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!
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!
I get this question a LOT, so I figured I’ll put it all in one place. Here’s the riveting story about how I style my messy lob, and what products I like to use.
As a preface, I did this quick IG video tutorial about it:
I start with wet hair and if I’m feeling more volume, I’ll use this Liss & Plump gel-cream styler from L’Oreal Professionel. Even if you’re not particularly doing this style but crave volume, THIS is it. It helps give you hair more body without being crunchy like you might using mousse. I use a dime-size for my hair and just finger brush it through.
Then I spritz my favorite Wave Spray from Ouai. I’ve tried other “waving” sprays but haven’t found one I like quite like Ouai’s yet.
Then I do a rough blow dry. No brush, no tools. My hair naturally, by the way, is wavy…ish. After I did a Cezanne keratin treatment years ago, I think it changed the structure of my hair and it veers more on the straight side lately (I never did a keratin treatment before or after this instance!), but I guess it’s naturally somewhere in between.
After my hair is dry, I use a 1″ FLAT iron. You can use a curling wand too, and when my hair was freakishly long that was my tool of choice. But I find using the flat iron makes it look a little more messy and undone which is more what I’m going for. I first part my hair and clip it up to do the bottom layer first. Starting from the roots, I twist my hair in the flat iron to make bends, leaving the ends straight (about 2 inches from the bottom). Then, I unclip the top layer and curl it the same way (you can see in the video how I do this). Then I’ll just go around and straighten the ends with the flat iron to make it look messy.
And the grand finale (and also how I came to appreciate this product): Texturizing Spray. It helps give your hair grit and look more worn in. Again, my favorite is from Ouai, but I also LOVE Amika Un.Done Texture Spray (and it smells like perfume!). Just spray it all over and shake your fingers through your hair.
With the weather warming up and sandals in tow, summer is always the time when I pay a little extra attention to my nails. Admittedly, I’m really picky about my nail polishes, but once I was introduced to Maya Cosmetics, I knew I would be adding it to my collection of polishes fast. As part of the newest, popular crop of health-conscious polishes, these are breathable (read for my Muslim sisters: wudu/ablution-friendly!), free of harsh and harmful ingredients (no toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (DBP), and camphor), 100% halal/PETA-certified (no prohibited alcohol, animal derivatives or animal testing), and physician approved. What more could you want in a nail polish? Oh right…
Gorgeous colors. (From left to right above: Dahlia, Americana, Plumberry, Ruman, Pepto Pink, and Top-Coat Gloss)
As soon as I snapped a sneak peak of my freshly coated nails, there were immediately questions following, screenshots taken, and people asking about placing their orders. A common question I got was: how does it hold up against the other [halal] brands out there? Personally, I thought the quality was much richer, lasted quite longer, and had a better color payoff compared to another “breathable” brand that has been circulating in the U.S. for the past few years–and that I had been using regularly before getting a hold of these ones. Also, major bonus points to them for how quickly the polishes dry, which without is a deal breaker for someone like me who is always on the run. You can tell that the lacquer is high quality and has a gel-like finish, without any of the damage to my nails. Even without the top coat, it took a number of days, many dishes and many handwashes later to see any signs of chipping.
Overall, it is definitely a product that I will buy again and also strongly recommend, especially for women who want to wear nailpolish but has a preference for or needs the breathable kind–it’s healthier for your nails too. Next on my list: Early Grey, Black Seed, Seashell, and the Top Coat Matte. You can’t blame me for wanting the whole collection! And don’t forget to share which ones are on your wish list in the comments below.
La La Anthony was recently named Residence Inn’s Resident Mother Of The Year
La La Anthony’s multi-hyphenated title already includes actress, best-selling author, Kardashani-bestie, NBA wifey to Carmelo Anthony, and mother (which has earned her Resident Mom Of the Year by Residence Inn). We’re just going to add “magician” to that after seeing her physics-defying feat at the red carpet for the Met Gala. In case you missed it, her gorgeous Nicolas Jebran scarlet dress had all the sexy-cut outs reminiscent of a certain J. Lo Grammys number. But how did she manage to keep it all…ahem…together? I sat down with her on that and the drugstore buys she can’t live without:
Your dress for the Met Gala was beautiful—but seriously how did you keep your boobs from spilling out? “That was crazy! That was literally crazy. That was a lot of tape holding everything together. But I saw this one picture and I just wanted to kill myself because I was on the steps, and you know those steps are hard to walk on so one of my shoulders was higher than the other and it looks like my boob was just sitting up here [motions with hand up to collarbone]. But you know what, I loved the dress, I think it looked amazing so I’m not going to beat myself up about my taped up boobs.”
So lots of tape and elegant walking? “Exactly. Just a lot of trying to stay balanced so it doesn’t look like my boobs were all the way up here.”
Do you have a drugstore buy you’re obsessed with? “Half the stuff I buy is from the drugstore! I can’t live without Neutrogena’s makeup wipes. I cannot. It’s the only thing that works for me to take my makeup off.”
Do you have a beauty guilty pleasure? “Something my mom passed on to me is that she thinks Vaseline works for everything and I’m starting to find that it does too. Taking makeup off, moisturizing. If you saw my mom before she goes to bed, you’d think, ‘What’s on your face?’ She’s greased out in Vaseline! My mom’s never had Botox or anything and her face is flawless. She’s like, ‘I just stick to my Vaseline.’ That’s become my thing too now.”
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