Thursday, November 12, 2020

I tried The Ordinary Skin Care...

 Hey what is up hello! This post came about because my sister posted that I spent 9 months on a Deployment trying to find the best skin care routine, which was not entirely wrong haha. And I think I got a pretty great routine, so the hard work has paid off. After I tried Drunk Elephant, I was intrigued by The Ordinary. My full skin care routine is about 95% The Ordinary, and has been for a little more than a year. 

There are a ton of things that are interesting about The Ordinary, which might bring up a lot of questions, not to mention their countless scandals from years past (If you do not have time to read this, basically they liked to run attack ad campaigns against other skin care brands #BeautyScandal). But here are some things to clear up about The Ordinary.

*Skip down a couple of steps if you are here solely for skin care recommendations*

1. Why is it so cheap// Comparatively to what is on the market, The Ordinary is significantly cheaper than its competitors. There are a handful of reasons why this is. 1. The packaging is all the same, it is a standard packaging that many companies use, and it never changes. This helps with the supply chain, creates less spending for package design. Also notice how everything is black and white. 2. No advertising, ads, celebrity collabs, or influencer marketing. That means minimal marketing cost. 3. It is a sister company under the Deciem umbrella, so it is coupled with more lux brands. 4.On their website they mention that they are not fans of huge markups so they are making a profit, they are just cutting cost and giving that to you 5. The formula.... 6. The buyers....

2. What is the formula like// The Ordinary is a one ingredient bottle. You are getting one aspect of the skin care routine. Unlike a daily moisturizer with different vitamins or ingredients you are getting ONE thing. You are not getting a morning routine cocktail,  you have to buy all the ingredients to make it yourself. So yes the items are cheap, but you do end up having to buy more than one item. 

3. Who are the buyers// The rumor is The Ordinary head hunted buyers from other lux companies, so they were able to use some of the same suppliers (Rumor has it they took buyers from Drunk Elephant). They were also bought out by L'OrĂ©al which is the largest cosmetic company, so they have a huge buying power, which again means you benefit price wise.

This is my routine, and I had a couple of goals with my skin care routine. Because I am in my late 20s #ugh, I want wrinkle prevention and reduction. I wanted to have bright and radiant skin. If any bumps or texture pop up I want that gone stat. So here we go!

100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil// I have no clue why this is such a hot ticket item, but this oil is moisturizing! I have dehydrated oily skin, so my skin drinks up any moisture I put on it, and my skin drinks this up. "Marula oil offers antioxidants, hydrates the skin and is claimed to help restore a radiant tone." It for sure brightens your skin (which I never understood what that meant, but dull skin just looks tired for various reasons: skin cell build up, dryness, slow cell turnover).

Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5// The HA serum is told to either go on before or with the marula oil. "Hyaluronic Acid (HA) can attract up to 1,000 times its weight in water. The molecular size of HA determines its depth of delivery in the skin. This formulation combines low-, medium- and high-molecular weight HA, as well as a next-generation HA crosspolymer at a combined concentration of 2% for multi-depth hydration. This system is supported with the addition of Vitamin B5 which also enhances surface hydration."  Basically this is clear serum that really helps your skin have that youthful bounce.

*This is where my skin care gets different everyday*

Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% // Now let me tell you a Vitamin C is strong, you really should not mix this with anything other than a moisturizer. Your skin also ends up building a tolerance to it, so I do not use this every single day. I use it about once a week, or as a spot treatment for acne. A vitamin C is suppose to brighten and improve uneven skin tone, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, hydrate and smooth. This gives a tingle/itch but should not burn! It works as a mild exfoliant, so it helps with cell turn over to give you a glow and helps with the appearance of firm skin. You can also use this at night if the tingle is too much.

AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution// I use this about once a month. You can use this in the morning or at night, but I always use this in the morning. This is a chemical peel mask. Fun fact I knew nothing about skin care, but as young blood I always knew if I was breaking out I should use my mom's moisturizer not mine. Little did I know my mom's moisturizer had AHA in it which helps exfoliate you skin and... you guessed it, helped with cell turnover. (Also another item to not mix with anything harsh, would not use it in the same half day as a vitamin C or Retinol).

