Beauty

29
Oct
2017

Self-care Sunday | Feat: MOROCCANOIL®

To those of you who have followed me for awhile: you KNOW how much of a cruelty-free beauty junkie I am. And Sunday = my day to get my self-pamper on.  I’ve been so excited to get the chance to use the Moroccanoil products, mostly because I’d always heard such amazing things about the protective qualities of the hair care line. Between wanting to look nice for work and all of my photoshoots for the blog, I use heat styling on my hair WAY more than I probably should. Plus, I have a tendency to switch up my hair color often, which can obviously wreak havoc on your hair. I’ve joined Morrocanoil’s #fearlessbeauty campaign, and for me it has two meanings: I can live without fear of damaging my hair because of these products, AND I can live without fear of sacrificing my values in order to have great beauty products, thanks to Moroccanoil’s cruelty-free status + their formulations (which are free of any animal byproducts).

moroccanoil hair products

As I sit here with a hair mask on under my towel turban, I want to share the Moroccanoil products I simply cannot live withoutt:

MOROCCANOIL TREATMENT
This product has gotten a LOT of play in the media– it kind of pioneered the whole argain oil-infused haircare movement. It has been given awards in New Beauty and Essence magazines, among others. It is such healthy, clean formulation that makes your hair SO shiny!!! You have to try ths stuff. (It really speeds up your hair drying time, too!!!)
RESTORATIVE HAIR MASK
You leave this product on for 5-7 minutes, and it totally revitalizes and reconstructs the hair shaft. It rebuilds strength of your hair from the inside out via the argan oil and shea butter. WORTH EVERY PENNY, y’all.
SHAMPOO AND CONDITIONER
I love these products because they moisturize your hair without weighing it down at all! Elasticity and shine are replenished, and your hair smells great, too! Whether you want more volume, have curly hair you’d like to enhance, or need coarse hair smoothed… There is a perfect option for you available.

Bonus: For all of my social media users: I encourage you to join the #fearlessbeauty movement as well! If you upload any photo to social media and use the hashtag FEARLESSBEAUTY (I am fearless when I _______), you could win the entire Moroccanoil Repair Collection, valued at over $400!!! AHHHH good luck!

xx

M

26
Oct
2017

Aging skin? Don’t sweat it. | Feat: FRÉ Skincare

fre skincare skincare routine

FRÉ skincare // satin robe (on major sale; other colors available)

*** FOR 25% OFF FRE SKINCARE, USE DISCOUNT CODE: FASHIONVEGGIE ***

So, I think that many of you have been following my fitness journey.  I have never felt better about the way my clothes fit… But I have noticed that all of the sweating has taken a little bit of a toll on my skin.  I was excited to learn about FRÉ, which combats workout-induced breakouts and aging with a revolutionary, natural blend of organic Argan oil and Argan leaf water extract, and Argan stem cells.  FRÉ has been featured in SHAPE and VOGUE magazines for a reason… It uniquely focuses on the active, outdoorsy woman.

This is a 3-step process… Easy peasy.  Each product is vegan, cruelty-free, hypoallergenic, and noncomedogenic (meaning, it is proven to not break you out!)

Step 1: “Protect Me” is a lightweight SPF30 moisturizer. It is waterproof, won’t sting your eyes, and won’t make you look “chalky.” You’re especially going to thank me for this if you are a runner or your workout involves being outdoors at all.  Trust me, as a former surfer, sweating out in the sun will seriously dehydrate your skin and put you at risk for early aging! 

Step 2: “Purify Me” is a  hydrating facial cleanser that prevents/treats breakouts and re-balances your skin pH.  Apply this after your workout… Bonus: it will feel GREAT, so refreshing!

Step 3: “Revive Me”  is an anti-aging serum that infuses your tired, overworked skin with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals.  It will stimulate collagen production and improve skin elasticity. Get your glow on!

I know a bunch of us here are tree-huggers, so I wanted to mention that for every skincare set sold, FRÉ plants an Argan tree!

 

 

FRÉ Skincare

20
Sep
2017

What’s The Deal With MICROBLADING? | Featuring: The “Bladerunner” Amber Garton

You’ve undoubtedly heard of the expression “death by a thousand cuts.”

These days, though, you hear more about deathly amazing eyebrows by a thousand cuts!  Especially if you live in Dallas, Texas; the stomping grounds of “The Bladerunner,” i.e. Amber Garton of Enlighten MD.

