark spots, age spots, skin stresses, and darkening from acne scars”. The Clinique SA told me that clients usually see results in 4-8 weeks. Well it’s been 1 week and I’ve noticed a more brighter and exuberant complexion. And the texture is very silky so it’s absorbed really well into the skin!

So that is my 6-step regime in saying bye bye to those red polka dots sprouting up on my face, and hopefully this would help you in your treatment of acne scars and hyper-pigmentations.  And of course if you have tried other methods or know of any “old wife tales” feel free to share them. Why spend a fortune on attaining flawless complexion when you can, with a stroke of luck, wisdom, and attention to skincare ingredients, revamp your youthful skin? Ahh..the beauty of pre-adolescence 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena

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3 Ways to Revive Skin from Dull to Dazzling!

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“The revival mask for brighter complexion. The illuminating serum for polished skin. The invigorating elixir of eternal youth”. These are the billboard-laden catch phrases used by beauty connoisseurs to delve into women’s psyches and their infinite desires — to achieve, to obtain and to preserve youthful, radiant skin. Did you know that the US is the biggest cosmetic market in the world with an estimated total revenue of $55 billion in 2013? The fact that the cosmetic industry offers a vast array of skincare products that meet the aesthetic demands of woman is surely undeniable.

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Though we are constantly bombarded with commercials endorsing million-dollar celebrities like Sofia Vergara (“Das Bombshell!”) and Adriana Lima (“Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline”), we can’t help but realize that attaining beauty is a constant endeavor that doesn’t live up to its hype when the greenbacks run dry. So what if you lack a department of makeup artists, beauty consultants, and ripped personal trainers charging $250/hour to guide you in your pursuit of youthful skin? Or such brightening treatments like microdermabrasion and laser resurfacing are time-consuming and within the realm of safety concerns? To me, attaining and preserving beauty is a lifestyle choice rather than living up to the latest fad. Which is why I prefer natural concoctions over cosmetic remedies – think green tea patches for puffy eyes and honey/sugar/olive oil scrubs for dry lips. So here to introduce to you are 3 masks that use natural ingredients to revive dull skin and keep parched and patchy complexion at bay. Trust me, your wallet will thank you for this and so will your impending vacation from all your greenback savings :

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1.)  LUSH BB SEAWEED MASK:

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Infused with lime tree flower petals, bladderwrack seaweed, and aloe vera, this luscious mask helps treat irritated skin by sloughing away dead skin cells and imparting a soft and supple texture. A remnant of honey and olive oil moisturizes the face, keeping intact the glycerin that seals the dewy effect. Take two quarter-size dollops of the paste and scatter it across you face. Let it linger for 15-20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. There you have it – miraculously brighter, firmer, healthier skin!

2.) ESSENCE MASK SHEETS:

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Korean girls are most adept in achieving that incandescently youthful skin, thanks to the vast array of face masks by brands like The Face Shop and Etude House. I like ones with hyaluronic acid because it contains hydrating ingredients that absorb and retain moisture in your skin (carrying up to 1000 times its weight in water), and collagen because it helps to revive elasticity and increment firmness due to its fibrous structure. Have the mask on for 20-25 minutes, and maybe indulge in your guilty pleasure while you do so (Youtube fashion gurus—my favorite is the effervescent Jenn Im from Clothes Encounters. Check her out here!) Once the clocks ticks to the last minute, remove the mask and use your index fingers to pat the remaining essence into the skin. Can’t guarantee that you’ll look like a glamorous Kpop star, but your skin will feel more hydrated and polished from all that pampering!

3.) DIY MASK

Last but not least, a home-made DIY treatment! This mash-up of ingredients found at your local grocery store would help bring back the supple dewiness of your skin, making it baby soft to the touch!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons of flour

Mix the ingredients together into a paste and apply evenly to the face with your fingers. Let it sit for 15-20 minutes then wash off with lukewarm water. Lastly seal the deal with a glycerin-infused moisturizer. Ta-da! Date night-approved luscious skin!

Hope these 3 facials, from creamy pastes to mask sheets to DIY concoctions, add a bit of jazz to your regular skincare routine and pave way for brighter, firmer, and ever so coveted skin! Trust me, you’re born with it! 🙂

Xoxo~ Lena  

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Lush BB Seaweed Cream (here); Essence Masks (here)

Woman go put your apron on!

They often say “the way to a man‘s heart is through his stomach” and that cooking for a man is a good albeit satirical way to win a man’s affection. Little do the ladies know that such culinary concoctions not only make the men rub their tummies but also add significant value to skin remedies and upkeeps. So what do milk, olive oil, and even beer (!) have in common? Let’s dig in:

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1.) CUCUMBER for puffy eyes:

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What do you do when you wake up and your under eye bags are bulging like those inglorious raccoons? Well you put chilled cucumber slices on your eyes. while relaxing to a tune or two. Caffeine has tannic acid that tighten skin as well as constrict blood vessels to counter redness. 5 minutes and your peepers are good to go!

2.) ASPIRIN for zits:

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Your mama told you to never pop ’em! Well in case you do and your date comes in the next 2 hours, you can crush an aspirin, moisten the powder with water, then dab it on with a cotton swab. It will not only lessen the redness but also heal the zit given its salicylic components. He’ll thank you for it, trust me.

3.) MILK for redness:

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It may be a bit early for sunburn precautions (given the wacky weather we’ve been having in the midwest), but when your Miami trip kicks in and you forget sunscreen and aloe vera to tame the aftermath, you can calm your sunburned skin with a cold milk bath as the protein and fat in the calcium-enriched liquid help fight the irritation. Peeling skin is always a no-no mind you.

4.) OLIVE OIL for rough skin:

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Slather on a coat of olive oil on chapped hands and feet before you hit the sack and let it soak overnight. You’ll wake up to velvety goddess-like skin!

5.) BEER for dull hair (I saved the best for the last):

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And the finale goes to the German stout! Protein in beer gives hair the ability to reflect light that covers up chipped cuticles while treating “root” problems via ways like using sulfate-free shampoos, hot oil masks, etc. Rinse with dark beer and your hair will look va-va-voom! (This part is important: use 1/3 of a bottle for rinsing your strands and keep the rest for consumption).

Cheers everyone!

Xoxo~ Lena images