Head to Toe: My Fave Exfoliators

Head to Toe: My Fave Exfoliators

How long is your daily body care routine? Does it change on the weekend when you (presumably) have more time? My body care routine is about 30 minutes on weekdays. On weekends? All bets are off. I get to luxuriate and it’s fantastic. Self-care is important and it can look like anything to anyone. For me, weekends are for the additional at-home spa moment. Whether it’s a calming shower or bath, followed by a rich moisturizer before I go back to bed, or it’s a DIY manicure and/or pedicure, it’s all important and it all feels absolutely wonderful. Whatever your energy level allows, do it.

One of my most loved things to do is to exfoliate head to toe while I’m in the shower, when I step out I feel like a new, pampered person. Keep reading for the products that I use, and love:

Face: 

Acure Organics Brightening Facial Scrub, $3.99 for 1 Fl. Oz, Target 

This is one of my newest facial scrubs, I think I received the trial size (1 fl. oz) as part of a Target Beauty Box. No matter how it came to me, I’m just glad it did. This is a nice scrub for the face, but it requires a light hand, as it can be too abrasive if you scrub your face with too much pressure. Just a light, circling motion will do you just fine. And yes, your face instantly looks a little brighter after rinsing off.

Modern Friction Nature’s Gentle Dermabrasion, $21-40, Origins 

Not one of my most beloved scrubs and I think it could be more gentle, especially since the word is included in its title and packaging, but it’s effective. This is your pick if you are more mindful of ingredients, environmental impact, and the like.

Derma-E Anti-Wrinke Vitamin A Glycolic Scrub, $13.99, Ulta  

I don’t use this scrub often, but I do like it when I use it and I have a feeling that with its specific targeting towards wrinkles, I’ll be using it more and more (hello, year 29). Give this a go, if you’re starting to see wrinkles in places on your face that you’re not okay with (for me, I’m okay with laugh lines, forehead wrinkles though? No, thanks)

Hands:

Just A Minute 60-Second Manicure Scrub, $12, Bath and Body Works 

This citrus fragranced, sugar scrub isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice treat to have around. Your hands take a beating daily from all of the touching, shaking, washing, typing, etc. Keep the skin on your hands looking young, and bright by using this about once a week, and following it with a rich, creamy lotion or oil.

Body:

Soap & Glory Flake Away Body Polish, $13.99, Target  

I had been hearing about this sugar exfoliator for months before I decided to finally give it a try. That was almost a year ago, and I have literally used every ounce of this gentle, moisturizing product since first trying it. It took a little getting used to, as my skin is typically dry and itchy and so I was unsure of how often I should use this, but once I got the hang of it and starting using it once weekly, my skin began to rebel less and become less dry and itchy, and it holds moisture much longer. If you have dry, sensitive, itchy or otherwise timid skin, sugar exfoliators are going to be your go-to, leave the salt scrubs alone. Your skin will thank you.  Also, I have to mention this scrub’s scent, which is the brand’s Original Pink fragrance and includes bergamot, mandarin, rose, peach, strawberry, jasmine, and a few other yummy notes. You’ll be hooked immediately.

Shea Exfoliating Sugar Body Scrub, $7-$24.00, The Body Shop 

If you’re like me and sometimes want something more less fragrant (this smells faintly like the Shea nut it is derived from), and more down to earth, then this is the sugar scrub for you. Also, for the sensitive or irritate skin types, this scrub gets the job down with no fuss. It’s also moisturizing, although less than the Soap & Glory polish, so you’ll have to be ready to hop out of the shower, apply another moisturizer and lock it in before your skin has a chance to fully dry. If you’re looking for a way to try out sugar exfoliators, this is a good introduction as you can purchase a small size (1.7 fl.oz) for only $7. Can’t beat that!

Feet: 

Earth Therapeutics Refreshing Foot Scrub, $4.96, Walmart 

I use this in the shower, even though the directions explicitly tell you to use this on dry feet. The shower is easier for me. This is great for use in between professional pedicures to keep your feet from becoming too dry, cracked and crusty–not cute in warm weather, sandal season. This scrub is quick and easy. Note: if you use this on dry feet, as directed, then you may experience some tingling as it contains peppermint and tea tree oil. That’s normal, but of course, if you feel uncomfortable in any way, rinse your feet, and find something more soothing for your dogs.

Those are my exfoliator picks, I hope you enjoyed reading about them and that you’ll give one, two or a few, a chance. How often do you give your body a fresh skin start? Let me know by leaving a comment.

