Night routine (pt 3: fighting blemishes)

Along with having to bear with the hormone and blemish surge that is puberty, I’ve done my fair share of things to provoke my skin into anger. Examples: accidentally using cleanser as lotion and lotion as cleanser (…), slathering my whole face with benzoyl peroxide (I was desperate…and so flaky, you could have made me into a cereal–sorry, maybe that was too gross), etc.

1. About the drawing, this is how I imagine things look once you magnify the skin 1000000000000x times.
2. One thing I enjoy about taking these pictures is seeing how many things I can hold in my hand at once.

Tea tree essential oil

  • How to use: Starting with a clean face post-toning, pour some onto a cotton pad or Q-tip, then lightly dab over problem areas. DON’T GO OVERBOARD or else you will irritate your skin.
  • Why use it: It’s the safer alternative to benzoyl peroxide–works slightly slower but without the flaky (and potentially toxic) side effects. It’s antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial–aka it will destroy bacteria-filled pimples
Lavender essential oil
Note: As far as using them together, I don’t. At the same time at least. I am always afraid now of provoking my skin, so I’ll use one at a time during the morning or night. Lately I’ve been liking lavender at night and tea tree in the morning.

Night routine (pt 2: toning)

I know it is so obvious that apple cider vinegar is inside, but bear with me. I promise it is.

After I’ve removed my makeup with jojoba and cleansed with honey (usually shower goes here but we can skip that), I pour a bit of apple cider vinegar onto my clean face towel and wipe it across my face. Not only is it a double checker to make sure I’ve removed all the muck from my face, but it also hangs out to trade some punches with my blemishes. You can easily get a massive bottle of this at a health food store (make sure to get it with the mother…that’s where the good stuff is at) pretty inexpensively.

Why ACV is awesome

Night routine (pt. 1: cleansing)

Since my face decided to hate me for using coconut oil based products over the summer*, I’ve been following this cleansing routine at night to coax it into behaving, and it’s been working (now my face just mildly dislikes me every now and then). Makeup is gently but thoroughly removed, face is gently but thoroughly cleansed. Check.


1. Rub ~10 drops of jojoba oil between palms and massage onto face to break up the makeup (rhyme)
2. Wet a small towel with warm water and press onto face and go ahhh…(repeat ~3 times) then wipe away makeup
4. Scoop out a tablespoon of raw honey and massage onto face like a normal cleanser
5. Rinse face

Why it’s awesome
  • Jojoba oil is very similar to the oil our skin produces and like dissolves like–aka putting jojoba oil on your face attracts your face’s dirty oils and then you wipe it away. Yay. (also rhyme)
  • Raw honey is antibacterial, antifungal, moisturizing, smells awesome, tastes good if you get it in your mouth (can’t say that about most cleansers on the market), and all-around just fantastic.
  • Double cleansing (aka this oil followed by honey business) first takes care of oil-based dirt (like makeup) and then water-based dirt (like sweat). It’s got all the dirt covered.
(~$20 total)


*Some people have great results with coconut oil because it is also antibacterial, antifungal, and moisturizing but other people like me don’t. It is also possible that I wasn’t using the most purest form of coconut oil so that may have also skewed my results.

Vive la revolution!

Revolutions in history are always interesting creatures. We have the American (Boston tea party–oh for the love of tea!), the French (birth of the guillotine), the Bolshevik (hello Soviet Russia), and on. Each uprising of the people has brought about sparks of progress and/or regress, and our days today are as so thanks to those angry people seeking change.

Is the London flag + “Revolution” + the fact that I live in America too ironic? I love it.

This lip gloss by Revolution Organics thankfully comes un-violently to you presented by George the London bear*. The color “Integrity” goes on as “my lips but awesome” for me plus some shimmer but with none of the goop stigma customarily attached to lip gloss. It lasts for a couple hours unbothered but I can’t say anything beyond that because I eat and drink pretty regularly through the day so I probably manually refresh my lips anyways every 3-4 hours. Full of nourishing organic oils (olive, jojoba, sunflower, safflower), shea butter (hydrating!), aloe vera (soothing + softening), and more, this lip gloss is nourishing enough on its own or layered on top of lip balm (Hurraw!). Definitely a step for progress I’d say. ($26)

*note: no stuffed animals were harmed in the making of this post

100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

With two majors and all of the world to conquer, to me, the 9-hours-a-night sleep is a myth. (It hangs out with the Lochness Monster and the Easter Bunny.) And puffy, dry eyes are really hard to blink and keep open, especially with 8am Friday classes. 


