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Aloha Beauty Edition

August 17, 2017

Hoping to fit in one last tropical vacation before summer ends. Let’s see if I can do it. My skin looks and feels the best by the beach and in humid temperatures. Here are some products I am loving right now to keep up that end of summer beauty mood. 

THE PLUMPER PERFECTOR
Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream

THE EVEN SKIN TONER AND SUN SAVER
Sisley Tinted Sunscreen Cream

THE ALL DAY GREASE FIGHTER
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer

THE TWICE A WEEK ZIT BLASTER
Tata Harper Clarifying Mask

THE EVERYDAY NEUTRAL LIP SHINE
Marc Jacobs Enamored Hi-Shine Lip Lacquer Lipgloss
 

THE LIGHTWEIGHT YET FULL COVER
By Terry Stylo-Expert Concealer – COMING SOON!

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Minimal Skincare Routine with MŪN

July 14, 2017

During my trip to Hawaii last month, I made it a goal to minimize my skincare routine, use less makeup and protect my skin as much as possible (while at the same time enjoying some leisurely time under the sun). And I was curious to see how these changes made to my routine during my balmy, summer vacation (when continued) would translate and extend into a muggy summer in NYC. It’s been over a week since my trip to Hawaii, and my skin still has that dewy, healthy glow that I am usually scrambling through my beauty cabinet to achieve. So it looks like those changes that I made really worked. It seemed like what I needed most was a cut down on products and a stronger focus on a more simple, minimal, and very direct routine that really targeted exactly what my skin was in need of. This is where MŪN came into play. While in Hawaii, I partnered with the organic skincare line to showcase the benefits of a clean and minimal skincare routine, as well as the after effects beyond just my time on the island (where the concept of less is better). The island was actually the inspiration behind this beauty challenge. What happened when I turned the cards and went basic when I cleansed and moisturized my skin with non-toxic, botanical-based products by MŪN? Everything good. Not only that, it’s better for the earth, as well. Let me show you . . .

In Maui we were blessed with luxuriously warm weather. It was also a bit humid which called for a lot of time in and out of the ocean and pool. I was committed to less makeup, and more time to do other things on this trip. Trust me, as a beauty lover, cleaning out one’s beauty case can be a tough one, but I learned the easy way how much better things are when they are pared down. MŪN‘s skincare line isn’t as widespread as many brands out there, but the products that they do offer are really all you need once you break down your routine into steps. And that is exactly the point. CLEANSE. TONE. MOISTURIZE. The best thing about MŪN is how these three simple products overlap and complement each other so that all grounds are covered. The benefits of many different products, packaged up perfectly into three simple bottles:

Akwi Purifying Cleanser

This oil-based cleaner really gets the job done when it comes to makeup removal. Even waterproof makeup! Its balmy texture comes from the moisturizers in the Castor Oil (cleanser and detoxifier), Argan Oil (nutrient rich). and Camelia Seed Oil (for extra moisture). Many cleansers out there now strip the skin of essential, natural oils. This one does the opposite. I rinse, and my skin doesn’t feel dry or tight, but lightly moisturized and brightened. For extra exfoliation, I gently massage my face with a warm wash cloth before rinsing. I was using this cleanser for months before my Maui trip, and I applauded the way it made my skin look and feel since day one. This cleanser is the real deal for those looking for a way to cleanse and moisturize at the same time.

Anarose Hydrating Rose Toner

This rose toner is like a SUPER TONER! Think about a super food. Imagine that for your skin. Not only does it refresh, but it balances the skin’s pH. Hyaluronic Acid firms and hydrates the skin. Willow Bark Extract contains salicylic acid, which removes dead skin cells . . . so it’s a natural exfoliator. Goji Berry Extract supplies anti-aging benefits. It feels velvety with just one spray, and keeps me dewy throughout the day. It’s the step right before moisturizing, and helping the next step settle in and absorb into the skin in the best, deepest way.

Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

This nutrient rich serum is the final step. it’s made up of three oils: Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Argan Oil, and Bulgarian Rose Essential Oil. Together these oils repair the skin’s surface and barriers, as well as gets absorbed deep within the top layers for protection, to sooth inflammation and to stimulate collagen production. This serum is an important in the anti-aging process. My skin feels supple and soft after I use it, and it’s so effective that there is no need for any other extra moisturizer on top. This makes it perfect for traveling. The less to pack, the better. I like to use a little extra around my eyes as an eye oil at night. A wake up looking bright eyed. No puffiness at all. With this final step, I know my skin is rejuvenating during my sleep. Calm and well rested. That is exactly how MŪN makes my skin feel.

