The Skincare Products That Are Honestly Worth The Cost

I want to start this out with a confession – at 24, I caved and got Botox. Just a quick and easy 15 units to fix up my elevens, and let me tell you, I get why people are addicted to it. My skin looks like a porcelain china doll, yet still dewey and glowey.

(if you’re in the DFW area, hit up @drdemetri on IG for all your pretty work.)

But let’s be honest. Botox isn’t the only thing that has been a game-changer for my skin lately. A few new products have been added to my skincare routine in the past couple months that I swear are basically like over-the-counter plastic surgery.

 

  1. Let’s start with the OROGOLD cosmetics exfoliate. Out of the products I’m mentioning in the post, this I’ve had the longest – yet there are still so many uses in that little bottle, I can’t believe it. At $88 for 1.76 oz. of products, it ain’t cheap. But I SWEAR by this stuff. The idea is that gold is much finer of an exfoliate than your typical beads, sugar or salt scrubs, so it’s able to really lift the dirt from your pores without causing damage, leaving you with baby soft, smooth skin. And the proof is in the pudding (is that a real thing?) When you rub a dime size pump of the product on your face, you will literally SEE the black and brown and nasties from your skin form little balls that you rinse away with a splash of water. Because it’s such a deep exfoliate (and expensive af) I only use it once a week. Even so, the residue on my skin is getting much less black and gross over time – which I would assume mean the product is doing its job extremely effectively.
  2. Next up, we have Dr. Dennis Gross Glow Pads. This is a spin-off of his Alpha-Beta chemical peel pads (which are supposed to be bomb dot com) but with facial tanning properties added to it. I don’t think it’s as strong of a peel as the OG product, but I personally don’t feel the need to peel that often as acne isn’t a big concern of mine, rather hydration, moisturizer and, hello – glow. They sell this in gradual and intense glow. I have the intense glow and it’s V effective. It’s so easy too! About once a week, or before an event or shoot, I thoroughly rub my face with a towel in circular motions, making sure I go over every nook and cranny (i am killing it with the old people’s sayings rn) as well as down my neck. I always do this at night and the next morning my face is seriously a full shade tanner. But not an unnatural looking tan at all. And your girl is pale, so that’s easy to do. It lasts a while, and even longer if you do it two days in a row. Will definitely be looking into more of Dr. Gross’s products in the future.
  3. Jart will be the third doctor mentioned on here. These titles should be enough credibility of their greatness without me ranting and raving about them – but I’m going to do it anyways. I’ve used a couple of products from this brand, including the facemasks (saving for another post – stay tuned) and have yielded amazing results from everything. But my current obsession is the Dr. Jart premium BB cream. If you’re still using foundation and don’t even know about BB or CC cream, GET OUT FROM UNDER YOUR ROCK. This alternative to stuffy, smothering foundation is life-changing. Not only does it have 45 SPF (literally never going back) it’s hydrating, reduces pore size, protects against other environmental damages, all while evening out skin tone and hiding blemishes. I won’t lie – it’s not a full coverage situation, so if you struggle with acne you might not love it. But the great thing about this product is it does work on your face all day long instead of a foundation that’s not breathable and is suffocating your pores, causing even more breakouts. It might be worth rocking some pimples to clear up your skin in the end.
  4. Lastly, can’t forget about Merle Norman. My mom, future sister-in-law and I went to the studio in my hometown over Christmas and got all the works Merle has to offer, steam facial and all. It’s pretty obvi I’m into skin hydration more than anything, so when we applied the Energizing Concentrate serum, a bottle of it naturally made its way home with me. When it comes to hydrating serums, she takes the cake. The formula is lightweight, goes on silky smooth and leaves your skin glistening. And a little goes a long way – I’ve barely made a dent in my 1 oz. bottle in over two months.

 

OK so I know none of these would probably be categorized as “affordable,” but if you spend a little extra money taking care of your skin, you won’t have to spend as much money on make-up! (far reach?) And they will last you quite a while, so it’s worth the investment. I would say I’ll do a post on less-expensive products, but I threw them all away. (lol, jk, maybe one day.)

-xoLK-

 

How One Daily Gummy Has Freed Me From The Nail Salon For Good

The other day, my friend Rik was telling me how she is finding better ways to do her nails at home because, well, nail salons suck.

And for the most part, they really do. Don’t get me wrong, I will never not indulge in a lengthy pedicure – with salt scrub, hot wax, orange slices and rose petals, hold the stone massage sub extra foot love, casual – but when it comes to my hands, a manicure nothing but inconvenient. We’ve got our phones and drinks and things to touch, OK?

So lately I’ve just been getting my toes done – and I mean all out, no holding back done – and getting my nails cleaned up and buffed instead of a complete manicure.

No tips, no gel polish, no dip powder, nada.

I do this every now and then to let my nails “breathe,” and it helps somewhat, but normally I revert back to adhesive and plastic on my fingertips at some point because my nails were never strong enough without them. Until now, that is.

At first, I honestly couldn’t have told you what was making my nails grow like freaking tumbleweed. But after a little research and a look at my dietary and supplemental changes, I figured it out. Olly Nutrition Purely Probiotics.

I got them, along with the fiber gummies, before my trip to trim my tummy for the beach (high fiber, low protein diet – may not be glamorous but shit works ((pun intended)). But I didn’t realize the other benefits probiotics had aside from digestive health.

