Five Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! As we near the end of June (and the fiscal year for my clients), all I want to do is walk out of work, board the LIRR, and lay on a beach out East. Unfortunately, there's this thing called rent that has me chained to my desk.

So instead, I've been settling for new beauty (and not-so-beauty) finds that make things a little more easier on the soul.


1. DevaCurl Decadence Line: No-Poo & One Condition
When it comes to products that actually work time after time, DevaCurl is my holy grail! But, I will admit that since going blonde I've gone astray and entered a new world of purple shampoos. Lately, my hair has been feeling a bit dry and the curls no longer curly so I re-accessed my current routine and opted for DevaCurl's new Decadence collection. 

You guys, the formula is so rich and creamy and made my strands feel so soft and easy to detangle. I honestly don't know why I stopped using this power duo! The line is made with chufa milk and quinoa protein to deliver moisture, strength, nourishment, and protection to each ringlet.


2. Completely Bare Moisturizing No-bump Shave Gel
I've never really been one to really rely on shaving cream. If anything, the ol' conditioner trick did the job pretty well. BUT THEN, Completely Bare sent me a trio of products to test out and their Moisturizing No-bump Shave Gel really impressed me and has earned a permanent spot in my shower caddy.

The gel leaves me bump-free and my legs incredibly moisturized (thanks to the Sunflower seed oil). The gel is also infused with Chamomile extract to help soothe skin and prevent irritation. The price is on par with other shaving gels too!


3. DermAppeal Microdermabrasion Treatment
In my quest to combat cystic acne and clear up old scars and marks, I decided to give DermAppeal a three-month trial. This tube of magic resurfaces and revitalizes skin by using minerals from the Dead Sea.

The formula also encompasses five different stabilized forms of antioxidant Vitamin C Crystals to give our skin all the benefits of a professional brightening microdermabrasion treatment - at home! I use this no more than twice a week and love the refreshing tingly feeling it leaves behind.


4. Royal Rose Stem Cell Mask
This straight-from-spa mask made the list for top hydrating masks. After a long weekend in the sun, accompanied by drinks or not, this mask instantly hydrates and calms my tired, dull skin. So every Sunday without fail, you can find me lounging on my couch letting my skin drink up all of the nutrients (shea, jojoba, soothing rose oil, and grape cell extract). Oh, and it smells divine!


5. Runa Drinks
I've always been a huge tea drinker but lately I've fallen into a bad habit of relying on coffee & cream to get me through the day. We're talking three to four cups every Monday through Friday. So after a little research and review-reading I came across RUNA. They pride themselves on making iced teas and clean energy drinks from Guayusa, a naturally caffeinated tree leaf found in the Amazon which they exclusively source from indigenous farming families in Ecuador. It's pretty neat how they work directly with the source.

As for the drink, RUNA teas contain the same amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee, with no crash! Their drinks are naturally sweet and organic. You can find their clean energy drinks and iced teas on Amazon prime too!

Five Friday Faves

By the time you read this I'll be settling into our Chicago digs and prepping for the weekend ahead by purchasing all of the Pedialyte in the state of Illinois. As promised, I added a bit more diversity to my Five Friday Faves that have made this week a breeze!

Lanc  ô  mes Artliners from left to right: chocolat, cuir, menthe, jade, saphir, azur, violet, amethyste

Lancômes Artliners from left to right: chocolat, cuir, menthe, jade, saphir, azur, violet, amethyste

Lancôme Drama-Liqui-Pencil from left to right: (top row) soleil, lame, french lace, pluie, lumiere, embrasé, brûlée, paradis, minuit, parisian night, côte d'azur, (bottom) macaron, ampoulé, baroque

Lancôme Drama-Liqui-Pencil from left to right: (top row) soleil, lame, french lace, pluie, lumiere, embrasé, brûlée, paradis, minuit, parisian night, côte d'azur, (bottom) macaron, ampoulé, baroque

1. Lancôme's New #AllEyesOnYou Collection
Lancôme surprised me with an amazing collection of eyeliners (liquid + pencil), mascaras, eye shadows, and eye makeup remover. Usually, I won't use a product until after photographing them, but like a moth to a flame, I was immediately drawn to their black Drama-Liqui-Pencil and Artliner. It has since been used up (got this awesome gift a few months back, eek!) but I can honestly say their formulas are to die for. The pencils glide on so easily and provide an intense burst of color. As for the Artliner, the precision gave a new dimension to my cat eyes. Plus, the colors they launched are so fun to play with! Whichever shade you're digging I highly recommend scooping up one or three and adding it to your arsenal.


2. Lola 100% Cotton Tampons
Did you ever wonder, what exactly was in your tampon? I mean we care about the ingredients in our food and skincare products, but we don't really bat a lash when it comes to our feminine products. Then I started hearing about Lola and their organic cotton tampons early last year. Their manifesto and clean, modern design intrigued me, but their transparency and convenience made me a customer for life.

I know change can be scary but there's no harm in trying it out once. Use my code AOLMEDO1 for $5 off plus new customers get 1 free box on their 2+ box order.


