The Essentials: August 2019

I’m not even going to front… I took a year-long sabbatical from posting and will speak about that more in an upcoming Fourth Wall post. But, let’s just say it’s been a YEAR.

I’m still working through some kinks but am feeling more inspired and rejuvenated to share everything I’ve come across since last year.

Anyway, let's get to it!

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Hair: When it comes to hair, my biggest challenge has been growth and hair health. The amount of damage my curls took on during my icy blonde period ALMOST gives me blonde regret. (Almost.) Let’s not forget my alopecia moment when I lost half my curl volume. To rehabilitate my curls I had to consider my hair health on the outside and inside. On the inside, I’ve incorporated Philip Kingsley’s Root Complex supplements. Philip Kingsley are known trichology experts so it’s no surprise their supplements are inspired by a combination of hair healthy vitamins and minerals prescribed on a daily basis at the Philip Kingsley Trichological Clinics. As for cleansing and conditioning - Nexxus’ Oil Infinite Collection (shampoo, conditioner, and nourishing hair oil) is suited for thick, curly hair and works by replenishing nutrients and detangling hair without excess residue. My curls always felt great after use too! With all this damage control, I’ve kept styling very minimal this summer by relying on Renpure’s Coconut Water Sea Salt Spray. The spray adds weightless moisture and texture by using gentle plant-based ingredients.

Face: Earlier this summer I made an appearance in Teen Vogue’s yearly acne coverage - who would’ve thought? But to reiterate, I still stand behind all three picks which included Blume’s Meltdown and Naturopathica’s Pumpkin Purifying Enzyme Peel. Both are so GOOD for maintaining acne. Since my skin care routine was/is packed full of powerhouse products I decided to scale back on an intense moisturizer and instead trade in one that was lightweight and focused on gentle hydration - enter e.l.f. Daily Hydration Face Moisturizer. It does its job and is under $10! I also discovered Youth to the People on Instagram - where they quickly rose to Insta-fame thanks to their clean aesthetic and 100% vegan ingredients. I picked up their Superfood Skin Reset Antioxidant Mask after reading rave reviews and absolutely love it. I use it once a week, only at night, to detox and reset my skin - highly recommend it!

Makeup: Air conditioners and daily contact lens use has made my eyes a bit sensitive this summer so I haven’t been wearing much eye makeup. BUT, I still need my brows and mascara to be on before leaving the house. With that said, I went through countless mascaras until I tried Almay’s Multi-Benefit Mascara. The formula gives lashes a boost of volume and length without any irritation. Another favorite from this summer is NYX’s Makeup Setting Spray in a Dewy Finish which kept all my face makeup intact during the hot, sweaty nights out. Both items mentioned here are under $10 too!

Any favorites you've been loving this month?

Shop my essentials below:
one // two // three // four // five // six // seven // eight // nine // ten // eleven // twelve // thirteen // fourteen

NYC: 10 Things to Do This Fall

It’s time to whip out the PSL, over-the-knee boots, and all of the sweaters. Fall has arrived in NYC - even if the weather slightly disagrees from time-to-time. Below, is a round up of my favorite autumnal things to do in New York that won’t all revolve around Halloween. Check it out! And if there’s anything I’ve left out let me know in the comments.

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1. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge
In my honest opinion, there’s no better way to take in the skyline. Beat the crowds with a cup of Joe in tow and get there early, like 10 am early. You’ll thank me later.

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2. Take a Day Trip to the Apple Orchards
Grab your friends for the drive up, or take the MetroNorth or a bus service, and get ready to pick a bushel of apples from Apple Dave’s Orchards. There’s a tasting room full of their yummy cider, tons of outdoor space for picnickers, and family friendly.

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3. Head to Central Park
The fall foliage is breathtaking - bring your camera. Once you got the shot take a tour of the lake on a row boat.

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4. Eat Everything Pumpkin!
I absolutely mean this. Head to the farmer’s market each weekend, buy all things pumpkin, and eat to your little heart’s content. There’s a few farm-to-table restaurants in NYC that include pumpkin in their seasonal menus. Go there and eat that too.

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5. Get Yourself a Pumpkin at the Queens County Farm
It’s kid-friendly, has a corn maze, and is reasonably close to the city. I would check their calendar for events too!

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6. Take Yourself out to a Ball Game
Do yourself a favor and see The Mets play. Not The Yankees… The Mets. The crowd is friendlier and the air is filled with magic.

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7. Celebrate Oktoberfest
There are so many German beer houses in NYC it would be totally unacceptable to not spend one Saturday day drinking in them during Oktoberfest. Remember, have your favorite ale in your left hand and bratwurst in your right. Prost!

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8. Cheer on the NYC Marathon Runners!!
Maybe I’m bias, but it’s so inspiring to watch runners of all shapes and sizes chase their dreams to the finish line. This marathon touches all five boroughs so why not make a day out of it. Gather friends, create some funny, wacky signs, and cheer them on!

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9. Treat Yourself
No seriously. It’s Spa Week in NYC and most luxuriating services average around $50 which is a steal! (However you should tip on the original price and not the deal price.)

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10. Feast of San Gennaro
This is definitely my favorite fall festival in NYC for one reason alone - cannolis. Well, there’s also live music, amazing fresh pasta from the local restaurants, and the class festival rides.

If you loved this post then you might enjoy my other NYC posts!

Skin Care 101: Best Face Mists for Every Moment

Misting has to be my favorite skin care step ever. It’s kind of crazy to think back to when to when I used to strip the moisture from my face with toners - belch!

