AUTHENTIC DESIGNER PERFUME FOR CHEAP?!

Ok so there is noooothing better than smelling good buuut some of these amazing smelling perfumes cost an arm and a leg. My love for Creed cannot be satiated, even though it costs $425 a BOTTLE. Yes, you read that right. I am sure I can get it on some website for much cheaper, but honestly with perfumes, you do not want to mess around. A lot of those sites are not legit and are definitely not sending you the right stuff. The perfumes can smell sour or different over time, or are just water based – bottom line is do not buy off of those sites. There is no way they can sell a full sized $425 bottle for $30 bucks!

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Okay, back to my Creed habit. It has such a distinctive, wonderful smell and I get compliments on it everywhere I go. No literally, everywhere I go. When they are done fainting over the price, I usually let them in on a little secret. That secret is…decants! After living like a Kardashian and buying a few bottles, I realized I was spending a car payment on a bottle of perfume. It was a wake up call to say the least. I did some research and came across ScentSplit.com. They are 100% authentic hand decants of the best perfumes and colognes around. They have the best (and most recent) selection of top notch perfumes and colognes from around the world. The cologne I was only able to find in France or Nordstrom (for another $400)? You bet they have it.

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I was nervous at first because I guess the Italian in me is un-trusting of everything, so I bought a small decant of Creed as a test purchase. Since Creed has a very distinct smell, I knew I would be able to tell if it was real or fraud on the first spray. It was totally real and I was hooked, leading to my obsession with ScentSplit.

Everything is packaged very securely, and once you start buying a lot, they often send nice little discounts, always pulling me back in for more! I can also attest to their customer service. One of the bottles I had received had a finicky spray, so they sent me a shipping label to send it back and sent out a new one for free. They are based in Houston so there was a little bit of a time delay but overall I got the new bottle and life is good.

Now my perfume limits are nonexistent, I buy decants of all sizes from all designers and I love it – and so does my wallet! I love having that variety in my perfume collection without breaking the bank whatsoever. I feel like money and I smell like it too :P.

Seriously go check them out, you will forever thank me!

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HOW TO WHITEN TEETH NATURALLY

Well my goal of writing weekly was good while it lasted! Here’s to getting back at it again! I recently got my teeth bleached for the second time in my life, and I got to thinking, I need to find a better, more comfortable (and affordable) way to upkeep these pearly whites, especially since coffee courses through my veins all day. If you’ve never had your teeth bleached, not only are you sitting with your mouth open uncomfortably for an hour, you can only eat white or clear foods for a few days after as the teeth absorb the bleach. Oh, AND no coffee for a week (I last about three days). So basically it is a week long process, and realistically, how many purely white foods are there without taking up residency in carb city?

As you know, I like to stay as natural as possible, and I am not one to buy into the social media gimmicks that are just a marketer’s dream, so I set out on ol’ reliable Google. I came across an interesting natural teeth whitening that called for coconut oil (ok good), baking soda (ok perfect), and…turmeric…?! The orange powder that literally stains EVERYTHING? Won’t that stain my teeth?! I already had visions of me having super yellow/orange teeth. At first I was like is this one of those “remedies” that actually sabotage?! I googled a bit more and found that it actually does work. So of course, I had to try it.

I know coconut oil is basically God’s gift and can cure anything, but it looks like turmeric is just a step behind it. Aside from turmerics’ multiple health benefits, and it’s ability to naturally whiten your teeth, it also can clean gums, ease cavity pain and sensitive teeth, remove plaque, and even relieve gingivitis and toothaches.

Since it has a mild abrasiveness to it, it will leave your teeth feeling nice and polished, as if you got them cleaned in the dentist’s chair! When used regularly, it can certainly help whiten your teeth, and boost your overall oral health. My goal is to brush my teeth once a day with the paste. Results surely to follow! Check it out below and try it for yourself. Don’t be afraid! ๐Ÿ™‚


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THE PASTE

  • 2 parts turmeric powder
  • 1 part coconut oil
  • 1 part baking soda

In a small dish, mix together the three ingredients to form a paste. If you want to save some for the next day, cover and keep in a cool place. The coconut oil can melt if it is stored in too hot of a place.