3. Kylie Lip Kit in KoKo K (& its Dupes)
If we're being honest, I'm obsessed with Kylie and her lip kits. If I wasn't knee deep in bills I would probably buy her entire collection of colors. Instead, I gave myself a limit and bought the 22 + KoKo K shades. I'm obsessed with both but KoKo K has done wonders for me this summer. Part of me wants to stock up on the color but the other part is not about the $9 shipping fee. Instead, I headed over to my local drugstore and found dupes that are just as good if not better for a fraction of the price! Now, let us rejoice over these finds:



4. Dove Dry Spray
Are you surprised to see Dove's Dry Spray make the list yet again? It's such a timesaver and lifesaver when it comes to getting ready in the AM and at fitness studios. The spray goes on dry so there's no white residue left on clothes, has no alcohol in the ingredients so it's gentle on skin, and moisturizes your skin for a smoother feeling. Grab a few on your next shopping trip and pamper your underarms.

Magnetic Eye Color Pencil from left to right: angel, spirit, chocolate

Magnetic Eye Color Pencil from left to right: angel, spirit, chocolate

5. NUDESTIX for Eyes
For mornings that I'm feeling a no-makeup makeup look, I've turned to NUDESTIX's complementary colors of nudes. The shades are subtle, chic, and effortless which is great for when I'm short on time. You won't need a primer either with these sticks since they won't smudge, crease or fade - aka great for all day wear. After a little more digging, I noticed the vegan line boasts a collection that is free of preservatives, parabens, and gluten. If you're into a no-fuss routine, give this line a look.

Five Friday Favorites

To be honest I should rename this to Five Friday Beauty Faves. I have basically spent all of my free time on subreddit pages and in drugstore aisles researching the latest and greatest beauty finds. Eh, next month I promise to live a little but for now let's get to it.

1. Laurel Whole Plant Organics Almond Grain Mask
This is one of those brands I discovered by chance and in the best way possible. I was invited to a new-to-me Laurel event and was definitely intrigued. On the day of the event, I walked into a room filled with skincare addicts (ah, my people) soaking up Laurel's knowledge, the owner. She gave us the rundown on all things pertaining to her organic skincare and even gave us her Almond Grain Mask and treatment brush to try at home. Obviously, I ran home to test it out.

The line is alcohol- and water-free in order to preserve the ingredients and provide our skin with the highest degree of nutrients. Because of that, the masks need to be mixed with water before it's slathered on. It felt extremely therapeutic and forced me to be in the moment. The mask itself felt and smelled heavenly. It left my skin gently exfoliated and moisturized - none of that tight skin feeling. Another plus is that it has 10 active ingredients and left me with a glowing complexion (aka great for those hungover days).


2. IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream
Oof! I've been using this cream since early March and am absolutely in love with it. The cream itself looks thick and might feel a little rich but once it's on your skin it is so light and absorbs so quickly. The cream is great for all skin types, from oily to sensitive, and contains Anti-Aging Armour Regenerative Concentrate™ to reduce the look of pores, discoloration, line and wrinkles. The one thing I truly love about this is how quickly it plumps up my skin and hydrates my face. For mornings when I'm in a rush, I use a face mist, this cream, and BB Cream for that dewy fresh-faced look.

Top to bottom: Instant Age Rewind, Super Stay Better Skin, Dream Lumi.

Top to bottom: Instant Age Rewind, Super Stay Better Skin, Dream Lumi.

3. Maybelline's Concealers
I'm a purveyor of drugstore brands and Maybelline is definitely one of those few brands that I consistently check out. The Instant Age Rewind is a great on-the-go concealer and perfect for quick cover-ups since there's no need for a brush or sponge. The applicator has a sponge-like tip which ensures the coverage won't streak when applied. As for the formula, it does a great job at making me appear well-rested. Their Super Stay Better Skin is a concealer I use for my acne and acne marks mainly because of its Actyl C ingredient which fades marks within three weeks. And finally, their Dream Lumi rounds out my perfect coverup squad. This bad boy provides seamless coverage and illuminates skin at the same time. I love using this around my eyes and as a base on days I decide to bake so it can look extra lit.

Top to bottom: radiance highlight, matte highlight, deep contour, medium contour, light contour, soft contour.

Top to bottom: radiance highlight, matte highlight, deep contour, medium contour, light contour, soft contour.

4. IT Cosmetics You Sculpted!Heavenly Luxe™ Angled Radiance Brush #10
I'll admit I own almost every contour palette out there but still get that deer in the headlights look when it's go-time. So when I came across IT Cosmetics' You Sculpted! I felt like they made a palette for those of us wanting a little more direction. This palette is chockful of helpful tips and even has an informational how-to book attached to the back. The colors are gorgeous and the formula is velvety soft and stays put all day long. If you don't already have a contouring brush then I highly recommend getting their Angled Radiance Brush #10 as well. The brush is so well designed for contouring it'll make the process easy peasy for an air-brushed finish.


5. Glossybox Subscription
Back in May, Glossybox was generous enough to send me their May box. Definitely bad timing on my part due to fracture (eek) but their packaging and curated contents left such a mark on me I knew I had to share as my Friday Favorite. Each month beauty experts choose an assortment of high-end or boutique goodies to match your beauty profile. I didn't have a beauty profile set up but I can honestly say that I loved (& used up) the items in my box: Benefit's Roller Lash, Rituals Zensation (LOVED this!), Nioxin Cleanser & Conditioner, Talika Photo-Hydra Day Moisturizer, and Versaspa Tanner. The monthly subscriptions is $21 per month and well worth the deluxe samples. (Sidenote, I think this would make for a great gift if you're stuck in a rut). Intrigued? Check out the site here.