Some of My Favorites

Working in the beauty industry for the past 4 years has afforded me the opportunity to play around with the creme de la creme of products. From skincare serums and masks to lighting palettes and longwear lip colors, I’ve tested them all and very much enjoyed the luxury of surrounding myself  with these lovelies.

Here are a few of my favorite things..

Hourglass Mineral Veil Foundation Primer

I love this stuff. Super sheer, with excellent color-corrective properties. Great for calming redness. It perfects my skin and creates a smooth canvas for applying foundation. $18-72

Korres Mandarin Lip Butter Stick in Rose

I’m completely obsessed with this. Use it everyday, keep it in my pocket obsessed.

An instantly hydrating and softening lip treatment and tint in one. I love the color and the way that it it feels on my lips. $16.50

Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

Brand new moisturizing cream from an amazing natural skincare line.

2 forms of hyaluronic acid hydrate & plump your skin, while papaya enzymes smooth and exfoliate. Alpha-arbutin and exotic floral extracts help to brighten hyperpigmentation spots and illuminate the complexion. $65

Too Faced Lip Injection Plumping Gloss

Constantly attempting to increase the volume of my lips, I’ve tested my fair share of plumping glosses. I love the ones that tingle. This one is a definite win. $22

All of these products are available at Sephora.

 Photo by Tricia Cathcart 

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Recharge Yourself, Naturally

Set aside some ‘me time’ this weekend, trust us, you can use it. Never forget how essential it is to take a little bit of time just for yourself.

Here are a few of our favorite chill-out and pamper tricks.

Clean Breeze Kombucha Green Smoothie

  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • 2 ripe kiwis, peeled
  • 1 cup ginger-flavored kombucha
  • ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup ice

Place all ingreedients into the blender in the order listed and secure lid.

Blend on high for 30-45 seconds, using a tamper to press the ingredients into the blades.

Kombucha is available in several different flavors, but for this green smoothie we like ginger kombucha the best.

Coconut Oil and Honey Hair Mask Treatment

  • 1 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp. Raw Honey
  • Saucepan
  • Mixing bowl and spoon
  • Towel
  • Optional shower cap to keep strands in place

Perfect for repairing and moisturizing damaged hair, this simple remedy calls for is one tablespoon of organic coconut oil, and one tablespoon of organic raw honey. Add a bit more of these ingredients for severely damaged or extra-long hair.

Mix the ingredients together on the stovetop in a small sauce pan. Heat this only slightly, just warm enough for your hair follicles to open up, making the treatment more effective.

The mask can be applied to dry or wet hair, although we’ve found that it’s easier to apply to wet hair. Have a towel around your neck to protect your clothes while applying the mask. Section your hair off and apply generously from top to bottom, focusing on my ends where most damage occurs. Wrap your hair in a bun and let the mask soak in for 30-40 minutes.

While you wait for the mask to do its magic, flip through a magazine, read a book, smoke a bowl, paint your nails…whatever your little heart desires. Wash the mask out in the shower using your regular shampoo and conditioner routine. The results? Soft, smooth, healthy hair.

Soothing Lavender Facemask

In this recipe, you can either use dried lavender (pick it and leave it to dry a couple of days in the sun) or lavender essential oil. Either way, you want to make sure you only put a few drops / flowers in the mask. This quantity is perfect for a cleansing and regenerating facemask.

Mix 2 TBS plain yogurt (use greek style for the ideal consistency), 1 TSP of honey and a few drops of lavender oil OR 1/3 TSP dried lavender flowers. Smooth it over your face and neck, then leave it on for approximately 10 minutes. Rinse with warm water and apply night serum and moisturizer as usual.

Get into it: Aquaponics

Fishtanks are awesome. Not only are they nice to look at, but they also house colorful little dudes who get to exist along with you in your home zone.

Aquaponics is a food production system that combines conventional aquaculture (raising aquatic animals, like fish, in tanks) with hydroponics (cultivating plants in water) in a symbiotic environment.

Your aquatic pals’ excrement is broken down and used by the plants as nutrients. The water is then recirculated back to the aquaculture system.

We found an easy Aquaponics startup for you to grow fresh produce right in the comfort of your own home – beans, basil, thyme, baby greens, oregano, mint, parsley, spinach and many others.

An Oakland duo called Back to the Roots manufactures the at-home Aquaponics system they’ve named AquaFarm.

This closed-loop ecosystem uses the fish waste to naturally fertilize the plants above. In turn, the plants clean the water for your pet fish.

AquaFarm is available from Back to the Roots’ website, and we’ve even spotted some in Whole Foods aisles throughout Northern CA.

The Aqua Farm is easy to use and nice to look at.
The Aqua Farm is easy to use and nice to look at.