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Put a generous amount on the tootHbrush and brush normally for two minutes. Rinse VERY well with luke-warm water (honestly may have to rinse a few times – but well worth it).

A LITTLE BEFORE ACTION…

THE RESULTS AFTER!

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SEPHORA PLAY! REVIEW

Happy Thursday! After a huuuge snowstorm yesterday, I was able to work from home. I thought what a great day to relax, I can even get a blog post up. That was not the case. I was basically glued to my computer all day, only to get up to get myself more pizza haha! ;). I have been meaning to do a review on the Sephora Play! monthly subscription box since February (my first month!). As you know, I have tried Birchbox before as well as Ricky’s, both which I loved. Since I spend a majority of my time (and paycheck) at Sephora, and their box is only $10/month, I decided to give it a go. I was certainly not let down!

What I love most about it is how personal it is compared to other ones. You answer a few questions to create your own personal profile. From the products they are going to include in the boxes, from makeup to hair care to skincare to fragrances, they use your answers to curate your own personalized box.


Each box includes:

  • Five samples AND a bonus! The samples range from makeup, skincare, and hair care.
  • A collectible makeup bag
  • PLAY! Book that gives you tips and tricks and how-tos for each sample
  • PLAY! Pass to redeem in store when you buy something full-size – worth 50 beauty insider points! โค
  • Access to video tutorials for the items in the box
  • PLAY! Date – subscriber only even that allows you and a friend to come in the store and sample products and meet with beauty experts

Here is what the February box looked like! I am SO excited for March! Stay tuned ๐Ÿ™‚

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LOVE this little makeup bag. Adorable!

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50 Bonus Points! #swoon

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I have sensitive skin so this is right in line with my profile that I filled out ๐Ÿ™‚

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I put a lot of skincare in my profile so I am so glad they sent me top notch sample products!

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LOVE this gloss. It reminds me of a NARS one I had way back when!

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I have *no* idea how to apply eyeliner, so I am hoping this can help me a bit.

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The BONUS! It smelled like summer in a bottle. Nice and light ๐Ÿ™‚

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Dope postcard that came with the perfume.

15/10 would recommend the PLAY! boxes. For only $10 you’re getting some top notch samples, and nice sizes. Plus extra bonus points at one of my favorite stores makes it all the more worth it. Go get yours!

#Armor #Abs

Abs are made in the kitchen. While yes, abs are made in the gym, what you make + eat in your kitchen is what will reveal them. Only about 30% of what you do in the gym will help with the abs, the other 70% is all about what you’re putting into your body. In this post, I will go over (and show you!) some exercises I do to help with my abs. I don’t have a six pack (I do have a sweet tooth ๐Ÿ˜‰ ), but I do know these exercises are some of the best and will def have your abs burning the next day!

I do abs about four times a week. I dedicate one day to all exercises on the stability ball, another day to solely planks, another day leg raises/cable crunches/Russian twists, and another day on just random ab machines.

*Some of these require a pilates ball, but I will also include some other exercises that you can do without*

Feel free to mix and match!


  • Stability ball pike – 4 sets of 25
  • Stability ball mountain climbers – 2 sets of 30
  • Stability ball V-Up – 2 sets of 30
  • Legs on ball crunch – 2 sets of 30
  • Side touches – 2 sets of 60 (30 each side)
  • Crunches on ball – 2 sets of 30
  • Stability ball tuck
  • Hip side raises – 2 sets of 30 (each side)
  • Planks – I do seven minutes – one minute for each of the below
    • Regular plank
    • Star plank
    • Feet on stability ball
    • Left side plank
    • Right side plank
    • Elbows on stability ball plank
    • Regular plank to start plank (every ten seconds switch)
  • Plank rolls – 2 sets of 30
  • Plank knees to elbow – 2 sets of 30(each)
  • Russian Twists (with 12 pound ball) – 4 sets of 25
  • Leg raises – 4 sets of 25
  • Cable crunches – 4 sets of 30
  • Weighted punch crunch – 4 sets of 25

VALENTINE’S DAY WINE GUMMIES

Happy Valentine’s Day sweethearts! โคย  A day full of flowers, chocolates, love…and wine gummies? I think YES. I made these awhile back and actually posted this recipe for another blog, and it was a huge hit so I decided I will share here as well :). Tell the chocolates to stay on the shelves this year, because these are bound to be all the rage – especially if you’re a wine lover.

