Friday Finds

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In a statement rarely said, this week flew by! I don’t know how it went so quickly! I’m starting a new recurring series of weekly finds that I am interested in or keep thinking about. Enjoy this weeks selection below!

The Pomodoro Method

I read Hitha’s post on the method and the Productivity Planner the other day, I decided to listen to the Lively Show episode with Alex Ikonn about the planner. I am always interested in new ways to improve my efficiency (especially since I have been feeling rather inefficient in the past weeks) and it was incredibly thought provoking. The method is working for 25 minutes with no disruption on a specific topic, then taking a 5 minute break. The idea being that since you spend dedicated and uninterrupted time before moving on to something else, you are able to focus more energy on that one item. Alex and Ujay (creators of the 5 Minute Journal) created the Productivity Planner to help people focus on their most important tasks and conquer them in pomodoros. They have a downloadable trial version here and I am going to give it a try!

Purging Dirty Beauty Products

After the face mask class I mentioned on Wednesday, I was really curious about which of my beauty products were not as clean as I had once thought. I downloaded the Skin Deep and Think Dirty App and got to looking up all of the products I use regularly. I threw out a few products I used everyday and promptly replaced them with better alternatives. For example, my Living Proof Shampoo and Conditioner got the kick and I have replaced with samples of Yarok Shampoo and Conditioner. I also replaced the Dry Shampoo I was using with the Rahua Dry Shampoo. So far so good on both fronts, and I am comforted knowing I am not using products that contain allergens and potential endocrine disrupters. Download the app to see for yourself!

Cozy Bathrobes

I have always been a bathrobe person. I love wearing them around the house and feeling extra cozy. This Christmas I asked for this Splendid robe, and I am in love with it. It is so so fluffy and cozy and incredibly soft. If you are looking for a new robe, I completely recommend this one, and order up a size.

Bose QuietComfort 25 Headphones

I finally broke down and got myself a pair of noise canceling headphones. I have been eyeing getting a pair for a while, and after a lot of research I landed on the QC 25s from Bose. They are quite cute, and I love how quiet they make flying. I don’t know why I didn’t cave sooner. These headphones have a slim carrying case which was my biggest concern with these big headphones, but they haven’t been a problem.

Hope you enjoy this weeks Friday Finds!

DIY Face Masks

You guys know I love my clean beauty products, and one of my favorite places to buy clean and safe beauty products in Boston is Follain. So when my friend told me about a “make your own face mask” event with Follain at the Artemis Design Co in Allston, I jumped on it!

I love face masks. There is something so indulgent about pasting one on your face, putting on a plush bathrobe and watching TV or sipping on a glass of wine. Some of my favorite face masks are The Aztec Secret Healing Clay and the Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, but I had never made my own. Little did I know, it couldn’t be easier!

The event took place at the Artemis Design Co in Allston and it is such a cozy and inviting space (I wish I had more pictures, but here is one from the website) and once the small group assembled, we discussed our skin care needs and processes. Jeannie and Tara from Follain were so incredibly knowledgeable (duh because one is a makeup magician and the other the founder of Follain) and it was awesome to pick their minds about products, practices, and clean beauty in general – I was in awe! I could go on about Follain for days, but more on that sometime soon.

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For our masks, the ingredients we used were turmeric (for brightening), cinnamon (for circulation), and yogurt (for exfoliation) or honey (for moisture), as well as a bunch of clays from the store. You can modulate what you add in based on what your skin needs that day, which is the awesome part about making a mask yourself. I was surprised by how much of each ingredient you actually need to make a great mask – a little bit (a tablespoon of the base) goes a long way. You only need ~1 Tbsp of the base and just keep adding add-ins (spices, clay etc) until it becomes a paste. It’s that easy!

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I mixed my mask with yogurt, a little bit of honey, a few dashes of turmeric and cinnamon as well as a little bit of the Earth Tu Face Calendula and Carrot Mask. As soon as I put the mask on, it felt wonderful and I could feel the cinnamon working on my circulation. I love the feeling that a mask is working. When I washed it off, it felt incredible. Tara and Jeannie had brought some other face treats to apply after the masks, a wonderful Ursa Minor toner, and then my favorite, the Kahina Argan Oil. It absorbed so quickly and felt so light!

After the class my face felt wonderful all night, and I have already put my new skills to the test and made myself a mask the other night! It is so easy to make products with stuff you already have around the house, I had no idea! Check out a little

Thank you to Milicent of Artemis Design Co for hosting the workshop and Tara and Jeannie for their incredibly expertise. If you are interested in other workshops at Artemis, check them out here! And if you are in Boston, DC, or Nantucket and haven’t stopped into Follain, do yourself a favor and go! Your skin will thank you!

Life Lately

Life-Lately

After the hectic travel of the past few months, and the holidays, and everything else, it feels like time is finally slowing back to normal. I am finally getting back to paying a bit more attention to this here blog, now that our new roommate is calming down in his new home.