*At Night*

Retinol// You either love it or you hate it... Well you either love it, or you are too scared to try it. Retinol works by causing enhanced collagen production, skin smoothing, and an evening of pigmentation. There are a handful of reasons to Retinol can be scary to some, "Rather than removing dead skin cells as many other anti-aging and acne products do, the small molecules that make up retinol go deep beneath the epidermis (outer layer of skin) to your dermis." Which makes it great to aid with cystic acne. I will tell you, when you use this the first week, your skin feels like it is peeling from the inside out, but after it is straight up magic, and really feels like your skin is revamped. I do not use this every night because your skin builds a tolerance, but you should also not use this with anything else. Even a moisturizer will mess with how this works. Start with the lowest percentage you can find (.2%) and work your way up. (I will note that this is a powerful/harsh ingredient... but this does not feel like anything on my skin. It doesn't burn, itch, or tingle.)

What I do most nights// Honestly I take my makeup off most nights, and leave it at that. If I do anything I most likely throw on marula oil, and leave it at that. You can also throw on a vitamin C serum if you aren't using anything else. 

Honorable mention// I am not a big or fancy face wash person, I have tried probably every single trendy facewash, and really have not been overly impressed or thought anything was extremely magical. (would love to hear if someone has a holy grail). That being said I do not feel like I am the most qualified to give a recommendation (who am I kidding I am a girl with a blog, I am not qualified at all). I have heard, if you have normal skin/ combination skin a gel cleaners is the way to go. My only qualification that it be free of parabens, sulphates, and mineral oils. I do love Alba products, and although I do not love the beads, I am loving the Hawaiian Detox Cleanser (also love the Pore Purifying Pineapple Enzyme), I have no clue how the cleanser works, but I have noticed I have no dirt texture on my skin after using this so 9/10 in my book. 

Also please note I am not a skin care expert. Some of these products are not for everyone. This is a skin care routine I created for myself, and this works for me.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Fostering A Pup

Hey what is up hello! We recently fostered a puppy and here is the our account of that!

Why did you foster a dog? 

I saw an ad fosters were needed to help keep dogs out of the shelter during quarantine. I thought I would get an old pup and just get to hang with a dog for the rest of quarantine. Well, the shelters had all their dogs adopted, and put me on a wait list. 2 weeks later 200 puppies were shipped from Mississippi to DC and the shelter needed fosters fast! Plus I am pretty lukewarm on liking a dog's company so I thought it would just be nice to have a little companion around the house.

What was the fostering process?

We filled out some information, picked a pick-up time, bought the gear to host a puppy, and picked her up!

And as a foster you take the pup to all their doctor appointments, and do everything to get your pup adopted

Why did you not adopt Major?

Major was the best dog ever and if we had a backyard it would be a no brainer. We fell in full blown love with Major. She was the sweetest, kindest, smartest dog around. I remember picking her up from the shelter and thinking "Oh my gosh, this is going to be so hard to give her up". Like guys, she kept holding my hand when I tried to get her out of her kennel. #TooCute. 

However, not in quarantine A and I are out of the house 10-12 hours a day for work/commutes. Alex works some weekends, I work 1 weekend a month. Add that to living on the 6th floor, 4am pup wakeups or needing to go out every 90 minutes was just not possible with our schedule. 

What did you learn from fostering a pup? 

I was so surprised how much love I had in my heart for a puppy. I fell in love hard with that little guy, and I was shocked how much you could care about something that just brought constant destruction to your household, but at the end of the day when the pup was calmed down and wanted to play it was so nice to have a companion around! I also learned a lot about A's and I's relationship, it really was brought to light how good of a team we make and using our skills for different things in taking care of the puppy.

Will you foster again?

No! Hard No! I think fostering is great for people who love dogs, maybe have to travel a lot and have periods where they are home, a great hobby for someone that loves pups and wants to help the community. However, for me I was way too emotionally invested and a week later I am still super sad that Major was adopted. Even though in my heart of hearts I knew it would not be possible that we could keep her.

Friday, January 31, 2020

I tried Drunk Elephant... And I Don't Know How I feel About it

Hey what is up hello! If you have not been living under a rock you have seen someone hold the white and colorful packaging of Drunk Elephant. Let me say their minimalist products, and colorful packaging is stunning. So stunning, when I knew nothing about skin care and had only used drug store products before, I mean an 80 dollar face mask? Is it worth the hype. Let's find out.

Let me start off by saying, I have a holy grail moisturizer that I was not able to get in the Middle East. I kept seeing Drunk Elephant everywhere. Their influencer marketing was spot on. I decided to give this a try, This is my take on the products. 

Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser// Meh. This has marula oil in it and the only other thing to me that stood out of the ingredients was cantaloupe. The ingredients are great in all of Drunk Elephant's products, I will give them that. However, I only wash my face in the morning, and this did nothing for me. This did not even get off or break up the mascara residue from the night before. It also made my skin not feel clean like it had a film on my skin. Overall, not for me.

Lippe Balm// There is no other way to say this, this was the worst product I have ever used. I do not know if this was just my skin, but for an 18 dollar lip balm, this destroyed my lips. This made my lips peel so hard. At first I thought it was like lipsense where it would take away the dead skin on my lips, and then my lips would be more smooth. No. This just kept making my lips peel.

B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum// This is a typical hyaluronic acid + B5. Which I use one everyday and I am a huge fan. I do like how Drunk Elephant goes the extra mile to make their own "cocktail". DE has added different plants for antioxidant properties and  barberry extract plant acts as a natural anti bacterial so you can say goodbye to acne. ALSO, I love the consistency of DE "cocktail" and it leaves my skin super hydrated. 

Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil// This product got me addicted to marula oil. This is DE bread and butter. My skin drinks up any moisturizer and this is the only thing that makes my skin so happy. Again, what makes DE stand out is their "cocktail". The marula oil is rich in antioxidants, it also uses licorice root (Which is one of my favorite ingredients ever) for its anti-inflammatory properties. What I will say set DE apart (to me) with their marula oil is that a little goes a long way.

Baby Face// This is why I bought the kit. I wanted to try this product more than anything. I saw bloggers and some of my friends post about it on Instagram. No one's skin looked magical, but I wanted to try it.

Long story short, this is a chemical exfoliator. Meaning it uses acids to exfoliate the top layer of your skin. You use this once a week for 20 minutes. 

The first three times I used it, it was great! I had some acne (not normal for me) and it completely went away. Then after about the first month no matter what I did, it burned my face. Overall, it was ~good~ but it was too much for my skin.

Overall, I did enjoy Drunk Elephant, and it really opened my eyes to skin care. Do I think it is worth the hype? Yes and no. I think they use great ingredients, however I think their products are hit or miss. I will say that Drunk Elephant goes the extra mile to make sure their "Cocktails" are top notch

*Please note I wrote this post and used the products for a full 4- 6 weeks before writing this review*

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Engagment Photos Part 1

Hey what is up hello! Engagement photos are officially here! Our wedding is in the summer, and the next time we will take photos again will probably be winter 2021, so we thought a Fall vibe would be the best!

Number 1 blog photos and "candid" engagement photos are totally two different things. Blog photos you just stand there and get a photo of the outfit, engagement photos you really actually need to pose.
We one part were completely awkward and not prepared for this, and other part had a ton of fun and were so happy with the shots. It took about two hours in total (and a full day to get ready for the shots), where blog photos take about 30 minutes.
The whole thing was a good time and we are so happy we blocked off the day for the shots... and we caved and decided to get Christmas cards so this works great.


Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Truth About Orangetheory

Hey what is up hello! I posted the other day about going to an Orangetheory Class, and I got a couple DMs about it, so I thought why no share my experience. (flash forward to paragraph 5 if you do not care about my story).

A little back story on me. I have been athletic pretty much my whole life. I have always been a runner, I have always enjoyed working out. I can say I think I have been a routine runner since 2006. Then I started doing army stuff in 2013, and my fitness level went to another level. I wanted to beat the boys, so I started running log distance, and doing a ton of body weight exercises.Long story short I had some health issues in 2016 and I stopped running distance because one of my knees killed, and with one of my health issues I lost so much weight I stopped caring about what I ate because I could not gain weight for the life of me (to the point where it hurt to sit down). Flash forward to 2019, I am on my deployment, the thought of working out exhausted me, and my horrible diet caught up to be about 20 extra pounds.

I tried just about EVERYTHING to get myself back into a fitness routine. I did not even have a goal, I just wanted to feel healthy/fit again. I tried to run again (my knee still killed), I tried getting into weight lifting (I gained a ton of muscle, but was not losing any weight), I tried spin class (I hated it), I tried BBG (I could not even get myself into the gym I hated it so much).

I get home and my mom signed me up to go to an Orangetheory class with her. I was hooked!

What is Orangetheory?

Their motto is "Run, row, lift". You run/walk on a treadmill, row on a row machine, and do circuit training (abs, arms, legs). They also say it is science based, so you will burn calories even after the class (super hitt type cardio). You also have a heart rate monitor, so you can see if you are pushing yourself too hard, or not enough. Which is nice because another thing was I was getting frustrated that I was not as good as I once was. Then at the end of the class it sends you how far you went, and how many calories you burned. You are never on anything long enough to get bored.

