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Wellness

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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Period Talk: Always My Fit

June 29, 2017

I am speaking to all you ladies today on a topic that we are very familiar with . . . our periods. Or shall I say, the discomfort that comes along with being a woman for at least 4 days out of the month. You know me, I’m not one to be hush, hush about this topic. I’m a woman who likes to be comfortable in my clothing every single day out of the year, and that includes the days that I’m on my period. It’s always a struggle finding ways to not sacrifice my style on days when I need to be conscious of what is going on down there, if you know what I mean. There’s nothing worse than walking around in your favorite white jeans with the idea of a period stain haunting the back of your mind when you are on the subway. Many of us have strayed away from using pads because leaks are a scary thought, or, number one on the list, they just don’t seem to fit correctly.

Always has been doing research on the reasons for pad leaks to try to fix the problem, and they have found out that the majority of the women are wearing the wrong pad size, in relation to their body, flow level and underwear fit. Now that’s a lot to think about it seems like when it comes to period protection on a monthly basis. But Always just made it easy with a newly developed Always My Fit guide that informs us on how focusing on pad size from front to back is the key to all our period problems. The guide breaks down Always pads by size, from 1 to 5. Using the wrong size pad very much affects period leaks, so finding the right one for you is super important. And our flows change on the daily.

Besides all that, us women come in a very widespread variety of body sizes and shapes, and we all choose to wear different kinds of underwear during different parts of the day. It doesn’t make sense at all that we should all wear the size pad size. Our coverage should be as unique as we are as physical beings. And that is the magic behind the Always My Fit guide, which is the only one of its kind in the world of period protection.

On the top of every Always packaging is the Always My Fit guide, easy to read and find your perfect fit. Or, there is the option of taking a quick online quiz to land on the right Always pad size for the situations you find yourself in the most. The guide is basically life changing, especially for someone like me who doesn’t like to change her wardrobe or sleep routine because her period gets in the way.

Like I always say, I love very much being a woman. Every single part of it. Even my periods. It makes me feel healthy knowing my body is working the way it should. Always My Fit just makes being a woman so much more seamless, and stain free. Now I can wear my favorite white miniskirt out this summer whenever I want. 

Make sure to try the sizing quiz and figure out which Always size is right for you!

* Sponsored by Always My Fit. All stories, opinions and experiences are of course my own.

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Skin Nutrition from the Inside Out with HUM Nutrition

May 26, 2017

A well rounded diet and regular fitness regime have been super important aspects of my life these past few months. Eating fresh and healthy food and fitting in time to move and sweat in a way that makes me feel good from the inside out. And my body has come to start to crave these feelings. But still, keeping it up week after week can be a struggle when work calls for flights across the ocean last minute. It’s not the biggest deal of course, because for me, wellness is also all about balance, and nothing can ever be perfect. So because of the hectic schedules that come at me regularly, I was on the lookout for a product that I could use to balance out the days when I don’t have the time to eat healthy or workout as much. Then, thinking in the long term, I was looking for a way to enhance the wellness routine I already had in practice. 

It’s been a month since I was introduced to HUM Nutrition, a brand of nutritional supplements that have a strong focus on inner beauty and skincare from the inside out. First things, first. HUM Nutrition supplements are sustainably sourced, non-GMO and free of soy, gluten, artificial colors, and preservatives. Many are even organic and vegan. Second, the supplements provide continuous care and also prevention by working from deep inside you (as opposed to a topical treatment) so that you can have more long-term results. Prevention is key to beauty! The earlier, the better. Third, it’s so easy to take advantage of HUM Nutrition’s personalization process. There’s a quick 3 minute evaluation which gives you access to recommendations by a Registered Dietician. This company is run by pros!

Now, onto my three recommendations from the HUM website:

Daily Cleanse Skin & Body Detox Supplement

This is my number one! The blend of organic chlorella algae, detoxifying herbs and cleansing minerals work together to detox and protect my skin (as well as liver, gut, kidneys and lymphatic system). It literally stops the impurities and toxins before they even get a chance to affect my skin. My breakouts have decreased dramatically since using this product. When paired with healthy meals on the daily, and especially a good workout session, I notice my skin looks brighter and smoother, as well. Less makeup needed. That is always the goal for me.

Gut Instinct Probiotic 

I read an article about how much inflammation is one of the biggest problems Americans face, and it is mostly because of diet. This supplement contains 25 billion (yes 25 billion), 10-strain probiotics which work to heal your gut, boost your immune system and protects against inflammation and oxidative stress. Basically, as a result of these supplements, inflammation is down overall so your skin doesn’t have to suffer from redness and breakouts and general aging. Like I mentioned before, the best and most effective way to increase the health and look of your skin is from the inside out. It’s exactly why we make the decision to eat a grilled chicken salad over a slice of pepperoni pizza on an average day. This supplement just amplifies those healthy actions and puts them in motion in a way that shows on the outside in the best way possible.

Flatter Me Digestion Supplement

This just happens to be the perfect supplement for the months right before bikini season. This one is made from a unique blend of 18 full spectrum digestive enzymes and herbs. It’s an easy way to reduce bloating and improve digestion. I take it right before dinner so I can be sure to sleep with and easy stomach that night. And on top of that . . . crop tops here I come!

I also want to throw in how much of a fan that I am of the Daily Raw Beauty To Go packets, especially for when I’m really in a rush, or just in the mood for a light meal. Flavor of choice? Mint Chocolate chip. It’s a mix of superfood greens, which are full of antioxidants and adaptogens for energy + enzymes, probiotics and fibers for a metabolism boost. And only 25 calories. I add it to a fresh smoothie blend of berry’s, vanilla almond milk, cashew butter and pumpkin seeds. It’s my favorite after a workout, or right before yoga class when I didn’t have time for lunch. It keeps me energized and full. Plus, it feeds my skin all the extra nutrients I missed out earlier on in the day, or that I won’t be able to get in later on. When traveling, it’s an easy fix to shake it into my water bottle or add to a juice, as well!   

My skin and has been looking and feeling its best in a very long time. I carry my supplements around with me, and spread them out throughout the day with my meals or snacks, and it’s been a great motivation to keep my eating habits in check. Like I said before, it’s all about balance, and the main goal of my wellness challenge is for my eating habits, fitness routine and dietary supplements to complement each other and enhance each other. Of course, there is always a little wiggle room, because life can never always be planned. But at least, we can make the most of what we can do. 

This post is in collaboration with HUM Nutrition

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