Is anyone else over this dry winter weather yet? I don’t know about you, but it wreaks havoc on my skin. That’s why I was so excited that Derma-E sent me these products to try. With ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid or Vitamin C they were sure to help out my dryer, dull winter skin, right? Find out below:
Hydrating Day Cream
With ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, Green Tea, Vitamin C and Aloe, it’s no wonder I’m a fan of this moisturizer. It goes on smooth, leaves my skin feeling moisturized and leaves a matte finish. Perfect for both my makeup free days and under makeup.
Ultra Hydrating Alkaline Gel Booster
Need that extra boost of hydration? This gel will help you do just that. While I am not a huge fan of liquid gel textures on my skin, this sure does help give the skin that extra “boost” of hydration. If you are suffering from really dry skin or have dry patches, apply this on the area and you will notice your skin feeling moisturized again without that oily feeling.
Vitamin C Bright Eyes Hydro Gel Patches
Hello Bright Eyes! I love a good eye mask, especially one that has immediate results. And these Eye Gels do the trick. Thanks to the combination of Allantoin (smooth eyes here we come), Caffeine (bye bye puffiness) and Vitamins C & B3 (the day’s looking brighter), these eye masks immediately left my under-eye area looking brighter and ready to take on the day!
You should totally check out these Derma-E products.
*Note – I received these products as a gift from Derma-E but all of the opinions are my own.*
“Invest In Your Hair. It Is The Crown You Never Take Off.”
2020 is going to be the year of Hair for me. Why? Because it’s finally growing again. See, after having kids, my hair started falling out and thinning… like a lot. With my hair thinning combined with my ever oily roots, I had pretty much given up on ever having a “good hair day” again. That was until I started to include Hum Nutritions Hair Sweet Hair vitamins into my daily routine.
Seriously, I was a skeptic. A hair vitamin can’t actually do anything for hair, right? But, I also figured what could it hurt to give it a try. So I did. And after about three months, I started to notice a difference. My hair stopped falling out, and started growing in thicker. It’s been easier for me to keep volume too. So in the spirit of good hair days again, here are my top tips for Fabulous Hair over the next decade.
See above. Hum Nutrition’s hair vitamins gave me my healthy hair back. And lets be honest… you can’t have a good hair day without healthy hair! Plus, these Hum Nutrition vitamins have PABA which helps maintain natural hair color (anything to keep those grey at bay, right?) and FoTi, a Chinese herb for healthy hair.
Seriously, hair color can make or break your whole look. It can make a hair cut, can bring out your eyes, can complement or clash with your skin tone and can even make you look thinner. Hair color is an art form. Find a colorist who sees it as such and is just as concerned about the overall hair health. And once you get that fabulous hair color, maintain it.
Colorist Recommendation: Hair Colorist Michael Canale – If you live in or near Los Angeles, DC, Chicago, New York City, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County or Dallas, go to Michael. He is the best in the biz, voted “Best of the Best” Allure and responsible for countless Celebs, politicians, CEOs and socialites hair colors. http://www.canale.com
Maintenance Recommendation: Maintain that gorgeous color with Canale’s Cool Blue Signature Gloss. http://www.canale.com
Find a haircut that works for you and your face shape. And be honest about what works for you… and what doesn’t. Example, as much as I would love to try a Pixie cut, there is no way that would work with my bone structure. And that’s ok. I know it, and I’m willing to admit it. So I will always have to be a longer hair kind of girl.
Shampoo & Conditioner
There are tons of great shampoos and conditioners out there. Find one that works for you and your hair type/concerns. I’m currently loving Strands Shampoo and Conditioner because it is formulated specifically for my hair and hair concerns using samples of my actual hair.
Want to help maintain healthy hair but still want to use a hair dryer? Find an Ionic one. An Ionic Hairdryer uses negative ions to break up positive water molecules, meaning your hair drys faster without opening up the hair shaft. There are so many great options out there. I’m personally loving the DryBar Buttercup one. Now once you have your hair dryer, if you’re looking for volume, dry your hair upside down to achieve longer lasting volume.
Dry Shampoo: One way to help keep hair healthy (and help hair color last longer) is to go a couple days between washes. My favs are DryBar’s Detox and Batiste’s Dry Shampoos. Remember, the trick to dry shampoo is to spray it in your hair before bed so it soaks up all the oils while you sleep.
Heat Protectant: Before drying your hair or using any hot tools on your hair always use a heat protectant spray. I am still testing several ones and will let you know when I have a recommendation.
Texturizing/Volume Spray: This is definitely a necessity for fine/thin hair. Find a finishing spray that adds texture and volume to your hair. I am personally loving DryBar’s Triple Sec at the moment. It adds some dimension to your hairstyles and can even make your hair appear thicker.
