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Phytosurgence Inferno Blush Balm Review & Swatches

Phytosurgence Inferno Skin Spark Blush Balm ($17.07 for 0.14 oz.) is a richer, more orange-toned brown with warm undertones and a natural finish. It had opaque color coverage with very little product, so those who prefer a sheerer effect will want to take care to use a very, very light hand when working with the formula. I found the consistency to be creamier with moderate glide, which helped it diffuse and sheer out more readily on my skin, so it was somewhat forgiving–it’s just so pigmented, though, that it’s easier to start with less!

The formula dried down slightly, so it wasn’t quite as dewy initially and had more of a soft glow/sheen–more “skin-like” than dewy. This helped it be more transfer-resistant and have better, more consistent wear. It lasted nicely for eight hours before fading visibly.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$17.07/0.14 oz. – $121.93 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have a “somewhat powder like finish” without being “sticky or greasy” paired with a “moussey cream” consistency. The brand advises to use very little as it is an “incredibly pigmented product” that is designed to be “sheered out” and used “onto bare skin or on top of other base makeup.”

It is imperative to use the smallest amount; it may be even better to pick up product with a stippling brush gently and swirl once on the back of one’s hand to ensure there’s not too much on the brush–the formula is THAT pigmented! With fingertips, just one gentle tap of of my index finger on the surface was enough for each cheek; there’s no need to swirl.

The consistency felt creamy, dense but not overly firm in the pot, and it was easy to apply and blend out on bare skin or on top of foundation. I liked to apply with fingertips as I felt like it extended my working time and gave me the ability to have the product on one fingertip and then use a clean fingertip to diffuse and blend.

The formula dries down to a satin finish, not quite matte but not dewy. It looked very “skin-like” as the product sat seamlessly on my skin, let my skin’s natural finish come through, and was more transfer-resistant as a result of the more noticeable dry down. I preferred working one cheek at a time because it does become harder to blend once it dries down, but I had enough working time without feeling rushed (per cheek).

The shades wore between seven and eight hours on me before fading a bit, but they had an even fade and didn’t slide/migrate as they wore down.

One thing I noticed was that a few shades seemed to have a warmer base when I did the sheerer/more blended out swatch, but they seemed less apt to turn warmer when I applied to my cheeks (see Fervor swatched vs. applied).

Browse all of our Phytosurgence Skin Spark Blush Balm swatches.

Ingredients

Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Isopropyl Myristate, Copernicia Prunifera (Carnauba) Wax, Garcinia Indica (Kokum) Butter, Magnesium Stearate, Theobroma Grandiflorum (Cupuacu) Butter, Boron Nitride, Phenoxyethanol (and) Caprylyl Glycol, Tocopherol. May Contain: Zinc Oxide (CI 77947), Titanium Dioxide (CI 77891), Red 40 (CI 16035). Yellow 5 (CI 19140), Blue 1 (CI 42090), Iron Oxides (CI 77492, 77491), Manganese Violet (CI 77742)

Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer)
at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable
to the product you’re purchasing, or the brand or retailer’s website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.

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Inside Lunya Founder, Ashley Merrill’s Home — it’s Breezy and Beachy

Ashley Merrill knows a thing or two about living comfortably. As the founder of the modern loungewear line Lunya, she spends her days perfecting the art of lounging (hello washable silk robes and linen rompers!). And when she’s off the clock, she heads home to the Malibu beach house she shares with her husband and children, where the cozy, pared-back aesthetic of her brand comes fully to life. Trust us when we say you’re going to fall in love with Ashley Merrill’s home.

Since moving into the breezy home two years ago, Merrill has transformed the space into a place where she can always tap into a vacation state of mind.

It’s a vibe that her home’s killer views of the Pacific Ocean, breezy light wood accents, and swaths of creamy white textiles certainly help achieve.

Read on to discover her take on beach living, how to bring a little bit of Zen into every space (ocean views not required), and shop Ashley Merrill’s home.

How did you end up in this beautiful beach house?

We purchased our home in Malibu on the beach when the kids were young and we were working so much that travel was out of the question. The house allowed us to have a “home away from home” and attempt to turn our brains off a little.

Shop the space

Cozy up with this exquisitely warm wool throw. It’s insanely soft with a silky finish for the best cuddle you’ve ever experienced.

Buy it here.

This handmade flat-weave rug is an absolutely gorgeous one-of-a-kind piece that is an absolute showstopper. It’s one of many absolutely stunning rugs in Ashley Merrill’s home.

Buy it here.

There are few things cooler than a vintage bust, and this one is perfectly worn-in, elegant, and timeless.

Buy it here.

You may not be able to get your hands on Merrill’s vintage Agnoli, but this sloping chair was produced by IKEA around the same time in the 60s. It’s in great shape, gorgeous, and unique.

Buy it here.

Who are your dream house guests?

I would love to meet Charlie Brooker, the creator of Black Mirror.

What was your biggest design challenge for the space?

The scale of the communal rooms made balance hard.

Shop the space

Reissued in 2012, these iconic Danish mid-century chairs perfectly complement Merrill’s custom table.

Buy it here.

This lovely unique vase is perfect for flower lovers. It has matte brown bubbles stretched across opaque white ceramic to create a stunning variation on your everyday vase.

Buy it here.

What’s your number one interior design tip?

Don’t feel the need to fill the space with things that don’t move you. If every piece is fabulous, you will love the outcome.

What are your favorite design resources?

Instagram and Pinterest! I love to follow Kirill Bergart, Valentina Ullberg, Nathan Lindberg, InteriorGlobe, Elena Caratnicid, and many more!

Shop the space

This understated linen bedding is woven from fine Belgian flax and stonewashed to enhance its natural softness. It’s a lightweight, breathable, and supple fabric that gets softer over time.

Buy it here.

Ensconce your plants in this gorgeous ceramic planter. It’s a unique take on an everyday ceramic pot.

Buy it here.

Merrill’s bedroom features a triptych of Bania’s work, it’s a beautiful and peaceful way to add priceless art to your home.

Buy it here.

Add a bit of plush to your bedroom with this ottoman, it’s similar to Merrill’s and is the perfect place to plop.

Buy it here.

Tell us about your amazing ocean view!

The view basically sold us on the whole house. Nature is the best way to recharge in my opinion. I feel grateful to be able to experience nature a stone’s throw away.

