Many people ask me questions about essences. They want to know if they need one, what they do, and how to work them into their routine. Essences are often confused for a toner or serum but are different and deserve their own spotlight in your routine. When working them into your skin care routine they would go between the two. So cleanse, toner, essence, serum, and so on. An essence is going to be more lightweight than a serum, products going from thinnest to thickest consistency leading into your moisturizer last. Their watery consistency makes it easier for the skin to absorb. An essence can be used on any skin type and at any age as they are a preventive measure but also target certain skin care concerns. They will make your skin more supple and ready to receive all the other skin care goodies that follow. That supple part I just mentioned is very real and you will wonder how you ever lived without it! They are extremely hydrating and nourishing and have active ingredients that will prep your skin. I like to think of them as a cheerleader for my serum and moisturizer. Your essence should make your skin feel rebalanced and hydrated. Hydration is the key to keeping skin youthful looking. They will treat fine lines, wrinkles, dull and uneven skin leaving you with a more even, brighter, and radiant complexion. I’ve also seen some essences do an amazing job at treating acne. While essences can be on the pricer side you only need a few drops in your hands. Then apply it by gently pressing your hands into the skin. I like to think of it as feeding my skin. I saw one of the biggest changes in my skin was when I added an essence in my routine. Once I started using one there was no turning back. Adding an essence between your toner and serum will be one of the easiest and most rewarding steps you will do. You will see a vast improvement in your skin and it only takes a few moments of your time everyday.


January Favorites 2019

I wanted to do a couple product reviews for you and also share some books I’ve read this month. So I figured why not do a favorites post for you. This way I can share everything I’ve been loving all at once. I love favorites videos and posts! It’s like a friend telling you “Hey! Check this out, this product changed my life!”. Every time my girlfriend and I get together we bring a bag of shit with us. The next few hours go something like this “Put this on your face you are going to die! Don’t bother buying this it’s the worst thing ever! Get online now and order this!”. So think of this as my list of loves to you. If you are looking for a new moisturizer or book to read these are just merely my suggestions. Some are new loves and others I have been using for months. Let me know the things that you have fallen in love with this month.

Click any of the product names below for a link to them.

MURAD PREBIOTIC 4-IN-1 MULTICLEANSER – It’s been a long time since a cleanser has wowed me. This one surely has with it’s 4-in-1 capabilities. It easily removes all my makeup and doesn’t strip my skin down. The reason I fell in love with it though is that my skin is so much more balanced now, the texture and dryness are gone! It leaves your skin deeply hydrated and even looking. Click here to read my post if you would like to know more about prebiotics and skincare.

MURAD PREBIOTIC 3-IN-1 MULTIMIST – I love this mist for the hydration alone but this past year I’ve had a love / hate relationship with setting sprays. Most them break my makeup up or just don’t work. I had given up on most of them. Then Murad came along with this amazing 3 in 1 product it primes, hydrates, and sets makeup to perfection. Whether you wear makeup or not this hydrating mist is a lifesaver.

HEIMISH ARTLESS GLOW BASE SPF 50+ – I’ve been using this product for sometime it is an absolute love of mine. It primes your skin, hydrates, and protects you from the sun. It is not greasy and gives you the most beautiful subtle glow. It is the perfect base for makeup or gorgeous all on its own. It never pills up or breaks me out. It is SPF perfection!

ERBORIAN CC CREME HIGH DEFINITION RADIANCE CREAM – I bought this on an extremely hot day last summer looking to replace my heavy foundations. I also wanted to simplify my everyday makeup routine. I immediately was in awe of this product. I couldn’t believe how effortlessly it made my skin look beautiful. Now through summer, fall, and winter this is still reached for all the time. It is one of the most beautiful products that makes you look like you have no makeup on and beautiful skin. It is sold as a primer but like me, most wear it as a foundation.

ALGENIST GENIUS SLEEPING COLLAGEN – This was a new product this month and quickly became a love. It takes me a bit to decide if I like a skincare product, if I hate it though I can almost immediately tell. I was eager to try this one and had high hopes because I already loved the liquid collagen by Algenist. I adore many of Algenist products they provide some of the fastest results in a bottle. Their sleeping collagen was no different! The texture of this cream is amazing and melts right into your skin. It will hydrate and plump your skin and help get rid of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have dry skin and or mature skin this product is perfect for you. It provides amazing results and is beauty sleep in a jar.

DHC EYELASH TONIC – This lash conditioner will change your lashes for $14.00! After using this for a month I can see I huge difference in my lashes they are stronger and longer. This is exactly what your lashes need after washing off eye makeup. If you have had extensions or wear falsies this is the T.L.C. your lashes have been asking for. I use it every night before bed and has become part of my routine.

