Fave Five: Going for (Rose) Gold

I am such a sucker for pretty packaging, and it’s even better when the products inside are just as shiny.

As the Olympics came to a close, I wanted to do a roundup of my favorite rose gold makeup products, because owning the Lorac PRO Metal Rose Gold palette is basically the same thing as winning a gold medal in my mind. After all, you can’t wear a gold medal on your face, but you can come close with the right gold eyeshadow and contour palettes.

To get that golden glow on your face that Olympic athletes have when they stand on the podium, these are some of my favorite products. You can live your Olympic moment every day by going for gold in the makeup you wear.

So here’s my latest Fave Five roundup, featuring the shiny gold products that rock my world.

rose gold

Lorac PRO Metal Rose Gold Palette: This was a limited-edition eyeshadow palette that’s hard to find now, but it’s so worth the hunt. It’s shiny, tiny, and perfect. The palette has eight brilliant metallic shades that are somehow both neutral and stunning, so I have it stashed in my purse now at all times for both day and night. Okay, speech over, get your butt on Ebay.

Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Grind: If you’ve read my Fave Five posts, you’ll know I love this eyeliner more than life itself. That said, this pink color is a new one that I’ve tried and it’s amazingly unexpected.

Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herb and Rosewater: For dewy, glowy skin, this spray is everything. EVERYTHING. I give myself a spray for hydration in the morning and at night, or use it as a setting spray. I’ll spritz some on if I need a boost throughout the day, too. It’s relaxing, smells amazing, and makes your face light up. And it’s $7.

Koko Kollection Face Palette: This has nice shimmering soft gold and satin bronze colors that you can use as highlighter, bronzer and blush. It’s super blendable and gives you a subtle glow (well, as subtle as a Kardashian face palette can be).

NYX Cosmic Metals Lip Cream in Metropolitan Night: This metallic champagne gold shade is a serious statement, but if you like a bold lip, this one’s for you.


Bringing home the gold has never been so easy!

XO,

CC

Cold temps, hot products: Favorite moisturizers from head to toe

It’s that time of year when I regret my decision to go to a college in the Midwest! But only a little bit. The Midwest is awesome. I just miss being able to walk outside without crying.

There is one positive to negative degree temperatures, though: Beauty. When it comes to cold weather, the beauty industry has you covered. Dry skin? There’s a product for that. Dry hair? There’s a product for that. Dry hands? A million, gazillion, bajillion products that will make you wish for cold weather just so you have an excuse to put on lotion.

So I decided to have my weekly Spa Night with more emphasis on moisturizing everything. But moisturization isn’t just for a spa night: It’s something you should be doing pretty much all day. Which sounds like a drag, but if you get the right products, it’s amazing. Here are my favorites in each category!

And P.S., you get the best results when you combine these products with drinking a ton of water. I mean a TON. Like be a camel.

Okay, here we go:

Favorite Moisturizing Products

Hands

img_3826

Hand cream: Victoria’s Secret PINK

When the weather gets cold, my hands are the first to go. Once everything starts to crack, I know it’s time to get it together and start using hand cream. I have three of these Victoria’s Secret hand creams and I keep one on hand at all times– it’s easy to stash in my backpack, purse, nightstand, wherever. They’re gorgeous, they smell gorgeous, they’ll make your hands gorgeous. Or at least, less like you’ve just punched something.

Hair

2235109

Hair mask: Living Proof Restore Mask Treatment

This. This is THE best hair mask I have ever found, and I’ve used it for the past two years. If it weren’t for this magical tub of happiness, my hair would be sad and limp and dry all winter. What makes it so special, you ask? If you use it once a week, it makes an actual difference in moisturizing and strengthening your hair. But the real selling point for me is that it still repels dirt, making it easier for me to go between washes. Hallelujah.

Face

2508514

Moisturizer: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief

My skin is oily, but it also gets angry and even more oily when the cold dries it out. So I keep my skin happy by moisturizing with an oil-free moisturizer twice a day, at morning and at night. I love Clinique products because I trust the brand and the products on my crazy sensitive face, and the Moisture Surge is luxe AF. It’s more expensive, yes, but it’s something I use twice a day, and nothing makes my skin glow more. If you’re still on the fence, try the travel size for a lot less, and I promise you’ll feel the difference.

