Cloudy

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Hi friends!

This is a casual weekend look starring an all-blue ensemble with taupe wedges. I wanted to experiment with wearing outerwear as the main article of clothing so I buttoned up the cardigan and wore it as a long sleeve top. I think the results turned out alright!

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I’ve matched the look with a lacy, jewel toned bralette underneath, and classic blue cigarette jeans. The taupe wedges continue to convey the laid-back vibe and also make it easy to clomp around.

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Have you ever experimented with outerwear before? What are some of your favorite looks?

Cardigan: Short Cardigan, Zara
Bralette: Blue-Green Lace Bralette, Urban Outfitters
Jeans: Mid Rise Cigarette Jeans, Zara
Shoes: Taupe Wedges, Steve Madden

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Prismatic

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My new shoes came!

I tend to avoid prints, but while browsing, I simply couldn’t resist the big, bright florals featured on this shoe.

I kept the rest of the outfit simple with an all-black concept and topped the entire look off with a sporty windbreaker.

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Sweater: Fine-Knit Turtleneck Sweater, H&M
Shorts: Lace Shorts, Forever 21
Shoes: Courtvantage Mid Shoes, Adidas
Windbreaker: Huskies Windbreaker, Northeastern University

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Nature Republic Skincare Haul!

Hi guys!

Though the weather’s just getting a bit colder, I wanted to get ahead of the unbearably dry weather and amp up my skincare routine.

I’ve been hearing a lot of hype about Asian beauty products, and in particular, Korean skincare products, so I stopped by Nature Republic to check a few things out!

It was my first time in the store and I spent a lot of time browsing but even so, the salespeople were friendly. They kept to a distance so I didn’t feel like I was being tailed, but when I asked for recommendations, they did a great job of showing me both their most popular products and their personal favorites.

Highlights of the experience:

  • Everything was super cheap!
    • The foaming facial cleansers were only $5 and they had a buy-10-get-10 mask sale for only $13. That’s $13 for 20 masks!
  • Knowledgeable staff!
    • The employees were well trained and knew the products inside out. They were able to present the merchandise in a positive light and highlight the key ingredients that made each product different.
  • Lots of free samples!
    • Tell me you don’t like free stuff. Who doesn’t like free stuff?!?!

Without further ado, here are the items from my haul:

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Real Nature Acai Berry Ampoule:
An ampoule is a skincare product that is supercharged with high concentrations of the active ingredients. Its viscosity is similar to that of a serum; however, it’s not intended for daily use, but rather as additional aid for when your skin needs the extra help. 

The Real Nature Acai Berry Ampoule that I purchased was supposed to aid in brightening my skin. I applied three drops on my fingers and gently patted it on after my toner and before my moisturizer. Surprisingly, three drops was enough to cover my entire face!

Unfortunately, I felt that it didn’t make much of a change to my complexion, and that it actually might have caused a few closed comedones to pop up. It’s not my favorite product, but I think I’ll give it a few more chances before I completely give up.

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Super Aqua Max Deep Moisture Sleeping Pack:
A sleeping pack functions as a night cream in that it is meant specifically to give your skin an extra moisture boost while you sleep. The difference, however, is that the consistency is much lighter and you’re meant to layer it on top of your regular nighttime moisturizer.

The saleslady recommending this product described it as the most hydrating product in their sleeping pack selection.

First off, this product smells AMAZING. It has a slightly floral fragrance that isn’t abrasively strong but oddly enough permeates the entire space. The sleeping pack has a buoyant, gel-like texture that is light and easy to spread. Just a little goes a long way. Because it spreads so well, it’s easy to use this product to cover the entire neck and chest area as well.

I didn’t notice an immediate difference the next morning, but it was so comfortable to sleep with I’m going to continue to use it as additional help on those brutal winter days anyway.

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Green Tea and Peach Hand and Nature Hand Creams:
Hand creams to carry you through the winter! The packaging was cute and they even had packs of two that were especially wrapped for easy gifting.

Both products were lightly scented. One thing that I really enjoyed about this cream was that while it was a little sticky to apply at first, the product fully absorbed after 5 minutes and I didn’t have to deal with feeling greasy the entire day.

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Real Nature Sheet Mask: Rose
Ack! Not a fan! This was one of the buy-10-get-10 mask products that I chose.

The mask smelled quite nice and was packaged in a very thick serum. I expected it to absorb completely into my skin, but even after the recommended 20 minutes, a lot of the product remained superficially on my face. I took the mask off and continued with my regular routine, hoping that the stickiness would go away, but even after an additional hour, nothing changed and I ended up washing my face to rid myself of sensation.

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Real Nature Sheet Mask: Avocado
I liked this mask more than the rose one. The serum it was packaged with felt less sticky. Again, the mask left a lot of residual product after use, but I felt that it was much more refreshing in general. 

Real Nature Rose Foam Cleanser

Real Nature Rose Foam Cleanser:

When it comes out of the tube, the cleanser is pearly white with a pink tint. It smells of roses and is a creamy product that foams well. My face always feels squeaky clean after using it, but because of that, I feel that it might not be great for sensitive skin.

In NY, Nature Republic has two locations. One in Manhattan (151 Centre St, New York, NY 10013) and one in Flushing (136-80 Roosevelt Ave, Flushing, NY 11354).

Have you tried any Korean skincare products? Which are your favorites?

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Stay Warm

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Happy new year!

It’s finally feeling like winter here in NYC. I put a quick look together that is feminine and features one of my favorite spring dresses yet cozy enough for winter.

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What are some of your winter wardrobe inspirations?