SLIP SLIPSILK PILLOWCASE – Do you ever wake up with sleep lines on your face? Well, that’s exactly what pillowcase is for. Since I’ve had this I never wake up with crazy lines on my face that take hours to go away. It also helps to not absorb all those skincare goodies I put on my face at night. Not only is it good for your skin but also your hair, it is gentle as to not pull and damage your hair while you sleep. This is one of those little beauty things that make a big difference.

INDIGO WILD ZUM MIST LAVENDER-MINT AROMATHERAPY ROOM MIST – I’ve been using Zum Mist for a couple of years I absolutely love the way it makes my house smell. It is gentle enough to be used as a body mist as well but I solely use it for my home. This makes your home smell so fresh especially after you have cooked and that food smell lingers around. I even use it on my yoga mat to. It comes in a bunch of different scents. My favorites are lavender-mint, rosemary-mint, and lemongrass. The only downside is the bottle is a bit small for the price but when I get halfway through the bottle I fill it with water so it lasts a little longer. The scent is strong enough that it works well, it’s just a bit diluted then.

VIGILANT EATS SUPERFOOD CEREAL – My daughter found these for me at our local grocery store and we both think they are the yummiest thing ever! They come in a variety of flavors, though I haven’t tried them all yet. My favorite so far is the cacao banana crunch. These are perfect for on the go you can take them anywhere. They have a collapsible spoon inside and you can add hot water, cold water, or milk. I like mine with a bit of unsweetened almond milk. They are gluten free, USDA organic, vegan certified, and non GMO.

AGELESS BEAUTY THE FRENCH WAY CLEMENCE VON MUEFFLING – For the new year I bought myself a bunch of new books to read on all different topics. Of course there were beauty books and this was the first one I read. If you are into beauty the slightest bit this is a wonderful book to read. Filled with tips and tricks of three generations of beauty editors. Whether you are a beauty guru or a novice this book will teach you something! It’s filled with advice on skincare, makeup, hair, and nails. She touches on every age range throughout the book so it is informative to everyone. It is an easy read book that has stories about Clemence’s life and growing up around beauty editors and behind the doors at French Vogue. I felt like she magically transported me to France with her on more than one occasion. I loved reading what her family’s favorite beauty products are and why they love them because they have had access to everything imaginable.

THE SUBTLE ART OF NOT GIVING A F*CK MARK MANSON – While I was filled with anxiety the past few months I was reaching for everything and anything to help me feel better. I am working on a post about sharing that with you, it will be up sometime in the next couple weeks. Until then this book was one of my saving graces. In the first chapter of the book I was laughing so hard then crying so hard and this continued throughout the entirety of the book. Sometimes I was even agreeing loudly and yelling “F*ck that!”. This is not your typical self help book, if you’re looking for a book to tell you how wonderful you are, that you are special, and perfect in every way then this is not the book for you. Mark is basically going to tell you the complete opposite and tell you to take your head out of your a$$ and drop a lot of F-bombs in between. This book most certainly isn’t for everyone but it was everything I needed to hear at the time. It is filled with wisdom and clarity for the modern-day. It is well worth the read.

YOUPER APP – This app was amazingly helpful for my anxiety and it is absolutely free. Youper is an AI assistant that helps you manage stress, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, PTSD. It does a personality DNA for you and monitors your emotions. It has a journal like quality to it and will link things that make you feel good as well as things that don’t. It talks to you about how you are feeling and how to cope with it and will walk you through some amazing meditative exercises. If you ever feel out of sorts or even if you just have a stressful job download this app it really helps so much. I can’t say enough good things about it. It has amazing reviews by so many people. I have all my friends and family using it now.


There are many factors that affect our skin and its appearance. If we know what these factors are we can help our skin age more beautifully and look its best at any age. While it is a constant war to protect our skin from all its enemies it is a battle worth fighting. The list may seem long but most of these things can become habit for you. Although others may take some time and or a professional such as a vitamin deficiency. I see a lot of misleading information out there on what does and doesn’t affect our skin. All of these things I’m about to share with you can most certainly determine the way our skin looks.

SUN DAMAGE – We know we need to protect our skin from the sun, no excuses. While it’s wonderful to enjoy the sunshine we need to make it a habit to protect our skin. I keep sunscreen by my front door so if I’m in a hurry I remember to put it on. Remember to use sunscreen even in the winter months!

CLIMATE – Extreme climates can certainly cause skin problems. When it’s cold outside the humidity is low and can make your skin dry. Be sure to moisturize your skin regularly. You can also sleep with a humidifier but make sure to keep it clean! Also, try to avoid really hot showers. Extreme heat and humidity can be acne triggers for some people. Proper washing and protecting the skin are best to help with this. Even the cold weather can cause break outs when your skin is stressed.