I’ve always had brows on the wispier side; a little bit light and sparse in certain areas.  If you’ve followed me for awhile, you know that I am a makeup minimalist to say the least. But I would at LEAST try and fill in my brows every day, which was a total pain.  So after hearing murmurings about microblading for a year or so, I finally decided that I wanted some brows that were, as the kids say, “on fleek.” (Do they still say that?)

Full disclosure: I stalked Amber, hard, before pursuing getting my eyebrows microbladed by her. She has an Instagram that showcases her work (check it out), and I would sit there, mesmerized, for 30 minutes at a time– just watching her transform her customers’ entire faces with teeny tiny strokes of a blade.  And she was GOOD.  Her creations zero percent appeared to be “tattooed on,” even when the she had very little to work with at the start.  Another thing that set Amber apart from the rest, in my opinion, was that her brow aesthetic wasn’t one-size-fits-all.  There are quite a few talented microbladers are out there these days (not to mention the no-so-talented ones… Just do a quick search on Instagram), but most of them have a certain “look” that they tend to execute regardless of the nuances of their canvas; oftentimes, its a signature dark, super-arched brow, or one which starts out lighter at the inner corners and then deepens substantially at the outer corners.  But what I was really looking for was someone who would give me the right brows for MY face– and that meant the right color AND the right shape.  Remember– this is a semi-permanent tattoo on your face. This is not the time to choose someone on a whim, or to bargain shop.

So I took a deep breath, messaged Amber, and a couple of weeks later I found myself entering the doors of Enlighten MD, a luxury, much-buzzed-about medi spa.  While I introduced myself around to the friendly, super cute girls who work there (I wanted them all to be my friends), I noted the chic clothing/accessories boutique attached to the spa.  Welp, I knew what I would be doing to pass the 30 minutes it took for the numbing cream to kick in.  Two candles, a necklace, and a pair of yoga pants later, I was finally reclining in Amber’s exam room.  Amber is about 5 feet tall, basically a gorgeous little smoky-voiced pixie, with big blue eyes and hair down to her butt.  She has long, colorful nails covered in glitter, and she listens to the blues while she stares intently at your face. I was immediately put at ease; she has the air of someone who wants to take really great care of you; the air of someone who can slice you open with a superfine blade, but you barely notice because you are singing out loud with her to Otis Redding.

I was right- we had a blast throughout our 3-hour-long appointment.  But through the fun, you could see her perfectionism and professionalism.  She took the time to explain to me her methodology; the veggie-based, organic ink she loves to use; and the purpose of each little tool.  She drew a brow on me and asked how I liked it– did everything look perfect, did I feel comfortable with where it started and ended? You can tell that she truly loves what she does.  The pain level was about a 5. No big deal. Worth it for perfect brows, am I right?  The most daunting thing is that you really have to be careful with your new brows for a couple of weeks afterwards.  No scratching them– and chilllddd, they will itch for a few days!  And no sweating– this would make the ink leave your pores. You need to keep the brows shiny with a petrolatum product; but not WET, lest the scabs loosen.  Amber explained all of this multiple times in a patient, concerned manner… She can only do so much,  it’s up to us to maintain her work.  I mention all of this because: just like choosing the right technician is très important, so is making sure that it is the right time to get this procedure done.  Don’t get your brows ‘bladed right before you start training for a marathon or go on a scuba diving trip. Also, you probably shouldn’t get them done the day before a photo shoot– the brows will be noticeably darker than average for about a week or so while they heal.

I left Amber that day feeling like a strong-featured goddess. I actually loved the phase where my brows were super dark– it’s a cool look!  I babied my eyebrows for a couple of weeks, enjoying the for-once-valid excuse I had not to go to the gym, and then returned to Amber for my touch-up.  She went back over areas that didn’t “take” the pigment as well, or areas that just needed a little extra “oomph.”

I have been biding my time before writing this review, because I wanted to be able to honestly describe how well the brows hold up.  I got mine microbladed about 5 months ago, and they are still going strong! They will hopefully last for at least a year before I go back to Amber for my maintenance visit.  I do think that it is safe to say: I am hooked. I don’t have to think about my brows whatsoever, except to pluck a few strays every couple of weeks or so.  As Amber and I discussed– some girls need to be high maintenance in order to be low maintenance.  I am one of those girls; I love never having to put makeup on my face or think about my brows or worry about what I eat… It’s such a carefree way to live.  But because I am not naturally glowy-complexioned, full-browed, or fit, this means that I invest in 3 “high maintenance” things that I will probably be hooked on for the rest of my life: good skincare, microblading, and personal training. And out of those 3, microblading really is by far and away the least time consuming or expensive– you just need to come in once every year or two! Well worth it for fleeky brows, if you ask me.

