Lifestyle

The Three Things I Splurge On

October 30, 2017

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m an indulgent person. I’m never one to deprive myself of something fabulous. If I want it, I will most likely get it, and this goes for pretty much everything (clothing, makeup, all the delicious foods, etc., etc., etc.).

HOWEVER. I am not rich. By any means. Therefore, I cannot indulge my every whim or I would shop myself into a giant hole of debt.

So, I’ve figured out the three things that I want to prioritize over everything else I spend my money on. I allow myself to splurge on these things while cutting back on the other aspects of my life. It would be amazing to be able to afford everything my heart desired and more, and maybe someday I will get there. For right now, this is what works for me (and obviously we all have different priorities), so keep reading to find out the three things that I splurge on and WHY I choose to spend my money on these three things.

SHOES

Omg, shoes. Such a cliche girly thing to say but hear me out, okay? I’m not spending my money on designer shoes. In fact, I have never owned a pair of designer shoes (even though those Gucci loafers are mighty enticing). I prefer to buy high quality, well-made shoes that will last me years.

It’s important to be kind to your feet when you’re young. I’ve stopped wearing heels entirely because they’re uncomfortable and the payoff just isn’t there. Nowadays, I find myself drawn to mules, flat boots, and comfortable sandals. Finding comfy shoes that are also high-quality is important to me – after all, who am I trying to impress?

Finding sustainably made shoes is also important to me. Nisolo is one of those brands that just gets it. Their shoes are extremely comfortable, well-made, and high quality – they sell the shoes that you wish you could find in other stores. Nisolo designs their shoes in Nashville and makes them in Peru. They’re also 100% sustainable and their workers get paid a fair wage. I currently own two pairs of Nisolos (this pair and this pair) and plan to get more this season.

I’m also a huge fan of Freda Salvador and I’m currently saving up for my first pair. Their shoes are super unique and give off major cool-girl vibes. Fredas are designed in Sausalito and handmade in Spain by a family of shoemaking artisans. They’re designed to last and be enjoyed by generations to come.

I may not have many pairs of shoes, but I’m happy wearing a few well-made pairs that will last me for years.

HAIR

The second thing I splurge on is my hair. It’s important for my hair to be my crowning jewel – it’s on my head every day, after all! That’s why I really don’t mind spending a bit of extra cash to keep my hair looking luscious.

I go to diPietro Todd Salon in Walnut Creek (diPietro Todd has a few salons around the Bay Area) and typically ask for a full balayage/foil. The Balayage technique is hand-painted, so it grows out very naturally; I only need to go in a few times a year to touch up my color. I also “dust” my hair between trim appointments (read about hair dusting here!), and therefore only need to go in for a cut when my hair needs a good shaping.

Between appointments, I extend the life of my color by only using sulfate-free hair products and applying the Oribe Glaze for Beautiful Color once a week. It keeps my hair healthy and glossy! I also love Miriam Quevedo White Caviar Shampoo. It’s pricey but honestly, I’ve never used another shampoo like it! It thoroughly cleanses my hair and scalp but doesn’t strip my hair. One time, I completely forgot to use conditioner afterward and didn’t even notice a difference.

To moisturize my curls, I use Oribe Supershine moisturizing cream. My hair is naturally dry, so I use the regular Oribe Supershine – but for those who are prone to greasiness, Oribe makes Supershine Light which is less heavy. Once my hair has dried, I’ll add in a bit more Supershine for extra glossiness – this product is seriously heaven-sent. Depending on the day, I’ll also spritz in a bit of the Oribe Aprés Beach spray. I’ve also been loving Living Proof T.B.D. Multi-Tasking Styler for second-day waves and curls.

So – with a few splurge-worthy hair appointments throughout the year, quality cuts and color, and good hair products, my crowning jewel has never looked better! ;)

SKIN

I’ve talked about my skincare routine in-depth in the past, and not much has changed. I am fastidious about my skincare and don’t mind splurging big bucks for the products that deliver results.

Overall, though the products may fluctuate from time to time, I have a pretty solid process that I follow daily. Consistency is the key to great skin, so regardless of the specific products, if you follow a consistent schedule/routine, you’ll most likely see great results. Another thing to keep in mind with skincare: results take time. Not days, not even weeks, but months and sometimes years. Did you know that it takes two weeks for a zit to form underneath your skin and finally surface? Think about that for a minute.

