We All Need A Little Support

As we are nearing Hanukkah, Christmas, and a new year, the art of giving is upon us. You can’t forget the fun parties you will be attending, as well. So why not dress yourself up in some pretty jewelry? How about your girlfriends, wives, sisters, mothers, and any other amazing, fantastic person that enjoys a fantastic cocktail ring or statement necklace?

A few weeks ago, I became a chloe+isabel merchandiser. I’m finally starting to figure out my way around the company and business, enjoying the beautiful pieces I’ve started myself off with. I didn’t think I’d enjoy this jewelry as much as I do, seeing that I don’t exude femininity.

It’s been a few years since I’ve lavished myself in jewelry. I went from having about nine or ten piercings in my ears a few years ago to not wearing any earrings at all. It’d be a big deal if I got a ring or a dainty necklace on. Now that I am working as a merchandiser, I’m finally embracing my femininity again! Almost every day, I’ve got on a ring & earrings or earrings & a necklace or a necklace & a ring. When I do put on some jewelry, I feel special. Everyone should! Woman, man, child, adult. Jewelry helps us feel like we are making a statement about ourselves. It helps tell our story.

My dear readers, I am asking, oh so gratefully, for you to check out my online boutique. If you are compelled to purchase an item (or a few), I really appreciate it! Buy yourself something you are drawn to. Get a gift for someone you want to see smile. Go with love!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. And, if you do take a peek at the boutique (and even purchase something), I am forever grateful! By supporting me through my chloe+isabel boutique, you are supporting this blog and many posts to come!

Gratitude Is Glorious

Happy Treat Yourself Thursday!

Oh Rainn Wilson, thank you for creating SoulPancake.

Everyone, in this new year, please take lead here and have a little grace and gratitude in your life. A simple thank you with a smile goes a very long way. We all enjoy a little appreciation once in awhile. Thank the cashier who rang you up for your cup of coffee, then thank the barista who made it. Thank your body for keeping you alive for one more day. Thank your family members who show you love and support.

We often forget to take two seconds to express gratitude, but our brains our wired to feel happier when we say thank you (not to mention being thanked).

Who do you appreciate the most? Why?
Comment below… Then tell that person how much you appreciate them!

Pamper Time! Evening Skincare.

As my skin has settled down from its painful couple of weeks of dermatitis, I am able to get back into a comfortable skincare routine. I do all of my main skincare at night, as it is both physically and emotionally cleansing.

Tonight I am giving my skin some extra special love as it has been an arduous two weeks. I’ve been working nonstop and had finals this week. I desperately need some TLC! I want to share my pampering evening skincare ritual.

My skin type is dry, sensitive, and prone to redness & enlarged pores. I like to call my skin bipolar, as it really varies day to day as to how dry & sensitive it can be.

To start, I take off my make up with Caudalie’s cleansing water.

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This has been my favorite makeup remover for years. It takes off everything, including heavy foundation and waterproof eye makeup.

Next up is a proper cleanse!!

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Tonight I chose to use Ren’s cleansing balm with my Clarisonic Mia2. The cleansers I use vary. My other favorites are Ren’s Hydracalm cleansing milk, Nude’s cleansing oil, and Ren’s Hydracalm cleansing gel. It really depends on the day.

Next is a mask. I rarely do masks. Let’s face it, I’m lazy! So this is the unusual pamering part. And when I do a mask, it has to be amazing.

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Tonight I am indulging. Two masks! First is Ren’s Glycol Lactic mask to exfoliate, brighten, and hydrate. Then I hop in the shower. After the shower I slap some of Aveda’s intensive hydrating masque while I make some tea. This is supposed to be left on 5-10 mins, but I leave this on a lot longer sometimes. As it’s not a peel, it doesn’t hurt if I forget about it for awhile.

Once this is rinsed off, I finish with a serum & moisturizer.

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Along with Ole Henriksen’s truth serum & Korres’ wild rose sleeping facial, I have added some rose essential oil in a jojoba oil base.

Tonight I am all about exfoliation, hydration, nourishment, and brightness. I love nights when I pamper my skin!! It’s rare, which makes the ritual even more special. I do hope you enjoy this little snippet of my life.

FYI: I do not represent or am not paid by any of these brands for any usage or mention of them or their products. All of the products I used were paid for by my own money over the course of the year. Any product gifted me will always be disclosed and I will not use nor review something gifted to me if I do not like how it works for me. Thank you!!

Free Stuff! Giveaway…

Hi dears!! Everyone loves the opportunity to get free stuff, right? I know I do. Free hugs, free food, free petrol, free love…

So, I’ve been formulating a giveaway to do. I’ve been collecting things over the last few months that I’m happy to pass on to others. Why not make it interesting?

