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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 should 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! 😉

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  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  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 😉

PS – for a cooling effect you can refrigerate their masks 🙂 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 ❤ !

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ESPANA

So my last post was April 3rd…I always tell myself I won’t allow any of these long hiatuses to occur, but here we are. A lot has gone on since April and between work and my personal life this took a back seat, but I am back – and what better way to come back with a nostalgic post about Spain?! Around this time two years ago I was travelling all over Spain, loving every second of it, even the historical heat wave we faced in Madrid (well, maybe not that part). Spain was absolutely beautiful with such an incredible culture and people, so I cannot wait to share these images and stories with you!File_003(2)


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  • Madrid

Our first stop was Madrid. Beautiful beautiful Madrid! I have never been to Spain before so I wasn’t too sure on what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised. Throughout all my European adventures, I have never seen such detailed architecture before. The plazas were extremely large, much bigger than the ones I saw in Italy. The nightlife was unmatched – watch out NYC, they are the true city that never sleeps…well, aside from the whole siesta thing (yes it is real!). Literally everything shuts down during siesta time, I had extreme trouble finding even a convenience store to just grab a bottle of water!

I loved exploring everything Madrid had to offer, from the museums, to the parks, to the flamenco dancing, and of course the tapas and wine! They also have great trips available to places like Toledo (so sad we didn’t get to go!). I would definitely recomend renting a bike (we were able to do so at a gas station lol), see a flamenco show, and explore EVERYTHING. Don’t be afraid to get lost!

Oh and if you’re there in the summer be sure to order a the popular summer wine cocktail, tinto de verano. It literally translates to red wine of summer. Super light and refreshing 🙂

Let’s start with some of the sites you can’t miss!

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The Palacio Real de Madrid (The Royal Palace of Madrid) is just breathtaking. The size alone will leave you in awe! No pictures are allowed to be taken inside but surely what you see will be engraved in your memory. The rooms are so beautifully (and ornately) decorated and full of indulgence, you could only imagine a king living here! They have gardens surrounding the place, making it hard to believe this is right in the middle of Madrid! They also have an armory full with an incredible collection, some even say the best in Europe.

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Plaza Mayor is a typical plaza full of street vendors and little stores, but what makes it so unique are the murals painted on the Casa de la Panaderia (Bakery House). the building was constructed in 1619 and as assumed, has undergone many renovations. It was originally designed to house the Baker’s Guild, which was extremely powerful as they controlled grain prices. the original paintings on the walls were redone in 1992, so pretty recently! It is now home for the Madrid Tourist Information Center, so if you are looking to get any information, this is the place to stop by! Also, typical to touristy areas, I would stay away from the cafes in the plazas, you can find a much more authentic and reasonably priced place one off the beaten path.

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Statue of Felipe III in front of Plaza Mayor

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Plaza de la Villa – just a cute little square close to Plaza Mayor 🙂

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  • Marbella

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Down to Andalusia we go! Marbella was a great way to relax on beautiful beaches and drink some tropical dranks after a bunch of touristy things (and a TON of walking) in Madrid. There were a ton of British and Russians there when I was there, I am not sure if they like to vacation there or if they kind of took over. Nonetheless it was absolutely beautiful. From the little stone pathways, the winding tiny streets. It reminded me of Sorrento or Cinque Terre. They had the cutest boutiques, the most quaint little cafes. I would totally recommend just walking around and getting lost and see what you stumble upon. They have wonderful ocean front dining and clubs at night right on the beach. I have honestly never heard of it before coming here, I assume places like Ibiza overshadow it, but it seems pretty family friendly too as I saw a ton of families with young kids! We literally just ate, drank, and relaxed on the beach during our time here, we didn’t do much exploring at all.

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  • Granada

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Our final stop before heading back to Madrid to go home! And WOW, what a way to end a trip of a lifetime! Granada was just breathtaking, from the 1000 year old Alhambra and the views, to the wonderful markets and vendors, to the Turkish baths, to the modern shopping and dining, Granada has it all. I will certainly be adding more pictures as I unearth them from my computer, but the views I was able to capture from the Alhambra Palace are literally nothing like I have seen before. It was totally worth the trip to see and explore the grounds here. It truly felt like I was time warped to the past. This is another city with a ton of winding little alleys and streets that you should get lost in. It also had a very Arabic feel, with Arabic restaurants, vendors, etc. Completely different vibe and energy form Marbella and Madrid and anywhere I have been really. Loved every second of it.

Also, though there are no pictures here (we weren’t allowed to take them), of the first Turkish baths in Spain, I highly recommend going. After a long trip of travelling and walking around, see and learning and being apart of this awesome history was just incredible. The baths were beautiful and clean, and we got massages after!

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View from Alhambra Palace

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Food from restaurant that overlooked Alhambra – I want to say it was the Carmen Mirador de Aixa

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Amazing work being done by hand in the palace.