I never realized how much of a difference a pillowcase can make, but a silk pillowcase can make a huge difference in your hair. It reduces friction, which leaves your hair less frizzy. Plus, a silk pillowcase is better for your skin too. That’s a win win in my book.
Over the past year, I have tried a lot of great (and not so great) beauty products. With that said, I decided the best way to close out 2019 and the decade was to reveal my Fav Finds from the past year. Check them out below!
This is my fav find of 2019! I seriously call it Botox in a bottle. It uses Peptides to relax the muscles underneath the skin, essentially numbing them. I use this on my forehead and I started noticing a difference after the first day of using it. Now I can’t live without it.
Who knew hair vitamins could make such a huge difference? Well, let me tell you, they can and do. I have been loving these Hum Nutrition Hair Sweet Hair vitamins. Not only do they taste like strawberry candy (I seriously look forward to taking these everyday!), they work. Ever since having kids, my hair started thinning and falling out, thus, why you always saw me with my hair up in photos. I started taking these and after a couple months, my hair stopped falling out and growing in super healthy. Now I wear my hair down all the time!
Looking for a great anti-aging moisturizer that not only makes your skin look more youthful but also doesn’t make you break out? Check out Kate Somerville’s Deep Tissue Repair. It has quickly become my fav nighttime moisturizer.
Looking for a acne product that shortens the lifespan of those pesky breakouts? Check out this Mario Badescu Drying Lotion. Super easy to use and helps dry out those breakouts in no time. Just put a Q-Tip in the bottle (DO NOT SHAKE FIRST), and apply this to your breakouts before bed and wash it off in the morning.
The switch to Natural Deodorant was a struggle this year. Most of them do not work, and left me smelling so gross (seriously… even the kids commented on how bad I stunk 🤢), that was until I tried Kopari’s Coconut Oil Deodorant. And let me tell you… It is amazing! It works even better than those non-natural deodorants I’ve tried. Check it out!
Finding a good Dry Shampoo can be rough, because let’s be honest… Most of them just don’t work. But that is not the case for DryBar’s Detox Dry Shampoo. As soon as I tried it, I quickly fell in love. I have been able to get up-to three days out of my hair with this baby… And I used to be lucky if I could even get to day two hair!
By now, most of you know I love my Face Masks, and I have tried a lot of great (and not so great) masks this past year. But alas, there can only be one Best. And that would be this Cellcosmet CellRadiance Mask. The nanostructure of the actual mask helps it adhere perfectly for the skin. But most importantly, it showed great immediate results. My skin literally looked and felt tighter, hydrated and radiant.
Ulta Beauty is one of my fav places to shop during the holidays. Why? Because whether you’re shopping for family, a friend or yourself, they have some amazing options (and great deals!). Check out the Top Picks of 2019 below:
A Kimpton Hotel Palomar Experience In Washington, DC
Washington, DC… What a great city with a lot of fun things to see and do. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to stay, you should check out the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle.
What do you look for in a hotel? I always look for great customer service, cleanliness, great food and great amenities. That’s why when my hubby and I headed to DC for our White House Staff reunion (my husband and I met working together at the White House), our first thought for a place to stay was a Kimpton hotel. They always have the best customer service, spacious rooms and delicious food. And the Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle, which has been named the Best Hotel in DC by U.S. News & World Report several years in a row, seemed like the perfect fit. But why?
Location, Location, Location
When it comes to any hotel, the location can make or break a trip. That’s what makes the Kimpton Palomar in DC so great. Nestled in the heart of Dupont (just a couple blocks from my old apartment), this hotel is mere steps away from the hustle bustle of Dupont Circle as well as a short walk from the trendy shops and eateries in Logan Circle or Georgetown. It’s also minutes away from the National Mall, Kennedy Center and the White House. Now that’s what I call convenient!
The Kimpton Hotel Palomar in DC was recently remodeled, and the whole hotel now has a trendy, chic, minimalistic design that was inspired by the surrounding art galleries. How cool is that? And combine the new design with the spacious rooms (I mean, look at that room!), comfortable beds, yoga mats in every room, large bottles of Atelier Bloem Shampoo, Conditioner & Body Wash in the showers and Signature Kimpton bathrobes, you have the perfect place to sit back and relax.
Hotel Palomar houses Urbana Dining & Drinks. With Chef Ethan McKee at the helm, their menu features a variety of house-made Italian foods. During our stay, we tried their Chicken Meatballs (my fav!), the Arancini and the Bucatini Carbonara. They were all delicious, and worth dining at the restaurant even if you don’t stay at the hotel.
Oh the amenities. That is probably what makes Kimpton Hotels the best (along with their excellent customer service, of course). Everyday, they host a free Wine Hour for all guests in the lobby. Cheers to that!