What are your favorite places to shop for furniture and décor?

Charish, Pomono, Hem, TRNK, and Saatchi are among my faves.

Fill in the Blank: A well designed home should represent you.

What inspired you to create Lunya?

Lunya was inspired by personal experience. I wanted something that allowed me to feel comfortable and confident at home.

How does Lunya inspire your home (and vice-versa)?

Lunya is an extension of my less-is-more mindset. I love minimalism and feel like the cool modern vibes of Lunya can work in so many styles. I use the bedrooms in my home as an opportunity to showcase design inspiration and show how seamlessly Lunya can integrate into any space.

Shop the space

Add some texture with this woven rug, it’s beautifully made on antique wooden looms.

Buy it here.

It doesn’t get much dreamier than this absolutely stunning bathtub.

Buy it here.

Made from a solid block of green wood, this simple and contemporary form is a unique addition to Merrill’s bathroom.

Buy it here.

We can’t get enough of this evocative piece of art. It looks gorgeous above Merrill’s tub.

Buy it here.

Describe your home in five words or less.

Modern, clean, minimal, family, relaxation.

What’s your favorite spot in the house?

The bedroom, always—and the view doesn’t hurt.

Shop the space

Craving a bean bag chair but don’t want to ruin your home’s aesthetic? Look no further from this gorgeous handwoven chair made from New Zealand wool. It’s one of our favorite pieces in Ashley Merrill’s home.

Buy it here.

Store your accessories in this gorgeous Ugandan basket. It’s the most stylish way to hide your clutter or jazz up a planter.

Buy it here.

Keep your toes nice and snuggly with this luxurious, plush rug.

Buy it here. 

How does comfort and relaxation play into your design inspiration?

This is a home entirely oriented around communal spaces. I wanted things to feel modular and comfortable, so there are lots of plush textures and oversized pieces. I went for a lot of white, which can be risky, but I used all washable fabrics to keep it easy for living with a family.

What is your favorite way to spend time at home?

I love hanging with the kids. Actually, my favorite moments are when we are all together, but all doing our own things.

What was the design inspiration for decorating this house?

I was inspired by the ocean. I know that feels obvious, but it was the obvious focal feature of this house, so we really oriented everything around that.

Any other final thoughts on your home?

I love mixing high and low and sometimes throwing in something that is a little unexpected. In my home and in our bedrooms, you will always see a little something that has a wink to it to keep things playful.

This post was originally published on July 22, 2020, and has since been updated.



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Lizzo Announces New Single ‘Rumors’

New Lizzo music is headed our way soon. As announced on August 2, the musician will be making her long-awaited return with a new song called “Rumors” on August 13.

Already available to pre-save, “Rumors” will be the first release from Lizzo in over two years–following the release of her third studio album, the critically acclaimed Cuz I Love You, in April 2019, and “Blame It on Your Love,” her collab with Charli XCX, in June 2019. 

Lizzo announced the single alongside what appears to be its cover art. Shot by Jora Frantzis, the picture shows Lizzo clad in a golden embellished corset (notably featuring Versace’s medusa head), fierce crystal nails, and statement gold jewelry. 

The release will come just before Lizzo is slated to make her return to the stages with a multitude of festival appearances–including Bonnaroo, Global Citizen Live, and Firefly Music Festival–as well as her own headline show at Minnesota’s Treasure Island Amphitheater on September 11.

Not much is yet known about “Rumors,” but the song was described as “yet another smash” in a press email–and we don’t doubt it. Lizzo herself teased “Rumors” would mark the start of a new era when she shared the news on her Instagram account and we are more than ready.

This post originally appeared on Teen Vogue.



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The Secret to an Effortless Hairstyle, Says Jennifer Lawrence’s Stylist

You know it when you see it. Maybe you spot someone between the aisles at the grocery store, or across the patio at brunch and their locks fall just so. Some call it “French girl hair.” The uncomplicated, unfussy tangle that may, or may not, have been brushed out that morning, but it doesn’t matter. It’s that effortless hairstyle and—in all its imperfection—it’s simply perfect. But the ironic truth behind the best natural-looking hairstyles is how much thought and care often goes into achieving them.

“Hairstyles that look effortless and undone require a personal sense of feeling and eyes that can gauge what is organically undone by embracing imperfection,” says celebrity hairstylist and R+Co Collective memberJenny Cho, who’s worked her signature textural magic on Kristin Bell, Jennifer Lawrence, Addison Rae, and more. And to be honest, we wanted to know how to master that cool, organic look Cho is known for, too.

So, we chatted with the hair whisperer to discover the secrets behind achieving that perfectly undone, effortless look for all kinds of hair types, along with her tips for a thoughtful air dry and the styles she expects to see come fall (hint: curtain bangs are here to stay).

A lot more detail goes into nailing that perfectly effortless/undone look than people might think. What are some of your favorite tips for achieving an organic approach?

My tip for achieving perfectly undone hair is to leave the natural bend or wave around the hairline and don’t blow dry or flat iron. Another trip is when curling with an iron, while the section is still hot, stretch down the curled section so it relaxes the curl to look more natural. My last tip is to have the right product that can help achieve the undone look.

Do you have any other tips for helping those with more textured hair achieve an effortless look?

To achieve an effortless look for curlier texture, apply a smoothing texture balm (I am a fan of 
Velvet Curtain) and shake out the curls with your fingers right at the root so it doesn’t frizz and separate the ends. Then shake out tight curls and loosen it up. This alone can make the texture look relaxed and effortlessly cool. I also love to use Rainless Dry Cleaning Conditioner as a hair refresher to boost back waves and curls.

How about for those with naturally straight hair?

To create an undone, finished look for straight hair, apply a dime or quarter-size amount of smoothing texture balm on towel-dried hair, or on dry hair, and run your fingers through, gently scrunching to give the hair a little separation. 

Are there things you can do to your hair while it’s air drying (or blow drying) to help it settle beautifully?

I love running a smoothing texture balm through damp hair, setting the hair by taking sections to curl and pin. Let it dry naturally and shaking it out. But, if your texture requires a blowout first, apply appropriate products, blowdry, and apply a texture balm from the mid-shaft through the ends.

What other products do you have to have on your styling shelf?

I love using an all-around hair spray that you can use for hot tools, getting rid of flyaways, and finalizing a style to keep it in place. Personally, I love R+Co Outer Space Flexible Hairspray.

