The Ultimate Home Facial Playlist

The Ultimate Home Facial Playlist

Follow the complete playlist on Spotify,  The Ultimate Facial Playlist

For the cleansing and wind down:  

Shine a Light, Banners
You want to put some energy into that scrub but also start to sink into relaxation. I recommend starting with a mild cleanser, like Milky Jelly, to remove makeup/dirt/pollution, and following that a gentle manual exfoliation, like Boscia's exfoliating powder.

Mask application:

I was here, Beyonce
This power ballad is perfect for that moment when you are lovingly smearing the luxurious cream onto your skin. If you have a hard time with things like self care and setting intentions, just listen to the words in this song. Channel the energy of that iconic voice and her powerful words into the application. Right now my favorite mask is the Caudelie 10 minute mask, followed by either a sheet mask or a multi mask.

Letting the mask do it's work - relax, unwind, and sink in to the healing:

We Belong, RAC Odesza Remix
This is what I wish all spa music sounded like. It's got the soothing tones, the joyful bells, the sweet voice with the trembling warble, the almost tribal clapping beat, an almost aquiline quality that makes me think of those little fountains they have in spa rooms. It even has a positive affirmation chant built in. Sing along: "We belong to where we're going."

Intoxicated, Ashley Dubose
Sink into the dulcet tones of her syrupy voice, paired with the sweet sound of a whistle and the pure tones of an acoustic guitar. Feel the stress of the world melt. I swear this song makes me feel pretty similar to the effects of a good glass of wine.

Pillowtalk, Ben Schuller
Full disclosure, I have an entire playlist that is just covers of this song. I love me some Zayn Malik, but this song slowed down, minus the synth, is like a slice of chocolate cake. A little too rich, in a good way. This version, with just Ben's sexy sexy voice, and the simple piano accompaniment is paradise (but not a war zone.)

We Belong, Pat Benatar
I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain why this song is everything. Benatars voice is ear candy, the guitar, the sweet and soothing synth which reminds me of those finger gourd instruments. The angelic cooing of the backup singers. "We belong to light, we belong to the thunder."

All We Know, Chainsmokers
"Maybe we should let this go..."gasped in a breathy voice, a dramatic crescendo into joyful dance music, and back to each other, to start the process of the rejuvenating portion. This is a great time to let go of any black thoughts that might be clouding your energy.

Right Place, Right Time, BOA
I love a joyful, almost tropical beat, but this one is infused with these soothing sighs in the background that actually remind me of traditional spa music (listen for it and suddenly it's all you can hear - the oooooo, ahhhh, shhhhh)

Treat You Better, Shawn Mendes
I like to pretend this song is about my relationship with myself, but I have also become obsessed with this guy since seeing him on SNL. Imagine the two wolves that live inside of you - one is fear and doubt and nitpicking, and the other is joy, celebration and love. Shawn is the good wolf. Why are we wasting time, and wasting crying? Amen, Shawn.

The rinse off:

Come a Little Bit Closer,  Jay & The Americans
It can be hard to leave the cloud of self love and relaxation, but I like to end my facials with some rejoicing. I dare you to listen to this song and not dance. Oh, horns. The joyful whooping. The cheesy lyrics. The cowbell. 

PSA: I think that one cute little pimple is making you look younger...

PSA: I think that one cute little pimple is making you look younger...

Look at these photos closely. Look at the chin. If you let your eyes relax and try not to be distracted by my disco ball cheekbones, you might notice that under an expertly applied layer of blemish remedy concealer there are most definitely pimples on my chin.

There's one older one that's slowly healing but reflects light winsomely on my chin, and another that protrudes just slightly on the curve of my chin. And I think that they only add to the youthful, adorable, frosted donut of health look I work so hard to cultivate.

I could have easily made them disappear from these photos. One finger swipe on my facetune and those suckers are gone. But I realized recently that a zit or two straight up makes me look younger. And I like it.

Think about who gets pimples. Young, adorable teenagers. Fertile glowing little balls of out of control hormones. Babies get tons of little skin things. If I were to say the word pimple during one of those word response quizzes it would be impossible not to think of something having to do with the early years of our lives. A spot or two is nothing if not a sign of youth.

Now don't get me wrong. I don't want acne. When my chin is covered with a veritable constellation of red, throbbing, painful cysts I am crying on the phone to my dermatologist to fix me immediately. Acne is a disease, and it should be cured. A lot of pimples, that don't go away and are painful, is a sure sign of imbalance. You should do what you need to do to heal yourself. For me, it's one of the worst side effects of the treatments I use to control my cancer, which basically involve filling my body with poison. That's not what I'm talking about here.

