TJ's Coffee Scrub is totally worth $5

There was a time, not so long ago, when you couldn't thumb through instagram without seeing a half-naked internet celebrity covered in coffee grounds. It was brilliant marketing, giving a sexy, sarcastic voice to a humble coffee ground scrub. With the cute pouch, cuter photos, and some fairly decent results from the awesome combo of caffeine to tighten, salt to heal and scrub, and coconut oil to moisturize anti-bacterially. It worked. But it was not worth the $18 a bag, plus shipping internationally what is essentially the contents of my garbage can right now, and slowly it faded from the cultural gestalt. I'll make my own, we all said, then promptly forgot about it and went on with our lives. Turns out mixing coffee grounds and oil is kind of a messy pain in the ass - as much or more than cleaning the scrub off your tub or shower.

Lo and behold, the marketing geniuses at Trader Joe's saw an opportunity. At $5 a bottle it's hard to resist the allure of not destroying your own kitchen, but I'm sure the margins on the product are still ridiculous. I don't care - it's totally worth it. It leaves my skin butter soft, I rarely have to moisturize afterward, and after I scrub down whatever water source I used I end up with a cleaner bathroom also. Totes worth it.

Keep your eye out at your local store, you're welcome.

Glossier's Most Popular Cloud Paint is Back in Stock

When something sold out on Glossier in the olden days, it was because they were unprepared for the overwhelming demand. Now that they've raised multiple rounds of funding and have a healthy dose of capital (and better able to anticipate demand!) the new product launches aren't selling out anymore. SO when something sells out now, it basically means it's freaking epic. Behold - Beam - the cloud paint so natural and glowing it kind of snuck up on me. I wasn't expecting it. It was the last one I opened. Peach, meh. I thought. Then I finally gave it a chance (on my now faux sun-kissed face) and was literally blown away by how many compliments I got.

Paired here with boy brow in brown, haloscope in moonstone, priming mist, priming moisturizer rich, daily sunscreen shieldglossier lip gloss, and a whole lot of spring swagger.

PS Teva's are the new birkenstocks (see Prada) you heard it here third.... 

Review: R+Co Pre-Shampoo Foaming Hair Mask and Christophe Robin Detox Salt Scrub

I try really hard not to just by things because they have adorable packing. But it's a constant struggle. There are just some brilliant freaking packaging designers out there worth their weight in millenial pink gold.  So obviously when I saw the whole R+Co I was like, Dena, be strong. You don't know anything about these products beyond having an awesome packaging designer. I asked around but couldn't really find anyone who had moved, like me, beyond the "this packaging is rad" stage of consumerism.

So, when I saw the pre-shampoo foaming mousse, I asked my very talented hairdresser friend and he was like "Yes, this brand is awesome. And yes, in Denver you need a mask because this climate is dry and brutal on hair. But don't buy anything new until you finish what you have." Such sage advice could not be ignored.

That night I opened my last packet on hand of my beloved Ouai Hair Mask and squeezed the tiniest droplet onto my ends. I love the stuff, I really do, but the truth was in this dry climate it was just too heavy for my hair. I knew I needed something lighter.

Therein lies the appeal of this pre-shampoo foam. It's light as air. It didn't weigh my hair down like truly effective conditioners are wont to do. I don't have to choose between crunch but full, or flat but soft and shiny.

After applying the foam and letting it soak in (it corresponds perfectly with a good face mask) I just wash and condition like normal afterwards. For me right now that's Christophe Robin Cleansing Purifying Salt Scrub, which is kind of obsession worthy in and of itself. It comes out as this decadent creamy paste with satisfying salt crunch, and then turns into an incredibly satisfying lather (my fear with anything interesting cleansing wise, psychologically I just need that foam. Then it's Ouai Volume Conditioner, but only from "the ponytail down" which was a brilliant piece of advice I wish I could remember where I read.

 I finished with my beloved, special hair towel, and a few drops of my favorite oil. My hair air-dried to this gorgeous wave, silky soft, and incredibly shiny. It was so clean but still had texture, and was light enough to grip the little moisture in the air to provide soft, shiny hair.

Horrifyingly bad midday lighting in Denver, basically blows out every photo but look how shiny!!!
who's shinier - me or the other bear? 

VIDEO: How to Use a Beauty Blender - The Tapping Method

The other day I was doing my friend's makeup (yes, that's something that happens in real life) and she mentioned that she had a beauty blender. When I mentioned I like to use a toner instead of just water she looked at me funny. She didn't even know that YOU HAVE TO GET THEM WET FIRST. With that in mind, and with that point made, I decided to do a little flashback to a post that addresses these very issues. Enjoy!

Here's the thing - I have freckles. So if I try to go for that poreless, airbrushed look I end up looking freakish. The freckles do not want to be hidden. They do not like it. They revolt. So I have had to learn how to get all the things I want from my complexion without the aid of full coverage. You guys don't know how lucky you have it.

