Layla Loves: Micellar Water

Layla Loves: Micellar Water

I just arrived home from work. Shoes come off first. Then my wig (yes, I wear a wig, more on that some other time). Then, off comes my makeup. I look forward to all of these things every day, but especially on days when I am tired and want to just come home and lay down, maybe watch some TV and zone out.

As much as I love to wear makeup and rock a bold lip, I also am growing to love being in my bare-faced skin and I care about it’s health as much as I care about it’s natural appearance. So, I want to make sure that I tell you all about one of my favorite beauty products EVER: micellar water.

In case you haven’t heard more than excited buzz around micellar water, let’s start with the basics. The first (and the only thing, in my opinion) that you need to know is that it’s a beauty secret and staple of French women. Say no more, right?

I heard that micellar water was great for sensitive skin (due to its lack of harsh chemicals, soap, fragrance and alcohol), requires no rinsing, is a great makeup remover, AND is a gentle alternative to most facial wipes on the market (some are soft and treat your skin like the baby it should be viewed as).

At first, I was skeptical. Very skeptical. I tried a small bottle of Simple Micellar Water and was converted to a full fledged believer within a week. My skin felt clean, looked better, felt softer and appeared smoother. On top of that, I hadn’t experienced any new breakouts. I stopped washing my face twice a day with harsh tap water ever since.

Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t stopped washing my face with good old face cleanser and bathroom sink water completely, but cutting down has helped my skin a lot–it’s undeniable.

So, which micellar waters do I use regularly and think you should try? Glad you asked!

Here we go…

The First Love: Simple Micellar Water, 13.5 fl.oz., $8,99, Target

Simple Micellar Water

The Brightening Secret: 

Botanics All Bright Micellar 3 in 1 Cleansing Solution, 8.4 oz., $5.99, Target

botanics all bright micellar

The Oily/Combination Skin Power Punch: 

Bioderma Sebium H2O Solution Micellaire, 500ml, $14.90, Birchbox

Bioderma Sebium H20 Micelle Solution

And since you’re going all in on micellar waters, make sure you are using the right counterparts: facial rounds or ovals. I prefer ovals because of their size (compared to rounds). They’re larger and can cover more of your face in less swipes, saving product and ovals. These are the ovals that I prefer.

So, will you be trying a micellar water? Do you already use them? Let me know your thoughts, and feel free to ask me any questions in the comments.

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

K-Beauty: My Fave Sheet Masks

K-Beauty: My Fave Sheet Masks

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Photo: Chrissy Tiegen

These days, I’ll about self care and doing what you can to make yourself feel that you’re at your best. For me, that involves a lot of skin care and at home spa-like treatments. As much as I love makeup, I am trying to make the state of my skin a constant priority because its function is critical. Not to mention that your makeup looks best when it’s applied to healthy skin.

 

Cue my obsession with all things K-Beauty. Korean beauty is becoming more and more popular and for good reason: Korean women (and men!) are seriously diligent about skincare. We should all aspire to be dedicated to a care routine with the same fervor. After all, it produces RESULTS. The before and afters are undeniable. Most K-Beauty routines involve approximately 8 steps and can include as many as 12 or 13. Fear not: you don’t need to have these many steps to reap the benefits of the Korean beauty philosophy and method(s). Incorporating a step here or there will have your skin looking better than it ever has.

One of the easiest steps to incorporate is sheet-masking. These cloth masks (they sometimes come in other materials as well) are soaked with serums and moisturizers in a convenient and efficient design to optimize the benefits of the treatment for your skin. You simply unfold the mask, apply to your face avoiding your eyes and let it sit for anywhere from 15-30 minutes (check and follow directions listed on the package). For those minutes that you’re letting the mask sit and work its magic, I like to do absolutely nothing–it’s wonderful! Forced relaxation can be such a benefit and sheet masking trains you to just let yourself be and take rest. Whatever you need to do will still be there when your masking time is finished. And when your time is up, simply remove the mask and throw away. It’s just that easy!

I do a sheet mask at least every other day. Some weeks, I do one daily–I personally love those weeks. I find myself less stressed and with more clarity throughout the week. Since I’ve tried so many, I feel comfortable enough saying I have preferences that I think once you try as well, you’ll love:

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Photo: San Francisco Racked 

Tony Moly is my accessible and affordable sheet mask fix! I get them at my local Urban Outfitters for about $3 each. Sometimes, they’ll have a 4/$10 sale–great for grabbing a few extra or trying one for a different purpose.

