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Monthly Archives: July 2018

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Rebuilding Healthy Skin Care Habits and A Journey To Feel Better Through Self Care

Self Care

This is a few days late, but July 24th was International Self Care Day. And even though I am late, I still wanted to take some time and talk about things I am going to be doing for self-care and why.

Self Care

I think I have been saying a lot since the beginning of this year how I am not feeling well and how bad my skin has been. They are really connected, because while I haven’t felt well my habits I had built-in taking care of my skin had fallen to the side. While I had pushed to at least do the basics of skin care, I haven’t been doing everything that I really need to. I just have not had the energy and at times haven’t cared enough because of everything else that was going on.

But I realize I have to care more about it. I have to put more effort into self-care. And with as bad as I have been feeling, that isn’t just going to be skin care I need to put some serious effort into. My health is really suffering right now, so I need some major self-care in all areas of my life.

I have already done some thing like getting back on a high-powered vitamin D. I do tend to run vitamin D deficient, and I had run out of what I was taking. So I decided to go back to the liquid vitamin D from Buried Treasure I had taken prior to that. I think it worked the best for me. I also have finally gotten in with new doctors. And I have gotten myself a membership with Massage Envy. Each of these have helped in minute ways. And I plan on trying to incorporate more self-care over time.

Now, I had previously mentioned that my husband and I would be taking an extended vacation for our anniversary at the end of August. I want to try to create a healthier skin care routine for myself before I leave for vacation. I would love to have my skin back in shape so I can freely wear makeup during my trip without worrying if it will look bad on the dry patches. Its our anniversary, so obviously I want to look extra nice when we go out for dinners and the such.

There is some debate on how to go about creating healthy habits. The majority seem to say you create a healthy habit by being repetitive, but by how long is even up for debate. For a long time people have been saying that it takes 21 days to form a habit. But recent research has shown that it way more complicated that just saying it takes 21 days, and it probably varies by person and type of habit. So I may not have an actual “habit” per say by the time I go on vacation, but I think that any effort put into self-care right now is for the better.

I will be trying to share some of the skin care items I am using each day on social media as well as some of the other self-care things I am doing if you are interested in following along with that. I also will be sharing some pictures of our trip at the end of the month.

As a side note, due to still not feeling 100% and all of the business from vacation plans and a lot of doctors appointments right now, it may be a while before I can get back to the three blog posts a week I was doing at one time. But right now I feel confident I at least can hold it steady at the 1 to 2 post a week range. And since my hair is still recovering from the last shampoo and conditioner review I did, it will be after my vacation before I pick those back up. So it will be sometime in September.

I know that a fair amount of my readers also deal with chronic pain and chronic health conditions. Tell me in the comments below what you do for self-care. What keeps you sane?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New Store Alert: Beefcake Swimwear

Beefcake Swimwear logo

I am sort of excited to talk to you about this brand because of how different they are. They aren’t completely new, but they only came on my radar a few months ago and I haven’t really heard anything else about them since. Today we are talking about Beefcake Swimwear. They are a company with a unique concept who got their start through Kickstarter.

Beefcake Swimwear logo

What makes them different? Quite a lot actually, but lets start with the most obvious things. First of all their designs are based on vintage styles from the Victorian era. Because they are Victorian era inspired designs, in addition to offering a little more coverage than that of most modern swimwear, it also means the styles are unisex. And before you ask, no I did not make a mistake, they are a completely gender neutral swimwear company.

There are some other pretty great things about this company. They are made in the USA, based out of Portland, OR. And that is manufactured in the USA, not just designed here. And to top off the proverbial sundae they only use 100% recycled polyester and spandex.

They currently offer two suit designs, The Original and The Dreamboat.

The Original Beefcake Swimsuit

The Original

The Dreamboat Beefcake Swimsuit

The Dreamboat

Each style is available in three color options and a wide range of sizes. They are available in sizes XS to 5X. Make sure to check the size chart before ordering as this is unisex sizing, but I found the 2X measurements to be pretty standard for a woman’s plus size 2X.

Beefcake swimwear really seems focused on inclusiveness. It’s written all over their website and Instagram. I love that they are using real people, of all shapes, sizes, and genders, to model their swimsuits. And their plus sizes aren’t model perfect. Their real, with real bodies you see walking down the street every day.

