Hydrating Through Winter With Moroccan Magic

Hi everyone,

I wanted to let you guys in on my new favorite hydrating lip balms by the brand Moroccan Magic. Moroccan Magic lip balms are USDA certified organic and cruelty free, checking two things off my list of desirable brand qualities.

They are super hydrating for your lips in the dry winter months. I have dry skin year round and while winter is magical time, it isn’t necessarily the easiest for beauty! I keep these in my purse or jacket pocket for work or class, and they give a moisturizing coat to my existing lip color. A tip: lip stains work really well with these balms, because they won’t smear the product.

They come in 5 scents, and the ones I’m featuring in this post is “Rose.” The others include:

♥ Lemon Thyme
♥ Coconut Almond
♥ Peppermint Eucalyptus
♥ Lavender Vanilla

Having argan oil be the main base ingredient for these balms is great, because argan oil is known worldwide for being highly conditioning, not to mention it has anti-aging properties.

I love the scents and these are perfect for keeping my lips resilient this season! You can pick them up at your local CVS, Bed Bath and Beyond, the Vitamin Shoppe or Whole Foods. I hope you love them as much as I do! Drop me a comment about your own review. Have a great week!

-Kelly

xx

Trader Joe’s Beauty Haul: Beauty for Less

Hi everyone,

As if Trader Joe’s isn’t already obsessed over enough, I’m adding yet another reason why the store is my go-to. The reason: beauty products. The prices are right and the ingredients are minimal, what’s not to love?

I hope you guys find this non-sponsored review useful!

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I want to start with a disclaimer: I’ve paid for quite a bit of expensive beauty and hair care products over the years, telling myself that the brand made the expense worth it. When I stopped seeing results, and asked myself if I wanted to repurchase, I had a change of heart. And a perspective on my bank account.

The truth: you don’t have to always break the bank to get good quality products that work for you. And cutting back on expenses is such a relief. It adds up fast; 3 high grade skincare products may equal the cost of a flight for your next adventure. If you can find quality products for less, you won’t be stressed with your beauty expenses. 

The first on the list is my personal favorite: the moisture boost serum. The miracle ingredient is hyaluronic acid. It does make your face a bit sticky at first, and you need to rub it in well before it fully absorbs, but it provides the best hydrating base for your favorite moisturizer.

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I stopped using serums for months because I didn’t get the appeal, and now it’s clear that I just wasn’t getting results. The TJ’s moisture boost serum has just five listed ingredients, which to me is a miracle for a serum to be effective. I get nervous at products with laundry lists of ingredients with unpronounceable origins. 

This moisture boost serum locks in moisture and creates a protective barrier, so your moisturizer is more effective at hydrating your skin. I honestly can’t justify looking at another serum when this one retails for $7.99.

The next product is the TJ’s coconut body butter. It’s formulated with coconut oil, Shea butter, and vitamin E. I first found this in the Palm Springs Trader Joe’s store, when I was getting some essentials for our week trip. Going from the Seattle pre-spring weather to the dry desert heat was a lot on my skin, and this body butter was so effective for deeper hydration before I went to bed!

It’s also not a surprise that coconut scented products are sought after (and amazing), so this product was an awesome find. Props to TJ’s advertising for putting it near the checkout lines.

I did look up the body butter for allergens, and it passed as a 91% allergen free product. It’s paraben free, soy free, and gluten free. It’s also free of common preservatives (which I really try to avoid) and serves as a topical antibiotic from the coconut oil. Sold yet?

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The third product is another coconut love of mine: the shea butter and coconut oil hair mask. Not only is the packaging enticing, but the price is also. This 5.1 ounce tube is only $3.99. Seriously, I couldn’t believe that. I’m super into shea butter and coconut oil for my face and body the last couples of months.

There’s also argan oil and vitamin E in the formula as well, and all of the ingredients make a product designed to control frizz and produce a silkier texture to your hair. My hair is 100% on the drier side, and this mask really makes my ends softer.