Do you like it? 

This is the first workout I have done since college that I like. In fact I LOVE it. It is super self paced. I have even gotten back into speed training (which I NEVER thought was even possible with my knee) In fact I think my knee hurt for so long because I was going the same pace. My knee, for the most part, feels fine now!

Have you noticed a change?

I feel less fluffy and more tone from this. I have been doing this for 4 months now, and I love how it makes me feel happy after the class, and I already feel healthier. In fact I ate something the other day where I was just so incredibly bloated, and 20 minutes into the class I felt a million times better. I am not saying it is magic (the class kicks your butt), but I love how it makes me feel.

How much does it cost? 

It depends what area you are in. I do the 8 classes a month. In Michigan it was 65 dollars a month, Downtown D.C. it was 165 a month, and DC suburbs it is 99 a month.

Can I do it if I am new to working out?

Yes! If you are a walker you can do it. If you are an ex athlete you can do it. Seriously anyone can do this class and get results.

How do you stay motivated to go?

Remember? I only go twice a week! I need to start putting a long run in there, but I am giving myself grace and just making myself go twice a week. And I also do a strength training day once a week because #abs #shoulders.

Do you feel like you will get bored with the Orangetheory Workouts? 

They are designed where you will never do the same workout twice! Which I agree, I have not done the same one twice! Some days focus on going longer distances, and some days you are at each station for like 3 minutes at a time and rotate. Also I normally would do a rotation of running and circuits. Rowing is kind of new for me though, but it is a fun way to get cardio in.

What if you can not do something?

I would talk to the coach, they understand, but also if you can not do something (circuit wise) you can skip it or do your own thing. I went to the Beta store a couple of times (I did not like it so I switched places) and they had some weird things, and I just substituted them for something else.

Do you get stronger from this class?

It is not a "lifting class" I would say you weight train for sure. People that worry about getting too big, this is a good class for you. You do enough weights to keep your body burning for longer, but I do not see this being a class where you "get big".

What shoes do you wear?

Brooks! I love brooks shoes. In fact I am getting these shoes: Ice Cream. I think they are so fun, and I ONLY wear them to run or OrangeThoery. I have better runner friends and they all agree brooks ghost are the best. Yes the are ugly but you knees and feet will love you.

Why do you stay with OrangeTheory?

1. My body loves for me to run. I get my best results from running. (and a healthy diet)2. It is only an hour a day. 3. I can go only twice a week and see results. 4. I feel AMAZING after the class. This class seriously made me feel like myself again.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Dresses for Your Engagement Photos

Hey what is up hello! Engagement photos are a big part between the process of getting engaged and getting married. I know it is a super easy way to cut on the budget, but there were a couple of reasons we really wanted engagement photos.

Recently I saw my grandma's wedding photos and I thought that it would be nice for something to pass down. 

You only get professional photos for your wedding and how many photos do you want in formal attire?

If you have the time and resources, why not?!

Here were some of the dresses I was thinking about. I wanted a fall vibe, and I almost  went with the yellow floral dress pictured above. Below are some other options, and a sneak (not pointing it out) peak on what I did wear.

Also a tip for what to wesr for the shoot is wear what makes you comfortable. I LOVE the maxi boho dress photos. However, I have never worn a maxi boho dress in my life, and I probably never will. I probably will never wear a flower crown ever. We personally went with a more casual feel, because we spend about 90% of the time not at work in workout gear! Haha! Wear what makes you comfortable and go with that!

Shop the look here

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Pink Pants Three Ways

Hey what is up hello! I do not know about you, but I am a stylish gal on a budget. I also live in DC so space is scarce. That is why I love to be able to take a piece and wear it a couple of different ways. Here is how I styled pink pants 3 different ways. 

Number One// the place I spend the most time is work! I focus most of my wardrobe fund on what I can wear to work, and if I can wear it after work that is even better! I love the pink pants paired with a black top and make it even better with a super cute blazer

Number Two// Pair the pink pants with a white blouse. You can still wear this to work, and even better you can pair that with a jean jacket for AFTER work. I love this casual style for hanging out with the fam, or going to book club after work. 

Number Three// Ready to move a groove. I love a good two piece set, match this with a cute crop top, you can head to the beach, or a night out on the town. 
© Just Around The Neighborhood. All rights reserved.
Blogger Designs by pipdig