Talk soon, xo-Layla
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It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

It’s Been A Year/What I’m Loving…

Hey guys and dolls,

I know. Before you even start, let’s…not? Okay? It’s been a rough year. I blogged maybe once last year? And then *poof* nothing. I’m sorry. But, then again, I’m not sorry. I was focused on surviving. I wasn’t in beast mode. I was in chronic-illness, get-through-the-day-so-I-can-go-back-to-sleep-mode. And to be honest, I’m still kind of in that mood, but I’m hoping that I’m climbing out and I’ll be here to stay out of the rut a little longer than last time.

So, that’s done, we’ve had a truth moment. Still with me? Great, I appreciate it. Now, can we talk about the good stuff? Like all the stuff that’s been making me smile, laugh, relax and basically get through all the crap? Cool, let’s get into it!

TV

Feeling under the weather a lot means spending huge chunks of whatever free time you have on your couch or in your bed. So I watched (and continue to watch) a lot of TV. Some of the shows that I’m currently loving are some well known favorites and a few that might be a little lesser known, but they’re still so good. 

Power (Starz, Sundays @9pm)Do you watch Empire on Fox? If so, do you love it? Then, give Power a try. Aside from the off screen drama between the two creators (Lee Daniels and 50 Cent, respectively) there’s plenty of on screen mishap, mayhem and good old storylines to last you for at least a good month of binge sessions. Power has everything: love, family, crime, law, complex relationships and friendships, parenting…you name it. There hasn’t yet been a dull moment and the newest season is sure not to disappoint.

Claws (TNT, Sundays @9pm):  Yes, I know, scheduling conflict if you want to also catch Power. This is what On Demand is for. Sometimes, there is no solution. Just pick a show to watch and maybe alternate between the weeks or something. But definitely watch Claws. Again, a lot happening, but all good. I can’t describe the show and do it it’s proper justice, just watch the first episode and try not to be hooked in the first 5 minutes. I. Dare. You.

Undercover (BBC UK/One, On Demand)This show originally debuted in 2016, but I only discovered it this year. This one is for all of my legal, crime and mystery buffs. Stellar acting and the most beautifully woven story, directed with the kind of artistic touch that makes you feel that you’re smack in the middle of the story and living it out with the characters. Emotional, but not depressing. Also, sometimes a good cry is in order, even better if it’s measured and you can quickly let it out and then keep moving (in my opinion).

Beauty

I’m loving a lot in the beauty space right now. But, here are just a few of the items that I can’t get enough of these last few days, weeks and months…

L’Oreal Lash Paradise ($8.99, Target): Whenever I’ve purchased a mascara these past few months, I’ve gone for the darkest shade they offer. L’oreal beats a lot of the competition with their blackest black and carbon black shades. This mascara isn’t any different. Also, it’s a beautiful dupe for Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara, which I loved in the its travel size, but quickly hated when I purchased a full size. This mascara delivers the same (if not better) application and results,  is a great savings ($20!!!) and manages to stay on flake- and smear-free during the day, but slips off so easily when you’re ready to remove. Run, don’t walk to Target and get one. or Two. A lady must always be ready.

JINsoon Nail Lacquer ($68*, Birchbox): This one is tricky. The shade is Vogue Rose. The application is smooth, easy and creamy. The way to get it in your hands and on your nails and toes…that’s the tricky part. It’s apart of one of Birchbox’s most recent Limited Edition boxes. You can buy the entire box full of goodies, which are a celebration of Vogue’s 125 Anniversary and get this lovely shade. Click the link. You know you want to.

Maybelline Color Sensational Matte Metallics Lipstick in Copper Rose ($8.99, Walgreens): This is going to need to be in your fall lip arsenal. It’s gorgeous and dramatic, but still wearable. Wear this when you need a boost of confidence, or for all eyes to be on your lips for…other reasons. This is the confident girl’s lip–even if you have to fake it until you make it. Is she born with it or is it Maybelline? ;)

Obviously, there are more things, but TV and my beauty finds are my main companion these days.

Don’t forget to follow the blog, so you never miss a post–especially because I can’t always plan them! I’d hate for you to miss a thing. Love our chats, missed you dearly.

Talk soon. xo, Layla

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

Drugstore Goodies, Part II

I’m back! Boy, can’t believe it’s been almost 24 hours since we last chatted. Time flies when you’re…living life (hey, it can’t always be fun, right?)