Moving into a (likely event-heavy) fall, what cuts and styles do you think will be most popular?
For award shows and events, it’s hard to predict, but in life, cool girl, curly, or wavy hair shags are definitely making a statement at the moment and curtain bangs are here to stay.

More Products for Effortless, Cool Girl Hair:

Christophe Robin Detangling Hairbrush

Much like the OG Mason Pearson brush, the French product’s boar-bristle magic produces a shiny, voluminous effect (at about half the price). Our deputy editor swears by it but she’s not the only one. Even Allure gives it a double thumbs up.

Iles Formula Styling Cream

The brand sells a solid hair care set (it’s worth the splurge), but if you’re just looking to dip your toes in celebrity hairdresser Wendy Iles’ replenishing line, the finishing serum is a protectant you’ll want to use every day.

 

R+Co Rainless Dry Cleaning Conditioner 

Part of Jenny Cho’s summer capsule collection with R+Co, this weightless spray is perfect for natural curls. Apply directly to wet roots and let the air-dry magic begin.

Hairstory Hair Balm

This super versatile, non-greasy balm leaves hair soft and hydrated. It’s pure magic.

 

Kristin Ess Fragrance-Free Texturizing Paste

This fragrance-free pomade is perfect for curl touch-ups or adding a little texture. Apply a tiny amount to air-dried or blow-dried hair for a flyaway-free, natural look.

Crown Affair’s The Oil

Mixing traditional and modern ingredients sourced in Japan, this streamlined product delivers just the right amount of clean hydration for effortless hair.

Living Proof Perfect Hair Day In-Shower Styler

Great for textured, curly hair, the key to your perfect air-dry experience may be in this bottle. Apply it in the shower after shampoo and conditioner, then scrunch and go.

 

Hair Food Coconut & Argan Oil Heat Protectant Blend

If dreamy, beachy waves are part of your effortless hair vision, grab some Hair Food, your heating tools, and follow our step-by-step guide.

 

R+Co Velvet Curtain Cotton Touch Texture Balm

Part two of Cho’s R+Co summer capsule collection, the balm can be applied to wet or dry hair for a bouncier, cotton-like feel.

Odele Leave-In Conditioner

For curly girls, embracing the air dry is far more doable with this deeply moisturizing conditioner on your side.

 

Moroccanoil Hydrating Styling Cream

There’s nothing effortless-looking about dry, brittle strands. Fortunately, this cream leaves a soft, glossy effect (perfect for fine hair) as it styles.

 

Kristin Ess Weightless Shine Air Dry Crème

Apply this clean, featherlight cream on half-air-dried hair for a frizz-free look that works for all hair types.



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Dior Romantic Voyage Eyeshadow Palette Review & Swatches

Romantic Voyage (749)

Dior Romantic Voyage (749) 5 Couleurs Couture Eyeshadow Palette ($62.00 for 0.24 oz.) is a new(er), pink and taupe color story that included a mix of finishes that ranged from matte to shimmer. The first two shades were less consistent and sheerer, and they would be easier and better-performing for someone who always uses a primer or tacky base with their eyeshadows. The remaining three shades were pigmented, blendable, and long-wearing with a little powderiness overall.

Ingredients

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Romantic Voyage #1

Romantic Voyage #1 is a light pink with subtle, cool undertones and a pearly sheen. It had semi-opaque color payoff paired with a soft, somewhat powdery texture that worked better over a primer, as it was a little uneven and dusty-appearing when applied on bare skin. It lasted for seven hours before fading visibly.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

The formula is supposed to have a “creamy and comfortable texture” that is long-wearing and has “intense color” (or “high-pigment”). There are five finishes that can be found within various palettes: matte, satin, shimmer, metallic, highlighter, and glitter, though there aren’t specific descriptions by finish, unfortunately.

There were a few shades that seemed more sparkly and were sheerer, more like layering shades, while the other finishes tended to be pigmented. In general, the texture was moderately dense with the matte shades being slightly thinner and a smidgen powdery in the pan compared to the satin, shimmer, and metallic shades.

Aside from those more sparkly shades, the formula was blendable, pigmented, easy to work with, and lasted an average of eight hours on me (without a primer).

Browse all of our Dior High Colour Eyeshadow swatches.

Romantic Voyage #2

Romantic Voyage #2 has more of a transparent base chocked full of pale champagne sparkle that gave it an almost wet-like finish. The texture was fairly smooth, lightly creamy, and seemed to have a good amount of binder in it as the product applied well to bare skin with minimal fallout, though using a fingertip or a dampened brush would be ideal to work with. It had medium color coverage, which was buildable to semi-opaque coverage with a second layer. This shade had light fallout after seven and a half hours of wear.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

The formula is supposed to have a “creamy and comfortable texture” that is long-wearing and has “intense color” (or “high-pigment”). There are five finishes that can be found within various palettes: matte, satin, shimmer, metallic, highlighter, and glitter, though there aren’t specific descriptions by finish, unfortunately.

There were a few shades that seemed more sparkly and were sheerer, more like layering shades, while the other finishes tended to be pigmented. In general, the texture was moderately dense with the matte shades being slightly thinner and a smidgen powdery in the pan compared to the satin, shimmer, and metallic shades.

Aside from those more sparkly shades, the formula was blendable, pigmented, easy to work with, and lasted an average of eight hours on me (without a primer).

Browse all of our Dior High Colour Eyeshadow swatches.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Romantic Voyage #3

Romantic Voyage #3 is a light, plummy taupe with cool undertones and a pearly sheen. It had rich color coverage with a smooth, lightly creamy texture that wasn’t too firmly nor too loosely-pressed into the pan, so fallout wasn’t an issue but the product picked up well with a dry brush. It wore nicely for eight hours before fading noticeably.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

The formula is supposed to have a “creamy and comfortable texture” that is long-wearing and has “intense color” (or “high-pigment”). There are five finishes that can be found within various palettes: matte, satin, shimmer, metallic, highlighter, and glitter, though there aren’t specific descriptions by finish, unfortunately.

There were a few shades that seemed more sparkly and were sheerer, more like layering shades, while the other finishes tended to be pigmented. In general, the texture was moderately dense with the matte shades being slightly thinner and a smidgen powdery in the pan compared to the satin, shimmer, and metallic shades.

