Category Archives: Beauty

Spring Cleaning Your Skin with Drunk Elephant

Written by: Carissa Abraham

Spruce up your Skincare Routine

Spring is finally here! And by ‘Spring’ I mean whatever Mother Nature decides for the next few weeks -welcome to New Jersey! We can finally start “spring cleaning” to reveal that beautiful glow our skin has been trying to achieve all winter!

One of my go-to and most trustworthy brands is Drunk Elephant. Naturally, what attracted me was the name. Founder Tiffany Masterson said, “The name Drunk Elephant is rooted in a myth that says the elephants love to eat the fruit that has fallen from Marula trees. Once eaten, fermentation occurs inside their very large tummies and the elephants become drunk!”

Every  product is formulated with NO oils, silicones, drying alcohols, chemical screens, fragrances/dyes, or SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate). Masterson calls these ingredients the “Suspicious 6”. 

The Drunk Life!

Drunk Elephant provided me with a care package of their best-selling products (thanks Drunk Elephant!). I can confidently say I’m hooked on The Drunk Life – particularly because the combination of these products revealed the most glow I’ve ever seen my skin have.

Skin Spring Cleaning Steps

After removing  my makeup with BeautyConcepts face wipes (Amazon – $13), I jumped right into the Beste™ No. 9 Jelly Cleanser ($32). This clear gel cleanser foams well and leaves my skin feeling squeaky clean, without the squeak.

I follow up with the C-Firma Day Serum ($80). It’s a day serum, but nighttime application helps avoid photo-sensitivity. If used in the morning, use an SPF to strengthen your skin’s protection (the Umbra Sheer™ Physical Daily Defense SPF 30 is lightweight and not greasy).

My next step to anti-aging is the A-Passioni™ Retinol Cream ($72). Retinol helps produce new skin cells and aids in diminishing fine lines. Be careful – retinol requires being gradually added into a routine; I use it once per week at nighttime.

If you choose to use it during the day, you should use a broad spectrum sunscreen because retinol makes our skin ultra-light sensitive. If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, you should avoid retinol products and consult with your physician.

The Holy Grail

One of the greatest creations I’ve ever used in my entire life is the T.L.C. Framboos™ Glycolic Night Serum ($90). It’s the gift that keeps on giving my skin a texture-free feel.

It is a lightweight gel that dissolves dead skin cells with an “AHA/BHA blend of glycolic, lactic, tartaric, citric and salicylic acids.” This serum cleared up my often-textured forehead in THREE DAYS!

Since it is an AHA/BHA blend, I recommend pairing with some hydration, like their Virgin Marula Luxury Facial Oil ($40) or my preference of the B-Hydra™ Intensive Hydration Serum ($52).

Lock in the Glow

I sealed my skin with the popular Protini™ Polypeptide Cream ($68), which is notorious for improving our skin’s tone, texture and firmness. An alternate to Protini™ is my favorite moisturizer, Lala Retro™ Whipped Cream ($60). It’s loaded with six rare African oils and locks in moisture like there’s no tomorrow. Finally, I always top off my nighttime routine with Laneige’s Lip Sleeping Mask in Vanilla.

There’s still a few other goodies that I’ve yet to try. I’m definitely going to invest in these and will report back on my next Drunk Life adventure!

Lose An Hour, Gain Glowing Skin

Losing an hour of sleep is the only downside to Daylight Savings, but what if I told you in exchange for a lost hour there’s a solution for gaining something even better, like gorgeous skin?! 

Picture this: a beauty mask so powerful it can heal acne scarring, deep clean skin, promote skin cell reproduction and hydration, AND help maintain healthy hair – with the help of water or raw apple cider vinegar. Sounds too perfect, right? Wrong! Such a mask exists and is labeled as “the world’s most powerful facial and beauty product”: Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. This miracle clay is even good to your budget! It can be purchased for $10.95 at www.etanabeauty.com, Amazon, or in most drugstores.  

What is it and why is it so powerful?

Aztec Healing Clay is 100% calcium bentonite clay, a form of volcanic ash mined in Death Valley, California – yes, this clay comes from the Earth. It’s odorless and grey-green in color with a velvety texture. When mixed with liquid, it forms a paste that will dry once applied. It is loaded with minerals (calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, silica and sodium), which is the key to this mask’s power.

Thank God I paid attention in chemistry, because here’s where science gets involved: the makeup of the molecules in this clay carry a negative ion charge. Toxins, impurities and pollutants are comprised of positive ions. What makes the clay so beneficial is its ability to attract and stick to positive ions. The clay also removes excess hydrogen from your skin cells and replaces it with oxygen: AKA hydration!

