I’ve been thinking a lot about what products to start our banter with and TBH, skincare has been my latest obsession. Gone are the days I can be frivolous about which products I use, and trust me, my skin went through hell and back when I moved to LA. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about what works for me, and I’ve been in good hands by getting occasional treatments by Dr. Nadia (her PRP facials have changed my skin — more on that later!). The hardest part about skin-related topics are the obvious disclaimer: everyone’s skin is different. My skin is pretty combination, that veers dry in the winter (even in LA!). Since there are so many I’m loving lately though, I figured I’d start with cleansers.
First, one thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is my skin can use all the moisture it can get, so I try not to go crazy and overdo the cleansing (hence, stripping my skin of the oils it needs). I’ll usually skip a morning cleanse and use a micellar water if anything (more on that in a sec). But generally, this is what I find has been working best for me:
This is a little pricey as far as cleansers go, but there’s few that I’ve come across feel as good as this one does. It keeps my skin in check, and gets all the dirt out with the power of three different charcoals. A little goes a long way to remove all my makeup at the end of the day. It also has licorice and AHAs to help keep skin bright and encourage cellular renewal. I’ve even had friends stay over and use it, and notice the brilliance of this from the first go.
If you feel your skin can use a little more of a deep clean, and you’re not looking to spend $30 on a face wash, I’ve been using and really liking Soap & Glory’s Vitamin C Wash. First of all, the bottle is massive — for 11.8 oz, it might as well be your body wash. In fact, I keep it in the shower so I can use it on my face and my upper back too after a workout. It has tiny exfoliating beads that helps get a deeper clean in, and it has mint and chamomile so your skin actually feels refreshed after using it. Vitamin c is also one of my favorite skin brighteners — which is also notoriously hard to stabilize, so I can’t speak to how effective it can be in this gel form, but it does make my skin feel clean without feeling tight or dry after.
I haven’t used this one in a minute because I’ve been so happy with the two I’ve already mentioned, BUT I’m always asked about gentle, drugstore cleansers, and CeraVe has always been my favorite no-frills cleanser. My favorite thing about this one is it has ceramides, which helps protect the skin. If your skin is breakout-prone, you may also want to consider their SA cleanser that has ceramides AND salicylic acid.
I don’t use this every day, but on days I need a little extra, I’ll go over my face after cleansing with micellar water. Micellar water helps to cleanse the skin and leaves good-for-you ingredients (like peptides and skin softeners) behind so your skin benefits as well. This one from It Cosmetics is gentle and helps get every last bit of grime out before I go to sleep. It’s, again, a little on the high end as far as toners go, so if you’re looking for a good drugstore alternative, I also really like Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water ($7). I keep their makeup wipes next to my bed on the days I’m feeling extra lazy and just want to do a quick clean. Otherwise, I use toners sparingly, and mostly if I have a lot of makeup on that day.
I’ll have more AM and PM routines to come, and what products have been working for me to come! What have you been using that you love? Leave me a comment below!
…what’s more funny to me is when I looked back at my posts from earlier this year, and I wrote this whole “I’m bacckkkkk” post after a brief absence, and well, that was an unintentional lie. Instead I got a job as an editorial director in LA, and started all over again. Blogging and YouTube is a whole different beast to me than it was when I started almost a decade ago (that sounds crazy that it’s been that long). And that’s partly why I didn’t know if I could come back to Beauty and the Feast the same way I did.
Let’s get reacquainted. (pic by Saagar Shaikh)
But last night, I had a friend (an extremely successful force on IG and businesswoman) tell me something that stuck: “Creatives feel anxiety when they stop creating. You have to keep creating to feel centered.” And so whatever BATF is or could become to me, at this point, takes a backseat to what it is for me. It’s a place where I can write and freely share on the things I love to talk to you all about, and that’s mainly on the topics of beauty and food. That said, I am taking on a new and extremely exciting project in beauty which I’ll update you here, and on my socials (holla at ya girl @beautyndfeast), and trust me, it’s major so stay posted. In the mean time, let me know in the comments or on Twitter what you want to read most about because we’re getting reacquainted all over again.
I may or may not have a mini crush on this chef, Erwan Heussaff. He’s a fitness buff, speaks French, has dreamy eyes, etc. etc. But I probably fell in love after I tried his Eggs in a Basket Grilled Cheese recipe. Seriously, it’s so good and so easy. I made it for quite a few breakfasts when I was living in Dubai and it was an easy crowd pleaser.