POLLUTANTS – Protecting are skin from pollutants is a very real thing. Free radicals damage our skin cells causing wrinkles, dehydration, loss of collagen and the list goes on. Basically they age you with vengeance. Skin care products rich in antioxidants is the best way to protect our skin, they help neutralize free radicals. Of course sunscreen again is playing a very important role in keeping our skin safe as well.

PHOTOSENSITIVITY – Exogenous photodermatoses is when a phototoxic or photoallergic reaction is caused by an external photosensitiser. (Photosensitivity to the sun from medications and or skin care products.) The best way to protect your skin from photosensitizing ingredients is by being aware of what you are putting on your face and or in your body. Always read warning labels and instructions clearly so you know if these things can make your skin sensitive to the sun. Some of these ingredients are AHA’s, BHA’s, Retin-A, and some essential oils. Photosensitivity is not universal but to be safe always wear sunscreen and avoid spending long amounts of time in the sun.

MISUSE OF PRODUCTS – Unfortunately I see this one the most often. New clients over exfoliating their skin or using the wrong products that are to strong for them. Please be very mindful when putting products on your face. Some ingredients don’t mix well and people are overzealous for perfect skin they ruin it. Over exfoliating can cause redness, rashes, and even scarring to the face. Harsh products can cause irritation, inflammation and stress the skin. These things will cause your skin to prematurely age and no one wants that.

POOR MAINTENANCE – Not removing your makeup is not doing you any favors! It can cause a long list of problems for your skin such as acne, large pores, dull skin, dryness, as well as aging you. Not washing your skin is just creating a party on your face for pollutants. You can have a nice and easy skin care routine that doesn’t break the bank or take a large amounts of time everyday. There are staples that everyone needs to their skincare routine.

STRESS – Oh, yes the stress is very real! Stress does a number on our skin and if anyone tells you different they are wrong. Stress can worsen skin conditions such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Long term stress can cause lines on our face as well as decreasing skin elasticity. Our bodies release chemicals which cause inflammation, when we are stressed are bodies go into fight or flight response. This inflammation causes flare ups on our skin. To help with this try to rest and eat well, get exercise, drink plenty of water, meditate and make time for yourself. If you need seek professional advise.

DEHYDRATION – I’m sure you have heard a million times how important drinking water is. It is something that we need to keep our skin and body healthy. There is a difference between dehydrated skin and dry skin though. It can be hard to tell the difference as both can appear dull and dry but there are differences. Dry skin is a skin type and lacks oil while dehydrated skin is a skin condition and lacks water. Dehydrated skin can be itchy, dry, tight, cause dark circles around the eyes, inflammation, fine lines, and be dull like in appearance. All skin types can become dehydrated even oily skin. To remedy this drink plenty of water if you don’t like water try adding a cucumber or mint to it to add some flavor. Once you start drinking water it becomes habit and you will crave it. Using a humidifier in your room (keep clean) can help but drinking water is a must! Also get a good skin care regimen to help aid with the healing of this condition.

ALCOHOL / CAFFEINE – Alcohol and caffeine are no friends of your skin. They both dehydrate you and we went over all the things that does to your skin. They both cause inflammation to your skin and premature aging. Don’t get me wrong I love my coffee but I have one a day or opt for decaf. Drinking alcohol can also cause broken capillaries, redness, and breakouts. If you choose to have a drink or a coffee be sure to drink plenty of water. Remember everything in moderation. Always remember to replenish what you have taken away from your body. There are some amazing before and after photos online of people and their skin once they have quit drinking.

SMOKING – Smoking causes premature aging it causes lines around the lips and eye area. Nicotine makes your wounds take longer to heal which can cause scarring. If that’s not enough smoking can cause skin cancer along with a long list of other cancers. Quitting smoking will better your overall health, brighten your eyes, give you a much better complexion, and tighten your skin. The list goes on and on.

IMPROPER NUTRITION – This one is quite controversial as experts argue over whether our diet can affect our skin but I believe our outside is a reflection of our inside. Even if you don’t agree with this one having a proper diet is not going to hurt you by any means. There are foods that cause inflammation and foods rich in antioxidants both play good and bad roles when it comes to our skin. If you have food sensitivities this can most certainly come out through your skin as well. When you think about it it’s no different than our body needing water for supple hydrated skin.

LACK OF EXERCISE / SLEEP – Exercising helps us sleep better, reduces stress, and increases blood circulation which delivers nutrients and oxygen to your skin. You can start to see a connection between all of these, stress causes problems to our skin, which we talked about earlier so this can be reduced by exercising. Exercising helps us sleep better which we need because a lack of sleep causes your body to make more stress hormones. Another connection! Not getting enough sleep worsens skin conditions and speeds up the aging process. Beauty sleep is a very real thing!

