Saturday, September 20, 2014


I've been wanting to do this post for a while because I'm obsessed with the Essence of Beauty line of body mists I found in CVS.

Not only do they not smell cheap, they are cheap (at $7 a bottle) and have serious staying power. No lie, the scents linger all day and smell like expensive perfumes. Most are very floral or very fruity but don't come off as generic scents.

My favorite of the three I own are Modern Floral and In The Tropics. Modern Floral is a heavy, designer-esque floral fragrance that hits you with a bouquet that lasts all day while In The Tropics smells like an irresistible cocktail...mostly like peach schnapps. Exotic Blooms smells exquisite but I don't need it in my has sort of a crisp, clean, citrusy floral scent.

You'll have to check out the collection if your local CVS carries it. They have deals on them all the time.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Altuzarra for Target. #AltuzarraForTarget

All I want for Christmas Autumn, I'd told myself, is a nice faux fur jacket and some moto boots.

My approach to spending is quality over quantity, meaning I'm inclined toward high-end staples or art pieces over lots of cheap stuff - but only at a great deal!

I'd had a Leith faux fur jacket on my Nordstrom wishlist for about a week since I'd spent my budget already on Labor Day Sales and decided to wait. Well, I waited a week too long because when I went back for it, it had sold out. Bummer! It was one of Fall 2014's major trends - a wild print fur jacket, in black and white, and really just perfect. Oh well.

Fast forward to today and Altuzarra For Target hit stores and online. The Altuzarra Faux Fur Jacket had been namedropped all over the internet and I thought, now is my chance! If I woke up early enough to shop the collection before it sold out, it was meant to be.

Well, at 3:30a EST I cracked open my netbook with one eye open and refreshed Target's site. The collection had finally gone live. At that time, nothing was sold out. I promptly plucked the Altuzarra fur jacket then some Sam & Libby boots and headed for checkout. Success!

By 10a I went back on and quite a few Altuzarra items, especially the lower-priced ones, were sold out, including the faux croc belt and the chic pencil pants.

Around 3p I went back on and nabbed the Orchid Print Sweatshirt in a size smaller than the one I would have preferred (a size up from my norm). The size I wanted was sold out, as well as more items from last I checked.

My picks:

The jacket has an open front and is cropped at the waist, perfect for showing off a baby belly. The sweater just seemed like a novel, cozy Fall item. I figure, if the jacket feels cheap/scratchy or is otherwise undesirable, I could probably sell it on eBay for more than what I paid for it.

Seems like the Altuzarra For Target collection has been a success at Day 1. I know they were selling select items on Net-a-Porter as well, and some have sold out already.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser review. #skincare

God bless pregnancy hormones. They can be natural relief for depression and anxiety but with that comes a new set of possible symptoms, including breakouts.

My skin was perfect before pregnancy. I hardly ever got a zit. But the breakouts I experience now that I'm preggers look more like a heat rash, on my face, along my forehead and below my jawline on either side. It's not terribly noticeable, but to me and my Virgo moon, all I can think is "FIX IT!"

I used to like a tight, taut feeling after cleansing but since my skin texture has changed, I'm totally averse to that. I've needed a more gentle cleanser, one that controls oil but doesn't totally strip it.

Lilac Ghosts blogged about switching to cream cleansers for combo skin which brought me to an aha moment! I rushed out to the market and scoured the skincare aisle for an affordable cream cleanser to try out. Eventually, I settled on Olay Regenerist Luminous Brightening Cream Cleanser. What a mouthful. I purchased it from the grocer for $10 but then stopped into the drugstore and it was marked down to $5! Score!

My obsession with skincare is rooted in the fact that I love anything that touts a BRIGHTENING effect. I want my skin to appear lit from within and also want to feel comfortable skipping concealer some days. So, finding a brightening cream cleanser was implicitly a homerun for me. But is Olay's good?

Good news - for the price, this version by Olay does it. I tried it out for two weeks. What I love about it is:
  • It's invigorating. Especially on dull mornings, I buff my face with the Olay cleanser and the scent and tingling sensation totally wake me up. I look fresh. I feel fresh.
  • I swear I notice a difference in hyperpigmentation - my skintone has cleared up a bit.
  • As implied, the scrubbies or polishing "micro-beads" leave a clean feel but don't overdry.
For the price, it doesn't get much better.

In short, if you have combo/unpredictable skin - try a cream cleanser!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bath time.

I swear by my Sunday ritual of epsom salt baths but admit to skipping them the past few weeks.

By now my body was achy, skin dull, and I generally felt low. I was used to that before having a salt bath for the first time - being pregnant and all - til I found that these baths literally make you feel you've had a full-body massage and detox/cleanse.

I cannot stress enough how therapeutic epsom bath soaks can be. Tonight, I needed one.

My little bath ritual consists of running hot-as-I-can-stand water, pouring in a generous amount of Calgon bath bubbles, and adding about two cups of Dr. Teal's epsom bath salts. Sometimes I'll add body oil. Tonight I added Garnier's 'Miracle' dry oil with avocado, almond, and olive oil. Each of these products can be found at your mass market or drugstore.

After running the bath I light a couple candles, turn down the lights then slink into the tub til I'm fully submerged. BLISS.

20 minutes is the minimum time to soften your skin and soak up the benefits of the epsom salts. During this time I decompress, breathe deeply, and after my pores are steamed and sweaty I'll do a mask.

Left: Dr. Teal's 'Comfort & Calm' Chamomile Epsom Salt Soaking Solution; Right: Freeman Beauty Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask

Don't forget to re-hydrate after the bath! Drink a tall glass of water, relax, then get on with your night...