Lips

NI-32914_ecom_TLB_Hibiscus_23-05-16-1503

Tinted lip balm: Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm

Chapstick is boring. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm is not. I’ve been on the hunt for a good lip balm for a while, since my lips are constantly chapped, but it’s tough to find a lip color that looks good and stays on but doesn’t dry you out. Enter Burt’s Bees, champion of all lip balms. They have a tinted lip balm that you’ll actually want to wear year-round, not just when it’s cold. It comes in different everyday colors, and it’s sheer, so you don’t feel like you’re caking your face with the stuff. Plus, you’ll look like a goddess that thrives in cold temperatures when inside you’re really just ready for a day above 20 degrees.

Body

2266867

Body butter: Bliss Lemon + Sage Body Butter

You really can’t beat the classics like body butter. They’re classic for a reason. And Bliss does body butter best. The Lemon + Sage is my all-time favorite, and I’ve made it a habit to put it on every night after I shower. And then I put on my bathrobe and watch Netflix, and I don’t know if there is a time in the day that I feel more stoked on how I’m running my life. Anyways. Buy the body butter. Live your best life.


 

How do you stay hydrated and moisturized when it gets unbearably cold? I hope my suggestions helped! ‘Til next time, goddesses.

XO,

CC

Seeking Simplicity, Part I: Creating a minimalist closet

Welcome to Part 1 of my blog post series on finding simplicity! In my mission to start simplifying my life, in everything from my career to my wardrobe, I’m writing a new post each week on how I’ve started keeping it simple. This first week might be the hardest: Simplifying my closet.

Less is more. Less is more. Repeat this to yourself, and you just might be able to get through the emotional experience of purging your closet.

Well, it kind of worked for me, anyways. Which was nothing short of miraculous, considering the circumstances: I’m a total pack rat with too much sentimental attachment to my clothes. But this was precisely the reason that I wanted to start with cutting down on my closet. That, and also the basic fact that I’m just literally tired of having all this stuff. There is such a thing as too much stuff, and if you’re feeling what I’m feeling, I think you’re ready for a good old wardrobe overhaul.

We’re going to be shooting for what some call the Capsule Wardrobe. Various lifestyle bloggers have managed to cut their closets down to 40, even twelve pieces. A capsule wardrobe is basically a closet with your favorite versatile pieces that you mix and match. Sounds easy enough, right? Except not, because it totally sucks getting rid of clothes.

Or does it?

Here are the benefits of reducing your wardrobe:

  • You use less time choosing what to wear and more time on things that matter, like actually spending time with your friends instead of being late because you couldn’t decide on a damn outfit
  • It gets easier to define your style and what’s important
  • You can invest in quality pieces that you absolutely love
  • Selling or donating clothes you don’t need is awesome for you, the community, and the environment. Everyone wins.
  • SPACE.

Okayy, so that’s all fine and good, but what about the actual hard part of reducing your wardrobe? Here’s where I step in with my real experience and real advice on making those tough cuts.

Creating your capsule wardrobe

Step 1: Grab a laundry basket and start filling it with the first round of cuts. 

These will be the easy things to get rid of: Tops that are out of style, old t-shirts, underwear you never wear, sweaters that you like in theory but actually hate.

Step 2: Count the number of items you have in your closet. Then decide on a goal. 

My number was unspeakably high when I started this experiment, and decided I’d try to get it down to 50. That was ambitious of me, but you have to shoot for the moon, right?

They say the magic number is 37, but I currently go to college in Missouri and that number just is not fair with the number of coats and jackets I need. So I made a compromise and decided that coats don’t count, since this is really about my outfits and not what I’m throwing on over them. Choose whatever goal works best for you, but remember: Less is more. Less is more. Rinse. Repeat.

Step 3: Choose wisely.

Here comes the hard part. This time, start with the things you love: Your absolute favorites that you are obsessed with and would grab in a fire (note: do not grab clothes in a fire). These should be a combination of versatile, tried-and-true basics that you can always count on (your favorite jeans, a plain white tee, the LBD) and the more fun, fancy pieces you can’t live without. My list looked a little like this:

“Basics”:

  • Black leather jacket
  • DKNY Denim jacket
  • Blazer
  • My favorite flannel
  • Plain black Topshop t-shirt
  • Blush & black lace camisoles
  • Black dress
  • Dark skinny jeans
  • Distressed jeans
  • Leggings
  • Cable-knit sweater

“Fun”:

  • Fur vest
  • Vintage pink bomber jacket
  • Urban Outfitters jumpsuit
  • Striped culotte Loft pants
  • Graphic concert tees
  • Floral kimono
  • Metallic workout jacket (Victoria Sport, my latest obsession)
  • Bodysuits
  • My entire cardigan collection

You’ll be surprised at how fast you decide what your favorite things are and what you can live without.