VITAMIN DEFICIENCY – There are many vitamins than aide in our skins health. So with a vitamin deficiency we can certainly understand why this would affect us. I recently have found out I had a b-12 deficiency and it pretty much explained every ailment I had been having. There are many signs your body gives you when it’s lacking a vitamin. This is not something you should self diagnosis though you will need a professional to find the deficiency and make sure you are getting proper amounts of the vitamin.

GLYCATION – Glycation is the binding of sugars to proteins resulting in damaged nonfunctioning structures (AGE’s). This causes the skin to age causing wrinkles and age spots. When our blood sugar is continuously elevated it can attach to collagen. This then makes the skin stiff and sag. A healthy low sugar diet will help with this.

HORMONES / MENOPAUSE – Menopause is when you could begin to see the damage that the sun has done to you or even earlier. A lot of women begin to see increased dryness to their skin along with quicker depletion of collagen and wrinkles. Some woman even begin to experience acne. As for hormones, different hormones can affect the skin differently. Remember when we talked about the stress hormone. Good nutrition, exercise, and proper sleep can help balance hormones. Obviously sometimes a professional will be needed such as if you have a thyroid imbalance.

MEDICATIONS / DRUGS – Some medications can have side effects on our skin. They can cause but not limited to hives, rashes, blisters, legions, and acne. If a doctor has prescribed you medication and you are seeing such side effects it is important to notify your doctor immediately because you could be having an allergic reaction. As for illegal drugs they can wreak havoc on your body and lead to death. These drugs do some serious damage to our skin. They can cause ulcers, scabs, sores, lesions, and honestly the list goes on and on. Some drugs are cut with foreign substances that can do horrible things to your body. Living a healthy lifestyle and refraining from drug abuse is the best way to keep your skin and body healthy.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS / GENETICS – There are many skin disorders and medical conditions that can show up on our skin. They can vary greatly. Skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and actinic keratosis to name a few, would best be treated by a professional. Some are treatable some are permanent. Some conditions you are predisposed to while others can be caused. Most skin conditions are minor and others may be more serious. The best way to help with this is have a professional keep you on a good skin care regimen, protect your skin, and go for regular check ups with your dermatologist.


These are my favorite skincare products from 2018. While these are not necessarily new to the year they were my most reached for and recommended. I hope you enjoy the list. I love seeing year favorites from others let me know yours down in the comments. Look for some other year favorites this week on my blog.

Oil Cleanser – Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm (dry, mature)

Cleanser – First Aid Beauty Skin Rescue Red Clay Cleanser (oily, acne prone)

Toner – Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Liquid Moisturizing Toner (dry)

Essence – Nature Republic Herb Blending Essence (dry, mature)

Serum – Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Re.Pair Serum (acne prone, redness, sensitive)

Moisturizer – Neogen Vita Duo Cream Joan Day Joan Night (normal, dry)

Exfoliant – Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads (all, sensitive)

Sheet Mask – Manefit Mugwort Astringent + Pore Care (dry, acne prone, sensitive)

Mask – Algenist ALIVE Prebiotic Balancing Mask (good for rebalancing skin)

Sleeping Mask – Huxley Good Night Sleep Mask (redness, dry)

Oil – Neogen White Truffle Laycure Oil Stick (stressed, dry)

Eye Cream – Drunk Elephant C-Tango Multivitamin Eye Cream (all)

Sunscreen – Coola Classic Sunscreen (normal, dry combination, sensitive)

Extra Loves Of The Year:

*Anti-Aging – Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Solution (all)

*Acne – Peace Out Acne Healing Dots (all)

*Lips – Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (all)

*Texture – Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster (all)


You might be wondering how prebiotics in your skincare would be beneficial to your skin. We know that prebiotic foods help your gut health by feeding good bacteria to your gut. Prebiotics offer many benefits to your overall well being as they help in the prevention of diseases. Well, our skin is the same filled with bacteria both good and bad. The good bacteria gets roughed up from pollution, weather conditions, antibiotics, etc. So if we feed the good bacteria we can help our skin fight many issues such as acne, eczema, rosacea and inflammation. You can also benefit from a prebiotic face wash to keep your skin’s PH balance in check. Prebiotics might be exactly what your skin has been looking for!

The new Murad Prebiotic 4-In-1 MultiCLeanser works for all skin types working as a makeup remover and cleanser it gently cleanses and offers deep hydration to your skin.

Murad Prebiotic 3-In-1 Multimist helps with dehydrated skin. It delivers prebiotics to help rebalance and hydrate your skin on the go. It can also be used as a primer and or setting spray.