But that one pimple you get every month before your period? That's basically a sign that your body is working the way it's supposed to. It's a sign that your juicy skin is so fertile and youthful that it might have gone a little overboard producing the thing that we then spend a small fortune on moisturizer to reproduce.

One pimple is not the end of the world. In fact, could it be possible it's a good thing?

Ever since I started on the lupron (forcing me into chemically induced menopause) I've been struggling with serious, painful acne. Viewed through the lense of how bad things are now, I just feel stupid and ungrateful for how hard I was on myself then. I would kill to go back to the time when I got one cute, slightly annoying zit per month.

Do you know anyone who is completely immune to it? Doesn't that possibly suggest that it might actually not be such an abhorrent thing?

In fact, if I let go of this insane beauty standard that has taught me pores should be reviled and all humans should be lit by the Valencia filter at all times, and I think about my own opinion - I sincerely, truly and actually think it's cute. Why are we so damn hard on ourselves?**

**Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not trashing my concealer. For one thing it's got tea tree oil in it, so it's basically healing. Also, it keeps my disgusting fingers from picking all day - I'm the worst at this. But I don't do it because I need it. It's optional. I have gone completely cold turkey on wearing makeup to workout (trust that it only makes things worse) because it feels like the healthiest choice for my skin when my pores open up and I'm sweating. I feel good about decisions that I make that feel based on the health and balance of my body.

How to Contour with Gloss: The Secret to Daytime Festive Make-Up

How to Contour with Gloss: The Secret to Daytime Festive Make-Up

Step 1: Prep your lips with a scrub. I love French Girl Organics Rose Lip Polish.
Step 2: Use a flattering nude to line and then fill in your whole lips. I think Glossier Cake looks amazing on everyone.
Step 3: Add a pop of color to your inner mouth. This is big in Korean beauty, and creates a pretty flushed candy-eating pout. For this look I used Zip, a cherry red.
Step 4: Apply a clear gloss to blend the color and add an appealing glossy finish. I like to use my fingers for this so I have a little more control of the blending, and so my applicator doesn't get gross.

That's it! I've been playing around with lots of color combos - a nice brown Leo with a pop of purple Jam in the center. Cake with Cherry Balm Dot Com. The possibilities are endless, and it's so fun to experiment. I came across this beautiful combo by just grabbing the first two that I could find in my makeup bag. For a matte finish, use a coat of instead of the gloss.

Big Blue Fluffy Fur Coat

Big Blue Fluffy Fur Coat

Today the windchill was zero. It was cold. I was not cold, because I wore this beast of a coat - I felt likeI was wearing a sleeping bag made of the softest, fluffiest neon cloud. It paired really well with my sneakers. I don't even know what to write because this coat just defies words, so for today you get extra pictures and less words. Never forget, fashion should be fun.

Sheetmasking for Combination Skin

Sheetmasking for Combination Skin

I sometimes feel like I have two different faces - the top half is a freeze dried strawberry I am constantly trying to rehydrate, and the bottom half is a sensitive, hormonal teenager who doesn't know how to wash her face after soccer practice. I used to treat whichever version of my face needs the most love and attention, but I realized that just because the sheet is for the whole face doesn't mean I need to use it on my whole face. I'm a genius, right?

So watch the video to see how I boost and customize my sheetmasks, or read the easy steps below.
You glow get them (crying laughing emoji)

1) Cleanse and tone your face. Toner primes your skin to help it better absorb nutrients, which makes it an essential first step before masking. I start with P50 toner and let it soak in. Then I use the Glossier Soothing Mist to help gently PH balance my lower face, and the Hyalamide Hydra Density to plump and treat my top half.

2) Boost with serums. The sheet mask will help these super hero ingredients to penetrate more effectively - just make sure to only use things with a thin watery texture so you don't block the absorbency of the ingredients in the sheet mask. I used the Glossier Supers in Pure and Glow, which are sold out right now, but you can dupe them with The Ordinary  Niacinamide + Zinc and Hyalamide Booster Glow. I finish with Hyalamide SubQ Anti-Age.

3) Apply sheet masks, using scissors to cut shapes that fit your needs. I used the Cremorlab Peptide Plumping Mask for the dryer parts and Witch Hazel Pore Tightening Mask for my breakout prone areas (thank you Peach + Lily for gifting these to me!)  Sit for 25 minutes. I recommend using the time to read one of these novels, because they will help you tune out and relax.

4) **Finish by gently massaging in the ingredients, and then applying a moisturizer on top to lock all the good stuff in. I used the Lagom Cellus Deep Moisture Cream.