 

I actually got a chance to ask the Beefkcake Swimwear’s owner and creator Mel Wells’ a few questions recently about the swimwear and where she sees the company going. Here is what we talked about:

Me: I see you started out in book publishing and nonprofit administration, what inspired you to start a swimwear line?

Mel Wells: The inspiration for Beefcake Swimwear came from a good friend who identified as female but dressed very masculine. She struggled to find swimwear and mentioned that she wanted a suit like the 1920s one-pieces. Naively, I offered to make her one. I’d sewn a few items of clothes in high school and college (I’ve always been super tall and struggled to find clothes) but sewing a swimsuit is hard. Other people who heard what I was doing thought it was an awesome idea, so I began toying with the idea of starting a small business making these suits. Mostly I needed to find a professional to do the sewing!

Me: The concept of your swimwear is not like the average swimwear line. What made you decide to create something both so vintage looking and unisex?

Mel Wells: Perhaps it’s because I’ve been in Portland, Oregon for over 10 years now, but a gender-neutral swimsuit didn’t strike me as radical. When I researched one-piece suits from the 1920s and 1930s, men and women are pretty much wearing the same thing. I wanted to stay true to that inspiration, well, except for the little skirt thing some of them had. 🙂

Me: I see you have two patterns available on your website at the moment. Do you have any plans on adding any other patterns?

Mel Wells: I definitely have more patterns and colors in mind! The most challenging part is that with the current choices (2 designs, 3 colors, 10 sizes, and a shelf bra option), we have to stock 120 swimsuits just to have one of each. Not only does this present a storage issue (we’re operating the storage/packaging/shipping part of the business out of a tiny one-bedroom apartment), but it’s pretty expensive to make 120 suits in the first place. So, additional colors and designs will have to be rolled out over time.

Me: What is your dream for the future of Beefcake Swimwear?

Mel Wells: Honestly, my vision is to make the best possible version of these suits and stay alive as a small business manufacturing in the USA. The very best part of running this company is hearing from folks who haven’t gone to the beach or got in the pool in a decade, and who now feel comfortable and confident in a swimsuit. The black Original suits are by far our bestsellers, so I can see us making those for a long time. It’s daunting to know that H&M or Forever 21 could do this style of swimsuit tomorrow, and probably do it super cheap, but my hope is that we would still appeal to folks who are concerned about the human beings who do the super labor-intensive and skilled work of sewing receiving fair wages. I’m also really excited about the new Italian-milled recycled polyester we’re launching this spring–environmental responsibility is another big concern of ours.

Me: I love that you have a pretty inclusive size offerings. If someone were to not fit your sizes, do you do custom pieces?

Mel Wells: Thank you! It’s important to me that our sizing be as inclusive as we can afford. (I already mentioned the challenges of producing and stocking inventory.) I wish we could offer custom suits, but it is prohibitively expensive and time-consuming. We’d need to pay the pattern maker to adjust the pattern, the designer to adjust the markers on the printer and dial in the colors and printing, and then custom-print that single suit, all of which would cost hundreds of dollars. This isn’t just me at my kitchen table with scissors and a sewing machine–there is a whole team and process involved in making these suits. Of course, I still package suits at my kitchen table and respond to emails personally, but even that happens on evenings and weekends since I have a day job. Honestly sometimes I wonder if this whole endeavor is bananas, but I’m going to keep doing it for as long as it’s sustainable.

 

I also hope she manages to keep Beefcake Swimwear going. This may not be the swimwear to everyone’s taste, but I definitely think it fills some gaps that needed filling. I can see Beefcake Swimwear appealing to several markets beyond just those looking for gender neutral swimwear. I know you vintage lovers as well those of you into Steampunk will want to get your hands on these. And I think that there is a rising market for modest clothing, and I would assume that would include swimwear. And the conscientious buyers take note of this company as well. Lets all help get the word out about this swimwear line.

Tell me in the comments what you think of Beefcake Swimwear. Would you wear a gender neutral swimsuit?

 

 

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Beauty Product Review – Farsali Volcanic Elixir

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

I am sure many of you are familiar with the brand Farsáli. Several of their products, like their Unicorn Essence, have become beauty blogger sensations and have blown up on social media. One product in particular I had not heard about was the Volcanic Elixir. At least I hadn’t heard about it till it landed in Sephora earlier this year.