This hair mask is consistently in the staff favorites section of the store, which is actually super on par (hiiii new cold brew favorite). Anyways, this mask smells and feels amazing. Once a week in your hair for five minutes and you’ll see what I mean. And compared to other deep conditioning treatments that can be anywhere from $30-60, you don’t have much to lose if you try to mix in a mask for such a small price in comparison.

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Another disclaimer: this sunset shoot outside of Trader Joe’s was definitely one for the books (of awkwardness). But that’s the commitment for these products ya’ll, I wanted the full effect. Happy beauty bargaining!

For more content on my favorite finds, follow my Instagram @k_stateofmind .

I wish you all a productive and inspiring rest of the week.

xx

-Kelly

Five Ideas to Consider Before Starting a Blog

Hi everyone,

This week I’m sharing my tips and idea’s for how to start a blog. A beginner’s guide, if you will. I’ve had my blog for about a year and a half, and I have to say, it’s my favorite activity. I love to write and share info and education on topics I love. If you’re wanting to do the same, then read on! ❤

1 . There are a few more technical steps to setting up your blog, but the one decision I’ll give my input on is the platform. I prefer WordPress and have been loving it since I started. There are approximately 82 million WordPress users, so your engagement possibilities are great here. I find the platform user friendly and straightforward for uploading content and images.

If you’re unsure about which platform you want to use, research always helps. What kind of content will you be uploading? For instance, an image dominated blog may apt to go for a platform like Squarespace, for that modern clean look. I, however, love to include a bunch of text in my blog pieces, and compliment it with photography.

WordPress allows me to post aesthetic posts with my writing and one of my new found loves, photography:

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2 . Consider investment. If you aren’t willing to invest some money into your platform, it’s better to know at the beginning stage. A few investments instantly make your blog more professional. The two that I invested in were a domain and a template.

A personalized domain is much more personal to you, as opposed to having the platform name be in the domain. And people respect and appreciate a blog that has gone the extra mile.

WordPress, for instance, offers a variety of templates free of charge, however, my advice would be to look through the free ones and paid ones without focusing on the money factor. Which template stands out to you? Which properly displays the type of content you’ll be posting? After that, it’s up to you. You could always go with a free template to start out and switch later.

3. Think about cross-promotion. By that I mean promoting your blog content on multiple social media platforms to gain more exposure. Currently, my top priority of cross-promotion is Instagram. I feel like I can really show my photography on there and draw my followers to my blog site. I always put my recent blog post in my Instagram bio for easy access.

4. Time commitment/management. Posting regularly on a blog does take time. I aim to post once a week, mostly on a Wednesday or a Thursday according to my posting statistics. Some bloggers aim to post twice a week, and some manage every two weeks. The key is finding what schedule works for you, and sticking to it.

If you’re adding a blog to a current full schedule, blocking out time in your week to write posts and take photos is essential. Sometimes I’ll arrange 5 flatlays in the same sitting and save them so I have them for upcoming posts on Instagram and on my blog. It helps to think ahead! Some examples of flatlays I plan out (when the winter light allows):

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5. Lastly and most importantly, you need a niche. When trying to figure out what your blog will be about, ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I know? (You don’t need to be an “expert”, but go for your strengths)
  • What am I passionate about?
  • What content would I like to read?

Your niche should be something that flows more naturally. If you have always loved keeping up with the latest fashion trends, fashion blogging would be great for you. If you just love photography and taking photos and want to show them to an audience, a photography blog would be great. If you’re passionate about health and wellness, design a blog that covers those topics. Go for your strengths and write what you know.

I consider this point the most important because it ensures authenticity in your writing. I myself strayed from my passions for a few months posting more style and fashion, and my excitement for it faded. Writing about health and wellness and fitness are always on my mind and in my lifestyle, so I found my way back to what I consider to be my strengths.

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Be yourself. Let it come through your blog and through your writing. You’ll be amazed at the feeling of people responding positively to it.