Once you’ve zeroed in on what you are obsessed with, it’s time to tackle the things you’re less obsessed with.

Step 4: Make the deeper cuts.

Alright, we’ve had our fun pretending this whole minimalism thing will be a breeze. But then we look at that old Charlotte Russe top and think, “But what’s the harm in keeping this crop top?” I hear you. I am with you. I, too, think it is unjust to ditch the going-out tops. But going-out tops are trendy, and you can always invest in two trendier tops to replace the five you threw out.

Are you keeping that cashmere sweater because it was expensive and you keep telling yourself you like it but you haven’t worn it once in the past three years? Pitch it. Do you still have that dress from high school that you share fond memories with, but you don’t seem to be making more memories with it? Time to let someone else love it.

BTW, the more you get rid of/sell, the more money and space you have for sushi. Just saying.

Keep cutting down. Figure out what’s most versatile, that you wear most often without thinking about it. Think about the classics versus the so-yesterday-trends. And remember: LESS. IS. MORE.

Step 5: Enjoy your newfound freedom.

Even if your experiment seems like a complete failure and you’ve only managed to get rid of three things, I consider this blog post a success because I got you to reduce your wardrobe! Well, you got yourself to. I just gave you the moral support.

For more expertise on building a capsule wardrobe, Unfancy has the ultimate guide with beautiful resources and pictures.


Have you ever tried to create a capsule wardrobe, or make your closet more minimalist? Let me know how your experiments turn out!

XO,

CC

My favorite California day trips

I was lucky enough to grow up on the West Coast, where you take a lot for granted, including the fact that you’re close by a million different things to do. We have everything. Mountains, valleys, oceans, lakes, deserts, beaches, forests…everything. I have so much love for the Midwest now that I’ve spent my college years there, but California is something special.

Over holiday breaks, I always come home to California. San Diego is my home base, but the best part isn’t the beach: It’s the fact that you can surf and ski in literally the same day. Not that you would actually want to, but you know you can!

I’ve compiled my favorite California day-cations in a quick guide, from national parks to ski resorts. If you get the chance to do any of these, do it. And let me know if you love it!

Desert exploring in Joshua Tree National Park

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

chelsea-bock-3074.jpg

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This place is famous for its rock climbing and desert views, but I still think it’s super underrated. Many people don’t realize that Joshua Tree has a history, with abandoned mines and houses. It’s like an Old Western ghost town. Even Disneyland couldn’t make this stuff up. While you climb around on giant boulders and explore infinite trails, you can also check out the cool backstories of the OG settlers.

Skiing at Big Bear Lake

ski-lift

Even though Mammoth is my all-time favorite place to ski, Big Bear is just a short distance from my hometown in San Diego. I grew up learning how to ski and snowboard at Big Bear, and it’s a great place for both beginners and experts. While there aren’t as many runs as there are at a place like Mammoth, they’re a lot of fun, and great for a day of shredding.

Poolside at Palm Springs

clau-canabes-30568.jpg

If you’re looking for the opposite of snow? Try a hot tub in an oasis. Palm Springs is one of my favorite places in the world, and I don’t even golf. It’s the ultimate paradise, with forever warm temperatures, cool pools, hot tubs, and (you guessed it) palm trees for days. You don’t even need to book a hotel room– just pop in to the pool. Not that I’m suggesting trespassing…but if you decide to use a fake room number to get past the security guards, I would never know.

Whenever I’m in Palm Springs, I feel like I’m on an island, with no cares at all except when to get my next margarita. Which is rare for an overthinking workaholic like me. You know it’s a getaway when it gets me away from my work.

Sightseeing at Big Sur

Depending on where in California you are, you might be day trip distance from Big Sur, in which case you are very lucky because this place is magical. The rugged coast has some incredible seaside hikes, including one where you can collect jade on the beach, and another where you can see the famous McWay Falls, an 80-foot waterfall on the beach.

Biking from Santa Monica to Venice

If you don’t want to bother with the touristy Hollywood area, here’s a different touristy area to try: the Santa Monica pier, and Venice Beach. Not Venice, Italy…although you might find a canal or two at Venice Beach! Located about 2.6 miles apart, it’s a fantastic bike ride from Santa Monica to Venice. Start on the pier, where the boardwalk features classic carnival games and rides. Then grab a bike and make your way down to the more hipster-y Venice Beach, where you can watch skaters and surfers do their thing. There is people-watching galore and I can’t get enough.