Seriously the quickest recipe ever – just three ingredients! Since you can use red or white wine, you can cater to whatever you prefer, or if these are for someone else, whatever they prefer. These def can be made for any occasion, whichever cookie cutters you want to use! Easter? Jesus has risen – let’s celebrate with wine gummies! Columbus Day? He was Italian, they make wine, let’s celebrate with wine gummies! Labor Day? What is a little winding down the concept of work without a little wine? Let’s celebrate with wine gummies! You get the gist – and hey if you want to make them just because, I totally get that ๐Ÿ˜‰

 


Ingredients:

1 cup of wine of your choice

4 Tbsp. gelatin

2 Tbsp. maple syrup* (To make sweeter, you can add more maple syrup. I wanted to keep the wine flavor, so I only used 2 Tbsp.)

Directions:

  • Pour wine into a saucepan over low heat. Let heat up for about 3-5 minutes at this low heat, you do not want the wine to boil.
  • Add 1 Tbsp. of gelatin at a time, whisking after each addition to make sure it is combined thoroughly.
  • Add maple syrup to the sweetness you desire. Whisk it all together and remove from heat.
  • Pour into long pan and let chill/set in fridge for 1-2 hours.

You can cut them out in any shape you desire or use cookie cutters, I chose hearts since Valentine’s Day is today ๐Ÿ™‚

Note: Once chilled some parts may look bubbly, simply just cut out your shape and flip it over for the smooth side.

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ZARA HAUL

Sooo I went to the mall to return a pair of pants….and left with an entirely new wardrobe from Zara. It is so crazy how life pans out right? Hahah seriously though it was been a hot minute since I went shopping at Zara, and I happened to go at the right time! They were having a MAJOR sale – still seems to be going on as of today ๐Ÿ˜‰ , and it made me question why I stopped going here so frequently. From some of the coziest sweaters I’ve ever owned, to some of the most unique and trendy pieces I have ever owned, this latest haul had it all! Similar to H&M, they have great fast fashion pieces but also classic pieces. I like Zara bit more though because their pieces are more simple and classic, and easier to mix and match – and that is just more of my personal style. I also find their “statement” pieces to be more subtle and more doable for everyday, and severely less commercialized. Honestly, I have never seen some of these types of styles before.

I can’t seem to find any of this online, so I am not sure if it is just all in stores, but hey how different can each store be? If you find yourself in a near proximity of a Zara, then stop reading and go grab some pieces, your closet AND wallet will thank you!


Jeans: $12.99 + Sweater: $15.99

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Shirt: $20 + Jacket $29.99

Sweater: $29.99

Shirt: $9.99

Sweater: $29.99

Button down w/ pearl accents: $17.99

Cross silk top: $17.99

Bodycon dresses: $12.99 (each)

Black/white colorblock dress: $19.99

Sweater dress: $29.99

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Floral dress: $15.99

Jumpsuit: $17.99

Pearl top: $15.99 and various pants for $17.99

 

H&M HAUL

NYC temps have been sinfully low lately (more snow tomorrow!). I can’t believe just last week it was in the fifties and now we are lucky to see 25 degrees! Even though it is wayyyy too early in the season to put away the sweaters, it is never too late to add to the sweater collection ;). I always seem to get the most compliments on my H&M sweaters which makes sense because stores like H&M and Zara, etc. are all “fast fashion”. This basically just means it is trending styles of today for a cheaper price. I love (most) of their sweaters because aside from the trendy ones, they also have a ton of classic and basic looks that never go out of style. They are easy to get a bunch of different looks out of them and easy to just throw on. For times like this where I need some quick classic additions to my closet, H&M is an absolute go-to. Especially when all of these sweaters I only got for $15-$17 each!

Since my style is pretty basic, I stick with more neutrals, and more simple looks as opposed to flashy glitz and glam looks. Sometimes I like to throw in a “wow” (to me at least!) or fun piece that I won’t wear too often but can get some cool outfits with. I like that H&M offers pieces like that that I can spruce up my closet with while not breaking the bank in the meantime.