Aside from those more sparkly shades, the formula was blendable, pigmented, easy to work with, and lasted an average of eight hours on me (without a primer).

Browse all of our Dior High Colour Eyeshadow swatches.

Romantic Voyage #4

Romantic Voyage #4 is a darker taupe-brown with cool undertones and a semi-matte finish. The eyeshadow had a soft, lightly powdery texture that was blendable and not prone to fallout, so I’d just take care to tap off any excess or go in with a lighter hand initially. It had opaque pigmentation that stayed on well for eight hours before fading visibly.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

The formula is supposed to have a “creamy and comfortable texture” that is long-wearing and has “intense color” (or “high-pigment”). There are five finishes that can be found within various palettes: matte, satin, shimmer, metallic, highlighter, and glitter, though there aren’t specific descriptions by finish, unfortunately.

There were a few shades that seemed more sparkly and were sheerer, more like layering shades, while the other finishes tended to be pigmented. In general, the texture was moderately dense with the matte shades being slightly thinner and a smidgen powdery in the pan compared to the satin, shimmer, and metallic shades.

Aside from those more sparkly shades, the formula was blendable, pigmented, easy to work with, and lasted an average of eight hours on me (without a primer).

Browse all of our Dior High Colour Eyeshadow swatches.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Romantic Voyage #5

Romantic Voyage #5 is a soft burgundy with warm, brown undertones and a matte finish. The texture was soft, silky, and finely-milled but proved lightly powdery with a little fallout during the initial laydown of product. It had mostly opaque, buildable color payoff that lasted well for eight hours before fading a bit.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

The formula is supposed to have a “creamy and comfortable texture” that is long-wearing and has “intense color” (or “high-pigment”). There are five finishes that can be found within various palettes: matte, satin, shimmer, metallic, highlighter, and glitter, though there aren’t specific descriptions by finish, unfortunately.

There were a few shades that seemed more sparkly and were sheerer, more like layering shades, while the other finishes tended to be pigmented. In general, the texture was moderately dense with the matte shades being slightly thinner and a smidgen powdery in the pan compared to the satin, shimmer, and metallic shades.

Aside from those more sparkly shades, the formula was blendable, pigmented, easy to work with, and lasted an average of eight hours on me (without a primer).

Browse all of our Dior High Colour Eyeshadow swatches.

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What Are Ceramides? An Esthetician and a Dermatologist Explain

There are a few ingredients that you probably see used over and over again in every cult-favorite skincare product: hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and vitamin C are just a few. But another one you’ll probably encounter frequently is ceramides. But what are ceramides exactly?

If you’re someone who is constantly battling dry skin or you have chronic skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis, chances are you could use some ceramides in your routine. I have struggled with eczema breakouts since college, and ceramide-packed skincare products are always on rotation in my routine to help calm down my inflammation and dryness. 

Ahead, we asked Vanessa Lee, RN, skincare expert and the founder of The Things We Do, and board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology to break down what ceramides are, why your body and skin need them, and how to incorporate them into your routine. 

First up, what are ceramides?

According to Lee and Hartman, Ceramides are lipids also known as long-chain fatty acids that link with other important molecules to promote cellular function. In fact, ceramides make up to 50% of the skin composition to form the natural skin barrier and help to prevent permeability—this locks moisture into your skin, which helps prevent dryness and irritation.

Additionally, ceramides—even more than retinol, niacinamide, and peptides—are one of the anti-aging “powerhouses” responsible for supporting skin’s dynamic nature. Two particular Ceramide precursors—phytosphingosine and sphingolipids—actually help skin make more ceramides. They’re often described as the body’s natural moisturizer to prevent dehydration. They also act as a natural antioxidant, protecting the skin from environmental aggressors like pollution and dry air.

Ceramides are essentially the glue that holds our skin cells together to keep our skin barrier intact and healthy.

A healthy skin barrier helps seal in moisture and seal out impurities, keeping your skin looking and feeling hydrated, youthful, and supple.

What are the benefits of ceramides?

As the skin’s natural moisturizer, Hartman explains that ceramides aid in preserving the skin by creating a protective layer that helps prevent the loss of moisture and shields the skin from environmental aggressors. They play an essential role in keeping dryness, dehydration, and premature signs of aging at bay. Hartman adds: “Ceramides act as linkers between epidermal skin cells—like the cement between bricks in a wall—to help seal up the skin barrier, to protect the deeper layers, and to prevent moisture loss.”

How do they stack up against other ingredients like it?

Ceramides are superior to similar ingredients because they are a natural component of a healthy skin barrier.

What are the benefits of topical ceramides?

Well-formulated (and properly packaged) skincare products containing ceramides will help reinforce your skin’s barrier and increase hydration, giving you plumper, smoother, firmer-feeling skin with fewer visible lines and wrinkles, as well as fewer signs of sensitivity. Lee notes that one of the best parts of the ingredient is that it’s compatible with all skin types—that is, every skin type needs and wants ceramides, so you don’t have to worry about topical Ceramide-laden products sensitizing your skin. 

Why do you need beauty products that contain ceramides?

Age and sun damage reduce the effectiveness of your skin’s natural ceramides and can eventually deplete them, which weakens your skin’s barrier. The results are drier, rougher skin, wrinkles, irritation, redness, and visible signs of dehydration. As your ceramide levels naturally decrease, you can replenish them with topical skincare products.

What happens when you don’t have enough?

When your skin is lacking ceramides, the barrier gets compromised and you’ll experience dryness and irritation. Studies show that low ceramide levels could be the leading cause of dry skin conditions like eczema. When your skin lacks the right ratio of ceramides, the barrier doesn’t perform the way it’s supposed to and your skin’s health goes haywire.

Who should use them?

Hartman believes everyone should use ceramides, but especially those with dry skin, eczema, or a compromised skin barrier. They should be used in daily moisturizers that are applied after a bath or shower to lock in the moisture.

Below, Hartman shares his top products with ceramides…

Ideal for those with sensitive, dry skin. The nourishing formula won’t leave a greasy feeling nor will it clog pores making it an ideal product for even those with acne breakouts.

This product contains vitamin C, retinol, and ceramides and provides 75% of the ingredients that I deem important to a comprehensive, preventative skincare regimen.

This is a cult favorite that combines ceramides, free fatty acids, and cholesterol to hydrate damaged, dry skin and provide an instant plumping effect to mature skin that tends to suffer sagging.