Now that we got its chemistry out of the way, here’s what that actually means: once mixed with water (or apple cider vinegar) and applied to a freshly-washed face, the negatively charged clay bonds to the positively charged toxins and draws out all of the junk from your skin! While the clay is drying, you’re going to feel a strong tightening and pulsating sensation. This is normal and is a result of its strength. While it’s drawing out impurities, it’s also increasing blood circulation at full speed, which is the cause behind a quick turnover of skin cells!

Once removed, your skin will be red for up to 30 minutes. That is normal – think of it as your blood working at the surface of your skin to heal. With once weekly use over a 4-8 week period, this mask is successful in healing acne scarring and regenerating skin tissue. It prevents breakouts and blackheads by reducing oil production, and unclogging and shrinking pores, which leaves skin soft and glowing. This mask is also super effective at cleaning your scalp and getting rid of any buildup and dandruff – what it does for your skin, it will do for your hair with the added benefit of hair growth.

Important tips for successfully using Aztec Healing Clay on your skin and hair

  • TEST PATCH FIRST! Apply a small amount of clay to your inner forearm to test your skin’s sensitivity. If a rash appears, discontinue use immediately.
  • DO NOT use any metal bowls or spoons when mixing the clay. Metal decreases the clay’s effectiveness thanks to chemistry. Plastic, glass or wooden bowls and spoons are the best options.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar should be 100% raw, organic, unfiltered, and with-the-mother. I like Bragg the most.
  • Best used before a shower because the mask is messy when rinsing off.

For face:

  • Mix 1-2 tablespoons of clay with equal parts ACV or filtered water for sensitive skin. Stir the mixture until it is a smooth paste. If it’s too watery, add more clay. If it’s too clumpy, add *a little* more ACV or filtered water.
  • Apply to freshly cleaned and exfoliated skin with bare hands, an applicator or a small brush.
  • Leave on up to 10 minutes for delicate skin or 20 for normal. Rinse with warm water. Continue with your regular nighttime serums, oils, and moisturizers.

For hair:

  • Your hair should be wet, but not clean.
  • Mix 2-3 tablespoons of clay with equal parts ACV.
  • Apply to your roots (imagine you’re dying your hair) and make sure it’s massaged into your scalp. You can apply any leftover clay to the rest of your hair.
  • Leave on up to 30 minutes. Rinse well in the shower – you can shampoo and condition following this mask. Be sure to comb out any excess clay. Style as usual.

Of course, you will not see results overnight. I noticed a difference in my skin after the third week, using once-weekly. I didn’t start to feel the tingling or pulsating sensation until my second use, so if you don’t feel that on your first try don’t worry! You have to give your skin some time to adjust and restore. Consistency is key.

Fabulous Female – Erika Batista

This month’s Fabulous Female is very successful blogger, and mom, Erika Batista! At an early age Erika new she wanted to be a mom. When she married her husband they had the conversation about her desire to stay at home with her children. For Erika it was important to be there for her kid’s formative years, participate in school functions and be present for all of their milestones. While this didn’t come without sacrifice, she told me that the benefits outweighed anything she had to give up.  It’s Erika’s belief that family comes first.

While caring for her oldest Ben, she would get questions from friends and family about her clothes or makeup, since she was (and is) always so well put together. While Erika loves nothing more than being a mom, she recognizes that she’s a woman first. From her love of beauty and fashion, and as an outlet to keep the essence of the woman she loved to be before her kids, she launched Bye Erika Batista (formerly Lolabluestyle).

Through her blog Erika hopes to share the message that “mom life isn’t the end of your life… we can still be powerful, sexy, independent, loving and hardworking while being moms”.  She wants women to know that our goals are not limited once we have children. Erika’s philosophy is that it’s the opposite, and as mother’s we are natural multi-taskers, and becoming a mother empowers us to realize we can accomplish anything. While her passion is to achieve her dreams one step at a time, at the end of the day what drives her is being an example to her children, and inspire them to be and do whatever they set their minds to.

For Erika it’s a priority to empower and support other women in any way she can. Erika believes that “women who are leaders and support one another, from the kindness of their heart, empower me”.  She loves to use her platform to pay this forward by sharing details, of her life, through her social media accounts and blog. She takes pride in sharing her journey, whether they be wins or losses, so that she can create a connection with other women.

Erika credits her mom as being her biggest inspiration. As an adult she reflects back on her mother being a single parent, and how hard her mom worked to give her the world. Erika knows that she can never fail and the life she lives is so fruitful because of the lessons, and morals, that her mom taught her.

While her mom is such a big role model, she acknowledged that her husband, kids and aunts play a critical role in her success and are her biggest support system. Whether it be her kids cheering her on, with hugs and kisses, her husband being her photographer or getting that helping hand with dinner or laundry Erika says that “my village is golden and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t thank God”.

You can follow Erika at Bye Erika Batista or on Instagram @byerikabatista and on Facebook to get lifestyle, fashion, and make up tips as well as recipes or parenting advice!