  • Red Wine (Pore Care): this mask lives up to its name. I’m prone to large, visible pores so I tried this mask hoping it would reduce their appearance. That it did. Results don’t last very long, so it could be great for special occasions in the beginning.  I’m going to keep using them to determine if results are longer lasting with continued use.
  • Avocado (Nutrition): my face felt “fed” after using this mask for sure. I tried this before bed once and woke up with visibly brighter, plumper skin where scaly spots had started to appear. (Damn flaking face!)
  • Aloe (Moisturizing): I think this should actually also say soothing as I go straight for this one when I feel my skin is irritated or just generally behaving badly. The Tea Tree formula is actually labeled ‘Soothing’ and I find that odd as tea tree is strong and usually irritates many–mostly because it can be drying. Bottom line: this one is a sheet mask staple.

I haven’t tried them all yet, but I do have the Seaweed (Skin Purifying) and Rice (Clear Skin) on deck and will try at least one of them this weekend and report back.

What about you? Got any fave masks? Love to hear about your holy grail masks, especially your sheet mask picks, so comment below!

Good chat. Until next time…xo

 

Doo You Bop?: My Thoughts On DooBop’s Monthly Club

Doo You Bop?: My Thoughts On DooBop’s Monthly Club

Hey glossies!

Happy weekend. Hope you’re all kicking your feet up and binge watching at least a few episodes on Netflix.

I myself have just taken a trip down to the mailbox to retrieve a package of goodies from none other than my new beauty obsession, DooBop. Oprah is a big fan, so naturally I had to check out this special entry into the beauty retail category. I’m so very happy that I did.  DooBop itself is a unique online retail destination. Sure, you’ll find familiar brands but you’ll also find lesser known but phenomenal brands as well, including the hair and skincare line Georgia which was created by DooBop’s co-founder, Jodie Patterson.

They’ve also just introduced an “online beauty club”: think your favorite monthly subscription service with steroidal levels of customization and customer service. The customization and customer service is what sets it apart. A few days after signing up, I received an appointment to chat with Jodie, who then created a beauty profile for me by asking very thorough questions about my skin and it’s type, tone, and condition to what sorts of things I’d like to try in the makeup department. Jodie is quite personable and her knowledge of the industry comes through clearly and confidently. I was nervous but she’s delightful and quickly put me at ease. You’ll feel like you’re having a chat with your coolest girlfriend. Jodie works with other experts in Hair, Makeup and Skincare and together they pick products that they think will be effective for you.

Fast forward to about a week after the call, and I received a delivery of samples in a cute, silver metallic package. The key thing to understand here is that as the months roll on, your deliveries will only get better and more customized for you based on your feedback. So while I had never heard of most of the brands I received samples of, it’s important to have an open mind in order to really embrace the discovery that is sure to occur with this club. Here’s what I received in my first delivery and what it typically retails for:

  • Taut Gold Standard Collage Infusion Mask (1 mask): $50 (for a box of 5)
  • Earth’s Nectar Hair Care Honey Curls Curling Agent: $23.50
  • Miracle Skin Transformer SPF 20 Face in Tan: $48
  • Baume D’Amour Pour Le Corps Loving Care Body Balm: Price Unavailable
  • Ahava Dead Sea Osmoter Concentrate Moisture and Radiance Boosting Serum: $60
  • Rahua Shampoo and Conditioner: $32 and $34, respectively
  • Kahina Night Cream: $105
  • Skin Regimen Hydra-Juvenate-Pro Face Kit: Price Unavailable

I haven’t tried it all, but the mask, body balm and SPF are nice. The mask was actually indulgent for me so I enjoyed that and was sad when the time had run out.

This is my second month of subscription and a few days ago I was emailed a list of products with instructions to choose one that I’d like to receive. That’s where we come back to today’s delivery: a complimentary full size bottle of Dermablend’s Long Wear Makeup Remover and 2 samples (standard for every order). I have to stop using face wipes so much at night so this will be a good incentive to do so. My samples were another Miracle Skin Transformer SPF Face in Tan, and Supergoop’s Everyday Sunscreen SPF 30.

*We now interrupt your regularly scheduling programming…* People, I will never stop saying this: you can always use another bottle of sunscreen! Nevermind about expiration dates: the key is to be wearing sunscreen so religiously that expiration dates are irrelevant because the product is gone before it even gets a chance to think about expiring. *Now back to your program*

My final word? For the price of about 3 trips lattes a week at the ‘Bucks or an impromptu run to the cosmetic aisle of the drugstore–$15–you can have customized beauty delivered to your door and feel like a VIP because it’s all actually tailored to you. Right? Right.

If you’re interested, sign up here: Doo You Bop?

Let me know how your experience goes in the comments below.

 

Poll: How Often Do You Go Sans Product?

Poll: How Often Do You Go Sans Product?