An affordable staple that should be a part of any dry skincare regimen for the body. It provides the hydration and protection of a thick emollient without the mess. In fact, the finish is quite elegant.

This product combines ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, and shea butter to protect, nourish and hydrate even the driest, most sensitive skin. It is ideal for severely dehydrated skin.

Now, some of my personal tried-and-tested favorites…

If your skin is on the drier side and you’re looking for a way to incorporate more moisture into your routine, try out this ceramide-packed hydrating liquid. This toner is a staple in my nighttime routine because it falls somewhere between an essence and a serum, giving my skin a supple bouncy glow. It also contains fig, Centella Asiatica, and Phyto extracts to help treat dry and flaky skin whenever I’m experiencing an eczema breakout. 

You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg on a treatment serum that actually works. This hydrating booster serum combines ceramides with hyaluronic acid to really infuse your skin with moisture overnight. It has a lightweight texture that layers well with the rest of your products—though truthfully, you might not need any other serums besides this one. 

The reformulation of this cult-favorite moisturizer only made it better thanks to the new inclusion of ceramides. This thick, whipped formula is deeply hydrating and packed with hydrating ingredients like African oils and plant-derived lipids. This serves as an ultra-nourishing last step in your evening skincare routine to really seal in hydration so you wake up with glowy, dewy skin. 

As you probably know, CeraVe gets its name from the fact that all of its products are formulated with a high concentration of ceramides. So naturally, I love anything and everything they come out with—including this cleanser. It’s the perfect go-to for daily use or whenever your skin is feeling a little sensitive. Plus, you really can’t beat the price point for how much product you get. 

If your under eyes are looking a little dull and sallow, try out this brightening eye cream from Youth to the People. Like The Inkey List’s serum, this cream combines hyaluronic acid and ceramides to plumpen the area around your eyes. It also contains vitamin C to brighten and firm the skin, as well as goji stem cells to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

 

 

Now that you know the benefits of ceramides, you can invest in products that will help keep your skin hydrated, fresh, and glowy. It’s a powerful ingredient that you’ll be using in your routine for many years to come. 



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Laura Mercier Fuchsia Intense, Rose Mauve, Mauve Merveilleux Rouge Essentiel Lipsticks Review & Swatches

Fuchsia Intense

Laura Mercier Fuchsia Intense Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème LipstickLaura Mercier Fuchsia Intense Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a rich, raspberry pink with a lot of brightness paired with a satin sheen. It had semi-opaque pigmentation that did not build up beyond that–there was just some translucency that was always apparent.

The texture was lightweight, thin, and more velvety without being clingy, which ensured the product adhered well and didn’t slide around during wear. It wore well for six hours, left a stain behind, and felt lightly hydrating over time.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$32.00/0.12 oz. – $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “high-impact color” with “weightless decadence” that “moisturizes and smooths.” The pigmentation was nearly opaque to opaque in a single layer, which applied smoothly and without tugging. The texture was lightly creamy but more velvety overall, so it glided easily over my lips but didn’t feel overly slippery.

The issue I had was that the formula didn’t seem particularly forgiving of natural lip texture or imperfections, so despite exfoliating prior to application, there were areas highlighted that I didn’t expect to see since the formula was supposed to be smoothing. It also settled a bit into deeper lip lines, which was more noticeable (in person, not just in the close-up photos) with lighter shades than brighter or deeper tones. They lasted between four and six hours on me and felt lightly hydrating.

Browse all of our Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Cetyl Dimethicone, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Tartrate, Octyldodecanol, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina/CireMicrocristalline, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Talc, Propylene Carbonate, Mica, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Tin Oxide. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Iron Oxides (Ci 77499), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Yellow 5 Lake (Ci 19140), Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947).

Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer)
at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable
to the product you’re purchasing, or the brand or retailer’s website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Rose Mauve

Laura Mercier Rose Mauve Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème LipstickLaura Mercier Rose Mauve Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a light-medium purple with warm, pink undertones and a satin finish. It had mostly opaque color coverage in a single stroke, but it needed a little more on top for full coverage in all areas.

The product applied evenly and smoothly without tugging or emphasizing my lip lines. It stayed on nicely for four and a half hours and felt lightly moisturizing while worn.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$32.00/0.12 oz. – $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “high-impact color” with “weightless decadence” that “moisturizes and smooths.” The pigmentation was nearly opaque to opaque in a single layer, which applied smoothly and without tugging. The texture was lightly creamy but more velvety overall, so it glided easily over my lips but didn’t feel overly slippery.

The issue I had was that the formula didn’t seem particularly forgiving of natural lip texture or imperfections, so despite exfoliating prior to application, there were areas highlighted that I didn’t expect to see since the formula was supposed to be smoothing. It also settled a bit into deeper lip lines, which was more noticeable (in person, not just in the close-up photos) with lighter shades than brighter or deeper tones. They lasted between four and six hours on me and felt lightly hydrating.

Browse all of our Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Cetyl Dimethicone, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Tartrate, Octyldodecanol, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina, Mica, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Talc, Tin Oxide. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947)

Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer)
at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable
to the product you’re purchasing, or the brand or retailer’s website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

Mauve Merveilleux

Laura Mercier Mauve Merveilleux Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème LipstickLaura Mercier Mauve Merveilleux Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick ($32.00 for 0.12 oz.) is a medium-dark mauve with cooler undertones and a satin finish. The texture was smooth and velvety, thin and lightweight but not clingy, and comfortable to apply in a single, fluid stroke.

It had nearly opaque color payoff that adhered evenly to my lips with very slight product that settled into my deeper lip lines, though it wasn’t noticeable in person. The color lasted well for four and a half hours and felt lightly hydrating over time.

FURTHER READING:
Formula Overview
for details on general performance and characteristics (like scent).

Formula Overview

$32.00/0.12 oz. – $266.67 Per Ounce

The formula is supposed to have “high-impact color” with “weightless decadence” that “moisturizes and smooths.” The pigmentation was nearly opaque to opaque in a single layer, which applied smoothly and without tugging. The texture was lightly creamy but more velvety overall, so it glided easily over my lips but didn’t feel overly slippery.