I hope this guide was helpful! For any further inquiries about starting a blog, feel free to drop a comment below or email me. x

-Kelly

 

 

 

January Skincare Favorites: Hydrating Through Winter

Hi everyone,

This week, I’m sharing my favorite beauty products to help you get through the rest of winter season (or if your skin is extra dry lately). Most of these products are Kiehl’s, and this post is in no way sponsored. All opinions are my own.

Proper hydration is crucial, I’ve known this for years. Actually finding products that successfully hydrate my skin is another story.

The tough one here is, a lot of heavy creams and moisturizers have comedogenic ingredients, meaning they’re capable of clogging your pores. While you may be hydrating your skin, you could also suffer breakouts as a consequence. For this reason, given the sensitivity of my skin, I steer clear of comedogenic ingredients.

Kiehl’s has been a game changer for me. I look for simple, non-irritating products that penetrate deeper into my skin. My skin isn’t flaky, it just often looks like it needs to be quenched. So it’s more on the dehydrated side, and I try my best to chug water!

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The three products I’ve been routinely using are the Kiehl’s Ultra facial cream, hydrating masque, and deep moisture balm.

I’m going to start with the deep moisture balm because it’s AMAZING for dry skin. The label actually states its for “dry to very dry skin types.” AKA, it’s formulated for me. The description said to compare the balm to the ultimate hydration blanket, and I couldn’t agree more. The balm has a high level of glycerin, which is always good to look for when finding hydrating products. The interesting ingredient is Edelweiss flower extract, from the Swiss Alps! How festive.

For the balm, the third ingredient being Shea butter worried me a little. Shea butter is very dense, and although I had never tried it in a cream, the possibility of it being comedogenic was there. But so far so good, I’m totally sold.

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The Kiehl’s Ultra facial cream is the #1 Kiehl’s product, and for good reason. It’s great for daily use. I put on a thin layer on top of the deep moisture balm at night, and put it under my makeup during the day. I purchased the one without SPF so it could be nighttime use as well, so definitely purchase a sunscreen or SPF moisturizer for daytime use if you haven’t already.

The facial cream also contains high levels of glycerin, and the ingredient squalane, which is known for moisture absorption in the skin.

The third product, the hydrating masque, has a sort of Vaseline consistency to it, but it spreads super easy over the skin. It’s a long lasting hydration product, and it’s great for keeping your skin in better shape. I use my cleanser first to make sure my face is clean and makeup free. I put a thin layer on while I go on my computer or watch a show before I sleep, and then I towel dry it off before applying my moisture balm and facial cream. The masque contains glacial proteins and desert properties for moisture retention.

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Aquaphor is like the timeless pieces in fashion that never go out of style. It always delivers. I carry small tubes in my purse for my lips and I have a large bottle at home for any chaffing that may happen in winter. It’s a winter must have.

I hope you all enjoyed my #1 hydration products for winter! Stay hydrated xx

-Kelly

Clear Skin Diet: My Personal Tips

Hi loves,

If it is not already clear from my previous posts, I care a lot about the health and clarity of my skin. Unfortunately, it is often portrayed that the one and only saving grace to clear skin is a prescription, or using products with intense ingredients. I personally have not experienced either of these options to be a saving grace. And I’m going to share why I’ve changed my mind about what it takes to achieve clear skin.

Often times, prescriptions are antibiotics. Your body will progress to adapt to this antibiotic, and it will stop working if you try to continue usage for long-term. Essentially, prescriptions are short-term solutions. Not that these medications don’t help severe cases of acne, however, if you’re constantly getting more mild forms of blemishes, you should look to other reasoning.

Drink tons of water. Carry a water bottle around with you to hold yourself accountable.

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Your diet is huge for your skin. Have you ever heard “you are what you eat”? It doesn’t just apply to your figure. The food you consume can most definitely alter your skin negatively, just as much as it can improve it.

A list I normally follow for my skin:

➳ Limit refined sugars, which are essentially derived from sugar cane. Refined sugar is present in soft drinks, fruit juices, and candies and sweets. They are used to sweeten food, and you do not gain any benefit from the addition. Speaking of soft drinks, they are high in fructose corn syrup, which is a very common aggressor to insulin spikes, in turn causing a stage of inflammation in the body. Due to this inflammation, enzymes actually break down collagen and elastin, causing premature wrinkles and loose skin.