Farsali Valcanic Elixer

Because of my personal experience with volcanic essence products in Korean Skincare I was extremely interested in trying out the Volcanic Elixir from Farsáli. If you have followed me either here on the blog or on my Instagram account for any amount of time then you know one of my all time favorite sheet masks is a Volcanic Ash Essence Mask from Esfolio. And while Farsáli is not a Korean brand, the ingredient concepts should be the same.

What The Product Does

I think when you spend any amount of time learning about Korean cosmetics you start to gain an understanding of what ingredients are used for. The great thing about Volcanic related products, in most cases like this one, they are good for all skin types and a full range of skin conditions.

So what does the brand say it does?

The properties of this oil are known to help regenerate skin tissue. The Volcanic Elixir, for this unique reason, can condition broken skin, and repair sun- and acne-damaged skin. It also has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibiotic, and antioxidant properties — making it ideal for acne sufferers. What sets this oil apart from others, is a certain lipid called calophyllolide; which is not found in any other oil, and is a very strong anti-inflammatory.

The Volcanic Elixir aids in regenerating new, healthy skin. It can be used on acne and acne scars, dry and scaly skin, stretch marks, etc.

So it really seems like the possibilities are endless if you are at either end of the problem skin scale. I’m not sure that you would gain any benefit if you have normal skin, unless you have scarring from the past.

 

My Skin Care Needs

For me, as you know I have very dry skin with scaley patches and keratin build up in creases (the scaley patches and keratin build up are from my allergy and are not constant). Due to my Balsam of Peru allergy I am fragrance sensitive, and that includes essential oils. I am also sensitive to select other possible ingredients in skin care products.

 

What You Get

Your product comes in a dark bottle with a dropper. You get one fluid ounce or thirty milliliters of product. The Volcanic Elixir has one single ingredient, Calophyllum Inophyllum (Tamanu) Oil, so no worries for my fellow contact allergy sufferers, unless of course that is your allergy.

I did notice all of Farsáli’s other products seem to come in a second size option, but this one does not. I am not sure if that is something they are planning on adding or not. There is no mention of it on their website, so if anyone knows please tell us down in the comments.

 

First Impressions

The very first thing I noticed when I got the bottle was how hard it was to open. I don’t know if I got a defective bottle or if they all are like mine, but you have to twist forever and then it suddenly pulls up and it makes it sort of messy. Putting the dropper cap back on seems just as difficult.

Once the lid was open the next thing I notice was the heavy natural, earthy smell coming out. If you are use to using fragrance free products or even some Korean products (depending on which kind) this is a smell you are probably already use to and won’t think twice about. This is noted on Farsáli’s website, so they do tell you before you buy. For those of you who have never tried a fragrance free product before, you may not be prepared. Some people find natural smells offensive. Personally I like them and find it comforting.

The other thing that really stands out about this product when you first start using it is the texture. You can somewhat see it in this picture:

Consistancy of the Volcanic Elixir from Farsali

It is an oil, but what makes it different is that it is very thick and has somewhat of a gritty texture. Now I can feel the texture with my fingers, but once I apply the elixir to my face I no longer feel it.

 

How To Use It

Like most oils and liquids, you want to shake this up really well before using it each time. The website recommends using it as a night treatment, almost like a moisturizer. I agree for the most part, though I prefer putting an actual moisturizer on over top of it.

I have seen a lot of people on the web saying this is a great face oil for makeup. No, that is not the intended use, and I really can not believe anyone would want to do that with the texture this oil has. While I don’t feel the texture once applied, I have to think that would mess with the look and feel of your foundation.

 

Final Thoughts

I have been using the Fersáli Volcanic Elixir for close to a month now. I use it about three to four nights a week, and I am considering using it on a nightly basis for a while just to see what happens. I will explain why.

I find that I really like the product. It does have a lasting effect on the dryness of my skin, however on the days I do not use it I see the symptoms of my contact allergy creep back in. So I want to see if I can get a more lasting effect if I do it every day.