The issue I had was that the formula didn’t seem particularly forgiving of natural lip texture or imperfections, so despite exfoliating prior to application, there were areas highlighted that I didn’t expect to see since the formula was supposed to be smoothing. It also settled a bit into deeper lip lines, which was more noticeable (in person, not just in the close-up photos) with lighter shades than brighter or deeper tones. They lasted between four and six hours on me and felt lightly hydrating.

Browse all of our Laura Mercier Rouge Essentiel Silky Crème Lipstick swatches.

Ingredients

Cetyl Dimethicone, Di-C12-13 Alkyl Tartrate, Octyldodecanol, C30-45 Alkyl Dimethicone, Polyethylene, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Microcrystalline Wax/Cera Microcristallina, Mica, Stearalkonium Bentonite, Dicalcium Phosphate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Camellia Oleifera Seed Oil, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Padina Pavonica Thallus Extract, Pentaerythrityl Tetra-Di-T-Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Propylene Carbonate, Caprylyl Methicone, Synthetic Fluorphlogopite, Talc, Tin Oxide. May Contain (+/-): Titanium Dioxide (Ci 77891), Blue 1 Lake (Ci 42090), Iron Oxides (Ci 77491), Iron Oxides (Ci 77492), Red 6 (Ci 15850), Red 7 Lake (Ci 15850), Red 28 Lake (Ci 45410), Zinc Oxide (Ci 77947).

Disclaimer: Ingredient lists are as available by the brand (or retailer)
at the time of publishing. Please always check product packaging, if it exists, for the ingredient list applicable
to the product you’re purchasing, or the brand or retailer’s website for the most up-to-date ingredient list.

We hope you’ll consider supporting Temptalia by shopping through our links below. Thanks!

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Weekly Horoscope: August 1 to August 8, 2021

Open up to your creative ideas, enjoy those of others, and claim your right to express yourself. It’s not about proving anything or fitting in; it’s about shining your light so stay centered. Midweek, take inspiration from someone in the ring who inspires you. It could be someone close or in the public eye. Note any fears as they come up and reframe them. Read on to discover what’s in store for your sign during the week of August 1 through August 8, 2021.

March 21–April 19

Aries 

This week’s meeting of the minds in your romance zone promises to be stimulating. Whether you’re dating or in an established relationship, express yourself and feel seen. Take the opportunity to be playful, release your inner child and do something fun. Brainstorm creative ideas or solutions you may have been searching for. Sketch out ideas or come up with something new by tinkering. Duty or responsibility to a group or friend may have you feeling limited or pressured. Keep your commitments but keep clear boundaries around what they are and where they end. 

April 20–May 20

Taurus

Great ideas for your home are ripe for picking on Sunday. Perhaps you find the perfect design solution or a house if you’re in the market. Whatever it is, there may be a little challenge to push through in your thinking. If you have a variety of factors to consider, like career commitments or your professional life, you’ll need to find a boundary. So much of life has lost a privacy factor; this week, it’s beneficial to get clear on what that is so your time with family, creating in your nest, or just chilling is uninterupted. 

May 21–June 21

Gemini

Stay open to various views and conversations this week, as they’ll stimulate your mind and open up new possibilities for your sense of self. Earlier in the week, someone may try to rain on your parade or oppose you, don’t buy into it. Instead, use the experience to step into your sense of authority based on your acquired knowledge and personal philosophy on life. A friend or social experience may provide the spark you need mid-week. Or perhaps it’s you that lights the path for someone you notice could do with some mentoring. 

June 22–July 22

Cancer 

If you have your million-dollar idea on Sunday, don’t dismiss it. Take any epiphanies to the bank or apply the ‘what if’ approach to open up your mind to new work or financial possibilities. There are almost infinite ways of creating abundance, acquisition, and personal resources to bring to the table. If you can’t imagine it, it’s not likely to happen, so get creative. You can bring in the practical side later. You may encounter resistance on Monday; however, use any real or perceived limitation as a reality check to help ground your ideas or vision and adjust as you go. 

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29 Simple Healthy Daily Habits That Make a Big Difference

If you’re feeling stuck in a rut, it may be time to shake up your daily routine and help your body feel energized again. And you’ll be pleased to know that this doesn’t require an entire overhaul of your life. In fact, adopting just a few healthy daily habits can make all the difference in the world. (Great news for those of us who happily identify as lazy.)

A lot of these tips support physical health, but remember the power of the mind-body connection. Implementing daily healthy habits that benefit your body has a positive ripple effect on your mind and soul as well. As you’ll discover after you try a few of these, it’s often the small changes that make the biggest difference.

Tiny modifications here and there can greatly improve your quality of life in so many ways. We already know all the obvious options to stay fit and live a healthy lifestyle, but there are plenty of tweaks that can be easily embraced without a lot of effort. We’re all about taking a proactive, yet realistic, approach towards creating a healthy, full life.

Scroll on for 20 easily adoptable healthy daily habits:

Make time to read every day

Not only is taking time to read an act of self-care, but it can actually help improve long-term neurological function. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fiction junkie, love to read memoirs, or just want to disappear in a good old-fashioned romance novel, your body and mind will thank you for it.

Go on a walk

Breathing in some fresh air while on a walk is sure to improve your mood, clear a muddled head, and offer a moment away from the computer. It’s also an incredibly underrated form of exercise that can strengthen your heart and lungs, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, improve high blood pressure and high cholesterol, ease joint pain, and much more. Put it this way, it’s a simple, fun, and low impact way to improve your overall health.

Fall asleep faster, improve blood flow, and relieve muscle tension with a few simple stretches before hitting the hay. After a day of being hunched over a computer, hauling groceries, and generally pushing my body and mind to their limits, few things feel better.

If you’ve been trying to find a sure-fire way to help reduce stress and anxiety, quiet a buzzing mind, or simply want to go deeper within, then may I suggest giving meditation a whirl? I know you’ve heard it before, (and as a longtime meditation skeptic I really do hate to admit this) but it does make a huge positive impact on one’s general well-being.

Regardless of whether it’s a sunny day or not, using sunscreen daily is absolutely imperative for both short and long-term health. Preventing sun damage and cancer is not something that should be taken lightly, and there are so many wonderful sunscreen options available these days that you can easily find the one that best fits your skin type and needs. Please don’t make me nag you about this!

Spend time outside every day

Get a breath of fresh air and chase away the blues by spending even just a few minutes outside every day. There are few things that being around some trees, people watching, and looking at the clouds can’t cure.

