Happy 2015! This year has been a good one. Last year at this time, I was packing up my suitcases and signing the lease on my new apartment in San Francisco (without even seeing it first!). I was nervous and excited, but I mostly felt ready for this new adventure. It took five suitcases, one horrendous back injury (always lift with your knees…), and two layovers for a total of a 13-hour trip to finally make it here, and I’m so glad I finally did. I think the New Year is a great time to look back and reflect on all your accomplishments in the past year. 2014 was a big year for us, and we have many more exciting adventures awaiting us in 2015.
I’m not sure if it’s the dry air, Christmas sweets, or my recent trip to the Northeast (or maybe a combination of all three?) that’s turned my skin into a dull, flaky mess. Therefore, I’ve made it one of my New Year’s resolutions to take better care of my skin. In addition to drinking more water, cleaning my makeup brushes more often, and accepting that I need to wash my face before bed, I also took a few new products out for a spin. The most recent additions to my medicine cabinet are a few goodies from InstaNatural.
Astonishingly, I’d never used any sort of facial serum before trying out the InstaNatural Vitamin C Serum*. The thick, viscous formula (reminiscent of orange juice) absorbs almost immediately into my skin and contains 20% vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, ferulic acid, vitamin E, and rosehip oil. Used underneath the InstaNatural Pure Argan Oil*, my skin has never looked so radiant. I’ve used Argan oil in the past, but the skincare habit became too expensive for me to maintain – sorry Josie Maran! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this MASSIVE 4 oz. bottle of Argan oil for well under $20. I honestly thought it might be too good to be true (p.s. it’s not). For me, this Argan oil is the perfect moisturizer. My skin is never greasy – always perfectly balanced, even-toned, and fresh.
In addition to the skincare goodies, I also tried out the InstaNatural Argan Oil Hair Mask*. My poor, parched strands soaked up that buttery goodness. Wintery weather doesn’t stand a chance now that I have this in my haircare arsenal! Besides the fact that this hair mask contains lashings of Argan oil, it’s also loaded with shea butter, coconut oil, and vitamin B5. So. Good.
Now that you know mine, what’s your New Year’s resolution?
We hope your holiday season is merry and bright! We will be hopping on a plane and heading back to snowy Maine later this week and we’re SO excited to enjoy some much needed R+R! Merry everything, dear friends!
XO, J, Sawyer, and Buddy the cat! :)
Holiday card graphic designed by my amazingly talented friend, Meghan.
To be perfectly honest, I’m not exactly the poster girl for keeping my makeup brushes squeaky clean (permission to judge!). I know better. However, when I do get around to washing them, I like to use a sulfate-free cleanser. I use a sulfate-free shampoo for my hair, so the same logic applies for my natural-fiber makeup brushes. I like Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo because of the zingy, peppermint scent and gentle formula. Dr. Bronner’s also makes a great castile cleanser that would work well.
Squeeze a generous amount of sulfate-free cleanser into your palm and wet the brush. Lather the brush in your palm, agitating the cleanser. Rinse under warm water. If you go as long between brush washings as I do, you may have to repeat this step two or more times. Repeat as many times as needed until the water runs clear when you rinse the brush. Lay flat on a towel to dry. Do not stand upright to dry because the water will pool in the ferrules and dissolve the glue.
That’s it! Sparkling clean brushes and clear complexion to boot! ;)
P.S. My favorite makeup brushes are by Real Techniques. They’re super durable, really high quality, and so affordable.
A few weekends ago, I went to brunch with a few other Bay Area style and beauty bloggers at Park Tavern in SF. We had so much fun chatting about real topics over some really good food (brioche french toast… hello?). It was so great getting to know these lovely gals! We talked about topics and challenges that all bloggers seem to face. It’s been a slow start for me, and it’s taken me a while to find a group of girls here that I feel comfortable with. It is great to know that there is such a down-to-earth, genuine group of bloggers that support one another here in the city. And of course we snapped a few photos after brunch… because! :)
In keeping with tradition, I decided to put together another little holiday gift guide this year. This gift guide is specifically for the wonderful ladies in your life – your mom, grandma, sister, or best friend. Many of these items are also on my Christmas wishlist (hint hint)! ;)
Thin gold stacking rings: I always love supporting local artisans, and these thin 14k gold stacking rings are handmade in Hallowell, Maine. Adorn her digits with these whisper-thin gold rings.
Diptyque votive candle set: Diptyque candles are known for their complex, feminine, and sophisticated scents. Give her an upgrade from those cloying, Christmas-scented candles and buy her this set of three.
Kate Spade ‘Metro’ watch: I actually already own this watch and I’m obsessed with its classic blush band and mother-of-pearl dial. It seriously goes with everything!
Blue Apron gift delivery: There’s no greater gift than the gift of good food. We’ve been enjoying Blue Apron meals for a few months and these restaurant-quality meals would make a wonderful gift for the budding chef.