Coat: Wool Coat, Laundry by Shelli Segal
Dress: Lace Dress, H&M
Scarf: Basic Extra Soft Scarf, Zara
Tights: Sheer Luxe Small Bow Shapes Pantyhose, American Apparel
Heels: Black Peep-Toe Platform Heels, Steve Madden

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Neck Hygiene

Tension? Stress? When it comes to neck pain, a little bit of maintenance can go a long way. Take a moment to learn about these quick movements that might bring some alleviation to your discomfort.

I work with chiropractors and physical therapists; approximately half of our patients come in for upper back or neck pain and the majority of them work 9-5 desk jobs.

With the increased use of smart phones and computers, it’s become more and more common for us to spend our days with our heads down and shoulders hunched.

Here are a few quick stretches that you should incorporate into your daily routine that will make a difference in the long run.

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Lateral Neck Stretch:
Actively engage your muscles so that your right shoulder will remain down as you do these stretches; if you’re sitting, a good alternative would be to loop your right hand under and grab the edge of the chair. Look straight ahead and bring your left hand over your head to reach around to the right side. Slowly bend your head towards your left shoulder to stretch the right side of your neck. Use your left hand to apply additional resistance. Hold a mild stretch for 30 seconds and repeat again on the opposite side. Repeat 3 times total on each side.

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Levator Scapulae Stretch:
The levator scapulae is often associated with tension headaches. Begin by engaging your left shoulder or grabbing the edge of the chair to keep your shoulder pinned down. Turn your head approximately 45 degrees to the right and bring your chin towards your chest. Use your right hand to apply additional pressure from the top of your head. You should feel a mild stretch to the left side of your posterior (back) neck. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the opposite side for a total of 3 sets.

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Posterior Neck and Upper Back Stretch:
Look straight ahead and interlace your fingers behind your head. Be sure to sit upright as you begin to tuck your chin towards your chest and tilt your head towards the ground. Use your hands to apply additional pressure and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat 2 more times.

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Sternocleidomastoid (SCM) Stretch:
The SCM is one of the largest muscles in the neck. To perform this stretch, again, keep your left shoulder pinned down. Bring your head back so that your ears are in line with your shoulders and your chin is parallel with the floor. While looking straight, tilt your head to the right and rotate it to the left. You should feel a stretch on the left side. Use your right hand to cradle your head and apply gentle pressure. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the right side. Perform a total of 3 sets on each side.

In addition to the stretches, this one exercise will help to strengthen your neck musculature so that you can maintain proper posture with more ease over a longer period of time.

 

Neck Retractions:
Begin by looking straight forward. Pull your head back so that your ear lines up with your shoulders. Be sure to not tuck the chin towards the neck, but rather to maintain a neutral position throughout. (Don’t worry, the double chin happens with everyone.) Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat this exercise for 3 sets of 12.

Do these simple exercises at least a few times throughout the day to maintain healthy mobility in your cervical spine.

Disclaimer: these exercises are not meant to be used as the sole means for therapeutic care if you are in serious pain. Please do visit a health care provider if your pain is severe or if you have any history of disk-related disorders, fractures, or any structural deviations.

Comment below to let me know if you have any questions or would like more information! What are some stretches that you like to do on a day-to-day basis?

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Kakadu C Amethyst Clay Detox Mask by DERMAdoctor

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It’s my first beauty post, and I’ve decided that going with the theme of firsts, I’m going to share my very first mask experience with you guys!

Sephora’s this massive playground for all things beauty, and while it can be tons of fun, if you have no idea what you’re looking for, it can also be very overwhelming.

Honestly, it’s only been half a year since I’ve ventured into the world of skincare, so stepping into the shop, I had no flipping clue what I was even aiming for. Luckily, the saleslady was very understanding as I blabbered out a string of adjectives that went something along the lines of this: rejuvenating…calming…moisturizing…healthy…brightening…(?!)

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The Kakadu C Amethyst Clay Detox Mask is indeed all of those descriptors.

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It consists of “magnesium rich amethyst clay [that] absorbs impurities and detoxifies without removing natural oils,” and is enriched with vitamin C from the Kakadu plum. Additionally, it contains no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates and was not tested on animals. Yes!

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The mask comes in a cute amethyst box (a nod to its main ingredient) and upon opening it, the underside is printed with a cheerful concentric design. The packaging is very pretty. Good job, y’all!

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The product itself is lavender-grey and creamy. The scent is sweet, mellow, comforting, and vaguely reminds me of almond pudding. I used my fingers to apply it smoothly to dry skin and washed it off with warm water after 15 minutes. After the initial 10 minutes, the product dried and I felt my skin tightening.

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Afterwards, my skin definitely looked brighter and felt softer. The Kakadu mask was indeed what I was looking for in a well-rounded mask. Although the results faded throughout the day, it is recommended that you use the mask up to three times a week for optimal results and perhaps that would provide more lasting outcomes.

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Overall, I really enjoyed this mask and felt that it would be great as a quick boost for special occasions, but at $58 a pot with the suggested application frequency of three times a week, it is a bit of a pricey and indulgent investment. Thoughts?

Kakadu C Amethyst Clay Detox Mask, Sephora

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WOW! It’s already December!

For this outfit, I drew some utilitarian inspiration from my senior girl scout uniform and paired cropped navy slacks with a cozy yet structured beige sweater. My rugged Doc Martens add an industrial practicality as I roamed around the old stomping grounds of my elementary school.

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Sweater: Brooklyn V-Neck Pullover, Gap
Pants: Slim Cropped Pants, Gap
Shoes: Combs, Dr. Martens

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