Every evening, I’ll use an oil-based cleanser, like a balm or cleansing oil, to remove the makeup and dirt from the day (currently loving this one by Rodial). After massaging in the cleanser for about a minute, I remove with a clean muslin cloth that I run under hot water. Once my skin is clean, I squirt a glycolic acid toner (I use the Pixi Glow Tonic) onto a cotton pad and swipe all over my face and neck. Then, after the toner has dried, I apply my Retinol treatment (this one from The Ordinary is my jam and only $10). On top of that goes my serum – currently using this one from Instytutum. Finally, I pat my Indie Lee Squalane Oil onto my face and neck. I’ll also apply my old standby, Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, around my orbital bones. I top everything off by sleeping with a silk eye mask and silk pillowcase to lock in the moisture.

It’s taken years of routine for my skin to look good, and I definitely want to keep it that way! I try to go in for a facial once a season (so 4x a year) to keep my skin balanced.

Honestly, if you have great skin and hair, you don’t need much makeup. Also, great shoes can totally elevate an outfit. I’m happy dressing myself in Old Navy and ASOS and buying my mascara at Walgreens if it means I can delegate my funds to these three splurge-worthy categories.

Now that you know mine, I’d love to know… what are the things you like to splurge on? Leave me a comment and let’s chat!

Life

September Vibes

September 15, 2017

September is a strange month. On one hand, September feels as though it should kick off the Fall season. I love pulling my cozy sweaters out of the closet and pairing them with high-waisted denim (these are my fave fave fave) and ankle boots. Sadly, those sweaters will have to stay in the closet for a bit longer, because September is gearing up to be h-o-t in the Bay. We’ve been working hard to get our patio in tip-top shape to enjoy the last of this Indian Summer, and I’ll definitely be sharing the big reveal in a few weeks.

I’m also jetting off to LA this weekend for a little celebratory getaway – my big bro is turning the big 30! Looks like I’ll be wearing my breezy linen skirts and knotted tees a little while longer…. Happy September! ✌🏼

Home Decor

My Newfound Love for Interior Design

September 11, 2017

This past couple of years, I’ve really taken to the interior design world. Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always tried to make our home look nice with what little décor budget we had. In college, I scoured Craigslist for gently used pieces that needed a new home. When we first moved to San Francisco, I made several large trips to IKEA and Zozi’s Loft in SF to furnish our new place.

We’ve lived in the Bay Area now for over three years and have slowly been updating our home with nicer, higher quality investments. Subsequently, my interest in interior design has skyrocketed. I’ve become obsessed with designing every square inch of our apartment with cozy furnishings and imperfectly-styled décor. Plants abound. Candles guttering. Hygge aplenty.

Our New Place

It’s taken me a bit longer to settle into this new apartment (when I say “new” I mean we moved in May… lol). This latest move came quite unexpectedly, as we had just settled into our last place and were feeling comfortable in our new space. Our lease we signed was only 6 months and we thought that we’d be able to extend it. We were wrong.

After just 6 short months, we had to uproot our lives. This was our second move in less than a year and I didn’t handle it well (like not at all). I resisted packing and I was little help on the actual moving day. I had such a hard time acting like an adult, and I am so grateful for Sawyer’s endless patience with me. It took me a long time to work through some very unpleasant feelings and moods.

It’s now September and I’ve just gotten to a place where this new apartment is beginning to feel like home. In the first couple of months here, I had no desire to set anything up, hang artwork on the walls, or really try at all to make the place into a home for us. This was the actual worst because I am truly a homebody at heart. Thankfully, we signed a year lease on this new place and I was finally able to get over those initial dejected and listless feelings and breathe some life into our home.

