Wednesday, July 30, 2014

MY LUSH SKINCARE ROUTINE


Hello my lovelies! 

Today I'm going to be talking about something near and dear to my heart: LUSH Cosmetics. What's even better? I got hired there last month! LUSH is an incredible UK based company that is very popular among beauty bloggers all over the world. All of the products are handmade with fresh ingredients and without any animal testing. All of the products are vegetarian and many of them are vegan. The most popular products that are often talked about in the beauty blogger community are the bath bombs. Yes, they are incredible and beautiful and they make you feel like a goddess when you emerge from your bath but LUSH has many different things to offer that I think get overlooked for the prettier looking products. I have been through five days of intensive training and have a month and a half of selling experience and I like to think I have learned a lot in that time. Over the next few weeks I am going to be making a lot of posts about LUSH, focusing on a different section of the brand in each. Today we're going to be talking about my personal skincare routine and I'll also link all of the other skin care products so you can find the right one for you! 


Skin Care has a wide variety of meanings to different people and LUSH makes sure to cater to all of those different needs with their products. I'm going to go through each product I use to take care of the delicate skin on my face one by one. If anyone has any questions or would like recommendations on which products to use for their skin just leave a comment and I would be happy to help! I just want to make clear that I am NOT a trained skin care professional. All of the knowledge I have was gained through my LUSH training, using the products, and working with customers. 



The first thing I do in my skincare routine is remove my makeup. For this I use Ultrabland and oh my god, this stuff is a dream come true. Before discovering this magical product, I used Neutrogena makeup remover wipes and they always left my skin feeling greasy and raw. With Ultrabland's base of beeswax, honey, and rich essential oils, it goes on smoothly and cuts through makeup (even waterproof mascara!) like a dream. It also contains rosewater and iris flower extract which soothe and calm the skin leaving it even toned and smooth and a babies' bum. To use, all you do it rub a bit on a dry face and wipe clean with a warm damp paper towel or washcloth. I will recommend this product until the day I die. It is seriously that good. 


The next step in my routine is exfoliating. I typically exfoliate 2-3 times a week. However, everyone's skin is different. Some of you could probably get away with exfoliating once a week and some of you may need to do it everyday. The most important thing to do when thinking about your skincare routine is to listen to your skin and do whatever feels right for it! Whenever I feel the need to scrub away all that dead skin and build up from the past few days, I turn to Ocean Salt. This is a sea salt scrub made with fine and coarse sea salt to exfoliate, avocado and coconut to hydrate, and vodka and lime for a deep penetrating cleanse. The great thing about this exfoliator is that you can use it on your body, too! I love to use it on my arms and legs before shaving for the closest, smoothest shave I've ever gotten. Because of all the salt, this is a harsher exfoliate (I like rough ones, I feel like they're really getting in there and cleansing my pores) but for those of you who like a bit of a gentler exfoliate, well we'll get to that in a little bit.



On the days I don't exfoliate I still need to cleanse! To do this, I use Aqua Marina, a clay based cleanser made with seaweed, calamine, and aloe vera gel. This cleanser is insanely soothing. I have a lot of redness on my face and the calamine has helped reduce it immensely. Meanwhile, the seaweed leaves my skin feeling softer than anything I have ever imagined. It is so nourishing and soothing and all around amazing. Seriously. Try it out. 
Other Cleansers: Dark Angels (gently exfoliating), Angels on Bare Skin (gently exfoliating), Let The Good Times Roll (gently exfoliating), Herbalism, Fresh Farmacy, Coalface, 9 to 5 



So! After cleansing I move onto a toner. Using a toner is a great way to really open up your pores, absorb some extra essential oils, and prepare your skin for a moisturizer. It also helps minimize the amount of moisturizer you'll need because the ingredients in the water help spread the tiniest bit of moisturizer to its maximum amount. LUSH carries three different toners but my favorite one is Eau Roma Water (pronounced Aroma). It is the best one for sensitive skin (me!) and mature or dry skin. An amazing blend of rose and lavender essential oils, the rose is cooling and soothing while the lavender helps your skin produce the right amount of oil to keep you fresh and smooth. This is also great to use right after working out! Especially if you can't wash your face right away. Just a spritz of this stuff and you'll be refreshed and ready to go! 
Other Toners: Tea Tree Water, Breath of Fresh Air, Tea Tree Toner Tab, Dream Steam Toner Tab