The Hotel Palomar in Dupont also has yoga mats in every room, bikes for guests to use as they tour the city, a heated seasonal pool with food service from Urbana, a gym referred to as the “Sculpting Room,” in-room spa services, complimentary Wi-Fi and so much more.
Also, since I am a Gold Member, I have access to a $10 Raid The Bar credit – meaning I can use $10 towards that mini-bar or at the actual bar.
To sum it up, the next time you head to DC, you should stay at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar and discover what made my stay excellent as well as why it has won the Traveler’s Choice Awards + Certificate of Excellence from Trip Advisor. Happy Traveling!
*Note – I received a discounted room rate in exchange for an honest review.
It’s time for Ulta Beauty’s 21 Days Of Beauty sale, and you know what that means? There are some great deals on some great products coming up. I’ve gone through all the lists, and these are my top picks. Happy shopping!
An Experience At America’s Oldest Resort – The Omni Homestead
Now I don’t know about you, but I think it would be cool to travel through time, but alas, that’s not possible (at least that I know of 🤔), so here’s the next best thing. A trip “through time” to the oldest resort in the United States. The Homestead. This property is ten years older than the United States itself. It was founded in 1766. And while it has changed ownership and structures several times over through the centuries, it is still a historic resort from all those years ago. And it was an interesting time to say the least.
Truth be told, I had never heard of The Omni Homestead until I received a Save The Date for a friend’s wedding. Nestled in a remote area in the middle of the Allegheny Mountains, the property itself is stunning. The hotel is very grandiose, but my favorite part was the overall scenery. It was so lush and green. Plus, there are a large array of activities for the whole family to do. Options include everything from Horseback Riding, Falconry and Archery to Water Slides, Golf, Hiking and so much more.
The Cascades Gorge Hike
Since I was on a solo trip (the wedding was an adult-only affair and someone had to watch the kids, so my hubby stayed home with them), I opted to go on the resort’s Cascades Gorge Hike. Let me tell you, it was amazing and a highlight of the trip.
The Cascades Gorge Hike is lead by the Resort’s Naturalist Brian, who is very entertaining by the way. We trekked through waterfalls in this Tropical Forest of Virginia. You read that right… Virginia has a Tropical Forest. The Hot Springs in the area create a tropical microclimate. How interesting is that? And can I just say, I learned so much on this hike! Some examples. Did you know plants are actually classified as intelligent life? They communicate with each other. Or how about if you are infected by a poisonous plant, the remedy is typically within eyeshot? That is merely “the tip of the iceberg” so to speak of the facts our group learned on the hike.
In addition to the entertaining and educational nature of the hike, the surroundings were so beautiful and peaceful. There were several waterfalls along the way as we weaved from the base of the trail up to the golf course, and I can honestly say I left feeling re-energized.
If you ever make it this way, I highly recommend the hike. It did cost $31 a person (crazy for a hike, right?!) but I can actually say it was worth it.
The Homestead has several types of pools throughout the property, including a Lazy River, a Splash Pad, Water Slides and an Adult Only one. I spent most of my time in either the Lazy River or on the Water Slides. They also have poolside cocktail service (I definitely enjoyed a couple Strawberry Daiquiris). The only downside is there were several bees throughout the pool area, and I was even stung by one… Ouch!
The Hotel Room & Cleanliness
By now, most of you know that I am all about a clean hotel room. It is the main way I judge a hotel to be honest. And this is one of the areas where the resort fell short. The room itself was nice and spacious, but there were cashew nuts, straw wrappers and crumbs left on the floor (leading me to be concerned about the overall cleanliness of the actual room!). Can I just say… GROSS! Plus, what if someone staying in the room had a nut allergy? I did report the issue to management, and they were going to talk with their staff about the incident. But truth be told, it wasn’t just the rooms that needed some cleaning… Cobwebs could be frequently found in the hallways, on stairs and in corners.
Ok… I get it. This is the oldest resort in the country. But it is also 2019… Power shouldn’t be an issue. But oh was it. The power went out a couple times during my stay (a whole 36 hours on property) with the longest stretch being for around an hour because their generators are so old it takes that long to kick in. Pair that with the hallways that aren’t air conditioned and the heatwave that was sweeping through the region, it made for not the best accommodations.
As a whole, the food was pretty good. I enjoyed my Pizza, Strawberry Mojito (so refreshing!) and Calamari from Woody’s and the Poolside Chicken Fingers with my Strawberry Daiquiri were tasty.
The only disappointing meal I had was their breakfast buffet in the Dining Room. It was way overpriced for mediocre food. Seriously, my waffle and omelet were the most expensive things I ate the whole trip, and I can find better at an IHOP.
In conclusion, I did have an enjoyable trip to The Omni Homestead. Will I be rushing back? No. But I am glad I went and saw. Plus, the resort will be updated soon as The Omni has budgeted millions of dollars to renovate this property. I’m interested to see what they do with the place.