Honorable Mentions

So those were my fave day trips, but for honorable mentions, I wanted to list some more of the best California destinations that are better experienced in more than a day. These are probably a little more well known, but they deserve to be acknowledged here:

  • San Francisco
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Sequoia National Park
  • Napa Valley
  • Monterey Bay

Happy travels in my beautiful home state!

XO,

CC

Fave Five: All that glitters

Happy New Year from your caffeinated beauty lover! To ring in 2018 with some bling, I rounded up my favorite glittery beauty products in this week’s Fave Five post.

I am obsessed with all things glitter, and I’ll take any excuse to wear it, so New Year’s Eve is naturally one of my favorite beauty holidays. Sequins and are mandatory. Glitter makeup is non-negotiable. So when it comes to my New Year’s look, I go all out in glitter eyeliner, glitter shadow, glitter nails, and even glitter lips. Is it too much? Maybe. But on New Year’s Eve? Never.

All that glitters is gold, along with my top 5 glittery beauty essentials. With the right gold eyeshadow and metallic lip gloss, you’ll shimmer all the way through the ball drop and shine in your first moments of 2018.

Fave Five Glitter.jpg

1. Anastasia Beverly Hills Metallic Lip Gloss in Gilded: I’m not normally one for out-there lip colors, but New Year’s Eve is the time to do it. This glitzy gloss goes on as smoothly as the champagne goes down at a New Year’s party.

2. MAC Dazzleshadow in I Like to Watch: Words cannot describe how gorgeously pigmented this is, and it’s my go-to when I go for gold. I used to wear MAC more when I was a competitive dancer (our team was required to wear MAC for our stage makeup because it’s so heavy-duty and long lasting) but I recently started wearing it more for tailgates and other marathon events. Making it perfect for NYE.

3. Urban Decay Heavy Metal Glitter Eyeliner in Midnight Cowboy: I trust very few glitter eyeliners. This is one of them. It comes in different colors, but my all-time favorite will always be Midnight Cowboy due to the name.

4. Essie Luxeffects Glitter Top Coat in Summit of Style: For nails to match your gold smoky eyes. Wear it over a gold base color, and it will not only look flawless, but also make you feel like a golden goddess in the first few days of 2018.

5. NYX Face and Body Glitter: What the eff is a New Year’s Eve without body glitter?

BONUS:

Loft Fit to be Tied Hair Ties: These telephone cord hair ties are trending right now, but that’s not the only reason I love them. They’re a sparkly step up from regular hair ties, basically an effortless way to upgrade the ponytail this year. I’ll take any easy upgrades I can get.

Happy New Year! However you celebrate, I hope you do it in style, because we are about to do this whole next year in style.

CHEERS!!

XO,

CC

Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions: 5 ways to start

New Year’s Resolutions basically never work. But when they do, it’s because we actually took real steps to change our mindsets. And the hardest part is figuring out how to take those steps. How will we work out more? How will we actually follow through with our grand plan to learn how to play the guitar?

In my experience, I’ve figured out that I need to set goals that are measurable and concrete. This goes for anything, from writing a paper for school or doing a project at work. I hate the term “SMART goals,” which appears in all my business management classes, but the management experts have a point: SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely, which make them a hell of a lot easier to take on. Which is what needs to happen with New Year’s Resolution goals. For instance: Instead of “I need to work out more,” start with, “I will go to the gym four times a week for at least 30 minutes at a time.” Get it?

Using the logic of SMART goals and general human nature, I figured out how we can actually follow through with the resolutions we make. This post will tackle the most common New Year’s Resolutions, one by one.

Time to get resolving!

The resolution: Be more organized.

The strategy: “Be more organized” isn’t a very clear goal, so let’s tweak it: “Make 5 changes that take real action toward better organization habits.” Or whatever it is you want to do. These changes can be blocking out time each day for cleaning your workspace, or meal prepping before the week starts.

Blocking out time for cleaning was a good example. I’ll start with that.

I hate cleaning. I do. I feel like it’s a waste of my time when I could be doing something useful and creative like doing research for my thesis, or blogging. Like right now. I’m literally writing this post right now because I don’t want to put my laundry in the closet.

But decluttering IRL needs to happen if you want to declutter your mind and your work. You might not think you’re doing it, but you’re worrying about the clutter. In the back of your brain, in your subconscious, you are bothered by the papers piling up on your desk or the dishes piling up in the sink. So do yourself a favor and dedicate time, even just ten minutes, each day for decluttering.

Invest in the perfect planner. Not a good-enough planner, THE PERFECT planner.