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The beauty behind face mists (and the reason why I love them oh-so-much) is that they can be used for a multitude of reasons. Anywhere from removing leftover creamy cleanser residue, repairing the skin’s barrier and plumping it up with nutrients to most importantly - hydration! No need for the water boy when you got a face mist in your back pocket. Or bathroom cabinet. Or night stand. Or… Well, you got the picture.

Find the right mister and it can balance moisture and pH levels which means dewy skin until night fall.

I tend to lean towards products that contain aloe or rose water and try to stay as far away as possible from products that contain high levels of alcohol or fragrance.

Below, are a few of my all-time favorites that keep me sane, sexy, and succulent.

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Caudalíe’s Beauty Elixir
I broke my misting virginity with Caudalíe and never looked back. Even had a brief moment of feeling Parisian and cooler than my peers. It was pretty fun. I will call out that it’s heavily scented and probably not the best for those with sensitive skin. However, the heavenly scent of grape, bitter orange flower, and rose puts it on the “exception” list. Recommend using this mist in your AM skin care routine or as a quick pick-me-up.

Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Mist
Makeup by Mario (because I only know him by his Instagram handle) and his muse Kim Kardashian swear by this product. It’s hydrating, light, and the super-fine sprayer applies the formula evenly in two spritzes. It honestly keeps your skin dewy and luminous all day long. As for me, it’s a constant in my beauty bag and always a re-buy. The price is a little steep but I’ve been purchasing the travel size to make it hurt a little less. Recommend as a primer before makeup or to set makeup.

Avene Thermal Spring Water
This has to be the OG when it comes to a mist that will calm, soothe, and soften skin. It’s ideal for those that have sensitive skin as well (aka stock up on this guy!). As for me, I love using it especially after an intense workout to help minimize redness. Recommend for all routines, after workouts and during travel.

Juice Press Rose Water Mist
If you’re wondering what Juice Press is doing on this list, let me just say I was even more confused when they sent me a bottle to try. After all, they’ve never been one to play in the skin care space but it does make sense they would release a product using only the highest quality ingredients. As an FYI, rose water contains vitamins A, C, E, and B along with anti-inflammatory properties and is high in antioxidants. Recommend using this mist in your AM skin care routine or on-the-go (or both as the price point is great).

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Botanics Rosewater Toning Spritz
Botanics has a few standout stars within the drugstore aisle with this being one of them. The sprayer releases a lot of product so I’ve been using this after cleansing at night to remove the last traces of makeup. Pro-tip, spritz product generously allover your face and then use a cotton pad to swipe off the product/old makeup. Recommend using this in your PM skin care routine.

Pixi Skintreats Glow Mist
This mist would probably be best for those with dry skin or for use during the arid winter months. Shake well before use and mist all over for a dewy effect. Since this product contains Argan oil, along with 21 natural oils plus propolis and aloe vera, you consider skipping a serum or face oil - but to each their own. Recommend using this in your AM skin care routine and to set makeup.

Supergoop's Defense Refresh Setting Mist SPF 50
Ever since I entered my 30s my age has consistently been questioned, to which I always respond with, “sunscreen baby”. I’ll never understand why my friends choose to forgo it but Supergoop has honestly made it so EASY to incorporate it into any part of your skin care or make up routine. May I present you a setting mist that can be used before makeup application, provides UV defense, and keeps shine at bay. The formula is also water- and sweat-resistance. Recommend using this as a setting spray and throughout the day.

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Tata Harper’s Hydrating Floral Essence
This has to be another re-buy favorite! The lightweight formula contains hyaluronic acid and humectants to plump and hydrate skin. Their website states there’s “9 sources of plumping hydration, 6 sources to smooth and soften skin texture, and 7 sources to minimize the look of wrinkles.” The gorgeous bottle is an added bonus. Recommend using this as a mid-day spray.

Glossier Soothing Face Mist
Emily Weiss did good, real good, when she launched her face mist in Glossier’s initial skincare launch. I tried this when she first released this to the wide web and love the rosewater and aloe which keeps skin smooth and hydrated. Recommend using this for on the go, travel, or gym bag - the plastic bottle won’t break! Click here to get $10 off your purchase.

June Jacobs Neroli Hydrating Mist
This paraben and perservative free revitalizing mist contains neroli oil along with a few other noteworthy extracts. As an FYI, neroli oil has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties means it’s amazing for oily and blemished skin. Recommend using this in your AM / PM skin care routine.

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Hydrating Face Mist
This Instagram star has made waves in the skin care space. It has a natural base of organic coconut water and is infused with Hibiscus flower extracts and rose water. It’s also natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. It’s pretty expensive but find peace in knowing this brand will never use fillers in their products. Recommend using this in your AM skin care routine after cleansing.

Jurlique Rosewater Balancing Mist
Last but not least, Jurlique’s mist contains rose oil, marshmallow, and aloe which is designed to help improve skin tone, moisture levels, and skin balance. This does contain alcohol and fragrance so I wouldn’t recommend it to those with dry or sensitive skin. However, I really do love the strong scent of rose in it. Recommend using this in your AM / PM skin care routine.

Okay, so I tried to keep this list to 10 and under but like I said, I love face mists. If I didn’t convert you yet, know that they can used in the AM, as a primer, on-the-go hydration, and even help lull one to bed. Let me know what you think in the comments, below!

Check out my other Skin Care 101 posts by clicking here.