I Review So You Don’t Have To… Lavanila The Healthy Deodorant

I REVIEW, SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO...

The only thing I want from my deodorant is to make me smell nice and not sweat. That’s all. I don’t expect it to transform me into Black Cinderella a la the (best) version of the story with Brandy for the 90s or to make me the coolest, least sweatiest person in the world.

All I’m looking for is the basics.

Well except that I’m also allergic to most deodorants. For some reason the mixture of aluminium and zinc oxides in most deodorants break my skin out to high heaven. Not to get into the knitty gritty, but I’m talking red, itchy bumps in my dang armpits.

Because of my tres sensitive skin, I’ve tried all sorts of your typical hippy dippy all naturale deodorant fare, whether it be those crystal ones (don’t work), TOMS deodorant (doesn’t work), and a whole other hodge podge of products that tbh shouldn’t be sold as a deodorant because they neither make me smell nice or not sweat. Thankfully, I have found a deodorant that works for me and rarely breaks me out, so I haven’t tried out any all natural subsitutes in awhile.

(Enter me 19-year old buying more unnecessary skin care from Sephora)

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Vanity: Skincare Routine

vanity skincare routine

Why is this post called Vanity?

Vanity. In many circles vanity is something that’s shunned. It creates an interesting societal contradiction of women being expected to meet the eurocentric standards of beauty where they are judged highly for going through the motions of achieving that standard of beauty. In some sense I can understand the general negativity that surrounds the word. Taking pride in one’s outer appearance counters the American value system of taking pride in accomplishments earned by merit, whereas physical appearance is not something that one earns. There’s a certain air of selfishness in vanity that makes people who pride themselves on their on their looks seems as though they don’t equally value being a good person.

For myself, taking care of both my outer and inner appearance is a critical part of my own self-care. If you’re a person who lives in a stressful environment or lives with a mental illness, actions that make you feel calm and cared for are usually the first things that get abandoned, whether that be showering, eating regularly, wearing clothes that make you feel good, exercising, etc.

My various beautification routines all serve the same purpose of giving my an almost therapeutic meditative space to make me feel good. When I put on my makeup and do my skincare I am taking up time in my day to something that I like to do that doesn’t benefit anyone but me. I find these routines to be incredibly empowering because it reminds me that I am worth the time and money to do the things that make me happy.

And that’s why I’ve decided to call my beauty posts “VANITY”. In time I may find that this word no longer represents how I feel, but currently this word and what it means to me are something I want to share on this blog.

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Winterizing My Skincare Routine

The winter’s characteristic frigid cold air, absurdly rainy weather, and constant wind chills make my skin very very sad. For someone with combination skin that leans towards dry in the winter and oily in the summer, my skin is practically begging for moisture.

Instead of ignoring my face’s desperate calls for help this season, I decided to ramp up my skincare routine to contain products that counter my skins desire to be dry, and instead imbue it with a ton of moisture and hydration.

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Lush Herbalism Review

 

I feel like blogging about Lush has become sort of a right of passage for most lifestyle bloggers, and like the rest I’m going to do a review of a Lush product.

Now I’m not a huge Lush fangirl. I find most of their products to be waaay too expensive and sort of ineffectual. I used to use a ton of Lush stuff when I was in high school, but over time I’ve started leaning towards Sephora for my skincare needs. After running out of my Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser to treat my random summer cystic acne (in my all natural skincare regimen), I decided to switch to using Lush Herbalism.

Marvel at the greenness

Product Information

Lush Herbalism is marketed as an all natural cleanser and gentle exfoliator for oily, acne-prone skin. The product contains a “deep-cleansing base of kaolin clay, and rice bran mops…and a toning bled of rosemary, nettle, and chamomile leaves” and contains chlorophyllin. All these herbs are meant to help tone the skin, balance oil production, and help to prevent blemishes. Like most other Lush cleansers, Herbalism is sold in a sort of crumbly ball. To use the product you take a chunk in your hand, add water until it forms a paste, and apply it to your face.

Herbalism is sold in two sizes, 3.5 ounces and 8.4 ounces. For the smaller option, the price is around $14 and the larger size is $34, so it ain’t cheap. However, it lasts for a pretty long time if you use it sparingly (unlike how I use it in big ol’ pieces).

Review

I’ve used Herbalism pretty consistently for the past month and a little bit. So far, I’ve really been loving Herbalism. I have combination, that leans more to the dry side in the autumn, acne prone, and sensitive skin. Using this cleanser twice a day hasn’t dried my skin out at all and has really made my skin glowy. The ground up almonds in the cleanser make it a really gentle and amazing exfoliator. I don’t know if my acne has necessarily gone away because of the cleanser, but since I started using it I haven’t had big cystic acne flare ups (does correlation equal causation in this situation?).
For the price, it’s not a bad amount of product. Of course if you used less the product would last longer. Since Herbalism is a crumbly, solid cleanser, it is a tad messy throughout the cleansing process, but as long as you use it over a sink it’s not too bad.
The smell of the product is a fairly strong herbal scent, but it’s not overwhelming or unpleasant.
Overall, I’ve been really enjoying this product and I plan on repurchasing it when I run out!