Now, the final step is to moisturize. LUSH has an abundance of moisturizers for every type of skin you can imagine. My skin is fairly neutral. I don't get breakouts and it's never too oily or too dry. A lot of you are probably going to hate me for that! I do have a lot of redness though and for that I turn to Celestial, a medium weight moisturizer. With a heavenly mixture of almond oil, cocoa butter, vanilla water, and dove orchid extract, this moisturizer is equal parts hydrating and soothing. Plus it smells so incredibly yummy! This moisturizer is to die for! 
Other Moisturizers: Enzymion, Vanishing Cream, Imperialis, Cosmetic Lad,  Gorgeous, Skin's Shangri La, Skin Drink



A few times a week I like to sit back and relax with a face mask. They're great for revitalizing your skin and really keeping it at its best. When I feel like my face is in need there are two masks I turn to. The first is BB Seaweed. This is one of our incredible fresh face masks made with seaweed to nourish the skin, finely ground almonds to gently exfoliate, aloe vera gel and rose absolute to soothe and calm, and honey and olive oil to moisturize. This mask always leaves me feeling refreshed with softer skin than I could ever imagine. LUSH's fresh face masks are so fresh that they can only be bough in-store. They are cooked up every Wednesday and delivered to the store on Thursday mornings (yes, every store!). They also need to be kept refrigerated or they will expire! They last for three weeks and are good for five to eight uses.
More Fresh Face Masks: Catastrophe Cosmetic, Cupcake, Brazened Honey, Love Lettuce, Oatifix, Cosmetic Warrior, The Sacred Truth, Ayesha



When I feel like I need a mask that cleanses a little deeper, I turn to the holy grail of face masks: Mask of Magnaminty. Fresh peppermint stimulates the skin while China clay provides an intensive deep cleanse. Ground adzuki beans give a gentle exfoliation while vanilla absolute calm any redness or irritation and honey soothes the skin. This mask really does do everything. Plus it smells so refreshingly pepperminty and gives a slight tingly sensation on the skin. I use this one about once a week. A great thing about this mask is it doesn't have to be kept refrigerated! I will always, always, always recommend this mask. 

That's it for skin care, beauties! If you have any questions about which LUSH skincare products would be best suited for you just leave a comment below and I'll help you come up with your own daily routine! I hope you enjoyed my LUSH focus because there will be many more to come!


    
  
          

Saturday, July 26, 2014

CHANEL HAUTE COUTURE FW 2014-2015: TOP 5 LOOKS



Hello, my lovelies! It has been too long since I've posted (sorry!) but I'm back now hopefully for good! Today I am going to be talking about something near and dear to my heart: Chanel. The pure essence of sophistication, Chanel is a brand whose legacy will live on forever in the world of fashion; or should I say Mademoiselle's legacy. The Fall/Winter 2014-2015 Haute Couture collection hit the runway at the Grand Palais in Paris on July 8th and the fashion world has been singing its praise ever since. From the signature tweed suit to some of the most intricate and gorgeous beadwork I have ever seen to unnaturally beautiful silhouettes created by the structured designs of one Mr. Karl Lagerfeld, this collection is absolutely breathtaking. With every Chanel show comes something completely different but one factor always remains the same: Karl Lagerfeld's impeccable talent of making textiles, patterns, and accessories that should not go together look effortlessly chic and put together. This collection was no exception. Every outfit was paired with sandals that wrapped up the model's ankles. Sandals are the last thing that should work in a winter collection but somehow, Lagerfeld makes you accept it without question. 
     This collection was filled with 70 absolutely stunning pieces. After studying each image in immense detail I have painstakingly narrowed my favorites down to five. I think each piece hits on a different element of the show and gives a really good idea of what it was all about.