Okay, so you know the deal. I love to pick up things in drugstores. I hit up 3 this weekend…yada, yada, yada.

Here are the last 5 items I got from my drugstore roundup:

Studio 35 Beauty Pumice Stone, price varies dependent on Walgreens location: My feet loves warm and cozy things, namely socks. Feels great, especially in the colder months but come summer my poor feet are in need of a lot of attention. While I haven’t tried this yet, one look at the uniquely shaped, coarse tool and it was a no brainer. Tossed it right into my cart. Can’t wait to soak my feet in my brand new makeshift pedicure tub (hint: I got it at Home Depot) and scrub away to super soft skin.

CoverGirl Clump Crusher Extensions Lashblast Mascara in Very Black, $8.99: I liked the original version well enough so decided to pick this up. For some reason, I feel like the brush is slightly smaller. This alone makes it a little harder for me to get to my lashes which are in between skimpy and normal. This won’t be my everyday mascara, but I’ll most likely end up using it when I’m in a bind: like I’m in a rush to get out the door but I’ve run out of my usual mascara. If you were thinking of getting this, I would think twice. For the price of a few lattes, it’d be a shame to purchase this and not be happy.

Burt’s Bees Hydrating Lip Balm with Coconut & Pear, $2 (on sale at Rite Aid): Love the tropical, fruity scent. Not a fan of the texture for this one if you’re into layering it under other lip products but is a great lip moisturizer on its it. Speaking of layering: if you do like to have a little moisture as foundation before swiping on another lip product, my holy grail is Burt’s Bees Honey formula.

Nivea A Kiss of Cherry Fruity Lip Care, $1 (on sale at Rite Aid): Very moisturizing; beautiful, natural looking sheer wash of color. Need I say more?

TRIM Nail Care Sticks, $6: These are quite the handy little nail tools (no pun intended). There are 4 in each pack, each with dual ended purposes. One end looks like your standard orange stick. You’d use this side to push back cuticles. The other end is wrapped in colored texture. This end is for cleaning underneath your nails. Effective, simple, inexpensive. Buy these.

Don’t forget, tomorrow is my personal beauty consultation with Jodie from DooBop!!! I was going to post about it right after the call but I think I will wait until I receive my first box and give you one post filled with DooBop chat. How’s that sound? Great? Good. Great minds and all…

Well, time for me to hit the hay, um is it written somewhere that once you turn 26 your bed time suddenly becomes 9pm? BUM-MER.

Talk soon.

xo, Layla

Drugstore Goodies, Part I

Drugstore Goodies, Part I

Hey there!

I hate that I’m posting so sporadically but I’m always thinking of you and dying to chat about EVERYTHING, my schedule and health have both been pretty unpredictable lately. But, we’re together now and that’s all that matters…

Exactly one week ago today I turned 26. It was a big deal for me, I had mixed feelings. But I also had the best time celebrating and only just began to wind down yesterday. Like many adults, I went to the office on my birthday (where my coworkers definitely showered me with birthday love) On Saturday, I went for a manicure, frozen yogurt and the most delicious sushi from a local haunt (shout out to Miya’s Sushi in New Haven, CT!!) and had a BLAST. On Sunday, I went to breakfast with my dad (what’s better than Birthday pancakes?) and got to catch up with a friend who I haven’t seen in years over local pizza (we’re kinda famous for it) and wine coolers. Overall: I had one very low key but memorable birthday.

By now you’re like “get to the goods woman.” Don’t worry, it’s coming. I stopped into the Big 3: Rite Aid, CVS and Walgreens between Friday and Saturday and picked up a few items from each. Keep reading for what I picked up and mini reviews for any items I’ve already tried:

Maybelline The Nudes Palette, $12.99: This is the product that started the entire hunt. I had seen it flipping through my monthly round up of magazines and set out to find one. IT WAS HARD. So hard, I had to visit 3 stores before finally landing on it (one of the last ones) at a CVS the next town over. This beautiful palette carries 16 neutral, smoky shades: some matte and some with a soft shimmer. This is a great basic palette for everyday and for the working girl (or guy) who’s just starting out in the professional world. Another great thing that got me excited about this palette is the accompanying video that helps guide you on the types of looks you can create with it. Unfortunately, the web address provided on the packaging links to an error page for me and I can’t find any videos on Maybelline’s YouTube page as of this posting. BUM-MER. Anyways, it’s still a beautiful palette, so I encourage you to give it a try (purchase it from Walgreens if you can, as their policy is the most return friendly) and see what sort of magic you can create.

Covergirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in Midnight Blue, $4.99: When I was younger, I would rock a navy and gold eye look like it was nothing and be IN LOVE with my look. I embraced my large, almond shaped eyes much more then and wanted them to be on full display. Flash forward 10 years, and I’m definitely in that frame of mind again. Cue this remarkably blend able navy liner with a smudger built in on one end. Navy blue liner is not nearly as drastic as it sounds, it’s actually quite wearable and is a mild and stunning way to do something different and create a gorgeous eye look.

Essie Nail Lacquer in Limo-Scene and Blanc, $8 (each): I popped into CVS on my way to my manicure hoping to get the Maybelline palette but if nothing else to pick up my manicure colors (if you can’t already tell, I opted for a French Manicure). I’m a little anal about bringing my own colors because some nail salons (note: certainly not ALL) use nail polish thinner to make their polishes last longer and be able to do more manicures without having to constantly purchase new product. Good for them, not so great for you if you’re looking for a manicure with decent staying power. These colors are beautiful, and for my fellow permanently tanned ladies, yes you can rock these colors and look perfectly polished and ready for any situation. I’m almost positive I’ll be rocking the french manicure look for many more moons.

Revlon Colorstay Moisture Stain in Milan Moment and India Intrigue, $9.99 (each): These colors are vibrant, yet sheer and are very moisturizing. Milan Moment is a hypnotic mixture of red, coral, true orange in the tube that glides on evenly, is sheer and builds in opaque coverage at your control. India Intrigue is a bright almost see through true fuchsia tone in the tube. I haven’t worn it yet but I’m sure it won’t disappoint.  They’re my new favorite lip products and I’ll definitely be picking up more colors from this collection to wear year round. Word to the wise: I always layer some Burt’s Bees Honey Lip Balm under any lip product. This, coupled with eating/drinking and talking meant that my lip gloss only lasted about 3-5 hours depending on my activity level. It didn’t bother me, I was happy to reapply the creme-gel like treat but it may bother some of you so be forewarned!

Revlon Grow Luscious Bold Lacquer Mascara in Black, $7.99: I was intrigued by this product’s color formula. Revlon claims that most comparable (I’m assuming mass drugstore is the comparison base) use a mixture of dull grays with just a hint of true black to come up with their colors. While I do like the pigment payoff, I’m a little less sold on the actual wear of this mascara. It seems drying and flakes to the touch. When removing it with my trusty Almay Eye Makeup Remover pads (and ever so gently) I lost 3 (!!) precious lashes. I will keep trying this for a little while longer and hope that it gets better with use or that I got a tube of a bad batch and keep you all posted.

That’s it for Part I, there are  five more items which I’ll save for tomorrow in the interest of keeping it (semi) short and sweet.

On Thursday, I’ll be writing about my DooBop consultation as I’ve just joined their monthly box subscription service.

Looking forward to it glossies, talk soon.

xo, Layla

 

 

Manicure Monday: Thinking of an (Essie) Master Plan

Manicure Monday: Thinking of an (Essie) Master Plan

I break for blogging!! Lol, at least I do tonight. I’m in the third week of my latest class and there is much reading and discussion board posting to be done. I’ve studied, but now I want to take a break to tell you about my latest nail polish obsession: Essie’s “Master Plan.”

Essie Master Plan
Essie Master Plan

What a beautiful and yet complex neutral. Essie describes it as a “mischievous soft gray.” I purchased this color a few months ago and it sadly got plopped right into my nail bin–along with who knows how many other polishes and nail treatments. So, flash forward to yesterday and I’m in desperate need of a polish change. I don’t want anything too bold but I don’t want anything too boring either, and there it was: sifted to the top. What the heck, right? I apply 1 coat of Priti NYC 2-in-1 Top and Base Coat, then a coat of Master Plan and another layer of the 2-in-1 Top and Base Coat, and voila! Gorgeous, gray and glossy nail color.

Peep the pic below:

 

Finished product...
Finished product…

I know this isn’t about the base and top coat: but if you choose to follow my routine identically, be prepared to reapply your top coat. The above snapshot is only 24 hours after I applied it with no touchups and a lot of hand washing–as you can see, it’s dulled a bit, but no worries as you should re-apply top coat to keep the manicure for as long as possible depending on your lifestyle. However, if you’re looking for something with more of a gel-like shine, you should take a pass on this base and top coat.