Find a daily planner that works well for you. I cannot stress this enough. I found myself making disorganized lists for different things, from planning my groceries to figuring out my long-term project deadlines, and it’s easy to lose track and drop the ball on at least one of those lists. I created the below customizable planner to put everything I needed in one place:

cc daily planner graphic

Download this printable for free here!

Of course, you can always just go with a planner you buy at the store. And don’t skimp: This is something you will use every day, and it should have everything you want. Like a good boyfriend.

The resolution: Work out more.

The strategy: Invest both time and money in the gym and start in baby steps. Again, you’ll want to clearly define the goal: Is it to spend 30 minutes at the gym, four times a week? Is it to attend pilates class twice a week and turbo kickboxing three times? Depending on what kind of workouts you need amd enjoy, set a goal that seems both doable and challenging, with workouts that fit what you’ll realistically follow through with.

Remember that planner we talked about in the first resolution? Use it to schedule your workouts, and defend those workouts that same way you defend your time for work meetings. That way you won’t be tempted to cancel for things that come up.

Finally, put some money into it. Buy a membership. Get some fun new workout clothes, water bottles, and a gym bag. If you paid for the Zumba classes, you’ll feel more obligated to show up.

Be social. Once you keep showing up, you’ll make friends and want to show up! See if you can find a workout buddy, like a friend who already works out and could convince you to get your butt out of bed.

And once you become a regular, you might even be that workout buddy for someone else!

The resolution: Learn a new skill

The strategy: Like I said in my previous post about productive things to do over the holidays, the holiday season is a good time to start a new skill or hobby that you’ve been wanting to pick up. But we pick it up, and then we go back to our real life, and we drop it. Because when our working lives take over, hobbies suddenly seem a lot less important.

The key here is to treat it like it’s as important as working out or getting food. Because it is. You’re not a robot programmed to spend every waking hour on work or food (unless food is your hobby and you’re trying to figure out how to cook like the Pioneer Woman. In that case, I applaud you). You should be dedicating time to your own interests, and take them seriously– don’t just shrug off your desire to learn knitting or baking or yoga or coding as some stupid thing. Be nice to it. Respect it. Give it time. Let it become a part of your routine. Block off time and defend it, and you’ll find yourself practicing your new skill so much that it will naturally become a part of your life.

The resolution: Do more for charity.

The strategy: Of all the common resolutions, this one is my favorite, and also the one that gets dropped the most. When people are in the holiday spirit, they feel inspired to give, and then the inspiration fades when the Christmas lights come down. If you genuinely want to make a resolution to contribute more, here is what you need to do:

  • Pick a cause that you can relate with, whether it be the arts, the food bank, homeless shelters, a health-related nonprofit like the local Alzheimer’s Association office, a domestic violence shelter, a church, whatever you feel most connected with. If you choose a cause you care about, it will be rewarding and you’ll be more likely to dedicate your efforts.
  • Make a SMART goal related to that cause: “I will spend two hours every Sunday volunteering at the food bank.” “I will dedicate a half hour a week toward mentoring young women in a mentorship program.” “I will donate X amount of dollars each month from my paycheck toward the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.”
  • Do some research and find local organizations/branches supporting that cause, and see what ways there are to contribute that use your unique skills and passions. I do PR, so I look out for pro bono PR opportunities– for example, when I was an active member of my sorority, I used my social media skills to help my chapter fundraise for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s. If you enjoy leadership, maybe there are leadership opportunities in your area. See what I’m getting at?

In my opinion, sticking with this one won’t be hard if you start connecting with the cause and regularly contributing. Volunteer work gives you a sense of purpose that work/school can’t always give you, and for those of you thinking about this resolution, I hope I’ve made a good case!


What New Year’s Resolutions are you making this year? Are they any of the popular ones above? Or are they more personalized? Sound off in the comments if you have any of your own advice or questions on being resolute!

XO,

CC

Up your gift wrap game with these unique hacks

Gift wrapping is something that does not come naturally to me. At all.

My mother is a whole other story. She was somehow gifted with the innate talent of knowing what looks amazing (in all things from interior decorating to tree trimming), and gift wrapping is one of her specialties. Forget Santa or his elves: The best workshop is right in my house.

Over the years I’ve picked up on what it takes to hack gift wrapping and create some beautiful, unique presents that look like they come right out of a Free People catalogue. But I know the struggle, so I wanted to pass on some of these hacks to you. Here are some of the best secrets for wrapping presents that are as fantastic as the gifts inside!