Look #24





















I think this one might be my favorite. This look is absolutely breathtaking. The details are beautiful almost beyond words. The collar and shoulders are embellished with deep and bright reds with some tan accents mixed in with what almost look like camellias, the signature flower of Chanel that has appeared in many designs over the years. The structured shoulders are a nice touch and give a very interesting silhouette. The torso is covered in what almost looks like crystals or ice backed by a bright red fabric. It reminds me of snowfall when it hasn't completely covered the ground; it's uneven in its placement and you can still glimpse a distorted view of what's underneath. The way this section of the piece was designed gives it a delicacy that would be very difficult to recreate. Moving further down the piece, at the waistline it is divided into another section and the silhouette flares out into somewhat of a bubble skirt shape. The design of the red flowers from the collar and shoulders has been carried down into the skirt and this gives the piece and very consistent and finished look. I think if the crystal-like embellishments has been carried down into the skirt the piece would have looked unfinished. The piece as a whole screams Christmas to me. It looks like a very festive holiday piece and I would be absolutely honored to wear this for a Christmas celebration. Now, the most interesting thing about this piece, and the collection as a whole, is Karl's decision to finish off these winter looks with sandals (although not quite as daring as pairing running sneakers with delicate spring dresses as he did earlier this year). Every model had a pair of toe-thong sandals with fabric that laced up the ankles and tied into a bow in the front. This potentially could have been a disaster. But with the right colors, fabrics, and his impeccable eye for beauty, Karl made it work. For this design in particular, the tan color that was a very subtle accent in the dress's design has been carried down into the sandals and this is what polishes off the look.


Look #37


























The second look I chose is this beautiful grayish-purple fur-like dress. The cascading ruffles of fabric give this dress a beautiful flow and the detached fur sleeves give it a stunning and very interesting visual element that one would not expect. Very small camellias of a darker color are placed randomly throughout the dress and this adds yet another interesting visual element that makes you really want to study it in detail. This look is extraordinarily beautiful and very feminine. This piece was paired with diamond embellished sandals of the same grayish-purple color. This is definitely one of the most unique looks in the whole collection. 

Look #56



This look is one of my absolute favorites. The deep red is such a gorgeous color for winter. I love it so much. The two toned collar is such a great touch of detail and the three buttons down the center make me go absolutely crazy. I am obsessed with buttons and I think they give this look a very polished and sophisticated feeling. It is funny how something as simple as buttons can change an entire piece. The beadwork on the shoulders and sleeves is so intricate and delicate looking and I love that Karl brought it down into the shorts that stick out of the bottom of the skirt. It gives the look a very finite feeling. The piping of deep red velvet on the hem of the skirt and sleeves is also a beautiful touch and velvet is the perfect fabric for winter. The look is topped off with white diamond embellished sandals with the same deep red carried down into the bows. This look is so sophisticated and chic and the model has the perfect, delicate frame to carry it and make it look ultra feminine. 

Look #40





















I. Am. Obsessed. With. This. Look. I don't even know where to start. The whole thing is just perfect. The neckline is perfectly lined with this beautiful white beading that accents the rest of the look perfectly and the deep V adds an element to this piece that the others don't have. I love the two silver crest-like embellishments on the chest; they almost scream royalty. The rest of the top has a quilted pattern of what looks like the same white beading that frames the neckline and the sleeves. The silver band around the waist is such a cute, feminine little touch that breaks up the look nicely. Now the skirt. Oh my god, the skirt. This is my favorite thing in the universe. Ever. The top section of the skirt has a white chevron pattern that looks to be the same white beading from the top with bigger sections of slightly silver chevron interspersed throughout. Then it has this absolutely beautiful tulle bottom that has little pieces of white fringe lining the top of it. To me it looks like a very sophisticated almost business-like ballerina. This is what a ballerina would wear to an office job. Hell, I'm nowhere near a ballerina and I would wear this to the grocery store. Yes, I'm that in love with it. The look is topped off with white sandals embellished with the same beading from the top and pretty white bows. Ugh, I'm just obsessed with this. I need to calm down. 


Look #55




Intricate beadwork seems to have been a reigning theme in this collection and that rings true for the last look I've picked. With its high, structured collar, split front, and gold and orangey-red beadwork this looks to me like something royalty would wear. It's such a sophisticated look. My favorite part of this look is the beadwork lining the bottom of the skirt and the shorts underneath. I love how it climbs up the skirt looking like branches or vines with and abundance of beautiful red, orange, gold, and silver flowers coating the bottom. I especially love that this design is carried onto the sleeves too. Karl is very consistent in making sure his designs look completely finished and polished by carrying very tiny details all throughout a piece and I love that about him. This look is topped off with gold sandals with the same beadwork and white bows around the ankles. 

It was so unbelievably difficult to narrow my favorites down to five (that's why this post is so late!) but I think the ones that I chose encompass the theme and over feeling of elegance that the collection as a whole presents. This show was very mesmerizing to watch and I definitely recommend checking it out! To see all 70 looks, you can click right here OR to watch the full runway show, click here. I hope you all enjoyed this post! Make sure to let me know what your favorite looks from the show were in the comments!