Saturday, June 2, 2012

Encyclopedia Organica

          I apologize for the serious lack of updates as of recently. However, my life has contained little to blog about – I don’t think anyone wants to hear about my return to healthy eating, daily Bar Method classes/ellipticallizing (I made that a word), and the daily fighting of super-fun parasites evolving into stomach viruses, a lovely takeaway from my Indian adventure.
          But, I felt it necessary to inform everyone of my latest skincare finds – all of which are organic! I have been eating mostly organic and unprocessed food since I was a young girl, but to be honest, if a cosmetics or skincare product works well and there happens to be a ton of chemicals in it…I’ll continue to use it. For me, as long as there is no adverse reaction, it is okay. On a sheer whim, I began using organic skincare products, and I have to say, my skin has not been this clear since I was in the fourth grade. Yes, that is when I began getting acne.
          I think in my lifetime, I have tried at least 500 different facial care products. That may even be a low-ball count. I’ve found products that work for a short term, but then the season changes, or my skin type goes wacko, and bam, I’m left with spots.
          My skin is supremely bizarre – extremely dry, yet acne prone. I seem to also have a lot of redness, which I have essentially accepted at this point. The main concern for me is keeping spots at bay. For the past few years, my acne has not been bad, but there were some stubborn zits on my chin and lower cheeks that just seemed to never budge, no matter what spot treatment I would use. I've solved this by mixing Lavender Essential Oil (Young Living) and Sibu Sea Buckthorn Oil into my nighttime moisturizer (currently Kiehl's Rose Arctica, but another favorite is Yes to Carrots' Calming Night Cream - so cheap!).

Mountain Ocean Skin Trip – Although I can eat a whole lot of it, I have been slow to get on the whole “extra virgin coconut oil as moisturizer” bandwagon. Maybe it is my aversion to laying around naked and waiting for my body oil to dry for hours when I could be fully dressed and out the door, but something about body oils always made me feel as if I had clogged pores and a sweating problem. Anyways, getting to this body lotion, which, indeed contains coconut oil – it’s fabulous. It smells like real young Thai coconuts, not that sickening sweet Bath & Body Works catastrophe that reeks of a Pina Colada made from artificial concentrate. But most importantly – it works like a charm. It absorbs SUPER quickly (my holy grail fast absorber is Crème de Corps Light Weight Body Lotion and this is comparable), and leaves skin soft and lightly scented, but not oily in the slightest. This will be a beach staple this summer as it was designed to be used after sun.

Solar Recovery Spray and Hydrating Cream – This brand is a miracle. Two years ago, I was sunburned beyond recognition (the Jersey shore has stronger sun than you think – even when you are reapplying SPF 45 every 2 hours…). I discovered this at Whole Foods, and since then, have not been able to use anything but this product on sun-parched skin. It is basically a blend of essential oils, but boy, does it work. I’ve recommended it to hoards of (Irish) friends, and they all have amazing results. Seriously a must have for anyone who ever steps foot outdoors. 

Maui Babe Browning Lotion – So, I’m about to contradict myself by telling you to apply soothing oils and then recommending a tanning lotion. However, when using this OVER sunscreen (my favorite, as I’ve mentioned before, is Josie Maran’s), it helps you to get a lovely touch of color. Don’t mind the balsamic vinegar-esque smell, because this gives you a golden glow without self-tanner and with the ability to protect your skin. Besides, that is what showers are for.

Sanre Lemon Sparkle Toner - I'm a sucker for anything that says "lemon sparkle" on the bottle. And it's not a seltzer? Sold x2. While practically every derm says that toner is not necessary, I cannot deny how wonderfully clean it makes my skin feel. I usually use plain rose water from the Indian market, but this product is fabulous! It removes the excess makeup that my face wipe plus makeup remover combo does not. In addition, it is made almost solely of essential oils and completely of ingredients that I can pronounce. The best part? It's made in Sarasota, Florida, where my grandmother lives - a coincidence I found out after I studied the bottle at home. I picked mine up at Whole Foods. 

Organix Moroccan Argan Oil - Okay, this isn't a skin product, it is for hair, and I found it completely by accident. While visiting a friend, I asked if her roommate had Moroccan Oil I could borrow, assuming she would lend me the stuff in the dark brown bottle that I had adored for years, and she came back with this. I figured I would try it. I was amazed by the results - my hair was sleek, shiny, and still had volume. I bought it as soon as I could! While I will never give up my beloved Moroccan Oil, this is an awesome finishing product for the summertime and a good bottle and size for travel. A word of advice: don't go crazy spritzing, or you may look a little, well, unclean in the hair department. 

The rest of the products pictured are new purchases that I have yet to test. I’ll let everyone know what I think of them as soon as I get a chance!

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Favorites: Color Theory

It’s June already? Crazy how time flies. In just a few days, my month spent on the East Coast will be over, and I will be basking in the California sun for the rest of the summer. Hooray! This will be the longest span I’ve spent in the Bay Area (2 months!) and I’m quite excited to explore.

This gets me to another topic, what I will be wearing. Unless you are living under a rock, it’s clear that brights are this year’s “thing”. Here are a few of my favorite pieces I’ve picked up recently.

J Brand 811 Mid-Rise Jeans (in several colors) – J Brand makes my favorite denim, hands down. They always fit me perfectly. In fact, I’d say 95% of my “denim wardrobe” consists of J Brand, with some odd pairs of Citizens of Humanity and True Religion thrown in. The 811 is my ultimate: mid-rise (no risk of underwear peeking out) and skinny. The fun colors they had this season were an extra bonus. I’ve been wearing these with everything – boxy tee shirts, silk blouses (J. Crew’s are my fave, and much more affordable than Equipment!), and neutral colored sweaters on chilly nights.

Zara TRF Floral Pants – I bought this pair back in India, but Zara still has an awesome selection of floral pants. Ever since I spotted prints like this on the Celine S/S runway, I was obsessed. This pair fits well, has adorable tuxedo detailing, and best of all, was super affordable, since unfortunately, I don’t think floral, skintight pants are exactly considered a classic.

Multitude of colorful teesJoe Fresh, Aritzia (my favorite store for basics), James Perse, Alternative Apparel, J. Crew,  Leslie Fremar for Fruit of the Loom. I love plain tees, and stock up on them every season. There is nothing like a well-fitting tee shirt to wear with everything from boyfriend jeans to pencil skirts to tie-dyed cutoffs a la Isabel Marant (I picked mine up from Forever 21). I am currently loving H&M and James Perse’s mens tees, which I buy in a size small, for that effortless “boyfriend” look, tucked into pants and worn with an oversized rhinestone necklace.

Fun, citron heels from Thailand – Ever since Miu Miu’s polka dot platform sandals from last spring, I’ve been hunting down an affordable pair that uses dots as an accent. I found this pair at Zen Department Store in Bangkok, Thailand, in April, and I love how they add a touch of whimsy to an otherwise simple outfit.

My favorite jewelry right now – Woven Skull bracelet (unknown brand), Tai Shell Bracelet, and Tiffany & Co. Key necklace with additional charms by Dyanne Bell.

The best part about the “brights” look is that dressing is as easy as one, two, three – pick a bottom, add a contrasting color top, and finish with fun jewelry (vintage rhinestone necklaces from Ebay are my go-to).