➳ Ease up on the dairy. The effect of dairy on someone’s skin varies quite a lot, and studies have been all over the board on if dairy causes acne. Given that I would consider myself somewhat resistant to dairy to begin with, I take it out of everything I eat that can have a dairy substitute.

♥ Take your coffee with a non-dairy milk (soy, almond, hemp, coconut)

♥ Don’t overdo it with cheese, and even consider replacing the cheese with a spice or other addition.

♥  Re-consider whey based protein substances. In other words, you can get vegan protein powder and bars. Whey protein is a milk protein, and even dermatologists are catching on to tell athletes to consider non-dairy vegan protein powders.

➳ Fast food will show in your pores. Your pores will thank you if you eat cleaner, and reduce your fast food intake. To put it in perspective, I might have a batch of fries with a meal every two weeks, or have white bread in a sandwich once in a while. Pizza will occasionally happen. But I don’t frequently eat these things, because they are not going to aid you in the path to clear skin. Besides fast food being highly caloric and full of processed unnatural ingredients, they are also packed with high amounts of sodium and sugar, again spiking insulin levels and clogging pores.

Here’s a pic of super clean, whole food at a market in London:

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➳ Eat like you carefully choose skincare. I think of the ingredients of my food and how it will impact my skin. Salmon and avocados are great Omega 3-s, for instance, and the more you  look at food as a reflection of your skin, the better your skin will look. I promise! Here’s a pic of one of my favorite things to make: a salmon protein bowl.

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Ingredients:

1 piece of salmon filet

Handful of kale (or more)

1/2 an avocado

Carrots and mushrooms

Yumm sauce (from Café Yumm)

Salt and garlic

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Just like when you’re training to be fitter, you can definitely make exceptions sometimes and splurge to eat something that isn’t the best for your skin. The key is not to make it a habit! On that topic…

Alcohol. Do not underestimate the negative effects of alcohol on your skin. It comes out through your pores! If you drink on a regular basis, I would be very surprised if your skin remained poreless and plump. In general, alcohol dehydrates you, and by extension your skin. Dehydration causes premature wrinkles and reduces the elastin in your skin layer. It’s tough to maintain your skin’s hormone levels as well because alcohol will change them.

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However, the link of an unhealthy complexion and alcohol depends on the frequency of alcohol consumption. If it’s less frequent and you drink more water to compensate, you should be totally fine. When you do drink:

Reach for clear liquors, not dark. Dark liquors contain congeners that are from extra fermentation. Congeners will cause premature aging in the skin if frequently consumed.

Another fact about alcohol’s negative effects is the sugar content. The excess sugar in cocktails and other mixed drinks will spike your insulin levels and cause systemic inflammation, worsening your complexion and putting you at risk of premature wrinkles. Alcohol in general is better to avoid completely for better skin health, however, the above tips will be exponentially helpful to reducing effects on your skin.

There are no negatives of making your diet cleaner, and your skin will only thank you. This way you can keep your skin healthy from the inside out, not rely on products and medication to do the work.

I hope this information helped you towards a clear skin diet of your own, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to comment below or email me. xx

-Kelly

 

Rose Vegan Skincare Essentials: Velvet Report

Hi everyone,

I had the chance to attend the vegan blogger brunch and the product launch of Velvet Report, hosted by the creator, Lindsey Arnold. The brunch was hosted at Bar Melusine, located in Capitol Hill! If you love bright aesthetic and awesome vegan food, definitely check them out.

Lindsey was so refreshing to listen to about her mission to obtain a 100% vegan line, in partnership with Herbivore Botanicals, Kani Botanicals, and Formulary 55. The goodie bags for the brunch were Lindsay’s Rose Vegan Beauty Set, complete with her own Micellar Water. Safe to say I adore this set. Who doesn’t love clean beauty, that is cruelty free and is rose scented?

