my bare bones beauty routine

beauty routine simple

I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it:  I think most beauty routines out in the blogosphere are stupid; most are unnecessarily complicated and offer marginal benefit over simply washing & moisturizing.  I have fairly “good” skin, at least I’ve been told I do. Every once in a while, a few blemishes pop up, and you have to be very close in bright light to see any fine lines; it’s no big deal.  I’ve tried a lot of beauty products in my life and quit almost all of them, now that I’m older and wiser.  Continue reading →

​Beauty Review:  Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream​ is the best anti-aging facial cream I’ve used thus far.

Last year, after I turned 30, I began to get a twinge of terror when I looked in the mirror under bright light. I was getting wrinkles!  For the first time, I began to mentally prepare myself for the inevitable aging process.  At the time, I was using MyChelle Deep Repair Cream.  I loved this cream but didn’t use it long because I got complaints from my BF that it smelled like mustard, so I looked into Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, which I had read a lot about and noticed it had a sort of cult following for many years now, including J. Lo! And her skin is amazing!  I bought it on Amazon which was much cheaper than Whole Foods.  I loved the smell of it right away.  It felt really luxurious.  My only complaint is that it is a bit too thick.  I remedied that by wetting my hands before applying to thin it out a little.  Eight months later without even really paying attention, I realized that my skin looked like the way it used to! I wondered if I was going crazy last year when I noticed the wrinkles.  The wrinkles were never obvious in the first place but I do notice that my face feels as firm and smooth as it did >3 years ago.  Even though it is described as a day cream, I preferred to use it at night because it does feel a bit heavy and by the morning time the product has been fully absorbed and feels just right.  I’m almost out of the product and think next time I’ll buy the light version for easier application.  For comparison, other facial moisturizers I’ve used include:  Burt’s Bees, Oil of Olay, Clarins, Clinique, Kiss My Face, Avene, Shiseido, Roc, and Vanicream.  Dr. Hauschka is by far the best. What’s the best facial cream you’ve tried?  Would love to hear your thoughts.

seasonal objects


Here are some of my favorite objects this season:

  1. mineral salt deodorant spray: Are your pits ready for the heatwave? My regular old ‘healthy deordorant’ wasn’t cutting it so I looked into salt spray after reading a little bit about it. This stuff really works, leaves no residue or scent, and is completely non toxic. It won’t prevent sweating but will block odorous bacteria growth!
  2. rose oil:  I’m enjoying the beautiful smell of rose oil this season with beauty products like Dr. Hauschka’s Rose Day Cream, which seems to have a loyal following for good reason.  And Aesop’s A Rose by Any Other Name body cleanser simply smells amazing.
  3. peonies:  These adorable flowers are finally in season (and sold at bargain prices right now!  Usually go for $10 per stem, now sold at a 1/4 of that price ).  And I’m loving the scent of Mrs. Meyer’s Peony cleaning products.  It’s my favorite scent in their entire line of products.  A bit rosy but more soft and subtle.

beauty: capsule

beauty capsule

A capsule beauty kit contains only essential cosmetics.  Think of the products that you repurchase when empty; the ones you just have to squeeze into your carry-on bag when you travel.  What if you only kept these products and got rid of the rest? …  By the time I reached the big 3-0, I felt like I had a better sense of myself, and knew what products made sense for me and had done enough research to know what products were the very best.  The end result is a hard working beauty kit with holy grail standards for every item.  I’m lucky enough to no longer have many blemishes (one of the many benefits to becoming semi-old~!) and on most days go without make up entirely, so it makes sense that my beauty kit only contains 6 items.  It was definitely worth the effort to ruthlessly edit my beauty kit down to a few products, for an easy morning routine, and a look that feels authentic. Continue reading →

beauty: the truman

harrys truman razor

I was so fed up with my old Schick Quattro razor.  It’s ugly, complicated; the head broke off every time it fell in the shower and the blades got dull fast.  It seemed like I was paying a lot for a crappy product.  I realized there are only 3 options at the drug store:  Schick, Gillette, and Bic– all equally gimmicky, ugly; each desperately trying to vie for your attention with loud colors, swirly patterns, and moisturizing strips.

But all I want from a razor is a simple pleasing design, good working parts, no frills, at a reasonable price, so I’m glad I found the Truman at Harry’s.  It’s the most beautiful affordable razor I’ve found; at only $10, with each replacement head under $2 a piece, with free shipping.  I’ve used it once so far and am really impressed at the close shave, flexible head, and its secure attachment mechanism at the very neck of the razor.  Although it is marketed towards men, I feel it is actually gender neutral and offers a great shave, safe for female parts.  This will definitely become a staple in my beauty routine. Continue reading →

beauty: sachajuan

sachajuan scalp

This miracle in a bottle cured my boyfriend’s 15 year long scalp problems for good! He tried every over the counter and prescribed treatment and nothing worked. His scalp was basically resistant to conventional treatments.  Even the dermatologists gave up and resorted to prescribing high potency topical steroids that cost hundreds of dollars per bottle.

But what set this product apart is that it contains a handful of active ingredients that are European alternatives to the active ingredients we typically find in American scalp treatments.  We had zero expectations and are just so blown away at how well it works!

I originally became curious about this Swedish hair care line after seeing it featured in all my favorite boutiques. Its uncomplicated minimalist packaging is really to die for. Really a beautiful product inside and out.

Here’s an excerpt from Sachajuan‘s philosophy page: Continue reading →

beauty: invisible mineral sunscreen

john masters suncare mineral sunscreen

I’ve been on the search for a good mineral sunscreen that goes on clear and finally found John Masters Suncare SPF 30 mineral sunscreen.  The white cast is minimal, and would be invisible on fair to tan skin tones but would leave a white cast on dark skin.  The ingredient list is impressive with aloe vera as the second ingredient, green tea extract, no parabens.  It leaves a dewy residue to the skin which could be matte-ified with just a bit of powder.  Goes under make up nicely.  No smell, no clumps, no pilling, comes in a cute brown glass bottle with a pump for easy mess-free dispensing. It’s a little expensive at $32 but I think the quality is well worth the price.  This picture shows what my skin looks like with the sunscreen on, you’ll notice a slight sheen on the right side of my arm where I’ve rubbed in the sunscreen.

john masters organics mineral sunscreen

I highly recommend this sunscreen for anyone who wants to avoid the potential hazards of chemical sunscreen.

beauty: off centered knot

off centered hair bun

The weather has been hot and humid lately and the only bearable way to wear my hair has been to put it up in a high knot.  Sort of by accident I tied it just slightly off centered and realized that the uneven bulges it created looked really cute and youthful.  I would warn against going more than an inch off center though (it could look obnoxiously juvenile if you go too far).  I’ve been rocking this up-do with a bare face and berry stained lips.  Love its chic simplicity.