Think outside the bow

There are so many ways to decorate a gift besides just sticking a bow on it and calling it a night. As much as you want to. Believe me, I know. But you can do better.

Collect interesting stuff you find along the way, from costume jewelry pieces to vintage holiday cards, and use them as decorations on your presents. I promise it’s worth the bit of extra effort to make the gift go a long way in style.

Combine textures

From lace to flannel, there are a ton of different fabrics that you can mix and match to upgrade your wrapping. You don’t even need to do anything complicated: Just tie a piece of lace over your bow and the present will automatically look 10X more chic. Like fashion, gift wrapping is all about being eclectic. You never want to be too matchy-matchy, and the same goes for presents.

Personalize it with bling

My mom likes to find charms and letters that have our initials, instead of just putting tags on each gift. Every year, I can find my present by the letter on it. Tags are for basics. Don’t be a basic.

Pick up the paintbrush

This artsy wrapping paper is actually just regular butcher paper with white paint splattered onto it. For some reason butcher paper looks cool as wrapping paper, and there are a lot of ways you can jazz it up- stamps, drawings, whatever. Tie it all together with a brooch and you have an elegant effect.


There you have it: presents that show off your newfound amazing gift wrapping skills! Now all you have to do is put them under the tree.

Happy gift wrapping!

XO,

A

The Story of My Skincare Struggle, and the Products That Saved Me

The skincare struggle is real, people. That’s why it’s like, a billion dollar industry. And I am all for it.

I didn’t used to be. In fact, I hated skincare. Absolutely hated it. You know why? Because anything that adds ten minutes to my morning routine is not welcome. No thank you, sir. But then I became a college student, and my skin rebelled. Apparently as an adult, I still have teenage skin, because it is angry and oily and loves to erupt in acne right before important social functions, such as fraternity date parties, and my college graduation. Sigh.

So I got desperate and started trying everything. I tried my roommate’s put-toothpaste-on-it trick, I tried using spot treatments but all over my face, I tried moisturizers, Proactiv, Exposed Skin Care, everything. I kept playing Whack-A-Mole with my face: Every time a pimple popped up, I squashed it, and then another pimple would pop up next to it. Finally I knew it was time to get my butt into the dermatologist.

Taking the bitter pill

At some point, you have to suck it up and do an acne treatment that sucks for a few months before it gets better. I had cystic acne, which meant I had those awful monster bumps deep under the skin that won’t go away. My derm patted me on the arm and said, “We will beat this,” like I had some kind of horrible disease. And then we did. We beat the crap out of it. I knocked the thing out with Doxycyclin, a powerful antibiotic that I was very happy to stop after three months. The bad news: I had to start a skincare regimen. With prescription products. And because one of those products is an antibiotic, if I didn’t do it right, if I wasn’t consistent, the products would stop working. Eek.

The new skin workout

I told myself that I would rather have to take ten minutes out of my day to fix my problem, than face another cystic mountain zit. People face worse things. People have worse health problems with worse treatments. So why was I so frustrated? Maybe because it still felt unfair that I had to deal with this while other girls have beautifully clear skin. Bu that was stupid thinking, because everyone has their thing they need to deal with, and I’m lucky that my thing is skin. Because, hallelujah, I could fix it!

My prescription products include a daily face wash, an antibiotic lotion, and prescription Retin A. Beyond that, I mix it with other products to keep my skin feeling fresh, clean, and happy. No more angry zits.

My current skincare routine, with life-saving products

Some of the products I use are prescription, but for the ones that aren’t, I provided links!

Every day

Morning: I start by washing my face with PanOxyl, a benzoyl peroxide face wash. Then I apply prescription face lotion (this prevents the cystic acne). The benzoyl peroxide kills all the bacteria, which not only helps acne, but also makes sure my skin doesn’t get used to the antibiotic lotion that I put on after.

Sometimes I do see a little pimple starting to pop up, especially if I’ve slacked on washing my face, so I’ll apply a spot treatment.

Next is SPF, the most important step. I’ll put on a BB cream with SPF in it, or a primer with SPF, or I’ll wear a tinted sunscreen moisturizer. SPF is so, so important. Not just for preventing wrinkles, but also for preventing cancer. 

Finally, I’ll usually wear a foundation specifically for acne-prone skin. Lately I’ve really liked Clinique! It gives me moderate coverage with acne-fighting, medicated ingredients.