Here are the rules:
1. Follow or subscribe to me me on at least one of the social media sites I am on
This blog, or
DJ ToasterBiscuit, or
A Life In Paperback, or
FaceBook, or
Twitter, or
Bloglovin’, and
2. Leave a comment here telling me your favorite thing about winter and your current music/movie/literature/art obsession. If you can hit the like button, even better! Also, please share which form of social media you have chosen to connect with me if it is not directly here.
3. This step is optional. If you could give me a shout out on your favorite social media site, I’ll be forever grateful! If you do, email me a screen capture or leave a link in your comment. Who knows, if you do this optional step, you might get two chances to win!?
4. The deadline is 11.59pm PST, December 30th, 2013.

What am I giving away? I’m putting together a box of treat yourself goodies. Included will be a pear scented candle, some dry body oil, a face exfoliator, a face serum or two, a moisturizer, and possibly even a $20 gift card of your choosing (within reason). I will definitely include more, I promise. Guys, check this out: the exfoliator is a cult favorite in the GQ/Esquire/Entourage watching circle of men. (Ladies, it’s amazing. I have a few tubes of it. That’s why I’m willing to part with one.) Plus guys, if you have any women you care about, everything else can make great gifts.

If I only get one comment, I will either nix the giveaway or reboot it and start over in January. So participate please!!!

Skin Issues: Sensitivity & Dermatitis

Oh my gosh, it’s been too long! Many apologies!

This post is unfortunately inspired by my reactive skin. About a week ago, I noticed my skin started to feel more delicate than usual. I assumed it was just the weather, as we got a few days of rain after they usual dry winter air. Many people feel a change in their skin when that happens. What was just dry, uncomfortable, itchy skin from head to toe went to inflammed, lobster red, burning skin on my face, neck and chest. My main eczema-type spot on my left wrist even got irritated for the first time in over a year. It turns out, the excessive heat that kept getting blasted in my workplace aggravated it. Even after my requests to keep the store at an even 68-degrees, it ended up feeling like a hotbox to many. You can only imagine how uncomfortable I felt. Sweat, clothes made out of synthetic fabric, constant movement, and naturally warm human beings corralled in one decently sized room that is over heated is never an ideal location for someone with reactive skin. The general concensus is that I’ve got a case of dermatitis. I almost went to urgent care tonight, but want to give it one more day. Plus, I’ve got a bunch of school work that needs to get done.

Last Friday, I splurged and bought a Clarisonic Mia2. We sell them where I work & I was able to get one with a few extra free goodies in the box (including a small face wash I can’t use, but I’m sure a friend will). I spent $105 on a $225 value!! Honestly, I wouldn’t have bought it if that wasn’t such a great deal. Because my skin got worse over the weekend, on Sunday I bought a golden standard for sensitive skin: Ren’s HydraCalm Cleansing Milk, which now called Evercalm Gentle Cleansing Milk. (Of course, I had the means and had to buy a top seller: Ren’s Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask.)

So, let me share what I’ve been doing the last couple days to calm my skin down. In the evening, I’ll take a makeup wipe and take off any traces of stuff. Then, I wet down the Clarisonic brush head & add the cleansing milk just before splashing some water on my face. Then I’ll Clarisonic my face. After finishing that & drying off, I’ll spray my face with Caudalie’s Grape Water. Once that has been pat down & my skin is dry, I’ll moisturize with either plain organic coconut oil or Ren’s Frankincense Night Cream.

So far, my skin feels calmer. Today, the temperature at work was less hot and I wore a cotton shirt to allow my skin to breathe a bit. I’m still itchy & red, but I am less swollen and hot. Now, I have a mug of white tea and a large glass of water. I’m keeping hydrated internally to help. The plan is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.

Does anyone else have any experience with dermatitis or any other skin irritations? I’d love to hear feedback.

Take Care: Treat Yourself Thursday

It’s no secret that I’m an Aveda fan. I use at least two things from the brand every single day. The two I use most often are Rosemary Mint Hand & Body Wash and Hand Relief Hand Cream.
I find that the hand wash gets my hands clean without drying them out. I’ve never been a fan of hand washes with Triclosan in it. I’d rather just wash my hands well and regularly. Plus, synthetic antibacterials seem to be drying on my skin. Aveda’s hand wash smells great and doesn’t dry my hands.
Coming into winter, my already dry skin has a tendency to become more dry. About a year ago, my mother get me a tube of Aveda’s hand cream and I’ve been hooked ever since. It is extremely hydrating, but absorbs very fast. Those seems to be the two most important factors when people shop for hand creams.
So, dear readers, my treat yourself suggestion today is taking care of your hands. Happy hands (and feet) help set the tone for the day. I do suggest Aveda’s Rosemary Mint hand wash, but any gentle wash without synthetic antibacterials will work. Wash your hands regularly, especially during heightened times of the cold & flu. Make sure you have a great hand cream. My favorite is Aveda’s, but another amazing hand cream that works just as well is Caudalie’s Hand & Nail Cream, which is nourishing and also absorbs well.
And, remember to keep your hand active. During cold weather, joints may have a tendency to stiffen up more often. While putting on hand cream, give your hands a mini massage. This will boost circulation to keep them warm as well as keep fluid moving well.
Enjoy!!