If you don’t know about probiotics, let me break it down for you as well as I, a non-doctoral human, can: Probiotics are good bacteria and yeast that keep your gut happy and functioning efficiently. While the label “bacteria” may be more commonly associated with sickness and disease, our bodies need to be balanced with both to function. And when you take antibiotics, which kill all bacteria, you lose a lot of this good, helpful bacteria in the process (totally resonates with my anti-prescription mentality).

They are found naturally in fermented food or drink such as yogurt and kombucha, which makes sense why I have never had a diet high in probiotics – I hate yogurt and kombucha is expensive.

Seriously makes these gummies the best discovery of the year already.

After a little googling, I found that probiotics also help with wrinkle prevention by eliminating damaging toxins that lead to signs of aging and increasing the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and maintain hydration. They may even act as protection against sun damage, although there isn’t as much research to back this theory (the science people say it looks promising though).

So basically what I’ve concluded is that probiotics are the tits and you should be eating them – but don’t over-do it. I take the supplements about 5 days a week and that seems to work well for me. If your diet has probiotics in it already, maybe take them less or add more foods naturally source with them.

Doesn’t matter how you do it, but trust me, you want to do it.

The only thing this post is sponsored by is my happy bank account now that I’m saving money at the salon each month. *cha-ching*

–xoLK–

 

My Favorite Things To Do In The Shower

 

Ok, ok, get your mind out of the gutter. Or should I say drain?

The shower is a happy place for me. It’s a time to unwind, relax, get pampered, all without other humans to interrupt (most of the time..)

Seriously though, nothing beats a scalding hot shower. And it’s the perfect place to catch up on beauty regimens all at once. Here are a few things that you need to incorporate into your shower at least once a week for softer skin and healthier hair.

But before we get into it, here’s a sideshow of some photos from my trip to Kaua’i (:

 

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Exfoliating gloves – I’m an exfoliate freak. Sometimes I wish I could molt like a crab and shed all the dead skin, hair and dirt on my body once a month – but that’d be gross. So instead I use these gloves once or twice a week to get my skin baby’s butt smooth. It’s just too easy, throw the gloves on with a healthy glob of moisturizing lotion (my fav is philosophy, but it’s pretty pricey, so sometimes i opt for dove instead) and start rubbing as hard as you can. Until you feel like you’re rubbing your skin off your bones. Personally, I enjoy the feeling, but it may not be the most comfortable for some people. If you can bear through it though, when you take the gloves off and touch yourself, you’ll know it was worth it.

Salt scrub – Surprise, surprise. Another exfoliating tip. I stumbled upon this product during the Amazon Prime Day sale last year and have been reordering it monthly since. I even ordered a bunch for family Christmas presents – and they all LOVE it. The ingredients are all natural with stuff like sea salt, almond oil, coconut oil and some other stuff. The instructions advise to leave it on your skin until it dries, then to scrub it off, but honestly it works just as well if you just give yourself a good rub down and rinse right after. If I’m feeling a little extra, I’ll put it on my shoulders, neck and arms while sitting in the bath for 10 or so minutes, but not necessary at all. It says it’s safe for the face, but I avoid it and stop at my chin. My face requires a little extra TLC.

Coconut oil for dry ends – While coconut oil has a bit of a reputation for being overused and excessively glorified, it really is the best for dry, split ends. My hair is extra dry from heat exposure, bleaching it and honestly just genetics, so I’m always looking for the best way to give my ends life. Instead of using expensive products that more often than not don’t live up to promised expectations, I’ve found the cure-all coconut oil solution is the best and most affordable. Sometimes I’ll put a thick coat (only on the ends) right before bed and sleep in it, then wash it out the next morning in the shower. But if that’s not an option, I run it through my hair right before I get in the shower and throw a hair cap on. Then instead of washing my hair right away, I get to shaving, exfoliating and anything else that needs to be done, saving my hair for last. The steam from the shower and insulation of the hair cap helps the oil work faster and leaves my ends nice and smooth.

 

Efficiency is the name of the game, and if I can help my skin, hair, teeth and whatever else all in one shower session, I’m a happy camper. I usually do this full routine once a week with normal, shorter showers in between.

-xoLK-

My Secret Weapon For Blinding Highlight

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So the other day I posted this photo and got a lot of comments on how blinding my highlight is.

Well today is your lucky day, cause I’m gonna share my secret weapon with y’all.

 ultimate-glow-kit

I’ve been using the Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit since its release and the colors are SO pigmented, it honestly works wonders by itself. Every color blends perfectly with my skin tone. I’ve also used it on friends with darker tones than me and it really works for everyone.

My favorite colors are Snow when I want a less dramatic look and Hot Sand when I want to be blinding AF. Amber Gold has a pretty pink undertone to it, so I sometimes mix it with my blush. I used a mix of Sunray and Hot Sand for the look above.

But that’s not my secret weapon…

By rubbing a TINY tiny dab of Aquaphor high on the cheekbone where highlight goes, the powder turns into almost a gel and makes it stick where you want it with insane pigmentation. Sometimes if I really want to shine, I’ll throw a little on my collar bones too and dust my desired highlight color over it.

Top it all off with your favorite setting spray and you’re ready to fucking slay!

I saw a tip that involved Swarovski stones and some other secrets for perfect photo highlight. Comment below if you want to see a post about this!

-xoLK-