Weeks one and two (and three and four) of having a puppy flew by in a blink.

Meet Baker Wellington, stealer of hearts and apple of TJR’s and my eye. He can be a real pain sometimes, but most of the time he is incredibly sweet and absolutely adorable.

With this little man comes a lot of guilt over leaving him to go out or spending time away from him while he is so little. We have found an excellent dog walker during the days, but haven’t loved going out when we would rather spend time with him. As such, I have been cooking far more than usual, and trying out some of the (many) cookbooks we got for Christmas. Recipes to come, but it is so cozy having time at home to play with the little guy, cook, and binge watch Netflix/Amazon Prime.

We got our first real snow of the season this weekend and Baker LOVED IT. It was so adorable watching him run around in the snow, and I love walking around in the evening while the snow is falling and everyone else is inside. Even in the city, it is quiet.

We are nearing our 6 month anniversary in Boston (HOW DID THAT HAPPEN) and we are finally getting into the swing of things and purposefully going to find new places, stores and restaurants – it feels like we are finally exploring and getting to know the area. Sometimes I cannot believe we live here – but most days it feels like home!

Enjoy the pics of whats been going on in the 6+ weeks I haven’t posted, no promises, but hoping to get back to a better posting routine soon!

Cyber Monday Scores

You might as well call this past Cyber Monday, “Ellie Scores on Natural Beauty Products” Day.

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Both Tata Harper and Jackson | Brooke were having big big sales, and I stocked up on old favorites, and found some new ones I NEED to tell you about.

I first read about Jackson | Brooke on The Stripe a few weeks ago, and I was really curious about a bunch of their products. I love their philosophy “We want the best that nature has to offer our bodies, and are determined to find it, against all odds.” I found no less than 10 things I wanted to buy immediately, but restrained myself in hopes of a sale – and thankfully Cyber Monday brought that my way.

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FACE

In the market for a new non-exfoliating wash (I still love love love the Tata Harper Regenerating Cleanser), I decided to try the Indie Lee Brightening Face Wash, and it is such a luxury. I love the smell and it feels like a citrusy treat each morning. It wakes me right up, even if my face doesn’t look it. I also restocked on my favorite Exfoliating face wash from Tata Harper, because duh.

Grace raved about the Lather SPF 30 Face Lotion, and I had to give it a try. While I love the Tata Harper stuff that I use, my biggest complaint is that there is no SPF. I have tried some natural sunscreens before and been really frustrated. Chalky, white, hard to rub in, you know what I mean, but this lotion is so different. And amazing. No extra time needed to rub in, and no odd sickly glow. Just sun protection on your clean face. I am a big fan already. And of course, with the big sale, I had to stock up on my favorite Concentrated Brightening Serum from Tata Harper. I put this on at night and have definitely seen the results.

Another great nighttime cream I have been using is the Sunday Riley Good Genes. I leave it on as a lotion overnight as a recommendation from Cera at Arch, and I love how my skin feels in the morning. Definitely worth a try if you are looking for a good night lotion.

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BODY

I am terrible about keeping my body hydrated in the winter. I rarely put on body lotion, even though I know I should. I just haven’t found a lotion that I like that I actually feel works. I also haven’t found a natural lotion I have liked at all. I tried the Tata Harper Firming Body Lotion and the Body Oil, and while they both applied easily, I didn’t feel the body lotion lasted well. For a fraction of the price, I decided to try the Lather Body Lotion and the Indie Lee Body Lotion from Jackson | Brooke. I am so in love with the Lather lotion. It is SUPER moisturizing, lasts ALL DAY and you can still tell that you applied it in the evening. The Indie Lee lotion is a bit thinner but still as lasting. I will be reordering a lot of these in the future.

I have been looking for a natural deodorant for a while now, and have really struggled finding one I like. The spray kind of weirds me out, because “is it really working” and then the balms you have to rub on are also kind of bizarre. We expect deodorant to be in a stick, so when it isn’t, it doesn’t feel right. I tried this new Lovefresh Eucalyptus and Mint deodorant stick, and it is great. It really does work (which I will say I was doubting) and also smells awesome. It is a bit harder to put on than traditional deodorant, doesn’t “glide” but it does get on well.

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LIPS

My lips have been completely and utterly chapped since I went to Italy, pretty much non-stop. I have been trying everything under the sun to keep them hydrated, but most of the time I have fallen short. When I saw this Mint Julep Lip Scrub at Follain the other day, I jumped on it after trying it in the store. The oils in the scrub make your lips super soft after the sugar comes off (you can eat it too!). I really like how it makes my lips feel and then I have been topping it off with this Indie Lee Balm. It is versatile for lips, hands, cuticles etc. It has been keeping my lips soft, and hopefully with this double whammy my lips will be back to normal soon.