Hey guys,

No long post today. Just me…in your business. <ha ha>

Somedays, when I know I won’t be leaving the house at all, I take a nice soothing shower or even better a long bath and then I get out of the tub and don’t put any products on until the sun goes down. No deodorant, moisturizer of any kind, NOTHING. I like to just let my skin take a full on, long depth breath. I have no idea if it’s beneficial or not, but I know that I feel that I am doing something nice for skin and by extension, my body.  When the sun goes down, I take another shower and then moisturize before slumber. I can’t do it for a full 24 hours, at some point I just don’t feel clean and it gets to me. *shrugs* I’m a little quirky like that. What can I say?

Well, actually I can say this: the gravity of what the skin does for us all is just beginning to hit me in its totality. And I try everyday to take better care of my skin. I’m drinking more water and other (mostly) healthy fluids, I’ve been exfoliating head to toe more regularly, etc.

Our skin protects us everyday millisecond of the day. It’s imperative that we return the favor. And if like me, you live with a chronic illness and some of its tell-tale signs are via your skin, you must be extra kind. Take my word for it. When I am super baby gentle and nice to my skin, it rewards me by giving me warning signs of impending health crisis if I pay attention closely.

Wait, I promised this wouldn’t be a long post. So…now it’s your turn. Do you ever go sans product for any amount of time? Take my poll and comment below.

Chat soon.

xo,Layla

Product Review: Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

Product Review: Eyeko Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner

eyeko skinny mini 2

Be prepared to marvel at how many chances I’ve taken since I started this blog on August 19, 2013, LOL.  In case you’re wondering, counting the product I used in this post and the other time, it’s a whopping total of 2, ha ha!

Once again, Birchbox delivery time has come and gone (I wish it could last forever) and even though I usually at least like everything in my box, there is always one stand out product that I can’t wait to try.  This month, it was Eyeko’s Skinny Mini Liquid Eyeliner in Black.  Now I know what you might be thinking…”black eyeliner is NOT that risky, Layla.” But for me, it is.  My eyes are not small (I get it from me mum) so for everyday makeup, I don’t do much in the way of playing them up, I try and keep it low key and save the all out fabulousness for special occasions like nights out with friends, etc.  Usually this means brown eyeliner no matter the formula.  Using black eyeliner definitely makes my eyes stand out, but I’m getting more comfortable with it.

Okay, enough about me. Let’s get on with my review!

I had heard AMAZING things about this brand, particularly its mascaras but I never really heard much about its eyeliners until very recently.  The beautiful Miss Alexa Chung swears by Eyeko eyeliners and now I can see why. They’re quite nice. Very long wearing. In these pictures below (excuse the complexion issues, I’m in the middle of a skin revolt, and this a completely judgment free zone, right?): I’ve been wearing the liner for a little more than 12 hours, with a very small amount of ELF Eye Primer layered underneath. The staying power, primer included, is a welcome surprise.

eyeko skinny mini selfie 3

The angle is kind of funny but you get the idea.

It was so easy to apply, most likely because of this genius tip. It looks like a normal liquid liner tip but it’s different, I can’t quite put eloquent (or any) words to it really, but if you try it, you’ll know exactly what I mean. Peep a peak at the tip:

eyeko skinny mini tip

 

I really love this eyeliner and think it’s definitely worth a try if you’re looking for something. It retails for $16 in the US and can be purchased at Sephora, Ulta, or Eyeko’s website.

xo, Layla

Ashley Madekwe + Bauble Bar = Your New Jewelry Collection

Ashley Madekwe + Bauble Bar = Your New Jewelry Collection

I’m so excited about this collaboration. I love Ashley and her guest collection for Bauble Bar is a HOME RUN.

Here are just a few pictures of some of her pieces. I’m in love. I seriously want them all.

I’m definitely getting this necklace, the color is gorgeous and the design is beautiful, funky and spirited.

ashley bauble bar

 

And how about these rings? And we mustn’t run past this necklace. This girl’s got SKILLS.

ashley bauble bar 3

I love the look of ear cuffs, but I’m often intimidated. If I were to try one though, it’d be this one. And can we talk about this red lip?? ALL HAIL.

ashley bauble bar 2

Click the link below to check out a full slideshow of Ashley’s gorgeous pieces!! I want them ALL.

http://www.whowhatwear.com/ashley-madekwe-teams-up-with-bauble-bar?ps=hp&m=sub&pt=slideshow&cat=celebrity

P.S. Ashley also has a great blog where you can view more pictures from her Bauble Bar collection and browse her posts. You can view it here: www.ashley-ringmybell.blogspot.com

*Article/Link reposted courtesy of Who What Wear