I’ll touch upon each product included in the set, the first being her micellar water.

Micellar water is the beauty trend in France, where women there live by using micelles in their skincare routine for cleansing. So many women there just use micellar water and not a cleanser!

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My personal routine is a double cleanse, starting with the micellar water and then with a cleanser for a deeper clean. Velvet Report’s micellar water, after a week of use, is now my go-to. I’ve been using the Garnier’s version for years now with relatively good results, however,  I can already tell this formula is better for my sensitive skin. There are 8 ingredients on the bottle, in fact. Simple and refreshing.

The next is the Herbivore Botanicals Rose Lip Conditioner. Small and quaint, but just a tiny bit will give your lips and non greasy, effective layer of moisture. I recently find myself best friends with aquaphor as my lips adjust to the colder weather, and this little beauty really helps my lips from cracking. Herbivore not only has a super creative name and product aesthetic, they also make a great face mist.

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Kani Botanical’s Hibiscus and Rose Toner is also in the set, and it reminds me of Herbivore’s facial mist with the rose scent. However, this one from Kani Botanical’s doesn’t have the coconut water emphasis. It’s so light and refreshing, and the small 2 oz bottle is even travel size! You could slip it in your purse for a long work day. Face mists and spray toners make for great midday pick-me-ups, and this bottle is also 100% recyclable.

The last product in the set is the Formulary 55 rosehip and clay facial mask. To start, the packaging is so unique with the fact that the mask is in powder form. You can get two uses out the mask for an $8.00 value, according to the package. I personally feel that you can get four uses out of it, given how easily the mask spreads when mixed with water.

This adorable rose scented set comes with the Velvet Report book box, which is a great personal touch from Lindsey. I have a discount code (VELVET10) to get 10% off for those that are interested. Her website: velvetreport.com

I hope you all enjoyed this skincare chat! Happy Monday.

xx

-Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Finds: First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Skincare Line

Skincare babes,

I’m currently packing all of my skincare getting ready for my week trip to Palm Springs, and I wanted to share my love for this skincare line. First Aid Beauty is catered more for the sensitive skin types, and the Hello FAB products are infused with the best ingredients to brighten and soothe skin. All of them are noncomedogenic and hypoallergenic.

The three products I’ve been trying out:

♥ Coconut skin smoothing priming moisturizer

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This is a primer and moisturizer all in one. It leaves your skin dewy and radiant, so for a drier skin type like mine this has been amazing. It’s naturally scented from one of its core ingredients, coconut water, and creates a radiance with its micro-pearls. It also has a mineral blend that supports skin health. If you’re looking for a comparison, I used to use the Too Faced Hangover RX Primer, and this one knocks it out of the park.

♥ Caffeine matcha wake up wipes

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I love these in the morning to brighten up my complexion with the included vitamin c, or when my skin needs to “wake up.” These wipes also contain vital skin superfoods including matcha green tea, to hydrate and detoxify the complexion. You can also use these to remove your makeup, however, I use them as more of a preparation step.

♥ Vital greens face mist

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I ran out of my Urban Decay setting spray and wanted to try something new. I love this face mist! It doubles as a setting spray, and I like to keep it in my purse to spritz my face when my makeup starts to separate throughout the day. Given that my skin is on the drier side, it’s easier to see this happen on the surface of my skin, so I like to keep my face refreshed to avoid that separated look.

My tinted moisturizer goes on so well after I’ve used these, And after a few weeks my winter skin has balanced out. There are always more inexpensive options for skincare, however, if you’re a dedicated Sephora customer these are definitely at a lower price point when compared to the rest of the store (cough Peter Thomas Roth and Kate Somerville..)

When buying skincare products, it’s about the i n g r e d i e n t s. Not the brand. Certain brands carry a certain weight due to their reputation, when in reality those products might not suit you. And who doesn’t love a lower price point?

Feel free to let me know in the comments if any of you have tried these!

Thanks for reading! xx

-Kelly