August 30, 2012

these will always be in my medicine cabinet...

ok, ok...i lied :( this post isn't about my nars purchases but due to an unforeseen and stubborn pimple, this post will be about some all natural products that are great for your skin. these also are not just great for acne but are powerful all-purpose products.

i'm not really going to go over dr. hauschka's rejuvenating mask or's AHA but i'll just say they're both really nice for my skin...nothing spectacular but i always receive consistent results with these two... they both moisturize and help any type of inflammation on my skin go down.

now, before i go into my favorite all natural products i'll give you a little background about my skin without going into a whole long spiel. growing up i had really nice skin with the occasional stubborn pimple around the TOM. middle school, high school, and college i had acne-free skin...and i didn't have to do much - i just washed twice a day, applied moisturizer, and that was it! super easy to maintain. then i turned 23...and my skin went crazy. my chin broke out in painful cystic acne. i was desperate and tried pro-activ which made my face even worse...what a hot mess that was. i ended up getting retin-a micro to reverse the damage...but it took at least a year to two years to reverse the damage. and my skin is still not back to's so high maintenance now :( i still will get cystic spots and a couple weeks ago before my TOM i got a huge one. yup, i have had this mountain between my eyebrows for 2 weeks now. i thought by 28 i wouldn't have any acne problems hahah how wrong i was!

it's been a while since i've had a cystic spot that's been this large and stayed on for this amount of time so i started freaking out and googling what products i could use to help bring this to a head and heal it. and what did i find!? manuka oil! yup, i had a dabble into manuka honey before but i had never heard of manuka oil. so here's goes my list of all natural, mvp products!

and so sorry...that was a pretty long story haha

  • manuka oil: this is amazing. it's 33x more powerful than tea tree oil. it's effective when used as an antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory. i just started using it sat nite and it's started drying out my cystic mountain of a pimple! people have even claimed that when they catch their cystic pimple early enough and apply this oil, they can squash it right then and there and the next day the pain and small bump are both gone! make sure you only use a small amount and a trans-dermal carrier (emu oil, aloe vera gel, or jojoba oil) to ensure the oil penetrates deep down into the cyst. manuka oil does so much more! google it :)
  •  emu oil: when you use manuka or tea tree oil one thing people always left out was the importance of a trans-dermal carrier! what even is that!? basically if you apply manuka oil onto a cystic pimple it will just sit on the top layer of the skin. your cyst goes deep down past the first layer of's not a normal pimple. so in order for the oil to work, you need a carrier. this carrier will penetrate the skin carrying the oil with it into the cyst. first apply your manuka oil, and then apply your carrier. emu oil does so much more than just act as a trans-dermal carrier! athletes even use this for sore muscles, and much, much more! google this one too :)
  • aloe vera gel: i don't even think i need to explain this one :) it's a great moisturizer, refreshing, healing for burns, acts as a trans-dermal carrier, and the list goes on and on! 
  • tea tree oil: this is similar to manuka oil but since i heard manuka oil is 33x more potent, i opt using manuka oil for my cystic pimples. however, tea tree oil is also very strong and great as an antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial as well :) this will work wonders for cuts and scrapes and is great to have on hand. be careful though, this is also very strong and should be used sparingly!
  • manuka honey: i continually read that using manuka honey at a UMF 15 or higher is great for skin! however i've used manuka UMF 5 and it seemed to work well for my skin as well. i'm currently using MGO 550+ which i believe is the highest rating for manuka honey? not sure, but this is what my dad has told me :) i'm blessed with the fact i grew up with amazing access to all natural and holistic products as my dad owned a health food store :) i would just say be careful with manuka honey at a super high rating as well b/c it too is very powerful (which i didn't realize..oops).  i did this honey mask with the 550+ and left it on my face for 40 min and it caused small, rash like bumps on my chin...nothing major but my chin was definitely irritated but it's getting better now. i think this weekend i will try the mask for 15 min and see how it goes. manuka honey is wonderful as an anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial b/c it produces hydrogen peroxide...manuka honey is used for wound dressings! 

wow...this post was waaaay longer than i expected and i should go to bed so i can get up early for work! i know what works for me won't necessarily work for you and your skin's needs but i just thought i'd share what i can't live without :) overall these are great all natural products and will help troubled skin and maintain healthy skin but definitely do your research and google these items before trying them out!

hope you found this helpful! xo


August 19, 2012

product rave: chanel protective base coat

ok...i'm just going to say it. i'm lazy when it comes to nail polish. i usually just slap it on and tend not to worry about painting "in the lines". however, after reading laura's post here on the chanel base coat, i began lemming for it. i bought it a few months ago but *just* used it last week, and i wore it under opi's caviar & vodka (again, thanks to laura's past youtube video recommendations :)) to test it out. and boy, oh boy when i took off that red polish tonight, let me just say...that's the easiest time i'v ever had with removing any red polish! laura raves about how this base allows her to apply even the streakiest polish with ease and it was definitely a much more smooth process having the base on. why, oh why have i waited so long to use a base coat? life would have been just a little bit easier ;)

now i'm not sure if all base coats are created equal since i can't really compare the chanel one with others, but i am sure there are cheaper alternatives out there. once i use up this bottle, i'll be checking out the drugstores brands just to see if there is a difference :)

sneak peek at my next post :)

i couldn't resist. make-up, nars, and hot pink are my guilty pleasures after a long and challenging week.

hope you're doing well and have a blessed sunday! xo

August 12, 2012

irina's big day :)

my friend, irina, just got married today and I couldn't be happier for her! she was such a beautiful bride :) love to her, her new husband brad, and her family XO


August 5, 2012

i chill weekends

last weekend i caught up with some friends and we played in nature :)

we hiked...more like climbed these crazy dipsea stairs which led to the german tourist club of sf in mill valley...where we enjoyed some beers...have never loved a nice cool beverage so much haha...after the hike we headed to the marina green to fly some kites...throw back to being a child and playing outdoors was SO much fun :)

this weekend...i just relaxed! not ready to go to work tomorrow :(

loving some pretty pretty pastel carnations, loving my chill saturday night - recharging over a couple mags, and my current fave purchase...i am LOVING revlon's just bitten kissable balm stain in's very similar to tarte's resurgence lip pencils BUT the revlon version leaves such a pretty stain and at half the cost of the tarte pencil! how can you beat that!? i'm ready to try this in more colors!

hope you have a lovely and blessed monday :) XO

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