If you have any questions AT ALL about the process or my experience, please feel free to ask, as always.  But let me leave you with my final thoughts, in the order of importance, on microblading: A) Find a good tech!!! Don’t be wooed by techs who boast low prices around the $200-300 range; most likely, they are just trying to build up a portfolio and get their feet wet. You want someone outstanding.  B) Choose the timing carefully so you don’t screw up the aftercare;  C) Don’t worry about the pain.  It’s barely worth mentioning, but it’s definitely one of the questions I get the most.  If you don’t live in Dallas, I would do extensive research before choosing a brow specialist  (remember, its a tattoo…on your face)  and I would even consider making a trip in order to go to Amber.  Especially if you’re into that cruelty-free life, as she uses all animal-friendly materials.

Love you guys!  Send me pics of your new brows when you get ’em!

 

xoxo

M

Info on my technician:

Amber Garton at Enlighten MD

214-964-0860 for questions or appointments

 

 

 

 

11
Sep
2017

Plaine Products : Eco-friendly Packaging + Natural Ingredients

PLAINE PRODUCTS is on a mission to eliminate single-use plastic!

Let’s talk about the reasons that you should join them:

  • Did you know that only 5-10% of plastic is reclaimed for recycling? And even then, most of it ends up in landfills and in our oceans.  It is killing our ocean earthlings, and is scary for our future. According to Plaine’s website, it is projected that unless we make a change by 2050, there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish!!! Heartbreaking.   Plaine has decided to provide a much more eco-responsible alternative: aluminum packaging! Even the boxes they use in shipping their products to you are made of 100% recycled materials. When you are running low or out of your product, just let Plaine know, and they’ll send you a refill!  You can use the same box your refill comes in to send back your old jar to be reused.  For further explanation about how their refill service works, go HERE.
  • Their products are vegan, cruelty-free (in case you are new to my page, anything ever featured on this blog will be vegan and cruelty-free!), non-gmo, free of sulfates/parabens, phthalates, palm-oil-free (I’m trying to totally eliminate palm oil, personally, so this makes me happy), chemical-free, kid-safe, and biodegradable.  Healing, nutrient-rich aloe vera is the main ingredient. Check out the specific ingredients further HERE.
  • Onto my more shallow values when it comes to the products I purchase: these products look and smell great (it reminds me of what you’d find in a fancy spa), and I love the way they look in my shower. I consider this merely a bonus, but it is still worth mentioning!

Try Plaine Products and let me know what you think.  I love the peace of mind that comes with knowing that I’m part of the solution, not the problem, when it comes to our ocean pollution.

XOX

M

plaine products in shower

15
Jul
2017

Milk + Honey Spa (More Animal-Friendly Than It Sounds) | Austin, TX

You might have noticed, if you follow me on Instagram, that I often spend time in Austin, Texas. Can you blame me? Its the most fun, musical, vegan-friendly place in Texas!  I kept hearing about this “super cool, cruelty-free, premier day spa” in town, so of course I had to go check it out.  That’s when I discovered the pure magic of Milk + Honey spa, in the heart of Austin’s downtown.  The interior is uniquely beautiful, the services are spectacular, but most importantly– the spa owners vet the hell out of any product line before carrying it.  Cruelty-free is their bottom line– none of their products for sale or used at the spa have been tested on animals (let me repeat!!! NONE of the products!) and most are 100% vegan (with the exception of an occasional product in their signature line with beeswax and/or honey).

Let me start by telling you about MY experience at Milk + Honey spa (there is also a location in Houston, FYI).  I come in early and spend extra time in the light-filled, modern reception area, because it is filled with fun products that you can shop– from SpaRitual nail polish, to locally-made soy candles. to their signature brand’s delicious-smelling, plant-based body lotion.   The two skincare lines they carry and use in their treatments are: a) my longtime FAVORITE brand, Osea Malibu (you might remember me raving about them back in this post 6 months ago) and b) Cosmedix (another cruelty-free brand!).