Drink more water

Did you know that even being mildly dehydrated can affect the body? Make sure you’re drinking enough to get you through the day without impairment—it may be a little more than the eight glasses you’ve been hearing about. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake is about 15.5 cups a day for men and 11.5 cups a day for women.

Get a little cardio in

Strengthen your heart, lower blood pressure, improve your sleep quality, and so much more with regular cardiovascular exercise. And this isn’t just relegated to workouts! Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of hopping on the bus, do jumping jacks between zoom sessions. Even better, throw on some music and dance it out on your lunch break. Everything helps!

More and more, doctors are recommending plant-based diets to all of their patients, not just those with high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. While being fully vegan or vegetarian is not an option for all, even just eating plant-based whenever possible can make a big difference to one’s overall health. Plant-based foods are full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins that our bodies crave and need—and it’s delicious!

Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption

Whether you are looking to redefine your relationship with alcohol, are looking for help quitting, or just want to drink mindfully, cutting back is almost always a good idea. Reducing alcohol intake can lead to better sleep, mental clarity, weight loss, and lower the risk of heart and liver disease, cancer, and strokes.

Ride your bike to the store

Dropping off some mail? Picking up a few ingredients for dinner? Ditch the car and hop on your bike for some chill cardio. Even just 30 minutes on a bike can help to build endurance and strengthen your heart. It’s also a great way to clear your mind and enjoy being outdoors. Just make sure you don’t forget to wear a helmet!

Cook more

I learned how to cook in my late 20s when I realized that not being able to feed myself was no longer cute. But it took me well into my 30s to understand the joys of cooking at home. Aside from the obvious health benefits (lower calorie consumption, ability to eat a healthier diet and cook with good, fresh, high-quality ingredients) it simply makes me happy! It’s time away from a screen when I can listen to music and create something nourishing and wholesome from scratch.

Don’t forget to floss

There are few things that are worse on planet Earth than having to floss one’s teeth. The fact that I have to do it every day until I die is an abomination. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly important for one’s overall health. Yes, it’s obviously key for gums and teeth, but did you know that flossing helps heart health? If you’re not an everyday flosser, commit to a month of mindful flossing before bed. Once you create a healthy daily habit you won’t be able to imagine skipping it.

Develop a consistent exercise practice

Getting your body moving here and there is great and certainly better than nothing. But having a regular workout routine is one of the best things you can do for your body and mind. It is good for sleep quality, anxiety, and stress, lowers blood pressure, improves cardiovascular and bone health, and more. The list truly goes on and on. Find a workout that best fits your lifestyle and schedule and commit to it. You will be amazed at just how good it feels.

Swap sugary desserts for fresh fruit

Listen, sometimes you just need a cookie or a piece of cake, and since life is long and hard you should definitely have it. But if you have been in a habit of eating sweet treats for dessert then it may be time to start mixing it up with a bit of fresh fruit. You get that palate-cleansing burst of sweetness that we all need after a savory meal but without the added sugar overload.

Swap your coffee for green tea

Coffee is a delicious gift from the earth and we can’t get enough of it. That said, replacing it with green tea can come with a whole bunch of health benefits (while still getting a caffeinated kick!). It can help to reduce inflammation, has antioxidants that can help prevent cancer, promotes fat burning, and more.

Pick up a new hobby

Whether it’s learning a new language, knitting, trying out a new sport, or volunteering, finding a new hobby is a great way to take some time for yourself on a daily basis. It helps to expand mental muscles, gets you out of your comfort zone, is a great opportunity to meet new people, and comes with a renewed sense of well-being and confidence. We’re never too old to learn something new.

Get enough sleep

We all know that awful feeling when we’re sleep-deprived. It’s hard to focus, our bodies feel depleted, and our moods suffer greatly. But did you know that a lack of proper sleep can lead to weight gain, reduce productivity, and leave you at a greater risk for heart attack and stroke? Prioritizing sleep is an absolute must.

Limit processed foods

Sometimes, processed foods are unavoidable. But whenever possible, eating fresh, wholesome food makes a big difference for our general health. (And it’s delicious!) Processed foods contain a lot of hidden sodium, fats, and sugar that can throw your body out of whack. Your body will thank you.

Incorporate facial rolling or gua sha into your daily skincare routine

This delightful form of self-care not only feels good but also has numerous benefits as well. It leaves skin feeling awake, stimulates the lymphatic system, and helps with inflammation. Just a few minutes of me-time a day can set the tone for a happy, healthy day, so why not?

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Inside Beauty Entrepreneur, Shani Van Breukelen’s Morning Routine

How do you spend the first five minutes of your day? There’s no better time than the morning to ground yourself and prepare your body and mind to set the tone for the day ahead. And since we only have about 25,000 mornings in our adult life, it’s time we made them count. In our Wake Up Call series, we take a look inside the morning routines of people we admire to inspire our own AM rituals and put our best foot forward. Up next, AYOND’s co-founder and creative director, Shani Van Breukelen’s morning routine.

“Nothing has felt like an ‘ah-ha’ moment—I’ve had to work hard for what I have.”

In a world that seems to praise unicorn startups and 30 under 30 lists, it’s refreshing to meet a founder who is rejecting the status quo and doing things on her own terms. Creative director, Shani Van Breukelen, along with her partner and fellow co-founder, Porter Yates, is seriously breaking the mold with their game-changing skincare line, AYOND. Inspired by the beautiful yet resilient plants that thrive in Santa Fe’s extreme desert conditions, the couple set about bottling their magical medicinal qualities and transformative scents into a skincare line—and it’s safe to say, they nailed it.

In my line of work, it’s safe to say I’ve tried hundreds of beauty brands and products so I had high expectations when I tried their Metamorph Cleansing Balm. Let me tell you, it was nothing short of an invigorating sensory overload. The unique balm-to-milk salve quenches your face’s thirst like a desert monsoon while also dissolving any dirt and debris—it’s basically a refreshing downpour in a bottle. But this innovation doesn’t stop at ingredients and formula. Their conscious approach spans across their manufacturing and packaging too, prioritizing eco-friendly, recyclable, or reusable materials that minimize post-consumer waste. Brands like AYOND might be small, but they’re having a big impact on the industry as they pave the way for the future.