Half of it is just in finding the right formula and color. But the other half is definitely in the application and the tools. The beauty blender has basically changed my life because it allows me to get what I can from product, namely evening out my color, eliminating redness and spots, and imparting a healthy, dewy glow. It also lets me use less product, and helps it last for longer.

How it does  it do all these magical things? Well, like all things in the beauty world it breaks down to science (which is why the knockoffs don't work as well!) The porous, synthetic, patented material has a unique surface that grabs onto product, leaving just the right amount behind. So the trick might actually be thinking about using your blender to remove your makeup, not put it on.

The tapping method is really about using the blender to blot the product away, leaving behind the thinnest possible layer so it looks the most like natural skin. The addition of water (or in my case, mist) melts the product into your skin and helps the blender to leave a little bit less behind for a fuller coverage effect. The mist is actually what helps the product to stay on longer (got to love that melting!)

Watch the video to see exactly how I do it, and remember these rules:

1. Never Never Smear - smearing with the blender is basically useless. It just spreads the product around. In order to take advantage of the blender's magic texture you need to blot on the face. Use the broad side for big areas and the tip for precision and for blending things like concealer. Smearing not only wastes product, it looks unnatural.

2. Tap Tap Tap - imagine you're blotting out a stain on a delicate fabric. In fact, always treat your skin like delicate fabric. When you blot with the blender apply a light but deliberate force to lift to product up - like you would if you were trying to rub out a stain. Then repeat all over your face.

3. You can always add more, but it's soooo hard to take it off - I like to start with a very small amount and tap it all over. If I need more, I will apply just to those areas, this let's my skin shine through.

4. Clean your blender often - I don't feel like I need to explain this one but just don't let it get gross. It will last longer with regular cleaning and it wont make you break out!

5. Practice makes perfect - Once you finally unlock the magic it is so so worth it!

GRWM Morning Routine

I kind of snuck this video in with my sunscreen post because I was too lazy to break out all the products I used. Radical honesty here people! Consider this the follow up to my in-depth bathroom tour or the prequel to my GRWM after dark.

Deep breath. Here goes:

Niod Mastic Must Cleanser
Lagom Cellus Mist Toner + Avene Thermal Water Toner
Drunk Elephant C-Firma
Custom Acne Blend
Neocutis Anti-Aging Eye Cream with PSP
Glossier Priming Moisturizer + Glossier Daily Sun Protection 
No Bronzer Bronzer
Cloud Paint Blush in Haze + Haloscope Highlighter in Moonstone
Blemish Remedy Concealer
Boy Brow in Clear
Body Oil #1 + Body Oil #2 (also used to jujj hair)

Also, any questions about anything you see in the video - very happy to answer hit me up!

Poolside Glossy

Is there anything better than warm, glowing, glossy everything on a hot day. Not sweaty, just wet. Dewy. Plumped. If I could I would dip myself in oil before heading to the pool, but instead I ... Wait. I basically just dip myself in oil. Glossier's Oil-based lipgloss which is shiny and amazing but never sticky. And this Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse oil with shimmer, which sells out every summer (currently sold out on amazon, ulta, and dermstore, I checked!)  I wish I had more exciting things to write here, but honestly these products are great and I love them and I have run out of synonyms for shiny in a good way. I'm also trying to post fresh content every single day, which is usually awesome but I taught two spin classes today and my brain feels like pudding. 

I love you, come back tomorrow I will do better I promise. xo, Dena 

Bikyni Review

Bikyni, the brainchild of former Reformation COO Jude Al-Khalil, is a refreshingly minimalist collection of tops and bottoms with the impressive tagline ""You don't need a better body, you need a better bikini."

Their lofty goal of delivering superior fit, online only, plus premium fabrics, flattering cuts, and a mid-range price point, was just the challenge that I love to take on. I love my body, but it is different than a lot of other bodies. Plus, I want to protect my scars from the sun when I'm swimming, a challenge for any bathing suit since my mastectomy scar stretches far past the range of a normal nipple.

With that in mind, I was lured in by the promise of the long-line top (I love that wide band) and the cheeky bottom (which I find particularly flattering on my spin class tush) I purchased the only color available in my size in both those pieces - unfortunately keeping them in stock seems to be their biggest issue right now - and sat in to patiently await arrival.

Bonus point one, they arrived super fast, way earlier than promised. When does that ever happen?

I opened it, prepared to immediately reject the whole premise if the nude ended up being too "spanxy" but was pleasantly surprised to find a gorgeous bronzey nude that seemed to make my skin glow with health. No wonder they call it Hula. It definitely has shades of the eponymous, but differently spelled, Benefit bronzer that is universally flattering and warming for most skin tones.

The wide flat bands on both top and bottom were comfortable and lay flatteringly flush against the skin without causing the dreaded pinching that is the death of so many beloved bikinis.

The top was surprisingly supportive, although it did require the addition of some fashion tape to keep the scars from flashing.

Overall I was very impressed with the cut, fit, fabric, and color, but I will let the pictures sum it up for me....

Bikyni | Denim Bucket Hat | Glasses | Lips | Coverup (sim)

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