So after I spent way too much time and money in the lobby (I maintain that I truly needed a foot massager ball and 5 new colors of nail polish!), I head from the reception area to the locker room.  This area is also super fabulous and stocked with everything you might need to get relaxed or to get ready.  I put my things in a locker, resist the temptation to stay in their steam room for the rest of the evening, and go instead into their super zen, fruit-and-nut-and-cucumber-water-filled waiting area. It is beautiful and cavernous and I feel the stress of the day slipping away while I wait for my aesthetician to come and get me for my hour-long Signature Facial.

milk + honey spa

The girl in charge of giving me the facial of a lifetime is named Bridget.  She is amazing and I love her immediately… You can really tell that she is passionate about what she does, and she has a very calming energy about her.  She uses all natural, organic Osea Malibu products on my face, which I love.  She also does extractions with her sterilized instrument, which is pretty much the most satisfying thing EVER to watch. I thought I already knew everything about the Osea line (because I’m a fangirl), but she coaches me on each products nuances as we go through each step, and I walk away from the facial not only feeling like a new woman… but also like a true expert.  Bonus:  I was able to grab some of my favorite products on my way out, since they sell Osea on site!

Bottom line:  I would HIGHLY recommend this premier day spa to anyone in the Austin or Houston area.  5 star rating, hands down my favorite. You will not be disappointed!

Milk + Honey Spa

 

(photos: Casey Dunn)

10
Jul
2017

the importance of professional skincare, featuring: McGuiness Dermatology

Who’s your dermatologist?

(If you couldn’t answer that question right away… Houston, we have a problem.)

As for me, I go see McGuiness Dermatology in the DFW area.  If you follow me on Instagram, I’m sure you’re familiar with them– I go somewhat frequently because I love the procedures the perform on my skin, and because frankly I love the atmosphere and staff so much!  They also have 7 locations around Dallas & Fort Worth, so there is always one nearby.

I used to see them twice per year for skin checks and general maintenance (FYI: this is basically the bare minimum of what you should be doing)– I have moles on my stomach and neck and need to check them regularly to make sure that they don’t change in shape/size/coloration. Truly, guys, I cannot emphasize the importance of mole checks enough… It could be the difference between life and death!!! And make sure your man does this, too, by the way– statistically, men tend to forget to have their skin looked at.  Anways, needless to say, I started going to the dermatologist much more frequently once I opened my eyes to ALL that they can do for you, and am now in there just about every other month.

I’ll cut to the chase… This is what I’ve done, want to do, and won’t do. (*all procedures I’ve done are vegan!)

I’m addicted to:

  • Hydrafacial
    • No downtime, super quick procedure (under 30 min),
    • NO pain.
    • Relatively inexpensive.
    • Immediate results.  Makes you feel like a goddess for about 10 days.  The day after Hydrafacial you literally feel like a supermodel; your skin glows.
    • I get this done about once per month.  Done regularly, it keeps your skin super clear and you won’t get breakouts in between treatments.
  • Microneedling
    • Long term results!!!  Super quick procedure (under 30 min).
    • Minimal discomfort, no big deal.
    • Fights wrinkles, uneven texture, scarring, stretch marks.
    • Basically, little micro needles will cause tiny wounds to the skin, which will then initiate the skin’s natural healing process, improving the skin’s texture and appearance.
    • Minimal downtime.  I usually will hide out for a day afterwards because your face is red and a tiny bit puffy, so I will normally get this on a friday.  Pro tip: Don’t put makeup on afterwards for about 24 hours.
  • Ultherapy
    • Basically, this is like a non-invasive face/neck lift, using ultrasound!! The results are TRULY amazing.
    • Notable discomfort, I’m not going to lie. Especially on the chest.  But hey… Sometimes, beauty is pain.
    • No downtime! But it does take a few months for to see maximum results, so be patient.
    • Save up for this one ($$), but girllll it is worth it.
  • Skincare/ at-home-upkeep
    • Bonus if you go to the McGuiness group… The staff and providers are all huge animal-lovers AND simply like to keep informed about their products, and 90% of the products they recommend & sell are cruelty-free!!!!  This is huge.
    • Skincare that you can take home and use every morning/night is key to longterm skin youthfulness, clarity, and health.
    • Karen Adams, the (plant-based!) PA I see pretty frequently, is PASSIONATE about putting together skincare regimens for people based on their specific skin type, wants, and needs.  For me, she uses cruelty-free, anti-aging products that won’t break me out! This is so important, guys.
    • Don’t forget sunscreen daily! So crucial.  I like to get a separate facial sunscreen so it won’t block my pores.  I picked up the Elta MD brand at McGuiness Dermatology, because it is cruelty-free, vegan, won’t break you out and is meant for the face.  Super luxurious-feeling, too.

What I want to do:

  • Dermaplaning
    • I will probably spring for this right before the wedding. Makes your makeup go on really smoothly.
    • Uses a sterile blade to remove the top layer of your skin, along with “peach fuzz.” (No, the hair won’t grow back dark and/or coarse!)
    • Inexpensive and quick.