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Apple of My Eye Apple Pie

So it feels like ages since I went apple picking, and I promised I would share just what I did with all of those apples. A few days after apple picking, I whipped up this recipe for everyone to enjoy – however, I’m just posting about it weeks later. It has been so hectic on my end – starting a new job, helping with my sister’s wedding & bachelorette party, it never ends!

This is a perfect dessert for Thanksgiving, especially if you’re having a more intimate, smaller gathering. A great alternative to apple pie – and you don’t have to worry about how big of a piece you take 😉


Ingredients:

  • 10 apples (this is only because I had sooo many)
  • 4 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup

Crumb Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers (this is optional)
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. butter (melted)
  • 1 roll of pre-made pie crust (optional if you don’t want to wrap the apple in dough)
  • Ice cream! Caramel sauce, whatever you’d like!

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash apples and set aside.
  3. Prepare the crumble topping by combining flour, graham crackers (if used), oats, brown sugar, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and then melted butter until mixture is combined and crumbly. Set aside.
  4. Peel and chop 4 of the apples.
  5. Add these chopped apples, butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and maple syrup to a large frying pan and cook over medium heat for about ten minutes (until the apples are softened and tender!). Once cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
  6. With the remaining 6 apples, cut the tops off and use a spoon to scoop out the insides. Be careful to not go all the way down/pierce the skin of the apple! Leave a perimeter within the apple as shown below. It should resemble an “apple bowl”.
  7. Fill your “apple bowl” with the filling from the sauce pan you just made. Fill about 3/4 of the way, or halfway if you’d like to be generous with the topping.
  8. Cut the rolled dough into strips and “mummify” or wrap the apples! It can be a bit tricky to have them stick to the apple so definitely press the dough strips into one another so they don’t unravel.
  9. Place the apples into a pie pan (I had to use two) because just in case of drippings, it doesn’t overflow as it potentially could on a flat baking sheet.
  10. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
  11. Serve warm and with your favorite ice cream! I recommend Ben & Jerry’s cinnamon one.

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Weed Orchards & Winery

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Fall is my favorite holiday simply because of all the food, the activities, the fashion, and it basically means the holidays are around the corner! 🙂 I recently went on an apple picking double date up at Weed Orchards in Marlboro, NY with my cousin and our boo thangs. Although we got lost once or twice along the way and then our wagon full of everything we picked tipped over (thanks Cosmo), we still had an amazing time.

Coming from suburbs right outside of NYC, we are all sooo used to the fast-pace, go go go lifestyle, houses on top of one another, skyscrapers, etc. Driving through these “country” roads (that’s basically what it is to us), was so beautiful and peaceful. Looking out the window and seeing farms, and an expansive amount of rolling hills was so different, and I loved it! It’s so refreshing to get away from all of that city hustle and bustle sometimes.

Once we arrived, we were immediately overwhelmed with everything that there was to do. There was a cafe, a winery, a kitchen, and a little petting zoo for the younger kids. They also had free hard cider tastings going on (they had a few different flavors, all looked awesome!). We were in a rush and on a mission to pick some apples so we didn’t get a a chance to taste any of them. We rented our wagon and we were off.

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We first came across the pumpkin patch (buy 3 get 1 free), where it was perfect pumpkin on perfect pumpkin on perfect pumpkin. Seriously, I kept changing my pick because every few feet I would come across another perfect one!

Then we got to the apples and the fun began. It was the boys first time apple picking so they had fun climbing the trees, and shaking the branches. Basically my cousin and I were the babysitters.

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Since we went in early October, they had 8 different apples: Empire, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Mac, Macouns, early Fujis, and Honeycrisp. We also came across some other fruits and vegetables like eggplant, grapes, and peppers.

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As we were finishing up, our wagon tipped and everything spilled out (WTG Cos hahaha). We salvaged most of it, but we still wanted our apple bags to be filled, so on we picked. Before and after he lost his wagon privileges hahah.

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Also, Cos decided to put me on his shoulders. As you can see from below, it gives me complete panic attacks. The before and after:

We finished the day by getting some BBQ and other fresh food from their kitchen. I walked through their little store where they had fresh baked pies of ALL kinds, honeys, jams and spreads, salsas, breads, the list goes on. I was like a kid in a candy store. I bought a strawberry pie for Cosmo’s family, some zucchini walnut bread, blueberry crumble bread, and some honey. The blueberry crumble was so good I may have to make a trip back up there just so I can have it again.

Overall, amazing place that I would definitely recommend you check out if you live around the area. I would also try to get there a bit earlier so you can fully enjoy all it has to offer.

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After a successful day of apple picking 🙂

Can’t wait to show you what I do with all of these apples!

Already looking forward to coming back next year!

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