These were the only skincare products I brought with me on my trip (well sunscreen, as well, of course!!), along with the Ayour Body Toning Serum for my body and the Argan Pure Argan Oil for my hair and cuticles. Both are amazing for after the sun nourishment. I didn’t do my hair once on the island. The hair straightener made no appearance. Instead, my hair was wet most of the day, air dried or up in a low bun. The Argan Pure Argan Oil was the only thing my hair needed to survive the sea salt and chlorinated waters that made up my days. I’ve been back home now for a bit, and my friends are still telling me that my hair looks extra healthy even after my trip. The Argan Oil was the best form of protection for my hair by repairing split ends and providing endless moisture throughout the long and hot Maui days. The same goes for my fingernails and cuticles. When I’m at the beach, my cuticles tend to get more beat up and rough from all the sun, water and play, but this time around they looked very much in tact thanks to a Pure Argan Oil application first thing in the morning and right before I went to bed. This one in particular smells spectacular, as do all the MŪN products. That’s the good side of using all natural products. It’s like a fragrance from nature.

I came to Maui to get a tan, of course. But no tan is complete with toned, smooth skin all over as a base. MŪN’s Ayour Body Toning Serum was my first time using a serum for my body. Unlike a normal lotion, it’s far more potent and powerful in how it affects and treats the skin of the body. I knew this was going to be a product I loved since I spent the majority my time in Hawaii in a bikini. It’s enriched with Moroccan Olive Oil which brightens and evens out skin tone. The serum is a mix of oils that minimizes wrinkles and stretch marks, so that your skin (in particular the arms and legs) are beach ready. I was sure to use sunscreen on top of this everyday, so as not to burn. Together with sunscreen, this serum is a major anti-aging game player. I never felt more comfortable in a bikini than before I started using this every day. I like to use it in the morning, so it has time to absorb before I get too much sun exposure.

My beloved new MŪN routine has allowed me to bring back a bit of that Maui simplicity with me home to NYC. In a way, skin is a reflection of a state-of-mind. It’s like the food we eat, the spaces we surround ourselves with, the nature and art that we look at. It affects us from the inside out. Like they always say, a little goes a long way, and substance should always come before style. MŪN just happens to have both, and that’s why it wins. I’ll be continuing my routine for the rest of my summer and beyond. My skin has been feeling as vibrant as ever and I don’t feel the need to cover up my skin with as much makeup at all. That’s how much of a difference it’s made in just a few weeks time. But I’ll keep you updated on my skin in another another week’s time!

Once again, click below to be linked to product pages:

Akwi Purifying Cleanser

Anarose Hydrating Rose Toner

Aknari Brightening Youth Serum

Ayour Body Toning Serum

Argan Pure Argan Oil

 

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The Benefits of Matcha

July 6, 2017

I’ve been drinking matcha regularly for over a year now, not because it’s trendy (although I love how easily I can find it now in the city) but because the taste to me is phenomenal, and it has many extremely healthy benefits for the body. In college, I would drink a hot cup of green tea (soaked from tea bags) to calm my skin whenever I broke out. I read about it in a magazine, and I felt it really did help. And growing up with an Asian mom, I’ve tried lots of different kinds of Asian desserts, and matcha flavor (on top of taro) was always my favorite. But I never had matcha in it’s raw form until my boyfriend made me a cup of it unsweetened near the beginning of our relationship. I was addicted ever since. Matcha is basically the more raw, concentrated version of your basic green tea. You are consuming the entire tea leaf as opposed to a brew, which gives you 10 to 15 times more nutrient per cup. Now, I replace my normal morning cup of coffee with a cup of matcha, and it has been life changing. No more stomach aches. Clearer skin. Less bloat. It kick starts my appetite. And I feel like my general well being has shifted because of this daily change in my routine and diet. 

Here is all the reasons why I love matcha:

1. It’s an antioxidant boost, which in turn strengthens your immune system. I’ve noticed that I have gotten sick far less since adding matcha to my mornings every day. Less colds, less coughing, less sinus infections. It even eases digestion. I feel great! 

2. It acts as a cleanser because it contains high levels of Chlorophyll, which helps detox the blood and throughout the body. The more toxins that are flushed out of your body, the better of course. Matcha is a great step in the right direction when it comes to clean eating. 

3. It helps keep you slim because it helps increase your body’s rate at burning calories. Mixing matcha with a healthy diet and a regular workout routine is the best way to get in shape. 