What I’m not into:

  • Fillers
    • I’m just personally not ready for this!
    • Iffy animal-friendly statuses even on those who claim to be cruelty-free… I don’t want to risk it.
    • If you ARE into this, it is SO important to find a good health care professional to execute.  It can be done beautifully (Karen Adams‘ patient photos are very impressive and natural-looking) or not-so-much (poor Meg Ryan, for instance).

Lastly,  as promised, I will close this little post out with an FAQ, featuring the most popular questions you guys sent me via email or IG.  Answers are from my own skincare guru Karen Adams.  I trust her with my face and my health, because she is animal-friendly, does very thorough research, is very careful and natural, and is a well trained, highly-educated perfectionist. Enjoy!  Learn!

1) What procedure would you recommend for acne scarred skin? SkinPen by far, since microneedling devices help to stimulate collagen production (to even out texture of skin) and results in little to no downtime.
2) What would you recommend for Melasma? Melasma is a tricky condition to treat because usually when melasma has occurred, there is already a dysfunction of melanocytes – the pigment producing cells – and it is caused by or made worse by UV radiation and hormonal changes, including birth control and pregnancy. I typically pair a non-hydroquinone cream with a 4% hydroquinone cream for a boost in lightening pigment, then add on a topical antioxidant like SkinBetter Alto Defense with infrared protection, and definitely mandate sunscreen or SPF 30+ that has broad spectrum coverage. At night, a retinoid is needed as well. And that’s just to start!
3) Are extractions using a metal tool good or bad? I thought we weren’t supposed to pop zits? Even metal extractors can cause damage to the skin, especially if too much pressure is applied or if the skin OR tool is not properly cleansed before use. Always better to have extractions done by a trained medical professional!
4) How often should I come see my dermatologist? It depends on the skin condition and risk. Skin cancer screenings should be performed every 6-12 months whereas individuals with acne may need to visit the dermatologist every 4-6 weeks until the acne is under control.
5) Why is picking the right dermatologist important? It’s important to find someone who will listen and address your specific needs and desires. (Molly’s note: Beware of docs who rush you in and out of the room in under a couple of minutes.  Find someone who cares!!)
6) Favorite animal-friendly skincare line? SkinBetter!
7) What procedure makes the biggest difference in overall appearance? Microneedling is a fan favorite by far. Usually 3-4 treatments are needed and after each, you get a nice “glowy” look for a few days that makes you look so refreshed. Long term benefits are: a decrease in acne scars, reduction in fine and etched in lines, and just an overall boost in the firmness of skin.
8) Most common mistake you see as a dermatologist? Most common problem? Many times I’ll see patients give up on medications or products before they’ve been given enough time to work. Patience is important, good things will come if given enough time!
10) If you could give one piece of advice, it would be: Always, always, always use a good sunscreen with broad spectrum coverage and spf 30+ (EltaMD is a great start) and a retinoid. There are many prescription retinoids and retinoids sold in dermatology offices to pick from, so finding one that is perfect for your individual skin type is doable!

 

I hope this post has inspired you to call your dermatologist and make an appointment– or to call mine, who I obviously love. Remember: our skin is our largest organ, and it is so important that we take care of it.

 

(Featuring: McGuiness Dermatology. You can schedule your appointment online!)

 

30
Jun
2017

organic, cruelty-free skincare brand LALOGY

“It is liquid gold in a jar.” – Story of Mar

lalogy skincare
Oooooh man, you know how I feel about some vegan, cruelty-free, organic skincare.

Meet: one of my new very favorite products from one of my new favorite brands! “The Hangover” by LALOGY is a super intensive, firming, peptide-rich moisturizer that is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of facial expression lines. Real talk: at first I was not sure about the super yellow tint to the moisturizer. But once I rubbed it alllll in (and realized that moderation is key when it comes to this product), I found that the subtle hue actually evens out your skin tone and helps hide pimples. I L-O-V-E the scent, too, which comes from the lavender and chamomile essential oils. Lastly– I keep this product in the refrigerator. WHY, you ask? Because the ingredients come from small USDA approved farms across North America, so it helps keep the product fresh and extends the shelf-life. Also, because it just feels better when you put it on!

  • Some great news: Lalogy generously gave me a discount code to share with you guys! Enter FASHIONVEGGIE at checkout. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think! Thanks in advance for supporting cruelty-free products… After this week’s unfortunate NARS animal testing scandal, I extra-appreciate ethical beauty brands like Lalogy who have decided to choose life over profits.