All in all, I really like this color, it goes in the neutral hall of fame for me: right next to my trusted OPI San-Tan-Tonio. In my opinion, some neutrals aren’t always appropriate for everything (I have a whole theory on this, believe me). Master Plan is appropriate for the office, a date, or even happy hour with the girls.

If you’re looking for a neutral that’s not boring: you should definitely take Essie’s Master Plan for a spin.

Enjoy!

xo-Layla

 

Manicure Monday: Priti NYC in Snow River Daisy

Manicure Monday: Priti NYC in Snow River Daisy

I’ll just come clean with it from the start: I love nail polish. I change my nail color just about every other day (it’s havoc on my poor nails).  Lately, I’ve been experiencing some skin irritation in areas where my nail polish and/or treatment(s) have come in contact with areas of my skin.

So I started researching…I was looking for any other (fashionable) options to keep my digits bathed in glossy (or matte, or sand textured) goodness. I found a lot of options, so many options I was beside myself, and Priti NYC was a sure stand out.

They’ve enjoyed some really good press and if you haven’t at least heard of their brand or one of their popular and eco/skin/vegan friendly you must’ve been living under a seriously huge rock.

I placed two separate orders (one off of eBay and one directly with Priti NYC) for a total of 3 nail polishes (2 colors, 1 top + base coat combo) and the company’s world famous Soy Nail Polish Remover.

I tried one of my colors, Snow River Daisy, today and I’m surprised. Not in a bad way, just surprised. This is the color in the bottle:

Priti NYC in Snow River Daisy
Priti NYC in Snow River Daisy, $15

It looks like a beautiful opaque cobalt blue (maybe slightly darker than cobalt blue?) I love cobalt blue and have been told that it suits me well, so I was really amped to try this. Okay, now for the surprise…it’s not nearly as opaque as it looks in the bottle. Rather it applied more like a nail tint. Which is okay with me, I’m not disappointed, it just isn’t what I expected. (For some reason, this color is not displayed on the website so I couldn’t really get a description)

This is what it looks like on me, after a base coat and 3 coats of the polish:

On my nails, after 3 coats
On my nails, after 3 coats

I hadn’t cleaned up my work in this pic, but you get the gist. It’s a beautiful color that I feel would suit any skin tone. I’m really happy to have this color in my collection.

Priti NYC is a new favorite for me. And again, I repeat: all its products are FDA approved, are 5-Free and Vegan. It’s completely non-toxic. This is important to know because the nail colors I received did have a chemically smell, but not to fret, they’re safe glossies!! :)

I’m eager to try out the Soy Nail Polish Remover and will definitely be posting my thoughts as soon as it arrives and I can test it out.

What do you guys think? Have you ever tried a Priti NYC product? Leave me a note in the comments below.

xo, Layla

 

 

Manicure Monday: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Wine to Five

Manicure Monday: CoverGirl Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss in Wine to Five

covergirl nail polish wine to fine bottle

Happy Manicure Monday!

Mondays suck. Even a good Monday sucks a little. But manicures can pick up any day from the gutter and turn it around.

For me, Mondays also mean a new week of coursework, required readings, assignments, etc. Today, I just couldn’t muster the motivation or the energy to get through any reading or post to any discussion boards, so I chose an at home manicure instead. Yes, that’s right, I have chosen sweet procrastination over being a responsible adult and student today and guess what? I’m totally cool with it because I’ve got great, glossy digits to show for it.

This week’s must try color is from CoverGirl’s Outlast Stay Brilliant Nail Gloss line. I’m really liking their nail polishes. From creams to metallic offerings, they’ve got you covered. Earlier tonight, I purchased a bottle in the shade “Wine to Five.” At first glance it reminded me of Essie’s Bordeaux , but it’s actually lighter and more friendly for everyday wear, as it’s not as dark and severe. Check out the pic below:

covergirl nail polish wine to fine swatch

The really cool thing about this nail polish is its formulation–high gloss, lasts for approximately a week and includes a base coat as well as a chip resistant top coat. Which means you can get a insanely gorgeous manicure without having to reach for more than one bottle!

One coat of this shade provides an almost opaque, creamy coverage and I don’t feel as though I need another coat (although I’ll be doing one just because it’s a die hard habit)

Oh, and did I mention that it’s only $4.99? SCORE!

Guys, run don’t walk and try a color–any color–today.

If you do try a product, upload a pic! I’d love to see it. Happy painting.

xo, Layla