4. It’s energizing because it contains a healthy form of caffeine. it’s not the same kind of caffeine found in regular coffee. Matcha’s caffeine is a slow-release of energy. Starting your morning with a cup will ease you into your day at a much healthier pace, rather than shocking your system awake. And you’re energy will last much longer throughout the day. 

5. It’s so pretty! Probably one of the main reason’s it’s so popular today, especially on Instagram. It’s light green emerald color is easy on the eyes, and so complementary to Millennial Pink (like the tone of my mugs at home). For someone into aesthetics, matcha is the winner as opposed to that dark and aggressive cup of joe. I like mine with a spoonful of agave and a splash of low-fat vanilla soy creamer. Perfection in a cup.

Hope this post inspires you to jump on the matcha bandwagon. I always make my own matcha, unless I’m out early for the day and don’t have time to make my own, craving it right after the gym, or traveling. The one I get is from Whole Foods, but Asian supermarkets sell them, too, and probably for a much better price. Make sure your matcha is from Japan. That stuff is the real deal 🙂

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Doing London Style with Jo Malone

May 30, 2017

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Products by Jo Malone
Salvatore Ferragamo dress
The 2 Bandits earrings
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Oh, London! How I miss your daily rain showers and afternoon tea! Let me tell you, when it’s raining outside, all you want to do is spend an afternoon inside drinking tea (and champagne). Natalie‘s and my stay at the famous Claridge’s Hotel in Mayfair, an upscale part of London, was more than divine. The hotel is over 200 years old, and it has history as epic as it’s wallpaper. During WWI, many aristocrats sought refuge at this very hotel. Imagining the people who came in and out of this hotel in the past 200 years drops by jaw. It was a pleasure to be able to call this place home for our last two night’s in London. Our chic London experience was made even more chic with Jo Malone, of course. The brand is a revolutionary in the fragrance world, and just about everyone knows the name and has at least one favorite scent. Our first night at Claridge’s ended with a nice, long bath in the picturesque tub. The bubbles were the fanciest bubbles I’ve ever experienced! Right before bed, I lathered myself with Jo Malone body cream in Wood Sage & Sea Salt. It’s my favorite body cream in the world. My mom’s, too! I always make sure to gift her a jar on her birthday and Mother’s Day. It makes any woman feel fantastic right before a night of rest. We slept peacefully that night, to be woken early by our alarms so as not to miss our morning massages at the hotel, which was one of the most relaxing events of our entire London experience. London is quite a hectic city, and we fit so much in our itinerary the previous days that our bodies were aching for a magical touch.

We had breakfast waiting in our room before heading out to explore a little bit more of Mayfair all the way towards St. Jame’s Park. The weather was mildly warm and fabulous, which is rare for London. But, of course, it then changed its mind halfway through the afternoon with a heavy rain that brought us back to Claridge’s earlier than expected. But all was good, because it just gave us more time to explore the hallways of the hotel, say hello to guests coming in and out and just be generally fancy for no reason other than to be fancy. Plus, we had a 5pm afternoon tea waiting for us. So the timing was actually perfect. I had an amazing Chinese green tea with rhubarb syrup and it was one of the most delicious teas I’ve ever downed. Props to our waiter who recommended the syrup, it was so interesting to taste. Soooo, fully relaxed and our tummies filled with tasty finger sandwiches and sweet treats, we had a little less than an hour to get ready for the big Jo Malone “Talk of the Townhouse” party in Mayfair. There we rubbed shoulders with London socialites like Karen Elson and Poppy Delelvigne, as well as the best dressed in town. All fans of Jo Malone and fashion and everything creative. I felt so much creativity in the air amongst the crowd. You can just feel the vibrations not just from the bad ass tunes the DJs were spinning, but also the colors, patterns and shapes of dress that everyone adorned. I felt so much inspiration dancing and mingling all around me. And that is really what is my favorite part about coming to London. The energy, the quirkiness the rock and roll. And, of course, everything smelled fabulous because the party was lit with Jo Malone candles, which I obviously can’t live without. 

I wore this lovely Ferragamo dress from a recent season. In a way, it felt a bit flamenco to me, so I threw on some bold earrings to match with the feeling. Perfect for the night, because the townhouse turned into a late night dance party, and everyone had moves to show off. It was such a fun way to spend our last night in London. With a fashionably scented bang. Thank you Jo Malone for having us as your guests all the way from over the pond. Natalie and I hope to be back soon! xx

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