What’s your favorite Lush cleanser? Let me know in the comments 🙂

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Early Autumn Favorites

Autumn is getting into full swing now, so it’s time for another seasonal favorites post! I haven’t done a favorites post in ages because usually my favorites are quite static from month to month; but after doing a ton of back to school shopping, I have enough new favorites to share in a post!

Beauty & Skincare

 

I love love love Bite Cosmetics. This matte lip pencil is the perfect red for my skin tone and adds the right amount of pizzaz to my generally basic makeup. Even though it’s a matte pencil, my lips don’t ever get dry using this product and it lasts a pretty long time. The only bummer is that it can and will come off onto any coffee cup or water bottle, but as long as I have a tissue on hand it’s no problem.

This pencil comes in a ton of other shades too ranging from blush nudes to deep plummy hues. I’m definitely going to add some more to my collection as fall progresses.

 Josie Maran Argan Oil Light

After going to Morocco, I brought back a ton of Argan Oil, but after two year my supply is nonexistent. When I went to Sephora recently, my mom got a few samples of the Josie Maran Argan Oil Light for us to try out and compare to the Argan Oil I’d brought back from Morocco.
Since this is a “light” Argan Oil, it doesn’t leave my skin with the same oiliness that traditional Argan Oil does, which is great if I want to wear it in the morning under my moisturizer. In my daily skin care routine I use this product after cleansing and toning my skin in place of a moisturizer. When I wake up in the morning my skin feels really soft and hydrated.

Lush Herbalism

Herbalism is a great gentle, all natural exfoliator for oily/acne prone skin, and I’ve found that it still works really well for my combination skin as well.

I honestly have nothing but good things to say about Herbalism. After using this product for about a week, there’s already been a huge improvement in my skin. Some of the cystic acne that I’ve had on my cheeks have completely gone away and I haven’t seen any breakouts at all this week. Since it’s such a gentle cleanser, I’ve been using it morning and night and I haven’t had any dryness at all.

I would 10/10 recommend this product.

Clothing & Accessories

American Eagle Tomgirl Jeans

I’ve been looking for a good pair of boyfriend jeans for ages now, but they always seem to fit really badly on my pear shaped body or they end up looking like straight leg jeans (which are not the business for my body type).
I mostly buy my jeans from American Eagle because they have really good quality pants, and these jeans did not disappoint. Even though they’re a looser fit than my usual black skinny jeans, they’re incredibly flattering and fit really well. They have quite a few rips as well, which help to make any look more casual and add a nice bit of edge.
I typically style these jeans with a pair of ankle booties and my leather jacket for a nice fall look.
Oh, and if you end up buying these jeans, you may want to size down for a better fit.

Via Spiga Julietta Glasses

As I’ve gotten older, my eyesight has gotten even worse and this month it was time to buy a new pair of glasses. I used to have super hipster, like really hipster thick black framed glasses, but this time around I decided to go with a bit more classic, softer hipster vibe.

These glasses evoke a librarian and sassy grandma aesthetic that I really really like. They have a brown tortoise coloring that is a lot softer and less in your face than my previous glasses. Plus, they have a sweet little cat eye that I think elevates the look of the glasses a lot.

I bought my glasses from Costco because #mommagotacostcocard, but I think they sell these glasses online too.

Tea!

The Republic of Tea: Hot Apple Cider Tea

I’m all about treating myself, so when I saw this tea at the plant nursery (weird I know) after moving into my dorm, I had to have it. The tea is really aromatic and fills my room with this lovely autumnal smell of apples and cloves. The tea tastes just like apple cider too and without all the artificial sweetener that the powder kind usually does.

Media

Music

Hotline Bling by Drake
I’m usually not a huge fan of rap, but this song is sooo good. It’s been my go to getting ready and putting my makeup song for this past month.

T.V.

Yu-Gi-Oh
I think I was watching this show when I did my Mid-Summer Favorites post a few months past or mentioned it in a Week in Review a while ago. Basically, Yu-Gi-Oh is this anime I used to watch in elementary school and it’s really bad, but I’m watching it for the nostalgia. I’m on season 2 now and my goodness it’s so wonderfully bad.
What things have you been loving this season? Let me know in the comments 🙂
 
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How I’m Clearing My Skin All Naturally

*this post contains Amazon affiliate links

My skin kind of sucks. I used to have a glowing visage back in my youth  (I’m only 18 so maybe this is a little dramatic) and perfect skin. Sure I had a bit of acne scarring, but all in all my skin was pretty nice. And then everything changed when the fire nation attacked…I mean when I started college. The instant I began my first quarter, my skin was like nah that clear skin stuff is lame and was rife with acne, and not just any acne either. It was cystic acne.