But on the days I did use the elixir the night before, my skin looks wonderfully clear. Here is one I took and posted to Instagram recently that was on a day right after using the Farsáli Volcanic Elixir:

A picture of me after using the Farsali Volcanic Elixir

The bottom line for me is I will be repurchasing this product. I love that I don’t have to worry about what the ingredients are and that it is fragrance free. It works well on my skin. And it shows results.

If you would like to try this product out for yourself you can find it at the Farsáli website and on Sephora.

Let me know in the comments if you have tried any of the products from Farsáli and what you thought of them. Should I try something else from their line?

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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What’s New About Torrid And Recommendations For Haute Cash

Torrid recommendations and whats new at torrid

It’s that time of year again! Torrid Haute Cash sale starts on July 11th. I started out thinking I would just do a recommendation post. I definitely want to talk about some great items you might want to consider picking up with your haute cash, but I was thinking that there may be some changes to some things some of you may not have realized if you are not a constant peruser of the website like me or a reader of your emails.

In the past there were a few changes that left some of you not as happy with Torrid, but these recent changes I think are for the better. But of course I will let you decide that for yourself. If you had haute cash prior to 5/31/18 then you may already have known this, but for those of you who did not. This time around was the first time Torrid has allowed shoppers to use their Haute Cash twice. They had a special date set from 5/31/18 to 6/4/18 where you could use your haute cash, and it wouldn’t go away. If you used it on that date you would accrue more haute cash and still be able to use them on the actual haute cash date which is 7/11/18 to 7/22/18. I think since they took away the universal codes, this is a good step of meeting people in the middle. Let me know in the comments what you think about it.

Another recent change has been a big increase in the range of heights available. I know that sounds a little awkward and little confusing, but I don’t know how else to say it so I will explain. Torrid has always had the petite/short, average, and tall lengths available in their jeans and some of their other pants. But that is where the options ended. Recently I noticed there are now additional options of extra short and extra tall. Unfortunately this change doesn’t seem to have affected their crop length jeans yet, but I hope that is a change they will make soon.

In addition there are now length options in their maxi dresses and even some tops. I think this is a great move for Torrid and their customers. It will really open up some clothing options that have been closed off due to height for so many people.

Now let’s get to the recommendations. For my recommendations I tried to give you a mix of things I actually own and things I have been wanting, while still showing a variety of styles. I picked three things from each category, at least the categories I had recommendations from. And they are broken down into those categories. I have made each of the pictures clickable so you can easily access the product pages.

Dresses
Veronica Black & Red Lipstick Bodycon Bustier Dress from Torrids Betty and Veronica collection

Betty & Veronica – Veronica Black & Red Lipstick Bodycon Bustier Dress

Berry and White Geo Print Embellished Gauze Maxi Dress from Torrid

Berry & White Geo Print Embellished Gauze Maxi Dress

Torrids Purple High Neck Jersey Mini Dress

Purple High Neck Jersey Mini Dress

 

Make sure to check out some of the great dresses at Torrid. I already own the Geo Print Maxi dress. I bought it last summer, and it was brought back this year by popular demand. The other two dresses I have had my eye on since they released.

Skirts And Pants
Retro Chic Black Tropical Full Skirt from Torrid

Retro Chic Black Tropical Full Skirt

Ivory Wide Leg Linen Trouser Pant from Torrid

Ivory Wide Leg Linen Trouser Pant

Torrids Black Floral Chiffon Pant

Black Floral Chiffon Pant

 

So I don’t own any of these, yet. But I most likely will be adding at least one of them to my close after the Haute Cash sale. You all probably know by now I am a fan of tropical prints. And the light airy fabrics these wide leg pants are made of

 

Graphic Tees And Tanks
Turquoise Unicorn Mermaid V-Neck Tee from Torrid

Turquoise Unicorn Mermaid V-Neck Tee

Torrids Wonder Woman Black & Metallic Pink Fitted Tee

Wonder Woman Black & Metallic Pink Fitted Tee

Heather Grey Mandala Triblend Tank from Torrid

Heather Grey Mandala Triblend Tank

 

Make sure to pick up a few graphic tees and tanks. They are a great way to be comfy but make a statement about something yourself or something you love. And they can make a great gift for birthdays and Christmas too.