Night: Remove makeup, cleanse face, then apply Retin-A (well, the generic version of Retin-A). Retin-A is a retinoid, which is basically a vitamin A derivative that helps unclog pores and speed up cell turnover. Mine is prescription strength, but you can find retinoid creams over the counter, too. Whether you have acne-prone skin or not, they’re super beneficial for improving lines and discoloration.

Important Note:If you use a retinoid, only use it at night (sunlight makes the ingredient stop working) and be sure to use SPF in the morning!

Once every few days

At night, sometimes I’ll use a sonic facial cleansing brush (like a Clarisonic, but a different brand) and a sonic face wash to give my face a deeper cleanse. I would never have tried a sonic brush if I hadn’t worked in beauty PR, but now I’m a believer. It’s like an electric toothbrush, but for your face.

I’ll also put on moisturizer every couple days, because even oily skin types need hydration! It’s easy to forget that when your skin gets too dry, it can overreact and start producing even more oil, causing more breakouts. I also have a lot of redness, so moisturizers help calm it the eff down.

Once a week:

I love face masks, and I try to treat myself to one every week. Depending on how dry the weather is and how oily my skin is feeling, I’ll switch up my routine with a mask and put on an episode of This Is Us. And try not to cry the mask off.

I also use sleep masks, which are ideal for dry times. You just put it on, go to bed, and let the mask do the work.

Once a month/Whenever I can afford it and I’m feeling rich:

Occasionally, I’ll get a professional facial! It honestly feels better than a massage. The Dermologica Skin Bar at Ulta Beauty is pretty awesome and inexpensive– you can even get the 10-minute facial for $10, if you’re like me and you’re short on both time and money! But really, it’s worth a splurge, because it’s your skin. And your skin deserves all the pampering you can give it!


There you have it…my skincare story! Have you overcome any skincare struggles? Let me know in your comments, and be sure to share your secrets to success!

XO,

CC

This DIY Coffee Scrub is the Perfect Holiday Gift

So I don’t normally do a recipe post, but when I do, it’s coffee-related. Obviously.

Coffee scrubs have gotten popular for several reasons, not the least of which is Instagram, but the important thing is this: It’s apparently a cellulite torcher. Not for real, but enough that it can help. Caffeine can eliminate the look of cellulite, while the coconut oil in the scrub helps moisturize. Pro tip: Exfoliate before you apply it.

There are a ton of recipes for DIY coffee scrubs all over the place, and I used the simplest one that I could find. It’s literally three ingredients that you probably already have!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coffee grounds
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp sea salt or sugar

Steps:

  1. Combine coffee grounds and sea salt (or sugar) in a bowl
  2. Melt coconut oil if needed, then add to the bowl
  3. Mix it all together and you know that it’s the best of both worlds (sorry, couldn’t resist the Hannah Montana lyric here)

And that’s it! Three ingredients, three steps, one amazing coffee scrub. Once you’ve made it, you can save it in a mason jar and give it as a holiday gift, or get in the shower and massage it wherever desired for about a minute in each spot. The coffee smells incredible, and you’ll find yourself using your coffee grounds every time instead of just throwing them away.

Note: Don’t let the scrub get down the drain, because it can clog! Instead, plug your drain and clean the scrub up after. You throw it out just like you would have with your normal coffee grounds!

Leftover coffee grounds can also be used for other skincare and beauty products, from facials to hair masks.

-coffee scrub-

Holiday Gift Guide 2017

2017 Caffeinated holiday gift guide.png

It’s time for that post-Thanksgiving panic: Holiday gift shopping!

Just in time for Cyber Monday and the chaos that ensues in the weeks leading up to Christmas, I’ve created the Caffeinated Holiday Gift Guide. The categories are based on Caffeinated Californian personality traits: Traveler, Girlboss, Creative, Intellectual, Trendsetter, and Caffeine Addict, with curated gift ideas in each.

Warning: Lots of pink. This was not intentional.

ALSO NOTE: None of these are sponsored! All opinions and ideas are 100% my own.


The Traveler


bando-im-outta-here-luggage-tag-O21A0829-472x472

I’m Outta Here Luggage Tag, $10

There’s also a matching passport holder if you really want to feel coordinated.

cocktail-kit2

Carry On Cocktail Kit, $24

These come in different drinks, so choose your friend’s favorite! Just add booze. If you bring your own airplane-sized bottle, don’t show the flight attendant or tell them you got the idea from this blog.

47987546-1-zoom.jpg

Scratch-Off Map, $26

These maps are gorgeous, inexpensive, and perfect for anyone who seeks out new destinations all the time. I actually have one of these in my room, and I’ve taken it with me everywhere I’ve moved because it’s so fun scratching off all the places I go!