2 slices of a large bread Loaf
3 tbsp Cream Cheese
1/3 cup Frozen Spinach
4 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/3 cup shredded Cheddar
Salt and Pepper
Red pepper flakes (optional)
1. In a pan fry the spinach with the cream cheese on low heat.
2. Spread the mix on a loaf of bread, and top with cheddar. Top with another loaf and press down.
3. Add 1 tbsp of butter to the pan and olive oil. Keep the heat on low. Cook on one side. Until brown. Flip . Add more butter.
4. Cut a hole in the middle. I usually do this by placing a glass over the bread and pressing down so it guides me in creating a perfect circle to cut.
5. Once you make the hole, place an egg, season. Press down until level. Add more butter.
6. Keep the middle part in the pan as well. You can serve this on eat side.
7. Cover until the egg is cooked.
If two breads is a lot of carbs for you, I make a variant of this with just one bread: Use the spinach and cream cheese mix to spread over a toasted bread, and top with a fried egg. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. It’s seriously so good — try it and let men now what you think!
And while we’re here, let’s just go ahead and immortalize the moment Heussaff acknowledged me on July 29 when I tried this for the first time.
I mean, I think that’s practically a proposal but that’s just me. #notcreepyatall
I don’t know if you’re good about facials, because I’m not. I’m also really bad at getting massages, manis and pedis…you would think I’m just in the wrong field completely. Unless I’m going with a friend, I just get bored waiting for my services to end. That’s why I took so well to a concept like Skin Laundry.Skin Laundry, founded by Yen Reis, is a laser and light clinic that also has their own skincare line. The concept is simple – drop in, get a 15-minute YAG laser that deep cleans, and IPL treatment (to help with scarring), with no downtime. You’re in and out.
Skin Laundry in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel, NYC
The process is pretty simple. I usually go without any makeup, but they will do a double wipe with their cleansing cloths to make sure your skin is makeup free. Next they’ll cover your eyes with goggles, and gently tie back your hair so it’s not in the way. Then, they’ll go over your face twice with a laser. I’m sure the level of discomfort varies from person to person — I’d give it about a 3 on the pain scale (it’s really not much). it feels like a rubber band pinching your skin. Afterwards, they’ll spread a gel on your skin and apply an IPL light treatment that will help improve your complexion. It’s just burst of warmth on your skin (again not painful). They end by spreading on a little moisturizer and SPF, and you’re off. They advise to stay away from any exfoliators, scrubs, and retinol for a day following your treatment.
Personally, I prefer this light, non-aggressive treatment. I also love their easy online booking system (just pick your time, day, and location online and walk in), it’s pretty much the most simple and effective service I’ve committed to lately. It’s $65 per treatment, and you can get it in bundles which saves you a little money long term. I’ve found it worth it for myself, so it’s something I don’t mind investing in (I usually buy a bundle of three at a time). It’s my once a month refresh. Most of their locations are in NYC and CA, but I’ve heard whispers of more locations opening soon, including in the Midwest. If you have access to one, the first visit is free, so I really recommend going in to check it out!
Hey everyone! I’m sharing a panel discussion on the Art of Social Media: Communicating Effectively this Friday at 7pm — come join! It’s free, and you just have to RSVP here. I’m sharing the stage with some awesome fellow writers, Sarah Khan and Marina Aguilera, and would love to see you there. There may be some fun surprises in the mix :).
Friday, March 3rd, 7pm @ NYU Kimmel Center Room 802 (Shorin)
60 Washington Square S, New York, NY 10012
I’m not sure how many people are into Snapchat’s Discover channels, but I’m pretty obsessed with Tastemade. They always make videos of really enticing dishes in a fun way, like this Spicy Honey Mustard Chicken I caught one time. It’s healthy and the spicy honey mustard has a nice kick to it. It quickly ended up being my go-to while I was living in Dubai. Whomever I made this for always asks for the recipe, so thought I’d share it here:
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup spicy brown mustard
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breast
optional garnish: chopped Italian parsley
Combine all ingredients to make a marinade, then cover chicken with marinade. I either then put it in a Ziplock or mix it all in a bowl and cover it with saran wrap and then leave in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight. When you’re ready to cook, heat up 2 tbs olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. I would also cut the chicken breasts in half for thinner pieces so it cooks more evenly. About two minutes on each side should do it. Try it and let me know what you think!