 

Shirts And Blouses
Rose Pink Embroidered Crepe Babydoll Top from Torrid

Rose Pink Embroidered Crepe Babydoll Top

Torrids Olive Owl Pleated Tank

Olive Owl Pleated Tank

Charcoal Pintuck Crepe Peasant Tunic from Torrid

Charcoal Pintuck Crepe Peasant Tunic

If you’re looking for something to wear to work or for a date night, and dresses aren’t your thing, a nice blouse paired with pants might be more your speed.

Jeans
Torrids Jegging in White Wash

Jegging – White Wash

Premium Stretch Boyfriend Jean from Torrid in Medium Wash

Premium Stretch Boyfriend Jean – Medium Wash

Torrids Frayed Flared Jean in Light Wash

Frayed Flared Jean – Light Wash

I only really wear the jeggings from torrid anymore as they fit me the best. But I wanted to include a couple of other styles that I think are so cute that might fit other body types better than me. I think for most of us jeans are a staple, and Torrid has some of the best fits.

 

 

Shorts
Grey Floral Lace Short from Torrid

Grey Floral Lace Short

Boyfriend Bermuda Short from Torrid in Distressed Medium Wash

Boyfriend Bermuda Short – Distressed Medium Wash

Torrids Teal Linen Short

Teal Linen Short

 

I always like to have fun with my wardrobe, but I know not everyone has that luxury due to work and lifestyle. However, I think when the heat rises and you need to cool off, the one place everyone has a little more freedom to play is with shorts. Have and stay cool on your days off.

While your checking out what to purchase, don’t forget to pick up some staples like camis, bras, and shoes. Tell me in the comments what you plan to pick up during the Haute Cash sale.

 

 

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New Store Alert: Riley Rose

The last time I posted about a new store was when Torrid’s sister store Lovesick came around, and of course we know the head corporation has put them on pause for now. But as of recent a few new stores in various categories have come under my radar. Some I found out about because the companies have reached out to me, and some I just happened to stumble upon myself. But I thought since I am still in that period where I am having issues with health, now might be a great time to do some less labor intensive posts like share some info on these new stores.


Shop Riley Rose

Today I want to introduce you to Riley Rose. I found out about Riley Rose when the company emailed me asking me to join their affiliate program. Now if you read my post about affiliate links, you know lots of companies contact me all the time. But 90% of them have no interest to me or have nothing to do with any of the things I blog about. But once I took a look at the Riley Rose website, I knew they were a company made for me and so many of you.

Riley Rose is a beauty and lifestyle brand created by the same company that owns Forever 21. Chances are there is not a store close to you at this point, as they are pretty new and only have a handful of stores. The closest location to me right now seems to be in Chicago. But the great news is we can always order over the internet and they offer free shipping with any order of $40 or more.

Riley Rose Store Front

 

They carry a variety of makeup, skin care, hair care, accessories, and home décor. And while they are owned by Forever 21, they do carry things that will appeal to all ages. Just in the skin care line alone there is a range of high-end brands, indie brands, Korean/Asian brands, and brands that cater to the all natural lovers. There is something for every budget as well.

One of the things that stood out to me was the variety of brands that they carry are ones that I either already use or had a lot of interest in. The mix is typically ones I would have to shop two or three stores to get, or even in some cases purchase directly from the brand because I can’t find them anywhere else.

I have placed an order with Riley Rose, but we will talk about what I order once I get it. I most likely will do a review at that point. But for now I wanted to share a few of the interesting products that I spotted on the Riley Rose website. Each of the pictures will be clickable if you want to find the product on the Riley Rose website.

 

Quay Australia High Key Sunglasses

Quay Australia High Key Sunglasses

Tony Moly Angel Glow Ring Hair Mask

Tony Moly Angel Glow Ring Hair Mask

 

 

 

 

 

Decoflair Pineapple Luxe Candle

Decoflair Pineapple Luxe Candle

Lime Crime Diamond Crushers in the color Black Unicorn

Lime Crime Diamond Crushers – Black Unicorn

 

 

Blossom Crystal Lip Balm with a Purple Flower

Blossom Crystal Lip Balm – Purple Flower

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow in the color Into the Blue

Stila Magnificent Metals Glitter & Glow Liquid Eye Shadow – Into the Blue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This is obviously just a small representation of the brands and products they offer. Make sure to check out the website for yourself. And tell me in the comments below what you think and what your favorite product is.

 

 

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