797fec7f6286f98353776e2a32bb157b.png

Pink Polaroid Camera, $69.95 (Cyber Monday special: $59.99)

The instant classic.

herbivorebotanicalsrosehibiscusfacemist

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water Face Mist, $32

After all the plane flights I’ve taken, I can say with full confidence that any frequent flier would kill for this face mist. I haven’t quite mastered the art of glamorous travel, but this mist is a step in the right direction, and perfect for your travel buddy.

parks-project-apparel-parkproject0117.jpg

Parks Project Apparel, range of prices

Every purchase helps support a project in a national park, making this gift probably the coolest one on the list.


The Girlboss


i-am-very-busy-pencil-case.jpg

I Am Very Busy Pencil Case, $12

I saw a girl at work with this case and I have envied her ever since.

Bonus: Fill it with the Like a Boss Pencil Set, $10!

Personalized-Stationery-Market

Personalized Stationery, $14

I should probably get this for myself, actually.

Day-Designer-for-Blue-Sky-7-1024x449.png

Day Designer Planner, $59

Ughhhhh WANT. Want want want.

c4da5c472cded7e92379d2da0e045acf--boss-lady-travel-mugs

Boss Lady Coffee Mug, $20

For some glam on the go. I need to stop making this gift guide or I’ll start buying everything for myself.

40821829_065_d

Adorn Bath Bomb, $8

Help the woman relax, for goodness’ sake. Buy some bath bombs.


The Trendsetter


il_340x270.1276640193_szvf

Personalized Eye Mask, $11

Insert their celebrity dreamboat here.

7f9df084-3f8d-422a-a37c-21e7b1982c0d

Kate Spade New York: All In Good Taste, $21.61

Coffee table books are the ultimate gift, because no one goes and buys them on their own, but everyone wants them. They’re chic, Instagrammable, and super fun to read. Here are more ideas for coffee table books on Refinery29.

43764919_004_b

Faux Fur Slides, $29

Slippers are the most diva thing I can think of. You can’t go wrong.

50499289_Alt01

Sonia Kashuk Brush Set, $24.99

Speaking of gifts you can’t go wrong with: You can never have enough makeup brushes. Never ever.

mothers-day-main.jpg

Yoga Mat, $32

Also has a matching gym bag and water bottle! Yay yoga! Yay for excuses to buy cute yoga accessories!

V556387_EDIT2

Victoria’s Secret Tease Rollerball, $18 (on sale for $6 as of post date)

My absolute favorite thing to stash in my purse. This one is great for a stocking stuffer.


The Creative


Naked-Smoky-51-800x796.png

Urban Decay Naked Smoky Palette, $54 (on sale right now for $27!)

If you want to be the best friend ever, and I mean THE BEST friend ever, this is the palette. Creative types love their dramatic eyeshadow. I should know.

Lists_Notebook_1024x.jpg

Lists Make Me Happy Notebook, $12

For the thinking woman with a love for lists. All the lists.

31fb8f811fb8b4a250f75f1273bca118

Gallery Wall Art, range of prices

Collect art prints to get your creative friend started on decorating some inspiring walls.

group-PANTONE-UNIVERSE-2014.jpg

Pantone Watch, $119

Anyone obsessed with design and color is probably obsessed with Pantone. Trust me on this one.

Split Decision Throw Pillow, $24

For the indecisive overthinker! This pillow flips, so one side says Make It Happen, while the other says Sleep On It.

3P4_BLack_Letterclub_Letter_Board_12x8_First_large

Letter Board, $50

For whenever they need to make a statement or feel inspired. Could also work for the Caffeine Addict, which leads us into our last category…


The Caffeine Addict


il_570xN.961378322_s75d

I Want My Coffee Black Print, $5.99

Enough said.

download

The Original Coffee Scrub, $13.56 (or DIY it!)

Beauty and coffee in one. There’s a reason this scrub took off on Instagram.

04609708_zi

Kate Spade Sugar and Creamer Set, $29

I wish I were fancy enough to actually have a place to put sugar and creamer.

eileen_gold_press_bodum_8cup_0.jpg

Eileen 8-Cup French Press, $50

For the coffee lover who spends too much money on store-bought coffee.

03827ad5f5a84ff78442c4797ba31b9d

Starbucks Gift Card, range of prices

For the coffee lover who spends too much money on store-bought coffee, and you want to enable them.


Whew, that was a lot to get through! I hope this list took away at least some of that post-Thanksgiving stress. Happy holiday shopping!

XO,

CC