We were so inspired by the brand’s mantra and mission that we reached out to share more of their inspiring story. Van Breukelen graciously invited us into their stunning NYC apartment to give us the lowdown on her morning routine, tips for success, and life advice. Prepare to be inspired.

On a typical day…

A typical day for me looks like a lot of time on my computer working, taking calls, good coffee breaks with my boyfriend, Porter, and playtime with my dog, Linx.

On her wake-up call time…

Anywhere from 6:30-7 am. I try to get eight hours of sleep every night, but that doesn’t always happen.

On the first thing she does when she wakes up…

I like getting up early because I have time to myself. Usually, my dog Linx likes to get up around 7:30 to 8 am so if she is willing to get up with me the first thing I do is let her out in the backyard. Then I will take her back upstairs and continue with my routine. This is varied as sometimes I may stretch and workout or spend extra time doing my skincare routine. I am not too structured in the morning as I like to listen to how I feel and do any one of these things before getting into work. 

On her workout routine…

During lockdown, workout sessions became more intense and essential. I am not really a yoga person but I love good cardio. The right music is the most important step for me as it gets me motivated. Once I have that selected I can continue my pre-workout routine by stretching with some yoga moves, vagus nerve work, and then I start to go into my squat routine, elliptical, and weights. If it’s nice out, I like to run the Prospect Park perimeter. 

On how her morning routine changed in quarantine…

Both 2020 and 2021 have been such challenging years personally and professionally that I found exercise to be critical to keeping myself feeling positive or letting go of frustration due to the state of the world. I also dedicated more time to speak with family in the morning, especially my twin sister who lives in Stockholm. My skincare routine changed a bit too. Previously, I used Metamorph Cleansing Balm at night as a gua sha slip but, I realized that with the added stress and monotony of lockdown, I started to use it as a gua sha massage in the morning—it helped to gently wake me up and ease any stress I may be feeling.

On her morning beauty routine from start to finish…

I begin with a gentle hand massage using our Metamorph Cleansing Balm. Once this is evenly applied, I start to gently massage the contours of my face using a gua sha tool. The areas I spend the most energy on are between my eyebrows, cheekbones, and neck. Once the massage is complete I like to let the cleansing balm sit for a bit and then work it in with warm water, letting the balm transform into milk, then using a damp washcloth to remove.  

After this step, I will press cold water onto my face to fully wake me up.  I really enjoy how calming the cold water feels. Lately, I have been testing a toner that I made but before this, I would use Heritage Store Rosewater Toner

Once my skin is almost dry, I will use three to six drops of Rock Rose Face Serum. This serum has one of the most unique scents. When it’s applied to my face I like to take deep breaths into the palms of my hands before applying. I use this generously on my face and neck.

After the serum has fully absorbed, I continue with about a dime’s worth of Taos Blue Day Cream. This cream is extremely easy to layer with other products and the scent always reminds me of the desert. Sometimes when the weather is extremely dry, I will add a few drops of the Amber Elix Face Oil to this cream before applying (if it is a humid day, I will omit the day cream and follow up with Supergoop SPF and Amber Elix Face Oil). 

If I’m going outside I will add a small amount of mineral sunscreen (Supergoop) after the Taos Blue Day Cream. While I wait for the cream to fully absorb on my face, I will take a couple of drops of Amber Elix Face Oil and start by rubbing the oil onto my neck and décolleté. Using more drops if needed, I will gently press the face oil onto the highest points of my cheekbones, gently rub around the eyes, the middle of my brow, and spot treat any scarring I may have. This face oil is fantastic for any scarring old or new and it has a beautiful slightly spicy and uplifting scent which makes it perfect for the last step of my routine. Any leftover oil on my hands I will use on the end of my hair to make sure nothing is wasted. 

On her breakfast meal…

I practice intermittent fasting so I do not eat breakfast in the morning. I will have water with vitamin tablets, take L-Serine Powder or Whole Foods L-Theanine pill supplements, and I have a coffee or tea. 

On her morning media rituals…

The first thing I open is BBC News or NPR and check Ayond’s Instagram. Then I usually pop on a podcast while I check emails. 

On her favorite books…

I enjoy different types of books for different reasons. At the moment, I am reading The Other Slavery: The Uncovered Story of Indian Enslavement in America by Andrés Reséndez and an aesthetician’s book on skincare. 

On what she always has on her nightstand…

Slip Eye Mask or Simply Organic Sleep Mask, ear plugs, water, and my phone. Before I sleep I like to play sudoku on my phone. 

On her favorite getting-ready soundtrack…

In the AM, it’s usually The Daily podcast. Any other time I like to select an artist and play similar music shuffled. An artist I have been listening to lately is Kokoroko.

On her morning workout…

Since I run a small business and wear a lot of hats I can’t dedicate too much time to working out in the morning but I do a light workout of 30 minutes most days. On the weekends I like to work out in the afternoon instead of the morning and train for about an hour or more. 

On her daily uniform…

I like to keep things simple—a bit of jewelry, Toteme jeans or VINCE jeans for those loose-fit days, and probably a black top. During lockdown, I just preferred loose-fitting jeans but kept everything else the same. 

If she had one extra hour every morning…

I would spend more time working out or talking to my twin sister on the phone.

On what she does to live a more present, mindful, and joyful life…

Taking a moment to spend time outside and speaking with loved ones. The outdoors is the best way for me to clear my thoughts and speaking with my family and friends always makes me feel better and happy. 

On her secret to success…

I don’t think I have had that moment, things have progressed based on present choices and perseverance—nothing has felt like an “ah-ha” moment and I have had to work hard for what I have. 

Sentence Finishers:

I never leave the house without… keys and my phone.

If there were more hours in the day, I would... travel more.

Healthiest morning habit… skincare and water!

Worst morning habit… Some would say Intermittent fasting, but I like my morning routine.

The one thing I fear the most is… missed opportunity.

When I feel that fear, I… think about doing what I can with what I have.

The book I always recommend is… The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

The 3 traits you need to succeed in life are… letting go, resilience, and perseverance.

Bath or shower? And what’s your favorite shower/bath product? Shower and Rahua Shampoo + Conditioner

When I’m creatively blocked, I… go for a run or walk with my dog. 

My hidden talent is… quickly picking up a language.

The best advice I’ve ever received is… do what you can with what you have.

The biggest sacrifice I’ve made for my career is… changing paths from fashion to skincare.



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