Here are some of the best finds I got at H&M over the weekend!

Khaki Green Sweaterย – $15 (not sure if that was in store only price)

Oversized Gray Sweater – $15

Cut Off Sweater – $12 +ย Paper Bag Skirt – $18

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Patterned Pants (closest I could find) – $14 + Black Turtleneck – $7 (cannot find online at all ๐Ÿ˜ฆ )

Paper Bag Pants – $34 + Knit Sweater – $34 (def paid like $17 in store)

Knit Wool Blend Sweater – $17 (online it is showing as $35)

  • In grey, oatmeal, + red

2018 BOOTY GAINS

Happy New Year! So excited to see what is in store for 2018 and to leave 2017 behind! I guess my first resolution should be to get back into posting weekly. I have sooo many ideas for content but what good are they if they just stay in my head? With the start of a new year, I see so many “new year, new me” quotes, but lately I have been seeing so many more “new year, new body” type of quotes and resolutions – which I think is great! Being active and fit is so important to your overall health and even self-esteem. I think 2017 was all about the booty, and I think 2018 will be the same so I will be sharing with you my booty regiment. I actually do legs two times a week, call me crazzzzzzy. After a few weeks of doing this, I do switch it up to other routines because it is good to shock the body so the muscles don’t get so used to certain workouts. If this post goes well, I will be sharing my other workouts I do throughout the week :). *Disclaimer – I am not a personal trainer, nor am I some bikini competition model, but I am pretty proud of my assets (lol) and after working out for years, I’d like to think I know a thing or two ๐Ÿ˜› I posted a few videos of sample exercises, and the workouts are at the bottom of the page ๐Ÿ™‚


I try to do legs beginning of week + end of week. Usually Monday/Friday. Do weights that you feel comfortable with and don’t try to over exert yourself! I always switch it up between heavy weights and low weights.

Below are two examples of exercises (I may add more!). The first one is single leg glute bridges. The other two are modified kickbacks – putting the weight behind your knee!

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Leg Day 1

  • Warm-Up – no weight (3 sets of 15)
    • Lateral band walks
    • Glute sidekicks
    • Kneeling kickbacks
  • Superset 1
    • Curtsy lunges (no weight or low weight) – 5 sets of 10
    • Hip raises (now weight or low weight) – 5 sets of 10
    • Single leg glute bridge (no weight or low weight) – 5 sets of 10
    • Kickbacks (no weight or low weight) – 5 sets of 10
  • Superset 2
    • Deadlifts – 5 sets of 8
    • Leg curls – 5 sets of 8
    • Leg extensions – 5 sets of 8
  • Superset 3
    • Leg press – 5 sets of 8
    • Calf raises – 4 sets of 15

Leg Day 2

  • Warm Up – half mile jog
  • Walking lunge – 4 sets of 25
  • Leg press – 4 sets of 25
  • Leg extensions – 3 sets of 25
  • Leg curl – 3 sets of 25
  • Squats – 4 sets of 12
  • Wide stance squats – 4 sets of 12
  • Bulgarian split squats – 4 sets of 12 (each leg)
  • Good mornings – 4 sets of 10
  • Thigh abductor and adductor – 4 sets of 12

 

 

 

 

Ricky’s Cult Crushes Review

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Hello beauts! So I know we can all spend our paychecks in Ricky’s or Sephora or Ulta, or anywhere that sells makeup. There always seems to be a new product to try or a new beauty trend. I also feel like there a ton of beauty boxes out there that offer monthly subscriptions. I have tried Birchbox before since it was a gift from my sister, but I just felt like the samples were so tiny. What caught my eye about Ricky’s version of the monthly subscription beauty box is that it typically comes with one full size product. I also love that you get 25% off of all online purchases and free shipping on purchases of $50 or more. YASSSS. For only $11 getting ALL of that (retail value up to $50) seems like a steal in my eyes! For that price, it doesn’t even matter what is in the box, but it seems to always be something awesome ๐Ÿ™‚ Check it more here.

This is the review September – I plan on updating this post each month with what I receive!