**BONUS STEP: Before applying your moisturizer use the Nuface with Damask Rose or Aloe Gel, the microcurrents not only tone your face but also boost absorption of all those great ingredients.

How to Reuse Your Sheet Masks 

If you can't afford the dyson dryer...try this $30 special towel instead

If you can't afford the dyson dryer...try this $30 special towel instead

But you still want smooth, fast drying hair... Why not try this plush, soft, super-fast absorbing towel instead. The fibers are designed to be extra gentle on wet hair, which is fragile and more likely to break. It doesn't rough up the cuticle like a traditional towel (read: less frizz) and it's perfectly designed to create a comfortable wrap. It's like the turbie towel's chic big sister.

After washing my hair I threw it up in the towel and then did a mask and make-up. I took it down when it was mostly dry, threw a hat on it (it's cold!) and an hour later I had silky smooth, frizz-free hair with waves. It's basically the solution to "it's too cold to walk around with wet hair but I'm too lazy to blow dry." Since it's the giving season I feel like I should mention this also makes a great, practical gift or white elephant or stocking stuffer if you fancy.

Aquis Essentials Hair Towel $30

Parrrrty Makeup with the Glossier Black Tie Set

Parrrrty Makeup with the Glossier Black Tie Set


Here's what I did:

This on brows and skinThis on eyes & lip. Both have videos! I mean, it's working so well I am faltering in my urge to do anything else. Don't worry, something new and exciting will come along soon and I will be all over that instead.

Metallic Holiday Party Makeup with Pat Mcgrath Metamorphosis and Glossier Haloscope

Metallic Holiday Party Makeup with Pat Mcgrath Metamorphosis and Glossier Haloscope

Here is a deep and abiding conundrum in my life - I LOVE sparkly, dewy, glossy things... but I hate glitter. Glitter is the herpes of the craft world. And also of the face world. It's itchy. 

So what's a girl to do?

Turns out the right kits, sticks of ground up real crystals, your fingers, and an amazing cheap eyeliner brush are all you need.

List of products:

Metamorphosis 005 in Bronze
Glossier Haloscope
Precision Eyeliner Brush ($5!!)
photography foundation in golden tan

P.S. If you're wondering what happened before this video: I started with this makeup as a base (video) and then I sketched on a rough cat eye using the graphite pencil from the Glossier Black Tie Set, which is very user friendly.

The Reformation Turtleneck (30% off right now) | Vanessa Mooney Tassel Earrings (also on sale)

Why You Need A Salt Lamp

Why You Need A Salt Lamp

Himalayan Salt Lamp

I just got a Himalayan Salt Lamp from Whole Foods a few days ago. I got it because we blew a fuse while cooking and didn't want to bother the maintenance staff in the middle of the night before thanksgiving. The plugs were working. The overhead lights were not. So when I saw a cute, crystal** looking lamp for under $20, I thought why not. I was purely motivated by aesthetics.

Then, as I was reading the instructions I stumbled upon the list of benefits of salt lamps (and the interesting science behind it) and I become even more intrigued. Could this really help with my SAD (seasonal affected disorder) or with the coughing/runny noses that had plagued our entire household since the weather turned overnight from 60s to 30s.

I plugged it in. I crossed my fingers. That night, not a single dog or human awoke with their sinuses. Heaven. 

Since then I have been alternately trying to stop my profound and deep held hoarding instincts (an apartment our size only really needs one!) and telling everyone I know that they need one.

How have I not known about this sooner?

So back to the science behind. The salt is heated up by the bulb inside. The salt attracts moisture (this we know because eating it makes us bloated and it's the thing to do when you spill red wine on someone to get the stain out instead of pushing it deeper into the fabric!) Along with the moisture it brings along the common irritants like pollen, mold, dust, smoke, smog, bad spirits, nightmares of ex-boyfriends past and germs. Then the heat from the bulb dispels the moisture out into the air again, but all the bad stuff in the air is trapped in the salt crystal. BOOM. Science magic.

There's also some voodoo hippy stuff about deionizing the air, and other things I didn't understand (this does a decent job of explainging it but the source is dubious) but also gives off a pleasant, warm, natural glow that is supposed to help with SAD. We shall see.

Either way I am into it, and it really does look chic and adorable. I have placed it next to my humidifier (because those things potentially gross me out a lot) in hopes they will counter each other it.

Feelings wise my nasal passages, skin, and soul feel less freeze-dried strawberry and more pudding.

** I LOVE crystals - see soap and haloscope