This eye cream, while smelling fabulously (I can’t even explain how amazingly vanilla coffee bean this smells), moisturizes and controls under-eye-bag puffiness really well for me thanks to anti-inflammatory, caffeine rich green tea and de-puffing coffee beans. I can’t vouch for how it fights under-eye darkness because my dark circles are pretty hereditary, but that’s what concealer and better sleep is for. I love this eye cream and this tiny squeezy tube has lasted me amazingly long–more than 4 months now. Happy hunting for the 9-Hour Monster, and if you can’t find it, look for this eye cream in the meantime. ($19 – 1oz, $10 – 0.5oz)

Deodorants ft. Weleda and Soapwalla

Weleda Wild Rose Deodorant: No-mess spray deodorant that smells of roses (as you could gather from the title). This easily keeps me fresh all day through being nervous at my piano lesson and running after buses. I do have to dress strategically to avoid wet stains, however, as to be expected as this isn’t meant to soak up moisture. Weleda also says you can use it as a body spray, but go easy, it has a pretty concentrated scent. Also make sure you have good aim. Sometimes I aim for my pits and I get my neck, or my collarbone, or my chin. ($16)

Soapwalla Deodorant Cream: This is the darling of natural deodorants. It comes in an unconventional cream form that you scoop out and gently moisturize the pits with (and then you wash your hands afterwards, if you were wondering). During this past muggy East Coast summer, this neutralized smell and some amount of moisture (thanks to natural clays and powders) but I usually felt more comfortable adding another layer in the mid-afternoon since I’m especially sweaty. It doesn’t have as strong of a scent as the Weleda Wild Rose, but I’m perfectly fine with its herby scents canceling out my stinkies. Now in the fall/winter, I like using this when I know I have an especially sweaty day coming up. ($12)

On deodorant

I have always been a sweaty person. At piano lessons and recitals growing up, I despaired playing pianos with glossy finishes because I knew my fingers would slip and hit loads of wrong notes as soon as I got warmed up. During high school marching band season, I obsessively kept my arms glued to my side for at least 30 minutes into the next class after band so no one would see the dark stains. When going shopping, I would imagine what the armpit region of a potential shirt would look like if I sweat into it. Note: Gray is the worst. (Is that too much? Okay I’ll stop now.)
It’s funny to think that our natural scents used to be a kind of sign of attraction to the opposite sex, and now it’s like an instant person repeller. Thank goodness for deodorants, which are marketed to keep you smelling fresh and/or dry up the dreaded wetness. Seems good and fine until you step back and wonder, why do we sweat?
Sweating is the body getting rid of toxins. We engage in sweaty-making activity, we get hot and our circulation gets going, pores “open,” out comes toxins. When we use antiperspirants, we are using things like aluminum to block the sweat from coming out. We’re keeping the toxins in. Why would we want to do that? Dark armpit stains we can avoid by just wearing more strategic clothing, but toxins in our bodies? Possible breast cancer? (this one is still being debated but still)
As much as I loathe sweating, it’s a natural body function and I think we should let it do its own thing. Not to say we shouldn’t wear deodorant, goodness please, please if you know the bacteria in your pits likes to get busy, please wear a good, natural deodorant that will keep you fresh while still allowing toxins to come out.

Perfumes ft. Love & Toast and EOV

I am your poor college student, and as much as I’d love to drop my nonexistent money for a beautiful perfume like Honoré Des Prés or Tsi-La, I need to save it for food for when my meal plan runs out (highly likely). Hence, here are some natural perfumes that don’t contain phthalates (commonly found in “parfum,” these mimic estrogen and confuse your body), are more budget-friendly, and still smell awesome.

(from left to right)

Love & Toast Mandarin Tea Perfume: I first tried it on in a small store called Wyler’s a couple summers ago in Brunswick, Maine (you must go there – it is a store of the most utmost cuteness) and every time I visited the store again (many times), I would dab a bit of the sample on my wrist because I loved it that much. It’s a zingy citrus tea and it is awesome. Whenever I am feeling like I need a pick-me-up in the mornings, I use this. ($9)

Essence of Vali EOV Botanical Perfume Oil: This is my sexy perfume. At first I thought it would be too spicy for me, but it has grown on me to the point where every morning I choose this (whether or not the day’s occasions call for extra sexiness). It’s spicy and as in the words of its creator, “warm floral, slightly citrus, earthy, and sensual and uplifting at the same time.” ($15)

Love & Toast Paper Flower Perfume: Feminine, floral, flirty, you get the alliteration. When I’m wearing flowery clothing, I wear this to match. Don’t laugh at me. ($9)

Note: People often find that natural perfumes don’t last as long as synthetic ones (see this article by Tsi-La), but I think that people can take the extra 5 seconds to reapply if they need to. It is a small price to pay. I usually find two dabs of either Love & Toast actually lasts me the day, but the EOV blends into me as the day goes, which I don’t mind.