Opened it up to a little motivation! #CameToCrush everyday!

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HSI Mini Straightener

Umm ok a mini straightener?! This is actually perfection. Tiny yet so powerful! I can throw this right in my purse for days I am running late and can just plug it in at work, and viola my hair is set! The plates are ceramic which helps leave your hair shiny, annnnd even more importantly, they heat up in seconds! Love love love!

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HSI Argan Oil Shampoo, Conditioner + Leave In Treatment

Alright so after summer sun and salty hair, this came in at the perfect time. I felt like my hair was looking so dull and dry and brittle. Not after using these bad boys. I seriously am going to have to get the full size versions. I also love that they are sulfate free and full of vitamins.

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Z-Palette Large

Say what?! This is so unbelievably convenient – I remember my old company did some work with Z Palette and I kept saying I wish they would send us some so we can try, and now my dreams came true lol! This seemed to be a custom one for Ricky’s and I love it. It is so urban and hip. I love that I can customize my own palette with everything that I use – it is so helpful if I am doing my makeup on the go. Instead of lugging around my makeup bag, I can just throw it on my palette and shove it in my purse. Total win with this.

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Wella Root Shoot Mousse

I am a big advocate of Wella products – I used to work in a salon and everyone swore by it and since I got to test out the products first hand, I came to swear by them too! Sometimes my hair can get sooo flat, and since I typically straighten it, it doesn’t make for the best mix. I can’t seem to nail down that middle part with my hair pasted down like the Kardashian’s can haha. Sometimes I throw in a little volumizing powder but it makes my hair feel stiff and weird and doesn’t seem to work. I tried this once and my Jersey girl came out. Total life saver.

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Masque Bar Luminizing Charcoal Mask

I cannot seem to escape masks lol I recently just got a facial so I am trying to leave my skin alone for a bit so I have not yet tried this. But when I do, I will update ๐Ÿ™‚

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After just one box, my final verdict is YES – totally worth it! For $11 the value is unbeatable.

A Mask A Day + NEW Fall Skincare Routine

Fall is coming and I could not be happier! There is just nothing like sweater weather, crunchy leaves, apple picking, football season, and of course pumpkin spice everything. With the leaves changing and the weather getting colder, as we change our closets from tanks to over-sized sweaters, did you know you should also be changing your skincare routine?!

While skincare routines should always include the staples (face wash, moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.), it isn’t necessarily bad or detrimental to switch up the regimen quite often, especially when seasons change or hormonal changes occur. For example, with the colder months, my face tends to become dry very easily, but in the warmer months, my face is much more oily and I am sweating so much more, so certainly using the same routine won’t be effective for both instances. Multiple dermatologists agree that changing products way too often won’t give you the chance to see results you may be looking for since average cell turnover is 28 days. If only clear skin appeared overnight!

So, as mentioned before, with Fall approaching, colder weather is approaching, and therefore my face is going to be drier than a desert :(. I decided to pick up seven different masks from Creme Shop and do a mask a day and see how my skin felt after each one. Basically, it felt as though I was going to the spa everyday, but the spa was my makeup room.

Before we get into the masks though, let’s compare our faces to a painting. The paint will go on smoother and the overall results of the painting will look so much better if you’re working on a clean, smooth canvas right? That is why it is so important to not rely on just makeup removers and masks. After reading this totally amazing review on some of the best facial cleansers out there, I picked up this CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser and I can honestly say I am obsessed. I have used it as my sole cleanser for this week’s experiment and I think it played a key role in my face feeling so soft and moisturized. I was wearing max coverage foundation and a full face of makeup, and this cleanser took it right off, without me going through an entire bottle of it. Can you say yes please?!

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Unlike harsher cleaners that exfoliate and really remove the skin’s protective barrier (this is why you shouldย only exfoliate 1-2 times a week!), this cleanser actually helps to restore that protective barrier as well as keeps the skin’s natural moisture. My face feels so soft and looks nice and dewy immediately after washing. Since my skin is nourished and moisturized all day long, I’ve even noticed that my foundation stays on better throughout the day, and that’s without me using primer (when I go to work, I don’t wear much makeup, so I nix primer from my routine – I try to let my skin breathe during the week). I love love love this product and can’t wait to continue using it and keep you updated!