Cystic ance is like regular acnes angry, misunderstood sibling. It’s not caused by diet completely or bad skincare practices. Cystic acne is caused by hormones/genetics and has a ton of triggers like too much dairy, letting sweat sit on the skin, menstruation, and stress. It differs from other kind of acne because it’s like an infection/build of up skin cells/oils that sit beneath the surface of the skin.

I’ve always kind of dealt with cystic acne, but I think the stressors of college really propelled my cystic acne into full swing.

When cystic acne gets really bad dermatologists and doctors prescribe medicine or treatments to clear this type of acne. However, I’m going through an all natural phase right now, and I really want to treat my cystic acne, general acne, and hyperpigmentation naturally.

Alongside a healthy diet, trying to limit my stress, and drinking plenty of water to combat other to keep myself healthy, I’ve begun using 4 natural products that have set my skin on the path to blemish free once more.

Honey & Spices Mask

For the past few weeks, I’ve been making a DIY honey skin mask to help treat my troubled skin. Honey is great for the skin because it’s a natural antioxidant, humectant, antibacterial and antimicrobial product. Honey helps to heal scar damage on skin, prevent infection, and bring moisture back to the skin. The moisture brining purposes of honey are great since the other parts of getting rid of cystic acne involve drying out the skin.

In addition to raw honey, I add nutmeg, cinnamon, and turmeric following this DIY Honey Nutmeg Face Mask recipe from lizmarieblog.com. I know it seems like I’m throwing the whole spice rack on my face, but seriously this mask is the business. If you have cystic acne, you know that the acne is oftentimes inflamed and painful. Nutmeg is a known anti-imflammatory that reduces redness and like honey, nutmeg also has antibacterial properties. The cinnamon adds additional “get rid of acne” effects and helps to dry out acne. The most epic part and addition to this mask is turmeric. I’ve never used turmeric before, but it’s really great for the skin. It’s an awesome gentle exfoliator, helps heal acne scars, reduce inflammation, and make the skin less oily. Make sure you rinse your skin off a lot after using it because the yellow coloration lasts for a bit.

the ingredients you’ll need for this mask

I leave this mask on for about a half hour or however long it takes for the honey dripping down my face to become uncomfortable. I use this mask way too often (I would recommend like once a week) after I cleanse my skin.

Witch hazel


Witch Hazel is honestly the most wonderful toner I’ve ever used on my skin. I usually don’t like toners because they burn like heck, but use them because they’re a necessary evil. Witch Hazel is different though. It’s never made my skin burn, but it still seems like it’s working.

Witch Hazel is the main ingredient in a ton of toners because it’s a natural astringent meaning that it helps to control the skins oil production and minimizes the appearance of pores. It also helps to reduce the appearance of acne inflammation, which makes it amazing for those dealing with cystic acne.

Unlike most toners, witch hazel is super cheap! I got a 16 oz. container for like $6, plus all you need is a little, so it lasts a while. I use Witch Hazel after cleansing my skin or using a face mask.

Buy Witch Hazel here!


Tea Tree Oil 


Tea Tree Oil may smell absolutely awful, but it’s effects on the skin are amazing. Applied topically (the only way it should ever be used) Tea Tree Oil helps to dry out and kill the bacteria that causes acne. It should also be applied with a carrier oil like castor oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil because it is rough on the skin. It’s incredibly drying and on sensitive skin it could be to harsh. You should definitely do a spot test to make sure you don’t have any allergies before using this oil.

I use Tea Tree Oil nightly after toning my face with Witch Hazel. Then I apply Jamaican Black Castor Oil over the Tea Tree Oil, mixing it in all together with a Q-tip.

Buy Tea Tree Oil here!

Jamaican Black Castor Oil


I’m still trying to grow my eyebrows with Jamaican Black Castor Oil, but I never realized it had so many topical benefits for the skin. Though it’s a thick, goopy sort of oil, Jamaican Black Castor Oil helps to cleanse the skin and remove impurities that would cause acne. Additionally it moisturizes the skin and contains ricinoleic acid an anti-imflammatory.

In the past two weeks that I’ve been using Jamaican Black Castor Oil, the majority of the acne scarring and discoloration on my face has faded…like a lot.

I apply the JBCO with a Q-tip to the parts of my skin with acne and scarring on top of Tea Tree Oil (since it requires a carrier oil)

Buy Jamaican Black Castor Oil

And that’s been basically it! All of these additions to my skin care routine have been saving my skin lately and hopefully by the time the school year starts, all my cystic acne will be cleared up!

What are your favorite DIY face masks? Let me know in the comments 🙂


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