I snapped some photos of our space last weekend and decided I wanted to share them here with you. Our new home is almost “complete.” However, the perfectionist in me isn’t ready to share a full tour until the finishing touches have been put into place.

interior design

Skincare

Why Squalane Oil is the Best Facial Oil You’ve Never Heard Of

September 4, 2017

Ever heard of squalane oil before? For most people, the term sqaulane is foreign and chemical-sounding. For those who have heard of it, did you know it’s the best facial oil on the market today?

read more

Beauty

My Secret to Really, Really Long Eyelashes

July 23, 2017

Yes, these are my real eyelashes. And yes, you can have them, too! I’ve tried everything over the years to make my lashes longer and more luscious. I’ve used lengthening mascaras, taken Biotin, and even gotten eyelash extensions. After much experimentation and a whole lot of patience, I’ve finally found the secret (and I’m dying to share): Rodan + Fields Lash Boost*.

I started using Lash Boost around Christmastime and began my experiment by excitedly applying more than the directed amount to my top and bottom lashes each night, hoping my extra dose would speed up the lash-growing process. A couple of weeks later, I noticed that I kept waking each morning to red and irritated eyes. I reached out to my Rodan + Fields consultant and she recommended that I watch the video on proper application, as she suspected I was probably applying too much. She was certainly right, of course, because I only needed the tiniest swipe of this extremely concentrated lash conditioning serum on my top lashline to start seeing results.

Since then, I’ve been using the Rodan + Fields Lash Boost consistently, applying a thin strip to my upper lashline every night. It takes about 5 weeks to see full results with this product, and it took a little longer for mine to come in fully. After about 8 weeks of using the Lash Boost, I was getting compliments at work and from friends who hadn’t seen me in a while; everyone assumed I had gotten another set of lash extensions. I happily corrected them.

– T H E  R E S U L T S –

The results speak for themselves, don’t you think? My natural lashes before were stubby and sparse, and my lower lashes were barely noticeable. After using Rodan + Fields Lash Boost, my top lashes are fanned out and curly, and my bottom lashes are longer and darker.

I love looking at before-and-after photos, and I’m so happy that I get to share mine with you! I can tell you that this product truly works if you are diligent and patient. If you are looking for a foolproof way to shockingly long and luscious natural lashes (and want to wake up every day looking like an absolute BABE), you should try Rodan + Fields Lash Boost. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

Get in touch with my R + F consultant for more information on the Lash Boost here! She’s really lovely and will hook you up with the secret (+ A DISCOUNT!) to the most babely lashes ever. 😉

*Sample provided by my Rodan + Fields Consultant

Body Positivity - Life

Dear Cardigans

June 20, 2017

Dear cardigans:

You’re an outfit-ruiner. You’re a security blanket. You’re frumpy. You’re uncomfortable. You serve no purpose except to hide body insecurities. I dislike you.

You were created by the clothing industry to perpetuate women’s self-consciousness about their arms. I get it, I’ve been there. I haven’t discussed body insecurities on this platform because it’s a tough subject, and I wanted to keep the tone fun and lighthearted around here. However, life isn’t always fun and lighthearted, and everyone has body insecurities and can relate to this topic. So here we go.

I used to wear cardigans for years because I was self-conscious about my arms, too. Even on the hottest summer day, I’d wear a cardigan, so that the rest of the world couldn’t see what I deemed unfit for society. I’d willingly sweat and make myself uncomfortable so that everyone around me wouldn’t have to be in the presence of my exposed arms. How insane is that? I cannot believe there was ever a time when I thought that was okay.

I still cringe when I see old photos of myself wearing a cardigan. For a period in time, I was afraid to wear something sleeveless without one. I want to go back in time to tell myself that it’s okay to let the world see my arms. Everyone will be fine and the earth will keep spinning. In fact, no one will say anything at all. The harshest critics are your own deprecating thoughts.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when I stopped wearing cardigans, but I know there was certainly a point when I decided to never look back. I’m sad for all the years I wasted feeling uncomfortable in my own body, and trying to make others around me feel more comfortable by covering it up.

My arms are not small and never have been, but wearing a cardigan doesn’t make them smaller. Covering them in fabric doesn’t hide their size. My arms are not small but they are strong. In 5th grade, I beat every boy in my class at arm wrestling. I can do at least 10 real pushups without even trying. I can paddle a kayak, carry groceries, and lift furniture. I can open a jar and pop a bottle of champagne. 🍾

Dear cardigans: no one needs you. You are useless and sad. May you rot in the clearance bin for the rest of eternity, because I’ll never look your way again.