If you want to try it, here’s a $2.00 off coupon! You’re welcome! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Dry skin and red spots be gone!

Now back to our painting…I mean mask experiment! All of these masks are from the Creme Shop. Aside from masks, they also have beauty products from beauty blenders to eyelashes, something I never knew before. I guess I will have to save that for another post though! If you’ve read my previous post on Korean skincare, you know I am a huge fan and avid lover of those products, a Creme shop mask being one of them. All of these masks are made in Korea and deliver just as well as the other ones in that post! I tried seven masks, check out my thoughts on each of them below.

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  • Drink Up, Skin

This one is infused with hyaluronic acid (a main ingredient in the CeraVe facial wash by the way!). This is what keeps the skin’s thirst quenched, keeping it smooth and dewy! I also love that it is non-irritating, so for those of you with sensitive skin, definitely give this one a try. The design was adorable, and after I took it off after a half hour or so, my face felt so soft and looked so moisturized. Bye bye flaky dry skin!

  • Slow Down, Skin

Another adorable “animated” mask! Who doesn’t love pandas, and who doesn’t love to fight aging skin early?! This one is infused with restorative bamboo extract and is rich in silica – which means it boosts structure and elasticity. I actually felt my face tingle slightly while using this one. My face did feel quite refreshed after using it.

  • Charcoal & Lemonade Mask

Alright so anything charcoal seems to be all of the rage in skincare, due to its ability to completely wipe away the impurities and dirt/oil on our faces. First off, I LOVED the smell of it as soon as I opened it up, definitely smelled like delicious lemonade (as I am literally drinking lemonade as we speak haha!). So this dual mask is designed to obviously be like a 2-for-1. As we know, charcoal lifts up toxins and dirt from ย the pores on our faces. Lemons have antibacterial properties that can help heal, brighten the skin, and combat blackheads. This mask is also filled with hyarulonic acid, making it full of moisture. I loved how this mask made my face feel, my face felt so clean and soft and looked so dewy. When I woke up the next morning, my mother (who is on me about skin ALL. THE. TIME), complimented how great my skin looked! Oh ,you can also refrigerate this mask for a cooling effect and feeling.

  • The Kale Face Mask

Kale yasss! I can say I know a ton of ways to EAT kale, I didn’t know I could use it to help my face though! As we all know, kale is full of Vitamins, A, C, and K. It is a super food that helps our body, but it can also help with skin imbalances. It helps reduce bloat and puffiness, corrects redness, and can even help with dry patches/flakiness. This certainly helps with keeping skin toned and revitalized!

  • Pineapple Enzyme Infused Mask

I loooove pineapples, and now I love putting them on my face! I had no idea it had an enzyme (bromelain) that acts as an all natural exfoliator, breaking down the keratin protein in dead skin cells. This reveals a new layer of skin and helps get rid of discoloration, leaving you with bright and renewed skin. My face felt so soft after this one!

  • Witch Hazel Infused Mask

This one had some serious powers like a witch haha! I wanted to try this one because it said it combats acne and blackheads and helps minimize excess oil production. It also said it helps against sun damage – a must have since summer is over. Apparently, witch ย hazel has a ton of healing properties such as reducing skin damage, inflammation, and swelling. the all-natural ingredient soothes troubled skin and balances the skin for an unblemished complexion. After I took this mask off, I felt like it wiped my blackheads away too, my face felt so smooth and looked so supple.

  • Coconut Oil Infused Mask

So we all know coconut oil is the cure for everything – did you know it even whitens teeth? That will have to be my next post ;). Sometimes after washing my face I will put coconut oil on my face because it makes it feel and look great. Coconut oil is also a great makeup remover if you didn’t know! So, since I already love coconut oil, I was super excited to try this one out – and I was not disappointed! It really felt the same as when I put coconut oil on my face, super moisturized, super smooth, and younger looking ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS – for a cooling effect you can refrigerate their masks ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t tried, but if you have, comment below!

If you’ve tried any, I’d love to hear which ones and what you thought of them!

Could not be happier with my skin โค !

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